Rock News

VOLBEAT's MICHAEL POULSEN Talks About Songwriting Process For Next Album (Audio)

Sat, 25 Apr 2015 11:04:20 +0000

Guitarist/vocalist Michael Poulsen of Danish/American metal rock 'n' rollers VOLBEAT was interviewed on the April 7 edition of the "STP Cast" on the Seattle radio station KISW 99.9 FM. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. Speaking about the progress of the songwriting sessions for VOLBEAT's follow-up to 2013's "Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies", Poulsen said: "We are in the writing process right now. I'm writing every day, using a lot of hours to get into the right material. And it's pretty much like the old days: I'm writing most of the material, but then I have certain spots open for Rob [Caggiano, guitar], where he can put in some of his ideas and stuff, and it's working out pretty good." Polusen also talked about VOLBEAT's overall musical direction, which has been described as a fusion of rock and roll, heavy metal and rockabilly. "When I sit and write, it's not like I'm locked into one certain style," he said. "I love metal, I love blues, I love gospel, country, punk… whatever it is, as long as it does something to me [and] I get that good feeling. And that's the exact same feeling I need to get when I write my own material. So I don't wanna paint myself into a corner where I say, 'This has to be only a metal song.' That's not what VOLBEAT is all about." He continued: "I have so much respect for all those great metal bands out there who just found their style, and you really don't want them to change anything, because that's what they do; they do their metal stuff. But when it comes to VOLBEAT, I would not even say that we're metal or rock and roll or anything. I guess we're just something. But we blend a lot of metal, rock and roll, a little bit of blues and country and punk… whatever it is." Poulsen added: "We were not aware that we had something unique going, because, I think, if we were, we wouldn't have that kind of success that we have, because our songs… they are very honest. So we're not trying to create something very special. We pretty much just became aware of it when people kept on saying to us, 'You've got something going. You've got something special there.' And we were, like, 'We do?' I think that's the magic behind it. We were just playing. So maybe we were there at the right time. But one thing I can say for sure is that we have been sacrificing a lot to be able to tour as much. We quit our day jobs, our girlfriends… and there's been so many sacrifices to being able to do what we do. "We started like everybody else, going out in a cold nine-seater and just actually paying to play. That's just how it works now. "We're pretty much aware that we earned our stripes, but we take good care of our stripes. We don't take anything for granted." VOLBEAT recently signed a North American management agreement with Q Prime, the New York-based music management firm founded and run by Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch. Since forming in Copenhagen in 2000, VOLBEAT has released five studio albums and two live offerings. "Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies" has sold almost 300,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The title has been certified platinum in their home country of Denmark, alongside Germany and Austria, with gold sales in Finland and Sweden. The album has also been certified gold in Canada. VOLBEAT's spring 2015 tour with ANTHRAX serving as direct support and CROBOT opening the show kicked off on April 24 in Denver, Colorado. Interview (audio):

VEIL OF MAYA To Release 'Matriarch' Album In May

Sat, 25 Apr 2015 09:36:29 +0000

Chicago metallers VEIL OF MAYA will release their fifth album, "Matriarch", on May 12 via Sumerian Records. When VEIL OF MAYA was recording "Matriarch", the group found itself with a lot of new ideas, but no singer. Enter Lukas Magyar. "I'm from this small town in Wisconsin, where there's not a lot of music and nobody's really as serious about it as I am," says Magyar. "I had followed VEIL for a few years, and was really impressed by them. When I heard they needed a new singer, I got in touch." Magyar, however, had never toured before. Or even been on a plane. Not a problem. "We flew him out, auditioned him and hired him on the spot," reveals guitarist Marc Okubo. "He was great. He could sing, too, which is something we'd wanted to do for a while. It really opened up some possibilities." After making his live debut in front of thousands at last year's Knotfest, Magyar quickly joined producer Taylor Larson (PERIPHERY, DARKEST HOUR) and the rest of VEIL OF MAYA (rounded out by Okubo, drummer Sam Applebaum and bassist Dan Hauser) in the studio to record "Matriarch". It's an album that finds Magyar bringing a new addition to VEIL OF MAYA's arsenal; a mix of harsh and clean singing. "There was controversy when we released the single, 'Mikasa'," Okubo admits. "But for every 10 kids who complained online, we gained hundreds of new fans. I think 'Mikasa' is the most popular song we've ever put out." You'll definitely hear Lukas's presence and influence on "Matriarch". Yes, VEIL OF MAYA is still, as AllMusic posited, "possessed of a malevolent fury and almost mechanical precision." But there's growth here. The grinding "NYU" slides up against the more atmospheric tracks like "Phoenix" and "Leeloo". The title track gets playful, almost like a Danny Elfman tune. VEIL OF MAYA has spent the past ten years grinding it out on the road through countless tours and festivals around the world, gaining an enormous following for its evolving blend of progressive metal technical brutality. The band reached a critical peak with 2012's successful "Eclipse", co-produced by PERIPHERY's Misha Mansoor. VEIL OF MAYA has announced a late spring headlining tour with special guests REVOCATION, OCEANO, GIFT GIVER and ENTHEOS. The "Matriarch" tour begins May 20 in Detroit.

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BRITNY FOX Has Reunited And Is Back In Studio

Sat, 25 Apr 2015 07:59:54 +0000

'80s glam rockers BRITNY FOX, featuring bassist Billy Childs, vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tommy Paris and drummer Johnny Dee, alongside new lead guitarist Chris Sanders, have returned from a long hiatus fully charged and ready to rock. The band is currently writing material for a new album, with plans to book and perform select dates. In late 2014, Childs re-established contact with his former manager Wayne "Doobie" Dubay. Childs and Doobie then reconnected with Paris and Dee. Due to commitments, original BRITNY FOX lead guitarist Michael Kelly Smith is unable to take part in the reunion and has been replaced by Sanders. "How can I tell you how great it is to be back with these guys, and working on a new album? It is fantastic," says Childs. "Johnny and I basically grew up in this business together and the tightness we have had over the years as a rhythm section is still there. "Tommy Paris hasn't lost a step, lyrically or vocally. "Chris is a breath of fresh air for the band, and adds elements that were never there before, but very much in line with us as we prepare to bite down even harder this time around. "Doobie is the guy that pulled us all together and said, 'Get your heads out of your asses and make another 'Bite Down Hard'.' He's pretty big, so best just to agree with him! For other reasons as well, though, we all agreed it was time." BRITNY FOX is currently in studio writing and recording the follow-up to 1991's "Bite Down Hard" album, which is described in a press release as "a musical jewel [that] is a definite game changer on the classic BRITNY FOX sound that originally exploded in 1988." "It's awesome playing with Billy and Johnny again, [and] Chris fits right in perfectly with us freaks," exclaims Paris. "The new songs are ass-kicking, fun heavy rock! "It's a great time hanging out with Doobie, writing new tunes and putting a new show together! [I] can't wait to get back out on stage!" BRITNY FOX 2015 is: Tommy Paris: Vocals/Rhythm Guitar Chris Sanders: Lead Guitar Billy Childs: Bass Johnny Dee: Drums Guitarist/vocalist "Dizzy" Dean Davidson left BRITNY FOX after the release of the band's second album, 1989's "Boys in Heat". After Davidson exited BRITNY FOX, he was replaced by Las Vegas native Tommy Paris, who sang on the band's last two studio albums, "Bite Down Hard" and 2003's "Springhead Motorshark".

Late '80s/Early '90s Incarnation Of VENOM Reunites As VENOM INC.

Sat, 25 Apr 2015 07:32:08 +0000

Original VENOM members Jeff "Mantas" Dunn (guitar) and Anthony "Abaddon" Bray (drums) have rejoined forces with ex-VENOM bassist/vocalist Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan in a brand new band called VENOM INC. VENOM INC. will make its live debut at this weekend's Keep It True festival in Lauda-Königshofen Germany, and will continue with shows in China, Japan and Taiwan in July, followed by a full European tour with Polish death metallers VADER in September. VENOM INC. will play a full set of VENOM classics, with plans to record a brand new album in the coming months. Dunn, Bray and Dolan released three albums as VENOM between 1989 and 1992 — "Prime Evil" (1989), "Temples Of Ice" (1991) and "The Waste Lands" (1992). Dolan and Dunn have spent the last few years collaborating in a new band called M-PIRE OF EVIL, which released its full-length debut, "Hell To The Holy", in March 2012 via Scarlet Records. A follow-up effort, "Crucified", came out in May 2013 via Deadline Music (a subsidiary of Cleopatra Records). In a March 2015 interview with PowerOfMetal.dk, Dunn revealed that he was writing a book about his life, focusing heavily on VENOM's early years. "I've been asked for a long time to write a book, but I've always avoided it," he said. "But a couple of years ago, I was in Japan and I was speaking to some people who told me I should really write a book to, you know, tell the truth about what happened. What's being said in the press today and what I read on the Internet is complete horseshit." He continued: "I'm talking to an Italian publisher and there a couple of other publishers who are interested [in releasing the book]. I don't yet know whether it's going to be released by one publisher or whether it's going to be licensed in different countries. Currently I'm roughly halfway through writing the book. "For me, it's more complicated than putting an album together, because, besides writing it, you've got to check dates and lots of other stuff. There's so much writing involved, one thing leads to another, and your memory gets jogged about certain incidents. "You know, there's a lot to go into there, and it doesn't just concentrate on the VENOM thing. I'm taking it from Day One, from when I was born, and all the way through my early childhood, influences… It's basically my life story, with the VENOM thing in it as well. It's from the beginning to where we are today." In an April 2014 statement on his Facebook page, Dunn shot down the possibility of a reunion of VENOM's classic lineup, featuring Conrad "Cronos" Lant on bass/vocals. He explained: "I received a call almost one year ago regarding this matter from the original management who had an enquiry regarding the possibility of a reunion of the original lineup. My response to this was that I was willing to talk, but I did not believe for one minute that there would be any realistic chance of this happening given the past history between the members, I was, however, open to discussion and would await further information. "In 2005, I had a lengthy telephone conversation with Conrad ['Cronos' Lant; VENOM bassist/vocalist] initially regarding the return of a product licence. It was during this conversation that he asked if I was OK with him continuing as VENOM. I said yes and wished him well with it. At this point in my life, VENOM was of no concern to me as my mother had suffered a serious stroke, and later in that year, after a long battle, she passed away, so my focus had obviously been on her. "As you are all aware, Conrad has since been actively gigging and recording as VENOM, and as you know, I am continually busy with M-PIRE OF EVIL. "As time went by and rumours and discussions of a reunion increased, but without any input from Conrad or myself, it became obvious to me that the two people who had to communicate in some way were the two of us, as we both have active and ongoing careers, so I made the decision to contact him to get an answer which would basically come down to a simple 'yes or no.' In my heart of hearts, I already knew and was prepared for the answer, and quite honestly I also had my reservations about the validity and practicality of such a venture. "As you may have already guessed, the answer came back as 'no,' so I can hereby officially say that there will be no reunion of the original lineup. "I will include only one line from Conrad's response as these were personal and private communications between him and myself. In his response he stated: 'I've personally got no interest whatsoever in trying to work with the original lineup ever again.' "This was something that I fully expected and understand." The classic lineup of VENOMLant, Dunn and Bray — is often credited with kickstarting the whole black metal movement, but is more accurately seen an early example of extreme metal. VENOM's second album, 1982's "Black Metal", was a major influence on on the early Norwegian black metal scene.

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LINDEMANN Featuring RAMMSTEIN Frontman, PAIN/HYPOCRISY Mainman: 'Skills In Pills' Formats, Release Date

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:30:18 +0000

Warner Bros. has set a June 23 release date for "Skills In Pills", the debut album from LINDEMANN, the new project featuring vocalist Till Lindemann of German industrial metallers RAMMSTEIN and Swedish producer and multi-instrumentalist Peter Tägtgren (HYPOCRISY, PAIN). The first single from the CD, "Praise Abort", will arrive on May 29. "Skills In Pills" will be made available in the following formats: * Standard Edition (2-panel digipack, 28-page booklet) * Special Edition (Blu-ray-packaging, 28-page booklet, bonus track "That's My Heart") * Super Deluxe Edition (large-size book, hardcover, 80 pages, telescope-carton, CD+bonus track "That's My Heart") * Vinyl (gatefold sleeve, 28-page booklet, bonus track, includes album-download code) * Digital Speaking to U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine, Tägtgren stated about how his collaboration with Lindemann came about: "It started around 1999 or 2000, after we got to know each other. Till was helping me put vocals on one of my albums, but it never happened because we were so busy all the time. But we kept in contact, and two summers ago, RAMMSTEIN were in Sweden and Till invited me over; we talked a bit before he went on stage, and he said that RAMMSTEIN were going to have a break for two years and we should do something." He continued: "I was starting to think of doing another PAIN album, but as soon as Till came in, that's when I really started to work. I figured I'd just keep on writing. I started triggering his ideas and he started triggering mine. All of a sudden there was no PAIN album!" Regarding the musical direction of LINDEMANN, Till told Metal Hammer: "It's a baby between RAMMSTEIN and PAIN — at least, it's a mix of RAMMSTEIN vocals and PAIN music. "Peter's a real metalhead and I'm into this gothic thing. "I know a lot of hardcore RAMMSTEIN fans may not like it, because they'll miss the German language and harsh sounds, but this is a side project and I bring a lot of personality into my half. There's a lot of different colors to this record." Till added that there are plans for LINDEMANN to play some live shows and record a follow-up album, explaining that making the debut CD "was too much fun to just keep as a singular project." "Skills In Pills" track listing: 01. Skills In Pills 02. Ladyboy 03. Fat 04. Fish On 05. Children Of The Sun 06. Home Sweet Home 07. Cowboy 08. Golden Shower 09. Yukon 10. Praise Abort 11. That's My Heart lindemannskillscdcover_638 lindemannskillscdcover2_638

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STRATOVARIUS To Release 'Eternal' Album In August

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:01:06 +0000

Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS are putting the finishing touches on their new album, "Eternal", for an August 14 release via the earMUSIC label. The CD's arrival will be preceded by a performance at Wacken Open Air festival, and will be followed by a full European tour. STRATOVARIUS's last three albums — "Polaris", "Elysium" and "Nemesis" — were released close to each other as the consequence of the renewed creative energy the band gained following the arrival of new members, guitarist Mattias Kupianen (prolific songwriter and producer of all the albums, including "Eternal"), virtuoso bass player Lauri Porra, and the young talent Rolf Pilve, one of the best drummer of his generation who had to replace Jörg Michael after the latter decided to move into a new role in STRATOVARIUS management. STRATOVARIUS's most recent CD, "Nemesis", included the single "Unbreakable", which became one of the most streamed songs ever released by the band. Timo Kotipelto (vocals) and Jens Johansson (keyboards) proudly carry the torch of the glorious STRATOVARIUS tradition, but now many fans of the band consider the current lineup "classic STRATOVARIUS." "Since 'Polaris', we have released a new studio album pretty much every two years," reflects Jens Johansson, "but after 'Nemesis', we all decided to take a little bit of time off after we finished the world tour. Now we're all tanned and rested and it's about fucking time to get back into the saddle. Everybody has been busy the last few months writing lots of new songs, and only the best has been recorded for 'Eternal'." Song details and formats (including a limited deluxe edition as in the STRATOVARIUS tradition) will be revealed in the next weeks, as well as details for a tour in Finland.

Video: THE PRETTY RECKLESS Performs Acoustic Set At Nashville's 102.9 THE BUZZ

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:24:12 +0000

THE PRETTY RECKLESS, the band led by actress-turned-singer Taylor Momsen, recently played an acoustic set in the studios of Nashville's Rock Radio 102.9 The Buzz. You can now watch video footage of the performance below. Momsen told TeamRock that she hasn't really had a chance to begin working on songs for the band's follow-up to last year's breakthrough hit, "Going To Hell", explaining, "I'm always jotting down ideas and things, but it's hard, for me at least, to write on the road, 'cause it requires isolation for me. I need to be alone with my own thoughts, and you're never alone on tour. You live on a bus with twelve people, so you're just constantly around people. And you're constantly working on tour, so there's really never enough time to sit down and actually focus." Momsen added, "I've got little pieces of things here and there. But it'll be done when it's better than 'Going To Hell'. I always say, I'm not gonna put something out that's not better than the last work that we did, so we have to beat ourselves every time. And that can take forever, or it could magically happen in a week." Momsen told The Pulse Of Radio that she's never sure when the inspiration for a new song is going to strike. "It's different every time," she said. "There's no real process or anything. I mean, the writing dictates where the song goes and how it comes together, and my joke is that if I knew where inspiration came from, I'd move there." "Going To Hell" came out in March 2014 and yielded two No. 1 rock hits with "Heaven Knows" and "Messed Up World", making THE PRETTY RECKLESS the first female-fronted act to have its first two singles both hit the top spot. Before getting to work on an all-new studio effort, the band intends to complete an acoustic set that will feature unplugged versions of the songs on "Going To Hell". THE PRETTY RECKLESS kicked off a North American tour with HALESTORM on April 22 in Nashville.

LITA FORD's 'Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir' Pushed Back To October

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:13:21 +0000

Fan-filmed video footage of Lita Ford's performance on this year's Monsters Of Rock cruise, which was held April 18-22, can be seen below. In other news, Dey Street Books (formerly It Books), an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, has set an October 13 release date for "Lita Ford - Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir". In this 240-page hardcover book, which was originally expected last year, the former lead guitarist of THE RUNAWAYS opens up about the '70s and '80s music scene, and her extraordinary life and career. Lita Ford lived her dreams, until her life turned into a nightmare. She left home at age sixteen to join the world's first all-female rock group, THE RUNAWAYS — a band whose legend was sealed by the 2010 hit movie starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning — and went on to become the first woman hard rock guitarist, a platinum-selling star who gave Ozzy Osbourne his first Top Ten hit, a bare-ass, leather-clad sexy babe whose hair was bigger and guitar licks were hotter than any of the guys. She is also the mother of two sons whose harrowing tale of her catastrophic marriage to a metal rocker makes Ike and Tina Turner sound like life at the country club. But in the end, Lita's story changes from a music story to a woman's story — a wrenching, desperate drama of human bondage and a mother's love, a life-and-death struggle over her own soul. Trapped in an increasingly terrifying marriage, systematically stripped of her connections to the outside world, Lita Ford became a prisoner in her own life, a slave to her husband's demands, living like a captive. She plotted her escape and her freedom cost her the boys she stayed in the marriage to protect. Her graphic, explicit story will terrify and horrify readers, but they won't be able to put it down. "Living Like A Runaway" will shock people with the candor that Lita Ford shines on her dramatic life story. At ease as a woman in the previously all-male world of rock, Lita shares with her male counterparts an unvarnished directness when it comes to topics such as sex, drugs, money or fame. No female rock star of Lita's stature has ever before told the real story of women in rock. With unprecedented rawness and honesty, "Living Like A Runaway" reminds us that Lita Ford is not only one of music's greatest pioneers, but also one of its fiercest survivors. In a January 2014 interview with PureGrainAudio.com, Ford stated about her upcoming book: "It's an autobiography about, well, my life, the paths I've taken, all the different musical eras. It's got all my favourite stories in it and we're just working on getting that together. It covers everything really from me growing up to THE RUNAWAYS to Lita and all the things I've been through and experiences I've had." She added: "The hardest thing was how things kept popping out and I'm going crazy thinking, 'Hell, I've got to include that... oh no... that needs to go in as well and... hey, do you remember that time...' — every time I think I've got everything, one of us remembers something else and we're back where we started. It's never-ending."

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KORPIKLAANI: 'Pilli On Pajusta Tehty' Video Premiere

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:00:20 +0000

Finnish folk metallers KORPIKLAANI will release their new album, "Noita", on May 5 in North America via Nuclear Blast. Recorded at Petrax Studio with Aksu Hanttu producing, recording and mixing again, it is the band's first CD to feature new accordion player Sami Perttula, who played a very active role in the folk arrangements along with fiddler Tuomas Rounakari. The official video for the "Noita" song "Pilli On Pajusta Tehty" can be seen below. The cover artwork for "Noita" was created by Jan Yrlund from Darkgrove Design, who has created all the KORPIKLAANI covers in recent years. Commented KORPIKLAANI bass player Jarkko Aaltonen: "'Noita', in the traditional Finnish meaning, is different than what people associate it with nowadays. "'Noita' is a person with wider knowledge and understanding of the nature and who also was believed to possess paranormal or unnatural abilities. These people were often also referred to as Tietäjä, [which] exactly means someone with wider knowledge and understanding of pretty much everything. "Native American medicine man is pretty much the same thing or actually all the different types of Shamans of the primitive peoples are the same thing. Noita is someone that you turn to when you need help of some kind. "Finnish Noita had the ability to heal, just like their North American counterparts. They were very respected members of the society. Only later Christianity changed the word to mean something negative since those people were considered rivals by the church. Even in Finland, this turned into a witchhunt (=noitavaino) every now and then. "Anyway, most people using Google Translate or similar will find the word 'witch' and will probably get a bit wrong idea of the meaning, since most will probably connect it with the black sabbaths, devil marks and such, when a way more correct translation would probably be medicine man or Shaman." Added Pertulla: "Previously the KORPIKLAANI albums were played with a piano-accordion and now I play with a traditional button-accordion which was more widely used in Finland anyways. In the arrangements you can hear more tonal harmonies and folky accompaniments combined to the power-chords than before. It actually boosts up the uplifting feel of our music." KORPIKLAANI violinist Toumas Rounakari commented: "This album has more violin solos than ever before. Violin is more in the role of a lead-guitar now just as Jonne had originally intended it to be." KORPIKLAANI vocalist Jonne Järvelä concluded: "We have finally managed to create the balance between folk and metal in the way I've always dreamt it to be. Thanks to Sami's arrangements and Tuomas's crazy shredding of the violin."

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LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY: Lyric Video For New Song 'Rosenkreuz (The Rose And The Cross)'

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:48:36 +0000

Italian "cinematic" metallers LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY will release a new album, "Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus", on June 19 in Europe and June 30 in the U.S. via Nuclear Blast. The CD was composed and produced once again by Luca Turilli, responsible as always of all the orchestral and choral arrangements. It was recorded and mixed at the Backyard Studios of Sebastian Roeder (BONFIRE) and mastered by Christoph Stickel (MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK) at MSM studios. The first single, titled "Rosenkreuz (The Rose And The Cross)" is now available digitally, and a lyric video for the song can be seen below. Luca Turilli commented the song and the lyrical background as follows: "While trying to understand more about the subject of metaphysics and spiritual evolution, my intention was to discover more about the primordial original spiritual source that, when manipulated more or less wisely later by man, gave birth to all the religions. Many people dedicated all their life and their studies to this subject, like, for example, Helena Blavatsky, who tried to condensate all in her theosophical perspective, or Rudolf Steiner, that tried to improve the society of his time with his anthroposophy. The truth is that, whoever tried to discover more about such spiritual source linked with the primordial photon energy and the immortal secret related with it, sooner or later had to face the myth of Christian Rosenkreuz. "The RHAPSODY song 'Rosenkreuz (The Rose And The Cross)' tells about the legendary origin of the Rosicrucian Order and tells about the 12 wise men, keepers of the spiritual wisdom of the Ancients and of the highest intellectual knowledge of their time that, willing to react against the corrupted and amoral society of their time, found in the '13th one' the personified synthesis of such immortal secret reflected in the absolute and purest essence of light and love.." The creation of "Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus" involved seven months of composition, three months of production, over 50 days of mixing, working with two choirs, several special guests, including Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR), Dan Lucas (KARO) and David Readman (PINK CREAM 69). Containing 70 minutes of epic music, sounding cinematic, bombastic and dramatic as never before, the new RHAPSODY masterwork will lead the listener to an emotional and memorable journey between quantum gates, parallel dimensions, myths and legends hiding cosmic truths, ancestral secrets and spiritual revelations. And this time it was not enough for the band to simply sound cinematic — RHAPSODY needed to finally "look" cinematic as well. Therefore, the new cover artwork and the album booklet, introducing the new cinematic graphic style of the band, were created by the well-known artist Stefan "Heile" Heilemann (EPICA, LINDEMANN). The digipak version of the album will include a cinematic version of the RIOT classic "Thundersteel", performed by RHAPSODY singer Alessandro Conti as a duet with Ralf Scheepers. "Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus" track listing: 01. Nova Genesis (Ad Splendorem Angeli Triumphantis) 02. Il Cigno Nero 03. Rosenkreuz (The Rose And The Cross) 04. Anahata 05. Il Tempo Degli Dei 06. One Ring To Rule Them All 07. Notturno 08. Prometheus 09. King Solomon And The 72 Names Of God 10. Yggdrasil 11. Of Michael The Archangel And Lucifer's Fall Part II: Codex Nemesis I. Codex Nemesis Alpha Omega II. Symphonia Ignis Divinus (The Quantum Gate Revealed) III. The Astral Convergence IV. The Divine Fire Of The Archangel V. Of Psyche And Archetypes (System Overloaded) Digipak Bonus: 12. Thundersteel (cinematic version) In August 2011, RHAPSODY OF FIRE guitarist Luca Turilli and keyboardist Alex Staropoli announced their decision to go their separate ways. Due to legal reasons, Staropoli is continuing under the RHAPSODY OF FIRE name. Turilli, on the other hand, is making his efforts available under the RHAPSODY moniker (RHAPSODY OF FIRE's original name), in which he is joined by guitarist Dominique Leurquin, bassist Patrice Guers, singer Alessandro Conti (TRICK OR TREAT) and drummer Alex Landenburg (AT VANCE, ANNIHILATOR, MEKONG DELTA, STRATOVARIUS). LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY's last album, "Ascending To Infinity", entered the German Media Control chart at the position No. 32.

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HELLOWEEN: New Song 'Lost In America' Available For Streaming

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:26:59 +0000

"Lost In America", a brand new song from German power metallers HELLOWEEN, can be streamed in the YouTube clip below. The track is taken from the band's 15th studio album, "My God-Given Right", which will be released on May 29 via Nuclear Blast. The CD was recorded between October 2014 and February 2015 at the band's MiSueno Studio on the isle of Tenerife with producer Charlie Bauerfeind (GOTTHARD, HAMMERFALL). HELLOWEEN has just released the first single from "My God-Given Right", the speed metal hymn "Battle's Won". In addition to the digital download, a limited-edition two-track vinyl single was made available on April 24, also featuring the album cut "Lost In America". "My God-Given Right" track listing: 01. Heroes 02. Battle's Won 03. My God-Given Right 04. Stay Crazy 05. Lost In America 06. Russian Roulé 07. The Swing Of A Fallen World 08. Like Everybody Else 09. Creatures In Heaven 10. If God Loves Rock 'N' Roll 11. Living On The Edge 12. Claws 13. You, Still Of War The limited digipak (with special 3D cover) and the vinyl version will feature two bonus tracks: 14. I Wish I Were There 15. Wicked Game The digital version contains three bonus tracks: 14. I Wish I Were There 15. Wicked Game 16. Free World The limited earbook will feature a bonus CD with four bonus tracks: 01. I Wish I Were There 02. Wicked Game 03. Nightmare 04. More Than A Lifetime Pre-order here. The "My God-Given Right" artwork was once again created by graphic guru Martin Häusler (BON JOVI, QUEEN, GOTTHARD) and will also be available as a 3D lenticular print. Says Häusler: "We tried to build a world of ideas, keeping the 'classic HELLOWEEN' elements, like the pumpkins on the one hand and a complete new look on the other, just like we did it the years before, working on a HELLOWEEN artwork. "A first inspiration came from the album title, 'My God-Given Right', and some of the song titles, like 'Swing Of A Fallen World', 'Lost In America', 'Battle's Won', etc. "During my research, I stumbled upon the blockbuster 'Day After Tomorrow' and the idea of just leaving the world to the 'pumpkins' was born. "The most challenging part of this artwork was to have both the limited edition and the 11-inch earbook provided with a 3D lenticular cover (a full 3D cover, visible without 3D glasses). That's the reason the entire artwork was done 'in one piece,' using a 3D program… We did not want one of those 'cheap' lenticular covers, done by converting a 2D version, but the best possible real 3D result. So don’t get any other versions — this will be a true collector's item!" Adds HELLOWEEN frontman Andi Deris: "I never know how, but somehow we did it once again… The album really rocks and kicks some major asses!!! We had the best folks with us to make this possible: producer Charlie Bauerfeind and Martin Häusler, who made a massive 3D artwork this time WITHOUT stressing the whole color range." States HELLOWEEN guitarist Michael Weikath: "This proves what a bit of snow not only is able to but really causes! I personally hate snow and the cover shows that too much of everything is never good. Just like Andi Deris, I'm very happy about the new album."

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How Much Does MÖTLEY CRÜE Care About Being Inducted Into ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME?

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:34:03 +0000

Despite MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx's recent claim that if his band was ever honored into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, he would decline the nomination, CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee seems a little more receptive to the idea of being inducted as part of the organization's annually held ceremony. "I do give a shit about it, because it's a time-stamp," Lee tells RollingStone.com. "It's the acknowledgement of your peers and fans and the music industry. But then again, there's a part of me that goes, 'If we don't, that's fucking cool, too.'" He continues: "In my heart, I know that we came, we saw, we kicked its fucking ass; I don't need a pat on the back, or an induction, or another platinum album or two. Maybe I'm just not good with compliments." For his part, MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist Mick Mars seems mostly indifferent to the idea of getting the Rock Hall nod. He tells the magazine: "Honestly, I don't think it'll happen. We were there when the thing was being built; we had to wear hard hats while we were walking around the building site. They were like, 'One of these days, you guys will be in here!' Right. [Laughs]" He continues: "I'd have to say, 80 percent no, 20 percent yeah. But it's like when you're a kid in kindergarten, and you take a nap and get a gold star as a reward. I don't need a few handful of people to say that I got a gold star, because I already got it from my fans. I see the crowds, I see the enthusiasm, I see all that stuff, and that's already satisfying enough for me." To be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. Iconic hard rock and metal bands like MÖTLEY CRÜE (which has been eligible since 2006), DEEP PURPLE, IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST have yet to be recognized by the Rock Hall, which inducted GUNS N' ROSES in that group's first year of eligibility. "I'm not one of these cranky guys about it," Sixx tells RollingStone.com. "But I think if they got it a little bit righter, people would respect it a little bit more. Honestly, there are a lot of bands previous to MÖTLEY CRÜE that deserve to be in, if it's actually about influencing other musicians and making an impact on the planet. You know, the bands that have gotten in the last few years, it's cool; but let's go back and look at the people who curated this great music a little bit more. I mean, I'm a huge MOTT THE HOOPLE fan; if MÖTLEY CRÜE got in before MOTT THE HOOPLE, I'd snap! [Laughs] I'd be like, 'I'm sorry, but Ian Hunter, this is for you!'" DEEP PURPLE, which has been eligible for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for two decades now , was denied entry to the Rock Hall in 2013 — losing out to such artists as American pop singer-songwriter Randy Newman and R&B singer Donna Summer. KISS, which was passed over by the Hall since 1998 before finally getting the nod last April, took its long-overdue induction with a grain of salt, with frontman Paul Stanley telling Classic Rock that it felt like a case of a little too little and a little too late to mean anything for him.

METALLICA's 'St. Anger' Is Loved By JIMMY PAGE And JACK WHITE, Says Producer BOB ROCK

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:58:25 +0000

During an appearance on the latest installment of the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast, producer Bob Rock (pictured) defended his work on METALLICA's controversial 2003 LP "St. Anger" by saying that both LED ZEPPELIN legend Jimmy Page and former THE WHITE STRIPES frontman Jack White "took the time to say how much they like that album." According to Rock, Page expressed his appreciation for the CD when the produced ran into the guitarist while they were both eating breakfast at hotel. "I know Jimmy," Bob said. "He got up and walked over to me, gave me a big hug, and said, 'It's great to see you,' blah blah, 'I love the 'St. Anger' album.'" White's praise came at a screening of the documentary "It Might Get Loud", which co-starred Page. "I was at the premiere, and Jack White came over," Bob recalled. "He says, 'I'm Jack White.' I said, 'I know.' He says, 'That's my favorite METALLICA album.' So," laughed Rock, "I'm okay with those two." Rock did acknowledge that "St. Anger" wasn't embraced by many METALLICA fans, who criticized it for its lack of guitar solos, extended riffs, its raw production and the thin drum sound. "It's a very odd record," he conceded. "But it is… It's the truth. It's the raw truth about them at that time." Rock also addressed the drum-sound controversy, explaining: "People comment about the sound, but when we went in, I said to them, 'I can't set up the drums exactly the same way. I can't do that.' It's like, why does metal music have to have this certain sound before it's metal? So I kicked the can a bit in that way." He continued: "We could talk about this for a long time, but, really, the sound of the drums on that, I got the first set that [Lars Ulrich] ever used when they rehearsed in the house in Oakland, when they first got together. I set it up and Lars stared at it, right? For, like, months. And then one day he sat down and played, and it was ringing and it was raw, and he said, 'This is it.'" Rock also discussed the lack of solos on the album. According to the producer, "Lars said, 'No guitar solos.' And [James Hetfield] and I are going, 'But … that's what [Kirk Hammett] does.' So every song, Kirk comes in and plays a solo, and if it doesn't make the song better, we're not using it — and we went through the whole album like that." Ulrich admitted to The Pulse Of Radio a while back that the band was surprised by the hostile reaction to "St. Anger" by many fans. "It threw us a little bit, sure, 'cause the whole thing was to just keep it as raw as possible," he said. "And I'd like to think that we accomplished that [laughs], to the point of obviously a little too raw for some people, and that's okay. I mean, it is what it is. I have not one regret about it. I'm proud of it, proud that we had the balls to see it through." Speaking to Classic Rock magazine, Ulrich defended the drum sound on "St. Anger". He said: "That was on purpose. It wasn't like we put it out and somebody went, "Whoa! Whoops!" I view 'St. Anger' as an isolated experiment. I'm the biggest METALLICA fan, you've got to remember that. Once again, as we've been known to do, once in a while these boundaries have to be fucked with. We'd already done 'Ride The Lightning', which I believe is a fine record. It didn't need to be re-done." He continued: "When we heard the record from beginning to end, I felt — and it was mostly me — that the experience was so pummeling, it became almost about hurting the listener, about challenging the listener, so we left the songs unedited. I can understand that people felt it was too long." "St. Anger" was released in June 2003 at the end of a turbulent two-year period in which bassist Jason Newsted left the group, James Hetfield went for a lengthy stay in rehab, and the entire band threatened to break apart. The album's raw, lo-fi production, lack of guitar solos and unorthodox sound were not well-received by many of the group's fans, who still often cite it as METALLICA's worst record. "St. Anger" has nevertheless sold more than six million copies worldwide, although fans have generally not warmed up to it in the 12 years since its release. metallicastangercd_638

KERRY KING: New SLAYER Album Is PAUL BOSTAPH's 'Reign In Blood'

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:12:32 +0000

SLAYER guitarist Kerry King visited the studios of Loudwire last week to talk about the band's forthcoming studio album, tentatively due in August. You can now watch the chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On "Piano Wire", the SLAYER song that will appear on the upcoming CD which contains musical ideas from the band's late guitarist Jeff Hanneman: "That song we recorded, I think, [during] the 'World Painted Blood' sessions, at least the music. So, on this one, we kept the finished product. We had Paul [Bostaph] track drums to it, and Tom [Araya] re-sang it, just to make it better. That's the one that's gonna be included on this record. And then we have another [Hanneman song] that's musically finished that never had lyrics. And we addressed it late, so we didn't really get to it on this run. But my horizon says [we'll make] another record after this one. We'll see what Tom says and see what everybody feels like after this run, but we have another [Hanneman] song to add to that on the next one." On whether there will be another SLAYER record after this one: "We'll see. This is our first record in, like, six years, and it's just… You always watch football and they're talking about, 'Oh, we had to come through this adversity.' 'We had to get past this adversity.' We had some motherfucking adversity on this run, and it's taken a while to get back on track." On what Paul Bostaph and Gary Holt brought to the recording process for the new SLAYER album: "I think it's just making the unit whole, more than anything. Of course, Paul can play the shit out of the drums. I didn't realize — and I don't mean this in a detrimental way to Paul — I never realized Paul had so many niche SLAYER fans who are just Bostaph fans; I didn't realize that, and a lot of people had mentioned that to me since Paul has been working on the record. And I think that's great, 'cause people are gonna be stoked when they hear what he did on this record. I used to say 'God Hates [Us All]' was his 'Reign In Blood'Bostaph's. The new one is his 'Reign In Blood'. The new one's… I would play any song live." On how he went about filling the void left by Hanneman's death: "Well, I think you make a mental note not to try to do that, because then I'm trying to be something I'm not. And the first thing any of our fans do not want me to do is try to be something I'm not. So I just… The hardest thing for me was just having to assemble all those songs myself in a way that they don't sound the same. 'Cause if you're writing that much material, it's very easy for one thing to borrow something from another and one thing to sound like something else. So that was the biggest challenge — getting… 'Cause we tracked a shit-ton of songs. There's twelve on the record and I think there's six extras toward the next one. So we've got, like, half the record done for the next one, without lyrics. So I'm just saying we're ahead of the game, and that's a good place to be." On whether the new SLAYER album will contain any surprises in the way of musical experimentation: "In my opinion, I'd say no. I think every record, two or three records, we throw something in there that adds to the menagerie of what you call a SLAYER record, you know, and it kind of evolves with you and moves on. I think this one is just the next page. There's certainly no left turns. It's just heavy, fast, moody, spooky… It's great." On what he is most proud of about the new SLAYER album: "Finishing it. I mean, nothing's really different. 'Cause since the '90s, I've been doing Jeff's parts [in the studio] — except for leads; he plays leads. But rhythmic-wise, I would just go in, 'cause usually I'd take mine first. And I know the nuances of the song; I know where I've gotta speed up, where I've gotta slow down. 'Cause we don't play to click — we play live — so there's little bumps and slowdowns. So once you know that, it's easier to copy. So years ago, I just said… I'd get his guitar and play through his rig and we'd just go… This time, I think we used a different head. We didn't have Jeff's whole rig in there, so we used a different head and a different guitar. Just trying to find something that worked well together — to where it sounds like two guitars and it still sounds like SLAYER."

ALICE COOPER On Vinyl Resurgence: Kids Are Tired Of Buying Air

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:15:28 +0000

Earlier this week, Ned of the WGRD 97.9 FM radio station in Grand Rapids, Michigan conducted an interview with MÖTLEY CRÜE drummer Tommy Lee and legendary rocker Alice Cooper. You can now listen to the chat below. Asked if he thinks any of the current crop of rock bands have the potential to leave a legacy that is comparable to those of MÖTLEY CRÜE and ALICE COOPER, Alice responded: "It's a different world [right now]. We were in a golden age of… where records… You'd go to a record store and buy records. And when you bought the records, you owned a piece of MÖTLEY CRÜE, you'd own a piece of ALICE COOPER. And you'd stand in line to buy that record. I think now, it's so disposable. Bands stay around for a year and a half, and you can't really dedicate your life to them, because you know they're not gonna be around next year. Whereas with MÖTLEY and ALICE, there's a security in that; there's a security that those bands are gonna be there for a long time." Cooper also spoke about the sudden resurgence of records over the past few years, which has resulted in a more-than-50-percent increase in sales over the between 2013 and 2014 alone. "Last year, vinyl went up 85 percent," Alice said. "And the kids, I think they're tired of buying air. They don't get anything with it. I think this generation is rebelling against the technology thing. I sign more records than I do CDs anymore." According to Nielsen Soundscan, more than 9.2 million vinyl records were sold in the U.S. last year, a 52 percent increase over 2013 figures. In the first quarter of this year, vinyl album sales were 53 percent higher than Q1 2014, driven by a 66 percent increase in catalog album sales (albums that have been released for at least 18 months) during the same period. Vinyl album sales have grown 260 percent since 2009. MÖTLEY CRÜE has announced 21 more North American dates. The new shows will take place in October and December as part of the band's two-year "The Final Tour" cycle. MÖTLEY CRÜE's touring career will conclude on New Year's Eve, December 31 at Staples Center in their hometown of Los Angeles where the band began 34 years ago. Audiences can also expect a high-energy performance from very special guest Alice Cooper, who joined the band for "The Final Tour" in 2014. He will be tearing up the stage for crowds in Australia/New Zealand and across North America once again on most 2015 dates. The pairing has been roundly praised as a must-see by fans and media alike.

KAMELOT: 'Insomnia' Video Premiere

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:38:31 +0000

"Insomnia", the new video from American/German/Swedish symphonic metallers KAMELOT, can be seen below. The clip was filmed in Belgrade, Serbia with director Ivan Colic, who has previously worked with MOONSPELL, SOILWORK, HAMMERFALL, TYPE O NEGATIVE and SYMPHONY X. "Insomnia" is taken from KAMELOT's new album, "Haven", which will be made available on May 5 in North America and May 8 in the rest of the world (excluding Asia) via Napalm Records as part of an exclusive licensing deal through the band's Kamelot Music LLC. Produced by Sascha Paeth and mastered by Jacob Hansen, "Haven" is a massive album that is sure to please critics and fans alike. Guest musicians on the CD include Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY), Troy Donockley (NIGHTWISH) and Charlotte Wessels (DELAIN). The breathtaking cover and artwork was created by Stefan Heilemann and additional art/layout was done by Gustavo Sazes. Following the release of "Haven", KAMELOT will embark on a massive world tour, starting with North America in April/May, followed by European shows in the summer and with the "Haven" European tour in September/October. "Haven" track listing: 01. Fallen Star 02. Insomnia 03. Citizen Zero 04. Veil Of Elysium 05. Under Grey Skies 06. My Therapy 07. Ecclesia 08. End Of Innocence 09. Beautiful Apocalypse 10. Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy) 11. Here's To The Fall 12. Revolution 13. Haven Exclusive bonus CD track listing (available only with the limited mediabook and deluxe earbook): 01. End Of Innocence (Piano Version) 02. Veil Of Elysium (Acoustic Version) 03. Fallen Star (Orchestral Version) 04. Here's To The Fall (Orchestral Version) 05. My Therapy (Orchestral Version) 06. Fallen Star (Instrumental) 07. Insomnia (Instrumental) 08. Citizen Zero (Instrumental) 09. Veil Of Elysium (Instrumental) 10. Under Grey Skies (Instrumental) 11. My Therapy (Instrumental) 12. End Of Innocence (Instrumental) 13. Beautiful Apocalypse (Instrumental) 14. Liar Liar (Wasteland Monarchy) (Instrumental) 15. Revolution (Instrumental) Speaking to RAMzine at this year's Hammerfest, which took place last month at Hafan Y Mor Holiday Park, Pwllheli , Gwynedd, North Wales, KAMELOT singer Tommy Karevik stated about "Haven": "I think it's even more diverse than the previous album [2012's 'Silverthorn']; it is, actually, more diverse. We went a little bit for that — to have this wide spectrum of different feels; not only bombastic stuff, but also melancholic, dark, slower stuff, even faster stuff, more aggressive stuff. So it's a really good… It's like a plethora of everything, which is really cool. We've got some really cool responses from the album so far." Asked whether "Haven" has a lyrical theme, Tommy responded: "At first, we didn't go for some kind of theme; it just happened, in a way, when we started writing and started looking at what we had, gathering the lyrics together and everything. Everything just fell into one basket, so to speak. Actually, it's about… It's not a theme like 'Silverthorn' was; it's a more loosely based theme, but it's about this topic… the world. We're a little bit reflecting on what we are doing in this world right now. Everyone's looking down at their phones and doing social media instead of talking to each other, and everyone's hunting for this perfect life, this perfection. And everything you post is about how good, perfect you are… everything. You don't get reality, actually. You get a fake picture of reality, which doesn't… People just feel bad and get stressed over it and stuff like that. So that's one thing of it; the overall stress of today. But that also translated into a little bit of a futuristic feel, you know. So I'm pretty happy with everything so far, and I just hope that people are gonna love it as much as we do."

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MIKE PORTNOY-Produced Band NEXT TO NONE: EPK For 'A Light In The Dark' Album

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:28:24 +0000

An EPK (Electronic Press Kit) for "A Light In The Dark", the debut album from NEXT TO NONE, the band featuring drummer Max Portnoy, son of Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, THE WINERY DOGS), can be found below. The CD will be released on June 30 via InsideOut Music. Prior to the CD's arrival, the band will be opening shows for English labelmates HAKEN on that band's April/May U.S. tour. Based in Pennsylvania, NEXT TO NONE features Max Portnoy on drums, Ryland Holland on guitar, Kris Rank on bass, and Thomas Cuce on keyboards and lead vocals. The band has been honing its craft for several years, recording an independently released EP and playing various live gigs, including a slot at the Progressive Nation At Sea 2014 cruise. Later that year, the band went into the studio to record "A Light In The Dark" with producer Mike Portnoy. The CD features guest appearances by Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (GUNS N' ROSES) and prog legend Neal Morse. Max Portnoy says: "It's so exciting to be signing with InsideOut... the home of the greatest prog bands in the world! We are honored to be part of the family." Adds Mike Portnoy: "Producing the NEXT TO NONE album was like a trip back in time for me. I couldn't help but be reminded of recording my very first album with DREAM THEATER back in 1988. "These boys have talent and maturity way beyond their years. It's obvious in their playing abilities, but I was most impressed with their writing and creative abilities. "Six of the songs spread across the album tie together to create a conceptual piece... For a group of 15- and 16-year-olds to be thinking in big master strokes like that is absolutely incredible. They are doing things musically and thematically as teenagers that I wasn't exploring until I was in my mid-twenties and thirties! "I must point out that THEY wrote all of the music and performed all of their instruments on the album. I do not want people to think that my role as producer had anything to do with those areas... it is all THEM! My main role was to help them explore the studio for the first time and help them learn the ropes in that department. "I couldn't be prouder of this album and think that NEXT TO NONE represents the next generation of progressive metal." "A Light In The Dark" track listing: 01. The Edge Of Sanity 02. You Are Not Me 03. Runaway 04. A Lonely Walk 05. Control 06. Lost 07. Social Anxiety 08. Legacy 09. Blood On My Hands

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MEGADETH: First Photo Of New Recording Lineup

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 11:08:52 +0000

The first photo of the recording lineup for MEGADETH's fifteenth album — Dave Mustaine (guitar, vocals), David Ellefson (bass), Kiko Loureiro (guitar) and Chris Adler (drums) — can be seen on this page. MEGADETH has entered Lattitude Studio South in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee to begin recording its new CD and the group wants to bring its fans along for the ride. For the first time, MEGADETH is going to bring you into the studio to be a part of the recording process, and give you a window into the world of Mustaine, Loureiro, Ellefson and Adler. Some of the exclusive items available when you pledge via PledgeMusic are a pre-order the album digitally, on CD or vinyl, a signed copy of Dave Mustaine's book, a signed copy of David Ellefson's book, a two-hour guitar lesson with Dave Mustaine, a day in the studio with MEGADETH, signed guitars, Chris Adler's drum kit, a disposable camera with one-of-a-kind photos from the studio, a jam session with the band and much more. No matter what you order, you will get access to a variety of behind-the-scenes content such as photos and videos from the writing and recording sessions. You'll get full access to the process in real time. Mustaine's message to MEGADETH fans about the campaign: "We've always wanted you to be 'a part of' and not 'apart from' us in the studio. Now, with PledgeMusic, you can be here with me and the guys and watch history being made with our fifteenth record. Check back often... you don't want to miss anything!" MEGADETH announced on April 2 that Loureiro had joined the Dave Mustaine-led group as the replacement for Chris Broderick. Mustaine said in a statement: "I first met Kiko around eight years ago for a cover shoot for Burrn! magazine. I had no idea who he was, other than the fact he was tremendously talented and that the staff from Burrn! held him in high regard. Since then, I've come to see what a guitar virtuoso he is, and I'm deeply encouraged by his depth and talent." He continued: "Very few MEGADETH alumni have had the same feel and ability as Kiko." In a separate statement, Mustaine called Adler "a tremendous talent" and "an amazing person" who is "going to bring a new level of excitement and energy to MEGADETH that the fans are going to lose their minds over." Adler was equally excited about playing with MEGADETH, saying: "I'm coming into this on fire. There is an incredible amount of respect, but the goal here is to make the very best thrash album we can — not just throw names in the CD booklet or be a 'yes' man. Together, I believe we can do something very special."

BLIND GUARDIAN: Fan-Filmed Footage Of Strasbourg Concert

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:41:10 +0000

Fan-filmed video footage of BLIND GUARDIAN's April 15 performance at La Laiterie in Strasbourg, France can be seen below. BLIND GUARDIAN's tenth studio album, "Beyond The Red Mirror", was released in North America on February 3 via Nuclear Blast. Four and a half years in the making, the follow-up to 2010's "At The Edge Of Time" was recorded at Twilight Hall Studio in Grefrath, Germany and produced by Charlie Bauerfeind (SAXON, HAMMERFALL, HELLOWEEN). The CD showcases BLIND GUARDIAN's collaborative work with three different classical choirs: one from the Czech Republic (Prague), one from Hungary (Budapest), and one from the United States (Boston). Two grand orchestras — each featuring 90 musicians — also lend their brilliant talents to the new recordings with absolutely spellbinding results. In a recent interview with Dead Rhetoric, BLIND GUARDIAN frontman Hansi Kürsch was asked if it is more daunting than ever to come up with a new album. He responded: "For me, it was not, but for André [Olbrich; lead guitar], it has been. He has the pressure. Funny enough, he doesn't even consider the music we're doing as complicated; he would have gone even further, and I had to take him back sometimes. Even with the support of [producer] Charlie Bauerfeind, it turned out to be very complicated. "What you hear is a sort of compromise in exploring new dimensions. The unbound output in André's ideas alone might have been even more complicated. "I think it's a pretty good cooperation we have. The one calms down the soul of the other, and at points where it might become necessary. "For me, my first idea was to do not a 'back to the roots' album, not even a simple album, but maybe a more open album to giving space." He continued: "When André threw in his ideas, I knew we had to take it as things came in to see how the final output would be. [Laughs] Charlie reacted the same way. "For us, it's being as innovative as possible, but with a passion. It's not that anything is really designed in this way before. Things come in, and we deal with it, and whenever I get a drawing from André, I'm eager to bring in as many colors as possible. And the other way around. He'll say, 'The green you brought in is not what I want there.' He comes in with two different colors and I'll say, 'These two colors might be better than my green.' And we work from there, so in the end, we have these constructs, these buildings which we feel both comfortable with. We stand behind it. That's important point in BLIND GUARDIAN. Whenever we finish a song, you can be sure the creators of the song and hopefully the producer, in this case, Charlie Bauerfeind, really believe this is the maximum we can do for a song. We try to treat each song individually and hope to finish with the best result."

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THE DARKNESS: 'Open Fire' Video Premiere

Fri, 24 Apr 2015 10:00:04 +0000

"Open Fire", the video from British rockers THE DARKNESS, can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's fourth album, "Last Of Our Kind", which will be released on June 1 in partnership with Kobalt Label Services. The CD was penned in Ireland and was produced by THE DARKNESS guitarist Dan Hawkins. The follow-up to 2012's "Hot Cakes" was recorded at Leeders Farm Studio in Norfolk, owned by Dan Hawkins. Drummer Emily Dolan Davies, who made her live debut with THE DARKNESS in early March, has already left the band to pursue "new projects." The group says in a statement: "We part ways with fond farewells. Emily played a huge part in the recording of our new album 'Last Of Our Kind' and makes a final appearance in the video for our single 'Open Fire'… Good luck, Emily!" Davies, who has previously worked with Bryan Ferry and Tricky, "revitalized" THE DARKNESS, according to singer Justin Hawkins. "She's a hard hitter," he previously told Classic Rock. "She's got the chops and the attitude that you need to be THE DARKNESS's drummer. She also makes us feel like dirty old men." Regarding THE DARKNESS's split with founding member Ed Graham in late 2014, Hawkins said: "Ed has had some well-publicized health problems in the past. And for one reason or another, he wasn't capable of doing his job anymore. We're still friends with Ed. But now that we have Emily in the band, the worry is gone." "Last of Our Kind" will be released on limited-edition color vinyl, compact disc and as a digital download. "Last of Our Kind" track listing: 01. Barbarian 02. Open Fire 03. Last of Our Kind 04. Roaring Waters 05. Wheels of the Machine 06. Mighty Wings 07. Mudslide 08. Sarah O’Sarah 09. Hammer & Tongs 10. Conquerors "The new album is brutal," Justin Hawkins told Classic Rock. "It's definitely stripped back — with the exception of some mandolins. But when you're doing medieval rock, you should have a mandolin on it. And while I wouldn't say that this is our 'Rainbow Rising', we're definitely exploring the myths of old. It's medieval rock, but it still sounds like THE DARKNESS. It's medi-urban, I suppose.…"

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