Swedish death metal supergroup BLOODBATH, which features in its ranks KATATONIA's Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström, as well as OPETH's Martin Axenrot, has recruited PARADISE LOST's Nick Holmes as its new lead singer.
Holmes will make his BLOODBATH debut on the band's new album, "Grand Morbid Funeral", which will be released on November 17 via Peaceville. The effort features guest appearances by Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler from AUTOPSY.
"Grand Morbid Funeral" track listing:
01. Let The Stillborn Come To Me
02. Total Death Exhumed
04. Church Of Vastitas
05. Famine Of God's Word
06. Mental Abortion
07. Beyond Cremation
08. His Infernal Necropsy
09. Unite In Pain
10. My Torturer
11. Grand Morbid Funeral
The "Grand Morbid Funeral" title track can be seen below.
"Ever since I got into 'Lost Paradise' back in 1990," Renkse tells Metal Hammer magazine, "Nick Holmes has been one of my favorite growling vocalists out there. He was always audible and articulate but still deep and definitely morbid. It is a great pleasure to work with him some 25 years later after I was introduced to his thunderous roar!"
Adds Nyström: "Little did I expect to be working with the voice behind the death metal classic 'Lost Paradise', or the genre-defining 'Gothic' and yet here we are decades later, fullfiling another death metal dream. With his sinister and ominous vocal delivery, it's an absolute pleasure to make Old Nick the bell-ringer in BLOODBATH's 'Grand Morbid Funeral'!"
Regarding the musical direction of "Grand Morbid Funeral", Nyström says: "We're proud of all these different styled releases and we loved doing each and every one of them, but the objective was never to settle with a certain style, so our time has come to shift once more.
"It was already decided right after the last album that the next record would not become a 'Fathomless Part 2', but in certain aspects it would actually to become its antithesis! So prepare yourselves for an ultimate blueprint of destructive, raw, heavy, organic and sludgy death metal! The time has come to stomp those HM-2 pedals once more and close the circle of the death metal archives with our 'Grand Morbid Funeral'!"
Recorded once again at Ghost Ward Studios and the City Of Glass Studios in Stockholm, and mixed by David Castillo, "Grand Morbid Funeral" is undoubtedly the band's darkest and dirtiest opus yet; an organic collection of filth-ridden tracks straight from the grave, boldly eschewing the approach of somewhat over-produced modern death metal in favor of something altogether more rotten to the bone.
Formed in 1998 with a mutual fascination for horror and the glory days of death metal (especially the old Florida and Stockholm "Sunlight" scenes), the band has remained a leading light of extreme metal since its "Breeding Death" EP was unleashed back in 2000, and a formidable force for 15 years, further cemented by the devastating — and most successful album to date — "The Fathomless Mastery" in 2008.
BLOODBATH is set to appear on a string of festivals throughout 2015, including Inferno festival (Norway), Neurotic Deathfest (The Netherlands) and Maryland Deathfest (U.S.), with more to be announced.
SWEET & LYNCH — the new band featuring guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet of Christian hard rockers STRYPER, legendary guitarist George Lynch (T&N, DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB), bassist James Lomenzo (MEGADETH, WHITE LION, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Brian Tichy (S.U.N., WHITESNAKE) — will release its debut album, "Only To Rise", on January 27, 2015 via Frontiers Music srl.
A song from the CD called "Divine" can be streamed at PledgeMusic.com.
The cover artwork for "Only To Rise" is available below.
Sweet told Guitar International about SWEET & LYNCH: "It was the brainchild of Serafino Perugino at Frontiers Records. He asked me to basically sing on this record and then I suggested producing it. I co-wrote the songs with George. I called Brian Tichy and James Lomenzo to put the band together. It's an incredible combination of classic '70s and '80s. You will hear some flavors of JOURNEY, BAD COMPANY, DOKKEN, VAN HALEN and STRYPER."
He added: "I love this CD. I'm super excited for people to hear this CD. I'm so proud of it. James and Brian are amazing musicians. They tore it up. The drums and bass are just as impressive as the guitars. Everybody really delivered… The musicianship level on this is top notch. It sounds as if we were all in the stuff playing together and we were not. Basically, George wrote some riffs about a minute to a minute and a half long. I wrote lyrics and melodies then arranged them. I cut and pasted them together in the studio. Then Brian and James came out and tracked the drums and bass, as well as some rhythm stuff. We then sent it to George to add the guitars."
Asked if there will be any live dates in support of the album, Sweet said: "We are one million percent sure there will be a tour."
SWEET & LYNCH recently finished filming two videos and an EPK (Electronic Press Kit).
"September" lyric video:
Drummer Stix Zadinia and bassist Lexxi Foxx of Los Angeles glam-metal jokesters STEEL PANTHER are the latest musicians to respond to KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons' recent comment that "rock is dead."
Simmons told Esquire magazine last month — in an interview conducted by his son Nick — that "rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed and now it won't because it's that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it."
Simmons went on to elaborate that as a result of file-sharing and other issues, record label support for rock music was not available like it was when KISS was coming up, concluding, "It's finally dead. Rock is finally dead."
Asked to weigh in on Gene's comments, Lexxi told Jo Schüftan of Horns Up Rocks! (see video below): "How can you say that? I mean, I know — out of his mouth. But… That bums me out, because look at what we've done. And I think that it's really cool that we're bringing heavy metal… when I say 'back,' I mean, there was a period of time when it went away, right? And it's, like, everybody wants to still rock, 'cause we're, like, doing really, really, really bigger shows, bringing heavy metal back. So I think it's proof that people want metal."
Added Stix: "I agree with you, Lexxi. It's testament to what's going on. We're right here at Barclays Center [in Brooklyn, New York]. We're with JUDAS PRIEST. We're playing a kick-ass rock and roll show. It ain't dead. You just need to know where to look for it. And all you've gotta do is look right down into Brooklyn, and you can see that tonight rock and roll is very much alive."
STEEL PANTHER is currrently supporting JUDAS PRIEST on a North American tour. The trek kicked off on October 1 in Rochester, New York and will run through mid-November, wrapping up in Tacoma, Washington. The tour will make stops in major markets, including Brooklyn, Detroit, Baltimore and Los Angeles.
STEEL PANTHER's third album, "All You Can Eat", sold around 13,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 24 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on April 1 via Open E/KLS.
Behind-the-scenes footage from the making of "Stampede", the new video from German/American metallers ACCEPT, can be seen below. The clip was filmed on location in the high desert of California at the Devil's Punchbowl (a rock formation that looks like it's from another world) with director Greg Aronowitz ("Batman & Robin", "A.I. Artificial Intelligence", "The Lost World: Jurassic Park").
"Stampede" is taken from ACCEPT's new album, "Blind Rage", which sold around 6,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release.
The band's previous CD, 2012's "Stalingrad", opened with around 5,400 units to debut at position No. 81 on The Billboard 200 chart.
The group's 2010 album, "Blood Of The Nations", registered a first-week tally of 2,900 copies to land at No. 187.
"Blind Rage" was released on August 15 via Nuclear Blast. Like its two predecessors, 2010's "Blood Of The Nations" and 2012's "Stalingrad", the new effort was helmed by British producer Andy Sneap, who has previously worked with MEGADETH, EXODUS, TESTAMENT, ARCH ENEMY and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. The cover artwork was created by Daniel Goldsworthy.
Asked how it felt to see "Blind Rage", enter the German chart at No. 1, guitarist Wolf Hoffmann told myRockworld: "It feels great. Who could have believed that after 35 yeas or longer in this business, finally we get a Number One. It took us mostly by surprise, to be honest, but we're very happy about it. [It was Number One] in Germany and Finland and I think it made some really good chart positions in other countries all around Europe. But what's even more important to me than the chart position is how well it was received by the fans and all the critics. That, to me, means everything, really. A chart position is a chart position; it comes and goes and it's nice. But what's the staying power of an album and what do the fans really say at the end of the day? That's what's important. And so far the reactions have been overwhelming, amazing."
SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor says that Joey Jordison was fired from the group in December 2013 because SLIPKNOT's founding drummer and the other members of the band "just weren't able to work anymore."
During an appearance on HATEBREED frontman Jamey Jasta's official podcast, "The Jasta Show", Taylor declined to go into specifics about the reasons for Jordison's dismissal, explaining: "There's legalities [that are involved which prevent me from talking about it], but at the same time — and people need to realize this — there's respect. I'm not gonna talk about Joey's life, because it's not my place, and people need to realize that. If Joey wants to talk about the situation, he can. I can only talk about how it pertains to this band, and the only way I've been able to sum it up — and this is the broadest term — is that sometimes you're on the same road, and you'll reach a T section, and sometimes you turn together, and sometimes you split. And this time we split. It was just that simple. We just weren't able to work anymore. And that's it."
After Jasta commended SLIPKNOT for being "all class" in interviews about the split with Jordison, Taylor continued: "I'm not gonna sit here and dog somebody that I spent 15 years building something amazing with — I'm not gonna do that. And the fans need to understand that. And I think for the most part most of them do, but there's always gonna be those people who just want a little more so they can talk shit. And that's the only reason why they want the full story — so they can talk shit."
Asked if SLIPKNOT missed Jordison's "tones and his style and his presence" during the making of the band's latest album, ".5: The Gray Chapter", Taylor said: "You know… That's a great question, by the way. And I'd never really thought about it until you just brought it up. Because, at the time, you're just kind of trying to get through it. You've got this idea of what the album could sound like. Everybody's really positive, so you're not ignoring it, but you're just kind of charging through. There are definitely times where you miss his ability to, kind of, see. But me and [percussionist] Clown and [guitarist] Jim [Root]… It was kind of like the times where you miss [late SLIPKNOT bassist] Paul [Gray] and what he brought to it, and everybody, kind of, had to fill in those blanks."
He continued: "Me and Jim are the first ones to say that we learned so much from working with Paul that we've been able to take his, I don't wanna call it 'method,' but the way he used to do things, and we've applied it to what we did. And it was kind of like that with [Joey]. Joey, for the most part, was definitely a general in the studio, because he had such a great mind for it and knowing how to get the right kind of sonics and how to do certain thngs, and what the other potential for, like, ear candy or intros and stuff like that. So you kind of have to fill that blank in as well."
Asked if SLIPKNOT was "cracking the whip" on the new drummer — believed to be Jay Weinberg, son of longtime Bruce Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg — in the studio while the band was recording ".5: The Gray Chapter", Taylor said: "We were kicking his ass. Oh yeah. But he was loving it, man. Ah, dude, he was so into it. 'Cause he's a fan, you know?! There was a part of him that was kind of pinching himself that this was happening, but then the other part of it was just like, 'Let's fucking do it.' So it was really, really cool."
Taylor recently told Metal Hammer magazine that he would not answer whether drug use played a role in Jordison's dismissal, and confessed that he had not been in touch with his former bandmate. Taylor said, "I haven't talked to Joey in a while, to be honest. That's how different we are. It's not because I don't love him and I don't miss him. And it is painful; we talk about him all the time, but at the same time, do we miss him or do we miss the old him? That's what it really comes down to."
The identities of SLIPKNOT's new bassist and drummer have not yet been revealed, but both appeared — disguised in the same newly designed mask — in the video for "The Devil In I", the first single from the new album.
Nonetheless, it is widely believed that the new bassist is Alessandro "Vman" Venturella, who sports the exact same tattoo on his hand that was spotted on the hand of the new bassist in the video.
A new SLAYER song called "When The Stillness Comes" will be made available exclusively through Scion Audio/Visual (a.k.a. Scion AV), the in-house record label and lifestyle marketing division of the Scion marque produced by Toyota Motor Corporation for the North American market. Snippets of the track can be heard in the six-minute behind-the-scenes clip below.
SLAYER is currently recording its new album at Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood, California for an early 2015 release. The CD is being produced by Terry Date, who previously worked with the band on the song "Implode", which was made available as a free download as a "thank you" to the band's fans for their continued support following SLAYER's surprise performance at this past April's Revolver Golden Gods awards in Los Angeles.
Joining guitarist Kerry King and bassist/vocalist Tom Araya during the sessions for SLAYER's new album are returning drummer Paul Bostaph, who replaced Dave Lombardo last year, and guitarist Gary Holt (also of EXODUS), who stepped in for Jeff Hanneman after Jeff became ill four and a half years ago.
Original SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the band's Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group. Filling in for him was Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX).
BLACK VEIL BRIDES frontman Andy Biersack says that he has not time for other musicians who have publicly disparaged his band, explaining that "it's irresponsible" to create "unnecessary division" between fans at a time when rock acts are struggling to stay relevant in a saturated pop landscape.
Back in May 2013, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH frontman Ivan Moody called out BLACK VEIL BRIDES in a couple of posts at his Facebook page, commenting on a YouTube video of BLACK VEIL BRIDES by remarking, "I'll say it...YUCK!...Time for people to be 'REAL.' This sux."
Asked if he ever feels like he's right back in high school, or right back being a 16-year-old kid trying to defend himself from bullies when he sees people like Moody attacking him, Biersack told "The Louvau Show" (hear audio below): "No, I feel like they're in high school. I graduated. My thing is very simply… I left high school. I literally did not graduate. I left high school very early. I was 17. So I guess it wasn't that early, but I did not get a high school education. All I ever wanted to do was be in a band. I moved to Los Angeles, I lived in my car. I was homeless for close to a year. And then after that, I lived on people's empty's couches or with girls or wherever I could [go].
"I don't really have any interest in allowing other people's, kind of, idiotic, unnecessary, either bigotry or hatred or whatever derision they have for me, I don't allow for it to really bother me, because I don't need it.
"To me, when I look at somebody saying something negative about the band, I just think it's a shame, because… especially for someone who's in another band who's in a position of power, I think it's irresponsible. Even if you don't like what I do, and you don't like my band, you might have a fan that likes both of us, and why would you wanna alienate them? There are many bands that I don't like, or I don't appreciate people in those bands as people or whatever else, but I don't go on and on about it. And I'll never be the guy who calls out people in bands or whatever else, because I feel like, if rock is still antiquated and marginalized anymore, it's almost like we're all trying to sell a rotary telephone or black-and-white television to people — you know what I mean? — in terms of the public conscious. Why in the world would we wanna ruin the thing that is so wonderful to so few people who have such interest in it? Why would we wanna ruin that by creating unnecessary division within the context of being a fan? I don't want some kids that love my band and another band to think they can't like both those bands."
"And the good thing is that most of the stuff has fallen by the wayside as the years go on. We've been around long enough now that a lot of that kind of controversy or polarization or whatever, it [tends to go] away. More often than not now, when we go do a festival, or we're out with other bands, people are more often than not excited to see us or say something positive to us. And we've had a great experience. I think that sometimes little people with big mouths get a little bit blown out of proportion. The reality is that I'm not up against it every day. I don't walk out of my hotel room and a bunch of people are coming after me to yell at me about how much they hate me. I have a very positive life. I'm in a successful rock band, and people come see my shows every night, and I've been able to meet almost all of my heroes, and all of them have said really positive things about me. When people like Alice Cooper and Nikki Sixx and Sebastian Bach and Dee Snider and all these people come out so vocally behind my band and said such wonderful things, I don't really have time for [negative comments from] bands that I don't care about."
BLACK VEIL BRIDES' self-titled fourth studio effort (also known as "IV"), arrived on October 28. The follow-up to last year's "Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones" was helmed by producer Bob Rock, whose resume includes albums by METALLICA, MÖTLEY CRÜE, THE CULT and many others. The 11-track album features some of BLACK VEIL BRIDES' most aggressive and diverse songs to date.
BLACK VEIL BRIDES launched a massive U.S. headlining tour on October 21 in Niagara Falls, New York, with dates booked all the way through December 16 in Tucson, Arizona.
GUNS N' ROSES keyboardist Dizzy Reed says that the band is in the process of putting the finishing touches on new music that will "hopefully" be released "really soon."
The last GUNS N' ROSES album, "Chinese Democracy", came out in 2008 and ended a 17-year gap between collections of all-new material.
Singer Axl Rose, Reed and other members of the current lineup have hinted at material recorded during the "Chinese Democracy" sessions that has yet to surface.
Speaking to VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner earlier this week, Reed said: "There's a lot of material that's already done and I think it's in the process of being finished and eventually we'll pick out which songs need to come out with which other songs. So that's in the works. Hopefully it will be out really soon."
GUNS N' ROSES guitarist DJ Ashba said in a recent talk with Legendary Rock Interviews that the band has both recording and touring plans in 2015. He revealed, "We are planning on doing quite a bit of touring this coming year. The focus is getting in a studio and putting together what we all feel is the best GUNS N' ROSES record. Lack of material is not an issue. We have tons of stuff."
Ashba added. "Axl has two full albums that he has recorded. He has played me a bunch of songs off of that that are incredible! I can't wait to get in and kind of dive into those as well. I've written tons of songs and demoed up a bunch of stuff. I think it is just a matter of getting in and sifting through the piles of material."
Reed told The Pulse Of Radio that there is both older and newer material lurking around. "We've all been at it," he said. "We've all been, you know, handing files back and forth to one another in various combinations of different people, but also there is quite a bit of material that still needs to be finished and needs to be released. And so one or both of those things is gonna happen."
Rose is the only original member of GUNS N' ROSES still in the current lineup, which has toured intermittently since 2006 and played its second Las Vegas residency earlier this year.
Part two of a new video of MERCYFUL FATE guitarists Hank Shermann and Michael Denner playing the band's classic "Don't Break The Oath" album to celebrate the LP's 30th anniversary can be seen below.
Says Shermann: "With the overwhelming feedback from the 'Melissa' 30-year anniversary video [which was released last year], it was obvious that [we] were going to do the same event with 'Don't Break The Oath'.
"We think the fans like to see how it's really played by the original guitar players, so we tuned and tweaked the guitars and amps as we did back in 1984. This is as close as you'll get it."
Highlights of all songs were performed live with two guitars and two amps.
Denner and Shermann recently joined forces in a new project called DENNER/SHERMANN.
Said Shermann: "Besides working with our own respective bands, SHERMANN TANK and DENNERS TRICKBAG, we now have the opportunity to extend the collaboration we started with MERCYFUL FATE in the early '80s."
Added Michael: "Yeah, we're super excited to play together again and get the twin guitars into action once more."
MERCYFUL FATE's last studio album, "9", was released in 1999.
MERCYFUL FATE will be remembered for its unquestionable mark on the history of metal with its innovative sound, complex arrangements, memorable melody, and its influence on bands that later took the genre to new heights.
In 1998, METALLICA paid tribute to MERCYFUL FATE by recording a medley of classic MERCYFUL FATE songs on the album "Garage Inc." Entitled "Mercyful Fate", the medley included parts from "Satan's Fall", "Curse of the Pharaohs", "A Corpse Without Soul", "Into the Coven" and "Evil".
Lars Ulrich of METALLICA (a fellow Dane) played drums on a new version of MERCYFUL FATE's "Return of the Vampire" on the "In the Shadows" album, which came out in 1993.
The official video for "Scare Force One", the title track of the seventh studio album from Finnish heavy metal monsters LORDI, can be seen below. The CD will be released on November 3 via AFM.
"Scare Force One" track listing:
01. SCG7: Arm Your Doors And Cross Check
02. Scare Force One
03. How To Slice A Whore
04. Hell Sent In The Clowns
05. House Of Ghosts
06. Monster Is My Name
07. Cadaver Lover
08. Amen's Lament To Ra II
09. Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein
10. The United Rocking Dead
11. She's A Demon
12. Hella's Kitchen
13. Sir, Mr. Presideath, Sir
The first single from the CD, "Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein", can be streamed below.
To celebrate the release of the new album, LORDI will play one of its infrequent domestic shows — the record-release party is set for November 1 at The Circus in Helsinki.
According to LORDI mainman Mr. Lordi, the material on "Scare Force One" is more experimental than before. It's not a theme or concept record, per se, but there is a red thread that runs through all the songs.
Says the singer: "The overall sound of the band is more modern this time, and we've tried out some new tricks here and there. The basic LORDI building blocks are still present however, so there's no shortage of melodic hooks in the songs. The first single, 'Nailed By The Hammer Of Frankenstein', is pretty representative of where the band is right now."
In addition to its sound, the band has also tweaked its outward appearance. The new costumes, designed and built by Mr. Lordi as always, will be debuted at the record release show.
"I wanted to make the band's colour scheme more unified than it has been and I think it worked out quite nicely," Mr. Lordi says. "Hella and Mana have probably changed the most, and with the trip to a hair salon for a new dye job, they're looking great."
LORDI's last two albums were made in Nashville under the watchful eye of legendary producer Michael Wagener (SKID ROW, WARRANT). But this time the band wanted to do it differently and recorded the album with veteran Finnish producer Mikko Karmila.
"We really wanted to make this record in Finland, with a Finnish producer," Mr. Lordi. "We finally managed to get Mikko Karmila to work with us, which is great. He has come up as a potential producer for the band on several previous occasions but now, we've really nailed it. We've definitely had no reason to regret this decision so far and are extremely happy with the album."
LORDI's last CD, "To Beast Or Not To Beast", was released on March 1, 2013 in Europe (excluding Finland) via AFM Records. The CD was made available in North America on March 19, 2013 through The End Records.
A public memorial for legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW) will be held on the fifth anniversary of his death at his gravesite at Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills cemetery in Los Angeles. His wife and manager Wendy Dio tells the "Maximum Threshold" radio show: "Next year, the 16th of May will be five years [since] Ronnie's passing, so we are inviting all the fans to come from all over the world. We're gonna do a big public memorial up at Forest lawn in the Hollywood Hills. And we'll have bands playing. It will be a celebration of Ronnie's life. And the night before, we're gonna do celebrity bowling. And we're gonna do a 'ride for Ronnie' with motorcycles on the Sunday, which is on the 17th, and ending up with a barbecue in the park."
Wendy also revealed that the fifth annual Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund awards gala will probably be held in October 2015. She added: "We're raising money all the time for cancer. And we've raised over a million dollars, actually, since Ronnie passed, and we've given M.D. Anderson [Cancer Center in Houston, Texas] over $200,000, with Dr. Ajani — he was Ronnie's doctor, actually, and he's a cancer specialist for stomach cancer. And we've also given T.J. Martell [Foundation] over $400,000 and that goes to gastric cancer, stomach cancer, prostate and colon cancers, and it goes to the Vanderbilt research center in Nashville. So we've been really busy raising money and giving money away to people, which is what we wanna do. We're trying to also make sure that men get checked. Women are really good — they usually go to the doctors and get checked — men, you have to drag them there, so we're trying to make sure that they get checked. Early detection saves lives, and they should get checked."
According to Wendy, "Ronnie was a very charitable person, and we used to do a lot of things when Ronnie was alive. And I just have done more since he passed, because I wanted to make something of his passing — something positive to come out of it — and that's how I feel. I feel that life has been good to me, and it's always good to give back and raise money for different causes, and my causes are animals, cancer and veterans."
Dio was renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest and most influential vocalists in heavy metal history. The singer, who was recording and touring with SABBATH offshoot HEAVEN & HELL prior to his illness, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in late 2009. He underwent chemotherapy and made what is now his final public appearance in April 2010 at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles.
A free public memorial service was held on May 30, 2010 at Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills cemetery in Los Angeles, attended by more than 1,500 fans, friends and fellow musicians.
In March 2011, it was announced that the surviving members of the final lineup of DIO would embark on a project with former JUDAS PRIEST frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens under the name DIO DISCIPLES.
Rock and metal musicians around the world paid tribute to Dio in the weeks and months following his death. STONE SOUR and SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor shared his feelings with The Pulse Of Radio about the fallen metal icon. "When I got that news that he had passed away, man, it seriously — it broke my heart. It broke it in two. Because honestly, I just feel like there will never be another Ronnie James Dio. He had such a pure voice — and still singing his ass off. I just know he'll be missed, and I will miss him as well."
Ex-VAN HALEN and current CHICKENFOOT bassist Michael Anthony also shared his memories of Dio with The Pulse Of Radio. "I don't know anybody that didn't grow up listening to his stuff," he said. "You know, VAN HALEN, we used to do from the first RAINBOW album, we did 'Man On The Silver Mountain'. I remember one time, the second VAN HALEN tour we were doing some festivals in Europe, and we actually played on the same show as Ronnie's band. Real powerful voice, you know, and definitely a driving force in hard rock music, that guy was."
Slash told The Pulse Of Radio that he felt the loss of Dio very keenly. "He's just somebody I was influenced by," he said. " I played all the RAINBOW stuff, I played the DIO stuff, the SABBATH stuff when I was in, you know, high school. I don't think that it's really set in what a, you know, huge figure in rock 'n' roll we lost, you know. Really major. Probably one of the most influential heavy metal singers of all time."
Fan-filmed video footage KING DIAMOND's October 28 concert at Moore Theatre in Seattle, Washington can seen below.
KING DIAMOND played its first show with new bassist, Swedish musician Pontus Egberg (THE POODLES, LION'S SHARE, ZAN CLAN), on July 25 at Gröna Lund in Stockholm, Sweden.
Egberg joined KING DIAMOND following the recent departure of Hal Patino.
Patino released a statement on July 20 calling KING DIAMOND's frontman and namesake "a tired, bitter, old man" and denying that he has a drug problem, despite the singer's implications to the contrary.
After King announced Hal's exit from KING DIAMOND, Patino posted a message of his own claiming that he was offered a "totally ridiculous" salary for the band's five shows this summer, calling the move "disrespectful" and insisting that he quit the band in disgust two days before King announced Patino was "relieved of his duties" as the bassist for KING DIAMOND. King then responded with a lengthy posting on his Facebook page, accusing Patino of "putting out extreme lies" about King's character and slamming Hal for asking for more money at the last minute after the rest of the band and the crew already accepted the same salary as they had received for last year's European tour.
King, 58, whose real name is Kim Bendix Petersen, underwent open-heart triple-bypass surgery in November 2010. He has since completed his cardiac rehabilitation program and has stopped smoking entirely, changed his diet and is getting regular exercise.
"Dreams Of Horror", a 2xCD collection of KING DIAMOND songs, newly enhanced into ultimate editions by King Diamond and Andy La Rocque themselves, will be released by Metal Blade Records on November 11.
"Dreams Of Horror" is the only "best-of" album covering the band's entire career. King Diamond and Andy La Rocque meticulously mastered and enhanced these 23 songs into the ultimate editions, chosen by the band from both the Roadrunner and Metal Blade catalogs.
"Eat You Alive", the new video from EMIGRATE, the side project of RAMMSTEIN guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe, can be seen below. The clip was filmed in Berlin, Germany by director Zoran Bihac, the man behind RAMMSTEIN's legendary "Mein Teil" video.
The "Eat You Alive" single sees Kruspe emerging from the deep in truly striking style, flanked by some of the musicians who appear on the forthcoming "Silent So Long" album, with Joe Letz from COMBICHRIST taking over on drums (Letz also appears in the clip for "My World", a track from the debut EMIGRATE album, released in 2007; APOCALYPTICA's Mikko Siren handles drum parts on the new album).
Alongside Kruspe and Letz, the video also features Margaux Bossieux on bass and Arnaud Giroux on guitar, with vocalist Frank Delle — from chart-topping German collective SEEED — reprising his role on the album with evangelical zeal; Bossieux was previously with New York punk band DIRTY MARY, while Frenchman Arnaud plays bass on the new album, as well as lending his production skills — in fact, his work on both EMIGRATE albums has been central to the cause.
For Kruspe, tapping into such varied musical personnel is very much in keeping with the "open door" ethos of the project; as well as allowing the guitarist to keep his creative instincts finely honed, EMIGRATE was conceived as a vehicle for other musicians to have their say and leave their mark, harking back to the early, ever-shifting punk scene in East Berlin where he originally cut his teeth.
The result of re-kindling this spirit is a new 11-track album, "Silent So Long", that sees a number of special guests adding to the overall flavour (Lemmy, Marilyn Manson, Peaches, etc.), plus a new single/video, "Eat You Alive", that shows the kind of chemistry that might be conjured up were the musicians to decide to take to the road.
In the meantime, "Eat You Alive" is available as an "instant grat" when "Silent So Long" is pre-ordered on iTunes.
"Silent So Long" will be released on November 24 via Spinefarm Records.
Alaskan metallers 36 CRAZYFISTS have emerged from a four-year recording hibernation to sign a worldwide deal with Spinefarm Records. The band's new album, "Time And Trauma", will be released in February 2015.
"We have found a new home at Spinefarm Records. And although the label is new to us, some of the staff are old friends and we couldn't be more grateful to unleash the beast that is 'Time And Trauma' with their help," says frontman Brock Lindow. "20 years in and it feels like Spinefarm is a killer home to hang our hats. See you all on the road in 2015!"
Spinefarm senior director of marketing Tim Brennan echoed that sentiment, saying, "We are thrilled to have 36 CRAZYFISTS be part of the growing Spinefarm family! They are a genuine band of brothers that has grinded for 20 years to create a truly committed fan base. 'Time And Trauma' is an incredible way to begin the next 20 years for the band.”
A new 36 CRAZYFISTS song, "Also Am I", can be streamed using the SoundCloud widget below.
36 CRAZYFISTS will close out 2014 with a slew of U.S. tour dates, including a December anniversary show in their native state.
36 CRAZYFISTS debuted the "Time And Trauma" title track during the band's U.K. tour at the end of last year.
36 CRAZYFISTS in 2012 announced the addition of drummer Kyle Baltus to the group's ranks. In addition, the band was rejoined by bassist Mick Whitney following the departure of Brett "Buzzard" Makowski.
36 CRAZYFISTS's last album, "Collisions And Castaways", sold around 3,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 161 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD landed at No. 3 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
The second trailer for "Bloodstone & Diamonds", the new album from San Francisco Bay area metallers MACHINE HEAD, is available below.
Audio samples of the songs that are set to appear on the CD can be found at MachineHead1.com.
"Bloodstone & Diamonds" will be released on November 10 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The CD was produced by MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn and Juan Urteaga, and like the last seven of eight MACHINE HEAD albums, was masterfully mixed by Colin Richardson. Additional tracking, editing, and mixing was done with Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, TESTAMENT, ARCH ENEMY) and Steve Lagudi.
Regarding the musical direction of "Bloodstone & Diamonds", Flynn told Metal Hammer magazine: "There's definitely a lot of urgency on this record. It's a really heavy record arid there's a dark and evil vibe to a lot of it, but I feel like there's more of a rock vibe in there too. It's stripped down at times, and I like that. I think that sense of urgency has carried over from the demos we did, which were all done very quickly and spontaneously. We tried to keep that spontaneous vibe on the album."
He continued: "At one point we started getting really anal on the tracks and spending tons of time on stuff, and we'd listen back and say, 'You know what? This doesn't have the vibe of the demos.' The demos were so fuckin' frantic, so we changed our mindset and now it's a little bit looser. Some of the guitar takes are basically live. Often, 40 or 50 percent of a song came from a spontaneous, live take and that's killer! It adds energy and makes the songs feel alive."
Regarding the "Bloodstone & Diamonds" album title, Flynn said: "Without getting too philosophical on ya, bloodstone and diamonds represent two of the hardest materials on earth. It is also a lyric from the opening track of the album, 'Now We Die'.
"In many cultures, the bloodstone has been used as an amulet to protect against evil, and is the symbol of justice. Diamonds are the hardest natural material on earth (which is how we feel about our music), and it also represents the diamond logo I drew 22 years ago (in my wife's apartment on Dover St. in Oakland) that has become the symbol for the band."
"Bloodstone & Diamonds" track listing:
01. Now We Die
02. Killers & Kings
03. Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones
04. Night Of Long Knives
05. Sail Into The Black
06. Eyes Of The Dead
07. Beneath The Silt
08. In Comes The Flood
09. Damage Inside
10. Game Over
11. Imaginal Cells (instrumental)
12. Take Me Through The Fire
Judging by the brand new video for SEETHER's latest single, "Same Damn Life", "retirement" just got a whole lot more fun!
Watch as SEETHER redefines the phrase "aging gracefully" in the clip below.
SEETHER frontman Shaun Morgan came up with the "Same Damn Life" video concept in close collaboration with director Nathan Cox (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, FOO FIGHTERS, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, MARILYN MANSON); the pair have wanted to work together for years.
"Same Damn Life", the highly melodic second single from SEETHER's latest studio album, "Isolate And Medicate", is fast on the rise at Active Rock radio, already busting into the Top 10 after a few short weeks.
"Isolate And Medicate" sold 37,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week of release to debut at No. 4 on the Billboard album chart.
Morgan told The Pulse Of Radio that the "Isolate And Medicate" title describes almost exactly the conditions under which he wrote the group's new songs. "It sums up the process of writing the album," he said. "I felt pretty sequestered at the time and I was in an interesting place personally. So I took refuge in this little studio that I built basically by hand and I won't lie, there was plenty of red wine drank up there, there was, you know, the odd cigarette was smoked up there... It was definitely just that, it was me isolating myself and medicating myself in various different ways and making music."
"Isolate And Medicate" follows up 2011's "Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray". It marks the group's debut with Concord Record Group after spending the first decade of their career on Wind-Up Records. The band teamed up again with ace producer Brendan O'Brien (PEARL JAM, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS) to deliver the most poignant, passionate and powerful record of their career.
SEETHER, GODSMACK and others took part in the Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival this past summer.
Former NIGHT RANGER guitarist Joel Hoekstra, who recently joined WHITESNAKE as the replacement for Doug Aldrich, spoke to the Myglobalmind webzine about the status of the recording sessions for WHITESNAKE's new studio album, tentatively due early next year.
"There is a litte bit of work to do, recording-wise, in terms of overdubs," he said. "We are very close to sticking a fork into it and entering into mix mode. I am heading out to [singer] David's [Coverdale] here shortly and we are shifting into promo gear for a bit. Pictures and videos and things of that nature."
Speaking about the direction of the new WHITESNAKE material, Joel said: "The only thing that I can tell you is that it is really cool. It's great, straight-ahead rock and roll. Blues-inspired rock that you have known and grown to love coming from WHITESNAKE."
He continued: "We are not going to hit anybody with a formula change and move to smooth jazz.
"Working with David so far has been great; he is just an unbelievably great guy. We get along great, and he is so funny. He puts me at ease and I feel like he just wants me to be myself as a player.
"I am certainly interested in paying homage to all the players that have been through the camp and do my very best to represent historically what made WHITESNAKE so great as well.
"Honestly, a lot of that is still ahead of me. It was really jump immediately into doing this album, so a whole lot of that is just me doing what I do.
"Before the tour next year, when it comes to covering other people's material, is when I will do a lot of shedding on people's styles, if you will."
Asked why he chose to leave NIGHT RANGER to join WHITESNAKE, Joel said: "It doesn't have as much to do with me wanting to leave NIGHT RANGER as much as it was me wanting to take the WHITESNAKE gig.
"I was texting with Doug Aldrich, who is a friend of mine, the night before the news was leaked. He didn't say anything specific to me, but he just said that there was news coming. The next day I woke up, I checked my Twitter and people were suggesting me for a potential replacement for something. I went, 'For what?' I clicked on it and it was for Doug in WHITESNAKE. I thought, "Oh, man, that would be actually a really good fit and be kind of cool.' So just to see what the deal was, I sent off an e-mail to put feelers out and see if there was going to be auditions and anything like that. I did hear back — eventually. [Laughs] Not at first. Then, I think, a couple of well-respected people had put my name forward to David Coverdale. We ended up getting together in late May, just meeting and a little bit of auditioning, so to speak. A little bit of playing on some pre-production. That went fantastic and we got along great, which is always important. Really, at that point he just said, 'Why don't you come back and play on the album in August?' At that point, I just thought, 'Well, we have got this penciled in, more or less, and we will see how it goes.' I just kept things quiet and when I went back out in August, I really started to get enthused playing on the album. I got along great with David and Reb [Beach, guitar] working on that. Reb and I got some great guitar work done together."
Hoekstra appeared on two NIGHT RANGER studio efforts, 2011's "Somewhere In California" and the recently released "High Road", as well as on 2012's 30th-anniversary acoustic concert set "24 Strings & A Drummer".
Aldrich left WHITESNAKE on May 7, explaining in a statement that he "had several recording and live commitments, so [he] needed a more flexible schedule to conclude these before going full force as normal." He added: "Unfortunately, my schedule was not workable."
Aldrich played on the last two WHITESNAKE studio albums, 2008's "Good To Be Bad" and 2011's "Forevermore", and appeared on several live releases, including last year's "Made In Japan" and "Made In Britain/The World Records".
It's Friday (October 31), which means it's time for your weekly FOO FIGHTERS track. This time the song is "Congregation", which was recorded at Nashville's Southern Ground studio with assistance from Zac Brown of the ZAC BROWN BAND. According to The Pulse Of Radio, the making of the song and the musical history of the city in which it was recorded will form the basis of Friday night's third episode of "Sonic Highways", the eight-part HBO series documenting the creation of the new FOO FIGHTERS album.
Each installment of the Dave Grohl-directed series follows the band to a different city to record one song for the disc.
The first two episodes featured the recording of "Something From Nothing" in Chicago and "The Feast And The Famine" in Washington D.C.
The "Sonic Highways" album comes out November 10.
Meanwhile, Grohl might have been joking when he remarked in an interview with Studio Brussel that he's already thinking about how he wants to make the next FOO FIGHTERS album, saying, "Wait until you see what we're doing for the next record. That's some fucked up shit. I already know what we're doing for that, and it makes this look like fucking kindergarten."
Reactivated Southern California metallers ATREYU will release their first material in five years through Raw Power Management's record label imprint Search And Destroy.
Search And Destroy, which has launched bands such as MALLORY KNOX, DON BROCO, AXEWOUND, CROSSFAITH and WHILE SHE SLEEPS, among others, has joined forces with the recently reinvigorated Spinefarm Records to sign both new and established talent moving forward.
In a recent interview with Australia's Music Feeds, ATREYU drummer/vocalist Brandon Saller stated about how the band decided to get back together and start working on new music again: "I think it was probably six to eight months ago, we kind of just started talking again. It started coming up a year and a half ago, and it just wasn't right. So we started more seriously talking about it and decided that we wanted to dip our toes back in and inch our way back into playing again. It really felt right for all of us and with the state of the music world right now, it felt like a good time to do that."
He continued: "It was funny because a lot of people had speculation and were talking about a lot of stuff with [the celebration of the tenth anniversary of ATREYU's second album] 'The Curse', and I think that a lot people just expected maybe some 'Curse' shows to come up when we first [announced] we were coming back. And that definitely came up, but it was the kind of thing where we just felt like making music again more than anything. So it started as kind of a… The idea for that turned into having more interest in making more music. We started writing again and jamming and went into the studio with Fred Archambault, [whom] I've done stuff with with my band HELL OR HIGHWATER; he's just a great producer and engineer. So we went into the studio and recorded some music, just to see how it felt. So we went from there and announced a couple of shows here in the States. Everything's kind of fallen into place in a pretty special way, so it's a lot of fun right now."
Speaking about the direction of the new ATREYU material, Saller said: "It's hard to say. One of my favorite records that we've ever made is [2007's] 'Lead Sails Paper Anchor'. I love that record. I feel like where ATREYU is most like ATREYU should be is somewhere in the middle of 'The Curse' and [2006's] 'A Death-Grip On Yesterday' era. And I feel like the new stuff we're writing doesn't sound like that at all. It's a total reincarnation of my band and it's fucking as heavy as can be and as aggressive as can be, and it's definitely a punch in the face for heavy music in general. But we weren't really focusing on what era or what kind of record we should go back to and try to emulate, it was just, like, 'Let's give a hundred percent of everything that's inside of us that we need to get out.' I think it's blistering. We're stoked."
Vocalist Alex Varkatzas had this to say about ATREYU's recently released new song "So Others May Live": "'So Others May Live' is inspired by one of my best friends, who is ex-military. The things our troops go through to protect us are pretty unreal. Their treatment after leaves a lot to be desired, as well."
He continued, "The song honors them and condemns our government's constant deployment of these brave souls. The people who fight and die for us often come from a certain socio-economic background — the working class. The people making these decisions to send our nation's children to war come from positions of privilege and wealth; their kids aren't the ones getting deployed and they aren't risking their lives every day at work. Yet they order the working class to go 'keep us safe' at the drop of a hat, it feels like. It's bullshit. It's the politicians and the rich of this country waging war to keep the majority pre-occupied, so they can make money and advance their bullshit political agendas. The expense is 'expendable' working class/poor Americans' lives, never the rich."
XTRMST, the new straight-edge hardcore band featuring AFI lead vocalist Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget, will release its self-titled debut album on November 18. The first single from the CD, "Conformist", was made available on October 7.
"Jade and I have been talking about starting a straight-edge hardcore band for years," says Havok. "We started writing and recording in early 2012 and chose the name XTRMST because it expresses the messages represented on the record. The straight-edge movement is not one of moderation. It's based in undeniable objective truths."
"The straight-edge philosophy is something that Davey and I gravitated towards at a young age, drawn by concepts and ideals that seem almost foreign in modern society," says Puget. "Like much of the other subcultures we were a part of growing up, it put us at odds with 99% of the people around us, which was something we embraced. Being sXe for over 20 years and being musicians, it seemed natural that this crucial ideology would find a musical expression."
The 14-track XTRMST album was produced and mixed by Puget at his home studio and at The Treehouse in Los Angeles, and its release will come via Dim Mak Records, the indie label founded by DJ/producer (and former member of hardcore band THIS MACHINE KILLS) Steve Aoki.
Although Aoki and Dim Mak are most often seen as leaders in the electronic dance music space, the release of the XTRMST album marks a return to Aoki and Dim Mak's hardcore roots.
"I got into straight-edge hardcore when I was a teen. It was my community, it was the reason I picked up a guitar, it's the reason I was in bands, and ultimately it was the reason why I started Dim Mak," says Aoki. Although no longer a staunch straight-edge follower today, Aoki expands, "I met Davey a while back and we bonded over our shared experiences in straight-edge culture. We found a lot of kinship there, and so it made sense for us to release an album that represents the spirit of what originally birthed Dim Mak."
"I wanted these songs to be chaos, at times difficult to listen to, the wild architecture difficult to understand, but with a taste of the hardcore we grew up on thrown in. The vocals are raw and the main vocal in every song is the first take," says Puget.
Fans began buzzing about XTRMST this past March, when Vacation Vinyl in Los Angeles offered free copies of a four-song cassette featuring a simple XT logo next to a sign that read, "Do you like hardcore? Fan of straight edge? If so — take this tape for free!" The tapes disappeared instantly and rumors of a new project from Havok and Puget lit up the Internet. When the rumor mill went into overdrive, Puget took to Twitter to announce, "Now that the cat is out of the bag, XTRMST is indeed Davey and I. More to come."
"These songs are the purest expression of emotion, with no thought towards commerce or accessibility," says Puget. "And the album was made with the amount of money you have in your pocket right now — just two people expressing their love and hate into microphones in a tiny room."
"Xtrmst" track listing:
01. Words For The Unwanted
03. Social Deathplay
08. The Breed
10. The Way
11. Swallow Your God
12. Dirty Nails
14. Coward Bow Your Head