As always, the top albums of the year are for full albums (no EP’s or demos) released in 2016. They are new studio albums for the year, not re-recordings, re-releases, cover songs, or live albums. Below the combined TOP 30 are links to each individual staff members’ personal “best of” lists which besides their top albums contains such things as best new band, best DVD/Blu-Ray, best metal book, disappointments of the year, greatest hopes for 2017, personal metal discovery of the year, and various other categories. Enjoy!
- Goatwhore kicks off USA tour celebrating Metal Blade Records' 35th anniversary (Feb 25, 2017)
- KXM Release Video For "Noises In The Sky" (Feb 24, 2017)
- THE DEAD DAISIES Set To Release Deluxe Live Album (Feb 24, 2017)
- FAMOUS UNDERGROUND To Release “Corrupted” the new Digital 45 On February 24th (Feb 23, 2017)
- DIRKSCHNEIDER / U.D.O. Line up change (Feb 20, 2017)
- TNT - Vocalist Tony Harnell (Feb 22, 2017)
- Interview with Edward Banchs, author of Heavy Metal Africa (Feb 18, 2017)
- Ross Dolan - Immolation (Feb 12, 2017)
- Interview with Russ Bergquist of Touch The Sun (Feb 12, 2017)
- Powerwolf - Interview with Roel van Helden (Feb 9, 2017)
- Anthrax + The Raven Age @ The Manchester Academy, Manchester (Feb 23, 2017)
- Overkill + Nile, with Axeslasher, Necropanther @ The Gothic Theater, Denver CO (Feb 23, 2017)
- Trivium + Sikth + Shapes @ Roundhouse, London (Feb 20, 2017)
- Evil Scarecrow @ The Electric Ballroom, London (Feb 20, 2017)
- Kreator + Sepultura, Soilwork @ The Circus, Helsinki (Feb 15, 2017)
New Orleans’ Goatwhore is currently on the road with label-mates Whitechapel, Cattle Decapitation, Allegaeon, and Necromancing The Stone for a special trek that celebrates Metal Blade Records’ 35th anniversary – with added headlining dates scattered throughout. Following these shows, the band will take a short break before joining Amon Amarth for two weeks’ worth of dates from May 1st to May 21st. Due to scheduling conflicts between the two tours, Goatwhore will not appear on six of the Metal Blade Records’ 35th Anniversary Tour stops. See below for all dates.
With two videos already released for tracks from their sophomore album, KXM has released a third video worldwide. The video for “Noises In The Sky” has gone live today on the band’s Facebook page. The latest clip, directed by previous KXM director Jamie Brown, is a stripped down performance video filmed in an apartment. The song comes from the album Scatterbrain that is scheduled for worldwide release on March 17th via Rat Pak Records. Fans who pre-order the album digitally via iTunes (http://smarturl.it/kxmsbitunes) will receive all three released tracks: “Noises In The Sky,” “Breakout” and the first single “Scatterbrain” as an instant download. The album is also available via Amazon (http://smarturl.it/kxmsbamazon).
Scatterbrain is currently available for pre-order via the Rat Pak Records website in various bundles including signed CD’s and t-shirts. All fans who pre-order the album through the Rat Pak website will be entered to win a one-of-a-kind custom guitar as well as other prizes. The pre-order is available at RatPakRecords.com/KXM. The video for the debut sinlge “Scatterbrain” can be seen here: https://youtu.be/UvTnzne69Ts and has become a fan favorite since it was released. KXM is comprised of dUg Pinnick of King’s X on vocals/bass, George Lynch of Lynch Mob/Dokken on guitars and Ray Luzier, of Korn on drums. Scatterbrain features 13 brand new tracks and was recorded at the Steakhouse studio in North Hollywood California. The album was produced by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (Flotsam & Jetsam/Prong/Last In Line) who also produced the band’s 2014 debut.
KXM formed in early 2013 when dUg, George and Ray spoke about trying to jam together. At the time it wasn’t clear what would come from those jams. The only thing that was clear was that these 3 musicians, at the top of their game, wanted to play together. The self-titled debut, KXM, was released on March 11, 2014 and debuted at #31 on the Billboard 200. The band takes its name from the combination of the member’s other projects: K from Korn, X from King’s X and M from Lynch Mob. In a world that constantly searches for new and unique music, KXM delivers all the power and punch that one would expect from these high level players.
‘Live And Louder’, The Dead Daisies’ highly-anticipated live outing, set for release on May 19th on Spitfire Music / SPV, perfectly captures the awesome vibe of their supreme, sweat drenched, roof-raising live sets, recorded on a heady high at the end of an unbelievable 2016.
The video trailer for Live & Louder can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/wzA51aA5XpQ
From the moment they dropped their first single ‘Long Way To Go’ ahead of their European Festival Summer in June, the hits just kept on coming. The 2nd single ‘Join Together’ ramped up the release of the third studio album ‘Make Some Noise’. The band were well underway touring the USA with KISS, a tour that finished with a sold-out headline show at LA’s prestigious Whisky A Go-Go.
The next single ‘Song And A Prayer’, was released with an accompanying short-film, refocused attention and rang in the final, massive touring phase of the year which saw the band go to Japan for the first time, where they immediately became media and fan darlings and went down a storm at the world-famous Loud Park festival. A string of dates in Korea for the USO and, as the year’s grand finale, a massive UK & European Co-Headline Tour that played 30+ shows to sold-out venues.
The ‘Daisies’ as they are affectionately referred to by their fans, quickly became people’s favourite live band with their relentless energy, stellar musicianship and unabashed joy in bringing the rock back into roll. The big question at signing sessions after each show and on the band’s social media channels continued to be: “When will there be a live album?”. People simply could not get enough of them live.
Not to turn down a good opportunity, the band recorded a number of shows on the UK & European Tour and, with the team that already made ‘Make Some Noise’ blow speakers worldwide. The album was mixed by Anthony Focx (Aerosmith, Bad Company, Metallica, Santana) at Focxhole Studios and mastered by Howie Weinberg. They assembled a true monster in the vein of the great Live Albums of the 70s. You can feel the sweat drip from the ceilings, the energy of the crowd becoming one with the band, screaming, hollering and forgetting about the often mundane reality for a night of true Rock’n’Roll. Warts ’n all, ‘LIVE & LOUDER’ is a document of a band in their prime, a raw slice of visceral energy, an in-your-face assault on the senses. Simply: THE DEAD DAISIES in their element and at their best!
Lead singer John Corabi adds: “We’re extremely excited and proud of our new album ‘LIVE & LOUDER’!!! A lot of the fans have been writing to us and saying how much they LOVED our records but were even more blown away by the band live!!! So this documents our last U.K./European tour, and also shows the world how truly loud and supportive The Dead Daisies fans are!!!! Thank you and Turn It Up!!!!”
‘LIVE & LOUDER’ will be released in a number of different, exciting formats. Again, the band listened to what the fans wanted and added a spectacular vinyl as well as a limited-edition box set that features, among other cool trinkets, an exclusive 7” vinyl single recorded at The Zoo at Planet Rock Radio’s highly coveted London fan-only gig in November 2016.
“LIVE & LOUDER” Formats:
• DIGIPAK (Contains CD & DVD & massive photo booklet. The DVD features an exclusive “Live & Louder”-Documentary, a massive “Make Some Noise World Tour”-Documentary, all music videos of the “Make Some Noise” album cycle and a picture gallery)
• VINYL (Double 180g Multicolor Vinyl, Gatefold, Printed Inner Sleeves, 4-Page Booklet, CD in Paper-Sleeve)
• LIMITED EDITION BOX-SET (contains Digipak with CD & DVD, Double 180g 12” Vinyl, Exclusive Colored-Vinyl 7” Single, Poster, Sticker, Button, Patch, PhotoCard)
• DIGITAL DOWNLOAD & STREAM
For additional information please visit :
Anthrax + The Raven Age
@ The Manchester Academy, Manchester
February 14, 2017
Review and photography by Harry Long
Tags: among the kings, among the living, anniversary, Anthrax, concert, gig, HEavy metal, manchester, Metal, Review, speed metal, The Raven Age, Thrash Metal, tour, UK
Posted in 2017, Concert Reviews | Comments (0)
Overkill + Nile, with Axeslasher, Necropanther @ The Gothic Theater, Denver CO
I’m always amazed at how many “classic” bands have escaped my notice, despite being a metalhead for 20 years. New Jersey’s OVERKILL is one such band. The name had been floating around in my head for quite some time, but I never had any solid concept of either their history or their sound. Thankfully, I had a wonderful opportunity to become acquainted with whom many say should be the “fifth” member of thrash metal’s “Big Four” (METALLICA, MEGADETH, ANTHRAX, SLAYER.)
Famous Underground is excited to officially announce the release of their brand new Digital 45, “Corrupted”. The Digital 45 has 2 singles, side-A features their brand new song ‘Corrupted’ and the B-side is a mash up of Megadeth’s ‘Peace Sells’ with Bob Marley’s ‘Get Up, Stand Up’. “Corrupted” delivers energy and power; it’s definitely a track that gets the fists pumping. If you are listening to Corrupted while driving, ‘Warning’ keep your eye on the speedometer.
The tracks were mastered by Harry Hess of HBomb Mastering (Three Days Grace, Monster Truck, Madonna) and mixed by Daniel Tsourounis (Skullfist, MOXY).
Famous Underground decided to release “Corrupted” as a Digital 45 as a way to engage with fans and new listeners on a more frequent basis. Like in the 50’s and 60’s, bands, like the Beatles and Stones released singles regularly before even packaging it as an album. Since people are not buying CDs as much these days, Famous Underground wanted to embrace the traditional and release two new tracks every couple of months.
Famous Underground chose to release Megadeth’s ‘Peace sells’ since they were already performing this at their live shows. The idea to meld “Get Up, Stand Up” with this track came to Nick while he was listening to Bob Marley. He felt the two songs would work well together because of their lyrical points of view.
The Digital 45 – “Corrupted” is available on February 24, 2017 worldwide on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, iHeartRadio and Slacker to name a few.
To listen to the tracks go to: www.famousunderground.tv/digital45
Follow Famous Underground at:
INTERVIEW BY MARKO SYRJALA
The hard rock world received great news on May 21, 2016, when vocalist Tony Harnell announced his return to TNT. The band is currently recording its thirteenth studio album which will be released later this year by Frontiers Music. In January 2017, the band embarked on an anniversary tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the TELL NO TALES album. I went to see their concerts in Oslo and Drammen and was then also fortunate enough to sit down with Tony Harnell for an interview. We discussed his return to TNT, the goals he would like to achieve with the band, what plans he has for his career as a solo artist, and recent changes in his personal life.
Kasperi Heikkinen is leaving U.D.O./DIRKSCHNEIDER for personal reasons. There is no bad blood or drama in this departure! The band and especially Udo wanna thank Kasperi for his great support and many fantastic shows on this planet. All the best Kasperi!!!
Kasperi´s statement: “I want to thank everyone, especially the fans, for these great four years I was in the band. I also wish all the best for the band with their future endeavors. From now on I will focus on my other music projects and some different outlets of creativity. You will surely hear from me again when the time is right. Stay metal and tsönk all the way! Thank you everybody!”
Trivium + Sikth + Shapes
@ Roundhouse, London
17 February, 2017
Review and photography: Billy Edmonds
Evil Scarecrow + The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing
@ The Electric Ballroom, London
February 3, 2017
Review by Sabrina Selkis
Photography by Michelle Murphy
Tags: concert, CRABULON, Evil Scarecrow, gig, Gig review, HEavy metal, Hurricane, Metal, Mootography, punk rock, Review, Robototron, RSJ, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing
Posted in 2017, Concert Reviews | Comments (0)
ICE-T’S BODY COUNT Release Impactful Music Video For Scathing New Track, “No Lives Matter”; Album Pre-Order Links Available Now
The wait is finally over, as ICE-T’s BODY COUNT is back and more vicious than ever. Their highly-anticipated new, full-length album, Bloodlust, is set for a March 31st release via Century Media Records and the impactful music video for the scathing new track, “No Lives Matter,” can be viewed now at the link below.
“No Lives Matter” Official Video:
Interview with Edward Banchs, author of Heavy Metal Africa
On March 10, Swedish multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer Thobbe Englund (ex-SABATON, WINTERLONG) will release his new solo album, titled “Sold My Soul”, via Metalville Records.
Many albums, live DVDs and almost five hundred SABATON shows later all over the world, headlining the biggest festivals such as Wacken Open Air and Sweden Rock Festival, Thobbe is now going back to the roots of heavy metal with all-new material.
For the most part, the album was recorded in Englund’s own studio — Big Cat in Falun, Sweden. Some additional recordings have been made in Hungary by Gabor Nagy (WISDOM) at the AXL Studio and in Borlänge in Nils Patrik Johansson’s (ASTRAL DOORS, CIVIL WAR) studio. Mastering was done by Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY, RAUBTIER).
Englund says: “This album was recorded without the in these days so commonly used ‘studio cheating’ methods. What you hear is what you get, and the album is loaded with one-takes. A brutally honest approach, and pure heavy metal.”
“Sold My Soul” track listing:
01. Sold My Soul
03. I Am
04. The Glow
05. It Burns
06. Steel & Thunder
07. Trägen Vinner
08. The Flame
09. Break The Chains
10. Wounded Knee
12. The Ashes
As a teenager, Englund watched Yngwie Malmsteen shred his socks off in an instructional video, and from that moment, he knew what to do. Eight hours per day of burning passion and dedication well into his twenties led him to gain a hundred control of the instrument, a Stratocaster — and this is where the journey starts.
In 2001, Englund got a record deal. The debut album with his band at the time, WINTERLONG, sold splendidly in Japan. He was hungry for something new and in 2008 joined the Swedish band RAUBTIER. As things evolved, he didn’t feel bass, which he played in RAUBTIER, was expressive enough so in 2012 when SABATON called, it was a no-brainer to join in.
Englund chose to leave SABATON in 2016, stating: “I have in recent years become more aware of what would make me feel real happiness and content, and that is to expand my own creativeness in combination with a somewhat stiller life, where I will not tour all year round at the speed of light.”
THE CIRCUS, HELSINKI
It’s been a long time since Finland has been treated with such a great package tour as this. Therefore, it is a bit strange that although this show was originally supposed to be in the Old Ice Hall of Helsinki, at the last minute, it was moved to a smaller venue. However, the night with four bands and Kreator as headliner was a successful event. The Circus has a capacity of 1200 people and the show was totally sold out. Metal-Rules.com attended the gig to witness Soilwork, Sepultura and the mighty Kreator in action.
The Blackest Grey have released their self-published album ‘Banners for the Blind’ on October 1st 2016. The album is mostly an in-house production, but produced together with Aborted guitar virtuoso Mendel bij de Leij. The Dutch progressive metal band includes members of Nightwish singer Floor Jansen’s ReVamp and Anneke van Giersbergen’s VUUR, but has chosen to play mercilessly heavy music in contrast to the before-mentioned musical projects. This to match their uncompromising disappointment in, and disdain for modern social trends, religion and socioeconomic issues. Though there are beautiful melodies, impressive guitar solos and progressive parts, paired with stanzas filled with hope, the aggression of their music prevails. The band touches on powerful social and philosophical themes such as isolation, escapism, truth and reality, political polarization, and so on.
On January 27th, they opted to release a track on various social media platforms weekly. They will continue to do so every Thursday, until the full album has been shared online. The band is currently working on their first music video, which will be released this spring. Their music can be found via the following link; https://www.youtube.com/user/TheBlackestGrey
The band can be found via www.facebook.com/TheBlackestGrey
For fans of
– The Black Dahlia Murder
– Between the Buried and Me