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!
- DIRKSCHNEIDER / U.D.O. Line up change (Feb 20, 2017)
- ICE-T’S BODY COUNT Release Impactful Music Video For Scathing New Track, “No Lives Matter”; Album Pre-Order Links Available Now (Feb 18, 2017)
- Former SABATON Guitarist THOBBE ENGLUND To Release 'Sold My Soul' Solo Album (Feb 18, 2017)
- THE BLACKEST GREY RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM (Feb 14, 2017)
- Metallica Announce 2017 North American Tour (Feb 13, 2017)
- Trivium + Sikth + Shapes @ Roundhouse, London (Feb 20, 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)
- 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)
- LORDI with SPIRAL CELL @ The Bluebird Theater, Denver CO (Feb 14, 2017)
- Epica + Powerwolf + Beyond The Black @ O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, London (Feb 6, 2017)
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
LORDI with SPIRAL CELL @ The Bluebird Theater, Denver CO
Feb. 11, 2017
Review and photos by by Kyle Moore (The Metal Magnus)
Finland’s LORDI suddenly found themselves a heap of fame when they won the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. This event is something quite unfamiliar to us Yankees, but nonetheless word of them started to spread. My initial reaction upon seeing their publicity photos was “they’re a GWAR knockoff.” Sonically, LORDI and GWAR sound nothing alike, yet their imagery has much in common. LORDI draws a lot of influence from KISS, whereas GWAR derived much of their sound and themes from punk rock. Whatever similarities that may or may not exist, I was cautiously optimistic about seeing their live show. This marks their first-ever North American tour, a sign of their spreading notoriety.
Metallica have just announced a massive North American tour with support from Avenged Sevenfold, Volbeat and Gojira! The string of dates will run from May to August with support slots shifting throughout.
Metallica revealed these dates earlier today (Feb. 13) as a part of their WorldWired 2017 tour plans. Pre-sale tickets will be available to Legacy Fan Club members on Feb. 14 at 9AM local time. Tickets for Metallica fan club members will go on sale Feb. 14 at 11AM local time. Tickets will become available for the general public beginning Feb. 17 at 10AM local time. Each ticket purchased with come with a free copy of Metallica’s newest album, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, either as a physical CD or digital download. The album must be claimed within 14 business days of ticket purchase.
Metallica has partnered with CID Entertainment to offer four options of special enhanced experiences on this tour, including early access to the venue, a visit to the ‘Memory Remains’ exhibit of memorabilia and meet and greets. For full package details, go here.
See the full list of dates below!
Portuguese metallers MOONSPELL filmed their February 4 concert at the Campo Pequeno arena in Lisbon, Portugal for their upcoming 20th-anniversary DVD. The show, which was witnessed by four thousand metalheads, saw the band performing three of its records live on stage: “Wolfheart”, “Irreligious” and “Extinct”.
Says MOONSPELL: “The show was filmed for a DVD release via Napalm Records and we believe these will make the Portuguese wolves’ fans very, very proud.
“MOONSPELL broke their ticket sale recording for a headline show in Portugal, and four thousand rabid fans have attended this show, making impossible history happen for a Portuguese metal band.”
MOONSPELL recently revealed it was working on a Portuguese-language EP about the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon earthquake, which occurred in the Kingdom of Portugal. In combination with subsequent fires and a tsunami, the earthquake almost totally destroyed Lisbon and adjoining areas.
INTERVIEW WITH ROSS DOLAN OF IMMOLATION
The legendary Immolation keeps pounding the deadly metal year after year, not slowing down any inch. The band’s 10 opus called ATONEMENT shows Immolation’s death metal is not getting soft. ATONEMENT is another piece of brilliant death metal masterpiece in the Immolation saga. Metal-Rules.Com talked to the frontman of Immolation, Ross Dolan, about the new album and the line-up change. Every death metal maniac has to obtain the new album…
Interview with Russ Bergquist of Vancouver’s Touch The Sun
Alex Roque – Vox/Guitars Rob Wade – Drums Russ Bergquist – Bass
Interview with Roel van Helden
February 3, 2017 – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
Interview by Torbjørn ‘Toby’ Jørstad
Photography by Graham Hilling
Tags: band interview, blessed & possessed, blood of saints, drummer, drumming, Epica, german metal, London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, party metal, Power metal, Powerwolf, preachers of the night, roel van helden, summer breeze festival, teutonic metal, UK
Posted in 2017, Interviews | Comments (0)
KING KOBRA’S CLASSIC FIRST TWO RELEASES, ‘READY TO STRIKE’ AND ‘THRILL OF A LIFETIME’ SET FOR REISSUE
DURING THE 1980s the music scene was exploding with an abundance of great rock bands – including multi-platinum sellers such as Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot and RATT – but there was always room for talented new contenders. For KING KOBRA this was an invitation from heaven, launching onto a landscape that was primed for killer hard rock, enormous sales, and unlimited airplay.
It comes as no surprise then, that respected re-issue label ROCK CANDY RECORDS has turned a spotlight on their first two classic albums, ‘Ready To Strike’ and ‘Thrill Of A Lifetime’. Both titles are set to be reissued on February 10th having been fully remastered with enhanced 16-page booklets featuring rare photos, new interviews, and a 4,000 word essay penned by Malcolm Dome.
Formed in California in 1984, by seasoned drummer Carmine Appice (Cactus, Beck Bogart & Appice, Ozzy Osbourne) and featuring vocalist Mark Free (Unruly Child), guitarists John Michael Philips & Mick Sweda (Bulletboys) and bassist Johnny Rod (WASP), the band won instant attention for their unique look – four blondes and one brunette. Produced by Spencer Proffer (Quiet Riot, WASP, Cheap Trick) and signed to Capitol Records, the band’s debut album, originally issued in 1985, won them the attention of fans and critics alike by delivering one of the year’s best records. Tracks such as ‘Hunger’, ‘Tough Guys’, ‘Piece Of The Rock’ and the title track itself are pivotal examples of some of the best mid 80’s hard rock.
‘Thrill Of A Lifetime’, their sophomore album, originally issued in 1986, saw the band shift gear, modernising their sound and focussing on more accessible songs, perhaps modelled on the chart success of artists like Bon Jovi and Cinderella. The material was spearheaded by the hugely infectious ‘Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)’, a track that was included on the hit movie ‘Iron Eagle’. Elsewhere there’s ‘Feel The Heat’, ‘Raise Your Hands To Rock’ and ‘Dream On’ for further proof of their hard rocking credentials.
Each album can be ordered via these links:
‘Ready to Strike’: http://tinyurl.com/j53bggh
‘Thrill of a Lifetime:’ http://tinyurl.com/z2lbfum
‘READY TO STRIKE’ TRACKLISTING:
1. READY TO STRIKE
3. SHADOW RIDER
4. SHAKE UP
6. BREAKIN’ OUT
7. TOUGH GUYS
8. DANCING WITH DESIRE
9. SECOND THOUGHTS
10. PIECE OF THE ROCK
‘THRILL OF A LIFETIME’ TRACKLISTING:
1. SECOND TIME AROUND
2. DREAM ON
3. FEEL THE HEAT
4. THRILL OF A LIFETIME
5. ONLY THE STRONG WILL SURVIVE
6. IRON EAGLE (NEVER SAY DIE)
7. HOME STREET HOME
8. OVERNIGHT SENSATION
9. RAISE YOUR HANDS TO ROCK
10. PARTY ANIMAL
11. HOME SWEET HOME (Street Mix)
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT: