Remembering Hanntu

March 8th, 2015
by EvilG

Hann Ng “Hanntu”

December 30th 1985 – March 6th 2015

On March 6, 2015, we were shocked to learn that one of our own, the bright, talented and young Hann Ng, had been killed in a traffic accident in his home country of Malaysia.  We would like to send out deepest and sincerest condolences to all of Hann’s family and friends.

On this page we pay tribute to some of his work with Metal-Rules.com by featuring some of his words and photos.

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Ashtar- Interview with Marko and Witch N

July 6th, 2015
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Ashtar

Interview with Marko and Witch N

Interview by Jarod Lawley

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To mark the release of their debut LP, Ilmasaari, we chatted to Swiss doom duo Ashtar to discuss their origins, sound, and future.
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Mastodon + Bad Breeding @Ulster Hall, Belfast, June 28th 2015

July 6th, 2015
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Mastodon + Bad Breeding

Ulster Hall, Belfast
June 28th, 2015

Review by Melanie Brehaut
Photos by Jamie Hunter 

Mastodon Ulster Hall

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Interview with Matt from Borealis

July 6th, 2015
by J P

Interview with Matt of Borealis

by JP

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You guys are now celebrating 10 years and the pending release of your third full-length album.  What are some of the challenges from being based in a small town in Ontario?

We are actually very fortunate to be situated a very short drive from the Greater Toronto Area, which has no doubt helped us along the way. Being from a small town has actually been very beneficial, as people here are very supportive of local talent and word travels a lot faster. The shows that we have done here have always been well attended and very fun, and we’re very thankful to be from such a great community. However, if we were unable to easily access the city, that would certainly bring along challenges in terms of getting your name past the town border, etc.

Have ever considered participating in the Canadian Wacken Metal Battle?

We have discussed it a few times, but never really got serious about it. There is a distinct level of stress and anxiety that comes with being involved in competitions like that, which we experienced when we started out playing the Emergenza competition, which also culminated in a festival performance in Germany. At this point, we are comfortable with where we are as a band, and do not need any undue stress affecting our lives. That said, we couldn’t be happier for our brothers in Crimson Shadows and Vesperia. They certainly deserve the success that winning such a competition brings.

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Is your indie debut still available for sale or do you have any plans to reissue it?

World of Silence is still for sale at shows etc. We are always hopeful that Purgatory will get us to a point where we are able to give our older stuff a label release, but maybe having a part of our discography only available at shows will drive a few people out to the venues 😉

You have made the jump to an even larger label, AFM.    Tell us about the end of your label deal with Lion and the transition to AFM.

We couldn’t be happier with the way we were treated by Lion Music, and the fact that they made us an offer upon hearing Fall From Grace. Lion chose to scale down their operations a little bit, so when AFM came calling about Purgatory, both sides were alright with separating so that we could keep climbing the ladder. Transitioning to AFM has been a dream. They are extremely helpful and professional and we know we are in good hands with them. It’s very flattering to have such a prominent label want to release our album.

In the past five years there has been a big wave of bands being signed to European labels, like Massacre, Napalm and AFM.  In your opinion are those labels are now discovering bands in smaller areas of Canada, as compared to strictly Toronto and Vancouver?

I believe that this is due in major part to the use of the internet to get your band noticed. Whether in a small town or large city, everybody is equal online, and if you are producing great music, eventually you will be found by their scouts. It’s great to know that we are able to bridge the gap to Europe online, as in the past it would have been much more difficult to become successful playing the style of music that we play.

You have a new guitarist, Michael Briguglio, what has he brought to the band?

Mike has brought a very high energy level and distinct playing style to the band. When we were trying out new guitarists, he was the only applicant who had no idea who we were, and just wanted to shred with whoever would have him, which was awesome to hear. His skill level and knowledge of the guitar is extremely high, and the different approach to songwriting that he brought to our group helped us develop some great ideas for this album.

The band has a somewhat unique sound for a Canadian band a nation saturated with Death Metal. Do you feel this helps you stand out?

It certainly has helped us stand out in the past. We’ve played many shows where every band was playing death metal except us, and the crowds were very welcoming to a new style taking the stage. It also made us a ‘go-to’ band when touring Power Metal acts came through town, as many other talented bands in the area did not fit the style so much.

I’ve noticed you have changed your logo/font on each album now.  Was this intentional or just a part of the bands evolution?

It was not intentional, we just had a really hard time settling on a logo we liked! It always seemed to be a bit of a rush job to get a logo made up because we needed cover art done, and that’s why Fall From Grace is just a plain font, because we didn’t want to incorporate another logo that we did not like. The logo seen on Purgatory will be the one that sticks around for future albums.

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The cover art is quite striking.  A girl on a swing is not a ‘traditional’ Metal image.  Tell about the concept and creation of the cover art.

We wanted an album cover that was very open to the viewer’s interpretation, with a melancholic feel to it. The cover directly applies to the story that Purgatory tells, but at the same time on first glance it can tell a story all it’s own, and evoke an emotion that some covers fail to achieve. We sent a basic idea of what we wanted to the great artist Stan Decker, and he created this beautiful cover that we were instantly in love with.

 

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Tell us a bit behind the concept of PURGATORY. 

Purgatory follows a fictional story of tragedy, loss, and coping with blame and undue pressure. We decided to write an album with a linear storyline, allowing the tone of the music to assist in telling the story, instead of the regular assortment of random songs and topic.

Do you have any plans to tour Canada?

We very much want to put together a full Canadian tour and run coast to coast, but as you know, the logistics of that are quite the challenge. At the moment, we will be playing 4 Canadian cities on our run with Evergrey in Aug/Sept this year (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City), and our fingers are crossed that we will be able to hit major markets out west by the end of 2016.

Everygrey Borealis US Tour

To learn more about Borealis visit  https://www.facebook.com/borealisband?ref=br_rs

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Reign of Fury To Open Bloodstock 2015

July 6th, 2015
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

British Thrash Metal group Reign of Fury have been confirmed as the first band for UK festival, Bloodstock.

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Metallica Producer Flemming Rasmussen on the near bass-less Justice album

July 6th, 2015
by EvilG
Flemming Rasmussen at the wall in the studio , where there hangs a series of platinum and gold records with Metallica, which he has received . Photo: Bo Svane

Flemming Rasmussen at the wall in the studio , where there hangs a series of platinum and gold records with Metallica, which he has received . Photo: Bo Svane

Producer Flemming Rasmussen is best known in metal circles as the producer for Metallica’s classic Ride The Lightning (’84), Master Of Puppets (’86) and … And Justice For All (’88) albums. He recently spoke with Ultimate-Guitar.com about working with Metallica and addressed the controvery surrounding the “missing” bass tracks on …And Justice For All. An excerpt is available below.

Rasmussen:

“I never understood why the bass was never louder on the album. But you’ll have to talk to Lars (Ulrich) and James (Hetfield) about that. Jason (Newsted) was technically a better bass player than Cliff (Burton). He was much tighter and faster and all this.

Musically I don’t know. Did he ever co-write any of the songs? He probably did on the later albums but they never really gave the poor guy a chance. Did they?

I’m one of the few persons who heard the bass tracks on …And Justice for All and as far as I’m concerned they’re absolutely killer. He did a really good job on that.

I’d love to remix that album. I’m pretty sure the guys who did it (Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero), I know they would love to mix it again. Because they set it up and made it sound good and then Lars and James came in and fucked it all up, hahaha.”

Go to this location for the complete interview.

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Evergrey – Interview with Tom Englund (vocals & guitars)

July 4th, 2015
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Evergrey
Interview with Tom Englund (vocals & guitars)

20th June 2015 @ The Underworld, London

Interviewed by Oliver Manso
Photo by Ashlinn Nash

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Evergrey + One Machine + Awake by Design @ The Underworld, London

July 4th, 2015
by Metal-Rules.com UK Team

Evergrey + One Machine + Awake by Design

@ The Underworld, London

20th June 2015

Review & videos by Oliver Manso
Photography by Carina Martins

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DARKNESS – Germany’s Oldschool-Thrashers release new EP with a new Line-Up

July 4th, 2015
by EvilG

Germany’s Oldschool-Thrash-Command DARKNESS from Essen released the EP „XXIX“ in May 2015. DARKNESS’ first album DEATH SQUAD from 1987 is regarded as thrash-classic and is known for this still today. The new line up is Lee (vox), Arnd und Meik (git), Dirk (ba) und Lacky (dr).

The EP includes „L.a.W.“ and „Hate bis my Engine“, two new songs and furthermore „Death Squad“ and „Burial at Sea“, two classics in a new musical shape, taken from the debut album. The EP is supposed to be a foretaste for the new album. The EP is available by mailorder at www.sektor12shop.de can be downloaded in all online shops worldwide.

Find more Info at:

info@darkness-thrash.de

http://www.darkness-thrash. com/

https://www.facebook.com/ darknessdeathsquad

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Nuclear Assault – John Connelly, Dan Lilker, Glenn Evans

July 4th, 2015
by Arto Lehtinen

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Nuclear Assault conquered the speed/thrash metal scene of the 80’s with a razor sharp sound with crossover elements. Nuclear Assault’s lyrics were based on the everyday reality that we are facing even nowadays. The band’s albums HANDLE WITH CARE, SURVIVE, and GAME OVER are the obvious thrash metal gems. Even though Nuclear Assault have been on hiatus from time to time, once again the four piece have returned with a new EP and a massive European festival tour. Metal-Rules.com sat down with John Connelly, Glenn Evans and Dan Lilker to talk about various and interesting topics.

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From Hell’s Heart: THE TOP 5 WORST METAL VOCAL REPLACEMENTS

July 3rd, 2015
by Metal Rules

From Hells Heart

From Hell’s Heart:
THE TOP 5 WORST METAL VOCAL REPLACEMENTS

We thought it would be cool to follow up last week‘s topic of the best replacements with a top 5 WORST metal vocal replacements. However, so we don’t all have the same list, we had to have some (dis)honorary members that we MOSTLY agree that didn’t fit as a replacement (maybe they don’t suck not on their own, but do for the role into which they were thrown).

The (dis)honorary top 3 worst  metal vocal replacements:

1. Blaze Bayley (Iron Maiden)
2. John Corabi (Motley Crue)
3. Gary Cherone (Van Halen)

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Interview with Morgan Rider of Vesperia, Wacken Metal Battle Canada 2015 Champions- Part I

July 2nd, 2015
by J P

Interview with Morgan Rider of Vesperia

Wacken Metal Battle Canada 2015 Champions – Part I

by JP

Vesperia2015

It was week after midnight in Toronto, Ontario on June 6th when it was finally announced, Vesperia had won the Wacken Metal Battle Canada.  We decided to contact the band and do a two-part interview.  In this first part we will meet the band and in Part II we will hear of their adventures in Germany this summer.  Enjoy!

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Interview with Brett Stevens of Death Metal Underground webzine.

July 2nd, 2015
by J P

Interview with Brett Stevens of Death Metal Underground webzine. 

by JP

Recently I made the acquaintance of Brett Stevens of the internets longest running Metal webzine, Death Metal Underground. As a long time defender of the faith we knew we wanted chat with him and get an expert perspective on the state of Death Metal today.  Enjoy!

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1. What is your official role at Death Metal Underground?

Right now, I am just a writer. I was its founder and editor for many years, but as of several months ago I passed the editorship on to David Rosales, who is a talented young writer, musician and editor who has great insights into metal music. As the site was shaped from my vision based in what I played on my radio show (1992-1998) I remain its biggest internal influence, even as I spend less time on daily content for the site. The <a href=”http://www.deathmetal.org/bands” target=”_blank”>Dark Legions Archive</a>, which continues at the Death Metal Underground, is the net’s oldest and longest-running metal site and the result of my vision plus a lot of advice from others and learning over the years. I am glad to see it carry on in such capable hands, and to contribute when I can.

2. Tell us a bit the early days of the site and how it has evolved in terms of technology from 1998 to today.

The site started as a collection of textfiles uploaded to hacker BBSs in the late 1980s (you can read more about this era in my article <a href=”http://www.furious.com/perfect/hackermetal.html” target=”_blank”>”Hacker Metal”</a> at <em>Perfect Sound Forever</em> ezine). I was calling all of these underground boards where a lot of people who were into telecommunications and security (heh heh) were also into metal. At first, I uploaded lyrics files, then began reviews and articles. These got popular over time and so I moved them onto the wider internet, first with FTP and gopher, the later the web, in the early 1990s. The site was straight HTML at that point and went through several upgrades in appearance. By 1998, the site was a full-fledged HTML maze focused on the best of the underground. Since then, I have added a metal news blog and automated the review posting using custom software of my design.

3. How much time do you spend on the site and what is your average day like?

These days, I spend a lot less. In the past, depending on how much metal listening I could get away with during the workday, I would spend 4-6 hours a day listening, writing and publishing the material. At this point, I tend to have less listening time, so I mostly binge-listen on the weekends and then write from notes during the week. I like to give anything I review at least a few listens before trying to think up something to say about it unless it is execrably devoid of creativity, at which point I tend to pitch it in the bin and move on. My average day involves work, family and writing both for DMU and other projects, starting early in the morning and ending relatively late at night. The schedule is somewhat grueling. If it were not for green tea and strong tobacco, I would fall over a lot more.

4. DMU has a reputation for being very academic and thought provoking. Why has this been the driving force be hind the writing?

My background was first in journalism, next in academia, and finally in information technology. In addition, my “hobbies” are literature and philosophy, both reading and writing. All of these, including a fair amount of post-modern theory, went into the style of writing that I developed and which is somewhat widely emulated today. I started down these paths by accumulating intellectual tools for understanding the world through analysis. The reason I apply these to metal is that they fit: heavy metal is a reality-based, highly analytical form of music which tends toward Latinate language and use of terms from philosophy and religion. Since most metal subject matter finds parallels in the era of Romantic literature, music and visual art, translating analysis from that domain provides a fertile ground for understanding metal!

5. Alone the same lines, DMU has often been ‘the sharp point of the stick’ when it comes to (allegedly) controversial issues in Heavy Metal. Is that a role that you enjoy to be the champion and defender of Metal against the clueless and feeble-minded who don’t get it? Do you catch much flack from bands (or labels, agents. PR people) you call a spade a spade and call out lame bands for being….well…lame?

DMU arose during a time when metal was the whipping boy for many social ills and scapegoated by politicians, teachers, academics and parents alike. It was important then, as it is now, to not allow the opposition to define the terms of debate, because their goal will always be to distract us from their misdeeds by finding something to blame. Heavy metal was a convenient target upon which to heap the suicides, violence, drug use, promiscuous sex and criminality rising in society during the 1980s, and now it is used as a political symbol by others. In addition, I have been active in anti-censorship and pro free speech activity since the mid-1980s, as I find this is always under threat. Generally, those who attack metal are worse than clueless and feeble-minded, although that may <em>also</em> be true; they are acting in bad faith. We all know heavy metal does not cause suicide and drug use, but looking into the actual causes of those problems will make politicians and other authority figures look bad so… blame heavy metal! To their credit, most label people and PR agents have been very cool about the fact that DMU hates just about everything. Our good reviews are worth more than those on some sites which shall remain unnamed — but you probably have some idea of who I am speaking — who try to write fawning “it will rip your head off!” type reviews for anything the bigger labels send them.

6. For the more knowledgeable fan there are a number of Death Metal sub-genres. Do you have a preference or do you try to avoid over-categorization?

I am generally agnostic on everything but music quality, which is both competent expression and having some form of content, emotional and otherwise, to express. If a band does this in any genre, I am interested and will write what I find. I separate this assessment from personal taste, which is what I enjoy surrounding myself with and in which I find personal resonance with the sound. Most of my tastes run to old school death metal from 1985-1993, selected black metal and some rare heavy metal standouts like early Iron Maiden and Mercyful Fate. I have no problem with detailed categorization, so long as people separate descriptive terms from genre terms. For example, “technical” is a modifier for any genre, but “tech-death” is a type of metalcore. I find it useless when people invent genres like “retro-gore pirate metal” to describe what is basically a speed metal band with some guy singing about ale and wenches rotting from within.

7. Has there ever been any discussion amongst the staff/writers and volunteers to expand the site to include more genres of Metal?

All of us seem to tacitly agree on genre-agnosticism. DMU covers mostly death metal, but also black metal, grindcore, punk, doom metal, speed metal, progressive rock and classical music. Where we find good stuff, we will write about it. If there is ever a top-notch metalcore record released, we will write on it. That being said, some genres are defined by having limited their musical palette by overuse of certain techniques or self-imposed limits on the compositional frameworks used, and it makes it unlikely they will rise above the background hum of mediocre rock acts with which we are all familiar.

8. This is a tough but fair question…why do you feel the ‘scene’ saturated with so many of the technical Death/core bands lately? Is it merely an annoying (but profitable) trend to try to be like Origin and all those guys? Are there any new, younger Death Metal bands that are catching your ear?

There are some great newer bands that have caught my ear, although I am not sure of the ages of the musicians. Blood Urn from Austria is a great act, as is Desecresy from Finland, and a death metal band named War Master from Texas. In addition, some bands have some musicians from the older era like Blaspherian and Imprecation, but the rest of their line-ups are younger people.

Undoubtedly the ‘scene’ is saturated with core, and I think it comes about for the following reasons. It is easy to produce, because it embraces an aesthetic of randomness (high contrast between riffs) which makes songwriting a lot easier than in death metal or even black metal; further, because so much of its material exists at the surface level, its infrastructure is conversely forced to be relatively simple. Your average core band is a variation and verse/chorus/turnaround with as much attention as possible spent on making the riffs outlandish to disguise how musically similar they are, and how little goes on musically — separate from aesthetics like rhythm, surface arrangements, technique, vocal timbre and production — despite all of the guitar fireworks. Metalcore, of which deathcore and tech-death are variants, is also strikingly popular because it requires nothing from the listener. Since the songs are random, all they have to do is follow along with the vocals which are used to unite these grab-bags of riffs into “songs.” Finally, metalcore challenges nothing. It is the musical equivalent of pizza rolls and this makes people feel like they are rebels for being “metal” even though the music they are playing is as safe as listening to disco in the 70s or grunge in the 90s.

9. Brutal or technical? …or is that too simplistic of a breakdown?

That is a hard breakdown for me to use. For example, two of the bands I enjoy greatly, Suffocation and Demilich, have elements of both. Some of the best bands use techniques when appropriate, and trying to go “all-brutal” or “all-technical” would produce the same kind of listener boredom. I spend a lot of my listening time on classical music, which tends to have many voices within the same piece: sentimental, mathematical, aggressive, pensive, melancholic, etc. Within my daily listening, Atheist and Cianide mix it up with Haydn and Bruckner interrupted by Kraftwerk and Lord Wind, followed by some Amebix and Cro-Mags. I am not random in my listening but focused on the ability of the band to express itself artistically and make an object of <em>art</em>, or in other words a sensual experience that changes the listener intellectually by showing them the world in a new light and through that, revealing the inner notions they have concealed from fear of social pressure. All art does this, even great novels and symphonies, and metal — which is not from the pop tradition — does the same. This is why metal is so aggressive about self-policing against poseurs/hipsters (etc.!): it wants to keep its artistic basis and not be assimilated by the pop trend, which is obviously more popular and lucrative because it appeals to a lowest common denominator. This is why I remain agnostic to type of music, but wherever I find good music, listen the hell out of it. I tend toward metal because I find it most honest and sustaining, but within metal, as long as it does not betray the fundamental idea of metal (like Deafheaven or Vattnet Viskar) any style will do.

10. What is it with the tobacco reviews? lol.

As a pipe smoker for many years, I recently branched out into different types of tobacco. I find the process of harvesting different strains of tobacco, curing them in different ways and then finely adjusting the mixes of the resulting different tobacco types to produce different flavors, strengths and scents to be fascinating. In addition, it seems that just as in metal and literature, and even computer science, the public relies on some comfortable fictions which help them stay unconcerned, but underneath the surface there is a more complex reality to be uncovered. Just like how, statistically, “most” people prefer metalcore and Big Macs to old school death metal and off-the-path barbecue, most pipe smokers burn unsatisfying pipe-weed and then try to convince themselves they like it. I notice things in music, literature, philosophy, computer science and now tobacco that others overlook, mainly because my method is both analytical and syncretic, and so the same method is applied as in the metal reviews. Maybe I will convert some pipe-men to death metal.

11. Aside from total global domination what is next on the overall agenda for DMU?

It would be premature of me to say too much, but our goal is to expand into longer writings, more book and movie reviews, more philosophical/analytical writing, and more lifestyle features like the tobacco reviews which fit into the milieu of the death metal fan. Any hidden or “occult” truths delight death metal fans, and they are perhaps the most open-minded group on earth in how they will consider even barely related areas along with their death metal. David is doing a great job taking the site to the next level, and I and other writings chip in when we can, so much of this will be in his vision and not mine.

Thank you for a great interview. Looking forward to reading more of your writing on Metal-Rules.com!

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CHRIS WYSE – Owl, Ace Frehley band, ex-The Cult

July 1st, 2015
by Marko Syrjala

Chris Wyse

CHRIS WYSE

INTERVIEW AND LIVE PHOTOS BY MARKO SYRJALA

Chris Wyse is an American bassist and singer, best known for his work with The Cult, Ozzy Osbourne, Jerry Cantrell and many others. Wyse joined The Cult permanently in 2006 and recorded three albums with the band. However, he left the band earlier this year. With Ozzy he recorded the album UNDER COVER (2005). In 2014, he played on Ace Frehley’s SPACE INVADER and he has been a member of Frehley’s band ever since. Wyse is also a singer and bassist in his own band called The Owl, a band he founded in 2007. The Owl is described as “approaching through the timeless rock structures healthy experimentation and instrumental intricacy”. The band released their debut album in 2009, followed by the album THE RIGHT THING in April 2013. Their third album, THINGS YOU CAN’T SEE, will be published in July 2015. I met a good-humored Chris in June in Stockholm and here’s what he had to tell about his new job in the Ace Frehley band, his split with The Cult, the future of Owl, and much more. Read on!

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Seattle Thrashers FALLEN ANGELS Want You To Remember The Atomic Chaos of WWII In ‘Nightmare’ Lyric Video + Offer Free Song Download

July 1st, 2015
by EvilG

New Album ‘World In Decay’ Produced By Michael Rosen Due Out August 4th


L- R – Steve Spitzbart – Drums, Bradzilla – Vocals, Erik Hanson – Guitars, Carl Larsson – Bass, Matt Be Roth – Guitars (Photo Credit – Aaron Meyers)

Seattle, WA thrashers FALLEN ANGELS want you to remember not to forget the nuclear chaos brought upon Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII in their new lyric video ‘Nightmare’, which demonstrates with historical visuals the aftermath caused by the Atomic bombs being dropped on those cities. To learn more about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, please visit the following link here.

To watch and listen to the video, please visit the following link: https://youtu.be/wBVs3sSVxyc 

‘Nightmare’ is also being offered as FREE download here and is one of eight tracks on the band’s upcoming third studio release ‘World In Decay’ produced by Grammy award winning metal producer/engineer Michael Rosen (Forbidden, Testament, Death Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam, Tesla, Vicious Rumors).  Read the rest of this entry »

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JEFF KOLLMAN checks in from the road with Sebastian Bach

June 28th, 2015
by EvilG

Guitarist Jeff Kollman (COSMOSQUAD, BOMBASTIC MEATBATS, GLENN HUGHES) is the latest addition to the SEBASTIAN BACH touring band which also features Kollman’s long-time musical companion Kevin Chown (BOMBASTIC MEATBATS, TARJA) on bass and Bobby Jarzombek (FATES WARNING, HALFORD, RIOT) on drums.  Kollman will be with Bach for the rest of his current U.S. run of dates which ends July 14 in Dallas, TX.

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