Interview with Bob Nalbandian, Director of Inside Metal

April 11th, 2017
by J P

Bob Nalbandian, Director of Inside Metal

Bob Nalbandian photo courtesy of

Bob Nalbandian photo courtesy of

Interviewed by JP

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Sonata Arctica + Thunderstone @ The Classic Grand, Glasgow

April 10th, 2017
by UK Team

Sonata Arctica + Thunderstone

@ The Classic Grand, Glasgow

24th March 2017

Review & photos by Oliver M.

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Sonata Arctica – Interview with Tony Kakko

April 10th, 2017
by UK Team

Sonata Arctica

Interview with vocalist Tony Kakko

24th March 2017 @ The Classic Grand, Glasgow

Interviewed by Oliver M.

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RUSH: ALBUM-BY-ALBUM by Martin Popoff

April 8th, 2017
by J P

Media Requests: Steve Roth | 612-344-8156 | 

An unparalleled look at Canada’s greatest rock band’s recorded output 


By Martin Popoff | May 1, 2017 

Formed in Toronto in 1968, the rock trio Rush has gone on to multiplatinum success behind the distinctive high register and virtuosic bass-playing of frontman Geddy Lee, the legendary drumming and lyric-writing of Neil Peart, and the guitar heroics of Alex Lifeson. Despite having just four chart-topping singles since the release of their debut LP in 1974, Rush has nonetheless sold more than 25 million albums in the U.S. and more than 40 million worldwide. Indeed, the Canadian trio may be the definition of an “album band,” and this new book from prolific rock journalist and acknowledged Rush authority Martin Popoff pays tribute to the band’s discography by moderating in-depth, frank, and entertaining conversations about all 20 of Rush’s studio albums. Inside, the author gathers 20 rock musicians, journalists and authors who offer insights, opinions, and anecdotes about every release.

The likes of musicians Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Winery Dogs), Rush historians and uber fans such as Eddy Maxwell (founder of RushCon) and Douglas Maher along with journalists and authors such as Jeff Wagner and Robert Telleria weigh in with Popoff and the views and opinions will enlighten all Rush fans. From the self-titled debut, Rush to the band’s most recent studio album Clockwork Angels, every album is covered in-depth. The conversations cover everything about every Rush album – music, lyrics, performances, cover artwork, critical and fan reception and so much more.

The thoughtful text is generously illustrated with carefully curated live and offstage photography and selected Rush memorabilia. In addition to a full discography, Popoff also includes loads of sidebars that provide complete track listings, details on album personnel, information on where and when the albums were recorded, and sidebar facts about the albums, their songs, and the band. Together, the conversations and visual presentation are a unique historical overview of this ground-breaking band.

About the Author 

At approximately 7,900 (with over 7,000 appearing in his books), Martin Popoff has unofficially written more record reviews than anybody in the history of music writing across all genres. Additionally, Martin has penned 57 books on hard rock, heavy metal, classic rock, and record collecting, including 2004’s Contents Under Pressure: 30 Years of Rush at Home and Away, Rush: The Illustrated History, and Rush: Album by Album. He was Editor In Chief of the now retired Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, Canada’s foremost heavy metal publication in print for 14 years, and has also contributed to Revolver, Guitar World, Goldmine, Record Collector,, and Martin has been a regular contractor to Banger Films, having worked on the award-wining documentary Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage, the 11-episode Metal Evolution, and the 10-episode Rock Icons, both for VH1 Classic. Martin currently resides in Toronto and can be reached through or

Book Specs 

ISBN: 9780760352205 | Hardcover, 192 pages | 75 color & 50 b/w photos | Published May 1, 2017

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Misconducters – Interview with guitarist/vocalist Denfire

April 8th, 2017
by EvilG

Misconducters – Interview with guitarist/vocalist Denfire


Interviewed by EvilG

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LEATHERWOLF release ‘Wolfman’ video

April 8th, 2017
by EvilG

Leatherwolf - Promo 2017Southern California’s long running Triple Axe Attack, LEATHERWOLF, have released the “Wolfman” video, including footage from the band’s celebrated 2015 Keep It True festival appearance in Lauda-Königshofen, Germany. The audio track was mixed by legendary producer/engineer Chris Tsangarides (JUDAS PRIEST, THIN LIZZY, ANVIL) at Ecology Room Studios in Kent, England and mastered by Tom Baker (JUDAS PRIEST, ALICE COOPER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD) at Baker Mastering in Calabasas, CA. The clip can be viewed on the band’s YouTube channel:

“Our bass player, Pat (Guyton), originally came up with the idea to do this video since we had a bunch of unused footage from Keep It True XVIII that just sat on the shelves so to speak”, states drummer Dean Roberts. “A few months ago, we hooked up with Chris (Tsangarides) and gave him a song to do a test mix. We were blown away by what he came back with – he’s just awesome! “Kill And Kill Again” off our debut album has always been a favorite of ours to play live so we got together with editor Michael Lyle and had him edit this cool “lupine” footage around the live visuals which makes for a pretty neat concept. I think the fans will get a kick out of it when they see it!”

In other news, LEATHERWOLF will be traveling to Europe later his summer to take part in the three-day 80’s metal extravanganza, Hair Metal Heaven, which is set to take place August 25-27 at Hull City Hall in Kingston-upon-Hull, England. Other bands on the bill include TNT, HOUSE OF LORDS, D-A-D, HARDLINE and DANGER DANGER. States vocalist/guitarist Michael Olivieri: “We are extremely excited to make our return to the UK after almost three decades. The last time we played Britain was opening up for VOW WOW back in 1989 in support of ‘Street Ready’. Great memories! We can’t wait to finally rock for our British fans again who’ve been asking about gigs for years. See you in August!”

Hair Metal Heaven will mark the European live debut of new addition, guitarist Joey Tafolla (JAG PANZER), who officially joined original LEATHERWOLF members, Michael Olivieri and Dean Roberts, guitarist Rob Math, and long-time bassist Patrick Guyton in January.


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Kreator with support act’s on Gods Of Violence European Tour 2017 – leg 1 – at Amager Bio Copenhagen, Denmark

April 8th, 2017
by Anders Sandvall


Gods Of Violence European Tour 2017: Leg 1

Sepultura – special guest
Soilwork – special guest
Aborted – support act

Amager Bio
Copenhagen, Denmark

Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall

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SYRUS – Al Berlanga

April 6th, 2017
by Robert Williams

Since the late seventies and throughout the eighties San Antonio has long since been a haven for classic heavy metal music. Enriched with such notable underground acts as S.A. Slayer, Byfist, Oblivion Knight and countless others the River City helped write the pages of Texas metal lore. You can count Syrus among the names of the band’s that defined the sound of eighties metal in San Antonio. Now reformed and stronger than ever Syrus has re-recorded a CD of their classic material with new vocalist Geoff Dee at the helm. We caught up with original guitarist and founder Al Berlanga who filled us in on the latest happenings of the band…

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BLACK STAR RIDERS Premiere New Video For “Dancing With The Wrong Girl”

April 6th, 2017
by Celtic Bob

U.S./Irish hard rockers BLACK STAR RIDERS released their hotly-anticipated third album Heavy Fire on the February 3rd via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Fresh off their extensive run of the UK and Ireland, the band return with a music video for new single, “Dancing With The Wrong Girl.”

Lead vocalist/guitarist Ricky Warwick explains about the track, “The greatest lie we can endure is from our own denial, sometimes two wrongs can make it alright.”

The video was filmed in East London’s neon-clad Gods Own Junkyard and was directed by Louis Catlett.

Heavy Fire is now available for purchase:
BLACK STAR RIDERS – Heavy Fire (NB Shop)
BLACK STAR RIDERS – Heavy Fire (iTunes)
BLACK STAR RIDERS – Heavy Fire (Apple Music)
BLACK STAR RIDERS – Heavy Fire (Amazon MP3)
BLACK STAR RIDERS – Heavy Fire (Google Play)

More from ‘Heavy Fire’:
‘Heavy Fire’:
‘Testify Or Say Goodbye’:
Trailer #1:
Trailer #2:
Trailer #3:
Trailer #4:
Trailer #5:
‘When The Night Comes In’ lyric video:

From the immediate riffs of album opener Heavy Fire to the instant hooks of first single “When The Night Comes In,” from the dirty bass groove of “Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed” to the familiar and trademark dual guitars of Gorham and Johnson on “Testify Or Say Goodbye,” Heavy Fire is an album that will further cement BSR¹s reputation as one of the world premiere rock acts.

For More Information:

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Primal Fear To Release ‘Angels of Mercy – Live in Germany’ CD/DVD & Blu-Ray

April 6th, 2017
by Celtic Bob

The German metal legends Primal Fear are returning with a vengeance on June 2, 2017 with a brand new live album/home video, entitled “Angels of Mercy – Live in Germany” on Frontiers Music Srl!
2016 was a very busy year for PRIMAL FEAR. Following the release of their latest killer studio album, “Rulebreaker” in January, the metal warriors embarked on a world tour which shattered all the previously held records for shows played in one year by the band.
“We started in Europe with 11 countries and recorded the concert in Stuttgart for the album and video, which is Primal Fear’s first Blu-Ray release. We continued in the USA and Canada, Japan and for the first time, Australia. Then we played some wonderful festivals in the summer, continued touring in 10 countries in South and Latin America and ended the year with more shows in Europe. It was a fantastic experience for the band and we want to thank every single fan who joined us on this great journey!” says bassist and co-founding member Mat Sinner.
Vocalist and co-founding member Ralf Scheepers adds: “With a handy cam in my suitcase, I have recorded on multiple occasions many behind the scenes shots and funny, candid moments. We recorded an entire show right at the beginning of this fantastic world tour and it gives you an insight to the Primal Fear live experience on stage. You will find a lot of bonus material such as video clips and different additional surprises, so we can easily say that we are very proud to deliver this package to you…please enjoy and do us a favor: CRANK IT UP!”
The last tour unleashed the best Primal Fear performances since the band formed in 1998 – a consistently great mix of power, ambition, and enthusiasm filtered through the talent of these insanely great players! There is undoubtedly magnificent performances on this release, with great sound and video quality. This live album offers a barrage of metal anthems in their full glory that will please any headbanger! If you are a metal fan you, then you must see this in all it’s power and glory!
The package will be released on CD/DVD and Blu Ray on June 2, 2017 with vinyl and a limited edition special box set in the works as well!

1. Countdown To Insanity
2. Final Embrace
3. In Metal We Trust
4. Angel In Black
5. Rulebreaker
6. Sign Of Fear
7. Seven Seals
8. Angels Of Mercy
9. The End Is Near
10. Rollercoaster
11. The Sky Is Burning
12. Nuclear Fire
13. When Death Comes Knocking
14. Metal Is Forever
15. Fighting The Darkness

1. Countdown To Insanity
2. Final Embrace
3. In Metal We Trust
4. Angel In Black
5. Rulebreaker
6. Sign Of Fear
7. Seven Seals
8. Let There Be Drums
9. Angels Of Mercy
10. The End Is Near
11. Rollercoaster
12. The Sky Is Burning
13. Nuclear Fire
14. When Death Comes Knocking
15. Metal Is Forever
16. Fighting The Darkness
17. Running In The Dust

Bonus features:
– The End Is Near (Videoclip)
– Angels Of Mercy (Videoclip)
– When Death Comes Knocking (Videoclip)
– King For A Day (Videoclip)
– Strike (Videoclip)
– Chainbreaker (Live At Master Of Rocks)
– Rulebreaker World Tour 2016 (documentary)

Ralf Scheepers – Vocals
Mat Sinner – Bass
Tom Naumann – Guitars
Alex Beyrodt – Guitars
Francesco Jovino – Drums

Produced by Mat Sinner

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CROMONIC  – Interview with vocalist Pasi Humppi (ex-Freternia)

April 5th, 2017
by EvilG

CROMONIC  – Vocalist Pasi Humppi (ex-Freternia)

Interviewed by EvilG

Pasi Humppi is a name I remember well and fondly from his time with the Swedish power metal band Freternia. When I was contacted by Pasi, and given the chance to hear the new CROMONIC, I was excited because to me this new band carries on a lot of the feeling and style from Freternia. Like Freternia, Cromonic are also a Borås, Sweden-based heavy/power-metal band. Cromonic formed with the current lineup in 2013 and consists of five members. With their debut album ”Time” coming out this week, now is a good time to talk about all things Cromonic, and of course, to fill in some of the gaps regarding Freternia.

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Crowbar + Dripback + Gods @ The Dome, London

April 4th, 2017
by UK Team

Crowbar + Dripback + Gods

@ The Dome, London

March 20, 2017

Review by The Hun

Photography by Adrienn Pucher

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Interview with David Gehlke, author of Damn The Machine

April 2nd, 2017
by J P

Interview with David Gehlke, author of Damn The Machine

by JP

What first inspired you to write a book about the history of Noise Records?  Why not other early 80’s labels such as Megaforce or say Metal Blade?

David: Noise, along with Combat, Megaforce and Metal Blade, was one of the most influential labels of the ‘80s. Noise’s owner Karl-Ulrich Walterbach was able to unearth a tremendous array of undiscovered talent and a lot of his key signings are still around today and bigger than they were while on Noise. Aside from that, a lot of the bands who were on Noise were very vocal about their not-so-pleasant dealings with Karl and the label, most notably Celtic Frost and Helloween. That made me want to dive into the inner-workings of the label and find out what made Karl tick, as well as get his side of the story. Karl also has quite the back-story of his own; he spent a good part of the ‘70s squatting in Berlin, eventually becoming one of the first people to run a punk rock record company in Germany. If Karl didn’t get into punk, he probably doesn’t get into metal. This created the near-perfect sequence of events to build a book.

Noise staff in the mid 80’s.

Tell us a bit of your writing routine.  How long did it take from start to finish?

David:  The book took two-and-a-half years to write. Karl and I spoke nearly every Sunday during that time, where I’d present him with a topic and he’d share his experiences. Karl is a tremendous storyteller with an excellent memory, so that made my job really easy. Of course, transcribing my interviews with Karl as well as the Noise bands was time-consuming, but that’s part of the gig. Because the book involved so many bands and personalities, it was not written sequentially. I think I finished some of the book’s later chapters before some of the ones on Karl’s early days and even Celtic Frost. Therefore, you could say it was like piecing together a huge puzzle. A 504-page puzzle.

 Is this your first book?  

David: Yes, this is my first book! I’ve been writing for various metal magazines and ‘zines over the years, so it seemed like a good time to put a book together. I picked a difficult, somewhat controversial topic to start with, though. As clichéd as it sounds, this was a tremendous learning experience. I learned so much along the way. If I’m lucky enough to do another book, surely those lessons will be applied. I hope.

 Was it difficult to secure a publishing deal?
David: In North America, yes, absolutely. I was told the book was too niche, which I agree with. That led me to create my own publishing company, Deliberation Press. Thankfully, the world of self-publishing has grown to the point where it’s easy to do as long as you’re willing to front the money and handle the coordination of the book’s inner-design and promotion yourself. I was lucky enough to land a deal for both Germany and the U.K. with Iron Pages, who have been a tremendous supporter of the book.

What was the biggest challenge in writing Damn The Machine? Conversely, what were some of the highlights for you? 

David: The biggest challenge was piecing together the story of a label that in its first incarnation, was around for 24 years and had signed hundreds of bands. Since Noise had so many bands, determining a cut-off point on who to cover was essential. That led to some bands being left out who were deserving of space, like Scanner and Vendetta. Devoting entire chapters to some of Noise’s larger bands like Celtic Frost, Helloween and Kreator was easy, but trying to accommodate the behind-the-scenes business aspect of the label was difficult at times.

Perhaps the second biggest challenge was getting the bands to talk. A lot of hard feelings still exist between Noise’s legacy roster and the label, so actually convincing certain bands that this was a neutral project was a tough go at times. Luckily, I was able to get just about everyone who was needed for the book and in just about every case, the bands were candid and honest about their time with Noise.

Highlights…there were many. Just getting to know Karl-Ulrich Walterbach for starters. Karl had been out of the spotlight since selling Noise in 2001, but since reemerged as a band manager around 2010. Working with the gentleman responsible for so much of European metal was a true honor. Karl is a one-of-a-kind personality and I am grateful he allowed me to write the book on the label he created and presided over. And, let’s not leave out talking to all of the great bands, like Celtic Frost, Coroner, Gamma Ray, Grave Digger, Helloween, Kreator, Running Wild, etc.

Why do you think it has taken so long for someone to document this story? 

David: That’s a good question. It may have more to do with Karl’s lack of visibility over the years than anything. He’s certainly a known quantity in the metal scene, but for whatever reason, no one had thought of telling his story, let alone Noise’s. We’re due for books on some of metal’s legendary record companies. There’s already one on Neat Records, written by John Tucker, who served as the editor for the Noise book. But, Century Media, Combat, Earache, Metal Blade, Nuclear Blast and Roadrunner all are deserving of their own book. Granted, some of those labels don’t quite have the adversarial angle Noise has, but they’d be good stories nonetheless.


Were there any Noise artists you contacted who declined to comment or participate, or alternatively, any you just could not find?

David: In the “could not find” department was members of Dark Avenger, who appeared on the Death Metal compilation. Even with the help of the Internet, I could not track any of them down. Same goes for members of S.A.D.O. and V2, two of the label’s more rock-oriented bands. Only two people outright turned me down for participation: Rod Smallwood, who, obviously is Iron Maiden’s manager, but also started to manage Helloween while they were on Noise. I was told Rod does not do any non-Iron Maiden-related press, which is understandable. The other was Tairrie B., who used to front Manhole and Tura Satana. Tairrie didn’t feel right participating in a book that included Karl-Ulrich Walterbach, which was a bummer, but again, I respect her wishes. Outside of those two, all of the key players participated. I got extremely lucky!

Was Karl Walterbach a bit skeptical to have an American write the story of a German label?

David: Of course. Plus, Karl didn’t know me from the next guy on the street when I initially approached him in 2013. Karl turned me down several times, so after putting together a proposal on how the book was to be created, he agreed. He wanted to be sure he had a proper platform to tell his side of the story and I wanted to ensure all of his bands were represented. Once we agreed on that, we got started in March 2014. But to your point, I’m 34 and American. I wasn’t around during Noise’s heyday, so some people outside of Karl were skeptical of me writing a book about a German label that had mostly German bands. I’d done quite a bit of homework on the label and its bands, so hopefully the book shows I know what I’m talking about…fingers crossed there!


Were there any big surprises or revelations that shocked you?

David: What surprised and/or shocked me the most was how the 1990 Helloween/EMI court case killed Karl’s passion for the music industry. Up until that point, he loved running the label. He loved signing bands and watching them develop. Once he got bogged down with a never-ending parade of lawyers and legalities, he started to hate everything the music industry represented. He saw himself as the little guy going after the big guys, which was the major labels of the time. He and Modern Music (Noise’s parent company) were ultimately successful in the court case, but the damage was done. It sapped Karl of his passion for running the label and that’s when Noise’s gradual descent began.


As a fan, how much of the Noise catalogue do you own?

David: [Turns around and looks at his CD collection] I have probably anywhere from 50-75 Noise releases, perhaps more. I have all of the major/key releases and have started working on tracking down some of the label’s lesser-known albums. They’re a bit hard to find and pricy, though.


What in your estimation is the rarest Noise release? 

David: Some of the label’s very early releases like Ballantinez or S.A.D.O. are really tough to track down. It’s unknown how many copies Noise pressed of each release, but since they were bands that had a very limited amount of success, it’s unlikely they made it to their second pressing. Even you, Josh, asking about the cassette version of Tankard’s Alien EP makes it pretty rare. Not even their manager, Buffo, knows if it exists!


How long did it take to complete the Noise discography? 

David: Months. I was provided a print-out of the last documented Noise Records discography from around 2000. I mean, it was literally the exact print-out the label used for keeping track of their releases. So I took that and typed it up, but there were tons of gaps. My German publisher Matthias Mader of Iron Pages requested I fill in the blanks, so that took quite a bit of time. Even looking at it now, there are still some gaps. Hopefully no true hardcore collector reams me out for not having the exact, final discography.

 What has reception been for Damn The Machine been like? 

David: So far it has been positive, although we’re still pretty early into the process. Once people have read the entire book, I’ll be curious to hear what they think. As a first-time author, there’s certainly a bit of anxiousness in getting the opinion of others. But, it’s nice to find people are interested in the book. Karl and Noise certainly left a lasting impression.

Do you have any plans to write another Metal released book?  If yes, can we have a hint to the topic? 

David: Absolutely. It will be about a band; I don’t know if I could handle doing a book about another record company ha-ha. Some hints: It will either be a Swedish or German band 😉



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Wacken Metal Battle USA Boston Round 3 Winner – UPHEAVAL

April 2nd, 2017
by EvilG

One Champion To Play At Wacken Open Air
One band, one champion, thousands of metalheads! 

Wacken Metal Battle In America For The First Time! 

Wacken Metal Battle USA is proud to announce Boston round 3 winner UPHEAVALThe band will now join previous round 1 and 2 winners COFFIN BIRTH and GOBLET at the city final being held on April 19th at ONCE Somerville. Boston round 3 was held on Tuesday, March 29th at ONCE Somerville along with other competing bands Lung LeatherBirnam WoodConcilium. The winners of the Boston final will join Philadelphia round winners POWER THEORY and COPRSE HOARDER at the national final (city and date to be determined).

For over a decade at the world’s largest outdoor metal festival Wacken Open Air, independent metal bands from around the globe have been performing in front of thousands and competing against one another for one to be crowned champion of the world along with winning multiple prizes (prizes info). For the first time ever, Wacken Metal Battle USA is coming to America for its inaugural year and will be hosting qualifying rounds in various cities. The national champion of those battles will perform at the 2017 festival taking place from August 3rd – 5th. Please watch the following video trailer to see all the metal fun!

Boston, MA

Final – Wednesday, April 19 @ Once Somerville (156 Highland Ave, Somerville, Massachusetts)
Event Link:
Round 1 Winner – Coffin Birth –
Round 2 Winner – Goblet –
Round 3 Winner – Upheaval –
+ Wild Card Band To Be Determined

National Final (city and date to be determined):
Power Theory (Philadelphia Winner) –
Corpse Hoarder (Philadelphia Winner) –

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Hammerfall with support acts on Built To Tour 2017 – European leg 1 – Amager Bio Copenhagen, Denmark

April 2nd, 2017
by Anders Sandvall


Built To Tour 2017 – European leg 1 –
Gloryhammer – special guest
Lancer – support act

Amager Bio, Copenhagen, Denmark
8/2 – 2017

Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall

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