The Abstract Reality tour with Co-headliners Animals as Leaders and the Devin Townsend Project stopped at the Gateway in Calgary, Alta., on November 22, 2014. It was a technically skilled line up with a variety of genres. Support for this tour was Monuments from Washington DC. The show was sold out and a bigger venue could probably have been chosen – there were many people looking for tickets and still trying to score some tickets from anyone they could up to the day of the show.
Monuments started at 8pm sharp. Having played in Calgary previously they developed a solid fan base here. The venue was almost full at this point and crowded up at the barrier. A few songs into the set, vocalist Chris Barretto jumped up on the barrier, balancing quite well while singing into the crowd. Throughout their set he was leaping up on the barrier and even strolling back and forth across the narrow surface with some minor help from fans. The setlist was energetic and the musicianship versatile and engaged. The crowd on this night enjoyed the short performance.
Animals As Leaders had the audience enthralled with their technical musicianship. A stillness settled in as the band stoically delivered their completely instrumental songs and everyone watched and listened, taking in the tight delivery. The LED screens were put to use at this point playing psychedelic like images. Guitarist Tosin Abasi – who held a guitar clinic at Noctis 666 the last time he was in Calgary – played his complex riffs and solos with ease, and often with his eyes closed seemingly lost in the music.
The Devin Townsend Project played at the Gateway in 2011 and that was an amazing and intimate experience. This time there was a the barrier erected between the band and fans and there was a new stage that was raised just barely more than a foot above the ground making the show a little less intimate and harder to view. Luckily Townsend had his own riser on stage where he spent most of the set. The rest of the band was difficult to see though drummer Ryan Van Poederooyen would stand up and salute the crowd with his sticks. Newest addition Mike St-Jean on keys/synths was somewhat hidden behind cabinets. The band was mostly backlit as the lights in front of the stage were turned off for DTP’s set. It’s always fun to watch Townsend interact with the crowd and his quips and random stories are always hilarious – to quote from the Calgary show “I hate potato pancakes. Fuck you mom.”
The set started off with “Regulator” off of Ocean Machine [HevyDevy, 1997] then went through a selection of songs off of Z2 [HevyDevy, 2014]. The Ziltoid themed songs, like “Ziltodian Empire” and “March of the Poozers”, had Townsend asking the crowd to “show me your Ziltoids!”. Off of the Sky Blue side of the album “Rejoice”, “Midnight Sun” and “A New Reign” were included. “Bad Devil” was a surprise but one that had the crowd dancing, especially one gentlemen that Townsend spotted side stage near the sound board, who had some excellent and enthusiastic dance moves. A single song encore of “Death Ray” ended the night and afterwards Townsend came right up to the crowd to shake hands, bump fists and say a quick hello to the fans.
Irish Rockers THE ANSWER will release their new album Raise a Little Hell this March in North America via Napalm Records. This is the follow up to their critically acclaimed 2013 release New Horizon. The album is set for release on the following days:
The artwork by Sebastian Jerke and final track listing has now been revealed. The record was produced by Guillermo ‘Will’ Maya and mixed by Chris Sheldon.
Cormac Neeson from the band commented:
“We’re delighted to announce the track listing and artwork for our new album Raise A Little Hell. This is a special record that reflects a return to the hard ass blues rock ‘n’ roll we hold so dear. Our good friends at Napalm have created some great formats for you guys to enjoy including colored double vinyl, a special digi pak with a live recording of our recent ‘Road Less Travelled’ tour, another digi pak with an extra bonus CD containing 6 exclusive bonus tracks plus all sorts of other great stuff. It’s an impressive package with some equally impressive artwork from Sebastian Jerke. Most importantly; this album truly showcases who we are and the best of THE ANSWER in full flow. We can’t wait for you all to hear it!”
Raise A Little Hell -Track Listing:
1. Long Live the Renegades
2. The Other Side
4. Cigarettes & Regret
5. Last Days of Summer
6. Strange Kinda’ Nothing
7. I Am What I Am
9. Gone Too Long
11. I Am Cured
12. Raise A Little Hell
THE ANSWER – 2015 RAISE A LITTLE HELL TOUR:
06.03.15 IRL Belfast / Limelight
07.03.15 IRL Dublin / Whelans
09.03.15 UK Manchester / Academy 3
10.03.15 UK Leeds / The Key Club
11.03.15 UK York / Fibbers
12.03.15 SCO Aberdeen / The Lemon Tree
13.03.15 SCO Glasgow / The Garage
14.03.15 UK Newcastle / Riverside
16.03.15 UK Grimsby / Yardbirds
17.03.15 UK Liverpool / Arts Club
18.03.15 UK Nottingham / Rescue Rooms
20.03.15 UK Birmingham / Institute
21.03.15 UK Sheffield / The Corporation
23.03.15 UK Norwich / Waterfront
24.03.15 UK Bristol / Motion
25.03.15 UK Brighton / Concorde 2
26.03.15 UK London / O2 Islington Academy
27.03.15 UK Exeter / Lemon Grove
28.03.15 UK Southampton / 1865
09.04.15 FR Paris / Le Divan Du Monde
10.4.15 NL Leiden / Gebr De Nobel
11.4.15 NL Zwolle / Hedon
14.04.15 DE Berlin / Magnet
15.04.15 DE Hannover / Faust
16.04.15 DE Hamburg / Knust
17.04.15 DE Weinheim / Café Central
18.04.15 DE Köln / Luxor
20.04.15 DE Wiesbaden / Kesselhaus
21.4.15 CH Zurich / Rote Fabrik
22.4.15 CH Soloturn / Kogmehl Raumbar
24.4.15 IT Milan / Legend Club
25.4.15 IT Pinarella Di Cervia / Rock Planet
26.04.15 DE München / Strom
27.5.15 AT Vienna / Chelsea
12.6.15 CH Greenfield Festival
13.6.15 AT Nova Rock Festival
20.6.15 FR Hellfest Festival
30.7.15 DE Wacken Festival
MADE OF METAL – A CASUAL GUIDE TO THE SOLO MUSIC OF JUDAS PRIEST’S ROB HALFORD
Rob Halford is a heavy metal icon and his influence on the genre is immeasurable. Bands such as Anthrax, Pantera, Slayer and Metallica have cited Rob Halford and Judas Priest as a major inspiration on their own music. This book isn’t about Judas Priest as such, though it inevitably touches on the subject, but rather Halford’s varied solo music.
Made Of Metal explores the solo music of one of the greatest singers of all time. From Halford’s first post-Judas Priest project Fight through to his controversial collaboration with Trent Reznor with the album Voyeurs right up to his metal rebirth with his self-titled band, Halford, this handy guide celebrates Halford’s creativity and love of all things heavy metal.
From the author of the acclaimed The Story Of Judas Priest – Defenders Of The Faith, Rock Landmarks – Judas Priest’s British Steel and Dawn Of The Metal Gods – My Life In Judas Priest And Heavy Metal (with Al Atkins), Made Of Metal is the first book to exclusively explore the solo music of the Metal God himself, Mr. Rob Halford. Made Of Metal celebrates Halford’s musical legacy and offers titbits of information and trivia about his career as well as a biography, discographies, a timeline, reviews and tributes from leading musicians and music writers. There are also many previously unpublished live photographs of the heavy metal icon. Read the rest of this entry »
Citizens can rest safely (for the time being) as your Lords and Masters GWAR have completed their trek of destruction across North America, the “GWAR Eternal Tour.” 52 shows of utter devastation saw new lead singer Lord Blóthar assuming vocal duties alongside his Scumdog Brothers, and futuristic sister Vulvatron, as they scoured the universe looking for their lost leader Oderus Urungus. In the end, the tour gave fans, and the band themselves, a chance to mourn, celebrate, and honor Oderus Urungus, the greatest rock and roll singer to ever walk the face of Planet Earth.
Yes, Oderus is gone, but GWAR lives! Reviews of the tour were nothing short of spectacular with plenty of packed houses and sold out shows. Devastation was on the menu in New York,Denver,Dallas,Los Angeles, Toronto, Columbus, Seattle, Philadelphia, and San Francisco just to name a few cities…
What does 2015 hold in store for GWAR? Stay tuned, as the band gets ready to celebrate 30 Years of GWAR! #Hail Oderus! #Hail Flattus! #Hail GWAR!
Finally, the band’s irascible lead guitarist Pustulus Maximus offered these words of thanks to GWAR fans everywhere…
“We are humbled by the fact that you are still willing to lay down your lives for GWAR. We have the utmost appreciation for the fans who supported us on this recent journey and are eternally grateful. You are the reason we continue.”
The Black Flames Of Blasphemy festival held in the darkest period of the year, has excellent timing and is a way to unleash the most barbaric and nihilistic black/death metal bands sent to spread the blasphemous hymns. The Nosturi club was totally packed when both the nights were totally sold-out. It was overwhelming to witness a large legion of foreign extreme metal worshippers. The line-up was beyond expectation, and the organizers of the festival have topped themselves again. Here is the brief article of the black/death metal madness…
Revolution Saints, the band comprised of three icons of rock music, have just launched a pre-order for their upcoming self-titled debut album. Revolution Saints is slated for release on February 24th via Frontiers Music SRL. The band has launched a pre-order via PledgeMusic containing various exclusive merchandise items including posters, signed items, clothing apparel and even drink koozies. Fans can go to http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/revolutionsaints to place their order.
Revolution Saints is easily one of the most-anticipated new projects of 2015. The band features guitars by Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake), bass and co-lead vocals by Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankees, Shaw/Blades) and drums and lead vocals by Deen Castronovo (Journey, Bad English). Last week the band released the video for the song “Turn Back Time” which has been viewed almost 40,000 times. The video was directed by Devin DeHaven known for his work with Rick Ross, Whitesnake, Kiss and R. Kelly. The video can be seen here: http://youtu.be/KeZKAVUyKQc.
From the opening notes of “Back On My Trail” to the piano outro on the album-closer “In The Name Of The Father (Fernando’s Song),” it is clear Revolution Saints is a musical force to be reckoned with. Songs “Locked Out Of Paradise,” “Dream On” and “Here Forever” showcase the diversity that permeates throughout the entire album. Deen’s band mates from Journey also make an appearance on the album with guitarist Neal Schon showing up on “Way To The Sun” and vocalist Arnel Pineda singing on “You’re Not Alone.” The album’s 80’s vibe is reminiscent of some of the biggest hard rock tracks of the day, but with a modern feel, backed by top-level musicianship. The album is available for pre-order at Amazon in standard CD at http://geni.us/RevSaintsAMZReg and deluxe edition with bonus DVD at http://geni.us/RevSaintsAMZDlx. Fans who order the album digitally via iTunes at http://geni.us/RevSaintsiTunes will receive an automatic download of “Turn Back Time.”
Revolution Saints have released an EPK discussing the new project that can be seen here: http://youtu.be/xOKjuLhUkKs.
Alessandro Del Vecchio produced the album.
The track listing for Revolution Saints is:
1. Back On My Trail
2. Turn Back Time
3. You’re Not Alone (Feat. Arnel Pineda)
4. Locked Out Of Paradise
5. Way To The Sun (Feat. Neal Schon)
6. Dream On
7. Don’t Walk Away
8. Here Forever
9. Strangers To This Life
10. Better World
11. How To Mend A Broken Heart
12. In The Name Of The Father (Fernando’s Song)
What better way for the members of Anthrax to celebrate their sixth Grammy nomination than to toast it with a glass of their own brand of bourbon, “Indians.”
Anthrax has aligned with Jefferson’s Bourbon, the Kentucky-based company that produces special, limited edition “small batch” whiskeys by blending a variety of aged bourbons and rye whiskeys. Anthrax’s “Indians,” a single barrel bourbon, was personally chosen by the band and will taste like no other due to its particular blend and the barrel it was aged in.
“We’ve been wanting to come up with a special item like this, something that was unusual, one-of-a-kind, not a t-shirt or hoodie or poster,” said the band’s Frank Bello “and ‘Indians’ was perfect.”
Anthrax’s “Indians” bourbon is now available exclusively through Atlantic City Bottle Company – http://acbottlecompany.com/ . “Indians” will be priced at $75 per bottle (in-store pick up) and $100 (shipped to an address) and will come with a signed piece of the stave of the barrel that the bourbon was aged in.
Anthrax – Bello, Charlie Benante, Scott Ian, and Joey Belladonna – lifted their “Indians”-filled shot glasses last Friday when they found out that “Neon Knights,” the band’s cover of the Black Sabbath song (from Sabbath’s 1980 release, “Heaven and Hell”) recorded for the “Ronnie James Dio – This is Your Life” tribute album got the nod in the Grammy Awards Best Metal Performance category.
“It’s been an honor everytime we’ve been nominated,” said Anthrax’s Benante, “but this one is particularly special. To have been asked to contribute ‘Neon Knights’ to Ronnie’s tribute album was an honor on its own; to have it nominated for a Grammy is just beyond the best.”
Anthrax has just gone into the studio to begin recording their next album, the follow up to 2011’s critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated Worship Music.
Anthrax’s Grammy nominations include:
1991 – “Persistence of Time”
1992 – “Attack of the Killer Bs”
1995 – “Bring the Noise” (live, Anthrax and Public Enemy)
2012 – “I’m Alive”
2014 – “T.N.T.”
2015 – “Neon Knights”
Interviewed on November 30, 2014 at the Death to All show in New York City
Renowned metal bassist Steve DiGiorgio is one of the very best in the genre. Currently a member of Testament, Steve also had stints in Death and Sadus and is currently on tour with Death To All. At the New York City Death to All show I was lucky enough to interview him and ask a few questions about Chuck Schuldiner, Death To All, and the differences between the bands Steve has played in.
Finland’s favorite folk metal collective and recent Metal Blade signees, ENSIFERUM, will unleash their sixth studio album this Winter. Titled One Man Army, the predominantly analog-recorded offering was tracked between September and November of this year with award-winning producer Anssi Kippo (Children Of Bodom, Impaled Nazarene, Entwine etc.) at Astia-Studios in Lappeenranta, Finland.
Elaborates ENSIFERUM bassist/vocalist Sammi Hinkka of the sessions, “The recording process was long, hard, rewarding and full of incredible moments. Instruments were actually played and left as they were instead of creating tracks from hundreds of different takes, moving them to the grid and modifying things. Of course computers were used but overall we made everything as analog as possible. Listeners can experience a better sound and natural groove, something that we think most metal albums lack these days. Overall, the album sounds much more like a band playing live rather than ‘midi-metal.'”
Commended by Outburn for songs that are consistently “epic” in scope with a “reliance on catchy melodies,” ENSIFERUM‘s One Man Army serves as the follow-up to 2012’s lauded Unsung Heroesfull-length and boasts the stunningly detailed, mythological cover craftings of renowned illustrator, Gyula Havancsak (Annihilator, Tyr, Elvenking, Stratovarius etc.).
How Rolling Stone developed their
list called ’20 Best Metal Albums of 2014’
Recently word hit the street that Rolling Stone Magazine was going to develop a Metal List. We here at www.metal-rules.com knew this would be an incredible innovative and ground-breaking media event so we sent a spy into the Rolling Stone boardroom. Our agent of steel, took a few pictures and wired up a microphone to eavesdrop on their editorial meeting about the Metal List. What you are about to read are exact, unaltered, unedited, honest-and-for-true transcripts of those conversations. Really.
BATTLE BEAST Release “Madness” Video Clip & Digital Single
BATTLE BEAST will release their third record Unholy Savior on January 09 (EU), January 12 (UK) and January 13 (US) 2015 via Nuclear Blast. The band recently shot a video clip for the glorious new hymn “Madness”, along with producer Ville Lipiainen (NIGHTWISH, HYPOCRISY and more) and some beautiful special guests. Watch the sexy result here:
The long ships will return to North America once again when Norwegian-progressive-extreme-metal-Vikings, ENSLAVED, embark on their headlining tour this upcoming March! “Some days are greater than others,” commented guitarist Ivar Bjørnson. “Announcing the release of our new album In Times at the same time as a North American tour, both in early March 2015, makes for one hell of an event horizon. We’ve had such great tours in the US and Canada the last years; we simply cannot wait to come back! Ah, this can’t get much better. Hey, wait – masters YOB has accepted our invitation to be special guests, and ECSTATIC VISION is supporting. Now, there’s an amazing package for you (that’s what she said)!”
Former EVILE lead guitarist OL DRAKE is currently mixing his debut solo album with producer and former DEATH/OBITUARY/TESTAMENT guitarist JAMES MURPHY.
The six-string shredder has been working on his first album of extreme instrumental music, which was recorded in the guitarist’s home studio and is due to be released in 2015 under the title ‘Old Rake’.
OL DRAKE comments:
“Finally, I can reveal the artwork I’ve had for the 14 months I’ve spent finding my feet, laughing at the artwork, writing and recording this album. Fans took to calling me ‘Old Rake’ instead of ‘Ol Drake’ and it kind of stuck, so I thought I’d honour their hugely creative moving of one letter by calling this solo debut ‘Old Rake’ by ‘Ol Drake’ and creating a logo (by Chris Gunnz) for the ‘Ol Drake’ album saying ‘Old Rake'; confusing, no? Thought not.
“I’m honoured to have the great James Murphy mixing the album. Since I was a teenager I’ve been a fan of James’ playing in Testament, Obituary and Death, so having worked with him on this has had the 16-year old in me shouting strange noises at me in my head. You shan’t be disappointed! Especially if you’re a guitarist.
“The album was produced by myself and James. It has been recorded in my home studio, ‘StudiOliveR’ in Huddersbottom (I moved from Huddersfield to Ramsbottom in Bury amidst recording it) and it is now in the capable hands of Mr. James Murphy; he’s currently mixing it to shred-y perfection.
“In the album art, I wanted to show me raking lots of people up with a rake, because that seemed to make sense at the time. It doesn’t now but it’s still funny. I didn’t want a stock picture of me holding a guitar as if to say ‘Hey guys, I’m here holding a guitar and this is my album’. I hope you enjoy it, and your support on its release will be hugely appreciated.”
Listen to a demo version of one of the tracks due to be featured on the album, “Spaceship Janitor”: