It was with heavy hearts that Twisted Sister said goodbye to their drummer A.J. Pero, who passed away on March 20.
Today, Twisted Sister members Dee Snider (vocals), Jay Jay French (guitar), Eddie Ojeda (guitar), and Mark “The Animal” Mendoza (bass), have announced that world renowned drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob, Winery Dogs) is the replacement for their brother A.J. Pero for all shows this year.
To honor Pero’s memory, two shows will take place on the east coast and west coast. The first, on May 30th at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, will be filmed for broadcast, DVD, and CD. The second, for the A.J. Pero family, is scheduled on Saturday, June 13 at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ.
Additionally, fulfilling all concert obligations that have been made for the remainder of 2015 (in several different countries), Twisted Sister want their fans to know all festival dates that they have been advertised as playing will happen.
Finally, Twisted Sister has made it official that 2016 will formally close the touring chapter of their illustrious and legendary career. The “Forty and F*ck It” farewell shows celebrates the band’s 40th anniversary with the core line-up of Snider, French, Ojeda and Mendoza.
Interviewed on March 21 2015 @ O2 Islington, London by Demitri Levantis
Finland’s folk metal force Ensiferum dropped by London’s O2 Islington Academy on Tuesday 24 March to promote their sixth album, One Man Army. I caught up with their vocalist/ guitarist Petri Lindroos to discuss the album, upcoming shows, touring and the state of the metal world and the music industry today.
Faith No More, who release their highly anticipated album Sol Invictus on May 19, return to North America for a late summer tour, kicking off on July 26 in Austin.
The announcement arrives as the band is about to embark on their first North American outing since 2010, with all dates sold out along the three-week trek that starts April 15 in Vancouver. Faith No More will play The Tonight Show on May 13, marking the Bay Area band’s first late night TV performance since 1995.
July 26 Austin, TX Austin Music Hall
July 27 Dallas, TX South Side Ballroom
July 28 Houston, TX Bayou Music Center
July 30 Atlanta, GA Masquerade Music Park
July 31 Raleigh, NC Red Hat Amphitheater
August 1 Philadelphia, PA Mann Center for the Performing Arts
August 2 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion
August 4 Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
August 5 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
August 7 Toronto, ON Ricoh Coliseum
Refused support July 30 to August 7. Tickets are on-sale this Friday, April 10 at 10 am local time.
Complete Faith No More tour dates:
April 15 Vancouver, BC PNE Forum #
April 16 Seattle, WA Paramount Theater #
April 17 Portland, OR Keller Auditorium #
April 19 San Francisco, CA Warfield ##
April 20 San Francisco, CA Warfield ###
April 22 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern *
April 23 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern **
April 24 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern * * *
April 25 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
May 7 Chicago, IL Concord Music Hall +
May 8 Detroit, MI The Fillmore +
May 9 Toronto, ON Sony Centre for the Performing Arts +
May 11 Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre +
May 13 New York, NY Webster Hall +
May 14 New York, NY Webster Hall +
May 15 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory +
May 29 Gelsenkirchen, Germany Rock Im Revier
May 31 Munich, Germany Rockavaria Festival
June 2 Milan, Italy Sonisphere
June 4 Vienna, Austria Vienna Rocks Festival
June 5 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic Rock For People Festival
June 6 Berlin, Germany Zitadelle Spandau
June 8 Krakow, Poland Tauron Arena
June 10 Bratislava, Slovakia Aegon Arena
June 12 Landgraaf, Netherlands Pinkpop Festival
June 13 Donington, UK Download Festival
June 20 Clisson, France Hellfest
June 21 Dessel, Belgium Graspop Festival
June 23 Hamburg, Germany Sporthalle Hamburg
June 26 Norrkoping, Sweden Bravalla Festival
June 27 Seinajoki, Finland Provinssi
June 28 Odense, Denmark Tinderbox
July 26 Austin, TX Austin Music Hall
July 27 Dallas, TX South Side Ballroom
July 28 Houston, TX Bayou Music Center
July 30 Atlanta, GA Masquerade Music Park ++
July 31 Raleigh, NC Red Hat Amphitheater ++
August 1 Philadelphia, PA Mann Center for the Performing Arts ++
August 2 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion ++
August 4 Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank Pavilion ++
August 5 New York, NY Madison Square Garden ++
August 7 Toronto, ON Ricoh Coliseum ++
August 7 – 9 Montreal, QC Heavy Montreal
Sept. 25 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Rock in Rio
North American support:
# – Christeene
## – La Plebe
### – Frightwig
** – The Urinals
*** – Flatbush
+ – Le Butcherettes
++ – Refused
REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY ARTO LEHTINEN AND MARKO SYRJALA
Corrosion Of Conformity known as C.O.C got activated a few years back as a three piece and released one album. However the outfit has outspoken admitted keeping the doors open for Pepper Keenan’s return to C.O.C. Due to the insane schedule of Down, the return had to be waited until now. C.O.C embarked on the European tour with Pepper on the ship. Originally C.O.C with Pepper Keenan on the fold was supposed to open for Motorhead back in 2006, but the devastating hurricane Katrine rampaged the life of the C.O.C guys. However it took some years until C.O.C got to Finland with Pepper as the last time they supported Metallica in the mid 90’s.
Despite the club wasn’t even sold out, which is truly pity, that didn’t prevent C.O.C from creating the groove full filled night with a plenty of killer tunes from the Keenan era. However the four piece turned out to be in a helluva good strike as well as shape. Another interesting aspect to be paid attention to was the audience being more middle aged than young hungry metal stoner rock fans. Quite shocking…
Corrosion Of Conformity
Corrosion Of Conformity
The nearly 90 minute set proved the four piece hasn’t lost any inch what comes to the hybrid of heaviness and groove sounding stoner rock metal. C.O.C literally blasted the stoner groove full filled set. The whole set was based on the Pepper Keenan era as none of those songs from the first hard core influenced albums was played, nor from the latest self titled album. The audience had indeed entered to see Keenan in action and hear those tune from that era. His role and character as the front man for C.O.C is definitely highly appreciated amongst the fans. As for the set list in general, the set consisted of songs of the essential albums such as “Albatross”, “Seven Days” and “Vote With A Bullet”. The most eccentric thing C.O.C had agreed to play two songs from the IN THE ARMS OF GOD as the founding member and drummer of C.O.C Reed Mullin wasn’t involved on the album. The sounds were murderous heavy and were rolling over the audience. Pepper sounded great and literally had a dominating grip on the audience. Mike Dean and Woody Weatherman brought to lay the need pieces to the sounds of C.O.C and of course drummer Mullin beat the drums with the intensive groove touch.
Corrosion Of Conformity
C.O.C delivered the heavy and above all great show with the great songs from the Pepper era. The four piece sounded strong and tight. Hopefully C.O.C will make to Finland sooner than another 17 years with Pepper as a frontman.
These Shrouded Temples… Señor Limpio King of the Rotten Heaven’s Not Overflowing Long Whip/Big America Wiseblood Seven Days Paranoid Opioid 13 Angels Albatross My Grain Stonebreaker Goodbye Windows
Broken Man Vote With a Bullet Who’s Got the Fire Clean My Wounds
The “ultimate hesher” blend has been produced by Chicago-based Dark Matter Coffee to mark the 35th anniversary of Judas Priest’s British Steel album and goes on sale April 14 via Dark Matter’s website and its three Chicago coffee shops.
“Instantly recognizable for their peerless attack, the fuel for this inexorable juggernaut must be both ebullient and unremitting. The brewed crude sparkles cup after cup, sin after sin. Death to False Coffee,” gushes the press release.”
“The coffee and cassette combo will be unleashed via this web page, and our three Chicago retail locations. Each bag of British Steel coffee will come with an old school cassette, featuring “Grinder” and “Snakebite”. (While supplies last.) Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the release date.”
We have not yet seen the actual lawsuit papers, and thus cannot comment on the substance of the lawsuit brought against GWAR by Dave Brockie’s father, William Brockie, but we can say that the claims in the Style Weekly article are false. We did not steal Dave Brockie’s ashes, or anything else that belonged to him. In fact, all of the items mentioned in the article, including Dave’s ashes have been available to his attorneys for weeks. At all times, and under very trying circumstances, we have acted in good faith to honor the wishes of our dear friend. Dave left no will or instructions for final arrangements, and so we have done the best we could to honor what we believe Dave Brockie would have wanted.
The accusation concerning Dave’s ashes is particularly troubling for us. Following Dave’s passing, the first thing we did was notify his father, who signed over Dave’s body so we could have him cremated. We were told by Dave’s father that he did not want to be involved in making Dave’s final arrangements. For this reason, Slave Pit assumed that responsibility, paying for his cremation, arranging two memorial services (one public and one private), and purchasing a plot for Dave in Richmond’s famed Hollywood Cemetery. Dave’s father did not attend either of the services held for his son in Richmond.
Over 30 years of working and living with Dave, several of us had heard him say that he wished for his ashes to be kept at Slave Pit, so he could “keep an eye on GWAR” while we worked. In the weeks following his death, we developed a plan for a memorial fund that would raise money to honor Dave’s memory with a statue in Hollywood Cemetery and work to continue his passionate support of the arts. We felt strongly that a portion of his remains should live at the site of his proposed monument in Hollywood Cemetery. When William Brockie later approached us, we released a portion of the ashes at his request, so he could spread them in the location where Dave’s brother and mother’s ashes were dispersed.
Concerning the other allegations in the article, there was certainly no effort on the part of anyone in GWAR, including drummer Brad Roberts, to steal or hide Dave’s belongings and personal effects either from his home or office. Dave, like the rest of GWAR, was paid upfront for his final leg of touring with GWAR. The claim that we failed to pay his share of royalties from Slave Pit Inc. is false, and we have the records to prove that. We have been in correspondence with William Brockie and his lawyers for months. They have access to the band’s financial records, and Dave’s payments and share of royalties are clearly recorded. Likewise, William Brockie’s attorneys have an itemized list of the small collection of Dave’s art and belongings at Slave Pit. There was never an attempt on the part of Slave Pit to withhold these items from William Brockie. When his attorneys finally identified the particular things they wanted, we made arrangements to return them immediately. Dave’s remains, as well as his belongings, including the instruments and the gold record mentioned in the article were given to our lawyers, who in turn notified the Brockie estate that they could retrieve them weeks ago.
The Dave Brockie Fund did indeed raise money toward our initial goal of building a monument to Dave in Hollywood Cemetery. Unfortunately, its mission has been put on hold because William Brockie’s attorneys claim that the Brockie estate should have control of the Dave Brockie Fund and the money contained therein. If we are ultimately unable to use the funds for the purpose for which they are raised, the funds will be returned to all contributing donors.
Finally, our manager, Jack Flanagan has been unjustly accused of signing a bogus release. At the request of our attorneys, he signed some paperwork to make his position clear on what he thought Dave would have wanted, which is something that the law of Virginia specifically asks for, given Jack’s relationship with the band and with Dave. There is nothing bogus about this.
Dave Brockie was our friend, peer, co-worker, and our family. We want to preserve the legacy of one of the greatest singers in rock and roll history. There is no “conspiracy,” no bad faith, no theft, no graft, and no ill will. We trust our fans will see through this, and we will be able to get back to work on the one thing we all know Dave Brockie loved; GWAR.
Metal United Down Under (MUDU) has recruited promoters from all 8 Australian states and territories to join for a united night of Metal on 10 October 2015.
Sydney, 6 April 2015 – From Hobart to Darwin and Perth to Brisbane, Metal will again spread over Australia under the MUDU banner. 19 promoters in 16 cities have joined the MUDU project which tops last year’s MUDU when 13 cities in 7 states/territories participated. The promoters organized shows with a total of 90 Australian metal bands. This huge event now promises to get even bigger with more cities and the 100 band mark should be reached comfortably.
Lee Whiskey – MUTANK (2014 WMBC Winners)
Paul Zinay – Blackguard
Alain Gagnon – Capitale du Metal
Francois “Blastbeat” Fortin – Producer / Drummer
Marc Andre Gingras “MAG” – ex-guitarist for Quo Vadis and guitar teacher to CEGEP students
QUEBEC FINAL (Montreal vs Quebec City) taking place in Montreal on April 23, 2015 @ Katcombes, 1635 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/316905555181858/
Sanguine Glacialis (Montreal)
Mad Parish (Montreal)
Nordheim (Quebec City)
From the Belly of The Beauty and the Beast:
A Special Report on Heavy Metal and Bellydancing
by Special Guest Writer Bassem N. Hafez
Rock & Heavy Metal have expressed themselves persistently as expressions of art with rebel message. Starting with the revolutionary beats, riffs, lyrics, and even haircuts, makeup, uniforms and paraphernalia, rock/metal musicians and fans have challenged the mainstream on many fronts. The need for that challenge might have been arguably among the paramount reasons for the persistence of this music genre. Among other reasons for survival is its continuous evolution and self re-invention to challenge the MAN. Jack black has highlighted that theme and struggle against the establishment in his movie “School of Rock”
Sticking it to the Man:
A recent interesting form of development/evolution in the metal scene is the introduction of new forms of art that associates with the revolutionary message, offering it a new driving force through new forms of artistic expression, new controversy, and eventually opening up to new cultures and fans.
Sam-Dun’s documentary “Heavy Metal Around the World” was seen as a development that broke the idea of West-centrism of Rock and metal music. Our beloved music genre, and its endless sub-genres, have classically been perceived and documented as American and European. But in the 1990s we started to appreciate Sepultura and similar bands in Latin America. Sam Dun introduced us to a booming scene in Japan, China, India, Indonesia and the Middle East. Earlier, we were introduced to a booming underground metal scene in Iraq through the documentary “Heavy Metal in Baghdad”. A two decades ago, the Egyptian state cracked down on what we realized to be a then prosperous metal scene in what was known in the media as the “Satanists Case.” However, the critique against Sam Dunn revolved around the orientalist perspective of an existing metal scene that have been developing since the end of the 1980s.
This Orientalist perspective doesn’t identify the new way of thinking and practice about metal in different countries. It is not only about the music, and their homegrown arts that are deeply rooted in a colourful history and culture have amalgamated with the imported metal music to form exotic forms of metal to be studied later on. It is not only about topics that reflect local issues and struggles, and not only lyrics that is performed in local languages, but also homegrown artistic and cultural elements that promise to enrich the metal experience.
No doubt the exposure to different cultures (including music instruments) has been among the reasons of Sepultura’s success and Sam Dunn’s novelty. It is not a secret that Sam Dunn is originally an anthropologist and his work originally intended to focus on humans and their cultures.
Roots Bloody Roots – Sepultura:
This feature will focus on a new element introduced to the the metal scene that is as novel, rebellious, controversial, and powerful form of artistic expression. Heavy metal belly dancers are rockers who challenge the mainstream of artistic expression, and thus expand the domain of expression. Their fans are increasing, their art is gaining ground, and most importantly they are transcending the existing cultural and structural differences between art forms. Our pioneers here are two western artists with oriental origins who combine the two worlds or belly dancing and heavy metal together into an exotic amalgam.
Earlier combination like these existed, and added to the metal world something memorable. Though his art contributed a lot to metal, but his Afghani origins did transcend Haggard’s Asis Nasseri’s German nationality to offer something about Afghani history, culture or sounds. However, it was an interesting interview by Sam Dunn that revealed the origins of Dio’s Devil Horns in his Italian grandmother’s “Maloik” to push away evil eyes.
Sam Dunn – Dio on the Devil Horns “Maloik”:
Back to the highlight of this feature, Foroogh Karnadani, aka Mahafsoun, is a Vancouver-based belly dancing artist with Persian origins “and a drop of Azerbaijani and Egyptian blood” who is an old metal fan. She has Facebook and Youtube pages that have attracted thousands of fans from around the globe. She posts and produces belly-dancing videos of her performing on metal bands like Moonspell, Lacuna Coil, Orphaned Land and Epica.
Mahafsoon Studio Belly dancing – Orphaned Land’s Birth of the Three:
She succeeded with her exotic performances, combined with signature costumes, makeup and tattoos, to earn a special appreciation that fans are interested in here photo sessions, semi-gothic fashion, and fairy-tale like decoration and setup that has an oriental spirit. This has gained her acclaim manifested in partnerships with photographers, tattoo and makeup artists and also bands like Epica and Moonspell to take her studio performances on stage during metal performances, which offered the attending audience a value-added fusion that added to the excitement. Though her favourite genre is symphonic metal and favourite band is Nightwish, she hasn’t yet given her metal fans the joy of attending or downloading a joint production with the great Norwegian band.
While one might not automatically associate Canada with belly dancing there is another Canadian connection. Villainizer is a Canadian thrash metal band which might be unique on the Canadian scene to incorporate belly-dancing in their repertoire. A belly dancer or two appear on the music videos and live shows of the thrash metal band which is dedicated to resisting ISIS and Islamic extremism in their own way. As Amon Amarth has branded itself as Viking metal band, and Swashbuckle as pirate metal, Villainizer decided to reserve the unique nascent place of terrorist metal.
Villainizer- Terrorist Metal (Official video)
Their music is advanced, no doubt. Also they incorporate costumes beyond belly dancing. The vocalist puts on the Saudi Thobe, Ghutra and Iqal .. and also puts on a fake beard. During the shows he throws fake models of bombs on the audience, which he calls them infidels and together with the belly dancers they give the feel of what the media portrays of a medieval, angry and offensive terrorist middle easterner. The entourage is definitely appealing, but the critique here is about selling an image that is not accurate despite the fact that it sells. I mean that modern day terrorists mostly look like modern westerners who don’t look like what the mainstream media and Villainizer portray. But who said that an artistic expression should be politically correct? Besides Villainizer was founded by a very intelligent and charismatic frontman, Rav, (whose own heritage is Lebanese) who is acutely aware that he is perpetuating a western stereotype of ‘terrorists’ for comedic affect, shock value and satire.
Live May 31 2014 wé Belly dancers. Terror Abraxas and The Magic Lamp.
What concerns us here in this feature, relating to belly dancing as a progressive artistic evolution of metal, opens a set of questions. The controversy might arise from the aforementioned acts by front women like Kardansany and Bastet who perform with beauty and elegance in their artistic minds. But again, why assume that this itself is not subject to evolution. In both cases, it is a legitimate marriage between evolving forms of controversial art, which should continue to evolve and be generate controversy as usual.
The less famous but booming metal belly-dancing artist is the Diana Bastet. Despite the fact that her current location, Kiev, does not give her the media exposure and market offered to Mahafsoun in North America, social media has offered her powerful outlet. Her edge lies also in her more dedication to the belly-dancing profession and its related outlets, such as teaching and spreading the knowledge as well as designing and selling paraphernalia.
Her interest in Metal opened the new horizon of artistic fusion, which gained her this expanding edge. She started recording and posting these videos fusing classic belly dancing with Metal music from Seputura, Therion, Arch Enemy, and Lamb of God.
Diana Bastet – Arch Enemy’s Enter the Machine:
She also participated in many activities transcending the expected rejection to the art she is promoting. For example, last Halloween she participated in a Rock and Horror party presenting a new form of art surely never experienced by the Ukrainian audience. It is easy to identify that Bastet is more aggressive dancer, technique wise, has high regard to headbanging during her dancing, and focuses on the technique. This was visible on her recent educational video in which she taught interested audience how to dance, step-by-step, on Metallica’s Master of Puppets.
Diana Bastet – Metallica’s Master of Puppets:
It is interesting to know that this specific video was used by Egyptian cyber activists to ridicule the Islamic State ISIS and what it stands for by dubbing their national anthem “Saleel Al-Sawarem” (Arabic for the Sounds of Fighting Swords) on her video. Something that instantly outraged her, but she definitely cooled down after getting the context. The new ridiculing video has gone viral and eventually offered her thousands of new fans.
Along the same lines of incorporating eastern influences into metal music, Khepri represents an experience not to ignore. The British-based musician and producer has been composing riffs that incorporated Middle Eastern notes, highlighting the use of the Darabuka, the Egyptian drums that go side by side with belly dancing. His influence has not been death or melodic metal, like the aforementioned bellydancers, but rather the 1990s metal inspired by bands like Alice in Chains. This adds a new flavor to the influence and adds a more progressive tone to the tunes. According to his web site, he had studied classical music and music theory. This tells a lot about his music influence very visible in what he presents incorporating metal music elements with Middle Eastern ones.
The above example does a great job in producing a progressive mix, introducing Arab and mainly Egyptian notes to the Western rocker, and also adding to the ever increasing Egyptian fusion that many local bands have been developing. [PS: An example of the Egyptian local bands who have been working on that were Nagham Masry which I had managed in 2006 & 2007:
However, despite the great job Khepri does, developing the tunes that provides a ground for bellydancing metal – which he claims to be the first to call Bellymetal, claiming a virgin ground like Amon Amarth – and despite his earlier collaboration with projects like Petra and Scarlet Storm, there is no documented collaboration with a famous belly dancer like Kardansany and Baster for example to dance on his special music. However, he definitely is laying the grounds for that progressive evolution.
There is some intellectual debate behind the issue of belly-dancing that relates to the orientalist look, the feminist look as well as the Marxist look. Feminists are divided over belly-dancing. On one extreme they see it as a liberating experience to women who identify with their bodies and gain control over them. On another extreme they see it as demeaning experience where women consolidate male dominance .. and with the introduction of the element of getting paid for belly-dancing, Marxists intervene to add the elements of oriental fantasies that lead to economic exploitation.
However, the grand picture of domination by the MAN, which Jack Black had referred to at the beginning, still persists with the record companies maintaining a strong grip on the industry and directing the currents and manipulating tastes. The stories of George Michael and Savatage still remind us of how the scene is controlled. But we would still tend to believe that this control is not as powerful as the big scene which keeps expanding with opening up and breaking the Euro-centric narrative that doesn’t evolve with the introduction of artistic elements like what Kardansani and Bastet offer. There is still room to stick it to the Man with their expanding space that resists the North American / Euro-centric narrative of Heavy Metal, ultra-conservative violent bodies like ISIS and mentalities like the official religious establishment that sees metal heads as evil satanists, and introducing new artistic and cultural elements to the metal scene. Nobody said that metal is taking over the world or liberating all the disfranchised or marginalized, but it is definitely a force of resistance that manifests human resistance and coming together.
Now available, the trailer for the new album by Antonello Giliberto “Journey Through My Memory“, which will be released this spring, and for sale on the website of the artist and in the main digital stores. With “Journey Through My Memory”, Antonello Giliberto releases a record full of addictive riffs, guitar solos rich in technique, melody and taste. Finally, the songs are enriched thanks to the brutal drumming by John Macaluso (Ark, Symphony X, James Labrie, TNT, Riot, Malmsteen), full of speed and groove, and to the bestial bass by Dino Fiorenza (Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Slash, Zakk Wylde).