CRYSTAL VIPER are back! The Polish Heavy Metallers are returning after a 4 year absence, which was caused by the health issues relating to the band’s front woman and founder, Marta Gabriel, and which placed the future of CRYSTAL VIPER into question (last year Marta underwent surgery of her nasal and facial sinuses). “The witch is back” however, sounding stronger, heavier and louder than ever before…!
On February 17, 2017, AFM RECORDS will release CRYSTAL VIPER’s new concept album entitled “Queen Of The Witches”. The album, which will be available as a limited edition vinyl LP, CD and digital download, has been produced by Bart Gabriel – producer known for his collaboration with acts such as CIRITH UNGOL, MYTHRA and SACRED STEEL (and within their private lives, Marta’s husband), and engineered and mixed by Mariusz Pietka (JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR, LONEWOLF, MORTICIAN). The album’s cover artwork has been created by the legendary German artist, Andreas Marschall (RUNNING WILD, BLIND GUARDIAN, KREATOR). The first single from the new album will be entitled “The Witch Is Back”, and will be available in December. On February 18, 2017, the band will play an exclusive headlining live show in Munich, Germany, at the Heavy Metal Calling Festival, which will be an official release party for the new album.
In other news Marta Gabriel, the band’s singer and guitarist who has once again written all of the songs on the new album, recently joined the ESP GUITARS family. In addition, all of the members of CRYSTAL VIPER have signed an endorsement deal with DEAN MARKLEY.
Swedish heavy metal heroes SABATON released their latest, highly-acclaimed record, The Last Stand, on August 19 through Nuclear Blast. The album reached the highest US & Canadian chart entries in the bands history debuting at #63 on the Billboard U.S. Top 200 album chart, #2 on the Billboard Hard Music chart, #2 on the Canadian Hard Music Chart, and #20 on the Canadian Top 200 album chart. The Last Stand also holds the #5 position on the Billboard Top Rock album chart, #4 on the Billboard Independent albums chart, and #19 on the Billboard Top Current Albums chart.
Worldwide first week chart positions for The Last Stand include:
#1 – Czech Republic
#1 – Finland
#1 – Sweden
#2 – Germany
#4 – Belgium
#11 – Netherlands
#11 – Norway
#15 – Hungary
#17 – UK
#29 – Australia
#92 – Ireland
Additionally, the band has revealed the first track-by-track trailer today, telling more about the stories behind the songs. Watch it here: https://youtu.be/_nIPHU6N1IM
In just two weeks, SABATON will return to the United States for the 2016 “Silence In The Snow” Fall Tour with headliners Trivium and fellow special guest Huntress. The tour begins on September 15 in Columbus, OH and comes to a close on October 21st in Lake Buena Vista, FL. These dates will be the first time U.S. fans get to see SABATON performing with their new guitarist Tommy Johansson.
SABATON US Tour Dates with Trivium & Huntress:
9/15 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
9/16 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
9/17 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium – off date – w/ Devin Townsend Project, Between The Buried and Me & Fallujah
9/19 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
9/20 – Little Rock, AR @ The Metroplex
9/22 – Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
9/23 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
9/24 – Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
9/25 – San Bernardino, CA @ San Manuel Amphitheater – Knotfest
9/27 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
9/29 – Omaha, NE @ Sokol Auditorium/Underground
9/30 – Minneapolis, MN @ Mill City Nights
10/2 – Louisville, KY @ Champions Park – Louder Than Life
10/4 – Peoria, IL @ Limelight Eventplex
10/6 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
10/7 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
10/8 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
10/10 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
10/11 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
10/13 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
10/15 – Binghamton, NY @ Magic City Music Hall
10/17 – Charleston, SC @ The Music Farm
10/18 – St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theatre
10/19 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
10/21 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
More on The Last Stand:
‘The Lost Battalion’ OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO:
‘Blood Of Bannockburn’ OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO:
‘Shiroyama’ OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO:
‘The Art Of War’ OFFICIAL LIVE CLIP:
See what press is saying about SABATON’s The Last Stand:
“Most diverse SABATON war ever!ˮ
– SPARK (CZ), David Havlena
“Everything SABATON stand for, compressed on 37 exciting minutes! The Last Stand goes straight forward without off-time, delivers hit after hit in the famous SABATON style, but still provides enough space for new sounds and surprises.ˮ
– METAL HAMMER (D), Sebastian Kessler
“Best SABATON record so far. The Last Stand has a better sound, bombastic vocals and a future crowd favorite called ‘The Lost Battalion’.”
– AARDSCHOK (NL), Michael van Rijswijk
Formed in Falun, Sweden in 1999, SABATON is best known for singing almost exclusively about historical wars and battles, a direction the band members decided to take on after watching the 1999 Academy Award-winning film Saving Private Ryan. The band thoroughly researches their topics to ensure the songs paint accurate and objective portraits of the historical event they’re singing about, which are narrated from an omniscient point-of-view or in first-person as a soldier caught in the line of fire. Like their home country of Sweden, SABATON aims to remain politically neutral in their role as musical war historians. SABATON have reached their unshaken position as heavy metal’s AAA-torchbearer after releasing ingenious studio recordings and playing endless amount of unforgettable live shows. The Last Stand is another unquestionable and bulletproof evidence of SABATON’s top class abilities and it will be followed by the band’s most gigantic world tour to date.
Street Symphonies Records will release “Ways Of Perseverance”, the new album by Italian hard rockers Easy Trigger, on September 30st, 2016 on CD and through all digital services. The album, whose artwork was realized by Ilpier.it, will be distributed by Andromeda. “The writing process for our new album, started already during the “Bullshit” promotional tour, has been very difficult, long and full of surprises” – said guitarist Caste – “We realized that we didn’t want to give up precisely during the line-up metamorphosis. With new drummer Fabio “Pane” Ferrari joining the band, the whole band’s style, groove and writing process were changing with a more professional tendency, thanks to his and new singer Nico’s backgrounds. With a new frontman, the band could re-start with renewed verve and passion. Nico started immediately working on the lyrics, representing an absolute priority for him: some were born during his trips between Verona, where he lives, and Turin, where he has attended University. He was essential also for the arrangements, giving to the band’s sound a blues touch! The first step was to realize the videoclip for “One Way Out” (https://youtu.be/MW535SKY8Fc), a catchy straightforward song, representing a perfect teaser for the sound of “Ways Of Perseverance”, an album we are eager to publish and play live, that we are proudly releasing, once again, under the label of our debut album Street Symphonies Records”.
“Ways Of Perseverance” track listing:
1. My Darkness
2. Land Of Light
3. The Watchmaker
4. God Is Dead
5. Turn To Stone
6. One Way Out
8. Tell Me A Story
9. Sold Out
10. The Sand
Originally formed in 2011, the Calgary thrashers formerly known as Hellborn Death Engines are beginning their resurgence under the new moniker ILLYRIAN with the recent additions of bassist / vocalist Jeff Perry (Sikarra, ex-Animus Labyrinth) plus British drum sensation Darren May (ex-Deacon Birch) who have brought new and progressive musical mindsets into the band to join original and founding members Scott Onofrychuk (guitars/vocals) and Brandon McNeil (guitar/vocals).
Evolving into a highly technical group playing thrash metal with their erratic and precise on-stage delivery, rapier wit, along with nostalgic charm, ILLYRIAN have removed the constraints of conventional metal sub-genre formula to replace their sound with a melting pot of technical thrash riffs, blistering solos, prog-influenced rhythms along with the band’s signature tri-vocal attack all showcased on ten new thrashing tracks on their new album ‘Round 2: Fight!’. The album is set to be unleashed on October 7th and was co-produced by the band with Casey Lewis at Echo Base Studios plus mastered by Sacha Laskow (Every Hour Kills, ex-Divinity) at Perfect Fifth Studios.
Come November, heavy metal fans in at least eight east coast cities will be in for a night full of hell-raising fun as three of the genre’s finest vocalists — Geoff Tate, Tim “Ripper” Owens and Blaze Bayley — will be performing the hits from their respective bands on stage together for what is hoped to be just the beginning of several dates over the next few months.
Geoff Tate, who’s Operation: Mindcrime will be releasing their second CD of a trilogy in September titled, Resurrection, states that the collaboration between the three first came about while recently in the studio. “We were recording a song together that will appear on the new Operation: Mindcrime album called ‘Taking on the World’ and immediately realized just how much fun it would be if we went out and did a couple of dates together. We want to give fans a great selection of hits and rarities along with songs we just enjoy performing… and the Trinity tour was born!”
The three vocalists will be backed by the same group of excellent musicians throughout the evening in a show that promises to be loaded with memorable metal for the music masses to enjoy.
Fans can expect to hear such songs as “Empire,” “I Don’t Believe in Love,” “Eyes of a Stranger,” “Living After Midnight,” “Breaking the Law,” “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” “Burn in Hell,” “Man on the Edge,” “The Number of the Beast” and “Run to the Hills” among others.
During his illustrious career, Geoff Tate has sold more than 25 million records at the helm of Queensryche, the band he fronted for 30 years from their inception through 2012, earning three Grammy nominations, five MTV Music Video Award nominations, and one MTV Music Video Award along the way. The landmark concept album Operation: Mindcrime thrust Tate’s unique social consciousness, style and expertly crafted lyrics into the national spotlight in 1988, and was followed by Empire in 1990, the album that delivered Queensryche to arena-headlining status and sold more than three million albums on the back of hit singles and radio staples “Silent Lucidity” and “Jet City Woman.” By the time the band released Promised Land in 1994, Geoff Tate was universally acknowledged as one of the greatest frontmen in rock and metal, and a driving force behind one of the most innovative bands in mainstream music. In September of 2015, his new band, Operation: Mindcrime released its debut effort titled, The Key, which examined what one might do if they discovered “the key” to changing the way we view the world, the way we look at time, the way we travel and could essentially change the human condition… for better or for release. The band successfully toured for months in support of the project and looks forward to their forthcoming release, Resurrection (via Frontiers Music Srl), this September.
Tim “Ripper” Owens first gained worldwide attention and acclaim when he joined Judas Priest as their lead singer in 1996. During his stint with Judas Priest, he recorded two studio albums and two live albums. The song “Bullet Train” — which featured his incredible vocals — was nominated for a Grammy award in 1999 in the category of Best Metal Performance. He subsequently went on to join Iced Earth and currently performs with such bands as Beyond Fear, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force and Charred Walls of the Damned.
Blaze Bayley joined Iron Maiden in 1993 after the departure of Bruce Dickinson and remained the band’s singer until Dickinson’s return in 1999. Bayley, who had started his career in the mid-80’s as the vocalist of Wolfsbane, recorded two albums with Iron Maiden before starting his own band, Blaze. In May of 2000, the band would release their debut album titled, Silicon Messiah, and would go on to put out two other albums. In more recent years, he’s concentrated on solo projects.
Geoff Tate, Tim “Ripper” Owens and Blaze Bayley… not one, not two, but all three!
Three of the most well-respected metal singers from three of the most well-respected metal bands, together on stage in November!
Tickets for all eight confirmed shows (see below) are now on sale.
Trinity Tour 2016 – Confirmed Tour Dates*
Friday, November 18 – The Montage Music Hall in Rochester, New York
Saturday, November 19 – Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall in Wantagh, New York
Sunday, November 20 – Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, Pennsylvania
Tuesday, November 22 – The Westcott Theater in Syracuse, New York
Wednesday, November 23 – The Chance in Poughkeepsie, New York
Friday, November 25 – Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry, New Hampshire
Saturday, November 26 – Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, Maryland
Sunday, November 27 – BB Kings in New York, New York
In September ICO Concerts in Denmark proudly presents US heavy metal sexiest act Steel Panther to perform in Denmark. If you want to see the hottest band in action and hear epic songs like “Pussywhipped”, “Gloryhole”, “Fat Girl” or “Party Like It’s The End Of The World” then make sure to catch the band live either in Copenhagen @ Store Vega 20/9 or in Aarhus @ Train 21/9. Last time the band performed at Amager Bio in Copenhagen the tickets were sold out so buy your ticket today!
Hot Classical/Metal Female Shredder, The Great Kat Shreds BOTH Violin AND Guitar with her All-Male Stud Band, “Vlad the Impaler” & “Franz Liszt” on Liszt’s famous Classical masterpiece “Hungarian Rhapsody #2”!
WATCH Now From Upcoming New Great Kat DVD https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01L3G60EY
Derbyshire is probably the last place you’d expect to find metal. It’s not one of England’s most famous counties, nor has it built up a reputation for a place of art and culture. But within the south of this quaint midlands county, some of the country’s finest music promoters are at work building the county’s reputation as a haven for metalheads.
Tune in to the AUDIENCE Network concert special “BLUE ÖYSTER CULT” airing Friday, September 2, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT (DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114). The classic rock band stopped by Red Studios in Los Angeles to perform their seminal album Agents Of Fortune in it’s entirety live. In the episode, the group sits down with Ted Stryker for an in depth interview spanning their history.
For a preview of the AUDIENCE Network concert special “BLUE ÖYSTER CULT,” watch an exclusive “First Look” as the band performs their classic hit “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”
View the trailer for “BLUE ÖYSTER CULT” airing Friday, September 2, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on AUDIENCE Network, DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114 (here). Watch and share behind-the-scenes clips of the episode (here) and (here).
AUDIENCE Network’s new music slate continues to deliver groundbreaking concerts, unique stories and exclusive performances across all genres, plus select programming in ultra high-definition/4K*, to audiences nationwide since multiple series began airing this past January. Recent concert specials include: CeeLo Green, Hank Williams Jr., Cheap Trick, Peter Frampton, Flo Rida, Martina McBride, Lukas Graham, Kelsea Ballerini, Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco, 2 Chainz, Keith Urban, The Lumineers, Cole Swindell, Cypress Hill, Dan + Shay, Josh Kelley, Andra Day, JR JR, Young The Giant and others. New shows premiere via national broadcast Friday at 8:00 PM ET/PT on DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114,as well as streaming on directv.com, uverse.com and on smartphones and tablets, via the DIRECTV and U-verse apps.**
AUDIENCE Network’s multiple series of original and exclusive performances give music fans an intimate view of music’s most influential artists today. The network collaborates directly with musicians to create a unique show from their perspective.
For over four decades, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT has been thrilling fans of intelligent hard rock worldwide with powerful albums loaded with classic songs. Indeed, the Long Island, NY-based band is revered within the hard rock and heavy metal scene for its pioneering work. BLUE ÖYSTER CULToccupies a unique place in rock history because it’s one of very few hard rock/heavy metal bands to earn both genuine mainstream critical acclaim as well as commercial success. The band is often cited as a major influence by other acts such as Metallica, and BÖC was listed in VH1’s countdown of the greatest hard rock bands of all time. Upon the release of BÖC’s self--titled debut album in 1972, the band was praised for its catchy--yet--heavy music and lyrics that could be provocative, terrifying, funny or ambiguous, often all in the same song. BÖC’s canon includes three stone--cold classic songs that will waft through the cosmos long after the sun has burned out: The truly haunting “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” from 1976’s Agents of Fortune, the pummeling “Godzilla” from 1977’s Spectres and the hypnotically melodic “Burnin’ for You” from 1981’s Fire of Unknown Origin. The intense creative vision of BÖC’s original core duo of vocalist/lead guitarist Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser, and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Eric Bloom are complemented by Richie Castellano on guitar and keyboards, and the longtime rhythm section of bass guitarist Kasim Sulton, and drummer Jules Radino. For the taping of this special performance, they are joined by former member Albert Bouchard (guitar, percussion, vocals).
*Limited titles available. Requires a Genie HD DVR (model HR54 or later) and a DIRECTV 4K Ready TV, or 4K TV connected to a 4K Genie Mini. Additional & advanced receiver fees apply. ULTIMATE Package or higher and 4K account authorization required. Visit directv.com/4K for complete details.
**Access via computer or app requires qualifying device and data connection. Access to content varies by device, TV plan, and viewing location. Data charges may apply.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T<http://www.att.com/gen/landing-pages?pid=5718>) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, mobile, high speed Internet and voice services. We’re the world’s largest provider of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. We offer the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider***. And we help businesses worldwide serve their customers better with our mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.
***Global coverage claim based on offering discounted voice and data roaming; LTE roaming; voice roaming; and world-capable smartphone and tablets in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier. International service required. Coverage not available in all areas. Coverage may vary per country and be limited/restricted in some countries.
“Kingmaker” is PRETTY MAIDS’ highly anticipated follow up to 2013’s critically and commercially successful release “Motherland”, a record that continued the “revitalized” path that the band set out upon with the now classic album “Pandemonium”. “Kingmaker” is set for release November 4th via Frontiers Music srl.
“Kingmaker” is available for pre-order via Amazon and iTunes. Digital pre-orders come with instant downloads of “Face the World”.
It’s always difficult to follow a successful and inspired record, but “Kingmaker” shows PRETTY MAIDS are still in the freshest and most vital phase of their career since the early 90’s.
The production is absolutely stellar thanks to Jacob Hansen (Volbeat), who has given the band a sound that not only reinvigorates them, but also incorporates the soundscapes of the past. Modern and classic at the same time, if you will.
What can then be said about Ronnie Atkins and Ken Hammer? One of the best song writing teams in the genre, hands down. Atkins’ voice just gets better and better as the years go by. Menacing and vicious one minute, melodic and soothing the next. Likewise, Hammer is on fire here and lays down some of his heaviest riffs in recent memory.
Every track on this beauty is worthy of attention whether it is an in-your-face melting barn burner such as the one-two starters “When God Took A Day Off” / “King Maker”, “Bullseye”, and “Humanize Me” or timeless melodic metal anthems such as “Face the World” and “Heaven’s Little Devil” or even a superb power ballad like “Last Beauty on Earth”. This record has everything PRETTY MAIDS could possibly ask for!
Don’t miss them when they play live in a city near you – you’ll be blown away by the explosion of Danish dynamite!
Ronnie Atkins – vocals
Ken Hammer – guitars
Rene Shades – bass
Allan Tschicaja – drums
Produced by Jacob Hansen
Nov. 24th Gothenburg/Sweden Venue: Sticky Fingers
Nov. 25th Gävle/Sweden Venue: Dirty Harry
Nov. 26th Stockholm/Sweden Venue: Fryshuset
Dec. 9th Esbjerg/Denmark Venue: Tobakken
Dec. 10th Aalborg/Denmark Venue: Skraaen
Dec. 16th Horsens/Denmark Venue: Horsens Ny Teater
TOUR DATES (with Gotthard)
FEB 9 Ravensburg (DE) Oberschwabenklub
FEB 10 Regensburg (DE) Airport Obertraubling
FEB 11 Ulm (DE) Ratiopharm Arena
FEB 13 Frankfurt (DE) Batschkapp
FEB 14 Hamburg (DE) Markthalle
FEB 15 Hannover (DE) Capitol
FEB 17 Osnabrück (DE) Hyde Park
FEB 18 Oberhausen (DE) Turbinenhalle
FEB 19 Freiburg (DE) Zäpfle Club
FEB 22 Milan (ITA) Alcatraz
FEB 24 Bilbao (SPA) Santana 27
FEB 25 Madrid (SPA) La Riviera
FEB 26 Barcelona (SPA) Razzmatazz 2
MAR 2 München (DE) Tonhalle
MAR 6 Wien (A) Gasometer
MAR 7 Nürnberg (DE) Löwensaal
MAR 8 Saarbrücken (DE) Garage
MAR 9 Balingen (DE) Volksbankmesse
The ILS Group (ILS), a leading distribution and label services company dedicated to bringing independent artists and labels to a major audience, is excited to announce the release of Slaves On Dope’s latest release HORSE on September 23, 2016 to be marketed and distributed globally by ILS through its partnership with the Universal Music Group.
Formed in 1993 by Jason Rockman and Kevin Jardine in Montreal (Québec), Slaves On Dope somewhat eschewed the Grunge music explosion of the time for a new and heavier Metal sound. The band relocated from their native Montreal to Los Angeles quickly signing with Ozzy Osbourne’s Divine Recordings. The subsequent release, Inches From The Mainline, helped the band reach a much larger audience through radio airplay, retail sales, and live appearances including the Ozzfest and the SnoCore Tours alongside Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera, Godsmack, Incubus, Disturbed, Linkin Park, QOTSA, Fear Factory, Soulfy and more.
After over 23 years together, Slaves on Dope return with HORSE, an album that will redefine what the world thinks of the band. Enlisting the likes of Darryl McDaniels (RUN DMC), Bill Kelliher (Mastodon), H.R (Bad Brains) and Lee-la Baum (The Damn Truth). The cover art is an original painting created especially for the release by Marvel Comics artist Marco Rudy. HORSE is the next chapter in the story that is Slaves On Dope.
“It was a dream come true to collaborate with members of RUN DMC, Mastodon and Bad Brains. These are all bands we have idolized and respected forever. It speaks volumes to the passion for creating and giving back!” –Jason Rockman
Some of this is still copies that went to Max Webster tribute band show and back, but are new, plus the Trooper beer party. Just been packed in a box, put on a table, repacked and brought back to office, so a little “travelled.”
A few of these have been to a store (Book City), but they are otherwise new and clean. Mostly with the new titles, I blew a shift signing them, so I have to razor out the second title page, which you probably won’t even notice got done, and sign for you on the other title page. A couple, I can’t even see why they are in the box. If you take two or three, because they go so fast, I’ll gladly throw in a new/mint or two without talking about it, because the hurts sell within hours and I like packing up more than one book per package!
Anyway, here’s what I’ve got. Email me back ASAP if you want to reserve any of these. These go VERY fast. I barely get to tell any of you before I’m out. Shipping is extra, but starts to look better with more than one book ordered. Shipping is super cheap to the US.
Email me with your picks and PLEASE REMIND ME WHERE I’M SHIPPING TO (country is good enough) and I’ll fire you back a total with shipping. This is in US dollars.
Rainbow: English Castle Black 7 copies $14
Dio: Light Beyond the Black 22 copies $14
This Means War: The Sunset Years of the NWOBHM 2 copies $14
Who Invented Heavy Metal? 1 copy $14
Scorpions: Top of the Bill 2 copies $14
Wind of Change: The Scorpions Story 2 copies $14
Sweating Bullets: The Deth And Rebirth Of Megadeth 3 copies $14
Sweating Bullets: The Deth And Rebirth Of Megadeth (340 p book, but starts one starts on p. 33, the other on p. 35!) 2 copies $6
Goldmine Heavy Metal Price Guide 1 copy $14
The Deep Purple Royal Family: Chain of Events Through ’79 $14
A Castle Full of Rascals: Deep Purple: ’83-’09 2 copies $14
Metallica: The Complete Illustrated History 2 copies $18
Fighting My Way Back: Thin Lizzy 69-76 (book 1 of 3) 2 copies $14
Ye Olde Metal: 1979 3 copies $14
Ye Olde Metal: 1976 2 copies $14
Ye Olde Metal: 73 – 75 1 copy $14
See www.martinpopoff.com for info on my 54 books.
Ramones at 40
Time and a Word: The Yes Story
This Means War: The Sunset Years of the NWOBHM
The band SOTO, featuring veteran vocalist Jeff Scott Soto, recently parted ways with their label after 2 slamming albums – Inside The Vertigo and DIVAK. The band is in preparations for additional touring in 2017 beginning February 10 in Wolverhampton, U.K. In addition, the band is working on their 3rd album, while locking in a new home for it.
Coming off a busy year of touring world-wide, the band will hit the studio to write, and record much anticipated new music. This third, yet untitled album, will follow up both Inside The Vertigo and DIVAK with a much heavier direction than the previous two albums.
The original concept was to have four still photographers placed strategically on a Florida set while the five members of Anthrax performed their new song “Monster At The End” live. Each photographer would hold down his camera’s shutter button continuously for the near-four minute-long song, capturing a steady stream of hundreds of still images.
“Hey, it might have been a great idea,” laughed video director Jack Bennett, “but holding down the shutter button on a still camera for that long a time? All we would have ended up with were four jammed cameras!”
Shooting the entire video with Super Sharp HD video still cameras, Bennett wanted an animated, staccato-feel to the flow of the individual images. “Video shutter speeds are faster and more reliable than anything we could have done manually, and we wanted as big a pool of still images to choose from as we could get.”
In post-production, Bennett went through the footage frame by frame and hand-picked the still images he wanted to animate – hundreds of them. Rather than print the video at 24 frames per second, he animated movement of the band members using the still images, creating a jagged, crude motion. “We didn’t want fluidity, we wanted the video to have more of a comic book feel to it, like flipbook animation.”
This also allowed Bennett to hang on the band members’ individual movements to accentuate the power of their playing, such as the strength in Charlie Benante’s drum hits, or Scott Ian’s strumming or Frank Bello’s rhythm.
And then the real fun began.
Bennett and his crew went one step further, taking a cue from the legendary Walt Disney animators of the 1920s and 1930s, who used the technique of rotoscoping, the art of painstakingly hand-painting individual cels to embellish a primary image.
Employing the fundamentals of rotoscope, Bennett has peppered the video with monsters, tattoos that come alive, explosions, popping eyeballs, speech bubbles, morphed images, and nods to the influence of ‘Creepshow.’ There’s even a frame or two of The Skull King, the evil character from Anthrax’s “Blood Eagle Wings” music video that Bennett also directed. Actor Justin Michael Terry, who played The Skull King, is The Runner in “Monster At The End.”
“We used a lot of stop-motion effects as well as other special and visual effects in the same way as was done in the original ‘Exorcist’ film,” Bennett added. “We even added a little bit of grain, some dust and some scratches just to give it that analog feel.”
As the music video unfolds, the frame rate increases, giving the band members more and more fluid movements until the final chorus when the video is full-on 24-frames per second. “You could watch this video one frame at a time,” Bennett added, “and probably not find everything we did.”
“The ‘Monster at the End’ video takes us back to our love of comics and horror,” said Anthrax’s Charlie Benante. “We’ve always loved the ‘Creepshow’ movies and wanted something like that for this video. Jack is easy to work with, all we did was perform the song, he did the real work with the editing and achieving the look that we wanted.”
Bennett wraps the video with one more surprise, an unexpected ending that goes to show that in the end, there’s a little bit of the monster in all of us.
INTERVIEW WITH MANTAS, ABADDON, AND DEMOLITION MAN OF VENOM INC.
Venom Inc. is an incarnation of Venom with Mantas, Abaddon and Demolition Man. Metal-Rules.com had the tremendous pleasure to sit down with Venom Incand talk about how everything started out and how the hectic schedule has brought the band all over the world. There’s no need to say more, so here’s the interview with Venom Inc.