JJ Caithcart – Scrape Records
Chris Dyck – Nothing Is Heavy
Michael Johnston – Mikillink Digital Media
Myk Shaflik – All Star Pacific and Red Room
Abelardo Mayoral – The Invisible Orange
Jon Asher – Asher Media Relations
The creators of cinematic metal are finally back with their most outstanding record, Prometheus: Symphonia Ignis Divinus. The album is set to be released in North America this Summer by Nuclear Blast Records.
“The love for the cinema and the movie soundtracks is something clear and evident in each song of the album. The epic, cinematic impact of the music is something flowing in my blood and carved in my genetics.”
Prometheus: Symphonia Ignis Divinus was once again composed and produced by Luca Turilli, responsible for all the orchestral and choral arrangements. It was recorded and mixed at the Backyard Studios by Sebastian Roeder (Bonfire) and mastered at MSM studios by Christoph Stickel (Michael Schenker’s TEMPLE OF ROCK).
Seven months of composition, three months of production, over 50 days of mixing, two choirs, several special guests, including Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR), Dan Lucas (KARO) and David Readman (PINK CREAM 69) went into the new album. Prometheus: Symphonia Ignis Divinus showcases 70 minutes of epic music that will take the listener on an emotional and memorable journey between quantum gates, parallel dimensions, myths and legends hiding cosmic truths, ancestral secrets and spiritual revelations.
In an effort for RHAPSODY’s sound to match their look, the album cover artwork and the album booklet introduces the new cinematic graphic style of the band, realized by the well-known artist Stefan “Heile” Heilemann (EPICA, LINDEMANN).
The wind is howling outside, the rain is bashing the railway bridges of North London’s music capital, it’s safe to say that the spring weather isn’t exactly brilliant; yet the excitement for tonight’s sun dripped Australian heavy progsters Karnivool is certainly in favour.
Desertfest returns to the UK on the weekend of the 24th- 26th April for a doom/stoner filled weekend of heaviness. Headliners are Red Fang, EyeHateGod and Sleep with some amazing support from the likes of Orange Goblin, Ufomammut and Brant Bjork.
“Today I have delivered the final audio mix down of our first live DVD ever!!! This is really exciting since we’ve never done this before smile emoticon. Again our friend Felipe Machado Franco did a killer artwork AND came up with the perfect title as well: LIVE AT THE FINAL FRONTIER
I know, I know there’s a Maiden album “the final frontier”… BUT we are doing this Sci-fi thing for such a long time, so this title is a must! Looking at the artwork I couldn’t think of anything more fitting smile emoticon. Also the final cut of all the video material is ready and – wow – I am absolutely happy. We look pretty cool, haha!
Check out the artwork and stay tuned for more soon!
Finland-based symphonic metalers, Nightwish, recently released their new studio album Endless Forms Most Beautiful, which has now entered the charts worldwide on some incredible positions.
Once again, and for the sixth time in a row, Nightwish made it onto the pole position in their home country Finland – as well as in Czech Republic, where Endless Forms Most Beautiful received Gold status after just two days. Germany and Switzerland follow with a brilliant #2. Another amazing result is the #3 in Floor Jansen’s native country Netherlands.
More Top 10 entries took place in:
Other high charting spots include:
New Zealand (#32)
As well, it came in at #34 at the American Billboard charts (#2 Independent Albums, #4 Top Hard Music Charts, #8 Top Current Rock Albums).
Nightwish commented saying “the world wide chart news that is just mind blowing! For the sixth time in a row we made it onto the pole position in our home country Finland – as well as in Czech Republic, where »Endless Forms Most Beautiful« received gold-status after just two days. Germany and Switzerland follow with a brilliant #2. Another amazing result is the #3 in Floor Jansen’s native country Netherland….We are grateful to all our fans for standing behind us. We can’t wait to meet you during this world tour we start today! Thank you!“
SWEDEN – Despotz Records has announced its latest signing, Sweden’s raucous rock ‘n roll whirlwind, Thundermother, who will release its Despotz debut later this year. To celebrate, the band has teamed up with Revolver to stream the upcoming album’s first single, “It’s Just a Tease,” at: http://www.revolvermag.com/?p=72507.
The band commented: “Thundermother is in good hands. We have now officially signed with the awesome Despotz Records! We are super stoked! The future is upon us! Watch this space!”
GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN – Greek/Swedish melodic death metal band, Nightrage, has teamed up with Revolver Magazine to launch a music video for the new track “Stare into Infinity” at: http://www.revolvermag.com/?p= 72650. The song comes from the band’s upcoming sixth studio album, The Puritan, set to release on April 24 through Despotz Records.
“‘Stare into Infinity’ is one of my favorite songs on our new album The Puritan,” guitarist Marios Iliopoulos told Revolver. “It has all those elements that are Nightrage – heavy riffs, emotional melodies and brutal vocal hooks. The whole arrangement of the song is very simplistic and in your face. The verses are very thrashy with straightforward riffs and pounding drums, creating that feeling of power and metal mayhem. The chorus is where the song really lifts up with those signature Nightrage melodic guitars and big ’80s metal riffs played with a thrashy and more modern approach. And Ronnie´s vocals, singing with such a great passion and old school melodic death metal vibes, makes for a really cool contrast on that part.
“Lyrically, it´s a song that has to do with leading you out of dark times, reaching the light at the end of the tunnel and leaving everything that’s troubling you behind – searching to find your inner self.
“The production and sound that Daniel Bergstrand and George Neranzis did for the song made all the difference in the world; they really gave the song the needed power and loudness to create such a strong and beautifully loud brutal/melodic sound.”
Known for being a member of MANOWAR between 1988 and 1994, DAVID SHANKLE remains a world renowned super shred guitarist and instructor for all true metal fans – as heard by the upcoming third full-length offering by his band, DSG, titled ‘STILL A WARRIOR.’ To be released on April 24th in Germany and April 28th worldwide via Pure Steel Records, the ten-track album is sure to please long-time fans of the fleet-fingered talents of Shankle.
“I’m very happy to say that I feel this is the best DSG record to date,” says Shankle. “I also feel this is the best DSG band out of all three of them so far. I’m very proud of everyone of these guys great job they did on the record.” Joining Shankle in DSG are vocalist Warren Halvarson, bassist Mike Streicher, and drummer Gabriel Anthony. “With new singer Warren Halvarson, new bass player Mike Streicher, and our new drummer Gabriel Anthony, this is by far the BEST line up to date.”
For 13 years, Shankle has been enjoying a solo career, as evidenced by the two albums, ‘Ashes To Ashes’ (2003) and ‘Hellborn’ (2007). And ‘Still A Warrior’ does not disappoint, as it features both metallic anthems (the title track) and instrumentals (“The Hitman”) with such guest artists as Michael Angelo Batio, Joe Stump, and Parker Lundgren from QUEENSRYCHE. Also, the “Demonic Solo” (from the movie ‘Jezebeth’) is being hailed as one of the fastest guitar solos in the world.
Shankle: “I think the new DSG record, ‘Still A Warrior,’ is a combination of the best from the ‘Ashes to Ashes’ and ‘Hellborn’ CD’s. A lot of great melodic vocals and full neo-classical shred guitar in your face.” ‘Still A Warrior’ confirms: friends of US metal with a classical shred guitar influences will completely be satisfied by their old hero again!
Burning Point signs with AFM Records / new song snippet available!
Finnish power metallers BURNING POINT have signed with AFM Records. Being an active part of the European power metal scene for the last 15 years, the band around mastermind/guitarist Pete Ahonen has added former Battle Beast vocalist Nitte Valo to the group’s ranks in 2014 and is set to release their new album soon. Exact details will be announced soon.
Ahonen comments: “To me AFM Records has always been a label of quality releases and the words can’t describe of how happy and excited I and we are to be a part of the AFM family! It has been very clear from the start that they have a heart full of fire and huge load of enthusiasm towards the bands in their roster. I have to say that first time in YEARS we (label and the band) work as a TEAM.”
A first song snippet (re-recorded 2015 version of the band’s track “All The Madness”) is available for streaming here:
With AEROSMITH set for another massive summer tour, the iconic and pioneering band has one more reason to celebrate in 2015: the 40th anniversary of the release of their landmark album TOYS IN THE ATTIC. Released April 8, 1975 , the album was AEROSMITH’s third release, becoming an eight-time platinum album and yielding such immortal tracks as “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion.”
Critical support for the album included:
Gordon Fletcher’s Rolling Stone album review (7/31/1975) noted: “a five-piece Boston hard-rock band with almost unlimited potential…Aerosmith can be very good…and material like ‘Walk This Way,’ ‘Sweet Emotion’ and the title cut adequately proves this…”
Robert Christgau gave the album a B+ review for Consumer Guide saying, “These boys are learning a trade in record time…Tyler has a gift for the dirty line as well as the dirty look–anybody who can hook a song called ‘Adam’s Apple’ around the phrase ‘love at first bite’ deserves to rehabilitate a blue blues like ‘Big Ten Inch Record.’”
All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine added: “The success of the album derives from a combination of an increased sense of songwriting skills and purpose. Not only does Joe Perry turn out indelible riffs like ‘Walk This Way,’ ‘Toys in the Attic”…but Steven Tyler has fully embraced sleaziness as his artistic muse. Taking his cue from the old dirty blues ‘Big Ten Inch Record,’ Tyler writes with a gleeful impishness about sex throughout Toys in the Attic , whether it’s the teenage heavy petting of ‘Walk This Way,’ the promiscuous ‘Sweet Emotion,’ or the double-entendres of ‘Uncle Salty’ and ‘Adam’s Apple.’ The rest of Aerosmith, led by Perry’s dirty, exaggerated riffing, provide an appropriately greasy backing. Before Toys in the Attic, no other hard rock band sounded like this…Aerosmith was a gritty, street-wise hard rock band who played their blues as blooze and were in it for a good time; Toys in the Attic crystallizes that attitude.”
Highlights from a VH1.COM (4/7/15) piece entitled “‘Toys in the Attic’ Turns 40: Ranking The Songs On Aerosmith’s Classic Album,” include: “You See Me Crying,” on which “rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford…cascades luscious licks atop the song’s crescendo, turning its closing moments–as well as the album’s–into a breathless rush of, indeed, sweet emotion.” On “Round and Round,” Joey Kramer’s “initial climbing drums that collapse into a cosmic stomp,” while “‘Sweet Emotion’ seems to float up out of a desert heat-storm, powered by Tom Hamilton’s looping bass-line…” And on “Walk This Way”: “Joey Kramer’s stuttering kick-off drumbeats on ‘Walk This Way’ blow open a path for Joe Perry’s guitar riff, which is arguably his most famous and inarguably one of the most perfect in all of rock.” The title track is “a tsunami of [Whitford’s] guitar and [Kramer’s] drums and [Hamilton’s] bass that somehow go backward and forward at the same time.”
Beyond the critical acclaim TOYS IN THE ATTIC generated, musicians have honored the work–which reached #11 on the Billboard album charts–by covering a variety of the album’s tracks. Most notably, “Walk This Way,” a 1986 Billboard Top 4 single collaboration with Run–D.M.C. and a pivotal song in the burgeoning rock-rap genre, featured TYLER (on co-lead vocals) and PERRY (guitar). The track went on to become an international hit and earned both groups a Soul Train Music Award for Best Rap-Single (1987). In 1999, AEROSMITH and Run–D.M.C. teamed up again to perform the song, this time with Kid Rock at the MTV Video Music Awards. A few years later, AEROSMITH again performed the song–accompanied by NSYNC, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly–to an international viewing audience as part of the Super Bowl XXXV halftime show (January 2001). Additional accolades for “Walk This Way” include inclusions in: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll; Rolling Stone ranked the original version of “Walk This Way” at #346 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, while the version with Run–D.M.C. is ranked at #293; “VH1: 100 Greatest Rock Songs” included “Walk This Way” at #35 (2000); Q magazine placed it at #23 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks (2005); Rolling Stone ranked the original version of “Walk This Way” at #34 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time (2008); VH1’s “100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs” included “Walk This Way” at #8 and VH1 ranked the version with Run–D.M.C. at #4 on VH1 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs (2009).
Other recorded covers from TOYS IN THE ATTIC include R.E.M.’s 1986 version of “Toys in the Attic,” a B-side to “Fall on Me”; the track also appears on the band’s Dead Letter Office, as well as the 1993 reissue of Life’s Rich Pageant; The String Cheese Incident’s take on “Walk This Way” appears on the jam/bluegrass band’s 1997 self-titled live album A String Cheese Incident; and Boston ska band The Mighty Mighty Bosstones included “Sweet Emotion” on their EP Where’d You Go? Other cover versions include Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon, The Answer, Warrant and Ratt on “Sweet Emotion”; Velvet Revolver on “No More No More”; and Sum 41 along with rappers Ja Rule and Nelly on “Walk This Way.”
Up next for AEROSMITH, beginning June 13, the band will return to the road with their “Blue Army Tour 2015.” The trek will take the band’s all original members–Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Joey Kramer, Tom Hamilton, and Brad Whitford–to 15 cities before concluding in Grand Rapids, MI on Tuesday, August 4. Immediately following the tour, AEROSMITH will perform on Friday, August 7 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s first-ever Concert for Legends. The concert–part of the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival–will pay tribute to the legends of the game on the eve of the Enshrinement for the Class of 2015.
For more information, check out the following sites:
A stunning video preview of “…And Justice For Art” book has been released. Pre-orders for limited second edition are now available.
According to Morbid Angel’s legendary bassist/vocalist, David Vincent, the book …And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers is set to become “a historical document about the importance of Metal album covers.” This volume is a one-of-a-kind collection of stories that recount for the first time, all the particulars behind the making of artworks as iconic as SLAYER’s “Reign In Blood”, MORBID ANGEL’s “Blessed Are The Sick”, METALLICA’s “…And Justice For All”, MOTORHEAD’s “Orgasmatron”, DEATH’s “Symbolic”, ANTHRAX’s “Among The Living”, CARCASS’ “Heartwork”, TESTAMENT’s “Dark Roots Of Earth”, OPETH’s “Heritage”, AT THE GATES’ “Slaughter Of The Soul,” VAN HALEN’s “1984” and many others.
Martos spent more than three years researching and interviewing more than 100 established and underground Metal bands for the book as well as renowned visual artists like Travis Smith, Eliran Kantor, Paul Raymond Gregory, Arik Roper, and Joe Petagno, among others.
The book’s foreword was written by Morbid Angel’s David Vincent. It features more than 400 graphics (some of them never seen before) and 264 glossy, color pages. It was printed thanks to a successful Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign that Martos launched last year raising 236% of its original goal. And Justice For Art is also scheduled to be one of the main attractions of the Rock & Metal Gallery at the UK’s famous Bloodstock Open Air in August 2015.
Several personalities of the Metal scene have already given praises to the book. For example, Cattle Decapitation’s vocalist, Travis Ryan, affirmed that this volume is “exactly what the music world needs to remind us all just how important album covers have been to all of us that grew up surrounding ourselves with physical media.” Obituary’s drummer, Donald Tardy, declared: “I think this book will help to keep alive all these artworks.” In addition, While Heaven Wepts’s guitarist, Tom Phillips, commented that “And Justice For Art delves far deeper into the behind-the-scenes stories than any other art books that I’m aware of. I have no doubt it will become an important document for musicologists in years to come.”
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.