Swedish death metallers AMON AMARTH have issued the following year-end update:
“We want to thank everyone that has supported and helped us in 2012.
“2013 will be another intense year for AMON AMARTH, and looks like it will be slightly unpredictable and mischievous…
“We’ve just finished writing all the songs for the next full-length album, and we’re ready to enter the studio to start recording them in the New Year.”
AMON AMARTH has tapped British producer Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, MACHINE HEAD, ARCH ENEMY, ACCEPT) to helm the band’s next studio album, tentatively due in June 2013 via Metal Blade Records.
Regarding AMON AMARTH’s decision to work with Sneap after utilizing Jens Bogren for the band’s last three studio efforts (2006′s “With Oden On Our Side”, 2008′s “Twilight Of The Thunder God” and 2011′s “Surtur Rising”), AMON AMARTH guitarist Olavi Mikkonen told Decibel magazine, “We were looking for a change, and Andy has been in our thoughts for some years now. After meeting with him, we felt a good connection. We think this is going to be a ripper.”
AMON AMARTH’s eighth studio album, “Surtur Rising”, sold around 15,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 34 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band’s previous CD, “Twilight of the Thunder God”, opened with more than 11,000 copies back in 2008 to land at No. 48.
EarMUSIC will release the long-awaited new studio album by STRATOVARIUS called Nemesis, as standard 11-track edition as well as 13-track special edition on February 22nd. Check out a sample of the title track below:
Stratovarius – Nemesis
Nemesis will include the following tracklisting:
‘Stand My Ground’
‘Out Of The Fog’
‘Castles In The Air’
‘One Must Fall’
‘If The Story Is Over’
Another sample of the track ‘Unbreakable’ can be heard below:
Stratovarius are hailed as one of the most influential and successful symphonic metal bands in the world and they have managed to establish themselves as one of the metal scene’s heavy names. The new album, Nemesis, unites all the best traits of the band’s melodic, powerful, fresh and technically elaborated metal, all spiced up with an incredible sense for melody.
The album was produced and mixed by Matias Kupiainen and mastered by Mika Jussila from Finnvox studios, who has a long history with the band.
Nemesis has a dark and more modern sound compared to the band’s last album, Elysium. It clearly shows how much the band has matured and grown as songwriters. At the same time, the band focused all their attention and work into creating and recording Nemesis. Singer Timo Kotipelto has spent three weeks recording the vocals in a cottage in the Finnish countryside.
Matias Kupiainen adds: “I have more or less lived in the studio for four months, obsessing over every detail. I feel very relieved that we are done and I am very happy with the material and the sound.”
Timo Kotipelto agrees: “Making the album this time was easier because we gave it as much time as it needed. We have worked our asses off to make this and we hope the fans will like it.”
Without doubt, the fans will love it! The album has it all. From the typical melodic and powerful Stratovarius sound in ‘Abandon’, to the aggressive and energetic ‘Stand My Ground’, the album represents the new style of the band mixed with good old melodic power metal. Stratovarius’ musical approach is today wider and richer than ever. The song ‘Fantasy’ sounds almost ABBA-esque with its catchy pop tune, but it’s powered by the famous Stratovarius metal sound, louder than ever. ‘Out Of The Fog’ integrates some folk music elements, with lyrics telling the story of a young person forced to march blindly into battle. The only ballad on the album, ‘If The Story Is Over’, is a very emotional song with a grand arrangement that builds up to using the full band and ends with a small female choir. The title track ‘Nemesis’ is a typical Stratovarius song, with echoes of medieval melodies with powerful double bass drumming and the catchy pop melodies from this side of the millennium.
Says Timo Kotipelto: “The title track of the album; with its modern twist on the myth of Nemesis, tells a story of a preacher who gives each one what they deserve, good or bad. The song has a very nice riff, cool melodies and a great good old Stratovarius style chorus.”
To shorten the waiting period for the album, January 25th finds the release of the limited edition EP, Unbreakable. It features five songs: the new album leading track ‘Unbreakable’ and a selection of four songs from previous albums, remastered by Mika Jussila. Songs like ‘Falling Star’ (taken from Polaris) and ‘Freedom’ (taken from Infinite) show a different, catchy side of Stratovarius and guide the way to the new masterpiece Nemesis.
Matias Kupiainen about the new song: “’Unbreakable’ is a very important song to me and the lyrics have a lot of personal meaning. Sometimes you can snap out of your day to day fog and see what is important. And when you are in that special moment, when you have that special feeling, you are invincible, unbreakable; you should really stop and enjoy the feeling. Even, if the whole world falls apart tomorrow.”
Timo Kotipelto adds: “This album has a darker and more modern sound. We, as a band, have gone through a lot and we have matured as songwriters. The making of this album was easier than before, because we could give it as much time as needed.”
‘Unbreakable’ (taken from the brand new studio album Nemesis)
‘Falling Star’ (taken from Polaris)
‘The Game Never Ends’ (taken from Elysium)
‘Freedom’ (taken from Infinite)
‘Why Are We Here’ (taken from Intermission)
(Songs 2-5 remastered by Mika Jussila in 2012)
Stratovarius and AMARANTHE are teaming up in a double headline bill next spring. The Nordic Nexus Of Nemesis Tour 2013 will kick off in Munich, Germany on March 20th.
In 1992, Hard Rock fans were hit broadside with a momentous hard rock album, entitled Want Some, that seemed to come out of nowhere. The band was Roxy Blue, and while they were relatively unknown outside of their hometown of Memphis, music industry insiders knew that there was something about this band that set them apart from all the pretty boy hair bands that were currently being signed on a daily basis. So much so that everyone wanted to work with Roxy Blue and be a part of their magic! When the smoke cleared, Motley Crue’s management team was chosen to head the ship, Guns N’ Roses Producer (Mike Clink) was chosen to produce their debut album, and Geffen Records was the label that would release it.
Word spread quickly that Roxy Blue was the hottest new band around and they became the darlings of the hard rock media. Management was gearing up to break Roxy Blue as ‘The Next Big Thing’. With constant comparisons to Van Halen, Warrant, and even Motley Crue everyone was feeling the energy and momentum surrounding this band. The bands album, Want Some, immediately broke the Top 40 on Billboards AOR chart and was even reported to be the ‘Most Spun Rock Record Of The Summer’ by Record and Review Magazine. A tour with Babylon A.D. and Wildside kicked off the summer party while MTV constantly kept the bands videos in rotation on shows like the “Top Twenty Countdown”, “Most Wanted”, and” Headbangers Ball”. The band was on a rocket-ride winning masses of fans in the process.
Just like a summer love affair, Roxy Blue was here and gone in the blink of an eye. It all came and went too quickly and fans were left wanting more! But something funny was going on in the music industry and a whole legion of hard rock hair-band fans were left scratching their heads as a genre they heavily supported was systematically being deconstructed… And the band would be left holding the distinction of ‘The Last Successful Hair Band Of All Time’ according to the novel “The History Of Rock-n-Roll”.
Where did it all go? How could a band with such a huge momentum and powerful live show and tons of fans all of a sudden be gone? The fans were definitely left Wanting Some More; and twenty years later that’s what the fans are getting with the release of WANT SOME MORE, STRIPPED, and LIVE AT NIGHTMOVES all available through FnA Records (www.fnarecords.net).
FnA Records has formed an alliance with Roxy Blue to pick up where they left off. The best way to do this is to raid the vaults and pull out all the unreleased studio recordings, demos, b-sides, rarities, and live tracks recorded before and during the early Roxy Blue Days.
FnA Records is proud to bring you these three albums available individually, as a three-pack (at a reduced price), and as autographed fan packs with a limited edition Roxy Blue guitar pic. However, as a present to the die-hard fans, anyone buying a three-pack (all 3 albums) prior to Christmas will receive a limited edition Roxy Blue guitar pic as well.
Texarkana, Texas metal act SYLO has unveiled the new cover art for their forthcoming EP entitled “Monument of Nothing”, set to be released via The Metal Den Records tentatively in March/2013. View it above. More details will be revealed soon.
In June of 2012, SYLO’s bassist Jared McCasland passed away due to drowning. He was replaced by Wallace Gholson. Having just been crowned The Metal Den’s first ever battle of the bands champion in 2011, this devastating musical act has been unloading the ultimate sonic destruction in live shows that need to be seen to be believed and “Monument of Nothing” will be a game changer.
RIGOR MORTIS and WARBEAST frontman Bruce Corbitt spoke to Jay Nanda of the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner about the passing of MINISTRY and RIGOR MORTIS guitarist Mike Scaccia, who died on December 22 while performing with RIGOR MORTIS at The Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas at Corbitt’s 50th-birthday celebration.
“If I picked the one most important person of my life, not counting my own family and brother, it would be Mike Scaccia,” Corbitt said. “I’ve said it from the beginning: I would’ve never been in a band or started singing in a band if I didn’t become friends with Mike. And now here I am 30 years later, I’m still doing tours and making albums. I owe everything to him. Because when I met him, I was just a fan, into music. I had dreams like everybody. Veteran air guitarist, but never bothered to learn to play an instrument and kind of too shy to try to sing. But we became close friends, and I realized this was a guy that was put on this earth to play his guitar. Somebody with greatness, who had a gift. I wanted to be in a band with him so bad because he would make us all look good. I didn’t even know how to sing, but somehow, because I had long hair (and) I could party all night. [laughs] It’s a true story. That’s kind of how I got the job. I’m talking about our first band called SPECTRUM. It didn’t last too long, and Mike went his own way. We stayed in touch here and there, but a few years later, when he started RIGOR MORTIS with Casey Orr and Harden Harrison, again I wanted to be in a band with Mike so bad, I did everything I could. He was such a humble guy. He was never going to brag about himself, but I always said, “Man, I’m Mike Scaccia’s No. 1 fan,” and I sure didn’t have any trouble going out and telling everyone what a great guitarist he is. I’m going to miss him every day for the rest of my life.”
He added: “When you’ve got someone like that with such a talent to not have an ego at the same time, that’s a rare combination. You just don’t find that very often. That’s the thing, you know. Such a great guy, great friend. He had such a sense of humor. He made our lives more fun when we were around him. He was such a family-oriented guy with his parents and his sisters and his wife and kids. Can’t say anything bad about Mike Scaccia, man, you know? He was always there for everyone, and I’m blessed to have known him.”
Regarding the circumstances behind Mike’s passing, Bruce said: “Now, looking back, at first, you’re like, ‘Wow, what if I would have not asked him to play on my birthday? Would this have happened? Would he still be here?’ It’s a 32-year-old friendship — agreeing to give up some time for Christmas with his family to come practice with us and do a show. And then we’re on stage together; it was going to be one of the best shows I remember. There’s just so many, but at the time, everyone was in great spirits, celebrating. And the new material, that was what’s so cool. We got to play some of these new songs with Mike. And that’s the thing. You never understand why this happened, but I think I said that last night, if Mike himself could have wrote the perfect ending, this would be it. He was still gripping that guitar, and we took it out of his hands when we were trying to help him. It’s a devastating thing to deal with and see, but over time, I’m going to be thankful that it happened the way it happened — as bad as that sounds. I don’t know. I’m glad I was by his side ’till the very last minute.”
You may not recognize the name, but his iconic covers are etched in the metalhead minds of millions. He was born May 19th, 1962 and has roots in Berkeley, Halifax, Manhattan, Boston, Greece and Berlin where his hardened vision caught the eyes of a young Karl Walterbach of Noise Records fame. His name is Philip Lawvere and he has a pleasure to kill! I mean, his insignia can be found on such classic album art from KREATOR, CELTIC FROST, RAGE, DEATH ROW, WARRANT, VENDETTA and HELLOWEEN!
BraveWords: You are probably most known from the Kreator material. How did you meet Mille? Were these original pieces or did Kreator commission you to create them? What happened after 1988? Opinion of Kreator art now? Have you pitched any to them lately?
Lawvere: “Fans will be surprised to learn that I have never met Mille, as with most of the bands at Noise. I dealt directly with Karl Walterbach in his office most of the time. Pleasure To Kill for example was something I had painted for myself, and which the band only chose to use later (Mille confirms that in interviews). As far as their cover art since then, they’ve reused my demon head in multiple images, even distorted it by adding things etc. That’s not really cool to do without permission of the artist… but I was hard to find, and some even thought I was dead. Just like Hieronymus Bosch, who’s art was also ‘lifted’ for their cover… but his copyright has long expired, since the law grants it ‘for the life of the author, plus 70 years’. No new covers are likely to happen either, while they are ignoring my royalties petition. People have told me to drop it, and use my association with them to get new work… but they don’t know me very well.”
Finnish melodic metallers SONATA ARCTICA have posted the first five video clips featuring behind-the-scenes footage from their recent North American tour in support of the band’s latest album, “Stones Grow Her Name”. Check them out below.
SONATA ARCTICA’s latest album, “Stones Grow Her Name”, was certified gold in Finland for sales in excess of 10,000 copies. Released in Europe on May 18 and in North America on May 22 via Nuclear Blast Records, the CD was recorded in several studios all over Finland, mixed at Sonic Pump Studios by Mikko Karmila and mastered at Chartmakers by Svante Forsbäck. The effort was released as a limited-edition digipak, standard jewel case, vinyl and download.
“Stones Grow Her Name” sold around 2,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 9 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
Kraków, Poland’s Black/Thrash Kommando RAGEHAMMER known mainly from unexpected live attacks conducted during last year along such hordes, as Thornafire, Embrional, Intestinal, Hell United, Christ Agony, Deivos or Ulcer, finally put finishing touches on the debut demo. War Hawks will consist of five pieces of pure Black/Thrash Metal, full of hatred, scorn and lack of respect for the living and the dead as well, inspired by such murderous squadrons as Nifelheim, Desaster, Gehennah, Von, Impaled Nazarene, Deströyer 666 or Darkthrone. The extermination plan looks as follows:RageHammer Rising, Prophet of Genocide, Hate Command, The Wolfpack, Gospel of the Scum.Stop wasting good air – cease breathing.
Demo was recorded by the lineup consisting of: Corpsebutcher (bass), Bestial Avenger (guitars), Mortar (drums) and Heretik Hellstörm (vocals). The session took place at No Solace, mixed and mastered by M. (Mgla/Kriegsmachine/No Solace). The morbid cover artwork was deliviered by Klaudiusz Witczak (Throneum, Bloodthirst, Warfist, Anima Damnata among others…) and the sinister layout was prepared by Marcin of Upgrade Design Studio. The material will appear in form of digisleeve limited to 200 copies through Mythrone Promotion (www.facebook.com/mythroneprom
Promo pictures taken by: Tallee Savage, Partik Hellstrom,
Tim Tronckoe, Thomas Mead and Pamela C Navorro
The Swedish metal act Fatal Smile is ready to attack again with their fourth album called 21st CENTURY FREAKS. This time around I had the pleasure of talking to the bandleder/guitarist Mr. Y. We talked about the band, the new album, the past and present and future of the band. Since this interview was conducted, the band released a video for their second single “My Private Hell” and the band is confirmed for a tour in USA in 2013. Enjoy.
AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen (also ex-BODINE, VENGEANCE) has been confirmed as one of the guest musicians who will appear on “The Mystery Of Time”, the new album from EDGUY frontman Tobias Sammet’s AVANTASIA project. Also scheduled to make appearances on the CD are Michael Kiske (UNISONIC, HELLOWEEN), SAXON frontman Biff Byford, former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick and drummer Russell Gilbrook of URIAH HEEP.
Commented Sammet: “To me, he used to be what John D. Rockerduck is to Scrooge McDuck: an adamant longtime rival; in our case, when it comes to producing rock operas. Well, if you can’t beat your enemy, make him your ally! And so I opened the door and literally invited pestilence into my world, ha!
“Seriously, the truth is that the ‘pestilence’ I’m talking about is really one of the nicest, coolest and loveliest plagues I’ve ever come to know, an ambitious artist through and through and a real great guitar player. So, having just come back from a shopping tour in 2912 — where apparently he found himself a brand new pair of bad-ass pants and boots — he went into the studio to record some additional lead guitar for the forthcoming AVANTASIA album, ‘The Mystery Of Time’: AYREON mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen!”
A YouTube clip containing footage of the orchestra recordings as well as a rough-mix sample of a song featuring Kiske is available below.
Bruce previously appeared on AVANTASIA’s “The Wicked Symphony” and “Angel Of Babylon” CDs and Tobias contributed guest vocals to Bruce’s last solo release, “BK3″.
The new AVANTASIA CD is being recorded in part at VOX Klangstudio in Bendestorf, Germany with producer Sascha Paeth (KAMELOT, EDGUY, EPICA, RHAPSODY).
Immediately after the release of “The Mystery Of Time”, a metal opera based on a story written by Sammet, the band will embark on a full-fledged indoor tour, during which the band and special guests will bring the epic undertaking to the stage.
Since the performances will embrace all the different eras and history of AVANTASIA, these shows will feature an extended playing time and the entire evening will be dedicated to AVANTASIA with no support acts.
Tobias originally wanted to put AVANTASIA to rest after the release of the “The Flying Opera – Around The World In 20 Days” concert DVD in April 2011, but he has since had a change of heart. He explains, “Even though I love to record and tour with EDGUY, I didn’t foresee how much I need AVANTASIA when I decided to finish this chapter of my life in 2011. I didn’t know if there would be another AVANTASIA album one day, but I didn‘t feel like doing it. After the worldwide success of the latest studio releases, an arena world tour that was sold out pretty much everywhere, collaborations with childhood heroes like Alice Cooper, Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Eric Singer of KISS, etc. I ‘knew’ that I had said everything I could possibly say in the name of AVANTASIA. But that’s not what AVANTASIA is all about. I wanna create more great music, I wanna create more fantasy worlds, the bigger and the more epic, the better. And listening to the material that I have created for this forthcoming chapter in the history of AVANTASIA, I know there is no way I am not going to do it! I have got the feeling and the certainty that this is absolutely meant to happen and to be!”
Since J. Bergman and his creation Man.Machine.Industry had the opportunity to appear in the PS3 / X-Box 360 The Darkness things moved on fast for the band . After playing Sweden Rock Festival in 2009 the band signed a record deal with GMR Music (Krux, Crucified Barbara, Kamchatka) and released their third album “White Trash Devil In a Jesus Christ Pose” in 2010.
The album got great response from both fans and media and the band went on the road playing with bands such as Dr: Midnight & The Mercy Cult, Sonic Syndicate, Deathstars, Corroded, Raubtier, Engel among others. The band also climbed as high as number ONE on the My Space top chart for Swedish bands and held the position for a week and top 50 for a month.
In April 2012 J.B and his machine released the critically acclaimed album “Lean Back, Relax and Watch The World Burn” getting the best response possible. The album also has a guest appearance from Jens Westin of CORRODED on the single/video track “Eighties” and on the second video/single you can hear/see fifteen fans taking part of the recording and also long time friend of J.B. Ronnie Nyman (Always War) appears in the song and video.
As a live band MMI is something special guaranties Sweden’s Close-Up Magazine when they graded the band 9/10
for a live show with the words:
-Bergman screams with an intensity that would scare even Lemmy himself.
You rarely hear metal more powerful and genuinely mean.
As always MMI delivers a wide spread in their albums, all from the heaviest of the heavy in songs like “Lean Back relax And Watch The World Burn” to the fast blasting drums in “Time”. The band also delivers their first ever ballad in “The Cage” where J.B gets to show that he has a soulful depth and feeling to his voice.
A song like “Vivite Et Sinite Mori (live & let die)” and “What You See Is What You Get” shows yet another side of the band, a more commercial side but without letting their aggressive side suffer. And in songs like “To A Blood Red Sky”, “AIM! HOLD! FIRE! “and “War God” you definitely hear their thrash metal riffs crunching away just as many songs on the previous album did.
HATE Polish Death Black Metal warriors have just unleashed two teasers on their official YouTube channel for the new album Solarflesh. Check out the teasers for this masterpiece to hit the stores in the mourn of 2013!
THRAW, the Slovenian thrash metal machine released the first single from their upcoming full-length album scheduled for release in 2013 on Metal Tank Records. The song entitled “Doomsday Code” can be heard excluslively by visiting ROAD RAYGE (link: bit.ly/TpA3pO) or on Metal Tank Record’s official SoundCloud profile: