Henrik Ostergaard, lead singer for Pennsylvania-based rockers DIRTY LOOKS and current FnA Recording Artist, passed away this morning, Thursday, January 27th, 2011 at 9:18 AM.
The cause of death at this time is unknown and the results of an autopsy are pending.
The rock world will sadly mourn the loss of this 80s hard rocker. Ostergaard, who was of Danish descent, lived in Erie, PA. In 1985, Henrik started the band Dirty Looks. Three independent albums and an EP would soon follow, which led to Dirty Looks getting signed by Atlantic Records. Later in Henrik’s career, he would be signed to Sony Records and most recently FnA Records, where he released a new album, I.C.U., in 2010.
Soulspell Metal Opera is a Brazilian Heavy Metal project led by drummer Heleno Vale. The project’s first album A LEGACY OF HONOR was released in 2008 followed by the second album THE LABYRINTH OF TRUTHS in 2010. The project has appearances from from metal heavyweights such as Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween and Masterplan), Zak Stevens (Circle II Circle, ex-Savatage), Jon Oliva (TSO, ex-Savatage), Blaze Bayley (ex-Iron Maiden), Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens (Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Judas Priest, ex-Iced Earth, etc.) and some great Brazilian names like Edu Falaschi (Angra) and Nando Fernandes (Hangar). We recently spoke to Heleno Vale, the mastermind behind this interesting and ambitious project. Read the rest of this entry »
Finnish melancholy rockers AMORPHIS are currently hard at work recording their as-of-yet-untitled follow up to 2009`s Skyforger release. Expect a May 27th release in Europe! Guitarist Esa Holopainen offered the following update:
A little updating on what’s happening in camp Amorphis. The album recordings are running smoothly (whatever that means). We are now working with vocals and again we have Marco Hietala producing Tomi. This time everything else has been done at Sonic Pump Studios except vocals which are currently under work at Marco’s home studio in Kuopio.
We are coming out with roughly 15 new songs and for the album there’s most likely going to be 10-11 tracks. Again it’s a great feeling to start to realize that the songs and ideas which have been in our heads are finally going to see the daylight.
Pekka Kainulainen has worked really hard with lyrics. The album is going to tell the story of the most important character of Finnish mythology and folklore. He is the Finnish god Väinämöinen who was described to be an extremely powerful old wise man who had a magical voice. Some believe that Väinämöinen was creator of the world; an ancient hero and very influential shaman.
Having a subject as strong as this it was pretty obvious that making music for the album was going to be a challenge. There are lots of musical elements which have been heard on previous albums but there are much more. Needless to say that we are keen to give all the material over to Mikko Karmila who is going to start the mixing at the end of this month.
Travis Smith is currently working with the album cover and the coming art looks so far no less than amazing.
“Timeline: The Beginning And End Of Everything”, which was produced by the band’s guitarist/vocalist Ron Vento, marks the recording debut of drummer Mark Green. It will consist of nine tracks and two narratives. The album is a conceptual effort that starts from the beginning of all existence and continues through until the very end of universe and the eventual retraction and rebirth of it all.
“Timeline: The Beginning And End Of Everything” track listing:
Welcoming the rebirth of Sweden ‘s LEKAMEN ILLUSIONEN KALLET (LIK), Nordvis Produktion is pleased to announce that the occult black rock project of multi-instrumentalist/composer Graav had completed work on a new masterpiece entitled The Second Wind. Last summer it was announced that LIK was resurrected and had started working on the follow up to 2007’s self-titled album. The recording was recently finished and everyone is stunned with the results. More details forthcoming. Stay tuned!
X Japan - Left to Right: Sugizo, Toshi, Yoshiki, Heath, Pata
Band In The Studio Recording American Debut
Set for a Late Summer 2011 Release
LOS ANGELES, CA – THURSDAY, January 27, 2011 — X JAPAN, the most successful rock band in Japanese history, and EMI Music have signed an exclusive three-year manufacturing and distribution agreement that will have EMI Label Services handle the band’s releases in North America. The first release will be the track “Jade” on March 15, followed by the band’s as yet untitled American debut set for a late Summer 2011 release.
“We are so honored to have X Japan as part of the EMI Label Services/Caroline family,” commented Mike Harris, Executive Vice President/General Manager, EMI Label Services & Caroline Distribution. “After the highly successful North American tour last fall, the timing is perfect for the upcoming X Japan release.”
Added Dominic Pandiscia, Executive Vice President EMI Music Services North America, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with X Japan. They have cultivated a strong following in the U.S. and we look forward to working with them, helping to reach even more fans.”
X Japan – Yoshiki/band leader/producer/songwriter/drums and piano, Toshi/vocals, Pata/guitar, Sugizo/guitar and violin, and Heath/bass – is in the studio putting the finishing touches on the album, the band’s first new studio album since 1996 and fifth overall. Half of the songs will be culled from some of the band’s Gold and Platinum Japanese singles; the other half are brand-new songs, and an estimated 95% of the lyrics are being sung in English.
“Some of the songs on this new album were originally written with Japanese lyrics,” Yoshiki explained, “so translating them into English has been challenging. For some reason, English needs more words, so I ended up re-writing many of the lyrics but kept the same message.”
Most of the album has been recorded in Los Angeles at Yoshiki’s own studio. It’s the same studio where Metallica recorded its classic “Black” album, and artists from Van Halen to Michael Jackson to KISS also recorded there before Yoshiki bought it and turned it into a private facility. Yoshiki, who lives in Los Angeles, traveled to Japan a handful of times to record with the rest of the band there. In addition, some of the album has been recorded live over the Internet, with Yoshiki in L.A. and the band’s other members at their studio in Japan.
Added Yoshiki, “X Japan’s music is everything from fast, super-heavy rock to ballads with classical piano – all of those elements are what makes X Japan’s music. We don’t play just one kind of music – we want to take people on a journey.”
The X Japan/EMI agreement comes on the heels of X Japan’s U.S. concert debut last August at Lollapalooza, and the band’s first-ever North American tour that wrapped up on October 10 with a sold out show at New York’s Roseland Ballroom. Many of the new album’s tracks were introduced to western fans when they were performed on the tour, including “Rusty Nail,” “Kurenai,” “I.V.,” “Born To Be Free,” “Endless Rain,” and the album’s first single, “Jade.”
Over the course of the tour’s seven dates, all played in theatre-sized venues, X Japan easily demonstrated why they’ve sold more than 30-million units and filled the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome a record-setting 18 times. X Japan hadn’t played venues that small in more than 15 years, so they tailored their “stadium-mindset” production to the theaters, making every effort to bring their take-no-prisoners theatrics and spectacular visuals to America. As the SF Weekly put it, “All it took was one show to make it very clear why X Japan is such a phenomenon in its homeland.”
Distribution agreements outside of North America, including Japan, will be announced shortly.
To support the new album, X Japan plans to tour extensively in 2011.
Frost Despair posted live videos of the show at Bar Opinião in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on December 19th, when they played as Cradle of Filth‘s opening act. The band’ set list featured songs from their forthcoming EP, which will be released in a few months. Watch the videos on the following links:
Johan Hegg, leader of Viking-inspired death metal collective AMON AMARTH, will premiere “War Of The Gods” on Full Metal Jackie’s syndicated metal radio show this coming weekend (January 28 – January 30). “War Of The Gods” is the opening track and first single off the band’s anticipated Surtur Rising full-length, scheduled for North American release via Metal Blade on March 29, 2011. The eighth long-player in AMON AMARTH‘s winding discography, Surtur Rising was recorded, mixed and mastered at Fascination Street Studios Örebro, Sweden with Jens Bogren and features the fiery cover art of Tom Thiel.
Hegg spoke to Full Metal Jackie at length about the record earlier this month. To find a rock station near you carrying the show, go to: www.fullmetaljackieradio.com
Stay tuned for the official Surtur Rising landing page!
Extreme progressive technical metal band TEXTURES have started recording their fourth album at Split Second Sound studios in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The album will be produced by TEXTURES’ guitar player Jochem Jacobs, who was also responsible for the production of TEXTURES’ previous albums.
Jochem had the following to say about the new recordings:
“It’s all really exciting! This album is really going to express where and what we are these days… and that’s a good thing. We’ve been through a lot lately, especially the last year. Now with some new air and fresh ideas, we finally reached the point that we are actually quite confident in the new material. Sometimes you just have to crawl through the mud first to get to dry grounds. We are in the middle of the pre-production now, getting our asses in gear to create this baby. It’s kinda cool to see this band grow more and more and to continue this musical journey that we’ve been on for 10 years! Let’s make this thing heavy!!!”
A Fall 2011 release is expected through Nuclear Blast Records for the untitled new album. It is the follow-up to 2008’s Silhouettes.
Earsplit PR is incredibly proud to join forces with Chicago’s infamous murder metal trio MACABRE, as the fiends prepare to eviscerate the public with their first album in eight long years!
Recorded over the course of the band’s 25th anniversary, the highly anticipated 14-track platter of splatter Grim Scary Tales presents the classic MACABRE style fans have come to bloodthirstily expect, cleverly combining nursery rhyme sing-along quirkiness with ultra-tight, high-speed, gore/grind/death ingenuity. Their first full length since 2003’s blistering Murder Metal, this time MACABRE have cleverly devised a “story book of murder,” as Grim Scary Tales traces some of the most infamous serial killers and mass murderers. From the beginning or recorded mass killers, the album progresses through the annals of the world’s creepiest ghouls, including Locusta, Vlad Tepes, Gilles Garnier, Elizabeth Bathory, Mary Ann Cotton, the Bender Family, Lizzie Borden, Karl Grossmann and more. Recorded and mixed at The Ensomberoom by Geoff Montgomery (The Chasm, Coffinworm, Shub Niggurath, Couldron), this crushing album also bears original artwork and layout crafted by Scott Jackson of Monsterman Graphics and Rock N Roll Comics notoriety, perfectly visualizing the album’s gory nature. View the cover art, live footage and more at this location.
Today, Noisecreep.com is hosting a premiere of the track “The Big Bad Wolf” from Grim Scary Tales. Check it out here.
Keeping a band together for 25 years is a monumental thing for any group of musicians, but to keep a trio together without a lineup change in a quarter of a century as MACABRE have is nearly unheard of. Yet as time goes on, MACABRE remain in their initial lineup, as always consisting of Corporate Death (lead vocals, guitar), Dennis The Menace (drums) and Nefarious (bass, vocals).
To be released on the band’s own Decomposed Records as always, Grim Scary Tales is directly licensed for North American release on February 8th via Willowtip Records, and in Europe January 31st on Hammerheart Records. Promos of the album will be available immediately to North American writers, as well as interviews with the members of MACABRE over the coming weeks.
Grim Scary Tales Track Listing:
2. Nero’s Inferno
3. The Black Knight
5. The Big Bad Wolf
6. Countess Bathory (Venom cover)
7. Burke and Hare
8. Mary Ann
9. The Bloody Benders
10. Lizzie Borden
11. The Ripper Tramp From France
12. Bella the Butcher
13. The Kiss of Death
14. The Sweet Tender Meat Vendor
According to a brief update at the band’s website, the members of JUDAS PRIEST are working together on writing new material.
Says the band, “All is going really well – more details later!”
In other news, the band have added a new date to their Epitaph World Tour. The band will now visit Katowice, Poland on July 10th to perform at the Metal Hammer Festival at the Spodek venue.
Check out the band’s complete itinerary below:
Judas Priest Epitaph tour dates:
7 – Eindhaar – Tilburg, Holland
9 – Sweden Rock – Solvesborg, Sweden
11 – Sauna Festival – Tampere, Finland
14 – Spektrum – Oslo, Norway
15 – Edward Greig Plass – Bergen, Norway
17 – Copenhell Festival – Copenhagen, Denmark
19 – Hellfest – Nantes, France
20 – Le Zenith – Paris, France
22 – Gods of Metal Festival – Milan, Italy
23 – Sonisphere Festival – Switzerland
25 – Graspop Festival – Dessel, Belgium
28 – O2 Arena – Prague, Czech Republic
29 – Stadthalle – Vienna, Austria
1 – Belgrade Arena – Belgrade, Serbia
10 – Metal Hammer Festival – Katovice, Poland
23 – High Voltage Festival – London, UK
LEGION have completed work on their follow up to their self titled critically acclaimed debut. The all new album “Code Of Honour” features 11 blistering tracks that will leave fans speechless. Z Records head Mark Alger stated ” the new Legion is a monster of an album, it seriously over shadows their amazing debut which I don’t say that lightly. Be prepared people this is a very special album indeed.”Code Of Honour will be released April 4th with the following track listingSteal The Show, Long Way Down, Riding On The Wind, Down In Flames,Living With The Past, Love Aint The Same, All Is Forgiven, Freight Train,Take Your Time, Liar, Hard Times.
Fans of the band can tune into Chris Nelson’s Hair Metal Haven on February 5th when Chris will play some World Exclusive tracks on his show on Phoenix Radio between 5pm – 7pm UK time www.phoenixradio.co.uk
VIKING SKULL released a compilation of their deleted EP’s under the ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ banner in October last year, supported The Damned Things on the Relentless Energy Sessions, and closed Hard Rock Hell III, and remain a favorite on many people’s best bands of the weekend list.
2011 looking a great year for Viking Skull, an EP scheduled for May 2011, a new album towards the end of 2011, Main Stage at Hammerfest III, various festival slots across Europe waiting to be finalized, but first the band head out as ‘Special Guests’ to BLACK SPIDERS and openers TURBOWOLF.
Blackened death metal emperors IMPIETY, who feature within their ranks bassist/vocalist Shyaithan, guitarists Guh Lu (Xeper, Divine Codex,) and Eskathon and drummer Atum (Malfeitor, Divine Codex), will release a three-song EP via Singapore’s Pulverised Records later this winter. Entitled Advent Of…, the EP was recorded, mixed and mastered at Music City Studios in Montebelluna, Italy earlier this month and features cover art by renowned Thai artist Lord Sickness. Check it out HERE. All songs were written and arranged once again by Shyaithan.
Advent Of… Track Listing:
1. Advent Of The Nuclear Baphomet
2. Ave Satanas
3. Blood Ritual Defamation Contact Pulverised Records for pre-order info.