Indie Week Presents Wacken Metal Battle Canada Showcase: Friday, Nov 18 – Toronto, ON @ Coalition

November 14th, 2016
by EvilG

Free Download – Vol 4. Compilation featuring over 90 bands and 7 Hours of Canadian Metal – here.

    With WACKEN METAL BATTLE CANADA taking a break this year from battles, the event that crowns one champion to play Wacken Open Air has teamed up with Indie Week Canada to showcase some of the competing bands from years past along with some fresh new metal talents. The metal showcase will feature six stellar bands that includes ODIUM (Walkerton, ON), Scarecrowz (Ottawa, ON), Reptoid (Chicago, IL), Black Absinthe (Toronto, ON), Chagall (Toronto, ON) and Plethora (Toronto, ON).

Event Details:

Doors: 8pm • $6 ADV / $8 Door
8:30 Plethorametal
9:15 Scarecrowz fanpage
10:00 Chagall
10:45 Black Absinthe
11:30 Reptoid
12:15 Odium

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BMG announce extensive reissue program of the seminal albums by British hard rock legends Uriah Heep

November 14th, 2016
by Celtic Bob

BMG are delighted to announce an extensive reissue program commencing in 2016 and continuing through 2017, of the seminal albums by British hard rock legends Uriah Heep, who are one of the big four along with Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.

Created with the full collaboration of Heep themselves and curated by guitarist and founding member Mick Box, the reissues come as 2CD expanded packages, with the original LPs on CD1 re-mastered by renowned engineer Andy Pearce of Lou Reed and Black Sabbath fame and complete with liner notes by the bestselling rock author Joel McIver. Box and Heep’s sometime member Ken Hensley, composer of many of the band’s best-known songs, contribute to each album’s notes.

The reissue program kicks off with a new Uriah Heep anthology, ‘Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990’. Evoking an era when prog, hard rock and heavy metal co-existed in an era of glorious, boundary-breaking music, the songs on this 2CD collection trace the evolution of Heep from inexperienced studio musicians with everything to prove to bona fide, limo inhabiting rock stars. The Anthology cherry picks tracks from some of Heep’s most celebrated albums including ‘Demons And Wizards’, ‘Look At Yourself’, ‘Return To Fantasy’, ‘Equator’, ‘Conquest’ and ‘The Magicians Birthday’.

As Mick Box explains: “We were very green! If the engineer had said, ‘Stand in a fire bucket and plug your guitar into that radiator’, we probably would have done it. We had no experience of the studio at all. Two years later we were in America, playing to between 10,000 and 20,000 people a night. We were in a big bubble, with all the private Learjets and so on: I don’t think I went through an airport for 10 years! We were picked up by limos on the tarmac, and all that stuff. We’d take whole floors of hotels, with bodyguards outside each room. It got to those heady, silly heights, but I was personally always up for the fun of it. I never believed it was going to continue, but some did, which was a bit unfortunate…”

Additionally released in 2016 is Heep’s 1970 debut album …’Very ’Eavy …Very ’Umble’ – a must-buy for many fans. Originally released on the magnificent Vertigo spiral label with original mint condition first pressings now commanding a price of $600+, it is bursting at the seams with creativity and a desire to make a mark in the most fertile era that rock music has ever known, the album was a powerful statement of intent, showcasing the incredible vocals of the late David Byron. Witness the opening cut ‘Gypsy’, the musicians stop and start on a dime in a classic opening sequence before Byron’s soaring vocals introduce the ever-lovin’ subject matter. Hensley’s immense organ solo, which not only occupies most of the song’s midsection, but also restarts the entire song towards its back end, is a showcase of a young, hot musician with everything to prove. The musicianship shines bright throughout the album; from the Hendrix inspired blues rocker ‘Real Turned On’, and the Mellotron soaked ‘Come Away Melinda’, to the bombastic ‘Dreammare’ and majestic closer ‘Wake Up (Set Your Sights)’, Heep’s debut showcased a very promising new rock band flexing some serious musical muscle.

This new issue of ‘Eavy brings together the newly re-mastered original album with a second disc of never before issued alternate mixes. Three tracks on CD2 are from the late period Spice (pre Heep) sessions (just prior to Ken Hensley joining the fold) and the rest are all from the Very ‘Eavy sessions, recorded over a period of several months in late 1969 and early 1970. These bonus tracks were recently discovered by Heep uber fan, Robert Corich who has a library of unreleased music used across these re-issues.

Box adds: “Creativity in Uriah Heep was at a peak at the time. Nobody was breathing down our necks, so we moved into a more progressive field after ‘Very ’Eavy… Very ’Umble’. We were getting into a period where we would just write things and let them go where they wanted to go, rather than writing to a format. Not that there had been a format before, but this time we really let our hair down, if you like! We decided that there would be no restrictions whatsoever.”

Organist Ken Hensley looks back at this era fondly, saying: “It was beginning to sink in that we were onto something. The management company, the record company, the publishing company and everyone else were all on board, and we had made a bit of an impact with the first album, especially in Europe, so we had some momentum. I took most of the tracks in their rawest forms to the band, and together we turned them into full songs.”

The Uriah Heep reissue program continues with 1970’s ‘Salisbury’ featuring the huge international hit, ‘Lady In Black’.

‘Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990’ Tracklist:

Disc 1

1. Gypsy
2. Come Away Melinda
3. Bird Of Prey
4. Lady In Black
5. Look At Yourself
6. July Morning – Japanese Single Edit
7. Easy Livin’
8. The Wizard
9. Sunrise
10. Sweet Lorraine
11. Stealin’
12. Sweet Freedom
13. The Shadows And The Wind
14. Suicidal Man
15. Return To Fantasy
16. Devil’s Daughter

Disc 2

1. Weep In Silence
2. Can’t Keep A Good Band Down
3. Sympathy
4. Firefly
5. Free N’ Easy
6. Free Me
7. Woman Of The Night
8. Come Back To Me
9. It Ain’t Easy
10. No Return
11. Too Scared To Run
12. Chasing Shadows
13. Straight Through The Heart
14. The Other Side Of Midnight
15. Rockarama
16. Poor Little Rich Girl
17. Voice On My TV

You can purchase the releases here:

Salisbury – Out Now:

Your Turn To Remember – Out Now:

Salisbury – Out Now:

For further information on Uriah Heep please visit:

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ROCK CANDY RECORDS Announces North American Launch

November 14th, 2016
by Celtic Bob

The times they are a-changing, but luckily there remains one constant: great music will live forever and in the catalogue and reissue world that has never been more relevant.

In the land of rock, that’s hard rock, heavy rock, classic rock or, call it what you will rock, no label has won more acclaim and earned respect than Rock Candy Records. Owned and founded by former music journalist and A&R man Derek Oliver, Rock Candy has focused on breathing life into records that deserve a place in the pantheon of rock history.

Operating out of London, England for the last eight years, the label specialises in revisiting some of the most important and significant records from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

From Ted Nugent to Rick Springfield, by way of Quiet Riot, Dokken, Billy Squier, Toto, Ratt, R.E.O. Speedwagon, L.A. Guns, Ace Frehley, Hanoi Rocks, and Kansas, the label has re-activated some of the greatest records of the last forty years, buffing them up, and re-positioning them as 24 Karat diamonds. To date, Rock Candy has re-released over 300 titles in Europe.

Rock Candy has made a concerted effort to dig deep and unearth a string of lesser known acts and records ripe for reappraisal, albums that have always been hot on the collectors market but overlooked at the time of release or just slipped below the surface through no fault of their own. Records by Montrose (the band who wrote the track that inspired the company’s name), Hughes/Thrall, The Godz, Blue Murder, Smashed Gladys, Girl and Blackfoot) have all been brought back to life for a victory lap. Having conquered Europe, Rock Candy has now set up shop in North America, happily partnering with industry powerhouse RED Distribution.

It’s a match made in rock n’ roll heaven and one that will shortly see the launch of a U.S. offensive, starting with four tantalising titles on Friday, November 18th.

RED President Bob Morelli comments, “Derek Oliver’s Rock Candy imprint and RED are a perfect fit. Already a leader in unearthing the best in-demand out of print rock titles in Europe, the label joins RED like-minded music strategy in the U.S. As we outpace industry growth in vinyl Market Share, the addition of Rock Candy will help keep that trend alive and we are thrilled to have them on board.”

Keep an eye and, especially, an ear out for future offerings, but for now please raise a glass and join us for a toast to the imminent arrival of the following four solid gold classics all released on Friday, November 18th.
These forthcoming CD titles along with limited-edition select merch are available for pre-order now at the newly launched Rock Candy U.S. storefront.

Visit now for more information.


The Nymphs were signed to Geffen Records in the late 80s on a wave of hope and excitement. Fronted by Inger Lorre, she soon attracted a reputation for being controversial, volatile and unapologetic.  She was unquestionably the real deal – and this record is a bonafide snapshot from the edge of Hollywood babylon during a time when music was being revolutionised in Los Angeles.


Sammy Hagar’s early studio work was often considered rather dull compared to his work with Montrose, but his1978 live album suddenly reversed that criticism.  Most live records are compromised by studio fixes but this record is pure dynamite – warts and all. Sammy’s performance is phenomenal and the energy level is through the roof.


Formed in Los Angeles during the late 80s, Salty Dog honed their chops and assembled a line-up that was very different from what was happening on MTV.  Indeed, the band’s style incorporated a number of influences, from the old school rock of Led Zeppelin to the contemporary cut and thrust of Guns ‘N Roses.  It was a sound that paid homage to the blues; that’s the vintage gnarly influences of Muddy Waters and T-Bone Walker.


The early 90’s presented a massive challenge to melodic rock bands, with the musical climate being transformed by grunge, a rush of angry young men playing stripped down rock built on angst and melancholy. For Tyketto this landscape meant that their arrival would be subjected to a chilly reception. Undaunted they were signed to industry giant Geffen Records and cut this, their powerful debut album. Inexplicably, the label sat on the completed record for over a year, but by then it was already too late.


About RED Distribution:
RED is an innovative digital and physical distribution company owned by Sony Music Entertainment. Headquartered in New York City, RED is widely recognized as the industry leader in music distribution and artist development. RED specializes in digital account management, playlist marketing, physical sales and marketing, label and product management, and radio promotion for the industry’s best independent record labels and Sony joint ventures.  In 2007, RED launched ‘stache media, a multi-faceted marketing agency, to support RED releases and artists, in addition to outside clients. ‘stache media’s staff provides services in digital marketing, publicity, college lifestyle marketing, advertising & consumer research, brand & partnership marketing, influencer marketing, on demand manufacturing and creative production. With an emphasis on customer service, a passion for music and a collaborative culture, RED continues to provide its labels with a superior experience.

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RHAPSODY OF FIRE Announce New Vocalist – Giacomo Voli

November 14th, 2016
by EvilG
Giacomo Voli

Giacomo Voli – Image courtesy of

Says Rhapsody of Fire: “We are extremely proud to announce that Giacomo Voli is the new singer of Rhapsody Of Fire. As you can imagine, we are very enthusiastic to have Giacomo in the band and we can promise you that, beside his beautiful voice, he has brought new energy that we are looking forward to unleashing. Stay tuned! More news and footage coming really soon!

See the band’s announcement and hear the new voice of Rhapsody of Fire here:

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HELLOWEEN – Pumpkins United! World tour 2017/2018

November 14th, 2016
by EvilG

Drop everything. Drum roll.

Here comes the sensation for all Helloween fans: you believed in it for years and continued to ask for it – now is the time: in fall 2017, Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen will once again mount a Helloween stage together and resurrect the band’s legendary original line-up. Yes, it’s official: Weikath, Kiske, Hansen, Grosskopf are going to play Helloween classics live and on a joint tour. Massive news. Awesome. But you might want to sit down again, because that’s not all of it! Under the flag pumpkins united all pumpkin heads will step up – meaning Andi & Michi on vocals, Kai & Weiki & Sascha on guitars, and Markus & Dani in the rhythm section.


Pumpkins united world tour 2017/2018: good. As. It. Gets.

Pumpkins United

Pumpkins United


The Idea.

Undisputedly, Helloween are one of Germany’s most respected metal exports and considered the founders of German melodic speed metal. As godfathers of the genre, they have grown to become one of the most influential metal bands of the planet. In an unbelievable career reaching back as far as 1984, Helloween have performed at innumerable metal festivals around the globe such as rock in rio, loudpark in Tokyo, wacken, or the woodstock in Poland, which they headlined in front of over 500,000 fans.


The band has delivered countless headliner world tours, spectacular shows with the likes of iron maiden, black sabbath, dio, slayer, or Ozzy Osbourne to name just a few, and played at exotic locations in borneo, Indonesia, Manaus, brazil, or, at over 10,600 ft in the world’s highest capital, la paz, Bolivia. The band’s spectacular show at the »monsters of rock« festival in castle donington in front of over 100,000 metal heads in 1988 was just as memorable as the massive MTV »Headbanger’s ball« us tour with anthrax and exodus. Including genre masterpieces »Keeper of the Seven Keys« part i & ii, they’ve released 15 studio- and three live albums to date, selling over eight million records and earning fourteen gold and six platinum awards. For 30 years, Helloween have been delighting their fans with fantastic riffs, great songs, and haunting melodies – three decades of a global career they officially celebrated with the »Hellbook« in 2015. This is when the idea for pumpkins united was born: the ‘Anniversary Bible’ as well as touring with Kai made them realize that this band’s story is demanding its next chapter. Or, as Michael Kiske describes it: »playing an original Helloween track with Unisonic was quite a flashback already, but rocking with the original line-up and Andi will be something really special. The time has come!« the chemistry between Kiske, Hansen, Weikath, and Grosskopf is singular – and sees its revival not least because of you: you’ve never stopped asking for it – now the mega event is coming up live, with the complete cast, and heavily wired!


In detail.

The super tour’s first confirmed date is October 28, 2017 in Sao Paulo and takes the full pumpkins entourage across selected cities and venues in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the US. An extremely big deal, which, including a few secret surprises, will present almost three hours of the biggest hits from three decades of Helloween as the band will obviously insist on performing a full-speed trip through the Helloween repertoire. »we already had an awesome time on the hellish rock part 1 & 2, but this time we’ll definitely double down on it« says Kai Hansen, and Markus Grosskopf adds: »there’ll for sure be songs that we haven’t played in a very long time or even ever before.« Whoever doesn’t secure tickets for this tour, probably doesn’t have all their pumpkins in a row: the original line-up wants to celebrate a global party with you, which is also going to be highly emotional because this special world tour is actually not a reunion and most probably won’t happen again. Andi channels our metal hearts when he says: »I’m so much looking forward to playing Michi’s and my tunes together with him live on stage. It’s going to be absolutely exceptional.«


– And now: Breathe.


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Michael Ehré and Henjo Richter (both of GAMMA RAY) launch new band – Debut album out in spring 2017

November 14th, 2016
by EvilG

Michael Ehré and Henjo Richter (both GAMMA RAY (Official)) launch new band – Debut album out in spring 2017



With their latest sensational signing, Hanover record imprint Steamhammer/SPV has set the course for more highlights in the coming year: UNITY, the new band founded by drummer Michael Ehré and guitarist Henjo Richter (both Gamma Ray), has signed a long-term contract and is currently busy working on their debut album. The eponymously titled recording has been scheduled for release in early 2017 and aficionados of powerful hard rock and technically accomplished melodic metal can expect to get more than their money’s worth.

Along with their two figureheads, Richter and Ehré, UNITY consists of Gianbattista Jan Manenti (vocals), Stef E (guitar), Jogi Sweers (bass) and Sascha Onnen (keyboards), all of them musicians that many fans have been familiar with since Ehré’s band Love.Might.Kill arrived on the scene.

“During many gigs and countless hours in the rehearsal room, Michael and I discovered that we are on the same wavelength, on a personal as well as on a musical level. So we came up with the idea of focusing that part of our creativity that goes beyond Gamma Ray in another band,” Richter explains. “UNITY features the perfect line-up for that.”

Michael Ehré is equally enthusiastic: “We’re proud and more than happy to have found a strong partner in SPV/Steamhammer who enjoy an excellent reputation on a global level. The amazing experience and great passion with which Olly Hahn has helmed the label for many years are awesome. We’re really looking forward to our fruitful collaboration and will ensure together that UNITY gets off to a successful start.”
Oliver Hahn, A&R at Steamhammer, places great hopes on his new signing: “The outstanding songwriting and great technical skill of everybody involved are unmistakable. For this reason, UNITY suits the Steamhammer team perfectly and we will continue to work flat out for our artists in 2017.”

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Fall Of Summer Festival

November 14th, 2016
by Arto Lehtinen


from a spanish band that show us what is happening: the festivals
close their gates for next year, bands back home, and people the same
thing, but some clever guys said: “no way” This is not the end, we
need something more until the sun disappear, the winter coming and we
only have the chance to go to indoor events. So said and done, they
create a festival in September focus in the extreme sounds who will be
amazing for the people who love these sounds: black, death, grind,
thrash and so on. From this crazy idea born FALL OF THE SUMMER, the
last chance to experience an outdoor festival in a Beautiful place
close to the main city Paris, with great bands, amazing atmosphere,
and the best way to say goodbye to summertime activities.

Pics and article by Inaki Campos


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Brutal Assault 2016 Jaromer Republic Czechia

November 12th, 2016
by Arto Lehtinen


Brutal Assault has been on the bucket list of the Metal-Rules.Com staff for years. Until now the parts clicked into the right position and stars had aligned in the right on the astronomical map. There were a lot of praising stories about the festival as a whole. Above all the unique and amazing where the Brutal Assault festival is arranged in the ruins of the ancient fortress in the northeast Republic of Czechia. What truly was amazing there ? Well especially how liberal the local police forces turned out to be. Even though a car was parked somewhere in the centrum of Jaromer, there was no ticket placed in the windscreen. The traffic was mellow, even though some accident had happened.  All in all 110 bands had been booked to Brutal Assault and that was an insane amount of bands to be honest. However trying to witness as many bands as possible was after all quite challenging and time-to-time impossible. Here is the brief article of the mighty Brutal Assault.

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Posted in 2016, Concert Reviews | Comments (0)

Rock Legends Lucifer’s Friend Release First New Studio Album “Too Late To Hate” In Three Decades!

November 12th, 2016
by Celtic Bob


Much to the excitement of music fans worldwide, rock legends Lucifer’s Friend have released their new studio album titled “Too Late To Hate”! This is the band’s first true NEW STUDIO ALBUM since 1981!

Lucifer’s Friend reformed in 2015 and since then has been playing high profile festival concerts such as the HEADLINE act on 4 Sound Stage the SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL and at the ROCK OF AGES and LORELEY festivals too. The band features core original members John Lawton (ex-URIAH HEEP), Peter Hesslein and Dieter Horns along with long term members Jogi Wichmann and Stephan Eggert.

“ ‘Too Late To Hate’….the new studio album, was recorded off the back of our ‘comeback’ performance at the Sweden Rock Festival. The impetus we gained after recording 4 new studio tracks for the ‘Awakening’ album was what we needed. Plus the feedback from the ‘Live At Sweden Rock Festival’ CD, brought about a feeling that we could take on some ‘unfinished business’… Lucifer’s Friend has been over the years, mostly encamped in the studio recording material that has stood the test of time… However the new studio album ‘Too Late To Hate’ with 12 original tracks is a sign that we are still very capable of producing good material and bringing it live on stage.” – John Lawton.

Lucifer’s Friend formed in 1970 with their influential and groundbreaking self-titled album, famous among connoisseurs of 70’s hard rock. Its heavy and majestic overtones made it a pioneer release in rock music.

The group went on to release six albums in that decade. In 1976 Lucifer’s Friend suffered a hard blow when British vocalist John Lawton joined Uriah Heep. The band broke up in 1982 and briefly reformed in 1994 as Lucifer’s Freind 2 for the album “Sumo Grip”. Now Lucifer’s Freind is back, after 30 years with their highly anticipated new album “Too Late To Hate”!

To purchase Lucifer’s Friend “Too Late To Hate”:
Amazon CD:

Official Website:
Official Facebook:

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MARTIN POPOFF Opens The Archive……Doom Metal

November 12th, 2016
by Celtic Bob


As I said in my letter to you asking to vote which genres to do, it’s been bugging me forever that I’ve got this interview archive of all these interviews I’ve done that will never wind up in any of my books, and thus likely never see the light of day… unless I made books out of them, of course!

And voters, thank you for all the input and picking a few or even saying you would take them all. It’s possibly these only go so far as these respondents.

Again, very important: if you have a pile of my books, don’t worry about overlap—this is material I haven’t used in my books, with minor exceptions. Don’t ask about thrash bands not in here for example (books coming), or NWOBHM bands or Thin Lizzy or Accept or Riot interviews. I don’t want to give you material you already have from me.

So as a way to unlock this material, I’m compiling the raw transcripts, in Q&A form, with a little background info and historical context to each chat, into book form. Popoff Archive – 1: Doom Metal, is the first one, given its popularity in the voting.

And listen, it’s a given 1: Doom Metal will be the first to sell out, as we work our way through the dozen planned, possibly with a box to put them all in, once I get the dozen out.

In this edition, we have the following. I’ve included an excerpt from my lead-in explanation for each.

Johan Edlund, Tiamat, November 1994 (excerpt)
This was an exciting and nail-biting time for Century Media, when things weren’t selling well, but they are bringing on a lot of groundbreaking artists. This was for the band’s Wildhoney album, which was quite admired around the office.

Mike Smail, Penance, December 6, 1994
My chat with drummer Mike Smail was in celebration of this Pittsburg band’s second album, 1994’s Parallel Corners, a doom classic, and dare I say, a bit of a blueprint record or cornerstone.

Lee Dorrian, Cathedral, September 7, 1995
So here’s another one, my first chat with Lee Dorrian, after getting totally into Cathedral (and Entombed), when both bands were an exciting new flavour for Sony back in ‘92, ‘93.

Pepper Keenan, Down, November 1995 (excerpt)
Unfortunately, this has to be called an excerpt of the original interview, which I’m sure was double or triple this, easy, but anyway, I thought it was of some value, because it’s about the first Down album.

Eric Wagner, Trouble, November 28, 1995
Of note, if some of these questions sound stupid, bear in mind, this is pre-Internet.

Aaron Stainthorpe, My Dying Bride, March 1996 (excerpt)
Here’s another one of these thankfully few “excerpts,” where I had to rescue as much as I could from the only place I could find a trace!

Mathias Lodmalm, Cemetary, March 12, 1996
Gonna play me some Cemetary right now, as I copy-edit this. I gotta say, this project is messing with my head a bit. All these forgotten relationships. All this whole life lived now 20 years ago that I have almost no memory of.

Pete Steele, Type O Negative, September 22, 1996
This was an interview for which Erin Smythe and the good folks at Attic Records, the Canadian partner of Roadrunner, had me down to the office to chat to Pete in person, under much more calm circumstances than at a show, and perhaps for both of us, less comfortable than the anonymity of a phoner. The occasion was the release of October Rust a month earlier, a record that all parties involved were hopeful would be a massive hit.

Lee Dorrian, Cathedral, October 2, 1996
Doom was pretty new as a juggernaut genre in ‘96, and Cathedral were essentially the leaders of it in the ‘90s, and doing the best job of striking at the heart of all the things we loved best about the Sabs. This chat was on the occasion of the band’s fourth album, Supernatural Birth Machine, which always fell short for me.

Messiah Marcolin, Memento Mori, 1997
This was a phoner, but again, greatest memories come with ever meeting these legends in person, which indeed happened when Tim and Mark put on one of our Brave Bashes in Cleveland featuring a reunited Candlemass.

Esa Holopainen, Amorphis, June 17, 1997
Me an’ our mag, Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles had a long history with Finland’s favourite doomsters gone prog, sorta like Opeth and for that matter, Katatonia and Anathema. All of us staffers got a lot out of the band, and enjoyed the change from the crude chording of doom classic Tales from the Thousand Lakes to the dark oak of the band as it’s existed, well, since 1996’s Elegy to this very day.

Jimmy Bower, Down, 1997 (excerpt)
God knows where this was or even what band was playing. I have a feeling it might have been an Eyehategod show at the Opera House, but it could have been a Down show or a Crowbar show. But there are some interesting things on the first Down album, which is a doom classic, or a classic of some sort, stoner or straight-up heavy metal.

Jeff Michael, In Ruins, November 13, 1998
At the time, it was refreshing getting some melodic US doom like this, especially out of Metal Blade. But the main thing I remember is the vision of poor Brian Ames, indentured graphic artist at Metal Blade, cranking out his infamous run of purple front covers, overworked near to the point of heart attack.

Ben Ward, Orange Goblin, January 14, 1999
I regret not really keeping up a relationship, interviewing these guys; that was likely a byproduct of thinking too much in book mode, that I was getting too old to start in with too many young bands, and to follow their lives through.

Leif Edling, Candlemass, August 11, 1999
This chat hails from the stoner rocking non-Messiah era, which couldn’t get much traction, given the intractable visual and vocal domination of the cloaked one, forever at odds with music-master Edling.

Pete Steele, Type O Negative, September 9, 1999
Always an amusing chat, Pete was, a gracious guy, famously self-deprecating.

Kirk Windstein, Crowbar, December 15, 1999
The occasion here was the writing of the label bio, for Spitfire Records, to be used with the band’s upcoming album, Equilibrium, issued March 7, 2000. When I do this with someone, we really hammer hard on the album at hand.

Sammy Duet, Crowbar, December 19, 1999
I totally loved Acid Bath, and even more so post-Acid Bath band Agents of Oblivion (no Sammy) and Dax Riggs so (also no Sammy), but alas, found Goatwhore just too nasty. Still, a Goatwhore show at the Opera House was the one time I got to meet the guy, so I’m glad for that.

Scott “Wino” Weinrich, Spirit Caravan, January 6th, 2000
I got into the warm, accessible doom vibes of Spirit Caravan more than any of Wino’s other legendary vibes, and so in late 2000, I figured it was as good an opportunity as any to finally talk to the guy. Great chat, and one I used, really, to propel myself further into his catalogue, which I did for a spell but then dropped off again.

Sami Lopakka, Sentenced, January 26, 2000
Just like Paradise Lost at about the same time, there was actually talk of Sentenced becoming “the next Metallica,” or at least a successful baby version of something resembling that success and career path.

Josh Silver, Type O Negative, March 3, 2000
I mentioned this elsewhere, but the hang with Josh took place at the now defunct Warehouse (soon to be condos), where Type O were playing a swell headline gig on that high-up stage. So laconic, so New York, so real.

Tommy Southard, Solace, April 17, 2000
Every once in a while, a new band would come along where the record was so good that, a) we wanted to get on the ground floor, and b) putting voice to name, making the acquaintance, was going to help you get even more into the record, and thereby just… you’ve made a new friend and you have an album you really want to play now, repeatedly. Such was the case with Solace’s first full length, Further, issued in 2000.

Bruce Franklin, Trouble, August 2000
This chat was on the occasion of the intriguing Supershine band that Bruce had formed with Doug Pinnick from King’s X. Obviously, I also took the opportunity to talk a bunch of Trouble too.

D. D. Verni, Bronx Casket Co., October 27, 2000
Good stuff—I’ve had a lot of time over the years for the cool branding of this band, the excellent production, and the straight-to-the-point accessibility (and camp) of the whole thing. In fact, I listened to it on my walk to work this fine summer morn. Nice idea.

Aaron Stainthorpe, My Dying Bride, May 20, 2001
Glad to meet the My Dying Bride boys, because as it turned out, they were not to become one of these bands that slammed through town with regularity, playing the Opera House like dozens and dozens of European acts started to do in the early 2000s, unabated. From here on in, it was pretty much phone interviews, as with this wide-ranging chat with the always substantive Aaron Stainthorpe.

Rex Brown, Down, January 30, 2002
Yes, the subject at hand is the new, relaxed and sludgy Down album, Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow, issued two months after we spoke. But really, figuring Pantera the band that saved metal in the ‘90s, I was itching to angle a few questions in there about Pantera.

Sami Lopakka, Sentenced, May 1, 2002
Sentenced? Well, Canadians and Finns shared many traits, including a somber world-view. Plus these guys drew a doomy link to the music our increasingly long-in-the-tooth—and increasingly comparatively conservative—staff could appreciate. And so we kept talking to them, right?

Petri Eskilinen, Rapture, January 30, 2003
Our good relationship with Century Media over at BW&BK meant that I’d often be more inclined to talk to newer, younger bands in their stable than others, especially if it was a cool doomy band like Rapture who fall within that melancholy Amorphis/Sentenced camp. Good stuff.

Eric Wagner, Trouble, April 4, 2003
This time with Eric, I wanted to keep adding to what I had to the story of the debut album, in case I ever got around to writing one of my Ye Olde Metal essays on it, either just for a short eBook or for including to a print book once I got up into the ‘80s on the series. As I type this, I’ve kind of shelved the idea of continuing into the ‘80s, so here ya go, some cool trivia on the early days of the band.

Rick Wartell, Trouble, April 7th, 2003
With this chat, it sounds like Rick thought a new album was imminent, even though we wouldn’t see Simple Mind Condition for another four years. As I dig in, I see the main reason for the interview was that it was in advance of the BW&BK fest we were putting on in Cleveland, and once the bands were picked—Trouble was the headliner—we shamelessly hyped them in the mag.

Anneke van Giersbergen, The Gathering, February 13, 2004
By the time we all debate whether The Gathering are doom or not—or were earlier but then became more gothic and barely metal—this interview will be over.

Sami Lopakka, Sentenced, April 28, 2005
Nice of Sami to call me on my 42nd birthday. Sadly, the occasion was to discuss what would be the loveable Finnish doom legends’ last record, The Funeral Album.

Leif Edling, Candlemass, May 1, 2005
Two days after this interview marked the release date of the much vaunted Candlemass record that featured Leif Edling and Messiah Marcolin reunited, sealing the deal with a cloak and dagger handshake of doom.

Ville Laihiala, Poisonblack, July 21, 2006
Poisonblack were essentially the successors to Sentenced, starring Ville Laihiala on lead vocals and guitar, first on this second album, after a hiatus and major lineup changes since 2003’s Escapexstacy. The record discussed here, Lust Stained Despair, was the first for this Sentenced-evoking configuration, after which there were to be four more albums, before a break-up in 2015.

Phil Cope, Witchfinder General, March, 2007
When I say trinity, past Witchfinder, the most important bands are of course Trouble and Candlemass, both represented in this book. Doom was a lonely place, actually, until the ‘90s, when it really became what the kids call “a thing.” In any event, I was thrilled to talk to the mysterious Phil Cope, who proved as enigmatic as I would have expected, but only a fraction as oblique as the still un-contacted Zeeb Parkes.

Leif Edling, Candlemass, June 12, 2007
At this point, we’re but a year away of Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles ceasing as a print publication. As well, my output had gone way down, given added duties at Banger Films, which was to include the Rush movie, Metal Evolution and quite a bit later, Rock Icons. Speaking of rock icons, here’s Leif one more time…

Pepper Keenan, Down, September 14, 2007
Both his bands were killer, helping to make the climate for metal in the ‘90s bearable. Unfortunately, this chat took place when Hurricane Katrina was still causing bleeding, over two years after it hit landfall.

And so that’s it. For Popoff Archive: 1: Doom Metal…

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BEASTO BLANCO Release Second Video From Upcoming Album

November 12th, 2016
by Celtic Bob

Beasto Blanco, the band fronted by long time Alice Cooper bassist Chuck Garric, have released another video from their upcoming self-titled, sophomore release.
“Grind” is an adrenaline-fueled rocker that is the mantra for Beasto Blanco.

“‘Grind’ is SO authentic to the character of Beasto and the Beasto Blanco lifestyle. The credo of working hard no matter what you were born into or what cards life deals you.  Rise and GRIND no matter what and be the KING or QUEEN of your world,” explains vocalist Chuck Garric

Beasto Blanco is the follow up to the bands critically acclaimed 2013 release Live Fast, Die Loud and is available on November 25, 2016 via Rat Pak Records. Influenced by bands such as White Zombie and Motörhead, Beasto Blanco’s all new 12-song, sophomore release is a potent mix of heavy riffs, driving bass and melodic choruses. The album is currently available for pre-order via Rat Pak Records website at: It is also available at all digital retailers including iTunes (, Amazon ( and Google Play (

The band also released the debut single “Feed My Frankenstein,” a cover of the Alice Cooper classic that features Cooper’s daughter on vocals. The video was released last month and can be seen here: The single can be heard on the “Nights With Alice Cooper” radio show, which is syndicated on over 100 stations worldwide.  The song can also be heard at 15,000 AMC, Regal, Cinemark and NCM movie theaters in the United States throughout the month of November.

Beasto Blanco will embark on a 2016/17 Fall/Winter tour starting in November, that includes a string of U.S headline dates, as well as a recently announced arena tour of Europe with BÖHSE ONKELZ. They return home to the U.S for another run of headline dates that will conclude with performances on the 2017 Monsters of Rock Cruise in February.

Twitter: @BeastoBlanco

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THE NEAL MORSE BAND ‘The Similitude Of A Dream’ Out NOW! On Radiant Records Via Metal Blade Records/Sony

November 12th, 2016
by Celtic Bob

Loyal fans of THE NEAL MORSE BAND—singer/guitarist/keyboardist Neal Morse, drummer Mike Portnoy, bassist Randy George, keyboardist Bill Hubauer and guitarist Eric Gillette—have been extremely patient since the announcement was made in September that a new album was coming. Soon after, the band has released four videos to give them a taste of what to expect, and the resulting praise online has been overwhelming. A fifth video premiered on PROG’s website this morning for “The Man In The Iron Cage.”

Today is finally the day they’ve been waiting for:  THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM, a double-disc concept album, has been released on Radiant Records via Metal Blade Records/SONY. It’s the eighth studio album with Morse, Portnoy and George, and the second as a true collaboration with this current lineup. Clocking in at over 100 minutes, this amazing piece of prog storytelling will leave you breathless, exhilarated, amused and fulfilled in a way that only inspired music can. It’s available in various formats: a two CD package, a Special Edition with the two CDs and “The Making Of A Dream” DVD, or as three vinyl records along with two CDs.

THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM has already been racking up one rave review after another from all over the globe:

“All in all, this is quite an achievement by a group of musicians that didn’t need to improve upon already magnificent careers filled with incredible albums…THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM does the impossible and exceeds all expectations.  It is absolutely a jaw-dropping release that will no doubt rank alongside the best albums by Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy, if not above them.”


“…will the album live up to the high expectations?  Well…YES!  This album is a success on every level. Every time Neal Morse or Mike Portnoy put out a new album it has to stand up in comparison with so many great albums in their catalog, and I think this album sets a new standard for prog albums and concept albums in general. It’s not just a concept album, it really is a listening experience…this is THE album of the year!…This album will definitely be remembered as one of their best of not even the best album in their career.


“How to conclude an album of this dimension, simply by telling you this, do not miss THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM under any circumstances. It’s almost perfect, if it exists on earth.”


“THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM is prog at its most bombastic…Over more than twenty tracks, the band throws all the prog staples into the mix…It’s a sprawling prog epic that demands your attention.”


“THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM is, in my opinion, the best album of the year and the best album of Neal Morse’s career. It’s a lengthy, complex, emotional, and pretty much perfect example of modern progressive rock, with occasional flashes of driving metal. 10 out of 10”


“…so rich in ideas, fresh, explosive and atmospheric that almost every other prog band is reduced to a top-40 act.”

— RockHard (Germany)

“Unique, moving and deeply moving, and blasts through all boundaries of rock music expression…I’ve never heard anything more epic.”

— Rocktimes (Germany)

“THE SIMILITUDE OF A DREAM is the best progressive album of the year, and the best album of Neal Morse’s career.”

— Metal Underground (Austria)

THE NEAL MORSE BAND tours worldwide almost yearly and continues to grow in popularity, attracting new listeners everywhere they go. The band has toured in North America, Central America, Europe, Israel, Mexico and India. The shows are filled with excited and extremely loyal fans, some which have regularly traveled very long distances to see the band. The band has an extensive catalog of live shows on Blu-Ray and DVD as well.

Their latest round of worldwide tour dates start January 14, 2017 in Morse’s current hometown of Nashville, TN. More dates will be announced in the coming weeks on the band’s official website.

DATE               CITY                                         VENUE

Sat 1/14            Nashville, TN                             TBA
Tue 1/17            Seattle, WA                              Triple Door
Wed 1/18          San Francisco, CA                     Regency Ballroom
Sat 1/21            Whittier, CA                              The Center Theatre
Sun 1/22           Phoenix, AZ                              Nesbitt/Elliott Playhouse
Tue 1/24            Denver, CO                                The Oriental Theater
Wed 1/25          Dallas, TX                                  Curtain Club
Thu 1/26            St. Louis, MO                            Delmar Hall
Fri 1/27             St. Charles, IL                           Arcada Theater
Sat 1/28            Cleveland, OH                            Beachland Ballroom
Mon 1/30           Toronto, ONT.                            Mod Room
Tue 1/31            Montreal, QUE.                          Club Soda
Wed 2/1            Quebec City, QUE.                    Salle Jean-Paul Tardif
Thu 2/2             New York, NY                            Highline Ballroom
Fri 2/3               Washington, D.C.                      State Theater
Sat 2/4              Atlanta, GA                               City Winery
Feb 7 – 11         Tampa, FL                                 Cruise To the Edge

Wed 3/22          Barcelona, Spain                       Apolo
Thu 3/23            Milan, Italy                                TBA
Fri 3/24             Pratteln, Switzerland                  Z7
Sat 3/25            Aschaffenburg, Germany            Colo-Saal
Sun 3/26           Berlin, Germany             Lido
Tue 3/28            Warsaw, Poland                        Progresja Music Zone
Wed 3/29          Hamburg, Germany                    Markthalle
Thu 3/30            Verviers, Belgium                       Spirit of 66
Fri 3/31             Cologne, Germany                     Stollwerck
Sat 4/1              Malmo, Sweden                         KB
Sun 4/2             Tilburg, Netherlands                   O13
Tue 4/4             Luxembourg City, Luxembourg    Rockhal
Wed 4/5            Paris, France                             Divan Du Monde
Thu 4/6             Birmingham, U.K.                      O2 Academy 2
Fri 4/7               Glasgow, U.K.                           O2 ABC 1
Sat 4/8              Manchester, U.K.                       O2 Ritz
Sun 4/9             London, U.K.                             O2 Islington Academy
Mon 4/12           Tel Aviv, Israel                            Havana Club

Sun 5/6             Gettysburg, PA                          Rites of Spring festival

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DEF LEPPARD “And There Will Be A Next Time – Live From Detroit”

November 12th, 2016
by Celtic Bob


Legendary rockers Def Leppard excited and thrilled fans nationwide with their massive 55+ city Summer 2016 North American tour. Def Leppard will now share their masterful performance on DVD and Blu-ray. On February 10, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release their epic concert film And There Will Be A Next Time – Live From Detroit on DVD+2CD for $21.98, Blu-ray+2CD for $26.98, and Digital Video.

With two prestigious Diamond Awards to their credit, Def Leppard continues to stand tall in the music industry and deliver some of the most iconic rock melodies and memorable anthems of all time. Most recently, their 2015 self-titled album featured singles “Dangerous” and “Let’s Go” which premiered via and hit #1 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums Chart.

Filmed at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI, And There Will Be A Next Time – Live From Detroit is an incredible showcase that captures the electrifying energy and power of Def Leppard live today. As the sun began to set over a frenzied Detroit crowd, Def Leppard’s legendary hooks and anthemic rock served up an audiovisual feast second to none. The audience were served hit after hit with fan favorites from across their iconic career.

Said front man Joe Elliott: “I had this idea that we should film one of the shows from the 2016 tour because apart from the ‘Viva Hysteria’ shows, we hadn’t actually had a live performance filmed since 1988. With a new album out that was being so well received, it was just a case of where to do it. From the second the house lights went down, we could see the sun setting from the stage, and the energy from the crowd just seemed to intensify. It was a good choice and a great way to document Def Leppard in 2016.”

As a bonus, the DVD set will include the official music videos for “Let’s Go”, “Dangerous,” and “Man Enough,” and the lyric video for “Let’s Go.”

In anticipation of the DVD release, Def Leppard and Eagle Rock Entertainment are launching a special PledgeMusic pre-order today. Fans who participate will gain early access to a few select tracks, including “Dangerous” and “Rock On” as well as exclusive merchandise from PledgeMusic. CLICK HERE to pre-order!

Joe Elliott (vocals)
Phil Collen (guitar)
Vivian Campbell (guitar)
Rick Savage (bass)
Rick Allen (drums)

Track Listing:

Disc 1:
Let’s Go
Let It Go
Love Bites
Armaggeddon It
Rock On
Man Enough

Disc 2:
Bringin’ On The Heartbreak
Switch 625
Medley: Hysteria / Heroes
Let’s Get Rocked
Pour Some Sugar On Me
Rock of Ages

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Frontiers Music Srl to Release Stephen Pearcy’s New Solo Album “Smash” January 27, 2017

November 12th, 2016
by Celtic Bob

Frontiers Music Srl is thrilled to announce the January 27th release of Stephen Pearcy’s fourth original solo album, “Smash”.  Stephen Pearcy, best known as the original vocalist and founding member of the platinum rock band RATT, has been working hard to complete his highly anticipated new album, while at the same time keeping busy performing shows across the U.S.   The first audio offering from “Smash”, entitled “I Can’t Take It” can be heard HERE.

“Smash” canbe ordered here at the below links:
Google Play:

Digital pre-orders include an instant download of I Can’t Take It”

Stephen will be supporting “Smash” with live dates in the U.S. and internationally.

“It took long enough to finish the new record “Smash” and it is well worth the patience taken, giving every song as much attention as the next. Erik Ferentinos (lead guitars & co-writer), Greg D’ Angelo (drums) and Matt Thorne (bass, keyboards) and myself didn’t settle on any first, second or third takes. We let some songs grow if needed, then go back and complete it. We’re very happy with the outcome, that we were able to experiment and grow with the new songs,” says Pearcy of the new album.

With over 15 million records and gold and platinum long form videos sold in the U.S. alone with RATT, touring the world with over 20 albums to his credit with other ventures, solo projects, compilations, best of records, and other bands he created, there is no slowing Pearcy down.

Pearcy is an accomplished songwriter with credits on all of RATT’s records through the years (including “Out Of The Cellar”, “Invasion Of Your Privacy”, “Dancing Undercover” and more). More recently, RATT’s last studio album, “Infestation” was released a few years ago to rave reviews around the world. Stephen is also a producer, composer, television program creator, art director, marketing director, and owner/product creator of “Mic Knuckle” (hands free mic holder) and has also been involved in music for ESPN2 NHRA Drag Racing. Additionally, he has been involved in sponsoring several top fuel dragsters and funny cars since the mid 80’s-90’s thru the 00’s.


“Smash” Track Listing:
1. I Know I’m Crazy
2. Ten Miles Wide
3. Lollipop; Dead Rose’s
4. Shut Down Baby
5. Hit Me With A Bullet
6. Want Too Much
7. What Do Ya Think
8. Jamie
9. Rain
10. Can’t Take It (Album Version)
11. Summer’s End
12. Passion Infinity

Stephen E. Pearcy – Lead Vocals, Back-up Vocals
Erik Ferentinos – Rhythm & Lead Guitars, Back-up vocals
Greg D’ Angelo – Drums, Percussion
Matt Thorne – Bass Guitar
Chris Hager – Guitars, Lead Guitars on track (3)

Follow Stephen online:

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November 12th, 2016
by Celtic Bob


DUE TO MASSIVE DEMAND – GWAR: ORGASMAGEDDON, a fun and blood-drenched 4-issue full-color comic book series now on Kickstarter, unveils a ton more new and exciting limited edition rewards to bestow upon loyal backers.  New rewards include a second Kickstarter exclusive GWAR T-shirt, signed art and merchandise from the band, original painted art from the band, and very rare prints of new GWAR art from artists Stephen Blickenstaff (the artist behind the iconic CRAMPS “Bad Music for Bad People” album cover art), Chris Pyrate, and Tom Neeley.  More art to be revealed later this week from artist Kyle Strahm.

The comic series is blowing up Kickstarter, raking in a whopping $32,000 in less than two weeks, and is written by shock rock legends GWAR, co-writer Matt Miner (Toe Tag Riot, Critical Hit), artist Jonathan Brandon Sawyer (Welcome Back, Critical Hit), colorist Marissa Louise (RoboCop, Escape from New York), letterer Taylor Esposito (The Paybacks, Red Hood and the Outlaws) and editor Brendan Wright (Archie vs. Predator, Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight).

“Seeing the incredibly positive reaction to the GWAR Kickstarter has been tremendous,” said co-writer Matt Miner.  “Making comics with my favorite band is like a dream.  A fever dream where I’m surprisingly okay to be choking on my own blood while showered with alien jizz, but a dream nonetheless.”

Having already violated the art, music, and film worlds, now infamous scumdogs GWAR are coming for your comic books!  Do you need to be a GWAR fan to love this series?  Hell no!  There’s loads of laughs, violence, fun, and irreverent social satire for everyone to enjoy!

Trampling through the past after being trapped in time by the cold and calculating Mr. Perfect, GWAR fights and kills and kills and KILLS, slogging their way through human history in a torrent of gore, blood, bile, and other assorted bodily fluids the way only the most famous satirical heavy metal band from the depths of outer space can.

Each issue will also feature art and story contributions from GWAR members themselves, starting with pieces by BOB GORMAN (Bonesnapper the Cave Troll) and MATT MAGUIRE (Sawborg Destructo).

The Kickstarter can be found at GWARKICKSTARTER.COM and it ends on November 25, 2016!  Kickstarter is all-or-nothing funding so it must hit goal by November 25th to be able to make the project.

You’ll always hear your favorite band… here in metal, metal land!

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