After a year that saw a deluxe reissue of his career-launching 1983 album Unchained as well as seeing his life’s story retold in the documentary film I AM THOR, which has been picking up awards at such prestigious film festivals as Slamdance and Fantasia Fest, metal legend Jon Mikl THOR is capping off one of the biggest years of his career with the release of his newest studio album Metal Avenger on October 30! Joining the metal savior on this epic recording is a slew of luminaries from both the rock and punk worlds including powerhouse vocalist Henry Rollins, Motörhead guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke, Dead Boy Cheetah Chrome, Twister Sister axeman Jay Jay French, Christian Death guitarist Rikk Agnew, D.O.A.’s own Joey Shithead plus Ritchy Stotts of Plasmatics, Betsy Bitch and many others! The album will be available on both CD as well as a limited edition “blood red” vinyl pressing courtesy of Deadline Music!
“This is my most ambitious and best album in the history of my career,” THOR states boldly. Reteaming with producers Bruce Duff (Twisted Roots) and Frank Meyer (Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs), the group began writing new material and “came up with the concept of the ‘Metal Avenger’ whereby each song represents THOR’s quest to overcome the overlords of the planet Psykon and free the slaves on the master ship. There is adventure, intrigue and love in the lyrics and story. But most of all there is strength in the music. These songs are HEAVY yet melodic.” Recording took place at Kitten Robot studios with engineer Paul Roessler (The Screamers, 45 Grave) behind the board. Speaking of his guest performers, THOR offers, “I was very fortunate to perform with these incredible musicians who are each superhero characters in their own right. With my Comrades of Metal, I feel more powerful than ever!”
Catch THOR perform live along with screenings of his documentary at these following locations:
Nov 10 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
Nov 11 – Portland, OR – Dante’s
Nov 12 – Los Angeles, CA – Whisky A Go-Go
Nov 14 – San Antonio, TX – Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Film Festival
Nov 16 – Chicago, IL – Reggie Rock Club
Nov 18 – Detroit, MI – Small’s Bar
Nov 20 – Philadelphia, PA – PhillyMOCA
Nov 22 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus Bar
THOR originated in the early ‘70s with body building champion and former Mr. USA Jon Mikl Thor, and quickly gained a devout following thanks in part to the band’s elaborate and supremely entertaining live shows, which frequently featured Jon performing not just outstanding anthems of metal but also astounding feats of strength – bending steel bars with his teeth and exploding water bottles with his lungs! Jon would go on to appear on the Merv Griffin Show, which led to the licensing deal with RCA in late 1976 and the release of their debut album Keep The Dogs Away the following year. But it wasn’t until the group’s 1984 EP Unchained and the follow-up full-length album, Only The Strong, that Jon Mikl & Co. really began to flex their muscles. Those releases contained the now classic songs such as “Lightning Strikes,” “Anger,” “Let The Blood Run Red” and “Thunder On The Tundra,” which earned the band a truly international following. Through the years that following has grown and solidified as new generations of classic metal heads discover the awesome power of the mighty THOR!
1. Out Of Control feat. Jussi Lehtisalo (Circle)
2. Metal Avenger feat. Fast Eddie Clarke (Motörhead)
3. Kings Of Thunder And Lightning feat. Scott Carlson (Repulsion)
4. Master Of Revenge feat. Henry Rollins (Black Flag)
5. Destruct feat. Brian Forsythe (Kix)
6. The Hammer feat. Jay Jay French (Twisted Sister)
7. Taste Of Victory feat. Betsy Bitch (Bitch) & Rikk Agnew (Christian Death)
8. Heavy Load
9. Legions Of The Psykon World feat. Jack Starr (Virgin Steele)
10. Drive feat. Cheetah Chrome (The Dead Boys)
11. Stars Upon Stars feat. Betsy Bitch (Bitch)
12. T.H.O.R. feat. Joey Shithead (D.O.A.)
13. Atomic Man feat. Peter Stjärnvind (Krux)
14. Wings Of Destiny feat. Niklas Stålvind (Wolf)
15. Law Of The Universe
Prior to their co-headlining set in Belfast’s Limelight with Wolf, we sat down with Enforcer frontman Olof Wikstrand to chat about the band’s history and his hopes for the future, as well as their ten year anniversary celebrations and who he feels has influenced the band. Read the rest of this entry »
Interview with guitarist Simon Johansson and drummer Richard Holmgren
18th October 2015
@ Limelight, Belfast
Just ahead of their co-headlining gig with fellow Swedes Enforcer in Belfast, we got the opportunity to chat with gregarious Wolf guitarist Simon Johansson and drummer Richard Holmgren, who revealed what it’s like being on the road for much of their twenty year history, why they love Bloodstock and what was behind the decision to use the ‘Wolf’ name to sell absinthe, ale and their special hot sauce. Read the rest of this entry »
After more than a decade since their last appearance on British soil, Irish folk metal band Cruachan teamed up with Swedes Ereb Altor and Hertfordshire-based Gévaudan to play their London debut show at the Camden Barfly. While strong competition was ahead in the form of Taake and Ufomammut, which did impact the number of people in attendance; it didn’t detract from what was overall a well played concert all around.
Nosferatu (1922). Count Orlok played by Max Schreck (1879-1936).
The month of October means the imminent arrival of the Heavy Metal Holy Day…Halloween! This, the scariest and Metal-est of all months, we bring you five new topics for our editorial column FROM HELL’S HEART. Each week we will post the staff Top Five songs based on classic Halloween/Horror monsters. Week 1 was Frankenstein, 2 Ghosts, 3 Zombies, and this week’s subject is vampires! Please join us and enjoy all of our theme columns this month and have a happy Hell-o-ween!
LOS ANGELES, CA – Friday, October 23, 2015 – “Evil Twin,” the first new song from Anthrax’s long-awaited album set for a first quarter 2016 worldwide release (Megaforce/North America * Nuclear Blast/Europe, UK), debuts today. Also released today is the “Evil Twin” lyric video, a compelling barrage of places, victims, actions, and some of the infamous zealots and others who have perpetrated violent extremism on innocents around the world, aptly exemplifying the song’s powerful message. The video can be viewed above. “Evil Twin” is now available digitally, and can be purchased via Apple Music, iTunes (links below) and Amazon.
Musically, “Evil Twin” is a full-on thrash-metal tune that blasts off with a raging guitar riff, accelerates expeditiously and is completely uncontrollable.
“Yeah, that opening riff is really evil,” laughed the band’s Charlie Benante. “We had done a lot of touring with Death Angel and Exodus, so I was in a really thrashy state of mind when I starting writing the riffs for that song. I think along with Scott’s lyrics and Frank’s melodies, we came up with a really great, old school thrash metal feel.”
As Anthrax bassist Frank Bello put it, “it’s a song that begs to be played live.”
Lyrically, the track unapologetically denounces the self-righteous religious extremists who spread their bloody terror under the guise of a Holy War.
You represent your discontent
Slaughtering the innocent
You’re no martyrs
“I was very affected by the Charlie Hebdo massacre as I have been with all of the shootings that have taken place at schools and movie theatres,” said Anthrax’s lyricist Scott Ian. “I can’t figure out what would cause someone to think that was the right thing to do. ‘I’ll show the world, I’ll make my God happy.’ It’s just such bullshit. I’m not bagging on religion, that’s not my intent, but people who go to that extreme, who feel they have become judge, jury and executioner over their fellow man because you or I don’t believe the same thing they do, I think that’s the ‘Evil Twin’ of humanity. Writing words about that is my only catharsis.”
Beginning in the Fall of 2014, Anthrax – Benante (drums), Ian (rhythm guitar), Bello (bass), Joey Belladonna (vocals), and lead guitarist Jon Donais – took their time in the studio recording the follow up to their Grammy-nominated, critically-acclaimed 2011 album, Worship Music. The band recorded some 20 original songs, almost twice as many as they had ever brought into the studio in the past. In terms of how the new music sounds, Bello said, “The thing about Anthrax…we have this heavy, thrashy music and Joey’s powerful and melodic vocals. I love heavy music, but I also love melody, so the challenge is to blend them together so they sound like Anthrax. I think we’ve done a really good job of that on the new album.”
Chicago, October 20, 2015 – Victory Records catalog of music was pulled from Spotify as a result of Spotify not properly paying publishing revenues due to Victory Records’ artists in blatant violation of US Copyright laws. Spotify also pulled down a very large number of albums that Victory is not the publisher for proving that their internal systems are inadequate. We asked that our catalog not be pulled, that we would amicably work with Spotify, and they haphazardly removed our content regardless. 53,000,000 streams, as per Spotify’s statements, were identified with no publishing royalties being paid by Spotify.
Late yesterday, Spotify sent over a document giving them mechanical clearance to use our music. We could not sign said document for a variety of reasons, most importantly, that it would put us in direct violation of our agreement with Audiam (www.audiam.com). Spotify knows we are in business with Audiam and were essentially asking us to breach/ignore that agreement. The issue of nonpayment for songwriters and composers is a widespread problem and not exclusive to Victory Records’ artists. We understand your frustration with not being able to listen to the music you enjoy (and most pay for via subscription).
The bottom line is that artists and songwriters are not being paid and fans of Victory’s artists cannot listen to the music.
Thank you for your support and we remain hopeful that Spotify will do the right thing.
Gothic doom pioneers, Paradise Lost, landed in London on the first leg of the tour with their latest release, The Plague Within.
KOKO is a beautiful setting for tonight’s show as the theatrical setting only adds to the gothic factor. If tonight’s venue Koko deliberately was set to spread out an extreme scent of incense and petrolia, I do not know. It definitely not only felt gothic on this Sunday night, but sure smelled like it as well.
‘Irrelevant’ is the third release and second full length album by Canadian Hard Rock band Slik Toxik. The album was originally released in 1994 during a turbulent time for Hard Rock. This was a time when the airwaves and magazines were being bombarded with the advent of Alternative, Grunge and pop groups. After the release of their debut CD ‘Doin’ the Nasty’ selling well over 50,000 units in Canada (Gold Status) and receiving the Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) for Hard Rock album of the year, the climate in the music industry started to change. ‘It was a crazy time for us, as we like so many other rockers were in a state flux’ recalls lead vocalist Nicholas Walsh, ‘we were in a darker place’. Met with critical acclaim, this eclectic collection of songs has been touted by some critics as being ‘ahead of its time’ with hard hitting de-tuned riffs, snarly vocals and bombastic drumming. The band went on to only having a Canadian release with this recording and touring across Canada multiple times before calling it quits and going their separate ways in 1995. ‘Dive’ and ‘Twenty Something’ were released as singles and videos. The album was recorded in Toronto at Phase One Studios again with producer Paul Gross at the helm.
Much as the water in Ireland produces the best Guinness, there is evidently something in the air in Sweden that infuses their musicians and produces some phenomenal rocks and metal bands. Case in point: the Wolf/Enforcer co-headlining tour currently making its way around the world, with support from Dynamite. Three bands, all Swedish, all of whom rocked the Limelight’s collective balls off in Belfast on October 10th.
R.I.P. Frank Watkins (February 19, 1968 – October 18th 2015)
Frank was previously the bassist player for the death metal band Obituary. Since late 2007 he was the bass player of the Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth. Frank passed away today (October 18th) at 47 years old after suffering from cancer.
Obituary issued the following: “Just got the very sad news that Frank passed away this morning. Our thoughts and and prayers are with his family.”
Members of Gorgoroth issued a brief statement: “He will be missed.”
Watkins had played with Obituary on their famed early career including the albums Cause of Death (1990), The End Complete (1992) and World Demise (1994).
When Obituary briefly broke up in 1997, Watkins rejoined and would record with the band until 2009’s Darkest Day.
Watkins had joined Norway’s Gorogoroth in 2007, and played with the band under the stage name Bøddel, (Executioner in Norwegian. He recorded two albums with the controversial band Quantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt (2009) and Instinctus Bestialis (2015).