In a year end message from Swedish black metal legion, WATAIN: “North and South America have now been left in ashes, and with that the Lawless Darkness Tour 2010 is over. Hail to those who made it possible, and those who made it even more triumphant; North: Watain Disciples USA, Goatwhore, Black Anvil, Decibel Magazine, Liz and Dave at Earsplit, Jimmy and the Duff’s crew, Josh at Dean Guitars, Engl Amps, Black Witchery, Negative Plane, Averse Sefira, Hod. South: Arma Productions, Hells Angels Antofagasta, Careloco and The Chilean Watain Militia, Kythrone, the mighty Mortuary Drape, the Tumba crew, and all those whose presence strengthened us along the long and winding road through hell and back. You know who you are. A special mention to S.L of The Devil’s Blood who took on the lead guitar duties in North America; hail brother! Finally, a thunderous salute to our iron crew, without whom none of this would have been possible.
To view a clip from Swedish TV (with English subtitles) about WATAIN‘s appearance at the Sweden Rock festival in June earlier this year, point your browser HERE. The concert was aired on the Swedish national radio program P3-Live on Thursday December 23rd.
And it is that time of the year again, when the media compile their lists and distribute awards. WATAIN has received the following awards and nominations for 2010:
#1 Album Of The Year – Close Up Magazine
#1 Album Of The Year – Sweden Rock Magazine
#1 Band Of The Year – Terrorizer Readers Poll
#1 Personality Of The Year – Terrorizer Readers Poll
#2 Album Of The Year – Decibel Magazine
WATAIN have also been nominated for:
“Hardrock” Category of the Swedish Grammy Awards
“Hardrock” Category of the P3 Gold Awards
“Nordic Album 2010” of the Nordic Music Price Awards In light of all this, we would like you to contemplate upon the following lines: “It is the magic combination of fierceness and beauty that makes the Wolf an exception even in nature. Revered outlaws, feared in their bestial nature, yet also objects of fascination and curiosity, of naturally inhabited and unreachable grace, that men love to hate, and hate to love. But regardless of what judgement the vox populi might pass on the nighttime predators, they remain just that; a rare breed of hunters; alone, aside, untamed, always hungry…”
SONATA ARCTICA’s February 27, 2011 concert in Milan, Italy will be filmed for the band’s second live DVD, to be released in late 2011.
The Days Of Grays, SONATA ARCTICA’s latest studio album, debuted on the Billboard Top New Artist “Heatseekers” chart at #19 the week following its release. The album track “Flag In The Ground” can be purchased for Playstation 3 & XBOX 360 gaming systemsvia the RockBand music library by clicking here.
View SONATA ARCTICA’s video for “Flag In The Ground” here.
California Bay Area thrashers EXODUS are very happy to announce they will open for the legendary IRON MAIDEN on April 10th, 2011 at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile.
Guitarist Gary Holt shares the exciting news:
“We had two shows left on the ‘Thrash Fest Tour,’ everybody was tired and burned out, and then I got word that EXODUS will open for the one-and-only IRON MAIDEN in Chile! Best news ever! Just unbelievable! There’s no one bigger than IRON MAIDEN in South America. I’ve seen the DVD footage of their shows down in that part of the world, and to actually get to open for them ANYWHERE is amazing! But down there? Absolutely spectacular! We’ll be playing Santiago with my heroes – a band whose songs we were covering at backyard parties – in front of 65,000 people! Suddenly we all got a big second wind! Stoked beyond belief is an understatement!”
Four months out, 22,000 tickets to this concert have already been sold. José Luis Corral, the event’s producer, states:
“We added EXODUS to expose the audience to something more extreme and also to have another classic name fundamental in the history of hard rock [on the bill] and very important for a generation of Chilean metalheads. I think it’s the first time they’ve played together.”
EXODUS recently returned from the highly successful “Thrash Fest Tour” in Europe with KREATOR, DEATH ANGEL and SUICIDAL ANGELS.
As always, the top albums are for releases from 2010 that are full albums (no EP’s or demos). They also have to be new studio albums for 2010, not re-recordings, re-releases, cover songs, or live material. Below the combined TOP 30 are links to each staff members personal "best of" lists which besides the top albums contains such things as best new band, best DVD/Blu-Ray, disappointments of 2010, greatest hopes for 2011, personal metal discovery of 2010, and various other metal-related categories. Enjoy!
The Top 30 Heavy Metal Albums of 2010
(Click the album cover to read our review.
If no review is available the link it to the band’s MySpace page.)
1. Accept – Blood of the Nations
Wolf Hoffman’s reaction to the band’s #1 placement in our list was:
"Sensational!!! We are so happy about this reaction by the fans. This last year has been nothing short of phenomenal for Accept."
BLOOD OF THE NATIONS is a fantastic album, so fantastic that it very easily came out on top when we compiled our best of 2010 list! In the media, producer Andy Sneap said when he worked with the band he made them go back and listen to the 80’s albums, and it worked. Accept have delivered the album they needed to make. Accept reformed with a vocalist who is just as good as Udo Dirkschneider. Vocalist Mark Tornillo rages through the songs with power and charisma, without being a clone. Accept have proven to the world in 2010 they are still relevant, powerful, uncompromising and most of all entertaining. Welcome back!
2. Blind Guardian – At the Edge of Time
Easily the best and strongest Blind Guardian album since NIGHTFALL IN MIDDLE-EARTH with a maximum of variety and everything that has turned these guys from Krefeld into what they are today: one of Germany’s most successful and influential metal bands. With AT THE EDGE OF TIME, Blind Guardian returned to the fold in total triumph. This is an album to be enjoyed for numerous repeat listens. Newer fans should eat it up, and older fans should be appeased with the band’s renewed emphasis on their thrashy roots.
3. Ratt– Infestation
Ratt is Metal. Always have been and likely always will be. From their appearance on the very first Metal Massacre compilation in 1981 alongside the likes of Metallica, Malice, and Bitch, to the new 2010 album, Ratt have always been among the heaviest of the so-called "hair metal" bands. So despite what the revisionists may think, Ratt have a firm spot in the development and evolution of the Heavy Metal genre and have earned their spot in this year’s list. Sonically the Ratt Pack is back! The band had stated they wanted a real up-tempo record and distinctly aimed for the classic sound. They nailed it. It’s all there, the swagger and slight sneer of Pearcy voice, the fluid and fiery soloing of DeMartini’s axe-work, the complimentary work of Cavazo…it’s a beautiful thing to behold!
4. Triptykon – Eparistera Daimones
Thomas Gabriel Fischer (AKA Tom G. Warrior) has nothing to prove to anyone. As the principal architect behind Hellhammer and Celtic Frost, Fischer’s body of work is the reason that many bands exist today. Two years since Celtic Frost’s very public dissolution, Fischer could have easily opted to rest on his laurels and bask in the afterglow of his evil legacy, but nooooo. To the contrary, Fischer has assembled a new band and recorded an album of new material that’s arguably some of the best in his career. Triptykon is the band, EPARISTERA DAIMONES is the album, and yes – it’s as good as Fischer has promised it to be!
5. Melechesh – The Epigenesis
Black/Death/Middle Eastern "Mesopotamian Metal" extremists made a big impact this year. Originally from IsraHELL and now based out of the Netherlands, the band has been around in some form since 1993. That Melechesh are able to maintain the album’s early momentum through to the record’s dying moments makes what they have achieved with THE EPIGENESIS that much more remarkable. Unlike so much of what passes for modern-day extremity, every one of this disc’s eleven tracks bristles with its own identity and design. It will demand a lot of attention – this definitely isn’t the record to whip out at your next kegger – but the rewards far outweigh the investment. Absolutely superb in every way.
6. Helloween – 7 Sinners
Helloween are very comfortable right now. They are back on a major label, the line-up has been stable for probably the longest stretch in the bands history, and they have fallen into a great pattern of releasing a studio album every couple of years (right around Halloween naturally). Relaxed, confident and mature the band have nothing to prove but instead of delivering a complacent record, the band have delivered the fastest, heaviest album of their career. It’s their 26th release over and 13th full-length studio album of all-new, original material. Lucky #13 for the band sees a crowning achievement with 13 killer cuts spread across the hour. Helloween have delivered a masterpiece. It will quickly silence all the fans who couldn’t stomach UNARMED from earlier this year.
7. OverKill – Ironbound
The veteran New Jersey boys return with a compelling slab of unmistakeably old school thrash that is tinged with a fine mix of groove, progressiveness and melody that separates Overkill from the multitudes of carbon-copy thrashers out there. This is modern thrash the way it should be played: roots in the 80s but with its direction and ambition befitting a metal scene on the cusp of its 30-year anniversary. It’s a beautiful thing to behold: while most of their contemporaries have split up or sold out, Overkill are still doing their thing, updating and improving but never forgetting where they came from.
8. Nevermore – The Obsidian Conspiracy
Five years – that’s how long Nevermore made us wait for a sequel to the still awe-inspiring THIS GODLESS ENDEAVOUR. By modern-day standards that’s an absolute eternity, the length of which only the likes of Slayer or Metallica could reasonably be expected to get away with. Regardless of delay, the album is a perfect example of heavy metal in its purest, most intelligent and provocative form. As always the band defies classification with elements of power, thrash, prog, blended together into a mixture that is uniquely Nevermore.
9. Sabaton – Coat of Arms
Sweden’s war metallers, Sabaton, have been consistently moving to the forefront of the power metal movement in the last few years. COAT OF ARMS continues Sabaton’s fine tradition of power metal with bite. The band is in fine form throughout and do not disappoint. You listen to a Sabaton album for the pounding marches (“Uprising”) the fast assaults (“Midway”, “Screaming Eagles”), and the catchy hooks and choruses (every damn song!) and COAT OF ARMS has it all!
10. Halford – IV – Made of Metal
Finally! Halford was really overdue. Despite having a skeleton of a catalog, Halford really needed to put some meat on the bones of his solo career. MADE OF METAL is really only the third studio album of all new material in over 10 years. Sure the catalog looks impressive but in reality, live albums, demo albums, EP’s, digital only live albums and novelty Christmas albums are just filler. Halford needed to deliver the goods and we’re pleased to say he is still made of Metal. The album clocks in at a whopping 14 tracks at over an hour it is his longest solo album to date.
Number 11 to 20
11. Crazy Lixx – New Religion
12. Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
13. Scorpions – Sting In The Tail
14. Immolation – Majesty and Decay
15. Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony / Angel Of Babylon
Eric Greif, Esq. for Perseverance Holdings Ltd. (which runs everything related to late DEATH/CONTROL DENIED legend Chuck Schuldiner’s intellectual property) has issued the following update on the official Death/Control Denied/Chuck Schuldiner website EmptyWords:
“A very happy 2011 to all Death and Control Denied fans around the world! This is going to be an exciting and dramatic year for all of us preserving Chuck’s legacy – not just of course the fact that in December it will be a full decade since Chuck died, but due to all of the cool things happening that keep his music and memory very much alive. The Schuldiners and I, in partnership with Relapse Records – and with the full cooperation and support of all the former band members and associates – have been painstakingly dealing with every small detail to ensure that the Death and Control Denied names live on for the diehards as well as with a new generation just discovering the groundbreaking music.
You already know some of what is happening: Producer Jim Morris is already working with the Control Denied guys on the much anticipated completion of When Man And Machine Collide (yes, this is now the fixed, proper title), which will eventually be out on Relapse. Keep checking EmptyWords for progress reports; Relapse production manager Drew Juergens and I continue to map out the reissues, gathering together rarities and extras to make each release is historical – one of the Death reissues will even be a complete album remix by Jim Morris (more news on that in EmptyWords as it becomes available)!
The official Death fan club The Metal Crusade will soon be re-launched. There will be a Chuck Schuldiner biography by trailblazing metallic globetrotter Ian Christe. And the first Death reissue is The Sound of Perseverance in mindboggling two-CD standard (available internationally) and three-CD deluxe (available through Relapse mail order only) versions, scheduled for release in February – but the big news is that the cover has been revamped by original artist Travis Smith… and I am here giving the official debut of the new cover at EmptyWords for all to see!
All of this would surely meet Chuck’s approval. However, the most important thing is to make the fans happy – and that is our motivation, as it was Chuck’s. Keep the metal flowing and I hope to meet a lot of you in this New Year.”
TESTAMENT will play two very unique shows on board. At the first show they will prove their Titan trash status by playing The Legacy album in it’s entirety. At the second show they will play another iconic masterpiece: The New Order album. Are you ready to witness history in the making? 70000TONS OF METAL, The World’s Biggest Floating Heavy Metal Festival. Don’t miss the boat! BOOK NOW! Only very few cabins remain!
70000TONS OF METAL, The World’s Biggest Floating Heavy Metal Festival wishes you Happy New Year!
The festival billing is shaping up as follows:
Twilight Of The Gods (performing BATHORY masterpieces)
Uli Jon Roth
SAXON will play two unique shows. One night they will perform the Wheels Of Steel LP in its entirety and on a different night, for the second show, they will play Strong Arm Of The Law from start to finish.
70000TONS OF METAL will sail Monday, January 24, 2011 aboard the Royal Caribbean “Majesty of the Seas” from Miami FL to Cozumel, Mexico and will not return you to the real world for four days until Friday, January 28, 2011.
Make no mistake, 70000TONS OF METAL is not your grandma’s cruise. It’s also not one of the cruises that share the ship with normal cruise guests. This is an all heavy metal cruise! Can you imagine that? A whole luxury cruise ship full of metalheads? And since there is no backstage area you will have the opportunity to mingle side-by-side with the artists in this incredibly fan-friendly scenario that has no comparison. It’s like everyone has a backstage pass!
Ticket prices start at US$666 plus US$249 taxes and fees per person and include all on-board entertainment, all meals, non-alcoholic and non-carbonated beverages at the dining rooms, most on-board restaurants and 24 room service!
What are you waiting for? You might even need a vacation from this vacation when all is said and done! Check out http://www.70000tons.com/ for more information and book your cabin NOW!
Swedish musician and producer Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY; NIGHTINGALE) published an early UNISOUND-studio guestbook online; it is from 1997 and features for example entries on Katatonia-, Opeth-, Nightingale- and many more recordings which took place during that time.
Now the guestbook is available for the first time to the public, as it was recently digitalized. Many “liner notes” by Dan on the recording process back then were added.
Dan Swanö’s UNISOUND-studio existed for the most part of the 1990s, was closed for some years and reopened in 2005.
About the guestbook, Dan writes:
“In 1994 I introduced the guestbook at Unisound Recordings. It quickly became a hit with the bands that recorded with me. Some members seemed to take their guestbook pages more seriously than their music!
This was an early form of a homepage. Every band knew that the others would look at their page, and often left messages or insults for the others to read when they returned for another recording.
The first guestbook to be made available to world is from 1996/1997. It is a bit more luxurious than the previous one (That will be unleashed later in 2011). Most of the pages have Polaroid photos. The film cost a bloody fortune, but looking back, it was so worth it!
William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers today announced plans to release on May 10, 2011 the handbook to all things heavy metal:BRINGING METAL TO THE CHILDREN by Zakk Wylde, guitar legend and Black Label Society frontman. Wylde invites all who dare onto the tour bus for tales of glory, debauchery, and general mayhem. The book is co-authored by Eric Hendrikx.
In BRINGING METAL TO THE CHILDREN, Zakk Wylde, the man who turned heavy metal touring into a journey of fantastical excess, shares what really goes on behind tour bus windows and backstage doors. The twenty-five year music veteran of the Ozzy Osbourne band and Black Label Society details his survival techniques for maintaining a life on the road, managing a band of raging vikings, and somehow making it on stage and blowing the crowd away night after night.
Beginning with Wylde’s “true rocker test” (TRT), the reader answers and self-scores ten questions to determine if he is a true rocker and should continue reading, or if he’s just a complete tool who needs to hand the book to someone more metal. Wylde continues the journey with his epic stories about life on the road, using his Black Label Society (BLS) coaching techniques to instruct the reader on proper touring hygiene, pre-concert preparations, and post-show etiquette. The road stories include wild nights with many of heavy metal’s gods including; Rob Zombie, Eddie Van Halen, Dimebag Darrell, Alice In Chain’s Mike Inez, Skid Row’s Snake Sabo, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, professional wrestlers Chris Jericho, Bubba Dudley and Stone Cold Steve Austin, UFC Former Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin and of course the Godfather of heavy metal, Ozzy Osbourne.
BRINGING METAL TO THE CHILDREN also features Wylde’s roadmap for success in the music business, tour planning and exclusive tips for the aspiring “metal musician,” as well as the best methods for surviving a mosh pit and plans for how to set up a shooting range on the tour bus.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
In the two decades since Ozzy Osbourne hired him away from his job at a New Jersey gas station, Zakk Wylde has established himself as a guitar icon known and revered the world over. Wylde has won nearly every guitar award imaginable, graced countless magazine covers and is a major influence to a new battalion of rock guitarists. Writing and recording with Osbourne led to multi-platinum success, inspiring him to create the now iconic Black Label Society in 1998. In the decade plus since, BLS has turned the notion of what a rock band should be upside down by inspiring legions of fans (known as Berserkers) all over the world to follow the mantra: Strength, Determination, Merciless, Forever (SDMF for short). Wylde and his Berserkers have established a heavy metal institution true to the vision of uncompromising, unfiltered and unrestrained rock ‘n’ roll. To date, Black Label Society has sold more than 3.5 million albums worldwide and continues to be a massive presence on the worldwide touring and merchandising circuits. Black Label Society’s latest album, ORDER OF THE BLACK, was released in August, 2010 and debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart.
Writer, photographer, and fellow Berserker Eric Hendrikx is a notable contributor to more than a dozen books including Forrest Griffin’s New York Times bestsellers Got Fight? and Be Ready When the Sh*t Goes Down. A lifelong musician, Hendrikx played guitar in the rock band Snake River Conspiracy and toured with bands including Queensrÿche. He currently lives in Southern California with his son Stone.
Ross "The Boss" Friedman is undoubtebly one of the most important guitar players in American heavy metal. Having been the original guitarist for Manowar during the band’s most classic time period, Ross’ name will forever be associated with facemelting, larger than life, guitar pyrotechnics. Now performing with his own band, the legendary axeman released the return to form, comeback album "New Metal Leader" in 2008 through AFM Records and promptly followed that record with the excellent recently released "Hailstorm" album. Ross recently took some time away from the batting cages in New York to chat over the phone with Metal-Rules.com and bring us up to speed with his band’s plans for the immediate future as well as touching base on quite a few other aspects of his lengthy career in metal.
Thanks to Jan Rosenberg at CMM Marketing for setting up the interview.
Thanks to Tommy Morriello at Crash Bang Management for all the help.
Thanks to CMM Marketing for providing promo pictures of the band.
The Brazilian thrash act Music Diablo released their brilliant debut album MUSIC DIABLO in Europe in May of 2010. When I heard the band’s music I got really interested and thought that an interview was in order. I hooked up with guitarist André NM so he could cast light over the band and their music. Even though the band’s lead singer is Derrick Green the music doesn’t have a lot in common with Sepultura. If you’re into Brazilian heavy music make sure to check out André’s other band Nitrominds.
FEAR FACTORY Forced To Postpone TourFEAR FACTORY, who recently announced a short stretch of U.S. shows from December 29 – January 8, were forced to postpone those dates until April due to a family emergency. No further details are available at this time.
FEAR FACTORY — guitarist Dino Cazares, vocalist Burton C. Bell, bassist Byron Stroud and drummer Gene Hoglan — spent the greater part of 2010 touring in support of their critically-acclaimed Mechanize full-length released in February via Candlelight Records. Rescheduled dates to be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tuned. http://www.fearfactorymusic.com
This upcoming January 4, 2011 we remember the 25th anniversary of the passing of Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott. The Australian Heavy Metallers of PEGAZUS would like to contribute to keep the memory of this legendary rocker alive. Therefore, they have decided that on January 4 their song “Ballad Of A Thin Man” will be available for free download at the following location : http://thinman.metalrevelation.com/
The song “Ballad Of A Thin Man” has been taken from PEGAZUS’ album “The Headless Horseman”, which was released in 2002 through Nuclear Blast.
Founding member of the band and songwriter/singer of the song Johnny Stoj about Phil Lynott, Thin Lizzy and “Ballad Of A Thin Man” :
“The PEGAZUS song ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man’ was written just over 10 years ago around the middle of the year 2000. A month before that we were asked by our record label if we would like to contribute a cover song of Thin Lizzy for an up coming tribute album, so of course we said yes and ended up recording ‘Warriors’ and submitted that for the tribute CD.
But after recording that cover song, it actually dawned on me that we needed to do something that was more than just covering a Thin Lizzy song, I mean this is a band that all of us in PEGAZUS grew up listening to as huge fans, and the inspiration and influence that I personally got as a songwriter and musician myself just from listening to Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott’s songs was indescribable. That’s when I knew that I had to create an original song that was a real tribute and a form of true respect for one of the world’s greatest ever rock n’ roll heroes.
The music in ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man’ is meant to capture the typical Lizzy attitude with the riffs and twin guitar harmonies and the lyrics were simply created into an original story made from Thin Lizzy’s song titles and some of Phil’s cool song characters like Johnny The Fox and Jimmy The Weed.
The very first demo version of this song was actually sent to Ms Philomena Lynott back in 2000 and the response I personally got back in letter was ever so praiseful for the song, even suggesting that, “If Philip were alive he would love it too”, put simply, I was so happy and over the moon.
Anyway, the song wasn’t meant to be released as a PEGAZUS song but our record label at the time insisted strongly that it be included on our band’s studio album that we were also recording at that time, so it was released officially on our album ‘The Headless Horseman’ in 2002.
So many years have passed since and so many requests still to hear the song have surfaced again, so we have decided that seeing that it is a special moment ahead this coming 4th January 2011, it’s the 25th anniversary of Philip’s passing and a celebration of his life.We would love to share this special tribute song of ours with all fans of Philip Lynott, Thin Lizzy and just rock fans in general with this absolute free download of BALLAD OF A THIN MAN.
Enjoy the tune, rock hard and remember to raise a glass in memory of Philip, “The Emerald Isle’s Rocking Renegade!”
Earlier, it was already reported that PEGAZUS will kick off their worldwide 2011 tour at the Rocktower Festival in Lübeck Germany (April 23/24, 2011) and that they had been added to the 2011 edition of Headbangers Open Air, which takes place from July 28 – 30 in Brande-Hörnerkirchen, Germany.
In addition, the worldwide return of the band will be kicked of with the release of a new album ! The tentative release date for this yet-untitled album is scheduled for Spring 2011 and contains 11 brand new classic Heavy Metal songs with original singer Justin Fleming back on vocals !
Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s favorite sons of blasphemy Infernaeon released their second full length effort "Genesis To Nemesis" late last summer through Prosthetic Records. The new album features some notable guest appearances including Erik Rutan of Hate Eternal and Oderus Urungus of Gwar among others. In what is sure to quickly make Infernaeon a household name, the band filmed an incredibly grotesque video for the track "Graven Image" before embarking on a monster tour across North America and Canada as direct support for Gwar. Metal-Rules.com caught up with the ever controversial frontman Brian Werner and new guitarist Steven Harger to find out all the gory details…
Frankie DiVita, radio personality for 96.7 KCAL Rocks, sat down with JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford at The Grove in Anaheim, CA on the final night of HALFORD’s Made Of Metal tour. Check out the chat on YouTube below:
Pompei Nights have uploaded three tracks (“Mistreated”, “Out Of Bounds” and “The Scene Is Set”) from their upcoming debut album, yet untitled, to their MySpace.com page at this location (www.myspace.com/pompeinights).
The CD was recorded and mixed by Martin Sweet (Crashdïet) at Sweet Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. An early 2011 release via Street Symphonies Records is expected.