OVERKILL’s highly anticipated new album, White Devil Armory, is due to be released worldwide in July. In North America it will be released by eOne Music and in Europe through Nuclear Blast Records. The album was tracked at Gear Recording and will be mixed by Greg Reely, who also worked on 2012’s “The Electric Age”.
The tracklist is as follows:
‘Where There’s Smoke…’
‘Down To The Bone’
‘King Of The Rat Bastards’
‘Another Day To Die’
‘It’s All Yours’
‘In The Name’
Denver thrashers HAVOK today announce their first headlining tour of Canada. Dates are set to commence June 5th and will see the band journey through north western Canada, making their way east with a final stop in St John’s, Newfoundland on July 4th. The tour will be the final leg of the their world tour in support of the band’s latest album, Unnatural Selection. Support on this trek of the great white north will come from North Carolina death metal titans Wretched (Victory Records).
Unnatural Selection, the band’s third full-length album for Candlelight Records, was produced by guitarist David Sanchez and mixed by Terry Date (Pantera, Overkill, Deftones). The album features original artwork from Polish illustrator Rafal Wechterowicz (Slayer, Mastodon) and was mastered by James Murphy (Testament, Death, Lazarus AD).
For a full list of dates visit the band’s official Facebook page HERE.
HAVOK, called “the finest thrash band in existence” by PopDose, released their full-length debut, Burn, in 2009. Time Is Up would follow in 2011. “HAVOK have hit their stride,” said Decibel Magazine. “HAVOK is everything that is great about thrash,” added Terrorizer. Confirmed HAVOK dates at press time are included below
6/5 Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre
6/6 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
6/7 Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
6/8 Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater
6/9 Salt Lake City, UT @ Burt’ s Tiki Lounge
6/10 Boise, Idaho @ Shredder
6/11 Portland, OR @ Branx
6/12 Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
6/13 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theater
6/14 Calgary, AB @ Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club
6/15 Ryley, AB @ Farmageddon Open Air
6/17 Red Deer, AB @ The Vat Pub
6/18 Saskatoon, SK @ O’Brians Event Centre
6/19 Regina, SK @ The Exchange
6/20 Brandon, MB @ North Hill Inn
6/21 Winnipeg, MB @ The Zoo Cabaret
6/22 Thunder Bay, ON @ Crock’s
6/24 Sault Ste. Marie, ON @ Canadian Nightclub
6/25 Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo
6/26 Ottawa, ON @ Maverick’s
6/27 Montreal, QC @ Petit Campus
6/28 Trois-Rivieres, QC @ Rock Cafe Le Stage
6/29 Quebec City, QC @ L’ Agitee
7/2 Halifax, NS @ Michael’s ** HAVOK ONLY **
7/4 St John’s, NL @ The Rock House ** HAVOK ONLY **
HAVOK is guitarist/vocalist David Sanchez, bassist Mike Leon, guitarist Reece Scruggs, and drummer Pete Webber. The band uses/endorses ESP Guitars, Charvel Guitars, EMG Pickups, Ernie Ball, Peavy Amplification, EVH Amplification, Pearl Drums, Trick Drums, and Sabian Cymbals.
Smokin’ Valves: A Headbanger’s Guide To 900 NWOBHM Records
Taking cue from the do-it-yourself attitude of their country’s punk movement, Britain’s up-and-coming heavy metal bands that comprised the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) were not content to wait for record labels to come knocking. Instead, they took to issuing their own music, typically in the form of 7 inch singles but also 12s and full-length album, many indie, some on small labels, and some on the major labels smart enough to get on board (essentially EMI and MCA).
Martin Popoff, author of 45 books on heavy metal (and at 7900, writer of more record reviews than anybody in history across all genres), has undertaken the task of documenting virtually every record large and wee from heavy metal’s most fabled period (beginning essentially in ‘79 with a hard stop at 1983) providing catalogue information, mini reviews as only he can do, plus a gob of thumbnails of those wonderful 7” picture sleeves and LP covers.
Note: the lion’s share of the material in Smokin’ Valves: A Headbanger’s Guide To 900 NWOBHM Records combines rewritten and expanded text from Martin’s long out-of-print The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Singles plus the relevant reviews of full-length albums from his Collector’s Guide series, specifically the ‘70s and ‘80s book. These reviews have also experienced judicious editing and rewrites.
– includes a few hundred rare 45 picture sleeve and album cover images
– every record rated out of 10
– layout designed so that albums are distinguished from 7”, 10” and 12” singles/EPs by larger, bolder typestyle
– label, year of release and catalogue number for almost every entry
– two appendices, displaying all 9’s and 10’s for singles as opposed to LPs
Final note, one thing I like about an experience like this book in the internet age, hopefully the idea is that you will read some of these glowing 8 to 10 rated reviews of hopelessly obscure singles you ain’t never going to get alerted to otherwise, and then check out if they can be heard and enjoyed on youtube (many of them can!), so you can decide for yourself, or begin some sort of whacky digital collection of this stuff to park in yer metal library. In that respect, I’m just being a DJ that instead of talking, types. Price including shipping:
US orders: $35.00 US funds
Int’l orders (air mail): $44.00 US funds
Canadian orders: $37.00 Cdn. funds
PayPal happily accepted! Direct funds to firstname.lastname@example.org or just ask if you want a proper PayPal invoice. easy enuff. Book will be signed by me to YOU unless otherwise request. Gals, take note (long story).
Or… send payment to (personal check in US funds, cash, or INTERNATIONAL money order):
P.O. Box 65208, 358 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4K 2Z2
Email me at email@example.com with any further questions, and see www.martinpopoff.com for descriptions, covers and ordering info for my other available 30 or so books. Nice savings on shipping can be had if you take a few things, and as you know, I’m always good for swingin’ a deal for two books or more. Just email me for a quote. If ya wanna catch up, the six Ye Olde Metals are still available.
Metallica posted official footage of “The Lords of Summer” live debut via the band’s official YouTube channel:
The band debuted a brand new song on Sunday night (March 16) during the opening show of the band’s South American tour in Bogota, Colombia. As promised, the band played a nearly all-request set, with 17 songs chosen online by fans prior to the gig and the last slot filled by the new track.
DECEPTION started out in 2012 by making the debut EP called “Break the silence”. It was released on March 9th 2013, and we were quite overwhelmed with the positive response and critics we received.
DECEPTION was formed during the process of making the “Break the silence”-EP. Peter (guitars), Markus (drums) and Fredrik (bass) started to jam some ideas at the rehearsal room and later hooked up with Daniel (singer) and Oscar (guitars).
In the writing process Peter and Fredrik found it easy to complement each others musical backgrounds and songwriting skills to create an original sound. When “Break the silence”-EP was done we still had a lot of material left. We decided to record yet another EP to really establish the DECEPTION-sound.
Our second EP, named “Altars of sin”, will be released april 5th 2014 through Big Balls Productions, and the very same night we´ll be performing live at Nöjesfabriken in our hometown. “Altars of sin” contains four songs, and we´re all eager to show our new material to the world. We´re also proud and happy to have a special guest performing on the “Altars of sin” EP. Anders Björler is known from two big Swedish pioneers in the genre of metal, “The Haunted” and “At the Gates”. Anders is playing the first of two killer solos in the song called “Our Damnation”.
In October 2014 Deception will travel overseas for a Mexico & US tour. We got the opportunity to do this tour via our management, and we are of course looking forward to it. The tour will contain approximately seven shows in twelve days covering Mexico City, Monterrey, Saltillo, Los Angeles and Anaheim. Read the rest of this entry »
Leviathan Records Worldwide has just released the new CHASTAIN video “Evil Awaits Us” from the band’s new CD “Surrender To No One.” This marks the first music video from CHASTAIN with Leather Leone on vocals since the classic “For Those Who Dare” video from 1990!
The video was filmed on 3 different continents. David T. Chastain explains, “With the band scattered around the world it took us a little more time than we would have liked but in the end it does justice to the story.” Joining David and Leather on the video are original bassist Mike Skimmerhorn and new drummer Stian Kristoffersen. There is also a special appearance by Metal internet sensation Ladyevil. David states “Ladyevil brings her beauty to go with the beast of CHASTAIN. Her transformation from innocence to evil as she moves through the supposedly haunted mansion is exactly what the lyrics foretell. I was told the ghosts were out and about during her video shoot in Brazil!”
Leather adds the final words, “I am so excited to be back out doing the things I love. Seeing myself in another CHASTAIN video was something I thought would never happen again! Thanks to all the fans who have helped make ‘Surrender To No One’ such a success and make me feel wanted again in the world of Metal.”
If you haven’t heard much about English thrashers Shrapnel – not to be confused with the dozen or so former or active metal/hard rock bands around the world who also bear that name – fear not. Because chances are you soon will – like, for instance, here! After forming on 2009, the Norwich-based quintet have flown somewhat under the radar, playing sporadic shows – though with such higher-profile bands as Sepultura, Death Angel, Chthonic, Turisas and Exodus – around England and self-releasing a pair of EPs.
With the second EP, 2010’s The Devastation To Come, however, the band hooked up with acclaimed producer Russ Russell and took a big step forward. On the strength of that, they signed on with Candlelight Records last year and recorded their proper debut full-length, The Virus Conspires, which was released in February.
Despite their obvious old-school thrash proclivities and youthful exuberance, Shrapnel boasts a mature, viciously infectious sound on the debut that is bolstered once again by Russell’s smart, brash production. The album has been earning raves since its release, and rightfully so, and bigger and better things could certainly be ahead for the band.
In an e-mail interview, guitarist Chris Martin offered the following about one of England’s most promising new metal bands.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of rock and roll giants KISS and, in true KISS fashion, the band plan to make 2014 the biggest and loudest, non-stop rock and roll party of the century. Millions of people around the world originally discovered KISS when they brought home an album and put it on their turntable for the first time. Those original KISS albums are now remastered and will be available on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl. The first batch of 10 will be released March 31 through Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. Another 18 vinyl titles will be issued in the first half of 2014, along with a 2-CD compilation, KISS 40, which features one track from every major album release, live selections and an unreleased demo from 1977, available in May. And finally, starting today, the definitive KISS vinyl box set, KISSTERIA – The Ultimate Vinyl Road Case, featuring 34 KISS LPs – including titles never-before issued on vinyl, six exclusive albums to the box set and a plethora of collectibles only available in KISSTERIA will be available exclusively for D2C pre-order at kissteria.kissonline.com. Only 1000 copies of KISSTERIA will be available worldwide.
KISS were the first signing to Neil Bogart’s Casablanca Records in 1973, offering them a contract on the spot after seeing them perform in New York City. Their self-titled debut would propel the band to the top of the rock and roll hierarchy where they have reigned for the past four decades, selling over 100 million albums worldwide. The KISS legacy is a global brand with more than 3,000 licensed merchandise products, including a recent partnership with the Arena Football League as owners of the Anaheim-based expansion team LA KISS. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, with long-time members guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, are stronger than ever with a legacy that continues to grow, generation after generation. KISS will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April, proof of the unparalleled devotion and loyalty of the KISS Army to the “Hottest Band in the World.”
As announced earlier this month, the upcoming official ALICE COOPER documentary, Super Duper Alice Cooper, will premiere at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and will hit theaters nationwide beginning April 30, 2014. Super Duper Alice Cooper will officially premiere on April 17, 2014 and is presented by Banger Films, in association with Eagle Rock Entertainment, and distributed to theaters and venues by SpectiCast (As The Palaces Burn, Aerosmith: Rock for the Rising Sun, Morrissey 25: Live).
Catch this special “doc opera” at a theater or venue near you! Super Duper Alice Cooper will screen in over 250 U.S. cinemas and venues following the premiere (see below for a full listing). As mentioned previously, a special pre-recorded “Keep Calm & Just Ask Alice” Q&A and welcome from Alice will be included exclusively with each screening.
See below for a current list of U.S. theatrical and venue screenings, sorted by their original screening date. Several of the mentioned theaters and venues will show multiple screenings of Super Duper Alice Cooper, so make sure to check your local listings for more information.
UPCOMING SUPER DUPER ALICE COOPER U.S. SCREENINGS:
Fairfax, VA Angelika Mosaic
Dallas, TX Angelika Film Dallas
Plano, TX Angelika Film Plano
San Diego, CA Gaslamp 15
Honolulu, HI Ward Stadium 16
Sacramento, CA Tower Theatre
La Mesa, CA Grossmont Center 10
Rohnert Park, CA Rohnert Park 16
Bakersfield, CA Valley Plaza 16
New York, NY Village East
Manville, NJ Manville 12-Plex
Murrieta, CA Cal Oaks 17
Cleveland, OH Capitol Theatre
Cleveland, OH Shaker Square Cinemas
Pittsburgh, PA Southside Works Cinema
Peoria, AZ Arrowhead Fountains 18
Oklahoma City, OK Bricktown 16
Chandler, AZ Chandler Fashion 20
Moreno Valley, CA Moreno Valley 16
Denver, CO Northfield 18
Phoenix, AZ Scottsdale 101
Arlington, MA Regent Theatre
Claremont, CA Claremont 5
North Hollywood, CA NoHo 7
Pasadena, CA Playhouse 7
Amherst, NY The Screening Room Inc.
Chestnut Hill, MA Showcase SuperLux
Millbury, MA Blackstone Valley 14 Cinema de Lux
Dedham, MA Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place
Bridgeport, CT Showcase Cinemas Bridgeport
White Plains, NY City Center 15: Cinema De Lux
Whitestone, NY College Point Multiplex Cinemas
Edgewater, NJ Edgewater Multiplex Cinemas
Farmingdale, NY Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas
Holtsville, NY Island 16: Cinema De Lux
Lowell, MA Showcase Cinemas Lowell
Foxboro, MA Showcase Cinema de Lux Patriot Place
Providence, RI Providence Place Cinemas 16
Springdale, OH Springdale 18: Cinema De Lux
Warwick, RI Showcase Cinemas Warwick
Randolph, MA Showcase Cinema de Lux Randolph
Revere, MA Showcase Cinema de Lux Revere
Elmsford, NY Greenburgh Multiplex Cinemas
Yonkers, NY Showcase Cinema de Lux Ridge Hill
Bonita Springs, FL Prado Stadium 12
San Francisco, CA Balboa Theatre
Cincinnati, OH Esquire Theatre
Columbus, OH Gateway Film Center
Sparta, NJ Digiplex Sparta
Mechanicsburg, PA Digiplex Mechanicsburg
Camp Hill, PA Digiplex Camp Hill
Williamsport, PA Digiplex Williamsport
Bloomsburg, PA Digiplex Bloomsburg
Selinsgrove, PA Digiplex Selinsgrove
Reading, PA Digiplex Fairgrounds
Solon, OH Digiplex Solon Cinema 16
Surprise, AZ Digiplex Surprise Pointe 14
Bloomfield, CT Digiplex Bloomfield
Lisbon, CT Digiplex Lisbon
Torrington, CT Digiplex CINEROM Torrington
Temecula, CA Digiplex Temecula Tower 10
Apple Valley, CA Digiplex Apple Valley 14
Bonsall, CA Digiplex River Village
Oceanside, CA Digiplex Mission Marketplace 13
Poway, CA Digiplex Poway 10
Westfield, NJ Digiplex Rialto Westfield
San Rafael, CA California Film Institute
Phoenix, AZ FilmBar
Athens, OH Athena Grand
Tuscon, AZ The Loft Cinema
Super Duper Alice Cooper is the first ever ‘doc opera’ – a dizzying blend of documentary archive footage, animation and rock opera that will cement forever the legend of ALICE COOPER.
The film is the twisted tale of a teenage Dr. Jekyll whose rock n’ roll Mr. Hyde almost kills him. It is the story of Vincent Furnier, a preacher’s son who struck fear into the hearts of parents as ALICE COOPER, the ultimate rock star of the bizarre. From the advent of Alice as front man for a group of Phoenix freaks in the 60’s to the hazy decadence of celebrity in the 70s to his triumphant comeback as 80s glam metal godfather, we will watch as Alice and Vincent battle for each other’s’ souls. Alice’s story is told not only by the man himself, but through exclusive interviews with members of the original ALICE COOPER band, Elton John, Iggy Pop, John Lydon, and Dee Snider.
Super Duper Alice Cooper is the creation of Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn at Banger Films, producers of Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009 SXSW Audience Choice Winner) and Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage (2010 Grammy-nominated and Tribeca Audience Choice Winner), and much-lauded filmmaker Reginald Harkema, winner of the TIFF Special Jury Prize for his film Monkey Warfare.
In early June 2014, Arch Enemy will unleash their 9th studio album, War Eternal, worldwide via Century Media Records and Trooper Entertainment in Japan. With this upcoming release, the band will introduce a new member to their ranks: Alissa White-Gluz, former vocalist of Canadian extreme metallers The Agonist. Angela Gossow, who joined Arch Enemy in 2000 and made her debut on the now classic Wages Of Sin (2001), will be stepping down as front-woman and focusing on management, while Alissa takes her place.
Angela Gossow comments:
“Dear ARCH ENEMY fans, this is not easy to tell you…I have decided to step down from being ARCH ENEMY’s voice of anger. After 13 years of pure fucking metal, 6 studio albums and countless tours through five continents, I feel the need to enter a different phase in my life, be with my family and pursue other interests. I will however remain business manager for ARCH ENEMY, and I will continue to develop my artist management roster. I am staying true to my heavy metal roots, just leaving the spotlight so to speak. I am passing the torch to the super talented Alissa White-Gluz, whom I’ve known as a dear friend and a superb vocalist for many years. I always thought she deserved a chance to shine – and now she’s getting it. Just like I got that chance back in 2001.
I want to thank all ARCH ENEMY fans, our labels Century Media (worldwide) and Trooper Entertainment (Japan), our dedicated road crew, and in particular Michael, Daniel and Sharlee for their love and support throughout all these years. It’s been one hell of a ride! We conquered every situation, made it through thick & thin together in the most exciting and rewarding time of my life. Thank you all for being there with me on stage, in front of the stage, and backstage. You have touched my heart, and I hope I was able to give something back to you. I am grateful for the wonderful memories – I will cherish them forever! I am looking forward to the next decade of ARCH ENEMY madness! Right now I am listening through rough mixes of the new studio album and I am blown away! 2014 will see a renewed ARCH ENEMY at the top of their game. I am proud to be part of this ARCH ENEMY chapter, albeit in a different way – revving up the engines behind the scenes. I hope to see you in front of the stage; I will join you there this time. Let the killing begin, once again!”
Bane Of Winterstorm burst onto the international scene in late 2013 with an incredibly well-recieved independent debut album THE LAST SONS OF PERYLIN. It ranked highly on a number of Metal webzines year-end lists including #7 on my own Top 20 list here at Metal-Rules.com. I contacted this powerful Australian act to learn more.
The latest fad in music has been re-issuing the same album over and over again, sometimes within the year of release and multiple versions on initial release days. Some of our staff (listed alphabetically) wade into the debate with various perspectives. That do you think?
The latest fad in music has been re-issuing the same album over and over again, sometimes within the year of release and multiple versions on initial release days. Are you tired of it? Does it make you spend more $$ on one artist and less on others or do you just say Fuck ‘em and download it for free from some illegal site? Write you thoughts, feelings and suggestions down and maybe some artists/labels will read it and hear us, the fans and music buying people.
When it comes to multiple versions of one album, Australian metalheads are probably most able to deal with sorting through the hype and confusion because we’ve been doing it for years. We’ve mostly only ever had the option of imports as most metal acts are not represented here. The few good, heavy metal, independent specialist retailers would regularly offer more than one option of a release: the European release; the US release; or the value-add and pricier Japanese release. Then later came the special release, limited box editions with a bunch of extra goodies on top of the CD. This is how I’d approach the array of offerings of one album.
1. Am I a huge fan of the band having their entire back catalogue?
If so, I go for the fanciest version possible. I first noticed these over ten years ago and even bought a few because they were so novel. RHAPSODY had some great box editions and a HELLOWEEN box even included a zippo lighter. I’ve tried to collect all of these over the years for my must-have bands and have only missed NIGHTWISH’s Imaginaerum release with the owl mirror.
2. Do I really like the band?
I usually buy the digibook version of the CD, or something like a 2CD or CD with bonus DVD.
3. Is it a CD I like, but don’t necessarily consider myself a fan of the band?
In this case my choice will be the cheapest, usually jewel case, version.
4. Is it a new band or something everyone’s raving about as a must-have release, but I’ve never been into the band?
I rely on a promo copy and if the label is not forthcoming, I go to the band’s website or youtube to listen to some samples. Once I’ve listened to it and had time to absorb it, I follow one of the applicable steps from 1–3.
I love that we have options to suit our interest levels and budgets, but when the same CD is released with nothing different but the artwork, the band is getting too greedy.
Celtic Bob (Eastern Canada)
The latest fad in music has been re-issuing the same album over and over again, sometimes within the year of release and multiple versions on initial release days. Some recent examples have been the latest David Bowie; issued the Spring of 2013, re-issued the Fall with an EP of extras (at least he made an Extras EP on itunes so you didn’t have to buy the album again) . Similar with Deep Purple; NOW What?! came out, the singles had B-Sides then it was re-issued the Fall as Gold Edition with the B-Sides and a Live CD (luckily I bought the Live LP and the 2 bonus tracks I got from iTunes). Some release Digi versions with a bonus Live CD/DVD, some will give an exclusive track to Best Buy/Amazon…etc so to get all the music by your favorite band you end up buying multiple copies of the same album. Are you tired of it? Does it make you spend more $$ on one artist and less on others or do you just say “Fuck ‘em” and download it for free from some illegal site? This has been an issue that has been eating away at me for awhile now and I needed to vent my frustrations on it.
This trend has been around for awhile but in the past few years it has gotten worse. There was always the Japanese version with exclusive track which was done so the Japanese fans would buy their own version rather than the usually cheaper North American import version. While many North American fans sought out the Japanese version for that sole exclusive track. Now things have gotten worse, much worse. The label (or whoever) has taken it upon themselves to exploit this tenfold and offer different versions of an album. How many times have you seen an exclusive Amazon version, or Best Buy version? Pre-order direct from the band’s site and get a t-shirt or exclusive live DVD? It’s become too much in my opinion. Why not release the album in one complete edition initially? If you have demo versions or more recordings from the session then release a separate disc of SESSION SONGS or DEMOS FROM THE ALBUM for the hardcore fan? Why force the record buying public to buy multiple copies of your album? Does it really increase sales or just confuse the buyer? If I can buy the regular basic album for $20 or the Super Duper Deluxe Extended Special Edition for $30 with ‘Bonus DVD’ then I will buy the cheaper. If it is only a dollar or two more then it’s a no brainer that the Super Duper Deluxe Extended Special Edition wins out. Basically it comes down to economics and how much I really love the band.
For me personally I will buy the original LP and as much as I want the ‘Bonus’ tracks I will get them from iTunes and NOT but multiple versions of the release just for a single song, that’s absurd. I paid for the album once and that is more than enough. There is only so much income I can spend on music and I will not spend it on re-buying the same album over and over again. If I cannot get the bonus tracks from iTunes then so be it, I live without that song in my collection. Besides, a digital file is NOT a collection, a physical LP that I can hold in my hand is. Maybe that is another topic of discussion for Hell’s Heart?
The music recording industry has proven itself resilient through the years, helping it to partially offset its lack of innovation and willingness to change through years of bleeding to death fiscally. The latest trend being peddled to the consumer is the constant re-issue of the same album over and over, sometimes twice in a year, with a few added bonus tracks to justify the cost of buying the entire album again. On the surface, the immediate riposte would seem to be straightforward and reasonable; simply do not pay for what is essentially the same album more than once. However, this does not seem to be happening or the industry would stop if it no longer was a financial positive.
A little background is in order. Viewed from the perspective of the music industry, things are bleak and have been for well over a decade. The recording industry estimates that over the decade running from 1997 to 2007, they lost $55 billion in revenue ((Ehlrich 2011). Indeed, for the year 2013 overall music sales were down 6.3%, with physical music sales down a whopping 13% and digital sales down 6% (Nielsen 2013). Digital sales had been the one positive for the industry, but for the first time in the U.S., digital sales declined in 2013 (Luckerson 2014). Viewing data from 2012 to 2013, total album sales dropped 8% (Nielsen 2013). The disruptive technology of Napster was what the recording industry initially attributed to its massive losses, but today peer to peer file sharing accounts for less than 10% of internet traffic in North America, where only five years ago it accounted for 31% (Luckerson 2014). The new culprit is thought to be YouTube and streaming services like Spotify (Luckerson 2014).
The decline is unmistakable and possibly irreversible, so it is no small wonder that the recording industry is pulling out all stops to squeeze money from the consumers that still pay for music. Once again, in typical recording industry fashion, they have incorrectly identified their own role in this debacle. Napster was a response to fans no longer willing to pay upwards of $15 for albums that often had only a few good songs on them. Mass marketing often became the predicator of success rather than creativity and quality music, thus fan loyalty was often absent as well when it came to buying albums. Most fans only wanted a free copy of the hit song. Not much has changed in 2014, with popular music more often sold on image, sex appeal and marketing than on any iota of talent.
Singles are a problem for the music industry though. According to the RIAA’s own data, the music industry makes almost all of its money from album sales (Degusta 2011). Problem is, no one is buying albums anymore…except for those die-hard loyalists of certain artists! Oh yeah baby, find out what artists continue to sell albums or have a passionate and loyal following and reissue their albums ad nauseum. Those suckers will buy ‘em! Apparently that is what is happening, as the industry continues to re-issue albums, and while the data out there on boosts to the bottom line is not concrete yet, you can bet they would not continue to do it if there was not some fiscal benefit.
Artists that own some or all of the rights to their catalogs are just as guilty. They know the loyalty of their fans and endorse or initiate several different versions and re-issues knowing the die-hard fans will scoop them up. The issue that goes unresolved is that in order to change the behavior of the consumer you cannot continue to repeat the alienating behavior that cost you their money in the first place. Expecting your core fans to sustain your lost profits to the general public is ultimately going to prove counterproductive. The recording industry is flailing and artists make the bulk of their money now through touring and merchandising.
So we the loyal fans need to send a message. We buy your albums because we support you. Do not insult our intelligence by offering minimally altered versions of your album and calling it a new release. It is a sure-fire way to lose even your core fans, and then what will you as artist sand labels have when that happens? Me personally, I am voting with my wallet by refusing to buy re-issues. I am also no longer going to review minimally altered re-issues. These are not worthy of promotion. Furthermore, I am going to encourage my fellow industry peers to do the same.
I am a classic metal fan like you and I want to buy the (new) album of a band. Surely re-issuing is a very boring and operose fad that labels the recent years tend to follow. I don’t know if this fad shoots for making us spending the maximum of money on an artist. Assuredly, re-issuing a big damage on die-hard fans of a band who want to purchase the gatefold of album X, the 7’’ inch inches, the limited edition EP after the X release and finally the reissue of the album X with 3 bonus tracks.
Personally speaking, my favourite band is Black Sabbath, but I ain’t purchasing all those Sabbath-ical releases of PARANOID album ( 7’’ inch LP, deluxe edition, special edition, bonus track version and whatever edition). Simply, I am interested in only the first ‘ordinary’ edition with the 8 tracks that gave me hell! That’s all! I don’t want something more than it. The only exception that I can spend my money upon a re-issue is only a Vinyl version due to the fact I am a die-hard fan of vinyl and the sound that comes out of it. The vinyl’s sound is much better than CD’s one and it’s the best way to listen carefully to an album away of a ‘computer-sed’ sound. Only that! But let’s take a look on what records labels (the ones that are responsible for the re-issuing of the albums):
1) Record labels maintain that they re-issue an album because fans possibly get the album via tape trading and now it’s time to pick up the album in a much more ‘beautiful’ outlet than a loose ripped CD. And here is the strongly opposed mind. Many people do not care about the ‘thing’ (tape, vinyl or CD) that would bring the music into their ears! They just care only about the music and not the fancy and glaring enwrapment. That’s only an aspect.
2) The records labels deem that people that those albums are something like ancient back catalog stock and if it makes it into a store at all, the CD will be tucked away in a dark corner at the back. Also, they allege that people’s attitude changes towards a new edition- the exact same album that was ignored for years, the redux version will suddenly now feature on the front line in record shops, and this extra visibility in stores has a massive effect on sales.
And many people would say that that is not true. The real fans do not need any front line in record shops to buy the real good music that is packed in albums. Music (CD’s and LP’s) is not such a product like perfumes or toys etc. that can be outside of our desire and appetence or something that we get bored with.
The bottom line is that the issue of the re-issue is up to you guys!
JP (Western Canada)
I suspect I will be in the minority opinion but I actually like and support multiple versions of an album. There are often many good, business reasons why various bands have multiple versions of albums. Primarily different territories have different contractual demands on an artist to provide content (bonus tracks, videos, special packaging) to support their domestic industry. The classic example for 20-30 years has been Japan. Domestically manufactured CD’s are very expensive in Japan. Japanese fans would buy non-domestic versions (ie. imports from Europe or North America) instead of the local Japanese pressing, because the import was significantly cheaper. Therefore Japanese labels started insisting that bands provide extra, exclusive content (bonus tracks) as an incentive for Japanese fans to buy the Japanese version. This practice is expanding as bands and labels release multiple versions onto the market.
As a Metal fans I would rather have more, not fewer, versions on the market of a bands product. With smaller print runs, higher costs it makes sense to offer a variety of versions, of smaller runs. It is just like the automobile industry. You can buy a base model, a version with lots of options, or fully loaded versions and consumers can decide based on those features and their budget.
I don’t usually rush out on the first day to buy an album, so it is very seldom that I’ll experience disappointment of buying one, then have a different (or better) version come out later. I try to be an informed consumer and listen a bit on-line or through media contacts to an album before committing dollars to owning a physical product. I enjoy comparing the versions, to see what creative ways the band had reissued the album, perhaps new artwork, bonus tracks even a DVD. If I like the band I may buy both versions to help support them and give them two sales. Sometimes, if there is a second version that is superior, the first version (the original pressing) goes up in value for collectors. Another option is that if you want to rebuy a newer version of an album, the first version can make a nice gift to a friend to try to introduce more people to a band. Lastly, people can sell their old versions to recover their costs if they want to buy a newer, different version. There really is no downside.
Any fan that complains about multiple versions of a bands product are likely not a true, die-hard fan of the band. Often it is the record label, not the band that is making multiple reissues. Why would anyone try to complain about an artist that they like trying to make a living and offer more products to a marketplace? The market will decide if the current practice of multiple issues can be sustained and obviously it is sustainable because of the increase in multiple versions. Those same ‘fans’ that complain are under no obligation to purchase any of the various versions of an album. They can buy some or all of them, the consumer has choice and that is a good thing. In the words of Yngwie J. Malmsteen, ‘Less is not more. More is more’.
Rick (Eastern Canada)
One of the newest trends that we have seen in recent years with the ever changing music industry is the “reissuing” of an album over and over with bonus tracks, live cuts, re-mastered tracks, video cuts etc etc etc. Some of these reissues follow so closely on the heels of the original release that it almost seems incomprehensible that they weren’t part of the original marketing plan to begin with. A band spends 3 years between releases, conceivably composing and perfecting their next release and then put out that music to their fans. Said fans buy said music yet sometimes before it has had a chance to leave an impression, the CD is reissued with new tracks, new track listing and sometimes even new artwork..
From my personal perspective there is only so much money that I can spend on music today. When I was younger I had voracious appetite for purchasing music. Those days are past. I support the bands I love, be they new or old, and it just irks me to go and support a band by buying their music only to be faced with a reissue 3 months or even 3 years later. Do I usually go out and buy the reissue? Not normally. As I have stated, I try to spread my purchases around and support as much of the music I love while staying on budget. If the option of buying the tracks on iTunes is available I will think about it but to me that ruins the completeness of the album.
Here is a case in point, IN MEMORY by Nevermore. Nevermore are one of my favourite bands and this EP is where Nevermore found itself. Pat O’Brien, who would later join Cannibal Corpse, came on board and helped mold the sound that the band was reaching for on their debut. The reissue, coming 10 years later, just adds a bunch of demoes as bonus tracks. These songs do nothing to augment the original release. Of course they bring added value for anyone wanting to purchase the disc for the first time but on a purely musical level there is nothing. This is the case with many reissues. The added tracks seemingly bring an added value to the table in that the purchaser seems to be getting more “bang for the buck”. Unfortunately, I subscribe to the old adage of quality over quantity. I assume that when an album is released that it is the vision that the artists want to present the fans. If a band has a ton of unused B-sides, demoes etc, then why not release a whole album of that material? I would plunk down my cash for a package like that. Just reissuing a previously released album with a few demoes thrown aboard for good measure doesn’t make me want to spend my hard earned money.
Here is a video update where Orlando Logan Perez talks about upcoming Terranodon Media and new project “ Hanged Man’s Curse” which can be described as Western Doom. Also is a new sample of the “Hanged Man’s Curse” Demo song “ I Buried Her At Dawn”.
The new Terranodon 2014 Sampler is a limited edition download card that will be given to the general public for free at the SXSW event on Saturday, the 15th of March during and after the “THE MONK” performance. It will then go for sale on online through Terranodon Media’s facebook and other media .
Orlando Logan Perez was the original singer /lyricist of Against the Plagues. Also is the current singer and lyricist for Whore of Babylon and Hanged Man’s Curse.
FROM HELL is a new horror concept heavy metal band. Their debut release on Scourge Records on April 8th, 2014 is called Ascent From Hell and it is as heavy as it is epic! FROM HELL is the brainchild of George Anderson aka Aleister Sinn, the live narrator of this horror story. This project began in 2007 after his previous band Down Factor with then drummer Ramon Ochoa, Brooks Rocco on guitar and Waylon Ford on bass broke-up. Interested in putting a different type of band together that was not involved in politics, George formed FROM HELL to tell horror stories in the vein of King Diamond. Every song is in some way linked to all of the other songs and when each album starts, they don’t stop until the very end.
After several line-up changes, during the recording of the first album, George enlisted some amazing players to record with him in FROM HELL. For this debut recording, metal icons Paul Bostaph from Slayer on drums, Steve Smyth from Nevermore on lead guitar and Damien Sisson from Death Angel on bass were recruited to make this record happen. This recording is diabolically epic, and heavy as Hell! Every song is different from the next covering many genres of metal from thrash metal and black metal to death metal and doom metal. This album is as dynamic as metal can be! Also participating in this recording is Phil Bennett of the iconic rock band Starship, playing piano on the track Dead Reckoning and a 22-piece choir, The Pacific Mozart Ensemble on four other tracks. Establishing new ground, this record has the first recorded blast beat by Paul Bostaph, orchestrated with shredding guitar solos from Steve Smyth and heavy melodic & syncopated bass by Damien Sisson.
Produced by George Anderson and Steve “Snake” Green, guitar player from Skinlab, a Century Media recording artist, this recording is a theatrical 70 minutes long with segues in between each song to give additional detail to this horror story. With songs like The Walking Dead, Soul Crusher, Nun With A Gun and Ascent From Hell, this record will take you on a heavy metal horror ride to Hell!
As one can imagine, with so many legendary players in its ranks, it is hard to schedule live performances. There is a CD Release/Listening Party and signing event scheduled for early April 2014 in Oakland, California. FROM HELL will tour the West Coast and select East Coast markets to support the release of Ascent From Hell in the summer and fall of 2014. FROM HELL’s show will include a few different guest performers and members of the band who play in other bands will perform as their touring and recording schedules allow.