SONATA ARCTICA TO RELEASE RE-RECORDED 15th ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF ECLIPTICA
Finnish melodic metal heroes SONATA ARCTICA have been keeping themselves very busy lately. Having successfully released their eighth studio album Pariah’s Child this past April – which debuted at #1 in Finland and at #6 on the American Billboard Heatseekers chart – and poised to launch their world tour, band members found the time to re-record their defining 1999 debut album ECLIPTICA, known to many fans as SONATA’s flawless beginning fifteen years ago.
Keyboard player Henrik “Henkka” Klingenberg shares the back-story on how the project came to be:
“When it first was suggested to us by our Japanese label that we’d re-record our debut album ECLIPTICA, it felt a bit weird, but somehow the idea grew on us. Being that only Tony [Kakko, vocalist] and Tommy [Portimo, drummer]played on the original one, we thought that it would be a fun thing to do, to give these great songs another run. We’re definitely not trying to re-write history: the original ECLIPTICA is the starting point of this band and a very special album with a certain feel of innocence and enthusiasm which cannot be recreated as such since we’re not teenagers anymore. Having said that, this new version is more of a tribute and an update on how these songs sound when played by our current line-up. We wanted to stay true to the original album as much as possible and not turn this into some weird re-arranged project where you couldn’t tell which song was being played. So here it is, the 15th Anniversary version ofECLIPTICA. Hope you enjoy it. We certainly had a good time digging into these songs and laying down the tracks.”
Hard rock’s original supergroup, Mr. Big, are back with a vengeance with their new album …The Stories We Could Tell. The band’s eighth studio album is slated for release on September 23rd via Frontiers Music SRL. The original lineup comprised of Eric Martin on vocals, Paul Gilbert on guitar, Billy Sheehan on bass and Pat Torpey on drums, returns with some of their strongest material to date. The new album is the follow-up to the 2011 release What If, an album that marked the band’s return to their signature hard rock sound.
Mr. Big got together this past June to begin recording and laid down the 13 new tracks in just a month.
“This new album rocks!” exclaims Paul Gilbert. “I love playing guitar, singing, and writing with Eric, Billy, and Pat. And after 25 years, I’m proud that we can make an album that is melodic, powerful, interesting, groovy, and emotional.”
“We wrote songs individually and collectively on this new record. To me this is the album that we’ve threatened to make decades ago. A classic, groovin’, blues-rock record with the spirit and spark of our Rock & Soul idols from the 70’s. Hells to the yeah it’s a Mr. Big album complete with all the trimmings,” says Eric Martin. “I think whether you’ve been with us from the beginning or just starting, you’re going to dig where we are coming from and where we’ve been.”
…Stories We Could Tell was produced by Pat Regan, known for his work with the likes of Deep Purple, Warrant and Keel. The album is currently available for pre-order via Amazon at http://geni.us/MrBigStoriesAMZ.
The track listing for …The Stories We Could Tell is:
Gotta Love The Ride
I Forget To Breathe
The Man Who Has Everything
The Monster In Me
What If We Were New?
The Light Of Day
Just Let Your Heart Decide
It’s Always About That Girl
The Stories We Could Tell
Addicted To That Rush (Live – Exclusive Bonus Track)
Mr. Big recently announced that drummer Pat Torpey has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The diagnosis has left him unable to perform his normal drumming duties on the band’s upcoming World Tour. Mr. Big intends to announce a drummer in the near future who will handle most of MR BIG’s drumming duties on the Fall 2014 tour and expects Torpey to jump on the drums on suitable live songs as well as participating in the group’s acoustic set.
Mr. Big formed in 1988 and immediately began to solidify their place in music history. By combining trademark “shredding” musicianship with awesome vocal harmonies, Mr. Big produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres – be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits included “Alive and Kicking,” “Just Take My Heart” and the chart-topping ballad “To Be With You” (Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 15 countries for weeks, in 1991, propelling the band the band to huge international success and multi-platinum record sales). Mr. Big continues to be a touring force with sold-out shows around the globe and with more dates to be announced in the near future.
Tony Harnell’s return to TNT after seven year absence was one of last year’s biggest news in the world of hard rock. The reunion was officially announced in last October and the tour, “Intuition 25’Th Anniversary tour”, started from Norway in January of 2014. The tour reached Finland on July when the band played its first ever show in in Helsinki. Then I had a pleasure to meet always friendly Tony and discuss about various topics including the reunion, new TNT album, Anniversary DVD and the state of Tony’s solo career. Read on!
Finland-based symphonic metal sextet NIGHTWISH have just released the third “Making Of” trailer for their as-yet-untitled eighth studio album, which will be the first to feature new Dutchvocalist Floor Jansen, who has toured with the band since October 2012.
“For me, [new music] always starts with the emotional surge and subject matter,“ states band founder, keyboardist, and songwriter Tuomas Holopainen. “When I come up with a subject for the song, I always see it as a short movie. Each song is like a soundtrack for that movie in my head. That’s how the songs are born.“
Returning to the U.S. in support of their sixth studio album Blood Mantra (due out in North America on September 30th), Polish technical death metallers DECAPITATED are direct support to Earth’s only openly extraterrestrial rock bandGWAR on the first leg of the “GWAR Eternal Tour 2014,” launching on October 15th in Norfolk, Virginia and ending in Seattle on November 12th. Opening will be Texan trio American Sharks.
Seattle’s metal legends, SANCTUARY, have premiered the first single from their upcoming album, The Year The Sun Died.
Due out October 6 in Europe and October 14 in North America via Century Media Records, The Year The Sun Died is the long-awaited follow-up to SANCTUARY’s first two studio albums that were released on Epic Records: Refuge Denied (1987) and Into the Mirror Black (1989). Singer Warrel Dane’s sky-high vocals combined with guitarist Lenny Rutledge’s more mature take on classic thrash riffs separated the band from the throes of metal acts struggling to get noticed at the time. With The Year The Sun Died, SANCTUARY continues that legacy that they started decades ago, delivering yet another fresh take on “classic-sounding” metal. Featuring artwork by Travis Smith (OPETH, NEVERMORE) and mixed/produced by Zeuss (ROB ZOMBIE, SUICIDE SILENCE, CROWBAR, etc.), this upcoming album promises to be worth the wait.
Sanctuary – The Year The Sun Died
The Year The Sun Died track-listing
1. Arise and Purify
2. Let The Serpent Follow Me
3. Exitium (Anthem of the Living)
4. Question Existence Fading
5. I Am Low
7. One Final Day (Sworn to Believe)
8. The World is Wired
9. The Dying Age
10. Ad Vitam Aeternam
11. The Year the Sun Died
BONUS: “Waiting for the Sun” (THE DOORS cover; included on the mediabook, plus CD insert inside the LP)
Nov. 14 – Seattle, WA – S7
Nov. 15 – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw
Nov. 16 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne
Nov. 19 – Anaheim, CA – The Grove
Nov. 20 – Las Vegas, NV – LVCS
Nov. 21 – Phoenix, AZ – Club Red
Nov. 22 – San Diego, CA – Ramona Mainstage
SANCTUARY line-up 2014:
Warrel Dane – Vocals
Lenny Rutledge – Guitars
Jim Sheppard – Bass
Dave Budbill – Drums
Brad Hull – Guitars
Directed by 11 Frames Productions, the video for “Hector’s Hymn” – the opening track to (r)Evolution, the ninth studio album by Swedish heavy metallers HAMMERFALL due out in North America on September 2nd – is now available.
The band’s Despotz debut was recorded at Studio Music-A-Matic, Gothenburg with producer Chips Kiesby and engineer Henryk Lip. Artwork for album number four comes courtesy of Stockholm, Sweden artist Erik Rovanpera.
Dealing with topics like misogyny and animal rights, Crucified Barbara calls In the Red “the best thing we’ve ever done musically. We have always been shocked by injustice and oppression, and this time, our opinions have taken an even bigger place in the songwriting.”
Earlier this year, Crucified Barbara launched a music video for the track “To Kill a Man” on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/YoUBd6aTJMg, stating “One fifth of all the world’s women have been raped or assaulted in their lifetime. The dark statistics became the basis for the song ‘To Kill a Man’ and our most important message of the video. The production company 11Frames has captured our vision perfectly, and we are proud that we take the opportunity lifting heavy topics such as violence and sexism with a really heavy hard rock video.”
1. I Sell My Kids for Rock’N’Roll
2. To Kill a Man
3. Electric Sky
4. The Ghost Inside
5. Don’t Call On Me
6. In The Red
7. Lunatic #1
9. Finders Keepers
10. Do You Want Me
11. Follow The Stream
Texas has been known for many things through the years and Texas Hippie Coalition is just the next commodity from the great Lone Star State. The band of outlaws return with their unique blend of “Red Dirt Metal” with their latest release Ride On. The album is set to drop on October 7th via Carved Records/Caroline Distribution. From the guttural laugh on album opener “El Diablo Rojo” to the chugging outro of closer “I Am The End,” it is clear Texas Hippie Coalition are back with a vengeance. The band is comprised of one of hard rock’s most engaging frontmen Big Dad Ritch on vocals, Cord Pool on guitars, John Exall on bass guitar and Timmy Braun on drums. Ride On proves Texas Hippie Coalition is taking it to the next level and looking to recruit new outlaws to join them on their musical adventure.
“It’s like Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top had a child, and Pantera ended up raising it,” exclaims Big Dad Ritch. “We’re Red Dirt Metal. That’s a flag we wave high. There wasn’t a line formed for us, so I created a line and jumped to the front of that bad boy. Ride On is the best example of what we do.”
The first single released from Ride On is the southern rocker “Monster In Me.” The band has released a lyric video for the song to give fans a small taste of what the new album sounds like. The video for the song can be seen at:
The band also launched a new website to coincide with the latest chapter in the Texas Hippie Coalition saga. www.thcofficial.com is the destination for all information on the band, latest album and tour information. The band recently finished spreading their “Red Dirt Metal” message on this year’s Mayhem Festival. They have been winning over fans and critics alike with Music Junkie Press stating, “They tore up the stage as they brought an ass whooping to the crowd.”
The tracklisting for Ride On is:
1) El Diablo Rojo
3) Monster In Me
4) Go Pro
5) Rock Ain’t Dead
6) Bottom Of The Bottle
7) Rubbins Racin
8) Ride On
9) Fire In The Hole
10) I Am The End
Texas Hippie Coalition formed when Big Dad Ritch and John Exall met in Texas. The band have been riding high after three critically acclaimed albums—Pride of Texas , Rollin , and Peacemaker , which debuted in the Top 20 of Billboard’s Top Hard Rock Albums Chart. They’ve left crowds drunk, disorderly, and begging for more everywhere from Rock on the Range and Rocklahoma to the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival performing alongside the likes of Korn, Kid Rock, Alter Bridge, Guns n Roses and more.
While the trenches on the eastern front may have been damp and cold, but t temperatures rise at the Black Heart that evening as it hosts an similarly grim day of black metal to mark the release of Eastern Front’s sophomore album ‘Descent into Genocide’.
New York native Jeff Plate is a professional drummer who’s best known for his drumming for legendary metal band Savatage which went to hiatus in 2002. Plate appeared on four Savatage albums including the classic DEAD WINTER DEAD (1995) and WAKE OF MAGELLAN (1997). Plate’s currently plays with Trans-Siberian Orchestra which was formed in 1993. The band is highly successful and they’re annually playing sold out Xmas tours mainly across the USA. The band mostly consists of current and former members of Savatage including the bands co-founder and main composer Jon Oliva. Plate is also a member classic metal band Metal Church. He first joined that band in 2006 and stayed until they disbanded in 2009. Only three years later the band was back and in 2013 they released GENERATION NOTHING, which was their first studio album in five years. Metal Church made their first ever performance in Finland in June 2014 when they arrived to the Tuska Festival in Helsinki. There we had the chance to sit down with Jeff and discuss Metal Church, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and of course, Savatage.
EDIT: After this interview was arranged, Savatage officially announced that they will do their long-awaited re-union show next year at the Wacken Open Air Festival. See ya there!
Interview with Stacey “Savage” Peak of Savage Master
Conducted by Robert Williams
Band photography courtesy of Hallie Jones
Louisville, Kentucky’s traditional metal onslaught Savage Master is set to release their debut full length record “Mask Of The Devil” this Halloween through Skol Records, one of the more trusted and reputable labels of the underground. I recently had the chance to visit with Stacey “Savage” Peak, the band’s vocalist, who is every bit as talented as the band’s commanding vocalist as she is as a black studded leather clad beauty. A tour is currently under works and set to kick off this November. Be sure to check out the band’s new album and witness their Satanic sorcery when they come to your town!
Formed in 2002 in Liverpool, Ethereal are one of the UK’s premier underground black metal outfits at the moment. Having just inked in a deal with the legendary Candlelight Records, and gigging frequently in London and across the UK , this is a band on the rise. We spoke to Naut and Iyaan to find out more…