The best way to explore metal beyond the music is to ask the people involved some questions about their participation. Fates Warning is one of the early flagship bands of progressive metal along with Queensrÿche and Dream Theater, who were responsible for creating, developing and popularizing that genre.Fates Warning came back with an incredible album, DARKNESS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT, an album that surprised not only the progressive metal world but also the entire metal world.Metal-Rules.com goes into further detail with JIM MATHEOS to determine their viewpoints on the new album, next steps, life, metal and ideas.
Metal-Rules.com: Hello Jim! It’s Hellias Papadopoulos from Metal-Rules.com. I am very happy for this interview and greetings from Greece! First of all, how are you doing? And where are you checking in from today?
Hello Hellias, nice to talk to you from my sofa! Hehehe! At last I am at home with family!
Metal-Rules.com: Congratulations for your latest effort DARKNESS IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT! It sits in #27 of the Metal Rules.com Top 30 list of best albums of 2013.
Great News! Thank you very much. Good to like it. I am very honored and thankful!
Metal-Rules.com: It took you many years to release an album as Fates Warning. How did that happen?
JM: After we released FWX in 2004 Ray and I decided to take some time off. I think we were all feeling a little burnt out. Mark had already decided that that would be his last record with the band and Ray and I decided it would be a good time to explore some other opportunities. We both got involved with various side projects and time just got away from us. And, although we continued to do live dates every year with FW, it took a while until we were both on the same page regarding new material, and a little longer for our schedules to lineup. We never intended for the break to be so long.
Metal-Rules.com: Why this album is more aggressive and heavier that the previous ones? Was it an intentional move or?
JM: It was intentional to a certain extent. Ray and I talked a lot about what we wanted to do (and not do) with a new record. We both agreed that a heavier, more organic, approach was a direction we’d like to explore.
Metal-Rules.com: How did it come out? After 30 years, many artists have difficulty in finding new ideas to put on the record. Have you had the same difficulty or?
JM: It’s never been easy or quick for me, and much less so now. Getting started is the hardest part. Usually, once the first couple songs are done a theme or direction starts to become apparent. After that it becomes a little more natural. A little.
FW have been playing for the past 30 years. I’m sure you had many difficulties throughout this time… What makes you always keep pushing forward?
JM: Well, the simple answer is, I don’t know how to do anything else! Beyond that, I still enjoy what I do, most of the time. Being involved in various side projects, solo albums, etc… helps keep things interesting for me.
Metal-Rules.com: In the meantime, do you have any other projects? What’s up with Arch/Matheos? Is gonna be a new record?
JM: Ray and I have both agreed to focus our attention on FW, at least for the immediate future.
Metal-Rules.com:What do you think of today’s music industry in general?
JM: I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t been said hundreds of times already, nothing profound to add. It is what it is, and my complaining about it certainly isn’t going to change anyone’s behavior. In more optimistic moods I’m grateful that I’ve been able to make a living this long doing something I enjoy, that we got in just before the door was starting to close. At this point, I don’t see how many young artists are going to have that same opportunity or even have a career that lasts more than 2-3album cycles if they’re lucky.
Metal-Rules.com:Is technology part of your life or are you still a “romantic”?
JM: I imagine it would be fairly difficult to live completely without technology. It’s a part of everyday life that you can’t avoid even if you wanted to. That said, I try not to let it rule my life
Do you know any Greek heavy metal acts? Are there any Greek metal bands that you really like or want to share the stage? Firewind, Gus G., Rotting Christ, Firewind, Suicidal Angels to name a few.
JM: I know a few of those names but, sorry to say, nothing of their music.
Metal-Rules.com: How important is it to you that people pay attention to your lyrics apart from listening to your music?
JM: I spend a lot of time on lyrics, sometimes more than on the music, so it means a lot to me when I hear that they’ve had an impact on someone. For me, as a writer, it’s important to have something to say when writing lyrics. But as a listener, I don’t think it’s completely necessary for a song to have “meaningful” lyrics to be enjoyable or even emotional.
Metal-Rules.com: And one question before we end up, if you could pick only one musician to work with that you have not collaborated with to date, who would that be and why?
JM: Very hard to pick just one, but I’ll say Phil Moog.
Metal-Rules.com: Thank you very much for your time, keep it prog!
JM: Thank you! Stay tuned with the new FW material and there are more to come…
Today, MORIBUND RECORDS announces the signing of Texas black metal cult MORBUS 666. MORBUS 666 was formed in 2009 in the Houston, Texas underground from members of Adumus and fellow MORIBUND labelmates BAHIMIRON. In the first year, they recorded their debut MLP, Mortuus Cultus, out of songs that were originally written for Adumus. Adumus was about to take a indefinite break due to Cerebus (vocals) enlisting into the armed forces, so the remaining members of the band (Vomit, Moon, and Archfiend) set out to find a temporary replacement and finish the songs that they had written. They invited Grimlord from BAHIMIRON to help them with the vocals, and with this union came the early blueprint for the band. Read the rest of this entry »
In the history of Heavy Metal not many bands can claim to be able to celebrate their breakthrough twice. ACCEPT managed this four years ago, as, with their reunion record Blood Of The Nations returning with a vengeance!
Now ACCEPT open the next chapter in their book of Heavy Metal, with the upcoming studio record Blind Rage, which will be out on August 15th.
The tracklist of the standard version, will be like this:
JUDAS PRIEST SET “MARCH OF THE DAMNED” AS LEADOFF SINGLE FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM, ‘REDEEMER OF SOULS’
For the past few weeks, metalheads worldwide have undoubtedly been enjoying the “sneak peak” title track from Judas Priest’s forthcoming ‘Redeemer of Souls’ album. And on Monday, May 19th, the official leadoff single from the album, “March of the Damned,” will be released to rock and metal radio, and will be available for purchase via all digital sales providers. Additionally, on the same day, preorders for the full album will be made available through iTunes: http://smarturl.it/redeemerofsouls-albm
As the band themselves said about “March of the Damned,” “Our passion for heavy metal has never diminished, and this track sounds off with real conviction!” Listen to the new song:
RONNIE JAMES DIO “This Is Your Life” Tribute Compilation Album to be Released as a Double Red Color-Vinyl LP Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Ronnie James Dio With Renditions of his Greatest Songs from Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and Dio This Is Your Life Sees First Week Debut at #20 on the Billboard Top 200
Vinyl collectors, make room on your shelf – Ronnie James Dio’s This Is Your Life tribute compilation is set to be released as a special edition double red color-vinyl LP on July 8, 2014 via Rhino Records! July 8th is just two days before Ronnie’s birthday, making this release even more special to fans and collectors alike.
See below for a full listing of the tracks on each side:
1. NEON KNIGHTS – Anthrax
2. THE LAST IN LINE – Tenacious D
3. THE MOB RULES – Adrenaline Mob
4. RAINBOW IN THE DARK – Corey Taylor, Jason Christopher, Christian Martucci, Roy Mayorga, Satchel
1. STRAIGHT THROUGH THE HEART – Halestorm
2. STARSTRUCK – Motörhead with Biff Byford
3. THE TEMPLE OF THE KING – Scorpions
4. EGYPT (THE CHAINS ARE ON) – Doro
1. HOLY DIVER – Killswitch Engage
2. CATCH THE RAINBOW – Glenn Hughes, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren, Simon Wright
3. I – Oni Logan, Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson, Brian Tichy
1. MAN ON THE SILVER MOUNTAIN – Rob Halford, Doug Aldrich, Vinny Appice, Jeff Pilson, Scott Warren
2. RONNIE RISING MEDLEY (featuring “A Light In The Black,” “Tarot Woman,” “Stargazer,” “Kill The King”) – Metallica
3. THIS IS YOUR LIFE – Dio
In its first week, This Is Your Life debuted at #20 on the Billboard Top 200 charts! This Is Your Life is available now, digitally via iTunes here or physically via Amazon here.
This Is Your Life is a tribute album created to raise funds for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund (www.diocancerfund.org), which features an all-star group of his friends and fans performing 13 of their favorite Ronnie James Dio tracks. The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable fund dedicated to supporting cancer-prevention research, raising awareness and educating the public about the vital importance of early detection and prevention, and was co-founded by Dio’s longtime manager and wife, Wendy Dio. 100% of the monies received from this album by the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund goes directly into cancer research.
Produced by Wendy Dio, widow of Ronnie James Dio and Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund President/Founder, This Is Your Life includes contributions by such metal heavyweights as Metallica, Scorpions, Anthrax, Glenn Hughes and Rob Halford, as well as appearances by many of the musicians who performed with Dio over the years. See below for a full tracklisting, chock full of renditions by today’s most stellar classic, heavy metal and hard rock artists!
Founding KISS guitarist and 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Ace Frehley has tapped long time friend and artist Ken Kelly to create the album cover for his upcoming LP SPACE INVADER, due out July 8th. The reveal comes exclusively through Rolling Stone today. Kelly, who created the iconic cover art for two of KISS’s best selling LPS, Destroyer (1976) and Love Gun (1977), says, “It was very exciting when I was approached with the idea of doing an album cover for Ace.”
Ken Kelly is also widely known for his paintings in the sword and sorcery and heroic fantasy sub genres, most notably for the Conan the Barbarian novels. He continues, “I had spoken to Ace on a few occasions about the possibility, so I was delighted when it actually happened.”
Ace Frehley himself comments, ”I’ve been talking with Ken Kelly since 2007 about painting a CD Cover for me and it has finally happened! I couldn’t be more excited about the new Space Invader cover and the music behind it is also going to rock your world!”
With nearly 35 years between projects, KISS fans will surely be excited about this long-time duo working together again. Kelly concludes, “I am very pleased with the results and proud to play a part of Ace’s continuing successful career!”
ACE FREHLEY will release SPACE INVADER, his first new solo album in five years, via Entertainment One Music (eOne Music) on July 8th, 2014. The album will include at least nine brand new original songs as well as a cover of Steve Miller’s “The Joker.” This album is the first release under Frehley’s new universal deal on eOne Music.
Widely known as the original “Space Ace” and founding guitarist for 16 cumulative years (over 2 tenures) of the multi platinum selling rock band KISS, Frehley is demonstrably the most popular original member. In addition to having the best selling solo album career (vintage or current) among the original foursome, Frehley’s self titled Ace Frehley, released in 1978, went on to sell over one million copies, producing the only Top 40 single, “New York Groove,” from any of the legendary KISS solo albums; (peaking at #13). The massive hit was most recently featured in an episode of cult show Entourage and was also KISS’ second best selling download in 2012, besting such KISS Army anthems as “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” “Beth” and “Calling Dr. Love” even after 36 years.
Since departing from KISS, Frehley went on to release four more solo albums and one live EP including his most recent effort, Anomaly in 2009, which debuted at #27 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and received a welcoming response among critics. “’Anomaly’ shows why many rock and metal guitarists list ‘Space Ace’ as a prime six-string influence,” said Rolling Stone.
You can catch Ace Frehley accepting his award at the 29th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction Ceremony on May 31 at 8pm on HBO.
ZIX is a female-fronted Lebanese heavy-metal band devoted to breaking metal music in the Mid-East. Formed in 2010 by composer/bassist Ziad, ZIX has been featured in a huge amount of metal-related magazines, webzines and blogs offering very high and promising reviews on their debut EP and covering its revolutionary project. ZIX is fronted by Maya on vocals with her powerful voice and ability of creating imagery with her singing moods and mocking tunes. Juan Carrizo, a guitar guru and technical master from Argentina, grabs you with dense, atmospheric melodies and well-crafted tunes that haunt you long after the song is over. Ziad shreds hard in the background like a tank, with his oriental massive sections, keeping everything tight and knit together in the manner of the great Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. And drummer Kenny Earl Rhino (Ex Manowar) brings incredible musicianship and double-bass, taking the band to a whole new level.
Steve Thompson is a 7x Grammy-winning producer-mixer-arranger-writer with 150+ diamond, platinum and gold albums. Thompson’s credits include: “Appetite for Destruction,” Guns N Roses; Anthrax (many); “And Justice for All,” Metallica; “Blackout,” hed pe; “Freak on a Leash, Follow the Leader, etc.,” KORN; “Every Six Seconds,” Saliva; Tesla (many); among many, many more. Read the rest of this entry »
Australian progressive metal quintet, Voyager, will release its fifth studio album, V, digitally worldwide on 2nd June 2014. Physical releases will be June 2nd in Aus (Bandcamp exclusive)/UK (Code 7), North America (Nightmare Records) on June 3 and June 27th (MBM) in Europe. The 13- track, 54 minute album was recorded at Templeman Audio with producer, Matt Templeman.
The band calls the release “heavy, groovy and super-catchy. This is going to be pure, polished Voyager with a modern feel”and Classic Rock stats it as : “Polished collection of heavy, heavily polished anthems”
VOYAGER’s new album ‘V’; funded by a Kickstarter campaign, proves what the band does best: heavy, super-catchy, melodic, modern and progressive. From polished heavy grooves to driving riffs and unforgettable melodies, album ‘V’ contains 13 genre-defying tracks bound to be the absolute zenith of VOYAGER’s career. With a new look and a new album, this is the right time to say “I Am Voyager”.
Montreal based death metal powerhouse KATAKLYSM, took home the award for “Metal Artist/Group or Duo of the Year” at this year’s installment of the SiriusXM Indie Awards.Some of the other artist nominated this year in that category included BLOOD CEREMONY, GORGUTS, KENmode, and VOIVOD. “We are very pleased for this great honor,” commented the band. “KATAKLYSMremains one of the hardest working bands on the planet and we won’t change who we are ever. The future looks bright and winning this award puts a big smile on our face. The fans have spoken; thank you!” Read the rest of this entry »
Polish Death Metal legends VADER have release the brand new track “Triumph of Death” here. The song comes from their upcoming blasterpiece Tibi Et Igni, which is set to be released May 30 (EUR), June 2 (UK/France) June 10 (North America) via Nuclear Blast.
Recorded at Hertz Studio in Bialystok, Poland, produced by Wojtek and Slawek Wiesławski, and featuring artwork byJoe Petagno (MOTÖRHEAD, KRISIUN), Tibi Et Igni pre-order bundles featuring an exclusive t-shirt design for North America are available from the Nuclear Blast USA Webshop.
Gilby Clarke embarks solo on a worldwide summer tour – kicking off in London, England at The Underworld. Before Clarke crosses the pond, he will deliver to all the fans a new track, which will be announced in the weeks to come.
Recently, Clarke released a new video Tijuana Jail – Originally released in 1994, Clarke updated this fan favorite with a 2014 video version that can see here: http://youtu.be/74-pGsvqnvE.
Bobby ‘Leatherlungs’ Lucas (ex-Morbid Sin/Seven Witches/Exhbition/current Attacker vocalist) and long-time drummer Dave Wrenn (ex-Persia) have officially left the NJ based power metal band Overlorde. Bobby states their reasons for leaving the band center around an extensive period of inactivity and lack of label support (it has been over 10 years since the band released their full-length debut Return Of The Snow Giant in 2004 on Sonic Age Records). Read the rest of this entry »
“A big hello from Hattula, Finland. Tero (“TeeCee” Kinnunen) and I have been here for the past 2,5 weeks recording a demo of the new Nightwish songs.
It has come together beautifully and we now have a total of 12 songs to work with. We are all very eager to finally get together and start the rehearsals in July. If everything goes as scheduled, we should have the ready album in our hands by the end of January 2015.
It`s still too early to analyze the material more closely, but the album will once again explore all the ends of the spectrum, bringing the very best out of the newcomers Floor and Troy. And stealthily the album ended up having a theme running through it.
Excited beyond words now! Best wishes to you all, Tuomas”
Classic Heavy Metal Band MINDCAGE Releases New Single and Lyric Video for ‘The One Constant’ Michael Wagener-Mixed Special Edition of Dystopian Concept Album “Our Own Devices” Hitting Digital Stores this Summer via AetherWax Fans of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Rush and Queensryche – Take Note!
MINDCAGE with the mysterious and ever-changing Arabella Vash…
“WOW! This CD is the absolute hammer! Could it be that MINDCAGE are starting some kind of New Wave Of American Progressive Metal?” – Alexander Melzer, The Metal Observer – Germany
“The formula that came together to make this CD come to life is nothing short of miraculous. The musicianship and vocal work are world-class and the world should step up and take notice.” – The Hellion, Hellion Rocks
Groundbreaking heavy metal band MINDCAGE puts a fresh, conceptual spin on an internationally-embraced classic heavy metal sound, originally established by artists like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Not unlike the aforementioned groups, MINDCAGE serves up a potent blend of heavy melodies mixed with progressive influences à la Rush, but offers a unique steampunk twist to the theme of the music.
Florida-natives MINDCAGE released their new concept album, Our Own Devices, in September 2013, but are pleased to announce that they will enter triple-platinum producer Michael Wagener’s WireWorld studio (Ozzy Osbourne, Accept, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Helloween) next month to mix even more songs for a special edition version. The original version of Our Own Devices was self-produced by the band and engineered by Wagener, so his familiarity with the project will only add to the potency of the special edition, coming this summer.
The special edition of Our Own Devices will include exclusive, never-before-released live footage from the band’s headlining performance at this year’s Florida-based Comic Con event, Pensacon. Our Own Devices also includes the band’s new single ‘The One Constant’, which can be streamed via lyric video now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro6I2TxFdKg The track will hit radio on May 19th and will be available via iTunes on May 20th.
MINDCAGE isn’t new to the heavy metal game. Forged in 1996, MINDCAGE began as the brainchild of founder and lead guitarist Dietrick Hardwick. His vision merges diverse concepts like the fiction of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne with the sensibility of the greatest in metal music. Our Own Devices takes musical creativity and imagination to another level, introducing the world to the character of Arabella Vash, a young woman who uses the power of her dreams to transform the dystopian world she inhabits.
It’s a combination that is grabbing the attention of conceptual music lovers everywhere. MINDCAGE utilizes grand storytelling to add dynamic to the music. “Dystopian themes are fun, gothic gets boring after a while. My life was at a low point a few years ago, and creating the character of Arabella Vash and creating the dystopian world became an outlet for me,” states guitarist and MINDCAGE mastermind Dietrick Hardwick. “This is meant to be a trilogy – it’s a story about a Tesla-like inventor who is overthrown by the corporate system. This corporate system begins harming innocent people, killing them with no remorse. We, the band, represent characters that are the outsiders in the concept – these outsiders follow a mythology that states that this Arabella Vash character represents the “chosen” one who comes and saves the day. Arabella starts attacking from the inside and meets several obstacles while attempting to overthrow the corporate system. The story continues in part two and three, but we’ll let the listener get there…”
Fans can follow a bit of the story in the band’s music video for the track ‘The Human Race’ (watch here: http://youtu.be/uczkeEevnGc) – the video portrays Arabella following her dreams, getting metal messages that inspire her to awaken and realize that the system is corrupt. She discovers her calling, which is to monitor this system. She realizes she has to get out of the city to begin her work in exposing this corruption.
MINDCAGE’s core sound revolves around Hardwick’s guitar style which draws influences from icons of 80′s metal like Michael Schenker (Scorpions, UFO), Uli Roth (Scorpions, Electric Sun) and Wolf Hoffmann (Accept). Hardwick has reunited with founding members Brian Howell (bass) and Craig Nudo (drums) whose roots lie in love for prog giants like Yes, Rush, and Iron Maiden. Stir in newcomer Jeff Hignite’s powerful vocals and MINDCAGE is a musical brew unlike any you’ve ever encountered.
“The band has never sounded better and been filled with more promise,” guitarist Hardwick says. “We are ready to do extensive world-wide touring behind our upcoming release. I can promise you one thing, you will not be disappointed.”