CLOUDSCAPE to support ROYAL HUNT on European tour

January 22nd, 2014
by EvilG
CLOUDSCAPE to support ROYAL HUNT on European tour

CLOUDSCAPE to support ROYAL HUNT on European tour

Swedish Progressive Power Metallers CLOUDSCAPE announce a 15 show tour across Europe between February 22 and March 13, together with legendary ROYAL HUNT!

Following on from the fantastic reception of their latest album &#8220New Era&#8221, released on Dead End Exit Records (A division of RoastingHouse), CLOUDSCAPE hits the road to promote themselves and their forthcoming fifth studio album.

Since the formation, CLOUDSCAPE have gone on to play at renowned festivals such as ProgPower Europe, Sweden Rock Festival , ProgPower UK, and Bloodstock Open Air.

The release of CLOUDSCAPE´S forthcoming album is planned to may/june 2014, and during the tour, the fans will also be able to lay their hands on a limited tour album!



22.02. Sweden, Helsingborg, The Tivoli

23.02. Denmark, Copenhagen, Amager Bio

25.02. Belgium, Verviers, Spirit of 66

27.02. Spain, Barcelona, Sala Bikini

28.02. Spain, Madrid, Sala Lemon

01.03. Spain, San Sebastian, C.C. Intxaurrondo

02.03. Spain, Zaragoza, Sala Lopez

04.03. Germany, Bremen, Meisenfrei Blues Club

05.03. UK, London, The Underworld

06.03. UK, Sheffield, Corporation

07.03. Netherlands, Uden, De Pule

08.03. Germany, Burgrieden, Riffelhof

09.03. Switzerland, Uster, Star Club

11.03. Italy, Brescia, Circolo Colony

12.03. Slovakia, Bratislava, Club Randal

13.03. Hungary, Budapest, A38

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Schwarzer Engel – band leader Dave Jason

January 22nd, 2014
by Anders Sandvall


Bandleader Dave Jason – Schwarzer Engel

Interviewed by Anders Sandvall

Thanks to Tom Hack for setting up the interview
Thanks to Massacre Records for providing me with promo pics


From Germany comes the once piece  goth metal act Schwarzer Engel which is led by Dave Jason. In May last year came an EP titled SCHWARZE SONNE which is a preview to the studio album IN BRENNENDEN HIMMELN, with all lyrics sung in German, that came in July. Below you can read about what Dave had to say about his band, the new album, the guest performances on it as well as what the future has in store for Schwarzer Engel. Read the rest of this entry »

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SCOTT IAN: Legendary ANTHRAX Guitarist, Officially Announces “Speaking Words” Tour

January 22nd, 2014
by Celtic Bob



At this point, it’s no surprise to anyone that legendary heavy metal musician, author, and television personality SCOTT IAN has a lot to say. After decades-worth of international touring with Anthrax, bumping elbows with illustrious (and sometimes ridiculous) characters all over the media spectrum, and undergoing general “you won’t believe this” experiences— SCOTT IAN certainly has some hilarious and surprisingly personal stories to share.

Following the resounding success of the UK leg of his “Speaking Words” tour, Scott is picking up the mic again for a 15-city North American leg, kicking off in Chicago, IL on February 20th.

An official “Speaking Words” tour teaser, featuring professional footage from his upcoming “Speaking Words: Live in Glasgow” DVD (pre-order coming soon), has been exclusively released via VICE Noisey today. Watch it here.

Don’t mistake this for your run-of-the-mill spoken word tour. In SCOTT IAN’s own words, “it ain’t no poetry reading” either. “Speaking Words” is an honest look at the insane life that Scott has led for the last 31 years, the people he’s met, and the events that coincide. During each show, Scott will take part in a special Q&A session with the audience.

SCOTT IAN adds, “England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Germany; I’ve been “Speaking Words” all over the world. My friends in the U.S. and Canada, you asked for it and now I finally get to bring it home! I’m looking forward to talking with ya, talking at ya and telling you some amazing tales of drunken debauchery and ridiculousness. No punches pulled, no swear word left unturned, and no question avoided in the Q&A. Let’s do this!”

A special opportunity to join a VIP meet & greet at each date is available now via SCOTT IAN’s webstore. This unique and limited event will allow you to spend time with Scott like never before. It’s a veritable post show hangout with a metal legend— one that’s sure to enrich your knowledge of not only all-things SCOTT IAN, but Anthrax and metal history in general. The VIP meet & greet also includes a special VIP laminate, banner, and other goodies. Learn more and get your passes here:

Currently Confirmed SCOTT IAN “Speaking Words” Dates:
2/20 – Chicago, IL @ Mayne Stage
2/21 – Westland, MI @ The Token Lounge
2/22 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theatre
2/24 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater
2/25 – Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo Club
2/26 – Kingston, ON @ The Mansion
2/27 – Ottowa, ON @ Ritual
3/01 – Baltimore, MD @ The Ramshead Live: Power Plant Live
3/02 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
3/04 – Boston, MA @ Hard Rock Cafe
3/05 – New York, NY @ BB Kings
3/06 – Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
3/07 – West Warwick, RI @ Manchester 65
3/08 – Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall

With a career spanning three decades, Scott is heralded as metal elite. As the co-founding member of Anthrax, SCOTT IAN helped to create the thrash metal genre in the 1980’s. Anthrax have sold over 10 million records worldwide, have multiple Gold and Platinum awarded recordings, multiple Grammy nominations and have toured the world over on roughly 90+ tours since 1984. SCOTT IAN is recognized as a constant and unanimously recognizable figure in the worlds of music, poker, comics, movies and television. Currently, SCOTT IAN hosts Blood & Guts for the Nerdist Channel, and along with Anthrax, is writing songs for their presently untitled 11th studio album, due out in 2014.

For more information on SCOTT IAN, please visit these websites:
Official SCOTT IAN:
Official Anthrax:
Twitter: @Scott_Ian

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Carpathian Forest @ Camden Underworld, London

January 22nd, 2014
by UK Team

Carpathian Forest

@ Camden Underworld, London

14th December 2013

Review by Ben Spencer

Photography by Jo Blackened

Altercarnated Photography

Carpathian Forest @ The Underworld, Camden

Carpathian Forest @ The Underworld, Camden

After arriving to Camden Underworld early to interview Carpathian Forest before hand, the bright lights of the venue were accompanied by Eastern Front’s sound check within a near empty room. This was without question soon to change. After the informative conversation and back story behind tonight’s head liners, the darkly dressed Black Metal disciples soon flooded into the venue like a mass black wave, eagerly anticipating the return of a band whose last sighting upon English shores was around 2005.
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KILL RITUAL – Unveil ‘The Eyes Of Medusa’ Cover Artwork

January 21st, 2014
by EvilG
KILL RITUAL - ‘The Eyes Of Medusa’

KILL RITUAL – ‘The Eyes Of Medusa’

SF Bay Area Metallers KILL RITUAL featuring former members of Imagika and Dark Angel will release their second album, “The Eyes Of Medusa“, on April 4 via GoldenCore Records/ZYX Music. The cover artwork for the CD was created by Jobert Mello of Sledgehammer Graphix (SABATON, PRIMAL FEAR) and can be seen below.

Recordings were done at Fossil Sound; San Jose CA and Fang Studio; San Mateo CA. Production/engineering was again handled by KILL RITUAL guitarist Steven Rice. Mix and master completed by Steven Rice & Andy LaRocque (KING DIAMOND).


01. The Eyes Of Medusa
02. Hair Trigger
03. Never Get Me
04. Ride Into The Night
05. Weight Of The World
06. Writing On The Wall
07. Just Another Sin
08. My Little Sister
09. Unleashed
10. Agenda 21


Josh “Crimson” Gibson – Vocals
Steven Rice – Guitars (ex Imagika)
Danyael “Laughing” Bear – Bass (ex Dark Angel)
Gee Anzalone – Drums (Brain Damage)

Formed in late 2010 by former IMAGIKA lead guitarist Steven Rice. KILL RITUAL was completed by former DARK ANGEL bassist Danyael Williams, Bay Area vocalist Josh Gibson and Italian drummer Gee Anzalone (BRAIN DAMAGE).

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Ex-Anthrax Guitarist Dan Spitz: Domestic Abuse Charge Dropped

January 21st, 2014
by EvilG

WEST PALM BEACH — Dan Spitz, lead guitarist of the heavy metal band Anthrax, will not be prosecuted for his Christmas morning arrest on a domestic violence charge at home in Lake Worth, Gossip Extra has learned.

Read more here.

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RED DRAGON CARTEL Release Video For “Deceived” From Upcoming Debut Album

January 21st, 2014
by Celtic Bob

RDC cover

Red Dragon Cartel have been making waves since the band announced the release of their upcoming debut last year. Now, the band made up of guitar legend Jake E. Lee, bassist Ronnie Mancuso, singer D.J. Smith and drummer Jonas Fairley are unveiling their debut video for the song “Deceived.” The song comes from their soon-to-be-released Frontiers Records album Red Dragon Cartel out on January 28th. The video for the song can be seen at and fans that pre-order the album digitally on iTunes at receive the song as an instant download. The album is also available for pre-order on at

Jake E. Lee is best known for his work in Badlands and as guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne on Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin albums. Red Dragon Cartel also features various guest appearances from some of music’s most notable faces including legendary Cheap Trick vocalist Robin Zander, original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno, Kill Devil Hill/Pantera bassist Rex Brown, Sass Jordan, Slash’s Conspirators Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz and In This Moment front woman Maria Brink. The album was produced by Ronnie Mancuso and Jake E. Lee and was executive produced, mixed and mastered by Kevin Churko (In This Moment, Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch).

Red Dragon Cartel will be hitting the road in the road in March to showcase Jake E Lee’s return to the world. The tour kicks off March 5th in Tempe, AZ and runs all the way through April 6th, where it wraps up in Seneca, NY. The tour will make stops in Oklahoma City, Houston, Raleigh and Philadelphia to name a few. The band will also be heading over to Europe where they are confirmed to perform at this year’s Download Festival in Donnington, England and the famed Sweden Rock Festival. More dates are being added around the world as the band looks to bring the music of Red Dragon Cartel to every corner of the globe.

From the opening riff of “Deceived” to final sustained piano chord of “Exquisite Tenderness,” it is clear Red Dragon Cartel has created an album that stands amongst some of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. Infectious songs such as “Shout It Out,” “Wasted” and “Slave” showcase the band’s ability to write memorable hooks and vocal melodies. Robin Zander of Cheap Trick lends his voice to the track “Feeder” and a lyric video for the song can be seen at Maria Brink of In This Moment lends her unique vocals to the track “Big Mouth.” Paul Di’Anno and Sass Jordan also lend their talents to the band’s debut. Jake E. Lee’s trademark playing style instantly shines through and picks up right where he left off.

Red Dragon Cartel – Official Website:
Official Facebook:
Official Twitter:

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Fun Fun Fun Fest – November 8-10, 2013

January 19th, 2014
by Robert Williams

Fun Fun Fun Fest – November 8-10, 2013

Reviewed by Robert Williams

The eighth installment of Transmission Entertainment’s Fun Fun Fun Fest featured a diverse and eclectic roster of performing artists including Snoop Lion, Jurassic 5 and Daniel Johnston but for those who chose to bang their heads to the beat of a different drum, there was also some exciting performances from thrash metal titans Slayer, the reformed Body Count, the power metal precision and virtuosity of Austin’s own Immortal Guardian, and hardcore punk legends like Subhumans, Cro-Mags and Flag (basically everyone from Black Flag except the main songwriter and figurehead, guitarist Greg Ginn). Canvassing the entirety of the outdoor Auditorium Shores venue, there was also extreme sports skateboarding and bicycling demonstrations, Anarchy Championship Wrestling and a taco cannon that fired rounds of edible ammunition into the audience.

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Original TROUBLE Drummer Launches Beer/Schedules Meet And Greets

January 18th, 2014
by EvilG

Leigh Olson Management and Media Relations

Original TROUBLE drummer JeffOlyOlson will launch a Belgium-style stout named RED HOWES with Allagash Brewing Company set for release on Saturday, January 25th. The limited bottles will be sold in 750 ml and will be distributed nationwide on draft.

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AMON AMARTH premiere epic production video for ‘Father of the Wolf’

January 18th, 2014
by EvilG

AMON AMARTH premiered their stunning production video for the track “Father Of The Wolf” at the first date of the US tour-taking place last night in Las Vegas (Friday January 17). Fans who did not attend this show are now able to view this epic music video, which is more like a mini movie, at

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Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear, ex-Gamma Ray) guest appearance on DESERT’s upcoming album

January 18th, 2014
by EvilG

From DESERT: “Horns up, Warriors! Now we can officially confirm, that one of the special guests on our upcoming album will be the one and only – Mr. Ralf Scheepers ! The legendary voice of Primal Fear, Gamma Ray and Tyran’ Pace. Ralf kindly agreed to contribute his voice to one of the songs on our new record. We are still excited, that one of the best Metal singers in the world, who’s voice built our musical taste something like for 20 years, had sang one of the most killing and powerful songs we ever wrote !!! We have no patience to show you the results of this collaboration!”

Stay tuned for more breaking news \m/

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Best of 2013: Top 30

January 18th, 2014
by Metal Rules

Best of 2013: Top 30

As always, the top albums are for releases from 2013 that are full albums (no EP’s or demos). They also have to be new studio albums for the year, 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, best metal book of 2013, disappointments of the year, greatest hopes for 2014, personal metal discovery of 2013, and various other related categories. Enjoy!

The Top 30 Heavy Metal Albums of 2013

1. Black Sabbath – 13 (Vertigo/Universal Records)

Black Sabbath - 13

Black Sabbath – 13

When it was announced that the original Black Sabbath would reunite to record a new album, their first new material in over three decades, fans were both ecstatic while some were skeptical. While the album wasn’t rated at #1 in all of our personal lists, it was highly placed in many of our staffs list, thereby slightly surpassing #2. Where 13 really succeeds is in providing some much needed closure to a heavy metal journey 40+ years strong. The fact that Ozzy, Tony, and Geezer felt like that they still had one more in them is reason enough to give 13 a fair listen. Decide for yourself. Credit the band for getting it together and putting this album out, perhaps the passing of Dio and other metal icons along with Iommi’s cancer providing the impetus needed and realization that there might be no tomorrow. Ultimately, 13 contains many of the trademarks of early Sabbath while coming across as more consistent than say the debut. Perhaps a bit too slow, and lacking any real experimental dash, 13 cannot deliver Sabbath back to the glory days, and really who could expect it, even though it is the first Sabbath album to ever reach #1 on the U.S. Billboard charts. However, there is no question that this comes very close to the sound of the early 70s with a different and modern production.

Album Review

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Best of 2013 – EvilG

January 18th, 2014
by EvilG

Best of 2013 – EvilG

1. Helloween – Straight Out of Hell

Helloween – Straight Out Of Hell

Helloween – Straight Out Of Hell

I am an unashamedly a huge fan of power metal, especially German power metal. It’s soooo awesome that the founding fathers of the genre are not only still at it, but that they are still at the top of their game. When I had to select a number one album of the year, it wasn’t hard to select Helloween as this album has been played so many times all throughout the year.

2. Stratovarius – Nemesis

Stratovarius - Nemesis

Stratovarius – Nemesis

I was a little hesitant with NEMESIS when I first heard it due to the techno-ish keys in some places which kind of took the place of some of the neo-classical influences. The album turned out to be quite a grower. The performances from all involved and the songs themselves were just too good to let a few “alien” sound effect ruin. I’d go as far as to say that this is the band’s best album since INFINITE (2000).

3. Týr – Valkyrja

Tyr - Valkyrja

Tyr – Valkyrja

Here’s a band that quickly became one of my favorites back in 2009 when I was introduced to them with the glorious album “By the Light of the Northern Star”. That was followed by 2 albums, including the latest – Valkyrja, that have continued on in pretty much the same vein. Playing it safe is OK when you’re onto such a winning formula, but I do think they have left some of the folk metal behind with this album which is too bad.  Regardless of slow evolution away from folk metal, these guys are still one of the best out of any “newer” band.

4. Black Sabbath – 13

Black Sabbath - 13

Black Sabbath – 13

The band that started it all, the mighty Black Sabbath pulled off a damn near miracle when the stars aligned and they recorded and unleashed a brand new studio album in 2013.  I had faith that this would rule from day one, sure it’s sad the Bill Ward isn’t on here, but rather than mope about that, the good news is it rules anyway.

5. Avantasia – The Mystery of Time

Tobias Sammett's Avantasia – The Mystery of Time

Tobias Sammett’s Avantasia – The Mystery of Time

The awesome little dude who started Edguy and branched out to the epic Avantasia has come a long way. Early Avantasia was a little too power metal, then things seemed to go too far into the hard rock realm, but especially with The Mystery of Time, the delicate balance has been perfected. There are faster power metal songs, hard rock songs, epic songs etc. This album covers so many bases.

6. Saxon – Sacrifice

Saxon - Sacrifice

Saxon – Sacrifice

After all these years, Saxon as as good as, if not better than, ever! Hopefully this isn’t their final studio album.

7. Timo Tolkki’s Avalon – Land of New Hope

TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON “The Land of New Hope”

TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON “The Land of New Hope”

In the vein of Avantasia, former Stratovarius maestro, Timo Tolkki has released a new masterpiece. Part two is already being worked on as this is to be a trilogy of albums. After the ups and downs in Tolkki’s career, it’s great that he is still releasing new material.

8. Death Angel – The Dream Calls for Blood

Death Angel – The Dream Calls for Blood

Death Angel – The Dream Calls for Blood

I’ve loved Death Angel since the 80’s and was especially enamored with their ACT III album. After a long hiatus (in terms of studio releases from 1990 to 2004) the band returned in 2004 and have since released four albums including their 2013 release. While all their albums have been good, The Dream Calls For Blood kind of took me off guard. It isn’t just good…it is fantastic! For me it still doesn’t top ACT III, but it’s the best they’ve done since then.

9. Huntress – Starbound Beast

Huntress - Starbound Beast

Huntress – Starbound Beast

Their are very clear nods to classic heavy metal and old King Diamond and Mercyful Fate written all over STARBOUND BEAST by Huntress. Last year I selected Huntress as “best new band” and for 2013 they again shot back with a new album which was even stronger. Sure, the band might get extra press because of their extremely easy on the eyes lead vocalist, but it’s for the strength of their and their relentless touring that the band has been making themselves known while others have been left in the dust.

10. Megadeth – Supercollider

Megadeth - Super Collider

Megadeth – Super Collider

I don’t care what other critics say, this album is great. It’s clearly not RUST IN PEACE or PEACE SELLS great, but it’s nowhere near the un-listenable RISK. It’s more in line with the good melodic Medadeth albums like YOUTHANASIA or COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION. Even though I enjoy this album a lot, it would be preferable if Dave and the boys got back to more thrashing on the next album.

11. Rhapsody – Dark Wings of Steel

Rhapsody Of Fire

Rhapsody Of Fire – Dark Wings of Steel

So here we have the first Rhapsody of Fire album that does not feature guitarist and founding member Luca Turilli who has moved onto his own version of the band. While the album is overall an enjoyable listen, I do have some misgivings. Sadly, the guitars take a backseat. Sure there are plenty of solos, but the riffage is way too backburner. The other bummer is the tempo….mid-tempo music is NOT what I want from Rhapsody. Problems aside, a crippled Rhapsody can still outpace many. As well, the vocals of Fabio Lione are as always, fantastic!

12. Motorhead – Aftershock

Motorhead - Aftershock

Motorhead – Aftershock

While AFTERSHOCK doesn’t have the immediacy or heaviness of INFERNO, it is still is very strong. With 2013 being the year that Lemmy’s lifestyle began catching up with him, everyone hopes he can keep the tank rolling. If it means limited touring and more studio albums, that’s not all bad news for sure.

13. Lord – Digital Lies

Lord - ‘Digital Lies‘

Lord – ‘Digital Lies‘

The shred heavy power metal-ish Aussie band, Lord returned with their fourth album in 2013. From the band’s excellent videos which show they have a great sense of humor(!), to the acrobatic shredding, Lord are simply great.

14. Gloryhammer – Tales from the Kingdom of Fife

Gloryhammer - Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife

Gloryhammer – Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife

My initial introduction to this band was not by a song, but was through a picture of the band. They looked seriously retarded. I could not take them seriously and assumed they were taking the piss and not worth further pursuit. After reading JP’s glowing review, I had to give them a shot and I’m glad I did!

15. Annihilator – Feast

Annihilator - FEAST

Annihilator – FEAST

While I can’t imagine that Annihilator will ever top their two glorious albums Alice in Hell (1989) or Never, Neverland (1990), FEAST is an album that has a lot of those classic elements of melody and thrash.

16. Flotsam & Jetsam – Ugly Noise

Flotsam & Jetsam - Ugly Noise

Flotsam & Jetsam – Ugly Noise

It hasn’t been since CUATRO (1992) and DRIFT(1995) that I’ve really had a lot of time for F&J. They’ve had some moments since then, but overall were not that memorable. With UGLY NOISE there is again more time given to the melodic side. I would of liked it if the songs were even more like those two aforementioned albums with perhaps a couple classic songs a la Hammerhead thrown in.

17. VoiVod – Target Earth

VoiVod - Target Earth

VoiVod – Target Earth

Even though TARGET EARTH is the first to not feature the sadly departed guitarist Piggy (the last two albums, Katorz and Infini, still had Piggy on them), it’s very cool that Daniel “Chewy” Mongrain was able to channel the Piggy of old and pull the VoiVod sound out of the doldrums of stoner rock and back to progressive thrash, the style that we all love Piggy and VoiVod for!

18. Queensryche – Queensryche

Queensryche - Queensryche

Queensryche – Queensryche

Sure, this is not to the levels of amazballs of OPERATION MINDCRIME, but c’mon….Tate didn’t want to be playing prog metal any more and the band hasn’t been relevant in years.  Sad that it took the band this long to DARE to step out and get a great vocalist and record a proper album. I still think this needed to be heavier, faster, a lot less “modern” sounding, and more like classic QR….but hey, it’s one helluva great start and I hope there’s more to come!

19. Ashes of Ares – ST



Matt Barlow, back in the saddle singing metal…nuff said really! Love his vocals!

20. Carcass – Surgical Steel



Not as jaw-dropping as HEARTWORK, but they really pulled their shit together and made quite a triumphant return!

Best Live Album / Best DVD/Blu-Ray

I’m combining these two categories as everything I bought had both lives CDs with the Blu-Ray.

Nightwish: Showtime, Storytime

Nightwish - Showtime, Storytime

Nightwish – Showtime, Storytime

Finally, Nightwish have a singer that does justice to both eras of the band. Floor Jansen is my favorite female vocalist, so hearing her sing these songs really brings new new to them and the band….can’t wait to hear her on her own Nightwish material!

Runners up: Testament “Dark Roots of Thrash” (Skolnick live is soooooo good!), Sabaton “Swedish Empire Live” (the Amazon earbook edition has glorious packaging).

Best EP

Gamma Ray – Master of Confusion


As Gamma Ray are pretty much my favorite band, it reallyyyyyyyy sucks that their previous studio album came out nearly four years ago in 2010. That’s too long of a wait as the band’s peers are not being to lax or spinning their wheels in boring side-projects…..Sigh…. So we get an EP, yes, it’s one of the longest EPs in history, but still… Regardless, it’s Gamma Ray, I worship them and Kai Hansen, so this was easily the best EP of the year for me.

Best Box-Set

Blind Guardian – A Traveler’s Guide to Space and Time

This has to be the best box set I’ve ever bought. Full details on the content can be read here.
Just wow….look at the pic below!

BLIND GUARDIAN - A Traveler’s Guide to Space and Time

BLIND GUARDIAN – A Traveler’s Guide to Space and Time

Best Local Metal Band


sHEAVY - Moons in Penumbra (2013)

sHEAVY – Moons in Penumbra (2013)

While sHEAVY were inactive for all of 2013, the band was busy behind the scenes writing/recording two albums. The first of which was released at the end of 2013.

Best Concert

KISS 2013

KISS 2013

KISS: 2013 was not a good year for travel for a number of shitty reasons. Therefore, I missed out on a few concerts that I had tickets purchased for including Helloween and Kamelot. I’m sure one of those would of made for my best concert of 2013, but since I could only see what was worth seeings here at the ass and of the planet, the best concert was KISS. They still have a killer show with the pryo and stage set, and it was my first time seeing them live, so it was quite a show!

Best Book

Alex Skolnick – “Geek to Guitar Hero”

Alex Skolnick- Geek to Guitar Hero Cover

Alex Skolnick- Geek to Guitar Hero Cover

I’m always reading metal books and metal bios but the one that touched me the most in 2013 was Alex Skolnick’s “Geek to Guitar Hero”. It’s the kind of book that makes me want to be a better guitar player. It’s not just a book about “look at me and all I’ve done”. It’s more introspective, it makes you think about your own musical journey, while hearing all about Alex’s own tale. The geek/outsider theme is one I relate to as I’ve often felt the same.

Runners up: Yngwie J. Malmsteen “Relentless: The Memoir”, Stephen Pearcy “Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll: My Life in Rock”

Best New Band




Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. If you like traditional metal, power metal, epic/symphonic power metal….first listen to the band. They may dress silly, but their music is powerful.


  • Thomas Winkler – Vocals
  • Christopher Bowes – Keyboards
  • Paul Templing – Guitar
  • James Cartwright – Bass
  • Ben Turk – Drums


Amazingly, no albums that I was anticipating was a complete disappointment in 2013. The major bummer of the year, against which everything else pales in comparison, is the death of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman. Ugh :(

Hopes for 2014

New albums from Primal Fear, Judas Priest, Edguy, Gamma Ray, etc……

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Best of 2013 – JP

January 18th, 2014
by J P

Best of 2013 – JP

I have very broad tastes in Heavy Metal. I enjoy almost all genres and sub-genres. Coupled with the fact that I’m fortunate enough to get exposed to hundreds and hundreds of albums each year, it is easy to find something enjoyable. However because focuses on Real Metal, my choices weighs heavily on Classic/Traditional/True and Power Metal.

I don’t think there has ever been a ‘bad’ year for Metal. I’m heavily involved in the industry so I actually have many different Year-end Top Lists for the various groups that I work for, including my own personal one, which will often take a couple of years to solidify because it takes a long to actually hear all the albums I want to hear and also to see if albums stand the test of time and repeated listens.

I find lists like this often challenging to do because of those very factors; too much material I have not heard and not enough time to spend with the album. There are many albums I did not get to hear which conceivably may have made my list, based on my past enjoyment of the bands, for example, Silent Force, Majesty, Dark Avenger, Dragonhammer and more. Additionally, while many, many of my favorite bands put out great records (Helloween, Stratovarius, Running Wild, U.D.O., Avantasia, Rhapsody, Metal Church) I’m using this opportunity to showcase mostly newer bands that are making exciting new music, instead of just picking my old friends.

1. Yngwie J. Malmsteen – Spellbound (Universal)

Yngwie J. Malmsteen-Spellbound

Yngwie J. Malmsteen – Spellbound

The only exception to my rule to focus on newer bands, Yngwie as my favourite guitarists of all time, takes my top spot. Although technically released only in Japan in late December 2012, SPELLBOUND brings everything Yngwie has to offer to the table. One of the major label releases that bookend my list.

2. Gloryhammer-Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife (Napalm)

3. Sigum Regis-Exodus (Ulterium)

4. Death Dealer-War Master (Indie)

5. Dragonsclaw-Judgement Day (Killer Metal)

6. Evertale-Of Elves And Dragons (Indie)

7. Bane Of Winterstorm-The Last Sons Of Perylin (Indie)

8. Ascension-Far Beyond The Stars (Limb)

9. Messenger-Starwolf Part I-The Messengers (Massacre)

10. Avalon-The Land Of New Hope (Frontiers)

11. Thalion-Dawn Of Choas (Maple Metal)

12. Reinxeed-A New World (Liljgren)

13. Golden Resurrection-One Voice For The Kingdom (Liljgren)

14. Twins Crew-The Northern Crusade (Scarlet)

15. Epicrenel-The Crystal Throne (Inverse)

16. Divided Multitude-Feed On Your Misery (Fireball)

17. Tad Morose-Revenant (Despotz)

18. Memory Garden-Doomain (Metal Blade)

19. Victorius-The Awakening (Sonic Attack)

20. Kobra And The Lotus- S/t (Universal)


Best Live Album

Rhapsody: Live – From Chaos To Eternity

RHAPSODY OF FIRE To Release 'Live - From Chaos To Eternity' In May

RHAPSODY OF FIRE ‘Live – From Chaos To Eternity’

Best EP

Manowar-Lord Of Steel-Live

Best Remake album

Harem Scarem-Mood Swings II

Best Covers album

ReinXeed-Swedish Hits Goes Metal II

Best Book

Relentless by Yngwie J. Mamlsteen

Best Tribute Album

Strong As Steel – A Tribute To Anvil

Best DVD

Raven – Rock Until You Drop

Best TV/Movie

NA. Slow year for Metal related TV and movies. No Holliston, no Metalocalypse.

Best Concert

70,000 Tons Of Metal

Best local band

Kobra And The Lotus

Best new band


Best discovery

Cain’s Dinasty

Predictions/Hopes for 2014

  1. W.A.S.P.’s Blackie Lawless decides to release the mountain of archived footage (and the long-lost Japanese only video collection) in a cool, historical 3+ DVD set. Blackie also finishes his autobiography he has been rumored to have working on for years. (Carried over from 2010, again).
  2. Matos just rejoined Viper. Can Viper make good Power Metal record again like they did in the 80’s? Who will be the new Angra singer? (Carried over from 2013).
  3. New WA.S.P. album. It’s been five long years since Babylon. Can Blackie come roaring back? We hope so!

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Best of 2013 – Arto Lehtinen

January 18th, 2014
by Arto Lehtinen

Best of 2013 – Arto Lehtinen

1. Voivod – Target Earth

VoiVod - Target Earth

VoiVod – Target Earth

The mighty Voivod has set new boundaries for metal since WAR AND PAIN came out. When the  legendary guitarist Denis “Snake” …. passed away, releasing a new album was entirely mystery. However Voivod with the recruited new guitarist toured heavily all around and questions about  a new album started emerging. Target Earth is an awesome album and definitely worth for every  Voivod fan to bang for Kluskap O’Kom.

2. Carcass – Surgical Steel



Before Carcass reunited, Jeff Walker strongly insisted there will no new album at all. Some years passed by and we have got nothing, but an amazing album with killer songs with the Carcass trademarks. Surgical Steel blows every skeptical one away and proves Carcass is back.

3. InSolitude – Sister

In Solitude – Sister

In Solitude – Sister

I was already blown away by the previous InSolitude opus and was definitely eager to get a hold of their new opus titled Sister. The album is a real twisted metal opus when Mercyful Fate meets Cure.

4. Hell – Curse And Chapter

5. Onslaught – IV

6. Vorum – Poisoned Void

7. Warlord – Holy Empire

8. Motorhead – Aftershock

9. Coffins – Fleshland

10. Queensryche- S/t

11. Sodom – Epitome Of Torture

12. Inquistion – Obscure Verses For Multiverse

13. Autopsy – The Headless Ritual

14. Jex Thoth – Blood Moon Rises

15. Amon Amarth – Deceiver Of The Gods

16. The Devils Blood – III Tabula Rasa Or Death And The Seven

17. Black Sabbath – 13

18. Rotting Christ – Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy

19. Ashes Of Ares – Ashes Of Ares

20. Watain – The Wild Hunt


Best Live Album

Machine Head -Machine Fucking Head Live
The Bay Area groove bulldozer metallers are extremely murderous and vital on the stage. The four piece’s aggression and head blowing riff with the heavy grip have been managed to capture on this new live album.

Best EP

1. Ghost – If You Have The Ghost
Even Though the second album got a massive buzz, but somehow this eccentric EP with cover tunes sounded quite weird as produced by David Grohl. Even though the Ep was recorded in 2012, but saw the dark of the night in 2013

2. Ranger – Knights Of Darkness
The Finnish power speed squad came out of blue, getting nothing utter huge praises all around.

Best Concert

1. Bolt Thrower

Bolt Thrower

Bolt Thrower

The British death warmachine Bolt Thrower came and conquered the Tuska Open Air festival by offering the utter lethal set of the brutal and nihilistic songs from the long career. Bolt Thrower was one of the required and demanded bands to Tuska.

 2. Asphyx



The Dutch death metal veterans had been booked by the Roadburn organization to perform the heaviest and doomiest songs. The gig turned out to be a real ear ripping death metal blitzkrieg with Martin Van Drunen’s raw and barbaric growling.

3. Candlemass



The Swedish doom metal veterans went through the singer change when Robert Lowe dismissed and the band’s long time friend Mats Leven stepped in. The six piece unleashed the real epicus doomicus and above all metallicus gigs at both Swedenrock and Hammer Open Air.

Best new band


1. Vorum – Poisoned Void
 All right labeling Vorum a new band is truly unfair, but the band’s debut album POISONED VOID is a strong piece of evidence of the true brutal death metal is still alive.

2. Ashes Of Ares – S/T
AOA is kind of super-group featuring ex-members of Iced Earth and Nevermore. The album is a pure heavy metal from the beginning to the end.

Best Discovery

being the Finnish power/speed metal on steroids. The four piece metal squad definitely kicks ass  hard and fast with the catchy riffs. All the old school metal bangers.

Major events in the Metal world

  1.  The premature loss of the Slayer guitarist Jeff Hannemann
  2. KRK called its quits. (No Hammer Open Air, No Black Flames Of Blasphemy)

Predictions for 2013

  1. Killer Line-up of Jalometalli 2014 can be expected
  2. Dark Angel returns
  3. Emperor returns

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