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Call it djent, call it tech-metal, call it whatever the hell you want at this point: there's still a huge amount of this stuff around, isn't there? And whether you can't get enough of it or feel that this proudly state-of-the-art subgenre has long since run out of gas, NOVELISTS FR seem to have found one highly credible way to outlast their aspiring post-PERIPHERY peers. It might seem like stating the obvious, but NOVELISTS FR have focused almost entirely on crafting great songs for their second full-length album. If 2015's "Souvenirs" debut seemed a little perfunctory and cookie cutter in part, it did at least showcase a gift for non-standard melodic hooks. "Noir", 2017, was far better and contained a handful of thrilling, tech-friendly moments. But on "C'est La Vie", the French band go for broke, eschewing the elaborate complexities of djent's cerebral contingent in favor of a bright, shiny and endlessly accessible strain of subtly prog-tinged metalcore. In contrast to the hordes of bands still peddling distinctly unimaginative variations on metalcore's early-'00s blueprint, NOVELISTS FR sound liberated by their resistance to the utterly fucking obvious. "C'est La Vie" stands or falls on how much impact these tunes have first time around. There are plenty of bendy riffs and flashes of electronic trickery to keep the djent purists happy (if, indeed, such people exist), but songs like "Somebody Else" and "Kings of Ignorance" are proudly straightforward rock songs at heart: it's just that they arrive wrapped in the textures and tones of more left-field fare, resulting in an often invigorating and indecently perky new hybrid. Getting to the point quickly suits NOVELISTS FR well, and frontman Matteo Gelsomino has one of those gently distinctive voices that rescues more generic moments from sounding too, well, generic. At its best, as on the uplifting sugar rush of "Deep Blue", "C'est La Vie" sounds like an album with huge mainstream potential, give or take a polyrhythmic tic or two.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 9:02 pm
You know exactly where you stand with the music of MIDNIGHT. Since giving the whole notion of old-school metal a resounding kick up the backside with their early demos and 2006's "Complete and Total Fucking Midnight" comp, Athenar's one-man mission to make metal filthy and hard as nails again has been an absolute joy to witness, particularly if you have excellent taste in all things heavy. In a sense, MIDNIGHT have never told us anything that we didn't already instinctively feel: the best underground metal has always had a certain ragged, anarchic and violent quality that sets it apart from the polished precision of the mainstream. But by constantly reaffirming the ageless power and influence of MOTÖRHEAD, DISCHARGE, VENOM and POSSESSED, albums like 2011's "Satanic Royalty" and 2017's "Sweet Death and Ecstasy" seem to have lit a fire underneath the whole diehard metal scene. As a result, there will be a vast number of people for whom "Rebirth by Blasphemy" is an absolute no-brainer must-have and, as expected, it delivers on all filthy fronts. The first track is called "Fucking Speed and Darkness", for Satan's sake. What else could you possibly need? If you're looking for progress from previous records, MIDNIGHT will not be playing your simpleton's game. This is true blue, red-blooded and riotous heavy fucking metal, delivered from the heart and spiritually connected to the genre's unmovable essence. Or, to be slightly less pretentious about the whole thing, "Rebirth by Blasphemy" rages, rocks and rampages like a maniac for 34 blissfully brutal minutes. It's unapologetically raw and rough around the edges, but songs like "Escape the Grave" and the truly exhilarating "Rising Scum" pack such an almighty, infernal wallop that this fourth full-length feels like a rather haughty reminder of MIDNIGHT's utter superiority over their peers. Quite how or why Athenar is able to churn this stuff out with such consistency is anyone's guess, but whether through devilry or design, "Rebirth by Blasphemy" is joyously black as fuck and 100% unmissable for those in league with Satan. All hail!
Posted: January 22, 2020, 8:40 pm
Joey Kramer says that he is "extremely disappointed" by a judge's refusal to reinstate his membership in AEROSMITH. The Superior Court judge in Plymouth County, Massachusetts decided the drummer can't force his bandmates to let him perform with them at Sunday's Grammy Awards, even after he flew to Los Angeles and was turned away from a practice on over the weekend. Earlier today, Kramer issued the following statement: "Although I'm extremely disappointed by the Judge's ruling today, I respect it. I knew filing a lawsuit was a bit of an uphill battle considering that the corporate documents don't reference any process for a band member returning from an injury or illness. However, the band waited until January 15th to tell me that they weren't letting me play at the awards ceremonies this week. I can hold my head high knowing that I did the right thing — to fight for my right to celebrate the band's success that I have dedicated the better part of my life to helping build. "The truth speaks for itself. Ever since I injured my foot last August and went through many hours of physical therapy to heal, not once did the band in its entirety offer to rehearse with me. That is a fact. I was also sent the full rehearsal schedule on January 18th and flew to LA the next day to rehearse and have many texts and emails stating the band can't wait for my return. That's also a fact. When I showed up to rehearse, I was greeted by two security guards who prohibited me from entering. "The band's offer to allow me to participate in this week's MusiCares and Grammy celebrations for red carpet photo ops only, is appreciated; however, with a fill-in drummer playing on stage at two events honoring our collective musical contributions, it is extremely hurtful to me. I am a professional musician who is eager to return to my rightful place with AEROSMITH. "I want to thank my fans for the incredible outpouring of support and for sharing my goal of taking my place on stage as one of the five founding members of AEROSMITH and continuing to play the music I love." The 69-year-old drummer sought court intervention in the battle with an emergency legal filing on Friday. But Judge Mark Gildea ruled against him, writing: "Given that Kramer has not played with the band in six months and the dearth of available rehearsal time before the upcoming (Grammy) performances, Kramer has not shown a realistic alternative course of action sufficient to protect the band’s business interests. It is hereby ordered that the plaintiff's request for injunctive relief be denied." TMZ has obtained video (see below) from over the weekend showing Joey arrive at an AEROSMITH Grammy rehearsal in Los Angeles, only to be turned away by two security guards. The guards make it clear to Joey that they were given the orders to refuse his entry by the other four members of the band. An original member of the legendary rock group, Kramer last performed with AEROSMITH in April 2019 before suffering what was described at the time as a "shoulder injury." Other reports have indicated that he also injured an ankle. For the past eight months, AEROSMITH has been performing with a stand-in drummer, Kramer's drum tech John Douglas. In his 16-page complaint filed in Massachusetts state court, Kramer said the disability he suffered last year was minor, and insisted he was ready to return to the group's "lucrative" Las Vegas residency at the MGM Resorts a few months later, as well as its slate of "50th anniversary activities." "As it stands, the attempted freeze-out of Mr. Kramer is almost complete, and will result in irreparable harm to him if not remedied by this court," the complaint said. AEROSMITH members Steven Tyler (vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass) and Brad Whitford (guitar) later responded to Kramer's suit in a statement to People, saying Joey "has not been emotionally and physically able to perform with the band, by his own admission, for the last 6 months. We have missed him and have encouraged him to rejoin us to play many times but apparently he has not felt ready to do so. Joey has now waited until the last moment to accept our invitation, when we unfortunately have no time for necessary rehearsals during Grammys week. We would be doing a disservice to him, to ourselves and to our fans to have him play without adequate time to prepare and rehearse." A source close to the band confirmed to People that Kramer had to "test" for AEROSMITH's performances this week, but says it was a result of the drummer failing to attend multiple planned rehearsals. "They had been inviting him to come back for the last six months since he's been away for whatever medical situation he's been dealing with," the source says. "He said, 'Yes, I'll come and rehearse' and kept not showing up. On the eve of the Grammys and MusiCares, he wanted to be back." According to the source, the band felt Kramer "wasn't capable" of performing at a level their fans were used to after listening to his demo.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 8:22 pm
Jessica Miller, wife of METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich, has paid tribute to Ray Burton, father of the late METALLICA bassist Cliff Burton, who passed away on January 15 at the age of 94. Earlier today (Wednesday, January 22), Miller has posted a photo of Ray on Instagram Stories, and she included the following message: "Ray Burton used to always call me 'Jennifer,' and I never had the heart to correct him. Such a sweet being with an immense love for life. I'll miss running into his smile across the country at random shows or events. My heart is with his beautiful family." Ray died just 15 days shy of his 95th birthday. Cliff joined METALLICA in 1982 and performed on the band's first three studio albums: "Kill 'Em All", "Ride The Lightning" and "Master Of Puppets". He also received a posthumous writing credit for the song "To Live Is to Die" from the band's fourth studio album, "...And Justice For All" and was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a member of METALLICA on April 4, 2009. His life was tragically cut short at the age of 24 in a tour bus crash on September 27, 1986 in Sweden. Burton's initial replacement in the group was Jason Newsted, who stayed in the lineup until 2001. Robert Trujillo joined in 2003 and remains in the band to this day. February 10, 2018 was proclaimed "Cliff Burton Day" by Alameda County supervisors. The late METALLICA bassist would have turned 56 years old on that date had he lived.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 7:49 pm
In a brand new interview with Dave Hanratty of Ireland's Joe, SLIPKNOT guitarist Jim Root reflected on his 2016 disc replacement surgery which he underwent just as the band was closing out its world tour in support of the ".5: The Gray Chapter" album. He said (see video below): "I had two crushed discs that was causing my left arm to go numb. I didn't know what was wrong. I was getting really weak on my left side and I couldn't lift my backpack off my shoulder. I didn't know what was going on. It didn't occur to me that it was connected to my neck. But I went and saw a doctor and he was, like, 'Yeah, you've got a fractured verterbrae in your neck and two crushed discs, and it's causing nerve damage.' So I had two discs replaced in my neck and then I had one replaced in my lower back. Twenty years of touring and headbanging and doing what we do on stage, after a while, it kind of wears you down. But I'm trying to do better. I'm trying to exercise more and change my diet." Root also spoke about the difficulties of spending so much time on the road, especially when he is trying to take the necessary steps to improve his health. "Touring is hard, man," he said. "It's hard to find good food to eat. It's hard to get out and actually do stuff and be active. 'Cause you're so worn out from all the traveling, it's, like, 'Do I really wanna try to go jogging today?' 'No.' 'I can just flip on my Xbox and play 'Call Of Duty' instead.' "It's a lot of work," he admitted. "It's a lot of sacrifice. And recently, I've had to try to explain that to some people. It's, like, the real work starts when you get a record deal and you get out there and you start doing things and you start putting records out. You have to be thinking about your next record while you're working on the record you're working on. You always have to be a step ahead of yourself. And there's always something happening. And there's travel. It's hard on relationships — not just personal relationships, but with family, friends. Missing your home. It's almost like you have two alternate realities that you live in — you have your home world and then your touring world. "I've put off having a family, 'cause I knew that I was gonna be gone on the road all the time, so when I go home, it's just, like, me. You know what I mean?" he added. "So that's a hard thing for me to wrap my brain around, and it's a little bit difficult sometimes. Some of the other guys — Clown [Shawn Crahan, percussion] and Corey [Taylor, vocals] — they have children and wives and things like that. And I'm sure for them, it's a weird transition to make. 'Cause when we tour, we don't just tour for a month or two and then we're done for the year. We tour six, eight, maybe sometimes nine or ten months a year, and that's a lot of time being away from home. And over twenty years, I'm starting to realize, at the age that I'm at now, that it's, like, wow, I kind of have given my entire life to this band — willingly. I don't regret it. And I wouldn't change a second of it. I've learned so much." SLIPKNOT is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "We Are Not Your Kind", which came out last August. The disc sold 118,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in its first week of release to land at position No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 7:32 pm
During a recent appearance on the "PodKats!" podcast hosted by John "Kats" Katsilometes of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, VAN HALEN frontman David Lee Roth — who kicked off a nine-show residency in Las Vegas earlier this month — discussed his ill-fated 1995 residency in Sin City. "Las Vegas was nowhere near as colorful and modern, sexy, young [then]," Roth said. "It was family-oriented and [a] circus-kind of an approach. Not adult at all. I think I was ahead of myself a little bit of time. In fact, I got fired for making the joke that my girls dancing — I had a couple of Mambo girls, and a couple of the Mambo girls were dancing, and I said, 'Look at them, ladies and gentlemen — so hot, Michael Jackson would quit the Boy Scouts.' They literally fired me for that one. I was out in front with a guitar case in one hand and a shopping cart with my costumes and a top hat in the other. I would get memos about the F-bomb or the F-word on stage — material that today gets you hired for 'Saturday Night Live' in terms of content. It's smart smut. What I deal with is sometimes blue, but it's smart blue. Sexy smart, scary smart." Roth also revealed the origin of his "Diamond Dave" moniker. "Everything I heard at the Youth Club dance was Motown, which I can still sing every single syllable of," he said. "If you ask me, 'Who is your voice closest to?', I'll tell you right off, without the blink of an eye, Wilson Pickett. [sings 'Mustang Sally'] I sounded like that when I was 12 years old, much to the rabbi's shagrin. I practiced that assidiously when I was 12, and I danced — oh yeah, you bet I danced, because dancing's what you can do when you have no money and no room to spend it in. You've got no backyard; you've got no patio; so you set up speakers [and] you push the furniture to the side of the wall. Singing and dancing are the first instruments you reach for when you are broke, or as a state of mind. Broke is what most of Altadena was at my age, so we sung and danced like crazy... If all you can afford is a pair of jeans, you learn how to empty a full can of spray starch, get that razor crease, drop 'em low — I'm doing a Lil Wayne here — but you can customize 'em, even if you're in lockdown at Folsom. Get 'em four sizes too big; tighten 'em up with a three-size-small belt; just button the top of you razor-creazed, prison-issue blue denims at the top; [and] leave the rest unbuttoned. That is kind of how I was dressing when I would go over to the VAN HALEN side of high school. Pasadena High School looked like 'Ridgemont High'. Think of Jeff Spicoli, and everybody from 'Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure'. I say [that] with respect — Pendletons tied around the waist; hair parted in the middle; boxer shorts; desert boots; every sentence starts with 'Dude,' 'Bro,' 'Whoa.' I would show up at the Pasadena High School dance wearing suspenders, two-tone Cuban heels... I would show up, and the Van Halens would look and say, 'Look, he sparkles like a diamond. It's Diamond Dave.'" On a more serious note, Roth shared a memory of getting a phone call from the late David Bowie, which he used as an analogy to explain how he's by and large the same "Diamond Dave" he's always been. "I knew David Bowie," Roth said. "We shared strong drink on more than several occasions. [In the] early '90s — '91 maybe — I was in a studio in New York. [A] phone call came through... 'David, I'm kind of in a quandry, and I'm being serious. I'm going to tell you something, and tell me what you think... I bought furniture.' His life in music was never the same from that point. It changed his life. It was significant. If you ask me why that was such a quandry for him, because he was very serious [and] concerned — he was cutting the anchor chain. I have yet to buy furniture. I'm not being funny — it's symbolic. He had never put down an anchor — not romantically, not spiritually, not morally or musically, anywhere. Very few people can live like that. There are only three kinds of people — those who stay home; those who leave home; and those who go to sea. David had put out to sea as a very young man. When he finally came to shore in New York City and got married, everything he knew ended. I never bought furniture. That's what you see on stage. I'm not looking for a place to park. I'm [still] driving around." Listen to the entire interview at this location. Roth's Las Vegas residency kicked off on January 8 with a 15-song set that included 10 VAN HALEN classics and five songs from his solo career. Backing the 65-year-old singer at the House Of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino were lead guitarist Al Estrada from the VAN HALEN tribute band ERUPTION, rhythm guitarist Frankie Lindri, bassist Ryan Wheeler, keyboardist Danny Wagner and drummer Mike Mussleman. Roth will play six more Vegas shows in March, in addition to performing as the opening act for the upcoming North American legs of KISS's "End Of The Road" farewell tour starting on February 1 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 6:52 pm
According to TMZ, a judge has ruled against Joey Kramer rejoining AEROSMITH for its upcoming Grammy Awards performance. The Massachusetts judge said the drummer didn't make a convincing enough case for playing with his bandmates when they take the stage for Sunday's award show, as well as for Friday night's MusiCares gala. In his ruling, the judge said: "Given that Kramer has not played with the band in 6 months and the dearth of available rehearsal time before the upcoming performances, Kramer has not shown a realistic alternative course of action sufficient to protect the band's business interests." Earlier this week, Kramer sued his bandmates, claiming he is being blocked from playing at the Grammys. An original member of the legendary rock group, Kramer last performed with AEROSMITH in April 2019 before suffering what was described at the time as a "shoulder injury." Other reports have indicated that he also injured an ankle. For the past eight months, AEROSMITH has been performing with a stand-in drummer, Kramer's drum tech John Douglas. In his 16-page complaint filed in Massachusetts state court, Kramer said the disability he suffered last year was minor, and insisted he was ready to return to the group's "lucrative" Las Vegas residency at the MGM Resorts a few months later, as well as its slate of "50th anniversary activities." Kramer asked for an injunction to reinstate his membership in the band immediately. "As it stands, the attempted freeze-out of Mr. Kramer is almost complete, and will result in irreparable harm to him if not remedied by this court," the complaint said. After TMZ reported on Tuesday that Kramer had filed a lawsuit against his bandmates, the drummer issued a statement, saying that being "removed" from his "rightful place on stage to celebrate" AEROSMITH's success "is just plain wrong." AEROSMITH members Steven Tyler (vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass) and Brad Whitford (guitar) later responded to Kramer's suit in a statement to People, saying Joey "has not been emotionally and physically able to perform with the band, by his own admission, for the last 6 months. We have missed him and have encouraged him to rejoin us to play many times but apparently he has not felt ready to do so. Joey has now waited until the last moment to accept our invitation, when we unfortunately have no time for necessary rehearsals during Grammys week. We would be doing a disservice to him, to ourselves and to our fans to have him play without adequate time to prepare and rehearse." A source close to the band confirmed to People that Kramer had to "test" for AEROSMITH's performances this week, but says it was a result of the drummer failing to attend multiple planned rehearsals. "They had been inviting him to come back for the last six months since he's been away for whatever medical situation he's been dealing with," the source says. "He said, 'Yes, I'll come and rehearse' and kept not showing up. On the eve of the Grammys and MusiCares, he wanted to be back." According to the source, the band felt Kramer "wasn't capable" of performing at a level their fans were used to after listening to his demo.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 6:20 pm
METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett has expressed his disappointment over the fact that MOTÖRHEAD has yet to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Eligible since 2002, the Lemmy-fronted outfit was on the ballot for the class of 2020 but failed to receive enough votes. During a career-spanning interview on Dean Delray's "Let There Be Talk" podcast, Hammett stated about MOTÖRHEAD's exclusion from the Rock Hall (hear audio below): "I really think that when things like that happen, it might be a generational thing where maybe some of the older people just don't get it — they just don't fucking get it. They don't see the range of influence and the impact and the inspiration that certain bands have. They don't hear it, because maybe they're part of a different generation and were told that vocals sung like that are bad. But they're not — they're fucking just another type of vocal. And [those people believe that] recordings like that have no merit. [I've] gotta admit, some of those MOTÖRHEAD recordings are fucking so beautifully raw." Kirk continued: "For those kind of people, MOTÖRHEAD is a little bit of a bitter pill. And the comprehension of it is kind of — it could be a little better comprehended. And I think that's the problem — it's merely a generational thing. As much as I don't like saying that, because I think if it's good music, it's gonna transcend generations. But then, at certain times, people are just closed off from it from the get-go, for whatever reason. It's just one of those things that just happens." When Delray opined that NINE INCH NAILS should not be inducted into the Rock Hall before acts like KRAFTWERK, Gary Numan and DEVO, all of whom were an influence on Trent Reznor, Hammett said: "If it weren't for those bands, where would NINE INCH NAILS be? It's so that way with so many other bands too. I mean, THIN LIZZY — fucking hell. I mean, Jesus Christ, they were such a huge influence with me and all my friends and all the bands that were coming up at the same time we were, and they're still not in the fucking Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Again, maybe it's generational. I don't know. Maybe they just didn't sell enough fucking albums. Sometimes it feels like you have to sell a certain amount of albums before they would even consider you, which is, I think, a big piece of shit, too." Even though artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal bands like JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN and SCORPIONS have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted METALLICA and GUNS N' ROSES in those groups' first year of eligibility. Rock Hall rules state that artists become eligible a quarter century after their first records were released, but the Hall also claims that other "criteria include the influence and significance of the artists' contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock 'n' roll," which is, of course, open to interpretation. Eligible for induction since 1999, KISS didn't get its first nomination until 2009, and was finally inducted in 2014. DEEP PURPLE was eligible for the Rock Hall since 1993 but didn't get inducted until 2016.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 5:41 pm
QUEENSRŸCHE kicked off the 2020 leg of its "The Verdict" headline tour last Friday night (January 17) at Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Video footage of the concert can be seen below (courtesy of Sonic Perspectives). The band's setlist was as follows: 01. Prophecy 02. Operation: Mindcrime 03. Walk In The Shadows 04. Bent 05. Breaking The Silence 06. I Don't Believe In Love 07. Dark Reverie 08. Take Hold Of The Flame 09. Blood Of The Levant 10. Light-Years 11. No Sanctuary 12. Jet City Woman 13. Screaming In Digital 14. Silent Lucidity 15. Queen Of The Reich Encore: 16. Resistance 17. Empire 18. Eyes Of A Stranger QUEENSRŸCHE's current tour will end on February 27 with a show in Orlando, Florida. After playing a couple of dates in May, the group will support the SCORPIONS on the German hard rock legends' Las Vegas residency in July. QUEENSRŸCHE's latest album, "The Verdict", was released in March 2019 via Century Media Records. The disc was produced, mixed, and mastered by Chris "Zeuss" Harris (ROB ZOMBIE, ICED EARTH, HATEBREED) at Uberbeatz in Lynwood, Washington; Planet-Z in Wilbraham, Massachusetts; and Watershed Studio in Seattle, Washington. The current QUEENSRŸCHE lineup features two original members, bassist Eddie Jackson and guitarist Michael Wilton, along with singer Todd La Torre and guitarist Parker Lundgren. "The Verdict" marks QUEENSRŸCHE's third full-length release with La Torre, following the departure of original singer Geoff Tate in 2012. For the past three years, drummer Scott Rockenfield has been taking time off from QUEENSRŸCHE's touring activities to spend time with his young son, who was born in early 2017. Filling in for him is former KAMELOT drummer Casey Grillo. La Torre, who has played drums since the age of 13, laid down the drum tracks on "The Verdict".
Posted: January 22, 2020, 4:54 pm
LAST IN LINE has entered Steakhous studio in North Hollywood, California to begin recording its third album. The follow-up to last year's "II" is tentatively due before the end of the year via an as-yet-undisclosed record label. Speaking to Heavy New York at last weekend's NAMM show in Anaheim, California, frontman Andrew Freeman stated about the LAST IN LINE songwriting process: "It's very organic now. We're not really trying to be anything but who we are. That being said, I do stay in the parameters of what I think our audience is. But I don't think we really know what our audience is. 'Cause we have the [BLACK] SABBATH connection, we have the RAINBOW connection, [and] we have the [DEF] LEPPARD connection. And a lot of our audience comes from the LEPPARD audience, and the DIO audience as well, but there's a whole new audience that's coming. "I'm trying to keep it where I'm not writing about chicks and cars, like a typical '80s record would be," he explained. "I try to keep it thought-provoking. It's not very fantasy-oriented, lyric-wise. It's more what's going on today — more of a street perspective, like a real-person perspective; not rainbows and unicorns and dragons." Formed in 2012 by drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Jimmy Bain and guitarist Vivian CampbellRonnie James Dio's co-conspirators and co-writers on the "Holy Diver", "Last In Line" and "Sacred Heart" albums — LAST IN LINE's initial intent was to celebrate Ronnie James Dio's early work by reuniting the members of the original DIO lineup. After playing shows that featured a setlist composed exclusively of material from the first three DIO albums, the band decided to move forward and create new music in a similar vein. LAST IN LINE's debut album, "Heavy Crown", was released in February 2016, landing at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. Initially, the release had been preceded by tragedy when Bain unexpectedly passed away at the age of 68 on January 23, 2016. LAST IN LINE, honoring what they knew would be Bain's wish to keep the band moving, brought in Phil Soussan and committed to sustained touring in support of the album before beginning work on the follow-up release, the aforementioned "II". Campbell revealed in a recent interview with the "Pat's Soundbytes Unplugged" podcast that LAST IN LINE is seeking a new record label home after issuing two albums through Italy's Frontiers Music Srl.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 4:17 pm
Sharon Osbourne revealed on today's episode of her CBS talk show "The Talk" that she and her husband, legendary heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne, will present an award at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, set to take place this Sunday, January 26. Sharon will also co-host the official "Grammy Red Carpet Live" special with "Entertainment Tonight" hosts Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on CBS and CBS All Access. The award ceremony will air live from Staples Center, broadcast live in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. A live stream of the show will also be available to CBS All Access subscribers. Grammy.com will host a premiere ceremony ahead of the show, starting at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT featuring host Imogen Heap along with presenters Esperanza Spalding and Jimmy Jam delivering the first round of Grammy trophies. AEROSMITH will perform at this year's Grammy Awards ceremony, which will once again be hosted by R&B singer Alicia Keys. The 62nd Grammy Award nominations were announced for all 84 categories on November 20, 2019. As with other awards shows, the majority of the awards aren't actually televised.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 3:41 pm
LIMP BIZKIT, SLIPKNOT and ROB ZOMBIE will headline the 10th-anniversary edition of the Rock USA festival, set to take place July 16-18 at Ford Festival Park in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. More than 40 acts will perform at the event, which began in 2011 and is put on by the same company, Hypervibe, Inc., that produces Country USA. Also scheduled to appear at this year's Rock USA are PAPA ROACH, ICE CUBE, HALESTORM, CHEVELLE, THE PRETTY RECKLESS, ANTHRAX, HELLYEAH and STEEL PANTHER, among others. The billing is as follows: Thursday, July 16 LIMP BIZKIT HALESTORM CHEVELLE AVATAR FEVER 333 WAGE WAR WE CAME AS ROMANS STICK TO YOUR GUNS I SEE STARS BONES UK SAUL SMILE EMPTY SOUL BAD OMENS STITCHED UP HEART JOYOUS WOLF SEPTEMBER MOURNING Friday, July 17 ROB ZOMBIE ICE CUBE THE PRETTY RECKLESS HELLYEAH HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD THE GLORIOUS SONS KNOCKED LOOSE ATTILA ESCAPE THE FATE OTHERWISE CARNIFEX THROUGH FIRE BRKN LOVE ROYAL BLISS THE COLD STARES Saturday, July 18 SLIPKNOT PAPA ROACH ANTHRAX STEEL PANTHER OF MICE & MEN BAD WOLVES ALL THAT REMAINS MEMPHIS MAY FIRE EMMURE INSANE CLOWN POSSE CROBOT CHERRY BOMBS HE IS LEGEND ISLANDER TENSE MACHINE "I'm tired of hearing 'rock is dead,'" says Derek Liebhauser, president of Hypervibe, Inc. "We had nearly 20% growth in attendance last year, and that number continues to grow. Every year, there are more people, showing more energy and passion for rock music and rock festivals like this one, and it feels like such an honor to be a part of that." This is the third summer in a row Zombie has been booked as a headliner. The past two years, his set had to be called off due to thunderstorms. Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, January 29 at 4 p.m. CT at rockusaoshkosh.com.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 2:36 pm
STYX drummer Todd Sucherman will release a solo album called "Last Flight Home" in May or June. Sucherman, who took over drumming duties in STYX a year before the death of John Panozzo in 1996, announced the completion of his solo record in a video message earlier today (Wednesday, January 22). Regarding the musical direction of "Last Flight Home", Sucherman said: "I think most people would expect some sort of drum-centric record or some fusion record, but it's not. It's a vocal record — songs, melodies, stories; it's what I love the most about music. I've always been kind of terrified of the whole singing thing, so that's kind of how I felt that I might be in the right place here. I really wasn't sure that I could pull it off, but I wanted to try to attempt something that I didn't know that I could do with music that I'm extremely proud of." He continued: "I can already hear the Internet choruses of, 'Hey, Sucherman, what do you think, you're a big singing star now? Why don't you shut up and sit down and play the drums?' "I have no ambitions of being a big singing star, and there's plenty of drumming on this record — song-supportive drumming; my favorite kind of drumming," he explained. "So I hope you'll listen without prejudice when it comes out." Sucherman joined STYX as a full-time member after Panozzo died of cirrhosis. STYX's latest album, 2017's "The Mission", was met with praise from fans. Its arrival ended a 14-year run without an LP of new original material from the veteran band.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 2:13 pm
During the making of NIGHTWISH's ninth studio album, "Human. :II: Nature.", the Finland-based symphonic metallers became the first band ever to be given permission to hold a shoot at the Natural History Museum in London, England. NIGHTWISH said: "We had 4 hours all to ourselves in this majestic building. A rare privilege!" The Natural History Museum in London is a natural history museum that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. It is one of three major museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the others being the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. "Human. :II: Nature." will be released on April 10 via Nuclear Blast. The long-awaited follow-up to 2015's "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" will be a double album containing nine tracks on the main CD and one long track, divided into eight chapters on CD 2. "Human. :II: Nature." was recorded from August to October 2019 at Röskö campsite, Petrax Studios and Troykington castle, as well as Finnvox Studios, by Tero Kinnunen, Mikko Karmila and Troy Donockley. The mixing was done by Mikko Karmila at Finnvox, with Tuomas Holopainen and Tero Kinnunen. Mastering was done by Mika Jussila at Finnvox. NIGHTWISH frontwoman Floor Jansen recently told FaceCulture that she was "very, very happy" with how the new disc turned out. "Already with the first notes, I [was, like], 'Oh, yeah. There we go,'" she said. "It's as much NIGHTWISH thing you might expect from us as, 'Wow! What's this now? What's happening?'" She continued: "I can't really say too much about it, because there are a couple of things that are the same, a couple of things that are different. But all I can say is I'm very happy with it and I'm very excited about it. And I think people that already knew NIGHTWISH will really enjoy this." NIGHTWISH's new album will mark the band's second full-length effort with the Dutch singer, who has been touring with the group since 2012. NIGHTWISH's latest release was the "Decades: Live In Buenos Aires" set, which came out on December 6 as a Blu-ray digibook, 2CD digipak, Blu-ray+2CD earbook and 3LP via Nuclear Blast. The effort was recorded on September 30, 2018 at Estadio Malvinas in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the "Decades" tour in support of the band's compilation album of the same name.

During the making of our upcoming album “Human. :||: Nature.”, we became the first band ever to be given permission to hold a shoot in the majestic Cathedral that is the @NHM_London. We had 4 hours all to ourselves in this majestic building. A rare privilege!☺️ pic.twitter.com/z1T9xCaDNu

— Nightwish (@NightwishBand) January 22, 2020
Posted: January 22, 2020, 1:41 pm
IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain gave Rhythm magazine a detailed look at his signature Icarus drum kit on the British Drum Co. stand at this year's NAMM convention in Anaheim, California. Check out the video below. This past November, Nicko announced that he will, from now on, be playing the Manchester, U.K.-based drum brand British Drum Co. and carry the title "International Ambassador" with it. British Drum Co. has been around since 2015, launched by drum builder Keith Keough four years after he sold his own company, KD Drums, to Premier. Premier is the company McBrain endorsed for much of the '90s and 2000s. According to Drummerszone, Nicko now plays the British Drum Co. Legend Series. The sizes of all his drums remain the same and you will see them on stage during the 2020 leg of MAIDEN's "Legacy Of The Beast" tour. Nicko has his own IRON MAIDEN artwork on all the drums in his kit. Each drum features MAIDEN's mascot Eddie and has its own story relating to the stage set and to the history of the "Legacy" tour. It was less than four years ago that Nicko returned to Sonor The IRON MAIDEN drummer and Sonor announced the big news just before the NAMM Show 2016 opened. When IRON MAIDEN launched the "Legacy Of The Beast" concert tour in 2018, Sonor and McBrain unveiled the drum kit which was made especially for the tour. The artwork finish was based on the production design of the "Legacy Of The Beast" tour and fully custom-made and unique. Tapped to replace Clive Burr in 1982 after touring activities for "Number Of The Beast" concluded, McBrain brought a degree of finesse and technicality that was largely missing from IRON MAIDEN's early output. Whereas Burr was often lauded for his heavy-handed, punk-oriented style, McBrain was largely the opposite, playing with a degree of dexterity and flair that helped primary songwriter Steve Harris take MAIDEN down more adventurous paths. He is now the third longest-tenured member of MAIDEN, behind Harris and guitarist Dave Murray. McBrain spent his early drumming years playing for the likes of Pat Travers and French rockers TRUST, eventually falling onto the radar of Harris and MAIDEN during the group's initial European tour.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 1:32 pm
BUTCHER BABIES vocalist Carla Harvey, who took part in this year's "Dimebash" — an all-star jam tribute to "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, the late co-founder and guitarist of PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN — told The Orange County Register that a YouTube video of her band doing a PANTERA cover is what gave them their big break a decade ago. "I've been a huge PANTERA fan since I was a kid and they were the one metal band that really made me want to be a metal performer," she said. "[Dimebag] was a huge inspiration to me. The first time I saw PANTERA, I was struck by the fact that there were so many different kinds of people at the shows. It wasn't just traditional metalheads, it was punk kids and frat boys, and being a kid back then, I was, like, That's not cool.' But now that I'm older, I can see that they were probably one of the first metal bands to make it more mainstream and to make it okay to like metal. That was huge, and the fans still love PANTERA so much." BUTCHER BABIES spent the last few months working on its fourth album. The disc will be the follow-up to "Lilith", which was released in October 2017 via Century Media. Last July, longtime BUTCHER BABIES bassist Jason Klein announced his departure from the band. He played two final shows with BUTCHER BABIES — on August 1 at Gathering Of The Juggalos in Springville, Indiana and on August 3 at Pain In The Grass in Auburn, Washington — before exiting the group to focus on being a full-time father to his preteen daughter.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 12:43 pm
Troy Sanders from Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON played bass for iconic rockers THIN LIZZY during their summer 2019 run of European festival appearances to commemorate 50 years since the formation of the original band and 40 years since the release of the seminal "Black Rose" album. Sanders joined guitarist Scott Gorham, Darren Wharton on keyboards, Ricky Warwick on lead vocals, Damon Johnson on guitar and JUDAS PRIEST's Scott Travis on drums for several shows in late July and early August, including an August 10 slot at Alcatraz Hard Rock & Metal Festival in Kortrijk, Belgium. Asked by U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine how "cool" it was getting asked to play bass with THIN LIZZY, Sanders said: "I was in Hamburg, Germany in February, having just finished a show, when my guitarist got a message from Damon Johnson, asking if he could have my number because Scott Gorham was firing up the band for a few shows over the summer, and they wanted me to play bass. I had to sit down for a second and ask if it was real. I've known Damon for a long time, but I never take anything like that for granted. MASTODON will be 20 years old [in 2020], but every time we get together to rehearse, I still feel that fire in my belly as a band. That's special. But to be actually asked to play for THIN LIZZY is a different kind of special. It's humbling on a personal level, too, because I know there are hundreds of excellent bass players out there they could've asked. How and why my name got called first, I don't know. They're one of the greatest rock bands ever, so it really warmed my heart to get that call." Sanders went on to say that his performance with THIN LIZZY at the Steelhouse Festival was the "best" show he played in 2019. "That first night with THIN LIZZY, on a mountaintop in Wales, was hard to beat," he said. "It was this beautiful setting, this special occasion with maybe 5,000 people watching, and I got to go out, have a good time and smile while watching thousands of people smiling back. The intangible circle of musical magic that's created from a band into a crowd and back felt like it culminated on that mountaintop. I was grinning ear to ear. It was like a dream." THIN LIZZY peaked in 1976 with its "Jailbreak" album, which went gold in the U.S. The band's frontman Phil Lynott died on January 4, 1986, at the age of 36. Gorham launched a new touring version of THIN LIZZY in 1994 with latter-day LIZZY guitarist John Sykes. Several personnel changes followed until Scott finally brought singer Ricky Warwick (frontman for the Scottish band THE ALMIGHTY) and guitarist Damon Johnson (formerly with Alice Cooper) into the fold.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 11:56 am
Former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens has slammed the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame after the band's latest snub. The British heavy metal legends were on the ballot for Rock Hall induction this year, but failed to receive enough votes to make the class of 2020. Having been eligible for induction since 1999, PRIEST was previously on the ballot for the 2018 class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but was ultimately left out of the inductee list. Current members Rob Halford, Ian Hill, Glenn Tipton and Scott Travis would have been inducted along with K.K. Downing, Les Binks and late drummer Dave Holland. Speaking to Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station, Owens stated about PRIEST's absence from the Rock Hall: "Here's the one thing about JUDAS PRIEST. Somebody said one time, 'Well, they're trying to look for bands and musicians that are influential.' Well, how can you be any more influential to music than JUDAS PRIEST? Dual guitars. Pretty much coined the phrase 'heavy metal.' The leather and studs and what they wore… It is horrible JUDAS PRIEST isn't in and gets snubbed again, but, on the other hand, I won't be going in with JUDAS PRIEST either, so it looks like I was kind of snubbed as well. I [was] in the band about 10 years, and I won't be going in." Asked if he would still go to the Rock Hall ceremony if PRIEST was being inducted, Owens said: "Listen, I'm still friends with everybody. I would certainly hope I would be invited to go if they went into the Hall Of Fame. I can't imagine they wouldn't, but some of the decision making that happens wouldn't shock me. Obviously, they've kind of erased my history anyways. It doesn't change what I think. I'm totally friends with them. Amazing people, all of them — Rob included. It's kind of like my college — JUDAS PRIEST was. But I would think I would be invited. I mean, it's shocking that you can be [in a band] about 10 years and two studio records, up to that point, and not go." Owens also made negative comments about the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inducting rap and pop artists, saying that hip-hop acts do not belong in the institution. "The problem is it should not be called the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame then, because they're not putting rock and roll artists in; they're putting musicians in," Tim said. "And some of them, in my opinion, aren't even really musicians. Just because you can rhyme a couple of words and mumble through something doesn't make you a musician. "It does open the gates up for JUDAS PRIEST making the Rap Hall Of Fame," Owens joked. "So that's probably a good thing nowadays. And I'm actually hoping I can get into the Football Hall Of Fame — the NFL Football Hall Of Fame — which I don't play and never really have, but I do watch it, so I should probably be able to get in. That's kind of how they look at it. "It's just named the wrong thing, isn't it?" Tim added. "That's the only thing. They should just change the name to the Music Hall Of Fame. … Rock and roll is a branding of rock and roll. Obviously, some country artists can go in, because they have some [rock] influences. Johnny Cash, I can see going in there, because old Johnny Cash was rockabilly, and he had some of that influence. And nowadays country will definitely get in, because they're more rock and roll than country." Even though artists are eligible for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 25 years after the release of their first album or single, iconic hard rock and metal bands like PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN and MOTÖRHEAD have yet to be recognized by the institution, which inducted GUNS N' ROSES in that group's first year of eligibility. Rock Hall rules state that artists become eligible a quarter century after their first records were released, but the Hall also claims that other "criteria include the influence and significance of the artists' contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock 'n' roll," which is, of course, open to interpretation. Eligible for induction since 1999, KISS didn't get its first nomination until 2009, and was finally inducted in 2014. DEEP PURPLE was eligible for the Rock Hall since 1993 but didn't get inducted until 2016.
Posted: January 22, 2020, 11:35 am
ALTER BRIDGE has released the official lyric video for the song "Godspeed". The track — described as an uplifting musical memorial for anyone who has lost someone — is taken from the band's latest album, "Walk The Sky", which was released in October via Napalm Records. According to a press release, the 14-track follow-up to 2016's "The Last Hero" is a "complete career retrospective drawing upon elements from each of the band's previous releases to create something new." ALTER BRIDGE is getting ready to launch the first 2020 leg of its "Walk The Sky" tour. The band will play a kick-off show in Lake Charles, Louisiana at the Golden Nugget Casino on January 31 before jumping onboard ShipRocked as co-headliner alongside HALESTORM. Back on land, the band will make stops in Nashville, Tennesee; Indianapolis, Indiana; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Los Angeles, California, among others, before wrapping up on February 27 in Spokane, Washington. This leg will be just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a robust year of tour around the globe for ALTER BRIDGE. with more shows to be announced in the future. Guitarist Mark Tremonti told Kerrang! magazine about "Walk The Sky": "It's kinda like a [revered horror maestro] John Carpenter movie — this old-school synth-wave kind of vibe. Somebody might hear the record and have no idea that was intended, but for a batch of songs, I tapped into some old loops that I either created or found randomly online, and worked with them in the background to inspire me to go in a different direction. I loved working like that. We challenge ourselves to not repeat ourselves and find new inspiration to add a different layer to what we do. It's particularly challenging when you've had so many records, but when I showed Myles [Kennedy, vocals/guitar] what I was thinking, he absolutely loved it and was on board right away." As for how "Walk The Sky" compares to the rest of ALTER BRIDGE's discography, Mark said: "It's hard to completely get away from who we are — the same four guys in the band — but everyone who's heard the record says it has its own personality and doesn't sound like any particular ALTER BRIDGE record. But that being said, it's familiar ALTER BRIDGE territory, and Myles has said it's kind of the answer to 'AB III'. That was a very brooding and dark lyrical record, whereas this one is the yang to the yin of that. 'AB III' was kind of about a loss of faith and not believing. Myles was having a dark moment in that time and he wrote the majority of the lyrics. This is more of an enlightening, Zen kind of record. It's not a preachy record by any means; it's more of a free-spirited kind of thing." Photo credit: Dan Sturgess
Posted: January 22, 2020, 10:56 am
GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash was asked in a new interview with Guitar.com for an update on new music from the band. He responded: "There's been no definitive answer on anything and I'll just keep keep to that. Stuff is happening, but there are no specifics. More than anything, it's because of the nature of the industry right now. It's just like, how do you want to do this? I mean there's material and there's recording and there's shit going on, but we're not really sure what we're doing with it right now." When the interviewer pointed out to Slash that the music industry in 2020 is a lot different to the last time he and GUNS made a record, the guitarist said: "Yeah. And there's a handful people who said, 'Yeah, make a record and go old school.' And there's a handful of people that are, like, 'We don't even know what buying a record is any more.'" Ever since guitarist Slash, singer Axl Rose and bassist Duff McKagan reunited in 2016 as GUNS N' ROSES, rumors have been circulating that new music from the band — the first to feature the three "classic-lineup" members since 1993 — was in the works. Last September, Slash told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation" that writing new material for GUNS N' ROSES was the "focus" for the coming months. Slash also talked about whether GUNS N' ROSES fans can expect to see new music from the band in the form of standalone singles or as a full-length record. He explained: "I think at the end of the day, everybody wants to have a full album released. I don't think that's really changed all that much. But there's a different way of putting stuff out initially nowadays more so than… I mean, there's always been the single, but now you sort of look at that preliminary release a little bit differently now. All things considered, it's like the Wild West out there; there is no formula for any of it. [Laughs] I haven't seen any routine kind of thing that works. I mean, you can do any one of a million different things to releasing a record. But at the end of the day, I think that we will ultimately release a full album." GUNS N' ROSES' "Not In This Lifetime" tour, which began almost four years ago, recently became the No. 3 highest-grossing tour in the history of Billboard Boxscore. Launched in April 2016, "Not in This Lifetime" features Slash, McKagan and Rose backed by Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer, keyboardist Dizzy Reed and second keyboardist Melissa Reese. GUNS N' ROSES will perform at the second Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest, set to take place January 30 through February 1 at American Airlines Arena in Miami. GUNS N' ROSES will headline on January 31. Photo credit: Katarina Benzova
Posted: January 22, 2020, 10:42 am

 

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