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SPINAL TAP will reunite for a 35th anniversary screening of the film "This Is Spinal Tap" at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. The band — Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer — will also perform following the screening. They will be joined by "This is Spinal Tap" director, co-writer and star Rob Reiner for a conversation to follow. Released in 1984, the mockumentary follows the fictional heavy metal rock band SPINAL TAP on tour. "'Spinal Tap' proves there is definitely a fine line between stupid and clever," said Reiner. "This Is Spinal Tap" was released to little fanfare in 1984 with some viewers convinced the bumbling dinosaurs — who had a knack of losing drummers in freak accidents — on screen were a genuine band. But word of mouth about the smartly observed film, which took a pop at bands such as STATUS QUO, LED ZEPPELIN and BLACK SABBATH, spread and it became a sleeper hit. According to the Belfast Telegraph, McKean, Guest and Shearer prepared several scenes with Reiner but then ad-libbed. At the end of filming, they had more than 40 hours of footage, which was edited down to a more manageable form. When "This Is Spinal Tap" was released, not everybody got that it was a "mockumentary." U2's The Edge immediately embraced it, saying: "I didn't laugh, I wept. It was so close to the truth." Ozzy Osbourne didn't understand it, saying the first time he watched it, he thought it was a real documentary. Early home video versions of the movie reportedly even had a disclaimer at the start and finish of the movie stating the band didn't really exist.
Posted: November 21, 2018, 3:12 am
Lotsofmuzik recently conducted an interview with DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Lotsofmuzik: For [DREAM THEATER's upcoming] album ["Distance Over Time"], you guys decided to convene in an isolated property and work together in the album. When I heard about that, I couldn't help but think about the old LED ZEPPELIN albums when they'd go together to Headley Grange and write and record the whole thing. Did anyone make that connection at the time? LaBrie: "I think first and foremost, John Petrucci [guitar], John Myung [bass] and I recalled the last time we did that as a band, when we were recording the 'Images And Words' album. We were at BearTracks Studios in upstate New York, and we actually all lived in this house. It was about 10 minutes from the studio in Tomkins Cove. That was the name of this town that we were in, and we were all living together in the house throughout the duration of the recording. So we were all talking and kind of reminiscing about those times, and so it was kind of cool to come back to this. It was like a summer camp, but at the same time, what you're doing is you're there to produce a new album, new material. And it was cool, because I think what it allowed us to do is that it enabled us to come up with ideas together and slowly but surely we formed them into complete songs. Sometimes we'd just be chilling out, sitting around one another, and more often than not the conversation obviously comes back around to the music and where things are at and how we feel and the direction that it's going and maybe even focusing on that particular song at the moment that is being worked on. So it's kind of cool because it, it doesn't allow you many distractions, right? You're not getting away from it, but you're in that zone and you're there. Pretty much 24/7." Lotsofmuzik: We have a couple of tracks whose names were already revealed: "Fall Into The Light", "Paralyzed", "At Wit's End" and "Barstool Warrior". How have you contributed to those ones? And did you have any involvement in the music this time or just the lyrics? LaBrie: "Only the lyrics. I was there the whole time though, observing the music and if anything felt a little weird to me, then I'd voice my opinion. But the amount of times that I would say that is not even worth mentioning. When it came time to write the melodies to the songs I got involved, I wrote lyrics to three songs. And we had this discussion about me being involved and being a part of the process so that I could listen and kind of gauge where we're going and where we're at and what the end result is going to be. And so for me it's kind of cool because part of the whole process with any band that when they're writing is that you'll leave all your egos at the door and you're just basically candid with one another. What was surprising with this was just how quickly it was going on. I don't know if you were speaking to any of the other guys, but I believe you did an interview with Jordan [Rudess, keyboards] and he might've mentioned to you that at the end of the day, the actual days of writing worked out to be something like 17 days! That's how prolific, how fast things were coming together. Like I said, I wrote the lyrics to three songs, one of the songs being the bonus track on the album. I think everything came out exactly as we had hoped and as we had been discussing leading up to the actual time in the studio to actually start writing." Lotsofmuzik: And it seems that you took the same approach as the self-titled album to a certain extent, in the sense that the songs are a bit more direct, right? Not necessarily shorter but more direct, more straight to the point. LaBrie: "Yeah, absolutely. Our last album was very conceptually based and very theatrical as well. So it was about getting back and about encompassing or encapsulating all of our roots, where we came from and our influences originally and what does that say to each and every guy in the band. And also chasing something that's a little more organic, and then ultimately creating something where we can say that each song is always going to be who and what we are. It always has to be identified as DREAM THEATER. But we felt that we were creating something a little more than what was previously done. I think when everyone hears the songs they're going to be going, 'Wow!' I think each track is very, very exciting and very, very unique." Read the entire interview at Lotsofmuzik. "Distance Over Time" will be released on February 22, 2019. The artwork was created by long-time cover collaborator Hugh Syme (RUSH, IRON MAIDEN, STONE SOUR). The disc was produced by Petrucci, mixed by Ben Grosse and mastered by Tom Baker. "Distance Over Time" will mark DREAM THEATER's first album for Sony Music's progressive imprint InsideOut Music. The group spent the past 25 years recording under various labels in the Warner Music Group system, most recently Roadrunner Records, which released five albums by the band between 2007 and 2016. The "Distance Over Time" tour of North America kicks off on March 20, 2019 in San Diego, California. The tour will run for seven weeks before wrapping up in Mexico City on May 4, 2019. Information on tickets for all upcoming shows as well as VIP packages can be found at DreamTheater.net.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 8:20 pm
In the spring of 2016, guitar heroes Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY), Nuno Bettencourt (EXTREME) and Tosin Abasi (ANIMALS AS LEADERS) teamed up for a North American tour called "Generation Axe", in which the five musicians shared a backing band and performed together in addition to playing individual sets. A year after their successful inaugural tour, the five guitarists reconvened for an 11-city tour of Asia that included a stop in Beijing, China. Select performances from that April 2017 concert appear on the new live recording, "Generation Axe - The Guitars That Destroyed The World: Live In China". The album is currently available for pre-order on CD and vinyl via Pledge Music. The track listing is as follows: 01. Generation Axe - Foreplay (BOSTON cover) 02. Tosin Abasi - Tempting Time (ANIMALS AS LEADERS cover) 03. Tosin Abasi/Nuno Bettencourt - Physical Education (ANIMALS AS LEADERS cover) 04. Nuno Bettencourt - A Side Of Mash (medley of EXTREME solos) 05. Nuno Bettencourt/Zakk Wylde - Sideways (CITIZEN COPE cover) 06. Zakk Wylde - Whipping Post (THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND cover) 07. Steve Vai - Bad Horsie 08. Yngwie Malmsteen - [to be announced] 09. Yngwie Malmsteen/Steve Vai - Black Star 10. Vai/Wylde/Bettencourt/Abasi - Frankenstein (Edgar Winter cover) 11. Generation Axe - Highway Star (DEEP PURPLE cover) The album's cover artwork can be seen below. According to a press release, the "Generation Axe" experience goes way beyond simply gathering five guitar greats on one stage. Much of the time when multiple rock guitarists join in jamming, the results are conventional and often even a mess. But the arrangements of some of the classic tracks performed by these five players makes for a magnificent cacophony of organized chaos unlike anything ever presented before. Vai says the idea behind "Generation Axe" was "to create a seamless show with one backing band and five completely accomplished and astonishing guitarists that take to the stage in various configurations, performing some of their solo music and merging together as cohesive co-creators of lushly orchestrated guitar extravaganzas." In a video posted on the album's Pledge Music pre-order page, Vai describes "Generation Axe" as "pure controlled chaos." "My favorite thing about 'Generation Axe' is the tour bus," he says. "Between the hours of 1 a.m. and 7 a.m., when we're all hanging out in the lounge just rapping. I wake up in the morning [and] my jaw hurts from laughing so much. These guys, they're out of their minds." "Generation Axe" is currently in the midst of its second North American tour, which wraps up in Los Angeles on December 18.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 7:46 pm
Joe Perry has canceled his previously announced fall headlining shows as he continues to take some time off following his recent hospital visit. The AEROSMITH guitarist will now take the rest of the year off and looks forward to seeing his fans again in 2019. Refunds are available at point of purchase. Perry's solo dates were set to begin November 30 and run through December 16. Only minutes after guesting with Billy Joel on stage on November 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Perry experienced shortness of breath and was treated by paramedics. The legendary rocker, who's now 68, was taken out of the Garden on a stretcher after paramedics worked on him in his dressing room, reportedly inserting a tracheal tube down his throat at one point. According to TMZ, doctors ran a series of tests and determined that Perry was suffering from a combination of allergies and fatigue. Joe, who has reportedly had breathing issues his whole life, tweeted last week that he was "doing well" and thanked fans "for all the love and support." As most fans will remember, back in July 2016, Perry collapsed during a HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES gig at Brooklyn, New York's Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk. Alice Cooper, who fronts the all-star covers band, recalled to CBS News at the time that he was unaware that Perry was perhaps not geared up for such a rigorous schedule. "I didn't realize AEROSMITH only did two shows a week. Honestly, I just figured everybody was like me. I do five shows a week, and very physical shows. We were on our eighth show in 10 days. It was pretty brutal. I think [Joe] was dehydrated and basically exhausted. I talked to him before the show and he said, 'I don't think I've eaten anything in three days.' I went, 'Well, that's not smart.'" Cooper went on to squash the rumors that Perry had collapsed due to a coronary, explaining: "It wasn't his heart, though, and it wasn't anything vital, because four or five days later, he was on stage with us and I'd never seen him look so good." Perry has played several shows this year in support of his most recent solo album, "Sweetzerland Manifesto". Photo credit: Zack Whitford
Posted: November 20, 2018, 7:27 pm
Philip Anselmo spoke to the Rock 100.5 The KATT radio station about his decision to play a number of PANTERA songs during the current North American tour with his solo band, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS. "That's really a tribute to Vince [PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott] passing and Dime [PANTERA guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott] always, and just my time with PANTERA, man," he said (hear audio below). "If there's ever a true blessing in this world, for me, it is PANTERA — incredible band, incredible time, incredible people," he continued. "And the love I see from people, the sheer joy that I see pouring out of people when we play those songs, it makes me… I don't wanna say 'choke up,' really, but it takes me aback. And sometimes I have to sit for a second and just accept that it is that way. It's emotional for people; it's big… It's blinding sometimes. It's crazy." Up until his death this past June, Vinnie remained on non-speaking terms with Anselmo, whom the drummer indirectly blamed for the death of Dimebag, who was his brother. Vinnie Paul and Dimebag co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTERA were stealing his thoughts. Anselmo is still finding it difficult to accept that his former bandmates are gone. "There's always gonna be that… especially when it comes to Dimebag, I'll never understand that; I can't wrap my head around that," he told Rock 100.5 The KATT. "So there's always some anger and plenty of sadness right there. But to play these songs again and just to see the love out of people is just overwhelming, man. It's awesome." Vinnie Paul died of dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease. His death was the result of chronic weakening of the heart muscle — basically meaning his heart couldn't pump blood as well as a healthy heart. Vinnie was buried on June 30 next to his brother and their mother, Carolyn, at Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Texas.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 7:08 pm
Ian Gillan spoke to SiriusXM about "Born Again", his first and only studio collaboration with BLACK SABBATH, which was recorded at Richard Branson's Manor Studios in Oxfordshire and then released in August 1983. One of SABBATH's most poorly reviewed efforts, "Born Again" began with a bender at the Bear Inn, one of the oldest pubs in Oxford, England. "How it started is was just 'cause we got drunk together one night," the DEEP PURPLE frontman said. "I went for a drink with Tony [Iommi] and Geezer [Butler], and we ended up under the table. And I can't remember much more that happened. But I got a call from my manager the next day saying, 'Don't you think you should call me if you're gonna make decisions like this?' I said, 'What are you talking about?' He said, 'Well, apparently you… I just got a call. You agreed to join SABBATH.' So that's how it happened. I was at a kind of loose end anyway, having just finished with my own band and PURPLE not really being anything viable at the time. So we set a one-year plan, and it was to do an album and a tour. Nobody knew what was gonna happen, so we pitched up and I pitched my tent, literally, at the old manor in Oxfordshire. And we made an album. I didn't see much of 'em. They were night people, so they slept all day and worked all night. I got up in the morning, cooked my breakfast, went to the studio to hear what they had recorded the night before and write a song over it. And that's how the album was made." Gillan went on to describe the making of "Born Again" as "a challenge for me. It was a bit like doing [Andrew Lloyd Webber's rock opera] 'Jesus Christ Superstar' or singing with [opera singer Luciano] Pavarotti; it's just something completely different," he explained. "But Tony is such a great writer. You know what to expect with Tony. There's no multidirectional approach. He is the father of everything that came out of Seattle, I believe. He's just very direct, and that's how he evolved from the early days. "I found it very easy to sing and write songs with [Tony]," Ian continued. "And we had a couple of good ones. There was always a narrative. My favorite song from that album is 'Trashed', which was a true story about a racetrack and too much drink and spinning a car and crashing it and going upside down. It was exciting times." The second track on "Born Again" was a brief instrumental called "Stonehenge", and on SABBATH's 1983 tour, the band hilariously had to shelve a Stonehenge stage concept because the scenery was much too big to use. "We had a production company called Light And Sound Design; they were in Birmingham, where the band was based," Gillan recalled. "And after rehearsal one day, we had a kind of meeting to go the office, and as we were walking through these corridors, one of the guys said, 'By the way, anyone got any idea of a concept for a stage set or anything?' And Geezer Butler said, 'Yeah. Stonehenge.' And the guy said, 'Wow! That's great.' He said, 'How do you visualize it?' And Geezer said, 'Well, lifesize, of course.' We didn't quite go lifesize, but it was about two-thirds. And we could never get it all up on a stage. We played some huge arenas, and places, stadiums, and you couldn't get it [up there]. So there are parts of it, there are monoliths that are all lying around in docklands somewhere and are spotted around the world, as far as I know." In addition to being the only BLACK SABBATH album to feature Gillan, "Born Again" was also the last of the band's studio albums to feature drummer Bill Ward. A longtime treasure among hardcore SABBATH fans, "Born Again" was re-released in the spring of 2011 as a special two-CD set featuring a 1983 live performance from the Reading Festival. At the time of its initial release, "Born Again" was a commercial success. It was the highest-charting BLACK SABBATH album in the United Kingdom since "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" and became an American Top 40 hit. Despite this, it became the first BLACK SABBATH album to not have any RIAA certification (gold or platinum) in the U.S.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 6:38 pm
Tobias Forge has confirmed to Revolver magazine that a new release from GHOST is possible for 2019. "There might be something coming next year," he said. "As an active person, I've spent some time in the studio, but we'll see. We're still sort of planning the year out. But as of right now, there's no plan for another covers EP. I think that would be a little predictable. I'm all for recording covers in the future, but we're definitely not going to do one that comes out in 2019. And even though we made a live record last year, the one thing I am very keen on is making a film, for lack of another phrase. I really want to make a capture of our live show. Since the live record, which I think is very good, we sound way better now. We're a better band, and now with everything being performed organically, it's a different being. It sounds way bigger and maybe lends itself to a film better. So we'll see." In December 2017, GHOST surprise-released the digital edition of a live album called "Ceremony And Devotion", just hours after posting a video teaser for the set online. FOO FIGHTERS frontman Dave Grohl produced GHOST's 2013 covers EP "If You Have Ghost", which included cover versions of songs by ROKY ERICKSON, ABBA, ARMY OF LOVERS and DEPECHE MODE. GHOST released the "Popestar" EP back in 2016, which, along with the song "Square Hammer", featured covers of the EURYTHMICS, ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN, SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO and IMPERIET. GHOST is on tour promoting its latest album, "Prequelle", which came out in June. The North American trek, known as "A Pale Tour Named Death", is visiting nearly 40 cities, including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto. Forge performed as a "new" Papa Emeritus on each of GHOST's first three albums, with each version of Papa replacing the one that came before it. Papa Emeritus III was retired in favor of Cardinal Copia before the release of "Prequelle".
Posted: November 20, 2018, 5:39 pm
TESTAMENT singer Chuck Billy says that he understands why certain rock and metal artists rely on off-stage backing musicians or use pre-recorded tracks during their live performances. In recent years, more and more bands have been given a pass for using backing tracks, drum triggers and other assorted technology that makes concerts more synthetic but also more consistent. Asked by "The Cassius Morris Show" if he feels that an over-reliance on backing tracks and extra musicians can fatally hamper the immediacy and spontaneity of a concert, Billy said (hear audio below): "Well, I guess to each his own, but we were out with HEAVEN & HELL, for example, and the keyboard player and background singer, he wasn't on the stage — he was behind the backline. Sometimes [he was] even set up outside, off the stage. [Laughs] But, you know, it's an important part to the show; he adds that element. And maybe they're just not known for the keyboard to be on stage. So each band has their own approach, I guess. And a lot more people experiment with more samples or the drummer taking control of a lot of stuff going on — you know, they keep the tempo and run all the effects and background vocals and rhythm guitars from the drummer's starting position. So a lot's changed now, for sure." He continued: "I guess it all depends for how each band is and what they feel. If they're represented as a four-piece and [they] don't want the keyboard player and the saxophone player in the photo and on stage, I can understand it. Or if it's all sampled, just so they don't have those members on stage, I understand that as well." Billy said in an interview with "Talking Metal" that TESTAMENT is hoping to enter the studio in January to record the follow-up to 2016's "Brotherhood Of The Snake" album. He also confirmed that TESTAMENT is planning to use British metal producer Andy Sneap (JUDAS PRIEST, ACCEPT, ARCH ENEMY, SAXON, MEGADETH) once again to mix the upcoming disc. "Brotherhood Of The Snake" was recorded under the watchful eyes of producer Juan Urteaga (EXODUS, HEATHEN, MACHINE HEAD), guitarist Eric Peterson and Billy and was mixed and mastered by Sneap. TESTAMENT's U.S. tour as the support act for SLAYER wrapped on August 26 in San Jose, California.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 3:58 pm
During a recent interview with Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show, Glenn Danzig offered an update on the status of his upcoming collection of Elvis Presley covers, appropriately titled "Danzig Sings Elvis". "I'm still looking to put [it] out in 2019, and maybe do a few intimate shows here and there for it," he said (hear audio below). "But I don't know. We'll see. If the record's not out, I'm not gonna do [the shows where I sing nothing but Elvis covers]. So it depends on my schedule and if I can get it together and get the cover and everything together and pick the songs. Because every time I have downtime, or if I was working on soundtrack stuff, I would just record another Elvis track or two, so what started out as an EP, I now have more than enough for a full album; I have extra songs that won't even make it on the record. So I'm really gonna have to sit down and pick the songs that I really want on the record. But it came out really good; I can't wait for everyone to hear it. A lot of people ask me about it all the time when I'm on the road. So it will be nice to get it out in some period in 2019 and do some of those little intimate shows I was talking about." Danzig previously covered Presley's "Trouble" on his eponymous band's "Thrall-Demonsweatlive" EP in 1993. He also recorded a version of "Let Yourself Go" for 2015's "Skeletons". "Elvis is actually kind of how I got into music," Glenn told Rolling Stone in 2015 interview. "When I was a kid, I was cutting school pretending I was sick and I would lie at home watching old movies, and 'Jailhouse Rock' came on with Elvis. I was, like, 'I want to do this. This is great.' And that's how I veered to music." Regarding how he came to cover "Let Yourself Go", Danzig said: "It's a song that a lot of people may or may not be familiar with, but he actually liked it so much he put it on the ''68 Comeback Special'. It's just a cool song I've always liked. I knew I could do something really cool with it. I didn't want to do the obvious Elvis song, you know? You don't have to highlight an Elvis song, everyone's heard them, this is just probably a lesser known song of his thousands of songs that everybody knows. I like his delivery, his voice. He's not just standing there, he's moving around. I like that. I don't like singers who just stand there. It's boring to me. I like singers who are really getting into it and showing you they're getting into it. I think he has all of that." DANZIG was formed in 1987 after Glenn's involvement with horror-punks the MISFITS and gothic hard rockers SAMHAIN. DANZIG's latest album, "Black Laden Crown", came out in May 2017 via Evilive Records/Nuclear Blast Entertainment.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 2:22 pm
Midwest death metal titans JUNGLE ROT have released the official music video for the song "A Burning Cinder". The track is taken from the band's self-titled album, which was released in July via Victory Records. JUNGLE ROT vocalist/guitarist Dave Matrise states: "I call this a 'Frankenstein' creation; it has all the elements needed for a good metal song — groove, thrash, speed and killer lyrics. It is one of my favorites in our catalog and I wanted to expand about the government trying to control, manipulate and force feed citizens into what we should believe in or not. It goes over really well live and we can't wait to continue playing it on the next tour." JUNGLE ROT recently announced the "Send Forth Oblivion Tour Part 1", its first European tour in five years. Matrise says: "I'm very excited to get back to Europe and play our style of old-school metal to all the headbangers around. We will also come back in the summer for the 'Send Forth Oblivion Tour Part 2' with more dates, mostly on the festival circuit. 2019 is going to be a hell of a year. Let's get crushing!" In January 2018, JUNGLE ROT entered Belle City Sound with engineer Chris Djuricic behind the board. Mixing and mastering was done by the legendary Dan Swanö (DARK FUNERAL, MARDUK). "Jungle Rot" blasts off with "Send Forth Oblivion", an audible equivalent to stainless steel medical devices in your eardrum. The album closes with a crushing cover of KREATOR's 1987 classic "Terrible Certainty". "I love this song and it's one I've always wanted to cover. I remember seeing them for the first time, saying to myself I want to start a band," Matrise confesses. As the hype surrounding JUNGLE ROT points that this is their most dynamic and diverse release to date, Matrise states the band has never measured their success by tailgating other acts. "We are JUNGLE ROT," he says. "This is JUNGLE ROT. Bands may want to call it a day, hang up their axes and go to bed, that is their call, but that is of no consequence to us or our plotted course. By the early 1990s, the death metal revolution was ready to overthrow the stagnant metal scene, and 20-plus years later, our job has not changed.” The cover art for "Jungle Rot" was again helmed by the masterful and brutal mind of artist Gyula Havancsak.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 1:45 pm
In a recent interview with Loudwire's "Gear Factor", EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt offered an update on the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band's follow-up to 2014's "Blood In Blood Out" album. "I've been writing new EXODUS material for, like, months now — for, like, close to a year now — and we've got a massive fucking catalog of riffs and songs," he said (see video below). "And [EXODUS drummer] Tom Hunting and I are just getting together when I'm home and we're just working on new stuff and taking our time. We're not in any hurry. We're gonna make sure it's a fucking earthshaking moment when the album's done." Although it was originally reported that the veteran San Francisco Bay Area thrashers would go into the studio in October 2017 to work on the new effort, the band will now not begin tracking the next disc until Holt is done playing with SLAYER as part of that band's "final" world tour. "Blood In Blood Out" was EXODUS's first album since the departure of the group's lead singer of nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of Steve "Zetro" Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004. Holt spoke in a 2017 interview about the musical direction of EXODUS's next disc. He said: "Of the stuff I've written so far, I think the songs are shorter, but I think they're also at the same time more progressive than the last album. It's a little outside the box. It's really super crushing, but I think people will be surprised." He added: "It's an EXODUS album, but as of now, the stuff Tom and I have been putting together is a bit different. It's got those subtle changes that make for a departure, but it will still stay true to the core of the band's sound."
Posted: November 20, 2018, 1:04 pm
IN THIS MOMENT singer Maria Brink has confirmed to New York's Q103 radio station that the band has begun the songwriting process for the follow-up to last year's "Ritual" album. "Some of my bandmembers are flying in here to Albany and they're gonna be writing with me for a few weeks here till the next HALESTORM tour starts," she said in an interview that was conducted in mid-October. "We are writing," she added. "It has begun. We're writing on the road as well. So it's all happening." According to Brink, IN THIS MOMENT is riding a wave of energy by continuing to play shows while finding ways to stay musically inspired. "We're so grateful and lucky that in our career… We're like the slow tortoise that could — we're really slow, but we have this slow, steady uphill [climb]," she said. "'Cause we're six albums in and we have the highest sales that we've ever had, we're getting the biggest offers we've ever had, we're climbing up to the top, we're headlining certain festivals. We can't believe it — we're the strongest we've ever been — so we don't wanna ruin our momentum and all of a sudden disappear for a really long time. We feel really empowered, we feel really creative and kind of excited. So we just wanna dive into it, we wanna start creating, we wanna start bringing all these things alive so that next summer we can be coming back out and just keeping this strength growing. And we love it and we live for it. So it kind of keeps us feeling alive." Earlier this year, IN THIS MOMENT guitarist Chris Howorth told Guitar Interactive magazine that the band will tentatively enter the studio in February 2019 to begin recording its next album. "Ritual" included an eerie cover of Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight", and Brink told KLAQ's Lisa Sanchez that there is a good chance the follow-up effort will see the band tackling yet another classic song. "I don't what we're gonna do yet, but I definitely wanna do [a cover]," Maria said. "I love doing covers. Labels always like 'em anyway, cause they use 'em for other things and stuff too. So I'm actually on the hunt right now [for] what to cover." "Ritual" was produced by IN THIS MOMENT's longtime collaborator — and multiple Grammy Award nominee — Kevin Churko (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, OZZY OSBOURNE).
Posted: November 20, 2018, 12:43 pm
From the char of black metal mania glorified by profiled pundits EMPEROR, DIMMU BORGIR, CRADLE OF FILTH and MAYHEM rose a mini-legion of one-man wannabes, dark forest wanderers and orchestral fugue art farts. Corpse paint, crusty leather, inverted crosses, middle fingers hoisted toward Catholicism, at this point, a great big Mega-Therion yawn. Yet the underground advent of black metal at the turn of a purportedly damned new millennium did spawn legitimate artistic merit in the form of WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, ENSLAVED, AGALLOCH, NACHTMYSTIUM, SIGH, CHTHONIC and, of course, Ihsahn's gloriously tormented solo project. Around that time, TESTAMENT's Eric Peterson, SADUS's Steve DiGiorgio (at the time residing in TESTAMENT with Peterson) and NEVERMORE's Steve Smyth decided to let their darker inhibitions run free, and DRAGONLORD was birthed. 2001's "Rapture" and 2005's "Black Wings of Destiny" were, at their points of release, aspirant recordings of black metal excellence. Somehow, they further dignified a subgenre that really didn't need or want such vast exposure. BATHORY, MERCYFUL FATE and CELTIC FROST were all that black metal could stomach surrendering to the metal world at large. It's been 13 years since the last DRAGONLORD album, and all that remains of a band suffering as many lineup changes as a proto-tech metal unit is Eric Peterson. In true black metal maverick style, he handles just about everything on DRAGONLORD's latest offering, "Dominion". Playing guitars, bass and fielding vocals, Peterson is supported by drummer Alex Bent (TRIVIUM), keyboardist Lyle Livingston (PSYPHERIA) and femme vocalist, Leah. What becomes one of the year's most curious releases, "Dominion" has its share of girth and creativity, but it is also filled with quizzical unevenness. Opening with a cliché thunderstorm soundbite and death tolls does nothing to raise expectations, and as Eric Peterson recreates some of EMPEROR's and SLAYER's best licks throughout "Entrance", a hokey series of synthesized chorales spill behind him. The faux vocals become an overblown, repetitive nuisance (sounding more at home in a Danny Elfman/Tim Burton collaboration) as "Dominion" grinds out a predictable mash of EMPEROR, DIMMU BORGIR and THERION. Positively, Eric Peterson's bass work is phenomenal, his guitar solo lovingly TESTAMENT-borne, his vocal squelching as much up to the task as his somber cleans. Lyle Livingston's keys are luxuriant as the progressions work toward power metal in the middle section. It's when "Ominous Premonition" rockets along a set of scrumptious rocking chords that this album becomes worth its salt. Stricken of the banal pseudo chorals, this song would be a mini masterpiece of thrash, death metal and fifties rock 'n' roll that you don't see coming. Peterson's bass flurries are equally striking. What you also don't see coming is the goth pop swell of "Lamia" afterwards, which rides an agreeable harmony before tumbling into an awkward transition of progressions, at least graced by Leah's magnetic sirens. When Peterson sings in clean mode, you'll swear at times it's Chuck Billy, particularly on "Serpents of Fire", while "Love of the Damned" is re-engaged from "Souls of Black"-era TESTAMENT. "The Discord of Melkor" is a Tolkien miss until the infernal blasting at the rear of the track; "Serpents of Fire" makes up for it with its searing intensity and brilliant stylistic conversions. You'll likely be begging for mercy from the clumsy choral dumps into the hammering grind of "Northlanders", particularly when Leah is more than enough to fill space behind Eric Peterson. Frankly, that stinks, since the track itself is well-written and swarmed by Alex Bent's clomping rhythms. The optimist's view to this album says Eric Peterson has shown off a mighty impressive repertoire that will blow away TESTAMENT fans previously unaware of DRAGONLORD's existence. The opposing view would say "Dominion" is a curtain closer in which Peterson has scrambled to cleanse his teeming creative mind before the next TESTAMENT writing sessions.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 11:52 am
TENACIOUS D has returned with its absurdist humor and tunes. The accolades bestowed upon the musical jokesters have been impressive and noteworthy. But while the platinum-selling, Grammy Award-winning, one-of-a-kind comedy metal and hard rock duo started off strong, the duo certainly fumbled the ball and stumbled into the sidelines. The considerable talent at hand lends itself to the notion that it can certainly turn the tide, but with "Post-Apocalypto", the losing streak continues. The two men were actors in a Los Angeles-based theater company before banding together in 1994. The pair went on to release a short HBO series in the late nineties before hitting pay dirt with its 2001 self-titled debut. "Tenacious D", the album, featured Kyle Gass's smooth acoustic guitar playing and Jack Black's intentionally melodramatic, sometimes operatic singing capabilities, clearly formidable in their own right, proving the two far more than comedians thinly veiled as a band. The project was a breath of fresh air in a post-nu metal and post-grunge era where the rock radio airwaves remained either angry or dreary. The band wasn't afraid to crack jokes and have fun with its crude 'n' comedic spin on rock. "Tenacious D" felt like light-hearted rock opera made by stoners that was palatable to a broad cross section of listeners with a coarse sense of humor. The group followed up ambitiously as it starred in its own film in 2006, "The Pick of Destiny", which was a box office disaster. The soundtrack the duo composed for it fared better in terms of sales, but it wasn't much better as far as its value as an item of creative expression, save for a couple of songs featuring veritable stars as guests: "Kickapoo" (Meat Loaf and Ronnie James Dio) and "Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)" (Dave Grohl, whose drumming graces "Post Apocalypto"). More recently, in 2012, the duo came back with the self-aware and self-deprecating album "Rize of the Fenix", which poked fun at the previous cinematic commercial flop. The substance was lukewarm compared to its red-hot debut, but at least it wasn't as cringeworthy as the recently self-released, six-part YouTube series "Post Apocalypto" and the accompanying soundtrack. Black himself crafted the YouTube series' intentionally juvenile and childlike animations, setting an appropriate visual to the goofy narrative. The 21 album tracks bounce between songs and interludes documenting the duo's struggles through an apocalyptic, post-nuclear world that finds them embarking upon space travel. TENACIOUS D has, for the first time, delved into the realm of politics, as the members' characters confront figures like Donald Trump Jr. The series's political purpose doesn't transfer over to the soundtrack component in any significant way, but the duo's mocking, parody take on a Klan marching tune serves to establish its perspective. The outlandish nature of the narrative makes things mildly interesting. The duo's dystopian adventure involves a bizarre cast of characters—including everything from robots and racists to a Trump and The Terminator—but whether it's the series or the soundtrack, the plot, the humor and the songs are all underdeveloped and/or poorly developed. Nothing sticks. At this point in time, it might be best for the duo and band to call it a day and focus on other musical endeavors and its members' acting careers. Sure, TENACIOUS D wrote the hilariously catchy "F**k Her Gently", but that was almost 20 years ago. The talented comedic band has now just become a joke. The problem is, no one is laughing.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 11:49 am
Aside from a three-year hiatus, KMFDM has been around for nearly 35 years. While the iconic industrial machine certainly has its devoted longtime fanbase, does any band really need, count them, four live albums? To be perfectly fair, it isn't that outrageous considering how prolific the group has been. The German group has released 20 full-length albums—including standouts like 1995's "Nihil", 2011's "WTF?!" and its most recent effort, 2017's "Hell Yeah"—that have spanned the gamut between danceable, club-friendly electronics to heavier, guitar-focused industrial ragers. Whatever the reason may be, and whether or not it was a contractual obligation, "Live In The USSA" is a thoroughly enjoyable live album. "Live In The USSA" draws heavily from the collective's latest studio effort: 2017's "Hell Yeah", one of its best albums in years. The performances were culled from the Atlanta date of KMFDM's American touring cycle for said album last year. The high quality of the live album is that much more impressive considering the challenges that the German band faced with the tour. The intended opening band, LORD OF THE LOST, was supposed to additionally stand in as KMFDM's live band. As fate would have it—aka administrative problems involving visas and paperwork—LORD OF THE LOST was unable to enter the United States. Stepping up to the plate at the eleventh hour was Andee Blacksugar who learned KMFDM's guitar parts in a few weeks. And apparently Blacksugar proved to be impressive enough to be drafted as a full-time member, joining founding member Sascha Konietzko, as well as drummer Andy Selway and vocalist Lucia Cifarelli. The 12 songs comprising "Live In The USSA" are split in half: six songs taken from "Hell Yeah", the other half dozen being old-school bangers. A roaring crowd opens things up, periodically remaining audible throughout the release, prior to the uplifting drive of "Freak Flag" kicking in. The similar upbeat spirit follows suit with the track "Hell Yeah", boosted with some heavy guitar work tastefully peppered in. Dangly, low-end electronics and rapping change things up on "Rebels In Control" (from "WTF?!" ). A more pronounced and blatant rap rock approach takes hold with "Virus", from 1990's "Naïve". Elsewhere, and more fit for fishnet clothing and goth club dancing, Cifarelli's passionate crooning leads the charge on the seductive track "Bumaye", from 2007's "Tohuvabohu". The song's chorus sections contrast the verses with the hefty guitars and duet vocals. KMFDM also lays down the heavy metal hammer to the face with "Glam Glitz Guts & Gore", not entirely unlike the MINISTRY-esque "WWIII", from 2003's release of the same name. Vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Konietzko and company crank the aggression knob all the way up for the closing cut: "Godlike", a classic from "Naïve". No matter how hard and heavy the Germans get with the tracks that will get the blood boiling, or if it's the group's more club-friendly, danceable music, it never ceases to be as catchy as the top-tier pop artist of the day. The devoted fanbase remains and grows because, while KMFDM has never betrayed its distinct industrial rock core, the band remains fresh by being open to evolution. As with most live albums, "Live In The USSA" isn't exactly mandatory listening. But it proves the act's worth in the live setting, and highlights the music's enduring relevance, as well as the quality of KMFDM's most recent studio work.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 11:45 am
Latvian heavy metal band SKYFORGER has released a brand new video for the song "Nothing Is Forgotten", from the band's 2015 album "Old Prussia", to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Latvia's declaration of independence. Kristīne Neikena, who directed the video, says that main idea is there to remind that when it comes to Latvian history, "nothing is forgotten," including the hardships and struggles of the Latvian people throughout the years. The video tells the story through the eyes of a young woman played by Maija Arvena, a rising Latvian film star. Her character's journey is an emotional and symbolic account of the pivotal moments in the history of a Latvian nation, its birth, hopes, rise, fall and, ultimately, rebirth and strength while national landmarks, nature and events feature in the background. SKYFORGER vocalist Peter Kvetkovskis adds: "As we celebrate the centenary of Latvia's independence today on 18th November, we want to dedicate this video as an epitaph of sorts to all those whose lives were broken by all the wars and conflicts that have befallen our land, and to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that future generations could live happily as a free and independent nation. The thing is, history tends to remember only the key figures, including the villains and monsters, while the lives of hundreds of thousands of 'ordinary' folks slowly disappear and vanish from the nation's memory… Well, our song is about exactly these people and in their memory!" SKYFORGER has been an enduring act of authenticity and folkish tradition for the past two decades. Their unique combination of ancient and modern music blends the traditional Baltic folk sounds with extreme sonorities such as the Norwegian black metal or the heavy metal from the '80s.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 11:28 am
"Listening For The Silence", the new video from San Diego, California-based rockers P.O.D. (PAYABLE ON DEATH), can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's latest album, "Circles", which was released on November 16 via Mascot Label Group. On "Circles", P.O.D. collaborated with the Los Angeles-based production duo called the Heavy (Jason Bell and Jordan Miller), who ensured the album is contemporary sounding without losing any of the band's core sonic signifiers. The rap-driven "Rockin' With The Best" has an old-school P.O.D. sound that nods to the BEASTIE BOYS, while "Always Southern California" is a reggae-inflected rocker and the groove-heavy "Soundboy Killa" is a hip-hop/metal hybrid. The dynamic title track even boasts moody electronic flourishes, glassy piano, and laid-back rapping verses. "On 'Circles', we didn't limit ourselves and say, 'Hey, we need to please the metal crowd, or the hardcore crowd, or the punk crowd,'" says frontman Sonny Sandoval. "We just wanted to play and write songs that we hope are relevant and catchy to a new audience, while, at the same time, still being true to ourselves." From a lyrical standpoint, P.O.D. kept a similar open mind, while turning to optimism for inspiration. The title track addresses trying to get out of an unhealthy cycle in which someone feels stuck, while "Dreaming" envisions seeking out a brighter future even if the present day is tough. Other songs grapple with how to navigate life's biggest challenges. "Home" emerged after Sandoval suddenly lost a close friend who was more like a brother to him. "Fly Away", meanwhile, acknowledges that all of us sometimes struggle, and need to rely on others for help. "We're looking for answers — and we're going to people to help us get through things — but at the same time, no one's perfect," Sandoval says. "Everybody's going through stuff, and we're all kind of on this same level and the same journey of experience and just trying to figure out our course of life." The idea of searching for a bright side has been a constant theme for P.O.D. over the years, both on newer songs such as "Lost In Forever" and "Beautiful" and on early hits "Alive", "Youth Of The Nation" and "Boom". Through it all, the members of P.O.D. — Sandoval, lead guitarist Marcos Curiel, bassist Traa Daniels and drummer Wuv Bernardo — have leaned on one another for support and creative inspiration. "We are touring and making music because it still means something to the people that are coming out to see us, and people that are still listening to our music," Sandoval says. "We're humbled, we're grateful, and we're thankful for people that still enjoy what we're doing." "Circles" track listing: 01. Rockin' With The Best 02. Always Southern California 03. Circles 04. Panic Attack 05. On The Radio 06. Fly Away 07. Listening For The Silence 08. Dreaming 09. Domino 10. Soundboy Killa 11. Home
Posted: November 20, 2018, 11:08 am
American hard rockers KILLCODE have released "Put It Off", the second in a trilogy of videos from their latest effort, "The Answer". Director David Swajeski started a creative relationship with KILLCODE when he heard the song "Breaking Away" and used it as a theme song in his film "Dressed". Since that time, David has collaborated with KILLCODE on several music videos and a documentary project to aid the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The trilogy collection marks a new cinematic and storytelling direction for the band. Says KILLCODE: "'Put it Off' is a song about reflection and looking back on the past. Realizing that life is short and to hold dear the things that you may not have realized were important and helped shape your existence. To remember the little things that we may have thought were fleeting moments but actually helped shape our lives." KILLCODE is a five-piece rock band that from New York. Their unique sound and style has been described as southern-infused rock/ metal with modern-day vocals. KILLCODE's songs are hooky, supercharged anthems with big guitars and driving rhythms that pumps a shot of adrenaline into your system the moment you hear them. KILLCODE consists of Tom Morrissey (lead vocals), Chas (guitar, vocals), D.C Gonzales (guitar), Erric Bonesmith (bass/vocals) and Rob Noxious (drums). "The Answer" track listing: 01. The Answer 03. Shot 02. Show Me 04. Bleed 05. Own It Now 06. Kickin' Screamin' 07. Pick Your Side 08. The Haunting 09. Slave 10. Put It Off
Posted: November 20, 2018, 11:01 am
Extreme metallers ARCH ENEMY will release a strictly limited, hand-numbered seven-inch single and a digital single for their song "Reason To Believe" on December 7 through Century Media Records. Both formats, physical and digital, feature the cover song "Shout" (TEARS FOR FEARS) as a B-side. The seven-inch single will be available in the following vinyl colors: * Black vinyl (limited to 300 copies) * Clear vinyl (limited to 100 copies, only available at CMDistro EU) * White vinyl (limited to 200 copies) * Silver vinyl (limited to 200 copies, only available at Nuclear Blast) * Red vinyl (limited to 200 copies, only available at EMP) On January 18, 2019, ARCH ENEMY will release a compilation, "Covered In Blood", of all cover songs the band has recorded throughout its career. This past summer, ARCH ENEMY guitarist Michael Amott spoke to Hayley Leggs about the band's decision to record a near-ballad, "Reason To Believe" — complete with clean vocals — for its most recent studio album, 2017's "Will To Power". "I wrote the music for that song with my brother [former ARCH ENEMY guitarist Christopher Amott], and it was obviously a ballad, and we thought, 'Well, if we use it for ARCH ENEMY, it's gonna be weird to just growl and scream on that music,'" he said. "So I talked to [ARCH ENEMY frontwoman] Alissa [White-Gluz] about it, and we came up with the arrangement and everything. "But it's actually gone down very well with the fans," he continued. "And it's always been my ambition anyway… I've never been a diehard, 'It's gotta be all extreme or nothing.' A lot of my favorite music… I grew up with thrash and death metal, but also I'm a big fan of SCORPIONS and JUDAS PRIEST. All those great bands — SCORPIONS, JUDAS PRIEST, MANOWAR, BLACK SABBATH — they've all got ballads as well. So I think this makes us more of a complete metal band in a way." According to Michael, White-Gluz's addition to ARCH ENEMY following the 2014 departure of Angela Gossow has "opened up a few doors for me as a songwriter, because she's got more things she can do with her voice. So now we're gonna explore that a bit," he said. In a 2017 interview with Revolver, Alissa said that some ARCH ENEMY fans were "really surprised" to hear her sing "different ways. But I've been doing that since high school and in my other bands, [such as THE AGONIST], so that's nothing new to me," she explained. "In the ARCH ENEMY world, it seems like there were only a few people who knew that. When I posted the video I did with KAMELOT for 'Liar, Liar', a lot of people were, like, 'Um, what is going on?' And I was like, 'Wait, you don't know about this? [Laughs] From that point on, a lot of people were like, 'Wow, we want to hear clean singing in ARCH ENEMY, too. And actually, Michael had been dying to write sort of like an extreme-metal ballad. So it was perfect."
Posted: November 20, 2018, 10:48 am
New Orleans-based thrash metal pioneers EXHORDER have signed to Nuclear Blast Records. EXHORDER now features founding members Vinnie LaBella (guitar) and Kyle Thomas (vocals) along with Jason Viebrooks (HEATHEN) on bass, Marzi Montazeri (ex-SUPERJOINT RITUAL, PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS) on guitar and Sasha Horn (FORBIDDEN) on drums. Comments Thomas: "The excitement level of EXHORDER being in contract negotiations once again is higher for us than we can express. Coming to an agreement with Nuclear Blast has inspired us to bring our writing to new heights. People still want to hear this band, as was evident in the reaction to our performances in 2018. Nuclear Blast strongly wants to help facilitate this venture, and for that we are truly excited and grateful. I am looking forward to seeing what we can make happen together over the next few years. The roster at Nuclear Blast speaks for itself, as well as the presence of Monte Conner and Jaap Wagemaker on the team. Be on the lookout, because EXHORDER is heading your way once again!" Adds LaBella: "What an incredible honour it is to be added to the Nuclear Blast family! We've had such a great year already, and now this! We are so proud and could not be in better company moving forward. We are excited for the future. We realize we turned in a couple of classics back in the day and it's been 27 years since we released our last record. And while those past successes are notable, we feel in our hearts like this new record will be our first record, and we couldn't have a better partner in NB to bring it to you. New management, new line up, new label, new record, new EXHORDER!" EXHORDER relased two albums in the early 1990s through the Roadrunner label — 1990's "Slaughter in the Vatican" and 1992's "The Law" — before breaking up, with Kyle going on to form FLOODGATE and also briefly appearing live as the vocalist for TROUBLE, which he later joined on a full-time basis (and is still a member of). EXHORDER is cited by many as the originator of the riff-heavy power-groove approach popularized by PANTERA.
Posted: November 20, 2018, 10:13 am

 

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