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*Could JUDAS PRIEST Exist Without ROB HALFORD, GLENN TIPTON And IAN HIL... [32]
*Video Premiere: U.D.O.'s 'One Heart One Soul' [18]
*MIKE PORTNOY: 'I Know I'm Not The Best Drummer, But It's N... [17]
*IRON MAIDEN Sued Over Songwriting Credit By Former Singer DENNIS WILLC... [16]
*Watch DEEP PURPLE Perform In Verona, Italy [10]
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[= ||| 15 2018

KING DIAMOND - Picture Disc LP Reissues Of Abigail II: The Revenge, House Of God, and Voodoo Albums Due In August

On August 17th, King Diamond will release LP reissues of the classic albums Abigail II: The Revenge, House Of God, and Voodoo via Metal Blade Records. Available as 180g picture discs, these exclusive editions can be purchased now at metalblade.com/kingdiamond.

"You can spiral yourself into darkness with these classic King Diamond albums, or you can exhibit them on your wall like I will. Either way, enjoy." - King

Abigail II: The Revenge tracklisting:

Side A
"Spare This Life"
"The Storm"
"Mansion In Sorrow"

Side B
"Miriam"
"Little One"
"Slippery Stairs"

Side C
"The Crypt"
"Broken Glass"
"More Than Pain"

Side D
"The Wheelchair"
"Spirits"
"Mommy"
"Sorry Dear"

House Of God tracklisting:

Side A
"Upon The Cross"
"The Trees Have Eyes"
"Follow The Wolf"

Side B
"House Of God"
"Black Devil"
"The Pact"

Side C
"Goodbye"
"Just A Shadow"
"Help!!!"
"Passage To Hell"

Side D
"Catacomb"
"This Place Is Terrible"
"Peace Of Mind"

Voodoo tracklisting:

Side A
"Louisiana Darkness"
"LOA House"
"Life After Death"

Side B
"Voodoo"
"A Secret"
"Salem"

Side C
"One Down Two To Go"
"Sending Of Dead"
"Sarah's Night"

Side D
"The Exorcist"
"Unclean Spirits"
"Cross Of Baron Samedi"
"If They Only Knew"
"Aftermath"

6

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|||| 15 2018

STATUS QUO Announce Twin Live Releases; "Down Down" (Live At Wacken 2017) Video Streaming

Status Quo are to release a pair of ‘twin’ live albums, Down Down & Dignified At The Royal Albert Hall and Down Down & Dirty At Wacken on August 17th through earMUSIC. These releases capture the legendary band delivering two sets, each full of hits, energy and passion, while each offering a radically different tone and style of delivery.

Francis Rossi said, “There’s no other venue like the Royal Albert Hall, every artist wants to play there. So, to bring our Aquostic show there was a dream come true. The Quo classics were stripped back and delivered by the band in a new fresh way that really allows the melodies to shine. Fully acoustic and featuring some fantastic extra musicians and vocalists, this is a show we’ll always be proud of. Wacken is like no other festival. The energy, the crowd, the volume. Where better for Quo to get down and dirty and crank out all of the Quo classics as loud as possible? Naturally, this was a full electric set, delivered at full throttle. Nothing else would be acceptable at Wacken! It’s full-blooded performances like this that Quo’s reputation is built on.”

Status Quo have sold more than 118 million records, received countless gold awards and top 10 singles, played over 6000 shows together and spent 23 years away from home on tour to rock around the world. The lineup for both these shows, recorded last year, features Francis Rossi, Andrew Bown, John ‘Rhino’ Edwards, Leon Cave and Richie Malone.

Down Down & Dignified At The Royal Albert Hall and Down Down & Dirty At Wacken demonstrate both the evergreen quality of the timeless Quo catalogue, the sheer musicianship and stagecraft required to deliver those hits, and the versatility of the band. Who else but Quo could deliver the stunning sets captured on these twin releases of such wildly differing style and be equally happy taking to the stage at the venerable Royal Albert Hall and in the midst of the Wacken wildness?

Pre-order Down Down & Dirty At Wacken here, and Down Down & Dignified At The Royal Albert Hall here.

"Down Down" (Live At Wacken 2017) video:
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|||| 15 2018

XASTHUR Signs With Prophecy Productions

Prophecy Productions has announced its partnership with American black metal legends - Xasthur.

I'm looking forward to working with Prophecy Productions. I'm glad that they are daring enough to be working with me on this new genre of music I'm building upon and that they're giving it a chance. -Scott Conner, Xasthur

From the very beginning, Xasthur has left a deep impact on the US black metal scene and evolved into becoming one of the genres most notorious and mysterious acts. Starting as a one-man band, Xasthur has always been noted for its extreme introversion and commitment to dwelling in the shadows. Since 1995, Xasthur has been releasing records that have been viewed as mandatory listening within the scene.

By the early 2010's, Creator Scott Conner, formerly known as Malefic, wanted to reach beyond black metal. Today, Scott pursues a different artistic vision, which is free of scene boundaries, with a more resonating ideology; doomgrass. This self-coined term encompasses doom inspired vocals, disharmonic touches and a dark atmosphere while integrating instrumentation and complexity seen in folk genres such as blues and bluegrass. For this, Conner has changed his formula completely by opening up to collaboration and establishing a three person line up. The new compositions are dreamy yet comprehensible pieces stripped down to three instruments crafting vast sonic landscapes. While Xasthur's past creations embraced more traditional black metal themes, Conner now has abandoned the genre completely, and uses his lyrics to tackle abysmal and explicit realism.

In the pursuit of bringing their sound to new audiences, Xasthur's signing with Prophecy Productions' ever-expanding roster is the next logical step. Prophecy will launch this partnership with a new, limited edition EP that functions as an exclusive preview of Xasthur's upcoming full length, building on his new doomgrass style. The EP, Aestas Pretium MXVIII, will be sold exclusively on his forthcoming, extensive US tour - 30 dates, starting on July 21st, accompanying Six Organs of Admittance and Wino. In 2018, Xasthur is full of energy and ready to expand. The artist had this to say: I'm looking forward to working with Prophecy Productions. I'm glad that they are daring enough to be working with me on this new genre of music I'm building upon and that they're giving it a chance.

Xasthur is:
Scott Conner - guitar, bass, music, lyrics
Chris Hernandez - guitar, bass, vocals
Rachel Roomian - bass
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[= ||| 15 2018

LIVESAY Inks Deal With RFL Records; New Album Slated For The Fall

Livesay, the melodic, power rock band from New York, NY, has signed a worldwide record deal with Pittsburgh based, RFL Records. A longtime staple of the neo-classical regime, Livesay are about to unleash a new album to the masses that will embrace the bands past and throttle in a new and exciting future.

Livesay is a prime example of a band that has flown under the proverbial radar and has self-sustained four incredible albums Livesay S/T (1996), Darkest Hour (2000), Awaken the Giant (2010) and Frozen Hell (2016). Livesay is not a novice to the big stage and has opened for a multitude of hard rocks premier acts such as Ronnie James Dio, Y&T, Dokken, Lynch Mob, Ratt, Thin Lizzy, Vince Neil, Sebastian Bach, Quiet Riot, Michael Schenker, UFO, Fates Warning and many others. In addition to appearing at the Rock N Skull Festival 2 years in a row, they have headlined many times as well. With very little major backing, its been a willingness and belief that has driven this band. Gregg Livesay had this to say, It has always been about all of the members of this band, not just me. I would have nothing without them and their dedication to delivering a top-notch product to the fans.

Livesays sound is not easily classified; musical diversity is what powers these guys. It can best be described as Neo-Classical, Melodic, Hard Rock meshed with Progressive elements that combined, deliver a sonic, dream symphony. The band draws influences & inspiration from the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen, Classic Deep Purple, Racer X, Early Dream Theater and Early Fates Warning. With a magnitude of melodic, catchy hooks and vocal harmonies to the dark, mystical, heavy, technical progression, there is something for every rock genre to latch onto.

The new album titled Chronicles will feature 13 Tracks that bring the history of Livesay full-circle. From the earliest unreleased material, to the best of 1996 2016 and culminating with the brand new track and single, International Man, this album is certain to draw the attention of hard rock fans no matter what their taste. Chronicles drops September 14th on RFL Records.

"We are really thrilled to be announcing our partnership with RFL Records and Jon Marchewka and look forward to a great future together, says the band.

Tracklisting:
Live & Let Rock
Fallen Nights
Red Room
Evil Eyes
No Way Out
Under The Table
Darkest Hour
Love N Chains
You Wont See Me Fall
Awaken The Giant
The Burning Times
Aphasia
International Man (Bonus Track)

Lineup:
Mike Gill - Vocals
Gregg Livesay - Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals
Tony Stahl Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Rich Andrews - Bass, Backing Vocals
Keith Michaels - Drums
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|||| 15 2018

ROYAL HUNT Release "The Wishing Well" Music Video

Danish power/progressive metal masters Royal Hunt have released a video for "The Wishing Well", a track from the band's Cast In Stone album, out now. Watch below.

Cast In Stone is available in a regular edition (a single CD digipak with 16-page booklet) and a deluxe edition double CD box set with 20-page booklet and bonus material. Order here.

Tracklisting:

"Fistful Of Misery"
"The Last Soul Alive"
"Sacrifice"
"The Wishing Well"
"Cast In Stone"
"A Million Ways To Die"
"Rest In Peace"
"Save Me II"

"The Wishing Well" video:

"Fistful Of Misery" video:

"A Million Ways To Die" lyric video:

Lineup:

André Andersen - keyboards
DC Cooper - vocals
Andreas Passmark - bass
Jonas Larsen - guitars
Andreas "Habo" Johansson - drums
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|||| 15 2018

PRODUCT OF HATE Return With New Single "Rapture" (Audio); Second Album Recorded

Two years after the release of their crushing debut album Buried In Violence on Napalm Records, Wisconsin’s Product Of Hate are back with the first taste of the next phase.

“Rapture” is the first single from the band’s as-yet-untitled sophomore album, for which they once again joined engineer Scott Creekmore (Broken Hope, Repentance) for recording at Mercenary Digital Studios. Chris Collier (Prong, KXM, Repentance) of CMC21 Productions is handling the mixing and mastering this time around. “Rapture” is available for streaming and download now on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and all major digital platforms. Listen below.

“It’s been a long time coming, but the era of new music from Product Of Hate has finally arrived!,” comments frontman Adam Gilley. “We’re excited to share ‘Rapture’ with the world - it’s mean, it’s heavy, and it’s the perfect song to get you through a long, agonizing day of work.”

“After touring in support of ‘Buried in Violence’ for the two years, we couldn’t be more thrilled to start releasing our new, aggressive material,” adds lead guitarist Geno Rathbone. “The new record is completely tracked and takes everything we did on the first album and cranks it up a few notches. ‘Rapture’ is only the beginning, as we plan to follow it up by releasing a little surprise within the next month or so as a way to thank the amazing fans who’ve shown such undying support to us between these two albums!”

Fourteen songs have been recorded for the new album, with a tracklisting and title to be announced in the near future as the final release plan and partnerships are revealed. Product Of Hate is celebrating the release of “Rapture” tonight with a special Friday the 13th show in direct support of DevilDriver at The Forge in Joliet, Illinois.
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[= ||| 15 2018

LINKIN PARK's MIKE SHINODA Releases 'Lift Off' Video Feat. CHINO MORENO, MACHINE GUN KELLY

LINKIN PARK vocalist Mike Shinoda has released a music video for the song "Lift Off", taken from his solo album "Post Traumatic". The track features guest appearances by DEFTONES frontman Chino Moreno and rapper Machine Gun Kelly.

Shinoda spoke with ET Canada about the songwriting process for "Post Traumatic", which was released on June 15. He explained: "It started in a really dark place. In the beginning, I wasn't leaving my house. It felt very claustrophobic, having lost one of my closest friends and collaborators. We associate who we are, to some degree, with what we do, so I felt very lost."

He continued: "The experience of this last year has been crazy, and I wanted to put it into music, not only to just put a stamp on it and say, 'This happened,' but also to allow the fans and the people who have been along for the ride, to guide them on that journey in terms of keeping up with my narrative or understanding where I'm at."

Asked how difficult it was to write the songs for the album, many of which dealt with the death of LINKIN PARK singer Chester Bennington, Shinoda added: "Life was difficult; music was easy. The music made things easier."

Shinoda also spoke about dealing with his own grief over Bennington's suicide last summer, saying: "I had terrible days, and now I have less bad days. And eventually, I will find a new 'normal,' like a new stasis."

Shinoda played his first solo shows since the death of Bennington on May 12 at the KROQ Weenie Roast in Los Angeles and May 13 at the Identity LA festival, also in L.A. Shinoda mashed up some LINKIN PARK songs along with his solo material, singing some of Chester Bennington's parts from songs like "Bleed It Out". He played "In The End" on piano and let the fans sing most of Chester's vocal parts, though at times he came in and sang his parts.
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|||| 15 2018

GRAVE DIGGER Release New Single "Fear Of The Living Dead"; Lyric Video

German heavy metal legends Grave Digger recently announced details for their upcoming studio album, The Living Dead, out on September 14th via Napalm Records. Pre-orders here.

Now the band reveals the first single Fear Of The Living Dead and its lyric video.

Chris Boltendahl on the song: Here it is: the new Grave Digger lyric video. Normally we don't like lyric videos so much - but this one reproduces the atmosphere of the song very well and its scary, weird and tough. The song is the first track we have written for the new album and this song contains all trademarks of Grave Digger - and much more: its fast, epic and sounds fresh as well. Enjoy people and watch out for the living dead!

Watch the lyric video below.

Tracklisting:

"Fear Of The Living Dead"
"Blade Of The Immortal"
"When Death Passes By"
"Shadow Of The Warrior"
"The Power Of Metal"
"Hymn Of The Damned"
"What War Left Behind"
"Fist In Your Face"
"Insane Pain"
"Zombie Dance"
"Glory Or Grave" (Bonus Track)

"Fear Of The Living Dead" lyric video:

Album announcement:

Since their founding back in 1980, Grave Digger have been leaders in the German heavy metal scene. They created their very own version of Teutonic heavy music - albums like Heavy Metal Breakdown, Witch Hunter and Tunes Of War became classics in the scene.

Grave Digger will hit the road again in 2019 with a series of headline appearances on their Tour Of The Living Dead, opening in Hannover, Germany on January 11th and finishing in Barcelona, Spain on February 3rd. See the full list of dates below.

Tour Of The Living Dead 2018 (with Burning Witches)

January
11 - Hannover, Germany - MusikZentrum
12 - Andernach, Germany - JUZ Live Club
13 - Pratteln, Switzerland - Z7
14 - München, Germany - Backstage
15 - Aschaffenburg, Germany - Colos-Saal
16 - Saarbrücken, Germany - Garage
17 - Bochum, Germany - Zeche
18 - Glauchau, Germany - Alte Spinnerei
19 - Neuruppin, Germany - Kulturhaus Neuruppin
20 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Baroeg
22 - Hamburg, Germany - Markthalle
23 - Berlin, Germany - Lido
24 - Bamberg, Germany - Live Musik Club
25 - Regensburg/Obertraublingen, Germany - Eventhalle-Airport
26 - Memmingen, Germany - Kaminwerk
27 - Ludwigsburg, Germany - Rockfabrik
28 - Paris, France - Petit Bain
29 - London, England - The Underworld
30 - Vosselaar, Belgium - Biebob
31 - France - Venue TBA

February
1 - Bilbao, Spain - Santana 27
2 - Madrid, Spain - Mon Live
3 - Barcelona, Spain - Razzmatazz 2

Lineup:

Chris Boltendahl - Vocals
Axel Ritt - Guitar
Jens Becker - Bass
Stefan Arnold - Drums
Marcus Kniep - Keyboards

(Photo - Jens Howorka)

9

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|||| 15 2018

SALTATIO MORTIS Covers POWERWOLF's "We Drink Your Blood"; Video Streaming

Powerwolf will release their new album The Sacrament Of Sin worldwide on July 20th via Napalm Records. The Sacrament Of Sin definitely holds some surprises for you. The special edition comes as 3CD earbook edition with studio album, a covers album and an orchestral album. Communio Lupatuml features the biggest Powerwolf hits covered by international stars of the metal scene. A video for Saltatio Mortis' take on "We Drink Your Blood" can be found below.

Communio Lupatum tracklisting:

"Sacred & Wild" - Epica
"We Drink Your Blood" - Saltatio Mortis
"Kiss Of The Cobra King" - Caliban
"Resurrection By Erection" - Battle Beast
"Night Of The Werewolves" - Heaven Shall Burn
"The Evil Made Me Do It" - Kadavar
"Let There Be Night" - Kissin' Dynamite
"Amen & Attack" - Mille Petrozza (Kreator) & Marc Görtz (Caliban)
"Army Of The Night" - Amaranthe
"Nata vimpi cvrmi da / Ira Sancti (When the Saints Are Going Wild)" - Eluveitie

"We Drink Your Blood" - Saltatio Mortis video:

The Sacrament Of Sin is available as:

Regular Editions:
- 2 x 1 CD Mediabook (36 pages+ 24 pages)
- 1 CD Jewelcase
- 1 LP Gatefold black

Special Editions:
- 1 LP Gatefold green
- 1 LP Gatefold gold
- "Priest-Edition": 3-CD Earbook (Regular-, Cover-, & Orchester Album) + Metal Cross (14 x 10 cm, Antique Copper Look) + Manipel (Preacher Scarf - 150 x 16 cm, Cotton with Embroidered Logo)

Deluxe Hardcover Box (Only Non-Europe):
- 3-CD Earbook (28 x 28 cm, 80 Seiten) incl. Bonus Track (Earbook Exclusive) + Cover Album (Cover Songs 10 POWERWOLF Hits performed by Various Artists) + Bonus Album (Orchestral Songs Earbook Exclusive)
- 1-LP in Gatefold (Gold)
- Bonus 1-LP in Silver (Cover Songs Deluxe Box Exclusive)
- Cover Flag (150 x 100 cm)
- 5 Signed Photo Cards
- Cotton Bag
- Sticker

Pre-order here.

The Sacrament Of Sin tracklisting:

"Fire & Forgive"
"Demons Are A Girls Best Friend"
"Killers With The Cross"
"Incense And Iron"
"Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone"
"Stossgebet"
"Nightside Of Siberia"
"The Sacrament Of Sin"
"Venom Of Venus"
"Nighttime Rebel"
"Fist By Fist (Sacralize Or Strike)"
"Midnight Madonna" (Bonus track, only available at EMP and Napalm Records mailorder)

"Incense And Iron" lyric video:

"Fire & Forgive" video:

"Demons Are A Girls Best Friend" video:

Pre-listening session:

Tour dates:

July
14 - Balingen, Germany - Bang Your Head Festival

August
3 - Rasnov, Romania - Rockstad Extreme Fest
10 - Villena, Spain - ESP Leyendas Del Rock
16 - Dinkelsbühl, Germany - Summer Breeze Open Air
17 - Graz, Austria - Metal On The Hill
18 - Falun, Sweden - Sabaton Open Air

October (with Amaranthe, Kissin Dynamite)
26 - Wiesbaden, Germany - Schlachthof
27 - Oberhausen, Germany - Turbinenhalle
29 - Hamburg, Germany - Grosse Freiheit 36
31 - Berlin, Germany - Huxleys

November (with Amaranthe, Kissin Dynamite)
1 - Warsaw, Poland - Progresja
2 - Leipzig, Germany - Haus Auensee
6 - Vienna, Austria - Arena
7 - Milan, Italy - Live Club
9 - Munich, Germany - Tonhalle
10 - Ludwigsburg, Germany - MHP Arena
11 - Eindhoven, Netherlands - Effenaar
12 - London, England - Koko
14 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Les Docks
15 - Zurich, Switzerland - Komplex 457
16 - Geiselwind, Germany - Music Hall
17 - Saarbrücken, Germany - Saarlandhalle

2

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[= ||| 15 2018

BLACK FAST Release "Phantom I Am" Music Video

Black Fast has released a video for "Phantom I Am", a track from the Spectre Of Ruin album, out now via Entertainment One. Watch below.

"This track has some really dark and unique progressions, an interesting overall arrangement and a ripper solo," says guitarist and vocalist Aaron Akin. "It's one of the songs that asks for the most repeat listens. Lyrically it sums up the overall theme and vibe of this record. Doused in the adipocere of extinction, the scorched husk peels, and the insect sings."

Like its predecessor, Black Fast’s Spectre Of Ruin was summoned into sharp focus at Mana Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida, with Erik Rutan, the Hate Eternal frontman and ex-Morbid Angel guitarist who has produced albums by genre titans like Cannibal Corpse, Goatwhore, and Six Feet Under. It’s all killer, no filler, demonstrating the destructive force of focused neo-thrash and progressive death-infused heavy metal at its finest.

Black Fast follow the roadmap laid down by the great bands with “Angel” and “Death” in their names, swearing off the trappings of the mainstream with a steadfast dedication to their chosen craft. As vocalist/guitarist, Aaron Akin once summarized, “We’ve pushed our chips all-in since the beginning. We threw caution to the wind. We’re playing metal. We don’t really give a shit about ‘making it.’”  

This music is a vibrant soundtrack to society’s collapse and a celebration of defiant resolution. The Black Fast mission is ruthlessly simple: champion musical aggression, bark at the moon, raise a fist and headbang like there’s no tomorrow.

Order digital copies of the album here, or physical copies here.

Tracklisting:

"Cloak Of Lies"
"Silhouette Usurper"
"Scarecrow And Spectre"
"Phantom I Am"
"Mist Of Ruin"
"Temple Of Leviathan"
"Famine Angel"
"Crescent Aberration"
"Husk"

"Husk":

"Silhouette Usurper":

"Silhouette Usurper" guitar playthrough:

"Cloak Of Lies" video:
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|||| 15 2018

DEICIDE Launch Lyric Video For New Song "Excommunicated"; More Overtures Of Blasphemy Album Details Revealed

Death metal icons Deicide return with Overtures Of Blasphemy, which sees the band return to their roots to create a stellar and uncompromising extreme metal masterpiece. The effort was produced by the world-renowned Jason Suecof (The Black Dahlia Murder, Trivium) at Audio Hammer Studios and will be released through Century Media worldwide on September 14th. A lyric video for the new song "Excommunicated" can be found below.

You can pre-order the album at this location in the following formats:

- Standard CD Jewelcase
- Ltd. box with CD, metal pendant, sticker set and woven patch
- LP with 180 gram vinyl
- Digital album

The LP version is available in these vinyl colours:

- Black vinyl - unlimited
- Silver vinyl - limited to 100 copies, exclusively available at CM Distro Europe
- Clear vinyl - limited to 200 copies, available at various online stores
- White vinyl - limited to 200 copies, exclusively available at Nuclear Blast
- Transparent-red vinyl - limited to 200 copies, exclusively available at EMP

Cover art was created by Zbigniew M. Bielak (Ghost, Paradise Lost, Mayhem). Bielak comments: “If you experienced the death metal boom of the early 90s first hand, you know why Deicide's flaming logo was the ultimate threat in the sanity department. Working with Glen Benton was a great honour and a throwback to the time, when death metal aesthetics were at their vilest. Satan Spawn the Caco Deamon is alive and well.”

Benton states: "This album came together over time, meaning we didn't want to rush it. A few people might remember an interview where Steve Asheim (original member, drummer/songwriter) said 'the material is done, but it's just not there yet.' Well, that was the jumping off point of when this album truly started taking shape and the songs became what they are now... complete, compact and effective. As the band pushed forward, so did the writing process and a few other processes which made the record and the band stronger. The result is Overtures Of Blasphemy, perhaps the group’s strongest release to date. Jason Suecoff lended his considerable talents and attention to detail in making the tracking of the songs as great as they can be and the final mix as sonically brutal, yet as listenable as possible. An arduous process, but one well worth the time and effort."

Tracklisting:

"One With Satan"
"Crawled From The Shadows"
"Seal The Tomb Below"
"Compliments Of Christ"
"All That Is Evil"
"Excommunicated"
"Anointed In Blood"
"Crucified Soul Of Salvation"
"Defying The Sacred"
"Consumed By Hatred"
"Flesh, Power, Dominion"
"Destined To Blasphemy"

"Excommunicated" lyric video:

Lineup:

Glen Benton (vocals, bass)
Steve Asheim (drums)
Kevin Quirion (guitars)
Mark English (guitars)

5

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|||| 15 2018

THE AGONY SCENE Streaming New Track "Serpent's Toungue"

Tulsa, Oklahoma-based metallers The Agony Scene have dropped another track from their new album Tormentor, out July 20th via Outerloop Records/Cooking Vinyl. The album is available for pre-order here.

"'Serpent's Tongue' was the first song we wrote after getting back together in 2014," said Chris Emmons, guitar. "Lyrically, the song is about individuals who give no fucks about deceiving or trampling on others for personal gain. The track also features a guitar solo performed by the one and only Emil Werstler."

A lyric video for "The Submissive" can be seen below.

"The song is about the abuse of power and trust," the band said. "More specifically - authority figures preying on naivety and using fear as a means to control and manipulate."

Tormentor is the band's first album since 2007's Get Damned (Century Media), which was preceded by 2005's The Darkest Red (Roadrunner) and 2003's self-titled release (Solid State).

The band will appear on the annual Summer Slaughter Tour with Between the Buried and Me, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, and more.
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[= ||| 15 2018

THE APOCALYPSE BLUES REVUE Feat. GODSMACK Members: New Song 'Nobody Rides For Free' Available

THE APOCALYPSE BLUES REVUE will release its new album, "The Shape Of Blues To Come", on July 20 via Provogue/Mascot Label Group.

The third single from the disc, "Nobody Rides For Free", can be streamed below.

Following 2016's self-titled debut, GODSMACK's Shannon Larkin (drums) and Tony Rombola (guitar) return with some more bone-shaking blues with Brian Carpenter (bass) and the shamanistic frontman Ray "Rafer John" Cerbone.

Larkin discovered Cerbone at a biker bar. The singer had no idea that he was speaking to the drummer from GODSMACK; it was just a couple of guys hanging out. "It wasn't a recruitment at all," Larkin says. Just two guys who liked to ride, and enjoy music. "It wasn't like I was a guy in a big band, and he was starstruck at all. I went over to Ray's house with my wife to have dinner, and I happened to see his guitar sitting in the corner. I didn't know what he did, so I asked him to play a song, and I really loved his voice."

Grizzled "Rafer John" may be no spring chicken, but the truth is that this is his first band, though he has for years worked as an acoustic blues troubadour. He picks up the story. "Next thing you know, Shannon calls and says that he and Tony are down the road in a recording studio working on a blues song, and they needed someone to sing it," he recalled. "I said, 'Yeah, I know a few guys who could sing that for you, and he said, 'No. I want you to sing it!' I got in there, sang that song, and the rest is history."

This is more than a side project. "We're very excited about this second record," affirms Larkin. "I've never seen four wills join so strongly with one intent as I have in this band. That's something special."

Larkin tells of a pre-production meeting with producer Dave Fortman (GODSMACK, EVANESCENCE, ANTHRAX) at The Vibe Recording Studios in Southwest Florida (Fort Myers), in which the two settled into the control room, ingested certain mind-expanding compounds, and they then proceeded to listen to many hours of the records they loved the most. The phrase Larkin comes back to again and again are, "it has to be real, it has to be genuine." This record is exactly that. It drips with the existential stew of four guys playing together in a small room, in fact, that is exactly much of what we are hearing — the band laid the basic tracks in just one long day, but they captured it all with the cinematic vision and clarity of a great filmmaker.

Larkin continues: "Our mission is to see if APOCALYPSE can reshape the shape of blues to come. We're a different shade of blue. Our approach is to write and play as a traditional blues band. Our original influences came from [LED] ZEPPELIN, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan. We came to the blues later in life, and we've found our groove and sound, and it sounds unique and original to us. We don't try to hide our rock influences, it comes through creating a new shade of blue."

The band again wrote together for this record, but in a strange twist of coincidence, the tracks selected were all lyrically from the pen of Shannon Larkin. In terms of lyrical content, he reveals that his lyrics are often spiritual in nature, but he hesitates to define his meanings as he defers to the imaginations of the listener to find their own meanings.

Somewhere there is a kid who has been listening to GODSMACK, who will now come to know THE APOCALYPSE BLUE REVUE, and from this revelation of the blues they will back pedal to discover the long and honorably trod path that leads to Robert Johnson, the Kings (B.B., Albert, and Freddie), all the way forward to THE DOORS and the British blues rock boom, which finally leads straight to today.

Rombola provides the six-string fireworks with tight, tough riffs and incendiary solos, while Larkin brought a sheaf of lyrics that are straight ahead reflections of the biker's blues life. As close as they get to metal mythology is on the sultry, "Sincere", in which Cerbone intones, "Some say I worship the devil, I say he worships me." These songs are about walking the walk of life. Somewhere between Larkin's metal alter-ego and Cerbone's Americana roots there lies a place where passion, the roots of the blues, and the combined experience of everyone in the room work together to create a tantalizing path.

Sonically, "The Shape Of Blues To Come" covers a lot of ground, from the traditional blues changes of "Sincere" to the more cerebral textures found on the FLOYD-ian "What A Way To Go" with Rombolo's evocative late-night Strat tones, Larkin's soft, musical touch on the drums, sweet background choirs, and Cerbone's sung-spoken recitation of "What a way to go, when the wind's never at your back." "Open Spaces", which opens the album with a nod to Jimi's blues, then gradually ups the ante as the band's rock blood begins to boil and cast about with heavily flanged guitars and vocals is an ideal way to get a panoramic view of what is to come. The beauty lies in the fact that this band has been six years in the making, and while the album lies rooted in very traditional blues structures and sounds, Rombola, Larkin and Carpenter's rock roots do shine through. The album's closing number, "Noumenal Blues", finds Cerbone duet with Nancy Koerner, whose silky tones match Ray's earthy baritone alongside Carpenter's languidly loping bass line and some fingerpicked acoustic guitar before Larkin, Carpenter and Rombola put the record to sleep with a bit of unabashed rock.

There is a healthy dose of psychedelia that infuses the record, filtered through the blues of Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour and Billy F. Gibbons, and guitarist Tony Rombola runs the gamut from earthy comping to explosive shards of metallic but no less bluesy slide guitar on "We Are One". Rombola's riffing, writing, and soloing is a beautiful blend of chops and taste. This is a great guitar record, and Rombola displays a lifetime of woodshedding, listening, learning, and his playing is a thrill from beginning to end. Another important piece of the puzzle here is the rhythm section of Larkin and Carpenter. Carpenter's huge, gritty tones are a perfect complement to the dynamic drum work, and together they have the feel and sound of a classic blues rock engine room.

"The Shape Of Blues To Come" track listing:

01. Open Spaces

02. We Are One

03. Hell To Pay

04. Have You Heard?!

05. To Hell With You

06. Nobody Rides For Free

07. Sincere

08. What A Way To Go

09. Noumenal Blues
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|||| 14 2018

SYSTEM OF A DOWN's DARON MALAKIAN Releases 'Guns Are Loaded' Single From SCARS ON BROADWAY Project

SYSTEM OF A DOWN guitarist Daron Malakian's long-dormant side project, SCARS ON BROADWAY, has released a brand new single. "Guns Are Loaded" is taken from SCARS ON BROADWAY's new album, "Dictator", which is due on July 20. The band itself, now rebranded DARON MALAKIAN AND SCARS ON BROADWAY, has undergone a complete overhaul, with none of the members from the group's 2008 debut — including SYSTEM drummer John Dolmayan — appearing on the new songs.

Malakian explained the personnel changes in an online post, saying: "Nobody quit. When I first started SCARS, I always said that it would be different lineups from album to album. Depends on the type of direction I want to take. Different musicians work for different styles. That is partly why I added my name in front of the band's."

"Guns Are Loaded", "Lives" and the "Dictator" title track are available as instant downloads when pre-ordering the album ahead of its release on iTunes or Amazon.

"Dictator" saw Malakian write, produce and play every instrument — including all vocals — over the course of a 10-day recording session. The album's cover art was created by Daron's father, Vartan Malakian, who also designed the artwork for SYSTEM OF A DOWN's twin 2005 releases, "Mezmerize" and "Hypnotize".

"I told my Dad that the album was going to be titled 'Dictator'," recalls Daron. "I didn't go into any other details. I went to my parents' house a week later and he already had the album cover done."

"Dictator" was recorded in 2012 but has remained unreleased — until now.

"I recorded the album, and then around that time, SYSTEM started playing live again," Daron told Rolling Stone. "So every time we'd play live, there'd be conversations like, 'Maybe we'll do an album.' So being the guy who wrote the majority of almost all the SYSTEM songs in the past, I was, like, 'All right, let me see what's happening with it. Let me hold on to these songs and let me see how this develops.' We talked about it and we weren't all on the same page. Not everybody was into the idea. But every time we played live, it kept coming up.

"I just got to the point now where a lot of people were asking about the SCARS album — I hear it all the time — so I was. like, 'I'm gonna put this album out.' Not knowing what's happening with SYSTEM has kept me from putting my own stuff out. Too much time has passed, and I'm really excited to finally get some music out finally."

Daron also confirmed that everything on the album is from 2012. "Yeah," he said. "I played everything on it. I went into the studio and recorded an album in less than 10 days. I played all the instruments — the drums, everything — and I've just been sitting on it for six years. [Laughs]"

SCARS ON BROADWAY has just the one LP to its credit so far and last performed in 2012 as the opening act for DEFTONES in Los Angeles.

The group has only played live sporadically over the years: a headlining trek in 2008 was canceled, with Malakian citing his lack of enthusiasm and "his heart not being into touring" as the chief reasons behind the decision.

The guitarist later explained that he thought it was "almost too soon" for him to go on the road after SYSTEM OF A DOWN went on hiatus in 2006, also citing issues in his personal life that "made it impossible" for him to tour.

SYSTEM OF A DOWN, which has toured intermittently since ending its hiatus in 2011, has some shows coming up this year but has not released new music in 13 years.

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|||| 14 2018

DESTRUCTION Live At Wacken Open Air 2004; Rare Video Streaming

Rare video footage of Destruction performing the tracks "The Butcher Strikes Back" and "Total Desaster" at the 2004 edition of Germany's Wacken Open Air festival is available for streaming below:

Destruction frontman Schmier recently announced his split with Pänzer, which also features Pontus Norgren (Hammerfall), V.O. Pulver (G.U.R.D., Poltergeist), and Stefan Schwarzmann (Accept, ex-Running Wild).

Says Schmier: "I had some great fun with Pänzer the last years but now it is time for me to move on! Yes I need to let go. I wanna focus 100% on Destruction and the upcoming challenges. A new drummer and a new record... I wanna thank all the Pänzer boys and hope they will go on without me, I was never a great heavy metal singer but I had fun doing it! 😛

"Good-byes are never easy but I need to do this for the sake of my lifetime project, my privacy and my future! Thanks to those who supported my Pänzer years - United we stand! See you hopefully soon on the stages of the world."

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[= ||| 14 2018

FULL HOUSE BREW CREW Featuring ROTTING CHRIST Bassist Signs With ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records

ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records announces the signing of Full House Brew Crew to the label.

Full House Brew Crew is a 4-piece band that was found during 2009 by Rotting Christ bassist Vagelis "Van" Karzis. Vagelis is the lead singer, lead guitar player and the main songwriter of the band. In 2009 he wrote 10 heavy groove songs influenced from bands like Pantera, Black Label Society, Five Finger Death Punch, Godsmack, Metallica and in 2011, having Spiros (bass) and Sakis (drums) by his side, they recorded and self-released their first full-length album called Bet It All.

Album number 2, is already finished and just like a thunderbolt charging straight from the top of Mount Olympus, these heavy-riffing monsters are ready to unleash it via ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records. More information on the album title and release date coming soon.

Full House BC are:

Vagelis Karzis - Guitars, Vocals
Spiros Dafalias - Bass
George Tzatzakis - Guitars
Alex Keito - Drums
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|||| 14 2018

METAL ALLEGIANCE Feat. MEGADETH, TESTAMENT Members: Second Trailer For 'Power Drunk Majesty' Album

METAL ALLEGIANCE — with its four core members: David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT), Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, ex-DREAM THEATER) and Mark Menghi — began as a celebration of heavy metal, powered by the almost tribal bond shared between the extreme music community's most revered trailblazers, armed with a list of contributors onstage (and off) that read like a Wikipedia entry on the genre itself.

The band will release its sophomore album, "Volume II - Power Drunk Majesty", on September 7 via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The thrash-worshiping disc merges old-school legends with the modern metallers of the scene to produce groove-driven, adrenaline-soaked anthems while tackling the frustrating state of the world.

In the second trailer for "Volume II - Power Drunk Majesty", the core four members discuss the long list of all-stars that came together on the record as well as the back stories of the collaborations.

Guest musicians on "Volume II - Power Drunk Majesty" include Trevor Strnad (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER), John Bush (ARMORED SAINT), Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (OVERKILL), Mark Tornillo (ACCEPT), Max Cavalera (SOULFLY), Floor Jansen (NIGHTWISH) and Johan Hegg (AMON). The album also marks the return of Mark Oseguesda (DEATH ANGEL) and Troy Sanders (MASTODON).

The official video for the first single from the disc, "Mother Of Sin", featuring Ellsworth, can be seen below.

"Volume II - Power Drunk Majesty" was produced by Menghi and Skolnick while Mark Lewis of MRL Studios handled the mixing and mastering. The cover artwork was created by renowned artist Marcelo Vasco (SLAYER, MACHINE HEAD, SOULFLY, HATEBREED) and Rafael Tavares.

"Volume II - Power Drunk Majesty" track listing:

01. The Accuser (feat. Trevor Strnad)

02. Bound By Silence (feat. John Bush)

03. Mother Of Sin (feat. Bobby Blitz)

04. Terminal Illusion (feat. Mark Tornillo)

05. King With A Paper Crown (feat. Johan Hegg)

06. Voodoo Of The Godsend (feat. Max Cavalera)

07. Liars & Thieves (feat. Troy Sanders)

08. Impulse Control (feat. Mark Osegueda)

09. Power Drunk Majesty (Part I) (feat. Mark Osegueda)

10. Power Drunk Majesty (Part II) (feat. Floor Jansen)
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|||| 14 2018

OBSCURA: 'Mortification Of The Vulgar Sun' Video Released

"Mortification Of The Vulgar Sun", the new video from Germany's progressive death metal masters OBSCURA, can be seen below. The track is taken from the band's new album, "Diluvium", which is due out July 13 on CD, LP and digital via Relapse Records.

OBSCURA completes its long-running, four-album conceptual circle with the release of "Diluvium" (defined as a great oceanic flood), the band's most evocative, diverse and vibrant release to date.


Recorded with longtime producer V. Santura (TRIPTYKON, PESTILENCE) at Woodshed Studios in Landshut, Germany, "Diluvium" is a stunning achievement for the illustrious quartet and a landmark release for progressive metal as a whole. Complete with all the band's signature elements plus groundbreaking polyrhythms, dramatic songwriting, and jaw-dropping virtuosity, "Diluvium" will go down in the annals of metal history as one of the most astonishing performances the genre has to offer.

Vocalist/guitarist Steffen Kummerer told Distorted Sound about the lyrical concepts covered on the "Cosmogenesis", "Omnivium", "Akróasis" and "Diluvium" albums and how the four are linked: "The four records are linked within the four colors red-blue, green-yellow, the titles Omni-vium-Dilu-vium, Cosmogene-sis-Akró-sis and build up a cycle of birth, evolution, consciousness and death. All in all, the four records represent a life cycle. All lyrics are based on three different topics — philosophy, astrophysics and religion at the same time — while being in either a meta or macro point of view. Musically, the albums are linked within melody lines or themes. For example, 'Emergent Evolution' is linked to 'Incarnated', 'The Conjuration' to 'Velocity' and 'The Seventh Aeon' to 'Orbital Elements'. Also, within the lyrics, a few themes I started with during the first three records are finished through 'Diluvium'. 'Sermon Of The Seven Suns' was taken by 'The Seventh Aeon', for example. If you sit down and read clearly through the four albums, there is much more to find and achieve."

"Diluvium" track listing:

01. Clandestine Stars

02. Emergent Evolution

03. Diluvium

04. Mortification Of The Vulgar Sun

05. Ethereal Skies

06. Convergence

07. Ekpyrosis

08. The Seventh Aeon

09. The Conjuration

10. An Epilogue To Infinity

11. A Last Farewell (Bonus Track)

Additionally, OBSCURA has announced a North American headlining tour, set to take place from mid-September through early October. The band will be joined by BEYOND CREATION, ARCHSPIRE, INFERI and EXIST for what is sure to be the most talked about progressive death metal tour of the year.

Album art credit: Orion Landau

Photo credit: Christian Martin Weiss

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[= ||| 14 2018

SMASHING PUMPKINS Perform Cover Of LED ZEPPELIN's 'Stairway To Heaven' At Tour Kick-Off (Video)

SMASHING PUMPKINS performed a surprise cover of LED ZEPPELIN's "Stairway To Heaven" during the opening concert of their reunion tour Thursday (July 12) in Glendale, Arizona. It marked the first time Billy Corgan and company had performed the classic song live.

The "Shiny And Oh So Bright" North American arena tour is SMASHING PUMPKINS' first in nearly 20 years to feature founding members Corgan, guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. Longtime SMASHING PUMPKINS guitarist Jeff Schroeder, bassist Jack Bates, and keyboardist Katie Cole are also taking part, as the band moves to a three-guitar lineup to better emulate the signature tones and textures of their albums.

Last month, SMASHING PUMPKINS dropped "Solara", the first recording in over 18 years to feature founding Corgan, Iha and Chamberlin. Recorded in Malibu, California at Shangri La Studios with producer Rick Rubin and guitarist Jeff Schroeder, "Solara" is available now to stream and download on all digital music platforms via Martha's Music under license to Napalm Records.

Corgan, Iha and Chamberlin last played together on 2000's "Untitled". "Untitled" was Iha's last PUMPKINS recording prior to "Solara", while Chamberlin's was 2009's "FOL".

Original SMASHING PUMPKINS bassist D'Arcy Wretzky is is not taking part at all in the band's reunion after recently claiming that Corgan offered to have her come out and do sporadic appearances on the current reunion tour.

Formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1988, SMASHING PUMPKINS released their heralded debut album, "Gish", in 1991 and found mainstream success with 1993's four-times-platinum "Siamese Dream" and 1995's 10-times-platinum "Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness".
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|||| 14 2018

TARJA Releases 'Victim Of Ritual' Performance Video From 'Act II'

Former NIGHTWISH singer Tarja Turunen has revealed the latest song from her brand new live-art-album and video "Act II".

"Victim Of Ritual" was recorded live at the Woodstock festival in Poland and can be seen below.

Filmed during Tarja's world tour "The Shadow Shows", during which the influential heavy rock singer circled the world 7.5 times with over 300,000 km travelled and played over 200 shows in 40 countries in front of 1 million people, "Act II" consists of the singer's very intimate 75-minute set filmed and recorded live at the Metropolis Studio in London, England and the breathtaking live performance of one of her shows in Milan, Italy, and previously unreleased interviews and photo galleries.

The theatrical rock adventure "Act II" combines two incredible-yet-slightly-different live performances on video: The first chapter, "Metropolis Alive", has been filmed two months prior to the release of Tarja's 2016 success "The Shadow Self". Twenty winners from all over Europe were lucky to witness Tarja's set at Metropolis Studios in London, where the singer performed songs from her then unreleased album — for the first time in front of an audience.


"Act II" is the second chapter and was recorded on November 29, 2016 at the magnificent Teatro della Luna Allago in Milan, Italy and includes numerous hits from all four Tarja albums such as "Innocence", "Die Alive", "Until My Last Breath", as well as an incredible cover of MUSE's classic "Supremacy". That night's setlist also enchants the soprano's long-time fans with a medley consisting of the distinctive NIGHTWISH evergreens: "Ever Dream", "Slaying The Dreamer" and "The Riddler". It was all topped off with a remarkable acoustic set, which presented Tarja classics in a brand new way.


Even though the shows deliberately differ in look, sound, approach to the music and adrenaline, both have one thing in common: from the very first to the very last tune, the state of the art production displays Tarja's energetic performance and her graceful, charming presence.


"Act II" will be released on July 27 on earMUSIC as 2CD digipak, 3LP gatefold (180g, black), DVD, Blu-ray, limited mediabook 2CD+2BD (including two full live shows filmed at Hellfest in France and Woodstock Festival in Poland as bonus) and digital.

"Act I", Tarja's first-ever live release, charted Top 10 all over Europe as well as almost all over the world, with a sensational No. 5 in Germany. The video version even remained for over two months at the peak of the Finnish music video charts.
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|||| 14 2018

CYHRA Guitarist EUGE VALOVIRTA Releases New Solo Single "Triggered Boulevard" Featuring PROFANE OMEN Vocalist JULERI NÄVERI

CyHra guitarist Euge Valovirta's long-awaited Easy Does It solo album will be released on August 24th , and the previously singles "Feed the Fire" (featuring Nico Hartonen) and "Liquid Lunch" (featuring Hannes Kett) are now followed by "Triggered Boulevard" featuring Juleri Näveri (Profane Omen, Spiritraiser) on vocals. 

Valovirta: "The song starts with a catchy riff (at least IMO) and continues with more catchy riffs and awesome vocals by Jules. And then there’s the Randy Rhoads / Zakk Wylde-influenced guitar solo which I’m pretty proud of too. I’ve always wanted to write and release this kind of song and I’m glad that I finally did it. The early Zakk Wylde and the whole Randy Rhoads era are my favorites of Ozzy’s career so it’s pretty cool to release a song in the spirit of those eras." 

Näveri: "'Triggered Boulevard' is my way of thanking the '80s and '90s hard / glam rock bands for feeding me with influences to throw in the mix for my own musical upbringing. Euge offered me a song I simply couldn’t resist and I went balls screaming deep with it."

The drum and bass parts are again delivered like there’s no tomorrow by Rainer Tuomikanto and Lauri Hämäläinen, the latter being responsible for producing, recording and mixing the album. Svante Forsbäck mastered the whole thing. This song, like the whole album, is played without guitar overdubs like those classic Van Halen and Black Sabbath albums. 

"This decision enabled me to play that much more freely and to really go for it, since I didn’t have to worry about double tracking afterwards,” says Valovirta.

Other vocalists on the August released album include Nico Hartonen, Hannes Kett, Jules Näveri, Niklas Kvarforth (Shining), Tommy Tuovinen (Oceanhoarse, ex-MyGrain) and Micko Hell (Denigrate, Gloomy Grim).

Check out "Triggered Boulevard" on Spotify here.

Listen to "Liquid Lunch" now on Spotify. "Feed The Fire" is available here.

CyHra, the band featuring former Amaranthe singer Jake E. and ex-In Flames guitarist Jesper Strömblad, have updated their 2018 live schedule. It is now as follows:

July
20 - John Smith Rock Festival - Laukaa, Finland
28 - Qstock Festival - Oulu, Finland

November
23 - Club ZAL Ozhidaniya - Saint Petersburg, Russia
24 - Zil Arena - Moscow, Russia
30 - Lokomotivet - Eskilstuna, Sweden

December
1 - Klubben - Stockholm, Sweden

Cyhra have dropped the video for "Here To Save You", from their debut album Letters To Myself, out now via Spinefarm Records. The video was filmed during their successful North American tour opening for Sabaton and Kreator this spring.

Vocalist Jake E. (ex-Amaranthe) states, "Releasing 'Here To Save You' as a live video was something that we thought of already after finishing up the song in the demo studio. And as we got the possibility to open up for Sabaton and Kreator a couple of months back, it was a no-brainer to just make sure to put it on film. I love how we were able to capture all the positive response, both within the band but also all the love we got for our newfound fans in the US and Canada. Every time I watch it, I just wanna go back out on the road! I hope you will like it as much as we do!"

Says guitarist Jesper Strömblad (ex-In Flames): "With this video we show that Cyhra is here to stay. I am so proud to show what a blast we have on stage and that Cyhra is an amazing live act. I have never felt this good on stage in my whole career and I can't wait to get back on the road soon!"

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[= ||| 14 2018

Exclusive: LEE AARON Premieres “American High” Video

Canadian rock icon Lee Aaron is riding high off her new album, Diamond Baby Blues, BraveWords is cruising along with her, premiering the new video for “American High”.

Aaron comments, "We were excited to work again with Dan Zachary (who shot ‘Diamond Baby’) because he had a great sensibility about capturing the vibe of the band. The song 'American High' on the surface seems like a great American party tune but it's actually about the polarization of values and beliefs that is occurring everywhere in North America right now under the new administration. We love our USA neighbors and wanted to celebrate the things we treasure about America, so we incorporated iconic characters into the video like Elvis, Lady Liberty, Lincoln and Amelia Earhart. We thought there was a comic irony in actually inviting those characters to a decadent limousine party where everyone could blow off some steam and get wrecked. Serious, but funny as heck."

Guitarist Sean Kelly adds: "“My favourite part of the American High video is that it shows the genuinely fun interaction and love of rock n roll that we all share...it is a testament to Lee’s artistic vision that she is able to take the vibe of a song and perfectly manifest it visually. I really treasure my writing relationship with Lee, and American High totally captures so many of our influences while still retaining all the hallmarks of the Lee Aaron sound...big guitars and drums, and world class melodies and vocals!”

Singer, songwriter, producer, performer, mother, teacher, rock ‘n’ roll legend… Lee Aaron is wearing a lot of hats these days. With a career spanning over 35 years and still going strong, Aaron is one of Canada's most diverse artists. She proves it yet again on her new album Diamond Baby Blues, out now.

Aaron delivers a world-class vocal performance on the new album that may very well be the finest in her career. Diamond Baby Blues is a fiery collection of blues-based rockers, rock ‘n’ roll and hard-rock that pays homage to the giants of the late ’60s and ’70s music scene.

Set to perform at Wacken, Germany's biggest open air festival this summer, Sweden's, Skogsrojet Fest and a string of Canadian shows, this multi-talented songstress shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. A Canadian original and a national treasure - Lee Aaron.

Tracklisting:

"Diamond Baby Blues"
"Mistreated"
"American High"
"I'm A Woman"
"Mercy"
"The Best Thing"
"Black Cat"
"Hard Road"
"In The Bedroom"
"Cut Way Back"
"You're No Good"
"My Babe"

"Diamond Baby Blues" video:
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|||| 14 2018

THE AMORETTES Release "Whatever Gets You Through The Night" Lyric Video; UK Tour Dates Announced

Taken from The Amorettes' Top 40 album, Born To Break, the accompanying lyric video encompasses shots of the band doing what they do best; playing live in front of an audience, with the pictures representing their continued European onslaught. All pictures courtesy of Geordy Van Velzen Photography Fidelis and Marty Moffatt. 

"'Whatever Gets You Through The Night' is a song about just letting go, and being yourself," says guitarist/vocalist and principle songwriter Gill Montgomery "We are hoping it strikes a chord with listeners, and that it can relate to their individual experiences, and they can use  it as an anthem to help celebrate how they live their own lives."

With the release of Born To Break, The Amorettes have continued to demonstrate a considerable growth in both musicianship and songwriting, with Montgomery penning some of her most diverse material to date. 

"This is definitely a departure from our heavier catalogue," she continues. "However, I still feel that it encompasses the full Amorettes vibe." 

And, as with the majority of Montgomery’s songs, it comes with a simple message for those who feel they may not fit in with the majority: 

"Haters are gonna hate! So, just get over it, and let your own little freaky flag fly."

Check out the video below.

Born To Break was produced by Luke Morley of UK rockers Thunder and recorded and mixed by Nick Brine (The Darkness, Bruce Springsteen). It  was released in April 2018 through SPV/Steamhammer as CD digipak, 2LP gatefold coloured version, download and stream. 

Line Up:

Gill Montgomery – guitar,vocals
Hannah McKay - drums
Heather McKay - bass

The Amorettes on tour 2018:

July
13 - Tiree, UK - Tiree Music Festival 
26 - Blackpool, UK - The Waterloo Music Bar
27 - Holmfirth, UK - The Picturedome (with The Dead Daisies)

September
13 - Grimsby, UK - Yardbirds
14 - Keighley, UK - The Octagon Live
15 - Wakefield, UK - Redemption Festival

November
11 - Inverness, UK - Monstersfest

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|||| 14 2018

RISE OF THE NORTHSTAR Release New Single "Here Comes The Boom"; Official Video Posted

Crossover metallers Rise Of The Northstar have released a brand new single called "Here Comes The Boom". Check out the official music video below:

Commented the band: "We chose this track as the first single of our new album because it's a perfect synthesis, from the way it sounds to the lyrics, everything is summed up in this song. Attaque contre-attaque, here comes the boom."

The song comes off the band's as-yet-untitled second album, which is scheduled to drop this year through Nuclear Blast. The album was recorded with Gojira's's Joe Duplantier in his Brooklyn, NY-based Silver Cord Studios.

Over the course of the past four years, the internationally acclaimed Rise Of The Northstar has become a household name for crossing '90s metal, rap, hardcore and Japanese culture as well as brutal and intense live shows. After the release of their globally praised debut album, Welcame (2014), the band embarked on countless tours, leaving dropped jaws everywhere. With their new, crushing album in store, the Northstar will rise to unknown heights.
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[= ||| 14 2018

NABERUS Debut "My Favorite Memory" Video

Australian melodic death-thrashers Naberus have revealed a new music video for the song "My Favorite Memory". The video was directed by Cat Argiriou and edited by Consta Theoharpoulos. This is the third music video from their sophomore full-length album entitled Hollow, which was released via Eclipse Records on June 29, 2018. The video draws upon singer James Ash’s personal experience of his father’s battle with dementia. Watch the video below:

“We filmed the video over two days with most of the video being shot on a lovely sunny Melbourne day,” says lead singer James Ash. “When we finally filmed the beach scenes, this ended up happening on a cold overcast day. Tianna had to wade into the ocean and fall under the water. It was so cold that day, she was screaming and cursing us - you would never know though as we only saw her back.”

For further details, follow Naberus on Facebook.

 
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|||| 13 2018

SYMPHONY X Guitarist MICHAEL ROMEO: Trailer For 'War Of The Worlds / Pt. 1' Solo Album

Internationally acclaimed guitar hero Michael Romeo will release his solo album, "War Of The Worlds / Pt. 1", on July 27 via Music Theories Recordings / Mascot Label Group.

The first trailer for the effort can be seen below.

The wildly ambitious 10-song disc sees the founder, chief songwriter and prime mover of the progressive titans SYMPHONY X furthering his reputation as one of the world's preeminent axe slingers and composers of adventurous, multi-faceted orchestral metal.

"It's me putting all the things I love about music in a blender," says Romeo. "Somebody might listen to it and say, What is this guy thinking?' But it's all about being creative and having a good time with it."

No doubt there will rapturous responses from Romeo's longtime fans. While "War Of The Worlds / Pt. 1" brims with the kind of thrill-seeking guitar chops that have placed the Garden State shredder in numerous "all-time greats" lists, it also offers some unconventional twists: Along with classic metal textures, Romeo pays homage to film score giants Bernard Hermann and John Williams, and there's even some surprising EDM/dubstep elements guaranteed to turn heads all of which makes for an enthralling and immersive journey.

Recalling the forbidding tone of the notorious H.G. Wells novel that inspired its name, Romeo casts the lead track, "Introduction", as a precursor for what is to follow. The dark, symphonic instrumental (equal parts Bernard Herman and Gustav Holst) gives way to the pummeling metal double-header of "Fear The Unknown" and "Black", on which Romeo's rifftastic twists and turns are ably assisted by Rick Castellano's soaring vocals.

A startling change-up occurs with "F*cking Robots", a striking mash-up of digital blurps, bleeps, DJ-like scratches and ace guitar madness. "My fans might think I've lost my mind on this one," the axeman jokes. But just as quickly, he floors the six-string goodness on "Djinn", an epic, theatrical rock roller coaster on which the rhythm section of John "JD" DeServio (bass) and John Macaluso (drums) provide a muscular backdrop for the guitarist's elastic soloing and Castellano's full-throated vocal chops.

The lush balladry of "Believe" is a big-hearted respite from the shards of molten metal, but Romeo whips out the doomsday riffage on "Differences" and "Oblivion", both chock full of widescreen hooks and synapse-altering solos.

Closing out the set is the cinematic musical odyssey "Constellations", which sees guitars and keyboards majestically taking flight into a kind of heretofore unseen otherworld. "That one probably took the longest to create of all the songs on the record," Romeo recalls. "It wasn't just the recording it was the writing and scoring. I had to break out the pencil and paper on that one. But I couldn't be happier with the results. It really ends the album on a powerful note."

Romeo recorded the bulk of "War Of The Worlds / Pt. 1" over a year-and-a-half period in the comfort of his home studio (nicknamed "the Dungeon" by his wife) in Hazlet, New Jersey. The project gave him the perfect opportunity to work with the rising Long Island star Castellano, a singer he's had his eye on for some time, as well as fellow Jerseyans Macaluso and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY member DeServio. "JD and I went to high school together," Romeo notes. "We always wanted to do something together, so this was the perfect opportunity. The planets finally aligned, and we were able to work together. It was great to have him play on it."

SYMPHONY X fans have been waiting two decades for an honest to goodness Michael Romeo solo album (not counting his 1994 demo recording, "The Dark Chapter", which was released in several countries), and the arrival of "War Of The Worlds / Pt. 1" will be no doubt be cause for celebration. And the guitarist promises a sequel. "Most of Part II is already finished," he says, "It just needs a few vocals, a couple solos, a few tweaks here and there. I want people to absorb the first one for a while, and then we'll put out the second record. They'll complement each other, but they'll also be a bit different."


Track listing:

01. Introduction

02. Fear Of The Unknown

03. Black

04. F*cking Robotos

05. Djinn

06. Believe

07. Difference

08. War Machine

09. Oblivion

10. Constellations
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|||| 13 2018

MADDER MORTEM To Release 'Marrow' Album In September

Norwegian alternative metallers MADDER MORTEM will release their seventh full-length album, "Marrow", on September 21 via Dark Essence Records. The disc's first single, "Moonglight Over Silver White", can be heard at this location.

"Moonlight Over Silver White" is, according to the band, "the essence of what MADDER MORTEM is about. The contrasts between the gentle and the brutal, the chugging grooviness of the guitars in counterpoint to the soaring arpeggios of the vocals, and the wide range of musical influences knit together in a damn strong, heavy song. The lyrics are a tale of the loneliness of a forest in winter, walking lost and small between the downy snow and the glaring stars."

"Marrow" sees MADDER MORTEM hungrier and heavier than ever before. The eleven-track album is complex, covering a wide variety of genres and sounds that range from moments of folk/prog to avant-garde. From delicate ballads to harsh metal. Agnete M. Kirkevaag's dynamic and immensely powerful vocals, are, as always, at the fore on an album that is more doomy than its predecessor, "Red In Tooth And Claw", as well as being at times both heavier, and catchier.

"Marrow" is about "sticking to the essence of yourself. Your ideas, your thoughts, your values". It was produced by BP M. Kirkevaag and mastered by Peter In de Betou at Tailor Maid.

With artwork by the legendary artist Thore Hansen, "Marrow" will be available in digipak CD, digital, and limited-edition green vinyl gatefold LP formats.

"Marrow" track listing:

01. Untethered

02. Liberator

03. Moonlight Over Silver White

04. Until You Return

05. My Will Be Done

06. Far From Home

07. Marrow

08. White Snow, Red Shadows

09. Stumble On

10. Waiting To Fall

11. Tethered

MADDER MORTEM also has some news that will please fans who have been clamoring to get their hands on the band's long-unavailable debut full-length album, "Mercury". With 2019 being the 20th anniversary of the release of the album, the band is planning a special re-release of "Mercury" in which the original songs will be re-worked to reflect the MADDER MORTEM of today.

As the band explains: "Back when we recorded 'Mercury', we were basically just kids, and we knew very little about how the recording process worked. The musicianship was mostly there, and the ideas were absolutely there, but as for production skills we just liked reverb a lot! Thankfully, we ended up with a result were still proud of. But through the years, as we've played the songs with different lineups, we've often talked about how cool it would be to bring the skills and know-how we now have to those ideas. BP has even made some quite elaborate pre-prods of several songs, but the timing has never been right for making a release out of it."

The right time has finally arrived, but in order to be able to bring this much-cherished project, which will include not just the album, but also a very special show, to fruition, MADDER MORTEM really need the help of the metal community, and to this end the band has set up a crowdfunding page, where fans can become an integral part of the process and reap some very unusual and very unique rewards. To get creative input and feedback from their fans, and to promote the new album, they're also going out on their first headliner tour this fall.
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POWERWOLF: 'Incense And Iron' Lyric Video

German metallers POWERWOLF will release their seventh album, "The Sacrament Of Sin", on July 20 via Napalm Records. The follow-up to 2015's "Blessed & Possessed" was recorded at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden with producer Jens Bogren, who has previously worked with KREATOR, DRAGONFORCE, SEPULTURA and PARADISE LOST, among others.

The official lyric video for the song "Incense And Iron" can be seen below.

POWERWOLF guitarist Matthew Greywolf told Overdrive about "The Sacrament Of Sin": "I would say the approach was to expand the territory a bit. I think 'The Sacrament Of Sin' has become the most diverse POWERWOLF album with the most variation in the music and a lot of new elements in our sound. At the same time, I think it's become a pretty typical POWERWOLF album in terms of atmosphere and power and character."

"The Sacrament Of Sin" also contains POWERWOLF's first ever attempt at a power ballad in the shape of a song called "Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone".

"The idea of writing a proper ballad was growing for a lot of years," Greywolf told Overdrive. "I think it was some years ago that on one of the tours, I was confessing to Attila that I was a big fan of those classic rock and metal ballads and he was confessing the same, so we agreed that one day we would write a ballad, no matter what. But it never worked in the past. The fact that we did as a part of 'Blessed & Possessed' showed us we could go for that, and that we were ready for it. Because, I mean, back then we covered 'Edge Of Thorns' from SAVATAGE, where we had those verses based on piano and vocals; and that was the first time we tried that, and it sounded pretty great! So when we started writing 'The Sacrament Of Sin', I had that in mind and I was quite confident that we could realize that long-planned ballad this time. Luckily, it all came together very well and I think, for me personally, it's one of the highlights of the album, definitely."

"The Sacrament Of Sin" track listing:

01. Fire & Forgive

02. Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend

03. Killers With The Cross

04. Incense And Iron

05. Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone

06. Stossgebet

07. Nightside Of Siberia

08. The Sacrament Of Sin

09. Venom Of Venus

10. Nighttime Rebel

11. Fist By Fist (Sacralize Or Strike)

12. Midnight Madonna (bonus track; only available at EMP and Napalm Records mailorder)

POWERWOLF will embark on the European "Wolfsnächte Tour 2018" in the fall. Swedish melodic metal sensation AMARANTHE and Germany's heavy/glam high flyers KISSIN DYNAMITE will be joining in as special guests.
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|||| 13 2018

FIT FOR A KING: 'The Price Of Agony' Video

Dallas metalcore band FIT FOR A KING has released the official music video for the song "The Price Of Agony". The track is the second single off the group's forthcoming full-length album "Dark Skies", which is set for release on September 14 via Solid State Records.


"The song is about the political divide not just in America, but around the world," states vocalist Ryan Kirby about "The Price Of Agony". "And how this divide has caused us to not just disagree with others, but to despise people with differing views, even though outside of politics, we all have more in common than we allow ourselves to believe."


"Dark Skies" was recorded, produced, and mixed by Drew Fulk (I PREVAIL, MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, MEMPHIS MAY FIRE). The album is available for physical pre-orders now and will be available for digital pre-order starting on July 13.


The four-piece will be hitting the road for their 2018 North American summer headline tour in support of the forthcoming release. The massive tour will kick off in Austin, Texas on July 18 and will wrap in Jacksonville, Florida on August 14. LIKE MOTHS TO FLAMES will be direct support to FIT FOR A KING, with CURRENTS opening the show.


FIT FOR A KING was built with bootstrap ethics and do-it-yourself vigor. On the strength of self-released material, the group joined Solid State for a string of successful albums that connected with the downtrodden and dispossessed. "Creation/Destruction" (2013) debuted at No. 6 on the Hard Rock chart. "Slave To Nothing" (2014) cracked the Top 50 of Billboard's Top Current Albums. "Deathgrip" (2016) climbed to No. 5 among Hard Rock Albums.


FIT FOR A KING is Ryan Kirby (vocals), Bobby Lynge (guitar), Jared Easterling (drums), and Ryan "Tuck" O'Leary (bass/vocals).


"Dark Skies" track listing:

01. Engraved

02. Price Of Agony

03. Backbreaker

04. Anthem Of The Defeated

05. When Everything Means Nothing

06. Youth | Division

07. Shattered Glass

08. Tower Of Pain

09. Debts Of The Soul

10. Oblivion
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|||| 13 2018

LEECHED Release "The Stone And The Steel" Music Video

Manchester's Leeched have unveiled the second single from their upcoming album You Took The Sun When You Left. Watch a video for "The Stone and The Steel" below.

"'The Stone And The Steel' is one of our personal favourites from the album. It's no frills and straight to the point. The same applies to the video, and it was perfect as a single because of this. The track covers themes of oppression and the decay of life. We wanted it to be as hard-hitting and violent as possible. The song doesn't follow a standard structure it progresses in way that felt natural when it was written." states Leeched vocalist/bassist Laurie on the new track.

You Took The Sun When You Left will be released on August 24th via Prosthetic Records. Pre-order here.

Barely a year after they formed, and with an incessantly intense EP - Nothing Will Grow From The Rotten Ground - already under their belts, Leeched are taking a fast-paced swipe at the world around them. Bands sharing a distaste for the status quo, or a dissatisfaction for the world around them may not be something new, but few bands are doing it with the vitriol and vehemence that is offered up on You Took The Sun When You Left.

Tracklisting:

"Cripple The Herd"
"Rope"
"The Stone And The Steel"
"By The Factories"
"Guilt"
"A Mouth Full Of Dirt"
"Born In Sand"
"Raised By Lead"
"Hollow-Point Weddings"
"Harrow The Pastures"
"You Took The Sun When You Left"

"Guilt":

Taking influence from every dark and dingy corner of extreme music, Leeched may be moving at break-neck speed, but they're a band who are quickly finding their feet - both in the studio and out on the road.

Tour dates:

July
23 - Think Tank - Newcastle, UK *
24 - Slade Rooms - Wolverhampton, UK *
25 - Sticky Mike's - Brighton, UK *
26 - The Anvil - Bournemouth, UK *
27 - Borderline - London, UK *

August
20 - Asylum 2 - Birmingham, UK ^
21 - Trillians - Newcastle, UK ^
22 - Rough Trade - Bristol, UK ^
23 - The Underworld - London, UK ^
24 - The Green Door Store - Brighton, UK ^
25 - Break The Chains Festival - Leeds, UK

* - With Employed To Serve
^ - With Full of Hell

Leeched is:

Laurie - Bass/Vocals
Judd - Guitar
Tom - Drums

(Photo - Polarise Photography)
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