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Issue #566

Issue #566
Week of October 25, 2010

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Patrick Brower, Editor

Sean P. Gahgan, Editor

Tim Wadzinski, Owner

Steve Shumake, Co-owner

-Chicago has certainly lived up to its billing as the Windy City this week. Please make it stop… – Tim

*** PRESS RELEASE #1 ***
-Accept Announce European Tour!

It’s a rarity that a band manages to surprise so many in such a short time. Their new album BLOOD OF THE NATIONS has not only received endless accolades and reviews across the globe, it has easily become a candidate for top hard rock album of the year 2010. Accept have also become a hot topic of discussion among the metal cognoscenti with their amazing return to the metal stage. The “Big Bang” in the international charts was a logical conclusion!

BLOOD OF THE NATIONS earned the band their highest chart debuts in their history. This is not just another rock band, this is the German metal pioneers Accept we are talking about, a band that has achieved world wide acclaim throughout their long history and has long become a leader in the German metal scene. This is a band that started out in the small town of Solingen and conquered the world! Their endless tours have crossed the planet, playing sold-out shows alongside such hard rock luminaries as AC/DC, Kiss, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, Dio and Iron Maiden.

Let’s jump to the present:

Sensational success stories are arriving almost daily from all over the world over the last few months. Accept was the main support for AC/DC in Germany, they headlined the Sonisphere Festival in Istanbul and Bucharest, achieved #1 at the MySpace “All Genre” Video Charts, reached the Top 25 in the US iTunes charts, #12 in the European Billboard and #35 worldwide. Accept managed to crash Twitter and received press coverage in the pages of Financial Times, BBC World, CNN, NY Times, Spiegel… this incredible list can go on for pages!

Now that Accept have completed their highly successful European warm-up tour and are finishing up a warm-up US Tour, they are ready for the next hammer announcement. After their October appearance at the prestigious 45,000 seat Loudpark Festival in Japan, Accept can now confirm their extensive European Tour to start in early 2011!

The 28 announced dates in support of BLOOD OF THE NATIONS will span Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Greece, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, France, Belgium, plus some planned shows for Russia and UK as well. Accept is back and on the prowl!

Here are the dates:

01/14/2011 Osnabruck (GER), Halle Gartlage
01/15/2011 Bad Arolsen / Kassel (GER), Outback
01/16/2011 Antwerp (B), Hof ter Lo
01/18/2011 Paris (F), Elysee Montmartre
01/19/2011 Biarritz (F), L’attabal
01/21/2011 Madrid (E), tba
01/22/2011 Pamplona (E), tba
01/23/2011 Barcelona (E), tba
01/25/2011 Pratteln (CH), Z7
01/27/2011 Milan (I), Magazzini
01/28/2011 Tuttlingen (GER), Stadthalle
01/29/2011 Geiselwind (GER), Eventcentrum Strohofer
01/31/2011 Stuttgart (GER), LKA
02/01/2011 Vienna (A), Arena
02/02/2011 Budapest (HUN), Diesel
02/04/2011 Katowice (PL), tba
02/05/2011 Warsaw (PL), tba
02/06/2011 Gdansk (PL), tba
02/08/2011 Hamburg (GER), Große Freiheit
02/09/2011 Cologne (GER), Live Music Hall
02/10/2011 Munich (GER), Tonhalle
02/12/2011 Zlin (CZ), Masters of Rock Cafe
02/13/2011 Athens (GR), Gagarin 205

Tour will be continued. Details will follow soon!

For more information please visit:

*** PRESS RELEASE #2 ***
-ProgPower USA XII: Kick-Off & Midweek Mayhem Announcement

[Note: This is from festival organizer Glenn Harveston’s post at http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/progpower-usa/635797-pp-usa-xii-kick-off-midweek-mayhem-announcement.html#post9463590 . – Tim]

Video update

“An Evening with Evergrey and Vanden Plas” has been announced for the ProgPower USA XII Kick-Off Show on Thursday, Sept. 15th 2011 as part of the annual event’s festivities. The returning fan favorites will co-headline the night and will each perform a 90+ minute special set. There will be no opening act.

In addition, Evergrey will perform an acoustic show as part of Mid-Week Mayhem on Wednesday, Sept. 14th with metal karaoke immediately following to round out the night. Due to the intimate nature of the setting, only 200 tickets will be made available to the public.

Vanden Plas will also perform a semi-acoustic show on Saturday, Sept. 17th as part of the exclusive “Gold Badge Series” of shows. Tickets for this show are not available to public, as ProgPower USA XII Gold Badge tickets are sold-out.

North America’s premier progressive and power metal festival returns to Center Stage in Atlanta, GA on September 16 & 17th with the following confirmed bands:

THERION (U.S. exclusive)
ARCTURUS (U.S. exclusive)
DREAM EVIL (U.S. exclusive)
LABYRINTH (U.S. exclusive)
MOB RULES (U.S. exclusive)
ELDRITCH (U.S exclusive)
RED CIRCUIT (U.S. exclusive)
HAKEN (U.S. exclusive)

Ticket information for all nights will be announced soon on the festival website. ( http://www.progpowerusa.com/ ).


Now for the personal message…

The Kick-Off Show is a true 50/50 effort this year. Shane is taking care of Vanden Plas while I take care of my boys. I also want to thank Shane for helping coordinate and pull off the Vanden Plas Gold Badge show as well.

Let’s get the albatross out there now for discussion up front. We do NOT anticipate any further problems with Vanden Plas’s visas next year. I have already explained in the past what happened two years ago and proved that to be correct as all visas were approved last year in record time. Neither Shane, the band, nor myself would risk further problems if we did not believe this was no longer a concern. Regardless, we are not putting tickets on sale until May after the visas are approved.

In regards to the Mid-Week Mayhem, it will indeed return to Vinyl’s next year. We are going to relax & kick back like we did back when we partied with Oliva that year.

And once again, thanks to Wayne Joyner for the video productions.

*** PRESS RELEASE #3 ***
-Blind Guardian: Have Announced Their Return To North America!

Triumphantly returning to North American shores in support of their Billboard-charting new album AT THE EDGE OF TIME, Germany’s favorite sons Blind Guardian are pleased to announce the western hemisphere’s portion of the Sacred Worlds And Songs Divine 2010 World Tour, commencing on November 19th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and concluding on December 22nd in West Springfield, Virginia.

Support acts are California’s Holy Grail and Florida’s Seven Kingdoms. Tour dates can be viewed at the band’s MySpace.

Blind Guardian’s lead vocalist & lyricist Hansi Kürsch checks in about the upcoming trek:

“Christmas will be a little earlier this year, ’cause The Guardian is coming to town in November and December! The band is really excited to announce this upcoming tour. Finally, we will get the chance to preach our Sacred Words and play our Songs Divine somewhere near your neighborhood.

“We have prepared a nice package of music and bands for our Northern American followers. Our friends from Holy Grail and Seven Kingdoms will join us on this glorious mission and will have their part in these magical nights to come. Both bands are underground now, but I can feel that the future is theirs. They really carry the spirit of a new American Power Metal generation.

“Touring the U.S. and Canada does always means a tremendous amount of fun, so we are really anxious to see if the people in Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and Albuquerque — where we have not played before — can scream as loud as their brothers and sisters in New York, Quebec, Toronto, or Hollywood. We’ll soon find out when we meet you at the edge of time.

“Of course, we have to arrange some time in between playing and traveling for some Christmas gift shopping. I am sure I will find plenty of cool ‘Star Wars’ action figures and I am already aware of some great Christmas shops near Washington where I will be able to get some great atypical Christmas tree ornaments. Strange worlds we are living in: The funniest ones sometimes have been produced in Germany, where you can’t get them in stores, so the U.S./Canada trip definitely pays off.

“As for books: Last time we ended up in Portland for a day, and whether I’ll make it to Powell’s (City of) Books, you never know. 🙂 All in all, I have far too many books which I have not yet read, but I am constantly working on it. Since I am getting older and the saying is: “The older you get, the less sleep you need,” I am very optimistic I will manage to read them all when the nights are getting shorter.”

Blind Guardian

*** PRESS RELEASE #4 ***
-Gotthard Update

[Note: This combines multiple updates. – Tim]

Singer Steve Lee — Fatal Accident In America!

LAS VEGAS — The world has lost one of its greatest rock singers: Gotthard front man Steve Lee was killed accidentally during a motorcycle trip in the USA on Interstate 15 between Mesquite and Las Vegas and died at the scene.

The Gotthard singer had flown to the U.S. with some biker friends just this weekend to fulfil a long-cherished dream for which he’d never had the time, due to his heavy touring schedule for many years. It was to be two weeks through the states on a Harley Davidson. The 21 Swiss bikers started their journey on Sunday on a total of 12 motorcycles. On Tuesday 5 October, about 50 miles from Las Vegas, the group had stopped at the roadside to put on their rain gear as it had started to rain. On the slippery road, the trailer of a passing truck began to skid. The driver attempted evasive action but his trailer clipped five of the motorcycles parked at the roadside; one of them hit Steve Lee. Rescue services attempted resuscitation but efforts were stopped after 20 minutes. At 16:13 local time, Steve Lee was pronounced dead.

Among the passengers were Gotthard bassist Marc Lynn and Lee’s girlfriend Brigitte Voss Balzarini. All other fellow riders were unharmed. Steve Lee was 48 years old.

With Steve Lee, we not only lose one of the world’s best rock voices but also an extraordinary personality. Despite his enormous success, the Ticino singer had retained a very subtle eye for detail and often impressed the people around him with his sensitive observation. Due to his personality, he had a serious outlook, without losing his sense of humour and lust for life. Steve Lee met his environment with respect but always had, in his gentle way, a very simple, personal touch. He understood like no one else how to enjoy without going too far — to him, alcohol and parties were things he met with level-headedness. The singer sold several million albums throughout his career with Gotthard, several of them reaching platinum, double or triple platinum status.

And yet all this bears no relation to the human greatness of Steve Lee on a daily basis.

Huge Demand Causes A Record Re-entry In Swiss Charts!

Zurich — The tragic death of Gotthard singer Steve Lee has triggered a record demand for the band’s albums. For the first time in the history of the Swiss charts, 13 albums from one band are among the top 100 at the same time — and that means all albums that Gotthard have released so far in their career.

Also in the Swiss single charts, the loyalty and sympathy after Steve Lee’s death are very apparent. The single “Heaven” even made it to the top of the charts with “One Life One Soul” at number four. In total, nine singles are in the charts.

In the album charts it is NEED TO BELIEVE and ONE TEAM – ONE SPIRIT that have the highest positions, numbers two and three respectively.

Just last Sunday, the official funeral service for the Gotthard front man was held on top of the Gotthard mountain. In spite of snow and winter temperatures, more than 3,000 people came to pay their last respect to Steve Lee. Among them were all the band members, Lee’s girlfriend Brigitte Voss-Balzarini and his sister as well as all the people involved with Gotthard such as management, technicians, crew, label and promotion.

In a memorial tent, mourners could place candles and flowers and say goodbye to Steve, to the sound of Native Indian music — the same music that Steve avidly listened to while visiting a camp of the Indian Shoshone tribe just one day before his death in the USA.

At 13.00 the eulogy was held in Italian and German by two monks of the Gotthard hospice. In Swiss history the term “Gotthard” has always stood for the uniting of the south, north, east and west and therefore would have a very special status for all, the monks said. Yet it also represents “onward journey” and “stopover.” The speech was closed reverently with the song “One Life One Soul” in a duet with opera diva Montserrat Caballé.

Gotthard are one of the most successful groups Switzerland has ever had. Several platinum, double and triple platinum awards enrich their history. 216 times, the Rock group has appeared in the single charts and a total of 378 times in the album charts. Twelve Gotthard albums have topped the charts. The single “Heaven” is only the second song in Swiss music history to achieve a second number 1 entry after being out of the charts for a while.


*** PRESS RELEASE #5 ***
-Pathfinder MetalFest 2010 Proudly Presents The Re-birth Of Crimson Glory!!!

[Note: This is from the Ultimate Metal Forum. – Tim]

… considered by many to be one of the pioneers of progpower metal, the musicians of Crimson Glory have reunited after several years on hiatus (and one special Tribute to Midnight show at ProgPower USA X). Debuting their new lead singer — Todd La Torre — at The Local Concert Venue in Marietta, GA, the elegant beast that is Crimson Glory again raises high its noble head… are you ready?

also featuring…

Artizan … an easy and entertaining listen for all melodic metal fans, yet with enough twists to keep prog fans happy. Well-crafted compositions which blend melodic hooks with developed progressive arrangements; vocals may be the highlight here, soaring with a strength uncommon in most modern metal vocals. Equally impressive is the vigorous fret work which — at times — mimics old school classic metal, yet with renewed energy and passion.

Icarus Witch … “Bow to no trends,” is the motto which Icarus Witch have stood fast by since materializing in 2004. Embraced by the metal press for their fortitude in sticking to their old school guns, their rock/metal hybrid flexibility has made them the support band of choice for everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to 3 Inches Of Blood to most recently Y&T.

Theocracy … the premiere Epic Christian Metal band from Athens, Ga. whose melodic style has more in common with their European contemporaries than with most of their U.S. counterparts. Characterized by huge choruses, epic arrangements and progressive elements, Theocracy’s music is both immediate and deep, managing to be instantly catchy and memorable, yet revealing new levels of intricacy and depth with each subsequent listen.

Widow … formed in the winter of 2000 to express their vision of metal, this group is influenced by many of their own experiences, plus groups such as King Diamond, Crimson Glory, Warlord, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Yngwie Malmsteen. Widow explores the neo-classical side of heavy metal combined with their death metal roots to create an energetic stage show unparalleled by many in their league.

Void Of Reason … back by popular demand, Void Of Reason (VOR) was a stand out local act at the inaugural Pathfinder MetalFest in Oct 2009. Their songs are fresh and exciting, full of energy and life. 2010 brings new energy to the band with the addition of a second guitarist and even more dynamic songwriting.

Merzah … kicking off the PMF2010, this Carolina band has been compared to everyone from Between The Buried & Me to Dream Theater to Devin Townsend with their “Aggressive Progressive” style of metal. When putting together this lineup, promoter Hoyt Parris had one band in mind to start things off — and that was Merzah! Do not miss their set. It will leave you breathless!

300 general admission tickets on sale exclusively through Ticket Alternative HERE at only $20 each; ticket price $25 at the door.


Doors open at 4:30 for VIP badge holders; 5:30 for general admission; show starts at 5:45 with the opening band.

VIP badges (at $35) are almost gone. Write me for details: pmf2009 [at] rocketmail [dot] com.

Hotel and Venue information found HERE on Facebook.


Crimson Glory will be videotaping their show. Show your support for traditional metal and be a part of history in the making!

Hope to see many of you there! Gonna be a kickass weekend!


*** PRESS RELEASE #6 ***
-Avantasia Comes To Brazil And Japan!

In December Avantasia will set off on a world tour to bring the prestigious “Metal Opera” onto stages around the world. Featuring front men Tobias Sammet, ex-Helloween companions Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen, Jorn Lande of Masterplan, Bob Catley of Magnum, Amanda Somerville and many more the ensemble just has been confirmed to play Japan & Brazil too.

The complete tour now reads like this:


30. Nov 2010 Switzerland – Pratteln, Z7
01. Dec 2010 Switzerland – Pratteln, Z7
03. Dec 2010 Germany – Lichtenfels, Stadthalle*
04. Dec 2010 Germany – Kaufbeuren, All Karthalle*
05. Dec 2010 Sweden – Stockholm, Arenan
08. Dec 2010 Japan – Tokyo, Shinagawa Stella Ball
10. Dec 2010 Mexico – Mexico City, Circo Volador
13. Dec 2010 Brazil – Sao Paulo, CTN
15. Dec 2010 Argentina – Buenos Aires, venue tba
18. Dec 2010 Germany – Fulda, Esperantohalle*
19. Dec 2010 Germany – Essen, Grugahalle**

Due to the fact that this is not a regular or annual tour but an extensive Avantasia-event and experience, the show start for Avantasia will begin promptly at 8:00 p.m.


*** PRESS RELEASE #7 ***
-Rhapsody Of Fire Update

[Note: This combines multiple updates. – Tim]

Confirmed For Bloodstock Festival!

Rhapsody Of Fire are finally confirmed to play the legendary Bloodstock festival, which takes place from August 12th – 14th in the UK, as a “Special Guest.”

Luca Turilli comments: “Hail to you, dear brothers and sisters! We are so excited to announce you that we agreed with our English friends an exclusive presence as special guest for the Bloodstock festival of next year in UK! It will be our first live appearance ever on that wonderful ground and we are looking forward to playing our greatest songs and to have together a great time in the name of Rhapsody Of Fire’s epic cinematic music. See you soon!”

For 2010 the following shows are confirmed:

07.11.10 Russia • Moscow
10.11.10 China • Beijing
12.11.10 China • Shanghai
13.11.10 Taiwan • Taipei
20.11.10 Mexico • Mexico City
22.11.10 Costa Rica • San Jose
29.11.10 Chile • Santiago
03.12.10 Argentina • Buenos Aires

More to follow…

In spring 2011 Rhapsody Of Fire will come over to Europe. First shows to be confirmed soon.

New Epic MCD Out Now!

Today is the release of THE COLD EMBRACE OF FEAR – A DARK ROMANTIC SYMPHONY from Italian gods Rhapsody Of Fire.

“For this special CD we composed a unique song of around 35 minutes divided in 7 ‘acts.’ Looking at the title you can easily imagine that such long and epic song will show the most cinematic and orchestral side of our band, all our passion for the world of cinema we love so much and that always represented our main influence while composing the Rhapsody’s music,” says Luca Turilli and adds: “Essentially it is a long huge song, sounding very symphonic, full of orchestral sections very soundtrack oriented, narrations and spoken parts. More than in other cases we tried to create a real movie atmosphere with very dynamic musical results, also thanks to the help of the English actors that gave voice to different charachters. You will just need to close your eyes and explore those new emotional dimensions we wrote the music for.”

Also the reactions of medias are overwhelming:

“THE COLD EMBRACE OF FEAR is a diamond in notes”
ROCK IT, Germany

“The Gods of Hollywood Metal are back”
ROCK HARD, Germany

“Theatralic melodic Speed metal… this is cinema for the ears”

“Majestic, noble and magnificent. A visually stunning storm in seven acts”


*** PRESS RELEASE #8 ***
-Magic Circle Music: Two New Feinstein Releases Available — Plus A Very Special Deal!

Not one, but two great albums of Feinstein, the band of Ronnie James Dio’s cousin and long time band mate David “Rock” Feinstein are now available at the Kingdom Of Steel!

For those few who don’t know yet, here’s a little 101 in Heavy Metal History:

Feinstein is the band of David “Rock” Feinstein, who played in various bands with RJD (incl. The Electric Elves and, most notably, Elf) before gaining even more fame with cult metal band The Rods, who toured the world with Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Ozzy.

Now is your chance to get two massive albums with Rock’s signature sound that is both classic and unique.


This new Magic Circle release affirms David “Rock” Feinstein’s role within the power metal genre as a bonafide guitar hero and metal songsmith. The songs sound big and modern, but also embody a classic flair that reminds of the very best of Rainbow, Deep Purple and Dio. But Rock is a peer of such artists, not an imitator, and that makes this classic-sounding album genuine.

Rumor has it that much of the material on ONE NIGHT IN THE JUNGLE was supposedly written for (but not used on) Dio’s MAGICA CD, so the similarities have credence. Another hallmark of Rock’s style is his guitar tone, which is as impressive as ever.

Track List:
One Night In The Jungle
Freedom Reigns
Stop Playin’ With Fire
Primal Temptation
Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark
Judgement Day
L.A. Way

Also available as special offer! Check it out!


“Easily compared to the Dio classics HOLY DIVER and THE LAST IN LINE.” That’s what Oliver Weinsheimer at Heavy Oder Was Magazine said about THIRD WISH when it was first released.

“Epic” and “blazing” are only a few words that have been used to describe it. THIRD WISH is that rare album that actually lives up to the hype surrounding it.

Now you can get a completely new re-mastered version of the album. The original was massive already, but now it adds the unparalleled sonic fury that only today’s most powerful remastering technologies provide.

The full album THIRD WISH – REMASTERED is now available as MP3 download at the Kingdom Of Steel. Also available as special offer! Check it out!

Track List:
Streaming Star
Third Wish
Rule The World
Far Beyond
Poison Ivy
Live To Ride, Ride To Live
Freedom Reigns (featuring John West)
Black Azul


Magic Circle Music

*** PRESS RELEASE #9 ***
-Former Founding Members Of Yes & Toto First Los Angeles Concert: YOSO Headlines “Humanity Thru Music” Green Carpet Charity Concert


Signed Guitars & Drum Heads For Silent Auction

Saturday, November 6th @ Musicians Institute Music Corridor and Amphitheatre in Hollywood


HOLLYWOOD, CA — What do Rob Zombie, Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai, Alice Cooper, Marky Ramone and so many other rock stars have in common? They all love animals and have signed guitars and more to help support the upcoming concert Humanity Thru Music and the building of a No-Kill animal sanctuary. Right now you can get your ticket for $35 as a special Halloween price — Just Paypal to donations@furfeather.org and get yours now!!!

Come wag your tail and rock-out in Hollywood on November, 6th at the First Annual Humanity Thru Music concert and paw-sta dinner in benefit of Fur & Feather Animal Sanctuary a 501c3 dedicated to much needed animal welfare in California. Come help save the lives of our homeless animals from having to enter shelters and face needless euthanasia by supporting the building of Southern California’s first full NO-KILL animal sanctuary, medical and educational center.

The night will dazzle you with bright lights and stars as you cross the green carpet to the corridor off of Hollywood Blvd for fun, food and a paw-stompin concert with Platinum super-group players from Yes & Toto — YOSO — playing hits from both bands “Roundabout,” “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” “Rosanna,” “Hold The Line,” and so much more!!

Join celebrities and rock stars at the vegetarian Paw-sta buffet bar then trot over and chase your tail around one of the largest silent auctions full of the best treats, including guitars signed by Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, George Lynch, drum heads signed by Marky Ramone, weekend trips, Hi-end spa weekends, signed sports memorabilia, autographed “Star Wars” memorabilia, Two Brunches at the House Of Blues, Tickets from the LA Philharmonic (winter season) and Hollywood Bowl tickets (summer season), a Two Night Stay at the beautiful Carmel By the Sea, Cypress Inn — part owned by Doris Day and pet friendly. The list of auction items is endless and all proceeds go to Fur & Feather Animal Sanctuary to further their goal of building in 2011.

NIGHTS SCHEDULE: Will-call opens at 5:30 p.m. to check in and purchase tickets with the Green Carpet and silent auction starting at 6:00 p.m. The vegetarian paw-sta buffet starts at 6:30 p.m. with a martini and wine bar. 8:00 p.m. is your cue to go rock out to classic rock in the amphitheater for the concert that will start at 8:30 p.m. The concert will end about 11:00 p.m. in which the guests will return to the corridor for the last chance to bid on the silent auction before the winners are announced. At this time, coffee and dessert will be served.

ONLINE ADVANCE SALE: General Admission seats, dinner and dog tags (festival seating) is $50, VIP seating, dinner, dog tags and commemorative book is $100 (guaranteed first 5 rows), $195 VIP Backstage (First 3 center rows seating guaranteed | VIP Lounge | After-Show Meet & Greet | Special YOSO Gift bag), Platinum group seating for 10 includes all above* $1,250.

TO BUY TICKETS: Go to http://www.ticketfly.com/ , PayPal at http://www.furfeather.org/ OR PayPal direct with ticket seat-type and quantities to music@furfeather.org — You will be provided with a confirmation page you will bring to will-call night of the event. Will-call starts @ 5:30 p.m. sharp!

WALK-UP (day of show): General Admission seats, dinner and dog tags (festival seating) is $50, VIP seating, dinner, dog tags and commemorative book is $100 (guaranteed first 5 rows), VIP Backstage not available.

The term “Super-Group” describes a band rising out of two of the most creative bands of the past 30 years: YOSO is formed out of Toto’s brilliant lead vocalist Bobby Kimball and the creative force of former Yes members, Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood, thus equalling the magic of Yes with the voice of Toto. However, YOSO is much more than a combination of two classic rock groups. The band’s debut album ELEMENTS will debut this Fall in the USA on Frontiers Records. This long awaited release comes with a bonus live CD where the band plays some old and new classics. Their musical blend presents a fascinating combination of the sound of Yes (90125/BIG GENERATOR era) and Toto, with a very interesting and original sound that truly encompasses the styles.

*General Admission Ticket only

*** PRESS RELEASE #10 ***
-Napalm Records Update

[Note: This is a compilation of several updates. – Tim]

Seventh Void: Of Darkness And Dante

The Napalm Records crew is happy to announce that Seventh Void has joined its ranks. The band revolving around Type O Negative veterans Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly rightfully focuses on the Doom Metal’s quintessence: hypnotic riffs, heavy grooves, and haunting vocal lines. A first teaser and live dates are available at the band’s MySpace! HEAVEN IS GONE will be released at the end of November.

Johnny Kelly: “It’s been a long time coming! I’m thrilled that we are finally getting HEAVEN IS GONE released everywhere! I’m looking forward to working with Napalm on this as well as the next Seventh Void release in 2011! I’m even more stoked about the band finally doing a European tour! I’m really looking forward to the upcoming run with Monster Magnet. It’s gonna be a blast! See ya soon!”


Van Canto: New Clip

Fans may watch the clip to “Magic Taborea” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYdoFtPtFKU !


Grave Digger: Widget & Making Of

THE CLANS WILL RISE AGAIN is available now and to celebrate the release, Grave Digger present their fans with a special widget! The widget ( http://videos.napalmrecords.at/widget/bin-release/Widget.html ) offers snippets of the new Metal anthems, videos, a picture gallery, and a blog with all the latest news. Furthermore, an exclusive sweepstake offers users the chance to win unique and signed band memorabilia. You too can update your Web site or MySpace page with the Grave Digger widget — one click is all it takes to become a member of the clan! So, what are you waiting for?

In addition, the “Making Of” of the anthem “Highland Farewell” may be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQWexTPe-L4 !

Grave Digger: The Clan Storms the Charts

Grave Digger stormed the German and Swiss longplayer charts with their latest studio effort THE CLANS WILL RISE AGAIN and made it to numbers 28 and 86 respectively. In addition, the band made it to number 102 in Sweden. A big “thank you” goes out to all supporters and fellow headbangers! Fans who would like to celebrate with the band may find the perfect opportunity to do so on their upcoming European tour in early 2011! The video to the album hit “Highland Farewell” can be watched at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqp6z6vfHX8 !


Brant Bjork: Signs To Napalm Records

The grand master of rock signed a worldwide recording deal with Napalm Records and the new overdose of riffs and grooves will be ready in 2011! Brant Bjork: “I am pleased to announce that I have joined the good people at Napalm Records for assistance in my contribution to the world of rock-n-roll. Thank you to all who have been with me through out my years of independence. Your direct and indirect support has lead me to this new opportunity. Thanks to Napalm for having the courage and insight to work with an artist such as myself… And most of all, thanks to all those who have attended my shows and purchased my recordings. You all are the cornerstone of my musical journey. Thank You.”


Napalm Records Goes iPhone

The free Napalm Records app for your iPhone is now available! No matter where you are, you will be able to get the latest information about our artists including news, videos, and even songs! So what are you waiting for? Get the perfect and free dose of Napalm for your iPhone at http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/napalm-records/id396548872?mt=8 !


Katra: Fiery Three-Ring Circus

The Finnish gothic metal act just produced a clip to their song “One Wish Away.” Fans may view the fiery video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywvP6YlPfbs ! OUT OF THE ASHES will hit the streets at the end of October!


Thulcandra: New Album

“We are very proud to announce that we have almost completed the songwriting process for our upcoming release, which will be entitled UNDER A FROZEN SUN. With our second album, we are going to continue and refine our chosen path of creating an ice-cold atmosphere of majestic darkness. The new songs will contain all the trademarks found on our debut album, yet with more focus on epic and intricate melodies and extensive lead guitars.

“In order to assure a worthy, freezing production for the album, the band will once again work together with V. Santura at the mighty Woodshed Studios. The recordings will take place in the beginning of December.

“On a final note, the plans for an extensive European tour in 2011 are taking shape, more details will follow soon on our MySpace profile and on our Facebook account.

“Tobias Ludwig & Thulcandra”


Napalm Records

*** PRESS RELEASE #11 ***
-Lion Music Label & Artist News

Seventh Wonder – THE GREAT ESCAPE

Released December 3rd, 2010

One of the most anticipated releases in the progressive metal genre is released on December 3rd, 2010. Having built a reputation as one of the most exciting, skilled and enthralling metal acts currently on the scene as well as making a name for themselves with potent live performances Sweden Rock Festival and two shows at the prestigious ProgPower USA, Swedish progressive metal masters Seventh Wonder have raised the bar even further with THE GREAT ESCAPE.

This spectacular new album is a continuation of where the band left us last with 2008’s MERCY FALLS. The band’s trademark first class melodies and great choruses are still in focus along with astonishing lead work from all musicians throughout the CD. Yet there is for the first time in Seventh Wonder history a really epic track on the album with the adventurous title track that clocks in at 30 minutes.

The story of this track is based on the epic space saga “Aniara,” written in 1956 by Swedish Nobel Prize winner Harry Martinson. The band even obtained written permission from the author’s daughter who holds the copyright, to use phrases from the original book after hearing a few Seventh Wonder tracks and liked them. The rest of the lyrics on the album sees the band’s usual wide variety of topics dealing with everyday life and challenges in our modern society, as well as more fictional stories and historical themes. Some other novel musical excursions also appear on the album, while staying true to the Seventh Wonder formula of writing music.

Sonically the new album is somewhat drier than its predecessor MERCY FALLS and in that sense more reminiscent of the sound on WAITING IN THE WINGS, a more guitar driven sound. The sound is still very clear such that all instruments are clearly audible, as we have come to expect from Seventh Wonder releases with the album being a great reflection of the power the band possess in the live arena.

Never an act to stand still the band wanted to try something new this time. The new stuff constitutes about half of the album’s playing time and is made up of the aforementioned epic title track on one hand and the slow, almost poppy song “Long Way Home” on the other, featuring Jenny Karevik on additional vocals and Andreas Blomqvist playing fretless bass, adding to the different feel of the track. If these two tracks represent the new flavour, then the rest of the songs are exactly what you would expect from Seventh Wonder, only newer and better.

In the build-up to release the band made their first promotional video for the song “Alley Cat” which scored over 20,000 hits on YouTube within 14 days of upload and at the time of writing has had over 35,000 hits. A clear sign the band are ready to move to the next level in terms of popularity.

THE GREAT ESCAPE features some new flavours for the Seventh Wonder fans indeed, but always staying true to the formula that have gained them thousands of fans around the globe — technically advanced progressive metal with hooks and melodies to die for.

1. Wiseman
2. Alley Cat
3. The Angelmaker
4. King Of Whitewater
5. Long Way Home
6. Move On Through
7. The Great Escape

Andreas Blomqvist – Bass
Johan Liefvendahl – Guitar
Tommy Karevik – Vocals
Andreas Söderin – Keyboards
Johnny Sandin – Drums

o Music & arrangements by: Seventh Wonder
o Lyrics by: Blomqvist / Karevik
o Recorded by: Seventh Wonder and Johan Larsson
o Mixed and mastered by: Erik Mårtensson [ http://www.blowoutproductions.com/ ]
o Artwork and concept by: Johan Larsson [ http://www.johanart.se/ ]
o Additional vocals by: Jenny Karevik and Johan Larsson
o Violin on “King Of Whitewater” by: Arto Järvelä



Mastercastle Release New Promo Video For “Last Desire”

Italian metal merchants Mastercastle have just made available their new promo video for the title track of their second album LAST DESIRE.

Led by the soaring vocals of Giorgia Gueglio, the gifted guitar work of Pier Gonella and the tight rhythmic interplay of bassist Steve Vawamas and drummer Alessandro Bissa, Mastercastle made a strong impression with their debut album — the 2009 release THE PHOENIX — and returned with an even more impressive follow-up in June 2010 with LAST DESIRE.

To view the video click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ciPWlwCdl4 .

Lion Music

*** PRESS RELEASE #12 ***
-Eric Johnson Releases Expansive New Album, UP CLOSE, On December 7th, 2010

Includes Guests Steve Miller, Jimmie Vaughan, Johnny Lang & Sonny Landreth

Hits Road With Acoustic Guitar Masters Package & Experience Hendrix Tour

Guitarist, songwriter and singer Eric Johnson brings listeners UP CLOSE to his stunning musicality when the Grammy winning artist releases his sixth studio album on his own Vortexan Music label (via EMI Distribution) on December 7th 2010. The 15-track disc presents 14 new Johnson compositions plus his version of the Electric Flag song “Texas,” and features guest appearances by fellow master players Jimmie Vaughan and Sonny Landreth on guitar and vocals by Steve Miller, Johnny Lang, and Malford Milligan. It returns him to the EMI family where Johnson enjoyed his greatest record success with the albums AH VIA MUSICOM and VENUS ISLE.

Praised by All Music Guide as one of the “very few musical artists [to] achieve a true signature style which makes comparisons to other musicians impossible,” Johnson expands, deepens and enhances his sound on his first album release since BLOOM in 2005. The title reflects the revelatory and spontaneous performances on UP CLOSE as well as its sonic immediacy thanks to a mix by legendary veteran engineer Andy Johns.

“I decided to let go a bit and allow things to happen and just go with the flow,” explains Johnson of his approach to the album. “I like my work to have a high proficiency, but I also wanted to go for the energy and magic of the performances.” He precedes the album’s release with a special acoustic Guitar Masters tour alongside acclaimed players Peppino D’Agostino and Andy McKee in October, and follows it with his second appearance on the Experience Hendrix tour later this year and another leg of the Guitar Masters tour in January 2011. Lyrical themes of reflection, emotional revelations, personal growth and fulfillment are underscored on the album by Johnson’s most daring, urgent, progressive and at times raw and fervent guitar work to date. As with all of Johnson’s work, his all-encompassing style draws from rock, blues, pop, country, jazz and classic to exemplify his stature as “an extraordinary guitar player accessible to ordinary music fans” (Memphis Commercial Appeal).

Track Listing:

3. BRILLIANT ROOM (Malford Milligan – vocal)
4. TEXAS (Steve Miller – vocal, Jimmie Vaughan – guitar)
5. GEM
7. AUSTIN (Jonny Lang – vocal)
15. YOUR BOOK (Sonny Landreth – guitar)

Johnson burst into the musical mainstream with his landmark 1990 album AH VIA MUSICOM, which won him a Grammy, yielded a record three Top 10 instrumental hits like “Cliffs Of Dover” from a single LP release, and earned him platinum sales status. Enshrined in Guitar Player’s Gallery of Greats and named one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician magazine alongside numerous other awards, Johnson’s career has been marked by his gift for writing songs with vivid and indelible melodies and lyrical, concise and adventurous playing that focuses on melody and the song rather than six-string gymnastics. A frequent collaborator with other guitar legends, he has continued to explore the myriad possibilities of guitar-based musical artistry since his debut major label release in 1986, TONES, that landed him on the cover of Guitar Player magazine.

UP CLOSE is energized by Johnson’s continuing focus on broadening and enriching his work. “I wanted to bare myself a little further and show myself more,” he says. “I want my music to always grow and have more of a profound meaning and impact.”

Tour dates for the Experience Hendrix Tour are as follows:
Oct. 26 – Pittsburgh – Benedum Theater
Oct. 28 – Toronto, ON – Sony Center
Oct. 29 – Quebec City, QUE – Grand Theatre
Oct. 30 – Montreal, QUE – Place des Arts
Nov. 01 -Ottawa, ON -National Arts Center Southam Hall
Nov. 02 – Buffalo, NY – Center for the Arts
Nov. 03 – Morristown, NJ – Community Theatre
Nov. 04 – Mashantucket, CT – MGM Grand @ Foxwoods
Nov. 06 – Albany, NY – Palace Theater
Nov. 07 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theater
Nov. 09 – Hershey, PA – Hershey Theatre
Nov. 10 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
Nov. 11 – Baltimore, MD – Hippodrome
Nov. 12 – Richmond, VA – Landmark Theater
Nov. 13 – Atlantic City, NJ – Caesars Casino
Nov. 16 – Columbus, OH- Palace Theater
Nov. 17 – Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theater
Nov. 18 – Detroit, MI – Fox Theater
Nov. 19 – Merrilville, IN – Star Plaza Theater
Nov. 20 – Indianapolis – Murat Theatre

For more information, visit http://www.ericjohnson.com/ .

*** PRESS RELEASE #13 ***
-Backstage Auctions Announces All-Star Lineup For The Rock Gods And Metal Monsters Auction

The auction will showcase over 400 exceptionally rare pieces of rock memorabilia, featuring members of such legendary groups as Pantera, Ministry, Quiet Riot, Dio, White Zombie, Whitesnake, Alcatrazz, Queensryche, Black Sabbath, Mercyful Fate, Ozzy and more, direct from the private collections of notable rock and metal icons from the past three decades.

HOUSTON, TX — Backstage Auctions is proud to present the “Rock Gods And Metal Monsters Auction,” an unprecedented hard rock and heavy metal online auction event. “Almost every item being offered in the auction is ‘iconic memorabilia’ and is easily identifiable to a specific artist or band,” explains Backstage Auctions founder Jacques van Gool.

The auction, which is scheduled to go live on Halloween, features amazing pieces direct from the private collections of Al Jourgensen (Ministry), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Ozzy, Whitesnake, Dio), Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Michael Schenker Group, Alcatrazz, Impellitteri), Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche), Kip Winger (Winger), Bobby Rondinelli (Black Sabbath, Aerosmith), Andy LaRoque (Mercyful Fate, King Diamond) and John 5 (Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson) and that is just the tip of the rockin’ iceberg.

“When we designed the hard rock and heavy metal themed auction, we really tried to build an event that was not only unique but give fans and collectors access to pieces of rock history that were equally rare and one of kind and we have definitely achieved that goal,” says Jacques. The auction catalog features over 50 gold and platinum records awards, guitars, drums, gear, stage props, artist stage worn apparel, master recordings, vinyl, handwritten lyrics, rare concert posters and photos and the list goes on and on.

“It’s not an every day event that you can stand behind and grab on to Al Jourgensen’s infamous ‘skull and bones’ microphone stand which he used extensively on many Ministry shows and rehearsals. The historical relevance of that one piece in the rock community is well documented and is going to be one heck of a conversation piece for lucky fan or collector that grabs it in auction,” says Jacques.

Equally impressive is the private collection of Concrete Management co-founder Walter O’Brien, which features a jaw dropping collection of RIAA record awards presented to him while managing Pantera and White Zombie. On a more personal level, Sarzo and Bonnet have both offered up their personal vintage “rocker apparel” that they wore on stage, during photo shoots and really cool music videos back in the day.

The auction wouldn’t be complete without a few guitars, drums, stage props and handwritten lyrics. Amazing pieces that Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche, John 5 of Rob Zombie, Bobby Rondinelli and Kip Winger have pulled out of their personal collections are sure to get quite a bit of activity during the auction.

“While this is a stellar lineup of artists, we are still adding headliners to the event, which is exciting. It will be interesting to see the final lineup.” says van Gool.

The event, aptly titled the “Rock Gods And Metal Monsters Auction,” is a not-to-miss opportunity for fans and collectors around the world to own an authentic piece of one of the most significant genres of music history. The auction, which will be held online at http://www.backstageauctions.com/ starts on October 31, 2010 and will run through November 7, 2010. A special preview of the entire auction catalog will be available to view beginning Sunday, October 24.


Backstage Auctions Blog:
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Backstage Auctions is a boutique online auction house specializing in authentic rock memorabilia. By exclusively representing legendary musicians and entertainment professionals directly, every auction event is unique, reflects the seller’s legacy and chronicles their legendary career. Backstage Auctions has represented dozens of notable and very talented musicians, producers and managers in the music industry. The very first online auction event featured the private collection of legendary producer Eddie Kramer (Hendrix, Zeppelin, Kiss) and since then, we have represented musicians such as Ted Nugent, Howard Kaylan (The Turtles), Ross Valory (Journey) and Michael Shrieve (Santana), Johny Barbata (Jefferson Starship), Kip Winger (Winger) as well as managers of legendary bands such as The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Kiss, Journey, Joe Walsh, Pantera, White Zombie, Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band, and Motley Crue. Backstage Auctions works closely with each of their clients and incorporates their personal stories and memories throughout the online auction event. The end result is a unique, historical and unforgettable journey spanning decades of music history.


Al Jourgensen Ministry “Skull And Bones” Microphone Stand

Pantera Records Awards – Walter O’Brien (Co Founder Concrete Management

Pantera Guitar Fully Signed – Dimebag Darrell Washburn

Rudy Sarzo Concert Worn Cross Shirt (Dio)

Marilyn Manson Grey Daisy Watercolor Original Art

Scott Rockenfield Queensryche Drum Kit

John 5 (Rob Zombie) – Broken Guitar and Personal Cast

Graham Bonnet Jail Shirt for the Alcatraz “Island In The Sun” Video

Rudy Sarzo Jean Jacket Whitesnake Era

AUCTION (Banner/Button URLs):

Rock Gods ‘n Metal Monsters Leaderboard Banner:

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*** PRESS RELEASE #14 ***
-Z Records News

[Note: This combines several updates. – Tim]

Z Announced AOR Sensations Escape!

Escape has been a top secret project for the past nine months at Z Records, so secret that only eight people have been aware of its existance until now. Z label head Mark Alger has gathered a group of well known musicians with the aim of creating “the perfect AOR album.” Alger stated “The plan that myself and Vince O’Regan put together mid 2009 inspired me even further. The result of Vince’s and my vision will be released late next week as Legion, and you know what I think it is contender for best hard rock album of 2010. The scarey thing is that their second album will be even stronger and that’s under production now.

“Escape is what it says, influenced by the AOR greats, Superb production, superb musicianship which Z believe has been missing for far to long. The debut album is currently being recorded and it is hoped to have it released by May 2011 with a possible Z Rock appearance penned.

“Further news along with sound samples will be released in the New Year, Don’t stop Believing!”

Samples Of Every Track From Legion’s Debut Now Available

Sound samples for every track from the amazing critically acclaimed debut release from Legion are now available at http://www.zrecords.net/ via the samples page [see index bar]. With rave reviews on numerous respected websites, respected magazines, and radio stations Legion are set to take stagnant scene and drag it kicking and screaming into 2011!

In addition Legion have been confirmed to make their debut appearance at Z Rock 2011 on May 15th. The band are currently in the studio working on their second album for Z Records which will be released April 2011!

Don’t just believe the hype?? Hear it for yourself and join the LEGION of fans to follow!

Further details can be found at http://www.zrecords.net/ .

Legion Self-Titled Debut Hits The Streets October 29th

Legion’s critically-acclaimed debut hits the streets on October 29th.

Already hailed as one of the releases of 2010 by Europe’s melodic hard rock press the album will set Europe’s stagnant melodic rock scene alight. Hear the album for yourself and let the music do the talking at http://www.zrecords.net/ and order your copy from our online store [all preorders are being shipped].


*** PRESS RELEASE #15 ***
-LCM Promotions Update

The Swedish melodic Supermetal band 7Days are back with their long awaited second album — INTO FOREVER. 7Days is a must album for all lovers of Avantasia, Symphony X & Ayreon. Featuring a killer lineup with members from Therion, Divinefire, Harmony, Dark Water, Murder Of My Sweet, Royal Hunt, Rob Rock, & Narnia.


ReinXeed – The Swedish melodic power metal band are back with their third album MAJESTIC. The album scored 88 points in BURRN! Magazine in Japan and reached top positions on Japanese metal charts for several months. The 22 year young Tommy Johansson guitar and vocal hero in ReinXeed and Golden Resurrection reaching new fans all over the world with his exceptionell guitar playing and vocal talents.


Johnny Lennartsson Group – The new classic rock and power house trio sensation from Sweden. FEEL THE FIRE is the title of the debut album and what you get is melodic classic rock in the finest way. The musical influences are Michael Landau, Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa, Black County Communion, and Steve Lukather.



*** PRESS RELEASE #16 ***
-Swedish-Hungarian Band HARD Releases First Single From Forthcoming Album

The new single is a very special occasion indeed, as Swedish singer Björn Lodin, as a gesture to his Hungarian band mates and their Hungarian fans, took on the unlikely challenge of recording the band’s new single singing in Hungarian for the first time.

The song “Várj úgy” is a collaboration with award-winning top Hungarian lyricist Attila Horváth and also has a “Hunglish” version released, interpolating parts of an English-language version which will be featured on the forthcoming album due early 2011.

A video was shot for “Várj úgy” in Budapest on a boat on the Danube.

HARD is a Swedish-Hungarian hard rock group, formed in 2004 by some of the finest musicians of the Hungarian hard rock scene. After two critically acclaimed and award-nominated albums in Hungary, the band decided to take it a step forward and hit international music territories with English lyrics. After several lineup changes, their first international offering, TRAVELER, was released worldwide in March 2008. The band has appeared in the biggest international hard rock & heavy metal magazines, such us Metal Hammer, Burrn!, Fireworks, Hardline, Powerplay, etc. In August 2009, the band announced that they have joined forces with acclaimed Swedish vocalist/guitarist/producer Björn Lodin (Baltimoore). The long awaited first album with this new lineup entitled TIME IS WAITING FOR NO ONE was released on BLP Music/Escape Music in Europe and on BLP Music/Nightmare Records in North America.

HARD is:
Zsolt Csillik (guitar)
Björn Lodin (vocals, guitar)
Zsolt Borbély (drums)
Gabor Mirkovics (bass)
Zsolt Vámos (guitar)

The song can be heard/downloaded by clicking here:

The video can be seen here:


*** PRESS RELEASE #17 ***
-Forbidden Update

[Note: This combines multiple updates. – Tim]

OMEGA WAVE – The Mystery Behind The Cover Art…

Reactivated San Francisco Bay Area thrashers Forbidden have debuted the artwork to their new studio album, OMEGA WAVE, on their official MySpace page.

Forbidden guitarist / songwriter Craig Locicero checks in about his collaborative process with artist Kent Mathieu, the visual elements that can be found in the album’s artwork, and his concern for the future of the human race:

“As soon as Forbidden committed to writing a new record, I wondered where Kent Mathieu was. I’d always felt like FORBIDDEN EVIL and TWISTED INTO FORM were pretty iconic album covers… when things like that actually seemed to matter.

“Then, the good people at Nuclear Blast actually located Kent! I got pretty excited and reached out to him immediately. He was equally excited to hear from us, too. The only real direction I gave Kent was to somehow tie the past into the future. Find a way to make the two skulls [from FORBIDDEN EVIL’s artwork] vital again. He had worked up about 12 sketches all kinds of variously cool stuff. Out of all of the pictures he sent me, I liked the way one of them was laid out because of its simplicity. After thinking about it for a long while, I had a concept for Kent to work with. The OMEGA WAVE concept. The title wasn’t decided until I had a good idea for the cover.

“I don’t want to over-explain the actual picture because there is enough symbolism for everyone to interpret everything differently. That is always a plus, in my book. What I can tell you is that the skull in the center is based upon the crystal skull of Belize. This skull was found at some of the pyramid ruins in two perfect pieces, jawbone and upper cranium. It was always quite a mystery, but some years later Hewlett Packard scientists did extensive tests on the skull and found many anomalies.

“One of them was that there is no way, even with our most modern technology, that we could cut into the crystal the way this skull was formed. It would shatter with any instrument we have available, even today. Another thing was the fact that no matter what temperature the skull was placed in, the skull’s temperature would stay almost exactly the same. Scientists even believe the skull holds information that they could not tap into, like a giant computer chip with an impenetrable code.

“So I got to thinking: Does this skull — and the other ones found throughout the most ancient places on Earth — hold something that we would need to know to possibly save ourselves? This is not an entirely new concept, but it hit me pretty hard. What could we learn about ourselves that may save us at this all-important juncture for the human race?

“It seems as if we’ve reached our Omega stage as a civilization. Meaning, we as people seem to be in a hurry to reach some sort of ending… possibly all self-manifested by accepting some sort of pre-determined fate. Or possibly just pawns in a game that was played out before and will be repeated again and again in other times and dimensions. So OMEGA WAVE is part science fact and part from my imagination.

“Kent Mathieu is a artistic genius who created something that respects this concept, as well as Forbidden’s past, present and future! All of this with one very strong hand-painted picture. That’s right, no computer manipulation whatsoever. Something else we can all be proud of! We hope you approve.”

OMEGA WAVE, Forbidden’s fifth studio album after a 13-year recording hiatus, will be released in Europe on October 22nd and on October 26th in North America. It was recorded at Sonic Room/Audio Voyage Studios in Livermore, California, produced by Forbidden guitarist / songwriter Craig Locicero with Tim Narducci, and mixed by Sean Beavan (Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails).

Forbidden 2010 features Russ Anderson on vocals, Craig Locicero on guitar, Steve Smyth on guitar, Matt Camacho on bass and Mark Hernandez on drums.

Song titles on OMEGA WAVE include:

Alpha Century
Forsaken At The Gates
Immortal Wounds
Adapt Or Die
Inhuman Race
Behind The Mask
Dragging My Casket
Omega Wave

Forbidden are confirmed for January 2011’s 70,000 Tons Of Metal cruise and will tour the U.S. this November supporting Overkill with Evile, Gamma Bomb, and Bonded By Blood.

Forbidden will go on to headline their own tour with Evile, Gamma Bomb, and Bonded By Blood from November 22nd – December 11th. VIP tickets for pre-show Meet & Greet sessions with the band are now on sale at EnterTheVault.com. VIP ticket buyers will also receive a customized poster signed by the band.

New Track Online!

Forbidden have uploaded the track “Forsaken At The Gates” to their official MySpace page!

“‘Forsaken At The Gates’ is Forbidden’s new thrash anthem for the 2010’s and beyond,” commented guitarist Craig Locicero. “If we could go back in a time machine to when we called it a day in 1997, there still would have been no way that we could have written ‘Forsaken…’ back then. We needed the distance and hindsight to write this record and had to get a grip on what the hell Forbidden was all about when we started. Our vision is clear. We are a Thrash Metal band! ‘Forsaken At The Gates’ says it all.

“If I were to compare ‘Forsaken At The Gates’ to any of our old songs, it would be ‘March Into Fire,’ which was one of the first songs that I’d ever written in my life. Ironically, ‘Forsaken…’ was the last song we’d written for OMEGA WAVE. Funny how things work.

“As far as the song itself, Mark was a f*cking beast when we tracked it! I knew we had a monster on the first take, great energy and sense of urgency in his performance. It made one hell of a spine to connect all of the other moving parts to. Everyone blasted through their tracks with the same sense of urgency too. Playing those riffs, my blood pumps harder then in any other song I’ve played on. It was an intense session to track and Matt cruises through the entire thing like a bulldozer! The solo section brings me back to the good ‘ol days when trade-offs were all over the classic metal records we all love. I really love playing and writing with Steve, he makes me so much better and I think we make a great team.

“After that, it’s Russ that’s next f*cking level! Tim and I got him fired up and locked him behind the glass until he sounded as crazed as they lyrics are intended to convey. The song itself is about turning away the masses from the numerous underground shelters around the planet that will try to seek protection from any natural or unnatural disaster that would effect all of us on the surface.

“The main line of the song says ‘Corpses laid out for the Rapture, New World Order buried in its tomb.’ In other words, if the surface isn’t worth living on and the powers that be decide who lives in a canned air bunker for future generations to come… let them rot down there, that’s not a world worth living in!”

Vocalist Russ Anderson added:

“Looking back on recording our first album FORBIDDEN EVIL and recording OMEGA WAVE, there really is no comparison. During the recording of FORBIDDEN EVIL, we were in a time crunch and I sang the whole album in about one and a half days, impossible some could say, but true. I was happy with the results because that gave the album its rawness, that in my opinion goes down in history as true as a thrash album gets.

“OMEGA WAVE was a slower recording process. I worked with Craig and Tim as my right hand men and they know me. At times I think they were trying to ‘slap me around’ a little before the heavy songs like ‘Forsaken At The Gates’ to get me to approach the song with true aggression. You really should not be feeling love and flowers approaching a song like this, not to say that was what I was thinking, but it helps to bring out the aggression of the song through the vocals. ‘Forsaken At The Gates’ was easier for me than some of the others, only because it was the last song I recorded and was done in one session.

“By the time I was on the last of the songs I had a lot of fire to breathe and did not want to stop. ‘I love to record!’ As far as my voice being deeper or better, I don’t know, I tried to complement each song and be one with it, and to do that, you must be one with your voice. That is something I have strived for over the years and hope it comes across.

“I think that vocals can change or get better over time, like a fine wine, for instance if you listen back to James Hetfield when he did KILL ‘EM ALL he most defiantly has a more adolescent voice than, on say …AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. Vocals are touchy things and definitely unpredictable from day to day. The only way I have found to have any control over it is to approach every song with its intended emotion which is also the key to a good performance no matter how your voice is holding up that day. Point being, it’s a human instrument that mirrors the soul.

“I truly gave it my all on OMEGA WAVE and I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed recording it. Hope to see you all on our United States tour that kicks off on the East Coast November 4th, ending on the West Coast on December 11th, 2010.

“Thank you in advance to those that support Forbidden and buy the album.”


*** PRESS RELEASE #18 ***
-Keyboard Virtuoso Erik Norlander Debuts New Video From THE GALACTIC COLLECTIVE

“Garden Of The Moon” Launched On YouTube

EL DORADO HILLS, CA — Master keyboardist and prolific Moog synthesizer user Erik Norlander has launched his latest video “Garden Of The Moon,” a visual rendition of the instrumental song from his most recent CD release THE GALACTIC COLLECTIVE on YouTube. THE GALACTIC COLLECTIVE is a prog rock tour de force of re-imaginings of Norlander’s best instrumental compositions written for Lana Lane, Rocket Scientists and his previous solo albums. To view the video, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ5Q4Mv7RS4 .

“‘Garden Of The Moon’ was the breakthrough album for my wife, Lana Lane, and it changed both of our lives,” says Norlander. “I wrote the title track as an instrumental theme to open and close an otherwise very vocal-oriented album. The song stands strong on its own, however, and I am really proud of the re-imagining we gave it for THE GALACTIC COLLECTIVE. It has such a powerful energy with the unison guitar and drum cadence, and this compositional technique was one that I would use on many future songs including ‘Sunset Prelude’ (2000), ‘Astrology Prelude’ (2000) and ‘Metamorphosis’ (2003), among others. I recorded this new version with three incredible musicians from the Akron, Ohio area: Freddy DeMarco (g), Mark Matthews (b) and Nick LePar (d). I think this version really takes the song to a whole new level.”

Norlander’s previous solo albums are THRESHOLD (1997), and instrumental progressive effort with a decidedly electronically bent and INTO THE SUNSET (2000), a prog metal vocal album with a more traditional rock band sound. Erik’s third album is a 2CD rock opera concept album with an all-star cast entitled MUSIC MACHINE about the dramatic rise and fall of genetically engineered rock star. The MUSIC MACHINE rock opera was released worldwide in June, 2003, followed by a successful European tour with Lana Lane and vocalist Kelly Keeling. In 2004, he released his live recording STARS RAIN DOWN featuring concerts in Europe. Later in 2004, Erik released a wholly electronic CD titled SEAS OF ORION which debuted at the Dutch Alfa Centauri Electronic Music Festival where Erik headlined that year. Erik’s DVD/CD titled LIVE IN ST. PETERSBURG, recorded in the Russian “northern capitol,” was released in July, 2006. In 2006, Erik released HOMMAGE SYMPHONIQUE, an album of classic progressive rock cover songs produced and arranged in Norlander’s signature style. Additional recent releases include his band Rocket Scientists’ REVOLUTION ROAD (October, 2006) and LOOKING BACKWARD (November 2007); and Lana Lane’s GEMINI (November 2006), RED PLANET BOULEVARD (November 2007) and BEST OF LANA LANE 2000-2008, released in November, 2008.

In 2007, Erik joined Asia Featuring John Payne, the latest incarnation of the classic super group, as the band’s keyboardist. He has toured extensively with the group throughout 2008 and 2009 and is working on new studio recordings. In 2009, Erik also toured in Europe with another super group, Big Noize, featuring hard rock all-stars Joe Lynn Turner, Simon Wright, Phil Soussan, and Carlos Cavazo. Erik also works extensively with The Bob Moog Foundation, performed a 2009 concert along with Keith Emerson to open “The Legacy Of Moog” exhibit at The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, California, and the epic “Moogus Operandi” concert in Asheville, North Carolina in 2010. He will also appear at Moogfest 2010 in Asheville, NC on October 31st on the final technology panel of the festival “The Power Of Modular Synthesis” where he will demonstrate the enduring technology of his Wall of Doom, a massive modular analog synthesizer whose core dates back to 1967. http://www.moogfest.com/


*** PRESS RELEASE #19 ***
-Portrait To Play Final Show In Helsinki Before Entering Studio For Album Recordings!

Swedish Heavy Metal fanatics Portrait will play Helsinki on November 12th and will enter the studio shortly after. Read the update from the band:

“On November 12th, Portrait returns to Helsinki to play the Helvation Festival ( http://www.tiketti.fi/event/8362 ) together with, among others, Grand Magus. This will be the last show to be performed before the recording of the new album, and the first time the material is performed live. See all you Finnish maniacs there! Some new merchandise stock just in: The limited picture disc version of the debut LP, plus new patches. Check the ‘releases’ section on the website http://www.portraitband.se/ for details.

“Lastly, all European booking errands should henceforth be directed to the Elastic Artists Agency http://www.elasticartists.net/w/ .”


*** PRESS RELEASE #20 ***
-Hardcore Superstar Reveal Cover Artwork For SPLIT YOUR LIP!

Swedish sleaze rockers Hardcore Superstar just revealed the artwork for their upcoming album SPLIT YOUR LIP!

Commented drummer Adde: “The original idea for the cover was to have a sexy woman to scratch a man’s back but when we later on had a Dinner/Sauna/drinking session while listening to the new album it took another direction. We were all in the sauna with a boombox blasting out the song ‘Split Your Lip’ when our dear friend Biffen (roadie for In Flames, The Haunted, Entombed and many more) pulled up his arm to do the universal sign of licking someone’s p*ssy. Our record boss Markus Tagaris of Gain Records Sweden immediately picked up the idea of having that sign on the cover.”

SPLIT YOUR LIP will be released on November 26 via Nuclear Blast in Europe except for Scandinavia (Gain Records)!


*** PRESS RELEASE #21 ***
-Sleep Serapis Sleep Enters The Studio With Zach Ohren; THE PARIAH’S VOW Due Out Early 2011

Milwaukee’s Sleep Serapis Sleep are making the trek to Oakland, CA to record their upcoming album THE PARIAH’S VOW with Zach Ohren at Castle Ultimate Studios (All Shall Perish, As Blood Runs Black, The Ghost Inside, etc.). The record will be the band’s Static Age Records debut and will have an umbrella theme of a witch hunt, encompassing topics like politics, religion, spirituality, etc. Singer Mike Cattani commented, “We decided to write the album about witch hunts both in a literal and metaphorical sense. Just like the witch trials conducted in Salem in 1692 and the communist witch hunts of the 1950s, people today are being hunted down and cast out with no just cause. This album is written about the outcast’s vow against the injustice of persecution.” The layout will be tied together with the theme by artwork contributed by Uzi Emperado (All Shall Perish, Bleeding Through, Winds Of Plague).

“This is the most organized we’ve ever been coming into the recording process of an album,” Cattani added. “We put a lot of work into this album with a new writing core and we’re really anxious to see what Zach can do with it. We’re all big fans of his work.”

For more info on Sleep Serapis Sleep, please visit http://www.itsastaticage.com/ .

*** PRESS RELEASE #22 ***
-chromatic BLaCK Brings Music To Full Color On OK!Good Debut

NEW YORK — German rock ‘n’ rollers chromatic BLaCK will release their longtime-in-the-making self-titled debut on October 26 via OK!Good Records.

The group’s music is as open to interpretation as its name, which vocalist/synth-man Daniel R. Mueller expounds on with a variety of specific explanations, but can easily be summed up with the concept of diametric opposites — whether it is color or music influences or personalities — all combining to create something uniform.

“Music has to be listened to to be fully understood,” said Mueller. “The sensory experience can not be described by words.” With that said, chromatic BLaCK’s sound falls somewhere under the rock ‘n’ roll tag, combining old school guitar sounds with new school electronic influences, and drawing comparisons to artists such as Iggy Pop, Bad Religion, and Black Flag.

“While working on new songs and preparing our live set, the electronic influence got more obvious,” Mueller said. “We constantly develop our sound without losing the roughness of good old rock ‘n’ roll. There is nothing like an analog guitar sound — but you can still penetrate it with digital elements.”

chromatic BLaCK’s roots can be traced back to a band they called RiffRaff whatever. From 1996 to the early 2000s, the band gigged around the local club scene and began to carve their own niche. With a newly-recorded record in hand, the guys set out to find a record label. Instead they found producer Joerg Evers, an original punkster from the German band Pack, and re-entered the studio to improve upon the recording and lay down some new tracks. A band name change occurred due to a legal issue, and with that came a new outlook toward the overall presentation of chromatic BLaCK as an artistic entity and not merely a band.

“For me, music is always connected to the visual world,” said Mueller. “chromatic BLaCK is not just an audio band but also a visual band: visual rock ‘n’ roll. In DIY tradition I produce videos, band photos, and artwork. Many bands give the visual part in other hands… for me this part is as important as the music and so it’s our job to do it. It all comes together to a single art piece: chromatic BLaCK.”


*** PRESS RELEASE #23 ***
-Marazene Machine Covering Motley Crue’s “Live Wire,” New Song Titles Dropped

Chicago’s Electro-Metal Marazene Machine will cover Motley Crue’s “Live Wire,” according to the band’s Official website: http://www.MarazeneMachine.com/ .

The Machine-Metal mavens — currently in-studio — have also posted two new song titles; “Welcome To Your Holiday” and “The Very Sad Fate Of Miss Desdemona Antoinette Marceaux,” both of which are expected to be key tracks on an as yet untitled self-produced new release.

“The rust is burning off the gears as the machine heats up,” multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Nikk Skum noted. “We’ve been spring-loaded for awhile now. Once this train leaves the station, it’s not stopping till the end of the line…”

The band will be re-teaming up with Jeff Vereb (Smashing Pumpkins) for the final mix. Vereb was the mix engineer behind the MACHINATION album as well as the tracks that appeared on THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS and RECALIBRATED box sets.

The principle songwriting tandem of producers Dietrich Thrall and Nikk Skum have largely kept a low profile since the tragic loss of co-founding member Kristopher “Kristov” Kemp in early 2009 to a three-year battle with colon cancer. In recent months however the members have been dropping hints as to demo progress while putting the finishing touches on the follow-up to 2007’s critically regarded MACHINATION album.

Marazene Machine won over industry insiders and fans Nationwide with their explosive, high-energy performances while touring the U.S. and Canada 100% DIY in 2006-2008 with such acts as Mushroomhead, The Human Abstract, Psyclon Nine, DeadStar Assembly, and Wednesday 13.

For more information:

-Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) is on a solo tour of the US. His band includes “David Goodier (Jethro Tull bassist), Scott Hammond (from Bristol, UK-based drummer), German rock and flamenco guitarist Florian Opahle, and classical musician John O’Hara, who also plays keyboards and accordion with Jethro Tull.” Tour dates:

10/28 – Playhouse Square, Cleveland, OH
10/29 – State Theater, Kalamazoo, MI
10/30 – Rialto Square Theater, Joliet, IL
11/11 – Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL
11/12 – Hard Rock Live @ Universal – Orland, FL
11/14 – The National, Richmond, VA
11/15 – The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA
11/17 – Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ
11/18 – Calvin Theatre, Northampton, MA
11/19 – The Warner Theater, Torrington, CT
11/20 – Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, MA
11/21 – Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Providence, RI
11/23 – Palace Theatre, Stamford, CT
11/24 – Theatre At Westbury, Westbury, NY

-Check out a new interview with Angra guitarist Rafael Bittencourt at http://glclk.about.com/?zi=1/AvAS .

-Contrive’s THE INTERNAL DIALOGUE is out now. Check out all tracks via the band’s YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/ContriveAustralia , and a new interview at http://www.themetalforge.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1802 . See http://www.myspace.com/contriveaustralia and http://www.facebook.com/contriveaus for more.

-The first video clip from Doro’s 25 YEARS IN ROCK 2-DVD/CD set, due November 26 from Nuclear Blast, features a live performance of the Scorpions’ “Rock You Like A Hurricane” with Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker; check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUpIunnZVwc . There is also a trailer for 25 YEARS IN ROCK at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TrrOCAzAy8 . See http://www.doro.de/ for more.

-Dread The Forsaken’s UNBOUND is due November 23 from Nightmare Records, and is billed as “recommended if you like Disturbed, Mudvayne, Iron Maiden, Killswitch Engage, early Anthrax, Godsmack, etc.” Most of the band members are from Guatemala City, Guatemala, with American Gordon Tittsworth (Images Of Eden) on vocals. Hype: UNBOUND “combines classic power and traditional metal with modern thrash and metalcore elements.” See http://www.dread-rocks.com/ , http://www.myspace.com/dreadtheforsaken , and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dread-The-Forsaken/151656668194404 for more.

-Remaining dates on the Nevermore/Warbringer/Mutiny Within/Hatesphere tour:

10/29 – Reggie’s Rock Club, Chicago, IL
10/30 – The Rave, Milwaukee, WI
10/31 – Station 4, St. Paul, MN
11/1 – Royal Albert Arms, Winnipeg, MB
11/2 – The Exchange, Regina, SK
11/4 – The Republik, Calgary, ALB
11/5 – Pawn Ship, Edmonton, ALB

-Ozzy Osbourne has been confirmed for a couple big European festivals in 2011, the Wacken Open Air ( http://www.wacken.com/ ) and Sweden Rock ( http://www.swedenrock.com/ ).

-Further to the Pathfinder MetalFest press release above, on Friday, November 5 at the same venue (The Local Concert Venue inside Sidelines, in Marietta, GA) Circle II Circle will headline a bill featuring support acts Tetrarch and The Shield. Tickets are $10 in advance, $13 at the door. See http://www.myspace.com/pathfindermusicpromotions and http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/progpower-usa/634770-pathfinder-metalfest-weekend-nov-5th-6th-atlanta.html for more.

-Check out Popdose scribe Dave Steed’s fun and informative list of the top 300 metal albums, entitled “False Metal, Dead! 300 Headbangers,” at http://popdose.com/false-metal-dead-300-headbangers-part-1/ thru http://popdose.com/false-metal-dead-300-headbangers-part-13/ . (Part 13 ends at #171.)

-Sacred Oath’s WORLD ON FIRE was released this week. Track list: “Sweet Agony,” “Meet Your Maker,” “The King Must Die,” “Sandrider,” “Front Line,” “Face Of Evil,” “Drums Of War,” “Revolution,” “When The War Is Over,” “On Death Row,” “World On Fire.” Check the album out on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/world-on-fire/id398000560 . See http://www.sacredoath.net/ , http://www.myspace.com/sacredoath , and http://www.reverbnation.com/sacredoath for more.

-Check out a new interview with Star One’s Arjen Lucassen at http://glclk.about.com/?zi=1/AvAR .

-Swashbuckle has a Heidenfest Europe tour wrap-up video posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGNrh0K0P0Y . See http://www.myspace.com/swashbuckle for more.

-Warrant has a limited edition red wine available online now at http://www.artistwine.com/ . The band has the following upcoming tour dates:

10/30 – Ramona Mainstage, Ramona, CA
11/12 – Medina Entertainment Center, Medina, MN
11/13 – The Venue @ The Hub, Fargo, ND
11/18 – The Wildhorse Saloon, Nashville, TN
11/19 – Route 46 Entertainment District, Sanford, FL
11/20 – Sammy T’s Music Hall, Huntsville, AL

See http://www.warrantrocks.com/ and http://www.warrantweb.net/ for more.

-Where Angels Suffer — W.A.S. — is a new band featuring ex-W.A.S.P. members Randy Piper (guitar), Chris Holmes (guitar), and Stet Howland (drums), plus singer Rich Lewis (Randy Piper’s Animal) and bassist Steve Unger (Metal Church). The band’s debut, PURGATORY, comes out on Halloween. Track list: “Cardiac Arrest,” “Can’t Stop,” “Don’t Wanna Die,” “Crying Eagle,” “Unnatural High,” “Judgment Day,” “Zombie” (Cranberris cover), “L.U.S.T.,” “Violent New Breed,” “Morning After,” “Eye Of The Storm,” “B.O.O.M.” The songs were co-written and produced by Chris Laney, and were previously released on the Randy Piper’s Animal albums VIOLENT NEW BREED (2006) and VIRUS (2008) featuring Laney. A mini-controversy about PURGATORY’s content occurred earlier this week on Blabbermouth.net when Laney was informed by fans that the songs were being released on the W.A.S. album, despite Laney owning the master tapes and copyrights. Piper then released a statement saying the reason for repackaging the Animal songs was because they were never available in the U.S. due to the band’s label, Locomotive Music, going out of business after the albums’ European releases. He also stated he hopes to collaborate with Laney again in the future, and that PURGATORY “is a preliminary album to our new lineup of band members,” who are currently working on new material together in Florida. Band hype indicates the members “will embrace their metal history while simultaneously astounding their fans with groundbreaking original songs that could only be created by the exceptional chemistry and passion these professional musicians discovered when they came together again.” The band will play songs from PURGATORY on its upcoming tour:

10/30 – The Viper Room, West Hollywood, CA
11/4 – Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
11/5 – Karma, Patchogue, NY
11/6 – Jaxx, West Springfield, VA
11/7 – Arizona Pete’s, Greensboro, NC
11/12 – Charlie’s, Fairfield, OH
11/13 – Grim’s Roadhouse, Imperial, PA
1/7 – The King Cat Theater, Seattle, WA
1/8 – Roseland Theater, Portland, OR

See http://www.whereangelssuffer.com/ , http://www.myspace.com/whereangelssuffer , and http://www.chrislaney.com/ for more.

Thanks to Anne Leighton, Nathan Birk, Rob Thorne, Chad Bowar, Roscoe, Andrew Haug, Hoyt Parris, and Bill “Chewbacca In The Rye” Kotowski for help gathering some of this information.

by Tim Wadzinski (tsw512@yahoo.com)

-I really liked that Forbidden press release. Very lengthy and cool, and I totally want to check out their new album because of it. And that’s what good advertising is all about, eh? (And extra yahoos to the band for using a real painting for the cover art — gotta love the old-school, baby!!!) Beyond that cruddy fourth Indiana Jones movie, I really haven’t heard or read too much about the fabled crystal skulls, but it sure is an extremely interesting topic. I still wonder how a supernatural/paranormal/sci fi-loving kid like me grew up *never* hearing of the crystal skulls — I only just “discovered” them a few years ago. I’m sure OMEGA WAVE is going to be an interesting and cool album.

-I *certainly* have nothing against the man, but what is up with this David “Rock” Feinstein revival? 2010 must be the Chinese year of the Feinstein or something. Magic Circle is reissuing the two albums mentioned above, plus his new solo disc BITTEN BY THE BEAST is due next month by Niji Entertainment Group. That’s a lot of David “Rock” Feinstein, isn’t it? I think I just like saying David “Rock” Feinstein so much. David “Rock” Feinstein.

-That’s tragic about Gotthard’s Steve Lee. With us being on hiatus, and me pretty much being away from computers for a long time, I hadn’t heard about his tragic death until this week. Gotthard’s always been one of those overlooked bands… I don’t listen to them enough, but every time I do I think, “Man, these guys are awesome. Why don’t I listen to them more?!” R.I.P.

-Wow does that Pathfinder MetalFest sound awesome! Crimson Glory obviously rules, and Icarus Witch and Theocracy are killer. And for $20? That is a S-T-E-A-L, folks. Throw in Circle II Circle for a mere $10 the night before and you have yourself one ass-kicking weekend.

-Why do bands have to pick names like chromatic BLaCK? I know I’m weird but I hate that mixed-cased style of lettering. (Except for when it’s done by the KiLLeR DWaRfS.)

-And seriously, do take the time to check out Dave Steed’s “False Metal, Dead! 300 Headbangers” articles at Popdose.com. Good stuff.

-David “Rock” Feinstein.

-In my current playlist: Halford – MADE OF METAL (Metal God Records), Accept – BLOOD OF THE NATIONS (Nuclear Blast), Lordi – BABEZ FOR BREAKFAST (The End Records).

*** REVIEWS ***
HALFORD – MADE OF METAL (A) Metal God Records, 2010
14 tracks, RT: 1:02:47
[ http://www.robhalford.com/ ]
[ http://www.metalgodshop.com/ ]
[ http://www.metalgodapparel.com/ ]
[ http://www.metalgodrecords.com/ ]
[ http://www.halfordmusic.com/ ]
Rob Halford has hit another home run. MADE OF METAL is a more immediate record than the darker CRUCIBLE, and somehow manages to seamlessly combine some of his most personal lyrics with more cartoonish fare that will have you embracing your inner 13-year-old. “Undisputed” starts off as a great, charging rocker with a flashy trade-off guitar solo. It was inspired by boxing, and despite cramming too many words into the chorus, it works. “Fire And Ice” comes off as “Freewheel Burning” made over as a sing-song Euro metal track a la Yngwie Malmsteen, and the title track comes off as almost glammy, with its irresistible hook. It’s about an alien racing around Earth in a Transformer — really — and you can’t help but smile as you’re rolling your eyes. “Speed Of Sound” is a killer groove rocker with another memorable hook, and “Like There’s No Tomorrow” features some Iron Maiden-style pomp ‘n’ circumstance, with brilliant vocals that run the gamut of Rob’s styles. Up next is the album’s first true standout track, the swampy/bluesy/southern-fried “Till The Day I Die,” which could’ve spawned from Dee Snider’s Desperado phase. “We Own The Night” is a strong melodic metal anthem with affirming lyrics about standing together in the face of adversity. “Heartless” recalls “Nightfall” from the Halford band’s debut, RESURRECTION; it’s mid-tempo and a little dark, with an excellent, building “feel” solo. “Hell Razor” is a fun chugger/marcher with higher-pitched vocals and a melodic solo; it could’ve been on PAINKILLER. “Thunder And Lightning” is another uplifting relationship song, an easy-flowing melodic hard rocker with plenty of attitude. The next big standout is the somber, epic ballad “Twenty-Five Years,” which combines piano and acoustic guitars, and builds into a Crimson Glory-like harmony guitar section; lyrically it’s about Rob’s sobriety and is very powerful. Then “Matador” offers a 180 degree spin — it’s a driving rocker that tells a fairly involved story of the rise and fall of a legendary bullfighter. Yes, a bullfighter. It’s oddly conceived but very cool and creative, and paints a vivid picture. (And hey, Mr. Halford’s also the guy who’s sung about the Loch Ness Monster and chrome-plated angelic warriors, among other things, so now we can add bullfighters to his canon.) “I Know We Stand A Chance” follows as a dark, atmospheric ballad. Then the closer is the disc’s third standout track: “The Mower” is one of the heaviest, darkest things Halford has ever recorded. There is an evil spoken/whispered intro and the main song is heavy and mid-tempo with screechy vocals and powerful drumming. It gets more musical/songlike during the solo, and the finale has Rob getting all King Diamond, growling “no exxxxxittttt!” I’d like to see a video for this song to get a sense of what the heck is going on… I read some early online reviews of this disc that railed on the perceived lack of guitar solos, and Halford’s sports obsession in a few of the songs’ lyrics, but after many spins I found such criticisms unfounded. MADE OF METAL is a killer collection of songs that run the gamut from ballads to fun rock to brutal heavy metal — a perfect showcase for the many sides of Rob Halford.
– Tim Wadzinski (tsw512@yahoo.com)

*** OUT ***

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