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Issue #570

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Issue #570
Week of Novemer 22, 2010

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Patrick Brower, Editor

Sean P. Gahgan, Editor

Tim Wadzinski, Owner

Steve Shumake, Co-owner

-For those of you in the US, Happy Thanksgiving!!! – Tim

*** PRESS RELEASE #1 ***
-DIO AT DONINGTON — Dio’s Best Billboard Charting Debut Ever In The Soundscan Era

Ronnie James Dio’s popularity is greater than ever, as clearly proven by the strong chart showing of the recently released, DIO AT DONINGTON.

The first-ever release from the newly formed Niji Entertainment Group, DIO AT DONINGTON scanned a total of 5,836 units in its first week, resulting in Dio’s best Billboard charting debut ever in the Soundscan era.

As a result, the album — which features a pair of vintage, kick-ass Dio concert performances from 1983 and 1987 — will debut at #98 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart.

Additionally, Dio went from #5 to #1 (with a bullet) on the CMJ Loud Rock Radio Chart this week.

The greatest heavy metal singer of all time continues to amaze and prosper — DIO AT DONINGTON is the sonic proof.


*** PRESS RELEASE #2 ***
-Doro: “Walking With The Angels” Feat. Tarja Video Premiere!

Just in time for the release of her brand new anniversary 2DVD/CD 25 YEARS IN ROCK on November 26, German metal queen Doro released another clip of the DVD — EXCLUSIVELY on MySpace.com!

Check out the duet with Tarja Turunen, “Walking With The Angels”:

To get an idea of the DVD check out the trailers:
Trailer 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqY5Ls2IqxQ
Trailer 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb3vOTc1wE8
Trailer 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TrrOCAzAy8

…and Doro performing the Scorpions classic “Rock You Like A Hurricane” with Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker:


*** PRESS RELEASE #3 ***
-Dirty Looks Releases SUPERDELUXE On Perris Records

Dirty Looks returns with SUPERDELUXE the greasiest rock record to hit the street since the infamous COOL FROM THE WIRE and its follow-up TURN OF THE SCREW. SUPERDELUXE reunites the original lineup of Henrik Ostergaard (vocals/guitar), Paul Lidel (guitar), Jack Pyers (bass), with the addition of Jeremy Hummel on drums.

SUPERDELUXE is full of that vintage Dirty Looks sound to satisfy all the diehard fans and forge ground with a whole new generation. Henrik’s vocal performance screams with raw emotion, that if possible, exceeds all of his previous performances leaving no doubt this guy is at the top of his game and possibly one of the best balls out singers there is. Enough said.

Dirty Looks was formed in 1985 in the San Francisco bay area. After independently releasing an EP on Sticky Records and opening shows for several national acts, they found themselves with a management/production deal. The band hit the studio and recorded their first full-length, self-titled album which was released on the French label, Axe Killer Records. Although they were getting nominal airplay on San Francisco’s largest radio stations, the band broke up and reformed in Harrisburg, PA. In 1986, they released their second full-length album, INYOURFACE, on Mirror Records while simultaneously releasing I WANT MORE on Axe Killer. The song “Oh, Ruby,” from INYOURFACE, began to receive airplay from Z-ROCK (a massive rock station in Dallas, TX) and its affiliates. Requests poured in for the song and major labels such as EMI, Electra, Chrysalis, and Atlantic came calling. In 1987 the band signed to Atlantic Records and EMI Publishing and released their first major label album, COOL FROM THE WIRE in 1988. Produced by Max Norman (Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Lynch Mob), it is still regarded by many as one of the best hard rock albums of its time. Twenty years later, COOL FROM THE WIRE continues to sell online and in record stores all across the globe. (So, if this CD has yet to be added to your collection, you can purchase it from Amazon.com.) After an extensive (and successful) international tour, the band was ready to get back in the studio and start recording their follow-up. The President of Atlantic Records and the higher-ups of their new management team Hard To Handle (AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Emerson Lake and Palmer) thought that it would benefit the band if they hired a producer who had current albums on the Billboard charts. Beau Hill (Ratt, Warrant, Winger) was hired to record the album but the band felt that he wasn’t capturing the street sound that they were looking for. The Hill sessions were scrapped and John Jansen (Britny Fox, Faster Pussycat, Cinderella) was brought in to produce TURN OF THE SCREW, which was released in 1989. After the album dropped, the band hit the road on another vigorous tour. In 1991, while they were out supporting TURN OF THE SCREW, the band released an album of B-sides, BOOTLEGS, on Roadrunner Records. It was also around this time that the band hooked up with the infamous David Krebs (Aerosmith, Scorpions, Def Lepperd) who offered them a lucrative production deal. With the powerful Krebs on their side, the band went back into the studio with Max Norman and recorded FIVE EASY PIECES in 1992, which was their first release on their new label, Sony/Columbia. The album sold well and warranted a fourth major label release, CHEWING ON THE BIT, which Max Norman also had his hands on. The album dropped in 1994 and the band found themselves back out on the road. During that same year, they released ONE BAD LEG, their third release on the Sony/Columbia label.

Track list:

Bring Me Down
A Million Miles
Wide Glide
Dead Movie Star
Fast Ride
Blue Light
Not Enough
Thin Red Line
Steppin’ Stone


*** PRESS RELEASE #4 ***
-Z Records News

Z Records Launch ZPOD

For many months we’ve been trying to figure out a way of promoting to the masses whom are thousands of miles from our home country England. Today we launch what we believe is an exciting tool and one that will wet the appetite of any rock fan. 3 p.m. today GMT we will launch ZPOD — a special promotional podcast of up to 10 stunning just-released or forthcoming tracks to wet your appetites. To those in the United States Happy Thanks Giving!!! For the rest of our friends Christmas has come early!

Let us know what you think of the music on offer at http://www.zrecords.net/ . Your comments would be greatly appreciated!

Holy Rage Debut Unleashed As Band Appears Live This Weekend

Holy Rage whom are led by original Judas Priest frontman Al Atkins have released their self-titled debut this week and the band will be appearing at the Asylum in Birmingham this weekend. Check out sound samples from the album this weekend.


*** PRESS RELEASE #5 ***
-Nightmare Records Update: Seven Kingdoms To Support Blind Guardian

Nightmare recording artists Seven Kingdoms will be making their touring debut with metal legends Blind Guardian and other support artist Holy Grail. Please check the below listed schedule and DON’T miss a nearby show.

19 – The Trocadero Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
20 – Nokia Theatre Times Square, New York City, NY
21 – The Palladium, Worcester, MA
23 – Metropolis, Montreal, QC
25 – Theatre Capitole, Quebec, QC
26 – Kool Haus, Toronto, ON
27 – Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI
29 – Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL
30 – Cabooze, Minneapolis, MN

1 – The Garrick Centre, Winnipeg, MB
3 – MacEwan Ballroom, Calgary, AB
4 – The Starlite Room, Edmonton, AB
6 – Showbox at the Market, Seattle, WA
8 – The Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA
9 – The Music Box at Henry Fonda Theater, Los Angeles, CA
10 – Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ
11 – Sunshine Theatre, Albuquerque, NM
12 – Bluebird Theatre, Denver, CO
14 – Tress, Dallas, TX
15 – Scout Bar, San Antonio, TX
17 – The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC
18 – The State Theater, St. Petersburg, FL
19 – The Masquerade, Atlanta, GA
21 – Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC
22 – Jaxx Nightclub, Springfield, VA

Please pass this information on to your friends via your social networks! This kind of underground support of tours is critical these days for the bands and the shows to be successful. Play an active role in keeping Metal, not only alive but thriving!

Nightmare Records thanks you in advance for your support!

Nightmare Records
7751 Greenwood Drive
St. Paul MN 55112


*** PRESS RELEASE #6 ***
-November News From Liljegren Records

Golden Resurrection

Sweden’s new neoclassical metal masters are having great success in Japan with their highly acclaimed debut album GLORY TO MY KING. The album received 88 points in Japan’s biggest metal media, Burrn! Magazine, and the hard rock and heavy metal media worldwide praise the debut.

The first print run of GLORY TO MY KING is already sold out in both Europe and Asia and this even before the album hit the stores on December 3, 2010. This is great news these days when it’s so hard to sell albums. Golden Resurrection are thankful for the loyal support from fans and media and are looking forward to hit the road during 2011.

Golden Resurrection’s second promotional video “Best For Me” is now available at:

Order signed copies at:

Hardcore Circus

This superstar melodic hard rock/metal band from Sweden will release their powerful debut album WAKE UP CALL worldwide on December 3, 2010.

Hardcore Circus has a great lineup featuring:

Jorgen “Jojje” Bolmstad (Surround) – Lead Vocals & Rhythm Guitars
Joakim Bloohm (Randy Piper’s Animal) – Drums
Nalley Pahlsson (Therion, Last Autumn’s Dream) – Bass & Backing Vocals
C.J. Grimmark (Full Force, Narnia, Rob Rock) – Lead Guitars
Mats Levén (Yngwie J Malmsteen, Therion, Treat) – Backing Vocals



Chained is another new great metal act from Sweden who release their self-titled debut album with lots of raw power and energy. If you mix Motorhead with Black Label Society you have Chained. Don’t miss this great debut release.


Liljegren Records

*** PRESS RELEASE #7 ***
-Two Side Moon/SLW Promotions Update

Two Side Moon Promotions are excited to welcome the Italian virtuoso keyboardist Mistheria!

TSM and Mistheria go back over ten years, we have watched and supported his career through the years and now he’s back with his excellent new CD DRAGON FIRE, which features Lance King, John West, Mark Boals, Rob Rock, Titta Tani, George Bellas, Roger Staffelbach, Neil Zaza, Emir Hot, Alberto Rigoni, John Macaluso.

Please find below the text info for the new album.

Artist: Mistheria
Album Title: DRAGON FIRE
Label: Lion Music

Catalogue Info: LMC293/ EAN6419922002930
Street Date: Out Now
Genre: Prog Metal


Lion Music Promo Page:

Keyboard virtuoso Mistheria returns with an all-star cast for the neo-classical progressive metal tour de force DRAGON FIRE. Home to 13 tracks of full on metal pomposity, this is music crafted around stirring vocal melodies and impassioned first class musicianship. The virtuoso meter of the personnel involved sets a new standard and fans of artists such as Symphony X, Malmsteen, and Artension will find this a sheer musical delight.

The grandiose music on offer has its home within the classical music masters but the metal charge brings DRAGON FIRE firmly into the present day. Yet this is more than musical virtuosity. Mistheria has taken great care to produce songs first and foremost with catchy vocal melodies and big choruses and just one listen will prove that he has succeeded in his aim: producing captivating compositions. After demos for the album had been made the personnel was then hand selected by Mistheria to bring out the best in each track with the highest calibre musicians within the genre chosen to do justice to his songs.

The vocalists comprise of John West (Artension, Royal Hunt), Rob Rock (Impellitteri, solo), Mark Boals (ex-Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire, Royal Hunt), Lance King (Balance Of Power), and Titta Tani (ex-Astra, Ashent). Each vocalist’s unique style has been selected for the appropriate track to deliver Mistheria’s vision. The same process was used for the guitarists with George Bellas (solo, Ring Of Fire), Neil Zaza (solo), Roger Staffelbach (Artension, Angel Of Eden), and Emir Hot (solo) plying their virtuoso guitar work which blend beautifully with Mistheria’s keyboards to recreate the classic guitar/keyboard pairing in all its glory. The bass was ably handled by Alberto Rigoni (Twinspirits) and drums come courtesy of John Macaluso (Ark, TNT, ex-Malmsteen) whose performance is full of high-power heavy grooves and tons of energy making this one of his best performances to date. Yet despite the number of musicians involved there is an impressive sense of cohesion to the material all thanks to the quality of Mistheria’s initial vision shining through in all aspects. Even the sound of the album has produced and mixed to his own personal taste.

Mistheria comments, “Since I only wrote vocal melodies and lyrics for ‘Dragon Fire’ and vocal melodies for ‘Eye Of The Storm’ songs (although I gave ideas for the others), all singers involved influenced the songs prominently with really great lyrics and melodies. John Macaluso’s job on drums has been nothing short of astonishing starting from my programmed drums guideline. The guitarists moved on my own demo ideas as well as Alberto Rigoni on bass and their job has been simply perfect. Ivana Greguric wrote a song exclusively for the album (‘The Beast’) and her work is really remarkable.”

Pianist, Organist, Keyboardist, Keytarist
Compositor and Arranger, Conductor

Official website: http://www.mistheria.com/
E-mail: maestro@mistheria.com
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/mistheria
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/dragon17emailit
Location: Italy

Been playing piano/keyboards since: 1977

At the age of six years, I started studying music, thanks to the passion of my father who had studied Accordion, when he was a child, with Maestro Marco Aurelio Pisegna, famous accordionist, composer and performer, who became a close friend of the family since the time of my grandparents. He has been my first teacher who introduced me into the world of classical music. With teacher Marco, I began studying at age of seven, Music Theory, Solfeggio and Accordion, and I started also to play at numerous competitions for accordion obtaining first and second places and numerous honorable mentions. The results encouraged me to study more and better.

At the age of thirteen I decided (dazzled in one night) to continue my musical studies at the Music Conservatory, and finally become a professional musician. Following an entrance examination, I enrolled in the class of “Organ and Organ Composition” of teacher Mrs. Annamaria Polcaro which, already in her sixties, passed her long teaching experience and formed the whole basis of my piano technique, first, and then organ. With her, I studied also Harmony, Counterpoint and Fugue up to five years. At the same time, I studied “Solfeggio” with teacher Mrs. Laura Bianchini, “History of Music” with M° Pietro Acquafredda and “Gregorian Chant” with M° Giandomenico Piermarini.

After the exam for the fifth year, I continued to study with M° Paolo Cerasoli until the final diploma which I achieved in 1995 with full marks, honors and special mention. In the Conservatory, during my studies in Piano and Organ, I followed the classes of “Electronic Music” with M° Michelangelo Lupone and “Experimental Composition” with M° Alessandro Sbordoni. These classes have completed my music knowledge with a broad vision of harmony, electronics and computer science applied to music, studying music technology and digital media, computer music and MIDI.

During the years of study at the Conservatory I also started my concert career, both as pianist and organist as well as a composer by supporting essays solo and chamber orchestras. I developed the composition especially in the theater, thanks to a long collaboration of more than fifteen years with the actor, now dear friend, Sergio Megrossi for which I composed the soundtrack of many shows.

1990 sees the formation of my first official band Mirage for which I proposed and wrote my first songs typically progressive, in the style of Genesis, Yes, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso and others progressive bands of that years. These bands, which I heard long buying the whole discography, have greatly influenced my musical taste and compositional style. The first recording contract, both for me and the Mirage, arrived in 1994 with the album FRAMMENTI published by the Italian label Mellow Records.

In 1996 I create my own musical show which made my idea of a global art blending music, poetry, dance and image. A cast of fifteen people is part of this show titled “Metamorphosis,” subsequently “Imperator.”

The work as session man starts at the age of eighteen with some local bands and then having real tours throughout Italy with singers of the Italian Pop music scene and stage actors for over fiftheen years (M. Cherubini, R. Cavalli, O.R.O., A. Tatangelo, G. Sabani, S. Meogrossi, F. Bussotti and others), participating in radio and television events as well. As a solo keyboardist, the turning point was when my good friend Alvaro De Amicis showed me a vinyl record called TRILOGY recorded by a guitarist named Yngwie Malmsteen … I felt it was the other side of my musical world: Metal music.

Mistheria – Keyboards, Piano and Keytar
John West – Vocals on 1, 3, 7, 11 & 12
Rob Rock – Vocals on 2
Mark Boals – Vocals on 6
Lance King – Vocals on 4
Titta Tani – Vocals on 1, 8 & 13
George Bellas – Guitar on 2, 4, 6 & 10
Neil Zaza – Guitar on 7
Roger Staffelbach – Guitar on 3, 11 & 12
Emir Hot – Guitar on 8
Alberto Rigoni – Bass
John Macaluso – Drums

Track Listing:
1. Dragon Fire
2. Lies & Deception
3. Killing The Pain
4. Two Of Us
5. Metal Opera Pt. 1: A.D. 1982
6. Metal Opera Pt. 2: Eye Of The Storm
7. Now It’s Never
8. Fire & Flames
9. Prelude 18 In F min
10. Chopin Fantasy
11. The Power Of One
12. The Beast
13. A Beautiful Dream

Media Quotes:
“DRAGON FIRE simply deserves five stars!” – Nikiforos V. Skoumas, Amazon.com (Nov 18, 2010)

“DRAGON FIRE: It’s a pure musical jewel of neoclassical metal!” – Ovidiu, Metal Music Archives (Nov 13, 2010)

“DRAGON FIRE: Overall, if you love it complex and epic this is for you. The songs are well written and performed admirably…” – Jonathan Maphet, Metal Temple (Oct 24, 2010)

“DRAGON FIRE: Mistheria return as this mastermind of keyboard wizardry returns with yet another fine neon-classic metal masterpiece.” – Jason Brown, Friday 13th zine (Oct 15, 2010)

“DRAGON FIRE: If you want fast power metal combined with classical parts, high speed guitar runs, blistering keyboard runs, great keyboard and guitar duels and leads, some very convincing vocal performances, all wrapped in a good production then I suggest you give this one a listen…” – Kenn Jensen, Power of Metal (Oct 11, 2010)

“DRAGON FIRE: If you’re a fan of progressive metal, you won’t be disappointed.” – Managing Editor, HardRock Heaven (Oct 04, 2010)

“DRAGON FIRE: The guest list of the album is certainly impressive, for vocalists try John West, Mark Boals, Rob Rock, Lance King and Titta Tani for size. The guitar front is equally talent packed with George Bellas, Roger Staffelbach, Neil Zaza and Emir Hot handling six string duties whilst the rhythm section is Twinspirits’ Alberto Rigoni on bass and drum legend John Macaluso.” – Andy Craven, Virtuosity One (Oct 22, 2010)

“High quality players rarely sink below a certain level — so if you miss challenging instrumentation and soaring performances, DRAGON FIRE will fill your neo-classical metal appetite.” – Matt Coe, Eternal Terror (Oct 04, 2010)

“DRAGON FIRE is an immense, grand, and generally gratifying work.” – Craig Hartranft, DangerDog (Oct 11, 2010)

Two Side Moon Promotions are excited to welcome rockers Ghost!

Please find below the text info for the excellent new album THE ENGRAVING.

Band: Ghost
Label: Self-released
Street Date: Out Now
Genre: Classic Hard Rock / Heavy Metal


Album preview:

In Spring 2002 Kim “Ihzzy” Sandvik and Øystein “Oyz” Wiik got together and took the first steps of what would later become Ghost. In the basement of Ihzzy’s house in the country side of Norway, Nesodden, the classic hard rock sound was about to have a new dawn. With a cheap P.A system and an Ibanez guitar, songs were written and melodies cracked out like thunder through the night. The roaring sounds and laughter throughout the late hours, called upon Asbjørn Wiik’s attention. With a third member now in place, it was about time to find a drummer to complete the bill…

A year and a half later, after having tried out numerous drummers they finally found what they were looking for. A hard hitting drummer and his name is Petter “Criss” Lein. With a new location just outside Oslo, Ghost could continue to make music history! In summer 2006 Asbjørn decided it was time to step down, and in to replace him came a truly skilled finger picking bass player, Magnus Liseter, and the show could go on.

As time went by they found something was missing and to reach their goal of global domination, they knew that they had to find a second guitarist. So in the winter of 2008 Ghost finally became a hard hitting five piece. André Berger stepped up to the challenge to further tweak the music the world has been longing to hear. He soon found his place in the band and is a vital part in the writing process. In November 2008 they had their first gig with the new lineup at Skuret in Oslo. The place was packed and the gig went down like a storm!

Ghost entered Nye Losjen Studios in February 2009 to record their first EP: DAYS UNDERCOVER. It received positive reviews from the metal press both in Norway and abroad. Since the creativity process still was at a high level, new songs kept pouring out. And in March of 2010 a new studio session was booked at Nye Losjen Studios and Ghost recorded what would be their debut full length album: THE ENGRAVING. When offered to support Jorn at a local venue gig the 15th of May of 2010, Ghost combined this with the release of THE ENGRAVING.

Currently Ghost is promoting the album and booking gigs to show of their music. In addition the song writing is still at a high level, so a follow-up to THE ENGRAVING is in the making! Watch out!

Band Lineup:
Kim Sandvik – Vocals
Øystein Wiik – Guitar
André Berger – Guitar
Magnus Liseter – Bass
Petter Lein – Drums

Track Listing:
1. The Engraving
2. A.W.A.T
3. Surgery
4. Agent Down
5. Craving
6. Alive
7. Taking Lives
8. One Last Favour
9. Independence Day
10. Here I Am

Two Side Moon Promotions are excited to welcome rockers Smoking Bird!

Please find below the text info for the excellent new album SURVIVORS.

Artist: Smoking Bird
Album Title: SURVIVORS
Label: Self-Released
Street Date: Out Now
Genre: Rock


Considered as one of the best live acts in the Spanish underground scene, Smoking Bird is on the road since 1997. 2010 is the year for Smoking Bird’s third album SURVIVORS. Recorded in an anti-punk fashion at The Smoking Bird Playmobil Studio, it blends the beat of a Rock n’ roll heart with the magic coming out of traditional instruments from the 19th century to create a harmonious spell. The new songs are temptingly deep, tenderly sexy. There’s still swagger, boogie and the trademark power on it but also acoustic jewels full of piano and vocal harmonies. SURVIVORS is the more consistent work on the Bird career. It definitely captures the essence of the band in all his variety and richness.

First named Junk, the band soon recorded a first demo, F*CKIN’ A BOTTLE (1998). By the end of the century the band had already made a name for themselves playing all over Spain. New recordings were released in 2000, the acoustic set SMOKING BIRD including Free, Queen, Neil Young, and The Jayhawks covers, and some amazingly powerful electric material for LOSING TOUCH. This six-song soon-to-be-legendary mini-CD was very well-received and started the buzz worldwide. This record pinpoints what Smoking Bird is all about: very groovy and moody rock n’ roll with excellent ,never boring electric guitars by DAVID TAMARGO , passionate vocals courtesy of Chazz Lalanda and a more than effective rythm section combining the talents of the very creative former bass player of the band, Ray Kurtz, with the tightness and power delivered by Ivan Tamargo.

SUNSET IN A NEW TOWN (2003) was the culmination of two years of very hard work with dozens of gigs and ten new songs selected for the album. Some of them became classics for the band, “Brown Mountain”, “Fire Always Works,” and “Eight Days More” remain in the set lists today. “Lost For The Most” was inlcluded on the compilation edited by the Canadian webzine StonerRock Chick in 2004. The highlight of this period was the inclusion on the bill of the third edition of Serie Z Festival next to Slade, Supersuckers, Raging Slab, and Nashville Pussy.

In 2005 Smoking Bird went back into the studio and produced the amazing NAUGHTY LITTLE GIRLS (2006). This recording confirmed the personality of the band, drawing from classic sources and converting it into their own original and unique style. The ten songs you can find on NAUGHTY LITTLE GIRLS step from the basic Chuck Berry approach of “The School,” dedicated to Traci Lords fans, and “Rock n’ Roll Balls,” to more intrincated blues-rock songs like “Maniac Love” and “Movin’,” and arena rock oriented hits like “Cool Ass,” “You Gotta Do It,” and “Talkin’ About You.” After a new round around the usual Spanish stages the Bird hit Italy to finish the 2007 NLG Tour.

Band Lineup:
Lead Vocals – Pablo “Chazz” Lalanda
Guitar – David Tamargo
Drums – Ivan Tamargo

Track Listing:
1. Joking Bird
2. Everybody Knows
3. Four Cats
4. Arturo, The Lucky Motherf*cker
5. Blowtorch
6. What We Really Need Is
7. Lighter Than Leaf
8. Survivors

Two Side Moon Promotions are excited to welcome progressive rockers 5bridgeS!

Please find below the text info for the excellent new album THE THOMAS TRACKS.

Band: 5bridgeS
Label: Private release
Street Date: Out Now
Genre: Vintage Progressive Rock


Five old flames relight the fire of contemporary progressive rock.

The Haarlem-based progressive rock band 5bridgeS has been operating in the current lineup since the autumn of 2005. The name slightly refers to the impressive body of work created by Keith Emerson. But even more it serves as a metaphor for five men using five staves to build a bridge to the 1970s, the decade in which craftsmanship was still permitted to be warm, original and somewhat frayed at the edges. 5bridgeS creates that sound, with Hammond organ grooves, a groovy rhythm section, a guitarist who knows that less is more and a vocalist/multi-intrumentalist with a voice infused with nostalgia and bel canto.

“Fun is paramount,” says singer Piet Roelofsen. “It is fantastic to arrange the music collectively. It is even cooler to get on stage and rock the audience. And be honest: how can you expect the audience to enjoy itself if you are not absolutely into what you are doing? We love performing, and it shows!” Piet, guitarist Enzo Gallo and keyboard player Luke d’Araceno are firmly rooted in classical music. The rhythmic duo of Martin Thoolen — a total symphomaniac — and the rocker Rob van der Linden lay a solid foundation for the soloists. “Layered music with rough edges is what it’s about,” says Enzo. “Those who want to dance can get down and boogie, and those who like to listen are more than happy,” clarifies Luke.

5bridgeS does more than just perform its repertoire. It has also conceived their debut album THE THOMAS TRACKS, based on Rob’s most recent novel — “De Handelingen Van Thomas” (to be published by the Querido publishing house in December 2010). “That is not a new experiment,” explains the author/drummer. “I wrote the libretto for an operetta on the basis of my second novel ‘Het Logboek Van Brandaan’ (‘The Brendan notes’). It was recorded on CD and enclosed with the book. The fact that the composer used a great many studio musicians meant that it was impossible to play the piece live. With THE THOMAS TRACKS we are in total control of everything.”

“The progress that we are making gives me a real kick,” says Martin, “and the best thing about it is that playing generates more energy than it consumes. Every time we climb the stage, we really make a party of it with the audience. Fantastic!” The guys are ready. Since its spring 2009 release, THE THOMAS TRACKS has found its way throughout the world, the live repertoire is never finished for it keeps on developing, and the studio beckons for a second episode.

Current information, photos and audio clips are available on our website: http://www.5bridges.nl/

Band Lineup:
Luke d’Araceno – organ, piano, electric piano, Minimoog, digital synths, samples, programming
Enzo Gallo – electric guitars, acoustic guitar, steel guitar
Rob van der Linden – drums, percussion
Piet Roelofsen – lead voice, voices, acoustic guitar
Martin Thoolen – bass guitars, Moog Taurus I pedals, voices

Track Listing:
1. Didymus
2. Babylonian Curse Reversed
3. On Calpe’s Rock
4. The Curse Of Eternity
5. Martialis’ Reveries
6. Tricks & Treason
7. Lovernius’ Song
8. Batavian Revolt
9. Amazons & Haven
10. Sign On The Wall

TSM/SLW Promotions

*** PRESS RELEASE #8 ***
-Destruction Officially Announce New Albums’ Two Covers, Introduce New Drummer!

Yesterday, the cover artwork for Destruction’s brand new album DAY OF RECKONING somehow leaked and surfaced on the Internet. Today, German thrash legends officially announce both(!) cover artworks for the slipcase and booklet (the first limited edition of the album will not feature the band’s logo on the booklet — the vinyl version and second pressing of the CD will show a red Destruction logo on it)!

Commented mainman Schmier: “First of all, cause I hear the hardcore fans already complaining, the Destruction skull and the Butcher, can be found in the illustrated booklet of DAY OF RECKONING!

“The last man on earth, that faces the end of the world, the concept of the album had to have the most evil base with a striking eye-catching look!

“We decided to not use the classical Butcher-theme on the cover front this time, ’cause this album needed a malicious look with symbols that express this strong title in the most bold and simple way!

“The story line will continue thru the whole cover art and booklet. Gyula, a fantastic artist and metal fan from Hungary, was a great help for us with nailing down this concept. It’s not the first time we worked with him, he illustrated all our latest releases! Like the band, he breathes, lives and understands the concept of a rather socially critical band like Destruction to the bone!”

In addition, DAY OF RECKONING is the first album to feature new drummer Vaaver!

“The new guy behind the drum kit, the hard hitting but well-versed, 6 feet & 6 inch animal Vaaver, took his first album with us as a challenge: no other Destruction album has the fastness, the tightness and crazy double bass and drum fills as the DAY OF RECKONING! That’s for f*ckin’ sure!” Schmier states.

Read the track list for DAY OF RECKONING below.

Ltd Slipcase:

1. The Price
2. Hate Is My Fuel
3. Armageddonizer
4. Devil’s Advocate
5. Day Of Reckoning
6. Sorcerer Of Black Magic
7. Misfit
8. The Demon Is God
9. Church Of Disgust
10. Destroyer Or Creator
11. Sheep Of The Regime
12. Stand Up And Shout (Ltd. Edition Bonus Track)

DAY OF RECKONING will be unleashed on February 18, 2011 via Nuclear Blast!


*** PRESS RELEASE #9 ***
-Two New Mass CDs Available now!

Retroactive Records has released two classic albums by the mighty, MASS!!!!

Mass – FIGHTER (’82 album previously unreleased)

Label: Retroactive Records
Distribution: Brutal Planet (brutalplanet@gmail.com), Cargo (USA), Code 7/Plastic Head (UK), Twilight (DE)
Release Date: January 26, 2011
Catalog Number: RAR7903
UPC: 845121028157
Style: Metal
Tracks: 10
Time: 41:11
Lyrics: Yes
Packaging: 12-page full-color insert
Price: $13.99 retail / $8.40 wholesale

About The Album
The Boston-based band, Mass, is a juggernaut in melodic metal circles. They self-released a self-titled debut vinyl-only 4-song EP in 1984, selling 10,000 units in the Boston area alone! By 1985, the band released the legendary NEW BIRTH album on RCA Records. The band resurfaced in 1988 with the classic 6-song EP, TAKE YOU HOME, on Enigma Records. 1989 brought fans VOICES IN THE NIGHT produced by Stryper’s Michael Sweet.

What most fans never knew was that Mass actually signed an ill-fated record deal with A&M Records in 1982, when the band was still full of teenagers! FIGHTER was recorded on a budget of $150,000 with the intent to release on their new label. Conflicts between the band’s manager and A&M escalated and legal issues prevented the release from ever seeing the light of day. Almost 30 years later, the Iowa-based Christian record label, Retroactive Records now brings this Mass-ive metal record to fans across the world!

Four tracks from the 1982 A&M FIGHTER album — “Too Far Gone,” “Voyager (Look For The Edge),” “Do You Love Me,” and “Watch Her Walk” — ended up on the band’s 1985 RCA album, NEW BIRTH. This release is special because the 1982 A&M FIGHTER album was the way Mass originally wrote these songs during their teenage years — different recordings, different tempos and even different lyrics.

Tom Allom (Judas Priest) produced this classic metal release from 1982. It’s the same musical genius Mass has provided on every release — full of hard-charging metallic guitar riffs and powerful melodies! For fans of Bloodgood, Stryper, Saint, TNT, Quiet Riot, Warrant, and Scorpions!

Key Selling Points
**Full radio/media/online promotional campaign
**Major releases on RCA and Enigma Records in the ’80s
**Two successful modern releases on Escape Records (2007’s CRACK OF DAWN and 2010’s SEA OF BLACK)
**Significant fan base in both mainstream and Christian metal circles
**Band maintains active online presence (www.massrocks.com)
**For fans of all ’80s-based classic hard rock and metal

1. Watch Her Walk
2. Part Of Me
3. Too Far Gone
4. Do You Love Me
5. Voyager (Look For The Edge)
6. Fighter
7. Can You See It Again
8. Slip Of The Lip
9. Change Your Way
10. Bad Man’s Reputation

Mass – ’84 UNCHAINED (’84 EP + 1 bonus track — first time on CD)

Label: Retroactive Records
Distribution: Brutal Planet (brutalplanet@gmail.com), Cargo (USA), Code 7/Plastic Head (UK), Twilight (DE)
Release Date: January 26, 2011
Catalog Number: RAR7904
UPC: 845121028188
Style: Metal
Tracks: 5
Time: 21:49
Lyrics: Yes
Packaging: 6-page insert
Price: $11.99 retail / $7.40 wholesale

About The Album
After spending two years in court trying to free themselves from a bad management situation, Mass wrote four brand new songs and released their debut record on their own label, Mass Records in 1984. The self-titled EP was a big success, selling 10,000 units in the Boston area alone. The EP got the attention of major labels and eventually resulted in Mass signing with RCA in early 1985. The tracks “Holy One” and “Pedal To The Metal” would later see nationwide release via on 1988 Enigma Records release, TAKE YOU HOME. However, the songs were re-mixed with vocal harmonies and completely redone guitars added for that release. This Retroactive Records EP release has the original raw energy that showcases these classic songs as they were originally intended. ’84 UNCHAINED is the original 4-song self-titled EP with the addition of the previously unreleased bonus track, “Bones!”

’84 UNCHAINED includes exclusive liner notes by Mass front man Louis St. August. The EP has been re-mastered from the original tapes by the legendary J Powell of Steinhaus. Releasing on the Iowa-based Christian record label, Retroactive Records, this classic EP + bonus track is available on CD for the first time ever! It has been retitled ’84 UNCHAINED because the band was breaking free from the legal barriers that held them back for years. This special EP unleashed a heavy metal renegade band that went on to make history as hard music legends with RCA and Enigma Records for years to come! This classic metal rarity is as good as metal gets! For fans of Stryper, Bloodgood, Quiet Riot, Warrant, Barren Cross, and Dio!

Key Selling Points
**Full radio/media/online promotional campaign
**First time ever this EP has been released on CD
**Remastered from original tapes by J Powell at Steinhaus
**Includes original EP artwork
**Major releases on RCA and Enigma Records in the ’80s
**Two successful modern releases on Escape Records (2007’s CRACK OF DAWN and 2010’s SEA OF BLACK)
**Significant fan base in both mainstream and Christian metal circles
**Band maintains active online presence (www.massrocks.com)
**For fans of all ’80s-based classic hard rock and metal

1. Looking Good
2. Pedal To The Metal
3. Holy One
4. Still Of The Night
5. Bones

These amazing albums are now available at http://www.retroactiverecords.net/ where you can order the physical CD and the digital downloads!

Thanks for your support of Christian metal!

Retroactive Records signs classic metal band Mass!!!

Born Twice Records (Jesus Music ’69-’89)

Retroactive Records (classic rock & metal)

Bombworks Records (extreme metal)

Brutal Planet Distribution

*** PRESS RELEASE #10 ***
-7th Heaven Update

[Note: This is from the band’s November newsletter. – Tim]

The year is coming to an end. It’s amazing how fast time moves and the days go by. I feel it was just yesterday that we were getting ready for our busy summer and now here I am starting to book next summer. As we gear up for the Holiday season I wanted to take the time to say Thanks to all of YOU who have shared in our musical journey with us.

New Year’s Eve With 7th Heaven

Join 7th Heaven and 102.3 XLC on New Year’s Eve at the Westin in Wheeling, IL. There are three package deals being offered:

1 – Open Bar & Party
2 – Open Bar, Dinner & Party
3 – Open Bar, Dinner, Room & Party

There is a limit on tickets available and we strongly suggest you reserve your tickets ASAP. Go here for tickets: http://deals.westin.com/promos/NAD-chicagoland-New-Years-Eve

7th Heaven Hits #1 And #46 On Billboard Charts

7th Heaven reached #1 & #46 on the National Billboard, as well as #2 on the Chicago Chart. This is a HUGE accomplishment for the band. Our JUKEBOX came in 1st place for Heat Seeker Albums and U.S.A.-U.K. charted #46 on Top Pop Catalog Chart. You can see all charts right now on our website, just click the Billboard logo or go to http://www.7thheavenband.com/pages/billboard.html .

Thanks to all of you who have purchased our music and helped us achieve this goal. It motivates us to keep making more and more music.


The new MERRY CHRISTMAS IN CHICAGO CD is now available on Apple iTunes. We will have physical CDs starting November 24. There are 14 songs on the CD, four of them are original Christmas songs. You can also listen to the entire CD on our website under the “Music” tab.

7th Heaven / Toys For Tots — All-Ages Show

We asked some of you on our Facebook page if you would like us to play a “All-Ages” show this season and we got a overwhelming response. So because of your request we put a show together for you. We even went one step further and hooked up the people from Toys For Tots to make this show a positive one for everyone. We worked out a deal where we lowered the cover charge to $5 and we kindly ask that you come with a unwrapped gift to donate to the Toys For Tots charity ( http://www.toysfortots.org/ ). This is a great chance for you to bring the kids out to see us again and also teach them the meaning of giving to others. What a great opportunity… Let’s make a major impact to this great charity! 🙂

7th Heaven With 1985 Chicago Bears

On Friday November 5 we had the honor of sharing the stage with living legends, The 1985 Chicago Bears. It was an amazing night, hearing stories and meeting all of the players and coaches as well at the NBC 5 staff. We really had a great time at this event and were thrilled to be there. Mark even brought his “Super Bowl Shuffle” RECORD for them all to sign. On a personal note, it was very moving for me as they asked us to perform our song “Winning It All” and while we performed that, there was a video that showed one of my MAJOR influences in my life: Walter Payton. To watch a highlight video of Payton and the team from ’85 while we played that song gave me chills. It was exactly what I thought of when I wrote that song… it was a feeling that will stay with me forever. For those of you who couldn’t get tickets to that event no worries… it will be featured on NBC 5 Chicago in two different segments: 1 – the full show edited into a hour-long special, and 2 – a 30-minute behind the scenes.

The program will air on NBC Chicago:

Dec. 4: 7-8 p.m.
Dec. 19: 12-1 p.m.
Jan. 8: 2-3 p.m.

“Glory Days” behind-the-scenes 30-minute Special will air on NBC Chicago:

Dec. 12: 11:30-12 p.m.
Dec. 18: 1-1:30 p.m.
Dec. 25: 5-5:30 p.m.

Tune in or set your DVRs.

JUKEBOX — 700 Original Songs — Now Available

JUKEBOX is a MASSIVE 700 all-original song box set of songs we have written, recorded and/or played in the 25 years 7th Heaven has been around. This box set is a great musical journey thru different styles of music. We do not think there has been another band to date that has released this many originals at one time. This could break a world record! JUKEBOX has a bunch of guest singers as well as featuring your favorite members. All songs have been written by at least one member of 7th Heaven in the 25-year history. Some songs are brand new, some are older but had never been released, all are fresh new recordings. This product is available in two formats:

· 1 – a box set of 15 traditional CDs and a bonus DVD data disk of the original MP3s of demos as they were written and recorded over the last 25 years. This bonus data disk is only available in the full CD box set
· 2 – the Internet: iTunes, Amazon, NTD Records store and 7thheavenband.com

Look for a flash USB drive and iPod coming in 2011.

A complete listing of all songs with full production notes and credits, as well as writing credits, who is performing on each track, all the lyrics to every song will be featured on our website coming next month.

Update: You can check out ALL the songs off JUKEBOX right now on our website. Go to the home page and click on the JUKEBOX photo and the player in that site has some song samples for you to listen to.

The price of this product is $50 (that’s 7¢ per song).


The Soldier Field show was AMAZING. What an experience!!! Thank You for helping vote 7th Heaven #1 and win us the spot. We just released a LIVE AT SOLDIER FIELD DVD of the show, which is now available at our merchandise table and online at 7thheavenband.com.

This DVD contains the entire 7th Heaven concert at Soldier Field but it also has all the TV Appearances the band did over the summer of 2010.

25 Years Of 7th Heaven & Reunion Show

On November 19 Tony DiGiulio and Matt Clark were scheduled to join us on stage at Durty Nellies in Palatine to celebrate the band’s 25 years. Look for us to play some songs from each of the eras Tony and Matt were in. We released JUKEBOX this year to celebrate our acomplishment. We typically are not a band that stops to look back because we always focus on the future, but this milestone is one that very few bands can say they have achieved. The history of this band is an amazing story, for those of you who have shared your lives with 7th Heaven over the 25 years, you have seen some amazing good times and some sad bad times. You have watched us get older, wiser and better. We have watched many of you go from high school to college to careers to marriage and families. Feel free to check out our MASSIVE history section on our website. It’s broken down by years and really is a massive amount of information. You can also learn about the very important band members that have helped put 7th Heaven on the map and keep it there.

7th Heaven’s “Better This Way” Hits HOT AC Radio

It is great news to tell you the 7th Heaven song “Better This Way” is picking up steam and getting played on more and more radio stations across America. Please support these stations and send them a email letting them know you appreciate them playing 7th Heaven and to keep playing us.

Chicago – The Mix 101.9 FM
Chicago – 102.3 FM XLC
Chicago – Star 96.7
Chicago – Star 105.5 FM
LaSalle – 99.3 WAJK
DeKalb – B95 (94.9 FM)
Fort Wayne – Majic 95.1 FM
Cincinnati – Class X Radio 88.9 FM
Milwaukee – B93.3 FM
Denver – 105.9 FM The Alice
Sirus/XM – The Pulse
AOL Radio

Check out the videos from the Radio appearances we did:

101.9 The Mix – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf6hCzH9csc
Star 105.5 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoO2bi5DEm8
102.3 XLC – http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1587017707789

7th Heaven On TV

7th Heaven has been all over TV in Chicago, check these videos out:

NBC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_4p4Fdb9yY
ABC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHQ3SCZ–Zs
FOX: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGV1oXbHwUw
WGN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXexWLnSI_w

Clearer Quicktime videos of all TV Appearances are on http://www.7thheavenband.com.

25th Anniversary Cruise — The Next 7th Heaven Cruise

Over 70 people are coming with us… are you?

We will be sailing on Royal Caribbean’s “Allure Of The Seas.” Taylor Swift will be performing on this sailing as well. We set sail for the Western Caribbean on Sunday January 16, 2011. The ship is almost sold out, so if you were thinking of going, book it today.

More details can be found on our cruise website — http://www.7thheavenband.com/cruise

To book this trip and find out availabilities, email our travel agent Neelie at Cary Travel at this email address: neelie@carytravelexpress.com

7th Heaven Merchandise Holiday Sale

Check 7thheavenband.com the day after Thanksgiving for the release of our holiday sale on all 7th Heaven merchandise. We will have package deals and specials on many of our products.


All of our original CDs are now available on iTunes. Our new JUKEBOX, U.S.A.-U.K. CD, SILVER, LIVE AT DURTY NELLIES, FACES TIME REPLACES, and our NEW Christmas CD MERRY CHRISTMAS IN CHICAGO are all now available. You can even purchase 7th Heaven ringtones on iTunes. Remember to leave us a good review on iTunes.

Shows, Shows, Shows….

We have some added shows and some changes to our schedule so check out the dates at 7thheavenband.com and come out to a show or two or three or more… and let’s make musical memories together!

November 19 – Durty Nellies – 25th Ann. Show
November 20 – Brat Stop
November 24 – Turkey Testicle Festival
November 24 – Chicago City Limits
November 27 – The Lodge
December 2 – Bannerman’s – @
December 3 – Toys For Tots at Moretti’s (old Famous Freddies) – ALL-AGES
December 3 – Hideout in Elgin (old Mad Maggies)
December 4 – Angelman’s Syndrome Show
December 9 – Mad Mark’s – @
December 10 – Austin’s
December 11 – Private Event
December 16 – Titled Kilt – @
December 17 – John Barleycorn
Decemebr 18 – Bourbon Street
December 21 – Wit Hotel
December 26 – Durty Nellies
December 29 – Snuggery – @
December 31 – New Years Eve Bash with 102.3 XLC at the Westin in Wheeling, IL
@ = unplugged show

Thanks for all your continued support. We love playing and as long as you keep coming out to see us play, we’ll continue to be there.

Richard Hofherr
7th Heaven

7th Heaven
PO Box 66473
Chicago IL 60666

*** PRESS RELEASE #11 ***
-Blunken Finalizes Recording Debut Album!

The progressive Hard Rock band Blunken has just finished all work for their upcoming debut album. The yet untitled album has been produced by Carl Canedy from The Rods, who is also taking care of the management of the band. Negotiations are currently held with several labels worldwide to achieve an early 2011 release.

Blunken is a Miami-based progressive hard rock band with many different musical and cultural influences. The band was founded in 2009 by Frank Matyok and Rick Diaz when they remained together from a past project. Bass player Nate Greenberg was at the time involved with his own project, but got on board because he loved the newness of the music.

The band is a tight-knit power trio, who are known for their great live shows. On their yet untitled debut album you can expect progressive rock with reggae twists. The music is diverse, long intense songs with lots of changes, lyrically and musically explosive.

Blunken had the honour to work with Carl Canedy (The Rods) as their producer / manager for this CD. Rick Diaz had known Carl already for several years and they worked together on major projects for big labels. It was a natural move that Canedy would be involved on this CD.

Carl Canedy states: “We did extensive pre-production for this album. Pre- production paid dividends. The songs were so well arranged and rehearsed that we spent our studio time on sounds and getting kick ass performances out of the band. The guys were focused and that energy was captured.” And furthermore: “What drew me to this band was how hypnotic their songs are. At first you’re thinking, ‘oh, that’s a cool groove,’ ‘interesting lyric,’ ‘wow, they went from such a powerful section into a totally different vibe so smoothly.’ But in the course of listening you find yourself on this amazing Blunken musical journey. As I was reviewing their music to see if I could bring something to the party I became a fan. Their music just clicked with me as I now see it doing with others. I start out head banging and find myself wanting to ‘spark up.’ If Blunken were a ride at an amusement park the lines would be the longest. The tees would say ‘I survived Blunken.'”

Next to Carl Canedy, also Bryan New was added to the team as engineer. New is known from working with Def Leppard, Whitesnake among many, many others.

Blunken is:
Frank Matyok – Vocals, Guitars
Rick Diaz – Drums, Percussion
Nate Greenberg – Bass

For all info and an album teaser, please visit the MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/blunkenofficialsite or the band’s website at http://www.blunken.com/ .

*** PRESS RELEASE #12 ***
-HMMA Honors Music In Media At Annual Gala In Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD, CA — The Hollywood Music In Media Awards presented honors last night for Original Score, Original Song and Outstanding Music Supervision in Film, TV, Video Games, Commercial Ads, Movie Trailers and the music of independent artists from around the world.

Original score awards went to Hans Zimmer for “Inception” (film), Steffan Fantini, Marc Fantini and Scott Gordon for “Criminal Minds” (TV), Christophe Beck for “Waiting For Superman” (documentary) and Ramin Djawadi for “Medal Of Honor” (video game).

The room was at capacity with composers, music supervisors, industry luminaries, celebrities and independent music artists, coming from as far away as Japan, Australia, Norway and other locations around the globe. Presenters, hosts and VIPs were a mixed bag including actress Jane Fonda, legendary producer Richard Perry and rock star Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses, “Rock Star: Supernova”), among others.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went Artie Kornfeld, the creator/founder of 1969’s Woodstock. Outstanding Career Achievement in Film Composing was presented to Christopher Young by Natasha Henstridge, who starred in the film “Species,” the movie that catapulted Young into the composing elite. The HMMA’s first Technology Achievement Award was presented to Studio One Media for its Mystudio and AfterMaster technologies.

Other notable awards included the song “Mash” (Original Song-Film) from the movie “Get Him To The Greek,” written by Jason Segel and Lyle Workman and performed by Infant Sorrow featuring Russell Brand. Best Song-Commercial Advertisement went to MoZella for the song “Magic” from Verizon’s Android television commercial campaign. Keaton Simons got the win for Best Song-TV for his track “Grim Reaper” from the “Crash” series on Starz, which he performed live at the event.

The HMMA is the only awards event to recognize Outstanding Music Supervision. Those honors went to Julia Michels (“Sex In The City 2”), Nora Felder & Budd Carr (“Californication”), Steve Schnur (“Medal Of Honor”) and special recognition to Mark Woollen & Associates for the work on the movie trailer for “The Social Network.”

For a complete list of winners, visit http://www.hmmawards.com/ and click on the “Honors” tab.

*** PRESS RELEASE #13 ***
-Portrait’s New Album To Be Mixed By Nicke Andersson!

Swedish heavy metallers Portrait have tapped Nicke Andersson (Imperial State, Death Breath, Entombed, The Hellacopters) to mix their second full-length album, CRIMEN LAESAW MAJESTATIS DIVINAE, at Deuce Studio. The CD is currently being recorded at Necromorbus Studio (Watain, Deströyer 666, Razor Of Occam, Valkyrja, etc.) in Alvik, Sweden for a tentative early 2011 release via Metal Blade Records. The CD will feature cover artwork by Rok (Sadistik Exekution) and a guest appearance by Kimmo Kuusniemi from the Finnish cult act Sarcofagus.

Portrait is:
Per Karlsson – Vocals
Christian Lindell – Guitar
Richard Lagergren – Guitar
Erik Jansson – Bass
Anders Persson – Drums

Upcoming Live Dates:
March 2011
10 – IE – Cork – An Cruiscin Lan
11 – IE – Dublin – The Pint
12 – UK – Belfast – The Limelight


*** PRESS RELEASE #14 ***
-Clear Channel’s Artist Of The Month, Alaskan Rockers Static Cycle, Gains National Media Attention With Their Music Video “Inside This World Of Mine”

HMMA Nominee Static Cycle Has Recently Opened For Major Rockers Daughtry and Drowning Pool And Has Been Featured On AOL Music, LA Times, NY Daily News, Huffington Post, And Much More

Dubbed as the biggest band in Alaska, Static Cycle has made a national impact with their latest music video “Inside This World Of Mine,” featuring a cameo with “Dancing With The Stars” finalist Bristol Palin, landing them the title of Clear Channel Artist of the Month and voted Rock Artist To Watch for Clear Channel Radio. Currently the single is receiving air play on major Active and Rock radio stations such as; Dallas’ KEGL, WKLS in Atlanta, San Diego’s KIOZ, Tampa’s 98 Rock FM, Denver’s KBPI, Edge Little Rock FM, Fox Rocks out of Louisville, KY, Providence, RI’s WHJY, Tulsa, Okla.’s KMOD, 94 Rock out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, 104.7 The Edge in Fairbanks, Alaska, plus many more!

The band continues their success on the road rocking the stage with the latest tunes from their EP, PART 1:HYDRATE and has had the pleasure to open for major rockers Daughtry last month plus, was part of a special November 6 Military performance with Drowning Pool at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska.

The momentum of the music video, since its world premiere on E! News (October 25), has also gained the band the honor of a Hollywood Music In Media Award (HMMA) nomination for Best Rock Song of the Year. Milestones keep pouring in as Static Cycle recently was featured on major outlets AOL Music, LA Times, NY Daily News, Huffington Post, Bad Taste Music TV, and many Hollywood gossip sites. The rockers are also receiving a lot of love from their home state and has locked in coverage with Anchorage, Alaska’s KTVA, Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage Press, Alaska HDTV, University of Alaska-Fairbanks’ popular college radio station KSUA and Fairbanks Daily Minor. You can purchase their EP on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, eMusic, certain Best Buy locations or visit http://www.staticycle.com/ to see what all the hype is about.

*** PRESS RELEASE #15 ***
-Good Times Now On Sale

Cyclone Records is proud to announce that it has reached a comprehensive distribution deal with Hamilton, Ontario’s Sonic Unyon Distribution.

Brad Trew says “Sonic Unyon has been a mainstay in the Canadian music scene both as a label to some great talent as well as a growing distribution network that includes both brick and motar outlets as well as worldwide digital distribution and promotion. In an industry that has seen major distributors going out of business, Sonic Unyon has continued to thrive. It is with this positive growth and market strategy that we anticipate a great future with the artists on the Cyclone roster.”

Cyclone will begin initially with releases from Holly Woods of Toronto, Steve Negus of Saga, Caveat and Prism in both CD and digital formats. Others will follow shortly. You can check out the disc catalogue here:


About Sonic Unyon:
Sonic Unyon Records & Distribution has been operating for seventeen years. Initially a record label only, Sonic Unyon developed a separate distribution arm using the self-distributed network the label had set up, and ensure that the Sonic Unyon label as well as hundreds of other similar independent labels could have a solid home base in Canada. By refusing to rely on the available distributors of the early nineties and instead creating their own system from scratch, Sonic Unyon was able to ensure their recordings were in stores and in the process established a reliable distribution company known worldwide for its work in Canada.

Look for these titles in a store near you. Also, tracks are available for digital download at a wide range of online retailers. Other titles are coming soon so stay tuned:

Cyclone Records

*** PRESS RELEASE #16 ***
-Contest: Chat With Sal Abruscato (Type O Negative & Life Of Agony) & “The Walking Dead”

[Note: This is from a Hit The Pit update. – Tim]

As promised, we will be having a call with A Pale Horse Named Death’s Sal Abruscato. No fire, no hot chocolate, just some good evil speak for the holidays. The people who are in the top 10 on the Leaderboard section at 12 p.m. EST on November 29th will receive a call-in number and date to chat with Sal along with the other 10 folks who are leaders. You can ask him any questions you want. APHND, Type O Negative, Life Of Agony, Nathan’s Hot Dogs, you name it!!

Here are the rules:

1. You must be a Member of this Network: http://apalehorsenameddeath.com

2. All content you post in the coming weeks needs be about APHND, you, or music.

3. NO SPAM! If you are gaming the system to get into the Leaderboard, Rebecca will do terrible things to your profile. 🙂

Participation is paramount! The more you participate with relevant conversation, comments, invites and picture postings, the better your Leaderboard status. That includes inviting friends who follow through and join the APHND network. You can easily use the invite tool:


Oh, and if you do want to spam? Keep harassing AMC to put APHND in an episode on “The Walking Dead.” It simple makes too much sense, right?!?! Email them here:


*** PRESS RELEASE #17 ***
-Sirenia: Track List & Cover Art Revealed!

Norwegian-Spanish gothic metal icons Sirenia led by mastermind Morten Veland (Mortemia, ex-Tristania) just revealed the track list and cover artw for their forthcoming masterpiece THE ENIGMA OF LIFE.

Commented Morten Veland: “We are very pleased to finally have completed our new album THE ENIGMA OF LIFE. We just received the mastered version from Finnvox studios in Finland. We are very satisfied with the end result that reflects almost two years of hard work. We are very eager to share all the new songs with our fans and all the metalheads out there. We hope that the album will give you a great listening experience.”

THE ENIGMA OF LIFE is set to be unleashed on January 21, 2011!


*** PRESS RELEASE #18 ***
-Hull To Open For Pentagram In NY This January

Brooklyn, New York-based triple guitar-led sludge titans Hull are pleased to announce their appearance on a very special show this January opening for doom icons Pentagram. The performance will take place at Brooklyn’s Club Europa on January 6, 2011. Additional support will come from Judas Priestess and Bezoar. To purchase tickets, visit:


Commented the band: “This year being the first of the future, twenty-ten, it marks the starting point of a whole new century of sonic learning that we can’t even begin to imagine. Twenty-eleven has been foretold to perhaps even melt the faces of those who aren’t listening to the learning. The first of these twelve or seventy-three different events to mark the future will fall upon the sixth day of twenty-eleven at eight of the clock, when the bare moon is halved and then thrice cloven, thus appearing to be full.

“For those who would stand proud and open their ears to this gift, it is said it may be witnessed on the continent of Europa during the season of the Pentagram, when the Judas Priestess battles the mighty Bezoar they pilot an oaken Hull through Hell… Citizens! Come! Look into the bright light of the future and hear the words of the universe!

“…and after having shared the stage with Pentagram at Planet Caravan Festival in Asheville, NC in 2009, Hull is very excited to experience the unpredictability of the infamous Mr. Bobby Liebling once again. Hopefully fans may even get a glimpse of his doppelganger, Sir Greg Peterson of Batillus fame.”

Hull have been holed up at an undisclosed location working on the follow-up to their SOLE LORD debut, issued via The End Records in 2009. Their sophomore full-length will be co-produced by Brett Romnes (who played drums on the band’s long coveted VIKING FUNERAL EP, initially self-released in 2007) and mixed by Bill Anderson (Sleep, High On Fire, Neurosis, EHG, Melvins et al).


*** PRESS RELEASE #19 ***
-Look What I Did Details Plans For Upcoming ZANZIBAR III EP, Two New Music Videos, And A Revolutionary New Online Music Service

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — Info-punk band Look What I Did have recently begun writing a new extended-play concept record. This new offering will be entitled ZANZIBAR III: ANALOG PRISON. This unique release will never be sold on a digital format; ZANZIBAR III: ANALOG PRISON will be a concept record — a continuation of the “Zanzibar” storyline found on the band’s first two albums — and will only be released on cassette and vinyl. One song from the record will be made available online, but the remaining tracks will remain forever “imprisoned” on analog media. Label and other administrative details are still forthcoming.

The EP is expected to include a variety of guest appearances — additional singers will be joining Look What I Did to play the roles of various characters in the Zanzibar pantheon. While the specific cameos are still to be announced, the band stresses that the album will feature amazing vocal performances from a variety of hand-picked musicians. Eric Nally from Foxy Shazam has expressed interest in playing a character, and more special guests will be announced in the forthcoming months.

Look What I Did recently began the filming process for two new music videos. Both videos will be for songs off of the band’s latest release ATLAS DRUGGED which was produced by Brian Virtue (Jane’s Addiction, Chevelle, 30 Seconds To Mars) and released on his Modernist Movement Recordings label. Both videos will feature some shocking celebrity cameos from a wide range of different spheres of interest. Expect more information on these music videos very shortly.

Look What I Did vocalist Barry Donegan recently initiated his long-rumored plot to repair the broken music industry. He teamed up with a group of forward-thinking investors and tech masterminds to begin development on a new online music service aimed at forever changing the way the world consumes music. This new music service is called Gazzmic and is inspired by Donegan’s experiences as a touring musician. Little specific information is available about the Gazzmic music service at this time as development has just begun, but Donegan insists that it will be a game-changer for bands and fans, and the company is accepting applications from musicians who are interested in participating in a limited, invitation-only, and free closed beta program.

Bands of all types are encouraged to contact Gazzmic at info@gazzmic.com to request a closed beta key. While the specifics of the service are still under wraps, beta participants will be given the opportunity to promote their music over a free custom mobile application platform for the iPhone and Android Market. The company recently launched a temporary site to facilitate closed beta registration which will feature blogs by Barry from Look What I Did while development is underway. The temporary registration site is available at:




*** PRESS RELEASE #20 ***
-Griftegard: Three Tracks From Overlooked Full-Length Streaming Via Decibel Magazine

Norrköping, Sweden doom metal goliaths Griftegard — vocalist Thomas Eriksson (Bokor), guitarist/lyricist Ola Blomkvist (Spetälsk, The Doomsday Cult), guitarist Per Broddesson (The Doomsday Cult, Wolverine etc.), bassist Thomas Jansson (Wolverine), and drummer Jens Gustafsson — unleashed their debut full-length, SOLEMN-SACRED-SEVERE, in the US earlier this year via Van Records. Branded “a milestone” by Sweden Rock Magazine, who gave the record a much-deserved 9/10 rating upon its Euro release late last year, SOLEMN-SACRED-SEVERE was recorded and mixed during the first half of 2009 in Milk Studios, Norrköping, and produced by the band, with co-producer engineer/studio owner Magnus Jonsson. Arguably one of the genre’s most eclectic offerings this year, the riff heavy masterwork includes appearances from various friends of the band, all of whom added to the already multi-textured epic doom hymns.

If you somehow missed witnessing the inherent crush of this record upon its release, now’s your chance to check out three tracks — “Charles Taze Russell,” “I Refuse These Ashes,” and “Noah’s Hands” (complete with commentary from Blomkvist) — courtesy of Decibel Magazine here:


Words from the already-converted:

“Goddamn, Candlemass move over because we’ll need a lot of room.” — Deaf Sparrow

“It’s essential that you own this album.” — Funeral Rain

“…they play a brand of traditional doom which is emotionally crushing one minute and almost soothing the next. For the most part they sound like Candlemass meets Memory Garden but they play at a pace closer to funeral doom bands. What makes them different is they are a religious band but not in the bible-pushing sense, they write emotionally charged tales and question the point of our very existence.” — Doommantia

“With just a wonderful blend of doom, atmospherics an a genuinely thought provoking narrative, SOLEMN-SACRED-SEVERE has to be one of the most moving metal records I’ve heard in a long while.” — Popdose

“…the kind of album that doom fans would rejoice about if doom fans were the kind of people to rejoice.” — Metal Review


*** PRESS RELEASE #21 ***
-The Ocean: New Album Debuts At No. 113 On Billboard’s New Artist Chart; Live Tour Footage Featuring Ben Weinman Of The Dillinger Escape Plan Posted

ANTHROPOCENTRIC, the latest album from German atmospheric metal enigmas The Ocean, debuted at position No. 113 on Billboard’s New Artists Chart and No. 31 on iTunes’ Canadian Metal Charts.

The record, released in North America via Metal Blade November 9, serves as a sequel to the concept explored on the band’s successful HELIOCENTRIC full-length, released this past spring. A critique on Christianity and man’s ultimate place in the universe, ANTHROPOCENTRIC is both musically and thematically compelling and currently flooring metallers across the land.

Hellbound gave the record a 9.5/10 rating saying, “If you didn’t think HELIOCENTRIC was heavy enough then this would be the album for you and if you still think it is still not heavy enough then you just might be from the Cenozoic Era. No intelligent life anywhere.” Noted Metal Archives: “The Ocean isn’t in the bizz for making a few decent tracks to stand out from an otherwise bland album. Quite the contrary, they are in the bizz for making whole albums into experiences,” with Lush Beat adding, “Talented is an understatement, in much the same way as saying the band is simply ‘creative’ would be selling them short. The Ocean are a thinking man’s metal band, challenging and accessible in equal measure.” About.com’s verdict? “ANTHROPOCENTRIC is the aggressive counterpart to the dynamic melodies heard on HELIOCENTRIC.”

In related news, The Ocean joined The Dillinger Escape Plan for a stretch of dates through Europe earlier this Fall. Dillinger guitarist Ben Weinman joined The Ocean on stage to improv some piano parts to the band’s “The First Commandment Of The Luminaries” from the band’s HELIOCENTRIC offering. Check out footage at http://www.earsplitcompound.com/site/?p=1779 .


-Chicago-area guitarist T.D. Clark’s latest, SHREDDTIME STORIES, is out now. Check out this hype: “It’s in a smoking cool Digipak set in a 1960’s era Horror comic vibe a la Dracula, Frankenstein etc. Its packed full of games and puzzles as well totally old school.” Track list: “The Introduction,” “When The Lights Dim,” “Shreddtime Stories,” “Moroccan Bedtime Story,” “Grabbing Some Air,” “In the Here And Now,” “5 Dirham,” “Arctic Sun,” “Drop D Symphony,” “It Came In The Night,” “Just South Of Dublin.” Clark will perform a Christmas show at the Penny Road Pub in South Barrington, IL, on December 10. See http://www.tdclark.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/tdclark for more.

-The release of Gotthard’s HEAVEN – BEST OF BALLADS PART 2 has been postponed until December 3, due to a manufacturing problem with the digi-pak. See http://www.gotthard.com/ for more.

-Check out Halford’s new video for “Like There’s No Tomorrow” at http://www.robhalford.com/ .

-Various online reports indicate Kiss will hit the studio in February to record a new album that should come out early next summer, with a tour to follow.

-Korpiklaani’s UKON WACKA is due out February 4. Check out “studio shenanigans” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lifb4n6Q4DE . See http://www.korpiklaani.com/ for more.

-Legion’s self-titled debut is continuing to draw critical praise; check out new reviews at Holland’s AlwaysOnRock.com and RockUnited.com, and keep an eye out for an issue of Fireworks magazine with an album review and interview. Check out song samples and order the disc at http://www.zrecords.net/ .

-Upcoming Lizzy Borden European tour dates:

12/1 – Stage Club, Larissa, Greece
12/2 – The Rock Temple, Kerkrade, The Netherlands
12/4 – Hard Rock Hell Festival, Prestatyn, UK
12/5 – Baroeg, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

See http://www.lizzyborden.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/lizzybordenband for more.

-Yngwie Malmsteen’s RELENTLESS is out this week on Rising Force Records. It’s the second disc to feature vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Winters Bane, Beyond Fear). Hype says Malmsteen “is continuing to push the limits of classical guitar and modern metallic shred.” Track list: “Overture,” “Critical Mass,” “Shot Across The Bow,” “Look At You Now,” “Relentless,” “Enemy Within,” “Knight Of The Vasa Order,” “Caged Animal,” “Into Valhalla,” “Tide Of Desire,” “Adagio B Flat Minor Variation,” “Axe To Grind,” “Blinded,” “Cross To Bear,” “Arpeggios From Hell” (bonus track). See http://www.YngwieMalmsteen.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/yngwiemalmsteen for more.

-My Metal Club summarizes a cool network of independent record shops that sell metal. Many artists have created special / limited edition releases that are available exclusively at My Metal Club stores; check out http://www.mymetalclub.com/ for more information including a store locator. Sample exclusive releases include Metallica’s LIVE AT GRIMEY’S (CD and two-disc gatefold vinyl; recorded before a small audience in 2008; featuring “Welcome Home (Sanitarium),” “Master Of Puppets,” and “For Whom The Bell Tolls”); Anthrax’s “Live At The Sonisphere” vinyl 10″ picture disc (the band’s first “new” recordings with Joey Belladonna, including “Medusa” and “Only”); Slayer’s “World Painted Blood” red vinyl 7″ single (with the exclusive B-side “Atrocity Vendor”); Mastodon’s CRACK THE SKYE WORMHOLE TUNNEL BOX EDITION; Monster Magnet’s MASTERMIND SPECIAL EDITION BOX SET; and The Sword’s “(The Night The Sky Cried) Tears Of Fire” hexagonal vinyl 12″ picture disc (with the B-side “Farstar”). There will also be several Pantera releases, including COWBOYS FROM HELL: THE DEMOS on vinyl (with the non-album track “The Will To Survive”), the COWBOYS FROM HELL ULTIMATE BOX SET, and a contest on Black Friday (November 26) to win a Dean Dimebag ML 79 guitar.

-Nightmare Records has two great free album downloads available this week. Track listing for A NIGHTMARE ON THE HORIZON: Manticora – “From The Pain Of Loss” (from SAFE), Fracture – “Frame Of Mind” (from SIMPLE CHAOS), Toxxic Toyz – “Racing The Clock” (from MUTATION), Tetrafusion – “Last Chance” (from ALTERED STATE), Halcyon Way – “Death Of A Dream” (from BUILDING THE TOWERS), Drawcard – “Night Of Sobering Thoughts” (from MODERN RIVALRY), Dread The Forsaken – “Give Me Wounds” (from UNBOUND), Soulspell – “Into The Arc Of Time (Haamiah’s Fall)” (from THE LABYRINTH OF TRUTHS), Shadyon – “Gates Of Dawn” (from MIND CONTROL), Sinbreed – “Newborn Tomorrow” (from WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE), Myrath – “Tempests Of Sorrow” (from DESERT CALL), Seven Kingdoms – “Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing” (from SEVEN KINGDOMS), Empyria – “Last Rites” (from THE LONG ROAD HOME). Track listing for MERRY METAL CHRISTMAS: Theocracy – “Bethlehem” (from MIRROR OF SOULS), Edgend – “A Chosen Truth” (from A NEW IDENTITY), Narnia – “Kings Will Come” (from COURSE OF A GENERATION), Futures End – “Forsaken” (from MEMOIRS OF A BROKEN MAN), Heart Of Sun – “Sea Of Tranquility” (from HEART OF SUN), Cloudscape – “One Silent Moment” (from GLOBAL DRAMA), Sacred Dawn – “Wicked Land Of Winter” (Christmas single), Keith Miller – “Tears Of Pain” (from OVER THE ABYSS), Harmony – “Silently We Fade” (from CHAPTER II: AFTERMATH), Avian – “Fall From Grace” (from ASHES AND MADNESS), Scelerata – “Spiritual Path” (from SKELETONS DOMINATION), Glass Spires – “Believe” (from GLASS SPIRES), Gemini – “The Harem” (re-mastered) (from GEMINI), Darkwater – “In My Dreams” (from CALLING THE EARTH TO WITNESS), Dimension – “Ancient Song” (from EGO), Order Of Nine – “The Chronicles Of Jacob Marley” (Christmas single), Evil Masquerade – “Orchestration For More Than One Horn” (from THIRD ACT), Defyance – “FireoftheAncients” (from TRANSITIONAL FORMS), Grimmstine – “You Give Me Love” (from GRIMMSTINE), Perspective X IV – “The Calm” (from SHADOW OF DOUBT), Gemini – “Coming Home” (re-mastered) (from GEMINI), Andromeda – “Shadow Of A Lucent Moon” (from THE IMMUNITY ZONE), Six Minute Century – “Heaven’s Gate” (from TIME CAPSULES), Shining Star – “From Now On” (from ENTER ETERNITY), Six Minute Century – “Guitar Concierto” (from TIME CAPSULES), Download them both, and get more info, at http://www.NightmareRecords.com/ .

-Michael Schenker Group’s THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT – LIVE IN TOKYO is out now on CD, DVD and Blu-ray. Schenker’s band at the time consisted of Gary Barden, Wayne Findlay, Neil Murray, and Simon Phillips. Track list: “Intro,” “Armed And Ready,” “Feels Like A Good Thing,” “Cry For The Nations,” “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie,” “Victim Of Illusion,” “Are You Ready To Rock,” “I Want You,” “Night To Remember,” “Into The Arena,” “Lost Horizons,” “Rock My Nights Away,” “On And On,” “Attack Of The Mad Axeman,” “Ride On My Way,” “Rock Bottom,” “Dance Lady Gypsy,” “Doctor, Doctor.” See http://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com/ for more.

-Vancouver’s Scythia recently finished the “Exiled Across Canada Tour” in support of …OF WAR. Check out three tour blogs:

Giant Bear Celebrity Interview

We Found Ghandi! He’s In Saskatoon

Awww It’s A Cute Little Wolf

See http://scythia.bandcamp.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/ScythiaFolkMetal for more.

-The regrouped Shaman — now featuring original Angra drummer Ricardo Confessori along with vocalist Thiago Bianchi, guitarist Leo Mancini, and bassist Fernando Quesada — has released ORIGINS through Scarlet Records. Hype: “ORIGINS brings furious heavy tunes and power ballads back to life.” Track list: “Origins (The Day I Died),” “Lethal Awakening,” “Inferno Veil,” “Ego Pt. 1,” “Ego Pt. 2,” “Finally Home,” “Rising Up To Life,” “No Mind,” “Blind Messiah,” “S.S.D. (Signed, Sealed & Delivered),” “Kurenai.” See http://www.shamanimmortal.com/ , http://www.myspace.com/shamanimmortal , http://www.facebook.com/pages/SHAMAN/11548987667 , and http://www.scarletrecords.it/ for more.

-The Sweden Rock Festival (set for June 8-11, 2011 in Solvesborg) has added Raubtier — aka “Sweden’s Rammstein” — to the lineup. Check out a video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogLwHEPyXBE . See the updated roster of acts at http://www.swedenrock.com/index.cfm?pg=17&pr=526 , and see http://www.swedenrock.com/ for more on the festival.

-Singer/guitarist John Taglieri has regrouped with Brad Whitley (guitar), Tom Darby (guitar, keyboards, harmonica), Dave Willard (bass), and Rob “Action” Jackson (drums) to form TAG. The band’s first album, FOREWARD, is out now on Leap Dog Music. Track list: “After Farewell,” “Breathe,” “Fly,” “Make A Mistake With Me,” “Something Easy,” “Ghost,” “Not A Day Goes By,” “The Lives Of Splattered Flies,” “With You I Want To Be,” “Ferris Wheel,” “Farewell,” “Drive.” See http://TAGTheBand.com/ , http://www.facebook.com/TAGTheBand , and http://www.leapdogmusic.com/ for more.

-After last week’s report that Van Halen is working on a new album and tour for 2011, MelodicRock.com announced it was contacted by band spokesman Larry Solters and told that although the band members recently “worked on stuff” there are no such plans.

Thanks to Andrew McNeice & MelodicRock.com, Jon Asher, Nuclear Blast, Mark Alger, Lance King, Music Buy Mail, the Illinois Entertainer, Andrew “Dr. Love” Frielink, and Bill “How Many Say I” Kotowski for help gathering some of this information.

by Tim Wadzinski (tsw512@yahoo.com)

-I’ve been meaning to wax poetic about Roman numerals for a while. I confess I just found out what the title of Black Sabbath’s “E5150” means: “EVIL.” “E” is just “E,” “5” is Roman numeral “V,” “1” is Roman numeral “I,” and “50” is Roman numeral “L.” How ’bout that? Cool. This reminded me of that old Dave Mustaine side project, MD.45, which he recorded with Fear’s Lee Ving, because I remembered something about that band name being based off of Roman numerals. Mustaine comes clean in his recent autobiography, saying “MD” represents his initials reversed, and they thought “45” represented Ving’s initials. Except, it doesn’t… 🙂 Oops. What does all this mean? Nuthin’. Just kinda funny to me.

-Rolling Stones Records in Norridge, IL, has been selling Guns N’ Roses’ CHINESE DEMOCRACY for $2.99 on CD. Did Best Buy’s deal to be the album’s exclusive seller expire, or did Best Buy just send a truckload of unsold CDs over to Rolling Stones to get rid of ’em? 🙂

-Wow, shocker! Another live set from the Michael Schenker Group! 🙂 But seriously, for an excellent review of the new Blu-ray check out http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Michael-Schenker-Group-The-30th-Anniversary-Concert–Live-in-Tokyo-Blu-ray/15354/#Review .

-Congrats to Niji Entertainment Group and the whole Dio organization for the success of the new live album. Well deserved.

-Man, that My Metal Club thing looks awesome.

-In my current playlist: Halford – LIVE IN ANAHEIM (DVD) (Metal God Records), Dio – AT DONINGTON UK: LIVE 1983 & 1987 (Niji Entertainment Group), TAG – FOREWARD (Leap Dog Music).

*** REVIEWS ***
10 tracks, RT: 57:47
[ http://www.michaelharrisguitar.com/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/michaelharrisguitar ]
[ http://www.lionmusic.com/cd/tranzfused.htm ]
[ http://www.lionmusic.com/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/lionmusiclabel ]
You’d have to go a long way to find a more well-rounded musician than Michael Harris, the Texas guitar phenomenon with an impressive history of incredibly accomplished solo albums such as DISTORTED VIEWS, SKETCHES FROM THE THOUGHT CHAMBER, and ORCHESTRATE. On TRANZ-FUZED, Michael skillfully navigates his way through the intricacies of jazz-fusion, a genre I love to delve into when not listening to metal. Michael is of course known as a “shredder,” and you’ll certainly find plenty of his astonishing technique on “Wizard Of Odd,” “Left Of Right,” and “Professor Grunklesplat’s Math Assignment,” but Michael always keeps the music interesting without belaboring his talent. Only premium musicians were enlisted to assist Michael in the realization of his vision, resulting in outstanding performances from such choice players as bassists Bunny Brunel, Adam Nitti, Dave Harbour, and James Martin, and drummers Marco Minnemann and Mike Haid along with Bernard Wright supplying a great keyboard solo on the excellent “Seizure Salad.” Jazz-fusion is not going to be to everyone’s liking, naturally, but while material like “Rocket Surgery” may not at first make sense to ears unaccustomed to the style, a few listens should have even those usually averse to outside playing enjoying the clever rhythmic and melodic structures contained here, especially on more the accessible cuts like “Pathos” and “Ocean Blues.” So another killer release from Michael Harris, truly a master at his craft!
– Neal Woodall (MysticX9@gmail.com)

JOHN NORUM – PLAY YARD BLUES (A-/B+) Mascot Records, 2010
10 tracks, RT: 41:19
[ http://www.johnnorum.se/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/johnnorumsolo ]
[ http://www.mascotrecords.com/ ]
[ http://www.mascotrecordsusa.com/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/mascot ]
Europe guitarist extraordinaire John Norum’s latest solo album finally sees the light of day in the form of PLAY YARD BLUES, and despite the title leading you to believe John may have gone in some kind of a Gary Moore “reborn bluesman” direction, the album has sonically more in common with the ’70s hard rock greats John was influenced by than B.B. and Albert. John starts the album off with the funky Hendrix meets Free rocker “Let It Shine” and you are immediately hit with not only the man’s six string acumen but also his quality as a vocalist. John has become somewhat famous for his awesome covers and he provides no less than three here: a cool version of Thin Lizzy’s “It’s Only Money,” a dead-on rendition of Frank Marino’s “Ditch Queen,” and a melodically pleasing take on Mountain’s “Travellin’ In The Dark.” A bit of a Whitesnake influence shows up on the excellent “Over And Over” and John even manages to work in a heavy rocker with the Leif Sundin fronted “Born Again,” John’s fiery but always tasty fretwork well represented throughout. The album is dedicated to Michelle Meldrum Norum who sadly passed away two years ago, but melancholic brooding is not part of the equation here. John and Michelle’s young son Jake makes an appearance on the album cover playing a mini Les Paul, surely a sign of more good things to come from the Norum family in the future. Overall a fantastic classic hard rock outing that was well worth the five year wait, crank it up!!!
– Neal Woodall (MysticX9@gmail.com)

PHENOMENA – BLIND FAITH (B) Escape Music, 2010
10 tracks, RT: 43:46
[ http://www.projectphenomena.com/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/tomgalleysphenomena ]
[ http://www.escape-music.com/ ]
I have fond memories of the first two Phenomena albums, PHENOMENA I and PHENOMENA II: DREAM RUNNER. A project from the fertile minds of Tom Galley (brother of the late Whitesnake guitarist Mel Galley), and Wilfried Rimensberger, Phenomena always featured strong melodic AOR delivered by a veritable who’s who of hard rock luminaries, including such names as Glenn Hughes, Tony Martin, Brian May, and John Wetton. Phenomena’s latest release is called BLIND FAITH and it’s another quality outing from the guys albeit with several rough spots. Like its predecessors, BLIND FAITH is filled with great guest performers, and when the album is good, it’s very good, as on “Liar” with excellent vocals from Tony Martin and guitar work courtesy of Vindictiv’s Stefan Lindstrom; the impassioned “If You Love Her,” with a great vocal by Outland’s Chris Ousey; and infectious rocker “Don’t Ever Give Your Heart Away” with FM’s Steve Overland. Unfortunately several tracks fall into the “alarmingly average” category to my ears, such as when an attempt is made to channel Heart (“I Was Gonna Tell You Tonight”) and Dennis DeYoung (“House Of Love”). So a bit of a mixed bag but overall a worthy inclusion in the Phenomena catalog, definitely recommended for fans of the previous releases.
– Neal Woodall (MysticX9@gmail.com)

ROB ZOMBIE – ICON 2 (B) Geffen, 2010
Disc 1: 12 tracks, RT: 46:58
Disc 2: 12 tracks, RT: 43:57
[ http://www.robzombie.com/ ]
[ http://www.interscope.com/ ]
Quick admission, I’ve never been a huge fan of alternative or industrial metal, so take that into consideration as you read this review. ICON 2 is the latest “best of” compile from Rob Zombie and features 24 tracks of the sort of bizarre, surreal music he has been associated with for over 20 years. You know the big hits are here, including White Zombie’s “Thunder Kiss ’65,” “More Human Than Human” and “Dragula,” but you also get some cool tracks that have not been included on previous “best of” releases, including “Meet The Creeper” and “American Witch,” plus three cuts from his new album HELLBILLY DELUXE 2. Musically Rob keeps things fairly basic but he knows a great riff when he hears one and ICON 2 is chock full of ’em, mostly courtesy of ace axeman John 5. Personally I find myself getting a bit weary of Rob’s vocal style after a few songs but your mileage may vary. ICON 2 is Rob’s third “best of” album in the last decade so I’ll leave it to diehard fans as to whether this is a cash grab or not; you get a lot of tracks here for a reasonable price so this would probably be worthwhile to casual fans or those just getting into Rob’s fun but decidedly offbeat approach.
– Neal Woodall (MysticX9@gmail.com)

*** OUT ***

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