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Issue #581

24 February 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Detritus
Issue #581
Week of February 21, 2011
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*** CAST OF CHARACTERS ***
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Patrick Brower, Editor
pwbrower@gmail.com

Sean P. Gahgan, Editor
spgahgan@comcast.net
http://www.lakeoffire.net/
http://www.myspace.com/visionlakeoffire

Tim Wadzinski, Owner
tsw512@yahoo.com

Steve Shumake, Co-owner
vongoober@neb.rr.com
http://www.myspace.com/kdsteve

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*** LET IT BE KNOWN ***
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-Lots going on here — Sebastian Bach, Ralf Scheepers, Tora Tora, Ten, King Friggin’ Kobra… Crazy man. – Tim

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*** PRESS RELEASE #1 ***
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-Iconic Rock Front Man Sebastian Bach Inks With Frontiers Records Worldwide For Multi-Album Deal

Bach Headed In To Studio This Month For Summer 2011 Release

Frontiers Records is proud to announce the signing of golden-voiced, iconic rock front man Sebastian Bach to an exclusive worldwide, multi-album recording contract. Bach will head in to the studio later this month with his new young virtuosic guitarist Nick Sterling to record a brand new album. Producer Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Shinedown, Atreyu, Filter) will be at the helm. The album is tentatively scheduled for a summer, 2011 worldwide release.

Sebastian Bach commented, “I would like to sincerely thank all at Frontiers Records for their support and belief in me, my band and the new tunes. Expect an album full of high-energy rock n’ roll with kick-ass clean and clear vocals, along with me laying down the craziest screams I have recorded in my life thus far… To all of the rockers of the world, thank you for letting me create killer music for the past two decades, and all I can say is, we are just warming up mothertruckers!” Frontiers Records President Serafino Perugino added, “We are pleased and honored to be at the service of Sebastian Bach! We look forward to help make his forthcoming album a hard rock milestone!”

Sebastian Bach has sold in excess of 20 million records worldwide as lead singer with his former band, Skid Row, and as a solo artist. Far from just being a multi-platinum recording artist, the singer/songwriter/actor/entertainer has expanded his career over the past decade to include episodic television with a five-season recurring role on the CW’s hit series “Gilmore Girls,” starring roles on Broadway (“Jekyll & Hyde,” “The Ricky Horror Picture Show”) and national touring companies (“Jesus Chris Superstar”), as well as an ongoing relationship with MTV/VH1.

Weblinks:
http://www.sebastianbach.com/
http://www.facebook.com/sebastianbach
http://www.twitter.com/sebastianbach
http://www.reverbnation.com/sebastianbach
http://www.frontiers.it/

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-Ralf Scheepers Releases Solo Album

Ralf Scheepers has built himself quite a reputation for being one of the finest German Heavy Metal singers. With a career spanning three decades (he debuted with Tyran Pace’s EYE TO EYE album in 1983), Scheepers sung on true Power Metal manifesto releases such as Gamma Ray’s first three albums, before starting Primal Fear in 1997, with Mat Sinner.

His voice is high-pitched and tenor-esque and his abilities were often compared to some of the finest Hard Rock and Heavy Metal singers ever (from Rob Halford to Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillan). Both Helloween and Judas Priest considered him as their possible next lead singer.

Over the years Ralf wrote and collected a few tracks that did not fit exactly in the Primal Fear concept. As often happens, he had just been waiting for the right chance to present itself and that happened when himself, his buddy Mat Sinner and Frontiers Records President Serafino Perugino sat together and discussed plans for the future in… 2007!

Over three years later and the results are finally here and in Scheepers’ words “I’m really proud of the result!”

Ralf Scheepers’ artistic intention was to please the existing Primal Fear fan base, but he also wanted to add some surprises and include as much variation as he could in the recording.

So he went ahead and covered one of his own favourite — but untypical — Judas Priest songs, “Before The Dawn,” and for the first time, Ralf played all instruments on a song, except the fantastic guitar solos added by Victor Smolski (Rage). “Compassion” is another special track with a very positive vibe, recorded only with acoustic instruments. Two of the songs were composed with former Primal Fear guitarist Stefan Leibing, while Gamma Ray’s Kai Hansen added guitar on “The Pain Of The Accused.” Halford’s Metal Mike played lead guitar on the album opener “Locked In The Dungeon.” One more highlight is the vocal duet with Tim “Ripper” Owens on “Remission Of Sin.”

Additional guest appearances include Sander Gommans (ex After Forever), Snowy Shaw (King Diamond, Therion) and Scheepers’ Primal Fear band mates Magnus, Alex, Achim & Mat!

Enjoy the ride and stay Forever Metal with Scheepers!

SCHEEPERS
Ralf Scheepers: Lead & Backing Vocals; Acoustic Guitar; Keyboards; FX Sounds
Tim “Ripper” Owens: Lead Vocals on “Remission Of Sin”
Magnus Karlsson: Lead Guitars; Guitars; Banjo; Accordion; Keyboards
Sander Gommans: Lead Guitar, Guitars
Mike Chlasciak; Alex Beyrodt; Kai Hansen; Victor Smolski: Lead Guitars
Mat Sinner: Bass, Keyboards
Snowy Shaw: Drums

Track List:
1. Locked In The Dungeon
2. Remission Of Sin
3. Cyberfreak
4. The Fall
5. Doomsday
6. Saints Of Rock (Tyran Pace cover)
7. Before The Dawn (Judas Priest cover)
8. Back On The Track
9. Dynasty
10. The Pain Of The Accused
11. Play With The Fire
12. Compassion

http://www.myspace.com/rs05
http://www.frontiers.it/
http://www.myspace.com/frontiersrecords

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*** PRESS RELEASE #3 ***
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-Mr. Big New Release WHAT IF… OUT NOW On Frontiers Records U.S.A.

HOLLYWOOD, CA — Mr. Big is back with their highly anticipated new studio album entitled WHAT IF… out now on Frontiers Records.

WHAT IF… is Mr. Big’s first all original album since the reunion of the four original members, Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan, and Pat Torpey back in early 2009. Sixteen years after the release of HEY MAN, the new recording is set to bring back Mr. Big on the height of the current Hard Rock scene.

Guitarist Paul Gilbert said: “This is the first Mr. Big album I have been a part of, since 14 years and it was done in a snap. It was fun and we had really a good time in making this one.” Continues Billy Sheehan “It’s so great to be back with Paul, Eric, and Pat, too. We wrote this record like we did in the old days for the first two records. Jamming together in the same room to write songs.” Pat Torpey adds “Some of the recording process is different now from what we were used to in the old times. But I think this record really managed to capture the performances of the band, not of the individual musicians.”

Eric Martin concludes: “I like to compare this to the first album, when we just got to know each other in a reharsal studio and cut it in eight or nine days. This is like chapter 2. We had so many years, so many records and so many things behind us. Now this feels like a beautiful brand new chapter starting for all of us.”

WHAT IF… was produced by Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith, Rush, Iron Maiden) and the release will be followed by a World Tour which will kick off in South America in March and will hit Europe in early summer.

Formed in 1988, Mr. Big forged its place in hard rock history by combining trademark “shredding” musicianship with awesome vocal harmonies. The original lineup — vocalist Eric Martin, guitarist Paul Gilbert, bassist Billy Sheehan, and drummer Pat Torpey. Mr. Big produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres — be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock.

Their hits included “To Be With You” (Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 15 countries for weeks, in 1991, propelling the band the band to huge international success and record sales in the multi-millions), “Wild World,” “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind,” “Just Take My Heart,” and a host of heavy metal songs that were played mostly during their live performances: “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy,” “Addicted To That Rush,” “Colorado Bulldog,” and “Take Cover.”

WHAT IF… will be released in a special edition CD + DVD in digi-pak, regular CD, vinyl, and digital download and in a limited edition luxury box including the CD, DVD, LP, and exclusive memorabilia.

WHAT IF… track listing includes: “Undertow;” “American Beauty;” “Stranger In My Life;” “Nobody Takes The Blame;” “Still Ain’t Enough For Me;” “Once Upon A Time;” “As Far As I Can See;” “All The Way Up;” “I Won’t Get In My Way;” “Around The World;” “I Get The Feeling;” “Unforgiven” (exclusive bonus track for Europe / North America — not on vinyl edition).

The DVD will include the video clips of “Undertow” and “All The Way Up” plus a documentary “Making Of” the album including interviews and exclusive behind the scenes features of the four members.

For more information go to http;//www.mrbigsite.com/ .

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-Veteran Hard Rockers King Kobra Are Back With A Venomous New Album

Frontiers Records is excited to announce the release of the self-titled comeback album from King Kobra on April 15th in Europe and May 5th in North America.

Formed in 1984 by legendary drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne), Los Angeles heavy metal outfit King Kobra recorded two critically acclaimed albums for Capitol Records — the 1985 release READY TO STRIKE and 1986’s THRILL OF A LIFETIME.

Along with Carmine, the band featured four relatively unknown musicians at the time — David Michael-Philips and Mick Sweda on guitar, Johnny Rod on bass, and Mark Free on lead vocals. King Kobra toured the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Mexico playing shows with Kiss, Iron Maiden, Quiet Riot, Ted Nugent, Queensryche, and Autograph.

The band was featured regularly on MTV and performed the theme song for the #1 1986 motion picture “Iron Eagle.” After disbanding in 1988, each member continued his career in other successful major-label groups — Carmine to Blue Murder (Geffen), Mark Free to Unruly Child (Interscope), Mick Sweda to the BulletBoys (Warner Bros.), Johnny Rod to W.A.S.P. (Capitol/EMI), and David Michael-Philips to Lizzy Borden (Metal Blade).

The year 2010 saw the band reunite the original classic ’85 lineup, replacing original singer Mark Free (now Marcie Free) with veteran lead vocalist Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot). “This album captures all the great points we had in the ’80s, but better,” says Carmine Appice. “The music is more traditional King Kobra music. Great lyrics, kick ass songs with cool hooks and really good playing. A really great hard rock/metal record with lots of energy.” David Michael-Phillips adds, “It truly is an all-star album. Paul Shortino is amazing! I can honestly say he is one of the best vocalists in the business along with being one of the nicest and most generous people I have ever met.”

The band is planning to get on some targeted American and European summer festivals this year. Watch out: King Kobra is smokin’ hot, back stronger than ever and “Ready to Strike” once again!

The new album KING KOBRA will include the following tracks: “Rock This House,” “Turn Up The Good (Times),” “Live Forever,” “Tear Down The Walls,” “This Is How We Roll,” “Midnight Woman,” “We Got A Fever,” “Top Of The World,” “You Make It Easy,” “Cryin’ Turns To Rain,” “Screamin’ For More,” “Fade Away.”

King Kobra
* Paul Shortino – vocals
* David Michael-Philips – Guitar
* Mick Sweda – Guitar
* Johnny Rod – Bass Guitar
* Carmine Appice – drums

http://www.myspace.com/officialkingkobra
http://www.frontiers.it/
http://www.myspace.com/frontiersrecords

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*** PRESS RELEASE #5 ***
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-Manowar Brings BATTLE HYMNS Tour To Spain In April!

The demands of the Spanish fans have been answered and Manowar will bring the BATTLE HYMNS Tour and TRUE metal to Spain on April 10, 2011 at La Riviera!

Manowar’s last performance in Madrid sold out almost instantly! This is a second chance for all the Manowarriors in Spain to see a VERY special performance!

This show will be Manowar’s only appearance in Spain on this tour!

In addition to performing Manowar classics, the band will perform the entire BATTLE HYMNS record in celebration of the release of BATTLE HYMNS 2011! And YOU can help shape the set list: Vote for your favorite song on http://www.manowar.com/vote.php so that the untamed power of Manowar and their fans will shake the ground of Madrid, Spain!

Tickets will go on sale Monday, February 21st 2011 on http://www.ticketmaster.es

The time to strike is now! ¡Salud!

Upcoming Manowar tour dates worldwide:

Saturday March 05, 2011 @ The Palladium in Worcester, MA – USA
Friday March 11, 2011 @ The Agora in Cleveland, OH – USA
Saturday March 12, 2011 @ The Agora in Cleveland, OH – USA (SOLD OUT)
Thursday March 17, 2011 @ Principal Club Theater in Thessaloniki – Greece
Friday March 18, 2011 @ Principal Club Theater in Thessaloniki – Greece (SOLD OUT)
Saturday March 19, 2011 @ Principal Club Theater in Thessaloniki – Greece (SOLD OUT)
Friday March 25, 2011 @ St. Jakobshalle in Basel – Switzerland
Sunday March 27, 2011 @ O2 Academy in Birmingham – UK (SOLD OUT)
Tuesday March 29, 2011 @ Tradgarn in Gothenburg – Sweden (SOLD OUT)
Wednesday March 30, 2011 @ Tradgarn in Gothenburg – Sweden
Saturday April 02, 2011 @ Campo Pequeno in Lisbon – Portugal
Friday April 08, 2011 @ Rodahal in Kerkrade – The Netherlands
Sunday April 10, 2011 @ La Riviera in Madrid – Spain

Check out http://www.facebook.com/manowar for constant updates!

Manowar
http://www.manowar.com/

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-Tora Tora Releases Follow-Up (To WILD AMERICA) Material From 1994

FnA Records releases a not so new album from Tora Tora. In fact, inferior copies have been floating around the Internet for years to the dismay of the band. Guitarist Keith Douglas comments: “The files found and shared on the net are a poor copy from cassette to CD that are actually too fast. This release will be the closest thing ever to the original recording. REVOLUTION DAY Is Here!”

REVOLUTION DAY is material that was being worked on by Tora Tora for the follow-up to WILD AMERICA when the band found themselves in the midst of a new genre called Grunge. Fans of the hard rock genre would be disappointed as they saw their favorite bands dropped from their labels. What was a successful band like Tora Tora to do?

Anthony Corder recollecting the REVOLUTION DAY sessions: “The REVOLUTION DAY project was an interesting time for Tora Tora. It was the ’93-’94 era, we were overlapping the last embers of our WILD AMERICA dates, rehearsing ideas for the new project, growing from our touring experiences, and experimenting with recording techniques. We relocated our rehearsal space to a warehouse over by the Memphis airport, and tried to stay focused on pre-production. We were pulling together ideas from handheld cassette recorders, scribbled napkins, & 8 track recordings we made on the bus or hotel rooms. I think we were more comfortable with our creative spirits, more confident in our ideas and our approach to songwriting. All of us contributed on the former projects, but everyone was struggling for the third project to keep the Tora identity, and go somewhere new at the same time. We definitely had moments of anxiety and frustration but it was all well worth it once we locked down the tunes. We were joined by The Memphis Horns as well as Susan Marshall and Stacy Plunk, adding back-up vocals on two tracks. The REVOLUTION sessions were some of our most memorable escapades, and had us back at home in Ardent, hanging with Molly’s LaCasita crew, and me personally closing down most Midtown establishments.”

So what can the fans expect on REVOLUTION DAY? Well those fans of Tora Tora who fell in love with the bluesy feel of “Walkin’ Shoes” and “Phantom Rider,” can expect more of the same (just with an updated feel) on tracks like “Mississippi Voodoo Child,” “Candle And The Stone,” “Shelter From The Rain,” “Me And You,” and “Rescue Me.” There are also your hard rockers on this album like “Living A World Away,” “Out Of The Storm” and “Little Texas.” REVOLUTION DAY shows a huge growth over WILD AMERICA as the band became more comfortable in the studio. On top of that, Anthony Corder’s voice is at a top-notch level. The fans will not be disappointed.

FnA Records, LLC. formed in 2009 to bring Rockers and Metalheads some of the best unreleased and hard-to-find music from the ’80s and early ’90s. We are also a label that allows you, the fans to bring us music that you remember from “Back In The Day,” and to have it professionally released. FnA Records has been the home for the last three Tora Tora albums: BOMBS AWAY, MISS B. HAVIN, and BEFORE & AFTER. To pick up your copy, visit the website at http://www.fnarecords.net/ .

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-Ten Releases STORMWARNING

Turmoil is a word that could well describe what life has been like in the Ten camp over the past few years. Going through several lineup changes and a self-imposed exiles from the scene, Ten for many seemed to be a name that wrote glorious pages in the darkest period of Melodic Hard Rock, failing to keep the flame alive when the momentum was raising again.

Still, Ten singer and principal songwriter, Gary Hughes, knew he had another ace up his sleeve and decided to play it safe. For the new album STORMWARNING he wanted first to have the right lineup and he enlisted the services of Neil Fraser on lead guitars and Mark Sumner on bass, in addition to longtime members John Helliwell on guitar and Paul Hodson on keyboards.

He then secured the masterful Mark Zonder (Fates Warning) to guest on the album taking care of the drum duties and made sure that none other than Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69 and producer of Angra, Place Vendome, Sunstorm, and Edenbridge, among others) would mix and produce the album. Finally he made contact with the original designer of the SPELLBOUND and BABYLON covers, the renowned Spanish fantasy artist Luis Royo, to recreate the perfect graphics for the new album.

In the summer 2010 with all the groundwork done, Ten finally started the recording of STORMWARNING an album that, like the name itself tells, is an inspiration for tales of glory, war, death, and of course love. Any rock fan who digs the sound that Rainbow carved out with DIFFICULT TO CURE or that Whitesnake brought to success with 1987 and that Gary Moore exalted with albums like FINAL FRONTIER or RUN FOR COVER needs to have this record in their collection. And even for the well acquainted, Ten re-ignite memories of THE NAME OF THE ROSE and SPELLBOUND.

STORMWARNING is Ten’s ninth original studio album. Considered by many fans and critics to be the best expression of British Classic Hard Rock in the nineties, Ten have won several reader’s charts in Burrn! magazine (Japan’s leading HR / HM publication) and entered the sales charts in Germany as well Japan.

Ten:
Gary Hughes – Vocals, Guitars, Backing Vocals
John Halliwell – Guitars, Acoustic Guitars
Neil Fraser – Guitars, Lead Guitars
Paul Hodson – Keyboards and Synthesisers, Programming
Mark Sumner – Bass Guitars
With Mark Zonder – Drums and Percussion

Produced by Dennis Ward

Track List:
1. Endless Symphony
2. Centre Of My Universe
3. Kingdome Come
4. Book Of Secrets
5. Stormwarning
6. Invisible
7. Love Song
8. The Hourglass And The Landslide
9. Destiny
10. The Wave

http://www.ten-online.com/
http://www.frontiers.it/
http://www.myspace.com/frontiersrecords

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-Cage: THE RISE TO POWER – LIVE

Music Buy Mail – DVD1573
File under: Heavy Metal
Format: 2DVD
Order #: DVD1573
EAN: 4020110215732
Release: March 15, 2011

Specials: 2-DVD set with live material, unreleased Songs and a preview of new material of forthcoming album.

San Diego metalers Cage are ready to release of their first-ever DVD, THE RISE TO POWER. The package is a two-disc DVD set packed full of material and will be released on March 15th, 2011 in Europe through Music Buy Mail and through Heavy Metal Media for North America and the rest of the world.

Disc 1 features their entire performance at ProgPower X in Atlanta Georgia, USA. Disc 2 features footage from various festivals and performances around the world as well as backstage and on tour clips. Also on disc 2 are five unreleased audio tracks including one off of their upcoming brand new CD.

Cage is currently in the studio finishing their follow-up to SCIENCE OF ANNIHILATION which is due out in the second quarter of 2011. Cage is currently booking dates to tour Europe in May 2011 in support of the DVD and upcoming new CD release. Guitarist Steven Brogden and bassist Pete Stone have recently joined to help form their most vicious lineup yet.

Format: DVD, NTSC, region-free

Track list:
DVD 1
1. Planet Crusher (ProgPower USA)
2. I Am The King (ProgPower USA)
3. Kill The Devil (ProgPower USA)
4. Scarlet Witch (ProgPower USA)
5. Hell Destroyer (ProgPower USA)
6. Black River Falls (ProgPower USA)
7. Speed Kills (ProgPower USA)
8. Metal Devil (ProgPower USA)
9. The Dungeons Are Calling (ProgPower USA)

DVD 2
1. Rise Of The Beast (Keep It True festival)
2. Kill The Devil (Keep It True festival)
3. Final Solution (Keep It True festival)
4. King Diamond (Monterrey, Mexico, Mago De Oz festival)
5. Chupacabra (Monterrey, Mexico, Mago De Oz festival)
6. Shoot To Kill (Monterrey, Metal Fest)
7. From Death To Legend (Monterrey, Metal Fest 2)
8. Wings Of Destruction (Monterrey, Metal Fest)
9. War Of The Undead (unreleased bonus track)
10. Skinned Alive (unreleased bonus track)
11. Europe Raging
12. Mexico Madness
13. New Album Preview!

3 hidden Easter Eggs are also somewhere on the DVD!

Cage
http://www.cageheavymetal.com/
http://www.myspace.com/cageheavymetal

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-Neil Zaza: Firefest 2010 Review

(Note: The full version of this review is availble in issue #43 of Fireworks magazine, which can be bought directly from http://www.rocktopia.net/ . – Tim]

Nelson – Firefest 2010 (with Neil Zaza, review by Monica Castedo-Lopez from Fireworks Magazine, UK)

“I have been involved in many festivals in my time, but my involvement in Firefest 2010 topped them all! This event is a total love-fest of fans, bands, and even the promoters themselves. A love of the music permeates every aspect of this amazing festival and there is a unifying vibe and respect of the musical genre that is a common thread shared among all involved. I’ve never seen anything like it and can’t wait to be involved again.” – Neil Zaza, February 23rd, 2011

It seems painfully hard to believe that, for reasons beyond their control, the melodic rock maestros Nelson had never graced a UK stage in their over 20-year-spanning career. However, thank you to Firefest, another curse was broken when the American twin sensation, who came into the spotlight on the release of their massively successful debut album AFTER THE RAIN back in 1990, were finally baptised on this side of the pond.

Your señorita truly, like many of the fans of that first record, from which the contagious hit “(I Can’t Live Without Your) Love And Affection” reached number one in the charts of their homeland, was very much looking forward to seeing the twins in action. After the energetic and in-your-face performance of Pretty Maids, perhaps one of the heavier bands on the bill this year, I was dubious the show would get any better than that and thought perhaps Nelson would sound too mellow after this. I am extremely delighted to admit my initial thought had no justification whatsoever as Nelson rocked the house to the bone. The six-piece band comprised of Matthew Nelson on bass, Gunnar Nelson on guitar, Neil Zaza (what an amazing discovery — highly recommended to check his solo discography for he is a phenomenal six stringer) also on guitar, Brian Burwell on drums and a very special guest: none other than Mark Slaughter of Slaughter as a third guitarist and backing vocalist, sounded majestic.

As it couldn’t have been otherwise, quite a few tracks (six, to be precise) from their celebrated debut album resonated radiantly on the PA system at Nottingham Rock City to general audience acclaim, kicking off with the infectious “Fill You Up” and closing with an expanded version of “Everywhere I Go.” Throughout the set the brothers shared those sweet vocals they are renowned for, although Gunnar sang in a lower register than the album on the adorable hits “Only Time Will Tell” and “After The Rain,” yet kept the same key in the strong “More Than Ever.” Surprisingly, there weren’t any tracks from their magnificent new album, LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE that was due for release the week after Firefest and would have been a perfect opportunity to showcase some of those splendid new tracks. Instead, they chose to play songs from lesser known albums, such as “Ghostdance” from 1997’s THE SILENCE IS BROKEN, “A Girl Like That” from 1999’s LIFE and “Invisible Man” from 2004’s UNRELEASED TRANSCONTINENTAL and left out what I considered would be an obvious choice, “Bits And Pieces,” also from the debut. When a drum solo started I thought they could use the time to play another song, nonetheless, when Brian got off the kit to be replaced by Matthew and walked to the front of the stage to do some fashionable break dancing, I changed my mind as it was a very original touch. After this, Neil Zaza became the centre of attention as he started a guitar solo that developed into an exquisite instrumental song with the band playing his absolutely mind-blowing “I’m All Right.” Generous as they are, the Nelson brothers had another surprise in store and conceded time in the spotlight to their very special guest, playing the Slaughter hit “Up All Night” with Mark taking the mic duties to the delight of the fans, despite the low volume of his mic (it seems the sound technician, the adorable Pontus Norgren of HammerFall and ex-The Poodles fame, had not been informed Mark’s mic would be use for lead vocals too). For the encore, their number one hit “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love And Affection” sent the crowd wild and put a massive smile on my happy face, as it was an impeccable ending to a sublime weekend. Yes, unfortunately a small number of things went wrong, including two guitar amps blowing up during their show, one after the other, quickly replaced by Tony Marshall and his team so that the show didn’t have to stop. Notwithstanding, it was overall an incredible debut for Nelson on a UK stage. The long blonde manes are long gone, but the joy they transmit with their music and the passion they perform it with clearly remains intact, and I can’t wait for their comeback in 2011.

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-Sweden Rock Updates

Sweden Rock Cruise
April 7-8

Bonfire And Primordial Confirmed!

German hair metal legends Bonfire and Irish metal band Primordial have been confirmed for the Sweden Rock Cruise, which sails from Stockholm April 7-8. The lineup so far:

Doro
Electric Boys
Legion Of The Damned
Bonfire
Primordial

One final band will be announced shortly!

http://www.swedenrockcruise.com/

Bonfire

Bonfire is the most classic name in German hair metal history. They debuted in 1986 (following three albums under the name Cacumen) and made it big with their second album FIREWORKS (1987) — one of the most famous records in European hair metal. In the early ’90s, Bonfire got stuck in a rut of confused lineup changes but no album releases. However, in 1996, they got back on their feet, and have since continued to hold the banner high for melodic metal. Bonfire’s most recent works, like DOUBLE X (2006), THE RAUBER (2008), and the brand new BRANDED, are actually quite worthy successors to the classic albums. Furthermore, Claus Lessmann is still a formidable front man. Party vibes and sing-along choruses in excess are guranteed!
http://www.bonfire.de/
http://www.myspace.com/bonfire22

Primordial

Ireland’s arguably most famous hard rock band since Thin Lizzy are also pioneers, albeit of a different kind. Primordial, who debuted in 1995, combine dark, moody, and droning black metal with Celtic folk music. With the added bonus of numerous epic and Gothic elements, Primordial has emerged as one of the most exciting extreme metal bands of our time. They have also grown with every consecutive release, and their sixth album TO THE NAMELESS DEAD (2007) met with unanimous praise from fans and critics alike. Now the highly anticipated follow-up REDEMPTION AT THE PURITAN’S HAND is finally on its way, as AA Nemtheanga and cohorts grace Sweden Rock Cruise with their intense stage presence for the very first time.
http://www.primordialweb.com/
http://www.myspace.com/primordialofficial

More info on the Sweden Rock Cruise can be found here:
http://www.swedenrockcruise.com/

Sweden Rock Festival
June 8-9-10-11, Solvesborg

Accept TO Sweden Rock Festival This Summer!

The legends who put German heavy metal — as opposed to hard rock — on the world map. Accept released their modest debut in 1979, and broke through in 1981 with the BREAKER album and a praised tour with Judas Priest. Subsequent releases like RESTLESS AND WILD (1982) and BALLS TO THE WALL (1983) officially elevated Accept to the echelons of metal. Essential factors were the ultra-heavy sound, the classically inspired guitar playing and, not least, Udo Dirkschneider — equally original as a singer and a front man.

In 1987, Udo left Accept to create U.D.O. He returned to Accept in 1992-96, after which the band dissolved. 2005 saw a temporary comeback, including an appearance at SRF, but Udo was adamant that if Accept wanted to make a full-scale comeback, they would have to do it without him. This they did. In 2010, Accept released their first album with their new American vocalist Mark Tornillo (ex-TT Quick), BLOOD OF THE NATIONS. The record was a great success, and Accept now return to SRF as a band in triumph.

Spock’s Beard To Sweden Rock Festival This Summer!

Arguably the most important spearheading act in the great progressive rock renaissance of the late ’90s. Spock’s Beard from Los Angeles debuted in 1995, making a whole new generation aware of the heritage of bands like Genesis and Gentle Giant. In 2002, after six albums, front man and then band leader Neal Morse decided to leave Spock’s Beard and go solo. Many were pleasantly surprised to find that Spock’s Beard passed this test with flying colors. The band has since released four more albums, most recently X in 2010, their new incarnation displaying a tougher guitar sound more reminiscent of full-fledged hard rock. To all who have yearned to see one of the most important bands in contemporary prog rock at SRF, the waiting is finally over.

Read more under Bands 2011
http://www.swedenrock.com/index.cfm?pg=17&pr=526

4-day tickets sold out! Get your 3-day ticket now!

CONFIRMED DATES FOR SOME OF THE BANDS:

Wednesday June 8
Hardcore Superstar – Five Horse Johnson – Crashdïet – Seventribe

Thursday June 9
Judas Priest – The Cult – Thin Lizzy – Joan Jett – Morbid Angel – Buckcherry – Clutch – FM – Moonspell – The Damned – Dan Reed – Groundhogs

Friday June 10
Whitesnake – Rob Zombie – Helloween – Mr Big – Down – Iced Earth – Overkill – Jason & The Scorchers – The Brew

Saturday June 11
Ozzy Osbourne – Saxon – Styx – Kansas – Molly Hatchet – Hawkwind – Spock’s Beard – Lee Aaron – Walter Trout – Electric Wizard – Rage (acoustic)

Confirmed bands so far out of a total of around 70:

Ozzy Osbourne
Judas Priest – last show ever in Sweden
Whitesnake – with very special guests
Rob Zombie
The Cult
Saxon
Accept
Down
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Thin Lizzy
Helloween
Kansas
Morbid Angel
Styx
Iced Earth
Mr. Big
Hawkwind
Necronaut
Molly Hatchet
Rhapsody Of Fire
Hardcore Superstar
Stryper
Clutch
Mustasch
Spock’s Beard
Destruction
Overkill
The Haunted
Buckcherry
The Damned
Lee Aaron
Jason & The Scorchers
Five Horse Johnson
Evergrey
FM
Electric Wizard
Doc Holliday
Crashdïet
Moonspell
Agent Steel
Ghost
Dan Reed Band
Walter Trout
Raubtier
Groundhogs
Houston
Mason Ruffner
The Brew
Fläsket Brinner
Rage (acoustic)

The tickets to Sweden Rock Festival 2011 are now released and you buy them directly online at our homepage.

More information at:
http://www.swedenrock.com/

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-Grammy Award-Winning Former Kansas Singer, John Elefante, Returns With New Album, REVOLUTION OF MIND

The first singer/keyboardist to replace Steve Walsh in Kansas, John Elefante, has just issued a new album from his solo band (credited to John Elefante And Mastedon), titled REVOLUTION OF MIND. And fans of Elefante’s former band are sure to find plenty of satisfaction within the album’s grooves. “I think there are shades of Kansas in just about everything I write,” explains Elefante, who was a member of Kansas from 1981 through 1985. “I’m a tenor singer like Steve Walsh, I like a lot of mood changes in songs, although sometimes I get in the mood to just write a straight pop song from head to toe. Like in all great Kansas records, there are a lot of twists and turns and things you don’t expect musically, that keeps the listener surprised. And at the same time, excited.”

The album also features guitar work from none other than Elefante’s former band mate in Kansas, Kerry Livgren. “These days, another thing that makes it easier for people to work together is you don’t have to be in the same studio and in the same room anymore. I can literally send files to Kerry and hear what he’s doing in real time. The song ‘One Day Down By The Lake,’ I was going to take it off the record, because I thought it was a little too ‘Kansas-y,’ if you will. So I kind of put the song on hold for a while, and when Kerry agreed to play on it and when I heard what he did on it, I went, ‘Wait a minute, now it makes sense.’ So I decided to put it on the record. I probably get more email about that song then any other song on the record.”

As evidenced by such standout tracks as “Questions (It’s About Time),” “The Western World,” and the aforementioned “One Day Down By The Lake (See You Real Soon),” fans of finely crafted melodic rock are surely in for a treat. And Elefante is quick to point out that REVOLUTION OF MIND is a different kind of record than previous Mastedon efforts. “Sonically, it’s different. It’s definitely a different record. Sonically I think it’s more modern. We were quite limited in the old days, we didn’t quite have the technology we have now. We had more capability to do more things. And the one thing that makes it different is the past Mastedon records were a little more like an Alan Parsons Project, where it was a studio thing and we’d have guest singers and guest musicians all over the place. This time, I sang everything — I wanted to sing everything. So that inherently makes it way, way different.”

Elefante also sees a difference between his work with Mastedon compared to his earlier work with Kansas. “Mastedon is my show, so the sky’s the limit — I can do whatever I want. I’m not confined to a brand that’s already in place. Nowadays, things have definitely changed. Instead of going into a big-time Record Plant type studio, which we used to own, I’ll go to a friend’s house who is a killer drummer, and in his basement, he’s got his drums mic’d up to the max, with a ProTools rig. It’s so easy and fun — there isn’t any down time in setting up mics to get drum sounds.”

Elefante plans to support REVOLUTION OF MIND with a set of live dates. “The touring plans are in the works. We’re going to take it as it comes. We’re working on getting some opening dates. I would like to secure an opening slot for a multi-band tour. I think that would be right up my alley. Even though I don’t have the mega hits that Styx had, without tooting my horn, I think the people will be pleasantly surprised when they hear what I have to offer.”

“I’m very proud to have John join our label, Big3,” says the label’s chairman, Bill Edwards. “John and I go way back, and I’ve been a huge fan of his for years. I strongly feel that REVOLUTION OF MIND is a great showcase for his talents, and we’re honored at Big3 to be working with John.”

REVOLUTION OF MIND Track Listing:

1. Revolution Of Mind
2. Slay Your Demons
3. Nowhere Without Your Love
4. One Day Down By The Lake (See You Real Soon)
5. Water Into Wine (Fassa Rokka)
6. Questions (It’s About Time)
7. You Can’t Take Anything
8. Lying
9. The Western World
10. That’s What You Do

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT:
http://www.johnelefante.com/
http://www.facebook.com/JohnElefanteMusic

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-Joey Belladonna To Play Sauna Open Air Festival In Tempere, Finland

In between laying down vocals for the new Anthrax record and touring this spring and summer with Anthrax, Joey Belladonna will keep busy in his downtime by hitting the road with his solo band Belladonna to play some shows across the USA and Finland.

03/10/11 – The Met, Providence, RI
03/11/11 – Toads Place, New Haven, CT
03/17/11 – Carriage House, Louisville, OH
03/18/11 – Chicago City Limits, Schaumberg, IL
03/19/11 – The Token Lounge, Westland, MI
03/20/11 – The Warehouse, Valparasio, OH
03/26/11 – Cube Restaurant, Newark, DE
03/31/11 – The Palladium, Worcester, MA
04/08/11 – Quixotes, Denver, CO
04/09/11 – The Venue, Casper, WY
06/02/11 – The Rock House, Indianapolis, IN
06/03/11 – The Basement, Columbus, OH
06/04/11 – McGuffy’s House Of Rock, Dayton, OH
06/09/11 – Virgin Oil Club, Helsinki, Finland
06/10/11 – Sauna Open Air Festival, Tempere, Finland
06/11/11 – Club Teatria, Oulu, Finland
06/17/11 – Martini Ranch, Scottsdale, AZ
06/22/11 – The Nutty Irishman, Farmingdale, NY
06/23/11 – Bourbon Street, Baltimore, MD
06/24/11 – Havana’s, New Hope, PA
06/25/11 – Livewire Night Club, Mentor, OH

Also, hitting the streets on March 29 via Eagle Rock Entertainment is an all-star tribute to Frank Sinatra called SIN-atra where Joey covers the song “Strangers In The Night.”

http://www.joeybelladonna.com/
http://www.twitter.com/jbelladonna
http://www.myspace.com/joeybelladonna
http://www.facebook.com/joeybelladonna
http://www.myspace.com/chiefbigway

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-Destruction: Album Out Now, Brand New Video Online!

German thrash metal legends Destruction released their most brutal effort to date DAY OF RECKONING today!

In addition to that, the band also posted the video clip for the song “Hate Is My Fuel” online. Check it out right here!

Commented main man Schmier: “”Hate Is My Fuel” is the slogan of Destruction. So we kept this video clip as authentic as possible: Aggressive live feeling mixed with a critical look towards the manipulating media world, in the tradition of classical thrash videos from our era! Dive into the mosh pit and scream along if you are a real thrasher, I hope you will have as much fun as we had filming it! Thanx to the kids at the new years eve show in Switzerland for the kick ass background!”

Also make sure to catch Destruction live at Killfest together with label mates Overkill!

http://www.destruction.de/

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-Pegazus: “Haunting Me” Video Released!

The Thunder From Down Under Is Back With A New Album!

The Australian Metallers of Pegazus have just released the video for “Haunting Me.” The song has been taken from the band’s upcoming album IN METAL WE TRUST, which will be released on April 15, 2011 through Black Leather Records. The worldwide distribution is in hands of the German company Twilight Vertrieb.

The “Haunting Me” video can be seen at the following location:

The video was filmed on location in Melbourne, Australia and directed by Aaron McLoughlin & Judd Hyland. Founding member and guitarist Johnny Stoj about the video shoot: “The ‘Haunting Me’ video shoot was personally my best experience ever with making a music video. It was so awesome working with film director Aaron McLoughlin and such a professional crew. Really looking forward to getting back over to Europe to crank out some Heavy Metal tunes on our ‘In Metal We Trust Tour’ and also hitting the Festivals.”

In addition, the band has revealed an album video teaser, which can be seen here:

The new album contains 11 brand new classic Heavy Metal songs with original singer Justin Fleming back on vocals! As a tribute to the great guitarists of the ’80s, Pegazus has invited Ross The Boss (founding member Manowar, Ross The Boss, The Dictators, a.o.), Jeff Watson (ex-Night Ranger / Mothers Army) and David Shankle (formerly of Manowar, DSG) to contribute a solo for the song “Old Skool Metal Dayz.”

Vocalist Justin Fleming about his return to the band: “When I got the call from the band, I was of course shocked about Rob’s departure, but felt honoured to be asked to come back into the band. Since then it’s been a blast. We have played a lot of great shows, including the Skid Row tour and then the recording of IN METAL WE TRUST. I think the album will shock a lot of people with the strength and power of the songs. We put all our heart into this album, there are no filler songs and from start to finish IN METAL WE TRUST kicks serious ass! The upcoming tour is going to be awesome, we really can’t wait to hit the road to meet and bring the Pegazus live show to our fans all around the world. It’s been far too long since the band has been over to Europe and I’m pumped to get on stage and put on a show the Pegazus Warriors will never forget.”

Pegazus is:
Justin Fleming – Lead Vocals
Johnny Stoj – Guitars and Vocals
Cory Betts – Bass
Ange Sotiro – Drums

For all info and five new samples, please visit the brand new MySpace at:
http://www.myspace.com/pegazusmusic

Follow Pegazus also through these sites:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pegazusmusic
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/PEGAZUS/56974008938
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/pegazusmusic

Later this week, a brand new website will be uploaded at the new URL:
http://www.pegazusofficial.com/

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-Benedictum – DOMINION

Like clouds forming on the horizon, the impending storm and thunder of USA Metal band Benedictum once again loom before us with the release of their third album DOMINION.

Surging forward as they are driven by the powerful momentum of front woman Veronica Freeman — whose unique and powerful style has been called one of the truly most extraordinary voices in Metal — and the guitar pyrotechnics of writer and guitarist Pete Wells, the time has come for the world to be on notice. Benedictum is again upon us.

Formed in 2005 and quickly noticed by Dio guitarist Craig Goldy, the wheels were soon set in motion for their debut album UNCREATION. The collaboration of producer Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio, Foreigner) and the musical works of vocalist Veronica Freeman and Pete Wells along with the talent of drummer Blackie Sanchez, bassist Jesse Wright, and keyboardist Chris Morgan, UNCREATION was released to great reviews. Benedictum was selected as one of the top bands to watch in 2006 by Classic Rock magazine and one of Rock Hard Germany’s top 50 albums for that year. Guest appearances included Jeff Pilson, Craig Goldy, and Jimmy Bain.

The result of the second collaboration between Jeff Pilson and Benedictum was their 2008 release SEASONS OF TRAGEDY which evolved them into a Metal force which could not be denied. With Veronica’s raw and powerful vocals, songs with memorable melodies and the magical talent of Pete Wells along with new drummer Paul Courtois and the guidance of Jeff Pilson, SEASONS OF TRAGEDY further solidified the fact that there was something quite special at work here. SEASONS OF TRAGEDY garnered more great reviews and were on many a list for top albums of 2008. Guest appearances again by Jeff Pilson, Craig Goldy, and also George Lynch who added his special flare to the track “Bare Bones” and the cover of Accept’s “Balls To The Wall.”

Their driving music and energetic shows allowed Benedictum to grace the stage of many festivals including Wacken, Gods of Metal, HRH and a tour with Doro.

Now ready for yet another amazing chapter, Benedictum are off on a new and exciting musical episode as they have signed a contract with Frontiers Records. Building upon their great foundation Benedictum has recruited Grammy Award winning producer Ryan Greene (Megadeth, 5, MXPX, NOFX) and are firing on all cylinders. With members Chris Shrum now on bass, Mike Pannone on drums, and Tony Diaz on keyboards the new music promises to continue to expand the horizon for Benedictum and is sure to please current fans as well. From the onslaught of the opening track “Dominion” to the epic “Epsilon” and the heartfelt acoustic track “Sanctuary,” this album has it all. Adding to the already explosive sound of DOMINION are guest appearances by Jeff Pilson, Craig Goldy, and none other than Rudy Sarzo on the fist pumping track “Bang.”

The album DOMINION contains an absolute musical journey with powerful riffs, well thought out lyrics and truly amazing musicianship. Crank it up, give it a listen, and you too will become a “Victim of Benedictum!”

Benedictum
Vocals – Veronica Freeman
Guitar – Pete Wells
Bass – Chris Shrum
Keyboards – Tony Diaz
Drums – Mikey Pannone

Produced by Ryan Greene

Track List:
1. Dominion
2. At The Gates
3. Seer
4. Grind It
5. Prodigal Son
6. The Shadowlands
7. Beautiful Pain
8. Dark Heart
9. Bang
10. Loud Silence
11. Epsilon
12. Sanctuary (Bonus Track)
13. Overture – Temples Of Syrinx

http://www.benedictum.net/
http://www.myspace.com/benedictum
http://www.frontiers.it/
http://www.myspace.com/frontiersrecords

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-Z Records News

20% Off All Z Records Latest Titles — Offer Till February 25 Only!

As we head towards the spring and warmer weather, we decided to cheer everyone up with a seven-day offer that will run until 6 p.m. February 25th. We’ve slashed the price of our latest releases by 20% to just £8.00 each. This is limited for one week so don’t delay; check out the offer for yourself now at our online store http://www.zrecords.net/ .

Z Records Finally Opens Official Facebook Page

It’s taken us a while but we’ve arrived on Facebook. Many have joined us already since Thursday morning so come on down and join us. You’ll find us at http://www.facebook.com/ZRECORDS.OFFICIAL .

Steele Set To Reveal Their Tricks In May!

It’s with great pleasure that we are able to present the cover artwork for Steele’s TRICKS UP MY SLEEVE, which will be released on May 3, 2011. Fans of Winger, Lynch Mob, and Warrant should note that a sound sample is now available at http://www.zrecords.net/ for review. You won’t be disappointed!

Arabia Have Signed In For Z Rock 2011

Arabia have signed in for Z Rock 2011 on May 15th to support their all-new album WELCOME TO THE FREAKSHOW which is out June 4th. Sadly we had tried for many weeks to secure flights for one of the previously billed artists but where unable to obtain the details we required. The point came where flights where going over budget and instepped Arabia whom we believe many fans are itching to see again.

John Blaze sent the following message from New York…

“Hey gang, John Blaze here. So — we’ve been working real hard to get Arabia back on stage at Z Rock 2011. With a new release coming up I’m gonna be rockin’ at the Z Rock festival in at the Asylum, Birmingham on Sunday May 15th, 2011. It has been way too long that I have been on stage in the UK and I am totally stoked to perform and see all of our friends who have supported Arabia over the years. Look out Arabia fans, the band will be bigger and better than before with a new lineup of hard rockin’ band mates that are gonna kick some ass. See everyone real soon, -Blaze”

The Lineup for the band is:
John Blaze – vocals
Vince O’Regan – guitars [Legion, Bob Catley, Pulse]
Steve MeKenna – bass [Ten, Tyketto, Bob Catley, Vaughn]
Lee Morris – drums [Ten, Vaughn, Paradise Lost]
Irvine Parrott – keyboards

Now the lineup issue has been resolved tickets will be available from all outlets by Saturday.

http://www.zrecords.net/
http://www.facebook.com/ZRECORDS.OFFICIAL

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-Bebe Buell Signs Deal With Wendy Dio’s Niji Management, Inc.

HOLLYWOOD, CA — Bebe Buell has come in close contact with rock royalty quite a few times throughout her vibrant life! She is one hell of a Singer, Rocker, and Entertainer and Wendy Dio certainly agrees, as she recently signed Bebe Buell to Niji Management. “I went to New York City to see Bebe Buell perform live and I knew after two songs that I had to manage her,” said Wendy Dio.

“I have a genuine connection with Wendy,” says Bebe Buell. “She gets it — my music and me! Her coming into my life felt like divine intervention.”

Bebe’s stature within the rock world remains great to this day, as she presented two awards at this year’s Pollstar Awards that took place at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA.

Bebe maintains a very large and loyal Social Network and live show following around the world.

Niji Management recently secured a major International Booking Agency for Bebe Buell and there are plans for her to tour Europe in conjunction with her soon to be released new CD.

Please visit:
http://www.bebebuell.org/
http://www.facebook.com/bebe.buell
http://twitter.com/bebebuellband
http://www.facebook.com/nijientertainmentgroup

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-Magician: Demo Song Of New Album Available

Brazilian power metal band Magician, who recently announced Tiago Masseti (Daydream XI) as its new vocalist, is now working on the pre-production of their second album. A demo version of “The Scorching Curse,” one of the new songs, was posted online at http://www.myspace.com/magicianband .

“This is the first Magician release in the past four years, and it shows a new phase of the band. Even being just a demo you can feel the power of Tiago’s voice and get a preview of the new album. I hope you like it and leave your comments on MySpace,” commented Renato Osorio, Magician’s guitarist.

Magician’s first album, TALES OF THE MAGICIAN, was released in 2008 and 2009 via Die Hard Records (Brazil), Dockyard 1 (Europe), Soundholic (Japan), and Locomotive Records (North America). The album was mixed and mastered by Dirk Schlächter (Gamma Ray), Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween) and Arne Lakenmacher. The band’s debut entered Japanese charts at position No. 10, surpassing known rock and metal acts like Exodus, Velvet Revolver, Marilyn Manson, and Linkin Park.

Magician
press@magician.com.br
http://www.magician.com.br/
http://www.myspace.com/magicianband

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-Therion Have Their Own Board Game

Swedes Therion have now been immortalised in a board game!

Main man Christofer Johnsson comments: “Paulo Vallerga from the famous game developer Scibabs approached the band at the show in Milano last year with this great idea of making a fantasy board game based upon the stage characters mixed with mythology, and we instantly thought it was the coolest thing we’ve heard in ages and loved the idea!

“The name of the game is ‘011’ and you will find me, Thomas, Christian, Johan, Snowy, Katarina, Lori, and Nalley appearing as even more fantastic characters than we are in reality! ; -)”

There will be more news on this coming soon!

Check the Scribabs webpage for a description of the game and more pictures at http://www.scribabs.it/ .

http://www.megatherion.com/

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-NFL Football Players/Headbangers, Free Reign, Return With Hard-Hitting New Single, “One Step Away” Out Now

Comprised of two Dallas Cowboys (Marc Colombo and Leonard Davis) and a Miami Dolphin (Cory Procter), Free Reign is certainly a larger than life heavy metal crew. With the lineup rounded out by non-footballer and accomplished guitarist Justin Chapman, the quartet has released an all-new single, “One Step Away,” which follows up on the promise of last year’s five-song release, TRAGEDY. The “One Step Away” single in on sale via iTunes, Amazon.com, and all digital sales providers.

iTunes
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/one-step-away-single/id418100414

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/One-Step-Away/dp/B004M7VMWW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1298352270&sr=8-1

Explains Colombo, “‘One Step Away’ is a song about feeling close to success — whether it’d be a band that has worked so hard but could not quite reach their dream, or a team/player that’s accomplished so much but a championship just seems to elude them. What keeps people coming back is the idea that maybe this time nothing will stand in your way of achieving your ultimate goal.”

“One Step Away” will be released by the band via their own label, DC Rightside Music, and a new, full-length studio album titled HEAVIER THAN METAL will follow up the single on April 19th, 2011. Recently, Free Reign won Revolver Magazine’s Golden Gods Award for “Most Metal Athletes.”

In the group, right tackle Colombo handles vocals, right guard Davis handles bass, and center/guard Procter mans the drums. Immediately upon hitting the metal scene, Free Reign was heralded by some of hard rock/heavy metal’s most recognizable names, including Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde (“Free Reign kicks ass! These guys will pound you into submission, check them out now!”), and Twisted Sister’s Eddie Ojeda (“These guys are Twisted Cowboys, I love it… horns up!!”). And with the impending arrival of “One Step Away,” Free Reign are quickly becoming a true hard rocking powerhouse.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-Reign/125593670843995
http://FreeReignMusic.com

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-Alberto Rigoni’s New Album REBIRTH — Artwork And Track List Revealed

Italian bass player Alberto Rigoni (TwinSpirits, solo artist) returns with his new solo album REBIRTH that’s going to be released by Nightmare Records on April 26th (via Sony / RED distribution, North America & Bertus & Twilight distribution & partners in Europe).

REBIRTH contains a wide spectrum of music, from solo bass settings to more progressive songs. Each displaying the dynamic playing and writing skills of a young and exciting bassist in Rigoni, as well as a cast of amazing guests (Gavin Harrison, John Macaluso, Michael Manring, and Yves Carbonne, to name a few).

World famous bass master Michael Manring, who appears as special guest on two album tracks, says: “Alberto Rigoni is a real 21st century bassist with a unique musical vision. His new album REBIRTH is engaging and moving and I hope you’ll check it out.”

Nightmare Records makes now available the artwork, a piece of art made by Italian designer Davide Guidoni.

Track List:
1. Free
2. Rebirth
3. Story Of A man
4. The Net
5. Emptiness
6. A New Soul
7. With All My Forces
8. Ontogeny
9. White Shine

More news coming very soon!

To discover more on Alberto Rigoni check out http://www.albertorigoni.net/ .

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-Forté Deluxe STRANGER THAN FICTION Reissue On Divebomb Records

Forté was founded in Oklahoma City in 1987 by brothers Jeff and Greg Scott and were in time joined by bassist Ghames “Rev” Jones and ex-Oliver Magnum vocalist, James Randel. In the early stages Forté played an abundance of shows, quickly establishing themselves within the flourishing underground metal scene by opening for bands like Pantera, Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Watchtower, Overkill, Savatage, and Trouble.

After spending time on the road hammering out and fine tuning everything they recorded and released their (now) classic DEMENTIA BY DESIGN demo tape in 1989. It was both fan and critic favorite and their popularity began to spread worldwide as it went on to sell a stunning 1,500 copies. The demo’s title track was even featured on Metal Blade Records’ “Metal Massacre” series giving the band even more exposure which they certainly used to their advantage. Not wanting to slow the building momentum they delivered an impressive showcase at the Foundations Forum. Germany’s Massacre Records was in attendance and quickly signed Forté to their first recording contract.

Their debut, STRANGER THAN FICION, was released in 1992 stunning both critics and their ever-expanding fan base with its intensity, speed, power and excellent use of melody. STRANGER THAN FICION has been unavailable for years and with the lineup back together and prepping a new album for release in 2011 we decided it was time to re-release this classic slab of melodic/power/thrash metal. Working in conjunction with the band we were able to unearth two original Forté demo tapes for inclusion on this new deluxe edition to make it the most comprehensive collection of their early years and it will be released to stores on March 15th, 2011.

For Fans Of:
Metallica, Vicious Rumors, Testament, and Helstar, and melodic thrash metal

Forté – STRANGER THAN FICTION (DELUX EDITION)
DIVE018
March 15th, 2010

Available Now Via Estore
http://tribunalrecords.bigcartel.com/category/divebomb-records

Track List:
1. Coming Of The Storm
2. The Inner Circle
3. Stranger Than Fiction
4. G-13 (Devoid Of Thought)
5. Mein Madness
6. Time And Time Again
7. Digitator
8. Between The Lies
9. The Last Word
10. The Promise

Bonus Tracks
11. Dementia By Design (MMXI Version)

DEMENTIA BY DESIGN (Demo – 1989)
12. Between The Lies
13. Dementia By Design
14. Digitator
15. Mein Madness
16. The Promise

FORTÉ (Demo – 1991)
17. Stranger Than Fiction
18. The Inner Circle
19. Devoid Of Thought
20. The Coming Of The Storm
21. The Last Word

Points Of Interest
+ limited edition of 1,000 – CD only
+ debut album from 1992 (four albums total in career)
+ includes both 1989 & 1991 demo tapes
+ full-color booklet with tons of band supplied archival photos
+ long out of print
+ re-mastered by Jamie King (2010)
+ new album coming in 2011
+ shared stages with Pantera, Dream Theater, Manowar, Sepultura, Biohazard, Overkill, and Savatage

http://www.divebombrecords.com/
http://www.facebook.com/divebombrecords
http://www.myspace.com/divebombrecords

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-Rock For One World

Rock One World Festival 2011 with:

Primal Fear
Tieflader
Voodoo Circle
Contracrash
King Chrome

March 12, 2011: 73728 Esslingen am Neckar, Germany

Auction! Signed PRS Guitar

Again this year we are very happy, being able to auction a rare and very special collector’s item: A hand-signed e-guitar.

The Paul Reed Smith guitar is endowed by Lupo’s Rockshop. It was signed by nearly all participating artists of the 2009 Rock Of Ages Festival. Among them you can find some big names like Axel Rudi Pell, Mothers Finest, Roger Chapman, and Doro. But indeed, the biggest highlight sends a shiver down your spine. Between the pickups you can find the autograph of recently departed Gary Moore.

So, that for we hope that in remembrance of this magnificent guitarist the instrument will generate a worthy amount, because, as always, the proceed goes to a charity project. The auction will be placed on eBay again. As soon as it starts you will find the hyperlink at http://www.rock-one-world.de/auktion.html . But beforehand you might glance at ROA backstage life:

“Festival Report ROA 2009”
http://www.lupos-rockshop.de/en/ROA_09.html

Check:
http://www.rock-one-world.de/auktion.html
http://www.rock-one-world.de/
http://www.rockngrowl.com/
http://www.trendxl.de/

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-Iggy & The Stooges – RAW POWER LIVE: IN THE HANDS OF THE FANS To Be Released On 180 Gram Vinyl April 5, 2011 Via MVD Entertainment Group

Iggy & The Stooges – RAW POWER LIVE: IN THE HANDS OF THE FANS is the vinyl document of the reformed Stooges’ (Iggy Pop, Scott Asheton, James Williamson, Steve Mackay, Mike Watt) RAW POWER performance at the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival on Friday, September 3, 2010.

Of the performance, Ben Ratliff of the NY Times writes, “Iggy Pop, now 63, knew that his body language translated into still photographs resembling Mannerist paintings… The Stooges attacked the album’s eight songs, in a different order, just about perfectly.”

Iggy and the band sound flawless as they rip through the archetype riffage of “Search And Destroy,” “Raw Power,” “Gimmie Danger,” and more. This record is being rush released for Record Store Day 2011.

“Getting this top-notch performance of the entire RAW POWER album by The Stooges realized a lifelong dream,” said Iggy Pop. “This sh*t really sizzles and we are so obviously a crack band in a class of our own.”

MVD Entertainment Group, an industry leader in producing and distributing music-related audiovisual content, launched the “In The Hands Of The Fans” series with the intention of utilizing the energy and talents of fans, who by means of an online video submission contest, win the opportunity to film a performance of their favorite band in HD and then interview the band members after the performance. The result is a high quality, low cost, unique program that is part concert film and part reality TV show.

Item Info / Track list:
http://www.seeofsound.com/p.php?s=MVD5179LP

Hi Res Cover Art:

In The Hands Of The Fans website:
http://www.inthehandsofthefans.com/

MVD Entertainment Group
PO Box 280
Oaks PA 19456

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-Arryan Path Shortlisted For Impala’s European Independent Album Of The Year

Arryan Path’s TERRA INCOGNITA has been shortlisted for Impala’s inaugural European Independent Album Of The Year Award, with the winner to be announced on February 28.

The Impala Album Of The Year Award is a Mercury-style award that celebrates the musical talent and diversity of independent European releases. It promotes exceptional artists and the independent sector alike. The winner is selected, regardless of sales figures and publicity, from a short list that is compiled based on a national and non-national album nominations from European territories. A jury of Impala board members choose the winner based on musical merit alone.

TERRA INCOGNITA (the band’s second album) was released in February 2010 through Pitch Black Records and has been receiving raving reviews since then, also making it into several “best of 2010” lists. Being shortlisted for this award is a tremendous achievement by itself and the entire Pitch Black Records team wishes to congratulate Arryan Path while also stating that “We are equally confident about the strength of the band’s upcoming album (to be released later this year), just as we were when we first listened to TERRA INCOGNITA!”

For more info:
Impala – http://www.impalamusic.org/
Arryan Path – http://www.arryanpath.com/

Pitch Black Records
http://www.pitchblackrecords.com/
http://www.myspace.com/pitchblackrecordsmetal
http://twitter.com/pitchblackrcrds
Look us up on FACEBOOK!

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-Guardians Of Time Reveal New Album Details!

The Norwegian Heavy Metal band Guardians Of Time have just set the release date for their upcoming album A BEAUTIFUL ATROCITY at April 15, 2011.

The band will release their album through Mayhem Music — the record label from Audun Grønnestad (known from Imperia a.o.) — who have set a worldwide distribution deal with Indie Distribution.

This new album is a bit different than the last one, MACHINES OF MENTAL DESIGN, which makes the live set list more varied, and the mix of old and new material will satisfy any fan of melodic metal out there. A BEAUTIFUL ATROCITY is more varied and modern sounding than its predecessor. The catchy songs are even more catchy, the hard aggressive parts are even more so, and the calm parts are dreamy and beautiful. Still, all the trademarks of a great Guardians Of Time album are still there: amazing high-pitch vocals, twin guitar solos, and great compositions that will never give the listener a boring moment. Imagine a modern version of Judas Priest’s PAINKILLER mixed with Helloween, and you have a reference to the new album.

The band is revealing now for the very first time the cover artwork for A BEAUTIFUL ATROCITY with the complete track listing:

Track List:
1. The Beginning Of The End
2. Perverse Perfection
3. God v2.0
4. Monster
5. Altered In Red
6. Mind Divided
7. Heart Of Darkness
8. Sleep Eternal
9. Dreamworld Messiah
10. Tide Of Time
11. Only In A Dream
12. I, Sinner
13. The Man

Guardians Of Time are:
Bernt Fjellestad – Vocals
Paul Olsen – Guitar
Bent Lindebø – Guitar
Jonkis – Bass
Øyvind Vågane – Drums

For all info, please visit:
http://www.myspace.com/guardiansoftime
http://www.facebook.com/pages/GUARDIANS-OF-TIME/116430181702253
http://twitter.com/officialGOT

Mayhem Music
http://www.mayhem-music.com/

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-Cynthesis Album Details And Cover Art Unveiled

DEEVOLUTION, the anticipated debut full-length from Cynthesis, is set for worldwide release via Sensory Records on April 19th, 2011.

A label priority for Sensory this year, the magnificent DEEVOLUTION tells the story of an elite group of leaders from a heavily industrialized city who find, brainwash and then exploit an indigenous tribes’ shaman, believing he would be the perfect supreme leader. By propping him up as possessing all the answers to society’s ills, the elites use him in order to gain and keep more control over the masses in order to influence the masses via religion, media, consumerism and government.

Check out the brilliant cover artwork for DEEVOLUTION created by Dennis “Damn Engine” Sibeijn (Exodus, DragonForce, Lamb Of God, H.I.M.) at http://www.earsplitcompound.com/site/?p=2194 .

DEEVOLUTION Track Listing:
1. The Man Without Skin
2. Incision
3. Divided Day
4. Shallow World
5. Profits Of Disaster
6. The Edifice Grin
7. Twilight
8. A Song Of Unrest

Cynthesis reunites three original members of progressive metal heroes Zero Hour — founding twin brothers Jasun and Troy Tipton and original vocalist Erik Rosvold — for the first time on a recording since their heralded albums THE TOWERS OF AVARICE [2001] and METAMORPHOSIS [2003], both considered landmark releases in the progressive metal community. DEEVOLUTION was recorded and produced in 2010 by Dino Alden (Marty Friedman, Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Moore, Zero Hour), and while trademark styles of both the Tipton Brothers and Rosvold shine heavily throughout the release, over the course of eight epic anthems, it is very clear by more relaxed pace and epic story of DEEVOLUTION that this is NOT a new Zero Hour album.

http://www.myspace.com/cynthesisband
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cynthesis/151408508214843
http://www.lasersedgegroup.com/

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-Lethal Saint To Take Part In Upcoming Metalucifer Tribute Album

Lethal Saint have been selected to participate in the upcoming Metalucifer tribute album (HEAVY METAL HELL) released by Skol Records. Lethal Saint, who are currently signed with Pitch Black Records, will be covering “Heavy Metal Drill.” Commenting the band had this to say:

“We are extremely excited and honoured for this opportunity because to us Metalucifer means three things: DIRTY, RAW and HEAVY! Just as we like it, just as we play it!”

The full track listing is as follows:

1. Metalucifera – “Heavy Metal Hell” (Intro)
2. Crystal Viper (Poland) – “Warriors Ride On The Chariots”
3. Axevyper (Italy) – “Heavy Metal Is My Way”
4. Skelator (USA) – “Northern Heroes”
5. Dantesco (Puerto Rico) – “Warriors Again”
6. Guerra Total (Colombia) – “Soul Of Warriors”
7. Rosae Crucis (Italy) – “Heavy Metal Samurai”
8. Steelpreacher (Germany) – “Heavy Metal Hunter”
9. Deathhammer (Norway) – “Fallen Angel”
10. Satanika (Italy) – “Heavy Metal Bulldozer”
11. Lethal Saint (Cyprus) – “Heavy Metal Drill”
12. Split Heaven (Mexico) – “Wolf Man”

HEAVY METAL HELL – A TRIBUTE TO METALUCIFER will be released as a strictly limited edition of 666 copies on April 29th 2011 at Keep It True Festival.

More information:
Skol Records – http://www.skolrecords.com/
Lethal Saint – http://www.lethalsaint.com/

Pitch Black Records
http://www.pitchblackrecords.com/
http://www.myspace.com/pitchblackrecordsmetal
http://twitter.com/pitchblackrcrds
Look us up on FACEBOOK!

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-Two Side Moon/SLW Promotions Update

TSM are delighted to announce the new release from Neil Zaza.

Please find below the text info for the excellent new album 212.

Band: Neil Zaza
Album Title: 212
Label: Melodik Records
Street Date: February 12, 2011
Genre: Instrumental Guitar

Web:
http://www.neilzaza.com/
http://www.facebook.com/neilzazamusic
http://www.myspace.com/neilzaza
http://www.twitter.com/neilzaza
http://www.wordpress.com/neilzaza

About Neil Zaza
Neil Zaza – The Melodic Master

His guitar playing has defined modern day instrumental guitar the world over. His melodic compositions have not only changed the way musicians play, but what audiences demand out of their guitar heroes. To see Ohio native Neil Zaza’s influential impact on guitar across the globe, merely tune into the legion of thousands of fanatical fans performing his international hit, “I’m Alright” on YouTube. Neil’s trademark “singing” and lyrical guitar style is easily recognizable and can only belong to one man: Neil Zaza.

“It’s always been about the song for me,” states Neil. “I remember all the tunes that really moved me when I was growing up and it wasn’t about the guitarist playing 128th notes. It was about an inexplicable connection I felt drawing me to wear out my records as I couldn’t get enough of that rush of the song itself! That’s what I try and do with my music today. It’s always about the song!”

Neil Zaza’s worldwide touring has cemented him as a true guitar phenomenon. He’s played alongside and shared the stage with such guitar luminaries as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Nuno Bettencourt. His recordings feature collaborations with Van Halen’s Michael Anthony, Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess, drumming legend Steve Smith, and Peter Frampton, among others.

Neil Zaza’s mastery of the guitar amasses accolades from all sources. While he continues to transform the world of instrumental rock music one melody at a time, it’s his fiery interpretations of holiday repertoire fused with Classical melodies and classic Rock that is the basis for his “One Silent Night…” concert series. Neil, his band, and an orchestra/choir aren’t just performing holiday music with “One Silent Night…” — they are literally reinventing it!

Now, with his latest release entitled 212, Neil has set the melodic bar even higher with a project taking his melodic stylings to even greater heights. 212 boasts songs that put composition and melody on par with his stunning guitar prowess. The combination is deadly and sure to set the watermark for how expressive and emotive a guitarist can be.

This unique voice continues to evolve…

The Band:
Neil Zaza – All Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Mandolin, Programming
Garrett Janos – Drums
Fabio Colella – Drums on 6,7
Walter Cerasani – Bass on 3,5,6,7
Todd Rogers – Hammond B3, Piano
Brian Campbell – Additional guitars on 9
Timothy M Bradford – Piano on 5

Produced by Neil Zaza
All arrangements by Neil Zaza
All songs written by Neil Zaza (except “Wild Horses” by Neil Zaza & Brian Campbell and “The Beauty” by Brian Campbell)

Track Listing:
1. Magnus 212
2. Go!
3. King Of The World
4. Is This Wonderland?
5. To The Moon And Back
6. Baroque Sky
7. If This Is Goodbye
8. Wild Horses
9. The Beauty

Bonus Tracks:
10. Message In A Bottle
11. Take On Me

TSM are delighted to announce the new release from 20 Dollar Love.

Please find below the text info for the excellent new album HIGH DR.

Band: 20 Dollar Love
Album Title: HIGH DR.
Record Label: Crustacean Records
Genre: ’70s Rock

Web:
http://www.myspace.com/20dollarlove
http://www.facebook.com/pages/20-Dollar-Love/11331010631
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/20dollarlove

About 20 Dollar Love
20 Dollar Love sweats Rock & Roll. They play raunchy, blues soaked, punk rock boogie, that can entice even the most prudish of music listeners to shake a pair (butt cheeks that is) on the dance floor. With an arsenal of riffs paying homage to the likes of Ted Nugent, The MC5, The Stooges, Cactus, and ZZ Top, 20 Dollar Love’s music harkens back to a simpler time. When people made music for music’s sake, where rock ruled, and when music was dangerous.

Andy Green and brothers Nate and Ben Pischke have been together in one way or another since 1996. The group went through different singers, names, and even an organist before deciding to forge ahead in 2004 as a power trio. Their debut recording SEX ROCK HEROES was released on Round13Records in 2006. The album was well received by critics, and paved the way for a two-year stint of small tours, making their way from their hometown of Burnsville Minnesota, to Chicago, IL, Austin, TX, and Madison, WI. Between then and now 20 Dollar Love released a now out-of-print EP: ROCK & ROLL TILL YOU SH*T YOUR PANTS, and had two tracks featured on the Round13Records compilation THE LAND OF MISFIT BANDS: VOLUME I. 2009 sees the band making their first trip to SXSW, and releasing their second proper CD with Crustacean Records.

When 20 Dollar Love comes to your town (and they will), be prepared to boogie. For in their travels they’ve never met a bar they didn’t like, and a crowd they couldn’t push onto, and off of, the highway to the danger zone.

“Sometimes when hard rock bands stretch into the prog rock deal it dilutes the real meaning behind rock and roll. 20 Dollar Love, don’t play it fancy or try to hard to find the most complex guitar and bass passage, they play it real. Hard rock with grit and determination. If your looking to have a good time, drink some beers and shake your fist a bit they are perfect.” — Rich Horton, Rift Magazine

“No bullsh*t. 20 Dollar Love are a trio from Minnesota that plays good humored, hard rockin’ boogie and roll, built from the blocks of raunchy, blues based rock. Ted Nugent, Aerosmith, AC/DC, The Stooges, all that good sh*t. It’s hip shakin’ stuff, played to make the ladies work up a sweat and get the fellas rowdy. I’ll bet bars sell a whole lot of booze during their live sets. The band play well off of one another, sounding like three bodies attached to the same mother brain.” — Ari Jaffe, Transformonline.com

The Band:
Guitar/Vox: Nate Pischke
Bass: Andy Green
Drums: Ben Pischke

Track Listing:
1. Maserati
2. High Dr.
3. Unholy Roller
4. Fire & Glass
5. The New National Anthem
6. The Whip Crack Boogie
7. Never Bet The Devil Your Head
8. The Ice Brigade
9. Secret Yankee 3
10. Spirit 55
11. Big Sexy
12. Friends

TSM are delighted to announce the new release from Fatal Fusion.

Please find below the text info for the excellent new album LAND OF THE SUN.

Band: Fatal Fusion
Album: LAND OF THE SUN
Released: November 2010
Genre: Progressive Rock

Web:
http://www.myspace.com/fatalfusionmusic

About Fatal Fusion
Fatal Fusion is a progressive rock group of five people from Norway, who have just released their debut album LAND OF THE SUN. The group got together in early 2008, after emerging from the ashes of several Rock/Blues covers bands, prog rock, and hard rock bands dating back to the 1980s. Though they consider themselves as a “Classic Rock/Prog Rock band,” the influences are many, from Blues, Jazz, Latin, Prog, NeoProg, Psychedelia, Hard Rock, Funk, and Classical music.

They like to explore and mix styles together, trying to get a broad musical landscape. They also try to stay close to the classic prog rock sound of the 1960s & 1970s, using a lot of vintage sounds like Rhodes piano, Mellotron, Hammond Organ, Moog, Prophet synthesizers.

The Band:
Knut Erik Grøntvedt – Vocals
Stig Selnes – Guitars
Erlend Engebretsen – Keyboards
Lasse Lie – Bass
Audun Engebretsen – Drums

Track Listing:
1. Land Of The Sun
2. Cry No More
3. Promises
4. Love In The Sky
5. Shot To The Ground
6. Remember
7. Broken Man
8. Out To The Fields

TSM are delighted to announce the new release from Norway’s Finn Arild.

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

Band (solo artist): Finn Arild
Album Title: TESTAMENT
Label: Finn Arild Music
Street Date: December 24, 2010
Genre: Progressive Rock/Neo-prog

Web:
http://www.finnarild.com/
http://www.myspace.com/finnarildmusic
http://www.facebook.com/finnarild

ABOUT Finn Arild
Musician, songwriter, and producer Finn Arild is a highly talented multi-instrumentalist with a passion for a wide range of musical styles and the skills and experience to put them to life.

Finn Arild was born a summer morning in February in Takapuna, New Zealand. Soon after, his family moved back to Norway where he grew up with his elder sibling’s music of the ’70s, but also with his father’s love for classical music. When Finn Arild was six he learned to play the guitar and had four years of classical training from he was seven years old. In that same period he learned to play the living room organ and it wasn’t long before he did a very decent version of Bach’s “Toccata And Fuge.” Twelve years old he had already written several songs and classical pieces and soon met other friends with music interests.

Through the early years he played with several local bands, and in one of these he met his good friend and keyboard virtuoso Reidar Wiik. They soon found out they had the same experimental minds and started writing and recording music with whatever was at hand. Utilizing two cassette players to record and overdub themselves, they achieved some quite skilled recordings with little equipment. Many years of songwriting, producing, and studio work followed as the equipment and experience improved. When their life went in different directions, Finn Arild decide to create his well received first solo album SERENDIPITY. Inspired by the successes of his first album Finn Arild pulled out all the stops for his second solo project TESTAMENT.

His writing covers many styles, from classical via folk, jazz, pop, and rock to hardcore progressive — which his debut album SERENDIPITY bears a proud mark of. Prime influences are progressive rock bands like Genesis, Yes, Marillion, and Transatlantic which are more prominent on his latest album TESTAMENT. The lyrics are often about social, environmental, or political issues and not seldom with a humorous, satirical touch.

Finn Arild sings, plays acoustic, classical, and electric guitars, bass guitar, and keyboards. He also produces, orchestrates, programs, and mixes the music. In all his work the trademark is high quality, catchy, and melodic music with deeper layers unraveling every time you re-listen.

He lives in Oslo, Norway with his wife and two cats.

Norwegian multi-instrumentalist and composer Finn Arild takes a big bite on his second album. This time it is nothing less than an epic progressive rock concept album telling the creation of the universe, life, and — almost everything. The answer is not 42, but over 60 minutes of non-stop listening experience — no pauses included.

After finishing his art-rock debut album SERENDIPITY, Finn Arild wanted to create something that would really honour his progressive rock roots. The album, which has taken five years to perfect, covers the modern story of the creation of the universe starting with the Big Bang, the creation of stars and planets, the emergence of life on planet Earth — and the human race — discussing the mark we put on the world.

TESTAMENT features the seasoned Stockholm based drummer Mikael Wikman who recorded all the tracks in his Stockholm drumstudio in online cooperation with Finn Arild. Also featured is his old friend Reidar Wiik doing some excellent piano work and tasteful background vocals of Finn Arild’s wife Elin. Testament is thoughtfully written, elaborately produced, and skillfully mixed by Finn Arild in his Oslo based home studio.

“An incredible start to the prog-year of 2011,” says Scream Magazine. “On TESTAMENT Finn Arild is truly revealed as a prog-artist where inspirations from Genesis a-la WIND & WUTHERING, Eloy and Pendragon comes to mind when I listen to this beautiful album.”

The Band:
Lead Vocals: Finn Arild Aasheim
Classical, acoustic, eletric guitar, guitar synth and e-bow: Finn Arild Aasheim
Bass: Finn Arild Aasheim
Keyboards: Finn Arild Aasheim
Piano on: 3,5,8,9,10 and 12: Reidar Wiik
Background vocals: Finn Arild and Elin Helene Aasheim
Drums: Mikael Wikman

Track Listing:
1. Genesis (16:43)
2. Water (3:57)
3. All Right (3:40)
4. Inside (3:54)
5. Alive (3:45)
6. Intermission (1:51)
7. Ride (4:35)
8. Carnival (5:06)
9. Excess (4:56)
10. Robin (5:19)
11. Liasons (3:04)
12. Nemesis (8:06)

TSM/SLW Promotions
http://www.myspace.com/nickyaor
http://www.slwpromotions.com/

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-Within Temptation Guitarist Reveals Details Solo Album!

For All We Know, the new project led by Ruud Jolie from Within Temptation, has just set the release date for their album FOR ALL WE KNOW on April 25, 2011.

For All We Know is a project by Within Temptation guitarist Ruud Jolie. He has recorded a lot of songs and albums with other artists, but the urge to write and record his own material has always been present.

So for the last four years he has been working on this music both when he was on the road with various bands (Within Temptation, Agua De Annique, Damian Wilson Band, Maiden uniteD, etc.) and in his own studio. He considers himself very fortunate to be able to work with some of the greatest musicians and people imaginable on this project.

The album FOR ALL WE KNOW, written and produced by Ruud himself, contains 12 original songs that range from very atmospheric and dreamily acoustic to heavy and pounding progressive metal tracks.

Guest musicians:
Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain Of Salvation): Vocals on “Keep Breathing”
Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation): Vocals on “Keep Breathing”
Damian Wilson (Threshold, DWB, Star One, Ayreon, Maiden uniteD): Backing vocals, Vocals on “Keep Breathing”
Ruud Houweling (Cloudmachine): Vocals on “Keep Breathing”
Anke Derks: Vocals on “Keep Breathing”
Tom Sikkers (Daybroke): Vocals on “Keep Breathing”
John Wesley (Porcupine Tree): Lead guitar on “I Lost Myself Today”
Richie Faulkner (Lauren Harris Band): Lead guitar on “Busy Being Somebody Else”
Camilla van der Kooij: Violin

The band has launched today an album video teaser on the following location:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tXkZRwCDys (choose HD to watch it)

FOR ALL WE KNOW complete track listing:

1. Blind Me
2. Busy Being Somebody Else
3. Out Of Reach
4. When Angels Refuse To Fly
5. I Lost Myself Today
6. Keep Breathing
7. Down On My Knees
8. Save Us…
9. Embrace/Erase/Replace/Embrace
10. Tired And Ashamed
11. Open Your Eyes
12. Nothing More…

For All We Know is:

Ruud Jolie – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Mandolin, Bass guitar, and Backing vocals
Wudstik – Vocals
Kristoffer Gildenlöw – Fretless Bassguitar, Backing vocals
Léo Margarit – Drums
Thijs Schrijnemakers – Hammond
Marco Kuypers – Piano, Rhodes, Harmonium

For all info, please visit:

http://www.forallweknow.net/
http://www.myspace.com/fawkofficial
http://www.facebook.com/pages/ForAllWeKnow/174227492596585
http://twitter.com/_forallweknow

Pre-order your copy NOW at: http://www.forallweknow.net/ !

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-Ecliptyka: Debut Album To Be Released In March Via Die Hard Records

Brazilian metallers Ecliptyka recently finished the recordings of their debut album, entitled A TALE OF DECADENCE, and inked a deal with Die Hard Records (U.D.O., Annihilator, Chris Caffery) for its release.

The album was recorded in Mark Studio, the artwork was designed by João Duarte (Angra, Andre Matos, Hangar) and it features guest vocals by Marcelo Carvalho (Hateful) and Danilo Herbert (Mindflow).

A TALE OF DECADENCE has the following track list:

1. The Age Of Decadence
2. We Are The Same
3. Splendid Cradle
4. Fight Back
5. Dead Eyes
6. Echoes From War
7. Hate
8. Why Should They Pay?
9. Look At Yourself
10. I’ve Had Everything
11. Unnatural Evolution
12. Eyes Closed
13. Berço Esplêndido (bonus track)

Ecliptyka is a heavy metal band with several influences, from hard rock to death metal and metal core, and is formed by Helena Martins (vocals), Guilherme Bollini (guitars, vocals), Hélio Valisc (guitars), Eric Zambonini (bass), and Tiago Catalá (drums). Samples of the debut album are available on the band’s MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/ecliptyka .

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-Roms (Ex-Filter/Loser) Make Debut With Digital Release Of “Can’t Stop The Sound” From Forthcoming Album

LOS ANGELES, CA — Los Angeles, CA rock band Roms have made their debut by releasing their first track “Can’t Stop The Sound,” from their forthcoming full-length album. “Can’t Stop The Sound” was recorded and co-produced by Brian Yaskulka, mixed by Johnny K, and mastered by Ted Jensen of Sterling Sound. The track can be heard on the band’s newly launched Facebook page located at http://www.facebook.com/romsmusic .

“‘Can’t Stop The Sound’ is a self confession about the consequences of failure,” stated vocalist Charles Salvaggio. “It’s not necessarily a bad thing to fail at something. When you do fail, and when you hit the very bottom, a lot of your shadows disappear and you are able to take a look at who you really are.”

Featuring former Filter and Loser band member Charles Salvaggio (vocals), Johnny Royal (guitar), Christopher Royal (bass), Jaison Karner (keyboards), and Josh Fresia (drums), Roms takes influence from dark electro pop, post-punk and stylish garage rock.

Roms will be performing with Orange County darlings Semi-Sweet on Thursday, March 10 at the Viper Room in West Hollywood, CA and on Friday, March 11 at La Cave in Newport Beach in support of Semi-Sweet’s CD Release Party. Roms will debut their music video to “Can’t Stop The Sound” in early March with other live performances to follow.

Commenting on the band, Roms founder and guitarist Johnny Royal remarked “As a band, we admire people who love music, so if that means that people buy, steal, or trade our music or come out to a show, our music is our gift to anyone that is willing to listen to it.”

For more information on Roms:
http://facebook.com/RomsMusic

Tour Dates

Thursday, March 10 – Viper Room – West Hollywood, CA
Friday, March 11 – La Cave – West Hollywood, CA

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-Graveyard Announce Tour Dates, Post BEST F**KING ALBUM TRAILER OF ALL TIMES!

Swedish blues rockers Graveyard just announced first tour dates in support of their upcoming Nuclear Blast debut HISINGEN BLUES.

Furthermore, the -seriously- BEST F**KING ALBUM TRAILER OF ALL TIMES has been posted online! Grow a mustache, have a glas of absinth and tune in!

HISINGEN BLUES will be released on March 25, 2011!

The 7″ picture single “Hisingen Blues” (also containing an exclusive non-album track) will be released on February 25, 2011!

Commented the band: “We can’t wait to take this new album out on the road and see what people will think. Live on stage is where Graveyard belong, and hopefully that will be obvious to everyone who will come out for a show or two. We promise to do our best to live up to our reputation and leave no one disappointed.”

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-Basick Records Update

Basick Records Announces Worldwide Distribution Partnership With ADA (UK)

Recently celebrating its fifth birthday, rising independent UK label Basick Records is starting 2011 with a bang as it announces a strategic, global distribution deal (excluding North America) with ADA (UK).

Formed in 2005 by Nathan “Barley” Phillips, Basick Records has quickly established itself as one of the most progressive up and coming labels in the UK. From releasing Enter Shikari’s first material to leading the way with a new wave of technical Metal, Basick strives to put out only the best in new, exciting, fresh, and heavy music. Now a fully-fledged global label, Basick’s roster currently includes Ion Dissonance, Chimp Spanner, Aliases, The Arusha Accord, Circles, A Dark Orbit, No Consequence, No Made Sense, and Visions, with a host of new releases planned for 2011.

Founded in 1993 in New York City and part owned by Warner Music Group, the Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA) is now one of the world’s leading distributors of independent physical and digital music. Since launching in London in 2006, ADA (UK) has quickly established itself as a leading figure for distribution and label services throughout the independent music sector, representing labels such as Roadrunner, Earache, Visible Noise, Relapse, Epitaph, Bieler Bros., and Rise Records, among many others.

Nick Roden, Product Director at ADA (UK) said: “Over the past five years Basick Records has established itself as a cutting edge brand in the global Metal scene. We’re very pleased to be working with Barley and the crew for the next chapter in the label’s development!”

Label chief Nathan “Barley” Phillips commented: “As the Basick brand continues to grow year on year, it has never been more important for us to make sure that we partner with a global distributor that can match our ambition, enthusiasm and expectation for the years ahead. The knowledge, experience, and overall network capabilities that the ADA team bring to the table is phenomenal. We’re delighted to be joining the ADA family!”

http://www.basickrecords.com/
http://www.ada-music.com/

Basick Records Are Extremely Pleased To Announce The Re-Signing Of One Of The UK’s Most Forward Thinking Technical Metal Bands, The Arusha Accord!

The deal will see a worldwide re-release of the band’s debut album THE ECHO VERSES as a two-disc digi-pak collector’s edition on April 18th, 2011, which will be bundled with the band’s original debut NIGHTMARES OF THE OCEAN EP, along with exclusive videos, photos, and multimedia content, as well as much sought after guitar/bass and drum tabs to each of the band’s songs.

The band are also currently working hard at writing for their follow-up record, also due to be released with Basick in the not-so-distant future.

Paul Green, vocalist with the band comments:

“We’re absolutely stoked to be announcing our re-signing with Basick! It’s great to be back home where it all started for us, the collective of bands and label ethic here is truly rare and one we’re proud to be part of again!

“We’re equally as ecstatic about this release, a celebration of coming home and also a milestone that will see us move on from TEV.

“Everyone’s been working their absolute tits off getting the tabs, content, artwork, and website ready for this and it feels great to now let you in on what we’ve been doing. It’s also great to be getting TEV & NOTO into stores across the world, something that really had been missing for us and of course, you guys! With all the tabs for TEV now there for you guys, let’s see how you get on trying to learn those bastards 😉

“This release truly means the end to a chapter for the band… We’ve learnt a hell of a lot about our sound and what we want from music over these past two years…

“As you know we’re working on a new record; the guys have been throwing stuff back and forth to each other and i can assure you, it’s incredible! We have always aimed to push the boundaries with our sound, and the new material is even more beautiful and as disgusting as anything we have written to date. I think its too early for us to give anything away but we are dipping back into our roots and also looking at new areas for inspiration… Lets hope we can finish this as well as we’ve started! ;)”

http://www.thearushaaccord.com/

Basick Records Is Extremely Excited To Announce The Signing Of Australia’s Finest, Circles!

Mixing up cutting edge production techniques with some altogether killer guitar work, Circles instantly stand out from the Metal-by-numbers crowd with their, quite frankly, sublime song-craft and incredible vocal delivery.

Set for release via Basick in Spring 2011, the band’s debut six-track EP THE COMPASS combines musical influences from technically minded bands such as Periphery and Textures, whilst simultaneously drawing lyrical and vocal comparisons to the early works of Incubus and Faith No More.

David Hunter, drummer with the band comments: “We are stoked to be working with Basick Records and to be receiving such a positive international response. Our debut EP THE COMPASS has been a long time in the making and we are really excited to get it out there and to hear the reactions. Work on the first album has already begun and is coming along really well for such early stages. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us up until this point and we promise the best is yet to come!”

Circles audio:

Circles site:
http://www.circlesband.com/

Basick Records
http://www.basickrecords.com/

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*** PRESS RELEASE #35 ***
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-Neurot Recordings Sign Across Tundras

Creating unique moonshine-soaked organic rock in the hills of Tennessee, Across Tundras seamlessly meld classic rock, folk, country, psychedelia, and doom into an original, organic style of rock that defies classification and bleeds true Americana. In true nomadic style Across Tundras have previously set up camp on multiple labels including Crucial Blast and Forgotten Empire, have now found a home with Neurot Recordings.

Stated Neurot/Neurosis’ Steve Von Till on the signing: “It is with great honor that Neurot Recordings welcomes Across Tundras to our home. Their past releases have shown immense dedication to spirit and commitment to growth and sonic evolution. Those are traits that we admire and look for when declaring kinship among those also on the quest for emotional release through sound.”

Across Tundras’ Tanner Olson this week also made a statement on their induction into Neurot’s family: “The opportunity to stand alongside such a talented and driven group of artists and musicians is something we have been working along time for. Neurot Recordings releases the most inspired and original music out there, and its a huge compliment that they see us as kindred musical spirits. Eternal gratitude to the Neurot family for believing in us and giving a proper home to our nomadic sounds.”

More details on the recently completed new Across Tundras album will be announced shortly. Stay tuned for tour announcements and more through the coming months as well.

http://www.acrosstundras.bigcartel.com
http://www.myspace.com/acrosstundras
http://www.neurotrecordings.com/
http://www.myspace.com/neurotrecordings

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*** PRESS RELEASE #36 ***
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-Zerozonic Reveals New Album Details!

The Norwegian Groove Metal band Zerozoniz has just set the release date for their album GOD DAMN, BETTER, BEST at March 11, 2011.

The band will release their album through Mayhem Music — the record label from Audun Grønnestad (known from Imperia, a.o.) — who have set a worldwide distribution deal with Indie Distribution.

Known from more extreme bands like Satyricon as their live guitarist between 1996 – 1999 and still in the Norwegian Death Metal band, BloodRedThrone, Daniel “Peisy” Olaisen finally wanted to perform his longtime passion for groove metal and formed Zerozonic in 2004. Singer Leo Morachiolli (Lowdown) joined forces early on and still remains in the band. Both bass player and drummer from Tristania and Green Carnation was a part of Zerozonic and recorded the two first albums before leaving the band. Today, Jon Eirik “Elt” Bokn from the great Thrash metal band, Dead Trooper, handles the drums and Martin Berger pumps the bass guitar!

The music is as groovy as it gets and bands like Pantera, Chimaira, and Metallica have been inspirators. What makes Zerozonic different is definitely the singer. He brings the most crazy sounds and creativity to the songs!

In December 2010, their second CD, GOD DAMN, BETTER, BEST was released through Ozo Records, and the album has now been picked up for international distribution through Mayhem Music and Indie Distribution.

The band is revealing the cover artwork for GOD DAMN, BETTER, BEST with the complete track listing:

1. Positivenegative
2. Symptoms
3. Humane
4. Enter Night And Day
5. Live Today
6. No Tomorrow
7. Fake
8. Instrumentalcase
9. Alcoholic Mayhem

Zerozonic is:
Leo Moracchioli – Vocals
Daniel “Peisy” Olaisen – Guitar
Martin Berger – Bass
Jon Eirik “Elten” Bokn – Drums

For all info, please visit:
http://www.myspace.com/zerozonic
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zerozonic/298370746057
http://twitter.com/zerozonic

Mayhem Music
http://www.mayhem-music.com/

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*** NEWS/RUMORS ***
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-The Damned Things — featuring Anthrax’s Scott Ian (guitar) and Rob Caggiano (guitar), Fall Out Boy’s Joe Trohman (guitar) and Andy Hurley (drums), and Every Time I Die’s Keith Buckley (vocals) and Josh Newton (bass) — released their debut album IRONICLAST a couple months ago; track list: “Handbook For The Recently Deceased,” “Bad Blood,” “Friday Night (Going Down In Flames),” “We’ve Got A Situation Here” (first single), “Black Heart,” “A Great Reckoning,” “Little Darling,” “Ironiclast,” “Grave Robber,” “Blues Having The Blues.” The band will tour North America with Volbeat as follows:

3/25 – Sound Academy, Toronto, ON
3/26 – St. Andrews Hall, Detroit, MI
3/27 – House Of Blues, Chicago, IL
3/29 – Gothic Theater, Denver, CO
3/30 – The Complex, Salt Lake City, UT
4/1 – Wilma Theater, Missoula, MT
4/2 – El Corazon, Seattle, WA
4/3 – Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC
4/5 – Ace Of Spades, Sacramento, CA
4/6 – House Of Blues, Los Angeles, CA
4/8 – Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
4/9 – House Of Blues, Anaheim, CA
4/10 – House Of Blues, San Diego, CA
4/11 – Mesa Amphitheatre, Mesa, AZ
4/13 – House Of Blues, Dallas, TX
4/14 – Scout Bar, Houston, TX

See http://www.thedamnedthings.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/thedamnedthings for more.

-Dead By Wednesday’s new single “Will To Fight” will be available digitally on February 25. Hype says the band will appeal to fans of Slayer, Pantera, classic Metallica, Suicidal Tendencies, and others. The full-length album THE LAST PARADE is due out April 15. See http://www.dbwmusic.com/ for more.

-Preview John Elefante And Mastedon’s REVOLUTION OF MIND now at http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/revolution-of-mind/id399062919 . The release features Elefante’s former Kansas band mate Kerry Livgren on the track “One Day Down By The Lake (See You Real Soon).” See http://www.johnelefante.com/ , http://www.mastedonband.com/ , and http://www.big3records.com/ for more.

-Upcoming shows by The Iron Maidens:

3/5 – Santa Fe Springs Swapmeet, Santa Fe Springs, CA
3/11 – ExpoMaiden, Lima, Peru
3/12 – Arequipa, Peru
3/17 – Mexico City, Mexico
3/19 – Can Club, Garden Grove, CA
3/26 – Gillmanfest, Caracas, Venezuela
4/2 – The Blue Cafe, Huntington Beach, CA
5/6 – Arcata Theatre, Arcata, CA

The band will also tour Tokyo, Japan in April. See http://www.theironmaidens.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/theironmaidens for more.

-MelodicRock.com posted information about Journey’s first show in 2011, in Las Vegas. The band played five songs from its upcoming new album, ECLIPSE. Check out the live versions at these links:

“Resonate”

“Chain Of Love”

“Edge Of The Moment”

“City Of Hope”

“Human Feel (Rise Up)”

The band will soon tour South America, and the upcoming summer US dates will feature Foreigner and Night Ranger. Check out the full report at MelodicRock.com, and see http://www.journeymusic.com/ for more.

-There’s a new interview with Korpiklaani front man Jonne Jarvela at http://glclk.about.com/?zi=1/BuhA .

-Popdose has a “Guide To Megadeth” at these links:

http://popdose.com/the-popdose-guide-to-megadeth-part-one/
http://popdose.com/the-popdose-guide-to-megadeth-part-two/

Check it out for an album-by-album breakdown of Megadeth’s career.

-Upcoming Powerwolf live dates:

5/14 – Saarbangers Festival, Bexbach, Germany
6/25 – Rage Against Racism Festival, Duisburg, Germany
7/14 – 7/17 – Masters Of Rock Festival, Vizovice, Czech Republic

-This year’s Rock Fest in Cadott, WI, takes place July 14-17 with this lineup:

Thursday – 7/14
Slaughter
Cinderella
Three Days Grace
Rob Zombie

Friday – 7/15
Rock Sugar
Saliva
Skillet
Hinder
Kid Rock

Saturday – 7/16
My Darkest Days
Sick Puppies
Chevelle
Seether
Avenged Sevenfold

Sunday – 7/17
Jackyl
Tesla
Heart
Def Leppard

See http://www.rock-fest.com/ for more.

-Check out a new interview with vocalist Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear, ex-Gamma Ray) about his new solo album, SCHEEPERS, at http://glclk.about.com/?zi=1/BuhC . Check out samples of all the album’s tracks at http://musicbuymail.eu/?i=33237 . See http://www.myspace.com/rs05 for more.

-Sourvein — dubbed “North Carolina doom metal heathens” — will release BLACK FANGS in June on Candlelight Records. Prior to that the band will embark on the “Disturbing The Peace Tour 2011” as follows:

3/1 – Sonar, Baltimore, MD
3/2 – Volume 11, Raleigh, NC
3/3 – Cadelonia Lounge, Athens, GA
3/4 – Wormhole, Savannah, GA
3/5 – Checkpoint Charlie’s, New Orleans, LA
3/6 – Rouge, Fayetteville, AR – w/ Jucifer
3/7 – Hi Tone, Memphis, TN – w/ Jucifer
3/8 – Exit Inn, Nashville, TN – w/ Jucifer
3/9 – JJ’s, Chattanooga, TN – w/ Jucifer
3/10 – Soapbox Lounge, Wilmington, NC – w/ Jucifer
3/11 – Tremont, Charlotte, NC – w/ Jucifer
3/12 – Hideaway, Johnson City, TN – w/ Jucifer
3/13 – Krug’s Place, Frederick, MD – w/ Iron Man

See http://www.myspace.com/sourvein13 and https://www.facebook.com/pages/SOURVEIN/238932972468 for more.

-Ten’s STORMWARNING is out now on Frontiers Records. Check out samples of each track plus the “Endless Symphony” video at http://musicbuymail.eu/?i=33238 . See http://www.ten-online.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ten-Stormwarning/135442279835152 for more.

-Texas Hippie Coalition is “well on their way” to selling 10,000 copies of ROLLIN’ (Carved Records). Guitarist Randy Cooper recently designed his own model Dean guitars, and drummer Ryan “The Kid” Bennett now endorses Evans Drum Heads. See http://www.thcoutlaw.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/texashippiecoalition for more.

-This year’s Wacken Open Air has added Helloween, Shining, Crashdïet, Negator, Kataklysm, Pussy Sisster, Severenth, Maiden United, and Van Canto to the lineup. See http://www.wacken.com/en/woa2011/main-bands/billing-2011/ for the full billing, and see http://www.wacken.com/ for more.

-Upcoming Yes tour dates:

3/6 – House Of Blues, Houston, TX
3/7 – House Of Blues, Dallas, TX
3/9 – House Of Blues, New Orleans, LA
3/11 – Jannus Live, Tampa, FL
3/12 – WMMO Downtown Concert Series, Orlando, FL
3/14 – Florida Theater, Jacksonville, FL
3/15 – Sunrise Theatre, Ft. Pierce, FL
3/18 – 3/19 – House Of Blues, Chicago, IL
3/20 – Orbit Room, Grand Rapids, MI
3/22 – House Of Blues, Cleveland, OH
3/24 – Durham PAC, Durham, NC
3/25 – The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC
3/26 – Palace Theatre, Louisville, KY
3/29 – Zeiterion PAC, New Bedford, MA
3/30 – Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe, PA
4/1 – Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton Beach, NH
4/2 – Tropicana Casino & Resort, Atlantic City, NJ
4/4 – Warner Theatre, Washington, DC

See http://www.yesworld.com/ for more.

Thanks to Nancy B. Sayle, Chad Bowar, Thomas Jensen, Dave Tedder, Music Buy Mail, Earsplit PR, Chris Holmes, Jeff “Happy Camper” Adee, Bill “Rattlehead” Kotowski, and Paul “Cylon” Luri for help gathering some of this information.

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*** ROCK HARD RIDE FREE ***
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by Tim Wadzinski (tsw512@yahoo.com)

-I recently went to a record shop called Vinyl Frontier in McHenry, Illinois, and picked up a few used CDs: Billy Idol’s CYBERPUNK (hey, I always liked that tune “Shock To The System”), Krokus’ HELLRAISER (I had no idea this even existed; turns out it’s pretty darn good), Shinedown’s LEAVE A WHISPER (took a chance on this since I love THE SOUND OF MADNESS; this one is not a winner…), and Jon Oliva’s Pain’s FESTIVAL (to complete the collection). There were also six or seven Doro CDs there, but I didn’t want to spend the money. (Who clears out their Doro collection? I mean, if nothing else, you can always just stare at the covers…) The place isn’t a metal-only type of store, so I had to smile when I saw a vinyl copy of the Killer Dwarfs’ STAND TALL hanging on one wall. I went over to check it out and discovered a Korean import vinyl copy of Queensryche’s RAGE FOR ORDER hanging close by; I didn’t notice it at first because it came in a transparent green sleeve. Interesting.

Man, it had been a *really* long time since I did that. Let me tell you, I have spent a significant portion of my adult life scouring through racks of used CDs and vinyl, and this was a fun trip back in time.

And I totally blame my friend Bill for that crummy Shinedown CD. He’s the one who told me their pre-SOUND OF MADNESS stuff was good. Shame on you dude!!!

-I got a listen to Free Reign’s new single, “One Step Away,” out now on DC Rightside Music. (See above; this is the band featuring three NFL players.) I had sort of written these guys off as a gimmick but this song is pretty cool. It’s a nearly four-minute slow burner, kind of a somber, atmospheric, simmering power ballad. (Ra’s FROM ONE comes to mind, as a point of comparison.) Keep an eye out for Free Reign’s upcoming HEAVIER THAN METAL, due in April.

-Okay, so, a tribute album for Metalucifer? I freely admit I’ve never heard them, but… wow. And what’s up with so many of their songs containing the words “heavy metal.” That’s just silly. 🙂

-In my current playlist: Stryper – THE COVERING (Big3 Records), Free Reign – ONE STEP AWAY (SINGLE) (DC Rightside Music), Yoso – ELEMENTS (Frontiers), Darkblack – MIDNIGHT WRAITH (Stormspell Records).

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*** REVIEWS ***
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STRYPER – THE COVERING (B+) Big3 Records, 2011
13 tracks, RT: 53:28
[ http://www.stryper.com/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/stryper ]
[ http://www.facebook.com/Stryper ]
[ http://www.youtube.com/strypertube ]
[ http://twitter.com/stryperband ]
[ http://www.stryperforum.com/ ]
[ http://www.big3records.com/ ]
[ info@big3entertainment.com ]
For some reason I was never a huge Stryper fan back in the day. The “Christian Metal” tag didn’t put me off, but maybe the crazy outfits seemed too cartoony for some reason, and I had a hard time taking the band seriously? (Yes, this from a guy who loves Kiss and Judas Priest. Go figure.) I thought it was interesting when they threw off all the trappings and “went secular” on 1990’s AGAINST THE LAW, which I did like quite a bit, but basically lost track of them soon afterwards. Two decades — and several side projects, reunion tours, and a few albums — on, the classic lineup of Michael Sweet, Oz Fox, Timothy Gaines, and Robert Sweet have reconvened to offer up a batch of classic rock/metal covers originally done by their early influences. Sweet’s (you figure the brothers *had* to love this band, right?) awesome “Set Me Free” kicks this off on a plus note; this is a killer rocker and every version I’ve ever heard is good, and Stryper’s is no exception. Michael’s voice fits the Scorpions’ “Blackout” surprisingly well, and Black Sabbath’s “Heaven & Hell” (cue the obvious God-rocker jokes here — “STRYPER covering BLACK SABBATH?!?!”) lumbers along with the requisite heft. UFO’s “Lights Out” is another classy old-school rocker, and Kansas’ “Carry On Wayward Son” is all aces, especially with the beautiful vocal harmonies intact. Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” is fun and gritty, and Kiss’ feel-good “Shout It Out Loud” — not done as a duet, like the original — will make you smile. My favorite Ozzy Osbourne song, “Over The Mountain,” comes off as chuggier/gutsier than the original, and Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” is flat-out awesome. The closing trio of covers is a slightly slower take on Judas Priest’s “Breaking The Law,” a spot-on “On Fire” from Van Halen, and the classic “Immigrant Song” from Led Zeppelin. The album’s lone new original track, “God,” is also the record’s hidden jewel. This song has awesome lead guitar work, a driving beat, Michael’s high-pitched wails, and kind of a Dokken-meets-Priest vibe. Overall THE COVERING is a fun, cohesive collection of well-played, not overly-produced songs that every rocker should know. They’re pretty much played straight, with minimal tinkering. Michael’s voice does each track justice, and his and Fox’s guitar work holds up to the source material. And if “God” marks the band’s future direction, I’m all over the next Stryper album!
– Tim Wadzinski (tsw512@yahoo.com)

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*** OUT ***
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