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Issue #582.5

Mini-Issue #582.5
March 4, 2011

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Patrick Brower, Editor

Sean P. Gahgan, Editor

Tim Wadzinski, Owner

Steve Shumake, Co-owner

-This all started because I wasn’t sure what to do with an ad for RockTunz.com that came to me cleverly disguised as an interview. It’s a bit long so I didn’t want to include it in this week’s regular issue. I decided to sit on it for a while, and then in the last couple of days I received a bunch of press releases, some of them time-sensitive, so — voila! — here’s a mini-issue for you, with the RockTunz.com thing at the end as a “Special Report.” Have a great weekend everyone. – Tim

*** PRESS RELEASE #1 ***
-Iced Earth Vocalist Matt Barlow Retires From The Band, Releases Emotional Statement

[Note: This is from IcedEarth.com. – Tim]

Long-time vocalist Matt Barlow has retired from Iced Earth.

In his heartfelt statement, Barlow cites his commitment to his family and the need for Iced Earth to tour more as the reasons for his retirement; however, he has committed to perform with Iced Earth on all 2011 European festival dates, which will be his last with the band.

Matt Barlow’s official statement is as follows:

“Brothers and Sisters,

“Let me begin by saying how much of an honor it has been to share my time in Iced Earth with Jon and the guys… and with all of you! Since my return to the band in 2007, it has truly been extraordinary. I have had the opportunity to travel the world and see old friends and meet new ones. Though we had originally thought that the Iced Earth touring schedule would be very limited, we were able to play our fair share of concerts.

“During that time we were also able to have a live DVD produced [the forthcoming FESTIVALS OF THE WICKED]. However, due to the rapidly changing music industry, it has become increasingly clear to recording artists that the only way to keep a band viable and to truly reach its potential is through live performances. That means that a band must reach out to new regions of the globe and become pioneers for their own livelihood. Since 2007, Jon and I have always had the best intentions for the future of Iced Earth, and we still do. However, given the band’s projected touring schedule, Iced Earth’s future and mine must now take separate paths.

“On my departure from Iced Earth in 2003, I made a commitment to my wife and to the idea that we would start, and raise, our family together. Two years later, my first child was born and two years after that, my second. My youngest son was born about a week before Jon asked me to return to Iced Earth. It was a very exciting and emotional time for all of us, but we were all clear on our intentions. It is apparent to us now that regardless of our belief at that time, time can change an intended outcome. In this instance, I hope that change will not be regarded as a bad thing, but rather as a necessary part of evolution.

“Jon and the band must venture into new realms to continue to grow Iced Earth. I commend him for his ideals and wish nothing but to share in his vision. I know that this is not the last time Jon and I will work together, but it will be my last endeavor with Iced Earth. Iced Earth is a name and force of its own. It has been very good to me and has allowed me to live a dream that others would give most anything for. I have been truly blessed to share this experience with everyone. I will continue to support Jon and Iced Earth in every way. I will also continue to create and perform in my own capacity.

“These next months will prove to be a very emotional time for me. I am extremely happy to be able to share the experience with Jon, Brent, Freddie, Troy and the Iced Earth family. I am proud to know them and honored that they consider me their friend. It is going to be phenomenal to share the love of this music during several summer festivals and I know that it will be a time we will never forget.

“Please consider all that I have brought forth and all of Jon’s offerings before passing judgment on the future of Iced Earth. This band has always strived to give its listeners the very best and I know that Jon, as always, will continue to lead that charge.

“To Iced Earth and all of you… I wish you the very best!!!

“- Matt”

Band founder and leader Jon Schaffer reacted to his friend’s decision with equal parts sadness and praise.

“I knew Matt wrestled with this for a long, long time,” said Schaffer. “It wasn’t an easy decision for him. But I love him dearly and I can’t fault his reasons.”

Schaffer continued: “Matt is one of the most sincere people I know, and one of the most talented. His departure deeply saddens me, but I hope all fans of Iced Earth will cut him some slack. I wish Matt well, respect him greatly, and I ask everyone else to do the same.”

With a new album in the works, and a world tour pending, Schaffer has already begun the search for a new vocalist.

“I have a few guys in mind,” said Schaffer. “And as you can imagine, it is a very important decision. One thing is for certain: we are not looking for a Matt Barlow ‘clone’ — we are looking for a front man that brings power and character of his own to the table. There’s only one Matt, and that era of the band’s history will always hold a special place in my heart.”

The band’s long-awaited six-hour, three-concert live DVD FESTIVALS OF THE WICKED is scheduled for release this spring.

The band recently announced a new summer festival date: Dong Open Air in Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany, on July 15th.

With the Dong Open Air date confirmed, Iced Earth will play a total of six summer festivals, including: Wacken, Graspop, Rock am Härtsfeldsee, Ilosaarirock Festival in Joensuu, Finland on July 16th, and the Sweden Rock Festival on June 10th in Sölvesborg, Sweden.

More festival dates will be announced soon on the band’s official web site, MySpace, and Facebook pages.

Announcement of a new vocalist will be made through all social media outlets as soon as a decision is made.


*** PRESS RELEASE #2 ***
-Manowar: FREE Road Warrior Shirts Available At ALL Shows!

In response to various fan requests, The Kingdom Of Steel is pleased to confirm that the exclusive, FREE Road Warrior T-Shirts will be available at ALL shows during the forthcoming Manowar BATTLE HYMNS 2011 tour, including the most recently added additional shows in Gothenburg, Sweden on March 31 and in Madrid, Spain on April 10!

If you are eligible to the FREE Road Warrior T-Shirt, pre-register now to ensure you will get a shirt that will show the world that you are a TRUE MANOWARRIOR! The FREE shirt will only be given to those who pre-register online!

To find out if you are eligible, and for more information about this gift from Manowar to their most loyal fans, go to http://www.manowar.com/news_body.php?idnews=509 .

For immediate pre-registration, go to http://store.magiccirclemusic.com/category/206/International-Road-Warrior .

Don’t forget: Registration closes ONE WEEK prior each show date. Don’t wait too long!

The Kingdom Of Steel team is looking forward to seeing you on tour!

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 (SOLD OUT)
Thursday March 31 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 2 011 @ La Riviera in Madrid – Spain

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


*** PRESS RELEASE #3 ***
-Helstar Announce New Texas & N.Y.C.-Area Shows

Riding high on the incredible response to their recently-released seventh full-length GLORY OF CHAOS, Houston’s Helstar are busy booking live appearances for the coming months. In addition to their appearance this weekend at the San Antonio Metalfest, several brand new Summer appearances have also been confirmed, both in their home state of Texas as well as two appearances in Northern New Jersey, with more to be announced for New York City and more shortly.

Helstar Confirmed Live Appearances:

3/5/2011 The Dorm – San Antonio, TX
6/17/2011 The Rail – Fort Worth, TX
6/18/2011 Dirty Dog – Austin, TX
6/24/2011 Dingbatz – Clifton, NJ
6/25/2011 *TBA – New York, NY

Released in North America via AFM Records in early February, Helstar’s GLORY OF CHAOS is a ballsy, blazing full-length display of pure American heavy metal, taking their classic sound to aggressive new measures on the new album.

Check out recent live coverage of Helstar at their record release show and more at http://www.earsplitcompound.com/site/?p=2222 .

“…the riffs full-on smoke, straddling the line between thrash and power metal, not to mention the lead guitar work which really cooks. In fact the whole band is in top form here. 4/5” – The Metal Crypt

“When you have James Rivera who still is one of the best vocalists in metal and he doesn’t hold back on this recording, along with an extremely effective lineup of musicians how can you go wrong? 4.5/5” – Sea Of Tranquility

“This is likely their heaviest album… the band have never sounded so vicious. 4/5” – Metal Rules

“Considering the album’s velocity and brutality, the group doesn’t turn its back on melody. 8/10” – Blistering

“GLORY OF CHAOS sees the band moving into the new era of thrash and death metal with the band adopting some new techniques. 4/5” – The Right To Rock

“It’s especially gratifying when a classic band comes up with music that is both modern in design and flavor, yet remains obligingly antiquated in all the right spots. 4/5” – Metal Psalter


*** PRESS RELEASE #4 ***
-Sweden Rock Festival Update

June 8-11, Solvesborg

It’s About Time: Gwar To Sweden Rock!

Lethal monsters from outer space, frozen inside Antarctica for millions of years and defrosted in the 80s due to the hairspray fumes from hair metal fans? Or “only” a band from Virginia with a stage show even crazier than the music? Either way, Gwar have released 12 albums since 1988, most recently last year’s BLOODY PIT OF HORROR. Their sound has varied, with influences from punk, Frank Zappa-like experimentation and, obviously, brutal metal. The latter ingredient dominates the Gwar sound of today. Other important components of the Gwar concept is the mixture of explicite genitals-related humor (beware of fluid-spraying from the stage) and, indeed, political commentaries. Plus “murders” of objectional individuals — don’t be surprised if you see someone like Mr. Lordi get “executed” on stage during Gwar’s SRF debut. An experience you won’t easily forget!

Read more under Bands 2011

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 – Rhino Bucket – Crashdïet – Seventribe

Thursday June 9
Judas Priest – The Cult – Saxon – 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 – Thin Lizzy – 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
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Thin Lizzy
Morbid Angel
Mr. Big
Rhapsody Of Fire
Iced Earth
Hardcore Superstar
Duff McKagan’s Loaded
Molly Hatchet
Spock’s Beard
The Haunted
The Damned
Lee Aaron
Jason & The Scorchers
Five Horse Johnson
Doc Holliday
Black Veil Brides
Electric Wizard
Agent Steel
Dan Reed Band
Walter Trout
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:

*** PRESS RELEASE #5 ***
-Z Records News

Steele Ready To Make A Noise This Spring

Steele have now finished preparing some very special bonus material for their May 3rd release TRICKS UP MY SLEEVE. The band consists of some names that many of you know: Jeff Steele, Steve Witchel (Little Sister), Hiro Homma (EZO, Loudness), Joe Fiamingo (Xenon), and Irene Wohlman (Xenon). This is essential for Winger / Dokken fans check out the opening track for yourself…

Marshall Amplification Sponsor Z Rock 2011

Marshall Amplification have once again agreed to provide all backline for Z Rock 2011. We are proud to have the legendary company involved for a fifth year running.

Arabia To Let Fans Sample The Freakshow March 4th

Excited about the return of Arabia after ten long years since the release of 1001 NIGHTS? March 4th will be your chance to hear the title track from the fantastic come back album which is due for release on June 4th. You won’t be disappointed — the track will go live 9 a.m. at http://www.zrecords.net/ via the news page and our Facebook page.


*** PRESS RELEASE #6 ***
-7th Heaven Update

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

Spring is almost here and things are moving along for us. First off, I wanted to chime in about the Bon Jovi contest. We did not advance and a few of you asked why we did not be more aggressive on the contest. First off, we knew about it and decided we wanted to pass on it, as we had already did it. Then the radio station asked us to join. Then the fans asked us so we entered. When we took first place again by votes, we then read how the contest was going to play out. We do not like battle of the bands type of competitions, which was one issue we had but more importantly we had a show booked for Feb. 26 at GiGi’s Playhouse and IF we had won, we would have to compete on that night and cancel GiGi’s, something I was unwilling to do. Ya see, on a personal note, 7th Heaven’s first show ever in front of anyone was at the Kirk center in Palatine, a school for kids with special needs and the way they made us feel on our first show was something I have not forgotten. Those kids gave us the confidence to keep playing and playing and to abandon them to seek glory and fame is not something I wanted to do. Last year, it was an amazing experience playing before Bon Jovi, hopefully the band that wins this year will experience the feelings we had. As for moving forward, We will spend most of March and April in the studio working on a new CD. We have about 95% of our entire year booked already and we should have the entire year finalized in the next 2-3 weeks. We will have our summer schedule online in April.

St. Patrick’s Day

This year we have six shows the week of St. Patrick’s day. We kick off on Tues. March 15 on a private show, then we have Wed. March 16 at the Snuggery in Edison Park. On Thursday, March 17 we have two shows — an after-work show unplugged at the Thirsty Whale in Algonquin early (5/6 p.m. start) and then we play that night at a new club in Schaumburg called the Raven at 10 p.m., full band. On Friday, March 18 we play early Peggy Kinnane’s Irish Fest with the Ides Of March and Sister Hazel. We close out the weekend on Saturday March 19 at the Tilted Kilt in Elgin. We hope you can join us to celebrate St. Patrick’s day.

7th Heaven Folgers Commercial

We wrote, recorded and shot a commercial for Folgers coffee. You can see that here:

7th Heaven sponsors The Chicago Slaughter

7th Heaven has signed a agreement to help sponsor the Chicago Slaughter football team in Hoffman Estates at the Sears Center. When you go a game there, you will see and hear 7th Heaven. The games are a lot of fun and if you haven’t been to the Sears Center, please check it out, it’s a nice brand new place that is great for games and concerts. Check out sponsor page here:


7th Heaven – Paiste Cymbals Endorsement

We are happy to announce a new partnership we have with Paiste Cymblas. Along with Mesa Boogie, Toontrack, Dunlop, Vic Firth, Dean Markley, and Grundorf, we want to thank them for partnering with 7th Heaven. We proudly use this equipment. Check out Paiste here:



When keywester closed a couple months ago, we were looking for a new place to bring the unplugged party to. We found the right place, Evviva in Lisle. Evviva is an excellent Italian restaurant that we will start playing at on some Thursdays until the summer. (March 31, April 28, May 26.) This is a GREAT place to get to early for a good dinner before the show, learn more here:


Speaking of great Italian, make sure you all check out the Artisan pizza’s at Panino’s in Wrigleyville, Evanston, and Park Ridge. By far one of the best pizzas you ever have. You can check them out here:


7th Heaven Cruise — Next Sailing

If you are looking to join us on the next 7th Heaven cruise, we’ll be finalizing the info within the next month. If you were thinking of going, let us know and we’ll let you know when we are ready to start booking. The time frame will be in next February 2012.

7th Heaven Products

In 2010, we released numerous new products; JUKEBOX (box set of 700 original tracks), LIVE AT SOLDIER FIELD DVD and MERRY CHRISTMAS IN CHICAGO CD. We round out our current products with U.S.A.-U.K., MEDLEY, and UNPLUGGED CDs.

You can check out all of the products right now on our website. Go to the home page ( http://www.7thheavenband.com/ ) and click on the JUKEBOX photo and the player in that site has some song samples for you to listen to. You can also order all our products on our website’s “Store” section. Also, all of our original CDs are now available on iTunes.

Question For YOU

What kind of merchandise would you like to see 7th Heaven have in 2011? Are there any songs you would like to hear the band play in 2011? Are there any places or festivals you would like to see us at? While we have most of our game plan set for 2011, I want to include your feedback into our goals for 2011, after all, we are here for YOU!!!

March 3 – Bourbon Street
March 4 – Lucky Monk (unplugged)
March 5 – Shark City
March 11 – Vipers Alley
March 12 – Tailgaters
March 15 – Private Corporate Party
March 16 – Snuggery – Edison Park
March 17 – Thirsty Whale (unplugged) – early show
March 17 – The Raven in Schaumburg
March 18 – Peggy Kinnane’s Irish Festival
March 19 – Tilted Kilt
March 24 – Blues Bar (unplugged)
March 26 – The Lodge
March 30 – Snuggery – Schaumburg
March 31 – Evviva
April 1 – Total Sports
April 2 – Durty Nellies
April 7 – Bannerman’s
April 8 – John Barleycorn
April 20 – Snuggery – Edison Park
April 22 – Blue Chip Casino
April 23 – Austins
April 27 – Snuggery – Schaumburg
April 28 – Evviva
April 29 – The Lodge
April 30 – Shark City

Thanks for all your continued support.

We love playing and as long as you keep coming out to see us play, we’ll continue to be there.

Richard Hofherr
7th Heaven

*** PRESS RELEASE #7 ***
-Titans Eve Stream Track “Judgement” Online At Evigshed.com

Vancouver thrash / power metallers Titans Eve are now streaming their latest track “Judgement” from their debut album THE DIVINE EQUAL released last month. Judgement is the second single released from the album and can be listened to at this following link on Evigshed.com.


Blending various literary subjects from John Milton’s 17th Century poem “Paradise Lost” and the Book of Genesis, Titans Eve has crafted an intriguing and intellectual album with a modern thrash perception. Featuring stories of judgment and retribution, in addition to their take on the battle of heaven and the deceit of the serpent, THE DIVINE EQUAL brings forth a thrash pounding metal assault with catchy choruses and colossal guitar riffs.

Track Listing:

1. Mourning Star
2. Judgement
3. Becoming The Demon
4. Into the Fire
5. Serpent Rising
6. Tides Of Doom
7. Dusk
8. Nightfall
9. Living Lifeless
10. Searching for Nothing
11. The Divine Equal

Titans Eve came together when brothers Brian (guitar/vocals) and Kyle Gamblin (guitar/backup vocals) decided to start their own musical project in 2008 after the departure of previous projects. The lineup of Titans Eve was completed with the recruitment of Jesse Hord (bass) and Casey Ory (drums), from there the Vancouver-based band have set out to create honest, powerful modern metal and have repeatedly piled into the “Titan Train” (i.e., their 2007 Ford E-350 van) and traveled across Canada, bringing their music to as great an audience as possible. They’ve played over 80 shows in the past year and a half and 2011 will see them travel further than ever before as tour dates will be announced for Canada, the US and Europe.

THE DIVINE EQUAL can be ordered on Titans Eve Bandcamp link here, iTunes, CD Baby and various store locations across Canada.



*** PRESS RELEASE #8 ***
-Break Thru Music Offers Local Bands A Shot At Playing The New England Metal And Hardcore Festival

WORCESTER, MASS. — The New England Metal And Hardcore Festival and Break Thru Music are teaming up to give a local New England band a chance of a lifetime to play at this year’s 13th annual festival.

Break Thru Music is a new company dedicated to offering upcoming bands a shot playing in front of packed-houses while opening for nationally-known bands.

Break Thru Music will host a series of five shows at the Webster in Hartford, Conn., where bands will complete for a slot on the New England Metal And Hardcore Festival 13. This competition is the only way a local band can earn a spot at the festival. More information on Break Thru Music and the competitions is available at http://www.breakthrumusic.net/ .

The New England Metal And Hardcore Festival will take place Thursday, April 14 through Saturday, April 16 at the Palladium in Worcester, Mass.

The lineup for Thursday is: Attack Attack!, Vanna, MyChildren MyBride, Our Last Night, Stray From The Path, Arsonist Get All The Girls, A Bullet For Pretty Boy, Lions Lions, Armor For The Broken, This Or The Apocalypse, I, The Breather, Across The Sun, Too Late The Hero, Attila, A Plea For Purging, Dr. Acula, The Crimson Armada, Legacy, Counterparts, Legion, An Early Ending, Vemia, and Capitals.

Bands scheduled for Friday are: Biohazard, Blood For Blood, Bury Your Dead, Terror, Winds Of Plague, Cruel Hand, Your Demise, Thy Will Be Done, This Is Hell, The Carrier, Suffokate, Born Low, Murder Death Kill, Stick To Your Guns, Trapped Under Ice, Lionheart, Shai Hulud, Close Your Eyes, Legend, Monsters, The World We Knew, The Great Commission, The Greenery, Hundredth, King Conquer, and Betrayal.

Saturday’s lineup is: Hatebreed, Between The Buried And Me, Oceano, Carnifex, Born Of Osiris, Job For A Cowboy, Times Of Grace, The Ocean, Dying Fetus, Skeletonwitch, Lazarus A.D., Beneath The Massacre, The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, 3 Inches Of Blood, Within The Ruins, The Contortionist, Volumes, Molotov Solution, Nails, Hung, Sons Of Aurelius, A Life Once Lost, Confrontation, Last Chance To Reason, Burning The Masses, Cephalic Carnage, Revocation, Structures, Withered, and Wretched.

Monster Energy is the official energy drink of the New England Metal And Hardcore Festival 13. All In Merch is the official merchandise company and Hails & Horns is the official magazine.

Metal Blade Records, Atticus Black, D’Addario Strings, and Evans Drumheads are also sponsors of this year’s festival. Break Thru Music (breakthrumusic.net) is hosting series of events for bands to complete for a slot on the festival. Mazur PR coordinates media inquiries and Metal Injection supplies fans with videos and interviews at metalinjection.net for a preview of all the bands. Jeremy Saffer from jeremysaffer.com and Aaron Peppelis from returntothepit.com provide all the official festival photos. This year the festival has also teamed up with a charity called Rise Above (weriseabove.org) to help children in Massachusetts get funding for them to learn instruments, play sports and go to events.

Doors open at 1 p.m. on Thursday and the festival will run from 1 to 10:45 p.m. Doors open at noon on Friday and Saturday, with the shows running from noon to 12:45 a.m. It is an all-ages event.

Tickets for Thursday cost $25. Friday and Saturday individual day tickets cost $35. A 3-day ticket costs $89 with a discounted rate of $69 if purchased before February 15. All tickets go on sale Friday, February 4 at 10 a.m. at FYE Stores, online at tickets.com or (800) 477-6849.

Performers are subject to change.


*** PRESS RELEASE #9 ***
-Havok: In-Studio Video Premiere Via Metal Injection

In anticipation of the release of their upcoming new full-length, TIME IS UP, Denver thrashers Havok today unveil part I of their in-studio video footage. Brought to you by Metal Injection, the video takes you behind the scenes of the recording process with commentary from the members. Check it out here:


The follow-up to Havok’s fiery BURN debut, TIME IS UP, which is already reaping praise from critics, features ten tracks of meticulously crafted thrash metal anthems that transcend far beyond any run-of-the-mill rethash projects. Said Popdose of the offering: “This is easily the best thrash record of any type released since Toxic Holocaust dropped AN OVERDOSE OF DEATH on us in 2008.” Added Metal Assault in a 9/10 review: “…TIME IS UP will turn out to be one of the thrash releases of the year. A furiously energetic effort, presenting thrash metal exactly the way it should be. Get this album when it comes out and mosh to some Havok!” Rock Hospital called TIME IS UP “… a killer sophomore effort by four dudes who do justice to their musical forefathers. Cliff Burton would smile on this release,” while Metal Review agreed: “Havok’s purest intention is to thrash your face into a circle-pitted-pulp, and more often than not they’re wildly successful.”

Time is up will be released in North America on March 29 via Candlelight Records. For pre-order details visit Candlelight USA.

Havok is currently ravaging the masses on tour with Florida death metallers Malevolent Creation. Remaining tour dates are below:

Havok United Hate Across America Tour 2011 [remaining dates]: w/ Malevolent Creation, Blown Chaos, The Absence, and Beyond Terror Beyond Grace
3/04/2011 – Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA
3/05/2011 – Cheyenne Saloon – Las Vegas, NV
3/06/2011 – The Clubhouse – Tempe, AZ
3/07/2011 – EBGB’s – Amarillo, TX
3/08/2011 – Reno’s Chop Shop – Dallas, TX
3/09/2011 – Emo’s – Austin, TX
3/10/2011 – Riverside Warehouse – Shreveport, LA


*** PRESS RELEASE #10 ***
-Amon Amarth Grace The Cover Of Decibel’s April 2011 Issue

Feast your eyes on Decibel Magazine’s April 2011 issue which finds Amon Amarth vocalist Johan Hegg, bloodied with blazing sword in hand, gracing the cover! The issue follows Decibel’s worldwide premiere of “Slaves Of Fear,” the fourth track off Amon Amarth’s eagerly anticipated new full-length SURTUR RISING. (Check it out at http://www.decibelmagazine.com/uncategorized/streaming-amon-amarth-slaves-of-fear-worldwide-exclusive/ , if you missed it.) The seven-page feature by Greg Moffitt (with exclusive photos by Ester Segarra) finds Hegg and guitarist Olavi Mikkonen talking candidly about writing, recording, tour life, the Viking themes that have shaped the band’s legacy, Christianity, and more. To order your copy, visit Decibel’s store at http://store.decibelmagazine.com/collections/back-issues/products/april-2011-078 .

Scheduled for North American release via Metal Blade on March 29, 2011, SURTUR RISING marks the eighth studio offering from the kings of epic, melodic death metal. Be sure to visit the official SURTUR RISING landing page, which includes album pre-orders for North America and Europe as well as up-to-the-minute news updates, tour announcements, videos and singles leading up to the record’s release. To access the website, point your browser to http://www.surturrising.com/ .

In celebration of the release, the melodic death metal tyrants will embark on 2011 U.S. headlining tour next month. Simply dubbed “An Evening With Amon Amarth,” this very special trek will find the band touring without support and instead performing two separate sets each night. One set will include the performance of SURTUR RISING in its entirety.

An Evening With Amon Amarth
View tour poster at http://www.earsplitcompound.com/site/?p=2144

4/14/2011 The Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
4/15/2011 Station 4 – Saint Paul, MN
4/16/2011 Granada Theater – Lawrence, KS
4/17/2011 The Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
4/19/2011 Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR
4/20/2011 Showbox Sodo – Seattle, WA
4/22/2011 The Regency – San Francisco, CA
4/23/2011 Ace Of Spades – Sacramento, CA
4/24/2011 House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA
4/25/2011 Nile Theatre – Mesa, AZ
4/27/2011 White Rabbit – San Antonio, TX
4/29/2011 Culture Room – Fort Lauderdale, FL
4/30/2011 Beacham Theatre – Orlando, FL
5/1/2011 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
5/2/2011 Jaxx – Springfield, VA
5/3/2011 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
5/5/2011 Best Buy Theater – New York, NY
5/6/2011 Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA
5/7/2011 Theatre Of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA


*** PRESS RELEASE #11 ***
-Genre Crossing Legends Senser Release New single: “2, 3, Clear”

Taken from their critically acclaimed HOW TO DO BATTLE album, “2, 3, Clear” is both a metal belter as well as a high energy dance floor filler. Further cementing Senser’s legendary status as rock, metal, hiphop and electronica fusion pioneers, the single adds to the band’s HOW TO DO BATTLE chapter with all the style and politically charged attitude you’d expect.

Driving dance beats, metallic riffing, and brain saturating synths explode right from the start providing a powerful foundation for Heitham Al Sayed’s hook laden lyrical assault and Kerstin Haigh’s haunting eastern scales and nuances. And given the current political instability across the globe, Senser’s music and ability to inspire and provoke through explicit lyrical dissent seems more relevant than ever.

The success of HOW TO DO BATTLE catapulted Senser back to the forefront of the music scene, earning them among many things an appearance at last year’s Download Festival. The band will be making numerous club and festival appearances over the summer before starting work on their fifth studio album at the end of the year.

“2, 3, Clear” is released on April 11 and will also be available as a free download on the band’s website: http://www.senser.co.uk/

Release date: April 11
Format: digital single
website: http://www.senser.co.uk/

The band have also announced the following club and festival dates, more to follow:

Sat 12 March – Kick Out The Jams Festival at 229 London with Ill Nino, Breed 77, Imicus, & more
Sat 19 March – The Witchwood in Lancashire with Suppajamma & Starseed
Sat 16 April – Moho Live in Manchester with Daywalkers & Starseed

More information on Senser:

Since 1989 Senser have produced a unique fusion of rock, metal, hiphop, and alternative electronica. They became known for their political lyrics and a huge live sound which gained headline slots at most major UK festivals. Senser achieved worldwide success with debut album STACKED UP in 1995 and subsequently split up having toured half the planet. One half remained to release ASYLUM in 1998 and the other half started Lodestar and released an album of the same name. In 2001 the band met up for a festival date to promote a compilation of the first two albums and decided to reform. SCHEMATIC was released on One Little Indian Records in May 2004; it was a big success with fans and the band toured it throughout Europe and the UK. Drawing on their own personal styles, experiences and influences the work represented a broad musical development from their past releases.

Becoming disenchanted with the marketing support provided by independent record companies, the band decided to develop their own music company, Imprint Music, headed up by their manager. Encouraged by a strong network of fans, accessible through online channels and unafraid of the changing music business environment, Senser wrote and recorded their fourth studio album HOW TO DO BATTLE working with producers Neil McLellan (The Prodigy), Jason Wilcox (The Ghost Of A Thousand, Reuben), and New York hip hop producer Scott Harding (Wu Tang Clan, New Kingdom).

HOW TO DO BATTLE, released in July 2009, was a huge success with press such as Kerrang! and Metal Hammer Magazine, and put the band back on the festival circuit in 2010 where they caused a frenzy on the Pepsi Max Stage at Download Festival 2010. A successful UK headline tour followed, as well as club shows and festivals in Portugal, Czech Republic, Spain and the UK. The first single from the new album “Resistance Now” aired on Radio 1’s “Rock Show,” an Xfm live session, and the video aired on Scuzz TV.

Senser continue to play festivals, club shows and extreme sport events all over Europe.

by Serge Entertainment Group

-RockTunz Web Store — Adding Colors To The Rock Palette

Owner Ric Levine Reveals His Story Of How His Love For Prog-Centric Music Inspired His Latest Venture

A new leading edge, up and coming rock music web store — http://www.rocktunz.com/ — is open for business, and is generating a buzz in and out of the music community. The web store focuses on all styles of rock (prog, classic, alt, hard rock, and metal) and has numerous features you won’t find at other popular music web stores. Recently, Ric Levine, the man who single-handedly built RockTunz aside from some programming assistance, spoke with publicist Sandy Serge about his RockTunz web store — its inception, creation, features, and continual growth over the past years.

What inspired you to create RockTunz? Were there any specific events that led up to this venture?

[Ric Levine] If you can dub my 40-year love affair with progressive rock and metal, and the joy I get from turning people onto it as “specific events”… then, there you go! 🙂 You know, progressive rock — a.k.a. “prog” — has been around for over 40 years now, just about 4-5 years less than The Beatles. But, if all you read was the mainstream press, you’d be hard-pressed to think that it deserved any more recognition than, say “Chopsticks” or “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” Yet, despite what the critics have said, prog occupies an important part of the pop music culture. In fact, it’s at the heart of the foundation of the successful Classic Rock Radio format. Don’t believe me? Turn on the radio and it won’t be long before you’ll hear Pink Floyd, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Yes, Jethro Tull, ELP, Kansas, Rush — the list goes on. It could even be argued that The Beatles and Led Zeppelin had their progressive tendencies. On the metal side, there’s Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, to name just a few. So, I felt a strong need to fill this void and devote a site to the great independent and unsigned artists who create the music they love and the small labels who have the passion to distribute it.

What past experience in your life do you believe qualifies you and your partners for this type of business?

[Ric Levine] I grew up in the ’60s in New Jersey and listened to rock radio from New York, where the jocks were these great personalities who’d just keep you glued to what they were saying and playing especially the music from the British Invasion (led by The Beatles and Stones, of course). And, lest I forget, my parents forced me to take clarinet lessons in 4th grade. That led to concerts, marching band parades and pep band at football games through high school. Sadly, it did not lead to any dates with cheerleaders. In ’65, my family relocated to the L.A. area where I discovered, what was then, free form FM radio. In addition to the Top 40 hits, I fell in love with groups like Simon & Garfunkel and the Moody Blues, arguably, one of the first progressive bands because they combined rock with classical music (which my parents exposed me to).

But, it was 1970 (my junior year in high school) when a buddy put on a record by this band called Jethro Tull and their third album, BENEFIT. I’d never heard anything like it and I loved it!! Within the next year, I found myself at a NAMM show, listening to Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s LUCKY MAN on a pair of quadraphonic headphones. Holy crap!!! I was blown away and learned that they were going to be in concert at the old Long Beach Auditorium. I immediately bought a ticket with my hard-earned McDonald’s earnings. I’ll never forget the feeling as I left the show, walking to my car as the fog shrouded the lights in the parking lot, I could feel my head spin around!! That show, that music, altered my listening habits for the rest of my life!! ELP, Genesis, Tull, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and, of course, Pink Floyd. I couldn’t get enough!! Typical for the time, my dad didn’t quite share this enthusiasm so, I had to sneak all my new purchases into the house when he wasn’t looking. LOL!

My enthusiasm was fueled by the ton of great shows I saw in college (’71-’75) but, I’d have to say that 1974-1980 were my “wonder years” because this is when the professional seeds got planted. In late ’74/early ’75, I worked at a record store in Isla Vista (CA), the vibrant little student ghetto adjacent to UC Santa Barbara, where I went to college. I became close with a fellow clerk who just happened to be a Yes freak. It wasn’t long before my initial resistance turned into borderline fanaticism!

In January of ’76 — about seven months after graduation — I got hired by and, was soon managing, three record stores in the Santa Barbara/Ventura area. This was back when new vinyl sold for just $2.99! Other than working behind the counter (and making suggestions to anyone who’d listen), I handled all the music ordering and was given the task of starting and maintaining a Used Records section. One’s trash is another’s treasure and I got first crack at all of it. I was a kid in a candy store and hit the music mother lode! Most, of course, was resold but somehow… an album or three wound up in my collection at home. Go figure. :-)) A good chunk of those records were brought in by the DJs who worked at the local rock station in Santa Barbara, CA (KTYD-FM). They’d come in to trade in the free promo records they got and look for new stuff to play and own. I became friends with a number of them, turned them onto a bunch of music, got on the air a few times, too. And another seed took root. I even got to play on the station’s softball team The Flaming Media Pigs! LOL!

But, it was one jock in particular, Guy Guden, who really opened up my eyes and ears. Guy did a late-night gig (midnight-6 a.m.) he called “Space Pirate Radio,” where he combined European progressive rock and electronic music with original comedy bits (a là “The Firesign Theater”). After a few great chats in the store, he invited me to hang out in the studio which I did a lot! As he was doing his intro, he’d kill all the lights in the studio, light a few candles and pour a glass of wine for each of us. I can only describe the atmosphere he created as magical! And, to say that he introduced me to a new and incredible world of music would be an understatement. Bands from France, Italy, Germany and, of course England (prog’s birthplace) made their way into my soul and my collection. What great memories! 🙂

After a couple of years at the store, I spent the next two selling stereo equipment, using my records to demo the gear and expose people to prog. Not only did I sell a lot of gear, but I had customers come back in just to ask me about more music! In the overlap between these two gigs (like I said… a lot happened!), I met a customer who was a late-night DJ at the UCSB station. We both loved prog and he said I could bring in some records to play on his show. I jumped at the chance and, next thing I knew, he needed someone to sit in for him. As luck would have it, he had to leave town and I got to take over his show, using the records from my collection to fill the void he left behind. When I moved to San Diego in ’79, I continued as a jock on the UC San Diego station for a couple of years. Even promoted one concert while I was there. And while this was happening, I got hooked up with the little-known (at the time), College Media Journal. My first assignment was to review a 14-hour progressive music festival in L.A. followed by my first interview (backstage at the infamous Roxy Theater) with a chap named Phil Collins. I wrote quite a few articles, interviewed Peter Gabriel, and, for Relix Magazine (another national music mag), wrote a review of Pink Floyd’s THE WALL, which became one of their cover stories. But, I had to pay the bills and a couple of non-musical jobs were necessary, including one that led me back to L.A. in 1984 where the music bug struck again.

After scribbling some notes on a napkin, I locked myself in my Pasadena apartment for a weekend and came out with the blueprint for what was to become the first multi-media music magazine. I called it Cymbiosis because it was a symbiotic merging of a magazine and a cassette tape (you remember those, don’t you?). On the tape was the music of 5-6 progressive (and some New Age) artists; in the mag were articles and interviews with those artists, as well as other articles, album and concert reviews. After four issues, the cassette was upgraded to CD, which was just starting to gain popularity and traction. Sadly, Cymbiosis suffered a premature demise (mostly because retailers didn’t quite know what to do with or how to market it) but, not before we had subscribers in 22 countries and were named on of the Top 25 magazines of 1986 by the esteemed Library Journal, a magazine that U.S. libraries use for ideas on what to put on their shelves. We also got a lot of great press via the Associated Press (AP), including a write-up in USA Today.

I kept my hand in writing for a variety of publications after that but again, responsibility called, this time by a wife and daughter. A career in business telecommunications took hold, but prog has always been an itch needing to be scratched.

The success of iTunes and Amazon certainly provided much of the impetus, but, it was what they weren’t focused on — progressive music — that really provided the springboard for RockTunz.

And, throughout all the many trials and tribulations of this two and a half-year plus roller coaster, is my partner and fiancée, Tamie. Since I turned her onto prog over eight years ago, she has taken to it like no one I’ve ever met. So much so that she’s made just as many new musical discoveries as I have. The student has, many times, become the teacher! She’s been in the financial services industry for virtually all of her professional life and has worked at one L.A.-based credit union for over 23 years now. In that time, she’s elevated herself to VP of Operations and has almost two-thirds of the 100-plus employees reporting to her. Without her business expertise, emotional support and love for this music, RockTunz would not be possible!

What separates you from the competition in this business? Why would both musicians and consumers choose RockTunz over other similar sites?

[Ric Levine] Other than being a rabid fan, I’d have to say it’s our focus on the unheralded (and mostly, unknown) independent and unsigned artists from all over the world who create music out of love for the craft instead of the desire for that #1 hit. The word must be getting out because rarely a day goes by when we’re not contacted by a new artist. We’ve added a dozen new artists since our launch this past November, not to mention the deal we just inked with a prog metal label that distributes its own and 20 smaller labels. Our access to new artists and their catalog just mushroomed!!

As far as RockTunz itself is concerned, we feature 90-second song samples (rather than the usual 30-second snippets), biographies, reviews, interviews, and a ton of videos. Sure, all this stuff can be found on the various artist sites, webzines, and YouTube. But, now consumers and soon-to-fans won’t have to Google their fingers off, RockTunz will be the place to go. And, if we don’t have it, we’ll find it.

We’ve also created a unique search engine called The Rockommender, which essentially mirrors what I did as a record store clerk, DJ and writer. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve yet to see anything like it on other sites. But, more on that later.

Could you please tell us about your Center Stage feature on RockTunz? How you do you determine what bands are featured there?

[Ric Levine] Well, we certainly don’t need to rehash what MTV did for the music video or the overwhelming success of YouTube. The public’s voracious appetite for music videos is what inspired me to put our Center Stage video player on our Home Page and, it’s basically the first thing visitors see. And they’re not just performance videos. We also have promos, interviews, behind-the-scenes sessions footage, even our first video album review. Stuff that fans have loved and craved for years…, front and center.

The quality and content determine what gets put on the Center Stage. Since I’m the sole arbiter at this point, they have to tickle my fancy in order to make the grade.

How does an artist get listed in your Top Tunz section?

[Ric Levine] At this point, it’s still up to me. Most of the time, they’re tied to the bands featured in our “So… What’s New?” section, giving visitors immediate access to a variety of styles and genres. As time goes on, the Top Tunz will reflect what our customers are buying and reviewing.

What is the purpose of The Rockommender function on RockTunz and how does it work?

[Ric Levine] As I mentioned earlier, The Rockommender is our search engine and an online version of what I used to do as a record store clerk: assessing people’s tastes and “rockommending” new music based on those tastes. As I’d be ringing up a customer’s purchases, I’d look at them and, if the timing and the vibe were right, I’d bring the customer out to the stacks and put new records in their hands. Being the manager, I could also tell them that if they didn’t like it, I’d buy it back from them. Believe it or not, I never had to issue a single refund. Needless to say, that one-on-one created a steady stream of repeat customers! Pandora has been doing the same thing for some time now, but on a much more sophisticated level. From what I’ve learned about the original Music Genome Project, they will “look” at up to 400 different attributes of any given song and/or artist in order to determine how they form a listener’s “station.” Being completely self-financed limits what we can do, but, then again, we didn’t have computers at my stores in the dark ages, yet, somehow, we made it work.

So, the Rockommender offers guidelines, based on more popular “reference” artists, genres or country of origin. Say you like Genesis, Yes, Floyd, Metallica, Dream Theater, Yes, or Rush. Find them in the “If you like this artist” column, click on it and, voila!, your Rockommendations appear. In addition to the more popular bands, we also have those who are more recognizable to prog fans. It’s important to note that these suggestions will reflect many of the characteristics of the band(s) you chose; they’re not intended to be sound-alikes. Besides, why duplicate when you can enhance or push the envelope a bit?

People are always on the lookout for new tunz. That’s what drives the business. All it takes is a gentle nudge in one direction or another to aid them in their hunt. I mean, what do so many of us do after seeing a cool new movie or eating at a great new restaurant? We tell our friends — or they tell us as soon as possible! We love sharing our latest finds. Just look at the mind-boggling success of Facebook and Twitter! 🙂

Are you planning to add any new features to RockTunz in 2011?

[Ric Levine] Yes! Among them are text and social networking alerts tied to a customer’s choices in the Rockommender and a visitor’s forum or discussion board.

What we’re most excited about, though, is something we’ll most likely call “Tunz from the Vault.” Musicians and bands tend to write and record a lot of material that, for one reason or another, never makes it onto their CDs. Maybe there wasn’t enough room on the CD, or a tune didn’t fit into the CDs flow or concept. In the last few years, many of those songs find their way onto remastered or reissued CDs as bonus tracks. But, CDs still have their limits. “Tunz from the Vault” will give fans a chance to discover these hidden gems; and artists the opportunity to rework and resurrect old ideas and maybe even collect a few extra bucks instead of dust. In addition to the downloads and CDs we sell, we’ll also be offering DVDs both as downloads and physical product.

Do you have specific short term and long term goals for 2011 and beyond?

[Ric Levine] The most immediate goal is getting our name out to the music-buying public and letting them know they have a cool niche alternative to the mega-sites. We also want to reach those fans of more mainstream bands — like the ones I mentioned earlier — and show them how their current favorites can lead to new ones. That’s where The Rockommender comes in, too. That’s his job and why we pay him the big bucks!

The potential for RockTunz is quite staggering and exciting! Podcasts, live concerts, streaming live behind-the-scenes action. Who knows what this new-fangled technology will allow us to do!


*** OUT ***

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