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Detritus Issue #636

Issue #636
Week of January 14, 2013

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Patrick Brower, Editor

Sean P. Gahgan, Editor

Tim Wadzinski, Owner

Steve Shumake, Co-owner

-This week we have info on new albums from a bunch of legends — Pretty Maids, Stryper, Deep Purple, Great White, Stratovarius, and Avantasia — and some cool newcomers. Plus, we have my interview with Crimson Glory and Avenging Benji’s Ben Jackson. – Tim

*** PRESS RELEASE #1 ***
-All-Star Project Set To Release Hurricane Sandy Charity Single, “The Pride”

STATEN ISLAND, NY — The project comprised of the NY based band The Infinite Staircase along with Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society, ex-Ozzy Osbourne), Morgan Rose (Sevendust, Call Me No One), Kevin Martin (Candlebox, The Gracious Few) and John “JD” DeServio (Black Label Society, Cycle Of Pain) has completed work on the single, which is now called “The Pride.”

Co-writer, singer and guitarist Lenny Cerzosie explains the meaning of the song title and the process in which he and vocalist Kevin Martin took to get to that conclusion. “In terms of the writing process and the meaning behind ‘The Pride,’ which the coolest thing about it to me is that it was written by all of us, it was a group effort and where I see where it started was Kevin, being the one who technically is not necessarily from the area but has very close ties and of course it touched home to him, but he said ‘tell me what you guys experienced, tell me what you guys saw, tell me what you guys heard, tell me what really went on, what people didn’t see, what did you guys see, the home, your neighborhood.’ Everything that we were saying, he’s just jotting down ideas… we had a whole bunch of ideas. He had a couple of pages full of just ideas, whether it be the names, different things, the topics we wanted to touch; One of the main topics was about how the streets, the beach came all the way to the major boulevards. The streets and our home and our memories, those are all the main topics, the things that Kevin felt, that we all felt, those were the things to talk about. Kevin really took charge of, well let’s now put these things in some kind of order. We were talking about the chorus. So we were talking about the flooded streets and what the chorus has to be, it has to be the hope part. He’s like ‘These are our streets, this was our home.’ And I said, ‘You know what, that’s awesome but what about “These are our streets. This IS our home.'” ‘Cause even though it’s washed away, it’s still our home. He was like ‘Yeah, you’re right! Let’s do that!’ It kind of flowed where he said, ‘Yeah, we are the pride.’ And I said ‘Yeah, because New York, New Jersey, Philly, you know, we’re all about the pride’ — he’s like ‘Yeah, but I’m talking about the lion’s pride, like the lion’s den. Forget FEMA and Red Cross and everybody else — that we take care of our own. We’re here for a reason. We are the lion’s den, the lion’s pride, that’s what it’s about. It’s the roar. It’s the pride.’ I thought that was very cool. I think in the end, that’s going to be what really touches everybody; that we’re all in this together. This was a group effort and we’re all going to take care of our own and each other and that’s what the song really comes down to, it’s all about the pride.”

The track was recorded with Mike Ferretti at Architekt Music in Butler, NJ where Sevendust recently wrapped the recording of their new album, BLACK OUT THE SUN and The Infinite Staircase continue to work on their new album.

“The Pride,” originally set for release on January 8 is now slated for a release date of February 5 through Vanity Music Group. Jeff Cerzosie of The Infinite Staircase explains “We wanted to get this out there as quickly as possible but also didn’t want to sacrifice quality for speed. Getting everyone together on this project and bringing in the right charitable organization while trying to ensure that we deliver something worthy of those who have suffered and lost everything was something that we all felt very strongly about. After all, we’re hoping to change at least a few lives through this project and to do that, everything needed to be perfect.”

It will be released as an iTunes exclusive and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Carl V. Bini Memorial Foundation for distribution to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

“Living on the Jersey shore my entire life, I was mortified at the after effects of Hurricane Sandy,” says JD DeServio. “It was heart breaking to see all the lives that were affected throughout the tri-state area. Hopefully the song we recorded will benefit some of those unfortunate people. God bless.”

Lenny Cerzosie – “Since we are talking in terms of the pride, the lion’s pride, the lion’s den type of mentality, it’s nice to know that the Carl V. Bini Memorial Foundation is based on the idea of a hero from 9/11. To work with a foundation like that, that’s already something that of course anybody, especially a New Yorker, would be proud to be a part of, it’s nice to know that we have 100% confidence that all of the money that’s going to be raised is going to go directly to people who need it and it’s not a corporate entity where money’s going to be laundered here and there and the other way. The musicians involved did not take a penny, did not ask for a penny, did not expect a penny, some of us even took pennies out of our pockets to make this happen. It’s great to work with a foundation like this. They’re so excited. They’re on board with us. It’s great to work with guys like this who are open to the musicians that are involved. It’s not corporate BS. It’s a sincere movement, a sincere group and I think in the end that’s what’s going to make this project successful; that everybody involved is 100% sincere and 100% authentic and that’s what’s going to make all the difference.”

The Carl V. Bini Memorial Fund was founded in honor of Firefighter Carl V. Bini, a member of the FDNY tragically taken during 9/11. The fund’s mission is to memorialize the heroism of its fallen hero by providing aid to those who so desperately need it now and in the future.

*** PRESS RELEASE #2 ***
-Danish Dynamite Rockers Pretty Maids To Release Their New Album MOTHERLAND On Frontiers In March!

Frontiers Records is excited to announce the release of Pretty Maids’ anticipated new album entitled MOTHERLAND on March 22nd in Europe and March 26th in North America.

After their successful and highly acclaimed 2010 album PANDEMONIUM, Danish melodic Hard Rockers Pretty Maids celebrated their 30th anniversary with their debut visual release IT COMES ALIVE (MAID IN SWITZERLAND) in 2012. PANDEMONIUM showed the world that Pretty Maids were in a creative spring again, with the band in their finest moment. The melodic approach brought a return to the FUTURE WORLD / RED, HOT AND HEAVY era of the eighties, but with an updated sound and freshness that consolidated Pretty Maids as strong as ever.

In late spring 2012, the band gathered to finally write the follow-up album. Singer Ronnie Atkins tells: “We knew it was going to be a tough one to follow! I remember back in the day when we had to follow up albums like FUTURE WORLD, we tried more or less to copy the songs from the previous album to keep the same kind of balance. But this time we just wrote what came natural to us and that’s what became MOTHERLAND.”

The band teamed up again with producer Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe) for the new album. Ronnie says: “Jacob was a natural choice since we had a great experience with him producing the PANDEMONIUM album. The recordings went smooth to begin with, but then we had to start touring again during the weekends and this created some stress. Though I really feel strongly about MOTHERLAND. In my view it has all the ingredients of a good Pretty Maids album, maybe even more melodic than PANDEMONIUM and absolutely, as far as I’m concerned a worthy follow-up.”

Founded in early 1982 by guitarist Ken Hammer and singer Ronnie Atkins, Pretty Maids soon established themselves as a band to be taken seriously in the early eighties, having their breakthrough with the release — in April 1987 — of the album FUTURE WORLD. This record soon gathered a universal recognition as a “Classic,” which endures to date, and allowed the band to perform in from of large audiences thanks to their tour with Deep Purple and their appearances in the “Monsters Of Rock” festival. The following album JUMP THE GUN kept the momentum for the band, particularly in Europe and Japan.

Throughout the nineties Pretty Maids continued to release albums, usually followed by European and Japanese tours with the band still maintaining a very high songwriting and production standards. The release of WAKE UP TO THE REAL WORLD in 2006 started the band’s relationship with Frontiers Records.

MOTHERLAND will include the following tracks:

Mother Of All Lies
To Fool A Nation
The Iceman
Sad To See You Suffer
Why So Serious
I See Ghosts
Bullet For You
Who What Where When Why

The release of the new album will be preceded by the release of the single / video “Mother Of All Lies” which will hit the streets on January 22nd, 2013. A sample of the single can be heard following this link: http://youtu.be/KuqCwrdojho

Pretty Maids will play numerous festivals this summer such as Wacken Open Air and Bang Your Head!!!, followed by an extensive world tour in support of MOTHERLAND.

Pretty Maids are stronger than ever — don’t miss them on tour !!!

Ronnie Atkins – vocals
Ken Hammer – guitars
Morten Sandager – keyboards
Allan Tschicaja – drums
Rene Shades – bass

*** PRESS RELEASE #3 ***
-Iconic Christian Rockers Stryper Sign To Frontiers Records For Multi-Album Deal

Re-Recorded Collection SECOND COMING Due Out In March

Frontiers Records is proud to announce the signing of iconic Christian rockers Stryper to a multi-album deal. The first release due out will be a new re-recorded collection; SECOND COMING will hit streets on March 22nd in Europe and March 26th in North America.

The album features sixteen tracks, including new recordings of fourteen songs from the band’s early years as well as two brand new songs recorded especially for SECOND COMING, and is produced by Stryper front man Michael Sweet.

Sweet commented, “We’re really excited about this record. The re-recorded songs are sounding awesome… better than the originals in many ways! One word to describe the record? Heavier. We’ve hooked up with some great people — we’ve got new management, a great album, a great label. We just feel like everything is coming together, and hopefully some big things are to follow.” Please see below for the complete track listing.

Stryper is one of the top Christian rock bands of all time. Comprised of the original lineup of Michael Sweet (vocals/guitar), Oz Fox (guitar), Tim Gaines (bass), and Robert Sweet (drums), Stryper has been rocking since 1984, and is responsible for such ’80s metal classic albums as SOLDIERS UNDER COMMAND, TO HELL WITH THE DEVIL, IN GOD WE TRUST and such MTV hit singles/videos as “Calling On You,” “Free,” and “Honestly.”

After a sabbatical for much of the 1990s, Stryper returned strong in the early 21st century. To date, the band has sold upwards of 8 million records worldwide and is a Dove Award-winner and Grammy nominee. Stryper is the first band to have two songs in MTV’s Top 10 simultaneously.

SECOND COMING track listing:

Loud N’ Clear
Loving You
Soldiers Under Command
Makes Me Wanna Sing
First Love
The Rock That Makes Me Roll
Reach Out
To Hell With The Devil
Calling On You
The Way
Sing Along Song
More Than A Man
Bleeding From Inside Out (new song)
Blackened (new song)


-Stratovarius: New NEMESIS Track Streaming At BW&BK

NYC Listening Party + Fan-Participation Video Announced

Long-running metal web portal Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles today offers up Stratovarius’ “Halcyon Days” for your streaming enjoyment. The tune comes off the melodic metal legends’ forthcoming offering, NEMESIS. Produced and mixed by guitarist Matias Kupiainen and mastered by Mika Jussila (Finnvox Studios), the 11-track NEMESIS will be released in North America via Armoury Records on February 26, 2013. Notes vocalist Timo Kotipelto of NEMESIS: “It has a darker more modern sound. We, as a band, have gone through a lot and have matured as songwriters. We have worked our asses off to make this and we hope the fans will like it.”

Among Kotipelto’s favorite songs on the record, “Halcyon Days,” is about finding peace in the increasingly hectic landscape of daily life. Check it out at http://www.bravewords.com/news/197077 .

In celebration of its release, Manhattan’s Idle Hands Bar will be hosting a special NEMESIS listening party on the evening of January 21 where both Kotipelto and keyboardist Jens Johansson will be in attendance.

Stratovarius NYC NEMESIS Listening Party:
When: Monday January 21, 2013
Where: Idle Hands Bar, 25 Ave B, NYC
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
More Info: http://www.idlehandsbar.com/

Additionally, Stratovarius are preparing to shoot a new video and are inviting fans to join in its creation. Though the track has not yet been decided, Stratovarius heads are encouraged to send a picture of their most prized Stratovarius collector’s item to win_earmusic@edel.com by January 23! The band will then select the most original and fun fan items to be featured in their new video. Kotipelto further elaborates at this location:



*** PRESS RELEASE #5 ***
-Great White To Celebrate The Band’s XXXth Anniversary With The Release Of A New Live Album Out In February On Frontiers

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of Great White’s celebrative live album 30 YEARS – LIVE FROM THE SUNSET STRIP on February 22nd in Europe and February 26th in North America.

To mark its 30th Anniversary LIVE on March 22, 2012, Great White celebrated the only logical way — on stage. In a nod to its early days, Great White returned to the infamous Sunset Strip, where a storied past of music’s biggest fans are fused into the walls of the Key Club. Great White delivered its entire repertoire to a packed house, pining for the band’s raw energy and cheering its illustrious history track after track.

The Southern California blues hard rock band debuted with a Don Dokken / Michael Wagener produced EP in 1983 and later on were signed by EMI for 1984’s self-titled debut album. Since then Great White has achieved worldwide success, encompassing sales of over six million records. They received a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance for the song “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” and earned a double platinum certification for the album …TWICE SHY.

It’s the soulful, blues-based signature sound that turned songs like “Face The Day,” “Rock Me” and “Save Your Love” into international hits. The late ’80s were boom years for the band, marked by non-stop touring with some of the biggest bands of the era including stints in Europe and Japan. Great White recorded two more albums for Capitol — HOOKED, which was certified gold and PSYCHO CITY.

With a lineup featuring co-founder Mark Kendall, Audie Desbrow, Michael Lardie, Scott Snyder and new singer Terry Ilous (former XYZ), a natural front man blessed with bluesy-heritage rock tone, Ilous fits the band like a glove. Great White’s biting guitar riffs, contagious rhythm section and newfound energy is ready to honor its past and create the next chapter. 30TH ANNIVERSARY LIVE is just one night — but the music is timeless.

30 YEARS – LIVE FROM THE SUNSET STRIP track listing includes:
Desert Moon
Lady Red Light
Face The Day
House Of Broken Love
Save Your Love
Mista Bone
The Big Goodbye
Back To The Rhythm
Rock Me
Can’t Shake It
Once Bitten Twice Shy

Great White:
Terry Ilous – vocals
Mark Kendall – lead guitar
Michael Lardie – guitar, keyboards
Scott Snyder – bass
Audie Desbrow – drums

Weblink: http://www.greatwhiterocks.com/

*** PRESS RELEASE #6 ***
-Avantasia Update

[Note: This combines multiple press releases. – Tim]

Ronnie Atkins Of Pretty Maids Confirmed As A Guest Vocalist On The New CD

After Biff Byford (Saxon), Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Unisonic), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, ex-Vengeance), Bruce Kulick (Grand Funk Railroad, ex-Kiss, ex-Meat Loaf) and the German Filmorchestra Babelsberg another participant can now be announced: It’s Pretty Maids vocalist Ronnie Atkins who will sing a role on the new Avantasia Metal Opera THE MYSTER OF TIME (out in March 2013).

Tobias Sammet comments: “I have been a huge Pretty Maids fan since I was a teenager. I already asked Ronnie to be on THE METAL OPERA in 1999, but he was busy back then. Last year I saw Pretty Maids live, and they were a steam train on stage, unbelievable. After the show we met and Ronnie was a great guy. Finally after 13 years, I am really proud to have him on the new Avantasia album. And his kick-ass performance leaves no doubt: It was a great decision to ask him!”

Watch the new clip with sound snippets at:

Eric Martin Of Mr. Big Joins As Guest Singer!

The list of featured artists who have been confirmed for the album reads like a who-is-who in Rock and Metal: Biff Byford (Saxon), Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids), Michael Kiske (Unisonic, ex-Helloween), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, ex-Vengeance), Bruce Kulick (GFR, ex-Meat Loaf, ex-Kiss) have been confirmed so far, others will be announced soon.

Now another legend of Rock history has been announced: Eric Martin of US platinum sellers Mr. Big is singing a role on the album and will join Avantasia on stage during the “Mystery World Tour,” starting in April. Get your tickets soon, for the European non-festival indoor shows Avantasia have announced a 3-hour show.

Check out the video message of Eric Martin below:


European leg:
13.04.2013 (CH) Pratteln – Z7
14.04.2013 (CH) Pratteln – Z7
16.04.2013 (I) Milan – Alcatraz
18.04.2013 (D) Ludwigsburg – MPH Arena
19.04.2013 (D) Kaufbeuren – All – Karthalle
20.04.2013 (D) Fulda – Esperanto Halle
22.04.2013 (D) Berlin – Tempodrom
23.04.2013 (D) Hamburg – tba
25.04.2013 (D) Oberhausen – Turbinenhalle
26.04.2013 (D) Lichtenfels – Stadthalle


*** PRESS RELEASE #7 ***
-Deep Purple Releases Teaser For Upcoming New Album

Deep Purple has released the following video teaser for its upcoming as-yet-untitled new studio album, to be released stateside April 30, 2013 via earMusic/Eagle Rock Entertainment. Recorded and mixed in Nashville with famed producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd’s THE WALL, Alice Cooper), this is Deep Purple’s first new album in eight years. Blending the spirit of the band’s ’70s sound with modern production, the album promises to be a poignant mix of rock’s classic era and a progressive mindset.

“The title of our new album is still a question mark to all of us,” states vocalist Ian Gillan. “We have recorded a new album, and it’s a fantastic collection of songs. At the moment that’s the only affirmative point we can offer…”

For a taste of what’s to come, check out the teaser:

*** PRESS RELEASE #8 ***
-Holy Grail’s “Ride The Void” Lyric Video & Free Download Now Available!

Californian up-and-comers Holy Grail proudly present the brand-new lyric video for the title track of their upcoming Nuclear Blast debut RIDE THE VOID (out on January 18, 2013)! Watch it here:

Download the song for free from Holy Grail’s official band page at the Nuclear Blast website:

Order your copy of RIDE THE VOID at the Nuclear Blast web shop:

Also make sure to check out…

The lyric video for the first single “Dark Passenger”:


A guitar instructional video on MusicRadar.com:

The RIDE THE VOID track-by-track video series:
Pt.1: http://bit.ly/V7viVC
Pt.2: http://bit.ly/R6EF78
Pt.3: http://bit.ly/SUY8pL
Pt.4: http://bit.ly/U8B3zU
Pt.5: http://bit.ly/VPQTMF

Holy Grail

*** PRESS RELEASE #9 ***
-Napalm Records News

Legion Of The Damned: Thrash Metal Brutality

The Napalm Records lineup just got a little deadlier, and here’s the reason why: We are very proud to let you know that none other than the mighty Legion Of The Damned has joined our ranks! The Thrash Metal band has inked a worldwide record deal with Napalm Records and is more than ready to strike again!

Max (CEO Napalm Records) comments:
“Legoin Of The Damned is one of the most successful and promising Thrash Metal bands worldwide, and we feel very lucky to call them a member of our family. Rest assured that the new record will be a lethal onslaught, and the band will claim the Thrash Metal throne in 2013.”

Legion Of The Damned comments:
“We are absolutely thrilled to announce Legion Of The Damned has signed a deal with Napalm Records, a very important and exciting moment for Legion Of The Damned. It was certainly not an easy decision to leave our friends of Massacre Records who supported us since our first album. We always got along very well, and therefore we want to thank the crew of Massacre Records enormously for their big support! It’s time for Legion Of The Damned to move on and seek other challenges, we are very happy with the excitement Napalm Records has shown in our band and we can’t wait to release our new album under their wings!”

Legion Of The Damned Official Website

Audrey Horne: Album Preview

The Norwegian Rock giants Audrey Horne present their fans with an exclusive preview of their upcoming full-length YOUNGBLOOD! Make sure to head over to our YouTube Channel and let us know whether you love the new material as much as we do! YOUNGBLOOD will hit the streets on February 1!


Leaves’ Eyes: “Melusine” Clip & New Album

Leaves’ Eyes are checking in with a new clip for “Melusine” featuring live footage from the best 2012 shows of the band including the spectacular Viking show @ Wacken Open Air 2012!

Also, the band reveals the title of the upcoming full length album — read the statement of the band below!

“Dear fans and friends,

“Here’s the new video clip for ‘Melusine’ featuring footage from our live shows, tours and festivals like Wacken Open Air in 2012! You can watch it by clicking on the link below.

“To start the new year with some good news for you all, we are proud to announce that this year the new Leaves’ Eyes album will be released! The title of the album will be SYMPHONIES OF THE NIGHT.

“We will keep all of you updated on news concerning the album in the upcoming months!

“Enjoy watching video and share the news!”

“Melusine” clip

Napalm Records

*** PRESS RELEASE #10 ***
-Code Of Silence — Introducing The Band And The Album; Video Posted

Two years in the making, an epic debut album with stunning musicianship, welcome to 2013 … Code Of Silence. The introductory video can be viewed here:

The brainchild of respected UK melodic rock producer / musician / songwriter Paul Logue (Eden’s Curse) and his friend and musical journeyman James Murray, the album DARK SKIES OVER BABYLON will appeal to lovers of melodic hard rock and metal, with shades of prog.

In the introductory video, Paul and James discuss the origins and formation of the band with behind-the-scenes footage of their forthcoming promotional video “Sky Is Falling Down.” Paul explains how he enlisted the band members: James Murray (bass), John Clelland (drums), Scott McLean (keys), Ben Randall (guitars) and vocalist Gus Monsanto.

James, John and Scott are based in Scotland and have worked with Paul on separate projects whilst he managed Ben for a time before the guitarist joined Power Quest in 2009. The Brazilian vocalist Gus Monsanto was already known to Paul Logue via his work with Timo Tolkki’s Revolution Renaissance (ex-Stratovarius) and the French band Adagio.

In the video, Monsanto articulates what attracted him to the music, and what he thinks others will find: “strong songs, melodies, hard rock, great guitar a full package.” The visuals are reinforced by the stunning artwork conceived by Belgium-based graphic artist Didier Scohier.

Code Of Silence is a fresh-sounding take on heavy but highly melodic rock. Listeners will find many reference points but the band is truly a sum of its parts: five guys who have fashioned a modern masterpiece in a sometimes predictable and certainly overcrowded genre.

The track “Sky Is Falling Down” is a four-minute burst of pop metal — catchy, re-playable, and engaging — the promo video was filmed on location in Glasgow on a very cold December’s day last year. It is due for premiere on Monday 21 January to precede the Japanese album release via Rubicon Music on 25 January.

The album DARK SKIES OVER BABYLON is released in Europe on 25 February and in North America on 9 April via Mausoleum Records.

For more information on Code Of Silence, please visit http:www.codeofsilence.co.uk/ and http://www.facebook.com/codeofsilenceuk .

*** PRESS RELEASE #11 ***
-Alpha Tiger: Premiers New Song, “Beneath The Surface,” With Metal Hammer (Germany)

Germany’s hottest heavy metal newcomers Alpha Tiger have now teamed up with Metal Hammer to launch the title track from their upcoming debut album, BENEATH THE SURFACE. The track “Beneath The Surface” sums up the essence of Alpha Tiger quite accurately: epic compositions, catchy hooks and Stephan Dietrich’s powerful vocals. Check out “Beneath The Surface” here:


Fans can also watch the video for the first single, “From Outer Space,” here:

All lyrical topics on BENEATH THE SURFACE are represented in the stunning cover artwork, which was created by Hungarian designer Peter Tikos (who also worked with the band on the MAN OR MACHINE cover). BENEATH THE SURFACE was recorded this past summer at Berlin’s Musicflash studio, engineered by Mirco Godi Hildmann, and mixed and mastered by Andreas Hilbert. See below for the worldwide release dates for the album:

BENEATH THE SURFACE release dates:
GERMANY / AUSTRIA / SWITZERLAND / NORWAY: Friday, January 25, 2013
SPAIN / ITALY: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
SWEDEN / FINLAND / HUNGARY: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND: Friday, February 1, 2013
USA / CANADA: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 **digital only, European CD/LP imports available through CM Distro**

BENEATH THE SURFACE track listing:
1. Intro
2. The Alliance
3. From Outer Space
4. Waiting For A Sign
5. Beneath The Surface
6. Along The Rising Sun
7. Eden Lies in Ruins
8. Rain
9. Crescent Moon
10. We Came From The Gutter

Alpha Tiger live:
26.01.2013 — Dresden — Chemiefabrik (Germany)
01.02.2013 — Weinheim — Café Central (Germany)
02.02.2013 — Munich — Backstage (Germany)
23.02.2013 — Cologne — MTC (Germany)
12.07.-13.07.2013 — Bang Your Head Festival
01.08.-03.08.2013 — Wacken Open Air

Alpha Tiger online:

*** PRESS RELEASE #12 ***
-Radiant Records Announces LIVE MOMENTUM

[Note: This combines multiple updates. – Tim]

Pre-Sales Begin On February 1, 2013 At 12:00 Noon (CST) And Neal Will Autograph The First 200 Sold From RadiantRecords.com

Available Worldwide On February 19, 2013

NASHVILLE, TN — When progressive rock icon Neal Morse was preparing to tour his highly acclaimed 2012 studio release, MOMENTUM, he turned to YouTube to audition touring players to support his faithful duo of Mike Portnoy (drums) and Randy George (bass).

He had high hopes, but the final players selected from more than 70 applicants dramatically surpassed his expectations. They hit the road for an 8-stop North American tour. And now that band’s epic New York performance is captured on the new LIVE MOMENTUM 2DVD/3CD Box Set.

Fortified by the energetic live contributions of Eric Gillette (keyboards, guitars, vocals), Bill Hubauer (key-boards, violin, sax, vocals) and Adson Sodré (guitar and vocals), Morse, Portnoy and George blazed through two lengthy sets that spanned Morse’s entire, highly-heralded catalog, with the exception of material from TESTIMONY 2, which was previously captured in 2011’s TESTIMONY 2: LIVE IN LOS ANGELES box set.

The set list is mammoth. The players are virtuosic. Their performances are jaw-dropping. And this dynamic box set documents it all-including a special one-hour behind the scenes look at the tour.

It’s a Morse tradition to go big, and this new release unquestionably extends his powerful legacy of merging musical madness with addictive melodies in epic compositions that showcase the masterful musicianship of every member on stage.

LIVE MOMENTUM reveals the exceptionally inspired nature of this unique band and leaves listeners and viewers mimicking those in the audience on this tour-shaking their heads and wondering, “How could they possibly top that?”

This ENORMOUS 2 DVD / 3CD set includes over 4 hours of video, including and exclusive Tour Documentary and over 3 hours of audio.

Get ALL the details at http://www.RadiantRecords.com/ .

Check out the video trailer here:

Paris, France Added To The NM / TFK Tour On March 4, 2013!

We have added Paris, France to the European lineup of the upcoming Neal Morse and The Flower Kings tour, feat. Mike Portnoy.

These two bands will be bringing you 3 1/2 hours of pure Prog bliss to Paris and you can now purchase Tickets and VIP packages for this show. DON’T MISS IT!!!

Concert Tickets:

VIP Package:
Radiant Records

Wolverhampton, UK Added To NM/TFK Tour – March 8, 2013

Hey everyone, we have added Wolverhampton, UK to the Neal Morse/The Flower Kings Tour and tickets are now available HERE!


VIP packages for the LONDON show are sold out, but we now have VIP’s available for this new show!



Radiant Records

*** PRESS RELEASE #13 ***
-Rivera Bomma — Featuring Mike LePond Of Symphony X! — Releases January 22!

Pre-Order Available At CD Inzane!

Artist: Rivera Bomma
Label: Retroactive Records
Product ID: RAR1212
Layout: 6-panel full-color digi-pak with lyrics
Barcode: 845121055900
Release Date: January 22nd, 2013

Having two metal releases on several overseas labels, Christian metal heavyweights Rivera Bomma storm the US with their first new release in 7 years! Featuring a stunning collection of musicians, the band features Johnny Bomma (ex-Hades — Metal Blade Records) delivering vocal chops with grit, elegance, and swagger. Rod Rivera began studying classical guitar and flamenco before discovering the likes of Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker and Malmsteen — incorporating all of those influences in his axe-ellent guitar work. Angelic Warlord reviews describes Rivera’s style as “dazzling” and that he “…is a shredder in the truest sense of the word.” Also playing on the new album is talented original drummer Ed Faust, and on bass you will hear the thundering tones of none other than Mike LePond of progressive metal giants Symphony X! With two strong albums in the back catalog, fans always wondered what the band could release if all the right pieces to the puzzle came together… the band offers a definitive answer with the release of INFINITE JOURNEY OF SOUL on the US based Christian label, Retroactive Records! Truly the band’s heaviest, most melodic, most progressive album to date — I.J.O.S delivers elite, progressive Heavy Metal on every level!

For fans of Rob Rock, Driver, Symphony X, Dio, Impellitteri, Malmsteen, Deliverance (mid-period), and Sacred Warrior!

• Mastered by metal guru J Powell at Steinhaus
• First new album since 2006
• Elite artwork to go with powerful progressive metal sounds

1) I.J.O.S. Intro
2) Infinite Journey Of Soul
3) Empty Desire
4) In Blood
5) Via Dolorosa
6) Angel And Demons
7) Horizon’s End
8) In My Dreams
9) The Maker
10) Before The End – MMXIII (Solo)

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

Retroactive Records (classic rock & metal)

Bombworks Records (extreme metal)

Brutal Planet Distribution

*** PRESS RELEASE #14 ***
-Kingcrow Releases Opening Track To Sensory Records Debut

Following Sensory Records’ recent signing announcement having brought Italian prog metal act Kingcrow into the label’s ranks, today the outfit release the first full single from their pending fifth studio full-length, IN CRESCENDO.

The radiant opening track to the nearly hour-long IN CRESCENDO, “Right Before” wastes no time in letting you know exactly what the members of Kingcrow are about with this newest creation. Immerse yourself in the anthem now via PureGrainAudio!


Sensory Records, a division of The Laser’s Edge, will release IN CRESCENDO in North America on February 12th. Stay tuned for further updates as the new album nears release and as Kingcrow takes to the road in the New Year.

Having evolved from a mostly progressive metal direction, Kingcrow has increasingly expanded the scope of their sound to encompass elements of rock over recent years, nowadays culminating strong atmospheric components similar to Riverside, Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd but also bearing a heavier, metallic semblance to Opeth and Dream Theater. IN CRESCENDO was produced by the band’s own Diego and Thundra Cafolla at Sound Under Pressure in Rome, the massive album was then mixed by Giampiero Ulacco and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music.


*** PRESS RELEASE #15 ***
-Raven Black Night To Release New Album BARBARIAN WINTER February, 15th/18th!

First Single And Pre-Order Options Online! Front Cover Revealed!

Australian Heavy Metal warlords Raven Black Night will release their Metal Blade debut BARBARIAN WINTER February, 15th/18th!

Raven Black Night has now posted the album artwork and the first single taken off BARBARIAN WINTER. Surf over to the landing page at http://www.metalblade.com/ravenblacknight to check out Morbid Gladiator and make sure to surf to the pre-order options!

BARBARIAN WINTER will be released as a CD, double gatefold vinyl and digital download.

BARBARIAN WINTER track listing:
1. Fire In Your Eyes
2. Morbid Gladiator
3. Mystery Woman
4. Fallen Angel
5. Black Queen
6. If You Choose The Dark
7. Warriors Call
8. Barbarian Winter
9. Changes
10. Lips Of desire
11. Nocturnal Birth
12. Angel With A Broken Wing

About Raven Black Night:
It was late 1999 when Jim Petkoff, The White Knight (guitar/vox), and Rino Amoriono, The Raven (guitar), met over a cold beer in Adelaide, South Australia: the city of churches and where AC/DC found Bon Scott. This would mark the beginning of Raven Black Night’s campaign to bring their traditional metal sound to a worldwide audience.

After deciding to form a doom/heavy metal band, they enlisted Matt Spencer The Black Knight (bass), and Jeremy The Godfather on drums. They began building a formidable live reputation, with a style of metal that appealed to many varieties of metal heads in their home town. With their stage adorned with swords, shields, and candles, they spent 2003-2006 crisscrossing Australia, performing at various metal festivals and underground clubs. Drummer Joe Toscano was brought into the band and their first album, CHOOSE THE DARK, was recorded and released in 2005.

CHOOSE THE DARK garnered praise throughout Australia and Europe culminating into an invitation in 2007 to perform at the 10th annual Headbangers Open Air in Germany, where they band performed with Candlemass, Rage, and many others.

Several years of touring and festival appearances were to follow: Hard and Heavy summer nights, the Hamburg Ballroom, and more dates throughout Australia. In 2011 Jim, Rino with Chris on bass enlisted Matt Enright to record new material for their long awaited follow-up CD.

Jim and Rino are prepared to take the Raven Black Night sound of true metal/doom rock to a global audience. A new partnership with Metal Blade Records and a new album will firmly place Raven Black Night on the world map of true heavy metal.


*** PRESS RELEASE #16 ***
-Free Fall Releases Second Song Off POWER & VOLUME; Free SongPier App Available!

Swedish freedom rockers Free Fall have released the second single off the band’s highly anticipated debut album, POWER & VOLUME.

A free SongPier app for iOS & Android devices has been available as well. Surf to http://songpier.com/freefall and safe the page to your home screen. You’ll be able to check out both singles, pictures, videos and more Free Fall info.

Check out “World Domination” below and feel free to spread, share, like, embed the video!

Check out the official “Power & Volume” music video:

POWER & VOLUME, the album, will be released February 22, 2013.

“Power & Volume,” the single (including an exclusive non-album bonus track), is available digitally via iTunes and physically on 7″ vinyl via the Nuclear Blast Mail Order.

Also check out the official lyric video for “Power & Volume:”

Jan Martens (Bass)
Mattias Bärjed (Guitar)
Kim Fransson (Lead Vocals)
Ludwig Dahlberg (Drums)


*** PRESS RELEASE #17 ***
-Enforcer: Video Shoot For “Mesmerized By Fire!”

The new Enforcer album DEATH BY FIRE will be released on February 1st 2013 through Nuclear Blast Records.

The band was shooting a video clip recently and left the following message:

“Yesterday we shot a music video for the song ‘Mesmerized By Fire’ together with our long time friend director Gustav Öhman Spjuth. We really feel we have something special to show this time, and it’s definitely not just any other video.”

Check out the free download for “Mesmerized By Fire” here:

The limited vinyl 7″ for “Mesmerized By Fire” will be released on January, 18th including the non-album track “You Can Be.”

Pre-order the single, the album and merchandise here:


*** PRESS RELEASE #18 ***
-Australian Heavy Metal Band Taberah Signs Worldwide Management Deal With Germany’s Rock N Growl Management/Booking

Rock N Growl & Taberah currently shopping the brand new second album MMXII, to find a suitable record deal very soon. The new track “2012” taken from Taberah’s upcoming album MMXII can be streamed below:

Engineered by: Theo B (Scorpion), Mixed by: Joe Haley (Psycroptic), Mastered by: Stu Marshall (Empires Of Eden, ex. Dungeon)

Latest Taberah interview at Metal Shock Finland “Australian Metallers Taberah Discuss Their Debut Album And The Aussie Metal Scene”


Inspired by their strong musical bond Jonathon Barwick and Tom Brockman created, in 2004, what is now known as Taberah. The band’s sound and live performance is derived from a vast range of influences including the traditional heavy metal stylings of Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath, the rock ‘n’ roll swagger of AC/DC and Thin Lizzy mixed with the over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek theatrics of Queen and The Darkness. All with a slightly modern and original twist.

Taberah quickly became a staple act in the Tasmanian live music scene in 2006 and have now become one of Tasmania’s top exports around Australia in any musical genre. In early 2011 Taberah blitzed a nationwide vote then were hand picked by Lemmy Kilmister himself to open for Motorhead (UK) on the Sydney leg of their 2011 Australian tour.

Other milestones include sharing the stage all around Australia with high profile international and national acts such as: Paul Di’Anno (UK) (ex-Iron Maiden), Tim “Ripper” Owens (USA) (ex-Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Blessed By A Broken Heart), Lord (AUS), Psycroptic (AUS), Black Majesty (AUS), Steve Grimmett (UK) (ex-Grim Reaper, Lionsheart, Onslaught), Elm Street (AUS), Darker Half (AUS) and many more national and international acts.

2011 saw the band record & release their debut album THE LIGHT OF WHICH I DREAM with acclaimed producer Joe Haley of Psycroptic. The record is a chronicle of the band’s early years of blood, sweat, beers and tears on the national live circuit. The album earned Taberah worldwide acclaim.

Taberah deliver a show that is full of energy, fun, theatrics, wandering solos and plenty of crowd interaction. This earning the quartet a solid reputation of being a “must-see” live band.


*** PRESS RELEASE #19 ***
-Lost Society Unveils Album Title, Cover Artwork, Track List & Release Date

17, 18, 19, 19. No, that’s not today’s lottery numbers, but the age of the band members of Finland’s most promising contemporary newcomer combo. Founded early 2010 in Jyväskylä by thrash/speed metal enthusiast Samy Elbanna, the front man gathered an ensemble of passionate allies around him to establish a band that soon should become known as the most energetic up-and-comers Scandinavia had seen in years — Lost Society!

Crafted under the aegis of famous producer Nino Laurenne (Amorphis, Ensiferum, Lordi) in the prestigious Sonic Pump Studios (Finntroll, Sonata Arctica, Omnium Gatherum), the band’s debut entitled FAST LOUD DEATH will be released via Nuclear Blast on March 15, 2013. Already in the first quarter, this record can doubtlessly be ranked among this year’s best releases of its genre!

The fantastic cover artwork was designed by no less a figure than Ed Repka (Megadeth, Death, Sanctuary, Venom), who has once again created a true masterpiece that perfectly suits Lost Society’s music, as band leader Samy states:

“When we heard that the one and only Ed Repka would be responsible for the album art, we were thrilled, as he created some of the most killer album covers of all times! The result looks absolutely amazing and truly captures the album’s theme — a bus full of crazy people who blew it up big time!”

Maestro Ed Repka himself comments: “This was a lot of work but a fun project, since both the band and the label were great to work with and very receptive to my input. Lost Society’s comical concept of their tour bus leaving a town destroyed was cool, but to make it even more crazy, I added the pop-culture ‘monster in car’ aspect, giving the whole image a distinct, aggressive presence. Another tongue-in-cheek metal masterpiece is born!”

FAST LOUD DEATH will be available as a limited digi-pak, deluxe digital download via iTunes and black vinyl in gatefold, all of them including two bonus tracks. Moreover, a limited digi-pak/T-shirt bundle as well as a limited transparent blue 2LP in gatefold will be exclusively available via the Nuclear Blast mail order! Pre-order your copy now at: http://www.nuclearblast.de/suche/lost_society_fast_loud_death

The track list of all the above named versions reads as follows:

1. N.W.L.
2. Trash All Over You
3. E.A.G.
4. KILL (Those Who Oppose Me)
5. Bitch, Out’ My Way
6. Fast Loud Death
7. Lead Through The Head
8. Diary Of A Thrashman
9. Toxic Avenger
10. This Is Me
11. Braindead Metalhead
12. Piss Out My Ass
13. Fatal Anoxia
Bonus tracks:
14. Escape From Delirium
15. I Stole Your Love (Kiss cover song)

Keep your eyes on Lost Society — this is gonna be HUGE!

Samy Elbanna (Guitar & Vocals)
Arttu Lesonen (Guitar)
Mirko Lehtinen (Bass)
Ossi Paananen (Drums)


*** PRESS RELEASE #20 ***
-New Video For Hion Martell, Crank It Up!


In October last year, the Swedish band Hion Martell released the album ULTIMATE HIGH. It was a bag of candy with the best tracks from the band’s first six releases, mixed with previously unreleased material.

The first track on the album was a remake of the song “High On Martell.” The song was co-produced and mixed by Joachim Nilsson, songwriter, guitarist and singer of the band Angeline ( http://www.angelinetheband.se/ ).

Now there is also a brand new video for the song available on the web. The video was made by Maria Söderholm and Karl Larson. We think that they have managed to capture the band’s good looks, ability to dance and tongue-in-cheek attitude in a good way.

The album ULTIMATE HIGH has got attention primarily from radio and websites from all across Europe.

The song (except for the “signature tune” “High On Martell”) that has received the most attention from radio stations is the country-ish ballad “Peace Of Mind.” It has been played mainly by Dutch radio stations with a focus on roots music.

Hion Martell is currently busy writing songs and recording demos for the follow-up to the 2010 album WILL CURE ANY DISEASE (Viskningar & Vrål/Plugged). Recordings will begin in the spring.

Christer, Håkan, Peter, Stefan & Ulf

A few quotes regarding ULTIMATE HIGH:

“Swedish rockers Hion Martell combines a Grand Funk-esque sound with potent lyrics for a dynamic aural experience.”
(Keys & Chords, website, Belgium)

“And they really are very good at what they do. They’re less raucous and metallic than the likes of Hellacopters and Backyard Babies, instead mixing their rock with pop and even glam, before throwing in some Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater influences.”
(the-rocker, website, England)

“Let’s open another bottle of their preferred exquisite cognac and toast to Christer Nilsson and his band for another 20 years of joy, fun and lots of great music.”
(Roots Time, website, Belgium)

“This is the sh*t if you like good old bands like Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival.”
(Hard Rock Info, website, Sweden)

*** PRESS RELEASE #21 ***
-Punk Legends D.O.A. Say Farewell After 35 Years; Final US Shows Announced

Legendary punk’s D.O.A have travelled the globe almost continuously since they formed in 1978 and released their first snarling piece of vinyl, the DISCO SUCKS EP. That slab of plastic opened the door to international prominence, 14 studio albums and three generations of fans. 2013 marks the band’s 35th and final year as Canada’s godfather of punk Joe Keithley embarks on a political career seeking the New Democratic Party (NDP) nomination in Coquitlam, British Columbia.

Punk and politics are historically linked and D.O.A. have always worn their politics on their sleeves. Their blatant slogan: TALK-ACTION=0 sums it all up. D.O.A. have played benefits for Rape Relief, Anti-Racism, Education, Anti-Globalization, Anti-War, OXFAM, First Nations Rights, Anti-Censorship and environmental causes amongst many others. “I’ve been working on trying to change Canada and this world into a better place from outside the system for the last 35 years,” reflects Keithley, “now I will do my utmost to effect that change from inside the system. That’s why I am running for the only progressive party, the NDP.”

Eastern Canada packed venues in the fall 2012 for final D.O.A. shows and now the final dates have been announced for B.C., Alberta and California. Celebrating 35 years and their 14th studio album WE COME IN PEACE, fans will be treated to 2 hours of D.O.A. songs old and new. Watch for special appearances from many ex-band members at the final Vancouver shows on January 18th and 19th at The Rickshaw.

Don’t miss this final opportunity to catch the legendary band that influenced a ton of bands ranging from The Red Hot Chili Peppers to Green Day to Rancid to The Offspring.


Thursday Jan. 31st – Phoenix Theatre Petaluma, CA
Friday Feb. 1st – The Observatory Santa Ana, CA
Saturday Feb. 2nd – Brick By Brick, San Diego, CA
Sunday Feb. 3rd – Weber’s, Reseda, CA

Wednesday Feb. 20th – Studio Nightclub, Lethbridge, AB
Thursday Feb. 21st – The Vat, Red Deer, AB
Friday Feb. 22 – Pawn Shop, Edmonton, AB
Saturday Feb. 23rd – The Republic, Calgary, AB
Sunday Feb. 24th – Wild Bill’s, Banff, AB

D.O.A. WE COME IN PEACE reviews:

“Always a fiercely political band, D.O.A. have upped the ante here by jumping headfirst into the fray of the messy and chaotic sh*t-storm that is today’s less-than-stable worldwide political environment, tackling the financial crisis, the Occupy movement, shady dealings by top officials, systemic bigotry, and other important issues — both those that have been ripped from the headlines and those that have been culled from buried stories and the underground press.” – The Impaler

“It is one of their best in the past 10 years, which is no mean feat. If you are going to sample some good old-fashioned punk, this is the best album in the genre in 2012.” – Jeff Lowe, Amp Magazine

“When it comes to hardcore, few bands have stood the test of time as well as D.O.A. have. They’ve managed to remain politically relevant in an age where other bands have lost their edge and their venom. It would not be a D.O.A album if it were not a narrative on the current affairs in the world. ‘He’s Got A Gun’ throws a catchy, old-school vibe to back up lyrics that concern school shootings” – WRUV Reviews

Contact D.O.A. and Sudden Death Records

Joe Keithley is on Twitter! Follow Joe and the D.O.A. gang on twitter: @DOAJoe
If you have questions or tour/concert suggestions, contact Sudden Death, D.O.A.
on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DOAPUNK on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/doapunk or by email at: info@suddendeath.com

*** PRESS RELEASE #22 ***
-Evil Army Streams New Track On InvisibleOranges.com

Today, Evil Army streams the title track of their brand new I, COMMANDER 7″ EP at heavily trafficked web-portal InvisibleOranges.com. Released this week by Hells Headbangers, Evil Army’s I, COMMANDER 7″ EP is the cult thrash band’s first new recordings in four years. Track listing and cover follow below, and “I, Commander” can be heard in its entirety here:


After four years of missing in action, Evil Army returns to continue their mission of exterminating all the day-glo “party thrash” posers with their new 7″ — the fittingly titled I, COMMANDER! Ripping and filthy, thrashing like maniacs, Evil Army proves who’s in charge here… showing no mercy, only piranhas and evil invaders need apply! Mandatory for maniacs of the Teutonic thrash trinity (Sodom, Kreator, Destruction) as well as old Exodus and Razor! Mastered by Joel Grind of Toxic Holocaust.

Track listing for Evil Army’s I, COMMANDER 7″ EP
1) I, Commander
2) Ashes Of The Nuclear Fire
3) I Must Destory You


Hells Headbangers
“When you need metal, go to hell!”

by Tim Wadzinski

-Interview w/ Ben Jackson
January 10, 2013

It’s no secret I have been a huge Crimson Glory fan ever since I heard TRANSCENDENCE back in 1989. In my opinion it is one of the very few perfect heavy metal albums and immediately established me as a lifelong fan of the band and its members: vocalist Midnight (R.I.P.), guitarists Jon Drenning and Ben Jackson, bassist Jeff Lords, and drummer Dana Burnell. Jackson and Burnell left the group before STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL, its 1991 major-label debut that detoured into, uh, we’ll say “new sonic landscapes…” They resurfaced in Parish, a cool metal band that seemed to vanish immediately after releasing its strong 1995 debut, ENVISION. Jackson rejoined a new-look Crimson Glory — minus the legendary Midnight and Burnell, replaced by Wade Black and a drum machine, respectively — for 1999’s ASTRONOMICA. He made his solo debut with HERE I COME in 2001, and followed it up with the Ben Jackson Group’s ALL OVER YOU in 2005. Crimson Glory is active again, touring and possibly working on new music, with Burnell back in the fold and new singer Todd La Torre — who also joined Queensryche last year — behind the mic. On the solo front, the Ben Jackson Group has morphed into Avenging Benji, and is on the verge of releasing a new album called GOLD & DRAGONS that’s been in the can for a few years. Mr. Jackson is a busy man…

DETRITUS: I have your previous solo albums but I understand now the project is going by a different name. Why the change from Ben Jackson Group to Avenging Benji?

BEN JACKSON: Well you know, I added a couple members with each album I did. The first Ben Jackson CD was just mostly me and a friend of mine who does drums, named Rich Tabor — he played in Parish with me. That was just kind of a studio project where he did drums and I did just about everything else — bass, guitar, and vocals — with a couple of guests on a song or two. Then the next album we called Ben Jackson Group because a couple of extra people came in — my guitar player Mark Borgmeyer, singer Rose Sexton, bass player Dano Binz. Then on this third CD it’s just still turned into more of a group project than a solo project, so I wanted to give it more of a band name. That’s where Avenging Benji came in.

D: When did the name officially change? It’s been a little bit, right?

BJ: Yeah, it’s been a couple years since I decided to go with the name Avenging Benji.

D: What’s the status of the album GOLD & DRAGONS? Is it done and just waiting to come out?

BJ: Yeah, it’s done. We printed it on our own, recorded and produced it on our own. Right now we’re just seeking some distribution deals so we can get it out there where people can buy it. We’re sitting right now on a bunch of boxes of them. I have some contacts with some labels, some friends of mine. It’s fairly easy to get a distribution deal when you have a product that’s already in print. It shouldn’t be a big deal or take too much longer.

D: I see you’ve gradually posted a handful of songs on the Facebook page. Are you going to keep doing that, or is this enough and now you’re going to make us all wait for the album? (laughs)

BJ: We’re probably going to keep doing that. It seems pretty common these days that every new album that comes out pretty much winds up on YouTube very quickly. You know, any means of promotion is good, I think. If people really want the album, and they want a physical copy, then they’ll want to purchase it, even if they heard it all on YouTube. We’re just going to keep putting out a song maybe once every week or two, and putting up new uploads to YouTube, and that way we’re just hoping to promote the album and gain interest in it.

D: Right before you called I was checking out the cover of Steely Dan’s “Black Friday” on YouTube. Are you considering that an official video clip or was that just something for fun? Is that a single?

BJ: Ah, I mean, it’s kind of a homegrown video. We did it here, you know, right in our rehearsal room. And a friend of ours, it was kind of his first go at making a music video. He’s a pretty talented guy with his camera. He wanted to do it as a hobby and a project so we all did it together. That’s the first official video from Avenging Benji but I’m sure there’ll be more, and more high-quality things coming out there to follow.

D: Is it the only cover song on the album?

BJ: Yeah, everything else is original.

D: I know you’ve had the solo projects out for a number of years now. Does any of the GOLD & DRAGONS material date back to prior eras or is it all fresh new stuff?

BJ: It’s all pretty fresh, within the last couple years. We wrote all the songs, and kind of got in the studio and recorded them as we were writing them. So nothing’s too far dated back, as far as compositions. They’re all within the last couple years.

D: How do writing and recording go? Are you a dictator, or is it truly a band? Or is it somewhere in between?

AB: (laughs) No, I’m not at all a dictator. This is really a band project. You know I do bring a lot of ideas in — sometimes a theme for a song, or an idea or a title or a chorus — and then I get together with Mark Borgmeyer and the other guys, Rich Tabor, and we put things together as a group. Actually Dana Burnell from Crimson Glory is the drummer of present. He played on a couple of songs on the new CD, and he’ll be taking over as drummer on the following album, too.

D: You know, I was going to ask about that… It seems like he’s — if this is the right way to say it — “drifted in and out” of your projects over the years. So for this new one, Rich played on the majority of the album and Dana played on a couple songs, but now he’s considered the full-time drummer?

BJ: Yeah.

D: I also see one of the new songs has Jeff Lords and Wade Black guesting, too — is that right?

BJ: Yeah, Wade Black is a guest on one song called “I Stand,” which also features Dana on drums and Jeff Lords on bass. Dana also played drums on “Black Friday,” and Jeff Lords played bass on three songs total on the CD. The liner notes in the CD kind of explain who played on what. Even though the main lineup is me and Dana and Mark Borgmeyer, we’ve had some other guest people do bit parts on the album, kind of doing things. We had a couple of female vocalists, Rose Sexton and Emily Munger. Jeff Lords played bass on three songs and then I did the bass on the others. At present we have a bass player named John Beach who’s playing with us.

D: How did you first hit upon the idea to have a female singer? I know Rose was prominently featured on ALL OVER YOU. It adds a certain extra dimension.

BJ: Yeah, well, on the first Ben Jackson CD there weren’t any female vocals. But on the second one the bass player that was playing with us at the time, his name was Dano Binz — he goes back to the high school days with me and Dana — Rose is actually his stepdaughter. She was coming out, hanging around some of the rehearsals and one day I said, “Hey why don’t you sing with me on this song, and harmonize?” We tried a few things and she kind of had a nice little blend and we went ahead and just kind of added her in the band as a member, as a vocalist. We kind of liked where that was going — me and Mark Borgmeyer liked the addition of Rose — but unfortunately about halfway through the GOLD & DRAGONS CD she started making a family, and she got pregnant, and she wasn’t able to continue with the band. So we brought in another girl, Emily Munger, and she sang on the tracks Rose hadn’t completed. Then shortly after that she started a family and had a baby, so she had to quit the band. (laughs) So, at present neither girl is with us but both of them contributed to GOLD & DRAGONS.

D: Then also, I saw online somewhere another name — Gina Ison?

BJ: Yeah, Gina Ison has been singing with us for the last year or so, she kind of filled in the vacancy left by Rose and Emily.

D: Sounds like you are satisfied with the lineup then. Are there plans to do any full-scale touring? Or is it all regional? How will that unfold?

BJ: We are going to try to plan a tour. Right now we’ve done some local shows, some on and off things around our area. When we get the album out and distributed around Europe, we’re going see if we can put together something over there. Maybe a little three-week tour where we go over and play some of the areas where Crimson Glory has always had some strong popularity, like Holland and Germany. We’ve been over there like four times in the last two years with Crimson Glory and we still have quite a following over there. So I thought I’d try to get Avenging Benji over there and see if we could turn the people on to this band as well.

D: How do you expect the physical CD to be available, through the band or retailers, etc.?

BJ: Yeah, through retailers and as well, obviously, online. Whatever label we end up getting this distribution deal with, you know, they’ll probably flood some out to some of the metal shops around the world, and in Europe. They’ll also be available as online ordering. I’m sure it’ll be able to be picked up at Amazon or iTunes or anything like that. Or just get hold of the label directly and order a physical copy.

D: Okay, I have to ask this. Time for a fanboy moment… Crimson Glory has been a favorite band of mine, and my buddies, forever — definitely a “cult classic band” type of thing. And I’m guessing you have a rabid fan base that eats up anything that you release. So I’m wondering how conscious of that are you? I know this is not Crimson Glory — it’s Avenging Benji, it’s different — but do you feel like you need to do certain things to appeal to those fans? Or do you get that completely out of your head and just write whatever comes to mind?

BJ: Yeah, I really do, I just put that out of my head. When I’m doing this project, I just try to go from my heart and soul and just write songs that please me. And you know, it still reflects some of my Crimson Glory stylings and influences, but I don’t really want to try to make it a carbon copy of Crimson Glory, or try to write specifically to please the Crimson Glory fans. I just want to be myself and, you know, hopefully people will enjoy it for what it is.

D: Can you give a quick update on Crimson Glory? Of course I’m not in a band, but I’m thinking it must be challenging to finally get settled on a new singer, and then have him join another band.

BJ: Yeah, I mean, it’s just one of things that came up. We’re happy for Todd as far as his opportunity. We pulled him into Crimson Glory after we did this ProgPower festival a couple of years ago, where we brought a whole lot of singers in to tribute Midnight, right after he passed away [in 2009]. Todd was one of about 15 singers that sang with us that night. We decided to give him the role of the new singer. Then we went over to Europe and did a 25th anniversary tour that was celebrating the 25th anniversary of our first CD [1986’s CRIMSON GLORY]. We ended up going over there four different times in the last two years, with Todd, and he’s very well received as the new singer of Crimson Glory.

Crazy as it turned out, he met Michael Wilton of Queensryche out at the NAMM festival a couple of years ago in L.A., and they got to talking. I guess Queensryche was having some of their own personnel problems with Geoff [Tate], and they kind of asked Todd to join their band. So we really can’t hold that against him. It’s a good opportunity, and he’s doing it. As it stands he said he wants to do both projects. Queensryche hasn’t asked him to pull away from Crimson Glory, and they give him their blessing to keep singing with us, too. I guess we’re going to see what happens.

D: There was at least one new Crimson Glory song called “Garden Of Shadows” floating around online last September…

BJ: Yeah.

D: …so I think that gave everyone hope something was coming. Is there any news?

BJ: Well, I do think something will come. We’re moving a little slow right now with the writing. But Crimson Glory has never been a band to try to rush out a studio album. We really want each album that we put out to be something special. We’ve had more than a 25-year career but there’s only really four CDs to the band’s discography. It would be nice if there were a few more. (laughs) As it turns out that’s the way it’s gone for us. We don’t really rush things. But there is another album in the works. There are variables factoring in to why it is taking so long, and one of the reasons is Todd has gone, and he’s working with Queensryche, and they’re busy. Meanwhile we have collaborated on some songs together here in Florida. I guess time will tell whether or not we actually do this next record with Todd, or we may even use somebody else. We’ll have to see how the cards fall, I guess.

D: Wow, okay. Is it still a situation where you guys are relatively close together, so it could be an old-school arrangement where you can actually get together and work on music as a group? Or is it the modern way where you send MP3s back and forth, and hash things out that way?

BJ: No, we all actually live very close to each other here in Sarasota. Everybody has busy things going on in their lives. Jon Drenning has a new baby, and some of us have various occupations. I have a new wife; we all have lives, you know? So we don’t have the availability to just get together like we did when we were all 18. (laughs) But we try to make time for each other and we all do live really close to each other, so when we do get together and write it is much on the old-school fashion. We’ll just get together out at our rehearsal room and we’ll play music together, and toss ideas at each other, and we write right there in a live setting. We’re not really just sending ideas back and forth through the Internet. I know some people do that; it works but it’s not really our method.

D: I have a young daughter myself, and right before this she asked, “What rock star are you interviewing?” So I gave her some background and she raised an interesting question I now have to ask you. (laughs) I told her about how Crimson Glory wore masks and the singer was named “Midnight,” and she wanted to know everyone else’s stage names. As far as I understood, the rest of you guys never had stage names. In the same way like Kiss had its “characters,” was there ever an idea for the whole band to have stage names, or was it just for Midnight?

BJ: To be honest, yeah, when we were really young and I was starting the band and all of us were in our late teens we considered that. At the time we were looking at Motley Crue had their second album out, SHOUT AT THE DEVIL — one day we were sitting around looking at it and we said, “Hey maybe when we launch this band we should all come up with cool rock stage names like they have.” (laughs) Like obviously none of those guys are using their real names, you know? We kind of tossed that idea around but then we didn’t do it. We just all said, “Ah, the heck with it. Let’s just be ourselves.” Ben Jackson is my real name. Dana Burnell is his real name. Jon Drenning is his real name. The only one I think in the band, well I know, is Jeff Lords — “Lords” isn’t really his last name; his original last name is Matthews. He just decided he would go with sort of a stage name.

But you know, even Midnight, he didn’t really just come up with that name just so he could be the front man and personality of Crimson Glory. It’s kind of cute, I mean, when Midnight was a teenager in high school me and Dana — we all went to high school with Midnight when we were all like 15, 16 years old — and everybody used to call him “Midnight” even when he was, like, 16 years old. It was just kind of like his nickname. It wasn’t until three years after we all met in high school that he ended up joining the band that Dana and I had started, which eventually turned into Crimson Glory. He went by the name Midnight all his life. And it wasn’t just like a professional name — that’s what all his friends called him, even when he was a teenager. They all called him “Midnight” or “Mid.”

But no, I mean, we never really thought about coming up with — or never decided to, anyway — to use stage names like the Kiss guys did or the Motley Crue guys did.

D: You mentioned Parish earlier. ENVISION is another cult classic album. One of the guys here at Detritus wanted me to ask if we’ve heard the last of Parish?

BJ: Yeah I think you have. (laughs)

D: He may have been holding out hope for some long-lost demos or live stuff.

BJ: Uh, there might be a couple of songs demo’d from back in the day that didn’t make it to the record, but I don’t know if we’ll ever really put those out there. The band did one album together and we’re pretty proud of it to this day. I think it’s a really strong record; the writing was good, the production was good. For some reason, shortly after the album came out a couple of the members just kind of drifted away. They kind of grew out of it and got into college and careers and things like that, and just kind of moved away from it. Those guys are John David the singer and David Edward the guitar player. Neither one of them are really pursuing a music career, or a recording career. I think they might both dabble around with music as hobbies but they kind of steered out of the music business. I didn’t see any reason to keep the band going at that point, calling it Parish. Because right after the album came out — or actually during the making of the record — Dana Burnell kind of retired from music for several years. He was the drummer as we started the record and were writing the songs; he played on four of the songs. And then he kind of decided — he had some young children at home — and he just wanted to get out of the music business and just raise his kids, which is respectable and I thought that was great. So we brought in Rich Tabor and he played on the songs that Dana had left undone, six additional tracks. So actually both of those drummers appear on ENVISION, as well as them both of appearing on GOLD & DRAGONS. Like I say, after the singer and the lead guitar player of Parish kind of pulled away I just didn’t really want to continue the band. At that time I was writing some new material and singing my songs myself for the first time. The things I was writing, I really wanted to have a go at singing. So that’s when I just decided to call it Ben Jackson or Ben Jackson Group, and go in a solo direction. So I think you’ve heard the last of Parish, to answer that question. (laughs)

D: Looking back — I’m looking at your discography here — with the three Crimson Glory albums you played on, plus the Parish record and now three newer albums, that’s a good-sized body of work. What do you play live? How do you go about coming up with a set list now, as Avenging Benji?

BJ: When Avenging Benji plays out we usually play, you know, select tracks from all three of these solo albums. There are a couple songs from the first one that we enjoy; we like to play the title track, “Here I Come,” another track “The Bomb,” “Feel Me” — those are usually staples in our set. Then we do a bunch of songs from the second CD, ALL OVER YOU; we really enjoy playing “Mean Machine,” “Turn It On,” “Ghost In The Mirror,” “Break It,” “Heavy On My Mind.” Then we do a lot of stuff from the new CD. And we even have a couple new songs that we’ve written that haven’t been recorded yet — we sometimes throw those in live. We usually do “Black Friday.” Over the years, every now and then, we’ll even maybe do a Crimson Glory song when Avenging Benji is out live. It’s not something we always do but we have done it.

D: Sounds great! Thanks for taking the time to speak to us.

-Be sure to keep an eye on Avenging Benji’s Facebook fan page for news on the imminent release of GOLD & DRAGONS, as well as links to check out the new tracks “Gold & Dragons,” “I Stand,” “Again & Again,” “Tired,” and “Black Friday.”

Relevant links:

Avenging Benji

Ben Jackson

Crimson Glory

-Author Edward Banchs is writing a book about heavy metal in Africa. While recently doing research there he spent time with the bands Juggernaught and Facing The Gallows. Check out “his experiences on the road along with a background on the metal scene in Africa and some bands to check out” at http://glclk.about.com/?zi=1/IU1N .

-Black Sabbath will release the Rick Rubin-produced 13 — the first studio album with Ozzy Osbourne since 1978’s NEVER SAY DIE! — in June. Joining Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, and bassist Geezer Butler on the record is drummer Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine).

-Interesting tweet last week from @OfficialRJDio: “We will be announcing very soon all of the details on a new MAGICA related release that will be coming out this April! \m/ Dio Fans!!” Also, a 30th-anniversary re-master of HOLY DIVER looks to be on the way.

-Check out a funny Capital One mobile app commercial featuring DragonForce guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman at http://youtu.be/DIKNjAMfmQk .

-A teaser for power-thrash band Edge Of Attack’s new video for “In Hell” is online now at http://youtu.be/yIU9giaRHwA . The band’s self-titled debut is due out February 19 through Spread The Metal Records ( http://www.spreadthemetal.com/ ). The full video for first single “Forever” is online at http://youtu.be/yL1diclz8tM . See http://www.EdgeofAttack.com/ , https://www.facebook.com/edgeofattackofficial , and http://twitter.com/EdgeOfAttack for more.

-Kiss is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month; Ace Frehley joined Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, and Peter Criss in January of 1973, and the band’s first show was January 30 at Popcorn in Queens, NY. The band is asking fans to submit their stories, memories, and thoughts about 40 years with Kiss at http://www.kissonline.com/letters/send/ .

-Guitarist Bill Leverty (FireHouse, solo) has a free, official new iPhone/Android app. Hype: “Download the official App and carry all of Bill’s latest songs, videos, news, pics and more with you everywhere! You’ll be the first to know about tour dates, promotions, releases, and other exclusive content.” It also includes exclusive content, a “fan wall,” and the capability to upload concert photos. Check it out at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/levertymusic/id590939838?mt=8&wdId=32800 .

-M.I.C.’s (Made In China) new video for “What You Mean To Me,” from 5TH AVENUE, is online now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-S7GVsIOeI&feature=youtu.be . The album is out now. See http://www.yvonserre.com/mic , http://www.myspace.com/madeinchine , http://www.facebook.com/pages/MIC-Made-in-China/283352921693876 , and http://www.reverbnation.com/madeinchine for more.

-Jason Newsted (Metallica, Flotsam And Jetsam, Voivod) has a new band called, simply, Newsted. Rounding out the lineup are guitarist Jessie Farnsworth and drummer Jesus Mendez Jr. A new four-song EP called METAL is available through iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/metal-ep/id586448459 .

-The first single from Pretty Maids’ upcoming MOTHERLAND, “Mother Of All Lies,” can be pre-ordered now at iTunes and Amazon now. Check out http://www.prettymaids.dk/ for more, including a five-part “EPICsode” of behind-the-scenes footage.

-Former Shotgun Messiah members Zinny J. Zan (vocals) and Stixx (drums) have teamed up with guitarists Chris Laney (Zan Clan) and Rob Marcello (Danger Danger, Iron Horse) as Shotgun, and plan to tour this spring. Sleazeroxx.com reported Zan and Stixx reunited to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Shotgun Messiah’s self-titled debut, and this new band will be playing that new album in its entirety, along with “a few songs” from its 1991 follow-up SECOND COMING. Laney and Marcello are also working together in Laneys Legion.

-Sum 41 is on the road as follows:

US Tour Dates – DOES THIS LOOK INFECTED? 10th Anniversary Tour
1/15 – Ace Of Spades, Sacramento, CA
1/16 – Knitting Factory, Reno, NV
1/18 – Roseland Theatre, Portland, OR
1/19 – The Showbox, Seattle, WA
1/21 – Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
1/23 – Knitting Factory, Boise, ID
1/25 – The Depot, Salt Lake City, UT
1/26 – Gothic Theatre, Englewood, CO
1/28 – Granada Theater, Lawrence, KS
1/29 – Pop’s, Sauget, IL
1/30 – George’s Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville, AR
2/1 – Warehouse Live, Houston, TX
2/2 – Trees, Dallas, TX

International Tour Dates
2/23 – Soundwave Festival, Brisbane, Australia
2/24 – Soundwave Festival, Sydney, Australia
2/26 – UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney, Australia
2/28 – The Palace Theatre, Melbourne, Australia
3/1 – Soundwave Festival, Melbourne, Australia
3/2 – Soundwave Festival, Adelaide, Australia
3/4 – Soundwave Festival, Perth, Australia
3/6 – Centerpoint Studio 1, Bangkok, Thailand
3/8 – Mall Of Asia Arena, Manila, Philippines

Canadian Tour Dates – Dead Silence Tour w/ Billy Talent
3/14 – Pacific Coliseum, Hastings Park, BC
3/16 – Interior Savings Centre, Kamloops, BC
3/18 – Encana Events Centre, Dawson Creek, BC
3/19 – Enmax Centrium Arena, Red Deer, AB
3/20 – Stampede Corral, Calgary, AB
3/22 – Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, AB
3/25 – Mosaic Place, Moose Jaw, SK
3/26 – Credit Union Centre, Saskatoon SK
3/28 – MTS Centre, Winnipeg, MB
4/3 – Budweiser Gardens, London, ON
4/5 – Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
4/6 – Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, Kitchener, ON
4/8 – Sudbury Arena, Sudbury, ON
4/9 – K-Rock Center, Kingston, ON
4/11 – Colisee Pepsi Arena, Quebec City, QC
4/12 – Scotiabank Place, Ottawa, ON
4/13 – Bell Centre, Montreal, QC
4/15 – The Centre At Casino New Brunswick, Moncton, AB
4/16 – Cunard Events Center, Halifax, NS

The band also has new webstores at http://www.sum41.com/store# (US) and http://sum-41.mamstore.co.uk/ (UK) . See http://www.sum41.com/ for more.

-Check out a “Retro Recommendation” feature on Trauma’s 1984 debut SCRATCH AND SCREAM at http://glclk.about.com/?zi=1/IU1Q . You may remember Trauma as Cliff Burton’s pre-Metallica band. He did not appear on SCRATCH AND SCREAM, but there is some 1982 live footage with Burton at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c74jTr-DIgM .

-The next round of U.D.O. “anniversary edition” reissues is due out February 15, and includes ANIMAL HOUSE (1987), MEAN MACHINE (1988), FACELESS WORLD (1990), and TIMEBOMB (1991). Track lists are as follows… ANIMAL HOUSE: “Animal House,” “Go Back To Hell,” “They Want War,” “Black Widow,” “In The Darkness,” “Lay Down The Law,” “We Want It Loud,” “Hot Tonight,” “Warrior,” “Coming Home,” “Run For Cover;” bonus tracks: “Animal House” (live), “They Want War” (live), “In The Darkness” (live), “They Want War” (video), “Go Back To Hell” (video). MEAN MACHINE: “Don’t Look Back,” “Break The Rules,” “We’re History,” “Painted Love,” “Mean Machine,” “Dirty Boys,” “Streets On Fire,” “Lost Passion,” “Sweet Little Child,” “Catch My Fall,” “Still In Love With You;” bonus tracks: “Break The Rules” (live), “Break The Rules” (video). FACELESS WORLD: “Heart Of Gold,” “Blitz Of Lightning,” “System Of Life,” “Faceless World,” “Stranger,” “Restricted Area,” “Living On A Frontline,” “Trip To Nowhere,” “Born To Run,” “Can’t Get Enough,” “Unspoken Words,” “Future Land;” bonus tracks: “Living On A Frontline” (live),” “Heart Of Gold” (live), “Heart Of Gold” (video). TIMEBOMB: “The Gutter,” “Metal Eater,” “Thunderforce,” “Overloaded,” “Burning Heat,” “Back In Pain,” “Timebomb,” “Powersquad,” “Kick In The Face,” “Soldiers Of Darkness,” “Metal Maniac Master Mind;” bonus tracks: “Metal Eater” (live), Album-EPK (Video). See http://www.udo-online.de/ and http://www.facebook.com/udoonline for more.

-A sample of W.E.T.’s new single “Love Heals” is available at http://youtu.be/wkZvKOkGzXw%20 . The single is due out January 21, and the album its from — RISE UP — is due out through Frontiers Records February 22 in Europe and February 26 in North America.

-Check out a story on guitarist Dick Wagner’s (Alice Cooper) struggles with a stroke, a heart attack, and normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) — and how he’s now doing well and touring again — at http://news.yahoo.com/rock-star-curable-dementia-nearly-loses-career-005311950–abc-news-health.html .

-The Z Records webstore has a 20% off sale running through January 21 at http://www.z-records.com/ .

Thanks to David Souza at AceFrehley.com, Chad Bowar, Dan Marsicano, Susan Donaldson James, Nicky Baldrian, Jon Asher, Eric Helgeson, and Roscoe for help gathering some of this information.

*** REVIEWS ***
CD 1: 15 tracks, RT: 1:06:00
CD 2: 13 tracks, RT: 1:00:00
DVD: RT: 2:20:00
Blu-ray: RT: 2:20:00
[ http://www.imotorhead.com/ ]
[ http://www.motorhead.udr-music.com/ ]
[ http://www.facebook.com/OfficialMotorhead ]
[ http://www.udr-music.com/ ]
I guess for many the classic lineup of Lemmy, “Fast” Eddie Clark and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor will always be definitive, but it’s edifying (and a bit sobering) to realize that Lemmy’s current sidemen, guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee, have been with him for 28 and 20 years, respectively, demonstrating themselves to be at least the equal of any past incarnation. Case in point is the characteristically over-the-top performances on Motorhead’s new live release THE WORLD IS OURS – VOL. 2: ANYPLACE CRAZY AS ANYWHERE ELSE. Now Motorhead have released plenty of live albums throughout the years and if you have THE WORLD IS OURS – VOL. 1 it’s debatable if you really have to have this one, but for hardcore Motorhead fans it’s a great package. Culled from 2011 performances at Wacken, Rock In Rio and Sonisphere, what you get is exactly what you would expect — loud, raw, intense heavy rock as only Motorhead can play it. Sure, we’re not talking virtuoso exploits or extravagant stage design here but nobody goes to see Motorhead for that anyway, so there you go. The DVD and Blu-ray look great even if there are few surprises (watch for the fire-breathing girls though!), and the sound is suitably mixed for maximum metal effect, bringing to life vintage tracks such as “Metropolis,” “Iron Fist,” “Killed By Death” and “The Chase Is Better Than The Catch” along with newer barnstormers “I Know How To Die” and “In The Name Of Tragedy.” Subtlety is something Motorhead has never been accused of, and THE WORLD IS OURS – VOL. 2 won’t change that; crank it up, it will still kill your lawn!
– Neal Woodall (MysticX9@gmail.com)

*** OUT ***

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