Home > Music > Detritus #673: Iron Maiden, Gamma Ray, Symphony X

Detritus #673: Iron Maiden, Gamma Ray, Symphony X

Issue #673
Week of June 22, 2015

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-I recently ordered the newies from Armored Saint, Helloween, and Visigoth on CD from BestBuy.com. The box arrived earlier than I expected, so cool, but when I tore it open I found inside… a bunch of baby books and packing slip from Barnes & Noble. I called Best Buy and got my order fixed, but I can’t help but think some poor Grandma in Ohio wrapped up a bunch of metal CDs as her baby shower gift… – Tim

*** PRESS RELEASE #1 ***
-Iron Maiden’s THE BOOK OF SOULS Coming September 4

[Note: This is from https://www.facebook.com/ironmaiden/ . – Tim]

Iron Maiden’s eagerly awaited new studio album THE BOOK OF SOULS will be released globally on 4th September through Parlophone Records (BMG in the U.S.A.). It was recorded in Paris with their longstanding producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley in late 2014, with the finishing touches added earlier this year. However, the band decided to delay its release so that vocalist Bruce Dickinson, who was recently given the all-clear from a tumor, would have time to recuperate sufficiently to join in the preparations for the album’s launch.

The stunning cover art was created by Mark Wilkinson who has worked with the band previously, and because this 11 track album has a total running time of 92 minutes, it is Iron Maiden’s first ever double studio album. There’s a broader split on the song-writing compared to previous Maiden records, with bassist and founder member Steve Harris contributing to seven of the tracks; six of them with Maiden’s guitarists and one sole composition. This is also the first time since 1984’s POWERSLAVE that an Iron Maiden studio album also features two tracks written solely by Bruce Dickinson, one of which is the longest song Maiden has ever recorded! And also two Dickinson/Smith collaborations.

Steve comments,

“We approached this album in a different way to how we’ve recorded previously. A lot of the songs were actually written while we were there in the studio and we rehearsed and recorded them straight away while they were still fresh, and I think that immediacy really shows in the songs, they have almost a live feel to them I think. I’m very proud of THE BOOK OF SOULS, we all are, and we can’t wait for our fans to hear it, and especially to take it out on the road next year!”

Bruce continues,

“We’re really excited about THE BOOK OF SOULS and had a fantastic time creating it. We started working on the album in late summer 2014 and recorded it at Guillame Tell Studios in Paris, where we’d done the BRAVE NEW WORLD album back in 2000 so the studio holds special memories for all of us. We were delighted to discover the same magical vibe is still alive and very much kicking there! So we immediately felt at home and the ideas just started flowing. By the time we’d finished we all agreed that each track was such an integral part of the whole body of work that if it needed to be a double album, then double its going to be!”

The full track listing is:

Disc 1
1. If Eternity Should Fail (Dickinson) 8:28
2. Speed Of Light (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:01
3. The Great Unknown (Smith/ Harris) 6:37
4. The Red And The Black (Harris) 13:33
5. When The River Runs Deep (Smith/ Harris) 5:52
6. The Book Of Souls (Gers/ Harris) 10:27

Disc 2
7. Death Or Glory (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:13
8. Shadows Of The Valley (Gers/ Harris) 7:32
9. Tears Of A Clown (Smith/ Harris) 4:59
10. The Man Of Sorrows (Murray/ Harris) 6:28
11. Empire Of The Clouds (Dickinson) 18:01

2CD deluxe hardbound book limited edition
2CD standard edition
Triple heavyweight black vinyl
High res audio (24-bit Mastered for iTunes and non-Mastered for iTunes)
Standard res audio (16 bit/ 44.1 kHz)

THE BOOK OF SOULS is the band’s 16th studio album since their eponymous debut in 1980 charted at #4 in the UK, in a career achieving sales of over 90 million albums worldwide. Their previous album, 2010’s THE FINAL FRONTIER was Maiden’s most successful chart-wise to date, reaching Number One in 28 countries and was their highest chart debut in the US reaching #4 in the Billboard 200.

Due to Bruce’s illness the band had to delay touring plans but promise to be out on the road again early next year, giving time for Bruce to make a full physical recovery to be ready for the rigors of Maiden live performances.


*** PRESS RELEASE #2 ***
-Savatage’s RETURN TO WACKEN To Be Released On June 19, 2015

[Note: This is another older press release that came out during our hiatus. Just giving it a bump here. – Tim]

Finally! The wait has come to an end! The reunion of one of the world’s greatest progressive metal bands, anxiously awaited by fans, has moved within reach. Now, in 2015, for the first time in over a decade, Savatage will return to the stage as part of a big live celebration at the Wacken Open Air. To celebrate the reunion performance, Savatage and earMUSIC releases the ultimate RETURN TO WACKEN on June 19, 2015 through earMUSIC. A selection of classic studio songs, that the band played live at Wacken in their now two historical shows at the world-famous Festival.

Founded in 1981 in Tampa, Florida, by brothers Jon and Criss Oliva, Savatage quickly got noticed for their powerful metal albums. Soon after they paired with producer / co-writer Paul O’Neill, their progressive metal sound became defined by emphatic orchestrations and a strong melodic component, paired with catchy melodies and complex arrangements. The band did not only extend their artistic range album after album, but also the general borders of the heavy rock genre itself. By doing this, they reached a huge number of followers worldwide and their albums often occupied the highest positions in the charts all over the world. In 2007, the year of the band’s 25th anniversary, Jon Oliva announced the final split up of the band.

RETURN TO WACKEN is based on the set lists of these memorable performances at Wacken Open Air 1998 and 2002 and it celebrates the return to the stage of one of the world’s greatest progressive metal bands with each and every song. Besides Savatage’s greatest hits and classics, such as “Hall Of The Mountain King,” “Gutter Ballet,” or “The Wake Of Magellan,” the album booklet gives some real insights into the band with personal memories of Jon Oliva, with rare pictures and press quotes to the two past performances at Wacken Open Air.

Track list:
1. Hall Of The Mountain King
2. Gutter Ballet
3. Believe
4. Chance
5. Edge Of Thorns
6. The Wake Of Magellan
7. Dead Winter Dead
8. The Hourglass
9. Tonight He Grins Again
10. Prelude To Madness
11. When The Crowds Are Gone

Jon Oliva
Zachary Stevens
Chris Caffery
Al Pitrelli
Johnny Lee Middleton
Jeff Plate


*** PRESS RELEASE #3 ***
-Gamma Ray Announce 25th Anniversary Reissue Of Debut Album HEADING FOR TOMORROW

It was with great surprise that in 1988 Kai Hansen decided to leave Helloween: the band he co-founded and that in a very few years reached a very high level of success, ending up influencing and challenging the bands that were once their original inspiration.

Hansen left Helloween just when the band had finally reached international stardom and after having won the appreciation of metal giants such as Iron Maiden who often publicly championed the German band. Hansen, Gamma Ray, and Helloween are now very good friends, often sharing the stage, but in 1987 the divorce was a proper rock and roll acrimonious one: a true shock for the metal scene. The reasons that brought Kai Hansen to leave the band are still the subject of interviews and fan debates, despite listening to the forthcoming reissue of HEADING FOR TOMORROW, 25 years after its original release, it looks very obvious that Kai Hansen destiny was to lead his own band.

HEADING FOR TOMORROW (ANNIVERSARY EDITION) will be released on July 24, 2015 on earMUSIC.

25 years after the official debut, Gamma Ray and earMUSIC have started a monumental work to re-release the entire production by Gamma Ray in deluxe double CDs. The original albums will be re-presented in new shining, re-mastered version on the first disc (with the inclusions of all B-sides) while the second CD will be dedicated to old live recordings, demos digitized for the first time from the original tapes saved by all members of the band, alternative versions, and recent studio and live recordings.

HEADING FOR TOMORROW was initially released as a Kai Hansen solo album. By extracting the LP out of its sleeve, HEADING FOR TOMORROW revealed its “secret intention” (it was still the days of LP, or is it again?) revealing a second cover, introducing Kai’s new baby: Gamma Ray.

After the global critical success of EMPIRE OF THE UNDEAD, Kai Hansen has decided to continue the collaboration with Eike Freese and Alex Dietz (Heaven Shall Burn), the production team. Kai Hansen has spent hundred hours, digitizing and re-mastering hundreds of tapes, alternative versions, and ideas that were so far jealously hidden in Gamma Ray’s private archive.

Adds Hansen: “I am incredibly thankful that after 25 fantastic years of Gamma Ray, I am still standing here, making music and performing on stage. It’s awesome to see that fans from the first days keep on supporting us and that we still make new friends. It’s something you can’t take for granted. After my departure from Helloween, it all could have gone the other way as well. Instead, we continue to make albums and tour the world. That’s close to unbelievable! Working on the first reissue for HEADING FOR TOMORROW brought back so many great memories and Ralf and I dug out some funny stories. Two years ago, our studio, our harbor in Hamburg, burnt down and a lot of memorabilia and original tapes were lost, but we all searched our private archives and managed to find some great rarities and hopefully some highlights for the fans. We are proud to release our little babies in a new style with a brand new cover artwork done by Hervé Monjeaud and a new sound, a fantastic re-mastering done by Eike Freese and Alex Dietz.”

Kai Hansen is today the voice of Gamma Ray but it is important to remember that in the beginning of Gamma Ray’s history Kai had planned to focus on his role of songwriter and guitar player. If the original album still shines also thanks to the vocals of Ralf Scheepers, the second CD offers real treasures for all Gamma Ray fans, like the original demos of songs like “Money,” “Sail on,” “Heaven Can Wait,” or “The Silence” featuring Hansen on vocals.

To celebrate their 25th anniversary in style, Gamma Ray is touring in Europe this autumn.

1. Welcome
2. Lust For Life
3. Heaven Can Wait
4. Space Eater
5. Money
6. The Silence
7. Hold Your Ground
8. Free Time
9. Heading For Tomorrow
10. Look At Yourself
11. Mr. Outlaw (Japanese Bonus Track)
12. Sail On (B-Side from “Heaven Can Wait” EP)
13. Lonesome Stranger (B-Side from “Heaven Can Wait” EP)

1. Who Do You Think You Are
2. Heaven Can Wait (Demo)
3. Money (Demo – Kai on vocals)
4. Sail On (Demo – Kai on vocals)
5. Heading For Tomorrow (Live)
6. Space Eater (Live)
7. The Silence (Demo – Kai on vocals)
8. Mr. Outlaw (Instrumental Version)
9. Heaven Can Wait (Demo – Kai on vocals)
10. Heading For Tomorrow (Karaoke Version)
11. Space Eater (Karaoke Version)
12. Lonesome Stranger (Demo)

with special guest Serious Black

28.10. Wilhelsmhaven – Pumpwerk (GER)
30.10. Hamburg – Markthalle (GER)
31.10. Berlin – C-Club (GER)
01.11. Bochum – Zeche (GER)
03.11. München – Backstage Werk (GER)
07.11. Lucenec – Sports Hall (SK)
08.11. Budapest – Club 202 (HUN)
10.11. Graz – Explosiv (CH)
11.11. Milano – special guest to Scorpions – Mediolanum Forum (ESP)
13.11. Pamplona – Totem (ESP)
14.11. Santiago de Compostela – Capitol
15.11. Porto – Hard Club (PT)
17.11. Lissabon – Paradis Garaje (PT)
18.11. Sevilla – Custom (ESP)
20.11. Murcia – Gamma (ESP)
21.11. Madrid – San Miguel (ESP)
22.11. Barcelona – Razz 1 (ESP)
24.11. Lyon – Ninkasi Kao (FR)
25.11. Pratteln – Z7 (CH)
27.11. Memmingen – Kaminwerk (GER)
04.12. Aschaffenburg – Colos-Saal (GER)
05.12. Paris – Trabendo (FR)
06.12. Vosselaar – Biebob (BEL)
08.12. London – Islington (UK)
09.12. Tilburg – 013 (NL)
11.12. Gothenburg – Musikens Hus (SWE)
12.12. Stockholm – Klubben (SWE)



*** PRESS RELEASE #4 ***
-Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody: New Album PROMETHEUS – SYMPHONIA IGNIS DIVINUS Out Now; Second Album Excerpts Trailer Revealed!

Today, the creators of Cinematic Metal, Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody, release their new cinematic album PROMETHEUS – SYMPHONIA IGNIS DIVINUS via Nuclear Blast Records. As a result of this, the band releases a second album excerpts trailer, which can be watched here:

Order your copy of Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody’s new outstanding record here:


The international press feels impressed about the quality of PROMETHEUS – SYMPHONIA IGNIS DIVINUS:

“More epic than ‘Game of Thrones.’ Luca Turilli is back with his unique cinematic style.”
CLASSIX (I), Lorenzo Becciani

“A gargantuan swing of the symphonic metal pendulum, this is Rhapsody’s grand masterpiece. If music were to be treated like a Hollywood blockbuster, PROMETHEUS would break records at the box office.”
POWERPLAY (UK), Bruce Turnbull

“Still more classic and bombast — it’s not an easy-listening album, but if you capture it, it’s a record for eternity!”
ROCK IT (D), Hartl Grill

“Finally, Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody leave Dragon Metal behind them and walk along the red carpet of Cinematic Metal with an epic and genius swing. From Gollum to parapsychologists — this record delivers a wild mix of spiritual questions and bombastic melodies which merge with the modern and electronic level of 2015!”

“This album crosses any boundary among epic metal, classical music, and movie scores. It’s definitely the most bombastic and cinematic Rhapsody’s release to date.”
ROCK HARD (IT), Emanuele Biani

“Grandeur and multilayered bombast rule more than ever in this masterly blend of power metal and classical music!”
LORDS OF METAL (NL), Vera Matthijssens

“One thing is certain, the only composer on earth who can top Luca Turilli is the man himself… Turilli composes musicscapes beyond comparison. While he will never be held to the unattainable standard of a modern Mozart and Beethoven — the giants who receive 100% critical acclaim whether deserved or not — Luca can easily draw comparisons to modern composers like John Williams, Hans Zimmer, and Jerry Goldsmith.”


*** PRESS RELEASE #5 ***
-Symphony X Releases Digital Single “Without You” + Lyric Video!

To support their upcoming record UNDERWORLD (out on July 24 via Nuclear Blast Records), New Jersey-based kings of Progressive Metal, Symphony X, release a digital single today, called “Without You.” Watch the fitting lyric video here:

Guitarist Michael Romeo comments on it:
“‘Without You’ is a bit mellower than the first single, ‘Nevermore,’ with a big chorus and a sweeping feel. I don’t know if I would call the track a ballad, but it’s a little bit softer, not so much about riff, but more the acoustic and electric interplay. Those two are good single choices, if you will, because they represent what the record is: it’s heavy, but at the same time, there are some of these soaring melodic parts.”

Order the digital single “Without You” here:

Pre-order Symphony X’s new release at http://shop.nuclearblast.com/ .


*** PRESS RELEASE #6 ***
-Lords Of The Trident Release “Knights Of Dragon’s Deep” Official Video

Lords Of The Trident have released a new official video of the song “Knights Of Dragon’s Deep” exclusively on the METAL TO INFINITY webzine (Belgium) which is taken from their recently released album FROSTBURN.

Lead vocalist Fang VonWrathenstein has checked in with the following update:

“You want a music video with fire? Explosions? Battles? Swordplay? Bloodshed? Then you’ve come to the right place. The video follows the story of our first song from 2015’s FROSTBURN. An evil frostwyrm’s magic has covered the lands with ice and death, and the blizzard is starting to encroach on the nearby kingdom. The king sends for the Knights of Dragon’s Deep — a group of legendary dragonslayers. However, the minions of the frostwyrm — including his head sorceress — are already on the hunt for the knights.

“We pitched the idea for this video to the mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, and he thought the idea was so epic, the city itself actually funded the entire production! He just kept throwing stacks of bills at us and screaming ‘A TRIBUTE TO THE LORDS! A TRIBUTE TO THE LORDS!’ True Story.

“This is your first chance to see our latest lead shredder, Baron Taurean Helleshaar, in action! Prepare your face for melting, and bear in mind that by reading this sentence, we cannot be responsible for any plastic surgery costs to put your face back together afterwards.”

Lords of the Trident – “Knights of Dragon’s Deep” video
https://youtu.be/g7Bg2ZxSXug (direct link)

For the latest band news, visit their official website and Facebook page:


*** PRESS RELEASE #7 ***

This landmark film weaves together the full story of the world’s most unique and biggest hard rock festival, featuring dozens of exclusive interviews with musicians, fans and the festival producers.

Wacken Open Air has never simply been a “festival”… it has, for over a quarter of a century, been a lifestyle, event, and community rivaling those seen at the likes of Glastonbury in the UK and Burning Man in the US. As the festival’s founders Thomas Jensen and Holgar Hübner always said, Wacken is about the music and the lifestyle, and it is that noble simplicity of aim that has seen the festival sell out to 85,000 people within hours of the tickets going on sale every year. And now, UDR Records is proud to present a comprehensive view of both the Wacken festival and culture via 25 YEARS LOUDER THAN HELL – THE W:O:A DOCUMENTARY, a film directed by Sara Kelly-Husain and produced by Christine Stephan for Nice Productions.

Utilizing deep, archival footage, live action film and hand-held camera montages, 25 YEARS LOUDER THAN HELL… weaves together the full story of this cultural phenomenon from its humble beginnings in one small village field to the consistently sold-out, 85,000-plus music megacity it has become. Featuring interviews with the likes of Lemmy from Motörhead, Slayer’s Kerry King, Biff Byford of Saxon, and Nergal of Behemoth, 25 YEARS LOUDER THAN HELL… also speaks with fans from across the globe to further explain the enormous cultural phenomenon which Wacken Open Air has grown into.

25 YEARS LOUDER THAN HELL – THE W:O:A DOCUMENTARY will be released at a wallet-loving low price, so as both the hardcore Wacken fan and the curious peruser can take an affordable journey.


o Blu-ray


*** PRESS RELEASE #8 ***
-Melted Space: All-Star Lineup For Sensory Records-Bound French Metal Opera Album Announced + Trailer Posted

Following an announcement marking the signing of Melted Space in March, Sensory Records is now confirming the details for the impending release of THE GREAT LIE, a massively ambitious metal opera project led by French composer Pierre le Pape. A brief trailer for the album has been released, the video listing the full all-star cast of musicians involved in the album, which includes members of Morbid Angel, Mayhem, Dark Tranquillity, Orphaned Land, Shining, Ayreon, Sirenia and many more, in addition to the work of The City of Prague Philarmonic Orchestra!

View the Melted Space trailer:

Melted Space is the creation of French composer Pierre le Pape, who bears a master degree in classical music and movie scores, here creating a modern opera that takes over the classical codes, including numerous characters, scenario, powerful orchestral arrangements and varied ambiances, all set to skilled and catchy songwriting and amazing casting. The new Melted Space album, THE GREAT LIE, features 14 prestigious and unexpected singers, joined by seven talented guest musicians and The City of Prague Philarmonic Orchestra. Together, this cast has created an epic saga as powerful as moving, and by mixing the tradition of the classic opera with infectious heavy metal, THE GREAT LIE promises to set a new milestone in the genre. The full cast of guests on the album includes David Vincent (Morbid Angel), Attila Csihar (Sunn O))), Mayhem), Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), Ailyn Gimenéz (Sirenia), Kobi Fahri (Orphaned Land), Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania), Guillaume Bideau (Mnemic), Niklas Kvarforth (Shining), Sylvain Coudret (Soilwork), Adrien Grousset (Hacride), Christine Rhoades (Jeff Loomis), Manuel Munoz (The Old Dead Tree), Arnaud Strobl (Carnival In Coal), Clémentine Delauney (Visions Of Atlantis), Virginie Goncalves (Kells).

Initiated by pianist and composer Pierre Le Pape, Melted Space stands as the first French metal opera boasting the air of a huge choral fresco, bringing together numerous female and male singers and musicians from the international metal scene. Powerful metal meets the refined essence of movie soundtrack-style movements the band has seduced a wide audience. Melted Space’s music is inspired by traditional symphonic metal but is also rooted in the black and death metal scenes, each coming to play depending on what action that is taking place within the story that Pierre is telling us.

Melted Space began as an instrumental project by Le Pape in 2007, yet under the thumb of his electro-acoustic teacher, he created a universe of its own which can be described as a potential ultimate step in Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” The first record, 2009’s THERE’S A PLACE, was totally self-produced and while it was a completely instrumental album, it laid the foundations of the band’s 2012-releaseed successor, FROM THE PAST, which really pushed the name further. Gathering 26 musicians, renowned female and male singers, FROM THE PAST received rapturous articles and one of the most enthusiastic welcomes. Following this success, Pierre didn’t stop there and started to compose a mini-album entitled BETWEEN, which was released in May 2013 with Season Of Mist and PlasticHead handling French and European distribution. Melted Space had gone further again as Pierre hired two internationally-known singers to interpret his songs: Liv Kristine (Leaves’ Eyes, ex-Theater Of Tragedy) and Ashmedi (Melechesh). Le Pape then hired five talented musicians to go on tour with him as main support act for The Old Dead Tree’s last tour in October 2013, and the motivation since has now resulted in additional tour and festival dates, and now, the most ambitious album from the collective yet, with THE GREAT LIE.

Laser’s Edge division, Sensory Records, will release THE GREAT LIE on October 16, 2015. Stand by for additional samples from the album and more to be issued in the weeks ahead.


*** PRESS RELEASE #9 ***
-Miss Behaviour Working On New Album, New Band Management

Swedish Melodic Rockers Miss Behaviour are working on their fourth yet-untitled album, for a tentative late fall release. The band is now in the studio with producer/songwriter Patrik Magnusson, who previously worked with, Crashdiet, Mick Mars (Mötley Crüe), and Ace Wilder among others.

Miss Behaviour recently signed a management deal with Sun Hill Production (Soto, Jeff Scott Soto, Talisman, ColdSpell, Reach, Night By Night, Degreed) from Sweden.

Miss Behaviour is:

Sebastian Roos – Vocals
Erik Heikne – Guitars
Henrik Sproge – Keyboards
Niclas Lindblom – Bass
Magnus Jacobson – Drums

The story of Miss Behaviour goes back to 2003 when keyboard player Henrik Sproge and guitarist Erik Heikne met. Both had a great passion for ’80s melodic hard rock and AoR, they decided to start the band to express their vision of how a modern rock band, inspired by the great bands of the ’80s should sound.

After the release of the debut album HEART OF MIDWINTER in 2006 they recruited a new lead singer Sebastian Roos, an established singer in Sweden. “Sebastian added a new dimension to the band, he’s extremely skilled and talented with great ambition and a will to leave a mark,” says Erik.

The breakthrough came with the album LAST WOMAN STANDING (2011). In spring 2011 Miss Behaviour competed in Swedish national radio with the song “Till We Meet Again,” making the première live performance with the current lineup in front of 400,000 radio listeners. Late 2011 the album LAST WOMAN STANDING won the Melodic.net “Best AOR album of 2011” readers poll, and got fantastic reviews from magazines such as Classic Rock (UK), Sweden Rock Magazine (SE), and more. UK Magazine Classic Rock picked “Cynthia” as one of the best tracks in 2011, and featured the song on the compilation CLASSIC ROCK BUZZ.

Miss Behaviour toured UK twice in 2011, and the latter finished off with a sold out show at O2 Academy Islington in London. Their third album, DOUBLE AGENT, was released in August 2014 via AOR Haven. Once again the reviews are great — Classic Rock, Sweden Rock Magazine, and Aftonbladet (SE) all praise — and this also earned them a slot on Stockholm Rocks Festival in November 2014.


*** PRESS RELEASE #10 ***
-Z Records News

Veras Studio Update As Florida Gives Seal Of Approval

Florida has given the seal of approval to Veras whom are currently topping the metal chart out there.

Veras are now hard at work on their follow-up to 2014’s NEVER GIVE UP. The new album currently has the working title of BLOW, PUNCH AND STRIKE!

A sneak preview will be available soon!

Keyboard Maestro Joins Legion For Final Album SOLACE

Eric Ragno has joined Legion for their final studio album SOLACE which will be released in November. Eric is currently laying down keyboard parts for the forthcoming release.

Vince O’Regan commented:
“I asked Mark at Z Whom we could get in for the album, he immediately said Eric Ragno he is the man! We’ve not looked back since he is the ultimate professional and has helped enhance the songs to a new level.”

TWITTER @z-records

*** PRESS RELEASE #11 ***
-Tower Of Babel — Current Exorcism, HolyHell, Royal Hunt, & Tainted Nation Members Launch New Band

Singer/producer Csaba Zvekan (Exorcism, Metal Machine, Zvekan), guitarist Joe Stump (Exorcism, HolyHell), drummer Mark Cross (Tainted Nation, ex-Firewind, Helloween), keyboard/Hammond player Maestro Mistheria (Vivaldi Metal Project, Mistheria), and bassist Andreas Passmark (Royal Hunt) have joined forces in a new band called Tower Of Babel.

To keep fans on the edge of their seats, the band released this snippet of a demo they’ve titled “Dragon Slayer:” https://youtu.be/OYQlLO7xaFY

The band was formed by singer/producer Csaba Zvekan (Exorcism, Metal Machine, Zvekan) on vocals and Joe Stump, guitar player of the bands Exorcism & HolyHell, and bass player Craig Gruber, who was known for his work with Rainbow, Elf, Gary Moore, and more.

This led to the idea of making a powerful album, an album with original compositions bringing back the sound and feel of early Rainbow/Dio era with classic and new elements.

Craig Gruber sadly passed away on May 5, 2015 due to a longtime fight with prostate and bone cancer. May you rest in peace — over the rainbow!!!

Powerhouse drummer Mark Cross (Tainted Nation, ex-Firewind, Helloween) was added to the lineup, on keyboards/Hammond, the talented Italian Maestro Mistheria (Vivaldi Metal Project, Mistheria) and Andreas Passmark from Royal Hunt on bass guitar, who gave his final touch to this extraordinary ensemble.

Their first album is in recording progress, but a release date hasn’t been announced yet.


Tower of Babel
“bringing back the sound and feel of early Rainbow/Dio era with classic and new elements”

*** PRESS RELEASE #12 ***
-Ensiferum Announces European Tour In October!

Finnish Metal heroes Ensiferum have announced another European tour for October. This time the band will be conquering Switzerland, France, Spain, and Portugal and perform a total of 13 shows!

13/10/15 CH – Zürich – Komplex
14/10/15 FR – Marseille – Le Moulin
15/10/15 ES – Barcelona – Razzmatazz 2
16/10/15 ES – Granada – El Tren
17/10/15 ES – Sevilla – Sala Custom
18/10/15 ES – Madrid – Sala Caracol
19/10/15 PT – Lisbon – Paradise Garage
20/10/15 PT – Porto – Hard Club
21/10/15 ES – Santiago De Compostela – Sala Capitol
22/10/15 ES – Santander – Escenario Santander
23/10/15 ES – Pamplona – Totem
24/10/15 FR – Limoges – CC John Lennon
25/10/15 FR – Rouen – Le 106

2015 Summer Festivals:
30/07 – 01/08/15 Wacken Open Air – Wacken, DE
06/08 – 08/08/15 Party San Open Air – Schlotheim, DE
08/08/15 Into The Grave Festival – Leeuwarden, NL
09/08/15 Bloodstock Open Air – Walton-On-Trent, GB
10/08/15 Foire au Vin, Colmar, FR
13/08/15 Rockstadt Extremefest – Rasnov, RO
13/08 – 15/08/15 Summer Breeze – Dinkelsbühl, DE

Folk Fest
+ Metsatöll
+ Skyforger
+ Valkenrag
01/10/15 PL – Cracow – Klub Kwadrat
02/10/15 PL – Wroclaw – Alibi
03/10/15 PL – Warsaw – Progresja

Ensiferum’s ONE MAN ARMY debuted at #167 on Billboard’s Top 200 Current Albums Chart, #19 on Billboard’s Hard Music Chart, #36 on Billboard’s Independent Albums Chart, and #9 on Billboard’s Heekseekers Chart. In Canada, ONE MAN ARMY placed at #69 on the Top 200 Current Albums Chart, #13 on the Hard Music Chart, and #126 on the Digital Music Charts.

On the Official Top 100 Charts in Europe, the record earned the coveted #1 slot in Finland, #15 Germany, #37 Austria, and #24 Switzerland. Additionally, Ensiferum’s ONE MAN ARMY has ranked among the top five entries in the iTunes Metal Charts in multiple territories.

Ensiferum’s ONE MAN ARMY is out now via Metal Blade Records. Order yours today at http://www.metalblade.com/ensiferum where you’ll also find the band’s recently debuted “One Man Army” video and companion making-of footage. For iTunes orders, point your browser to http://itunes.apple.com/album/id956849251 .


*** PRESS RELEASE #13 ***
-Diamond Dogs Announce QUITTERS & COMPLAINERS Album Details, Video Posted

Diamond Dogs, the Swedish rock and roll band formed in 1992, are now back with their 10th full-length album QUITTERS & COMPLAINERS that also includes a 70-minute long bonus live disc LET’S HAVE IT – LIVE IN BILBAO. The release is scheduled for August 14 via Livewire/Cargo Records. The new video for the song “Silver Star Delight” can be viewed below.

Diamond Dogs have over the years delivered countless hard rockin’ shows worldwide, they have also been on tour sharing stage with: Nazareth, Ian Hunter, The Damned, Hanoi Rocks, The Cult, Sensational Alex Harvey Band, The Quireboys, and Dan Baird, among others.

Members of Diamond Dogs also have associations with such fine artists as The Hellacopters, Johnny Thunders, The Solution, The Dogs D’amour, The Nomads, Lisa & the Lips, Ian Hunter, and The Crunch. Singer Sulo Karlsson is also currently completing a vocal duet album collaboration with American singer Maria McKee. QUITTERS & COMPLAINERS could easily be Diamond Dogs’ finest release to date. Classic good time rock n’ roll.

Track listing:

1. Runaway Romeo
2. Alright, Alright, Alright
3. Stop Barking Up The Wrong Tree
4. Broken
5. Silver Star Delight
6. Back To Babylon
7. Black Ribbons (For Magic)
8. Goodbye Troubled Soul
9. Rollercoaster
10. Out Of My Heart


1. Bound To Ravage
2. Rush For Comfort
3. Every Little Crack
4. Goodbye Miss Jill
5. Autopilot
6. Lift It Up
7. Yesterday’s NYMPH
8. Honked
9. Raise A Holler
10. Brick Chase Bilbao (Jam)
11. Passing Through My Heart
12. Somebody Else’s Lord
13. On The Sunny Side Again
14. Sad To Say I’m Sorry
15. The Band
16. Wild Side Of Life
17. Don’t Turn Me Away
18. Not Guilty (Jam)

Diamond Dogs are:

Sören Sulo Karlsson – Vocals
Duke of Honk – Piano, Organ, vocals
Lars Karlsson – Guitars
Johannes Nordell – Drums
Morgan Korsmoe – Bass


*** PRESS RELEASE #14 ***
-Radiant Records: A [Morse]fest Special Guest Just Announced!

Greetings from Team Radiant!

We are thrilled to announce that Phil Keaggy will be kicking off both nights of [Morse]fest 2015!

Neal Morse comments on Phil joining the [Morse]fest stage: “Phil Keaggy as you all know is among the finest musicians in the world and also an extraordinarily wonderful person! I am thrilled that he will be doing an acoustic set to kick off [Morse]fest 2015 on both nights! I’ve seen him do his acoustic thing several times before, and it’s always very inspiring and enjoyable. You guys are in for a treat! This is going to be amazing…”

Phil’s solo career has spanned more than 40 years, and has included over 60 solo albums, both vocal and instrumental, eight releases with his band, Glass Harp, as well as numerous duets and trio albums. One of the most sought after studio guitarists, Phil also continues to sell out concerts all over the United States, with his ever-changing style, ranging from rock-and-roll to fully orchestrated instrumental compositions.

[Morse]fest 2015
The ultimate Neal Morse weekend, September 4th-6th, 2015 in Cross Plains, TN!
New Life Fellowship, 8655 Hwy 25, Cross Plains, TN 37049

At [Morse]fest 2015, long time collaborators Mike Portnoy and Randy George, as well as Neal Morse Band anchors, Bill Hubauer and Eric Gillette, will join Neal as this group of master musicians perform Neal’s world renowned albums, ? (Question Mark) and SOLA SCRIPTURA.

This weekend will be filled with Special Guests, Exclusive VIP Packages, a FREE Inner Circle only performance, Pre-show dinners, and much more!

View all event and ticket information here:

Team Radiant
Radiant Records

*** PRESS RELEASE #15 ***
-Graveyard Reveals New Album’s Details, Pre-Order Online!

Swedish grandmasters of classic rock, Graveyard, have announced to be releasing their fourth full-length album, INNOCENCE & DECADENCE on September 25, 2015 worldwide via Nuclear Blast.

INNOCENCE & DECADENCE was recorded in Stockholm, Sweden at Atlantis Studios with Janne Hansson (ABBA, The Hives, Opeth) and Johan Lindström (Tonbruket).

Commented the band: “Got a new album coming your way in September called INNOCENCE & DECADENCE. It’s gonna be an album filled to the rim with a little bit of this — and for all of those who might wonder or worry — there will be quite a lot of that on it as well. We’ve had a great time recording the album at the ‘gemytliga’ Atlantis Studios in Stockholm together with Janne Hansson and Johan Lindström. And after kinda being away from our daily routine as a touring band and the thrill of a new album on its way … we wanna leave you with. Good to be gone, great to be back and let there be September!” – Axel, Joakim, Jonathan & Truls a.k.a. Graveyard

INNOCENCE & DECADENCE will be released in various formats (vinyl look digi-pak, digital download, black/clear/splatter/orange/green/bi-colored vinyl as well as a T-Shirt/CD bundle). Pre-order your copy here:


NOTE: vinyl pre-orders will be up by next week

A European headlining tour will be announced shortly.


*** PRESS RELEASE #16 ***
-Psychostick Posts “Bill Nye The Science Guy” Cover Track + Evil Dumb Tour Presented by Bluebeards Original

Hey! Can ya blame the guys from Psychostick to get a bit creative when they got time on their hands and a full studio at the helm before tour! Just like “Reading Rainbow” before ( https://youtu.be/MxBBjUakSeA ), these laugh makers have a new cover track of one of their favorite childhood TV themes songs. Presenting to fans, the band’s latest metal cover for “Bill Nye The Science Guy.” Watch it at the following link and get your science on! https://youtu.be/8C17aTAZfxg

“Our fans crowd-funded constructing a recording studio for us, resulting in an album and tour. But that’s just the beginning! We’re utilizing the studio to its full potential to record all sorts of fun odds and ends that we never would have had the opportunity to otherwise. This Bill Nye cover is the first out of the gate… the gate OF SCIENCE!” comments guitarist Joshua “The J” Key.

Also mark down in your local concert listings as Bluebeards Original ( http://www.bluebeardsoriginal.com/ ) is proud to present the comedy masterminds of Psychostick and the howling sounds of Wolfborne for dates across the US of A this July and August along with two dates in Oh Canada!! plus fest performances at Dirt Fest in Birch Run, MI and WIIL Rock Fest in Franksville, WI.

“Like Bruce Campbell fending off the Deadites, we have to load our van up like a boomstick and unleash jagged, chunky musical shards of METAL upon the country with Wolfborne. We’re even headin’ up to Canada this time! First they’ll wanna kill us, then they’ll wanna kiss us,” comments vocalist Rob Kersey.

7/18 – Danville, IL – Vintage Villians
7/22 – Springfield, MO – Outland Ballroom
7/23 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Conservatory
7/24 – Addison (Dallas), TX – Dallas Gaming Expo @ Crowne Plaza Hotel
7/28 – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone Cafe
7/29 – New Orleans, LA – Southport Hall
7/30 – Mobile, AL – Alchemy Tavern
7/31 – Tallahassee, FL – Atmosphere

8/1 – Sanford, FL – West End Trading Co.
8/2 – St Petersburg, FL – State Theater
8/4- Columbia, SC – New Brookland Tavern
8/5 – Knoxville, TN – The Concourse @ The International
8/6 – Clarksville, TN – The Warehouse
8/7- Newport, KY – Thompson House
8/8 – Birch Run, MI – Dirtfest
8/9 – Toronto, ON – Rockpile West
8/10 – Hamilton, ON – Club Absinthe
8/11 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls Theatre
8/13 – New York City, NY – Santos Party House
8/14 – Hagerstown, MD – Hard Times Cafe
8/15 – Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall
8/16 – Erie, PA – Basement Transmissions
8/18 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Ballroom
8/19 – Lafayette, IN – Lafayette Events Center
8/21 – Madison, WI – Geek Kon
8/22 – Franksville, WI – WIIL Rock Fest

For more info, music and tour dates, please visit:

*** PRESS RELEASE #17 ***
-Test Your Metal Records Launches With First Signing Of Brazilian Power Metal Hibria

Vancouver, BC-based Test Your Metal Records is proud to announce its entry into the mosh pit on the international metal scene with its first signing of Brazilian power metallers Hibria for the North American release of their fifth and upcoming self-titled full-length due out on August 7th, 2015 with album pre-order available here:

“I am very excited to announce the launch of my new record label Test Your Metal Records. After playing in bands and touring for the past 15 years I’ve developed the relationships and connections to be able to help others in the Canadian and worldwide music scene. I hope to bring more international acts into Canada and spread the Canadian metal internationally to show the world what we have to offer. I have some amazing bands and an amazing team to work with me, so I just want to thank you all in advance and together we will keep Heavy Metal alive!” comments Test Your Metal Records owner Grant Truesdell.

Hibria is a Brazilian power metal band formed in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul in 1996. The band has grown in popularity in their home country plus worldwide with the successful release of four albums and a live DVD that showcases their intense concert energy (if ya never seen them in person). Continuing their venture in 2015 with their very technical playing that’s fast, aggressive and catchy, Hibria returns with their fifth and latest self-titled studio album set for release on August 7th via Test Your Metal Record in North America (July 22nd in Japan on King Music) to follow 2013’s SILENT REVENGE released under King Records for Asia, AFM for Europe and North America plus Voice Music for Brazil.

“We self-titled this release because we believe that it represents what our music is and how we feel about our band. This is our second CD composed with the same lineup and it made all the difference in our songwriting. We already knew what to expect from each other and it contributed a lot for us to write this new work.” says the band. “It is our most daring album. We experienced new influences and they made this album to sound so fresh. We really feel we have started heading to a new level as a band.”

All four of their past albums and live DVD released have reached the #1 position on sales charts for HMV stores across Japan and has led the band to be support for such bands as Metallica, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, and Megadeth, plus perform at Rock in Rio and Loud Park, Japan’s most important Metal festival, where they shared the main stage with some of the world’s most known bands.

Hibria’s new song preview – “Tightrope” (Demo Version)

Track Listing – HIBRIA
1. Pain (4:27)
2. Abyss (4:05)
3. Tightrope (5:02)
4. Life (4:45)
5. Ghosts (5:10)
6. Legacy (2:26)
7. Ashamed (5:17)
8. Church (4:13)
9. Fame (5:24)
10. Words (5:24)
Album Length: 46:17

For more info, please visit:

About Test Your Metal Records:


Test Your Metal Records stands to leave a positive impact and everlasting dynasty within the Canadian Rock and Metal music scene. First and foremost TYM was founded to ensure the continued creation of music, art, and culture! To employ as many people doing what they love, and to ultimately assist the worldwide music scene thrive in any way. TYM Records helps get the art, product and live show into the hands and ears of the fans.


To build a corporation and family that will help people reach their true potential and fuel their passion. Starting off with a talented roster of bands, promoting, and constantly innovating new music for the record label. Manufacturing and promoting their new albums and sending them out on tour across the globe. My vision is to revolutionize the music industry by giving the music to the fans for a monthly membership fee. Having a multitude of perks set up through the Loyalty membership, and a multitude of external companies providing incentives and cross promotion. I aspire to make a service that people from all walks of life can enjoy and benefit from. 20% of net profit of the label will be deposited into a fund for the “TYM Academy of the Arts” which will be a Non-Profit music and arts academy I hope to open within the next 3-5 years.


Like any good long-lasting relationship, the things I value in business are also the things I value in life. Passion, Love, Honesty, Compassion, Teamwork, and most of all FUN, FREEDOM, and INTERDEPENDENCE. I started TYM Records because I want to help bands push to the next level while keeping control within their hands and to help them make a living from it!!! To always have fun and work as a family to build a career together. On top of the normal royalties paid to the artists and with the implementation of the Loyalty club I plan on paying out 24% of all net profits from the loyalty club to the bands on the roster on the last day of each month. So theoretically we will be able to watch the label grow to the point where every band on the label can solely focus on their craft and not have to worry about the bills! I aspire to be a leading example of Honesty, Fairness, Dedication, and Transparency within this company. I have made it my new mission in life to help as many people as possible and I believe through TYM Records we can achieve that!

*** PRESS RELEASE #18 ***
-Sounds Of Purgatory Mail-Order Has Closed (It Is Bittersweet)

[Note: This was received as an email but I decided to run it here as a press release. – Tim]

Dear SOP customers,

I would first like to thank all of my long time loyal customers for their business and sticking around for so long. Nearly 10 years now of dealing metal, before there was ever an e-store or even a moniker — some of you have been around that long and I appreciate you all.

I hope that we were able to help you all obtain some rare and hard to find stuff at reasonable prices… hell I know we did. HAHA

For the past few months I have been travelling and plan to continue through the remainder of the year and on into 2016. Due to these circumstances I have decided to close the Sounds Of Purgatory mail-order indefinitely. Honestly this has been a decision I have been toying with for the past year and finally the decision has been made that this is the best time. This comes as no easy decision, but it does now allow me time to pursue other interests.

Those still interested in the titles carried through Sounds Of Purgatory I recommend going to Mad Rush Media for your metal needs; his prices are fair, great customer services, excellent reputation and a distributor for H&H Records. Go to Mad Rush Media at; https://madrushmedia.wordpress.com he will treat you well.

As for Heaven And Hell Records; things will continue as usual with the label side and we are currently looking into future releases. Recently Killer Khan’s KILL DEVIL HILLS and Hexenhammer’s UNDERGROUND have been released and can be found in many great mail orders (see list below).

Again I thank you all for sticking with us and wish you all the best of luck. Please continue to follow Heaven and Hell Records for further label news and stay true.

All the best,


List of retailers that carry Heaven And Hell Records titles:

Heaven And Hell Records Bandcamp:

Divebomb/Tribunal (US)

Underground Power (GER)

Mad Rush (US)

MetalSeasons (US)

Jolly Roger (IT)

Rock Stakk (Jap)

Rock Avenue (Jap)

Red Stream Inc.

Amazon (Jap)

Amazon (US)

Best Buy (US)

F.Y.E (US)

Deep Discount

No Remorse (GRE)

Hell’s Headbangers (US)

Pure Steel (Ger)
Rockadrome (US)

Witches Brew (GER)

CND Records (CAN)

Marquee Records (BRA)

Slaney Records (IRE)

Kill Again Records (BRA)

…and many others

-About Heavy Metal’s list of “Best Heavy Metal Albums of 2002” is at http://heavymetal.about.com/od/toppicks/tp/2002bestheavymetalcds.htm .

-Aeon Zen’s new single, “Disconnected,” is now available for free or “pay what you want” download, at http://www.aeonzen.com/store . From the band: “Creating ‘Disconnected’ in the way that we did, through a live stream, enabled us to show our fans how we write and record, essentially doing the opposite of the track name and connecting us to music lovers. We really put ourselves out there for everyone to see with creating ‘Disconnected,’ this is the first track we’ve written together as a band 100% collaboratively and we can’t wait for you all to hear the result! We would really appreciate any ‘pay what you want’ amount you’d like to give for the song, to help us keep putting on great events and keep the music flowing!” Check out the video at https://youtu.be/emG7aMUgVxk . See http://www.aeonzen.com/ for more.

-The BulletBoys announced a few new dates on their Armed Alliance Tour with Tracii Guns and Killer Bee with Paul Chapman (UFO). The updated routing:

7/6 – Club XS, Tucson, AZ
7/8 – Thunder Alley, Oklahoma City, OK
7/9 – Gas Monkey Live, Dallas, TX
7/10 – Concert Pub North, Houston, TX
7/11 – The Gatsby, Austin, TX
7/12 – Boozehounds, San Antonio, TX
7/13 – Barataria Live, Marrero, LA
7/14 – Rockhouse Live, Memphis, TN
7/15 – 37 Main, Jones Creek, GA
7/17 – Rex Theater, Pittsburgh, PA
7/18 – Jewel Nightclub, Manchester, NH
7/19 – The Wheel House, Narragansett, RI
7/20 – Eddie Trunk Show – Live, New York, NY
7/21 – Gramercy Theater, New York, NY (Eddie Trunk to host)
7/22 – Rock Pile East, Toronto, ON
7/23 – Bar 145, Toledo, OH
7/24 – The Token Lounge, Westland, MI
7/25 – Tailgaters, Bolingbrook, IL
7/26 – GB Leighton’s Pickle Park, Fridley, MN
7/29 – Aftershock, Merriam, KS
7/30 – Peak 31, Colorado Springs, CO
8/1 – Club Red, Mesa, AZ (no Tracii Guns)

BulletBoys then have a few additional dates as follows:

8/15 – Cathouse Live Festival, Irvine, CA
8/27 – ’80s In The Park Festival, Melbourne, FL
8/28 – Brass Mug, Tampa, FL
10/3 – Hair Of The Dog Festival @ Storm Stadium, Lake Elsinore, CA
10/16 – Phatheadz Bar, Green Bay, WI
10/18 – Rock N Skull @ Goodfellas, Pekin, IL

The band’s new album ELEFANTE is out now through Cleopatra/Deadline Records. See http://www.bulletboysofficial.com/ for more.

-Children Of Bodom’s I WORSHIP CHAOS is up for pre-sale now at http://nblast.de/COBWorshipChaosNB . The album is due October 2 on Nuclear Blast Records and will be available in these formats: CD + DVD digi-book (includes a bonus DVD and three bonus tracks), CD, double vinyl (black, clear, silver, yellow, picture), digi-book + canvas (mail-order edition). Track list: “I Hurt,” “My Bodom (I Am The Only One),” “Morrigan,” “Horns,” “Prayer For The Afflicted,” “I Worship Chaos,” “Hold Your Tongue,” “Suicide Bomber,” “All For Nothing,” “Widdershins.” The band consists of Alexi Laiho on vocals and guitar, Roope Latvala on guitar, Henkka Seppälä on bass, Janne Wirman on keyboards, and Jaska Raatikainen on drums. See http://www.cobhc.com/ for more.

-Degreed — Robin Ericsson on bass and vocals, Daniel Johansson on guitar, Mikael Jansson on keyboards, and Mats Ericsson on drums — has DEAD BUT NOT FORGOTTEN out now through Sun Hill Production. Check out the video for “The Scam” at https://youtu.be/sEaJdaY0wDY . See http://www.degreedmusic.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/degreedmusic for more.

-Demon Lung’s A DRACULA is now streaming through Revolver Magazine at http://www.revolvermag.com/news/demon-lung-premiere-new-album-a-dracula.html . Hype: “A DRACULA delivers eight dark, menacing psalms of sin loosely based on Juan López Moctezuma’s 1977 horror film, ‘Alucarda’ in which two teenage orphan girls living in a Catholic convent unleash a demonic force and ultimately become possessed by Satan.” The album is due out through Candlelight Records. See http://www.facebook.com/demonlungband for more.

-Chicago-based progressive/alternative rock band District 97 has released IN VAULTS through Laser’s Edge. Check out an album trailer at https://youtu.be/BviJOzPin68 , and the full album streaming at Progstreaming.com at http://www.progstreaming.com/_wb/pages/play-album.php?activeAlbum=01224%20-%20District%2097%20-%20In%20Vaults . The band has an album release party / show with Cheer Accident on July 10 at the Cactus Club in Milwaukee, WI. See http://www.district97.net/ and http://www.facebook.com/District97 for more.

-On June 26, Metal Blade Europe is reissuing King Diamond’s THE GRAVEYARD (1996), VOODOO (1998), and HOUSE OF GOD (2000) as digi-pak CDs. See http://www.metalblade.com/europe/de/ for more.

-Eden’s Curse’s new “Cellphone and Tablet friendly website” has been launched at http://www.edenscurse.com/ .

-Spanish metallers In Vain will release THE LITTLE THINGS THAT MATTER through Pure Steel Records on July 31. The band consists of Daniel Cordón on guitar and vocals, Daniel B. Martín on lead guitar, Mario Arredondo on bass, and Teo Seoane on drums. The album’s track list: “No Future For The World,” “Dragon Huntress,” “From Your Cradle To My Grave,” “Serenity Valley,” “The Ballad Of Lucifer,” “Guardian Angels,” “King In The North,” “Pipa’s Song,” “The Last Waltz.” Hype: “The clear, transparent production and outstanding songwriting in the manner of Teutonic legends like Running Wild, Grave Digger, and more meets Mediterranean spontaneity, which gave a new spirit to the scene in the last few years!” See http://www.invainmetal.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/invainmetal for more.

-King Giant, a Northern Virginia doom metal quintet, will release BLACK OCEAN WAVES on June 30. Hype: “Now in their tenth year, King Giant delivers their third full-length album, BLACK OCEAN WAVES. Forty-five minutes of bold, ominous, organic, and accessible material pours fourth on the new opus, surging with eight ebbing torrents of regret, shame, revenge, and reconciliation.” The full album is streaming at Invisible Oranges, at http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2015/06/king-giant-black-ocean-waves/ . See http://www.kinggiant.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/kinggiantband for more.

-Kingcrow’s EIDOS is out now through Sensory Records, and is streaming in full through Heavy Blog Is Heavy at http://www.heavyblogisheavy.com/2015/06/23/exclusive-kingcrow-stream-new-album-in-full/ . Check out the video for “The Moth” at https://youtu.be/a4Giy35m410 . See http://www.kingcrow.it/ and http://www.facebook.com/Kingcrowband for more.

-Check out a new Ultimate Classic Rock bit on Kiss’ Gene Simmons at http://ultimateclassicrock.com/gene-simmons-defends-labels-blames-fans/ .

-The organizers of Maximum Rock Festival 2015 — slated for October 15 – 18 at Colectiv Club and Arenele Romane in Bucharest, Romania — announced Tiarra, Enemy Of Reality, Dimlight, and Sorrowful Angels have joined the lineup, that already consisted of Annihilator, Epica, Sirenia, Skalmold, Zonaria, Nightrage, Silent Wedding, Kistvaen, Harlott, Archer, Gothic, Hatemode, and Crimena. A total of 25 bands will perform. See http://maximumrockfestival.ro/en/ for more.

-Morglbl’s video for the title track from TEA TIME FOR PUNKS is online now at https://youtu.be/Lq4VMcpX8kA . Hype: “The madcap ‘Tea Time For Punks’ video, which was directed by Enguerran Prieu, is just as screwball, unpredictable and engaging as Morglbl’s energetic output as a whole, literally bringing its title to life. As the band serenades a highbrow brunch crowd with their rambunctious tunes, the multiple personalities reflected in their music unapologetically heave themselves upon the unsuspecting diners.” See http://www.morglbl.com/ for more.

-Powerwolf’s BLESSED & POSSESSED is due out July 17 on Napalm Records. Track list: “Blessed & Possessed,” “Dead Until Dark,” “Army Of The Night,” “Armata Strigoi,” “We Are The Wild,” “Higher Than Heaven,” “Christ & Combat,” “Sanctus Dominus,” “Sacramental Sister,” “All You Can Bleed,” “Let There Be Night.” Press kit hype: “After their critically acclaimed number 1-chart-album PREACHERS OF THE NIGHT Powerwolf are back with their the new masterpiece BLESSED & POSSESSED. The density of hits and anthems on their sixth epic record is nearly unchristianly — firing hit after hit. The mystic and bombastic title track ‘Blessed & Possessed’ enthralls the listener from the beginning and leads to a top-flight direction, by presenting metal hymns with emotiveness and pure magic. Powerwolf are bursting with imagination, they have cultivated their well proven trademarks and deliver first class Power Metal (‘Dead Until Dark’), the finest Speed Metal (‘Christ & Combat’), great Hard Rock trips (‘Sacramental Sister’), and even orchestral madness (‘Let There Be Night’). If all of that isn’t enough for you, the limited first run contains a special bonus CD METALLIUM NOSTRUM with 10 marvelous cover versions of Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, and Judas Priest! This is metal at the absolute top!” The band will play the following European summer festivals:

7/10 – Rockhouse, Salzburg, Austria
7/11 – Masters Of Rock, Vizovice, Czech Republic
7/18 – Rockmarathon, Budapest, Hungary
7/24 – Rockfest, Barcelona, Spain
7/25 – Sabaton Open Air, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
7/26 – Chateau Beaufort, Beaufort, Luxembourg
7/30 – 8/1 – Wacken Open Air, Wacken, Germany
8/8 – 8/9 – Alcatraz Metal Festival, Kortrijk, Belgium
8/13 – 8/15 – Summer Breeze, Dinkelsbühl, Germany
8/28 – Baltic Open Air, Schleswig, Germany

Additionally, the band will head out on the “Wolfsnächte” Tour 2015 with support from Orden Ogan, Xandria*, and Civil War** as follows:

9/3 – Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland *
9/4 – Halle 101, Speyer, Germany *
9/5 – Live Music Hall, Köln, Germany *
9/9 – 02 Academy Islington, London, UK *
9/10 – Trabendo, Paris, France *
9/11 – Rocking Chair, Vevey, Switzerland *
9/12 – La Laiterie, Strasbourg, France *
10/1 – Aladin, Bremen, Germany
10/2 – Turnbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany *
10/3 – Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg, Germany *
10/22 – C-Club, Berlin, Germany **
10/23 – Hellraiser, Leipzig, Germany **
10/24 – Backstage, München, Germany **
10/29 – Oberschwabenhalle, Ravensburg, Germany **
10/30 – Music Hall, Geiselwind, Germany **
10/31 – Lka Longhorn, Stuttgart, Germany **
11/7 – Garage, Saarbrücken, Germany *

See http://www.powerwolf.net/ and http://www.facebook.com/powerwolfmetal for more.

-Sacrilege’s SIX6SIX is due July 3 through Pure Steel Records; until then, pre-order now at http://www.puresteel-shop.com/SACRILEGE-six6six_1 and save 1 Euro. SIX6SIX’s track list: “Death March Six6Six,” “Welcome To The Dragon’s Den,” “Lucifer’s Soldiers,” “In Hell,” “Sanctuary,” “Forever After,” “I Can’t Die,” “Paranoia,” “Eyes Of The Lord Prologue,” “Eyes Of The Lord,” “Death March Six6six Reprise.” See http://www.sacrilegenwobhm.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/Sacrilegerock for more.

-Online reports indicate the Scorpions will release RETURN TO FOREVER in North America on September 11 through Sony Music / Legacy Recordings. This 19-track version will include three exclusive songs plus four that were previously available on various international versions / formats. Track list: “Going Out With A Bang,” “We Built This House,” “Rock My Car,” “House Of Cards,” “All For One,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Band,” “Catch Your Luck And Play,” “Rollin’ Home,” “Hard Rockin’ The Place,” “Eye Of The Storm,” “The Scratch,” “Gypsy Life,” “The World We Used to Know,” “Dancing With The Moonlight,” “When The Truth Is A Lie,” “Who We Are,” “Crazy Ride,” “One And One Is Three,” “Delirious.” The band will also include North American dates in its “Return To Forever 50th Anniversary Tour” — with Queensryche as special guest — as follows:

9/10 – Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston, MA
9/12 – Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
9/13 – Meadwobrook, Gilford, NH
9/16 – Moncton Coliseum, Moncton, NB
9/18 – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON
9/19 – Bell Centre, Montreal, QC
9/22 – LC Pavilion, Columbus, OH
9/23 – Jacobs Pavilion At Nautica, Cleveland, OH
9/25 – The Colosseum At Caesars Windsor, Windsor, ON
9/26 – Allstate Arena, Chicago, IL
9/29 – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, Denver, CO
10/1 – SAP Center, San Jose, CA
10/3 – The Forum, Los Angeles, CA
10/6 – Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, CA
10/7 – Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
10/9 – ShoWare Center, Seattle, WA

See http://www.the-scorpions.com/ for more.

-Slayer announced the final track list for REPENTLESS, which is due out September 11 through Nuclear Blast: “Delusions Of Saviour,” “Repentless,” “Take Control,” “Vices,” “Cast The First Stone,” “When The Stillness Comes,” “Chasing Death,” “Implode,” “Piano Wire,” “Atrocity Vendor,” “You Against You,” “Pride In Prejudice.” Check out the “visualizer clip” for the title track at https://youtu.be/uivxr3O6rSE . See http://www.slayer.net/ for more.

-The special edition of Spock’s Beard’s SNOW is the Weekly Featured Product at Radiant Records. Hype: “This is Spock’s Beard’s sixth studio album, and some say it is their best. SNOW is the first concept album the Beard ever made and is considered to be among the prog world’s great classic albums. This version comes in a deluxe package and contains three original demos including ‘The Overture’ and ‘Wind At My Back.’ Don’t miss the chance to get it now at this temporarily discounted price!,” and that price is $14.99. Track list: CD 1 – “Made Alive,” “Overture,” “Stranger In A Strange Land,” “Long Time Suffering,” “Welcome To NYC,” “Love Beyond Words,” “The 39th Street Blues (I’m Sick),” “Devil’s Got My Throat,” “Open Wide The Flood Gates,” “Open the Gates Part 2,” “Solitary Soul,” “Wind At My Back,” CD 2 – “Second Overture,” “4th Of July,” “I’m The Guy,” “Reflection,” “Carie,” “Looking For Answers,” “Freak Boy,” “All Is Vanity,” “I’m Dying,” “Freak Boy Part 2,” “Devil’s Got My Throat Reprise,” “Snow’s Night Out,” “Ladies And Gentlemen, Mister Ryo Okumoto On The Keyboards,” “I Will Go,” “Made Alive Again/Wind At My Back,” “Snow Overture” (bonus track), “Snow Demo Excerpt” (bonus track), “Wind At My Back” (bonus track). See http://www.radiantrecords.com/products/108-spocks-beard-snow-2-cd-set-special-edition-with-bonus-tracks.aspx for more.

-The pre-order phase for Torture Slave’s METAL FAIRYTALE (Karthago Records) has begun; until the album’s new July 3 release date, save 1 Euro by pre-ordering at http://www.puresteel-shop.com/TORTURE-SLAVE-Metal-Fairytale_1 . The album’s track list: “Torture Slave,” “Seed Of Insanity,” “Scream For Love,” “She’s The Ghost,” “Shout,” “We’re Gonna Rock You,” “Bad Girls,” “Thoughts,” “Master Of Hell,” “Metal Fairytale.”

-Check out Billboard’s cover story on Eddie Van Halen at these links:


-VH1.com recently ran a list of underrated albums; check it out at http://www.vh1.com/news/19912/10-most-underrated-hard-rock-and-heavy-metal-albums/ .

-Virgin Steele’s 79-minute NOCTURNES OF HELLFIRE AND DAMNATION is out now on SPV. Hype: “The new album which is called NOCTURNES OF HELLFIRE AND DAMNATION, is not a concept album per se, but there is a through line that connects the tracks. The title provides a framework and connective tissue, but each song is really its own thing. Musically the album is pretty heavy, high energy, often dark, at turns melancholy, and at turns aggressive or angry sounding. It does have that over-the-top bombastic heaviness that they are about, and the whole Barbaric-Romantic thing that they are known for. There are big monolithic riffs, moody chord changes, classical type bits, sort of Bluesy moments… it retains the Virgin Steele signature, but it adds new dimensions to it. In a strange way it feels like it could have been the album Virgin Steele might have made to follow up NOBLE SAVAGE. Virgin Steele have infused the recordings with all that they have gone through over these past months. Fans will really enjoy it.” Track list: “Lucifer’s Hammer,” “Queen Of The Dead,” “To Darkness Eternal,” “Black Sun-Black Mass,” “Persephone,” “Devilhead,” “Demolition Queen,” “The Plague And The Fire,” “We Disappear,” “A Damned Apparition,” “Glamour,” “Delirium,” “Hymns To Damnation,” “Fallen Angels.” The limited digi-pak version comes with a 73-minute bonus CD; track list: “Halloween Theme,” “D.O.A.,” “The Witch In The Forest,” “Black Sabbath,” “The Immigrant Song,” “Black Sabbath Reprise,” “Riderless Horse (save Your Breath),” “The Devil Drives,” “Anger Never Dies,” “Funeral Games,” “The Plot Sickenth,” “Haunted Wolfshine,” “West Of Sumer,” “A Greater Burning Of Innocence,” and “The Birth Of Beauty.” Check out the lyric video for “Lucifer’s Hammer” at http://youtu.be/Di-vXNwOOGI , and a stream of “Queen Of The Dead” at https://soundcloud.com/steamhammer-spv/virgin-steele-queen-of-the-dead . See http://www.virgin-steele.com/ for more, including a cool interview with David DeFeis and Edward Pursino about the album.

-The Voodoo Music and Arts Experience / Voodoo Fest 2015 runs from October 30 – November 1 in New Orleans. Notably, Ozzy Osbourne will headline on Halloween and his band will feature Geezer Butler, Slash, and Tom Morello. The fest also features The Cult, Jane’s Addiction, and Clutch, among many other acts. See http://worshipthemusic.com/ for more.

-Zandelle will release PERSEVERANCE through Pure Steel Records on July 24. About the disc: “The US-American Power Metal band Zandelle now have worked together with Pure Steel for many years. Already the last studio album FLAMES OF RAGE (2009) and the 2-CD-compilation SHADOWS FROM THE PAST have been released through Pure Steel Records. After a few years the quintet got back to the studio again and still know, how to deliver the goods to the old fan base. With 11 new tracks Zandelle still deliver melodic, powerful Power Metal, which sometimes reminds back to Helloween. But still the typical US-American steel is driven by a powerful keyboard. Of course, the dynamic production is a typical brandmark of this 20-year-old band. With PERSEVERANCE George Tsalikis created another milestone in the history of Zandelle; the underground will appreciate it!” Joining vocalist Tsalikis in the band are T.W. Durfy (guitar), James Corallo (bass), Josh Tuckman (keyboards), and Joe Cardillo (drums). Track list: “Resurgence,” “Unending Fortitude,” “Lycanthrope,” “Shadow Slaves,” “End Game,” “Beyond The Point,” “Innocence Lost,” “Midnight Reign,” “Perseverance,” “Avenger Of The Fallen,” “Revengeance (From The Ashes).” See http://www.zandelle.net/ , http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zandelle/180777448619659 , and http://www.myspace.com/zandelle for more.

-Zix, a metal band from Beirut, Lebanon, has signed with Pure Steel Records. The members are Maya Khairallah on vocals, Juan Carrizo on guitar, and Ziad Bardawil on bass, and commented, “The band is very excited to be part of the Pure Steel Records roster specially that some of the major influences of ZiX are part of the Pure Steel family such as Omen, Exxxplorer, David Shankle, to name a few and we are looking forward to working with them.” The band will release TIDES OF THE FINAL WAR through Pure Steel. See http://www.facebook.com/Zixband and http://www.soundcloud.com/ZiXband for more.

Thanks to Music Buy Mail, Pure Steel Promotion, Rock Cellar Magazine, Loudwire.com, Nancy B. Sayle, Dave Brenner, Chad Bowar, Jon Freeman, Chuck Klosterman, Mike McPadden, Dave Lifton, and Axel Wiesenauer for help gathering some of this information.

*** OUT ***

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