Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Things come to a head



   Here's a little pic of Machine Head in happier times. No smiles anymore as bassist Adam Duce is fired after 21 years in the band, a move frontman Robb Flynn says has left him in tears. Maybe not a big deal stateside but this band are far far bigger in Europe then over here. Their last 2 cds have been a critical and commercial success, it kinda helps when James Hetfield said The Blackening infleunced him when writing Death Magnetic.
   The thing I find odd in his statement is how he hoped Duce had resigned from the band saying the bassist hadn't had his heart in it for many years. How did the band function as a unit for so long and still produce great music. How much better would they have been with a bass player who was all in. This wasn't a Motley Crue or Poison where each member had a seperate bus. They are like all bands now, it's tour tour tour and more tour. Share everything.
   So why then wasn't he fired years ago. Hoping that the guy gets so miserable that he resigns can't be good for the band. If as he says Duce's heart wasn't in it why wasn't he fired 3 years ago or 5 years ago or a decade ago. Flynn says Duce was sick of caring but looking the other way hoping everything will go away is not a good move especially when the guy is right next to you on stage.
   I like the band, I've seen them live a couple of times and they always put on a great show. Does Duce have a reason to be pissed off because the band were never as big as they should have been? Maybe so but they trend hopped with The Burning Red and Supercharger so they are not entirely blameless. They were one of the fortunate ones to get a second bite at the cherry and resurrect their career and for that they have the fans to thank. There may not be as many out there to Duce's liking but they have always been there, the band should be eternally grateful. Machine Head will soldier on, all bands that lose members always do nowadays. A little less airing of the dirty laundry in public would be nice though.

Richie.

REVEL IN FLESH To Release Manifested Darkness April 12th On FDA Rekotz



Germany's classic Swe-Death Institution REVEL IN FLESH is set to return with a rabid, blood-lusting beast of a follow up to their critically-acclaimed FDA Rekotz debut Deathevokation

Harnessing the momentum created by the album that Teeth of the Divine's Erik Thomas called "the best of a recent impressive run of the style," the band's sophomore release Manifested Darkness ups the ante and goes for the jugular. It is sure to be considered one of 2013's best classic Death Metal releases.


The CD and digital download will be unleashed on April 12th and contains nine hammering new hymns of destruction plus one special bonus track exclusive to the CD version. The LP version will be out on April 26th and will include an additional bonus track. The artwork for Manifested Darkness was created by the spanish artist Juanjo Castellano. The album was mixed and mastered at Unisound Studio by Dan Swanö.

The pre-sale will begin on Thursday, February 28th at www.fda-rekotz.com

REVEL IN FLESH was formed to pay tribute to the impure way of classical 90's European old school Death Metal! The line-up consists of former IMMORTAL RITES (R.I.P), DAWN OF DREAMS and APOPHIS members.

For more on REVEL IN FLESH visit: 


UK's GRIFTER Putting Finishing Touches On Material For New Album


UK-based dirty rock n' roll trio GRIFTER are putting the finishing touches on the follow up to their self-titled debut full-length, which was released in 2011 by Ripple Music. 

Promising to deliver an album full of material that has been described as "heavy as fuck," guitarist/vocalist Ollie Stygall made the following statement about the band's forthcoming record:

"We're tantalisingly close to finishing writing for the album. One new track 'It's Not Me, It's You' just needs a few tweaks to round off some of the rougher edges but it's sounding tasty...it has kind of a swing blues vibe to it, albeit much heavier. We're also looking at dusting off "Woman Of Mine" and making the definitive version of it. We've always loved the song but it could do with a spruce up...I have some nice ideas. Once that's done we just need to think about getting in and recording it!!!"

More news on this release as it comes. In the meantime, GRIFTER's self-titled debut, which Planet Fuzz called "the perfect soundtrack to a night of debauchery," is currently available via Ripple Music. Head over to www.ripple-music.com to order. 

GRIFTER has recently been confirmed for this year's Hard Rock Hell, which runs from November 28th through December 1st in Pwllheli, Wales. Also confirmed so far are Black Star Riders (Thin Lizzy), Nazareth, Gentlemans Pistols, The Answer, Paul Dianno, Blaze Bayley, Lawnmower Deth, Chrome Molly and Crucified Barbara with many more to be announced. For updates, tickets and information visit www.hardrockhell.com

For all things GRIFTER, visit the following links:


Monday, February 25, 2013

Here's where it started part 2


   After devouring Maiden's Live After Death I was ready for pastures new. My cousin who was big into U2 and Simple Minds had these two beauties in her collection. She didn't listen to them anymore, not sophisticated enough. In my bag they went.
   It wasn't the title track on Highway To Hell that got me even though it was toe tapping good. It was track 3 side 1, Walk All Over You. The power of the intro is undeniable especially when Phil Rudd hits those drums. Over time I became more of a Brian Johnson era fan probably because Bon had been and gone when I discovered the band.
   Denim And Leather is just a great heavy metal album. How could you not want to listen to this with that cover. This was back when Biff and the boys could do no wrong. How things changed in the span of a couple of years.

Richie.

MASTER To Kick Off US Tour With SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER And FISTHAMMER This Week


Old School death metal legends MASTER are pleased to announce a 32 date US trek with California death thrashers SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER

The 32 date journey will kick off in Los Angeles as part of the "Age ov the Gods" Metalfest on March 1st  and end in Long Beach, CA on April 1st. Support will be provided by Philadelphia's up and coming death metal outfit FISTHAMMER.Other notable appearances include Masters return to Chicago March 11th, the "Philthadelphia Infest" w/ Devourment March 16th, "Masters of Death" festival w/ Incantation March 23rd and the tours only stop south of the border at "Baja Deathfest VII" in Mexicali.   

For more on all three bands visit the links below:

SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER - www.facebook.com/sacrificialslaughter


"NORTH AMERICAN DETONATION TOUR"
MASTER - SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER - FISTHAMMER

Fri. March 1st - Los Angeles, CA @ The Joint
Sat.March 2nd - Oakland, CA @ Oakland Metro
Sun.March 3rd - Portland, OR @ The Branx
Mon.March 4th - Seattle, WA @ 2 Bit Saloon
Tue. March 5th - Boise, ID @ The Shredder
Wed.March 6th - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
Thu. March 7th - Cheyenne, WY @ Forum 619
Fri. March 8th - Topeka, KS @ The Boobie Trap
Sat.March 9th - St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
Sun.March 10th - Madison, WI @ The Frequency
Mon.March 11th - Chicago, IL @ Reggie's Rock Club
Tue. March 12th - Warren, MI @ The Ritz
Wed. March 13th - Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
Thu. March 14th - Providence, RI @ Firehouse 13
Fri. March 15th - Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus Bar
Sat. March 16th - Philadelphia, PA @ Gunners Run
Sun. March 17th - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
Mon. March 18th - Asheville, NC @ Static Age Records
Tue. March 19th - Dothan, AL @ Herman's Billiards
Wed.March 20th - New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
Thu. March 21st - Fort Worth, TX @ Tomcats West
Fri. March 22nd - Oklahoma City, OK @ Chameleon Room
Sat. March 23rd - Houston, TX @ BFE Rock Club
Sun. March 24th - Austin, TX @ Beerland
Mon. March 25th - San Antonio, TX @ Zombies 
Tue. March 26th - Midland, TX @ Pine Box 
Wed.March 27th - Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
Thu. March 28th - Tucson, AZ @ The Rock 
Fri. March 29th - Mexicali, MX @ Bar El Andariego
Sat. March 30th - Pomona, CA @ Characters Sports bar
Sun. March 31st - Oceanside, CA @ The Royal Dive *
Mon.April 1st - Long Beach, CA @ Alex's Bar *

* = NO Fisthammer



WHITE WIZZARD POST STUDIO UPDATE VIDEO


Los Angeles heavy metallers WHITE WIZZARD have posted a new video from the studio where they are recording their brand new album, titled THE DEVIL'S CUT.

The studio video features clips of the band recording, as well as a track-by-track breakdown from bassist and main man JON LEON.  Watch the video now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4IqOr8WV-A or right below.



WHITE WIZZARD are once again working with producer RALPH PATLAN (MEGADETH, UFO, MICHAEL SCHENKER) at Phase Four Studios in Tempe, Arizona.  THE DEVIL'S CUT is the band's third full-length album and their first to feature new vocalist JOSEPH MICHAEL.

WHITE WIZZARD released a demo in 2012 of one of the new tracks, called "Torpedo of Truth", which was the band's first recording to feature the new vocalist.  Listen to the track now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r08i7qf56AM

THE DEVIL'S CUT is due to be released later this year on Earache Records in Europe and via Century Media/Earache in the USA.

WHITE WIZZARD's latest album, 2011's FLYING TIGERS, is available now on CD and coloured vinyl.  Get the album in North America at http://bit.ly/aHWjUL or in Europe at http://bit.ly/a6kLfN

FLYING TIGERS is also available on iTunes at http://bit.ly/HDKO3F

Get more WHITE WIZZARD news and info at:

Official site - http://www.whitewizzardofficial.com
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/WhiteWizzard
MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/whitewizzard

Flotsam and Jetsam ink new deal with Metal Blade Records; on tour now with Testament


New album "Ugly Noise" to be released April 16th, 2013

Flotsam and Jetsam, arguably one of the most influential and prominent acts from thrash metal's birth in the early 80s, has returned to Metal Blade Records to release their new album, Ugly Noise. The lead single/title track is available for streaming now on metalblade.com/flotsamandjetsam.

Ugly Noise is the band's eleventh full-length album, their first release on Metal Blade since 2001, and the follow up to their 2010 album, The Cold. The record also heralds the return of original members Michael Gilbert on guitar and Kelly David Smith on drums, who haven't recorded with Flotsam and Jetsam since High in 1997.

Flotsam and Jetsam's Kelly Smith comments on working with Metal Blade: "We have just inked a distribution deal for the release of "Ugly Noise" through Metal Blade Records. Ugly Noise will be released worldwide in late March/Early April of 2013. It was the obvious choice for us after our long-standing relationship and Metal Blades 30 year history of metal. You can't match what they can do with 30 years of experience behind them. We are excited and looking forward to working with MB in 2013."




Saturday, February 23, 2013

Review - Saxon's "Sacrifice"


As another winter storm is threatening to bear down I decided today was a damn good day to finally have a listen to the advance copy of Saxon's latest release "Sacrifice". So I loaded the disc into what I consider to be the best place to currently listen to my metal, the very high powered stereo in my very high powered Charger.

Two minutes into the disc and I could't care less if a blizzard was coming, this was Saxon in all their full potential. This is the culmination of what they started back with "Unleash The Beast". With "Sacrifice" the beast has been bloody well released and it's good. In full disclosure I do admit that I have been an ardent Saxon fan since I first picked up "Wheels of Steel" from an import bin in 1980. However I think this release bears out y faith in this band.

In true metal fashion we are looking at 10 tracks (11 if you buy it from iTunes). I can't really call track 1 "Procession" a proper track though. It's just an intro and one that to me anyways seems a bit unrelated to the rest of the disc. No matter the real metal begins on track 2, the title track "Sacrifice". Heavy, fast with riffage aplenty, this is what I want from a title track from Saxon. Biff makes his presence known 15 seconds in and his voice is still as strong as ever. In fact he sounds stronger. I don't know if this is just the further legend of Biff Byford or perhaps a bit of the magic that Andy Sneap brings to all that he touches.

 "Made in Belfast" follows next. A good mid tempo tune with an historical basis. A classic bit of the Saxon legacy. This time Biff sings about the giant Belfast shipyards that birthed the likes of the Titanic. There are two things that really up the ante on this one. First some solid bass by Nibbs and second how they wove Celtic themed lines through the heavy riffs. This one brought me right back to "Princess of The Night" but with so much more heaviness. In fact I would agree with Biff's assertion that this is the heaviest Saxon release yet.

"Wheels of Steel" has often been mistaken for a car song but track 4 "Warriors of the Road" is indeed dedicated to the thrill of speed. After the mid tempo break of the prior track this one is fittingly fast and driving. Nice solo on this one too although it would have cooler if it had gone just a bit longer. Fortunately we get some nice bits of solo in fills as the song rides out.

Track 5 brings us back another historical song. "Guardians of The Tomb". This time Biff sings about the terra cotta army that was buried with Qin Shi Huang the first emperor of China. This one sounds quite a bit like Powerslave era Iron Maiden. Of course Maiden is another band known for historical themes. In this case it's the some of the harmony riffs that give it that Maidenesque element. That's not a bad thing at all. This should go down a storm live especially the great solo break. 

"Stand Up and Fight" follows. Once again in homage to great songs like "And the Bands Played On" this one is about following your passion for music and slogging through no matter what. Another classic in the making. I wish the booklet provided with the press copy let you know who did which solos. The one on this track is exceptional.

If you get the idea that this disc may be THE must have for 2013 then you are getting the message. When's the last time I did a complete track by track breakdown?

Next up is more historical song writing. The slow driving "Walking The Steel". The subject this time is the rebirth of the Twin Towers. The lyrics are pretty damn inspirational. More so since it's not a song you would expect from the quintessential British band. Having said that this is the second time they have done that. The first was Dallas 1 PM. What's even more eerie is that the guitar break that comes in at around the two minute mark on this one harken back to the break in that classic track.

Times to speed things up again, "Night of the Wolf" starts the path back to a faster pace. This disc has really been nicely sequenced. Something that's not always the case in this time of single song downloads. So this one has that faster element but it has slower parts as well. Nigel's drums sound crisp on this one. I've always been a fan of Nigel's drumming but I think the Sneap touch has made it that much better. It would have been way to easy for a lesser producer to make the drums on this tracks thunderous. Which would have ultimately destroyed the balance of the song.

Next up "Wheels of Terror". I swear I hear a bit of flanger on this one. Nonetheless we are now back to full heavy. Heads will be banging to this one. Classic metal replete with China Boy cymbal accents. Guitars are solid and driving and sound fantastic. They have really embodied the character of the battle tanks that the songs is written about including the "battle" that is alluded to by the solo.

And sadly we arrive at the last track. This one a bit of classic English cheek with "Standing In a Queue". We all hate standing in lines but none more than our English brothers. Queues have long been part of English humor. The lyrics are great and the music is pure Saxon.

So there ya have it Saxon's "Sacrifice". Of course if ya pony up for the deluxe version you get another disc with 5 classic Saxon pieces either rerecorded or done acoustically orchestrally. 

I was thoroughly happy with "Call to Arms" but "Sacrifice" is just head and shoulders above it in terms of sonic delivery and classic songs. It's truly amazing that this far into their career that Saxon can still write such solid material. With the small exception of the intro track there's no filler on this release. I say buy it and play it LOUD again and again and again.

Now I just have to wait until my copy of the deluxe edition rolls in so I can delve into all the minutiae of the liner notes.

If you want a taste of what's in store. Check out this bit of video.

You can order up any of the different versions of this killer release by visiting the UDR Shop online

Friday, February 22, 2013

SACRED STEEL's The Bloodshed Summoning Out Now In North America


The wait is finally over. The Bloodshed Summoning, the latest album from German heavy metal brigade SACRED STEEL, is out now in North America via Cruz Del Sur Music.

The album is available as a digital download, CD complete with 20-page booklet and three bonus tracks not included on the download and limited-edition vinyl. The vinyl comes in two colors: an ultra-limited "blood red" pressing, and a limited "standard black" version, both featuring an ultra-luxury 16-page, big-format, full -colored booklet and a personal download-code to retrieve digital files from Cruz Del Sur Music's website. The vinyl edition is limited to one pressing and will not be repressed once sold out. Get yours now!

Be annihilated by the furious thrashing power of one of the best Teutonic metal bands around these days!!

Visit www.cruzdelsurmusic.com or cruzdelsurmusic.bandcamp.com for ordering info and to hear selections from the album. 
  
For a complete history on SACRED STEEL visit www.sacredsteel.eu/html/history.html 

"Sacred Steel always had more melodic elements than a lot of their peers, and with The Bloodshed Summoning, they continue their melodic ways, but make no mistake about it, Sacred Steel is all about the riffs."  - Wicked Channel

"SS have created a solid and effective album that won't disappoint those of you out there that feed from many stylistic troughs." - Worm Gear Zine

"In a nutshell, SACRED STEEL became fiercer and unrelenting with a cracking production on this charming orchestrated horror show. Fusing elements of Thrash Metal into their old pattern made this release a cause of interest and there are examples to prove that, yet even so, the Thrash elements remained under the same level." - Metal-Temple.com

Kai Schindelar /Bass 
Jens Sonnenberg / Guitars 
Mathias Straub / Drums 
Jonas Khalil / Guitars 
Gerrit P. Mutz  / Vocals









Here's where it started

   I gave a brief history of how I got into metal on my first podcast with Scott a couple of months ago. This forum gives me the chance to list the specific albums that did it. Some you may agree with and others not. Some may even leave you scratching your head wondering why I picked THAT one. That's ok because if we all liked the same stuff the world would be a very boring place and what would we have to talk about then.

   One other thing, just because I list an album here doesn't mean I think it's the best in the catalogue. I may not even like the band anymore. Ok here goes, one at a time.......



   This is the album that got me hooked on metal. After listening to this it was goodbye pop and hello to a whole new world. Everything about this is great. Aces High, 2 Minutes to Midnight, The Trooper and a much faster and heavier Powerslave. You have to hand it to the band, they gave value for money with great artwork and a gatefold sleeve. I could recite the lyrics for every song so that's how much I played it. I still have it on vinyl. Haven't spun it for a couple of years. Now like most bands they release a live cd/dvd combo after every tour. I'm not really a fan of live albums anymore.

Richie.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

COLDSTEEL's "America Idle" Out Now


After 20 years of silence, reactivated NYC underground thrashers COLDSTEEL have returned with the release of America Idle, out today via Stormspell Records.

The five-song EP is an aggressive display of muscular trash metal flavored with engaging melodies and pit-enticing riffs that sees this veteran act roaring their way into today's metal scene. America Idle is available as a digital download through iTunes, Amazon.com, CD Baby and other online music retailers. The CD version and 12" Vinyl LP (Limited to 1,000 units) will be available through Stormspell Records, www.coldsteelny.com, and CD Baby. A 12" Vinyl Picture Disc (Limited to 200 units) will also be available exclusively through www.coldsteelny.com. Conceptually, America Idle expresses current societal anxiety and proclaims an anthem to rouse the unbreakable spirit of America.

RockNReelReviews.com is now streaming America Idle in full at THIS LOCATION. The site recently conducted an interview with COLDSTEEL vocalist Troy Norr, which can be read at www.rocknreelreviews.com/coldsteel-interview.

Purchase America Idle at any of the following links:



On Saturday February 23rd, COLDSTEEL will be hosting the America Idle release party at Duff's Brooklyn (168 Marcy Ave, Brooklyn, NY). The first 100 people through the door will receive a free t-shirt, CD or poster. The entire band will be at the venue and mingling with the crowd. The release party is being sponsored by www.ampmink.com.




On April 9th COLDSTEEL will hit the stage for the first time in two decades as direct support for UDO at Revolution & Bar Music Hall in Amityville, NY. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.coldsteelny.com/merchandise

"A ripping stompfest through mosh-ready riffs and rhythms that doesn't relent for even a split second." - Wormwood Chronicles

"Coldsteel are American Thrash Metal in the vein of Anthrax, Annihilator, and Testament.  They capture the best of all worlds."  - November 24th Spawned a Monster

"Groovy, crunchy, not forgetting melodies and harmonies, versatile vocals, intriguing riffages, top notch soloing and the works." (8/10) - Metal Temple

"Welcome back, COLD STEEL!" (9/10) - Metal.de

"If Coldsteel had promise 20 years ago, then they've lost none of that promise and power today. Recommended." (4/5) - Dangerdog Music Reviews




GunShyAssassin.com Premiers "Judgments And Curses" From Forthcoming LECHEROUS NOCTURNE Album


GunShyAssassin.com has posted an exclusive world premier of the song "Judgements And Curses" off of Behold Almighty Doctrine, the forthcoming third full-length from South Carolina USDM War Machine LECHEROUS NOCTURNE.

Check out the tune at this location and then brace yourselves for the March 19th release (via Unique Leader Records) of Behold Almighty Doctrine.  

The long awaited follow up to 2008's The Age of Miracles has Passed raises the band's already considerable game yet again. The band's technically accomplished musicianship and skillfully concise songwriting fuse without seam to make what will surely be considered one of the year's most lethal displays of U.S. Death Metal firepower. Ethan Lane and founding member Kreishloff are responsible for six-string sorcery; James O'Neal (Apotheosys, Atrocious Abnormality) and Alex Lancia (Annthennath) low-end tremors and rhythmic battery, respectively; and Chris Lollis (ex-Nile) hell-spawned roars of the possessed. The short of it? Faces will melt. 

1. INTRO 
2. OUROBOROS CHAINS 
3. BRING THE VOID 
4. ARCHEOPTERYX 
5. THOSE HAVING BEEN HIDDEN AWAY 
6. PRELUDE #2 
7. JUDGMENTS AND CURSES 
8. LESIONS FROM VICIOUS PLAGUE 
9. CAUSTIC VERTIGO 
10. CREATION CONTINUUM



On The Turntable

These are going through my ears this week:


SAXON- UNLEASH THE BEAST.
Its Saxon. Enough said.






RAINBOW- STRAIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES
Great songs by the man in black. With Roger Glover in the production chair you can't go wrong.



KING KOBRA- KING KOBRA
80's hard rock from a couple of years ago that sounds like 80's hard rock. The good kind. Paul Shortino on vocals.



OVERKILL- THE ELECTRIC AGE
I put this on if I need to get home quickly.



THUNDER- BACKSTREET SYMPHONY
Loved by Kerrang in the late 80's . Big riffs, big choruses topped off with Danny Bowes wonderful voice. Bluesy hard rock at its finest. Not being American hurt them in the end. Mostly retired now but are opening for Whitesnake and Journey on their upcoming European tour.

and finally......


VINNIE VINCENT INVASION- ALL SYSTEMS GO
I love some of the stuff on this. Mark Slaughter hits notes only a dog could hear. All that is good and bad about hair metal, sometimes in the same song. The less said about the band group shot the better.

Richie








Two Tribes Go To War

  I got an e-mail this morning offering meet and greets for the upcoming Queensryche shows. All well and good you'd say but my first question was which band? For those living under a rock there are now 2 versions of the band, one fronted by Geoff Tate and the other with the remaining members and Todd La Torre on vocals.

   They might say otherwise but both bands are in competition with one another. Studio sessions are a go as both try to win the race for who puts out new stuff first. Instead of looking forward both bands are searching for their classic sound. Tate will celebrate Operation Mindcrime by playing it in it's entirety and the La Torre led group will try to come up with something new resembling it.

   So what do I make of all this? I think it's a farce. A lose lose situation for all. Let's look at the Tate led band first. His original line up had Bobby Blotzer on the drum stool, sure he's a solid player but you wouldn't call Ratt a thinking mans metal band. That hire to me was a head scratcher. Now he has Rudy Sarzo and Simon Wright both recent members of Dio and now Dio Disciples. Again great players but saying they are members of Queensryche is a stretch. Then there's Kelly Gray who played on Q2K and produced the last 2 cds. Not a lot of fans out there for those releases. Oh and he replaced Chris De Garmo who wrote a large chunk of the classic stuff.

   Now the Tateless band. Haven't heard much of Todd La Torre but he has big shoes to fill. Geoff Tate is a fantastic singer with a very identifiable voice. Looking at the songwriting credits from Q2K on it is also clear that he wrote the lions share of material saying in recent interviews that the other guys didn't bring much to the table. Well now they have their opportunity but to be honest I'm not expecting much.

   Some people say the band has been dead since Degarmo left and I see their point. However I got something from their recent releases and loved Dedicated To Chaos. Now I think we will get to see the band die...........twice.

   Oh and the meet and greet was for the Tate version. Maybe Geoff will get the message when fans start asking him why he is doing this and Rudy and Simon only get asked about Ronnie.

Richie.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review - Paradox "Tales of The Weird"


As unrelenting as a beat down with a baseball bat.


That's how I would sum up the latest release from Paradox "Tales of The Weird". Released by AFM Records this one continues in the tradition of great thrash spawned by this German powerhouse.

Remember the great metal wish that Metallica would one day make another MOP? This new one from Paradox comes a damn sight closer than (unfortunately) James and company will.

After several albums and line up changes I'm hoping this is the stable lineup. Long standing members Charlie Steinhauer and Christian Munzer have been joined by the rhythm section of Olly Keller  and Daniel Buld. This lineup has really been able to hold up to the incredible ideas that pour out of Charlie's metal mind. Everything on here is solid and mixed to perfection.

So lets dig in a bit to their fifth album and first in three years. This thing kicks off with the title track "Tales of The Weird". Over nine minutes long. Yes, that's right clocking in at 9:19 these guys have built a track with enough musical balls that the vocals don't even come in until 2:35. Most people know I hate long tracks this is one of those exceptions. 
Track 2 continues the sonic assault with "Day of Judgement". Ever wonder what the metal lovechild of Firewind and Death Angel would sound like? I'm pretty sure this is it. 
And it just continues track after track of solid metal. The only break is the quick interlude piece "Zeitgeist"

Okay there's one track that just feels a bit out of place for me and that's "Fragile Alliance". It's gonna sound picky but I think it strays too close to the more commercial metal sounds that came out in the wake of the Black Album.

The cherry on the thrash sundae is the final track an absolute killer cover of Rainbow's "A Light in The Black" keyboard solos and everything courtesy of Bob Katsionis.

Of course since this is Focus on Metal we do have to talk about the cover. Done by Claudio Bergamin who has done covers for the metal god himself. This one really carries that old school horror comic vibe.

Do your metal soul a favor and pick up a copy of Paradox's "Tales of The Weird". I'm betting you will be going back to get the rest of their back catalogue too.

For more info:

MOTHERSHIP Self-titled Debut Out Now; U.S. Tour Announced



Mothership, the self-titled debut from Dallas-based heavy rock trio MOTHERSHIP is now available worldwide through Ripple Music. Called "a must for any heavy rock and metal fan" by DangerDog.com, Mothership is proving itself a threat to any release vying for the "Best Rock Album or 2013" title.   

MOTHERSHIP masterfully delivers 70's-tinged U.S. hard rock with a sound that satisfies like a steaming hot stew of UFO and Iron Maiden, blended with the southern swagger of Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top, MOTHERSHIP's goal from the beginning has been to carry on the tradition of the classic rock style; updated and amped up for the modern day. Originally self-released in 2012, MOTHERSHIP and Ripple Music have joined forces to re-release this stunning debut record on CD (includes lyrics) and LP (packages to include an 11" x 17" poster and download cards). Mothership is available at www.ripple-music.com.  

After a pre-sale special saw Ripple Music sell out of the limited edition colored vinyl LP version of Mothership in less than two hours, the label has announced that a second edition will be made available to meet the growing demand for this release. The second pressing will be limited to 150 colored (50 purple, 50 green and 50 beer-colored - with a special MOTHERSHIP beer koozy) and 350 standard black copies. Details to come.  

A video for the song "City Nights" was recently premiered by TheSodaShop.com and can be viewed at this location.   

MOTHERSHIP will hit the road next month with GYPSYHAWK as part of the "March Out Of Winter" 2013 Tour. Dates are as follows:

MARCH OUT OF WINTER 2013 TOUR DATES:

MOTHERSHIP Only 
03/01/13 - Tyler, TX - Clicks Live
03/02/13 - Dallas, TX - The Doublewide
03/03/13 - San Angelo, TX - The Deadhorse Saloon
03/04/13 - Lubbock, TX - Depot District Lonestar Oyster Bar
03/05/13 - El Paso, TX - Low Brow Palace
03/06/13 - Las Cruces, NM - The Train Yard
03/07/13 - Tucson, AZ - Surly Wench Pub 

w/ GYPSYHAWK
03/08/13 - Phoenix, AZ - Red Owl
03/09/13 - Sierra Vista, AZ - JR's Bar
03/11/13 - Fort Worth, TX - Lola's Saloon
03/18/13 - Shreveport, LA - Tiki Bar
03/19/13 - Texarkana, TX - Arrow Bar
03/20/13 - Tulsa, OK - The Sound Pony
03/21/13 - Kansas City, MO - The Riot Room
03/22/13 - Lincoln, NE - Knickerbockers
03/23/13 - Colorado Springs, CO - Triple Nickel Tavern
03/24/13 - Salt Lake City, UT - Shred Shed
03/26/13 - Boise, ID - Red Room
03/27/13 - Seattle, WA - Comet Tavern
03/28/13 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
03/29/13 - Medford, OR - Johnny B's
03/30/13 - Reno, NV - Jub Jubs
03/31/13 - Lake Tahoe, CA - Whiskey Dicks
04/02/13 - San Fransisco, CA - El Rio
04/03/13 - San Diego, CA - The Griffin
04/04/13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Joint
04/05/13 - Bakersfield, CA - On The Rocks 
 

**No MOTHERSHIP at the SXSW Dates**

"Such a killer find, man. Can't wait to see them live!"  
- Dom Lawson (Metal Hammer / Classic Rock)


"Been listening to Mothership all day now and if feels like UFO and Orange Goblin got drunk with St. Vitus, smoked some weed with Blue Cheer and spewed out the tuffest blues-drenched, no frills love child I've heard all month. Some ridiculously badass guitars. And heavy above all else!" -- Sword of Doom



"Try to resist a band that plays blues-laden metal with heavy guitar riffs that is also hoping for intergalactic travel. Mothership is a three piece from Dallas that alternates between an almost AC/DC-like sound on a track like 'City Nights' and a broader, heavier and more epic sound on tracks like 'Cosmic Rain,' 'Angel of Death' and the opener, 'Hallucination.'   

-- Vue Weekly.com 


Episode 118 Snakecharmer




What do you get when you mix two parts of the original Whitesnake with parts of Thunder and Wishbone Ash and also throw in a singer best known for AOR in the UK and ice the whole thing with the son of a legendary keyboard player? Snakechamer, thats what. This week we get to talk with Adam Wakeman about Snakecharmer as well as his other two high profile gigs as the keyboard player for Ozzy and Black Sabbath.


Our track of the week is from Ion Vein from their second teaser release "V 2.0". Check out more about the band at http://www.ionvein.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ionvein. You can get Ion Vein V 2.0 for yourself on iTunes.

And as always Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.

AC/DC's Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be by Mick Wall


  


   AC/DC in a 40 year career have never bowed to any modern trend. Their if it ain't broke then why fix it mentality have enabled them to ride out every change in the music industry. Everyone knows the songs but what Mick Wall has tried to answer is why the band is what it is. We really don't know much about the band members and they want to keep it that way. As the author states in the introduction you are either part of the band's inner circle or they won't give you the time of day.

   With no official endorsement from the band the author instead has relied on his past experiences with them as well as interviewing former managers,members and people in the industry.Similar to his Metallica book Enter Night a large proportion of the book is spent on the bands early years. We get to learn that it's Malcolm Young who pulls the strings especially when Brian Johnson enters the fold, that the older brother George had a huge effect on both the sound and attitude of the band and that Bon Scott though much loved and successful second guessed many of his decisions later in life.

   This is not a fanboy book. Everything the band has done is not examined through rose tinted glasses. The band has made many mistakes because of the Young's fuck you attitude. The author gives his two cents worth on the music and isn't afraid to put the boot in when he feels it's warranted. What you end up with is a fascinating story, the parts you already knew are given a fresh perspective (Bon Scott's death and his last hours are examined in detail) but there is so much more. This book is well worth a read.

Richie.

www.mickwall.com

www.orionbooks.co.uk

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Insane new metal project due this spring from Frontiers "The Land of New Hope"

Seriously check out this video. The kicker is that the last words on the vid are "and more". There's even more names involved? Check out the vid and decide for yourself. We at Focus on Metal are certainly waiting for this to get released.

PRETTY MAIDS POST NEW MUSIC VIDEO AND DIGITAL SINGLE



Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of PRETTY MAIDS first single "Mother of All Lies" in all digital shops worldwide !


You can also link to the videoclip on Youtube following this link: http://youtu.be/OZrmVdsKoqw

The video was shot by the famed director Thomas Tjader who already worked with PRETTY MAIDS for the clip "Little Drops of Heaven".

The new single anticipates the release of the album "Motherland" scheduled to be released on Frontiers Records on March 22nd in Europe and March 26th in North America.


SATAN Reveals Artwork For "Life Sentence"


Legendary British heavy metal band SATAN will release Life Sentence, their first studio full-length under the SATAN banner since 1987's Suspended Sentence, on April 29th in Europe and in May in the U.S.

The cover art for the album (pictured below) was drawn by famed artist Eliran Kantor (SODOM, TESTAMENT, HATEBREED - www.elirankantor.com) and depicts a similar graphic concept as their 1983 debut, Court In The Act. Mixed by Dario Mollo at Damage Inc. Studio in Italy and tracked late last year at First Avenue in Newcastle, Life Sentence is a very strong uptempo heavy metal album that will undoubtedly become a metal classic. 

Fittingly, Life Sentence will mark the 30th anniversary of their greatly acclaimed debut Court In The Act. The new album will also feature the same line-up that appeared on that now-classic piece of metal history. 

Live footage of the band performing "Heads Will Roll/Hunt You Down" at a 2011 gig at The Purple Turtle in London can be seen at www.vimeo.com/29945653.
Time to Die
Twenty Twenty Five
Cenotaph
Siege Mentality
Incantations
Testimony
Tears of Blood
Life Sentence
Personal Demons
Another Universe

SATAN are a heavy metal band originating from Newcastle, England in 1980, known as part of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement. Though generally obscure throughout their career, the band is considered influential for playing a form of proto-thrash metal that was fairly advanced by the standards of the early 1980s. SATAN remained inactive until re-assembling for a one-off gig at Germany's Wacken Open Air in 2004, and finally reunited in their original Court In The Act line-up for 2011's Keep It True festival. The band performed at several european festivals in 2011 and 2012 and have announced more festival shows and new album for 2013, to mark the 30th anniversary of their debut release.

SATAN Line-up:
Brian Ross - vocals
Steve Ramsey - Guitar
Russ Tippins - Guitar
Graeme English - Bass
Sean Taylor - Drums








Sunday, February 17, 2013

Testament/Overkill/Flotsam and Jetsam/4 Arm at the Palladium, Worcester 2/16/2013


  





   You have to hand it to the promoters at the Palladium, they have made it into the premier thrash and extreme metal venue in New England. Any decent tour doing the rounds eventually goes through the place and last night was no exception.

   I got there near the end of 4 Arm's set and the place was already packed. The band sounded ok but I would have to hear some more to judge them properly. They did go down very well though so maybe their trip from Australia is paying dividends.

   Flotsam and Jetsam to me were the wild card on the bill. Well known as the band who gave Jason Newsted to Metallica they amount to a lot more then this. Truth be told I don't have many of their albums but I was familiar with the 2 they did from No Place for Disgrace. A brief five or six song set with a promising newie thrown in.

  Next up were Overkill who I had never seen before. A band who continues to release really stong new material. They mixed up the old with the new opening with Come and Get It from the recent cd, heads down old school thrash. Other newies included Electric Rattlesnake and Ironbound and for the long time fans they got Elimination, Fuck You and Wrecking Crew. The set felt a little short and I would have liked to have heard more, maybe next time when they play a headline set.

   On to the main event. I saw Testament in the same venue just over a year ago on tour with Anthrax. Billed as a co-headline it was the east coasters who closed the bill so I was intrigued to see Testament on what is clearly their show. Let's get the bad out of the way and say that Chuck Billy had vocal problems which he alluded to early on in the set. The guy is a trooper and didn't want to cancel and he gave it his all helped by the boisterous and liquid refreshed mob.

   Now the good, everything else! Opening with Rise Up from the new Dark Roots of Earth cd the band played a fantastic sixteen or so song set cementing why they are one of the best thrash bands on the planet at the minute. They really do have a fantastic back catalogue and just look at some of the songs they slipped into the set that they didn't play the last time I saw them: Practice What You Preach, The Haunting, Trial By Fire and Burnt Offerings. Material of this quality would be a staple of most bands shows. The big surprise was 3 cuts from The Gathering which is the overlooked gem of the catalogue and one of the best metal cds from the late 90's.

   So a fantastic and very loud night. Great line-up and killer musicianship (Gene Hoglan has to be seen to be believed) all for $28. I don't know how many shows are left on the tour but you'd be a fool to miss it.

Richie

http://www.4arm.net/

http://www.flotsam-and-jetsam.com/

http://wreckingcrew.com/Ironbound/

http://www.testamentlegions.com/

Friday, February 15, 2013

BEAUTY IN THE SUFFERING: DOPE/TEAM CYBERGEIST Drummer Confirmed For "THE CRAZIES"



BEAUTY IN THE SUFFERING, the newly launched electro-metal studio project from producer, multi-instrumentalist, programmer, and vocalist Dietrich Thrall (MARAZENE), have posted a studio update confirming that DOPE/TEAM CYBERGEIST Drummer ANGEL BARTOLOTTA will contribute drums on at least one track called "THE CRAZIES."  
  
Following is the announcement on the bands official web blog at www.BeautyInTheSuffering.com   

"Hey everybody! Quick update here. Very pleased to be able to announce that Angel Bartolotta of DOPE and TEAM CYBERGEIST is on board for at least one track that I am currently calling "THE CRAZIES". Have wanted to work with Angel for a long time and so I am VERY excited to hear the final results! As soon as we get them in our paws I get to go in and throw down guitar, bass, and vocals. 'THE CRAZIES' is one of the tracks on my shortlist to formally introduce everybody to BEAUTY IN THE SUFFERING music. We're shooting for a Spring release so fingers crossed! Thanks again for all the amazing support!"

Drum tracking took place on 1.30.13 at REDLINE RECORDING STUDIO in Venice, FL with engineering by Jason Schmidt.

Commented Angel: 

"After spending the last 7 years writing and bringing in guest musicians for my TEAM CYBERGEIST project, it's cool to step off to the side and be a guest on someone elses track for a change. Plus it's a cool song, which made it even more fun to play on. I'm excited to see what DIETRICH [THRALL] does with BEAUTY IN THE SUFFERING!"

BEAUTY IN THE SUFFERING recently announced that CHRIS EMERY of AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE had cut seven songs in a marathon 15 hour drum session at BELL LABS RECORDING in Norman, OK on December 6, 2012.   

DieTrich is best known for his co-founding and co-visionary role in the industrial-metal band MARAZENE (later called MARAZENE MACHINE). From managing the band during its most active and successful National touring years (2006-2008), to co-producing the bands critically hailed cover of MOTLEY CRUE's "LIVE WIRE" in 2011 as well as the bands lone official full length album (MachiNation, 2006), to writing fan favorite tracks such as "GIVE", to guiding the bands philosophical and edgy lyrical approach (AnTiThesis, Infidel Society), to producing multiple videos for the band, DieTrich's contributions and influence are heavily noted.

More information:  www.beautyinthesuffering.com.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Reign of the Architect sign to Pitch Black Records


The progressive metal band Reign of the Architect have signed a deal with Pitch Black Records who will be releasing the debut album, Rise, in spring 2013.

Reign of the Architect is the brainchild of Yuval Kramer, and was formed in 2008 in Israel. Although starting out as a studio project, the band and the creation of their debut album has snowballed to incorporate performers from all over the world and features several guest appearances. Among those lending their talents to the release are Jeff Scot Sotto (Yngwie Malmsteen, Journey), Mike LePond (Symphony X) and Joost Van Den Broek (After Forever).

Regarding the recent signing of contracts, Reign of the Architect released the following statement:
"After a long time working on our debut album, and six months of performances, we are proud to start a new chapter in the band's life; becoming a part of the Pitch Black Records roster - we're really looking forward to working with them. This is a great way to start this year. Stay tuned cause lots of things are being cooked inside ROTA's lair… Let it Reign!"

An introduction video from Reign of the Architect can be viewed at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYMS7ZJxiCU

Pitch Black Records owner Phivos Papadopoulos commented: “Working with newcomer artists who are first and foremost talented and passionate musicians has always been a core element of Pitch Black Records. Reign of the Architect is another fine example of this and we are very excited to welcome them to the constantly growing Pitch Black Records family. We are certain that their talent and passion in music will be quite evident from first listen and will not disappoint!”

More info on ROTA at http://www.reignofthearchitect.com/.



Pitch Black Records is an independent record label founded in 2007 and based in Cyprus; it is home to artists such as Arrayan Path, Marauder and Illnath. Reign of the Architect are represented by Jon Knight at Extreme Management Group - a New York Based management agency with clients including Suffocation and Aborted.

MULTI-PLATINUM ROCK BAND WHITESNAKE TO RELEASE NEW DVD/LIVE CD PACKAGE: “MADE IN JAPAN” DUE OUT IN APRIL ON FRONTIERS RECORDS



Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the release of legendary rock band Whitesnake’s new DVD/live CD package, MADE IN JAPAN.  MADE IN JAPAN is set for release on April 19th in Europe (22nd in the UK) and April 23rd in North America and will be available in several formats: a deluxe 2CD/DVD edition, Blu-ray and a standalone DVD.  The performance footage is shot in stunning HD in 5.1 and stereo and is taken from Whitesnake’s co-headlining set at the “Loud Park” festival on October 11th, 2011 held at Saitama Super Arena in Japan during their “Forevermore World Tour.”  The performance was initially recorded only for Japanese TV and future Loud Park promotions, but after three songs were broadcasted on a Loud Park highlights program in Japan, Whitesnake received unprecedented requests for this performance to be made available to the general public. 

MADE IN JAPAN contains songs from Whitesnake’s most recent studio album, FOREVERMORE, as well as classic hits such as “Is This Love,” “Still Of The Night” and “Here I Go Again.”  The bonus CD also includes never-before-heard outtakes and acoustic versions of material from the award winning FOREVERMORE album that were recorded during soundchecks on the 2011 Japanese tour.. Additional DVD content includes various band photo slideshows and fan-shot videos.


MADE IN JAPAN track listing:

Cd1 - Best Years; Give Me All Your Love Tonight; Love Ain’t No Stranger; Is This Love; Steal Your Heart Away; Forevermore; Six String Showdown; Love Will Set You Free; Drum Solo; Fool For Your Loving; Here I Go Again; Still Of The Night.

Bonus Cd 2 – Soundcheck - Love Will Set You Free; Steal Your Heart Away; Fare Thee Well (Acoustic Version); One Of These Days (Acoustic Version); Lay Down Your Love; Evil Ways; Good To Be Bad (Acoustic Version); Tell Me How (Acoustic Version).


Dvd / Blu-Ray contents - Best Years; Give Me All Your Love Tonight; Love Ain’t No Stranger; Is This Love; Steal Your Heart Away; Forevermore; Six String Showdown; Love Will Set You Free; Drum Solo; Fool For Your Loving; Here I Go Again; Still Of The Night.
Fan Videos For Forevermore and Steal Your Heart Away.



Formed in 1977, and steered by the legendary David Coverdale, Whitesnake carry a rightful reputation as one of the world’s leading rock bands. Coverdale’s blues roots, combined with a feral sense of rock and roll, have consistently shaped the ‘Snake’s sound along with Coverdale’s love and appreciation of impeccable musicianship.  Whitesnake’s ascent to the very top of the rock n’ roll heap was confirmed with 1987’s self-titled mega-platinum album, which saw two massive Top 10 hits, two #1 singles with “Here I Go Again” and “Is This Love” and a virtual 24-hour domination of MTV around the world.  David Coverdale was recently named one of Revolver’s “100 Greatest Living Rock Stars.” and the UK’s ‘Kerrang!’ voted David Coverdale the ‘Last Great Rock Star’.  Musicians on MADE IN JAPAN include David Coverdale (vocals), Doug Aldrich (guitars), Reb Beach (guitars), Michael Devin (bass), Briian Tichy (drums) and special guest Brian Ruedy (keyboards).

For more information, please visit:
Official Website www.whitesnake.com
Official Twitter - www.twitter.com/davidcoverdale