Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review - WOLFPAKK "Rise of The Animal" (2014 AFM Records)


Mark Sweeney and Michael Voss will release their latest Wolfpakk album "Rise of The Animal" on April 15th via AFM and this time it's obvious that they wanted to inject a bit more heavy into their melodic style of metal and they have done it very well. Not only that but they have assembled an all star array of guests to appear on this one as well.


I've been lucky enough to have an advance copy of  the actual CD to listen to for about a week now and it's been a good week. Track one "Rider of The Storm" starts right off with a damn catchy riff courtesy of Jeff Watson. Andi Deris from Helloween does the guest vocals on this one while Mark Sweeney adds his signature vocal style on top. All together a great way to open the album and it really sets the tone for the rest of it.

Up next is "Sock it to me" with a guest vocal spot from Marc Storace but amazingly they just use him on the chorus. In a masterstroke they place him on the second and third chore but not the first. This adds a bit more power as the song goes on. Did I mntion that they have very nicely broken out who does what in the CD booklet? This should get two horns up just for that.

"Monkey on Your Back" is a nicely done song dealing with addiction. Danger Danger man Ted Poley lends his pipes to this one and Ryan Roxie from Alice Cooper's band provides the axe work. Very catchy hooks in this one and a very singable chorus. Would have been very cool to have Nita Strauss on this one too.

Okay I'll admit that track four is a well written tune but I was a wee bit confused about a German melodic metal band doing a song called "Highland" complete with a highland breakdown by Bernie Torme. Totally enjoyed the vocal contributions from Joe Lynn Turner on this one. Of all the songs on the album this one has the chorus that will stick with you for days. Did I mention the bagpipes?

"Black Wolf" has a nice heavy groove. Lyrics might be a little off but the heft and groove of this one makes up for it.After this comes "Somewhere Beyond" which is a classic power metal song complete with some very Accept like vocal from David Reece. The guitar work from John Norum is also well done but as with his gig with Europe his guitar works is overshadowed by orchestration.

Track seven is "Running Out Of Time". Another fast paced tune with great vocals by Michael Voss.. Lots of changes in this one and the most dramatic is the turn into the chorus where you are suddenly in "Shadowlife" land and conveniently the vocal is provided by Don Dokken. The mighty Doug Aldrich provides the guitar on this one and he lays down one of the prime solos on the album.

Track eight "Grizzly Man" doesn't do a damn thing for me. It kills me to say that because these guys put out some great music but that track just leaves me cold.Track nine though "High Roller" is very nice. Kudos for the cool panning in the beginning. If you listen on a quality system it seems like the the coin drop goes around you. Nice comeback from the prior track. I should mention that current AC/DC drummer Chris Slade provides the beat on this one.

Amazingly the title track is the last track on the regular release. Lots of vocal tradeoffs here between Mark, Michael and Michael Kiske. They also include a triple play solo with Axel Rudi Pell, a keyboard solo from Chris Ivo (Jaded Heart) and Martin Rauber rounding it out back on guitar

If you get the deluxe edition (I did, thank you AFM) you get an extra track "Universe" as well as a video of "Sock It To Me". The real kicker in the final track is the vocal from Michaela Schober. Holy crap can that girl sing. It's the only female voice on the disc and you can't miss it. Reminded me a lot of Elize from Amaranthe. This track is probably the closest to a classic melodic/symphonic metal track and it was probably a wise choice making it a bonus track. The rest of the album is clearly not this.


So yes I would have bought this one anyways. Wolfpakk as an ongoing project always seems to deliver. However it was very nice to have it drop on my lap. If you liked the last Wolfpakk release then you will most likely be very much into this one as well. Even if you were take away the metal cavalcade of guests there are still some great songs on here. The extra muscle is just icing on the cake.

Monday, March 30, 2015

KILLER Unveil 'Monsters Of Rock' Album Artwork, Tracklisting, Release Dates, Video Streaming

Belgian metallers KILLER will release their new album, “Monsters Of Rock” on May 21 via Mausoleum Records. The cover artwork and a video of the title song ‘Monsters Of Rock‘ can be viewed below.




KILLER celebrating 35 years of “We-take-no-prisoners” hard rocking heavy metal! KILLER returns with “Monsters Of Rock“, their seventh album. Produced by Shorty and drummer Vanne, the album packs a powerful wallop, carrying on in the classic tradition of “Ready For Hell“, “Wall Of Sound” and “Shock Waves“. The spirit of the 1980s power-trio recorded with the technical capabilities of 2015 – Hard rockin’ heavy metal does not get any better!


Track listing:
01. Monsters Of Rock
02. No Exception To The Rule
03. Shotgun Symphony
04. Back To The Roots
05. No Way Out
06. Danger Zone
07. Firestorm
08. Deaf, Blind And Dumb
09. Forever Metal
10. Children Of Desperation
11. Hold Your Head Up High
12. Making Magic
13. The Reactor
14. Rock City
15. Fake


KILLER are:
Shorty – Lead Vocals & Lead Guitars
Jakke – Lead Vocals & Bass Guitar
Vanne – Drums & Backing vocals


From the outset in 1980 the power trio was embraced by a myriad of loyal fans all over the world. Their first three albums; “Ready For Hell”, “Wall Of Sound” and especially “Shockwaves”, were unanimously lauded by aficionados and critics alike, rubberstamped heavy metal masterpieces of the 80s. By the mid-eighties the band played prestigious festivals, toured the whole of Europe, and sold albums from Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro and from Moscow to New York, and just about everywhere in between. A noteworthy climax being a tour of Poland in 1986, where for the duration they played for captive audiences numbering no less than 10.000 eager fans each night.

Killer’s fourth album, “Fatal Attraction”, eagerly awaited by fans for over five years, was another success. By 1991 however Grunge music ruled the world and Killer (by then a quartet) took a step back. Later that year founding member, guitarist/ vocalist Shorty released a solo album entitled “Too Wild To Tame” under his last name: Van Camp. 
The album sounded as if it could have been Killer, volume IV. In May 2002, a reformed Killer were joined by Doro (Warlock), Ostrogoth and Crossfire, headlining the sold-out Mausoleum Records 20th Anniversary Concert. The overwhelming success lead to the recording of “Broken Silence”, an album featuring great anthem-like songs, as well as, for the very first time: keyboards. 

The 2005 follow-up, “Immortal”, once again more prominently featured Shorty’s trademark guitar sound.

HAMMER KING's 'Kingdom of the Hammer King' coming May 5 on Cruz Del Sur Music

CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC will release the debut album Kingdom of the Hammer King from new epic power metal sensation HAMMER KING on May 5 in North America! 

 HAMMER KING represent the perfect, balanced heavy sound of the German power metal tradition, highlighted by  the right dose of epic tones. The music  moves around the figure of singer/guitarist/composer Titan Fox (ROSS THE BOSS' singer). The line-up is completed by former SALTATIO MORTIS drummer Dolph A. Macallan , K.K. Basement on bass and Gino Wilde on guitar.  All the musicians involved in this band have an aged and trained background in metal music, as demonstrated through the masterful Kingdom of the Hammer King!

What surprises most on the album is the catchy immediacy of the compositions. Indeed, the melodies and glorious guitar solos embed and remain in the brain. "Aderlass;  blood of Sacrifice," "Chancellor of Glory," and the title track are a perfect examples of epic power metal anthems that'll have you singing at the top of your lungs and fist-pumping for the duration. All killer, no filler; Kingdom of the Hammer King is the complete package!

Kingdom Of The Hammer King was recorded and produced at the Greywolf Studios by POWERWOLF's own Charles Greywolf The cover artwork was created by German Artist Timo Würz who was able to capture with his art  the essence and power of the band. The LP version will include a bonus track "Leather Indians (of Steel)."

You can get a taste of HAMMER KING by listening to the album's title track here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3a0Q7xKoj0
  
"I like to think there is a little bit of Metal in everything Wishbone Ash does. If I were to recommend one Heavy Metal band to listen to, it would be HAMMER KING" - 
Andy Powell (Wishbone Ash)

"Hammer King is the real deal. Power Metal at its best!" - Ross the Boss





I) Kingdom of the Hammer King
I am the King
Aderlass; The Blood of Sacrifice
Chancellor of Glory
II) I am the Hammer King
Blood Angels
Visions of A Healed World
Figure in The Black
We Are The Hammer
III) Glory to the Hammer King

Saturday, March 28, 2015

DYGITALS Unveil 'Dynamite' Album Cover, Tracklist, Release Dates

French heavy metallers DYGITALS will release their new album, “Dynamite” on May 21 in Europe and May 5 in North America via Mausoleum Records. The cover artwork and a short video sample can be viewed below.

The album was produced, engineered and mixed by Didier Chesneau at MII Recording Studio, based in Forainvillier Dreux in France. “Dynamite” marks the return of the band to its glorious form.


Track listing:

01. Dynamite
02. 30 Years Of Rock
03. No Speed Limit
04. Sin City
05. Everybody Knows
06. Will You Help Me
07. No Way Out
08. We Wanna Live Free
09. Don’t Want To Let You Down
10. End Of The Story



Dygitals were formed in 1984, by vocalist Hervé Traisnel. They rapidly garnered a reputation as a rock-solid live band, which lead to a busy touring schedule, opening for well-known acts, performing at prestigious festivals and establishing a large fan following which remained loyal over three decades. In 1986 Dygitals ranked among the top ten of French rock bands in Enfer, an influential magazine that at the time was considered to be the national oracle of heavy metal.
Originally playing hard rock not unlike groups like Iron Maiden and Accept, by 1988 they had absorbed influences from American bands like Bon Jovi, and Los Angeles based acts such as Ratt and Mötley Crüe, resulting in a unique transatlantic metal mixture. Their change of style fortuitously resulted in Dygitals being invited to play several clubs in Los Angeles, including not only the infamous Whiskey A Go Go, but also Gazzarri’s, a nightclub on the Sunset Strip, where The Doors and Van Halen were featured house bands for long stretches before being discovered. In the end Dygitals ended up touring the US for the rest of the year, returning to France early 1989, to a heroes welcome.
In the meantime – after having recorded reels and reels of demos, they also release their debut album. The euphoria didn’t last, and by late 1990 Dygitals packed it in beaten by the worldwide onslaught of Grunge. Sporadic reunions in 2003 and 2005 resulted in the albums “2003” and “Imagine”. Late 2009 there were signs of serious renewed interest from both fans and media and Hervé decided to reform Dygitals. After a few months of vigorous rehearsals, they were of to a flying start, soon settling back into a busy touring schedule before signing to Brennus Records and releasing the album “Avé”, in October 2012.
Now in 2015 they are back stronger thank ever with the new album “Dynamite“.

WOVENWAR to team up with SYLOSIS for European tour in May

WOVENWAR are excited to return to Europe in May for a club tour as direct support to SYLOSIS! Tickets and dates are listed now on wovenwar.com/tour.



Comments the band: "If we lads in Wovenwar had a pence for every great show memory experienced in the Europe, our trousers'd be loaded with one or two quid… each. Off our trolleys in enthused anticipation of our upcoming tour, we look forward to performing many more wonderful moments with you lot. Cheers!"

SYLOSIS
+ WOVENWAR
+ guests
12/05/15 FR - Paris - O'Sullivans
13/05/15 NL - Haarlem - Patronaat
14/05/15 BE - Vosselaar - Biebob
15/05/15 DE - Aschaffenburg - Colos Saal
16/05/15 DE - Karlsruhe - Stadtmitte
17/05/15 DE - München - Strom 
19/05/15 CH - Aarau - Kiff
20/05/15 IT - Milano - Factory
21/05/15 AT - Wien - Szene
22/05/15 DE - Nürnberg - Rockfabrik
23/05/15 DE - Berlin - Magnet
24/05/15 DE - Hamburg - Logo
25/05/15 DE - Köln - Underground

WOVENWAR will also play five headlining shows in the UK!

WOVENWAR
+ AS LIONS
27/05/15 UK - Nottingham - Rock City
28/05/15 UK - Manchester - Sound Control
29/05/15 UK - London - Underworld
30/05/15 UK - Bristol - Exchange
31/05/15 UK - Glasgow - Kingtut's

Make sure to check out the latest video from WOVENWAR "Death to Rights." The clip was directed by Josh Klein and Nick Hipa. Check it out now directly at Loudwire.com HERE.

If you haven't had a chance to check out the stunning debut offering from WOVENWAR, you are truly missing out on one of the most impactful metal albums in years. The band kicked off 2015 on a massive North American tour alongside Periphery and Nothing More to nothing but rave reviews.

WOVENWAR's self-titled debut was released in August of 2014 and landed at #36 on the Billboard Top 200 charts. On iTunes, the album peaked at #2 on the rock charts, and #1 on the metal charts during its week of release. In Germany the album landed on position 41 in the official Media Control Charts.

Revolver Magazine heralded the album as "more multifaceted than anything by As I Lay Dying," and Decibel Magazine added that "WOVENWAR sounds confident, vital, and even liberated on this splendid debut."


Friday, March 27, 2015

FURYON Confirmed for Poland's Woodstock Festival


Brithsh hard rockers FURYON are confirmed to play Main Stage at Woodstock Festival Poland on July 31, 2105 in Kostrzyn, Poland. Woodstock Festival Poland is a huge FREE summer music festival & the biggest open-air festival in Europe! No i na Dużej Scenie zagra FURYON.


Last year 750.000 visitors attend on 3 days!

Other bands confirmed: Black Label Society, Cannailles, Congo Natty, Eluveitie, Frontside, Hed PE, Illusion, Lipali, Mela Koteluk, Mrozu, Proletaryat, Scarecrow, Shaka Ponk, Within Temptation and many more.

ENTRY is FREE
CAMPING IS FREE
BEER IS 0.80 Euro
FOOD on average 2.50 Euro
MASSIVE MUD SHOWER
BUNGEE JUMP for 30.00 Euro
Flights to Berlin are very cheap
Train to Festival from Berlin is 5.00Euro !
More infomation can be found here:

FURYON currently touring UK in support of their new album ‘Lost Salvation‘, released on February 23, 2015 via Dream Records. The band will headline SOS Festival in UK this July and to play Secrets Of Metal Festival in Belgium this September.


Furyon are:
Matt Mitchell – Vocals
Alex “Nickel” Bowen – Bass
Lee Farmery – Drums
Tiago Rosado – Guitars

”Our music is good songs with touches of intelligence” says singer Matt Mitchell, “There are a many different moods that come out from this band and all the songs have meaning and substance. Heavy and Melodic! That is what FURYON is about”.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

LORDS OF THE TRIDENT announce new lead guitar player.


LORDS OF THE TRIDENT have confirmed the addition of their new lead guitarist to their dual six string weapon department.

Lead vocalist Fang VonWrathenstein has checked in with the following update:
We are extremely excited to announce that we have confirmed a new immortal lead guitar player. His name and the story of how we met will be announced soon, but we can let you know that for a time, he masqueraded as "Brian Koenig", a mortal lead guitar player in the band LUNA MORTIS, signed to Century Media. Prepare your faces, because they're going to get melted like never before!


Brian states: It is with great ardor and privilege that I join forces with the Lords of the Trident on lead guitar. I eagerly await the pillaging, plundering, sonic mayhem and world domination that will undoubtedly ensue!"


Lords of the Trident are currently in the process of filming and editing a music video for "Knights of Dragon's Deep" off of their recently released new album "Frostburn".


Lords of the Trident recently announced a list of upcoming shows:
4/30 - Madison, WI - Opening for Peelander-Z (with a special guest lead guitarist!)
5/22 - Rio, WI Headlining MAYBASH
6/12 - Madison, WI - with Zephaniah
6/13 - Appleton, WI - with Zephaniah and Forcefield
8/22 - Madison, WI - with Automaton
11/7 - Madison, WI - Gamehole Con 2015 at the Alliant Energy Center!

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

ROB HALFORD SIGNS WORLD WIDE RIGHTS DEAL FOR CATALOG RELEASES WITH SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT AND LEGACY RECORDINGS


March 25, 2015 - New York, NY - SONY Music Entertainment and Legacy Recordings, SME's catalog division, have signed a worldwide rights deal to with the Metal God, Rob Halford. Frontman of the legendary heavy metal band Judas Priest, Rob Halford brought his iconic charisma and influential vocal style to a variety of side projects since 1992, notably his bands Fight, 2wo and Halford. The new SONY/Legacy agreement with Rob Halford will include individual album catalog titles and audio-visual releases. Upcoming Rob Halford anthology titles will include an Essential and Playlist collection with plans for a definitive Complete Albums Box. 

Born Robert John Arthur Halford on August 25, 1951, Rob Halford rocketed to fame as the lead singer for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest.  One of the genre's most powerful, distinctive and influential vocalists, Halford set the standard for generations of metal singers. After leaving Judas Priest in 1992, Halford formed the band Fight and, between 1993 and 1995, recorded two albums, War of Words and A Small Deadly Space, and an EP, Mutations, with the band. Following Fight, Halford moved into the realm of industrial metal with his Two project.  In 2000, he launched the straight-ahead no-nonsense pure metal ensemble Halford. The SONY/Legacy release agreement includes virtually all of Rob Halford's work with Fight, Two and Halford from 1992 onward. Coming on March 31, Columbia/Legacy Recordings will release The Essential Rob Halford (2 CD-30 tracks). 

Rob Halford Catalog includes: 

Fight

Albums
War of Words
Mutations
A Small Deadly Space
K5 – The “War of Words” Demos


Audio/Visual
War of Words: The Film
Live in Phoenix 

Two

Voyeurs 


Halford
Metal God Essentials: Volume 1
Resurrection
Live Insurrection
Crucible
Live at Rock in Rio 3 (album and audio/visual)
Live in Anaheim (album and audio/visual)
Winter Songs
Made of Metal
Live at Saitama Super Arena (album and audio/visual)
Live in London
Live 2010 North & South America Tour (album and audio/visual)

Metal God Essentials: Volume 2

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Scorpions drummer James Kottak guests on this weeks episode of Focus on Metal


Episode 226 - Kottak Attack

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of The Scorpions. To mark the occasion they have just released their 18th studio album "Return To Forever" as well as embarking on a celebratory world tour. For those you that want the scoop on this years Scorpions plans (and who doesn't) we have a guy with the inside scoop, drummer James Kottak on the show this week. James called us direct from tour rehearsals and graciously gave us a nice chunk of time out of his very hectic schedule.

You can find James on the web at: http://www.jameskottak.com/
The Scorpions park their site at: http://www.the-scorpions.com while you are there check out the tour dates and maybe buy yourself some tix.


And of course be sure to grab a copy of "Return To Forever".

Get the latest episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or on iTunes

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

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

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Martin Popoff guests on this weeks Focus on Metal.


Episode 225 - Martin Sails Away

One of our favorite guests, Martin Popoff makes yet another appearance on the show this week. Always the veritable fountain of metal literature Martin continues to unleash books you need to know about. The focus of this weeks talk are his latest books on Whitesnake and Megadeth. Of course while we have Martin on the phone we also talk about a few other books he's done since we last talked and also a preview of what he's got coming up next.


Also this week we have Cameron Taylor the vocalist of Secret of Boris. These guys have just released their debut "Your Ghost" on Cabo Records and we took the opportunity to discuss the band and the release.

Get your fix of Martin Popoff's literary might at: http://www.martinpopoff.com/

Secret of Boris can be found at: http://secretofboris.net/


Get the latest episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or on iTunes

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

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

Motor Sister "Ride" debuts on Billboard Charts!



Motor Sister "Ride" debuts on Billboard Charts!

"All you really need to know about Ride is that it kicks a massive amount of ass"
-Revolver-

"This is kick ass classic sounding hard rock! Blazing guitars, great vocals and songs! Everything I love most about hard rock music in one killer album."
-Eddie Trunk-

"MOTOR SISTER put on a show that I can only sum up as "neck breaking fun."
-Skulls n Bones-

MOTOR SISTER's "Ride" has debuted on the Billboard charts after its first week of release. The album cracked the top 10 with the #9 position on the Billboard New Artist (Heatseekers) chart. Additional chart numbers have been listed below!

#12 Debut @ Billboard Hard Music Albums
#40 Debut @ Billboard Rock Albums
#27 Debut @ Billboard Independent Albums
#163 Debut @ Billboard Top 200 Albums (current)

Recently, the band's brand new video for "A Hole" was debuted on Billboard.com. Watch the clip now HERE.

MOTOR SISTER is a group of musicians whose collective musical pedigrees speak for themselves. Mother Superior founder, guitarist, and vocalist Jim Wilson fronts the band, with Anthrax's Scott Ian on guitar, Pearl Aday on backing vocals, Joey Vera on bass, and John Tempesta on drums.

The group was originally assembled to jam for Scott Ian's fiftieth birthday party. Thanks to Scott's wife Pearl Aday, who has been working on her solo career with Mother Superior front man Jim Wilson for years, all it took was a quick phone call and the stage was literally set for Scott's dream gig. "I wanted to cherry-pick a set list of my favorite Mother Superior songs and get these guys together and have the concert at my house," Ian says of the event that eventually led to an album.

"[Mother Superior] frontman Jim [Wilson] was totally into the idea. Pearl was a huge Mother Superior fan from way back and was in. I asked my good friends Joey Vera (Fates Warning, Armored Saint) and John Tempesta (White Zombie, Testament) to be a part of it because I knew they were both big fans as well and with no hesitation they said, 'We're in.'"

Wilson, too, was stoked by the opportunity to dust off some songs he hadn't played since his LA rock trio broke up in the early 2000's after releasing eight albums and playing as Henry Rollins' backing band. "I definitely didn't need any arm-twisting," he says. "I was totally flattered and thought it was a great idea. I figured it would be fun and it was a great opportunity for a new chapter to be established in order to move forward."

The recordings from those two days are what became to be known as MOTOR SISTER's Ride. The first single from those sessions, "This Song Reminds Me of You," is available for to stream, along with a featurette video on the formation of the band and the process behind the record, at metalblade.com/motorsister.

Ride was released March 10th in North America on Metal Blade Records. The album is available now at http://www.metalblade.com/motorsister.

In support of the project MOTOR SISTER played a show a in Brooklyn, NY earlier this month, along with two special shows March 11th at The Whisky in Los Angeles and March 12th at DNA Lounge in San Francisco, CA.

Follow Motor Sister online:

Follow the band members online:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Review - As Above So Below, The Unauthorized Yngwie Biography (Ander Tengner, Bokfabriken Worldwide)

Our reviewer in residence Wayne Simmons has once again pummelled out another great review. This time he turns his critical eye towards the publishing world and let loose the fury.


 I’ve a soft spot for Yngwie Malmsteen. For the uninitiated, he’s one of the pioneers of neo-classical metal – or shredding, as many like to call it – the very stuff Guitar Hero was founded upon. But Yngwie means much more to me than that: 1989’s Live in Leningrad, an album many believe to be his finest moment, was the first metal album that I owned. I bought it on cassette because the front cover featured Yngwie burning his guitar on stage, and to fifteen year old me that was just the most badass thing ever.

So began a brief but intense love affair with all things Malmsteen. I searched out previous albums, Odyssey and Trilogy, plus the VHS of the Leningrad show, and played them all to death. 1990 saw Yngwie’s fourth studio album, Eclipse, released and I grabbed it too, sharing my stash around school, telling anyone who would listen about this awesome guitar shredder I’d discovered. In fact, it was Yngwie that first inspired me to pick up a guitar myself, before putting it quickly down again: I mean, when someone plays this well, I thought, why bother?

Then grunge came along and we were all swept up in a wave of floppy hair and plaid shirts; guitar shredding became uncool and my metal collection was sold onto someone at school who still gave a damn. Yngwie was forgotten by me and many like me but he still kept playing and producing albums. If anything, his infamy grew, burning guitars onstage quite pedestrian to what was reported to be going on behind closed doors…

As Above, So Below: The Unauthorized Yngwie Biography tells a defiantly warts-and-all story of Malmsteen’s life. Its writer, fellow Swede Anders Tengner, is an acquaintance of Yngwie’s but don’t let that fool you: this is the most shocking and revealing rock bio I’ve read since Motley Crue’s The Dirt. Yngwie’s well known for being a little on the difficult side to work with, but Tengner takes it to a new level, drawing upon sources including former bandmates, roadies, managers and label people as well as Yngwie’s girlfriends and ex-wives, to paint the picture of a very troubled, albeit gifted, individual. 
In many ways, Yngwie’s portrayed as the clichéd rockstar: sex, drugs and rock n’ roll feature heavily in this book. But an obsessive and defiantly individualistic approach to his craft makes him something much more intriguing than that. Yngwie has always kicked against the mainstream, his style remaining very flamboyant even throughout the 90s when many of his peers were adapting to survive, going with a more stripped back grunge sound. In sharp contrast, Yngwie claims to have no interest in rock or metal trends at all, listening solely to classical. 1998’s  Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra hammered that point home, an orchestral piece Yngwie wrote and then performed along with the Czech Philharmonic. It’s reported as being Yngwie’s own personal highlight throughout a career spanning over three decades to date, and still going.

Tengner’s biography charts the highs and lows of Yngwie’s life and career in a candid and clutter-free writing style. It’s clear from the outset that this is a bio written by a fan as opposed to just some tabloid hack, and that, along with an introduction by one Joe Lynn Turner, makes this a credible read well worth any metalhead’s time. 


Reviewed by Wayne Simmons

Check out more from Wayne at:
www.waynesimmons.org

He also writes for Power Play Magazine which can be found at powerplaymagazine.co.uk/

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Just Posted: Episode 224 of Focus on Metal - Part 1 of our ten part series on Little Mountain Sound


Episode 224 - Little Mountain Sound Episode 1


Finally, this week we begin airing the episodes for our big 2015 project on Little Mountain Sound Studios. Fittingly we kick it off with a talk with Miles Ramsay one of the founders of the studio. Miles is a fountain of knowledge on the history of the studio and he shared a lot of it with us on this episode. This is just the first of ten episodes we will run this year on Little Mountain so stay tuned for some great stories from both staff and artists who were there in the heyday of this classic recording facility.

Here's a great shot of the much talked about Studio B provided by the Ron Vrmulin who we'll hear from in another installment of this series.



Get the latest episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or on iTunes

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

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

Sunday, March 8, 2015

BLOODSOAKED Offering Free Downloads of Entire Discography



North Carolina's one-man Death Metal Army BLOODSOAKED is offering the digital versions of all four albums as free downloads! It's true and devoid of strings. You can get 2007's Brutally Butchered, 2009's Sadistic Deeds...Grotesque Memories, 2011's The Death of Hope, and 2014's Religious Apocalypse free at http://www.bloodsoaked.net/music.

The most recent of the four, Religious Apocalypse, was released last year on Comatose Music and included new cuts, live tracks and brutalized renditions of Cinderella's "Shake Me" and Ratt's "You're in Love." 


SIX FEET UNDER: Legendary Death Metal Unit Unleashes Tune From Forthcoming New Studio Offering

Cover Art + Track Listing Revealed


Legendary death metal unit, SIX FEET UNDER, will release their eleventh studio recording this Spring via Metal Blade Records. Titled Crypt Of The Devil, the ten track slab of audio violence was composed by vocalist Chris Barnes and Cannabis Corpse bassist/vocalist Phil "Landphil" Hall. While on tour with Cannabis Corpse in 2013, Barnes and Hall met and kept in touch. Barnes would later lend his vocals to a track on Cannabis Corpse's From Wisdom To Baked. That same year, Hall and Barnes joined forces to pen brand new SIX FEET UNDER tracks. Barnes lauds Hall's take on the SIX FEET UNDER style of death metal and stated that this material was, "where my wheelhouse is - it's where I thrive vocally and lyrically."

With Crypt Of The Devil, Barnes has worked to continue the overall story from the previous works, wherein he is penning lyrics from the perspective of a serial killer. Or as Barnes describes, it's a "winding journey through his mind. The songs paint a picture that's not necessarily linear, rather a meandering back and forth through a dark soul." Soon-to-be-classic cuts such as "Open Coffin Orgy" serve as exemplary examples of the fruits of Barnes' macabre muse.

Recording for the album took place at Hall's studio in Virginia. Hall tracked rhythm and bass guitar, while his brother, Josh Hall, tracked drums, and guitarist Brandon Ellis tracked the majority of the album's leads. Barnes took to London Bridge Studio (Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains etc.) in his new base of operations in Seattle, Washington to record vocals and in fact holed himself up in the very same booth where Layne Staley tracked his words. The mix was completed by Rob Caldwell (Cannabis Corpse, Iron Reagan etc.) in Sarasota, Florida and mastering was done by Alan Douches (Cannibal Corpse, Revocation, Torche, Skeletonwitch etc.) at West West Side in New Windsor, New York. Crypt Of The Devil stands as a truly collaborative and cross-country effort from a selection of today's finest metal minds, and the result is a refreshing SIX FEET UNDER experience. Or as refreshing as brutal, visceral death metal can be, anyway.

Sample the sadistic wares of new single "Open Coffin Orgy" at metalblade.com/sixfeetunder.

Crypt Of The Devil Track Listing:
1. Gruesome
2. Open Coffin Orgy
3. Broken Bottle Rape
4. Break The Cross In Half
5. Lost Remains
6. Slit Wrists
7. Stab
8. The Night Bleeds
9. Compulsion To Brutalize
10. Eternal in Darkness

SIX FEET UNDER began as a side project while Barnes -- owner of what would become one of the most dominating, groundbreaking and instantly distinguishable voices of the death metal genre -- was fronting Cannibal Corpse. SIX FEET UNDER eventually became a full-fledged and unstoppable entity in 1995, and over the course of their career, have consistently helped shape the face of death metal through their uncompromising approach to their craft. SIX FEET UNDER is one of the longest standing and successful acts in death metal history, with all but their debut album appearing on a Billboard chart. The band's current live lineup will include longtime guitarist Steve Swanson, flanked by Jeff Hughell on bass, and Marco Pitruzella on drums.

Crypt Of The Devil will see release via Metal Blade Records on May 5th, 2015. For a selection of preorder bundles, go to: metalblade.com/sixfeetunder.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

FURYON Confirmed As Headliner For SOS Festival, UK Tour March


UK Rockers FURYON are confirmed as Headliner for SOS Festival, which will take place in ManchesterUK on July 17-19, 2015. Also confirmed for the festival are  Blaze Bayley,TriaxisTysondogCollibusKnock Out Kaine, to name a few.


FURYON have recently confirmed dates for a UK headlining tour in March 2015, in support of their second album release ‘Lost Salvation‘, released on February 23, 2015 via Dream Records.

The dates are as follows:
March 20 – The Square, Harlow, UK w/ Fahran
March 22 – The Concorde 2, Brighton, UK w/ Fahran
March 24 – The Audio, Glasgow, UK w/ Fahran
March 29 – The Barfly, London, UK w/ Fahran
March 30 – Bannerman’s Live, Edinburgh, UK
April 04 – Rebellion, Manchester, UK
more dates t.b.a.


What’s to be expected is more explosive guitar riffs and solos in well-crafted song form. Expressive vocal delivery and melodies to scream along to. A possibly darker sound still with progressive elements and a grungy edge.

Metal Blade Records to re-issue Thrust's "Fist Feld High" as special edition double album

In celebration of THRUST's 35th anniversary, Metal Blade Records is releasing the ultimate edition of the band's classical 1984 album "Fist Held High". The release includes the entire album, live and demo tracks from the beginning through the late 80s, plus the unreleased studio album "Reincarnation", recorded in 1988/1989 and produced by Bob Kulick!



Visit metalblade.com/thrust to listen to the title track from "Fist Feld High" and order a copy of this special edition release!

THRUST guitarist Ron Cooke comments: "A big Thank You to the fans who never stopped playing the music. After all these years it's always been about the music, standing the test of time, connecting with the fans soul, pouring out the creative spirit through the music into the hearts of many and return filling our hearts. For that is the true connection between the heart soul and each other. That is why the music will always live on."

Double album complete track listing:
01. Fist Held High
02. Overdrive
03. Freedom Fighters
04. Metallic Attack
05. Heavier Than Hell
06. Thrasher
07. Torture Chamber
08. Posers Will Die
09. Iron Gates (Live)
10. The Wolf (Live)
11. Feast of Flesh (Live)
12. Hard Rider (Live)
13. Destructer (from Metal Massacre IV)

"Reincarnation" Bonus CD
01. War
02. Scream Girl Scream
03. God Only Knows
04. Hypocrite
05. Never Too Young
06. Wasted
07. The Fool
08. Get Crazy
09. Cheater
10. Fit Of Rage
11. Intensity (Instrumental) - Demo
12. No Mercy - Demo
13. Rockin The Night - Demo
14. Back On The Street - Demo
15. Evil Redeemer - Demo
16. Psycho Killer - Demo
17. Fist Held High - Demo
18. Stand Up And Fight - Demo

"Fist Held High" will be released as a double CD boxset on June 2nd, 2015!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Reb Beach Guests on This Weeks Focus on Metal


Episode 223 - Focus on Reb Beach

Another in our series of career retrospective episodes, our guest this week is Whitesnake/Winger guitarist and all around good guy Reb Beach. We talk with Reb and go through a brief history of his career through a bunch of bands and catch up with what he's up to these days as well. Reb doesn't usually go these type of things so it was very cool of him to allow the Focus on Metal team to put him under the musical microscope. We hope you enjoy what he has to say.

Visit Reb's official site at: http://www.rebbeach.com/ you can also get him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RebBeach or follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/realrebbeach
Visit Whitesnake's site at http://www.whitesnake.com/ or Winger's at http://www.wingertheband.com/


And as always Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.
Get the latest episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or on iTunes

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

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

Armored Saint to release new album this summer





Tour with Saxon begins May 12!

The iconic ARMORED SAINT has returned with one of their heaviest records of their illustrious career. The crushing, epic new full-length release, Win Hands Down, shows the band have only grown stronger and tighter with age, making for a dynamic and enthralling metal masterpiece. Look for the new album out June 2nd and more details (album art, track-listing, new music video, etc) will be announced over the coming weeks.

ARMORED SAINT are also proud to be joining the legendary Saxon for a few select, high profile shows across the country from May 12th through May 30th. Head over to facebook.com/thearmoredsaint for all tour dates and additional information.

John Bush (vocals) states: "When we began talking about a new record I told Joey Vera (bass) to pretend we were a really huge band and that we could do anything we wanted. At least that was the mindset we should have, from the writing to the production. What came out was Win Hands Down, which is our first record in five years. There's everything from classic ARMORED SAINT rocker songs to epic songs and we all dug deep deliver something special. If we weren't going to, then we shouldn't have bothered. I'm glad we did. In May we are doing some shows in the States with Saxon. It's a great way to get the ball rolling."

Vera further comments: "We're very excited about our new record coming out in June! We've been writing over the past year and half and we feel like we've written some amazing music. We can't wait to share it! To get our whistle's wet, we're super excited about doing some warm up gigs before the record release with the legendary Saxon this May! We're doing a total of six shows between the East Coast, Texas, West Coast and we couldn't think of a better way to start off the summer! See you all soon."

ARMORED SAINT
Tour with Saxon
05/12 New York, NY BB Kings
05/13 Worcester, MA The Palladium
05/23 San Antonio, TX 210 Kapone's Live
05/24 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Live
05/29 San Jose, CA Rockbar
05/30 Los Angeles, CA House of Blues

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

DIRE PERIL releases lyric video for “Evolution's Failed Design”

Based on an independent short story written by Heather Smith, "Evolution's Failed Design" tells the story of an android uncovering the hidden truth that he was once a human experiment as he copes with human thoughts and feelings.

Evolution’s Failed Design” is the 1st track to be released from DIRE PERIL's upcoming 3rd EP titled “Through Time and Space” and features a special guest performance by legendary guitarist Andy LaRocque (King Diamond).

The newly released lyric video can be viewed via the following link:
Dire Peril - "Evolution’s Failed Design” OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO

Through Time and Space” will be released on March 24th, 2015 through Dead Inside Records. Vocals for the album were tracked by Norman Skinner (Imagika, Skinner, Hellscream) at Savage Screams Studios in Fremont, CA. The remainder of the album was recorded at Alien Productions in Carmichael, CA and mixed\mastered by JK Northrup (XYZ, Liberty n’ Justice). Never slowing down Dire Peril is hard at work finalizing the last tracks for their 1st full-length effort titled “Final Scenes for Forgotten Worlds”. The band plans to enter the studio to begin recording in March.

Through Time and Space” track listing:
     1. Evolution’s Failed Design
     2. What Mysteries Await
     3. Through Time And Space
     4. Transformers (Lion Cover)


Cover artwork for the album was created by Horror\Fantasy artist Sean “Zombie” Walusko and can be seen below:


DIRE PERIL media links:

Finnish Folk Metal Titans ENSIFERUM Announce North American Tour With Korpiklaani


One Man Army Full-Length To Drop Next Tuesday

Finnish folk metal titans, ENSIFERUM, will return to North America this Spring on a co-headlining tour with country-mates, Korpiklaani. Scheduled to commence on May 6th in Los Angeles, the band will level nearly two dozen cities with the trek coming to a close on May 29th in New York City. Additional support will be provided by Trollfest. The tour follows the band's European march alongside Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum next month. Tickets are on sale today. See all confirmed dates below.

ENSIFERUM will be touring in support of their One Many Army full-length, set to drop in North America this Tuesday via Metal Blade Records. Crowned "warlike and fiery" by MetalSucks, ENSIFERUM's predominantly analog-recorded One Man Army wields eleven stunning tracks of the band's signature synthesis of Viking, folk and power metal swathed in fantastical themes of Scandinavian lore, captured by award-winning producer Anssi Kippo (Children Of Bodom, Impaled Nazarene, Entwine etc.) at Astia-Studios in Lappeenranta, Finland.

In anticipation of its release, the band recently partnered with Spotfiy to bring fans a stream of the record in its entirety. Hosted by Decibel Magazine, each day Spotify added an additional One Man Army track to their player leading up to the record's final descent. Listen to One Man Army, now streaming in its entirety, at THIS LOCATION.

ENSIFERUM w/ Frosttide:
2/27/2015 Pakkahuone - Tampere, FI
2/28/2015 Rytmikorjaamo - Seianajoki, FI
3/06/2015 Lutakko - Jyvaskyla, FI
3/07/2015 Nosturi - Helsinki, FI
w/ Craving:
3/10/2015 Schlachthof - Lingen, DE ("Fan Appreciation Show" by EMP)
w/ Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum:
3/11/2015 Zeche - Bochum, DE
3/12/2015 Rockfabrik - Ludwigsburg, DE
3/13/2015 Backstage - München, DE
3/14/2015 Masters of Rock Café - Zlin, CZ
3/15/2015 Club 202 - Budapest, HU
3/16/2015 Szene - Wien, AT
3/18/2015 Live Club - Milan, IT
3/19/2015 Les Docks - Lausanne, CH
3/20/2015 La Laiterie - Strasbourg, FR
3/21/2015 Z7 - Pratteln, CH
3/22/2015 Ninkasi Kao - Lyon, FR
3/23/2015 Le Bataclan - Paris, FR
3/24/2015 O2 Academy Islington- London, UK
3/25/2015 Patronaat - Haarlem, NL
3/26/2015 Hedon - Zwolle, NL
3/27/2015 Biebob - Vosselaar, BE
3/28/2015 Tivoli - Bremen, DE
3/29/2015 Grünspan - Hamburg, DE
3/30/2015 Vega - Copenhagen, DK
3/31/2015 Göta Källare - Stockholm, SE
4/01/2015 Sticky Fingers - Gothenburg, SE
4/02/2015 Inferno Metal Festival - Oslo, NO
w/ Korpiklaani, Trollfest:
5/06/2015 House of Blues - Los Angeles, CA [tickets]
5/07/2015 Slim's - San Francisco, CA [tickets]
5/08/2015 Hawthorne Theater - Portland, OR [tickets]
5/09/2015 El Corazon - Seattle, WA [tickets]
5/10/2015 Rickshaw Theatre Vancouver, BC [tickets]
5/12/2015 Republik - Calgary, AB [tickets]
5/13/2015 Union Hall - Edmonton, AB [tickets]
5/15/2015 Summit Music Hall - Denver, CO [tickets]
5/16/2015 Bourbon Theater - Lincoln, NE [tickets]
5/17/2015 Mill City Nights - Minneapolis, MN [tickets]
5/18/2015 Bottom Lounge - Chicago, IL [tickets]
5/19/2015 Agora Theater - Cleveland, OH [tickets]
5/20/2015 Opera House - Toronto, ON [tickets]
5/21/2015 Mavericks - Ottawa, ON [tickets]
5/22/2015 Club Soda - Montreal, QC [tickets]
5/23/2015 Imperial de Quebec - Quebec City, QC [tickets]
5/24/2015 Brighton Music Hall - Boston, MA [tickets]
5/26/2015 Mr. Small's Theater - Pittsburgh, PA [tickets]
5/27/2015 Baltimore Soundstage - Baltimore, MD [tickets]
5/28/2015 Theatre of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA [tickets]
5/29/2015 Irving Plaza - New York, NY [tickets]
2015 Summer Festivals:
8/13/2015 Rockstadt Extremefest - Rasnov, DE
6/19-21/2015 Hellfest - Clisson, FR
7/30-8/1/2015 Wacken Open Air - Wacken, DE
8/06-08/2015 Party San Open Air - Schlotheim, DE
8/08/2015 IntoThe Grave Festival - Leeuwarden, NL
8/09/2015 Bloodstock Open Air - Walton-On-Trent, GB
8/13-15/2015 Summer Breeze - Dinkelsbühl, DE

Forged in 1995 as a trio by guitarist/vocalist Markus Toivonen, and presently featuring current and former members of October Falls, Rapture, Norther, Barathrum and Sinergy, ENSIFERUM has been flying the flag of epic, folk-infused death metal high and proud for two decades. The band's One Man Army full-length will be released in North America via Metal Blade Records on February 24th, 2015 and includes an accompanying four-track bonus CD. Preorder bundles for One Man Army are currently available at metalblade.com/ensiferum where you'll also find the band's recently debuted "One Man Army" video and companion making-of footage. For iTunes preorders, point your browser to itunes.apple.com/album/id956849251.

"Finland's ENSIFERUM have long traded in their designation as a 'folk metal' group, but on the band's sixth studio album the metal side of that label is decidedly dominant. And it's epic metal at that: 'One Man Army' blasts forth with symphonic guitar orchestrations, double-time drum gallops, quick-changing dynamics and operatic vocal chorales that would make 19th century homeboys Pacius and Sibelius proud." -- Revolver

"ENSIFERUM have produced their most polished album to date; one that bulges with bombast and rages with frostbitten grit… these northern sword-wielders are close to finding the perfect recipe for taking folk into the mainstream of metal - all without losing a shred of authenticity." - Metal Hammer

"…warlike and fiery…a perfect example of the band's standout sound: it's definitely a genre piece, but it's the best of its kind." - MetalSucks

"One Man Army is ENSIFERUM at their finest. The three years between releases worked to the band's benefit as their execution and adventurous songwriting finds them with a renewed passion and energy." - About.com

"Like a powerful drink, after twenty years, ENSIFERUM keeps the strength intact and adds a bit of a sweet scent in this new release." - Against Magazine

"ENSIFERUM has become one of folk metal's finest acts…ENSIFERUM's music awakens one's inner warrior… it's a pity fighting to the death with swords and battle axes is illegal nowadays." -- Loudwire