Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Just posted Focus on Metal 213 featuring the Kansas City metal of Alsatia and Vanlade

Episode 213 - Kansas City Metal

I always thought of K.C. as the place where all the styles of American BBQ come together into a stellar taste experience. Who knew that they are also churning out some amazing metal there too. This week we feature two K.C. bands that you need to know about, power metallers  Alsatia and classic metallers Vanlade.

Hook up with Alsatia at
Check in with Vanlade at
Grab the latest free compilations that feature both bands here

Our holiday themed track of the week is from our friends Lords of The Trident. Download a free copy of their holiday EP at

Grab it now from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or on iTunes

Visit 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.

Monday, December 15, 2014

LINEUP ANNOUNCED: NAMM Metal Jam 2015 Benefit To Include Members Of Anthrax, Dio, Savatage, Great White, And More

Von Badsville & Neil Turbin Presents NAMM Metal Jam 2015 to benefit  the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund and Dick Wagner’s Rockers for St. Jude.  The 8th annual event will feature current/former members of Anthrax, Dio, DeathRiders, Alcatrazz, Arthemis, Great White, Exciter, Hurricane, Jon Oliva's Pain, Femme Fatale, Leatherwolf, Lizzy Borden, London, Lynch Mob, Nitro, Bleed The Hunger, Obituary, Savatage, Snow, Steel Prophet, Deicide, Talisman, Sabbath Judas Sabbath, The Iron Maidens and more. .NAMM Metal Jam 2015 will be held on January 21, 2015, at The Slidebar Fullerton, only 5 miles from Anaheim Convention Center.  Advance tickets are available for $15 at Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20. A NAMM badge is not required for admission. For more information, visit

NAMM Metal Jam 2015 will feature an outstanding roster of 40+ NAMM Metal All Stars performing classics by Monsters Of Metal. This is the 8th annual event, which started in 2008 as Neil and Michael’s Metal Jam. Very special guest artists will be announced closer to the event date.

NAMM Metal Allstars Jam to include:

Michael Angelo Batio of Nitro, Holland - Guitar
Andy Martongelli of Arthemis - Guitar
Howie Simon of Alcatrazz, Talisman - Guitar
Thane Farace of Ghost Of War - Guitar
Xander Demos of XDB, Sabbath Judas Sabbath - Guitar
Mike Hansen of Hurricane, Bouilliet - Drums
Michael Olivieri of Leatherwolf - Vocals, Guitar
Tony Cavazo of Hurricane, Snow, Dubrow, Aeromyth - Bass
Courtney Cox of The Iron Maidens, Femme Fatale - Guitar
Jerry Best of Lion, Dio, Freak Of Nature - Bass
Robby Lochner of Jack Russell's Great White, Fight - Guitar
Eric Ragno of London, Graham Bonnet, Joe Lynn Turner, White Sister - Keyboards
Carlos Zema of Immortal Guardian, Outworld - Vocals
Bill Hudson of Westfield Massacre, Jon Oliva's Pain, Cellador, Vital Remains, Circle II Circle - Guitar
Neil Turbin of DeathRiders, Bleed The Hunger, x-Anthrax, x-Onslaught - Vocals
Marten Andersson of Lizzy Borden, Lynch Mob – Bass   Gabriel Guardian of Immortal Guardian - Guitar, Keyboards
Steve Kachinsky of Steel Prophet - Guitar
Ralph Santolla of Obituary, Deicide - Guitar
Dean Roberts of Leatherwolf - Drums
Jyro Alejo of Immortal Guardian - Guitar
Ronnie Peterson of Ghost Of War - Vocals
Dan Lauzon of Entropy - Guitar
Jack Frost of Seven Witches, Savatage - Guitar
Greg Walls of x-Anthrax - Guitar
Gary Daniels of Ghost Of War - Bass
Clammy Cohen of x-Exciter - Bass
Ronny North of Ronny North Band - Guitar
Doug Readmond of Ghost Of War - Drums
Greg Erba of Leatherwolf - Guitars
Rob Math of Leatherwolf - Guitars
Pat Guyton of Leatherwolf Bass
Cody Gilliand of Immortal Guardian - Drums
Thad Stevens of Immortal Guardian - Bass
Rik Charron of x-Exciter - Drums
Neal Shelton of Pyromania, Aeromyth, Painkiller - Guitar
Michael Warren of RockAstra, Michael Warren Band - Guitar
Kleber Mandrake of Axehammer - Vocals
Dave Keckhut of Made N America, Big Swede - Vocals
Mike Kerr of Mike Kerr Band - Guitar

More NAMM Metal Allstars to be announced soon!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"Guitar Wizards Vol. III And IV" Artwork Revealed! Features Members Of Whitesnake, Dio, Poison, More

Yesterday, Versailles Records revealed the artwork for their upcoming Guitar Wizards Vol. III and IV compilation. The cover features artists Bruce Kulick (KISS), Tony Franklin (Whitesnake/The Firm), Jeff Healey, Tracy G (Dio), Chris Poland (Megadeth), Blues Saraceno (Poison), Xander Demos (Sabbath Judas Sabbath/XDB) and other included guitar players. The album is scheduled for digital release before Christmas. Physical copies will have a February 2015 street date.  Guitar Wizards Vol. I and II was released earlier this year.

"We're very honored to have Xander Demos featured on the cover, alongside some of the most incredible guitar players in rock and metal," said Demos' manager, Michael Stover of MTS Management Group.  "This compilation has been a long time in the making, and we're very excited for it to finally be coming out.  It's sure to be a huge success!"

Xander Demos and his band, XDB (renamed Raxus Prime) contributed the track, "Dancing Through Daggers," which was to be the first single from their debut album.  The track was mixed by JK Northrup (King Kobra/XYZ). Xander will also be contributing an all-star track to the Versailles Records Queen tribute album, also scheduled for 2015 release.

Just posted Focus on Metal # 212 featuring author Ian Winwood co-author of Into The Black

Episode 212 - Into The Black

Hot on the heels of "Birth, School, Metallica, Death" the first volume of their Metallica bio Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood have unleashed "Into The Black" the second volume of the Tallica story. Our guest this week is co author and former Kerrang! and NME writer Ian Winwood. Ian is considered one of the U.K.'s foremost music writers and he agreed to give us the scoop on the next chapter in the Metallica saga.

Connect with Ian on Facebook at:

Grab it now from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or on iTunes

Visit 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.


Coming off an era which saw several Judas Priest albums that have gone down as some of the greatest in the entire history of heavy metal (namely, 1980's 'British Steel' and 1982's 'Screaming for Vengeance'), the band from Birmingham knew that their next release had to 'deliver the goods,' to cement their standing as the leaders of metal. And deliver they did, with their platinum-certified 1984 release, 'Defenders of the Faith,' which spawned such headbanging classics as 'Freewheel Burning,' 'Jawbreaker,' 'The Sentinel,' 'Some Heads Are Gonna Roll,' and 'Love Bites.' 

And on March 10, 2015, a newly expanded three-CD version of the album will be unleashed via Columbia/Legacy, which includes the original ten-track album remastered by producer Tom Allom, and a complete live recording from the 'Defenders' tour, recorded at the Long Beach Arena in California, on May 5, 1984. 

The 21-track concert (split up over two discs) perfectly balances the then-new material from the group's ninth studio offering overall, including such classics as 'Metal Gods,' 'Breaking the Law,' 'Sinner,' 'Electric Eye,' 'The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown),' 'Victim of Changes,' and 'You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,' among many others.

As the band states in the liner notes to the reissue, "It's 30 years since we released 'Defenders of the Faith' - we're very proud to say it has become a classic that's beloved by Priest fans throughout the world"

Judas Priest continues to 'defend the faith' to this day, as the group recently issued their seventeenth studio album, 'Redeemer of Souls,' which sees the band's popularity amongst metalheads remain as strong as ever, as it debuted higher than any other previous Priest release (at #6 on the Billboard 200). And on the group's current tour, quite a few classics from 'Defenders' are being performed for the first time in years.

And soon, fans will get a chance to re-experience vintage Judas Priest, with the 'Defenders of the Faith' reissue.

CD1 'Defenders of the Faith' Re-Mastered 

1.   Freewheel Burning
2.   Jawbreaker
3.   Rock Hard Ride Free
4.   The Sentinel
5.   Love Bites
6.   Eat Me Alive
7.   Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
8.   Night Comes Down
9.   Heavy Duty
10. Defenders of the Faith

CD2 Live at Long Beach Arena, California 5th May 1984 

1.   Love Bites
2.   Jawbreaker
3.   Grinder
4.   Metal Gods
5.   Breaking the Law
6.   Sinner
7.   Desert Plains
8.   Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
9.   The Sentinel 
10. Rock Hard Ride Free

CD3 Live at Long Beach Arena, California 5th May 1984 

1.   Night Comes Down
2.  The Hellion
3.   Electric Eye
4.   Heavy Duty
5.   Defenders of the Faith
6.   Freewheel Burning 
7.   Victim of Changes
8.   The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)
9.   Living After Midnight
10. Hell Bent For Leather
11. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming

Monday, December 8, 2014

DEAD EARTH POLITICS Announce "Men Become Gods" EP

Texas scorchers DEAD EARTH POLITICS, who have twice been voted "Best Metal Band" by the Austin Chronicle,  have announced the March 2015 release of Men Become Gods, the second in a three EP series that began with last year's acclaimed The Queen of Steel.  

Defined by a relentless work ethic and loyalty to their rabid and ever-growing fanbase, DEAD EARTH POLITICS have launched a perk-laden IndieGoGo pre-order campaign for the EP. Rooted in the notion that music is an art form meant to be shared between artist and audience, supporters can take part in the perpetual rise of DEAD EARTH POLITICS and secure a copy of Men Become Gods (and much more) at the link below.

Check out the teaser video for Men Become Gods, featuring studio footage and comments from members of the band, at this location.   

The Queen of Steel is available at

Casting Stones  
Men Become Gods  
Ice & Fire  
Crimson Dichotomy

Black Space Riders Release Video for "Stare at the Water" / New Album Coming in 2015

German extraterrestrial heavy rockers BLACK SPACE RIDERS have released a new video for "Stare at the Water," a track from their third album, D:REI, which was released earlier this year. Check out the video at  this location.

The band is currently writing songs for their fourth album, which will be released in 2015.

On D:REI BLACK SPACE RIDERS are even more colorful, louder, softer, harder, atmospheric, gripping, and above all exalted! D:REI is an exciting journey through rock, metal and psychedelia; the soundtrack to your very own sci-fi epic. The riffs are heavy, inspiring and enduring. The songwriting is classic, the arrangements full of devotion. The two lead vocalists play off each other without seam, interlocking and assuring that the music will lodge in your memory. D:REI is groovy! Sometimes slowly dooming, sometimes oppressively rocking, then irresistibly funky...and suddenly you are dancing around the warp core. And it is all wrapped up in a sound that is natural, transparent, open, yet powerful, and elegant, as it timelessly circumnavigates the retro-trap

Is D:REI a concept album? Form your own opinion! Read more about this story of retreat, outbreak, total destruction, escape, transformation and new beginnings at

BLACK SPACE RIDERS have traveled farther than ever before and want you to join the trip! Check out the lyric video for album track "The GOD-Survivor" at this location.

"Black Space Riders always play a mixture of sounds of the 70s, 80s and 90s, but with a view towards the future. A really good album." - Nachtaktiv

"Psychedelic space Witches Kitchen: The doomy heaviness of Black Sabbath covers rocking riffs and swirling structures. Like it very much!" - LIFT Magazine

"The Münster space, psychedelic, doom and stoner rockers Black Space Riders top form, the quintet delivers a philosophically flavored, wonderfully heavy concept album." 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Just posted episode 211 of Focus on Metal featuring Joe Lynn Turner

Episode 211 - Joe Lynn Turner

Joe Lynn Turner has gone Rated X. That's right JLT has a brand new band with Carmine Appice, Tony Franklin and Karl Cochran called Rated X and their debut release is out now on Frontiers. We gave Joe a call to discuss the new album and the new band and the results are what's on tap for this week.

Keep up with Rated X at:
Stay in touch with Joe at:
Help Karl on the road to recovery at:

Track of the week is from Frontiers artists Allen-Lande. "Down From the Mountain" is a track off their fourth release The Great Divide" Get more info at:

Grab it now from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or on iTunes

Visit 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.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

SHADOWBANE "Facing The Fallout" - to be released Jan 16th on PURE STEEL Records

Their Demo EP from the beginning of this decade already made some experts on German underground heavy metal prick their ears. The specialized press recently called them „promising Newcomer“ and now finally the Hamburgians release their long awaited debut. Musically SHADOWBANE’s „Post Apocalyptic Power Metal“ is positioned between melodic US power metal and raw teutonic steel with dystopic lyrics. Definitely outgrown the demo sound, the mostly fast songs profit from a contemporary production – without leaving any doubt in the musical rootage within the power metal of the 80s and 90s. Besides the powerful yet melodic vocals the sound is dominated by two notable and equally shaping guitarists with a lot of thrashy riffs and harmonic melodies. With their debut SHADOWBANE clearly stake their claim: The power metal newcomers from the Hanseatic city are inevitable to any Underground maniac in 2015.

1. Red Alert
2. Beyond The Winds Of War
3. Traitor
4. Under Bleeding Skies
5. After The Fallout
6. Dystopia
7. Tear Down The Wall
8. Badlands Law
9. Last Division
10. Source Of Grief

THIRD ION Sign to Glasstone Records / Reveal Album Artwork for 13/8Bit

Prog metal outfit THIRD ION, featuring former members of THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND and INTO ETERNITY, have signed with the UK's  Glasstone Records for the release of debut album 13/8Bit. Album artwork (below) comes courtesy of Harley K at Necrographix. A winter/spring 2015 release date will be announced in the near future.

Glasstone Records stated "We are very excited to be working with THIRD ION and to be releasing their debut album!"  THIRD ION issued the following statement regarding the signing and upcoming release:

"We are beyond stoked to announce our partnership with Glasstone Records, who approached us several months ago about releasing our debut record, 13/8Bit. They have been great to deal with this whole time, and have a very artist friendly approach - a refreshing change with the times. The album is 99% finished, and same with the artwork, and once it's all in we will pin down a release date and let you all know! Our hope in working with Glasstone is that it will help us reach a European audience, and result in performing over there as well. 

In the mean time, we have decided to share the album cover with you guys, drawn by our friend Harley K at Necrographix - we have been sitting on this for a while, and can't wait to unveil it. Even if people only collect music digitally, we are nerds and this album cover is important to us! We are also having a CD Listening Party in Regina, SK (Canada) at the Exchange on December 18th at 8PM, so if you're in our neck of the woods come and hear an early preview of the entire record, and maybe some other surprises."

THIRD ION has posted a full studio performance video of the song "Zero Mass." Watch the video at  Lead single "Capitol Spill" can be streamed at this location.

THIRD ION is the product of a mutual love of prog, video games, and science. The debut album will contain eight to ten songs, including the title track which is written entirely in 13/8 time signature. 8-Bit musical renditions of every song will be released as well, to pay homage to their 1980s classic gaming inspirations.

CORNERS OF SANCTUARY release free "Merry Metal Xmas 2" ep

To celebrate this holiday season, Corners of Sanctuary have announced that they have put together a six-pack track Holiday EP titled "Merry Metal Xmas 2" which will be available as a free download during the entire month of December.

The release includes several classic Christmas favorites but with a C.O.S. Heavy Metal makeover, including "Jingle Bells", "Silent Night", "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and "Joy to the World".
The EP is topped off with two all original C.O.S. Holiday tracks, "December Wind" and "Get Your Jollies".

All tracks are in MP3 format and the EP's artwork is included as part of the free download.
Have a Merry Metal Xmas - COSnROLL!

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

Monday, December 1, 2014

Between the Buried and Me confirm shows in Mexico

Between the Buried and Me has confirmed two headlining shows in Mexico for next year. The band will be heading to Guadalajara and Mexico City on the 20th and 21st, respectively. This will be the band's first time back in Mexico since 2008! Fans south of the border might recall BTBAM's show that year in Mexico City with Dream Theater in front of a crowd 10,000 strong. Tickets for February's shows are on sale now at local ticket outlets.

Mexican Tour 2015
2/20/15 - Guadalajara, Mexico - C3 Stage
2/21/15 - Mexico City, Mexico - Lunario

Between the Buried and Me's first ever blu-ray release, "Future Sequence: Live at the Fidelitorium" was released in September and debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top Music Video chart. The first week success vaulted BTBAM ahead of the likes of Dream Theater and YES on the video chart, further firming the band's position as one of the world's top progressive acts. A sample of the video, "Extremophile Elite", in its 10:03 entirety can be seen now on youtube HERE.

"Future Sequence: Live at Fidelitorium" was recorded at Fidelitorium Recordings outside of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The video was directed and edited by Justin Reich, with director of photography Ismail Abdelkhalek, and audio engineers Jamie King and Kris Hilbert. Audio mixing and mastering was completed by Jamie King. Guest musicians include: Walter Fancourt (tenor saxophone, flute), Julian Hinshaw (Tuba), Will Goodyear (marimba, glockenspiel), Taya Ricker (violin), David Parks (violin), Leigh Dixon (viola), and Socrates Razo (cello). Artwork and layout were completed by Owen Chandler, along with band photos by Chuck Johnson.

Order "Future Sequence: Live at Fidelitorium" online:

US / worldwide:




Follow Between the Buried and Me online:

LORDS OF THE TRIDENT release free "A Very Lords of the Trident Christmas" ep.

Lords of the Trident have announced that they are giving away for free their holiday ep "A Very Lords of the Trident Christmas" to the worldwide metal masses.

Lords of the Trident vocalist Fang VonWrathenstein has released the following statement about the christmas ep:

"In the giving spirit of this Holiday time, we've decided as a band that it's time to give back. In light of the fact that many families this season will go without a warm fire to gather around, we would like to present a solution. Download our Christmas album "A Very Lords of the Trident Christmas" for FREE, and point your stereo at the hearth in your home. Literally anything placed in front of it should instantly set ablaze, filling your home with warmth, and your hearts with METAL holiday joy.
Oh, by the way, the big guy in the red suit requests that you do NOT play the album while he is attempting to go down the chimney. Last year's 4th degree burns were no laughing matter."

Lords of the Trident - "A Very Lords of the Trident Christmas" track list:
1. Angels We Have Heard on High
2. O Come O Come Emmanuel
3. What Child is This?
4. Slutty Santa
5. Huey Lewis and the News (Government Zero Cover)

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

Thursday, November 27, 2014

ARGUS to Perform at Roadburn Festival in 2015

U.S. trad-metallers ARGUS will perform at the 20th Edition of the acclaimed Roadburn Festival on Sunday, April 12, 2015. The fest will be held at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.   

ARGUS will also perform in Dublin, Ireland on April 10, 2015 at the Gypsy Rose Rock and Blues Bar. Details on the event can be viewed here.

Roadburn recently made the following announcement about the ARGUS appearance, which can also be viewed at this location.

It is our pleasure to announce that Cruz Del Sur recording artists ARGUS will perform at the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival on Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands."

Hailing from the Western Pennsylvania ARGUS has been building a reputation as one of the finest bands in the metal underground. Forging a potent mix of epic traditional metal, laced with moody passages and doom flourishes ARGUS brings a stunning double guitar attack, a tight and pounding rhythm section and strong, soaring vocals.
Eschewing pure nostalgia for the "old school" ARGUS evokes the spirit of Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Candlemass, Dio, et al all the while bringing their own personal, unique flair to their music. Their most recent release, Beyond the Martyrs was met with praise by critics worldwide and was received rabidly by their fanbase. The band has built a reputation as a tremendous live act having toured Europe most recently in the Autumn of 2013. It is a set not to be missed!

2015 looks to be a busy year which will see ARGUS releasing a new 7-inch, 'Let Now Your Heart be Troubled'  / 'Streets of Gold' (to coincide with their appearance at Roadburn 2015) as well as completing their 4th, as yet untitled, album. SaysARGUS "We are honored and humbled to be invited to an event as prestigious as Roadburn and to play alongside so many killer bands. We look forward to meeting you all and to raising the flag of metal over the Green Room!

The 20th edition of Roadburn Festival runs from April 9 to 12, 2015 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Get your tickets HERE.

EMPIRES OF EDEN reveal first extended track preview video of new upcoming cd

All star metal project EMPIRES OF EDEN led by producer / guitarist Stu "The Hammer" Marshall (DEATH DEALER / DUNGEON) have revealed their first extended track preview video for their new upcoming cd "Architect of Hope".

For the latest Empires of Eden visit the band's official Facebook page::

Deep In Hate added to Hellfest 2015

Kaotoxin Records recording artists DEEP IN HATE have been added to the bill at HellFest 2015, the famed French festival's 10th anniversary. The second Kaotoxin band to play Hellfest (after AD PATRES in 2011), DEEP IN HATE will share the stage with Ace Frehley, Airbourne, Alice Cooper, Anthrax, Arch Enemy, At The Gates, Billy Idol, Biohazard, Bloodbath, Body Count, Cannibal Corpse, Children Of Bodom, Cradle Of Filth, Dead Kennedys, DRI, Envy, Exploited, Faith No More, Five Finger Death Punch, In Extremo, In Flames, Judas Priest, Killing Joke, Korn, Lamb Of God, Limp Bizkit, Madball, Marilyn Manson, Mayhem, Meshuggah, Motörhead, Nightwish, No FX, Red Fang, Rise Against, Satyricon, Scorpions, Slash, Slipknot, St Vitus, Terror, Triptykon, Wampas, Wovenhand, ZZ Top and SO many more!

Called a "bloody good album" by, DEEP IN HATE's Chronicles of Oblivion is out now and available in digital and limited-edition digisleeve CD formats.  


CD and merch: 

Monday, November 24, 2014

RAVEN Reveals "ExtermiNation" Album Cover

NWOBHM thrash godfathers RAVEN have unveiled the cover to their upcoming studio album "ExtermiNation".  The cover was designed by Jay Sharpe and can be seen above.

Raven is currently running a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to help fund the recording of "ExtermiNation".  The band is offering Kickstarter backers a full-length cover album entitled "Party Killers".  "Party Killers" is available exclusively through the Kickstarter campaign, and will not be available after the campaign ends on November 28th.  "Party Killers" is available on CD and 12" vinyl.  Other Kickstarter-exclusive items including t-shirts, CDs, a 7" vinyl single, patches, stickers, and more.

"Party Killers" track-listing:
- "Too Bad Too Sad" (Nazareth)
- "Bad Reputation" (Thin Lizzy)
- "Cockroach" (Sweet)
- "Fireball" (Deep Purple)
- "Hang on to Yourself" (David Bowie)
- "He's a Whore" (Cheap Trick)
- "In For the Kill" (Budgie)
- "Is There a Better Way" (Status Quo)
- "Ogre Battle" (Queen)
- "Queen of My Dreams" (Edgar Winter)
- "Tak Me Bak Ome" (Slade)

Vocalist and bassist John Gallagher comments on the album: "We were writing for the new album at a cool studio in Richmond, VA, and in the middle of jamming asked the engineer there if we could record a few cover tunes just for the hell of it.  The sounds were so good we decided to do something we'd been threatening for many years: "Party Killers" - a collection of cover tunes guaranteed to deafen yer neighbors!! It's basically a peek into the little red 45rpm singles box we used to have at home...songs and bands that were very influential to us as kids, but given the Raven overhaul! I think it gives a nice insight to our roots and will be an excellent companion to the new album!"

RAVEN is currently wrapping up an extensive US tour with support act NIGHT DEMON.

RAVEN “North American Extermination Tour 2014?:
Nov 24th - Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
Nov 25th - Raleigh, NC - The Maywood

Check Raven's official websitefor further details.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Job for a Cowboy 'Sun Eater' debuts at #91 on the Billboard Top 200

"Sun Eater" is the fourth full-length album from Job for a Cowboy, and was released last week via Metal Blade Records worldwide. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with Decibel Magazine conceding and saying "Fuck it, I can admit when I'm wrong… Turns out that, while I was busy pointedly not paying attention to them, these deathcore progenitors actually became a pretty damn good band." Alternative Press Magazine also declared in their 4.5/5 star review that "they've become a full-on progressive death metal band…the songs have progressive sweep and epic power, at times recalling Opeth's heavier work…Sun Eater is one of 2014's best metal albums, period." Praise for "Sun Eater" burned through blogosphere and resonated with fans.

This response has led to a #91 debut on the Billboard Top 200, and a #5 debut on the Billboard Hard Music albums chart! On the day of release, the album was #2 on the iTunes metal charts. In Canada, "Sun Eater" debuted at #125 on the Top 200 chart, #15 on the Hard Chart, and #129 o the Digital Music Chart. On iTunes Canada, the album peaked at #4 on the metal albums chart, #17 on the rock chart, and #88 on the overall Top 200 albums chart. Listen to "Sun of Nihility" and order your copy of Job for a Cowboy's "Sun Eater" now at

Producer Jason Suecof, vocalist Jonny Davy, guitarists Al Glassman and Tony Sannicandro, bassist Nick Schendzielos, and session drummer Danny Walker have crafted a cerebral and accomplished piece of technical death metal. Job for a Cowboy wrapped up touring in 2013 as part of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival that summer. Following that performance, the band collectively decided to sharpen their focus and set an intent on cooking up a record that encompassed their full dynamic range of talent. The group had all agreed on the main course being a desire for futuristic tones, a wider spectrum of textures and tempos, and an emphasis on slightly more ancestral song construction. The result, "Sun Eater," does not just sound like a new record, it sounds like an entirely new band.

The disc was also recently reviewed by Focus on Metal's own Wayne Simmons right here on this site.

"Sun Eater" track listing:
1. Eating the Visions of God
2. Sun of Nihility
3. The Stone Cross
4. The Synthetic Sea
5. A Global Shift
6. The Celestial Antidote
7. Encircled by Mirrors
8. Buried Monuments
9. Worming Nightfall

Follow Job for a Cowboy online:

Cruz Del Sur Music Releasing Debut Album from Hammer King in 2015

CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC will release the debut album from new German epic power metal sensation HAMMER KING! Even though Kingdom of the Hammer King is their debut album, HAMMER KING's members are no novices.  Singer Patrick Fuchs (Titan Fox)  is known for being the lead vocalist of ROSS THE BOSS' solo project (and also IVORY NIGHTS), and drummer Herr Schmitt  is the former drummer of Germany's Top-Ten Rock outfit SALTATIO MORTIS. What emerges from the gathering of these stalwart metal musicians is a slab of traditional, epic power-metal in the best Teutonic tradition! 

Expect an album with plenty of melodies, epic choruses and galloping guitars produced with a clean, brilliant sound  by the excellent Charles Greywolf (of POWERWOLF fame) in his own studio. Kingdom of the Hammer King will see the light in the first half of 2015 in compact disc, vinyl (with one bonus track) and digital editions.  You can get a taste of HAMMER KING by listening to the album's title track here:
"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

King Diamond "Dreams of Horror" debuts on Billboard charts

King Diamond's "Dreams of Horror" was released last week and has debuted at #28 on the Billboard Hard Music charts! This is the ONLY "best of" album covering the band's entire career. King Diamond and Andy LaRocque meticulously mastered and enhanced these 23 songs into the ultimate editions, chosen by the band from both the Roadrunner and Metal Blade catalogs. Listen to "The Puppet Master" from disc 2 of "Dreams of Horror" and order a copy now at

King Diamond's massively successful headlining tour wrapped up on November 8th at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, TX. Photo galleries have sprung up across the web, including one from the Los Angeles gig on Halloween night at the Wiltern on HERE.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just posted FoM episode 209 featuring Chris Tsangarides

Episode 209 - Tsangarides Pt 1

This week is part one of a two parter featuring longtime hard rock and metal producer Chris Tsangarides. The guy has been involved in the industry since 1975 and has had a huge part in forging the sound of modern metal and classic metal.
That being said you know that this guy has some great stories to share, and share he does right here on Focus on Metal.

Track of the week "The Irish Brigade" is from Pure Legends artist Wolfen from their latest release "Evilution". Get more info at:

Visit for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

Grab it now from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or on iTunes

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

Sunday, November 16, 2014

MAXXXWELL CARLISLE unleashes Kickstarter campaign for new "Thunder Dragon 2155" cd

Solo artist and Hellion lead guitarist Maxxxwell Carlisle has just announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for "Thunder Dragon 2155", what he describes as, "an ambitious new power metal concept epic tale of sci-fi triumph and tragedy woven across 10 tracks of pure metal!"

The album is set to feature his established live band lineup consisting of Melody Schoenfeld (Vocals), Dave Chedrick (Drums) and Gene Migaki (Bass).

His Kickstarter rewards include everything from the standard CDs and t-shirts, to more "Maxxxwell style" motivational speaking, Mohawk lessons, guitar lessons, custom diet plans, personal phone calls, private concerts (including fog and lasers) and more! The predictably over-the-top Kickstarter video provides full details.

For the latest Maxxxwell Carlisle news, visit his official Facebook page:

Ensiferum announce album title and release date for 2015

Ensiferum has completed work on their upcoming new album, "One Man Army." The band spent the last few weeks at Astia Studio ( in Lappeenranta in Finland with producer Anssi Kippo. The album is scheduled for release on February 24 in North America, and February 23/20 in UK/Europe. New music, art, track listing, and video clips from the studio will be online within the next few weeks. Next week, Ensiferum will be filming a brand new music video with Grupa #13 in Poland. Grupa #13 is the production house behind some of the most spectacular music videos in metal, including videos from Behemoth, Amon Amarth, and more.

Vocalist/guitarist Petri Lindroos comments, "We worked hard and long days one after another while Kippo kicked our asses to make us do the very best, and you can hear that in this album. It's a killer album with killer sound. I'm very proud to a part of this masterpiece!" Bassist Sami Hinkka adds: "Hi folks! We are extremely proud to announce that the album is 100% done! The recording session was incredible experience for us. We can't express our gratitude enough for Mr. Anssi Kippo, who never lost his nerves, was full of crazy ideas and worked like a madman for weeks! The shortest working day was 12 hours and the average was around 16 hours! After all "blood, sweat and tears" it feels great to tell you that the result for years of hard composing and weeks of intense recordings is without a doubt the best Ensiferum album song- and soundwise. Material is pretty diverse and each song tells a tale of it's own instead of being a crappy copy of previous song so no fillers included. Next week we go record the new music video, but that's another story… Stay tuned!"

Ensiferum will be on tour this autumn and already has shows and festival appearances confirmed for next year. The band plans to return to North America in May 2015.

+ special guests
11/03/15 DE - Bochum - Zeche
12/03/15 DE - Ludwigsburg - Rockfabrik
13/03/15 DE - München - Backstage
14/03/15 CZ - Zlin - Masters of Rock Café
15/03/15 HU - Budapest - Club 202
16/03/15 AT - Wien - Szene
18/03/15 IT - Milan - Live Club
19/03/15 CH - Lausanne - Les Docks
20/03/15 FR - Strasbourg - La Laiterie
21/03/15 CH - Pratteln - Z7
22/03/15 FR - Lyon - Ninkasi Kao
23/03/15 FR - Paris - Le Bataclan
24/03/15 UK - London - O2 Academy Islington
25/03/15 NL - Haarlem - Patronaat
26/03/15 NL - Zwolle - Hedon
27/03/15 BE - Vosselaar - Biebob
28/03/15 DE - Bremen - Tivoli
29/03/15 DE - Hamburg - Grünspan
30/03/15 DK - Copenhagen - Vega
31/03/15 SE - Stockholm - Göta Källare
01/04/15 SE - Gothenburg - Sticky Fingers
02/04/15 NO - Oslo - Inferno Metal Festival

w/ Orphaned Land
26/11/14 JP - Tokyo - Club Duo Exchange
27/11/14 JP - Osaka - Mamba Rocket
29/11/14 CN - Shanghai - Mao Livehouse
30/11/14 CN - Bejing - Yu Gong Yi Shan

2015 Festival Appearances
13/12/14 NL - Eindhoven - Metal Meeting
22/01-26/01/15 US - Miami - 70,000 Tons Of Metal
13/08/15 RO - Rasnov - Rockstadt Extremefest
13/08-15/08/15 DE - Dinkelsbühl - Summer Breeze Festival

Petri Lindroos - Vocals/Guitar
Markus Toivonen - Guitar/Vocals
Sami Hinkka - Bass/Vocals
Janne Parviainen - Drums
Emmi Silvennoinen - Keyboards/Backing vocals

Review - Job For A Cowboy "Sun Eater" (Metal Blade 2014)

Job For a Cowboy is a band known for their itchy feet. Originally a deathcore outfit, these good ol’ boys from Arizona had dropped the ‘core’ by the release of their debut album, Genesis, in 2007, going for straight out death. And with fourth album, SUN EATER, just out this November 2014 from Metal Blade, the boys are on the move again. 

Opening track, Eating the Visions of God, sets the tone well, a plaintive, mid-paced number with brooding guitar and witchy vocals. It’s a dark sound, almost doomy in places, and dangerously bordering on prog with a lengthy 6 minutes running time. Second track, Sun of Nihility, is more of the same, almost a continuation of the opener, while on third track, The Stone Cross, we get our first taste of blast beats. The pace remains frenetic with The Synthetic Sea, Nick Schendzielos’ bass, pounding through the mix from the outset of this album, reaching something of a crescendo here. The guitar here feels Norwegian; a ferocious wall of sound mirroring Davy’s ravenous vocals. This blackened tone seeps through to sixth track, The Celestial Antidote, while Buried Monuments brings something of a NWOBHM flavour in with some melodic lead playing. Closing track, Worming Nightfall, compliments the doomy, mid-paced vibe of the album’s opener to bring us full circle.

It’s plain to see that JFAC have taken a leaf out of Opeth’s book here. Sure, they may not have gone just as far as Mikael & co, ditching the death metal roots altogether, but SUN EATER is definitely a melting pot. This is a band groping around for a new sound; reluctant to settle on anything in particular but seemingly more than happy to have their audience along for the ride while they experiment. And while still death metal at heart, there is certainly more evidence here of a growing trend within contemporary extreme metal to seek out fresh musical pastures.   

Reviewed by Wayne Simmons

Manilla Road's classic 'Out of the Abyss' to be reissued via Shadow Kingdom Records

Shadow Kingdom Records will reissue Out of the Abyss, the seventh full-length release from Wichita, KS’ MANILLA ROAD on January 13, 2015. Originally released in 1988, Out of the Abyss is an under-appreciated gem, one that guitarist/founder Mark “The Shark” Shelton describes in the reissue’s liner notes as containing “some of the most brutal material that MR has ever done. Shelton goes on to say that “it was the last album in an epic quest by Randy, Scott and I to be as fast and furious as possible with some of the songs…and most of the topics were quite dark and based on Cthulhun mythos or other horror and mystery directions.”

Shadow Kingdom Records’ Tim McGrogan had this to say about Out of the Abyss:

“Most fans think the golden era is Crystal Logic through Mystification, but we encourage fans to spend more time with this album. The first thing that’s interesting about this album is that it originally contained one of MANILLA ROAD greatest Epic songs ever, “The Book of Skelos.” The song was dropped off of the album for some unknown reason (that would be a good interview question for Mark Shelton), and later appeared on a different pressing of The Courts of Chaosand we’re not entirely sure that song even made it to the first pressing of that album either. Strangely enough if you’re familiar with that song and can imagine that song being a part of this album, Out of the Abysswould arguably be one of the best MANILLA ROAD albums and would have expanded and been part of what’s now considered their classic era. The album is dark, evil, thrash-y heavy metal with some killer KING DIAMOND-esque vocal screams. Without a doubt Out of the Abysshas some of the fastest, most intense Thrash Metal not only on any MANILLA ROAD album, but of any 80’s Thrash Metal album.

Out of the Abyss will appeal to fans SLAYER, METALLICA, IRON MAIDEN, and MERCYFUL FATE.

1. Whitechapel
2. Rites of Blood
3. Out of the Abyss
4. Return of the Old Ones
5. Black Cauldron
6. Midnight Meat Train
7. War in Heaven
8. Slaughterhouse

9. Helicon