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3040Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Saxon, Anthrax, Black Label Society, Black Flag, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news

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  • Robert
    Aug 11, 2013
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      British heavy metal pioneers BLACK SABBATH will be honored as Living Legends at the ninth annual Classic Rock Roll Of Honour, set to take place on Tuesday, November 14 at London, England's Roundhouse.

      Commented SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne: "It's good to be a living legend. It's better than being a dead one."

      Past winners of the Living Legend award include ZZ TOP, Jeff Beck, Alice Cooper, Jimmy Page, Lemmy and Iggy Pop. This year Ozzy Osbourne picks up his second title — he won as a solo artist in 2008 — alongside his bandmates.

      Added Chris Ingham from Classic Rock magazine: "We're delighted to welcome BLACK SABBATH to collect our Living Legend Award. It's wholly deserved as not only do they have a career to celebrate, but Ozzy, Geezer and Tony blasted back with a brilliant new album in 2013 that reminded us all how it should be done."

      "13", the first BLACK SABBATH record in 35 years to feature Ozzy, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler all playing together, entered the official U.K. chart at position No. 1. The CD sold 13,000 copies more than the No. 2 entry, "BE" by Liam Gallagher's BEADY EYE.

      The last time SABBATH topped the chart in the U.K. was nearly 43 years ago — in October 1970 — with the band's second LP, "Paranoid".
      New York Public Radio recently conducted an interview with MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. A few excerpts from the interview follow.

      On having to undergo neck surgery due to the physicality of his performances:

      Mustaine: "If you look at the 'Big Four' members, three of us have had neck surgery. The only other [frontman of a 'Big Four' band that didn't] is [Joey] Belladonnna from ANTHRAX, and he's been in and out of the band a lot, so he doesn't really have the same wear-and-tear on him that the three of us did …. It's a lot more involved than people think. They think it's all getting up there and you sing a couple songs and there's chicks and champagne and stuff like that. It's hard work."

      On the difficulties of being placed on pain medication having overcome addictions:

      Mustaine: "I had to go through the whole pain pill process while the surgery was getting set up. It was pretty scary. And then stopping, knowing that you have kind of a taste for it. It's like having sex with a gorilla: you're not done 'til the gorilla's done. Not that I've ever done it — that I remember."

      On his reservations about performing country music, despite Southern influences on "The Blackest Crow":

      Mustaine: "[Ron Keel] was in a band called STEELER, with Yngwie [Malmsteen] a long time ago, and he went from having Blackie Lawless hair to putting on a Stetson. You can't go from being a cucumber to a pickle and go back to being a cucumber at any time. You know what I mean? Once you go from metal and you become a country guy, trying to go back to metal again is pretty impossible."

      On playing with Paraguay's Recycled Orchestra — a group comprised of children who perform with instruments made from materials found in landfills:

      Mustaine: "These kids are playing violins made out of paint treys, where you use a roller. They've got cellos and stand-up basses made out of barrels from oil and kerosene barrels. The necks of the guitars are made out of boards, and the tuners are made out of combs, and the bridge where the string's hooked to is a bent fork…. This by far was the coolest assembly of musicians in an orchestra kind of environment. They're success stories."

      British heavy metal legends SAXON have been forced to cancel their August 10 appearance at the Vagos Open Air festival at Quinta do Ega, Vagos, Portugal due to an injury suffered by frontman Biff Byford. A statement from the group reads as follows: "At the present, the severity of Biff's injuries are unknown and doctors have advised him strongly not to perform. SAXON is extremely sad at disappointing the fans in Portugal and hope they can come back soon. Please wish Biff to get well!"

      SAXON's new album, "Sacrifice", was released on March 1 in Europe (except in the U.K., where it was made available on March 4) and March 26 in North America through UDR. The album CD recorded at LS Studios in Yorkshire and was produced by Byford, with Andy Sneap mixing and engineering by Jacky Lehmann. The songwriting too harks back to a classic era in SAXON's history, with the likes of "Warriors Of The Road", "Wheels Of Terror" and "Stand Up And Fight" evoking the halcyon days of yore with a contemporary twist, the classic SAXON sound absorbing the snarl, ferocity and attitude of contemporary bands (and fans) such as MEGADETH, as evidenced by the crunching title cut.

      The "Sacrifice" cover artwork was created by longtime SAXON artist Paul Raymond Gregory.
      The Jerusalem Post recently conducted an interview with ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

      On the controversy surrounding a recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine which features a cover photo of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar "Jahar" Tsarnaev:

      Ian: "Instead of putting a murderer on their cover to sell copies, why not make a better magazine? I haven't bought a Rolling Stone since the '80s because it sucks, so it's not like I'm saying that I'm canceling my subscription. These terrorists today are looking exactly for that kind of notoriety. But Rolling Stone knew what they were doing: everyone talked about it and went out and bought it. They should have put a picture of a victim on the cover — but you know what, that wouldn't have sold as well."

      On his recent spoken-word tour of the United Kingdom:

      Ian: "It was really great. If I hadn't liked it it, I would have cancelled the rest of the dates. I didn't really need to do it and I was away from my family. But I really enjoyed it and was hitting my stride with stories from my past and current events. It was using a different part of my brain, and I'll certainly do more."

      On his Jewish roots:

      Ian: "I didn't really have much of a Jewish upbringing, it didn't play a prominent role in our house. My grandparents were quite Orthodox, but my parents and I weren't. I learned Hebrew phonetically for my bar mitzvah, read my seven minutes and then we had a party. I think I did it more to please my grandfather than anything else."

      On shortening his last name in favor of his middle name:

      Ian: "Scott Ian Rosenfeld was just too long — it didn't look good on posters when I started playing professionally, and Scott Ian did, so I just used that. It had nothing to do with it sounding too Jewish. I still used Rosenfeld for the songwriting credits, and for years people would come up to me and ask me who that other guy was that writes songs for you."

      On how touring has changed over the years:

      Ian: "We still pretty much do it the same way as when we started out. We haven't changed very much. We love playing and I think we've gotten quite good at it. And it's still as thrilling as it's always been. That's what keeps up going…. Three of us have young children — and we don't like to be away for long chunks of time, so we don't do [it] any more. There are no [more] two-month tours of Europe — it's much more manageable and we're not gone for long."

      On ANTHRAX's first-ever visit to Israel for the first time will be lack of time to sight-see.

      Ian: "I've always liked to visit countries I've never been to, and even though I don't have any special feeling for Israel, I've always wanted to visit because I've heard so much about it. I don't know if we're going to have any time to see anything, but I hope to come back by myself again and spend some time there."
      ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante will appear at Samson Technologies in Hauppauge, New York tomorrow (Saturday, August 10) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

      For more information, see the poster below.

      As previously reported, Benante is recovering from surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. He is expected to rejoin his ANTHRAX bandmates on the road on September 13 in San Bernardino, California.

      ANTHRAX's current touring lineup includes SHADOWS FALL guitarist Jon Donais, who has been touring with ANTHRAX since Rob Caggiano's departure in January, and former TESTAMENT/SLAYER and current ANIMETAL USA drummer Jon Dette, who is filling in for Benante.

      Dette previously filled in for Benante on ANTHRAX's European tour last fall as the support act for MOTÖRHEAD and Australia's Soundwave Festival in February/March.
      BLACK LABEL SOCIETY has debuted the brand new single, "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone", off the band's new live DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Video, "Unblackened", due out next month. Originally penned by blues legend Bill Withers, "Aint No Sunshine When She's Gone" is one of two covers found on "Ublackened".

      Says BLACK LABEL SOCIETY frontman Zakk Wylde: "'Ain't No Sunshine' is such a beautiful, heartfelt song. I've always loved it and wanted to cover it. It felt so right in the context of 'Unblackened'."

      "Unblackened" will be released on September 24 by Eagle Rock Entertainment. Zakk's label home, eOne Music, will also release the audio version of the "Unblackened" DVD under the same name. The double disc release will have six additional tracks not found on the DVD, including two acoustic versions of "Queen Of Sorrow" and "Won't Find It Here", and covers of LEON RUSSELL's "Song For You" and "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone".

      Since their early Nineties inception, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, formed and helmed by guitar legend Zakk Wylde, has been at the forefront of hard rock. Their penchant for hard riffs and blazing solos has resulted in a slew of hugely successful albums and a reputation as one of the most powerful live bands of their generation. "Unblackened", however, unveils another side of the band.

      Filmed and recorded on March 6 in high definition at Los Angeles' Club Nokia, "Unblackened" is BLACK LABEL SOCIETY presenting their songs in a whole new light, with greater use of acoustic instrumentation. Wylde plays both guitar and piano, with Nick Catanase on guitar, John DeServio on bass/vocals, Chad Szeliga on drums, Derek Sherinian on keyboards/piano, and Greg Locascio providing additional vocals.

      Their stripped-down approach highlights the subtler nuances of the songwriting, without losing any of the fire or intensity. Classic tracks like "Stillborn", "The Blessed Hellride", "In This River", "Throwin' It All Away", "Losin' Your Mind" and many others are still punctuated by the stinging, searing solos that fans know and love, while showcasing the versatility of the band.

      In addition to the concert, "Unblackened" is rich in bonus material. A new interview with Zakk, photo gallery, music video for "Losin' Your Mind", and a feature with Wylde visiting HM Prison Stocken in the U.K . are all included.

      DVD track listing:

      01. Losin' Your Mind
      02. The Blessed Hellride
      03. Sold My Soul
      04. Road Back Home
      05. Spoke In The Wheel
      06. House Of Doom
      07. Queen Of Sorrow
      08. Machine Gun Man
      09. Sweet Jesus
      10. In This River
      11. Throwin' It All Away
      12. Takillya (Estyabon)
      13. Won't Find It Here
      14. Rust
      15. Speedball
      16. I Thank You Child
      17. Stillborn

      CD track listing:

      Disc 1

      01. Losin' Your Mind
      02. The Blessed Hellride
      03. Sold My Soul
      04. Road Back Home
      05. Spoke In the Wheel
      06. House Of Doom
      07. Queen Of Sorrow
      08. Machine Gun Man
      09. Sweet Jesus
      10. In This River
      11. Throwin' It All Away

      Disc 2

      01. Takillya (Estyabon)
      02. Won't Find It Here
      03. Rust
      04. Speedball
      05. I Thank You Child
      06. Stillborn
      07. Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone
      09. Lovin' Woman
      10. Queen Of Sorrow (unplugged)
      11. Song For You (cover)
      12. Won't Find It Here (unplugged)
      13. Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
      BLACK FLAG's founding guitarist Greg Ginn has released a statement explaining his decision to file a lawsuit against his former bandmates for alleged copyright infringement.

      Ginn claims the members of the recently formed band FLAGKeith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson — have infringed the BLACK FLAG name and infamous logo, calling FLAG "a colorable imitation" that's "likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception among consumers."

      Also named in the lawsuit, which was filed on August 2 in Federal District Court, is former BLACK FLAG singer Henry Rollins, who is not part of the BLACK FLAG splinter group.

      Ginn, who did not actually file for trademark registration for BLACK FLAG-related marks until this past June, is seeking an injunction against FLAG's current tour, which kicked off in May. He also accuses his former bandmates of "lying to the Trademark Office on registrations; using his own label's record covers to feign as though they've been continuing to use BLACK FLAG since 1979 and using bootleg SST t-shirts."

      In a posting on BlackFlagOfficial.com, Ginn writes: "The dispute over BLACK FLAG is not motivated by an effort to stop anyone from covering BLACK FLAG songs. Quite to the contrary. this dispute began when Henry Garfield (Rollins) and Keith Morris made an effort to hijack the name — and the logo — for their own use. Behind everyone's back, in September 2012, Garfield and Morris filed fraudulent trademark applications in which they are claiming to own the name and the logo. Had we not taken action, this pair could have snuck these false applications through the Trademark Office, enabling them to stop BLACK FLAG from playing and gaining exclusive use of the name and logo for themselves. We are also trying to stop Morris and the others in his band from using the name and the logo in a misleading way, and from selling bootleg items."
      German metal queen Doro Pesch kicked off her 30th-aniversary celebration on Friday, August 2 at the Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany. Joining Doro on stage at the event were Phil Campbell (MOTÖRHEAD), Biff Byford (SAXON), Eric Fish (SUBWAY TO SALLY), Uli Jon Roth (ex-SCORPIONS) and Chris Boltendahl (GRAVE DIGGER).

      But Wacken was only the beginning. "I want to celebrate this big anniversary all year long with my fans around the world," says Doro, who will embark on an enxtensive European tour in October. "We are in the midst of planning special shows in London, Paris and New York."

      The crowning highlight of Doro's 30th-anniversary tour, however, will be two back-to-back shows in her hometown of Düsseldorf.

      "We are playing two anniversary shows, on May 2nd and 3rd," Doro says. "The first night will be classic with an orchestra — as the fans got to know and love it ten years ago through the 'Classic Diamonds' tour. And the second night there will be a full-power rock show with all highlights from 30 years of Doro and several special guests [including BLIND GUARDIAN singer Hansi Kürsch], who accompanied me in the course of my career."

      "The venue will also be very special for those shows. [For the ] first time ever, we get to play at the town hall of CCD Düsseldorf, because it fits the 30th-anniversary project perfectly."
      Greg Prato of Songfacts recently conducted an interview with former DIO and current DIO DISCIPLES guitarist Craig Goldy. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

      Songfacts: How has it been touring with DIO DISCIPLES so far?

      Craig Goldy: It's good. For those who love Ronnie [James Dio] and miss him, which all of us do, that's the hard part. And then the easy part is seeing people enjoy the music again, because the main key was to keep Ronnie's memory alive. So the people that go with us, like Tim "Ripper" Owens [JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN] and Oni Logan [LYNCH MOB], and at the beginning Toby Jepson [LITTLE ANGELS], they all had a heart for Ronnie, because they were either close friends or close to the inner circle of the Dio family. So with that heart, they performed that music that way. And it would come across. So we never knew when, but there was always going to be a special moment when a group of people gather together in the same room for the same purpose with the same heart, mind, and spirit. Something very special happens because of that. That's usually what happens during the performances: there's a moment when the band and the audience connect as one and you can see people just singing to the sky and tears rolling down their cheeks, because they miss him so much, and the music has made such an impression on them because it's been a big part of their lives throughout the years. It's like a memorial service in every city and country we go to. That part of it is really amazing.

      Songfacts: Has there been any talk about DIO DISCIPLES doing an album of all new material?

      Craig: Yes. In fact, I've been working on some original material recently, and at Ronnie's memorial service — the public memorial service — I stated that when I ever did another original material project, that I want to make sure that I utilize the things that I learned from him and that would hopefully make him proud. So when Wendy Dio heard the songs that I've been working on, she said, "Wow, Ronnie would be really proud of you." That was real special. So we're probably in the first phase of what would be a live CD with a couple of bonus tracks of original material.

      Songfacts: So the plan is to first do that and then work on a whole new album?

      Craig: Yes. And we want to make sure that people don't think we're trying to replace Ronnie. Like a lot of bands who have had members either leave or die, they go on with the same name and for the same purpose, and some fans get bummed out about that. We're not trying to do that. It's just if we do do a full album of original material, it's not replacing him. It would be our way of saying, "Hey, this is what we've learned from him, this is what the man means to us." It would be in the spirit of keeping his memory alive and honoring him in some way.
      Finnish metallers CHILDREN OF BODOM have been forced to cancel tonight's concert at Peabody's in Cleveland, Ohio after the band's frontman, Alexi Laiho, was hospitalized the previous day in Nashville with an as-yet-undisclosed ailment. The other three bands on the bill — AMON AMARTH, BATTELCROSS and HUNTRESS — will play extended sets at Peabody's to make up for CHILDREN OF BODOM's absence.

      It is not presently clear if Laiho will be well enough to make the final date of CHILDREN OF BODOM's North American tour, scheduled for this Sunday, August 11 at the Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

      CHILDREN OF BODOM's eighth album, "Halo Of Blood", sold 8,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD was made available on June 11 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The cover art was created by Sami Saramäki, who was responsible for the artwork on previous CHILDREN OF BODOM albums "Follow The Reaper", "Are You Dead Yet?" and "Hate Crew Deathroll".
      Fan-filmed video footage of EXODUS' August 8 performance at Dynamo in Eindhoven, The Netherlands can be seen below.

      EXODUS is taking part in a European tour of 17 cities, with stops in Barcelona, Dublin, London and more. Although SLAYER is currently tapping the talents of guitarist Gary Holt for their European tour, Holt is confirmed to perform at select EXODUS dates. When Holt is not performing with EXODUS, HEATHEN guitarist Kragen Lum will fill in on guitar.

      EXODUS recently revealed two brand new, exclusive t-shirt designs, available now only via their official merch store at this location. The new designs, "Only Death Decides" and "Horned Skull", come with a free sticker (with mail order only).

      EXODUS' latest album, "Exhibit B: The Human Condition", was released in North America on May 18, 2010 via Nuclear Blast Records.

      The CD sold around 4,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 114 on The Billboard 200 chart.

      EXODUS' previous album, "The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A", opened with 3,600 units back in October 2007.
      Massachusetts metallers KILLSWITCH ENGAGE have tapped McFarland & Pecci, the company co-owned by award-winning directors Ian McFarland and Mike Pecci, to helm the video for their song "Always".

      McFarland & Pecci previously worked with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE on the 30-minute documentary "New Awakening", about the recording process for the band's fifth studio album, "Disarm The Descent", and the video for the CD's lead single, "In Due Time".

      "Disarm The Descent" sold around 48,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 7 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD arrived in stores on April 2 via Roadrunner Records.

      "Disarm The Descent" is KILLSWITCH ENGAGE's first album with original singer Jesse Leach at the vocal helm since 2002's now-classic, genre-defining "Alive or Just Breathing". Leach returned to the band in January 2012 after a decade-long absence. The artwork for the new CD was created by bassist Mike D'Antonio.

      In a recent interview with ARTISTdirect, Leach stated about "Disarm The Descent": "Mike D'Antonio thought up the title 'Disarm The Descent' even before I started writing. He approached me with a concept. Initially, it was 'Disarming The Descent'. After some discussion with him, I said, 'Let's just shorten it up.' I thought it was a great title. We talked about it a bit, and I wrote that at the top of the page and began writing notes from there. It's kind of a concept record."

      He added: "[The title is] a creative way of saying 'redemption' or rising again. You're in a state of your life where you're approaching rock bottom and you find a way to pick yourself up again before you hit the floor."

      Asked about his lyrical approach on "Disarm The Descent", Leach said: "This album is very different from anything I've written. That comes from trying to develop as a write over the year. I have a project called THE EMPIRE SHALL FALL. The last EP we put out was a total concept record where I wrote a short story and we made an album about it. It's broken down into three parts, and we finished one of the three. It's a continuing story that will tell a story from start to finish, word for word. I thought it was a cool idea because I'd never written that way. I mixed that idea with my own introspective and cathartic lyrics I did with TIMES OF GRACE. It's a culmination of the writing I've done over the years. I wanted to find a way to blend it all together. Vocally, I'm trying to come up with different sounds of my voice and mix the screaming and yelling. I made an effort to push myself with the writing and vocals."

      ASHES OF ARES, the band featuring Matt Barlow (ex-ICED EARTH), Van Williams (ex-NEVERMORE) and Freddie Vidales (ex-ICED EARTH), filmed a video for an as-yet-undisclosed song off its self-titled debut album on August 3 in Newburgh, New York. Check out photos from the video shoot at
      Due on September 6 via Nuclear Blast Records, "Ashes Of Ares" was recorded in part at Morrisound Recording in Tampa, Florida with legendary producer Jim Morris (ICED EARTH, OBITUARY, JON OLIVA'S PAIN, JAG PANZER). It will be made available as a limited CD in a digipak, including a bonus track, as well as in two different 2LP versions.

      "Ashes Of Ares" track listing:

      01. The Messenger
      02. Move the Chains
      03. On Warrior's Wings
      04. Punishment
      05. This is my Hell
      06. Dead Man's Plight
      07. Chalice of Man
      08. The Answer
      09. What I Am
      10. The One-Eyed King
      11. The Answer (acoustic version; bonus track)

      Regarding the album title and the cover artwork, which was designed by drummer Van Williams, Van states: "We discussed a few ideas, but once we had developed the band logo, it felt right to use it as the introduction to the band along with the name as the focal point for our first album. The artwork, for me, reflects where each of us has been and how we are coming together from our pasts in this new endeavour."

      ASHES OF ARES is:

      Matthew Barlow - Vocals
      Freddie Vidales - Guitar/Bass
      Van Williams - Drums
      Gio Geraca - Guitar (session/touring member only)
      Dean Sternberg - Bass (session/touring member only)

      ASHES OF ARES is a band which represents the culmination of experiences, trials and tribulations of its founding members. Within months of their departures from the iconic metal bands ICED EARTH and NEVERMORE, the trio came together with a renewed drive to create a sound which is a true collaboration of their personal influences, ideas and visions. Armed with the knowledge acquired through years of the writing, touring and recording cycle, and with the support of an army of loyal fans across the globe, ASHES OF ARES is poised to carve out a new legacy and stand alongside those who have helped pave the way.

      In an October 2012 interview with Rocket Queen Promotion, Barlow stated about ASHES OF ARES' musical direction: "Well, most folks know what to expect from me, from my work with ICED EARTH and PYRAMAZE. So you take some of that and mix it with Van's brand of cadence and Freddie's riffage… blam-o….it's ASHES OF ARES!!! It's just straight-up heavy metal!"

      Regarding the band's future plans, Barlow said: "The reason we are all doing this is for the love of music. We are metal guys and this is what we do. ASHES OF ARES live shows will be limited, but there will be live shows for fans, friends, and family to come to and enjoy with us. We really just want to create music that we enjoy and have that translate to our listeners."

      ASHES OF ARES made its live debut on May 17 at the Rock Hard Festival at Amphitheater in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
      American progressive metallers THOUGHT CHAMBER will release their second album, "Psykerion", on September 16 in Europe and on October 1 in North America via InsideOut Music. The follow-up to 2007's "Angular Perceptions" contains 16 tracks and 64 minutes of superb true progressive metal with a technical sci-fi twist, likely to appeal to fans of DREAM THEATER, YES, RUSH and PLANET X. The album's cover artwork, which can be seen below, was designed by John E. Holland of MistyMountainGraphics.com. The album was recorded in various locations between 2012 and 2013 and finally mixed and mastered by Tom Size (Y&T, AEROSMITH, MR. BIG, ENCHANT) at Tomland Studios in Pacheco, California.

      In addition to guitarist and composer Michael Harris and vocalist Ted Leonard (also in ENCHANT, SPOCK'S BEARD and AFFECTOR), THOUGHT CHAMBER includes Bill Jenkins (also in ENCHANT) on keyboards, Jeff Plant on bass and Mike Haid on drums.

      Comments Harris: "We're all very excited about finally releasing 'Psykerion'. A lot of changes have occurred in the band since our first record. Beyond Ted and I, we now have Mike Haid on drums, Jeff Plant on bass and Bill Jenkins on keyboards, who all did a stellar job and are all great guys on top of that, so our chemistry is perfect.

      "'Psykerion' is a concept record — a sci-fi human drama — musically yielding everything from prog-metal to jazz-fusion to acoustic."


      Ted Leonard - Lead vocals
      Michael Harris - Guitar, keyboards, Harmony Vocals
      Jeff Plant - Bass
      Bill Jenkins - Keyboards
      Mike Haid - Drums
      LOWBURN, the Finnish "stoner rock" band featuring current and former members of BATTLELORE, has released a new single, "All Life Long", via Bandcamp.

      LOWBURN is currently laying down 12-13 new songs to be used on forthcoming LP/EP/7" releases. The tracks from the "Soaring High" EP are being re-recorded during the sessions and re-arranged for the new releases.

      Regarding how the new group came together, LOWBURN states: "After a short hiatus from music, Tomi Mykkänen and Henkka Vahvanen from BATTLELORE started jamming stuff together. Soon it was decided that we need to form a band for the jams. Miika Kokkola (founding member and original bass player from BATTLELORE) was contacted and asked if he wants to jam with us. He did. We played and jammed a few times and then it was decided that second guitarist would not hurt. Miika said that he had already talked with Tommi Havo (another original BATTLELORE member) about the project and that he was very interested. So, enter Tommi and on that rehearsal we made the first real song. On the second rehearsal, we made the second song and then we realized that we had a band."
      Swedish rockers HOUSE OF SHAKIRA will release their seventh studio album, "Pay To Play", on September 23 via Melodic Rock Records/Cargo Records on CD and two weeks later on October 7 via digital outlets. Copies will be available for purchase at the Melodic Rock Fest event in Chicago on September 27-29.

      "Pay To Play" marks HOUSE OF SHAKIRA's second CD with lead singer Andreas Novak, and is accordingly their best album so far. The band chose a small record company in order to maintain highest priority throughout the process, instead of falling between the lines in the hands of a bigger label.

      Says Novak: "Melodic Rock Records is our weapon of choice, whose enthusiasm we trust with our lives.

      "I'm proud to say this is by far the best release I've ever been involved in.

      "This album has been a true pleasure and walk in the park to compose, since we're immune to pressure. It's all for the love of good music. Fame and fortune should not be anybody's goal — then it becomes an obstacle instead. We just wanna play."

      Adds Melodic Rock Records label CEO Andrew McNeice: "I've had the pleasure of working with Andreas over a number of yeas now as well as a long-standing friendship with the rest of the HOUSE OF SHAKIRA guys. When they came together, I pitched to them immediately. Well, I might have had to wait one album, but I've got them now!

      "I'm as excited about this release as I could be. I've been going back and forth with the guys over the last few months deciding upon which songs had to make the cut and organizing the perfect sequencing so this album flows like a fine wine.

      "The guys have outdone themselves and I think the songs, the passion and the energy of this record rival their classic debut."

      In its 22-year history, HOUSE OF SHAKIRA has released six previous studio albums, all of which have left their mark, making the band one of Sweden's best known musical exports as well as hometown heroes.
      Southern California-based rock musician Jesse Damon, best known as the frontman for the popular melodic hard rock band SILENT RAGE, will release a new album called "Temptation In The Garden Of Eve" on September 27 via AOR Heaven/Metal Heaven. The CD will feature 11 brand new tracks laden with huge hooks and unforgettable choruses, all co-written by Jesse and acclaimed AOR melodic rocker Paul Sabu, who also produced the album. The studio band features backing vocals by Paul Sabu, who also doubles as bass player on the release, along with musicians Eric Ragno on keyboards, and Pete Newdeck of EDEN'S CURSE on drums and backing vocals. Jesse has once again delivered big on all the new songs, adding to the legacy of his works.

      Damon's story starts back in the glory days of the Eighties. With his band SILENT RAGE, he's best known for his extraordinary lead vocals and stellar guitar work on the MTV hit video "Rebel With A Cause".

      SILENT RAGE has released four critically acclaimed albums, including the Simmons Records/RCA Records release "Don't Touch Me There".

      Jesse's first three solo albums are a mix of well-crafted melodic rock songs and intense ballads. His musical output has been influenced by some of the biggest artists in rock music, including LED ZEPPELIN, THE BEATLES, FOREIGNER, Y&T and WHITESNAKE.

      "Temptation In The Garden Of Eve" track listing:

      01. Garden Of Eve
      02. Black Widow
      03. Save The World
      04. I Need You Forever
      05. Save Me
      06. A Chance For Us
      07. Let It Rock
      08. Angel In The Starlight
      09. Hold On
      10. Little Angel
      11. Wishing Well
      Veteran Polish metallers TURBO will release a brand new studio album this autumn. The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2009's "Straznik Swiatla" will contain "solid heavy metal without any unnecessary intricacies," according to a press release.

      Comments guitarist Wojciech Hoffmann: "We do not want to concentrate on novelties as we can see during our gigs that the fans expect us to play older tracks, they do not like changes. We also feel very comfortable playing the music of our youth. That's why we plan to stick to classic heavy metal."

      He adds: "We want to record the album in one go — we enter the studio at the same time, record all instruments at the same time, and then we make any necessary corrections, add guitar solos and vocals. Perhaps we will manage to record the core of the album in just one day! We start rehearsing tomorrow and we plan to work till we die! We want the music to be full of all our emotions, and this is possible when a band plays together, at the same time — this good vibe is missing when an album is recorded separately by the musicians."

      TURBO is:

      Wojciech Hoffmann - Guitar
      Bogusz Rutkiewicz - Bass
      Mariusz Bobkowski - Drums
      Tomasz Struszczyk - Vocals
      Dominik Jokiel - Rhythm Guitar
      Norwegian progressive metallers LEPROUS have parted ways with bassist Rein Blomquist and have replaced him with Martin Skrebergene.

      Says the band: "As some of you might have suspected, Rein and LEPROUS have chosen different paths for the future. Rein has been a part of LEPROUS in our two best years so far, and we are forever grateful for all the great music good times! He will play his last LEPROUS show on Brutal Assault this Saturday, so be there if you wanna wave him goodbye!

      "Martin is a very talented bass player, the most beautiful bass sound and technique we've heard in a while! We want you all to give him a warm welcome, and be there when he will perform his first LEPROUS show at Le Ferrallieur in Nantes, France!"

      Adds Rein: "The time has come for me to part ways with LEPROUS. I feel the need to prioritize different things in life, and as LEPROUS is a band that needs, and deserves, a high level of dedication, I decided that the best course of action was to take my leave.

      "I am extremely grateful for being a part of LEPROUS for the last couple of years, for all the great memories and experiences, the ups and downs, and for being able to share them all with the rest of the guys in the band. I am confident that LEPROUS will continue on to accomplish great things, and I look forward to follow LEPROUS into the future. Thanks for the ride, guys!"

      States Martin: "I'm really excited to be a part of this great band and inspiring group of people. I look forward to bringing my style and musical influences into the band, and contributing with shaping an awesome future ahead with LEPROUS."

      LEPROUS' new album, "Coal", was released on May 28 in North America (May 20 in Europe) via InsideOut Music. The cover artwork for the CD was created by acclaimed American artist Jeff Jordan, who produced the artwork for the band's last album, "Bilateral", in addition to working with THE MARS VOLTA.
      English rockers GLAMOUR OF THE KILL will release their new album, "Savages", on September 24 in the U.S. through eOne Music, September 20 in Germany and September 23 in the rest of Europe through SPV.

      Produced by Joey Sturgis (ASKING ALEXANDRIA), this is the first batch of new material we've seen from GLAMOUR OF THE KILL since the release of "The Summoning", which came out in 2011.

      The new CD's first single, "Break", which features a guest appearance by VAMPIRES EVERYWHERE! lead singer Michael Vampire, can be streamed below.

      "Savages" track listing:

      01. Break
      02. Second Chance
      03. The Only One
      04. Live For The Weekend
      05. A Freak Like Me
      06. Heartbreaker
      07. Rescue Me
      08. Leave It All Behind
      09. A Beautiful Day To Die
      10. Tears Of The Sun

      Comments GLAMOUR OF THE KILL frontman Davey Richmond: "This is a very exciting time for us as we can finally expose the finished product of something that has been over two years in the making.

      "With this new album we feel like we have finally found our sound.

      "We decided to take everything we do best to the next level with this album and really tested our abilities both in playing and songwriting. It's now time to unleash a new chapter of GLAMOUR OF THE KILL upon the world!"

      Fresh off a full U.S. tour with ESCAPE THE FATE and a European tour with PAPA ROACH, GLAMOUR OF THE KILL will be hitting the road with MOTIONLESS IN WHITE and THE DEFILED in the U.K. throughout September before heading back out the Europe with PAPA ROACH in November.

      GLAMOUR OF THE KILL has been generating buzz ever since its debut EP, "Through The Dark They March", came out in 2007. The success of the EP led to tours with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, DRAGONFORCE, AVENGED SEVENFOLD and most notably a performance on the main stage of Download festival in 2008.

      GLAMOUR OF THE KILL is: Davey Richmond (lead vocals, bass), Chris Gomerson (guitar, backing vocals), Mike Kingswood (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Ben Thomson (drums, backing vocals).
      BURZUM mastermind Varg Vikernes (a.k.a. Count Grishnackh), who was released from French police custody on July 18 — just two days after he and his wife were arrested on suspicion of planning a "massacre" — has announced his plan to sue the French authorities for what he called his "brutal" arrest.

      Vikerenes, 40, who has been living in France for the past three years, and his wife were arrested as a preventive measure after Vikernes posted aggressive racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic comments on Internet forums. The couple's home was searched and five guns were found, including four rifles legally purchased by Varg's wife as a member of a rifle club.

      Vikernes reportedly still faces charges that he violated French law against provoking racism.

      A French prosecutor said Vikernes was charged with racist provocation of Jews and Muslims on the Internet and will be tried in a French court.

      Writing on his official blog, Vikernes said: "We want to sue the authorities for arresting us for no good reason whatsoever, doing so in the most brutal way possible and with children present, and also for without any reason taking away our right to own or even possess weapons. Marie [Varg's wife] has a crime record white as snow, so there is no reason for them to take away her right and freedom to own weapons. I have a record in Norway, from 1993 and 2003, but I have never done anything criminal in France, and I can own most weapons even in Norway if I want to, so they have no good reason to take away my right and freedom to own weapons either. Especially not when they have done so under such circumstances.

      "The only problem is that we can not afford to sue them, and we see no other solution to this than to ask for help from you. It pains me much to do so, and I have struggled a lot with myself to make me do this, but I think this is the right thing to do right now. They have done everything they could to make sure we could not afford to sue, so I think they really don't want us to. We ask for help to sue from you, from individuals probably not directly affected by this case, because we believe that we are fighting not only for our rights and freedom, but also for the rights and freedom of every other citizen in France, and perhaps also in other European countries, who also risk being subjected to this type of treatment in the future. We need to tell the authorities that we don't accept this and that what they do is illegal. We cannot allow them to abuse their power like that and get away with it. This time they did this to us, we don't know what else they might do to us in the future if we just let them get away with what they did this time, and the next time it can be your neighbour's turn. Or your friend's turn. Or someone in your family's turn. Or your turn."
      "From Death To Destiny", the third album from the British metalcore act ASKING ALEXANDRIA, is likely to sell between 28,000 and 32,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, according to industry web site Hits Daily Double. The estimate was based on one-day sales reports compiled after the record arrived in stores on August 6 via Sumerian Records. The CD was recorded with renowned producer Joey Sturgis (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, EMMURE).

      "From Death To Destiny" track listing:

      01. Don't Pray For Me
      02. Killing You
      03. The Death Of Me
      04. Run Free
      05. Break Down The Walls
      06. Poison
      07. Believe
      08. Creature
      09. White Line Fever
      10. Moving On
      11. The Road
      12. Until The End (ft. Howard Jones)
      13. The Death Of Me (Rock Mix)

      Most of the new CD was tracked at Sturgis' studio in Indiana, while the vocals and strings and choir parts were laid down at NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood, California.

      "It's taken long enough!" ASKING ALEXANDRIA guitarist Ben Bruce told Metal Hammer magazine. "It wasn't because we were being lazy, but because we wanted it to be perfect. 'From Death To Destiny' is our third album and we wanted to make sure we'd bring out the best possible record we could."

      He continued: "This is our biggest sounding record and alongside the classic ASKING ALEXANDRIA stuff — the breakdown sections, heavy sections, fast sections — we've thrown a lot of new influences in there. It's a very diverse album and I think people who pigeonholed us are going to realize they were wrong when they hear it."


      Danny Worsnop - Vocals
      Ben Bruce - Guitar
      Cameron Liddell - Guitar
      Sam Bettley - Bass
      James Cassells – Drums
      SAVN, the Norwegian gothic/folk metal band featuring MIDNATTSOL singer Carmen Elise Espenaes (the younger sister of LEAVES' EYES singer Liv Kristine) and two members of THE SINS OF THY BELOVED, Stig Johansen and Anders Thue — has completed recording its debut album at Mastersound Studio in Germany for a late 2013 release via CDR Records. The CD will feature a guest appearance by Liv Kristine.

      MIDNATTSOL's latest CD, "The Metamorphosis Melody", was released in April 2011 via Napalm Records. The CD was recorded at Studio E (THE VISION BLEAK, LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE, SECRETS OF THE MOON) with producer Markus Stock.
      Polish extreme metallers BEHEMOTH will debut a brand new song during their performance today (Friday, August 9) at the Getaway Rock festival in Gävle, Sweden.

      BEHEMOTH's tenth full-length album, "The Satanist", has had its release date pushed back to 2014 via Nuclear Blast in Europe and Metal Blade in North America. The CD was recorded at Hertz studio in Bialystok, Poland with the help of the Wieslawscy brothers and Daniel Bergstrand (MESHUGGAH, IN FLAMES, SOILWORK, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD). Songtitles set to appear on the effort include "Blow Your Trumpet, Gabriel" — described by frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski as "killer" and "a monster"; "Messe Noir" (French for "The Black Mass"); and "Ora Pro Nobis, Lucifer" (Latin for "Pray For Us, Lucifer").

      Commented Nergal: "I'm listening to the new mix of the album... and it's SPECTACULAR. If you can imagine something that beats the shit out of 'Evangelion', this is it!

      "We shall take another six months before we put it out... Sorry, but that's what it needs. Be patient. This album will shake the Mount Sinai!"

      In a recent interview with Revolver magazine, Darski described BEHEMOTH's new songs as "very atmospheric" and "very emotional." "Think BURZUM meets NEW ORDER meets KILLING JOKE," he added. But at the same time, fans shouldn't expect the album to sound too far removed from BEHEMOTH's past efforts. "Take SLAYER, for example," Darski said. "Whatever genre they deal with, they still end up sounding like SLAYER. Even when they were flirting with nu-metal, it was a SLAYER record. Same with BEHEMOTH."

      According to Darski, at least some of the inspiration for the new BEHEMOTH album is coming from his five-month bout of leukemia he overcame in January 2011, after receiving a bone-marrow transplant. "When I was in the hospital, I was collecting experiences and emotions," he said. "I'm pretty sure that it's coming out now. There are moments I catch myself thinking about how my state was back then. It was me versus life, me versus death. It definitely changed my thoughts a lot. It's 100 percent being reflected in the record and songs I'm writing nowadays. I'm way more radical than I used to be."
      German black metallers KING FEAR will release their first full-length album, "Frostbite", on September 27 via Quality Steel Records/Soulfood. The cover artwork and layout was designed by Hiko (FEAR FACTORY, DEBAUCHERY, OZ, SOIL).

      "Frostbite" track listing:

      01. Conquering The Useless
      02. Death Zone
      03. Frostbite
      04. Immortalized
      05. The Wickedest Man
      06. Black Gravel
      07. Empires Aloft
      08. Re-Conquering The Useless

      After issuing its first five-track EP in 2012, the KING FEAR members went separate ways while singer Nachtgarm toured the world performing with NEGATOR and DARK FUNERAL, main composer Mål Dæth moved to the Austrian wilderness to create new music. Once winter struck again, the band gathered with their drummer BoneInn (ex-EISENVATER) in their hometown of Hamburg to start working on what was to become their first full-length album.

      Inspired by the history of mountaineering, KING FEAR has created a full-length concept albumbased on the "conquest of the useless" — mankind's possessive desire of reaching the highest mountain peaks.

      Driven by the realization of how well these old tales of desire, passion, myth, ancient belief and frigid heights fit the KING FEAR version of black metal, they decided to call it "Frostbite".

      Musically, "Frostbite" is rooted in straight-forward black metal with a slap of black'n'roll. Great artists such as SATYRICON, KHOLD, SHINING (Sweden), CELTIC FROST and even ENTOMBED and TIAMAT have proven before: The fastest band is not necessarily the darkest band.

      KING FEAR is:

      Nachtgarm - Vocals
      Mål Dæth - Strings
      BoneInn – Drums