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Dio Slash, Guns N Roses, Megadeth, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news

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  • Robert
    Legendary heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio, best known for his work with BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW and his own band DIO, died of stomach cancer two years ago
    Message 1 of 1 , May 16 11:53 PM
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      Legendary heavy metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio, best known for his work with BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW and his own band DIO, died of stomach cancer two years ago on Wednesday (May 16) at the age of 67.

      BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi, who is currently receiving treatment in England for the early stages of lymphoma, with which he was diagnosed late last year, writes on his official web site, "I've been thinking of you, old friend, while dealing with my own health issues over the last six months and remembering the good times."

      Dio was renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest and most influential vocalists in heavy metal history. The singer, who was recording and touring with SABBATH offshoot HEAVEN & HELL prior to his illness, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in late 2009. He underwent chemotherapy and made what is now his final public appearance in April 2010 at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles.

      A free public memorial service was held on May 30, 2010 at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, attended by more than 1,500 fans, friends and fellow musicians.

      In March 2011, it was announced that the surviving members of the final lineup of DIO would embark on a project with former JUDAS PRIEST frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens under the name DIO DISCIPLES.

      His wife and manager, Wendy Dio, still oversees all projects and releases related to the career and music of her late husband.

      Ronnie James Dio, real name Ronald James Padavona, was born in New Hampshire on July 10, 1942.

      He moved to Cortland, New York at a young age, where he began playing with local acts. A street in Cortland, Dio Way, was named after him in 1988.

      He released his first single, with a band called RONNIE AND THE REDCAPS, in 1959.

      His first heavy rock act, ELF, released three albums and opened for DEEP PURPLE, where Dio's voice caught the ear of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Blackmore recruited Dio for his own band, RAINBOW, after leaving PURPLE in 1975.

      Dio recorded three studio albums and one live set with RAINBOW before exiting in 1978, including "Rising" and "Long Live Rock And Roll".

      He replaced Ozzy Osbourne in BLACK SABBATH in 1980, recording the "Heaven And Hell" and "Mob Rules" albums, plus "Live Evil", before leaving in 1982. He rejoined the group 10 years later for an album called "Dehumanizer", and again teamed with the group under the HEAVEN & HELL banner in 2006. HEAVEN & HELL released an album called "The Devil You Know" in 2009.

      He has also recorded 10 studio albums with his own band, DIO, including a classic 1983 debut, "Holy Diver", and an equally renowned follow-up, 1984's "The Last In Line".

      Dio was also behind the HEAR N' AID project, a collection of metal artists who recorded the track "Stars" in 1985 to raise funds for African famine relief.

      Rock and metal musicians around the world paid tribute to Dio in the weeks and months following his death. STONE SOUR and SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor shared his feelings with The Pulse Of Radio about the fallen metal icon. "When I got that news that he had passed away, man, it seriously — it broke my heart. It broke it in two. Because honestly, I just feel like there will never be another Ronnie James Dio. He had such a pure voice — and still singing his ass off. I just know he'll be missed, and I will miss him as well."

      Ex-VAN HALEN and current CHICKENFOOT bassist Michael Anthony also shared his memories of Dio with The Pulse Of Radio. "I don't know anybody that didn't grow up listening to his stuff," he said. "You know, VAN HALEN, we used to do from the first RAINBOW album, we did 'Man On The Silver Mountain'. I remember one time, the second VAN HALEN tour we were doing some festivals in Europe, and we actually played on the same show as Ronnie's band. Real powerful voice, you know, and definitely a driving force in hard rock music, that guy was."

      Slash told The Pulse Of Radio that he felt the loss of Dio very keenly. "He's just somebody I was influenced by," he said. " I played all the RAINBOW stuff, I played the DIO stuff, the SABBATH stuff when I was in, you know, high school. I don't think that it's really set in what a, you know, huge figure in rock 'n' roll we lost, you know. Really major. Probably one of the most influential heavy metal singers of all time."
       
      Legendary guitarist Slash (VELVET REVOLVER, ex-GUNS N' ROSES) recently filmed an interview and six-song performance for Walmart Soundcheck, an online performance series launched by discount retailer Walmart.

      Slash and his band performed the following songs:

      01. Ghost
      02. Mean Bone
      03. Back From Cali
      04. Standing In The Sun
      05. Starlight
      06. You're A Lie

      You can now watch Slash's Walmart Soundcheck episode at this location.

      Slash will release his second solo album, "Apocalyptic Love", on May 22 via his own label Dik Hayd International distributed through EMI.

      "Apocalyptic Love" was recorded like a live performance record where the band was all set up in a big room at Barefoot. The liberated feel of "Apocalyptic Love" is evident throughout the LP's 13 songs, as is the genuine chemistry between Slash and Myles.

      The evolution of their creative relationship went full throttle since the two first joined forces on Slash's 2010 debut solo release where the ALTER BRIDGE frontman lent his pipes to the cavalcade of venerable guest vocalists which included Iggy Pop, Ian Astbury and Ozzy Osbourne. Slash's debut landed on The Billboard 200 chart at #3 (#1 on the Rock chart, #1 on the Independent chart, and #1 on the Hard Music chart). Digitally, it became the #1 overall digital album and hit #1 on iTunes in 13 countries. "I contacted him out of the blue, sent him one of the songs I was working on which turned out later to be 'Starlight'," Slash says. After Myles contributed his ideas and sent it back to Slash, creative forces congealed. "I went, ‘Wow, that's really good," recalls Slash. "We flew Myles out to track it and this unassuming mild mannered guy shows up, similar in demeanor to me, sort of quiet, not really explosive in personality. He then nailed 'Back from Cali' and it was like, 'Would you like to do a tour with me?' I was so happy when he accepted the offer." For the Spokane-born lead singer, the gig was an opportunity to expand his personal portfolio while exploring some musical synergy with an artist he'd long admired. Over the next 18 months, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and THE CONSPIRATORSMyles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums) and Todd Kerns (bass) — toured the world on the album evolving into the tight-knit rock group they are today.
       
      GUNS N' ROSES frontman Axl Rose has reportedly slipped and pulled a hamstring during a "wild weekend" in Moscow, Russia.

      Rose posted a photo on his Twitter account showing extensive bruising to his leg. He wrote, "Can U say HemaToma?!"

      According to WebMD, hematoma is a collection of blood outside of a blood vessel. It occurs because the wall of a blood vessel wall, artery, vein or capillary, has been damaged and blood has leaked into tissues where it does not belong. The hematoma may be tiny, with just a dot of blood or it can be large and cause significant swelling.

      GUNS N' ROSES played two shows in Moscow at the sold-out Stadium Live Friday and Saturday and is scheduled to continue the tour with a show in Dublin, Ireland on Thursday, May 17.

      According to the Komsomolskaya Pravda web site, Rose hurt his leg when he fell off a table while dancing at the trendy club Premier Lounge after the second Moscow concert.

      Axl Rose skipped GUNS N' ROSES' induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last month and declined to be inducted along with the rest of the group. The singer also reaffirmed that there is no chance of the original lineup reuniting, and seemed to speak directly to fans still hoping for a reunion when he added, "Time to move on. People get divorced. Life doesn't owe you your own personal happy ending especially at another's, or in this case several others', expense."

      In at least a partial nod to his former bandmates, however, Rose wrote, "For the record, I would not begrudge anyone from GUNS their accomplishments or recognition for such. Neither I or anyone in my camp has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It's their show, not mine."

      Original GN'R members Slash, Steven Adler and Duff McKagan, along with later members Matt Sorum and Gilby Clarke, performed three songs at the induction ceremony in Cleveland. They were joined on vocals by Myles Kennedy, who sings in Slash's solo band.

      In addition sole original member Axl Rose, the current lineup of GUNS N' ROSES includes guitarists Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Richard Fortus and DJ Ashba, bassist Tommy Stinson, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman and drummer Frank Ferrer.
      http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/soulflypremiere/axlbruises.jpg
       
      MEGADETH will perform its 1992 album, "Countdown To Extinction", in its entirety on September 14 at Estadio Cubierto Malvinas in Buenos Aires, Argentina and on September 16 at Orfeo in Cordoba, Argentina.

      As previously reported, MEGADETH will also perform all of "Countdown To Extinction" on September 7 at Teatro Caupolican in Santiago, Chile; on September 19 at the Pepsi Center in Mexico City, Mexico; and on September 21 at the Arena VFG in Guadalajara, Mexico.

      Speaking to the Artisan News, Ellefson stated about the LP, "'Countdown' was really one of my favorite records of the whole MEGADETH catalog... for a number of reasons. Musically, I think it brought together the best of thrash, the melodic part, writing big, hooky riffs. And that record really launched us into the mainstream, which opened up a lot of other opportunites and things for us to do. But more importantly, I think, than all of that, is it was a really cool time when the four of us were really, probably, our most connected together as a band."

      MEGADETH's fifth LP, "Countdown To Extinction" was released on July 14, 1992 through Capitol Records. The band's best-selling full-length CD to date, it was certified double-platinum by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America) for U.S. shipments in excess of two million copies. The album also produced the band's most successful hit singles, "Symphony Of Destruction", "Sweating Bullets", "Skin O' My Teeth" and "Foreclosure Of A Dream".
       
      Nuclear Blast Records has announced the signing of Swedish doom metal kings WITCHCRAFT.

      After a five-year recording hiatus, WITCHCRAFT is currently tracking the follow-up to 2007's "The Alchemist" with renowned producer Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios (KREATOR, OPETH, AMON AMARTH, PARADISE LOST, KATATONIA) in Örebro, Sweden. Tentatively titled "Legend", the CD will mark the recording debut of the band's new members Simon Solomon (guitar), Tom Jondelius (guitar) and Oscar Johansson (drums). Going forward, WITCHCRAFT leader Magnus Pelander will focus on his unique vocals without playing guitar anymore.

      Commented Pelander: "There's magic going on in the studio and we can hardly wait to eventually give something back to our loyal fans! We know you guys have been waiting for this!"

      WITCHCRAFT, who formed in 2000 in tribute to band heroes Roky Erickson and Bobby Liebling (PENTAGRAM), create heavy, blues-based rock augmented with touches of psychedelica and late '60s pop flourishes. The quartet's first-class songs reference the darker side of hard rock while remaining surprisingly accessible. Flying largely under the radar of the popular music landscape previously, WITCHCRAFT is a hallowed name in underground circles and has found itself championed by a diverse cross-section of distinguished music adherents including American actor Elijah Wood, who publicly called the band "amazing," and DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo, who in 2009 proudly proclaimed WITCHCRAFT as his "new favorite band."

      Recorded 100% pro-tools and digital free at Stockholm's UpandRunning studios with producer Tom Hakava and using only vintage amplification, WITCHCRAFT's latest album, "The Alchemist", showcases a group of musicians at ease with their playing and songwriting. Addictive melodies flow simultaneously with catchy, heavy riffs, while maintaining a relaxed and laid back feel throughout. Among its many highlights, the album features the standout songs "Walk Between the Lines" and "Hey Doctor" as well as the record's plat du jour, the three-part progressive rock odyssey of the title track "The Alchemist".
       
      DOWNSPIRIT, the German/Swiss blues/metal-oriented band formed by SYMPHORCE/ex-FREEDOM CALL guitarist Cedric "Cede" Dupont, has completed recording its sophomore album for a tentative late July release.

      Comented Dupont: "It's tasty, it's huge, it's just great and yeah, it rocks. 12 songs, grooving, blasting, killing, simply something myself, the two Steffens and Dennis are very very proud of! Can't wait to release it!"

      DOWNSPIRIT's debut album, "Point Of Origin", was received well, with much positive feedback all over the world, and brought the band's touring schedule to include more than 60 shows around Europe.

      DOWNSPIRIT is:

      Steffen Lauth - Vocals
      Cede Dupont - Guitar
      Dennis Wohlbold - Bass
      Steffen Theurer – Drums
       
      The self-titled debut album from STORM CORROSION, the long-discussed and highly anticipated collaboration between OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt and PORCUPINE TREE's Steven Wilson, sold 9,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 47 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD also landed at No. 45 on the official U.K. chart.

      Released on May 8, the "Storm Corrosion" Special Edition Blu-ray/CD Set & Collector's Edition Double LP Bundle was made available for $50, and included the album on 180-gram black virgin vinyl, in a gatefold jacket with exclusive artwork; a digital download of the entire album in high-quality FLAC files; the Blu-ray/CD version of the record, which offers the album on CD; a Blu-ray disc containing a 5.1 audio mix of the entire album, two exclusive demo tracks, and five instrumental tracks; a 24" x 36" fold-out poster; and a separate 12" x 12" poster autographed by both Mikael Åkerfeldt and Steven Wilson.

      The "Storm Corrosion" Collector's Edition Double-LP Set was priced $35, and included the vinyl version, the digital download, and the two posters.

      "Storm Corrosion" track listing:

      CD

      01. Drag Ropes (9:52)
      02. Storm Corrosion (10:12)
      03. Hag (6:28)
      04. Happy (4:53)
      05. Lock Howl (6:09)
      06. Ljudet Innan (10:20)

      Blu-ray:

      01. Drag Ropes
      02. Storm Corrosion
      03. Hag
      04. Happy
      05. Lock Howl
      06. Ljudet Innan
      07. Drag Ropes
      08. Storm Corrosion
      09. Hag
      10. Happy
      11. Lock Howl
      12. Ljudet Innan
      13. Drag Ropes (demo)
      14. Hag (demo)

      A little background information on the genesis of this project: Åkerfeldt and Wilson have been friends since the late '90s, when Wilson co-produced OPETH's revered "Blackwater Park" album. Over the years, they'd often spoken of working on a project together, but it wasn't until recently that they managed to make something happen, when Mikael flew over to visit Steven in the U.K. and they ended up in Wilson's home studio throwing ideas around. That visit was the nascence of a whole self-titled album, written and produced by the pair, and mixed by Wilson.

      The sound of STORM CORROSION can best be described as enchanting, orchestral, ambient, epic (half the album's tracks clock in around the 10-minute mark) and nothing short of surprising to the new ear. However, the musicians' respective fanbases will be primed to appreciate the new output, with Wilson's recent solo album, "Grace For Drowning", and OPETH's "Heritage" having brought them to a logical place to understand STORM CORROSION. This eponymous collection is almost viewed as one side of a musical triangle.

      Says Wilson, "If you'd asked me three months ago about the music, I would have said, 'Expect the last thing you would expect.' But actually, now that 'Heritage' and 'Grace For Drowning' have come out, I don't think it's going to be that much of a shock to people, because it's almost like a third part of the trilogy, in a way. If anything, it's even more orchestral, even more stripped down, even more dark, twisted and melancholic… but it certainly feels like it comes from the same place as 'Heritage' and 'Grace For Drowning', which indeed it does because it was written during the same period.”

      "Some of the music on this record I think is the most beautiful music I have participated on ever," adds Åkerfeldt. "There's some magical sections on there. Musically, I think we've created something earthy, a bit frightening, exhausting, profound and rather intense. All at the same time. I can safely say I don't know any other band or artist that sounds anything like STORM CORROSION. I guess that was also one of our goals, so to speak."
      http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/soulflypremiere/stormcorrosioncover.jpg
       
       
       
      Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp has announced the next installment of its highly successful music-magic experience taking place in Sin City this coming fall. Headlining the October camp at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will be co-founder and bassist for KISS — iconic rock god and media mogul Gene Simmons.

      Commented Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp founder David Fishof: "I can't think of a better way to kick off our next installment of Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas with none other than rock god Gene Simmons."

      Simmons added: "I can't wait to reveal the secrets of becoming a rock star. Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp is a grueling, military-style musical training process. And I'm just the guy to be your sergeant. Now, drop and give me twenty."

      Kicking off October 10 and culminating October 14, Gene Simmons will jam with campers of all talent levels providing them a taste of what it's like to live the rock 'n' roll lifestyle and a memory that will last a lifetime. The camp will host special rock stars, including Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY), Vince Neil (MÖTLEY CRÜE), and Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW).

      The rock camps allow music fans a chance to jam nightly with legendary rock stars, write and record an original song and perform live on stage in front of family and friends. Campers have the option of purchasing a three-day rock star package or five-day headliner experience. Both packages will cover hotel accommodations, breakfast/lunch, daily classes and jam session, opening-night dinner and cocktail party as well as a DVD copy of the final concert performance.

      To celebrate the camp's culmination on October 14, campers will jam at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada during a live concert.

      The Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp is the world's only place where real people get the life-changing experience of meeting, writing songs, recording and performing with their musical heroes. Created by veteran music producer David Fishof to be the ultimate music-making experience, these camps provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for musicians of all skill levels.

      For more information, visit RockCamp.com.
       
      Swedish hard rockers THE QUILL have been rejoined by bassist Roger Nilsson. Previously a member of SPIRITUAL BEGGARS and FIREBIRD, Nilsson played bass on the first four THE QUILL albums but left the band in 2005 to pursue other musical ventures.

      Commented Roger: "Ten minutes into our first rehearsal in seven years, it was obvious to all of us that there's a connection between us musically as well as personally that can't be denied. I had a feeling that the first shows this past weekend would feel a little awkward, but instead it felt like the most natural thing in the world. It's great being back and I'm really looking forward to start writing new music again. Bring it on!"

      Added the other members of THE QUILL: "After the bass player seat was vacant, we sat down and started to think about who the perfect replacement would be, and the first name to pop up was Roger Nilsson! To our great joy, he accepted the offer and after two shows we can tell you that this guy is still lethal!"

      THE QUILL's latest album, "Full Circle", was released on June 24, 2011 in Europe and July 26, 2011 in North America via Metalville Records. According to a press release, the CD "is packed with heavy rock firmly rooted in the Seventies but vibrant and updated rather than retro. Yes, there's a new twist to the sound. Less is more, if you will. The songs are sharp, direct and catchy, built around big riffs, big grooves and big hooks. Just check out 'Sleeping With Your Enemy' and try to get that chorus out of your head. Surrender to the up-tempo outburst of energy that is 'Medicine'. And physically feel how 'Bring It On' simply rocks like a motherfucker. Very much classic rock and yet contemporary in the FOO FIGHTERS / QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE vein. Needless to say, THE QUILL is a band reborn."

      "Full Circle" was mixed by songwriter/producer/artist Chris Laney (real name: Ulf Larsson).

      THE QUILL's video for the song "Medicine" can be viewed below. The clip was shot in October 2011 during at Tierp Arena in Sweden — Northern Europe's most acclaimed new raceway for drag racing. It was shot live in front of racers, personnel, firemen and, of course, the thousands of wild drag-racing fans on site.
       
      Indie Recordings has announced the signing of Norwegian thrashers TANTARA. The band will release a seven-inch vinyl single, "Based On Evil", on June 29 cotaning the title track and the previously unreleased song "Court Justice". It will be strictly limited to 300 copies and only available in certain online stores. A full-length album will follow later in the year. The CD is being recorded with producer Flemming Rasmussen (METALLICA, MORBID ANGEL) at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark.

      TANTARA will embark on the Norwegian "Thrash 'Till Death Tour 2012" in October with FORGERY and HARM. The kick-off party will take place on May 19 at Gamla in Oslo.

      TANTARA is a young Norwegian thrash metal band, mainly from Vestfold. The band saw the light in September 2009 when drummer Stian Sannerud and rhythm guitarist Fredrik Bjerkø decided to take their "talent show" project to a new level. The two musicians recruited Per Semb as their lead guitarist. In April 2011, the Swedish bass virtuoso Max Warnby joined TANTARA after an impressing performance at one of the band's concerts, where he played as a stand-in.

      TANTARA's influences consist mostly of old-school thrash metal bands like HEATHEN, ANTHRAX, EXODUS, MEGADETH, SLAYER, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, VIO-LENCE and METALLICA.

      In August 2010, TANTARA recorded its first EP, which came out later that same year.
       
      The new collaborative project featuring DISTURBED vocalist David Draiman and former FILTER guitarist Geno Lenardo will enter the studio on May 31 to begin recording its debut release. Draiman previously described the new band's sound as in the vein of industrial acts like NINE INCH NAILS and MINISTRY. When asked by a fan via Twitter if the project would be anything "like dubstep," Draiman wrote, "No, it's about as close to it as [NINE INCH NAILS] or MINISTRY or RAMMSTEIN are. Industrial predates dubstep. . . In other words, it is at all times a guitar-driven sound."

      Lenardo was initially hired as a touring guitarist for FILTER's "Short Bus" tour in 1995, then later signed on as a full-fledged member, co-writing tracks on FILTER's second album, "Title Of Record" (released in 1999), and the group's follow-up disc, 2002's "The Amalgamut".

      Lenardo most recently contributed three songs to the soundtrack to the film "Underworld: Awakening", including "Heavy Prey" (see video below), which was a collaboration with FLYLEAF singer Lacey Sturm. The CD, which came out in January through Lakeshore Records, sold 3,000 copies in its first week of release to debut at position No. 175 on The Billboard 200 chart.

      DISTURBED went on an open-ended hiatus last fall, and although the members of the band expressed interest in working on other endeavors, Draiman told The Pulse Of Radio at the time that he wasn't sure if he would do a solo project. "I don't know," he said. "I'm concerned about that, to be honest. I think too many people have tried and failed. You know, I think that the number of artists that have done it and been successful at it, you can count on one hand, and I would never want to stymie my persona or my growth individually by doing something just for the sake of doing it. If I were going to do something, it would have really have to be something special."

      DISTURBED has not indicated when it plans to return, although all four members say they're likely to come back.

      Aside from Draiman, DISTURBED bassist John Moyer has branched out recently by joining ADRENALINE MOB, a new group also featuring ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and SYMPHONY X vocalist Russell Allen.

      DISTURBED issued a limited-edition box set of all five of its studio albums on vinyl on April 21, Record Store Day, called "The Collection". The six-disc package includes all the records remastered and pressed on 140-gram heavy duty vinyl, with each housed in new artwork that is unique and exclusive to the box. Only 2,500 copies were made available worldwide.
       
       
      "Spell Eater", the debut album from Los Angeles-based female-fronted metallers HUNTRESS, sold around 700 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 56 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

      "Spell Eater" recently entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 96.

      The track listing for the CD is as follows:

      01. Spell Eater
      02. Senecide
      03. Sleep and Death
      04. Snow Witch
      05. Eight of Swords
      06. Aradia
      07. Night Rape
      08. Children
      09. Terror
      10. The Tower
      11. The Dark

      HUNTRESS vocalist Jill Janus told AOL's Noisecreep about the "Spell Eater" artwork, "The album cover captures the beauty and brutality of HUNTRESS. Vance Kelly is a warlock and he took our vision and created a magical illustration that breathes glory into the old crone. We contemplated having either a sultry sorceress or decrepit forest witch as our cover babe. Ultimately, the crone won because she is the true Huntress."

      According to a press release, "Janus is an operatic banshee with an unparalleled four-octave range and lust for the occult. Born and raised in the Catskill Mountains of New York, she toured Europe as a teenage opera starlet. Upon her return to the States, Janus embraced Manhattan nightlife, creating Felliniesque cabarets and parties in a nihilistic club scene. Years later, Janus moved to Los Angeles and began the gestation period of HUNTRESS. In 2009 she met underground metal band PROFESSOR. The universe spread her legs and delivered HUNTRESS to Janus, combining former members of PROFESSOR, DARK BLACK and SKELETONWITCH."

      HUNTRESS recently supported DRAGONFORCE on a North American tour.

      HUNTRESS is:

      Vocals: Jill Janus
      Lead Guitar: Blake Meahl
      Rhythm Guitar: Ian Alden
      Drums: Carl Wierzbicky
      Bass: Eric Harris

      For more information, visit www.facebook.com/huntresskills.
       
      "True Love Never Dies", the debut album from Las Vegas rockers OTHERWISE, sold around 4,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 123 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD landed at position No. 2 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

      "True Love Never Dies" was released on May 8 via Century Media Records. The CD was recorded with producer Jay Baumgardner (BUSH, LINKIN PARK, PAPA ROACH, INCUBUS) at NRG Studios in North Hollywood, California.

      "True Love Never Dies" track listing:

      01. I
      02. Die For You
      03. Lighthouse
      04. Scream Now
      05. Don't Be Afraid
      06. Vegas Girl
      07. II
      08. Silence Reigns
      09. I Don't Apologize (1000 Pictures)
      10. Crimson
      11. Full Circle
      12. Soldiers (2012 - Remaster)
      13. III
      14. Heaven (feat. Ashley Costello)

      A five-minute "inside look" at the making of "True Love Never Dies" can be seen below.

      OTHERWISE's "Soldiers" single became the first song by an unsigned artist to ever occupy the No. 1 spot on the SiriusXM satellite radio's Octane channel and has sold over 26,000 singles to date.

      "'For the Warriors who fight and die... so the rest of us may fight to Live.' This quote, which preludes the video itself, is a direct dedication to the brave men and women who serve in the United States military," says OTHERWISE vocalist Adrian Patrick of the "Soldiers" video. "Their service allows our country's citizens to pursue their individual ideas of happiness... this song and video celebrate the beauty that is America. 'Soldiers' is an anthem for everyone living on the front-lines of life; every soldier is human, and we're all human... we are all fighting for something."

      OTHERWISE recently toured with POP EVIL and joined Century Media labelmates LACUNA COIL on the 2012 North American "Dark Legacy" trek.

      OTHERWISE features brothers Adrian and Ryan Patrick (guitars/vocals) alongside Flavio Ivan (bass/vocals), Corky Gainsford (drums/vocals) and Vassilios Metropoulos (guitar/vocals).

      No stranger to the stage, OTHERWISE has honed its captivating live show playing with such acts as AVENGED SEVENFOLD, KORN, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD, PUDDLE OF MUDD, PAPA ROACH, ROB ZOMBIE and the DEFTONES. In addition, Adrian Patrick appeared on IN THIS MOMENT's hit duet "The Promise" alongside Maria Brink and spent the summer of 2010 on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem tour performing the song with the band live.

      For more information, visit www.facebook.com/otherwiseofficial.
       
      Norwegian singer Silje Wergeland, who has been fronting Dutch rockers THE GATHERING since early 2009, has recorded a duet with KATATONIA's Jonas Renske for the Swedish dark rockers' new album, tentatively due in September via Peaceville Records. KATATONIA describes the collaboration as "a beautiful fit in every way."

      KATATONIA's new CD was recorded over a two-month period at Stockholm's Ghost Ward studios and the band's new, as-yet-unnamed headquarters. David Castillo returned to "twiddle the knobs," while band co-founders Anders "Blakkheim" Nyström and Jonas Renkse handled the rest of the production duties.

      "Our seal of identity is on here for sure," Nyström told Decibel magazine. "We haven't gone and changed our sound, but we've further explored some different angles of good music, and that's what we need to do to keep the focus. It might not be so obvious to some, but to others it will be a bigger deal. So, sure, a few surprises and a few songs going off territory are in there, but overall this album is a natural follow-up to [2009's] 'Night Is The New Day', and that is what we wanted to do."

      In a recent interview with Loud TV (audio available below), Nyström stated about the overall musical direction of the band's new CD, "It sounds definitely like KATATONIA; it's a KATATONIA album — solely KATATONIA album. The difference this time is that we maybe even pushed the differences even further. If you compare some of the songs, they could be almost in difference categories of genres, but the interesting thing here is that we have managed with our sound and the production and our performances to make it sound like it's not that far apart; it sounds like it's the same band. But if we would give the songs to some other band, it would sound very, very different. So I'm really happy with that. It was a big challenge. Like, for instance, you could have a song that is going totally off into this singer-songwriter territory, and you could have another song that goes into one of the most aggressive, heavy songs we've ever done, but when I listen to those both songs back to back, I can hear it's the same band doing [them]."

      When asked if the new KATATONIA album is the kind of record that will take several airings to really register with the listener, Nyström said, "Yes. It might be even more like that this time [than in the past], probably, which is a good thing. I was nervous in the beginning and a little bit insecure with how we were gonna pull this album off and what people were gonna think and everything, but now I have this total calm about it; I am totally positive and confident that we have made the album that we needed to do and also what people expect from us. It might take a few listenings to get into the whole thing, but that will stay longer in your listening collection — you will not get tired of it in the first place; I am totally sure of it."

      Regarding the upcoming CD's cover artwork — which is once again being created by Travis Smith of Seempieces (OPETH, DEVIN TOWNSEND) — Nyström said, "It's also gonna be a little bit different. It's actually a really big piece that we're splitting into four, and one of those four is gonna be on the cover. So there will be more to it than what you see first. I don't want to describe too much what's on it yet — you're gonna see that when it's [unveiled] pretty soon — but we're changing the color theme this time. We have been doing the black and the red for a long time now, and we're going totally the opposite and we're doing, actually… The basic color is, actually, white on the new one, but it's not solid white — it's like shades of frost whites and a little bit grey and mixed with black."

      On the topic of the lyrical themes cover on the new KATATONIA album, Nyström said, "The lyrics are, actually, a mixture of trying to be as direct and easy as possible but also remaining a very cryptic feel at the same time, which is a very cool paradox. We're not trying to make it too complicated, but it might be… I mean, the words aren't too complicated, but the meaning of the songs is encrypted. And that we are very eager to see how people will react to and how they will define the meanings of these lyrics. 'Cause they're easy to read, easy to access, but the meaning itself might not be that easy [to decipher]."
       
      VEXT — the new New Jersey/New York-based heavy rock band featuring singer Tommy Vext (DIVINE HERESY, SNOT), guitar virtuoso Angel Vivaldi, and the rhythm section of the now-disbanded MUTINY WITHIN (Andrew Jacobs on bass and Bill Fore on drums) — will play a free showcase concert on Friday, May 25 at SIR Studios in New York City. More information is available on the flyer below.

      These four musicians came together in search of a different sound since they had all been previously involved with more extreme metal projects. How they came to know one another is a quite unconventional.

      On the evening of September 19, 2010, Vext was the victim of a brutal attack at his home in Brooklyn. Having suffered severe injuries to his skull, abdomen and an open compound fracture to his left arm, Tommy was rushed to the ER. With medical bills soaring above seventy-five thousand dollars, his friends in the music scene banded together to help raise funds.

      Enter Roadrunner recording artists MUTINY WITHIN. "We heard that GOD FORBID was doing a benefit concert for Tommy and when we found out why, we immediately jumped on the bill," says Jacobs. A few months later, Andrew introduced Tommy to Bill. After seeing Fore perform with the Angel Vivaldi band, it became apparent to Tommy that Angel and Bill were the missing pieces to this new musical effort.

      The cover artwork of "Impermanence", the forthcoming debut EP from VEXT can be seen below. Also available is a stream of the EP's first single, "In The End".

      VEXT is:

      Tommy Vext - Vocals
      Angel Vivaldi - Guitar
      Andrew Jacobs - Bass
      Bill Fore – Drums
       
      Swedish black metallers DARK FUNERAL have inked a three-album deal with Century Media Records.

      Comments DARK FUNERAL guitarist and founding member Lord Ahriman: "Our bad luck with labels in the past has for sure been very frustrating. So it is with great pleasure to finally be able to turn the page, move on and start a new dark chapter in the DARK FUNERAL saga, as we join the great Century Media family. Century Media has more than enough proven to be a stable and highly professional label. And we are totally looking forward to this new cooperation, which I'm sure will prove to be very satisfying and successful for both parts. Hail the goat!"

      Adds Jens Prüter, head of A&R at Century Media in Europe: "I always respected DARK FUNERAL for their endurance and integrity. They've gone through some hard times, but never gave up and also never gave in to compromise on their musical and aesthetic vision. Almost 20 years after their formation, it's still the same powerhouse of unmerciful black metal and the new lineup is stronger and more focused than in the past. Thanks to Lord Ahriman and the whole band! Looking forward to their 20th anniversary in 2013 with a new album."

      The new lineup of DARK FUNERAL — featuring the group's latest additions, vocalist Nachtgarm (NEGATOR) and bassist Zornheym — made its live debut on the Sweden Rock Cruise. The ship Tallink Silja Galaxy set sail from Stockholm, Sweden on October 6, 2011 and made a round trip to Turku, Finland before returning to Stockholm 23 hours later.

      DARK FUNERAL last year parted ways with Regain Records. Lord Ahriman stated at the time, "Time went by and we didn't see any future whatsoever to continue to work with them."

      DARK FUNERAL 2012 is:

      Nachtgarm - Vocals
      Lord Ahriman - Guitar
      Chaq Mol - Guitar
      Zornheym- Bass
      Dominator - Drums

      Photo by Chris Ntaskas (from left to right): Lord Ahriman (guitar), Dominator (drums), Jens Prüter (Head Of A&R at Century Media Records Europe), Zornheym (bass), Nachtgarm (vocals), Chaq Mol (guitar)
       
      "Monolith Of Inhumanity", the new album from California progressive grind conquerors CATTLE DECAPITATION, sold around 2,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 6 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

      CATTLE DECAPITATION's previous CD, 2009's "The Harvest Floor", opened with 1,700 units to debut at No. 16 on the Top New Artist Albums chart.

      Released on May 8, "Monolith Of Inhumanity" was produced by Dave Otero of Denver's Flatline Audio and sees the band exploring innovative new techniques in songwriting without abandoning their signature formula of confrontational audio wreckage and self-loathing lyrical content.

      "Monolith Of Inhumanity" is an achievement that stands out as one of the most volatile, ambitious, and impossible to aptly categorize records you will hear in 2012. Dragging their ever-evolving deathgrind sound kicking and screaming into the epic territory inhabited by the likes of DIMMU BORGIR and ANAAL NATHRAKH, the quartet redefine all perceptions of what CATTLE DECAPITATION is. With their seventh full-length, the band have never sounded more focused, aggressive, or manically determined to get in the faces of those who erroneously believe they've already experienced the band at their extreme best.

      The 11-track "Monolith Of Inhumanity" features a host of guests including Mike Majewski of DEVOURMENT (guest vocals on "Projectile Ovulation"), Lenard Leal of CEPHALIC CARNAGE (backing vocals by on "A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat"), The Cephalic Carnage Community Men's Choir, consisting of all current CEPHALIC members and alumni Jawsh Mullen and Zac Joe (gang choir vocals on "The Carbon Stampede"), and ambient and noise interludes by Los Angeles' most extreme decimator of sound, John Wiese, as well as another strikingly brutal cover by Wes Benscoter.

      In addition, CATTLE DECAPITATION collaborated with famed pop culture artist Tom Bunk, best known for his work for the 1980s Garbage Pail Kids trading cards and MAD magazine, for a very special art project. Bunk was gracious enough to create individual pieces of art for each member of the band, heavily influenced by and practically just as they appeared in the Garbage Pail Kids series of the '80s! A GPK-inspired CATTLE DECAPITATION trading card set and T-shirts were included with special limited pre-order packages and collector's bundles.
       
      Norwegian dark metallers AETERNUS will enter Bergen's Conclave And Earshot Studios in June with producer Bjornar E. Nilsen (VULTURE INDUSTRIES, BLACK HOLE GENERATOR) to begin recording their seventh full-length album, "And The Seventh His Soul Detesteth", for a late 2012 release via Dark Essence Records.

      Formed in 1993 in Bergen, and with six full-length albums under their belts, AETERNUS is one of the pioneers of what the band calls "dark metal," meshing the sounds of black metal and death metal with superlative guitar playing and occasional haunting, melodic interludes. Of the original lineup, only founder, guitarist and frontman Ares remains, but he has put together a new and formidable lineup, bringing onboard drummer Phobos (GRAVDAL, GALAR, MALSAIN) and guitarist Specter (GRAVDAL, live session guitarist GALAR and VULTURE INDUSTRIES). Session live bass is handled by Skyggen (TORTORUM, live session guitarist GORGOROTH). The new lineup will hit the stage at the Hub and Heuy Metalfest at De Azijnfabriek in Roermond, Netherlands on May 19, with an exclusive set showcasing tracks from AETERNUS' first two albums, "Beyond the Wandering Moon" and "And So the Night Became".

      Commenting on the re-emergence of the band, seven years after the release of their last album, "Hexaeon", Ares said, "Time seems to just pass by without you realizing. Although AETERNUS hasn't seemed to be very active recently, I have been writing and working on new material, and we have chosen ten tracks for the new album which we have been rehearsing ready for when we enter the studio. I'm not going to say much about them except that Phobos and Specter have brought their own approach to things without losing any of the heaviness, power and intensity that people have come to expect from AETERNUS. It's a whole new era for the band, and we can't wait to get going."
       
      Danish death metal veterans THE CLEANSING have announced the addition of drummer Mads Lauridsen (KONKHRA, PANZERCHRIST) and bassist Martin Leth Andersen (KOLDBORN) to the group's ranks. Lauridsen joins THE CLEANSING as the replacement for Morten Løwe (now with AMARANTHE), while Andersen was tapped to replace Mads Haarløv (INIQUITY). The current lineup is rounded by vocalist Toke Kristof Eld and guitarists Jeppe Hasseriis and Andreas Lynge.

      Lynge and Hasseriis recently commenced writing material for THE CLEANSING's as-yet-untitled third full-length album. Lynge states, "In order to keep things fresh, we're gonna try some new musical ideas that we haven't done before. We have had a long break from writing and a lot of new and different inspirations have emerged since 'Poisoned Legacy' and 'Feeding The Inevitable', and that is really reflecting the new stuff. Of course, it's still gonna have 'THE CLEANSING sound,' but the music will have 'more of a twist' this time! Once people will hear it, they will know what we're talking about! Right now the writing sessions are at a very early stage, so it's too early to say more right now!"

      In other news, THE CLEANSING will play at the Day of Decay festival as the replacement for THE BURNING this Friday, May 18 in Aalborg, Denmark. Also scheduled to appear are KRISIUN, OBSCURA, MERCENARY and others.

      THE CLEANSING's second album, "Feeding The Inevitable", was released last year via the U.S. label Deepsend Records. The nine-song CD was mixed at CB studios in Denmark with producer Christian Bonde. The mastering duties were handled by Bjørn Engelmann (BEHEMOTH, BLOODBATH) at the Cutting Room in Sweden. Remy C. from Headsplit Design created the artwork/cover.
      http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/soulflypremiere/cleansingday.jpg
       
       
      Swedish death/black metallers ZONARIA have inked a deal with Listenable Records. The band's long-awaited third album, "Arrival Of The Red Sun", was recorded at Abyss studio in Sweden with producer Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY, SONIC SYNDICATE, HYPOCRISY, CENTINEX, CARNAL FORGE) for July 23 release in Europe and August 14 in North America.

      According to a press release, the "11-track heavy monster" is the band's most defined and accomplished album so far. Get ready for a thick-sounding dose of militant rhythms, smashing heavy riffing and stomping drums!"

      "Arrival Of The Red Sun" track listing:

      01. Arrival Of The Red Sun
      02. Silent Holocaust
      03. Gunpoint Salvation
      04. Liberation Zero
      05. The Blood That Must Be Paid
      06. Desert Storms
      07. A Lullaby To Those Still Alive
      08. Full Spectrum Dominance
      09. My Vengeance Remains
      10. Face My Justice
      11. CC Cowboys (bonus track limited-edition CD only)

      ZONARIA's second full-length album, "The Cancer Empire", was released in the U.S. in January 2009 via Century Media Records.
       
       
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