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KISS, Metallica, Rush, Rob Zombie, Megadeth, Queensryche, Yngwie Malmsteen, and tons more hard rock and heavy metal news

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  • Robert
    Forty years ago in January 1973, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Peter Criss held auditions for a lead guitarist for their new band. As the group took shape,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2013
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      Forty years ago in January 1973, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Peter Criss held auditions for a lead guitarist for their new band. As the group took shape, they chose Ace Frehley. Paul suggested the name KISS, and the band was born. Later that month, KISS performed its first show on January 30 at Popcorn, a club in Queens, New York.

      Four decades on, KISS is still rocking a legion of fans that number in the millions around the globe. Now 40 years strong, Paul, Gene, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer prepare for a "Monster" world tour in 2013.

      Says Stanley: "My dream from the start was five years of glory with KISS. Along with Peter and Ace, we kicked doors open that stood in our way, and every band member who has stood with me at some point during these decades has played an essential part in turning that five year dream into a phenomenal 40-year reality. I thank each of you for your contribution to this milestone.

      "Our journey and victories are a joy I also share with you, our fans who have always given us the freedom to stand and fall on our own terms, and we have done both with a grateful smile. For the past ten years, Tommy and Eric's pride and dedication have enabled Gene and I to reclaim and celebrate all that we have been, while continuing to move forward in a way that would have been impossible without them. I love playing with the band as it is today, and many of my proudest moments are tied to moments of magic we have created together in the studio and on the stage. I know we're ready to do it again."

      Adds Eric Singer: "A special thanks to all of the fans who have been with the band on this roller coaster ride called KISS for 40 years! I am honored to be a part of this machine and pay special respect to all members past and present. I especially want to thank Paul, Gene, Tommy and [manager] Doc McGhee for giving me a place to call home. And most importantly the fans. YOU fuel this engine!"

      States Tommy Thayer: "At 40 years strong, I'm proud to be in one of the greatest bands in rock history. KISS is a band that is as full of life and vitality today as it was 10, 20, 30 and 40 years ago. All eras of the band should be celebrated today. Long live KISS."

      Says Gene Simmons: "To the Kiss Army — who made it all possible for us.

      "To Paul, without whom I would never have been able to achieve my dreams.

      "And to the band — past and present — for continuing to treat the stage as holy ground and the fans as our bosses.

      "Here's to another 40 years!"
       
      The fifth annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards presented By Epiphone will take place Thursday, May 2, at Club Nokia in Downtown Los Angeles. For the first time ever, the event will be broadcast live on national television through AXS TV and broadcast in the US and key international markets through Xbox LIVE and Facebook.

      Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.

      FOZZY frontman and WWE pro-wrestling legend Chris Jericho will reprise his role as host for the fourth consecutive year. The nominees in 11 different fan-voted categories, plus the recipients of this year's prestigious "Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award" (presented by Ernie Ball), "Golden God Award" (presented by Sumerian Records) and "Riff Lord" (presented by EMG Pickups), were revealed at a press conference at the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood in Los Angeles.

      Host Chris Jericho was on hand, along with Sebastian Bach, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, HALESTORM, Scott Ian (ANTHRAX), Maria Brink and Chris Howorth (IN THIS MOMENT), John 5 (ROB ZOMBIE), Greg Puciato (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN) and Zakk Wylde to announce the nominees. HALESTORM performed a special live set, including a guest appearance by Sebastian Bach on a cover of the SKID ROW classic "Slave To The Grind".

      Fans everywhere can cast their vote to decide who will take home the awards for "Best Guitarist" (presented by Epiphone), "Best Drummer" (presented by Drum Workshop), "Best Vocalist" (presented by Rockstar Energy Drink), "Album of the Year" (presented by Orange Amplification), "Song of the Year," "Best Live Band" (presented by Samson/Zoom), "Best New Talent," "Most Metal Athlete," (presented by Roadrunner Records), "Comeback of the Year," "Paul Gray Best Bassist" (presented by Dean Markley) and "Most Dedicated Fans" (presented by Xbox LIVE).

      Voting is now open at GoldenGodsAwards.com and ends April 15.

      The Golden God Award (presented by Sumerian Records), which is given to one special honoree a year who embodies the spirit of hard rock and metal, will go to Rob Zombie, who commented, "What can I say? It is a complete honor to receive this award and have my name join the list of such legendary past winners as Alice Cooper and Gene Simmons. Pretty cool deal to be part of the Golden God club." (The other previous honorees are Rob Halford of JUDAS PRIEST and Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH.) Rob Zombie will be releasing his brand new album, "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor" (Zodiac Swan/T-Boy/Ume), on April 23, and his latest feature film, "The Lords of Salem" (Anchor Bay), on April 26.

      The Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by Ernie Ball), will go to hard-rock and metal icons METALLICA, who will release the 3D movie "Through The Never" in August. (Previous honorees include RUSH, MÖTLEY CRÜE, Lemmy Kilmister of MOTÖRHEAD and Ozzy Osbourne.)

      METALLICA's Lars Ulrich commented: "Since the Revolver Golden Gods Awards is fast becoming THE most rocking awards ceremony in the hard rock world, we are beyond psyched to be at the receiving end of this shout out and in the distinguished company of RUSH, Lemmy, Ozzy and MÖTLEY CRÜE. I was hanging out and presenting at the shenanigans two years ago and the energy in the room and the vibe backstage was beyond fucking cool, so METALLICA is chomping at the bit to partake in this year's event. Once again, we are honored to be recognized as achievers (!!) and we can't wait to get up and jam onstage and sweat for and on everybody gathered."

      The Riff Lord Award, (presented by EMG Pickups) is given each year to a legendary guitarist in the field of hard rock and heavy metal. This year it's going to none other than BLACK SABBATH axeman Tony Iommi, who had this to say about the honor: "What a great honor to receive the Golden Gods Riff Lord Award for 2013, especially with our new SABBATH album coming out. I hope there will be some new favorite riffs in these songs." Slash of GUNS N' ROSES and VELVET REVOLVER won the award last year.

      Adding to the celebration, the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods Awards show will feature one-of-a-kind special performances and collaborations that honor both the past, present and future of heavy music. The night's hard-rocking musical performances will include sets by METALLICA, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, ANTHRAX, STONE SOUR, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN and HALESTORM, with more performers to be announced in the coming weeks.

      Ivan Moody, lead singer of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, had this to say about his band's Golden Gods performance: "Being in the studio these last few months working on our new album, the momentum has been building. We are ready to be back where we belong — onstage in front of all of you! What better way to play our first show of 2013 than with our family at Revolver magazine and on America's only hard-rock and heavy-metal awards show!"

      Returning as well is the "Black Carpet" pre-show that will be hosted by legendary heavy-metal frontmen Sebastian Bach and Dee Snider. Bach and Snider will be interviewing all the nominees, honorees and performers on the Revolver Black Carpet before show time for the special, which will air on both AXS TV and Xbox LIVE.

      Also announced today was the launch of the first-ever Revolver Road To The Golden Gods Tour. Featuring STONE SOUR and IN THIS MOMENT, the 30-city national tour will kick off in March and conclude at the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods Awards Show. STONE SOUR lead singer Corey Taylor says: "Me and the guys in STONE SOUR are very excited, not only to be a part of the Golden Gods, but also to be headline the first Road To The Golden Gods Tour! The Golden Gods is the only awards show in America that truly recognizes and honors our genre; so to be a part of a tour that they sponsor is something that we are all very proud of. We're looking forward to the tour, and looking forward to the awards ceremony. We promise we will have something special that no one will ever forget!"

      The nominees for the 2013 Revolver Golden Gods Awards are:

      Best Guitarist

      * John 5 (ROB ZOMBIE, MARILYN MANSON)
      * Stephen Carpenter (DEFTONES)
      * Alex Lifeson (RUSH)
      * Misha Mansoor (PERIPHERY)
      * Brendon Small (DETHKLOK)
      * Kim Thayil (SOUNDGARDEN)

      Best Drummer

      * Abe Cunningham (DEFTONES)
      * Mario Duplantier (GOJIRA)
      * Arejay Hale (HALESTORM)
      * Gene Hoglan (DETHKLOK, TESTAMENT)
      * Roy Mayorga (STONE SOUR)
      * Neil Peart (RUSH)

      Paul Gray Best Bassist

      * Rex Brown (KILL DEVIL HILL, PANTERA)
      * Steve Harris (IRON MAIDEN)
      * Lemmy Kilmister (MOTÖRHEAD)
      * Geddy Lee (RUSH)
      * Jason Newsted (NEWSTED, METALLICA)
      * Sergio Vega (DEFTONES)

      Best Vocalist

      * Philip Anselmo (DOWN, PANTERA)
      * Maria Brink (IN THIS MOMENT)
      * Chris Cornell (SOUNDGARDEN)
      * Lzzy Hale (HALESTORM)
      * Chino Moreno (DEFTONES)
      * Corey Taylor (STONE SOUR, SLIPKNOT)

      Best New Talent

      * DEVICE
      * GHOST
      * KVELERTAK
      * MISS MAY I
      * OF MICE & MEN
      * YOUNG GUNS

      Most Metal Athlete

      * Tom Crabtree (Green Bay Packers, NFL)
      * Tanner Faust (Rally and drifting car racing)
      * Clay Guida (Mixed Martial Arts fighting, UFC)
      * Triple H (WWE wrestling)
      * Geoff Rowley (Skateboarding)
      * CJ Wilson (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, MLB)

      Best Live Band

      * ANTHRAX
      * FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH
      * HATEBREED
      * LAMB OF GOD
      * SLIPKNOT
      * VOLBEAT

      Comeback Of The Year

      * AEROSMITH
      * THE DARKNESS
      * QUICKSAND
      * REFUSED
      * SOUNDGARDEN
      * TENACIOUS D

      Song Of The Year

      * ASKING ALEXANDRIA - "Run Free"
      * AVENGED SEVENFOLD -"Carry On"
      * BLACK VEIL BRIDES - "In The End"
      * DETHKLOK - "I Ejaculate Fire"
      * HALESTORM - "Love Bites (So Do I)"
      * IN THIS MOMENT - "Blood"

      Most Dedicated Fans

      * BLACK LABEL SOCIETY
      * BLACK VEIL BRIDES
      * A DAY TO REMEMBER
      * HIM
      * RAMMSTEIN
      * SLIPKNOT

      Album Of The Year

      * DEFTONES - "Koi No Yokan"
      * GOJIRA - "L'Enfant Sauvage"
      * HALESTORM - "The Strange Case Of…"
      * MARILYN MANSON - "Born Villain"
      * SOUNDGARDEN - "King Animal"
      * STONE SOUR - "House Of Gold & Bones Part 1"
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      Author and music journalist Martin Popoff will following up his 2004 RUSH biography "Contents Under Pressure" with a new illustrative history of the band titled "Rush: The Unauthorized Illustrated History", which is slated for release in May via Voyageur Press.

      The book's official description: "Formed in Toronto, Ontario, in 1968 under the heavy influence of British blues, RUSH solidified its lineup in 1974 and has gone on to record 18 studio albums (and counting). Notable for bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee's high register, Neil Peart's virtuosic drumming and inventive lyrics, and the guitar heroics of Alex Lifeson, the multiplatinum band melds a diverse range of influences and along the way has amassed a large, notably loyal following worldwide. RUSH is bigger than ever before with the hit 2011 documentary 'Beyond the Lighted Stage' and [last] year's new album, 'Clockwork Angels', and tour.

      "Now, for the first time, RUSH is treated to the epic visual celebration they so richly deserve in a beautifully designed and profusely illustrated history following the band's entire career. A chronological overview history written by noted music scribe and RUSH authority Martin Popoff spans the band's entire career from 1968 to today. A complete RUSH discography chronicles all their albums, from the debut album to '2112', 'Moving Pictures', and 'Signals' to 'Grace Under Pressure', 'Vapor Trails', and more. The authoritative text is complemented by album reviews written by well-known music journalists from around the globe, commentary from fellow musicians, a discography, tour dates, and hundreds of photographs and pieces of memorabilia, including picture sleeves, gig posters, rare vinyl, handbills, ticket stubs, and much more."
       
       
      Rob Zombie has set "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor" as the title of his new album, due on April 23 via Zodiac Swan/T-Boy/Ume. T-Boy Records is veteran rock manager Andy Gould's new partnership with Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) which will serve as an umbrella label releasing new music and albums from established iconic hard-rock bands with major followings. The CD was produced by Bob Marlette, who has previously worked with everyone from BLACK SABBATH and ALICE COOPER to WILSON PHILLIPS and LYNYRD SKYNYRD.

      In an interview with the Toledo Free Press, Zombie stated about "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor": "It seems to happen every couple of years or every 10 years or every five years or whatever, you have a moment when it all comes together. Not that the other records are bad, but not every record can be like the most inspired event in your life. But for some reason, this one feels like it is. The songwriting, the sound of it, the vibe, the production — it's special."

      According to Zombie, fans can expect an album that touches quite a few musical bases.

      "It's stylistically sort of a little bit of everything," Zombie said. "Fans of my really old stuff will love it because there's a certain aspect of it that's very reminiscent of that. But it also is very looking to the future. It's hard to describe music to somebody if they haven't heard it, but I feel like it's the best of all of the things I've done. I've finally found a perfect match between the old stuff I did and the new stuff. That's the way it sounds to me anyway."

      The singer released a collection of remixes of various ZOMBIE tracks on August 7, 2012 called "Mondo Sex Head". The remixes feature some of the hottest names in the growing electronic dance music scene, along with contributions from Jonathan Davis of KORN and Chino Moreno of DEFTONES.

      Gould, who currently heads his own Spectacle Entertainment Group, has managed Rob Zombie since his days in WHITE ZOMBIE. Gould's track record includes sales exceeding fifteen million worldwide and seven Grammy nominations with Zombie, including securing deals for Zombie to become one of only a handful of people to have unprecedented success for six feature films as the writer and director.

      "We have had a great deal of success in the past with Rob Zombie," explains Gould about his decision to take the new venture to UMe. "We want to sign rock bands with brand names that do good business on the road, and have been underserved by the major label system. The idea I had arose out of discussions with the other managers of major hard-rock acts who all felt their artists could benefit from an improved label experience. We're looking to super-serve this niche audience, which is tremendously loyal, and is often even larger internationally than here in the States."
       
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      Dean product manager Eric Stewart gave Guitar World magazine an overview of the Dave Mustaine (MEGADETH) series signature guitars at this year's NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show, a massive music-products convention that took place January 24-27 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Check out the three-minute clip below.

      Mustaine was on hand at this year's NAMM on January 23 to show off his new Dean double-neck guitar.

      Originally a one-off which was built for Dave to play at the "Big Four" shows, the guitar will go into full production this year.

      Mustaine said the guitar "plays like a motherfucker."

      "When I went to Dean, I found out that the guitars were very responsive," Mustaine said. "And one of the most important things was the attention to detail. Also the relationship with me as an artist. Because the previous companies I was with, the guitars were good, but the relationship was sour. And I found that being with Dean was really good for me, because they took care of me as an artist, they took care of the guitars, they also knew what the public liked."

      He continued: "Those of you that are distributors, you know that the younger generation, they want guitars that look cool and play great, that are affordable and that icons use. For me, I'm flattered to be considered an icon, but I'm just a guitar player. And to have this kind of backing and support from a company that is as reputable as Dean is really flattering."
       
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      Video footage of QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Michael Wilton inside the Krank amplification test room at this year's NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show playing around with some QUEENSRŸCHE riffs and playing the song "Queen Of The Reich" for the excited Krank senior amp tech Patrick Flanagan can be seen below.

      The Todd La Torre-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE recently finished recording the drums for its new album at London Bridge Studios in Seattle, Washington with producer James "Jimbo" Barton — the man who engineered and mixed the band's classic 1988 LP, "Operation: Mindcrime", and its 1990 follow-up, "Empire", and co-produced 1994's "Promised Land". The rest of the music and vocals are being laid down at several different facilities on the West Coast.

      In a recent interview with Metal Assault, drummer Scott Rockenfield stated about QUEENSRŸCHE's renewed collaboration with Barton: "It's a great thing — we're really excited about it, he's really excited about it. We've wanted to work with him for a while, but for whatever reason, we just hadn't gone there yet. This is a great time for us to do that, though. We all discussed who we wanted to do the record with, and he was one of the first names that came up. It was easy for us to pick up the phone and call him. It was like our relationship picked up right where it left off, so it's gonna be a lot of fun. He's a very creative guy that did some great records with us in the past. I think that's one of the most important things when it comes to why we want to work with him."

      Asked if fans will see a return to the progressive metal sound QUEENSRŸCHE had in the '80s, Scott said: "What we're trying to do, and what has been really interesting since Todd has jumped into the band, we're trying to revisit the old QUEENSRŸCHE catalog — stuff off of the EP and "The Warning". That's always been a part of what we are, so yeah, definitely! I think in my opinion, we're really revisiting that vibe of why that music was special back then for us. There will be a modern flair to it, though, just because we're in the modern age. The fun thing about Jimbo being a part of it is that he can help tie together the two sides. He does come from our past and some of the great records and some of the great sounds that we're known for, but he's also living in the modern age and doing some interesting things as well. I think it's going to be a really great QUEENSRŸCHE record. People are going to go, 'Wow, that's QUEENSRŸCHE! That sounds just like what we've known them to be, and what we would expect them to now be.' That's what I think peple will get out of it."
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      Legendary Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen will release his autobiography entitled "Relentless: The Memoir" on May 21 via Wiley.

      The book's official description: "Yngwie Malmsteen's revolutionary guitar style — combining elements of classical music with the speed and volume of heavy metal — made him a staple of the 80s rock scene. Decades later, he's still a legend among guitarists, having sold 11 million albums and influenced generations of rockers since. In 'Relentless', Malmsteen shares his personal story, from the moment he burst onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere in the early '80s to become a household name in the annals of heavy metal. Along the way, he talks about his first bands, going solo, his songwriting and recording process, and the seedy side of the rock business."

      The 288-page book is available for pre-order via Amazon.

      On October 1, 2012, music journalist Anders Tengner's unauthorized biography of Malmsteen, "Såsom I Himmelen, Så Ock På Jorden" (English translation: "As Above, So Below") was released in Sweden via Bokfabriken. The 350-page book is based on more than 50 interviews with people who were really close to Yngwie during his life. It gives a unique and sensitive insight into the raging life of the guitar god. It is a tribute to the biggest Swedish rock star ever, but a tribute that doesn't ignore the hard and crazy times.

      "Såsom I Himmelen, Så Ock På Jorden" contains 64 pictures taken by some of the world's greatest rock photographers, as well as unique and private photos.

      According to a press release, "This is probably as close as you can get to Yngwie: The loneliness, passion, betrayals, scandals, domestic abuse, drugs, sex and, of course, the music that make up his life."

      The book's foreword was written by legendary hard rock singer Joe Lynn Turner (RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE), who previously played with Malmsteen.
      Former DIO and current DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell revealed in April 2012 that he is planning to join forces with three other original DIO members to play "some gigs" that will see the musicians performing material from the early DIO records that Campbell appeared on. Dubbed LAST IN LINE, Campbell, Vinny Appice (drums), Jimmy Bain (bass) and Claude Schnell (keyboards) will be accompanied by singer Andrew Freeman, who has previously fronted HURRICANE and LYNCH MOB.

      LAST IN LINE resumed rehearsing in December and is scheduled to have another rehearsal session early next week. Vivian says: "I'm excited for the next LAST IN LINE rehearsal this Monday evening, but I'm even more excited that we finally have tour dates! We're working out the details, but I should have some tour news to announce soon. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to figure out how to play 'I Speed At Night'; it's amazing how you can forget how to play your own songs."

      According to Campbell, the following songs, among others, are being rehearsed for LAST IN LINE's upcoming live show:

      * "Holy Diver"
      * "Stand Up And Shout"
      * "Don't Talk To Strangers"
      * "Last In Line"
      * "Caught In The Middle"
      * "Straight Through The Heart"
      * "We Rock"
      * "Egypt"
      * "Invisible"
      * "Shame On The Night"
      * "I Speed At Night"

      In a 2012 interview with the MusicLegends.ca web site, Schnell stated about Andrew's performance at the first LAST IN LINE rehearsal, "He did an outstanding job, and if he didn't, I don't believe that he'd be the one that we'd be pursuing the project with. But he did a very, very good job. His online comments about 'preparing to be the world's most hated singer notwithstanding,' I think he's going to do a very credible and very impressive job of covering this material."

      On the topic of LAST IN LINE's setlist, Schnell said, "Well, it's largely gonna be material from the first three albums — 'Holy Diver', 'The Last In Line' and 'Sacred Heart' — the albums on which Viv played. I don't think we're gonna be doing any material from the albums on which Craig [Goldy, Vivian's replacement in DIO] played and the later incarnations of the band. But, fortunately, there is no shortage of material and hits on those first few records, so you can count on 'Rainbow In The Dark' and 'Holy Diver' and 'Rock And Roll Children', and so forth and so on. The list goes on and on, on and on."

      Regarding LAST IN LINE's touring plans, Schnell said, "We've been putting out some feelers and getting some kind of feedback about… Actually, [there is] a very strong international interest in seeing this back on the road. Again, this is all kind of very ironic and surprising, because quite honestly, initially, the only interest in doing this is a bunch of friends getting together to have a play and socialize a little bit and kind of catch up. But, like I said, it just seemed so organic once we started playing that the notion of doing it more than once seemed inevitable. And, of course, with that being considered, then it was an obvious conclusion that, 'Well, let's see if anybody would be interested in hearing this.' Needless to say, the ears that were listening within the rehearsal hall were on fire. There was an awful lot of, 'Hey, that sounds like that band from way back when.'"

      Campbell and Ronnie James Dio worked together on the first three DIO albums 1983's "Holy Diver", 1984's "The Last in Line" and 1985's "Sacred Heart" — before Irishman Campbell left to join WHITESNAKE in 1987. Their subsequent relationship was strained, to say the least.
       
      Schecter Guitar Research recently announced a partnership with MÖTLEY CRÜE/SIXX: A.M. bassist Nikki Sixx to create the new Schecter Sixx Signature Series Bass. Sixx introduced the Schecter Sixx with an exclusive signing at the winter NAMM conference in Anaheim, California on January 26 the Schecter booth.

      In a roundtable discussion with a handful of media outlets, including BackstageAxxess.com (hear audio below), Sixx stated about his switch from Gibson to Schecter: "I was very loyal to Gibson for a lot of years, [but] towards the last few years it sort of became … the quality of the instrument became not very consistent and it became frustrating for me … some would sound great and some wouldn't.

      "When I met with Schecter, it was like an instant fit where we really seemed to understand each other. [We agreed on] what was best for the consumer, the player, as well as for me, as for the fit of what I feel the bass is about and we put together this bass and this is it. I'm really excited."

      Regarding what he was looking for in his new instrument, Sixx said: "I wanted to have it not only for me in recording, but for other players to have a little bit of versatility. I loved the kill switch in my other basses. I just hotwired everything past the volume and the tone so that I could just on-off. But when I get in the studio that didn't necessarily work for me, so I would reach for another bass at times. So I wanted this bass to be the bass while I'm recording and I'm always recording. I think with technology we're always laying down ideas now, so I didn't want to have to search out a different instrument for that."

      He added: "What's been really exciting about Schecter and working with the design of the bass, we're talking about the sound and the feel and how the company works together in delivering the message, that's all creative stuff. It's all good stuff."
      MusikMachen.de has posted a one-and-a-half-minute video clip offering a closer look at the Schecter Sixx Signature Series Bass. Check it out below.

      The Schecter Sixx Nikki Sixx Signature Bass specs:

      Construction: Neck-Thru with Ultra Access
      Body: Mahogany
      Neck: 5-ply Maple/Walnut
      Scale: 34"
      Fingerboard: Rosewood
      Nut: Graph Tech Black TUSQ XL 42mm
      Frets: 24 X-Jumbo
      Inlays: Dots
      Pickups: EMG P/J
      Electronics: Vol/Vol/Tone/"Kill" Switch
      Bridge: Schecter Custom String Thru Body (or Top-Load)
      Tuners: Grover
      Hardware: Black Chrome
      Colors: Satin Black (SBK) or Vintage Sunburst (VSB)
      Left-Hand Availability: Satin Black (SBK)
      Case: SGR-21-NS

      For more details, visit SchecterGuitars.com.
       
      "Straight Out Of Hell", the new album from German power metallers HELLOWEEN, sold around 4,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 97 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD entered the Media Control chart in Germany at position No. 4 — the highest chart position in the band's history. It also landed at No. 4 in Finland and No. 2 on the international album chart in Japan.

      "Straight Out Of Hell" was released in Europe on January 18 and in North America on January 22. The cover artwork for the CD was once again created by Martin Häusler, who previously worked with the band on the "7 Sinners" and "Gambling With The Devil" CDs.

      "Straight Out Of Hell" was produced by Charlie Bauerfeind, who also worked on "7 Sinners", and sees the five musicians maintaining a rawer edge throughout, working quickly in the studio (MiSueno Studio in Tenerife) and delivering 13 brand new compositions that, in the words of founding member, guitarist Michael Weikath, will "kick even the laziest listener's ass!"

      Bristling with positive energy, songs such as "Make Fire Catch The Fly", "Far From The Stars" and the title track itself, written by bassist Markus Grosskopf, show that when HELLOWEEN push their collective foot to the floor they are never too keen to ease off the gas; and they take chances, ever willing to use their well-documented virtuosity to break out of the mould.

      Says singer Andi Deris: "We've always followed our own path when it comes to music… and if someone had ever tried to stop us, well, we'd have done what we wanted, anyway! Some of our moves have attracted negative reactions at first, but in time they've gone on to reap success and reward, and that's the kind of freedom you can feel on this new album — we don't allow ourselves to be put under pressure…"

      With Deris, Weikath, Grosskopf (also a founding member) and guitarist Sascha Gerstner all providing material, "Straight…" is a passionate, multi-layered affair, complete with a limited-edition premium package featuring a special Hammond organ run-through of Weikath outing, "Burning Sun" — this version conceived as a tribute to DEEP PURPLE's Jon Lord.

      "Straight Out Of Hell" track listing:

      01. Nabataea
      02. World Of War
      03. Live Now!
      04. Far From The Stars
      05. Burning Sun
      06. Waiting For The Thunder
      07. Hold Me In Your Arms
      08. Wanna Be God
      09. Straight Out Of Hell
      10. Asshole
      11. Years
      12. Make Fire Catch The Fly
      13. Church Breaks Down

      Limited-edition bonus tracks:

      14. Another Shot Of Life
      15. Burning Sun (Hammond version; dedicated to Jon Lord)
      German power metallers GAMMA RAY will release a new EP entitled "Master Of Confusion" on March 15 via earMUSIC, the Hamburg, Germany-based international rock label which is part of Edel Group.

      GAMMA RAY released "Skeletons & Majesties Live" on double CD, Blu-ray and DVD in Europe on November 30, 2012 and in North America on December 4, 2012 through via Eagle Rock imprint Armoury Records. The set features footage of the band's April 29, 2011 performance at the legendary Z7 in Pratteln, Switzerland.

      "Skeletons & Majesties Live" has a playing time of two hours and is a tour de force through the band's history so far, including lots of hits and classics, but also tracks which were undeservedly under-represented to date.

      The release of "Skeletons & Majesties Live" marked the beginning of an eventful 2013 for GAMMA RAY: after Hansen stayed true to his word and spent 2012 concentrating mainly on his second band, UNISONIC, he and his three colleagues Henjo Richter (guitar), Dirk Schlächter (bass) and new addition Michael Ehré (the FIREWIND/LOVE.MIGHT.KILL drummer has replaced Daniel Zimmermann, who left the GAMMA RAY fold on friendly terms) are now focusing exclusively on GAMMA RAY again. A co-headlining tour with HELLOWEEN has been scheduled for February.
       
      Season of Mist has inked a deal with Philip H. Anselmo's (DOWN, PANTERA) label Housecore Records. The first Housecore release to hit European stores will be a split EP by PHILIP H. ANSELMO AND THE ILLEGALS and WARBEAST, to be made available on March 15. Entitled "War Of The Gargantuas", this EP includes two songs from each artist, marking the release of Philip Anselmo's first solo work.

      "A lot of things can be said about Philip Anselmo, but one thing can't be questioned — his integrity," Season Of Mist CEO Michael Berberian comments. "He's the definition of a true metalhead, and his signings are a reflection of that. We'll be looking forward to working his brand in Europe and giving it the attention it deserves!"

      "I am looking forward to working with Season Of Mist in concert with Housecore Records very, very much," Philip states. "Season has a killer roster themselves, and it'll be a pleasure doing the DIY business of propelling underground/extreme music with them. For real, and forever yours truly."

      "This split is a glimpse into the future of both my solo project and ultimate thrash metallers WARBEAST," Anselmo stated about "War Of The Gargantuas". “"he title of the split is 'War Of The Gargantuas' and it is fitting on many levels because of our combined love for the '60s Japanese film of the same name, the power of our combined musical output(s) and our humorous affection that plays out within each of our 'gargantuan' personalities. Both WARBEAST and myself have full-length LPs that will be released shortly after this is released, but this split is unique musically. It is a time capsule; a loud pause 'till we both release our full-length products. Enjoy the destruction of music!"

      "These two songs we have on 'War Of The Gargantuas' were the next level after [debut album] 'Krush The Enemy'," WARBEAST guitarist Scott Shelby comments. "They've been a staple in our set list for the last two years. These songs are a pure demonstration of our unique Texas thrash metal style."

      WARBEAST also recently announced the upcoming release of their second full-length album, "Destroy". The LP is due later this year.
       
      "Target Earth", the new album from Canadian metal innovators VOIVOD, sold around 1,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD was issued on January 22 via the band's own company, Iron Gang Factory, and Century Media.

      VOIVOD's previous album, "Infini", opened with around 840 units back in July 2009.

      "Target Earth" was recorded in early 2012 at Pierre Rémillard's (OBLIVEON, CRYPTOPSY, KRISIUN, MISERY INDEX) Wild Studio in a small town called St-Zénon in Quebec, Canada and was mixed by Sanford Parker (PELICAN, NACHTMYSTIUM). The follow-up to 2009's "Infini" contains the band's first music to be written with guitarist Dan Mongrain (MARTYR) following the passing of original axeman Denis "Piggy" D'Amour in 2005. The original art was once again drawn by drummer Michel "Away" Langevin and features color schemes from each one of the band's previous albums.

      "Target Earth" standard CD and digital download track listing:

      01. Target Earth
      02. Kluskap O'Kom
      03. Empathy For The Enemy
      04. Mechanical Mind
      05. Warchaic
      06. Resistance
      07. Kaleidos
      08. Corps Étranger
      09. Artefact
      10. Defiance

      "Target Earth" was also made available in the same track listing as gatefold-2LP with 180-gram vinyl in the following versions/colors:

      * Black (Unlimited)
      * Transparent Red (200 copies, Century Media webshop Europe)
      * Transparent Blue (200 copies, Nuclear Blast mailorder)
      * Orange (400 copies, Century Media USA)
      * Purple (6000 copies, Century Media USA)

      Additionally, there is a limited-edition deluxe pressing of "Target Earth" as a mediabook-CD with alternate frontcover (silver on black), two quality stickers, expanded booklet as well as the two live bonus tracks recorded at the band's triumphant appearance at Roadburn festival 2012, which VOIVOD helped curate: "Target Earth" and "Man In The Trees".

      And last but certainly not least, "Target Earth" was released as a CM Distro exclusive mailorder boxset in a numbered limited worldwide edition of 1,000 copies with the following content:

      * "Target Earth" mediabook CD (incl. two live bonus tracks and expanded artwork/alternate frontcover)
      * "Live At Roadburn 2011" CD (exclusive 10-song live CD with a four-page booklet in jewel case; previously only released by Roadburn Records as limited LP version)
      * VOIVOD belt
      * 1 poster (DINA3, Design of the mediabook CD cover artwork)
      * 2 stickers (included in the mediabook CD)
      * 3 exclusive postcards with artwork by VOIVOD's Away
      http://www.blabbermouth.net/soulflypremiere/voivodtargetmediabook.jpg
       
       
      Classic rockers GREAT WHITEMark Kendall (lead guitar), Scott Snyder (bass), Audie Desbrow (drums), Michael Lardie (guitar, keyboards) and Terry Ilous — will film a video for the song "Heart Of A Man" this Friday night, February 1 at Sycuan Casino in El Cajon, California. Also appearing on the bill at the show is SLAUGHTER.

      Says GREAT WHITE: "Friday night we will be shooting a live video of the song 'Heart Of A Man' ... If you wish to be in it, just come close to the stage and dress your best."

      "Heart Of A Man" comes off GREAT WHITE's latest album, "Elation", which sold around 1,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. Issued on May 22 via Frontiers Records, the 12-song CD marks GREAT WHITE's first effort with Ilous following the band's split with founding singer Jack Russell.

      This version of GREAT WHITE is not to be confused with GREAT WHITE FEATURING JACK RUSSELL (formerly JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE), which features Russell alongside Robby Lochner (FIGHT) on guitar, Matthew Johnson (DOCTOR M, JACK RUSSELL) on guitar, Dario Seixas (FIREHOUSE, STEPHEN PEARCY) on bass and Derrick Pontier (GREAT WHITE, SAMANTHA 7) on drums.

      GREAT WHITE will release a live album, "30 Years - Live From The Sunset Strip", on February 22 in Europe and February 26 in North America via Frontiers Records.

      To mark its 30th anniversary live on March 22, 2012, GREAT WHITE celebrated the only logical way — on stage. In a nod to its early days, GREAT WHITE returned to the infamous Sunset Strip, where a storied past of music's biggest fans are fused into the walls of the Key Club. GREAT WHITE delivered its entire repertoire to a packed house, pining for the band's raw energy and cheering its illustrious history track after track.

      The Southern California blues hard rock band debuted with a Don Dokken/Michael Wagener-produced EP in 1983 and later on were signed by EMI for 1984's self-titled debut album. Since then GREAT WHITE has achieved worldwide success, encompassing sales of over six million records. They received a Grammy nomination for "Best Hard Rock Performance" for the song "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" and earned a double platinum certification for the album "…Twice Shy".

      It's the soulful, blues-based signature sound that turned songs like "Face The Day", "Rock Me" and "Save Your Love" into international hits. The late '80s were boom years for the band, marked by non-stop touring with some of the biggest bands of the era, including stints in Europe and Japan. GREAT WHITE recorded two more albums for Capitol"Hooked", which was certified gold, and "Psycho City".

      "30 Years - Live From The Sunset Strip" track listing:

      01. Desert Moon
      02. Lady Red Light
      03. Face The Day
      04. House Of Broken Love
      05. Save Your Love
      06. Mista Bone
      07. The Big Goodbye
      08. Back To The Rhythm
      09. Rock Me
      10. Can't Shake It
      11. Once Bitten Twice Shy
       
      KINGDOM COME, the veteran German hard rock band led by singer Lenny Wolf, will release a new studio album, "Outlier", on April 29 in Europe and May 7 in the USA via SPV/Steamhammer. According to a press release, the group's first studio CD featuring completely new material since the arrival of 2009's "Magnified" "picks up with ten powerful rock songs where [Lenny's] long tradition of fascinating studio albums left off. At the same time, mastermind Lenny is starting a new chapter of his diverse creative career, expertly positioning his charismatic voice on 'Outlier' between traditional rock structures and modern sound elements, which add a third dimension to this album."

      "I simply felt the need to delve deep inside of me and run riot in the infinite expanse of the audio cosmos. The result is a friction of mercilessly mechanical, heartless sound collages, combined with my typical melancholy-melodious style," Wolf explains the album's artfully interwoven experimental approach to his sound, which never detracts from the familiar atmospheric basic mood of his songs. "A whole number of souls happen to dwell in my breast, which is why experimentation and the development of my musical existence simply belong together."

      "Outlier" was recorded at Wolf's own Hamburg studio, the Two Square Noise Factory. With the exception of the solo guitar parts contributed by Eric Förster, all instruments were recorded by the KINGDOM COME boss himself. In addition, Wolf produced, engineered, mixed and mastered the CD.

      "Eighteen months of struggle and madness lie behind me, a period which saw me go through the usual alternating bath of euphoria and doubt," Wolf says. "As an artist, you can never be quite sure just what you've cooked up, but I happen to be an idealist and simply have to keep embarking on new adventurous journeys. The path of predictability has never satisfied me."
       
      San Francisco Bay Area metallers DEATH ANGEL have begun demoing material for the follow-up to 2010's "Relentless Retribution". The band is currently recording drums and guitars. A photo from the sessions can be seen below.

      "Relentless Retribution" sold 2,700 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 10 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. The band's previous album, "Killing Season", opened with around 2,300 units back in March 2008. This number was in line with the performance of its predecessor, "The Art of Dying", which registered a first-week sales tally of around 2,100 back in May 2004.

      "Relentless Retribution" was released in the U.S. on September 14, 2010 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida with producer Jason Suecof (TRIVIUM, AUGUST BURNS RED, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, ALL THAT REMAINS, WHITECHAPEL, DEVILDRIVER). The cover artwork was created by Brent Elliot White (JOB FOR A COWBOY, CARNIFEX, WHITECHAPEL).

      DEATH ANGEL's long-awaited DVD, "A Thrashumentary", will be released later in the year. Guitarist Ted Aguilar recently stated about the set, "It's gonna cover the history of DEATH ANGEL from the very beginning all the way up to the current version of DEATH ANGEL now. It's gonna be jam-packed with a lot of old footage, stuff from early D.A., even their side projects after D.A., when D.A. broke up and THE ORGANIZATION formed, and the reformation of the band [for an appearance at] Thrash Of The Titans [festival in 2001]."

      According to a press release, "A Thrashumentary" is a combination live video and documentary, all wrapped up in one thrashing DVD. The footage was directed by Tommy Jones (SOILWORK, KATAKLYSM) and mixed by Chris Clancy of The Studio. The film gives the viewer an in-depth look into one of the longest-running thrash acts out of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region known for turning out historic thrash bands such as METALLICA, TESTAMENT and EXODUS.
      http://www.blabbermouth.net/soulflypremiere/dademoing2013.jpg
       
      U.K. doom metallers MY DYING BRIDE are back in the studio putting the finishing touches on their upcoming EP, tentatively titled "The Manuscript".

      Says the band: "We are working on four songs but the EP may only contain three. Artwork being taken care of by Aaron [Stainthorpe, vocals] this time. Release date to be announced."

      In a recent interview with Metal Forces, Stainthorpe stated about the songs that will appear on "The Manuscript": "They're very similar to 'A Map Of All Our Failures', because they were written and recorded at the same time, except for one song. That really stands out… [laughs] It's full-on sort of epic death metal; it's swords and axes, a proper warrior battle kind of track that's almost medieval in flavor. You can almost picture the scene; it's set in a snowy kind of mountainous landscape. There are sound effects and all sorts of mayhem going on in it, and death metal vocals not quite all the way through it, but near enough. It even has a Swedish title which because my Swedish isn't great, I'm not gonna repeat here. [laughs] I need to get the pronunciation right before I do that."

      "The Poorest Waltz", the new video from MY DYING BRIDE, can be seen below. The clip tells the story of a midnight tryst between two young village men and a dorm of blind girls locked in a sanatorium, who dance the night away to elegant music and home made wine.

      "The Poorest Waltz" comes off MY DYING BRIDE's new album, "A Map Of All Our Failures", which was released on October 15, 2012 in Europe and October 16, 2012 in the U.S. via Peaceville Records on CD, double vinyl and special-edition CD+DVD. The effort was recorded and mixed at Futureworks Studios in Manchester, England with the band's longtime production partner Rob "Mags" Magoolagan at the helm.
       
      Las Vegas-based doomsters DEMON LUNG have completed recording their debut album at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California. The CD is currently being mixed by Billy Anderson at his studio in Portland, Oregon for a late spring release via Candlelight Records.

      Las Vegas Weekly recently included DEMON LUNG on their Top 10 Local Bands To Watch In 2013. Drummer Jeremy Brenton confirmed to the newspaper that the album will be a concept about "the long-begotten son of Satan, who's been sent to earth to assemble the three parts of the devil's bible so that we can speak the name of god in reverse and undo creation." He added: "When you say it out loud, it's pretty funny, but it's some pretty epic shit."

      DEMON LUNG features guitarist Phil Burns, bassist Patrick Warren and vocalist Shanda Fredrick with Brenton. The band has been called "earthy yet horror-themed doom metal a la CANDLEMASS," by Metal Hammer. Ave Noctum noted, "DEMON LUNG has a deft touch and solid sound. Their music is clearly from the soul."

      DEMON LUNG has performed alongside PENTAGRAM, HIGH ON FIRE, JUCIFER, WITCH MOUNTAIN and CASTLE, among others.
       
      Jeff Wagner ("Mean Deviation: Four Decades Of Progressive Heavy Metal" book, former Metal Maniacs editor) is currently assembling his next book, "Soul On Fire - The Life And Music Of Peter Steele". The book will be, in Wagner's words, "a thorough telling of Peter's life, from his "diaper days" to his death. It will not only include analysis of the music he created in TYPE O NEGATIVE and CARNIVORE — and the many triumphs and personal tribulations that came along with it — but also let fans in on the details of his early days. The book will also feature numerous images from throughout his life, on stage and off."

      Wagner adds: "Peter's fans miss him, and as a follower of his music since 1986, I'm proud to put together this tribute for them. While warring factions within the story have already been heard, my mission is simple: cut through the crap and tell one of the most extraordinary stories in modern music, with great respect to the subject himself."

      Culled from a variety of sources, including recollections from bandmates, family, close friends and record label reps, "Soul On Fire" is an accurate account of Steele's creative genius and incredibly complex personality.

      Steele was a visionary and a provocateur; a generous friend and a self-deprecating hedonist; a bandmate and a brother. His struggles with addiction and his acceptance of the Catholic faith he grew up with and then grew out of… all of this is surveyed and detailed within "Soul On Fire".

      The book is due for publication in October 2013.

      Steele passed away on April 14, 2010 from heart failure. He was 48 years old.

      "Going through a midlife crisis and having many things change very quickly made me realize my mortality," he told Decibel magazine in 2007. "And when you start to think about death, you start to think about what's after it. And then you start hoping there is a God. For me, it's a frightening thought to go nowhere. I also can't believe that people like Stalin and Hitler are gonna go to the same place as Mother Teresa."

      Steele was born Petrus T. Ratajczyk on January 4, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York. He stood 6' 7" (201 cm) tall, and had a low, bass-heavy voice, which was one of the most recognizable features in TYPE O NEGATIVE's music.

      Before forming TYPE O NEGATIVE, Steele played for the metal group FALLOUT and the thrash band CARNIVORE.

      Wagner is a music connoisseur and metal historian, and a former editor of Metal Maniacs magazine. He has penned incisive liner notes for releases by EMPEROR, POSSESSED, DARK ANGEL, CONFESSOR and others. A music industry professional since 1994 and a lifelong music obsessive, Wagner lives for what he writes about and writes about what he lives.
       
       
       
      SHADOWS FALL's Jason Bittner will hold a drum clinic at Paper City Music Shop in Holyoke, Massachusetts on Saturday, February 23 between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. He will also be offering private lessons the day before (Friday, February 22) in hour-long slots.

      For more information, see the poster below.

      SHADOWS FALL tapped Willis Mathiasen of 2CENTS to sit behind the drums for some of their shows at the end of 2012 while Bittner received treatment for acute pancreatitis. Bittner rejoined his bandmates on stage on December 19 at Pearl St. in Northampton, Massachusetts.

      SHADOWS FALL is touring in support of its new album, "Fire From The Sky", which sold around 10,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 38 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released on May 15, 2012 via Razor & Tie.

      Recorded at Zing Studios in late 2011, "Fire From The Sky" reunites SHADOWS FALL with longtime friend, producer/engineer and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE/TIMES OF GRACE guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, ALL THAT REMAINS). The album was mixed by Brian Virtue and features some of the band's most complex and melodic material in years.
       
       
      Dutch female-fronted symphonic metallers WITHIN TEMPTATION have issued the following update:

      "We have been, and we are still hiding in our studios since winter started. With every writing session, new things are happening. We are experimenting a lot and are trying to hold on to this magical feeling.

      "We are looking forward to the moment that we can share with you where this journey has taken us.

      "We are excited to have found a new enthusiastic label partner, BMG Rights, with whom are aiming for a release in autumn, which perfectly fits the mood of the album. As soon as we can, we will share more information about the new album. In the mean time we will see you on the road this summer!"

      WITHIN TEMPTATION's fifth studio album, "The Unforgiving", sold around 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 50 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on March 29, 2011 the CD was produced by Daniel Gibson and is based on a comic book story written by script writer Steven O'Connell (BloodRayne, Dark 48). The band asked comic artist Romano Molenaar (Witchblade, Darkness, X-Men) to draw the characters and scenery of "The Unforgiving", which was made available via Sony Music in Continental Europe and Roadrunner Records in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland, Japan and Australia.

      WITHIN TEMPTATION guitarist Robert Westerholt in 2011 announced that he would step down from touring duties in order to focus on taking care of the three children he has with the band's lead singer, Sharon den Adel. His replacement on stage is Stefan Helleblad, who had been working with the band behind the scenes for a few years.
       
      Chicago thrashers DIAMOND PLATE have begun recording their new studio album, due later in the year via Earache Records. The as-yet untitled follow-up to DIAMOND PLATE's 2011 debut, "Generation Why?", is being recorded with producer Neil Kernon (JUDAS PRIEST, NEVERMORE, DEICIDE, 3 INCHES OF BLOOD) at Studio Chicago in the band's hometown.

      DIAMOND PLATE lead guitarist Konrad Kupiec comments: "We are beyond excited to announce that we are in the studio recording our second album! The legendary Neil Kernon is helping us capture the new songs and the new energy of the band in the traditional way that classic records were made. We decided to step away from the modern approach to albums by recording the band playing live in the same room together and keeping everything real. Everybody can expect this record to be faster and heavier than ever, but most of all they can expect the unexpected."

      DIAMOND PLATE last year recruited Matt Ares as their new vocalist and bassist following the departure of Jon Macak.
       
      The cover artwork for the second part of STONE SOUR's "House Of Gold & Bones" double album can be seen below. The effort, which is expected to be released in April, will also be made available as a four-issue comic book.

      Like the story, the "House Of Gold & Bones" album package comes in two parts. When the two pieces meet, they combine to create the "House Of Gold & Bones".

      When asked by ThisIsNotAScene what fans can expect from the second part of "House Of Gold & Bones", singer Corey Taylor said: "Part 2 is much darker [than the first part], if I'm honest. Aside from it being a completely different album, it feels more like a soundtrack to a movie in a lot of ways, man. It's really thematic. There are themes from part 1 that reveal themselves and that come again, musically. There's actually stuff from part 2 that you'll hear that's on part 1 and you'll be like, 'Fucking hell!'"

      He continued: "We essentially recorded t

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