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  • Robert
    Andrew Perry of The Telegraph recently conducted an interview with BLACK SABBATH members Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar) and Geezer Butler (bass).
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 21, 2013
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      Andrew Perry of The Telegraph recently conducted an interview with BLACK SABBATH members Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar) and Geezer Butler (bass). A couple of excerpts from the Osbourne portion of the chat follow below.

      On the chart success of BLACK SABBATH's new album, "13":

      Ozzy: "I knew it was a fucking good album, but when somebody just told me it's gone top in fifty countries — I didn't know there were fifty countries, and I'm number one in all of them! I'm just devastated."

      On why BLACK SABBATH's initial attempt to record together around again eleven years ago failed:

      Ozzy: "[It was because of] my ego — I was riding on this fucking cloud of being television's new megastar for five minutes. I was doing well on my own, so it took me a while to get that balanced out in my head. I mean, it's not Ozzy Osbourne and BLACK SABBATH. It's fucking BLACK SABBATH. It's different from me doing my own thing."

      On whether the touring cycle for "13" will mark the end of BLACK SABBATH:

      Ozzy: "It depends on Tony. At the moment, we're doing so many weeks on the road, then he has to go back for more treatment [after being diagnosed with lymphoma]. He's had chemo and radiotherapy, and now he's on a thing to boost his immune system. I really hope it's gone for good. I'm sure it has. But you never know with that stuff."
      AEROSMITH singer Steven Tyler has revealed to RollingStone.com that he will begin work on his debut solo album in early 2014.

      "Joe [Perry, AEROSMITH guitarist] has done, like, four solo albums," Steven said. "I never have, though with lyrics and arrangements and so forth a lot of AEROSMITH albums are just fine for me. It's cathartic. But I had a lot of fun doing '(It) Feels So Good'. I wrote that with Marti Frederiksen.

      "I've got this itch in me to do a solo record, and that's what I'm gonna do next. I've got some great people that want to get involved in it.

      "It's early on right now, but that's the itch I got. I got that itch to do something that's a lot different than AEROSMITH. AEROSMITH's never been better, but we did that album. This last album was an AEROSMITH all-for-one-and-one-for-all. But my heart is in stuff like that weirder, off-the-cuff stuff that I'm not sure AEROSMITH would like.

      "I'm into electronica — I was when I used to listen to Stockhausen in '65. So there's just a lot of stuff — good, weird fucking music that I want to get off my chest. The band will be playing, and we're going to China and Singapore. It's gonna open up a whole new world for AEROSMITH. So AEROSMITH will always be around, but I got this itch and I know how to scratch it."

      Asked whom he is looking to work with on the solo record, Tyler said: "There's so much good stuff out there. I am a huge Skrillex fan. I went to lunch with Deadmau5 at Mel's Diner. He's got incredible ideas for his next tour — blew me away, what he's gonna do. He's a single guy. He makes all the money himself when he puts the mouse head on, so he's got a ton of money. He knows where to take it, and he's still relevant. So it was a sick dinner, it was fucking unreal. I want to go out and explore things . . . I really want to take a little risk here and do something solo. There's no timeline — I'm gonna start in January and see where we get by March."
      The official MetOnTour video recap of METALLICA's March 2 concert in Adelaide, Australia during this year's Soundwave festival can be seen below.

      There has been a lot of talk about METALLICA's next album, with singer/guitarist James Hetfield saying they've got a handful of music already and drummer Lars Ulrich stating he'd be surprised if their next record comes out before 2015. So what's the holdup? VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner asked METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo what it is about the band's writing process that requires them to take so much time to create their music.

      "Basically, we jam but we jam over a period of time," Robert said. "We have a jam room when we go on tour, and obviously we have a studio, and every little riff gets recorded, every idea, every chordal pattern, every progression, every drumbeat, bass line, we have it, we file it away and then we go through the process of elimination.

      Trujillo then told VH1 Radio Network more about the riffs they've been working on.

      "James Hetfield has, like, a thousand riffs and they're all great," he said. "His worst riff would be another band's best riff. So we're blessed… the blessing is also a curse, because we have so many cool ideas that it becomes challenging to decide what should not survive, at least for me, from where I'm sitting. I'm always like, 'Well that's a good riff!' and James might be, like, 'Eh, nah, I don't like it.' You know what I mean? But then again, maybe two weeks later he may like it. But you gotta have some sort of process of elimination. So that's what we've been going through."

      Robert explained that process of elimination to VH1 Radio Network.

      "What that entails is that we listen to the ideas, we go out on the floor in our studio, in the jam room, and we play that idea, and we maybe spend maybe a minute jamming it, maybe more," he said. "Sometimes we come up with a full arrangement and then we put it aside and then we revisit all that like eight months later to see how it holds up and then you narrow it down basically to the best ideas to formulate about 15 songs or maybe more."

      Although METALLICA is not quite ready to get into the studio and begin recording its 10th album, Trujillo says that working with producer Rick Rubin again is a possibility. Rubin produced the band's last effort, 2008's "Death Magnetic". When asked about possible producers for the next one, Trujillo told South Africa's Muse magazine, "First things first, we've got to start getting our blueprints for songs together and make sure they're the best possible — and then we see what producers are available. We made a great album with Rick Rubin the last time — that's a strong possibility still."

      Trujillo added, "Obviously, there are no guarantees in anything in this day and age, but if there is a great producer, who has something to bring to METALLICA, we will investigate it."

      While METALLICA has said that they enjoyed the results they got with Rubin, a number of fans complained that the sound on "Death Magnetic" was too compressed and mixed too "hot," making for an unpleasant listening experience.
      On July 12, DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen and his trainer Jean Carrillo will hold the first-ever full speaking engagement seminar plus question-and-answer session for their workout regimen, "Physical Mechanics", at LaScène Lebourgneuf in Quebec, Canada. Phil and Jean will be speaking about health, fitness, what Phil does to get fit on tour and off, and what "Physical Mechanics" is all about.

      Tickets for the event, including a VIP cocktail reception with Phil and Jean, are available here.

      At nearly 56 years old, Collen is a prime example of the "no-excuse" rule when it comes to being active, fit and healthy.

      As a rock and roll guitarist in an internationally successful rock band, Collen didn't start out as a health and fitness enthusiast. After years of playing hard, partying hard, and leading a self-described "very unhealthy lifestyle," Phil decided to make a change. In his early thirties Collen decided to quit drinking and partying. His live-saving conversion came just before his DEF LEPPARD bandmate and "terror twin" of the party scene, Steve Clark, died of a prescription drug and alcohol overdose in early 1991. Inspired to lead a healthier lifestyle, the sober Collen no longer needed to "recover" each day from the previous night's debauchery, and instead found himself with numerous free hours in his day. Collen began exercising, running to start, and later taking up the martial art of Muay Thai kick boxing.

      Collen began training in the martial art of Muay Thai kick boxing with Carrillo eight years ago and now both men, vegetarians as well, believe in bringing their positive experience to the masses.
      The winner of Deadline Music/Cleopatra Records' contest for the best video rant on "how much you hate" "Frequency Unknown", the new album from the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE, has been announced. William "Brian" McBride will be treated to a free VIP trip to the June 29 show by Tate's QUEENSRŸCHE in Seattle along with VIP special guest seating, meet-and-greet passes for after the show and a merchandise package worth $250.

      McBride's two-minute video submission, which can be seen below. was distinguished as being the only "positive" rant, as he submitted a video with only minor criticisms and admitted that he liked all the songs and thought the band was great, saying: "Looking at what you went through last year, obviously you have a lot to sing about, and there's a lot of aggression there, I'm sure. But look where you are now — you guys are awesome, like you always have been... You guys rock."

      A four-minute video clip in which Geoff reacts to some of the contest submissions was released on May 10 can be seen below.

      "Frequency Unknown" sold around 5,500 copies in its first week of release in the United States to land at position No. 82 on The Billboard 200 chart.

      Deadline Music/Cleopatra Records is making available the "new and improved" mixes of "Frequency Unknown" to any customers who have purchased the original mix version and are dissatisfied with the audio. Simply e-mail the label a scan of your actual receipt for the physical CD to Queensryche@... and they will happily send you a replacement disc — at no charge whatsoever. No questions asked!

      "Frequency Unknown" was released on April 23. The CD was produced by Jason Slater at a studio in Northern California. The first single from the effort, "Cold", can be streamed below. The track, which was mixed by Anthony Focx (NEWSTED, AEROSMITH, NIGHT RANGER, TED NUGENT), will also be released as a special limited-edition seven-inch vinyl single with a newly recorded version of the QUEENSRŸCHE classic "Silent Lucidity" — mixed by Jürgen Engler (DORO, DIE KRUPPS) — on the B-side.

      Asked about the decision to remix "Frequency Unknown" shortly before the album's release, Tate told "The Continental Breakfast With James & Raina": "We were a little rushed on the mixing end of it, so after listening to it back, we're having some of the songs remixed now before the album comes out. But that's typical with records — you have to have them in on time. So sometimes you compromise in areas. Luckily, with this situation, we get to go back and correct some areas in the sound where we thought it was kind of lacking. So that's fine. I've done that on… gosh… probably three quarters of the records I've ever made. It's no new thing, but it's a luxury when you get to fix it."

      "Frequency Unknown" is packaged with bonus tracks — four QUEENSRŸCHE classics, newly recorded, including the smash hit single "Silent Lucidity". Guest musicians on the CD include K.K. Downing (JUDAS PRIEST), Chris Poland (MEGADETH), Ty Tabor (KING'S X), Paul Bostaph (SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS), Lita Ford, Brad Gillis (NIGHT RANGER), Dave Meniketti (Y&T) and Craig Locicero (FORBIDDEN).
      Fan-filmed video footage of DIO DISCIPLES' June 15 concert at Carioca Club in São Paulo, Brazil can be seen below.

      The group, which pays tribute to legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, DIO, HEAVEN & HELL) and is fully supported by Dio's widow/manager, Wendy, currently consists of the following musicians:

      * Tim "Ripper" Owens (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH) - Vocals
      * Oni Logan (LYNCH MOB) - Vocals
      * Craig Goldy (DIO) - Guitar
      * Bjorn Englen (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) - Bass
      * Scott Warren (DIO,HEAVEN & HELL) - Keyboards
      * Simon Wright (DIO, AC/DC, UFO) – Drums

      Commented Goldy: "After Ronnie's passing and a lengthy mourning period, Wendy Dio and the band that was left behind have decided it was time to honor and keep the memory and legacy of Ronnie James Dio alive in the most respectful way possible!

      "There is something special that happens when a group of people gather together with the same heart, mind and spirit as one another... and that is what happens every night we (the DIO DISCIPLES) perform! I never know when... but I know that it will happen because it always does... some time during the concert, the audience and the band connect and become as one!

      "And with the large speaker system, lights and special performances by past members of AC/DC, JUDAS PRIEST, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and LYNCH MOB... you don't want to rely on all the crappy little cell phone recordings that look and sound like shit posted on YouTube!

      "I've never lied about anything to any DIO fan and I'm not about to start now! Every time we perform there's always several very special moments that just can't be defined into words! You just have to trust me and come experience it for yourselves! And I hope you do!"
      Vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, über-energetic frontman and all-round rock 'n' roll legend Michael Monroe (HANOI ROCKS) has revealed the cover artwork for his new studio outing, "Horns And Halos", to be released in the U.K. on August 26 via Spinefarm Records.

      The arresting cover art is based on an idea from Swedish guitar star Dregen (BACKYARD BABIES), who features in Michael's current touring and recording lineup.

      "I love logotypes that are a 'little secret," says Dregen. "You know, the ones that are more like signs — VAN HALEN, CRASS, HIM's Heartagram, etc. That was the starting point…"

      "Horns And Halos" — mixed by Petri Majuri at Seawolf Studios in Finland — is the follow-up to 2011's critically acclaimed "Sensory Overdrive", winner of Classic Rock magazine's "Album Of The Year" and a No. 1 record in Monroe's Finnish homeland.

      Monroe's touring and recording outfit — bassist Sami Yaffa (HANOI ROCKS, NEW YORK DOLLS), guitarist Steve Conte (NEW YORK DOLLS, COMPANY OF WOLVES), drummer Karl "Rockfist" Rosqvist (CHELSEA SMILES, DANZIG) and Dregen — has been hard at work in the studio, providing creative support for a frontman whose reputation is genuinely global and whose influence continues to be felt, with musicians of all ages (from Dave Grohl to the original GUNS N' ROSES members) citing Michael's groundbreaking career as a source of inspiration.

      "Horns And Halos" track listing:

      01. TNT Diet
      02. Ballad Of The Lower East Side
      03. Eighteen Angels
      04. Saturday Night Special
      05. Stained Glass Heart
      06. Horns And Halos
      07. Child Of The Revolution
      08. Soul Surrender
      09. Half The Way
      10. Ritual
      11. Hands Are Tied

      A second single/video from "Horns And Halos" will be made available on August 5.

      The video for current single, "Ballad Of The Lower East Side" (a nod to Michael's early days in New York, a city he moved to for a decade following the mid-'80s breakup of glam-punk pioneers HANOI ROCKS), can be seen below.
      The concert to celebrate late DEEP PURPLE keyboardist Jon Lord's life and music will be held on April 4, 2014 at London, England's Royal Albert Hall.

      Artists confirmed so far include DEEP PURPLE members Ian Paice, Roger Glover, Don Airey and Steve Morse.

      IRON MAIDEN frontman and longtime The Sunflower Jam supporter Bruce Dickinson will also perform, along with Rick Wakeman, Joe Brown and Alfie Boe.

      The evening will also be compered by the great Bob Harris.

      Jon Lord died on July 16, 2012 at age 71 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Lord, who was known for his keyboard virtuosity and his reinvention of the Hammond B-3 organ sound, co-wrote such PURPLE classics as "Smoke On The Water" and "Child In Time", among others. Lord and drummer Ian Paice were the only original members to last through the band's initial run from 1968 to 1976. He was on board for their 1984 reunion and stayed on through to his 2002 retirement from the band, after which he's worked primarily in the classical field.

      Over the course of his career, Lord also worked with the ARTWOODS, FLOWER POT MEN, PAICE, ASHTON AND LORD, WHITESNAKE and good friend and neighbor, George Harrison.

      In a recent interview with Peter Makowski, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich stated about Jon Lord: "I'm not sure that the people in today's hard rock world really truly understand how innovative this guy was. He wasn't just another keyboard player on the side of the stage. In '66/'67, when Hendrix, Townshend and Ritchie Blackmore were taking the electric guitar to a new level, by using banks of Marshall stacks beefing up the sound, Jon Lord was one of the first guys in hard rock to take the keyboards through the same process. He took a fairly standard instrument like a Hammond organ put it through amplifiers and Leslie cabinets and introduced a whole new way of forcing the sound out of the keyboards.

      "Ritchie Blackmore said the other day that Jon formed DEEP PURPLE; he was certainly the instigator that made things happen. If not the musical leader, Jon was the spiritual leader of the band. He was a pioneer, and I think that somehow that's gotten a little lost in the last few [months]. People are talking about, obviously, what a gentleman he was and what a fantastic band member but he really did something nobody had done before with the sound of the keyboards and I think that's probably the biggest thing to remember him for."
      The new self-titled album from progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER will be released on September 24 via Roadrunner Records.

      An 18-shot photo gallery from the making of the CD can be found at RoadrunnerRecords.com.

      "Dream Theater" was recorded at Cove City Sound Studios in Glen Cove, New York, with founding guitarist John Petrucci producing and studio luminary Richard Chycki (AEROSMITH, RUSH) engineering and mixing. The album marks a brilliant new chapter for the always adventurous band, their first to have been written and recorded with drummer Mike Mangini wholly integrated into the creative process from the start.

      "I see every new album as an opportunity to start over," says Petrucci. "To either build or improve upon a direction that has been evolving over time or to completely break new ground. This is the first self-titled album of our career and there is nothing I can think of that makes a statement of musical and creative identity stronger than that. We've fully explored all of the elements that make us unique, from the epic and intense to the atmospheric and cinematic. We're incredibly excited about 'Dream Theater' and can't wait for everyone to hear it.”

      "Dream Theater" will be available in a wide range of distinctive versions, including standard and special-edition CDs, 180-gram vinyl double LP, and a limited-edition box set. Pre-orders are scheduled to get underway sometime in July at the Roadrunner Records webstore.

      Asked whether having drummer Mike Mangini involved in the songwriting process this time around has made a difference in the new CD's overall sound, keyboardist Jordan Rudess recently said: "It really has. This is the first album where Mike Mangini [who joined the band in Ocober 2010] has been there and really part of the writing process. He's such a sweet guy and he has so much energy, and it's just great to have that energy involved when we're writing the music, 'cause he'll come up with stuff that's really cool. We'll be composing along our merry way and stop to maybe look at the next part, and he offers this other perspective which we never had in the same way that we have it with him, which is that he has a super math brain — a rhythmic math brain; he's really an expert in that field, more so than myself or [guitarist] John Petrucci or anybody in the band — so he can say, 'Guys, if you play 10 measures at 7, and if you play triplets five times, and you do this and that, it's all gonna equal out in 21 measures. Go ahead and try it.' And at first, we're , like, 'What?' But he kind of sees that; he sees that map."

      In a recent interview with Roadrunner Records, Petrucci stated about the making of DREAM THEATER's new CD: "First of all, it's been going great with [Mangini], and as much as we've been a band together for about 15 years, we haven't really experienced that process together. We've been in the studio for a few weeks now, and he's been amazing. Chemistry is great, the writing process and the whole vibe is great, and his role is to let his personality shine as a drummer, creatively and to have his input and his musical personality really come through. And I gotta tell you, it's happening. When people hear the drumming on this album, they're gonna be pretty freaked out. On the last album, he did a great job, but he wasn't there for the writing process and he was interpreting drum parts that I had programmed. Even though he used his creativity, of course, to change them up and do his thing, I feel like now he's just Mike Mangini unleashed. It's all him. It's all his creativity, all his decisions and ideas and man, the guy's an animal."

      "Live At Luna Park", DREAM THEATER's live concert, which was previously scheduled for release in May via Eagle Rock Entertainment, will now drop in North America on November 5 as a Blu-ray, 2DVD, 2DVD + 3CD, Blu-ray + 3CD, deluxe edition with 40-page book, Blu-ray + 2DVD + 3CD, and digital video via iTunes.

      "Live At Luna Park" was filmed over two nights in South America — home to one of DREAM THEATER's most ardent fanbases. The DVD was filmed August 19 and August 20, 2012 at Estadio Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina after a 15-month world tour, hitting 35 countries.
      Ex-PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo spoke to Artisan News about his desire to reconnect with his former PANTERA bandmate Vinnie Paul Abbott more than eight years since ex-PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was shot and killed by a crazed gunman while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at a Columbus, Ohio rock club.

      Vinnie, who is Dimebag's brother, and Anselmo have not spoken since PANTERA split in 2003. But the relationship got even more acrimonious when Vinnie indirectly blamed Philip for Dimebag's death, suggesting that some remarks the vocalist had made about Dimebag in print just weeks earlier might have incited Dimebag's killer.

      Asked if he thinks Vinnie Paul will ever be open to repairing the rift, Anselmo said (see video below): "You know, that would be a question for Vinnie Paul; I don't know. But once again I'll say that I love him. I feel his pain every single day. Dime was very much my brother, Rex's [Brown; PANTERA bassist] brother as well."

      He continued: "In this life, one thing I've learned is that it does not take pure blood to make family; it's the relationship and how strong you hold that bond. And once again, my door is always open for Vince."

      Dimebag's longtime girlfriend Rita Haney has called on Vinnie and Anselmo to settle their differences in honor of Dimebag, telling the producers of "Behind The Music Remastered: Pantera" that she forgave the singer after they found themselves unexpectedly face to face at a concert in California.

      In Rex Brown's memoir, "Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera", Haney said: "My line has softened over the years since Darrell's death, probably because I feel an element of forgiveness and a desire for everybody to get along. No matter what ever happened, nobody did this to Darrell. I mean, they — Rex and Philip — didn't. The person who did it did it, and no matter what reason the killer — if he was still alive today — could give to justify that, it wouldn't change anything. But when you go through something like this, you want to lay blame somewhere. Obviously I had resentment to Rex and Philip because I had to watch Darrell trying to save his band. I wanted to fix it for him. As far as Philip is concerned, we are at least communicating, albeit on a fairly surface level. We haven't talked about any deep things like resentments because I've told him that I still harbor some resentment for how he handled band issues and how that impacted Darrell and I've made that very clear to him. And it's hard for me to trust him. But we'll see. It's a start and in time we'll probably sit down face to face."

      She continued: "Despite all the issues I'll say this: going out selling the merchandise for Darrell every summer has given me a whole different perspective. When you are with all the people that PANTERA's music touched and you hear the stories they have about how a certain song got them through, even if they never got to see them, it makes you realize that you're being selfish and that your issues are petty and false. I'm not the big picture. They are. I'm so grateful for all the things I learned from Darrell and I want to try to be that kind of person you know. Better."

      She added: "I wish Vince was more like his brother when it comes to welcoming new people into his world, instead of feeling strapped up or that it's a problem or an inconvenience. Of course it can be overwhelming, I used to watch Darrell every day and marveled at how amazing he was at handling it, but I wish there was more of that in Vinnie. I know he has never really dealt with the death of his brother head on, and instead he's chosen to shut it away and hope that he'll never have to discuss it. If he was open to sharing some of his stories with people, he might just find peace, and if he let people in, he might also just see the big picture I'm talking about."
      PANTERA was inducted into the Kerrang! Hall Of Fame at this year's Kerrang! Awards, which was held on June 13 at London, England's Troxy Club.

      During his acceptance speech, former PANTERA singer Philip Anselmo paid tribute to the legacy of bandmate "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who was shot dead onstage in 2004.

      After the event, Anselmo spoke to Kerrang! magazine deputy editor Simon Young about the honor and PANTERA's legacy. You can watch the chat below.

      February 2012 marked the 20-year anniversary for PANTERA's "Vulgar Display Of Power", a landmark album widely acknowledged as one of metal's most enduring and influential masterworks. Recorded by Anselmo, Dimebag, bassist Rex Brown and drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, the album has been certified double platinum by the RIAA and features several of the group's most iconic songs including "Walk", "Mouth For War", "This Love" and "Fucking Hostile".

      To celebrate, Rhino channeled the album's relentless blitzkrieg of musical aggression onto a two-disc Deluxe Edition. The CD includes the original album remastered and "Piss", a recently discovered unreleased track from the recording sessions. The DVD contains an unreleased live performance filmed in Italy in September of 1992 plus the three official music videos from the album.
      "Halo Of Blood", the eighth album from Finnish metallers CHILDREN OF BODOM, sold 8,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 54 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's previous CD, 2011's "Relentless Reckless Forever", opened with nearly 11,000 units to land at No. 42. CHILDREN OF BODOM's sixth CD, 2008's "Blooddrunk" registered a first-week tally of 19,000 to enter the chart at No. 22. This number was roughly four times the opening tally of "Blooddrunk"'s predecessor, "Are You Dead Yet?", which premiered with 5,000 units back in October 2005 to debut at No. 195.

      "Halo Of Blood" was released on June 11 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The cover art was created by Sami Saramäki, who was responsible for the artwork on previous CHILDREN OF BODOM albums "Follow The Reaper", "Are You Dead Yet?" and "Hate Crew Deathroll".

      CHILDREN OF BODOM's new album was recorded at Danger Johnny Studios in Helsinki. For the recording of the LP, CHILDREN OF BODOM has teamed up with recording engineer Mikko Karmila, who worked with the band on their fan-favorite albums "Hatebreeder", "Follow The Reaper" and "Hate Crew Deathroll", as well as Swedish producer Peter Tägtgren (MARDUK, AMON AMARTH), who oversaw production of both vocals and keyboards on the record. The album was mixed at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki.

      Commented guitarist/vocalistAlexi Laiho: "'Halo Of Blood' is the eighth studio album from CHILDREN OF BODOM, and believe it or not, but we still managed to keep it fresh and new while still maintaining the elements that make COB sound recognizable. It's got the fastest and the slowest song we ever made and lyrics wise there are themes we had never had before. It's 10 new songs of pure Nordic metal and whether you enjoy it with a beer or a glass of water, I'm sure you will have a good time."
      Rashod Ollison of The Virginian-Pilot recently conducted an interview with drummer Chris Adler of Richmond, Virginia-based metallers LAMB OF GOD. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

      On LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe's arrest in the Czech Republic in June 2012 on manslaughter charges and the subsequent legal ordeal, which took more than eight months to play out:

      Adler: "Not only were we not able to generate any income, but we ended up having to pay more than half a million dollars in legal fees. It bankrupted the entire band; [there was] no money left for any kind of payroll or anything. When Randy was acquitted [in March of this year], everything was on the line at that point. Either it was completely over, or we had a chance to get back out there and pay these bills and get ourselves back on our feet."

      On what he did during LAMB OF GOD's hiatus from touring, including playing drums on an album by the metal band PROTEST THE HERO:

      Adler: "We have kids now, and it was nice to spend that time at home. But in the back of your head, it's always nagging you: Is my career over? What am I gonna do now? I love this job. Every night is a Friday night, and when that's threatened, you get scared."

      On the reception for Blythe and the rest of the band:

      Adler: "In the metal community, we have a lot of sympathy and understanding. A lot of people are coming together to support us, knowing the kind of music we're playing and knowing this kind of accident could happen to them.

      "From an outsider's view, this is just an example of how metal could be dangerous or harmful in some way, and that's unfortunate. But after this, we're going to be some kind of advocate for concert safety and try to make that stereotype very untrue."

      On LAMB OF GOD's plan to stick to the no-frills, groove-oriented formula that has garnered the group a cult following:

      Adler: "We didn't begin this because we thought it was going to be popular. We just did the kind of stuff we listened to when we were kids and brought that influence into what we do. We're getting better at writing songs and trying to branch out more, but not get too far from what we do best. At this point, our fans expect a certain product from us. And after eight albums, I can't say I blame them."
      HardrockHaven.net recently conducted an interview with former MARILYN MANSON and current ROB ZOMBIE guitarist John 5 (real name: John William Lowery). You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.

      Before landing the Manson gig in 1998, John 5 had been performing with Lita Ford, K.D. Lang, Rob Halford, David Lee Roth, and a string of local bands before making his trek to Los Angeles. Throughout his time with Marilyn Manson, he continued working as a session guitarist on several albums to continue building his resume. By 2003, John had teamed up with Fender Musical Instrument Corporation to launch his very own signature model guitar.

      2004 marked the beginning of his solo career that now includes six studio albums ("Vertigo", "Songs For Sanity", "The Devil Knows My Name", "Requiem", "The Art Of Malice", and "God Told Me To") complemented by a remix album of previous works entitled, "Remixploitation".

      Come 2006, John found himself teaming up with another iconic artist, Rob Zombie. What started as a planned short stint of gigs has turned into a long standing relationship that now spans over seven years and includes international tours, studio albums and even scoring the Rob Zombie film "The Lords Of Salem".

      John 5 continues to branch out in his solo and collaborative careers while striving to break new ground with each new effort. While pushing the envelope, he has worked with other luminaries such as LYNYRD SKYNYRD, Ricky Martin, Rod Stewart and Sebastian Bach.
      Sensory Records has announced the signing of the Norwegian progressive metal quintet WITHEM. The band's full-length debut, "The Point Of You", will be released late this summer.

      Inspired by the likes of SYMPHONY X, PAGAN'S MIND, DREAM THEATER and CIRCUS MAXIMUS, WITHEM formed in 2011, their music offering varied sonic landscapes for the listener to explore, whether with its elaborate interplay between all musicians or with straightforward power metal anthems. With a solid online fanbase and several stellar live performances in Oslo and beyond already under their belts, the band has completed their debut album which caught the ear of the prog aficianados at Sensory/The Laser's Edge, who immediately brought the band on board for the release of the new opus.

      The passion and dedication put into "The Point Of You" is emphasized by the countless hours spent in studio perfecting each individual performance and making sure that the end result is a world class blend of progressive, symphonic power metal, with over fifty minutes of thrills and melody-driven songs, without drifting into the clichés of overly long instrumental sections and sheer complexity for complexity sake. Based on the first impact made by the album teasers and demo tracks, expectations are running high within the progressive and power metal scene.

      WITHEM is:

      Ole Aleksander Wagenius - Vocals
      Frank Nordeng Røe - Drums
      Ketil Ronold - Keyboards
      Oyvind V Larsen - Guitar
      Miguel Pereira – Bass
      PENTAGRAM CHILE recently completed work on its first-ever studio album, entitled "The Malefice", for a September 6 release via Germany's Cyclone Empire Records. Drums for the CD were tracked at Sade Studios in Santiago, Chile, while all guitars and vocals were recorded at HVR Studios in Suffolk, U.K., where the album was mixed by vocalist/guitarist Anton Reisenegger with longtime friend, collaborator, co-producer and studio owner Daniel Biggin. The cover artwork is an illustration by renowned Argentinian artist Santiago Caruso.

      "The Malefice" will be made available in three different formats: double gatefold vinyl, double CD digipak and regular jewel case CD.

      While the main part of the album consists of all-new material written by founding members Reisenegger and Juan Pablo Uribe (lead guitar) over the last two years, the band also re-recorded their classic demo material from the 1980s.

      Double gatefold vinyl:

      Side 1

      01. The Death Of Satan (5:22)
      02. The Apparition (6:03)
      03. Grand Design (5:41)
      04. Prophetic Tremors (5:40)

      Side 2

      01. La Fiura (4:28)
      02. Sacrophobia (4:56)
      03. Horror Vacui (4:08)
      04. Arachnoids (4:22)
      05. Spontaneous Combustion (5:02)

      Side 3

      01. Fatal Predictions (5:27)
      02. The Malefice (4:23)
      03. Demoniac Possession (4:11)
      04. Demented (5:58)

      Side 4

      01. Profaner (6:11)
      02. Temple Of Perdition (6:30)
      03. Spell Of The Pentagram (6:36)

      Double CD digipak:

      Disc 1

      01. The Death Of Satan (5:22)
      02. La Fiura (4:28)
      03. The Apparition (6:03)
      04. Horror Vacui (4:08)
      05. Spontaneous Combustion (5:02)
      06. Grand Design (5:41)
      07. Sacrophobia (4:56)
      08. Arachnoids (4:22)
      09. King Pest (6:13)
      10. Prophetic Tremors (5:40)

      Disc 2

      01. Fatal Predictions (5:27)
      02. The Malefice (4:23)
      03. Demoniac Possession (4:11)
      04. Demented (5:58)
      05. Profaner (6:11)
      06. Temple Of Perdition (6:30)
      07. Spell Of The Pentagram (6:36)

      Jewel case CD:

      01. The Death Of Satan (5:22)
      02. La Fiura (4:28)
      03. The Apparition (6:03)
      04. Horror Vacui (4:08)
      05. Spontaneous Combustion (5:02)
      06. Grand Design (5:41)
      07. Sacrophobia (4:56)
      08. Arachnoids (4:22)
      09. Prophetic Tremors (5:40)

      The band faced a dilemma when deciding whether to re-record their legendary '80s material. Reisenegger commented: "We weren't sure if we should re-record the old demo songs; some people encouraged us to do so, others said we would ruin our own legacy. At first, we decided to re-record just a couple, but while we were at it, we were so pleased with the results we decided to do them all."

      "We obviously didn't want to base our first studio album on 25-year old songs," he continued, "as people have been — rightfully — accusing us of flogging that material to death already, so I think we found an elegant solution: The album's first edition will consist of two records, one of all-new material written during the last two years, and a second one of re-recorded songs from the '80s demos. The few friends who've been able to listen to the re-recorded material have been amazed at how we've been able to capture the vibe of the old material despite using modern recording technology. Hell, even the new stuff sounds like it came from that era!"

      While the PENTAGRAM drum throne was taken over by veteran Chilean drummer Juan Pablo Donoso (SADISM, EXECRATOR, THRONAFIRE) after original member Eduardo Topelberg left the band (he is now a local politician for the Ñuñoa district of Santiago), bass duties on the album were split between various musicians. Besides the band's touring bassists Juan Francisco Cueto and Daniel Biggin, the band also invited longtime friend Rodrigo "Pera" Cuadra of DORSO to record the bass on one song, as well as to re-do the evil laughter he originally contributed to the demo version of the track "The Malefice".

      Another bassist to guest on the album is Mauricio Peña, brother of original PENTAGRAM bassist Alfredo "Bey" Peña, who committed suicide in 1990. "It was really emotive to have Mauricio perform on the album. He looks a lot like his brother and is just as talented. In a way, it's like Alfredo is still with us in spirit."

      In addition, the track "La Fiura" will feature a scream provided by MORGOTH singer Marc Grewe. "The song is about this mythological creature from the South of Chile," Reisenegger explained, "which emits this really piercing, high-pitched scream that literally melts people's faces. When we were playing the Maryland Deathfest last year, MORGOTH were on while we were getting ready, and all of a sudden we heard this insane scream. We all looked at each other and said: 'That's it, that's La Fiura!!!' So we approached Marc and he immediately agreed."
      Ulterium Records has announced the signing of the Slovak melodic metal band SIGNUM REGIS.

      With their two previous albums, "The Eyes Of Power" (2010) and "Signum Regis" (2008), SIGNUM REGIS established themselves as highly respected band in the scene, especially with the diverse concept effort "The Eyes Of Power", which received great reviews from around the world. The singer on these two albums was Göran Edman, known for his work with Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum and many more.

      SIGNUM REGIS is currently putting the finishing touches on its new concept album entitled "Exodus", to be released later this year. Each track one the CD will feature a different singer, with Matt Smith (THEOCRACY), Michael Vescera (OBSESSION, ANIMETAL USA, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN), Thomas Winkler (GLORYHAMMER, EMERALD) and Göran Edman already confirmed to take part. More vocalists will be announced later on.
      Drummer Darren Smith of Canadian metallers WARMACHINE has been named the lead vocalist for JAKE E. LEE'S RED DRAGON CARTEL, the band led by former OZZY OSBOURNE and BADLANDS guitarist Jake E. Lee.

      JAKE E. LEE'S RED DRAGON CARTEL, which references the axeman's Japanese roots, also features Ronnie Mancuso (BEGGARS & THIEVES) on bass and Jonas Fairley (BLACK BETTY) on drums.

      Recorded at Las Vegas' The Hideout Studios — owned and operated by Kevin Churko (OZZY OSBOURNE, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, IN THIS MOMENT) — JAKE E. LEE'S RED DRAGON CARTEL's debut album will feature a combination of legendary rock artists and some of the biggest names of new metal. Already recorded are guest appearances by Robin Zander (CHEAP TRICK), Paul Di'Anno (IRON MAIDEN), Maria Brink (IN THIS MOMENT), with many other big names attached to the project.

      "Tales From The Stage Volume 1" author Michael Toney, who recently got a taste of some of the songs for the project, said: "The two new tracks that I have heard [from JAKE E. LEE'S RED DRAGON CARTEL] are very impressive, and are incredibly fresh sounding — but not really in the same family as [Jake's] work with BADLANDS or OZZY. It's still hard rock, but perhaps a bit more melodic."

      According to the All Music Guide, Lee helped Ozzy Osbourne score two of the most commercially successful releases of the singer's long and illustrious career — 1983's "Bark at the Moon" and 1986's "The Ultimate Sin". Lee eventually joined up with another former BLACK SABBATH singer (albeit briefly), Ray Gillen, and formed the LED ZEPPELIN/classic rock-esque outfit BADLANDS. Subsequently, Lee played briefly with a band called WICKED ALLIANCE before setting off on his own, issuing his solo debut, "A Fine Pink Mist", in August of 1996.

      Jake E. Lee's "covers" album, "Retraced", was released in the U.S. in April 2005 via Shrapnel Records. All the songs were recorded in a "power trio" format ala BADLANDS and the tracks for the project were cover songs along that style (bluesy power rock).
      The initial band lineup has been announced for ShipRocked 2014. The ultimate rock music cruise vacation onboard the Norwegian Pearl will depart from the Port Of Miami and will visit a private island in the Bahamas during the January 26-30, 2014 excursion.

      The initial band lineup for ShipRocked 2014 — fueled by Monster Energy — includes headliners FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, along with PAPA ROACH, THREE DAYS GRACE, DEVICE (featuring David Draiman), SEVENDUST, IN THIS MOMENT, CANDLEBOX, THE HALO METHOD, NONPOINT, ARANDA, YOUNG GUNS, CRASH KINGS, AMERICAN FANGS and ANDY WOOD & THE AMALGAM. Look for additional bands to be announced in the coming weeks.

      ShipRocked veterans SEVENDUST will treat fans to a rare acoustic performance. Drummer Morgan Rose explains: "SEVENDUST has played ShipRocked a number of times and it's become our favorite event to be a part of. This time around we're gonna add a little twist and do an acoustic show. We haven't done this in years and thought what better time to do it again, than with our friends on ShipRocked?

      "We are beyond excited to be a part of this amazing event and can't wait to see all you guys again!"

      Tickets for the ShipRocked 2014 experience go on sale Monday, July 1 at noon Eastern Time at ShipRocked.com.

      Each ShipRocked is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that provides guests with the opportunity to vacation with their favorite bands, meet new friends, and reunite with old friends year after year. On any given day, guests might find themselves dining, drinking, rocking out, swimming, working out, or gambling alongside their favorite rock stars. The full-ship charter provides a one-of-a-kind experience for guests to have the time of their life with thousands of like-minded friends.

      For the first time in 2014, ShipRocked will wash ashore on its own private island. Guests will spend two full days enjoying concerts and activities on a private beach on Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. The island features a large performance area on the beach with full production for rock shows and offers various island excursions such as parasailing, snorkeling, canoeing and more.

      2014 also marks a vessel change for ShipRocked. The January 26-30, 2014 ShipRocked voyage will be held onboard the Norwegian Pearl, which Frommer's calls one of the "most original mainstream megaships." The Pearl features luxurious accommodations, along with 16 delicious dining options, 13 bars and lounges, casino, spa, fitness center, a chic bowling alley, rock climbing wall, sports court, two pools, waterslides, hot tubs, and much more.

      As in the past, ShipRocked guests will enjoy multiple performances from every band on different stages throughout the ship, artist meet and greets, question-and-answer sessions, along with artist-hosted activities including contests, game shows, insane parties, theme nights and more.

      In other news, the first ShipRocked Summer Camp was held last weekend (June 14-16) at Club Getaway in Kent, Connecticut. ShipRocked alumni and newcomers gathered for this new mid-year ShipRocked land event which featured live performances from ShipRocked alumni 10 YEARS, POP EVIL and ANDY WOOD'S NORTH STAR BAND, and was hosted and emceed by SEVENDUST's Lajon Witherspoon.
      The first photo of DEVIL YOU KNOW — the new band featuring former KILLSWITCH ENGAGE singer Howard Jones, Francesco Artusato, celebrated solo artist and guitarist with ALL SHALL PERISH and THE FRANCESCO ARTUSATO PROJECT; and John Sankey, drummer for the Australian band DEVOLVED, who has also worked with FEAR FACTORY and DIVINE HERESY — can be seen below.

      In late 2011, after a three-year hiatus from recording, the KILLSWITCH ENGAGE bandmembers — including Howard — got together to discuss what would eventually become the Jones-less "Disarm The Descent" album.

      "lt was cool seeing everyone all together again." Howard told Metal Hammer magazine. "We shared some ideas, and I said. 'OK, see you guys tomorrow.' And I just never went back. Eventually, the guys were just, like, 'Dude, we're gonna have to move on.' Because more and more with me, it had just been a struggle. It too me a while, but I realized I just didn't want to do it anymore. And they said, 'Listen, it'll be fine.' And it was. They put out a great album."

      Early this year, Artusato and Sankey began writing songs together and needed a vocalist to bring them to life.

      "I knew the guys, but didn't really know them," Howard said. "They got in touch and asked if I wanted to throw down some vocals on this stuff, and I said, 'OK, let me take a listen to it,' and I was, like, 'Hmm, this is interesting. Why not? I didn't really expect it to even go this far, because, in all honesty, I wasn't sure if I was even going to do music again. But it seemed right, so I jumped right into it."

      He added: "It's fun to branch out and do some different stuff. I got to write a little more deep and a little more dark. It's been fascinating so far."

      DEVIL YOU KNOW is currently writing material for its debut album, which is expected out before the end of the year via an as-yet-undetermined record label.

      The first photo of Artusato and Sankey at a Los Angeles studio rehearsing for the upcoming CD can be seen below.

      As for the band's future plans, Howard said: "We're gonna put some clothes in a bag and head out on the road. It's been fun, so why not?"

      KILLSWITCH ENGAGE was rejoined by singer Jesse Leach early last year following the departure of Jones after nine years and three successful albums.

      KILLSWITCH ENGAGE bassist Mike D'Antonio told BostonGlobe.com that the band's split with Jones was necessitated by the singer's struggle with personal issues, including diabetes that had gone untreated for several years. "It became very apparent we had to move on without him," D'Antonio said. "Howard didn't quit."

      "Finding out you're diabetic is pretty dramatic," Jones told Metal Hammer of his surprise diagnosis last year, following dizzy spells and blackouts that led him to wake up in a hospital bed. "I just started feeling weird, and then I started getting really clumsy. I fell down some stairs and broke a finger, then fell down some other stairs and broke a toe. Then I collapsed. I was in a coma for three days. They basically told me I had the highest sugar level they'd ever seen. Afterwards, they told me I had a 50/50 chance of coming out with brain damage."
      Spanish extreme metallers NOCTEM have once again tapped Daniel Cardoso (ANATHEMA, ANGELUS APATRIDA, ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN) to produce their third album, to be released before the end of the year. The band will enter the studio in July to begin recording the follow-up to 2011's "Oblivion".

      Comments the band: "This is our most ambitious work to date.

      "The desire of the band is to enter the studio and see all the captured audio in all its intensity and potential.

      "This new album will be darker, faster and will contain more atmosphere, something we specially worked in to combine the aesthetic of the band and the compositions in all its glory."

      According to a press release, the second part of the trilogy that started with 2009's "Divinity", "Oblivion" was "the hardest, fastest and darkest opus from NOCTEM to date." The CD was a "logical progression of the last album, full of new nuances and based in a darker sound and a more complex composition."
      The cover artwork for "Incisions", the new album from Chicago extreme metallers OCEANO, can be seen below. The CD was recorded at Electrowerks Studio in Downers Grove, Illinois and will be released later this year on Earache Records in Europe, and via Century Media/Earache Records in the USA. The artwork was created by Ken Sarafin (THE BRIDAL PROCESSION, CATALEPSY).

      Comments OCEANO: "A while ago I came across a really awesome piece of artwork that was inspired by the band and also donned the band's logo as well. At the time, I wasn't aware who had painted it; upon further research, I found its origin and the artist who created it, Ken Sarafin.

      "Ken's been a fan of the band for quite some while, and everything in his portfolio is a masterpiece.

      "Seeing as this band is already big on coupling immense visual imagery in our album art with our music, Ken was a natural fit. He even went a little out of his norm and hand-painted the full cover art, then only digitally enhanced certain aspects.

      "We're very satisfied with the final product of this true piece of art and are happy the fans are just as stoked on it. The album itself will surely please the senses as much as Ken's work has."

      OCEANO has released an official lyric video for a brand new track, "Slow Murder", which is set to appear on "Incisions", giving fans a taste of the brutality to come. Check it out below.
      Hungarian black metallers SEAR BLISS started this year with a new lineup, as Zoltan Vigh from BORNHOLM replaced Csaba Csejtei on guitar due to Csaba's other commitments. Csaba is still a great friend of SEAR BLISS and will contribute to the new album too, but he is no longer an active member of the band. In addition, Csaba's brother Gyula replaced Oliver Zisko on drums. Oliver is no longer into playing metal music plus he has several other projects, therefore it became more and more difficult to arrange things with him. Regarding brass, there has also been a change, as the band's former long-time trombone player Zoltan Pal has now returned to SEAR BLISS.

      2013 is an important year for SEAR BLISS, this being the 20th anniversary of the band. It will be celebrated with a huge show in Budapest at the end of the year.

      Another important development is that SEAR BLISS has started writing songs for its upcoming album. It will be much differ from the previous effort, but as anyone who is familiar with SEAR BLISS knows, they never make the same record twice. However, the new songs reflect the atmosphere of the band's earlier, more epic, obscure era.

      In terms of live shows, SEAR BLISS will play at several European festivals in the summmer and more dates can be expected in autumn.
      Italian symphonic death metallers FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE will release their new album, "Labyrinth", on August 16 in Europe and August 20 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was mixed and mastered by Stefano "Saul" Morabito. The cover artwork was once again created by Colin Marks, who was also responsible for several neoclassical pieces of art in the massive inlay.

      Comments FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE's Francesco Paoli: "'Labyrinth' is going to be THE album for FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE. It's the perfect combination of all our strong points with the best production we've ever had. It's definitely the most FLESHGOD thing we've ever thought with the most FLESHGOD riffs, lyrics, melodies, drumparts, solos, etc. We went deep inside the core of this music, we broke it, and we finally unleashed these eleven songs.

      "I want to be honest, it needed so much work and time to come up with this, but now I'm like, 'OK, next time will be tough to reach this point!'

      "Honesty and quality pay, always, and all of you guys supporting the band DESERVE THE BEST.

      "You might think that i'm overrating it just because it's our 'child,' but trust me, this album is fuckin' dangerous. Just take your time, listen to it and get lost into the 'Labyrinth'."

      Added Tommaso Riccardi: "The concept of this album is based on the myth of the Labyrinth of Knossos and every character related to it. We focused on the philological aspect in order to represent all the elements of the classic world and, through a manic and meticolous research, we managed to create a metaphor with our times, as the maze can be associated with the endless search for what we really are. We're sure you will be stunned by this as much as we are."

      "Labyrinth" track listing:

      01. Kingborn
      02. Minotaur (The Wrath Of Poseidon)
      03. Elegy
      04. Towards The Sun
      05. Warpledge
      06. Pathfinder
      07. The Fall Of Asterion
      08. Prologue
      09. Epilogue
      10. Under Black Sails
      11. Labyrinth

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