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About Us

Welcome to Angelic Warlord- your Christian metal and hard rock resource!  Launched in the spring of 2006 with the purpose of supporting Christians creating art within the metal and hard rock genres, Angelic Warlord features an abundance of reviews, links, articles, interviews and news- all updated on a weekly basis.  If you enjoy all types of metal and hard rock - melodic hard rock, straightforward hard rock, melodic metal, classic metal, power metal, progressive metal and all things in between – that, at the same time, is backed by a positive and life changing message, then you have found a new home in Angelic Warlord.

Christian art is the expression of the whole life of the whole person as a Christian. What a Christian portrays in his art is the totality of life. Art is not to be solely a vehicle for some sort of self-conscious evangelism.

A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God. An art work can be a doxology in itself.

- Francis Schaeffer

Updates

UPCOMING REVIEWS

• ANTHEM - Cuttin’ Thru II: The Remix
• DYNASTY - Step By Step
• GUARDIAN - First Watch (Retroactive re-issue)
• MAX BLAM JAM - Blow Up Man
• REVOLUTION SAINTS - Light In The Dark

LATEST UPDATES

• FEATURED REVIEWS - February 18, 2018
• INTERVIEWS - February 18, 2018
• METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS - February 18, 2018
• RELEASE DATES - February 18, 2018

Visit Angelic Warlord on Facebook

Update: February 18, 2018

FEATURED REVIEWS

GALACTIC COWBOYS - Long Way Back To The Moon - NEW
No matter what sort of hard music enthusiast you are, some names you just know by instinct.  Such as Galactic Cowboys, a moniker evoking images of a band that owns a ‘ranch on mars’ and is willing to ‘pump up the space suite’ in order to put ‘space in your face’ while suggesting it is a ‘long way back to the moon’Read Full Review >>

 

CLEANZED SOUL - Cleanzed Soul
On one band, the group combines the at times heavy hitting guitars and others shuffling blues bass presence to Rez Band, but on others it can also touch upon a more melodic and commercially viable Aerosmith meets Guns N’ Roses type sound not unlike Bride.  Read Full Review >>

ENZO & THE GLORY ENSEMBLE - In The Name Of The Son
If a fan of the debut or enjoy ‘metal opera’ releases in general (or a fan of many of the guest performers) then by all means make In The Name Of The Son a priority purchase- you will not be disappointed.  Read Full Review >>

PASTOR BRAD - Highway 2 Heaven
The Highway 2 Heaven, third independently released parody covers album from Pastor Brad, verdict?  Aside from more, please?  Read Full Review >>

REVELATION - Spiritual Wind (Thrashback Records re-issue)
Revelation was one of the best-kept secrets of the eighties ‘white metal’ scene.  Read Full Review >>

INTERVIEWS

Dale Thompson promo pic

New Dale Thompson Interview Online:
In a recent online interview with Metal Mofos, iconic BRIDE front man Dale Thompson offers his thoughts in regards to the Christian Music industry, the musical background to BRIDE and his new bands THE WORLD WILL BURN & PERPETUAL PARANOIA.  Following is an excerpt:

What can you tell me about Christian Music as an industry? There are artists out there who want nothing to do with industry, and I’ve heard from artists who have really gotten burned by Christian record labels which makes the labels seem quite un-Christian. How is Christian music marketed differently than mainstream music? How many sales does it take to make a successful album in the Christian market?
I do not even try to approach the larger labels because to them bands like Bride are not relevant. I have been signed to larger labels only to be miserably disappointed in the outcome. I still have a bitter taste in my mouth because at no time do I feel these labels were totally honest with the artist and they were always looking ahead for something better and more promising for their labels. Since not a single record label has ever supplied sales figures to Bride I have no idea how many albums it takes to actually be considered successful as a recording artist.

Read the full interview: HERE

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Chaotic Resemblance promo pic

New Album Update From CHAOTIC RESEMBLANCE:
Glam metal act CHAOTIC RESEMBLANCE has returned to Las Vegas to complete the recording process of its new album, untitled at the time of its writing.  As with its 2014 debut full length Get The Hell Out, guitarist Oz Fox (STRYPER) will be handling production duties.  Tony Palacios is slated mix the album.  Guest appearances include Josiah Prince (DISCIPLE), co-writing and co-producing one song, and vocalist Les Carlson (BLOODGOOD), fronting one of the albums tracks as well.

As noted by the Poteua, Oklahoma based group:

“This album is packed with hard rocking, foot stomping, mosh pitting, double kick, rat-tat-tatting, face melting rock n’ roll.  We also have a few rhythm driving, guitar chugging, mid-tempo songs that we know you’re going to love.  There is also a few melodic gems that will blow you away.  If VAN HALEN can have keyboards on a few songs, CHAOTIC RESEMBLENACE can too.  Every band needs to have a ballad and ours is a worship song to Jesus the King.”

CHAOTIC RESEMBLANCE, drawing its moniker from Isaiah 40:18 (To whom then will ye liken God? Or what likeness will you compare unto him?), believes that “No matter how good of Christians we are, we would never be more than a ‘chaotic resemblance’ of Christ”.  Hence, the bands motives to “shine the light of Jesus to a hurting world” and corresponding willingness as “sold out Christians devoted to Jesus” to “play anywhere from a bar to a church”.  The groups press material sums things up best: “Today's world is full of so much hate, lies & deceit. We offer love and hope through rock 'n roll.”

The 80& Angelic Warlord review described Get The Hell Out as a ‘youthful and energetic joining of hair, glam and melodic metal’ with ‘strong doses of late eighties Sunset Strip influenced hard rock’.  CHAOTIC RESEMBLANCE got its start with EP releases in 2012 and 2013, Chaotic Resemblance and Battle Lines, respectively.

To participate in the CHAOTIC RESEMBLANCE new album GoFundMe crowd funding campaign please visit the following link: www.gofundme.com/chaoticresemblance

CHAOTIC RESEMBLANCE online: www.chaoticresemblance.com & www.facebook.com/ChaoticResemblance

DENY THE FALLEN, New Band To Feature Rey Parra:
According to the legendary SACRED WARRIOR front man (Facebook - February 10, 2018), “(DENY THE FALLEN) is a band that (guitarist) Jonathan 'Jon' Johnson and I have been writing songs (for a new album) for a while now. The vocals are a real stretch for me but its something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. So that being said, I am happy to announce that we have put out a video (for the song “Murder Machine”). This video has many graphic images on it and it is sure to make many uncomfortable but the subject portrayed is something that really can change the lives of many people.”

Jonathan Johnson, whom was part of the SACRED WARRIOR line up at the time it recorded its fourth album, Obsessions, from 1991, offers further details in regards to DENY THE FALLEN and its upcoming debut album (Facebook - February 12, 2018):

“Our debut album titled Symptoms of Eternity will be released in May/June. Our goal was to make a record that was powerful from beginning to end, both musically and lyrically. Some of the song titles are “Symptoms Of Eternity”, “Hands For War”, “Oblivion”, “Shelter”, “Rise”, “Mortem Amici”, “Predator”, “Overthrown”, “Death Rattle” and “Murder Machine” just to name a few. We wanted to develop a modern metal sound that incorporates all aspects and era's of metal. A powerful modern production and sound that pays homage to all era's and styles of metal. It doesn't sound "old school metal" as well as it doesn't sound "Nu metal". It's something else both classic and modern. It is Heavy Metal.”

Rounding out the DENY THE FALLEN line up is bassist Erik Kyr and drummer Josh Johnson.

Parra further notes that he has returned to SACRED WARRIOR, whom are also at work on a new album.  Eli Prinsen fronted the fifth SACRED WARRIOR full length Waiting In Darkness released five years ago.  Along similar lines, Parra’s other band, WORDVIEW, are at work on a new album in follow up to its 2015 debut The Chosen Few.

DENY THE FALLEN online: www.facebook.com/Denythefallenband

Pastor Brad - Highway 2 Heaven

Roxx Records To Release Latest PASTOR BRAD Parody CD, Highway 2 Heaven:
Release Date: March 9, 2018

Roxx Records loves PASTOR BRAD, and after several great collaborations in the past, we are doing another one! We are excited to offer you a VERY limited edition CD pressing of the latest and greatest ‘parody’ album from PASTOR BRAD, Highway 2 Heaven.

Highway 2 Heaven is the latest offering from the artists, whom reworks some of your favorite classic hard rock and metal tracks into some newly designed masterpieces with a Christian theme.

This will be a truly limited ONE TIME pressing of only 100 CD’s, each hand numbered and distributed first come and first serve. Get your order in early for a lower number, and once again this is a limited edition CD packaged in a 2 panel cardboard sleeve.

Highway 2 Heaven track listing:

1. “Highway To Heaven” (“Highway To Hell”, AC/DC)      
2. “We Will Fight” (“Neon Knights”, BLACK SABBATH)   
3. “Obey Your Commands” (“Too Much Time On My Hands”, STYX)       
4. “Savior From Heaven” (“Stairway To Heaven”, LED ZEPPELIN)           
5. “Orchestra Of Revolution” (“Symphony Of Destruction”, MEGADETH)
6. “Help Me Jesus” (“Hold On Loosely”, 38 SPECIAL)    
7. “So Grateful You Love Me” (“Don't Tell Me You Love Me”, NIGHT RANGER)   
8. “Can't Live” (“Can't Live Without You”, SCORPIONS)  
9. “Father's Will” (“Looks That Kill”, MOTLEY CRUE)      
10. “Lift Him Up” (“Lick It Up”, KISS)

Highway 2 Heaven pre-order: http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/products/23261163-pastor-brad-highway-2-heaven-2018-cd

PASTOR BRAD online: www.guitarjams.net & www.facebook.com/pastorbradrocks

Prodigal & Loyd Boldman re-issues - Retroactive Records

Retroactive Records Announce PRODIGAL & LOYD BOLDMAN CD Re-issues:
Press Release / RETROACTIVE RECORDS is thrilled to announce that in the first half of 2018 we will be reissuing on CD all three PRODIGAL albums, Prodigal (1982), Electric Eye (1984) and Just Like Real Life (1985) in addition to the cassette only 1988 solo album of PRODIGAL vocalist Loyd Boldman, Sleep Without Dreams (1988).  While the three PRODIGAL releases fit firmly in the progressive rock genre along the lines of KANSAS with the melodic rock sensibilities of YES and GENESIS, the Loyd Boldman album is high quality progressive rock in the vein of TONIO K, ROBERT VAUGHN, VECTOR and STEVE SCOTT!  Be sure to check your e-mail for the announcement of pre-orders at Boone's Overstock very soon!  

The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music says, "PRODIGAL was in tune with the sounds and spirit of the early ‘80's... while writing songs that expanded the boundaries of the worship and evangelism fare that typified contemporary Christian music at the time." PRODIGAL’s self-titled debut album was named Album of the Year in 1982 by Group magazine (along with AMY GRANT’s Age to Age and PETRA’s More Power to Ya).

Electric Eye, the group’s second album, received Best of the Year honors in 1984 by both Contemporary Christian Music magazine (CCM) and Campus Life magazine. The album also received national attention for a unique promotional idea: a computer program for a Commodore 64 was mastered into a "stop-groove" at the end of the vinyl record, the first time this had ever been done. The program, if copied to a cassette tape could be loaded via cassette drive into a C-64 computer to reveal graphics, lyrics and a message from the band. The video for the song, "Boxes" (written by Workman and directed by Boldman), won the very first Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Award for music videos ("Best Visual Song"). The music video for the song "Fast Forward" was named Video of the Year by the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers (now the Alliance for Community Media).

The Christian Music Archive said of the band's third album, Just Like Real Life: "This is an excellent album by one of the early new wave/rock hybrid bands of the early to mid-eighties, using equal parts keyboards and rock guitar. Sadly, the band didn't get the recognition they so richly deserved, as this was a cut above most Christian albums of the time with instantly memorable songs and lyrics so intelligently written as to be in a class of their own. If they had been a secular band, they would have been early MTV stars. An essential album."

PRODIGAL line up:

Loyd Boldman - Lead Vocals & Keyboards
Rick Fields - Guitars
Mike Wilson - Bass
Dave Workman - Drums & Guitars

Retroactive Records online: https://boonesoverstock.com

NEWS BRIEFS

* Rob Rock update regarding new IMPELLITTERI album (Facebook - February 6, 2018):

"I go into the studio next week to start vocal recordings here in Florida with Sean Shannon engineering, for the new IMPELLITTERI album titled The Nature O The Beast.  The album will be released this spring on Victor Entertainment and Frontiers Records worldwide".

* Roxx Records to re-issue debut RED SEA album, Blood (Facebook - February 15, 2018):

“We are very excited to announce our latest signing, please join us in welcoming none other then classic Christian rockers RED SEA to the Roxx Records family! We will be releasing a special limited edition re-mastered reissue of the album Blood, which is scheduled to be released on vinyl and CD just in time for this years holiday season!”

* Update from Roxx Records in regards to upcoming SOLDIER Babylon re-release (February 13, 2018):

“Hailing from the beautiful Bay area of Northern California, we bring you Christian rockers SOLDIER with their amazing debut album Babylon, (which is) being pressed on vinyl for the very first time ever!  A few details on the release: the vinyl will be white in color and a hand numbered edition of only 150 pieces. The CD version will be a full three disc set (2 CD / 1 DVD) featuring many never before released tracks! Much more coming soon on this one.”

Visit the Roxx Records Facebook page to view the Babyloncover art: www.facebook.com/RoxxRecords777

 

Update: February 11, 2018

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

STRYPER Announce New Album, God Damn Evil, Premier “Take It To The Cross” Lyric Video:
Press Release / Iconic rock band STRYPER will celebrate their 35th anniversary with the upcoming release of their 10th studio album, God Damn Evil, due April 20, 2018 from Frontiers Music SRL. Produced by frontman Michael Sweet, the band returns with their most powerful album to date, doubling down on the hard rock/heavy metal sound that earned them a worldwide fan base.

God Damn Evil is available now for pre-order at all major retailers including Amazon and iTunes. Limited edition pre-order offers are also available (see below).

Fans were initially introduced to the new album title and cover art via a social media post on February 5th, which quickly went viral causing a significant amount of conversation from STRYPER fans.

“We thought long and hard about this title,” says Michael in response to thousands of fan comments. “It was actually considered quite a few years ago and it just didn't feel like the right time. Now, with all the evil in the world that we see around us on a daily basis, it made perfect sense. It's a very bold statement yet a prayer asking God to damn/condemn evil. Nothing more, nothing less."

God Damn Evil is the first release since the recent addition of bass player Perry Richardson, who joins original members Michael Sweet (vocals and guitar), Robert Sweet (drums) and Oz Fox (guitar). Perry is best known as a founding member of the multi-platinum band FIREHOUSE.

STRYPER fans are getting their first look into the upcoming album with today’s release of the epic lyric video for the song, "Take It To The Cross”.

“’Take It To The Cross’ is our answer to many fans asking us to do something a little heavier and even bordering on thrash,” says Michael. “The verses are heavy with a vocal and lyric delivery that's bold and relevant yet the chorus kicks in with a fast, thrashy vibe. We brought in Matt Blanchard (ACT OF DEFIANE, SHADOWS FALL) to handle the vocal growl on the choruses and the end vamp. This song is 100% high octane.”

"Take It To The Cross" can be streamed at Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Those links available HERE: http://radi.al/GodDamnEvil

Rocking since 1984, STRYPER is responsible for such classic '80s metal albums as Soldiers Under Command, To Hell with the Devil and In God We Trust. In fact, STRYPER is the first band to ever have two songs in MTV’s Top 10 simultaneously with their hits “Free” and “Honestly.” After a sabbatical for much of the 1990's, STRYPER returned strong in the early 21st century. To date, the Dove Award-winning and GRAMMY-nominated band has sold over 10 million records worldwide.

God Damn Evil is the follow-up to STRYPER’s ninth studio album, Fallen (Frontiers Music SRL), which released in 2015 and debuted at the top of the Billboard charts. 2016’s 30th Anniversary To Hell With The Devil Tour saw record crowds and featured the band’s largest sound and lighting production in nearly two decades. 

STRYPER will return to the road this year, kicking off the God Damn Evil World Tour at the at the Frontiers Rock Festival in Milan, Italy on April 28th. Tour dates will be posted as confirmed at: www.stryper.com/Tour/tour.html

“We all see and hear the darkness that surrounds us in our society but with faith and love, we'll always have hope,” says Michael. “That's what STRYPER is all about - powerful music and a message that builds foundations, not walls. We couldn't be more excited about God Damn Evil as it showcases our undying love for what we do and why we do it.”

God Damn Evil track listing:

1. “Take It To The Cross”
2. “Sorry”
3. “Lost”
4. “God Damn Evil”
5. “You Don't Even Know Me”
6. “The Valley”
7. “Sea Of Thieves”
8. “Beautiful”
9. “Can't Live Without Your Love”
10. “Own Up”
11. “The Devil Doesn't Live Here”

Stryper - God Damn Evil

God Damn Evil Limited Edition Pre-Order Offers:

Stryper Webstore: Includes EXCLUSIVE yellow colored vinyl (limited to 100 copies worldwide), autographed vinyl test pressings, EXCLUSIVE t-shirt design (Stryper store ONLY), autographed CDs and more! Pre-order HERE: https://stores.portmerch.com/stryper

Frontiers U.S. Webstore: Includes EXCLUSIVE gold colored vinyl (limited to 100 copies worldwide), autographed vinyl test pressings, EXCLUSIVE t-shirt design (Frontiers store ONLY), autographed CDs and more! Pre-order HERE: http://pmusic.co/34WWZE

Frontiers EU Webstore: Includes EXCLUSIVE silver colored vinyl (limited to 100 copies worldwide) and more! Pre-order HERE: http://bit.ly/2nSs5ey

STRYPER online: www.stryper.com & www.facebook.com/Stryper

Perpetual Paranoia - Perpetual Paranoia

PERPETUAL PARANOIA Sign With Rottweiler Records For Self-Titled Debut:
Press Release / Everyone please welcome PERPETUAL PARANOIA to the Rottweiler Records Pack!

The name PERPETUAL PARANOIA lends itself to the thought of ongoing fear. It has an implication of something never-ending, yet something to be cautious of, maybe even to avoid. Perhaps, it is something to run from. However, the name PERPETUAL PARANOIA belongs to a musical entity that is the brainchild of two very distinct and unique talents in the metal world. Most definitely not something to run from, but something to take heed of!

In 2017 singer/songwriter, Dale Thompson, vocalist of iconic Christian metal band BRIDE along with NO OTHER GOD and THE WORLD WILL BURN, and flash-fingered guitarist/composer of Bay Area thrash band HAND OF FIRE, Tiago James de Souza met online. Thompson in New Zealand and Souza in California seems on the surface to be a pretty major obstacle to overcome. Yet, these two veteran metal musicians easily bridged the chasm of Pacific Ocean waters to begin composing a perfect blend of thrash, metal and hard rock in their respected countries. Both Thompson and Souza brought their ideas and talents together without ever meeting or rehearsing in the same room.

PERPETUAL PARANOIA was formed out of a blueprint of raw energy, superbly crafted with enough heaviness and edge to cut through the mire of formulated corporate metal that has recently sprung up. Powerful lyrics and vocal acrobatics expertly supplied by Thompson coupled with tasteful, yet unnerving guitar perfection and song writing of Souza has fueled 12 songs of massive power, frantic passion and devastating aggression.

After 30 years of world tours, Thompson has exclusively gone into studio recordings. Souza is currently still touring as the sole ax-wielder for HAND OF FIRE. The physical distance between the two is most definitely a non-issue. The combination of their collective talents has birthed an original blend of heaviness that does not disappoint.

Now, signed to Rottweiler Records, PERPETUAL PARANOIA is set to unleash caustic, hard-hitting metal offering that will shake the hardest metal fan to their core. Ongoing fear? Be afraid. Be very afraid!

A sample of the first single from PERPETUAL PARANOIA can be streamed at: https://noisetrade.com/perpetualparanoia/the-reapers-single

Rottweiler Records online: http://rottweilerrecords.com & www.facebook.com/RottweilerRecords

PERPETUAL PARANOIA online: www.facebook.com/PerpetualParanoia

Anthem - Cuttin' Thru II: The Remix

ANTHEM, Cuttin’ Thru II: The Remix Details Revealed:
Better known as The ROCK Band, ANTHEM took the early eighties Christian hard music scene by storm with the 1982 release of its Tunesmith Records debut full length Cuttin’ Thru.  The group gained renown for the powerful vocals of Mary Pinkley, whom was joined by guitarists Doug Cordell and Mike Manthei, drummer Gene Grammatico, keyboardist Freddie Andrade and bassist Kent Vander Weide.

After thirty-five years, ANTHEM is remembered as a sub-genre of Christian hard music that includes contemporaries Resurrection Band in addition to Tunesmith label mates Servant, Stronghold, Barnabas and Amaziah.

In 1999, Cuttin’ Thru was remixed and digitally re-mastered by the band and re-released under the new title Cuttin’ Thru II: The Remix.  Further details from the ANTHEM press material:

“What force draws three forty-something friends back together after a fifteen year absence to work on a musical project nearly twenty years old? Senility? Too much time on our hands? The truth is, it's the feeling we'd left something undone when our first project was released and we never had the ability to do anything about it. Until 1999.

“Offered here is the remix of ANTHEM's Christian Rock LP, originally recorded in 1982.  Digitally re-mastered in 1999, it brings the full force of ANTHEM's driving rhythms, guitar riffs and those powerful vocals front and center.”

Cuttin’ Thru II: The Remix has again been made available by the band in early 2018 via eBay: www.ebay.com/itm/CD-Anthem-Cuttin-Thru-Remix-1980s-Christian-Rock-Band-Rare-New-Sealed

Vinyl copies are for sale as well: www.ebay.com/itm/LP-Anthem-Cuttin-Thru-1980s-Christian-Rock-Rare-NEW-Sealed-Out-of-Print

Musically, one reviewer that described the band as ‘classic rock, with some good 70’s riffs but also heavy on the keyboards at times and has elements of the early 80’s new wave sound’ has the right idea.

Editors Note: Where I have to take exception with said reviewer is when he suggests, ‘Even Jesus couldn’t have saved this album from its sales bin fate.’  Really?  I would like to think Cuttin’ Thru is worth a bit more respect than that.  Look for a review online in the near future for my take on things…

BTW, if you happen to stumble across a vinyl copy of Cuttin’ Thru in the ‘sales bin’ then make it a priority purchase in that it is worth a pretty penny.

ANTHEM is reportedly at work on its sophomore album, which it started work on in 1985 but never completed.

Cuttin’ Thru: The Remix track listing:

1. “Spiritual Warfare”
2. “On Your Knees”
3. “Winners”
4. “Cuttin' Thru'”
5. “Word”
6. “Cheap Thrill”
7. “Free You”
8. “Morning Star”
9. “Doctor”
10. “Don't Be Decieved”

Anthem - Cuttin' Thru

ANTHEM online: www.facebook.com/groups/Anthem

NEWS BRIEFS

* Update from IMAGES OF EDEN vocalist Gordon Tittsworth regarding upcoming album Soulrise (Facebook - February 8, 2018):

“We have been getting many inquiries about the release date for Soulrise so I wanted to send out an update as to where things stand right now to keep everyone in the loop.

“The good news is that there is a lot of activity behind the scenes.  We have already been in communication with several labels at the moment and also have several well-respected industry veterans also reaching out to more labels on our behalf. We hope to have much more concrete info in the next month or two.  As always, we will keep you updated with any/all progress, but things are looking good so far based on current events.”

* LORDCHAIN has made all its albums available for download at its Bandcamp page: https://lordchain.bandcamp.com

As noted by the group (Facebook – February 7, 2018):

“The entire LORDCHAIN discography is now available for digital download on our Bandcamp page. Bonus tracks have been added to Cracked (2002), Soulever (2004), Looking Past the Moment (2006) & Finding Balance (2007). This is a Bandcamp exclusive. You can only find these demos and unreleased tracks here.”

* “Galaxias”, new instrumental hard rock track from Kevin Windross: https://kevinwindross.bandcamp.com/track/galaxias

 

Update: February 4, 2018

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

I apologize for the lack of news updates the past couple weeks but the fact of the matter is that there has not been much in the way of new news in which to report.  No news might be good news but not for the hard music scene!  That said do not be lulled into a false sense of security either in that a LOT of good metal and hard rock albums are set to come out in 2018.

STRYPER, in particular, will be releasing its (as of yet to be titled) new album in late April.  The group was recently in Las Vegas shooting a music video in which front man Michael Sweet offers his thoughts (Facebook - January 31, 2018):

“Well, we wrapped the band portions of the videos today and I have to say that we couldn't be more excited! We had fun, we laughed, we had chemistry and because of that we created something really special. The videos absolutely rule and we haven't even seen them yet!

“The songs are powerful and it was amazing getting to know Perry (Richardson, bassist) & Shelly and spending time with them. They're such good people and we're truly blessed to have them in our band and in our lives.  Tomorrow we're doing another photo shoot with the one and only Alex Solca and we've already got some killer shots from today's video shoot!”

An e-mail update from LEAH (January 28, 2017) provides further details in regards to her (also untitled) new album:

“I'm very excited to tell you that mixing for the new album is about to begin with Jacob Hansen (look him up to see the awesome roster of artists he's mixed). Later this spring we will definitely do a crowd funding campaign, and provide you with the opportunity to be part of this album and of course get some awesome supporter perks!”

IMPELLITTERI revealed the title to its new album, The Nature Of The Beast, in which it recently entered the studio to begin work on.  Additional details (including studio footage) at the Facebook page of vocalist Rob Rock: www.facebook.com/robrockofficial

2018 is actually shaping up to be quite the prolific year when also factoring upcoming releases from SARDONYX (Sons Of The Kingdom), IMAGES OF EDEN (Soulrise) and Jimmy P. Brown’s ERASUREHEAD solo album.  Vocalist Dale Thompson has also remained busy in light of new albums from BRIDE (Snake Eyes) in addition to those from his other projects NO OTHER GOD, PERPETUAL PARANOIA and THE WORLD WILL BURN.

According to Thompson (Facebook - January 31, 2018), Snake Eyes is “being mixed and mastered in Brazil by Nenel Lucena, whom also contributed some bass and guitar to the album. Retroactive Records with Matthew Hunt will be doing the (Snake Eyes) distribution”.

If that is not enough, things remain busy on the re-issue front when factoring re-releases from Retroactive Records (DANIEL BAND, JERUSALEM & PRODIGAL) and Roxx Records (CRYSTAVOX, PHILADELPHIA & SOLDIER).  Guitarist Joshua Perahia also has a re-issue of the 1988 release of his band JOSHUA, Intense Defense, in the works.

NEWS BRIEFS

* AFFECTOR recently released a new single via iTunes, “Maranatha”: https://itunes.apple.com/de/album/maranatha-single/1338592845?l=en

* ”If Not You”, official video from ENZO & THE GLORY ENSEMBLE: www.youtube.com/watch?v=94bRMJVMuEQ

The song, which comes off the groups fall of 2017 sophomore album In The Name Of The Son, is a gospel hymn dedicated to the human need of believing in something permanent.

* Preview of new EVANS & STOKES album, Valley Of The Kings: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpwmusYoMbQ

* Retroactive Records secured the rights to re-release all three PRODIGAL albums, Prodigal (1982), Electric Eye (1984) and Just Like Real Life (1985), in April of this year.  Further details as they become available.

ARTIST COMMENTARY

Whitecross - In The Kingdom

Guitarist Rex Carroll In Regards To The Title Track To The Fourth WHITECROSS Album, In The Kingdom:
As taken from a Facebook post on January 30, 2018:

In 1990, Star Song Records wanted to get a hit song for WHITECROSS, (which) in their eyes meant “softening” the sound of the band to make it more palatable to CCM radio. So my friend and our A&R man Dez Dickerson calls me up and says he’s got a song we need to look at. As many of you may know, I’m hyper-protective of our songs, they are all like my children or something and my first impulse is usually somewhere along the line of, “I’m not going to be interested in YOUR song for MY band”.  I think Dez knew this, so he actually came over to my house to play it for me. I live north of Chicago; Dez lives in Nashville. That’s about 8 hours by car. The ultimate sales job…but everybody including myself, Dez, and the record label, knew that’s what it was going to take. I think they had a secret meeting at Star Song headquarters in Nashville: “who’s going to confront that evil villain Darth Rex? Dez, this mission has been appointed to you- here’s an extra light saber, and may the force be with you…oh and don’t worry, we’ll bill the entire cost of your trip to their recoupment account”.

Needless to say, Darth Rex was NOT HAPPY about the sales call err, excuse me, ahem the “A & R meeting” that took place in my kitchen.  I think I was looking for the launch codes to the death star when Dez rolled into my driveway. So I had to get out the boom box so he could play the cassette tape (ask your grandparents) of this new song he had written called “In The Kingdom”. I was actually trying to be open-minded about it, but seriously, I just couldn’t hear it. Finally, in the very last minute of the song it went to a key change up and with the higher pitch, I was able to actually comprehend the song, although it still felt like a HUGE stretch for WHITECROSS. In fact, Scotty (Wenzel, vocals) couldn’t even sing it where it was written, so we agreed to move the entire song up one whole step from the original key.

In the studio, I went to start tracking the acoustic guitar part. After 15 minutes, it wasn’t working. At that point, our producer Simon Hanhart suggested I try a thin pick, and sure enough that did the trick. See? I learned something there so in fact, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

On previous albums, we had some keyboards here and there, but for this album, we received a recommendation on a Chicago keyboardist named Chris Cameron that none of us knew anything about. To this day I’ve never seen anything like Chris.  We scheduled him for a 4 pm start, which meant that his cartage company rolled up at 2 pm, in a 20-foot truck! The guy in the truck rolls out a full sized Hammond B-3 organ, and a rack to go with it full of Marshall amps, analog equalizers, and guitar pedals. Then there’s the 6’ ginormous full-sized Leslie speaker. Then he sets up 2 banks of analog synthesizers and various keyboards, with racks of outboard gear that Keith Emerson would have been proud of (again, ask your granddad).  Finally at 4 pm Chris waltzes in the door with a casual “hey guys, whassup?” And then he proceeds to blow the roof off with glorious gospel B-3 licks and amazing synthesizer tracks, Fender Rhodes electric pianos, and all kinds of keyboards. I do believe that Chris became our “5th Beatle” and heavily influenced the sound of the entire record.

Eventually it was time to add the “Gospel Choir” to the chorus. Once again, nobody knew anybody so we made a blind call to the musician’s union. They gave us two names. The first girl says on the phone, “I’ll do it but I want union scale!” This threw us all into a panic because nobody knew the going rate for “union scale” wages, including the girl! It was late in the day, nobody was answering the phone at the musician’s union, so we just agreed to it. The second girl answers her phone and says “How much is the first girl getting? Oh, well if she’s getting union scale, then I want the same thing!”  So we’ve all agreed to a price but nobody knows what it is….

They came in around 7 pm the next day and our producer Simon starts working them. Layer after layer after layer of vocals.  After about 4 or 5 hours it was sounding HUGE and PHAT so I left. Later on we added some male vocals. Besides Scotty, there was Dez Dickerson, Glen Kaiser, Steve Watkins and Ray Perra from SACRED WARRIOR, and possibly Michael Feighan who had just joined the band. I don’t remember if there was anybody else. So now we’re doing very un-WHITECROSS type things, with vocals and keyboards and acoustic guitars, very, very different, on a song nobody in the band wrote!

Ron Luce from Teen Mania youth missions got an advance copy of it, and he flipped for the song. In fact, he decided to use it for the next year and a half to promote Teen Mania. Also, he brought us down to Nicaragua to make a promo video for it; the video was 50% music video, and 100% Teen Mania promotion. Slightly odd, but nevertheless it worked big time and thus “In The Kingdom” became our most well-known song. One time a guy called long distance from Australia.  I pick up my phone at about 11 pm, and the voice on the other end is actually shocked because somehow, he got through to my house. So then he says “what’s the chords to “In The Kingdom”, mate?” and I”m like, you called all the way from fricking Australia to ask me about a song that has only FOUR CHORDS?

Therefore, “In The Kingdom” actually PROVES the following joke, which goes:

Q: What’s the difference between a rock guitar player and a jazz guitar player?
A: The jazz guitar player plays 10,000 chords, to 4 people

 

Update: January 21, 2018

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Deliverance - The Subversive Kind

DELIVERANCE Returns To Unleash The Subversive Kind:
Press Release / DELIVERANCE are pleased to announce they are working with Roxx Records and 3 Frogz Records, to officially release their brand new album, The Subversive Kind on February 23rd, 2018.

Hailing from Los Angeles, the band is comprised of members Jimmy Brown (founding member, lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Glenn Rogers (original member, lead/rhythm guitar), Victor Macias (formerly of TOURNIQUET, bass), and Jim Chaffin (formerly of THE CRUCIFIED drums), with guest lead guitar work by Greg Minier.

"After so many years touring and recording I was honored to be asked back in DELIVERANCE,” says Rogers. "We have unfinished business, and with The Subversive Kind coming out I hope the fans will rediscover what Big D is all about." 

The Subversive Kind is a true return to form for these Christian thrash pioneers, boosting 8 brand new tracks that truly bring the thrash back. Bill Bafford of Roxx Records had this to say about the new partnership - “We are very excited to once again be partnering with 3 Frogz, Jimmy Brown and DELIVERANCE to bring you this awesome new thrash release. The fans that have been requesting a 'Weapons part 2’ will be ecstatic with this new release."

And the results speak for themselves, as evidenced by the newly unveiled lyric video for one of the album’s standout tracks, “The Black Hand”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqxBqHt-jg4

“’The Black Hand’ was one of the first tunes Jimmy and I hashed out together,” says Chaffin. “His articulation of what a panic attack feels like was spot on. Mental illness is a major problem in our country and I’m stoked to be able to give people some hope through music.”

“Anxiety has not only been a hot button issue, but a condition that is still being studied to understand,” adds Brown. “’The Black Hand’ is a vivid description of vitals, and emotions experienced in part by a person when going through such an experience.”

Lastly, Brown says he couldn’t be happier with the band’s current line-up. “After 33 years, the band has evolved and morphed throughout, but has returned to the roots of why we started doing this years ago! The current lineup is a dream come true for me, and we can’t wait to bring it live.”

The Subversive Kind track listing:

CD version:

1. “Bring ‘Em Down”
2. “Concept Of The Other”
3. “Center Of It All”
4. “The Black Hand”
5. ”Epilogue”
6. “Listen Closely”
7. “The Subversive Kind”
8. “The Fold”

Vinyl version:

Side A:
1. “Bring 'Em Down”
2. “Concept of the Other”
3. “Center Of Tt All”
4. “The Black Hand”

Side B:
5. “Epilogue”
6. “Listen Closely”
7. “The Subversive Kind”
8. “The Fold”

The Subversive Kind pre-order:

Red vinyl (limited to 150 copies): http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/collections/1594658-deliverance/products/22925448-deliverance-the-subversive-kind-lp-red-2018

Black vinyl (limited to 200 copies): http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/collections/1594658-deliverance/products/22925406-deliverance-the-subversive-kind-lp-black-2018

CD version: http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/collections/1594658-deliverance/products/22925331-deliverance-the-subversive-kind-cd-2018

DELIVERANCE online: www.facebook.com/DeliveranceRocks

Millennial Reign promo pic

MILLENNIAL REIGN Announce New Vocalist, Travis Wills:
MILLENNIAL REIGN announce the departure of their former vocalist, James Guest. James owns a commercial construction business and spends many hours a week on the road. There simply wasn't enough time to continue writing and recording vocals, plus touring shows. We wish him much success with his business.

MILLENNIAL REIGN has welcomed a brand new vocalist to their ranks. Travis Wills, who has a long-standing history in the DFW metal scene and best known for his latest project INFIDEL RISING.

Travis had the following to say: “I'm very happy to be working with MILLENNIAL REIGN and the Ulterium Records label. It began with collaborating on keyboard tracks for the new album. When James decided to leave, they asked if I was interested in doing vocals and of course I said yes. It's a privilege to work with such a great group of guys I've known well over ten years.”

MILLENNIAL REIGN issued the following statement: “We are extremely happy to have Travis come on board. His vocal style and writing fits the new material perfectly. We look forward to seeing you all on the road in 2018.”

MILLENNIAL REIGN live schedule:

March 10: BFE Rock Club - Houston, TX
March 16: Renos Chop Shop - Dallas, TX
March 29-31: Exodo Fest - Tlaxcala, Mexico
June 1: Gas Monkey Live - Dallas, TX (with STRYPER)
June 18: Trees - Dallas, TX (with HAMMERFALL)

MILLENNIAL REIGN line up:

Travis Wills - Vocals (INFIDEL RISING)
Dave Harvey - Guitar (ASKA, PHANTOM-X)
Neil Bertrand - Bass (WHEN ANGELS DIE)
Steve Nichols - Drums (SOLITUDE AETURNUS, SCRAP IRON)

MILLENNIAL REIGN online: www.facebook.com/millennialreign

NEWS BRIEFS

* Live footage of MESSIAH PROPHET performing “The Friend” and “Heavy Metal Thunder”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzbO4qCig4Y & www.youtube.com/watch?v=so4eEVxtaf8

* SARDONYX update in regards to upcoming album, Sons Of The Kingdom: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR4eTITrKLU

 

Update: January 15, 2018

FEATURED REVIEWS

BARNABAS - Feel The Fire (Retroactive re-issue)
At the intersection of ‘straightforward heavy metal realized in a crazy good all world guitarist’ and ‘intricate progressive rock formulated by a technically proficient bassist’ reside Barnabas and its 1984 Light Records fourth full-length album, Feel The FireRead Full Review >>

BARNABAS - Little Foxes (Retroactive re-issue)
On one hand, Little Foxes does not reach the heights of the two albums to find Barnabas in its arguable prime, Approaching Light Speed (1983) and Feel The Fire (1984), which both combined a straightforward metal basis with strong leanings towards the progressive.  Read Full Review >>

DELIVERANCE - The Subversive Kind
Enter The Subversive Kind, which represents a ‘return to form’ of the Deliverance old school speed metal and thrash beginnings.  Read Full Review >>

HAVEN - Age Of Darkness (Retroactive re-issue)
On the surface, the R.E.X. Records 1991 Haven second album Age Of Darkness has a lot going for it: infusing progressive elements with the groups US power metal basis, enhanced production values and overall improvement in band performance that goes hand in hand with sophomore releases.  Read Full Review >>

IMARI TONES - Jesus Wind
Musically, Jesus Wind represents a change for the group from how it distances itself from the progressive leanings of earlier releases, with their similarities to Rush and Yes, and embraces a joining of straightforward heavy metal and commercial melodic metal.  Read Full Review >>

KILLED BY CAIN - Killed By Cain (Retroactive re-issue)
The Louisville, Kentucky based act got its start playing eighties melodic metal, as Whiteray and recording four highly sought after demos, prior to signing an early nineties deal with R.E.X. Records and adopting a moniker better in line with its newfound aggressive musical direction, Killed By Cain.  Read Full Review >>

SWEET & LYNCH - Unified
Whereas Only To Rise draws mostly upon a basis of arena rock, AOR and melodic hard rock, Unified is all of that but so much more in also reflecting nuances as diverse as classic rock, blues-rock, straightforward hard rock and even progressive rock.  Read Full Review >>

XT - Saved By The Blood
Despite not having worked together since the mid-nineties, Stigsson and Larsson regrouped alongside Jerusalem member’s bassist Peter Carlsohn and keyboardist Dan Tibell in addition to Modest Attraction drummer Mick Nordström to record perhaps its finest album to date in Saved By The BloodRead Full Review >>

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Messiah Prophet promo pic

Charlie Clark - MESSIAH PROPHET Lead Vocalist, In Memoriam:
Charlie Clark, whom many remember as lead vocalist of the eighties metal band MESSIAH PROPHET, passed away on January 6, 2018 at the age of 55 following a struggle with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Joining MESSIAH PROPHET in 1981, Clark fronted the groups first two albums, Rock For The Flock (under the name MESSIAH PROPHET BAND and released on Morada Records in 1984) and Master Of The Metal (Pure Metal Records from 1986).  Clark closed out his career in MESSIAH PROPHET when it placed the track “Blinded” on the 1989 Star Song Records compilation Ultimate Metal

A third MESSIAH PROPHET album from 1996 entitled Colors did not include Clark as part of its line up.

Further details regarding Clark’s life:

He was born in Lebanon on October 8, 1962 to Charles R. Clark and Ann (Kolar) Zimmerman. In 1987, he married Jill Francine Hurst and together they raised their five children, Rachael (Justin) Eveland, Rebecca, Jesse, Abigail, and Hannah. Charlie was also the proud grandpa of his only grandchild, Samuel Andrew.

Charlie owned his own roofing and window company for 10 years. If you ever passed a house he was working on, you could hear him joyfully singing along with the radio. Charlie enjoyed gardening and spending time with his kids. He was active in his church for many years serving as both a deacon and Sunday school teacher.

He is survived by his father; mother; wife; five children; grandson; brother, Steven (Claudia) Clark; sister, Sheila Schauer; sisters-in-law, JoAnn Matyasi, Jennifer (Christopher) Myers, Joyce Hurst (Desra Blamble), Jessica Hurst; brothers-in-law, Andrew Berenyi, James Hurst, Joel Hurst; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his step-father, Dean Zimmerman; his father and mother-in-law, Frank and Margaretta Hurst; brothers-in-law, Frank Hurst Jr., Jeffrey Hurst, John Hurst; and niece, Keri Hurst.

Bassist Joe Shirk, whom was part of the MESSIAH PROPHET lineup that recorded Master Of The Metal, tells ClassicChristianRock Webzine:

“This past weekend I lost a friend and fellow musician to a long battle with disease.  I first met Charles Clark, vocalist for MESSIAH PROHPET when the band I was in opened for them.  A year or so later as life goes, I and another member of that band were new members of MESSIAH PROPHET.  Charlie was a confidence builder for me.  He was always a happy guy, even if rehearsal was long and unproductive and it was all my fault.  Always an encourager. We spent some long nights in the front of the bus, me driving (I loved to drive) and Charlie keeping me company. There was a time in the mountains when the brake system just gave up. We were very carefully trying to get back down to where there might be a truck garage. I remember Charlie being right there telling me "you can do this.  I believe in you!”  Or the time we forgot the bag with airline tickets and passports in it. Left it on a train seat in Amsterdam.  It was Charlie who went back to the station and somehow found it and got back in time for boarding. Never saw a guy run like that!

“Charlie was a stabilizer for me and for the band.  We lost contact for too many years after the band ended.  When I heard about his struggles with health, my friend Eddie, who did our lights at the show and David (Armstrong) our drummer, went to visit him.  It was obvious he was struggling and not well.  But the same smile and laugh was there.  Not a shadow of doubt in his faith in Jesus.  We relived some of the crazy stories and memories from the shows and road trips.  I saw Charlie a few more times and even the last time when he could no longer speak there was still that light and joy in his eyes.

“Charlie is singing again.  The illness took his voice here, but now I know he is singing.  He always sang.”

Pastor Brad - Highway 2 Heaven

PASTOR BRAD Announces Third Parody Covers Album, Highway 2 Heaven:
Bay City, Michigan based minister and guitarist PASTOR BRAD to release new Christian metal and hard rock parody album entitled Highway 2 Heaven on February 23, 2018.

Similar to his first two parody releases, Storm The Gates (2016) and Storm The Gates 2 (2017), Highway 2 Heaven is a collection of classic hard rock & hair metal songs from the 70s and 80s that have been re-imagined with lyrics that honor Jesus Christ and proclaim the Good News of the Gospel loud and proud!  In the words of the artist: “Legally, these are "parody" projects, but musically and spiritually, they are tributes to the musicians who inspired me to become a musician, and to my Savior to whom I owe everything!”

He offers further detail: “My two fold goal was to: 1) honor the music and musicianship that inspired me to become a musician, and 2) honor Jesus with the message that changed my life for eternity!  In my heart, I am satisfied that I’ve accomplished both.  All that’s left now is to share it with the world.”

All songs created, performed and produced by PASTOR BRAD unless otherwise noted.

Highway 2 Heaven track listing:

1. “Highway To Heaven” (“Highway To Hell”, AC/DC)       
2. “We Will Fight” (“Neon Knights”, BLACK SABBATH)    
3. “Obey Your Commands” (“Too Much Time On My Hands”, STYX)        
4. “Savior From Heaven” (“Stairway To Heaven”, LED ZEPPELIN)            
5. “Orchestra Of Revolution” (“Symphony Of Destruction”, MEGADETH)
6. “Help Me Jesus” (“Hold On Loosely”, 38 SPECIAL)     
7. “So Grateful You Love Me” (“Don't Tell Me You Love Me”, NIGHT RANGER)    
8. “Can't Live” (“Can't Live Without You”, SCORPIONS)   
9. “Father's Will” (“Looks That Kill”, MOTLEY CRUE)       
10. “Lift Him Up” (“Lick It Up”, KISS)

Luke Weber (RAZORIGAMI) makes a guest lead vocal appearance on “We Will Fight”, while artist’s daughter Kara Windlan contributes backing vocals to “Help Me Jesus”.  Son Josh Windlan provides cover art.

PASTOR BRAD online: www.guitarjams.net & www.facebook.com/pastorbradrocks

NEWS BRIEFS

* RamblingEverOn online artice regarding the forgotten history of Christian rock: http://ramblingeveron.com/2018/01/10/the-forgotten-history-of-christian-rock-part-one/
 
* “Pitfalls & Snares”, a short promo of new music from progressive rock artist KDB3: https://vimeo.com/249971941?ref=fb-share&1

* Update from vocalist Dale Thompson regarding the various projects in which he is involved (Facebook – January 13, 2018):

“Today I have recorded the 10th song for PERPETUAL PARANOIA along with the 9th song for BRIDE. I wanted everyone to know that the 4 bands that I am fronting at the moment all have their own unique sound. You are not getting the same type of music with each of these groups. Troy (Thompson, guitars) and I are writing BRIDE material. Alan and I most of you have heard what THE WORLD WILL BURN sound like. N.O.G. is more progressive metal not rock.  PERPETUAL PARANOIA is very heavy metal almost ‘thrashy’ but with a melody.

“I am enjoying the variety of vocal I had to create to separate these bands. Samples are coming soon but not until I make sure we sound our very best. I want to thank those who have contributed to the BRIDE fund. We are still short of what we need, which only shows me the market has shrunk. However, knowing that that none of these bands is writing and recording for the money shows m the heart of the players whose main goal and ambition is to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ. I take my hat off to every Christian rocker out there. We sacrifice to give people an alternative and not only that, we give our all and become all things to all men that some might be saved.”

 

Update: January 7, 2018

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Rainbow Rock Festival 2018 logo

Rainbow Rock Festival 2018 Announced:
RAINBOW ROCK is a Christian Heavy Metal Festival organized by CMI (Christian Metalheads International). The festival takes place April 6-7, 2018 at the Satelliten Arena in Sollentuna, Stockholm, Sweden and features a cool line up of Christian metal bands from all around Europe and USA!

The venue is easy to access by train, and the nearest airport is Stockholm Arlanda. If you need somewhere to sleep you can also (for a fee of 100 SEK/night, metal breakfast is included in the price) sleep Friday/Saturday and Saturday/Sunday at the festival arena Satelliten. Just bring your mattress and sleeping bag with you.

Festival line up:

ADORNED GRAVE (thrash metal), Germany
FLUKT (black metal), Norway
HILASTHERION (death metal), Finland
HOLY BLOOD (Viking metal), Ukraine
NORTHERN FLAME (melodic metal), Finland
ONE BAD PIG (punk), USA
PARAKLETOS (black metal), Finland
PETER 118 (Melodic Punk), United Kingdom
POLTINMERKKI (industrial metal), Finland
PROCLAIM (melodic punk), The Netherlands
RIFFERSPOCK (alternative rock), United Kingdom
SPYKER (thrash core), The Netherlands
VERITAS INFINITA (symphonic gothic), The Netherlands
WAITING FOR THE RAVENS (Indie Hard Core), USA

For further information and tickets: http://rbr-festival.com/index.html

Eraserhead promo pic

Introducing Jimmy P. Brown’s ERASERHEAD:
Vocalist, rhythm guitarist and DELIVERANCE founding member Jimmy P. Brown II announced via Facebook (December 23, 2017) that the debut album of his new project, ERASERHEAD, is “mixed and is in the proverbial can”.  He goes on to add, “We will be sending (it) off to be mastered (and) then manufactured for all of you to enjoy”.

Although untitled at the time of this writing, the album promises to be a return to the ‘technical metal’ of critically acclaimed DELIVERANCE releases Learn (1993) and River Disturbance (1994).  ERASERHEAD also finds Brown again working with the rhythm section that performed on the two albums, bassist Manny Morales and drummer Jon Knox.  As noted in the ERASERHEAD press material:

“Reuniting after 23 years to record a new record was both challenging and the most rewarding experience for Brown. He wrote and crafted the songs with these two guys in mind without having contacted them. Then, when the songs were near completion, Brown reached out to both Morales and Knox and presented the idea and tunes! They both signed on immediately!

“The group reunited at 3 Frogz Studio in Brundidge, AL, where Brown is the lead engineer. The chemistry was almost instant! It was as if the three musicians picked right up where they'd left off in 1994 with River Disturbance.  ERASERHEAD was born!

“Jon Knox and Manny Morales were both thrilled to be working on new material with Brown! The performances are raw, powerful and driving!”

In the words of Brown, ERASERHEAD is "relevant, introspective, and rockin!"

ERASERHEAD online: www.facebook.com/theeraserheads

IMAGES OF EDEN Release “Shield Me” Music Video & Single:
Phoenix, Arizona (1/5/2018) - Today, IMAGES OF EDEN releases their first single/ music video, “Shield Me” as an unsigned band while they shop record labels for a 2018 release of their full length CD, titled Soulrise, the long-awaited follow up to the 2011 release of Rebuilding The Ruins on Nightmare Records. The album was mixed and mastered by the legendary Bill Metoyer at Skull-Seven Studios in Hollywood, CA and is ready for pressing.

When asked why there was such a delay between releases, vocalist Gordon Tittsworth replied, “There were so many changes within IMAGES OF EDEN, lineup and beyond, that it took some time to reform and regain our bearings. But, I can assure our fans that this is the strongest, most solid lineup ever and there will no longer be long delays in between releases. We even have the follow up album to Soulrise well on its way.”

The music video is set to be unveiled at the same time of the track's release, which will feature a new, fine-tuned lineup of  IMAGES OF EDEN with a huge video production as well as a more modern, updated sound. Tittsworth also states, “Our songwriting has evolved far beyond where I felt we were in 2011 and before. The earlier IMAGES OF EDEN releases were primarily progressive hard rock/ metal, but our natural vibe/ feel has much more of a heavier, modern edge to it now, but still with our classic hard rock/ metal roots. We feel our sound is more accessible now to new fans and also to our current fan base. You will still know it is IMAGES OF EDEN right away.”

Manager Steve Dorssom promises this latest news is only the tip of the iceberg with a new record label search underway, and that the band has already completed the writing for the 5th release, tentatively titled, Angel Born and will be recording the album over the course of 2018 alongside the release of Soulrise and 2018 supporting tour. Fans should expect to hear even bigger news from IMAGES OF EDEN in the very near future, and should check in at the band's official website and social media for the latest announcements.

IMAGES OF EDEN line up:

Gordon Tittsworth - Lead Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
Carlos Urquidi Perez - Lead Guitar
L. Dean Harris - Piano & Keyboards
Eric Mulvaine - Bass Guitar
Steve Dorssom- Drums & Percussion

The single for “Shield Me” is available at all digital media outlets (iTunes, Amazon, etc).  For more information, visit our website at www.imagesofeden.com/discography3.htm

MAX BLAM JAM – “Apathy’s Child” Video Premier:
Press Release / Roxx Records is very excited to be bringing you a very limited edition one time CD pressing of a long lost rock n roll GEM of an album from MAX BLAM JAM entitled Blow Up Man, which features Glenn Rogers and Brian Khairullah of DELIVERANCE fame. This is not your typical Christian Metal album; rather, it is a very diverse rock n roll album that has never been officially and fully released, until now.

A video of a song off the album, “Apathy’s Child”, can be viewed above.

Check out the original press promo the band used back in 1991 when Blow Up Man was first recorded:

“In March of 1991, Brian Khairullah, dissatisfied with his relationship with his record company, Intense Records, left the band DELIVERANCE in pursuit of artistic freedom. At the same time, Glenn Rogers was writing music on the side while he was playing lead guitar for STEEL VENGEANCE (Black Dragon Records of France). Brian and Glenn came together at that time and found the collaboration to be fiercely productive. They sought to create music that could be felt in the heart as well as the gut. What they created was a crunchy funky blues groove with an affinity for the soul.

“They then enlisted former STEEL VENGEANCE bassist Cesar Ceregatti and multi-instrumentalist Dan Ceregatti for drums and keyboards. Cesar’s aggressive funk groove combined with Dan’s diversity and willingness to experiment provided a rich addition to MAX BLAM JAM.

MAX BLAM JAM’s musical influences are eclectic ranging from Elton John, PRIMUS and AEROSMTIH, to THE BEATLES, Jimi Hendrix, METALLICA and MOZART. This mixture and the energy generated on stage make MAX BLAM JAM a new answer to the question… Are You Experienced?”

This is a very special one-time pressing of this long lost classic Christian rock record originally recorded in 1991. It features all new artwork and layout courtesy of Scott Waters of No Life Til Metal and all ten original tracks fully re-mastered by Rob Colwell of Bombworks Sound. It is beautifully packaged in a jewel case with 8-page booklet and all lyrics enclosed.

Pre Order the MAX BLAM JAM album entitled Blow Up Man now to get a very special limited edition sticker for the first 50 pre orders only. Street Date for this release is January 26, 2018.

Blow Up Man track listing:

1. “I Wasn't Ready”
2. “Burning Deep Inside”
3. “Desert Flower”
4. “I Love My Gun”
5. “Standing Alone”
6. “Everybody (Needs Love)”
7. “Wild Billy”
8. “Apathy's Child”
9. “Rescue Me”
10. “Because”

Blow Up Man pre-order: http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/products/22788345-max-blam-jam-blow-up-man-cd

NEWS BRIEFS

* CHAOTIC RESEMBLANCE update (Facebook - December 29, 2017): “2018 is shaping up to be an awesome year already! We are going to jumpstart January with a trip to Nashville to record two more songs with Josiah Prince producing. Then in February onto Vegas to finish up the (new) album with Oz Fox. This album is going to be a must have for our amazing friends. March we head to Southern CA. for a few shows. In May, we are honored to be back at Rocklahoma for the 4th time on the Retrospect Stage. We have also been invited to Germany, we will post more about that down the road.”

* Roxx Records update for 2018 (Facebook - January 1, 2018): “Happy New Year to all, we are kicking the new year off right and rockin it into 2018. We have lots of great things in store for 2018, we are just about to kick off a large campaign and promotion for the new DELIVERANCE album, The Subversive Kind, in early January, and we already have new vinyl projects at the pressing plant for TERRAPHOBIA, SOLDIER and FINAL PROPHECYto name just a few of the things kicking off 2018.”

* SHINING FORCE new album update (Facebook - January 4, 2017): “The new CD will be completed on Sunday or Monday. Finally after all these years the CD will really be done. After the mastering, the CD will be duplicated and you will be able to purchase it through us. This has been a long time coming and finally we are at that point to release By The Blood.

“We are ready to start recording the next CD called Seven.  This new future recording will be even better. Get all the SHINING FORCE collection while you can. These CD's once they are gone will pretty much be gone. We will re-mastering our self titled CD Shining Force and it will only be a limited amount made and once they are gone they will be gone.”

 

Update: January 1, 2018

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Revelation - Spiritual Wind - Thrashback Records re-issue

REVELATION - Spiritual Wind (CD + DVD) 30th Anniversary Re-issue On Thrashback Records:
Street date: January 26, 2018:

Press Release / Formed in 1985, West Palm Beach, Florida’s REVELATION were one of the top traditional metal bands in the Tri-County area of Palm Beach Broward Dade.  After countless hours of wood-shedding, while all members were still in high school, the group recorded their first 3-song demo tape in 1987 entitled Visions.

In 1988, this five piece consisting of members Mike Roy (vocals), Edward Veitch (guitar), Briann Shinn (guitar), Brad Brothen (bass) and Richard Veitch (drums), armed with an albums worth of material, entered the studio once again, resulting in the album Spiritual Wind.

REVELATION continued to slug it out on live stages throughout Florida over the next year promoting Spiritual Wind, eventually culminating in their blistering live performance at the famed Cornerstone Festival in Illinois in the summer of 1989.  Building upon their momentum, REVELATION continued playing live, writing new material, and even had major and independent label interest.

Moving into the 90’s birth pangs arose.  REVELATION began to experience line up changes and a name change to DAUPHIN.  The band ultimately came to its end in 1992.

Now coming in January of 2018 will be the deluxe re-issue of Spiritual Wind, full re-mastered from the original analog master tapes.  Also included will be the entire 1987demo Visions, also re-mastered from the original analog master tapes. The deluxe edition release will also feature a DVD of the bands 1989 Cornerstone Festival performance in addition to bonus live and behind the scenes clips.

The first single from the re-issue, “Children Of The City Nights”, is available for streaming at SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/reformata_av/children-of-the-city-nights

Spiritual Wind track listing:

CD:

1. “Running Scared”
2. “Johnny”
3. “Spiritual Wind”
4. “Young Warrior”
5. “Children Of The City Nights”
6. “Fortress”
7. “Stop The Rain”
8. “Hunting The Devil”
9. “Good Cause”
10, “Visions” (1987 demo)
11. “You’re Not The Only One” (1987 demo)
12. “Good Cause” (1987 demo)

DVD:

1. “Live At Cornerstone Festival 1989”
2. "Bonus Live And Behind The Scenes Clips"

Sardonyx - Sons Of The Kingdom

SARDONYX To Release New Album In Early 2018, Sons Of The Kingdom:
As taken from a January of 2018 online update from the Christian power metal band:

Welcome to a new year that will be filled with many new things that God will do in this world. There has been a lot of talk about revival in the Christian Metal world. There is a great need for God's men and women to return to the things He has called them to do (Ephesians 2:10). It has been three years since we first started working on this new CD. We have been obedient to Him to write and complete this work but it has not been an easy "just slap it together" project. But we are very excited about releasing what He has given us for His glory and for building up the Body of Christ. We are convinced that releasing it is all about God's timing.

Would you consider praying for us every day till it is released? To date, we have 7 songs completed and there are two more that need final vocal tracks. This Saturday, January 6, we are planning on doing vocals for our 8th song called "My Bride Beloved". It is a theatrical metal song where Jesus, the Bride and Satan sing back and forth in passionate intensity. Needless to say, all of us have had to bathe this in prayer. We value intercessors that take the spiritual impact of this new CD seriously.

Our goal is to do as much work as we can this Saturday. Then in two weeks, we will be working on the 9th and last song on the CD. More on that will be in an update which will be released sometime next week.

RELEASING THE SONGS - Lord willing, we plan on first releasing these new songs as digital downloads in February and then consider how we will work with the different labels who are interested in our work. Please pray for wisdom for us in this area. Thank you! - Tom Denlinger (lead vocals)

In September, we finished laying down all our drum tracks in Chugach, Alaska. Our drummer, Bill Pagaran did an outstanding job and we are all very excited to hear the final product!  Here is an quick clip from inside the control room during his recording session for you to check out.

Since that time our main engineer, mix down and mastering guru, (and guitarist for the project) Rod Feltman, is hard at work mixing in the new drum tracks. Rod is co-producing this new project with front man, Tom Denlinger. Rod will be working on these songs over the next few weeks.

Many of you have asked if the band will ever play these songs live. Honestly, we don't have any current plans to do that. The nature of these songs are more of conducive to a more theatrical, epic, and larger venue performance. Because of the reality of being an older band who has not released anything in 12 years, we know that playing larger shows will probably not become a reality. We are happy just being able to release this new powerful music that God has clearly given us.

Please pray for God to work through all of us in the coming days. Because of the spiritual (warfare) nature of these lyrics, we would also appreciate your prayer for our protection against the enemy who seeks to sift us as wheat. We know that is his desire. But as Jesus said, "for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me" (John 14:30).

Please be patient. This project comes from our hearts and we cannot release it until it the music captures the excellence of the message.

SARDONYX online: https://lightshineministries.com & www.facebook.com/SARDONYX

Stryper logo

STRYPER - New Album Update From Vocalist Michael Sweet:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

STRYPER will return to SpiritHouse Recording Studios in Northampton, Massachusetts on January 10 to begin mixing its new album for a tentative April release via Frontiers Music Srl. The follow-up to 2015's Fallen, which will be mastered on January 15, will mark STRYPER's first effort since the addition of former FIREHOUSE bassist Perry Richardson. Perry joined the band as the replacement for STRYPER's longtime bassist Tim Gaines, who was fired from the group earlier this year.

In a new post on STRYPER's Facebook page, guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet writes: "Some people like heavy, some people like semi-heavy, some people like not so heavy. We've done it all over the years - really heavy to really light.

"As much as I respect the past and the music of the past, I think if I wasn't a member of STRYPER and I was a fan listening and watching, I'd like the new stuff equally as much as the old stuff, maybe even more.

"This new album is very different and has a whole new 'groove' to it," he continues. "It is heavy but it's also hooky and melodic. There's qualities similar to Soldiers Under Command (1985), To Hell With The Devil (1986), In God We Trust (1988), Against The Law (1990), No More Hell To Pay (2013) and Fallen (2015) yet it's all its own.

"As I finish singing over the next week I'm really excited as I hear these songs and know that soon enough, you'll will be hearing them too.

"The tracks are killer!!!!" Sweet adds. "Tight, punchy, groovy and memorable. Everyone did an outstanding job on this album. Oz [Fox] is working on his guitar solos at his home and I'm working on mine here at my studio.

"We're so humbled and honored to still be able to do this and we hope that you all are ready. This one is really special."

Sweet recently told ListenIowa that both the title and the lyrics of the title track of STRYPER's new album will be "shocking" to STRYPER fans - "moreso than with To Hell With The Devi'. When people hear it, they're going to go, 'What? Can you tell me that again?'" he said. "A lot of the lyrics on the album have been kind of therapeutic, coming from the last two or three years." As for the music, he described it as "straight-up STRYPER and a little AC/DC and a little (JUDAS) PRIEST in a blender… It's an anthem with a straight-ahead, memorable, sing-along chorus, and people will be like, 'Yes!'"

STRYPER online: www.stryper.com & www.facebook.com/Stryper

NEWS BRIEFS

* Teaser of new AOR band to feature vocalist Germán Pascual, VISION: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQs0ajWGI9o

* Brazilian symphonic power metal band PERPETUAL LEGACY cover of “Castelo Forte” (Strong Castle): www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5SlUsN3a7M

Originally written in 1529 by Martin Luther, “Castelo Forte” was recorded by the group in celebration of 500 years of the Protestant Reformation.

* Michael Sweet online interview with TheMetalVoice: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XcWmWdmuS4

 

Update: December 24, 2017

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

DELIVERANCE - The Subversive Kind Release Date Announced:
Press Release / DELIVERANCE are pleased to announce they have officially signed with Roxx Records and 3 Frogz Records for the February 23, 2018 release to their brand new album The Subversive Kind.
 
Earlier this year the band launched a very successful campaign to help with funding the new album. All contributors to that campaign will be receiving their campaign items this December. Vinyl contributors will be happy to know they will be receiving an exclusive green Vinyl version of the album that will not be available to anyone else outside the campaign. Campaigners will get first listen of the brand new album well in advance of the street date.
 
The Subversive Kind is a true return to form for these Christian thrash pioneers, boosting 8 brand new tracks that truly bring the thrash back. Bill Bafford of Roxx Records had this to say about the new partnership 'We are very excited to once again be partnering with 3 Frogz, Jimmy Brown and DELIVERANCE to bring you this awesome new thrash release. The fans that have been requesting a Weapons Part 2 will be ecstatic with this new release and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this new album is the bands Reign In Blood.
 
The Subversive Kind also marks the return of original DELIVERANCE guitarist Glenn Rogers, whom last performed with the group in its 1989 Intense Records self-titled debut.  “We are so excited about who has joined the ranks, and is with the ‘Big D’ once again, “states Brown.  “Who better to call than the guy that came in (in) 1986 and 1987 and did the Greetings Of Death demo with us and worked with me on the first album.  Brought us the likes of (producer) Bill Metoyer, who produced SLAYER, DRI, FLOTSAM & JETSAM, SACRED REICH.  I’m talking about none other than Glenn Rogers.  That’s right- Glenn Rogers is back with DELIVERANCE!  We are really, really excited about this!”

Rounding out the DELIVERANCE line up on The Subversive Kind is drummer Jim Chaffin and bassist Victor Macias.  Musically, the group is promising a ‘thrash project that will bring back the classic DELIVERANCE sound’.    

Brown comments further regarding the musical direction to The Subversive Kind: “We’re going to give you the fan what you’ve been asking for and what you want- the old school thrash days of DELIVERANCE.  We are so excited.  We’ve been writing great material (and) were getting great tones.  It’s going to be crunchy, fast (and) thick.  Everything you’ve always loved about DELIVERANCE since the Greetings Of Death days you’re going to get it with this record”.

Stay tuned as we prepare to bring you The Subversive Kind in February 2018.

The Subversive Kind track listing:

1. “Bring ‘Em Down”
2. “Concept Of The Other”
3. “Center Of It All”
4. “The Black Hand”
5.”Epilogue”
6. “Listen Closely”
7. “The Subversive Kind”
8. “The Fold”

Deliverance - The Subversive Kind

Roxx Records online: www.roxxproductions.com & www.facebook.com/RoxxRecords777

DELIVERANCE online: www.facebook.com/DeliveranceRocks

Max Blam Jam - Blow Up Man

Roxx Records To Release Long Lost MAX BLAM JAM Album:
Press Release / Roxx Records is very excited to be bringing you a very limited edition one time CD pressing of a long lost rock n roll GEM of an album from MAX BLAM JAM featuring Glenn Rogers and Brian Khairullah of DELIVERANCE fame. This is not your typical Christian Metal album though, it is a very diverse rock n roll album that has never been officially and fully released, until now. Check out the original press promo the band used back in 1991 when this album was first recorded:

“In March of 1991, Brian Khairullah, dissatisfied with his relationship with his record company, Intense Records, left the band DELIVERANCE in pursuit of artistic freedom. At the same time, Glenn Rogers was writing music on the side while he was playing lead guitar for STEEL VENGEANCE (Black Dragon Records of France). Brian and Glenn came together at that time and found the collaboration to be fiercely productive. They sought to create music that could be felt in the heart as well as the gut. What they created was a crunchy funky blues groove with an affinity for the soul.

They then enlisted former STEEL VENGEANCE bassist Cesar Ceregatti and multi-instrumentalist Dan Ceregatti for drums and keyboards. Cesar’s aggressive funk groove combined with Dan’s diversity and willingness to experiment provided a rich addition to MAX BLAM JAM.

MAX BLAM JAM’s musical influences are eclectic ranging from Elton John, PRIMUS and AEROSMTIH, to THE BEATLES, Jimi Hendrix, METALLICA and MOZART. This mixture and the energy generated on stage make MAX BLAM JAM a new answer to the question… Are You Experienced?”

This is a very special one-time pressing of this long lost classic Christian rock record originally recorded in 1991. It features all new artwork and layout courtesy of Scott Waters of No Life Til Metal and all ten original tracks fully re-mastered by Rob Colwell of Bombworks Sound. Beautifully packaged in a jewel case with 8-page booklet and all lyrics enclosed.

Pre Order the MAX BLAM JAM album entitled Blow Up Man now to get a very special limited edition sticker for the first 50 pre orders only. Street Date for this release is January 26, 2018.

Blow Up Man pre-order: http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/products/22788345-max-blam-jam-blow-up-man-cd

ROXX RECORDS online: www.roxxproductions.com & www.facebook.com/RoxxRecords777

METATRONE - “Regina Coeli” Lyric Video Premier:
A lyric video of the track “Regina Coeli” from the Catania, Italy based melodic power progressive metal act METATRONE, can be seen above.  The song comes off the group’s fourth full-length album Eucharismetal, which it released via Rockshots Music on March 11, 2016. The group produced the video in order to celebrate the North American release of the album.

Eucharismetal, similar to past METATRONE albums, reflects the group’s Catholic Christian worldview.  METATRONE roughly translates as “God is since, now and forever”,

Commented guitarist Stefano Calvagno regarding Eucharismetal:  “We are very satisfied, we’ve worked hard for many months on this record and it sounds great. It’s the best album we’ve ever recorded, we felt relaxed and confident during the songwriting process thanks to the help of Dino (Fiorenza/bass) and Salvo (Grasso/drums). We paid a lot of attention on the arrangements, we grew up a lot musically, it’s a mature album and I think it could be a masterpiece of White Metal”.

Nello Dell’Omo contributed the Eucharismetal cover art.

METATRONE line up:

Jo Lombardo – Lead Vocas
Stefano "Ghigas" Calvagno – Guitars
Davide Bruno - Keyboards
Dino Fiorenza (Billy Sheehan, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, John Macaluso) - Bass
Salvo "T-Metal" Grasso (HYPERSONIC, DENIED) - Drums

Eucharismetal track listing:

1. “Alef Dalet Mem”
2. “Molokai”
3. “Beware The Sailor”
4. “Wheat And Weeds”
5. “Latest News From Light”
6. “In Spirit And Truth”
7. “Mozart's Nightmare”
8. “Keep Running”
9. “Salva l'Anima”
10. “Una Parte Di me”
11. “Regina Coeli”
12. “Alef Dalet Mem” (Italian Version - Bonus Track)
13. “Lascia Che Sia” (Bonus Track)

Metatrone - Eucharismetal

METATRONE online: www.metatrone.net & www.facebook.com/metatroneband

Neal Morse Debuts “He Died At Home” Video:
Press Release / To many fans, Neal Morse is synonymous with extensive song structures and richly intricate arrangements; after all, his own solo outings - as well as his earlier work with SPOCK’S BEARD - are considered paramount entries in modern American progressive rock. However, beneath all of that has always lied an earnest and reflective singer/songwriter, an artistic identity that he's continuously delves into at least partially - if not fully, as on 2014's Songs for November - within each release. On 16 February 2018, Morse will release the next entry in his singer/songwriter style, Life & Times, and if his newest single, "He Died at Home", is any indication, it'll be filled with plenty of heartfelt stories and introspective music.
 
Focused on "a mother's grief over the loss of her soldier son", the idea for the track came when Morse was researching soldier suicides and found "an article about a young soldier named William Busbee. He came back from Afghanistan in 2012, and then committed suicide". (You can read more about Busbee in this article from The Guardian.) In addition, Morse confesses just how personal the song is:

“I had been praying for a roommate of a friend of mine, who was a troubled ex-military guy. The day we were playing in Paris, I woke up to a text saying that sadly, he had died. As I began formulating ideas for a song about him, I remembered that many years ago, I had been at a meeting at a military base in Tennessee. They asked us to pray for their men because almost every week they were going to the funeral of those who had 'died at home.”

It's fitting, then, that the piece is a sparse ode that finds Morse's typically raspy pensiveness complemented only by delicate strings and acoustic guitar strums. As you'd expect, it left quite an impression when it premiered at Morsefest 2017 (an annual celebration of his music). Likewise, the black and white video features photographs of Busbee (provided by his mother, Libby) intercut with Morse performing, yielding a perfectly understated yet impactful complement to the music.

Commenting on the album as a whole, Morse says that it's about him "looking around and taking stock" of things now that he's in his mid-50s, with grown children. He adds, "I've come through a lot of difficult times, and I'm in a fairly content place now." Interestingly, a lot of Life & Times was crafted during his time on the "Road Called Home" tour earlier this year, "with some of the songs being inspired by the places he visited, while others are from spending time with his family".

No matter the inspiration, there's no doubt that the other eleven tracks on the disc will pack a comparable yet varied kind of elegance and honesty that makes "He Died at Home" so powerful. As a recent review from Sonic Perspectives concludes, "Neal Morse has the ability to take the listener in any emotional direction with straightforward songs and meaningful lyrics".

You can check out the video for the song above, as well as pre-order the LP from Radiant Records here: www.radiantrecords.com/products/697-neal-morse-life-times.aspx

Life & Times track listing:

1. “Livin’ Lightly”
2. “Good Love Is On The Way”
3. “JoAnna”
4. “Selfie In The Square”
5. “He Died At Home”
6. “She’s Changed Her Mind”
7. “Wave On The Ocean”
8. “You + Me + Everything”
9. “Manchester”
10. “Lay Low”
11. “Old Alabama”
12. “If I Only Had a Day”

Neal Morse - Life & Times

Radiant Records online: www.radiantrecords.com/default.aspx & www.facebook.com/RadiantRecord

NEAL MORSE online: www.nealmorse.com & www.facebook.com/nealmorse

NEWS BRIEFS

* Classic Christian Rockzine article discussing the formative years of GUARDIAN, whom got its start under the monikers FUSION & GARDIAN: www.classicchristianrockzine.com/2017/12/fusion-pre-guardian-era.html

* ”Elixir Of Life”, new song from LEAH: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCDOuaLSF1E

The song is available for free download at: https://leahmchenry.lpages.co/elixir

According to the symphonic metal songstress, “(The) song started out as a demo for Kings & Queens. I originally thought it might make a cool interlude, but as I already had way too many songs for K&Q, it quickly didn't make the cut. Some of my VIP fans have already heard that original demo in its original form, as a rough home recording.”

* Guitarist Bill Menchen plans to re-issue the 2007 TITANIC album Full Steam Ahead under the new moniker MENCHEN and re-titled as The White Metal Album.  Robert Sweet (STRYPER) replaces original drummer David White.  Further details as they become available.

The artist previously released two albums under the name MENCHEN, including Red Rock from 2008 (95% Angelic Warlord review) and In The Light from 2011 (80% review).

 

Update: December 17, 2017

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Jerusalem logo

Retroactive Records To Re-issue First Six JERUSALEM Albums:
Press Release / It all started in 1975 when Swedish rockers, JERUSALEM launched as the very first Christian metal band in all of Europe!  The band's first album released in 1978, and by 1988 JERUSALEM had released 6 albums that had effectively placed them as Christian metal pioneers and legends.  In the mid 90's fans were elated that all the albums from the band's early years were reissued on CD… but disappointed the record label crammed two albums on each CD and did the unthinkable… left off some of the tracks from every album!  Ugh! 

Those CDs have been out-of-print for well over a decade and the CDs sell at highly collectible prices.  Well, Retroactive Records is thrilled to announce our master plan to change all that!  Boone's Overstock / Retroactive Records has agreed with the band to reissue their first six albums on CD in early 2018.  Each CD will be digitally re-mastered, and feature 12 page booklets (hopefully) with band pics and lyrics packaged in a protective jewel case!  All albums will include 100% of the original tracks and Dancing On The Head of the Serpent will include all 11 tracks that released in Europe (only 10 tracks released in the USA). 

Watch for Pre-orders Coming Soon for 2018 releases of:

JERUSALEM - Volume 1 (originally released 1978)
JERUSALEM - Volume 2 (originally released 1980)
JERUSALEM - Warrior (originally released 1982)
JERUSALEM - Can’t Stop Us Now (originally released 1983)
JERUSALEM - In His Majesty's Service (originally released 1985)
JERUSALEM - Dancing On The Head Of The Serpent (originally released 1988)

JERUSALEM online: http://www.jerusalem.se & www.facebook.com/jerusalemsweden

Guardian - First Watch - Retroactive re-issue

GUARDIAN, First Watch Re-issue Announced By Retroactive Records:
Release date of January 9, 2018:

Press Release / First Watch is the 1989 GUARDIAN debut release on the Enigma Records label.  Oz Fox (STRYPER) produced and mixed the album in addition to contributing backing vocals. Its still amazing that this eventual classic sold 30,000 units in just the first month of its release!

Expect hook-laden melodic metal that combines huge STRYPER-like vocal harmonies with a top-notch display of musicianship. Front man Paul Cawley contributes a gritty but clean sounding mid-octave ranged vocal in addition to handling rhythm guitar duties. Guitarist Tony Palacios is a wonderful talent who brings out the best in the band's sound with his melodic flavored and fast-paced lead guitar work. Drummer Rikk Hart and bassist David Bach comprise a tight sounding rhythm section.  David Bach also contributes exclusive liner notes regarding the recording and release of First Watch.

GUARDIAN has been a household name in Christian hard rock and metal circles, contemporaries with STRYPER, BRIDE and WHITECROSS. 

The re-issue comes with 14 total tracks, including two from the California Metal compilation produced by John & Dino Elefante (KANSAS, MASTEDON).  This Retroactive Records 2017 Legends Re-mastered version of First Watch differs from the now out of print 2009 re-issue due to having been re-mastering by Rob Colwell of Bombworks Sound in addition to being a jewel case release including a 12 page insert with band pictures an lyrics.

This is the definitive CD reissue for one of the most epic and beloved melodic metal releases of all time! This is a “One of a Kind” re-issue that will usher you into the “Kingdom of Rock” like never before!

First Watch track listing:

1. “I'll Never Leave You”
2. “Mystery Man”
3. “Livin' For The Promise”
4. “Miracle”
5. “Saints Battalion”
6. “Kingdom Of Rock”
7. “The Good Life”
8. “One Of A Kind”
9. “World Without Love”
10. “Rock In Victory”
11. “Hyperdrive”
12. “Marching On”
13. “Spiritual Warfare” (California Metal bonus track)
14. “Marching On” (California Metal bonus track)

First Watch pre-order: http://boonesoverstock.storenvy.com/products/22642116-guardian-first-watch-legends-remastered-new-cd-2017-retroactive-reco

Images of Eden promo pic

IMAGES OF EDEN - New Single Release & Music Video, “Shield Me”:
Press Release / IMAGES OF EDEN is releasing their first single, “Shield Me” on January 5, 2018 as an unsigned band while they shop record labels for a 2018 release of their full length album titled Soulrise, the long-awaited follow up to the 2011 release of Rebuilding The Ruins on Nightmare Records. The brand new album Soulrise was just recently completed December 2017 and was produced by the legendary Bill Metoyer at Skull-Seven Studios in Hollywood, Ca. and is ready for pressing.

When asked why there was such a delay between releases, vocalist Gordon Tittsworth replied, “There were so many changes within IMAGES OF EDEN, lineup and beyond, that it took some time to reform and regain our bearings. But, I can assure our fans that this is the strongest, most solid lineup ever and there will no longer be long delays in between releases. We even have the follow up album to Soulrise well on its way.”

The music video is set to be unveiled at the same time of the track's release, which will feature a new, fine-tuned lineup of  IMAGES OF EDEN with a huge video production as well as a more modern, updated sound. Tittsworth also states, “Our songwriting has evolved far beyond where I felt we were in 2011 and before. The earlier IMAGES OF EDEN releases were primarily progressive hard rock/ metal, but our natural vibe/ feel has much more of a heavier, modern edge to it now, but still with our classic hard rock/ metal roots. We feel our sound is more accessible now to new fans and also to our current fan base. You will still know it is IMAGES OF EDEN right away.”

Manager Steve Dorssom promises this latest news is only the tip of the iceberg with a new record label search underway, and that the band has already completed the writing for the 5th release, tentatively titled, Angel Born and will be recording the album over the course of 2018 alongside the release of Soulrise and 2018 supporting tour. Fans should expect to hear even bigger news from IMAGES OF EDEN in the very near future, and should check in at the band's official website and social media for the latest announcements.

IMAGES OF EDEN line up:

Gordon Tittsworth - Lead Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
Carlos Urquidi Perez - Lead Guitar
L. Dean Harris - Piano & Keyboards
Eric Mulvaine - Bass Guitar
Steve Dorssom- Drums & Percussion

IMAGES OF EDEN online: www.imagesofeden.com/index2.htm & www.facebook.com/Images-of-Eden

Reunited GALACTIC COWBOYS Release “Zombies” Official Video:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

"Zombies", the new video from '90s progressive metal adventurers GALACTIC COWBOYS, can be seen above. The song is taken from the band's first album in seventeen years, Long Way Back To The Moon, which was released on November 17 via Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group. The group's reunited original lineup - lead vocalist Ben Huggins, drummer/vocalist Alan Doss, guitarist/vocalist Dane Sonnier and vocalist/bassist Monty Colvin - descended upon Doss's studio in Houston, Texas in early 2016 to write and record.

GALACTIC COWBOYS has always been a musical enigma. Hailing from Houston, Texas, the band combined melodic thrash, progressive metal, and BEATLES-esque harmonies into a genre of its own creation. Blending these considerable musical chops with a quirky sense of humor, the band quickly distinguished itself from anyone else in the world, garnering fans amongst some of music's biggest stars. Their first time around, though, they were the right band at exactly the wrong time. On this outing, they shoot for the moon again, and celebrate the journey back.

The COWBOYS' most notable fan base became other musicians - an exclusive club that included other 1990s musical misanthropes such as JELLYFISH, KING'S X and Kevin Gilbert. Reflecting both the musicality and diversity of the band, GALACTIC COWBOYS toured with two hard rock/metal legends, ANTHRAX and DREAM THEATER.

Said former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy: "The GALACTIC COWBOYS were (and still are) one of my favorite bands to emerge from the '90s. Great songwriting, killer players and euphoric harmonies. They were always criminally underrated and overlooked, which led to their premature demise in 2000. My last seventeen years have had a hole in my musical palate without them and I couldn't be happier at the announcement of their return! Welcome back boys... I missed you!"

The eleven new tracks (and two bonus tracks) included on Long Way Back To The Moon harken back to the COWBOYS' iconic songs, but are infused with a contemporary hard rock sound. In the tradition of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, Steven Wilson and PERIPHERY, the album is completely organic: engineered, produced, mixed, and mastered by the band - even all the artwork. One trapping of contemporary production set aside by the band was an over-reliance on studio trickery - no Pro Tools, drum triggers or even vocal tuning. Just real music by real musicians.

The album's sound is alternately heavy, whimsical, charging, and crunching, combining inescapable atmosphere with the drive of a band on a mission. Old fans will feel at home, but hard rock fans who have never heard GALACTIC COWBOYS before will also be instantly hooked. As with all GALACTIC COWBOYS albums, the songs are emotional in topic, and often including a large dose of ironic humor. Each song is performed, sung, and written with intense passion.

Said Colvin: "It was an absolute pleasure getting back together with the guys to record this album. I think we've all grown as musicians and as people since we first got together in '89, and I think our fans will really love this new stuff."

The song "Zombies" is a tongue-in-cheek study on finding love on the last day of human existence, blended with social commentary regarding modern society's obsession with its electronic screens. Timely topics continue with "Next Joke": from kids' sports in which everyone gets a trophy to Disney telling kids to wish upon a star and all their dreams will come true, our unrealistic expectations have set us all up for failure: the joke is on us. "Internal Masquerade", the album’s first single, examines the turmoil endemic to the human experience and the difficulties in keeping self-generated darkness at bay, themes revisited in darker "Blood In My Eyes".

A special treat for fans both old and new is "In The Clouds", the album’s leadoff track and also the first GALACTIC COWBOYS song ever written. Penned in 1989 by Doss and Colvin after the demise of their previous outfit, THE AWFUL TRUTH, the song explores leaving the banal confines of this world behind and ascending to a higher plane of existence. It's also the song Huggins sang to earn his spot in the band!

Said Sonnier: "We can't wait for everyone to hear this, and it's great to be back. Back from the Ranch on Mars and onward to the moon."

Long Way To The Moon track listing:

1. “In The Clouds”
“2. “Internal Masquerade”
3. “Blood In My Eyes”
4. “Next Joke”
5. “Zombies”
6. “Drama”
7. “Amisarewas”
8. “Hate Me”
9. “Losing Ourselves”
10. “Agenda”
11. “Long Way Back To The Moon”
12. “Believing The Hype” (bonus track)
13. “Say Goodbye To Utopia” (bonus track)

Galactic Cowboys - Long Way Back To The Moon

Mascot Label Group online: www.mascotlabelgroup.com & www.facebook.com/mascotlabelgroup

GALACTIC COWBOYS online: www.galacticcowboys.com & www.facebook.com/galacticcowboys

NEWS BRIEFS

* Back To The Rock II is the new album from CPR (Classic Petra Revisited).  Further details from lead vocalist Greg X. Volz:

“It all started when a friend of Louie’s (Weaver, drummer) approached him one day and said, "Louie, I believe God wants you guys to do another CD. Here’s the money to get you started." And we got started. Then another person came in to help, then another… and here it is, with the talent of our producer, John Lawry. After re-recording nine classic PETRA songs and one AEROSMITH song (which is one of my favorites by the way), the CPR album has finally arrived. Enjoy!”

In addition to Volz and Weaver, CPR consists of keyboardist John Lawry, bassist Ronny Cates and guitarist Kirk Henderson.

Back To The Rock II track listing: “Hollow Eyes”, “The Coloring Song”, “Not Of This World”, “Dream On” (AEROSMITH cover), “Judas Kiss”, “Beat The System”, “For Annie”, “All Over Me”, “Praise Ye The Lord”, “It Is Finished”

CPR online: www.cprband.rocks

* Retroactive Records plans for next year re-releases of classic DANIEL BAND albums Straight Ahead & Run From The Darkness, which originally came out on Refuge Records in 1983 and 1984, respectively.  Both will be jewel case releases with 12 page inserts. 

* EVANS & STOKES uploaded a teaser to a new song, “Afterlife”, that will appear on its next album Valley Of The Kings: www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3ea6NX99dY

* In a recent e-mail update, LEAH advised that she has wrapped up vocals on her as of yet titled new album.  Jacob Hansen (AMARANTH, EPICA, PRIMAL FEAR) is scheduled in late January to mix and master the album, which is not anticipated to be released until the second quarter of 2018.  The symphonic metal songstress advises there will be a crowd funding campaign as the album wraps up in addition to an epic music video.

She recently posted to Instagram a sneak peak of a song to appear on the album: HERE

* “Heaven” is a new twelve-song compilation from REV SEVEN, the traditional metal project of guitarist Bill Menchen (FINAL AXE, TITANIC, THE SEVENTH POWER) and Robert Sweet (STRYPER).  Sweet selected the songs, which come off the four albums REV SEVEN released between 1991-1993.  Vocals were redone for three songs with new lyrics.  Additional lead guitar added as well. 

Heaven track listing: “2025”, “Cast Down Crowns”, “Father Of Lights”, “Fire”, “Harms Way”, “Love”, “Power & Authority”, “Sabbath Breaker”, “Sweet And Sour”, “Tell”, “Tomorrow”, “Who Is To Come”

A compilation of the twelve Heaven tracks is streaming at YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PeNDsV5RX0

Bill Menchen online: https://billmenchen.com

 

Update: December 10, 2017

FEATURED REVIEWS

BARNABAS - Hear The Light (Retroactive re-issue)
Prior to assessing the Barnabas legacy, one must first consider the late seventies to early eighties Jesus Movement era in which it came out of, a musically mellower period in which ‘the whole harder rock thing was still not considered compatible with Christianity by a majority of the church’ (as taken from the groups press material).  Read Full Review >>

BARNABAS - Find Your Heart A Home (Retroactive re-issue)
Hence, it was with great surprise that I found the group - as many do between their debut and sophomore releases - to have made significant steps and strides musically by abandoning its punk/new wave ways for a more mature joining of classic rock and progressive rock that runs the gamut from heavy rocking to blues infused to even funk driven.  Read Full Review >>

BARNABAS - Approaching Light Speed (Retroactive re-issue)
With the release of its Light Records 1983 third album Approaching Light Speed, the group delivered the type of consistent guitar sound to push the boundaries past the metal threshold and then some.  Read Full Review >>

BLACK WITH STARS - Black With Stars
With ‘Lunar Base Camp’ listed as its hometown (as noted in its Facebook page), Black With Stars formed when three musicians whom had previously worked together in Gothic rock outfit Vladimirs came together with the goal of pursuing a ‘different musical direction’: vocalist/guitarist Brian Day, bassist crank! and drummer Erick Tuffendsam.  Read Full Review >>

EVANS & STOKES - Beyond The Gates
If you're in the market for a female fronted Gothic influenced hard rock band, then one option stands out from the crowd: multinational act Evans & Stokes and its summer of 2017 independent debut full length Beyond The GatesRead Full Review >>

FEAR NOT - Fear Not (Roxx Records re-issue)
Fear Not has a storied history that traces to 1991 when it formed initially under the name Love Life and released its debut album Goodbye Lady Jane via Blonde Vinyl Records.  Read Full Review >>

ROMEO RIOT - Sing It Out
What I hear in Romeo Riot is much of the same with a joining of melodic hard rock and AOR I can see fans of Guardian (Fire & Love era), Fear Not, Novella, Liberty N’ Justice, Giant and fellow Kivel Records artist Adriangale embracing.  Read Full Review >>

WITHIN SILENCE - Return From The Shadows
Musical comparisons, as a result, remain unchanged - Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius and Theocracy - in that Within Silence stays true to a European influenced sound with its emphasis on keyboards, classical elements and overall faster tempos.  Read Full Review >> 

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Michael Sweet - Trailer For Sole: Songs And Stories From A Life In Music Solo DVD:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

A trailer for STRYPER front man Michael Sweet's new solo DVD, Sole: Songs And Stories From A Life In Music, can be seen above. The set was filmed on June 2 at the Narrows Center For The Arts in Fall River, Massachusetts and will be made available at Sweet's official web store.

With a running time of 102 minutes, Sole: Songs And Stories From A Life In Music will include the above-mentioned acoustic performance, a brand new interview and never-before-seen archive footage.

The track listing for the acoustic performance is as follows:

1. “You Know What to Do”
2. “Honestly”
3. “Always There For You”
4. “All For One”
5. “Someday”
6. “Real”
7. “Save Me”
8. “I'm Not Your Suicide”
9. “Strong”
10. “Dying Rose”
11. “Calling On You”
12. “To Hell With the Devil”

Sweet's seventh solo album, One Sided War, was released in August 2016 via Rat Pak Records. Backing Michael on the record were WHITESNAKE guitarist Joel Hoekstra, EVANESCENCE drummer Will Hunt, bassist John O'Boyle and East Coast shred-master Ethan Brosh.

Sweet told Screamer Magazine last year that One Sided War turned out to be "the heaviest album I've ever done. A lot of times, STRYPER fans expect heavy and when STRYPER doesn't do it, that's really a big issue. But when I don't do it, it's not as big an issue because fans typically expect a lighter side of Michael Sweet when I do solo albums, and they say that all the time. This is the album that I kind of wanted to put all those remarks to rest and I wanted to do something that was edgier and that compares to STRYPER on that level. It holds its own against anything STRYPER's done, for sure."

In a 2016 interview with The Aquarian Weekly, Sweet said that he enjoyed making solo albums "because it's an opportunity to free myself up a little bit more, experiment a little bit more, and try some things that STRYPER may not be able to try. So I just enjoy doing it. I love it. I've got a lot of music, a lot of solo music that I'd like to go out and play live that I think a lot of people would like to hear."

STRYPER recently finished recording all the basic tracks for its new album for an early 2018 release. The follow-up to 2015's Fallen will be the band's first disc since the addition of former FIREHOUSE bassist Perry Richardson. Perry joined the band as the replacement for STRYPER's longtime bassist Tim Gaines, who was fired from the group earlier this year.

Michael Sweet - Sole: Stories & Songs From A Life In Music DVD

Michael Sweet online: www.michaelsweet.com & www.facebook.com/TheMichaelSweet

NEWS BRIEFS

* Vocalist Dale Thompson on his recording projects for next year (Facebook - December 7, 2017): “Musical adventure update. Yes BRIDE is recording, and Troy (Thompson,guitars) is smokin’ the groove rock. Heavy but cool and delightful. Then I have THE WORLD WILL BURN. With two albums out Alan (Zaring, guitars) and I are writing a concept album for the third. Then there is NO OTHER GOD my insanely masterful Brazilian metal CD where we visit the old school sounds. N.O.G. is being mixed as we speak. And there is more! I have teamed up with a great songwriter guitarist from Brazil who is living in California and together we have started writing for another release, which is yet to be titled. Maybe I should just start my own record company? So in 2018 expect at least 4 different projects from my camp.”

* Retroactive Records plans for next year a jewel case re-issue (with 12 page insert to include pictures and lyrics) of the 1989 GUARDIAN Enigma Records debut First Watch.  Bonus material will come in the form of the two tracks GUARDIAN recorded for the California Metal compilation from 1987, “Marching On” and “Spiritual Warfare”.  Lone difference is that whereas Steinhaus did the re-mastering for the 20th anniversary digi-pak re-issue of First Watch from 2009 (also Retroactive), Rob Colwell (Bombworks Sound) will be handling re-mastering for the 2018 re-issue.

* Kerry Livgren released in early December a re-recorded version of his 1989 Sparrow Records instrumental album One Of Several Possible Musiks under the new title Several More Musiks.  In addition to the 10 appearing on the original release, Several More Musiks features three new written and recorded songs.  As noted by the artist:
 
“In early 2017 I had one remaining album on 2” analog master tape, One of Several Possible Musiks.  I no longer had a machine to play (the album) on, so I took it to Kansas City to be transferred to digital.  I had never contemplated re-mixing this album (much less re-recording it), but when I began listening I was convinced that it could be greatly improved.  Most of the original tracks, except the guitar parts, have been totally re-recorded, and of course the album has been re-mixed and re-mastered.”

Several More Musiks is available for purchase at: www.numavox.com/cd.htm

* Two clips from the upcoming VISUAL CLIFF album Refuge, “Footprints For The Lost” & “Anathema”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYhOeM4X2CU & www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLTTsBpRuq4

* Valley Of The Kings, second album teaser from EVANS & JOKES: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tgEqO5nW5Y

ARTIST COMMENTARY

Michael Sweet in regards to the musical direction of any solo album he might record in the future (Facebook = December 4, 2017):

“I've always had a soft side. I'm a ‘balladeer’ as much as I am a ‘metal head’. My last solo album (One Sided War) was a straight ahead metal/hard rock album. The last two STRYPER albums (and the new one we're working on now) are consistently heavy as well.

“My question is this: is it time for me to do an album of primarily ballads? It seems as though metal heads don't like ballads and balladeers don't like metal. Am I wrong or does everyone here appreciate both sides? I grew up with some of my favorites bands being JUDAS PRIEST, JOURNEY, IRON MAIDEN, SURVIVOR, VAN HALEN, FOREIGNER- a combination of both that I've always been drawn to.  As a kid, I would hear THE BEE GEES and then BLACK SABBATH and absolutely love both!

“So, as I prepare to start mapping out my next "project", what would make you say "yes! It's about time!!" - metal or ballads? Or both?”

Bassist Gene Simmons in regards to what he thinks of critics, who over the years have not been very kind to KISS (from a November 26, 2017 Fortt Knox Podcast interview with Jon Fortt):

"Critics mean well, I'm sure, but living in your mother's basement doesn't qualify you to have an assessment about anything, especially if you've never done it.  I think sorely lacking from critics in general is journalistic ethic...  As a journalist, you still have to report on the facts.  Invariably, the opposite tends to be the case.  The pen is mightier than the sword, and Machiavelli was right- to have power is to abuse it.  Critics become delusional, and they actually think that they're important.  You really aren't.  Consider this- if there was never such a life form as critics, do you think it would affect life as we know it on planet Earth?  Not in the least."

Editors Note: As a critic, I would like to offer a polite rebuttal as I type this from the studio apartment located in my mothers basement.  In all seriousness, Mr. Simmons has many of the right ideas, particularly as it pertains to journalistic ethic.  All reviewers (not just music critics) in a sense are journalists and have an obligation to ‘report on the facts’ as they suggest.  Where Mr. Simmons potentially misses the point - and this is an area in which things get both problematic and a bit grey - is the ‘critics become delusional’ part.  Fact is, writing a review is not just about facts but also opinion.  As a critic, am I delusional by offering an opinion that ‘album A’ from ‘artist B’ is an inferior work that deserves improving upon in certain areas?  If ‘power is to abuse it’, then is it an abuse of power to point this out even if in a diplomatic sense, while keeping the artists best intentions at heart?  Is a critic in violation of the journalistic ethic by writing a negative review while still reporting on the facts?

Fact is opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one.  Hence, if you do not like someone’s opinion, take the high road but do not take it personal either.  Beside, a critical reviewer might have some good points in which an artist could potentially learn and ultimately improve.  The point being - and this is where I disagree with Mr. Simmons - is that not all critics are to be dismissed.

Where I do agree with the artist, however, is that as a critic I am not that important.  The least I can do is help point Angelic Warlord readers in the direction of their hard music purchases and hope to have a positive impact on their lives in light of the truth the artists in which I cover convey.  Outside of that perhaps I am not that particularly important.  But what is?  I cannot help but think Colossians 1:10 sums things up succinctly in this regard:

…live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…

The meaning here is that what counts is HOW I run the site: in a manner worthy of the Lord and pleasing Him in every way.  Hence, I am obligated to the journalistic ethic and to report on the facts but without abusing any power I might have as a critic at the same time.  Yes, as a reviewer I can offer a constructive comment - or even write an overall critical review - but not be disrespectful of the artist either.

The best manner in which to sum up is to quote the passage that (in my opinion) forms the benchmark for said journalistic ethic in which all critics must adhere: ‘speak the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15)

 

Update: December 3, 2017

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

BRIDE In Pre-production For New Album, Snake Eyes:
Classic Christian metal band BRIDE are currently in pre-production for its upcoming comeback album, which according to founding member and vocalist Dale Thompson has been entitled Snake Eyes.  The bands fifteenth CD and first since 2013’s Incorruptible will also feature co-founding member and guitarist Troy Thompson in addition to drummer Alexandre Aposan and bassist Nenel Lucena. 

Further detail from Dale regarding the bands new line-up: (Facebook - December 1, 2017): “You might ask: where did these musicians come from? Well, BRIDE has a long and great relationship with Brazil and these intense talented players are from this incredible country. You are going to dig these amazing grooves. Troy himself is the groove master of guitars. With him as conductor and composer and me doing whatever I do, the Brazilian team will bring the best possible Bride to the surface.”

Dale continues in regards to how BRIDE is self-financing the new album (Facebook - November 29, 2017): “This is a labor of love, and we are happy and honored that we have been called out of retirement by the Lord to take on this task. In order for us to produce this new CD, we are asking for your help with contributions, which all go toward the cost or recording, mixing and mastering this project. We have sent out this call a few times now and unfortunately, we are only half way to what our (estimated) budget. No pressure but I do not want finances to impede the release of this CD. I sound like a preacher on Sunday morning don't I? Sad but it is what it is.

“(Please visit) www.bridepub.com for any and all contributions toward the production of the new BRIDE release. Thank you kindly.”

He further summarizes (Facebook - November 24, 2017): “BRIDE is back at it writing and recording for another CD. Troy and I waited around for the inspiration wondering if it would ever come to bring us out of retirement. We are busy in preproduction now preparing for the studio. We will have some surprises for everyone for sure. This will be the BRIDE you have wanted. We are self-financing this work and it does take money to pay everyone involved. If you feel so led to contribute we are still not even close to the amount we need to make this happen. We will get there with God's help but I am just letting you know that now is the time to show us you really want this new work. Thank you for your continued support of our work.”

BRIDE online: www.bridepub.com & www.facebook.com/BridebandOn

Imari Tones - Jesus Wind

IMARI TONES - Jesus Wind Details Revealed:
Japanese Christian metal band releases new album entitled Jesus Wind to discover the unknown spiritual history of Japan:

Press Release / Japanese Christian rock band (virtually the only active Christian metal band in the Buddhist nation), IMARI TONES released their new album Jesus Wind on November 9, 2017.  According to the band, Jesus Wind is a concept album about Japanese history from a Christian point of view.  IMARI TONES formed in 2004 and became a Christian rock band with its current line up consisting of Tak (vocals & guitars), Hassy (bass) and Jake (drums).  The band has toured both in Japan and USA, while recording many albums independently.

After the release of the previous IMARI TONES album Revive The World in 2015, Tak was interested in Japanese history and came up the idea for the album.  States Tak: “We wondered if it’s possible  to make a concept album that focuses on Japanese history from a Christian point of view.  So many Japanese people think Christianity is a Western/European religion.  But we don’t’ necessarily think that way.  In fact, Christianity was carried to Japan in many ways.  For example, if you read the book Bushido by Inazo Nitobe, you can see Bushido (Samurai’s code) has much in common with Christianity.  Also, it is widely known that Japanese Buddhism from medieval times was influenced by Christianity”.  After intense rehearsals and five months of recording, Jesus Wind was finally finished. 

The album consists of three parts: Past, Present & Future.  This is because the band decided to write not only about the past, but also the future, in order to convey the message of hope.  The Present part gives the listener a feeling of tension and reality through the songs about the ongoing evens like Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant incident in 2011 and political turmoil in the current world.  The Future part has almost prophetic like overtones with spiritual utopian songs such as “Revolution” and “New Jerusalem”.

Although categorized as Christian metal, IMARIT TONES is also known for its diverse styles, often progressive with similarities to RUSH and YES.  On Jesus Wind, however, the group focuses more on straightforward head metal.  As a result, Jesus Wind is the heaviest and most intense metal album IMARI TONES has released.  “Repent”, the lead single and first music video from the album, is nothing short of a loud and clear statement as a Christian metal band from the East.  It is not a coincidence that Tak quotes Isaiah 42 in the song “Revolution”: Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise from the ends of the earth.  You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, you coastlands and you inhabitants of them.

Jesus Wind is available on iTunes and BandCamp, as well as on digital streaming outlets such as Spotify, Google Play and Apple Music.  Physical CD’s can be purchased directly from the band via BandCamp.

Jesus Wind track listing

1. “Jee-You”
2. “Dying Prophet”
3. “God’s People”
4. “Saint’s Seeking Salvation”
5. “Bushido”
6. “The War”
7. “The Peace”
8. “Remembrance”
9. “The Way”
10. “When The Nation Falls”
11. “This Is How Freedom Dies”
12. “Repent”
13. “Don’t Stop Walking”
14. “Revolution”
15. “New Jerusalem”

IMARI TONES online: www.imaritones.net & www.facebook.com/imaritones

NEWS BRIEFS

* According to vocalist Greg X. Volz, the new album from CLASSIC PETRA REVISITED, Back To The Rock II, will be released this week.  Producer and keyboardist John Lawry put together a sneak preview on Soundcloud: HERE

* Valley Of The Kings, new album teaser from EVANS & STOKES: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCXNnkMdXsU

* Classic Christian Rock online interview with drummer Michael Feighan (WHITECROSS, KING JAMES): www.classicchristianrockzine.com/2017/11/interview-with-michael-feighan-drummer.html

* Texas Monthly online article about THE GALACTIC COWBOYS, whom recently released its comeback album Long Way Back To The Moon: www.texasmonthly.com/articles/almost-famous-galactic-cowboys

* Artists In Action online article about IMAGES OF EDEN and its upcoming album Soulrise: http://artists-in-action.biz/people-of-action/ioe

ARTIST COMMENTARY

Bassist Andy Robbins (HOLY SOLDIER) in regards to the cover by HOLY SOLDIER of THE ROLLING STONES classic “Gimme Shelter” (Facebook - November 28, 2017:

“Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in 1969 and originally recorded by THE ROLLING STONES and released on their Let it Bleed record.

“In 1991, HOLY SOLDIER wanted to record a great, classic and meaningful cover song for our sophomore release. After exploring this track and also David Bowie's “Rock N Roll Suicide” from his 1972 release Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars with Myrrh Records A&R Cool Guy Mark Maxwel,l we decided this track best fit our new record.

“Add in amazing backing vocals by Jackie Gouche and here you have our (1992) remake of the Stones' classic “Gimme Shelter” from (the HOLY SOLDIER sophomore album) Last Train.”

The song is available for streaming at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQ3JVSA7Iw8

 

Update: November 26, 2017

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Michael Sweet - Sole: Songs & Stories From A Life In Music DVD

New SOLO DVD From Michael Sweet, Sole: Songs & Stories From A Life In Music:
STRYPER front man Michael Sweet is set to release a new solo DVD, entitled Sole: Songs And Stories From A Life In Music.  The set was filmed on June 2 at the Narrows Center For The Arts in Fall River, Massachusetts and will be made available at Sweet's official web site.  In addition to the concert, the DVD comes with the following features:

• A Brand New Interview!
• Never Before Seen Archive Footage!

102 Minutes / 16:9 Widescreen / Region 1 DVD (Must have a Region 1 or Region-Free/Region 0 DVD Player to watch)

It will be available at the "A Michael Sweet Christmas" event on December 14th at the Spire Center For The Performing Arts in Plymouth, Massachusetts (tickets HERE).

Sole: Songs And Stories From A Life In Music track listing:

1. “You Know What to Do”
2. “Honestly”
3. “Always There For You”
4. “All For One”
5. “Someday”
6. “Real”
7. “Save Me”
8. “I'm Not Your Suicide”
9. “Strong”
10. “Dying Rose”
11. “Calling On You”
12. “To Hell With the Devil”

Sole: Songs And Stories From A Life In Music pre-order: http://stores.portmerch.com/michaelsweet/featured-products/sole-songs-and-stories-from-a-life-in-music-dvd.html

CHOIRS OF VERITIS Debut “Ask Him” Official Video:
Italian symphonic power metal band CHOIRS OF VERITIS has premiered a lyric video for the track “Ask Him”, which comes off its debut full length I Am The Way, The Truth And The Life released March 27, 2017 via Underground Symphony Records.

CHOIRS OF VERITIS is a Christian Metal project that literally means “Choirs Of Truth”, to symbolize the union between music and spiritual truth attributable to Jesus Christ.  The brainchild of keyboardist and composer Davide Scuten, CHOIRS OF VERITIS seeks to unite the love of God and metal music, while offering thanks to God for the wonderful gift of music.  According to the group, lyrics draw inspiration from the Holy Bible with the goal of understanding God’s message through His Word.

I Am The Way, The Truth And The Life was mixed and mastered by Larsen Premoli at Rec Lab Studios, while cover art and mini booklet attributes to Mattias Norén, whom has previously worked with KAMELOT, EPICA, SABATON & EVERGREY.

CHOIRS OF VERITIS is certain to appeal to fans of THEOCRACY, STRATOVARIUS, NIGHTWISH and SONATA ARCTICA.

CHOIRS OF VERITIS line up:

Davide Schiavi - Lead Vocals
Eliana Sanna - Mezzosoprano
Roberto Curtoni - Guitars
Davide Scuteri - Keyboards
Cesare Ferrari - Bass
Alessandro Baglioni - Flute

I Am The Way, The Truth And The Life track listing:

1. “God First”
2. “Ask Him”
3. “The Searching”
4. “Thank You”
5. “Vanitas Vanitatum”
6. “Miracles”
7. “Religiosity”
8. I Am The Way, Tthe Truth And The Life”
9. “A New Commandment”
10. “The Passion And The Cross”
11. “He Has Come to Forgive”
12. “Grace” (MEHIDA cover)

CHOIRS OF VERITIS online: www.facebook.com/ChoirsOfVeritas

NEWS BRIEFS

* CHAOTIC RESEMBLANCE - “Riot Anthem” Official Live Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8esMk9s7L8

“Riot Anthem” was filmed live on October 15th in Joplin, MO at Victory Sports Complex as part of the Long Live The Rebellion tour.

* INNERSIEGE video update (November 17, 2017): www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhRfMiRJnGA

 

Update: November 21, 2017

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

RAINFORCE Release New Christmas Song, "Bring Back Christmas":
Press Release / It’s that time of year again, time to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, a truly awesome time of year! This year Roxx Records and RAINFORCE want to wish you a very Happy Holiday season, and as it has been a tough year for many across the US and all over the world, we want everyone to truly remember why we celebrate this time of year. This year we hope to truly bring back the focus to the true meaning of Christmas.

We are very happy to debut and share with you the brand new RAINFORCE original Christmas tune "Bring Back Christmas" so first sit back and enjoy this world premiere new lyric video and remember He is the reason for the season!

"Bring Back Christmas" will be available on a limited edition hard copy CD format on this years exclusive Roxx Records ‘Best of 2017’ sampler. It will also be made available digitally directly from the band. Watch the band’s site to buy the download track here: https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/RAINFORCE

For this years sampler, as always, it will be given out for free with all Black Friday weekend purchases from Roxx Records and Christian Metal Distro sites during their annual sales! Watch for more info and access codes for the sale shortly.

This years sampler starts off with the new RAINFORCE track and then leads in to the Best of 2017 sampler from ROXX Records as we visit brand new singles from bands like DELIVERANCE, THE HERO , RAINFORCE and BIOGENESIS as well as revisiting some classic Vinyl re-mastered tracks from this years reissues from artists such as HOLY SOLDIER, SACRED WARRIOR and FEAR NOT to name a few. Then we end with a very special remaster celebrating the 5th anniversary of the classic third album from THE SACRIFICED entitled III. The track "Falling" and the Christmas single "The Little Drummer Boy" have been given a bit of a re-master by Bombworks as we remember that classic album that just turned 5 years old this year!

Roxx Records Best of 2017 track listing:

1. RAINFORCE - "Bring Back Christmas" (previously unreleased)
2. RAINFORCE - "Lion’s Den" (off the debut album Lion’s Den)
3. DELIVERANCE - "Black Hand" (off the new album The Subversive Kind)
4. VENGEANCE RISING - "He Is GOD" (off the 2017 reissue Human Sacrifice)
5. HOLY SOLDIER - "Last Train" (off the 2017 reissue Last Train)
6. SACRED WARRIOR - "Master’s Command" (off the 2017 reissue Master’s Command)
7. RANSOM - "WINDOWS OF MY HEART" (off the 2017 reissue Soul Asylum)
8. BIOGENESIS - "Land Of Confusion" (off the new album A Decadence Divine)
9. THE HERO - "Corpus Christi" (off the album Miracles)
10. D.O.G -  "No One Rides For Free" (off the new album Unleashed)
11. FEAR NOT - "Give it Up" (off the 2017 reissue Fear Not)
12. DELIVERANCE - "No Time" (off the 2017 reissue Deliverance)
13. CONSECRATOR - "Meaningless" (off the 2017 reissue Image Of Deception)
14. SUNROAD - "White Eclipse" (off the new album Wing Seven)
15. THE SACRIFICED - "Falling" (5th Anniversary re-master, off the 2012 album III)*
16. THE SACRIFICED - "Little Drummer Boy" (previously unreleased)

*Re-mastered 2017 5th Anniversary edition courtesy Rob Colwell (Bombworks)

Stay tuned for full Black Friday sale information coming soon.  ROXX Productions wants to wish you and your family a very warm and happy holiday season this year!

Roxx Records Best of 2017

ROXX RECORDS online: www.roxxproductions.com & www.facebook.com/RoxxRecords777

RAINFORCE online: www.facebook.com/rainforce.ch

Neal Morse - Life And Times

NEAL MORSE Announces New Solo Album, Life And Times:
Press Release / "I didn't get into music because I wanted to be a big success…I originally went after music because I simply loved it. There wasn't anything else for me. Nothing moved me like music did, and my hope had always been to move people as I had been moved." – NEAL MORSE

Truer words never spoken by MORSE, who will prove his own personal theory right with his latest solo album, Life & Times, which will be released February 16 on Radiant Records via Metal Blade Records/SONY on all digital outlets, as well as CD and vinyl. Pre-orders will be available on Radiant Records' website starting December 12.

Widely regarded as one of the world's leading progressive rock ("prog") musicians, there is now no doubt that NEAL MORSE is a "big success," but his desire to move people through his music burns brighter than ever. Now in his mid-fifties and his children grown up, there is a sense on Life & Times that MORSE is looking around and taking stock.

"I've come through a lot of difficult times and I'm in a fairly content place now," he says. "You can feel that on some of the songs." Much of this 'acoustic-orientated, singer/songwriter' album was written while he was travelling around the world on "The Road Called Home" tour in 2017, with some of the songs being inspired by the places he visited, while others are from spending time with his family.

For example, "Manchester By the Sea" is a musical portrait of that notorious rarity - a sunny day in Manchester, England - when MORSE was sitting in a coffee shop watching the world go by. "Selfie in The Square" captures what he saw walking around Luxembourg City, hearing the cathedral bells and children playing, but realizing what a difference it makes to share these experiences. "Luxembourg was really nice, but I knew that if my wife was there, it would feel like a holiday, so I wrote a song about it to send to her," he explains.

Some of these slice-of-life portraits also resonate with other people's heartaches, such as "JoAnna," which focuses on MORSE's son dealing with the loss of a relationship and - most poignantly - "He Died At Home," about a mother's grief over the loss of her soldier son. As MORSE says, "I had been praying for a roommate of a friend of mine, who was a troubled ex-military guy. The day we were playing in Paris, I woke up to a text saying that sadly, he had died. As I began formulating ideas for a song about him, I remembered that many years ago, I had been at a meeting at a military base in Tennessee. They asked us to pray for their men because almost every week they were going to the funeral of those who had 'died at home.'"

The power of the song that MORSE eventually crafted has moved people in ways that he could never have imagined: "Because of the idea for the song, I was researching soldier suicides online and found an article about a young soldier named William Busbee. He came back from Afghanistan in 2012, and then committed suicide. The video director contacted Libby Busbee, his mother, who listened to the song and was so moved that she is contributing photos of William to put in a video we'll be sharing very soon." The song also had quite an impact when it was premiered at Morsefest 2017, where it was very much the talk of the festival.

Born in 1960 to a musical Californian family, MORSE played in many bands during his youth. He learned and mastered several instruments along the way. In 1995, he wrote and recorded The Light with his new band, SPOCK’S BEARD. It was an album grounded strongly in the then-unfashionable progressive rock genre. The album and title song became modern prog classics, and began to bring MORSE and the band global recognition. In 2000, he also joined forces with Mike Portnoy (ex-DREAN THEATER), Pete Trewavas (MARILLION) and Roine Stolt (THE FLOWER KINGS) to form TRANSATLANTIC, a prog supergroup that went on to win the PROG Magazine Award for "Album of the Year."

NEAL MORSE's solo work has focused almost entirely on music with a strong message of redemption, beginning with 2003's Testimony - a two-disc musical account of his spiritual journey - and most recently with THE NEAL MORE BAND's PROG Magazine Award nominee, The Similitude Of A Dream, based on John Bunyan's classic allegory, The Pilgrim's Progress.

In touring news, MORSE is hoping to move more people with these songs at some "absolutely solo" shows in cafes and small venues throughout the U.S. and Europe in 2018. Check out NEAL MORSE at the following tour stops (with more dates to be added in the coming weeks on his official website: www.nealmorse.com/livesolo.asp

Radiant Records online: www.radiantrecords.com/default.aspx & www.facebook.com/RadiantRecord

NEAL MORSE online: www.nealmorse.com & www.facebook.com/nealmorse

NEWS BRIEFS

* EVANS & STOKES released a lyric video to a new song entitled “Dark Skies”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zwOdfbXapY

Please note that “Dark Skies” does not come off the groups full length debut Beyond The Gates released this past summer.

* “Next Joke ”, new song from GALACTIC COWBOYS off its comeback album (release date November 17, 2017) Long Way Back To The Moon: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSl3OMSlpwo

* According to an update at Blabbermouth (November 18, 2017), STRYPER finished recording all the basic tracks for its new album (everything except lead vocals and guitar solos) a few days ago.  States front man Michael Sweet, "It went much faster than expected and it sounds absolutely killer! We were all just having fun making music again with a new spirit and attitude. It felt like 1985 all over again. There's a new groove to the music that has to be experienced, not described."

He goes on to add, "We're all incredibly excited and feel that this may very well be the best album we've ever recorded. It's very special and has an energy unlike any other. We can't wait for you to hear it. April can't come soon enough."

ARTIST COMMENTARY

Vocalist Dale Thompson (BRIDE) in regards to his musical beginnings (Facebook – November 21, 2017):

“In 1981 I met a man named Michael Glenn Sherrad. Glenn introduced me to Kerry Livgren's Seeds of Change CD, which is still the greatest Christian rock album of all times. I was just coming out of southern gospel music and formed a band called CORBAN. That did not last for long. My brother Troy and I then formed a named called MATRIX and my influences began to expand. It was not long until BRIDE was formed from the ruins of MATRIX. From Seeds of Change, I was introduced to Ronnie James Dio, and from there it was my prayer, "If you want me oh Lord to pursue this heavy metal path then use me as an instrument of peace with the same conviction as Dio." Needless to say, the Lord has encouraged me to reach the lost with the gospel with this style of music. Otherwise I am positive that Satan would have used me to lead many more astray. Bride lasted 25 years then retired and then the fans demanded a rebirth and yes now we are back. Thank you Glenn. You may be gone but I have carried your torch this far. Praise God!”

 

Update: November 15, 2017

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Barnabas promo pic

BARNABAS Re-issues Announced By Retroactive Records:
Press Release / In honor of the 40th Anniversary of BARNABAS, each of its five albums will be reissued by Retroactive Records in 2017, with the first three, Hear The Light, Find Your Heart A Home and Approaching Light Speed, released on November 14, 2017.  Retroactive will be re-releasing the group’s final two albums, Feel The Fire and Little Foxes, on December 12, 2017.

The 2017 reissues feature a complete digital re-master by Rob Colwell of Bombworks Sound guaranteeing each album has never sounded better. These treasured classics will be packaged in a jewel case with a 12-page booklet insert and feature write-ups, band history, band pictures, and lyrics that make sure the album has never looked better! Must-have for fans of AGAPE, RESURRECTION BAND, DANIEL BAND, MOTORHEAD and JERUSALEM!

Barnabas - Feel The Fire - Retroactive re-issue

BARNABAS developed a style of music that straddled the fence between energetic, aggressive power metal (like IRON MAIDEN, DIO, or BLACK SABBATH) and experimental progressive rock (like RUSH, STYX, or MARILLION). On top of the music soared the vocals of a chain-chompin' banshee lead singer who was all about putting her boot up the dark one’s back side. The overriding question for Feel The Fire was obvious. Considering the artistic and commercial success of 1983’s Approaching Light Speed, could the band capture lightning in a bottle twice?

BARNABAS was an amazing band, both because they were the heaviest Christian band of their era, and also one of the most creative lyrically and musically. They were as musically adventurous as RUSH, but they would also put the hammer down and at any moment to grind out some extremely heavy metal - which they were doing a couple of years before the likes of BARREN CROSS, PHILADELPHIA, SAINT, MESSIAH PROPHET and STRYPER appeared. And, while the band proved even more progressive in their metal for this release, the trademark foundations remained intact - smokin' guitars and top-notch instrumentation.

With Feel the Fire, the band expanded the boundaries of Christian metal. Not satisfied with creating art by numbers or being a cookie-cutter band, it would be many years before anyone in Christian metal circles would touch the depth and creativity of BARNABAS. With Feel The Fire, fans were treated to a mesmerizing magic slab of metal. One that couldn't be ignored or shaken. One that was impossibly irresistible and memorable. Indeed, Barnabas was unique in the truest sense.

Feel The Fire track listing:

1. “Prelude”
2. “The Dream”
3. “Breathless Wonderment (The Dream Becomes Reality)”
4. “Hearts”
5. “Feel The Fire”
6. “Northern Lights”
7. “Follow You Up”
8. “Suite For The Souls Of Our Enemies (Part I - Hammer & Sickle)”

Feel The Fire pre-order: http://boonesoverstock.storenvy.com/products/22267475-barnabas-feel-the-fire-new-cd-2017-retroactive-records-pre-order

Barnabas - Little Foxes - Retroactive re-issue

On 1986’s Little Foxes, Brian Belew's pyrotechnic guitar leads continued to push the sound of BARNABAS over the top. He was well known as a human dynamo of an axe man, one who routinely wow’d audiences by combining in-concert acrobatics with the fact that he never missed a note! Brian had an amazing ability to use tapping techniques, (pioneered by Eddie Van Halen), in incendiary ways that had never been heard before in Christian rock. Gary Mann's bass style was heavily influenced by bassists Geddy Lee of RUSH and Dave Hope of KANSAS. Gary drove the band from beneath, his playing coupling beautifully with the powerhouse drumming of Kris Klingensmith. Kris emerged as a talented lyricist, writing the words to nearly all of the band's songs on the last three albums as well as the notable words on the back cover of the Little Foxes album.

A lyrically harsh and distinct album, Little Foxes also contains some of Belew's most notorious guitar work, along with Nancy Jo Mann’s most convicting vocals (her performances on “China White” and “Destroy After Use” are soul haunting!). Little Foxes marks the next step of BARNABAS moving beyond the experimental and progressive sounds of Approaching Light Speed and Feel The Fire to embrace an all-out metal assault. “Auschwitz 87” is so fast and aggressive that the guitar riffs could have come from a METALLICA or early SLAYER album. “Destroy After Use” hammers away with monster metal riffs and terrifying passionate vocals that let you know in no uncertain terms: - “the devil has a line on you.”

Gone are most of the complex progressive pieces with keyboards that gave the listener moments to breathe on previous albums. Little Foxes is overflowing with urgency and is nothing less than full-on bombastic heavy metal at it’s finest! The band seemed to know their final collective voice needed music as heavy as the message. Even in 2017, the message and the in-your-face metallic riffage remain engaging and mesmerizing. For fans of JERUSALEM, PHILADELPHIA, METAL CHURCH, SAINT, TESTAMENT and ACCPET!

Little Foxes track listing:

1. “Gospel Maniac”
2. “Little Foxes”
3. “Destroy After Use”
4. “Auschwitz '87”
5. “China White”
6. “Sins Of The Fathers”
7. “All Alone”
8. “Suite For The Souls Of Our Enemies (Part Two - Lover)”

Little Foxes track listing: http://boonesoverstock.storenvy.com/products/22267421-barnabas-little-foxes-new-cd-2017-retroactive-records-pre-order

 

Update: November 12, 2017

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Images of Eden promo pic 2017

IMAGES OF EDEN - Soulrise Album Update:
York, Pennsylvania based melodic progressive metal act IMAGES OF EDEN announced the past week that it has completed work on its fourth full-length album, Soulrise.

According to vocalist and founding member Gordon Tittsworth (Facebook - November 10, 2017), “The past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind. IMAGES OF EDEN finished filming the video to our single, “Shield Me” from the upcoming CD, Soulrise as well as a pro photo shoot and video interview. After that, Steve Dorssom (drummer) and I traveled to North Hollywood to wrap up the CD mix with the legendary producer, Bill Metoyer at Skull Seven Studio (Hollywood, CA), then the last 3 days have been spent editing the video/ interview and basically “coming back down to Earth”. This was many years in the making and an absolute dream come true for the band. Now, it is time to secure label distribution and a release date.”

As for the album mix, Gordon said, “Bill Metoyer took the production to a new level! We are blessed/ grateful (and a bit amazed) all at the same time. Bill was a total pro to work with and it was amazing to watch him in action after listening to his work for 30-ish years. You exceeded our expectations, brother!”

The release of Soulrise, however, is pending:  “So now that everything is being wrapped up, we “hurry up and wait” until we can work out the CD release details. Once this is solidified, we can finally unleash this and start promoting it to the world. We will keep you posted.”

IMAGES OF EDEN (as noted in its press material) is a fearless concept band that brings together familiar, well-loved elements of metal and rock combined with their own unique vision, message and delivery. The result is a distinct musical hybrid that speaks directly to the struggles and tribulations of the listener.  Musically, the group draws its inspiration from a hybrid of modern hard rock combined with classic metal, creating a modern sound rife with progressive elements and impassioned, unfeigned vocal delivery.

IMAGES OF EDEN independently released its full-length debut Chapter I in 2001 and Nightmare Records sophomore effort Sunlight Of The Spirit five years later.  The group’s most recent effort Rebuilding The Ruins (also Nightmare) followed in 2011.

IMAGES OF EDEN line up:

Gordon Tittsworth - Lead Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
Carlos Urquidi Perez - Lead Guitar
L. Dean Harris - Piano & Keyboards
Eric Mulvaine - Bass Guitar
Steve Dorssom- Drums & Percussion

IMAGES OF EDEN online: www.imagesofeden.com/index2.htm & www.facebook.com/Images-of-Eden

Michael Sweet promo pic

Update from Michael Sweet Regarding New Bassist Perry Richardson & Upcoming STRYPER Album:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

STRYPER front man Michael Sweet spoke to ListenIowa (in a recent online interview) about the band's latest addition, former FIREHOUSE bassist Perry Richardson. Perry joined the band as the replacement for STRYPER's longtime bassist Tim Gaines, who was fired from the group earlier this year.

Regarding how STRYPER hooked up with Richardson, Michael said: "Our co-manager mentioned (Perry]). We were talking with Sean McNabb (LYNCH MOB) and I had a brief conversation with Chris Wyse, who plays with Ace Frehley and THE CULT. I love James LoMenzo (MEGADETH, WHITE LION, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY), who could have been a great fit, too. But there's so much to think about, so when Perry's name got thrown out there, it was one of those, 'I never thought of that' things. I reached out him, and scheduled a flight. We jammed, and it felt right. No one was uncomfortable. We haven't known him long, but from what we have heard from the people who have known him all their lives is that he's a great person. He came in, learned five of our songs, and locked right into the pocket with Rob (Sweet), who is one of those drummers who adds a lot and is a little more difficult to follow. Perry nailed it. We sang harmonies, and it sounded like the album."

According to Sweet, STRYPER "originally made the decision over the phone" to hire McNabb. "He's a wonderful guy," Michael explained. "Talented. But he's got the LYNCH MOB gig, and they're going to be very busy next year. We just fell like that, after talking to George (Lynch) and Oni (Logan), we just didn't want to go there. We're really trying hard to run away from any kind of drama. Any time we feel any form of drama is coming our way, it's, 'Boom! We're out,' believe it or not."

Michael also talked about the progress of the writing and recording sessions for STRYPER's follow-up to 2015's Fallen album. He said: "It's all done. I came home from a recent four-show acoustic run in California, took a day off on Monday, and then Tuesday I set up all my gear. I had my computer, my speakers, my little iPad with my guitar rig in it, and I started writing. Within a week, I had everything. I've been tweaking since - a chord here or a lyric there - but everything was done within a week. Oz (Fox, guitar) sent me some ideas, two of which ended up being used for the album. It's like a puzzle and fitting the pieces together and getting things to flow. We have a title and a title track. It's shocking, moreso than with 'To Hell With The Devil'. When people hear it, they're going to go, 'What? Can you tell me that again?' A lot of the lyrics on the album have been kind of therapeutic, coming from the last two or three years."

Sweet went on to clarify that both the title of the album and the lyrics of the title track will be "shocking" to STRYPER fans. As for the music, he described it as "straight-up STRYPER and a little AC/DC and a little (JUDAS_ PRIEST in a blender… It's an anthem with a straight-ahead, memorable, sing-along chorus, and people will be like, 'Yes!'"

You can read the full interview with Michael at: http://listeniowa.com/a-peace-of-mind-a-conversation-with-michael-sweet-of-stryper

STRYPER online: www.stryper.com & www.facebook.com/Stryper

Whitecross banner

WHITECROSS Returns To Guatemala In December 2017:
Press Release / Following a nine-year absence, legendary Christian Metal band WHITECROSS will be returning to Guatemala this December.  WHITECROSS is scheduled to perform two concerts in the Central American country, with the first held on Saturday 9 December in the city of San Marcos and second on Sunday 10 December in the province of Sumpango.

Consisting of vocalist Scott Wenzel, guitarist Rex Carroll, drummer Michael Feighan and bassist Benny Ramos, WHITECROSS first performed in Guatemala in 1992 and later in 2008 and 2009.

Joining WHITECROSS in San Marcos will be Argentine vocalist Mario Ian.  Ian got his start in the eighties with the band ALAKRAN only to later front RATA BLANCA starting in 1994.  Subsequent to making a decision of faith, he has gone on to become one of the more influential vocalists within the Latin American Christian metal scene.  Local band SACRIFICIO will be opening the show.  Opening for WHITECROSS in Sumpango is Guatemalan based Christian metal band SANGRE INOCENTE, whom feature former VOX DEI guitarist Saul Aragon.

With nine studio albums, one EP and seven compilations to its credit, WHITECROSS has won three Dove Awards in being considered one of the leading players within the Christian metal scene between the late eighties to the mid nineties.  The group’s repertoire includes such well-known songs as “He Is the Rock”, “Because Of Jesus”, “Love On The Line”, “No Second Chances” among others. 

WHITECROSS online: www.facebook.com/Whitecrossmusic

NEWS BRIEFS

* Update from vocalist Dale Thompson regarding upcoming BRIDE album (Facebook - October 10, 2017):

“Yes it is true, Troy (Thompson, guitars) and I are writing again and we promise not to be experimenting with new styles and sounds. Our goal is to rock your face off with some scalding BRIDE for the 90's sound. We won't be rapping, playing new metal, thrash or dance, we will be rocking with massive grooves, power vocals and screams and delivering the album you would expect veterans of 30 years to bring you.

“Our fundraising, contribution fund is slowly getting there but we are far off the mark recently projected by you... the listener. Yep if you can give toward this work we accept PayPal at briderocks@gmail.com

* ”My Life”, new song from KIDD ROBIN: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWxlkQKplsE

* Many will recognize the name Jerome Mazza, whom fronted the second ANGELICA album from 1990, Walkin’ In Faith.  Mazza returns to perform a duet with Steve Walsh (ex KANSAS) on the track “Born In Fire” off Walsh’s forthcoming solo album Black Butterfly (release date November 17, 2017): www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrXCOxdW5CQ

Mazza, who makes a guest appearance on three other Black Butterfly tracks, reportedly has signed with Escape Music and has a solo album in the works.

* Power Rock Podcasts interview with guitarist Bill Menchen (scroll to bottom of page): https://powerrockpodcasts.com/interview-bill-menchen-2016

 

Update: November 5, 2017

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Evans & Stokes - Beyond The Gates

EVANS & STOKES, Beyond The Gates Details Revealed:
An international act consisting of US based guitarist John Evans and New Zealand based vocalist Jenny Stokes, EVANS & STOKES released on September 29, 2017 its debut album, Beyond the Gates

A concept album, Beyond The Gates is divided into two parts, with the first telling the story of an individual at the end of her life with no hope. The songs are reflections on a lifetime of poor choices, and family and friends lost.  In the second, hope comes with the vision of an angel. As death approaches, the angel's offer of peace is accepted and her journey ends at Heaven's Gate with her last breath.

Musically, Beyond The Gates is a metal album reflective of Gothic and progressive tendencies but also with softer elements to emphasize the mood throughout.

A video for a song off the album entitled “Forgiven” can be seen below. 

EVANS & STOKES Bio:

We met online back in October of 2016 and right from the beginning we seemed to click musically. Although we come from completely different backgrounds, our musical tastes meshed well, as did our desire to put our creations out there for others to hear. We started with collaborating on one song, which turned out to be the song “Kingdom”, which is on our first album. The music had already been written by John but was in need of lyrics and vocals, and Jenny was eager to contribute. The experience we had finalizing this song was enough to know that our partnership was solid. So we decided to go full on and make the metal concept album Beyond The Gates.

The album took over 10 months to complete and with the two of us being literally on opposite sides of the planet it was a huge undertaking. The fact is that Jenny and I have only spoken to each other one time! One time we had a Skype call to discuss the vision for the album. The rest of the process was done through thousands of emails, sharing files on Dropbox, etc. Back and forth, and back and forth, until each song was complete. An exhausting but very rewarding process. So that’s our story through today, but it is still evolving as we create more music together. Stay tuned!

Beyond The Gates track listing:

1. “Alone I Lie”
2. “My Lullaby”
3. “Defy The Demons”
4. “The Devil’s Ride”
5, “Sadness”
6. “Psalm 23”
7. “Kingdom”
8. “In Your Silence”
9. “Angel Eyes”
10. “Forgiven”
11. “I Cry No More”
12. “Beyond The Gates”

EVANS & STOKES online: www.evansandstokes.com/home.html & www.facebook.com/evansandstokes

Stryper promo pic with Perry Richardson

STRYPER Announces New Bass Player, Perry Richardson:
Press Release / After months of speculation, multi-platinum rock band STRYPER is excited to announce the addition of iconic bass player Perry Richardson to the band lineup. Richardson joins original members Michael Sweet (vocals and guitar), Robert Sweet (drums) and Oz Fox (guitar), all of whom are currently in pre-production on their upcoming album due in 2018 from Frontiers Music SRL.

The bass player position became available following last year's highly successful 30th Anniversary To Hell With The Devil tour, which saw record crowds and featured STRYPER’s largest sound and lighting production in nearly two decades. Perry becomes only the third bass player to fill that slot in the band’s 34 year career.

Richardson is best known as a founding member of the multi-platinum band FIREHOUSE, who exploded onto the scene in the early 1990s with hit singles like “Don’t Treat Me Bad,” “Love of a Lifetime” and “When I Look Into Your Eyes.” In 1992, the band took home an American Music Award for Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock New Artist, beating out both NIRVANA and ALICE IN CHAINS. Since departing FIREHOUSE, Richardson has remained active touring with various artists including Trace Adkins and Craig Morgan.

“The first time I met the guys in STRYPER was in 1985, when my first band, MAXX WARRIOR opened for them in Charlotte, NC,” says Richardson. "From that first meeting, they have always been one of my favorite bands and a huge influence on me personally and musically. To have the honor of becoming a member of STRYPER today, is an indescribable experience for me. I am so overwhelmed I can’t put it into words. To be asked to be a member of one of my favorite all-time bands is one of the greatest honors of my career. I’m so looking forward to being a part of this next chapter in STRYPER’s legacy. I’m ready to rock the world with my new brothers!”

"Perry is a perfect fit within our band," adds STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet. "He's an amazing singer, an excellent bass player and just a great human being. The moment we first rehearsed with Perry we knew that it was right. We sang harmonies and the vocals sounded awesome. He shared stories of how STRYPER was one of his favorite bands and that he's always respected us. It meant a lot to hear him say that. He has brought a kind and humble spirit to the band. He is a professional and an absolute gentleman. His resume is quite extensive and as impressive as it gets. We're honored to have him on our team and we're extremely excited about the future!"

STRYPER continues to dominate the hard rock/heavy metal scene. Their ninth studio album, Fallen (Frontiers Music SRL), was released in October 2015 and debuted at the top of the Billboard charts including #2 on the Top Hard Music Albums chart, #2 on the Top Contemporary Christian Albums chart, #2 on the Top Christian/Gospel Albums and #5 on the Top Current Rock Albums chart.

Rocking since 1984, STRYPERr is responsible for such classic '80s metal albums as Soldiers Under Command, To Hell With The Devil and In God We Trust. In fact, STRYPER is the first band to ever have two songs in MTV’s Top 10 simultaneously with their hits “Free” and “Honestly.” After a sabbatical for much of the 1990's, STRYPER returned strong in the early 21st century. To date, the Dove Award-winning and GRAMMY-nominated band has sold over 10 million records worldwide.

STRYPER online: www.stryper.com & www.facebook.com/Stryper

SWEET & LYNCH Premier New Video, “Walk”:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

"Walk", the new video from SWEET & LYNCH - the band featuring guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet (STRYPER), legendary guitarist George Lynch (DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB), bassist James LoMenzo (MEGADETH, WHITE LION, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Brian Tichy (THE DEAD DAISIES, WHITESNAKE) - can be seen above. The song is taken from SWEET & LYNCH's sophomore album, Unified, which will be released on November 10 via Frontiers Music Srl.

Sweet offers his thoughts about Unified in a recent online interview with That Drummer Guy: "This album, to me, sounds a little bit more focused. It's a little bit more raw and in your face. The first album was a little more slick, had a little bit more production and effects and things going on and more tracks, too. This album doesn't have as many tracks. It's a little bit more scaled-down and bare bones, but I think it works. I really do. We experimented a little bit more. Like the song “Walk”, George sent me that. I went 'Wow, this is cool. I don't know what to do with it, but it's really cool.' It sounds like if you merged AEROSMITH and QUEEN, STRYPER and DOKKEN together, you're going to get “Walk”. It's kinda cool."

Regarding the increased diversity of the songs found on Unified, Sweet said: "That's all you can hope and pray for when you make an album. That people are going to connect with it and they're going to get it. Sometimes it doesn't happen. Sometimes a band makes an album that they feel is the best album of their career and the fans just don't get it. It's happened with us. We made a couple of albums that we were really excited about and they got released and they didn't do so well. It's probably happened with anything. It's really nice to see and hear the band be so excited and the fans and the critics seem to be equally as excited about that album as well. So far, that's the result of this album. I'm hearing a lot of good things. I think it's going to be a winner, man. I do. Granted, we're limited because of the times we live in. Rock isn't at the top of the charts. It's a struggle, it's a battle, it's a fight for bands from our era and for us to go out there and get it out to the masses and do it the right way, it's very tough. But man, we're still trying. We still love what we do. Hopefully that shows."

Speaking about the work put into the creation of Unified, Michael said: "We were all, our hearts and our souls and our bodies to the core were completely into this album. We put everything we had into this album and gave our all. We all wanted it to be the best. There's no doubt, you're right on the money with that. You know, it's just again, it's hit-or-miss, especially when you start experimenting. When you start trying different things, as an artist, you have to do that and have the freedom to do that. That's what makes some of the best bands in history so good because they took the risk and they experimented and they did something really unique. We tried a little bit of that on this album. Like I said, songs like “Walk”, there's a song called “Afterlife”. For typical, what people expect to hear from George and Michael, collectively or individually, that ain't it. Those are the songs people are going to listen to and go 'Oh wow, this is different' for them. It really is. We enjoyed doing that. It was a lot of fun."

SWEET & LYNCH's debut album, Only To Rise, was released in January 2015 via Frontiers Music Srl.

Unified track listing:

1. “Promised Land”
2. “Walk”
3. “Afterlife”
4. “Make Your Mark”
5. “Tried & True”
6. “Unified”
7. “Find Your Way”
8. “Heart Of Fire”
9. “Bridge Of Broken Lies”
10. “Better Man”
11. “Live To Die"

Sweet & Lynch - Unified

Frontiers Music SRL online: www.frontiers.it/index.php & www.facebook.com/frontiersmusicsrl

SWEET & LYNCH online: www.facebook.com/SweetLynch

NEWS BRIEFS

* New album on the way from CHAOTIC RESEMBLANCE (Facebook - October 30, 2017):

“Just because we have been a bit quiet doesn't mean things still aren't going on behind the scenes. We released the 2 song EP back in April, but the long awaited new album will come out in 2018!  Artwork for the album cover is being worked on, raising funds for mastering the full album, and a live video is also in the works right now. Once again this record has been produced by Sir Oz Fox (Uncle Oz to us) and we are so blessed to have him on this project with us. Here is a video we did earlier this year for those of you who wonder why we do what we do: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mKI2hciQYI

* THE CRIMSON BRIDGE MINISTRY update: Work has begun on our 3rd CD, The Solution, a 5 song EP due out by August, 2018.  Track listing and lyrics (to come) very soon. 4 out of the 5 songs are already started. It will precede a live album entitled Crankin’ The Gospel in 2019 or early 2020.

* PASTOR BRAD announces a hard rock Christmas music special: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDF6D1_ZWok

ARTIST COMMENTARY

* From bassist Perry Richardson in regards to joining STRYPER (Facebook - November 2, 2017:

“Hello everyone… just wanted to stop in and say hi, and thank everyone for welcoming me to the family! The band and everyone on their team have made me feel right at home. Love them already! I’ve been reading many of your posts, and I totally understand your concerns about my background and whether or not I’m a Christian. I’m proud to say that I am, and have been since I was a kid. I even sang in a southern gospel quartet until I was 14! Lol
 
"STRYPER  has been a huge influence on me since our first meeting in 1985, and I’m finding it hard to express how honored I am to be a part of family. I hope all of you will give me a chance to prove myself. I’m so excited for the future, and can’t wait to get on the road and meet you guys!”

* From Torbjorn Weinesjo in regards to the legacy of VENI DOMINE (Facebook - October 30, 2017):

“Why not remember 30 years ago or so when we formed this band, you know time moves so fast and there’s so much to be grateful of. ICC studios in Eastbourne, UK. 5 fresh lads from this little country went to record a debut album a few years later. I’d moved from drums to guitars like five/ six years earlier and everything was so exciting and the future held only promises. Did we make it all the way, no not really (depending on how you see things), did we always make the right decisions, no not really. But hey, that’s life and life moves on .Here’s a track from the analog days, 24 tracks, no graphic editing or click track or auto tune or...you pick one. What you hear is what you got live… at that time: www.youtube.com/watch?v=20N9_JsVJ_0"

 

Update: October 29, 2017

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Dale & Troy Thompson promo pic

BRIDE Accepting Funds To Finance New Album:
As noted by vocalist Dale Thompson (Facebook - October 27, 2017):

“Ever heard of putting your money where your mouth is? Well now is the time. Troy (Thompson - guitars) and I are now accepting funds to finance the new BRIDE CD. He will have a link up soon at www.bridepub.com where you can send your contribution. We are looking for 30 - $100 contributors, but we will accept higher and lower funds as well. If you are ready and anxious to send us finances so we can get this CD up off the ground use our PayPal account: briderocks@gmail.com

“Thank you ahead of time. Let's make this a successful campaign. God Bless”.

Dale offers further detail (Facebook - October 28, 2017):

“I want to thank all of you that have committed to the BRIDE raise funds for one more album. But there are still a few of you who gave the verbal commitment but we have not seen it. Troy and I have done BRIDE for close to 30 years just for you. We are buying new gear and working apart for the very first time this is challenging but very doable. I am so stoked at the songs Troy has given to me to work on. We are truly aiming for this to be the most incredible BRIDE experience for everyone involved.

“As BRIDE reforms for the finale of all finale's we have to rebuild, restructure everything. Buying certain gear, getting our head wrapped around the new songs, feeling out the market and getting to the heart of what we should do and what people need to hear. Thank you for your prayers, financial support and your patience as Troy and I begin writing. I will keep you updated. Don't worry, it will be fantastic!”

BRIDE is even considering signing with a label (Facebook - October 28, 2017):

“BRIDE has been offered a few record contracts this week to return to the arena in which we love. Pray that we are led by the Spirit to the one that we ought to sign with. This is not a game; this is real life; this is life or death for some. We all have our part to play in God's Kingdom and I take nothing for granted. Thank you for your intersession.”

Lyrics have been completed for the new album as well (Facebook - October 2, 2017):

“I have finished all of the lyrics for the new BRIDE CD and Troy has sent me over 20 major riffs. Now we will put this all together and create a monster heavy groove CD with the riffs you want and the brutal vocals you expect. Going to be awesome.”

BRIDE online: www.bridepub.com & www.facebook.com/dalethompsonthewriter

DELIVERANCE Debuts New Single, “The Black Hand”:
Melodic thrash act DELIVERANCE has released a lyric video for the song “The Black Hand”, the debut single from its upcoming eleventh full-length album The Subversive Kind.  Look for The Subversive Kind to be released on Roxx Records and 3 Frogz Records in early 2018.

The Subversive Kind is a true return to form for these Christian thrash pioneers, boosting 8 brand new tracks that truly bring the thrash back. Bill Bafford of Roxx Records had this to say about the new partnership, 'We are very excited to once again be partnering with 3 Frogz, vocalist  and founding member Jimmy Brown and DELIVERANCE to bring you this awesome new thrash release. The fans that have been requesting a ‘Weapons part 2’ will be ecstatic with this new release and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this new album is the bands Reign In Blood.

Earlier this year the band launched a very successful campaign to help with funding the new album. All contributors to that campaign will be receiving their campaign items this December. Vinyl contributors will be happy to know they will be receiving an exclusive green vinyl version of the album that will not be available to anyone else outside the campaign. Campaigners will get first listen of the brand new album well in advance of the street date.

The Subversive Kind also marks the return of original DELIVERANCE guitarist Glenn Rogers, whom last performed with the group in its 1989 Intense Records self-titled debut.  “We are so excited about who has joined the ranks, and is with the ‘Big D’ once again, “states Brown.  “Who better to call than the guy that came in (in) 1986 and 1987 and did the Greetings Of Death demo with us and worked with me on the first album.  Brought us the likes of (producer) Bill Metoyer, who produced SLAYER, DRI, FLOTSAM & JETSAM, SACRED REICH.  I’m talking about none other than Glenn Rogers.  That’s right- Glenn Rogers is back with DELIVERANCE!  We are really, really excited about this!”

Rounding out the DELIVERANCE line up on The Subversive Kind is drummer Jim Chaffin and bassist Victor Macias.  Musically, the group is promising a ‘thrash project that will bring back the classic DELIVERANCE sound’.    

Brown comments further regarding the musical direction to The Subversive Kind: “We’re going to give you the fan what you’ve been asking for and what you want- the old school thrash days of DELIVERANCE.  We are so excited.  We’ve been writing great material (and) were getting great tones.  It’s going to be crunchy, fast (and) thick.  Everything you’ve always loved about DELIVERANCE since the Greetings Of Death days you’re going to get it with this record”.

The Subversive Kind track listing:

1. “Bring ‘Em Down”
2. “Concept Of The Other”
3. “Center Of It All”
4. “The Black Hand”
5.”Epilogue”
6. “Listen Closely”
7. “The Subversive Kind”
8. “The Fold”

Deliverance - The Subversive Kind

Roxx Records online: www.roxxproductions.com & www.facebook.com/RoxxRecords777

DELIVERANCE online: www.facebook.com/DeliveranceRocks

LEAH promo pic

LEAH - Vinyl Editions Announced:
Press Release / Vinyl editions of the first three albums from the symphonic metal artist LEAH will be released on December 15th, 2017 through Inner Wound Recordings.

The releases:

* Kings & Queens: 2LP gatefold edition - limited to 300 copies
* Otherworld: LP edition including insert with lyrics - limited to 300 copies
* Of Earth & Angels: LP edition including insert with lyrics - limited to 300 copies

From the rugged coast of British Columbia, Canada, metal songwriter LEAH is turning heads across the globe. Fans describe her as "the metal Enya" and describe her songs as "Loreena McKennitt meets Delain".  In a sea of mediocre symphonic metal, LEAH stands out not only with her magnetic twist of Celtic and World influences, but also her well-known ethereal vocals.

LEAH - Kings & Queens

Dabbling in worldly Celtic, Middle Eastern, and New-Age flavors, while lyrically laced with epic imagery of dystopias, fallen empires, spiritual warfare, love and destiny, Kings & Queens was received by fans and critics as one of the top symphonic metal albums of the year.

Kings & Queens vinyl pre-order: https://theleahshop.com/collections/vinyl-lps/products/kings-queens-lp-physical

LEAH - Otherworld

This 5-song Celtic-metal masterpiece from Canadian artist LEAH takes you from the stormy shores of an ancient era... to fantasy landscapes... to the battlefield of love and loss. Cinematic character vocals from metal god Eric Peterson (TESTAMENT/DRAGONLORD) leave you electrified in his wake with an "echo's breath, a romance death!" Otherworld is where the ethereal and the brutal collide.

Otherworld vinyl pre-order: https://theleahshop.com/collections/vinyl-lps/products/otherworld-lp-pre-order

LEAH - Of Earth & Angels

Experience Of Earth & Angels as it takes you through the corridors of castle walls to angelic folklore and beyond.

Of Earth & Angels vinyl pre-order: https://theleahshop.com/collections/vinyl-lps/products/of-earth-angels-lp-pre-order

Inner Wound Recordings online: www.innerwound.com & www.facebook.com/innerwoundrecordings

LEAH online: www.leahmusic.net & www.facebook.com/LEAHthemusic

Stryper promo pic 2017

Michael Sweet On Next STRYPER Album: “It's Very Controversial And Shocking”:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

STRYPER will enter the studio in early November to begin recording its new album for a tentative April 2018 release via Frontiers Music Srl.  Frontman Michael Sweet told XS Rock in a new interview about the band's planned follow-up to 2015's Fallen: "Oz (Fox, guitar)and Rob (Sweet, drums) are coming out on Monday and they'll be here for about eleven or twelve days and then we'll go into the studio on the 5th of November. The holidays will slow us a bit, but the plans are to turn the album in by mid-January, so you're going to be looking at an April release, probably. It'll be through Frontiers Records again. We've got a title track already and an album title. It's very controversial and shocking and when people hear it, their heads are going to spin right off of their shoulders."

Sweet also talked about a possible replacement for bassist Tim Gaines, who was recently dismissed from STRYPER due to his allegedly ‘erratic and hostile behavior’. "We do have a guy in mind (for the bassist position) that we're flying out next Monday," Michael said. "We've already talked with him and we're very familiar with him. We're going to jam with him and see how it feels in person. He's a great bass player. He's got a great look, he's a great singer. He's well known and comes from a very successful band and everyone will know who he is. I just can't announce it at this time. The most important thing about him is he's a great guy. And we really need someone who's going to be a team player and just be inspirational and go out there with a smile on their face."

Michael recently revealed that STRYPER was working on a "career-spanning" documentary, which will focus primarily "on the good that STRYPER has done. All the people we have influenced and the lives that have been changed — people who were once drug addicts [and] alcoholics who are now pastors or they really moved on to do great things," he told music writer Joel Gausten. "People in other bands who you might not ever imagine are STRYPER fans. It's going to be really cool, man. We've got it all laid out, and we're going to start work on that really soon. It's going to take us a couple of years to complete, but it's going to be a big deal. It's not going to be just some typical documentary like most. It's going to be really unusual and interesting in a really cool way. I think when people see it, they're going to be completely mind-blown."

STRYPER in 2016 completed a tour celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of its multi-platinum album To Hell With The Devil.

Fallen entered The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 43 with first-week sales of just over 10,000 units — nearly all from pure album sales. The set followed the No. 35-peaking No More Hell To Pay, which was released in 2013.

The full interview can be read at: http://xsrock.com/michael-sweet-talks-xs-rock

STRYPER online: www.stryper.com & www.facebook.com/Stryper

NEWS BRIEFS

* “Zombies”, new song from GALACTIC COWBOYS off its upcoming album (release date November 17, 2017) Long Way Back To The Moon: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G1hRWzfTgY

* Guitarist Bill Menchen plans to release a 12 track REV SEVEN compilation entitled Heaven featuring three songs from each of the four REVEN SEVEN albums recorded between 1991-1999.  Robert Sweet (STRYPER) handles drums on all tracks.  Vocals will be redone on several songs as with some lyrics in addition to a few guitar leads added.

Heaven track listing: “2025”, “Cast Down Crowns”, “Father Of Lights”, “Fire”, “Harms Way”, “Love”, “Power & Authority”, “Sabbath Breaker”, “Sweet And Sour”, “Tell”, “Tomorrow”, “Who Is To Come”

* New lyric video from S91, “Martin Luther”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=65jz54rdf6k

 

Update: October 25, 2017

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Barnabas - promo pic

BARNABAS Re-issues Announced By Retroactive Records:
Press Release / In honor of the 40th Anniversary of BARNABAS, each of its five albums will be reissued by Retroactive Records in 2017, with the first three, Hear The Light, Find Your Heart A Home and Approaching Light Speed, scheduled for release on November 14, 2017.  Retroactive will be re-releasing the group’s final two albums, Feel The Fire and Little Foxes, on December 12, 2017. 

The 2017 reissues feature a complete digital re-master by Rob Colwell of Bombworks Sound guaranteeing each album has never sounded better. These treasured classics will be packaged in a jewel case with a 12-page booklet insert and feature write-ups, band history, band pictures, and lyrics that make sure the album has never looked better! Must-have for fans of AGAPE, RESURRECTION BAND, DANIEL BAND, MOTORHEAD and JERUSALEM!

Barnabas - Hear The Light - Retroactive re-issue

When BARNABAS embarked on their musical journey with the now critically acclaimed debut release, Hear the Light (1980), there were few bands doing anything like them in the faith community. There was RESURRECTION BAND in Chicago, BILL MASON BAND and ISHMAEL UNITED in the UK and ANDY MCCARROLL & MORAL SUPPORT in Ireland.  When Hear The Light came out in 1980, it was truly unique punk-esque with a Christian identity. BARNABAS, in their early formation, had guitarist Monte Cooley, who could write fast numbers with infectious distortion like no other. What placed BARNABAS on top of the rock pile were Nancy Jo Mann’s soaring vocals, backed by a beefy and intricate rhythm section.  Songs such as “Savior”, “Directory Assistance”, “B.C.” and “Playin’ For Him” are reckless and melodic, trademarks of the first album. Hear The Light started it all for a band that would go on to have an immeasurable impact on Christian rock and metal.

Hear The Light track listing:
1. “Saviour”
2. “There's A New World Coming”
3. “Directory Assistance”
4. “Little Faith”
5. “He Loves You”
6. “B.C.”
7. “Playin' For Him”
8. “No More Blues”
9. “Father Of Lies (A Song About The Other Guy)”
10. “It's Up To You”

Hear The Light pre-order: http://boonesoverstock.storenvy.com/products/21858965-barnabas-hear-the-light-new-cd-2017-retroactive-records-pre-order

Barnabas - Find Your Heart A Home - Retroactive re-issue

On Find Your Heart A Home, the re-mastered sound gives the album a second wind. The guitars and bass get their due place in the recording. This second album finds BARNABAS losing Monte Cooley and gaining two guitarists, Mick Donner and Kris Brauminger, who play quite proficiently. Keyboards become a staple element due to bassist Mann’s love for full arrangements. Find Your Heart A Home has a myriad of rock variation, from the hard rollicking to the blues-infused and even a bit of funkiness.

Drummer Kris Klingensmith shows a growing maturity in his lyrics. From “The Conflict Of Desire”:

Fornicate with millions through the lens of the camera eye
Open wide for children as they stand in the grocery line
Get it on with pictures till the loneliness goes away,
Disbelieving anyone knows…

The holy life eludes us, a mirage upon the sand,
The passions that torment us
We jump at their command
Like the tiny fragrant flower that traps the hungry fly
To set our soul on things below will choke us ‘til we die

“Swordsman” and “Way Of Destruction” are a couple progressive rockers that still sound stellar even after repeated listening. The album ends off with the memorable “Southern Woman”, reminiscent of JEFFERSON STARSHIP at their finest.  Find Your Heart A Home is a solid album; consistent yet diversified.

Find Your Heart A Home track listing:

1. “Find Your Heart A Home”
2. “The Conflict Of Desire”
3. “Way To Destruction”
4. “Boogie Tyme”
5. “Swordsman”
6. “Southern Woman”
7. “Star”

Find Your Heart A Home pre-order: http://boonesoverstock.storenvy.com/products/21858995-barnabas-find-your-heart-a-home-new-cd-2017-retroactive-records-pre-o

Barnabas - Approaching Light Speed - Retroactive re-issue

With the 1983’s Approaching Light Speed, BARNABAS released what many still consider to be one of the very best albums in Christian progressive metal. With this release, the band pulled everything together and upped the “wow-factor” to a new level. With the raging guitars of “No Freedom” launching the album to new heights, the album continued to progress and show artistic growth and maturity in astounding ways. Combine that with cutting-edge lyrics, spacey keyboards interlaced throughout, and textured guitars building to new sonic extremes, and metal heads everywhere were hooked. The recording and the mix of the album also went to new levels, allowing the depth of the music and songs to shine. Each instrument can be heard perfectly, and Nancy Jo’s vocals penetrate the soul. Did we mention the guitars? They are LOUD! They are METAL. And, from this point on, they would define the BARNABAS sound.

Any band is lucky to make one album that is truly elite. When I say "elite," I don’t just mean great songs and great execution. What I mean by "elite" is that this album is something that strikes a chord deep within the souls of many people... that steals the hearts of fans in sweeping fashion... that adds up to much, much more than the sum of it’s parts... something that is truly transcendent. With Approaching Light Speed, BARNABAS nailed it. They nailed it with an album that is just as musically, lyrically, and spiritually transcendent in 2017 as it was in 1983. And, let’s get one thing clear: there was NOTHING like this album in Christian music in 1983! The good news at the time was that fans were ready. They were ready for something quality, something authentic, something real. And, with this release BARNABAS did what they did on every single album - they wore their hearts of love for God and people on their sleeves. Their new record label, Light Records, encouraged the band to “tone it down a little bit.” Thank God BARNABAS chose to be more radical than ever. Their courage and conviction would go on to help them achieve critical acclaim and widespread popularity amongst a growing population of people who needed exactly what they were offering.

Approaching Light Speed track listing:

1. “No Freedom”
2. “Stormclouds”
3. “If Love Brings Love”
4. “Waiting For The Aliens”
5. “Warrior”
6. “Never Felt Better”
7. “Subterfuge”
8. “Crucifixion”

Approaching Light Speed pre-order: http://boonesoverstock.storenvy.com/products/21858725-barnabas-approaching-light-speed-new-cd-2017-retroactive-records-pre

 

Update: October 22, 2017

FEATURED REVIEWS

DELIVERANCE - Weapons Of Our Warfare (Bombworks Records re-issue)
Another album that has gained a well-deserved iconic reputation within speed metal and melodic thrash circles is 1990 Intense Records Deliverance sophomore album Weapons Of Our WarfareRead Full Review >>

DISCIPLES OF GOD - Unleashed
Wiki defines a ‘super group’ as ‘a music group whose members are already successful as solo artists or as part of other groups or well known in other musical professions’.  Furthermore, ‘Super groups are sometimes formed as side projects and thus not intended to be permanent, while other times can become the primary project of the members' careers’.  Read Full Review >>

HOLY SOLDIER - Last Train (Roxx Records re-issue)
I hesitate to describe Last Train, the Holy Soldier Myrrh Records sophomore release from 1992, as a ‘step down’, but in a sense it is, at least in light of the brilliance to the groups iconic (95% Angelic Warlord graded) 1990 self-titled debut full length.  Read Full Review >>

GUARDIAN - Fire & Love (Retroactive re-issue)
Another example of an album in which ‘all the stars align’ - again, the type deemed as career defining and that fans come to identify a band - is Guardian 1990 Pakaderm Records sophomore release Fire & LoveRead Full Review >>

JACOBS DREAM - Sea Of Destiny
With newcomer Wright on board, however, Sea Of Destiny finds Jacobs Dream has returned to the power metal laced with progressive elements of its first two albums.  Read Full Review >>

MINIER - Minier (Retroactive re-issue)
Minier recorded the EP on a budget of just $400 over a two-day period, but when he ran out of funds, decided to forgo recording bass tracks, figuring if Metallica could produce an album without bass (referring its 1988 release …And Justice For All) then so could he!  Read Full Review >>

NOZANOPRA - Peace In Our Hearts
Of all the surprises at Angelic Warlord this year, the summer of 2017 full-length debut of guitarist Thobias Wiklund’s Nozanopra project, Peace In Our Hearts, ranks at the very top.  Read Full Review >>

XALT - Dark War (Retroactive Records re-issue)
Xalt came roaring out of the late eighties Christian metal underground following the commercial success of Stryper in joining a host of other ‘white metal’ bands both signed (Barren Cross, Guardian, Bloodgood & Whitecross) and unsigned (Soldier, Paradox, Apostle & Revelation).  Read Full Review >>

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Fear Not - Fear Not - Roxx Records re-issue

FEAR NOT - 25th Anniversary Vinyl & CD Pre-orders Now Up:
Press Release / Roxx Records is very excited to announce our next Limited Edition reissue of the much sought after self-titled debut release from US rockers FEAR NOT!

That’s right one of the long, lost out of print titles that has never seen a proper reissue, original CD copies are very scarce to find these days, if you can find one at all! But even better this will be the first time this title has ever been released on vinyl!

We are just getting started though, the music for this reissue has been completely re-mastered for vinyl and for a special CD pressing by our very own Rob Colwell (Bombworks Sound). So join us as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of FEAR NOT with this very cool limited edition reissue.

FEAR NOT the self-titled album will be issued on vinyl for the very first time with a special run of only 300 copies, featuring 100 copies on purple vinyl and 200 on black vinyl. It will feature all 10 of the original tracks as they originally appeared on the CD. Also we will be pressing 500 copies on limited edition CD featuring all 10 original tracks and 2 brand new previously unreleased tracks on CD!

Release date is scheduled for December 15, 2017, just in time for the Holiday season.

Fear Not track listing:

1. “Give It Up”
2. “We Have A God”
3. “Mr. Compromise”
4. “Till The End Of My Days”
5. “Suicide Sunshine”
6. “Money, Money”
7. “Easy Come Easy Go”
8. “There Is Love”
9. “Mad World”
10. “Take Hold”
11. You Got Love (CD Bonus Track)*
12. “Love Is Alright” (CD Bonus Track)**

* Previously released digital only on the LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE EP Life Songs

** Previously unreleased track recorded for this 25th anniversary release

Fear Not purple vinyl pre-order: http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/products/21900128-fear-not-fear-not-purple-lp-2017

Fear Not black vinyl pre-order: http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/products/21900176-fear-not-fear-not-black-lp-2017

Fear Not CD pre-order: http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/products/21900194-fear-not-fear-not-cd-2017

Ransom - Soul Asylum - Roxx Records re-issue

Roxx Records Announce 25th Anniversary Reissue Of Sophomore RANSOM Album, Soul Asylum:
Release Date: November 24, 2017

Press Release / Classic Christian rockers RANSOM are up next to receive a very special Limited Edition re-master and reissue from Roxx Records as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the bands second and final album Soul Asylum.

RANSOM burst on to the Christian music scene in 1990 featuring the fiery female fronted vocals of Lisa Faxon, the amazing guitar work of Tony Ortiz and the beautiful bass sounds of Michael Preciado as its core members. In a male dominated world of hard rock and metal bands, Lisa would rise above bringing the polished vocal sounds of RANSOM to the forefront of the Christian rock world throughout the early 90’s.

Releasing their self-titled debut album in 1991 on Intense Records, the band was ready to take the Christian rock world by storm. Hot on the heels of this critically acclaimed release, the band began working immediately on their sophomore follow up album. In 1992 the band would release Soul Asylum, again receiving accolades and critical acclaim throughout the industry. Alas, the turn of the hard rock and metal community was upon them with grunge starting to overturn the hard rock world in the early 90’s and this would ultimately be the final release from RANSOM.

Soul Asylum was a masterpiece of an album being produced by Lanny Cordola , who also played on several tracks and handled some of the writing duties, as well as a very special guest appearance from Oz Fox of STRYPER. The original pressing of this album has been long out of print and tough to find for fans. Copies of the original CD are scarce and the album is definitely in need of a re-master to bring it up to today’s standards and volume levels.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Soul Asylum, and Roxx Records is set to help breath some new life in to this very special hard rock release. Soul Asylum has been completely re-mastered by Rob Colwell (Bombworks) and the artwork and layout has been updated and refined by Scott Waters (No Life Til Metal).

This very special re-master will be extremely limited to only 300 pieces on the CD format only. Each CD will come with a special hand numbered CD insert, packaged in a jewel case with an 8-page booklet with lyrics and some special liner notes from RANSOM bassist Michael Preciado. Lower numbers will be issued based on time of purchase and pre orders are available now. As this is a truly small run of CD’s it will ONLY be available through Roxx Records direct outlets and a very small handful of retail partners depending on remaining quantities after presale. Pre orders are up and live now.

Soul Asylum track listing:

1. “Soul Hymn”             
2. “Exit (Euthanasia)”    
3. “Windows Of My Heart”         
4. “The Lies”     
5. “Prayer Asylum”        
6. “Only The Just Let Go”          
7. “Not That Kind Of Girl”          
8. “Watching Over Me” 
9. “Higher Ground”        
10. “Sister Blue” 

Soul Asylum pre-order: http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/products/21893201-ransom-soul-asylum-25th-anniversary

Roxx Records online: www.roxxproductions.com & www.facebook.com/RoxxRecords777

Xt - Saved By The Blood

New Album From XT, Saved By The Blood:
Release Date: October 20, 2017

Guitarist Björn Stigsson (LEVITICUS) and vocalist Sonny Larsson (MOTHERLODE) founded XT in 1991 and released the melodic hard rock of its self-titled debut the following year.  In 1993, XT put out its sophomore effort Taxfree, an album featuring the heavier sound albeit without sacrificing melody.  The Taxfree song “The Silent Cry” was awarded the most powerful song of the year by Aftonbladet, Sweden’s biggest evening newspaper with 3.5 million readers.  XT’s third and final album Extended Empire saw release in 1995 with the band choosing an even heavier and more experimental sound.  By the end of 1995, XT made their last performance and have not been active for the last 22 years.

All three XT albums were released worldwide and sold very well, especially in Japan.

In the spring of 2017 XT announced its comeback, which resulted in its Talking Music October of 2017 fourth full length album entitled Save By The Blood.  An album with a heavy sound and powerful melodies, it includes the single “I Will Follow You” that came out in September and which the band recorded a video (below).  Saved By The Blood will be released on both CD and vinyl.

In addition to Stigsson and Larsson, the current XT line up includes bassist Peter Carlsohn (JERUSALEM), keyboardist Dan Tibell (JERUSALEM) and drummer Mick Nordström (MODEST ATTRACTION).

Talking Music online: www.talkingmusic.se & www.facebook.com/talkingmusic

NEWS BRIEFS

* Further commentary from vocalist Dale Thompson regarding the possibility of a new BRIDE album (Facebook - October 19, 2017):

“Here is an update on discussions between Troy (Thompson – guitars) and I about another BRIDE CD. We have both agreed that we would love to write and record a very heavy ‘Snakes Part 2’, but the cost of doing so is high. In the past, we have used Kickstarter and fan financed ways of financially making records, but they have been disasters and failures as far as revenue.

“Realistically we would need at the very least 30 people to contribute $100 each to the project to make it happen. All that would do is pay for the studio and engineering and such. Our time and effort would be free.

“Troy has played me some of the many, many dozens of songs he has worked on for the past 4 years and ‘Snakes 2’ is there to be recorded. Because of the financial beatings we have taken on the last three BRIDE CDs, both Troy and I agree that we would have to have firm commitments and solid financial support to put a new project together.”

* Update from vocalist Michael Sweet regarding upcoming STRYPER album (Facebook - October 20, 2017):

“The new STRYPER album is complete! It's incredibly powerful and a perfect follow up to Fallen! These songs are going to absolutely rock live!  Rob (Sweet - drums), Oz (Fox - guitars) and I will be taking you on a journey throughout the recording process. We start preproduction on 10/23 and we start recording on 11/5.

“We're going into this believing it's going to be our best recording to date with a powerful message and music that will move mountains. We've been through a lot and we have faced many obstacles throughout our 35 years and we will stand strong through it all. No matter what is done, said or speculated, we will prevail. How?

“God is in control! He always has been and always will be, despite our weaknesses and faults. You can't stop God. You can't manipulate God. You can't change or alter Gods plans. There is a plan and a calling for STRYPER and we'll answer to that on this album just as we have on every album.

“Thank you all for supporting us and standing by our side. We wouldn't be here without you. The future is going to be incredible and we can't wait to experience it with you.”

 

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