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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

• DYNASTY - Step By Step
• ENZO & THE GLORY ENSEMBLE - In The Name Of The Son
• IMARI TONES - Jesus Wind
• KILLED BY CAIN - Killed By Cain
• SWEET & LYNCH - Unified
• XT - Saved By The Blood

LATEST UPDATES

• FEATURED REVIEWS - December 10, 2017
• METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS - December 10, 2017
• RELEASE DATES - December 10, 2017

Visit Angelic Warlord on Facebook

Update: December 10, 2017

FEATURED REVIEWS

FEAR NOT - Fear Not (RoxX Records re-issue) - NEW
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 >>

 

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 >>

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.

* “Zombies”, 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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