ARMAGEDDON - The Money Mask (Collector’s Edition)
Armageddon came together in the early eighties while initially under the moniker Second Chance. A group originating in the Washington D.C. area, Second Chance started out as a project when vocalist Mike Vance and guitarist Robby Lee met through an ad placed in a local newspaper. The duo soon joined forces with bassist and drummer Mark Miley and began work on the material that would make up the Second Chance demo tapes. Read Full Review >>
EARLY WARNING SYSTEM - Overworld
Canberra, Australia is home to Early Warning System and its 2006 full length debut Overworld. A band that can trace its history to a friendship that formed between vocalist David McCallum and guitarist Kevin Windross in the late nineties, Early Warning System came together in 2004 but did not round out its line up until recruiting bassist Nick Danser and drummer Simon Waugh two years later. Read Full Review >>
IMMORTAL SOUL - Lines In The Sand
On Lines In The Sand Immortal Soul gives us a blend of straightforward hard rock and metal while delivering a ton of groove in the process. Think older Galactic Cowboys, prime King’s X, early nineties Bride, Die Happy and other gritty hard rock bands such as Grand Lux, Rez Band, Lordchain and F.O.G. Read Full Review >>
MAIN LINE RIDERS - Shot In The Dark
What stands out most about Main Line Riders is its youthful and infectious energy. Shot In The Dark, for example, is built upon a foundation of up-tempo hard rockers such as “Ride The Main Line”, “One Way Ticket To Love”, the aptly entitled “Pack Up Your Blues” and “Time To Put The Hammer Down” (one of the heavier pieces here). Read Full Review >>
REZ - Civil Rites
By the time the late eighties rolled around, however, Resurrection Band – in addition to shortening its name to Rez Band and eventually just Rez – had reached its artistic and creative pinnacle with Silence Screams (1988) and Innocent Blood (1989). The 1991 follow up effort Civil Rites maintained the same high standards. Read Full Review >>
SACRECY - Sacrecy
The Christian metal scene in Finland continues to grow in leaps and bounds. If in doubt, then consider all the bands to come out of the region in recent years: Essence Of Sorrow, Mehida, Oratorio, Random Eyes, Venia and Wingdom. Sacrecy is another group worth mentioning. Read Full Review >>
ULTIMATUM - Symphonic Extremities
At this point I am sure most of you are wondering why Ultimatum, one of Christendom’s premier thrash bands, is being reviewed in Angelic Warlord, a site which tends to shy away from the thrash genre? Well, if one takes a close look at Symphonic Extremities they will find there is a bit more than meets the eye here- and that is the foundation of “classic” and “true” metal the band rests its sound upon. Read Full Review >>
VENI DOMINE - Tongues
What we have in Tongues is a versatile work in which Veni Domine draws upon all eras of its two decade history. Most notably, the album finds the group showcasing a technical progressiveness we have not heard since its earlier recordings, Fall Babylon Fall and Material Sanctuary. Read Full Review >>
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
Metal Heaven signs DRIVER:
Press Release / Metal Heaven has announce the signing of heralded U.S. melodic metal masters DRIVER, featuring powerhouse vocalist Rob Rock and acclaimed guitarist/producer Roy Z (HALFORD, Bruce Dickinson).
Based out of Los Angeles, DRIVER was one of the top local acts at the height of melodic hard rock in the late 1980s and issued a widely circulated five-song cassette EP in 1990 that garnered the band a dedicated worldwide following. The band was ultimately denied by major labels with the emergence of the grunge rock scene that dominated the musical landscape during the early '90s, yet DRIVER's cult status as one of the most underrated hard rock acts of their time held steadfast over the years.
With Metal Heaven stepping in and inking the band to a deal, DRIVER will finally get a chance to release the album they intended to deliver back when. The new CD will feature re-recorded versions of songs that were written by Roy Z and Rob Rock during the bands two-year bi-coastal existence spanning the years 1989 and '90, including those on the original demo and some new songs as well. Original drummer Reynold "Butch" Carlson will perform, along with some other special guests, including PRIMAL FEAR's Mat Sinner on bass. Stay tuned for more details and keep your eyes open for a Spring 2008 release!
Metal Heaven online: www.metalheaven.net
DRIVER official: http://driverofficial.com
Collectors Sedition (Director’s Cut) from Kerry Livgren:
Press Release / Artist Ken Westphal suggested this title for this new version of the Collector’s Sedition CD, and I thought it was very appropriate, as well as smile-inducing. Why a re-work and re-release? A “Director’s Cut” is usually a version of a film that is (more) true to the vision of the work that the Director originally intended.
In the year 2000, I was in the middle of a very prolific period of composing, in addition to finishing up several previously unreleased songs. In a conversation with Phil Ehart of KANSAS, I mentioned to him that many of these pieces sounded to me like KANSAS material. We agreed to do a “reunion” album, and I gave the band their pick of the songs, which became Somewhere To Elsewhere.
That left 14 or so songs that needed a home, and my label (Numavox) was sorely in need of a new release. At the time it seemed the right thing to do, and there was pressure to do so, so Collector’s Sedition Vol. I was released. It was, in fact, the collection of demo recordings (although elaborate for demos), of the material from that single burst of creativity. In no way did I view these songs as “seconds” or “leftovers” In fact, I was somewhat surprised at some of the material that KANSAS had chosen, and some that they hadn’t.
What I came to regret over time, however, was that the (demo) versions of the songs had been released at all. In retrospect, they deserved the same production and attention to detail as the rest of the material. Fortunately, as an artist and producer I can afford myself the luxury of an extensive overhaul of the album.
So what is this new version of Collector’s Sedition Vol. I - what was done?
Every song has been, for the most part re-recorded. The only tracks that were retained from the original were some, but not all of the lead vocals, and a few of the guitar tracks. All of the re-recording was done 24-bit instead of 16, and better equipment and technique was used. The electronic drums that were used originally (as a convenience for the demos), have been replaced by either live drums (Mike Patrum), or vastly superior digital sample kits. The same is true of the bass tracks - the sampled sounds were replaced by live performances (Craig Kew).
Where there were orchestral sounds, they were evaluated, mostly re-written and re- performed, and recorded using, again, vastly superior engines and software libraries of real sounds. In addition, there is a new bonus track included from the period entitled “So Ends the Show”.
Of course every song has been re-mixed and re-mastered. (With the exception of “Song Du Jour”, which is not included. Unfortunately the masters to that song were lost or destroyed, so only the original mix has been re-mastered, and will be offered on iTunes only).
So is this difference dramatic to the listener? To some, perhaps not. For most, hopefully yes. For me - absolutely!. As an artist, I can now be at rest with Collector’s Sedition and remove it from my list entitled: “If only I had ......”
Kerry Livgren online: www.numavox.com/home.htm
* ADRIANGALE, the melodic hard rock outfit including vocalist Jamie Rowe (GUARDIAN) and guitarist Vic Rivera, has reformed under the new name CRUNCH, which was also the title to the ADRIANGALE third full-length album from 2004. CRUNCH has also recorded a new 3-song EP and plans to release it in the near future.
* ORPHAN PROJECT is near completion of a 4-song EP, which is hopes to release in January or February of 2008. The group also plans to follow up with a full-length project tentatively entitled Rule Of Anarchy in late 2008.
* Finland’s VENIA remains at work in its (untitled) next album: “I have a good feeling about the album, it's going to be another big step forward for us as we have set the bar very high. It includes 11 songs: two instrumentals, six songs in English and three in Finnish. Four of the songs are new and much improved versions of songs that were on our first demo. Musically it will be sort of a blend of the Genesis demo and (our debut EP) In Our Weakness. The thrash and power elements are still present, but everything has a bit of a classic heavy metal feel to it with plenty of galloping rhythms and dual leads. I'd say it's more melodic and catchy than In Our Weakness but just as heavy. Oh yeah, we have also included a lot more violin than before.”
CROWN OF MERCY - New Beginnings
Several talented new bands have come out of the growing Christian progressive rock scene in recent years. America Gomorrah, Revelation Project and Pursuit are the first that come to mind as a result of the hard rocking approach they take to the genre. Vertical Alignment, Torman Maxt and 7th Overture, on the other hand, deserve credit for their symphonic and technical expertise while Flagship combines elements of both the classic and the progressive. Read Full Review >>
IVORY MOON - Human Nature
What we have in Ivory Moon is a joining of epic and symphonic metal mixed with occasional power and progressive tendencies. Taking quite the complex approach to its art, the band best displays its technical expertise on “Through Different Eyes”, “Phantom Ship” and “The Journey”, three intricate tracks standing out with their numerous time changes. Read Full Review >>
JESUS JOSHUA 24:15 - Three The Hard Way
Jesus Joshua 24:15 is an act of particular note. Coming out of Saint Pauls, North Carolina in 1995, the band put out its debut, The Time Of My Return, in 1997 prior to following up six years later with the sophomore outing Once And For All. After signing with Soul Joy Records, Jesus Joshua 24:15 proceeded to record and release its third album, Three The Hard Way, in the fall of 2006. Read Full Review >>
JUDAH FIRST - Devil’s Dice
Nashville, Tennessee based Judah First came together in the summer of 2000 as a result of a vision that developed between four musicians - vocalist James Aaron, guitarist Philip Mead, bassist Keyth Harkleroad and drummer Chris Rosenstone – to create “hypnotically heavy and stage driven hard rock”. A group drawing its name from Judges 20:18, Judah First independently released its full length debut, The Vision Road, in May of 2003 prior to spending the next year and a half on the road. Read Full Review >>
MEHIDA - Blood & Water
On its initial 2007 offering Blood & Water, Mehida takes a foundation of melodic metal and infuses it with occasional progressive and modern touches. Atmospheric and moody, the band heads mostly in mid-tempo territory while delivering an ample amount of catchy hooks in the process. Read Full Review >>
PETRA - On Fire!
The musical career of vocalist John Schlitt began in 1973 while as a member of Head East, performing on five studio albums and one live album - Flat As A Pancake (1974), Get Yourself Up (1976), Gettin’ Lucky (1977), Head East (1978), Head East Live (1978) and A Different Kind Of Crazy (1979) – before departing the group seven years later. John subsequently dropped out of the music scene after becoming a Christian (through the influence of his wife) but a call from Petra guitarist Bob Hartman in 1985, however, would change all that. Read Full Review >>
SARDONYX - Majestic Serenity
Sardonyx delivers a tight and technical US power metal sound inviting comparison to Metal Church, Sacred Warrior, Meliah Rage, Haven, Vicious Rumors and Jacobs Dream. An occasional thrash tendency, at the same time, cannot help but bring to mind Antithesis, Boarders or even old school Bride. Read Full Review >>
VISUAL CLIFF - Into The After
Rob Perez proves masterful in adorning the full length of the album with his abundant guitar riffs, some heavy and aggressive (such as on “My Guardian Angel” or “12 Stone Gardens”) and others reflecting a smoother feel (“Wind Of The Spirit” comes to mind). Shane Lankford, of course, perfectly complements the material here with his trademark rich and warm sounding vocal style. Read Full Review >>
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
Fall releases on Retroactive Records:
WHITECROSS - Nineteen Eighty Seven (with 6 bonus tracks):
Press Release / Complete re-recording of original self-titled debut from the 1987 release featuring the bonus tracks "Love On The Line" and "Re:Animate" (all Rex Carroll guitar jam/solo) + 4 hidden out takes. Fans of RATT, MOTLEY CRUE, and STRYPER won't find anything more worthy of their money than this release! Originally released on Girder Records, this instant classic will now find new life with Retroactive Records on November 27, 2007.
Nineteen Eighty Seven track listing: “Who Will You Follow”, “Enough Is Enough”, “He Is The Rock”, “Lookin’ For A Reason”, “No Way I’m Goin’ Down”, “Seein’ Is Believin”, “All I Need” (4:19), “Nagasake”, “Signs Of The End”, “Love On The Line” (6:11), “Re:Animate”
WHITECROSS online: www.facebook.com/Whitecrossmusic/info
ARMAGEDDON - Money Mask (Collector's Edition - 2 CD set):
Press Release / Disc one contains the 1989 (originally on Regency Records) classic metal masterpiece, Money Mask album completely re-mastered, plus the bonus track "Blazing Wasteland" from the legendary East Coast metal compilation from 1988. Disc two contains 14 bonus tracks taken from the band's two demos when they were called SECOND CHANCE, plus rarities and outtakes. November 27, 2007 release date.
The Money Mask track listing:
(Disc One): "The Money Mask", "Mercenaries Of Injustice", "More Than Conquerors", "Looking Out For You", "The Ship Of Changes”, "(Liberation From) The Blazing Wasteland", "Nightlight", "Giving It To You", "The Judge", "We’re Outa’ Here"
(Disc Two): "Looking Out For You", "We’re Outa’ Here", "More Than Conquerors", “Nightlight”, “Money Mask”, “Ship Of Changes”, "More Than Conquerors", "We’re Outa’ Here", “Money Mask”, “Nightlight”, “Get In Line”, “In Your Face”, “Blazing Wasteland”
ARMAGEDDON online: www.facebook.com/Armageddonmusic777
DELIVERANCE - River Disturbance (Collector's Edition):
Press Release / The original 1994 release in its entirety, completely re-mastered with all new artwork from Caleb Olsen (X-SINNER, FINAL AXE, SEVENTH POWER, etc.). We filled the rest of the disc with the FOUR bonus tracks that are sure to delight fans of the mighty "D". "I Thought..." is a previously unreleased track recorded during the original River Disturbance sessions. "On the Fritz" originally appeared on the R.E.X. compilation called I Predict A Clone (A Steve Taylor Tribute), and now appears on a DELIVERANCE release for the first time ever! The third bonus track is the previously unreleased "Belltown (Hyper Industrial Mix)”, and the fourth is a 12 minute transparent look at the River Disturbance album, from its inception until the end, through the eyes (and from the mouth) of frontman, Jimmy Brown. This track is simply called "About River Disturbance by Jimmy Brown". This is melodic, dark, and absolutely brilliant progressive metal. Fans of HIM and SAVIOUR MACHINE will rejoice for an enhanced version of the original masterpiece called River Disturbance. November 27, 2007 release date.
River Disturbance track listing: “Belltown”, “After I Fell”, “River Disturbance”, “Now & Then”, “Speed Of Light”, “A Little Sleep”, “Map”, “You Still Smile”, “Breathing Still”, “I Thought”, “On The Fritz”, “Belltown” (hyper remix), “A World From Jimmy P. Brown II”
DELIVERANCE online: www.facebook.com/DeliveranceRocks
ROSANNA'S RAIDERS - Fire From Heaven: The Collective Works (Collector's Edition - 3 albums on 2 CDs):
Press Release / The 1987 release Calling Down Fire and the 1988 release Clothed In Fire (both originally on Pure Metal Records) in there entirety are both on disc 1. While on disc 2 you'll find the extremely collectible and previously impossible to find solo album by lead vocalist Rosanna Palmer called Changes (an Australian independent release in 1997). The bonus track on disc 2 is called "One Man", which only appeared on an Australian compilation CD called Modification. Everything has been digitally re-mastered for enhanced clarity. ROSANNA’S RAIDERS served as Australia's version of VIXEN, REZ BAND, BARNABAS, and HEART. Luckily, they shared this classic hard rock/metal band with the rest of the world! November 27, 2007 release date.
Fire From Heaven: The Collective Works track listing:
(Disc One): “We Are Raiders”, “Just Like A River”, “Serve Someone”, “Good News”, “So Far Away”, “Breakaway”, “No Reason”, “Run The Race”, “Inside Is Living Hell”, “Not Gonna Let You Go Again”, “He Is The King”, “Blind Eyes”, “You Are Special”, “Crying In The Night”, “Hell On Earth”, “I’m Ready”, “Crazy World”, “Do It Right”, “The Loser”, “Love The Lord Your God”
(Disc Two): “We Are Raiders”, “Reflections”, “When You Woke Up This Morning” “Spotlight”, “Masks”, “You Are My Rock”, “Why Don’t People Care?”, “Hiding Behind Closed Doors”, “Whose Side Are You On?”, “Mr. Magic”, “He Is Coming (Are You Ready)?”, “One Man”
TITANIC - Wreckage (The Best Of & The Rest Of):
Press Release / Re-mastered tracks from the original versions of Maiden Voyage (1st release), Screaming In Silence (2nd album) and their latest Full Steam Ahead. These original versions of Maiden Voyage and Screaming… will never again be released, so this is the last chance for fans to hear classic tracks from those albums in all their original glory. As an added bonus, fans are treated to two rare tracks and two previously unreleased tracks all featuring Robert Sweet from STRYPER. 17 total tracks. November 27, 2007 release date.
Wreckage (The Best Of & The Rest Of): “Ocean Of Blood”, “Hypnotic”, “I Am Watching You”, “The Sea”, “Hollywood Blvd”, “Carnival Of Souls”, “Gods Of War”, “Screaming In Silence”, “Nightmare”, “Dead Men’s Bones”, “Web Dreams”, “Time”, “Shovel The Coal”, “Don’t Care”, “Freak Show”, “Ocean Of Blood”, “I Am Watching You”
Retroactive Records online: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records.html
* Footage of JACOBS DREAM in the studio working on its upcoming album Dominion Of Darkness: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yb9--8Sh7W8
* Brazil’s SHINING STAR has reformed with a new line-up: Ricardo (vocals), Juliano (drums), Fabio (guitars) and Rodrigo (bass).
* Unpublished interview with X-SINNER vocalist Rex Scott: www.heartofmetal.net/t596-rex-scott-of-x-sinner-unpublished-interview
AFTER OMEGA - After Omega
With first Pacto de Sangre and now After Omega, Puerto Rico has become quite the source of quality Christian metal in recent years. After Omega is a group of particular merit. Initially forming in late 2001, the band developed a solid fan base as a result of gigging locally and even gained reputation as one of the better metal acts to come out of the country. Read Full Review >>
LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE - Independence Day
Those of you who are like me, however, and agree that change is good, will find the move towards an acoustic based sound a refreshing one. That being said, there is no need to worry in that what we have in Independence Day is not a one dimensional or lackluster “unplugged” effort. In contrast, this proves a lively and inspired work – delivering more than enough punch to attract those into the metal and hard rock genres – characterized by maturity in the area of songwriting. Read Full Review >>
NARNIA - Decade Of Confession
The year was 1993 and guitarist Carl Johan Grimmark crossed paths with a vocalist by the name (at the time) of Christian Liljegren at a record store in the small Swedish town of Jönköping. Christian’s band, the 70s influenced hard rock outfit Modest Attraction, was preparing to release its debut album, The Truth In Your Face, while Carl remained active in his group, Sentinel. The two exchanged telephone numbers and kept in touch. Read Full Review >>
RECON - Behind Enemy Lines
Made up of members from De Roque, Prophet and Seventh Thunder, three defunct area Christian metal bands, Recon came together in the late eighties before placing two tracks – “Light The Fire” and “Dreams” – on the California Metal II compilation in 1990 and recording a five song cassette only demo the same year. The bands full length debut Behind Enemy Lines, also a 1990 release, moved in a classic power metal direction comparing favorably to contemporaries Fates Warning, Queensryche, Loudness and Sacred Warrior in addition to more recent acts Jacobs Dream (David Taylor era), Faith Factor and The Sacrificed. Read Full Review >>
ROB ROCK - Garden Of Chaos
Returning two years later with his fourth solo outing Garden Of Chaos, Rob has put together a work taking the guitar driven heaviness characteristic to Holy Hell and imbuing it with the melodic sensibilities of Rage Of Creation and Eyes Of Eternity. Noteworthy hooks abound throughout the project, particularly on the catchy melodic metal of “Savior’s Call”, “This Is The Last Time” and “Spirit In The Sky”- three tracks heavily influenced by the eighties. Read Full Review >>
7th OVERTURE - 70 X 7
Peoria, Illinois is home to 7th Overture and the progressive based sound of its aptly entitled 2007 full length debut 70 X 7. A band that can trace its history back to 2003, 7th Overture draws heavily upon the influence of 70s style progressive rock while mixing in touches of the guitar driven heaviness characteristic to the current progressive metal scene. Read Full Review >>
SUSPYRE - A Great Divide
Any fans of progressive metal out there? The genre, of course, has expanded significantly over the years with the likes of Dream Theater, Symphony X, Threshold and Shadow Gallery playing a leading role while lesser known – though every bit as musically significant – acts such as Magnitude 9, Darkwater, Amaran’s Plight and Images Of Eden have made their mark as well. New Jersey based Susype warrants equal consideration. Read Full Review >>
TORMAN MAXT - The Problem Of Pain: Part 1
Southern California based Torman Maxt got its start in 1994 with the progressive rock of its full length debut Just Talking About the Universe…So Far before following up eight years later with another progressive based epic in The Foolishness Of God. The summer of 2007 finds Torman Maxt returning with The Problem Of Pain: Part 1, a conceptual effort based around the story of Job from the Old Testament with the ultimate theme revolving around why God allows evil and suffering on earth. Read Full Review >>
Angelic Warlord interview - Norman “Ski” Kiersznowski of FAITH FACTOR:
How did you come up with the name Faith Factor? Does it have any special meaning?
While on tour with Deadly Blessing in Puerto Rico, I heard the call from God to sacrifice and follow me. The Lord said stop glorifying yourself and give me honor and praise for the gift of music I have given to you. So needless to say, you don’t mess with God. The name Faith Factor was given to me by our Lord. What it means is- what is your faith, what do you believe in and at what level in that belief are you. Read Full Interview >>
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
MAIN LINE RIDERS take a Shot In The Dark:
Press Release / The Texas based MAIN LINE RIDERS is the type of band whose fans go to their concerts and afterwards they all hang around, sweaty and smiling, talking about how MLR is the next great rock band. They can’t be blamed. When you see MLR, you get the feeling you've discovered something really amazing and special, and you're "in" on it just before the rest of the world catches on. Well, consider this your warning, rock and roll has returned, not with a whimper, but with a resounding hinge crushing, door smashing kick.
As if they were poised and ready to take over Sunset Strip in the late 80’s, Shot In the Dark provides a healthy dose of classic rock jams that never cease to please. With every song employing huge, anthemic hooks, cleverly mixing snarl and attitude, the band has no problems paying homage to their musical rabbis, AC/DC, HANOI ROCKS, GUNS N’ ROSES and SKID ROW, while appealing to fans of modern day bands VAINS OF JENNA and BUCK CHERRY. MLR appeal is in no small part to vocalist, Mikey Mayhem, whose vocals give a nasty attitude and confidence that matches the intensity of the music, not to mention helping the band fulfill (and even exceed) their immense potential with their debut release.
Shot in the Dark is full of brilliant moments, all held together by heavy harmonic riffs blasting from the guitars, and “Throwin’ Bones” boasting a guitar solo that would make Stryper’s Oz Fox grin. Shot In The Dark is the aural thunderclap that is the brand new record from MLR, an unapologetically anthemic hard rock album, with 9 shout-along, swaggering rockers. No matter how you like your rock served up, MRL dish it with delight, and you'll be wolfing it down and demanding more.
Shot In The Dark track listing:
1. “Ride The Main Line”
2. “One Way Ticket To Love”
3. “Throwin’ Bones To The Wolves”
4. “Here I Am”
5. “Speed Queen”
6. “Pack Up Your Blues”
7. “Walk Alone”
8. “Put The Hammer Down”
9. “We Are The Ready Ones”
10. “Shot In The Dark”
MAIN LINE RIDERS online: www.facebook.com/pages/Main-Line-Riders
* New band from Dale Thompson, MONSTERS OF THE AMERICAS: “I have decided to do is to start a new band called MONSTERS OF THE AMERICAS. Scottie Hoaglan the guitarist in NAILED and I are writing together on the project. MONSTER OF THE AMERICAS is going to be a fun project. One cannot but concoct bizarre imagery when the title is said aloud. Original and tasteful with intense flavor this is going to be a memorable project. Gone is the old style, the old sound and the yesterdays and here today is the new. As the Joker in Batman said "Wait'll they get a load of ME!" Expect the charismatic frontman with more to say and forget stereotypes or labels. Hopefully there will be no comparisons.”
* JUPITER VI, a side project of DELIVERANCE frontman Jimmy Brown, has both a live album and new studio album in the works: “JVI were able to go back to Lucidia, alpha quadrant MARS by an odd coincidence that would take to long to explain in print and or spoken words. In any case, the moment was captured live over a 3 day performance in the Capitol City on both video and audio. The first version to be released this fall will be the audio entitled: Back To Mars - Live in Lucidia. We will keep you posted on not only the date but where it can be purchased. And also by Winter 2007-2008 be on the lookout for the Earth Sophomore effort from JVI entitled: Alive & Well.”
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
Acoustic rock album from LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE, Independence Day:
Press Release / LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE is excited to announce the release date of their new album, Independence Day, to retail stores on October 17, 2007. You will be able to purchase the CD version at all major retail locations on this date. If you have pre-ordered the CD it will begin shipping at the end of August/ beginning of Sept. LNJ would like to thank everyone whose has or will pre-order the CD. You will all so be able to order the CD from online stores at the end of this month as well.
This is LNJ's third all-star project and it features Jani Lane, Kelly Keagy (NIGHT RANGER), Mark Slaughter (SLAUGHTER), Jack Russell (GREAT WHITE), Pete Loran (TRIXTER),John Corabi (ex-MOTLEY CRUE/ RATT), Tony Mills (TNT), Kelly Keeling (TSO), Jamie Rowe (GUARDIAN/ CRUNCH), Tony Carey (RAINBOW), Ted Poley (DANGER DANGER), Shawn Pelata (LINE OF FIRE), Jaime St. James (WARRANT), David Raymond Reeves (NEON CROSS) & Mark and Shannon Hovland (HOVLAND).
The album is being handled in North America by LNJ Records, in Brazil by Silent Music Records, and people can order it overseas through Music Buy Mail and AOR Heaven.
Unlike the eighties influenced metal and hard rock of past LNJ releases, Independence Day takes an acoustic rock approach.
Independence Day track listing (with guest appearances):
1. “Doubting Thomas” (John Corabi formerly of MOTLEY CRUE/RATT/UNION)
2. “Monkey Dance” (Jack Russell of GREAT WHITE)
3. “Soldier” (Kelly Keagey of NIGHT RANGER & Mark Slaughter of SLAUGHTER)
4. “My Sacrifice” (Shawn Pelata of LINE OF FIRE)
5. “Phoenix” (Pete Loran of TRIXTER)
6. “Independence Day” (Kelly Keeling of BATON ROUGE/MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP)
7. “Meet My Monster” (Tony Mills of TNT/x-SHY)
8. “Praying for a Miracle” (Ted Poley of DANGER DANGER)
9. “Fade” (Jamie Rowe of GUARDIAN)
10. “Bullet, Train, Breakdown” (Jaime St.James of WARRENT/BLACK N' BLUE)
11. “Addiction” (Jani Lane)
12. “Wake the Dead” (Ez Gomer of JET CIRCUS & Tony Carey of RAINBOW)
13. “Snake Eat Snake” (David Raymond Reeves of NEON CRISS)
14. “A Little Bit of Love” (Mark & Shannon Hovland of HOVLAND)
Other guest Musicians: Jerry Dixon (WARRANT), Kevin Chalfant, Tommy Denander, Jack Frost, Charlie Calv, Don Webster (NEON CROSS), Nikki Dimage (LINE OF FIRE), Dale Toth … plus many others!
Rob Rock - Garden Of Chaos North American release date announced:
Press Release / With a North America release date on October 23, 2007 through Candlelight Records USA, Garden Of Chaos was produced by ROB ROCK guitarist Carl-Johan Grimmark and co-produced by Roy Z (JUDAS PRIEST, BRUCE DICKINSON, HALFORD) and Rob Rock. Rob wrote seven of the 11 tracks with longtime partner Roy Z, and the other tracks were co-written by Rob with Gus G. (FIREWIND), Carl-Johan Grimmark, Bob Rossi, and Liza Rock. The album was mixed and mastered at Hansen Studios in Denmark by Jacob Hansen.
Garden Of Chaos was initially released in Japan on August 22, 2007 via Victor Entertainment/JVC Music and in Europe on September 23, 2007 through AFM Records.
Garden Of Chaos track listing:
1. “Garden Of Chaos”
2. “Satan's Playground”
3. “Savior's Call”
4. “This Time Is The Last Time”
5. “Only A Matter Of Time”
6. “Spirit In The Sky”
7. “Metal Breed”
8. “Millennial Reign”
10. “Ride The Wind”
11. “Ode To Alexander”
Musicians performing on Garden Of Chaos:
Rob Rock - Lead Vocals
Carl-Johan Grimmark - Guitars
Andreas Olsson - Bass
Andreas Johansson - Drums
Mistheria - Keyboards
Liza Rock – Keyboards & backing vocals
Roy Z – Guitars & Bass
Gus G - Guitar solo on "Ride The Wind"
Bob Rossi - Guitar solo on "Metal Breed"
Peter Hallgren - Guitar solos on "Savior's Call" and "Millennial Reign"
Bobby Jarzombek - Drums on "Ride The Wind" and "This Time Is The Last Time"
The exclusive artwork for the Japanese version of Garden Of Chaos was created by Liza Rock Designs and is only available in Japan/Asia via JVC/Victor Records.
* The Danish website PowerMetal includes a new interview with guitarist Gary Wehrkamp (SHADOW GALLERY), who goes into detail in regards to the new AMARAN’S PLIGHT album Voice In The Light: www.powermetal.dk/interviews/amarans_plight.htm
* Footage of BLOODGOOD performing “S.O.S.”, “Heaven On Earth” and “Messiah” at this Cornerstone Festival can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEqJOTiIQbU, www.youtube.com/watch?v=as9Lpjs0__A and www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O7AsKrEEKU
* MISSION OF ONE update from vocalist/guitarist Chris Dickens: “After over a year of recording the new CD, all the tracks are done. I am now entering the mixing process. Hopefully, that won't take me a year! But, I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised with the musical direction. I just used all of my influences from 70's rock, 80's rock, modern rock/punk, blues, and some CCM worship, too! So, it's an eclectic blend, but I have worked hard to bring all those styles into a project and have them all fit together nicely.”
AMARAN’S PLIGHT - Voice In The Light
Amaran’s Plight, a progressive rock super group combining the talents of vocalist D.C. Cooper (Silent Force, ex-Royal Hunt) and Shadow Gallery guitarist Gary Wehrkamp, can trace its history back to the guest appearance Cooper made on Shadow Gallery’s 1998 release Tyranny (on the epic track “New World Order”). Fans of Shadow Gallery, of course, have longed for another collaboration between Cooper and Wehrkamp and on Voice In The Light, the 2007 full length debut of Amaran’s Plight, they have the perfect vehicle to showcase the abilities of the two. Read Full Review >>
GRIMMARK - Grimmark
Guitarist Carl Johan Grimmark needs no introduction. Best known for his work with the Swedish Christian metal outfit Narnia but also contributing his superlative playing to albums by Audiovision, Divinefire and Rob Rock, Carl recently made the wise decision to step out on his own and in 2007 record his first solo album entitled, appropriately, Grimmark. Read Full Review >>
ORATORIO - Redemption
Initially released in Finland on Mata Records in late 2006 but later picked up by Rivel Records in mid-2007, Redemption reflects the maturity gained by Oratorio in all aspects of its performance since the time of The Reality Of Existence. Whether it is in the areas songwriting, production, lead vocals, lead guitar or even packaging, the album, for a lack of better words, represents a major step up for the band. Read Full Review >>
PASTOR BRAD - Reshredded
To fully acquaint yourself with Pastor Brad’s playing it is first necessary to listen to several of the albums up-tempo pieces such as “Reshredded” and “March To Mordor”, two scorchers in which he really cuts loose. The laid back sounds to “Rain” and “Arabian Nights”, on the other hand, display the more emotional if not poignant side to his playing. Read Full Review >>
PYLON - The Eternal Wedding Band
What we have in Pylon is a doom based sound drawing upon the influences of Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus, the deluge of plodding riffs and down tuned low end heaviness delivered by the band certain to also attract the interest of those into Place Of Skulls, Faith, Troglodyte Dawn and Babylon Mystery Orchestra. But enough melody imbues the music of Pylon, at the same time, that fans of classic metal or even traditional hard rock should be able to find a home here as well. Read Full Review >>
SEVENTH SEAL - Messengers Of Love
Seventh Seal, as one would expect, reflects the musical trends of the decade it came out of, combining elements of melodic metal, melodic rock and neo-classical metal to create a sound certain to appeal to fans of other Northern European bands such as Leviticus, Motherlode, Emotion and TNT. Yngwie Malmsteen and MSG must be mentioned as well along with Stryper, Dokken, Siloam, Holy Soldier and Impellitteri. Read Full Review >>
STRYPER - The Roxx Regime Demos
Stryper, as I am sure most of you reading this are aware, can trace its history back to 1982 when it was put together by brothers Robert (drums) and Michael Sweet (lead vocals & guitars) while initially under the name Roxx Regime. Talented guitarist Oz Fox was later recruited in 1983 and, following the influence of a friend by the name of Ken Metcalf, the band dedicated itself to God and chose a new moniker in Stryper (Salvation Through Redemption Yielding Peace, Encouragement and Righteousness). Read Full Review >>
VIRGIN BLACK - Requiem – Mezzo Forte
Australia’s Virgin Black has been around since the mid-nineties, introducing its unique brand of “orchestral Goth metal” on the self-financed and self-titled demo it put out in 1995 in addition to the three song EP, Trance, it released three years later. The bands two full length recordings that followed, Sombre Romantic from 2001 and the hauntingly entitled 2003 effort Elegant… And Dying, were both critically acclaimed pieces showcasing a Gothic and doom-like sound combining clean, tenor male vocals with the occasional death metal-like growl. Read Full Review >>
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
ETERNAL RYTE - Anthology details revealed:
Press Release / Roxx Records have secured the rights to release the long-out-of-print ETERNAL RYTE album, World Requiem. The debut of this Southern California based eighties glam band (originally released on Pure Metal Records in 1990) has been a much sought-after collectible, with fans paying top dollar for the original release on sites like eBay. Also included is the six-track Anthem demo, which the band sold at shows prior to the release of World Requiem. A second disc features a never-before-released untitled seven-song demo from 1986 in addition to seven live tracks taken from the group performances at the Metal Mardi Gras, Metal Meltdown and Metal Midnight III festivals.
Roxx Records has re-mastered, repackaged and released the limited edition (only 1000 copies printed) two-disc set under the title Anthology. The first 100 copies sold will be autographed by the four original ETERNAL RYTE members. In addition, the first 100 pre-orders come with an exclusive DVD featuring some of the band's best live performances ever captured on camera. This DVD will NOT be available after the pre-sale is complete so get yours early.
Anthology track listing:
Disc One - World Requiem: "Tightrope Dancer", "Requiem", "Someone To Love", "Say Hello", "The Killer", "Surrender", "On The Line", "You And Me", "The King", "No More Lies"
Disc One - Anthem demo): "Forever Free", "He’s A Killer”, "No More Lies", "No Place To Hide", "Stand Up", "King Of Kings"
Disc Two - unreleased demo): "Intro", "Armed For Action", "Fight For The Light", "He’s A Killer, "Quiet Times", "Run For Your Life", "Winners Take All"
Disc Two - Live Metal Mardi Gras (9/12/1987): "On The Line”, "Fight For The Light"
Disc Two - Live Metal Midnight III (10/28/1989): "Someone", "Requiem"
Disc Two - Live Metal Meltdown (06/16/1990): "No More Lies", "King Of Kings", "Tightrope Dancer"
ETERNAL RYTE biography:
ETERNAL RYTE emerged from the burgeoning Southern California mid-eighties Christian Metal scene with a high-energy glam metal sound and bold and upfront message. Guitarist Bobby "Transformer" Smith, bassist Jon Ciccareli and drummer Mike Berry founded the group, with an ad in the Recycler soon leading them to vocalist Phil Garcia (who would later change his name to Phil St. Vincent). Following the departure of Ciccareli and Berry, ETERNAL RYTE rounded out its line-up with drummer Scott "Smash" Ernest and bassist Fred Gustafsson.
All ETERNAL RYTE members were seasoned veterans with many individual accomplishments under their belts. Smith auditioned for Ozzy Osbourne as a replacement for Jake E. Lee, while Scott laid down drum tracks for the self-titled Angelic debut. St. Vincent previously already toured the US and Europe and Gustafsson had studied music for seventeen years. The group went on to become regulars in the Hollywood circuit, playing all the hot spots including The Whiskey, The Roxy, The Troubador and even Gazarri's. ETERNAL RYLTE would also take part in many of the major Christian Music Festivals during in the late 80's and early 90's, including Metal Mardi Gras, Metal Midnight and Metal Meltdown.
ETERNAL RYTE recorded two independent demos before signing with Pure Metal Records in 1990. The first demo from 1986 (untitled and with no cover artwork or credits) featured four songs and was never officially released (it was used to shop to various labels). The four tracks in question include “Armed For Action”, “Fight For The Light”, “Quiet Times” and “Winners Take All”. The group recorded three additional songs at the time, including “He’s A Killer”, “Run For Your Life” and a short intro track.
The 1988 second Anthem demo came with artwork, liner notes and band caricatures of themselves. It was sold at shows and shopped to labels. The six tracks included "Forever Free", "He’s A Killer”, "No More Lies", "No Place To Hide", "Stand Up" and "King Of Kings".
Roxx Productions online: www.roxxproductions.com
SARDONYX - Majestic Serenity (Expanded Edition) re-issue on Retroactive Records:
Press Release / In 1992 SARDONYX released the 80’s thrash and power metal based sounds of its full length debut Majestic Serenity. Each of the albums songs was designed as a Bible study with a no compromise Christian message, with each line of the lyrics containing a Bible reference so the listener can look them up.
Majestic Serenity is pure, American power metal! SARDONYX has a lot in common with bands like MELIAH RAGE, SACRED WARRIOR, TESTAMENT and METAL CHURCH. The music is super tight, super heavy, technical, and incorporates heavy doses of progressive and thrash metal as well. Listen to the almost 8 minute track “Puppet of Beauty” and you can hear strong METALLICA and MEGADETH thrash influences. Tom Denlinger’s vocals are outstanding, featuring a clean, mid-range voice that works well for this style. The raw guitar crunch, the thundering bass, pounding drums, and the screaming vocals all come through fine.
In addition to the digital re-mastering, we have added the groups 1990 4-song demo entitled Rebel Of Reason, available on CD for the first time ever!
The release also offers outstanding artwork by renowned artist Caleb Olsen (X-SINNER, THE SEVENTH POWER & FINAL AXE).
Majestic Serenity track listing: "Puppet of Beauty", "Paracletos", "Corridor to Light", "Short But Suite: Opus in D Flat" (instrumental), "Royal Honor", "Heavenly Throne", "Ft. Drum" (instrumental), "Holy Avenger", "Call Upon the Master", "Voice of the Prodigal", "Liar"
Rebel Of Reason track listing: “Scandal”, “Don’t Chase The Rainbow”, “Bloodshed”, “Rebel Of Reason”
Tom Denlinger - Lead Vocals
Rod Feltman - Guitars
Jeff King (Guest Artist) - Keyboards
Chuck Turner - Bass
Michael Anthony – Drums
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
NARNIA to release 10 year anniversary compilation, Decade Of Confession:
Press Release / Sweden’s NARNIA plans to release a 10th anniversary compilation album entitled Decade Of Confession on August 28, 2007. A two CD set released in the digi-pack format, Decade Of Confession features 27 songs that summarize the bands first 10 years in addition to some new material as well. The digi pack comes with a 20 page mini-booked including a detailed band history along with numerous and never before seen band photos.
NARNIA can trace its beginnings to a chance meeting between guitarist Carl Johan Grimmark and vocalist Christian Liljegren at a Swedish record store. The groups first album, Awakening from 1998 (Nuclear Blast), was more of a project in that it featured primarily the contributions of Grimmark and Liljegren.
Drummer Andreas Johansson, keyboardist Martin Claesson and bassist Jakob Persson were brought on board for the 1999 follow up effort Long Live The King (Nuclear Blast). Upon completing work on the album, NARNIA hit the road as a supporting act for a 15 city European tour with Ronnie James Dio.
The same line up was maintained for the 2001 release Desert Land (Nuclear Blast) while Andreas Olsson replaced the departed Jakob Persson on bass for The Great Fall (Nuclear Blast) two years later.
New keyboardist Linus Kase joined NARNIA for its show in Owens, Germany on March 29, 2003, a performance that was recorded for both a DVD (2004) and CD (2006) release entitled At Short Notice: Live In Germany.
Kase left NNARNA prior to recording Enter The Gate (2006), the groups fifth full length album and first on Massacre Records. Grimmark handled keyboard duties.
Decade Of Confession track listing:
Disc One: “In His Majesty's Service” (JERUSALEM cover), “Into This Game”, “Show All The World”, “Judgement Day”, “Innocent Blood”, “The Countdown Has Begun” (Live), “Back From Hell” (Live), “No Time To Lose” (Live), “Inner Sanctum”, “The Witch And The Lion”, “Revolution Of Mother Earth”, “The Light At The End Of The Tunnel”, “Trapped In This Age” & “Sunrise” (URIAH HEEP cover, only released on NB sampler)
Disc 2: “Gates Of Cair Paravel”, “Living Water”, “The Mission”, “Shelter Through The Pain”, “Can't Get Enough Of You” (Japan only release ), “Dangerous Game”, “Long Live The King”, “No More Shadows From The Past”, “Heavenly Love”, “Break The Chains”, “Awakening” (Live), “Hymn To The North” (Japan only release) & “Show All The World” (previously unreleased remixed version)
NARNIA also plans to hit the road in support of Decade of Confession. According to the group it plans to "tour to push this release, with the tour starting in HOLLAND, August 16 at the FLEVO FESTIVAL and it will be the biggest live production so far for NARNIA… Special music has been composed especially for the live shows.”
VENI DOMINE - Tongues details revealed:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net & Angelic Warlord:
Press Release / Swedish Christian progressive doom metallers VENI DOMINE will release their sixth album, Tongues, on September 14. The CD was produced by the group's guitarist Torbjörn Weinesjö and features the following track listing:
3. “The Bell Of A Thousand Years”
4. “The Rider On The White Horse”
5. “Two Times”
6. “Bless My Pain”
7. “Stay With Me”
8. “You Leave Me Cold”
9. “Tree Of Life”
VENI DOMINE's fifth album, 23:59, was released in February 2006 through Germany's MCM Music. Prior to that the group was on Rivel Records for its fourth album from 2004, IIII: The Album Of Labour, and Thunderload Records for the 1998 and 1994 releases Spiritual Wasteland and Material Sanctuary, respectively. VENI DOMINE debuted in 1992 on Massacre Records with Fall Babylon Fall.
VENI DOMINE online: www.facebook.com/venidomineofficial
* The full-length debut of the Italian metal/thrash outfit BOARDERS, The World Hates Me, includes a cover of the MEGADETH classic “In My Darkest Hour”. The bands MySpace page features a second version of the song entitled “In My Brightest Hour” with Christian lyrics: www.myspace.com/music4thelion
* Interviews with JACOBS DREAM & Rob Rock at Metal Express Radio: www.metalexpressradio.com/menu.php?main=interviews&id=395 & www.metalexpressradio.com/menu.php?main=interviews&id=390
A.N.D. - Get Real
Get Real by A.N.D. ranks with the many obscure Christian metal releases to come out of the mid-nineties that failed to get the time and attention they deserved. However, when one stops to consider the era in which Get Real was released, it becomes obvious the blend of classic metal, melodic metal and straightforward hard rock delivered by A.N.D. might not be considered, well, flavor of the month. Read Full Review >>
BARREN CROSS - Atomic Arena
After parting ways with Star Song following the release of its 1986 debut Rock For The King, Barren Cross signed with Enigma Records when the label became impressed by the manner in which it ranked above Metallica on the CMJ reports at certain radio stations. Prior to recording its 1988 Enigma debut Atomic Arena, however, Barren Cross placed the track “Dead Lock” on the California Metal compilation, a number reflecting the growth and maturity gained by the band in its songwriting since the time of Rock For The King. Read Full Review >>
DARKWATER - Calling The Earth To Witness
As previously stated, the music here is over the top in its progressiveness with seven of the albums full length songs averaging at around just over nine minutes each. One of the reasons the album features such lengthy material is that Darkwater takes every opportunity to showcase its instrumental sound. Read Full Review >>
DELIVERANCE - Assimilation (Expanded Edition)
Representing a near complete makeover in the bands sound, Assimilation takes a foundation of edgy rhythm guitar and imbues it with a forward mix of keyboards to create a work that can best be described as dark and heavy – almost Goth-like in feel – but compelling as well. As a matter of fact, what we have here is perhaps the most musically consistent effort from the band since its critically acclaimed 1993 work Learn. Read Full Review >>
DELIVERANCE - The First Four Years
Starting with the bands inception in 1985 and culminating with its signing to Intense Records in 1988, The First Four Years does a laudable job compiling the very first songs recorded by Deliverance, many which were never previously released. What we end up with is a mixture of rare – and quite rough sounding – demo material, several live compositions (one which features an encounter with a heckler in the audience) and remixed versions of several of the bands compositions from the past. Read Full Review >>
DELIVERANCE - Greetings Of Death
Greetings Of Death, which was independently released by the band and went on to sell an impressive 5000 copies, showcases a rawer and edgier sound in comparison to Deliverance and Weapons Of Our Warfare. If anything, the music here is faster – if you can imagine that! – while reflecting the heavier and more energetic feel. Read Full Review >>
ORATORIO - The Reality Of Existence
Established in 1998 by founding member’s guitarist Jarmo Happonen, vocalist Joel Hekkala, drummer Janne Hietakangas and bassist Lauri Joutsiniemi, Oratorio recorded its first demo (Vahan) during the spring of 1999 along with finalizing its line up with the addition of guitarist Thomas Mata Eriksson. After putting together its second demo (Huuto), the band placed the track “Shine The Light” on the Metal Rose Collection compilation before independently releasing its full length debut The Reality Of Existence in 2003. Read Full Review >>
X-TERRA – X-Nihilo
Initially forming in 1985, X-Terra is a power trio that over the years put out several CD and cassette only releases – with Wolves from 2003 being the most recent – before recording its latest work, the 2007 offering X-Nihilo. X-Nilhilo finds X-Terra continuing the trend of its past efforts by delivering a blend of metal and hard rock heavily influenced by both the seventies and the eighties. Read Full Review >>
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
Michael Sweet joins legendary rock band BOSTON on tour:
Press Release / STRYPER front man and accomplished solo artist Michael Sweet is touring with the legendary band BOSTON this summer on a headlining tour of North America. Sweet is sharing lead vocals and playing guitar, performing the band's classic hits like "More than a Feeling," “Peace of Mind,” “Amanda” and “Don't Look Back.” BOSTON has sold over 30 million albums worldwide, including the band's 1976 self-titled debut which has sold over 17 million copies to date, and was the highest selling debut of all time.
The tour kicked off in Thunder Bay, Ontario on June 6th, and will take the band to 54 cities throughout the USA and Canada before wrapping up in San Juan, Puerto Rico on August 31st. Joining BOSTON on the tour is equally legendary rock band STYX
"The tour has been a breath of fresh air and yet so surreal," says Michael Sweet. "I'm standing next to Tom Scholz, trading guitar solos and having the time of my life. Boston is such a big part of my musical background and this music helped shape who I am as an artist, writer, producer and musician. It truly is 'More Than a Feeling!'"
Prior to the commencement of the 2008 BOSTON tour, STRYPER put the finishing touches on a brand new studio record to be released in 2009 and titled Murder By Pride. The album will include a cover of the BOSTON song "Peace of Mind" that features BOSTON guitarist Tom Scholz on the recording. Ironically, STRYPER had recorded "Peace of Mind" and planned to put it on their 2009 release long before Michael Sweet was even considered as a new member of BOSTON. STRYPER's "Peace of Mind" featuring Tom Scholz is now available on iTunes and other digital stores.
With STRYPER, Sweet has sold more than 8 million albums worldwide. The group’s unprecedented 1986 album To Hell With the Devil went platinum and was named one of the “100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music” by CCM Magazine.
"I've been blessed with the opportunity to be a member of Boston," adds Sweet. "I feel that it's a new chapter in my life and I also feel that it's part of Gods plan upon my life at this time. My wife Kyle has been so supportive and it's quite astonishing - I couldn't do this without her."
MEHIDA signs with Napalm Records:
Press Release / MEHIDA, the Finnish/Swedish melodic metal band featuring former CANDLEMASS/current THERION singer Thomas Vikström, and former SONATA ACRTICA keyboardist Mikko Harkin, has inked a deal with Napalm Records. The group's debut album, Blood & Water, is tentatively scheduled for release in August of 2008.
Out from the finnish music field rises MEHIDA. After several years of struggling with his musical vision, the keyboard player Mikko Harkin decided to leave his previous band WINGDOM to finally accomplish the sight and sound he had been looking after for many years.
Musically the band is concentrated on bringing out the musical extremities, from difficult rhythmic sequences to unexpected modern melodic lines still keeping it all catchy and easy to listen to. The album Blood & Water is a reflection of creativism which flows out from the contribution of these talented rockers.
Blood & Water was recorded and mixed at Fantom Studio, co-produced and mixed by Samu Oittinen (DIABLO, SILENTIUM etc.). The CD contains "over fifty minutes of energetic modern metal," according to a posting on the band's web site.
Blood & Water track listing:
2. “Wings Of Dove”
3. “Burning Earth”
7. “A Letter From Home”
8. “Dry Bones”
9. “Lost Ones”
11. “Outro: End of the World”
Thomas Vikström – Lead Vocals
Jani Stefanovic - Guitars
Mikko Harkin - Keyboards
Jarno Raitio - Bass
Markus Niemispelto - Drums
MEHIDA online: www.facebook.com/pages/Mehida-Official
* “Ulterium Records (Sweden) and Nightmare Records (U.S.) have inked a deal for the North American release of the Calling The Earth To Witness album by the Swedish melodic/progressive metal band DARKWATER. The album was released in Sweden May 28th and in Norway June 18th by Ulterium Records. Nightmare Records will distribute the album exclusively in North America, and the release dates are set for August 28th in Canada, and September 11th for the US.”
BLOODGOOD - Detonation
Pacific Northwest based Bloodgood hit the scene in 1986 with the melodic metal of its very fine self-titled debut before following up a year later with the groundbreaking sophomore effort Detonation. The more well rounded effort when compared to Bloodgood, Detonation combines the bands traditional melodic metal sound (“Eat The Flesh”) with occasional moments that border on classic metal (“Vagrant People” and “Self-Destruction”) or even the blues (“Heartbeat (Of The City)”). Read Full Review >>
BOARDERS - The World Hates Me
Italy is home to Boarders and the metal and thrash influenced sounds of its 2007 full length outing The World Hates Me. A band that can trace its history back to the late eighties, Boarders presents a unique melding of the aggressive and melodic that draws extensively from the musical trends of the decade in question. Read Full Review >>
BRUISED HEEL - Genesis 3:15
Bruised Heel, a new Christian rock band from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, delivers a blend of eighties influenced metal and hard rock on its 2006 full length debut Genesis 3:15. Fans of Legend/Legend 7, King James, Whitecross, Stryper, Neon Cross and Guardian will find a lot to like here as will those into Petra, Idle Cure, TriPart and White Heart. Read Full Review >>
CROSS - Metal From Above
What we have in Cross is non-commercial metal certain to attract the interest of those into Iron Maiden, Barren Cross, Fates Warning, Jacobs Dream, Sacred Warrior and a host of others within the same genre. Delivering a sound that is both technical and complex, the band is at its best on the albums two “epic pieces”: the eight minute “Metal from Above” is an intricate number full of time changes galore, while “Final Journey”, a ten minute plodder broken down into three parts, gives rise to an almost portent feel. Read Full Review>>
REDEEMER - Anno Domini
Anno Domini, the second of the two, continues where Double Edge Sword leaves off in showcasing an eighties influenced blend of metal and hard rock. If I were to invite a comparison, nevertheless, the music on Anno Domini comes across slightly heavier and slower but not quite as catchy. Read Full Review >>
REV SEVEN - Heavy Laden Volume 2
While Heavy Laden Volume 1 moved mostly in a stripped down and straightforward metal/hard rock direction, Heavy Laden Volume 2 includes highlighting traces of keyboards to create the more melodic sound drawing as much from traditional metal as it does commercial hard rock. The end result is a work coming across with added polish that, at the same time, backs away from the rhythm guitar just a touch. Read Full Review >>
THE SACRIFICED - The DaVinci Hoax
The Sacrificed represents the Lakeland, Florida based duo of vocalist and drummer Eli Prinson and guitarist, bassist and keyboardist Johnny Bowden. Forming in 2005 but not releasing its full length debut, The DaVinci Hoax, until early 2007, The Sacrificed can best be described as classical and operatic power metal bringing to mind Fates Warning, Sacred Warrior, Recon, Jacobs Dream and Queensryche. Read Full Review >>
STEVIE & THE SAINTS - Metal Blue
Stevie & The Saints can best be described as blues but with a metal and hard rock edge. Imagine ZZ Top, George Thorogood, Glenn Kaiser Band or the bluesier material from Resurrection Band but backed by a shredding guitar hero and a rhythm section as tight as they get. Read Full Review >>
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
FOUNTAIN OF TEARS signs Nightmare Records distribution deal:
Press Release / FOUNTAIN OF TEARS has signed a worldwide distribution deal with Nightmare Records. Their new album, Fate, contains 12 tracks of female-fronted melodic metal with progressive and gothic overtones. Fate was produced by the Trauma Team (BELIEVER, EARTH CRISIS, LIVING SACRIFICE) in Pennsylvania and mastered by Peter van't Reit (AFTER FOREVER, SYMPHONY X, STREAM OF PASSION, AYREON, EPICA, THRESHOLD, SAGA, etc.) at FineTune in The Netherlands. The total running time is 55 minutes.
FOUNTAIN OF TEARS was formed in 1995 and has retained the core lineup of Joey Daub - drums (BELIEVER), Jeff King - keyboards (SARDONYX), Erik Ney - bass (SACRAMENT) and Mike DiDonato - guitar (SACRAMENT) through their first album to the present. The music of FOUNTAIN OF TEARS is completed by the ethereal and powerful voice of Vonnie King, who was formerly signed to Motown Records.
Not a NIGHTWISH, LACUNA COIL or EVANESCENCE clone band, FOUNTAIN OF TEARS captures an original blend of progressive metal and gothic rock in a way that takes the listener on a musical journey through many emotions without compromising a high level of musicianship.
Ordering information: www.nightmarerecords.com/online-store/all-titles/f/fountain-of-tears-fate
FOUNTAIN OF TEARS online: www.fountainoftears.com
STRYPER - Roxx Regime Demos set for release:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:
STRYPER fans rejoice: On July 07, 2007 Fifty Three Five Records will release STRYPER's original demo recordings when they were known as ROXX REGIME. The CD will be in stores nationwide. Pre-sale purchases at Stryper.com will actually ship on July 7, 07 or as STRYPER fans may refer to that date… 7-7-07. In addition, www.stryper.com will be releasing an original vintage ROXX REGIME T-shirt.
Before the major label record deals; before multi-platinum albums; before chart-topping videos; before history was made... there was ROXX REGIME. In 1983 brothers Robert and Michael Sweet teamed up with high-school classmate Oz Fox and local bass hero Timothy Gaines to form a band that would forever change the history of Christian rock music. The four guys released a demo under the name ROXX REGIME and started playing the local Hollywood club circuit. This band eventually caught the ears of Enigma Records and soon afterward would change their name to STRYPER and release their first national album, The Yellow And Black Attack. STRYPER would go on to sell millions and millions of records and tour the world sharing their music and their faith. Before all of this, however, there was the ROXX REGIME demo. This is the original limited release of the ROXX REGIME demo. There are no over-dubs or re-recordings. This is the way STRYPER sounded, before they were STRYPER; raw, natural, and destined to change the history of music. This CD is the original ROXX REGIME demo and contains versions of classic STRYPER favorites from their first three records, including the MTV and Billboard smash hit "Honestly".
The Roxx Regime Demos track listing:
1. “From Wrong to Right”
2. “My Love I'll Always Show” (original rock version)
3. “Loud N Clear”
4. “You Know What To Do”
5. “You Won’t Be Lonely”
6. “Co'mon Rock”
7. “Tank” (Robert Sweet drum solo)
8. “Honestly” (original demo version)
* New Jersey based power metal outfit FAITH FACTOR plans to release its debut EP on July 7, 2007 made up of the following three tracks: “Prayer Warriors”, “The Angel & The Butterfly” and “Deceiver”. An update was found at the FAITH FACTOR FORUM:
“Well we have the master back now, and Rob Colwell from Bombworks Records did an awesome job. Now were in the final stages of artwork for the CD; it looks like were gonna make the 7/7/07 release date. As you all know, we lost our brother Jim on guitar, and were trying to fill this hole that he left us with. God will come through for his band. We’re also working on t-shirts, bumper stickers, and hats. Funds are low so were doing the best we can with what we have. See you soon.”
APOSTLE – Prepare To Meet God
What we have in Prepare To Meet God is a departure from the neo-classical power metal of Apostle’s earlier material – such as Chariots Of Iron and Hymns – and a move in an eighties influenced metal and hard rock direction. The end result is a work that serves to showcase the bands potential but, unfortunately, proves to be a somewhat uneven and disjointed effort. Read Full Review >>
DELIVERANCE – As Above – So Below
After the passage of six long years, however, I am proud to announce the return of Deliverance and its ninth full length studio release in As Above – So Below. Showcasing a guitar driven sound that is perhaps the heaviest of Deliverance’s career, the album can best be described as a creative blending of the aggressive and melodic certain to appeal to fans of all eras of the bands history. Read Full Review >>
NEAL MORSE – Sola Scriptura
Unlike his previous efforts, however, on Sola Scriptura Morse steps it up a notch and heads in progressive hard rock territory. Just check out the driving riffs reinforcing the instrumentals “Introduction” and “Re-Introduction” in addition to the instrumental based openings to “Mercy For Sale” and “Keep Silent”. “Do You Know My Name?” and “The Vineyard” both rock with authority as well. Read Full Review >>
PHILADELPHIA – Tell The Truth
What we have in Tell The Truth is an erratic and sloppy sounding blend of classic metal and melodic hard rock that proves equal parts brilliance and equal parts filler. When Philadelphia is at the top of its game, nevertheless, they hit the literal nail on the head. Read Full Review >>
REDEEMER – Double Edge Sword
Guitarist and vocalist Bill Menchen has received acclaim over the years for his work with several well known bands in Final Axe, Rev Seven, Titanic and The Seventh Power. What most people do not know, however, is that Menchen actually got his start in the mid-eighties with a relatively obscure group out of Southern California by the name of Redeemer. Read Full Review >>
REV SEVEN – Heavy Laden Volume 1
Heavy Laden Volume 1 is a twenty track outing in which Rev Seven combines elements of classic metal and melodic metal with occasional forays into straightforward hard rock and doom. Fans of Saint, Judas Priest and Ozzy will find a lot to like here as will those into Bride, Dokken and Whitecross. Read Full Review >>
THRESHOLD – Dead Reckoning
While Threshold has gained renown as the best progressive metal band to come out of the UK, it is this reviewer’s contention a more fitting description would give the band the full credit it deserves. Actually, referring to Threshold as one of the best progressive metal bands in the world would not be far from the mark in that the group deserves to rank with the genres finest. Read Full Review>>
TITANIC – Full Steam Ahead
Full Steam Ahead, the most recent outing from Titanic, finds the group drawing upon the best elements of its first two albums to create by far its most noteworthy work to date. Heavy duty hard rockers “Dead Men’s Bones”, “Holy Ground”, “Deep Down” and “The Wind”, for example, would not sound out of place on Maiden Voyage, while the catchy hooks of “Shovel The Coal”, “Captain Of The Ship”, “Upon The Cross” and “The Sea” hearken back to Screaming In Silence. Read Full Review >>
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
DARKWATER joins Ulterium Records roster:
Ulterium Records are very proud to announce the signing of the Swedish melodic metal band DARKWATER to the label. The bands debut album, Calling The Earth To Witness, is scheduled for a May 28, 2007 release in Sweden. Release dates for other territories will be announced soon.
The album was mixed by Pelle Saether (ACT, SKYFIRE, etc) in Studio Underground and mastered by Göran Finnberg (IN FLAMES, THE HAUNTED, DARK TRANQUILITY etc.) in Mastering Room.
DARTWATER formed late 2003 in the western parts of Sweden. During its first years of existence the band only did a few selected shows in Sweden while working on the material for Calling The Earth To Witness. During summer and fall 2006, DARKWATER recorded and mixed the album, and early 2007 it inked the deal with Ulterium Records.
Calling The Earth To Witness track listing:
1. “2534137 (intro)”
2. “All Eyes On Me”
3. “Again ,Habit”
4. “The Play - I”
5. “The Play - 2”
7. “Tallest Tree,
8. “In My Dreams”
Henrik Bath - Lead Vocals & Guitars
Markus Sigfridsson - Guitars
Magnus Holmberg - Keyboards
Karl Wasshold - Bass
Tobias Enbert - Drums
Ordering information: http://ulteriumstore.bigcartel.com/product/darkwater-calling-the-earth-to-witness
DARKWATER online: www.facebook.com/darkwaterofficial
SEVENTH SEAL are Messengers of Love:
Press Release / SEVENTH SEAL came out of Kristiansand, Norway in 1985 under the initial moniker REVELATION. Influenced by the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen, MSG and TNT and modeling a twin guitar attack akin to JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN, the group recorded a pair of demos, which garnered radio play in Oslo in addition to a deal with the Dutch label CNR. The group subsequently recorded its full-full length debut Messengers Of Love during the summer of 1988 at Loud Level Studios in Hamar, Norway, but due to a name conflict with another band on the label changed its name to SEVENTH SEAL. However, when presented with the finished album, CNR refused to release it. SEVENTH SEAL pressed on despite the disappointment and continued to play live until the studio decided to put the album out on its own label, Loud Level Records, but not until after the group had disbanded in 1990. The record was never properly promoted and only 1000 copies were released.
This Norwegian metal masterpiece deserved wider exposure, so Retroactive Records released a limited edition re-issue of just 1000 more copies in June of 2007. Complete with twin guitar attack, Yngwqie-styled guitar solos, and soaring vocals in the vein of SACRED WARRIOR and Geoff Tate of QUEENSRYCHE, the digitally re-mastered re-issue of this ultra rare 1990 progressive metal obscurity is sure to please metal fans around the globe.
Messengers Of Love track listing:
1. “Messengers Of Love”
3. “Revelation - God Has the Power”
4. “Your Love”
6. “Sparkling Diamond”
7. “The Seventh Seal”
8. “Visions Of Tomorrow”
9. “Born Again”
10. “Break Out”
11. “Eternal Love”
“12. The Calling”
SEVENTH SEAL line-up:
Mark Bjorvand - Lead Vocals
Geir T. Ugland - Guitars & Bass
Geir Knutsen - Guitars & Bass
Sjur Lundstein - Keyboards
Per Elias Drablos - Bass
Trygve Hansen - Drums
Retroactive Records online: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records.html
* Ulterium Records (SWEDEN) and Nightmare Records (U.S.) have inked a deal for the U.S. release of the Carved In Stone album by the Norwegian heavy metal band GRAND LUX. The album was released in Europe by Ulterium Records, January 26th 2007. Nightmare Records will distribute the album exclusively in the U.S., and the release date is set for June 6th, 2007. Carved In Stone will be distributed in Canada through Fontana North, and in the U.S. through Nevarre, Century Media and The End.
* MIKE FLORIO remains at work on the follow up to his 2006 debut solo project Arisen. “Work on the new album continues at a slow, but efficient pace. The process of composing, recording, editing and arranging a bunch of different songs all in different stages of completion seems to never end - especially when I can only get in a few hours here and there to make it all happen. But as I proved to myself last time, the process does indeed yield results; and it's really the only one feasible for me.”
The artist will also be contributing vocal tracks to the new VERTICAL ALIGNMENT album, The Trail Of Tears: “I've also been working on vocal tracks for a new Pete Jorgensen project, The Trail of Tears, which will be a suite of songs recalling the forced, Westward relocation of several Native American tribes in the 1830's. Pete has been writing some excellent and inspirational material for this, and it's both a joy and challenge to tackle these tunes.”
DELIVERANCE - Stay Of Execution
While Stay Of Execution proves a departure from the classic Deliverance speed metal and thrash sounds of its self-titled debut and Weapons Of Our Warfare, it is still HEAVY and retains the bands trademark energy and crunch. The best way to describe the music here might be straightforward heavy metal with an occasional leaning towards speed metal and thrash. Read Full Review >>
FOUNTAIN OF TEARS - Fate
The gothic progressive metal group Fountain Of Tears can trace its roots back to the Christian metal scene of the late eighties and early nineties. Drummer Joey Daub, for example, was a member of the groundbreaking thrash band Believer, performing on the critically acclaimed releases Extraction From Mortality (1989), Sanity Obscure (1990) and Dimensions (1993). Read Full Review >>
HOLY SAINT - Holy Saint
The annals of Christian metal history are littered with the remains of talented bands that, for reasons unknown, never signed a deal with a label. Bay Area based Soldier was perhaps the most well known, a melodic metal outfit that in 1988 released an eleven song demo, Babylon, with a professional sound rivaling many label backed releases of the era. Read Full Review >>
LETTER 7 - Salt Of The Earth
Letter 7 is quite the promising act, exhibiting its potential by merging a profusion of guitar driven energy and catchy hooks to create a sound certain to appeal to fans of Dokken, Stryper, Fifth Angel, Holy Soldier, Whitecross, Scorpions, Whitesnake, Red Sea and Judas Priest. Salt Of The Earth, for example, finds the band in top form on up-tempo numbers “Onward Christian Soldiers”, “Salt Of The Earth” and “Stand On The Rock” in addition to proving equally adept on the mid-tempo sounds of “Fear No Evil”, “First Love” and “Reign Comes Down”. Read Full Review >>
MAD MAX - White Sands
The past year has been a busy one for the German melodic metal outfit Mad Max. After getting started in 2006 with its sixth album overall in Night Of White Rock, the band recorded a six song EP entitled In White before following up with its early 2007 release White Sands. Read Full Review >>
MESSIAH PROPHET - Master Of The Metal
Returning in 1986 with its Pure Metal sophomore effort Master Of The Metal, Messiah Prophet moves primarily in a straightforward heavy metal direction with occasional tendencies towards melodic metal and commercial hard rock. The end result is a significant lead forward by the band musically in that each of the albums eight tracks are well constructed in holding up under noteworthy melodies and memorable chorus lines. Read Full Review >>
METATRONE - The Powerful Hand
Metatrone is an Italian Catholic power metal band that has been around since 1998. The group did not begin to hit its stride, however, until 2001 when keyboardist David Bruno entered the Seminary of Catania, a move which initiated a pilgrimage among its members in both in music and in life. Read Full Review >>
VERTICAL ALIGNMENT - Signposts
Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina is home to Vertical Alignment and the progressive rock of its 2006 full length debut Signposts. The album finds this talented outfit delivering a technical and symphonic based sound inviting a comparison to Yes, Genesis, Kansas, Glass Hammer, Neal Morse, Proto-Kaw, Spocks Beard and a host of others within the same genre. Read Full Review >>
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
Faith based progressive rock concept album from AMARAN'S PLIGHT, Voice In The Light:
Press Release / U.S. progressive rock label ProgRock Records will be releasing on 05/20/2007 the debut album by AMARAN'S PLIGHT, the new band featuring vocalist DC Cooper (ex-ROYAL HUNT, SILENT FORCE), guitarist Gary Wehrkamp (SHADOW GALLERY), drummer Nick D'Virgilio (SPOCK'S BEARD, KEVIN GILBERT, TEARS FOR FEARS, GENESIS) and bassist Kurt Barabas (UNDER THE SUN). Entitled Voice In The Light, the album was recorded in 2006 at Gary Wehrkamp's New Horizon Studios and described as textbook symphonic progressive metal. It combines the soaring vocals of DC Cooper with the master riffs and melodies of Gary Wehrkamp, backed by the sonic, dynamic and explosive rhythm section of D'Virgilio and Barabas.
Gary Wehrkamp and DC Cooper are no strangers to working together. Gary is the keyboardist, guitarist and producer of veteran progressive rock ensemble, SHADOW GALLERY. DC Cooper appeared on their 1999 conceptual piece, Tyranny as a guest vocalist on the epic track, “New World Order”. Fans of SHADOW GALLERY have longed for a Wehrkamp/Cooper collaboration ever since.
Voice In The Light, can best be described as a “faith based” concept album looking at one man’s search for answers following a near death experience. The story and primary lyrics were written by John W. Crawford, who also served as executive producer and musical director. Performed in the tradition of classic progressive rock, the music fits the structure and emotion of the storyline in such a way that the listener can feel the whole experience of the concept put to music. With a full and colorful CD booklet as a guide, Voice In The Light is a complete experience into the afterlife and back.
Voice In The Light track listing:
1. “Room 316”
2. “Friends Forever”
3. “Coming Of Age”
4. “Incident At Haldeman’s Lake”
5. “Reflections Part 1”
6. “I Promise You”
7. “Consummation Opus”
8. “Truth And Tragedy”
9. “Shattered Dreams”
11. “Betrayed By Love”
12. “Turning Point”
TITANIC goes Full Steam Ahead:
Press Release / After releasing two revered metal classics, 1995/2000 debut Maiden Voyage and 2002 sophomore effort Screaming In Silence, TITANIC is back to recapture their heavy weight status with Full Steam Ahead! Guitarist Bill Menchen (SEVENTH POWER, FINAL AXE) is a bona fide shredder, and new vocalist, David St. Martins, who replaces Simon Tyler from the first two albums, has no problem sailing Titanic to the next level! The new album stays the course, offering 10 new tracks of traditional heavy metal anthems not to be missed by fans of IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and SAINT.
As an added bonus, tracks 11 and 12 are re-recorded songs from Maiden Voyage, featuring STRYPER’s Robert Sweet on drums!
A May 2, 2007 release date on Retroactive Records has been set.
Full Steam Ahead track listing:
1. “Shovel The Coal”
2. “Dead Men’s Bones”
3. “Deep Down”
4. “Captain Of The Ship”
5. “Holy Ground”
6. “Sons Of Thunder”
7. “Upon The Cross”
8. “The Wind”
10. “The Sea”
12. “Come Home”
Ordering information: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records/titanic-full-steam-ahead-2.html
* MAD MAX guitarist Juergen Breforth conducted a recent interview with Rock United: www.rockunited.com/madmax2007.htm
* The German metal outfit TRUST recorded four new tracks: www.myspace.com/trustrocks
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
BLOODGOOD reunites to record & tour:
Press Release / With 1 million albums sold, Christian metal pioneers BLOODGOOD have reunited after 13 years and invited Oz Fox of STRYPER to join the lineup. A new record is planned for release in 2007, and the band will begin touring this summer, including a headlining performance at this year's Cornerstone Festival.
BLOODGOOD exploded onto the Christian music scene when they opened for STRYPER in the Pacific Northwest in 1985, after which they recorded their 4-song EP, Metal Missionaries. It was Christian music veteran Darrell Mansfield who brought Michael Bloodgood (bass), Les Carlsen (vocals), David Zaffiro (guitar) and J.T. Taylor (drums) to Los Angeles to record their self-titled debut album for Frontline Records. BLOODGOOD dared to take Christian hard rock to the next level of intensity and boldness, featuring a more street metal sound not found in any other Christian releases. STRYPER had paved the way for commercial metal bands, but BLOODGOOD opened the doors for the sounds that would eventually lead to speed and thrash metal to be accepted in the Christian market.
In 1987, the band followed their national debut with their most successful album, Detonation. BLOODGOOD hit the road for their first major tour, which almost proved to be their last. Prior to the start of the tour, a popular television evangelist spoke out against them, and protestors began to picket their shows. National media outlets soon came to see what all the fuss was about, but even with all the press, there was no tour circuit for a Christian metal band to tap into so the schedule was filled with dates that were poorly promoted.
"When we left on our first tour back in '87, we had three families in our 22' RV," says Michael. "To say it stretched us would be an understatement! But we were determined to carry on and no matter where we ended up, we could see the Lord's hand on us."
Making it from one city to the next was a financial struggle, but the band saw the fruits of their ministry as many hardcore unsaved teens came to know the Lord. With that, the band built a reputation as one of the best performing bands and most effective youth ministry's in Christian music.
Several successful projects followed including Rock In A Hard Place, Out of the Darkness and the groundbreaking live double album and video Alive in America and Shakin' the World. After leaving Frontline Records, BLOODGOOD signed with Broken Records and recruited such talent as producer Biff Vincent, Grammy Award-winning engineer Charlie Watts and legendary drummer David Huff. In 1991, the band went on to record their critically acclaimed album All Stand Together, which produced numerous radio hits including "I Want To Live In Your Heart" and "S.O.S." International touring continued and in 1993, BLOODGOOD released To Germany With Love, featuring live performances from the final tour of Germany.
BLOODGOOD has left its mark on the Christian rock music industry. Many of the newer rock bands continue to look them as examples on how to conduct a viable and effective rock and roll ministry. Though inactive as a touring unit since 1993, the band's catalogue has continued to sell through a series of re-releases. In the interim years, Michael became the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Redmond and Les went on to star in the musical HAIR on Broadway, and established a successful art distribution company in Southern California.
In 2005, Michael was stricken with a near-fatal arterial dissection that left him ill for over four months, leading to paralysis of his left vocal cord. Barely able to talk over a whisper for nearly a year, Michael has since recovered the use of his voice. In addition to pending BLOODGOOD projects, he is currently working on a worship album along with guest artists including Les and current drummer Mark Welling.
Now, after thirteen years, BLOODGOOD is back, though they never really left. The band recently acquired the services of Ricky B. Rogers and Fused Management, and they are looking forward to performing live and recording a new album. They have also welcomed a new member. Though not leaving STRYPER, Oz Fox is excited to become a part of BLOODGOOD and will be writing and performing with the band.
A new record is planned for release in 2007, and the band will begin touring this summer, including a headlining performance on the HM Stage at this year's Cornerstone Festival. With nearly 1 million records sold, BLOODGOOD is looking forward to getting back on the road and reconnecting with fans who have supported the band through the years.
"Even though it's been thirteen years since our last performance, the Lord continues to use our music and ministry to touch lives," says Michael. "Not a day goes by that I don't hear from someone who has been touched by our music, either back in the day, or just recently."
DELIVERANCE - As Above - So Below details revealed:
Press Release / Ever since their 1989 thrash metal self-titled release on Intense Records, DELIVERANCE has been breaking new ground wherever and whenever they have decided to make their presence known. The video for 'Weapons Of Our Warfare” was the first Christian metal video ever to get on MTV’s Headbanger's Ball. And when the band shifted away from speed metal and thrash in favor of progressive metal in the mid 90s, they ascended to musical and artistic brilliance without peers. From their very start they enjoyed both commercial and critical success that allowed them to dominate the Christian metal market as the most distinguished band on the scene.
After more than a decade of aggressive touring, exposure in mainstream markets, and twelve full-length recordings, they continue to maintain an iconic status among legions of metal enthusiasts worldwide. In spite of years of rumor-filled message boards and relentless requests from fans, this is the first new DELIVERANCE album from vocalist Jimmy Brown and company since 2001. Never before has Retroactive Records been privileged to release an album met with such fan anticipation and unbridled appreciation! Knowing how keenly the band's fans anticipated this, and how high their expectations would be, Jimmy worked relentlessly with the band for more than a year to deliver an album that would not only delight, but also astound fans and exceed those expectations. His goal was to create their best recording EVER, a culmination of a brilliant career, while continuing to break new ground musically.
The message of the album is a prayer that things would become on earth as they are in heaven, while blending epic speed/thrash with the elegance and beauty of prog, with devastating skill and brutality. Never has a DELIVERANCE album alternated between such moments of beauty (e.g. THE OMEN-inspired opening track) and beastly bursts of metallic fury and spine snapping riffs that would seem right at a home on a SLAYER, BELIEVER or early DELIVERANCE album. The end result is arguably the heaviest DELIVERANCE album so far. Jimmy continues to deliver vocal melodies that are as commanding as a thundering voice from above. What no one could have anticipated is that the band would deliver one of the most enormous-sounding metal records ever made, a kind of piece of heaven here on earth, thus fulfilling the ambitions of the title in answer to its own prayer. It was released on Retroactive Records in May of 2007.
As Above - So Below track listing:
1. “Legum Servi Sumus Ut Liberi Esse Possimus (Intro)”
2. “Cause & Effect”
3. “Return To Form”
4. “As Above – So Below”
6. “Should We Cross Paths”
9. “My Love”
Ordering information: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records/deliverance-78.html
DELIVERANCE online: www.facebook.com/DeliveranceRocks
DELIVERANCE re-issues on Retroactive Records:
DELIVERANCE - Assimilation:
Press Release / Following a six-year hiatus after the release of Camelot In Smithereens in 1995 on KMG Records, DELIVERANCE returned with its seventh full length studio recording titled Assimilation. It was the debut release of the short-lived and ill-fated Indie Dream Music late in 2001. Assimilation featured all new songs in the progressive metal tradition of earlier classics like Stay Of Execution and Learn. This time around the power metal had an infusion of modern ROMMSTEIN-type metal electronic sound effects. Jimmy's vocals had a strong melodic (but doomy) lavor. Think David Bowie meets Geoff Tate (QUEENSRYCHE). Meanwhile Jimmy's guitars still adorned the album from beginning to end with super tight and crunch guitar riffs. Keyboardist David Gilbreath added an industrial vibe to the band's sound, hinting at the style of Jimmy's more industrial-based side project FEARFUL SYMMETRY. Critics consider the songs on this recording to be the band's best to date, and their most noteworthy effort since Learn.
Retroactive Records re-released a new version of this recording in May of 2007 as 2-CD Set, with the first disc featuring the same ten songs as on the original release, and fourteen additional songs featured on the second disc. This bonus disc contains demo instrumental versions of all 10 songs that made it onto disc one plus four demo tracks with vocals previously unreleased. This was possible because Assimilation was the first DELIVERANCE recording Jimmy Brown produced in his own studios using his computer and Pro Tools. These demo tracks feature outstanding fidelity and production values.
Assimilation track listing:
Disc One: "The Limitless Light", "From The Beginning", "Assimilation", "The Circle", "Sell Your Soul", "The Search", "The Learned Man", "Between 2 Worlds", "Impressions", "Save Me From…"
Disc Two): "The Limitless Light", "Sell Your Soul", "The Search", "Save Me From…", "Assimilation", "Between 2 Worlds", "The Limitless Light", "The Circle", "Sell Your Soul", "The Search", "Impressions", “The Learned Man", "From The Beginning", "Save Me From…"
DELIVERANCE - The First Four Years:
Press Release / In 2000 Magdalene Records released a limited edition pressing of only 1000 copies of this rare material (some of it taken from early cassette only demos that were never released) from the early days of DELIVERANCE, and titled it Back In the Day: The First Four Years. Seven years later Matthew Hunt has heard the cries of fans who found out about it too late, and re-released a second pressing of another limited edition 1000 copies on his new label Retroactive Records in May of 2007. You will also find vastly superior artwork and a shortened title, to make it easy for collectors to tell the two versions apart. Between songs Jimmy Brown's honest and intimate comments on the band's journey helps make up for the lo-fi production values Four tracks appear here that appear on no other DELIVERANCE recording.
The First Four Years track listing: “Narration”, “Who Will Save The Children”, “Stand Up And Fight”, “Narration”, “No Time”, “Narration”, “Talk From The Stage”, “Fortress”, “Deliverance”, “Narration”, “Attack”, “A Space Called You”, “Narration”, “Hold On Tightly”, “J.I.G.”, “Temporary Insanity”
DELIVERANCE - Greetings Of Death:
Press Release / Greeting Of Death was originally released on Magdalene Records in 2001 as a limited edition pressing of only 1000 copies. It sold out within months. After M8 Distribution went under in 2002, Matthew Hunt started up again in 2003 with the new label name Retroactive Records. Fans who discovered it too late kept asking for it to be made again, so Retroactive Records re-issued another limited edition pressing of only 1000 copies in May of 2007, at a lower price. It is a compilation album featuring the band's 1986 cassette only demo titled Greetings Of Death, two more songs lifted from the legendary 1989 Regency Records sampler CD titled California Metal, and demo tracks from the Weapons Of Our Warfare-era tapes. Fans of early MEGADETH, TESTAMENT and METALLICA will love this.
Greetings Of Death track listing: “Victory”, “Greetings Of Death”, “No Time”, “J.I.G. (Jesus Is God)”, “Speckled Bird” , “Awake”, “Attack”, “A Space Called You”, “Weapons Of Our Warfare”, “This Present Darkness”, “Greetings Of Death”, “Rescue”, “Slay The Wicked”, “Solitude”, “23”, “Radio Interview”
* Overlord, the next album from the thrash/melodic speed metal outfit TEMPLE OF BLOOD, is tentatively scheduled to come out in late 2007 or early 2008. It will include ten tracks and one short instrumental. Song titles include “Prelude To Treachery”, “Harbinger”, “Pawn Of The Liar” and “Illusion Of Control”. The band also plans to cover a song (“Forbidden Evil”) by the Bay Area thrash band FORBIDDEN.
* SAINT vocalist JOSH KRAMER contributed the vocal tracks to a song on the upcoming DYNASTY CD Warriors Of The King. JOSH further expounds upon the matter:
"It’s 9:00 AM and I’m sending the tracks I recorded last night to Nahor (Andrade) of DYNASTY in Brazil. They are going to feature me on a song on their album coming up. They sent me an mp3 in an email of the song called "King of Kings". I emailed the song to a studio here in town and laid down the tracks. Wow, this song was a tough one to perform. They pushed my envelope for range and aggressiveness. I think I did a good job. I hope they like it. I screamed my brains out and had a great time doing it. I love the technology these days to be able to do stuff like this. You can be anywhere in the world and record an album. Amazing!"
ARSENAL - Armored Choir
What Arsenal brings to the table on Armored Choir is an eighties influenced blend of melodic metal, commercial hard rock, AOR and melodic rock. Comparisons to other female fronted acts of the era such as Vixen, Scarlet Red and Ransom would not be unfounded as would Stryper, Guardian, Angelica, Dokken and a host of others. Read Full Review >>
BRIDE - Snakes In The Playground
Following the release of its groundbreaking 1991 effort Kinetic Faith, Bride - with the classic line up of Dale Thompson and Troy Thompson, Rick Foley and Jerry McBroom still intact – hit the road in support of the album, playing mostly club dates and a handful of Christian festivals. The band did not get its big break, however, until it landed a role as the opening act for Stryper on its late 1991 tour of the East Coast and Midwest. Read Full Review >>
GRAND LUX - Carved In Stone
Norway’s Grand Lux got its start in 2005, releasing its full length debut Iron Will prior to signing with Ulterium Records and putting out its sophomore effort Carved In Stone two years later. The album finds Grand Lux continuing to take an eighties influenced blend of straightforward hard rock and classic metal and touching it up with elements of power metal or even the blues. Read Full Review >>
MAD MAX - Night Of White Rock
The history of the German melodic metal outfit Mad Max dates back to the early eighties. Hitting the scene in 1982 with a nine song self-titled debut that featured guitarist and founding member Juergen Breforth, the band recruited a new vocalist in Michael Voss before signing to Roadrunner Records and putting out its sophomore effort Rollin’ Thunder. Read Full Review >>
MESSIAH - Final Warning
Messiah was a particularly obscure band, putting out its full length debut Final Warning in 1984 before following up a year later with a five song EP entitled Going Insane. As a matter of fact, so little was known about Messiah at the time that Final Warning and Going Insane were not reviewed in Heaven’s Metal until 1989 (issue #20 described the band as “apocalyptic hard rock”). My impression of Messiah is old school heavy metal bringing the same type of all out raw energy found on albums by other Christian metal bands of the time such as Saint, Philadelphia, Barren Cross, Bloodgood, Emerald and Messiah Prophet. Read Full Review >>
STARCHILD - Born Into Eternity
Initially forming in 2002 but not putting out the doom-laden sounds of its self-titled debut until a year later, Waycross, Georgia based Starchild signed with Twin Earth Records prior to releasing its very fine sophomore effort Born Into Eternity. The album finds this able power trio continuing to chart the waters of cosmic doom territory, delivering a stone edged sound certain to appeal to fans of Place Of Skulls, Trouble, Goliath, Troglodyte Dawn, Faith and last, but certainly not least, Black Sabbath. Read Full Review >>
X-SINNER - Loud & Proud + 2
X-Sinner got its start in 1989 with its Pakaderm Records debut Get It before following up two years later on the same label with the sophomore effort Peace Treaty. One of the complaints many people – this reviewer included – have in regards to both albums revolves around overly polished production values that fail to capture the bands natural and all out raw energy. Read Full Review >>
ZION - Thrillseeker
The history of Zion can be traced back to the first demo tape it recorded back in 1982 before following up with a full length cassette only release entitled Rock For Eternity in 1984. The hard rocking South Dakota based outfit proceeded to sign with Image Records several years later, releasing its nine song David Zaffiro (Bloodgood) produced debut Thunder From The Mountain in 1989. Read Full Review >>
Angelic Warlord interview - Rex Scott of ZION & X-SINNER:
When did you start singing and when did you know that you wanted to front a rock band?
I enjoyed singing as long as I can remember. As a kid I was in choir at school. When I saw the Beatles on TV, I and a lot of young American boys at that time decided we wanted to play rock n roll! As a youngster I took drum lessons and played drums for years before I was actually in a band. Once I got into bands I always sang from behind the kit including the early years of Zion. I learned guitar while still playing drums because I wanted to write my own songs. Once I got decent playing guitar I wanted to be out front from behind the drums. I wasn't afforded the opportunity until the later years in Zion after one of the original guitar players took a job in another state and had to move. The band was going to call it quits but I wanted to keep it going so I moved to the guitar spot and my drum tech Tommy Bozung took over drumming. Read Full Interview >>
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
Steel Legacy to re-issue CROSS demo, Metal From Above:
Press Release / What we have in CROSS is an American epic metal assault with a Christian message! Contains 5 tracks from the 1986 Metal from Above demo tape (a total of 35 minutes!) re mastered for better quality plus 3 bonus tracks recorded live in 1988, presented to you raw but powerful. Sword in hand- Metal from Above!
Steel Legacy is planning a April 10, 2007 release date for Metal From Above with 1000 copies printed for the CD edition and 330 for the vinyl edition.
Metal From Above track listing:
1. “Sign Of The Cross”
2. “Metal From Above”
4. “The Ascension”
5. “Final Journey”
6. “Prisoners Of War”
7. “Exodus 20”
8. “Black Death”
Steel Legacy online: http://steel-legacy.com
REDEEMER & REV SEVEN re-recordings from Bill Menchen:
REDEEMER - Double Edge Sword & Anno Domini:
Press Release / REDEEMER was a hard rock/melodic metal band started by guitarist Bill Menchen (FINAL AXE, TITANIC, THE SEVENTH POWER) in 1984 and that played throughout Southern California until it disbanded in 1989. The group recorded in 1986 its first and only demo, an independent cassette release entitled Double Edge Sword. REDEEMER wrote additional songs and recorded others as part of a garage practice tape.
Fast forward to March of 2007 and the 22 song REDEEMER back catalog has been re-recorded from the ground up using modern technology and to be released on Watergrave Records (a division of Retroactive Records) on two limited edition CD’s (300 each): Double Edge Sword and Anno Domini.
Double Edge Sword track listing: “King Of The Light”, “The Alpha The Omega”, “Warning”, “Let The Light Shine On”, “Escape”, “Unite Believers”, “Hard Rock Foundation”, “Eons Of Time”, “The Story Is Told”, “Taking A Ride”, “Under The Shadow”
Anno Domini track listing: “Contend For The Faith”, “King Of Glory”, “Eternal Power”, “Had To Choose”, “In Your Hands”, “Daystar”, “Hole In Your Heart”, “Accept The Light”, “The Lord Lives”, “Followers”, “One Way”
REV SEVEN - Heavy Laden Volume 1 & Heavy Laden Volume 2:
Press Release / REV SEVEN was a melodic heavy metal band started in 1991 by guitarist Bill Menchen, who later went on to greater acclaim with TITANIC, FINAL AXE and THE SEVENTH POWER. The group recorded between 1991 and 1999 four albums that have long since gone out of print and turned into hard to find collectors items.
The good news is that Bill Menchen has re-recorded the songs that originally appeared on the four REV SEVEN albums and released them on Watergrave Records (a division of Retroactive Records) on two limited edition CD’s. The first, Heavy Laden Volume 1, includes tracks from the first two REV SEVEN albums, The Unveiling and Hell And Back, and second, Heavy Laden Volume 2, tracks from the third and fourth, Seven Years Of Good Luck and 747. The two instrumentals from Heavy Laden Volume 2, “Halo” and “Serpiente”, are the original recordings.
Heavy Laden Volume 1 track listing: “Kingdom Come”, “Powers And Authorities”, “Sabbath Breaker”, “Chains”, “Dead Right Now”, “Father Of Lights”, “Fire”, “Gotta Get Back”, “His Holiness”, “Cast Down”, “Kiss The Son”, “No Return”, , “Babylon”, “Over And Out”, “Save Me”, “Seven Thunders”, “The Hand Of God”, “Time Runs Out”, “Tonite”, “White Horse Man”
Heavy Laden Volume 2 track listing: “Flying”, “Brain”, “He Made Me”, “Machines”, “Desert”, “The Day That He Died”, “Drinkin Wine”, “John”, “Know Compromise”, “Love”, “Tell”, “Born A Sinner”, “Shotgun Blast”, “Harms Way”, “Sweet And Sour”, “The King Of Rock And Roll”, “Tomorrow”, “2025”, “Serpiente” and “Halo”
* Swedish melodic metal band EVERGRACE has decided to change name to INCRAVE. The self-titled debut album that was released September 30th last year will be re-released April 20, 2007 under the name INCRAVE, and with the album title The Escape. The album will include a bonus track called “The Masquerade”.
* BLOODGOOD will soon be re-releasing its live album Shakin’ The World on both DVD and CD: “You can now pre-order a repackaged re-release of Rock Theater: Shakin' The World on DVD and CD. The DVD and CD are scheduled to be released sometime in April 2007. On previous releases, Shakin' The World was called Act II. With this release, it is now — confusingly — called Act I. Unlike the 2002 Rock Theater DVD, the new DVD and CD does not contain any of the Alive In America portion of the show. Unfortunately for fans, the new Shakin' The World does not contain any bonus footage. According to (bassist) Michael Bloodgood, "No, no bonus footage, but we're hoping to rectify that when (or if) they release the next disc (ie: Alive In America)."
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
Neal Morse - Sola Scripture details revealed:
Press Release / Neal Morse’s new album’s title (Sola Scriptura which means “Only By Scripture” in Latin) is as interesting and provocative as the music itself. Featuring Mike Portnoy of DREAM THEATER and the riveting guitar work of Paul Gilbert (MR. BIG), this album is huge in scope and sound! Filled with incredible melodies, cascading guitar and keyboards and all the great composition this ex SPOCK’s BEARD leader is known for, Sola Scriptua reaches beyond what one would think possible on a progressive rock epic.
Lyrically it draws on the life of Martin Luther, the Christian reformer who lived in the early 1500s. He’s the one who nailed the 95 theses on the door of the Cathedral in Germany and rocked the entire world at the time. “I tried to imagine what it must have been like to go up against corruption in high places and risk life and limb for what you believe is right” says Morse. Will this album be controversial? Surely. But Morse has never been one to draw away from a challenge.
Musically it’s as hard hitting and intricately beautiful as Morse’s best work. With 3 long pieces (the longest clocking in at 29 minutes!) and one short ballad type song, this has all of Morse’s trademark moments and the addition of Paul Gilbert’s blistering guitar work puts it over the top.
Morse says “I felt as a Christian I should make this album and point out to people that may have forgotten how the church fell away from righteousness in the Dark Ages. The point of it is to point us toward God and his truth and where the church still may have darkness in it, to point her toward the light of God's truth which is laid out wonderfully before us in the scriptures. Of course, this is a lofty goal for a mere CD, but, with God anything is possible!”
Sola Scriptura track listing: “The Door” (Introduction, In The Name Of God, All I Ask For, Mercy For Sale, Keep Silent, Upon The Door), “The Conflict” (Do You Know My Name?, Party To The Lie, Underground, Two Down, One To Go, The Vineyard, Already Home), “Heaven In My Heart”, “The Conclusion” (Randy’s Jam, Long Night’s Journey, Re-Introduction, Come Out Of Her, Clothed With The Sun)
THRESHOLD announce new album, Dead Reckoning:
Press Release / THRESHOLD are England's foremost Progressive Metal band. The latest chapter of THRESHOLD's story sees the band signed to Nuclear Blast Records to release their 8th studio album Dead Reckoning. Hailed as a "masterpiece" by UK rock magazine Fireworks, the album was written and produced by Karl Groom and Richard West, who have been with the band since THRESHOLD's debut release Wounded Land.
Formed in the late 1980s, THRESHOLD combined their influences of heavy metal and progressive rock to craft their own unique sound which was a far cry from the commercial sound of the time. "Wounded Land" was released on GEP Records in 1993, and was hailed by many as the best debut album of the year. The following few years saw three more album releases and tours with bands such as DREAM THEATER and PSYCHOTIC WALTZ. By the end of the decade THRESHOLD were signed to Inside Out Music and had established drummer Johanne James and vocalist Andrew "Mac"
McDermott among their ranks.
Regarded by many as one of England's finest rock voices, Mac brought an enigmatic and unpredictable edge to THRESHOLD's live shows. From being voted best frontman of the festival at Wacken in 1999, to risking life and limb scaling across a huge lighting rig during the finale of the band's performance at the Bospop festival in 2001, Mac's on-stage antics soon became known as Macrobatics, and other band members learned to keep a watchful eye on the singer in case they got caught in the crossfire.
THRESHOLD's Inside Out era brought three more studio albums, a live DVD and long-awaited chart success for the band. In 2003 bassist Steve Anderson joined THRESHOLD, and the following year Subsurface was released. Hailed as "absolute perfection" by Darkscene (AT), Subsurface scooped 15 "Album Of The Month" awards across nine countries, making it one of the essential Rock albums of the year. The band's subsequent European tour was their most successful yet.
In 2006 THRESHOLD signed to Nuclear Blast Records and started work on their new album Dead Reckoning. Described by Powerplay (UK) as "heavier, darker yet more accessible" than their previous work, Dead Reckoning is hailed by Aardschok (NL) as a "great new album by a band that seems to have reinvented itself", and which according to Scream (NO), "could very well take the band to a new level of stardom". THRESHOLD's Dead Reckoning will be released in April 2007.
*A video THRESHOLD recorded for the abbreviated version (four minutes) of the track “Pilot On The Sky Of Dreams can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qw1M-e0CeQ
Dead Reckoning track listing: “Slipstream”, “This Is Your Life”, “Elusive”, “Hollow”, “Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams”, “Fighting For Breath”, “Disappear”, “Safe To Fly”, “One Degree Down”
Nuclear Blast online: www.nuclearblast.com/en
* Puerto Rico’s PACTO DE SANGRE is hard at work on The Days Of Egypt, the follow up to its very fine 2003 debut Alerta. The album will reportedly feature 10 songs and move in a more refined power metal style blended with elements of speed metal and thrash. According to the band, The Days Of Egypt will revolve around a three song trilogy - “Enslaved”, “Chosen Ones” and “Power Of Wonders” – that tells the story of the Hebrew people beginning with their 400 years of enslavement under the yoke of the Egyptian empire and ending with their freedom through the hand of Moses. Other songs will tentatively include “Torrential Darkness”, “Behold The Horsemen”, “Volando Alto”, Chosen One II (Shepherd Of A Black Sheep Herd)”, “Remember”, “Metal Command’, “Scared” and “Mensajero del Mal”. Look for the album to feature more material in English as well.
* VENI DOMINE remains at work on its next album (as mentioned by guitarist Torbjörn Weinesjö at the Christian Metal Realm): “As some of you know we're quite busy recording again, my aim was to be ready for release in March 07, we're not gonna make it I would say due to a sleepy fall of ´06. But nevertheless we have 10 tracks running, vocal left on 4 of those, some small guitar parts/key parts, some additional guitar by some friends. As Gabriel still prefers Shanghai over Stockholm, we have the luck of using such talented guys like Ez Gomér (JET CIRCUS), Peter Carlsohn (JERUSALEM, THE RISE), Gary Kusthoss and Andreas Olsson (all bands not above mentioned). It's gonna be a challenge mixing with such diverse bass approaches but I can tell that we are completely thrilled having them on. I dare not say when we'll be ready but we're on with MCM so that wont be taking too much time so...I'll fill you guys in as we go. The artwork is coming along and booklet and stuff, preparing a new site and all that....running a full circle again. Ok, that's it for now, yeah we're doing the End Time Fest with Andreas on bass again”
ASCENSION THEORY - Answers
Ascension Theory is a studio project founded in 2002 by Tim Becker (keyboards) and Leon Ozug (vocals, guitar and bass), two talented musicians who got their start in the progressive metal outfit Aztec Jade. Departing Aztec Jade in 2001 and 2003 respectively, Becker and Ozug joined forces with drummer Chad Lenig and recorded Ascension Theory’s debut Regeneration in 2002 before following up in 2005 with a sophomore effort entitled Answers. Read Full Review >>
BABYLON MYSTERY OCHESTRA - The Great Apostasy
Babylon Mystery Orchestra is a one man project under the guidance of a vocalist, guitarist and composer by the name of Sydney Allen Johnson. Getting started in 2003 with the full length debut Divine Right Of Kings, a concept album dealing with America’s role in Biblical prophecy as the doomed “Mystery Babylon The Great”, BMO returned one year later with On Earth As It Is In Heaven, another conceptual effort that traced the 4000 year history of rock n’ roll along with the diabolic origins of music. Read Full Review >>
ESSENCE OF SORROW - Reflections Of The Obscure
If I were to compile a list of the better Christian metal bands to come out of Northern Europe in recent years I would rank Divinefire, Harmony, Majestic Vanguard, Random Eyes, 7 Days and Wingdom among the regions finest. One exciting new group that deserves equal consideration, however, is Finland’s Essence Of Sorrow. Read Full Review >>
FAITH - Sorg
Renowned as one of Sweden’s first doom metal bands, Faith was founded back in 1984 by guitarist Roger Johansson, vocalist and bassist Christer Nilsson and drummer Peter Svensson. Over the next several years the three, despite a constantly revolving line-up, managed to record two demo tapes (Faith and Insanity) in addition to a two song single entitled Hymn Of The Sinner. Read Full Review >>
IMAGES OF EDEN - Sunlight Of The Spirit
Images Of Eden started out as a one man project led by Gordon Tittsworth. Chapter 1, the appropriately entitled 2001 debut of Images Of Eden, found Gordon handling nearly all aspects of the recording, including songwriting, lead vocals, rhythm and lead guitar, bass and keyboards. Read Full Review >>
PACTO DE SANGRE - Alerta
Puerto Rico based Pacto de Sangre was put together in 1996 by brothers Carlos (drums), Mizael (bass) and Eliezer (guitars) Robles. Initially using the moniker Plenitud, the three rounded out the bands first official line up upon recruiting guitarist Felix Guzman and vocalist Luis Vila. Read Full Review >>
SEPTER - The God Key
Septer came out of Illinois in 2003 with the power metal of its independently released full length debut Transgressor. After recruiting a new vocalist in the talented Dane McCartney, the band followed up three years later with a very well done sophomore effort entitled The God Key. Read Full Review >>
STRYPER - The Yellow And Black Attack
When the issue of Christian metal is brought up, the first name that often comes to mind is Stryper, a band that by and large defines the genre. The origin of the group can be traced back to when brothers Robert and Michael Sweet got saved at a young age while watching a Jimmy Swaggart television crusade. Read Full Review >>
METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS
New MAD MAX album, White Sands:
Scheduled for release via AOR Heaven on February 23, 2007:
Press Release / 2006 - what a year for MAD MAX ! It started in January with the highly acclaimed Night Of White Rock album seeing the band return in the original line-up with Michael Voss (vocals, guitars), Juergen Breforth (guitars), Axel Kruse (drums) und Roland Bergmann (bass, vocals) followed by a German tour with the classic rock heroes DEEP PURPLE und ALICE COOPER. But this was just the beginning. In May MAD MAX started a two week European club tour with JADED HEART and PAGANINI and also were on the bill of the sold out United Forces Of Rock Festival. In early, October the band released In White, a 6-track EP featuring old and new MAD MAX songs in acoustic versions and very emotional arrangements.
In mid October the MAD MAX songwriting team of Michael Voss (music) and Juergen Breforth (lyrics) packed their bags and headed out to Mallorca, Spain. In this lonely place, they wrote 10 brand new songs that ended up on the new White Sands album. The songs are unusually heavy for MAD MAX and bring back the vibe of the classic MAD MAX vintage guitar sound. No keyboards used at all this time! There is still the Christian lyrical direction for the band but there are also songs like "Little princess" dealing with child abuse and "War", the heaviest song MAD MAX has ever written. MAD MAX are not only rocking harder than ever before, they definitely have something to say and they say it loud and clear! Furthermore, songs like "Family Of Rock" and "We Fight In White" are showing that the band is grown to a strong unit after this intensive year with lots of shows all around Europe. The new songs will have their live premiere on a large European tour as "special guest" of AXEL RUDI PELL starting on January 30, 2007.
White Sands track listing:
1. “Family Of Rock”
2. “Little Princess”
3. “Heaven Is…”
4. “Someone Like You”
6. “We Fight In White”
7. “Change It”
8. “Glorious Night”
9. “Too Wrong”
11. “Shine On You”
X-SINNER & ZION compilations set for release on Retroactive Records:
X-SINNER - Loud & Proud + 2:
Press Release / X-SINNER got its start in 1989 with its Pakaderm Records debut Get It before following up two years later on the same label with the sophomore effort Peace Treaty. Those who have hoped for a heavier and more energetic version of X-SINNER need look no further than its recent Retroactive offering Loud & Proud +2. Originally released in 2001 on Magdalene Records under the title Loud & Proud, the album is a collection of demo tracks and early/different versions of songs that does a better job of capturing the bands true sound. Loud & Proud +2 is actually made up of four tracks that went on to be recorded for Get It (“Eyes Of Fire”, “A Cut Above”, “Medicine” and “No Where To Run”), one that made its way onto Peace Treaty/Fire It Up (“Got To Let Go”) and seven previously unreleased compositions. Two bonus tracks were added from the bands 2002 Retroactive release Cracked while under the name ANGRY EINSTEINS.
What we end up with is a heavier and more stripped down version of X-SINNER in which all the gloss and polish of its first two efforts has been stripped. Yes, the production might sound a bit rough at times but the trade off is a much more energetic performance from the band in which the tracks from Get It and Peace Treaty are allowed to come to life! Unreleased songs such as “No Way Back”, “Turn It Up”, “Reap What You Sow”, “Shame” and “Last Call”, in addition, are all of such high quality that they leave you wondering why they were never previously recorded by the band and make Loud & Proud + 2 nothing less than a necessary purchase!
Expect blasts of pulsating rhythm guitar, punchy bass lines, hook-driven choruses guaranteed to draw you in with all out hard hitting energy. Each and every song stands out with notable hooks and an abundance of guitar driven impetus.
Loud & Proud + 2 track listing: “Eyes Of Fire”, “A Cut Above”, “No Way Back”, “Medicine”, “No Where To Run”, “Turn It Up”, “Got To Let Go”, “X-Sinner”, “Last Call (Instrumental)”, “Reap What You Sow”, “Shame”, “Last Call”, “Prophet And The Cowboy”, “Going Around In Circles”
ZION - Thrillseeker:
Press Release / The history of ZION can be traced to its first demo from 1982 and full-length follow up 1984 cassette release Rock For Eternity. The hard rocking South Dakota based act proceeded to sign with Image Records for its nine-song David Zaffiro (BLOODGOOD) produced debut Thunder From The Mountain released in 1989. However, at just the point it was going to record its sophomore effort, ZION fell apart and was never heard from again.
Fans knew there were unreleased demo and live tracks, but they were never released… until now! Retroactive Records will release in February of 2007, a limited edition pressing (just 1000 copies) of Thrillseeker, consisting of digitally re-mastered unreleased and live tracks previously unavailable. This is where vocalist Rex Scott got his start, before going on to fame with X-SINNER. The production values of the demo tracks might lack the smooth sounding touch of TFTM, but do a better job of capturing the band's raw energy. The CD concludes with a hidden bonus track of ZION covering the KISS classic “Rock & Roll All Night” but with slightly sanctified lyrics!
Thrillseeker proves a noteworthy release offering material that was either previously unavailable or virtually impossible to find. It comes highly recommended for fans of gritty hard rocking outfits such as X-SINNER, WHITECROSS, AC/DC, CINDERELLA, earl POISON and BRIDE.
Thrillseeker track listing: “Who Pulls The Strings”, “Kick In The Gates Of Hell”, “Drum & Bass Solo”, “Backstage Humor”, “He’s Got Power”, “Radio Snippet”, “Rock For Eternity” (6:35), “Your Love”, “Big Fall”, “Roll The Rock”, "Thrillseeker"
Retroactive Records online: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records.html
* Testimony of ACCEPT bassist Peter Baltes: http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/amazing/Peter_Baltes082609.aspx
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