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Update Archives: June 24, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Saviour Machine logo

SAVIOUR MACHINE - Rarities/Revelations re-issues:
Four volume digipak CD reissues of rare and out of print material available on Retroactive Records:

Press Release / Originally released in February of 2006, the four volume Rarities/Revelations was a Limited Signature Edition (500 copies) set. Those copies are long gone, and now sell for exorbitant prices when showing up in collectible auctions. Each volume of this set chronicles choice cuts of demo, live, or alternate recordings from one of the four eras of the bands history. The tracks were compiled and edited by Adam Pedersen and the voice of SAVIOUR MACHINE, Eric Clayton, who searched relentlessly through his own personal archives of rare SAVIOUR MACHINE material. Other tracks were culled from the collections of numerous, avid SAVIOUR MACHINE fans who also shared the desire to have a comprehensive collection of the best of rare and exclusive SAVIOUR material.

The result is four discs and five hours of music. The 2012 releases on Retroactive Records have each disc/volume packaged in its own 6 panel digipak with liner notes, and each disc/volume is sold individually.

It's worth noting that the Rarities/Revelations set is dedicated to one of the most loyal fans ever, Peter Kompanje (1978-2005), who amassed one of the most extensive collections of SAVIOUR MACHINE rarities on earth. Days before his passing, Eric Clayton spent time with Peter, who openly shared his deep affinity and affection for these bootlegs and rarities. One of Peter's greatest wishes was for all the SAVIOUR MACHINE faithful to hear this unique material that had given him so much joy, encouragement, and strength!

Four individual releases; each with 80 minutes of music; each wearing the passion and inspiration that makes SAVIOUR MACHINE great. This collection is unique - much like the band - the music is dark, progressive, gothic, rock and metal - but yet still manages to defy description and comparison. The grandfathers of gothic music have done it again! Get all four volumes of Rarities/Revelations to complete your collection!

SAVIOUR MACHINE - Rarities/Revelations I (1993-1997) track listing: “Saviour Machine”, “Leaves”, “Church Of The Vatican Slaves”, “Ludicrous Smiles”, “A World Alone”, “The Pain”, “Son Of The Rain”, “Carnival Of Souls”, “Legion”, “A World Alone”, “The Veil Of Armageddon”, “Interview Segment I”, “Carnival OF Souls”, “The Mask”, “Enter The Idol”, “The Hunger Circle”

SAVIOUR MACHINE - Rarities/Revelations II (1994-1997) track listing: “Saviour Machine”, “The Stand”, “The Invasion Of Israel”, “World War III”, “The Beast”, “The Sword Of Islam”, “Kings Of The North”, “Enter The Idol”, “Carnival Of Souls”, “Love Never Dies”, “A World Alone”, “Saviour Machine II”, “The Birth Pangs”, “The Woman”, “Behind The Mask”, “America The Beautiful”

SAVIOUR MACHINE - Rarities/Revelations III (1997-2001) track listing: “The Martyrs Cry”, “Mark Of The Beast” “Antichrist II”, “World War III/II”, “The Covenant”, “Behold A Pale Horse”, “The Eyes Of The Storm”, “Revelation 13”, “Prelude To The Locusts”, “Christians And Lunatics”, “The Whore Of Babylon”, “Legion”, “Introductions”, “Love Never Dies”, “Ascension Of Heroes”, “The Promise”

SAVIOUR MACHINE - Rarities/Revelations IV (2001-2005) track listing: “The Ancient Serpent”, “Behold A Pale Horse”
“The End Of The Age”, “A World Alone”, “Jesus Christ”, “Interview Segment II”, “The End Of The Age”, “Twelve Hundred Sixty Days”, “Legend III:I/The Ancient Serpent”, “Abomination Of Desolation”, “Image Of The Beast”, “Rivers Of Blood”, “The Dead Sea”, “III:1/Voices And Judgments”, “The Final Holocaust”, “The End Of The Age”

Retroactive Records online: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records.html

SAVIOUR MACHINE online: www.facebook.com/saviourmachineofficial

NEWS BRIEFS

* A new BRIDE album will be out by the end of the year.  Vocalist Dale Thompson offers further detail (Facebook June 24, 2012): “Creative is our approach, daring in our melodies, taking risk with the style I am digging the music we are making. A couple more of writing sessions and we will find the players for this project. We have a long list of artist / musicians to choose from but only one positive choice in mind thus far. My son Alex has now left the Air Force after proudly and honorably serving his country for the past 6 years. Alex is a brilliant instrumentalist - playing piano, keys and drums. His talent will be exercised.”

* DELIVERANCE announced (at its Facebook page - June 24, 2012) that its new album will be entitled Hear What I Say!  Look for a release in the fall of this year.

* TEMPEST has uploaded a new track entitled “Destroyer”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTKVx6wy6IA

The group is currently at work on a cover of the REZ BAND classic “Military Man”, while Aftershock will be the title to the new album.  TEMPEST has also signed with Sword Of Victory Management: www.facebook.com/swordofvictory

 

Update Archvies: June 17, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Re-issues on Born Twice & Retroactive Records:

Stronghold - Fortress Rock

STRONGHOLD - Fortress Rock (Legends Re-mastered Volume Six):
Press Release / Prior to Christian music’s mid ‘80s flirtation with spandex, big hair and highly oscillated shrieks, there were still a few bands mining the tradition of heavy ‘70s classic rock. The New York male foursome STRONGHOLD certainly do so on this early 1982 release, and they do so with honors.  Originally releasing on the Tunesmith label (home to SERVANT & BARNABAS) there is a dark, doomy feel throughout with pounding sledgehammer riffs, typically slow and grungy, crawling along like BLACK SABBATH (“Barabbas”, “No Superstars For Jesus”, “Nobody Owes You Nothing”), but also some JETRHO TULL-ish hard rock (“Stronghold”) as well as strutting metal ala early JUDAS PRIEST (“Desert Walker”, ‘The Call’). 

According to Christian music historian, Ken Scott, “This is areal bone-crunchin’ mama.”  This 2012 Born Twice Records 6 panel digipak, Stronghold – Fortress Rock: Legends Remastered Volume Six gives new life to this rare classic hard rock monster now on CD for the very first time!  This is a must-have find for fans of DANIEL BAND, BARNABAS, BLACK SABBATH, MESSIAH, and great classic metal! 

Be sure to check out Volumes 1-5 from the early Jesus Music Legends Remastered Series – AMAZIAH, BILL MASON BAND, EXKURSIONS, and Mike Johnson!   

Fortress Rock track listing:

1. “Stronghold”
2. “Barabbas”
3. “Dreams And Pretty Pictures”
4. “No Superstars For Jesus”
5.“Daybreaks Coming”
6. “Desert Walker”
7. “The Called”
8. “Nobody Owes You Nothing”

Born Twice Records online: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/born-twice-records.html

Menchen - In The Light

MENCHEN - In The Light (RetroArchives Addition):
Press Release / The debut 2008 MENCHEN release, Red Rock, was a special project including the contributions of vocalist Ken Redding (HIS WITNESS), Robert Sweet (STRYPER) and bassist Tony Franklin (WHITESNAKE & BLUE MURDER) to produce a creative hard rock sound.  Musically, In The Light (Retroarchives Edition) trends towards a darker, weightier and all around heavier, more metal influenced sound than Red Rock. The project gives rise to a traditional classic metal feel along the lines of JUDAS PRIEST and BLACK SABBATH with occasional doom-like moments thrown in. 

Redding is back on vocals showcasing his deep, rich mid-ranged vocal style that sounds like a cross between Jimmy Brown (DELIVERANCE) and Eric Clayton (SAVIOUR MACHINE) but with a touch of Geoff Tate (QUEENSRYCHE) added.  Drums continue to be top-notch with Robert Sweet at the helm once again!  The 2012 Retroactive Records version has been mastered by audio guru, J Powell of Steinhaus!  For fans of WHITESNAKE, STRYPER, SCORPIONS, and BLACK SABBATH!

In The Light track listing:

1. “Don’t Leave”
2. “Remember My Chains”
3. “Hole In Your Heart”
4. “Master Of Destiny”
5. “The Day That He Died”
6. “King Or Liar”
7. “Man Of Pain”
8. “You’re Not Alone”
9. “Passin’ Through”
10. “Love”
11. “Crucified”
12. “King Of Glory”

Mass - Voices In The Night

MASS - Voices In The Night (RetroArchives Addition): 
Press Release / Released on the Christian record label, Retroactive Records, this 2012 Voices In the Night (Retroarchives Edition) features the re-mastering genius of J Powell of Steinhaus which puts this classic 1989 (Enigma Records) release on another stratosphere!  The album was produced by fellow label mate Michael Sweet (STRYPER vocalist), who definitely helped the band find a more polished metal vibe similar to STRYPER, GUADIAN, TNT, DOKKEN, and WHITE LION.

Voices In The Night track listing:

1. “Voices In The Night”
2. “Nine Tonight”
3. “Reach For The Sky”
4. “Chance To Love”
5. “Turn It All Around”
6. “Carry Your Heart”
7. “Miles Away”,
8. “Follow Me”
9. “Call Out Your Name”
10. “Staying Alive”
11. “Still Of The Night” (bonus track)
12. “Stevie” (bonus track)

Retroactive Records online: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records.html

Mike Florio - Arisen

Mike Florio offers thoughts on Arisen:
The progressive rock artist goes into detail about his 2006 solo album, Arisen (Massdream Musicworks Facebook – June 10, 2012):

"In January 2006 I released a progressive rock album called Arisen. It took me 7 years to finish it, and it looks like it will be another 7 years until the next one - which I am working on now. In between there have been all kinds of other musical things going on...

"Arisen contained songs written over a long span of years: “Bells”, “Pretending”, and “Violent Moods” having their genesis in the '80s, “Binary World” and “Media Ride” being written during the '90s, while “Fractured” and “Paradise of Stone” were actually written this millennium! I had compiled quite a backlog of songs over the years and when it came time to decide which ones to record for my first solo album these are the ones that emerged as the best choices.

"In late 1998 I made up my mind to go ahead and record the album, and by the end of 2005 it was done. The 7 years working on Arisen were frustrating, but even so, there are a few fond memories I have of the process. One of them was taking frequent breaks during my day job to run out to my car so I could bang out the songs on the cheap battery-powered keyboard I kept there. “Paradise of Stone” in particular was worked out mostly in the car, and it's probably my favorite bit of writing on the album!"

The players: Mike Florio (keyboards and vocals), Dave Bailey (bass), Bill Thomas (guitars), Steve Golden (drums)

Composed and Produced by Mike
Mixed by Paul Avgerinos w/ Mike @ Studio Unicorn, Redding CT
Mastered by Michael Dominici @ Music House Mastering, Mt. Sinai NY

The Angelic Warlord review (85%) had the following to say about Arisen: “What Arisen brings to the table is progressive rock with symphonic touches all the while reflecting an occasional classic rock or AOR leaning.  The album can best be described as a compelling blend of Kansas and Styx that is certain to appeal to fans of Neal Morse, Tiles, Flagship and AD.  While by no means metal, Arisen features enough guitar driven momentum to attract those who are into Shadow Gallery and Dream Theater as well.”

Mike Florio online: www.facebook.com/massdream.music

The Sacrificed - Collage of first three albums

Eli Prinsen reflects upon production of first three THE SACRIFICED albums:
As provided by the artist at the Christian Metal Realm (June 14, 2012):

“I just wanted to chime in here and address a few things.

"I understand the comments on the vocal production of the first two albums I did with The Sacrificed. The honest reason for that is simply due to the fact that we just didn't have the budget to have the 1st two albums produced in a "real studio".

"Unfortunately, I had to learn as I went. This hurt our 2nd album, 2012 because it was recorded over a three year period. Our knowledge of recording got much better, but when we had the whole album mastered, they had to attempt to make the album have a uniform sound. This was nearly impossible to do because the "quality" of some of the earliest tracks was horrible compared to the newer tracks. That being said, Steinhaus did a miraculous job in their effort to make it all sound uniform. My original master copy is a mixture of clear and awesome clarity and terrible muddy quality tracks. Looking back, I wonder why I included all 15 tracks on that release, for that reason. I guess I just felt like the songs had some purpose.

"Now with III...

"You can ask (guitarist) Michael Phillips, the vocals on our master copy were clear and upfront in the mix. The mastering engineer was concerned that there would be too much high end on the vocals and because of the resonance on my voice. They ran a dehisser and cut so much treble off of the vocal track that it made it sound muffled and unintelligible.

"You can only imagine how it feels to read the reviews, knowing how hard each member of The Sacrificed worked to make III the best it could be, and feeling as if I am somehow responsible for it. But on the up side of all this, the recording issues of the past are exactly that...In the past!

"As for the production on the new Sacred Warrior album goes, it is absolutely top notch, in every way. It is being produced professionally and I feel so blessed to be a part of it.

"To all Sacred Warrior fans: This new album is so worth the wait! As a fellow fan, I can tell you that it sounds AWESOME!!!”

THE SACRIFICED online: www.facebook.com/thesacrificed

THEOCRACY - Guitar instructional video available online:
Press Release / Matt Smith from the Athens, Georgia-based melodic metal band THEOCRACY have uploaded Part I of a guitar instructional video for the track "I Am" on YouTube. Part II will follow during the coming week. "I Am" comes off the latest THEOCRACY album As The World Bleeds.

As The World Bleeds was released in Europe on November 25th through Ulterium Records, in North America on November 21st through Nightmare Records and in Japan on April 25th through King Records.

As The World Bleeds debuted at #40 in the Billboard Heatseekers Chart during the first week of release.

THEOOCRACY online: www.theocracymusic.com & www.facebook.com/theocracyband

NEWS BRIEFS

* Finnish hair metal band DESYRE should starting mixing its next album, Glamtron, next month.

* DOGS OF PRAY will be releasing its sophomore album, Death Will Have To Wait, in July.  The new single reported last week, “Stella’s House”, will not be on the album but rather is a special release in which all proceeds will go to charity for teen trafficking at: www.stellasvoice.org

* Guitarist George Ochoa has announced (at his official Facebook page) that work has started on the long awaited new RECON CD, The Chosen Few.  Former SACRED WARRIOR vocalist Rey Parra will be fronting the project.  More details as they become available.

* TEMPEST vocalist & guitarist Mick Rowe has uploaded a new single entitled “Stand & Fight”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsOcYChQrqw  The artist mixed the song while mastering was handled via Blackdog Studios.  A new single, “Destroyer”, is scheduled for release next week.

A remixed and re-mastered version of the new track, “The Witch”, is available as well: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebm5cZPTZb0&feature=relmfu

Note: What I hear in the new TEMPEST is classic and traditional metal in the vein of SAINT & ATKINS / MAY PROJECT.  The new album, as a result, comes highly anticipated.

 

Update Archives: June 10, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Babylon Mystery Orchestra promo pic

New BABYLON MYSTERY ORCHESTRA album, Poinium Cherem:
From founding member Sidney Allen Johnson at the BMO Facebook page (June 5, 2012):

"The new CD is on its way to the production plant. Now is the time to release some details...

"The record will be called Poinium Cherem. Yes the words have very symbolic meaning. You will find them carved into the walls of a Christian Bakers house in the ruins of Pompeii. It is believed to be one of the earliest representations of Christianity outside of the Middle East. It appears the baker was convinced that the blow that was about to be dealt to Pompeii was a reward for the whorish nature of the city as well as for Rome's recent destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. From the instant incineration of Pompeii and its twin city Herculaneum to the one hour "Punishment Destruction" of Mystery Babylon USA, I have chosen to resurrect the words POINIUM CHEREM as the final words for a doomed civilization that tries every day to bring back all the worst attributes of Rome....in the name of progress."

Poinium Cherem track listing:

1. “Chorale...What Should Not Be”
2. “Destroyer”
3. “The Affliction”
4. “Apollyon”
5. “I Am An Artist”
6. “Devilution”
7. “Another Path”
8. “Seething”
9. “A Prophet's Song”
10. “We Write The Words”
11. “Poinium Cherem”
12. “Finale...What Could Not Be”

The songs touch on such subjects as evolution, music and art, homosexuality and even...quantum physics? This will be fun. Absolute Truth always is...

The CD should be ready for distribution in about a month. I will upload a song as soon as I have the mastering completed.

BABYLON MYSTERY ORCHESTRA online: www.babylonmysteryorchestra.com/home.html  & www.facebook.com/pages/Babylon-Mystery-Orchestra

Liberty N' Justice - Give Em A Light

LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE June update:
A new single, new song and two re-issues on the way from LNJ:

Press Release / LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE remains at work on their yet to be released double CD, The Cigar Chronicles (13 new songs and 13 covers).

On Tuesday June 12th LNJ will be releasing a new single via digital outlets (Itunes, etc) of a song that did not make the final cut of The Cigar Chronicles. The song titled "Give Em' A Light" features Paul Shortino (King Kobra/Rough Cutt/Quiet Riot), JK Nothrup (King Kobra, XYZ), and David Henzerling (King Kobra/ Steelshine). Justin Murr of LNJ had this to say,"Being a huge music fan, having the chance to reunite Shortino/Northrup with David playing a cranking solo just blows me away! The response of our last CD Hell Is Coming To Breakfast (released 4-24-12) was so overwhelming and it was largely consisted of songs that did do not make "The Cigar" I thought we would continue letting people hear music they would not have heard otherwise."
 
LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE featuring Mark Lanoue (Biloxi/ Chasing Karma) and JK Northrup recently recorded a song "15 Years Later" for Andrew McNeice (www.melodicrock.com). The song was co-written by Northrup and Murr and will be exclusive to MRCD9 compilation record.
 
In other LNJ news on June 12th LNJ is re-issuing their 1996 release Forever Till The End via digital outlets. The album was re-mastered and new artwork was added (Lanoue ) for this special release. The album shows an earlier “poppier” sound of LNJ, and features the vocals of ex-CBS recording artist Gregg Clemons.

 
And finally LNJ Records is re-issuing Tim Martin's 1993 live CD Exploring New Horizons...Live (via digital outlets). Murr had this to say about the release," Most people may not have heard of Tim Martin, but Tim was a big part of the LNJ legacy. Opening up for us on our "Lost In Eden" tour back in 93', co-writing with me LNJ songs like "Foolish Child" (which he sang on both versions from Big Guns and Welcome To The Revolution), "In Good Faith", "A Little Bit Of Love" (original demo was called "Born With Beggars"), and "Forever, I Love You". Much more then all that Tim was a good friend and a spiritual mentor to myself.

On Sept. 13,2011 Tim was involved in a motorcycle accident and I lost a friend. I decided I would release Tim's live CD (many of the tracks I co-wrote with him) and allow you to be blessed as Tim blessed me.  It's a live recording with just Tim and his acoustic guitar and it shows what a talent Tim was. A portion of the proceeds are being donated in Tim's name in a form of a scholarship. I miss my friend but I am happy to be finally share to the world his music.

LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE online: www.libertynjustice.net & www.facebook.com/libertynjusticerocks

SAINT - Desperate Night samples online; New vocalist announced:
Press Release / Salem, Oregon based classic metal outfit uploaded samples to its new album Desperate Night, which is scheduled for release on June 25, 2012.

SAINT also recently introduced its new vocalist, Brian Miller (Facebook – June 7, 2012):

“On the song “Desperate Night” we are introducing our new singer Brian Miller. It’s my hope that you will welcome him into the fold. As for (original vocalist Josh Kramer) he has moved away and that makes it next to impossible to do things like music videos, photo shoots, etc. We haven’t parted ways completely as he has agreed to do live performances when possible. He and I talked it over and he completely agrees that it the best way for SAINT to continue producing CD’s. The good news is that he did most of the vocals on this project. We plan on kicking in to gear to produce a new CD featuring Brian”.

Desperate Night track listing:

1. “Crusified”
2. “The Key”
3. “End Of The World”
4. “Let It Rock”
5. “The Frey”
6. “Inside Out”
7. “Desperate Night”
8. “Zombie”
9. “Judgement”
10. “To Live Forever”
11. “Escape From The Fire”

Footage of Brian Miller auditioning for DRAGONFORCE can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=f28pPksOers&feature=plcp

SAINT online: www.saintsite.com & www.facebook.com/saintband

TEMPEST release new single, “The Witch”:
Press Release / Classic eighties metal band TEMPEST, better known for Pure Metal releases A Coming Storm (1987) and Eye Of The Storm (1988), debuts new single entitled “The Witch”.

TEMPEST is currently at work on its yet to be titled first full length album in over 20 years.  According to its press material, the new TEMPEST sound can best be described as “vintage metal the way it was meant to be played- raw and full of power” while “drawing upon the influences of ACCEPT, JUDAS PRIEST and ANTHRAX”.

The debut single “Heavy Metal” was released last month while the group is currently at work on a cover of the Billy Squire song “Everybody Wants You”.  A re-issue of the TEMPEST debut A Coming Storm is in the works as well.

The current TEMPEST line-up consists of founding member Mick Rowe (vocals & guitars), Ricky B. Rogers (bass) and Sam Mathews (drums).

NEWS BRIEFS

* ”Stella’s House” is the recently released (June 5, 2012) new single from DOGS OF PRAY.  Look for it at iTunes along with the groups 2008 debut The Rise: http://itunes.apple.com/album/stellas-house-single

* Update regarding new JOSHUA PERAHIA album, Resurrection (Facebook - June 7, 2012): “The Resurrection album by JOSHUA, will be out by June 20 so we are now taking orders for 888 Limited Edition CD's packed with extra's, as well as bonus tracks. Produced by Dino Maddalone, and mixed by Wyn Davis, we are so happy with the sound of power and haunting melodies this album exhibits. The band members are the best in the hard rock arena, with singer Mark Boals, keyboardist Scott Warren, Bassist Bryan Fleming, and drummer Dino Maddalone. Please check it out at www.joshuaperahia.com at the "Music Store". Super songs, from a super group........”

* A new SAVIOUR MACHINE compilation, Rarities/Revelations: Volumes 1-4, is currently at manufacturing for Retroactive Records.  Each volume has one disc that comes in a 6 panel digipak.

* Bassist and vocalist Steve Rowe plans on recording the next WONROWE VISION album in late January of next year.  According to Rowe, the group will be heading in a late seventies NWOBHM direction with a “bit of heavy rock and a bit of traditional metal”.

 

Update Archives: June 3, 2012

INTERVIEWS

Eli Prinsen & Michael Phillips of The Sacrificed

New THE SACRIFICED interview online:
Metal Pulse Radio conducted a recent online interview with vocalist Eli Prinsen and guitarist Michael Phillips of THE SACRIFICED, who go into detail about both the bands history and its latest album, III.  Following is an excerpt:   

Could you tell us a little about the new release that came out this past February?
Eli: “III” is the name of our new album. It’s the most “metal” album we’ve produced to date. The production is finally on a professional level and we have added two new members to our line up, guitar shredder, Michael Phillips (Deliverance, Fasedown) and bassist, Daniel Cordova (Vengeance Rising).

Read full interview: HERE

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Petra - More Power To Ya & This Means War

PETRA - More Power To Ya & This Means War re-issues announced:
Press Release / PETRA is releasing anniversary editions of their albums, This Means War (25th Anniversary Edition), and More Power To Ya (30th Anniversary Edition). Both albums have been digitally re-mastered for the first time, making them must have editions for PETRA fans, and will be released on July 3rd.

The 1980’s were the peak years for PETRA.  They were playing in front of sold out arenas nationwide, selling hundreds of thousands of albums each year and racking up numerous radio hits. 

Originally released in 1982, More Power To Ya was the fifth studio release from the band.  Billboard dubbed More Power To Ya a “Top Album Pick” and praised the band’s “surging music, tough lyrics and effective vocals.” Many PETRA fans have long considered this to be their best release from the 80s.  Bonus material comes in the form of two live rock medleys (“Stand Up” and “Judas’ Kiss”) and a mellow medley (“More Power To Ya”).

This Means War, the tenth studio release from PETRA, came out in 1987 and garnered the group their 4th nomination for a GRAMMY® Award for Best Gospel Performance.  The This Means War (30th Anniversary Edition) re-release includes 3 bonus live concert solos from Bob Hartman (guitar), John Lawry (keyboard) and Louie Weaver (drums).

More Power To Ya track listing:

1. “Stand Up”
2. “Second Wind”
3. “More Power To Ya”
4. “Judas’ Kiss”
5. “Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows”
6. “Run For The Prize”
7. “All Over Me”
8. “Let Everything That Hath Breath”
9. “Road To Zion”
10. “Disciple”
11. “Stand Up (Rock Medley (Live)”
12. “Judas’ Kiss (Rock Medley (Live)”
13. “More Power To Ya (Mellow Medley (Live)”

This Means War track listing:

1. “This Means War!”
2. “He Came He Saw He Conquered”
3. “Get On Your Knees And Fight Like A Man”
4. “I Am Available”
5. “Kenaniah”
6. “You Are My Rock”
7. “The Water Is Alive”
8. “Don’t Let Your Heart Be Hardened”
9. “Dead Reckoning”
10.  “All The King’s Horses”
11.  “Bob’s Solo (Live Version)”
12.  “John’s Solo (John’s Solo - The Race (live)”
13.  “Louie’s Solo (Live Version)”

NEWS BRIEFS

* A new DELIVERANCE album is in the works.  According to the DELIVERANCE Facebook page (May 27, 2012), the yet to be titled album will be released later in the year.  The group describes its new material as “brutal, thrashing (and) melodic” and promises to post clips when the record has been completely mastered.

The current DELIVERANCE line-up consists of Jimmy P. Brown II (vocals & guitars), Michael Phillips (guitars), Manny Morales (bass) and Jayson Sherlock (drums).

* SAINT update regarding new album, Desperate Night (Facebook – June 2, 2012: “I want to thank all you guys who have supported us with your pre-orders. Tuesday is the big day for mastering and if all goes well, Wednesday, is the day I'll ship it to the print plant. It's also the day I'll be sending out mp3 downloads to everyone who pre-ordered. After June 25th we'll stop but I plan on having lossless down loads available at www.saintsite.com and those should be up by this weekend.”

 

Update Archvies: May 27, 2012

FEATURED REVIEWS

DANIEL BAND - Rise Up (Retroactive re-issue)
Toronto’s Daniel Band is the first group within the Christian hard rock scene to come to mind.  No, will you not find a platinum (or gold) tradition here, but what sets Daniel Band apart is the consistency and work ethic to release five albums over a seven year span.  Read Full Review >>

DANIEL BAND - Running Out Of Time (Retroactive re-issue)
Musically, Running Out Of Time finds Daniel Band maintaining its eighties influenced hard rock sensibilities.  If I were to invite comparison, it lacks the finesse and style of Run From The Darkness (1984), arguably the best of the groups five album career, while straying from much of the heaviness characteristic to Straight On (1983) and Rise Up (1986).  Read Full Review >> 

GX PROJECT - Bite Stick
GX Project is the latest musical endeavor from the artist.  A joining of Scott and Canadian guitarist Glenn Thomas, GX Project stays true to the AC/DC influences sounds of X-Sinner on its spring of 2012 full length debut Bite StickRead Full Review >>

OBLIVION MYTH - Between Light And Shadow
What we have in Oblivion Myth is classic US power metal heavily influenced by the NWOBHM.  Specifically, the group is not that far removed from Jacobs Dream, Antithesis, Warrior, Bride (eighties era), Fires Of Babylon, Septer and Faith Factor.  Read Full Review >>

THE SEVENTH POWER - Eternal Power
Eternal Power, in contrast, takes the more stripped down songwriting approach by backing away from some of the keyboards and symphonic and doom-ish aspects present of the first two releases.  The upshot is a work that comes across with a more “basic” sound akin to that of Redeemer, Rev Seven and Titanic.  Read Full Review >>

THE SEVENTH POWER - The Power
The fact is that Bill Menchen has put together perhaps his finest ever group of songs.  What stands out is how much time, effort and hard work the artist put into his material, refining and honing it to perfection with surgeon-like precision.  Read Full Review >>

SOMBRE HOLIDAY - Four Shadows
Sombre Holiday maintains its “Saviour Machine meets Deliverance” sound on its 2012 sophomore release Four Shadows but with a twist.  The difference is how the duo takes the next step in terms of their songwriting by heading in the heavier progressive based direction.  Read Full Review >>

TERAMAZE - Anhedonia
On Anhedonia Teramaze draws upon the heaviness and thrash influences of Doxology while mixing in many of the melodic metal aspects inherit to Tears To Dust. The group stays true to its musical roots in this sense.  Read Full Review >>

INTERVIEWS

New Rob Rock interviews online:
In support of the newly released DRIVER album, Countdown, vocalist Rob Rock recently conducted a pair of interviews with Dead To Self Radio and Rock Realms.  Following are two excerpts:

Is there one or two songs you are most proud of on the new album or a song you feel most showcases where Driver is in 2012?
I think the album is full of good songs, and that is proven by the Europeans playing six or seven different songs on the different showcases of radio and print, and internet magazines over there. Everybody likes different songs and I like that. It is definitely AOR driven and not just an "only one good song" album.

Read full interview: Dead To Self Radio

The origins of Driver lay back in the late 1980s/early 1990s. The first album-proper came out in 2008. Any regrets on it taking so long, and do you feel in some ways you are now making up for lost time?
Yes. I am happy to make up for lost time. Driver should have been signed in 1990, with Atlantic Records in NYC. We wrote and recorded 30 - 40 demos for the A&R guy, but, in the end, the label decided that "grunge" was the next big thing and they wouldn’t be signing Driver! They knew we had the band and the songs to make it happen, but they just wouldn’t go for it!

Read full interview: Rock Realms

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

END OF SEPTEMBER - New track posted online:
Press Release / The Swedish female fronted melodic metal band END OF SEPTEMBER have uploaded the track "Fallen" on YouTube. "Fallen" comes off their self-titled debut album that was released in Europe on May 11th and North America on May 22nd through Ulterium Records.

Up-coming END OF SEPTEMBER shows:

June 1st: Harrys - Växjö, Sweden (release show)
July 5th: Gullbrannafestivalen - Halmstad, Sweden
August 10th: Frizon Festival - Örebro, Sweden
August 24th: Youth Celebration Festival, Keuruu, Finland

END OF SEPTEMBER is definitely one of the most promising bands from Scandinavia at the moment. This young band shows with their debut album that they know how to create fantastic, memorable songs, and perform them to perfection. They have also been able to successfully create a mix between melodic metal and more modern metal that not many bands have.

With the well-crafted and intelligent song-writing of Erik Tordsson and the smooth and emotional vocals of Elin Redin, END OF SEPTEMBER is a force to be reckoned with during the coming years. The band is hungry to hit the stages around the world and are destined to make it.

END OF SEPTEMBER offical: www.endofseptember.net  & www.facebook.com/endofseptember

Jaguar Blaze - Jaguar Blaze

JAGUAR BLAZE reissues self-titled debut:
From the Facebook page (May 20, 2012) of guitarist and vocalist Ian Keith Hafner:

“The Jaguar Blaze album has been totally reworked!  Most of the vocals were re-recorded; the whole thing was remixed and given a much, much better mastering treatment -- giving it a much "bigger" and more polished sound (but it still has plenty of grit!). The track list has been changed, too...and it has all new artwork that's much more in line with what I originally wanted.

"If you purchased the original version -- DO NOT BUY THE NEW VERSION -- a FREE copy went in the mail last Friday to everyone who bought the original version ('cause I can't stand when bands re-release stuff and you wind up buying the same record multiple times).

"If you bought the original Jaguar Blaze CD, DO NOT BUY THE NEW VERSION! A free copy is already on its way to you!”

The following statement from a press release by the artist best sums up what JAGUAR BLAZE is about musically:

“Blending hard rock with the blues, Ian's guitar playing evokes a sense of realism in a world drowned in drama. Refusing to follow the current trends, Ian chooses to write songs that hearken back to the guitar driven rock of the 80’s.

His most recent effort, the winter of 2012 self-titled debut from his new group JAGUAR BLAZE, pulls no punches. Over a year in the making, the JAGUAR BLAZE album is sure to appeal to fans of bands like DEF LEPPARD, KISS, SKID ROW, and RATT.”

JAGUAR BLAZE online: www.jaguarblaze.com & www.facebook.com/pages/Jaguar-Blaze

Laudamus logo

LAUDAMUS at work on new album, Rise:
Press Release / LAUDAMUS, a constructive spiritual metal band with Christian inspirations, has been part of the Swedish metal scene since the early nineties when it released its first single Be There Forever (1992) and a four song EP Ready Or Not (1993).  The groups full length debut, Unlimited Love, followed in 1999 while its sophomore effort Lost In Vain came out four years later.

After being on the sidelines the better part of the past decade, LAUDAMUS has regrouped and started work on its most recent project, Rise.  Scheduled for release in November of 2012, Rise is being produced by vocalist and guitarist Peter Stenlund and co-produced by Rex Carroll (WHITECROSS).

Please note that as a result of circumstances beyond his control, holdover drummer Anders Wigenstam has elected not to participate on Rise.  He will, however, continue to perform with the group live and on any future project it records.  Drummer Michael Feighan (WHITECROSS) was brought in as his studio replacement.

On a sad note, long term bassist Jonas Stenlund departed LAUDAUMUS due to family issues.  Handling the Rise bass guitar duties will be Tracy Ferrie (STRYPER, WHITECROSS, GUARDIAN).

Rounding out the LAUDAMUS line-up is keyboardist Ellinor Stenlund, a talented songwriter with exceptional ears for harmony and arrangements. Her songwriting skills are well used in this production as well as her tasteful way of playing the keyboards. You will hear her play with a "small body - big sound" attitude!

Peter Stenlund remains the founder and driving force behind LAUDAMUS.  Of note, he has studied guitar in Los Angeles with guitarists such as Frank Gambale, Steve Fister, Jeff Richman, Bill Fowler and Tariqh Akoni in addition to also being frequently hired as a vocalist.  His voice stands out as a powerful, sensitive, and dynamic vehicle that carries the message right from the stage or studio right to your heart.
 
LAUDAMUS online: www.facebook.com/pages/Laudamus

NEWS BRIEFS

* KING JAMES is shooting for a mid-summer release of its yet to be titled third album.  The group, which consists of guitarist Rex Carroll and vocalist Jimi Bennett, is promising a sound that is both “80’s” and “90’s” but with a “nowadays” production.

* LEVITICUS debuted a great new song entitled “You’re the One For Me” during a May 5, 2012 performance in Orebro, Sweden: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpTlzDv9qQM  The group also played the classic “Let Me Fight”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWFDo1QfMmE

* New MESSENGER album update (Facebook - May 13, 2012): “We can't wait to share with you our new music. We believe it to be something beyond anything we've ever done, musically and lyrically. We've been paying close attention to what you the listeners like and want to hear and we believe we will be able to deliver on this new CD. Let us know if you want any 'sneak peeks' of Tim's artwork on the cover or any other details we can share before the release this summer.”

The group currently has 8 of the 10 tracks chosen.  Also, do not expect many ballad type songs but rather (in the bands own words) “mostly hard and heavy songs to rock your faces and kick the devil!”

* Momentum is the title to the next Neal Morse album.  A release date is planned for September 11, 2012.  Guitarist Paul Gilbert, who participated on the artists 2007 release Sola Scriptura, collaborated on the project.  New song titles include “Thoughts Part 3”, “Weathering Sky” and “Smoke And Mirrors”.  There will also be a thirty-three minute epic in addition to two shorter songs.

* Response from Rey Parra’s to Eli Prinsen taking on SACRED WARRIOR lead vocal duties (Facebook – May 12, 2012): “Hello all, I am very blessed to hear that my friend ELi is now taking the position as front man and lead vocalist for Sacred Warrior. Eli, this will be no walk in the park my brother. You will now be in the public eye...ALL OF THE TIME. In a glass bowl as they say. You must keep the righteousness of Christ at the front of your life, ready to take on the enemy at every angle. You must remain humble and true to Jesus for many trials will come your way. Now that you have made the decision to posses much, much will be required of you my friend.

I am really excited to see how awesome the new CD will be when it is finally finished. I will be praying specifically for you now that I know that God has chosen you to fill the position. I will remain in contact with the boys and now with you as well as, I am still very excited in the writing stages. Keep the Warrior alive my brother. Blessings”.

* Salem, Oregon based SAINT is nearing completion of its new album, Desperate Night.  Look for it to be released on June 25, 2012.  You can both pre-order Desperate Night and view the album artwork at: http://saintsite.com/pages/store.php?ID=35
 
* SOUL CHAMBER is currently at work on its next album, War Against Evil, which is scheduled for release next spring.  The group promises a more aggressive sound in comparison to its 2011 debut Kingdom.

* VISUAL CLIFF members Rob Perez (guitars) and Thomas Schuffert (drums) are in a new hard rock project called Factor Of 2 with vocalist Tim Amos.  A preview of a new song called “Levitate” can be heard at: http://soundcloud.com/trinityrecords-1/factor-of-2-levitate

 

Update Archives: May 13, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

David Benson - Premonition of Doom

David Benson, Premonition Of Doom reissued on Retroactive Records:
Press Release / David Benson splashed onto the metal scene with the legendary Christian metal classic, Holy Psychotherapy in 1994, and his even stronger follow up effort, Purpose of the Cross in 1996.  Benson’s third release Premonition Of Doom (Retroarchives Edition) has been aging in the vaults since the late 90's until 2012 where it finds new life as a 4 panel, full color digipak; mastered by the immortal J Powell of Steinhaus for maximum metal impact.

The album displays Benson's strongest material with an imminent, dirge-like feel to it. Expect lots of slow, plodding metal, and bottom layer bone crushing riffs that bring to mind early stoner metal in the vein of classic BLACK SABBATH from the 70's/80's. Be forewarned, the album is a veritable quagmire of colossal magnitude thrust upon your shoulders and it will render you helpless. In the midst of melodic, detuned chugging you can practically feel your consciousness descend like lead into the pit of your stomach. The doom metal and heavy metal glory days of BLACK SABBATH and OZZY OSBOURNE have found a firm musical foundation in the powerful, Premonition Of Doom.

With spectacular album artwork (Jan Yrlund) and a powerful message for a broken world, Premonition Of Doom is must-have for all fans of 70's and 80's classic metal like TROUBLE, ST. VITUS, ELECRIC WIZARD, and of course, the BLACK SABBATH/OZZY train! Premonition of Doom's message is clear - All Aboaaaard!

Premonition Of Doom track listing:

1. “Premonition of Doom”
2. “Fool”
3. “Fight”
4. “Sin”
5. “The Struggle”
6. “Hellfire’
7. “Warfare”
8. “Commissioned’
9. “Warpath”

Note: Purpose Of The Cross was re-issued in 2011 on Intense Millennium Records while Holy Psychotherapy is set for re-release May 15, 2012 (via the artists Dual Edge Records label).

David Benson - Purpose of the Cross & Holy Psychotherapy

Retroactive Records online: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records.html

David Benson online: www.facebook.com/davidbensonmusic

Driver - Countdown

New DRIVER album, Countdown, set for release:
Courtesy of www.metalheaven.net:

Press Release / Fasten your seat-belts and watch out! Four years after their fantastic debut album Sons Of Thunder DRIVER start their engine for another driving lesson. For one more time they drive a vehicle of new and old parts which vocal-maestro Rob Rock (IMPELLITTERI) and six-string-wizard Roy Z (HALFORD, Bruce Dickinson) penned back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. It goes without saying that they updated the old parts and completely re-recorded them. So Countdown doesn’t feature any cheaply recycled demo material, but 11 excellently produced melodic metal anthems.

The songs live on the virtuoso and razor-sharp guitar-playing from Roy Z, Rob Rock’s powerhouse vocals and a colorful and highly melodic songwriting style. If needed, Ed Roth’ unobtrusive keyboards add some great atmosphere, while the rhythm-tandem Reynold ‘Butch’ Carlson/Aaron Samson cranks it up.

The Countdown driving lesson features slow-paced and very intense rockers (“Rising Son”, “Cry Of The Wounded”), up-tempo anthems (“Return To The Sky”, “Thief In The Night, “Babylon”) and true head bangers (“Hollywood Shooting Star”, “Feel The Fire”). DRIVER even found space for a wonderful ballad (“Always On My Mind”). No doubt, Countdown is another impressive demonstration of DRIVER’s extra-ordinary class. If you like US-Melodic Metal in the vein of IMPELLITTERI or Rob Rock’s solo efforts, then make sure you don’t miss this album!

Look for Countdown to be released on May 25, 2012 via Metal Heaven (Europe) and RockZilla (USA) and July 25, 2012 via King Records Japan (with exclusive Japan bonus track). 

Countdown track listing:

1. “Return To The Sky”
2. “Rising Son”
3. “Countdown”
4. “Hollywood Shooting Star”
5. “Thief In The Night”
6. “Cry Of The Wounded”
7. Always On My Mind”
8. “Feel The Fire”
9. “Destiny”
10. “Running From The Darkness”
11. “Babylon” (European bonus track)

DRIVER online: http://driverofficial.com

Eli Prinsen promo pic

Eli Prinsen joins SACRED WARRIOR:
As announced by the Chicago, Illinois based group at its Facebook page (05/09/12): “After much prayer, Sacred Warrior has chosen Eli Prinsen as the new lead vocalist. Thank you to all of the many qualified singers that applied for the position.

"Eli has been singing and serving The Lord Jesus Christ through Christian metal since the late 1980’s; most notably with U.S. Christian power metal bands, The Sacrificed and Sealed Fate.

"A longtime fan of Sacred Warrior and the band’s original vocalist, Rey Parra, Eli is as humbled as he is honored to be blessed with the opportunity of carrying on the good fight as the band’s new vocalist.

"A classically trained vocalist and founder of The Hybrid Vocal Technique, Eli is an avid vocal enthusiast who enjoys teaching as well as performing.

"Eli’s loves spending time with his family, writing, recording and listening to good music, grilling out, watching NFL football (The New Orleans Saints), and laughing at life’s random and dry humor.

Please join with us to welcome him.”

Prinsen offers his commentary (from the Facebook page of The Sacrificed – 05/11/12): “To all my friends and fans of The Sacrificed, God has blessed me with an incredible opportunity. I have been selected by Sacred Warrior to be the band's new vocalist. This is a band that I have been a huge fan of for many years, I have admired and been greatly influenced by their original vocalist, Rey Parra. His departure from the band is something I personally have grieved about, as I am sure many of the die-hard Warrior fans have as well. During the audition process, the band and I prayed for God's will to be done. I hope you will support me with Sacred Warrior just like you have with The Sacrificed.”

Sacred Warrior remains at work on its next album, Waiting In Darkness, which it is promising to be one of the heaviest of its career.

Sacred Warrior - Waiting In Darkness

Bassist Steve Watkins provides further detail regarding the meaning behind both the albums title track and the artwork (Facebook – 04/23/2012): “The title track deals with satanic influences on people of this earth. The front cover is an artist’s rendition of what the demons being sent out might look like. The back cover will be a reverse view from behind the chairs out over the world. Here are the tentative lyrics from the beginning of the title track:

Verse 1
Spirits of demons are crawling on my skin
Lusting for power, control of my mind
Tenaciously seeking for cracks in the armor
A place to begin their insidious crime

Chorus
Wating in darkness
Seething with hate for the children of light
Waiting in silence
They strike like a beast in the night
Waiting in darkness
They're longing for your and my demise

SACRED WARRIOR online: www.sacredwarrior.net & www.facebook.com/pages/Sacred-Warrior

NEWS BRIEFS

* Guitarist Joshua Perahia is hoping for a release date of May 28, 2012 for his new album Resurrection.  A “teaser” of four songs from Resurrection can be heard at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd1gafnIvoE

* Power And Glory, the next album from THE SEVENTH POWER, is due out next month.  As with previous projects from THE SEVENTH POWER, Bill Menchen will be handling lead vocals and guitars and Robert Sweet (STRYPER) drums.  Power And Glory initially came out in January 2011 as a digital only 4 song EP.  Six new songs, however, were recorded to turn it into a full length album while the original 4 have been modified and updated.

* Glenn Thomas has been announced as the co-producer of the next X-SINNER album, tentatively entitled Goin’ Out With A Bang.  Thomas initially worked with vocalist and guitarist Rex Scott as part of the GX PROJECT debut album Bite Stick.  Also, guitarist Greg Bishop has recovered from recent back surgery and is preparing to begin tracking along with Rex. Tracking had started at the end of 2011 but Greg's back surgery put the recording on hold.

 

Update Archives: April 29, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Sacred Warrior promo pic

Rey Parra departs SACRED WARRIOR:
As written by the vocalist on the groups Facebook page (04/23/2012):

“Well, it is with great sadness that I have to share this with everyone.  Just as a man's steps are ordered by the Lord, I believe that he is leading me in a direction that does not include Sacred Warrior. We have been trying to finish this record for quite some time now, yet it has proved to be too difficult with time and distance between me and the guys. I have been trying to break away to Chicago but it has not worked out, I do not want to hold the guys or the album back, so I decided to step down as vocalist and make room for advancement. We are remaining best of friends. Distance and time are the main role players in my decision.

"Thank you so much to all my friends and all the warrior fans, I love you all and thanks for the memories guys, Tony, Bruce, Steve and Joe, I wish you guys the best. I know that the Lord will bring someone to the band that will bring about freshness and new excitement for the fans.”

SACRED WARRIOR, meanwhile, has initiated a search for a new vocalist in addition to revealing both the artwork and title to its new album, Waiting In Darkness (Facebook 04/23/12):

“While a few key ingredients are yet to be put into Sacred Warrior's latest album Waiting In Darkness, the album cover has been released and a vocalist search has begun. Your prayers are coveted for the band, families and trials we are facing. Please post your needs for prayer, too. Thanks for hanging in there while we squeeze creativity and music into what are already abundant lives of love, grace, hope, peace and joy!”

The following statement (courtesy of Untombed Zine) sums things up best:

“Little is known as to whether Rey’s vocals will be on the new album at all or if a new vocalist will redo any and all vocal parts. This writer has to wonder, after such a long wait for fans, will SACRED WARRIOR be able to bounce back from another huge setback and will fans embrace someone else belting out “Master’s Command”. Time will tell and I’m sure that many will be curious, if not anxious, to hear the new sound of SACRED WARRIOR."

My thoughts?  The fact SACRED WARRIOR has decided upon both the album title and artwork means they are organized and focused and closer to completing work on the project than we might think. Whether or not Waiting In Darkness sees the light of day in the near future, however, is another matter.  All we can do at this point is hope and pray things work out best for the group moving forward, particularly as it relates to recruiting a new vocalist.  I would not be disappointed if they brought in someone along the lines of Eli Prinsen (THE SACRIFICED) or former JACOBS DREAM front man David Taylor.

SACRED WARRIOR online: www.sacredwarrior.net & www.facebook.com/pages/Sacred-Warrior

Michael Sweet promo pic

MICHAEL SWEET talks about new solo album:
Courtesy of Noisecreep www.noisecreep.com/2012/04/26/stryper-michael-sweet-solo-album:

"There are some songs on the record that are definitely on the heavier side of things and will have some people talking," Stryper vocalist/guitarist Michael Sweet tells Noisecreep. But he isn't referring to the "Yellow and Black Attack" at the moment.

Sweet is on the phone talking about his upcoming sixth solo album: "I think some people might even hear a few things on this solo record and say, 'Wow! Why isn't this on a Stryper record?' Yeah, some of it has that kind of Stryper edge. But there are a lot of other types of styles on the album.

"There are some songs that have a more straight-ahead, radio-rock feel to them -- big hooks and melodic kind of stuff. Then there are a couple of ballads on the album too. There's a piano ballad on there. Oh yeah, there's also this song called "Coming Home" that has a Southern rock vibe to it with steel guitars in it. Then there's a song with a Beatlesque thing going on," Sweet reveals.

Noisecreep asks the Stryper mainman if we could expect any guest stars on the forthcoming solo record: "I'm really excited because I have Kenny Aronoff (veteran studio drummer who has worked with everyone from John Mellencamp to Elton John and currently touring in Chickenfoot) playing on the record and everything is sounding slamming!

"Tony Harnell (ex-TNT) is singing some harmony stuff on a song called "Taking on the World Tonight." It's crazy because we both can get up there and when you hear both of us on this song, you won't believe how high the notes get [laughs]. Let's see, I also have Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, ex-Lion) playing a guitar solo on a track. Kevin Max, who used to be in dc Talk, sings on a track. I originally had Mick Mars (Mötley Crüe) ready to play some stuff on the record, but with his Mötley's tour with KISS coming up, he had to bow out. But he was a sweetheart to even consider it. Hopefully we can do something together, down the road."

Besides his world class vocals and songwriting chops, Sweet says he's also taking the opportunity to showcase another aspect of his musical skills on the solo album: "Outside of the Doug Aldrich solo, I'm playing all of the guitar tracks on this album. I think that my guitar playing gets forgotten a lot because I'm a singer. This record gives me a chance to remind some people about my guitar skills [laughs]. I'm really excited for everyone to hear these songs!"

Michael Sweet's new solo album will be out sometime later in 2012.

Catch Stryper out on tour on the following dates:

05/10/12 Tailgaters Bolingbrook, IL (Chicago)
05/12/12 M3 Festival Columbia, MD
05/17/12 House of blues Dallas, TX
05/18/12 House of blues Houston, TX
05/19/12 Santa Fe Station Las Vegas, NV
05/24/12 BB Kings New York, NY
05/25/12 Showcase Live Foxborough, MA
05/26/12 Rock Junction West Greenwich, RI
06/01/12 The Marque Tempe, AZ
06/02/12 Speaking Rock Casino El Paso, TX Special Guest Stephen Pearcy/ RATT
06/03/12 El Corazon Seattle, WA
07/06/12 Seaside Festival Risoya, Norway
07/07/12 Gulbranna Festival Halmstad, Sweden
07/08/12 HalfwayJam Royalton, MN
09/19/12 Indira Gandhi Stadium Kohima, India
09/22/12 DDSC Dimapur, India
11/16/12 Poliedro de Caracas Caracas, Venezuela
11/17/12 Complejo Ferial Bicentenario Barqusimeto,Venezuela

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

Teramaze - Anhedonia

TERAMAZE releases new album, Anhedonia:
Press Release / The third official release by Nightmare Records’ TERAMAZE titled, Anhedonia released worldwide on April 24th.  The album is produced/mixed by Dean Wells and mastered by Lasse Lammert. TERAMAZE brings only what can be described as an utterly unique sense of style to the world of metal.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, the band’s blend of progressive, melodic and thrash metal has attracted an underground following within local bars and small venues. Keeping the fundamental elements of metal alive in its music, TERAMZE has the potential to push metal into unchartered waters with innovative guitar work, powerful grooves and soaring melodic vocals.

The band has been polishing their album Anhedonia off since its production began in 2009, as well as performing at various venues within Australia. In terms of style, TERAMAZE says that they’re influenced primarily by bands such as DREAM THEATER, TOOL and PANTERA. With bone crushing riffs, soaring vocals, and a solid rhythm section, the band’s sense of rhythm and feel is evident within their technical, yet tasteful music.

The sound of the band is made up of five unique individuals. Vocalist, Brett Rerekura cites Layne Stayley, Devin Townsend, Sebastian Bach and Maynard James Keenan as his main influences. The powerful vocals that he provides to the overall sound of TERAMAZE is a key element to their sheer power as a melodic, yet heavy band. Guitarist, Dean Wells is greatly influenced by guitarists such as John Petrucci, Marco Sfogli, Jason Becker and Marty Friedman as is shown by his unique soloing styles, as well as the band’s riffs that compliment the sonic power of guitarist Mathew Dawson. The late Julian Percy provided drums for the album, and his unique style of “fusion hands” and “metal feet” adds to the sheer power of the album.

Anhedonia track listing:

1. “Anhedonia”
2. “Without Red Hands”
3. “Through The Madness”
4. “Machine”
5. “Acts Of Reparation”
6. “Fear Of The Unknown”
7. “Black Circles”
8. “Proverb Le Jame”
9. “Where The Dead Grow”
10. “Egostatic”
11. “Ever Enhancing II”

TERAMAZE online: http://teramaze.com.au & www.facebook.com/teramaze

NEWS BRIEFS

* In The Light, the sophomore release of guitarist Bill Menchen’s MENCHEN project, has been licensed for re-issue on Retroactive Records.  No word yet on a release date.

* New X-SINNER album update (from the groups Facebook page – 04/28/2012): “Glenn Thomas is announced as the co-producer of the next X-SINNER album.  After producing the GX PROJECT album Bite Stick with Rex Scott (vocals & guitars), X-SINNER is recruiting Glenn to co-produce and mix their next album. Guitarist Greg Bishop has recovered from recent back surgery and is preparing to begin tracking along with Rex. Tracking had started at the end of 2011 but Greg's back surgery put the recording on hold.”

 

Update Archives: April 22, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

ReinXeed - Welcome To The Theater

REINXEED welcomes you to the theater:
New REINXEED album, Welcome To The Theater, to be released May 30, 2012:

Press Release / The power metal explosion from Sweden continues!  Tommy ReinXeed, vocalist, guitarist & producer of REINXEED, is back with the groups 5th studio album entitled Welcome To The Theater.  The new album is inspired by different movies and soundtracks and fits perfectly with the bombastic REINXEED power metal sound. For fans of HELLOWEEN, ANGRA, RHAPSODY OF FIRE, AVANTASIA, SABATON & EDGUY!

The story of REINXEED got its start in 2002 when it was put together by founding member Tommy ReinXeed.  A demo later made its way to Christian Liljegren, former NARNIA vocalist and owner of Liljegren Records/Doolittle Group, who was so impressed that he signed REINXEED in 2007.

REINXEED has worked very hard since then to develop their own style of “adventurous melodic power metal”, releasing its debut The Light in 2008 and following up with a new album each subsequent year: Higher (2009), Majestic (2010), 1912 (2011) and Welcome To The Theater (2012).

Welcome To The Theater track listing:

1. “Welcome (Intro)”
2. “Life Will Find A Way”
3. “Follow Me”
4. “Save Us”
5. “Stranger Tides”
6. “Somewhere In Time”
7, “Freedom”
8. “No Fate”
9. “Temple Of The Crystal Skulls”
10. “Welcome To The Theater”

REINXEED line-up:

Tommy ReinXeed - Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards & Orchestration
Calle Sundberg - Guitars
Nic Steel - Bass
Alfred Fridhagen - Drums

REINXEED online: www.reinxeed.com & www.facebook.com/ReinXeed

John Schlitt - The Greater Cause

JOHN SCHLITT to release new album, The Greater Cause, May 8, 2012:
Press Release / Multiple Grammy and Dove Award-winning recording artist John Schlitt is set to unleash The Greater Cause, his first full-length CD since his critically-acclaimed 2008 release, The Grafting. The Gospel Music Hall of Fame member returns to his rock roots with the new project, set to release May 8 through 4K Records and New Day Christian Distributors.

Schlitt's signature vocals soar, with driving guitars and thundering drums creating an explosive sonic atmosphere packed with drive and intensity.

Lyrically, The Greater Cause focuses on the relevance of faith in an increasingly secular world. "Every song on the album has a message that is pertinent to what is happening in our daily lives," Schlitt says. "How relevant are we, as Christians, in the world today? We need to use common sense and awaken to the fact that Jesus is Lord, no matter what those around us may say or do."

Schlitt, named the best rock singer in Christian music history by GospelMusicChannel.com, stepped from behind the microphone to co-write seven of this project's 11 tracks with such Christian music luminaries as Grammy, Emmy and Dove Award winner Andrew Ramsey (India.Arie, Jonny Lang and Mandisa) and Dan Needham, who has worked on more than 40 Dove and Grammy Award-winning projects with the likes of Michael McDonald, Amy Grant and Chris Tomlin; as well as Chris Rodriguez, Scott Faircloff and Gene Miller. Dove Award winner and 2008 BMI Songwriter of the Year Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Amy Grant, David Crowder Band) and Dove Award winner Ian Eskelin (Francesca Battistelli, Hawk Nelson, Point of Grace) also contributed songs to the project.

"When I began to reach out to some of the most successful writers and musicians in contemporary Christian music and ask if they were interested in being a part of John's project, there was a resounding 'Yes!'" says producer Dan Needham. "I believe that is a testimony to John's reputation among his peers and because of his legendary status in CCM history."

On The Greater Cause, Schlitt's vocals soar on the anthemic "Hope That Saves The World," and thunder on the blues-laden, "Love Won't Leave Me Alone," but Schlitt also knows how to pull back to an intimate intensity on emotional ballads like "The Gift."

Schlitt recorded The Greater Cause with capital raised through the innovative Kickstarter "crowd-funding" business model. An army of fans, dubbed the TGC Crew (The Greater Cause Crew) in honor of the CD title, contributed financially to make the album possible. In return, the TGC Crew members are receiving pre-release copies of the CD, and a limited number of unique donor gifts, such as handmade commemorative plaques, joining the musician at a studio session, vocal lessons and concert performances. The TGC Crew also has continuing access to a restricted website that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the recording of The Greater Cause, including photos, videos and a blog.Bio: With more than three decades worth of water under the musical bridge, John Schlitt has enjoyed a stellar career as a solo artist, as lead singer for Grammy Award-winning Christian band Petra and as former lead singer for popular '70s mainstream rock band Head East. He has earned multiple Gold Records, Grammy Awards and Dove Awards, and has been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame as the lead singer of Petra, one of the most successful Christian rock bands of all time. Schlitt was recently named the best rock singer in Christian music history by GospelMusicChannel.com. According to the website, Schlitt "remains one of the most distinctive and impactful men to ever stand behind a microphone."

“Hope That Saves The World”, a new track off The Greater Cause, can be heard at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAMu0d-NB9w

John Schlitt: www.johnwschlitt.com & www.facebook.com/johnwschlitt

NEWS BRIEFS

* JACOBS DREAM vocalist Chaz Bond announced (at the Christian Metal Realm) that the group has completed the songwriting for its six full length album, untitled at the time of this writing. New songs titles include "Lady Of Sorrows", Chains of Lyberty", "Alone In Heaven" and "Truth".  More details as they become available.

The artist provides further insight regarding the three JACOBS DREAM albums in which he has participated: “I’m proud of the Drama Of The Ages record but in many ways I was kinda stiff on that album. I had just come into a situation Id never been in. Up to that point I had never even used lyrics that I did not write and definitely had no experience with singing lines that were placed by another person. I had never even been in a cover band in my life so I wasn’t completely myself on that album. On Dominion Of Darkness I was more comfortable, wrote half the lyrics and many of my own melodies as well as a few guitar riffs. As for Beneath The Shadows, I actually wrote about 90% of the lyrics on that one so you can see how it has changed for me. “

* Guitarist Bill Menchen has released a revised version of the self-titled debut from THE SEVENTH POWER under the new title The Power.  Additional details from the artist: “This is a special re-issue of the self titled debut album by THE SEVENTH POWER. It now has an album title, The Power. This is a very special limited edition, artist direct release, signed by Bill Menchen.

This album was not just remixed and re-mastered, but all the rhythm guitars were replayed from scratch. The songs also feature unedited original versions. "Christ Died" is 30 seconds longer with a special section added to the end. The drum tracks on the original debut were edited; this release features unedited drum tracks and drum sounds, the way they were originally recorded. The rhythm guitars on the song titled "The Power" are different; they are now in their original pre-production form.”

Bill Menchen also re-issued the out of print two CD set of REV SEVEN, Heavy Laden Volume 1 & Volume 2, which was originally released on Watergrave Records in 2007.  The re-issue has now been split into the original 4 album titles that came out during the nineties, “The Unveiling”, “Hell And Back”, “Seven Years Of Good Luck” and “747”.

 

Update Archives: April 8, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Driver promo pic

DRIVER announces release date for new CD, Countdown:
Courtesy of www.melodicrock.com:

Press Release / US Metal legend DRIVER, featuring guitarist Roy Z and vocalist Rob Rock, will unleash their new masterpiece Countdown on May 25, 2012 via Metal Heaven.

Originally formed out of the ashes of short-lived super group M.A.R.S. in the late eighties and reaching cult status based on the strength of a widely circulated 1990 five-song cassette EP that garnered the band a dedicated worldwide following, DRIVER came back to life with a bang in 2008 via their appropriately titled debut album, Sons Of Thunder. Containing newly recorded versions of the classic EP cuts in addition to seven brand new compositions, the band resurrected their unique brand of melodic yet hard-hitting style of metal that made DRIVER one of the most underrated heavy rock acts of their time.

Centered around powerhouse vocalist Rob Rock (IMPELLITTERI, WARRIOR, JOSHUA, AVANTASIA AXEL RUDI PELL) and acclaimed guitarist/producer Roy Z (BRUCE DICKINSON, ROB HALFORD, TRIBE OF GYPSIES) and featuring original drummer Reynold 'Butch' Carlson (JAG PANZER, JOEY TAFOLLA, TRIBE AFTER TRIBE), along with seasoned players Ed Roth (GLENN HUGHES, RONNIE MONTROSE, IMPELLITTERI) on keyboards and Aaron Samson (ODIN , GEORGE LYNCH, JOHN 5) on bass, DRIVER was welcomed back with open arms by the hard rock community, culminating in the band's first ever European live appearance at Germany's prestigious Bang Your Head!!! Festival in the summer of 2009.

In the fall of 2011, main songwriters Rob Rock and Roy Z renewed their long standing creative partnership and commenced work on a follow-up to Sons Of Thunder.  As was the case with its predecessor, Countdown is a mixture of brand new material and several rescued-from-the-vaults demo gems, including “Destiny”, “Thief In The Night” and “Always On My Mind”, which interlock seamlessly for a classic DRIVER-style album, aided by Roy Z's emphasis on vintage production values that hearken back to the glory days of early 80's heavy metal. Chiefly recorded and mixed at Roy Z's California-based studio, the duo once again brought in Carlson, Roth and Samson to cut the bulk of the tracks, with additional contributions coming from bassists Ray Burke (LIFE AFTER DEATH, BRUCE DICKINSON) and Daniel Cordova (SHADES OF CRIMSON, VENGEANCE RISING) as well as veteran vocalist Mark Boals (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ROYAL HUNT).  Mastering duties were again handled by Maor Appelbaum (HALFORD, SEPULTURA, YNGWIEM MALMSTEEN).

Countdown track listing:

1. “Return To The Sky”
2. “Rising Son”
3. “Countdown”
4. “Hollywood Shooting Star”
5. “Thief In The Night”
6. “Cry Of The Wounded”
7. Always On My Mind”
8. “Feel The Fire”
9. “Destiny”
10. “Running From The Darkness”
11. “Babylon” (European bonus track)

Advance sound clips: “Countdown” / “Return To The Sky” / “Thief In The Night”

DRIVER online: http://driverofficial.com, www.robrock.com/index2.html, www.metalheaven.net

End Of September - "Isolated"

New digital single from END OF SEPTEMBER, "Isolated":
Press Release / The Swedish female fronted melodic metal band END OF SEPTEMBER will have a digital single out for the track "Isolated" on April 11th. "Isolated" is the opening track from their self titled debut album that will be released on May 11th in Europe and on May 22nd in North America, through Ulterium Records.

A music video for "Isolated" was recorded in Gothenburg with 11Frames Productions earlier this year, and it will be released online during the coming weeks.

Up-coming End of September shows:

June 1st: Harrys - Växjö, Sweden (release show)
August 10th: Frizon Festival - Örebro, Sweden

End Of September track listing:

1. “Isolated”
2. “Fallen”
3. “A Place To Go”
4. “Exile”
5. “Inner Voice”
6. “Left In This World”
7. “Waiting For The Rain”
8. “Silence”
9. “Autumn Breaks”

END OF SEPTEMBER line-up:

Elin Redin - Lead Vocals
Erik Tordsson - Guitars & Vocals
Johan Nojd - Bass
Johan Stevensson - Drums

An album teaser is available at YouTube: http://youtu.be/xgOvMJehTzs

END OF SEPTEMBER online: www.endofseptember.net & www.facebook.com/endofseptember

NEWS BRIEFS

* NARNIA vocalist Germán Pascual is set to release his debut solo album, A New Beginning, later this summer.  A teaser of several songs from the album can be heard at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0MKQBEfM_U&feature=youtu.be

* Tommy ReinXeed turned down an offer to join SABATON (Facebook – April 3, 2012):  “I think it's time to share something from the ReinXeed camp...  A couple of weeks ago, the great metal band SABATON asked me if I'd like to join them as their new lead guitarist.  This became one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I decided after a short while to decline in favor of my band REINXEED and my creativity in the studio.  I was very flattered and glad that they asked me, but that just wasn't my future...

I'm happy to see they have a new strong lineup and I'm sure they will rock the world like never before!  I wish you all the best guys, and hope to see you on the road!”

* Update from SAINT regarding the progress of its new album, Desperate Night (Facebook – April 3): “We’ll be hitting it pretty hard the next few weeks finishing up edits and re-amping leads, but I’m thinking (it will be) early May before I have physical CD’s to ship.  Dakin is almost done with the art work. We went for a decapitating rhythm tone so rather than ripping your head off it leaves a nice clean slice…”

 

Update Archives: April 1, 2012

FEATURED REVIEWS

BARNABAS - Approaching Light Speed
But not ALS, a true classic that ranks with the better Christian metal and hard rock albums of the pre-Stryper era.  Yes, there were many from the time that stretched the boundaries in this area (Stronghold, Jerusalem, Resurrection Band and Daniel Band) but Barnabas separated itself from the rest as a result of a new guitarist it recruited in Brian Belew, who helped pushed the groups sound past the all out metal barrier and then some.  Read Full Review >>

BEYOND THE RAGE - Burn Me Away
This leads us to Beyond The Rage, the latest modern metal band to contact Angelic Warlord about a review (of its 2012 full length debut Burn Me Away).  Actually, labeling Beyond The Rage modern metal might be somewhat one-dimensional.  Read Full Review >>

CONTAGIOUS - Free Indeed
I hate to come across as blunt, but Free Indeed leaves much to be desired.  It starts with songwriting in that Contagious was not accomplished enough at this early stage in its career to compose an entire album of noteworthy material.  Read Full Review >>

JAGUAR BLAZE - Jaguar Blaze
Jaguar Blaze actually represents the most recent offering from guitarist Ian Keith Hafner, whose resume includes projects with styles as diverse as shock metal (Holy Riot), industrial/Gothic metal (Angry Little Freak), hair metal (The Hollywood Fugitives) and bluesy hard rock (Static Fuse).  So how does Jaguar Blaze measure up to the artist’s past efforts?  Read Full Review >>

NONA - Steps Of Truth
It starts with how Nona are not afraid to branch out and also embrace symphonic, epic and thrash metal while mixing in occasional progressive and neo-classical overtones.  Yes, a multiform approach, but the group proves successful as a result of sidestepping style limitations to create a sound uniquely its own.  Read Full Review >>

THE SACRIFICED - III
Where have we heard this before? Every hard music fan since - at least - the eighties is almost certain to be aware of the various power/progressive metal bands with high pitched vocalists that have hit the scene over the years.  Read Full Review >>

SAINT - The Revelation
My impression is that The Revelation represents the quintessential Saint album.  The perfect front to back continuity it brings helps capture the drama and emotion of the subject at hand while lending to an environs on the inspired if not anointed side of things.  Read Full Review >>

KEVIN WINDROSS - Loud & Clear
Musically, Loud & Clear reminds me of EWS, which is not surprising since Windross composed not only all its material but is also joined by former EWS band mates Mark Searle (bass) and Ben Schumann (drums).  Those already familiar with EWS will recognize the sound here: And that is guitar driven melodic hard rock with occasional progressive overtones.  Read Full Review >>

INTERVIEWS

Paul May photo

New PAUL MAY interview online:
UK based guitarist Paul May joined forces with original Judas Priest vocalist Al Atkins in 2011 to record the full length debut of Atkins / May Project, Serpents Kiss.  May conducted a recent interview with Rocktopia in which he discusses his partnership with Al Atkins, the details surrounding Serpents Kiss and his faith.  Following is an excerpt:

Why is (the album) called Serpents Kiss?
“Serpents Kiss was originally a song that was recorded by Temple Dogs (one of my other bands.) It was a track covering the subject of betrayal and temptation. Always an intriguing subject. However, I just felt it was a great title for the album especially as there are several tracks about betrayal on the CD. I asked Rodney Matthews to design a cover with the subject of betrayal and temptation and he came back with this stunning ‘Prophetic’ cover. It all fitted well together and so it was borne Serpents Kiss!”

Read full interview: HERE

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Sir Oz Academy logo

Oz Fox launches SIR OZ ACADEMY:
STRYPER guitarist now offering online guitar lessons at: www.sirozacademy.com

Press Release / Many online guitar resources are great for beginners but lacking for other guitarists- not SirOzAcademy.com.  SirOzAcademy.com is an online guitar school that teaches electric guitar techniques using videos lessons taught by Oz Fox (STRYPER).

Oz Fox will teach you proper theory, modes, licks, scales and pattern techniques that he has used and taught for years.

At SirOzAcademy.com, you will gain proper skill and techniques that will assist you achieving a whole new level of playing ability.

Subscribe online at SirOzAcademy.com and pay monthly or annually.  Subscriptions start at just $10.99 a month.

Guitar instructional videos are added regularly including lessons and tutorials on how to tune the guitar, guitar scales, picking techniques, guitar chords, gear talk and so much more. There are even special guest videos in the library that include techniques from other players such as Howie Simon (ALCATRAZZ) and Paul Jackson (BLOODGOOD).  With over 50 videos in the library, there is something for everybody, regardless of your skill level.

Subscribe today at: www.sirozacademy.com

For Media Inquiries:

Sir Oz Academy
10120 W. Flamingo Rd.
Ste. 4-647
Las Vegas, NV 89147

Joshua Perahia logo

Resurrection album update from JOSHUA PERAHIA:
The artist offers the latest regarding the albums upcoming release (Facebook – March 13, 2012):

“I am just as interested in knowing what day, next month it will be released. It is the artwork, lyrics, and credits on the album that is taking the time for the CD to be released. I just cannot put into words....the sound, the songs, the melodies, and the passion that is in this album. I listen to it everyday, and fall deeper in love with every play. I cannot describe what happens to me, when each song comes on.  I want you all, to feel the excitement I feel, when these songs come on. No matter what happens in my day...I put on this album, and I just fly to another place in my mind. Maybe, that description will give you an idea. It is NOT just another album, but an experience, if you combine the lyrics with the melodies, and Marks voice. Please be patient with me my friends. You will not be let down, I PROMISE!

"THE JOSHUA BAND is now putting a "movie trailer" together that plays segments of the ENTIRE album Resurrection, so our fans can hear 30-45 seconds of each song with video. This video and soundtrack will premier on Facebook, then other sites. This movie trailer should give our friends and fans a good idea of what we are about to unleash. Soon, we will begin a "Limited Edition" collectors CD that will be numbered from 0001-3000 (authenticity guaranteed) that includes a personal autograph to the buyer, with your first name, and extra's to be announced later.”

He goes into further detail about the Eagle in the JOSHUA logo (Facebook – March 30, 2012):

“The Eagle is the symbol we chose in 1980. It represents not only The United States, but our countries deep Spiritual connection with Biblical prophecy. You know how the eagle is in so many Biblical scriptures from Psalms to Proverbs, etc., and that many churches even call themselves by the name..."The Eagles Nest", and so many more. "Fool's rush in where Eagle's fear to tread". A creature of mighty abilities, and power. The ability to see at great distances for either food or fight. I could wax on for pages because there is more to this than I can fit here. In a few words.”

Joshua Perahia online: www.joshuaperahia.com & www.facebook.com/JoshuaPerahiaOfficialPage

Stryper promo pic

STRYPER remains at work on new re-record album:
Vocalist Michael Sweet provides the latest regarding the project (Facebook - March 30, 2012):

“This re-record record sounds amazing so far and you will NOT be disappointed I promise! 14 old classics (from the first three records) and 2 brand new songs. We've tracked everything except the lead vocals and some overdubs and of course, the record hasn't been mixed yet. We'll need enough to finish the record and package the record in order to put in your hands:-) I know I speak for the entire band when I say that we can't thank you enough for your belief in what we do, your support year after year and the incredible love and loyalty that you have shown to us. We love you and look forward to making this happen with you!!!”

The band plans to fund the album via Kickstarter:

“Wow! What a great response to my Kickstarter question. Bottom line? We can't finish the record without you. We do have a few labels interested but then, as I said, we're defeating the purpose of why we even decided to record this record. We are going to launch a Kickstarter campaign in the next week or so and we'll explain in depth, exactly what you can expect in regard to the record itself and the packages that we'll be offering. We won't be doing the "for $1 dollar you'll get a piece of Robert's hair and for $2 you'll get a pint of Tim's blood" thing. It'll be simple and direct with 5-6 packages that are realistic and sensible. We live in a time where labels are closing their doors left and right and those labels that are left, just aren't offering enough to make a quality product (unless your Adele, Lady Gaga or Katy Perry) and if there's one thing about Stryper, we have always strived to give you the best quality possible, with every release.”

The artist also posed several questions regarding the groups next album of original material (Facebook - March 7, 2012):

“What do you want to hear on the next Stryper all original record? Straight ahead rock/metal with no ballads or a power ballad or two thrown into the soup?? I think a record consisting of songs similar to the style of "The Writings On The Wall", "Soldiers Under Command", "More Then A Man", "Free", "The Rock That Makes Me Roll", "In God We Trust" "Rockin’ The World", "Loud N Clear" "Caught In The Middle" and "God" would be slammin'!!! I've got a lot of songs heading in that direction:-) Maybe no ballads???”

Please see the STRYPER Facebook page for further detailed discussion relating to the matter.

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

Theocracy - As The World Bleeds

THEOCRACY announces Japan release of As The World Bleeds:
Press Release / The Japanese label King Records will release the THEOCRACY album As The World Bleeds in Japan on April 25th, 2012. The Japanese edition will include two bonus tracks: "I'm In A Cage” (Neal Morse cover) and "Martyr” (Live in the studio).

As The World Bleeds track listing:

1. “The Master Storyteller”
2. “Nailed”
3. “Hide In The Fairytale”
4. “30 Pieces Of Silver”
5. “The Gift Of Music”
6. “Light Of The World”
7. “Drown”
8. “Altar To The Unknown God”
9. “As The World Bleeds”
10. “I AM”

Bonus tracks:

11. “I'm In A Cage” (Neal Morse cover)
12. “Martyr” (Live in the studio)

As The World Bleeds was released in Europe on November 25th through Ulterium Records and in North America on November 21st through Nightmare Records.

THEOOCRACY online: www.theocracymusic.com & www.facebook.com/theocracyband

NEWS BRIEFS

* UK based A.N.D. will soon be releasing its fourth album, Notorious.  According to the website of founding member vocalist/guitarist Paul May, Notorious is “louder, heavier and more powerful than anything they have previously produced” and will feature the co-lead vocal contributions from former CRUCIFIER front man Dave Rowley.  Get Real, the most recent album from A.N.D., came out in 1994.

* Update from BARREN CROSS regarding its recent reunion show at the Elements Of Rock festival (Facebook – March 18, 2012):  “We had a great time at EOR. The crowd was AMAZING!!!!! We were blessed to have played this wonderful festival. We are looking forward to more shows and recording new songs. We played our new song “White Washed Love”, first new song in 15 years. We are all headed home with some great memories.”  The group’s full performance can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPLWtDqb0rc

* Drummer Rickard Gustafsson and keyboardist Kenneth Lillqvist have departed GOLDEN RESURRECTION.  This leaves a current line-up of: Christian Liljegren (lead vocals), Tommy ReinXeed (guitars) and Stefan Käck (bass).  Replacement band members are currently being recruited.  Please send bio and photo to GOLDEN RESURRECTION manager Niclas Eliasson at: niclas@dotmusic.se

* PASTOR BRAD digitally released (March 18, 2012) a 40 song compilation of old school Christian metal and instrumental shred tunes entitled Essentials: 2003 - 2011.  All songs written, produced and performed by PASTOR BRAD (with guest appearances sprinkled in).  Ordering information: http://pastorbradrocks.com/album/essentials-best-of-2003-2011

 

Update Archives: March 25, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Oblivion Myth band photo

OBLIVION MYTH introduces new line-up and new EP:
Press Release / Proudly waving the Tennessee state flag, the fearsome four piece power/progressive metal band known to the world as OBLIVION MYTH find themselves right at home in Nashville, TN - Music City, USA.  The brainchild of guitarist Keith Smith, the band has had various incarnations through the years in both Illinois and Florida before taking root in Nashville early in 2006 when Keith joined forces with young guitar virtuoso Chris Selby and drumming powerhouse Patrick Nickell. The current lineup is fronted by vocalist Ray LeGrand who has rekindled the energy and brought a renewed focus which is driving the band towards a bright future.

Layers of guitar on top of over-powering drums: That’s the essence of OBLIVION MYTH. As part of the New Wave of Traditional Metal, the OBLIVION MYTH experience is not complete until you have stood in the full wake of their stage show. The band is unrelenting in giving the audience their money’s worth—pouring every ounce of energy into every note. Its debut album from 2008, Between Light and Shadow, has received excellent reviews worldwide and is currently selling around the globe—especially throughout Europe and Asia. As of late 2011 the band is wrapping up their Legacy EP and seeking members to complete the new foundation formed by Smith and LeGrand.

OBLIVION MYTH’s debut has risen to meet a somewhat cult status and has built strong support among the underground metal scene.  Between Light And Shadow kick starts with the storming “Gathering of Souls”, a trademark for the band’s style as well as an omen for the following songs quality. Well-played US power metal serves as the canvas, on which the band adds some speed/thrash brushes here and there, making the final outcome even more intriguing.  “Knightserrant” and “Twilight dementia” are definitely highlights and have helped to create and augment a strong fan base in the U.S. as well as Europe, thanks to their inspired material and of course their loyalty to heavy metal values.

Oblivion Myth - Between Light And Shadow

The Legacy EP will feature LeGrand on vocals, Smith and Chris Selby on guitar/bass and will be the last with drummer Patrick Nickell.  “War Child” is the first single off Legacy.

According to vocalist Ray LeGrand, “In the fall of last year, changes brought the OM lineup down to two: myself and founding member/guitarist Keith Smith. Both being men of faith, Keith and I decided that OM should be transformed with it's new lineup, not so much as a "Christian Band", but rather a "Band of Christians". We have always had elements of faith in the majority of our lyrics and the very nature of the name implies our beliefs as well; Heaven and Hell are real... "Oblivion" is just a Myth!
 
"While searching for new members, Keith and I also sought accountability and found it in my personal mentor, Pastor Bob Beeman of Sanctuary International. We asked Pastor Bob if he would consider serving as our Band Pastor earlier this year and are pleased to say he has signed on with us and we meet every week to keep things on track!
 
"Our first rehearsal with the yet to be announced lineup occurred at the end of February 2012 and the band tore through the entire Between Light And Shadow CD as well as the “War Child” single! OM will continue to tighten the screws in order to be ready to tour the South Eastern United States in the summer of 2012 in support of our Legacy EP, which is due for release in a few weeks.”

OBLIVION MYTH online: www.oblivionmyth.com/Main.html & www.facebook.com/OblivionMythFanpage

NEWS BRIEFS

* DAVID BENSON advises (Facebook – March 24, 2012) that the re-mastered version of his 1994 debut release Holy Psychotherapy will be out soon on DualEdge Records.  Look for it to include three never before released tracks.

 

Update Archives: March 18, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Driver promo pic

DRIVER completes work on new album, Countdown:
Press Release / Eighties melodic metal band DRIVER, featuring acclaimed vocalist Rob Rock (Impellitteri, WARRIOR, JOSHUA, AVANTASIA, AXEL RUDI PELL) and guitarist/producer Roy Z (BRUCE DICKINSON, ROB HALFORD, TRIBE OF GYPSIES), will be releasing its sophomore album, Countdown, later this year via Metal Heaven in Europe, RockZilla in the USA and King Records in Japan.  Look for an official release date in the near future.

Countdown is a mixture of new material and several rescued-from-the-vault demo gems, which interlock seamlessly for a classic DRIVER style album, aided by Roy Z's emphasis on vintage production values that hearken back to the glory days of early 80's heavy metal ala DIO (Holy Diver) and OZZY OSBOURNE (Diary Of A Madman).

The album finds Rob Rock and Roy Z once again joining forces with original drummer Reynold “Butch” Carlson (JAG PANZER, JOEY TAFOLLA, TRIBE AFTER TRIBE), veteran keyboardist Ed Roth (GLENN HUGHES, RONNIE MONTROSE , IMPELLITTERI) and bassist Aaron Samson (ODIN, GEORGE LYNCH).

Chiefly recorded and mixed at Roy Z's California-based studio, Countdown features additional contributions coming from bassists Ray Burke (LIFE AFTER DEATH, BRUCE DICKINSON) and Daniel Cordova (SHADES OF CRIMSON, VENGEANCE RISING) as well as veteran vocalist Mark Boals (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ROYAL HUNT).  Mastering duties were again handled by Maor Appelbaum (HALFORD, SEPULTURA, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN).

The DRIVER full length debut, Sons Of Thunder, was released in September 2008 via Metal Heaven.  It was recorded in follow up to the critically acclaimed five-song cassette EP demo the group released in 1990.

Countdown track listing:

1. “Return To The Sky”
2. “Rising Son”
3. “Countdown”
4. “Hollywood Shooting Star”
5. “Thief In The Night”
6. “Cry Of The Wounded”
7. Always On My Mind”
8. “Feel The Fire”
9. “Destiny”
10. “Running From The Darkness”
11. “Babylon” (European bonus track)

DRIVER line-up:

Rob Rock - Lead Vocals
Roy Z - Guitars
Ed Roth - Keyboards
Aaron Samson - Bass
Reynold “Butch” Carlson - Drums

DRIVER online: http://driverofficial.com

END OF SEPTEMBER signs with Ulterium Records:
Press Release / Ulterium Records are proud to announce the signing of the Swedish female fronted melodic metal band END OF SEPTEMBER to the label. Their self-titled debut album will be released on May 11th in Europe and on May 22nd in North America.

END OF SEPTEMBER is definitely one of the most promising bands from Scandinavia at the moment. This young band shows with their debut album that they know how to create fantastic, memorable songs, and perform them to perfection. They have also been able to successfully create a mix between melodic metal and more modern metal that not many bands have.

With the well-crafted and intelligent song-writing of Erik Tordsson and the smooth and emotional vocals of Elin Redin, END OF SEPTEMBER is a force to be reckoned with during the coming years. The band is hungry to hit the stages around the world and are destined to make it.

Bio: The history of END OF SEPTEMBER began in Sweden 2009 when founder Erik Tordsson started to write songs on his own. Erik was familiar with the scene and had played in extreme metal and hard rock bands before, but this time he created something different, something that would become the sound of END OF SEPTEMBER. A demo was recorded together with vocalist Victoria Sundberg, and the demo got the band a deal with Sweden’s Ulterium Records. Shortly after the recordings Victoria left the band, which resulted in a two year hiatus for END OF SEPTEMBER.

During 2011 Erik finally found the new vocalist Elin Redin to replace Victoria, and shortly after that also Johan Nöjd (bass) and Johan Svensson (drums) joined the band, and the line-up was complete.

Check out an album teaser over at YouTube: http://youtu.be/xgOvMJehTzs

End Of September track listing:

1. “Isolated”
2. “Fallen”
3. “A Place To Go”
4. “Exile”
5. “Inner Voice”
6. “Left In This World”
7. “Waiting For The Rain”
8. “Silence”
9. “Autumn Breaks”

END OF SEPTEMBER line-up:

Elin Redin - Lead Vocals
Erik Tordsson - Guitars & Vocals
Johan Nojd - Bass
Johan Stevensson - Drums

Ulterium Records online: www.ulterium-records.com/news.html

END OF SEPTEMBER online: www.endofseptember.net & www.facebook.com/endofseptember

Sombre Holiday - Four Shadows

Sophomore album, Four Shadows, released by SOMBRE HOLIDAY:
Press Release / Four Shadows is part two of a two-disc concept album concerning someone introspectively looking into a figurative mirror...but the antagonistic character in the story is the proverbial strange woman (Proverbs 7 & 8) who entices many and then eventually leads those following her on a path to destruction. Through determined effort, the protagonist eventually moves away from his own desires and back toward what he knows to be true and wise.

Four Shadows track listing:

1. “A Forgotten Memory”
2. “Fall From Heaven”
3. “Lies In Secret”
4. “Silent Chambers”
5. “I Turn To You In Sorrow”
6. “Silhouette”
7. “The Sadness”
8. “A Figurative Revolution”
9. “There Is Something More”
10. “The Heart Returns”

In Search Of Understanding, the first disc in the series released in 2009, references the book of Proverbs with the overall concept revolving around one man’s struggle to choose between lady wisdom and lady folly.  Similar to Four Shadows, In Search Of Understanding brings a joining of metal and hard rock with some heavy progressive underpinnings.

SOMBRE HOLIDAY consists of Terry Friesen (lead vocals & guitars) and Trevor Friesen (drums).

SOMBRE HOLIDAY online: http://sombreholiday.bandcamp.com/album/four-shadows

NEWS BRIEFS

* New LORDCHAIN album update (from the groups Facebook page – March 10, 2012): “The working title for the new LORDCHAIN album is For The Love Of God. It will be released on CD and online later this year. This will be unlike any other praise album you've ever heard. All the songs are original; either written by the band or close friends of LORDCHAIN. The one exception (if all goes as planned) is a cover of a KING’S X song.”

* A rough mix of a new WARLORD song, “Night Of The Fury”, can be heard at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4Nf3ZqcDFc

“Night Of The Fury”, according to guitarist Bill Tsamis, will be part of a new WARLORD album (as taken from the artists Facebook page – March 13, 2012): “Night Of The Fury” is “a median representation of the whole album . . . (with some songs) faster, some bigger and more epic, some lighter with flowing guitar harmonies . . . it will be complete!”.  Vocals are handled by Rick Anderson, who previously fronted the Italian epic doom metal band MARTIRIA.  Anderson was briefly a part of WARLORD during its eighties heyday but never recorded with the group.

 

Update Archives: March 11, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

DANIEL BAND & SAINT re-issues on Retroactive Records:

Daniel Band - Rise Up

Press Release / DANIEL BAND Rise Up (25th Anniversary Edition) is the 2012 Retroactive Records re-issue of this legendary 1986 album from Canada's premier Christian hard rock pioneers! Packaged in a 6 panel full color digipak with the raw tracks digitally re-mastered for the first ever by the immaculate J Powell from Steinhaus Studios - giving the album the look and sound fitting of such a powerful and influential release! Includes “That’s Alright”, an all new written and recorded bonus track exclusive to this release! For fans of Kiss, Stryper, Leviticus, Rez, and Van Halen!

Rise Up track listing:

1. “Bethel”
2. “Rise Up”
3. “Don't Walk Away”
4. “Paradise”
5. “Fight Back”
6. “Call His Name”
7. “Rock You”
8. “My Children”
9. “Right Heart”
10. “That's Alright” (bonus track)

Daniel Band - Running Out Of Time

DANIEL BAND Running Out Of Time (Retroarchives Edition) is the 2012 Retroactive Records re-issue of this legendary 1988 album from Canada's premier Christian hard rock pioneers! Packaged in a 6 panel full color digipak with the raw tracks digitally re-mastered for the first ever by the immaculate J Powell from Steinhaus Studios - giving the album the look and sound fitting of such a powerful and influential release! For fans of Kiss, Stryper, Leviticus, Rez, and Van Halen! Includes “One”, an all new written and recorded bonus track exclusive to this release!

Running Out Of Time track listing:

1. “Black Or White”
2. “Sins Of The Heart”
3. “Hold On”
4. “Long Time”
5. “Party In Heaven”
6. “We Need Love”
7. “Greedy Little Hands”
8. “Things Are Changin'”
9. “Running Out Of Time”
10. “One” (bonus track)

Saint - The Revelation

Press Release / Ever since the release of several heavy weight metal titles in the 80's, SAINT has held a revered status among metal fans across the globe. In 2006, SAINT continued their comeback with a quality metal release entitled The Mark. In 2011 the band remixed the album, and it was re-mastered by J Powell of Steinhaus. The improvements upon the original release were so dramatic the album was re-titled The Revelation and available in 2012 for the first time on CD as a 6 panel digipak on Retroactive Records! Music critic Angelic Warlord writes, "The Revelation represents the quintessential Saint album. It features what I consider the best ever group of songs from Saint. Yes, it matches Time's End and Too Late For Living in terms of consistency but supersedes both from a quantity standpoint." For fans of Judas Priest, Bloodgood, Barren Cross, and Iron Maiden.

The Revelation track listing:

1. “The Spirit”
2. “The Vision”
3. “Ride To Kill”
4. “He Reigns”
5. “On And On”
6. “The 7th Trumpet”
7. “The Mark”
8. “Bowls Of Wrath”
9. “Babylon The Great”
10. “Reaping The Flesh”
11."Gog & Magog"
12. "Alpha & Omega”

Retroactive Records online: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records.html

King James (J & R) promo pic

KING JAMES signs to Madison Line Records, changes name to J & R:
Guitarist Rex Carroll & vocalist Jimi Bennett to start work on new album:

Press Release / In late 2011 Jimi & Rex came across Memphis-based record label & management company Madison Line Records. After several meetings and inspiring conversations, the band and Madison Line came to several conclusions. Namely, the band has a loyal audience that is fueling the drive to a new album and more concert tours. Secondly, the musical and ministry integrity of the band is a perfect match with the goals Madison Line seeks to promote. Finally, the band is in the right place and the right time to “change the culture, and change lives”. Partnering with Madison Line Records and Artist Management is an ideal fit for the label, and the band.

Updating for a new decade, the band will be changing the name to J&R (Jimi and Rex). The new album will be 80’s and 90’s, with a nowadays production. The guys will go into the studio April 2012 with John Lawry (Classic Petra/Petra) manning the controls, set for a late spring 2012 release. Their album will be available worldwide, and they will also plan to be on tour worldwide.

Bio: In 1993, Rex Carroll (Whitecross) met Jimi Bennett (Sacred Fire) at the Kingdom Bound Festival in Buffalo, New York. Over the next several months they developed a bond of music, ministry, and friendship that continues to this day. The timing was right; Jimi was looking to put together a new band, whereas Rex was feeling the pull toward new musical horizons.

As fortune would have it, Stryper was in a down season as well.  Rex called Tim Gaines, Jimi called Robert Sweet, one thing led to another and thus the original line-up of KING JAMES was born. So in addition to Rex on guitar and Jimi on lead vocals, add in Robert Sweet on drums and Tim Gaines on bass. A fine mix, indeed, pulling together members of Stryper, Sacred Fire, and Whitecross.

KING JAMES recorded one successful album for StarSong in 1994, and then toured in the U.S. from 1995 onwards.

During a ’95 tour in Europe, they met, and signed, with Viva Records. Viva was a much smaller label; fortunately they distributed in Europe, thereby opening more doors to the guys!

After experiencing a great deal of success in the 80’s “hair metal” days, the musical climate of the 90’s found the band re-inventing itself in order to survive. So in 1997, they penned a new set of hard rock gems – harder, deeper, louder, and with a nasty attitude to go with it, reflective of the times.

Upon its initial release, their second album The Fall did great in Europe, considering the limited resources of Viva Records. The album was only available as an import in the U.S., so the guys necessarily turned to other things. Stryper re-formed, Whitecross was playing together again, while Jimi Bennett started VIKTOR with Louie Weaver (Classic Petra/Petra).

While KING JAMES was on hiatus, it was never “out-of-sight / out-of-mind”. In fact, little by little the band, and their albums, have attracted a growing world-wide audience. So much so, that in 2010 The Fall was re-released to an enthusiastic fan base.

King James - King James & The Fall

Recent footage of KING JAMES (J & R) performing at a Madison Line Records launch party can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNDgdYYPjKs

Madison Line Records online: www.madisonlinerecords.com

KING JAMES online: www.facebook.com/kingjamesband 

NEWS BRIEFS

* LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE released a video for the acoustic version of “Sin”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5YMs492Mpo  “Sin” will be includes as part of the upcoming (April 24, 2012 release date ) LNJ album Hell Is Coming To Breakfast.  “Stretch Armstrong” is the debut single from HICTB - www.youtube.com/watch?v=81sxHUB-NFA - and features the talents of Louis St. August (Mass) and Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper).

* Guitarist Ian Keith Hafner has a good portion of the next JAGUAR BLAZE album written.  He advises that it will be “more polished and a little heavier than the first one”.  Look for a review of the JAGUAR BLAZE self-titled debut to be included as part of next weeks update to Angelic Warlord.

* THEOCRACY has announced the release of the Japan version of As The World Bleeds (on the Japanese label King Records).  The Japan edition will include two bonus tracks: “I’m In A Cage” (New Morse cover) and “Martyr” (live in the studio).

 

Update Archives: March 4, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Liberty N' Justice - Hell Is Coming To Breakfast

New LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE album, Hell Is Coming To Breakfast:
Press Release / Roxx Productions along with LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE are very pleased to announce for LNJ’s 20th Anniversary (1992-2012) the release of their 11th studio album, Hell Is Coming To Breakfast. This marks the bands second release on Roxx Records after a successful partnership on the Limited Edition charity CD entitled Chasing A Cure LP’ that the two teamed up on earlier in 2011. Hell Is Coming To Breakfast is set for release on March 27, 2012 with pre-sales beginning now.

Justin Murr of LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE has this to say about the release: “We recorded so many songs for our yet to be released 2 CD project entitled The Cigar Chronicles and with the delay on this release not happening until late in 2012 or early 2013 we didn’t want the fans to have to wait that long to get some new LNJ in their hands. So when Bill and Roxx Records approached me and asked if we had anything else up our sleeves we could release, we realized we had to many songs that were not all going to fit on Cigar so we took the 6 songs that we couldn’t fit and then recorded another brand new song which is the title track “Hell Is Coming To Breakfast” especially for this release and added 5 more previously unreleased rare cuts and demos just for this one, I am really excited for our fans to hear this collection”

Bill from Roxx Records had this to say about the new release: “We are very excited to be working with Justin and on LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE once again, especially in the bands twentieth year! Justin and all the wonderful artists he works with continue to release nothing but top notch material and after twenty years it is just amazing how they keep coming up with so many great melodic rock songs again and again and again”

In addition to the 7 brand new tracks and various demos and rarities we are very excited to be able to include on this release and on CD for the very first time ever the original acoustic demo version of “Sin” featuring the late great Jani Lane of Warrant out front on vocals.

Hell Is Coming To Breakfast track listing:

1. "Hell Is Coming To Breakfast" - Seann Nichols (Adler’s Appetite / Tarsha), JK Northrup (King Kobra/ XYZ)
2. "Madhatter" - Donnie Vie (Enuff Z' Nuff), JK Northrup (King Kobra/ XYZ), Chris Dickens (Mission Of One) & Tommy Denander
3. "Whack A Mole" - Johnny Lima, JK Northrup (King Kobra/ XYZ), Jerry Johnson (SAINT) & Richard Lynch (SAINT)
4."Thankful Heart" - Philip Bardowell (MAGDALEN/Unruly Child), Lynn Louise Lowrey (Vixen/Testify), & Anthony Gravley
5. "Nakatomi Plaza" - JK Northrup (King Kobra/ XYZ), Greg Bishop (X-Sinner) & Scott Weisenborn (Testify)
6. "Stretch Armstrong" - Louis St August (Mass), JK Northrup (King Kobra/ XYZ)& Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper)
7. "Get Down" - Tony Mills (TNT/ Shy),Mark Allen Lanoue (Chasing Karma/ Bilioxi), & Anthony Gravley
8. "Your Memory Just Won't Do" – (Previously unreleased on CD0 David Cagle, Alex Grossi (Quiet Riot) & CJ Snare (Firehouse)
9. "Thy will be done" – (demo) Jamie Rowe (Guardian)
10.”What do you believe?" - (Original demo of “Do What You Believe”) Mike Ledesma (FAR CRY) Vic Rivera (Crunch)
11. "Monkey Dance" - (Alternate mix) Jack Russell (Great White)
12. "Sin" – (Original acoustic demo) - Jani Lane (Warrant)

Roxx Productions online: www.roxxproductions.com

LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE online: www.libertynjustice.net & www.facebook.com/libertynjusticerocks

NEWS BRIEFS

* Please keep in your prayers KING’S X drummer Jerry Gaskill, who suffered a heart attack last Saturday.  From the Facebook page of vocalist/bassist Dug Pinnick (February 26, 2012):  “I need prayer warriors now... my friend Jerry Gaskill (drummer of King's X) suffered a heart attack last night… He was operated on and is in stable condition at the time...asking for prayers for his complete healing and ask you all to be in agreement in Christ...thank you friends.”

Update (Facebook - March 1, 2012): “Jerry is still sedated and no change, the antibiotics are working on the pneumonia. Dr. says he's not alarmed, these things will take time. He will recover. Thanks for your support, prayers, and love. For everyone who asked where to send a card for Jerry...the address is: Riverview Hospital 1 River Plaza Red Bank NJ 07701 For patient Jerry Gaskill. Since he is in ICU flowers are not accepted.”

* BARREN CROSS update from bassist Jim LaVerde (Facebook - February 27, 2012): “Our rehearsals went very well. It was great to see the guys and how much they have all grown in Christ. Mike is singing better than ever. We have added the song “2000” years to the set list for Elements Of Rock. It was a challenge to play but we made it through. The songs focal point is Jesus Christ. I do not believe we have ever played this song live. 9 minutes of pure fun. We also will be playing two brand new songs. We look forward to seeing everyone in Uster in a few weeks. Our message will remain strong. Say a prayer for us for direction and open doors. Thanks again for your support”.

* New album from GX PROJECT (Facebook - February 28, 2012): “Long hours... Long Edits... Biting Guitars...  From all of these comes the final finished product from GX titled "Bite Stick".  For GX today is a great day friends and listeners as we sign off on the approved Master for CD Manufacturing of our first album of 11 songs. :) It is READY!!!!”

Bite Stick track-listing: “Let’s Turn It Up”, “Waitin On JC”, “Tricky Little Devil”, “Angry Eyes”, “Love I.V.”, “OMG”, “Get Me Outa This Hell”, “Gotta Get Some Love”, “Long Way Down”, “Bite The Hand That Feeds”, “Soul Stealer”

 

Update Archives: February 26, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Teramaze - Anhedonia

TERAMAZE signs with Nightmare Records:
Anhedonia, new album from Australia based group, to be released on April 25, 2012:

Press Release / TERAMAZE might be Australia's best kept secret ... but that won't last long. As this band is ready to burst out of their home country and make a well-deserved worldwide impact with their metallic alloy brand.

Whilst loosely befitting the genre of thrash metal, the music of TERAMAZE conjures such adjectives as, "innovative", "progressive" and "groove-laden" but most notably, "engaging". Keeping the fundamental elements of metal alive in their music, TERAMAZE pushes metal into unchartered waters with guitar work that is incendiary and powerfully aggressive vocals that drive the song.

The album, Anhedonia, was produced/mixed by Dean Wells and mastered by Lasse Lammert (ALESTORM, STUCK MOJO, HALCYON WAY), and is a critique of modern man's diminishing ability to experience life's simple pleasures.

TERAMAZE has been creating tidal waves on its native shores of Australia with its explosive live performances and is ready to bring its music to the masses on the world stage.

Anhedonia track listing:

1. “Anhedonia”
2. “Without Red Hands”
3. “Through The Madness”
4. “Machine”
5. “Acts Of Reparation”
6. “Fear Of The Unknown”
7. “Black Circles”
8. “Proverb Le Jame”
9. “Where The Dead Grow”
10. “Egostatic”
11. “Ever Enhancing II”

TERAMAZE line-up:

Brett Rerekura - Vocals
Mathew Dawson - Guitars
Dean Wells - Guitars
Tijon Lolis - Bass
Mick Tallent - Drums

TERAMAZE discography:

2012 - Anhedonia
1998 - Tears To Dust
1995 - Doxology

Teramaze - Doxology & Tears To Dust

Nightmare Records online: www.nightmarerecords.com

TERAMAZE online: http://teramaze.com.au & www.facebook.com/teramaze

 

Update Archvies: February 19, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Jaguar Blaze - Jaguar Blaze

JAGUAR BLAZE - New eighties metal project from Ian Keith Hafner:
Press Release / Blending hard rock with the blues, Ian's guitar playing evokes a sense of realism in a world drowned in drama. Refusing to follow the current trends, Ian chooses to write songs that hearken back to the guitar driven rock of the 80’s.

His most recent effort, the winter of 2012 self-titled debut from his new group JAGUAR BLAZE, pulls no punches. Over a year in the making, the JAGUAR BLAZE album is sure to appeal to fans of bands like Def Leppard, Kiss, Skid Row, and Ratt.

Ian has also performed and recorded with The Hollywood Fugitives and Static Fuse, along with various side projects, has received lots of press (mostly good!) and been featured in rock magazines like Italy's "Slam!" and "Heaven's Metal" in the U.S.

Ian strives to write songs that hearken back to a time when music was more than just a product or mp3 download. From the aggressive hard rock of “Wild 'N' Free” to the gut-wrenching “Never Says Forever,” it’s clear that Ian reaches deep into the past for inspiration.

Jaguar Blaze track listing:

1. “Wild 'N' Free”
2. “My Kind of Woman”
3. “Losin' Myself (In Your Kiss)”
4. “Never Says Forever”
5. “Standin' Next to You”
6. “Streets on Fire”
7. “Days Gone By”
8. “Heartbreak Style”
9. “Into the Sun”
10. “Lonely Road”

JAGUAR BLAZE online: www.jaguarblaze.com & www.facebook.com/pages/Jaguar-Blaze

NEWS BRIEFS

* Update regarding the new DRIVER album (from vocalist Rob Rock’s Facebook page – February 17, 2012): “Final tweaks for the new DRIVER CD called Countdown going on this week. We also have contributions from singer Mark Boals, bassist Ray Burke, and Daniel Cordova. The CD is coming out great!  Vintage style production and killer songs, and Maor Appelbaum mastering.”

* R-Existence, the new album from BOARDERS, will be released on February 29, 2012.  Look for it to be available as a free download at the group’s website: www.boarders.it  R-Existence track-listing: “The Agony Of Lying”, “Sings Of Resistance”, “Vengeance Is Yours”, “4th Reich”, “Pure Gold”, “Lightbringer”, “Sixth Out Of Five”, “Cause Of Life”, “Meet, My Heart”, “To My Father”

* DAVID BENSON will be re-issuing his 1994 debut album Holy Psychotherapy on March 30, 2012 (from the artists Facebook page - February 18, 2012): “Just thought you might like to know that the official release of Holy Psychotherapy Extended Re-Master will March 30, 2012.  This will include 3 NEW songs as bonus tracks!  With each order of this album you will receive a free Holy Psychotherapy 11 X 17 poster!  This will be a limited time offer only.  So be sure to get ready to pick up your copy of this re-master that started it all!”

Please note that Premonition Of Doom, the artist’s third album from 1997, will be re-issued on Retroactive Records later in the year. 

 

Update Archives: February 12, 2012

FEATURED REVIEWS

AMAZIAH - Straight Talker
The best way to describe Amaziah would be “loud cranking hard rock with aggressive guitars coupled with power synths and organ” (as taken from Ken Scott’s Archivist 4th Edition).  Yes, the group brings a heavy seventies hard rock influence but also mix in some classic rock and progressive rock leanings and the occasional mellower (almost ballad-like) moment.  Read Full Review >>

ATKINS / MAY PROJECT - Serpents Kiss
A joining of original Judas Priest vocalist Al Atkins and Christian guitarist and music artist Paul May, Atkins / May Project has come up with ten NWOBHM influenced tracks that deliver every bit as much edge and bite (in terms of driving bass lines, relentless drumming and guitar pyrotechnics) as the do immediate accessibility (from the standpoint of catchy hooks that keep things fresh with repeated listen).  Read Full Review >>

THE EXKURSIONS - The Exkursions
The Exkursions are the most recent group to join the Born Twice roster.  A power trio that came out of Chicago in the late sixties, The Exkursions established itself as one of the first evangelistic rock bands and played a foundational role in the growing Contemporary Christian Music scene of the time.  Read Full Review >>

JEREMY - Quo vadis, Domine?
In terms of the music, labeling Jeremy “progressive metal” might be a bit one dimensional and limiting in that there is MUCH more going on here.  Yes, the band can get very progressive, as it does on the highly complex “Jeremy VII”, in which it does the Dream Theater thing as well as anyone.  Read Full Review >>

LANCE KING - A Moment In Chiros
Musically, A Moment In Chiros pretty much follows the same pattern as many of King’s previous efforts with its joining of melodic power metal and progressive metal.  In terms of specifics, fans of Balance Of Power, Pyramaze and Avian will be certain to embrace this, as will those into Symphony X, Dream Theater and older Queensryche (and just about all things in between, including Theocracy, Darkwater, 7 Days and 7th Reign).  Read Full Review >>

MENCHEN - In The Light
Musically, In The Light trends towards a darker, weightier and all around heavier and more metal influenced sound than that on Red Rock. If anything, the project gives rise to a traditional and/or classic metal feel along the lines of Titanic and Redeemer but with some occasional doom-like moments thrown in.  Read Full Review >>

MILLENNIAL REIGN - Millennial Reign
The winter of 2012 find Millennial Reign independently releasing its self-titled debut full length.  The group presents with a heavily eighties influenced sound that amalgamates a variety of styles, including melodic metal and hard rock, melodic rock/AOR and traditional metal to create a project characterized by its consistency, continuity and professionalism.  Read Full Review >>

REDEEMER - One Way
Musically, Redeemer stays true to its eighties metal roots.  Now, by “eighties metal” I am not referring to the fluffy hair/glam/pop metal that was so prevalent at the time but rather a sound heavily rooted in classic and traditional metal but with some straightforward hard rock and doom metal touches.  Read Full Review >>

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Flying Colors -  Flying Colors

FLYING COLORS - New band to feature Neal Morse:
Press Release / Mascot Label Group has announced a March 27 release date for the debut from FLYING COLORS (available the day prior overseas) on their Music Theories Label. The formation of the ensemble began with a simple idea: virtuoso musicians and a pop singer joining together to make new-fashioned music the old fashioned way. Refreshing, classic, old and new, the recordings are saturated with the many styles, tones and hues of the players who in becoming a band have delivered a unique fusion of vintage craftsmanship and contemporary music.

FLYING COLORS is Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals), Dave LaRue (bass), Neal Morse (keyboards, vocals), Casey McPherson (lead vocals), and Steve Morse (guitar). Portnoy shares, "This album has bits and pieces of what you'd expect from each of us. However, the sum of all its parts led to brand new, unchartered territory for all involved."

In 2008, executive producer Bill Evans brought the idea to the world renowned musicians and producer Peter Collins. Intrigued by the idea, and the prospect of working together, the four signed on to form a band and record a first album. Steve Morse and Dave LaRue have developed a magical music chemistry over the years, that began early in their careers as partners in Dixie Dregs. Morse subsequently became a member of Deep Purple in 1995, while LaRue’s ongoing musical adventures include Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, Steve Vai, and the aforementioned Portnoy. Multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer Neal Morse is one of the leading figures in progressive rock, who's significant notoriety follows his co-founding of the seminal band, Spock’s Beard in 1995, recordings as a solo artist, and contributions to the super-group Transatlantic. Mike Portnoy is one of the most popular and respected drummers in both metal and rock, and an accomplished writer and producer. He is the recipient of numerous industry accolades, including 26 Modern Drummer awards, Revolver Magazine’s Golden God award for "Best Drummer" and Drum Magazine's "Drummer of the Year". He rose to prominence as the leader, drummer, producer, and co-writer for metal/prog juggernaut Dream Theater, before moving on in 2010. That same year, he worked on Avenged Sevenfold’s #1 album Nightmare and their subsequent tour. And, it was Portnoy who recommended Alpha Rev's emotive singer Casey McPherson as a contender to join Flying Colors.

McPherson, who's 2010 Hollywood/Disney album New Morning debuted in the Top-5 on two Billboard charts, enjoyed major success at radio with multiple hits. The track "New Morning” spent 17 weeks in the Top-10 on Triple A Radio, and enjoyed a run on Vh1’s Top-20 Countdown for months. Steve Morse offers, "Casey was a glorious find, because he could make anything sound fantastic, and is a multitalented like the others."

FLYING COLORS convened for just nine days in early 2011, and composed and recorded this album during a short and intense session. Dave LaRue recalls, "It was quite an experience - the band moved at a fast pace, ideas flying around the room at all times. Sections of tunes were arranged, then re-arranged, ideas were tried every which way until we made them work, or, in some cases, discarded them altogether. Just keeping track of everything was a challenge!" McPherson adds, "This record is filled with trial and triumph. Raw and delicate songs alike amidst the swirling and daring orchestration of Steve, Neal, Mike and Dave. It's been such an inspiring challenge melding folk, prog, pop, and metal all into one big recording."

Touring plans for FLYING COLORS will be announced in the coming months.

Flying Colors track listing:

1. “Blue Ocean”
2. “Shoulda Coulda Woulda”
3. “Kayla”
4. “The Storm”
5. “Forever In A Daze”
6. “Love Is What I’m Waiting For”
7. “Everything Changes”
8. “Better Than Walking Away”
9. “All Falls Down”
10. “Fool in My Heart”
11. “Infinite Fire”

FLYING COLORS line-up:

Casey McPherson - Lead Vocals
Steve Morse - Guitars
Neal Morse - Keyboards
Dave LaRue- Bass
Mike Portnoy - Drums

FLYING COLORS onlone: www.flyingcolorsmusic.com& www.facebook.com/flyingcolorsofficial

Michael Sweet promo pic

MICHAEL SWEET offers the latest in regards to both his solo album and STRYPER:
From the vocalists Facebook page (February 2, 2012):

“First, thank you for all the amazing comments on the solo record samples! I can assure you that this record will be the best solo record to date and that you (at least most of you) won't be disappointed. Second, to the handful of people who think it sounds like STRYPER- well, earth to moon, I am the singer/guitarist/songwriter for STRYPER so there is the remote chance that their will be similarities right? Maybe you can't comprehend that but I think most people here do.

"For those of you who wonder why it isn't a STRYPER record, the truth is that I had the opportunity to make a record and I took it. It's been almost 12 years since my last solo release and I felt it was long overdue. There is a lot of down time with STRYPER and life goes on, you've got to do what you've got to do. This doesn't mean that STRYPER is going to take a backseat. We have big plans for the band as well including a re-record record with two new songs, touring throughout 2012 and eventually a new, all original STYRPER record. We all have done solo projects over the years and it's a great way for all of us to be artistic and express our musical ideas individually. I love what I do and I hope it shows!

"For the 99.9% of the people who do get it, you advance to the head of the class. To the 0.1% of the people who don't get it, you’re in detention for the rest of the year.  Seriously, thank you all for the incredibly positive feedback/comments on my new solo project and I can't wait to release it so you can hear the songs in their entirety. You'll hear similarities (duh) and yet you'll also hear me. God Bless you guys and see you out on the road.....Michael”

"The album, untitled at the time of this writing, is scheduled for a summer release.  The artist entered the studio on December 18 to begin the recording process.  Drummer Kenny Aronoff (CHICKENFOOT) will be appearing on the album in addition to several other guest musicians/singers."

I am one of the 99.9% that “get it” in that the artists last solo release, Truth from 2000, had some GREAT moments to it, such as the STRYPER influenced “Save Me” and intricate “The Ever After” (featuring an OZ Fox guitar solo!).

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

Kevin Windross - Loud & Clear

KEVIN WINDROSS to release new solo EP, Loud & Clear:
Press Release / Kevin Windross is an Australian singer, songwriter & guitar wizard who has performed on many stages around Australia & internationally including Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.  The artist has performed twice at the Japan Music Week Festival in Tokyo (2009-2010). A highlight of the 2010 festival saw him invited to share the stage with Mr Tanigawa, one of Japan's most respected rock guitarists.  Kevin returned to Japan again in April 2011 where he was offered a chance to release new material into Japan's thriving rock market. Thus began the birth of his latest musical offering, the EP Loud & Clear.

Kevin has adorned many stages throughout Australia, including most notably Queensland tours with legendary Aussie guitarist Phil Emmanuel. He has also left his mark on events such as the Frankston International Guitar Festival, the Vintage Guitar Show in Canberra and Easterfest in Toowoomba.

How would you describe Kevin's music? Think chocolate mud ice-cream with raspberry coulis! Yum! Authenticity of sound, with musical and technical prowess. This is no computer-manufactured pop. Just powerful unadulterated drums, solid bass lines and tasty keyboards that combine with Kevin's thundering world-class guitar to give an authentic musical experience uncommon in this day of fabricated froth.

Loud and Clear, a 5-track EP, is the latest offering from Kevin Windross, whose other albums include the instrumental Standing Outside Circles (2009) and Overworld (2007) with the band Early Warning System.

Kevin's driving melodic rock originates in 70s rock roots, not far removed from Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore and early Toto. The 70s style is brought thoroughly up to date with wall-of-sound guitar, emotive vocals and haunting harmonies. Modern production values also add depth and quality to the overall impression. Think Shihad, Alterbridge, Nickleback or even The Butterfly Effect.

Kevin's music has been featured in Australian Guitar Magazine and he is endorsed by Berketa Guitars, Swing Guitars, Pirana Amplification & Pedals, & Puretone Strings.

Loud & Clear track listing:

1. “Empty House”
2. “Soul Keeper”
3. “I’ll Be There”
4. “Broken Bridge”
5. “Take Myself”

Kevin Windross online: www.kevinwindross.com/home & www.facebook.com/pages/Kevin-Windross

NEWS BRIEFS

* BEYOND BELIEF, a new Finnish melodic metal band featuring vocalist Christian Palin (RANDOM EYES) and keyboardist Mikko Harkin (MEHIDA), is in the studio recording its debut album.  Further details and samples: www.facebook.com/beyondbelief.official  

* BLOODGOOD is at work on a re-mastered version of its 1991 release All Stand Together.  Oz Fox (STRYPER) is reported to be adding guitar tracks to the project.  The band also has plans to re-master and re-issue its 1988 release Rock In A Hard Place.  Look for both to be available later in the year.

* Official word from BARREN CROSS regarding the reunion with vocalist Mike Lee (Facebook – February 3, 2012): “Just so everyone knows, Mike is back singing with the band. We are playing our first show in several years. We plan to continue playing and recording. Please say a prayer for Barren Cross as we continue to follow the Lords leading.”

* All vocal and keyboard tracks have been completed on the new DRIVER album, Driver 2.  The project is currently being mixed with mastering scheduled next.  Look for a spring release date.  Also, vocalist Rob Rock hopes to have a new solo album out by the end of the year.

* Sweden’s HERO hopes to release its next album, Afterlife, later in the year.  One new song is entitled “My Heroic”.  More details as they become available.

* Detroit, Michigan based MEDISIN WHEEL have returned to the studio to start work on its next CD, Echo Of The Din.  No word on a release date.

* Guitarist Paul May reports that he is currently writing and recording for the next ATIKINS / MAY PROJECT album.  He also advises that new albums will be released this year from his other bands TEMPLE DOGS and A.N.D.

* Look for a March release of the new JOSHUA album Resurrection.  Wyn Davis handled mixing and mastering while final details of the album artwork are currently being worked on.

* THEOCRACY uploaded the track “Wages Of Sin”, which was released digitally in October last year, to YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTVagzCDJMw  Prior to that “Wages Of Sin” was only available as a bonus track on three different editions of the groups 2008 sophomore album Mirror Of Souls.

* VENI DOMINE has launched its own YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/VeniDomineTV?feature=watch  An update (Facebook – January 21, 2012) was also recently provided by the band: “Greetings all friends of VENI DOMINE.  We're busy recording the next album and will probably take the best of 2012 to complete it.  Meanwhile, we're going through the vast video material from the past and will post songs and some behind the scenes (footage) as we move along.  It's not pro material but our own shoots for personal use, so bare with the quality. I know there are many waiting to see stuff and this is a treat for you, hope you enjoy it.”

 

Update Archives: February 5, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Nona - Steps of Truth

NONA takes Steps of Truth:
Press Release / Slovakia based female fronted melodic power metal band NONA has released its full length debut, Steps of Truth.  The group got its start in 2005 as a cover band but solidified its line-up two years later and began work on the material encompassing Steps of Truth.

NONA has proven to be an active live act throughout its short history, having performed at numerous clubs, festivals and cultural events.  Song titles in English but lyrics in the groups native Slovakia.

Steps of Truth track listing:

1. “Bridge”
2. “Shadow”
3. “Loneliness”
4. “In The Name of God”
5. “Steps of Truth”
6. “Thorn In Heart”
7. “It Is Time”
8. “Wisdom”
9. “Self-Seeker”

NONA line-up:

Martina Funketová – Vocals
Matúš Jarkovský - Lead Guitar
Peter Ignácz - Rhythm Guitar
Martin Ignácz - Keyboards
Peter Horník - Bass Guitar
Ondrej Ujčík - Drums

NONE online : www.facebook.com/nonabandsk 

Redeemer band photo

Artist feedback, REDEEMER - One Way:
Guitarist Bill Menchen recently offered his thoughts regarding my review of his REDEEMER One Way project:

“Hey Andy, thanks for reviewing One Way and all the great review work you have done of my stuff in the past.  I can honestly say that you are the most thorough of anybody I have seen and I really appreciate your time.  I just checked out the One Way write up and realized you probably should have been given some more info.

"The Menchen basic tracks for In The Light were actually recorded back in 2010.  The vocals had planned to be done by the end of that year but Ken Redding had a tough time getting up here to Vegas to get them down due to one family emergency after another it seemed, but they eventually got done in late August 2011.

"The problem with that was that by this time Janice Sweet (Robert & Michael’s mom) had decided to help manage me and see if she could bring a little something more to the table with some of my music since we had developed a close relationship her and her husband Phil due to the fact that they were recording demos in my studio.  She wanted me to make a fresh demo CD to represent me to some labels and looked over my entire catalog of things that have me singing on them and decided the Redeemer music was the best. By chance she picked “King Of Glory” which was already down on the In The Light sessions. I really submitted myself to her suggestions to see what she can do.

"As hard as I worked, I could not get these 2 CD's done with time between them. I couldn't delay the In The Light CD until 2012 because if I were to sign an exclusive deal with someone for One Way the Menchen CD would be dead in the water indefinitely. I paid for the making of it out of my own pocket and didn't want to risk the money going down the drain for years maybe, and it wasn't under contract with Matt Hunt (Retroactive Records) yet.  It was just a difficult business situation and as hard as I fought I couldn't change the way the winds blew.”

Bill Menchen online: www.billmenchen.com & www.facebook.com/bill.menchen

I would like to thank the artist for clarifying the details I got wrong - and offered unjustified criticism in the process - in the initial version of my One Way review.  The review was later revised to include the correct information as it pertains to the albums background.

Menchen - In The Light

In a related matter, a fan of Bill Menchen posted the following at Christian Hard Music regarding my review of the new Menchen album In The Light (in which I offered direct comparison - very fairly I might add - to the first Menchen album, Red Rock, from 2008):

In The Light is more of a hybrid Rev / Menchen album, as those songs were written when Ken Redding joined Rev Seven for a spell. So, given that, In The Light and Red Rock aren't exactly comparable”.

My response:

“Since In The Light was released under the Menchen moniker, a comparison cannot help but be made with Red Rock- for better or for worse and from fans and critics alike.

"The fact is that 10 of the In The Light songs can be directly attributed to Rev Seven. Hence, perhaps it might have made better sense for the project to go under the Rev Seven heading as opposed to Menchen.

"But even if the Rev Seven name was used instead it still would not change the tone of my review: And that is it is a very good album featuring some great songs- so enjoy it for what it is, whether you consider it a "hybrid Rev Seven / Menchen" album or simply a Menchen album.”

Please note that as a reviewer I strive to be as objective, accurate and honest as possible- all the while keeping in mind the need to offer the occasional constructive comment.  If I do not get the facts correct, as happened in the One Way review, then I feel a professional obligation to make a retraction and adjust a review accordingly.  That being said, I also feel there is an equal need to “stand my ground” or “stick to my guns” if I do not happen to agree with or see eye to eye with a fellow music fan (or critic).  In other words, let’s all agree to disagree!

Any and all additional feedback and commentary is welcome at: angelicwarlord@hotmail.com

NEWS BRIEFS

* ABSOLON update from vocalist Ken Pike (regarding the Darkness Rising project): “It's really coming along and, what we've gotten done so far, is sounding really good.  I know, when it's done, it's gonna blow people away.  Also, we've been discussing how to take this out live.  It's going to be quite a stage show if we can get it to the stage!  We plan on performing the entire CD from beginning to end, with the band playing the part of the fictional band on the CD.  We've got connections with a couple guys that do video's and have shown interest in making the opening video for the show and some other parts as well.  It would be like a modern version of Operation Mindcrime, just a bit darker.
 
We are recording most of the instrumentation in my guitarists home studio (he has a great set up and the quality will be as good any expensive studio) i.e. drums, bass, guitar, keys...etc.  But, we're going to have to go into the big studio to record the vocals, special effects pieces, pull all the songs together and mix/master.  I'm hoping to find a smaller label that has a budget that might support the actual studio time, press the CD's and has some sort of distribution.  I may be asking way to much.  In Malachia, we had a financial investor so, we had a little money to do things.”

 

Update Archives: January 15, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

The Sacrificed - III

Track listing revealed for new THE SACRIFICED album, III:
Press Release / Roxx Productions are excited to announce that III, the new album from THE SACRIFICED, will be released on January 31, 2012.  For the first time here is the entire track listing for III:

1. “The World Is Changing (Intro)”
2. “Falling”
3. Ark Of The Covenant”
4. “The Nephilim Agenda”
5. “Time’s Up”
6. Words On The Gin”
7. “Behold The Power Of God”
8. “Regeneration”
9. “Offended”
10. “Before The Storm”
11. “24”

Please note that III is the highly anticipated follow up to the group’s 2010 Roxx Productions debut 2012 and independently released demo from 2007, The Da Vinci Hoax.

The cover art of III is very simple, yet very powerful representing not only the title of the band’s third effort, but III is a symbol and representation of the three nails that pierced the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. The band has never been afraid of controversy our what the mainstream may think as you can tell from this cover and as you will see when you begin to explore the music and message of this brand new album from The SACRIFICED!
 
With the addition of two new members, Michael Phillips (DELIVERANCE, FASEDOWN) on guitars and backing vocals and Daniel Cordova (VENGANCE RISING) on bass, coupled with founding members Eli Prinsen as lead vocalist and Jay Williams on the drums, III promises to take the band to a whole new level, both musically and lyrically.
 
The music on III is stronger then ever and continues in a direction that fans of hard and progressive rock bands like SYMPHONY X, DREAM THEATER or QUEENSRYCHE fans are sure to enjoy. “This album marks a shift into progressive metal, and we’re extremely excited for people to hear it” says Michael Phillips on the musical direction and journey on III.

 
Lyrically the words and topics covered on III are not for the faint of heart. Covering such topics as The Ark of the Covenant and The Nephilim Agenda the band is not afraid to speak from the heart and tackle some very controversial topics, topics that many of today’s Christian artists shy away from.  Eli Prinsen says “Don’t take my word for it, do your own research, seek the truth through prayer and your eyes will be opened” on the lyrical content of III. III will definitely strike a few nerves, which means this is the release you MUST hear in 2012!

Roxx Productions online: www.roxxproductions.com 

The Sacrificed online: www.facebook.com/thesacrificed

NEWS BRIEFS

* Firestream Music Vault to return on January 16, 2012 (as announced by XNilo Records): The wait is over, January 16, 2012 the Music Vault returns to the public! Please remember, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Tons of album/artist-pictures will need added again and some of the missing data will also need updated. Nevertheless, the site is functional and still rich with content, making it a great resource that can be used while work is begin done. Therefore, we do not want to keep the site from the public any longer because we feel that they have waited long enough for its return.

On our behalf and on behalf of all those who have wanted the return of the vault, we cannot thank the original Vault creator (aka Solid) enough for his help and hard work! Now, it’s time for the team of Vault Managers to roll up our sleeves and bring the Vault the rest of the way home.

Official: www.firestreamvault.com

* Guitarist Mick Rowe is at work on a re-mixed version of A Coming Storm, the 1987 debut album from TEMPEST.  No news on a release date but three new tracks will be included.

 

Update Archives: January 8, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Ken Pike opens Kickstarter account to fund debut ABSOLON album, Darkness Rising: The Tales Of Derek Blackheart:
The latest in regards to the project from the former MALACHIA vocalists:
 
"Well, all the songs and musical pieces are written and pre-production is complete. It has really come together and, I think, has the potential to make a noise in the White Metal market.  It's by far the most ambitious project I have ever been involved in!  It will be the CD I wish MALACHIA could have made.  So, now it is time to record this monster so, I am actively seeking financial backing to fund recording, production/pressing of CD’s and merchandise.
 
I have opened a funding account on Kickstarter, a site designed specifically for artists seeking funding for their projects. Anyone can pledge any amount, from $1.00 to $1000.00, it’s up totally up to how much they want to pledge and they can afford. I need help and support to make this project a reality."

Donations can be made at: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1004659867/darkness-rising-the-tale-of-derek-blackheart?ref=email

The artist offers further details regarding the project:

"Based loosely on the classic tale The Portrait of Dorian Grey, the debut concept CD Darkness Rising: The Tale of Derek Blackheart by ABSOLON is the story of Derek Blackheart who, as a young man, dreams of fronting the biggest heavy metal band in the world. One fateful night he is approached by the Dark Master who offers him his dreams and more in return for one thing...his soul. All Derek has to do is allow the Dark Master to write his music through him and bring his audiences to the darkness. Derek happily accepts the offer and soon realizes all of his dreams. As promised, Derek's band, BLACKHEART, becomes the biggest heavy metal band in the world and all the fame and fortune that comes with it. In time, Derek becomes tired of doing the bidding of the Dark Master and, at the height of fame and success, takes his own life in an attempt to escape his clutches. But, too late, he discovers that even in death there is no escape.

"Specifically, the meaning behind the story is “about the ultimate fate of someone who decides to go down a road of darkness to achieve fame and fortune and, at the end of the day, has to ask himself . . . what is it worth to have reached the pinnacle of success, fame and fortune only to lose your soul in doing it?”

"The story is told thru music, with musical/vocal/sound effects pieces interconnecting one song to the next. For reference, it is somewhat influenced by the concept albums Operation Mindcrime by QUEENSRYCHE and Nostradamus by JUDAS PRIEST."

ABSOLON recently recorded a promotional video (imbedded YouTube link above) to the track “Darkness Rising”, which will be included as part of Darkness Rising, The Tales Of Derek Blackheart.

ABSOLON online: www.absolonrocks.com & www.facebook.com/pages/Absolon

xNilo Records banner

XNilo Records acquires Firestream Music Vault and Untombed Network/Webzine:
Press Release / Today, we at XNilo Records are excited to announce its acquisition of both the Firestream Music Vault, the largest database of Christian Rock and Metal albums on the internet, and the Untombed Network/Webzine, an online resource for Christian Hard Rock and Metal news, interviews, reviews and online radio.

"We’re excited to finalize this deal as it has been months in the making." said XNR co-founder David Michael, "Our goal has been and remains the same: To build a partnership with businesses and ministries within the Christian music industry that are willing to work together. We, at XNR, feel that these recent acquisitions are beneficial to reaching those goals and we’re very excited to bring these two great resources back to the public."

Firestream Music Vault Returns January 2012:

The one question the public has inquired about most has been concerning the return of the Firestream Music Vault. When asked, David M. had this to say, "Firestream is very important to a lot of people and we wanted nothing more than to see the website operating again. Therefore, I am very excited to say that with the help of Dale from Metal Pulse Radio, we were able to speak with the FS Vault creator, aka Solid, and he agreed to come onboard and help us get the site backup into full operations. With that said, because of Solid's  help, we are also thrilled to announce that we are officially re-opening the Firestream Vault to the public this January! Now, it's also very important that the public knows that there are still bugs being worked out and unfortunately when it collapsed all the pictures were lost as well as some data. Therefore, the full restoration of the FSVault will need the help of all the dedicated Vault managers. Nevertheless, I am confident that this amazing team will have it looking better than ever in no time. We are excited and cannot thank Solid enough! We also have something special planned for the Vault that we'll be announcing very shortly, but for now, January 2012 the Firestream Music Vault returns!"

Untombed Network/Webzine:

The new Untombed Network is in full operation with a renewed vision and an amazing staff that is ready to bring you the absolute best in Christian Hard Rock and Metal news, interviews, reviews and radio. In addition, XNR has already begun making changes within its radio station division:

Firstly, XNR wants to welcome our very good friend, Jeff de los Santos, as Untombed Radio's new station manger. Jeff not only runs his own show titled, Through The Dark, but he is also eclectic and very knowledgeable of all things Christian metal/rock. With Jeff at the helm, you can be assured that the radio station is in great hands.

Secondly, XNR announces our new partnership with Sanctus Gladius Radio! Together, both stations will bring people an amazing variety of Christian metal and rock.  Untombed radio will focus more along the lines of hard-rock and melodic metal and Sanctus Gladius will focus on the more extreme metal genres. However, your favorite, 'Live', DJ shows will still play the music styles of their own choosing. Both our station are working together to bring the public a variety and fun interactive time!

We at XNR are very excited to see what’s in store in 2012 for our partners, our extended family, and XNR's new ventures!

Contact: www.xnilorecords.com & http://untombed.com

 

Update Archives: January 1, 2012

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Atkins May Project - Serpents Kiss

Debut album released from ATKINS / MAY PROJECT, Serpents Kiss:
Original Judas Priest vocalist Al Atkins and Christian guitarist Paul May join forces for new metal/hard rock project:

Press Release / The rock world is buzzing with proof that good and evil can in fact work together in the form of former Judas Priest vocal legend and Holy Rage heavy metal front man Al Atkins and Christian guitarist and music artist Paul May. Together these extreme opposites combine creating a powerful new CD called Serpent’s Kiss, now available on Gonzo Multimedia. The 10-track album is the product of two of the Midlands finest architects of rock and metal coming together to create something that is unique and totally exhilarating!

There are enough doses of melody and metal madness to entice all fans of the genre, and while it is solid, honest working class heavy metal, it also has its roots in contemporary metal with some fine axe-work and killer choruses. The cover art for Serpent’s Kiss is also unique as it was created by world famous fantasy artist Rodney Matthews.

Al Atkins: More noted for forming UK’s Judas Priest and fronting them for four years and laying down the foundations which would see them eventually selling 40 million albums worldwide. He also wrote songs for them which went gold like “Dreamer Deceiver”, “Never Satisfied”, “Winter”, “Caviar and Meths” and Priest’s all time classic “Victim of Changes”. Al’s unique powerful vocal style sites influences by noted rock singers Roger Daltrey, Paul Rodgers and longtime friend Robert Plant. Al has done countless radio and TV interviews worldwide and recently was filmed for BBC TV British Heritage and Banger Films Canada for the metal evolution series on VH1. He has even written a book on his musical life about growing up in Birmingham, UK alongside Robert Plant and Black Sabbath called Dawn of the Metal Gods. Al has released 6 solo albums to date, toured the US twice, and has worked with Brian Tatler (Diamond Head), Dave Holland (Judas Priest), Dennis Stratton (Iron Maiden) and Bernie Torme (Ozzy/Gillan). Al recently released a new self titled album with his offshoot band Holy Rage and has now teamed up with brilliant Christian writer/guitarist Paul May and recorded an album called Serpent’s Kiss, which Al says are the best recordings to date!

Paul May: Some people learn to play guitar, Paul was born (again) to play guitar! Paul has become respected for his passionate, soulful guitar work and noted for his explosive and exciting solos. As a world class professional guitarist and songwriter, Paul has played and recorded sessions across the globe, touring and playing throughout the UK, Europe, USA and the Eastern block. Paul appears on around 50 albums to date, featured in both the secular and Christian arenas. Paul is also a record producer and has covered the entire spectrum of musical tastes in production. Paul has played, recorded with and produced alongside the bands and members of: Al Atkins (Judas Priest), Dave Holland (Judas Priest), Roy Wood (Move, ELO, Wizard), Jon Brooks (The Charlatans), Smokin Roadie/Tempest, MC5, V-Rats, Janus, A.N.D, Dave Rowley Band, Larry Norman and many others. Along with working with Al Atkins, Paul currently plays guitar with A.N.D and Temple Dogs.

“Working with Paul May on the Serpent’s Kiss album was a fantastic journey,” says Al. “From the opening song “The Shallowing” to the last song “Theatre of Fools”, it was an honor to have been asked by the brilliant guitarist Paul May to put this project together… Without a doubt this is one of the best albums I have appeared on since my early days with Judas Priest and that says something having written and recorded several of my own works.”

“This album was meant to be,” explains Paul. “When Al agreed to do the vocals it inspired me to write specific tracks tailored for his voice. Not only did Al deliver in abundance, he did so with world class! It’s what I’d call a ‘Classic Hard Rock/Metal’ album; that covers a wealth of subject matters and life experiences. It’s all rock ‘n’ roll! And a real triumph to me in so many ways. I just feel blessed! To again, be involved with such a great vocalist and friend and end up with such a cracking album is a gift indeed – rock on!”

Serpents Kiss track listing:

1. “The Shallowing”
2. ‘Traitors Hand”
3. “Dream Maker”
4. “Can You Hear Me”
5. “Signz”
6. “Fight”
7. “Judge”
8. “Betta Than Twisted”
9. “Cold Gin”
10. “Theatre Of Fools”

A video had been recorded by ATKINS / MAY PROJECT for the track “Fight”:

Purchase ATKINS / MAY PROJECT: www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15396

ATKINS MAY PROJECT online: www.atkinsmayproject.com & www.facebook.com/pages/Atkins-May-Project-Official

theocracy logo

THEOCRACY on the Billboard Heatseeker chart:
As announced by the Athens, Georgia based group in its Facebook page (12/01/11):

"We're very excited and proud to announce that we've just received word from our record label, Ulterium Records, that As The World Bleeds has charted at #40 on the Billboard Heatseeker Chart in its first week of US release.  The album has been critically acclaimed by press and fans worldwide as Theocracy's strongest to date, and now we certainly have the numbers to back it up. The band thanks you all for buying an original copy of the album and we realize that it's you, our fans, which are responsible for making this release such a success."

Vocalist Matt Smith had the following to say about the news: "I never even entertained the possibility of being on Billboard with what we do. This only happened because of your support, so thank you guys so much!"

Watch our site for more news as we receive it, and thanks again for your amazing support."

Theocracy's critically acclaimed album As The World Bleeds is now available in North America and Europe. If you haven't ordered your copy you can do so at all of the usual outlets including: amazon.com, amazon.de, and Itunes.

THEOOCRACY online: www.theocracymusic.com & www.facebook.com/theocracyband

NEWS BRIEFS

* Salem, Oregon based SAINT is scheduled to soon start work on its next album, Desperate Night.  The group plans to begin laying rhythm and bass guitar tracks the second week of January and then move on to vocals the third week.  This will be followed by guitar leads from Jerry Johnson.  Jared Knowland is handling production duties and Dakin Costello cover artwork.

* Bill Menchen will be releasing a reworked version of the 2006 self-titled debut of his band THE SEVENTH POWER.  From the artists Facebook page (12/31/2011): “The bass and the vocals (will remain) unchanged. The existing drums have been worked over to give them a more raw organic sound than the 80's reverb type of sound they had on the original release. There were some drum edits on the original version that I did not use on this version. It's all original, all raw. The guitar had a lot of mid scooped out on my amp when I did that recording that I wasn't able to get back with EQ adjustments to my satisfaction so all of the rhythm guitar has been re-recorded from the ground up. I made a few adjustments on some of the parts while I was at it.”

The revised version will feature the new title The Power and be released on Wrenchen Menchen Wrecords.

Angelic Warlord Update Archives: HERE

 

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