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Metal News for June 29, 2007

Last updated on August 28, 2014 at 12:28 AM ET

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36 news articles posted on this day.

Disturbed To Be On Transformers Soundtrack

Chicago based rockers Disturbed are to contribute a new song titled "This Moment" to the Transformers soundtrack. The cd also features music from Linkin Park and Smashing Pumpkins amongst others.

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Read New Deftones Interview

~ The Deftones sit backstage awaiting their set time as a part of the Family Values tour, the band is all in good spirits. “Our drummer creates so many problems,” jokes Deftones bassist Chi Chang erupting into laughter as drummer Abe Cunningham sits down at the table carrying a plate full of food. While the comment is nothing more than a joke to provoke a reaction out of Cunningham, much like an older brother teases his sibling; it’s been no secret that the Deftones had some well publicized internal problems over the past few years. The band has battled creatively over the musical direction of the band, while frontman Chino Moreno left during the recording of the group’s new record to tour with his side-project and the group has struggled to survive in a music scene now dominated by pop-punk and screamo bands. Despite any internal issues, the group’s latest album have persevered to released one of the best album’s of 2007 in Saturday Night Wrist. Utilizing the same ambient soundscapes that characterized White Pony and fusing it with the blindsiding aggression that made Around The Fur an instant classic, the Deftones have managed to create an album that blends both the beauty and beast aspects of their sound. PureGrainAudio.com caught up with the band to discuss their latest musical masterpiece.
Give us a little insight into this record, where it was recorded and what the vibe was like in the studio…
Frank: We started writing in Southern California and then we went to Connecticut with producer Bob Ezrin and stayed down there for a couple months recording in his home studio. After that we went back to Sacramento to finish up, as we had taken much longer than expected. Working with Bob was what we expected and I think we were looking for someone outside of our comfort zone, as we had worked with Terry Date for so long. I think we knew going into this that we wanted something different and he made us try things that we might not have otherwise attempted without his influence.

Chi: He can also play almost any instrument better than we can. He’s an accomplished musician in his own right.

Why did you decide to move from Connecticut back to Sacramento?
Frank: It was just time, because we were only getting so much done there. We were all really comfortable at our home studio and it was Winter time there and we were just burnt out so we decided it was time to move back home.

Where did the title “Saturday Night Wrist” originate from?
Chi: Chino came up with the title from some broad he was hanging out with got it after a night of drinking. We thought it was cool and it just kinda stuck and nothing better came along.

Frank: That was the title we had for a long time and that was the title we had when we were recording the songs in the studio. It just worked for it when we put it all together.

It’s been very well publicized that you had some internal problems during the recording of this record, how did you manage to come together and make this a Deftones record?
Frank: I don’t know what to say really. I think all bands have internal problems, but it depends on how far you want to take them.

Chi: I think it’s just a matter of everyone being really passionate about the music, so we’re all really objective about it and sometimes people are pulling in different directions.

So how did Chino recording and touring with Team Sleep effect the writing and recording of this record?
Chi: Stopped it dead in it’s tracks. [laughs]

Frank: It made it longer, but he needed that time away to get his heart back into it and when he came back he had a new fire. We had originally planned on having the record done before he left to tour with Team Sleep, but we didn’t. I think he just had to step away from it after working on this for so long.

Sonically this album sounds like the missing link between Around The Fur and White Pony, where do you see this album fitting into the Deftones catalogue?
Frank: This is just where our headspace was at the time. People always want to compare a new record to your old records and if you were to compare it to any of our old material it’s probably closer to White Pony. I think it has a little bit of everything we do best and I think it accomplishes what we were trying to do in terms of bring together all of our influences into creating new songs. This is just where we’re at and we’re just trying to make a great record. I think we spent more time songwriting and arranging things this time and I’m just really proud of it. I think it’s our best work to date.

Chi: I think every time you make a record you just try and outdo yourself. You try and record better bass lines or whatever. You’re always trying to outdo yourself and be a little more creative than last time.

Frank: You’re just trying to make a good record and not repeat yourself, which leads to this being a time consuming process. We’re trying to make our ideas work and that’s not an easy thing.

What is up with the track “Pink Cell Phone” and where did the idea come about to do such an odd spoken word piece?
Frank: That was just one of those tracks that Chino had been working on his laptop with and then he brought in Ann Harding and she kind of free styled in the booth over top of it.

What are your favourite tracks on the record right now?
Frank: That’s hard.... Right now I really like playing “Hole in the Earth” and “Beware.” It’s hard to pick a favourite, especially so early on in the game.

Chi: Those two songs came together in our home studio, so they came together real quick like natural Deftones songs. Some songs take like a million years and then others just click and that’s what happened with those two songs in particular; we just clicked.

You guys just came off the Taste of Chaos Tour, what was that like being the elder band on the bill?
Chi: We’re Old! [laughs] It was a lot of fun and I think we found our rhythm about the middle of the tour. We’re all really thrilled to be back playing because we’re predominantly a live band.

Frank: It was good though because we had been off the road for like 3 years and it was a good time.

Chi: We’re all really thrilled to be back playing because we’re predominantly a live band.

Now you’re on Family Values with Korn, which is the first tour done between both bands since their inception. Why do you think it took so long for Korn and Deftones to team up and tour together?
Chi: We played with them a lot back in the beginning of our career and they did their own thing and we just wanted to carve our own niche and have our identity, so we separated ourselves from anyone or anything remotely like that style. Now we’ve accomplished that, we just came back together again and it’s like old times.

What were some of those influential albums that you listened to coming up?
Frank: Depends on what age you're talking and what phase of life we were in at that point. When I was young I would listen to Van Halen and Kiss. Then as I got older I got into rap music. I was all over the map really.

Chi: Iron Maiden in high school, you couldn’t have turned me away from Maiden. Then I got into more punk and jazz and reggae after that.

When you look back at the history of music and Deftones place in it, where do you think you fit in?
Chi: Hopefully we made a mark. We’re pretty indulgent as a band, but I think as long as we can go to bed 20 years from now and feel good about what we did as a band then that’s really all that’s important to us, as well as our fans. Anything outside of that is sort of portentous and we don’t really think about it. We want to be known as the great rock band of all time, does that answer your question? [laughs] We don’t care; we write music because we love playing it and if it’s good for us then we know our fans will appreciate it.

I had the chance to go to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame a few years back and had the chance to see items like Jerry Cantrell’s boots from Alice in Chains. What item would you choose to represent the Deftones if you were ever inducted?
Frank: I don’t know. I think if you asked Alice In Chains they probably wouldn’t have expected their boots to be in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, those things just happens. When something like happens it’s definitely an awesome thing though, but you don’t expect it or think about it.

Chi: Fuck it'd be amazing to be in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, but it’s not something I’ve ever thought about. As a matter of fact I’ve never even thought about it until just now. Now I’m going to be obsessing about it. [laughs] [END]

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Suicide Silence Announce Album Title

Suicide Silence has set “The Cleansing” as the title to their much-anticipated debut album, which is set for a Sept. 18th release. A devastating new track, "Unanswered," has just been posted on the band's official Myspace Page along with the disc's striking cover art and official track listing.

This scorching new effort was recorded with acclaimed producer John Travis (Static-X), while the renowned Tue Madsen (Himsa, The Haunted) handled mixing duties.

The artwork for “The Cleansing” was handled by the legendary Dave McKean (Mirrormask, Sandman comics) and Mitch Lucker (vocals) states: “From the very beginning, we wanted artwork that would separate ourselves from other bands and add some value to the purchase so fans would be less prone to simply download the record. Dave went above and beyond helping us achieve that as he created an entire layout that exceeded our expectations and further enhanced the album artistically.”

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Therion To Take A Month Off

THERION mainman Christofer Johnsson has posted thie brief message on the band's official website:

"Hellfest was the last show with Mats Levén and now we will have a month vacation before the next era with Thomas Vikström starts. A big 'thank you for all those shows together' and best wishes for the future to Mats from the band."

THERION will be touring North America in support of their latest album, "Gothic Kabbalah". Here are the confirmed dates thus far:

Oct. 16 - Santa Ana, CA - Galaxy Theatre
Oct. 30 - Quebec City, QC - Imperial
Oct. 31 - Montreal, QC - Medley
Nov. 1 - New York, NY - HighLine Ballroom
Nov. 2 - Springfield, VA - Jaxx

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Sounds Of The Underground Joins With Mobile Threat

Hot Topics Presents Sounds Of The Underground, set to ignite U.S. cities coast-to-coast this summer with a touring festival bringing audiences the likes of legendary GWAR, along with SHADOWS FALL, EVERY TIME I DIE, CHIMAIRA and JOB FOR A COWBOY, is also delivering fans an alternative to mainstream pop music ringtones and mobile entertainment by announcing today that Cellfish.com's Mobile Threat Channel is the tour's official mobile partner.

"It's pretty sweet to have a mobile company giving some love to the heavy bands. Every time I look for a ringtone, it's some pop bullshit. Bring on the Cro Mags ringtones!" states Travis Reilly, lead singer of THIS IS HELL.

Cellfish.com, a mobile and web entertainment portal where users can share and store their content created the Mobile Threat channel for those who love Metal, Hardcore, Indie and Punk music with mobile content that represents their ultimate mobile lifestyle destination, where you won't find Britney Spears, or any of her friends, on offer for mobile entertainment downloads. Cellfish.com is gearing up for this summer's Sounds Of The Underground tour, and is getting behind the festival with all the company's resources and distribution channels, to make sure hard rockers get to have a like-minded mobile fan community and experience.

Center stage for Mobile Threat will be promoting fan and community participation, including a contest that summons fans to mobile blog their experiences at the show. The grand prize will be to win a trip for two to the last two shows of the tour, with VIP passes for the best bloggers judged by Cellfish.com. Additionally, Mobile Threat will provide direct daily tour alerts and messages directly to fans cell phones, including weekly newsletters, SMS texting and video blogging. Fans will also be able to buy ringtones and wallpaper of most of the Sounds Of The Underground touring acts directly from their phones and by visiting MobileThreat.net.

This year's Sounds Of The Underground tour kicks-off on July 6 in Dallas, TX and runs through August 11 in Louisville, KY.

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Light This City Report From The Road

Bay Area thrashers LIGHT THIS CITY are currently on the road, headlining the Thrash And Burn Tour, alongside labelmates THE FUNERAL PYRE.

The band has offered this update from the road: "The Thrash and Burn Tour '07 is going amazing! The first week was definitely awesome, and beyond our expectations. The first five shows were with CERBERUS and ANTAGONIOST, who killed it each night. Highlights include Redwood City, Fresno, and The Chain Reaction! Thanks to everyone who have come out to the shows so far. Besides the horrible, horrible heat in the desert, we couldn't be having a better time. We are now with THE FUNERAL PYRE and ANTAGONIST for the rest of the tour. This tour has been so awesome because everyone on the tour is pretty much best friends. We have known these bands for a long time and toured with them before, so we are one big Heavy Metal family. We have three new awesome merch designs on this tour, so if you are planning on coming to any of the shows, prepare to see some awesome new shirts and hoodies. This is our first tour headlining, so we sincerely appreciate everyone who has come out to the shows thus far. See you on the rest of the dates!"

The band continues to support its latest effort, "Facing The Thousand", which saw a fall 2006 release through Prosthetic Records. The band recently shot a video for the track "The Unwelcome Savior" with director Soren (UNEARTH), which can be seen here.

Here are the band's upcoming tour dates:

w/ THE FUNERAL PYRE and ANTAGONIST:

June 29 - Clovis, NM - Absolute Zero
June 30 - Tulsa, OK - The Pinkeye
July 1 - Odessa, TX - Dos Amigos
July 2 - San Antonio, TX - White Rabbit
July 3 - Houston, TX - The Java Jazz
July 4 - Corpus Christi, TX - The Underground
July 5 - El Paso, TX - Chic’s Bar & Billiards
July 6 - Phoenix, AZ - Metal Devastation 2
July 7 - San Diego, CA - Soma
July 8 - Tucson, AZ - The Rock
July 10 - Hollywood, CA - The Whisky A Go Go
July 28 - Santa Cruz, CA - The 418 Project

w/ EDGUY and INTO ETERNITY:

Sept. 11 - Hartford, CT - Webster Theatre
Sept. 12 - West Springfield, VA - Jaxx
Sept. 14 - Bedford, NH - Mark's Place
Sept. 15 - Poughkeepsie, NY - The Chance Theatre
Sept. 16 - New York, NY - BB Kings Blues Club & Grill
Sept. 18 - Montreal, QC - Medley
Sept. 19 - Quebec City, QC - Imperial de Quebec
Sept. 20 - Toronto, ON - The Opera House
Sept. 21 - Cleveland, OH - Peabody's
Sept. 23 - Mokena, IL - The Pearl Room
Sept. 24 - St. Paul, MN - Station 4
Sept. 27 - Seattle, WA - Studio Seven
Sept. 28 - Portland, OR - Roseland Grill
Sept. 29 - San Francisco, CA - Slims
Sept. 30 - Anaheim, CA - House Of Blues
Oct. 2 - Hollywood, CA - House Of Blues
Oct. 3 - Mexicali, CA - The Metro
Oct. 4 - Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse
Oct. 6 - Denver, CO - The Bluebird Theatre
Oct. 8 - Detroit, MI - I-Rock

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Ozzy Osbourne Lists His Top Five Rock Bands

Don Kaye from Launch Radio Networks has posted this report:

Ozzy Osbourne has listed his five favorite Hard Rock bands for Spinner.com. The list includes LED ZEPPELIN, MOTÖRHEAD, NIRVANA, GREEN DAY and, of course, his own group, BLACK SABBATH.

Osbourne said about his Number One choice, LED ZEPPELIN, "I can remember walking through Birmingham with Geezer Butler, the bass player from SABBATH, and he knew (ZEP singer) Robert Plant. Plant was walking through the subway and I'd heard his voice. And Geezer says to him, 'What are you up to?' Plant says, 'Well, they asked me to join a band called the New Yardbirds (which became ZEPPELIN).' And that was it... The first two albums had such an impact on my voice, and on my life, similar to the BEATLES when I first heard them."

About BLACK SABBATH, Osbourne said, "One of the things with SABBATH: We had full control over what we were doing and how we wanted it laid out. People would come in the studio and give us a suggestion and we'd go, 'Would you f***ing get out of here right now?' We had full artistic control."

On NIRVANA: "Apparently, I met (late NIRVANA frontman Kurt Cobain), 'cause I was talking to Dave Grohl and he said, 'You probably don't remember this, but when you were in Devonshire Studios in the (San Fernando) Valley, me and Kurt were in the room where they had a pool table. When you walked in we were like, 'F***ing hell'.'"

Osbourne called GREEN DAY's "American Idiot" album "f***ing brilliant."

Osbourne's new album, "Black Rain", debuted at number three on the Billboard album chart last month. The CD's first single, "I Don't Wanna Stop", is currently Number One at Rock radio.

The singer will headline this summer's free Ozzfest, which begins on July 12 in Seattle.

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A Life Once Lost Complete Album And Tracklisting

Philadelphia, PA rock powerhouse A LIFE ONCE LOST has completed work on its new album, entitled "Iron Gag".

Set for a September 18, 2007 release, "Iron Gag" is a strong record by a band nearing an ideal of cohesion. A LIFE ONCE LOST's ever-catchy, artful assault remains, but the mood is electric, with tracks such as "Firewater Joyride" revealing the sound of a band that's on the threshold of a much broader audience. Known for flattening clubs with its firepower, A LIFE ONCE LOST have captured the intensity of its live show on the forthcoming release, the ever-mutating quintet merging continued artistic growth with an intense, wizened roar. The album was self-produced by the band and mastered at West West Side Music by the venerable Alan Douches.

The follow-up to 2005 album "Hunter", "Iron Gag" delivers a massive wallop of scorched-out, supercharged Hard Rock. Supremely well-paced, the release exhibits the sound of a band injecting a brazen swagger into its wide musical palette. The music dovetails its blend of raw Power Metal and fuzz-tripping Rock, combining each in various permutations: the Rock coming to the forefront in the songs "Firewater Joyride" and the crunching "Detest"; the more deliberate side of the band emerging in the bruising "Worship" and the snide, slow-boil of "The Wanderer". Like a shark, this band can only go forward and the deeper reaches of "Iron Gag" are very clearly the sound of A LIFE ONCE LOST finding new waters in which to hunt.

A sneak peak at what "Iron Gag" holds in store for its listener is now available as the new track "Firewater Joyride" has been posted online on the band's MySpace page.

"Today we bestow upon you the future classic known only as 'Firewater Joyride'," comments A LIFE ONCE LOST guitarist Doug "Snake Sustain" Sabolick. "Since we are known mostly for the ultra heavy, we figure we'd throw out a curve ball and release a f*ckin' rocker. It's time for the real motherf**kers to take the reins."

"There's a lot of things I wanted to say to a lot of people on this record," A LIFE ONCE LOST frontman Bob Meadows explains. "Even within a song, there could be two or three people I'm talking about. It was inspired by a lot of things I've wanted to say but haven't because I had to watch myself. There are so many ugly things going on in the music scene and life, and I was just like, 'F--- it, if I say something that's going to piss someone off, then it wasn't meant to be anyway. Let me just get this all off my chest.' So, this album's just really pissed, and it's very vicious."

"The songs are just way more fierce," he continues. "There's an element about it that Hunter didn't have, and I think maybe that was because of us doing it ourselves. It was us learning from [Hunter producer and ANTHRAX guitarist] Rob Caggiano how to actually approach the songs and my working with [LAM OF GOD's] Randy Blythe on the vocal production, which taught me how to approach the songs well. And with all of that working together, we've definitely put out a record that's going to move a lot of heads - make people turn around and be like, 'Holy sh--.' It's a monster of a release."

Here is the complete track listing for "Iron Gag":

01. Firewater Joyride
02. Detest
03. The Wanderer
04. Worship
05. All Teeth
06. Meth Mouth
07. Masks
08. Pigeonholed
09. Others Die
10. Silence
11. Ill Will

A LIFE ONCE LOST will hit the road this August in support of "Iron Gag", touring as direct support to fast-rising Metal unit JOB FOR A COWBOY with further touring plans to be announced soon. Here are the band's upcoming live dates:

* w/ JOB FOR A COWBOY

June 29 - Hartland, WI - Robot Mosh Fest
June 30 - Covington, KY - Anthem Project Festival
July 8 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero Theater
Aug. 13 - Troy, NY - Revolution Hall *
Aug. 15 - Huntington, WV - the Monkey Bar *
Aug. 16 - Thomasville, NC - the Soundvent *
Aug. 17 - Nashville, TN - Rocket Town *
Aug. 18 - Augusta, GA - Sector 7G *
Aug. 22 - Memphis, TN - The Complex *
Aug. 23 - Little Rock, AR - Vino's *
Aug. 25 - Oklahoma City, OK - The Conservatory *
Aug. 27 - El Paso, TX - Chic's *
Aug. 28 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad *

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See Venom Perform "At War With Satan" From Nosturi

Video footage of VENOM performing its classic song "At War with Satan" at Nosturi is available at YouTube.

VENOM and its management are currently discussing other live plans with their agents for later this year. An American tour and some dates in Australia are on the cards, and there is talk of some shows in Japan and across Europe.

The recording schedule for the new VENOM album is well underway. The band has already laid the majority of the backing tracks and "everyone is very excited by the results," according to a posting on the band's web site. "It's a very dark-sounding album following on in the footsteps of last year's release, 'Metal Black'."

VENOM recently parted ways with guitarist Mykvs (a.k.a. Mike Hickey; ex-CARCASS, CATHEDRAL). "Personal unavoidable commitments in the U.S. have forced Mykvs to announce that he cannot commit 100% to VENOM's 2007 schedule," the band previously wrote in a statement. A new guitarist by the name of Rage has already been drafted in to replace Mykvs.

With regards to the direction of the band's next album, VENOM frontman Cronos previously said, "VENOM will be even darker and heavier for the next release. The new song ideas that Antton and I have been composing over the last year will be exactly what the 'legions' expect from us, and will really test the abilities of the band members. There's going to be a lot of blood spilled making the next album. This band belongs to the fans and I'm going to stay true to the spirit of VENOM no matter what sacrifices have to be made." More...

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SSS Debut Album Released On Coloured Vinyl

Following the June 11 release of the high-energy "Short Sharp Shock",
Merseyside crossover thrashers S.S.S. have announced the release of exclusive colored vinyl formats of their debut Earache album. With their own charismatic and fun-filled branding, S.S.S. have made the vinyl available in ten different colors, which are sure to become collectors' items in the future. An ultra-exclusive red vinyl can also only be purchased from the S.S.S. MySpace page directly.

S.S.S. frontman Foxy has this to say about the coloured vinyls: "Everyone likes something thats unique and that noone else has got. Well, this is true for 100 lucky souls that can claim a limited red wax S.S.S. LP. You dont have to buy chocolate to find a golden ticket, you just have to be quick off the mark and go to www.myspace.com/shortsharpshock and order one today. Once you recieve this thrash slab, get the gramaphone on the go, turn to up to 11 and hit puree!!"

You can also purchase "Short Sharp Shock" on vinyl in the following colors: purple, blue, black, green, yellow, grey, clear, white, orange, red.

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Nikki Sixx Talks About "The Heroin Diaries"

MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx recently spoke to Billboard magazine about his upcoming book "Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star", due September 18 via MTV/VH1 Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.

"The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star" offers an unflinching and utterly gripping look at Sixx's descent into drug addiction with a soundtrack, featuring James Michael and DJ Ashba (ex-BEAUTIFUL CREATURES), to match. The book is a tell-all, drawn from Nikki's 1986 and '87 journals.

Sixx found the diaries in storage and spent years compiling them for the book. He said he sees them more as a commentary on the record business than as a portrait of a lurid rock 'n' roll lifestyle.

"We have managers and record company people saying that there was this massive machine and nobody was willing to take it off the road and fix the broken wheel," he said. "It would have cost them money. It was more important to keep the business rolling than confronting me. I was left out there to die. 'Hey, let him shoot up, and don't ruffle his feathers. I want my 15%.' That's how it works."

Sixx is aware that many fans will be more drawn to the "Behind the Music"-like tales of the book rather than the look at a junkie caught up in a music machine.

"You have to be drawn to the car race because you think there's going to be a car crash," he said. "So if that's what it takes, fine. If people want to read this book to see how fucked up my life was, and to see how many drugs I took, and to read about my crazy sexcapades, then fine. But in the end, every time the book sells, it's going to put money into a bank account to keep some kids off the street."

The album will be released by Eleven/Seven Music and distributed by ADA, with a portion of proceeds donated to Nikki's Running Wild in the Night, a fundraising initiative for Covenant House.

Nikki Sixx's video for "Life Is Beautiful", the first single from "The Heroin Diaries" soundtrack, can be viewed at YouTube. More...

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Devildriver Enter German Charts

DEVILDRIVER's third album, "The Last Kind Words", has entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 92. The CD is scheduled for release in the U.S. on July 31 via Roadrunner Records. An e-card for "The Last Kind Words" has been made available at this location.

DEVILDRIVER recently filmed a video for the song "Not All Who Wander Are Lost" in Los Angeles with director Nathan Cox (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, MARILYN MANSON, SYSTEM OF A DOWN). The clip is expected to be released shortly.

In a recent interview with MTV.com, DEVILDRIVER frontman Dez Fafara (ex-COAL CHAMBER) stated about the group's new CD, "The 'last kind words' could be 'f--- you' before complete annihilation. For me, this album is about being motivated to stand up to the punishment of being a human and to have the character in you to go on when all people want to do is hold you down."

"Lyrically, it's dark and foreboding," Fafara added. "But it's gonna give you inspiration to go through this earthly experience and keep kicking."

"I think we knew we had to reach within ourselves as a team and pull something out that was really different. Everyone totally put aside their egos and stepped up to the plate to do what needed to be done. In America right now, there's so much of that sing-songy metal going on, so we knew if we did something totally balls-out it was going to be well-received."

If you purchase "The Last Kind Words", from Apple's iTunes Store, you will receive an exclusive live version of "Grinfucked" completely free.

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Voivod Post Updates On New Album etc.

VOIVOD drummer Michel “Away” Langevin has issued an update on the band’s current activities:

“Hello there, Here’s what’s up: The video for ‘Polaroids‘ is finished. It was done with Banger Productions and Ottoblix and contains some of my animation work. I started working on the video for ‘The X-Stream,’ also in collaboration with Banger Productions and Ottoblix. We will be recording the follow-up to Katorz in the fall 2007. I’m almost finished with the Roar re-issue on Sanctuary. It will include a bonus DVD pulled from the Iron Gang archives of the era. Expect a fall release.

“Troubleman Unlimited are done with the layout of my art book. The book will contain 325 Voivod related drawings and covers the years 1976-2006. No release date yet but it’s getting close! Check out our new belt-buckles, soon on Bandmerch.com. My project LES ÉKORCHÉS is out on Indica/Outside. Produced by Glen Robinson. Info: lesekorches.com and myspace.com/lesekorches.

“My other project KOSMOS will come out this year on The End. Info: myspace.com/kosmostheband. Snake’s project PARANOLAND is on the way. Also produced by Glen Robinson. Info: myspace.com/paranoland. Also in the works: The Outer Limits and Angel Rat re-issues on The End. Killing Technology and Dimension Hatross re-issues with bonus Iron Gang DVDs on Sanctuary. DVOD 2 and DVOD 3 are coming along too.

“That’s about it I guess. I’m very sorry about the delays, all of this is a lot of work! Peace, Away“

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Sigh Frontman "I Hate 99 Percent Of The World"

MTV.com reports: Mirai Kawashima, the frontman for Japanese experimental black-metal band SIGH, is pissed. He’s not mad that the band’s U.S. dates with MAYHEM were canceled when MAYHEM drummer Hellhammer broke his hand, or that SIGH’s U.S. headlining shows were nixed because they were improperly booked. And he’s not even upset that SIGH’s seventh studio album, Hangman’s Hymn — one of the most innovative, unusual and brilliantly assembled extreme-metal discs this year — will be dwarfed in sales by some upcoming release by the next metalcore flavor of the month. No, Kawashima’s rage has more to do with his generalized disgust for the values and beliefs of modern man.

“I hate 99 percent of the people on this earth,” he said in a soft voice. “I hate weak people who have to cling to fairy tales like religion, and I hate greedy people that have nothing more than making money in their head. I just want all of them to die.”

Well, that accounts for the rage on Hangman’s Hymn, but not the artistry. Since their first album, 1993’s Scorn Defeat, SIGH have incorporated jazz twists, psychedelic interludes and orchestral flourishes into their songs. Hangman’s Hymn, which was largely influenced by Wagner, Weber and Mozart, is less jarring, but it’s even more creative. The tempos of songs like “Inked in Blood” and “Death With Dishonor” are still fast enough to trip up a NASCAR champion, but the way they’re constructed — by incorporating violins, cellos, horns, bells, keyboard and choirs — is more akin to classical opera than high-rise demolition.

“Good opera is so emotional and powerful,” Kawashima said. “And that’s what I was inspired by. A lot of black-metal bands use keyboards and strings for embellishments. But the keyboard parts and orchestration on Hangman’s Hymn are not embellishments. They are as important to the songs as the guitars, bass and drums. So even though it’s very metal, you can say it’s pretty much classical music as well.”

Like many operas, Hangman’s Hymn is divided into three acts. There’s no distinct story line, but each act represents a different set of ideas as presented through symbolic references to heaven, hell, earth and death.

“Act one and two is about the greed of humanity on this planet,” Kawashima said. “And act three is about destruction and images of burning like an inferno. Then, at the end of act three, there’s an image of heaven in the song ‘In Paradisum‘ and lots of Latin chanting to create the image of the funeral. I didn’t want to have a plot because it’s more powerful to create strong images.”

As multifaceted as Hangman’s Hymn is, Kawashima said it was the easiest SIGH album to write so far. On past releases, he has painstakingly written, arranged, recorded, re-written, re-recorded and rearranged for months on end. This time, however, the songs practically created themselves and there was no shortage of ideas. Three months after he started writing, he was done.

“I was just driven over a very short amount of time and I came up with many ideas in that time,” he said. “I think it happened so fast because I had such a clear vision of the concept from the very beginning.”

Kawashima, who works on video game and TV music when he’s not writing for SIGH, created 70 percent of the music for Hangman’s Hymn before inviting his bandmates Shinichi Ishikawa (guitar), Satoshi Fujinami (bass) and Junichi Harashima (drums) to add their input. After that, the entire album was recorded quickly, scheduled for release and came out June 12.

As talented and prolific as Kawashima is, he is unable to support himself strictly with his music. So, in the morning, he heads downtown to work at a Japanese telecommunications company, then works on his sinister songs at night.

“I actually think it’s good to have a day job because I don’t have to live on music, and that lets me do anything I want musically,” he concluded. “Of course, it would be great if I could live just on my music, doing something I like, but it’s very hard. If you live in Japan, it’s not easy to tour the U.S. or Europe. So having a day job and a band is the best thing.”

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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum Release More Tour Dates

More dates have been released for SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM’s upcoming North American and European tours:

August 2 - Petaluma CA @ The Phoenix Theater w/ Stolen Babies
August 3 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Galaxy Theater w/ Stolen Babies
August 4 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Brickhouse
August 5 - Farmington, NM @ The Totah Theatre
August 8 - Oklahoma City, OK @ Lit
August 9 - Austin, TX @ Emos
August 10 - Dallas, TX @ The Door
August 11 - Mobile, AL @ The Cell Block w/ Indorphine
August 12 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl w/ Indorphine
August 13 - Orlando, FL @ The Social w/ Indorphine
August 14 - Jacksonville, FL @ Jackrabbits w/ Indorphine
August 15 - Asheville, NC @ Orange Peele
August 17 - New York, NY @ HighLine Ballroom w/ Tub Ring
August 20 - Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall w/ Tub Ring
August 21 - Montreal, QC @ Cabaret w/ Tub Ring
August 22 - Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace w/ Tub Ring
August 24 - Toledo, OH @ Frankie’s w/ Tub Ring
August 25 - Columbus, OH @ Ravari Room w/ Tub Ring
August 26 - Chicago, IL @ The Metro w/ Cheer Accident, Tub Ring
August 28 - St. Louis, MO @ Creepy Crawl w/ Tub Ring
August 29 - Kansas City, MO @ The Hurricane w/ Tub Ring
August 30 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theater w/ Tub Ring
August 31 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

October 13 - Boulougne Sur Mer, FR @ Poulpaphone Festival
October 18 - Amsterdam, NL @ Bimhuis
October 29 - Rome, IT @ Sinister Noise
October 31 - Udine, IT @ Hybrida Space

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Marduk Support Acts Announced

Just Say Rock Productions are pleased to announce the support acts for the upcoming MARDUK tour in Australia. The main national supports are;

THE FUROR (WA)
ICICLAN (Tas)

Appearing as support acts for single shows will be;

MALIGNANT MONSTER (WA)
DARKLORD (SA)

ICICLAN are a new act from Tasmania. They are the brainchild from Matthew Chalk, the former front man from PSYCROPTIC, while THE FUROR have supported BEHEMOTH and NILE on previous tours.

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Exodus, Goatwhore And Arsis To Tour

EXODUS will be teaming up for a North American tour with GOATWHORE, ARSIS, and WARBRINGER early next year. The first dates to be released are as follows:

February 4 - New York, NY @ B.B. King Blues Club
February 12 - Louisville, KY @ Uncle Pleasants

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All That Remains New Video, New DVD, Tour Clips

Joe's Podhole has recently posted an interview with frontman Phil Labonte from last summer's Ozzfest. Download the podcast here to watch hilarious clips from Labonte, as well as Strapping Young Lad's Devin Townsend and Unearth's Slo.

Coming soon is ATR's release of live concert DVD. Coming in October, the DVD will feature live performances from the band's recent show at the Theatre of the Living Arts in Philadelphia and footage from their upcoming show at The Recher Theatre in Baltimore on July 12. The DVD also comes with other speical features, including behind-the-scenes footage, band and fan interviews, a live photo slideshow and all of the band's videos.

Also this July, All That Remains will be shooting the video for their third single from "The Fall of Ideals." In between tour dates, ATR will shoot the video for "Not Alone" with Director Soren, who has already produced videos for both Unearth and Light This City. The band will be hitting a few American dates (including a special appearance on the Sounds of the Underground), and then will be off to Mexicoa nd Europe for August to play at several major festivals, including the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany.

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Is It The End For Emperor?

Sources report that the Emperor performance at Tuska (Helsinki, Finland, June 29-July 1) may well be the band's final show, ever.

It seems that multi-talent mastermind Isahan has once again become disenchanted with the travails of rock stardom, preferring to stay home, run his label and his newfound passion for composing a combination of classical music and black metal.

He has declined all further offers for interviews and in the few recently conducted, broke them off abruptly when inquiries toward the future of Emperor were asked.

The bands main page was also offline at the time of this posting. Stay tuned for updates as they come.

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Blitzkrieg To Do Pre W.O.A. Irish Shows

Veteran British metallers BLITZKRIEG have posted this announcement on their official website:

"BLITZKRIEG play two shows in Ireland in July in preparation for the Wacken Open Air Festival. Friday, July 27 sees a return to Northern Ireland and the Rosetta Bar in Belfast (support comes from FIRELAND and RABID BITCH OF THE NORTH). Saturday, July 28 will see BLITZKRIEG play their debut in Eire. The show will be a pre Wacken party and will be at the Voodoo Lounge in Dublin."

BLITZKRIEG's new album, "Theatre Of The Damned", is scheduled to be released on August 10 through Armageddon Music. Here is the complete track listing:

01. Theatre Of The Damned
02. The Phantom
03. Devil's Spawn
04. My Life Is my Own
05. Spirit Of The Legend
06. The Passing
07. Into The Light
08. Tortured Souls
09. Together We Are Strong
10. Night Stalker

Bonus Audio:

11. Armageddon
12. Blitzkrieg

Bonus Video:

13. Escape From The Village.mpg
14. I'm Not Insane.mpg
15. iPod - Escape From The Village.mp4
16. iPod - I'm Not Insane.mp4

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Chimaira To Join East Pak Tour

CHIMAIRA frontman Mark Hunter has posted this message on the band's official website:

"Well there is a lot to report here in the CHIMAIRA camp. We are almost done with our most successful European tour to date. We played some of the biggest festivals in our lives and we are so excited to see how the new material is going over. Good news for our fans in the EU/UK... we are coming back! We will be a part of this years East Pak tour with SOILWORK, CALIBAN and SONIC SYNDICATE. We're very excited to be coming back to all these countries that we just hit and adding some new ones as well... can we say Spain? It's been way to long. We have about another week left of this run and then it's off to party time on SOTU. Our livers are going to be in serious overdrive that's for sure. Till then friends, enjoy the new site and we will see you soon!"

This message has also been posted:

"Just a reminder to those of you that might have slacked over the past week: The 2007 Sounds Of The Underground 3-Disc CD/DVD collection is available now at all Hot Topic stores! For only .99 you can have over 30 songs and 15 videos from this year's artists, as well as some unreleased tracks from tour alumni such as A LIFE ONCE LOST and THROWDOWN. Head out to Hot Topic now and get ready for next week when the tour is launched in Dallas on July 6!"

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New Darkthrone Track Posted Online

A new DARKTHRONE track, entitled "Canadian Metal", is currently streaming online.

The track comes from the band's forthcoming full-length album, "F.O.A.D.", which is scheduled to be released on September 24 through Peaceville Records. Here is the complete track listing:

1. These Shores Are Damned
2. Canadian Metal
3. The Church Of Real Metal
4. The Banners Of Old
5. Fuck Off And Die
6. Splitkein Fever
7. Raised On Rock
8. Pervertor Of The 7 Gates
9. Wisdom Of The Dead

Prior to the release of the new album, the band will release a new EP, "NWOBHM" (New Wave Of Black Heavy Metal), on July 23 through Peaceville Records. The EP contains four tracks on a CD version and two tracks on a 7" vinyl version. Here are the track listings:

CD:

1. Wisdom Of The Dead
2. Canadian Metal
3. Hedninger Fra Helvete
4. Bad Attitude

Vinyl:

Side A: Hedninger Fra Helvete
Side B: Canadian Metal

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Raging Speedhorn Release Dates Announced

RAGING SPEEDHORN have announced the release dates for their new album, "Before The Sea Was Built". It will be released in Germany on September 7, in the UK and the rest of Europe on September 10, and in North America and the rest of the world on September 11.

The band will be announcing tour dates in support of the new album in the near future.

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Sabbat Confirmed For Up From The Ground Festival

Britain's SABBAT have been added to the roster at this year's Up From The Ground festival, scheduled to take place August 24-25 in Gemünden, Germany.

All the confirmed bands thus far are: APOPHIS, ARCH ENEMY, BENEDICTION, DEMONICAL, DISASTER KFW, DYING FETUS, EAR-SHOT, ENTHRONED, ENTOMBED, EQUILIBRIUM, EVOCATION, FLESHLESS, GRAVEWORM, GRIND INC., JUSTICE, KRISIUN, KROMLEK, ONSLAUGHT, SABBAT, SADIST, SCAR SYMMETRY, SCARECROW, SONIC SYNDICATE, SUIDAKRA and TESTAMENT.

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New Arch Enemy Album Details Revealed

ARCH ENEMY are pleased to announce they have completed work on their new album. The new masterpiece, "Rise Of The Tyrant", is the follow-up to 2005's "Doomsday Machine", the band's most successful album to date. They have once again enlisted the duties of acclaimed producer Fredrik Nordström (DIMMU BORGIR, IN FLAMES) at Sweden's Studio Fredman, where the band recorded all of their albums through "Wages Of Sin" (2001). Look for "Rise of The Tyrant" everywhere on September 25 and see below for its track listing.

ARCH ENEMY mastermind Michael Amott (guitars) comments on the new album and the upcoming touring activities as follows:

"To all ARCH ENEMY fans! So how does it sound, you ask? Well, I am of the opinion that we have made the 'ultimate ARCH ENEMY album'! To me, this album sounds like the perfect mix of melody and brutality. This album is a an organic and honest statement from the band - it's pure f**king Metal at its absolute best, the ARCH ENEMY way.

Fredrik Nordström did a killer mix on the record – the sound is big and intense! This album has everything that ARCH ENEMY represents in my mind. I can't wait to release it and play these songs live for you, the fans! Actually, we have to start rehearsing at some point this summer. We will be playing a couple of festivals in the U.K. (Bloodstock) and Germany (Up From The Ground). These will be the first shows with my brother Christopher (Amott - guitar) back in the band! We also have to work out how to play these new songs, so we will have a very busy summer with ARCH ENEMY, that's for certain!

The touring plan for ARCH ENEMY will start full on after the summer, and we can confirm we will joining the European 'Black Crusade' tour package with MACHINE HEAD, TRIVIUM, DRAGONFORCE and SHADOWS FALL - yeah, that's a pretty impressive tour. Equally exciting for us is the Australian 'Black Crusade' tour, which we will be doing with TRIVIUM and MACHINE HEAD.

Lot's of other cool touring ideas are flying around at the moment - looks like we also might be visiting places on this planet where ARCH ENEMY has not yet had the pleasure of playing. Let the madness begin."

Here is the complete track listing for "Rise Of The Tyrant":

01. Blood On Your Hands
02. The Last Enemy
03. I Will Live Again
04. In This Shallow Grave
05. Revolution Begins
06. Rise Of The Tyrant
07. The Day You Died
08. Intermezzo Liberté
09. Night Falls Fast
10. The Great Darkness
11. Vultures

Here are the band's upcoming tour dates:

Aug. 18 - Derby, UK - Bloodstock Festival
Aug. 24 - Gemuenden, Germany - Up From The Ground Festival

The Black Crusade Tour (Australia) w/ TRIVIUM and MACHINE HEAD:

Oct. 28 – Perth, Australia - The Metro
Oct. 30 – Adelaide, Australia - The Barton
Oct. 31 – Melbourne, Australia - Festival Hall
Nov. 1 – Sydney, Australia - Luna Park
Nov. 2 – Sydney, Australia - Luna Park
Nov. 3 – Brisbane, Australia - Riverstage

The Black Crusade Tour (Europe) w/ MACHIEN HEAD, TRIVIUM, DRAGONFORCE and SHADOWS FALL:

Nov. 20 – Glasgow, UK - SECC
Nov. 21 – Manchester, UK - MEN Arena
Nov. 23 – Birmingham, UK - NEC
Nov. 24 – London, UK - Brixton Academy
Nov. 25 – London, UK - Brixton Academy
Nov. 26 – Cardiff, UK - CIA Arena
Nov. 28 – Paris, France - Elysee Montmartre
Nov. 29 – Paris, France - Elysee Montmartre
Nov. 30 – Amsterdam, Holland - Heineken Music Hall
Dec. 1 – Cologne, Germany - The Palladium
Dec. 2 – Stuttgart, Germany - Messe Congress
Dec. 3 – Munich, Germany - Tonhalle
Dec. 5 – Vienna, Austria - Gasometer
Dec. 6 – Milan, Italy - Alcatraz
Dec. 7 – Winterthur, Switzerland - Eulachhalle
Dec. 9 – Wiesbaden, Germany - Schlachthof
Dec. 10 – Copenhagen, Denmark - KB Halle
Dec. 11 – Stockholm, Sweden - Arenan
Dec. 13 – Tampere, Finland - Old Ice Hall
Dec. 14 – Helsinki, Finland - Old Ice Hall

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Darkthrone's NWOBHM Pre-order And New Mini-site

Peaceville has issued the following press release regarding Darkthrone's return to the Black Metal reign:

It’s time for the one-and-only Darkthrone to bring us a taste of DIRTY SOUL METAL on the 20th anniversary of the band with some new releases. New album 'F.O.A.D' is heading your way September 24th but coming first is the EP - 'NWOBHM (New Wave Of Black Heavy Metal)', packed with exclusive tracks…

The CD edition of 'NWOBHM' includes the track 'Hedninger Fra Helvete' (‘Heathens From Hell’) which will not appear on the album, plus an alternate recording of new track 'Wisdom of the Dead' plus an alternate mix with different vocals of 'Canadian Metal' (both tracks are set to appear as different versions on the forthcoming 'F.O.A.D' album). The EP concludes with a cover of the Testors track, 'Bad Attitude'.
The limited edition 7” vinyl version features the tracks 'Hedninger Fra Helvete' & 'Canadian Metal'.

We are offering the EP as a bundle featuring the CD & 7” vinyl for £8.50 (£7.23 outside of EU) + P&P or they can be purchased individually for £4.99 each (£4.25 each outside of EU) + P&P.

'NWOBHM' IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW AND WILL BE SHIPPED FROM JULY 23RD 2007.

NWOBHM - CD EP tracklisting

1. Wisdom of The Dead
2. Canadian Metal
3. Hedninger Fra Helvete
4. Bad Attitude

NWOBHM - 7" vinyl tracklisting

SIDE A - Hedninger Fra Helvete
SIDE B - Canadian Metal

NEW MINISITE UP NOW

The new Darkthrone minisite is online now on the build-up to 13th album 'F.O.A.D' (due September 24th), where you can join the mailing list plus check out new track ‘CANADIAN METAL’, the exclusive version which appears on the NWOBHM CD EP & 7”. Be sure to keep checking this site as more info & extras will be added as 'F.O.A.D' approaches.

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Candlemass' Leif Edling Comments On Messiah Split

A brand new audio interview (stream 1 & stream 2) with Candlemass bassist/songwriter Leif Edling has been posted online by Studio Brussel. Edling comments on former frontman Messiah Marcolin and some of the recording challenges the failing relationship caused. “…he was such a difficult person to deal with.”

The interview was broadcast on "Whiplash", the only metal show on national radio in Belgium. The program is hosted by Dries Van Damme, guitarist of the band After All.

Messiah recently offered this point of view, "It has come to my attention that someone pretending to be me has written a fake statement on the official Candlemass forum. I have not written the fake statement and I do not agree with the lies in it. The only official statement I have made was on Blabbermouth April 28, 2006. I then told you I have quit Candlemass and that it's 100 percent definite that I will not return. 'We could not agree on how to do the new album.' That statement was as true then as it is now. I will tell you one more thing though. I have never had a 'severe pre-recording psychosis.' That was a lie told by Leif Edling.”

Candlemass celebrated its 20th anniversary at a special concert held at Stockholm's Kolingsborg on March 31. The band performed with no less than seven (!) different vocalists at the show — including the band's former singers Johan Langquist and Tomas Vikström, Mikael Akerfeld of Opeth, and featuring new vocalist Rob Lowe. Check out video footage from the gig at YouTube.

Candlemass bassist/leader Leif Edling also recently spoke to Metal Maniacs magazine about the band's new album, "King of the Grey Islands", Messiah Marcolin's departure and the addition of Solitude Aeturnus vocalist Robert Lowe. A couple of excerpts follow:

On Messiah Marcolin:

"I do want to say that if he [Messiah] hadn't taken this public, I wouldn't have had to respond in public. I think it's a shame that Messiah feels the need to go out in public and on forums to further prove that he's in the wrong, though I'm not surprised by it…For the last album, he did a lot of interviews where he was apologizing, saying he was sorry for being a wanker to the others in the band…We had huge success with the last album and we sold a lot of copies. Everything was rosy, and we really had no fucking problems. And then Messiah starts in whining about this or that, and — we call him The Big Black Negative Hole, because he just sucks the life out of whoever's around him as far as the band goes. Sure, you have days when it's good, and we had good times with him, but you just know that very, very soon something will happen to turn it all to shit."

Edling continues to comment on the choice of a new vocalist, “We wanted someone unknown, but someone with the stage presence and vocal prowess Candlemass fans expect, and we as a band expect as well. We hadn't actually thought of going for someone already in a well-respected band, but we got an email from Heather, Robert's girlfriend, asking if we'd thought of Robert. I knew who he was, of course, but only had heard him sing Solitude Aeturnus songs. We sent him the demoed tracks for the album, and after we got his tapes back with his vocals over top, it was like, 'Fuckin' hell, this is brilliant!..Everything with this album (King of the Grey Islands) happened at the 11th hour. Still, we didn't panic or anything. We never really operate with a Plan B, which can be stressful at times, but that's how we work. We got Robert just barely in time for him to sing on the album, and I'll tell you, sometimes the stress was at ulcer level. We knew what had to be done, though, so we just made it happen as always.”

You can read the full interview in the October 2007 issue of Metal Maniacs, on sale August 21.

For more from Leif Edling on the subject, visit Vassil Varbanov’s column at Bulgaria's Tangra Mega Rock (in English)

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Dream Theater Interview Posted Online

An interview with DREAM THEATER vocalist James LaBrie, conducted on June 16, 2007 at Museumsufer in Bonn, Germany, has been posted at YouTube.
DREAM THEATER celebrated the 15-year anniverary of its classic 1992 album "Images and Words" by performing the LP in its entirety at Museumsufer in Bonn.

DREAM THEATER previously played the entire "Images and Words" album on Day Two of the Gods Of Metal festival on June 3 in Italy.

DREAM THEATER's new album, "Systematic Chaos", was released June 5 in simultaneous standard and special editions.
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King Diamond Talks About New Album In Detail

KING DIAMOND has posted this message on the CovenWorldwide Forum:

"Hail to all of you. I've been checking up on the postings to get a feel for what all of you think about the brand new album, and I'm really glad to see that all the hard work was not in vain. It's such a great kick in the ass to see that by far the majority here has the same opinion about the album as we in the band have ourselves.

Of course it's never cool to find out that not everyone of our fans enjoy what we feel is our strongest ever, but I guess it's extremely hard to please everybody's taste. So for those of you who have stated disappointment, maybe the next album will give you more of the entertainment style that you're after if you hang around 'till then.

I know we'll be talking Sunday, but I just saw a couple of posting today that really bothered me because they were quite negative and totally untrue, the kind of posting that start bad rumours:

One posting stated that Livia and I sing a lot simultaneously on the new album, and that she sings all the high parts because my voice can't do what it used to do.

ANSWER: First of all there is not one single spot on this new album where Livia and I sing at the same time, whether in harmony or not, unlike what we did on 'The Puppet Master' album.

For those of you who are interested in who is singing what on the new album, it's quite simple if you have the lyrics. Everything in quotation marks is Livia's voice and Livia's voice only. Everything that is not in quotation marks is me. The amount Livia sings on this album is about the same as on The Puppet Master, but it is spaced out very differently as the lyrics will clearly show you. Livia has big blocks in the intro and on Moving On. Apart from that, Livia mostly does two-three lines in the songs she's singing on, and about half the songs I sing completely alone. Hope this clarifies who sings what.

I would like to state once and for all that the strength of my voice has never been better, and my range has never been higher.

Regarding the strength, let me tell you how my vocals were recorded: Over a three week period I sang in the studio Monday and Tuesday 6 1/2 hours straight each day, only interrupted by fetching a cup of coffee every hour or so. Wednesday was used to rest the voice, and then Thursday and Friday I sang again for approximately 6 1/2 hours each day straight. First Saturday was used to write the lyrics for the song 'The Girl In The Bloody Dress', which might seem quick, but keep in mind that most of the lyric was already there in all my notes. First Sunday was rest. Second week was identical to the first week with the exception of writing the lyrics to 'Moving On'. Third week, same schedule, but no lyrics to write.

Regarding the range of my voice: I can reach higher with better control than ever before. It might not be that noticeable since some of the highest falsettos often are merely a part of an 8 voice 3-4 harmony choir part. One thing that I kind of knew when Andy (Larocque - guitar) and I made the decision to go a specific way with the sound during the mixing, was that my voice would sound much more natural and much more detailed than before, thereby not losing all the emotions and special moods that the vocals were done in. In the past we used to follow normal standard procedures which means using lots of compression on everything which is a thing that can be good for some kinds of music, but for music that has so many different moods and sound that must be fitted into the sound picture (drums, bass, two to four rhythm guitars, guitar solos, lead vox and lead double vox plus 8 backing vocals plus Livia's vox plus the occasional violins, cellos, harpsichord, organ/church organ), as we have, compression can really work against you because it has a tendency to wash things out and thereby losing detail and clarity. We chose to go with way less compression than is standard.

Some of this shit I'm writing now might not make too much sense unless you are familiar with recording procedures but to try and make a long story short, the difference between the overall sound of everything on this new album, compared to earlier albums, is that everything we recorded can be heard. Nothing got washed away. As you might have noticed, everything Hal (Patino) does on his bass can be heard, unlike most albums that are produced today.

Regarding the vocals: When it comes to the falsetto vocals, they are not as piercing in sound as they often have been before for the exact reasons I stated earlier with the compression, but even more so because we left my vocals completely alone, meaning that no equalization was used on my vocals this time. They are one hundred percent natural sounding unlike earlier where the standard often was to cut away low sound frequencies to clear up the voice because of all the compression and then add some mid-high frequencies again for the same reason to bring back some of the lost clarity due to the excessive use of compression. This procedure often resulted in losing the emotions that were originally in the recorded vocals, and that the falsettos often became unnaturally high pitched and almost irritating to even my ears.

There are in fact more and higher falsettos on this album than ever before (especially in the backing vocals), but because of the above, they might not seem as penetrating but actually more pleasing to the ear, I think. I guess it's a matter of taste, but it sure brings out a lot more of the original emotions in the voice.
I hope some of this made sense. It's really hard to explain in writing.

WHY DO I HOLD MATT (Thompson - drums) BACK? I DON'T!!! Again, there are things being posted which is nothing more than guessing without any reality to back it up. Of course none of you know how things work within the band whether we are recording, on tour, or whatever. But I guess this is a good way to inform you.

Regarding drums: The procedure is that Matt gets the raw demos and usually works on the songs for months before we go into the studio. He usually has at least 4-5 full different versions of drumming for each song. When recording a song, Matt will usually warm up while playing all his different versions which we already at that point start recording. Matt will come into the control room where Andy and I, but mostly me and then Matt will listen through all his different suggestions. About 90% of the drumming that you hear on a song is a mix of all of Matt's different suggestions plus some of my suggestions and occasionally Andy's, and I can assure you that some of the suggestions I have are not simple. There are lots of examples on this album if you really pay attention. Just as a tiny example of what might pass right by you if you don't pay attention is for instance the kick drum pattern in the 'sneaky' parts of 'The Girl In The Bloody Dress'. You try figure that pattern out. I must say that to my amazement, Matt picked it out perfect in less than two minutes. After Matt heard the final mixes, he called me and commented the following 'I can't believe you let me get away with this!' I replied 'Get away with what? It's never a question of getting away with anything and you know how much I enjoy when you come up with some of these 'out there ideas' that I would never have imagined would enhance a certain riff or add to the song as a whole.' Further, in KING DIAMOND we always test any idea no matter how crazy it might seem before we decide if it works for a song or not.

There's absolutely no holding anybody back, and I can guarantee all of you out there that everybody in the band has the attitude that we all play our different parts for the good of the songs and not with the attitude of musicians with big egos who just want to show off regardless of whether what they do fits a certain song or not. There are and have always been plenty of space for everyone to show what they can do without jeopardizing the flow of a song.

It's very much the same procedure when it comes to Hal's bass parts. I'm very pleased that what he does on this album is so easy to hear because he literally blows me away with all the stuff he brought to this album. I do have a little finger in some of the bass parts but for the majority it is Hal and Hal's ideas you hear. Hal's quote 'these are the best bass lines I've ever put down on a record and you can actually hear them too.' I agree a million percent. A quote from Andy 'I don't think I have composed solos of this quality since 'The Eye'.' Again, I totally agree. A quote from Mike 'I have never been so inspired to compose solos as I am for this new album.' Mike, you outdid yourself in my opinion. Your solos fucking rock!!! You know how I told you, that you made the hair stand on my arms when I heard your revised solo for 'Shapes Of Black.' Your first solo for that song was certainly not bad but it didn't quite bring the right mood to that piece, and one phone call later. King: 'Could you try and do a second version where you construct your solo more around the keyboard theme that goes in the background than the actual front rhythm guitars?' You sent back something that was way beyond what I had expected and hit the nail so fucking right on the head.

The way we all worked together at any stage of the making of this new album is by far the best I have ever experienced. Everybody was on the same page the whole way. I already told you band guys this personally but this is more for all of you here on the website.

One thing that not many of you probably think about, is the fact that Andy at this point in time has completely incorporated my technique of playing guitar into his own technique, and on this album it has been extremely gratifying for me to hear the songs I wrote played a hundred percent the way they were intended.

For Livia I think she did one hell of a job portraying the character of 'The Little Girl In The Bloody Dress'.

Time to go rest my back but before I fumble my way back into by bedroom with all the shapes of black waiting on my bed I would like to say on behalf of everyone in the band, that we sincerely feel that this is our best performance ever.

Some will hopefully agree, others might not agree, but at least give the album more than just one listen in the car cause that way you are going to miss half of what's in there. I personally feel that this album is one that needs a few more than just three listens before you really start to find all the stuff that was put into it.

It's good nightmare time for me now, hope to talk to some of you on Sunday.

Stay Heavy,

King"

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New Tool Album To Come "Sooner Rather Than Later"

Don Kaye from Launch Radio Networks has posted this report:

TOOL released its latest album, "10,000 Days", in the spring of 2006, five years after its previous effort, "Lateralus". The group intends to stay on tour until at least the end of 2007 before taking a break, but bassist Justin Chancellor told us that he doesn't think fans will have to wait another half decade for the next TOOL record:

"Honestly, I don't know. We're in the second year of this tour already and it won't be long before people have said it's five years already. If we finish touring by, say, next January or February, once we've taken a little time off, it's almost unavoidable that it's gonna be a little while. I mean, honestly, I think everyone's getting a bit older, and I have a feeling we'll want to get on with it sooner than later this time."

TOOL is currently on a North American tour that bring the band to Cincinnati on Friday night (June 29). The trek ends on July 18, after which the group will head to Europe in August and September.

"10,000 Days" has sold 1.5 million copies since its release in May of 2006.

Billboard recently reported that TOOL is mulling the idea of making a band movie. Guitarist Adam Jones said, "We all have ideas about it. If I had my way, it would be a narrative story in a surreal fashion with as much money and special effects as we could throw at it. It's just talk right now."

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Nightwish Vocalist Answers Fans Questions

NIGHTWISH vocalist Anette Olzon has answered a series of questions from fans on the band's official website. Here is a portion of the Q&A:

Question: Why are you releasing the album so late? It seems to be finished already (if it isn't feel free to tell me otherwise.

Anette Olzon: "This has to do with the fact that if we would release the album already before the summer, we would have to do some festivals as my first gigs and the guys felt that it will be easier for me to do a tour in US as the first gigs."

Question: What do you feel when you are singing?

Anette Olzon: "Singing is and has always for me been a way of handling all the feelings I have inside. I sing when I am sad, happy, angry, bitter, naughty etc... so many feelings come to me when I sing music I love and I cry easily when I sing something emotional."

Question: I would like to know if you intend to be part of the creative process of the next album(s)? Would you to do it and do you think Tuomas (Holopainen) will be open to this idea?

Anette Olzon: "Tuomas will always write the lyrics, they are his 'babies' so to say. But the music and melodies are something all of us can contribute with, so it's not impossible that I will contribute with something in the future, if I have some nice ideas that the other guys also like."

Question: What do you think about Tuomas' lyrics? Do you understand the meaning?

Anette Olzon: "I have been singing so many different genres before, but I have never been singing songs with so special and emotional lyrics. The meaning of his words is not always on the surface, which makes it so much more interesting to try to interpret and to understand them. I feel that I understand his words very well but of course only Tuomas himself know the very true meaning behind his words."

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Def Leppard Tour Kicks Off

This message has been posted on DEF LEPPARD's official website:

"Last night, the band's 2007 tour kicked off at the Riverbend Amphitheatre in Cincinnati, and the opening night was a blast in many ways. For a near-sold out crowd of some 19,000 fans, the introtape changed from AC/DC's 'For Those About To Rock' to a radio-dial cacophony of some classic DEF LEPPARD sounds, after which Joe Elliott's first words 'Guitar..... Drums!' were the signal for the band to blast out 'Rocket'. The tour had officially launched.

A variation of songs from 'High N' Dry', 'Pyromania', 'Hysteria' and 'Retro Active' passed by, along with the most recent track of the set 'Rock On' from last year's covers album 'Yeah!'. Not only did the band have to work hard to be louder than the screaming fans, they also had to deal with some serious thunder and lightning, striking all around the area every few minutes. While the audience under the roof stayed dry, the spectators on the lawn must've felt Joe was reffering to them when he played a little bit of 'Singing In The Rain' at the start of their acoustic mini-set.

And then, after the set closer 'Rock Of Ages', it was over already. A great start of what will most definitely be a great tour. One down, 51 to go... (We will have plenty of photos from the tour coming up on DefLeppard.com and the Fan Club site soon. Stay tuned.)"

Here are the remaining dates on the band's 2007 North American tour (with STYX and FOREIGNER at select shows):

June 29 - Milwaukee, WI - Summerfest
June 30 - Chicago, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
July 3 - Bonner Springs, KS - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
July 4 - Maryland Heights, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater St. Louis
July 6 - Noblesville, IN - Verizon Wireless Music Center
July 7 - Burgettstown, PA - Post-Gazette Pavilion
July 8 - Columbus, OH - Germain Amphitheater
July 11 - Walker, MN - Moondance Jam
July 13 - Cuyahoga Falls, OH - Blossom Music Center
July 14 - Camden, NJ - Tweeter Center at the Waterfront
July 16 - Toronto, ON - Molson Amphitheatre
July 17 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
July 19 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
July 21 - Sarnia, ON - Sarnia Bayfest
July 22 - Farwell, MI - Mountain Rock Festival
July 24 - Clarkston, MI - DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 26 - Minot, ND - North Dakota State Fair
July 28 - Cheyenne, WY - Frontier Days
Aug. 11 - Mansfield, MA - Tweeter Center For The Performing Arts
Aug. 12 - Hershey, PA - Hershey Park Pavilion
Aug. 14 - Wantagh, NY - Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Aug. 15 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
Aug. 17 - Bristow, VA - Nissan Pavilion
Aug. 18 - Virginia Beach, VA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Aug. 21 - Raleigh, NC - Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
Aug. 22 - Charlotte, NC - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Aug. 24 - Tampa, FL - Ford Amphitheatre
Aug. 25 - Atlanta, GA - HiFi Buys Amphitheatre
Aug. 26 - Louisville, KY - Kentucky State Fair
Aug. 29 - Selma, TX - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Aug. 31 - Woodlands, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Sept. 1 - Dallas, TX - Smirnoff Music Centre
Sept. 3 - St. Paul, MN - Minnesota State Fair
Sept. 5 - Oklahoma City, OK - Oklahoma Zoo Amphitheatre
Sept. 7 - West Valley City, UT - USANA Amphitheatre
Sept. 8 - Grand Junction, CO - Rock Jam
Sept. 9 - Englewood, CO - Coors Amphitheatre
Sept. 12 - Ridgefield, WA - Clark County Amphitheater
Sept. 14 - Marysville, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Sept. 15 - Kelseyville, CA - Konocti Harbor
Sept. 16 - Reno, NV - Reno Events Center
Sept. 18 - Concord, CA - Sleep Train Pavilion
Sept. 20 - Phoenix, AZ - Cricket Pavilion
Sept. 22 - Las Vegas, NV - Mandalay Bay Events Center
Sept. 23 - Irvine, CA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Sept. 26 - Auburn, WA - White River Amphitheatre
Sept. 27 - Vancouver, BC - General Motors Place
Sept. 30 - Calgary, AB - Pengrowth Saddledome
Oct. 1 - Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place

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Obituary Head Back To Europe

OBITUARY vocalist John Tardy has posted this message on the band's official website:

"We fly out today for another trip! Headed for Amsterdam where we will be playing the Waldrock Festival in Holland on July 7 and we have a short flight to London were we will be playing at the Camden Underworld on July 5! We will be playing a couple of new songs for the first time so get out to the shows!!!

We have been wanting to have a 'real' listening party for a long time, but somehow it never happened the way we wanted it too. This was the listening party we wanted and it was awesome! I would like to thank all of our friends and family, Mark Prator, both Metal Maniacs and Decibel Magazines for coming down and being apart of it.

We had our new 20 X 20 backdrop hanging in Morrisound's studio and it looked sick! Thanks to them for letting us have this party in their facility."

Obituary's new album, "Xecutioner's Return" , is scheduled to be released on August 28 through Candlelight Records.

Here are the band's upcoming tour dates:

July 5 - London, UK - TPA
July 7 - Burgum, Holland - Waldrock Festival
Sept. 7 - Ft. Lauerdale, FL
Sept. 8 - Jacksonville, FL
Sept. 9 - Atlanta, GA
Sept. 11 - Springfield, VA
Sept. 12 - Richmond, VA
Sept. 14 - New York, NY
Sept. 15 - Sayerville, NY
Sept. 16 - Southbridge, MA
Sept. 18 - Cleveland, OH
Sept. 21 - Detroit, MI
Sept. 22 - Indianapolis, IN
Sept. 23 - Chicago, IL
Sept. 25 - Denver, CO
Sept. 27 - Las Vegas, NV
Sept. 28 - Orange County, CA
Sept. 29 - Los Angeles, CA
Sept. 30 - San Diego, CA
Oct. 2 - Phoenix, AZ
Oct. 3 - Tucson, AZ
Oct. 5 - San Antonio, TX
Oct. 6 - Dallas, TX
Oct. 7 - Houston, TX

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Machine Head Guitarist Comments On Metallica Gig

MACHINE HEAD have been confirmed as special guests for next weekend's Wembley Stadium show on July 8.

Following their victorious Saturday set at the Download Festival and the release of their universally lauded "The Blackening" album, MACHINE HEAD are more than ready to take on 70,000 loyal metalheads at the new national stadium.

To say MACHINE HEAD guitarist Phil Demmel is looking forward to it would be an understatement. "Holy Crap!!!" he enthuses. "A monstrous cherry just got plopped on top of our already huge European festival run pie, in the shape of the METALLICA show at Wembley Stadium. Are you effin' kidding me?!? We couldn't have asked for a better ending to this amazing ride through Europe than to play with our Bay Area brothers at this legendary venue. WOO HOO!!"

MACHINE HEAD are set to take the stage at 5:15PM. A few remaining seated tickets are on sale now at Live Nation, priced £40.

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Diskreet and Whitechapel To Headline Label Tour

Diskreet and Whitechapel will kick off their upcoming tour together July 1 at The Muse in Nashville, Tennessee. Each will perform selections from their Siege of Amida/Candlelight debuts. The tour will also feature The Red Death and The Partisane Turbine.

Released in early April, Infernal Rise is the debut ep from Topeka-based Diskreet. Together since late 2003, the band have developed a huge following in their native Kansas. Ripping up the stage with a hugely diverse range of ground breaking acts, the band refuse to be pigeonholed into any one genre. So far Dikreet have shared the stage with Deicide, The Acacia Strain, Napalm Death, Despised Icon, Through The Eyes Of The Dead, From A Second Story Window, Origin, Into The Moat, Psyopus, Ed Gein, All Else Failed, Pissing Razors, Anal Blast, Cannae, Incantation and many more. Blabbermouth says, "meet the new kids on the American death metal block."

The Somatic Defilement is the full-length debut from Knoxville's Whitechapel. Hitting stores July 31, the album, mastered by Alan Douches (Nile, The Red Chord, The Acacia Strain), fuses together the sheer brutality of death metal, the chaos and technicality of grindcore, the bludgeoning heaviness of sludge, with an added dash of groove on top. A noted characteristic is Whitechapel’s three guitar assault; without a doubt and impressive apocalyptic sound. A video for the song album track “Vicer Exerciser” is available at the band's MySpace page.

Here are the confirmed tour dates: More...

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All That Remains Confirmed For Loud Park 2007

Massachusetts' ALL THAT REMAINS have officially been confirmed for Japan's Loud Park 2007 festival. Appearing on the prestigious festival's second day, ALL THAT REMAINS joins the bill alongside Heaven and Hell, Marilyn Manson, Blind Guardian, Saxon and As I Lay Dying among others. This marks the first time ALL THAT REMAINS will appear in Japan, while the band will hit Mexico for the first time as well in late July.

"We are heading to JAPAN!" frontman Phil Labonte says. "This year, the organizers of the Loud Park 2007 Festival have invited ATR to be a part of the fest. So later this fall, ATR is gonna head across the mighty pacific and deliver some live ATR insanity. We are excited more than I can tell you, we have some friends in Japan and hope to make even more. Get ready Japan, and get into it!"

Joe's Podhole recently posted an interview with Labonte from last summer's Ozzfest 2006, featuring hilarious clips from Labonte, Unearth's Slo and Strapping Young Lad's Devin Townsend, which is available for download or podcasting here.

Recently surpassing the 100,000 sales mark domestically, ALL THAT REMAINS recently announced the release of a live concert DVD in October. The DVD will feature live performances from the band’s recent show at Theater of the Living Arts in Philadelphia, as well as from their upcoming show in Baltimore at The Recher Theatre on July 12. ATR fans will also be treated to tons of bonus goodies on the new DVD, including behind the scenes footage, band and fan interviews, a live photo slideshow and all of the band’s videos.

In other ALL THAT REMAINS news, July will find the hard-working band filming a video for the third single from 'The Fall of Ideals,' “Not Alone”, in between tour dates. Director Soren will handle the shoot, having already produced videos for Unearth and Light This City. After a handful of domestic tour dates (including a special appearance on the Sounds of the Underground tour), the band heads to Mexico and then Europe through August, where they will pay several major festivals including the Wacken: Open Air Festival in Germany.

Fan pages on MySpace from across the world have started sprouting on the social networking site, including sites from Japan, Germany, http://www.myspace.com/atrmexicoMexico, and the United States.

Here are the latest ALL THAT REMAINS tour dates: More...

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