Archive: Headline News
Sweden's Nightingale is back in the spotlight with a long overdue 7th studio album. Entitled "Retribution," the follow-up to 2007's "White Darkness" will be released via the band's new worldwide label InsideOutMusic on January 27th, 2015 in North America.
Nightingale was established by musical multi-talent and producer Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity / Witherscape) almost 20 years ago and in the good tradition of the band -- which is completed by Dan's brother Dag Swanö (guitars, keyboards), Erik Oskarsson (bass) and Tom Björn (drums) -- the new album once again showcases a timeless hybrid of different musical styles. From atmospheric metal to catchy AOR and melodic prog, "Retribution" offers an amazingly broad variety of moods and always tuneful songwriting skills.
Dan Swanö, who contributes vocals, guitars and keyboards, commented: "We started putting material together for this album around 2008, but out of all those songs only two made it to the album. I felt that, unless it is the best possible Nightingale album, where every song on the album easily could replace any song from our previous albums, there was no point in making a new album at all.
"During the writing of the Witherscape debut album, I wrote a lot of stuff that would work better on a Nightingale album, and before I knew it, I had the skeleton for a lot of potentially awesome Nightingale songs! It was important that the new material had the vibe of the older albums, yet with a better production and performance.
"I am very confident that all the Nightingale fans will love 'Retribution' since I made sure I felt the same rush inside me when I listened to the tracks that I did upon listening to the finished version of our most famous tracks from the past!"
The track listing is as follows:
1. On Stolen Wings
2. Lucifer's Lament
3. Chasing The Storm Away
4. Warriors Of The Dawn
6. Divided I Fall
7. The Voyage Of Endurance
8. 27 (Curse Or Coincidence?)
9. The Maze
10. Echoes Of A Dream More...
According to Arizona punk act We Steal Copper, Redemption/Agent Steel guitartist Bernie Versailles has apparently suffered an aneurysm and is current in a coma. As of yet, there has been no official press statement from either the Versailles family or Redemption.
The post on We Steal Copper's Facebook pages as of last night reads: "Please keep our best friend & camera man, Bernie Versailles, in your prayers. He is in a coma right now after suffering an anyerism. Some of you know him from our Beer Pong video shoot. Some of you may know him as the guitarist of Agent Steel. We know & love him like family. Either way he has been with us since the beginning and he and his family need all the positive energy. Thank u guys!"
This morning, the band posted the following statement online from Agent Steel bassist Michael Zaputil:
"Michael here. First off, I want to thank all of you. I want to thank Bernie's and my forever brothers in the Agent Steel family, Juan, Karlos, Rick, and Chuck. I also want to thank our brothers in the thrash community who have expressed their concerns. I love you all more than I could express, it is exactly how we pulled together in the first place and took the world as our own back when it mattered. But I have to get this off my chest. It isn't fair. Bernie and I joined Agent Steel together in late 1985. He was 18, I was 26. Before that as a teenager, he devoted himself to being the best musician possible, but he was also a gifted natural. Clean living. Dedicated. In contrast, I on the other hand from the late '70s through the '80s was Sid Vicious and Kurt Cobain combined. I did enough blow and heroin to keep the Afghan and South American drug cartels in business for years, and trust me, that is no exaggeration. Along with being a heavy drinker and smoker. Still smoking actually. At that time, I considered myself a Christian, talk about a walking contradiction.
"Here is a guy that never abused his physical body though, took his music totally seriously, and then this. Just one of many things nowadays that make no sense to me. I happen to know that there are enough of us sending positive prayer and energy to see him through this. It will happen, I will not accept this otherwise. He and I have been through things together you wouldn't believe. Going on thirty years. Way too much to get stopped in our tracks now, we have much work to do. And I'm sorry I didn't respond to some of you earlier, when I get hit with something like this, I tend to pull away and go into my shell. I'm fucked up that way. But bless you all...." More...
Agonia Records has issued the following announcement about a German politician apologizing to metal bands after accusing them of extremist political views without bothering to research the groups in question first:
"Political member of the centre-left German party SPD, Ralf Hofmann, has publicly apologized to - amogst other artists - Den Saakaldte, for his false false accusations concerning band's alleged involvement in the so colled 'right-wing scene,' with regards to the band's appearance at the Norwegian Hellcamp in Schweinfurt this October.
"The whole incident was originally and wrongly ignited by Antifa, and brought to the attention of Schweinfurt's local authorities (including Ralf Hofman), in order to ban the Norwegian Hellcamp Festival in October (more in this topic can be read in the German eiditon of Rolling Stone Magazine here).
"Evetually, after consulting credible independent sources, Mr. Hofmann decided to apologize and admit that his suspicions were incorrect and drawn from unreliable authors."
His statement reads as follows (full original German version available at Facebook here):
My call for the ban of the concert at Stadthalle on Octover 4th has caused some outrage in social media. At this point, I have been given access to sources and people who are competent on the subject and the bands, such as the webzine undergrounded.de.
At the core of the matter, it seems to be the case that our original source exaggerated some facts. I have to blame myself for what happened as I disregarded the central tenet of journalism to have at least two independent sources. But I am neither a journalist nor a full time politician, and doing volunteer work only, these things are not always easy.
The bands that will play on October 4th in Schweinfurt have elements of their show that can be considered tasteless / in bad taste. But the extremist background I suspected is apparently not there at all. Thus, I withdraw the call for a ban.
In response, the members of Den Saakaldte commented: "Stop this bullshit! Our members, our lyrics and what we represent as a band has not a single thought even, being mixed with either left - centre - right political ideas....never has -never will!! We give a SHIT for politics and LEAVE US OUT OF THIS GOD DAMN THING!" More...
Swedish supergroup Bloodbath is set to release its fourth album of supreme death metal, "Grand Morbid Funeral," on November 18th through Peaceville Records.
Following the departure of Opeth's Mikael Åkerfeldt and months of speculation and rumor, Metal Hammer U.K. has broken the news that the new vocalist will be Paradise Lost's Nick Holmes.
Blakkheim (guitar) commented, "Little did I expect to be working with the voice behind the death metal classic Lost Paradise, or the genre defining Gothic, and yet here we are decades later fulfilling another death metal dream. With his sinister and ominous vocal delivery, it's an absolute pleasure to make Old Nick the bell-ringer in Bloodbath's Grand Morbid Funeral!"
Jonas Renkse (bass) commented, "Ever since I got into Lost Paradise back in '90, Nick Holmes has been one of my favorite growling vocalists out there. He was always audible and articulate but still deep and definitely morbid. It is a great pleasure to work with him some 25 years later after I was introduced to his thunderous roar!"
"Grand Morbid Funeral" was recorded at Ghost Ward Studios and the City of Glass Studios in Stockholm, and mixed by David Castillo. More...
After previously posting online that drummer Alex Todd-Weller had gone missing, U.K. outfit Invocation has now issued the following update that Alex was found and has passed away:
"To all our friends, family and fans.
"As I'm sure you are all aware now, we lost our brother Alex Todd-Weller. He was 21.
"There don't seem to be any words that can truly describe the loss we and his family have had but all we can say is how thankful we are for the support and love that each and every one of you have shown for us and them.
"Alex was a literal larger than life phenomenon and his talent was awe inspiring. It was an absolute pleasure to share a stage with him over the last 2 1/2 years and his passion and ability shone through in every hit of a drum. We played across the UK and in Europe and the adventures and shenanigans we had will always live through some incredible memories and ridiculous catchphrases.
"His kind, gentle and heart warming nature will be truly missed and he will always be with us and with you all.
"As a band, this isn't the end of Invocation. We will find the strength and passion to play again at some point in the future as it would be what he wanted. We will finish the album titled 'Atlas' in his honour.
"From the bottoms our heart, we thank and love you all.
"Rest in Peace Alex. 21/8/93 - 11/9/14
"Love you brother.
"Duffy, Robin, James and Tom."
Snot has announced the band will be reuniting once again for a full U.S. tour to perform the classic "Get Some" album in it's entirety. He Is Legend, Thira, and Lydia Can't Breathe will offer support.
The tour kicks off on November 28th in Palm Desert, California and wraps up on December 23rd in Pomona, California. More dates will be added soon. Snot guitarist Mikey Doling says of the upcoming tour:
"I want to let you know we are ready to rock out as hard as humanly possible with all you Snot heads around the world on our first world tour. I hope you're ready cause we have a ton of massive energy to bring to you. Snot is something special to us. We will enjoy playing our debut and only record 'Get Some' in it's entirety for you live for all you die hard SNOT HEADS! SAY SOMETHING FOR THE RECORD TELL THE PEOPLE WHAT YOU FEEL!!"
Snot lead singer Tommy Vext adds, "Words cannot describe how excited I am to be getting back in the road with my brothers in Snot. It is a privilege to play with a band that has had an indeterminable influence over countless artists from the bands inception & thereafter. I'm honored to pay tribute Lynn Strait and offer Snot fans on an international level the live experience they may not have yet enjoyed." More...
According to Channel 14 News in Kentucky, a fan in Greenville has been arrested and is currently being jailed for alleged terrorism threats for posting the lyrics to the Exodus song "Class Dismissed," which appeared on the 2010 release "Exhibit B: The Human Condition." The full article on the arrest can be found at this location.
The band's press release reads: "Exodus does not promote or condone terrorists, threats or bullying. That being said, the band is somewhat baffled by the fact that this man being charged for what seems against his first amendment rights of Freedom of Speech."
“The idea that an individual in this great country of ours could be arrested for simply posting lyrics to a song is something I never believed could happen in a free society,” states Exodus guitarist Gary Holt. “James Evans was simply posting lyrics to a band he likes on Facebook, and he was locked up for it. The song ‘Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)’ was written as a view through the eyes of a madman and in no way endorses that kind of fucked up behavior. It was the Virginia Tech massacre perpetrated by Seung-Hui Cho that was the subject and inspiration to write the song, one in which we put the brakes on playing it live after the Sandy Hook shooting, as we did not want to seem insensitive.”
Gary continues, “As some of us in Exodus are parents, of course these things hit close to home, it's every parent's worst fear. These moments are the stuff of nightmares, and life, as well as music, isn't always pretty. But when we start to overreact to things like lyrics by any band, including Exodus, and start arresting people, we are caving in to paranoia and are well on our way to becoming an Orwellian society.”
Exodus is set to release the new album "Blood In, Blood Out" via Nuclear Blast on October 10th (EU), October 13th (UK) and October 14th (North America). More...
Following the departure of guitarist Emil Werstler, and the rest of the band following suit, Mark Hunter has decided to lay Chimaira to rest. Here's the official announcement:
"After fifteen full blown ass ripping years, it is with great honor to announce the end of Chimaira.
"Thanks to everyone that supported the group in any way shape or form. Everyone involved with the band from members to fans put their heart and soul into this project.
"We achieved a lot. We bled a lot. It fucking ruled."
Presumably the band's appearance at 70,000 Tons of Metal and any other activity is cancelled. The band's final album (before the inevitable reunion down the road) was 2013's "Crown Of Phantoms." More...
Lifeforce Records has issued the following brief statement:
"Today we come to you with very sad news, long time dear friend Tobias Graf and founding member of Deadlock passed away at the age of 35. We can hardly express the sadness in our hearts and we wish his family all possible strength in these dark hours. Farewell Tobi and may you have a safe journey!"
The cause of death was not specified. Graf co-founded German melodic/symphonic death metal group Deadlock in 1997. He left the band in April of this year. Deadlock's multi-disc collection of re-recordings, "The Re-Arrival," was released on August 15th and is available now through Lifeforce.
It's official - after 18 years of waiting, Faith No More will release a new album in 2015! The band revealed the news to Rolling Stone in a new interview, stating the record is due out next April through Reclamation Records.
Remember that new song "Motherfucker" the band played in London earlier this Summer? That will be the lead single off the album, and will be released separately on November 28th.
After the departure of Dave Lombardo and the death of Jeff Hanneman, the legendary Slayer has finally entered the studio and is working on a new full-length record.
This new release will follow 2009's "World Painted Blood." No details have been released yet as far as a release date, album title, or track listing.
The band has also been posting a series of studio photos online (check out one below). You can see the stills recently posted online by heading over to the Slayer Facebook profile here.
Further details are forthcoming, so keep your eyes on the news feed! More...
The American hardcore/crossover thrash metal legends in Suicidal Tendencies have announced that bass player Tim "Rawbiz" Williams, who joined the group in 2011 and left earlier this year, has sadly passed away.
The cause of death has so far not been revealed. A statement from the band reads as follows:
"It’s with complete sadness that we have to announce the passing of bassist Tim 'Rawbiz' Williams. Tim played bass for Suicidal Tendencies for almost four years until recently.
"Tim was a monster on bass, running around on stage in the pit, giving his all, even when his body wasn’t at it's best. We will always remember him and appreciate all the kind words by those that were touched by his bass playing and him personally."
More information will be revealed once it becomes available.
Massachusetts metal band Shadows Fall will embark on the group's "final" European tour in less than a week. The “Hell on Earth” tour will begin in Frankfurt, Germany on Aug. 29 and runs until Sept. 14. The tour also features Unearth, The Acacia Strain and War of Ages.
The band has been touring non-stop for over a decade and has decided that it’s time to “take a hiatus” from future extensive touring. In addition to this upcoming European run, Shadows Fall is planning a final North American tour and will possibly visit a few other territories some time over the next year.
"There are many factors that are behind this difficult decision that the band has been dealing with for some time now," the band said in its update. "In a nutshell it comes down to families, member availability, and finances. Further impacting our decision is the fact that we have two members with young children. Plain and simple, they want to be with their families to watch their kids grow. Touring full time in a band these days has never been more difficult financially. When you have to ensure the future comfort of your family, difficult decisions have to be made.
"Another reason is the fact that our lead guitarist (Jon Donais) is now in Anthrax, which makes it hard for us to do any extensive touring with our full lineup. Due to his obligations with Anthrax, he will not be able to join us on this European tour. Felipe Roa will once again fill Jon’s position and we are thankful to him for joining us on this run. Also returning for this tour is original bassist Paul Romanko who has sat out from touring for the last two years to raise his son. More...
Technical death metal band The Faceless has issued the following announcement about being involved in a vehicle crash yesterday while out on tour:
"To elaborate on the events of last night, in a freak accident, we ended up totaling our vehicle on a stretch of Canadian highway.
"A pack of moose were covering all lanes of the highway and it was completely unavoidable. Some how we all managed to walk away totally unharmed, though a bit shaken up.
"Through the help of our tour mates in Fallujah, Black Crown Initiate and Archspire, we managed to get to a tow yard and onward to a rental facility to get a vehicle and get back on the road. We WILL be playing the remaining tour dates on our current headline tour.
"Thank you for all the support in the past few hours and we hope to see you at the upcoming shows." More...
After failing to meet a crowd funding goal to release the band's fifth album, Katagory V has posted the following message online about calling it quits:
"Now that the campaign has ended, and was sadly unsuccessful, it is time to make an announcement concerning the future of Katagory V.
"As much as I pains me to say this - I am officially announcing that Katagory V is no more. I have been trying to be positive for the past three years in hopes that the band would regroup, release the 5th album and continue on in some capacity, but as of today, it appears very unlikely that it will ever happen.
"It is financially impossible and economical to do so and still compete on a any level along side our peers. This indiegogo campaign was a true test to see if Katagory V was still relevant, If our fan base was large enough and dedicated enough to rally support & funding, if people still wanted to hear our music, and if we could survive the wild west of the digital age. This did not happen - We and over estimated our popularity and relevance in the heavy metal music scene. Because of this, there is no purpose for Katagory V to continue.
"Throw in a recession a few years ago, causing some band members to become jobless or financially strapped, going through divorces, having heath issues and expenses, losing places to rehearse/write/record, record labels being passive and flaky with communication & commitments, or just flat out showing general disinterested in working with us, and the music industry itself as a whole becoming a huge question mark and extremely unreliable; When you take ALL OF THAT into consideration, coupled with our failed indiegogo campaign, the end result made our 'Middle-to-Lower-class' band obsolete and unable to survive in the new musical climate of free-culturists, Tech-utopians, and those who feel that there is a money tree outside that supplies us with an endless supply of capitol to harvest from, so we can continue to create our art and exploit it ourselves.
"It is virtually impossible to do so when you have financial and moral responsibilities OUTSIDE of your music. Sorry for the small diatribe, but this is really what it all boils down to at the end of the day. This is the reality of being a musician today… and this is the future of music.
"Concerning the unreleased 5th album, 'Resurrect the Insurgence,' which was indeed completed and ready to be release for almost 4 years now; it is now in limbo. We are currently discussing a digital-only release, but because the band is done, it almost seems anti-climatic to do so - as if it is a participation trophy for ourselves and the true Katagory V fans who really wanted us to continue on. This is not what we wanted to see happen, however, we are considering the possibility and discussing the option. More...
After issuing a statement at the beginning of the year that Astarte member Tristessa (Maria Kolokouri) was diagnosed with leukemia, the Greek band has new announced her battle with the disease is officially over.
Maria's husband posted the following message online via the Astarte Facebook profile (translated from Greek):
"Maria she's left from this world. You are leaving a lot behind and my soul is in pain. You are a special person, you are my wife. I will always adore you, our son and everybody that they love you.
"I will always honour you and you will never be forgotten. Until we meet again my love I will will kiss you from inside of my soul.
"Your Nick and your son Antonios." More...
In the midst of writing a new album, Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish announced that drummer Jukka Nevalainen is forced to step down and take a break from music activities due to ongoing health concerns. It seems for many years, Nevalainen has been suffering from insomnia. His replacement for the upcoming follow up to "Imaginaerum" will be Wintersun/Swallow the Sun drummer Kai Hahto.
Nevalainen posted a statement and a video (shown below):
"How to begin telling something that you wouldn’t want to have to tell, although you know that the decision you made is the only (at least the only right) one you could make at the moment? I face this dilemma now, and will do my best to find the right words.
"For a number of years, I have suffered from occasional but very difficult insomnia, something that has been my unwanted companion during many of our tours, too. I’ve done my best to try to control it or at least to cope with it. Still, we don’t even really know why we need sleep, so unfortunately there’s not much information available on why some of us suffer from sleeplessness. There is no 100% cure for the problem.
"During the last month, it has become evident for me that due to my insomnia, I can’t fulfill my duties as a musician in the way that I’d want and with the precision that the music deserves. Thus I have decided to step aside from my duties as the drummer of Nightwish during the recording of the forthcoming album and the subsequent tour. I will still be involved in managing the day-to-day affairs of the band, but the dearest and the most important thing, playing, is, for the time being, not possible. Time will tell what the future holds.
"On a personal level, my decision obviously feels indescribably sad. Fortunately, looking at it with some distance, it is “just” part of the constant, inevitable ebb and flow of life. The sad things are part of it as well as the beautiful, unforgettable experiences and adventures that I’ve already had the pleasure to experience in spades. Surely, there will still be many adventures ahead, too. More...
Promoters for the Wacken Open Air Festival announced that Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be performing live on stage at Wacken 2015, followed immediately by a Savatage reunion gig that will mark the band's first live performance in over a decade. Furthermore, these appearances are the only live appearances for both bands in Europe during 2015.
Guitarist Chris Caffery proudly proclaimed in his Facebook post: "I am extremely happy to make this post! Today our friends at the Wacken festival announced that Savatage will be finally playing again! Wacken 2015! Both Savatage and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will make an appearance! Savatage will close the festival that night following #TSO's first ever European festival appearance! I have been waiting for then to announce this for a a few weeks! It was hard to keep it a secret! Yes Legion...our patience has finally paid off...Savatage will play again next summer!"
In addition, Running Wild will return to the stage after playing the farewell performance in 2009 before recently returning with two studio releases ("Shadowmaker" and "Resilent").
Other band named in the first wave of acts are: In Flames, In Extremo, U.D.O. (Special Orchestra show), Sabaton, Amorphis (Special "Tales from the Thousand Lakes" show), Death Angel, Powerwolf, Ensiferum, Kataklysm, Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura and Thyrfing.
The pre-sale starts in the night from Sunday, August 3rd to Monday, August 4th at Midnight (German time) (6:00pm EST) – exclusively at Metaltix.com. As always, the first offer is the 10,000 limited X-Mas Tickets. The X-Mas tickets will be available for 150€ + 10€ pre-sale fee and will be delivered together with one of the limited W:O:A X-Mas T-Shirts! Every customer can order up to 2 X-Mas tickets. More...
After the long wait for "Time I" (reviewed here) to finally be released, fans have been left hanging again waiting for the follow-up "Time II." Now Wintersun's Jari Mäenpää has issued the following statement online about the reasons behind the delay:
"Reality update about crowd funding, TIME II and future albums. I´m very happy to see that we have so much dedicated fans that would be willing to pledge and be a part of funding a studio for Wintersun, so I could make the next Wintersun album without it taking another 10 years again.
"I´ve been thinking about this Kickstarter/Pledge crowd funding thing for a while and I´m very confident now that there is enough of you guys that would help us raise the money for the Wintersun studio! This would give me the freedom to make music efficiently and nonstop. It would eliminate lot of the problems I´ve struggled with all my life and still continue to struggle everyday. For example right now I need a studio to reamp guitars for TIME II. And not just any studio, my own studio where I can craft my sounds exactly like I want them. 3rd party studios have never worked for me and I´ve never gotten satisfactory results for the insane prices they charge.
"I live in a small shitty apartment building and I have neighbors. It is very very hard to work like this. I can´t record vocals, I can´t practice my singing, I can´t record guitars, I can´t record guitars even with modelling amps, because the electricity is so bad in this shitty building so I get lots of interference, I even play and practice the electric guitar acoustically without an amp 99% of the time in my home, I can´t record drums or basically any acoustic instruments, I don´t have the room or cool space for a big computer farm which is a must for the orchestrations for the next album (the place is too small and hot even for the one computer I have), I can´t mix properly, ´cause the room is so bad and there´s always ambient noise in and outside the building. That´s why I usually turn my sleeping rhythm around and mix at nights, but that causes problems in my everyday life. I can´t do pretty much anything properly in this situation. Building a professional studio for Wintersun would erase all this and give us the freedom to make music nonstop. It would upgrade our album sound significantly and most importantly speed up the album making process significantly. This would even raise our live game. With proper preproduction, able to tweak our live sounds and setup properly we would sound pretty incredible live. We would also be able to rehearse more and that would allow us to be able to play live more often and come to places where we normally have not been able to come. The studio would allow us to have more time for everything. More...
Three years after the farewell performance on board 70,000 Tons of Metal in January 2012, UMC, promoters of the World's Largest Metal Cruise, announced that the newly reformed God Dethroned will be on board the Liberty of the Seas in 2015.
Frontman Henri Sattler commented: "In early 2011, I was facing two options: one was to announce a break, and the other option was to quit the band. I definitely needed time away from it all, and having a break wasn’t reassuring enough to know if I would be able to recharge the batteries for another go.
"Oddly enough it was at the funeral of the man who discovered us in the first place that I came to realize the story wasn’t finished yet. So here we go again. Don’t think you will be able to see us playing every club for weekends on end. We will only play a small selection of shows and this won’t happen before 2015. Besides that, the core of the band will consist of only Michiel and myself. We’ll have some cool guest musicians lined up, though, to make sure we’ll give you the best performance possible.
"Last but not least, our first shows will be where we played our last ones three years ago. Our rebirth will happen on board 70000TONS OF METAL 2015. See you on board!”
The world's largest metal cruise casts off on Thursday, January 22, 2015 from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida with a stop at Ocho Rios, Jamaica, returning on Tuesday, January 26, 2015 aboard a new ship, Liberty of the Seas (via Royal Caribbean), which will accommodate four stages. The All-Star Jam band will be back this coming January, which features members from the various acts aboard performing cover tunes live. There will also be two hot tubs on the pool deck stage.
The Jeff Waters run "All-Star Jam," which was absent from the 2014 edition, will return in 2015 as "Jamming With Waters in International Waters." This is how it will go down: Waters will assemble the line-up and compile a list of songs. Then the fans will vote later this year for which of these songs will be played!
All the information on the festival, along with booking information can be found at 70000tons.com.
God Dethroned joins previously announced bands below, with 33 bands still to be announced:
Lake of Tears
Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock