"Shine On", the new video from New Jersey thrash metal veterans OVERKILL, can be seen below. The song is taken from the band's latest album, "The Grinding Wheel", which was released on February 10 via Nuclear Blast. The disc was produced by OVERKILL and mixed by Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, ACCEPT). The artwork was created again by Travis Smith (NEVERMORE, OPETH, SOILWORK, DEATH). OVERKILL frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth recently told the Croatian metal portal NoiseEyes.com about the musical direction of "The Grinding Wheel": "First and foremost, production. Andy has done some great work with different bands in the genre from ACCEPT to ARCH ENEMY. He's really the metal go-to guy. But we wanted to use his abilities, but we wanted to use them with regard to how we saw the record being. One of the things we saw in modern metal is a guitar tone that doesn't have a cohesive relationship with the drums. We wanted more organic drums to start with, and we wanted a guitar tone that came somewhere out of the high technology of the '90s. So it's really kind of a throwback with regard to our thinking, so if you're thinking a drum sounding like a drum and the guitars sounding more in the vein of 'Horrorscope' for us, where it wasn't just top end, but top end and low end with a little bit of mids carved out of them. I think that's the thing I noticed the most about it." He continued: "With regard to songwriting, we had done three records, 'Ironbound', 'The Electric Age' and 'White Devil Armory', that were for us, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. [Laughs] Or sisters! There's something about them where there was a formula that we were, I think in our opinion, neglecting some of the other tools that we've accumulated over the years. 'The Grinding Wheel' is much more diverse. There's an epic feel to some of the songs. There's a sludgy, slower feel. There is 'Our Finest Hour', which has been released, which could fit on one of those other three records but everything else doesn't seem like it would fit on these records. I think it's a wider OVERKILL, but press play when you get it. I think that's the best way for people to decide. Everybody has got to be a critic. That's the idea of being a music fan. I'm a music fan, but I'm also a critic. I love or I hate, or it's okay. It'd rather be loved or hated, not 'Ah, it's okay, whatever.'"
German/Dutch symphonic metallers XANDRIA will return to North America for a headline tour this May. Support on the trek will come from KOBRA AND THE LOTUS and ONCE HUMAN. The tour kicks off May 9 in New York and runs through May 30 in Mesa, Arizona. XANDRIA said in a statement: "We are super excited to go on our first-ever North American headline tour in May, playing East to West Coast, along with the wonderful KOBRA AND THE LOTUS as well as ONCE HUMAN. Let's get these places rocked!" The tour dates are as follows; May 09 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall May 11 - Quebec City, QC @ La Source de la Martiniere May 12 - Montreal, QC @ Foufounes Electriques May 13 - Toronto, ON @ Garrison May 14 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom May 16 - Joliet, IL @ The Forge Club May 18 - Denver, CO @ Moon Room May 19 - Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep May 20 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Bar May 22 - Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven May 23 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater May 24 - San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge May 26 - Las Vegas, NV @ Adrenaline Sports Lounge May 27 - San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick May 29 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theater May 30 - Mesa, AZ @ Club Red-Mesa XANDRIA's latest album, "Theater Of Dimensions", was released on January 27 via Napalm Records. Commented the band: "After the release of 'Sacrificium', we embarked on our longest tour so far. Over 150 shows that took us around the globe. Through so many different countries and diverse cultures. Through so many different, yet inspiring dimensions. We brought back plenty of memories, sometimes just bits and pieces, but those stuck to our heads. And it made us see who we are and where we wanted to take our music. Made us fearless. Made us push our boundaries once more. Made us cross some so-called genre defining borders. Made us bundle all our trademarks and take them to the next level. All this makes the most colorful XANDRIA album so far. It contains our most heavy and most emotional moments. Again, producer Joost Van Den Broek did a phenomenal job capturing the atmosphere down to every detail. 'A Theater of musical Dimensions.'" "Theater Of Dimensions" is described in a press release as "a hyper-emotional affair — and a very heavy one too, naturally. High-class guest vocals can be heard by mighty Henning Basse (FIREWIND), Zaher Zorgati (MYRATH), Björn Strid (SOILWORK) and Ross Thompson (VAN CANTO). There is a soundtrack-like, orchestral finesse inherent to the compositions, echoed by pounding groove and sophisticated shredding. Folklore and ballad chime in ('Forsaken Love'), heavy thrash rears its ugly head ('We Are Murderers (We All)'), and overall there is no doubt: XANDRIA are not only fearless, they are at their most entertaining and thrilling!" XANDRIA in 2013 parted ways with their singer of three years, Manuela Kraller, and replaced her with Dutch vocalist Dianne Van Giersbergen, who also fronts the progressive metal outfit EX LIBRIS. Dianne Van Giersbergen made her live debut with XANDRIA at the end of November 2013 on a Spanish tour. Speaking about XANDRIA's songwriting approach, Dianne Van Giersbergen told Metalheads Forever: "I think diversity is a good thing though it should never be used when only based on a commercial purpose. It is most important to create what you yourself would love and what is pure to your heart, close to who you are. If you lose that then the music detached from both band and musician and will cause the fans to not believe the music and performance anymore." XANDRIA is: Vocals: Dianne van Giersbergen Guitar: Marco Heubaum Guitar: Philip Restemeier Bass: Steven Wussow Drums: Gerit Lamm
Reactivated Brooklyn hard rock veterans LIFE OF AGONY will release their new album, "A Place Where There's No More Pain", on April 28 via Napalm. The band's fifth studio LP marks LIFE OF AGONY's first release since singer Mina Caputo (formerly known as Keith Caputo) came out as transgender in 2011. Napalm has launched a new video series, "A History Of Agony", via the label's YouTube channel. You can now watch the second part below. "A Place Where There's No More Pain" track listing: 01. Meet My Maker 02. Right This Wrong 03. A Place Where There’s No More Pain 04. Dead Speak Kindly 05. A New Low 06. World Gone Mad 07. Bag Of Bones 08. Walking Catastrophe 09. Song For The Abused 10. Little Spots Of You The official video for the "A Place Where There's No More Pain" title track can now be seen below. The clip was directed by Leigh Brooks of Firebelly Films and was shot predominately in Hamburg, Germany with a few shots from the London show on LIFE OF AGONY's recent European tour. "We were looking to capture the raw energy of our live show with the new video for 'A Place Where There's No More Pain'," said LIFE OF AGONY bassist Alan Robert. "As a longtime LIFE OF AGONY fan, director Leigh Brooks instantly knew exactly what we were going for. He's been a fan since the early nineties and we finally met at the Electric Ballroom gig in London last year. He shot that show and we immediately became friends. He's a super-talented guy with great vision and a deep passion for this band. He and his crew got pretty banged up shooting this one. [Laughs] They got right in the pit with their equipment — the poor guys! Leigh was one of the very first people outside of the band to hear the new music and he was completely psyched to be involved." "We have a long history of connecting to our fans on an emotional level through our words and music," Robert added. "And that's why I think there's something really relevant and timeless about the message behind the title track, 'A Place Where There's No More Pain'. It's about facing your problems head-on in order to find peace within yourself. A topic that really hits home for a lot of our fans struggling with their own demons. The opening line, 'running away only makes it worse,' couldn't be more true, because sooner or later those problems will catch up with you, and when they do, you gotta be strong enough to deal with them." In support of "A Place Where There's No More Pain", LIFE OF AGONY will hit the road this spring in the Northeast United States. The first short run of dates kicks off April 27 in Allston, Massachusetts and runs through April 29 in Poughkeepsie, New York. The second jaunt begins May 12 in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania and runs through May 20 in Sayreville, New Jersey. LIFE OF AGONY returned to the stage and performed on multiple festival dates in Europe over the summer of 2014. The band's famed "River Runs Red" lineup, consisting of vocalist Mina Caputo, guitarist Joseph Zampella (a.k.a. Joey Z), bassist Alan Robert and drummer Sal Abruscato, was excited to take the stage together once again after a three-year hiatus. Robert previously stated about "A Place Where There's No More Pain": "This record is a monster and we're so psyched to finally share it come April. It's got such an energy to it. Raging guitar riffs, heartfelt lyrics and killer grooves. "We definitely turned things up a few notches in 2017, and it feels great. And I gotta say, we've never been so focused as a band. Before we even wrote the first note, we all knew what kind of record we wanted to make. You can hear that drive and intensity in the tracks and you can feel the momentum building." Photo credit: Tania Gomez
Celebrated rock guitarist Michael Schenker has announced that he will be touring "Michael Schenker Fest" throughout the U.K. in November 2017. The four concerts take in London O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire (November 2), Sheffield O2 Academy (November 3), Manchester O2 Ritz (November 4) and Hull City Hall (November 5). Tickets for the concerts at O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire London, O2 Academy Sheffield and O2 Ritz Manchester are on O2 Priority Pre-Sale from 12 noon on Friday, March 17, and will go on general sale from 10 a.m. on Monday, March 20 from Ticketmaster and Ticketweb. Tickets for the Hull City Hall concert go on sale from 12 noon on Friday, March 17 from the Hull City box office booking, hullboxoffice.com. In recent memory, Michael Schenker's endeavor to unite rock fans together at his concerts has enraptured his audiences and so it is fitting that his most recent concept of "Michael Schenker Fest" does not disappoint one bit. The project reunites the original MICHAEL/MCAULEY SCHENKER GROUP vocalists — Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley — plus MSG musicians Steve Mann (guitar, keys), Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums). Says Schenker: "It's a miracle that after all these years, a tour like this will take place with the original band members of MSG. Being able to go back to those days and celebrate the music is an exciting experience for us, as well as for old and new fans. To being able to re-experience, and for the new audience to get a feel of what it was like, is incredibly enjoyable." Continues Schenker: "It's an amazing feeling to have all of my MSG family from the '80s performing together and especially with Graham Bonnet, who I never got to play any concerts after our 'Assault Attack' album that was originally released in 1982. Fortunately, being able to have the participation of original MSG members, including Gary Barden, Chris Glen (bass) and Ted McKenna (drums) being part of it, and to perform with Robin McAuley and Steve Mann (guitar, keyboards) again as well, is pretty awesome.” Since the first "Michael Schenker Fest" concert at Sweden Rock Festival in June 2016, the project has gained serious momentum. Performing at a sold-out Tokyo show in August 2016 they recorded a live DVD, which has gathered critical acclaim worldwide. Schenker reflects on the "Michael Schenker Fest" that was performed in Tokyo in August 2016: "It was just one enjoyable event from beginning to end. Seeing those happy, excited fans right from the beginning before the show even started, was incredible. It was like Budokan all over again." "It's wonderful how we all got on with each other," he continues. "It felt incredibly natural, as if it was always like this. Right from the start of rehearsal, the chemistry was great. No problems, just pure fun. We plan to continue this when we perform the U.K. concerts in November 2017." Photo credit: Emili Muraki
The official lyric video for the song "Resistance" from MEMORIAM, the new Birmingham, United Kingdom-based death/grind metal band featuring Karl Willets (BOLT THROWER) on vocals, Frank Healy (BENEDICTION, CEREBRAL FIX) on bass, Scott Fairfax (CEREBRAL FIX) on guitar and Andy Whale (BOLT THROWER) on drums, can be seen below. The track is taken from MEMORIAM's debut album, "For The Fallen", which will be released on March 24 through Nuclear Blast Records. The album's impressive artwork was created by Dan Seagrave (BENEDICTION, DISMEMBER, HYPOCRISY, SUFFOCATION). Seagrave stated about the "For The Fallen" artwork: "Starting from the band's thoughts on visualizing a kind of funeral procession with a theme of combat, war and in conjunction with the title 'For The Fallen', as with all my works, I then attempt to make the information evolve in my mind's eye, and allow imagination to take over those elements but retaining the core concept. The painting thus depicts a funeral procession moving through a long-wartorn cityscape. Twisted shards of towers and buildings. A cathedral facade stands defiantly, yet riddled with destruction and decay. At closer insp,ection the structures all seem to be infected with an element of natural decomposition, as if organically inclined to fade with the demise of the season, the season itself lost in a timeless void. The figures appear as remnants of once soldiers, now strange in their gathered mass, drawn forwards by the drifting momentum of the procession. Unaware of their emaciated state they follow the commander. The commander's elongated appearance is tattered and almost creature-like, with the combat-style elements and gasmask falsely presenting as a costume. The procession appears almost ghost-like, ancient and serene, slowly moving through this eerie place as if forever. Far in the background there might still be a war happening, but perhaps in another time. As we view a sublevel of reality, lost in the present, captured in light, where the war had passed through and we are left in a ghost biology, where chemicals and history meet to create an inescapable surrealism." "For The Fallen" track listing: Digi 01. Memoriam 02. War Rages On 03. Reduced To Zero 04. Corrupted System 05. Flatline 06. Surrounded (By Death) 07. Resistance 08. Last Words LP Side A 01. Memoriam 02. War Rages On 03. Reduced To Zero 04. Corrupted System Side B 01. Flatline 02. Surrounded (By Death) 03. Resistance 04. Last Words MEMORIAM was primarily developed to fill the void that was left following the tragic death of Martin "Kiddie" Kearns, the drummer from BOLT THROWER, back in September 2015. BOLT THROWER subsequently placed all activity on hold for the foreseeable future which gave Karl Willetts an opportunity to develop a new project with friends that had expressed interest in forming a band for some time. MEMORIAM is an old-school death metal band, maintaining the standards set by their previous bands, focusing on the themes of death, loss and war. Initially, the bandmembers got together to play covers of songs that had influenced them throughout their careers within the death metal scene. However, it soon became apparent that the new songs that they created were of a superior standard. Photo credit: Gobinder Jhitta
NIGHTWISH singer Floor Jansen and SABATON drummer Hannes Van Dahl welcomed their first child, a daughter named Freja, on March 15. They say in a statement: "We are very happy parents! Thank you for your kind support coming in from all over the world during this time!" Van Dahl is sitting out shows on SABATON's European tour so that he could spend time with his family during this period. Fillling in for him is Daniel Sjögren (TWILIGHT FORCE, BLOODBOUND). Asked by Spain's Metal Journal whether his family situation will have an impact on his ability to tour with SABATON, Hannes said: "Well, you know, as far as I'm concerned, nothing will really change, 'cause this is what I do, an this is… this is what I do to make a living. People have had kids before in this business. So, to stop any worries — 'cause I know a lot of people are worried [about me] quitting the band — I will stay in the band. And as far as I can say, when it's time, I need to go and be there with my family. But when I've done that, I'm going back to touring. So I won't leave. I will be there." Jansen herself has spoken about the challenges of raising a child while being in a touring band like NIGHTWISH. She told Finland's Radio Rock last fall: "Of course, it's a very challenging combination, and I was very happy that the way [NIGHTWISH is] today — or, actually, have always been — it's a very open group; we can talk about things. And the guys, actually, were curious. A few months ago, we started talking about it, like, 'So, 2017… How about kids? Yeah?' So it's great to think about things together: how can we combine it? Also 'cause my partner is in a successful band, touring a lot. Yeah, then you need the cooperation of the people that you are family with also. So I am not afraid that won't work. It will be a challenge, for sure, but, yeah, a little SABATON or NIGHTWISH daycare program sounds lovely, doesn't it? [Laughs]" Jansen also dismissed rumors that she will leave the band after welcoming her first child. She told Mariskal Rock TV: "No, I won't [quit NIGHTWISH]. I love this way too much; don't worry. You don't even have negative speculations one way or another. Things are great, and let's keep on doing this forever." SABATON's eighth album, "The Last Stand", was released last August via Nuclear Blast. Van Dahl joined SABATON in November 2013 after previously playing with another Swedish band, EVERGREY.
Official video footage of METALLICA performing the song "Enter Sandman" on February 12 at the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, California can be seen below. The intimate concert at the Hollywood Palladium — for around 3,000 or so fans — was held just hours after METALLICA powered through technical difficulties during a special duet with pop superstar Lady Gaga at the 59th annual Grammy Awards. METALLICA has announced the European leg of its "WorldWired" tour in support of the band's new album, "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct". The trek kicks off with two shows in Amsterdam at the Ziggo Dome on September 4 and September 6. Norway's KVELERTAK will be support for the tour run. The North American leg of the "WorldWired" 2017 tour kicks off on May 10 in Baltimore, Maryland and will hit stadiums in 25 cities before winding down in mid-August. Support on the quartet's first North American trek since 2009 will come mainly from AVENGED SEVENFOLD and VOLBEAT, with GOJIRA taking over for the latter group for the last six shows. METALLICA frontman James Hetfield recently said on the Nerdist podcast that the band will cap its live schedule starting in 2017 at around fifty shows a year. He explained: "My body has told me to tell these guys that fifty shows a year is kind of what we can do, so make the best of those." "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct", METALLICA's first all-new studio effort in eight years, went to No. 1 in 58 countries, including the U.S., where it topped The Billboard 200 album chart.
"I Got What You Want", the new video from the internationally renowned glam rock band STEEL PANTHER, can be seen below. The clip was filmed during the group's sold-out 2016 U.K. arena tour. "I Got What You Want" is taken from STEEL PANTHER's upcoming album, "Lower The Bar", which will be released on March 24 via Kobalt Music Recordings. The disc was co-produced with regular collaborator Jay Ruston, and includes eleven songs recorded at studios in north Hollywood and Sherman Oaks, with an additional two tracks on a Best Buy deluxe edition. STEEL PANTHER frontman Michael Starr told Billboard about the follow-up to 2014's "All You Can Eat": "I think we've expanded. Our style is still the same formula, I guess, but we've changed it up a bit. I could say that we used to sing about pussy and partying; now we're singing about partying and pussy, but the reality is we did switch up a few things. It's a really solid, fun, intelligent party record. We're just maturing as a band after being on the road for years together and living together. It shows." He continued: "It's hard to put into words without sounding like a typical review, but it feels different to me. It feels like we're doing some melody lines we normally wouldn't do on a couple of sings, different kinds of moods and not necessary just 'Dr. Feelgood'. There's some different stuff in there, but everything's open for interpretation. Hopefully we connect with it." For the uninitiated, STEEL PANTHER was formed in 2000 and is Michael Starr (vocals), Satchel (guitar), Lexxi Foxx (bass) and Stix Zadinia (drums). Hailing from Los Angeles, the epicenter for rock n' roll in all its debauchery and glamour, STEEL PANTHER has established themselves as the world's premier party band, melding hard rock virtuosity with parody and criminally good looks.
LINKIN PARK's official lyric video for the song "Battle Symphony" can be seen below. The track is the second single from the band's seventh studio album, "One More Light", which will be released on May 19 through Warner Bros. LINKIN PARK debuted the disc's first single, "Heavy", on Los Angeles radio station KROQ on February 16, followed by a performance of the track later in the day on Facebook Live. The song features guest vocals from Kiara Saulters, who is best known for recording stop-motion, hip-hop-inspired electro-R&B under the name Kiiara and who is featured in the track's accompanying video. "Heavy" sees LINKIN PARK teaming up with pop songwriter Emily Wright, who has worked with artists like Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Flo Rida. Vocalist Mike Shinoda told The Pulse Of Radio about the concept behind the song and its very different sound: "The question popped into my head, what would it be like, first of all, to write with people outside the band? What would it be like to really approach things with our arms kind of wide open, wrapped around a larger audience? And still make it a hundred percent LINKIN PARK and a hundred percent true to what we do. Almost a year and a half later, this is the first taste of what that sounds like." Asked what the rest of "One More Light" is like, Shinoda told Billboard: "One of the reasons why we chose 'Heavy' as the first single is because it is really the core sound of the album. This wasn't a scenario where the whole album sounds one way and the single sounds different. This is how the album sounds. So we wanted to go out with a song like that, where everybody can get a sense of the direction of this body of work." Shinoda also talked about LINKIN PARK's decision to collaborate with other writers this time around. "The thing that really drove this album was we kind of flipped our writing process backwards," he said. "Historically for us the (instrumental) track usually comes first, like we'll make a body of music and the music will inspire the lyrics. In this case, we actually flipped that around and the very first thing we'd do each day is we'd get into the studio and say, 'What's on my mind? What do I want to sing about and write about?' and that defined a whole different kind of writing. It builds a wonderful foundation to put everything else on top of. And the soundmaking is actually one of the most fun parts for me, so then it's like icing on the cake. I know I've got a strong song, a strong foundation and then it's just icing to put on top of it." Other tunes on the new CD include "Nobody Can Save Me", "Good Goodbye", "Talking To Myself", "Invisible", "Sorry For Now", "Halfway Right", "Sharp Edges" and the title track. Photo credit: James Minchin
Dutch black metallers CARACH ANGREN will release their new album, "Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten", on June 16 via Season Of Mist. The CD's cover art was created by renowned Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu. "Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten" track listing: 01. Opening (2:17) 02. Charlie (4:10) 03. Bloodqueen (4:55) 04. Charles Francis Coghlan (6:07) 05. Song For The Dead (4:16) 06. In De Naam Van De Duivel (6:29) 07. Pitch Black Box (3:17) 08. The Possession Process (4:27) 09. Three Times Thunder Strikes (5:19) The song "Song For The Dead" can be streamed below. CARACH ANGREN comments: "After months of hard work, we proudly reopen the doors to our haunted mansion to reveal the first deadly taste of our upcoming concept album. A unique horror story as you all expect and deserve from us, we consider this as one of the most terrifying tracks that we have created so far." On "Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten", CARACH ANGREN are painting musical pictures that easily combine the grandiose depth of a Rembrandt with Van Gogh's maelstrom of whirling colours and the utter madness of Bosch. This lusciously seductive danse macabre will drag you in and never let go. CARACH ANGREN have employed all the sonic colours on their palette to dazzling effect. Their trademark whipping guitars are weaving harsh melodies and sinister soundscapes, which are beautifully contrasted by opulent keyboards and majestic orchestrations. That Till Lindemann (RAMMSTEIN) and Peter Tägtgren (PAIN) have called upon the composition talent of Clemens "Ardek" Wijers is a telling sign of his outstanding mastery of the craft. Another signatory counterpoint is provided by Seregor's fierce rasping and shrieking vocals. Adding to the impact, Namtar has become a relentless driving force with his hard-hitting-yet-intricate drumming. Each track on this album is a highlight on its own, while combined "Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten" simply shines. With "Dance And Laugh Amongst The Rotten", CARACH ANGREN are returning to "pure" storytelling with episodes that are centered on a girl playing a little too long with her Ouija board. The Dutch have pushed their unashamedly theatric style to a new intense height.