London's AKERCOCKE has reunited with Peaceville Records to unleash the band's sixth full-length album, "Renaissance In Extremis", on August 25. Mixed by legendary studio guru Neil Kernon (NILE, DEICIDE) and mastered by Alan Douches (DEATH, MISFITS, CRO-MAGS) at West West Side Music, the disc is nothing short of a new dawn for these most eccentric of extremists. On returning to the Peaceville family, founding member and drummer David Gray comments: "AKERCOCKE are proud and privileged to be returning to Peaceville Records this year for our new album, our first release for ten years. "Peaceville unleashed the band on the wider metal community and were responsible for laying the foundations of our two-decade history. Therefore, it is wholly appropriate that they assist us once again in our mission to pursue quality progressive death metal to the masses!" A comprehensive reinvention and expansion of the band's multifarious sound, "Renaissance In Extremis" delivers euphoric force and mind-boggling weirdness. There are scything thrash and death metal riffs in abundance, plus warped but elegant melodies and clouds of ugly dissonance; moments of unsettling calm and quiet. "Renaissance In Extremis" is a bold, bullish and belligerent statement of creative intent: metal's dark spirit reborn in an explosion of bright ideas and inspirational fury. AKERCOCKE has reveal the first track, titled "Disappear", from the highly anticipated opus. Frontman and vocalist Jason Mendonca introduces the song by saying: "'Disappear' gives a summary insight of all that follows on 'Renaissance In Extremis'. It contains all of the classic AKERCOCKE hallmarks, yet aptly represents the band's development in intent, style and delivery." Towering above the vast majority of nefarious contemporary noisemakers, AKERCOCKE erupted across the consciousness of the U.K. metal scene in the late '90s, wielding a fiendishly inventive blend of death, black and progressive metal. Their distinctive, smartly-dressed demeanour and eloquent preoccupation with all things dark and Satanic marked them out both as ferociously individual artists and enlightened students of the pitch-black sonic code. Immediately embraced by the British faithful upon the release of debut album, "Rape Of The Bastard Nazarene", AKERCOCKE spent the following decade leading the creative charge for their entire native scene. AKERCOCKE received widespread acclaim for follow-up album, "The Goat of Mendes" (Peaceville, 2001) and despite enjoying furious momentum over the following years, the release of fifth album, "Antichrist", in 2007 signalled the end of the first chapter of the AKERCOCKE story, when the band retreated into the shadows and remained dormant for the best part of a decade. Fast forward to 2017 and AKERCOCKE's ongoing return to active service has reached its first invigorating climax. 2016 saw Mendonca reconvening with Gray and returning original second guitarist Paul Scanlan to reignite the flames that first drove this band to deftly redefine an entire genre. This was deftly followed by a triumphant live return at Bloodstock festival in August 2016. "Renaissance In Extremis" track listing 01. Disappear 02. Unbound By Sin 03. Insentience 04. First To Leave The Funeral 05. Familiar Ghosts 06. A Final Glance Back Before Departing 07. One Chapter Closing For Another To Begin 08. Inner Sanctum 09. A Particularly Cold Sept Photo credit: Tina Korhonen
Former NIGHTWISH singer Tarja Turunen was joined by Sharon Den Adel (WITHIN TEMPTATION) for a special performance at the 2017 edition of the Metalfest Open Air on June 3 in Pilsen, Czech Republic. Video footage of their collaboration, along with a pre-show interview conducted by Spark TV, can be seen below. Turunen originally collaborated with Den Adel on the WITHIN TEMPTATION song "Paradise (What About Us?)" which can be found on the band's sixth studio album, "Hydra", released in January 2014. Den Adel previously stated about the band's collaboration with Turunen: "When we had written the first version of 'Paradise' and listened back to the demo we'd recorded and the epic power of the song, we thought of Tarja instantly. How well this track would fit her classical voice and how extra special it would be if we sang it together. The more we thought about this wild idea, the more excited we got about it!" Following several video trailers teasing the track, fans speculated on the band's Facebook page who the duet would be with, some guessing it couldn't possibly be a "competing" artist like Tarja. However, the two singers had no hesitation joining forces, having never thought of themselves as competitors. Sharon continued: "Of course I didn't know what to expect from Tarja, as we'd never actually met in person 'till June [of 2013]. Our first encounter was via a Skype call we'd set-up to discuss the collaboration and we immediately clicked, not only creatively but personally. After we'd spoken, it felt completely natural that we would do this together!"
Las Vegas band THE FAT DUKES OF FUCK has released the music video for the songs "Kodiak Arrest" and "Promise Keepers". Both tracks are taken from the group's upcoming album, titled "A Compendium Of Desperation, Morality And Dick Jokes", which will be released on August 25. MELVINS, THE JESUS LIZARD, QUI and DEMON LUNG members all perform on, and participated in the making of "A Compendium Of Desperation, Morality And Dick Jokes", which was recorded by production team the Deaf Nephews, a.k.a. Dale Crover of the MELVINS and Toshi Kasai (QUI, MELVINS, BIG BUSINESS), at Sound Of Sirens Studios in Los Angeles. THE FAT DUKES OF FUCK vocalist and band co-founder Brent Lynch states about the clip: "This video is actually two songs but we liked the way they sounded together, so we made the video for both of them with some fun noise in between. "The 'Kodiak Arrest' part features Dale Crover and Jeremy [Brenton, THE FAT DUKES OF FUCK drummer] simultaneously on drums. Isn't that fun? The 'Promise Keepers' part also features Dale along with David Yow and the boys from QUI all doing a bit of vocals. The demo version of this tune has Brent doing the middle talking part, but from the beginning we all thought the part needed David Yow. Imagine our surprise when he agreed to do it. "The video was shot in Sound Of Sirens Studios while recording and features all the fellas mentioned above. "The song is very loosely based on…you guessed it, The Promise Keepers. "The Promise Keepers' mission has been to ignite and unite men to become warriors who will change their world through living out the Seven Promises. It's God Shit." Formed in 2005, THE FAT DUKES OF FUCK has released 2012's "Honey From The Lips Of An Angel" plus two splits and a handful of EPs and has played hundreds of shows in and around Las Vegas with acts like CROWBAR, WHORES, EARLYMAN, HELMS ALEE, MOS GENERATOR and THE MENTORS. Lynch stated about the making of "A Compendium Of Desperation, Morality And Dick Jokes": "This album was written in a small sweaty room a few years back. We enlisted the help of the Deaf Nephews to record and help tweak the weirdness of it. It's a bit darker than our previous records. "Toshi and Dale both make appearances by way of voice or instrument on almost every track. We were able to convince David Yow to lend his voice to one track. He also did all the artwork and drank a few of our beers. Our friends Matt and Paul from QUI help out with a ton of the backup vocals as well. When those two sing together, it almost makes us cry, but then we remember we are big strong men and push down our emotions like our fathers taught us. "Making this album made a lot of our teenage dreams (and adult dreams) come true. We had a lot of fun making it and we hope there are at least a few assholes out there who will enjoy listening to it." THE FAT DUKES OF FUCK is Brent Lynch on vocals, Jarrod Miller on guitar, Jason Lamb on bass and Jeremy Brenton on drums. "A Compendium Of Desperation, Morality And Dick Jokes" track listing: 01. A Compendium Of Desperation, Morality And Dick Jokes 02. Whiskey And Bath Water 03. Mother Of Rhea Pearlman 04. Full Metal Jack Off 05. Side By Side 06. Where Assholes Come To Die 07. Tasteful Ray 08. No Single Men 09. Laughlin Longhorn Suicide Fuck 10. Kodiak Arrest 11. The Monotonous Adventures Of A Hopeaholic 12. Promise Keepers 13. I'll Tell You When It Hurts "A Compendium Of Desperation, Morality And Dick Jokes" is available for preorder from THE FAT DUKES OF FUCK Bandcamp page. Photo by Red Flame Photo
On May 14, following Alice Cooper's customary execution via guillotine on stage at his Nashville concert, fans were treated to something rarely seen since 1973. The stage went dark and original band members, bassist Dennis Dunaway, guitarist Michael Bruce and drummer Neal Smith reunited to perform a five song mini-set of their classic hits with Alice. This followed the recent announcement that his forthcoming album — "Paranormal", out July 28 on earMUSIC — will include two new recordings written and recorded by the original lineup ("Genuine American Girl" and "You And All Of Your Friends"). Now, Alice announces that the three members of the original ALICE COOPER band will join him on tour in the U.K., returning to these shores 46 years after they first shocked and enthralled us on their historic 1971 tour. In Nashville, they were joined by current band member Ryan Roxie filling in for the late Glen Buxton on guitar. The band ripped through "I'm 18", "No More Mr. Nice Guy", "Muscle Of Love", "Billion Dollar Babies" and then closed with "School's Out", bringing back current band members — drummer Glen Sobel, bassist Chuck Garric, and guitarists Nita Strauss and Tommy Henriksen — for a grand finale. And they enjoyed it so much that they decided to bring the show to the U.K. Alice says: "When the original band broke up in 1975, there was no bad blood, there were no lawsuits — we had just burned out the creative process. We had gone to high school together and had recorded something like five platinum albums in a row. We were never out of sight of each other for ten years. Everybody just went their own way. Neal, Dennis and I always stayed in touch. Mike disappeared for a while and Glen Buxton passed away in 1997, which was a big blow. But last year Neal called me up and said, 'I have a couple of songs.' I said, 'Great. Bring 'em over.' Then he said Mike was stopping by, so I had them come to my house and we just worked on a few things for a week. Then Dennis called up and said, 'I got a couple songs.' So, I thought, 'Hey, let's do this!' When you listen to the record, it just fits right in." The next logical step is to rekindle their friendship, doing what they do best — performing as one the greatest live rock bands in history. Alice Cooper U.K. tour dates: Nov. 11 - Leeds - First Direct Arena Nov. 12 - Glasgow - The SSE Hydro Nov. 14 - Birmingham - Barclaycard Arena Nov. 15 - Manchester - Manchester Arena Nov. 16 - London - The SSE Arena, Wembley
Tim "Ripper" Owens says that he won't work with Geoff Tate again, a little over six months after he collaborated with the former QUEENSRŸCHE frontman and ex-IRON MAIDEN singer Blaze Bayley on the "Trinity" tour. The trek, which consisted of a handful of U.S. dates in November, saw the three powerhouse vocalists perform music from their respective groups while backed by Tate's OPERATION: MINDCRIME bandmates. Speaking to Metal Express Radio on June 1 in Newcastle, England, the former JUDAS PRIEST frontman stated about the experience of sharing the stage with Tate and Bayley: "It was a lot fun, you know. It was a lot of fun — we laughed a lot and had a good time. Unfortunately, I won't be working with Geoff Tate again. So we'll leave it at that. But I will be working with Blaze Bayley." Owens went on to say that he, Tate and Bayley "had an absolute blast doing" the "Trinity" tour. He explained: "We laughed. We [got to] sing the song we recorded together and then Geoff would sing three [tracks], Blaze would sing three, I would sing a few, and then all of us would come out and I'd play guitar and sing and we'd do [JUDAS PRIEST's classic song] 'Living After Midnight'. It was a really fun tour." Even though there were plans to take the "Trinity" tour "everywhere," the trek was "short-lived," according to Owens. He added: "They still might [take it to other parts of the world], but just not with me." Tate, Owens and Bayley originally joined forces to perform on the track "Taking On The World" from Geoff's OPERATION: MINDCRIME project and also appear in the accompanying music video. Tate later told Rockin' Metal Revival: "We hooked up and had just a great time singing on this particular song. As we were working on it, we started talking about, 'Wouldn't it be fun to maybe tour together at some point?' We loved the idea until we started to put together our schedules, which are crazy. We're all going at different places, different times, so the only time we could get all three of us in the same country was around Thanksgiving in the northeastern part of America." Tate went on to describe "Trinity" as "just three people who get along famously and have a lot of laughs… I think probably the coolest thing about it is that we have a lot of fun doing it."
BEHEMOTH frontman Adam "Nergal" Darski was forced to miss a performance by one of his favorite artists, RAMMSTEIN, at Germany's Rock Am Ring after police had to evacuate the festival site because of a "potential terrorist threat." When asked by Conny Schiffbauer of WDR's "Rockpalast" if he is alarmed by increased threat of a terror attack on a rock concert, Nergal said: "Well, I don't really see it in these categories. I mean, we're all gonna die sooner or later, and I definitely don't wanna die, so all the prevention is very much needed and I support that. So as much as I'm disappointed that I couldn't see one of my favorite bands, I think all that had to happen happened, and that sucks. But security comes first and health comes first. I mean, this is the times we live in and we have to learn how to deal with that. We should do something about it, you know what I mean? Just use some effective tools to stop that kind of stuff. I don't know… I'm not a politician. I don't know what. But I wish this will stop soon, which is probably just wishful thinking, because we are at war, Europe is at war, the civilized world is at war with radical Islamists, and that's a fact." Regarding whether he gets inspiration for his lyrics from global terrorism, Nergal said: "Well, it maybe adds — it's an extra brick in this wall called frustration that us artists need to release somehow. So writing helps get some of these emotions out. I cannot really say that particularly the terrorist topic is something that occupies my brain, but it definitely has an influence this way or another." BEHEMOTH is contuining work on the follow-up to 2014's "The Satanist" album for a tentative fall 2018 release. The band last year completed a North American tour where the band played "The Satanist" in its entirety. "The Satanist" sold around 10,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 34 on The Billboard 200 chart.
In a brand new interview with Germany's Metal Hammer magazine, SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR frontman Corey Taylor was asked if he suffers from stage fright. He responded (see video below): "No. [Laughs] You know, the funny thing is I still get anxious before shows. I don't get nervous, but I get anxious. I'm excited to just get out there. I just love performing for people. I think the only time I've really had that [stage fright] was my very first show — my first real show — with STONE SOUR. It was '92. 'Cause before I had done little gigs here and there, but there was nobody there, so it didn't really matter. With STONE SOUR at the time, I was not only singing, but I was playing guitar and playing lead. So I was kind of like [doing] triple duty and super nervous about it. So I didn't know to bring water with me on stage — I did whatever — so my throat got super dry and I was cracking all over the place. It was brutal. But by the end of it, it was cool. We had such a great time that I had the bug, man. I was, like, 'We've gotta do this.' We got a new lead guitar player, so I could just sing and play guitar if I needed to. And that was. And then the rest is history." STONE SOUR's new album, "Hydrograd", will be released on June 30 via Roadrunner. The disc was recorded at Sphere Studios in North Hollywood, California with producer Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX and STEEL PANTHER. The band tracked the album live in the studio, cutting a total of 18 songs from which 15 will make the CD. STONE SOUR will be special guests of KORN on the latter act's "Serenity Of Summer" trek, which starts on June 16 in Salt Lake City and wraps on August 2 in Cleveland.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH announced today that they will finish out their remaining European dates with BAD WOLVES vocalist Tommy Vext filling in for FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH frontman Ivan Moody, whose struggles with substance abuse are widely known. Moody said: "I am embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I have fallen off the wagon again. I was on shaky ground prior to our performance in Tilburg, and although a lot of the events of that show were out of my control, the shame of not delivering pushed me over the edge. It would not be fair to my bandmates or my fans to continue to perform in my current condition. One of the worst parts of addiction is the loneliness you feel, so having the support of my band and all the knuckleheads is what drives me. I am committed to getting better so I can get back out on stage as soon as possible." Zoltan Bathory, guitarist of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, said: "As a band, we are committed to supporting Ivan's road to recovery. We are as baffled and saddened as anyone to watch our brother continue to struggle. Almost everyone in the world knows someone who struggles with addiction, and can relate to how the self-destruction of someone they care about is very difficult to watch. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has every intention of playing the dates we're committed to and beyond. The band is bigger than any one member." Tommy Vext, the vocalist of up-and-coming metal band BAD WOLVES, said: "It is a tremendous honor to share the stage with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH on these remaining dates. Today I am blessed with over eight years of sobriety, so I can certainly empathize with Ivan's struggles. Not only do I feel a responsibility to deliver for the fans of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH on these remaining dates, but also to deliver for Ivan so he can get back to work as soon as he is healthy." This is not the first time Ivan has been forced to miss FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH shows due to various issues. Moody previously sat our eight concerts during the band's fall 2016 U.S. co-headlining arena tour with SHINEDOWN after he "fell ill" and stepped away from the road to receive treatment. He was replaced at those dates by ALL THAT REMAINS vocalist Phil Labonte. Prior to that, Moody had an onstage meltdown during a May 2015 show in Memphis. The incident was blamed on his abuse of alcohol and drugs. He entered rehab after that. As previously reported, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and IN FLAMES will join forces for a European co-headlining tour in November and December.
Ozzy Osbourne has teamed up with the Midland Metro to celebrate BBC Music Day. BBC Music Day is a U.K.-wide annual celebration of music that aims to unite communities and generations through their love of music. The theme for this year's BBC Music Day is the power of music — to bring people together, to enhance feelings of well-being and to create unforgettable memories. It will be broadcast across BBC Radio and BBC Local Radio and BBC Television and this year will take place on June 15. On that day, Music Day Ambassador Ozzy Osbourne will provide the passenger announcements for people travelling on the Birmingham-to-Wolverhampton tram. Rebecca Sandiford, the producer of BBC Music Day, said: "BBC Music Day aims to unite generations and communities through their love of music, so we thought we'd give commuters a reason to smile as they make their daily journeys." Ozzy said: "When I was young, music was all that mattered to me. As a teenager, I was caught in the magical spell of THE BEATLES and that was all it took. I was gone. Music is still magic to me. It runs through my head all day long and I would never ever want that to stop. "Being named one of 2017's Music Day Ambassadors was an unexpected and wonderful honour. "Music has given me such an incredible life so a special day that celebrates this, like BBC Music Day, is better than Christmas to me." Colin Saward, general manager of National Express Midland Metro, said: "Ozzy already has a Midland Metro tram named after him, and he launched our Birmingham city centre extension last year. So it's great to have the Prince of Darkness back as the voice of our trams on BBC Music Day." Coun Richard Worrall, chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority transport delivery committee, said: "I am delighted Ozzy Osbourne has agreed to continue his association with the Midland Metro and I am sure passengers will enjoy hearing his voice. "The Metro has seen nearly eight million users in the last twelve months and passenger satisfaction levels are amongst the highest in the country, so Ozzy's star quality is certainly in good company."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, KISS frontman Gene Simmons filed an application Friday (June 9) for a trademark on the so-called "devil's horns" hand gesture. Simmons claims in the filing that the hand gesture was first used in commerce November 14, 1974 — a date that appears to correspond with KISS's "Hotter Than Hell" tour. Gene is attempting to secure the mark for "entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist." Back in 2004, Steve Appleford of LA CityBEAT conducted a "survey" of heavy metal musicians regarding the origins of the "devil's horns" hand sign — the horned hand, with index finger and pinkie raised proudly as the sign of the beast, which is being used as the "international greeting to heavy metal ecstasy." "Gene Simmons wrote in his 2002 autobiography that it was his accidental invention, the inadvertent gesture of a great man, repeated at concerts and picked up by fans," Appleford said. "Not likely. Former BLACK SABBATH shouter Ronnie James Dio also takes the credit, first raising the horns before joining the band in 1978. And he's expressed alarm over the image of Britney Spears fans raising the sign at concerts by the dancing diva of lip-synched pop." When Appleford asked Lemmy about the source of the "devil's horns" hand sign, noting the casual claims of Gene Simmons, Lemmy replied, "Well, he would, wouldn't he? He is so eeevilll. Come on, gimme a fucking break." Lars Ulrich of METALLICA had no doubt at all: "That’s got to be Ronnie James Dio. I remember RAINBOW used to play in Denmark about every half hour, so I used to go see it every half hour. And Ronnie James Dio did a lot of that. Back in '75, '76, '77, it was all about RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH and THIN LIZZY." In a separate interview, METALLICA singer-guitarist James Hetfield answered: "I think Dio." Then he went on, with a smile: "I think Spider-Man originally. It's also 'I love you' in sign language. I don't know, I think it's 'Two more songs!' — you know."