MASTODON Extends North American Tour; BLABBERMOUTH.NET Presale Available

Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON have extended their U.S. headline tour, starting on September 26 in Orlando, Florida at Hard Rock Live with continued support from EAGLES OF DEATH METAL and RUSSIAN CIRCLES. The tour also includes stops at several festivals, including the High Elevation in Denver, Colorado and Louder Than Life in Louisville, Kentucky. A special BLABBERMOUTH.NET presale will begin on Wednesday, June 14 at 10:00 a.m. local time and end on Thursday, June 15 at 10:00 p.m. local time. When prompted, type in the presale code "SAND" to access tickets before the general public. The general on-sale is Friday, June 16 at 10:00 a.m. local time. Sep. 23 - Denver, CO - High Elevation # Sep. 26 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live (buy tickets) Sep. 27 - Charleston, SC - North Charleston Performance Arts Center (buy tickets) Sep. 29 - Knoxville, TN - Civic Auditorium (buy tickets) Sep. 30 - Louisville, KY - Louder Than Life # Oct. 03 - Raleigh, NC - The Ritz (buy tickets) Oct. 04 - Charlotte, NC - The Fillmore (buy tickets) Oct. 06 - Atlanta, GA - The Fox Theater (buy tickets) Oct. 07 - Camden, NJ - Rock Allegiance # Oct. 09 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis (buy tickets) Oct. 10 - Rochester, NY - The Armory Oct. 11 - Grand Rapids, MI - 20 Monroe Live (buy tickets) Oct. 13 - Oklahoma City, OK - Diamond Ballroom * (buy tickets) Oct. 14 - San Antonio, TX - Aztec Theater (buy tickets) Oct. 15 - Houston, TX - Houston Open Air # Oct. 17 - Albuquerque, NM - Historic El Rey Theater (buy tickets) Oct. 19 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues (buy tickets) Oct. 21 - Sacramento, CA - Aftershock # Oct. 23 - Boise, ID - Revolution Center (buy tickets) Oct. 24 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory (buy tickets) Oct. 25 - Vancouver, BC - Orpheum Theatre (buy tickets) # indicates festival date. All other dates are headline shows * without EAGLES OF DEATH METAL MASTODON's seventh studio album, "Emperor Of Sand", which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 album chart, making it their third Top 10 album. The follow-up to 2014's "Once More 'Round The Sun" was recorded at The Quarry Recording Studio in Kennesaw, just outside MASTODON's hometown of Atlanta, with producer Brendan O'Brien (PEARL JAM, NEIL YOUNG, AC/DC, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE), who first worked with MASTODON on their seminal 2009 album "Crack The Skye" "Emperor Of Sand" finds MASTODON returning to a deeply imaginative and complex conceptual storyline that ponders the nature of time. Threading together the myth of a man sentenced to death in a majestically malevolent desert, the band conjures the grains of a musical and lyrical odyssey slipping quickly through a cosmic hourglass. "'Emperor of sand' is like the grim reaper," says drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor. "Sand represents time. If you or anyone you know has ever received a terminal diagnosis, the first thought is about time. Invariably, you ask, 'How much time is left?'" "We're reflecting on mortality," adds bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders. "To that end, the album ties into our entire discography. It's 17 years in the making, but it's also a direct reaction to the last two years. We tend to draw inspiration from very real things in our lives."

Listen To New COMEBACK KID Single ‘Absolute’ Feat. Guest Appearance By DEVIN TOWNSEND

Hardcore/punk outfit COMEBACK KID has signed a deal with New Damage for Canada and Nuclear Blast for the rest of the world. The band's new single, "Absolute", featuring a guest appearance by Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend, can be streamed below. Commented COMEBACK KID singer Andrew Neufeld: "We are ecstatic to be signing with Nuclear Blast. A label that has been running for 30 years and home to some of hardcore and metal's most integral acts. "Like COMEBACK KID, Nuclear Blast is a label that focuses its energy globally as they have offices all over the world. That is really exciting for us as a band that prides itself on playing in as many corners of the earth as possible. "Here in Canada we are joining up with long time friends at New Damage/Dine Alone. We have worked closely with them before so we know it will be a great fit and fresh start in our home country. "Our new album is going to be the most diverse and interesting record yet, in my opinion. There are a few collaborations and we stepped outside of our box and out of our comfort zone a lot on this one. "I've worked with Devin Townsend on another project before, so to have him sing on 'Absolute' was awesome for us. I was conjuring up his vocal style anyways when laying down the guide vocals before we knew he was on board for the song. When we asked him to be a part of it, he was open and willing so we thank him for that. He definitely put his unique stamp on it. "On to the next chapter for COMEBACK KID with a new team to help us share our music. We will be starting a new cycle of touring around the world starting this summer. Can't wait to share what we have been working on." For the past months, COMEBACK KID has worked hard on the follow-up to 2014's critically acclaimed "Die Knowing", which is scheduled for a release later this year. COMEBACK KID will soon hit European shores for a three-week run of shows through sweaty clubs and big summer festivals. Photo by Avi Dhillon

LIONIZE To Release ‘Nuclear Soul’ Album In September

Maryland-based rockers LIONIZE will release their new full-length studio album, "Nuclear Soul", on September 8 in digital, CD and LP formats. The video for the first single, "Blindness To Danger", can be seen below. "Nuclear Soul" follows the band's widely praised 2014 album, "Jetpack Soundtrack", and continues their ever-maturing sound. It's emotionally driven and steeped in introspection, with subjects ranging from the end of times to heart break within the industry. Recorded locally in Maryland, production has been handled by CLUTCH's Jean-Paul Gaster with J. Robbins and LIONIZE. About the song's meaning, LIONIZE bassist Hank Upton explains: "So much of our career as a band has been following our instincts and running headlong into the unknown with no regard for how insane a tour/show/song idea might be. I feel like that passion and willingness to take a risk has gotten us very far. Naturally, though, you're walking a tightrope. Same goes for your personal life with romance or substances, etc. Passion and heart will take you everywhere but where's the line? I was trying to investigate that feeling." The video for "Blindness To Danger" toes that exact line, pinning LIONIZE's Nate Bergman against pro-wrestler The Almighty Sheik. Shot entirely on an Apple iPhone 7 with the Moment Wide and Tele lenses, video director Miguel "M.i.G." Martinez chose this intimate format to show his young students that they don't need expensive equipment to create a music video/film. "Nuclear Soul" track listing 01. Darkest Timeline 02. Face Of Mars 03. Fire in Athena 04. Power Grid 05. Ain't It A Shame 06. Election Year 07. March Of The Clones 08. Let You Down 09. The Mad Scientist of Sunshine 10. Nuclear Soul 11. Blindness To Danger Leading up to the album release, LIONIZE — consisting of Chris Brooks (keyboards), Hank Upton (bass), Chase Lapp (drums) and Nate Bergman (guitar) — will tour this summer throughout the U.S. and U.K.

ALTER BRIDGE To Perform With Orchestra At London’s Royal Albert Hall

Following their jaw-dropping set at Download festival this weekend, U.S. rock giants ALTER BRIDGE have announced their return to the U.K. for two very special headline shows on October 2 and October 3. Appearing at the legendary Royal Albert Hall in London for the first time, the band will treat the audience to an array of songs never before played live as well as fan favorite hits, drawn from their acclaimed five-album catalog. In another first, the group will also be accompanied by the Parallax Orchestra — a 52-piece London-based symphony orchestra conducted by Simon Dobson — adding an impressive new dimension to their already captivating live show. Tickets for the two nights go on general sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 16. Pre-sales begin 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 14 via O2 and 10 a.m. Thursday, June 15 via Live Nation and the Royal Albert Hall. ALTER BRIDGE will release of a new live album and rarities collection, "Live At The O2 Arena + Rarities", on September 8 via Napalm Records. One of the biggest moments of the band's career was the monumental show at London's famous O2 Arena on November 26, 2016. That landmark performance was captured in its entirety. The two-CD, nineteen-track recording documents what an enormous presence ALTER BRIDGE have become on concert stages around the world. Myles Kennedy, Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips tear through hits like "Farther Than The Sun", "Show Me A Leader", "Rise Today", and their masterpiece "Isolation", showcasing a band at the top of their game. Other highlights include the Tremonti-sung "Waters Rising", the acoustic-driven "Watch Over You" and ALTER BRIDGE's signature anthem "Blackbird". In addition, this latest release includes an exclusive full-length rarities CD sure to excite fans everywhere. The disc features the never-before-released tracks "Cruel Sun" and "Solace" that were recorded during the "One Day Remains" sessions, as well as the song "Breathe" from the same time which has only ever been available as a U.S. retail exclusive via Best Buy. These tracks join seven other songs that have only been released in Japan until this collection. This incredible selection of ALTER BRIDGE gems will be released in multiple formats. In addition to a standard three-CD audio version, fans can also pick up one of the limited deluxe editions (including a four-LP set and a CD/DVD Earbook) which also include an exclusive ALTER BRIDGE documentary featuring extensive interviews with the band, their crew, and family, giving an amazing glimpse behind the scenes of this legendary show at London's O2 Arena.

METALLICA: Watch Pro-Shot Footage Of ‘Wherever I May Roam’ Performance From Denver, Colorado

Professionally filmed video footage of METALLICA performing the song "Wherever I May Roam" on June 7 at the Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado can be seen below. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame band is touring in support of its tenth studio album, "Hardwired... To Self-Destruct", which features the current single "Now That We're Dead". The North American leg of METALLICA's "WorldWired" trek will hit stadiums in nineteen more cities before ending in mid-August. METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone that the band was genuinely surprised to learn they could still play stadiums, saying, "It was like, 'Holy fuck, people really still care about this band in ways that you stopped taking for granted literally decades ago. It was very inspiring and kind of eye-opening." He added: "Full stadium runs can sometimes be a little intimidating. There's all these things to worry about like, 'You should really try to play maybe only on the weekend,' and, 'Where do you play on Tuesday?' and some of those practicalities can get a little bewildering. We just threw caution to the wind. Doing a stadium run seemed like the perfect thing on the back of how well this record has been received and all the good will that's out there in METALLICA's world right now." The next stop on the tour is Houston, Texas on June 11. Support on the quartet's first North American trek since 2009 is coming mainly from AVENGED SEVENFOLD and VOLBEAT, with GOJIRA taking over for the latter group for the last six shows. "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" was certified platinum on April 12 by the RIAA (Recording Association Of America). The platinum certification reflects a million equivalent album units, which blends traditional album sales, tracks sold from an album and on-demand audio and video streams. The recent gain in "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct" sales is owed mostly to a concert ticket/album bundle sale redemption promotion with the band's stadium tour that went on sale on February 17. Redemptions of albums included with the purchase of a concert ticket register as a sale in the week the customer redeems/receives the album.

MR. BIG: Interview, Acoustic Performance As Part Of ‘BackStory Events’ Online Series

On Saturday, June 10, BackStory Events and Guitar World presented an intimate conversation with Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan, Pat Torpey and Matt Starr of MR. BIG at the Cutting Room in New York City. They discussed their upcoming album, "Defying Gravity", and covered career highlights and raucous anecdotes from years of musical pursuits. The event featured a long-form interview, an opportunity for audience questions, a short acoustic performance and a meet-and-greet. MR. BIG was interviewed by author and journalist Brad Tolinski. The event was part of the BackStory Events online series and was livestreamed by Guitar World magazine. "Defying Gravity" will be released on July 7 via Frontiers Music Srl. The effort will be available at traditional retail and all digital service providers, as will a deluxe edition version with CD and bonus DVD that features music videos and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the new album. The album will also be made available on vinyl in the coming months. "Defying Gravity" deftly showcases that patented MR. BIG blend of crunch and melody, from the freight-train ride of opening cut "Open Your Eyes" to the harmony-laden wonderment of "Damn I'm in Love Again" to the grateful/wistful nostalgia of "1992" (recalling the days when the band was flying high atop the singles charts with their international No. 1 smash "To Be With You") to the barnburning slide-blues closer, "Be Kind". Overall, "Defying Gravity" is prime evidence that the only thing MR. BIG remains tethered to is their ongoing pursuit of achieving creative excellence. Original members Eric Martin (lead vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitars), Billy Sheehan (bass) and Pat Torpey (drums) reunited with producer Kevin Elson (who was behind the boards for the band's 1989 self-titled debut, 1991's "Lean Into It" and 1993's "Bump Ahead") for an intensive six-day recording session in Los Angeles. While Torpey was unable to perform some of the songs on "Defying Gravity" due to a recent diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, Matt Starr has been filling in for him on a majority of the album. Starr also been touring with the band for the past couple of years, with Torpey able to play a couple of songs at each stop. "It was great to get back in the studio with our original producer, Kevin Elson," says Gilbert. "Kevin recorded all of our original classic albums from the '80s and '90s, and we immediately felt that magic chemistry with him on 'Defying Gravity'. We basically played live in the studio. "Over the years, we've all had a chance to experiment with every recording technique possible, but it's still always the best just to play together as a band. Most of my guitar solos were tracked live with the band. I've worked hard on my improvisation in the last few years, and it really paid off on this record… both melodically and on the face-melting stuff."


Fan-filmed video footage of CARCASS's June 10 performance at the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden can be seen below. CARCASS guitarist Bill Steer told Dead Rhetoric last year that the band's next studio album should arrive by the end of 2017. But, he added, "we can't really rush this. We don't want to waste anyone's time, including our own by putting out something substandard." Regarding the musical direction of CARCASS's follow-up to 2013's "Surgical Steel" album, Steer said: "All I would say is there has to be small stylistic elements that haven't appeared on CARCASS records before. We're going to be walking the tightrope of sounding like the band CARCASS and bringing in new elements. There's nothing valid to say if we're going to do a retread… what's the point? That was a very nice summary of our previous records. We updated all of the stylistic parts of those albums without trying. It just happened." Joining Steer and bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker in CARCASS's current incarnation are drummer Daniel Wilding (ABORTED, TRIGGER THE BLOODSHED) and guitarist Ben Ash (PIG IRON, DESOLATION, LIQUEFIED SKELETON). "Surgical Steel" sold around 8,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 41 on The Billboard 200 chart.

COREY TAYLOR: STONE SOUR Lineup Changes ‘Encouraged Us To Bring A Whole Different Style Out Of Ourselves’

SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor was recently interviewed by Kris Peters of Australian's Heavy. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On how the songwriting process in STONE SOUR has changed since the departures of bassist Shawn Economaki and guitarist Jim Root and the additions of Johny Chow and Christian Martucci: Corey: "It didn't change a lot. It made things interesting when it came to writing, because we'd all always written. Me and Josh [Rand, guitar] have always been the main songwriters in STONE SOUR; we've always brought the majority of the material. So this was just a matter of kind of getting to know Johny Chow's and Christian's writing style, which fit in perfect with us, to be honest. It was exciting to really kind of embrace that type of musical taste. And it really encouraged us to bring a whole different style out of ourselves or really even to open up more than we had even tried to in the past. So in a lot of ways, man, it was a great way for us to kind of re-establish the band." On how hard it is, physically and mentally, on him to go through the transition between his two bands, SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR: Corey: "It's not simple, I'll tell you that much. It's difficult. But I've always been able to give myself a few months to kind of readjust and get my head together and spend some time with family and everything and really kind of reground myself. Because I know that not only am I gonna be going into an entire cycle where you're playing shows and you're writing music and you're giving everything you've got, but there's also all the press that comes along with it. It takes a lot out of you, man. It's one of those things where it's a good problem to have, and as long as you understand the nature of it, you can try and adjust and give yourself enough time to catch your breath, because it means that much to you. So, yeah, it's difficult, but it's so worth it too." 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.

CLUTCH Has Written ‘A Handful Of Tunes’ For Next Studio Album

Maryland rockers CLUTCH have written "handful of tunes" for the follow-up to 2015's "Psychic Warfare", with plans to enter the studio later in the year. Speaking to Metal Wani's Adam Hayward at this weekend's Download festival in the U.K., CLUTCH drummer Jean-Paul Gaster said (hear audio below): "We took a good bit of time off [from touring]. We were off [the road] for nearly four months, and so for us, that's quite a long time; we hadn't taken that much time off in… I don't remember how long. So we spent a good portion of that writing new songs, working out in the jam room, working on new arrangements, working on concepts. And at this point, we have a handful of tunes that have vocal ideas. We've been putting them into the set. We'll play one tonight; the one we're doing tonight is called 'How To Shake Hands'." Gaster added that it is "super important" for CLUTCH to test out some of the new material in a live setting, because it "really gives us the opportunity to hear the song for what it is." He explained: "As a drummer, I'm always trying to find the pulse of that tune. And most recently, I'm really making an effort not to just superimpose what I think the pulse should be of that tune; the tune will tell you what to play. It's a matter of actually playing the song and listening to the way the guys interact with the music, watching the crowd and seeing what the crowd reacts to — all this stuff goes into it. So it's an exciting time for us right now; it's very sort of… [We're] in a very creative mindspace right now." Asked if it gets easier to write new CLUTCH music as the years pass, the drummer said: "Yeah, I think it does, actually. In a lot of ways, we get together and there's very little vocal communication sometimes. We might be in the room for a half hour or forty-five minutes playing the whole time and creating this thing, but no one ever actually says anything… It's like we've gotten to the point where we sort of share a brain, you know. And there's a lot of beer and stuff in that brain, but there's a brain; it's a collective brain." Gaster also talked about CLUTCH's longevity despite the band's refusal to follow musical trends. "I think part of that has to do with the fact that when we got the band together, the intention was not to make a million dollars and it wasn't to be a huge band and it wasn't to be on the radio," he said. "It was really just to… We just wanted to play some cool shows and make some records that we were proud of, and that was really the beginning and the end of it. And I think because of that, even in the times that were tough, whether it was financial times or dealing with the label, we always went back to that. It was really about the music, and it's still about the music. And so that makes it easy as well." He added: "It's amazing. I still enjoy doing what we do, I enjoy being with the guys, I enjoy making music with them, being creative and challenging ourselves." As previously reported, CLUTCH and PRIMUS will join forces for "An Evening With Primus And Clutch" tour this summer. The 24-date trek will launch on July 17 in Charlotte, North Carolina and wrap on August 18 in Berkeley, California. Both bands will play full sets during the tour, which will feature no support acts. "Psychic Warfare" debuted at No. 11 on The Billboard 200 chart after shifting 26,000 equivalent album units in the week ending October 8, 2015. The disc was released via CLUTCH's own label Weathermaker Music.

ROB ZOMBIE To Begin Work On New Album In August

Rob Zombie is planning to enter the studio this summer to begin work on the follow-up to last year's "The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser" album. The rocker-turned-film-director told Kerrang! Radio at this weekend's Download festival in the U.K.: "Right now we're just doing shows all summer, then we're starting a new record in August. And then I won't start a new movie till next year, 'cause it's all music for the rest of this year. So that's about it." Rob added that his band will continue to play scattered shows while making the new disc. He explained: "These days, as everybody knows, there's not really like a proper album cycle where you make an album and you just tour it to death, because no one really gives a shit if anyone's making records that much anymore." While rock radio has largely stopped playing his newer records, fans are continuing to embrace new music from Rob Zombie. The week of its release, "The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser" debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard album chart and was the only rock record in the top 30. It would have been No. 4, if two previously released Prince albums weren't near the top of the chart. Several of Zombie's singles from "The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser", including "In The Age Of The Consecrated Vampire We All Get High" and "Well, Everybody's Fucking In A U.F.O.", were accompanied by their respective attention-grabbing videos, a trend that is likely to continue with the upcoming effort. "I love making videos," Rob told Kerrang! Radio. "We made more videos for the last record than we've made in the last ten years, because that's all that matters. People go, 'Oh, no one listens to music.' Yeah, they do, but they watch it at the same time. I mean, you look at a video and go, 'Wow, it's got fifty million views.' Well, you didn't get fifty million views on fucking MTV. It's great!" "The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser" was released on April 29, 2016 via UMe/T-Boy Records. The disc was produced by Chris "Zeuss" Harris and features Zombie alongside John 5, Piggy D. and drummer Ginger Fish.