"Curse Of Darkness", a brand new song from the multinational metal band DRAGONFORCE, can be streamed below. The track is taken from the band's new album, "Reaching Into Infinity", which will be released on May 19 via earMUSIC on CD, LP and a special-edition CD and DVD. The follow-up to 2014's "Maximum Overload" marks the band's third full-length studio release with singer Marc Hudson, who joined the group in 2011 following the departure of original frontman ZP Theart (now in SKID ROW). The bulk of the recording sessions for "Reaching Into Infinity" took place at Fascination Street studios in Örebro, Sweden with producer Jens Bogren, who has previously worked with OPETH, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, AMON AMARTH, KATATONIA, SOILWORK and SYMPHONY X, to name a few. The band also laid down tracks while touring their "Killer Elite" best-of album, utilizing Lamerluser Studios in London, U.K.; Dark Lane Studios in Witney, U.K.; as well as the band's own Evil1 Studios in Charleville-Mézières, France and Shredforce One Studios in California. "We were flying out, playing a festival, then back into the studio, then back out again," explains DRAGONFORCE bassist Frédéric Leclercq, who also handled the majority of songwriting on this album. "It was very intense and very tiring. I obviously played bass but also a lot of rhythm guitar, electric and acoustic, and lost my temper a few times. I think we all did at some point, because we wanted to deliver nothing but the best." For their seventh studio album, DRAGONFORCE have opened up their sound like never before, capturing the fierce, forlorn and fun with both menace and melody. "I think we have proven that playing fast was something we were good at, so this time I wanted to bring even more diversity into our music," Frédéric continues. "It's great to challenge ourselves instead of staying in a comfort zone, and I really wanted to experiment with Marc's vocals. I think people are going to be surprised at his brutality." "Reaching Into Infinity" is DRAGONFORCE's first album to feature Gee Anzalone, the Italian drummer who has laid down an insanely impressive performance to provide the perfect backbone to the DRAGONFORCE sound, which, of course, still boasts the bands trademark crazy-fast solos, courtesy of guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman. "The title of the album explains pretty much what we are trying to do with our music," Frédéric concludes. "Today's world is really crazy — there is fear of the future, uncertainty. But the power of music is infinite, and it can give strength and hope to people." The band will give fans their first taste of the new songs in a live setting at a very exclusive one-off show at Camden Town, London's Black Heart venue, on April 12. Totman says: "This is going to be insane! We always like to kick things off with some intimate shows and this will be the smallest London show we've done since doing three consecutive weeks at The Barfly back in 2005. It's going to be a wild sweaty party!" "Reaching Into Infinity" will be available on the following formats: Standard Edition 01. Reaching Into Infinity 02. Ashes Of The Dawn 03. Judgement Day 04. Astral Empire 05. Curse Of Darkness 06. Silence 07. Midnight Madness 08. WAR! 09. Land Of Shattered Dreams 10. The eDGE OF THE wORLD 11. Our Final Stand Special Edition with multi-angle Bonus DVD: Disc 1 - CD 01. Reaching Into Infinity 02. Ashes Of The Dawn 03. Judgement Day 04. Astral Empire 05. Curse Of Darkness 06. Silence 07. Midnight Madness 08. WAR! 09. Land Of Shattered Dreams 10. The Edge Of The World 11. Our Final Stand Bonus Tracks 12. Hatred And Revenge 13. Evil Dead Disc 2 - Bonus DVD DRAGONFORCE Live at Woodstock Festival Poland 2016 01. Holding On 02. Heroes Of Our Time 03. Operation Ground And Pound 04. Holding On (Multi-angles) 05. Heroes Of Our Time (Multi-angeles) 06. Operation Ground And Pound (Multi-Angles)
Official Metallica TV video footage of METALLICA performing the song "Moth Into Flame" on April 1 at Lollapalooza Chile in Santiago can be seen below. The band's setlist was as follows: 01. Hardwired 02. Atlas, Rise! 03. For Whom The Bell Tolls 04. Fuel 05. One 06. Now That We're Dead 07. Moth Into Flame 08. Harvester Of Sorrow 09. Halo On Fire 10. Motorbreath 11. Sad But True 12. Wherever I May Roam 13. Master Of Puppets 14. Fade To Black 15. Seek & Destroy Encore: 16. Fight Fire With Fire 17. Nothing Else Matters 18. Enter Sandman METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich said in a new interview with Chilean outlet Sonar FM that his relationship with frontman James Hetfield is "the best it's been" in their 36-year partnership. Ulrich explained: "I think it's the best it's been now. I think we know where each of us are, we know much more about who each other is, and we know how far we can push each other, and I think there's much more of a partnership going on than there used to be. Now we're not fighting to win an argument. We rarely argue over anything, and we try to see each other's point of view much more. It's called growing up." The drummer added, "So it's in a very good place — much more mature than it's been forever, basically." METALLICA nearly broke up in 2001 when bassist Jason Newsted left and Hetfield went into an extended rehab program amidst band infighting. The period was chronicled in the 2004 documentary "Some Kind Of Monster". Ulrich was also asked by Sonar FM about METALLICA now self-funding its own record label, albums and other ventures. Ulrich replied, "Being autonomous and independent is a great position to be in because you never feel like you owe anybody anything." The North American leg of METALLICA's "WorldWired" 2017 tour kicks off in Baltimore 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. The first European leg of "WorldWired" kicks off on September 4 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and stretches through November. After a break, the trek will pick up again on February 10, 2018 in Bologna, Italy, and continue through May, finishing up in Helsinki, Finland.
ASK4 Entertainment — the creator and producer of ShipRocked — has announced the first annual Metal Maya, a four-day all-inclusive heavy metal destination festival vacation from October 29 to November 2 at the luxurious Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun, just south of Cancun in the paradise of Puerto Morelos on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Metal Maya is the perfect place to celebrate Halloween and Dia de los Muertos (also known as Day Of The Dead and "Hanal Pixán" to the Mayans of Yucatan Peninsula) and will feature performances from a dozen bands in a tropical paradise. The initial music lineup includes: ANTHRAX OVERKILL SUPERJOINT METAL ALLEGIANCE DEATH ANGEL OTEP TIM "RIPPER" OWENS The METAL ALLEGIANCE band will include Phil Demmel (MACHINE HEAD), David Ellefson (MEGADETH), Gary Holt (SLAYER, EXODUS), Mark Menghi, Mark Osegueda (DEATH ANGEL), Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, TRANSATLANTIC, FLYING COLORS, THE NEAL MORSE BAND), Steve "Zetro" Souza (EXODUS), Ryan Waste (MUNICIPAL WASTE), and more special guests. Metal Maya will be hosted by SiriusXM's Jose Mangin. Metal Maya packages start at only $1399 per person and go on sale Wednesday, April 12 at 1:00 p.m. ET at www.MetalMaya.com. "I've been going down to Riviera Cancun for a few years now, and it's one of my favorite places," said ANTHRAX's Charlie Benante. "And now, to go down there and play, and have some fun, and enjoy the weather?! This is going to be an awesome event! I'm really excited about it and I think that everyone's going to have a great time. We're all going to be at a place where the weather's beautiful, the ocean's there, the drinks are pouring, the metal is blasting, and your favorite bands are playing. Can't wait to see you there!" Metal Maya host Jose Mangin of SiriusXM and Affliction said: "Far beyond honored to host this first-of-its-kind metal-themed vacation with so many killer bands, friends…and in gorgeous Mexico on Halloween?! I love how exotic our metal world is getting, and look forward to partying among the living…and with the spirits of the dead! Under the serpent sun…we shall MOSH!" Metal Maya guests will enjoy luxury accommodations, and tickets include gourmet meals, and all beverages (including alcohol). The all-inclusive heavy metal dest-fest vacation will feature bands performing on multiple stages in an intimate environment with only 1,000 guests (with two performances each from ANTHRAX, OVERKILL, SUPERJOINT and heavy metal all-star band METAL ALLEGIANCE), artist-hosted events, onsite activities, excursions and tours (available for additional fees), theme nights and more. Guests will enjoy festive celebrations on both Halloween (October 31) and the traditional Mexican Dia de los Muertos (November 1) when guests are encouraged to dress up in calaca (skull) masks and sugar skull makeup. Metal Maya producer Alan Koenig of ASK4 Entertainment said: ASK4 Entertainment is thrilled to launch the inaugural Metal Maya, a first of its kind dest-fest vacation for the most devout and righteous music fans on the planet, against the backdrop of Mexican paradise at the world-class Now Sapphire Rivera Cancun resort. We plan to summon the dark spirits of Halloween, celebrate Día de los Muertos, and pay tribute to our Metal Gods, with an incredible lineup of metal greats! And we'll probably step up to the altar of indulgence for several Lemmys (Jack & Cokes) between the shows, pools, and the beach!" Ground transportation from Cancun airport is included with all Metal Maya vacation packages. In addition, for those who want to extend their stay at Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun, discounted rooms will be available to Metal Maya guests just before and after the event. Please note that single-day passes will not be available as this is a full vacation package.
On March 15, JAM Magazine's Mike DiQuinzio conducted an interview with vocalist Chuck Billy of San Francisco Bay Area thrashers TESTAMENT. You can now listen to the chat below. Asked about the challenges TESTAMENT faced while making its latest album, 2016's "Brotherhood Of The Snake", Chuck said: "[Guitarist Eric Peterson and I] wrote the whole record. Gene [Hoglan, drums] came up a couple of times and jammed with us and worked on the record, but for the most part, me and Eric wrote it with a drum machine. And [drummer] Alex Bent, who was playing in BATTLECROSS for a short period, helped us out. He lives in the Sacramento area, and I think he was doing a DRAGONLORD record with Eric. So he came in and a two-year process had gone by where we were working with Gene and Alex [Skolnick, guitar] and just me and Eric. And we knew that, after the SLAYER tour in February and March [of 2016], we had a few months to take off and we had to go to Europe in June, that we had to have the songs written and ready to go record before we [left on] tour [again]. It just kind of felt [frustrating] for me; I was just frustrated with Eric and [we were] butting heads and pointing fingers at each other who's to blame for not having the songs finished. And it built up some tension and anger, but we knew we had to get a record done. So we went into the studio without having the demos of the songs finished, or even completed songs — we just had a bunch of ideas. So I think it was probably frustrating for [the other guys] too. And I know for Gene, he was the first one up with Eric, and he was frustrated and he pounded the shit out of the drums, which was a great thing, because he did a monster job on it, and you can hear his anger and aggression in the drumming. So it wasn't the best, fun process. All this little stuff just kept adding up, and there was this tension between me and Eric. But I think in the end, maybe it lit a little fire under our ass and maybe that's what we needed to go through, 'cause we always try to top our last record and we always say, 'Man, that's gonna be a tough on to top.' Maybe this is what had to happen for us to get to this point of this record to come about what it was, and at the end of the day, when it was all done, we were very happy and the fighting and the bickering was all out the window. But I did make it clear to Eric right when it was done that, 'Dude, I did not enjoy myself, and I don't ever wanna go through this again to do this.' So we've already talked about, in our down time, we're just gonna get together and just start writing now." "Brotherhood Of The Snake" was released last October via Nuclear Blast. The cover was once again created by renowned artist Eliran Kantor, who also handled the art for the TESTAMENT's previous album, 2012's "Dark Roots Of Earth", and worked with bands like HATEBREED, SOULFLY and KATAKLYSM in the past. "Brotherhood Of The Snake" was recorded under the watchful eyes of producer Juan Urteaga (EXODUS, HEATHEN, MACHINE HEAD), guitarist Eric Peterson and Billy and was mixed and mastered by British metal producer Andy Sneap (ACCEPT, ARCH ENEMY, CRADLE OF FILTH, KREATOR, MACHINE HEAD, MEGADETH). Billy recently told Metal Wani that TESTAMENT's goal is to release the follow-up to "Brotherhood Of The Snake" in 2018.
Swedish classic/progressive rock supergroup THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA — featuring members of metal frontrunners SOILWORK and ARCH ENEMY — will release its third studio album, "Amber Galactic", on May 19 via Nuclear Blast. The disc was recorded at Handsome Hard Studio in Lund, Sweden. The album follows THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA's two previous releases, 2012's "Internal Affairs" and 2015's "Skyline Whispers". The third trailer for "Amber Galactic" is available below. Singer Björn Strid states: "'Amber Galactic' is a relationship drama set in space, the first classic rock space opera on double vinyl. "As seasoned musicians, we're taking this project seriously, although we might come across as slightly retrofuturistic at times, there's no irony involved. It's just us trying to shape our future into a place where our race is led by female space commanders with pearl necklaces and a quasar sense of gravity. "'Amber Galactic' is about setting free from genre boundaries and expectations that are put on people like us. We just want to create music that we would like to hear ourselves, but that isn't only for us. "THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA is here to set you free, to invite you to enjoy music in whatever form it is presented. "For this particular journey, we'd like you to follow us into space, but who knows where we'll go next! After entering the NFO universe, you won't ever be the same!" "Amber Galactic" will be available as a limited edition digipak CD featuring an alternate cover art (see below), 2LP vinyl (black and violet sparkle) and as digital download and stream via all known platforms. "Amber Galactic" track listing: 01. Midnight Flyer 02. Star Of Rio 03. Gemini 04. Sad State Of Affairs 05. Jennie 06. Domino 07. Josephine 08. Space Whisperer 09. Something Mysterious 10. Saturn In Velvet 11. Just Another Night (bonus track, limited-edition digipak, vinyl) 12. Fly Tonight (Never Rewind) (bonus track, Japan only) Strid previousy stated about the album: "'Amber Galactic' was made during late nights and way too early mornings, when sometimes, in the corner of your eye, you can catch a glimpse of another dimension, where all the women are heartbroken space commanders in evening gowns, the champagne is always free and the drugs won't hurt you. "We wanted to create more than just a listening experience; instead we want it to be an alternative reality. "We hope that after listening to 'Amber Galactic', you'll be wide-eyed, horny and slightly drunk." Guitarist David Andersson added: "Musicianship in itself is not interesting, neither are the technical aspects of creating music. The ideas and visions behind the music are the only things really worthy of in-depth discussions. "We've all reached a point where we can all pretty much play and sing whatever we want. "We didn't talk much about chord changes or amplifiers during the recording sessions. But we spent a lot of time discussing Kierkegaard's concept of anxiety, different vintages of sparkling wine, the psychoacoustic aspects of modulation, the innate superiority of women and why a pearl necklace always look better when whoever wears it has a bored expression on her face." When asked about the direction of THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA within the realm of classic rock, Strid explained with a chuckle: "Most other classic rock bands sound like weed or LSD — we sound like cocaine." THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA is: Björn Strid - Vocals Sharlee D'Angelo - Bass David Andersson - Guitar Richard Larsson - Keyboards Jonas Källsbäck - Drums Sebastian Forslund - Guitar, PercussionAlternate cover art for limited-edition digipak CD:
"Forces Of The Northern Night", the highly anticipated double DVD from Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR, will be released on April 14 via Nuclear Blast. The set will contain two of the band's live performances: their legendary show in Oslo, presenting DIMMU BORGIR on stage with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and a bombastic choir, as well as their entire performance at Wacken Open Air festival in 2012 in Wacken, Germany with almost a hundred musicians on stage. Both concerts present a spectacular sound scenario of raging black metal in front of an epic orchestral landscape plus the band's unique visuals. The third trailer for "Forces Of The Northern Night" can be seen below. DIMMU BORGIR's remarkable and atramentous stage show has long seemed like a natural evolution for fans, but much time, arrangements and commitment were necessary to put this gigantic production into reality and fill the stage with 90 minutes of mindblowing aural delight per night. The shows guide the fans through classics from the band's discography — from the majestic finisher "Mourning Palace" — which can be seen below (footage from the Wacken show) — to the stomping manifesto "Puritania" and the haunting "Gateways". "For us, this is the pinnacle of our career so far," says DIMMU BORGIR frontman Stian Thoresen (a.k.a. Shagrath). "As a band, we've always used a lot of symphonic elements in our music. But we haven't been able to use a real orchestra. We've had to use samples, synthesizers and so on, so this was a huge, awesome experience for us." In addition to the two concerts, "Forces Of The Northern Night" will include a bonus documentary feature. DIMMU BORGIR's May 28, 2011 concert at the Oslo Spektrum in Norway, which is included on "Forces Of The Northern Night", featured a special setlist with 53 members of KORK (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra) and 30 members of the Schola Cantorum choir, who were musical guests on the band's ninth studio album, 2010's "Abrahadabra". The show was professionally filmed and was broadcast as part of a one-hour documentary in June 2011 on NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company and the largest media organization in Norway. In an interview with Scuzz TV, DIMMU BORGIR guitarist Sven Atle Kopperud (a.k.a. Silenoz) stated about the experience of performing with an orchestra: "It was, of course, really special, especially since it was in Oslo, and a lot of people traveled in for the show from all over the world. And everything went great on stage for once. When you have a hundred people on stage, the percentage of something going wrong is definitely there, but it was really, really good." He added: "You think your band is professional, then you play with an orchestra, and then you know, 'Oh, we're not so professional after all.'" DIMMU BORGIR last year extended its partnership with Nuclear Blast. The band's tenth album is tentatively due before the end of 2017. DIMMU BORGIR's most recent touring lineup included Geir Bratland (APOPTYGMA BERZERK, THE KOVENANT) on keyboards and Terje Andersen (a.k.a. Cyrus; SUSPERIA) on bass.
ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante was interviewed on a recent edition of the syndicated radio show "Noize In The Attic - Where Your Past Comes Back To Haunt You". You can now listen to the chat using the widget below. Speaking about ANTHRAX's tendency to write lyrics that tackle social, political, and cultural issues, Benante said: "You can only go so far before being labeled [right wing or left wing]. But the thing about being political, especially when you're living in your country, and things affect you and things bother you and things make you worry because you have kids and children who have to go on and probably deal with this when they're older, then you just get people who just fucking… Man, they just don't hold back; they just tear into you. I think the country's in a very weird state right now, and I don't know what's gonna happen." Benante, who said he "just came back" from Europe with ANTHRAX, was asked what the response has been to Americans from people in Europe during his last visit there. "I'd rather not go there," he said. "I'd rather not talk about that." A year ago, the drummer spoke about the 2016 presidential election, saying that it was "a very, very scary time out there" and slamming the Republican party for "never [giving] Obama a bit of a chance to really do things." He added: "Maybe this whole Donald Trump thing is meant to destroy the Republican party, what it's become. Maybe this is what he's trying… Because he was a Democrat, and he went over to the Republican party. Maybe this is… He's sabotaging them without them even knowing it." Benante went on to criticize the two political parties for being unwilling to work together, both sides wanting things to go their own way entirely. He said: "Things have been heating up and heating up. I always thought that the Republicans never gave Obama a bit of a chance to really do things. And, of course, even me just saying that, if people read what I just said, they would come down hard on me for saying that, because they hate Obama so much. And, I mean, he has done some things that have been good, but other people would look at it as, 'No. He's the worst.' But I don't think anyone was as [bad] as the way George [W.] Bush fucked this country over. And these Republicans don't even acknowledge that — that he fucked this country up so much. He put us in a war that we didn't have to be in. And I truly think that ISIS and all that is because of that whole situation." ANTHRAX and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE kicked off "The Killthrax Tour" on March 29 at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey. With ANTHRAX and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE rotating the closing slot over the course of the dates, the tour will criss-cross the continent, wrapping up in Boston on May 7. THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA is providing direct support on all dates. ANTHRAX's February 15 concert at the Barrowland in Glasgow, United Kingdom was filmed for a DVD, to be released later this year via Megaforce. The DVD is being produced and directed by Paul Green of the Manchester, U.K.-based Paul Green Productions who has filmed concerts for OPETH, THE DAMNED, Gary Numan, THE LEVELLERS and many others.
Metal Wani's Chuck Marshall recently conducted an interview with original FATES WARNING singer John Arch. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On his current relationship with FATES WARNING guitarist Jim Matheos: John: "When I left [FATES WARNING], there was a little bit of… I don't know… I don't wanna say 'animosity,' but the way things happened, there was a little bit of falling out and there was a few things that happened a few months after that I read in magazines that were said by some of the members of the band that I was taken aback and blown away; I just couldn't believe that those words were said about me because I gave a hundred percent while I was in the band. But moving forward, life's too short to live that way, so we made amends and I'm good friends with everybody — current members and past members of the band. We've seen each other quite a bit, we've actually done some hiking together — things outside of music — and, of course, working with Jim on [Arch's 2003 EP] 'A Twist Of Fate' and [the 2011 ARCH/MATHEOS album] 'Sympathetic Resonance', it was like an old hat. We got together and it felt just like old friends, and it was good. And I think both parties — myself included — Jim and some of the other members, we both admitted that there was some immaturity and we're different people these days. So I think we kind of grew up and we're friends." On whether there are plans to record another ARCH/MATHEOS album: John: "You know what? I'm not gonna say no. And right now I can't say yes, because we're talking and I'm actually writing right now, so let's just say there's a real good possibility of that happening. Yeah, I figured I probably have maybe one left in me. Who knows? I don't take it for granted that just because you start a process and you go into a studio that magic's gonna happen. It's kind of an ethereal, unknown thing to do, so we're gonna… I think I'm gonna give it a shot." On whether he would rejoin FATES WARNING, if asked: John: "Well, actually, I was, years and years and years ago, not too long after I disembarked from FATES WARNING, and I declined at that time. But today it's just different. I love my freedom. I love going for mountain bike rides whenever I want, going road riding, hopping on my Harley and going for rides, chopping trees… Being in a band, it's a big responsibility, and if you wanna be good, it's a lot of rehearsals. So, no, I don't think I would. I think I've had the perfect opportunity to be able to own my own home and have a good life and be able to dabble in music and actually create more music and have done what I've done. Although it's been sporadic, it's still been very rewarding for me, and I'm lucky that I've been able to work with some fantastic musicians. So, yeah, I don't think so." FATES WARNING celebrated the 30th anniversary of its third album, "Awaken The Guardian", in 2016. The album was to become their final release to feature Arch. That era's lineup was rounded out by bassist Joe DiBiase, drummer Steve Zimmerman, along with current guitarist Frank Aresti and, of course, guitarist and main songwriter Jim Matheos. "Awaken The Guardian" also holds the honor as the band's very first release to debut on the Billboard chart. To celebrate 30 years since the album's release, Matheos reassembled the "Awaken The Guardian"-era lineup for two special festival appearances: Keep It True XIX in Lauda-Konigshofen, Germany and Prog Power USA XVII in Atlanta, Georgia. Fortunately for fans that were not able to attend, each show was filmed and recorded. Due on April 28 via Metal Blade, "Awaken The Guardian Live" consists of both festival performances in their entirety. This piece of progressive metal history will be available on CD, DVD, Blu-ray, and double gatefold vinyl.
According to The Pulse Of Radio, ART OF ANARCHY frontman Scott Stapp has revealed in a new interview with GQ that he felt the presence of late STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and brief ART OF ANARCHY singer Scott Weiland on the tour bus on which Weiland died, which Stapp later used for his own solo tour. Stapp explained: "All of a sudden, it was almost like Weiland speaking to me from the grave, man. It was a very weird feeling that I felt. I remember being in the bathroom, looking in the mirror, on the bus, and really feeling like I could hear or feel him saying, 'Dude, this could have been you. And this could be you if you continue that path. Don't do what I did. Don't go down that road.'" Asked if he actually saw Weiland's spirit on the bus, Stapp replied: "No. God rest his soul, and my family has prayed for his family and his children, but, really, it was a crazy, mystical experience. It was just in my face, man. I had my moment of, like, dude, he's speaking to me, man. Almost as if, from my standpoint, in my life and in my recovery, his death was not in vain. Not only could that have been me, that should have been me." Weiland sang on the first ART OF ANARCHY album, but never performed live with the group and distanced himself from the project before his death from an overdose of drugs and alcohol in December 2015 while on the road. Stapp, sober after a well-publicized meltdown over two years ago that was partially the result of heavy drug use, was recruited last year to sing for the group. The band, which also features DISTURBED bassist John Moyer, ex-GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and brothers Jon and Vince Votta on guitar and drums, issued its sophomore album, "The Madness", on March 24.
It's been more than four decades since the NEW YORK DOLLS first outraged mainstream critics and struck terror into the hearts of public guardians of taste and morality. In that time, the once-controversial quintet has been recognized as a seminal musical force and a key influence on the punk movement that came into being shortly after the DOLLS' breakup. Now, UMe celebrates the NEW YORK DOLLS' legacy with new limited-edition colored-vinyl editions of the band's two classic '70s LPs, "New York Dolls" and "Too Much Too Soon", out on May 5. The new vinyl releases, available in strictly limited editions of 500 each and exclusively available through uDiscover, are as flamboyant visually as the albums' musical contents. The self-titled disc boasts a unique opaque pink and black color scheme, while "Too Much Too Soon" has an equally audacious combination of opaque pink and clear. Both albums, which also feature their complete original cover art, are also available from UMe in standard black vinyl editions. With a classic lineup featuring frontman David Johansen, guitarists Johnny Thunders and Syl Sylvain, bassist Arthur Kane and drummer Jerry Nolan, the NEW YORK DOLLS served as a bridge between the edgy outrage of the VELVET UNDERGROUND and THE STOOGES and the raw aggression of the multiple generations of punk and hard-rock bands that would soon follow. In their original release, "New York Dolls" and "Too Much Too Soon" polarized audiences, embraced by a devoted core of kindred spirits and reviled by many mainstream listeners. "New York Dolls", produced in raw, hands-off style by Todd Rundgren, captures the band's love for raw, raucous rock 'n' roll and Brill Building teen-pop, with such landmark DOLLS anthems as "Personality Crisis", "Trash", "Jet Boy" and "Looking for A Kiss". It's now regarded as one of rock's greatest debut albums. "Too Much Too Soon", recorded with reclusive legendary producer Shadow Morton, was titled in acknowledgement of the band members' various personal indulgences. The album features a mix of such band originals as "Babylon", "Who Are the Mystery Girls?", "It's Too Late" and "Human Being", along with personalized covers of such tunes as the CADETS' "Stranded in the Jungle", ARCHIE BELL AND THE DRELLS' "There's Gonna Be a Showdown' and Sonny Boy Williamson's "Don't Start Me Talkin'". Although the NEW YORK DOLLS dissolved soon after "Too Much Too Soon", the band's ongoing influence, along with the patronage of DOLLS superfan Morrissey, led Johansen and Sylvain to assemble a new version of the band in 2004, leading to a series of tours and three albums of new DOLLS material. Despite that latter-day revival, "New York Dolls" and "Too Much Too Soon" remain the foundation of the NEW YORK DOLLS' rock 'n' roll legacy. Now they can once again be heard the way they were meant to be heard — on vinyl!