Former KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and current DEVIL YOU KNOW singer Howard Jones is collaborating with ex-SOILWORK guitarist Peter Wichers on a new studio project. Jones recently visited Wichers's studio in North Carolina to begin laying down ideas for the project's upcoming full-length debut, details of which will announced as they become available. In related news, DEVIL YOU KNOW will commence the songwriting process for its third full-length album this month. Jones was fired from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE in January 2012 because of his struggle with personal issues, including diabetes that had gone untreated for several years. He has since been replaced by Jesse Leach, who previously sang on the band's first self-titled album, which came out in 2000, and on their landmark 2002 Roadrunner debut "Alive Or Just Breathing". Wichers left SOILWORK for the second time in June 2012. He blamed his exit on "creative differences" but the band's lead singer, Björn "Speed" Strid, later said that Peter simply could not deal with the touring lifestyle anymore. Wichers worked as a songwriter on DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie's 2013 solo album, "Impermanent Resonance". Prior to that, he collaborated with varios metal singers — including Anders Fridén (IN FLAMES), Strid and John Bush (ANTHRAX, ARMORED SAINT) — to make a CD much in the same style as "Roadrunner United", titled "Nuclear Blast All-Stars". He also co-wrote Warrel Dane's (NEVERMORE, SANCTUARY) first solo album, "Praises To The War Machine".
BOLT THROWER and MEMORIAM frontman Karl Willets has weighed in on Brexit — Britain's decision to leave the European Union, an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries — and the election of President Donald Trump, both of which have sent shockwaves through the democracies of Western Europe and emboldened far-right parties in Germany, France, the Netherlands and possibly Italy, where elections will be held in the next few months. Speaking to Hot Metal, the British vocalist said: "I'm a staunch believer in Europe. We are a strong trading block, and have a strong cultural unity with the European Union. I've got forefathers from two world wars who fought to unify us and to get to the point where we are now. To move away from that, it definitely scares me, and the rise of Donald Trump is farcical. It still seems to be reactionary politics, which is driven by the right-wing media, and it's all about power, not about inclusion. It's all about separation. Building walls, cutting people off and denying people that are different from us. For me, the acceptance of difference is what makes this world that we live in such a great place." MEMORIAM is the new Birmingham, United Kingdom-based death/grind metal band featuring Willets 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 band's debut album, "For The Fallen", will be released on March 24 through Nuclear Blast Records. The album's artwork was created by Dan Seagrave (BENEDICTION, DISMEMBER, HYPOCRISY, SUFFOCATION). Band photo credit: Gobinder Jhitta
U.D.O. — the German metal band fronted by former ACCEPT singer Udo Dirkschneider — has commenced work on the follow-up to 2015's "Decadent" album for a tentative late 2017 release. In a new video message, Udo offered an update on the new disc writing sessions, saying: "We are working already, yeah, you can say, nearly one week on the new album, and what can I say? I mean, it will be — you can believe me — a really, really good album coming up [with] a lot of good songs. And watch out." Finnish guitarist Kasperi Heikkinen recently left U.D.O. for personal reasons. Udo spent the last year touring under the DIRKSCHNEIDER banner, performing classic ACCEPT songs for the last time. "Decadent" was released in Europe in January 2015 via AFM. The disc was recorded in Udo's current home, Spanish island Ibiza, and also at Redhead Audio Productions in Wilhelmshaven. The current U.D.O. lineup includes Udo's 23-year-old son Sven Dirkschneider, who joined the group as the replacement for drummer Francesco Jovino. DIRKSCHNEIDER released a live album called "Live - Back To The Roots" in October via AFM Records. The effort, which was recorded on April 2, 2016 at Kaminwerk in Memmingen, Germany, was made available as two-CD digipak and gatefold three-vinyl in four different colors (black, gold, silver and clear).
British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST have entered the studio to begin recording their long-awaited follow-up to 2014's "Redeemer Of Souls" album. Helming the sessions for the new disc are the band's longtime producer Tom Allom, acclaimed British knob-twiddler Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, TESTAMENT, ACCEPT) and engineer Mike Exeter (BLACK SABBATH). The first photo of the entire JUDAS PRIEST team and its current production team can be seen above. Allom produced every PRIEST release from "Unleashed In The East" (1979) through "Ram It Down" (1988), along with several live records since then. As a young engineer, he also worked on the first three BLACK SABBATH records under producer Rodger Bain. During a January 2017 appearance on "Trunk Nation", Eddie Trunk's show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106), PRIEST singer Rob Halford said about the songwriting process for the band's new disc: "Yeah, everything's coming together great. We're excited to be making new material. "As you know, whenever we go out to play, we like to say that we're there for not only the reason to see our wonderful fans again but to show off what we're doing. And that's what we're doing right now — we're hard at work, and it's all coming together great." Halford also confirmed that there is no set-in-stone timetable for the release of PRIEST's next album. "You know, there is no rush," he said. "There is no rush. We feel great. We're very happy, we're very confident, we're very excited. And so, yeah, we're working with our label and with promoters, and there's a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes." He continued: "When we go out, we want it to be good — we want it to be good, we want it to be well planned, we wanna make sure that everybody's happy." Halford said last year that JUDAS PRIEST wasn't interested in making "a 'Redeemer Of Souls Part Two'." He explained: "I think it's very important that we make another stand-alone record again, a heavy metal record that's going to have its own legs and just be as different as all of them have been so far." "Redeemer Of Souls" was released in July 2014. The follow-up to 2008's double-disc concept album "Nostradamus" was billed as a return to JUDAS PRIEST's heavy-metal roots. "Redeemer Of Souls" sold around 32,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart. JUDAS PRIEST's tenth studio album, "Turbo", was recently remastered and will be released via Sony Music on February 3 on three CDs (the original album and two bonus discs) as well as one-LP 150-gram vinyl. Included on disc 2 and 3 of the CD reissue is, previously unreleased, "Live in Kansas City", a live recording from the band's 1986 "Fuel For Life" tour in support of "Turbo".
Frontiers Music Srl will release HAREM SCAREM's fourteenth studio album, "United", on May 12. The disc offers up eleven tracks of trademark HAREM SCAREM music from Harry Hess (lead vocals, keyboards), Pete Lesperance (guitars, bass, keyboards), longtime drummer Creighton Doane, and backing vocals from original sticksman and current RED DRAGON CARTEL singerDarren Smith (who will be playing live drums for the band on tour dates). The official video for the song "Sinking Ship", taken from "United", can be seen below. Frontman Harry Hess says: "This year will mark the thirtieth year of HAREM SCAREM and I can tell you that we are just as excited about writing and recording today as we were then. The brand new 'United' album is one of the best collection of songs we have ever put on one release and I can't wait for everyone to hear it!" HAREM SCAREM make it clear they still have something to say right from the start with the title track, "United", a chunky slice of guitar-driven melodic rock nirvana that kicks off their strongest studio outing since the early 2000s. From there, the album lifts off with well-crafted songs featuring big choruses with simple and addictive hook-laden earworms. Each track carries a power-rock-packed punch, swaggering riffs, and hooks to die for. Hess and Lesperance without a doubt show the world that their partnership still works, that they indeed are still "united." With sales of well over a million records in forty-three countries and twelve Top 40 hits around the globe, HAREM SCAREM has returned and is ready to dominate while touring the world in support of "United". "United" track listing: 01. United 02. Here Today Gone Tomorrow 03. Gravity 04. Sinking Ship 05. One Of Life’s Mysteries 06. No Regrets 07. Bite The Bullet 08. Things I Know 09. The Sky Is Falling 10. Heaven And Earth 11. Indestructible HAREM SCAREM is: Harry Hess - lead vocals, guitar Pete Lesperance - lead guitar Stan Miczek - bass guitar Creighton Doane - drums Darren Smith - background vocals, live drummer
Jonne Järvelä, the driving force of the internationally successful folk metal band KORPIKLAANI, will release his second folk music album titled "Kallohonka" on April 28 via Playground Music Scandinavia. The band that carries his name, JONNE, consists of ten well-known musicians from the world of rock, metal and folk music. The first single from the album is called "Vieras" and can now be heard through all music services worldwide. Järvelä released his debut solo album, "Jonne", on 2014. The stripped and rawer interpretation of shamanistic folk music attracted great attention and gained a lot of supporters all around the world. Although it started out as a solo project, JONNE has now become a fully active live band with ten musicians from the Finnish rock, metal and folk scene. The band consists of Jonne Järvelä, Santeri Kallio (AMORPHIS), Jan Rechberger (AMORPHIS), Natalie Koskinen (SHAPE OF DESPAIR), Eero Haula (OCEANWAKE), Jussi Rautio (BATTLELORE, LOVIJATAR), Yovan Nagwetch (WABANAG), Pinja Lintonen, Matti Karjalainen and Toni Perttula. Also Ante Aikio, a well-known Saami artist, features on several tracks on the album. "Kallohonka" is based on eternal tunes and stories about the returning to foregone roots. To set the right feel, musicians used a variety of folk music instruments, such as mandolin, kantele, fiddle, accordion and flute, yet they didn't forget about some classic live-band instruments — both acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards and percussion. "Vieras" is the first song in which Järvelä has used a musical instrument from the Baltic psaltery family — Finnish kantele. Another song worth mentioning is "Pimeä On Oksan Taitto" which will be featured in the Finnish fantasy/horror movie "Backwood Madness" (October 2017). "Pimeä On Oksan Taitto" is a mysterious journey in the troll-occupied fantasy world. Ville Sorvali, bassist and vocalist of of the Finnish pagan metal band MOONSORROW, appears on the track as a guest vocalist. Both the movie and the music video for the song are directed by Ari Savonen. "Kallohonka" track listing: 01. Vieras 02. Tanssi 03. Ajan Taakse 04. En Olé 05. Pimeä On Oksan Taitto 06. Kallohongassa Kotini 07. Hulivili 08. Hauki 09. Yön Syli 10. Suojärvi 11. Rajat Ruumiini 12. Nu'tenmaqnituk
Following on his historic reunion with the classic MISFITS lineup attended by record numbers at last year's Riot Fest in Denver and Chicago as well as the recent confirmation of a headlining set at this year's "Blackest Of The Black" festival, Glenn Danzig has now confirmed the title and release date of first DANZIG album of all new material since 2010's widely acclaimed "Deth Red Sabaoth". "Black Laden Crown", 50 minutes of long-awaited brand new DANZIG music, will be released mid-May on Evilive Records/Nuclear Blast Entertainment. The details of "Black Laden Crown" follow on the announcement of DANZIG's "Blackest Of The Black" festival: two days of non-stop music and mayhem taking place at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, California on May 26 and may 27. DANZIG will close the festivities May 27, headlining a bill featuring more than 20 artists playing amidst a full scale takeover and transformation of the park grounds featuring literally dozens of attractions, vendors, performers, and other surprises musical and otherwise. "Blackest Of The Black" promises to create a site-wide atmosphere like no festival before or since. A full rundown of performers and attractions will be announced shortly. This June also marks the 25th anniversary of "Danzig III: How The Gods Kill". "How The Gods Kill" was the first DANZIG album to crack Billboard's Top 30 and the first DANZIG album produced by the band's frontman and namesake Glenn Danzig himself. In honor of this momentous occasion, DANZIG will play a select handful of shows this summer and will perform many songs from "How The Gods Kill". In a 2015 interview with Noisey, Glenn Danzig was asked what it is that keeps him coming back to the creative well. He responded: "It's so many different things. There's always stuff to write about, but I think that the whole punk thing helped a lot. If it gets boring, change it, fix it, make it exciting, make it relevant again, and that's what I did without sacrificing the music. That's what I try to do. I try to do stuff where first thing is I'm excited about the record, and then I hope that the people who listen to my music are gonna dig it too. That's pretty much how I go into doing a record, and I don't do a new record until I have stuff to write about it. I don't force myself to do a record. Someone doesn't come to me and say, 'Hey, it's been a year or two since your last record. You've gotta write a record and put one out in a couple of months.' No one comes to me and says that to me." Asked if that attitude of not forcing the creative process is something that's always been there for him, Danzig said: "Yeah. I mean, I used to do it on a more frequent basis. [Laughs] But I think even back in the MISFITS and SAMHAIN days, I put out a record every two years, I think. The same thing with DANZIG, too, where I put out a record every two years. Later on it became further and further apart, but that's just the way it worked out. I think in between 'Danzig IV' and 'V' was probably a two-year period, and then between 'V' and 'VI' was probably a three-year period. It seems to be now it's gone to four or five. I think one of the things also was for 'Deth Red' we toured a lot over those years. Not two or three months at a time, but we just kept getting offers to go to Europe and then back to America. The record did pretty well for me, especially the way it was received, so hopefully the next one will be the same." Glenn's covers record, "Skeletons", was released in November 2015 in North America via Nuclear Blast Entertainment/Evilive Music. A labor of love that dates back to 1979, "Skeletons" saw Danzig pulling back the curtain behind his influences with a collection of ten covers spanning artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, ZZ TOP, and AEROSMITH to BLACK SABBATH, THE TROGGS, THE EVERLY BROTHERS, and more.
ANTHRAX's "For All Kings 7-Inch Box Set" hits stores this Friday, March 24, and the band has just made a new track from the set available. "Vice Of The People", previously released as a bonus track only in Japan, can be streamed at SoundCloud.com. Available exclusively in North America and released in conjunction with the band's upcoming spring co-headline tour with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE — "KillThrax" — the "For All Kings 7-Inch Box Set" will retail for $79.99, and is an absolutely stunning collector's item for any ANTHRAX fan, as the unboxing video below illustrates. The "For All Kings 7-Inch Box Set" includes a removable lenticular cover and contains ten seven-inch vinyl discs featuring twenty songs — the eleven finished album tracks, two brand new covers (THE WHITE STRIPES' "Black Math" and the classic KANSAS song "Carry On"), six demos from the "For All Kings" track listing, and "Vice Of The People". The original album cover art sketch by Alex Ross is also part of this package, as well as a download card enabling the holder to access the box set's track listing for free. Each seven-inch disc features gorgeous, double-sided four-color artwork designed by Douglas Heusser with additional art by Stephen Thompson, as well as band photos by Jimmy Hubbard. The tracks are pressed onto different-colored vinyl discs — red, green, blue, maroon, orange, most with a two-color swirl design. "Doing a box set edition of 'For All Kings' was something that we've always wanted to do," said ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante, who worked closely with Heusser and Thompson on the box set's artwork. "We wanted to do something special, something that was so much more than the original release, and have it be fun for our audience when they open it up, just be floored by the different colored vinyl, the artwork, everything that's inside. And we think we've done that." "For All Kings 7-Inch Box Set" track listing: Breathing Lightning (album version) Breathing Lightning (demo) Monster At The End (album version) Monster At The End (demo) Suzerain (album version) Suzerain (demo) Black Math (THE WHITE STRIPES cover) Carry On (KANSAS cover) You Gotta Believe (album version) For All Kings (album version) Evil Twin (album version) This Battle Chose Us (album version) All Them Thieves (album version) Vice of the People (previously unreleased in North America) Zero Tolerance (album version) Zero Tolerance (demo) Blood Eagle Wings (album version) Blood Eagle Wings (demo) Defend Avenge (album version) Defend Avenge (demo)
Metal Wani's Chuck Marshall recently conducted an interview with TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy. You can now listen to the chat below. Asked if it's going to take TESTAMENT another four years to release the follow-up to 2016's "Brotherhood Of The Snake" album, Billy said: "No, no, no. Our goal is two years. We hope to have a record out next year. Because we thought we'd have a record out after two years; it just ended up being four, because the process just… I don't know what happened, but it took forever. So this time, like, you know what? I don't wanna do that again. I told Eric [Peterson, guitar] exactly when we were done recording. I said, 'You know what? It's a great record now, but I don't wanna go through what I had to go through to do this again. So why don't we start writing now?' So we decided that when we're not on the road, let's get together and just jam and maybe come up and at least get to that point where we were with this record — a bunch of ideas and riffs and lyrics." Billy also talked about TESTAMENT's longevity and enduring influence on younger metal bands. He said: "I think we've stayed true to what we've done from the '80s up to where we are today. There's a lot of music changes and industry changes and radio and MTV and the whole format, everything's changed from when we began to where we are today, but through all that, I think we've stayed true to what we do and our style and what we want to play, and somehow I think the fan appreciates that. Most bands either stop playing or they try to conform to what's current and people are buying. And I don't think bands could make it that long, 'cause I don't know… It's not real." According to Billy, part of the reason TESTAMENT has managed to thrive after being in the business for more than thirty years is the fact that "we never copied ourselves [musically]." He explained: "You know it's TESTAMENT, but we haven't copied… 'Oh, that's their last record,' 'Oh, that's 'Practice [What You Preach]'.' We're always kind of evolving, but you know it's TESTAMENT. You're kind of going, 'Cool, man. It's a different feeling or a different vibe this song's hit me. So I think that has something to do with it as well." "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).
On March 14, Kanye West was photographed wearing a CRADLE OF FILTH long-sleeve shirt as he was exiting Los Angeles restaurant Bandera, less than a day after his cousin, Ricky Anderson (who happens to work for Kanye's record label GOOD Music), tragically lost his 1-year-old son, Avery. Check out a picture below in a tweet from DailyMail.co.uk. It didn't take long for CRADLE OF FILTH to react to seeing the rapper sporting a piece of the band's merchandise. The next day, the British extreme metallers posted the above-mentioned photo on Facebook and wrote in an accompanying message: "Kanye West. CRADLE OF FILTH fan. Fortunately not a collaborator." Kanye has previously been criticized for repping vintage band tees, and Kim Kardashian is regularly spotted wearing METALLICA t-shirts. More recently, Kim's maternal half-sibling Kendall Jenner was seen getting around in a SLAYER tee, and SLAYER guitarist Gary Holt apparently responded by wearing a t-shirt onstage that read "Kill The Kardashians". After Kanye was seen wearing a TESTAMENT t-shirt last December, the band's guitarist Alex Skolnick reacted negatively in an online post, writing: "Goodness gracious. This whole decrepit clan must have picked up a pile of old concert t-shirts (the same pile Kourtney K's SLAYER shirt came from) which have somehow become a 'thing' in trendy fashion (who'd have thought?!!). Inconceivable that any of these pop-culture vultures know who the heck any of the bands are. My guess is he thinks it's a religious group (not the first time that's happened). That is, if he thinks at all, which lately seems unlikely. And I thought this time period couldn't get any weirder..."