A few days ago, Blind Guardian's Hansi Kürsch posted the following update on the band's official webpage:
"To keep this one a short but essential one: we finally have started the production of Blind Guardian studio album number nine. Frederik is literally rushing through the songs already. Who knows, this time we may deliver the finished master prior to the ultimate deadline (set by an about-to-get-insane record company after thousands of broken promises to finally deliver the new record within the next days). Well Frederik isn't Marcus, who isn't André, who most certainly is not Hansi. So there still lies trouble (i.e. delays) ahead.
Back to Frederik, back to the production: We started sometime last week and Frederik accomplished drums for some seriously tricky tracks. If I am correct he has two more tracks to go and should be finished during the next days. Altogether there are 11 songs to work on. As mentioned last time, we do have a strong amount of heavy Guardian hymns, which come along with such a harsh intensity that I am sometimes surprised myself. There is a fine balance of extremely fast songs and ultimate epic stuff. "Wheel of Time" would be one example for the last mentioned. The song contains many surprises - I am deadly honest about that, so mark my words here. Lyrically I am of course tempted to deal with Robert Jordan's great "Wheel of Time" story, one of the best fantasy series ever. If you asked me with which song the number could be compared I most probably would say "The Script for my Requiem" or "And then there was Silence". This tune does really have the potential to mess with these two songs.
Already last week, lead guitarist Greg Mackintosh was unable to continue with Paradise Lost's "Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us" tour of Europe due to a terminal illness within his family. Greg's father was taken critically ill some weeks ago, yet Greg decided to commence the tour anyway in the hope that future news from home would be positive. This unfortunately was not the case, therefore (as of 6th November 2009), Greg will remain in England to support his relatives during this difficult time.
Milly Evans, (Paradise Lost's long-standing guitar technician, and keyboardist from Terrorvision), will fill in for Greg with immediate effect. Having worked with the band for many years, Milly knows Paradise Lost's repertoire far more than most, and will endeavour to provide a seamless transition between guitarists. Milly is highly regarded among Paradise Lost's fan-base and is the best person to fill Greg's role in the band for the rest of the European tour.
"Stronghold: Under Siege", the new official video clip from the Polish female fronted Classic Heavy Metal band Crystal Viper, can be viewed online.
The track was written for the Stronghold role-playing/dark fantasy game, which will come out later this month through Portal Publishing and their partners worldwide. The song was recorded at the MP Studio in Poland with engineer Mariusz Pietka and producer Bart Gabriel. The "Stronghold: Under Siege" CD single will be added for free to the box with the game, and will be available in very limited edition as a separate disc (on Skol Records). More about the game at http://www.portalpublishing.eu.
In other news, Crystal Viper released a brand new seven-inch vinyl single on High Roller Records titled "The Wolf And The Witch", earlier this month. The front cover artwork for the single was painted by Chris Moyen, who has previously worked with such bands as Slayer, Beherit, Blasphemy and Trivium.
Two of doom metal's most acclaimed acts will team up for a two week U.S. tour this winter as the legendary Pentagram joins forces with celebrated "True Heavy Metal" band The Gates Of Slumber. The 11 city tour will launch on January 15, 2010 in Springfield, VA.
The pairing of Pentagram and The Gates Of Slumber aligns 2 generations of doom metal majesty and will undoubtedly be a tremendous treat for both long time loyalists and wide-eyed newcomers alike. Formed in 1971, Pentagram has a long and storied history that continues to play out almost 40 years later. Let by wildly charismatic vocalist Bobby Liebling, the band has forged an indelible mark in the "Heavy Metal Rock and Roll" pantheon and continues to influence scores of modern day acts. The Gates Of Slumber has emerged as one of modern day metal's most critically acclaimed bands whose decidedly throwback sound both pays homage to and builds upon "Heavy Metal" in its truest form. The band has been hailed as "a breath of fresh air within the doom/true metal underground" and its latest studio album Hymns of Blood & Thunder (Rise Above) is in stores now.
Sweden's Armageddon are the melodic metal project of Arch Enemy guitarist Chris Amott and Embrace the Mystery & Three finally sees their second (Embrace the Mystery) and third (Three) albums getting a proper and domestic release outside of Japan, where they originally came out back in the years 2000 and 2002, respectively. Embrace the Mystery & Three will be released as 2CD set with upgraded artwork, several bonus tracks and liner notes on November 16th, 2009 in Europe and on January 26th in North America via Century Media Records.
Chris Amott comments the release as follows: "It is with great pleasure that I announce the first time ever release of these albums in Europe and the US! Any fan of melodic hard rock and shred guitar playing should check this out - Embrace the Mystery and Three feature many great instrumental performances and epic songs! These two albums were recorded in 2000 and 2002 and have until only been available in Japan. I put a lot of work into these recordings at the time, so I am glad to see them come out!"
Spanish extreme metallers Noctem present their new video for "Across Heracles Towards" off their debut album Divinity. Divinity was released a couple of months ago through NoiseHead Records. The album features guest appearances by Christos Antoniou (Septicflesh, Chaostar) and Leal (Forever Slave). The clip was directed by Miguel Angel Font Bisier (HT Producciones).
WARNING: video may not be suitable for minors and work environments.
Divinity cover art] tracklist:
01. Atlas Death
02. In The Path Of Heleim
03. Realms In Decay
04. The Sanctuary
05. The Call Of Oricalco's Horn
06. Across Heracles Towards
07. In The Aeons Of Time
08. Necropolis Of Esthar's Ruins
Nuclear Blast is extremely proud to announce the signing of metal / prog gods Symphony X!
Symphony X exemplifies the technical sophistication of progressive metal while transcending the genre by writing amazing songs with masterful musicality and great hooks!
This New York based super group effortlessly creates a balancing act between solid, accessible arrangements and song structures with highly technical, challenging instrumental work and unbelievable melodic vocal harmonies. This embrace of polyphonic lead vocals, combined with their classical-sometimes even Queen-like choruses create a powerful, in-your-face mixture.
With elements of thundering metal, rock, solos with unstoppable guitar shredding and intense keyboards - this potent group has grown with every release and is poised to compete with the commercial success of top groups in all genres!
On November 13th the Beauty & The Beast tour starts! Atrocity will play special Werk 80 shows on that great festival tour!
While the band is preparing for the European run there is some great news to be announced: Atrocity are recording a new record. It will be a project album featuring frontman Alex Krull's sister Yasmin, and it will be out next year.
The collaboration with Yasmin started previously on Atrocity's legendary Blut album (1994) where Alex's sister was doing guest vocals. In 1995 the mystical and very special Atrocity featuring Yasmin Calling The Rain mini album was released, and became a success. Calling The Rain contained mainly acoustic songs which was a completly new aspect of making music for a death metal band in that time. As no other band was playing that kind of music, it was simply called Ethno Metal.
"Day And Then The Shade", the new video from Swedish metallers Katatonia, has been made available online. The clip was directed by Lasse Hoile, who has previously worked with Opeth and Porcupine Tree, among others.
"Day And Then The Shade" comes off the band's latest album, Night Is The New Day, which was released on October this year via Peaceville Records.
Well, well, changes that have been underway for a long time can sometimes come about in the blink of an eye. Last week, Mike told us that he wanted to leave the band permanently. The rest of us did some serious thinking and soul-searching, sat down and had "the big talk" and came to the agreement that the only way to continue the band was to part ways with Mikkel and Morten as well. During the last year we have been working on a new album and it has become clear that we no longer share the same vision and enthusiasm about the direction and the future of the band. Martin, Rene, Mike and I wanted to play faster, heavier and more modern (yet old school) material, but for the band as a whole this evidently didn't work out.
German metallers The Ocean have issued the following update on their MySpace blog:
"Ladies and Gentlemen,
After many weeks in the dark, The Ocean have finally found a new vocalist. We are happy to announce Mr. Loïc Rossetti as tour new vocalist. "We are looking forward to weeks and months of intense touring in the future and a new era in the story of our lives!", comments Robin Staps.
"Having Loïc in the band enables me to do what I've always been wanting to do with this band. His voice is strong and expressive and his variety of tone and the ease with which he switches between different vocal styles really amazing. There are no limits anymore. His screams are devastating, but his most valuable quality is his singing voice, which we will employ much more on the upcoming album."
US metallers Bonded By Blood have issued the following update on their MySpace blog:
"Well where to start. We had a great run this year with the tours in support for Feed The Beast we did a west coast tour a full USA tour and 2 European tours. We got great feedback and had lots of fun. A lot has happened since then. We have been working really hard to give you a great 2nd album. We don't want to disappoint and I'm pretty sure you wont be. We also lost a great friend and bassist but quickly found a great replacement in a guy named Jerry Garcia, some of you locals may know him as the Taking Over Bassist, which has brought great ideas to the Bonded By Blood table. Now on to the juicy stuff...