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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jorn---Heavy Rock Radio

from the press release:

One of the greatest rock singers of our time, Jorn Lande returns with a unique album of covers of classics from artists and bands that have meant something special to him, and helped forge this talented man's own unique style.

Through Jorn's extensive career, which includes more than 40 albums of mostly original songs, he has also recorded great versions of several rock classics such as Thin Lizzy's "Are You Ready", UFO's "On and On", Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers", and many more. Jorn also recorded a successful Ronnie James Dio tribute album, released in 2010. Every song JORN covers is treated with the utmost respect and "Jorn-ized" accordingly. A good example is his heavy sounding version of "I Walk Alone", first released by Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish).

"Heavy Rock Radio" is not an ordinary album of cover songs, it is truly a songbook of hits. Featured – among others - are great versions of the Eagles' "Hotel California" and Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill", which gets the Jorn style treatment to become very powerful and epic, without losing its commercial touch. More great classics included are John Farnham's "You're The Voice", Queen's "Killer Queen", and two absolute melodic rock evergreen gems in Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and Foreigner's "Rev On The Red Line".
The original concept of the album was to create a sort of jukebox of radio hits, but to avoid leaning too much on the pop side of rock, JORN decided to blend the tracklisting with a few more up tempo rock tracks as well, such as "The Final Frontier" by Iron Maiden ("probably the closest you get to anything commercial with Iron Maiden," says Jorn), "Live to Win" by Paul Stanley (a song which was also featured on the popular television series South Park), and a few hard rock classics show up as well from Deep Purple ("Stormbringer"), Dio ("Rainbow In The Dark") and Black Sabbath ("Die Young") to complete the mix.

Jorn says: "The most important thing was to treat these songs with respect towards the original versions, my goal was always to think that the original artist would be honoured and find my version relevant. At the same time my intention was never to try to compete with the original song and artist, but make it a strong alternative version to enjoy. At the same time it is a well deserved homage to these artists and bands, who influenced me strongly, and I have wanted to record these songs for quite some time but was always too busy writing and recording my own songs to make it happen. Originally I had a list of 40-50 songs I wanted to do, but I had to strip it down to about 15 songs before deciding on the final tracklist. This means that there are some unfinished business musically, and I will most likely record more of these songs in the future."

Since releasing the critically acclaimed Dracula "Swing of Death" album last year, Jorn has also been working on an album of brand new songs, which will be the successor to the 2013 Jorn album "Traveller", to be released in early 2017. Jorn's catalogue is getting too long to include in brief press statements, and his innovative and creative skills have led to him selling millions of albums worldwide and being a frequent entry on sales charts around the world including Billboard. Worth a mention is his years with German based MasterPlan, whom he recorded three albums with. Claimed to be the biggest selling Norwegian musical export, since the pop band A-ha, Jorn continues his rock crusade, and there are no signs of him slowing down yet.

The title "Heavy Rock Radio" came quite naturally, as the sound of this album feels like if it's tailor made for any rock radio station, and while Jorn's voice can be enjoyed on more than 40 albums in different rock and metal styles, this record is a special treat which will tide over all the fans waiting for the new original album which is being worked on at the moment.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


An Interview With Summoned Tide

Rickard Thelin - Guitar / Vocal

 Jennifer Sikström - Bass / Vocal

 Ryan O´Shea - Drums

 Mikael Thelin - Guitar

 Jimi Toivanen - Synth


Summoned Tide are a true metal band with a powerful and passion filled sound that will melt your face off. Hailing from Sweden, this is band is a power metal force to be reckoned with.  In a world of aging rock stars and metal cliches , Summoned Tide offers something fresh, young, and purely metal to the masses. They answered a few of my questions via social media. Check em out!


Who came up with the name?

Rickard did. He wanted something that would sound wide and broad yet controlled and captivating.

Your influences are certainly steeped in traditional metal but what new metal bands also inspire you?

We listen to about everything from death to classic from all over the world. Music is such a wonderful thing and different people from different countries got their own specialties which inspire us in some way. Some direct examples are bands like Galnyreus and Angra. They're not particularly new but we found them quite recently and making the experience new to us.

How often do you jam together and who does most of the writing?

It has been less frequently now when we moving fast forward with families and studies. Once a week at least. Rickard does all the writing. He lives and breathes music when he creates and can isolate himself for about a week or so concentrating on the right feel and text. He's very passionate about his own work.

Do you feel that social media and in particular streaming services help or hurt a younger band?

In the purpose of finding new bands and artists internet is a great tool. We believe that the people themselves hurt younger bands when they rather stay at home, having a good time instead of venturing into new unexplored territorities with never-heard-before music and unknown artists that may or may not suck. Their time is way too valuable in today hectic life. Honor to the supports out there still enjoying the real deal instead of a MP3 from a shitty laptop.

 One band you would like to tour with?

 As long as we can tour we'd be happy with anyone with the reasoning that we are doing it for the people and not ourselves. We rather see the crowd having a good time than surfing with a great band and directing the experience towards our enjoyment. Making the crowd happy makes us happy. But touring with a great band would very much enhance the experience for both parts. I won't deny that Iron Maiden is a dream, but bands like Sonata Arctica and Nightwish would be a pleasure.

What can we expect from a live performance?

Good music, bad stage talk and no overehearsed stage acting.

Each member list one favorite artist.

Iron Maiden, Sabaton, Helloween, Ayreon, Black Sabbath.

On the song "omnipotent", how long did it take to write that? And do you play that one live?

I don't really remember how long it took for us to complete it, but we rehearsed it for over 2 years before its release. We play it now and then when we got more time on stage. Plan on playing in on our next gig in Georgia.

Vocally you really have a unique sound, is there anything special you to do to keep your voice in shape?

I don't drink much liquor, work out 5 times a week and do train my voice 30 mins a day. Can't stop singing when it's so much fun.

What are the future plans for summoned tide?

We plan on a new album that gets a delay every now and then. People sadly enough get busier when they grow up and with families in our lives we can't push the limits like we used to. We are almost done with it though; only the recording and mastering dates are not set yet. We also have something special that I won't say directly what it is, but it contains art.

craziest thing you have ever experienced onstage or backstage?

We had a black out on stage at a festival in Norway and when they finally fixed it they cut our stage time so we only got to play two songs. Traveling to another country to get smacked in the face by technical error. Craziest shit ever.

Lastly, anything you want to say to your fans?

 Your support keeps us getting through. And keep supporting your favorite bands out there. That is what is keeping the live music alive.

Social media is our home on the WEB!


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Book Review of Michael Sweet's autobiography


My Life And Stryper revealed

Michael Sweet

With Dave Rose and Doug Van Pelt

Big3 Records


    You get a strong sense that Michael Sweets new book is written from the heart. His relationship with God, family, and Stryper are revealed in surprisingly honest and candid ways. Michael has ADHD, suffered serious financial problems, and has seen the popularity of the once arena selling Stryper wane. But through it all he has found a renewed faith in God, even after his late wife’s passing. It is a life that you thought you knew. From the glossy highly produced albums to the incredible stage and arena performances, you would have thought that Stryper was on top of the world. They were. Then they were not.


   Michael reveals his life in the band and his family in stunning and spectacular detail.  No stone, however painful, is left unturned. He is a professional through and through. His music is a reflection of the man who values faith and love. You cannot help but hear his soul in all he has produced. Even during the dark times. And there were many dark times. The loss of his wife is especially sad, and he shares with the reader, one of the hardest and personal things anyone should ever face. We are there with him as she takes her last breath. There is a beauty in his emotions, as they spill across the pages like tears. Yet we sense something else.


Strength. His strength, through God, to overcome adversity and heartbreak.


    Overall the book is a fantastic fun ride, on the roller coaster of memories, from the front man of two of rocks greatest bands. Both his time in Stryper and more recently Boston, reveal a man obsessed with perfecting his ideal of musical creation. You can feel the love he shares for his family, the music, and his fans. You feel the pride he has in what Stryper created and his renewed and sometimes painful attempt at the reunion. The book paints a picture of a man who can make mistakes and learn from them. The format of the writing fits perfectly with Michael’s brand of storytelling. Revealing behind the rock star curtain, a man of faith, family and love.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Metal Blade News

Amon Amarth new album 'Jomsviking' smashes charts around the world; set to kick off victorious North American headlining tour tomorrow

Sweden's Amon Amarth have been steadily gathering strength and fans over the years, culminating with the stunning performance of the new album Jomsviking on global sales charts this week:

Germany: #1

Austria: #1

Switzerland: #3

Canada: #4

Finland: #4

Sweden: #5

USA Current Album Chart: #11

Australia: #15

USA Billboard Top 200: #19

Belgium: #25

UK: #30

France: #33

Netherlands: #35

Jomsviking - the band's first concept record in their storied career - tells a tragic, original tale of conflict and revenge, backed by the Swedes' trademark melodic, anthemic metal, which was produced and mixed once again by Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Testament, Accept). To purchase and preview Jomsviking, please visit, where the record is available in various formats, and the videos for "At Dawn's First Light" and "First Kill" can be viewed.

Read on for some reviews of Amon Amarth's acclaimed new album:

"'Jomsviking' is sure to satisfy Amon Amarth fans old and new and sure to rip the face off of any who are not ready." - (USA) (4.5/5)

"This latest venture through Norse mythology and barbaric fantasy is likely to go down as an instant fan favorite." - (USA) (8.5/10)

"...the Swedish outfit has returned with a concept record of epic proportions." - (USA)

"After all the best axes are still being forged by the master!" - Metal Hammer (Germany)

" are left with no doubt that Amon Amarth are at the top of their game right now. This is splendid." - Powerplay (UK) (9/10)

"...this is killer business as usual..." - Metal Hammer (UK)

"This album is a genuinely impressive piece of work. Whether you like Vikings or not, this is a brilliant death metal record from a brilliant death metal band." - Musicology (UK) (8/10)

Tomorrow (April 7th), Amon Amarth will kick off their headlining North American tour with fellow Swedes Entombed A.D. and young USA metal upstarts Exmortus. Tickets are available now at; see below for all dates.

Amon Amarth tour dates
w/ Entombed A.D., Exmortus

Apr. 7 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
Apr. 8 - Phoenix, AZ - The Pressroom
Apr. 9 - El Paso, TX - Tricky Falls
Apr. 10 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
Apr. 12 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues
Apr. 13 - San Antonio, TX - The Aztec Theater
Apr. 15 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
Apr. 16 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
Apr. 17 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
Apr. 18 - Tampa, FL - The Ritz
Apr. 20 - Charlotte, NC - The Fillmore
Apr. 21 - Silver Spring, MD - The Fillmore
Apr. 22 - New York, NY - Best Buy Theatre
Apr. 23 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
Apr. 25 - Rochester, NY - Water Street Music Hall
Apr. 26 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
Apr. 28 - Quebec City, QC - Imperial
Apr. 29 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
Apr. 30 - Toronto, ON - The Danforth
May 1 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
May 2 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrews
May 4 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
May 5 - Chicago, IL - The Riviera Theatre
May 6 - Lawrence, KS - The Granada Theater
May 7 - Denver, CO - The Ogden Theater
May 9 - Omaha, NE - Sokol Auditorium
May 10 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater
May 12 - Winnipeg, MB - The Garrick
May 13 - Saskatoon, SK - O'Brian's Event Centre
May 14 - Calgary, AB - MacEwan Ballroom
May 16 - Vancouver, BC - The Commodore
May 17 - Seattle, WA - Showbox Market
May 18 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theater
May 20 - San Francisco, CA - The Warfield
May 21 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern Theater

Amon Amarth line-up:
Johan Hegg - Vocals
Ted Lundstrom - Bass
Johan Soderberg - Guitar
Olavi Mikkonen - Guitar

Amon Amarth online:

Nikki Law
Director of Publicity
Metal Blade Records, Inc.
5737 Kanan Rd #143
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
c: 408-409-0232

Metal Blade news

Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy announce debut LP, 'Songs From The Garage', out May 27th via Metal Blade Records

Album features special guests Brian Johnson of AC/DC and Rob Caggiano of Volbeat

Listen + share lead single "Be a Dick 2nite"and pre-order the album here:

Read Rolling Stone story about Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy here:

Accomplished comedian Jim Breuer understands that comedy and heavy music have long made for great bedfellows. On his first musical full-length, Songs From The Garage, Breuer delivers both in his inimitable style with longtime backing band The Loud & Rowdy. Announced today via Rolling Stone, the album is set for release May 27 via Metal Blade Records. With the support of special guests such as Brian Johnson (AC/DC) who provides vocals on two tracks and producer/guitarist Rob Caggiano (Anthrax, Volbeat), Breuer has created a record that is pure, unadulterated fun while remaining true to his rock sensibilities.

Breuer says, "Going into the record the music had to be killer and have great hooks, that was most important, and I wanted to balance that with something that's funny. I wanted to bring the smile back to hard rock that has a nice punch to it." From crunchy opening romp "Thrash" through the swaggering "Who's Better Than Us?!" to the gloriously deranged excitement suffusing "Sugar Rush", his exuberance is infectious, and he challenges you to keep your ass from shaking and the corners of your mouth twitching while it thunders from the speakers.

Backing Breuer up is The Loud & Rowdy with Mike Tichy on drums, Joe Vigliotti on bass, and Metal Mike on guitar. Initially known as the Jim Breuer Band, without even having a record under their belt it did not take long to turn a lot of heads. After finding themselves on massive festival stages, the band headed into three different studios to record - Metrosonic Studios Brooklyn, Clear Track Studios, and Sonic Debris Recording Studio. With Rob Caggiano (Anthrax, Volbeat) on production and guitar duties, the album was filled with eleven musically badass tracks featuring lyrics that are not only funny but also relatable, reflecting Breuer's position in life: "A dad with three kids who loves family life yet is still a metalhead at heart."

The inspiration for all of this comes from Breuer's adolescent immersion in the world of heavy music, falling in love with Judas Priest and AC/DC, alongside the likes of The Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, and Van Halen. The fire to start a band was soon lit under him, though he wouldn't begin his musical career until he was older. Having finally made the album that has been burning to get out of him since his teens, Breuer couldn't be happier with the result. Though he has fulfilled one rock and roll dream with its completion, it certainly does not mean he's about to kick back and leave it at that. "I plan on making great, funny videos for every song and have videos up during the concerts. I want pure entertainment when you come see this live, and now my rock and roll dream is to play this not only here in America, but anywhere else in the world that will accept it! I'm taking it one day at a time, living the dream."

Songs From The Garage track-listing
1. Thrash
2. Raising Teenage Girls
3. Old School
4. Be a D**k 2nite
5. My Rock n Roll Dream *
6. Mr. Rock n Roll *
7. Who's Better Than Us?!
8. Family Warrior
9. Sugar Rush
10. Wannabe
11. The Unexplained

* Vocals by Brian Johnson (AC/DC)

Jim Breuer online:

About Jim Breuer:
With over 20 years of stand-up comedy experience, Jim Breuer remains one of today's top touring comedians, known for his charismatic stage antics, dead-on impressions, and family-friendly stand-up. After making his big break in 1995 when he joined the cast of NBC's legendary "Saturday Night Live," Breuer quickly became a fan-favorite for his original character "Goat Boy" and his dead-on impressions of actor Joe Pesci. Following his success on SNL, Breuer starred alongside Dave Chappelle in the cult favorite film "Half Baked."

For more information about Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy, please contact:
Pam NashelLeto,, 212.989.2222 x111
Rosie Boyce,, 212.989.2222 x125

Nikki Law
Director of Publicity
Metal Blade Records, Inc.
5737 Kanan Rd #143
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
c: 408-409-0232

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Interview With Accuser

Interview with Accuser

Accuser celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2013 by starting work on a new album and inviting guitarist Dennis Rybakowski to join their ranks; however, the reinvigorated group took their time to craft their 11th full-length. Slowly but steadily, that new effort, The Forlorn Divide, took shape once again at Gernhart Studio, featuring the band’s trademark blend of powerful thrash metal, virtuoso guitar-work, intricate drum patterns – and of course, gripping, harsh vocals, highlighting the dark recesses of human psyche that are described in the lyrics. After 30 years in the scene, the members of Accuser have perfected their signature style with The Forlorn Divide – a veteran lesson in thrash from Siegen’s stalwarts!
The Forlorn Divide track-listing:
1. Predawn
2. Lust For Vengeance
3. Unreal Perception
4. Arbitrary Law
5. Impending Doom
6. Tribulation
7. Perish By Oblivion
8. Fifth Column
9. Sulfur Rain
10. Flow Of Dying
Accuser line-up:
Frank Thoms – vocals/guitars
Dennis Rybakowski – guitars
Frank Kimpel – bass
Olli Fechner – drums
Accuser online:

1. What sets The Forlorn Divide apart from your previous albums?


Dennis: We definitely tried to push things in a new direction with this album. Accuser has been a very dynamic band from the beginning, always looking for ways to move forward trying new things. It felt right to approach this record with the same mentality and so we decided to evolve our sound by combining the modern thrash style of the recent Accuser releases with the technical and more complex elements from the old-school "Who Dominates Who" days. It's also the first Accuser album in 26 years that features solos from both guitarists :)


2. What inspired the lyrics for the new album?


Dennis: At the base level, all the lyrical themes on this album come from some sort of real life experience or a memorable thought or idea. Once a "seed" for a song lyric appears, we try to imagine how it could develop and create a what-if scenario based on this initial impulse. The title of this album, The Forlorn Divide, also gave us a clear direction for the lyrical content. Every song deals with the human mind and its darkest recesses, represented by the titular mountain range, and we tried to approach this general idea from many different angles in order to cover a good amount of ground.


3. 30 years in this business. What is the most memorable event for the band that stands out for you?


Frank: I fondly remember meeting Lemmy. He was such a great guy. Of course I also love meeting other musicians who I've only known for their music. It's always surprising when you compare the actual person to the image you've created of them in your head. Other than that, all the amazing festivals we've played definitely stick out in my mind as well and I'm sure there'll be a lot more to come.


4. When can we expect to catch Accuser on tour this year?


Frank: There're still a lot of things we're planning right now so it's difficult to have a definite answer at the moment. We'll definitely be playing quite a few festivals this summer.


5. How does the metal scene look now as opposed to 30 years ago?


Frank: The scene itself didn't really change, it just encompasses a much bigger age spectrum compared to 30 years ago. A lot of external factors have changed though: organizational aspects, audio formats, technology in general, etc. In the past, people had to rely on word of mouth and you had to actively go out looking for music. Today everything's literally at your fingertips. The whole excitement around listening to and collecting music has faded a bit.


6. Do you see social media as a positive or negative for bands?


Dennis: Social media is a very positive thing for bands today in my opinion. It's a great way of finding an audience or even letting an audience find you regardless of any geographical barriers that may have prevented effective word of mouth in the past. Without the internet and social media the metal landscape wouldn't have become as diverse as it is today.


7. The guitar work on this album is fantastic. Can you describe the writing process for this album?


Dennis: Glad to hear that you're enjoying it. It usually started with either Frank Thoms or myself writing and recording a full demo track at home and sharing it with the other guys. They then gave their feedback and we changed the song based on their suggestions. After everyone was satisfied with the general framework and structure, we started rehearsing it at which point the song got more and more refined especially in terms of drumming. When we entered the studio, most of the album was already fully planned out so we had more time to really flesh out the details and maybe make some last minute changes here and there. Our solos we both wrote while in the studio shortly before recording them which worked out pretty nicely I think. My approach was very deliberate and carefully constructed whereas Frank went with a more feel-oriented improvisational style. Having two distinct solo guitars creates a great dynamic and brings even more variety to the whole record in my opinion.


8. Who decided the cover artwork?


Dennis: The idea for the cover we all developed together. Early on we discussed a few different ideas but we quickly and unanimously decided on having an ominous, mountainous landscape on the cover as a visual representation of the album title.


9. Do you think creating musical compositions based on examinations of negative things, like the human mind or experience, allows the listener to become stronger? In other words, do you view your music as sort of a therapy for people?


Frank: I try to share my own personal thoughts with other people through our music. I know that I can't reach everyone because the lyrics don't always get a lot of attention. Still, I continue using this medium and if someone out there can identify with my lyrics then that's terrific thing.


10. Lastly, anything you would want your fans to know about the future of Accuser?


Frank: We're very happy about the release of "The Forlorn Divide" and we're looking forward to the festival season this year. After that's done, we'll be spending some time writing new material again which will be exciting and as always, different. We've got a lot of things in store for the future so look forward to that and thank you very much for your support and for checking us out. Cheers!


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Y & T

Dave Meniketti



Dave Meniketti has seen and done it all. A  true guitar icon, his band Y&T, has been a nonstop juggernaut of rock and roll. For over 40 years they have criss crossed the world delivering such songs as "Forever", "Meanstreak," and the celebrated "summertime Girls". I had the chance to speak with Dave on his career, highlights and the legacy of Y&T's music


Y&T celebrates 40 years. What are your thoughts on the longevity of the band?

Pretty amazing. Who knew. We just go out there and play music. All of a sudden here we are and it's 40 years later. It's really kind of shocking to me. I don't feel like the kind of guy who has been at the same job for 40 years. I guess that is the good thing about the gig.

Who were your influences growing up?

Hendrix was certainly one of them. I actually got a chance to see him play before he died. That kind of freaks people out because they go "You saw Hendrix play". (laughs) I listen to all kinds of music. Leslie West. Duane Almond, Dickie Betts, Jeff Beck. There are so many of them. I never tried to copy them it just sort of works into you

Any band you would love to record with if you had a chance.

Not really sure. Not off the top of my head.  a lot of bands I do admire. Most my voice probably wouldn't go with.

What is the craziest thing you ever experienced on the road?

Well it does happen all the time. So many. A cool thing, when we toured with AC/DC in the 70's. Bon Scott asked to drive in our little van because he wanted to party and at that time he claimed AC/DC was boring. They didn't want to party and he did. So he rode with us through Texas and when we stopped for gas he would run in and buy alcohol. That was a fun moment in our career. I wish I could have enjoyed the moment more as it happened. Especially when you think of how early he died. Those guys were still relatively unknown at the time.

How do you choose the set list?

One of my least favorite things to do. I choose the songs. We try to craft the set do it ebbs and flows right. We don't want to bore anyone. We always want to play more stuff than we can fit in it. When we go back to the same club year after year we try to change up the set list. I have every list from the last ten years on my computer. So when we are on the road we can keep it fresh.

Are you active on social media?

Not so active. I just don't have the time to spend on it. I just don't really bother with it. Sometimes I respond on our forum on our web site. Too many avenues. I'm too busy to really get involved. I like to live in the moment and get out and enjoy life.

O.K. So let's talk guitars. Straight into the amp or a pedal guy?

I'm a straight amp kind of guy. I used some pedals for a little vibe onstage. But from the 70's through the 90's it was all handled by the house guy. For the most part I didn't control it. Eventually I used the pedals to help control. No rack. Chorus, delay, bare bones. Tube amps. Marshalls for most of my career until the mid 90's.

40 years. Is it difficult to come up with new material?

Generally we just write in the moment. We have some riffs on tape but we usually don't listen to them. Sometimes when you get in a rut you can go back. But as you write if things are flowing then you don't want to go backwards. Keep moving forward.


Did you know when you wrote "Summertime Girls" that it would be such a hit?

Well you know what... that song.  A typical rehearsal for us. No one gets there at the same time. No pressure. Everyone gets there when they can sort of thing. So we were there with Joey and he starts noodling over my chord pattern I was messing with. We just stopped and looked at each other and said "That's cool". So by the end of the rehearsal we had the song basically down. It doesn't happen all the time but the song was written in a few hours. We thought it was kind of commercial. The record company wanted another single. We finished the song. It just happened. We liked it. But the record company initially told us "what the hell was that crap". A couple of years later we recorded it for the live album as an extra track. Just because we thought it was a good song. The label reps heard it and they loved it. They told us to record it right away. Everyone at the time was looking for a hit. We just liked the song. We thought it had a nice, fun melody.

Any advice for aspiring musicians?

The main thing to keep in your head. Just keep remembering sometimes you make better decisions if you just step back and go with what your gut is telling you. Always go with your gut. Go with what feels right. Try to just feel what you are doing. Don't just copy other peoples licks. Create you r own vibe. So when you're playing they can tell it's you playing.


Thursday, March 24, 2016


Iced Earth

Plagues Of Babylon

This is the album that should set the bar higher than before. Plagues Of Babylon is a tour de force of powerful metal riffs and insanely gifted lyrics. This is the reason why so many metal fans around the world love this band. Consistent, powerful, and passionate.

Not every day the vocalist from one of metals biggest bands calls you. Stu Block, vocalist, was sincere and laid back and he was very excited to talk about Iced Earths latest offering, Plagues Of Babylon.


Congrats on the upcoming release. Sounds amazing.

Cool man. Glad you liked it. Always excited to bring metal to the masses.


How do you prepare mentally and vocally for the studio and tour?

Just try to keep a clear head. Get a lot of sleep and stay hydrated.  Make sure I'm rehearsed and all that stuff.


Are you the main lyricist or is it a shared job.

John  is the riff machine. So he has the riffs and he builds on them. I help with the lyrics, melody, and the cadences. I present ideas to him and he helps tweak them.


Where did you record the Album?

Recorded in Germany at Principle Studios.


The album seems to be split in half with one section concerned with a zombie apocalypse and the other a series of unconnected songs.

We realized we could tell the story of the zombie apocalypse in 6 songs. So we figured we had to add another 6 stand alone songs.


Track 8 is a reference to the H.P. Lovecraft character, Cthulhu. Are you a fan of Lovecraft?

I love Lovecraft. I wrote the lyrics for that one. Initially it was Johns idea. We were getting drunk on the beach and I said we should write a song about the ocean. And he said we should write about Cthulhu rising from the ocean. So that was the seed right there.

I think the song is awesome. I am a big Lovecraft fan as well.

When you get a hold of the lyrics I would be interested in your opinion especially as a fan of Lovecraft.


The song has that New England Metal feel


Favorite Bands growing up?

Rush, Priest, Iced Earth, Maiden, some local Vancouver bands. Cannibal Corpse


Anything in your musical closet that Iced Earth fans might not expect?

Mumford and sons. I like the Celtic upbeat vibe. Amazing lyrics.


How involved are you with social media?

I have a fan page on facebook. I post occasionally


Is there a vinyl version of the new album?

Yes. Limited edition


John is very vocal about his politics. Where do you stand?

John doesn't tell people they have to think a certain way, that's not how he rolls, man. He's very well read. It opened my eyes.


craziest story from the road?

So far, shoot man a lot. To date...on the Iced earth website there is a video of us dressed like pirate hookers.(laughs)

100 years from now what will people say about Plagues Of Babylon?

If they say anything about the album at all then we did something right brother(laughs). I think they will say it is a great piece of musical history and in the bands history.



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Swords Of Steel Volume 2

Swords of Steel Volume 2

     As many times as people say they love heavy metal, more often than not you will hear people put it down. That this music is nothing more than noise performed and recorded by a bunch of mindless degenerates.  But as fans and true metal heads know, heavy metal is an extremely complex and noteworthy art form. The views and usage of musical elements combined with the incredible lyricism of the artists is undeniable. Here in Swords of Steel volume 2 you will read tales by some of those artists. Thought provoking and creative narratives of literary gems the world should read.

With an introduction by David DeFeis of the band VIRGIN STEELE, this amazing tome of regal and searing tales of swords, wizards and sorcery begins. Build your fires, gather your steel, notch your bows, this is epic story writing on a Tolkien scale. Penned by some of the best underground metal bands of the age. Bands like, MANILLA ROAD, CAULDRON bORN, SOLSTICE, GATEKEEPER,BLACKSWORD,ARCHSPIRE, and many more. If you ever wanted to dive deeper into the minds of your favorite musicians beyond the short and sweet lyrics then here is your chance. Here is your ticket to an epic event of heavy metal literature.

And all this for only $10.00

Introduction: Where the Lifestream Touches Eternity by David DeFeis (VIRGIN STEELE)
"The Forgotten City of Tehm" by E.C. Hellwell (MANILLA ROAD, HELLWELL)
"A Voyage on Benighted Seas" by Byron A. Roberts (BAL-SAGOTH)
"That Than Which There Can Be No More Terrible" by Michael Scalzi (SLOUGH FEG)
"The Sword of Shaitan", poetry by Howie K. Bentley (CAULDRON BORN, BRITON RITES)
"Mystery Believer" by Scott Waldrop (WALPYRGUS, TWISTED TOWER DIRE)
"At the Crossroads: Swords, Sorcery and Heavy Metal", an essay by David C. Smith
"Beneath Dead Lake" by Jeffrey Black (GATEKEEPER)
"Red Ochre" by James Ashbey (SOLSTICE)
"Vitiated Life", poetry by Alex A. Avdeev (BLACKSWORD)
"Darke Manor" by Jaron Evil (ALMURIC, ARCHSPIRE)
"The Heart of the Betrayer" by Howie K. Bentley


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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Metal Blade news

Metal Blade Records launches new edition of "6 Bands in 60 Seconds"

In conjunction with RED Music, Metal Blade Records has launched a new edition of the "6 Bands in 60 Seconds" campaign, where CEO Brian Slagel spotlights six artists from the label's roster every three months. The goal of the promotion is to help fans discover new music from some of the most promising acts in the scene. The latest installment of the series features Brimstone Coven, Ketzer, Gehennah, Accuser, Artillery, and Sourvein; to watch the video clip, and to learn more about the artists, please visit:

Hailed as "kick-ass dark occult rock" (, Brimstone Coven released their new album, Black Magic, this past January. Boasting gritty, groovy riffs (a la Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Led Zeppelin) with Pink Floydian psychedelic movements, Black Magic also includes three-part vocal harmonies reminiscent of the Mamas and Papas, Yes, and The Byrds, resulting in "an outstanding genre album, bound to enthuse countless listeners!" (Legacy Magazine, Germany). For more information, please visit:

Ketzer (German for "heretic") also released their latest album, Starless, this past January. From sounds of raging fury, to the echoes of calm and cleansing waves, Starless is a record that will take you on a journey that is unexpected, yet familiar at the same time. As Decibel Magazine asserts, "What Ketzer have done on 'Starless' is open up a large swath of potential musical territory, while also managing to understand the confines of their origins. They've figured out a new vocabulary." For more information, please visit:

After nearly 20 years, this past February marks the first full-length release (Too Loud To Live, Too Drunk To Die) from Swedish street metallers Gehennah, since 1997's Decibel Rebel. "If you've ever wondered what Motorhead riffs sound like backwards, or you believe spirit - and spirits! - are more important than musicianship, then Gehennah are your new favorite bar-brawling bruthas" (Decibel Magazine). For more information, please visit:

Last week, German thrashers Accuser unleashed their 11th full-length, The Forlorn Divide, featuring the band's trademark blend of powerful thrash metal, virtuoso guitar-work, intricate drum patterns - and of course, gripping, harsh vocals, highlighting the dark recesses of human psyche that are described in the lyrics. After 30 years in the scene, the members of Accuser have perfected their signature style: "The younger generation could learn a thing (or ten) from these gentlemen" ( For more information, please visit:

On March 25th, Danish power-thrash metallers Artillery will unleash their new album, Penalty By Perception. A familiar, yet modern thrash attack, Penalty By Perception delivers the band's signature riffing, with powerful drumming and melodic singing - and promises to be a new fan favorite in the quintet's storied career! For more information, please visit:

For over two decades, Sourvein front-man T-Roy has pushed through poverty, the deaths of friends and family, bouts of severe depression, periods of alcohol abuse, and an absence of the stability provided by a consistent record label to build the band into a highly respected force in the metal, doom, sludge, and crust underground. At long last, Sourvein has found a proper home for their doom-laden Southern noise with Metal Blade Records, who will be releasing their upcoming full-length, Aquatic Occult, on April 8th. For more information, please visit:

To watch the first "6 Bands in 60 Seconds" video (which included Act of Defiance, Rivers of Nihil, Twitching Tongues, Culture Killer, Visigoth, and Harlott), please visit:

Metal Blade Records online:

Amon Amarth Jomsviking

Amon Amarth  Jomsviking
Metal Blade Records
25 March 2016

Arriving to shores around the world soon, the newest viking metal onslaught from Amon Amarth, Jomsviking, is a battleaxe of battering tunes.
    Epic in scale like a viking charge, and yet clearly there is a tempered method to their steel. Amon Amarth is hands down one of the biggest and best flag bearers for the viking metal genre. Raise your cups of mead and shout skol!!
    For make no mistake “Jomsviking” is an epic album full of tales of blood and brotherhood. Tracks like “First Kill”, and “wanderer” split open your skull like a viking axe. But it is clear to all that “On a sea Of Blood” is the standard by which all other members of the genre will judge themselves. This song has it all.

Other stand out tracks include “At Dawns light”, “One Thousand Burning Arrows”, and “A Dream That Cannot Be”. But it is on the epic 7 plus minute song that Amon Amarth truly begin to show a certain level of mastery over their domain.

Hagel Amon Amarth . För detta är din bästa album hittills !

From the press release:
"It's a pretty simple story where a young man is in love with a girl but unfortunately she's being married off. He accidentally kills a man when this happens and he has to flee," the frontman explains. "But he swears to have revenge and win her back. He can't let go of the past. He feels that he's been wronged and his life has been destroyed. The story of the Jomsviking is the background - it's the way he finds to go back and claim his revenge. The way the story evolves is not a happy story… it's a tragedy, I guess! But I like sad endings, because they're the ones that affect you the most."

"We just want to be more,"Mikkonen concludes. "Bigger shows, more production, everything bigger and better. I'm pretty sure it's gonna be that way too. There's a very good vibe in the band and I think it's gonna be one hell of a year."

"The shows are always absolutely fantastic," Hegg enthuses."When you're onstage, performing, whether it's a festival or a club, and you have that connection with people and you feel that reaction to all the hard work you've put in, that's when you know that all the hardships you've experienced over the years were worth it. We are still growing. We grew with each album and we were never a trend. We've never followed trends and no trend has ever followed us. We're on our own. We do what we love. There are so many shows planned in 2016 that it's almost insane, but that's what we live for."

Amon Amarth discography:
Once Sent from the Golden Hall (1998)
The Avenger (1999)
The Crusher (2001)
Versus the World (2002)
Fate of Norns (2004)
With Oden on Our Side (2006)
Twilight of the Thunder God (2008)
Surtur Rising (2011)
Deceiver of the Gods (2013)
Jomsviking (2016)

Amon Amarth line-up:
Johan Hegg - Vocals
Ted Lundström - Bass
Johan Söderberg - Guitar
Olavi Mikkonen - Guitar