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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Amon Amarth - Live Rock Am Ring 2016 (Full Show HD)

Leaves' Eyes with Elina Siirala - Blazing Waters @ Colos-Saal, Aschaffen...

THUNDERSTONE - Through the Pain (2016) // official clip // AFM Records

NIGHTMARE - Ikarus (2016) // official clip // AFM Records


AFM Newsletter - 27 September 2016

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New Video "Hug You Hardcore"

Finlands finest frighteners LORDI release their first single and video "Hug You Hardcore" taken from "Monstereophonic", out on September 16th. But be careful while watching: This video is not for the fainthearted!

read more and watch video

New album out now and tour dates!

The new LORDI album "Monstereophonic (Theaterror vs. Demonarchy" is out now, available in two different Vinyl colors and as CD Digipak.

read more and see tour dates

"Fires In The North" EP details!

LEAVES' EYES have unveiled details for their upcoming release, the "Fires In The North" EP.
The title track is a brand new song, featured in a regular and an acoustic version. In addition, the EP includes three songs from the band's latest album "King Of Kings" in new versions (feat. Elina on vocals). The cover artwork was created by Stefan Heilemann.

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New album out in February, cover artwork revealed!

CRYSTAL VIPER are back! The Polish Heavy Metallers are returning after a 4 year absence, which was caused by the health issues relating to the band's front woman and founder, Marta Gabriel, and which placed the future of CRYSTAL VIPER into question (last year Marta underwent surgery of her nasal and facial sinuses). "The witch is back" however, sounding stronger, heavier and louder than ever before...!

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European tour dates announced!

After completing their US tour and playing major festivals, EKTOMORF will be on the road again in Europe October / November 2016 - with a killer set consisting of songs from the band’s latest album “Aggressor” and all their classic hits. Confirmed support acts are: Hemlock from the US, Hot Beaver from Hungary and Arise In Chaos from the US. Get your tickets and see you in the mosh pit!

read more and see tour dates

New Album in November!

French heavy metal pioneers NIGHTMARE with brand new line-up will release their new album, „Dead Sun“ on November 25th via AFM Records.World Premiere of the new video clip + digital single „Ikarus“ will be on Friday, September 23rd at 12:00pm CET.

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Won Metal Hammer Award

Last Friday Udo Dirkschneider received the „MAXIMUM METAL“ Award from the leading german metal mag METAL HAMMER! Udo wants to thank everybody for this award which is something very special since only stars like James Hetfield have received it so far.

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CD re-releases "Loyal To None" and "Right In The Guts" out September 9th!

Before we unleash the brand new HERMAN FRANK album (official announcement coming soon), the first two records will be re-released on September 9th...

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Remixed version of "Forsake What I Believed" available!

“Memorial Roots” has been the somehow “different” album in the catalogue of German power metallers BRAINSTORM. While delivering high-class songs as always, it mainly was the quite unusual mix that gave some fans a hard time to get into it. Even though it was by full intention of the band back then, “Memorial Roots” sounds different. Looking back now, maybe a bit too different…

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Since the success of SABATON, the world knows, that Falun is the birthplace of many mighty warriors. But the brave Swedes from TWILIGHT FORCE now prove with their second album »Heroes Of Mighty Magic«, that epic metal doesn't necessarily need tanks and can also be played with a bow and arrow.

“The next opus of TWILIGHT FORCE will be a journey unlike any you have ever experienced. While we are still staying true to the essence of power metal, the songs, sounds and magic adventures have all evolved from the once drake hatchling into a colossal arcane arch-dragon. The time, effort and primordial wisdom that we have invested into this album is truly immeasurable, and we profoundly hope that this will shine through upon our venerated audience.”

But after stripping down the whole image of dragon keepers and taking a look behind the walls of this majestic power metal manifesto, you discover that there is more to those Swedes than just bittersweet legends: Pure honesty and love for untamed melodies is what truly defines this band. TWILIGHT FORCE unites six highly talented musicians, who manage to handle the multiple puppet strings of this grand genre and let the marionettes dance accordingly to their will. With high precision and passion for their craft, the Swedes combine raging guitars with classical acoustic instruments, such as the violin or the lute, melting high volume with soft gentleness, creating a dynamical sound cocktail. Every melody digs through the deepest corners of the listener's brain and even though the epicness seems to spread like an untamed wildfire, TWILIGHT FORCE know very well how to control their emitted sparks. This album unveils adventurous tales with entirely unconquered lands, where captivating melodies grow at the side of every path and wait to be gathered. And may it be the entire battle choir of Chrileon's unique voice range, »Heroes Of Mighty Magic« delivers outstanding vocal moments and easily competes with the performances of the biggest voices in power metal.
Track list
1 - Battle Of Arcane Might
2 - Powerwind
3 - Guardian Of The Seas
4 - Flight Of The Sapphire Dragon
5 - There and Back Again
6 - Riders Of The Dawn
7 - Keepers Of Fate
8 - Rise Of A Hero
9 - To The Stars
10 - Heroes Of Mighty Magic
11 - Epilogue
12 - Knights Of Twilight's Might

Tuesday, September 20, 2016



Amon Amarth premieres "Raise Your Horns" video (featuring fans, artists, and friends!) via; launches contest with Grimfrost; set to kick off USA tour with Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, Metal Church, & Butcher Babies tomorrow

After headlining a North American tour earlier this year, and appearing at premier festivals across Europe all summer, Amon Amarth is now ready to launch their new video for "Raise Your Horns", featuring live footage from their San Diego (USA), London (UK), Paris (FR), Tilburg (NL), Berlin (DE), and Hellfest (FR) shows, as well as clips of fans, artists, and friends raising their own horns to the band! Head over to now to watch the video, which includes the following guest appearances:

Zakk Wylde - Black Label Society
John DeServio - Black Label Society
Sam Didier - Blizzard Entertainment
Adam D & Jesse Leach - Killswitch Engage
Doro Pesch
Mike McKenna - NHL/AHL Goaltender
Rob Flynn - Machinehead
Jordan Mancino - Wovenwar
Colleen Schneider - Invicta FC MMA fighter
Sami Yli-Sirnio - Kreator
Johannes Eckerstrom - Avatar
Josh Elmore - Cattle Decapitation
Trevor Bauer - Cleveland Indians
Victor Brandt - Entombed A.D.
Matt Heafy - Trivium
Joakim Broden - Sabaton
Miland "Mille" Petrozza - Kreator
Daniel Tompkins - Tesseract
Kerry King - Slayer
King Diamond
Bobby Blitz - Overkill
Glen Benton - Deicide
George Parros - Violent Gentlemen / NHL Stanley Cup champion (Anaheim Ducks)
Frank Bello - Anthrax
Joey Belladonna - Anthrax
Jonathan Donais - Anthrax
Shayna Baszler - MMA fighter / Premier Wrestling
Richard Christy - The Howard Stern Show
Dave Mustaine - Megadeth
Kevin Kraft - Jason Ellis Show
Mark Tremont - Tremonti / Alter Bridge
Paul Biedermann - German world record holding Olympic swimmer
Nick Hipa - Wovenwar
David Draiman - Disturbed
Angela Hill - Invicta FC Strawweight Champion
Dan Isla - NASA JPL Systems Engineer
Jessica Pimentel - Orange is the New Black
Steve Asheim - Deicide
Adam Green - film director (Hatchet, Chillerama, Holliston)
Alan Averill - Primordial
Scott Ian - Anthrax
Grutle Kjellson - Enslaved
Rob Caggiano - Volbeat
Brian Slagel - Metal Blade Records
Don Jamieson - That Metal Show
Andy La Rocque - King Diamond
Perttu Kivilaakso - Apocalyptica
Floor Jansen - Nightwish
Niclas Engelin - In Flames
LG Petrov - Entombed A.D.
Stefan Huskens - Asphyx
Travis Ryan - Cattle Decapitation
Jose Mangin - SiriusXM Liquid Metal
Mike D'Antonio - Killswitch Engage
Biff Byford - Saxon
Paul Quinn - Saxon
Nergal - Behemoth
The Keyboard Warrior as himself

Starting today, fans also have the chance to win a Grimfrost prize pack, including their own carefully polished and cleaned top quality Viking drinking horn (which holds 4 liters, 8 pints or 128 oz)! The grand prize winner will also receive a Berserker t-shirt, Heathen t-shirt and a stainless steel Wolf King Chain with Grimfrost's Thor's Hammer necklace, all featured in the photo below. Presented by Amon Amarth in partnership with Grimfrost, the contest is open to the global public, and ends on October 10th @ 9AM PST//12PM EST//6PM CET. To enter, please visit: and merely submit your email address!

Grimfrost is a Swedish company dedicated to making and selling the highest quality Viking reproductions on the market. Their products range from hand-forged axes and jewelry to beard oil and Viking inspired t-shirts. For more information, please visit:

Continuing their worldwide tour in support of Jomsviking, Amon Amarth will head back out on the road tomorrow (Sept. 20th) to join Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, Metal Church and Butcher Babies on a USA tour, before appearing at the annual Knotfest with Slipknot, Slayer, Anthrax, and more on Sunday, Sept. 25th. See below for all dates!

Amon Amarth tour dates
w/ Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, Metal Church & Butcher Babies

Sept. 20 - Casper, WY - Casper Events Center
Sept. 21 - Magna, UT - The Great Saltair
Sept. 22 - Las Vegas, NV - The Joint @ Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Sept. 25 - San Bernardino, CA - Knotfest *
Sept. 27 - Seattle, WA - WaMu Theater
Sept. 28 - Eugene, OR - Matthew Knight Arena
Sept. 29 - San Jose, CA - City National Civic
Oct. 1 - Broomfield, CO- 1st Bank Center
Oct. 3 - Council Bluffs, IA - Mid America Recreation & Conv. Complex
Oct. 4 - St. Paul, MN - Roy Wilkins Auditorium
Oct. 5 - Hoffman Estates, IL - Sears Centre
Oct. 7 - Moline, IL - iWireless Center
Oct. 8 - Milwaukee, WI - UWM Panther Arena
Oct. 9 - Detroit, MI - Joe Louis Arena
Oct. 11 - Bethlehem, PA - Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Oct. 12 - Worcester, MA - DCU Center
Oct. 13 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
Oct. 14 - Newark, NJ - Prudential Center
Oct. 16 - Camden, NJ - BB&T Pavilion
*=Amon Amarth only

Amon Amarth will be touring in support of their recently released new album, Jomsviking. As the band's first concept record in their storied career, Jomsviking 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). For their efforts, Amon Amarth landed on the global charts (including a #11 spot on the USA Current Album Billboard Chart!). 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.

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


Scaling Up - STREAMING
Frontiers Music s.r.l.
14 October 2016
With the new album SCALING UP, Kee Marcello is using his past as a springboard and takes a giant leap into the future! With the new music firmly grounded in the songwriting tradition that made him a multiplatinum rock star in the first place, Kee explores the boundaries of Melodic Hard Rock with contemporary performance and a cracking production. This is an album his fans will die for!

Kee Marcello is a unique artist in the Hard Rock genre. He has never stopped evolving and growing as both a writer and a guitarist and the new album shows how much he managed to raise the bar yet again with both his guitar playing, singing and writing.

Conceived and recorded in the winter and spring of 2016, Kee Marcello’s new album encompasses all the influences and genres in which the swedish musician has been involved since the start of his career. Besides the obvious resemblances to EUROPE’s classic sound (particularly of the “Prisoners in Paradise” album, from whose original demos, Kee recouped two songs “Wild Child” and “Don’t Know How To Love”, which were  re-arranged and re-recorded from scratch), Kee winks his eye also to his past experience in Easy Action. So you can hear a touch of Sleaze and more classic Hard Rock based approach on songs like “Fix Me”, “Blow by Blow” and “Soldier Down”.

Kee Marcello is one of the most renowned guitarists out of Scandinavia with an amazing track record. He's best known as the guitarist - from 1986 to 1992 - of one of the biggest music exports out of Sweden to date: Europe In the late '80s and early '90s Europe were one of the biggest rock bands in the World. They sold over 30 million albums, landed no 1's on the sales charts in 26 countries and shared the biggest stages with acts like Metallica, Def Leppard & Bon Jovi. Kee is now enjoying a new wave of success as a TV persona in Sweden and being involved in more exciting musical projects.

Look out for Kee Marcello playing in a town near you soon!

Kee Marcello: Guitars/Keys/Vocals
Ken Sandin: Bass
Darby Todd: Drums
Special guests:
Mattias Eklundh – guitar on “Good Men Gone Bad”
Michele Luppi – keyboards on “Wild Child”

Produced and arranged by Kee Marcello

Mixed by Tobias Lindell

Monday, September 19, 2016


Dave Mustaine is a metal icon. His Musical genius and guitar mastery has kept MEGADETH going for more than 30 years.  Mustaine was also a founding member of the band METALLICA. When the DYSTOPIA world tour launches September 20, the lineup will include AMON AMARTH, BUTCHER BABIES, METAL CHURCH, and SUICIDAL TENDENCIES. I spoke with Dave as he was gearing up for the tour. We spoke about life on the road, beer, bands, and music.

Dave, Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. How are things going?


“Hey, just driving over to our storage facility to pack up all our gear on the trucks for the tour. Just making sure we have everything we need. It’s fun. It’s what I live for. I've  got a great job.”



Your tour lineup is chock full of amazing bands. How do you gather and choose these acts?


“Contrary to all the mud slingers out there. People that tour with us know they are going to have a great time. The list is as long as my arm of people that have toured with us and have gone on to bigger success. Stone Temple Pilots, Pantera, Korn, White Zombie. Our audience is a real friendly and open minded when it comes to new bands. Alice In Chains was another band. It’s a very difficult business. Not everyone gets the opportunities that they should. And when someone like me says, I’m not hiring you because you sell tickets; I’m hiring you because you sound good. That is cool stuff. I look at talent that we want to take out on the road as something that I would want to hear. Because we will be out on the road and I have to listen to them night after night. I want to be able to enjoy myself just as much as you do. During that whole period a couple of years ago when no one was doing guitar solos, we had a couple of bands go out with us and I despised them. And the reason they went out with us was because the label said you need to do this. That was the worst part of my career during that whole nu-metal thing. You know there were no solos because the guitar players weren’t good enough to do solos.”


That was a dark time




Your Line up also includes the double female fronted band, THE BUTCHER BABIES. How did you come across them?


“We had another opening on the tour and I watched a couple of songs. I thought oh my god that is provocative and there are a lot of young men out there that will be very happy that Dave picked these young ladies to tour. It reminded me of WENDY O WILLIAMS (PLASMATICS), because our first drummer had dated Wendy when we were on tour with them. It was MOTORHEAD, WENDY O WILLIAMS, and MEGADETH. Looking back, it was really cool that our drummer had dated her. The BUTCHER BABIES remind me of her.”


I have interviewed them before, and they are totally professional and honest people.


“I actually, when I saw the videos. The thing I liked about them. You know a lot of those screaming singers. A lot gets washed up with the background. But I found that there was an element of actual singing going along with the screaming. That made it interesting.”


The lyrics for DYSTOPIA are darker is this because they are a reflection of the times? As Bob Dylan says “The times they are a changin?


“Definitely a reflection of the time we are living in right now. Looking at society and every day it's on the news, someone is stabbed, shot or blowing up a cop or a school. When I was growing up there was honor amongst the people that fought. You would never think of shooting into a hospital or a school. Now they do that with no remorse. I think about combat as a martial artist and you would touch gloves before you fight. Now they don't do that. So much animosity out there. We are swimming in an era of just hate. I try to stay upbeat and positive. My twitter feed is unusually upbeat. I think that is because I do not immediately respond. Some of our international fans might not communicate the same way we do so before you fly off the handle you have to take that into account.”


How do you feel about the increased presence of social media?


“Well social media and the internet and downloading can be used to your advantage. A lot of people could do that but a lot of people don’t. Take the approach like Lars (METALLICA) did and go up to Capitol Hill and sue people that are downloading songs. Rewind the page in twenty years and we might have been on the receiving end of a lawsuit because we were all tape traders. Although at that time it was about the music. You had pen pals and you would trade tapes. Now you have instant contact across the globe.

I remember one person put one of our earlier albums streaming on the internet for free downloading. He wasn’t even a fan. His sole intent was to hurt us financially.”


You just recently celebrated your 55th birthday, congrats and you also have a new beer line coming out. How did that come about?


“Thank you. Well the birthday was my parents business. And the beer. We met this cat in Quebec and he was a big fan of ours and he launched a beer line. We named the beer after “a tout le monde”. The song is one of the biggest metal songs of all time. My family is from Canada originally. I have always had a good relationship with the people of Canada and so we had a chance to talk to the Jerry. He came to a huge outdoor event we were doing. It was Kiko’s first show. So his audition was to play for 80,000 people in Quebec City. Which is a good way to see if the guys you are playing with are actually worth their salt. So anyway the beer guy showed up early, we did some sampling and it was good. I like to drink beer. We have our own winery that we started.”


What is next for MEGADEATH and DAVE MUSTAINE?


“We are actually working feverishly with the hard drives to catalog all the song ideas we have. To start working on separating them into new parts and so forth and so forth. We have a crazy opportunity of a project that I am working on. We have a lot of songs for that I am working on. I cannot give you more details but as soon as I can, I will. Start to record with these guys.  Got festivals in Asia and Europe coming up. God willing we will finally get down to South Africa next year.”


MEGADETH has sold over 50 million records worldwide, received 11 Grammy nominations. DYSTOPIA is the bands 16th studio album.


Saturday, September 17, 2016


Reborn in Blasphemy (TAPE)
Shadow Kingdom
31 October 2016
SHADOW KINGDOM RECORDS is proud to present the debut EP of Italy's GARGOYLE, Reborn in Blasphemy. Self-released earlier this year in very limited quantities, Reborn in Blasphemy introduced these ghoulish doomlords to the international underground, but not widely enough, in SHADOW KINGDOM's opinion! Despite the EP's title cribbed from an old Dismember song, Reborn in Blasphemy is definitely NOT death metal; rather, it is mildewed and catacombed DOOM in the grand Italian tradition, sounding as old as time itself. Plus, rarely anywhere these days will you find a vocal delivery this obscure, this out-there. No trends, no progression, no modernity, no class: GARGOYLE are doom purists, pure and simple, and they're Reborn in Blasphemy with a bonus track amended to the original three-song release!
Night Demon (TAPE)
Shadow Kingdom
31 October 2016
NIGHT DEMON is a young trio from California who literally fell out of the sky from nowhere...well, they did when they first released the Night Demon EP on CD through SHADOW KINGDOM RECORDS in 2013. Even before its release, when they'd just created a Bandcamp page - and where SHADOW KINGDOM found 'em and were instantly blown away - NIGHT DEMON were invited to play the KIT festival in Europe. From there, the stage was set for their inevitable debut album, Curse of the Damned, which was released last year by Steamhammer and through which the band hit the road hard and converted the masses to their heavy metal faith.

Indeed, heavy metal is NIGHT DEMON's sole religion, one that girds every inch of their souls. You can hear it loud and clear on their very first recording, Night Demon, now finally being released on cassette tape by SHADOW KINGDOM. If you loved Curse of the Damned, then you're gonna love Night Demon just as much - and maybe more! Hear NIGHT DEMON in a rawer, purer state, one that's just as enthralled to the original NWOBHM wave and already mastered it. Love old Angel Witch, Raven, Iron Maiden, and all that British-styled heavy metal that started it all, but wanna hear it in the present and with a harder, grittier, more American feeling? Then Night Demon is gonna be your go-to record, and you can now rock out to it on your Walkman! Even better, this tape version is amended with four bonus tracks, including two studio tracks (one a Diamond Head cover!) and two live tracks from the band's very first show, making this version a full-length album. They are the NIGHT DEMON, and they're comin' to your town...on cassette!
Barren Grounds (CD, TAPE)
Shadow Kingdom
30 September 2016
It's been four very long years since ALTAR OF OBLIVION's landmark Grand Gesture of Defiance, but the Danish kings are back to reclaim their throne with Barren Grounds! And although those four years have been quiet and could've spelled a change of course, ALTAR OF OBLIVION return rested and firing on all cylinders here, offering the same distinct sound as their celebrated pair of albums but perfecting it in a manner that's anything but barren.

As emotional as ever and reaching equally for the heavens and hells, Barren Grounds offers four brand-new songs that span the signature ALTAR OF OBLIVION aesthetic. "State of Decay" begins the record quietly and then charges into molten heaviness, dynamically shifting gears, and often; "Serenity" is aptly titled, a placid instrumental that's the calm before the storm; the title track is pure emotional doom bliss, recalling the classic Candlemass archetype and arguably one of the band's best songs yet, while the hushed closer "Lost" is positively goosebump-inducing in its sonic loneliness. Altogether, and featuring the band's best and heaviest production to date, Barren Grounds makes for a completely satisfying mini-album experience: herald the return of ALTAR OF OBLIVION!

Friday, September 16, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                         September 16, 2016

Featuring Contributions From Rush Guitarist Alex Lifeson, Dream Theater Vocalist James LaBrie,
Emmett’s Onetime Triumph Bandmates Bassist Mike Levine and Drummer Gil Moore

“This album represents a journey through my life,” Emmett observes, “and the idea behind a lot of these songs is me trying to figure out who I am, and why I’m doing what I’m doing. There’s a common thread of positivity here that ties into the records I was making 30 years ago. What did I learn from making them? You’ll hear all of that echoed in the grooves of this album.”;

Indeed, the scope of the 11 deeply heartfelt songs on RES 9 covers a lot of exciting aural ground, from the out-of-the-gate gallop of “Human Race” (which also features a driving 12-string contribution from Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson) to the testifying tones of “My Cathedral” to the whispering blues of “The Ghost of Shadow Town,” not to mention the cutting-heads guitar duels on “End of the Line” and the touching album-closing bonus track “Grand Parade,” which reunites Emmett with his onetime Triumph bandmates, bassist Mike Levine and drummer Gil Moore. The RESolution9 band itself is comprised of Rik’s touring quartet, with Dave Dunlop on guitar, Steve Skingley on bass and keyboards, and Paul DeLong on drums. Dunlop and Skingley also co-produced RES 9 with Emmett.

Emmett is a strong believer in teamwork, and to him, the overall vibe of RES 9 is clearly reflected in the brotherhood and camaraderie shared amongst all the artists who made this special music together. “You can’t accomplish this kind of project 100 percent by yourself,” Emmett believes. “It takes a lot of things working together to make something like this happen. I come back to the old saying that goes, ‘Success has many fathers, and failure is an orphan.’ I knew that I had to spread it all around. It’s important I keep the guys in my band pretty happy.”

Lead track “Human Race” masterfully sets the positivity table for what’s to come. “I’ve been around the block a few times, and one of the things I like about the lyrics in ‘Human Race’ is when we get to the last verse where it says, ‘I am still this guy. I still live this.’ That’s very true,” Emmett acknowledges. “There’s also a line in there about raising a joyful noise — and I still want to do that too.”;

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson added some period-perfect 12-string guitar alongside Emmett and Dunlop to buttress the impact of “Human Race,” and he says he found it quite an honor to play with and for his lifelong friend. “When Rik asked me to play on his new album, I didn’t hesitate for a second,” Lifeson reports. “He’s the consummate musician, a wonderful guitarist, and a terrific person, and it’s always my pleasure to work with him any chance I can get. There is a rock purity in his songwriting and performance, and it’s just so much fun to get together and throw ideas around. He’s always so up and open for anything — even a notoriously uncooperative Rickenbacker 12-string!” Dunlop points out the way RESolution9 meshed with Lifeson “stands as a great example of the collective efforts of the brotherhood.”;

Another one of RES 9’s honored guests, Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie, lent his own considerable talents to a pair of tracks, “I Sing” and “End of the Line” (the latter of which also features Lifeson taking the third guitar solo), and he jumped at the chance to record with his fellow Canadian. “I’ve been extremely blessed and fortunate to meet so many great musicians and beautiful people throughout my career, and to have the opportunity to collaborate and record with some of them is really icing on the cake,” LaBrie notes. “What a thrill it was to record with Rik, who is such an incredible musician and overall down-to-earth cool guy.” About the slow-build manifesto of “I Sing,” Skingley enthuses, “James sang his ass off on that song!” Adds Dunlop, “I enjoyed tracking the guitars on ‘I Sing’ the most because I got to go crazy with several layers of guitars — and I also got to channel [Pink Floyd’s] David Gilmour on the outro.”

A fair amount of the album was recorded and mixed at Mississauga, Ontario’s MetalWorks Studios, a location where Emmett, Levine, and Moore (who owns the studio) recorded many of Triumph’s greatest works — and it’s also where the trio convened to tackle “Grand Parade.” Clarifies Emmett, “The Triumph song is a bonus track. That’s the best way to position it. It’s like ‘Suitcase Blues’ [the last track on Triumph’s 1979 million-seller, Just a Game] — or ‘Her Majesty’ at the end of Abbey Road!”;
Having Triumph involved on RES 9 to some degree was always on the table. “I play ‘Suitcase Blues’ as the last song of the night in the encore for my acoustic shows. I dedicate it to Mike and Gil and the fact that they gave me the latitude to do the crazy things that I do,” Emmett laughs. “As I was developing the lyrics for ‘Grand Parade,’ I started thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could get Mike and Gil to play on it? Wouldn’t that just bring everything full circle?’ One thing led to another, and there we were, recording in MetalWorks. Things just lined up perfectly.”;

Levine had a great time in the studio with his former bandmates. “We rocked it up a bit, and Gil made the drums heavier than they were on the demo,” the bassist notes. “Once I paid deeper attention to the lyrics, I really got into the ‘let’s wrap up this late night’ kind of feel to it. I think it turned out really fantastic. I told Rik I felt it was a really cool tune, one that was very personal for all of us. I’m really, really proud of it, and it was great to work with both Rik and Gil on it. It was really neat.”;

Moore wholly enjoyed the “Grand Parade” experience. “It was really a pleasure to have Rik and his band at MetalWorks, and getting to see him there every day was just like the old days,” the drummer recounts. “I always liked how Rik was able to bring another dimension and another color palette to what we were doing, and I like the spacious bass and drum tracks we did together. That’s what’s always been in my wheelhouse, as far as my playing is concerned. I’m really happy with how this song turned out. I hope we get to do it again.”;

Emmett’s ultimate goal for RES 9 is to connect with as many people as possible. “The context of this entire album for me was, ‘Wow, somebody tossed me a lifeline,’” he concludes. “I still want to make positive music and offer people something that’s motivating and inspiring — and I want to do it for myself too. I need music, and music can provide that lifeline for me.” Mission accomplished: “I’ve got a thirst for life,” as Emmett sings on “Human Race.” And you’ll find that thirst being quenched quite handily in the very heartbeats that percolate within all 11 tracks of RES 9. Drink up.

The track listing features “Stand Still,” Human Race” (featuring Alex Lifeson), “I Sing” (featuring James LaBrie), “My Cathedral,” “The Ghost of Shadow Town,” “When You Were My Baby,” “Sweet Tooth,” “Heads Up,” “Rest of My Life,” “End of the Line” (featuring Alex Lifeson and James LaBrie), “Grand Parade” (featuring Gil Moore & Mike Levine – Bonus Track).

Confirmed appearances include:
9/23     Natick, MA                                                     Center For The Arts
9/24     Plymouth, MA                                                The Spire Center For The Performing Arts
10/14   Londonberry, NH                                           Tupelo Music Hall
10/15   Londonberry, NH                                           Tupelo Music Hall
11/03   Chicago, IL                                                     City Winery
11/04   Milwaukee, WI                                               Shank Hall
11/26   Mississauga, ON                                             Living Arts Centre
12/02   New Hope, PA                                               Havana New Hope
12/03   Philadelphia, PA                                             Tin Angel