Thursday, February 10, 2011

OZZY OSBOURNE Producer, RUSH Nominated For JUNO Awards

Scot McFadyen, Sam Dunn, Pegi Cecconi, Noah Segal, Shelley Nott, John Virant and RUSH have been nominated in the "Music DVD Of The Year" category for the documentary "Beyond The Lighted Stage" at the 2011 Juno Awards (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy Awards).

Producer Kevin Churko has been nominated in the "Recording Engineer Of The Year" category for his work on the OZZY OSBOURNE tracks "Let It Die" and "Life Won't Wait" from the legendary heavy metal singer's latest album, "Scream".

The awards ceremony will be held on March 27 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

For a complete list of nominees visit

SYMPHONY X: New Album Title, Lyrical Concept Revealed

During a brand new interview with DJ JC Green of Metal Messiah Radio's "Heavy Metal Thunder" show, vocalist Russell Allen of New Jersey's progressive metal masters SYMPHONY X revealed that the band has set "Iconoclast" as the title of its eighth album, due later this year via Nuclear Blast Records.

When asked what stage of the recording/mixing process the new CD is in, Allen replied, "We are in post-production, so the album is pretty much almost done. At this point, mixes are being wrapped up and finalized and it's off to mastering and should be ready for release in a few months — definitely first quarter of 2011. We've got the artworks all done, we're taking pictures next week... all that good stuff. So everything's on track for release pretty soon."

Regarding the sound of "Iconoclast" and how it compares to that of 2007's "Paradise Lost", Russell said, "Sonically, it's in the realm of that one in a way, in terms of the sound of things; the guitar sound is a little different. Basically, the album is pretty intense — probably the most intense record we've ever done; it's chock-full of riffs — tons of great riffs. It's heavy, the music, but the singing is very melodic in terms of its... the choruses are real strong, the verses are real strong, but I'm singing aggressively — a lot of that going on — 'cause the topic is, again, very dark; you know, that's what we do. So the album's very powerful. And, of course, we do have one song that's like a little mini-epic, so to speak, and it's the lightest — a light, light, light song. So there is a contrast on the record of that one song that has that sort of 'Paradise Lost' feel to it; it's a ballad, I guess, if you wanna call it that."

He continued, "This album will contain a good body of work that harkens back to a lot of early metal — some early metal — and a lot of SYMPHONY X standards that you guys know already, and a little bit of a newer sound, too, here and there — just a newer direction. Some of the singing parts, I tried some more rhythmic things that I was hearing that sounded pretty cool, and some different things that I'm doing with my voice now that are a little more looking to the future of what we hear the music going. It's just the next progression for us, where we are as writers and stuff, but it's pretty intense — it's way more intense than 'Paradise Lost', if you can believe that."

When asked about the "Iconoclast" lyrical concept, Russell said, "It is basically just the idea of machines taking over everything and all this technology we put our society into pretty much being our demise. It's a story we were all familiar with, but we put our own spin on it. It's not a linear story in terms of... This is just the theme of the record, so all the songs are in that theme, but they're not connected in any sort of story way — there's no characters of any of that stuff — it's just a theme. Like [PINK FLOYD's] 'The Dark Side Of The Moon', it's really just a theme of the dark side of the moon — one song deals with death, the other one deals with time... You know what I mean?! So it's the same kind of thing. I'm not comparing the two albums by any means — don't misunderstand me — but in terms of the idea of a concept, so to speak, the concept is there, but it's not a story record — not like [2002's] 'The Odyssey', where the song
'The Odyssey' is that story."

The entire interview will air on "Heavy Metal Thunder" in the next couple of weeks.

SYMPHONY X will embark on a North American headlining tour in April/May. Support on the trek will come from Seattle's NEVERMORE, Sweden's SOILWORK, Boston's POWERGLOVE and Montreal's BLACKGUARD. The trek will launch on April 21 in Philadelphia and wrap on May 22 in West Springfield, Virginia.

SYMPHONY X's last album, 2007's "Paradise Lost", has sold over 60,000 copies in North America.

Formed in 1994 in New Jersey, SYMPHONY X has seven studio albums and one live album to its credit.

Patrick Moraz To Perform Live In New Jersey 3/10/2011

Keyboard virtuoso Patrick Moraz to perform at Bergen Community College's annual Ars Electronica concert.

On March 10 Bergen Community College's Department of Performing Arts presents "Ars Electronica: An Evening With Patrick Moraz" at the Anna Marie Ciccone Theatre. Moraz, a keyboard virtuoso known to progressive rock fans for his work with Yes, The Moody Blues and Bill Bruford, also has released a large catalog of solo albums ranging in style from classical to jazz to Brazilian music and has composed soundtracks for numerous American and European film releases. In keeping with the theme of the series, Moraz will be performing his electronic keyboard works at this concert.

The Ars Electronica series is an annual event started by former Bergen Professor of Music Ron Mazurek. Since Dr. Mazurek's death in 2007 the series has continued in his memory, with ticket sales going toward the Ron Mazurek Scholarship, a fund established to help talented music students pursue their studies at Bergen. Ticket prices are $10 for the general public, $7 for Bergen students.

Guitarist Gary Moore Passes Away

Legendary rock and blues guitarist Gary Moore passed away in his sleep on Sunday morning of a suspected heart attack while vacationing in Spain with his girlfriend. While tributes have poured in from peers, friends and fans all over the world, Moore's family has remained silent most of the week.

Gary Moore's family issued the following statement on Wednesday: "On Sunday 6th February 2011 musician Gary Moore died in his sleep of a heart attack while on holiday in Spain. Acknowledged as one of the finest guitarists that the British Isles has ever produced; Gary Moore's career dated back to the sixties. Moore graced the line-ups of several notable rock bands including Thin Lizzy, Collosseum II and Skid Row, to name but three, and to this year maintained a highly successful solo career. Gary is survived by four children; daughters Saoirse and Lily and sons Jack and Gus. His family take great comfort in the fact he died of natural causes and was looking forward to his holiday prior to recording a new album. Gary was thrilled by new guitars he had just bought and was planning to play shows throughout the world, later this year. His family has requested that their privacy is respected during this sad time and no further comment will be made. They would very much like to express their heartfelt thanks for the show of support and all the kind messages from friends and fans alike, the world over."

Moore's brother was in Spain earlier this week preparing to bring his body home, but no funeral plans have been announced. Authorities have ordered more tests to make a final determination as to the cause of death, but initial findings indicate the guitarist probably died of a heart attack, and officials have said that there is nothing unusual about the case.

ANGER AS ART Frontman On GARY MOORE's Death: 'This Hits Me As Hard As RONNIE DIO's Passing'

ANGER AS ART/ABATTOIR frontman Steve Gaines has issued the following statement regarding the death of legendary guitarist Gary Moore:

"Super Bowl Sunday, and I find this news.... simply terrible. This hits me as hard as Ronnie Dio's passing.

"About ten years ago, I was starting to make the jump from bass to guitar... and was lacking some inspiration. While working on some PAGAN WAR MACHINE recordings, I was shown some live video of Gary Moore, and quite simply it changed my life. Instead of the shreddy, arpeggio swepping whammy bar guys that dominate the thrash scene, here was a guy who played bluesy hard rock — who could hold a note for what seemed like forever ('Parisienne Walkways') that would bring tears to your eyes. From there I discovered his whole career... blues, prog, whatever, he did it better than most.

"It is not a stretch to say that if not for Gary Moore, that first ANGER AS ART album never would have been done. Unashamedly I admit to ripping off his technique for that whole record.

"Gary, I hope Phil [Lynott, late THIN LIZZY legend] was there to greet you. You guys have some time now... Go find Cozy [Powell], and we expect that you have a few records worth of material for us by the time we join you.

"Rest in peace, Gazza!"

REDEMPTION: New Album Title, Producer Revealed

Los Angeles-based progressive metal band REDEMPTION, which features in its ranks vocalist Ray Alder of FATES WARNING, has set "This Mortal Coil" as the title of its fifth album, tentatively due in the fall. The CD will be produced by Neil Kernon, who has previously worked with such acts as NEVERMORE, NILE, QUEENSRŸCHE and DEICIDE, and will feature the following working songtitles, among others: "Noonday Devil", "No Tickets To The Funeral", "Rain In My Soul", "Focus", "Dreams From The Pit", "Path Of The Tornado", "Blink Of An Eye", "Perfect" and "Departure Of The Pale Horse".

Commented guitarist/songwriter Nicolas van Dyk: "The band was really happy with 'Snowfall On Judgment Day' and so when it came time to put together new material, with our own expectations for ourselves always on the rise, we gave a lot of thought to how to deliver the goods and step up our game yet again.

"We have worked well with some excellent producers in the past and they have put their mark on our sound, especially Tommy Newton, with whom we did two records and who we tried to involve early enough in the production process to help shape the records. But even with Tommy, most of the involvement came after we were finished with songs.

"For this record, I thought we could bring in an outside producer very early on. Someone to help shape the music and raise the bar for us, challenging our ideas and getting the best from the band. I knew I wanted somebody with a depth of experience that reflected the many things REDEMPTION pursues in its music: melodic but heavy; intricate and complex when called for, but accessible; a bit of virtuosity but always in the service of the song. This is a tall order, when you think about it. We would need a producer, ideally, who had extensive experience in pop music but also maybe jazz fusion, had worked with somebody like KANSAS, had worked with somebody like NEVERMORE, had extensive experience in heavy technical music (like, say, SPIRAL ARCHITECT or even somebody like NILE) and hopefully also had particular domain expertise in prog metal (maybe someone like QUEENSRŸCHE).

"Fortunately, such a producer exists! I am delighted to announce that we will be working on 'This Mortal Coil' with Neil Kernon, whose extensive CV includes all of those bands. He has immense experience in song craft, creating compelling intricate music across a variety of genres. It's a great fit for what we are looking for right now. He is, simply put, a legendary producer and we are really fired up to work with him.

"Neil and I have known each other socially for several years, and actually about three years ago he called me and asked if REDEMPTION would be interested in creating a ''Rage For Order' for the next century.' Uh, YES, we would! However, at that time, we were already down the road with 'Snowfall On Judgment Day' so I explained that we would have to table the conversation until the next record.

"So when the time came to consider how to make sure our next CD is our best (a goal we will always have!) I thought immediately back to that conversation. And as Neil and I spoke about the possibilities, it became obvious to us both that this could be a very special opportunity to make a really great CD. So we are really going to dig into pre-production together beginning just a few weeks from now and needless to say, I'm really looking forward to it!

"I've been working on the basic structure of the songs for a couple of months now, and the band is very pleased with how things are coming together. We are taking more time to explore different drum parts than we have done before, and working out bass and drum parts together in a more organic way than we have had the luxury of doing in the past.

"So the songs are in a bit of flux now, but at this point it looks like we will have ten or eleven tracks, with a fair amount of compositional diversity between them but all having the strong melody, the aggressive riffing and the sense of emotional and musical urgency that we hope is core to all of REDEMPTION's music.

"This is not a rock opera but the songs are tied together, loosely, by the theme of confronting our mortality. You can imagine, given my medical adventure, that what I experienced would make its way into my songwriting.

"After pre-production, we'll get to tracking and mixing and all that good stuff. We are shooting for a fall release date, assuming all goes well. We're also planning some pretty extensive and cool bonus materials, which will be fun to do and which we think our fans will really enjoy. We also have some tentative plans right now to play out a bit more extensively than we did on the last CD in support of the record."

In November 2008, Nicolas van Dyk was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a disease that he described at the time as "a particularly bad form of blood cancer which is generally considered incurable and which has a five-year survival rate of 34%." He now says, "I continue to follow the very aggressive protocol of my brilliant doctor, Dr. Bart Barlogie, who is quite literally saving the lives of people diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma — he's the only doctor in the world who believes it can be cured. As of now, I remain in complete remission and have been there for around fifteen months. If I make it thirty six months, Bart's data shows I am almost certainly cured. So I continue to take three nasty meds to (hopefully) ensure I remain in remission. The odds at this point are very much in my favor. Incidentally, I have a different blood cancer than what Nergal of BEHEMOTH is battling, but a small part of the aggressive protocol I underwent consisted of two
blood stem cell transplants that Nergal recently underwent."


DREAM THEATER, ANATHEMA, ELOY, RIVERSIDE and IQ have been confirmed for the Night Of The Prog Festival VI, set to take place July 8-9, 2011 in Loreley, Germany.

According to a press release, "it took this festival only a few editions to raise to one of the leading progressive rock festivals in Europe — or probably even the world. Next to the music and bands that have taken part at the festival editions, the main reason for the success is simply the location! The UNESCO world heritage Loreley is one of the most outstanding open air amphitheaters in Europe. High above the river Rhine, the visitors are overwhelmed by the beautiful surrounding area."

For more information, visit WiV Entertainment.


Swedish progressive metal band DARKWATER has been confirmed for the ProgPower USA XII festival, set to take place September 14-17, 2011 at Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows:


"Breathe", the latest video from DARKWATER, can be viewed below. The clip was directed by Radionika AB, Dino Medanhodzic and Joacim Hammarström. The girl in the video is played by Angelica Lewenhagen.

"Breathe" comes off DARKWATER's new album, "Where Stories End", which was released on November 12, 2010 in Europe through Ulterium Records and November 23, 2010 in North America via Nightmare Records. The follow-up to 2007's "Calling The Earth To Witness" was mixed by Fredrik Nordström and Henrik Udd at Studio Fredman (IN FLAMES, DIMMU BORGIR, HAMMERFALL).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kscope To Release Gazpacho On March 22 In The US

Missa Atropos, the new album from Norway's Gazpacho Available March 22 in the U.S.A. on Kscope
The constant drive to pigeon-hole artists often leads to the media creating all manner of new sub-genres to describe acts but few bands can share the 'classical post-alternative ambient nocturnal atmospheric neo-progressive folk world rock' label that one journalist gave Gazpacho while struggling to describe the band's distinctive sound.

More orthodox descriptions have suggested similarities to Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, Marillion (and even Aha) but such simplistic comparisons don't do justice to the true nature of the band's music.

Formed in Oslo in 1996 by childhood friends Jon-Arne Vilbo and Thomas Andersen along with Jan-Henrik Ohme (later joined by Mikael Krømer, Lars Eric Asp and Kristian Torp), the band have honed this unique sound over a string of critically acclaimed albums and numerous tours, including several with long-time supporters Marillion.

These albums and tours, as well as the internet and word-of-mouth praise that have greeted them, have helped the band build a substantial international fan base. All the band's releases until this point have either been self-released or on Marillion's Racket Records label but the band have now signed to Kscope who are set to give an international release to the band's latest album Missa Atropos, which has previously only been available in Germany.

The follow-up to 2009's Tick Tock (Album Of The Month, Eclipsed), Missa Atropos is an ambitious concept album. Dealing with themes of death, fear and loneliness, it combines the band's musical skills and haunting songwriting to create a beautiful and hypnotic piece of art.

Darker than the band's previous two albums, it still features many of the distinctive characteristic's of a Gazpacho album, with ambient passages, violin and classical music, elements of world music as well as real samples of coded information sent during the cold war on short wave radio.

RAINBOW: 'Rising' Deluxe Edition Detailed

Universal Music Enterprises will release a "deluxe" edition of RAINBOW's classic album "Rising" on February 28 in the U.K. and March 8 in North America.

"Rising" (also known as "Rainbow Rising") was released in 1976, with founding member/guitarist Ritchie Blackmore (ex-DEEP PURPLE) retaining only Ronnie James Dio (ex-ELF) from the band's debut album, "Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow". Ritchie recruited keyboard player Tony Carey, bassist Jimmy Bain and drummer Cozy Powell (ex-JEFF BECK) to complete the new lineup. Recorded in Munich, Germany in less than a month, "Rising" was overseen by DEEP PURPLE engineer and noted rock producer Martin Birch, who would later find success with BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN, WHITESNAKE and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT.

"Rising" marked Dio's first work with bassist Jimmy Bain; Bain would later play bass in Dio's solo band.

"Rising" deluxe edition track listing:

Disc 1:

01. Tarot Woman
02. Run With The Wolf
03. Starstruck
04. Do You Close Your Eyes
05. Stargazer
06. A Light In The Black
07. Tarot Woman
08. Run With The Wolf
09. Starstruck
10. Do You Close Your Eyes
11. Stargazer
12. A Light In The Black

Disc 2 (rough mixes and alternate versions of all tracks on Disc 1):

01. Tarot Woman
02. Run With The Wolf
03. Starstruck
04. Do You Close Your Eyes
05. Stargazer
06. Coming Home
07. Stargazer
08. A Light In The Black
09. Man On The Silver Mountain

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

MASTODON: More 'Live At The Aragon' DVD + CD Details Revealed

Atlanta progressive metallers MASTODON will release their first-ever live experience package, entitled "Mastodon: Live At The Aragon", on March 15 via Reprise Records. The set will contain a CD and DVD which captures the band's sonic assault recorded and filmed live on October 19, 2009, at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago while touring in support of its critically acclaimed album "Crack The Skye".

"Mastodon: Live At The Aragon" DVD + CD is comprised of "Crack The Skye" performed live in its glorious entirety along with fan favorites from "Blood Mountain" (2006) and "Leviathan" (2004) plus a brutal cover of "The Bit" by MELVINS. A dozen blistering tracks that loudly displays MASTODON's unmatched virtuosic prowess at the apex of their career to date. The DVD program contains a full 78-minute live visual concert experience filmed in Chicago and is a stunning representation of the band captured in their most natural and primal element. The DVD will also feature a 58-minute "tour film" entitled "Crack the Skye: The Movie", and contains the films which were projected on screen, behind the band in performance. These images were created specifically to illustrate the conceptual thread linking each of the songs on "Crack The Skye" and are exclusive to this package for the very first time giving the fans a brand new way to re-experience "Crack The Skye".

Beginning today through fans can pre-order a special bundle that will include the complete "Mastodon: Live At The Aragon", along with a custom MASTODON guitar pick tin (with embossed picks) and a reproduction of the official MASTODON all-access tour laminate exclusive only to this package.

Fans who wish to purchase "Mastodon: Live At The Aragon" digital download can do so on the iTunes Store both in audio form, and as a live concert film, including "Crack The Skye: The Movie". In addition, the package will also be available through as an audio/video bundle.

In other news, MASTODON will help celebrate Record Store Day, April 16, by releasing two limited-edition vinyl pressings. First will be the version of "Mastodon: Live At The Aragon", pressed onto 180-gram-audiophile-weight vinyl and will also contain the DVD of the live show, plus "Crack the Skye: The Movie". Secondly, an exclusive split seven-inch vinyl single of the ZZ TOP classic "Just Got Paid", with MASTODON's version on one side backed with the original ZZ TOP version on the flip, housed in a clear plastic slipcase. MASTODON's version of the track originally appeared on the album "Covered, A Revolution In Sound", commemorating 50 years of Warner Bros. Records.

"Mastodon: Live At The Aragon" concert track listing:

01. Oblivion
02. Divinations
03. Quintessence
04. The Czar
05. Ghost of Karelia
06. Crack The Skye
07. The Last Baron
08. Circle of Cysquatch
09. Aqua Dementia
10. Where Strides The Behemoth
11. Mother Puncher
12. The Bit (MELVINS cover)

A trailer for "Mastodon: Live At The Aragon" can be viewed below.

A super-deluxe, super-limited-edition version of MASTODON's latest album, "Crack The Skye", was released on November 26, 2010 via Metal Club, a group of record stores throughout the U.S. and Canada that work to connect the vibrant metal community with their local record store. Only 600 of these sets were made. This version came housed in a hardbox case featuring a third-dimension wormhole design that contains exclusive and additional album art by long-time MASTODON artist Paul Romano. Inside is a full-length "Crack The Skye" CD plus a DVD on the "Making Of Crack The Skye" with photo gallery, track-by-track band commentary and more, by director Jimmy Hubbard.

MASTODON's six-song EP, "Jonah Hex", was released on June 29 via Reprise Records. The effort featured an original score by MASTODON and Oscar-nominated composer Mario Beltrami ("The Hurt Locker", "3:10 to Yuma"). MASTODON was asked to create the score personally by the film's director, Jimmy Hayward, who was inspired by repeated listenings of MASTODON's 2006 album, "Blood Mountain".

Sunday, February 6, 2011

OPETH Mainman: 'We Are Devastated To Hear About The Passing Of GARY MOORE'

Guitarist/vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt of Swedish progressive metallers OPETH has released the following statement regarding the passing of legendary guitarist Gary Moore:

"We are devastated to hear about the passing of Gary Moore. Both myself and Fredrik [Åkesson, guitar] are massive fans of his, and we've been listening to his music since we're kids. He was such a integral part of our musical upbringing, so it's with great sadness we have to try and accept these horrible news. One of the very best hard rock lead guitar players EVER! We love you Gary, rest in peace."

Gary Moore died early this morning in a hotel room in Spain. He was 58 years old.

Moore was reportedly found dead in his luxury hotel room in the Costa del Sol. He was said to be on holiday at the time of his death.