Friday, August 12, 2011
The September 2011 issue of Germany's Rock Hard magazine will include a big cover story and world-exclusive live CD by Swedish progressive metallers OPETH that won't be available at record stores. "The Devil's Orchard - Live At Rock Hard Festival" is a five-song, 50-minute effort which is described as "an outstanding
recording made in 2009" when the band stunned the audience with an
awesome performance in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The CD will also include "The Devil's Orchard", the first single from OPETH's long-awaited new studio album, "Heritage".
Commented Rock Hard publisher Holger Stratmann: "OPETH are among the most important contemporary metal bands — and after that
extensive U.S. tour, they were really able to strut their stuff. That
was certainly one of the best performances ever in the history of our
"The Devil's Orchard - Live At Rock Hard Festival" track listing:
01. Heir Apparent
02. Ghost Of Perdition
03. The Leper Affinity
04. Hessian Peel
Snippets from the CD can be heard in the YouTube clip below.
The September 2011 issue of Rock Hard will be available at newsstands in Germany on August 24. You can order a copy directly from the publishing company by writing to
"Heritage" is scheduled for release on September 20 (one day earlier internationally) via Roadrunner Records. The CD was produced by OPETH mainman Mikael Åkerfeldt and was recorded earlier this year at Atlantis studios (formerly Metronome studios) in Stockholm. Mixing duties were handled by Steven Wilson (PORCUPINE TREE) and Åkerfeldt. Longtime collaborator Travis Smith also worked with Åkerfeldt to create, design and execute the album's artwork, which can be seen below.
"Heritage" will be released in several configurations that will certainly incite the interest of OPETH's legion of fans, known for their passion for collecting and
collectibles. The album will be released as a standard version; as a
special edition loaded with extras; as a box set exclusive to the Roadrunner and the band's own official Omerch webstore; and as a double LP.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER has issued the following update:
"This summer of touring was a highlight of my 13 years with [DREAM THEATER]. Still buzzing from the great hangs on the tour bus, memorable backstage group practice sessions, lots of laughs and a unity onstage that was
apparent to all who came to our shows. Fans welcomed [new drummer Mike Mangini] with open arms and the audiences were ecstatic. Can’t wait to share this new level of [DREAM THEATER] with the rest of the world!"
DREAM THEATER's new album, "A Dramatic Turn Of Events", will be released on September 13 via Roadrunner Records.
The "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" deluxe collector's edition exclusive pre-order box set includes the following:
* "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" album
* Instrumentals of the entire album
* DVD of "The Spirit Carries On" – a 60-minute movie documenting DREAM THEATER's drummer auditions
* Double-LP set of "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" (180-gram vinyl in gatefold jacket)
* DREAM THEATER branded custom turntable slipmat
* Litho Print of album cover
* 50 lucky winners will find a DREAM THEATER "Ticket For Life" (randomly inserted)
* All content housed in a custom box
* Receive a digital download of the album the day before release
01. On The Backs Of Angels
02. Build Me Up, Break Me Down
03. Lost Not Forgotten
04. This Is The Life
05. Bridges In The Sky
07. Far From Heaven
08. Breaking All Illusions
09. Beneath The Surface
01. On The Backs Of Angels (instrumental)
02. Build Me Up, Break Me Down (instrumental)
03. Lost Not Forgotten (instrumental)
04. This Is The Life (instrumental)
05. Bridges In The Sky (instrumental)
06. Outcry (instrumental)
07. Far From Heaven (instrumental)
08. Breaking All Illusions (instrumental)
09. Beneath The Surface (instrumental)
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
MAN ON FIRE Release 4th CD, CHRYSALIS, on 10T Records
Charleston, SC – August 1, 2011 (10T Records) - 10T Records is excited to announce the pending release of the newest full length CD by MAN ON FIRE, entitled Chrysalis, on September 20, 2011, with an official street date of October 18, 2011. Chrysalis marks the triumphant return of Man on Fire after a 6-year period following the release of their critically acclaimed concept CD, Habitat, which still stands as 10T’s biggest selling release to date.
Chrysalis songwriter & producer Jeff Hodges and lyricist Steve Carroll stayed quite busy during the hiatus, putting their collective efforts into the successful launch of 10T Records in late 2005. 10T has since grown into one of the leading progressive rock labels in the US. Additionally, Jeff launched Charleston Sound (www.charlestonsound.com) in 2009, which has quickly become one of the most in-demand commercial recording studios in the Southeast US. Hodges himself has also seen his skills as a producer expand, working with many independent and progressive acts such as From.UZ and Farpoint, to more established artists such as Band Of Horses, Gov’t Mule, Grace Potter, The Indigo Girls, and a host of others.
Chrysalis sees Man on Fire significantly stretching their sound, which has always been described as refreshingly free of obvious influences. For Chrysalis the band has expanded to a six-piece group. In addition to founding member Eric Sands, once again providing his signature and distinctive elastic fretless bass and dynamic guitar work, and vocalist keyboardist Jeff Hodges on grand piano, vintage organs, synths and samples, the new Man on Fire lineup features the soulful voice of Elise Testone on co-lead and backing vocals, percussion phenom Quentin Ravenel on drums, internationally renown trumpeter Cameron Harder Handel, and classically trained virtuoso violinist Jenny Hough. Together they create a sound that is more natural, yet ornate, organic and darkly cinematic than previous Man on Fire releases.
"Making this record with the caliber of musicians in the band has been a blast," says Jeff. "We worked hard through the entire creation, recording, and mixing stages to present all the instruments and tones in the most musical and pristine aural quality for the listener. In the end I think the emotion and feeling of the songs are able to shine through more powerfully because the listener can immerse him or herself more into the composition."
Chrysalis by Man on Fire is available for immediate pre-order through the 10T Records website. All orders received between now and the direct release sale date of September 20th will ship by the end of the week prior to the release.
Additionally, all tracks from Chrysalis are now available to preview in their entirety on the Man on Fire artist page at 10T Records:
After October 18th, Chrysalis will be available at your favorite online, digital download, or retail outlet.
8/1/2011 – Los Angeles, CA - Prog fans across the globe are buzzing with excitement about the new CD release by CIRCA: featuring former YES members Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood. 'And So On' is the 4th release from the innovative progressive rock ensemble and currently available at the band's official website www.circahq.com Along with veteran YES rockers Tony Kaye (keyboards) and Billy Sherwood (guitar, vocals), CIRCA: features Johnny Bruhns on guitar and Ronnie Ciago on drums. “Although the album was not written as a concept record, the songs are somehow tied together and are all symbiotic,” Billy Sherwood explains, “it's really just an evolution of CIRCA: music. This is our 3rd Studio release.”
The band was formed in 2007 by Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood. The debut self-titled CD, 'CIRCA:', also featured YES drummer Alan White and Jimmy Haun on guitar, with guest appearances by Michael Sherwood and Cole Coleman. The album includes two tracks based on material Billy Sherwood co-wrote with Trevor Rabin in 1995. A two-track download-only EP was previously available for a short period in the United States. The band's debut live show was on August 23, 2007 in San Juan Capistrano, with a set that included an extended instrumental medley of Yes tunes. A DVD of this show was released as 'CIRCA: Live' in February 2008. A few North American dates followed in early 2008, with Jay Schellen, a previous collaborator of Sherwood's and Kaye's, filling in for White on one date.
In July 2008, Jay Schellen permanently replaced Alan White, who chose to focus on his work in Yes. The new line-up recorded an album 'CIRCA: HQ' in the latter half of 2008, and was released on January 14, 2009. Early 2011 saw a band change, with guitarist Johnny Bruhns replacing Jimmy Haun and Ronnie Ciago replacing Jay Schellen, who wanted to focus on work with Asia Featuring John Payne. CIRCA's next release 'Overflow' is a collection of extra bonus material from the first and second recording sessions, available only as a digital download via iTunes. And now in 2011, after years of anticipation from fans of the band around the world, the new CIRCA: CD 'And So On' is available! In support of the new CD release, plans to tour are in the works.
“There are plans to get out there and do shows,” says Billy, “we are heading to Mexico to play Mexicali and Ensenada in September and some Southern California dates to follow... it's early going but we are working hard to get the band on the road.” Stay tuned via CIRCA's official website for any updates regarding live shows.
“CIRCA: would like to thanks all the fans who have followed us from the start, along the way... and now into the future!”
Please visit the online store at www.circahq.com and for Billy Sherwood solo works visit www.billysherwood.com where his forthcoming 5th solo CD titled 'What Was The Question?' is due out August of 2011.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Former DEEP PURPLE keyboardist Jon Lord has released the following statement via his official web site, JonLord.org:
"I would like all my friends, followers, fans and fellow travelers to know that I am fighting cancer and will therefore be taking a break from performing while getting the treatment and cure. I shall, of course, be continuing to write music — in my world it just has to be part of the therapy — and I fully expect to be back in good shape next year.
"God bless and see you soon."
Jon Lord is recognized for his Hammond organ blues-rock playing and unique sound and for his pioneering work in fusing rock and classical or baroque forms. He has most famously been a member of DEEP PURPLE, the band he co-founded in 1968. Lord recently received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Leicester.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Finnish/Swedish symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH recently spent time not only putting finishing touches to their new album, "Imaginarium", but also planning a movie of the same name. If all goes well, the CD will be released in early 2012, to be followed by the movie at some
point further down the line. The first single off the album as well as the trailer for the film should arrive well before the end of 2011.
"Imaginarium" is one of the projects which recently received grants from the Finnish government institution called the Finnish Film Foundation. The movie, directed by Stobe Harju, about an old man on his deathbed who glimpses a childhood dream in which he refuses to grow old, and fights aging with his imagination, will get $575,000 toward its $3.7 million budget.
The Finnish Film Foundation grants support for professional Finnish film production. The Foundation's goal is to promote high-quality, versatile and unique Finnish film. The support can be granted for feature-length, short and episodic fiction, documentary, animation and children's films.
The production support is granted for the writing of a film script, development of a film project, the actual production of a film and for the marketing and distribution of the film in Finland. The Foundation also grants post-release support on the basis of a film's total attendance.
In a brand new update on the band's official web site, NIGHTWISH states, "Secretly we all hoped that at some point we would be able to say this aloud: The dream is about to become reality! It's been a hard battle beyond all measures, as it is in all projects this size, but
finally creativity and heart took over the evil called money.
"'Imaginarium' will be shot in September in a location we still need to keep as a secret but it will be quite far from our homely Finland and Sweden.
"The casting of the characters is now done. The cast is chosen not only because of their talent but because of the personal passion of everyone involved.
"The actors and their representatives have been overly enthusiastic about the auditions after reading the script. We believe many of you will be very surprised once you see the final result and the story behind it.
"This long journey began more than three years ago, and neither NIGHTWISH or Stobe had a clear idea of where the path would lead. The script is now fantastic. It's about life, and the little spark of light you see during the darkest and most hopeless times. The same spark we've had to find over and over again during the process of making this film happen.
"The production crew is a group of professionals with one aim only: To realize the original vision of 'Imaginarium' that Tuomas [Holopainen, NIGHTWISH keyboardist/main songwriter] and Stobe had. All the pieces of the puzzle are now on the tables, and the building of the props, costume design, schedule planning, special FX production, dialogue and band performance rehearsals, etc. has begun.
"It's easy to shed some tears while writing this, since we now know the story will have an ending after all.
"'She spins around elegantly, softly. The chords are now found and something that was broken never needed to be fixed.'"
On the topic of the movie score, it was previously revealed that Holopainen was working on variations with Petri Alanko, renowned for his prize-winning music for the "Alan Wake" video game. The score will be based on the songs on the album and their main themes in a way that — like many other things with the "Imaginarium" movie — is a first in the history of motion pictures.
NIGHTWISH will kick off the "Imaginarium" world tour in Los Angeles. The very first show of the trek will take place at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California on
Saturday, January 21. This will be the biggest NIGHTWISH show production ever on North American soil and strictly a one-off — there will be no U.S. tour until later in 2012.
Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy spoke to AOL's Noisecreep earlier this week about his new band ADRENALINE MOB's upcoming first U.S. headlining tour, which kicks off on August 14 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
When asked if he expected ADRENALINE MOB to be doing a headlining tour this soon in the game, Portnoy said, "Actually, after the one New York City 'unveiling' we did at the
end of June, we weren't planning on doing any more shows until the album came out — and then the offer came in to do these GODSMACK dates, which of course we couldn't pass up! However, the GODSMACK shows are all in the secondary markets that they didn't hit on the [Rockstar Energy Drink] Mayhem Festival, so we figured being we were already going to be up and running, we'd
fill in the 'off' dates with some shows of our own in some of the major
markets we could get to while out touring with the GODSMACK shows. But honestly, this all came about sooner than we had planned! The original plan was to wait until the album came out (which at this rate
wasn't going to be until the beginning of 2012). This all also played
into us moving things forward quicker than expected and getting the EP
out NOW, so we could do this tour and have a product out that was
available to the public and for people to get to know some of the music
immediately rather than waiting for the traditional three-to-four-month
'set-up period' record companies usually need to get a release out."
Regarding how he sees his role onstage with ADRENALINE MOB as compared to other bands he's been in and whether he is the de facto
frontman (that is to say, actual, though not official, frontman) given
his history, Portnoy said, "Well, with DREAM THEATER live, I may have been a bit of a focal point because I absolutely live for
the energy on stage and having interaction with the audience is
absolutely crucial to me — regardless of how some others have described
it! [laughs] So my character and stage presence may have stuck out a bit with those guys who are maybe slightly more reserved than I. However,
in ADRENALINE MOB, there are five guys that are ALL absolutely
insanely energetic performers each of their own right. It's like a
five-ring circus on stage! I absolutely am NOT the 'de facto frontman'
in the MOB — that title surely goes to Russell Allen, who is one of the best frontmen in the business. I am just happy to be part of the band, and not necessarily leading it."
In a recent interview, DREAM THEATER singer James LaBrie said that everything "is much more balanced" in the band following Portnoy's departure" and things are "where [they] should be on stage, [without
anybody] in the background trying to grab the limelight when maybe they
should just be grooving or whatever." He added, "But I mean, that's [Portnoy's] character, that's just his personality. He's big and he wants to be in
the limelight. But, unfortunately, the problem with that is that it
takes away from the bigger picture — and that is the band as a unit."
In addition to Mike Portnoy, ADRENALINE MOB features SYMPHONY X frontman Russell Allen, guitar virtuoso Mike Orlando (SONIC STOMP), bassist Paul DiLeo and STUCK MOJO/FOZZY axeman Rich Ward.
The band will release its debut EP on August 9. The self-titled effort will available via iTunes as well as sold in physical form at the group's upcoming shows and online store. Self-produced by the band, "Adrenaline Mob" features four original tracks as well as a blistering cover of the Ronnie James Dio-era BLACK SABBATH classic "The Mob Rules". From the opening riff of "Psychosane" through the over-six-minute epic-sounding "Hit The Wall", it is clear that ADRENALINE MOB are in class all their own as musicians.
"Adrenaline Mob" track listing:
02. Believe Me
03. Hit The Wall
04. Down To The Floor
05. The Mob Rules
ADRENALINE MOB formed in early 2011 when Orlando approached Allen with some material the guitarist had written. Allen and Orlando refined those ideas, at which time Allen reached out to longtime friend Portnoy to see if he had any interest in playing with them. Portnoy jumped on board and soon thereafter DiLeo and Ward were recruited to join the family. From the very first note, the chemistry was apparent and the beast that is known as ADRENALINE MOB was born.
Professionally filmed video footage of ADRENALINE MOB performing a cover version of the BLACK SABBATH classic "The Mob Rules" on June 24 at the Hiro Ballroom in New York City can be seen below.
A review of ADRENALINE MOB's concert at the Hiro Ballroom — which marked the group's first-ever live performance — can be found at NY Hard Rock Music Examiner.
Former DREAM THEATER and current ADRENALINE MOB drummer Mike Portnoy was interviewed on last night's (Friday, August 5) edition of Eddie Trunk's "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM.
When asked for his opinion of the DREAM THEATER track "On The Backs Of Angels", the first song to be released with new drummer Mike Mangini (STEVE VAI, ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME), Portnoy said, "It's very difficult for me to hear. Nobody wants to see their ex-wife of 25 years with a new husband moving into the house that you built for 25 years. It's a painful thing for me to hear and see. A DREAM THEATER without me was never in the plan; I never expected that. But they've
chosen to move on and I just have to kind of sit on the sidelines and watch and listen. I did hear the song and I heard an excerpt of another song [from the forthcoming DREAM THEATER album]. And I guess I'll reserve comment on those just because whatever I say — whether it be
good, bad or indifferent — it's probably gonna come across wrong and it
will be completely dissected and misinterpreted. So let's leave it at
In a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post, DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess stated about Portnoy's change of mind and request to be reinstated after leaving the band last September, "Mike wanted to come back after we had gone through all the emotional turmoil and pain of losing a friend, and the effort we went through to get back on our feet. We were well past our recovery phase and had made a commitment to Mike Mangini."
Regarding Portnoy's decision to leave the band he co-founded and led for 25 years, Rudess said, "His leaving was unbelievable, it was so emotional. He's a close friend of mine and we've been through so much together — it basically brought me to tears. But being a positive person and around guys who love what they're doing, we had to figure out how to move forward."
On the topic of Mangini, a former Berklee College of Music teacher and holder of five World's Fastest Drummer records, Rudess said, "Mike adapted to our world so wonderfully. He's not only a great drummer, but a great guy. He came into the audition and locked in with us and nailed it. We were amazed.
"We were looking for someone who could walk onstage with us and not throw us off in the least, and we found him in Mike. As painful and said as the situation was over not being able to work with Mike Portnoy, life goes on — this kind of thing, unfortunately, happens in bands and
we're interested in keeping a positive direction and making really good
DREAM THEATER's new album, "A Dramatic Turn Of Events", will be released on September 13 via Roadrunner Records.