Saturday, January 21, 2012

MASTODON Confirms North American Tour With OPETH, GHOST

Bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders of Atalanta progressive metallers MASTODON has confirmed that the band will team up with Sweden's OPETH and GHOST for a North American tour in April (as first reported by BLABBERMOUTH.NET on January 14). Sanders gave out the information during an interview yesterday (Thursday,
January 19) at the studios of the Belgian national radio station Studio Brussel, where he was accompanied by his bandmate, guitarist Bill Kelliher.

When asked about MASTODON's plans for the immediate future, Sanders said, "We go to Australia take part in the Soundwave Festival, which is going to be lovely… Take a short break. Do a North American tour with OPETH and GHOST. And then take another break and come back over here for the European festival season."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DREAM THEATER Singer Begins Writing New Solo Album

Singer James LaBrie of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER has issued the following update:

"[LaBrie's longtime songwriting partner and keyboardist] Matt Guillory and I are very happy to announce that writing for my next solo album has started.

"We're very pleased with how well [LaBrie's last solo CD] 'Static Impulse' was received and are excited to be making a follow-up.

"You can expect all the usual suspects: (Marco Sfogli, Peter Wildoer, Ray Riendeau) In addition to this, we'd also like to announce that Peter Wichers (SOILWORK) is onboard as a co-songwriter. Peter loved 'Static Impulse' and looks forward to making a kick-ass record with us. He is extremely talented and we're stoked to have him!"

James LaBrie's solo tour — which was scheduled to kick off on November 26, 2010 in
Charlotte, North Carolina and end on December 20, 2010 in Houston, Texas — was canceled "due to some unfortunate, unforeseen difficulties with
securing work visas" for a couple of the members of LaBrie's band.

"Static Impulse" sold around 1,700 copies in the United States in its first week of
release. The CD landed at position No. 14 on the Top New Artist Albums
(Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and
developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top
100 of The Billboard 200.

"Static Impulse" was released on September 28, 2010 (one day earlier internationally) via InsideOut Music. The CD marked LaBrie's first solo effort in over five years.

Mixed and mastered by Jens Borgen (OPETH, KATATONIA), "Static Impulse" featured Guillory; Peter Wildoer from Swedish thrashers DARKANE on drums and screaming vocals; Marco Sfogli on guitar; and Ray Riendeau (HALFORD) on bass.


InsideOut Music has announced the signing of progressive groove metallers STEALING AXION. The band's full-length debut, "Moments", will be released later in the year.

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, STEALING AXION was formed in the winter of 2009 by three friends, Dan Forbrich (vocals, guitar), Josh DeShazo (vocals, guitar), and Phil Willmarth (vocals, bass.) By early 2010, the band recorded and released their
buzzworthy self-titled EP while continuing to write and record more
material. While "Stealing Axion" circulated around the web, fans and critics praised it for its musical proficiency, atmospheric passages and heavy grooves.

The band then enlisted Charlie Shaughnessy (guitar) and Blake Ferris (drums) to round out their lineup while working closely with Acle Kahney (producer, guitarist of TESSERACT, who mixed and mastered these new tracks). STEALING AXION finally had enough material to put together a full-length CD.

In regards to their signing and the exciting year ahead, STEALING AXION comments, "We're beyond excited to join the InsideOut family! We've been listening to bands from this label for years and are thrilled to be working with an amazing team!"

For more information, visit

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rumor: MASTODON And OPETH To Team Up For U.S. Tour

MASTODON and OPETH are rumored to be teaming up for a U.S. tour in April. Support on the trek will likely come from GHOST.

MASTODON is among the nominees for the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on Sunday, February 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The band's Grammy nomination is for "Curl Of The Burl", the first single from MASTODON's new album, "The Hunter".

MASTODON received its first Grammy nomination in 2006 for the single "Colony Of Birchmen", from the band's Reprise Records debut album, "Blood Mountain".

OPETH's new album, "Heritage", sold 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 19 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band's
previous studio CD, 2008's "Watershed", opened with more than 19,000 units to land at No. 23.

"Watershed" was the follow-up to the band's acclaimed "Ghost Reveries" CD, which debuted at No. 64 on the Billboard chart back in September 2005 with first-week sales of just under 15,000.

OPETH's 2003 album, "Damnation", premiered with a little over 5,000 copies.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Symphonic Rock Vocalist LANA LANE To Release 'El Dorado Hotel'

After a four-year break since her last album, Lana Lane is back with her most powerful release to date, "El Dorado Hotel". The veteran symphonic rock diva delivers a 10-song tour-de-force of
finely crafted original tracks in an audiophile production by
husband/keyboardist, Erik Norlander. "El Dorado Hotel" hosts Lane's usual broad spectrum of musical styles and genres with a cohesiveness
that fans of the artist will recognize instantly. The opener, "A Dream Full Of Fire", is a new Lana Lane classic that blurs the line between prog metal and jazz stylings in a mélange that only she can deliver. "Maybe We'll Meet Again" is a European-styled melodic AOR radio anthem blending classic rock with modern sensibilities. The song "El Dorado" is a Lana Lane epic with a soaring chorus reminiscent of her classic, "Queen Of Ocean". The robust "Darkness Falls" introduces an Irish folk style combined with a gothic metal element
with its haunting choral vocals and arena-crafted chorus. Then "Hotels" is an acoustic track that evokes jazz standards like "Autumn Leaves". The tracks "Believe", "Life Of The Party", "Gone Are The Days" and "Moon God" add further threads to the "El Dorado Hotel" tapestry. The album closes with the 11-1/2 minute opus "In Exile" that producer Erik Norlander describes as a "vintage progressive rock epic."

The musicians of "El Dorado Hotel" are a top-notch group of artists including both new and familiar faces. Lane says about the musicians, "Both Freddy DeMarco and Mark Matthews did some fantastic work on Erik's solo project, "The Galactic Collective". I then had the opportunity to play with them both during some live
appearances in 2011 when I sang with the band. After having played with the guys and getting to know them, I knew that I wanted them to be a
part of this project as well. Then for John Payne, Jay Schellen, Guthrie Govan and Bruce Bouillet (ex-RACER X), as you know, Erik has playing with John Payne for about five years now. When the original 1982 lineup of ASIA reformed a few years back, John Payne formed his own separate band to continue all the work that he had done with ASIA during his 14-year run and many albums with them. So John and Erik tour as "ASIA featuring John Payne," and they've probably played over a hundred shows together. Jay is the drummer in the band, and both Guthrie and Bruce have been the guitarists. Bruce is working with them currently. I of course go to a lot of their shows
and have become friends with all of them. It is a great group of people, and they are all very talented musicians. Since we see them so much and Erik plays with them constantly, it was only natural to work with them on this album. And then finally for Mark McCrite, Neil Citron and Don Schiff, all three of them have been on so many Lana Lane albums going all the back to my very first album in 1995. It's great to continue working with them through all these years."

Songs for "El Dorado Hotel" were written by Lana Lane, Erik Norlander and longtime collaborator Mark McCrite, who comments, "My favorite songs on the album are 'El Dorado' (with the fantastic Spanish guitar) and 'A Dream Full of Fire' — that's a really killer 'classic' Lana Lane track."

"El Dorado Hotel" musicians:

* Lana Lane - vocals
* Erik Norlander - keyboards, additional guitars, bass and programming


* John Payne - harmony and choral vocals, mandolin
* Mark McCrite - guitars, bass, choral vocals, programming
* Bruce Bouillet - guitars
* Neil Citron - guitars
* Freddy DeMarco - guitars
* Guthrie Govan - guitar
* Don Schiff - NS/Stick
* Mark Matthews - bass
* Jay Schellen - drums

"El Dorado Hotel" track listing:

01. A Dream Full Of Fire [8:25]
02. Maybe We'll Meet Again [5:39]
03. El Dorado [6:12]
04. Darkness Falls [5:12]
05. Hotels [3:40]
06. Believe [6:03]
07. Life Of The Party [4:03]
08. Gone Are The Days [6:23]
09. Moon God [5:08]
10. In Exile [11:43]

"El Dorado Hotel" will be released on January 25 via Think Tank Media (Avalon in Japan).