Heavy Metal News – December 02, 2012

BLIND GUARDIAN: ‘A Traveler’s Guide To Space And Time’ 15-CD Box-Set Due In February

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

Save up your Christmas money for February when “A Traveler’s Guide To Space And Time”, a strictly limited-edition BLIND GUARDIAN box set with 15 CDs in 13 high-quality digipacks and only 8000 copies worldwide, is released.

Germany, Austria and Switzerland have a release date of February 1, 2013 and the rest of the world on February 4, 2013. The box set can now be pre-ordered from your favorite record shop!

Looking back over BLIND GUARDIAN’s career from the here and now in 2013, you see a success story gone global, the likes of which very few other German metal bands have ever experienced. This band from Krefeld has been just about everywhere, conquering the North American market in the same way as they stormed the charts in Asia or packed concert venues in South America and even South Africa. From their (at that point purely) German beginnings with debut album, “Battalions Of Fear” (1988), followed by their first international recognition with the second album, “Follow The Blind” (1989) and the euphoria which went round the world when “Tales From The Twilight World” (1990) and “Somewhere Far Beyond” (1992) came out, right through to their masterpiece of composition in “A Night At The Opera” (2002), the name of the band developed to become an unmistakable world brand. There are lots of reasons for this, but no doubt much of it is down to the extraordinary skill of everyone involved, their virtuoso dexterity and that gift for bringing mystical themes in tune with unusually complex metal directives. Something else which really makes BLIND GUARDIAN stand out is the way they have always kept so close to their fans. Even more proof of their unconditional commitment to the huge fan-base is being released now; “A Traveler’s Guide To Space And Time”, a strictly limited edition deluxe box set with a total of 15 CDs in 13 high-quality digipacks, which the musicians and the record company have been working on together for almost a year. A particularly long time to create a compilation you may think, but a glance at just how much this box set encompasses explains why their conscientious and time-consuming preparation took so long.

“A Traveler’s Guide To Space And Time” not only includes all the albums released during the so-called Virgin years (the record company brought out all the bands’ records between 1988 and 2004) but also all their previously unreleased demo recordings, rare bonus tracks and alternative versions of famous pieces from this era, and all of them have been remastered and some even remixed. To be precise; it includes the seven studio albums “Battalions Of Fear”, “Follow The Blind”, “Tales From The Twilight World”, “Somewhere Far Beyond”, “Imaginations From The Other Side”, “Nightfall In Middle-Earth” and “A Night At The Opera”, and on top of all that you get the live albums “Tokyo Tales” and “Live” as well as “The Forgotten Tales” compilation, all of them now with 2012 mastering and some of them with new mixes. Above and beyond that, BLIND GUARDIAN have dug deep into their archives and come up with some real treats: in “Imaginations Through The Looking Glass” for the very first time the phenomenal concert they put on in Coburg, Germany in June 2003 appears in audio format on two CDs. And another first, in a special edition of “Nightfall In Middle-Earth”, the musicians also present the legendary 1998 studio album without any breaks (including a new mix of “Blood Tears”). This precious box is rounded off with “An Extraordinary Tale”, which includes so-far-unreleased demo versions of the pieces “Welcome To Dying”, “Lord Of The Rings”, “The Bard’s Song (In The Forest)”, “The Bard’s Song (The Hobbit)”, “Theatre Of Pain”, “Trial By Fire” and “I’m Alive” and the never-before-released, around-90-seconds-longer version of the song “The Quest For Tanelorn” as well as the comparatively rare number “Harvest Of Sorrow”.

So, there is so much to find, enjoy and rediscover in this outright opulent deluxe box which is accompanied by a 20-page glossy booklet (size: 27cm x 27cm) containing comments from the members of the band and more than 100 rare and mainly unpublished photos belonging to the musicians. A limited-edition and numbered BLIND GUARDIAN art print on special paper (sized 27cm by 27cm) and a guitar plectrum engraved with the band’s logo have also been added to the box.

“With ‘A Traveler’s Guide To Space And Time’, we document how much has BLIND GUARDIAN developed between 1988 and 2004 in, as I see it, a particularly impressive and vivid way,” explains singer/bassist Hansi Kürsch who, together with original members André Olbrich and Marcus Siepen, still controls the destiny of this amazing group. Kürsch adds: “The brand new mastering also makes sure that all 15 CDs are on the same level as far as the dynamics are concerned so theoretically you can listen to the whole box at one go, without having to adjust the volume level at all.”

Of course this jam-packed compilation also includes all the compositional climaxes and milestones along BLIND GUARDIAN’s career path; “Majesty” from their debut album “Battalions Of Fear” was the first time the band presented their unusual song writing combined with the boundless energy which still makes BLIND GUARDIAN stand out so much today. “Traveler In Time” from “Tales From The Twilight World” then puts the band’s epic approach into focus. “The Bard’s Song” has developed into a real classic, creating that perfect symbiosis between band and audience at concert after concert and reinforcing the folklore element within the typical BLIND GUARDIAN sound.

Of course, in this box, BLIND GUARDIAN also present the sublime title track from the album “Imaginations From The Other Side” with its capable mixture of anthemic power metal and progressive directives, as well as the downright cinematic number “Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill)” from the album “Nightfall In Middle-Earth”. The experts reckon the fantastic “And Then There Was Silence” from “A Night At The Opera” was the icing on the cake of those Virgin years and you can hear it in all its glory on “A Traveler’s Guide To Space And Time”.

With “A Traveler’s Guide To Space And Time”, BLIND GUARDIAN stay true to their reputation of not doing anything only halfway. As always with this band you get the full-on thing, on both the composition and technical production sides. This box is also full of rare photos from the musicians’ private collections as well as previously unreleased demo recordings, once again documenting how far this group will go to give their fans the best possible product. And as Hansi Kürsch put it: “We poured our heart and soul into ‘A Traveler’s Guide To Space And Time’, making it a well worthwhile box for our fans which fully meets the demands we make of ourselves as well as those of our fans. And that is exactly what we were aiming for.”

For the complete track listing, visit Blind-Guardian.com.

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SOILWORK: New Album Artwork, Track Listing Unveiled

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

“The Living Infinite”, the ninth studio album and first dual-disc release by Swedish melodic metal maestros SOILWORK, will be unleashed on February 27 in Asia (via license to Marquee Records), in Europe on March 1, and in North America on March 5 through Nuclear Blast Records. Produced by Jens Bogren (OPETH, AMON AMARTH, BLOODBATH), the CD features artwork by MNEMIC’s Mircea Eftemie Gabrie.

Commented SOILWORK: “After commissioning some pretty elaborate covers for the last couple of records, we decided to try something more sober and design-oriented for ‘The Living Infinite’. Who better to call than the man who created the iconic ‘Stabbing The Drama’ cover? Mircea Gabriel Eftemie is not only a close friend but also an incredible graphic designer. We’re all stoked about his work which is different from anything SOILWORK has ever done and perfectly suits the elegant oceanic concept of ‘The Living Infinite’. Enjoy, folks!”

Added Mircea: “Seven years ago, I created the artwork for the ‘Stabbing The Drama’ album and I can’t believe how time flies! Here we are, with sexy gray hairs, working with my friends in SOILWORK again. This time, we built the cover around a maritime concept, aiming for something direct and symbolic. I believe we achieved that quite well. From my creative deck, I salute you and say: ‘Long Live The Living Infinite.’”

“The Living Infinite” is as follows:

CD 1

01. Spectrum Of Eternity
02. Memories Confined
03. This Momentary Bliss
04. Tongue
05. The Living Infinite I
06. Let The First Wave Rise
07. Vesta
08. Realm Of The Wasted
09. The Windswept Mercy
10. Whispers And Lights

CD 2

01. Entering Aeons
02. Long Live The Misanthrope
03. Drowning With Silence
04. Antidotes In Passing
05. Leech
06. The Living Infinite II
07. Loyal Shadow
08. Rise Above The Sentiment
09. Parasite Blues
10. Owls Predict, Oracles Stand Guard

“The Living Infinite” features Justin Sullivan — lead singer of the English band NEW MODEL ARMY — as a guest vocalist on the track “The Windswept Mercy” and also marks the recording debut of longtime SOILWORK touring guitarist David Andersson (also of THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA).

SOILWORK’s world tour launches with a 55-show headlining trek through the U.S. and Canada this March. Support will come from JEFF LOOMIS, BLACKGUARD, THE BROWNING and WRETCHED.

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SUFFOCATION: ‘Pinnacle Of Bedlam’ Artwork Unveiled

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

“Pinnacle Of Bedlam”, the new album from New York death metal veterans SUFFOCATION, will be released on February 15, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records. The artwork was handled this time around by Raymond Swanland and can be found below.

Commented SUFFOCATION bassist Derek Boyer: “This artwork is a perfect portrayal of our music. The cover depicts lyrical content like ‘scales tip in degradation’ and ‘hooded messenger of death is now set forth, punishment for all.’ Raymond is an absolute BEAST of an artist!”

Added SUFFOCATION guitarist Guy Marchais: “The artwork for ‘Pinnacle’ brings another element to an already brutal album. Raymond knew exactly what we were looking for and delivered!”

“Pinnacle Of Bedlam” was produced by the band at Full Force Studios in New York with longtime collaborator Joe Cincotta. The mixing and mastering of the effort was handled by Chris “Zeuss” Harris (HATEBREED, ARSIS, SUICIDE SILENCE).

“Pinnacle Of Bedlam” will feature 10 genre-defining-bone-crushing tracks and also marks the return of drummer Dave Culross, who previously played on the “Despise The Sun” EP.

SUFFOCATION was among the inductees for this year’s class of the Long Island Music Hall Of Fame. TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider received the Harry Chapin Award at the event, which was held on October 18 at The Paramount in Huntington, New York.

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AMEBIX Calls It Quits

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

Cult British underground heavyweights AMEBIX have officially called it a day.

Commented AMEBIX singer/bassist Rob Miller (a.k.a. The Baron): “To my deep regret, AMEBIX has now come to a point where we can no longer continue as a band. We have spent the past five years engaged in a process of resurrecting this group from the ashes and feel very proud of what we have managed to achieve in that time, both in the live performances and also in the album that resulted from this extraordinary time. ‘Sonic Mass’ is a worthy successor to all of our earlier work, bringing a lot of our original impetus and ideas into clear focus. It was an unparalleled success for us both critically and artistically.

“The hope was that we would be able to tour the album and get our music out to a broadening audience, but there are factors within the band dynamic which will not allow for that in the foreseeable future. Personally, I feel a great disappointment over this and that has in turn led me to this difficult decision.

“AMEBIX was and is the creation and brainchild of both myself and my brother Stig. With either of us absent, it is no longer AMEBIX.

“However, the intention is to continue moving onwards and upwards. Roy [Mayorga, STONE SOUR/AMEBIX drummer, engineer and producer] and I are currently working together on new material, with a view to a new incarnation of the AMEBIX legacy, flying under a different banner. We hope to be in a position to make further announcements in the coming year via www.amebix.net.”

Formed in the late Seventies and hailed as the godfathers of crust punk and extreme metal, AMEBIX had long lain dormant until the addition of drummer Roy Mayorga (NAUSEA, CRISIS, SOULFLY, STONE SOUR), a DVD release, and a string of 2009 reunion shows reignited the flame. The band’s resurrection first resulted in the release of 2010’s “Redux” EP, which featured live and re-recorded versions of several of the band’s best-loved classics, including “Winter”, “Chain Reaction”, and the immortal battle cry, “Arise!”.

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