Heavy Metal News – February 16, 2014

EPICA: ‘The Quantum Enigma’ Cover Artwork Unveiled

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

Dutch female-fronted symphonic metallers EPICA will release their sixth album, “The Quantum Enigma”, on May 5 in Europe and May 13 in North America via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to “Requiem For The Indifferent” was produced by Joost Van Den Broek (the former AFTER FOREVER and AYREON keyboard player who has previously worked with REVAMP and STREAM OF PASSION).

The cover artwork for “The Quantum Enigma” can be seen below.

Says EPICA guitarist/vocalist Mark Jansen: “[I] have been listening to our new album and I can’t get enough of it! It sounds more modern but with all typical EPICA elements inside. Refreshing might be the right word. This album has also been the result of a real group effort.

“It was great to see everyone being so motivated to create our best album!

“Even though the sound is more heavy (the guitars, bass and drums sound so brutal!!!), it’s still a very catchy album as well. Some old influences from our earliest work, some references to ‘Design Your Universe’ and some new elements.

“[I] can’t wait ‘till the moment you’ll be able to listen to our newborn which makes us all very proud!”

EPICA will return to the stage on April 30 for a CD-release performance at 013 in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

After taking a break from the road due the pregnancy of lead singer Simone Simons, the release of a new concert DVD, “Retrospect”, as well as the writing and recording of the band’s upcoming album, the sextet will put on a memorable concert, with plans to perform both old and new songs.

EPICA celebrated its 10th anniversary with a one-night-only event, dubbed “Retrospect”, on March 23, 2013 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. The band was accompanied by the seventy-piece Reményi Ede Chamber Orchestra and the Miskolc National Theatre Choir, playing an unforgettable three-hour best-of set.

On November 8, 2013, Nuclear Blast released “Retrospect” as a deluxe hardcover book with 48 pages, both as a 2DVD/3CD and 2Blu-ray/3CD version.

“Retrospect” features this massive performance in its entirety, as well as exclusive interviews with all band members and behind-the-scenes footage from the show.

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/epica-the-quantum-enigma-cover-artwork-unveiled/#5BSOEll7647VFZX7.99

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GAMMA RAY: ‘Empire Of The Undead’ Cover Artwork, Track Listing Revealed

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

German power metallers GAMMA RAY will release their eleventh studio album, “Empire Of The Undead”, on CD, CD/DVD digipack, LP and digitally via earMusic on March 28.

The “Empire Of The Undead” title track was already been made available on the single/EP “Master Of Confusion”, an appetizer the band released in 2013, just before touring the world with HELLOWEEN.

GAMMA RAY recorded the new album in various sessions in 2013, with Eike Freese at the mixing desk alongside bass player and co-writer Dirk Schlaechter.

It was just after landing in South America that the unbelievable news reached GAMMA RAY mainman Kai Hansen and his bandmates: Hammer Studio, their home, rehearsal place, studio and meeting point for many metal bands in Germany, including their instruments, amps and tapes, had been destroyed by a terrifying fire.

GAMMA RAY will embark on the “Empire Of The Undead” tour in March, with special guests RHAPSODY OF FIRE.

The complete track listing for each “Empire Of The Undead” format can be found at GammaRay.org.

The CD and DVD contained in the CD/DVD digipack will feature the following:

CD:

01. Avalon
02. Hellbent
03. Pale Rider
04. Born To Fly
05. Master Of Confusion
06. Empire Of The Undead
07. Time For Deliverance
08. Demonseed
09. Seven
10. I Will Return
11. Built A World (European bonus track)
12. Avalon (live from the final studio sessions)
13. The Spirit (live from the final studio sessions 1)
14. Empire Of The Undead (live from the final studio sessions 1)

DVD:

Four live songs from the final studio sessions

01. The Spirit (live from the final studio sessions 2)
02. Empire Of The Undead (live from the final studio sessions 2)
03. Demonseed (live from the final studio sessions 2)
04. Empathy (live from the final studio sessions)

* Tour Of Hamburg with GAMMA RAY
* Generic Interview with Kai Hansen and GAMMA RAY
“To The Metal” promo video

Three Videos from “Skeletons & Majesties Live” DVD

01. Gamma Ray
02. Wings Of Destiny
03. Send Me A Sign (acoustic)

“Master Of Confusion” was released on March 15, 2013 via earMUSIC, the Hamburg, Germany-based international rock label which is part of Edel Group.

The release is not free from tasty rarities: a brand new studio cover versions of British glam rock band SWEET (“Lost Angels” — “the reason I have joined a band many years ago,” stated GAMMA RAY frontman Kai Hansen) and a hidden treasure of NWOBHM (“Death Or Glory” by HOLOCAUST).

“Master Of Confusion” is rounded off with six live versions (“The Spirit”“Wings Of Destiny”“Farewell”“Gamma Ray”“Time To Break Free” and “Insurrection”, recorded in Bochum) that were already included on the Blu-ray “Skeletons & Majesties Live” but were not featured on the CD release (which included the show recorded in Pratteln).

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/gamma-ray-empire-of-the-undead-cover-artwork-track-listing-revealed/#If89w5KFFo4ZhGJf.99

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TRIPTYKON: Audio Samples Of Two New Songs

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

TRIPTYKON — the occult/avant-garde metal project formed by former HELLHAMMER/CELTIC FROST singer, guitarist, and main songwriter Tom Gabriel Fischer (a.k.a. Tom Gabriel Warrior) — will release its second album, “Melana Chasmata”, on April 15 (one day earlier internationally). The CD will be made available through a collaboration between the group’s own label, Prowling Death Records Ltd., and renowned metal giant Century Media Records. This is the same label partnership already responsible for CELTIC FROST‘s final album, “Monotheist” (2006), HELLHAMMER‘s “Demon Entrails” demo compendium (2008), and TRIPTYKON‘s debut album, “Eparistera Daimones”, and “Shatter” EP (2010).

Like its predecessor “Eparistera Daimones”, the album was produced by TRIPTYKON‘s singer/guitarist Tom Gabriel Warrior and guitarist V. Santura and recorded and mixed at V. Santura‘s own Woodshed Studio in southern Germany as well as at TRIPTYKON‘s rehearsal facilities in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2013 and 2014. Those who have already heard “Melana Chasmata” have described it as “atmospheric, dark, diabolical, and dramatic”, “diverse, epic, and doomy, but on an entirely different level”, “a fierce boulder of abhorrence”, or “very heavy and yet very aesthetic at the same time”.

“Melana Chasmata” will feature the following nine songs, at a playing time of around 67 minutes:

01. Tree Of Suffocating Souls
02. Boleskine House
03. Altar Of Deceit
04. Breathing
05. Aurorae
06. Demon Pact
07. In The Sleep Of Death
08. Black Snow
09. Waiting

Further new TRIPTYKON music has been recorded, to be released as an EP or mini album later in 2014 or early in 2015.

Among other formats, the album will be released as a 32-page mediabook (with lyrics and liner notes to every song, and with a special fold out poster), as a gatefold vinyl double album (with posters and large-format booklet), and for digital download. Additionally, Century Media is scheduled to issue a special box set, limited to 2000 copies. The box set will include the album, a TRIPTYKON silver pendant, a poster, postcards, a TRIPTYKON tote bag, and a cap.

To commemorate the unveiling of “Melana Chasmata”Century Media will release a collector’s gatefold seven-inch vinyl single, featuring the songs “Breathing” and “Boleskine House”. The single will be available on March 17 , and be limited to a pressing 1000 (of which 200 will be in red vinyl). “Breathing” and “Boleskine House” will also be available as a digital single (including the option for a digital booklet), and they will be streamed on YouTube and SoundCloud.

Audio samples of “Breathing” and “Boleskine House” can now be found at Amazon.com.

“Melana Chasmata” will be further distinguished by featuring, for the second time for TRIPTYKON, the extraordinary art of legendary Swiss surrealist HR Giger. Following “Eparistera Daimones”, the group began to make arrangements for an entirely different cover for the second album. Completely unexpectedly, HR Giger approached Tom Gabriel Warrior in October of 2011 to express his appreciation of how TRIPTYKON had used his art on the first album and to propose a continuation of the artistic collaboration. This development thus marks the first time any musical artist has worked with HR Giger on three albums (CELTIC FROST‘s “To Mega Therion”, and TRIPTYKON‘s “Eparistera Daimones” and “Melana Chasmata”), and it commemorates a collaboration that has now lasted for 30 years.

“Melana Chasmata” features Giger‘s dramatically mysterious “Mordor VII” (work no. 283, 100 x 70 cm, acrylic on wood, 1975) as a front cover and Giger’“Landschaft XVI” [“Landscape XVI”] (work no. 209, 100 x 70 cm, acrylic on paper on wood, 1972) as gatefold art.

After a lengthy hiatus, TRIPTYKON will return to the stage this year to promote “Melana Chasmata”. Among the concerts so far scheduled are appearances at the celebrated Roadburn festival, at Rock Hard festival, and, pending the issuance of the proper visas by U.S. authorities, TRIPTYKON‘s return to the United States for an exclusive appearance at Maryland Deathfest.

TRIPTYKON consists of V. Santura (guitar, vocals), Norman Lonhard (drums, percussion), Vanja Slajh (bass, vocals), and Tom Gabriel Warrior (voice, guitars).

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/triptykon-audio-samples-of-two-new-songs/#VKLs5jXxK37IUgAH.99

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THE FACELESS Parts Ways With Guitarist WES HAUCH

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

Los Angeles-based progressive death metal titans THE FACELESS have parted ways with guitarist Wes Hauch. The band states: “Things were moving in different directions and it seems that this is best for everyone. We wish him the best of luck and we know he’s going to continue to do great things in music.

“Please keep supporting Wes in everything he does. We definitely will.

“We are also currently working on new music with bassist Evan Brewer, who is remaining a full-time member of the band, to clear up any confusion. The cover album has also been put on the back burner in place of new original material.

“We are very excited with how things are coming together and will keep you all updated as things progress.”

THE FACELESS‘s third full-length album, “Autotheism”, was issued on August 14, 2012 via Sumerian RecordsTHE FACELESS‘ first release in over three years saw the group’s leader, Michael Keene, enlist a new vocalist, bassist and additional guitarist to help him see his musical vision come to fruition and these new members have delivered tenfold.

THE FACELESS last year parted ways with their drummer of five years, Lyle Cooper, “due to a growing difference in the level of commitment to the project.” He has since been replaced by Alex Rudinger, who has previously played with THREAT SIGNAL and THE HAARP MACHINE.

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/the-faceless-parts-ways-with-guitarist-wes-hauch/#VJYTrIWp3gIESLdE.99

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MEGADETH: ‘Icon’-Series Compilation Due This Month

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

The MEGADETH “Icon” compilation will be made available on February 25 in the U.S. and on March 11 in Canada via Capitol.

The aptly named “Icon” series from Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) launched in August 31, 2010, with releases from 30 major artists spanning rock, pop, R&B and country. The albums feature “the greatest hits, signature tunes and fan favorites of the most popular artists in music history” and promise to offer “unprecedented value to consumers.” Each album, at a “great price,” includes roughly a dozen hit tracks.

MEGADETH “Icon” compilation track listing:

01. Holy Wars…The Punishment Due
02. Symphony Of Destruction
03. Wake Up Dead
04. Trust
05. Hangar 18
06. Sweating Bullets
07. A Tout Le Monde
08. Skin O’ My Teeth
09. In My Darkest Hour
10. Kill The King
11. Peace Sells

MEGADETH‘s tour with FEAR FACTORY and NONPOINT kicked off on November 23 in St. Paul, Minnesota and wrapped on December 19 in Reno, Nevada.

MEGADETH‘s latest album, “Super Collider”, has sold less than 80,000 copies in the United States since its June 4, 2013 release. The CD arrived in stores via MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine‘s new label, Tradecraft, distributed by Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).

“I think ‘Super Collider’ is kind of like a really broad [distillation] of what our whole catalog represents,” Mustaine told The Morning Call in an interview. “There’s aggressive stuff, there’s thrashy stuff, there’s kind of more of the heavy metal stuff. There are someof the more introspective lyrics. There are some simple lyrics and soon and so forth. I think that’s what really makes the record refreshing is that it shows everything that we’ve done. It’s almost like a biopic of our career. It’s a pretty good slice of everything I’ve learned over the years.”

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/megadeth-icon-series-compilation-due-this-month/#9TKuQbomhQc0sBwF.99

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NEWSTED: ‘… As The Crow Flies’ Video Released

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

“… As The Crow Flies”, the new video from the new video from NEWSTED — the new band featuring former METALLICAVOIVOD and FLOTSAM AND JETSAM bassist Jason Newsted and STAIND guitarist Mike Mushok — can be seen at this location. The clip was filmed with director Leon Melas, who previously helmed NEWSTED‘s videos for the tracks “Soldierhead” and “King Of The Underdogs”.

“… As The Crow Flies” is featured on NEWSTED‘s debut album, “Heavy Metal Music”, which sold nearly 8,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 40 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD was made available on August 6, 2013 in North America via Chophouse Records/Collective Sounds and August 5, 2013 in Europe through Spinefarm Records.

Jason stated about “… As The Crow Flies”: “It’s one of the ones we play live, and I think it comes off quite well. As far as the new recordings go, it’s one of my favorite moments, if not my favorite moment, on the record — the dual-lead guitar thing in the last 30 seconds of the song.”

Regarding how the material for NEWSTED‘s debut album came together, Jason told Loudwire: “It started out as my seeds for the first eleven songs that I made on my GarageBand thing. I wrote all the tracks — guitars, bass, drums, everything and gave them to Jessie [Farnsworth, guitar] and Jesus [Mendez Jr., drums] and had them go learn it, put their artistry on it and so it was collaborative in that way for the first batch. Like the four songs on the EP came from that initial eleven, so that’s how those songs went. Each day as we get deeper into the songs, the collaboration gets deeper as well. I have come a long way from my tunnel vision of ‘Only my ideas are good enough’ bullshit, and I’m a lot more open to everyone’s ideas and the artistry of each person to make it what it is. And three heads is better than one and that kind of thing. So it has become more collaborative as we go. I’ve written ten more since that time in October last year and a few of them have made their way onto this LP now. Once again, they were all my seeds, but now that we have Mike Mushok in the band and I give the music to all three of those guys, now I have three great artists bringing back their responses and their counterpoint playing to my ideas, so it’s becoming more and more collaborative every day and on this LP there will be shared writing credits on at least half of the songs with the writing credits now.”

“Heavy Metal Music” track listing:

01. Heroic Dose
02. Soldierhead
03. …As The Crow Flies
04. Ampossible
05. Long Time Dead
06. Above All
07. King Of The Underdogs
08. Nocturnus
09. Twisted Tail Of The Comet
10. Kindevillusion
11. Futureality

NEWSTED took part in last year’s edition of Gigantour, the critically acclaimed package festival founded in 2005 by MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. Also appearing on the bill were headliners MEGADETH, along with BLACK LABEL SOCIETYDEVICEHELLYEAH and DEATH DIVISION.

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/newsted-as-the-crow-flies-video-released/#KMGGxVFm83tly5Ay.99

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RHAPSODY OF FIRE: ‘Dark Wings Of Steel’ Video Released

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

The official video for “Dark Wings Of Steel”, the title track of the new studio album from Italian symphonic metallers RHAPSODY OF FIRE, can be seen atthis location. The CD was released on November 22, 2013 in Europe and December 3, 2013 in the USA via AFM Records. It was produced by keyboardist Alex Staropoli, with all songs composed by Staropoli and Manuel Staropoli, with assistance from Roby De Micheli. All lyrics were written by singer Fabio Lione. The effort features a full orchestra, a choir and real string instruments, as in the finest RHAPSODY OF FIRE tradition.

“Dark Wings Of Steel” was released on CD, double vinyl and as a digipak. The digipak and vinyl versions include a bonus track.

“Dark Wings Of Steel” track listing:

01. Vis Divina
02. Rising From Tragic Flames
03. Angel Of Light
04. Tears Of Pain
05. Fly To Crystal Skies
06. My Sacrifice
07. Silver Lake Of Tears
08. Custode Di Pace
09. A Tale Of Magic
10. Dark Wings Of Steel
11. Sad Mystic Moon

Bonus track on digipak and vinyl:

12. A Candle To Light (extended version)

RHAPSODY OF FIRE in June 2013 “respectfully” parted ways with their American guitarist Tom Hess due to “philosophical differences.”

RHAPSODY OF FIRE released a new live album, “Live – From Chaos To Eternity”, on May 3, 2013 in Europe and May 7, 2013 in the USA via AFM Records. It was made available as two-CD digipak and as limited three-vinyl set. The material (a mixture of old classics and newer tracks) was recorded on the band’s European tour in spring 2012.

Staropoli and RHAPSODY OF FIRE guitarist Luca Turilli in 2011 announced their decision to go their separate ways.

Due to legal reasons, Staropoli is continuing under the RHAPSODY OF FIRE name. Turilli, on the other hand, is making his efforts available under the RHAPSODY moniker (RHAPSODY OF FIRE‘s original name), in which he is joined by guitarist Dominique Leurquin, bassist Patrice Guers, singer Alessandro Conti (TRICK OR TREAT) and drummer Alex Landenburg (AT VANCEANNIHILATORMEKONG DELTASTRATOVARIUS).

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/rhapsody-of-fire-dark-wings-of-steel-video-released/#80Hy3bbOocMv6Dm8.99

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LOST SOCIETY: New Song ‘Lethal Pleasure’ Available For Streaming

Reposted from Blabbermouth.net

Finnish thrashers LOST SOCIETY will release their new album, “Terror Hungry”, on April 4 via Nuclear Blast Records. Produced by Nino Laurenne (AMORPHISENSIFERUMLORDI) at Sonic Pump studios (FINNTROLLSONATA ARCTICAOMNIUM GATHERUM), the CD sees the “Finns shred their way with the energy and speed of an out-of-control freight train, rolling downhill on the way to thrash Olymp,” according to a press release.

The “Terror Hungry” artwork was created by Jan Meininghaus (BOLT THROWERSICK OF IT ALLU.D.O.HOLY MOSES).

Comments LOST SOCIETY mastermind Samy Elbanna: “We were totally blown away with the sketch we got, and even more so when we got the final artwork!!

“The cover really fits the theme of the album as it has a more dark feel to it and it’s brutal as fuck! The dude holding the bloody machete is definitely terror hungry!

Jan did an awesome job; this cover is sick!”

Adds Meininghaus: “I was asked to do LOST SOCIETY‘s new album cover and first of all I had to face the fact that I had to follow their debut album’s art that was created by the legendary Ed Repka. One of the true heros of my own thrash-metal days. So I decided to go a different way and create the band’s cover idea in a much darker and less cartoony mood than the debut’s.

LOST SOCIETY‘s musical style and their approach to metal is very ’80s Bay Area to me, so I thought it might be fun to paint something that might have been on one of those record covers these days.

“I listened to LOST SOCIETY and my old EXODUSTESTAMENT and FORBIDDEN vinyls and it was a blast to come up with ‘Terror Hungry’ artwork!”

“Terror Hungry” track listing:

01. Spurgatory
02. Game Over
03. Attaxic
04. Lethal Pleasure
05. Terror Hungry
06. Snowroad Blowout
07. Tyrant Takeover
08. Overdosed Brain
09. Thrashed Reality
10. F.F.E.
11. Brewtal Awakening
12. Mosh It Up
13. Wasted After Midnight

Bonus:

14. You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll

The song “Lethal Pleasure” can be streamed in the YouTube clip at this location.

Says Samy Elbanna: “‘Lethal Pleasure’ was one of the first songs we wrote for the new album and it has very traditional speed metal feel to it with some killer shred solos and some groove! The song is one of the less dark-themed songs on the album; it just makes you wanna scream and fuckin’ bang your head! The song is basically about what we’re doing: thrashing out is our lethal pleasure!!”

LOST SOCIETY‘s debut album, “Fast Loud Death”, entered the official chart in Finland at position No. 25. Released in March 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records, the CD was recorded at Sonic Pump Studios (FINNTROLLSONATA ARCTICAOMNIUM GATHERUM) in Helsinki, Finland with producer Nino Laurenne (AMORPHISENSIFERUMLORDI) and it featured cover artwork by Ed Repka (MEGADETHDEATHSANCTUARYVENOM).

Founded in early 2010 by thrash/speed metal enthusiast Samy Elbanna in the Finnish town of Jyväskylä, LOST SOCIETY played a number of gigs around Finland before taking part in the world-renowned GBOB (Global Battle Of the Bands). After winning the preliminary round in their hometown, they were invited to the finals held in Helsinki, where they prevailed over 13 other contestants. The grand finals of GBOB 2012 took place at The Scala in London on December 9, 2012 and featured 18 bands from all over the world, including LOST SOCIETY.

LOST SOCIETY is:

Samy Elbanna – Vocals, Guitar
Arttu Lesonen – Guitar
Mirko Lehtinen – Bass
Ossi Paananen – Drums

Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/lost-society-new-song-lethal-pleasure-available-for-streaming/#ypIMqqxPghQVFMr7.99

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