OPETH – to release 12th studio album Sorceress on Sept 30th!
2016 marks the monumental return of one of heavy rock’s most unique, revered and fearless bands of the last three decades, OPETH. Over the years, the experimental, prog veterans have continuously reinvented themselves, pushing the boundaries of their craft and expectations of fans and critics alike. Today, OPETH announces their 12th album, Sorceress, will be released on September 30th and have unveiled the artwork and track list for their imminent masterpiece.
OPETH’s new album, Sorceress, their first for Nuclear Blast via the band’s imprint label Moderbolaget Records, is proof chief architect Mikael Åkerfeldt has a near-endless well of greatness inside. From the album’s opener ‘Persephone’ to ‘The Wilde Flowers’ and ‘Strange Brew’ to the album’s counterpart title tracks ‘Sorceress’ and ‘Sorceress II’, OPETH’s twelfth full-length is an unparalleled adventure, where visions cleverly and secretly change, colors mute as if weathered by time, and sounds challenge profoundly.
”The new album Sorceress is our 12th studio album since our beginnings in 1990,” says Åkerfeldt. “I find it difficult to understand that we’ve been going on for 26 years, let alone that we’ve made 12 records now, all of which I am very proud of. ”Sorceress” is no exception. I love this album, as does the whole band. I wrote the music during 5-6 months and we spent only 12 days recording it at Rockfield studios in Wales. I find that once again we’ve taken a step forward. Or sideways, Or backwards. Somewhere!? It’s different! It’s extremely diverse. And if I may say so myself, extremely good. I feel the right to say that since I like to think I know this band better than anyone on the planet. Also, I always manage to detach myself from the record and listen as a fan. It’s a fine little record. My favorite in our discography right now. Of course. That’s how it should be, right? It’s both fresh and old, both progressive and rehashed. Heavy and calm. Just the way we like it. Hopefully there’ll be others around the globe sharing this opinion. It was a joy to make it. A fucking joy to record it, and a sheer joy listening to it. So there you have it!”
For Sorceress, OPETH returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, also home to pivotal releases from Queen, Rush and Judas Priest, where the Swedes had tracked »Pale Communion« in 2014 with Tom Dalgety. The band spent 12 days recording at the countryside venue among its serene and inspiring surroundings. The result is nothing short of a powerful and intriguing record that will add yet another layer to the band’s celebrated career.
Sorceress Track List:
3. The Wilde Flowers
4. Will O The Wisp
6. Sorceress 2
7. The Seventh Sojourn
8. Strange Brew
9. A Fleeting Glance
11. Persephone (Slight Return)
TESTAMENT – announce title and release date of upcoming album!
Legendary bay area thrash metal giants TESTAMENT have announce the title and release date of the band’s upcoming 12th album. The Brotherhood Of The Snake will be released on October 28, 2016 via Nuclear Blast.
The record was recorded under the watchful eyes of producer Juan Urteaga (EXODUS, HEATHEN, MACHINE HEAD), guitarist Eric Peterson and singer Chuck Billy and is currently being mixed and mastered by well-known metal producer Andy Sneap (ACCEPT, ARCH ENEMY, CRADLE OF FILTH, KREATOR, MACHINE HEAD, MEGADETH).
Commented Peterson in an interview with Metal Maniac: “It’s very diverse, but it’s very epic. There’s nothing on there that breeds commercial. And I think for thirty years of recording music and trying different formulas and stuff, I think we’ve found a formula that is very metal. I think for the metal fan that is looking for something for the nook and crannies… not just your normal, ‘Oh, it’s got a thrash beat and a riff.’ There’s a lot going on here.”
The songwriter also told Metal Forces in another interview: “It’s different. This one is more thrash. I mean, this has got some of the fastest stuff that we have ever played. Usually, we have one or two thrash songs, and then we have some mid-tempo, and then we have a slow, heavy one, and then up-tempo kind of stuff. Half of the new record is thrash, which we’ve never done before.”
He continued: “It’s kind of like »Demonic« and »The Gathering«, but a little bit wiser, I think. Chuck’s not singing so death. I mean, he does some death stuff but he’s singing more like he did on the last record and then with the craziness of »The Gathering« or even heavy stuff like »Demonic«.”
THY ART IS MURDER – release first trailer for The Depression Sessions!
In December of 2015, three bands with three different stylistic approaches to aggressive music, but a common outlook on the world, came together to create a collective piece of work – The Depression Sessions. Those three bands were THY ART IS MURDER, THE ACACIA STRAIN and FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY and on August 12, Nuclear Blast Entertainment will release the results of this experience.
Today, the first trailer with the band members talking about the making of this release, can be seen here:
The Depression Sessions was produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Will Putney. All the bands tracked in December 2015 at Graphic Nature Audio in Belleville, NJ. Cover art was created by Dan Bradley with a layout by Forefathers.
IN FLAMES – details for upcoming DVD Sounds From The Heart Of Gothenburg!
They break the rules, reinvent themselves with every album and are considered to be Gothenburg’s brightest metal pearl – since the early 90’s, IN FLAMES have delivered a spectacular band progression which has seen them transform their sound from classic Melodic Death Metal to their current modern and unique style. The Swedes never cease to challenge their artistic boundaries, and on September 23rd, the band will be releasing an impressive demonstration of their current live expertise on DVD – “Sounds From The Heart Of Gothenburg”.
Watch the teaser to the first ‘Making Of’ here:
Prepare for an intensive and visually explosive performance in front of 10,000 fans featuring pyros, circle pits, flying crowdsurfers and IN FLAMES’ incomparable riffs. “This DVD is for everyone who was been following our career; we have songs from the early years, the middle years and the new era. It has to be fun for us to play but also fun for the audience to watch and we try to get a good flow with nice dynamics and different songs,” states axemaster Björn Gelotte.
Watch the first trailer here:
EPICA – release first trailer for The Holographic Principle!
The Dutch symphonic metal stars EPICA grant a little insight into the making of their massive new longplayer The Holographic Principle and release a first trailer from the studio. In this brand new clip, the band explains their songwriting process and even comes up with some musical surprises:
Watch the trailer here:
“Halfway through 2015, Epica started a new journey: writing and recording the 7th studio album »The Holographic Principle«”, explains guitarist Isaac Delahaye. “In between touring we spent our time in the Sandlane Recording Facilities with producer Joost van den Broek and here’s the first part of our studio documentary! It gives you a little insight into the creation of what we see as our most complete album ever. You’ll hear rough snippets of new music, and you’ll see how we built things up. Enjoy!”
SOILWORK – release another new song off Death Resonance rarities collection!
Visionary Swedish metallers SOILWORK have released another song off the band’s upcoming special collection of rarities, Death Resonance (out August 19, 2016 via Nuclear Blast).
Watch the official visualizer for ‘These Absent Eyes’ here:
The song was originally released on the Japan-only EP Beyond The Infinite which featured more songs from the recordings sessions for the band’s globally praised double album The Living Infinite.
Commented singer Björn “Speed” Strid: “»Beyond The Infinite« consists of some special, quite experimental songs. They might have been cut out from the original album but have a unique charm to them. It wasn’t easy to pick the final track list for »The Living Infinite«. It was never obvious which songs wouldn’t make it. The writing and recording was highly experimental and playful in general, and it was through this album that we rediscovered ourselves as songwriters, with a new and improved line-up which brought – and will bring – so many interesting things to the table. Originally only released in Japan, it is with great pleasure that we finally share those special songs with you all. Enjoy!”
METAL ALLEGIANCE – announce new EP scheduled for August 12th!
Heavy metal is more than a genre, more than an attitude and certainly more than whatever cheap epithets are dismissively thrown at it by clueless critics. At its best, metal is a lifestyle, a community, a tribe uniting people across cultural, economic and philosophical divides with the primal pulse of bombastic and majestic expression.
METAL ALLEGIANCE have announced they will release a special EP, entitled Fallen Heroes, on August 12, 2016. The band united to pay homage to the 3 legends – Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie, and Glenn Frey – who impacted not just their lives but the world as well.
“The end of 2015 and most of 2016 has been a brutal year with many of our heroes passing,” comments Mark Menghi. “When Portnoy called me in January to alert me that Glenn Frey had passed, I literally broke down. That night after having a few Tequila Sunrises in Glenn‘s honor, a lightbulb went off… We’re going to record a few tunes to honor our fallen heroes. I called back Mike that evening and asked him what he thought and the next day we were in the studio recording. By weeks end, all guitars, drums and bass were complete. I can’t begin to explain the influence that Glenn Frey, Lemmy, and David Bowie had on me. Each of their music has helped me immensely during some real dark periods of my life and not to mention their influence on me as a musician and songwriter. Lemmy is God, Glenn is King and David is the Architect.”
Alex Skolnick comments: “These brilliant artists have an extensive catalogue that is sometimes on the softer side (with the exception of MOTÖRHEAD, of course). So when it came to THE EAGLES & BOWIE, we specifically chose tunes of theirs that are riff-based and translatable to high energy arrangements. For Lemmy, we immediately crossed out ‘Ace Of Spades’ (great tune but the last thing the world needs is yet another cover version) and chose ‘Iron Fist,’ which we already had a good handle on from playing live and to us is every bit as much a signature MOTÖRHEAD tune.”
“I’m really excited to be a part of the Fallen Heroes EP,” comments Alissa White-Gluz. “I think we have all felt the weight of losing so many great musicians this year. I think these songs are a cool way to pay tribute to a few people who contributed so much to the world of music and showcase a different side of ourselves.”
Recorded at Conclave Studios in New York City, »Fallen Heroes« was produced by Mark Menghi and Alex Skolnick. The album was mixed by Jay Ruston in Los Angeles, CA and mastered at Sterling Sound New York City by Ted Jensen. The initial sketch of the artwork was created by Mark Menghi and Stephen Thompson (ANTHRAX) and was later finalized by Marcelo Vasco (SLAYER).
Below is the track list for Fallen Heroes:
01. Iron Fist (feat. Troy Sanders)
02. Suffragette City (feat. Mark Osegueda)
03. Life In The Fast Lane (feat. Alissa White-Gluz)
Guitars: Alex Skolnick
Bass: Mark Menghi
Drums: Mike Portnoy
METAL ALLEGIANCE took the news of Lemmy‘s passing very hard as the bands very first gig was on MOTÖRHEAD‘s first Motörboat Cruise. It was on that boat where the idea to write a record together and carry the MA flag as a brand/band rather than a sporadic, special event show… all of us in MA are humbly grateful for the opportunity that team MOTÖRHEAD gave us.
In late 2015, the band scheduled a West Coast string of intimate club dates with a stop as the world-famous Whisky A Go-Go. The year concluded with the band heartbroken saying goodbye to their beloved friend. They later found out that his funeral and memorial services would be held the day of their performance. The band was asked by their tour agent who is also MOTÖRHEAD‘s agent, Lemmy‘s management, close friends of his, and the owner of the Rainbow and Whisky to incorporate a tribute which of course, they obliged. The day of their performance, Sunset Blvd. was shut down and their bus was parked on a street filled with tears, madness, partiers and a sea of mourning metal heads. They said goodbye to their friend that evening with help from MOTÖRHEAD drummer Mikkey Dee amongst a ton of other special guests.
The next day they played their final show at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Mid-set they were informed that David Bowie had passed. Mark Menghi comments: “I remember coming off stage to trade bass duties with David Ellefson (we would rotate songs) and he stopped me, looked me and Osegueda in the eyes and said “Dude, Bowie just passed away.” Literally in mid-set we got that news. I looked at Mark and he was in tears. Not even a minute later, he was on stage telling the Bay Area crowd of the news he just learned. I turned to the side and looked over at Mike Portnoy and he just had his head down with his hands over his head trying to comprehend what Mark was saying. The next few songs was our Lemmy tribute and tears rolled off all of our eyes while paying tribute to one while learning of the passing of another.”
SONATA ARCTICA – announce new album The Ninth Hour!
Only two years after the release of Pariah’s Child and a massive world tour, the Finnish Melodic Metal quintet SONATA ARCTICA are already back for more – their ninth masterpiece entitled »The Ninth Hour« will see the light of day on October 7th. Once again, the album was produced by SONATA ARCTICA themselves and mixed by Pasi Kauppinen, to create a typical yet refreshing sound that defines the spirit of the band in the year 2016.
“The studio work for the new record started seriously in mid-April 2016 in several home studios around Finland,” singer Tony Kakko explains. “But the main recording and mixing took place at the Studio57 in Alaveteli, Finland. It functions as a kind of centre point and all work finally ends up there. We aimed to create another melodic, beautiful, surprising SONATA ARCTICA album… Did it turn out that way? I surely think so. But maybe I should leave that for you to decide!”
After a North American tour with their friends from NIGHTWISH plus many headline shows around the globe, the band was once again able to take a look at the entire world as it is at the moment – on the edge of a possible armageddon. This spirit is reflected in the new artwork of The Ninth Hour :
“The artwork of our ninth studio album »The Ninth Hour« depicts a future utopian landscape on the background. Nature and human technologies are in balance. In the middle we have an hour glass contraption with a knob for us to meddle with. The right-hand side cup represents the nature side with no humans left, on the left we have the human dystopia after we have destroyed Nature. The idea I had was, that turning the knob will tilt the hour glass in one direction or another, and the other cup will slowly empty and that future will be erased. Biblically we are expected to repent and sacrifice on »The Ninth Hour«…to dive right back to a more mundane reality, it’s a fact that we are currently living in critical, historical times. Our decisions will define the future. Not only ours as a race, but the future of this entire planet. We need to make sacrifices and in many cases we will repent our already made choices.”
– John Howarth
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