Rush – “A Farewell To Kings – 40th Anniversary”

Rush – “A Farewell To Kings – 40th Anniversary” 3CD / 4LP/ Blu-ray (UMC/Mercury/Anthem/ole Records)

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Released back in 1977, this 5th album by Rush built on the success of “2112” and went further in widening their sound through increasing prog elements as well as the use of synthesizers, classical guitars and tubular bells. Becoming Rush’s first US gold-selling album, it would eventually reach platinum and as most Rush fans know, remains a staple in their collection. Now, some 40 years later (!), comes this extensive and lavish expanded addition available in 4 distinct configurations – well, you know it’s Rush so nothing is ever simple ha ha. I won’t even bother going into the details of the formats because it would drive me nuts so onto the music! All the packages encompass the Abbey Road Mastering Studios 2015 remastered edition of the 6 track album for the first time on CD in various mixes; a complete 15 track Rush concert recorded in February 1978 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, newly mixed by longtime Rush engineer and original “A Farewell To Kings” producer Terry Brown from the multi-track live tapes; four newly-recorded cover versions of songs from the original album by Dream Theater, Big Wreck, The Trews and Alain Johannes; and an instrumental studio outtake of the spacey sound effects the band has creatively titled ‘Cygnus X-2 Eh’.  The Hammersmith show features, for the first-time ever, over 34 minutes of unreleased performances including a complete ‘2112’ suite, ‘Xanadu’, ‘Cygnus X-1’, ‘Working Man’, radio hit ‘Closer To The Heart’ – and of course, a powering 6 minute+ Neil Peart drum solo so that should treat fans of ‘The Professor’! Additionally the Super Deluxe Edition also features 3 original 1977 promo videos from a newly found 2-inch quad video master significantly improving the video quality especially for ‘Closer To The Heart’. Completed by a new 40th anniversary cover by longtime Rush creative director Hugh Syme and extensive 12,000-word liner notes by Grammy® winning rock historian Rob Bowman, this band endorsed anniversary edition to one of their legendary albums puts Rush once again at the forefront of the classic rock world!

Tarja – “from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a dark Christmas)”

Tarja – “from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a dark Christmas)” (earMUSIC)

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Christmas – dontcha just love it? Well for many people, that certainly isn’t the case, especially for those who are lonely or missing loved ones and where the joy and blinking lights may seem even more jaded and depressive. Clearly sensing this, award winning ex Nightwish soprano singer songwriter Tarja Turunen has decided to put together this dark operatic interpretation of famous Christmas classics and carols – and jingle it certainly isn’t! Renowned for her class and professionalism, this is no mere Xmas cash in but as with all things Turunen a personal challenge to bring together a unique atmosphere of gothic darkness, ghosts and mysticism. Using the power of a grand orchestra and an award winning production team in American Emmy Award winning film score composer Jim Dooley and British producer Tim Palmer, known for his work with Pearl Jam, U2, David Bowie, Lang Lang and The Cure among others, Turunen has once again put together a very classy affair indeed, this time using her voice not so much for its power or highs, but instead to elicit as much emotion and heart felt passion into the 12 tracks here. As such there is indeed a big cinematic feel to the music along with a strong contrast between Turunen’s ladylike charms and the orchestra that stylishly flexes its classical muscles to suite to maximal effect on these suave interpretations. From the dramatic pomp and majesty of ‘O Tannenbaum’ to the soothing latin-esque ‘Feliz Navidad’ and the simply tear jerky ‘Amazing Grace’ with its powerful strings this album puts any commercial rivals to shame, if anything for exuding the warmth and embrace that so many souls may yearn. And if that isn’t the true spirit of Christmas I don’t know what is.

Down ‘N Outz – “The Further Live Adventures Of…”

Down ‘N Outz – “The Further Live Adventures Of…” 2CD/DVD/Blu-Ray (Frontiers Music)

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Back in 2009, when 70s Brit glam gods Mott The Hoople decided to play a series of reunion shows a certain Joe Elliott of Def Leppard fame (and noted Mott disciple) got the call to participate in some capacity. Stepping up also to the plate were some of The Quireboys in Paul Guerin (guitar), Guy Griffin (guitar) and Keith Weir (keyboards), all being Mott fans themselves, along with bassist Ronnie Garrity (Raw Glory) and drummer Phil Martini (Spear Of Destiny, ex The Quireboys). And lo the Down ‘N Outz were born, playing covers covers of Mott the Hoople, along with acts related to them such as Mott, British Lions and Ian Hunter. The reunion show went down a storm, setting the impetus for a debut album, along with appearances at the High Voltage Festival and supporting Paul Rodgers on his 2011 tour. With an equally successful follow up album released in 2014, a live release was on the cards, and this recording in Joe’s hometown of Sheffield delivers the goods across 16 hard rocking tracks. To be frank, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m awed by the energy of the tight performances here, charging this classic material to a level that Mott themselves would be proud of! From the strutting arrogance of Mott the Hoople’s ‘Crash Street Kidds’ with its teasing guitars Joe Elliott himself does a wonderful glam take on his vocals, while on Mott’s ‘Storm’ the heavy, slightly fuzzed guitars mixed with glam set the stage for Elliott to morph his voice once again into rock n roll while Keith Weir brings warm ambience in places with his keys – when he’s not rocking out too with that fired up piano! Paying tribute to the British Lions on ‘One More Chance To Run’ the revved up chugging guitars and harmonies contrast brilliantly with Weir’s organ and once again hammering piano while the crowd get their singalong cue on Ian Hunter’s ‘England Rocks’, an anthemic hit for him with its socially conscious lyrics, yet somehow still acknowledging his love for his homeland. It’s clear that all these songs are dear to Elliott’s heart and he has done a tremendous job in drawing together this group of like-minded people to bring back to life songs they thought they would never hear live again.

Autopsy – “Puncturing The Grotesque”

Autopsy – “Puncturing The Grotesque” (Peaceville Records)

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Forever hallowed in the bloodied halls of death metal’s valhalla is Autopsy, the deformed bastard offspring of famed drummer / vocalist Chris Reifert, who of course was Death’s original drummer! Often cited as one of the originators of the genre (along with Possessed and Death), Autopsy sadly never grew bigger as either of those bands, but became champions of the underground until they ground to a halt in 1995 after 4 albums. However, some 14 years on, the band almost immediately reformed and in recent years, Reifert has returned to the scene with a vengeance and zest to spread his foulness back once again to the masses! If their final 90s album (gracefully titled “Shitfun”) saw the introduction of punk and their follow up band Abscess incorporated it, then this has remained in Reifert’s arsenal either to a greater or lesser degree in the new material, which remains as aggressive and vile as it ever was. “Puncturing The Grotesque” is a 7 track mini album that fits that description like a cavity search glove, right down to Reifert’s bestial, predatory ‘vocals’. From the straight up old school death of ‘Gorecrow’ with its twisted evil melodies, hammering blast beats and diddly dee riffing to the Warfare meets GG Allin ‘Depths Of Dehumanization’ with its catchy but ball kicking punk beat and Danny Coralles driller killer guitars, Reifert holds nothing back and delivers intensely but cruelly with catchiness knowing that you’ll back for more – mwaha ha ha!! Just for good measure he and Coralles chuck in an OTT version of ‘Fuck You!!!’ as an alternate version to their current split single with Sweden’s death metal super group Bloodbath, but originally from the 80’s Bloodbath (that once featured Coralles no less!). Needless to say, serve generously with Formaldehyde!

Tarja – “Feliz Navidad”

This year, Tarja is bringing the festive season early with the release of her brand new Christmas album “from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a dark Christmas)” on November 17. This Christmas you can expect the unexpected.

The album includes 11 Christmas classics and brings them to a never before seen level, uniquely blending Tarja’s classically trained voice with darker gothic influences. Utilizing the sound of a grand orchestra, the most successful Finnish solo artist puts a sinister spin on traditional songs like “O Tannenbaum”, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and “Feliz Navidad”, reminding the listener of a dark movie score. Besides covering classic carols, “from Spirits and Ghosts” also features a 12th track, the brand new original “Together”. This song is aligned with the dark sound of the album and embodies the theme of ghosts and mysticism throughout, in a brilliant, Tarja-styled manner.

Says Tarja: “Producing a dark Christmas album in the middle of the summer is a very interesting process, especially if you are doing it by the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Significantly different from the snowy Christmas that I am used to in my home country Finland. Another proof that the darkness comes from deep within. On this album, I explored the other side of Christmas. The Christmas of the lonely people and the missing ones. The Christmas for those that do not find joy in the blinking lights and the jingle bells. ”

“from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a dark Christmas)” is going to be released on November 17th, 2017 on earMUSIC as 1CD digipak, 1LP Gatefold (180g, black) and Digital. The “Official Store for a dark Christmas” offers a wide variety of exclusive, limited fan items and bundles.

The album is produced by Tarja, the American Emmy Award winning film score composer Jim Dooley and British producer Tim Palmer, known for his work with Pearl Jam, U2, David Bowie, Lang Lang and The Cure among others, who also mixed the album at 62’ Studio in Texas. The album was mastered at Sterling Sound in NY City.

This Christmas, gather your loved ones, dim the lights, put on some candles and play Tarja’s “from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a dark Christmas)” loud!

PREORDER THE ALBUM HERE:
CD: http://smarturl.it/Tarja_FromSpirits_CD
LP: http://smarturl.it/Tarja_FromSpirits_LP
iTunes: http://smarturl.it/Tarja_FromSpirits_iT

Myles Kennedy – Year Of The Tiger

Coming on the heels of the recent announcement of his debut solo album Year Of The Tiger, Myles Kennedy has released the video for the title track. The music video is directed by Dan Sturgess and is based on a concept that was created from a discussion between Kennedy and his manager. The video follows a reflective Kennedy as he travels through the memory of the loss of his father in 1974 – the year of the tiger.

Year Of The Tiger is currently available for pre-order in various bundle configurations at: http://smarturl.it/YearOfTheTiger-NPR and www.MylesKennedy.com. Starting today, the album is also available for digital pre-order at: http://smarturl.it/MK-YearOfTheTiger and fans that order the album digitally will receive an instant download of the song “Year Of The Tiger”. The song is also available at all streaming services today including Spotify and Apple Music.

On Year Of The Tiger, Myles embarks on his first venture as a solo artist by embracing musical elements and influences he hasn’t explored until this point in his career. Kennedy himself plays banjo, lap steel, bass, and mandolin in addition to guitar throughout the album. The emotional journey and personal story of Myles is captured in a bluesy-americana album with a twist of country and rock, swirling and flowing around this incredible soulful voice the world has come to know.

Myles Kennedy burst on the music scene in 1990, but it wasn’t until 1995, through his band The Mayfield Four, that he gained some notoriety. It was when the Mayfield Four toured opening for hitmakers Creed that Myles Kennedy would meet Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips. This meeting would eventually lead to the formation of Alter Bridge, the band that would become Myles’ calling card to the world. The band released their debut album One Day Remains that would end up being certified Gold by the RIAA and the band would go on to sell millions of records worldwide over the course of 5 studio albums with the band. In 2008, the legacy of Myles Kennedy was circling the music industry and eventually found its way to members of Led Zeppelin. A now legendary story, Myles was asked to jam with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham for a potential project that never materialized. In 2009, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash was working on a solo project and tapped Myles Kennedy to do vocals on 2 songs on that release. That partnership would lead to Myles becoming the vocalist for his other rock band, Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. They have released 2 albums under that moniker. This relationship would also lead to Myles Kennedy singing for the iconic Guns N’ Roses at their Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 2012 after band founder Axl Rose was unable to attend. Through Myles’ various projects, he has appeared on The Tonight Show; Jimmy Kimmel Live; Conan; has had music used by the WWE, Major League Baseball and NASCAR to name a few; and appeared in the motion picture Rock Star. 2018 will mark a new chapter in Myles’ career as he will be releasing his long-awaited debut solo album Year Of The Tiger. The album is a whole new direction for Myles creatively and showcases the talent that has made him one of the premiere frontmen in modern music today.

PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS – INTERVIEW #1

PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS, led by the legendary long time MOTÖRHEAD guitarist, have released the first webisode for their upcoming debut album, The Age Of Absurdity. Get to know how the band name came about here:

The album is now available for pre-order in various formats here: nblast.de/PCATBSAgeOfAbsurdity

The Age Of Absurdity was recorded at Rockfield Studios and Longwave Studios in Wales and produced, engineered and mixed by Romesh Dodangoda and mastered at legendary Abbey Road Studios in London.The Age Of Absurdity will feature 11 tracks + 1 bonus track (see tracklist below) and will be released on January 26, 2018 via Nuclear Blast. The fitting cover art was created by Matt Riste.

Furthermore the band has announced the dates of their upcoming European headline run.

PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS – live
Feb 27, 2018 Netherlands Haarlem Patronaat
Feb 28, 2018 Netherlands Hengelo Metropool
Mar 01, 2018 Netherlands Uden De Pul
Mar 02, 2018 Belgium Hasselt Muziekodroom
Mar 03, 2018 Denmark Aarhus Voxhall
Mar 05, 2018 Germany Hamburg Logo
Mar 06, 2018 Germany Berlin Bi Nuu
Mar 07, 2018 Germany Frankfurt Das Bett
Mar 08, 2018 Germany Siegburg Kubana
Mar 09, 2018 Germany Mannheim 7er Club
Mar 10, 2018 Germany Munich Strom
Mar 12, 2018 Switzerland Solothurn Kofmehl
Mar 16, 2018 Italy Rome Jailbreak Club
Mar 17, 2018 Italy Pavia Dagda Club
Mar 18, 2018 Italy San Dona (Nr Venice) Revolver Club
Mar 19, 2018 France Paris La Boule Noire !!!NEW!!!
Mar 21, 2018 France Strasbourg La Laiterie !!!NEW!!!
Mar 22, 2018 France Nancy 915 Kaffee Klub Rock !!!NEW!!!
Mar 23, 2018 France Vaureal Le Forum !!!NEW!!!
Mar 24, 2018 France Brest Cabaret Vauban !!!NEW!!!
Mar 25, 2018 France Nantes Le Ferrailleur !!!NEW!!!

The band will also appear at Matapaloz Festival 2018 on June 23, taking place at Leipziger Messe, Germany.

Phil Campbell was the lead guitarist in MOTÖRHEAD for 32 years. He has toured the world, sold millions of albums and headlined the biggest festivals. Phil has a passion for music and it is this passion that has led to the formation of PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS. The band is unique as it features Phil’s 3 sons on drums, bass and guitar. The band is completed by Vocalist Neil Starr.

LETTERS FROM THE COLONY – Erasing Contrast

On February 16th, prog metal architects LETTERS FROM THE COLONY will guide listeners into their world of math metal, crushing death elements and virtuosic shoegaze, all united in their debut album Vignette. After announcing their signing to Nuclear Blast, a calm before the storm prevailed until now. Today the five young Swedes from Borlänge present the video for their first single ‘Erasing Contrast’.

Singer Alexander Backlund comments: “We’re proud to share the first single off of our debut album ‘Vignette’. ‘Erasing Contrast’ saw it’s completion shortly after I joined the band, and is in many ways the song that set this whole thing in motion for us. The lyrics — which were my first musical contribution — are about this sort of phantom self that haunts all of us; our ideal selves as seen by ourselves or others. We’re all born as blank slates, but along our various walks of life we construct a false perspective.

We’re endlessly comparing our triumphs and failings to manufactured realities sold to us by the media, or by our peers. From birth we’re told of all the things that we could be, but in a world where anyone can aspire to be anything the strong prey on the weak while the rest of us are left to carry the burden of infinite potential. Our self-image will always stand in contrast to all of the things we could have achieved, should we have chosen a different path. This is the nature of our humanity. It’s an inherent flaw within our way of thinking that companies and religious groups love to exploit. Want nothing, have nothing, take nothing, none… except for our album ‘Vignette’, you should totally buy a copy.”

In addition, the band has unveiled the track list of their new album, which was mastered by Jens Bogren (DIMMU BORGIR, OPETH, PARADISE LOST).

01. Galax (8:20)
02. Erasing Contrast (4:49)
03. The Final Warning (5:57)
04. This Creature Will Haunt Us Forever (1:38)
05. Cataclysm (4:59)
06. Terminus (6:53)
07. Glass Palaces (6:37)
08. Sunwise (4:14)
09. Vignette (12:12)

Vignette is now available for pre-order here: http://nblast.de/LFTCVignette

LETTERS FROM THE COLONY build upon the intersection between perfection and ordered chaos; the unbridled joy of experimentation and virtuosic instrument mastery and create their new niche compartment of technically challenging extreme metal. They deliver highly complex songs full of unbound aggression and progressive structures in the vein of MESHUGGAH, OPETH or GOJIRA and also do not shy away from playing saxophone with a guitar or sampling the call of a deer into a track!

WINDHAND – Old Evil

Two of Virginia’s finest heavy bands team up for an amp-worshipping, acid trip from hell! The split includes two brand new songs of smoldering gloom and grief from WINDHAND paired with three tracks of devilish, fuzz-drenched metal/punk from SATAN’S SATYRS.

Today Revolver shares WINDHAND’s heavy-hitter “Old Evil”. Watch the Jordan Vance directed video HERE . The band has also announced a quick run down the West Coast next spring; check below for a full list of dates.

WINDHAND and SATAN’S SATYRS Split LP is due out February 16th on CD/LP/Digital. Physical pre-orders are available via Relapse.com.

Two of Virginia’s finest heavy bands team up for an amp-worshipping, acid trip from hell! The split includes two brand new songs of smoldering gloom and grief from WINDHAND paired with three tracks of devilish, fuzz-drenched metal/punk from SATAN’S SATYRS.

Today Revolver shares WINDHAND’s heavy-hitter “Old Evil”. Watch the Jordan Vance directed video HERE and YouTube HERE. The band has also announced a quick run down the West Coast next spring; check below for a full list of dates.

WINDHAND and SATAN’S SATYRS Split LP is due out February 16th on CD/LP/Digital. Physical pre-orders are available via Relapse.com HERE and digital downloads HERE.

KOBRA AND THE LOTUS – Hell On Earth

Prevail I, the latest offering by Canada’s finest metal export KOBRA AND THE LOTUS,  has been successfully released in May 2017 on Napalm Records. This is a true rock juggernaut full of blistering guitars, pounding rhythms and haunting vocal melodies taking the listener on a sonic journey. Produced by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe, Epica etc) and mastered by Grammy award winning Ted Jensen, Prevail I has undoubtedly ushered the band to a much deserved elevated hard rock status. Evolution is inevitable and with ‘Prevail I’ KOBRA AND THE LOTUS have delivered their most powerful album to date, followed by numerous shows all over the world. Today KOBRA AND THE LOTUS are kicking off their tour with BEYOND THE BLACK and to celebrate their tour start, the band has just unleashed a brand new lyric video for the track ‘Hell On Earth’!

Says vocalist Kobra Paige: “More than often the level of misery or bliss we experience can be altered or exchanged by the state of our mental thoughts.  Our own hell on earth is right in front of us if we want it to be. What will you choose to be today, the problem or the solution?”

In support of their brand new album, KOBRA AND THE LOTUS will appear as special guests on tour in Germany with BEYOND THE BLACK, kicking off today in Cologne! Make sure to catch this killer live package on the following dates:

07.12.17 DE – Cologne / Essigfabrik

08.12.17 DE – Aschaffenburg / Colos Saal

09.12.17 DE – Karlsruhe / Substage

11.12.17 DE – Munich / Backstage

12.12.17 DE – Leipzig / Hellraiser

14.12.17 DE – Hamburg / Markthalle

15.12.17 DE – Berlin / SO36

16.12.17 DE – Bochum / Matrix

17.12.17 DE – Saarbrücken / Garage