Craig Locicero Comments On Death Of Chris Cornell

Last night news broke that Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave) had passed away, with news arriving this morning that the cause of death was an apparent suicide. Musicians from across the genre spectrum have expressed their condolences or extreme surprise, with Forbidden’s Craig Locicero issuing this lengthy statement:

“When Alice told me that Chris Cornell was found dead, it was around midnight last night. After looking around I saw it was evidently true. Shocking and somehow not shocking, but most certainly dauntingly sad for millions of us and especially his loved ones and bandmates. When I awoke this morning it still didn’t seem real, but as I opened up Instagram, every post was a Cornell picture with heartfelt words attached to them. It hit me hard in that moment. It’s hitting me right now.

“In 1989 Forbidden went to the Foundations Forum in L.A. to do the schmooze thing with hundreds of other metal bands. Hair metal, thrash metal, prog metal, heavy metal…metal metal. It was like what the NAMM show has turned into these days, but worse. Or better… I dunno…
Everybody got a gift bag the first day. I didn’t even sift through mine until I got home. At that time I went back to living at my parents house in Fremont for a short stay. I opened up my gift bag and found a bunch of unmemorable crap and one cassette that looked interesting to me. Didn’t fit in the cheese bag. That cassette was ‘Loud Than Love’ by Soundgarden.

“I remember putting it on and immediately feeling transformed into a different world. One far less ridged and more free than what music was turning into commercially, even in my thrash metal genre. A world that wasn’t laid into perfect lines, but was splashed in colors and emotion. Less processed, more raw emotion and power.

“Like Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and Black Sabbath all met up in Egypt for a hooka hashish jam session. Chris Cornell was lofty and sang with gut wrenching passion without at all being pretentious.

“This completely cleaned my pallet from all I knew about music at my naive 20 years. I’d found something that transformed me and changed the way I looked at heavy music, for the better. All because it was in a little gift bag at the right time.

“The next thing I did was went backwards buy ‘Ultra-Mega OK.’ So heavy and beautiful. Nobody else in Forbidden appreciated it very much at the time. I was addicted. When the word ‘grunge’ came along following after Nirvana’s breakthrough, I was already entranced by Soundgarden and then Alice in Chains. These were not grunge bands. They were rock bands who did it better than most. They just were great bands.

“Ultimately, Soundgarden was the vessel that started me upon my musical growth and made me more fearless to try new things with my life. Up until then I was just riffing and writing without putting as much of my heart into it. This all happened as we were writing ‘Twisted Into Form’ but really didn’t have time to marinate into the music yet.

“After ‘TIF’ was finished, Alice and I headed to New York to get the record mastered by Howie Weinberg. I had a few days off to hang out with Jim Welsh and everyone at Combat, so one night we went to La’Amours to see Voivod, Soundgarden and Faith No More. In that order.

“This would be the first of many times I saw Soundgarden. That particular night, they took the show with their Middle Eastern influence and care free delivery. It was just heavy and massive. Beautiful. Cornell was a rock god in person.

“That was all the origins for me. Since then They got the accolades that they much deserved and put amazing slabs of art out with Badmotorfinger, Superunknown, Down the Upside and finally King Animal. All mysterious offerings laced with magic and chemistry.

“The closest I came to actually meeting Chris is when we were recording the Manmade God record in Hollywood starting in 2001. Rick Rubin signed us and was co-producing our record. Rick loved our sound and thought that our singer (Pann Reed) had a very powerful and soulful voice, much like Cornell.

“He loved it so much, in fact that he had an idea. To get the guys in Rage Against the Machine to jam with Chris Cornell and see what happens. This is while we are doing preproduction down in Hollywood.

“Next thing we know, they are writing songs on the spot for Audioslave and in the studio a month or so later. Audioslave pretty much was put together, recorded an offering and put it out all while we were still trapped in L.A. working on our record, which took over 2 years to come out after we started the recording process. Crazy and true.

“By the time the MMG record finally did start getting radio play, 6 months before the record hit, the reviews and DJ’s starting making the comparison to Audioslave. Because they figured we came after them. The irony. Not a bad thing at all, but certainly not the case.

“Cornell himself was a true enigma. Not too much was ever known about him because he was very private. His life was a bit mysterious and I’d heard many differing opinions about Chris, the man. I’d never come across him personally for some reason, it just didn’t happen.

“I do know from the time we spent down there recording that Chris was battling his demons during the Audioslave recordings. Just like the rest of us humans, he was vulnerable. I’m actually glad I never met Chris, so the mystery will stay with me forever.

“Much like John Lennon and David Bowie, he will sit in a special place that only true legends sit at in my heart.”

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Body Count Posts “The Ski Mask Way” Animated Video

Body Count partnered with graphic artist Tommy Ruffin to create the new animated, violent music video for “The Ski Mask Way.” Check it out below.

“The Ski Mask Way” comes off abrasive new album “Bloodlust,” which is available now (reviewed here). If you missed ’em, previous videos were also released for “No Lives Matter” and “Black Hoodie.”

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Edensong Prepares For Tour With Imminent Sonic Destruction

Imminent Sonic Destruction and Edensong have been busy pulling out all the stops, hitting all your favorite progressive rock and metal news outlets to promote an upcoming North American tour.

Now, Edensong has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a very special limited edition (250 copies) anniversary edition of acclaimed album “Years in the Garden of Years” (reviewed here).

The album will be issued as a gatefold double album and any copy that is procured via this Kickstarter campaign will be signed by Edensong, numbered, and include a personalized thank you message. Check out full campaign details here.

Imminent Sonic Destruction has also been busy with pre-tour planning activities and just released a teaser video available below. Catch the bands live:

May 20, 2017 – Terra Incognita Festival, Quebec City, Canada (Edensong only)
May 22, 2017 – Toronto, Canada @ The Hard Luck Bar
May 24, 2017 – St. Louis, Missouri @ Fubar
May 25, 2017 – Chicago, Illinois @ Martyrs
May 26, 2017 – Detroit, Michigan @ The Loving Touch
May 27, 2017 – Erie, Pennsylvania @ Sherlock’s
May 28, 2017 – New York City, New York @ DROM

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Comaniac Named As New Support Act For Metal Church’s European Tour

Heavy metal titans Metal Church will be touring Europe extensively next month in celebration of latest studio album “XI” (see review here), which was released last year via Nuclear Blast in Europe and Rat Pak Records in North America. After previous support Meshiaak was forced to cancel the tour due to parting ways with drummer Jon Dette, Metal Church has revealed Swiss thrashers Comaniac as the replacement.

Comaniac stated: “Wow, we are truly overwhelmed to join the amazing Metal Church on the European run in June. Besides being on tour with one of our favorite bands it’s also a huge honor to play in some legendary venues where we have attended the concerts of our favorite bands as fans. Those are exactly the moments you’re dreaming about when you start a band. We’re looking forward to seeing many new faces and we promise to kick your ass!”

Confirmed dates are as follows:

09 Jun – SWE, Sölvesborg, Sweden Rock Festival*
10 Jun – DE, Bremen, Tivoli
11 Jun – NL, Eindhoven, Dynamo Club
12 Jun – DE, Aschaffenburg, Colos-Saal
13 Jun – DE, Munich, Backstage
14 Jun – DE, Stuttgart, dasCann
16 Jun – BE, Dessel, Graspop Metal Meeting*
17 Jun – DE, Neunkirchen, Stummsche Reithalle
18 Jun – FR, Clisson, Hellfest*
20 Jun – UK, London, Underworld
21 Jun – UK, Glasgow, Audio
22 Jun – UK, Belfast, Limelight 2
23 Jun – IRE, Dublin – Voodoo Lounge
24 Jun – UK, Bristol, Thekla
26 Jun – GR, Thessaloniki, Eightball Club*
27 Jun – GR, Athens, Kyttaro Live*
30 Jun – ES, Barcelona, Rock Fest*
02 Jul – RUS, Moscow, Volta*
*Metal Church only

More Metal Church live dates:

02 Jun – USA, Portland, OR, Rock Hard PDX NEW!
03 Jun – USA, Tacoma, WA, Cultura Event Center NEW!
15 Jul – USA, Chicago, IL – Chicago Open Air
01 Aug – NO, Oslo, Sentrum Scene (w/ MEGADETH) NEW!
02 Aug – DK, Copenhagen, Store Vega (w/ MEGADETH) NEW!
05 Aug – FR, Saint-Maurice-De-Gourdans, Sylak Open Air
09 Aug – CZ, Jaromer, Brutal Assault
10 Aug – DE, Nuremberg, Hirsch
11 Aug – NL, Leeuwarden, Into the Grave
12 Aug – P, Vagos, Vagos Metal Fest
07 Sept – USA, Atlanta, GA, ProgPower USA XVIII

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Next To None Announces Second Album “Phases”

Pennsylvania-based metal act Next To None, featuring drummer Max Portnoy, has announced the release of forthcoming second album “Phases” on July 7th through EMP Label Group in North America and InsideOutMusic in Europe.

The band recently completed its first ever European tour alongside label-mates Haken, and has forthcoming dates supporting Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress.

Formed in 2012, in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania, the foursome released debut “A Light In The Dark” in 2015 via InsideOut (reviewed here), before setting out to work on “Phases.”

The album features 12 tracks self-recorded by the band at singer/keyboardist Thomas Cuce’s home studio Battery Power Studios, and mixed by Grammy nominated Periphery bassist Adam “Nolly” Getgood.

Drummer Max Portnoy says, “It’s a collective production, with all of the band having their say. We had strong ideas as to how we wanted this album to turn out, and if we’d brought in an outside producer, then this could have changed. So, it was best for us to stick together and follow our own vision.”

The recording process started early last October, with drum parts being recorded at Neal Morse’s Radiant Studios in Nashville; these sessions were engineered by Jerry Guidroz.

Says Portnoy, “We then spent about four months at Thomas’ home studio (Battery Powered Studios) doing the rest of the work; Thomas was the engineer for those sessions. We were in there every day until 3am. I don’t know how Kris coped, because he was going to school after we’d finished in the studio and getting just a couple of hours sleep.

He continues, “We’re so excited to finally be releasing our new album. We feel it’s a huge step forward for the band and shows a much heavier and much more technical side. This album is very special to us because it’s the first time we recorded and self-produced our entire album. We were able to create music that is completely our own. Every note, every sound, every word, came from us and we can’t wait for you all to hear it. I suppose you could say that we’ve done here is do more of everything we did before, but the greater experience we now have has helped us become better at what we want to do.”

Vocalist Cuce adds, “Working with Nolly on the mix has been one of the highlights of this recording for us. He captured the exact sound we wanted right from the start. Doing this upcoming tour with The Shattered Fortress will be a great opportunity to premiere this new material to an audience that will surely get where we’re coming from.”

“Phases” also marks the recording debut of new guitarist Derrick Schneider, arriving on the recommendation of Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, who guested on the band’s first album. Guitarist Ryland Holland departed the band last year to attend Berklee College of Music.

1. 13
2. Answer Me
3. The Apple
4. Beg
5. Alone
6. Kek
7. Clarity
8. Pause
9. Mr Mime
10. Isolation
11. Denial
12. The Wanderer

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Below releases third and final single, “Hours of Darkness”, online

– May 11th, 2017 –

Friday (May 19th), Swedish epic doom metallers Below will release their new album, Upon A Pale Horse, worldwide via Metal Blade Records! To hear the new single, “Hours of Darkness”, please visit: metalblade.com/below – where the first single, “1000 Broken Bones”, can also be heard, and the record can be pre-ordered in the following formats:

–Digipak CD
–180g black vinyl
–silk gray-marbled vinyl (limited to 300 copies – EU exclusive)
–dim gray-marbled vinyl (limited to 200 copies – EU exclusive)
–transparent vinyl (limited to 100 copies – USA exclusive)
*plus digital options are also available!

Below comments: “With ‘Upon a Pale Horse‘, we feel that we have found our sound.bWe have grown as songwriters and this album contains our fastest and slowest, shortest and longest, heaviest and most melodic songs to date. Making this album more diverse yet still staying true to the core of heavy riffs and melodies that is Below. We recorded ‘Upon a Pale Horse‘ in Deep Blue Studios, the studio where we recorded our first EP, so in some sense it felt like we were returning to our roots.”

Read on for some reviews of the critically acclaimed Upon A Pale Horse:

“The title track features mighty choirs and beats everything Candlemass released in the last 10 years. You could say the same about ‘Hours Of Darkness’, but this one could be even on one of the 80s classic albums of the Epic Doom Gods. Killer album!”Andreas Stappert, Deaf Forever Germany, 9.5 out of 10 points

“All in all a very strong proof of the talent of these Swedes, I didn’t expect such a high quality!”Boris Kaiser, Rock Hard Germany, 8.5 out of 10 points

Below are a heavy hit!”Thorsten Dietrich, Break Out Germany

Upon A Pale Horse track-listing:
1. The Plague Within
2. Disappearing Into Nothing
3. The Coven
4. Upon a Pale Horse
5. Suffer in Silence
6. Hours of Darkness
7. 1000 Broken Bones
8. We Are All Slaves

Below line-up:
Zeb – Vox
Hedman – Bass
Paud – Guitar
Berg – Guitar
Doc – Drums

Below online:
https://www.facebook.com/belowmetal
https://twitter.com/belowmetal
https://www.instagram.com/belowmetal

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Video Clip For New Song “Courageous Minds” Issued By Running Death

With the 2015 debut album “Overdrive,” German thrash act Running Death triggered a positive and far-reaching surprise-effect as a vertical starter attracting a multitude of worldwide fans.

Countless reviews attested the band around guitarist and singer Simon Bihlmayer with “dancing from the row” material, a very own upscale class. Encouraged by this, the band’s songwriting became even more determined. The result is the new album “DressAge,” a crisp rocking, fresh and dynamic release coming on May 26th.

Get your first taste with the video clip for “Courageous Minds,” seen at the bottom of the article.

The detailed front cover for “DressAge” was created by the Mexican graphic artist Joel Sánchez Rosales, which was the perfect match for the lyrical relationship to the delicious dressage theme of the title song. ?

Check out “Courageous Minds” here:

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Stand Up and Shout 3rd Annual Ride for Ronnie

Sunday May 7, 2017  in normally sunny SoCal was anything but!! Thunder & lightning, hail, rain, wind, and even snow, bookended an otherwise amazing day of thundering horsepower, shining chrome, leather, rock n roll, and of course cancer awareness. For the 3rd year now, Wendy Dio and all those who knew and loved Ronnie James […]

heavy metal updates:
Stand Up and Shout 3rd Annual Ride for Ronnie

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Xandria Kicking Off Tour Dates With Once Human, Kobra And The Lotus

Napalm Records label-mates Xandria and Kobra and the Lotus are set to kick off their North American tour tonight in New York, NY at Webster Hall’s Marlin Room. Both bands have been chomping at the bit to return to the states and the time is finally here.

Xandria is touring in support of latest release and seventh studio album overall “Theater of Dimensions” (check out our review here). The album is a hyper-emotional affair that digs deep, lyrically speaking, while remaining an incredibly metallic effort.

Kobra and the Lotus is set to release new album and Napalm Records debut “Prevail I” this Friday, full of blistering guitars, pounding rhythms, and haunting vocal melodies that take the listener on a sonic journey.

Kobra Paige comments: “It’s been a long time coming for Kobra and the Lotus to release new music and what could be better than to do it on this power packed tour coming up. We are super pumped to be hitting the road with the mighty Xandria and Once Human! It’s sure to be a show that has something for everyone and charges people up from start to finish. Prevail I releases Friday but we will be kicking off the tour with the same blast of new tunes right off the bat…can’t wait to bang some hair and melt some ears!!! See ya soon.”

Kobra and the Lotus w/ Xandria and Once Human:
5/9: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
5/11: Quebec City, QC @ La Source de la Martiniere
5/12: Montreal, QC @ Foufounes Electriques
5/13: Toronto, ON @ Garrison
5/14: Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom
5/16: Joliet, IL @ The Forge Club
5/18: Denver, CO @ Moon Room
5/19: Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
5/20: Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Bar
5/22: Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
5/24: San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
5/26: Las Vegas, NV @ Adrenaline Sports Lounge
5/27: San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
5/29: Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theater
5/30: Mesa, AZ @ Club Red-Mesa

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Perturbator Announces Fall North American Tour Dates

Perturbator, the French ‘80s-infused electro / darkwave outfit, returns for a month of dates this fall launching the on September 5th in Denver.

“Synthwave, darksynth, neon metal – no matter what you call it, this retroactive branch of electronic music kicks serious ass, and nobody synthesizes like James Kent,” said Noisey in a 2016 feature that arrived upon the release of Kent’s (aka Perturbator) most recent full-length, “The Uncanny Valley” (read our 5/5 star review here).

September 5 Denver, CO Moon Room
September 6 Salt Lake City, UT Metro Music Hall
September 7 Boise, ID Neurolux
September 8 Seattle, WA El Corazon
September 9 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw
September 10 Portland, OR Bossanova
September 13 San Francisco, CA DNA
September 14 Los Angeles, CA TBA
September 15 San Diego, CA Brick by Brick
September 16 Mesa, AZ Club Red
September 19 Dallas, TX Trees
September 20 Austin, TX Come and Take It Live
September 21 Houston, TX White Oak Music Hall
September 22 New Orleans, LA House of Blues
September 23 Atlanta, GA Terminal West
September 24 Tampa, FL The Orpheum
September 26 Nashville, TN Exit/In
September 28 New York, NY Le Poisson Rouge
September 29 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall
September 30 Montreal, QC S.A.T

October 1 Toronto, ON Velvet Underground
October 3 Pittsburgh, PA Spirit Hall
October 5 Detroit, MI El Club
October 6 Chicago, IL Reggies

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