Mike Portnoy Confirms Sons Of Apollo Working On Second Album

Mike Portnoy, formerly of Dream Theater and more recently a member of such bands as The Winery Dogs, Metal Allegiance and The Neal Morse Band among others, has announced via a post on Facebook that Sons Of Apollo, the progressive metal supergroup featuring Portnoy, Billy Sheehan of Mr. Big, former Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian, vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (Trans Siberian Orchestra/ex Journey) and ex Guns N Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, has been working on a new album. The post reads as follows:

“What an intense writing session we’ve had for Sons Of Apollo 2 over the last week!! It was a whirlwind of creativity and we managed to pull it all together and knock it out of the park (IMHO)…and wasting no time, I’m flying to LA today to begin recording my drum tracks!
We will then spend the rest of the year crafting the album and are shooting to have it out at the end of the year or beginning of 2020…”But worry not, there’s the Live Plovdiv Release coming early this summer to tide you over until then!”

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Mike Portnoy Confirms Sons Of Apollo Working On Second Album

Mike Portnoy, formerly of Dream Theater and more recently a member of such bands as The Winery Dogs, Metal Allegiance and The Neal Morse Band among others, has announced via a post on Facebook that Sons Of Apollo, the progressive metal supergroup featuring Portnoy, Billy Sheehan of Mr. Big, former Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian, vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (Trans Siberian Orchestra/ex Journey) and ex Guns N Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, has been working on a new album. The post reads as follows:

“What an intense writing session we’ve had for Sons Of Apollo 2 over the last week!! It was a whirlwind of creativity and we managed to pull it all together and knock it out of the park (IMHO)…and wasting no time, I’m flying to LA today to begin recording my drum tracks!
We will then spend the rest of the year crafting the album and are shooting to have it out at the end of the year or beginning of 2020…”But worry not, there’s the Live Plovdiv Release coming early this summer to tide you over until then!”

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Dave McClain (Ex-Machine Head) Joins Sacred Reich

Phoenix-based thrash icons, Sacred Reich are thrilled to announce the return of former drummer Dave McClain to their ranks, following his departure from Bay Area metal outfit Machine Head last month after 23 years on the drum throne. Before joining Machine Head, McClain played drums for Sacred Reich for four years between 1991 and 1995.

Sacred Reich’s frontman and bassist, Phil Rind comments:

“It is with great pleasure that we announce that Dave McClain is once again a member of SACRED REICH! This was the best case scenario that we could have hoped for. Dave is the best! A great drummer and a great person and we are beyond excited to welcome him back to the band. We’re headed into the studio in February and can’t wait for you all to hear our new record due in the Summer of 2019!”

Dave echoes the sentiment, stating:

“I’m so excited about re-joining my brothers in Sacred Reich. To have the opportunity to make and play music with one of my favorite metal bands was always something I hoped could happen. I can’t wait for everyone to hear the new album that we’re recording in February and to come see us out on the road in 2019-2020.”

As well as new album plans for 2019 through Metal Blade, Sacred Reich are currently planning their live schedule for next year and into 2020. Stay tuned for more news from the Reich soon.

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Nonpoint Posts New Music Video “Wheel Against Will” Online

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida based alternative metal outfit Nonpoint has posted a new music video online for the song, “Wheel Against Will.” You can check it out below. The song comes from the band’s latest studio album, “X” which was released this past Summer through Spinefarm Records.

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Children Of Bodom Reveals New Album “Hexed” Details

Finland’s melodic death superstars Children Of Bodom are proud to the announce the release of their tenth album, Hexed, on March 8th 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records.

COB frontman, guitarist, and mastermind Alexi Laiho comments, “People have said that this album is generally catchier. So I started thinking about that, perhaps the song structures are easier to grasp on initial listen. But there’s some crazy shit in there, almost progressive or at least technical. There are certain melodies across the album that could have come from jazz songs, although they’re completely metal with us, of course (laughs).”

“For me, it has always been very hard to describe our new music,” comments bassist Henkka Blacksmith. “In a way it always feels familiar, but the new stuff also always surprises me. Here we have something that’s very Bodom, but somehow we haven’t done this kind of stuff, possibly ever. Then again, someone said that there’s a somewhat similar vibe to what Follow the Reaper had. I don’t know. Anyway, we had a really hard time choosing the songs for the videos, I guess that’s a positive problem to have.”

“Hexed” saw the return to Finland’s Danger Johnny Studios where COB were reunited with Mikko Karmila (“I Worship Chaos,” “Halo Of Blood,” “Hatebreeder,” “Follow the Reaper” and “Hate Crew Deathroll”) who recorded everything except keyboards and also produced the album with the band. Janne Wirman recorded keyboards at Beyond Abilities Studios. The album was mixed and mastered at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki, Finland.

For this album, the band enlisted Deins Forkas to create the album artwork. Bassist Henkka Blacksmith commented on the cover, “For some years I’ve wanted to try a different approach with our cover art. We are so used to digital art, so it’s really hard to do something else. Doing it completely with a computer is somewhat safe and convenient. This time we all agreed to try going old school. We found this cool dude and gave him simple instructions – the cover has to be purple and the reaper has to be central. Half a year later we got his work, and with little tweaking, we now have the cover of Hexed. It is very different from what we are used to, even the Reaper looks different, but at the same time very spooky.”

Hexed will be available for pre-order starting December 7th.

Below is the track listing for “Hexed”

1. The Road
2. Under Grass and Clover
3. Glass Houses
4. Hecate’s Nightmare
5. Kick in the Spleen
6. Platitudes and Barren Words
7. Hexed
8. Relapse (The Nature of My Crime)
9. Say Never Look Back
10. Soon Departed
11. Knuckleduster
12. I Worship Chaos (live)
13. Morrigan (live)
14. Knuckleduster (remix)

Stay tuned for more information about the album as well as announcements about their upcoming US tour in the spring and European trek in the summer!

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Iron Maiden Announces “Legacy Of The Beast” World Tour Dates

British heavy metal icons Iron Maiden has announced a series of headline shows in both North and South America for the Summer of 2019 as part of their “Legacy Of The Beast” tour. Support on the trek will come from The Raven Age, featuring George Harris (son of Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris,) while additional support at the Los Angeles show will come from Fozzy.

Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson comments: “We’re excited to return to North America and share the Legacy Of The Beast Tour with all our friends there! We’re immensely proud of this show and we’ve had great reactions from the many fans who came to see us in Europe earlier this year. The production is based on our mobile game The Legacy Of The Beast which basically takes various incarnations of Eddie into many different Maiden Worlds. This inspired us to put together a stage show to take our fans through different Worlds and experiences set to appropriate songs. It is not that easy designing different Worlds on stage and we put a huge amount of work into this to make it work and the end result we feel is our most spectacular and certainly the most complex show to date.

“We’ve got all kinds of crazy things going on, including a replica Spitfire plane dominating the stage during ‘Aces High,’ tons of pyro, a giant Icarus, muskets, claymores and some truly marvellous flame-throwers which I have a hell of a lot of fun with, as you will see! And of course we have Eddie, as you’ve never seen him before, and absolutely loads of other surprises. I’ve had the time of my life playing with all these magnificent props on stage, it’s been fantastic, we can’t wait to bring this show to you!”

Steve Harris, bassist and founder member adds: “We gave a lot of thought to the set list for this Tour as the songs needed to follow the narrative of the changing worlds of the stage show. We feel we ended up with a very strong and well balanced set mixing songs we haven’t played in many years like ‘Flight Of Icarus,’ ‘Sign Of The Cross’ and ‘The Clansman’ with songs we know the fans want to hear like ‘The Trooper,’ ‘2 Minutes To Midnight,’ ‘The Number Of The Beast,’ ‘Fear Of The Dark,’ ‘Run To The Hills,’ ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ and others, reflecting the journey through the different themes of the show. The whole band is really enjoying this tour and we are really looking forward to seeing everybody again!”

The tour dates are as follows:

July 18 – Sunrise, FL – BB&T Center
July 20 – Atlanta, GA – Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood
July 22 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion
July 24 – Washington DC – Jiffy Lube Live
July 26 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
July 30 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
August 1 – Boston, MA – Xfinity Center
August 3 – Hartford, CT – Xfinity Theatre
August 5 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
August 7 – Quebec, QC – Videotron Centre
August 9 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
August 10 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
August 13 – Buffalo, NY – KeyBank Center
August 15 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
August 17 – Pittsburgh, PA – PPG Paints Arena
August 19 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
August 22 – Chicago, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
August 24 – Indianapolis, IL – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
August 26 – St Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
August 28 – Winnipeg, MB – Bell MTS Place
August 30 – Edmonton, AB – Rogers Place
August 31 – Calgary, AB – Scotiabank Saddledome
September 3 – Vancouver, BC – Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
September 5 – Tacoma, WA – Tacoma Dome
September 6 – Portland, OR – Moda Center
September 9 – Sacramento, CA – Golden 1 Center
September 10 – Oakland, CA – Oracle Arena
September 13 – Las Vegas, NV – MGM Grand Garden Arena
September 14 – Los Angeles, CA – Banc of California Stadium
September 17 – Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Arena
September 19 – Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater
September 21 – Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion
September 22 – Houston, TX – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
September 25 – San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center

No further cities will be added to this touring schedule.

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Sonata Arctica Begins Recording New Album, Announces Acoustic Tour

It’s been very silent in the camp of Finnish melodic metal titans Sonata Arctica recently. But this break hasn’t been wasted – the band have entered the studio to kick off the recording process for their tenth studio album, due in 2019 through Nuclear Blast. But before their new record will see the light of day, Sonata Arctica are pleased to announce that they will embark on a special journey; their very first acoustic tour outside of Finland! The run will take them to London’s Islington Assembly Hall on 19th March 2019, as part of a larger European run. Support will be provided by special guests, Los Angeles CA based metallers Witherfall. Further details can be found below.

Keyboardist Henrik “Henkka” Klingenberg comments, “We’ve been locked up in the studio since the end of the summer working on our next studio album and decided we needed to take a break and go out and play some shows. In the summer of 2016 we did an acoustic summer tour in Finland which was a lot of fun for both us and our fans; in fact it was so great that we wanted to do it again and this time we’re not settling for just Finland – but taking this show all around Europe for the first time ever. Now is a unique chance to hear our music in a completely different setting and we’re sure these evenings will be something really special. Our set will also include some stuff we’ve never played live before, and who knows maybe even a new song from the upcoming album. See you at the shows!”

Acoustic Adventures
w/ Witherfall
March 13 Oslo – Parkteatret
March 14 Stockholm – Södra Teatern
March 15 Gothenburg – Storan Teatern
March 16 Hamburg – Fabrik
March 17 Eindhoven – Effenaar
March 19 UK London – Islington Assembly Hall
March 20 Haarlem – Patronaat
March 21 DE Aschaffenburg – Colos-Saal
March 22 Paris – Le Trabendo
March 23 Lyon – Ninkasi Kao
March 24 Milan – Teatro Dal Verme
March 26 Pratteln – Z7
March 27 Nuremberg – Hirsch
March 28 Prague – Roxy
March 29 Stuttgart – Im Wizemann (Club)
March 30 Bochum – Christuskirche

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Tool Announce European/UK Summer Tour

Tool announce the dates for their upcoming European/UK Summer tour. Check out all dates below:

06/02 Berlin, GER – Mercedes-Benz Arena
06/04 Prague, CZE – O2 Arena
06/05 Vienna, AUT – Wiener Stadhalle
06/07 Nurburg, GER – Rock am Ring
06/09 Nuermberg, GER – Rock im Park
06/11 Krakow, POL – Tauron Arena (‘Impact Festival‘)
06/13 Florence, ITA – Firenze Rocks Festival
06/16 Donington, UK – Download Festival
06/18 Amsterdam, NET – Ziggo Dome
06/20 Copenhagen, DEN – Copenhell Festival
06/25 Zurich, SWI – Hallenstadion
06/30 Madrid, SPA – Download Festival
07/02 Lisbon, POR – Altice Arena

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The Ocean Collective debuts 2nd single ‘Devonian: Nascent’ featuring Jonas Renkse of Katatonia!

– October 2nd, 2018 –

On the heels of their massive, sprawling ‘Permian,’ The Ocean Collective is unleashing another piece of their highly anticipated upcoming album: ‘Devonian: Nascent’ makes its debut today at: consequenceofsound.net

Proving again why they are one of the most respected groups in the contemporary prog-metal world, ‘Devonian’ takes a completely different turn than their previous single, in part due to the vocals of Jonas Renkse, of Swedish metal giants Katatonia. The collaboration has long been in the making, explains Renkse: “Robin approached me for a guest spot already in 2005, and I really wanted to be part, but at that time we were in the studio ourselves recording ‘The Great Cold Distance’ so I felt I had too much on my mind. We have met after that and talked a little about doing something and now it finally happened. ‘Devonian: Nascent’ became a mammoth track without ever losing its initial melancholy.

Adds THE OCEAN mastermind, Robin Staps, “We sent Jonas the track, and what we got back as a “demo” was almost identical with what ended up as the final version on the record. Jonas has a perfect and intuitive understanding of our music, there was no need to explain anything. He came up with his own vocal parts and lyrics, and everything just fit perfectly from the start. Katatonia’s ‘The Great Cold Distance’ was an important album for me and for The Ocean, it was one of the first albums where heavy, low-tuned guitars and clean vocals next to one another were actually working out for me, personally. It was an album that made me reconsider my opinion about clean vocals in metal, and that forged my own desire to look for a vocalist for The Ocean who could also deliver cleans.

Ebbs and flows of proggy melodies, crushing guitars, swelling strings and powerful vocals match the heavy lyrical themes The Ocean Collective has made its signature. ‘Phanerozoic I‘ is now available for pre-order, along with meticulously designed merch bundles, something for which they’ve become known, and will be released November 2nd via Metal Blade Records (CD / digital) and the band’s own Pelagic Records (vinyl). Pre-order now via Metal Blade Records: metalblade.com/theocean

More on The Ocean Collective:

Since 2001, the Berlin-based musician collective The Ocean Collective have released 7 critically acclaimed studio albums, and a split EP with Japanese post-rock legends Mono. With an ever-changing lineup of various on- and off-stage musicians and visual artists, the relentlessly touring group have become well known for their immense, mind-expanding live shows, which they have carried into the most remote corners of the globe, from Siberian squats to colonial theatres in Ecuador.

Over the course of their storied career, The Ocean Collective have toured with Opeth, Mastodon, Mono, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Anathema, Between The Buried And Me and Devin Townsend, and have appeared on major festivals including Roskilde, Dour, Pukkelpop, Roadburn, Wacken, With Full Force, Summer Slaughter, Summer Breeze and Graspop. The band’s own Pelagic Records has also become one of Europe’s leading labels for post-rock and post-metal, with a catalog of 120 releases since 2009.

After 5 years of touring on Pelagial, the band started recording their 8th studio album in February 2018, split into two volumes to be separately released in 2018 and 2020 respectively, titled Phanerozoic. The Phanerozoic eon succeeded the Precambrian supereon, spanning a 500 million-year period leading to the present day, and it has witnessed the evolution and diversification of plant and animal life on Earth, and the partial destruction of it during 5 mass extinction events. Conceptually and musically, The Ocean Collective‘s Phanerozoic is the missing link between the albums Precambrian and Heliocentric / Anthropocentric.

Guitarist and primary songwriter Robin Staps penned Phanerozoic as he did its predecessors, in seclusion in a house by the ocean. The first volume of the double album Phanerozoic is made up of bleak and heavy songs, boiled down to the essential core of the musical ideas driving them. With analog synths merging with the heavy guitars, the addition of Peter Voigtmann to the band’s ranks has made a marked difference. After years of handling the spectacular lighting design at The Ocean Collective‘s live shows, essentially “playing drums on the lighting console every night” as Staps puts it, he now brings a bevy of angry, dystopian sounds to the songs. Phanerozoic also marks the recording debut of bassist Mattias Hagerstrand and drummer Paul Seidel, who both bring their own style and approach to their respective instruments.

As with all of The Ocean Collective‘s releases, the music is only one piece of the puzzle. The collective has always been known for lyrics that are poignant and thought-provoking, and Phanerozoic is no exception. The central idea upon which the lyrics are premised is that of ‘eternal recurrence’, “Nietzsche’s concept that everything happens over and over again, an infinite amount of times throughout infinite time and space“, Staps explains. “When you look at Earth’s history you find a lot of evidence for this: continents have collided and drifted apart across the oceans and collided again, life nearly disappeared various times but then resurged again… this album is essentially about time, perception of time, and repetition. It is about coming to terms with the fact that there are things in life which will recur and which we cannot change and finding ways of dealing with that“.

The immediacy of Phanerozoic can be attributed to the band working out every detail and testing every song live in the rehearsal room prior to heading into the studio, a different approach as compared to their previous releases. The process of laying down tracks began in Iceland, with the drums being tracked at Sigur Ros’ own Sundlaugin Studios with long-time friend and producer Julien Fehlmann. A big drum room with great natural reverb located in a bleak and beautiful place surrounded by nature provided the perfect location for the initiation of this record.

The remainder of the album was tracked in Berlin. A brass section was recorded, and previous collaborators Vincent Membrez (piano) and longtime live cellist Dalai Theofilopoulou are featured. Katatonia vocalist Jonas Renkse delivers a stunning performance on the 11 minute track “Devonian”. However, this is very much vocalist Loic Rossetti’s album. Staps and Rossetti worked extensively, trying out a variety of styles and focusing on finding the best possible approach for each song. “Loic screaming over a heavy part always works great, but our goal was to avoid always going the obvious route this time“, Staps explains. The result is an album which gains its heaviness not from the surface but from below, not so much from the vocals, but from the underlying riffage, bass and drumming.

It was a conscious decision not to let this fondness of experimenting stretch to the choice of the team working on the album: Julien Fehlmann tracked drums, Jens Bogren (Katatonia, Opeth) handled mixing and mastering duties, and Norwegian artist Martin Kvamme, whose only clients are Mike Patton and The Ocean Collective, was once more in charge of the mind-blowing artwork, making this his 5th consecutive collaboration with the collective. “There’s no reason to change a perfectly working formula“, Staps comments. “When Jens played us the basic sound of the record, Loic and I looked at each other and our jaws dropped. It sounded SO FUCKING HEAVY that for a moment we were thinking about what we could potentially do to make it sound a bit more human and a bit less perfect… but we eventually learned to accept that Jens had simply done an outstanding job“.

Each of The Ocean Collective‘s releases has proven a profoundly immersive experience, with an unrivalled attention to detail – something which becomes particularly apparent in the award-winning packaging: for the lavish acrylic boxset that came with 2013′s Pelagial, over 10.000 acrylic layers were individually silk-screen printed and manually assembled. That which accompanied 2010′s double album Heliocentric / Anthropocentric was particularly unique, its gatefold sleeve featuring rotating gold-foiled PVC dials screwed on top of it. Phanerozoic will not fall short of its predecessors: Phanerozoic will come in a trifold (LP) / digipak (CD) with die cuts through multiple layers, creating a 3D effect; topped off by metallic inks and a blind embossing emulating a rock structure.


Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic:
1. The Cambrian Explosion
2. Cambrian II: Eternal Recurrence
3. Ordovicium: The Glaciation of Gondwana
4. Silurian: Age of Sea Scorpions
5. Devonian: Nascent
6. The Carboniferous Rainforest Collapse
7. Permian: The Great Dying

https://www.facebook.com/theoceancollective
https://twitter.com/OceanCollective
https://www.instagram.com/theoceancollective

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Amon Amarth Debut First Trailer For New Documentary/Live Album “The Pursuit Of Vikings”

Amon Amarth unveil the details for their forthcoming new documentary/live album, “The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm“ out on November 16th via Metal Blade. A trailer for the outing has also been shared online streaming below.

The Blu-ray edition will run as follows:

‘Live at Summer Breeze: The Movies‘:

T-Stage Show: August 16th, 2017 (01:19:54):

01 – “Twilight Of The Thunder God”
02 – “Free Will Sacrifice”
03 – “With Oden On Our Side”
04 – “The Last With Pagan Blood”
05 – “For The Stabwounds In Our Backs”
06 – “Thousand Years Of Oppression”
07 – “Gods Of War Arise”
08 – “Versus The World”
09 – “Asator”
10 – “Under The Northern Star”
11 – “Fate Of Norns”
12 – “Varyags Of Miklagaard”
13 – “Live For The Kill”
14 – “Victorious March”

Main Stage Show: August 17th, 2017 (01:28:05):

01 – “The Pursuit Of Vikings”
02 – “As Loke Falls”
03 – “First Kill”
04 – “The Way Of Vikings”
05 – “At Dawn’s First Light”
06 – “Cry Of The Black Birds”
07 – “Deceiver Of The Gods”
08 – “Destroyer Of The Universe”
09 – “Death In Fire”
10 – “Father Of The Wolf”
11 – “Runes To My Memory”
12 – “War Of The Gods”
13 – “Raise Your Horns”
14 – “A Dream That Cannot Be”
15 – “Guardians Of Asgaard”
16 – “Twilight Of The Thunder God”

Audio Digital Download:

Main Stage Show: August 17th, 2017:

01 – “The Pursuit Of Vikings”
02 – “As Loke Falls”
03 – “First Kill”
04 – “The Way Of Vikings”
05 – “At Dawn’s First Light”
06 – “Cry Of The Black Birds”
07 – “Deceiver Of The Gods”
08 – “Destroyer Of The Universe”
09 – “Death In Fire”
10 – “Father Of The Wolf”
11 – “Runes To My Memory”
12 – “War Of The Gods”
13 – “Raise Your Horns”
14 – “A Dream That Cannot Be”
15 – “Guardians Of Asgaard”
16 – “Twilight Of The Thunder God”

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