Keyboardist Vikram Shankar joins progressive metal band Redemption

– April 11th, 2018 –

Photo credit: Stephanie Cabral

Keyboardist Vikram Shankar has joined progressive metal band Redemption. Nick van Dyk – the band’s guitarist and songwriter, who has also played the majority of keyboards on Redemption‘s seven studio albums – comments: “We haven’t had a dedicated keyboard player since before 2011′s ‘This Mortal Coil‘. We were very happy and fortunate to have had Greg Hosharian in the band for some time, but when Greg left to focus on composing and conducting classical music, we decided to continue without replacing him and I returned to playing keys in addition to guitar. I’m comfortable enough handling things, but at the same time, from a performance and also from a compositional standpoint, it’s always been in the back of my mind that having a dedicated keyboardist allows us to do more, sound better, and grow.”

Van Dyk continues: “Almost as soon as Tom [Englund, vocals] joined Redemption, he introduced me to Vikram by way of Vik’s YouTube channel, where Vik showcases both original compositions as well as stunning arrangements of some great progressive metal songs. I was utterly floored. This is a guy who has perfect pitch, tremendous feeling to his playing, and is absolutely a virtuoso – I mean he literally plays blindfolded to perfect his technique. I’ve never seen anything like it. Then we spent some time together, both one on one and then with the rest of Redemption, and learned he’s a terrific guy as well as a terrific musician. He came out to LA for a few days and spent some time adding some parts to our otherwise-finished upcoming release, Long Night’s Journey into Day, and it was evident that not only does he have technique and feel for miles to enhance our musicianship, but he and I share a similar compositional sensibility. We hear things the same way, plus Vikram adds fresh ideas and his tremendous talent as an arranger and writer. I can’t wait to involve him more in songwriting for future material, and we are all thrilled to have him join us on stage and in the studio. He’s an absolutely stunning talent.”

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to play alongside the talented folks in Redemption!” enthused Vikram. “The guys are wonderful musicians and wonderful people, and I can’t thank them enough for welcoming me into the fold as they have. Can’t wait to see and play for all the Redemption fans at Progpower USA and elsewhere, and for the future of our music and collaboration!”

Vik’s YouTube channel can be found at:, and a good example of his technique and composition can be found in his Fugue in B Minor here:

Already confirmed to headline ProgPower USA 2018, Redemption – featuring Tom Englund (vocals; Evergrey), Nick van Dyk (guitars and keyboards), Sean Andrews (bass), Chris Quirarte (drums), Vikram Shankar (keyboards) – will release their seventh full-length album, Long Night’s Journey into Day, this summer via Metal Blade Records. The first to be produced with Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Primal Fear, Amaranthe, Doro, etc.), Long Night’s Journey into Day also features guest guitarists Chris Poland (Megadeth, OHM) and Simone Mularoni (DGM). Stay tuned for more Redemption news coming soon!

Redemption online:

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Science Of Sleep Announces New Album “Hellmouth”

German group Science Of Sleep will release second full-length album “Hellmouth” on November 25th, 2016 via Bastardized Recordings. The label had this to say:

“Inspired by the most violent and darkened tunes in the metal industry, the 11 track long player blasts through your head with non-stop blastbeats and heavy breakdowns. The lyrics dig very deep into the depths of the human mind and all the tremendous horrors of our world.

“The album also features big names of the metal industry such as Nico Webers (War From A Harlots Mouth) and Matthi (Nasty) on guest vocals. All songs were recorded by Simon Hawemann (War From A Harlots Mouth) and mastered by Andy Marsh (Thy Art Is Murder).”

1. Hellmouth
2. Purge
3. Columns of Greed
4. Fed to Pigs
5. Tremendous Strain
6. Wanderers
7. Plainfield
8. Condemned to Ruin
9. Swamp
10. Deaths Realm
11. Todestreiben

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Update On Bruce Dickinson’s Health Issued By Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden’s co-manager Rod Smallwood issued a statement on the current condition of vocalist Bruce Dickinson, who is currently battling cancer which was detected back before Christmas. Unconfirmed reports citing comments from drummer Nicko McBrain seem to indicate that Iron Maiden has completed work on a new studio album and has been in a holding pattern on ramping up the hype and excitement for it while Dickinson recovers.

Smallwood’s statement reads: “Bruce has asked me to thank everyone for their tremendous support and kind wishes. He has been extremely touched and encouraged by the genuine and affectionate response from our global family of Maiden fans.

“Radiology is cumulative and continues to build in the body for around three weeks after treatment, so even though Bruce’s seven week course is completed, he’s had a long period of considerable pain and discomfort. He is happily now starting to recuperate and the pain will continue to abate and the swelling to reduce for the next couple of months at which time he will be able take an MRI scan. It is not until then that we will have full confirmation that the cancer has been completely destroyed. However prognosis continues to be extremely good and everyone is optimistic for a full recovery. Following the scan, we will officially update you on our website at the appropriate time, probably in late May.

“After that, it will take a few more months for Bruce to get back to full fitness. Naturally the rest of the band are totally supportive and Maiden’s plans will be determined by Bruce’s progress.

“Please continue your positive thoughts. They are very much appreciated.”

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Christopher Lee Releasing New EP “Metal Knight”

Hollywood legend Christopher Lee, who will turn 92 on Tuesday May 27th, is releasing next week a mini album appropriately called “Metal Knight.”

Sir Christopher is well-known for his devotion to fantasy and heavy metal themes, with several album releases and collaborations in the genre to his name. “I associate heavy metal with fantasy because of the tremendous power that the music delivers,” he says.

The star of The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars sagas inspired generations of artists with his dark yet elegant portrayals, with his interpretation of Dracula considered by many to be the quintessential, while The Wicker Man has inspired many a metal song.

“Metal Knight” is a mini album featuring 7 tracks, two of which are covers from the “Man of La Mancha” musical, based on the character Don Quixote. Due out May 26th, the “Metal Knight” track listing is as follows:

01. I, Don Quixote
02. The Impossible Dream
03. The Toreador March
04. My Way (Radio Edit)
05. I, Don Quixote (Extended Version)
06. The Impossible Dream (Extended Version)
07. The Toreador March (Extended Version)

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Negator Splits With Guitar Player Kliffjard

Germany’s Negator has checked in with the following announcement about parting ways with the band’s guitarist:

“Unfortunately we have to inform you, that Kliffjard is no longer a member of Negator. Due to other duties in life, which he will be facing from now on, we had to come to this conclusion.

“We want to thank him for his tremendous energy and for the great contribution. We wish him all the best for the future! BUT, we have already found a worthy successor, who will be revealed soon!”

Negator’s latest album “Gates to the Pantheon” was released in 2013. Check out a lyric video off the album below.

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Hull To Play Roadburn 2014 Festival

The Brooklyn, New York sludge rock alchemists in Hull are pleased to announce their appearance on the 2014 edition of the Roadburn festival in the the Netherlands.

Hull will be performing alongside a lineup that already includes Opeth, Yob, Triptykon, A Storm Of Light, Crowbar, Graves at Sea, Lord Dying, and many more. Comments guitarist Nick Palmirotto:

“Hull is absolutely elated to be a part of the vastly diverse lineup that will be gracing the stages of Roadburn 2014. Having had the tremendous experience of performing bass guitar duties for Jarboe in 2010, it is an honor for Hull to be a part of one of the most unique and unprecedented festivals in the world of heavy music. Our gratitude speaks no bounds, we shall forge onward through the barren lands, beyond the lightless sky.”

Hull released the monolithic “Beyond The Lightless Sky” full-length via The End Records in 2011. The band will play Roadburn 2014 on its inaugural day of Thursday, April 10th. For more info visit: this location.

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Warbeast Issues U.S. Tour Road Report, Gearing Up For European Shows

Warbeast just wrapped up a string of U.S. tour dates with Down, and is now on a break before heading over to Europe, also alongside Down, on the 19th. The band has now issued the following road report:

“Warbeast has been on the road home since about 1am. Looking like we will be home around 6:30. Once again we want to thank DOWN for this tremendous opportunity to tour with them. We appreciate it so much Philip H. Anselmo, Kirk Windstein, Pepper Keenan, Jimmy Bower and Patrick Bruders Also thanks to Kate Richardson, Scott Earnhart, Chad Piriano, Carter Withey, Mike Thompson, Eightball and Darrin Jones for being such a great crew and making us feel welcome.

“Also thanks to our brothers and label mates in haarp! Plus Big Okie Doom, Mount.Carmel, Pentagram, Saint Vitus and Child Bite for also sharing the stage with us on some of the shows during this tour.

“Easily the BEST and most successful tour for Warbeast so far. Got to play in front of some very large and receptive crowds. We sold tons of merch too. It was obvious we gained some new fans too.

“Some typical comments after our set at shows: ‘I’ve never heard of you guys before tour, but you’ve got a new fan now.’ ‘Your album and YouTube videos don’t do you justice, you are so much more intense live.’ ‘Thanks for bringing back true old school thrash metal.’ ‘You guys are the best band out of D/FW since Pantera.’ ‘The new songs ruled!’ ‘When you guys come back here I will be there.’ Needless to say, hearing that shit is very cool for all of us.

“The one thing we didn’t hear is… ‘I wish you guys would’ve played more songs off of your first album.’ They just praised the new songs instead. Which is a very good sign for us with the Split release and full-length coming soon.

“We must thank everyone that donated to our tour fund, gave us a place to crash out, helped with hotel rooms and fed us. We couldn’t have done it without all of you. Anyway, we are going to rest and relax for a few days and then start preparing to Destroy Europe with Down in 2 weeks. It just keeps getting better and better. Living the dream is better than we could have ever imagined… YOU KNOW DAMN WELL!”

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