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About Us

Welcome to Angelic Warlord- your Christian metal and hard rock resource!  Launched in the spring of 2006 with the purpose of supporting Christians creating art within the metal and hard rock genres, Angelic Warlord features an abundance of reviews, links, articles, interviews and news- all updated on a weekly basis.  If you enjoy all types of metal and hard rock - melodic hard rock, straightforward hard rock, melodic metal, classic metal, power metal, progressive metal and all things in between – that, at the same time, is backed by a positive and life changing message, then you have found a new home in Angelic Warlord.

Christian art is the expression of the whole life of the whole person as a Christian. What a Christian portrays in his art is the totality of life. Art is not to be solely a vehicle for some sort of self-conscious evangelism.

A Christian should use these arts to the glory of God, not just as tracts, mind you, but as things of beauty to the praise of God. An art work can be a doxology in itself.

- Francis Schaeffer

Updates

UPCOMING REVIEWS

• EDEN’S WAY - Can’t Get Enough!
• THE NEAL MORSE BAND - The Similitude Of A Dream
• PASTOR BRAD - Up
• S91 - Behold The Mankind
• THE SEVENTH POWER - V7
• THEE FINAL CHAPTRE - It Is Written (Deluxe Edition re-issue)

LATEST UPDATES

• ARTICLES - July 17, 2016
• FEATURED REVIEWS - December 4, 2016
• INTERVIEWS - September 18, 2016
• METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS - December 4, 2016
• RELEASE DATES - December 4, 2016

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Update: December 4, 2016

FEATURED REVIEWS

ZEPHANIAH - Reforged - NEW
Power metal fans will be happy to know the significant steps and strides made by Zephaniah between its independently released 2008 debut full length Stories From The Book Of Metal and Divebomb Records sophomore effort Reforged from 2016.  Read Full Review >> 

 

AMOS - Jade
Amos has gained reputation for a dark and swarthy sound strongly rooted in the Gothic aesthetic.  Read Full Review >>

CELL 9 - The Devil’s Feast
Initial impression upon listening to The Devil’s Feast, the Cell 9 independently released fall of 2016 debut full length, is of another traditional metal act, but that would only be telling part of the story in that there is much more to the group than musically meets the eye.  Read Full Review >>

THE CRIMSON BRIDGE MINISTRY - Remnant Rock
There is no denying that The Crimson Bridge Ministry is a force to be reckoned within hard music circles.  Read Full Review >>

DAN CUMMINS - Storm
When placed alongside Dauntless, Storm conveys more of a straightforward hard rock feel but with added variety in the form of periodic AOR, blues, metal, modern rock and progressive touches.  Read Full Review >>

Björn Stigsson - A New Beginning
Introducing A New Beginning, the fall of 2016 Talking Music sophomore solo album of veteran guitarist Björn Stigsson.  Read Full Review >>

MICHAEL SWEET - One Sided War
Not taken by the idea of obtaining One Sided War, the summer of 2016 seventh solo album of Michael Sweet?  Then I suspect you don’t really like eighties influenced melodic metal and hard rock very much.  Read Full Review >>

THEOCRACY - Ghost Ship
With the fall of 2016 release of its fourth full-length album Ghost Ship, Theocracy has some big shoes to fill- its own.  After all, the renowned Athens, Georgia based act is widely regarded as one of the frontrunners within the hard music scene with its unique joining of epic melodic power metal and strong progressive overtones.  Read Full Review >>

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Hero - Miracles

THE HERO - Miracles Set For Release on December 16, 2016:
Press Release / Roxx Records is excited to announce our latest release that we are bringing to you all the way from Sweden. Please join us in welcoming THE HERO to our roster.
 
THE HERO are excited to be back and bringing you their 4th full length release and first  new music since the release of their 2013 critically acclaimed album Afterlife. Back with brand new music coming straight from the heart, their new album is entitled Miracles and is set for release on CD, digital and limited edition vinyl.

They may not be the hardest band out there, nor the fastest, but definitely an original band not to be compared to anyone. Having said that though this new album is heavy, yes! It’s beautiful, yes! It’s catchy. Yes! It’s gothic, yes! It’s dark, yes but most importantly at the end of the day it leaves you with Hope! Yes, that is ‘THE HERO and we are excited to bring you Miracles this winter 2016.

THE HERO line up:

Michael Hero - Guitars & Baritone Lead vocals,
Emanuel Wärja - Guitar & Background vocals
Henrik Deleskog - Bass.
Daniel Mouton - Drums & Background vocals

Miracles track listing:

1. “Kill The Monster”
2. “The Broken Hearted”
3. “Miracles”
4. “Tell The World”
5. “Via Dolorosa”
6. “Corpus Christi”
7. “Melancholiah”
8. “Crying In The Rain”
9. “Join Me In Life”
10. “When Evil Blooms”

11. “Shot”
12. “Mr. Rigor Mortis” (CD Only Bonus Track)
13. “Viva Victoria” (CD Only Bonus Track)
14. “The Swedish National Anthem” (CD Only Bonus Track)

Get ready as the new CD and digital versions will be released on December 16, 2016 with the vinyl version coming in very limited quantities by the end of December.

Miracles pre-order: http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/products/18585556-the-hero-miracles-cd-2016

THE HERO online: www.facebook.com/TheHEROSweden

Pylon - Homo Homini Lupus - Roxx Records vinyl edition

PŸLON - Limited Edition Vinyl Announced By Roxx Records:
Press Release / Roxx Records is very excited to bring you the 4th installment in our limited edition vinyl series entitled Roxx Records Underground Series. We are very pleased to announce Christian doom metal band PŸLON are about to get the limited edition vinyl treatment for the bands release entitled Homo Homini Lupus.

After the successful partnership between Roxx and PŸLON, we are happy to be bringing you this very cool pressing of only 150 copies on black vinyl. Each copy is hand numbered, and also comes with a limited edition 11” x 17” promotional poster of the brand new album from PŸLON entitled A Lament, which was also just released in 2016 on Roxx Records / Quam Libet Records.

Release date is December 2, 2016.

Homo Homini Lupus vinyl track listing:

Side One

A1. “Saligia”                                                               
A2. “Al Ha Har”                                                         
A3. “Ils Se Donnent Du Mal”                                  

Side Two

B1. “Crowned”
B2. “Crucifer”
B3. “The Curse Of Eden”
B4. “South Of Heaven”

With three successful installments already released in the Underground Series, and the 4th one from PŸLON set to be released, the success of the series has allowed for us to continue to grow and add to the series. Already released have been limited edition vinyl’s from, WONROWE VISION (#1), ULTIMATUM (#2) and ORACLE (#3). Series number 5 is also being pressed now and will be announced very, very soon!

For full information and purchasing information on the new PŸLON vinyl visit: www.roxxproductions.com

PŸLON online: www.pylon-doom.net & www.facebook.com/pylondoom

Signum Regis - Decennium Primum

SIGNUM REGIS To Release New EP In 2017, Decennium Primum:
As recently announced by the Senec, Slovakia based power metal act:

“The next year, we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the founding of the band. In the beginning, it was a roller coaster ride and there were times, when we were not sure, if we can go on, but since then, many good things happened. Every new release was a bigger success than the previous one, the live shows improved and we feel strong and optimistic about the future.

“As many of you know, we also won a prestigious band contest – Spark fresh blood 2015 with 400 attending bands. One of the prices, that we won were 1000 CDs manufactured in the best Czech printing press. We are lucky to be a signed band, but because of the price and that our 10th anniversary is coming up, we decided that we want to use this opportunity to record a very special EP to celebrate the anniversary. The EP will be released independently in a limited quantity and it will be our way of saying THANK YOU to all of our fans, who have been supporting us steadily.

“The 6-track EP will be called Decennium Primum (meaning the 1st decade in Latin) and it will be exclusively available at the band’s website, live shows and nowhere else. “

Decennium Primum is scheduled to be released in early 2017.

Upcoming Shows:

December 9, 2016 - Christmas Rock Night, Ennepetal, Germany
May 27, 2017 - Teplice, Czech Republic
June 3, 2017 - Orava Rock Storm, Tvrdošín, Slovakia

Chapter IV: The Reckoning, the most recent album from SIGNUM REGIS, was released on November 20th 2015 via Ulterium Records  Jens Bogren (SYMPHONY X, OPETH, ARCH ENEMY) mastered Chapter IV: The Reckoning, while Jan Yrlund (DELAIN, APOCALYPTICA, KORPIKLAANI) contributed the cover art.

SIGNUM REGIS online: www.signum-regis.com & www.facebook.com/signum.regis

Theocracy live with Ernie Topran

THEOCRACY Announce New Drummer:
Georgia-based melodic metal band THEOCRACY is thrilled to welcome Ernie Topran to the band as their permanent drummer. Ernie has been drumming for more than 20 years, and has been active in the Atlanta music scene since 2006. During that time he has performed with many different bands, and he has been THEOCRACY’s touring drummer for the last couple years.

"I was happy to help THEOCRACY when they needed a touring drummer for some Scandinavian and German festivals,” says Topran. “I've known the guys for years, and my previous band HALCYON WAY shared the stage with them many times. We had great times both on and off the stage, so when I was asked to join the band permanently, I accepted without hesitation. I look forward to many years of making music with such a great group of guys!"

THEOCRACY founder Matt Smith adds, “Ernie has proven himself to be a total professional and completely dependable, which is what we were looking for. In addition to his incredible drumming skills, he also happens to be the most kindhearted, genuine and fun guy you could ever hope to meet. We couldn’t be happier to have him on board.”

Theocracy just returned from a successful European tour supporting their new album "Ghost Ship", which debuted at #17 on the Billboard Hard Rock charts in the U.S. 

Ulterium Records online: www.ulterium-records.com & www.facebook.com/ulteriumrecords

Ernie Topran online: www.ernietopran.com

THEOCRACY online: www.theocracymusic.com & www.facebook.com/theocracyband

NEWS BRIEFS

* Quality footage of entire ANCIENT PROPHECY concert at Don’t Walk Dead Fest: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCoCtR638cU

* As a Christmas gift to its fans, THE CRIMSON BRIDGE MINISTRY will be posting five new songs to its website on Christmas day.  The five songs in question will not be officially released until the summer of next year.

THE CRIMSON BRIDGE MINISTRY online: www.thecrimsonbridgeministry.com

* “Teris”, second single taken from the upcoming second ENERGEMA album entitled World Of Zionix: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JhOm3YJtlo

* Video of new song from Björn Stigsson, “I Call Your Name”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_wIwGytDYw

"I Call Your Name" comes off the artists recently releases sophomore solo album A New Beginning.

 

Update: November 27, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

LEAH promo pic with axe

LEAH - New Album & Music Video Update:
As reported to fans by the symphonic metal songstress via e-mail on November 21, 2016:

Hey, it’s LEAH here.  Real quick, I just wanted to give you an important update on a couple things, and maybe answer a couple questions you’ve had.

#1: Whatever happened to the music video I was going to make?

Well I have good news and bad news.
 
Bad news first: The director I’m working with is THE BEST around, but he told me, “Leah, your video is literally the most complicated type of video. We’re practically going to have to find you a UNICORN!”

He actually said that :)

But all jokes aside, to make the kind of video we envision, it takes a lot of money and logistics, including things like insurance and legal permits for any place historical (because hello - castles!!).

So, the video is still ON, but we are still looking for the right place, the right time, the right weather, and some magic. :) And yes, we are considering all the local possibilities too. I’ll keep you posted on this, but it will happen.
 
#2: Special, exciting, announcement!
 
Drum roll…

....The writing and creation for the next album has begun!

So far I’m still in the early stages but have already begun writing song #4.

I don’t have an official statement for who all is playing on this album - each project is it’s own thing and I treat them separately. But I can for sure tell you that I am working with the very talented producer Oliver Philipps (EVERON).

If you don’t know of Oliver, he’s the German genius behind much of DELAIN’s work, including Charlotte Wessels & Georg Neuhauser’s (SERENITY) side project, PHANTASMA. Oliver is one of the guest vocalists on that album too, by the way. Check it out on Spotify, you won’t be disappointed.

I met Oliver when he helped me with some last minute orchestrations for Kings & Queens, and I LOVED what he did. We hit it off pretty well, once I got used to his German ways ;) He’s actually hilarious, and I told him one day I’m going to publish all his emails as a book -- each of his emails are the length of a novel.

But I’ll tell you one thing: He is stretching my songwriting in painful ways! You know what I mean, it’s that growing pain sensation, but for my songwriting brain. I have a high pain tolerance because I know that my songs are going to turn out better than they ever have. And really that’s the whole point of having a producer.
 
Ok, this is getting long now :)
 
OH - BEFORE I FORGET: I’m going to do something a little different this time.. I want to share with you a lot more about my process and things I’m doing while I’m creating this album, so I’ll be posting more videos and photos primarily on Instagram and Facebook. So if you haven’t followed me there yet, do it now!

LEAH online: http://leahmusic.net, http://leahmchenry.com & www.facebook.com/LEAHthemusic

Various Artists - Following Yonder Star

Roxx Record & Christian Metal Distro Release 2016 Best of CD, Following Yonder Star:
Press Release / This 2016 Holiday season Roxx Records and Christian Metal Distro have teamed up again to bring you their 4th annual end of year ‘Best Of’ series. This years Best of 2016 CD, entitled Following Yonder Star, features cuts from all the Roxx Records titles released this year as well as some of our favorites and best sellers from our Christian Metal Distro site which features the best in Christian indie releases from 2016.

Following Yonder Star features cover art designed by our friends over at Frame Werks Graphics, and once again the CD is absolutely free as a part of our annual end of year Holiday sale, every order placed will receive a free copy.

Check out this year’s track listing:

Roxx Records:

PHILADELPHIA - “Wasteland” from the album Warlord

ULTIMATUM - “Blood Covenant” from the vinyl release Into The Pit

ORACLE - “Passage Denied” from the vinyl release Selah

MALCHUS - “But Deliver Us” from the album The Evil House

INDOMINUS - “Legion Within” title track from Legion Within

PYLON - “The Lone Rider” from the album A Lament

AMOS - “Still Believe” from the album Jade

HERO - “Kill The Monster” from the album Miracles

Christian Metal Distro:

V7 - “Out To Sea” from the album V7

OBLIVION MYTH - “Sea Of Tranquility” from the album Inside The Mirror

STAIRWAY - “Lucy Fuhr” from the album Power And Glory

TEMPEST - “Back To The Hill” from the EP Hollywood Anti Sleaze Rock n Roll

THEE FINAL CHAPTRE - “The Key” from the album It Is Written

THIRD VOICE - “Chosen” from the album A Day Like Today

WICKED’S END - "Theories Of Lies” from the album 1992-2016

Roxx Records online: http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com

Christian Metal Distro online: http://christianmetaldistro.storenvy.com

NEWS BRIEFS

* FOUR STAR REVIVAL will be releasing its new EP, The Underdog, on January 13, 2017.  Songs include “The Underdog”, “Liar”, Rumors Of War”, ”Broken” & “The Garden Of Good & Evil”

* IMAGES OF EDEN, Soulrise update (as reported by vocalist Gordon Tittsworth on Facebook - November 21, 2016):

“I have been getting multiple inquiries/ possible ETAs on the release. Things are finally moving right along at a steady speed now. As far as the tracking, everything should be wrapped up by the end of December and the 4 song demo should be complete and about to be out the door to everyone and their brother at that time as well.

“This has been (by far) the most challenging release to record and we are all putting everything we have into this, so I apologize to all of our fans for the length of time it is taking, but very much appreciate your loyalty and patience!!!

“We will keep you posted as things progress.”

* PASTOR BRAD, hard rock instrumental cover of “You’re A Mean One Mister Grinch”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZN1SiC_Vuo

 

Update: November 13, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

THE NEAL MORSE BAND - The Making Of The Similitude Of A Dream Part 3, “Draw The Line”:
Courtesy of www.ultimateclassicrock.com:

Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and singer-songwriter and keyboardist Neal Morse (ex-SPOCK’S BEARD) have racked up 18 album credits in a collaboration that spans nearly two decades. The pair will share their latest work with the world on Nov. 11 with the release of The Similitude Of A Dream.

The new album is the second by THE NEAL MORSE BAND, arriving about a year and a half after their 2015 release, The Grand Experiment. It’s a heavy-hitting double disc by the progressive group that includes more than 100 minutes of new music.

Ultimate Classic Rock presents the exclusive premiere of documentary footage featuring the band in the studio working on the track “Draw the Line” (a new original that shouldn’t be confused with the AEROSMITH song of the same name) that includes lead vocals by Portnoy.

“It’s one of the heavier riffs on the album,” Portnoy says. “As soon as I heard the riff, I kind of pictured some vocal melodies. Originally, when the riff was presented, Neal sang some melodies on top, and his melodies were just a little too light. They weren’t kind of aggressive enough to match the riffs, so I suggested some phrasings and melodies, and then at that point, he scratched out some lyrics to my melodies and phrasings, and then I ended up singing them.”

Portnoy notes that “Draw the Line” developed in a way that felt comparable to how the creative process would progress with similarly styled material during his time in DREAM THEATER. “Usually, whenever we had really heavy songs in DREAM THEATER, those were the ones that I ended up writing the lyrics and melodies to, and in some cases, ended up singing as well,” he says. “It seems like when you have that kind of vibe or emotion, I’m the metal guy in the band to kind of handle that one.”

The concept for the new album drew inspiration from Pilgrim’s Progress, a book that had been suggested to Morse by a fan. As Portnoy recalls, he quickly got behind the idea, but was resistant when it came to the idea of making a double album.

“Neal and I doing a concept album together is nothing new,” he explains. “I think we’ve done five or six of them together at this point. It’s always a great format for us to work within. When he presented the idea to us of another one this time around, we were all gung-ho to jump in and dive in and get to work. My hesitation was the idea of doing a double album, so I kind of resisted that idea for awhile, and then about halfway through the album, it pretty much became inevitable that it was going to require being a double in order to fully realize all of the ideas that were on the table.”

Now that the album is completed, Portnoy says he’s happy they went the full distance, calling The Similitude Of A Dream a record that  represents the “absolute creative pinnacle of our collaborations together,” even suggesting that it might be the album of his career.

THE NEAL MORSE BAND will be on the road starting in January for a rare U.S. tour that will give fans the chance to hear the album performed in its entirety. It’s something Portnoy is looking forward to. He says it’s been “disappointing” to him in the past when he hasn’t been able to tour the U.S. more with the projects he and Morse worked on.

Now it’s up to the fans to show the promoters that there is a market for this kind of music,” he says. “Obviously, bands that have been around forever, like when I was out there with DREAM THEATER, we had established ourselves, so we could do extensive American tours. But THE NEAL MORSE BAND is very much a kind of underground thing for American fans beyond the prog scene. I’m hoping that this album and this tour get the exposure that this amazing band and album deserve.”

And he notes in closing, that the “band” part of THE NEAL MORSE BAND is a key separator: “In the past, [bassist] Randy (George) and I have done seven or eight Neal Morse solo albums through the years, and in those cases, Neal wrote everything and pretty much sang everything and played everything other than the bass and the drums. So in those cases, that was just Neal’s music.”

That changed when they put together a live band and added keyboardist Bill Hubauer and guitarist Eric Gillette into the mix for the shows they played in support of Morse’s Momentum album in 2012.

“We did the Momentum tour with Bill and Eric, and we just really felt that there was a great, great chemistry with the five of us,” Portnoy recalls. “We wondered, what would it be like to write with this chemistry? Everybody in the band is a great player and a great singer and has great ideas. So with The Grand Experiment, we kind of changed the chemistry altogether and turned it into a real band. Everybody’s contributing, four out of five of us are singing, so it’s not just Neal singing anymore. I think Bill and Eric have very predominant vocal parts on this album. That one little word, ‘band,’ really makes all of the difference in terms of what’s going on now and the chemistry within the band.”

The Similitude Of A Dream track listing:

Disc 1:

1. “Long Day”
2. “Overture”
3. “The Dream”
4. “City Of Destruction”
5. “We Have Got To Go”
6. “Makes No Sense”
7. “Draw The Line”
8. “The Slough”
9. “Back To The City”
10. “The Ways Of A Fool”
11. “So Far Gone”
12. “Breath Of Angels”

Disc 2:

1. “Slave To Your Mind”
2. “Shortcut To Salvation”
3. “The Man In The Iron Cage”
4. “The Road Called Home”
5. “Sloth”
6. “Freedom Song”
7. “I'm Running”
8. “The Mask”
9. “Confrontation”
10. “The Battle”
11. “Broken Sky / Long Day (Reprise)”

The Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream

THE NEAL MORSE BAND online: www.nealmorse.com & www.facebook.com/nealmorse

NEWS BRIEFS

* AFFECTOR Harmagedon play through but guitarist Daniel Fries: www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3hTCT7dGmU

* THE CRIMSON BRIDGE MINISTRY has made available a one-minute snippet of a new song entitled “Drown Your Pain”: www.thecrimsonbridgeministry.com

* Online Neal Morse interview with Heaven’s Metal: http://dougvanpelt.wixsite.com/heavens-metal-mag/single-post/2016/11/06/Neal-Morse-Relying-on-Gods-Guidance-and-Blessing

* TRUE STRENGTH signs with Roxx Records (Facebook - November 10, 2016): “True Strength is humbled to announce that we have signed with Roxx Records! Stay tune for more details in the coming month from Roxx Records when they make a formal announcement.

“Roxx Records teamed up with engineer Cliffy Walker (uitarist of the renowned Christian punk band The Huntingtons) to re-master the Steel Evangelist album and Roxx will be releasing it in CD format and we will be re-releasing it digitally as Steel Evangelist - Roxx Records Edition.  The sound quality of the songs has been vastly improved!

“We are currently writing and recording our third album, stay tune for more details! Also, we have some merchandise that will soon be available soon including patches, back patches and T-shirts! God bless you all!”

“ My Refuge”, new song from VISUAL CLIFF: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCgrlj42ZXs

The song comes off the group’s upcoming album Refuge, which is set for release next year.

* The New THE WORLD WILL BURN album, RuinNation, is currently being mixed.  The group is planning for a release date after the first of the year.

 

Update: November 6, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

THE NEAL MORSE BAND Release Official Video For “So Far Gone":
THE NEAL MORSE BAND - singer/guitarist/keyboardist Neal Morse, drummer Mike Portnoy, bassist Randy George, keyboardist Bill Hubauer and guitarist Eric Gillette - are gearing up for the release of their new album The Similitude Of A Dream on Radiant Records via Metal Blade Records/SONY on November 11, 2016.  The group recently premiered a video of a song off the album entitled “So Far Gone” (above).

The journey of Neal Morse has seen three decades of musical accomplishments, the latest being the inception of THE NEAL MORSE BAND. Morse has forged many relationships over the years with his other bands, SPOCK’S BEARD, FLYING COLORS and TRANSATLANTIC.  The Similitude Of A Dream will be the eighth studio album with drummer Mike Portnoy and bassist Randy George and the second true collaboration with the band's current lineup, which includes keyboardist Bill Hubauer and guitarist Eric Gillette.  THE NEAL MORSE BAND released its debut full length The Grand Experiment in February of 2015.

Clocking in at over 100 minutes, this amazing piece of prog storytelling will leave you breathless, exhilarated, amused and fulfilled in a way that only inspired music can. It will be available in various formats: a two CD package, a Special Edition with the two CDs and The Making Of A Dream DVD, or as three vinyl records along with two CDs.

As Neal Morse explains, “The Similitude Of A Dream is loosely and sometimes directly based on the book, Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. The book’s original title was The Pilgrim’s Progress from this world to the that which is to come, delivered under The Similitude Of A Dream, and it was originally published in 1678. The book chronicles the spiritual journey of a man from the City of Destruction to the place of Deliverance. Someone had suggested to me that I do a concept album based on this book, but I kind of forgot about it.

“Then when I began writing new songs last December, the suggestion came to my mind. I had never read the book, so I Googled the SparkNotes story outline and began to write some little song bits and instrumentals based on what I had read. Those bits combined with the ideas that the other guys brought to the table then miraculously exploded into this double concept album. Funny thing is, this album only really covers about the first 75 or 80 pages. Maybe we should've made a five disc collection! Well, we'll save that for later. Ha.”

He continues, “At the conclusion of the grueling recording sessions, I remember Mike saying rather prophetically, ‘Boys, I think we just made the album of our careers.’”

"I honestly think this is THE album of my career,” declares Portnoy. “Neal and I have now made 18 studio albums together, and I consider The Similitude Of A Dream the absolute creative pinnacle of our collaborations together. I've always had a soft spot for double concept albums such as Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Who's Tommy, and I can bravely say that I think we've created an album here that can sit side by side with those masterpieces. Bold words, I know, but after a career of almost 50 albums, I honestly consider this to be one of the defining works of my career.”

“We weren’t sure we had enough music to make a double CD, and yet it seemed as though the concept and the music wanted to go there,” bassist Randy George continues. “Ultimately, we created so much great music in the sessions that it just had to be a double album! To cap that off, we worked with a pre-imminent classic album cover artist to create painted illustrations of our concept which will grace the booklet!”

THE NEAL MORSE BAND is also preparing to kick off their North American tour schedule in support of the new album. According to an update from Portnoy while answering a fan question via Facebook, "we will be performing The Similitude Of A Dream in its entirety as well as other material from the NM/NMB catalog."

THE NEAL MORSE BAND tour dates:

Tour dates:

January

14 - Nashville, TN – venue tba
17 - Seattle, WA – Triple Door
18 - San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
21 - Whittier, CA - Center Theater, www.calprog.com
22 - Phoenix, AZ – Nesbitt-Elliott Playhouse Theater
24 - Denver, CO – Oriental Theater
25 - Dallas, TX – Curtain Club
26 - St Louis, MO – Delmar Hall
27 - St Charles, IL – Arcada Theater
28 - Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
30 - Toronto, ON – Mod Room
31 - Montreal, QC – Club Soda

February

1 - Quebec City, QC - Salle Jean Paul Tardif
2 - New York, NY – Highline Ballroom
3 - Washington DC – State Theater
4 - Atlanta, GA - City Winery

“The City Of Destruction” official video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8GdH59yuD8

“Long Day / Overture” official lyric video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fbzl46CuPiM

The Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream

THE NEAL MORSE BAND online: www.nealmorse.com & www.facebook.com/nealmorse

S91 - “The Cry Of Life” Official Lyric Video Posted Online:
Montecarlo, Italy based progressive metal band S91 just premiered a lyric video to the track “The Cry Of Life” from its sophomore album Behold The Mankind.  The song features a guest appearance by vocalist Christian Liljegren (NARNIA, GOLDEN RESURRECTION & DIVINEFIRE)

A Christian band drawing its name from Psalm 91, S91 will be releasing Behold The Mankind via Underground Symphony on November 7, 2016 as a deluxe digipak edition.  Fans of DELAIN, DARKWATER and SHADOW GALLERY will appreciate how S91 mixes modern shades, psychedelic nuances and complex time signatures with a progressive basis.

The album was produced by Cristiano Bertocchi (VISION DIVINE, LABYRINTH, WIND ROSE).
 
Behold The Mankind is a concept album about the history of mankind based on Christian theology. In this album we talk about how since mankind's beginning, it has undergone rapid corruption by creating communities with strong social imbalances. This is because men and women carry an incurable evil within themselves that is only curable through the intervention of the Creator. Throughout history, we often see revolutionary movements that tend to open the door to even more ferocious regimes. God seeks to redeem humanity by calling an insignificant man to himself, from whose offspring will be born a man that will be God's incarnate and with him he will die and be resurrected. The story of the land of Israel and Christ is a metaphor of the story of humanity. Today individuals are called to die and resurrect as members of a group.

S91 line up:

Mari - Lead Vocals
Franz - Lead Vocals & Guitar
Frank - Keyboards
Jack - Bass
Giacomino - Drums

Behold The Mankind track listing:

1. “The Cry Of Life”
2. “Wandering Souls”
3. “Slaves And Kings”
4. “The Calling”
5. “Blind Revolutions”
6. “The Son Of God”
7. “Sacrificed”
8. “The Bloody Revelation”

S91 - Behold The Mankind

S91 online: www.facebook.com/S91band

NEWS BRIEFS

* DIVINEFIRE performing “Never Surrender” live in Japan (October 2005): www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCYyPglZ7jo

* Neal Morse talks new album, Mike Portnoy, SPOCK’S BEARD and FLYING COLORS in audio interview with Metal Wani: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhwfmsG8dNU

* NARNIA & ROB ROCKperforming “Eagle” live at Metal Fest Germany in 2005: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4cYkBZtj2o

 

Update: November 1, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

LEAH promo pic with sword

Symphonic Metal Artist LEAH Makes Statement About Her Faith & Music:
As reported by the artists at her Facebook page (October 31, 2016):

“Many people ask me about my Christian faith and how it ties into my music. You already know this about me or may have picked up on this background. I get emails & messages on a regular basis asking about this, so I thought I'd share my thoughts here for you, in case you're curious  :)
 
“I'm often asked: "Is LEAH a Christian band?" And "Do you see your music as a ministry?"
 
“I don't often answer these questions and here's why:

“First of all, I create music because I must. If I stop for long periods of time, I get grumpy. I was born to create. It's one of my callings in life (there are many).
 
“Second, I view my music as art.
 
“All art is an extension of its creator, and it's very difficult (if not impossible) to separate one's faith, presuppositions, and worldview from one's personal expression.  It will always come through one way or another.
 
“For that reason, I don't believe in a sacred/secular distinction.
 
“How I live, how I think, and what I create is either consistent with my beliefs, or it's not.
 
“That's why I don't need a label or a genre to define my faith. My whole life should exude my faith, along with anything I create.
 
“That's why I also stay away from the word 'ministry', and why I have no desire for my music to be sold at exclusively Christian stores, or even associate with that market (because that's what it is: a market).

“So if someone asks me if I am a Christian I say yes.  If they ask if my music is Christian, I say - there's no such thing. I hope that makes sense.
 
“That's like asking if a blue crayon is Christian (is there a Christian crayon section at the store?).  The crayon is a tool... it's what you do with that medium that reveals if you lived a life consistent with your beliefs.
 
“For example, if I produced hateful music that insulted my Creator, than I would be making inconsistent art.
 
“In any case, I love making music and I have many listeners around the world from a variety of background and faiths and I'll tell you what: we have a lot in common..... Celtic & fantasy inspired music is one of them!

“So I hope this answers that question and I hope to keep creating music that you love to listen to.
 
“My desire is that it inspires you and brings a measure of joy to your world, wherever you are at; wherever you are today.”

LEAH online: http://leahmusic.net, http://leahmchenry.com & www.facebook.com/LEAHthemusic

 

Update: October 30, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

ENERGEMA - World Of Zionix Lyric Video Posted Online:
Bogotá, Columbia based melodic power metal act ENERGEMA just released online a lyric video for their new single “World Of Zionix”.  The song comes off the groups highly anticipated sophomore album of the same name, which is scheduled to be released via Sleazy Rider Records in 2017.

World Of Zionix was produced by ENERGEMA and recorded at Alt+164 Studio (Ontario, Canada), Yara Records studio (Armenia, Colombia) and Meggido Records studio (Bogota, Colombia). 

Cover artwork was contributed by Dusan Markovic.

ENERGEMA line up:

Alejandro Pinzon - Vocals
Nicolas Waldo - Composer / Lead Guitar I
Andres Parada - Lead Guitar II
Daniel Pinzon - Bass
Leandro Arias - Drums

World Of Zionix track listing:

1. “At The Gates Of Justice Sun (Overture)”
2. “The World Of Zionix”
3. “The Z - Cyphers”
4. “Aren”
5. “Angel Dust”
6. “Teris”
7. “The March Of Varnir”
8. “Blue Fire Torch”
9. “The Hermit Of Telvan”
10. “Energema Fire Of Creation”

ENERGEMA online: www.facebook.com/energemaband

LIPSTICK Premier “Cha La Head Cha La” Music Video:
Nashville, TN - October 26, 2016 - The theatrical rock band, LIPSTICK, have debuted their new music video for a song called “Cha La Head Cha La”. Originally a Japanese progressive rock song by Hironobu Kageyama, the song served as the theme song to the television show Dragonball Z. LIPSTICK have recorded a new version of the song for their upcoming album, Lipstick II. The stunning video features LIPSTICK in a live-action recreation of the style of Dragonball Z, complete with flying through the air, laser blasts, and people being punched through mountains.

Ryan Michael Rehnborg of Surly Urchin produced the video.

Lipstick II is now available for pre-order on the band's website: www.lipstickgeneration.com/merch

Lipstick II features a wide array of guest musicians on the album, including Billy Morris (WARRANT/QUIET RIOT), Tom Pappas (SUPERDRAG), Jace McLain (NUCLEAR BUBBLE WARP), and the narrator of the English version of Dragonball Z, Kyle Hebert. The album is scheduled for release on January 25, 2017.

ABOUT LIPSTICK: LIPSTICK is a theatrical rock band based in Nashville, TN. The band is a musical collective led by two core musicians, Greg Troyan (vocals) and Stephen Smith (bass) with a large number of backing musicians filling out the rest of the lineup. The band is known for epic stage shows driven by catchy, optimistic, hard rock.

Lipstick - Lipstick II

LIPSTICK online: www.lipstickgeneration.com & www.facebook.com/lipstickgeneration

NEWS BRIEFS

* Jesus Freak Hideout interview with Matt Smith of THEOCRACY: www.jesusfreakhideout.com/interviews/Theocracy2016.asp

* V7, the new THE SEVENTH POWER album from guitarist Bill Menchen, will be released on October 31, 2016.  The albums ten tracks were recorded between 1999-2004 and include early versions of THE SEVENTH POWER songs while others have never been previously released.

Track listing: “Anthem Song”, “Better The Devil”, “Einstein”, “Eyes In Disguise”, “Feeling The Love”, “Higher”, “Ice Age”, “Light”, “Mr. Wizard”, “Ocean”, “Out To Sea” & Twenty Twenty Five”

 

Update: October 16, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

THEOCRACY - “Ghost Ship” Music Video Posted Online:
Press Release / The Athens, Georgia-based melodic metal band THEOCRACY just released a music video for the title track from their highly anticipated new album Ghost Ship. The album will be released on October 28th in Europe and North America through Ulterium Records.

Ghost Ship will be available on CD, 2LP and as a digital download. The 2LP edition is strictly limited to 1001 copies worldwide. 750 copies comes with black vinyl discs and 251 copies comes with white vinyl discs.

With Ghost Ship, THEOCRACY perfects the lively and fully-realized sound of As the World Bleeds, delivering 10 muscular and streamlined tracks that never lose focus and combine for one memorable journey. You like mid tempo sing along anthems? Try the “Ghost Ship” title track. Thrashy rhythms and intensity?  “The Wonder of It All” should be to your liking. Emotional ballads with huge melodic hooks? Go “Around the World and Back.”  Or if you prefer epic, progressive tracks that do all these things and more, 10-minute album closer “Easter” is sure to be a favorite. Each song on Ghost Ship stands alone and has a unique signature, but every moment sounds unmistakably like THEOCRACY.

“So many kids were coming up to us after shows and telling us their stories,” says THEOCRACY vocalist Matt Smith. “A lot of them were searching for purpose and a place to fit in, and having grown up as an awkward and unpopular kid myself, their words really stuck with me. I started thinking about what a band of misfits Jesus’ disciples were: fishermen, tax collectors, and people of little consequence in the eyes of the world. Sometimes the ones most people don’t see, or choose to look straight through - the ghosts of society, as it were, dead to the world - end up having the biggest impact. That’s where the title and idea for Ghost Ship came from: all the misfits, the un cool, the outcasts, there is a place where you do fit in. Although Ghost Ship is not a concept album, this is a recurring theme, particularly in the title track and “Castaway.’”

Ghost Ship track listing:

1. “Paper Tiger”
2. “Ghost Ship”
3. “The Wonder Of It All”
4. “Wishing Well”
5. “Around the World and Back”
6. “Stir the Embers”
7. “A Call To Arms”
8. “Currency In A Bankrupt World”
9. “Castaway”
10. “Easter”

Ghost Ship European Tour confirmed dates:

Fri 4/11 - Hall of Fame - Wetzikon, Switzerland
Sat 5/11 - Kreatief - Neckarsulm, Germany
Sun 6/11 - Exit-US - Prague, Czech Republic
Tue 8/11 - Collosseum - Kosice, Slovakia
Thu 10/11 - Melodka - Brno, Czech Republic
Fri 11/11 - DGH Niederaula - Niederjossa/Hessen, Germany
Sat 12/11 - Brainstorm Festival - Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Theocracy - Ghost Ship

Ulterium Records online: www.ulterium-records.com & www.facebook.com/ulteriumrecords

THEOCRACY online: www.theocracymusic.com & www.facebook.com/theocracyband

THE NEAL MORSE BAND Premiere “City Of Destruction” Music Video:
“City Of Destruction”, the new music video from The Neal Morse Band, premiered October 12, 2016 at www.guitarworld.com.

The song is from the band's new double-disc concept album, The Similitude Of A Dream, which is due out November 11 on Radiant Records via Metal Blade Records/Sony.

It will be the eighth studio album with singer/guitarist/keyboardist Neal Morse, drummer Mike Portnoy and bassist Randy George and the second true collaboration with the band's current lineup, which includes keyboardist Bill Hubauer and guitarist Eric Gillette.

"The Similitude Of A Dream is loosely - and sometimes directly - based on The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan," Morse says.

"The book’s original title was 'The Pilgrim’s Progress From This World To That Which Is to Come, Delivered Under the Similitude Of A Dream,' and it was published in 1678. The book chronicles the spiritual journey of a man from the City of Destruction to the place of deliverance. Someone had suggested that I do a concept album based on this book, but I kind of forgot about it.

"Then when I began writing new songs last December, the suggestion came to my mind. I had never read the book, so I Googled the SparkNotes story outline and began to write some little song bits and instrumentals based on what I had read. Those bits, combined with the ideas that the other guys brought to the table, miraculously exploded into this double concept album. Funny thing is, this album really only covers about the first 75 or 80 pages (of the book). Maybe we should've made a five-disc collection! Well, we'll save that for later.”

"I honestly think this is the album of my career,” Portnoy adds. “Neal and I have now made 18 studio albums together, and I consider The Similitude Of A Dream the absolute creative pinnacle of our collaborations. I've always had a soft spot for double concept albums such as Pink Floyd's The Wall and the Who's Tommy, and I can bravely say I think we've created an album that can sit side by side with those masterpieces. Bold words, I know, but after a career of almost 50 albums, I honestly consider this to be one of the defining works of my career.”

George adds: “We weren’t sure we had enough music to make a double CD, and yet it seemed as though the concept and the music wanted to go there. Ultimately, we created so much great music in the sessions that it just had to be a double album. To cap that off, we worked with a pre-eminent classic album cover artist to create illustrations of our concept, which will grace the booklet.”

One thing's for sure: Clocking in at over 100 minutes, The Similitude Of A Dream is an amazing piece of prog-rock storytelling. It'll be available in various formats: a two-CD package, a Special Edition with and as three vinyl records with two CDs.

The Similitude Of A Dream track listing:

Disc 1:

1. “Long Day”
2. “Overture”
3. “The Dream”
4. “City Of Destruction”
5. “We Have Got To Go”
6. “Makes No Sense”
7. “Draw The Line”
8. “The Slough”
9. “Back To The City”
10. “The Ways Of A Fool”
11. “So Far Gone”
12. “Breath Of Angels”

Disc 2:

1. “Slave To Your Mind”
2. “Shortcut To Salvation”
3. “The Man In The Iron Cage”
4. “The Road Called Home”
5. “Sloth”
6. “Freedom Song”
7. “I'm Running”
8. “The Mask”
9. “Confrontation”
10. “The Battle”
11. “Broken Sky / Long Day (Reprise)”

The Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream

THE NEAL MORSE BAND online: www.nealmorse.com & www.facebook.com/nealmorse

Amos - Jade

AMOS Sign With Roxx Records For New Album, Jade:
Press Release / Roxx Records is happy to announce the signing of one of the pioneers of the Brazilian underground Christian Music scene. Please join us in welcoming the gothic rock and metal sounds of AMOS to our roster.
 
AMOS was formed in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil in the year 1994, in the early years of their career the band featured heavy influences in the Doom metal scene. It would not be until 1998 they would release their first demo tape titled Comfort In Trouble, even though the quality of this demo was not the best, states the band, it received many nice reviews from various media outlets.
 
After the release of the demo and a few lineup changes AMOS would start to finally compose some new material. By 1999 the band would release their second effort entitled Gothic Soul which was of far better quality then that original demo. By this time the band had dropped the heavy doom sound and were now more heavily influenced by straight up heavy metal, still with a tinge of a Gothic sound all the while still trying to maintain some of that original doom influence. This new CD was heavily praised in Brazil, and was soon released in the US and Europe with a great reception all over the world. Unfortunately, it would not be quite enough to get the band more exposure or allow them to tour and expand all over the world.
 
It would not be until 2005 the band would re-master and reissue the now out of print album Gothic Soul and include 3 previously unreleased bonus tracks. But that was just meant to be something to hold the fans over because 2005 would also catch the attention of US label Bombworks Records who would sign the band and release the band’s brand new and second full length release entitled A Matter of Time.
 
Next up in 2006 would come another independently released EP entitled Lost Essence which had the band wanting to do something very different from A Matter of Time with a very heavy-prog-gothic metal sound!

Up next 2009 would see the band release their first DVD entitled 9408, which was followed by another first for the band with the release of an Acoustic EP that would be aptly titled Amos Acoustic. Unfortunately, 2009 would be the year AMOS ended their activity as a band. The band had started recording their follow up full-length album that was never completed or released as the band would go on a permanent hiatus until now.

Fast Forward to 2016 and Amos will rise again, signing on with Roxx Records to release the band’s brand new album entitled Jade. The band and Roxx are very excited to bring you this new album Jade as it has been kept under wraps and not released or revealed in its entirety until now.
 
This new album is a very mature album for AMOS, very modern, and gothic based heavy. With brand new beautiful cover art this complete package will please AMOS fans the world over. As an added bonus, this new release has sparked a lot of activity in the AMOS camp and you just may see a return to the stage very very soon!
 
But for now get ready to pick up the brand new release Jade and start to enjoy the return of AMOS! Releasing on October 31st this is one Christian Metal release you will not want to miss this year!

Jade track listing:

1. “Still Believe:
2. “Devotion”
3. “Called From The Dark”
4. “Stranger Loves”
5. “Lost Essence”
6. “Surrender”
7. “Infinite”
8. “Jade”
9. “Prodigal Girl”
10. “Wait For You”

AMOS  online: www.facebook.com/AMOS

 For full details and pre order at: http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/products/18170192-amos-jade-2016

NEWS BRIEFS

* Unspoken, the debut solo album of guitarist Michael Cutting (HOLY SOLDIER), will be released in late October.  The album is available for pre-order at: www.michaelcutting.com/store

* S91 teaser for new album Behold The Mankind: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MqPWFeTfkw

Behold The Mankind is scheduled for release on November 7, 2016 via Underground Symphony Records.

* Adelaide, Australia based SONIC DIVIDE is currently at work on the follow album to its self-titled debut from 2013.  The group is going the ‘one song at a time route’, with the first being “The Sound Of U” in which it recently recorded a video. www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg7O3Iiz-CU

* Update from THE WORLD WILL BURN regarding new album:

“We have written and recorded all of the songs for the new album, with 6 of them completed.  We continue to refine and improve the remaining songs but should have them how we want them in a week or so.  Our designer is working on the cover, we have chosen a name, and we will be announcing more details soon.  Check back and tell your friends.  We are excited about this project and think you will love it more than Severity!

“We are also proud to announce that we have partnered with talented video producer Ryan Pierson to film a video to the song "The More Things Change".  So far, we have been amazed by his vision and artistry. He has been extremely adaptable, considering we live on different continents!  Stay tuned...”

 

Update: October 9, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Thee Final Chaptre promo pic

THEE FINAL CHAPTRE - It Is Written Re-issue On Divebomb Records:
Release date is scheduled for October 14, 2016:

Press Release / With origins dating back to early-to mid-’80s acts DEUS VULT and DIVINE RIGHT, New Orleans, LA’s THEE FINAL CHAPTRE got its start around 1989, when guitarist Gary Wilson was driven to put together a new, more intense and resolute group of musicians. The band laid its foundation performing a mix of covers and originals around area bars, eventually solidifying its lineup with David Osbourn on drums, Paul Starnes handling bass duties, and front man Andrew “Tripp” Whittington.

Drawing influences from an assortment of hard rock and metal - UFO, KISS, QUEENSRŸCHE, IRON MAIDEN, METALLICA, EXODUS, etc - as well as their Christian metal predecessors such as STRYPER, DELIVERANCE & TOURNIQUET; THEE FINAL CHAPTRE forged an explosively diverse sound centered around hard-charging guitar riffs, a locked-in rhythm section, and Whittington’s soaring vocal prowess. This ultimately landed the group a deal with WEI Records for the release of their lone six-song album, It Is Written, in 1991.

However - despite capturing the interest of Polygram subsidiary Jaguar Records - due to limited touring opportunities, managerial mishaps, burgeoning creative differences, and the changing landscape of the metal scene, THEE FINAL CHAPTRE had fallen apart before the end of 1992… thus unable to capitalize on the true potential of their songwriting firepower.

But now, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the original cassette release through WEI, Divebomb Records is proud to announce - for the first time ever on CD - this Deluxe Edition of THEE FINAL CHAPTRE‘s It Is Written. Sourced directly from the DAT master, the album has been digitally re-mastered alongside nine previously unreleased live bonus tracks; packaged with updated cover art by Steven Cobb, archival photographs straight from the band, and an all-new interview with founder Gary Wilson conducted by Olaf Becker. For the fans, by the fans!

For fans of: CRIMSON GLORY, QUEENSRYCHE, HEIR APPARENT, LETHAL, HITTMAN & STRYPER

It Is Written track listing:

1. “Day After Day”
2. “The Key”
3. “The Hallowed Hymn”
4. “Come As You Are”
5. “All For One”
6. “Don’t Let It Run You Down (Thunder Trilogy, Part I)”

Bonus tracks:

7. “Just A Memory” (Demo)
8. “Blood In The Sand” (Live)
9. “Insane” (Live)
10. “Wisdom’s Call” (Live)
11. “Whisper To Scream” (Live)
12. “Edge Of Sadness” (Live)
13. “Just A Memory” (Live)
14. “Bullet In The Chamber” (Live)
15. “Armageddon” (Live)
16. “Black Rain” (Live)

The Final Chaptre - It is Written - Deluxe Edition

It Is Written samples: https://tribunalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/it-is-written-deluxe-edition

It Is Written pre-order: http://tribunalrecords.bigcartel.com/product/thee-final-chaptre-it-is-written-deluxe-edition

NEWS BRIEFS

* " The Remnant” is a new instrumental track from guitarist Dennis Cameron (ANGELICA, CYNICAL LIMIT): www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUfbeN2vzhk

* THE CRIMSON BRIDGE MINISTRY released the first single, “Never Letting Go”, from its second (upcoming) album Choices: www.thecrimsonbridgeministry.com

* V7 is the title to the new THE SEVENTH POWER album from guitarist Bill Menchen.  Featured are 12 tracks the artist wrote and recorded from 1999-2004.  Some are early version of THE SEVENTH POWER songs while others have been never been previously released.

* Live footage of TEMPLE OF BLOOD from September 9, 2016 performing a new song entitled “A Show Of Force”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIZj0OipuJM

Look for “A Show Of Force” to be the title track to the group’s next album.

 

Update: October 2, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

THEOCRACY - “Wishing Well” Official Lyric Video:
Press Release / The Athens, Georgia-based melodic metal band THEOCRACY just released a lyric video for the track "Wishing Well" from their highly anticipated new album Ghost Ship.  The album will be released on October 28th in Europe and North America through Ulterium Records.

Ghost Ship will be available on CD, 2LP and as a digital download. The 2LP edition is strictly limited to 1001 copies worldwide. 750 copies comes with black vinyl discs and 251 copies comes with white vinyl discs.

With Ghost Ship, THEOCRACY perfects the lively and fully-realized sound of As the World Bleeds, delivering 10 muscular and streamlined tracks that never lose focus and combine for one memorable journey. You like mid tempo sing along anthems? Try the “Ghost Ship” title track. Thrashy rhythms and intensity?  “The Wonder of It All” should be to your liking. Emotional ballads with huge melodic hooks? Go “Around the World and Back.”  Or if you prefer epic, progressive tracks that do all these things and more, 10-minute album closer “Easter” is sure to be a favorite. Each song on Ghost Ship stands alone and has a unique signature, but every moment sounds unmistakably like THEOCRACY.

“So many kids were coming up to us after shows and telling us their stories,” says THEOCRACY vocalist Matt Smith. “A lot of them were searching for purpose and a place to fit in, and having grown up as an awkward and unpopular kid myself, their words really stuck with me. I started thinking about what a band of misfits Jesus’ disciples were: fishermen, tax collectors, and people of little consequence in the eyes of the world. Sometimes the ones most people don’t see, or choose to look straight through - the ghosts of society, as it were, dead to the world - end up having the biggest impact. That’s where the title and idea for Ghost Ship came from: all the misfits, the un cool, the outcasts, there is a place where you do fit in. Although Ghost Ship is not a concept album, this is a recurring theme, particularly in the title track and “Castaway.’”

Ghost Ship track listing:

1. “Paper Tiger”
2. “Ghost Ship”
3. “The Wonder Of It All”
4. “Wishing Well”
5. “Around the World and Back”
6. “Stir the Embers”
7. “A Call To Arms”
8. “Currency In A Bankrupt World”
9. “Castaway”
10. “Easter”

Ghost Ship European Tour confirmed dates:

Fri 4/11 - Hall of Fame - Wetzikon, Switzerland
Sat 5/11 - Kreatief - Neckarsulm, Germany
Sun 6/11 - Exit-US - Prague, Czech Republic
Tue 8/11 - Collosseum - Kosice, Slovakia
Thu 10/11 - Melodka - Brno, Czech Republic
Fri 11/11 - DGH Niederaula - Niederjossa/Hessen, Germany
Sat 12/11 - Brainstorm Festival - Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Theocracy - Ghost Ship

Ulterium Records online: www.ulterium-records.com & www.facebook.com/ulteriumrecords

THEOCRACY online: www.theocracymusic.com & www.facebook.com/theocracyband

Stryper - To Hell With The Devil 30th Anniversary Tour

STRYPER To Go On Hiatus Following To Hell With The Devil 30th-Anniversay Tour:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

Veteran rockers STRYPER have announced plans to "take a hiatus" following the completion of their tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of their multi-platinum album To Hell With The Devil.

Says the band in a statement: "As many of you know, we are preparing a tour to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of To Hell With The Devil. Although we're extremely excited about this tour, our band and ministry is facing a crossroads for a variety of reasons, including some personal matters affecting our bassist, Tim Gaines, that have affected the unity of our band.

"As a result, upon the conclusion of this tour, we have decided to take a hiatus to allow each band member to think and pray about the direction of the band going forward.

"We believe the right thing to do is to be open with all of you so we can continue on with integrity and put to rest any false rumors and accusations. We also believe we must honor our commitments in moving forward with the tour.

"The name STRYPER is very important to us. What (and who) it represents is even more important. We take what we do very seriously as a band and ministry and we believe it's our duty to take this hiatus based on our faith, so we can move forward in the right way.

"We do appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

"God Bless you all."

In a recent interview with The Swerve Magazine, STRYPER front man Michael Sweet was asked how it has been working with the same guys in the band for most of the group's three-decade-plus-long career. He responded: "Well, I mean, I'll be honest. I'm not going to lie to anybody. It's not easy. We have our issues. There are four strong personalities in this band. I'm the most boisterous. I'm the guy that talks a lot and people hear from the most, but I think if you heard from the other three guys, you would know exactly what I'm talking about. Everybody has opinions, and we're not on the same page many times. We don't see eye to eye. We have our arguments and our times of frustrations with one another."

He continued: "We made a pact to stay together. When we decide that we shouldn't stay together, that's when STRYPER will end, because I don't want to continue on without Robert (Sweet, drums), or without Tim (Gaines, bass), or without Oz (Fox, guitar). I think that it's important that the four of us stay together, or it's not STRYPER. At that point in time, if we're not getting along we need to call it quits, and not replace each other.

"I hate it when bands start replacing their band members. You know what? It degrades the band and the brand. It's not fair to fans.

"I understand in a situation where, let's say, somebody passes away, and the other three or four guys want to continue, and they had the blessing of that person. That's a different situation, but what I'm referring to is all the bickering. You've got four guys in the band, and they don't get along, so they all go off and do their own version of that band. I mean, I just think that's a joke, a complete joke."

The To Hell With The Devil 30th-anniversary tour is scheduled to kick off on September 29 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Released by Enigma Records on October 24, 1986, the Grammy-nominated To Hell With The Devil is the band's third studio album and the first Christian metal album to achieve platinum status.

STRYPER's latest album, Fallen, entered The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 43 with first-week sales of just over 10,000 units - nearly all from pure album sales. The set follows the No. 35-peaking No More Hell To Pay, which was released in 2013.

STRYPER online: www.stryper.com & www.facebook.com/Stryper

 

Update: September 18, 2016

FEATURED REVIEWS

BIG CHRIS & D’BARE BONES BAND - When Your Time Comes
It doesn’t take long to realize that When Your Time Comes, the August of 2016 debut full length of Big Chris & D’Bare Bones Band, is a special album.  Read Full Review >>

ENERGEMA - The Lion’s Forces
Every once in a while, the hard music world produces an unexpected sleeper, an under-the-radar band with the acumen to literally blow more established acts out of the water and make a significant name for itself in the process.  Read Full Review >>

JOSHUA’S CREED - Joshua’s Creed
The summer of 2016 debut full length of Kalispell, Montana based Joshua’s Creed has all the bases covered when it comes to coalescing the best aspects of traditional and classic heavy metal: resounding guitars that command a forward place in the mix, a strapping bass presence anchoring the low end and commanding lead vocals of the projection filled variety.  Read Full Review >>

MY DARKEST TIME - The Last
A joining of the Gothic, doom like and the symphonic, that would be the best way to describe The Last, the summer of 2016 fourth full-length album Skopje, Macedonia based My Darkest Time.  Read Full Review >>

NARNIA - Narnia
Narnia finds the group returning to its musical roots with a throwback sound that draws heavily upon melodic metal but mixed with occasional elements of neo-classical power metal.  Read Full Review >>

OBLIVION MYTH - Inside The Mirror
There are plenty of reasons you might like the idea of making Inside The Mirror, the summer of 2016 sophomore release of Nashville, Tennessee based Oblivion Myth, a priority purchase.  Read Full Review >>

PŸLON - A Lament
Switzerland’s Pÿlon answers multiple doom metal questions.  Read Full Review >>

SWEET CRYSTAL - 5 Carat Rock
Here’s a factoid that might make you feel old: Detroit, Michigan based Sweet Crystal has been around for more than 40 years.  Read Full Review >>

INTERVIEWS

Oblivion Myth promo pic

New OBLIVION MYTH Interview Online:
Angelic Warlord had the recent opportunity to interview OBLIVION MYTH vocalist Tim McDonald, who goes into detail about the about the bands background, details behind Inside The Mirror and future plans of the band as well.  Following is an excerpt:

Also, what is the meaning behind the name Oblivion Myth?  How does the band’s name tie into its slogan that "Eternity is real, Oblivion is just a Myth?
That’s really a statement about our Christian faith and belief in an afterlife, a Heaven, and that we go on after dying in this life.  We aren’t just worm food and it all fades to black.  Most people kind of understand this on an instinctive level. 

Read full interview: HERE

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

THE NEAL MORSE BAND Announce New Album, The Similitude Of A Dream:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

The journey of Neal Morse has seen three decades of musical accomplishments, the latest being the inception of THE NEAL MORSE BAND. Morse has forged many relationships over the years with his other bands, SPOCK'S BEARD, FLYING COLORS and TRANSATLANTIC. However, the most compelling and fruitful efforts have been those with drummer Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, TWISTED SISTER, ex-DREAM THEATER).

Now the current lineup of THE NEAL MORSE BAND - Morse, Portnoy, bassist Randy George, keyboardist Bill Hubauer and guitarist Eric Gillette - brings forth The Similitude Of A Dream, a concept album to be released November 11 on Radiant Records via Metal Blade Records/Sony.

This will be the eighth studio album with Morse, Portnoy and George, and the second as a true collaboration with this current lineup. A lyric video for the song "Overture" is now available above.

Clocking in at over a hundred minutes, this amazing piece of progressive storytelling will leave you breathless, exhilarated, amused and fulfilled in a way that only inspired music can. It will be available in various formats: a two CD package, a special edition with the two CDs and The Making Of A Dream DVD, or as three vinyl records along with two CDs.

Together, Morse and Portnoy have launched four bands, but the one that has endured the longest and thus with the most musical output has been THE NEAL MORSE BAND. Over the years, Morse, along with Portnoy and George, always assembled musicians as needed to support Neal's solo music. In 2012, they held auditions to find the musicians needed to fill out the band as a permanent lineup that would write music collectively. Hubauer and Gillette joined the band after three days of auditions. The ‘fivesome’ went on to release The Grand Experiment in 2014 followed by the Alive Again live DVD/2 CD package in 2015.

As Neal Morse explains: "'The Similitude Of A Dream' is loosely and sometimes directly based on the book Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. The book's original title was The Pilgrim's Progress from this world to the that which is to come, delivered under the similitude of a dream, and it was originally published in 1678. The book chronicles the spiritual journey of a man from the City of Destruction to the place of Deliverance. Someone had suggested to me that I do a concept album based on this book, but I kind of forgot about it. Then when I began writing new songs last December, the suggestion came to my mind. I had never read the book, so I Googled the SparkNotes story outline and began to write some little song bits and instrumentals based on what I had read. Those bits combined with the ideas that the other guys brought to the table then miraculously exploded into this double concept album. Funny thing is, this album only really covers about the first 75 or 80 pages. Maybe we should've made a five disc collection! Well, we'll save that for later. Ha."

He continues: "At the conclusion of the grueling recording sessions, I remember Mike saying rather prophetically, 'Boys, I think we just made the album of our careers.'"

"I honestly think this is the album of my career," declares Portnoy. "Neal and I have now made 18 studio albums together, and I consider The Similitude Of A Dream the absolute creative pinnacle of our collaborations together. I've always had a soft spot for double concept albums such as PINK FLOYD's The Wall and THE WHO's Tommy, and I can bravely say that I think we've created an album here that can sit side by side with those masterpieces. Bold words, I know, but after a career of almost 50 albums, I honestly consider this to be one of the defining works of my career."

"We weren't sure we had enough music to make a double CD, and yet it seemed as though the concept and the music wanted to go there," bassist Randy George continues. "Ultimately, we created so much great music in the sessions that it just had to be a double album! To cap that off, we worked with a pre-imminent classic album cover artist to create painted illustrations of our concept which will grace the booklet!"

The Similitude Of A Dream track listing:

Disc 1:

1. “Long Day”
2. “Overture”
3. “The Dream”
4. “City Of Destruction”
5. “We Have Got To Go”
6. “Makes No Sense”
7. “Draw The Line”
8. “The Slough”
9. “Back To The City”
10. “The Ways Of A Fool”
11. “So Far Gone”
12. “Breath Of Angels”

Disc 2:

1. “Slave To Your Mind”
2. “Shortcut To Salvation”
3. “The Man In The Iron Cage”
4. “The Road Called Home”
5. “Sloth”
6. “Freedom Song”
7. “I'm Running”
8. “The Mask”
9. “Confrontation”
10. “The Battle”
11. “Broken Sky / Long Day (Reprise)”

THE NEAL MORSE BAND tours worldwide almost yearly and continues to grow in popularity, attracting new listeners everywhere they go. The band has toured in North America, Central America, Europe, Israel, Mexico and India. The shows are filled with excited and extremely loyal fans, some which have regularly traveled very long distances to see the band. The band has an extensive catalog of live shows on Blu-ray and DVD as well.

Their latest round of worldwide tour dates start January 15, 2017 in Morse's current hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. More dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Neal Morse Band - The Similitude Of A Dream

THE NEAL MORSE BAND online: www.nealmorse.com & www.facebook.com/nealmorse

NARNIA - “I Still Believe” Music Video Released:
Press Release / Swedish melodic metal band NARNIA just released online a music video for their new single "I Still Believe".  The song comes off the highly anticipated self-titled NARNIA album, which was released on September 16, 2016.

On the new self-titled album NARNIA re-visits their melodic roots but with an updated sound, and creating a perfect blend; a powerful production by CJ Grimmark, mixed and mastered by Thomas “Plec” Johansson.

Narnia line-up 2016:

Christian Liljegren - Vocals
CJ Grimmark - Guitars, keyboards & backing vocals
Andreas “Habo” Johansson - Drums
Martin Härenstam - Keyboards
Andreas Passmark - Bass

Throughout the years, NARNIA has been established as one of the leading forces in melodic, neoclassical metal, with a strong reputation of being a great live act that always delivers. And so it continues… The fans are asking for more and the band is hungrier than ever!

Upcoming NARNIA tour dates:

September 23rd: Scenen Sofiehof Underjord - Jönköping, Sweden
September 24th: Nalen Klubb (Alcazar) - Stockholm, Sweden
September 25th: iNTiMAN - Västerås, Sweden
November 5th: Faddergalan - Kungsängen, Sweden
November 11th: Brainstorm Festival - Apeldoorn, Netherlands

More tour dates to be announced soon.

Narnia track listing:

1. “Reaching For The Top”
2. “I Still Believe”
3. “On The Highest Mountain”
4. “Thank You”
5. “One Way To The Promised Land”
6. “Messengers”
7. “Who Do You Follow?”
8. “Moving On”
9. “Set The World On Fire”

Narnia - Narnia

NARNIA online: www.narniatheband.com & www.facebook.com/narniatheband

Sleeping Romance - Enlighten

SLEEPING ROMANCE - Enlighten Vinyl Edition Announced:
Press Release / Ulterium Records will release a limited edition vinyl version of Enlighten, the debut album from the symphonic metal band SLEEPING ROMANCE. The LP will be strictly limited to 300 copies and the release date is set to October 7th.

Enlighten was originally released November 1, 2013 (Europe) and December 3, 2013 (North America) also via Ulterium.

Fronted by the emotional vocals of Federica Lanna and the epic songwriting from guitar player Federico Truzzi, SLEEPING ROMANCE creates something really exciting together that should appeal to fans in the scene.

Enlighten was mastered by Roberto Priori (LOS ANGELS, DANGER ZONE, VISION DIVINE) and the artwork was created by Felipe Machado Franco (BLIND GUARDIAN, RHAPSODY OF FIRE, ICED EARTH).

Enlighten LP track listing:

Side A:

1. “Hybrid Overture”
2. “Enlighten”
3. “The Promise Inside”
4. “Soul Reborn”
5. “Free Me”

Side B:

1. “December Flower”
2. “Finding My Way”
3. “Passion Lost”
4. “Devil's Cave”
5. “Aeternum”

Link to "The Promise Inside" music video: https://youtu.be/BzyH2bNenPQ

Ulterium Records online: www.ulterium-records.com & www.facebook.com/ulteriumrecords

SLEEPING ROMANCE online: www.sleeping-romance.com & www.facebook.com/sleepingromanceofficial

NEWS BRIEFS

* The fourth and fifth editions to the Roxx Records Underground Series include vinyl releases of the sixth PŸLON album Homo Homini Lupas as well as Hell Blade by SAINT, respectively. Homo Homini Lupas is set for release in the near future, while Hell Blade will be coming out the first quarter of 2017.

* Excellent Dead To Self Radio interview with guitarist Dennis Cameron (ANGELICA): http://www.deadtoselfradio.com/interview.php?artist=Angelica

* IMAGES OF EDEN is currently at work on demos for its upcoming release entitled Soulrise: “It has been a long time coming. After some member changes this past summer, everything started moving forward again with great momentum. I can honestly say that this is the absolute best Images of Eden lineup to date. All members finally share the same vision, direction and level of motivation/ dedication. So, the demos for Soulrise are tracked and now currently being mixed to be submitted for release. We will keep you posted.”

* ”Nightmare”, new single from REIGN: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nightmare-single/id1153619470

 

Update: September 11, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

THEOCRACY - Ghost Ship Album Teaser Posted Online:
Press Release / The Athens, Georgia-based melodic metal band THEOCRACY will release their new album Ghost Ship on October 28th in Europe and North America through Ulterium Records.  A Ghost Ship album teaser can be viewed above.

Ghost Ship will be available on CD, 2LP and digital. The 2LP edition is strictly limited to 1001 copies worldwide. 750 copies comes with black vinyl discs and 251 copies comes with white vinyl discs.

With Ghost Ship, THEOCRACY perfects the lively and fully-realized sound of As the World Bleeds, delivering 10 muscular and streamlined tracks that never lose focus and combine for one memorable journey. You like mid tempo sing along anthems? Try the “Ghost Ship” title track. Thrashy rhythms and intensity?  “The Wonder of It All” should be to your liking. Emotional ballads with huge melodic hooks? Go “Around the World and Back.”  Or if you prefer epic, progressive tracks that do all these things and more, 10-minute album closer “Easter” is sure to be a favorite. Each song on Ghost Ship stands alone and has a unique signature, but every moment sounds unmistakably like THEOCRACY.

“So many kids were coming up to us after shows and telling us their stories,” says THEOCRACY vocalist Matt Smith. “A lot of them were searching for purpose and a place to fit in, and having grown up as an awkward and unpopular kid myself, their words really stuck with me. I started thinking about what a band of misfits Jesus’ disciples were: fishermen, tax collectors, and people of little consequence in the eyes of the world. Sometimes the ones most people don’t see, or choose to look straight through - the ghosts of society, as it were, dead to the world - end up having the biggest impact. That’s where the title and idea for Ghost Ship came from: all the misfits, the un cool, the outcasts, there is a place where you do fit in. Although Ghost Ship is not a concept album, this is a recurring theme, particularly in the title track and “Castaway.’”

Ghost Ship track listing:

1. “Paper Tiger”
2. “Ghost Ship”
3. “The Wonder Of It All”
4. “Wishing Well”
5. “Around the World and Back”
6. “Stir the Embers”
7. “A Call To Arms”
8. “Currency In A Bankrupt World”
9. “Castaway”
10. “Easter”

Theocracy - Ghostp Ship

Ulterium Records online: www.ulterium-records.com & www.facebook.com/ulteriumrecords

THEOCRACY online: www.theocracymusic.com & www.facebook.com/theocracyband

S91 - Behold The Mankind

S91 Signs With Underground Symphony Records:
Press Release / Underground Symphony are proud to announce a deal with Italian progressive metal band S91 for its second full-length album Behold The Mankind.

A Christian band drawing its name from Psalm 91, S91 will be releasing Behold The Mankind via Underground Symphony on November 7, 2016 as a deluxe digipak edition.  Fans of DELAIN, DARKWATER and SHADOW GALLERY will appreciate how S91 mixes modern shades, psychedelic nuances and complex time signatures with a progressive basis.

Behold The Mankind comes out in follow up to the S91 debut EP Sto Per Tornare from 2009 and 2011 full length offering Volonta Legata.

The album was produced by Cristiano Bertocchi (VISION DIVINE, LABYRINTH, WIND ROSE0, while Christian Liljegren (NARNIA, GOLDEN RESURRECTION, DIVINEFIRE) makes a guest appearance on the track “The Cry Of Life”.

Behold The Mankind is a concept album about the history of mankind based on Christian theology. In this album we talk about how since mankind's beginning, it has undergone rapid corruption by creating communities with strong social imbalances. This is because men and women carry an incurable evil within themselves that is only curable through the intervention of the Creator. Throughout history, we often see revolutionary movements that tend to open the door to even more ferocious regimes. God seeks to redeem humanity by calling an insignificant man to himself, from whose offspring will be born a man that will be God's incarnate and with him he will die and be resurrected. The story of the land of Israel and Christ is a metaphor of the story of humanity. Today individuals are called to die and resurrect as members of a group.

S91 line up:

Mari - Lead Vocals
Franz - Lead Vocals & Guitar
Frank - Keyboards
Jack - Bass
Giacomino - Drums

Behold The Mankind track listing:

1. “The Cry Of Life”
2. “Wandering Souls”
3. “Slaves And Kings”
4. “The Calling”
5. “Blind Revolutions”
6. “The Son Of God”
7. “Sacrificed”
8. “The Bloody Revelation”

S91 online: www.facebook.com/S91band

JOSHUA’S CREED - “The Sky Is Falling” Lyric Video Premier:
The official lyric video for “The Sky Is Falling”, a new song from Kalispell, Montana based JOSHUA’S CREED, can be seen above.  The song comes off the group’s self-titled debut full length, which it plans to release independently on September 20, 2016.

Further details about the group from its press material:

“One could go drone on like everyone else about how cutting edge, bleeding edge, razor's edge, leading edge or dropped on the head we are. Or one could also tout how great, different. special, out of the box, revolutionary and what a breath of fresh air we are. The truth is, very few artists, bands and/or musicians are any of the things they claim to be. JOSHUA’S CREED is different in that respect: You be the judge of the music. Let the listener decide if it's good. We're just making music the way we want to make it regardless of what's popular. One thing that has been said about us: If IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST had a love child, it would be JOSHUA’S CREED.”

JOSHUA’S CREED was founded by guitarist and bassist Derek Close, who in addition to doing demo work with MY CAT PUDDINHEAD, JUDAH and ABOUT THIS BIG collaborated with SANCTYFIED on its 2007 album Flying High.  His solo material includes an instrumental Christmas album from 2011 and his 2014 The Beta Sessions release.  Vocalist Dillon Reynolds previously fronted the Christian metal band FLAWED BY DESIGN in addition to releasing an acoustic solo EP The Living Dead n 2016.  Rounding out the JOSHUA’S CREED line up is drum arranger and programmer Tanner Mack. 

Joshua’s Creed track listing:

1. “Alive”
2. “It Is Finished”
3. “The Sky Is Falling”
4. “Choose”
5. “Four Horsemen”
6. “Buried In The Womb”
7. “Consequences”
8.”God Must Be Crazy”
9. “House Of Cards”
10. “Where Everything Dies”

Joshua's Creed - Joshua's Creed

JOSHUA’S CREED online: http://joshuascreed.com & www.facebook.com/JoshuasCreedRocks

NEWS BRIEFS

* HIDEKEL is a new progressive metal band from Quito, Ecuador: www.reverbnation.com/hidekel

* David Taylor has returned as lead vocalist of JACOBS DREAM (Facebook - July 24, 2016): “Finally some good news to share with you all. We have been jamming with David Taylor for a few weeks now as he has been deciding if this is the right time to return to the music world. As of Saturday, he has decided to return to the JD line up. Im sure this will be music to the ears of all the Dave Taylor era JD fans. Obviously we are pleased to have our old friend back with us.”

Taylor was part of JACOBS DREAM at the time it released its first two albums (on Metal Blade Records), Jacobs Dream (2000) and Theater Of War (2001).

* September 23, 2016 is the release date of the new Björn Stigsson solo album entitled A New Beginning.  Track listing: “Message Of Love”, “My Heart And Soul”, “I Call Your Name”, “The Sun Goes Up”, “All I Want Is You”, “I Lift My Hands”, “Love Will Be My Way”, “Look At The Sky”, “I Will Never Lose You”, “A Place In The Sun”

Further details as they become available.

* The Metal Resource online interview with STAIRWAY: http://mauce.nl/site/an-interview-with-britsh-heavy-metal-band-stairway

* THE WORLD WILL BURN update (as reported by vocalist Dale Thompson, Facebook - September 11, 2016):  “We have 6 songs recorded and are feeling very confident in this work. The title to the new CD will be shared very soon. We are down to two titles. It is important for us to use the title which best describes the content of the CD. Alan (Zaring) and I want to thank you for your continued interest and support in TWWB. We hope to bring you quality rock that is a little different than the norm yet give you something familiar to connect with. We will once again be including the infamous Tim Bushong and his expertise behind the sound board and his contribution on guitar to make this a thought provoking and compelling piece of music with our faith being shared and God receiving the glory. God Wills it.”

 

Update: September 5, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

DELIVERANCE - New Album Video Update:
Christian thrash metal legends DELIVERANCE have announced they are working on a new album for an upcoming release. The band has posted a 23-minute video clip on YouTube where vocalist/guitarist Jimmy B. Brown II, drummer Jim Chaffin and their friend Ken Sheahan (from THE CRUCIFIED) are in the studio giving an update on their next album, which will be their first since 2013’s Hear What I Say!.

In the video, the members of DELIVERANCE reveal that they have two songs in pre-production for the album (one of which is briefly played), and describe it as their heaviest since the first two albums, their 1989 self-titled debut and 1990 follow-up Weapons Of Our Warfare.

DELIVERANCE burst onto the scene in 1986 with its critically acclaimed Greetings Of Death demo prior to Brown being accompanied by guitarist Glenn Rogers, bassist Brian Khairullah and drummer Chris Hyde for the unique METALLICA meets QUEENSRYCHE melodic speed metal and thrash of its 1989 Intense Records self-titled debut.  Ochoa supplanted Rogers for the highly regarded 1990 magnum opus Weapons Of Our Warfare and follow up effort What A Joke from 1991 (both Intense), the final of the DELIVERANCE thrash era releases.

DELIVERANCE online: www.facebook.com/DeliveranceRocks

David Benson banner

David Benson - New Album Kickstarter Campaign:
As noted by the renowned doom metal vocalist:

"It is now time to start work on the latest album Death To Black!  I would ask that you come partner with me through pledging in this Kickstarter.  Death To Black is an album that will hold many surprises and appearances and musicians to bring this album and it's themes to life.  The album will see us working with high profile producers/mixers to deliver unsurpassed quality and production to heights that we have not reached before on previous albums. Thanks very much in advance for your support and prayers as we through this journey together... and dispel the darkness!

"Each and every album has it's own unique set of challenges . But in the end all things work for the good to those called according to His purpose.  And we live to fight and dispel the darkness. Thanks very much for pledging to our effort."

The last time the hard music community heard from Benson was in 2013 and his most recent album Evil Killer, a seven song effort in which he partnered with guitarist Victor Griffin (PLACE OF SKULLS, IN-GRAVED).

The 80% Angelic Warlord review of Evil Killer reinforced the “quality to (its) material but also consistency in that each song successfully passes the test of repeat play. It also stands out in the professional production, which emphasizes full on and weighty guitars but also the type of pronounced low-end characteristic to the doom genre.  I cannot help but think bringing in a musician of Griffin’s caliber proved crucial either way.”

You can back the new David Benson album at the following link: www.kickstarter.com/projects/339989250/david-benson-death-to-black-new-album

IMPELLITTERI - Live Footage Performing At Busan International Rock Festival:
Fan filmed video footage of IMPELLITTERI performing “Warrior” on August 27 at the Busan International Rock Festival in Busan, South Korean can be seen above.  Joining guitarist Chris Impellitteri and vocalist Rob Rock onstage are bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Patrik Johansson. 

The IMPELLITTERI set list was as follows:

1. “O Fortuna”
2. “The King Is Rising”
3. “Speed Demon”
4. “Warrior”
5. “The Future Is Black”
6. “We Own The Night”
7. “Stand In Line”
8. “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”
9. “Crazy Train”
10. “Empire Of Lies”
11. “Time Machine”
12. “Mr. Crowley”
13. “Lost In The Rain”
14. “Answer To The Master”

Ozzy covers “Crazy Train” and “Mr. Crowley” were included in tribute to the time Rudy Sarzo played bass for Ozzy Osbourne.

IMPELLITTERI's latest studio album, Venom, was released on April 17, 2015 in Europe and April 21, 2015 in North America.

Venom is described in a press release as "a record filled with addictive and memorable riffs, guitar solos that feature Chris Impellitteri's blistering shredding technique coupled with strong melody and taste. Rob Rock's vocals are mesmerizing, melodic, and will make the listener sing along with each song long after the record is over. Lastly, the band boggles the mind with brutal drumming (featuring John Dette, formerly of TESTAMENT, SLAYER, etc.) filled with speed and groove and beastly bass playing (courtesy of James Pulli) that supports IMPELLITTERI's sonic madness! The result is a record that excites and musically satisfy every Metal and Rock fan, and every musician around the world. To add to their quest, IMPELLITTERI also wanted to create music that would take the listener on a musical journey thru different time periods of metal and rock."

Chris Impellitteri is heralded as one of the world's greatest guitar shredders. He has won "Best Rock Guitarist" awards in several magazines during the years for his guitar soloing. He is the first guitarist to be called the fastest guitarist in the world by the international media. IMPELLITTERI was recently officially voted second fastest guitarist in the world by Guitar One magazine; and Guitar World magazine listed IMPELLITTERI within its top 50 fastest guitarists of all time!

Chris Impellitteri formed IMPELLITTERI in 1987, along with vocalist Rob Rock. That year, they released an EP called the Black Album which was well-received, and IMPELLITTERI went on to release the full-length album Stand In Line in 1988. To date, IMPELLITTERI has released a total of nine acclaimed studio albums and Venom follows after 2009's Wicked Maiden.

IMPELLITTERI online: www.facebook.com/chris.impellitteri

NEWS BRIEFS

* THE UNION OF SINNERS & SAINTS, the new band led by guitarist Billy Smiley (WHITE HEART) and vocalist John Schlitt (PETRA,) has recently released their new video of the song "Rise up": www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgMXtHF8J48

“Rise Up” is the opening track off the groups self-titled debut album released June 17, 2016.

* April 1, 2017 will see the release of the first six BRIDE on vinyl: Show No Mercy (1986), Live To Die (1988), Silence Is Madness (1988), Kinetic Faith (1991), Snakes In The Playground (1992) & Scarecrow Messiah (1994)

Further details: https://bride.bandcamp.com/merch

 

Update: August 28, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Tourniquet banner - not actual album cover

TOURNIQUET - New Album Kickstarter Campaign:
As reported by founding member and drummer Ted Kirkpatrick:

A new TOURNIQUET album is on the horizon. The music is written. It's heavy and progressive. The lyrics, some of the most personal to date, explore the universal themes of triumph and tragedy we struggle with in life. We think you're really going to want to hear this one! Recording will take place in Florida over the next weeks and months. We're aiming for very high production value. Some of the music is quite involved - layered vocals, guitar harmonies, counter melodies, and some crazy drumming.

In order to keep the budget in check, we'll be tracking and recording it ourselves, (as I did with Onward to Freedom) then bringing in the big guns (the pros) to mix and master it. We want to be sure the final result is truly awesome.

We worked hard to structure the rewards to give you things and experiences - value - that you can feel good about pledging. Seriously, we have been so blessed (and hopefully you have been too!) to have you help us achieve three successful Kickstarter campaigns in the past, and we are truly hoping you will join us for this exciting one!  The tunes, lyrics, and of course - the vocals - will be top notch. Remember - Kickstarter is wisely set up as "all or nothing" - none of this happens without you. Now go check out the rewards - and thank you! 

You can back the new TOURNIQUET album at the following link: www.kickstarter.com/projects/826349560/tourniquet-the-new-full-length-album

Dynasty banner

DYNASTY Re-Release Into Righteousness Demo:
Press Release / Into Righteousness, the first demo tape recorded by Brazilian traditional metal band DYNASTY, has been officially re-released by the group in August of 2016.

First released in 1997, the demo was recorded by the groups original line up of vocalist Nahor Andrade, bassist Filipe Duarte, drummer Samuel Magno and guitarists Daflas Cruz and Walter Canuto.

Into Righteousness track listing:

1. “Intro”
2. “The Prayer”
3. “War”
4. “Decibels”
5. “Today”
6. “Heroes”
7. “Wicked Streets”
8. “My Life”

Into Righteousness is available for streaming at Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/album/0oZpvcpuID5s5vo8sSwsU1

DYNASTY followed up Into Righteousness with the 1998 EP The Angels Return.  The group returned in 2002 with its second EP, Following The Sign, followed by its 2004 full-length debut Motus Perpetuus.  The last time we heard from DYNASTY was in 2010 with its full-length sophomore outing entitled Warriors Of The King.

DYNASTY currently remains at work on its Christian metal covers album Inspirations.

Current DYNASTY line-up:

Nahor Andrade - Lead Vocals
César Martins - Guitars
Filipe Otávio - Guitars
Dennis Limones - Bass
Tiago Vitek - Drums

DYNASTY online: www.facebook.com/DynastyMetal

Theocracy promo pic

THEOCRACY - “Ghost Ship European Tour” Announced:
Press Release / The Athens, Georgia-based melodic metal band THEOCRACY will return to Europe in November for the“Ghost Ship European Tour”. See the list of confirmed shows below:

Fri 4/11 - Hall of Fame - Wetzikon, Switzerland
Sat 5/11 - Kreatief - Neckarsulm, Germany
Sun 6/11 - Exit-US - Prague, Czech Republic
Tue 8/11 - Collosseum - Kosice, Slovakia
Thu 10/11 - Melodka - Brno, Czech Republic
Fri 11/11 - DGH Niederaula - Niederjossa/Hessen, Germany
Sat 12/11 - Brainstorm Festival - Apeldoorn, Netherlands

WITHIN SILENCE (SK) will join THEOCRACY on the tour as support act for all shows.

The new THEOCRACY album Ghost Ship will be released on October 28th in Europe and North America through Ulterium Records. Information on different editions and formats will be announced soon.

With Ghost Ship, THEOCRACY perfects the lively and fully-realized sound of As the World Bleeds, delivering 10 muscular and streamlined tracks that never lose focus and combine for one memorable journey. You like mid tempo sing along anthems? Try the “Ghost Ship” title track. Thrashy rhythms and intensity?  “The Wonder of It All” should be to your liking. Emotional ballads with huge melodic hooks? Go “Around the World and Back.”  Or if you prefer epic, progressive tracks that do all these things and more, 10-minute album closer “Easter” is sure to be a favorite. Each song on Ghost Ship stands alone and has a unique signature, but every moment sounds unmistakably like THEOCRACY.

“So many kids were coming up to us after shows and telling us their stories,” says THEOCRACY vocalist Matt Smith. “A lot of them were searching for purpose and a place to fit in, and having grown up as an awkward and unpopular kid myself, their words really stuck with me. I started thinking about what a band of misfits Jesus’ disciples were: fishermen, tax collectors, and people of little consequence in the eyes of the world. Sometimes the ones most people don’t see, or choose to look straight through - the ghosts of society, as it were, dead to the world - end up having the biggest impact. That’s where the title and idea for Ghost Ship came from: all the misfits, the un cool, the outcasts, there is a place where you do fit in. Although Ghost Ship is not a concept album, this is a recurring theme, particularly in the title track and “Castaway.’”

Ghost Ship track listing:

1. “Paper Tiger”
2. “Ghost Ship”
3. “The Wonder Of It All”
4. “Wishing Well”
5. “Around the World and Back”
6. “Stir the Embers”
7. “A Call To Arms”
8. “Currency In A Bankrupt World”
9. “Castaway”
10. “Easter”

Theocracy - Ghost Ship

Ulterium Records online: www.ulterium-records.com & www.facebook.com/ulteriumrecords

THEOCRACY online: www.theocracymusic.com & www.facebook.com/theocracyband

Michael Sweet Releases “Radio” Video:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

The official video for "Radio", a brand new song from STRYPER front man Michael Sweet, can be seen above. The track is taken from Sweet's seventh solo album, One Sided War, which was released on August 26 via Rat Pak Records. Backing Michael on the record are WHITESNAKE guitarist Joel Hoekstra, EVANESCENCE drummer Will Hunt, bassist John O'Boyle and East Coast shred-master Ethan Brosh.

The official video for "Radio", a brand new song from STRYPER front man Michael Sweet, can be seen above. The track is taken from Sweet's seventh solo album, One Sided War, which was released on August 26 via Rat Pak Records. Backing Michael on the record are WHITESNAKE guitarist Joel Hoekstra, EVANESCENCE drummer Will Hunt, bassist John O'Boyle and East Coast shred-master Ethan Brosh.

Said Sweet: "I wrote the song “Radio” based on my history in country music and on what seems to be a surge of rock stars trying to become country stars.  I'm a metalhead at heart and always will be, but I've had the opportunity to write with some of the best writers in Nashville (Blair Daly, Bruce Wallace, Luke Laird) and I've learned how talented these guys are and how serious they take their job.

"Just as metal is a lifestyle, country is as well and you have to live it, not just wake up one morning and decide you're gonna be a country star and have the respect of the country world.  I grew up with country music, played on my dad's country songs (he co-wrote a #1 country song in 1976 called “I Don't Want To Have To Marry You”) and I know and respect the country music world.

"This song and video is having a little fun with all the guys that think they can just throw on a cowboy hat, some cowboy boots, move to Nashville and become country stars. It's just not that simple and that's just not reality. The same would apply to country stars trying to become metal heads. Kind of funny when you think about it.  Country music, just like rock, is a lifestyle rich with history and authenticity and each genre should be treated with great respect. You can’t fake it. You can try, but the fans will see right through it."

One Sided War showcases a full plate of hard rock and classic metal riffs that Michael Sweet has come to be known for throughout his illustrious musical career.

"Musically, it's my heaviest solo album," Sweet said. "It's not thrash metal but there are definitely some songs on there that will pop out at you. There are some songs that have a bit of the IRON MAIDEN / DIO feel to them, as well as some songs that have a little bit of a VAN HALEN influence to them. It's a very guitar-oriented, hard rock/metal album with lots of melodies and hooks."

The fast and furious opener "Bizarre" ignites the album's pace with its lightning fast riffage, soaring vocals and blazing guitar solos. Tracks like "Can't Take This Life", "One Sided War", "Golden Age", "I Am" and "Comfort Zone" keep the metal fires ablaze, while songs like "Radio", "One Way" and "You Make Me Wanna" bring the hard rock vibe to the forefront.

"One Sided War" features only one ballad, "Who Am I?", a heartfelt, passionate song that reminds us of the softer side of Michael's talents. Closing out the disc is a bonus track; it's a different version of the song "Can't Take This Life", a duet between Michael and 16-year-old up-and-coming female vocalist Moriah Formica.

One Sided War track listing:

1. “Bizarre”
2. “One Sided War”
3. “Can't Take This Life”
4. “Radio”
5. “Golden Age”
6. “Only You”
7. “I Am”
8. “Who Am I”
9. “You Make Me Wanna”
10. “Comfort Zone”
11. “One Way Up”
12. “Can't Take This Life” (bonus track featuring Moriah Formica)

Michael Sweet - One Sided War

The album, which is available for pre-order at: http://christianmetaldistro.storenvy.com/products/17425565-michael-sweet-one-sided-war-2016

MICHAEL SWEET online: www.michaelsweet.com & www.facebook.com/TheMichaelSweet

NEWS BRIEFS

* “Whitewashed Love”, official video from BARREN CROSS: www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9jSvQ1o5VM&feature=youtu.be

The song is taken off the groups 2014 live release Birth Pangs.

* Guitarist Michael Cutting (HOLY SOLDIER) is currently at work on his debut solo album Unspoken, which he plans to release in October.  Further details as they become available.

The artist can be contacted at: www.michaelcutting.com

* FOUR STAR REVIVAL will be releasing next month on Heaststone Records a five song EP entitled The Underdog.  The EP is being released in follow up to the group’s 2014 Aztek Records debut full length Knights of The Revival.

* MY DARKEST TIME, The Last album sampler: www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_9eAtKDnv0

MY DARKEST TIME is a Gothic/doom project from Skopje, Macedonia made up of multi instrumentalist Zarko Atanasov & vocalist Marina Atanasov.  The Last is being released digitally on August 31, 2016 via Finland’s Inverse Records (physical CD’s available directly from the band).

Track Listing: “Last (Intro)”, “The Gates”, “Ephrath”, “Unceasing”, “Blurred Truths”, “You”, “Written Names”, “Pearl” & “O Beloverd”

Guitarist Torbjörn Weinesjö makes a guest appearance on “Ephrath”.

Further reading: www.facebook.com/mydarkesttime

 

Update: August 21, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Theocracy - Ghost Ship

THEOCRACY Announce New Album, Ghost Ship:
Press Release / The Athens, Georgia-based melodic metal band THEOCRACY will release their new album Ghost Ship on October 28th in Europe and North America through Ulterium Records. Information on different editions and formats will be announced soon.

With Ghost Ship, THEOCRACY perfects the lively and fully-realized sound of As the World Bleeds, delivering 10 muscular and streamlined tracks that never lose focus and combine for one memorable journey. You like mid tempo sing along anthems? Try the “Ghost Ship” title track. Thrashy rhythms and intensity?  “The Wonder of It All” should be to your liking. Emotional ballads with huge melodic hooks? Go “Around the World and Back.”  Or if you prefer epic, progressive tracks that do all these things and more, 10-minute album closer “Easter” is sure to be a favorite. Each song on Ghost Ship stands alone and has a unique signature, but every moment sounds unmistakably like THEOCRACY.

“So many kids were coming up to us after shows and telling us their stories,” says THEOCRACY vocalist Matt Smith. “A lot of them were searching for purpose and a place to fit in, and having grown up as an awkward and unpopular kid myself, their words really stuck with me. I started thinking about what a band of misfits Jesus’ disciples were: fishermen, tax collectors, and people of little consequence in the eyes of the world. Sometimes the ones most people don’t see, or choose to look straight through - the ghosts of society, as it were, dead to the world - end up having the biggest impact. That’s where the title and idea for Ghost Ship came from: all the misfits, the un cool, the outcasts, there is a place where you do fit in. Although Ghost Ship is not a concept album, this is a recurring theme, particularly in the title track and “Castaway.’”

Ghost Ship track listing:

1. “Paper Tiger”
2. “Ghost Ship”
3. “The Wonder Of It All”
4. “Wishing Well”
5. “Around the World and Back”
6. “Stir the Embers”
7. “A Call To Arms”
8. “Currency In A Bankrupt World”
9. “Castaway”
10. “Easter”

Ulterium Records online: www.ulterium-records.com & www.facebook.com/ulteriumrecords

THEOCRACY online: www.theocracymusic.com & www.facebook.com/theocracyband

NARNIA - “Messengers” Music Video Released:
Press Release / Swedish melodic metal band NARNIA has just released a music video for their new single "Messengers".  "Messengers" comes off the highly anticipated self-titled NARNIA album scheduled to be released on September 16, 2016.

On the new self-titled album NARNIA re-visits their melodic roots but with an updated sound, creating a perfect blend; a powerful production by CJ Grimmark, mixed and mastered by Thomas “Plec” Johansson.

Narnia line-up 2016:
Christian Liljegren – Lead Vocals
CJ Grimmark – Guitars, Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Andreas “Habo” Johansson - Drums
Martin Härenstam - Keyboards
Andreas Passmark - Bass

Throughout the years Narnia has been established as one of the leading forces in melodic, neoclassical metal, with a strong reputation of being a great live act that always delivers. And so it continues.. The fans are asking for more and the band is hungrier than ever!

Upcoming NARNIA tour dates

August 19th: Hope Night Festival - Sävsjö, Sweden
September 23rd: Scenen Sofiehof Underjord - Jönköping, Sweden
September 24th: Nalen Klubb (Alcazar) - Stockholm, Sweden
September 25th: iNTiMAN - Västerås, Sweden
November 5th: Faddergalan - Kungsängen, Sweden
November 11th: Brainstorm Festival - Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Narnia track listing:

1. “Reaching For The Top”
2. “I Still Believe”
3. “On The Highest Mountain”
4. “Thank You”
5. “One Way To The Promised Land”
6. “Messengers”
7. “Who Do You Follow?”
8. “Moving On”
9. “Set The World On Fire”

Narnia - Narnia

NARNIA online: www.narniatheband.com & www.facebook.com/narniatheband

BIG CHRIS & D’BARE BONES BAND - “Girl In The Window” Lyric Video Premier:
The official lyrics video for “Girl In The Window”, a new song from BIG CHRIS & D’BARE BONES BAND, can be seen above.  The song comes off the group’s full-length debut When Your Time Comes, which it independently released in August of 2016.

“Girl In The Window” is based upon a true story about a young girl who suffered abuse from severe neglect (Google the song title for further details).

According to its press material, BIG CHRIS & D’BARE BONES BAND “brings an in your face (and) rocked out blues sound that will get your head to bobbin' and your foot tappin'.  Featuring a mix of modern blues and Americana, their blend of electric blues played on cigar box guitars, resonators made from license plates, etc. gives them a unique sound and feel of their own”.

When Your Time Comes is certain to appeal to fans of GLENN KAISER BAND, STEVIE & THE SAINTS, ZZ TOP, GEORGE THOROGOOD and STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN.

According to vocalist and guitarist Chris Dickens, D’BARE BONES BAND has a double meaning: “Doing most of the instruments myself in the studio, this project is about as bare bones as it gets.  The D'Bare name is also my guitar brand.  I build, play, and sell cigar box guitars.”  “Big Chris” is a name given to him from one of the kids at his church youth group.

When Your Time Comes track listing:

1. “Life’s Just Bad”
2. “Giant”
3. “When Your Time Comes”
4. “Punch In The Face”
5.  “Rest In Peace”
6. “Walmart Blues”
7. “Girl In The Window”
8. “Telephone”
9. “Daddy’s Little Girl”
10. “Bound For A Throne”
11. “Thank You”
12. “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out”

Further reading about D’bare guitars: www.facebook.com/dbareguitars

BIG CHRIS & D’BARE BONES BAND online: www.facebook.com/dbarebonesband & www.reverbnation.com/bigchrisdbarebonesband

NEWS BRIEFS

* “Gog & Magog”, official lyrics video from ENERGEMA: www.youtube.com/watch?v=geErUGS_3p4

The song comes off the groups full-length debut The Lion’s Forces, which was released via Sleasz Rider Records on June 28, 2016.

* Update from INNERSIEGE regarding new album, untitled at the time of this writing (Facebook - August 18, 2016): “Unofficially, its looking like the new album will have 11 songs total, including the instrumental "Iron Lotus" and an extended intro guitar solo.  It appears to be more up-tempo. We top out at 175bpm and groove out at 90bpm. Several from 135 - 155bpm.”

* The self-titled debut full length of JOSHUA’S CREED is scheduled for release on September 20, 2016.  Song titles include “Alive”, “It Is Finished”, “The Sky Is Falling”, “Choose”, “Four Horsemen”, “Buried In The Womb”, “Consequences”, “God Must Be Crazy”, “House Of Cards” & “Where Everything Dies”

Samples: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mfDeOyx3TU  Further reading: www.facebook.com/JoshuasCreedRocks

 

Update: August 14, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Oracle - Selah - Roxx Records vinyl release

ORACLE - Selah Vinyl Release Announced:
Press Release / Roxx Records is very excited to announce the third installment in our Limited Edition Underground vinyl series. Our next release comes to us by way of one of the Christian metal underground’s most heralded, yet under rated, US power metal releases of the 90’s from the band ORACLE as we give our special reissue treatment to the band’s long out of print debut EP, Selah!

At the time of its original release in 1992, ORACLE's Selah EP was critically acclaimed the world over. From the US Christian metal underground, to the European heavy metal scene, Selah was, and is, considered to be a triumph of US power metal drawing influence from neo-classical metal, NWOBHM, and thrash metal.

It was initially released as an independent cassette in 1992, then shortly after as an independent CD in 1993...both direct from the band and impossible to find these days. Since that time, it has been reissued twice on CD. Once as a split CD with US metal band EMERALD on M8 Records (2001) and again in r-emastered form as part of Desolate Kings: The Oracle Anthology on Divebomb Records (2010) which is now out of print and nearly sold out. But never before has this underground US metal classic seen a vinyl release... until now!

Roxx Records is proud to present the first ever, limited edition, vinyl reissue of Selah by US heavy metal band ORACLE as part of the Roxx Records Underground Series. The release includes the original mastering of Selah, all new artwork inspired by the band's original concept and a brand new essay written by ORACLE vocalist Shawn Pelata (FINAL SIGN, LINE OF FIRE).

This Limited Edition package is scheduled for release on September 2, 2016 and will come not only with a specially printed essay but also with a Limited edition download disc of the whole Selah CD. Each copy is specially and individually packaged and hand numbered. This is a true limited edition pressing of only 150 copies. In addition we obtained some of the very last copies of the entire anthology of ORACLE and will offer those in a separate special deluxe package with limited availability.

Get your pre order in quickly as this will surely sell out! Check out this cool promo video from Scott Waters as he discusses the Underground series in more detail right here and you will also even hear a sneak peak on what number 4, 5 and 6 just might be: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wkt-UldmDyU

Selah track listing:

1. “Passage Denied”
2. “Harlots Destiny”
3. “Witches & Warlocks”
4. “The Purging Fire”
5. “Desolate Kings”
6. “Legion”
7. “Rebecca”

Visit www.roxxproductions.com for full release details and pre order information.

MICHAEL SWEET - “Golden Age” Lyric Video Premier:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

The official lyric video for "Golden Age", a brand new song from STRYPER front man Michael Sweet, can be seen above. The song is taken from Sweet's seventh solo album, One Sided War, which will be released on August 26 via Rat Pak Records. Backing Michael on the record are WHITESNAKE guitarist Joel Hoekstra, EVANESCENCE drummer Will Hunt, bassist John O'Boyle and East Coast shred-master Ethan Brosh.

One Sided War showcases a full plate of hard rock and classic metal riffs that Michael Sweet has come to be known for throughout his illustrious musical career.

"Musically, it's my heaviest solo album," Sweet said. "It's not thrash metal but there are definitely some songs on there that will pop out at you. There are some songs that have a bit of the IRON MAIDEN / DIO feel to them, as well as some songs that have a little bit of a VAN HALEN influence to them. It's a very guitar-oriented, hard rock/metal album with lots of melodies and hooks."

The fast and furious opener "Bizarre" ignites the album's pace with its lightning fast riffage, soaring vocals and blazing guitar solos. Tracks like "Can't Take This Life", "One Sided War", "Golden Age", "I Am" and "Comfort Zone" keep the metal fires ablaze, while songs like "Radio", "One Way" and "You Make Me Wanna" bring the hard rock vibe to the forefront.

One Sided War features only one ballad, "Who Am I?", a heartfelt, passionate song that reminds us of the softer side of Michael's talents. Closing out the disc is a bonus track; it's a different version of the song "Can't Take This Life", a duet between Michael and 16-year-old up-and-coming female vocalist Moriah Formica.

An EPK that talks about the CD and contains samples of "Bizarre" and "Radio" can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl5PgzbZy-8

One Sided War track listing:

1. “Bizarre”
2. “One Sided War”
3. “Can't Take This Life”
4. “Radio”
5. “Golden Age”
6. “Only You”
7. “I Am”
8. “Who Am I”
9. “You Make Me Wanna”
10. “Comfort Zone”
11. “One Way Up”
12. “Can't Take This Life” (bonus track featuring Moriah Formica)

Sweet is best known as the singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer for Christian rock pioneers STRYPER, who have sold over ten million albums worldwide. In addition to STRYPER, Sweet has had a successful solo career, and he served as the guitarist and co-vocalist for the legendary classic rock band BOSTON from 2007 to 2011. The future remains bright for a man who has endured heartbreaking tribulations throughout his life and career, including the 2009 passing of his wife of more than 22 years, Kyle. In 2010, Sweet remarried to Lisa Champagne-Sweet, a woman he describes as "a Godsend and the one who fits perfectly by my side." Sweet continues to record and tour with STRYPER, as well as touring and recording as a solo artist

The album, which was recorded at Spirithouse Recording Studios in Northampton, Massachusetts, is available for pre-order at: http://christianmetaldistro.storenvy.com/products/17425565-michael-sweet-one-sided-war-2016

MICHAEL SWEET online: www.michaelsweet.com & www.facebook.com/TheMichaelSweet

NEWS BRIEFS

* “Girl In The Window”, lyrics video from BIG CHRIS & DA’BARE BONES BAND: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvTOkIRZUsU

The song comes off When Your Time, the debut full length from the group scheduled for release in August of this year.

* OBLIVION MYTH performing live “Blinding The Darkness”, the opening track off its new album Inside The Mirror: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6iZK4474Lk

 

Update: August 7, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Big Chris & D'Bare Bones Band - When Your Time Comes

BIG CHRIS & D’BARE BONES BAND, When Your Time Comes Details Revealed:
Veteran vocalist, guitarist and bassist Chris Dickens will be independently releasing the debut full length of his BIG CHRIS & D’BARE BONES BAND project, When Your Time Comes, in August.  Backing Chris on the record is drummers Darren Dickens and Tim Burns.

BIG CHRIS & D’BARE BONES BAND “Brings an in your face rocked out blues sound that will get your head to bobbin' and your foot tappin'. Bringing a mix of modern blues and Americana together, their blend of electric blues played on cigar box guitars, resonators made from license plates, etc. gives them a unique sound and feel of their own” (referencing the groups press material).

When Your Time Comes is for fans of GLENN KAISER BAND, SHANE SPEAL, SAMANTHA FISH, ZZ TOP and THE SWAMP DRIVERS.

According to the artist, D’BARE BONES BAND has a double meaning: “Doing most of the instruments myself in the studio, this project is about as bare bones as it gets.  The D'Bare name is also my guitar brand.  I build, play, and sell cigar box guitars.”  “Big Chris” is a name given to him from one of the kids at his church youth group.

Chris is better known for his blues based hard rock project MISSION OF ONE, which put out its most recent album Hostile To Gospel in 2013 (85% Angelic Warlord review) and predecessors Mission Of One (80% review) and Show Me The Way (75% review) in 2008 and 2005, respectively.  The artist got his start under the MISSIONARY ONE moniker with the 2004 debut release Take Another Swig.

When Your Time Comes track listing:

1. “Life’s Just Bad”
2. “Giant”
3. “When Your Time Comes”
4. “Punch In The Face”
5.  “Rest In Peace”
6. “Walmart Blues”
7. “Girl In The Window”
8. “Telephone”
9. “Daddy’s Little Girl”
10. “Bound For A Throne”
11. “Thank You”
12. “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out”

Further reading about d’bare guitars: www.facebook.com/dbareguitars

BIG CHRIS & D’BARE BONES BAND online: www.facebook.com/dbarebonesband & www.reverbnation.com/bigchrisdbarebonesband

DYNASTY Release New Single, “Inside My Heart”:
Brazilian classic power metal act DYNASTY released on June 12, 2016 its new single “Inside My Heart”.  While there is no word if “Inside My Heart” is a precursor to a new album of original material, DYNASTY remains at work on its Christian metal covers album to be entitled Inspirations.

Vocalist Nahor Andrade, guitarist César Martins, guitarist Filipe Otávio and drummer Tiago Vitek wrote the music to “Inside My Heart”, while Andrade is credited with lyrics.  Raphael Wauster makes a guest appearance on backing vocals.

“Inside My Heart” was recorded, mixed and mastered by Juninho Batista at NewSong Studio in Brazil.

DYNASTY traces its origin to the late nineties and its debut demo Into Righteousness from 1997 and EP The Angels Return released two years later.  The group returned in 2002 with its second EP, Following The Sign, followed by its 2004 full-length debut Motus Perpetuus.  The last time we heard from DYNASTY was in 2010 with its full-length sophomore outing entitled Warriors Of The King.  Of note is how Warriors Of The King includes a cover of the HOLY SOLDIER classic “See No Evil”, originally appearing on the HOLY SOLDIER self-titled debut from 1990.

DYNASTY online: www.facebook.com/DynastyMetal

 

Update: July 24, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Philadelphia - Warlord

PHILADELPHIA Announce Warlord Limited Edition CD Release:
Press Release / Classic Christian hard rockers PHILADELPHIA are back with a brand new album! That's right one of the pioneers of the Christian rock and metal movement are back in action returning to the rock scene with their third full length release entitled Warlord.
 
PHILADELPHIA hailed from Louisiana and burst on to the scene in 1984 with their debut album Tell The Truth and were one of the earliest pioneers of the young Christian metal scene. The band would play shows regularly in support of Tell The Truth and two years later in 1986 they would release their critically acclaimed sophomore album Search And Destroy, but sadly this would be the bands final release. Despite playing two very successful festival shows in Chicago at the annual Cornerstone festival in 1985 and 1986, and also recording and demoing several tracks that were to become the bands third album titled Warlord the band would call it a day. Sadly, the recordings were never completely finished and the tracks that were recorded never were fully finished or officially released.
 
Fast Forward to 2016 and that original core member trio of what was PHILADELPHIA have reemerged with a brand new album aptly titled Warlord.  In addition to the “Warlord” title track that the group demoed back in the day, the album features nine brand new PHILADELPHIA compositions written within the past couple years.

Roxx Records is very excited to be releasing a limited edition pressing of only 500 copies of this newly recorded masterpiece on CD format! Complete with a special CD only bonus track and packaged in a clear tray jewel case complete with an 8 page lyric booklet.
 
As an added bonus those first 100 pre orders will come with an exclusive limited edition guitar pick. All three members from that original core trio, Brian Martini on drums, Phil Scholling on guitars and Brian 'Wulfie' Clark on bass and vocals have all contributed their signatures to this special pick.
 
This Limited Edition CD version to Warlord will be officially released on August 19, 2016. Get your orders in early to make sure you get in on the special guitar pick offer.

Pre Order your Limited Edition CD (Only 500 pressed) with Limited Edition Guitar Pick for the first 100 pre-orders today!

Warlord track listing:

1. “Brothers In Arms”
2. “Defender”
3. “I’m Not Listening”
4. “Prophecy”
5. “Wasteland”
6. “Sane Asylum”
7. “Son Of The Morning”
8. “Lady Fortune”
9. “Way Of The Skull”
10. “Warlord”

Warlord Limited Edition pre-order: http://roxxrecords.storenvy.com/products/17388791-philadelphia-warlord-2016

PHILADELPHIA online: www.phillymusic.us & www.facebook.com/PhiladelphiaMetal

MICHAEL SWEET Releases “Bizarre” Video:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

"Bizarre", the new video from STRYPER front man Michael Sweet, can be seen above. The song is taken from Sweet's seventh solo album, One Sided War, which will be released on August 26 via Rat Pak Records. Backing Michael on the record are WHITESNAKE guitarist Joel Hoekstra, EVANESCENCE drummer Will Hunt, bassist John O'Boyle and East Coast shred-master Ethan Brosh.

One Sided War showcases a full plate of hard rock and classic metal riffs that Michael Sweet has come to be known for throughout his illustrious musical career.

"Musically, it's my heaviest solo album," Sweet said. "It's not thrash metal but there are definitely some songs on there that will pop out at you. There are some songs that have a bit of the IRON MAIDEN / DIO feel to them, as well as some songs that have a little bit of a VAN HALEN influence to them. It's a very guitar-oriented, hard rock/metal album with lots of melodies and hooks."

The fast and furious opener "Bizarre" ignites the album's pace with its lightning fast riffage, soaring vocals and blazing guitar solos. Tracks like "Can't Take This Life", "One Sided War", "Golden Age", "I Am" and "Comfort Zone" keep the metal fires ablaze, while songs like "Radio", "One Way" and "You Make Me Wanna" bring the hard rock vibe to the forefront.

One Sided War features only one ballad, "Who Am I?", a heartfelt, passionate song that reminds us of the softer side of Michael's talents. Closing out the disc is a bonus track; it's a different version of the song "Can't Take This Life", a duet between Michael and 16-year-old up-and-coming female vocalist Moriah Formica.

An EPK that talks about the CD and contains samples of "Bizarre" and "Radio" can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xl5PgzbZy-8

One Sided War track listing:

1. “Bizarre”
2. “One Sided War”
3. “Can't Take This Life”
4. “Radio”
5. “Golden Age”
6. “Only You”
7. “I Am”
8. “Who Am I”
9. “You Make Me Wanna”
10. “Comfort Zone”
11. “One Way Up”
12. “Can't Take This Life” (bonus track featuring Moriah Formica)

Sweet is best known as the singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer for Christian rock pioneers STRYPER, who have sold over ten million albums worldwide. In addition to STRYPER, Sweet has had a successful solo career, and he served as the guitarist and co-vocalist for the legendary classic rock band BOSTON from 2007 to2011. The future remains bright for a man who has endured heartbreaking tribulations throughout his life and career, including the 2009 passing of his wife of more than 22 years, Kyle. In 2010, Sweet remarried to Lisa Champagne-Sweet, a woman he describes as "a Godsend and the one who fits perfectly by my side." Sweet continues to record and tour with STRYPER, as well as touring and recording as a solo artist.

Michael Sweet - One Sided War

The album, which was recorded at Spirithouse Recording Studios in Northampton, Massachusetts, is available for pre-order at: http://christianmetaldistro.storenvy.com/products/17425565-michael-sweet-one-sided-war-2016

MICHAEL SWEET online: www.michaelsweet.com & www.facebook.com/TheMichaelSweet

NEWS BRIEFS

* Roxx Records signed BIOGENESIS for the fall 2016 release of its third album, A Decadence Divine.

* Vocalist Kevin Wright has departed JACOBS DREAM (Facebook - July 18, 2016): “It is with great regret that we must announce that Kevin Wright has left the band. He announced he was leaving several weeks ago and we delayed making this announcement in order to take some time to process this news. He gave no reasons for his leaving and we respect that and ask that everyone do the same.

“This obviously impacts the release of our new album (Where Vultures Gather). We have not decided what we will do yet. There are many options to consider. We wish Kevin all the best and will always have great memories of his time with us.”

* Guitarist Bill Menchen announces new THE SEVENTH POWER album entitled V7 (Facebook - July 21, 2016): “(I have) been asked a lot lately if I have any new music coming out.  Basically, no.  However, I was looking around at some stored files and noticed a bunch of random songs recorded from 1999-2004, approximate.  In 1999, I wrote a bunch of tunes for a play that never happened.  Early 2000's I was writing tunes that eventually ended up on the first THE SEVENTH POWER album.  I came across the files last week and gave them a listen.  Forgot a lot of what was there. BUT, I got about 11 tunes I can put on a disc, so I'm gonna.  THE SEVENTH POWER was originally called "V7."  Hence, the disc will be called V7.”

 

Update: July 17, 2016

FEATURED REVIEWS

METATRONE - Eucharismetal
Catania, Italy based Metatrone likes to refer to itself as “one of the most talented and skilled bands in the Christian metal scene (that plays) a powerful form of power/progressive metal deeply inspired by a Christian Catholic worldview” (as noted in its press material).  Read Full Review >>

NEON CROSS - Neon Cross
Neon Cross joins a long list of bands that arose out of the Southern California Christian metal scene.  Read Full Review >>

PASTOR BRAD - Storm The Gates
Billed as a parody covers album in which guitarist Pastor Brad pays tribute to the bands that inspired him to become a musician, Storm The Gates compiles nine mainstream hard rock and hair metal songs from the seventies and eighties and re-imagines them with ‘lyrics that honor Jesus Christ and proclaim the Good News of the Gospel loud and proud!’  Read Full Review >>

SOLDIER - The Definitive Collection
It’s mighty temping, of course, to pigeonhole Soldier as merely a melodic metal band.  That, however, would be only telling part of the story in that while you will hear commercial aspects to the Soldier sound - hair metal, pop metal and melodic hard rock if you will - a heavier side to the group reveals itself with repeat listen.  Read Full Review >>

STAIRWAY - Power And Glory
Like people, metal bands benefit from good genetics.  Fortunately, for Staffordshire, England based Stairway, emerging out of the eighties New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement gives it excellent DNA.  Read Full Review >>

TIME HORIZON - Transitions
Meet Transitions, the fall of 2015 Melodic Revolution Records progressive rock sophomore album of Manteca, California based Time Horizon.  Read Full Review >>

TRUE STRENGTH - Steel Evangelist
Every once in a while, an independent band records an unexpected sleeper, an under-the-radar-album that exceeds all expectation and leaves the listener very pleasantly surprised in the process.  Read Full Review >>

THE UNION OF SINNERS & SAINTS - The Union Of Sinners & Saints
By ‘straight on rock’, I am referencing the foundation of classic rock and melodic rock interwoven with aspects of blues based rock, hard rock, modern rock and worship rock that defines The Union Of Sinners & Saints sound.  Read Full Review >>

ARTICLES

The Top Ten Albums Of The Past Ten Years at Angelic Warlord

Angelic Warlord Top 10 Albums Of The Past Ten Years - NEW
To help celebrate the sites first decade of existence, I thought it would be a good ideal to outline what in my opinion are the ten best albums released the past ten years.  Please note that the list is alphabetical in that I would find it problematic ranking in order albums that received close to perfect if not perfect scores.  Read Full Article >>

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Thee Final Chaptre - It Is Written - Divebomb Records Deluxe Edition

THEE FINAL CHAPTRE - It Is Written Re-issue On Divebomb Records:
Release date is scheduled for October 14, 2016:

Press Release / With origins dating back to early- to mid-’80s acts DEUS VULT and DIVINE RIGHT, New Orleans, LA’s THEE FINAL CHAPTRE got its start around 1989, when guitarist Gary Wilson was driven to put together a new, more intense and resolute group of musicians. The band laid its foundation performing a mix of covers and originals around area bars, eventually solidifying its lineup with David Osbourn on drums, Paul Starnes handling bass duties, and front man Andrew “Tripp” Whittington.

Drawing influences from an assortment of hard rock and metal - UFO, KISS, QUEENSRŸCHE, IRON MAIDEN, METALLICA, EXODUS, etc - as well as their Christian metal predecessors such as STRYPER, DELIVERANCE & TOURNIQUET; THEE FINAL CHAPTRE forged an explosively diverse sound centered around hard-charging guitar riffs, a locked-in rhythm section, and Whittington’s soaring vocal prowess. This ultimately landed the group a deal with WEI Records for the release of their lone six-song album, It Is Written, in 1991.

However - despite capturing the interest of Polygram subsidiary Jaguar Records - due to limited touring opportunities, managerial mishaps, burgeoning creative differences, and the changing landscape of the metal scene, THEE FINAL CHAPTRE had fallen apart before the end of 1992… thus unable to capitalize on the true potential of their songwriting firepower.

But now, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the original cassette release through WEI, Divebomb Records is proud to announce - for the first time ever on CD - this Deluxe Edition of THEE FINAL CHAPTRE‘s It Is Written. Sourced directly from the DAT master, the album has been digitally re-mastered alongside nine previously unreleased live bonus tracks; packaged with updated cover art by Steven Cobb, archival photographs straight from the band, and an all-new interview with founder Gary Wilson conducted by Olaf Becker. For the fans, by the fans!

It Is Written track listing:

1. “Day After Day”
2. “The Key”
3. “The Hallowed Hymn”
4. “Come As You Are”
5. “All For One”
6. “Don’t Let It Run You Down (Thunder Trilogy, Part I)”
7. “Just A Memory” (Demo)
8. “Blood In The Sand” (Live)
9. “Insane” (Live)
10. “Wisdom’s Call” (Live)
11. “Whisper To Scream” (Live) 
12. “Edge Of Sadness” (Live)
13. “Just A Memory” (Live)
14. “Bullet In The Chamber” (Live)
15. “Armageddon” (Live)
16. “Black Rain” (Live)

It Is Written samples: https://tribunalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/it-is-written-deluxe-edition

Zephaniah - Reforged

ZEPHANIAH Release Sophomore Album, Reforged:
Released by Divebomb Records on February 12, 2016:

Press Release / Reforged, the sophomore outing from Indiana’s ZEPHANIAH, builds upon the power thrash foundation laid by their debut, 2008’s Stories From The Book Of Metal, to unleash a catchier and more dynamic intensity - made possible through the refined musicianship of the group’s new, markedly more diverse lineup.

Songs like “Reforged,” “Destiny,” and “Judgement” provide the infectious blasts of thrash for which ZEPHANIAH is known, alongside increasingly intense rhythms and shredding neoclassical influences. Highlights include a Mad Max-inspired trilogy; beer drinking anthem “Battle Hymn Of The Victorious”; and progressive epic “Quest For The Royal Crown,” which adds variety and enthralls the listener from start to finish.

Unlike Stories From The Book Of Metal, which was tracked in a mere week, the band spent more than a full year arduously self-producing every last detail of Reforged. Finally mixed by Tom Buechel and mastered by DEATH DELAER guitarist Stu Marshall in May of 2015, ZEPHANIAH is now prepared to deliver a raging, filler-free collection - in which no two songs are alike!

Reforged track listing:

1. “Reforged”
2. “Destiny”
3. “Mad Max”
4. “Road Warrior”
5. “Thunderdome”
6. “Quest For The Royal Crown”
7. “Judgement”
8. “Battle Hymn Of The Victorious”

Reforged samples: https://tribunalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/reforged

ZEPHANIAH online: www.zephaniahband.com & www.facebook.com/zephaniahmetal

NEWS BRIEFS

* Roxx Records plans to release on August 19, 2016 a CD version of the new PHILADELPHIA album Warlord.  Included along with a jewel case housing an 8-page mini booklet with lyrics, is a demo bonus track version of the song “Brothers In Arms”.  The first 100 orders will get a PHILADELPHIA limited edition guitar pick with signatures from all three members!

Further reading: www.facebook.com/PhiladelphiaMetal

* SONIC THROWBACK is the new project of VISUAL CLIFF guitarist Rob Perez.  “Bridge Of Tribulation” is the groups first single: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK2FrQLDep8

* Classic Christian Rock online interview with former STRYPER bassist Tracy Ferrie: http://classicchristianrockzone.blogspot.com/2016/07/testimony-of-tracy-ferrie-current-bass.html

 

Update: July 10, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

MICHAEL SWEET - One Side War Solo Album Details Revealed:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

Press Release / STRYPER front man Michael Sweet will release his seventh solo album, One Sided War, on August 26 via Rat Pak Records. Backing Michael on the record are WHITESNAKE guitarist Joel Hoekstra, EVANESCENCE drummer Will Hunt, bassist John O'Boyle and East Coast shred-master Ethan Brosh.

One Sided War showcases a full plate of hard rock and classic metal riffs that Michael Sweet has come to be known for throughout his illustrious musical career.

The album, which was recorded at Spirithouse Recording Studios in Northampton, Massachusetts, is available for pre-order at: http://ratpakrecordsamerica.com/michaelsweet

"Musically, it's my heaviest solo album," Sweet said. "It's not thrash metal but there are definitely some songs on there that will pop out at you. There are some songs that have a bit of the IRON MAIDEN / DIO feel to them, as well as some songs that have a little bit of a VAN HALEN influence to them. It's a very guitar-oriented, hard rock/metal album with lots of melodies and hooks."

The fast and furious opener "Bizarre" ignites the album's pace with its lightning fast riffage, soaring vocals and blazing guitar solos. Tracks like "Can't Take This Life", "One Sided War", "Golden Age", "I Am" and "Comfort Zone" keep the metal fires ablaze, while songs like "Radio", "One Way" and "You Make Me Wanna" bring the hard rock vibe to the forefront.

One Sided War features only one ballad, "Who Am I?", a heartfelt, passionate song that reminds us of the softer side of Michael's talents. Closing out the disc is a bonus track; it's a different version of the song "Can't Take This Life", a duet between Michael and 16-year-old up-and-coming female vocalist Moriah Formica.

One Sided War track listing:

1. “Bizarre”
2. “One Sided War”
3. “Can't Take This Life”
4. “Radio”
5. “Golden Age”
6. “Only You”
7. “I Am”
8. “Who Am I”
9. “You Make Me Wanna”
10. “Comfort Zone”
11. “One Way Up”
12. “Can't Take This Life” (bonus track featuring Moriah Formica)

Sweet is best known as the singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer for Christian rock pioneers STRYPER, who have sold over ten million albums worldwide. In addition to STRYPER, Sweet has had a successful solo career, and he served as the guitarist and co-vocalist for the legendary classic rock band BOSTON from 2007 to2011. The future remains bright for a man who has endured heartbreaking tribulations throughout his life and career, including the 2009 passing of his wife of more than 22 years, Kyle. In 2010, Sweet remarried to Lisa Champagne-Sweet, a woman he describes as "a Godsend and the one who fits perfectly by my side." Sweet continues to record and tour with STRYPER, as well as touring and recording as a solo artist.

Michael Sweet - One Sided War

MICHAEL SWEET online: www.michaelsweet.com & www.facebook.com/TheMichaelSweet

Meliah Rage - Masquerade

MELIAH RAGE Announce Masquerade re-issue:
Boston, Massachusetts based power/thrash metal veterans MELIAH RAGE re-issued this week via Bandcamp its classic album Masquerade.  Originally released in 2009 on Metro City Records, Masquerade was produced by Rich Spillberg and later re-mastered from the original mixes by Peter Putcho.  Masquerade also marks the triumphant return of vocalist Mike Munro to the MELIAH RAGE line up.

MELIAH RAGE traces its history to the late eighties when founded by guitarist Anthony Nichols.  A group “driven by extreme passion for an art form appreciated by many but misunderstood by the masses”, MELIAH RAGE rounded out its initial line up with vocalist Mike Munro, guitarist Jim Koury, bassist Jesse Johnson and drummer Stu Dowie prior to signing with Epic Records for its 1988 full-length debut Kill To Survive.  Sophomore album Solitary Solitude followed in 1990, but with grunge starting to overtake the musical landscape, MELIAH RAGE ended up dropped by Epic.

MELIAH RAGE regrouped in 1996 with Death Valley Dream on the independent label Backstreet Records followed by the 2002 release Unfinished Business, a compilation of B-side singles and reworked studio tracks.  With new front man Paul Souza replacing Mike Munro, MELIAH RAGE released in 2004 Barely Human, which was also re-mastered and re-released via Bandcamp in June of 2016, and in 2006 The Deep And Dreamless Sleep.

What Mike Munro brings to seventh MELIAH RAGE album Masquerade is his newfound faith.  A quote from Munro taken off his MySpace page in 2009:

“My God loves me no matter what.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and He makes me whole.  I have Jesus as my Savior and He is the key to my Heavenly Father.

“God sent his Son so we can live with Him for eternity in Heaven.  This fact was a crossroads for me.  I had a tough time dealing with my background- my past actions and what I wrote about in my songs for Meliah Rage.  If anything, my lyrics pulled people away from God.  I thought, “How can God forgive me for that?” He can… and He promises that He will.” 

Munro, who contributed lyrics to 8 of the 9 tracks on Masquerade, is very forthright about his faith throughout the project, such as on the track “Lost And Found”:

I am He who searches mind and heart
The Faithful and Truth the Morning Star
I am Son of Man King of Kings
The First and Last to Him I sing

The albums title track is every bit as upfront:

I need a Savior.  I need the Son
Fires in the heavens, rolling on and on
Deliverance from the Mighty
Bring me to Your home    

The 90% Angelic Warlord review of Masquerade describes MELIAH RAGE as “(walking) a fine line between classic heavy metal and thrash.  Masquerade finds the group continuing to compose catchy riff driven songs that are heavy as all get out but melodic at the same time.  Fans of Metal Church, Vicious Rumors and the 80’s Bay Area thrash scene will find a lot to like here.  I might also mention Fires Of Babylon (due to the heavy riff emphasis), Armageddon (the vocal approach) and old school Deliverance (nuff said), but I can see anyone into classic US power metal embracing this.”

Masquerade track listing:

1. “Lost Or Found”
2. “Chosen”
3. “History Will Tell”
4. “Dreamer”
5. “Seeker”
6. “Hour Glass”
7. “Masquerade”
8. “Last Rites”
9. “Whatever It Takes”

The re-mastered version to Masquerade is available for streaming at Bandcamp: https://meliahrage.bandcamp.com/album/masquerade-2016-re-issue

NEWS BRIEFS

* Details from DELIVERANCE front man Jimmy P. Brown regarding his FEARFUL SYMMETRY project: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI5AudDDDXA

* Sample of new JOSHUA’S CREED song, “The Sky Is Falling”: http://joshuascreed.bandcamp.com/track/the-sky-is-falling

According to the Kalispell, Montana based group, only one more song is left in need of vocals and then its on to ‘tying up loose ends’ in order to get the new album released in either late August or early September.

* BIG CHRIS & D’BARE BONES BAND update (Facebook - July 9, 2016): “I went to Blue Tape Studios in Nashville yesterday to redo some parts. This is where my album is being mixed. I redid a couple of rhythm guitar tracks on one. I redid lead vocals on two. Last, but not least, I redid the entire guitar work on "Bound For A Throne". I did all of that in less than two hours. It is amazing what you can get done when you aren't playing recording engineer, artist, and producer all at the same time!

“Anyway, I should start receiving finished tracks next week. Eddie, the guy that runs the studio, said he had some things he wanted to tweak in the final mix, but that he was pretty satisfied with it overall. With what I heard, this baby is gonna sound huge! No one, without me telling them, would even guess that my home made cigar box guitars were what was used on this recording. This sounds so much better than I could have achieved with my current setup.

“Even the drums sound huge. Yes, we used my little electric Yamaha kit. Eddie went in and added extra drum sounds precisely where the hits were. So, what you will hear is definitely Darren's, Tim's, and my own drum performances just with a secondary tone overlaid to make it fuller. Its crazy what you can do with computer recording!”

Further reading: www.facebook.com/dbarebonesband

 

Update: July 4, 2016

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

PŸLON - “Cosmik Lizard” Video Premier:
“Cosmik Lizard”, the new video from Switzerland based traditional doom metal act PŸLON, can be seen above.  The song is taken off the bands upcoming seventh full-length album A Lament, which is scheduled to be released on July 29, 2016 as a joint-partnership between US label Roxx Records and Quam Libet Records from Europe.

In the two years since the release of of its most recent album Homo Homini Lupus, PŸLON have made no progress whatsoever, which is the greatest compliment you can give this Swiss band of doom stalwarts. Again, they have managed to capture that particular down-tuned- slow-because-I-can magic on A Lament with eight brand new and epic tracks such as “Desolation Is Divine” or “Lazarus” but no less with more succinct numbers such as the paean to Clint Eastwood with the track “The Lone Rider” in its seven-minute briskness.

Back by popular demand is Matt Brand on Ozzy-tinged lead vocals. Ian Arkley does the honors of gracing the album with a majestic guitar solo on “The Day After The War” while Damir Eskic, representing the top echelon of Swiss Malmsteen disciples, takes the speed up a notch with a roaring lead break on “Desolation Is Divine”.

This brand new album does it again, hitting a true home run for heavy metal and doom fans alike. This beautifully packaged Limited Edition digipack comes complete with a 12-page insert and complete lyrics enclosed.

A Lament track listing:

1. “Cosmik Lizard”
2. “Desolation Is Divine”
3. “The Day After The War”
4. “Pantodynamos”
5. ”Lazarus”
6. “Fair Haven Of Thesterness”
7. “The Lone Rider”
8. “”A lament”

Visit www.roxxproductions.com in the US or visit www.quamlibetrecords.ch in Europe for more release details and pre-order information.

PŸLON online: www.pylon-doom.net & www.facebook.com/pylondoom

True Strength - Operation: Never Thirst

TRUE STRENGTH - Operation: Never Thirst:
The Water Project and TRUE STRENGTH team up to provide clean water to Africa!

Press Release / For those of you who never heard of TRUE STRENGTH... TRUE STRENGTH is a Christian heavy metal band from the United States of America founded in 2012 with a style similar to bands like STRYPER, BLOODGOOD, LEVITICUS, IRON MAIDEN, MEGADETH and the like. TRUE STRENGTH  released its debut album The Cross Will Always Prevail in 2014 and followed up with a sophomore album titled Steel Evangelist in 2016. 

TRUE STRENGTH was founded on the principles of honoring God, spreading the Word of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and serving those less fortunate than ourselves. All digital sales of our first and second albums go to the International Christian Concern (www.persecution.org), an organization that assists persecuted Christians and their families worldwide.

Yet, TRUE STRENGTH is called to do more and you as a fan or a newcomer to our music are invited to take this next step with us. I was inspired deeply by the work of The Water Project and when I found out that they actually encourage people to take up personal campaigns for clean water in Africa, I knew it was the right thing for TRUE STRENGTH to be a part of. This is why TRUE STRENGTH is proud to launch, with the Grace of God, TRUE STRENGTH - Operation: Never Thirst. Please join us and be a part of this noble cause. If we raise $5,000 our gift will lay the foundation for a water project by providing at least 51% of the needed construction funding. The Water Project match TRUE STRENGTH 's gift to others to complete the project and to monitor and maintain it for a minimum of 5 years. I believe in my heart that we can accomplish this together!

Ryan "The Archangel" Darnell - TRUE STRENGTH

Our Main Goal: Raise $5,000 to underwrite the construction of a clean-water well in Africa.
 
INFORMATION: If we raise $5,000 our gift will lay the foundation for a water project by providing at least 51% of the needed construction funding. The Water Project match TRUE STRENGTH 's gift to others to complete the project and to monitor and maintain it for a minimum of 5 years. If we sell 300 shirts we will meet our $5,000 goal!

HOW YOU CAN DONATE:

1) If you purchase an exclusive "True Strength - Operation: Never Thirst" t-shirt from our Booster campaign, profits of the sale will be donated directly to The Water Project "True Strength - Operation: Never Thirst" Fundraiser Campaign. T-shirts will be shipped directly to you via Booster (Custom Ink). If we sell 300 shirts we will meet our $5000 goal!

BOOSTER - Purchase your exclusive “True Strength - Operation: Never Thirst" Campaign T-Shirts here: https://booster.com/true-strength-operation-never-thirst

2) If you choose to make a donation in a custom amount that fits your budget (any and all amounts count!) or if you don't care much for heavy metal or dislike T-shirts, you can donate directly to the "True Strength - Operation: Never Thirst" Fundraiser Campaign Page on The Water Project website!

THE WATER PROJECT - Donate directly to the "True Strength - Operation: Never Thirst" Campaign here: https://thewaterproject.org/community/profile/truestrength

3) If not a fan of TRUE STRENGTH and want to donate to  The Water Project directly in spite, please go here: https://thewaterproject.org

"13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
-John 4:13-14

I hope you'll consider joining me to fund a water project. With your gifts and your help rallying support, we can provide clean, safe and reliable water to a community in Africa.  Today, too many children suffer needlessly- walking miles for dirty water that makes them sick. You and I can change that. Please make a donation and then help me spread the word.

In Jesus Name

NEWS BRIEFS

* FORMED IN FIRE is the new band to feature vocalist Rey Parra (SACRED WARRIOR, WORLDVIEW).  The group hopes to have its debut album Symptoms Of Eternity done by the end of August/September.

Further reading: www.facebook.com/Formed-in-Fire

* THE JESUS SYNDICATE is the new band to feature guitarist/vocalist Mick Rowe (TEMPEST, NINETEEN 88): www.facebook.com/thejesussyndicate

Musically, THE JESUS SYNDICATE heads in a ‘swampy  southern rock’ direction.

* Update from THEOCRACY regarding its yet to be title fourth album (Facebook - June 30, 2016): “Jared finished recording his bass this past weekend, and it came out great! Solos and more mixes next week, and then Theocracy IV will be finished at last. We can't wait for you to hear it!”

* Progressive-jam-fusion rockers VISUAL CLIFF recently released a new single entitled “Casualty Of Words”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=byTeAUivnCo

Lyrically, the song delivers a message for both the left and the right in being dedicated to today’s political and cultural climates.

VISUAL CLIFF is also at work on a new album entitled Refuge.  New song titles include “Yesterday’s Removal”, “That Time Is Home” and “Wayward Skies”.  More details in terms of a release date and final track listing as they become available.

 

Angelic Warlord Update Archives: HERE

 

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