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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, discography pages, interviews and Christian metal 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.

 

Updates

UPCOMING REVIEWS

• BENSON/GRIFFIN - Evil Killer
• BRIDE - Enter The Matrix (Retroactive re-issue)
• KING’S X - Out Of The Silent Planet (Rock Candy re-issue)
• SINBREED - Shadows
• TERAMAZE - Esoteric Symbolism

LATEST UPDATES

• METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS - April 20, 2014
• FACEBOOK - April 20, 2014
• FEATURED REVIEWS - April 20, 2014
• INTERVIEWS - March 2, 2014
• RELEASE DATES - April 20, 2014
• TOP 15 ALBUMS OF 2013 - February 9, 2014

 

Update: April 20, 2004

FEATURED REVIEWS

SARDIS - Escape - NEW
Escape, the spring of 2014 full-length debut from Joplin, Missouri based Sardis, succeeds where other self-financed and independently released projects failed: Production comes across crisp and clean with no muddy elements; musicianship is ably done in that all Sardis members are strong performers; and well thought out and consistent songwriting yields no skip buttons or filler tracks.  Read Full Review >>

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Michael Sweet interview with KNLW 98.9 FM:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

On April 8, Michael Sweet of Christian hard rockers STRYPER was interviewed on the KNLW 98.9 FM radio station.

Michael Sweet has released a new single, "I'm Not Your Suicide", from his upcoming solo album of the same.  Sweet has partnered up with Childhelp for the release of the track.  Michael Sweet and Big3 Records are donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of "I'm Not Your Suicide" to Childhelp. The single is available via iTunes.  The video for "I'm Not Your Suicide" can be seen below.

Michael Sweet felt compelled to partner with Childhelp after learning that almost half of all children who have been abused consider suicide.  His intention was for the heartfelt lyrics to connect with these kids and hopefully offer some peace to those in need.  Bringing added attention to the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, which offers an immediate 24/7 professional crisis counselor on call, and championing the Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe in schools, Michael Sweet is sharing a message of crisis intervention and prevention education.  "I'm Not Your Suicide" is a song with a message of hope, and through the partnership with Childhelp, illustrates to children a positive alternative through the track's lyrics.

Sweet's I'm Not Your Suicide album, and his first autobiography, Honestly: My Life And Stryper Revealed, will be released on May 6 via BIG3 Records.

I'm Not Your Suicide is available for pre-sale at www.michaelsweet.com.  Fans who pre-order the full album will be able to instantly download the song "Taking On The World Tonight" (featuring TNT singer Tony Harnell) and be registered to win a guitar used in the recording of the album.

The future remains bright for Sweet, 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, all the while making frequent trips to Nashville where he is writing with some of the biggest music writers in the business.

"After 30 years in this business, I feel honored and blessed to be able to continue doing what it is I love, making music," said Sweet.

"I'm extremely thankful to have the greatest fans in the world.

"God has blessed me with this talent and I plan to continue on this path as long as I can draw breath."

Michael Sweet - I'm Not Your Suicide

Sweet's autobiography, Honestly: My Life And Stryper Revealed, chronicles an amazing 30-year career and includes endorsements from Eddie Trunk, Dave Mustaine, Larry The Cable Guy, Jeordie White and Chris Jericho. Among the topics covered are:

* How Michael Sweet formed the first Christian rock band to hit #1 on MTV, paving the way for an entire genre of music.

* First-hand stories of the Sunset Strip, with never-before-told stories that include friends and musical peers such as POISON, MÖTLEY CRÜE, RATT, WHITESNAKE, METALLICA and more.

* How Jimmy Swaggart and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker played a role in Michael's life.

* The temptations and ultimate low-points of a notable Christian rock star.

* Never-before-revealed stories of life behind the scenes in STRYPER.

* Why so many people have declared Michael Sweet a significant influence on their lives; from Larry The Cable Guy to professional wrestler Chris Jericho to Haitian musician and politician Wyclef Jean and more.

* Losing his wife to cancer and re-marrying shortly thereafter.

* An honest look at Sweet's often tumultuous family relationships.

* The unlikely relationship between Sweet and national radio personality Don Imus.

* What led to the decline and fall of STRYPER in 1992, and subsequent reunion and rebirth in 2001.

With the upcoming and long-overdue solo album, Sweet is finally delivering the project fans have been patiently waiting for. Produced by Sweet himself, "I'm Not Your Suicide" includes special appearances by Tony Harnell (TNT), Kevin Max (DCTALK, AUDIO ADRENALINE), Chris Jericho (FOZZY), Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE), Electra Mustaine (daughter of MEGADETH frontman Dave Mustaine) and STRYPER band mates Robert Sweet and Timothy Gaines.  Legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff (CHICKENFOOT) played on the record as well.

I'm Not Your Suicide track listing:

01. “Taking On The World Tonight” (featuring Tony Harnell)
02. “All That's Left (For Me To Prove)”
03. “The Cause”
04. “This Time” (featuring Kevin Max)
05. “I'm Not Your Suicide” (co-written with Blair Daly)
06. “Coming Home”
07. “Miles Away”
08. “Strong”
09. “How To Live” (featuring Robert Sweet and Timothy Gaines)
10. “Heart Of Gold”
11. “Anybody Else” (featuring Chris Jericho and Doug Aldrich)
12. “Unsuspecting”
13. “Heart Of Gold” (bonus track featuring Electra Mustaine)

Michael Sweet online: www.michaelsweet.com & www.facebook.com/TheMichaelSweet

NEWS BRIEFS

* New THEOCRACY demo from Matt Smith: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksh1nrWTJ4M

Further commentary from the artist: “Thought some of you might enjoy hearing a hint of some of the new material I'm working on. I'm (obviously) not a great keyboard player--it's just a composing tool for me, and this is an early demo so these ideas will probably evolve quite a bit as they usually do.  But I know it's been quiet on this front lately, so here's a little something. I hope you enjoy”

* “In Memoriam”, opening track off upcoming VENI DOMINE album Light: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNdMnjn4wA4

Light is scheduled for release on May 23, 2014.  The album was produced and mixed in Stockholm by Torbjörn Weinesjö at the Room Of Doom and mastered by Erik Marthinsen at the Skyline Studio.

 

Update: April 13, 2014

FEATURED REVIEWS

LETTER 7 - Trust
Peel back the skin of Trust, the February of 2014 third full-length album from Phoenix, Arizona based Letter 7, and you’ll reveal bones of a similar quality to that of its predecessors, Salt Of The Earth (2007) and Follow The Light (2008).  Read Full Review >>

Kerry Livgren - Seeds Of Change (Rock Candy re-issue)
The fourth re-release occurred in January of 2014 on Rock Candy Records.  This is where things get problematic in that Rock Candy has not re-issued the original version of Seeds Of Change but rather Decade Volume 1 instead.  Read Full Review >>

NOMAD SON - The Darkening
On The Darkening, Nomad Son continues to stress a classic brand of Hammond organ-driven traditional doom metal.  The album, accordingly, evokes its share of emotion.  Read Full Review >>

SACREDFICE - Sacredfice
I like to think of Sacredfice as a “crossover metal thrash band”, which translates into a cross between traditional and straightforward heavy metal and old school thrash.  Read Full Review >>

SUNROAD - Carved In Time
On Carved In Time, the summer of 2013 fifth full-length album from Goiania, Brazil’s Sunroad, every upside comes with a corresponding downside.  Read Full Review >>

TAKER - It Is Finished: The Complete Anthology
Whenever fish stories are the topic at hand, discussion inevitably turns towards the ‘one that got way’.  This hits particularly close to home with the music industry, which without exception has experienced its share of potential catches ‘slip from its grasp’- and by that I am referring to bands worthy of a label deal that are never signed and release a full-length album.  Read Full Review >>

TRANSATLANTIC - Kaleidoscope
All this is the accomplished handiwork of Transatlantic, a progressive rock ‘supergroup’ consisting of American vocalist/keyboardist Neal Morse (formerly of Spock’s Beard) and drummer Mike Portnoy (formerly of Dream Theater), Swedish guitarist Roine Stolt (Flower Kings) and English bassist Pete Trewavas (Marillion).  Read Full Review >>

VISUAL CLIFF - Between Two Kingdoms
Between Two Kingdoms picks up where Out Of The Archives leaves off in taking a similar musical approach - breaking down evenly between heavier rocking songs and those reflecting a lighter touch - but made up of new material instead.  Read Full Review >>

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Sardis - Escape

SARDIS announces debut album, Escape:
Press Release / Joplin, Missouri based traditional metal act SARDIS has completed work on its full-length debut album, Escape.  The group is currently raising funds via Kickster in order to independently releasing the project later this spring or summer.

Speaking to Angelic Warlord, SARDIS guitarist Kevin Hasselquist provides additional detail: “As for the release date, that depends greatly on whether or not our Kickstarter (project) gets funded. If it does, the release date could be as early as May. If not, it will probably take a few more months”.

Hasselquist also comments regarding the group’s musical background: “Sardis has a very wide palette of influences, but in order to make as concise a list as possible the artists whose work most directly influenced Escape include Ozzy (especially the first 2 albums), Barnabas, and Sacred Warrior.  Many of these songs were written at a time in my life when I was listening to at least one of these bands per day, every day, and I was consciously pursuing a Diary Of A Madman feel and sound.  I am also sure that Petra's More Power to Ya and Leviticus' I Shall Conquer (also) left their mark on the album”.

He offers further insight into the lyrical direction to Escape: “Escape is a concept/story album about someone who is very opposed to the idea of God but ultimately finds purpose and meaning in him.  Each song is sort of a snapshot into his mental processes done in flashback style (the first track "Memories" happens at the end of the story but sets up the flashback).

“That said, we're not a very preachy band, but I'm of the opinion that evangelism best begins person to person rather than album to person.  So my hope is that the album might cause people to start asking questions and stir their hearts toward God.  And for the Christians whose story is similar I hope that it encourages them to remember how far they've come”.

You can contribute to the SARDIS Kickstarter project at: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1371751157/sardis-full-length-album-escape

Escape track listing

01. “Memories”
02. “Night Calls”
03. “High Times”
04. Miracles And Myths”
05. “Escape”
06. “Empty Mirror”
07. “Searching For Answers”
08. “Turbulence Of The Mind”
09. “Resuscitation”

SARDIS line-up:

Sean Roycraft – Lead Vocals
Kevin Hasselquist – Guitar & Piano
Mark Robertson - Bass
Jason St.Clair - Drums

SARDIS online: www.facebook.com/Sardisband & www.reverbnation.com/SardisBand

NEWS BRIEFS

* ABSOLON, the power metal act from Orlando, Florida featuring vocalist Ken Pike (MALACHIA), started work on its next album entitled At The Abyss.  According to the group, At The Abyss will rely less on keyboards and be more guitar driven metal (in comparison to its 2013 debut Darkness Rising).  Look for ABSOLON to start pre-production in the near future.

* AFFECTOR, “New Jerusalem” guitar play by Daniel Fries: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS-9ahhkHc4

“New Jerusalem” is off the 2012 AFFECTOR full-length debut Harmagedon.

* ”Don’t Let The Sun Go Down”, bluesy hard rock featuring vocalist Christine Steel (ARSENAL) and guitarist Kevin Pike: www.youtube.com/watch?v=h69QaLhkZWw

Kevin Pike has also recorded three instrumental shred guitar tracks: “French Drop” - www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn2HvXKda-U, “Pikes Peak” - www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJ2eYVcf-Fw & “Captain Courageous” - www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkNPB30MArA

* BIOGENESIS has begun recording its third album, tentatively entitled Devolved.  According to vocalist CHAZ BOND, “(this) will be the first record with new guitarist Darin Moore and keyboardist Evan English.  The sound will remain ‘Bio’ but will also have a fresh side to it due to both the maturity in our song writing and the influence of our new members.  We have been quiet internationally but we’ve been playing around our home state like the old days and the crowds have returned!  WE also played 2 shows in Puerto Rico in January of 14.

“What you can expect is an improved production over our last album The Rise The Fall the Rebirth.  We are working with a new producer who is giving us a great combination of quality and affordable.  Our hope is for this to be our best album.  Unlike The Rise… from 2012, this album is full of all newly written material along with a cover of “Hell Is For Children” by Pat Benatar.  Session 2 begins next week as things are moving along nicely”.

* EMPIRE 21 is close to completing work on its full-length debut album, untitled at the time of this writing.  Tobbe Lindell mixed the album, while Thomas "Plec" Johansson handled mastering duties.  The band commented further at its Facebook page (April 5, 2014):

“Today we want to thank Thomas Plec Johansson at The Panic Room mastering studio for putting his soul into mastering the EMPIRE 21 debut album.  He used his very well trained ears not only to create a blasting final result but to carefully and patiently listen to our wishes.

“He let us hear all possible approaches to the mix before making any final decisions, so we're confident that we have the beefiest sounding album we could ever dream of.  So THANK you Thomas for this and again thanks to Tobias Lindell who did an equally amazing job mixing this album, making it nothing but awesome! You guys rock and we sincerely appreciate you!”

* Kerry Livgren remains at work on the re-recording and re-mixing of the 2004 PROTO-KAW full-length debut Before Became After.

 

Update: April 6, 2014

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Deliverance - Weapons Of Our Warfare & Ultimatum - Heart Of Metal vinyl re-leases

DELIVERANCE & ULTIMATUM vinyl re-issues announced:
Press Release / Roxx Records is excited to announce two very special Limited Edition Vinyl releases from two of America’s greatest Christian thrash bands!
 
Coming this summer, and being released on vinyl in the US for the very first time, the classic release Weapons Of Our Warfare from Christian thrash masters…. DELIVERANCE!  Weapons Of Our Warfare is a landmark thrash album with the title track receiving prominent rotation in the MTV metal show Headbangers Ball back in 1990 where it would remain in the top 3 videos for 12 weeks.
 
The album has been completely re-mastered and the original artwork restored exclusively for this vinyl release.  This pressing will be limited to only 300 hand numbered copies, 100 on a special blue vinyl and 200 on traditional black vinyl.
 
Simultaneously New Mexico thrashers ULTIMATUM will be offering up their classic thrash release Heart Of Metal in a Limited Edition vinyl format, this also happens to be the bands very first ever vinyl release.
 
The album has been completely re-mastered with the original artwork reformatted for this very special and one time only vinyl release.  This pressing will be limited to only 250 hand numbered copies, 100 on a special fluorescent green vinyl and 150 on traditional black vinyl.
 
In addition, all pre orders placed will also receive a limited edition CD of these newly re-mastered tracks!

Pre-order available at Roxx Productions: http://roxxproductions.storenvy.com/products

Weapons Of Our Warfare track listing:

A1. “Supplication”
A2. “This Present Darkness”
A3. “Weapons Of Our Warfare”
A4. “Solitude”
A5. “Flesh And Blood”

B1. “Bought By Blood”
B2. “23”
B3. “Slay The Wicked”
B4. “Greetings Of Death”
B5. “If We Faint Not”

Heart Of Metal track listing:

A1. “Blood On A Thousand Hills”
A2. “Scattered (Body Parts)”
A3. “Hook Line & Sinker”
A4. “Rip ‘N’ Tear”
A5. “Into The Pit” (instrumental)

B1. “Heart Of Metal” (remix)
B2. “Locked In Chains” (remix)
B3. “Mortal Stomp” (2008 remix)
B4. “Blink” (2007 remix)
B4. “One For All’ (remix)

Sombre Holiday - An Hour Of Light

SOMBRE HOLIDAY: An Hour Of Light album details revealed:
Press Release / International progressive rock project SOMBRE HOLIDAY will independently release its third full-length album, An Hour Of Light, on April 15, 2014.  Canadian vocalist & guitarist Terry Friesen and California based drummer Trevor Friesen recorded An Hour Of Light at Walker Studios in Saskatoon, SK and Take One Studios in Waterford, CA.  Terry composed all the music while Trevor contributed lyrics.

Commented Terry Friesen: “My personal feeling on this new one is it’s perfect for Easter!!  Trevor said last Easter that Good Friday is the perfect example of a ‘sombre holiday’… and I think we’ve got an album that causes one to ponder what Christ went through that weekend and how that can impact our heart.

“Even though Trevor wrote all the poems (as usual), these songs have become very personal for me.  I believe the music truly fits the poetry and strikes the appropriate musical tones and emotions to help convey the struggle of what it means to walk intimately with Christ.  There are times that our life with Jesus is clear, but much of life feels like the fog just doesn’t seem to lift.  All the while, Jesus’ commitment to walk with us never wavers”.

SOMBRE HOLIDAY got its start in 2009 with the full-length offering In Search Of Understanding… prior to following up three years later with its sophomore effort Four Shadows.  Both combine to form a two-disc concept album that “weaves a story of one mans struggle to choose between lady wisdom and lady folly”.  The SOMBRE HOLIDAY press material goes into further detail: “The antagonistic character is the proverbial strange woman (Proverbs 7 & 8) who entices many and then eventually leads those following her on a path to destruction. Through determined effort, the protagonist eventually moves away from his own desires and back toward what he knows to be true and wise.”

The Angelic Warlord review (85%) of Four Shadows reinforces how the group brings “a Saviour Machine meets Deliverance sound” with songwriting that is “highly intricate and complex but richly orchestrated at the same time”.  There are also “ambient and ethereal moments (that) abound, reflected in the group’s added use of classical instrumentation”.

An Hour Of Light track listing

01. “Night Falls”
02. “Transparence”
03. “The Dangers Of Loving A Love Story”
04. “Death, My Friend”
05. “Night Surrounds”
06. “The Apology Progression”
07. “To Whom We Cry”
08. “The Commiseration Of Souls”
09. “Inside The Incense Circle”
10. “Ascendance”

SOMBRE HOLIDAY online: http://sombreholiday.bandcamp.com & www.facebook.com/pages/Sombre-Holiday

NEWS BRIEFS

* Vocalist Miia Rautkoski departs HB (as announced on Facebook - March 23, 2014): “Dear fans, festival organizers and friends!  I'm very sorry to announce I can no longer be a part of HB, because there's no common visions for the band and no plans for making new music in the future.  Also, many of us are working or studying at the same time, so it's hard to find enough time together.  I'm very grateful to you all who warmly took me into the band! I enjoyed every gig, and I'm so humble I was able to see so many wonderful people and different places:)! Thank YOU and BLESSINGS with warm thoughts!”

* PŸLON, Homo Homini Lupus update from Roxx Records: “It has been a very busy week here at Roxx and we want to thank you all for your continued support! We are going to end the week with a PŸLON update for everyone!  The recording is done and the CD's will be off to press this coming week!   The lithographs we printed are currently in Switzerland now and all are being signed by the PŸLON guys!  Soon they will be shipped back to the US for those that pre-order the bands brand new CD!”

Pre-order: http://roxxproductions.storenvy.com/products/5931526-pylon-homo-homini-lupus-2014

* Oz rockers SONICE DIVIDE to shoot debut video clip: SONIC DIVIDE will be heading ‘bush’ on Sunday 13 April and Monday 14th to shoot a professional video clip for one of the tracks from their debut self titled album, released late last year. The guys have been given permission to shoot at the location of one of the most iconic & historic structures in Australia, the old ruined homestead that graces the cover of Midnight Oil's award winning 1987 album Diesel And Dust.  That album cover won the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) award for 'Best Cover Art' in 1988 and also features in Rolling Stone Magazine's 'Top 100 Album Covers Of All Time'. The old homestead also ranks at #2 in the '100 Best Views In Australia' list - www.australiantraveller.com/sa/002-burra-homestead-sa/#
 
The guys from SONIC DIVIDE can't wait to undertake the shoot at the old homestead (as well as other nearby locations), and share the final results with the world towards the end of April!  If you haven't already, you can check out SONIC DIVIDE through all the usual digital outlets or visit their website at: www.sonicdivide.net

* TERAMAZE, “Esoteric Symbolism” (official full lyric video): www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdhpHnTsftA

 

Update: March 30, 2014

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Veni Domine - Light

VENI DOMINE reveal Light artwork & track listing:
Press Release / Swedish epic progressive doom metal veterans VENI DOMINE will release their new album, Light, on May 23, 2014 via Massacre Records.  The follow up to the group’s 2007 release Tongues was recorded at the Room of Doom in Stockholm, Sweden with production and mixing duties being handled by guitarist Torbjörn Weinesjö.  Vocalist Fredrik Sjöholm contributed album artwork.

Commented Weinesjö: “We have been (at work on the album) for a couple of years.  Actually, (we) started to record a few drum tracks or planned them back in 2011 but withdrew that as we decided we wanted a full band that rehearsed the songs before recording, like old times.  And yes it feels like a band effort this time, though I pulled the strings and produced and mixed (the project).  Fredrik and I wrote the songs like back in the day.  Even though the process (has) been a few years we haven’t spent 24 months in the studio, (but rather) a day here, a weekend there and so forth as time allowed, which in retrospective is quite a good thing (in that it leads to the) more mature final work.  As a producer, I am very aware not to overdo things, which is easy when you own your own studio and have time on your hands”.

He goes into further detail regarding the albums musical direction: “I think (the album) is a mix of all our past CD’s.  We have quite lengthy songs, (others) quite diverse, some slower (with) heavy elements or atmospheric and up-tempo (moments).  In other words, it sounds like VENI DOMINE”.

Light track listing:

01. “In Memoriam”
02. “Farewell”
03. “Hope”
04. “Where The Story Ends”
05. “Last Silence Before Eternity”
06. “The Hour Of Darkness”
07. “Waiting”
08. “O Great City” (2014 Edition)

VENI DOMINE got its start on Edge Records in 1991 with its full length debut Fall Babylon Fall prior to putting out Massacre Records follow up releases Material Sanctuary (1994) and Spiritual Wasteland (1998).  The turn of the century found the group on Rivel Records for its fourth full-length album, IIII - The Album Of Labour (2004), and MCM Music for its fifth and sixth, 23:59 (2006) and Tongues (2007).

VENI DOMINE line-up:

Fredrik Sjöholm - Lead Vocals & Guitars
Torbjörn Weinesjö - Guitars
Olov Andersson - Keyboards
Klas Petterson - Bass
Thomas Weinesjö - Drums

VENI DOMINE online: www.venidomine.com & www.facebook.com/pages/Veni-Domine

Bride - Into The Matrix

BRIDE enters Into The Matrix:
PG-13 & Monkey See, Monkey Do re-issued on Retroactive Records:

Press Release / MATRIX was formed in 1983 by brothers Troy and Dale Thompson and came to an end when BRIDE signed its first record deal with Pure Metal Records.  The name MATRIX was changed to BRIDE during the signing of the contract.  This also marked a transition from the MATRIX sound to the heavier and more aggressive metal sounds of BRIDE.

Original MATRIX drummer Steve Childress was replaced after two recording projects with Joey Johnson, who lasted one project.  Stephan Rolland replaced Joey and became the very first BRIDE drummer.  MATRIX played anywhere and everywhere they possibly could - churches, nightclubs, and coffee houses.  Painted in makeup, wearing spandex, teased hair, jumping off amplifiers, and setting off explosions on stage, they constantly pushed the boundaries of what a "Christian" band could do and be.  The group’s big break came in 1985 when they opened a show in Pottstown, PA for Christian hard rockers, DANIEL BAND.  Pure Metal Records/Refuge Music Group saw the performance and signed them to a contract that would begin a marvelous and diverse career as leaders in the Christian hard music scene for decades to come. 

The songs that appear on this disc are from the recordings of PG-13 & Monkey See, Monkey Do.  Both were cassette only releases.  Some of these tracks would go on to be re-recorded and used on future BRIDE releases.  These are the original tracks, as recorded by MATRIX in 1983 and 1984.  This 2014 Retroactive Records reissue comes in a full color 4-panel digipak, completely re-mastered by the ultimate mastering guru, J Powell at Steinhaus.  Never before have these songs been heard with the warmth, depth, and sheer grit that now exudes off of this top-notch classic reissue.  Long out of print, Retroactive went the extra mile by providing superb artwork to go with this long out of print reissue.  Limited Edition.  For fans of classic BRIDE, GUNS ‘N ROSES, WHITECROSS & STRYPER! 

Into The Matrix track-listing:

01. “We Got The Rhythm”
02. “Who Killed The Rock Hero”
03. “Get Away”
04. “What's The Point”
05. “Stand Up And Shout”
06. “West Of The Moon”
07. “Spell House”
08. “To Make You Think It's Real”
09. “Heroes”
10. “Now He Is Gone”
11. “Remember Me”
12. “Now You See Me Now You Don't”
13. “All Hallow's Eve”
14. “Slipping Into The Light”
15. “We Are Going To Make It”
16. “Forever In Darkness”
17. “He's The Flyer”
18. “Follow Your Heart”
19. “I Can Fly Now”
20. “Melissa”

Into The Matrix ordering information: HERE

Retroactive Records online: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records.html & www.facebook.com/pages/Retroactive-Records

Promise Land - Harmony In Ruins

New PROMISE LAND album, Harmony In Ruins:
Press Release / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based symphonic metal band PROMISE LAND has revealed the album artwork and track listing for their highly anticipated new album, Harmony In Ruins.

Commented the band regarding the meaning behind the artwork: “The artwork tells the story of the title and lyrical theme of Harmony In Ruins.  The ‘Tree of Life’ (which now appears dead or dying) is coming out of the scroll/scripture- it reveals the result of ‘the fall’ in the Garden of Eden into modern times, which is depicted by the city in ruins across the water”.

David Michael of PROMISE LAND designed the artwork.

Harmony In Ruins is scheduled to be released during the spring/summer of 2014 on XNilo Records.

The debut PROMISE LAND EP (simply entitled Demo) was recorded and released in late 2005.  The standout demo song “Christ In Us”, which has been re-recorded by the group for Harmony In Ruins, was also selected as Top 10 in the Kingdom Bound International Talent Search.

The band eventually revamped their sound and also made a line-up change, bringing in a second vocalist.  To reflect the vocal change/new sound and musical growth, PROMISE LAND quickly released a new single titled “Hiding Place” in the winter of 2010/2011, which has also been redone for Harmony In Ruins.

Harmony In Ruins track listing:

01. “In the Beginning”
02. “Harmony In Ruins”
03. “C.I.U.”
04. “The Piper Illusion”
05. “Leviathan’s Voyage”
06. “Before The Dawn”
07. “Hiding Place”
08. “Her Name”
09. “Holy”
10. “Eclipse”
11. “Harmony In Ruins” (orchestration bonus track)
12. “Hiding Place” (instrumental bonus track)

PROMISE LAND online: http://promiselandx.com & www.facebook.com/PromiseLandX

NEWS BRIEFS

* NARNIA update (Facebook - March 29, 2014): “We have a killer live set in the pipeline for our forthcoming Narnia shows.  Right now the members of Narnia are active doing concerts around the world.  Andreas Passmark our bass player (is) now on a successful world tour with Royal Hunt.  CJ Grimmark our guitarist will be touring April/May with Jerusalem (as part of the) Father To Son tour.  Christian Liljegren our singer has just returned from a successful concert with Modest Attraction in Switzerland”.

The full Modest Attraction show from the Elements of Rock Festival on March 15, 2014 has been uploaded to YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnuvOa-95oQ

* The release of the Ulterium Records full-length debut from WORLDVIEW, The Chosen Few, has been rescheduled to the fall of this year.

 

Update: March 23, 2014

MINI REVIEWS

Whisper From Heaven - "Into Eternity"

WHISPER FROM HEAVEN - “Into Eternity”

If symphonic metal is defined as “highly atmospheric” and “taking a theatrical (and) more epic approach (to the metal) genre” in addition to employing an “operatic female lead vocalist”, then Charlotte, North Carolina based Whisper From Heaven fits the bill.  Comprising vocalist Amulyn Corzine with the guitar team of Derek Corzine and Hunter Routh and bassist Darren Overcash, the group got its start by placing the track “Anymore” on the Deliverance tribute CD Temporary Insanity from 2010.  Whisper From Heaven follows up in early 2014 with its first single, “Into Eternity”.  

Those into other acts within the symphonic genre such as Within Temptation, After Forever, Epica, Delain and HB will find a lot to like in Whisper From Heaven.  Vocally, Amulyn Corzine brings the range and dynamics to rank with contemporaries Sharon den Adel, Simone Simons and Johanna Aaltonen, while musically the group trends towards a heavier sound more akin to Epica, albeit without (and mercifully so) the extreme metal growls.

“Into Eternity”, as a result, leaves little doubt that Whisper From Heaven stays true to the ‘metal’ aspect as it pertains to symphonic metal.  Yet, the group does not forsake the ‘symphonic’ side either, as can be found in the presence of choir-like backing vocals, classical keyboard overtures and occasional ethereal moment in which lighter guitar tones hold sway.

The overall feeling left by “Into Eternity” is the same as after having listened to the “Anymore” cover: I want to hear more!  In other words, there is more than enough talent here to justify a full-length follow up.  Hence, my advice for fans of the symphonic metal genre would be to make checking out Whisper From Heaven in immediate priority.

WHISPER FROM HEAVEN online: http://whisperfromheaven.bandcamp.com & www.facebook.com/whisperfromheaven

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

ETERNA announce new album & video:
Press Release / Sao Paulo, Brazil based power metal act ETERNA is set to release its seventh studio album, Spiritus Dei, in May of this year.  The group has also completed work on a video of a song off the album entitled “Só quero você”.

Spiritus Die track listing:

01. “Spiritus Die”
02. “Forte Brado”
03. “Medo”
04. “Turning Back”
05. “Do outro lado”
06. “A chama”
07. “Sétimo”
08. “Só quero você”
09. “Eu sei”
10. “Anjo de Luz”
11. “Jesus”
12. “Em teus braços”
13. “Lembra-te - Versão acústica”

Spiritus Die features 10 songs in Portuguese and 2 in English.  Plans are also in the works for the band to re-record 8 of the songs in English and have 2 versions of the same album.

Spiritus Die was produced by the bands new lead vocalist Neno Fernando at the NF-Studio recording facility in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  According to Fernando, Spiritus Die will head in more of a hard rock direction as opposed to the power metal of past ETERNA releases.

ETERNA got its start with debut efforts Shema Israel (1997) and Papyrus (1999) prior to putting out turn of the century albums The Gate (2000), Terra Nova (2002) and Epiphany (2004).  The group also has a live album to its credit, Eterna Live! (2007) in addition to a single, Arcanjo (2012), and EP entitled Turning Back (2013).

The EP title track “No Turning Back” is available for streaming at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDaNB1jsa0k

ETERNA has also placed its rendering of “In God We Trust” on a Brazilian STRYPER tribute album:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qmYp4KxsEc

ETERNA line-up:

Neno Fernando - Lead Vocals
Paulo Frade - Guitars
José Cardillo – Keyboards
Jason Freitas - Bass
Gerson Reyes - Drums

ETERNA online: www.eterna.com.br & www.facebook.com/eternaoficial

SINBREED: “Call To Arms” lyric video released:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

Press Release / The official lyric video for the song "Call To Arms" from SINBREED, the German power metal band featuring BLIND GUARDIAN guitarist Marcus Siepen and drummer Frederik Ehmke, can be seen above.  The track is taken from SINBREED's sophomore album, Shadows, which will be released on March 28 in Europe and April 15 in the U.S. via AFM Records.

Shadows track listing:
01. “Bleed”
02. “Shadows
03. “Call To Arms”
04. “Reborn”
05. “Leaving The Road”
06. “Far Too Long”
07. “Black Death”
08. “Standing Tall”
09. “London Moon”
10. “Broken Wings”

Siepen in 2012 joined SINBREED as a full-time member after previously performing live with the band at a couple of shows, including the ProgPower USA XIII festival in Atlanta, Georgia.

SINBREED's debut album, When Worlds Collide, was released in March 2010 via Ulterium Records.  The CD was produced by Flo Laurin, mixed and mastered by Markus Teske (VANDEN PLAS, SYMPHONY X), and it included guest appearances by Joost van den Broek (AFTER FOREVER) and Morten Sandager (MERCENARY) on keyboards, and Thomas Rettke (REDKEY, ex-HEAVEN'S GATE) on vocals.  The artwork was created by Felipe Machado Franco (ICED EARTH, AYREON).

SINBREED's brand of power metal is described as a "blistering combination of speed, melodic and aggressive arrangements combined with high and soaring vocals."

SINBREED line-up:
Herbie Langhans (SEVENTH AVENUE) – Lead Vocals
Marcus Siepen (BLIND GUARDIAN) - Guitar
Flo Laurin - Guitar, Keyboards
Alexander Schulz - Bass
Frederik Ehmke (BLIND GUARDIAN) - Drums

SINBREED online: www.sinbreed.com & www.facebook.com/Sinbreed

NEWS BRIEFS

* Track list to upcoming LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE album, The Vow: “Forever Starts Tonight”, “For Sure Thing”, “Honeymoon Is Over”, “That's Gonna Leave A Mark”, “Gone”, “Everynight She Cries”, “Promises To God”, “Pucker Up”, “Sting Of Her Kiss”, “Two Or More”, “Another Goodbye” & “Prince Charming In Disguise”

David Cagle contributes all lead vocals, while backing vocals are done by Gunnar Nelson (NELSON), Kelly Keeling (BATON ROUGE), Richard Kendrick, Fergie Fredrickson (TOTO) & Louis St. August (MASS).

The Vow is pending a release date.

* MILLENNIAL REIGN, The God Particle promo video: www.reverbnation.com/artist/artist_videos/1173604?sel_video_id=12564187&autoplay=true

* The melodic metal band SIGNUM REGIS uploaded footage from their show at Elements of Rock in Switzerland this past weekend.  The track “Exodus” with Mayo Petranin on lead vocals can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7enETT82Hg

 

Update: March 16, 2013

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

New TERAMAZE song, “Punishment By Design”:
Press Release / Australia’s TERAMAZE will release their follow-up to the 2012 release AnhedoniA on April 12th via Nightmare Records, distributed by Sony/RED.  Entitled Esoteric Symbolism, the new album blends amazingly tight and speedy syncopated guitar/drum riffs and rhythms, with melodic hard vocals, for a very unique brand of metal.  For fans of PANTERAL, TOOL, METALLICA, DEVIN TOWNSEND & SOILWORK… but faster and more melodic.  Think DREAM THEATRE on steroids but without the extended ‘wankery’

Produced/Mixed by Dean Wells and mastered by Lasse Lammert (ALESTORM, STUCK MOJO).

A new track off Esoteric Symbolism entitled “Punishment By Design” was uploaded by the group on YouTube.

Pre-order available at Nightmare Records: http://nightmarerecords.com/online-store/teramaze-esoteric-symbolism

Esoteric Symbolism track listing:
1. “All Seeing Eye”
2. “Line Of Symmetry”
3. “Transhumanist”
4. “Bodies Of Betrayal”
5. “Parallels-Dual Reality”
6. “Spawn”
7. “Punishment By Design”
8. “Dust Of Martyrs”
9. “The Divulgence Act”
10. “Esoteric Symbolism”
 11. “VI Order Out Of Chaos”
12. “VII Darkest Days Of Symphony”
13. “VIII In Vitro”

*CD version includes track 9 “The Divulgence Act” not available on digital release of the album.

TERAMAZE online: http://teramaze.com.au, www.facebook.com/teramaze & https://twitter.com/teramazemusic

Theocracy promo pic

THEOCRACY in search of new drummer:
Timekeeper Shawn Benson departs group:

Press Release / Georgia-based melodic metal band THEOCRACY regrets to announce the departure of longtime drummer Shawn Benson to pursue other interests.  Continued work conflicts and scheduling issues simply made it impossible to move forward, so both parties amicably agreed that it was time for a change to be made.  There are no hard feelings on either side, and the band wishes Shawn nothing but the best in the future.

“To be honest, I’m pretty devastated about this, as I expected to be playing with Shawn for as long as we kept going,” says vocalist Matt Smith.  “But he is moving into a different phase of his life and could no longer give the commitment it takes to be in a band, so ultimately this is the only solution for all parties involved.  I’d like to personally thank Shawn for helping to bring three albums from my imagination to reality, and his contributions can never be overstated. He will always be a part of the Theocracy family.”

In the interest of moving forward, THEOCRACY is beginning to look for candidates to fill the position.  Interested parties can contact the band at: theocracydrummersearch@gmail.com

THEOCRACY recently returned from their third full tour of Europe and is currently working on new material.  Their most recent album, As the World Bleeds, received rave reviews and landed on the Billboard Heatseeker Chart in the U.S. upon release.  As the World Bleeds is the band’s third album, and their second release for Ulterium Records.

THEOCRACY online: www.theocracymusic.com, www.facebook.com/theocracyband & https://twitter.com/theocracyband

NEWS BRIEFS

* Christine Steel (ARSENAL) interview with Dead to Self Radio: www.deadtoselfradio.com/interview_arsenal.php

* PRODIGAL is planning a 30th Anniversary re-issue of its 1984 album Electric Eye in a limited edition boxed with its self-titled debut (1982) and third and final album Just Like Real Life (1985).  The original 2-track analog masters have been restored and re-mastered for digital by Gary Hedden.

* Musician to musician’ interview with Matt Smith (THEOCRACY): www.musiker-board.de/musiker-infos-bt/568767-musiker-musiker-interview-mit-theocracy.html#post6905856

 

Update: March 9, 2013

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Pylon - Homo Homii Lupus

PŸLON: New album Homo Homini Lupus:
Press Release / Swiss doom metallers PŸLON are set to release their sixth full-length album, Homo Homini Lupus, on June 3, 2014 through U.S. label Roxx Records.  The CD will contain six original compositions, including a track, "Al HaHar", with a verse in Modern Hebrew, and one cover song which is set to be a brand new re-imagining of a classic metal tune from SLAYER entitled “South of Heaven” which will also feature a very special guest appearance from Tim Gaines of STRYPER playing bass.

PŸLON have also recruited the vocal talents of Jordan Cutajar of Nomad Son to handle all of the vocal duties on this brand new effort.  Matt Brand will continue to handle all guitars along with the talents of Oliver Schneider. Rounding out this highly anticipated release will be Reto Hardmeier on bass and Beni Mayer on drums.

PŸLON's fifth album, The Harrowing Of Hell, was released in 2012 on vinyl and in 2013 on CD as a collaborative effort between Roxx Records and Quam Libet Records.  The effort contained six original compositions, including "Returnal Etern" and "Psalm 139b" as well as a re-imagining of BLACK SABBATH's "Paranoid".

Pre-Order package is now available and the first 100 pre-orders will come with an exclusive lithograph hand signed by all of the members of PŸLON.

Pre-order: http://roxxproductions.storenvy.com/products/5931526-pylon-homo-homini-lupus-2014

Homo Homini Lupus track listing:
01. “Crowned”
02. “Al-Hahar”
03. “Saligia”
04. “Ils se donnent du mal”
05. “Crucifer”
06. “The Curse Of Eden”
07. “South Of Heaven” (Originally recorded by SLAYER)

PŸLON online: www.pylon-doom.net/en/news/index.asp & www.facebook.com/pylondoom

Sardis logo

SARDIS announce Kickstarter project for debut album, Escape:
Additional details from vocalist Sean Roycraft:

“Ever since the conception of SARDIS, we have been actively writing and recording a full-length album with a ‘do it yourself’ approach.  We are nearly finished, but we also lack the funds to produce the final product.  This is where our most treasured asset emerges, and that is YOU!  The reason we play shows and write music is for our fans, and your support over the years has kept us moving along the way. The greatest feeling in the world as a front man is to hear the audience sing with me, and I consider myself blessed to have that connection with you all.  Now, we need you more than ever before so we can continue to perform live and put music in your ears and into your hearts.

“We have some awesome perks for you all, including MP3 downloads, physical CDs, signed posters, clothing, and candlelit dinners with the band members. We appreciate anything you can offer whether it be funding or sharing our Kickstarter campaign.

“Once again, I can't emphasize how thankful I am for you the fans. We invite you to be a part of the SARDIS story”.

Escape can be backed at: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1371751157/sardis-full-length-album-escape

Further information from the band:

There is little risk in completing this project.  The album has been completely recorded, mixed, and mastered and the artwork and layout is practically finished.  The anticipated goal amount for this project should cover all expenses for the physical album and t-shirts for the backers.  All we have left to do is to make physical copies, mail them out to you along with any perks you choose, and arrange any perks that require an appointment.

If any unexpected challenges arise, be assured the backers will be the first to know. We will make it a priority to make things work out for you.

SARDIS online: www.facebook.com/Sardisband & www.reverbnation.com/SardisBand

Michael Sweet releases I’m Not Your Suicide single and video:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

Press Release / Michael Sweet, singer, songwriter and guitarist for Christian rockers STRYPER, has released a new single, "I'm Not Your Suicide", from his upcoming solo album of the same. Sweet has partnered up with Childhelp for the release of the track.  Michael Sweet and Big3 Records are donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of "I'm Not Your Suicide" to Childhelp. The single is available via iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/im-not-your-suicide-single/id815173171

Michael Sweet felt compelled to partner with Childhelp after learning that almost half of all children who have been abused consider suicide.  His intention was for the heartfelt lyrics to connect with these kids and hopefully offer some peace to those in need.  Bringing added attention to the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, which offers an immediate 24/7 professional crisis counselor on call, and championing the Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe in schools, Michael Sweet is sharing a message of crisis intervention and prevention education. "I'm Not Your Suicide" is a song with a message of hope, and through the partnership with Childhelp, illustrates to children a positive alternative through the track's lyrics.

Sweet's I'm Not Your Suicide album, and his first autobiography, Honestly: My Life And Stryper Revealed, will be released on May 6 via BIG3 Records.

I'm Not Your Suicide is available for pre-sale at www.michaelsweet.com.  Fans who pre-order the full album will be able to instantly download the song "Taking On The World Tonight" (featuring TNT singer Tony Harnell) and be registered to win a guitar used in the recording of the album.

I'm Not Your Suicide track listing:
01. “Taking On The World Tonight” (featuring Tony Harnell)
02. “All That's Left (For Me To Prove)”
03. “The Cause”
04. “This Time” (featuring Kevin Max)
05. “I'm Not Your Suicide” (co-written with Blair Daly)
06. “Coming Home”
07. “Miles Away”
08. “Strong”
09. “How To Live” (featuring Robert Sweet and Timothy Gaines)
10. “Heart Of Gold”
11. “Anybody Else” (featuring Chris Jericho and Doug Aldrich)
12. “Unsuspecting”
13. “Heart Of Gold” (bonus track featuring Electra Mustaine)

Michael Sweet online: www.michaelsweet.com & www.facebook.com/TheMichaelSweet

Warlord live pic

WARLORD taps SHADOW GALLERY's Gary Wehrkamp for European tour:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net & Angelic Warlord:

Press Release / Due to an unexpected schedule extension with Steve Vai, bassist Philip Bynoe will be unable to perform during WARLORD's 2014 summer European tour.  Philip, who remains with WARLORD, recorded the tracks for the band's new album and will be missed this summer.

WARLORD, of course, could only replace Philip for the 2014 performances with a musician and performer of the highest caliber.  It is therefore with great joy that they are welcoming Gary Wehrkamp of the legendary SHADOW GALLERY into the fold.  Being not only a superb bass player but also a great vocalist, Gary will provide the solid rhythm section and a great addition to Mark Zonder's drumming while contributing the level of backing vocals that WARLORD compositions require.

WARLORD's latest album, The Holy Empire, came out last year.  The effort was made available on CD and digitally via Sons Of A Dream Music/Battle Hymns Music.

The Holy Empire was engineered and mastered by the multi-Grammy Award winner Phil Magnotti (FATES WARNING, OVERKILL, ARCH/MATHEOS, OSI).

The Angelic Warlord review (95%) described The Holy Empire as “(striking) a balance between the dark, epic metal of its past and classically influenced sounds of Lordian Guard.  It proves a compelling combination, particularly when factoring the manner in which the group stays true to the epic song structures and deep melodies of its first two releases while mixing orchestral and choral parts with the cinematic elements in which Tsamis later gained renown.  The upshot is an artist taking things to the next level musically, keeping the uniqueness of the Warlord sound untouched - and the European, classic and symphonic aspects that go with it – to create a work that is not so much “conventional metal” as it its powerful and epic music in its purest form”.

The Holy Empire ranked number 2 in the Angelic Warlord list of top 15 albums from 2013. 

WARLORD online: www.warlord-official.com & www.facebook.com/OfficialWarlord

NEWS BRIEFS

* Michael Sweet interview with Decibel Magazine: www.decibelmagazine.com/featured/soldier-under-command-the-testimony-of-strypers-michael-sweet

* ”Different Stage”, new song off the forthcoming SUPERNAL ENDGAME album Touch The Sky: Vol. II: https://soundcloud.com/johneargle

* Update from vocalist Jim Mullis regarding third TEMPLE OF BLOOD album, A Show Of Force (Facebook - February 25, 2014): “I'm going to begin tracking vocals for the new album very soon!  Just got finished with all my vocal tracking for Cauldron Born last weekend. Can't wait to pick up my copy when it is released!

“Sorry for the infrequent updates but frankly there wasn't much to say about TOB for a while since I was working on other music. I will try to keep everyone updated of our progress in the studio from here on out”.

* Light, the seventh full-length album from Sweden’s VENI DOMINE album, is scheduled for release on May 23, 2014 via Massacre Records.   Further details as they become available.

 

Update: March 2, 2014

INTERVIEWS

Bloodgood promo pic

New BLOODGOOD interview online:
HM Magazine recently interviewed founding BLOODGOOD members Michael Bloodgood (bass) and Les Carlson (lead vocals).  During the interview, the two discuss the group’s new album, Dangerously Close, and the reason behind Oz Fox (STRYPER) joining the band.  Following is an excerpt:

What was the thing that made you guys decide now is the time to do a new album?
Michael: Well, it certainly was not for lack of talking about it!  We started writing new material back in 2007, so it has always been in the plans.  We knew the Lord was blessing us with new material and we were very excited to get back into the studio after all these years.  However, between live performances and our day jobs, it kept getting pushed back until now.  One of the downsides of not being signed to a label is that we did not have a deadline staring us in the face.  So, we essentially created our own deadline by creating a Kickstarter project.

The full interview can be read at: http://hmmagazine.com/blog/feature/bloodgood/

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

SIGNUM REGIS: "Exodus” lyric video posted online:
Press Release / The melodic metal band SIGNUM REGIS have uploaded a lyric video for the track "Exodus" to YouTube. The track comes off their album Exodus and features Lance King (ex Balance Of Power, Pyramaze) on lead vocals.  Exodus was released on November 15th in Europe and December 3rd in North America through Ulterium Records.

Exodus features guest vocals by Lance King (ex. Pyramaze, Balance of Power), Michael Vescera (Obsession, Animetal USA), Matt Smith (Theocracy), Daísa Munhoz (Vandroya, Soulspell), Eli Prinsen (Sacred Warrior, The Sacrificed), Samuel Nyman (Manimal), Thomas L. Winkler (Gloryhammer, Emerald), Göran Edman (ex. Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum) and Mayo Petranin (Castaway). The album was mastered by Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Jorn, Circus Maximus) and the artwork was created by Felipe Machado Franco (Blind Guardian, Rhapsody of Fire).

Exodus is a historical concept album about the Israelites who were enslaved in ancient Egypt.

Check out an album teaser at YouTube: http://youtu.be/99bIAAvAhPg

Exodus track listing:
1. “On The Nile”
2. “Enslaved”
3. “The Promised Land”
4. “Let Us Go!”
5. “Wrath Of Pharaoh”
6. “The Ten Plagues”
7. “Last Days In Egypt”
8. “Exodus”
9.  “Song Of Deliverance”
10. “Sole Survivor”
11. “Mountain of God” (CD bonus track)

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

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

Stryper promo pic

STRYPER announce video contest for “Te Amo” single:
Courtesy of www.bravewords.com:

Multi-platinum rock band STRYPER has announced a very special contest around the latest single from their new studio album, No More Hell To Pay.  “Te Amo” will be made available as a free download on the band’s official website.

Once fans have downloaded the track, they can utilize their artistic and technological skills to make a music or lyric video for the song.  Once they have created their masterpiece, they can submit the video for review by a special panel of judges.  The judges will pick their 10 favorite videos from the submissions, and those top 10 videos will then be posted on www.noisecreep.com for not only STRYPER fans, but hard rock and heavy metal fans around the world to vote for their favorite.

The grand prizewinner will have their video posted on STRYPER's official YouTube channel, Frontiers Records' YouTube channel and www.stryper.com, with director credit for the video on all sites.  The winner will also receive a Skype call with vocalist/guitarist Michael Sweet and a prize package containing STRYPER merchandise items, guitar picks, drumsticks and an autographed copy of No More Hell To Pay.

For full details, including important rules and disclaimers, please visit STRYPER’s official website: www.stryper.com/News/teamovideocontest.html

Fans who don’t want to participate are still encouraged to visit www.stryper.com to download the single if they don’t already own the new album No More Hell To Pay.

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

NEWS BRIEFS

* According to a Facebook post (March 1, 2014) from Nancy Jo Mann, all five BARNABAS albums are scheduled for re-issue on Retroactive Records late spring of this year.

* Update from BARREN CROSS vocalist Michael Drive regarding CD releases of the groups live album Birth Pangs and Rock For The King re-issue: “All is well with the manufacture of our new album Birth Pangs double album deluxe CD, which is wrapping up it's manufacture and is scheduled to ship in a few days, on March 8!

“However, to all of you who have ordered the Rock For The King re-release CD, I would like to ask you to please be patient with us on this one.  There was a problem at the manufacturing plant and these have to start over!  So they're not ready yet, but they should be ready to ship to you next month, in April.  I don't have the exact date in April but when I know, I promise to let you know!”

* Songs titles for the upcoming GX PROJECT album, Sinner: “I Sell Love”, “Don't Come Cheap”, “Satisfaction Guaranteed”, “Sinner”, “High Power (Rock n Roll)”, “Train Wreck”, “All About You”, “Rock N Roll Soul”, “Tear It Up”, “You Can't”, “Get You High” and one yet to be named.

* New song from LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE, “Promises To God” (featuring background vocals by Fergie Fredrickson):
www.reverbnation.com/c./poni/264938203

Further details about “Promises To God” from LNJ founder Justin Murr: “True story: Fergie Fredrickson (TOTO) recently passed away, but I did not know him all that well.  His integrity speaks volumes as well as his character.  Back in 2006, I was recording Soundtrack Of A Soul and hired Fergie Frederiksen to sing a song called "Crown Of My Heart".  I sent payment to him and he got really sick and could not finish the track.  I forgot all about it until I got an email from him about 8 months ago or so stating he was in the studio with Allesandro Del Vecchio working on his own album and wanted to "even up" with me and if I had any songs he could sing.  I sent him this song and he laid down some background vocals.   As I told Kevin Chalfant recently, he did not have to do it but he did and in today’s music biz, Fergie will be missed not just for his talent but is character as well”.

 

Update: February 23, 2014

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

King's X - Out Of The Silent Planet - Rock Candy re-issue

KING'S X, Out Of The Silent Planet re-issue on Rock Candy Records:
Press Release / ALL HAIL TO the king.  The emergence of Texan based power trio KING’S X resonated through the music industry like a breath of fresh air.  Suffocating under a barrage of hair bands, the scene was fast stagnating but it was KING’S X who rode into the fray like knights in shining amour, unleashing a stylistically innovative and brilliant new sound; one that would revolutionize and influence the direction of modern rock for years to come.  Out Of The Silent Planet is one of the finest hard rock albums of the new era pretty much laying the foundations for the coming tidal wave of grunge.  They specialized in powerful detuned guitar playing, peeling out thick muscular riffs of the type that would soon be appropriated by future Seattle stars such as ALICE IN CHAINS, NIRVANA and SOUNDGARDEN.

That KING’S X provided a beacon of light in the black is in no doubt.  Originally Issued in 1988, the album is stuffed to the rafters with a brace of extraordinary tunes, each with a lyrical twist that indicated that they were communicating on a far deeper level than what might have been expected from such a robust and bruising outfit.  Check out tracks such as ‘Shot Of Love’, ‘Goldilox’ and the classic ‘King’ with its haunting refrain and unnerving defiance.

Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, fully re-mastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, 16 page full color booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork, rare photos and new interview with DUg Pinnick.  Release date of February 25, 2014.

Out Of The Silent Planet track listing:
1. "In The New Age"
2. "Goldilox"
3. "Power Of Love"
4. "Wonder"
5. "Sometimes"
6. "King"
7. "What Is This?"
8. "Far, Far Away"
9. "Shot Of Love"
10. "Visions"

Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

TERAMAZE returns with fourth full-length album, Esoteric Symbolism:
Press Release / After completely grabbing the attention of the underground thrash and prog-power metal scene with its 2012 release Anhedonia, TERAMEZE returns with an even stronger offering in Esoteric Symbolism that blends amazingly tight and speedy syncopated guitar/drum riffs and rhythms, with melodic hard vocals, for a very unique brand of metal.  The result is a TESTAMENT & TOOL meets PANTERA & THE POLICE sound in a dark  sci-fi video game vibe.  TERAMAZE burst out of Australia in 2012 and received well-deserved critical acclaim worldwide with their release Anhedonia.

The album on Nightmare Records will be distributed by Sony/RED coming to the world April 15th on tax day.

An Esoteric Symbolism album teaser is available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCulsAgkfrM

The music of TERAMAZE conjures such adjectives as innovative, progressive and groove-laden but almost notably engaging.  Keeping the fundamental elements of metal alive, TERAMAZE pushes metal into un-chartered territory with guitar work that is incendiary with powerfully aggressive vocals that drive the song.

 “Esoteric Symbolism screams at the men behind the curtain, shining a spotlight on the establishment in an attempt to share their secrets.”

For fans of PANTERAL, TOOL, METALLICA, DEVIN TOWNSEND & SOILWORK… but faster and more melodic. Think DREAM THEATE on steroids but without the extended ‘wankery’.  Produced/Mixed by Dean Wells and mastered by Lasse Lammert (ALESTORM, STUCK MOJO).

Some Quotes on the album:

"Edgy melodic tunes with quality production all add up to a great modern prog/metal album. Excellent guitars, vocals, keyboards, drums, bass - not a weak link in the Teramaze chain! Highly recommended!" -Ted Kirkpatrick / Tourniquet

Awesome. I love the songs, production is great and the guitars sound incredibly tight. Love the instrumental opener, some cool voicings. Very modern and punchy. And the most important thing is that it sounds original. I'm definitely a fan."- Marco Sfogli / James Labrie,Jordan Rudess,Virgil Donati

Pre-order available at Nightmare Records: http://nightmarerecords.com/online-store/teramaze-esoteric-symbolism

Esoteric Symbolism track listing:
1. “All Seeing Eye”
2. “Line Of Symmetry”
3. “Transhumanist”
4. “Bodies Of Betrayal”
5. “Parallels-Dual Reality”
6. “Spawn”
7. “Punishment By Design”
8. “Dust Of Martyrs”
9. “The Divulgence Act”
10. “Esoteric Symbolism”
 11. “VI Order Out Of Chaos”
12. “VII Darkest Days Of Symphony”
13. “VIII In Vitro”

*CD version includes track 9 “The Divulgence Act” not available on digital release of the album.

TERAMAZE online: http://teramaze.com.au & www.facebook.com/teramaze

NEWS BRIEFS

* THE BRAVE remain at work on its comeback release entitled Rise (Facebook - February 11, 2014):  “People keep asking us where Rise will stack up against Battle Cries and Trust.  The simple answer is that it is a great marriage between the two, although I'd say the new material is a little heavier while maintaining the slick melodies.  The thing is that we grew up with melodic bands like Stryper, Styx, Def Leppard, Queen, Journey, Foreigner, and Queensryche- so our influences are pretty wide.  But for us it really is all about the songs.  The remakes are pretty spot on, although you will be introduced to a new singer, who shall remain nameless until the album comes out.  If you know anything about us, you know that vocals hold the highest value to us, so I promise… killer vocalist on tap!  The other thing is, if any of you caught the videos I've put up, you can see that the guitar playing is going to give you a lot more solos, much more aggressive (my influences are Neal Schon and Paul Gilbert.  Anyways, this album is worth the wait, and we are already piecing the next album together, songs are already written (enough for two albums)!”

* LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE are near completion of its first non-all star project band release (and 15th overall) since 2000, a concept album entitled The Vow.  A demo version of a song off The Vow entitled “Forever Starts Tonight” can be streamed at: www.reverbnation.com/c./poni/264132954

LNJ consists of JK Northrup (guitars), David Cagle (vocals), Eric Ragno (bass), Michael Feighan (drums) and Justin Murr (bass).

* SAINT is putting the final touches on the cover art for its next album, Broad Is The Gate.  The group hopes to have the mix done by end of the month, while pre-orders should be offered in the near future.

* SINBREED in the studio at work on new album Shadows: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPbCGBA3CYs & www.youtube.com/watch?v=quOjUsoRRVY

* Update from Michael Sweet (Facebook - February 11, 2014): “Aside from a very active year with the Stryper tour and live Stryper album, it's going to be quite a ride with the solo album and book coming out as well as the George Lynch/ Michael Sweet album being recorded and scheduled for release. To be honest, it's a little overwhelming but I'm very blessed to be able to do what I do and at the same time, bless other people with the music and the message! Walk with me on this journey and help me continue to get the music and message out to the masses”.

* Re-mastered version of TAKER track “Look Into His Eyes”: www.reverbnation.com/roxxrecords

“Look Into His Eyes” originally appeared on the White Metal Invasion compilation tape from 1988 and will be included as part of the upcoming TAKER anthology entitled It Is Finished (scheduled for release by Roxx Productions on April 1, 2014).

 

Update: February 9, 2014

FEATURED REVIEWS

ADRIANGALE - Sucker Punch!
AdrianGale returns following a ten-year hiatus with both a new album in Sucker Punch!, its fourth from the fall of 2013 on Kivel Records, and revised sound giving prominence to that much more edge and attitude.  Not that the group needed an “extreme makeover” in that its previous outing from 2004, Crunch, help up quite well with its immediately accessible joining of melodic rock and commercial hard rock.  Read Full Review >>

BARREN CROSS - Rock For The King (Independent band re-issue)
Barren Cross doesn’t do subtle.  Long-term fans know all too well, particularly when factoring the group’s musical direction: Straight on heavy metal with a strong slant towards the power, progressive and speed side of things but intermingled with occasional touches of the blues.  Read Full Review >>

BARREN CROSS - Birth Pangs
Barren Cross, with its second live album from December 2013 entitled Birth Pangs, puts them all to shame.  It starts with how Birth Pangs includes the groups full performance from its 2012 Elements Of Rock show in Switzerland and places all 18 tracks onto 2 CD’s.  Read Full Review >>

DESYRE - Glamtron
Not unlike its hair metal predecessors, Desyre plays up the multi-layered choruses, catchy hooks, tight guitar harmonies and shred soloing inherit to the genre (not to mention the teased hair and gaudy attire that also goes hand in hand).  What sets Desyre apart is how it takes the heavier approach.  Read Full Review >>

JAGUAR BLAZE - Leave It Behind
The latest to get in on the blues based hard rock bandwagon is veteran guitarist and vocalist Ian Keith Hafner’s Jaguar Blaze project.  Hafner has recorded albums in styles as diverse as shock metal (Holy Riot), industrial/Gothic metal (Angry Little Freak) and classic Christian rock (Static Fuse), but it is the bluesy hard rock of Jaguar Blaze in which he has hit his stride.  Read Full Review >>

SIX MINUTE CENTURY - Wasting Time
Musically, Wasting Time sticks to the power and progressive metal game plan of Time Capsules but further emphasizing the latter in exhibiting that much more complexity and technical acumen from a songwriting standpoint.  Read Full Review >>

SONIC DIVIDE - Sonic Divide
Musically, Sonic Divide walks a fine line between melodic rock, commercial hard rock and AOR.  The groups press material, as a result, lists MSG, Toto, Boston, Journey and Bon Jovi as points of reference- and rightly so!  Read Full Review >>

WALES ROAD - Radio Scripture
The latest to get in on the rock praise bandwagon is Rochester, New York based Wales Road and its fall of 2013 and 17th album overall in Radio Scripture. Wales Road follows the tried and true method of taking traditional hymns and contemporary praise songs and setting them to a musical framework that is much more current and up to date.  Read Full Review >>

CHRISTIAN METAL NEWS

Angelic Warlord top 15 albums of 2013:

1. STRYPER - No More Hell To Pay
Stryper plays to its strengths and successfully recaptures its mid-eighties form in the process.  The upshot is the group’s heaviest and overall best album to date.

2. WARLORD - The Holy Empire
Guitarist William J.Tsamis reunites with original Warlord vocalist Rick Anderson to create epic metal classic.  Classical overtures and deep melodies collide to create powerful and epic music in its purest form.

3. ABSOLON - Darkness Rising
New band from vocalist Ken Pike (Malachia) touches upon a European influenced power metal sound.  Also a concept album based loosely around the story of A Portrait of Dorian Gray with a modern interpretation.

4. John Elefante - On My Way To The Sun
Former Kansas and Mastedon front man delivers a heavy rocking AOR sound with occasional progressive moments.  Cover artwork and production shine equally.

5. SACRED WARRIOR - Waiting In Darkness
Top-notch comeback album from veteran eighties power metal outfit.  Features the heaviness the group always strove for but could not quite captures on previous releases.

6. REINXEED - A New World
Inconsistent at times in the past, Swedish symphonic power metal act delivers its most well rounded release to date.  Also finds the group experimenting with some progressive, melodic and classic metal slants.

7. SIX MINUTE CENTURY - Wasting Time
Power and progressive metal from Houston, Texas based group that proves heavier than 2008 debut Time Capsules.  SMC continues to standout with solid musicianship and current events based lyrics.

8. SONIC DIVIDE - Sonic Divide
One of the better new bands to hit the scene brings a joining of AOR, melodic rock and commercial hard rock.  Lushly textured songwriting and overall emotional edge lends to quite the enaging self-titled debut.

9. BLOODGOOD - Dangerously Close
Another solid comeback album in a year characterized by eighties metal bands delivering on promise of new material.  You will find a joining of heavier and faster tracks and those with a more accessible sound.

10. BARREN CROSS - Birth Pangs
A double live album that captures the group’s entire performance from the 2012 Elements of Rock show in Switzerland.  Featured is material from all the previous Barren Cross releases in addition to several new songs.

11. BRIDE - Incorruptible
Quality swan song effort by veteran hard rock act from Louisville, Kentucky.  The album runs the gamut from the hard rocking to the bluesy to the acoustic to the progressive.

12. DESYRE - Glamtron
Hair metal with a heavier edge, Desyre takes the next step in terms of its songwriting.  Tons of infectious energy and non-stop hooks guarantees repeat listen.

13. HEDDA - The Storm
Concept album based around a fictional war between various factions of angels with power and progressive metal employed as the vehicle to get said storyline across.  An all around consistent work with no filler or skip buttons.

14. MISSION OF ONE - Hostile To The Gospel
Vocalist and bassist Chris Dickens continues to walk a fine line between blues based hard rock and straightforward heavy metal on finest Mission of One release.  For those into the Rez Band meets Stonefuze meets Thieves & Liars type sound.

15. STRYPER - Second Coming
Quality re-record project made up of songs from the groups first three albums.  It features stronger production values and contributions form all four original members.

Best re-issues of 2013:

1. THEOCRACY - Theocracy
Re-mixed and re-mastered Theocracy self-titled debut with programmed drums replaced by Theocracy drummer Shawn Benson.  An excellent introduction to the groups ‘epic melodic power metal with progressive overtones’ based sound.

2.  LEVITICUS - The Strongest Power
A widely regarded Christian metal classic re-mastered (by guitarist Bjorn Stigsson) and featuring original ‘Deborah & Barak’ artwork.  Second album from Swedish power trio joins aspects of melodic, power and traditional metal.

3. LORDIAN GUARD - Anthology
Double disc re-release of both Lordian Guard albums, Lordian Guard (1995) and Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God (1997).  Epic song structures and medieval flavorings help set Lordian Guard apart.

4. GIDEON’S ARMY - Warriors Of Love
Second album from Bay Area commercial hard rock outfit re-mastered and made available for first time since mid-eighties.  For those into Guardian, Novella, Idle Cure and Daniel Band.

5.  BRIDE - Lost Reels I, II & III
A 3 CD set of Bride songs either never previously released or demo versions of song it would later re-record.  Made up mostly of late eighties to late nineties based material.

6. BRIDE - Skin For Skin
Originally a 2006 release but re-mastered & re-issued with altered album artwork.  SFS represents a throwback to Bride’s eighties and early nineties eras.

Update Archives: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

 

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