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Jon Schaffer of ICED EARTH has posted the following lengthy update:
I know I’ve been really lame with the updates and I’m sorry about that. We’ve let things get pretty lax here at Iced Earth.com and we’re going to be making some changes in this in the not too distant future. As some of you are aware, I’m not really the internet type of guy and only use it for my email, and even that I avoid often (which does annoy my business associates at times; but hey, that’s what phones are for!), so I spend as little time as possible on a computer; unless it’s my studio computer and I’m spending a LOT of time on that one. Tim enjoys surfing and all of that stuff so he’s going to be involved in the IE site a lot more in the future. You’ll be seeing some big changes in the site with the release of the next IE CD.
Which actually brings me to the next bit of news… I’m completely consumed in the writing process of what will be by far the most ambitious album(s) IE has ever done. Some of you probably know that the next 2 releases will comprise the full concept album of the Something Wicked story line, Part 1 & Part 2. I know it’s taken quite some time to get this beast on its way to fruition, but it IS finally happening, and I really feel the time is right. The goal is to make this our most epic, dynamic, most melodic and heaviest CD ever. Because of the depth and detail of the story it would be impossible to do it on one CD, there simply is not enough time, so I’m writing both parts at one time so that the continuity is there. If I were to wait a year or two to start writing part 2 I would be in a completely different frame of mind and it wouldn’t work nearly as well, so the best thing is to do all the writing at once. We’ll get Part 1 recorded, mixed and released and then finish part 2 which will come out about 6 months later. That’s at least the preliminary plan. We are still pretty early in the process but things are starting to move along nicely.
I know it’s been some time since the release of “The Glorious Burden” and I ask you to please be patient because what’s coming next is going to blow you away. This is the album that IE fans have been waiting for.
I want to apologize to the European fans for not making it over there for a headline tour on the last album. My back problems got too intense to be on the road and that really screwed things up for everyone, myself, the rest of the guys in the band, our crew, the promoters etc.. We would have toured a lot more than we did had I not had these problems. The great thing is that the last surgical procedure I had in October of 2004 seems to have worked to make the pain much more tolerable. I did very extensive therapy for many months and am committed to being in the best shape of my life by the time we tour again. It’s good to be enjoying life for the first time in a very long time.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those of you that have picked up the DEMONS & WIZARDS “Touched by the Crimson King” CD. Sales have been excellent worldwide and again have exceeded myself and Hansi’s expectations. It outsold the 1st release in mere months in many territories, (including the US), around the world and charted high in several European countries. The normal mode of operation is to get out and push the CD by doing live shows but due to Hansi’s activities with BLIND GUARDIAN and my writing schedule for the next IE release it will probably be a while before we do any live shows. We knew we had a small window of opportunity to get this one recorded and released and were aware that touring was going to be done at a later date from the beginning. We felt it had been too long since the first CD was released so we opted for this plan instead of waiting another 2 years to get the 2nd CD out. We will be doing a live CD at some point here in the States, probably NYC, and that’s sure to be quite an event!
2005 was a very special year for me. My daughter was born and it’s been by far the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. After so many years of ass breaking work to keep this band alive and successful it was time for me to take care of #1. So I devoted my time to my health and my family and it was great. My batteries definitely needed recharging. Things are in perspective like never before and I feel more determined and more focused than ever. I can say in full confidence that this is coming through in the music.
Contrary to some rumors IE is still very much alive and will be coming back with a vengeance, stronger and more driven than ever to spread our brand of metal. Tim, Bobby and I are very much looking forward to getting these CD’s in the can and getting back out to see you all again.
I haven’t concentrated until recently with filling the open positions as there are plenty of very talented musicians out there that would love to be a part of the IE legacy. We get hit with demos and email constantly from a lot of great players, even when we’re not looking. I’m checking out a few people and announcements will be made when the decisions have been made.
I’ll leave another post here in the near future with some titles and updates on the writing and happenings in IE world.
Until next time, Cloven Hooves up!
Best to you all,
Initial dates have been released for the American Witch Across America tour featuring ROB ZOMBIE and ANTHRAX:
June 30 – El Paso, TX @ County Coliseum
July 2 – Wichita Falls, TX @ Kay Yeager Coliseum
July 5 – McAllen, TX @ La Villa Real Special Events Ctr.
July 7 – North Little Rock, AR @ North Shore Riverwalk
July 9 – Wichita, KS @ Kansas Coliseum
July 12 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Fairgrounds Arena
July 15 – Cleveland, OH @ Tower City Amphitheater
July 16 – Fort Wayne, IN @ Allen County War Mem. Coliseum
July 22 – Mankato, MN @ Midwest Wireless Civic Center
July 24 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Ramkota Exhibit Hall
July 28 – Billings, MT @ Shrine Auditorium
Arkansas metallic hardcore unit THE HANDSHAKE MURDERS is the newest addition to the Goodfellow Records roster. The band has just agreed to a deal for three albums, the first of which will be recorded this summer and is currently scheduled for release in January of 2007.
Over the past six years the band has toured incessantly throughout the US and has become a fan favourite. Technically proficient and reminiscent of band such as MESHUGGAH, COALESCE and THE RED CHORD, THE HANDSHAKE MURDERS has proven itself as a formidable band on its way up. We are thrilled to be able to welcome them to the fold.
For those unfamiliar, the band has two songs taken from their last studio album, Essays On The Progression of Man (Southern Death Records), available for download here.
Swedish Viking Death Metal heroes AMON AMARTH have started recording their sixth full-length album. This time around the band has entered Fascination Street studio (OPETH, SOILWORK) in their home country of Sweden. AMON AMARTH will record through June 14 with producer Jens Bogren.
There will be frequent updates with pictures from the recordings on their home page, so check often.
The yet untitled album is scheduled for release mid to end of September.
Following our coverage of THE ROLLING STONES guitarist Keith Richards “falling out of a tree” incident in Fiji, the talismanic six stringer has made a full recovery and is “up and talking with his family”. The 35-date tour the band had earmarked for 2006 had previously been scheduled to start in Barcelona on May 27 and end in Cardiff on August 29 – it has now been pushed back to June.
The full story can be found at the BBC.
SOCIETY 1 has finished filming their latest video for the song ‘This Is The End’. The track comes off the bands “The Years Of Spiritual Dissent” collection which will be released on July 25th via Crash Music. The video and a documentary DVD will be included with the CD.
‘This Is The End’ was directed by Danny Rowe who has directed video’s for SOCIETY 1 in the past as well as numerous commercials and independent films.
Matt “The Lord” Zane had this to say:
“It was great to film this on location instead of being in a studio for 2 days. The basement of this industrial building we were in was very dark and had a sinister feeling to it. Of course this lent itself to the overall theme of someone’s death which the video is basically about. I kept thinking about people that didn’t know we were shooting a video that saw us might of thought it was a high budget snuff film.”
In other news SOCIETY 1 are scheduled to ring in the Satanic New Year with on 6/5/06. The evening is promised to provide the most extreme and esoteric entertainment.
PIG DESTROYER will be playing on May 13th at the Ashburn Farmhouse in Ashburn, VA. Also performing will be WILDCATZ, HARAM, DOUR, and DRUGS OF FAITH.
In what will go down as one of the most memorable shows in the 12-year history of Jaxx niteclub in West Springfield, VA, NEVERMORE and EVERGREY performed extended sets in front of a sold-out crowd as part of their off-date from their tour with IN FLAMES and THROWDOWN. Setlists are as follows:
End of Your Days
Rulers of the Mind
More Than Ever
As I Lie Here Bleeding
Still in the Water
Monday Morning Apocalypse
Mark of the Triangle
When the Walls Go Down (Vaggen)
A Touch of Blessing
Engines of Hate
Chris & Jeff Jack Offs (guitar solos)
Dead Heart In A Dead World (with James MacDonough on bass)
My Acid Words
The River Dragon Has Come
Enemies of Reality
This Godless Endeavor
Local Springfield act APOTHYS opened the show, combining a blend of old-school melodic death metal with a modern Scandinavian touch. They also covered DEATH‘s “Crystal Mountain”. Jaxx house band DIVISION performed afterward, rocking out with their power-metal meets technical-thrash combo. The band closed their set with a thundering rendition of METALLICA‘s “Damage Inc.”
After EVERGREY performed “More Than Ever”, frontman Thomas Englund invited a fan (and Jaxx regular) named Ryan on to the stage. He then called out Ryan’s girlfriend, who came on stage as well. Ryan dropped to a knee, pulled out a white box, and opened it up to reveal an engagement ring. The crowd immediately began to cheer themselves into a frenzy. Shocked, the woman flung her hands over her mouth. Ryan asked her, “Will you marry me?” and her hands shot wide open as she exclaimed “Yes!” The crowd thunderously roared as the couple embraced, the members of EVERGREY looking on with smiles and applause. Englund invited the couple to stay on stage for their next song “She Said”, though the two lovebirds exited stage-right within the first few seconds. They watched the rest of the set from the side of the stage as the show went forth.
A Very Happy Birthday For Jim Sheppard:
Right before the concert kicked off, Jaxx owner Jay Nedry took to the mic to announce to the crowd that, although he had been sick (Crohn’s Disease) and could not endure the full tour, NEVERMORE bassist Jim Sheppard had flown in from Seattle to play this one and only show. Sure enough, when NEVERMORE took the stage as the final and headlining act, Sheppard came out to join Jeff Loomis, Warrel Dane, Van Williams and Chris Broderck (filling in for the ailing Steve Smyth). Not in years has Sheppard had this much energy, throwing himself around the stage like a 20-year-old Frank Bello. Sheppard held bass duties throughout the night, except during “Dead Heart in a Dead World”, when he handed the bass over to his tour replacement James MacDonough for that one song.
Right around midnight, Warrel announced that it was Sheppard’s birthday, and the NEVERMORE crew presented him with balloons and a gigantic cake filled with lit candles and a couple icing bears. Warrel led the crowd in a metal version of “Happy Birthday”, which preceeded Sheppard blowing out all the candles in one breath while the balloons were thrown into the crowd.
From everyone at SMNnews.com, a happy birthday to Jim Sheppard, “Get Well Soons” to Jim and Steve Smyth, and many congratulations to the newly-engaged EVERGREY fans.
THE ALIEN BLAKK guitarist/songwriter/producer and session musician Joshua Craig (BLACK ART, FiNGeR) will be doing eight special acoustic duo dates opening for ROB ZOMBIE, BAD RELIGION, CYPRESS HILL, FLOTSAM and JETSAM and LIT at the end of the month. All dates will feature music from THE ALIEN BLAKK debut, “Modes Of Alienation”, which features bassist David Ellefson (ex-MEGADETH) and drummer Craig Nielsen (FLOTSAM AND JETSAM). Some dates are as follows:
May 19 – Phoenix, AZ
May 20 – Scottsdale, AZ
May 26 – Las Vegas, NV (opening for Rob Zombie)
May 27 – Las Vegas, NV (opening for Bad Religion and Flotsam And Jetsam)
May 28 – Las Vegas, NV (opening for Lit and Cypress Hill)
As previously reported, THE ALIEN BLAKK is a predominantly instrumental project that features many different facets of Joshua’s many sides and styles of unfiltered creativity. The music is described as a frenetic mix of FRANK ZAPPA meets FEAR FACTORY. The styles range from Metal, Latin-Jazz, Country, Rock, Classical then back to a wall of acoustically composed arrangements.
THE ALIEN BLAKK will also be featured on the CD/DVD-ROM accompanying this month’s issue of Guitar World magazine (which ships to stores on May 9 ). The track, entitled “The Thing”, is reportedly the longest song to ever be featured on a Guitar World CD/DVD-ROM, clocking in at 7:41. “The Thing” is described as an “extreme metal version” of STEVE VAI‘s “For the Love of God” (from his acclaimed “Passion and Warfare” release).
An updated selection of North American EVERGREEN TERRACE tour dates have been released. They are as follows:
May 25 – Valdosta, GA @ Vito’s Rock N Roll Pizza
May 26 – Hinesville, GA @ Little Rickys
June 2 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ The Culture Room
June 3 – St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theater
June 4 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
June 8 – Augusta, GA @ Sector 7G
June 9 – Jacksonville, FL @ Thee Imperial
June 10 – Jacksonville, FL @ Thee Imperial
June 11 – Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
Australia’s Pyro Music has posted a 20 minute video and a slew of photos from CRYPTOPSY‘s first show in Sydney, Australia (May 4, 2006):
“Cryptopsy destroyed Sydney last night (with a little help from Perth’s Enforce and Melbourne’s Fuck… I’m Dead), kicking off their Australian tour with a bang. We have a myriad of photos and a 20 minute video of the set.”
Check it all out here.
BLOODSIMPLE are in the studio following up their major label debut, “A Cruel World”. They will also be opening up for ALICE IN CHAINS and STONE SOUR as well as many Europe Festivals. Here’s what the band has to say”
“What’sup everyone!! we’re in the studio writting for the next record but we’ll take a break in June to go play some monster festivals in Europe , along with a tour with Alice in Chains and Stone Sour. Should be pretty nuts. An amazing way to end a 16 month touring cycle for A Cruel World. The plan after that is to record in the summer and be back in full tour mode by the end of the year. We hope to give the bloodsimple site and myspace a major overhaul soon so stick around and check that out….”
“I wanna give alot of much appreciated thanks to everyone of you who bought the record and supported us live…now we get to do it all over again!!!”
“In the meantime go see the Unholy Alliance tour if at all possible and go fuckin nuts!”
June 2 – Rock Am Ring – Nurburgring
June 3 – Rock Im Park – Bavaria Nurnburg
June 4 – Gods of Metal Festival – Milan
June 6 – Novesta Hall – Zlin
June 7 – Spodek – Katowice
June 8 – Petofi Csarnok Open Air – Budapest
June 10 – Download – Donington Park
June 11 – Download – Dublin
June 13 – Volkshaus – Zurich
June 15 – Novarock Festival – Nickelsdorf
June 17 – Festival – Hultsfred
June 19 – Vega – Copenhagen
June 20 – Rockefeller – Oslo
June 22 – Batacian – Paris
June 23 – Hellfest – Nantes
June 24 – Metal Meeting – Graspop
June 26 – Razzmatazz – Barcelona
June 27 – Macumba – Madrid
June 30 – Full Force Festival – Leipzig
July 1 – Waldrock – Holland
July 2 – Goffert Park – Fields of Rock – Holland
HAMMERFALL guitarist Oscar Dronjak has posted the following message on his official blog: “We have once again spent three days in the rehearsal room, playing through the now nine songs finished for the album. I can’t remember feeling this good about the material before a recording, ever. Especially not for the last album, then I was very unsure about how things would turn out. This time, the feeling is the complete opposite.
Songtitles set to appear on the CD include “Dark Wings, Dark Words”, “Carved In Stone”, “Titan”, “Shadow Empire”, “Threshold” and “Rebel Inside”.
Prosthetic Records has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with France’s Listenable Records to release the new album from French metal titans GOJIRA throughout North America. The band’s latest opus, “From Mars To Sirius”, will be released through Prosthetic on August 22. The record has already been showered with high words of praise in North America from Alternative Press, Metal Maniacs, Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, Decibel, and Blabbermouth.net, despite initially being available only on import through Listenable.
Mixing technical proficiency, heavy-as-concrete riffs, and socially-conscious lyrics, GOJIRA truly is a thinking man’s metal band, combining fierce aggression, varying tempos, and intelligent observations into an all-encompassing 64-minute voyage throughout “From Mars To Sirius”. Blabbermouth has already dubbed “From Mars To Sirius” “massively heavy but varied and suprising, never monotonous,” with Decibel hailing the record as “monstrous, alien endgame chords, forged in fires of ice and honed to hyperjazz perfection.”
“From Mars To Sirius” will be the band’s first album with a formal North American release, all while the band has logged 300+ live shows in France and Europe and sold over 8,000 copies of its last album throughout Europe. Now with Prosthetic’s backing, GOJIRA will bring its futuristicly heavy sound across the Atlantic. The band is currently playing live dates and festivals throughout Europe for much of the summer.
Rising UK avant garde metallers SIKTH will be playing a special warm up gig prior to their performance at this years Download festival at Club Nirvana in Wigan on June 7. Support comes from MACHIAVELLIAN, CAR CRASH RADIO and HECTOR. Doors are at 7 pm and tickets cost £7.50.
KILLING FLOOR – the classic British Blues Rock band formed in the 1960s have announced their first new concert dates for the 21st century – their first live dates for 34 years.
The band will headline the Open Air Gross Lindow Blues-Rock Festival in Germany on Saturday 19 August and appear on the “Rock at Sea” cruise from Stockholm, Sweden on November 24, and is presenting once again its original 1968 4-piece line-up.
Contemporaries of LED ZEPPELIN, BLACK SABBATH and FREE, in the 60s the band toured with blues legend FREDDIE KING and released two classic albums.
DOPE will be hitting the road this summer with BLEED THE SKY, MAKESHIFT ROMEO, A NEW REVOLUTION – the latter who feature in their ranks former members of UNLOCO and SLAVES ON DOPE. The trek will be billed as the Jagermeisters “Drink, Mosh, and You-Know-What Tour 2006″. Dates that have been announced thus far are as follows:
June 14 – Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
June 15 – Battle Creek, MI @ Planet Rock
June 16 – Detroit, MI @ Harpo’s
June 18 – TBA
June 19 – TBA
June 19 – Bellefontaine, OH @ The Bluecat
June 20 – Huntington, WV @ Monkey Bar
June 21 – Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
June 22 – Jacksonville, NC @ Planet Rock
June 23 – Fayetteville, NC @ Jester’s
June 24 – Baltimore, MD @ Recher Theatre
June 30 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
July 2 – Hartford, CT @ Webster
July 8 – Edgerton, WI @ Big E’s
July 9 – Mokena, IL @ Pearl Room
July 11 – Cedar Rapids, IA @ Emerald City
More dates to be announced later.
HYPOCRISY have announced that they are not taking part in the previously announced North American tour featuring FEAR FACTORY, SUFFOCATION, and DECAPITATED.
New York’s MUCOPUS have recruited Adam Mason (GORATORY, SEXCREMENT) to fill in for MUCOPUS vocalist Jason Keyser for their upcoming European tour this fall. Here is a statement from founding guitarist Justin Knipper:
“Jason will not be able to do the MUCOPUS tour this fall due to prior commitments he made to his other band SKINLESS. They have a brand new cd coming out June 13th through Relapse Records and have some domestic tours lined up for around the time we have our European tour. We’ve known Adam for years and felt as though he was the best candidate to fill in because of his insane vocal range and stage presence and the fact we’re already all friends. We’re really excited about this tour and we’re looking forward to finishing up our new material we’ve written with Jason towards the end of the year.”
Mucopus European tour w/ Inferia and Rottenness:
with Inferia (Finland)
9/21 Decin, CZ @ Decin Open Air
9/29 Linz, AT @ Kuba
9/30 Vienna, AT @ Escape Metalcorner
10/1 Brno, CZ @ Brooklyn
10/6 Rovato, IT @ C28 Maggio
10/7 Sursee, CH @ Kultuwerk 118
10/13 Zittau, DE @ Zittau Deathfest
10/14 Ludwigshafen, DE @ Ludwigshafen Deathfest
with Rottenness (Mexico)
10/21 Zilina, SK @ Slovak Deathfest w/ Fleshless
10/28 Drachten, NL @ Drachten Deathfest w/ Fleshless, Prostitute Disfigurement, Disavowed
more dates T.B.A
IMMOLATION have announced a headlining show on August 9th at Jaxx in Springfield, VA. Also performing will be SKINLESS.
IN FLAMES‘s North American headlining tour with THROWDOWN, NEVERMORE and EVERGREY kicked off last night, May 5, in Buffalo, NY at the Town Ballroom. Here are a few news bits from the show:
–EVERGREY performed five songs, but the guitars went dead due to some sort of electrical problem at the beginning of their closing song “A Touch of Blessing”. However, the band soldiered on and played the song with just vocals, bass, drums and keyboards, having the fans clap along where the guitars would have been. [Ed note: The band did not have a paper setlist anywhere, and due to this reporter only having one album by them (The Inner Circle), the band’s setlist will be displayed on a later date.]
In other EVERGREY news, drummer Jonas Ekdahl confirmed to SMNnews.com that the band will be performing for 75 minutes in their direct support slot to NEVERMORE‘s headlining show at Jaxx in West Springfield, VA this Sunday, May 7. IN FLAMES and THROWDOWN will not be at that show.
–NEVERMORE performed six songs. They are as follows:
Engines of Hate
Dead Heart in a Dead World
JAG PANZER guitarist Chris Broderick subbed in for Steve Smyth who, as previously reported, is on medical leave due to a severe kidney problem that may ultimately require a transplant. Former ICED EARTH and MEGADETH bassist James MacDonough filled in for Jim Sheppard, who is undergoing “routine tests” for his fight with Crohn’s Disease. MacDonough sang back-up vocals for closer “Born”.
–THROWDOWN included a tribute to the late and great Dimebag Darrell in their set by covering “A New Level” from PANTERA‘s “Vulgar Display of Power” album. The solo, however, was left out. No setlist is available as of this time.
–IN FLAMES performed 18 songs. They are as follows:
Take This Life
Touch of Red
Watch Them Feed
Worlds Within the Margin
Dial 595 Escape
Embody the Invisible
Only for the Weak
The Quiet Place
My Sweet Shadow
For those of you keeping track at home, the album by album breakdown for the tracks goes like this:
Lunar Strain: 1
The Jester Race: 1
Reroute to Remain / Trigger EP: 4
Soundtrack to Your Escape: 4
Come Clarity: 4
That would be a 2:1 ratio of post-Tokyo Showdown tracks to pre-Tokyo Showdown tracks for you math majors out there.
DRAGONLORD (featuring Eric Peterson of TESTAMENT fame) have lined up the following U.S. tour dates:
June 23 – Concord, CA @ Bourbon Street
June 24 – Sacramento, CA @ Kennel Club
June 27 – Aurora, CO @ Iliff Park Saloon
June 29 – Chicago Heights, IL @ Mr. Kelly’s Music Box
June 30 – Detroit, MI @ I-Rock Nightclub
July 1 – Cleveland, OH @ Topcat’s
July 2 – Toledo, OH @ Vamp’s
July 3 – Cincinnati, OH @ Pirate’s Cove
July 6 – Long Island, NY @ Crazy Donkey
July 7 – Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
The band has also been added to the Thrash Domination Fest 2006 set to take place on September 16th and 17th at Club Citta in Tokyo, JPN. Also performing will be VENOM, DEATH ANGEL, SODOM, and ONSLAUGHT.