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God Forbid – Book Warmup Gigs Close to Home

GOD FORBID has booked a couple gigs close to home as warm up for their sold-out UK/Ireland tour supporting TRIVIUM. Support comes from IRATE (the band’s last shows ever) and MERMAID IN A MANHOLE.

February 23 – Clifton, NJ @ Dingbatz (21+)
February 25 – Brooklyn, NY @ North Six

The Red Death – Comment on Band’s Departure from Metal Blade Records

Josh Williammee, guitarist for THE RED DEATH, has commented on the band’s recent departure from Metal Blade Records. His statement, on behalf of the band, is below:

“Yes, we were dropped by Metal Blade. I can assure you that it was not because of “instability within the band” because if there is such an instability, then I’m blind to it. We’re just as strong as ever, and have been busy playing shows, writing some far less metalcore and more metal jams (which Metal Blade may or may not have liked the idea of, i don’t really know) and finding a solid new bass player to replace Dominic. As far as “artistic differences” with Metal Blade are concerned, I’m not sure if thats the case.”

“For those of you that care: Keep an eye/ear out for us, because we view this as an opprotunity, and we do NOT plan on quitting, we will continue to tour and release records for as long as possible.”

“For those of you that don’t care: Don’t worry, I’m sure that we’ll die in a van wreck soon enough. No care ever, pirst fost.”

Darkest Hour – Kris Norris DVD Available – Trailer Online

The new Kris Norris DVD is now available. Focusing heavily on instruction, and not just playing through the exercises, Kris uses examples from DARKEST HOUR‘s “Undoing Ruin” to illustrate the techniques in a real world environment. The DVD is described as a great way, “to learn the songs from “Undoing Ruin”, and provides a mastery of the skills so you can apply what you learn into your playing right away.”

Using new camera angles and picture in picture technology, all of the examples are thoroughly explained and worked through, with the added feature of having two sets of subtitles to provide an even deeper comprehension for the material.

DVD two is 95% new material from DVD one, the only overlap being that DVD two elaborates on the skills touched in DVD one, making DVD one a handy reference, but not necessary to get the full effect of DVD two.

For more information on the DVD from the DARKEST HOUR axeman, click here.

Communic – Currently in Studio Working on New Album – Offer Studio Report

COMMUNIC are currently in the studio working on the new album “Waves Of Visual Decay”. Oddleif Stensland (guitars & vocals) wrote in a daily studio report on the band’s official website:

“And the ball is rolling again. Seems like a brief moment since last time we were at Hansen Studio, but here we are again. The sound of the drum kit is really awesome, so this is for sure going to be some killer stuff. The songs are in true COMMUNIC style, long as always, with a bit of progressive inputs, mixed with some good thrash, and there you go? the COMMUNIC way. While Tor and Jacob are recording drums I’m using the days arranging the final vocal parts and some guitar stuff on my laptop. There are still a few parts that I need to figure out. I also have one piece of lyrics to finish up. I have the basic ideas, but need some more ‘flesh’ on it. Other than that, the TV isn’t working and it’s quite cold here in freaking Denmark. Good thing is that we left the snow back home with Erik. He will arrive later in the process to do his deeds.”

Voivod – Exclusive BW&BK Sneak Preview of New Album – Tracklisting

This past weekend, BW&BK scribe Chris Bruni had the exclusive opportunity to preview the new, as-yet-untitled VOIVOD album, and here were some of his observations upon first listen:

“To hear the new VOIVOD album, and to hear how such an album was put together, it seems like a miracle that it even manifested. The first impression after the final moments of the closing track, ‘The Getaway’, were heard, it was easy to come to the conclusion that this will undoubtedly be one of the most important metal albums of 2006. The overall vibe and aura of the new VOIVOD is simply overwhelming, and to hear the late Piggy’s ethereal and unearthly guitar vibes was a chilling experience indeed. Overall, the album is heavy. Damn heavy with a dark undercurrent running its course throughout the massive and unforgiving wall-of-sound.”

Here´s the tentative tracklist for the as-yet-untitled VOIVOD masterpiece: ‘Dognation’, ‘X-Tremetal’, ‘Polaroids’, ‘After All’, ‘No Angel’, ‘Mr. Clean’, ‘Red My Mind’, ‘Silly Clones’, ‘Odds And Frauds’, ‘The Getaway’

To read the entire studio report by Chris, please click here.

Shadows Fall – Sign to Roadrunner Records for Territories Excluding the US

Roadrunner Records is very proud to announce the signing of Massachusetts-based five-piece, SHADOWS FALL for all territories, excluding the US.

Mark Palmer, M.D. of Roadrunner Records U.K. stated: “SHADOWS FALL have been one of the standard-bearers for quality American Metal for the past 4 years and it’s an honour to have them as part of the Roadrunner family.”

Likewise, SHADOWS FALL frontman Brian Fair was equally enthused by their new home. Speaking from home, where the band are working on songs for their fifth studio album, he commented “All of us in Shadows Fall are very excited to begin a working relationship with Roadrunner Records! The label has always represented the multiple sounds and styles of the metal genre and they have never been afraid to take a chance and support bands they believed in. From the roots of extreme metal with Obituary, Deicide and Exhorder to the breakout success of bands like Slipknot and Killswitch Engage, Roadrunner has always been at the fore-front of the evolution of metal. We feel it will be a perfect fit to help spread the word about Shadows Fall around the globe. The time has come for total world domination.”

After forming in 1996, SHADOWS FALL have developed in to one of the metal scene’s key players, both live and on CD. With four increasingly proficient albums under their belt, culminating in the 2004 release of ‘The War Within’, the band have picked up numerous accolades from global rock publications and media. Underlining that, the band were honoured in this year’s 48th Annual Grammy Awards in the US, with a nomination alongside metal heavyweights like Slipknot, Ministry and Rammstein, for their album track, ‘What Drives The Weak’.

SHADOWS FALL spent much of 2004 on the road, racking up major dates across the US on Ozzfest, in the UK at the Download Festival and in Germany at Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park as well as a string of arena shows with SLIPKNOT and LAMB OF GOD. They are now back home working on the follow up to ‘The War Within’ which is expected to see the light of day in early 2007 through new label, Roadrunner Records.

Roadrunner Records is excited to add a major band such as SHADOWS FALL to their stable of ground-breaking metal artists and are ready to take them to the next level.

Satyricon – Sign to Roadrunner Records for Territories Excluding North America and Norway

Roadrunner Records are pleased to welcome leading Norwegian black metal band SATYRICON into the fold for all territories, excluding North America and Norway.

SATYRICON is centred around the backbone of band members, Satyr and Frost, who formed the band in the early 90s. Their progressive and creative outlook has enabled SATYRICON to push the boundaries of the black metal genre, setting a new standard and developing the field beyond it’s traditional parameters. As a result, SATYRICON are now one of the most respected and influential bands in black metal.

Their last album, the acclaimed ‘Volcano’ (2002), received the Norwegian Grammy for “Best Metal Album”, the Alarm Awards for “Song Of The Year” (for track ‘Fuel For Hatred’) plus “Metal Album Of The Year”, and also the Oslo Award for “Best Overall Album”. ‘Volcano’ debuted at #2 in the Norwegian National Music Chart.

Wally van Middendorp, VP International Marketing and Acquisitions at Roadrunner International stated: “We are truly excited to be working with one of the most widely-revered bands in their genre and look forward to assisting SATYRICON in their continuing quest to push back the boundaries of Black Metal.”

SATYRICON have been in Vancouver, Canada this month mixing their first new studio album since 2002 with Mike Frasier (METALLICA, AC/DC). Titled ‘Now, Diabolical’, it is set for release in April 2006. Satyr is looking forward to the release, stating “This project has been a deeper dive in the abyss than ever before and many sacrifices have been made to try to achieve what we where looking for. We are very proud of ‘Now, Diabolical’ and hope the pain of giving birth to this phoenix will prove its worth!”

The Sword – Announce AOL Music Advance Listening Party

THE SWORD have announced an AOL Music “Advance Listening Party”, previewing their critically acclaimed debut album Age of Winters. Age of Winters will be released in North America on February 14 and in Europe on March 27 via Kemado Records.

The Age of Winters / AOL Music “Advance Listening Party” will enable AOL Music listeners to hear THE SWORD‘s debut in its entirety. “Age of Winters” will be available to preview beginning Monday, February 13 through Sunday, February 19 at the AOL Music Full CD Listening Party page AOL Music has a monthly audience of more than 17,000,000.

In the meantime, THE SWORD‘s “Age of Winters” roll out single, entitled “Winter’s Wolves” is available online as an AOL Music “Free Download” at this location.

The final track listing for “Age of Winters” is “Celestial Crown”, “Barael’s Blade”, “Freya”, “Winter’s Wolves”, “The Horned Goddess”, “Iron Swan”, “Lament for the Aurochs”, “March of the Lor” and “Ebethron”. The album has been hailed as “the new classic-BLACK SABBATH platter you have been waiting forever for the old Sabs to make” by Rolling Stone, and the band has been named as one of Billboard Magazine’s 2006 “Faces to Watch”

Mushroomhead – Officially Ink Megaforce Records Deal

Megaforce Records is finally officially pleased to announce the signing of MUSHROOMHEAD to a worldwide deal. The genre-defying band combines elements of theatre and aggressive rock. The band is currently in an undisclosed studio mixing for an early Summer release.

Skinny (drummer) from MUSHROOMHEAD comments:

“It is such an honor being on a legendary label. As far as the new stuff, it’s the most intense sound we have ever had. Very hardcore, but with whipsmart, screaming hooks. The sonic quality is something we have tried hard to raise to a new level. Literally, we spent several months perfecting brutality. The new album will be a new chapter in MUSHROOMHEAD‘s history.”

Formed in Cleveland, Ohio, the mask-engendered MUSHROOMHEAD plan on expanding its theatrically-based shows to include more intricate stage set-ups to reflect its themes and music. Look for extensive touring following the release of the new album this summer. More details on the release will be forthcoming in the months ahead.

Frightmare – Another New Song Released

FRIGHTMARE have released another new track entitled “Barbecutioner” off their sophmore Razorback Records release.

Mucopus – Shows Announced, New Forum Up

MUCOPUS, featuring SKINLESS vocalist Jason Keyser, have lined up the following shows:

February 25 – Troy, NY @ The Hudson Duster

with Proteus, Sexcrement:
April 1 – Worcester, MA @ The QVCC
April 2 – Oswego, NY @ Knights of Columbus w/ Drown Retarded Children

European tour with Inferia:
October 7 – Sursee (Switzerland) @ Kulturwerk 118
October 13 – Zittau (Germany) @ Zittau Deathfest
October 14 – Ludwigshafen (Germany) @ Ludwigshafen Deathfest
October 28 – Drachten (Holland) @ Drachten Deathfest

In other news, you can check out the band’s new official forum, hosted by SMNnews, ” target=_blank>here.

Necrophagist – Part Ways With Guitarist Christian Muenzner

Due to “scheduling conflicts” NECROPHAGIST haved parted ways with guitarist Christian Muenzner. If you’re interested in getting an audition for the band, send a list of your projects and recordings done so far along with links to mp3 samples to guitarist@necrophagist.de

KCUF – Set Album Release Date

KCUF, the new project of Crazy “White” Sean (Ex-GWAR roadie) and former SNOT/AMEN/LO-PRO bassist John “Tumor” Fahnestock, will release their debut on February 21st via 313 Recordings/Corporate Punishment Records. The album titled “Modern Primitive Punk” includes guest appearances from Shavo Odajian (SYSTEM OF A DOWN), Sid “DJ Starscream” Wilson (SLIPKNOT) and James “Munky” Shaffer (KORN). Audio is available on from the band’s MySpace page.

Into Eternity – Part Ways With Drummer

INTO ETERNITY drummer Adam Sagan has released the following statement announcing his departure from the band:

“I’m very sad to announce to all of you that I am no longer a member of INTO ETERNITY. This is not what I wanted, but the simple truth is, for personal and professional reasons I cannot continue to play in INTO ETERNITYat this point in my life. I have nothing bad to say about Tim, Rob, Stu and Troy. They are truly wonderful people and some of my best friends. We’ve been through some tremendous experiences, and I can’t thank them enough for the amazing times we’ve had and the incredible opportunities that they’ve given me. It’s been absolutely humbling playing with such ferocious, capable and professional musicians. Thank you gentleman. I wish you nothing but the best. I also want to send a huge THANK YOU to all of the incredible fans and friends I’ve met and gotten to know so well, along with the truly gracious promoters that always treated IE so well, particularly the Brazilian Pride (you know who you three are), Sean “The Captain” Cipriano at The Pound in San Francisco, Noel at Inertia, Stephan and all of BCI, Jay Nedry and co. at Jaxx, and the whole crew of BB King’s in NYC. An extra special thank you goes to all of the wildly dedicated and insane INTO ETERNITY fans up in Regina. You all truly know how to support your scene! And of course, horns up to all the guys in AMORPHIS, BEYOND THE EMBRACE, GRAVEWORM, HATE ETERNAL, KRISIUN, OPETH, NEVERMORE, KATAKLYSM, and all of the other incredible bands with whom we’ve shared a stage (or gazebo) in the last 18 months. THANK YOU!!”

California Metal & Hardcore Fest – Bands Announced

Initial bands have been announced for the 1st annual California Metal & Hardcore Festival, which is set to take place on May 13th at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, CA.

Bands include: CALIBAN, NECROPHAGIST, ON BROKEN WINGS, CATTLE DECAPITATION, SCARS OF TOMORROW, SWORN ENEMY, REFLUX, ION DISSONANCE, FROM A SECOND STORY WINDOW, ANIMOSITY, JOB FOR A COWBOY, THE BURNING SEASON, THE FACELESS, LIGHT THIS CITY, PARIA, ARSIS, NEURAXIS, ALARUM, SUICIDE SILENCE, EMBRACE THE END, TOO PURE TO DIE, SUMMERS ENDS, and more bands to be announced.

The Osedax – First Shows Announced

THE OSEDAX (ex-MOD FLANDERS CONSPIRACY) have lined up the following first two shows:

March 5 – Sterling, VA @ Sterling Community Center
March 31 – Sterling, VA @ Sterling Safety Center

Metallica – Escape From The Studio Tour ’06

METALLICA have lined up the following European appearances:

June 3 – Nurburgring, GER @ Rock Am Ring Festival
June 4 – Nurnberg, GER @ Rock Im Park Festival
June 8 – Arnhem, HOL @ Gelredome
June 10 – Donington, UK @ Download Festival
June 11 – Dublin, IRE @ Download Festival

More dates are expected to be announced shortly.

Dysrhythmia – Complete Work On New Album

Progressive instrumental trio DYSRHYTHMIA have completed recording their new album, “Barriers and Passages.”

On “Barriers and Passages,” DYSRHYTHMIA raise the scale-surging rock bar with their exceptional playing and unwavering dedication to forward-thinking song craft. Time signatures bend and shift intuitively. Rich washes of melody and layers of noise are the voices that punctuate crisp musical constructions. Barriers and Passages was recorded at B.C. Studios in Brooklyn, NY with engineer Martin Bisi (Swans, Sonic Youth, John Zorn) and is set for a May 2nd release in North America (May 9th internationally) via Relapse. A special “Barriers and Passages” preview track for the song ‘Appeared at First,’ is available online now at the band’s MySpace page.

The band will also be doing a U.S. tour beginning May 25th through June 26th with YAKUZA and BEHOLD…THE ARCTOPUS. The first date to be released is as follows:

May 25 – Allston, MA @ O’Brien’s

Atheist – 15th Anniversary of Roger Patterson’s Death

ATHEIST guitarist/vocalist Kelly Shaefer has released the following statement regarding the 15th anniversary of the death of the band’s bass player, Roger Patterson:

“On this the 15th Anniversary of the death of ATHEIST‘s prodigy Bass player Roger Patterson, we wish to ask you all to throw your horns in the air one long time for him, and maybe spin ‘An Incarnations Dream’ from U.P. in his honor, he was truly one of metal’s best bass musicians ever!

We miss just as much today as we ever have. Myself(Kelly) and Steve Flynn went to visit his grave in Palmetto Florida last week, smoked a fatty and hung out with him. He would be absolutely blown away by the respect that you have all created and shown for him 15 years later! Here’s to you Roger (Horns fully extended) Cheers Kelly…

See you in Europe this summer!”

In other news, you can check out the band’s new official forum, hosted by SMNnews, ” target=_blank>here.

Darkest Hour – E-Card Supporting Upcoming Undoing Ruin Tour

An e-card supporting DARKEST HOUR‘s forthcoming tour with HIMSA, A LIFE ONCE LOST, THE ACACIA STRAIN and DEAD TO FALL has been posted online. You can check it out in all it’s glory at this location.

Brand New Sin – ‘Days Are Numbered’ Live Syracuse Video

There is a new live performance of BRAND NEW SIN for their track ‘Days Are Numbered’ available for viewing at the Underground Video Television website. The footage was taken at The Country Club in Syracuse, NY prior to the release of BRAND NEW SIN‘s latest effort “Recipe For Disaster”.

Dog Fashion Disco – “Adultery” Cover Art Work Revealed

The art work for DOG FASHION DISCO‘s upcoming new album, “Adultery,” has been revealed.

Cannibal Corpse – Cancel Wacken Appearance

CANNIBAL CORPSE have released the following statement explaining why they canceled their appearance at this year’s Wacken Festival, and hinted at an upcoming large U.S. tour:

“We regret to announce that we have to cancel our appearance at the Wacken Open Air in 2006. The cancellation is due to a scheduling conflict with a large tour in the USA that we will be appearing on. We have now been told that the USA tour(more details about this tour will be released on February 15th) will run from July 7th to August 13th, where originally we had been told that it would likely run from June until July. We would not have scheduled a Wacken performance if we had been aware of this conflict.

We were really looking forward to playing Wacken, so we are quite disappointed that this has to happen, but we did not want to cancel a month long tour to perform a single concert. We are very sorry to all of our fans who were planning to see us at Wacken, and also to the festival organizers, who are in no way responsible for our cancellation. We hope to perform at Wacken again in the years to come, but unfortunately this year it is not possible.”

48th Annual Grammy Awards – Winners Announced

Below are the announced winners for the best Hard Rock and Metal performances for the 48th Annual Grammy Awards (winners in bold):

Best Hard Rock Performance:

System of a Down – “B.Y.O.B.”
Audioslave – “Doesn’t Remind Me”
Nine Inch Nails – “The Hand That Feeds”
Robert Plant – “Tin Pan Valley”
Queens of the Stone Age – “Little Sister”

Best Metal Performance:

Slipknot – “Before I Forget”
Ministry – “The Great Satan”
Mudvayne – “Determined”
Rammstein – “Mein Teil”
Shadows Fall – “What Drives the Weak”

Necrophagist – Initial U.S. Headlining Dates Released

Initial dates have been released for NECROPHAGIST‘s upcoming headlining U.S. tour. According to the B.B. King Blues Club web site, CATTLE DECAPITATION, ARSIS, NEURAXIS, and ALARUM will be providing support. Confirmed dates so far are as follows:

April 28 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
April 30 – Detroit, MI @ The Modern Exchange
May 6 – Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
May 8 – Portland, OR @ Rock N Roll Pizza
May 14 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Clubhouse
May 16 – Tulsa, OK @ The Venue
May 19 – Houston, TX @ Java Jazz
May 20 – Baton Rouge, LA @ The Darkroom
May 21 – Jacksonville, FL @ Thee Imperial
May 22 – Orlando, FL @ Island Oasis
May 26 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Peppermint Beach Club
May 29 – New York, NY @ B.B. King Blues Club