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Nuclear Blast Records – Band Contest – Final 12 Bands Announced

Nuclear Blast Records received more than 1,500 applications for last year’s lucrative band contest, where the winner will receive a record deal, and more. Due to some impressing packagings the label has decided to award the 5 most innovative packages with a special price – the final winner will be announced within the next weeks. The top 12 bands are as follows:

WINTERBORN (FIN)
DEAD MEANS NOTHING (ES)
THE SHOWGUNS (SE)
REPULSED (DE)
EDDIE BUZZARD (US)
FOREVER NEVER (UK)
AMMOTRACK (SE)
DOMINIK MARX (DE)
FROM ALMOST THE END (UK)
AGONIZER (FI)
EARSHOT 7 (DE)
MYSTERY CONTENDER (?)

Ballet Deviare – Almost Sold Out – Jim Malone to Perform 13 Min. Version of ‘A Diamond for Disease’ Live

Ballet Deviare, the visceral fusion of two seemingly total opposites. A maelstrom of a marriage between the beauty and grace of ballet, and the force and brutality of metal. Bringing high art and extreme music together?is almost sold out. Ballet Deviare and special guests ARSIS present SEVEN, January 6-8 at 59E59 Theaters in New York City.

Works will be performed to the music of ARSIS (Jim Malone will be playing the 13 minute version of ‘A Diamond for Disease’ live), OPETH, MY DYING BRIDE, JaKa featuring ELEKTROKILL, CRAIG ANDERSONIC and MARA’S TORMENT.

Hammerfall – To Write New Album as Soon as Touring Wraps Up

After the band wraps up touring, HAMMERFALL are set to write the next chapter of their lives. HAMMERFALL guitarist Oscar Dronjak says he can´t wait to dive head first into the composing, as the material written so far sounds very promising, and left this note for fans: “We wish you a Happy New Year, may 2006 bring you all fortune and glory. Cheers!”

Nuclear Blast Records – To Hold 3 Greek Pre-Release Album Parties

NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS are set to hold three pre-release presentations/parties in January for the upcoming EDGUY (Germany), IN FLAMES (Sweden) and AMORPHIS (Finland) albums (“Rocket Ride”, “Come Clarity” and “Eclipse” respectively) in Athens, Greece, at the famous Texas Club.

The dates for each event as follows:

January 13: Edguy – “Rocket Ride” (out January 20th)
January 27: In Flames – “Come Clarity” (out February 3rd)
January 28: Amorphis – “Eclipse” (out February 10th)

Candlelight/AOL – Present Seven Witches Album Listening Party Preview

Candlelight Records in cooperation with AOL Music presents “Amped”, the new album from SEVEN WITCHES, in a special CD Listening Party. Launching Monday, January 23 and running through January 29, the full album will be featured in streaming audio. Head to this location to check it out and to log on.

Metal Maniacs said of the band’s debut album, “alongside ICED EARTH and VIRGIN STEELE, SEVEN WITCHES are destined to lead the crusade of America’s traditional heavy metal revival.” With Amped, the east coast-based band welcomes new vocalist Alan Tecchio and bassist Kevin Bolembach (both of NON-FICTION fame); guitarist/founder Jack Frost (SAVATAGE) advocates that their addition presents the band’s most promising line-up.

Formed in 1999, SEVEN WITCHES signed with Sweden’s Regain Records in early 2005; the band’s back catalog recorded and released via Noise/Sanctuary.

Poison the Well – First Date Released For Headlining Tour

The first date for an upcoming tour featuring POISON THE WELL, THE FALL OF TROY, HORSE THE BAND, and CRITERIA has been released:

March 24 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon

Magrudergrind – New Song Available

Washington, D.C.’s MAGRUDERGRIND have uploaded a new song entitled “Siphon Then Slit” in this location. The track comes off a split the band will be releasing with SHITSTORM through Robotic Empire.

In other news, the band is working on a tentative short East Coast tour with UNHOLY GRAVE, YACOPSAE, and SANITYS DAWN for the end of May.

Hellacaust – Sign With Great White North Records

Halifax NS Canada Black Metal band HELLACAUST have signed their first record deal. The following update is from the band’s official site, http://www.hellacaust.com:

“Hellacaust has signed on with Great White North Records for the release of our upcoming album, “Inevitable Dementia”, to be released in April. An MP3 can be found at this location.

A tour for the album is being planned for May, dates to be announced later. Hellacaust has also contributed tracks to the following compilations ready for release prior to the album:

Great White North Records: Le Brotherhood 2K6 (Embrace of Insanity)Northern Horde Records: Northern Black Metal (ReInventing Psychosis) The Undergrowth: Shrouded in Silent Omens Vol. 2 (ReInventing Pyshocosis)”

For more music, head to the band’s official MySpace, at http://www.myspace.com/hellacaust.

Cryptopsy – Flo Mounier to Perform at NAMM

CRYPTOPSY‘s Flo Mounier will be performing live at The NAMM Show on Sunday, January 22 at 11:00 am at the Pearl Drums Exhibit, Anaheim Convention Centre in Anaheim, CA. As previously mentioned, Flo Mounier’s Extreme Drumming 101 2 DVD set is now available – to recap, on disc 1, Flo discusses the basic elements fundamental in playing extreme metal as well as showing exercises, routines and tips facilitating speed, endurance and control, and on disc 2, we see Flo in action performing some over the top solos and extreme songs.

Into Eternity – Opening For Gamma Ray In North America

It appears as if INTO ETERNITY have been added to GAMMA RAY‘s upcoming short North American tour. Dates for the tour are as follows:

April 30 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium (NE Metal & Harcore Fest)
May 1 – New York, NY @ B.B. King Blues Club
May 2 – Springfield, VA @ Jaxx
May 4 – Toronto, ON @ The Opera House
May 5 – Quebec City, QC @ Le Capitole
May 6 – Montreal, QC @ Le Medley

Les Claypool – “Electric Apricot” Trailer Available

The trailer for Electric Apricot, the movie writen/directed by and staring Les Claypool has been made available in this location.

“Electric Apricot is a spoof of jam bands centered around the band, ELECTRIC APRICOT, in the style of ‘This Is Spinal Tap.’ The members of the band go by the assumed names, Steve Hampton Trouzdale on bass and vocals, Steve “Gordo” Gordon on guitar and vocals, Herschal Tambor Brillstien on keyboards and vocals, and Lapland “Lapdog” Miclovik (Les Claypool) on drums and vocals.”

Abigail Williams – Added To Emperor’s LA Show

Arizona’s ABIGAIL WILLIAMS will be opening for EMPEROR and GOATWHORE on July 17th at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, CA. Those unfamiliar with the band can check them out here.

Vader – ‘This is War’ – Title Track MP3 for Download

New music from VADER, off their forthcoming “This is War” MCD, has been released. You can grab the title track, along with other, older MP3′s, at this location. Tracklisting for “This is War”, which will be released in the US through Candlelight Records, is as follows:

1. Para Bellum
2. This Is The War
3. Lead Us!!!
4. Banners In The Wind
5. What Colour Is Your Blood
6. Death In Silence
7. This Is The War (Video Clip)

Pyro Music – ATTN: All Aussie Bands – Your Logo is Needed!

Australia’s Pyro Music are asking all Australian band’s for their help with the new expansion of their site. The appeal is as follows:

“WE WANT YOUR LOGOS. PyroMusic.net is further expanding and will soon offer a directory of Aussie metal band logos in both Raster (TIF, PSD) and Vector (EPS, AI) formats for designers, promoters and media to use. The reason for this is simple. Currently it’s very difficult to find large versions of band logos suitable for print (and often, even screen) and this often results in a vital part of a band’s identity – their logo – being forgotten (especially on gig posters) or in a lot of extra work and time unnecessarily being wasted in tracking one down. If you are an Australian band and are able to provide both versions (or either) of your logo (for TIF/PSD ideally least A4 landscape @ 300dpi, preferably A3 and must be on a TRANSPARENT background), or have no idea what we are talking about, or would like to ask about having a logo created please email aussiebandlogos [AT] pyromusic [DOT] net with questions, info and if applicable, a link to download the logos (be sure to replace [AT] with @ and [DOT] with a . in the email address). Please don’t attach files to emails as they will not be received. Lastly feel free to pass this on to other Aussie bands you are in contact with.”

Morningstar Records – New Norweigan Label Started by Membrs of Satyricon, Necrophagia, and Others Launched

MORNINGSTAR RECORDS, a new Norwegian label started by members of SATYRICON live, NECROPHAGIA, KEEP OF KALESSIN, CHTON, MANES, MAX MIDSUN has been launched. The label is planning their first release, BLOODTHORN‘s “Genocide”, in Europe for Februrary of this year.

The goal of Morningstar Records is to establish a solid independent label within quality metal and rock as a label run by musicians for musicians.
Our intention is not to climb the ladder up through the underground, but to start no-holds-barred from the first release being “Genocide” by the Norwegian death metal-band Bloodthorn, their 4th studio album marking their 10th year from their first release in 1996.

After years of wanting to start a label focusing on the music itself and not on hype and hunt for profit, Morningstar Records was established by KEEP OF KALESSIN mainman Arnt O. Grönbech. Arnt comments: “I was totally blown away when I heard the new BLOODTHORN album ‘Genocide’ during their mixing-session in Godt Selskap studio, and I simply chose to buy the European rights for this crushing album. This is the album that will give the label a flying start, and prove the labels right to life!” Morningstar Records will focus on quality not quantity, and with the Head of Business and two producers from Godt Selskap Studio (known for recordings by bands like NECROPHAGIA, KEEP OF KALESSIN, GRIFFIN, etc.) on board, this close co-operation with Godt Selskap gives Morningstar Records an advantage by the possibility to secure a professional recording of their artist. Plastichead is Morningstar Records’ world distributor, and will make sure the music can be found in most retail stores, as well as specialist stores, across the globe.

Morningstar Records’ Staff are as follows:

Kim Tungvåg (Max Midsun, head of business Godt Selskap studio) Torstein Parelius (Manes, Chton) Arnt O. Grönbech (Keep of Kalessin, Satyricon live) Knut V. Prytz (Necrophagia, producer Godt Selskap Studio) Rune Stavnesli (Max Midsun, producer Godt Selskap studio).

Evergrey – Nominated for Swedish Grammy in ‘Best Music DVD’ Category

Swedish melodic metallers, EVERGREY, have been nominated for a Swedish “Grammy” in the “Best Music DVD” category for their 2005 release of “A Night to Remember.” Produced by the famed Swedish video director, Patrick Ulleaus, also known for his work with IN FLAMES, DIMMU BORGIR, LACUNA COIL, and others, the DVD features a show recorded live in the band’s hometown of Gothenburg Sweden. Joined by the Gothenburg String Quartet and back up singers, the performance put a fresh new spin on the band’s hits like “Blinded,” “The Masterplan,” and “A Touch of Blessing.” The DVD also contained all the band’s videos to date and many hours of back stage footage and band shenanigans.

The awards ceremony will take place in Stockholm Sweden on February 7, 2006.

Other nominees in the “Best Music DVD” category are ABBA, CORNELIS VREESWIJK, MARIT BERGMAN and TIMBUKTU.

EVERGREY recently returned to Division One Studios to record their as of yet untitled sixth studio album. The producing and mixing will be handled by the experienced and extremely successful team Sanken Sandquist / Stefan Glauman. Their track record includes artists like RAMMSTEIN, BRITNEY SPEARS, BON JOVI and DEF LEPPARD.

The band’s vocalist/guitarist/mastermind Tom S. Englund had this to say regarding the new collaboration, “We feel honored to work with such amazing producers. We are sure that they will succeed in making us sound better than ever before.”

Look for EVERGREY‘s new album in April of 2006.

Single Bullet Theory – Officially Launch Brand New Website – Contains New Media

SINGLE BULLET THEORY have officially launched the brand new website. The new site features dozens of photos taken during the 2005 tour with AMORPHIS and many sound clips. The site also features an online store where you can purchase both “Route 666″ and “Behind Eyes of Hatred” directly from the band via a Paypal account.

In addition, the video “Hollowed Out” is now available for download in the download section of the site. The video was shot last year and was never seen on the major networks. The bands first (2003) video “Murder Machines” is also available in the download section. Both require Quicktime to view.

In other news SINGLE BULLET THEORY would like to publicly welcome new drummer Darrin Patrick to the fold. Darrin is best known for his work with progressive band ETERNITY X as well as North Jersey’s SMOTHER THERESA. Darrin can be heard on sbts Forthcoming disc “The Killing FLoor”. Due out in mid 2006.

“The Killing Floor” was produced by SINGLE BULLET THEORY at Angry Chair studios and features 10 blistering tracks. Engineering duties were handled by long time sbt studio drummer Jason Dunkerley with additional engineering by Carlos Alverez (SHADOWDANCE). The record can be best described as a return to the “Route 666″ era SINGLE BULLET THEORY and is far less experimental then 2004′s “Behind Eyes of Hatred”. It is unclear what label will be releasing the disc. However, the band has been in talks with two notable companies and plan on having a deal secured within the next month or so.

Psycroptic – Another New Song Released!

Neurotic Records have released an E-card for the upcoming new PSYCROPTIC album, “Symbols of Failure,” featuring another brand new song entitled “Epoch of the Gods.”

Fast Eddie – Demo of New Song Released!

New York’s FAST EDDIE have released a rough demo of a new song on their MySpace page for your listening pleasure.

In other news, the band has also lined up the following local shows:

January 28 – New York, NY @ Pussycat Lounge
February 25 – New York, NY @ Knitting Factory w/ Look What I Did

Van Halen – DLR Reunion Only “…A Matter of Time”

According to Billboard.com, reuniting the original VAN HALEN lineup is just a matter of time, according to former vocalist David Lee Roth.

“I talked to the drummer (Alex Van Halen) about a week ago,” the band’s former lead singer told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. “And I think, eventually, the inevitable will happen.”

“It definitely won’t be rockers with walkers,” he added, seemingly indicating that a reunion is in the near, as opposed to distant, future. “Getting onstage and singing ‘Dance the Night Away’ — let me tell you how difficult that isn’t going to be.”

The comments came in a Q&A about Roth’s new career: morning radio host. Once one of rock’s notorious bad boys, the 51-year-old performer debuted Tuesday in the 6 a.m.-10 a.m. slot on more than a half dozen stations that formerly broadcast Howard Stern, who will debut on Sirius Satellite Radio January 16.

The full article can be found here.

Mudvayne – ‘Fall Into Sleep’ – 1st Animated Video Making Debut 1/4

MUDVAYNE‘s first animated video, ‘Fall Into Sleep’, will make it’s worldwide premiere tomorrow, Wednesday, January 4, on Yahoo! Music at this location.

SMNnews.com – Top 20 Albums of 2005

After a month of voting, the results are in. Click here to see what YOU voted as the top 20 albums of 2005. There’s also staff picks and the top 5 albums from artists ranging from DARKEST HOUR to NECRO to XXX MANIAK and many more.

The Red Death – Part Ways with Long Time Bassist – Announce Replacement, Hunting for New Management/Booking

Metal Blade Records’ THE RED DEATH has recently had a change in their roll call. Long time bassist, and actively touring comrade, Dominic Mastronunzio has left in a completely amicable fashion and leaves with the best wishes of the band. His plans are unannounced at this time. In order to fill this absence, Jack Portwood, bassist/singer of upstate NY’s HIGHLAND DRIVE, is being brought up to speed and broken in, and is excited about the band and his future in it.

THE RED DEATH is currently practicing/writing/planning in preparation for studio time in late March or early April, and slowly trying to become accustomed to quieter life not in a stink-filled van. We plan to play as many shows as possible during this “downtime”, so look for us in the grimmest of venues near you. THE RED DEATH is also in the market for some new management and booking; all interested parties should contact the band at thereddeathbooking@gmail.com .

Sevendust – To Join Staind and Panic Cell on European Tour

SEVENDUST will join STAIND and PANIC CELL for a full European tour that will launch in mid-March. Details, venues, and routing is to be announced. In the meantime, SEVENDUST will be touring North America with NONPOINT, SOCIALBURN and WICKED WISDOM and PANIC CELL will be hitting the UK with SOIL and AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE.

Metal Poet – To Release 3rd Album “World of Grey”

Michael Terrax, founder and owner of the website METAL POET, has released the site’s 3rd album “World of Grey”. Details surrounding the release, plus a site update can be found below:

“First of all, thanks for all the interest in the Metal Poet website so far? quite a few metal news sites ran with the launch story and resulted in a huge number of hits globally. I’ve also had emails from interested people asking how they can be involved and contribute to the site ? there will be a great new concept on www.metalpoet.com soon, so watch this space!”

“The third Metal Poet “album” has just been released on the site ? “World of Grey”, another collection of metal-inspired poetry. I hope they are enjoyed for what they are ? lyrical creations forged from a lifetime of living and breathing metal. The track listing is as follows:”

World of Grey
Multitude of Zero
Doppelganger
Master of None
Seek Your Ruin
Cover
Scrape
Bound to Fall
Transparent

“The “World of Grey” artwork was produced by an artist named Lee, who will be featured in the guest artist area of Metal Poet in the near future. If you are interested in contributing artwork for forthcoming Metal Poet “albums”, please feel free to email me on feedback@metalpoet.com. There will also be opportunities to feature metal-inspired images in the Guest Artist area.”

Thanks again for your great support, please visit http://www.metalpoet.com and check out “World of Grey” and feel free to send me a message!”