Something a little different today Glam fans. As you know, I write about all types of Metal. I know a few of you are Iced Earth fans. The band is readying a new album. If you like straight ahead metal, check them out. Here's some information.
With the release of new studio album 'PLAGUES OF BABYLON' approaching, metal titans ICED EARTH have launched a video teaser to preview the album and their upcoming WORLDWIDE PLAGUES headlining tour.
'PLAGUES OF BABYLON' is set for a January 21, 2014 release in North America (January 6 worldwide) on Century Media Records. The band will bring the new album to their North America homeland when their headlining WORLDWIDE PLAGUES TOUR hits our shores April 4 for a six-week run with SABATON and REVAMP in support.
"This is a seriously heavy album with a seriously brutal album cover," says Jon Schaffer of 'PLAGUES OF BABYLON'. "I'm sure it will go down as a classic in the epic ICED EARTH catalog. We feel that the package with SABATON and REVAMP is very strong and we are very excited to tour the U.S. and Canada again and kick some major ass!"
Beginning with their groundbreaking self-titled debut album, ICED EARTH has remained steadfastly committed to championing heavy metal and continues to be one of America's greatest classic metal bands. 'PLAGUES OF BABYLON' is no exception. From the sheer power of the title track and neck-breaking thrashers like "Among The Living Dead," to the haunting "Cthulhu" and the colossal "If I Could See You" and "Spirit Of The Times," 'PLAGUES OF BABYLON' takes fans on the thundering power trip that has become ICED EARTH's trademark.
Hard to believe another year has gone by. This year has been amazing for new music, so I'm not going to do a top 5, I am doing a top 10 albums of 2013.
Number 10: Heaven & Earth - Dig. Where did these guys come from ? I don't know why I bought this CD, or how I heard of it ( I buy at least 10 CDs a month, and through Amazon, so they come a month after I order them ). But when it came, I scanned the personnel for anyone I'd heard of. Nope. I put it on, and the first thing I thought was, 'this guitar player likes Ritchie Blackmore'. Then the singing started and I thought 'This guy sounds like Dio!.' Put those together and you have a band that is channelling early Rainbow, to brilliant effect. If you've not heard this, you should.
Number 9: Scorpion Child - self titled. I had a chance to see Clutch while in the US, but I had a day to organise it and didn't get it together. Afterwards I discovered the opening band, Scorpion Child. Like Heaven & Earth, they are channelling 70s rock, but in a much more generic way. This is not a bad thing, it just means they sound 70s, not like a specific 70s band. They are a lot of fun, and well worth checking out.
Number 8: Airbourne - Black Dog Barking. With the possible exception of Motorhead, THE most brutal pit I've been in was being right in the middle for Airbourne in a tiny uni bar in Canberra this year. Was it worth it ? Yes. These guys opened for Motorhead in that other show I was thinking of, in Melbourne, and I've seen them at Rock on the Range before, but they always put on a great show. With Black Dog Barking, the song writing seems to have gone up a notch, although it still sounds like what AC/DC would have sounded like if they never got to be middle aged (and beyond).
Number 7: Asking Alexandria - From Death to Destiny. From here on in, every band in my top 10, is at the Soundwave festival next year, bar Stone Sour (they were there last year, I was at the barrier). Like a lot of screamo bands, Asking Alexandria seem to be mixing it up with some actual singing, and it's really made all the difference. I have the older albums, but don't like them that much. The new one has been in constant rotation since I got it. Heavy guitars, a mix of rough and clean vocals, great songwriting, great hooks, I can't wait to see these guys live.
Number 6: Trivium - Vengeance Falls. I've followed Trivium from a distance for a while, buying their CDs and giving them a listen, but not thinking much of them. The last time Matt sang was on 'The Crusade', which sounded like the band had been dumpster diving for Metallica's rejected riff tapes. This time the singing makes the quality and originality of the songs really shine through. Another classic heavy metal masterpiece of 2013.
Number 5: Rob Zombie - Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor. John 5 is perhaps the best guitar player around, today. Certainly he is one of the most versatile, and it's always interesting to me that he is willing to bury all those skills to play for the song in a band like Zombie, which really is about groove, not virtuosity. I loved the last album, I think I love this one even more.
Number 4: 5FDP - The Wrong Side of Heaven, The Righteous Side of Hell (1 and 2). If these guys had not released two albums this year, they would still be on the list, but perhaps lower down. But the combined weight of 2 equally consistent albums of their brand of heavy rock, gets them the fourth position in my best of for 2013.
Number 3: Alter Bridge - Fortress. I remember being asked if I'd 'discovered' this band around the time of 'Blackbird'. I had not, and did not, at the time. I more got in to Myles through Slash, and saw him with Slash at least 5 times. So, a new Alter Bridge album was always on my radar, but when I got it, I was amazed at the step up from the last one. The songs are heavier, the singing even better, everything about this album is a stone cold classic. Any other year, it would have been my album of the year, easily.
Number 2: Stone Sour - House of Gold and Bones Part 2. I believe Stone Sour topped my list last year with part 1. What an amazing pair of albums. I bought the box sets, I bought the comic books, I listened to little else for MONTHS this year. It's rare that an album grabs me this hard AND still sounds this good 6 months later. I am sure I'll still love these albums in 10 years time.
Number 1: Avenged Sevenfold - Hail To The King. Wow. So many good albums this year, it's hard to believe that anything topped Alter Bridge or Stone Sour, and by such a wide margin. Avenged Sevenfold have always changed between albums. But, this time, they set out to figure out why simpler, more classic rock, sounds 'bigger' than the complex songs they've done before. Of course, they nailed it. The songs are bigger, they breathe more, the riffs are humongous, and this is the classic rock album they were hoping to make, and then some. From Shepherd of fire to the GnR stylings of 'Doing Time' to the big ballad of 'Crimson Day', through to the last two more 'classic' A7X tracks, this album is amazing from top to bottom, and one I am sure will be looked back on as not just a classic of 2013, but a classic of this era of hard rock and metal.
Honorable mention - Black Veil Brides - Wretched and Divine, Deep Purple - What Now?, Black Star Riders - All hell breaks loose.
Now, I know there are readers who don't like any bands whose members are younger than 50, or didn't have chart hit 30 years ago, so, I give you my top six albums of bands playing the nostalgia circuit.
Number 6: Aerosmith - Music From Another Dimension. No, it wasn't Rocks, or even Pump, but, it was a decent return to form after a long time, and certainly the new songs sat well with the older ones when I saw them live in 2013.
Number 5: Skid Row - United World Rebellion. I never thought I'd be giving these guys props, I've hated everything they did after Sebastian, and didn't think much of 'Subhuman race'. But, this new EP is really great. If they end up releasing a set, as they've promised, and they are all this good, then they will have created new music that deserves to be made the centrepiece of their set lists, instead of just playing the old stuff.
Number 4: Michael Monroe - Sensory Overdrive. Great album, better than I thought he had in him.
Number 3: Queensryche - Queensryche. They know their first album was self titled too, right ? Anyhow, all the drama around this band in 2013 was really disappointing, but the truth is, they've sucked for a long time now. With the Tate fronted version releasing an album of crap in 2013, and the Tateless version releasing their best album in a long time, it was pretty clear where the problem lay.
Number 2: Stryper - No More Hell To Pay. I don't like to rate albums I just got too highly, in case they wear off, but this is a great CD, probably their best ever, to my ears, and it deserves to be in my number two spot.
Number 1: Tom Keifer - The Way Life Goes. Hasn't it taken forever for Tom to release new music? When John Kalodner gave all those 80s bands a second shot, and a one off album deal, Cinderella wasted theirs on a live CD. And Tom alone is a lot more 'roots' and a lot less '80s hair' than Cinderella, but it's all the more rewarding for it. I've always thought this guy was super talented and I'm glad to see him get something out there that shows he's more than a nostalgia act, more than a specific movement, he's just a great all round songwriter and musician.
Avenged Sevenfold. They started off as a hardcore band. At first all the vocals were screamed. Then their sound started to change, and with every new album, they seemed to find new fans, and lose ones who had hoped the new album would sound like the old one. Their last album, Nightmare, was perhaps their greatest triumph to date, pulled from the ashes of the untimely death of their drummer, the Rev.
After that tour, they regrouped to plan their future. They found a new drummer, and once again, they found a new sound. Directly influenced by all the bands we love, they set out to create a more "classic" sounding album, that didn't push the boundaries so far from the sounds they grew up with. They have succeeded. The first song, "Shepherd of Fire," starts slow, with a thunderous riff that just does not let up. The next song, "Hail to the King," is also the single, and starts with what sounds like a picking exercise (which incidentally, is what the intro to "Sweet Child O' Mine" was). Speaking of Guns n Roses, "Doing Time" channels that band so completely that the vocal sound exactly like Axl, and the solo sounds exactly like Slash. This is not a band scared to wear it's influence on it's sleeve, which only comes from having done so much that they have proven they have their own sound, and that they are able to inhabit another sound completely without it being a rip off. I wish that there was at least one song on Chinese Democracy as good as this one. The next song, "This Means War" is built off a b2 riff that is actually pretty different to "Sad But True," but certainly sounds the same. The rest of the song does not channel Metallica but that riff is really the thing that stands out when you hear it.
Avenged Sevenfold can still do quirky, and "Requiem" starts with a harmony vocal in Latin, which reprises later in the song. The rest of the song is a slow metal groove, reminiscent perhaps of Pantera, but to be honest, I wouldn't come to that conclusion if the rest of the CD didn't have me listening for influences for each song. "Crimson Day" is the ballad of the album, and if they had been around to release this in 1988, they could all have bought houses out of it, I reckon. "Heretic" is my favourite song of the CD. I've heard people compare it to "Symphony of Destruction," and while I can hear what they mean, I think they are drawing a long bow. It does stop and start, it does build and fall, but it's just a great hard rock song. "Coming Home" is something else again. There is no question that the band is channeling Iron Maiden, M Shadows even copying some of Bruce's vocal inflections at times. I admit I did a double take the first time I heard it, but, while Iron Maiden are a band still releasing great new music, I do think I prefer the fire of "Coming Home" to the more placid music on their last few CDs.
The last two songs are called "Planets" and "Acid Rain." I suspect they may have written these first, they certainly sound like "old" Avenged Sevenfold, and are a great way to wrap up the CD, with some more proggy music (but still heavy) that would not be out of place on their older albums. It feels like a foretaste, as if future CDs might mix it up a bit more, but from now on they intend to both do the complex stuff, and do simpler heavy metal music as well. I've read interviews where a few modern bands put their hands up to be the next "top shelf" bands of our genre. Avenged Sevenfold are the only band who I think have the ability to pull it off. Thankfully they are here, and for anyone who loves good heavy rock, no matter the age or look of the people making it, the future looks very bright indeed.
The Treatment recently released a video to their new song “I Bleed Rock+Roll”. It’s the first single from their upcoming album, and it gives me great hope about the release. As many of you already know, I’ve been a great fan of The Treatment for quite some time now, and they’re probably one of my favorite bands – especially live. Therefore I’m obviously super excited about hearing some new material and I can’t wait for the new album.
The singer Matt Jones simply describes the video as “what The Treatment are all about; in your face, high energy rock’n’roll. We’re back.”
The Cambridge guys released their debut album This Might Hurt in 2011 and have since been touring with Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper, Steel Panther and both Mötley Crüe and KISS. Not too bad for five guys still in their early twenties. “I Bleed Rock+Roll” is the first single from their upcoming second album, due early next year.
The band is currently on tour with Airbourne in the UK and if you have a chance to catch one of their shows – do it!
I just received this press release and I knew you'd all love it. I bolded a section you'll be really interested in - and let me know if you buy tickets!
The Vegas strip had nothing on the Sunset Strip when it came to rock ‘n’ roll, and a new multi-media show is bringing that experience to the stage in a special sneak preview. LET IT RAWK will debut in the Chrome Showroom at Santa Fe Station and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 18 at 9pm PST.
LET IT RAWK is a loud, colorful, energetic and interactive experience of the hair metal era on LA’s Sunset Strip. The showroom and stage will be infused with the sights and energy of a legendary rock club. Performed by guys who were there, shaping the scene, the show’s playlist includes the greatest hits from the ‘80s and early ‘90s. From Warrant to Motley Crue the best anthems will be performed in all the glory of the day. And hits from the LET IT RAWK band’s careers are highlights.
The LET IT RAWK band is the real deal. It’s fronted by Black N' Blue and ex-Warrant vocalist Jaime St. James. Guitarist Oz Fox is in the platinum-selling Christian glam rock band, Stryper. Dokken’s Sean McNabb has played bass for other Kings of The Sunset Strip including Great White and Quiet Riot. Drummer Brent Fitz from Slash And The Conspirators will be slamming the skins. Brent has also played for Vince Neil and Alice Cooper. The band will also feature floating members, such as Eddie Ojeda from Twisted Sister and Bullet Boys original drummer Jimmy D’Anda. The anchor of the band is LET IT RAWK’s creator and producer, Stacey Blades.
Stacey’s ten years with L.A. Guns cemented him as a must-watch guitar player, and his final record with the band, HOLLYWOOD FOREVER, earned him critical acclaim for his exceptional fretwork. He left the band last year to pursue his other projects, including LET IT RAWK. "I have been diligently working on this project since last March, and am super stoked to be sharing the stage with such awesome guys and talented musicians. The show will be playing a few times a month here in Vegas and then be doing casino shows nationally, LET IT RAWK! See you out there!"
LET IT RAWK debuts in the Chrome Showroom at Santa Fe Station and Casino, 4949 North Rancho Drive, Las Vegas, on Saturday, January 18 at 9pm PST. General admission tickets are $21. VIP meet-and-greet upgrades will be available soon. Tickets available now.
Cabins for the fifth ShipRocked--the ultimate rock music cruise vacation--are now sold out, with a full ship of nearly 3,000 guests from 44 states across the U.S. and almost a dozen countries around the world set to sail from the Port Of Miami January 26-30, 2014 onboard the Norwegian Pearl.
Those who would still like to join the 2014 excursion to Great Stirrup Cay--a private island in the Bahamas--are encouraged to sign up for the ShipRocked waiting list via www.shiprocked.com, as cabins may become available between now and the sailing date.
Comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Jim Breuer will join the ShipRocked lineup. Known for his impersonations of Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne and AC/DC, Breuer’s two performances will feature his heavy metal-infused brand of frenetic comedy.
In addition, rock band Living Colour--known for their 1990 Grammy Award winning song "Cult of Personality"--joins the lineup of over 20 bands including headliners Five Finger Death Punch. FFDP are touring in support of their newly-released Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell - Volume 2 album, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart last week--marking the second straight #2 debut for the band. The power-packed ShipRocked band lineup also features Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, Sevendust, Candlebox, In This Moment, Lacuna Coil, The Halo Method, Nonpoint, Love & Death (with Brian “Head” Welch), Aranda, Art of Dying, Young Guns, Crash Kings, Butcher Babies,Scorpion Child, Wilson, American Fangs, Digital Summer, and Andy Wood & The Amalgam.
The 5-day ShipRocked cruise--fueled by Monster Energy--will also feature a special onboard DJ set by Neil Sanderson of Three Days Grace and a comedy set from Big Jay Oakerson. Rock and roll dance troupe Hells Belles Burlesque (www.hellsbellesburlesque.com) is slated for a pair of performances, and will be offering burlesque workshops during the cruise. In addition, Fuse TV’s “Mistress Juliya” Chernetsky will join Kayla Riley of SiriusXM Radio and Ralph Sutton of Tour Bus Radio as guest emcees for ShipRocked 2014.
Guests are encouraged to enjoy all that the Norwegian Pearl has to offer, including luxurious accommodations, 16 delicious dining options, 13 bars and lounges, casino, spa, fitness center, a chic bowling alley, rock climbing wall, sports court, two pools, hot tubs, and much more. In addition, ShipRocked guests will spend two full days enjoying concerts and activities on a private beach on Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. The island features a large performance area on the beach with full production for rock shows and offers various island excursions such as parasailing, snorkeling, canoeing and more.
As in the past, ShipRocked guests will enjoy multiple performances from every band on different stages, artist meet and greets, Q&A sessions, along with artist-hosted activities including contests, game shows, insane parties, theme nights and more. Onboard, bands will perform on the large outdoor Monster Energy Deck Stage, in the beautiful Stardust Theater, the Crystal Atrium stage, and the Spinnaker Lounge. While in port at Great Stirrup Cay, guests will enjoy unforgettable performances on the island’s Beach Stage. Look for onboard and beach activities and theme nights to be announced soon at www.shiprocked.com.