STRYPER Confirms New Album Title

STRYPER Confirms New Album Title, Collaborates With SEVENDUST's CLINT LOWERY On New Song Christian hard rockers STRYPER entered SpiritHouse Recording Studios in Northampton, Massachusetts earlier in the month to begin recording their new album, “Fallen”, for a late 2015 release via Frontiers.

STRYPER guitarist/vocalist Michael Sweet wrote: “Clint Lowery of SEVENDUST sent me this opening riff idea and it’s epic! Yeah, STRYPER is wimpy :-.”

Regarding the musical direction of the new STRYPER material, Michael Sweet told Eddie Trunk‘s SiriusXM satellite radio show, “Eddie Trunk Live”: “It’s gonna be… I don’t wanna scare any fans away or anything, but it’s gonna be the heaviest album we’ve done. Not in the sense that it’s gonna be thrash metal or anything like that. It’s definitely got a little bit of a darker vibe to it lyrically and musically. Some of the songs are tuned down — not like the modern Drop B stuff; I’m talking like the E dropped to D, ‘Unchained’ VAN HALEN kind of stuff. And it’s just got a heavy sound to it. And I think when people hear it, in a good way, they’re gonna go, ‘That’s STRYPER? What?’ I think they’re gonna be shocked.”

Asked if there are still any religious references in the new STRYPER lyrics, Sweet told Canadian journalist Mitch Lafon: “Absolutely. Some of the words themselves are actually taken from the Bible, so that’s still there. The lyrics are definitely on the bold and powerful side. They’re not like the lyrics of old.

“A lot of our lyrics, I read back through the lyrics, and at times I’m a little embarrassed because they were just so repetitive and shallow at times — just real simplistic ‘Rock, rock rock. Jesus, Jesus.’ These lyrics are definitely a lot deeper. I’m pulling from the Bible at times.”

He continued: “There’s a song about God creating the heavens and the earth. It’s called ‘Let There Be Light’. And it’s about in the beginning, and it’s taken right from Genesis. There’s a song about the Devil; it’s called ‘Fallen’. It just talks about how when the Devil, when he was Lucifer, an archangel in heaven, when he walked, he was the angel of music, and when he walked, there was music. It tells the story in that song of, basically, about how he’s fallen, and why, and how. It’s a real powerful song.

“I’ve got a song called ‘Big Screen Lies’ that’s about how the film industry portrays Christians as complete buffoons one million percent of the time. And that’s just not the case. It is sometimes, but those buffoon Christians don’t represent all of us.”

Cover Artwork Unveiled For MAIDEN UNITED’s ‘Remembrance’ Album Feat. PAUL DI’ANNO & BLAZE BAYLEY

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MAIDEN UNITED, the acoustic IRON MAIDEN tribute project featuring Damian Wilson (THRESHOLD, HEADSPACE) and Ruud Jolie (WITHIN TEMPTATION), will release a new album, “Remembrance”, on May 22 on CD, red 12-inch vinyl and as a digital download.

“Remembrance” track listing:

01. Strange World
02. Charlotte The Harlot
03. Killers
04. Remember Tomorrow
05. Burning Ambition (ft. Bob Verschoyle)
06. Futureal (feat. Blaze Bayley)
07. Aces High
08. Prowler (feat. Paul Di’Anno)
09. Still Life ’15

Contributing musicians:

* Damian Wilson (THRESHOLD, HEADSPACE) – Vocals
* Ruud Jolie (WITHIN TEMPTATION) – Guitar
* Joey Bruers (UP THE IRONS) – Bass
* Stef Broks (TEXTURES) – Drums
* Huub van Loon (DEARWORLD, BARRY HAY) – Piano
* Thijs Schrijnemakers (ORGEL VRETEN) – Hammond
* Perttu Kivilaakso (APOCALYPTICA) – Cello on “Still Life”
* Mike Coolen (WITHIN TEMPTATION) – Drums on “Prowler”
* Marco Kuypers (CLOUDMACHINE) – Piano on “Prowler”
* Bob Verschoyle (GYPSY’S KISS) – Vocals on “Burning Ambition”
* Paul Di’Anno (IRON MAIDEN) – Vocals on “Prowler”
* Blaze Bayley – Vocals on “Futureal”

“Strange World” was released as a two-track single on CD and iTunes on January 30.

Single track listing:

01. Strange World (album version)
02. The Evil That Men Do (alternate version feat. Wudstik on vocals)

MAIDEN UNITED is an IRON MAIDEN tribute project which performs classic MAIDEN songs in new acoustic arrangements. “Remembrance” is the third full-length album released by this project. MAIDEN UNITED‘s debut album, “Mind The Acoustic Pieces” (2010), was an acoustic re-imagining of the entire classic IRON MAIDEN album “Piece Of Mind” with new arrangements. The second album, “Across The Seventh Sea” (2012), contained tracks from different MAIDEN albums.

“Remembrance” can be pre-ordered at www.MaidenUnited.com

MOTÖRHEAD In The Studio Working On New Album

MOTÖRHEAD In The Studio Working On New Album: Video Footage, PhotosMOTÖRHEAD recently returned to the studio to begin work on its 22nd studio album for a late 2015 release.

MOTÖRHEAD‘s song “Heartbreaker” was nominated in the “Best Metal Performance” category at this year’s Grammy Awards.

MOTÖRHEAD frontman Lemmy Kilmister, 69, in 2013 suffered a haematoma (where blood collects outside of a blood vessel), causing the cancelation of a number of the band’s European festival shows. He was also reportedly fitted with a defibrillator because of heart problems.

The reissue of MOTÖRHEAD‘s 21st studio album, “Aftershock”, was made available on August 26, 2014 via UDR/Motörhead Music. The CD was helmed by longtime producer Cameron Webb (MEGADETH, DISTURBED). The expanded edition contains a bonus live CD — also recorded by Webb — consisting of live material comprised from the band’s historic appearances in early 2014.

“Aftershock” sold 11,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 22 on The Billboard 200 chart.

New IRON MAIDEN Album Is ‘Ready To Go’

New IRON MAIDEN Album Is 'Ready To Go,' Says Drummer NICKO MCBRAINIRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain was interviewed earlier this week in the studios of the 98.7 The Gater radio station in West Palm Beach, Florida. Asked for a health update on IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson, who recently underwent a seven-week course of chemotherapy and radiology to treat a small cancerous tumor at the back of his tongue, Nicko said: “We were all blown away when we heard the news. But the great thing is [Bruce is] in great hands back home in England, not only with his family, but his oncologists and all the people that are working with him. They were all very positive, as Bruce has been, through the whole thing.”

He continued: “Obviously, it’s a blow for everybody to hear the news. Last week, the official announcement was made, after he finished his treatment. And all of that treatment went exceedingly well. And from not having spoken to Bruce for a couple of weeks, but talking to our manager, he was in amazing spirits, considering the brutality of the radiology, and he had three chemo sessions. So it’s been pretty hard, as you can imagine. And he’s apparently doing very well. He was in the office Wednesday last week, and apparently he went out. He goes down the pub… although he can’t taste his beer. He said, ‘At least I know it’s a Trooper [IRON MAIDEN‘s official beer]. I’ve got the bottle in my hand.’ [Laughs] I said, ‘Does it still work?’ ‘Oh yeah!’ [Laughs]”

McBrain added: “So, just to let everybody know, from what we can gather, he’s really in great hands, and he’s doing extremely well. So we expect him to have a full recovery in the next couple of months. And then, watch this space, really. We have made an album. The album was ready to go this year… and it still is. When I say ‘was,’ we were planning on going out and doing some work around the album, which now, we’re all just holding on, and once Bruce is up and running, hopefully in the next couple of months, we’ll… You never know when this might happen. You just never know, do you? [Laughs]”

IRON MAIDEN has yet to make an official announcement about a new studio album, but the band’s members have reportedly been spotted in Paris, France in recent months, along with their longtime producer, Kevin Shirley, who is said to have helmed the new effort.

MAIDEN‘s 15th studio album, “The Final Frontier”, sold 63,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 4. The CD featured 10 tracks that had an average running time of seven minutes and 40 seconds, with the shortest song, “The Alchemist”, clocking in at four minutes and 29 seconds, and the longest, “When The Wild Wind Blows”, lasting ten minutes and 59 seconds.

IRON MAIDEN‘s previous album, 2006’s “A Matter Of Life And Death”, opened with 56,000 units to land at No. 9. This was a notable increase from the 40,000 first-week tally registered by its predecessor, 2003’s “Dance of Death” (which debuted at No. 18 on The Billboard 200 chart), and that of “Brave New World”, which moved 38,000 copies in June 2000 to land at No. 39 on The Billboard 200 chart.

“The Final Frontier” was IRON MAIDEN‘s fourth U.K. No. 1 album. The band previously topped the chart in 1982 with “The Number of the Beast”, in 1988 with “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” and in 1992 with “Fear of the Dark”.

New Albums To Be Released On Fridays Globally Starting This Summer

Following consultation with artists, musicians unions, record companies and retailers, it was confirmed today that the release day for new music will be aligned internationally on a Friday.

Release days currently vary from one country to another, causing frustration for consumers when music fans in other parts of the world can access new releases before them. As well as helping music fans, the move will benefit artists who want to harness social media to promote their new music. It also creates the opportunity to re-ignite excitement and a sense of occasion around the release of new music.

The move to an aligned global release day will also reduce the risk of piracy by narrowing the gap between release days in different countries.

Retailers internationally are committed to working with the labels and artist communities to ensure the successful implementation of the move to Friday.

From summer 2015, new albums and singles will be released at 00:01 local time on Fridays. Music consumers everywhere will know to look for new releases on Fridays regardless of where they are.

Consumer research by TNS across seven markets shows Friday and Saturday as the most preferred days for new music release among consumers who expressed an opinion. More than two thirds of those with a preference (68%) chose Friday or Saturday.

The move to a global release day follows several months of discussions between group representing retailers, record companies, artists and musicians unions.

The global release day consultation has included:

* IFPI, representing some 1300 record labels worldwide;
* FIM, representing musicians’ unions and associations globally
* Featured Artists Coalition representing UK performers;
* Leading retailers and representative organisations, including Australian Music Retailers Association (AMRA), E.Leclerc, El Corte Inglés, Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) (UK), HMV, Italian Association of Specialist Consumer Electronics Retailers (AIRES), Media-Saturn, Music Business Association (Music Biz US), Mondadori Retail, the Orchard, Rdio, Spotify, Napster.

Ex-MEGADETH, SHADOWS FALL Members Form ACT OF DEFIANCE & Sign With METAL BLADE

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ACT OF DEFIANCE, the new band featuring former MEGADETH members Shawn Drover (drums) and Chris Broderick (guitar), alongside ex-SCAR THE MARTYR singer Henry Derek Bonner, and SHADOWS FALL‘s Matt Bachand (bass), has inked a deal with Metal Blade Records.

ACT OF DEFIANCE is currently recording its debut offering with world-renowned producer Chris “Zeuss” Harris (ROB ZOMBIE, HATEBREED, SHADOWS FALL) for a summer release.

Says Broderick: “I am so excited to finally be able to announce ACT OF DEFIANCE to the world.

Shawn just finished tracking drums the first week of February and his performance and tones are simply incredible. I have started tracking rhythms and leads, as well as working with Henry to get final vocal takes while Matt will record bass at his studio. The final mix and mastering will also be handled by Zeuss.”

He continues: “I am also very honored to announce that we have signed with Metal Blade Records. There is not a better label to be on than one where the employees (and owner) still understand and listen to METAL! They have shown a loyalty, backing and drive for their artists that few other labels have.

“As for our music, I am really enjoying the ability to create what is a killer mix of thrash and modern metal. It has a unique combination ranging from thrash to classical influences. I am very proud of what we have written and hope that you all dig it.”

Adds Drover: “Having our new band, ACT OF DEFIANCE, sign with Metal Blade Records is a real thrill for me.

“I started my musical career with Brian Slagel and the Metal Blade family many years ago, so to come full circle at this point is a real musical homecoming of sorts. I couldn’t be happier about that.

“What thrills me the most is the fact that myself, Chris Broderick, Henry Derek and Matt Bachand all have in common is that from the get-go, we wanted this band to be 100% PURE heavy metal! No compromises, no ulterior motives other than making the best HEAVY METAL music we can. Metal Blade shares this vision, which really puts us all on the same page, musically.”

States Bachand: “I couldn’t be more excited to begin this new adventure with ACT OF DEFIANCE. The positive energy that has collected between the four of us in such a little amount of time has been nothing short of incredible. Writing bass lines is something new for me as well, and I am looking forward to the challenge. All the songs are coming together great and I can’t wait for the world to hear this.”

Comments Henry: “I’m extremely honored and excited to be a part of ACT OF DEFIANCE. Everyone has been super cool and supportive, which is always a huge plus. I know this is going to be an awesome musical experience and the fact that I’m embarking on this journey with good people means everything.”

Metal Blade founder Brian Slagel says: “I am super excited to welcome ACT OF DEFIANCE to the Metal Blade family. I have known Chris and Shawn over the years and really admired their work. I am honored to be able to work with these two legendary musicians. Really excited to work with all the guys on this exciting new band!”

During an interview with SiriusXM‘s Jose Mangin on the December 17, 2014 edition of Liquid Metal‘s “666-LIVE” call-in show, Broderick stated about how his new group came together: “Through talking with Shawn Drover, we’ve talked about how we had all this material that was never gonna get released, all these killer, heavy riffs that we had written and stuff, and so we just decided, ‘Hey, why don’t we put the stuff out? Why don’t we form a band and get out these killer riffs, just to see what people think?’ So we formed a band, we’re working with a killer singer — he’s awesome — and we’ve got record labels that have made some good offers on the table, and we’re really excited about where that’s gonna go.”

Regarding whether the musical ideas that are being used in the new band are things that were originally presented to MEGADETH and were turned down or if they are brand new compositions, Chris said: “Some of them were presented, but then some of them also… I’d be, like, ‘Oh, this isn’t appropriate for MEGADETH, their sound.’ I have a tendency to write very complex stuff, and so I’ve gotta watch it when I write and submit for MEGADETH under that kind of… I wanna make sure it’s not too complex and too crazy and all over the place. So those are the things that I would have held back.”

Bonner released a statement in April 2014 claiming that he was leaving SCAR THE MARTYR “due to personal differences, artistic direction and a slew of business decisions that I cannot simply ignore.” He added: “I’ve given it a year of my life and now it’s time to move on. I will continue making music in many forms.”

HELLOWEEN To Release ‘My God-Given Right’ Album In May

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German power metallers HELLOWEEN will release their 15th studio album, “My God-Given Right”, on May 29 via Nuclear Blast. The CD was recorded between October 2014 and February 2015 at the band’s MiSueno Studio on the isle of Tenerife with producer Charlie Bauerfeind (GOTTHARD, HAMMERFALL).

The “My God-Given Right” artwork was once again created by graphic guru Martin Häusler (BON JOVI, QUEEN, GOTTHARD) and will also be available as a 3D lenticular print.

Says Häusler: “We tried to build a world of ideas, keeping the ‘classic HELLOWEEN‘ elements, like the pumpkins on the one hand and a complete new look on the other, just like we did it the years before, working on a HELLOWEEN artwork.

“A first inspiration came from the album title, ‘My God-Given Right’, and some of the song titles, like ‘Swing Of A Fallen World’, ‘Lost In America’, Battle’s Won’, etc.

“During my research, I stumbled upon the blockbuster Day After Tomorrow’ and the idea of just leaving the world to the ‘pumpkins’ was born.

“The most challenging part of this artwork was to have both the limited edition and the 11-inch earbook provided with a 3D lenticular cover (a full 3D cover, visible without 3D glasses). That’s the reason the entire artwork was done ‘in one piece,’ using a 3D program…
We did not want one of those ‘cheap’ lenticular covers, done by converting a 2D version, but the best possible real 3D result. So don’t get any other versions — this will be a true collector’s item!”

Adds HELLOWEEN frontman Andi Deris: “I never know how, but somehow we did it once again… The album really rocks and kicks some major asses!!! We had the best folks with us to make this possible: producer Charlie Bauerfeind and Martin Häusler, who made a massive 3D artwork this time WITHOUT stressing the whole color range.”

States HELLOWEEN guitarist Michael Weikath: “This proves what a bit of snow not only is able to but really causes! I personally hate snow and the cover shows that too much of everything is never good. Just like Andi Deris, I’m very happy about the new album.”

HELLOWEEN‘s last album, “Straight Out Of Hell”, sold around 4,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 97 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD entered the Media Control chart in Germany at position No. 4 — the highest chart position in the band’s history. It also landed at No. 4 in Finland and No. 2 on the international album chart in Japan.

“Straight Out Of Hell” was released in January 2013. The cover artwork for the CD was once again created by Martin Häusler, who previously worked with the band on the “7 Sinners” and “Gambling With The Devil” CDs.