June News Updates
FESTIVAL NEWS: Day tickets for Bloodstock released Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 June 2017 19:04

Day tickets for this year’s Bloodstock go on sale at 9am tomorrow (Friday 30 June).


They cost £60 (plus booking fee) per day, and are available HERE.


BOA Poster 20 June 2017


Four-day 'weekend tickets with camping' are also still available, priced £139 (plus booking fee). Children's weekend tickets are just £35 (+ booking fee) and under four go free!  According to our inside sources at Bloodstock, “weekend tickets are selling faster than ever this year and may well sell out entirely before festival weekend, so don't delay if you want to guarantee access to the UK's best metal weekender!”


Details also have been announced of this year’s RAM Gallery. Alongside works by Bloodstock founder Paul Raymond Gregory, Berlin-based artist and illustrator Eliran Kantor, who has created sleeve art for the likes Testament, Soulfly, Iced Earth, and Hatebreed, will show six pieces of work.  Also exhibiting this year will be Christian Sloan Hall, who will show a few of the many pieces of work he's created for Friday headliner Amon Amarth, Daniel P. Carter, presenter of the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show, rock photographer Paul Harries, Heathen Waxworks and guitar artist Luthier Cynosure, who will be exhibiting two brand new bespoke instruments.  


More of this year’s 'Metal 2 The Masses' winners also have been confirmed for the Hobgoblin New Blood stage. Merseyside winners Reaper, Nottingham champions Raised By Owls and Decrepit Monolith, who landed the top spot in Newcastle have been added to the Saturday bill, while Prognosis, who took first prize in Manchester, will appear on the Sunday.  Three other M2TM competitors impressed enough to be invited along, with Thuum and Carlisle runners up Blood Thread both appearing on the Friday, and Dublin's second-placed Na Cruithne joining the bill on Sunday.

ALBUM NEWS: Steve Vai to release ‘Modern Primitive’ next week Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 June 2017 12:11

Virtuoso guitarist and composer Steve Vai will release his new album, ‘Modern Primitive’, next Friday (7 July) through Favored Nations Entertainment, the indie label founded by Vai in 1999.


Steve Vai Sleeve


Originally included as a companion disk to Vai’s 25th anniversary release of his ‘Passion and Warfare’ CD, ‘Modern Primitive’ will be released by itself as the seventh instalment of the Steve Vai ‘Secret Jewel Box,’ an ambitious ten CD box set that was originally released in December 2001.


This stand-alone release of ‘Modern Primitive’ will be a limited edition album and has been modified specifically for Vai’s Secret Jewel Box.


Modern Primitive is comprised of material that was written and partially recorded with Vai’s band The Classified back in the early ‘80s. The Classified consisted of Tommy Mars on keyboards, Chris Frazier on drums, Stu Hamm on bass and Sue Mathis on vocals and keyboards and was formed by Vai after his first solo record, ‘Flex-Able’ and prior to the writing and recording of ‘Passion and Warfare’. Vai completed the recording last year.


“The music on ‘Modern Primitive’ was written and recorded with virtually no expectations for its future,” Vai said.


“As a result, there was an opening up to a powerful and personal creativity that allowed me to find the most stimulation music I could conjure. So far it’s my favourite album that I ever made.”


Steve Vai Secret Jewel Box copy 

Vai’s ‘Secret Jewel Box Set,’ a deluxe 10’ x 6’ x 6’ gloss black box, lined with red velvet, features compartments for a total of 10 CDs, three guitar picks, and a 100-page booklet. Hidden in a flap on the underside of the box in an exclusive CD interview with Steve specifically about the project. Much of the recordings contained in ‘The Secret Jewel Box’ are comprised of various material from dozens of different records including guest appearances, film soundtracks, bonus tracks, a piano reduction CD, and a full CD comprised of choice tracks that Vai contributed to while working with Frank Zappa in the early 80’s. All of the rare and essential Vai recordings that do not appear on his solo records are collected here, with many surprises for even the most hardcore collector. A limited run of 7,000 units of the box set was manufactured and sold out.





TOUR NEWS: Jimmy Barnes announces December dates Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 14:58

Australian singer Jimmy Barnes has announced a run of dates for this December.


Four of the shows will be with his full band, while two will follow his ‘Stories And Songs’ format.


Dates are as follows:


Jimmy Barnes tour poster

TOUR NEWS: Kobra And The Lotus announce UK and Ireland dates Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 13:20

Kobra And The Lotus have announced an extensive tour of the UK and Ireland for the end of November/beginning of December.


Dates are as follows:


KATL tour poster 

Special guests will be Brutai.  Tickets for all shows go on sale this Friday (30 July) from all usual outlets.


Read our interview with Kobra Paige HERE, and our review of 'Prevail I' HERE.



ALBUM NEWS: Hypochristmutreefuzz to release debut album in August Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 13:11

Belgian noise rockers Hypochristmutreefuzz are to release their debut album, ‘Hypopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia’ on 11 August.


They have preceded the release with a video for the song ‘Clammy Hands’:



Founded by guitarist Ramses Van den Eede, Hypochristmutreefuzz take their name from an avant-garde jazz piece by Misha Mengelberg.  The album in turn is named after the phobia of long words.

The band play the following dates in support of the album’s release:


Monday 21 August – London, The Finsbury

Tuesday 22 August – Bristol, Old England Club

Wednesday 23 August – Glasgow, Bar Bloc




Hypochristmutreefuzz artwork

ALBUM NEWS: Nothing More to release ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves’ in September Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 11:16

Nothing More are to release their album, ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves’, on 15 September via Better Noise Records.


They have preceded it with a new single, ‘Go To War’:



Singer Jonny Hawkins said of the song: "Trust is the foundation of every relationship. As trust erodes, our need for control grows. ‘Go To War’ is about how we circle the problem, unknowingly spinning the web tighter. If you circle enough, it becomes a spiral. If you spiral enough, it becomes a war."


‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves’ is available to pre-order HERE.



TOUR NEWS: Mr Big confirm dates with The Answer and Faster Pussycat Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 17:59

Mr. Big have announced a European tour for November, to promote their forthcoming new album, 'Defying Gravity’. 


Mr Big tour poster


The run, on which The Answer and Faster Pussycat will also appear, concludes with the following dates:


Thursday 16 – Nottingham, Rock City

Friday 17 – Newcastle, O2 Academy

Sunday 19 – London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Tuesday 21 – Manchester, Academy

Wednesday 22 – Glasgow, O2 ABC

Thursday 23 – Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall


Tickets go on general sale on Friday (30 June) at 10am, although Planet Rock have an exclusive ticket pre-sale available from 10am tomorrow (Wednesday 28).


‘Defying Gravity’ is released via Frontiers Records on 21 July on CD, deluxe CD/DVD and digital formats, with an LP and a limited deluxe collector’s edition box to follow on 18 August.


New book to document story of Metal Blade Records Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 14:40

'For the Sake of Heaviness: The History of Metal Blade Records' will be published via BMG on 29 August. The book, written by label founder and CEO Brian Slagel with Mark Eglinton, and featuring a foreword by Metallica's Lars Ulrich, celebrates the storied label's 35th anniversary.


Metal Blade book cover 

Brian Slagel commented:


"I have been asked many times about doing a book about the history of Metal Blade and it just seemed like a cool thing to do to document the 35th anniversary. You never really stop to think about a lot of this stuff, so doing the book is a great way of looking back at how many awesome things have happened to me and Metal Blade. We have had a long relationship with BMG and with their new move in book publishing, it all seemed like perfect timing. Being able to work with their team really made the final decision to actually do the book. I am really happy with the way it came out and I hope everyone out there enjoys it as well!"


'For the Sake of Heaviness' is an inside look at how Slagel built Metal Blade from a one-man operation in his mom's non-air-conditioned garage to the preeminent international home of heavy music that it is today. The book recounts the early beginning of a metal-obsessed Southern California kid who launched a fanzine and landed a record store job, before cobbling together what he assumed would be a one-off compilation of fledgling bands from the LA scene. Released in 1982, the ‘Metal Massacre’ LP included the debut recordings of local groups such as Steeler, Malice, Ratt, and Metallica.


In the book, Slagel reveals the early advice he gave that helped guide Motley Crue's career; how he helped Metallica replace their bassist - twice; his detailed work on Thin Lizzy and Alice Cooper re-issues; his behind-the-scenes role in the careers of Slayer, GWAR, Mother Love Bone, Alice in Chains, Faith No More, Goo Goo Dolls, and Lamb of God; and his unlikely ventures with kindred metal heads, from hockey star Ken Baumgartner, to celebrity chef Chris Santos, to The Howard Stern Show's Richard Christy, to comedians Jim Florentine, Don Jamieson and Jim Breuer.



BAND NEWS: Razorbats confirm new line-up Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 June 2017 10:04

After a few turbulent months with a failed attempt to record a new album, disagreements and major changes in personnel, Norwegian punk upstarts Razorbats are back with a new line-up.


Razorbats1 1920  1282 Photographer Yngvar Sørensen


Razorbats got international attention when they released their debut album, ‘Camp Rock’ in 2015 and critics from all over Europe, Australia and the US praised their unique ability to blend classic rock, powerpop and punk in a new and exciting way. The lead single, ‘Kids of the 70s’ got a lot of airplay on rock radio across Europe and college radio in the US, in addition to national radio back home. The band supported the likes Rise Against and The Dandy Warhols before they embarked on their first UK and Scandinavian tour.


However, potential disaster was just around the corner, as the band Razorbats lost both lead singer Even Berg and bassist Stig Sætevik during the recording of their follow-up album. Guitarist Kjetil F. Wevling explained what happened:


“We were almost done recording a new album when Even told us he had to leave the band. He's a single dad, and with the success of ‘Camp Rock’ and all the plans we had for the future he found it impossible to combine the two.


It didn't really come as a surprise to us and it was of course the right decision, but it put us in a difficult position. Even is a unique singer, so we knew he would be hard to replace. We had some disagreements about what to do next, so Stig left about the same time. We went on Christmas leave with half a band and half a record in the can. At that moment, we were very close to calling it a day.”


In addition to replacements for their now departed singer and bassist, in the form of Paul Vercouteren (Hollywood Vampires/Virginia Hill) and Christoffer Haugerud (Kill City Bandits) respectively, Razorbats have also recruited a second guitar player, Asle Tangen (Babylon Bastards/She Said Destroy).


Razorbats2 1920  1280 Photographer Yngvar Sørensen


Wevling explained the recruitment process:


“I somehow started thinking about a band I really loved a few years ago called Hollywood Vampires. Not the one with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp, of course. They had a fantastic singer and frontman, great style and was one of the few bands in that mould that could actually back the image up with quality songs. After I started thinking about Paul, I couldn't even consider anyone else. He was perfect! We had a few beers one day and discussed plans, ambitions and music. We realised we shared the same vision, so it was really a no-brainer.


“Paul knew we were also looking for a bass player, so he brought along Christoffer, who at that time was in Kill City Bandits. So, after a few hours of talking and many delicious beers Razorbats was reborn and we quickly got to work on finishing the new record. Already that first night we decided we were gonna find a second guitar player to do the Thin Lizzy and Def Leppard twin guitar thing. None of the guys we knew were a fit, so we held auditions. Asle had the right musical references, played great and had a lot of drive, so we knew he was our guy.”


Drummer Knut S. S. Wettre said of the rejuvenated line-up:


“It is in a lot of ways a new band now and all the guys have brought something special to the table. Paul is awesome and he's taken a lot of the songs on the new record to another lever. Christoffer is a god given backup singer in addition to being a solid bass player and Asle is a great guitarist. It's a lot of fun being in Razorbats these days!”




PHOTO CREDIT: Photos © Yngvar_Sørensen

FESTIVAL NEWS: Damnation nails latest announcement… Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 20:58

US powerviolence outfit Nails have been added to this year’s Damnation Festival, which takes place at Leeds University Union, on Saturday, November 4.



The band were due to make their Damnation debut last year but had to scrap their planned tour:


“We want to extend deep gratitude, respect, and love to all our fans in the UK.  We know we did you dirty last November when we cancelled our tour and we really want to say ‘thank you’ for sticking with us, particularly the Damnation Festival in Leeds. We are finally coming.

“Airfare has been purchased, transportation has been sorted, and are we are going to be ready to sweat it out with all the maniacs who are attending Damnation Festival! Thanks to everyone involved at Damnation Festival for having us and helping us make sure we deliver the best Nails UK show to date.

“Nails believes that anybody reading this can agree when we say some of the most timeless musical recordings originated in the UK. We eagerly await November to finally be together with our people across the Atlantic. Damnation awaits us all!”

Aussie death metallers Disentomb and emerging post-metal stars Wren have also been added to the four-stage bill, which already features Agent Fresco, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Beyond Creation, Bloodbath, Dying Fetus, Leprous, Myrkur, Nordic Giants, Pallbearer, Paradise Lost, PG. Lost, Psycroptic, Sodom and Warning.

Tickets, priced £40 plus booking fee, are on sale now.

SINGLE NEWS: The Godfathers unveil a Big Bad Beautiful video! Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 14:53

The Godfathers have just released a brand new video for 'A Big Bad Beautiful Noise', the title track of their recent album and the lead track on their new, limited edition 10 inch 'A Big Bad Beautiful EP'.



Godfathers' singer Peter Coyne says:


"The song and video reflect the social and political tensions in today's society. We want our music to be a part of the soundtrack to a long, hot and very angry summer."


'A Big Bad Beautiful EP' features four tracks: 'A Big Bad Beautiful Noise', a new 'High Voltage' remix of live favourite 'Defibrillator' and previously unreleased numbers - 'You're So Slow' and 'Human Zoo'. It is only available exclusively from the band's official website.


The Godfathers also play a unique, two-set special gig, branded as'A Big Bad Beautiful Night At The Lexington,' in London this Saturday (24 June). In the first set they will perform the entire 'A Big Bad Beautiful Noise' album in sequence, while the second, much longer set will feature Godfathers' classics and treasures, many of which they have not played in years. Special guests are Los Pepes, doors open at 7pm and the venue curfew is 4am. Tickets are available HERE.

FESTIVAL NEWS: Bloodstock cry Havok and let slip more dogs of metal! Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 June 2017 11:44

More bands have been confirmed for this year’s instalment of Bloodstock, which takes place at Catton Hall in south Derbyshire over the weekend of 10 – 13 August.


Added to the Saturday’s Ronnie James Dio main stage bill are Havok, while Fallujah will open proceedings that day. 



Seven more bands have been confirmed for the Sophie Stage. Shrapnel, Internal Conflict, Ironbat and Corpsing have been added to the Friday bill, while Ohhms will appear on the Saturday, and Criminal and Gravil on the Sunday.


The next batch of ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ winners have successfully secured their slots on the Hobgoblin New Blood stage.  Seek In Solace, Mantra, Bloodoath and Ashen Gates have been added to the Friday bill, while Saturday will showcase Titan Breed, Infested Dead, Solar Sons and Malum Sky, with Vorbid added to Sunday line-up.


Standard weekend camping tickets for Bloodstock cost at £139 (+ booking fee) from HERE. Children’s weekend tickets are just £35 (+ booking fee) and under fours go free!  Day tickets will be released in the near future. VIP and camper van tickets are sold out.



ALBUM NEWS: Saxon to open ‘The Solid Book Of Rock’ in August Print E-mail
Monday, 19 June 2017 11:37

Saxon are to release ‘The Solid Book of Rock’ – featuring all nine of the band’s studio albums released between 1991 and 2009 - on 4 August.  


Solid Book Of Rock packshot small copy 

The set will also feature bonus tracks not featured on the original albums, as well as two additional CDs – ‘Classics Re-Recorded’, originally issued with the initial pressings of ‘Killing Ground’, and ‘Lionheart – Rough Studio Mix’, originally issued on the 2006 limited edition – and re-issues of the three DVDs originally released with ‘Lionheart’, ‘The Inner Sanctum’ and ‘Into The Labyrinth’, all packaged in a 24-page 12” x 12” booklet with all the lyrics and credits, plus photos and a new cover painting by Paul R. Gregory.


Saxon headline Ramblin’ Man Fair on Friday 28 July and Steelhouse Festival on Sunday 30 July.




ALBUM NEWS: Cradle Of Filth to release ‘Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness Of Decay’ in September; tour to follow Print E-mail
Friday, 16 June 2017 11:29

Cradle Of Filth will release their 12th full-length album, ‘Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness Of Decay’, on 22 September via Nuclear Blast.


COF Cryptoria 

Frontman Dani Filth said:


"The album is deeply infused with Victorian gothic horror and thus the title is a reflection of that. 'Cryptoriana' implies the Victorian's infatuation with the supernatural, the grave and the ghoulish. And the subtitle 'The Seductiveness Of Decay' further cements this attraction to death and the glittering lengthy process of self-annihilation."


The first single off ‘Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness Of Decay’ will be released on 5 July, the same day that the album pre-order will become available.


Cradle Of Filth will support the release with an 11-date UK and Ireland tour later in the year:


COF Cryptoria Poster

Filth said: 


"We, as a band, are incredibly excited about hitting the UK and Ireland for a full run of dates around All Hallows Eve, as playing the band's home country is always great fun and the audiences here are very receptive. And nuts. The dates will be the first in a long line of shows that will extend throughout the rest of the World throughout 2018. We aim to be very prolific on the live front, delivering a show worthy of our fan’s exalted expectations and more"


Tickets for all shows will go on sale on Monday (19 June).





FESTIVAL NEWS: Pat McManus to headline Belfast Blues Festival Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 20:37

Pat McManus once again is the star attraction at the ninth Belfast City Blues Festival, which takes place over the weekend of 23 – 25 June.


33250790176 0e39b4a8d0 o


The Fermanagh guitarist will top the bill at the annual tribute to Rory Gallagher, which takes place at the Black Box in the city’s Cathedral Quarter on Saturday 24 June. Tickets are still available.


The festival features 50 gigs across 22 venues during its four days, with most of the shows free.


Among the other star attractions is former Bob Dylan/Dire Straits/Loudon Wainwright III guitarist Steve Payne, who will make two appearances over the course of the weekend – at Kelly’s Cellars on Friday 23 June and The Spaniard on Sunday 25 June.The Bristol-born guitarist will be joined by Belfast harmonica virtuoso Billy Boy Miskimmin for the two free shows.


Steve Payne Paul Hobday Billyboy Miskimmin


Other artists appearing over the weekend include Beesting Braidner, Rab McCullough, Ken Haddock, DD & The Delta Boys, The Fabulous Mustangs and Connor Martin.


You can get further information, and tickets for those shows that require them, HERE.


Page 1 of 2