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  MICHAEL DOWNIE'S BEST OF 2011
Review Of The Year


michael downie



BEST METAL MEMORY: For me, it would have to be Rhapsody Of Fire walking out onstage at Bloodstock. The memory of it still sends shivers down my spine.

GIG: Turisas at Northumbria Uni

ALBUM: Uneven Structure 'Februus' BAND: Aliases

FESTIVAL: Bloodstock

VIDEO: Trivium 'Built To Fall'

SINGLE: Circles 'Eye Embedded'

Article continues below...



So we're rapidly coming towards the end of the year, and as the rest of the world gets ready for Christmas and New Year, I have been deliberating on my Top Ten releases from the last twelve months. Now this is no mean feat - in fact, it's been incredibly hard. There've been so many good albums out this year that I fear I may end up with an embolism.

So, without further ado, lets get straight into it and look back in anger at my Top Ten albums of 2011.

10: Foo Fighters 'Wasting Light' (RCA Records)

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Dave Grohl and his merry bunch of miscreants had spent the last few years touring the middling 'Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace' before jumping back into the studio at the beginning of this year to work on their seventh full-length album and - my word - what a piece of work.

Going back to their roots and setting up a makeshift studio in Grohl's own garage, as well as enlisting the help of grunge uber-producer Butch Vig, 'Wasting Light' was raw rock at its best. From the walloping 'Rope' to the driving 'Arlandria', 'Wasting Light' is easily the best thing they've done since the seminal 'The Colour And The Shape'.

Coupled with their trademark storming live show and headlining slots at some of the world's biggest rock festivals, 2011 was really a great year for the band.

9: Opeth 'Heritage' (Roadrunner Records)

opethheritage

Opeth have always been one of those bands that polarised opinions. You either really adored them or you were entirely nonplussed by them; it was rare that there was any middle ground. When mainman Mikeal Akerfeldt announced that 'Heritage' would see the band take an altogether less Metal route than their previous nine albums, I have to admit that I was very skeptical.

Fortunately, the band came through with an absolutely stunning album. From the main single, 'The Devil's Orchard' to the ambient-yet-nuts 'Nepenthe', 'Heritage' crosses musical territory that the band couldn't have touched had they still been doing Metal. Granted, I didn't feel that this new material worked particularly well live; in fact I found it downright boring, but as an album goes, it's brilliant.

8: Visions 'Home' (Basick Records)

visionscover

This year has been a great year for awesome debut releases. In fact, most of this list is going to be comprised of debut albums - it really has been that good of a year for new bands. Visions hit the ground running with this amazing album in the late summer, and what a stunner it is. 'Home' features some of the most amazing and considered technical Metal I've ever heard, especially from a band so young and fresh-faced.

Tracks like 'Machines', 'Autophobia' and 'Into The Sun' solidify Visions as a force to be reckoned with. Their 'Safer Than Home' tour with label mates Aliases cemented them as a live act worth keeping an eye out for in the future. All in all, a killer debut album.

7: Xternals 'Fistful Of Infinity' (Corpro Records)

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Now this album was a happy surprise for me. Randomly, one of the band members got in touch with me and asked if I would like to do a review for them. Never passing on the opportunity to help a band out, I obliged and I'm really glad I did. 'Fistful Of Infinity' is a superb album full of glorious harmonies, epic synth lines and songs so catchy, you'll be humming them for days.

Hailing from Italy, Xternals blend together the best bits of Nine Inch Nails, Linkin Park and Seal (yes, Seal) into an album that's as catchy as it is unmissable. These guys aren't big over here in the UK, so I recommend you all help them out and buy a copy of their album. It was my album of the month after all...

6: Iced Earth 'Dystopia' (Century Media)

icedearthdystopia

Iced Earth are one of those bands who can be brilliant, but can also miss the mark quite significantly. After yet another line-up change (now totalling over thirty different members in twenty-two years), Jon Schaffer and his boys returned with the phenomenal 'Dystopia'.

Having completed the 'Set Abominae' story on the previous album, the band put together a collection of songs with dystopic themes and stories taken from books and films. 'Equilibrium', 'V', 'Soylent Green', this album has it all. In their new singer Stu Block, the band have found a mouthpiece who can quite happily cover the Ripper Owens material and the Matt Barlow material and still manage to sound like himself. A strong return to form for sure, I do sincerely hope that they manage to keep this level of quality up.

5: Dream Theater 'A Dramatic Turn Of Events' (Roadrunner Records)

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Back in 2010, Mike Portnoy shocked the world by announcing he had left Dream Theater due to creative differences within the band. No-one expected this to happen as Portnoy was one of the founding members as well as chief songwriter (along with John Petrucci). After an arduous decision-making process and several days of auditions, the band hired drumming legend Mike Mangini to fill in the vacant drum stool. They then set about writing and recording 'A Dramatic Turn Of Events'.

Without the tight level of control Portnoy had on the band, the band have remarked that the writing process was very easy and they were free to do what they wanted and try out new ideas. 'ADTOE' is a mix, there are sections which sound like classic Dream Theater, recapturing some of the magic that made 'Images & Words' such a classic album, whilst they've dropped in some forward-thinking creativity that shows they've got plenty of miles left to go.

4: Aliases 'Safer Than Reality' (Basick Records)

aliasescover

Born from the ashes of tech Metal legends SikTh, Aliases have taken the scene by storm. With unrivalled technical ability across the entire band, Pin and co create some of the most intricate, alluring and epic Metal to come from the UK in a long time.

Their debut EP, 'Safer Than Reality' is a tour de force in ability and lunacy, with some of the most extreme riffing I've ever heard combined with what has to be the hardest working drummer in Metal today. Aliases are a band not to be missed, they're amazing live and awesome on record. Hopefully next year we'll get to hear a full album from them but, for now, 'Safer Than Reality' is a bargain at twice the price.

3: Trivium 'In Waves' (Roadrunner Records)

triviumcover

In my eyes, Trivium have always suffered from an identity crisis. Are they Metal-core, are they thrash, are they technical? It seems that over the years they've had the same issues, each song on each album having differing approaches, leading them to sound woefully inconsistent in places. However, after a change of drummer and some time off, Trivium came back kicking and screaming with the superb 'In Waves'.

Trivium have really found their sound here, finding that careful balance between extreme death/black Metal sections and catchy, hook-laden choruses. The album sounds consistent; even the bonus tracks on the special edition which were dropped into the main track list don't sound out of place, it just all fits. If you haven't heard it, go and buy it, there is something for everyone and you will not be disappointed.

2: Blotted Science 'The Animation Of Entomology' (Basick Records)

blottedsciencecover

Ron Jarzombek is not human. Ok, well, actually, he is. What I mean is, what he has created with 'The Animation Of Entomology' is a super human feat. Seven tracks, all scored to sections from films involving all manner of nasty beasties, in a super-complicated compositional technique, played at breakneck speed, all instrumentally. The man must be crackers to even consider such an undertaking.

Crackers, human or not, 'The Animation Of Entomology' is a masterpiece of epic proportions. It may not be a long record, but twenty-four minutes of brain-melting progressive death Metal is enough to know that there isn't a single thing I could say is wrong with it. I gave it a 10/10 because there is simply no faulting it whatsoever.

So this brings us crashing down to the last entry, my favourite album of the year. Well, let's get you out of your suspense, because its:

(drum roll please)

1: Uneven Structure: 'Februus' (Basick Records)

unevenstructurecover

If people think djent is boring and uninteresting, then they want to take a good hard listen to Februus. An epic, sweeping concept album, the French natters that are Uneven Structure have come up with something entirely special.

Fusing a futuristic sci-fi story with extreme drums, edgy and complex guitars and a mix of throat-wrenching screams and soaring clean vocals from singer Matthieu Romarin, it flows as one continuous song. From the opener to the finale, there is not a single moment which is anything less than epic. As a debut album, it's been put together so well, I honestly can't believe how good it is.

I've listened back to Februus so many times since I got my copy and I still haven't gotten bored of it. I keep hearing new things and extra subtle nuances that I didn't hear the previous time. It's such a huge, multi-layered album, I defy you all to listen to it and not like it.

So there it is. My top ten albums of this year in an easily digestible chunk. Here's to next year and more amazing Metal.

22.12.11








 

tyr TÝR EUROPEAN TOUR UNDER THREAT OVER WHALE CONTROVERSY
Animal rights sympathisers, supporters and activists are in overdrive over this one with some pretty nasty comments being directed towards Heri and the band...

fm FM ANNOUNCE 'INDISCREET 30' NEW ALBUM AND UK TOUR DATES
"We have been asked many times if we would consider re-recording some of these tracks using today's modern technology..."

red hot chili peppers WAS BREAKING NEWS: RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS ANNOUNCE FIRST UK TOUR FOR FIVE YEARS
This exciting run kicks off with two nights at London's O2 on 5th and 6th December and takes in dates in Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD IMMORTALISED IN WEST HOLLYWOOD AS THE IRON MAIDENS HEAD STAR-STUDDED ULTIMATE JAM
"I think it looks a lot like him. It's a compelling image. I think it will offer some closure. I think Lemmy is finally home."

uriah heep HEEP OF FUN FOR LEE KERSLAKE ROCK PARTY AT 100 CLUB
Lee will be joined by plenty of special guests for the evening, most notably every member of the current Uriah Heep line-up...

korn KORN UNVEIL NEW VIDEO FOR 'INSANE': DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME
'Insane' appears on Korn's latest and twelfth studio album 'The Serenity Of Suffering' which you can pre-order here...

status quo STATUS QUO REVEAL ARTWORK AND TRACKLISTING FOR 'AQUOSTIC II - THAT'S A FACT!'
This is the sound of a band living in the present, embracing the future, whilst cherishing their past...

london tattoo convention ORANGE GOBLIN TO HEADLINE LONDON TATTOO CONVENTION PLUS FIVE MORE ANNOUNCED WITH ORIGINAL 2000AD EXHIBITION
London Tattoo Convention have upped the rock and Metal music ante even higher than ever...

bruce dickinson EXCLUSIVE: SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO FEATURING BRUCE DICKINSON SCOOPS SARAJEVO FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS
The audience surveyed rated the film 4.98 out of a total of 5.00 while Al Jazeera awarded it the Best Documentary out of twenty two entrants...

wakrat WATCH RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE'S TIM COMMERFORD START NEW NATION IN PARLIAMENT SQUARE ON VIDEO HERE
"The current system is oppressive and elitist, promoting racist ideologies in order to push a self-serving agenda..."

led zeppelin LED ZEPPELIN GIVE YOU AN INSIDE LOOK AT 'THE COMPLETE BBC SESSIONS' SUPER DELUXE
Musical highlights on this new collection include the debut of a long-lost radio session that has achieved near-mythic status among fans...

saxon SAXON PRESENT A HOARD OF LIVE GLORY IN A BOX OF VINYL GOLD
"This is not going to be around again and with exclusive art work too. Bring it on - I think we'll play some of these tracks on tour in the Autumn."

journey toto JOURNEY AND TOTO LIVE SPECTACULARS ON THE WAY IN SEPTEMBER
"When I first listened back, the thought omnipresent in my mind was simply, 'That's that raw, sizzling energy we had in high school!'"

titanfest SKYCLAD, OLIVER/DAWSON SAXON AND MORE ANNOUNCED FOR TITANFEST
It's the 30th anniversary of Onslaught's 'The Force' and they requested that Titanfest be scheduled for November so that the album could be celebrated in style.

geoff tate GEOFF TATE'S OPERATION MINDCRIME UNVEIL TWO NEW TRACKS
"With the key finally in his possession, "H" has everything he needs to finally launch his long awaited project called The New Reality. Or does he..."

kai hansen KAI HANSEN ANNOUNCES DEBUT SOLO ALBUM AND LAUNCHES 'BORN FREE' VIDEO
As Hansen puts it in 'Born Free': "It made me feel so groovy – it gave me instant heat."

big country BIG COUNTRY HEADING OUT ON 'THE SEER' 30th ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Big Country will be performing 'The Seer' in its entirety when tbey hit the road for a 24-date UK tour starting on September 14th...

metallica UK EXCLUSIVE: METALLICA RELEASE 'HARDWIRED' - NEW VIDEO RIGHT HERE
"Has it really been eight years? Doesn't feel like it! We’re obviously beyond psyched to share new tunes with all our friends out there via MetalTalk...

manowar WAS BREAKING NEWS: MANOWAR TICKETS ON SALE FOR THE FINAL BATTLE WORLD TOUR
The Kings Of Metal are abdicating and our very last Call To Arms is coming...

opeth OPETH DETAIL WEMBLEY ARENA SHOW
"We'll only play this set list three times on the whole world tour so if you miss it, you'll have missed it..."

tank UPDATED: TANK RELEASE DIGITAL DELUXE VERSIONS OF 'WAR MACHINE' AND 'WAR NATION'
"Doogies vocals were exactly suited to this period of Tank and we're extremely proud of what we created in these two albums."

pete way PETE WAY LEAVES HOSPITAL AFTER HEART ATTACK
"Pete Way and I would like to thank you all for your messages, kind thoughts and prayers..."

vader WAS BREAKING NEWS: VADER ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER LONDON GIG
Vader will be touring in support of their recently announced new studio album 'The Empire' which is due for release this autumn...

dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'JOIN TOGETHER' AS 'MAKE SOME NOISE' CRASHES INTO WORLDWIDE CHARTS
"We want to thank all of our fans and friends around the world for the amazing support of our new record 'Make Some Noise'!"

bloodstock POLICE APPEAL FOR INFORMATION REGARDING SEXUAL ASSAULT AT BLOODSTOCK
"Police are appealing for anyone with information to get in touch and are asking people to share this appeal..."

guns n roses EXCLUSIVE: GUNS N' ROSES DOWNLOAD ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE WAY WITH AUSTRALIAN AND JAPANESE DATES CONFIRMED
Other possibles for the remaining two headline slots are Aerosmith, Def Leppard and Metallica...

dragonforce EXCLUSIVE: KRUSHER AGREES TO REFEREE STEEL PANTHER v DRAGONFORCE HEAVY METAL SUPERFIGHT
This is the one the fans want and this morning it has moved a step closer to actually happening...

the mission THE MISSION NEW ALBUM IS OUT ON 30th SEPTEMBER AND THE NEW SINGLE IS RIGHT HERE
"I can't say it's an album I enjoyed making but it is an album I needed to make..."

roger dean URIAH HEEP, BUDGIE AND ATOMIC ROOSTER ARTISTS WORK TO BE IMMORTALISED ON STAMPS
Roger Dean has designed over 100 album covers for artists including Yes, Asia, London Symphony Orchestra, Nightwing, It Bites and Snafu.

evil scarecrow WAS BREAKING NEWS: EVIL SCARECROW ANNOUNCE 'ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANADO' TOUR
"We'll be bringing our biggest, silliest show yet along with some brand new, probably never heard before, music 'genius'..."

blaze bayley BLAZE BAYLEY TO BE FEATURED IN MULTI-PART CANADIAN DOCUMENTARY
"I'm excited to be returning to Canada and I look forward to meeting my fans, with the opportunity for them to be a part of the documentary."

last in line LAST IN LINE ADDED TO WINTER STORM LINE-UP
Winter Storm, the festival that will take place over the weekend of 25th and 26th November in Troon, South Ayrshire, have already announced an exciting line-up...

gojira EXCLUSIVE: GOJIRA SAUVAGE BLOODSTOCK WITH BEST PERFORMANCE SO FAR
The future of Heavy Metal is bright, it's French and it's in the hands of environmentalists...

behemoth EXCLUSIVE: BEHEMOTH HOLD A MESSE NOIR AT BLOODSTOCK: GABRIEL BLOWS HIS TRUMPETS OVER ENGLAND
A stunning stage show that featured more fire than Pudding Lane in 1666...

bruce dickinson EXCLUSIVE: SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO: DOCUMENTARY ON BRUCE DICKINSON'S BOSNIAN WAR GIG TO PREMIERE THIS WEEK
After the premiere, details will be released about how the documentary will be made generally available...

motorhead EXCLUSIVE: DEE SNIDER GUESTS WITH PHIL CAMPBELL AT BLOODSTOCK TO PAY PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO LEMMY
"I need some closure, Phil needs some closure, you need some closure... so let's do this!"...

motorhead EXCLUSIVE: PHIL CAMPBELL FORMALLY OPENS LEMMY'S BAR AT BLOODSTOCK 2016
"He would be very proud right now and he would want you all to get your rocks off. This place is amazing..."

tony iommi GREAT NEWS FROM TONY IOMMI: CANCER IS IN REMISSION
"The chemotherapy and the follow-up treatment appear to have done the trick — but I'm aware that it could come back one day."

suicide silence SUICIDE SILENCE ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER 2016 UK TOUR
"Hold on to your butts cause we will be headbanging our way through your town! Bring your A game cause we will be bringing ours..."

ac dc AC/DC IN FULL FLIGHT: QUALITY LIMITED EDITION BOOK IS A MUST FOR COLLECTORS
All of the photographs have been carefully processed and digitally restored to optimise reproduction quality.

ozzy osbourne BOB DAISLEY FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST OZZY OSBOURNE, WHO RESPONDS
"We would have hoped that after 36 years that Mr Daisley would have lost his unhealthy personal obsession and resentment towards Mr Osbourne's success."

70 tons of metal 70000 TONS OF METAL: SIXTY BANDS, BARS THAT NEVER CLOSE AND MUCH MORE
Heavy Metal bands from around the globe playing concerts on four different stages...

lamb of god WAS BREAKING NEWS: LAMB OF GOD REVEAL NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'EMBERS': MARK MORTON HAS SOME DEEPLY PERSONAL WORDS
"Nearly a decade after 'Walk With Me In Hell' it was happening yet again. Art was imitating life..."

iron maiden WAS BREAKING NEWS: IRON MAIDEN RELEASE "THANK YOU" VIDEO - WATCH IT HERE
Now it's break time for Iron Maiden but they will be back for a full scale UK Tour in 2017...

meat loaf WAS BREAKING NEWS: MEAT LOAF RELEASES SECOND TRACK FROM FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM WITH JIM STEINMAN - LISTEN HERE
"Now psychologist and psychiatrists all over America are giving it to their patients..."

devin townsend DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT LAUNCH FIRST TRACK FROM 'TRANSCENDENCE' - LISTEN HERE
Devin has also announced that he will take part in a live Q&A tomorrow, 10th August, via Facebook...

anathema ANATHEMA LINE UP AUTUMN UK TOUR TO ROAD TEST NEW MUSIC
"There's something about the immediacy of playing something new before an audience who are hearing it for the first time..."

meshuggah MESHUGGAH TO RELEASE THEIR EIGHTH STUDIO ALBUM, 'THE VIOLENT SLEEP OF REASON'
Inspired by a Goya painting called The Sleep Of Reason Produces Monsters...

kansas KANSAS RELEASE FIRST SINGLE FROM 'THE PRELUDE IMPLICIT' - LISTEN HERE
"Recording 'The Prelude Implicit' was an incredible experience and I couldn't be happier with the results..."

todd rundgren TODD RUNDGREN LIVE ALBUM OUT AUGUST 26th IN MULTIPLE FORMATS
Watch the video clip of Todd's electrifying performance of 'Black Maria' here...

saxon EXCLUSIVE: SAXON AND GIRLSCHOOL TOO HOT TO HANDLE AT WACKEN: DIO MAKES GUEST APPEARANCE AND TWISTED SISTER'S FIRE BURNS ONE LAST TIME
Heavy Metal thunder struck Wacken's Main Stage...

wacken EXCLUSIVE: ARCH ENEMY CLOSE WACKEN IN STYLE AS TRIPTYKON AND CLUTCH IMPRESS: FIRST 2017 BANDS ANNOUNCED
German Metal festivals are still in full swing at 3.00am...

therion EXCLUSIVE: THERION STEAL THE SHOW AT WACKEN: CONTAINS NSFW STEEL PANTHER PHOTOS
Catch this incarnation of Therion when you can because today they were superb...

bruce dickinson IRON MAIDEN FRONTMAN TAKES ON THE GOVERNMENT: BRUCE SHOOTING CLOWNS JUST HOURS AFTER WORLD TOUR ENDS
"Byzantine - people in The Awkward Squad - reasons that I frankly don't want to understand - just get it fixed!"

pete way PETE WAY TAKING A FAST RIDE OUT OF HERE WITH SHOCKING AUTOBIOGRAPHY
"He blew millions on drugs and booze and left behind him a trail of chaos and carnage..."

eluveitie EXCLUSIVE: ELUVEITIE RETURN FROM THE DEAD TO DESTROY WACKEN
Somehow Chrigel has managed to create another incarnation of Eluveitie whilst the band were embroiled in a heavy touring schedule.

iron maiden EXCLUSIVE: IRON MAIDEN CLOSE THE BOOK WITH SPECTACULAR WACKEN PERFORMANCE
"After the show I was so relieved everything went well that I had a glass of wine while I said my farewells to my friends in the crew."

motorheaed EXCLUSIVE: NO SLEEP 'TIL HAMBURG: MOTÖRHEAD'S BOMBER MAKES ITS FINAL FLIGHT AT WACKEN
And he spoke, with his voice: "Don't forget us. We are Motörhead. And we play rock n' fucking roll."

magnum WAS BREAKING NEWS: MAGNUM ANNOUNCE DECEMBER UK TOUR DATES
The latest album crashed into teh UK charts at number 31, their best position since the 80s...

don airey EXCLUSIVE: DON AIREY ROCKS CAMBRIDGE FIRST DAY ALL NIGHT LONG
Cambridge Rock 2016 kicked off in style last night as a packed out Main Stage area ensured that Don Airey took to the stage to rapturous applause.

status quo STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT HAS ALL THE REASONS TO BE HAPPY IN HIS CONVALESCENCE
"Had a lovely morning walk with Pappa Parf. He's really on the mend."

delain DELAIN UNVEIL FIRST ALBUM DETAILS: EUROPEAN TOUR WITH EVERGREY AND KOBRA AND THE LOTUS ANNOUNCED
"We have never had so many milestone events in one year and there is still more to come.

buckcherry BUCKCHERRY ANNOUNCE NEW RELEASE AND UK TOUR DATES
2016 is the 10th anniversary of their acclaimed '15' album and the huge rock hit that was 'Crazy Bitch'

dokken DOKKEN CLASSIC LINE-UP ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
"Being that it is only six shows, we are going to make it as spectacular as possible."

weapon uk WEAPON (UK)'S 'SET THE STAGE ALIGHT' 35th ANNIVERSARY EDITION SET FOR RELEASE
The anniversary edition contains all Weapon UK's 1980/81 recordings and two live bonus tracks.

slayer WAS BREAKING NEWS: SLAYER FUTURE "VERY UNCLEAR" SAYS KERRY KING
"I'm holding off a lot of things I wanna do at home, just 'cause I don't know if I'm gonna be working in two years..."

black sabbath WAS BREAKING NEWS: OZZY OSBOURNE REVEALS SEX ADDICTION
"I am mortified at what my behavior has done to my family..."

black sabbath WAS BREAKING NEWS: BLACK SABBATH DENIAL ISSUED BY BILL WARD
"We have seen it reported in the news that Bill will be playing with Black Sabbath on The End tour..."

scorpion chld WAS BREAKING NEWS: SCORPION CHILD AND JARED JAMES NICHOLS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
"It is our pleasure to announce a return to the United Kingdom. Now that 'Acid Roulette' is in play, we will have some real fun...."

clutch CLUTCH RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'A QUICK DEATH IN TEXAS'
"Originally, I was going to be drawn-and-quartered, but we didn’t have the budget for four horses..."

simon townshend THE WHO TOURING GUITARIST SIMON TOWNSHEND'S RE-MASTERED ALBUMS FEATURING EDDIE VEDDER ON THE WAY
"I would place it amongst his best work. Incredible how he just gets better and better..."

skillet SKILLET EXTEND THE UNLEASHED TOUR: LONDON DATE INCLUDED
The tour is in support of Skillet's new album 'Unleashed', their first in three years, which will be released on August 5t...

evyltyde EVYLTYDE TO HEADLINE LEICESTER'S FIREBUG: VEIL OF DELUSIONS TO MAKE THEIR UK DEBUT
Female fronted Metallers bring their take on traditional classic rock, 21st century style, to Leicester's Firebug venue in September...

ac dc AC/DC FUTURE UNCLEAR BUT ANGUS SAYS HE WANTS TO PLAY WITH KEITH RICHARDS
"At this point, I don't know. We were committed to finishing the tour. Who knows what I'll feel after..."

marilyn manson EXCLUSIVE: CBS ATTEMPT TO DISCREDIT SLIPKNOT AND MARILYN MANSON FANS WITH "VIOLENCE" LIES
If you happen to see any reports about what happened on Saturday night at the First Niagara Pavilion, be very careful what you believe....

sex pistols SEX, DRUGS, ROCK N' ROLL, FASHION, CRIME, POLITICS: UK SCREENINGS OF 'ANARCHY! THE McLAREN WESTWOOD GANG' HERE
Much more than the short lived punk phenomenon however and explores the notion of Malcolm McLaren as the great architect of British Punk...

pink floyd PINK FLOYD TO RELEASE MAMMOTH 27-DISC BOX-SET IN NOVEMBER
Pink Floyd delve into their vast music archive to produce a deluxe package that includes seven individual book-style volumes...

devilment DEVILMENT, FEATURING DANI FILTH, TO TOUR THE UK IN DECEMBER
"It's going to be awesome touring this in our home nation just before Xmas. We literally can't wait; the shows are going to be insane!"

a7x AVENGED SEVENFOLD, DISTURBED AND IN FLAMES TO TOUR UK IN JANUARY
The tour hits eight UK cities between 10th and 21st January and tickets are on sale right now...

hellyeah HELLYEAH HONOUR DIMEBAG IN NEW "MUST SEE" VIDEO OF PHIL COLLINS SONG
"...and he's, like, 'Dude, you're gonna be singing this song for the rest of your life."

opeth OPETH UNVEIL FIRST TRACK FROM FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM: LISTEN HERE
"We're happy with the tune. It's heavy, a bit 'meat and potato' but what the hell... we love it! Hope you do too!"

led zeppelin RANDY CALIFORNIA'S ESTATE APPEAL LED ZEPPELIN 'STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN' VERDICT
The jury agreed with the defence's argument that the chord progression was "commonplace” and dated back centuries

iron maiden WATCH IRON MAIDEN'S NEW ED FORCE ONE SPECIAL VIDEO RIGHT HERE
"In this guise, with Iron Maiden down the side of it, it just blows the doors off ever other plane on the planet..."

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA TO PLAY TWO SHOWS AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL
The Royal Albert Hall concerts will feature a hand-picked group of world-class musicians playing material from his latest album plus classic Bonamassa fan favourites...

winterstorm festival TROON - ARE YOU READY TO ROCK? WINTER STORM FESTIVAL IS ANNOUNCED
A new rock festival is heading to the Scottish seaside town of Troon in South Ayrshire this November...

blues festival FORMER WHITESNAKE MAN ANNOUNCED FOR THE GREAT BRITISH RHYTHM AND BLUES FESTIVAL
"We are really excited about the changes we are making and hope they will attract a wider audience..."

armored saint ARMORED SAINT TO HEADLINE OZZFEST MEETS KNOTFEST KICK-OFF PARTY
The September 23rd pre-festival concert includes a night of performances from Armored Saint, Havok, Exmortus and Thrown Into Exile...

new england EXCLUSIVE: NEW ENGLAND ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER TOUR DATES INCLUDING JAPAN
New England have announced tour dates in support of last year's vinyl release 'I Know There`s Something Here' and upcoming album 'Live At The Regent Theater...

british lion STEVE HARRIS' BRITISH LION TO HEADLINE PLANET ROCKSTOCK
"Fundamentally, it's still rock, and if you see it live, it's really powerful live..."

second relation SECOND RELATION PREMIERE TITLE TRACK OF FORTHCOMING THIRD ALBUM 'ENO'
Austrian prog rockers Second Relation's new single and video is premiering today and it's got Europe in a buzz...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOUNCE SECOND LONDON SHOW ON CO-HEADLINE TOUR
"Our show at Our Black Heart in London has sold out in ten days, which is fantastic! How quickly could this one sell out?"

thunder THUNDER PLAN TO GIVE THE GAME AWAY WITH A NEW BOOK
The band plan to launch the book at an event being held as part of the 'Louder Than Words' literary festival in Manchester on Saturday 12th November.

rudolf schenker SCHENKERS AT WAR: RUDOLF BREAKS HIS SILENCE ON MICHAEL'S ACCUSATIONS
"He's a trick master, and he's a wannabe. And that's it. He can do whatever he wants..."

jon oliva SAVATAGE MAINMAN JON OLIVA RECOVERING FROM STROKE
"I lived the rock n' roll lifestyle since I was 18. It's all I knew and I enjoyed the ride very much..."

ramblin man RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR 2017 DATES ANNOUNCED PLUS WHO WE THINK COULD HEADLINE NEXT YEAR
After what was probably the best rockin' weekend of the year so far, we didn't have to wait long before we could start planning for the 2017 rematch...

airbourne AIRBOURNE ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER HEADLINE UK TOUR
The band will play ten UK date beginning in Portsmouth and Norwich on November 17th and finish off with two nights at The Electric Ballroom in Camden, London...

black stone cherry BLACK STONE CHERRY ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
"We have never done anything like this before and we knew the UK was the only place to do it. That's all we're gonna say about it!"

gary rossington LYNYRD SKYNYRD UPDATE WITH MORE CANCELLATIONS DUE TO GARY ROSSINGTON ILLNESS
"Currently the band hopes to resume touring on Thursday 4th August at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The Woodlands..."

extreme EXTREME CELEBRATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF 'PORNOGRAFFITI' ALBUM WITH 'PORNOGRAFFITI LIVE 25/METAL MELTDOWN'
"Some of these songs were never played live before so we had to go back and relearn them for the tour."

ozzy osbourne OZZY OSBOURNE: "I'M NOT HAPPY BEING SOBER"
"It scares me. I hear all the time people say that they have another drink in them but they may not have another sobriety in them..."

paul rodgers IT'S NOT ALL RIGHT NOW! PAUL RODGERS SUES DONALD TRUMP
"We will make America great again. God bless you and good night, I love you."

heavy metal HEAVY METAL HELPS PEOPLE DEAL WITH MORTALITY ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL STUDY
"Metal music can be seen as cultural good for fans and thereby can form part of their social identity."

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD STILL RUNNING DOWN THE HIGHWAY: PHIL, MIKKEY AND EDDIE ALL GEARED UP FOR FORTHCOMING DATES
"Every snare hit I do from now on until the end of my career will be a small tribute to Lemmy..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN'S STEVE HARRIS DROPS THE PRICE OF HIS ESSEX MANSION BY £1MILLION
The eight-bedroom mansion was on the market for £6.75million in 2012 but it's "guide price" is now a mere £3.95million...

hrh aor ALL GUNS BLAZING FOR NEW HRH AOR 5 ANNOUNCEMENT
Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns unite under the L.A. Guns banner once again for next year's HRH AOR 5 being held next March at Camp HRH in North Wales...

deep purple DEEP PURPLE 'LIVE AT THE NEC' DVD ON THE WAY: FAREWELL JON, WELCOME DON
The two share keyboard duties during the night in a very fitting "passing-of-the-torch" moment...

status quo ROCK 'TIL YOU DROP WITH STATUS QUO 1981-1986 VINYL BOX SET
In addition to the studio albums the box set will include an extra disc of b-sides and extended mixes...

zz top ZZ TOP TO RELEASE THEIR VERY FIRST OFFICIAL LIVE ALBUM IN SEPTEMBER
"In an abstract surrealism style, this collection is a definitive chronicle of the band hangin' together for four plus deluxe decades..."

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG "SPECIAL TIME" HAS COME WITH NEW RELEASE
"The new Tygers album is finished, done and dusted and ready to unleash on our 'Tygertastic' audience. You're gonna love this one, it's a MONSTER..."

andy fraser ANDY FRASER OF FREE'S LAST RECORDING WITH SAIICHI SUGIYAMA ONLINE HERE
"'Melting Away' became one of Andy's last recordings. He still had so much to offer and I was really looking forward to continuing to work with him."

ritchie blackmore RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW TO PLAY AGAIN BUT WITH LESS DEEP PURPLE SONGS
"I would do probably ninety-five percent Rainbow songs; that's what they seem to want to hear. And it didn't occur to me. I just naturally assumed they wanted to hear everything."

saxon EXCLUSIVE: THIS IS WHAT OUR FAVOURITE ROCKERS THINK OF THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE
Comment from Saxon, Slash, Thunder, Iron Maiden, Uli Jon Roth, Hawkwind, Cher, Johnny Rotten, Machine Head And More...

beyond the black UK EXCLUSIVE: BEYOND THE BLACK SINGER JENNIFER HABEN IS LOST IN FOREVER AS FIVE MEMBERS DEPART THE BAND
"I have enjoyed the time together with the guys very much and am grateful for everything we have achieved together in Germany. I am currently looking for new colleagues..."

cats in space CATS IN SPACE SET TO RELEASE SLADE CLASSIC WITH DANNY BOWES OF THUNDER ON GUEST VOCALS
"It's is one of my favourite Slade songs, so when they asked me to sing on their version it took me a good second and a half to say yes..."

guns n roses WAS BREAKING NEWS: GUNS N' ROSES ADD MORE TOUR DATES FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
The Gunners' newly announced dates are for South America with ten dates in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia with more to be announced soon...

keith moon YOU WON'T GET FOOLED WITH OFFICIAL KEITH MOON COMMEMORATIVE DRUM HEAD
Manufactured as a special, custom product by Remo, these 14" high-gloss drum heads are a perfect collector's item for true fans of the legendary drummer and The Who...

the answer WAS BREAKING NEWS: THE ANSWER AND THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER UK TOUR
"The fact that we get to debut this new material with our mates The Dead Daisies just adds to the rush we're currently experiencing. You really don't want to miss this one!"

ian gillan IAN GILLAN SAYS: "IT'S A WONDERFUL THING, VINYL..." WITH NEW COLLECTION ABOUT TO BE RELEASED
"You just bought something significant, not easily disposable. And look at the sleeves - aren't they cool..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY: "THE LYRICS ON THE TITLE TRACK ARE SOME OF SPIKE'S BEST EVER!"
"I approached the songwriting from a different angle and it felt good. There's a lot of passion there."

48 hours 48 HOURS TO ROCK THE UK TO A CITY OF ASHES
"We're hitting the road in September for a co-headline tour with our broseph's City Of Ashes! This will be one of the unsigned tours of the year!"

hammerfall WAS BREAKING NEWS: LIVE LIFE LOUD WITH HAMMERFALL ON 2017 EUROPEAN TOUR: NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY
"We can't wait to get back on stage again to have a gigantic Heavy Metal party every night with all our Templar friends!"

joe perry AEROSMITH GUITARIST JOE PERRY REPORTEDLY SUFFERS HEART ATTACK DURING HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES GIG
"Thanks to everyone asking about our brother Joe Perry," Alice Cooper wrote. "He is stable right now, with family and is under the best care."

onslaught ONSLAUGHT, BEHOLDER AND ANIHILATED TOUR PROMISES TO BE A TOUR DE FORCE
"By the time we hit the road in November it will be well over two-and-a-half years since we did the last run and we feel the time is now right..."

arw ARW (JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN AND RICK WAKEMAN) ANNOUNCE BAND FOR UPCOMING WORLD TOUR
"I have played with arguably the three greatest bass players ever and I can't wait to play with one of them again!"

marillion MARILLION UNVEIL 'THE NEW KINGS' FROM FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM 'FEAR'
'The New Kings' can also be heard on Marillion's current tour which starts on Monday 11th July in Barcelona...

michael des barres AN AMERICAN WRITER ASKS WHY IT TAKES A BRITISH EX-PAT TO ASK, "WHAT'S GOING ON?" MICHAEL DES BARRES HAS THE ANSWER
This incendiary cover of Marvin Gaye's classic confronts America's issues in an incredibly timely and head-on manner...

freedom call FREEDOM CALL RELEASE A NEW METAL HYMN 'HAMMER OF THE GODS', AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD NOW
The trademark bold vocal harmonies remain. The track is taken from forthcoming opus 'Master Of Light'...

guns n roses STEVEN ADLER JOINS GUNS N' ROSES ON STAGE IN OHIO: FOUR FIFTHS OF 'APPETITE' LINE-UP PLAY TOGETHER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1990
"On the drums, you might know this guy. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Steven Adler..."

ac dc AC/DC BASSIST CLIFF WILLIAMS TO RETIRE AFTER ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR: "IT'S BEEN SURREAL"
"AC/DC has been... you know, just... I don't know what else I would wanna do. I love the music and I love playing in the band, and I'm all filled up..."

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES USE THEIR ILLUSION TO SILENCE THE DOUBTERS WITH US TOUR GOING SO FINE
Axl is clearly in his element on this tour, running across the stage to jump on the monitors mid-song and displaying all the panache of a man completely on top of his game...

stray del bromham STRAY TO ROAM AROUND THE UK ON TOUR INCLUDING A RARE REUNION OF THE ORIGINAL LINE-UP
No need to move a mountain as both Stray and Del Bromham's Blues Devils are on their way to a venue near you...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOY THE NEIGHBOURS WITH RAUCOUS NEW SINGLE
'Let The Neighbours Call The Cops' was co- written by vocalist Gill Montgomery and Black Star Riders front man Ricky Warwick...

eagles of death metal WAS BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES OF DEATH METAL WANT YOU SO BAD ON TWO UK DATES IN AUGUST
This is EODM's first visit to the UK since the band were caught up in the terrible events at The Bataclan Theatre in Paris back in November 2015...

soil SOiL 'SHINE ON' THE UK WITH COMPREHENSIVE TOUR
"We are looking forward to seeing some new places and making some new friends this time around..."

acid reign ACID REIGN GET IN FESTIVE MOOD EARLY WITH SPECIAL GIG ANNOUNCEMENT
'Tis the season to Thrash as Acid Reign team up with Shrapnel with far from obnoxious results...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN: LEGACY OF THE BEAST MOBILE RPG GAME IS OUT NOW
"We've always wanted to make a quality Maiden mobile game as we think the combination of Eddie and the music is so well suited..."

rick parfitt status quo EXCLUSIVE: STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT SEEMS TO BE 'FINE FINE FINE' AS HE IS SPOTTED OUT AND ABOUT
Following the recent health scare a picture has emerged online of him taking a walk in Kingston over the weekend...

bullet for my valentine BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE TO PLAY 'THE POISON' IN FULL FOR THE FIRST EVER TIME
"We promised you something special right? See 'The Poison' played in full for the first time in Manchester! Tickets on sale now here..."

alter bridge WAS BREAKING NEWS: ALTER BRIDGE TO HEADLINE ARENAS ACROSS EUROPE THIS WINTER WITH GOJIRA AND VOLBEAT
This will be their biggest headline tour yet with twenty-four dates across fifteen countries, kicking off on November 4th 2016

the mission WAS BREAKING NEWS: BAUHAUS FRONTMAN PETER MURPHY TO GUEST WITH THE MISSION ON THEIR 30th ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR
"Peter's appearance will help make these shows the special events that we always wanted and hoped they'd be..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ILLUSTRATOR DESIGNS SHIRT FOR ONE DIRECTION'S ZAYN MALIK, MAIDEN LAUNCH THIRD TROOPER BEER AND HI-ON-MAIDEN TO HEADLINE PICCSTOCK
A full-bodied beer using a blend of chocolate and crystal malts to give "a roasted malt and caramel backbone with hints of liquorice and honey"...

bruce dickinson BRUCE DICKINSON TO TAKE PART IN TOP GEAR STYLE CHARITY ROAD TRIP
"The enthusiasm from the group is amazing which will lend itself to making it an unforgettable trip..."

anvil WAS BREAKING NEWS: ANVIL ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN TOUR FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
Anvil will not only be playing dates in Scotland and Wales but also English towns which rarely see major international artists, such as Huddersfield, Doncaster and Grimsby.

status quo IT'S TIME TO GET 'DOWN DOWN' TO BUTLINS AS SECOND STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION IS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will feature live music from ex-Quo drummer John Coghlan and his band with long time friend of the band, Jackie Lynton also scheduled to appear...

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