24-07-10

HELLOWEEN

German power metallers HELLOWEEN have set "7 Sinners" as the title of their new album, tentatively due in late October. The CD was recorded at singer Andi Deris' Mi Sueno Studios in Tenerife, Spain. The band wrote more than 20 songs and selected the best ideas with longtime producer Charlie Bauerfeind.

HELLOWEEN bass player Markus Grosskopf previously stated about the band's new material: "For all those out there who found our special best-of [CD] 'Unarmed' to be too smooth and calm, I have a great news: The new album will hit you right in the face! It's gonna be very heavy and contain all HELLOWEEN trademarks! Some songs are very powerful and hymnic, others contain the fastest bass-drum patterns our drummer Dani [Löble] ever played, and this means a lot!"

HELLOWEEN will team up with Finnish melodic metallers STRATOVARIUS for a European tour, dubbed "The 7 Sinners World Tour 2010/11 - European Part I", in November/December.

Commented Deris: "We had a great package with GAMMA RAY last time , and we are very proud to have STRATOVARIUS with us this time.

"We look forward to have another power metal party with our fans all over the planet — see you soon!"

HELLOWEEN's 25th-anniversary album, "Unarmed - Best Of 25th Anniversary", was released in North America on March 30 via The End Records, under exclusive license from Sony Music Entertainment Germany.

"Unarmed - Best Of 25th Anniversary" was made available in Europe on January 29. The artwork was once again created by Martin Haeusler, who had previously worked with HELLOWEEN on the "The Legacy" and the "Gambling With The Devil" releases.

"Unarmed" was released in a limited-edition version with a very special digipack, including a 30-minute making-of DVD, containing interviews and studio footage. It was also made available as a double vinyl.

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DIMMU BORGIR

According to EspyRock, the track listing for "Abrahadabra", the forthcoming ninth album from Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR, has been revealed as review copies are being handed out to music journalists.

"Abrahadabra" will be released in Germany on September 24, in the rest of Europe on September 27, and in North America on October 12 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The word "abrahadabra" (which roughly translates into "I will create as I speak") first publicly appeared in Chapter III of "Liber AL vel Legis" (commonly referred to as "The Book of the Law") written by Aleister Crowley in Cairo, Egypt in 1904.

"Abrahadabra" track listing:

01. Xibir (2:50)
02. Born Treacherous (5:02)
03. Gateways (5:10)
04. Chess With The Abyss (4:08)
05. Dimmu Borgir (5:35)
06. Ritualist (5:13)
07. The Demiurge Molecule (5:29)
08. A Jewel Traced Through Coal (5:16)
09. Renewal (4:11)
10. Endings And Continuations (5:58)

DIMMU BORGIR singer/songwriter Shagrath shares the following about the new album: "After eleven months of total focus, dedication and professional team work, Darkness has been reborn. Some people have expressed their concern about the future of the band since the departure of some members of the clan. Let me assure you that things happen for a reason. The black flame burns brighter than ever before. With the mixture of our different musical preferences and the personalities involved, I will dare to say we have created a BEAST, the most detailed work to date out of our 17 years of existence. I know it's too much of a cliché to brag when you have a done a new album, but to put it short and simple, it's a fist in the face to all the doubters out there. Forward – Onward – March… ENTER THE SUPREME UNKNOWN."

For the second time in the band's career (i.e. 1996's "Stormblåst"), a one-word album title breaks the tradition of a three-word album title for a new studio release dating back to DIMMU BORGIR's 1994 debut, "For All Tid".

Guitarist/songwriter Silenoz has this to say on the topic: "We knew there would be some big changes with this album in more than one way and since we've had the three-word-title tradition for many years now, we thought it'd make a lot of sense for us to move on from that. It has served its purpose. We are a band that's all about change and moving forward. An album title consisting of one word goes hand-in-hand with the new material — it describes both the musical and lyrical content in a more imaginary way, not to mention the unity and the everlasting flame which is DIMMU BORGIR. Expect the unexpected!"

When asked about the central figure in the artwork and who/what he's supposed to represent, artist Joachim Luetke responds: "I think that's obvious. Since the whole 'setting' is located in an icy, bleak, winter-y, post-industrial era, we're pretty close to H.P. Lovecraft's nameless elder gods. They're represented by the mask's tentacles. In short: the mask/face personifies dominion of powers far beyond mankind. The nameless gods witnessed the birth of our universe and they'll watch it implode. To them, the age of mankind is but a blink of an eye."

In early June, DIMMU BORGIR announced its collaboration with Norwegian composer and Berklee College of Music summa cum laude alumnus Gaute Storaas in addition to the 51 members of KORK (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra) and the 38-member Schola Cantorum Choir. To date, over 101 musicians have contributed to the making of the new CD.

Composer Gaute Storaas has said of DIMMU BORGIR: "Their music is epic, thematic and symphonic already from the creation; they are clearly having an orchestral approach to composing."

Luetke's artwork and layout art also graced two other DIMMU BORGIR albums: 2003's "Death Cult Armageddon", which has sold 130,000 copies in the U.S. (according to Nielsen SoundScan) and debuted at No. 7 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart, No. 10 on the Top Independent Albums chart, and No. 170 on The Billboard 200 chart; and 2007's "In Sorte Diaboli", which has sold over 75,000 copies in the U.S. (according to Nielsen SoundScan) and debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart and at No. 43 on The Billboard 200 chart.

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THERION

Bassist Nalley Påhlsson of Swedish progressive/experimental metallers THERION announced yesterday (Thursday, July 22) that would sit out the band's upcoming European headlining tour in order to focus on his personal life. Christofer Johnsson, the creative force behind the group, has now released the following statement regarding THERION's bassist situation:

"Now that we have posted Nalle(y)'s message to the fans, I'll give some comments on it myself.

"Naturally, it may sound worrisome that there has been announced two changes in the live lineup in such a short time frame. But the Nalle situation is not something that has happened recently; we have known this could be the case since last year and we have had a replacement ready for months.

"Nalle told us immediately about his new family situation in the beginning of the year and given the fact he periodically had really tough drinking problems, we thought it was the right thing to do, to stay away from long tours and deal with the problems and be home with the kids instead. The band can always get somebody else to play the bass, but his kids only have one dad. And they need him in good shape.

"Some things are simply more important in life than heavy metal and beer. We also applaud his bold decision to start studying at his age, so that he will have options other than music for making a living in the future.

"Kudos!

"The reason we waited with announcing this was that we wanted to play these Mexican shows and European festivals with Nalle and avoid the funeral atmosphere of everyone knowing someone is about to leave (or take a break, as in this case).

"What about Nalle in the future?

"We have had discussions in the band if we should get another bass player, but we have decided to keep him as a member of the band and wait and see. It is possible that we will have him playing on the albums and have a live bass player for touring. One thing is sure, though, I've never been more happy with the bass on an album than with Nalle's work on [THERION's forthcoming CD] 'Sitra Ahra' and it would be awesome to continue to work with him.

"So who's gonna play bass on the tour? It will be Waldemar Sorychta [pictured below], an artist mainly known for his skills as a guitarist and songwriter with his own bands GRIP INC., ENEMY OF THE SUN, EYES OF EDEN and DESPAIR. He also created a big name as a producer, working with bands like LACUNA COIL, MOONSPELL, THE GATHERING, SAMAEL, TIAMAT, etc.

"I got in contact with Waldemar when I made the 'Vovin' album back in 1997. He did some additional guitar on 'Draconian Trilogy' and also recorded some stuff that would not make it to the album (it was later released on [1999's] 'Crowning of Atlantis' instead). I was impressed with his skills, so when me and drummer Sami [Karppinen] went down to Germany to record the song 'The Crowning Of Atlantis' one year later, and I got stuck not getting the right groove in the rhythm guitars of that song (it's a pretty difficult type of tempo), we gave him a call. He showed up and I explained what I thought was missing. He grabbed the guitar and a couple of takes later, it was nailed to tape exactly like I wanted it.

"Fast forward and many years later, I'm looking to find a replacement for [lead guitarist] Kristian Niemann. Waldemar was on my list of interesting guitarists, but he was already engaged with other bands at the time, and I was also still trying to persuade the amazing Lori Linstruth that THERION was the band where she belonged (an idea that Kristian Niemann heavily supported as well, actually). In the end, I ended up working with Waldemar as a session guitarist doing most of the rhythm guitars (new talent Christian Vidal was brought into the band just in time to record the solos). I recalled Waldemar saying he did a lot of jobs as a bass player as well, so when the need of a live bass player occurred, he was naturally one of the top names on our list.

"He's gonna do a fantastic job on the tour and being a very nice guy as well, I think we're all gonna have a really good time on tour together."

"Sitra Ahra" will be released in North America on October 26 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was mixed at the legendary Polar Studios in Stockholm by Lennart Östlund (LED ZEPPELIN, ABBA). The cover artwork was created by Thomas Ewerhard, who worked on all of the band's most recent releases in addition to collaborating with EDGUY, AVANTASIA, RAGE and HAMMERFALL, among others.

"Sitra Ahra" was mastered in New York and it features the following track listing:

01. Sitra Ahra
02. Kings Of Edom
03. Unguentum Sabbati
04. Land Of Canaan
05. Hellequin
06. 2012
07. Cu Chulain
08. Kali Yoga III
09. The Shells Are Open
10. Din
11. After The Inquisition: Children

THERION recently recruited Christian Vidal from Argentina as the band's new guitarist.

Vidal made his live debut with THERION on June 4, 2010 in Mexico City.

Christofer Johnsson announced in May 2009 that vocalist Thomas Vikström (ex-CANDLEMASS) had become a permanent member of THERION.

THERION's latest CD/DVD, "The Miskolc Experience", was released in June 2009 via Nuclear Blast Records.

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DARK TRANQUILLITY

DARK TRANQUILLITY's entire May 21, 2010 concert at Reggie's Rock Club in Chicago, Illinois can be viewed below (courtesy of UVTV). The audio for the show was professionally tracked and mixed.

The setlist for the 73-minute performance was as follows:

01. At The Point Of Ignition
02. The Fatalist
03. Focus Shift
04. The Wonders At Your Feet
05. Final Resistance
06. Misery's Crown
07. Punish My Heaven
08. Iridium
09. Shadow In Our Blood
10. The Lesser Faith
11. Dream Oblivion
12. Lethe
13. Lost To Apathy
14. Therein

Encore:

15. The Grandest Accusation
16. Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)

DARK TRANQUILLITY recently completed a North American headlining tour with support from THREAT SIGNAL and MUTINY WITHIN.

"We Are The Void", the ninth album from DARK TRANQUILLITY, sold around 2,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 15 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

"We Are The Void" was released in North America on March 9 via Century Media Records. The LP was made available in Europe as a CD, digital download and strictly limited-edition die-cut digipak featuring two bonus songs ("Stars Of Nothingness" and "To Where Fires Cannot Feed") and a bonus DVD.

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18-07-10

AC/DC

According to Forbes, Australian hard rock legends AC/DC made an estimated $114 million between June 2009 and June 2010, landing at position No. 2 on the magazine's list of Top-Earning Musicians of 2010.

Says the magazine: "This Australian heavy metal group has been shaking audiences all night long since 1973 and shows few signs of stopping. Second only to U2 in band tour earnings, AC/DC grossed a staggering $226 million on a worldwide tour that included 99 dates and brought in more than $2 million a night."

Forbes magazine's list of Top-Earning Musicians of 2010:

01. U2 ($130 million)
02. AC/DC ($114 million)
03. BEYONCE ($87 million)
04. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ($70 million)
05. BRITNEY SPEARS ($64 million)
06. JAY-Z ($63 million)
07. LADY GAGA ($62 million)
08. MADONNA ($58 million)
09. KENNY CHESNEY ($50 million)
10. BLACK EYED PEAS, TOBY KEITH and COLDPLAY (tied at $48 million)

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DEF LEPPARD

DEF LEPPARD frontman Joe Elliott tells Billboard.com that the band is putting together a live album culled from its 2009 tour that may include some new material as well.

"We've got tentative plans to do a four- or five-track EP of new songs as part of it," Elliott explains, citing inspiration from previous concert releases such as KISS' "Alive II", IAN HUNTER's "Welcome to the Club" and GENESIS' "Three Sides Live", all of which included fresh songs.

"There'll be stuff from this century on it — 'Rock On', 'Nine Lives', 'Come On Come On', " Elliott notes. "Vivian [Campbell] has been in the band 17 years, so I think he deserves a shot at being on a live record. We've got a live video out from the Steve [Clark] era, [1989's] 'In the Round, In Your Face'; I've always said before that if you're desperate to hear us live, put that video on and turn your telly off and just listen to the sound."

Elliott says DEF LEPPARD is also thinking about a box set and is starting to put together a couple of books, after purchasing some 250,000 images from veteran photographer Ross Halfin.

Read more from Billboard.com.

According to People.com, DEF LEPPARD lead guitarist Phil Collen married costume designer Helen L. Simmons on the beach at Florida's Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach resort in sunset ceremony Friday (July 16).

"We've been looking for each other our entire lifetime," Collen tells People.com. "To say we're ecstatic this day has finally come is putting it mildly. It could only be us for each other."

Guests included Collen's DEF LEPPARD bandmates Rick Savage, Vivian Campbell, as well as Muay Thai champion and trainer Jean Carrillo, who served as best man.

Read the entire article, and check out photos, at People.com.

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DIMMU BORGIR

Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR have scheduled the following European dates as part of their "Darkness Reborn" tour:

Sep. 19 - HMH, Amsterdam, NL (with KORN)
Sep. 20 - Bataclan, Paris, FR (headlining show)
Sep. 21 - Forum, London, U.K. (headlining show)
Sep. 23 - Eishalle Seutweg, Winterthur, CH (with KORN)
Sep. 24 - Zenith, Munich, DE (with KORN)
Sep. 26 - Gasometer, Vienna, AT (with KORN)
Sep. 27 - Alcatraz, Milan, IT (headlining show)
Sep. 28 – [to be announced]
Sep. 30 - Den Atelier, Luxembourg, LU (headlining show)
Oct. 01 - Ancienne Belgique, BE (with KORN)
Oct. 02 - Rosengarten, Mannheim, DE (with KORN)
Oct. 03 - Palladium, Cologne, DE (with KORN)
Oct. 05 - Haus-Auensee, Leipzig, DE (with KORN)
Oct. 06 - C-Halle, Berlin, DE (with KORN)
Oct. 07 - Progresja, Warsaw, PL (headlining show)
Oct. 08 - Studio, Krakow, PL (headlining show)
Oct. 09 - KD Vltavaska, Prague, CZ (headlining show)
Oct. 11 - Vega, Copenhagen, DK (headlining show)
Oct. 12 - Arenan, Stockholm, SE (headlining show)
Oct. 14 - Pakkahoune, Tampere, FI (headlining show)
Oct. 15 - House Of Culture, Helsinki, FI (headlining show)
Oct. 17 - Tragarn, Gothenburg, SE (headlining show)
Oct. 18 - Sentrum Scene, Oslo, NO (headlining show)

DIMMU BORGIR has set "Abrahadabra" as the title of its ninth studio album, which will be released in Germany on September 24, in the rest of Europe on September 27, and in North America on October 12 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The word "abrahadabra" (which roughly translates into "I will create as I speak") first publicly appeared in Chapter III of "Liber AL vel Legis" (commonly referred to as "The Book of the Law") written by Aleister Crowley in Cairo, Egypt in 1904.

DIMMU BORGIR singer/songwriter Shagrath shares the following about the new album: "After eleven months of total focus, dedication and professional team work, Darkness has been reborn. Some people have expressed their concern about the future of the band since the departure of some members of the clan. Let me assure you that things happen for a reason. The black flame burns brighter than ever before. With the mixture of our different musical preferences and the personalities involved, I will dare to say we have created a BEAST, the most detailed work to date out of our 17 years of existence. I know it's too much of a cliché to brag when you have a done a new album, but to put it short and simple, it's a fist in the face to all the doubters out there. Forward – Onward – March… ENTER THE SUPREME UNKNOWN."

For the second time in the band's career (i.e. 1996's "Stormblåst"), a one-word album title breaks the tradition of a three-word album title for a new studio release dating back to DIMMU BORGIR's 1994 debut, "For All Tid".

Guitarist/songwriter Silenoz has this to say on the topic: "We knew there would be some big changes with this album in more than one way and since we've had the three-word-title tradition for many years now, we thought it'd make a lot of sense for us to move on from that. It has served its purpose. We are a band that's all about change and moving forward. An album title consisting of one word goes hand-in-hand with the new material — it describes both the musical and lyrical content in a more imaginary way, not to mention the unity and the everlasting flame which is DIMMU BORGIR. Expect the unexpected!"

When asked about the central figure in the artwork and who/what he's supposed to represent, artist Joachim Luetke responds: "I think that's obvious. Since the whole 'setting' is located in an icy, bleak, winter-y, post-industrial era, we're pretty close to H.P. Lovecraft's nameless elder gods. They're represented by the mask's tentacles. In short: the mask/face personifies dominion of powers far beyond mankind. The nameless gods witnessed the birth of our universe and they'll watch it implode. To them, the age of mankind is but a blink of an eye."

In early June, DIMMU BORGIR announced its collaboration with Norwegian composer and Berklee College of Music summa cum laude alumnus Gaute Storaas in addition to the 51 members of KORK (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra) and the 38-member Schola Cantorum Choir. To date, over 101 musicians have contributed to the making of the new CD.

Composer Gaute Storaas has said of DIMMU BORGIR: "Their music is epic, thematic and symphonic already from the creation; they are clearly having an orchestral approach to composing."

Luetke's artwork and layout art also graced two other DIMMU BORGIR albums: 2003's "Death Cult Armageddon", which has sold 130,000 copies in the U.S. (according to Nielsen SoundScan) and debuted at No. 7 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart, No. 10 on the Top Independent Albums chart, and No. 170 on The Billboard 200 chart; and 2007's "In Sorte Diaboli", which has sold over 75,000 copies in the U.S. (according to Nielsen SoundScan) and debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart and at No. 43 on The Billboard 200 chart.

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