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News December 2008/January 2009

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Friday January 30th 2009

Callisto announced the international release dates for their new album Providence. This record was produced, engineered and mixed by Jonas Olsson. The songs on the album are: In Session; Rule The Blood; Covenant Colours; Eastern Era; New Canaan; Stasis; Where The Spirits Tread; Dead Weight; Drying Mouths (In A Gasping Land); Providence. The disc will be released in Sweden on February 18th. On March 27th Providence will come out in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg and Canada. The release date for the USA is yet to be announced. In addition, Callisto will release a 12" double vinyl through Svart Records. Both CD and vinyl will come out in Finland on February 18th. You can hear the new track Drying Mouths (In A Gasping Land) on myspace.com.

MxPx will release Triple Threat. This is a DVD containing three shows.

The Showdown put the video   for Achilles - The Backbreaker online:


The Finnish female fronted metal band Venia signed a deal with Open Grave Records/NePlusUltra Music for the release of the first album. This CD will appear on April 14th. The album will be titled Victory By Surrender and it will have eleven songs. You can check out the title track on myspace.

Sympathy is working on the next album. There are no plans yet about when it will be recorded. You can listen to a demo song however. The track is called Imbibing The Hemlock. Listen to it on myspace.

Believer revealed the cover art and the track listing for their comeback album Gabriel. These are the songs:  Medwton; A Moment In Prime; Stones; Redshift; History Of Decline; The Need For Conflict; Focused Lethality; Shut Out The Sun; The Brave; Nonsense Mediated Decay.

August Burns Red recorded a cover version of the Britney Spears song Hit Me Baby One More Time for the Punk Goes Pop 2 compilation. You can now listen to it on the Punk Goes Pop 2 myspace.com page. August Burns Red also has a new video up on youtube.com in which they talk about their upcoming EP, the next album and more. It's rather funny:

Bombworks Records signed the Australian band Fearscape. This formation plays melodic progressive black metal. They released their first demo in 2002, followed by the album Sleeping In Light in 2004. Their 2008 release Scent Of Divine Blood will be re-released by Bombwork Records. It will have new artwork and will be remastered and contain one previously unreleased track as wel as bonus live footage.

Spoken is working on a new album.

Deuteronomium comes with a vinyl EP called Retaliatory Strike.

You can hear the song Malevolence from the new A Plea For Purging album Depravity on myspace. The record appears on March 3rd.

You can also listen to The Serpent Servant, the title track from Impending Doom's new album that'll be out on March 31st.

First Strike Records will release The Everlasting Man from A Hope For Home. This group recorded a video for the song Iniquity:

Youngside Records established a distribution agreement for the American market with Maanalainen Levykauppa/Bullroser Records from Finland. Artists included in this deal are HB, Deuteronomium, Random Eyes and many more. One of  newest releases from Bullroser is Thorns, Horns & Barbwire - The Bullroser Records 10th Anniversary Collection 1998-2008.

Rock band Deep Insight put a new song on myspace. It's called Rock With My Band.

You can download the file containing the Art For The Ears show aired on January 23rd 2009. The show contains music from Red, Disciple, Mena Brinno, Becoming The Archetype, Opprobium, The Crucified, Zenith Of Abolition, Rob Rock, Slechtvalk, Michael Sweet, Fire Fly, Underoath & One Bad Pig. You can download the file from Badongo.

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Friday January 23rd 2009

Tooth & Nail Records will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the start of punk/hardcore band The Crucified. This group was formed in 1984 and performed and recorded until 1993. To celebrate this band, Tooth & Nail Records will release The Complete Collection - 25 Years (1984-2009). This box set will contain three discs with music and video material.

Metal Heaven signed Impellitteri for the European release of Wicked Maiden. This new album will come out on April 24th. Impellitteri sold over one million records of their previous releases. Guitarist Chris Impellitteri has been branded one of the fastest guitarists in the world by Guitar One magazine and Guitar World. For the new album Chris Impellitteri joined forces with Rob Rock, who was singer for the band in the early days.

In March the South African group The Awakening will release Against The Waves. This album is a retrospective with their classic hits as well as remixes, two new songs, alternate versions and newly recorded interpretations.

In the year of 2008 Shadows Of Paragon spent most of their rehearsal time in the studio recording and producing their first full length album. While waiting for the debut album Through The Valley Within, a promotional EP by the name Fear Of Being Forever Lost has been put together with three songs from the upcoming album plus a symphonic bonus track. You can download it from Metal-Downloads.com.

Hard rock band Mass will return to the studio for a new release that will appear through Escape Music this year.

Solid State Records will bring out Lost Messengers: The Outtakes from August Burns Red. This EP has covers, demos and b-sides. Expect this disc out on February 24th. You can hear the track Chasing The Dragon on myspace. This song was recorded for the Messengers album, but wasn't included on the official release. August Burns Red will record a new full length album this winter.

The Finnish rock band Callisto will release their new record Providence through Fullsteam Records on February 18th.

Next week the new Demon Hunter live album Live In Nashville will appear. You can hear the song I Am You on myspace.

The progressive metal band Adiastasia will release their second album War Of The Worlds in the second half of 2009. This is the follow-up to Life War. Adiastasia will soon be heading into the studio to record. You can check out Adiastasia and several tracks from their Bombworks Records' debut at myspace.com.

Bombworks Records also signed Dark Lay Still. This is a symphonic black metal band from California. The band released their original demo Joy In The Throes Of Agony in 2004 and then followed that up with a second demo in 2006 titled Prelude. The band will release their debut in 2009 which will feature several songs updated and re-recorded from the original demos as well as several brand new songs. You can check out the band and several songs from their demos on myspace.com.

The Weakening put a video online:

Strike First Records put out an album from A Hope From Home. The album is titled The Everlasting Man.

Other releases coming up from Strike First Records & Facedown Records: And Every Knee Shall Bow, from The Great Commission (February 17th, Strike First); Depravity, from A Plea For Purging (March 3rd, Facedown); The Serpent Servant, from Impending Doom (March 31st, Facedown). These bands are also in the studio now or preparing to record for albums that will be out this spring/summer: Sleeping Giant, For Today, Earth From Above, Thieves & Liars, Through Solace and Hands.

You can download the file containing the Art For The Ears show aired on January 16th 2009. The show contains music from Thy Majestie, HB, inExordium, Becoming The Archetype, Once Dead, Believer, King's X, Callisto, As I Lay Dying, Blindside, Craig's Brothers & Fort Knox Amsterdam. You can download the file from Badongo.

Other radio show news: After more then ten years, the Art For The Ears radio show will cease to exist. The last show will be on February 13th 2009. Don't miss this event! The Art For The Ears website will continue with its regular updates of this column.

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Friday January 16th 2009

Metal Blade Records now officially announced the signing of thrash band Believer to their imprint label Cesspool Recordings, run by Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage). The new album will be called Gabriel. It will come out on March 17th. Expect a cross between Tool, Voivod, Nine Inch Nails and Destruction. The Believer line-up now consists of original members Kurt Bachman (vocals, guitar), Joey Daub (drums) and new members Jeff King (keyboards/programming), Kevin Leaman (guitar) and Elton Nestler (bass/programming). Kurt Bachman comments: "It's been quite a long break for us, but metal stays in your blood and the constant nagging from Daub became overbearing. The opportunity to work with Howard Jones, Brian Slagel and all the amazing talented people at Metal Blade is fantastic and we are looking forward to a long and creative relationship. Needless to say, we're stoked about Believer's future."

Stryper is running a contest to design the cover of their next album Murder By Pride. You can enter your entry for the contest before January 21st. You can find the rules for the contest on the Michael Sweet website. There you can also download samples of the twelve songs on Murder By Pride.

This is what Michael Sweet has to say about the new album: "After years of speaking to fans and hearing comments like "more guitars", "more solos" and "more screams", I decided to keep those comments in mind as I wrote each song. It was important to me to try to get back to that early sound of Stryper yet at the same time, to remain relevant today. It's certainly not an easy thing to do but as I listen to Murder By Pride, I think that was accomplished."

This is the track listing for the new Stryper album: Eclipse Of The Son (4:04); Leaf Clover (3:42); Peace of Mind (3:58); Alive (3:36); The Plan (3:10); Murder by Pride (3:18); I Believe (3:43); Run In You (4:15); Love Is Why (4:07); Mercy Over Blame (4:07); Everything (4:26); My Love (I'll Always Show) (3:14).

The UK extreme metal band Bloodwork is featured in a documentary on Current TV:

Last week you could read in this column that Bombworks Records signed Monotheist. The label, however, made some other deals with the following bands: Penny For The Old Guy (extreme metal), Deus Invictus (melodic thrash), A Hill To Die Upon (melodic black metal), In Grief (progressive death metal), Disaffection (old school thrash/speed) & Usynlig Tumult (atmospheric black metal). All bands will release material in the next six months.

Hard Rock band Jet Circus put an old video online. It's the video for the song Victory Dance, from their Step On It (1989) album:

Death metal band Inevitable End put the title track of their album The Severed Inception on myspace.

You can download the file containing the Art For The Ears show aired on January 9th 2009. The show contains music from Brian Head Welch, The Spirit That Guides Us, Haste The Day, Becoming The Archetype, Theocracy, Today Forever, P.O.D., Underoath, Soapbox, As I Lay Dying, Antestor, War Of Ages & Mad Max. You can download the file from Badongo.

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Friday January 9th 2009

The German hardcore band Today Forever signed a deal with Bastardized Records. Their previous label Guideline Records ceased to exist. The new Today Forever album Profound Measures will come out on April 17th.

Bombworks Records signed Monotheist. This band plays progressive extreme metal. Monotheist is writing new material for their full length debut that will appear on Bombworks Records in the summer of 2009.

Seventh Avenue from Germany is writing songs for their next album. The band encountered lots of problems due to illegal downloads. Their Eternals album sold 3200 times in the first six months of the release. The new album Terium, despite getting better reviews, sold only 1700 times. Consequence will be sooner or later to get no new deal and so, no new CD's will be distributed...

Another German band is working on new material. Saphena has finished the songwriting and are at the moment doing the preproduction. Expect a new album later this year.

And Kashee Opeiah, also from Germany, is writing new songs.

In Vain has almost finished the work on their new album. The disc will be called Mantra. The album will contain seven songs plus a video of the recording. In the autumn In Vain hopes to do a European tour.

Inevitable End, recently signed to Relapse Records, will release their album The Severed Inception on March 17th in North America. On March 20th Germany and the BeNeLux will follow. And on March 23rd the rest of the world will have the opportunity to hear the new death metal opus from the Swedish group.

War Of Ages will shoot a video for All Consuming Fire. This will happen on February 7th at the Forward Hall, in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA. It's a free video shoot.

Ultimatum will record a cover album entitled Lex Metali for Retroactive Records. Some of the songs the band will do, are Creeping Death from Metallica, Iron Fist from Motorhead, Can't Get Out from Vengeance Rising, Locked In Chains from The Moshketeers, Steeler from Judas Priest plus six more songs.

The live album Live In Nashville from Demon Hunter will appear on January 27th. It will feature fourteen live songs from the Storm The Gates Of Hell Tour.

You can download the file containing the Art For The Ears show aired on January 2nd 2009. The show contains music from HB, Disciple, Harmony, Becoming The Archetype, Blessed By A Broken Heart, Slechtvalk, King's X, Crimson Moonlight, Immortal Souls, Dogwood, Fire Fly, Call To Preserve & Red. You can download the file from Badongo.

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Friday January 2nd 2009

First of all, best wishes for 2009! May this year be very good to you, with good health and excellent loud music. Art For The Ears is ready for another year go explore that part of life. It's also an anniversary. Yesterday it was exactly ten years ago that the first Art For The Ears radio show was aired! All the specials of the week this month will be celebrating this fact by airing an airplay chart consisting the twenty most played songs during those ten years.

The new Dagon album will feature guest vocals from Scooch (Final Chapter & Bestiary).

The Dutch black metal act Slechtvalk has struck a deal with booking agency Redback Promotions. This agency also works with Vreid, Kadavrik, Obscurity and Dorn. Redback will do promotional activities and arrange concerts for Slechtvalk in Europe.

The Dutch rock band Zenith Of Abolition added two songs to their myspace.com profile.

Rock band X-sinner published two bootleg videos shot by a fan in the early days. The first is the song We Need Love filmed during the Peace Treaty tour in 1991:


And the second X-Sinner video is Lift Him Up, also from 1991:


Black metal band Eternal Emperor is now only consisting of Shadrach. He has decided to continue as a one man band. At the moment he is writing material for the first full-length album. Shadrach hopes to have it out in November 2009.

You can download the last Art For The Ears show aired in 2008. This show contains music from: Benea Reach, Grave Declaration, Spoken, Incrave, Veni Domine, Virgin Black, Stellar Kart, Thy Bleeding Skies, Soul Embraced, Rob Rock, Seventh Avenue & HB. You can download the mp3 file containing the show from rapidshare (limited amount of downloads available) or badongo.

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Friday December 26th 2008

Kekal released their new album Audible Minority. This album has a free download available for the first eight songs. The entire album has eleven tracks. The first pressing of the CD will be a special digipak release, hand numbered and limited to 777 units. The album also contains a cover of A-ha's Locust. You can order this album from Open Grave Records.

The German death metal formation Sacrificium will start recording their new album on February 23rd at the Iguana Studio.

Day Of Fire offers a free download of the new song Never Goodbye if you sign up for their mailing-list. Never Goodbye is a song for the CD that the band will bring out next year.

The Belgian extreme metal group Blood Drift is working on songs for a new release.

Also the Polish metal band Illuminandi is active. They are working hard on new material. The band hopes to be more active in 2009 than they were in 2008. Illuminandi recently got a new drummer called Tomasz Pyzia.

Progressive metal band Darkwater will release a new album in 2009.

Swedish black metal band Shadows Of Paragon has uploaded songs to their myspace.com page. These tracks come from their upcoming album that will appear in 2009.

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Friday December 19th 2008

August Burns Red will contribute a song to the upcoming Punk Goes Pop 2 compilation. This disc will be released by Fearless Records on March 10th 2009. The song August Burns Red will do, is a cover of Hit Me Baby One More Time, originally from Britney Spears. The band recorded the song with producer Andreas Magnusson. Expect a metal version of the Britney hit.

On November 15th 2008 black metal act Grave Declaration played it's first live show as a suprise band at the Nordic Fest. The band is still a one man band though, but will continue with live members to do concerts. Right now Thor Georg Buer of Grave Declaration is writing material for a full album.

Facedown Records signed the band Hands. This group formed in 2007. Hands offers progressive rock and progressive hardcore inspired by bands like Isis, Life In Your Way and Misery Signals. The band's Facedown debut will come out in July 2009.

Silence The Foe put a video online of the show they did as support act for Stryper. It's a video for the song Privacy Please:

On November 23rd 2008 John Spalding died. He was the former guitar player for the late nineties punk band Ninety Pound Wuss. John passed away from cancer with which he was diagnosed four years ago. MxPx will play a benefit show in his honor on Saturday January 31st 2009 at the El Corazon in Seattle, USA.

Soundmass signed the UK band Ecthirion (formerly known as Axiom) for the release of their five track EP Apocalyptic Visions. Expect epic orchestral metal with viking and black metal tendencies. You can listen to the song Warmageddon on myspace.

Theocracy published a free Christmas track called Rudolph Vs. Frosty. You can listen to the track on the band's myspace site, as well as download it. You can find the lyrics on the Theocracy homepage.

Speaking about free downloads, you can find several on the Ken Tamplin website. Ken Tamplin is known for his great melodic hard rock/metal albums. He also made a soft rock Christmas album.

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Friday December 12th 2008

The Finnish female fronted metal band HB has a new album out. The record is called Piikki Lihassa. Yes, all lyrics are in the Finnish language. With the album HB entered the Finnish album Top 40 at #12. You can listen to the new song Mina Olen on myspace.

The Weakening is preparing to enter the studio recording our debut album.

Slechtvalk is currently working on new songs. They're still looking for a suitable label. Therefore, they don't expect their fourth album to appear before late 2009/early 2010. The new album will be a concept album. The theme of the record will be darker than the previous two concept albums. Hence, the music will be more grim. Slechtvalk expects to do concerts during summer, fall and winter of 2009.

Spoken is writing material for their next album.

Bombworks Records has a lot in store. First of all, they joined forces with Dagon again. This band will release a new album in spring 2009. Second, Bombwork Records signed Bloodline Severed, a band that combines thrash, progressive and modern metal. The band's ten song debut Visions Revealed will be remixed and remastered for a March 2009 release. Furthermore, Bombwork Records will reissue Through The Reflection, an album from the Mexican death metal band Lament. This disc was originally released in 1999 by Finland's Little Rose Productions. The reissue will feature new atwork and the four song demo from Beheaded, the band Lament originated from. The Through The Reflection Special Edition release will come out in February 2009.

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Friday December 5th 2008

Callisto will release their new album on February 18th 2009. The record is called Providence. It's the first CD with new singer Jani Ala-Hukkala. Former singer Markus Myllykangas continues with the band as a guitarist. You can listen to the first single Covenant Colours on myspace. Callisto will appear on the Green Christmas Festival in Estonia on December 12t along with Volbeat and Dark Tranquility.

Narnia is working hard on their sixth studio album. The band thinks this will be their biggest step in terms of songwriting and performance. There's not an official release date, but it will probably come out in the summer of 2009.

Strike First Records signed the post-hardcore band A Hope For Home. This group will release The Everlasting Man album with eleven songs on January 20th.

The German death metal band Sacrificium is looking for a new bass player. If you play bass (no beginner), live in the Stuttgart area in Germany, like death metal, recognise names like Alex Webster or Steve DiGiorgio, are at   least 18 years old, got a valid drivers-license (not a must but would be nice), are motivated and not adverse to touring, then contact them at
bassplayer@sacrificium.com. Oh and there's one (very) important demand: These guys are all Christians and so should you. And yes, long hair is very welcome. It is not a must since hair can grow ;-).

Once again you can download a file containing a recording of the Art For The Ears radio show. It's the November 28th broadcast. This show features music from Blessed By A Broken Heart, Take It Back, Divinefire, The Spirit That Guides Us, Underoath, The Awakening, Deuteronomium, Saviour Machine, Borgazūr, Theocracy, Random Eyes and Anberlin. You can download it from Badongo as well as from Rapidshare (this one is limited though).

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You can find older news in the Archives

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The latest reviews

Believer - Gabriel, Metal Blade Records

Believer - Gabriel (Metal Blade Records)
First of all, Gabriel is clear evidence that the guys are still able to pulling it off. Their three previous albums set the standard high with excellent and technically challenging thrash metal. Dimensions... (read the full review)

Callisto - Providence, Fullsteam Records

Callisto - Providence (Fullsteam Records)
Callisto still provides a very rousing and intense atmospheric rock sound with frequent outbursts. Just listen to great songs like In Session, Statis and the title track. It's not metalcore, nor extreme metal, but overwhelming... (read the full review)

Indigo - Reach Out, Feedback Records

Indigo - Reach Out (Feedback Records)
Indigo is a new Swedish rock band. Reach Out is their debut album filled with straight forward soft rock songs. The music is melodic, but hardly heavy. The guitar playing varies from gentle strumming to... (read the full review)

Mena Brinno - Wicked Polly, Dark Balance

Mena Brinno - Wicked Polly (Dark Balance)
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Fort Knox Amsterdam - Demo 2008, Independent

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Theocracy - Mirror Of Souls, Ulterium Records

Theocracy - Mirror Of Souls (Ulterium Records)
Theocracy plays power metal that sounds quite straight forward. It's not at all innovative, but it's done so well that it is quite enjoyable. Sometimes there are... (read the full review)

Harmony - Aftermath, Ulterium Records

Harmony - Chapter II: Aftermath (Ulterium Records)
With all the variety and good musicianship Chapter II: Aftermath is a more than worthy follow-up to Dreaming Awake. Harmony took their time to mature and this shows. Hopefully they... (read the full review)

Scelerata - Darkness And Light, Nightmare Records

Scelerata - Darkness And Light (Nightmare Records)
There are quite some good tracks on this CD. The musicianship is great. Not only do the guitar players to a good job with tight riffs and luxurious solos (for example in The Spell of Time and Adonai), also the other musicians...... (read the full review)

Thy Majestie - Dawn, Dark Balance

Thy Majestie - Dawn (Dark Balance)
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The Rick Ray Band - Violence Marred By Peace, Neurosis Records

The Rick Ray Band - Violence Marred By Peace (Neurosis Records)
They improved the sound quality of their recordings the last few years and the compositions on this new disc are some of the most interesting so far. The opening track is a nice start. But even better is Among The Fire with a real nice melody line...... (read the full review)

Stonefuze - Stonefuze (Rivel Records)

Stonefuze - Stonefuze (Rivel Records)
These guys must be motor bike fanatics, as is shown by a song like Motor Music. Vocalist Kent Franklin sings: "God loves motor music!" Their previous album was called Jesus Rides Harley Too (1998)...... (read the full review)

ReinXeed - The Light, Rivel Records

ReinXeed - The Light (Rivel Records)
Songs like The Light, Legacy, Great Hall Of ReinXeed and the instrumental Heavenly Fire sound pretty cool with lots of great hooks and melodies. And then there are all these nice guitarsolos! The music sounds even better..... (read the full review)

Saint - Crime Scene Earth

Saint - Crime Scene Earth (Independent)
Saint in 2008 has a lot in common with the old band. Still they play eighties heavy metal. It's not the kind of poppy hair metal Stryper once produced, but much darker. Darker riffs, darker sounds and a..... (read the full review)

Divinefire - Farewell (Rivel Records)

Divinefire - Farewell (Rivel Records)
This final bombastic effort proves only how well this band has gotten. This is a perfect blend of atmospheric and symphonic metal with extremer styled music like thrash and death. When the three guys of Divinefire started back..... (read the full review)