Category Archives: metal

Music news – DEVIN TOWNSEND announces new album ‘Empath’

Canadian heavy music artist Devin Townsend has officially announced the release of his forthcoming new album ‘EMPATH’ for the 29th March 2019.

In the lead up to the album’s release, Devin will walk fans through how Empath came together with a series of documentary episodes recorded as phone conversations during the course of the albums recording. Watch him explain more in this video:

Devin comments: “Hello everybody, this is Devin Townsend and I would like to formally announce that after almost a year and a half of working, I have finished Empath. Now this record has taken me down a lot of very interesting psychological and technical avenues and the process was documented from the very get-go by a series of documentary videos that I have done, that outline everything from the gestation of the idea to the actualisation of it, through all the existential ups and downs that went on. As such this record is different to any record that I have released thus far, and trying to get people on board for what it is versus what it isn’t, I think needs to be dealt with in a different way.

Stay tuned for the making of Empath – the video series.”

Over the past few years, the success that Devin has slowly worked for has fortunately come with the power to control his own creative destiny. The recent successes with the DVD from a sold-out Royal Albert hall, or his 2012 ‘Retinal Circus’, or last year’s ‘Ocean Machine’ live DVD with the Orchestra and Choir of State Opera Plovdiv has put him in a position where with the new album ‘EMPATH’, he will once and for all define himself as a musical force outside of any particular genre classification.

On this album Devin has decided to see what would happen if all the styles that make up his current interests were finally represented in one place. To finally shake the fear of expectation, and just do what it is he was meant to do creatively, EMPATH, true to the name, is about allowing the audience a feeling for a variety of musical emotions. The musical dynamics represented on this single album are broad, challenging, and immense. To approach this sort of work with a long history of what makes heavy music ‘heavy’, allows this to be done with a type of power rarely heard.

Joining Devin on this album is Frank Zappa alumni Mike Keneally as music director, as well as Morgan Ågren (Mats And Morgan, Frank Zappa, Fredrik Thordendal), Anup Sastry (Monuments, Periphery), Samus Paulicelli (Decrepit Birth, Abigail Williams), Nathan Navarro, Elliot Desagnes, Steve Vai, Chad Kroeger, Anneke Van Giersbergen, Ché Aimee Dorval, Ryan Dhale and the Elektra Women’s Choir.

A bold statement with massive production values and dynamic, uncompromised musicality. This is a statement about not only pursuing creative freedom in a conservative scene, but also trying to show that heavy music is truly a valid musical tool.

‘EMPATH’ will be released on Limited 2 CD Digipak (including an entire disc of bonus material), Standard CD Jewelcase, Gatefold 180G 2LP Vinyl + CD + LP-booklet & as digital album. The full track-listing is as follows:

  1. Castaway
  2. Genesis
  3. Spirits Will Collide
  4. Evermore
  5. Sprite
  6. Hear Me
  7. Why
  8. Borderlands
  9. Requiem
  10. Singularity Part 1 – Adrift
  11. Singularity Part 2 – I Am I
  12. Singularity Part 3 – There Be Monsters
  13. Singularity Part 4 – Curious Gods
  14. Singularity Part 5 – Silicon Scientists
  15. Singularity Part 6 – Here Comes The Sun

Last year Devin announced a special ‘An Evening With’ tour that would see him performing acoustically, as well as taking part in a fan Q&A at each show.

The full list of dates are as follows, many of which are already sold out:

7th March – The Piano Man Jazz Club, New Delhi, India SOLD OUT

8th March – Levi’s Lounge, Mumbai, India SOLD OUT

29th March – Savoy Theater, Helsinki, Finland SOLD OUT

30th March – Savoy Theater, Helsinki, Finland SOLD OUT

31st March – Sodra Teatern, Stockholm, Sweden SOLD OUT

1st April – Edderkoppen, Oslo, Norway SOLD OUT

2nd April – Bremen Theater, Copenhagen, Denmark

4th April – PassionKirchhe, Berlin, Germany

5th April – Stodola, Warsaw, Poland

6th April – La Fabrica, Prague, Czech Republic SOLD OUT

7th April – Freiheiz, Munich, Germany SOLD OUT

9th April – Kulturkirche, Cologne, Germany SOLD OUT

10th April – Grunspan, Hamburg, Germany

11th April – Bravo Kerk, Haarlem, Netherlands SOLD OUT

13th April – Reading 3, Tel Aviv, Israel

24th April – Bush Hall, London, UK SOLD OUT

25th April – Bush Hall, London, UK SOLD OUT

26th April – St George’s, Bristol, UK SOLD OUT

27th April – City Varieties, Leeds, UK SOLD OUT

29th April – Jam House, Edinburgh, UK SOLD OUT

30th April – Glee Club, Birmingham, UK SOLD OUT

Remaining tickets can be found here: https://bnds.us/hotp9q

Devin’s varied back catalogue is also being celebrated with lavish vinyl box-sets under the name of ERAS. Having already released parts 1 and 2 earlier in early 2018, the end of the year saw the release of part 3, which features some of his most recent work with Devin Townsend Project, including the albums ‘Accelerated Evolution’, ‘Epicloud’, ‘Sky Blue’, ‘Transcendence’ & the first ever vinyl release of the second part of the DTP’s now legendary Royal Albert Hall show. Order your copy of this deluxe 10 LP box-set here: https://devintownsendproject.lnk.to/ErasIII

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interview with PAUL LOGUE from EDEN’S CURSE

(This is a syndicated interview and well worth a read if you are a fan of the band or power/melodic metal)

edens curse poster (low res)

Congratulations on the release of your ‘Testament – The Best Of Eden’s Curse’ album Paul. Does that mean you guys are splitting up now? 😉

PL: Haha! No, but I get the context. A lot of band’s seem to break up and then release a ‘Best Of’ album to fulfil contractual obligations. But I hate to disappoint you – we are going nowhere!

So why now then?

PL: The timing of the release came via discussions with our label AFM Records. We have such an open and close relationship, having worked together for over 12 years and we are constantly bouncing ideas off each other. We both felt it was the perfect time, especially with us heading out on a big UK tour with Michael Schenker Fest. One of our main aims on that tour was obviously to win over new fans and ‘Testament’ would hopefully be a great tool for helping convert those people who liked what we were doing on the night into hardcore fans.

‘Testament’ is not your typical ‘Best Of’ release that has two or three CD’s full of the band’s greatest songs. You instead have opted for one disc with fourteen of the band’s best songs and a second disc of bonus tracks and a brand-new song. Can you explain why?

PL: Sure! The aim is simply to appeal to fans both old and new. Disc one is primarily aimed at potential new fans. If you always fancied checking out our music and don’t know where to begin this, is in our opinion, is a great starting point. For the guys that have the albums already, then it’s a good compilation with arguably all our big songs on one CD. Disc two was compiled especially with our long-time followers in mind. We are very much a band who listens to its fan base and for many years we have been asked “can you release all the bonus tracks on one disc?”. Unfortunately, for contractual reasons, that was unable to happen until now, as we extended our worldwide deal with AFM Records and they now hold all the rights. There are a couple of extra special tracks that have not seen the light of day on general release before and of course a brand-new song called ‘Forever’.

Who chose the tracks for the best album and put the running order together?

PL: I chose the songs with our A&R director at AFM Records, Mr Timo Hoffmann. I put together the running order exactly like we would perform it as a set list, if we were playing it live, and I think it really works.

In April 2019 you will undertake the ‘Testament’ tour in the UK. What will feature in the set?

PL: We will play ‘Testament’ in full along with the new song ‘Forever’.

And you have two amazing support bands in Mob Rules and Degreed as part of a brilliant triple package?

PL: Yes, that’s right! Mob Rules are one of my favourite bands, but I have never seen them live before. So naturally I was delighted when they accepted our offer. Degreed are relatively new to me. I have heard the name before but only caught them live for the first-time supporting H.E.A.T in Glasgow and then we played together in Malmo at Melodic Rock Fest Scandinavia in Sweden this past summer. So, I kept them in mind when it came to looking for a third band for the tour. We worked very hard on getting a package together that really stood out for the fans, and when it was announced it seemed to receive a very positive response. The proof is in the pudding though and it’s all about how many people turn out for the shows though. So, get your tickets bought people! 😉

Speaking of tours, you are just hot off the UK tour supporting Michael Schenker Fest. How was that experience?

PL: The tour was excellent. As I mentioned above, our main aim was to win new fans and we certainly did that. We played very well every single night and got better as the tour went on. Some of the stage times were a little earlier than we would have liked, as Michael was playing a near three-hour set, but beggars cannot be choosers and we were delighted to be involved and playing on some of the UK’s most iconic stages.

What shows were the highlights?

Glasgow, as always! SWG3 was packed and the gig went like a dream. We opened the Hard Rock Hell XII festival in North Wales in front of a very full room and London at the iconic O2 Forum in Kentish Town was superb.

What’s next for Eden’s Curse?

PL: First up, it’s a relaxing end of the year spending Christmas and New Year with our families. Then into 2019, we will perform at Planet Rock Radio’s Winter’s End Festival in England in March, and as mentioned above, we will undertake the ‘Testament UK Tour’ in April. For the remainder of the year though, we will be focusing on writing our next album, which we have begun but not in earnest.

So, you have actually started writing?

PL: Yes! I have recorded one instrumental track with our drummer John and have several new riffs and ideas recorded, but in very early stages, with maybe only one song pretty developed, instrumentally at this point.

You guys always seem to have a very clear idea of where each album is headed. Is it more of the same?

PL: First and foremost, I am always very sure of what I want to write, which for me is always just good quality melodic hard rocking metal music. It is never forced but I always write for myself first and foremost. We will never stray too much from what we are all about, after all it is our identity, but I think our fans can hear with the newer track ‘Forever’ what this line-up of Eden’s Curse is all about and capable of. We have several ideas that I am very excited about and that for me is what keeps writing fresh and interesting. If it doesn’t excite you then don’t bother!

Care to elaborate further?

PL: Not too much, but I am exploring some lyrical concepts that are pretty cool.

A concept album?

PL: I never said that haha!

But you never said no?

PL: No I didn’t haha! We will see. I am not committing to anything at this stage.

When do you expect to have the album ready?

PL: We haven’t even written it yet, so not before 2020.

Well there you have it folks – the Curse are going to be back with their sixth album at some point in the near future. Until then, we have the wonderful ‘Testament’ and the new track ‘Forever’ to whet our appetites. You can buy ‘Testament – The Best Of Eden’s Curse’ and tickets for the tour with Mob Rules and Degreed from www.edenscurse.com and follow the band on Facebook at www.facebook.com/edenscurseofficial

RC Newswire #3 – ANGEL, LAWLESS, MANOWAR

ANGEL FEATURING PUNKY MEADOWS AND FRANK DIMINO are set to announce tour dates starting in April and they plan to record new music, plus return to wearing their famous all-white stage outfits. They will be joined by STARZ as support.

LAWLESS (who feature members of DEMON) plan to start work on their third album this year.

EV Martel is the new guitarist in MANOWAR, who embark on their farewell tour this year.

Altitudes & Attitude, a collaboration between Anthrax’s Frank Bello and Megadeth’s David Ellefson, release their debut album ‘Get It Out’ on 18 January.

Escape Music are planning to release new albums this year from AXE, CHRIS OUSEY (Heartland/Snakecharmer and produced by MIKE SLAMMER), ROBERT HART (ex-BAD COMPANY) and FM’s STEVE OVERLAND.

In the studio…

THE CURE have announced they plan to record and release a new album this year. SYSTEM OF A DOWN have announced they are working on new material as well.

RC Newswire #2 – BLACK SABBATH, LOU GRAMM, JOURNEY

TONY IOMMI is working on a re-mastered version of BLACK SABBATH’s ‘Forbidden’ album due for release in 2019. The album featured Tony Martin on vocals and Cozy Powell on drums.

LOU GRAMM has announced he will be retiring from live performances. He recently appeared on stage with his former band FOREIGNER.

URIAH HEEP’s keyboards player PHIL LANZON is working on his next solo album.

POISON plan to return in 2020 with some new songs and touring plans. JOURNEY are also planning to take 2019 off the road, although NEAL SCHON will be touring as part of JOURNEY THROUGH TIME, which features ex-Journey members Greg Rolie and Deen Castronova.

SOTO have signed to Inside Out for their third album which the band plan to record in 2019.

BACKYARD BABIES release their new album ‘Silver & Gold’ on Mar 1 via Century Media.

RC Newswire #1 – THE POODLES, PRETTY MAIDS, MIKE OLDFIELD

Back in 2002 I used to run a Yahoo Group (remember them?!) called the Classic Rock Newswire which gathered together news & press releases on all things rock & metal. This led to Get Ready To Rock! being launched in November 2002 and I thought why not do a Rockin’ Chair Newswire? It will cover music & artists I like so not much coverage on say Slayer but it will include rock, metal, prog, folk, AOR, country, blues and more.

THE POODLES have announced they are splitting-up after twelve years together.

TERRA NOVA release their new album ‘Raise Your Voice’ on MelodicRock Records on Jan 30.

Two box sets due soon are a 12CD one from the PRETTY MAIDS, entitled ‘A Blast From The Past’, on Feb 22 via Frontiers. MIKE OLDFIELD has a box set of ‘The Killing Fields’ album due out on May 2.

Fifty Gigs In A Day 2019 – The Gigs!

Many of the artists kindly taking part in Fifty Gigs In A Day 2019 on February 8th are performing on or around that date, with a couple actually hosting gigs especially for the Nordoff Robbins charity.

Please support them if you are able either by attending or spreading the word.

Thank you

(All on February 8th unless stated)

ADRIAN BELEW, who has worked with the likes of Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads and King Crimson, appears with his Power Trio at the Cruise to the Edge 4-9 February 2019

PAUL CARRACK plays Bournemouth Pavillion Theatre

DANDELION CHARM will be playing a free entry gig in support of Nordoff Robbins at the Brunswick, Hove

JARROD DICKENSON, the well dressed singer songwriter, will be playing Birmingham

BARBARA DICKSON who plays a show at Eden Court, Inverness

DODGY  play Newcastle Riverside

FAIRPORT CONVENTION play the Sage Gateshead

FROST* who will be appearing on Cruise to the Edge 2019 between the 4 and 9 February 2019

FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS play Nottingham Rock City on Feb 8

STEVE HACKETT takes part in the Yes Cruise to the Edge between 4-9 February 2019

HANSON ASIEDU plays at the Revival City Church, Mitcham on Saturday 19 January with support from Ché Sampson and Ogo Ajala

ROBB JOHNSON (with guests Daria Kulesh & Jonny Dyer) is kindly hosting a gig on February 7th at the Railway Roots Night at the Railway Inn, Portslade

KAISER CHIEFS play London’s Brixton Academy

KING KING play Bournemouth O2 Old Fire Station

LETZ ZEP play Vitoria in Spain

LITTLE RED KINGS will be sending messages on their socials on the day about Nordoff Robbins

LOST VOICE GUY winner of this year’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, will be performing at the Palace Theatre, Southend

NINEBARROW play North Ferriby Village Hall 

THE SMYTHS play in Adelaide

SPACE ELEVATOR play the Haven Club at the Bullingdon, Oxford on January 30

MARK STAY author and screenwriter has a signing session for his new book ‘The End Of Magic‘ which is published on 7 February, where he will donate £1 to Nordoff Robbins for every book signed or sold on the day

STONE BROKEN play Unit 51 in Aberdeen

THOSE DAMN CROWS play Unit 51 in Aberdeen

THUNDER play in Glasgow

YES headline their own cruise Cruise to the Edge 2019 between 4-9 February 2019

THE YOUNG ‘UNS play Middlesbrough on February 8

Just Giving page is here if you’d kindly like to donate and support the work of Nordoff Robbins