AVENGED SEVENFOLD “SURPRISE-RELEASE” NEW ALBUM ‘THE STAGE’

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Avenged Sevenfold have become the first ever rock band to drop an unannounced album as both a digital and physical release.

The band announces the release of the album immediately following their groundbreaking global virtual reality event.

The Stage, is A7X‘s seventh studio album, and their first for Capitol Records.

The Southern California-based quintet (vocalist M. Shadows, guitarists Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance, bassist Johnny Christ and drummer Brooks Wackerman) revealed the news at midnight eastern, surprising the millions of fans who were watching their live-streamed performance from the rooftop of the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood, CA.

The groundbreaking event saw the band give a 3D/360-degree live-streamed virtual reality performance, enabling fans around the globe to view the show on Universal Music Group’s newly released VRTGO VR platform, powered by VRLIVE’s advanced technology, and experience Avenged Sevenfold’s electrifying set as if they were there for this first-of-its-kind immersive event.

Fans attended the event in-person, flooding the streets and sidewalks around the tower to experience a concert amplified by augmented reality (AR) technology, which intensifies real-world environmental elements with computer-generated sensory input such as graphics, video and sound to enhance the live experience. VRLIVE streamed the event to 50 Samsung Gear VR headsets on the ground level of the event for fans to virtually transport themselves to the stage. Afterward, the band celebrated with fans, taking photos and sharing stories about the secretive release.

The Stage is the follow-up to Avenged Sevenfold’s 2013 release, Hail To The King, which entered The Billboard 200 at No. 1. Co-produced by the band and Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool), The Stage is a work of immense scope and ambition, featuring 11 panoramic tracks tied together by an Artificial Intelligence theme. Inspired by the writings of Carl Sagan and Elon Musk, the album is the band’s first thematic release. While the term “AI” conjures up images of robots and fantasy films, the band steers clear of a science fiction storyline. Instead, the album sees them taking a futurist’s look at the accelerated rate at which technology’s intelligence is expanding and what that means—good and bad—for the future.

The album’s epic 15-minute-plus closing track, “Exist,” features a guest appearance by award-winning astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson giving a spoken word performance he penned specifically for the album.

Working with new label Capitol Records, the band’s plans for a stealth release were months in the making, and kicked off a few weeks ago with a guerrilla campaign that saw projections of their deathbat symbol mysteriously appearing on landmarks around the world. Fans and media reported sightings and shared images from Paris, Sydney, London, Japan and Berlin, to name but a few. Anticipation and conspiracy theories reached fever pitch when rumours regarding supposed album titles and a December release date began to spread.
The album also marks the band’s first release with acclaimed drummer Brooks Wackerman, known for his work with Bad Religion and whose discography also includes albums from Tenacious D and Suicidal Tendencies.

REVIEW: Tremonti – DUST

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When I was privileged to be sent a copy of Dust, the new album from Tremonti to review I didn’t know what to expect. I’d heard bits and pieces of Tremonti at Download 2015, but hadn’t heard any of their studio stuff.

I must say, I was totally blown away with how much I love it!

The album flows so well, each song seemlessly falls into place perfectly.

I love the song Dust. This song for me sits perfectly between Once Dead and Betray Me. Throughout this song, I thought all the way along that a solo would be so unnecessary and would potentially ruin the song… How wrong I was! I was astonished with how brilliantly it worked.

In all honesty, I believe the transition all throughout the album works perfectly, the hard hitting opening track Last Mistake sets the stall out nicely, and leads perfectly into the rest of the album. I also love the way the album finishes with Unable To See, I can see this being one of those anthem songs that you stand in a group with friends and shout out at the top of your voice!

I was a huge fan of Creed growing up, a band which Mark Tremonti was guitarist for, and that influence has definitely shone through in this album.

The whole band have a fantastic sound going on. This album I can liken to a cross between Creed and Disturbed.

Mark Tremonti, Eric Friedman, Wolfgang Van Halen and Garrett Whitlock – RN Salutes You!!

I give this album a solid 9/10

Dust is Released on 29th April 2016 via Fret 12 Records 

Track listing:

1. Last Mistake

2. The Cage

3. Once Dead

4. Dust

5. Betray Me

6. Tore My Heart Out

7. Catching Fire

8. Never Wrong

9. Rising Storm

10. Unable To See

Pierce The Veil announce live set and signing in London

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Californian Rockers Pierce The Veil have announced today that they will be doing an in store signing and live set at the famous 363 Oxford Street branch of HMV.

The band announced the show today where they will be previewing their new album ‘Misadventures’

The show will take place on Wednesday 27th April and will start at 6pm.

For more information on how to obtain tickets for this event check out the link below.

http://www.hmv.com/hmvlive/pierce-the-veil

REVIEW: PANIC STATE – THE COMEDY, LONDON (18/11/15)

As I approached the bright lights of London’s Leicester Square, I met up with Panic State drummer Daniel Tweddle. We made our way inside and got informed that one of the bands had pulled out due to it ‘not being a proper venue’ whatever that means! What this meant, however, is that Panic State would get a slightly longer set.

As with any female fronted band, there will always be comparisons with the likes of Evanescence, Paramore & Halestorm. I’m deliberately going to stay away from that!

 As they took to the stage they opened with System Kings followed up with Your Own Heaven which were both really catchy tracks and if they’re the backbone of the new album Armageddon (due for 2016 release) then they should have no problems whatsoever doing pretty well for themselves! Lead guitarist Scott Dunleavy pulls out a cracking solo for Your Own Heaven.

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They then delve into the archives to their first album with Anarchy and Made of Fire which was the first song they ever wrote together as a band, both taken from their first album Pandemic.

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The next track was probably my favourite track of the night, the new, and very heavy Armageddon Begins, which is due for release on 11th December on XRP Radio. The song has a great mix with everyone on point. Some really cool bass licks from Tom Horton who ironically was sporting a rather apt T-Shirt commemorating all the people who have lost their lives.

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Eight Days from the album Pandemic is the next song up and it’s a slower song which gives Daniel a bit of a break from his hard hitting thrashing drumming. It also gives us the chance to properly hear lead singer Dylan Epega’s voice, and it’s actually pretty damn good! Some really nice tones backed up by Tom, giving it a great mix. I would love to hear this song really stripped back with just singing and an acoustic guitar.

 The final song of their set is Shellshock the last song from their first album. Which starts off with a really slow and melodic build up and then just kicks in to a mental frenzy! The catchy guitar riff has everyone moving in unison. The crowd has definitely warmed to this band the more the night has gone on. The band certainly grew in stature.

All in all it was good 40 minutes of music and the song was a fitting one to end their set.

The crowd then asked for an encore, the band obliged and blasted through Ignition to end the show.

I can definitely see this band selling out bigger venues in the. It too distant future and one who should most definitely be on your ‘bands to hear’ list.

Putting all the technical hitches aside (which were no fault of the band) they sounded great and have a great future.

Well played Panic State, can’t wait for to be released next year!

REVIEW: Knuckle Puck – Copacetic

knucklepuckalbumIt seems to have been a never-ending wait for Knuckle Puck’s debut album, ‘Copacetic’. It’s been 4 years of EPs and collaborations for the band, but KP are finally back and this time they come with their first full length album.

After listening to the album in full a couple of times I realised Knuckle Puck clearly took the time to fine tune every song and make sure every detail was perfect. They set the bar high with the popularity of their EPs, which allowed them to tour with bands such as Seaway, Neck Deep, Man Overboard, Modern Baseball and play at festivals like Slamdunk and Warped tour. There was definitely some level of pressure to deliver a strong full length album.

They mix quintessential pop punk vibes and then add their own twist, allowing the band to create their own sound – definitely making them original and different from the rest. The growth in popularity for pop punk has certainly worked in Knuckle Puck’s favour but they’ve managed to accumulate fans across the world and create (what I think is) one of the best albums of the year.

‘Ponder’ is a great example of how KP are shaping their own form of pop punk, Joe Taylor (vocals) effortlessly makes transitions between shouting the lyrics and then singing ‘everything is copacetic’ which sounds like a different person completely. Although Ponder is slower and very short it certainly isn’t forgotten about on the album.

Their song, In Your Crosshairs has definitely won some fans over, the way Joe’s vocals work alongside the guitars and the subtle backing vocals it ties together so well to create yet another unusual track.

In KP’s earlier works they focused on creating catchy tunes within relatively short songs but this album demonstrates a mixture of short and longer length tracks. ‘Untitled’ is really different for Knuckle Puck as the song almost reaches 8 minutes and contained a mixture of repetitive vocals and lengthy instrumentals.

It’s fair to say that this album is a big step up from their already popular extended plays and it was a well anticipated album. Knuckle Puck are certainly leading the way of pop punk by keeping the genre fresh, and it’s got me excited to see what other bands like The Wonder Years, Neck Deep and Roam have in store in the next year.

REVIEW: Rehasher – Make The Noise

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After a six year wait, Rehasher is finally back with a new album. For those unfamiliar with this band, Rehasher is the side project of Less Than Jake’s Roger Lima and originally featured  members of Bullets to Broadway and Coffee Project. Unlike, its two predecessors, Make The Noise is a complete solo effort, with only the drummers brought in from elsewhere. (Alex Klausner (The Savants of Soul, Waxed Curbs, Assassinate the Scientist), John Mamo (Nothing In The Dark) and Kyle MacDougall (Protagonist, Teen Agers). It was recorded by Roger himself in his own studio, The Moathouse (situated in Gainesville Rock City of course!) and mixed by Descendents/ALL punk legend Stephen Egerton.

As a massive (understatement) Rehasher fan, I have been following this album’s progress and have been looking forward to hearing it for a very long time, and it definitely lived up to (and exceeded) my expectations. Make The Noise could actually be my favourite of the three but it’s hard to compare because there’s something new and different about it. It manages to throw in a number of different styles yet  still retains Rehasher’s signature fast pop punk sound. Each song stands out and takes on a life of it’s own and you can really hear just how much Roger has put into all of them individually and into the album as a whole.

The album came out on July 10th and although there had been one or two teasers leading up to its release, I avoided them as I didn’t want anything to ruin my first listen (nerd alert!). Right from the first few notes of Don’t Make Me, I was hooked! This song kicks off the album perfectly, with fast pop punk verses giving way to catchy sing-along choruses. What’s not to love?  The second track of the album, On The Way To Get To You sounds more like the Rehasher I’m used to, but just as fresh and new sounding as the rest of the album. What You’re Seeking is another sing-along (well, they all are really!). When you’ve been a Less Than Jake addict for as long as I have, it starts to become clear which songs are “a Roger song” and which songs are ”a Chris song” and this song wouldn’t feel out of place as a Roger song on a Less Than Jake album.

Anyone who knows anything about Roger will know that he is a massive ALL fan and you can really hear the influence in How To Lose Yourself. This is one of my favourite songs on the album. The lyrics are just perfect to me and the melody just makes your ears happy, for want of a better description! The fifth track is where things really start to get different. In terms of Rehasher songs, My Silver Platter is about as slow as it gets. With lyrics like “I need my friends to live forever”, it’s hard not to fall in love with this song. Add the bass solo/speech sound-bite (which seems to be a Roger thing to do) and you’ve got yourself another stand-out unskippable song.

 I Might Explode is another catchy sing-along. It has an upbeat and bouncy rhythm, complemented by an equally bouncy upbeat guitar riff. Vast Minority is another more Rehasher sounding track, with the fast tempo to match. S’s Birthday is another relatively slow song, written for Roger‘s son. A beautiful song with heartbreakingly honest lyrics and definitely another album favourite. The next track, Waste My Words can only be described as my definition of a perfect pop punk song. The kind of song you could listen to on repeat for hours and not get bored of. In fact, I need to take a break to listen to it again now! If any song on this album was to be released as a single, this track should probably be it.

Three songs left and the next two have still got me stumped! Power metal vibes on a Rehasher album?! What’s with that?! But they sound so utterly amazing that I can’t stop listening to them and I just can’t work out if Symptom Checker is my favourite song on the album or if Right Here, Right Now is. Both of these songs are absolutely flawless and if there’s two songs you need to listen to right here, right now (excuse the pun), it’s these two!

A Rehasher album is not a Rehasher album without one cover song and this one, Petrograd was originally by a band called Cringer. I’ve never heard the original before so I can’t really compare the two versions but I can say that it’s a brilliant punk-rock song to end the album on.

Being the obviously obsessed Rehasher fan that I am, this review may be slightly bias but why not check out the album on Spotify and hear it for yourself? and if you like it, go buy it!  It’s currently available on iTunes, will be available on CD in the next few days (follow @lessthanraj on Twitter for news of this) and for vinyl collector nerds, there will be  record release soon aswell.

Also, check out Clock Smash!; the recent 7” Rehasher put out this year and Greenhorn; Roger’s collaboration with NoMore’s Jen Vito (both on Saint November records).

 

REVIEW: Avenged Sevenfold – City of Evil – 10 Years On!

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On 6th June 2005 – Avenged Sevenfold Released their third (and breakthrough) Album City Of Evil

Named after a fictional place and taken from lyrics to the opening track Beast And The Harlot – it debuted at No. 30 on the Billboard album chart. In August 2009, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA. To date, it has sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide.  – It featured their hit single Bat Country which was one of the breakout singles of 2005, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, No. 6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks, and No. 1 on MTV’s Total Request Live. Four of the bands most popular songs – Seize The Day, Bat Country, Beast And The Harlot and Burn It Down, were released as singles between June 2005 and 2006.

If there is one thing that Avenged Sevenfold truly have excelled at over the years it’s their story telling. The stories this band tell through their music is just amazing. The tone for the album is set right from the first few notes of Beast And The Harlot, in the fact that it’s taking a more melodic route than previous releases – (2001’s Sounding The Seventh Trumpet and 2003’s Waking The Fallen) which both had a more Metalcore approach, whereas City of Evil is more of the classic heavy metal and heavy rock sounds. To a point that Matt worked on his vocals for this particular album with legendary vocal coach Ron Anderson, who worked with most notably Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses) and Chris Cornell (Soundgarden.) In a quote from Shadows he states

“Ron taught me how to have that grit to my voice while still having the tone. He brought all of that to the table and he brought that technique to my voice. I’ve worked with him for about a year and a half now, but I worked with him for nine months before the record, I told him that I want my voice to sound different from everybody else, but I wanted those characteristics in my voice…It was one of those things that we just wanted to go all the way with it.”

After the release of the album rumours spread that Shadows had lost his ability to scream due to throat surgery he had needed after Warped Tour 2003 (I for one can vouch that he hasn’t having seen him perform twice! amazingly I might add!). Producer Andrew Murdock put down these rumours by saying

“When I met the band after Sounding the Seventh Trumpet…Matt handed me the CD, and he said to me, ‘This record’s screaming. The record we want to make…is going to be half-screaming and half-singing. I don’t want to scream anymore…the record after that is going to be all singing.'”

The route the album took, with the more heavy metal and heavy rock approach is what the band decided on for all their future releases Avenged Sevenfold (2007), Nightmare (2010) and Hail To The King (2013).

In fact what we get is an absolutely amazing album – It’s an album with 4 of my personal favourite A7X songs on too! (Beast and The Harlot, Bat Country, Trashed and Scattered and my all time favourite… Seize The Day)– As someone who got into this band through a friend in 2008, while I was still finding my way and deciding for myself what sort of music I liked, this band for me just made it click, and I put it down to the four songs I mentioned earlier. Just listening to some of the stuff the guys made their instruments do just astonished me. The drumming Speed of The Rev was just incredible, a task which (current drummer) Arin Ilejay is now trying his absolute best to replicate and to do justice in his own way. Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance just totally knock it out of the park with some of the guitar riffs and solo’s, while Johnny Christ holds his own with some really catchy bass lines. 

Part of me is sad that I never got to experience the hype of this album when it was being released or in full flow, but I’m so grateful that I got to hear it in full and absolutely fall in love with some of the songs, and be able to relate to some.

Thank You Avenged Sevenfold for leaving such a great legacy with this album 10 years on! and I look forward to the release of the new album (currently tentatively pencilled in for a 2016 release)

 

 

 

 

Make A Scene Festival Announce Headline Act

In an official announcement today. Representatives from Make A Scene Festival have announced that this years headline act will be…. DON BROCO!

In an official press release, representatives from the festival said the following:

We are thrilled to announce that DON BROCO will headline this year’s Make A Scene Festival, which will take place at The Venue in Middlesbrough on Saturday 15th August 2015.

Regarded as one of the best live bands in the country, Don Broco have already headlined this year’s famed Kerrang! Tour and have produced many memorable performances at illustrious Festivals such as Reading, Leeds, Download and Slam Dunk. They also supported You Me at Six on their sold out UK shows in 2014.

More announcements are due in the coming weeks.

The band will be releasing their new record ‘Automatic’ on 8th August.

We will of course keep you posted when we have any further news on the rest of the line up.

Alien Ant Farm stream first full length album in 9 years

Californian rockers Alien Ant Farm have uploaded their entire new album “Always & Forever” on YouTube before it’s official release on February 24th. The band got together a PledgeMusic project to fund the album and at this point have reached 159% of their original target with 1617 pledgers. We spoke about the rise in this concept with Deadly Circus Fire last summer in our interview with them, talking about the rise in fan funded projects and the help it gives the musicians and cutting out the ‘middle man’ of the record label. This year marks the 9th year since the last AAF full length release and the band will be hitting the UK roads again in May with P.O.D and Hoobastank to support the album.

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The YouTube stream takes advantage of YouTube’s annotation feature and you can virtually click buttons to select tracks and visit outside links such as the album on iTunes. It seems this may arguably be the way forward for bands and the record industry. With more bands streaming songs and entire albums before the official release in good faith that they will gain fans of the work that will then purchase it on release.

We are looking forward to seeing Alien Ant Farm hit these shores with their live shows in May, check out the poster for the confirmed dates.

The entire album can be streamed below;

Our interview with discussion about fan funded projects is below;

Avenged Sevenfold to re-release ‘Waking The Fallen’ as special edition

The eagerly anticipated release of ‘Waking The Fallen: Resurrected’ is just around the corner, and I for one am hugely excited about this.
That’s right, Avenged Sevenfold have announced that they will be re-releasing their fan-favourite, genre defining, breakthrough album Waking The Fallen on August 25th 2014. It’s not just simply a re-release though. There will be 11 never before heard tracks too bringing the total to 23. The album will also feature new artwork, the original, first cut of the music video for ‘Unholy Confessions’ and a 30 minute film featuring the present day band. This is a must own album for any A7X fan.
The 30 minute documentary features brand new, never before seen interviews from the band looking back on the lead up, demoing, recording and touring the album. It also includes personal behind the scenes home movies and photos from the band’s early days.
You can pre-order the album now, including special packages and items, including a deluxe version of the CD including a further two bonus tracks, limited edition 4 disc vinyl LP box sex with exclusive 7-inch, Deathbat T-Shirts and more. You can check all the packages, view the album trailer and order the album at www.hopelessrecords.com/resurrected.

Waking The Fallen: Resurrected Track Listing
CD 1:
1. Waking The Fallen
2. Unholy Confessions
3. Chapter Four
4. Remenissions
5. Desecrate Through Reverence
6. Eternal Rest
7. Second Heartbeat
8. Radiant Eclipse
9. I Won’t See You Tonight Part 1
10. I Won’t See You Tonight Part 2
11. Clairvoyant Disease
12. And All Things Will End
CD 2:
1. Waking The Fallen: Resurrected
2. Second Heartbeat (Alternate Version)
3. Chapter Four (Demo)
4. Remenissions (Demo)
5. I Won’t See You Tonight Part 1 (Demo)
6. I Won’t See You Tonight Part 2 (Demo)
7. Intro/Chapter Four (Live In Ventura)
8 Desecrate Through Reverence (Live In Pomona)
9. Eternal Rest (Live In Pomona)
10. Unholy Confessions (Live In Ventura)
11. Second Heartbeat (Live In Ventura)
12. I Won’t See You Tonight Pt. 1 (Live In Ventura)*
13. I Won’t See You Tonight Pt. 2 (Live In Ventura)*