Dubai-based multinational metal band Svengali have announced their stunning new album ‘Sayonara‘, set for release on 20th March 2020.

To celebrate the announcement, they have released new single ‘Freight Train‘. A crushing barrage of riffs with a powerful chorus.

Featuring members from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and India, the quartet bring together diverse and unique influences – both in music and in life – to create one of the most ferocious and emotively entrancing metal albums of 2020.

The band comment: “This album is a representation of the last five years of our lives – which spans from being homeless and living in a car in one of the most expensive cities in the world, to building our own studio and recording the album independently.
The first single ‘Freight Train’ talks about just that. Pushing forward, regardless of the struggle and coming out on top with those who stuck around.

With one EP and one full-length under their belts, and having played countless shows in the Middle East, Svengali have grown into one of the hottest prospects from the region. Their debut album ‘Theory Of Mind’ reached number #2 in the UAE Virgin Megastore Charts and they are the only metal band who have been nominated in the huge Dubaian Ahlan Awards ‘Best Live Act’ category. Shows with the likes Sepultura, Jinjer, Kreator, Arch Enemy and Septic Flesh across Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, UAE and Dubai have proven that they can compete with the best in the business, and they’re now ready to take their sound to the global stage with new album ‘Sayonara‘.

Featuring nine tracks of crushing riffs and headbanging grooves, ‘Sayonara‘ wastes no time in pummelling the listener, but it’s also not short on dynamism and melody. From the instant violence of opener ‘Alcatraz’ through to the heartfelt ‘Labyrinth’, Svengali’s wide range of influences are clearly apparent, but come together in a unified sound that is distinctly their own.

Inspired by a story of control with a sinister intent, their name Svengali is an indication of their lyrical topics of interest and they go deep on ‘Sayonara‘. Exploring the state of mind during an addiction relapse, uniting and fighting against oppression, losing identity, overcoming obstacles and more, Svengali’s thoughts have huge relevance in today’s world, and their multinational Middle Eastern take makes it all the more fascinating.

Recorded and produced in-house, ‘Sayonara‘ paints a stark picture of Svengali’s journey and a band and individuals up until now, and promises to pave their way to becoming one of the most important global metal bands in 2020.

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Greek hard rock, stoner, sludge quartet Puta Volcano have announced their eagerly-awaited third LP, ‘Amma‘, due 13th March via The Orchard.

The band have also streamed their storming first single, ‘Primitive Data‘.

Pre-order on limited Gold/Black Vinyl, CD and limited T-shirt bundles: https://putavolcano.bandcamp.com/
Pre-save on Spotify and all digital platforms: https://orcd.co/putavolcano_amma

Puta Volcano are building up their legacy and fanbase, one gig, one album, one song at the time. An already-acknowledged cog in the Greek heavy rock scene, the band formed in 2012, releasing their debut EP Represent Victory Below Eye. Puta Volcano’s debut full-length The Sun (2015) was recognized as a fresh and inspiring offering, and soon after the band started gigging regularly, including 2015’s Rockwave Festival in Athens, alongside The Black Keys and 1000mods.

In 2017 Puta Volcano released their celebrated ‘Harmony Of Spheres‘ LP, a heady mixture of Seattle grunge, stoner and Southern rock, all with a South-Eastern European twist. The year that the quartet truly kicked on, Harmony Of Spheres was toured across the EU, at Desertfest Athens, and led to Puta Volcano supporting Alice In Chains and Fu Manchu at Release Athens Fest last year.

Now we look to 2020, with the forthcoming ‘Amma‘ LP – a highly enterprising and unusual release, full of heft and verve. Elements of Alice In Chains, Melvins, Hole, even A Perfect Circle, Kylesa and Baroness combine to create a tantalising listen, showcasing a young band really hitting their stride.

Line-up: 
Anna (Lead Singer)
Alex Pi (Guitar)
Steven Stefanidis (Drums)
Bookies (Drums, Backing Vocals)

Track-listing:

1 Re-Entry
2 Entropica
3 Venus Lullaby
4 First Light
5 Black Box
6 Sugar Cube
7 Echoing Icons
8 Primitive Data
9 Apnea
10 Torus
11 Space Blanket
12 Kassandra’s Gift

Freddy Villano (American Mafia /Dambusters / Quiet Riot ) has a new band, Red56, who have released a new album via Bandcamp, ‘Eminence Funk‘.

Line up:

Danielle Gorre – lead vocals
Freddy Villano – bass

Musicians
Nate Horton – drums & percussion
Harris G. Thor – guitar & lap steel
Lonnie Park – keyboards
Buford O’Sullivan – trombone & trumpet on “It’s All Right”
Robert Hunter – congas on “Salvation”
Randy Pratt – blues harp on “Funky Attitude”
Paula Murray Cole – melodica on “Right On Time”
Jay Davidson – saxophone(s) on “Eminence Funk”

Backing Vocals
Lonnie Park on “It’s All Right”
Danielle Gorre on “Funky Attitude”
Freddy Villano on “Look Beyond the Color”
Michael Starmer, Freddy Villano & Ted Walsh on “Right On Time,” “Just a Little Secret” & “Eminence Fun

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Serious Black release their new album ‘Suite 226‘ on 31st January, out on AFM Records.

The band have released their second single & lyric video for ‘Let Me Go‘, taken from upcoming album ‘Suite 226‘.

After 18 months, Serious Black are back with a bang with their killer new album ‘Suite 226‘. They used their well-deserved time-out to design new concepts, to work on fresh material and also to build their own studio. Bassist Mario proudly announces: “The waiting comes to an end, we are fresh and rested. Above all, we are hungry to return to the stage.

After guitarist Roland Grapow and bassist Mario Lochert hatched the idea of founding a Melodic Metal band in 2013, it was only a matter of time before these thoroughbred musicians, who earned their stripes in bands like FIREWIND, RHAPSODY, TAD MOROSE, EDENBRIDGE, VISION OF ATLANTIS and DREAMSCAPE, established the band in the Melodic Metal scene. In 2015 Serious Black released their debut album ‘As Daylight Breaks‘, gaining a chart entry, and completing their first headliner tour one year later. The fan base was growing steadily, followed by three successful albums, including live recordings and the unplugged version ‘First Light‘ in 2017.

In 2020, the German-American band proudly present their highly anticipated fourth studio album ‘Suite 226‘ that’s guaranteed to stir the Power Metal community’s blood. Unlike ‘Mirrorworld‘ and ‘Magic‘, which are more in a hard rock style, ‘Suite 226‘ features more driving guitars, catchy hooks and finest riffing as showcased in ‘As Daylight Breaks‘.

After concept album ‘Magic‘, ‘Suite 226‘ tells a complete narrative of a mentally confused man who is torn between his own dreamworld, reality and evil. The protagonist has been held captive for many years in the dismal, cold padded cell number 226, the inhuman condition of the rotten psychiatrydriving him insane. In his imagination he is the mighty king who lives in his feudal castle surrounded by courtesans, good food and wine and commands an invincible army. Staggering between illusion and reality, he continues to be drawn into the maelstrom of madness, his life becomes a ride through purgatory accompanied by demons, anxiety attacks and paranoia.

Serious Black‘s ‘Suite 226‘ is the perfect soundtrack for this trip to the place of damnation. Ruthless riffs meets catchy melodies, driven by a manic rhythm section, Urban Breed’s unleashed vocals add the necessary amount of insanity

Pre-order here: https://fanlink.to/Suite226

Line up:

Urban breed (Vocals)

Dominik Sebastian (Guitar)

Mario Lochert (Bass)

Ramy Ali (Drums)

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Being already possibly the first Russian metal band to ever succesfully tour the UK as headliners,  IMPERIAL AGE have announced dates of their second – and bigger – UK tour in April 2020, kicking off at The Dome in London.

Prior to working on the highly anticipated follow up to 2018‘s ’The Legacy Of Atlantis‘ you can catch them here:

April 2020

16th            LONDON – The Dome
17th            BIRMINGHAM – Asylum
18th            MANCHESTER – Rebellion
19th            GLASGOW – Ivory Blacks

Watch out for special news concerning support bands soon

Tickets: http://www.imperial-age.com/tour

Check out the epic video for the title track from their ’The Legacy Of Atlantis‘.

Founded in Moscow by singers/songwriters Alexander “Aor” Osipov and Jane “Corn” Odintsova in 2012, IMPERIAL AGE has become Russia‘s most famous symphonic metal band and the country‘s second most-internationally-touring rock act, achieving acclaim from fans, press and even the founder of symphonic metal – Christofer Johnsson (Therion) – himself.

Between 2016 – 2019 the band toured Europe 4 times, with a total of 103 concerts (out of those 38 as headliners).

Musically, IMPERIAL AGE combine heavy metal with a symphony orchestra, folk instruments, 3 lead singers (1 male and 2 female) and a full choir.

Lyrically, the band deals with the idea of ancient prehistoric advanced civilizations (Atlantis, Hyperborea, Lemuria) and their legacy in the form of the Western Magical Tradition (Hermetism, Kabbalah etc.) carried through history by secret societies and magical orders (Orphism, Templars, Rosenkreuz, Freemasons, Golden Dawn etc).

As of 2019, IMPERIAL AGE have self released 2 studio albums and 1 EP

The records feature multiple collaborations with musicians from DIMMU BORGIR, RHAPSODY OF FIRE, THERION, ARKONA and the Moscow Conservatory Chamber Choir. All artwork by Jan Yrlund (MANOWAR). Mixing and mastering by Sergei Lazar (ARKONA).

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Review: Jesse Damon – Damon’s Rage

AOR Heaven (28 February 2020)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Jesse Damon returns with solo album number six ‘Damon’s Rage‘. I’ll admit I’ve been a bit of a fan since first discovering Silent Rage (Jesse was vocalist & lead guitar) back in the late 80’s. Since those heady days I’ve followed his career with interest, enjoying the Silent Rage albums as well as Jesse’s previous five solo releases.

I guess I knew what to expect when it came to ‘Damon’s Rage‘ and fellow fans certainly won’t be disappointed as there is that distinct Jesse sound.

Together with long time musical partner Paul Sabu, Jesse has once again delivered a hard rock album that delves into AOR and melodic rock, all with a modern approach.

As to be expected the songwriting is above parr, with each song flowing seamlessly as the album progresses.

No chance of being short changed neither with the album containing twelve songs, all of which are over four minutes each.

Favorite tracks, ‘Damon’s Rage‘, ‘Flyin Dutchman‘ & ‘Lonely Night

Well worth adding to the collection and not just to complete your Jesse Damon catalogue!

Godsticks open 2020 with their new and most accomplished studio album, ‘Inescapable‘. Their mix of heavy rock, progressive and alternative metal with a dynamic range of angular riffs and emotional depth will leave listeners reeling. The band’s sound has refined over their releases on Kscope, beginning with the technically astounding metal on ‘Emergence‘ to the more industrial and progressive-influenced ‘Faced With Rage‘. Now, with ‘Inescapable‘, the band have channelled their energy and technical ability into the melody, phrasing and vocal performance, allowing emotion to take centre stage.

The band found themselves wanting a definitive theme running through ‘Inescapable, without turning it into a concept album, of being more open, more personal and ultimately one that shines an inquisitive light on Charles’sstruggle with inner demons which gave the songs a new level of intimacy.

“Lyrically, I’ve always shared personal thoughts, feelings and experiences but in a very ambiguous way. For ‘Inescapable’ – in a conscious effort not to repeat ourselves – I thought I’d be a little more self-reflective and perhaps examine some of my inner demons. I have a strange relationship with music, and especially playing guitar. I would struggle to survive without either, but equally they have made my life mentally torturous because my own self-worth is completely wrapped up in them. I used to be very much a perfectionist in my early years, and whilst some people may wear that as a badge of honour, I eventually viewed it as huge heavy weight dragging down. It was a long time before I arrived at the realisation that perfection was impossible to achieve.” elaborates Darran Charles. 

Perfectly highlighting the album’s leitmotif, the band reveal their first single ‘Denigrate‘, “the writing of this song was a sort of analysis of my ongoing battle with perfectionism and the general feeling that nothing you do ever meets the impossibly high standards you set for yourself”. The song features additional vocals from TesseracT’s gifted vocalist Daniel Tompkins to record vocal harmonies, adding an extra layer of aggression and energy.

The shoot for the quirky video, directed by George Laycock (Blacktide Audio/Visual) proved to be a memorable day for the band as Godsticks drummer Tom Price recalls “Everyone in the band was so excited about the concept, but when we arrived on set and saw a large table full of cakes, sweets, chocolate, sugar, sprinkles, honey and all manners of confectionary, the magnitude of what we had all let ourselves in for finally dawned on us! By the end of the shoot we were completely covered in everything – it was like ‘The Great British Bake Off’ meets ‘Apocalypse Now’! It was so much fun to make, but despite several spins in the washing machine I still can‘t get that sweet sickly smell out of my jeans!” Charles chimes in “It wasn’t fun, it was horrible!”

Inescapable‘ was produced by James Loughrey (Skindred) and recorded at the famed heritage Monnow Valley studio.

Godsticks are supporting the new material beginning in April with a UK tour followed by summer festivals

2/4/2020 – Cardiff – Fuel Rock Club

3/4/2020 – London – Black Heart

4/4/2020 – Manchester – Gullivers

5/4/2020 – Edinburgh – Opium

Tickets available https://www.facebook.com/godsticks/

Inescapable‘ will be released on CD, LP & digitally. (“Denigrate is available as an instant download on digital pre-orders) on 7th February through Kscope and is available to Pre-order  HERE 

Tracklisting:

  1. Denigrate [03:53]
  2. Victim [06:14]
  3. Relief [05:40]
  4. Surrender [04:44]
  5. Numb [05:08]
  6. Change [09:31]
  7. Breathe [05:17]
  8. Time [05:48]
  9. Resist [04:36]

Line up:

Darran Charles: Vocals, guitars, keys, synths

Dan Nelson: Bass

Gavin Bushell: Guitars

Tom Price: Drums

Backing vocals on ‘Denigrate’ – Daniel Tompkins

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Following on from the highly successful ‘BLUES’ album, Chess/UMC are proud to be releasing ‘Check Shirt Wizard- Live In ‘77’.

The album is available to pre-order from https://RoryGallagher.lnk.to/CSW.

This 20-song, previously unreleased, set is culled from four shows (London, Brighton, Sheffield and Newcastle) during an early 1977 tour across the UK in support of Rory’s then latest album ‘Calling Card‘. Featuring fantastic live versions of tracks from that album as well as songs from the 1975 ‘Against The Grain‘ album and other live favourites.

This new album has been mixed from the original multi track tapes from the Rory archive, which were recorded by the Rolling Stones and Jethro Tull’s mobile studios and mastered at Abbey Road.

Rory Gallagher’s most popular albums have always been his live ones, such as ‘Live! In Europe’, ‘Irish Tour ’74’ and ‘Stage Struck‘. He was an artist that came alive when onstage and this album covers a previously undocumented live period. “The whole concert was taped on the Jethro Tull Maison Rouge mobile by the way, and from where I was standing that concert on record would surpass the classic ‘Live in Europe‘ album. And that’s saying a lot.” Brian Harrigan Melody Maker – 1977, Hammersmith Odeon, London.

The cover painting is by a young Irish graffiti artist Vincent Zara who has stencilled Rory’s image across his home country.

 If ever there was a “musician’s musician” then that accolade surely belongs to Rory Gallagher. Renowned for his blistering live performances and highly respected for his dedication to his craft, he died in 1995, aged just 47, yet his reputation has continued to flourish in the years since. Indeed, some of rock’s most seminal figures, from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton, Queen’s Brian May to The Smiths’ Johnny Marr, have cited him as an influence. Rory remains a touchstone for all would-be guitar heroes in the 21st Century.

2 CD / Digital

1. Do You Read Me (Live From The Brighton Dome, 21st January 1977)
2. Moonchild (Live From The Brighton Dome, 21st January 1977)
3. Bought And Sold (Live From Sheffield City Hall, 17th February 1977)
4. Calling Card (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, 18th January 1977)
5. Secret Agent (Live From Sheffield City Hall, 17th February 1977)
6. Tattoo’d Lady (Live From The Brighton Dome, 21st January 1977)
7. A Million Miles Away (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, 18th January 1977)
8. I Take What I Want (Live From Sheffield City Hall, 17th February 1977)
9. Walk On Hot Coals (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, 18th January 1977)
10. Out On The Western Plain (Live From Sheffield City Hall, 17th February 1977)
11. Barley & Grape Rag (Live From Sheffield City Hall, 17th February 1977)
12. Pistol Slapper Blues (Live From Sheffield City Hall, 17th February 1977)
13. Too Much Alcohol (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, 18th January 1977)
14. Going To My Hometown (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, 18th January 1977)
15. Edged In Blue (Live At Newcastle City Hall, 18th February 1977)
16. Jack-Knife Beat (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, 18th January 1977)
17. Souped-Up Ford (Live From The Brighton Dome, 21st January 1977)
18. Bullfrog Blues (Live From The Brighton Dome, 21st January 1977)
19. Used To Be (Live At Newcastle City Hall, 18th February 1977)
20. Country Mile (Live At Newcastle City Hall, 18th February 1977)

3 LP / 180gram Black Vinyl

SIDE A

  1. Do You Read Me (Live From The Brighton Dome, 21st January 1977)
    2. Moonchild (Live From The Brighton Dome, 21st January 1977)
    3. Bought And Sold (Live From Sheffield City Hall, 17th February 1977)

SIDE B
4. Calling Card
(Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, 18th January 1977)
5. Secret Agent (Live From Sheffield City Hall, 17th February 1977)
6. Tattoo’d Lady (Live From The Brighton Dome, 21st January 1977)

SIDE C
7. A Million Miles Away
(Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, 18th January 1977)
8. I Take What I Want (Live From Sheffield City Hall, 17th February 1977)
9. Walk On Hot Coals (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, 18th January 1977)

SIDE D
10. Out On The Western Plain
(Live From Sheffield City Hall, 17th February 1977)
11. Barley & Grape Rag (Live From Sheffield City Hall, 17th February 1977)
12. Pistol Slapper Blues (Live From Sheffield City Hall, 17th February 1977)
13. Too Much Alcohol (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, 18th January 1977)
14. Going To My Hometown (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, 18th January 1977)

SIDE E
15. Edged In Blue
(Live At Newcastle City Hall, 18th February 1977)
16. Jack-Knife Beat (Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, 18th January 1977)
17. Souped-Up Ford (Live From The Brighton Dome, 21st January 1977)

SIDE F
18. Bullfrog Blues
(Live From The Brighton Dome, 21st January 1977)
19. Used To Be (Live At Newcastle City Hall, 18th February 1977)
20. Country Mile (Live At Newcastle City Hall, 18th February 1977)