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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Roadrunner Records reports that Machine Head are currently ensconced inside Sharkbite Studios, in Oakland, California, for the recording of their sixth studio album, The Blackening , which will be released worldwide in spring 2007. Regarding the long awaited follow-up to 2004's critically acclaimed Through the Ashes of Empires , vocalist and guitarist Robb Flynn states: "This is the most ambitious thing we have ever attempted. We all challenged ourselves and each other to write a record that pushed the boundaries of complexity and technical structure. The nature of what is happening in the world led to a darker, bleaker album in every sense."

Staind are to release a greatest hits CD & DVD package entitled 'The Singles 1996 - 2006' on November 14th. The 16-track album will feature such #1 rock radio smashes as 'It's Been Awhile,' 'For You,' 'So Far Away,' and 'Right Here.' In addition, it will include never-before released live acoustic cover versions of Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb,' Alice in Chains' 'Nutshell,' and Tool's 'Sober,' plus a live acoustic version of 'Everything Changes.' The version of 'Outside' appearing on the album will be the version that originally appeared on the FAMILY VALUES TOUR 1999 album with Fred Durst. Also hitting retail shelves on November 14th is the corresponding DVD 'The Videos' which will include a complete collection of the band’s music videos plus two bonus videos recorded live.

Newswire member Mike Vod's new radio show THE WRATH OF VOD. Playing hard rock and metal tunes it is on every Thu from 8pm-10pm at http://www.kwtfworldwide.com NOTE - this week it will be on 10 pm-midnight Eastern time.

Type O Negative are to call their new album 'Dead Again'. Expect a release through SPV early 2007.

The life of FREDDIE MERCURY is planned to be made into a film and the members of QUEEN are expected to be involved according to Total Rock. Also planned is a movie version of MOTLEY CRUE’s ‘The Dirt’ and Christopher Walken is rumoured to make an appearance as Ozzy Osbourne!

Monsters of Rock is expected back next summer and rumoured bands set to appear include WHITESNAKE, AC/DC and even VAN HALEN! THUNDER are bound to be involved in some shape of form as they own the rights to the MOR name and logo.

SHERYL CROW has a new song called Try Not To Remember that appears in the credits for the movie Home Of The Brave, starring 50 Cent and Samuel L Jackson.

Ex-Pantera/Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul has a new band called Hell Yeah. Completed by Mudvayne vocalist Chad Grey and guitarist Greg Tribbett, Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell and Danzig bassist Jerry Montano, the group are working on their debut album.

The Pink Fairies are back together. Guitarist Larry Wallis (ex-MOTORHEAD), bassist Duncan Sanderson and drummer Russell Hunter can be seen again at London’s newly renovated Roundhouse on January 22.

Great new interview with RICHIE ZITO over at www.melodicrock.com

APRIL WINE release their new album, ‘Roughly Speaking’ next week.

GIG NEWS

The second edition of the British Steel Festival will take place at Milton Keynes The Pitz on April 28th 2007. Bands so far confirmed to be playing the show include Chariot, Elixir, Jaguar, Cloven Hoof & Attacker. Further details can be found via the Festival's website at www.britishsteelfestival.com

AXEL RUDI PELL
Feb 8th Mean Fiddler, London

REVIEWS

AFTER THE FIRE
AT2F
Angel Air SJPCD218

Recorded in 1982, this was to be the band’s 4th album in 4 years for CBS, but sadly it was never released, until now. The album appears as it was originally intended, with some bonus tracks, including some demos by band pianist and songwriter Peter Banks.
The music is new wave pop/rock of the polished variety. Opener “Young Love” kicks off with a touch of 50s rock’n’roll (the kind that might be found in a 70s stage show) mixed with AOR. Young love is like a battery, apparently!
“Step By Step” is more new wave, and “Don’t Say Goodbye” is slow, strong with intricate keyboards. There’s an element of the Police to “Who Do You Think You?”.
Highlight of the album is the instrumental “1984-F”, the opening chords reminiscent of Keith Emerson’s take on “Nutrocker Suite”. Uptempo and thoroughly enjoyable.
The album is good, polished, but not consistent with few outstanding highlights.
Well packaged with extensive notes and band photos do make for a good package that will please fans.

2.5/5
Joe Geesin

DEADLINE
Take A Good Look
People Like You Records PRISON126-2

Fourth album from this punk rock band. Well, it’s more hardcore pop cum punk metal, with Liz Rose’s vocals warm yet very energetic.
From melodic punk pop to twin guitar blistering metal solos, it’s approachable, catchy, energetic and fun. From Girlschool to a tuneful Wendy O’Williams, there’s a range of influences. “Do You Think” kicks off verging on thrash with melodic female metal vocals.
From pop to metal, all with touches of punk, hardcore and rock’n’roll (and none of that watered down Smash Hits Green Day cack), you’ll love this album.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

Michael HARRIS
Orchestrate
Lion Music LMC191

Neo-classical metal virtuoso guitarist Harris releases his 6th solo album, basically playing all bar the drums himself, with strings and orchestration provided care of his Yamaha Motif ES synth.
If you take the orchestral influence or angle of many European virtuoso metal guitarists and distil it, make it more neo classical, that’s what you have here. From Malmsteen to Rhapsody in a purer classical form, but still metal.
“The Mad Composer’s Rage” is a apt title and is mad, fiery, captivating, with metal guitar mixing with strings. Very demented and equally enjoyable.
There’s some fantastic work here, and the highlights stand out greatly, but as a whole instrumental album some might find it hard going. As long as you know what you’re getting and you like this kind of thing it’s excellent.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

BOOK OF REFLECTIONS
Chapter II: Unfold The Future
Lion Music LMC 190

This Lars Eric Mattsson (singer, songwriter, guitarist, bassist and pianist) team up with drummer Eddie Sledgehammer (great name!) and a team of guest vocalists / musicians for a decent metal album.
Opener “Unfold The Future” is hard power metal, while “Bringer Of The Torch” is more intricate, almost melodic prog metal.
The vocals are strong, and some of the guitar solos amazing, it’s a good metal album throughout. Touches of acoustic and AOR in places, but basically, at its extremes, progressive power metal and well worth a listen.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

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