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Thursday, December 07, 2006

The BLACK SABBATH DIO-era box set gets a US release on 2nd April in the US via Rhino.

Megadeth's new DVD entitled THAT ONE NIGHT: LIVE IN BUENOS AIRES is due out March 6th.

The Cure front man Robert Smith has earmarked May 2007 for the release of the bands 14th studio album. The group make their live return in March and the band had hoped to release the follow up to 2004’s self titled album around the same time. However, despite 30 years in the business, Robert Smith is suffering from writers block.
Smith explained to Billboard:
"I want them (the words) to mean something, it's not enough that they rhyme. I find myself stopping short and thinking I've done this before, and better.
I've given myself a deadline to finish the words before Christmas. If I don't I should be shot," he said. The new album is shaping up to be a mix of mournful songs alongside more energetic and upbeat cuts.”

The BEATLES debut at no.4 in the US album charts last week. Other rock acts debuts include U2 at no.18, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE at no.32, TOM WAITS at no.74 and OASIS at no.89.
This week INCUBUS debut at no.1, the BEATLES drop down to no.5 and the ROCKSTAR SUPERNOVA album disappears without a trace…

Drummer Mike Terrana has left RAGE to join MASTERPLAN.


One of Britain’s best-loved bands, ORANGE GOBLIN are going to make 2007 their year.
Last month saw the band sign on the dotted line with Sanctuary Records – in London’s notorious Crobar, natch! – and they celebrate their new recording contract by playing an end-of-year show at The Mean Fiddler in December.
Following European dates early in the new year, the band will return to the studio in March to put the finishing touches to the new album – provisionally-titled Thee Plague Of London, due for release in May 2007 - and will play a full UK tour in May before performing at a number of European festivals throughout the summer of 2007.

Sequel is proud to announce that they have recently signed with Texas based Perris Records. Their new CD, entitled BACK, is scheduled for release in January of 2007 and will enjoy a worldwide release and distribution.
BACK, the third full-length album from Sequel, is hard rockin' and radio-friendly. Packed with melody and guitars, the CD showcases the shared lead vocals of bassist Todd Jensen (David Lee Roth, Alice Cooper, Steve Perry, Paul Rodgers, Neal Schon, Hardline) and guitarist/songwriter Greg Georgeson (Tommy TuTone). Additional original members include David Wall (guitar) and Grant Roholt (drums).
Perris Signs Sweden's Own Blind Alley; DESTINATION DESTINY For 2007 Worldwide Release!
Blind Alley had managed to gather the best pieces from the melodic field and also some of the best written songs to come out of Sweden in a long time. Some of you might be familiar with these boys from before, they have released one album in 2003 called INFINITY ENDS. DESTINATION DESTINY is for fans of Giant, Journey and Survivor.



There are many bands which I consider to be amongst my personal favourites and which, having established their personal style/sound, choose to follow the "safe" option by producing albums of a similar musical approach - the names are numerous and not important to be mentioned in this review. What is important is to recognise the artistic value of bands like Therion who, with every new release, manage to re-invent themselves, whilst still retaining the interest of their loyal supporters.

Three years ago, Christofer Johnsson and Co released their operatic/symphonic masterpiece "Lemuria/Serius B" - a double release that was featured in my list of the best albums of 2004. Since then quite a few changes have taken place, both in terms of line up and musical arrangements, but one thing certainly remained the same - Therion's ability to create outstanding music, the latest representation of which is the double CD "Gothic Kabbalah".

I have to admit that my introduction to this album left me with quite a few questions. My original impression was that the band's latest compositions were stripped of the majestic operatic parts that had a predominant role in previous albums, to the point that Therion now sounded more like a Power Metal band than the powerful symphonic metal outfit that we all know and love. Do I still support this argument, having had the time to listen to and analyse the music of "Gothic Kabbalah" more carefully?

Well, "Gothic Kabbalah" may indeed find Therion sounding more heavy and straight-forward than in their previous efforts, but at the same time, it contains compositions such as "T.O.F - The Trinity", whose musical complexity can only classify them as operatic progressive power metal anthems. There is a great change/improvement in the vocal section, with Mats Leven sounding much more involved in the compositions and up to his game, thus giving extra colour and character to songs like "The Perennial Sophia", accompanied by the double female contribution of Katarina Lilja and Hannah Holgersson, recording some of the best female vocals to date. Having given up his vocal contributions completely, guitar wizard Christofer Johnsson was more free to invest in his heavy riffs and beautifully arranged guitar melodies, which make songs like the same-titled "Gothic Kabbalah", the epic "Son of the Staves of Time", the folky-sounding "Trul" and the low-tuned atmospheric masterpiece "Close Up the Streams" sound totally irresistible. Closer to the spirit of classic Therion, the dark/atmospheric sounding jewels "Three Treasures", "The Wand of Abaris" and “Adulruna Redivivia” should receive your utmost attention, just as "Tuna 1613" which once again proves Christofer's love and appreciation of the almighty Scorpions.

I never claimed that I have listened to everything that this band has to offer, yet I have to admit that Therion took me totally by surprise with this wonderful release. “Gothic Kabbalah” is the kind of album that will give you more with every new spin, and as such, will quite deservedly impose its presence in your CD collection. Less than a month before the arrival of the new year, Christofer Johnsson and Co are presenting us with "Gothic Kabbalah" - an album that will without doubt dominate the playlists of many music journalists. Cannot wait to get my hands on it!

John Stefanis
Rating: *****


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