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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ted Nugent, Boston, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon and Cinderella are all featured on the compilation 'Mullets Rock! Too: Mullets In Love!' This is released in March. Also included are songs from Kansas, Nazareth, Eddie MOney, Bonnie Tyler, Night Ranger, Ace Frehley, Jefferson Starship, Foghat, Aldo Nova, J Geils Band and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.

Snow Patrol had the biggest selling album in the UK last year with their fourth album called Eyes Open. Released in May 2006, the record entered the UK album charts at number one and has sold over 1 million copies. The album has so far spawned three top 20 hit singles with You're All I Have, Set The Fire To The Third Bar, and Chasing Cars, which was also a top 10 hit in America. Other big selling albums of 2006 were the debut albums by The Kooks (Inside In/Inside Out) and Arctic Monkeys (Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not). The Killers (Sam’s Town) and Scissor Sisters (Ta-Dah) were the biggest selling albums by non-UK artists.

From January 1 2007 the UK singles charts are to be changed to include all digital downloads.
The set up of the currant charts allows for digital downloads to be counted but only if there is a physical CD or vinyl release of the same track. However, from the start of the year, all downloaded tracks will be counted.
Possible effects of the new rules could well see albums tracks enter the singles charts even though they were not officially released as singles. Furthermore, chart experts believe that the new rules could favour old songs are featured in adverts or films.
In the UK singles charts this week IRON MAIDEN debuted at no.3, whilst DAVE GILMOUR came in at no.17 with a re-working of ‘Arnold Layne’ as a tribute to Syd Barrett who died last year.

THE POLICE may reform this year to co-inside with the band’s 30th anniversary.

RAGE have announced the addition of drummer André Hilgers (AXXIS, SILENT FORCE) to the group's ranks.

PRESS RELEASE

THE POODLES, the band around some of Sweden’s most experienced metal musicians, will release their album “Metal Will Stand Tall” on January 19, 2007. The musicians worked in different contexts with international celebrities like Motörhead, Whitesnake, Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy and Swedish colleagues like Europe and Candlemass. “Metal Will Stand Tall” was already released in Sweden and Finland in May 2006 and has already topped the Swedish sales charts. Until now the record already reached gold status in their home country. “Metal Will Stand Tall” will be released through AFM Records in all the other European countries and from January 18, the band will go on tour with HammerFall and Krokus to bring their metal also to your town!

MASTERPLAN are working with new singer Mike DiMeo and drum god Mike Terrana on the material for their next album. The release date for this is scheduled for the end of February 2007. But, on January 26, the new Masterplan line-up will debut with the new EP “Lost And Gone” and hence prove that the band kicks ass more than ever. From February 2007, Masterplan will then be out on tour with Saxon and Rose Tattoo showing that their pedigree live and in the studio is definitely no fluke.

On January 26, NOSTRADAMEUS will finally release their new album. The album is called “Pathway” and it will be their 5th release for AFM Records. The CD will feature the following tracks: 01. Welcome To Living 02. Wall Of Anger 03. Until The End 04. Demon Voices 05. MDCC pt. I 06. MDCC pt. II 07. I.R.P. 08. No Trace Of Madness 09. Not Only Women Bleed 10. Death By My Side 11. The Untouchables. There will also be a limited edition in a digipack format which will include one bonus track.

The new SILENT FORCE album “Walk The Earth” (their first for AFM) will be available from February 16. This record is exactly how melodic power metal should sound in 2007! Honest, down to earth, powerful, cleverly arranged but not completely melodic. Silent Force once again utilised the services of producer Dennis Ward, so prepare for February. The gods of power metal will “Walk The Earth” once again…!

On January 26, French power metal heroes HEAVENLY release their new album “Virus”, their first for AFM Records. Besides the regular CD, there will be a limited edition which will come as a digipack with bonus video clip. Tracklist: 1. The Dark Memories 2. Spill Blood On Fire 3. Virus 4. The Power & Fury 5. Wasted Time 6. Bravery In The Field 7. Liberty 8. When The Rain Begins To Fall 9. The Prince Of The World.

GIG NEWS

THUNDER
Thursday 1 March - SPAIN, Madrid, Heneken
Friday 2 March - SPAIN, Barcelona, Razzmatazz 2
Saturday 3 March - SPAIN, Bergara, Sala Jam
Monday 5 March - FRANCE, Paris, La Boule Noire
Tuesday 6 March - BELGIUM, Vosselar, Biebob
Wednesday 7 March - HOLLAND, Zoetemeer, Boerderij
Friday 9 March - DENMARK, Copenhagen, The Rock
Saturday 10 March - DENMARK, Frederikshavn, Det Musiske Hus
Sunday 11 March - NORWAY, Oslo, Rockefeller
Tuesday 13 March - FINLAND, Tampere, Pakkahoune
Friday 16 March - POLAND, Warsaw, TBA
Saturday 17 March – CZECH REP., Prague, Retro Music Hall
Sunday 18 march - AUSTRIA, Vienna, Szene Wien
Tuesday 20 March - AUSTRIA, Salzburg, Rockhouse
Wednesday 21 March - GERMANY, Munich, Metropolis
Thursday 22 March - GERMANY, Hannover, Capitol
Saturday 24 March - GERMANY, Bochum, Matrix
Sunday 25 March - GERMANY, Stuttgart, LKA
Tuesday 27 March - ITALY, Milan, Rainbow
Wednesday 28 March - SWITZERLAND, Pratteln, Z7

HAMMERFALL + KROKUS
February
20 London Electric Ballroom
21 Glasgow Garage
23 Bradford Rio's February
24 Dudley JB's

REVIEWS

Pain Of Salvation – Scarsick (InsideOut)

I have to admit, I was a massive fan of Pain Of Salvation’s first two releases, both killer progressive metal albums. After that, they kind of lost me, I don’t know why, but I couldn’t get into any of those albums (The Perfect Element, Remedy Lane, BE), they were perhaps just a little too intense for my brain to digest!
So when I was offered to review this release, I did think twice for what I might be letting myself info.
I really didn’t know what to expect, nor did I have any real expectations.
After a few plays I am really lost for words, the music is hard to take in, the arrangements are
bordering on bizarre, almost Faith No More meets Mr.Bungle then are abducted by aliens!
This is either a masterpiece, art at its most extreme in musical form, or a complete load of crap.
I don’t know which it is, this album could take me six months to fully digest.
If you’re a fan of the PoS catalogue, then I’d suggest this is really for you, if not, then like me
you might be scratching your head a little.

Graham Boyle

Kamelot – One Cold Winter’s Night (DVD)

Kamelot are one of the few American bands than can not only compete with the heavyweight European acts, but also leave some of those power metal bands for dust.
With the release of, ‘One Cold Winter’s Night’, Kamelot’s first ever concert video, those Euro bands are going to have a tough time matching the quality of this DVD release.
Recorded in singer, Khan’s, native Norway, the venue is mid sized, what looks like an old building that has plenty of character.
Coming off the back of the band’s, arguably best album, ‘The Black Halo’, the set draws heavily on that and the previous release, ‘Epica’.
Throw in a few ‘older’ classics and you have a pretty good set list, which even the most hardened Kamelot fan would have no complaints about.
The video editing is spot on, none of the popular 2 second shots that changed every way too often, that seems to be the normal of concerts video these days. Sound wise, the stereo mix is superb, everything crystal clear, Khan’s voice is nothing short of sensational, proving he is no studio singer.
The band are supplemented by a couple of background vocalists, to keep in with the bands studio sound and the beautiful, Simone Simons, from the band, Epica, makes a welcome appearance on the majestic, ‘The Haunting (Somewhere In Time). With actors onstage enhancing the imagery projected in the bands songs, the whole concert has a real theatrical feel to it.
The bonus disc, features interviews, with Kamelot and Simone Simons, a bonus live songs, promotional clips, discography and photo’s.
This release is proof that Kamelot are no long competing with the big boys, they are one of the big boys, and their peers better take note of how to put out a truly wonderful live concert DVD.

5/5
Graham Boyle

HAREM SCAREM ‘Human Nature’ (2007) www.haremscarem.net

Harem Scarem are back and after the mixed ‘Overload’ album they have gone back to their classic style of big melodic choruses coupled with driving guitar riffs. In fact this is probably the band’s best album since 2002’s ‘Weight of the World’. The title track gets things off in a fine style – very catchy chorus and guitar riffs bigger than mountains! ‘Next Time Around’ gels on the first listen whilst ‘Hangin On’ shows what a fine vocalist Harry Hess is. ‘Don’t Throw It Away’ sees the pomp quota increased before we get the very Queen like ‘Give Love/Get Love’ - just check out the Queen multi-layered vocals on the choruses, simply wonderful. Quick mention to Pete Lesperance’s guitar work, where he keeps solos to a minimum without taking over a tune and really is a riffmaster of the melodic kind. Harem Scarem can also appeal to fans of newer bands like Good Charlotte especially if they hear ‘21’.
What a cracking start to 2007 and Harem Sacrem have set a very high standard which many bands will be very hard pushed to even match, let alone exceed. Fans of the bands classic sound and the ‘Mood Swings’ album will love this album and if you’ve never sampled this band this is a good place to start.

****1/2
Jason Ritchie

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