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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Newswire #1054

EPICA vocalist Simone Simons will guest on the new AYREON album.

DEAD SOUL TRIBE are to release their new album on September 11th via InsideOut label and it will be called "A Lullaby For The Devil".

VINCE NEIL is very pleased to announce the addition of RATT to the musical lineup of VINCE NEIL'S MOTLEY CRUISE sailing from Miami to Key West and Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on January 24-28, 2008. RATT -- featuring Stephen Pearcy, Warren DeMartini, Bobby Blotzer, John Corabi and Robby Crane -- will perform on board during the 4-day rock and roll vacation, which will also features performances by fellow Rocklahoma artists Skid Row and Slaughter.
Even more artists will be climbing aboard in the coming days and weeks, and cabins are booking up FAST! For all the latest info, and to make your reservation, visit:
www.motleycruise.com
www.myspace.com/motleycruise

The new CURE album will be a double with an October release expected.

From wagnermusic.com - "This week Dick Wagner suffered a massive heart attack and has been in the hospital since July 3. He is resting comfortably and has been on life support until today, July 8, in which he was weaned off of, and is doing well on his own. Dick would like to thank everyone for the support from all his family, friends and fans during this time. He is expected to make a full recovery and will be back to doing what he does best - making phenomenal music, playing guitar, and producing hit records.
We all appreciate your thoughts and prayers this past week. More details will be released when Dick updates his monthly news. Until then, ROCK ON!"



PRESS RELEASES
==============
On August 28, Capitol/EMI will release Sign Of The Times: The Best of Queensryche in CD, 2-CD Collectors Edition packages and digitally. The new career-spanning hits collection features 17 of Queensryche's best singles and album tracks, including seven Top 10 Mainstream Rock hits, packaged in a jewel case with a sixteen-page booklet featuring custom artwork, a discography and track notes from the band's singer, Geoff Tate.
The Collectors Edition, presented in deluxe digipak packaging, adds a second disc of 15 rare and previously unreleased demos, outtakes, remixes, live recordings, television performance audio, recordings for soundtracks and a new, never-before-heard song making its release debut on this collection.
"In an era that valued style over substance, Queensryche emerged as a contrary force to the happy-go-lucky sounds of hard rock in the late '80s and early '90s," explains Paul Gargano in his Sign Of The Times liner notes essay. "In hindsight, one might even go as far as to say that the band succeeded despite themselves. Whether knowingly or not, they zigged when the industry zagged, progressed while the scene regressed, and offered provocation while others opted for escapism. There's a subtle irony, then, that their best-of collection is called Sign Of The Times."
Among Sign Of The Times: The Best Of Queensryche's 17 hits and favorites are the #1 smash "Silent Lucidity," "Jet City Woman," "Eyes of a Stranger," and "Another Rainy Night (Without You)" and more than a dozen other well-known songs. The 15 tracks on the Collectors Edition rarities disc include three demo recordings by Myth (lead vocalist Geoff Tate's band prior to Queensryche), three demo recordings from The Warning, three bonus tracks from the reissued Empire album, bonus tracks from the reissued Promised Land and Q2K albums, an intoxicated version of "Silent Lucidity," a previously unreleased version of "Della Brown" recorded for "MTV Unplugged," and a new track making its release debut, "Justified," recorded with original Queensryche guitarist Chris DeGarmo.
Beginning September 5 in Binghamton, New York, Queensryche -- Geoff Tate, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield and Mike Stone -- and Alice Cooper will join Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice on the "Heaven and Hell Tour" for a U.S. trek that is expected to continue through early November.
Sign Of The Times: The Best Of Queensryche (CD & Digital Albums)
1. Queen Of The Reich (from the EP Queensryche), 2. Warning (from the album The Warning), 3. Walk In The Shadows (from the album Rage For Order), 4. Take Hold Of The Flame (from the album The Warning), 5. The Lady Wore Black (from the EP Queensryche), 6. I Don't Believe In Love (from the album Operation: Mindcrime), 7. Eyes Of A Stranger (from the album Operation: Mindcrime), 8. Silent Lucidity (from the album Empire), 9. Bridge (from the album Promised Land), 10. Jet City Woman (from the album Empire), 11. Another Rainy Night (Without You) (from the album Empire), 12. Sign Of The Times (from the album Hear In The Now Frontier), 13. I Am I (from the album Promised Land), 14. Real World (from the soundtrack album Last Action Hero; also a bonus track from the reissued version of the album Promised Land), 15. Some People Fly (from the album Hear In The Now Frontier), 16. Until There Was You (bonus track from the reissued version of the album Q2K), 17. All The Promises (from the album Operation: Mindcrime II).
Sign Of The Times: The Best Of Queensryche (2-CD Collectors Edition) (Contains Disc 1 + 2nd Disc of Rarities) Disc 2 - 1. Take Hold Of The Flame (previously unreleased original demo version recorded by Myth), 2. Walk In The Shadows (previously unreleased original demo version recorded by Myth), 3. Before The Storm (previously unreleased original demo version recorded by Myth), 4. Waiting For The Kill (previously unreleased demo version for The Warning), 5. No Sanctuary (previously unreleased demo version for The Warning), 6. Prophecy (previously unreleased demo version for The Warning), 7. I Dream In Infrared (1991 Acoustic Remix: bonus track from the reissued version of the album Rage For Order), 8. Dirty Lil Secret (bonus track from the reissued version of the album Empire), 9. Last Time In Paris (from the soundtrack album The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane; also a bonus track from the reissued version of the album Empire), 10. Scarborough Fair (bonus track from the reissued version of the album Empire), 11. Della Brown (previously unreleased: "MTV Unplugged," New York, New York 4/27/92), 12. Someone Else? (with full band: bonus track from the reissued version of the album Promised Land), 13. Silent Lucidity (live at The Astoria Theatre, London 10/20/94: from the Bridge CD single), 14. Chasing Blue Sky (bonus track from the reissued version of the album Hear In The Now Frontier), 15. Justified (New Track)


New Brunswick, NJ (July 10, 2007) - Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band release, Glen Burtnik & Friends will be recreating the classic album in its entirety—note for note—based on the original Beatles recording (never performed “live” by the Beatles themselves). This spectacular performance will take place one night only: Friday, August 17 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Organizing a production of this caliber is something Burtnik does NOT take lightly, and this particular show is very close to his heart. “In 1967, my big brother sat me down to play me the brand new Beatles record, signifying this was an 'important' event,“ recalls Burtnik. “The album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band changed my life, and basically became the soundtrack of the 'Summer Of Love,' if not the entire 1960s, the era from which came I. From that day on, I've worn long multi-colored hair, and screamingly bright patterns. I still haven't quite gotten over hearing that recording for the first time. Here it is, forty years later, and I am assembling a number of talented, dedicated musicians to help me perform the songs of this classic album, note for note, song by song. It's actually one of my life's ambitions.”
Performing alongside Burtnik will be the equivalent of a small nation's population of musicians including Steve Holley on drums (Paul McCartney's 'Wings'), Drew & John (from 'Liverpool'), Erin Hill on harp, a pair of tabla players, a string section, a horn section, and a clarinet trio, as well as a live orchestral recreation of the “A Day In The Life” climax. Other Sgt. Pepper's song highlights include “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “Fixing a Hole,” and “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!.”
Also on the bill, The Smithereens will perform their recent release, Meet The Smithereens!, an homage to the Beatles U.S. debut album. Songs include “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “All I've Got to Do,” “All My Loving,” and “Hold Me Tight.”

Jersey Summer Beatles Bash! With Glen Burtnik & Friends and the Smithereens
Friday August 17, 2007 – 8:00 PM, State Theatre, 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Box Office phone: 732-246-SHOW (7469) www.statetheatrenj.org Tickets: $45 and $35.

GIG NEWS
=========
Y & T
October
Leeds Rio's October 23
Glasgow Cathouse 25
Newcastle Carling Academy 26
Manchester Academy III 27
Bristol Thekla Social 28
Nuneaton Queens Hall 30
November
Nottingham Rock City 1
Dudley JB's 2
London Mean Fiddler 3

RICK WAKEMAN
Th, 24 Oct 2007 - Derngate, Northampton
Fr, 26 Oct 2007 - Civic Theatre, Chelmsford
Sa, 27 Oct 2007 - Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells
Mo, 29 Oct 2007 - The Stables, Milton Keynes
Tu, 30 Oct 2007 - Octagon Theatre, Yeovil
We, 31 Oct 2007 - Opera House, Buxton
Th, 01 Nov 2007 - The Palace, Newark
Sa, 03 Nov 2007 - Key Theatre, Peterborough
Mo, 05 Nov 2007 - Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe
We, 07 Nov 2007 - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton
Fr, 09 Nov 2007 - Regents Theatre, Ipswich
Sa, 10 Nov 2007 - New Empire Theatre, Southend

JOHN YOUNG
14/7 Manchester , Iguana Bar (JY solo...full show...free entry)
15/7 Milton Keynes, The Pitz ( JY solo supporting Darwin's Radio free entry)
25/7 Leighton Buzzard The Wheatsheaf (JYB full show ...free entry)
27/7 Kernave, Lithuania Batlic Prog Fest (JYB full show)
12/8 Worcester, Marrs Bar (JY Solo full show)
15/9 Hove, Sanctuary Cafe (JY Solo full show)

SURVIVOR
25.08. Batumi / Gerorgien (G) Monsters of Rock
14.09. Günzburg / PEP-Gelände
19.09. München / Metropolis (D)
20.09. Bochum / Zeche (D)
25.09. Traun / Spinnerei (A)
26.09. Nürnberg / Hirsch / (D) 28.09. Roma / Statione Birra (IT)
27.09. Reichenbach / H2O (D) 29.09. Pasardjik / Open Air (BG)

REVIEWS
========
MOTORHEAD ‘Better Motorhead Than Dead - Live At Hammersmith’ SPV (2007) www.spv.de

Yes it is another live Motorhead album but this one was recorded back in June 2005 at the band’s 30th anniversary gig. Two CD’s with twenty three songs that cover the band’s history and include a few songs making a welcome return to the setlist including the immense ‘Dancing On Your Grave’. Disc 2 wins the day though as you have ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S.’, ‘Just ‘Cause You Got The Power’, ‘Killed By Death’. ‘Going To Brazil’ and the big three finale – ‘Bomber’, ‘Ace Of Spades’ and ‘Overkill’. All are played with the minimum of fuss and maximum effort. Motorhead even whip out the acoustic guitars for ‘Whorehouse Blues’ which is something you’d not normally associate Motorhead with!
You just can’t beat Motorhead live and it should be compulsory for every rock fan to see them at least once live as I defy anyone to go away disappointed (and temporarily deafened!). Lemmy and co. really are what mean and dirty rock ‘n’ roll is all about and this live set is as good as any to see what the fuss is all about.

****
Jason Ritchie

CIRCUS MAXIMUS ‘Isolate’ Frontiers (2007) www.frontiers.it

The band’s second album following on form their 2005 debut album also released via Frontiers. They really do sound like Dream Theater circa their debut album and Prophet and being honest whilst their musicianship can not be faulted it just sounds too generic and there is little to keep drawing back the listener. That said ‘Zero’ sees an impassioned vocal from Michael Eriksen and the epic ‘Mouth Of Madness’ has some great musical interludes and time changes beloved of prog metal fans. ‘Withered’ is interesting as they go down a melodic hard rock route and give TNT a run for their money!
A decent enough album but in a very crowded market place and with band’s like Symphony X, Dream Theater and Kamelot to compete against they really need to raise their game on the next album.

***
Jason Ritchie

Behemoth: Chaotica

This is an extensive two-CD set of the Polish black metal master's best stuff to date (greatest hits probably not), together with some covers, and some live stuff. Behemoth, one of Poland's most extreme exports, started out as pure black metal, complete with the corpse paint, then evolved into some more deathy. The intensity and aggression of this lot cannot be underestimated.
Tracks like "Pure Evil and Hate" very much set the stage for what you are about to hear. Twenty-nine tracks of the blackest and most deathly stuff you can imagine. If you want an introduction to extreme metal of the best sort, as well as a taster of what this band can do, then this CD is for sure.

Rating: 3.5/5
Marty Dodge

Bon Jovi: Lost Highway

Pomp rockers of the 80s Bon Jovi have finally ended up in Nashville and fallen for the new country hook, line, and sinker. This is a not a pure country album by any means but it means country, pop, and hard rock half way for one of the best releases this lot have done for quite a long time. There are no serious stinkers on here like on their last few. I came into this album with fairly low expectations and was rather impressed.
The duets LeAnn Rimes, "Till We Ain't Strangers Anymore" and "We Got it Going On" are quality tracks of country-tinged AOR. The stand out up tempo track has got to be "Summertime" with its nod to the anthemia rocks of Bon Jovi's past. It took Bon Jovi long enough but they finally followed rockers like the guys in Giant (the Huff brothers) and Ron Keel to Nashville, the new home of American AOR. It is bizarre they left off the big hit "Who Says You Can't Go Home," though.

Rating: 4/5
Marty Dodge

Civilization One: Revolution Rising

This lot are a truly international group of musicians (Italy, France, Sri Lanka, and Brazil) who play progressive power metal of the European variety with quite a bit of aplomb. Unlike some bands of this sort, they do have a decent set of songs on here and its not just musicians showing off. As with many of this sort of album, it's not really about catchiness per se, but "Dream On" is quite a good AOR power ballad. It's competent power prog with feeling and talent.

Rating: 3/5
Marty Dodge

Consortium Project: IV

As you might image from the name, this is an album which has a few core members and lots of guests. It's basically the brainchild of Ian Parry. The band features former members of Elergy and With Temptation. This is progressive power metal with hard rock hints that is neither unpleasant nor particularly thrilling. It's decent to listen to but there is really nothing that could be classed as memorable it has to be said. It would be interesting to see what they are like live.

Rating: 3.5/5
Marty Dodge

Stone Lake: World Entry

The one thing that first strikes you about this CD is the vocals of Peter Grundstrom. To say he is an acquired taste, with his high screech, is an understatement. There are times he goes so high as to sound off key. These Swedish lads seem to be doing the business on their local scene. There is a no faulting the quality of the musicianship, especially from main-man Jan Akesson.
As with many of this sort of bands, on record they sometimes lack enough decent songs to fill an album. There are several filler tracks on here, really nothing that stands out in its catchiness. This is the band's debut. Let's hope they gel a bit more and come up with a better collection of tracks.

Rating: 2.5/5
Marty Dodge

Porcupine Tree: Fear of a Blank Planet

It will shock no one at all to hear that Steve Wilson and Co have produced probably their best work to date. (It's hard to tell as they are all so good.) Wilson who is also in the excellent Blackfield and is a producer of note (ex: Opeth) just has that ability to make his prog both deep and accessible. The album is not a concept album, as so beloved by proggers, but deals with the digital age in all its glory.
PT are on par with Dream Theater, especially in the light of latest release, without being complete clones. There is something special going on with this band that you can't quite put your finger on. Not that you want to, it you want brilliance, try "Anesthetize". There is a heavy Pink Floyd vibe, but it's all their own. A heavy Opeth-like vibe can be found later on the CD.
Neil Peart and Robert Fripp show up for good measure. If you like your prog deep, meaningful, but still accessible then this CD is a must have. This just might be their Dark Side of the Moon. Pretty damn near essential methinks.

Rating: 5/5
Marty Dodge

Velvet Revolver: Libertad

Did VR going to fall victim to that dreaded sophomore slump? Were they going to fail where so many bands have fallen. Not bloody likely mate. Veteran players like this lot have spent the time since the first one touring their guts out, gelling their vibe and sound. I don't think I can remember when Scott Weiland's voice has ever sounded better. Proof, if needed, that in fact Weiland is a far better singer than Axl.
From the opening bars of "Let it Roll" to the final licks of "Grave Danger" this is quality LA heavy rock. It's what you wanted from VR in every way. If you are so inclined you can get an enhanced CD with "The Making of Libertad" as well as a bonus DVD tour documentary "Tierra Roja, Sangre Roja" about their recent South American tour. We all so wanted this band to deliver on their second release and thankfully they did.

Rating: 4.8/5
Marty Dodge

KORN ‘Evolution’ (CDS 2007) Virgin www.myspace.com/korn

Korn return with the first single lifted of their upcoming new album. This is classic Korn with a scathing lyric, heavy guitars and sampling all topped by the distinctive vocals of Jonathan Davis. On this song they put Linkin Park in the shade, especially after the latter’s so so new album. If the rest of the album is as good this single then fans are in for a treat.

****
Jason Ritchie

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