Most of the classic metal bands and heavy metal listeners don't have a good opinion about the grunge movement of the 90s. It is said that grunge affected in a negative the heavy metal bands, since the 90s generation and the record companies ignored them and most of them fell by the wayside. Biff Byford of Saxon recently expressed in an interview a different approach, saying that the grunge genre of the 90s was "in some respects" a good thing.

Biff Byford: "The fans, really — the loyal fans kept us going through that period. And, obviously, the record company had faith in us and kept releasing albums, so we never really stopped doing what we did. I think the Nirvana, Pearl Jam, I think the grunge thing, in some respects, was a good thing. It kicked everybody up the ass and said, 'It's not about makeup and hair. It's about the guitar riffs and the attitude and what we're singing about.' So I don't think it was a bad thing, really, for that period. Every 10 years, a new style comes along, and that was the new wave of music that swept America and went around the world. So I don't think you can really complain when that happens, because that's what happens — music regenerates and new fans come along and new music and a new generation of fans. But I think our fans kept us going through that period, and the record company as well. And that's where countries like Germany and England kept us going, and we toured around the world — we did Japan and places; South America was still strong. I think we did what every other band did. Maiden did the same, and so did Motörhead, and so did Priest. We just played to our fans, and we learned to adapt... You have to look forwards and not backwards. I thought it was all right. We survived it. We were playing festivals, and we just took a pay cut, hunkered down — a working-class attitude, really. It's a never-surrender attitude — that's where it comes from. You have to find your way through, if you can. If you're surrounded by people who are similarly minded, it's good. It's like a family, isn't it? It was good for us. It taught us a really good lesson: don't get complacent; don't relax; keep the fire; and keep it on the edge. It taught Saxon a good lesson. Whether it taught all the bands a good lesson, I have no idea. Some of them fell along the wayside and then decided to come back again when things got better. But I think bands like us, Maiden, Priest and Motörhead all went through that period and survived — and came out the other side a better band, actually".

As everybody already knows, Ritchie Blackmore' s Rainbow played some live shows in 2016, after Blackmore's decision to "just get back to playing the old songs one more time". However, he has changed his mind and now we have the honor to listen to the band's new song! It is the song "Waiting for a Sign" which is penned by Blackmore (lyrics written by Blackmore's wife Candice Night) and it is the band's first song, since 1996! This track will be included on "Memories in Rock II", which is due on April 6 via Minstrel Hall/Soulfood. The current incarnation of Rainbow features, besides Blackmore, singer Ronnie Romero, Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson, Blackmore's Night drummer David Keith, bassist Bob Nouveau (a.k.a. Robert "Bob" Curiano, ex-Blackmore's Night), and backing singers Candice Night and Lady Lynn.


Crematory made a statement on Facebook that has certainly caused reactions and arguments – the band threatened its “lazy” fans that if they don’t buy Crematory’s new album (“Oblivion”) and if they don’t buy tickets for the band’s upcoming concerts, the band will call it quits! In a few words, Crematory threatened their fan base that they will disband, if CD sales and concert ticket sales don’t increase.

Drummer Markus Jüllich posted:   "The end of Crematory? Will Oblivion be the last studio album and the tour in May the final one? Crematory's new studio album Oblivion will be released on Friday, the 13.4.2018. We were planning to promote the album with a tour, starting at the 27.4.18 and running through all of May in Germany. That will only happen, have you fans get off your lazy asses and start buying tickets for the announced shows. The presales are horrible and we will cancel the tour completely, if the numbers don't increase radically. The most important thing is, that you buy our new CD and double vinyl edition, cause when I look at our sales statistics I could start throwing up! Nowadays we are selling way more downloads and streams then we sell the original products, and this will be the death for all bands, cause you hardly get any money from this shit compared to the CD compensation. So as a matter of fact, a band will hardly make enough money to put a good sounding album on the market. The worst is, that streaming on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Napster and all the other bullshit platforms doesn't pay out for the band at all. Our last album Monument had 1,5 million streams and we don't even sell 1% of that in original vinyl or CD products. This can't go on like this anymore! It's not only Crematory who is suffering from all that, but only we have the balls to stand up and tell you the truth. Wake up you Metalheads and start honoring the value of real music and come back to buying the products. We don't want music just getting wasted and being stored on hard drives, USB-sticks, sd cards in miserable mp3 quality. We hope you understand how important that is to us. Because of this, we will give you something special with the new album Oblivion, so you think twice before you buy the shitty download or the even worse stream. Every CD and vinyl LP comes with a 10 € merchandise voucher, that you can use on our concerts, or in our merchandise-shop at the Crematory website. That makes every CD or LP including the voucher even cheaper than a download and you get a great digipack with booklet, lyrics, pictures and poster. So, please dear fans, buy CD's and LP's and forget the downloads, cause otherwise there won't be another Crematory album. Don't make Oblivion the final album and give us your support on the tour. Start buying tickets now, so we can have great shows together. Even after 27 years of Crematory, we are still hungry to keep going, but all that is in your hands. Believe in you and especially in Crematory!"

Well, in our humble opinion, it isn’t kind and polite from an artist/band to call its fans lazy and indicate them how to listen to music. We live in a free world and the listener has the right to choose. Legal and illegal downloading has a financial disadvantage for the artists/bands, but on the other hand, internet and technology have helped a lot and in many ways all the artists/bands. It’s like a knife, you must learn how to use it. Crematory seems to see things from the wrong perspective and accuses the fans, the ones who have brought the band all the success, money and fame. The German gothic metallers should work things out, making their “product” more attractive, they have to find the right solutions and make the right decisions, having their fans with them, not against them …

Greek record label ROAR (Rock of Angels Records) welcomes Eternal Flame to its ranks. Eternal Flame is the neoclassical metal band of German guitarist Michael Schinkel, which features many guest musicians, for example vocalists Mark Boals and Goran Edman. Below you can read the official press release.

German Neoclassical Heavy Metal band, MICHAEL SCHINKEL'S ETERNAL FLAME, have signed a multi album deal with ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records. MICHAEL SCHINKEL'S ETERNAL FLAME third album 'Smoke On The Mountain' includes 13 tracks, to be out on May 18th, 2018. The album is produced by Michael Schinkel & Helmut Kohlpaintner, co-produced by Timothy Touchton, mixed by Michael Schinkel and mastered by Christoph Stickel.

'Smoke On The Mountain' featuring Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring of Fire) and Göran Edman (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum) on vocals.

Timothy Touchton (known by lyrics such as "Go for Gold" Olympics in Seoul 1988, "Sail Away" Joe Cocker as well as 11 Top 40 and 3 top 5 hits), Carsten Lizard Schulz (Evidence One, Midnite Club, Domain) and Rainer Holzapfl did the lyrics.


Michael Schinkel – Vocals & all Guitars
Helmut Kohlpaintner – Keyboards
Thomas Keller – Bass & Backing Vocals
Michael Hencky - Drums


Mark Boals - Vocals  (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring of Fire)
Göran Edman - Vocals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum)
Ossy Pfeiffer - Keyboards (Ignore The Sign)
Christian Tatsek - Keyboards
Ritchie Kelly - Guitar Solo
Andy Dick - Drums (Bobby Kimball, Glenn Hughes, Ron Young)
Robert Lipp - Bass
Gerhard Blum - Bass
Makeus Grünzer - Bass


After the first two albums "Desire" (1998 - Point Music & Dreamchaser Records) and "King of the King" (2002 - MTM Music) it was the end of Eternal Flame. Michael Schinkel (singer and guitarist) and Helmut Kohlpaintner (keyboard player, bassist) decided to work as composers and producers for other musicians and bands and founded the company "enooma-media musicproduction" in Munich. Again and again they received calls, letters and e-mails from fans, with the request to produce a new Eternal Flame album. It then started in 2012. Helmut Kohlpaintner and Michael Schinkel discussed the project and quickly found partners for lyric writing such as Timothy Touchton (known by lyrics such as "Go for Gold" Olympics in Seoul 1988, "Sail Away" Joe Cocker as well as 11 Top 40 and 3 top 5 hits). The album was created by further guests such as Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen and Ring of Fire) and Göran Edman (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen & John Norum). Other musicians such as Thomas Keller (bass) and Robert Lipp (bass) from past Eternal Flame days as well as the drummer Michael Hencky also shared their know how.