Ex-Iron Maiden, ex-Wolfsbane singer, Blaze Bayley, has announced that new guitarist in his solo band is Luke Appleton. Appleton had previously worked with Blaze as both a live and a session musician.
Blaze comments "I am very excited to have the magnificent talent of Luke Appleton added to my touring band. He is in the the role of power guitarist. The first thing we tried with the new line-up was the live stream from KK Downing's venue (KK's Steel Mill) and it felt outrageously good! Can't wait for my fans to see and hear the new line-up playing live. This is turning into an amazing year. Congratulations Luke! Welcome to the Blaze Bayley team of metal warriors!"
Appleton says: "I have worked with Blaze on numerous projects over the last 11 years and I am very proud to now be a full-time touring member of the Blaze Bayley band. I believe the sound that my brother Chris and I will create is going to be very big with the two guitars! Thank you Blaze. I look forward to our summer festivals and our UK tour towards the end of 2021!".
Prog legends Gentle Giant’s “Free Hand”, remixed by Steven Wilson, will be released on 25th June, 2021, and it is already available for pre-order. “Free Hand” was Gentle Giant’s seventh album originally released in July 1975. This album was the most commercially successful of the band’s career reaching the top 40 albums in Billboard Magazine. It stands as the culmination of the band’s maturity, following the successes of “In A Glass House” & “The Power & The Glory”. Having toured Europe & North America non-stop in the years prior to this release with artists like Jethro Tull, Yes, Frank Zappa etc, the band had gone from strength to strength. By the time “Free Hand” was released Gentle Giant had become a major headliner in its own right. All the members were multi-instrumentalists. The band was never afraid of surprising an audience with a 4 part recorder ensemble followed by a vibraphone solo, all the while rocking the audience and thoroughly enjoying themselves onstage at the same time. Gentle Giant’s albums featured many songs with both literary subjects as well as social and personal commentary on life as rock musicians. “Free Hand” has more than most. The album’s title & first track was named “Freehand” because the band had just changed record labels and management and felt unshackled by prior contractual obligations. Putting these issues behind them upon its first release, Gentle Giant embarked on an extensive tour of North America and Europe, plus a short tour of the UK, to promote the album. The incredible range of Gentle Giant's music is evident throughout this album. From the intricate vocal fretwork of “On Reflection” and the delicate medieval flavor of “Talybont” the Celtic-tinged rock of “Time To Kill” and the jagged rhythms of “Just The Same” all those diverse elements which made the band so strikingly original are skillfully blended and perfectly executed. Award winning producer and musician Steven Wilson has added his delicate touch in remixing “Free Hand” in Dolby Atmos & 5.1 surround sound. His tonal range and painstaking attention to sound quality make “Free Hand” sound as fresh today as it did on first release. A fitting tribute to the compositional skills and expertise of five dedicated musicians. Steven Wilson’s remixed version of “Free Hand” will be released in Dolby Atmos, 5.1 surround sound and accompanied by custom animated visuals for each track on Blu-ray. In addition, the original flat mix, original 1975 quad mix and an instrumental mix will all be included in a digipak CD. A double vinyl album will also be released with both the original flat mix and the Steven Wilson remixed version. The initial first pressing will include a limited edition transparent red version.
The video for “Just The Same” taken from the “Free Hand” Blu-ray will premiere on YouTube on Sunday, May 2nd at 5pm BST/12pm EST/9am PST. To pre-order Gentle Giant’s “Free Hand”: https://fanlink.to/GentleGiantFreeHand
Flotsam and Jetsam has released a new single, the title-track of their upcoming album, "Blood in the Water". A lyric video has been made for this single and it can be seen below.
Thrash and Speed Metal icons FLOTSAM AND JETSAM have seen many of their peers that started at the same time, including Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Venom have their day in the sun. Considered in metal circles as “legendary”, the mighty FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, over their long career, has seemed somewhat plagued by label snafu’s, changes in trends, or other unfortunate events. On album number fourteen, and without a doubt making the best music of their career, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM finally smells blood in the water this time around. Slated for a release on June 4, 2021, Blood In The Water literally shreds the listener’s ears and pummels FLOTSAM AND JETSAM’s message into the hearts of the most diehard metal fans, the album must be heard to be believed. Featuring twelve brutal and powerful tracks that will rip your head off, the outstanding guitar work of Michael Gilbert and these killer vocals by Eric AK – one of the most gifted metal singers in music history – FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's Blood In The Water will see the band deliver one of their heaviest records to date!
With the unveiling of the previously-released single “Burn The Sky”, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM gave a first and impressive sneak peak of their forthcoming album. Now, the thrash heavy weights have unleashed the thunderous album opener and title track with a brand new video! “Blood In The Water” let’s you know right off that these guys aren’t messing around as the song comes screaming out of the speakers with a frenzied rhythm section, these passionated vocals by AK and guitars blazing on ten!
"This last year was a very different year for many of us, and we will say that the tragedy and difficulty had an impact on this song and this new album.” Says drummer Ken Mary. ""Blood In The Water" is one of the most aggressive Flotsam songs ever, but that wasn't planned. We just tried to pour everything we were feeling into each song. We didn't want to analyze it or qualify it, and we just let the song be what it was going to be. What you're hearing is the result of what I'd say is the closest you can get to looking at the inside of Flotzilla's brain!"
It’s been 35 years since FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, formed in Phoenix, Arizona released their landmark debut, "Doomsday For The Deceiver", the only album to ever receive a 6K rating from the influential British magazine Kerrang! Bassist Jason Newsted would jump ship to Metallica while the band released the unstoppable “No Place for Disgrace” in 1988. "Cuatro" (1992), "Drift" (1995), "High" (1997), and "My God" (2001) all still rank extremely high in heavy metal circles. But it was the first part of this unofficial trilogy in 2016’s self-titled FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, followed by the the crushing 2019- successor, "The End Of Chaos", that a certain rejuvenation and reset was clearly felt. Fast-forward five years to a planet that was forced to its knees: While spending most of the past year in a holding pattern like the rest of the world, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM made the best of a struggling situation and just let those creative juices and angst flow. What emerged was twelve brand new blistering tracks under the moniker Blood In The Water.
“We really had a hell of a time figuring out which songs to actually include in this album, because we don’t feel we had any fillers,” describes Steve Conley about the new songs clocking in at nearly 55 minutes of thrashing glory. Says singer Eric “AK” Knutson, “We’ve seen our fan base increasing, and we’ve seen the response to the last two albums getting louder and louder. We have some of the most committed and crazy fans in the world. We charted higher on our last album than at any point in our career. Maybe our career path will run similar to Motorhead’s, who although was always considered iconic, didn’t really break through in a big way until later in their career. We feel our time is now...” says AK. “We’re like that dog that’s been kicked...we’re ready to break the door down and take what’s ours.”
And the FLOTSAM lineup has never been stronger. AK keeps bringing the magic every album and tour, and oddly seems to be getting better and better as time goes on. He’s backed by the incredibly talented, exceptionally brilliant guitar duo of co-founder Michael Gilbert and Steve Conley, the powerful, precise and lightning fast engine of drummer Ken Mary, (whose Hall of Fame resume includes over five million albums sold with artists such as Alice Cooper, House Of Lords, and Accept), and the “fresh blood” and extraordinary technical skills and prowess of bassist Bill Bodily.
No filler, all killer, Blood In The Water was once again mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen (U.D.O., Volbeat, Amaranthe, Powerwolf) and sees FLOTSAM AND JETSAM exploding with creativity, moving forward but nodding to their past.
The band has come a long way from the kids that stepped onto the world stage with their first album in 1986, but the one thing that has never been in question since that day is their dedication to their fans, their incredible talent, and relentless pursuit to produce their best music ever.
“Following up ‘The End of Chaos’ was no easy task.” Guitarist Michael Gilbert adds. “We weren’t really sure what we had left in the tank, as we put so much work, sweat, and blood into that album. As it turns out, we had plenty left to say. With everything that’s happened in the world, the friends we lost this last year, and not being able to perform or tour… you hear all of that in our music. It’s angry, it’s aggressive, and our emotions pour out all over this album.”
Massacre Records is delighted to announce the signing of New York's finest thrash metal veterans TOXIK!
Originally formed in 1985, TOXIK has released the two classic studio albums, "World Circus" and "Think This", an EP entitled "Breaking Class" and a three-disc box set entitled "III Works".
The band - which includes founding member and lead guitarist Josh Christian, vocalist Ron Iglesias, bassist Shane Boulos and drummer James DeMaria (Heathen) - is currently working on a brand new studio album, and rumor has it that they have something exciting to announce soon!