Good news for my friends in Europe!! Symphony X "Iconoclast" Released today!!!! and guess what!? L&DR have it on rotation "preview" Till I get my CD order from amazon (Should be here tomorrow or Monday) \m/ If you haven't pre-order yet or order it from Europe What you waiting for?! Believe me it is worth it! With that said let us commence with the Featured Bands!
ReVamp (NL) - Singer Floor Jansen needs no further introduction after 12 years of loyal service with After Forever. After the break of this band she knew she wanted to continue making metal! To accomplish this she joined forces with two additional songwriters to first compose, then record an album. The live band was formed after completion of the album! The first composer to join this new collaboration was soon found in Waldemar Sorychta (Grip Inc, Enemy Of The Sun, ao). The second composer is After Forever colleague Joost van den Broek. The ReVamp sound has become a unique blend of the personal style we recognize from these musicians. Floor's voice is already known for its wide range and variety. In ReVamp she shows the world she can do even more! From opera to raw screams; from rock to a light and almost whispered sound. She knows how to 'master the cords' and takes you along with her on a wild ride throughout the album! The word 'revamp' literally means: to renovate, redo or revise. For Floor it got the symbolic meaning that this band puts new energy into her career as a singer, a next step but at the same time a continuation of her dream. The word 'vamp' indicates, with a wink, 'woman'. No vampires or slutty types, just a strong lady in charge of her passion. The music is heavier than some of you might expect. Bombastic; but with heavy riffing. Complex and pounding drums mixed with melancholic strings. Crazy synth-sounds mixed with a beautiful choir. A wall of sound, yet transparent and versatile. And to finish this cake with a fine icing 3 special guests made this album extra special! Russell Allen (Symphony X) sings a beautiful duet with Floor. The fact their voices mix perfect together was proven before and on the song Sweet Curse they show ones again they are a magical duo. Björn 'Speed' Strid (Soilwork) brings in power on a different level on the song 'Disdain'. His raw screams make this song the heaviest on the album and create a nice 'battle of the titans' with Floor. On Here's My Hell you'll hear Dutch master grunter George Oosthoek (ex-Orphanage). The variety of these guests make the album extra interesting from the first note off to very last. The (live)band was completed early 2010. The band now consists of: Matthias Landes on drums, Jaap Melman on bass, Jord Otto on guitar, Arjan Rijnen on guitar and Ruben Wijga on keyboard. The self-titled album has 13 tracks and presents a new dimension in the female fronted metalscene. It was released in June 2010 (Europe) and July 2010 (US) through Nuclear Blast.
Queensrÿche (US) - The foundations for Queensrÿche began in the early 1980s. Guitarist Michael Wilton and drummer Scott Rockenfield were members of a band called Cross+Fire, who covered songs from popular heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Before long Cross+Fire added guitarist Chris DeGarmo and bassist Eddie Jackson to their lineup, and changed their name to The Mob. The Mob, who were without a singer, recruited Geoff Tate to sing for them at a local rock festival. At the time, Tate was already in a band called Babylon. After Babylon broke up Tate performed a few shows with The Mob, but left because he was not interested in performing heavy metal. In 1981, The Mob put together sufficient funds to record a demo tape. Once again, Tate was enlisted to help. The group recorded four songs - "Queen of the Reich," "Nightrider," "Blinded" and "The Lady Wore Black." The group brought their demo to various labels and were rejected by all of them. Tate also was still committed to staying in his then-current band, Myth. At the urging of their new manager, The Mob changed their name to Queensrÿche (reportedly inspired by the first song on their demo). As they later joked: "The umlaut over the 'y' has haunted us for years. We spent eleven years trying to explain how to pronounce it." The demo tape was widely circulated and received a glowing review in Kerrang! Magazine. On the strength of the growing buzz surrounding them, Queensrÿche released the demo tape as a self-titled EP on their own 206 Records label in 1983. Based on the success of the EP, Tate agreed to leave Myth and become Queensrÿche's permanent lead singer. That same year, the band signed to EMI who re-released the EP, Queensrÿche, to moderate success, peaking at #81 on the Billboard charts. They had never played together live before the band was signed. When this EP was eventually released on CD several years later, a 5th track, titled "Prophecy", was added to the tracklist; this was a song performed live by the band circa 1983 (and was included on the 1984 "Live in Tokyo" home video), and in 2003 was included on the remastered edition of The Warning as a bonus track. The track appearing on the CD release of the EP was recorded during the "Rage For Order" sessions (and is not the same version of the song which appears on the soundtrack for the movie, "The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years"). After the EP tour, Queensrÿche travelled to London to record their first full-length album. The band worked with producer James Guthrie, who had worked with Pink Floyd and Judas Priest. Released in September 1984, The Warningfeatured more progressive elements than the band's debut. It peaked at #61 on the Billboard album chart, a moderate commercial success. While none of the singles released from The Warning charted domestically, "Take Hold of the Flame" was a hit for the band outside the US (particularly in Japan). The band's first full-scale U.S. tour (in support of this album) was as the opening act for Kiss on their Animalize tour. Rage for Order, released in 1986, introduced a much more polished look and sound for Queensrÿche. The album featured keyboards as prominently as guitars, and the group adopted an image more closely associated with glam rock orglam metal than with heavy metal (of which glam metal was a subgenre). A video was filmed for the song "Gonna Get Close to You", originally recorded in 1984 by Dalbello. A song titled "Rage For Order" was written and demoed for the album, but it was not included on the final release. The main riff from this song was worked into an instrumental piece played during some shows on the tour in support of this album and eventually morphed into the track "Anarchy-X" on the "Operation: Mindcrime" album. In 1988, Queensrÿche released Operation: Mindcrime, a narrative concept album that proved a massive critical and commercial success. The album's story revolved around a junkie who is brainwashed into performing assassinations for an underground movement; the junkie ("Nikki") is torn over his misplaced loyalty to the cause and his love of a reformed hooker-turned-nun ("Mary," vocals by Pamela Moore) who gets in the way. "Mindcrime" has often been mentioned by critics alongside other notable concept albums like Pink Floyd's The Wall, Dream Theater's Scenes From a Memory and The Who's Tommy. The band toured through much of 1988 and 1989 with several bands, including Def Leppard, Guns N' Roses and Metallica. The release of Empire (1990) brought Queensrÿche to the height of their commercial popularity. It peaked at #7 and sold more than three million copies in the United States, more than their previous four releases combined (it was also certified silver in the UK). The power ballad "Silent Lucidity", which featured an orchestra, became the band's first Top 10 single. While the band retained its socially conscious lyrics (touching on topics such as gun control and theenvironment), the arrangements on Empire were more straightforward than the band's previous efforts. The subsequent "Building Empires" tour was the first full-fledged tour to feature Queensrÿche as a headlining act (the band had previously headlined a tour in Japan in support of "Operation: Mindcrime" and had headlined a handful of club and theater shows in the United States between 1984 and 1988). The group used its headlining status to perform Operation: Mindcrime in its entirety, as well as songs from Empire. The tour lasted 18 months, longer than any tour the band had undertaken before or has since. The tour also included an MTV Unplugged appearance at Warner Hollywood Studios in Los Angeles on April 27, 1992. After taking time off to deal with the tour's resulting burnout and other personal issues, the band released Promised Land in October 1994 (a companion CD-ROM, featuring a Promised Land-themed game and other interactive features, was released in March 1996). It was a dark and intensely personal album, reflecting the mental state of the band at the time. Although the album debuted at #3 and was eventually certified platinum, it was clearly not the commercial successEmpire had been. As with many other heavy metal and hard rock acts, Queensrÿche's commercial fortunes waned as grunge (which coincidentally got its start in Seattle, of which Bellevue—where the band was formed—is a suburb) andalternative rock surged in popularity. Queensrÿche released their sixth full-length studio album, Hear in the Now Frontier, in March 1997, to mixed critical and fan reception. The album debuted at #19 but quickly vanished from the charts. The musical sound and style of the album was more basic and stripped down than anything the band had released to date, and some fans and critics pointed to the grunge musical style as being a major influence on the record. Despite the reaction, the singles "Sign of the Times" and "You" received substantial airplay. Compounding the disappointing sales of the album were issues that plagued the band on the subsequent tour. Less than one month into the Hear in the Now Frontier tour, Geoff Tate became seriously ill and the band was forced to cancel concert dates for the first time. In an even bigger blow, the band's longtime label, EMI America Records, went bankrupt during the same period. Queensrÿche was forced to use its own money to finance the remainder of the tour, which ended in August after only two months. The band played a handful of December shows in South America due to contractual obligations, and it was during this time that founding member Chris DeGarmo announced he was leaving Queensrÿche. Although the official reasons for DeGarmo's departure have not been made public, members of the band have cited burnout ad a desire to pursue interests outside of Queensrÿche as reasons for his departure. After he left Queensrÿche, DeGarmo recorded and performed with Jerry Cantrell and was in a short-lived band called Spys4Darwin, which released one EP in 2001. DeGarmo is now a business jet pilot. DeGarmo was replaced by guitarist and producer Kelly Gray. Gray's connections with Queensrÿche went back to the early '80s, when he was the guitarist for Myth, Geoff Tate's previous band. Gray had also previously worked as a producer for bands such as Dokken and Candlebox. Queensrÿche's first album with Gray was 1999's Q2K. It was also the first album for their new label, Atlantic Records. Musically, Q2K bore little resemblance to the progressive metal of the band's past, and also displayed stripped-down sound similar to Hear in the Now Frontier. Q2K has been called a continuation of the experimentation of Hear in the Now Frontier by Geoff Tate. Declining popularity forced the band to tour in clubs and theaters, rather than larger arenas and outdoor amphitheaters. After the release of a greatest hits collection in 2000, Queensrÿche embarked on another tour, this time in support of Iron Maiden. This enabled the band to play Madison Square Garden for the first time. Unhappy with the lack of support they felt they received from Atlantic, Queensrÿche moved to Sanctuary Records in 2001. In July of that year, the band performed a handful of dates at the Moore Theater in Seattle, Washington. The shows were recorded and released in September 2001 as Live Evolution, the band's second live album. Gray departed Queensrÿche soon after. The band entered the studio as a quartet in the spring of 2003 to record their eighth full-length album. In April, they announced they had been joined by Chris DeGarmo, although his future status with the band was uncertain. In July, Queensrÿche released its first and only album of new material on the Sanctuary label, Tribe. DeGarmo, who played on and co-wrote four songs, neither officially rejoined the band nor took part in the supporting tour. Gray's replacement turned out to be Mike Stone, who accompanied the band on the Tribe tour as second guitarist to Michael Wilton's lead, though never was a full member of the band. In June 2003, Queensrÿche launched a co-headlining tour featuring another progressive metal band, Dream Theater. The two bands alternated the opening and closing spots, and ended the shows by playing a handful of songs together. Fates Warning was the special guest for the tour. A live album and DVD were recorded during this tour - The Art of Live - including two covers performed with Dream Theater. In July 2004, Queensrÿche announced its plans to record a follow-up to 1988's Operation: Mindcrime. To generate fan interest in the upcoming album, the band hit the road in the fall of 2004 with the "An Evening With Queensrÿche" tour. The tour opened with a shortened greatest hits set followed by a revised production of Operation: Mindcrime with live actors and video; Pamela Moore reprised her role as Sister Mary. The band played a pre-recorded version of "Hostage," a track from the upcoming album, through the PA as an encore after the end of their set. The second leg of the tour began in early 2005. Before embarking on a third leg in the fall of 2005, Queensrÿche toured with Judas Priest acrossNorth America, playing an hour-long set consisting mostly of the band's older works and one song from the soon-to-be released sequel, entitled "I'm American." Operation: Mindcrime II was released internationally on March 31, 2006. The album was Queensrÿche's first for their new label, Rhino Entertainment, to which it signed in 2005. Ronnie James Dio provided the vocals for Dr. X, the villain.Operation: Mindcrime II debuted at #14, the highest chart position for a Queensrÿche album since 1997. The group embarked on a headlining tour in support of the album, joined by Pamela Moore in her role as Sister Mary. The tour featured performances of both Mindcrime albums in their entirety. Dio appeared at the Gibson Amphitheatre show in Universal City, California to perform his vocals as Dr. X on "The Chase", and was shown on a video screen at the other shows. Dio's appearance was recorded, and included as an extra on the 2007 DVD release Mindcrime at the Moore. On August 9, 2007, the band announced that it would release a new greatest hits album, entitled Sign of the Times. The album was released on August 28, 2007, and a special collector's edition featured a bonus disc including various demos and a new song, "Justified," featuring Chris DeGarmo on guitar. On November 13, 2007, the band released an album of covers entitled Take Cover. The album contains covers of songs by Queen, U2, The Police, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd, and was the band's second release for Rhino Records. On February 3, 2009, Stone announced the end of his association with Queensrÿche to focus on his side-project Speed-X. Wilton recorded both lead and rhythm guitar on the band's next release. Parker Lundgren (formerly The Nihilists and Sledgeback), who played for Tate (and is also his son-in-law) during his solo tour, replaced Stone on the 2009 tour. On March 31, 2009, the band's eleventh studio album was released, titled American Soldier, a concept album about war from the perspective of those on the front lines of American wars from World War II through the present. As of late 2009 and early 2010, the band were on tour as part of The Queensrÿche Cabaret. In November 2010, Queensrÿche were victims of a bomb attack on a U.S. Military position in Iraq. They were in the country to play and entertain the soldiers and personnel positioned there, when explosive shells began falling on the base. None of the band members were killed, and although some news reports state that some were injured, lead singer Geoff Tate said in several interviews that he was misquoted and none of the band members suffered any injuries. As of August 25, 2010 Queensrÿche signed with Roadrunner/Loud & Proud Records tentatively for a spring 2011 album release. This will be the band's twelfth studio album. On March 28, 2011, it was announced that the band's new album will be entitled Dedicated to Chaos.
~Thanks For Your Support! Enjoy!
Keep'n Metal \m/