Here's a ton of short items collected together and stuffed into your digital stocking...
"The brand new episode of the ProgSphere's AwesomeCast is as its title suggests all about prog. We made a choice of 20 progressive rock/metal and fusion albums released in 2011 which we consider being the best of. This podcast is highlighting the term "progressive" in its natural meaning and can be streamed from the following link: www.prog-sphere.com/2011/12/01/progspheres-awesomecast-episode-08-2011-year-in-review-all-about-prog/" [Source: Nikola Savic/Prog Sphere webzine]
Heavy metal band Lord Volture from the Netherlands present their second podcast video. This time the band take you behind the scenes of their last "Never Cry Wolf" photo shoot: www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8d8hK9RHB8. Lord Volture released their sophomore album Never Cry Wolf on 11 November 2011, featuring Sean Peck from US power metalers CAGE!
The album is available from the band's website at www.lordvolture.com/merch [Source: Rock N Growl].
Lunocode's first ever full length album, Celestial Harmonies, has reached its final phase. The album has been completed with the mastering by Ronan Chris Murphy (King Crimson, Steve Morse, Ulver among others) in his Veneto Studios. These are the words by Ronan:
"Your album really is great. No one will believe that it's a project that the band recorded themselves. What I love most about the album is not only the strong performances, but I think you really made a choice to be real 'Artists.' The writing and arranging is very creative. You can hear the influence of other bands, but I think you made an album that is 'Lunocode' and not a copy of anyone else. Great work."
The album will be available from 10 January, 2012, in CD and digital download in major online stores (iTunes, Napster, Google Music, and so on). To follow the teaser of the song "Tree Of Life," fourth movement of the long final suite "The Origin Of Matter And Life."
Final Tracklist: Sin Cara / Heart Of The World / Indifference (feat. Olaf Thorsen) / Misty Visions Of An Ordinary Day / The Origin Of Matter And Life: I. On Matter And Mind - II. High - III. The Cosmic Architect - IV. Tree Of Life - V. Crossing The Line - VI. Albert II. [Source: Spider Rock Promotion]
X-UFO, the band featuring card-carrying UFO members Laurence Archer, Danny Peyronel and Clive Edwards, along with Rocky Newton from UFO spin-off Michael Schenker Group, is about to release a new live album [entitled Vol.1: The Live Files] Recorded in Hannover, Germany with producer Steve Mann, the effort includes "blistering" new recordings of UFO classics "Lights Out," "Only You Can Rock Me," "Rock Bottom," "Doctor Doctor" and more. The band is also busy writing material for a new studio CD, to be made available next year.
The X-UFO live album can be pre-ordered from Nigel Hart of Nitro Management at nigel.hart (at) bt.com.
X-UFO recently played well-received sets at both the Aero Rock Starz festival in Bulgaria and at the Hard Rock Hell festival in Ibiza as well as a sold-out show in Milan. [Source: Blabbermouth.net, X-UFO site]
In Flames, Opeth, Arch Enemy, Graveyard and The Haunted have been nominated for a P3 Guld award from Swedish radio station P3 in the "Best Rock/Metal Album Of The Year" category. The winners will be announced on January 21, 2012 during a live awards ceremony broadcast from the Lisebergshallen in Gothenburg, Sweden.
For the first time in the eight-year history of the awards, it will be up to the public to cast their votes rather than industry professionals.
P3 Guld nominees in the "Best Rock/Metal Album of the Year" category are as follows:
* ARCH ENEMY - Khaos Legions
* GRAVEYARD - Hisingen Blues
* THE HAUNTED - Unseen
* IN FLAMES - Sounds Of A Playground Fading
* OPETH - Heritage
Drummers (and drum enthusiasts) take heed: progressive djentlemen Vildhjarta have now released a drum play-through of their single "dagger"! To watch the band's own David Lindkvist behind his kit, head over to Sick Drummer now for the exclusive footage. [Source: Century Media
German female-fronted symphonic metallers Xandria will release their new studio album, Neverworld's End, via Napalm Records on the following dates:
Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux, Italy: February 24, 2012
Spain, Finland, Sweden: February 22, 2012
Rest of Europe: February 27, 2012
USA, Canada: March 6, 2012
The track listing for the CD is as follows: A Prophecy Of Worlds To Fall / Valentine / Forevermore / Euphoria / Blood On My Hands / Soulcrusher / The Dream Is Still Alive / The Lost Elysion / Call Of The Wind / A Thousand Letters / Cursed / The Nomad's Crown / When The Mirror Cracks (bonus track).
Commented the band: "Although the title may indicate it, this is not a concept album, but there is an overall theme threading its way through most of the songs."
The first two in a series of webisodes featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the new Xandria CD can be seen here and here. [Source: Blabbermouth.net]
A sampler of the forthcoming new album HoS from Swedish melodic hard rock sensations House of Shakira has just been made available at http://soundcloud.com/lionmusicrecordlabel/house-of-shakira-hos-album
The new album HoS marks the recording debut of new vocalist Andreas Novak in the band and features 13 tracks full of the lush melodic vocal orchestrations and rocking backings make this most complete House of Shakira album yet.
House of Shakira - HoS is released on 27th January 2012 through Lion Music. [Source: Lion Music]
Finn progressive metallers Status Minor have completed work on their second album entitled Ouroboros. Building on the critically acclaimed sound heard on their 2010 debut Dialog, the new album sees the band get heavier and more direct yet retaining the musicianship and song sense of song craft that won them so many plaudits. We are pleased to unveil the artwork for Ourboros, done by Carl-Andre Beckston (Monowasp).
Status Minor's Ouroboros has a tentative release date of April 2012. [Source: Lion Music]
Austrian symphonic metal band Serenity appointed Twisted Talent Concerts as their exclusive agent. High-class symphonic metal from Austria -- that’s what Serenity stands for.
After successful tours with Kamelot, Threshold, Epica and Delain the band is ready to hit the road again in 2012 to support their current album and masterpiece Death And Legacy.
After Words Untold & Dreams Unlived and Fallen Sanctuary, the new album offers a fascinating historical concept in which famous men and women (like Galileo Galilei, Albrecht Dürer, Sir Francis Drake...) of past centuries as well as their stories and adventures come to life, all embedded in powerful, melodic songs with massive hooks that will certainly give you goose bumps! [Source: Twisted Talent]
Kingcrow - New album title revealed and more... : The band has begun the recording sessions for the new album titled In Crescendo. You can find information about the album on their new blog diary (kingcrow-band.blogspot.com). Videos/photos of the recording sessions will be soon available. In the meantime, the band published a video documentary of the last European Tour. You can see it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgR4DqQjIh8 (for English subtitles use the “cc” function of the Youtube player). [Source: Kingcrow]
Indianapolis, Indiana's prog-metal prodigies The Contortionist will enter AudioHammer Studios in Sanford, Florida in February with producers Jason Suecof (Trivium, Chimaira, Devildriver) and Eyal Levi (August Burns Red, The Black Dahlia Murder) to begin recording their sophomore album for a late spring/early summer 2012 release via Good Fight Music.
In a recent interview with Guitar World, The Contortionist guitarist Robby Baca stated about the band's sound, "I feel we have a somewhat strong sense of using interesting rhythms. And just for the sake of keeping it interesting to us, we like to hear odd rhythms and to play with dissonance and consonance -- and just make interesting sounds, not focusing on just being a metal band. Sometimes the rhythms come naturally, but other times, it's very specific where we'll say, 'We want to take this measure that's a 13-count over a 4-count, and we want to do [this] for so many counts.' Sometimes it's very methodically plotted out, but other times it just comes out that way, just naturally. I'd say we're kind of mathematical."
The picture-disc vinyl release of The Contortionist's debut album, Exoplanet was made available in September.
The CD version of Exoplanet came out on August 31, 2010 through Good Fight Music. The band's infectious, progressive and rhythmic sounds has brought it comparisons to some of today's metal greats such as Meshuggah, The Acacia Strain and Between The Buried And Me. [Source: Blabbermouth.net]
On 8th December, Italian prog metal band Eyes of Soul's debut album Cyberian Tales was released by Underground Symphony. It can be ordered here.
MySpace... [Source: Eyes Of Soul]
Guillermo Cides - internationally well known for his Stick performances - has released a new album, after his return from recent Mexico and Spain tours. This recent work celebrates his 20 years of experience with the Stick in a special concert broadcast live on Facebook and MySpace through a web camera located in a theater in Tarragona, Spain. Now this recording is released in CD format but also signed by musicians and sent directly to their fans.
Cides, who removed his CDs from the music industry years ago, returns now with a live recording, getting inside of "a world without record companies, intermediaries and a real independent music" according to his official Facebook statement, from where people can get a copy of the new album.
The album was recorded with Alex Leys (drums) and mastered by Tonica Studios at Buenos Aires. As a limited edition, it has been numbered and signed like "a simple object for collector," says Cides, who finished his idea about the Internet world: "...we can enjoy seeing how people share our music making artists more popular and making grow audience in our concerts."
Meanwhile he is preparing a new collaboration with Australian Truey Mark and Jon Anderson, formerly of Yes. This project, directed by Truey Mark, will be born in 2012 under the name "Hope."
A short item from MoonJune Records; here's what's on tap for February 2012: Tohpati Bertiga - Riot (USA release w/bonus tracks); a pair from Allan Holdsworth, None Too Soon (digitally remastered for the first time) and Hard Hat Area (digitally remastered for the first time) and Copernicus - Victim Of The Sky (first time on CD, digitally remastered). [Source: MoonJune]
UK-based progressive metallers The Safety Fire are honored to announce the premiere of their new official music video for "Huge Hammers" through Kerrang.com! To watch the clip, click here [Source: InsideOut Music]
more news bits to come....