Balthazar Releases the Cabaret 13 Combo

A compact 13-watt design with a newly designed preamp that also features a bias tremolo circuit.

Electro-Harmonix Announces the Cntl Knob

A compact pedal that allows you to switch between two expression settings.

Track Premiere: Kommand – “Radiation”

California death squad Kommand give vent to some lethal steam with this track premiere from Terrorscape, their forthcoming debut full-length.
The post Track Premiere: Kommand – “Radiation” appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

DEF LEPPARD’s PHIL COLLEN: Week One Of ’30-Day Fitness Challenge’

DEF LEPPARD has launched a new video series called “30 Day Fitness Challenge With Phil Collen”. Join the guitarist for the month of July as he takes on a 30-day fitness challenge. Use the hashtag #PhilCollen30Days to follow along as Phil works on his exercises, his diet and overall health.

Week one of the “30 Day Fitness Challenge With Phil Collen” is available below.

At 62 years old, Collen is a prime example of the “no-excuse” rule when it comes to being active, fit and healthy.

As a rock and roll guitarist in an internationally successful rock band, Collen didn’t start out as a health and fitness enthusiast. After years of playing hard, partying hard, and leading a self-described “very unhealthy lifestyle,” Phil decided to make a change. In his early thirties, Collen decided to quit drinking and partying. His live-saving conversion came just before his DEF LEPPARD bandmate and “terror twin” of the party scene, Steve Clark, died of a prescription drug and alcohol overdose in early 1991. Inspired to lead a healthier lifestyle, the sober Collen no longer needed to “recover” each day from the previous night’s debauchery, and instead found himself with numerous free hours in his day. Collen began exercising, running to start, and later taking up the martial art of Muay Thai kick boxing.

Collen stopped eating meat in the early 1980s and went vegan in 2011. He told the Los Angeles Times: “I always thought it was a bit weird eating dead bodies even though my parents said it was all right. But I saw ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’, and that did it. In the movie, they’re doing the same thing to people that they do to animals, and so I gradually got off eating meat…. The health thing came way later. Veganism came [nine] years ago, and it was more of a health decision.”

Depraved Indifference No More: Earth Crisis’ Scott Crouse on the “Salvation of Innocents” Reissue

Earth Crisis guitarist Scott Crouse talks about the reissue of the epic 2014 animal liberation-themed Salvation of Innocents in this pandemic moment.
The post Depraved Indifference No More: Earth Crisis’ Scott Crouse on the “Salvation of Innocents” Reissue appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

Sick Riffs #76: Liam Beeson teaches you how to play Brand of Sacrifice’s Casca

Ex-DEATH Members GENE HOGLAN, STEVE DIGIORGIO And BOBBY KOEBLE Perform Quarantine Version Of ‘Overactive Imagination’

Three former members of DEATH — drummer Gene Hoglan, bassist Steve DiGiorgio and guitarist Bobby Koeble — recently teamed up with their DEATH TO ALL bandmate, guitarist/vocalist Max Phelps, to record a quarantine cover version of the DEATH classic “Overactive Imagination” from the 1993 album “Individual Thought Patterns”. Check out video of the performance below.

It was 1993 when DEATH cemented its reputation as one of the most creative and innovative progressive metal bands of our time by releasing its fifth studio album, “Individual Thought Patterns”. The album was its most technical and progressive material to date while displaying the full talents of DEATH mastermind Chuck Schuldiner.

In 2016, this legendary album was brought back to life in a live setting. With its tour, “European Thought Patterns”, DEATH TO ALL paid tribute to the masterpiece along with classic cuts from all of the DEATH albums. The DEATH TO ALL lineup consisted of DiGiorgio, Hoglan, Koelble and Phelps, who joined forces to resurrect those iconic songs, along with many more milestones from DEATH’s legendary history.

Schuldiner died on December 13, 2001 after a battle with pontine glioma, a rare type of brain tumor.

In recent years, DEATH’s storied catalog has undergone a meticulous reissue campaign via Relapse Records.

Relapse released the first-ever fully authorized DEATH tab book, featuring 21 classic songs tabbed out for guitar from the band’s entire discography. The book, which includes traditional notation as well as tablature, also comes with a digital download of all tracks.

GODSMACK’s SULLY ERNA: ‘I’m Gonna Try To Get Two Records Done Before The Holidays’

GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna spoke to “Offstage With DWP” about how he has been staying busy while in coronavirus quarantine and what his plans are for the coming months. He said (see video below): “There’s a lot going on, but what is gonna be permitted is yet to be told. My main priority is to spend the rest of this year with my band, writing, rehearsing, recording, mixing, mastering, getting new GODSMACK ready to go for the top of ’21. And I’m really hoping to be able to get even a solo record done this year. So I’m gonna try to get very aggressive with my creativity and get two records done before the holidays. So that’s gonna be challenging. Once I’m in that creative space, though, it usually starts going quick. It’s just getting that wound open again and trying to get that vessel to work, that instrument to work. Because when it’s closed off for a while and you’re just being dad, and you’re being the guy who’s trying to set up a new business, and you’re installing new hardwood floors at your house or something — you’re just that dude, right? And you’re not playing the guitar and getting artsy. So I’ve gotta shut off that to become this again. Once I get into that open space, then I think I should be able to get a couple of records done this year. So as far as content goes, that’s one of my missions to accomplish in 2020 while the world is rehabbing.”

He continued: “The other thing that we are getting very close on is, I have a feature documentary that’s been shot for many years now about my life story from zero until I got a record deal, which is based on a book that I put out, ‘The Paths We Choose’. They’ve been working on this feature documentary about that, and we’re really hoping that’s gonna be wrapped by the end of July and try to find a home for it, whether it’s Netflix or somewhere it has a platform to play it on. So that’s on the plate.”

GODSMACK has been off the road since the coronavirus pandemic shut the touring industry down, but has been working on material for the follow-up to its last album, 2018’s “When Legends Rise”.

Last year, GODSMACK landed three No. 1 singles from “When Legends Rise”. The group’s latest track, “Under Your Scars”, topped the rock radio chart in July, joining previous chart-toppers “Bulletproof” and the title cut. “Bulletproof” was also the most-played song at rock radio in 2018.

“When Legends Rise” was released in April 2018. The disc followed up 2014’s “1000hp” and was GODSMACK’s first release through BMG after splitting with its longtime home, Republic/Universal.

GODSMACK has spent more than a year and half on the road, both in North America and throughout Europe, in support of “When Legends Rise”.

Thalassic – ENSIFERUM

It’s almost impossible to achieve longevity in heavy metal without repeating yourselves occasionally. In the best possible way, ENSIFERUM have been the model of consistency over the years, with a long-established musical identity and a steady forward march toward bigger and better things very much part of the bargain. Righteously huge in Europe, the Finns have so far lacked the collective charisma to emulate AMON AMARTH’s unlikely ascent to festival headliner status, but “Thalassic” sounds like the record they needed to make to unlock those last few potential levels.

Any fear that founder Markus Toivonen had run out of ideas by this point are walking the plank within seconds of sumptuous overture “Seafarer’s Dream”. Although not a full-blown concept album, “Thalassic” does revolve around a core theme of battles, beasts and mythological happenings on the high seas. One result of that subtle shift of focus is that ENSIFERUM’s eighth studio record is a much more rounded affair than any of its predecessors: with the wind in their lyrical sails, the band’s mastery of atmosphere and drama has blossomed. You might not hear it in the exuberant bombast of preview single and instant crowd-pleaser “Rum, Women, Victory” (which might initially seem like a boozy ALESTORM knockoff but is actually one of the most straightforwardly ripping tunes ENSIFERUM have recorded yet), but from the widescreen thunder of “Andromeda” onwards, “Thalassic” showcases a subtly enhanced and expanded musical vision, with more depth to underlying orchestration, and more muscular heft behind everything else.

It’s always been an impressive feat, ENSIFERUM’s blending of melodic death metal’s heads-down intensity with the fog-shrouded pomp of Finnish folk metal. The latter influence has always been closer in spirit to AMORPHIS than to FINNTROLL, and its potency has never been more apparent than in the likes of “For Sirens” and “The Defence of the Sampo”, wherein Toivonen’s (or possibly bassist Sami Hinkka’s) clean vocals provide an emotional counterpoint to frontman Petri Lindroos’s dominant rasp. Elsewhere, “One with the Sea” is truly monumental. At six minutes, it’s a veritable epic by ENSIFERUM standards, but it’s the song’s ghostly grandeur and euphoric chorus that mark it out as a career high point. It also helps that Janne Joutsenniemi’s production is immaculate: vivid, warm and nuanced, but still exerting the ribcage-rattling oomph that modern metal demands.

Concluding with the riotous call to revel of “Midsummer Magic” and the imposing, intricate and laudably ambitious “Cold Northland (Väinämöinen Part III)”, “Thalassic” isn’t radically different from previous ENSIFERUM records. What it does do, and brilliantly so, is confirm beyond doubt that this band are more than worthy of their place at European metal’s top table. Consistent? Yes. But also getting stronger and sharper with every fresh skirmish, rum consumption notwithstanding.

UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER Says He Will Perform ACCEPT Songs With U.D.O. On Upcoming North American Tour

Four and a half years ago, former ACCEPT and current U.D.O. frontman Udo Dirkschneider announced that he would embark on a special tour during which he would perform ACCEPT songs one last time under the DIRKSCHNEIDER banner before closing that chapter for good. Asked in a new interview with Talking Metal if DIRKSCHNEIDER is now officially retired and whether we will ever see him singing ACCEPT classics again, Udo responded: “It was planned to come to America with U.D.O. in November/December. We had a six-week tour going on in America, but we had to cancel this [due to the coronavirus pandemic]. But I will tell you the truth. [Laughs] All the promoters and all the people said, ‘Please, please, can you please play two or three ACCEPT songs also with U.D.O.?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ I mean, to do a show in America, a gig in America, without playing ‘Balls To The Wall’, it’s nearly impossible. [Laughs] Yeah, it was their big wish. They said, ‘Please, please, please…’ Maybe only this song [‘Balls To The Wall’]. This is very important. So we said, ‘Yeah.’

“Normally in Europe, definitely with U.D.O., we don’t play any ACCEPT songs,” he continued. “The good thing is, if we want, we can say, ‘Okay, we come under DIRKSCHNEIDER again and we play only ACCEPT songs.'”

When he first announced the DIRKSCHNEIDER tour, Udo said that had “to make a clear break for myself — close the book and this is it. And I have the problem that people come to me and ask me to play more ACCEPT songs,” he explained. “Other people ask me why I play ACCEPT songs at all, because there are [more than] fifteen U.D.O. records. I want to avoid such things and avoid the repeating questions concerning ACCEPT. I just can’t stand that anymore. There is nothing more to be said. U.D.O. exists longer than ACCEPT. We have more records than ACCEPT.”

While acknowledging that some ACCEPT fans want to hear the band’s classic songs performed by the group’s original singer, Dirkschneider explained that “you always have these comparisons [between how these songs are played by ACCEPT and U.D.O.]. I don’t want this anymore either. [The current lineup of ACCEPT] also play ‘Metal Heart’, they play ‘Balls To The Wall’ and ‘Princess Of The Dawn’. And then some people tell me, ‘Oh, [current ACCEPT singer Mark Tornillo] is doing it better than you.’ And I go, ‘That’s fine. Enjoy yourself.’ But I don’t want this anymore. And to avoid all of this in the future, I said, ‘We are doing this one more time.'”

Dirkschneider said that his vow to never play ACCEPT material again came with one caveat. “If the band ACCEPT dissolves one day in the near future and I am still around with U.D.O., then there is a chance that I put ACCEPT songs back in the setlist,” he said. “But currently there is ACCEPT, so go see them [if you want to see those songs performed live]. They are playing these songs.”

Udo previously said the original plan was for DIRKSCHNEIDER to only “a few shows,” and “then [the tour] got bigger and bigger [due to demand].” But, he added, “I don’t want to complain about that.”

Back in 2018, ACCEPT guitarist Wolf Hoffmann declined to comment on Dirkschneider’s decision to embark on one final tour during which the singer would perform nothing but ACCEPT songs. “I have lots of thoughts about that, but I’m not gonna share ’em with you,” he told SiriusXM’s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”. “I’d rather not comment on that, because that seems so much ‘back and forth,’ and I think I should stay away from it… You can draw your own conclusions all day long, but I’m not gonna get into it; it’s just not worth it.

“I get asked [about Udo] so many times, and, man, it’s been so many years — it’s such an old story by now,” Wolf continued. “We’ve moved on way past that, and we’ve had 10 brilliant years [with Mark Tornillo], we’re making cool albums; I think we’re doing fine. So I don’t spend any time thinking about it.

“I’m very proud of the history we have together and all that, but I’m just not gonna get into the current ‘he said, she said’ whatever — it’s not worth it,” Hoffmann concluded.