Album Review: Svalbard – ‘When I Die, Will I Get Better?’

Bristol, U.K. trio Svalbard didn’t merely make a better record than 2018’s solid It’s Hard to Have Hope, but delivered the first truly great album of their career.
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Joshua De La Victoria improvs over Joe Satriani’s “Hands In The Air”

Album Premiere: Hexecutor – ‘Beyond Any Human Conception of Knowledge…’

French thrashers Hexecutor murder the front row with new album, Beyond Any Human Conception of Knowledge… Streaming in full at Decibel!
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Full EP Stream: War Cloud – “Chain Gang”

War Cloud kick it old school on their new EP, Chain Gang.
The post Full EP Stream: War Cloud – “Chain Gang” appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

Strymon Introduces the NightSky Time-Warped Reverberator

An incredibly deep reverb unit that features three selectable reverb types and a wealth of options.

Album Premiere: Transcendence LA ‘Towards Obscurities Beyond’

California-based Transcendence LA thrash ’til (melodic) death on new album, Towards Obscurities Beyond. Streaming only at Decibel!
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ACE FREHLEY Looks Back On KISS’s Infamous ‘Tomorrow Show’ Interview: GENE SIMMONS ‘Didn’t Seem Too Thrilled About It’

In a brand new interview with “Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz”, former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley was asked about the band’s infamous October 1979 appearance on Tom Snyder’s “The Tomorrow Show” when a visibly irritated Paul Stanley (guitar, vocals) and Gene Simmons (bass) tried to contain the bombastic (and drunk) Frehley, whose nonstop laughter and joking overshadowed the rest of the group. He said (hear audio below): “It’s a funny interview. Obviously, I was slightly inebriated. [Laughs] But I had fun with Tom, and Tom had fun with me. And I pretty much upstaged the rest of the guys in the band, especially Gene, who didn’t seem too thrilled about it. But it was a live show; there was nothing they could do about it. I was really nervous about doing that show, because it was live, and I’d never done live TV before, and I knew it was a popular show and millions of people were gonna be watching. So I drank a little too much and got silly, but it ended up working out for the better.”

Back in 2012, Stanley told LA Weekly that he was less than amused by Frehley’s antics on “The Tomorrow Show”.

“It wasn’t that big of a fun time because you have to respect your position,” Paul said. “You have to respect your job. You have to respect the people that you’re trying to communicate with. It may seem funny that somebody is drunk… but the fact is that the root of it was, I believe, a contempt and a lack of respect for the audience and the fans. So, sure, can you look at it and chuckle? Yeah. I can, too, but I see deeper. And I look at it and say, what a shame to take this lofty position that somebody gave us and spit in it. Spit in its face. By showing up inebriated or unable to connect a sentence. It may be funny on the surface, but what’s below the surface is a lack of appreciation for a gift that you’ve been given.”

Some of the footage from KISS’s appearance on “The Tomorrow Show” was later included on the “Kissology – The Ultimate Kiss Collection Vol. 2 1978 – 1991” DVD, which came out in 2007.

In a 2009 interview with KissFAQ, Frehley was asked about his track “The Return Of Space Bear”, which was included on the iTunes version of his “Anomaly” album and which contained some of the dialog from “The Tomorrow Show” appearance.

“The associate producer of ‘Anomaly’, Frank Munoz, and I were throwing out ideas about a concept for this song I had called ‘Skels’, which was essentially a soundtrack song,” he said. “The initial idea was that we were going to use soundbites to tell the story of me being chased in my Porsche by the cops and by flying saucers. There’s actually a demo I have with that concept, but we thought it might go over people’s heads [laughs] — no pun intended. Then Frank suggested that I re-create my ‘one-liners’ from my appearance on the ‘The Tomorrow Show’ in 1979. We watched it on YouTube, laughed our asses off and then I recorded it. Frank does some of Tom’s parts and, the fans who have heard it love it.”

Ace has just released a new covers album, “Origins Vol. 2”. The sequel to his 2016 album “Origins Vol. 1” features renditions of songs by various artists who influenced and inspired the former KISS axeman.

STATIC-X’s TONY CAMPOS Looks Back On WAYNE STATIC’s Drug-Related Death: ‘You Can’t Help Someone That Doesn’t Wanna Be Helped’

In a new interview with the “Rock & Roll Beer Guy” podcast, STATIC-X bassist Tony Campos reflected on the passing of the band’s frontman Wayne Static nearly six years ago. Wayne died after mixing Xanax and other powerful prescription drugs with alcohol, according to the coroner’s report. The 48-year-old Static, whose real name was Wayne Richard Wells, was found dead in his Landers, California home on November 1, 2014.

Campos said (see video below): “I don’t wanna dwell on that stuff. It was just a really bad time for the band and for myself personally. Long story short, the band fell apart. Wayne got really involved with drugs and he got addicted and, unfortunately, it cost him his life.

“You can’t help someone that doesn’t wanna be helped. You can do whatever you think will help, but if the person doesn’t want help, they’re not gonna take it,” he continued.

“Unfortunately, Wayne wasn’t the first friend I lost because of drug addiction, so it was just like seeing it happen all over again to somebody else that I’m close with. And it sucks every time.”

Asked if he is now a strong advocate against drug use as a result of his experiences, Campos said: “No, I’m not. I’ve always had the position of, ‘Do whatever you want, but if it starts getting in the way of what you have to do, then you need to start rethinking your priorities.’ I got to a point with alcohol where it was starting to affect my performances on stage, and I had to dial it back. And now I’m just old, and I can’t handle hangovers anymore, so I’ve gotta dial it way back now.”

According to Tony, it’s “so easy” for touring musicians to “get caught up” in drinking and drugging while out on the road.

“When you, as an audience member, go to a show, you may go to a show once, twice, three times a week, maybe, tops,” he explained. “For us, as musicians, we’re doing this every night, so in every town, there’s somebody new going, ‘Hey, man. Have a drink. Smoke this. Do a line of this.’ And when you do that every day, it catches up to you, man.

“The only thing I ever did was drink and smoke weed,” Campos revealed. “I stay away from cocaine, just ’cause I tried crack once when I was 13, and I didn’t like it. And that was it. I’m, like, yeah, I’m not gonna do any more coke after that. I guess I got lucky that I avoided that pitfall. And I’ve seen lots of friends get hooked on that and ruin their lives. It’s easy to get caught up in that shit,” he repeated.

Static founded STATIC-X in 1994 and achieved commercial success with the band’s debut album, “Wisconsin Death Trip”, which included the rock radio hit “Push It”.

The group issued five more studio albums before disbanding permanently in June 2013. Static had been pursuing a solo career at the time of his death.

STATIC-X’s latest album “Project Regeneration Vol. 1”, came out in July. The first of two volumes, it features 12 brand new tracks, containing many of the final vocal performances and musical compositions of Static, along with the original “Wisconsin Death Trip” lineup of Campos, drummer Ken Jay, and guitarist Koichi Fukuda. Both volumes are being worked on by longtime STATIC-X producer Ulrich Wild.

Watch HAMMERFALL Perform ‘Keep The Flame Burning’ From ‘Live! Against The World’

Swedish metallers HAMMERFALL will release a new live set, “Live! Against The World”, on October 23 via Napalm Records. A performance video of the song “Keep The Flame Burning”, taken from the effort, can be seen below.

With an absolutely impressive, grand live production, huge arenas and overwhelming pyro shows, HAMMERFALL took over the world in 2019/2020 with its “World Dominion” tour. Now, they make their splendor available to every Templar around the globe. Recorded on February 15 at the MHP Arena in Ludwigsburg, Germany, “Live! Against The World” contains songs fresh off HAMMERFALL’s latest album, “Dominion”, mixed with a ton of band classics and a hand-picked selection of songs that rarely appear on HAMMERFALL’s setlists to fulfill the needs of both new and old fans.

HAMMERFALL did not only celebrate the great chart success of “Dominion”, but also the 20th anniversary of its “Renegade” album with a phenomenal medley during the nearly two-hour-long concert. The show had everyone on their feet and banging their heads within no time and marks one of the many unforgettable evenings of pure Swedish heavy metal in the legendary HAMMERFALL manner.

Singer Joacim Cans comments: “I am so damn proud that we are able to present a full blown, up-to-date, live show in these extremely difficult times. A time when real live shows in front of a ‘real’ live audience have ceased to exist.

“The show at MHP Arena Ludwigsburg was nothing but epic and really captured the strength and power of the band as a live act and shows the joy we are experiencing together on stage every night, no matter where we play. This is the biggest stage production we ever had and now you can experience this at home anywhere, at any time.

“HAMMERFALL is and always will be a live band and together with the greatest fans in the world we are an unstoppable force!”

Guitarist Oscar Dronjak adds: “The live act that HAMMERFALL is right now blows everything we have done previously out of the water, and I am super happy that we got to document it in this way on the biggest tour we have ever done.

“The setlist speaks for itself — every album is represented with at least one song; there’s stuff we have never performed live before, songs we haven’t played in a long time and of course all the classics. It’s a great testament to where we stand today, and an added bonus is that we finally got to record something major in Germany, in front of the fans who have been with us literally since day one.”

“Live! Against The World” starts off with the smashing song and first single “Never Forgive, Never Forget”, fresh from “Dominion”. The Swedish heavy metal institution presents itself in top shape and starts the show in Ludwigsburg, Germany with a big bang — they take the screaming templars by storm. This absolutely impressively produced live version of one of their biggest new hits marked one of the highlights of the legendary show at the MHP Arena. Adding in classics like “Any Means Necessary”, “Last Man Standing” and “Let The Hammer Fall” that show off HAMMERFALL’s legendary prowess on both vocals and instruments, the performance continues on to be both surprising and astounding. Special guest Noora Louhimo (BATTLE BEAST) made it possible for HAMMERFALL to display their emotional side with their power ballad “Second To One” live on stage. The show ends with the one song that belongs in every HAMMERFALL experience: the beautiful and heavy “Hearts On Fire”.

“Live! Against The World” will be available in the following formats:

– Blu-ray + 2 CD Digipak
– 3 LP Gatefold Vinyl Ink Spot Blue / White
– 3 LP Gatefold Vinyl Orange Transparent
– 48-page Earbook, including 2CDs + Blu-ray
– Digital album

Track listing:

01. Never Forgive, Never Forget
02. One Against The World
03. Heeding The Call
04. The Way Of The Warrior
05. Any Means Necessary
06. Hallowed Be My Name
07. Blood Bound
08. Redemption
09. Hector’s Hymn
10. Natural High
11. Second To One
12. Renegade Medley
13. Keep The Flame Burning
14. Dominion
15. The Dragon Lies Bleeding
16. Last Man Standing
17. Let The Hammer Fall
18. Hammer High
19. (We Make) Sweden Rock
20. Hearts On Fire


Joacim Cans – Vocals
Oscar Dronjak – Guitar
Pontus Norgren – Guitar
Fredrik Larsson – Bass
David Wallin – Drums

SEPULTURA’s ANDREAS KISSER Says Auditioning For METALLICA In 1992 Was One Of The Best Experiences Of His Life

In a recent interview with DEATH ANGEL’s Ted Aguilar, SEPULTURA’s Andreas Kisser once again recalled his experience auditioning for METALLICA as James Hetfleld’s temporary replacement (on guitar only) while James recovered from being burned onstage back in 1992. He said: “What a privilege, man. Phil Rind from SACRED REICH, very good friends from [then-METALLICA bassist] Jason Newsted. And me and Phil Rind, of course, were good friends — SACRED REICH and SEPULTURA were touring together during ‘Arise’ — and we love METALLICA. Me and Phil, we always loved METALLICA. I remember we were the only ones, maybe, that were defending the ‘black’ album when it came out… The more ‘thrashy’ people [said], ‘Ah, METALLICA sold out,’ whatever. And me and Phil were always defending METALLICA.

“I love to play covers,” he continued. “That’s how I learned how to play guitar, electric guitar, with the power chords and leads and stuff. And METALLICA is one of my best features, let’s say, especially to play the right hand, the thrash metal. Phil Rind knew that I could play a lot of METALLICA, but to play with METALLICA is something else. [Laughs] It was, like, the pressure… And it’s so different, of course. You go with your friends in your practice room and you play ‘Seek & Destroy’ — yeah, it’s fine. And then you go there and you see Lars [Ulrich]: ‘All right. No ‘Seek & Destroy’. Let’s play ‘The Shortest Straw’.’ [Laughs] Then we did it. I mean, ‘The Shortest Straw’, ‘One’, ‘Nothing Else Matters’, ‘Enter Sandman’… Oh, man. It give me goosebumps only to remember. And I was so welcomed there. Jason Newsted, of course, called me. ‘Hey, we are in Denver, Colorado. We have the setup here at the arena. And we are trying out everyone.’ [Guitarists from] METALLICA cover bands and friends and everything… Which I thought was fantastic. METALLICA is huge because they are huge in every respect — their attitude. They really looked for every type of possibility. Even myself, a guitar player from Brazil.”

Kisser added: “I took the plane by myself with my Charvel guitar. I went to Colorado. There was a limousine waiting for me with my name, and then I went straight to the arena to the practice room. The first one I saw was Kirk Hammett: ‘Hey, you came from Brazil. Are you all right, man?’ [Laughs] And then I was listening to some guys playing, and I was next. I came in, and I played so calm. It was so weird. Because they really let me feel at home. And I played ‘Enter Sandman’, I think, was the first one. And it was perfect. Even the crew people said, ‘Wow! We were listening from outside. We felt that the band was doing the practice.’ And then I stayed for the final, for the next day. It was me and John Marshall” — METAL CHURCH guitarist and onetime METALLICA roadie, who had already filled in before when James broke his arm skateboarding — “only, which I felt was a big victory for me, even though I didn’t get the job. But the songs from the ‘black’ album were still very new for me. ‘Unforgiven’, a lot of details that I didn’t know how to perform and stuff. And John Marshall was ready. [He is] an American, and they’re all friends and stuff. But they actually had a meeting after the rehearsals. So it was really close — it was really, really close that I didn’t get the possibility to tour with them and GUNS N’ ROSES. And FAITH NO MORE was opening; the tour was amazing. But it was one of the best experiences of my life. And still nowadays, we’re friends. It’s fantastic.”

In the end, METALLICA ended up using Marshall once again, with Hetfield handling lead vocals at all dates while sporting an arm-length bandage.

Nearly four years ago, Kisser was asked by Metal Temple magazine for his opinion of METALLICA’s latest album, “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct”. He responded: “I love it, man. I think it’s the best work they did in a few years. Of course, they took so many years to release an album, but I like this better than ‘Death Magnetic’. I think it feels a little more loose. It feels that they are enjoying themselves and they’re really writing music with no other stuff in their heads — just really enjoying themselves as musicians and as a band. And it’s really great.”

He continued: “METALLICA is a fantastic band, man. They still influence so many people. And the way they put out the album — one video clip for each song. It’s amazing, you know — so inspiring. And it’s great. They deserve everything. They still are the biggest metal band in the world, and they’re gonna keep their way for a long time, I guess.”