ARCTURUS Sign to Prophecy Productions

Prophecy Productions feel honoured and are excited to welcome ARCTURUS to its artist roster. The first mutual work will be ARCTURUS‘ fifth full-length studio album, Arcturian, which is scheduled for release on May 8th, 2015. Pre-order for all physical products (ltd. 2CD hardcover book, ltd. Gatefold LP, ltd. box sets, Digipak CD) is available now at en.prophecy.de/shop/arcturus-arcturian.html.

ICS Vortex on behalf of ARCTURUS says: “A new chapter, and a new prophetic partner…We are star tripping psyched to be releasing ‘Arcturian‘ soon!”

ARCTURUS line-up 2015:

Simen “ICS Vortex” Hestnæs – vocals

Steinar “Sverd” Johnsen – keyboards

Knut Magne Valle – guitar

Hugh “Skoll” Mingay – bass

Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Blomberg – drums

ARCTURUS plan to make a short tour of European venues between 2nd – 10th May 2015. All dates will be announced next week.

Further European club shows and festivals will be announced later in the year and the band will also perform at Maryland Deathfest, Maryland, USA on 23rd of May 2015 , with extra South American dates to be announced shortly.

Bruce Dickinson Undergoes Cancer Treatment

IRON MAIDEN have announced that Bruce Dickinson recently completed cancer treatment.  It was thankfully caught in the early stages.  Here is the official word from the band:

“Just before Christmas, MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson visited his doctor for a routine check-up. This led to tests and biopsies which revealed a small cancerous tumour at the back of his tongue. A seven week course of chemotherapy and radiology treatment was completed yesterday. As the tumour was caught in the early stages, the prognosis thankfully is extremely good. Bruce’s medical team fully expect him to make a complete recovery with the all clear envisaged by late May. It will then take a further few months for Bruce to get back to full fitness. In the meantime we would ask for your patience, understanding and respect for Bruce and his family’s privacy until we update everyone by the end of May. Bruce is doing very well considering the circumstances and the whole team are very positive.”

VOIVOD: New Song “We are Connected” Now Online

VOIVOD have recently recorded a new song for a split 7″ vinyl release with label-mates AT THE GATES. The collectors item will be available in stores April 7th, 2015. Check out the song, “We Are Connected“:

Pure VOIVOD!  Also, catch the band on their current tour with NAPALM DEATH, IRON REAGAN, EXHUMED and BLACK CROWN INITIATE.

Official BEHEMOTH Biography Coming February 2015

The 490-page hardcover bookBehemoth: Devil’s Conquistadors, by Lukasz Dunaj is the definitive and official BEHEMOTH biography. It includes quotes and anecdotes from current and former members that provide context and details in addition to the author’s narrative, plus interviews with Tomas Krajewski, Rob Darken, Graal, Havok, and more. The artistically presented pages are filled with old photos of the band, flyers, lyric sheets etc.

Preorders are available now at metalblade.com/behemoth, and include a bundle with an exclusive shirt available ONLY with this preorder.  Behemoth: Devil’s Conquistadors is available February 24, 2015.

In the book, Nergal discusses the acquisition of his first electric guitar: “The first communion was a very important moment for me. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Of course, not as a religion experience – I didn’t understand anything and couldn’t care less. Same as all the other kids. We all stood there with our votive candles and waited for one thing. Cash. The first communion must be one moment when you get the most money you’re ever going to get as a child. And for this money, I bought myself my first electric guitar. Not a bike, no Legos – a guitar.”

Video of the Day: NAPALM DEATH’s Barney Greenway Gets Animated

The first music video from NAPALM DEATH‘s new album, Apex Predator – Easy Meat, is now up. Check out “Smash a Single Digit” below:

The video is made up of 1093 unique drawings, each one hand-drawn in ink on paper by artist Lisbet Fredslund (www.facebook.com/ElfShotLameWitch) and actually 225 of the drawings are of the face of NAPALM DEATH vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway, who provided his comments:

“Couldn’t be happier with the ‘Smash A Single Digit‘ video clip. It shows nothing of dignity or life’s fundamental pleasures – only a snapshot of those unfortunate enough to only be deemed as numbers for production quotas in this world. When a ‘digit’ has therefore been expended, it is rubbed out (or consumed leaving no trace, as in the case of this video). In my opinion, Michael Panduro and the team produced a real work of art and I think the general style holds some really nice future artistic possibilities for NAPALM DEATH.”

Apex Predator – Easy Meat is out now.

DØDHEIMSGARD Set to Return with A Umbra Omega this March

Norwegian black metal pioneers, DØDHEIMSGARD, has completed work on its fifth album, titled A Umbra Omega, which is set for release on March 17 via Peaceville Records.

The most exciting news surrounding the album is that original co-founding member, Aldrahn (THORNSTHE DEATHTRIP) has returned to the band.

A Umbra Omega is DHG‘s first album since 2007′s Supervillain Outcast, and undoubtedly marks the band’s most challenging work to date; twisted, technical, sprawling epics and an inverted outlook on existence from the depths of band mastermind/writer/producer, Vicotnik, with similarities drawn to previous classic DHG works such as 666 International and Satanic Art. A raw and organic production permeates the album courtesy of Vicotnik himself, with the album mastered at Strype Audio in Oslo by Tom Kvålsvoll.

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2014

Unlike everyone else, we waited until 2014 was actually over to recount our favorite albums. It’s been a great year for extreme music with a healthy amount of excellent releases.  We saw the return of legends in GODFLESH and AT THE GATES as well as welcome returns from long recording breaks in BEHEMOTH and MAYHEM.  And who can deny the GHOST B.C.-like popularity explosion of Japan’s BABYMETAL?  Crazy shit.  Metal is certainly a diverse genre.

For 2014, the APESHIT goons did not have any unanimous or semi-unanimous album of the year (i.e. 2013′s CARCASSSurgical Steel).  But MAYHEM, BLOODBATH, GODFLESH, and TRYPTIKON were near consensus picks.  Sorry, ENTOMBED A.D. didn’t make it here.

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Remembering NASUM Vocalist/Guitarist Mieszko Talarczyk

It was 10 years ago that the music world lost a great talent in NASUM vocalist/guitarist Mieszko Talarczyk. He, like many others, died tragically during the great tsunami that hit South Asia. His final act was protecting his girlfriend when the tsunami first hit.

I had a chance to see NASUM once during their appearance at Milwaukee Metalfest 2001. They were awesome and I never forgot the stage presence and power that Mieszko played with.  Let’s revisit those awesome grind albums today.

Check out the memorial page that the band set up in his honor.