MERCYFUL FATE Guitarists Michael Denner and Hank Shermann Announce New Band

Since the world should no longer wait for any form of new MERCYFUL FATE-related music, guitarists Michael Denner and Hank Shermann have announced their new name simply entitled, DENNER / SHERMANN. Additionally, former MERCYFUL FATE drummer Snowy Shaw is part of the band. Marc Grabowski (DEMONICA) and Sean Peck (CAGE and DEATH DEALER) will be on bass and vocals, respectively.

Their first release will be an EP, Satan’s Tomb. The band state, “These songs were crafted with the Mercyful Fate worldwide legion of fans at the forefront of their collective minds. From the first riff to the last wail, one cannot help but feel the magic newly recaptured once again.”

Hank Shermann comments: “We have been writing and recording with an incredible line up of musicians and the fans are in for a dark, classic, heavy metal treat for sure. We wanted to get back to the essence of what we created back in the early 80s” “The music inevitable sounds like you would hope it to be, fans of our early work should be very excited”.

Say It Isn’t So: IN SOLITUDE Breaks Up

While there seems to be subpar bands popping up every second, it only hurts when the really good ones go.  Sweden’s IN SOLITUDE announced today that they are calling it a day after 13 years.  It was an amicable break up and the band point to bigger priorities in life that have taken precedence.

Here’s the band’s announcement:

“2002 – 2015
“Dear friends. It is with great sadness that we inform you that we have chosen to end In Solitude here.

“This is something that’s been taking shape for a long time and suddenly the day came when we had to evaluate our positions in life and find a solution.

“The reasons for our departure are not hostile in any sense and our love for each other and the music is stronger than ever before. But it is with respect for that music and that love between us that we choose to end it at this point.

“Changes in our personal lives demanded that we treated this as carefully as we could and with our deepest respect and reverence for all personal feelings, and for the aim of our journey.

“This has been one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make and we’ve had to investigate every inch of our beings in order to make this right. In Solitude has been the center of our lives for 13 years and we’ve invested everything we have in this and to make this decision was to rip us up by ours roots and make us re-evaluate our entire lives and our future…[read more]”

At the very least, IN SOLITUDE went out on a high note with the most excellent, Sister.

IMMORTAL: Band Put on Ice (Again); Abbath Announces Solo Band

IMMORTAL vocalist/guitarist Abbath has announced that IMMORTAL will once again go on hiatus because the band members could not come to an agreement regarding their dispute over ownership of the band’s name.  Abbath will move forward with a solo band with new music, and performances, which will include IMMORTAL songs.

Check out the official statement here.

It should be cool to hear what Abbath as well as the other members of IMMORTAL cook up in terms of new music.

BEASTMILK: Co-Founding Guitarist Leaves; New Band Name Announced

Finland’s BEASTMILK have been extremely busy these days. First, they have parted ways with co-founding guitarist Johan “goatspeed” Snell. Thus, the remaining members felt the need to change the band’s name to GRAVE PLEASURES moving forward.

ORANSSI PAZUZU guitarist Juho Vanhanen also joins the ranks for live/studio purposes. The band will have two guitarists now, including Linnea Olsson (THE OATH, SONIC RITUAL).

Additionally, GRAVE PLEASURES are working on their major label deal debut.

Read the rest of the details at the band’s Facebook page.

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.”

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.