OVERKILL: New Album Pushed Back To July; Tour Dates Postponed

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New Jersey thrash metal veterans OVERKILL have pushed back the projected release date of their new album to July from the previously announced March. As a result, the band has postponed all shows originally scheduled for March (except for the U.K. dates) to the fall.

Said OVERKILL in a statement: “We are still working on the new record, but this is gonna be worth the wait, with more old-school, face-melting thrash!”

OVERKILL‘s new CD will be released in North America via eOne Music and in Europe through Nuclear Blast Records.

Speaking to Steppin’ Out magazine, OVERKILL vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth stated about the band’s upcoming album: “The new record has a blend of what we’ve done over the past half decade. I’m noticing it’s a more punchy heavy metal record with more dimension than the last record had. Where is it going to end up on the food chain? I really don’t know. But my feeling is it’s an eclectic collection of moments from us. ‘The Electric Age’ came across, to me, as kind of a two-dimensional thrash record. This one is punchy but has a whole different bunch of ways to go and things to hear on it.”

OVERKILL released a very special limited tour edition of its latest album, “The Electric Age”, in Europe on April 19, 2013 via Nuclear Blast Records. The limited 2CD tour edition included the regular album as well as a four additional live tracks on a bonus CD, recorded at The Metro in Sidney, Australia on September 25, 2010.

“The Electric Age” sold 6,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 77 on The Billboard 200 chart.

SKID ROW To Enter Studio Next Month

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SKID ROW will enter the studio on February 2 to begin recording “United World Rebellion – Chapter Two”, the second in a series of EPs that the reincarnated band — Dave “Snake” Sabo (guitar), Rachel Bolan (bass), Scotti Hill (guitar), Johnny Solinger (vocals) and Rob Hammersmith (drums) — plans to release in the near future.

SKID ROW‘s last EP, “United World Rebellion – Chapter One”, was released in Europe on May 24, 2013 via Germany’s UDR Music. The European version of the EP includes two bonus tracks, both of them cover tunes: “Fire Fire” (EZO) and “United” (JUDAS PRIEST).

“United World Rebellion – Chapter One” sold around 1,500 copies in the Unted States in its first week of release. The CD was made available in North America on April 16, 2013 via MRI.

In a recent interview with MetalshrineBolan stated about SKID ROW‘s decision to release a series of EPs: “The reason we’re doing it is because we wanted to try something different and try a different angle.

“We’re old school and we’ve always put out a full-length and then toured for a year and a half or whatever.

“Technology moves so fast and information overload kinda rules the day, so we went, ‘Why don’t we put together seven songs and put out three chapters over the next two years?’ Snake [guitarist Dave Sabo] and I were talking about it and when we told the rest of the band they were into it and our label loved it.

“The main reason is to put out some new music and tour after that and then more new music and tour after that. Keep everything fresh. And then another reason was the economic factor. It’s a lot easier for a SKID ROW fan to put down 6 dollars instead of having to shell out 17 for a full-length. I think some people are still not sure about it, because it is a different way of doing things, but we just did it because we thought it would be a cool idea to have a concept.

“It was seven years between “Revolutions Per Minute” and “United World Rebellion” because we toured so much, and honestly, one night, I forget who said it, it was Scotti [Hill, guitar] or Snake, ‘Man, we haven’t put out new music in a really long time.’ And we were, like, ‘Nah, it’s been like two or three years.’ We started thinking and it was, like, ‘No, it’s been like seven years.’ [laughs]

“From a songwriter’s standpoint, it’s a lot less pressure. It keeps your chops up as a songwriter and there’s always something for the band to do; there’s never really any down time. Between writing, recording and touring, for this whole year, we’ve probably only taken two weeks completely off.”

GEOFF TATE, Former Bandmates Involved In Settlement Talks Over Rights To QUEENSRŸCHE Name

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Singer Geoff Tate — who was fired from the Seattle progressive rock band QUEENSRŸCHE in 2012 after fronting it for three decades — has revealed to AL.com that he currently is involved “in settlement talks” with his former bandmates over the rights to the group’s name.

Tate and his wife, SusanQUEENSRŸCHE‘s former manager, filed a lawsuit in June 2012 asking the judge to award them the rights to the band’s name in exchange for Tate paying Eddie Jackson (bass), Michael Wilton (guitar) and Scott Rockenfield (drums) the fair market value for their interests in the QUEENSRŸCHE companies. WiltonRockenfield and Jackson filed a countersuit against the Tates in which they accused Geoff of creative obstruction and violent behavior, and Susan Tate of questionable business practices.

While ruling against Tate, the presiding judge determined that there was no legal hurdle in Tate also using the name with an all-new lineup of musicians. “I don’t see any reason that Mr. Tate can’t have the benefit, if he gets other members, of whatever name he uses of using the brand,” Superior Court Judge Carol A. Schapira said during the July 13, 2012 court hearing. “I think [doing that would be] inherently confusing, although I’m sure the market can get these things sorted out,” she added.

Asked by AL.com what his ultimate goal of the court proceedings is — to get the original lineup of QUEENSRŸCHE back together or to win the name and continue with this band, Geoff said: “Right now, we have two QUEENSRŸCHEs, which is way too confusing to fans. We have to give someone the name and someone has to pay the other person off. We’re in settlement talks now, and I hope that we can come to a conclusion in the next couple of weeks.”

WiltonRockenfield and Jackson last year accused Geoff Tate of “continu[ing] to harm the QUEENSRŸCHE brand” since the Tates‘ original lawsuit was filed in June 2012. In a court document, they wrote: “The newest self-titled QUEENSRŸCHE CD release by the [Todd La Torre-fronted version of the band] entered the U.S. charts at #23 and continues to get 9-out-of-10-star reviews and is still selling very well on a weekly basis around the globe. In comparison, Geoff Tate released his own QUEENSRŸCHE CD in April of [2013] titled ‘Frequency Unknown’ and depicted as F.U. on the cover, which entered the charts at #82, received very bad reviews around the world, and has slowed to almost no more weekly sales. [The Todd La Torre-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE‘s] new CD even outperformed the last two CDs of them with Geoff Tate, selling more in a month than the ‘Dedicated to Chaos’ CD has since its release in 2010, and charting much better than both that album and the previous one, ‘American Soldier’. Thus, the return to the classic sound [Tate‘s former] bandmates have made with the new CD and live shows has been met with overwhelming success.”

They added: “Geoff Tate also chose very poorly in hiring live musicians that have shown that they are not capable of representing the correct performances of the QUEENSRŸCHE music legacy, and he was constantly replacing them. He has been offering his low-quality version of QUEENSRŸCHE to the promoters at a much reduced rate, as low as $10,000 per night, when, in fact, [his former] bandmates have done their best to keep the authorized QUEENSRŸCHE at an average of well over $20,000 per show this entire year. However, this becomes harder and harder with Geoff Tate‘s sub-par band and cut-rate pricing that continues to be damaging to the QUEENSRŸCHE brand and legacy no matter who ultimately wins control after trial.”

In an interview with The Oakland PressRockenfield said said that “negotiations are ongoing between Tate and the singer’s former bandmates and “there’s still time for anything to happen between now and [the start of the trial in January 2014].”

“I think our confidence is pretty high,” Scott said. “There’s a lot of legal stuff you have to deal with, but we just feel good and look at it as a light at the end of the tunnel and keep playing shows and making music. I think when you do that, the right decision will be made in time.”

MÖTLEY CRÜE: 'RIP: All Bad Things Must Come To An End'

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MÖTLEY CRÜE will hold a special event in Los Angeles on January 28 under the banner “RIP: All Bad Things Must Come To An End”. The band is expected to announce the first details of its farewell tour, which will likely last for a couple of years.

MÖTLEY CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx was asked in an October 2013 interview with RollingStone.com about the time table for the band’s eventual farewell tour, which singer Vince Neil said could begin as early as May 2014.

“We haven’t decided when that is, we’re talking about that,” Sixx said. “It’ll happen, but we don’t know when it will happen.

“The most important thing about a farewell tour is that the band doesn’t lie to the fans, and the band doesn’t tour and then come back years later. That’s what’s important for us, planning what’s the right time to go out.

“We have a great fan base, we have original fans all the way down to teenagers, and we really feel grateful to that and we continue to reinvent ourselves over the years.

“People always tried to make us an unimportant part of rock history and that doesn’t really affect us because it’s always been that way. Critics have always snubbed us.

“The thing about MÖTLEY CRÜE is we are a people’s band, we don’t kiss ass to the industry. We believe artists should be in control of their own destiny and that destiny also includes when it should be done so that their fans can forever be proud. It’s not one or two band members up there dragging the band name around. It’s a band for a reason, it works for a reason. We’re really proud of that. I think that’s why, when the day does come, we want to be proud of our band and what we’ve achieved.”

He continued: “Someone said to me the other day, ‘Won’t you be sad?’ I go, ‘No, I’d be sad if we were playing half-full theaters and only two band members were in the band.’ That would be sad. Sad is not taking your final bow in Los Angeles all together as four brothers.

“I talked to a friend the other day and they were talking about a friend of theirs who passed away. And after the funeral, they had this huge party and everybody was celebrating, drinking and telling stories about this guy and how fun he was and how much joy he gave everybody in life. That’s how I feel about MÖTLEY CRÜE.

“When that day comes, that’s what I want: one big fucking huge party to celebrate what we’ve done, all the good, all the bad, all the in-between. There it is, one big party, one final bow. It’s gonna be fucking rad, but we’re not there yet. Right now, we got three shows left in Vegas and then we’re gonna start looking forward to when we tour next.”

Asked if there there could be multiple tours, or if the next one will be the finale, Sixx said: “We don’t know right now. We said as brothers and a band, that’s something we plan on doing sometime in the future, but we’re not there yet, so we don’t have any idea when. We’re not sitting down right now planning on that.”

In an interview with Billboard.comNeil said about MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s upcoming farewell tour, “I think we’ll start the tour around May — I’m just kind of guessing on that, but in the spring of ’14 — and we’ll do one more time around the world and kinda call it quits. It’s just that time. We’re going out on top. We don’t want to be some band that people are like, ‘Oh, they’re playing a club now,’ that kind of band. We still sell out arenas, have stadium stuff and things like that, so let’s go out when it’s a big deal.”

Vince also insisted that MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s retirement will be for “real” and that they won’t hold multiple farewell tours like certain other acts.

“There are some bands that are on their fifth and sixth farewell tour,” Vince told KVVU Fox 5. “Nah, we’re not gonna do that. I’m not gonna say we would never get back together and do some concerts or something — we wanna keep that open — but we’re not gonna do a farewell tour and then a couple of years later go, ‘Ah, never mind.'”

MÖTLEY CRÜE wrapped up its second Las Vegas residency at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Joint last October.

HELLYEAH To Release New Album In April

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HELLYEAH is putting the finishing touches on its fourth studio album for a tentative late April release via Eleven Seven Music. The CD is being helmed by producer Kevin Churko at his The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada. Churko is the Canadian musician, sound engineer, songwriter and record producer who has previously worked with OZZY OSBOURNEFIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and IN THIS MOMENT, among other acts.

Speaking to Classic Rock magazine, HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott called the band’s new material “heavy and diverse” and promised that the album would contain HELLYEAH‘s “very best” music to date.

Said Vinnie Paul: “It was an honor working with Kevin. He really pushed and got the best out of us. Everything we did on this record was from a different perspective.”

Added Churko: “They’ve really impressed me both with the tracks they brought in and with their drive to make them even better. I think they’ll really be delivering their best record yet — 2014 will be the year of HELLYEAH.”

HELLYEAH‘s first three albums were laid down in Dallas, Texas at Vinnie Paul Abbott‘s home studio, VP’s Upstairs Studio.

In a recent interview, Vinnie Paul stated about HELLYEAH‘s plans for the next CD: “Everything [Kevin has] ever done is great. I feel like he really made Ozzy sound fresh again, [on 2007’s] ‘Black Rain’ especially. Sonically, [Kevin‘s] records are unbeatable, and he gets the best out of every band.

“We produced our last three albums ourselves, and we really feel like we did a good job on all that. But we feel it’s time to have an outside ear, somebody to give us an extra opinion; to be the sixth member of the band, so to speak. That extra dude that drags everything out of you.”

Vinnie also revealed that the new record’s overall sound would “continue in the direction” of 2012’s “Band Of Brothers”, which represented the first time that the members of the band fully embraced their musical roots.

“The first two records were pretty experimental for us,” Vinnie explained. “We really stepped outside of the box and did a lot of things that we couldn’t do in PANTERA or MUDVAYNE or NOTHINGFACE; songs like ‘Alcohaulin’ Ass’ just wouldn’t fly in those bands. It was really liberating to be able to do that, and touch on some rock and roll, some blues, almost country southern rock, stuff like that. But with ‘Band Of Brothers’, we really wanted to get back to our roots and felt like it was time for all of us to bring the different things we brought to our previous bands into HELLYEAH, and not be afraid of it.”

HELLYEAH took part in last year’s edition of Gigantour, the critically acclaimed package festival founded in 2005 by MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine. Also appearing on the bill were headliners MEGADETH, along with BLACK LABEL SOCIETYDEVICENEWSTED and DEATH DIVISION.

“Band Of Brothers” sold 19,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 19 on The Billboard 200 chart.

ANTHRAX's SCOTT IAN On Next Album: 'Where We're At Musically Right Now, This S**t Is Just So Killer'

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ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian spoke to Metal Insider about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s follow-up to 2011’s “Worship Music”.

“It’s really coming along,” Scott said.

“It’s crazy to think that we’re already in January of this year; it seems like we just finished touring in August and we said decided to start writing again.

“We decided not to take a break and we’re jumping right in because everyone felt we could.

“We’re sitting here right now with 12 songs musically arranged and really focusing on lyrics now.

“At the end of the month, after the NAMM show, is the next time we’re getting together at [producer] Jay‘s [Ruston] studio to work on vocals.

“I like to think at the pace we’re going we would be ready to start recording maybe in April.

“I hate to ever put a stamp on something like this, because you just never know. But where we’re at musically right now, this shit is just so killer. It’s not like we have that far to go.

“Sometimes as a band when we’re writing — and I’m sure this happens to other bands too — you could sit down and listen to where you’re at and think ‘this stuff is good, but maybe there’s too much mid tempo stuff, or we don’t really have an album opener yet.’ There are just certain ways you listen to it in the context of how are to sequence and pace it, things like that.

“I think we’ve got all our bases covered and we’re ready.

“If we come out with some better shit in the next couple of months, that’s awesome, but the 12 things we have musically so far we’re really happy with.

“Things came together really fast for us and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we just came off such a good run with ‘Worship Music’. We were all really excited about getting back in a room and writing songs together, and it was the first time in a really long time that we weren’t going into writing a record coming off a really shitty time. [laughs] So for us to have come off such a great run with ‘Worship Music’, we were all really excited about it and I think it really shows in the music.”

Asked how he would compare ANTHRAX‘s new material to “Worship Music”Ian said: “It’s hard to compare. That, to me, has always been the hardest question and it’s something I just don’t like to do because to me it’s just all ANTHRAX. I would just tell you anything we’ve ever done is ANTHRAX, so I don’t know how to compare it to ‘Worship Music’.

“If you liked ‘Worship Music’, you’re gonna like this. The one thing I can say is that it definitely has more thrash elements. It definitely hearkens back to more of who we were in the ’80s, yet at the same time sounding like us now in present day, which is what a lot of people said about ‘Worship Music’. I think this one hits even harder and faster, more brutal with crazier riffs.

“We were all super inspired coming in and working with Charlie [Benante, drums] and Frankie [Bello, bass] in the room, and then having Jay in the room with us as well, has been amazing because he really pushes us. He pushes us hard. Like when we may get stuck on something in an arrangement or where to go with a melody, he will really push us and make sure we’re not just saying, ‘Alright, that’s good.’ He’s like, ‘No, that’s exactly what to do. It’s just good, now work harder.’ We all trust him so much, so it’s great having him in the room there to push us.”

ANTHRAX‘s next album will mark the recording debut with the band of lead guitarist Jonathan Donais (SHADOWS FALL), who replaced Rob Caggiano in January 2013.

Regarding whether Donais is now officially an ANTHRAX member, Ian said: “For all intents and purposes, he’s in ANTHRAX. He’s going to be there for everything we do moving forward. As far as how you title it, yeah. As far as I’m concerned, Jon is in ANTHRAX and will be playing leads on the record and will be touring with the band starting at the end of May 2014.”

SHINEDOWN Reportedly Begins Work On Next Album

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According to The Pulse Of Radio, SHINEDOWN has reportedly entered the studio this week to begin work on its fifth album, which will follow up 2012’s “Amaryllis”. Few details on the project are available, but drummer Barry Kerch told The Pulse Of Radio that the band had plenty of songs written already. “I’d say well over 30 songs,” he said. “There’s quite a bit of material out there, it’s just, is it gonna work? Is it gonna flow with whatever that record’s sound is at that time? Because really, records are a time capsule of what you’re going through at that period in your life, so once you start piecing that together, even if it’s a good song or a song that you really like, is it gonna fit on this record man? You have to go through that whole process. It can be painstaking for sure, but in the end you get a great record.”

“Amaryllis” was somewhat of an underperformer for SHINEDOWN, following the platinum-plus sales and chart success of its previous effort, 2010’s “The Sound Of Madness”.

Still in limbo is an acoustic covers album that SHINEDOWN had planned to bring out in 2013 — until it was allegedly blocked by BON JOVI, who reportedly refused to grant SHINEDOWN permission to include a version of “Wanted Dead Or Alive” on the record.

The unreleased set contains covers of songs chosen by fans, including material by THE CLASH, PEARL JAM and METALLICA.

SEBASTIAN BACH On New Solo Album: 'I Could Not Be Happier Or More Proud Of This Record'

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Former SKID ROW singer Sebastian Bach has completed work on his new solo album for a 2014 release via Frontiers Records. The follow-up to 2011’s “Kicking & Screaming” was once again produced by Bob Marlette, who has previously worked with ROB ZOMBIEBLACK SABBATH and SHINEDOWN, among others.

Says Bach: “[I had an] album cover meeting today with the immensely talented Mr. Richard Villa.

Richard is an incredible artist and we have brainstormed some kick-ass ideas that I cannot wait to execute. And exciting for the collectors out there, it looks like I will be incorporating another one of my father’s paintings into this album design.

“My father painted the covers for [SKID ROW‘s] ‘Slave To The Grind’ inside artwork for [SKID ROW‘s] ‘Subhuman Race’, [and my solo albums] ‘Angel Down’ and ‘Bring ‘Em Bach Alive!’ as well.

“There is one specific image that is haunting to me that lends itself to the album title perfectly. We are also doing a crazy-ass photo session that will be quite theatrical and fun to do.

“This album is going to knock you all out. I guarantee it.

“I could not be happier or more proud of this record. I can’t wait for you all to hear it!”

Sebastian managed to involve in the writing and recording some very special friends and guest stars, including none other than Duff McKagan (VELVET REVOLVERGUNS N’ ROSES), and not one but two top-class guitar players: John 5 (MARILYN MANSONROB ZOMBIE) and Steve Stevens (BILLY IDOL). Rounding out the lineup on the CD are Devin Bronson (AVRIL LAVIGNEPINK) on guitar and Bobby Jarzombek (HALFORDRIOTFATES WARNING) on drums. Duff and Sebastian previously collaborated on Duff‘s solo album “Believe In Me”.

Bach‘s CD/DVD package, “ABachalypse Now”, was released in North America on March 26, 2013 via Frontiers Records. The “ABachalypse Now” Ultimate CD/DVD Edition includes never-before-seen footage from 2012’s Graspop Metal Meeting festival in Dessel, Belgium, the full never-before-seen Hellfest set from France and the fully-remixed and remastered Nokia show from Los Angeles (originally broadcast on AXS TV), as well as bonus music videos. The DVD contains a running time of nearly 160 minutes. “ABachalypse Now” was made available in two configurations: the Ultimate CD/DVD Edition (2 CDs + DVD) and a standalone DVD.

SONATA ARCTICA To Release 'Pariah's Child' In March

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Finnish melodic metallers SONATA ARCTICA will release their eighth studio album, “Pariah’s Child”, on March 28 via Nuclear Blast. The cover artwork for the CD can be seen below.

Comments SONATA ARCTICA vocalist Tony Kakko: “As always, it’s pretty hard coming up with a name for the new baby. I tried to approach it from many angles; how this is our eighth album and how easy it would be to abuse that fact. All the symbolism of figure eight, eternity and so on. But that just did not feel right, as it’s been done so many times. Then I started to think how we’d in ways abandoned our ‘totem animal,’ the wolf and all what comes with the territory.

“As the music on the album is bowing more towards the ‘old’ SONATA, meaning more power metal-style elements and wolves in many of the songs in one form or another, it was clear we need a wolf on the cover. An abandoned wolf. A pariah. Or pariah’s child, actually. The new generation to bring the old logo back.”

SONATA ARCTICA last August parted ways with bassist Marko Paasikoski and replaced him with Pasi Kauppinen (SILENT VOICES, ex-REQUIEMWINTERBORN).

The band will launch a European headlining tour in support of “Pariah’s Child” on April 10 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Says SONATA ARCTICA keyboardist Henrik “Henkka” Klingenberg: “It’s been a while since we last toured Europe, so I’m very happy that we can announce our first tour with our new album.

“Since the album will be out in March 2014, we don’t want to waste any time but will head out for a full European tour.

“The whole band is really looking forward to play some new songs for you and introduce our new bass player, Pasi, for all our fans. He’s a monster live, you’ll see.”

SONATA ARTICA‘s latest album, “Stones Grow Her Name”, was released in Europe on May 18, 2012 and in North America on May 22, 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was recorded in several studios all over Finland, mixed at Sonic Pump Studios by Mikko Karmila and mastered at Chartmakers by Svante Forsbäck.

“Stones Grow Her Name” sold around 2,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 9 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY To Release 'Catacombs Of The Black Vatican' Album In April

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The new BLACK LABEL SOCIETY studio album, “Catacombs Of The Black Vatican”, will be released in Europe on April 7 via Mascot Label Group and one day later in North America through eOne Music. The band’s mainman, Zakk Wylde, joked in a recent interview that the forthcoming CD will be “all completely the same as the last nine records, except just different songtitles.”

Mascot Label Group is honored to welcome BLACK LABEL SOCIETY to the label, having recently signed the band exclusively for European territory. The group will join, among others, JOE BONAMASSAVOLBEATGOV’T MULEBETH HARTVANDENBERG’S MOONKINGSBLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION and KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD on the Rotterdam, The Netherlands-based record company’s roster.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY recently amicably parted ways with longtime guitarist Nick Catanese and replaced him with Dario Lorina (LIZZY BORDEN).

“Catacombs of the Black Vatican” is BLACK LABEL SOCIETY‘s first new studio album since 2009’s “The Order Of The Black”, which debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 chart.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY‘s new live DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Video, “Unblackened”, was released on September 24, 2013 by Eagle Rock EntertainmentWylde‘s label home, eOne Music, also released the audio version of the “Unblackened” DVD under the same name.