RIOT To Release New Album In 2014

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Long-running U.S. metallers RIOT will release an as-yet-untitled new album in 2014 via SPV/Steamhammer (in North America and Europe) and Avalon/Marquee (Asia). The band will enter the studio in December to begin recording its first studio CD without guitarist and founding member Mark Reale, who died in January 2012 in a San Antonio hospital due to complications of Crohn’s disease — an ailment he had battled for most of his life. He was 56 years old.

Although no decision has yet been made in the matter, RIOT bassist Donnie Van Stavern has revealed that the group’s new album may be issued under a different band name — presumably in recognition of the fact that Reale was RIOT‘s only remaining original member prior to his passing.

RIOT states about the upcoming CD: “Extensive press release coming soon as well as info and samples.

“Thank you, fans, for your support!

“Thank you, Mark. This is for you and dedicated to you! Shine on, metal warrior!”

Reale spent most of his life working and performing while enduring almost constant pain and the side effects of treatment for Crohn’s disease. He was in Texas bravely attempting to practice for the shows, but was felled by a severe onset of Crohn’s symptoms, leaving him in the Intensive Care Unit at an undisclosed facility. Mark was struggling with these symptoms throughout the production of RIOT‘s last album, “Immortal Soul”, and guitarist Mike Flyntz recorded a major portion of the guitars on the LP with Mark‘s creative direction while Reale was unable to perform.

In a September 2012 online posting, the surviving members of RIOT rejected claims that they were trying to cash in on Reale‘s death, writing, “RIOT has never really made lots of money — not even Mark. He lived with his parents until the day he passed. And we all have day jobs.

Mark was our brother. He lived with us and we took care of him up until his passing, and we are still deeply saddened by the death of a family member.”

They went on to say that Reale was “too shaky” to play anything but four rhythm tracks on the “Immortal Soul” album, leaving Flyntz to complete the work. “It did frustrate him,” they added. Nevertheless, “Mark was at the studio, and was pleased with how it was coming out — and was proud to call it a RIOT record.

Mark and his estate’s wishes were for us to go on, and most people want us to. We play songs we wrote or co-wrote, and play a few of Mark‘s songs in tribute to him and the early years… We’re all fans of the early stuff.”

“There are bands out there playing songs and performing with ONE original guy in the band and some didn’t write any of the music — QUIET RIOTGUNS N’ ROSESGREAT WHITE now QUEENSRŸCHE! And, of course, THIN LIZZY (well, a couple of guys, but NOT Phil [Lynott]) but people come out to hear songs they love.

Mike Flyntz has been taking care of Mr. Reale [Mark‘s father] since Mark‘s death because [Mike] is like a son to him now.”

Power Outage Forces Cancelation Of VINCE NEIL, GREAT WHITE, SLAUGHTER Concert

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A concert featuring Vince NeilGREAT WHITE and SLAUGHTER was canceled Saturday night (August 17) after an accident involving a garbage truck on Highway 124 near Brooks Road caused a massive power outage in the area of Ford Park in in Beaumont, Texas.

According to a news release issued by the operators of Ford Park, the outage compromised the ability to safely continue with the performance.

“We regret this incidence occurred but the band and promoter have agreed to reschedule this show, date to be announced at a later time,” the SMG management company said in the news release. “The safety of fans is a priority for all parties involved.”

Purchased tickets will be honored at the future date or refunds can be obtained at point of purchase.

GOD FORBID Officially Calls It Quits

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New Jersey melodic thrash-metal warriors GOD FORBID have officially called it quits following the departure of guitarist/vocalist Doc Coyle.

Said guitarist Matt Wicklund in a statement: “As many of you have heard, GOD FORBID has broken up. It is a sad time for us and also a time of new beginnings.

“The past four years have been an amazing journey for me and I am forever thankful for the experiences I have gained and the the musical family that I was welcomed into. I have grown immensely from all of this as an artist and a person.

“I am very proud of the album ‘Equilibrium’ that I got to write and record with the guys and I loved every minute I got to play all of the songs, new and old, on stages around the world for all of the wild and loyal GOD FORBID fans. Thank you all again for the good times. . Cheers to all of you and to my brothers Doc CoyleJohn OutcaltCorey Pierce and Byron Davis.

“New chapters are unfolding for all of us and I am taking all I’ve learned forward into a new and exciting musical adventure. GHOST SHIP OCTAVIUS is now my main musical outlet and I would be honored to see all of you again and share this new journey with you all!

“Here’s to good memories and to amazing things yet to come!!!”

Added vocalist Byron Davis: “Yes, it’s true, GOD FORBID is down. We are a family for the most part. Some move on while others keep it real like before the band began. I should feel sad, but I don’t right now because a new chapter has begun. I’ll be seeing you all around somewhere. Believe that.”

Drummer Corey Pierce said simply: “No more suspense… GOD FORBID is over. Sorry.”

“Equilibrium”, sold 3,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 156 on The Billboard 200 chart. The effort landed at No. 7 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.

“Equilibrium” was released on March 27, 2012 via Victory Records. The bulk of the CD was recorded by Mark Lewis (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDERWHITECHAPELDEVILDRIVERTRIVIUM), with Jason Suecof (TRIVIUMALL THAT REMAINSTHE BLACK DAHLIA MURDERCHIMAIRADEVILDRIVER) stepping in during the the vocal-tracking stage. The effort was mixed by acclaimed Swedish producer Jens Bogren, who has previously worked with such acts as KATATONIAOPETHPARADISE LOST and AMON AMARTH.

DIMMU BORGIR: New Material Is 'Shaping Up Nicely'

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Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR are working on material for the follow-up to 2010’s “Abrahadabra” for an early 2014 release via Nuclear Blast Records.

Writes the band on its Facebook page: “By the desire to achieve. Stoked about our new material, its shaping up nicely. Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.”

A few photos from the current writing sessions can be seen below.

DIMMU BORGIR was joined by an orchestra and a choir for an appearance at last year’s edition of the Wacken Open Air festival, which was held August 2-4, 2012 in Wacken, Germany.

DIMMU BORGIR‘s current touring lineup includes Geir Bratland (APOPTYGMA BERZERKTHE KOVENANT) on keyboards and Terje Andersen (a.k.a. CyrusSUSPERIA) on bass.

DIMMU BORGIR performed one very exclusive show on May 28, 2011 at the Oslo Spektrum in Norway with a special, never-to-be-repeated setlist with 53 members of KORK (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra) and 30 members of the Schola Cantorum choir, who were musical guests on the band’s ninth studio album, “Abrahadabra”. The concert, dubbed “Forces Of The Northern Night”, was professionally filmed and was broadcast as part of a one-hour documentary in June 2011 on NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company and the largest media organization in Norway.

“Abrahadabra”, the ninth album from DIMMU BORGIR, was released in Germany on September 24, 2010, in the rest of Europe on September 27, 2010, and it was made available in North America on October 12, 2010 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Plane Carrying Members Of RATT, DOKKEN Makes Emergency Landing In Illinois

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A private plane carrying members of RATT and DOKKEN was forced to make an emergency landing in Illinois after an apparent fire broke out in the jet’s cockpit. The pilot and flight attendant were able to get the fire under control and landed the plane — which was carrying 13 passengers — in Moline/Quad City.

RATT and DOKKEN are in the middle of a four-city tour with SEBASTIAN BACH and LITA FORD. The package is scheduled to perform tonight (Saturday, August 17) in Wauconda, Illinois followed by an August 18 date in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The musicians were reportedly taking ground transportation to Saturday’s concert and were expected to make it to the show in time.

“We are all OK and happy to be alive,” RATT‘s manager Rob Hoffman told BLABBERMOUTH.NET. “The tour rolls on!”

The members of RATT tweeted that they “just made an emergency landing after a fire in the cockpit. We are OK!” DOKKEN bassist Sean McNabb added, “Got hairy but safe! We’re good rolling in SUV’s to Chicago — tour rolls on.”

SYSTEM OF A DOWN Drummer: New Album 'Is Coming'

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German TV channel ZDF Kultur spoke with SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer John Dolmayan earlier tonight (Saturday, August 17) prior to the band’s performance at the Rock ‘N’ Heim festival in Hockenheim, Germany. You can now watch the chat below.

At the conclusion of SYSTEM OF A DOWN‘s July 29 concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California, Dolmayan announced that the band would release a new studio album prior to the group’s next appearance in Los Angeles.

The following day, SYSTEM OF A DOWN singer Serj Tankian, shot down reports that the band is making plans to make a new studio album, telling fans in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session: “We really appreciate [the fact that the fans want a new studio album from us], but we have to make a record when we think it’s time, not anyone else,” Serjsaid.

“No, that is not true [that we have made plans to begin work on a new album],” he added. “A quick scan of press online will show that we have not yet agreed on a timetable for another record due to its time commitments.”

Tankian also addressed the series of statements that were posted in May on SYSTEM OF A DOWN bassist Shavo Odadjian‘s Facebook page in which Shavo directly blamed Serj for the band’s continued lack of new music, saying that the vocalist was holding the group back.

Shavo‘s comments have been redacted by the author,” Serj said. “The truth is above in my first answer.”

He continued: “I am not opposed to making a SYSTEM record at all. It just has to be the right time for us all in the band.”

Tankian has just released two albums through his Serjical Strike Records“Orca”Tankian‘s first true symphony, arrived on June 25, while July 23 saw the release of a collaborative jazz-inspired disc called “Jazz-iz Christ”.

SYSTEM OF A DOWN will tour Europe throughout the month of August. After that, Tankian will launch a series of solo orchestral tour dates on September 19 in Kiev, Ukraine.

ICED EARTH Begins Mixing New Album

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North American metallers ICED EARTH have begun mixing their new album, “Plagues Of Babylon”, for a January 2014 via Century Media Records.

Says ICED EARTH guitarist/mainman Jon Schaffer: “There’s quite a selection of epic heaviness on your way, for release early next year.

“We arrived in Sweden and are heading on to Portugal for a few festivals, and then on Monday, we start the mix!”

Speaking to Metal4 magazine at last month’s Rockharz open-air festival in Germany, Schaffer said about the upcoming CD: “It’s a bit of a different thing for us, because it’s half of a concept and the other half is [standalone] tracks. Musically, I think it’s just another step in the right direction. It’s really heavy, it’s very melodic. It has a really epic feeling. Even though there isn’t, like, a monster, long epic track, the overall feel of the songs is very epic. I mean, there’s no ‘Dante’s Inferno’ or ‘Gettysburg’ or the ‘Something Wicked’ trilogy or something like that on here, but I’m really happy with it.”

Songtitles set to appear on “Plagues Of Babylon” (among others):

Plagues of Babylon
Democide
Among The Living Dead
The Resistance
If I Could See You
Peacemaker
Cthulhu
Parasite

ICED EARTH recently parted ways with drummer Brent Smedley for “personal family reasons.” He has since been replaced by Raphael Saini (CHAOSWAVE).

ICED EARTH has been hitting it relentlessly, with the recent studio album, “Dystopia”, being the most toured album in the band’s illustrious history.

One of the many highlights of the “World Dystopia Tour”, a headline show at the historic Kourion Amphitheatre in Cyprus, was recently released on Blu-ray, DVD and in many other formats under the title “Live In Ancient Kourion”.

“Dystopia” was released in October 2011 via Century Media Records. The CD marked the band’s recording debut with singer Stu Block (INTO ETERNITY), who joined ICED EARTH in March 2011 following the departure of Matt Barlow.

LAMB OF GOD Drummer Promises 'A Little Surprise Before The End Of The Year'

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Drummer Chris Adler of Richmond, Virginia metallers LAMB OF GOD has posted the following update on his Facebook page:
“Things have been going really well on this [European] trip for us. The band is playing well and much of the hard work we have put in is being rewarded with great slots on the festivals we are doing and huge side shows in between.

“I feel very lucky to be a part of where we are right now and am enjoying it quite a bit.
“I’ve now heard the PROTEST THE HERO record and it’s fantastic! [Editor’s note: Adler recorded the drum tracks for the new PROTEST THE HERO CD.] I love listening to it and hope you all do as well.

“I’ve been asked many times on this tour that since I played drums on the record if I will be touring with them or would consider playing on other projects. I’m fairly sure my schedule won’t allow for me to properly join their band and tour. As much as I love the music, I love being with my family too! LOL. We shall see, as it’s not even something we have discussed.
“As for other projects, it’s hard to answer that. I was a fan of PROTEST THE HERO and jumped at the chance to step out of my box a little bit, push myself and explore my capabilities. It turned into quite a daunting task, but I’m much better off for it. I think I’d have to evaluate every opportunity in the same way. Obviously my main focus is LAMB OF GOD, it’s still my heart and soul and I’m loving being able to get out and share it with you.

“We’ve got a few big announcements coming soon regarding tours that will end the ‘Resolution’ cycle and a little surprise before the end of the year.
“Stay tuned — and stay metal!”

DOC COYLE Quits GOD FORBID

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Guitarist/vocalist Doc Coyle of New Brunswick, New Jersey’s melodic, thrash-metal warriors GOD FORBID has posted the following message on his official blog:

“I am sorry to say that I am indeed leaving GOD FORBID.

“I started playing with these guys since I was 16 years old. Now I’m 32. You do the math.

“To say this is difficult and a big move for me would be an understatement. It has been very emotional and very sad for me to actually follow through with this, but I feel in my heart and head that it is the right thing to do.

“Let’s first remove the elephant from the room, and explain why I am leaving.

“I don’t want to leave the band, but there are elements of disorganization and unprofessionalism within the group that have made it impossible to be an effectively active band. I don’t feel like I’m being treated in a way that meets my standards, so I have to remove myself from the equation.

“I’m not going into great detail because I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus.

“I still love all the guys in GOD FORBID. They will always be my family, even if there isn’t a working band. But just because you love your family doesn’t mean you can work with them in a professional sense.

“Anyone who has read any of my blogs has probably heard me talk about trying to cope with confronting adulthood after living a musician’s life for my entire youth. I probably never, ever even entertained the idea of quitting GOD FORBID until my brother left in the spring of 2009. I always thought we were destined to ‘make it.’ I thought we were special. Nothing existed outside of the band. Nothing else mattered. Girlfriends, financial security, real world stuff would always take a back seat to the band. Even my girlfriends pretty much knew that.

“When Dallas quit, I became emboldened to carry on in spite of him. I wanted to prove that we didn’t need him. And carry on we did as GOD FORBID had three of the biggest tours we ever had all booked in a row with Kris Norris filling in on a massive tour with LAMB OF GOD, and then Matt Wicklund finally coming in to finish a festival run in Europe and then Mayhem fest in the states. I never really dealt with Dallas leaving on an emotional level, because we were steadily on the road. I was so angry with him. He was pretty much by my side for my entire life either on stage, binge-watching movies, drawing comics, playing basketball, playing guitar together or living in the bedroom next to mine in the same house. Then just like that… he was gone.

“Things began to unravel on the Mayhem fest 2009. The band was financially and logistically unprepared for the tour with very little label support, because we were at the end of our contract with Century Media despite the efforts of A&R at the time, the eager and helpful Ray Harkins. We ended up splitting with our manager at the beginning of the tour because of the shitstorm of unpreparedness. Plus I could just tell we weren’t connecting with fans the same way we had, say at Ozzfest five years prior. The tour featured a lot of death metal, BEHEMOTHJOB FOR A COWBOYTHE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER. There just seemed to be a turning of the tide, and as an artist you have to be aware of how the world is perceiving you. For some reason, whatever we were doing was not breaking through to the populous the same way.

“Just to put a cherry on top, my girlfriend broke up with me literally on the drive home from the tour due to finding out about some fuckery on my behalf. It didn’t really hit me ’till I walked in my door at home, but I realized my brother was gone, my girl was gone, and my band career as a full-time thing was probably over. I fell into a deep depression because I didn’t have a leg to stand on and probably didn’t get back on track for another 7-8 months. For the first time in my adult life, though, I didn’t really care about GOD FORBID. At that point, the band seemed to be the cause of my problems.

“But playing with the guys, and writing with Matt Wicklund in particular, really inspired me and helped me get out of my funk. I continued with the ‘Equilibrium’ album out of loyalty to the guys, and I believe in finishing things I start, and that included doing some touring as well. All in all, I don’t regret it because I think it’s a fantastic album, if not our best album.

“Unfortunately, touring with the band last year proved to be unsustainable from a financial survival standpoint. I was homeless, in debt and needed to figure something out, because this lifestyle I was living was not working. The last few years are the first time in my life I’ve really thought about what I wanted to do outside of GOD FORBID.

“The answer is A LOT. I have so many ideas and prospective projects on the docket that I’m sure many of them will never see the light of the day.

“My priorities right now are having the time and freedom to be creative and productive. While still trying to keep the lights on, of course. This is both exciting and scary.

“I’m not sure if I will end up with a regular career that puts me in an office five days a week or end up in another band touring full-time again. I am just taking things as they come.

“I’m sure many of you have seen the reports regarding my new rock band and cover band, so I’m obviously continuing to play as much as possible. It’s still my favorite thing to do in the world, so I will not be stopping playing or performing anytime soon.

“Having this time recently to figure out what I want has made me realize that being a musician is who I am. Even if I end up doing other things, I will always be a rock ‘n’ roller at heart.

“I am keeping the door open to all forthcoming opportunities and I am not closing the door on GOD FORBID forever, but now is not the time.”

“Equilibrium”, sold 3,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 156 on The Billboard 200 chart. The effort landed at No. 7 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.

“Equilibrium” was released on March 27, 2012 via Victory Records. The bulk of the CD was recorded by Mark Lewis (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDERWHITECHAPELDEVILDRIVERTRIVIUM), with Jason Suecof (TRIVIUMALL THAT REMAINSTHE BLACK DAHLIA MURDERCHIMAIRADEVILDRIVER) stepping in during the the vocal-tracking stage. The effort was mixed by acclaimed Swedish producer Jens Bogren, who has previously worked with such acts as KATATONIAOPETHPARADISE LOST and AMON AMARTH.

KISS AND THE ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE BRING PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL BACK TO LOS ANGELES WITH EXPANSION TEAM, THE LA KISS



Los Angeles, CA – August 15, 2013 — After a five year hiatus, professional football will be returning to one of the largest and most exciting media markets in the country, Los Angeles. Announced today at ArenaBowl XXVI Media Day, rock legends KISS, Arena Football League (AFL) veteran Brett Bouchy, Doc McGhee (McGhee Entertainment) and AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz are bringing the high-octane entertainment of Arena Football back to Los Angeles with a new expansion team, The LA KISS (www.lakissfootball.com)

“Season tickets are now on sale for what we know will be some of the most action-packed games ever played at the Honda Center,” said Paul Stanley of KISS. “Arena Football is played at a fast and furious pace and making season tickets available now for the budget-friendly price of $99 gives a whole new meaning to bang for the buck.” Additionally, all inaugural LA KISS season seat holders will be invited to a free KISS concert to take place at Honda Center in 2014!www.hondacenter.com/lakiss

“As a fast-paced, high-action band this partnership with the AFL was an obvious fit for us,” said Gene Simmons of KISS. “With Arena Football, you are much closer to the action – sitting in the front row is like putting a folding chair on the hash mark of an NFL game – and it’s one of the only sports where you can experience this level of intensity. Attending an LA KISS game in 2014 will be similar to a live KISS show, with thrilling, heart pounding action.”

The AFL (www.arenafootball.com), which is dedicated to playing and promoting in-arena professional football around the world, will mark its 27th season in 2014. With primetime TV broadcasts on CBS Sports Network every Saturday, and over 150,000 fan connections each week, the league is poised to expand into homes across the country like never before. This new alliance with KISS will further strengthen the league’s bond within the expansive U.S. entertainment and sports industries. The ArenaBowl XXVI Championship game kicks off Saturday, August 17 at 1pm EST / 10am PST and will air nationally on the CBS Television Network. The broadcast will feature a KISS halftime show on their new “spider stage.”

Honda Center has partnered alongside the band and the team to provide a home for the sport and its newest expansion team. As a world-class sports and entertainment venue, which has consistently ranked among the top in the country, this Orange County arena will serve as the hub for Arena Football fans in the greater Los Angeles area and help the league engage with the more than 22 million people who call Southern California home.

“As the most fast-paced, exciting league in professional sports, the AFL has always been about providing the best form of entertainment to fans directly in their hometowns,” said AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz. “We could not be more thrilled to bring the league back to Los Angeles, and partnering with such incredible rock legends as KISS is certain to give fans a sports experience unlike anything they have ever seen.” 

As the founding members of KISS, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons have a vested interest in bringing football back to Los Angeles, a market that has always proved fanatical for both music and football. Both Paul and Gene are fans of the AFL and are excited to lend their own unique brand of non-stop action to games in Los Angeles that will blow fans away!

“This is a great business venture for KISS. They are lending their name to a sport which is destined for big things this year. It’s fantastic to have a team named after the band and it is a privilege to be able to support LA and bring the experience home,” stated KISS Manager DOC McGHEE of McGhee entertainment, who worked to facilitate the partnership. 

“With a global brand in KISS, an ownership group dedicated to showcasing a fast-paced and exciting sport and a world-class venue hosting the action – three great entertainment properties are converging with the overall goal of producing an unparalleled AFL experience for fans,” added Tim Ryan, CEO/President of The Honda Center. “This partnership marks a new era for the unification of sports and music.”

In celebration of this announcement, and ArenaBowl XXVI, a three day celebration will kick-off tonight with the annual AFL Celebrity Gala followed by a LIVE concertFriday night, featuring none-other than KISS! The ArenaBowl XXVI Championship game kicks off Saturday, August 17 at 1pm EST / 10am PT and will air nationally on the CBS Television Network. The broadcast will include highlights from KISS’sFriday night performance.

For more information on LA KISS, or to purchase season tickets, please visitwww.lakissfootball.com.