Wednesday, April 10, 2013

AMORPHIS: ´Circle´ Album Audio Snippets, Track-By-Track Commentary

"Circle", the eleventh album from Finnish melancholic dark metal forerunners AMORPHIS will be released on April 19 via Nuclear Blast Records. Production and mixing duties for the follow-up to 2011´s "The Beginning Of Times" were handled by HYPOCRISY and PAIN mastermind Peter TÃĪgtgren, who has previously worked with such bands as CHILDREN OF BODOM, CELTIC FROST, Immortal and Dimmu Borgir. The recordings took place at Petrax Studio (NIGHTWISH, CHILDREN OF BODOM, KORPIKLAANI) in Hollola and 5K Studios in Helsinki. The cover artwork was created by Tom Bates (BLEED FROM WITHIN, DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL) and can be seen below.

A six-minute video clip containing snippets of all songs on the album, as well as a track-by-track commentary by guitarist and founding member Esa Holopainen, can be seen below.

Commented AMORPHIS vocalist Tomi Joutsen: "The mystic, androgynous person on the cover represents a spiritual guide. This character was sent from another time and place to help the album´s protagonist find a new path for his life."

"Circle" track listing:

01. Shades Of Gray
02. Mission
03. The Wanderer
04. Narrow Path
05. Hopeless Days
06. Nightbird´s Song
07. Into The Abyss
08. Enchanted By The Moon
09. A New Day
10. Dead Man´s Dream (bonus track)

The album´s limited digibook version will come with a bonus DVD containing the following:

* The Making Of "Circle"
* Nightbird´s Song (video clip)

Apart from the CD+DVD digibook version, "Circle" will be available on CD (without the bonus track), black 2LP in gatefold, brown 2LP in gatefold and as a bulging limited box, including three bonus tracks and a wristband — exclusively via the Nuclear Blast mail order.

A short summary about the album´s concept/story that spreads throught out the lyrics by Pekka Kainulainen, who wrote the lyrics for most recent AMORPHIS albums: "The protagonist has been dealt a bad hand at birth. He’s always felt himself an outsider with strong potential to become marginalized. Through an accident, after a crisis, he finds a connection with his inner powers. A guide is sent to him, from some other time and place. He gets a chance to take hold of his own life and change his destiny. From the past of Carelian Finland he finds his own spiritual tribe and the power to turn the course of his doomed life. This is a story of survival."

Joutsen added about the album title: "´Circle´ represents integrity. Back in the days, when there was something special to talk about, wise men used to sit in circle. Not everyone was invited to join them. But in this story, the protagonist was invited among the wise men´s circle."

Regarding the direction of the new AMORPHIS material, the band´s guitarist and founding member Esa Holopainen said: "While promoting ´The Beginning Of Times´, we started to feel that we were giving the same explanations over and over again when people asked about the studio process and how the songs came about. Even though the music was very strong, the making process didn´t offer any surprises and appeared to be quite secured. Now the addition of a new dimension to the developing process has inspired us to focus on our material even more. The songs are extremely strong, bombastic and skull-pummelling."

"The Beginning Of Times" entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 16 — the best chart position ever scored by an AMORPHIS album in that country. The CD also landed at position No. 1 on the Finnish chart.








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SCALE THE SUMMIT: ´The Migration´ Cover Artwork Unveiled

Progressive instrumentalists SCALE THE SUMMIT will release their new album, "The Migration", in North America on June 11 via Prosthetic Records. Recorded earlier this year at North Carolina´s Basement Studios with producer Jamie King (BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, HE IS LEGEND, FOR TODAY), the CD will feature cover artwork by illustrator Duncan Storr (HAWKWIND, EDGE OF SANITY).

"The Migration" track listing:

01. Odyssey
02. Atlas Novus
03. The Olive Tree
04. Narrow Salient
05. Oracle
06. Evergreen
07. The Dark Horse
08. Willow
09. Sabrosa
10. The Traveler

"The Migration" marks the recording debut of new SCALE THE SUMMIT bassist Mark Michell. The album will be released just days after SCALE THE SUMMIT hits the road with INTRONAUT on a summer North American tour.

SCALE THE SUMMIT´s 2011 effort, "The Collective", saw the band tour alongside the likes of PERIPHERY, CYNIC, FAIR TO MIDLAND, THE CONTORTIONIST, THE HUMAN ABSTRACT, PROTEST THE HERO and TRIOSCAPES. Since that album´s touring cycle ended late last year, the band has kept busy, with guitarist Chris Letchford launching his own signature series Strandberg guitar and bassist Mark Michell releasing an instructional book.

SCALE THE SUMMIT´s third album, "The Collective", sold around 1,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 39 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.

The follow-up to 2009´s "Carving Desert Canyons", "The Collective" was recorded at Paint It Black Studios in Orlando, Florida with producer Mark Lewis (DEVILDRIVER, ALL THAT REMAINS, The Black Dahlia Murder).

SCALE THE SUMMIT formed in 2005 while attending the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. The band relocated to Texas in 2006, where they recorded their first, self-released album. After signing with Prosthetic, they issued "Carving Desert Canyons", which Revolver called "a cinematic blast of intricately melodic fretwork and pummeling percussion," in 2009.



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ARSIS: ´Scornstar´ Lyric Video Released

The official lyric video for the song "Scornstar" from Virginia-based melodic tech-death metal masters ARSIS can be seen below. The track comes off the band´s fifth full-length album, "Unwelcome", which will be released on April 30 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The follow-up to 2010´s "Starve For The Devil" was tracked at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida with producer Mark Lewis (The Black Dahlia Murder, WHITECHAPEL, DEVILDRIVER, DEICIDE, SIX FEET UNDER). The artwork was handled once again by longtime collaborator Mark Riddick.

"So, we´ve had ´Unwelcome´ finished for quite some time now and we are happy to finally be able to share the finished product with everyone," commented founder and lead guitarist/vocalist James Malone.

"As a band/musician, it´s sometimes difficult to separate yourself from your work and visualize how others are going to interpret your work. In other words, it´s sometimes hard to know whether or not your ideas are relevant to anyone but yourself. With ´Unwelcome´, we certainly put all of our everything into the writing and recording and stopped paying attention to what´s trendy or what we think might appeal to a larger audience. In doing so, I feel we have created one of the most sincere ARSIS albums and perhaps one of the most relevant."

"Unwelcome" track listing:

01. Unwelcome
02. Carve My Cross
03. Handbook For The Recently Deceased
04. Choking On Sand
05. Let Me Be The One
06. Sunglasses At Night
07. Martyred Or Mourning
08. No One Lies To The Dead
09. I Share In Shame
10. Scornstar

Fans can hear the debut of new guitarist Brandon Ellis and drummer/longtime session member Shawn Priest on the "Lepers Caress" EP, which can be downloaded for free here. The effort was released via Scion Audio/Visual (a.k.a. Scion A/V), the in-house record label and lifestyle marketing division of the Scion marque produced by Toyota Motor Corporation for the North American market.

Brandon Ellis replaced guitarist Nick Cordle, who was tapped to replace Christopher Amott in the Swedish/German extreme metal act ARCH ENEMY.

ARSIS´s 2010 album, "Starve For The Devil" (Nuclear Blast Records), sold 1,800 copies in the United States in its first week of release, landing at No. 13 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart.



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IN THIS MOMENT: ´Adrenalize´ Video Released

The official video for the song "Adrenalize" from Southern California´s In This Moment can be seen below. The track comes off the band´s fourth album, "Blood", which sold around 20,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 15 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Commented IN THIS MOMENT: "We are thrilled to finally unleash the ´Adrenalize´ video on the masses. We created something that surpasses our highly successful video for ´Blood´ and now that we have your attention we are going to make you feel filthy, captivated, and at the same time disturbingly aroused. Love or hate us, we guarantee you will keep coming back for more."

Released on August 14, 2012 via Century Media Records, "Blood" was once again produced by Kevin Churko, who has previously worked with OZZY OSBOURNE and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, among others.

In This Moment began work on the new album just a few months following the departures of drummer Jeff Fabb and guitarist Blake Bunzel, who left the band in 2011 in order to join the backing group of "American Idol" finalist James Durbin. Fabb and Bunzel have since been replaced by Tom Hane (THYATEIRA) and Randy Weitzel (FLATLINE, 3/13, AMERICAN MASSACRE), respectively.

"Blood" was released in December as a double-disc set through Hot Topic. The special package contained the full original "Blood" album on one disc, and a second disc that featured a cover of the NINE INCH NAILS classic "Closer", as well as four additional new remixes of songs on "Blood":

* "Blood (Sluggo Remix)"
* "Adrenalize (Mr. Kane Remix)"
* "W***e (Nikka Bling Remix)"
* "The Blood Legion (Mitch Marlow Remix)"

"Adrenalize" video:



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New Keep Of Kalessin EP is out today on all digital services

Today Keep Of Kalessin release the new digital EP "Introspection". The EP is available on all digital music services. Get it here:

iTunes      Spotify      WiMP
"Introspection" is the first of several new EP´s and singles that will be released throughout the year, in wait of the new album due in October 2013.

The new EP marks the transition from the old and into a new era for the band, with longtime main man Obsidian C. now also handling the vocal duties after the band separated from singer Thebon in March 2013.

In addition to the new single "Introspection", which was released with a video on YouTube just over a week ago, there are two new tracks on this EP namely “Flight of the Hatchling” and an extreme version of “The Dragontower”.

Front man Obsidian C. comments on all three tracks:
"The new digital era opens some opportunities for bands and releasing digital EP´s makes it possible for such a diverse band as Keep Of Kalessin to release some tracks and new versions of tracks that would not necessarily fit on an album.

Introspection is a very personal song for me and deals with some issues I guess many can relate to when they start questioning themselves and what´s really important in their lives. As a musician you´re always sacrificing personal life for the band and lately I´ve been wondering if it´s all worth it. Girlfriends, friends and family have always come second and I guess it´s only natural that some priorities change as you grow older. So....basically I guess this is my midlife crisis caught on tape." the front man laughs.

"Flight of the hatchling is our first instrumental song and shows the band from a very different side. As the title suggests this is our own type of Flight of the bumblebee kind of song, even though it´s not a cover version, but a song entirely written by me.

We also added a version of The Dragontower, which I´ve wanted to release for some time now. The only change to this version is in fact how the drums are playing and shows that the song is very much Keep Of Kalessin and now sounding more like The Divine Land or Ascendant type of songs.

On Reptilian we had mostly blastbeat songs and the reason why we chose the "slower" version of The Dragontower was simply to make it stand out and to give the album more diversity.

The extreme version is the same tempo and same recordings as previously released except from the drum tracks which have been re-recorded with more of Vyl´s furiosity." frontman Obsidian C. comments.

Keep Of Kalessin released the new video "Introspection" at the Indie Recordings Label Night at the Inferno Festival this easter.
WATCH ”INTROSPECTION” HERE!

The band heads out to tour Europe in May with FINNTROLL! Check out the tour dates.
08.05.2013 DE – Berlin @ K17
09.05.2013 BE – Vosselaar @ Biebob
10.05.2013 NL – Dordrecht @ Bibelot
11.05.2013 DE – Cologne @ Live Music Hall
12.05.2013 FR – Paris @ La Machine Du Moulin Rouge
13.05.2013 UK – London @ Underground

Keep Of Kalessin online:
Facebook
Keepofkalessin.no
09.04.2013 18:24:35

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