Press Release: Royal Hunt – X (2010) artwork & tracklisting announced

From Bravewords.com:

ROYAL HUNT have revealed the artwork and tracklisting for their upcoming new album, entitled X, which is due out this year.

The album will include the following songs:

‘Episode X (Arrival)’
‘End Of The Line’
‘King For A Day’
‘The Well’
‘Army Of Slaves’
‘Shadowman’
‘Back To Square One’
‘Blood Red Stars’
‘The Last Leaf’
‘Falling Down’
‘Episode X (Departure)’

More information at http://www.royalhunt.com/

Press Release: Jon Oliva’s Pain – Festival (2010) artwork, tracklisting, release dates announced

From Bravewords.com:

BW&BK can confirm the tracklist for the forthcoming JON OLIVA’S PAIN album, Festival. It is as follows, more details will be revealed soon:

‘Lies’
‘Death Rides A Black Horse’
‘Festival’
‘Afterglow’
Living On The Edge’
‘Looking For Nothing’
‘The Evil Within’
‘Winter Haven’
‘I Fear You’
‘Now’

Festival will be released worldwide on February 19th via AFM Records. For more information please visit www.jonoliva.net and AFM Records.

Press Release: Raven sign with Metal Blade Records, Walk Through Fire artwork, tracklisting, release date announced for North America

From Metal Blade Records:

Metal Blade Records signs RAVEN, prepare to release first album in 10 years!

Walk Through Fire set for release on March 30th in North America.

Metal Blade Records is pleased to announce the signing of legendary metal band RAVEN and is gearing up to release Walk Through Fire, RAVEN’s first album since 2000’s One for All. Walk Through Fire contains 14 new tracks and two live bonus tracks. Track listing for Walk Through Fire is as follows:

1. Intro
2. Against the Grain
3. Breaking You Down
4. Under Your Radar
5. Walk Through Fire
6. Bulldozer
7. Long Day’s Journey
8. Trainwreck
9. Grip
10. Running Around In Circles
11. Hard Road
12. Armageddon (the Beginning)
13. Attitude
14. Space Station #5
15. Live at The Inferno**
16. Rock Until You Drop**

**Bonus Live Tracks

Vocalist, bassist, and founding member John Gallagher comments; “We are ecstatic – we go way back with Metal Blade (we’ve known Brian since meeting him backstage at one of our shows in the UK in 1982!!!) so there’s mutual respect. We feel that having this killer new album Walk Through Fire and a relationship with Metal Blade, an outfit that lives and breathes this music – that UNDERSTANDS where we have been and what we’ve been through, will show that we are not trading on past glories but that we are a band that continues to be relevant…and kicks ass more than ever before! We’ve set the bar high here with this album and are happy to have a partner willing to get it out there to the metal fans and spread the word. This is the RAVEN album the diehards have been beating us up for…and then some!”

Metal Blade Record’s Michael Faley comments; “We are excited and proud to be releasing the new album by RAVEN entitled Walk Through Fire! This record has garnered tremendous reviews worldwide and combines all the strength and power that only the Gallagher brothers can deliver, Rock Solid METAL! With a career that has spanned over 25 years, RAVEN is back with a CLASSIC album.”

According to the pages of the various metal media, the labels “LEGENDARY,” “INNOVATIVE,” “TRUE ORIGINALS,” as well as “F**K!ING CRAZY!!” have been rightfully pinned upon RAVEN over the years. In a music scene filled by clones nurtured with a cookie-cutter mentality, the unique personality, power and humor of the three band members has always shone through. The crazed vocals & bass playing of John Gallagher, the full frontal guitar assault of brother Mark Gallagher, and the punishing polyrhythmic pounding of drummer Joe Hasselvander all combine to form a sonic battering ram unique in rock!

From the well documented early days as NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) frontrunners, RAVEN’s albums ROCK UNTIL YOU DROP, WIPED OUT and ALL FOR ONE virtually invented both the speed metal and power metal genres – during the trailblazing USA tours of the 80’s introducing the States to “Athletic rock” as well as giving opening acts like Metallica and Anthrax their first tours, through the doldrums of the late 80’s/early 90’s when a grunge obsessed media wrote off so many acts — RAVEN has consistently proved to be both survivors par excellence and in a genre of grim imitation – shown that they are “the real thing”. Where so many of their contemporaries have either faded creatively or become parodies of themselves, RAVEN have consistently pushed the envelope while retaining their unique sound and attack – both in the studio & in their true element, onstage!

Following a forced layoff through half of the last decade due to Mark Gallagher’s long recuperation from a serious accident where Mark’s legs were crushed after a wall collapsed on the musician, the band have fought back with a number of European festival appearances, a UK tour in 2008 and a triumphant jaunt to Japan in 2009.

And now, the band unleashes the best album they’ve done in many years, Walk Through Fire – this, quite simply, is the real deal – the right songs, the right sound and the right feel – guaranteed to rip yer head off! – Raven are finally set to reclaim the title that is rightfully theirs – “the wildest band in the f**kin’ world!!”

RAVEN is:
John Gallagher – vocals & bass
Mark Gallagher – guitars
Joe Hasselvander – drums

http://www.myspace.com/ravenlunatics
http://www.ravenlunatics.com

WANTED: Manowar – Hell On Earth V DVD (2009)

WANTED

Manowar – Hell On Earth V DVD (2009)

I may have been very critical with Manowar’s last studio album, GODS OF WAR (2007), but I can honestly say that they make some of the best DVDs your hard-earned money can buy. Say what you want about the band’s image and “Death to False Metal!” battle cry, Manowar has always been about giving their fans a quality product whether it’s a CD with special packaging, a mulit-disc DVD or their Metal filled live show. The band is for the fans 100%. I’m not afraid to say I’m a Manowar fan since the early years and I have picked up the first four HELL ON EARTH DVDs and they are excellent. The 2 DVD set was officially release on November 29, 2009 but I had no clue it was coming out, I must have missed a press release somewhere. None of my usual online retailers have it in stock, it hasn’t been on Ebay and my local record store never received copies. The set can be ordered through Manowar’s official website but the price is $40 plus shipping. This is on my want list but it has to be a reasonable price.

 

WANTED: W.A.S.P. – Babylon (2009)

WANTED

W.A.S.P. – Babylon (2009)

I’m not sure if it’s W.A.S.P. releasing albums late in the year with no proper U.S. distribution or me not going the extra mile to pick the album up. This is the second W.A.S.P. release in a row that I have missed when it was released and picked up in the next year. I did the same thing with DOMINATOR (2007) and now I’ve missed the boat on BABYLON! Actually, I did try and order this CD, along with Danger Danger & W.E.T., through my favorite online store but I kept getting the emails saying it was sold out. Needless to say, my favorite online CD retailer isn’t my favorite anymore! This came down to price and pressing. On one hand, I could pay the import price of $25 and get the CD from Europe but the place I order from had it for $15. The same thing happened with DOMINATOR and I finally went to Ebay and scored a Russian pressing for cheap money. The problem is that certain Russian Federation labels are legit and some are not so I try to stay away from those kinds of pressings. I would rather get a proper European, Japanese or U.S. pressing if it becomes available. Sounds picky but sometimes the collecotr in me outweighs the fan…..and I have been a W.A.S.P. fan ever since I saw the ad for the ‘Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)’ single in Circus back in 1983 or 1984. I’ve been a fan of the band since the first record straight through to the last one so buying BABYLON is a no-brainer. Again, more great reviews online and this made a few best of lists for 2009 so I’m anticipating another solid album. This is high on my want list so I will be ordering very soon.

WANTED: Danger Danger – Revolve (2009)

WANTED

Danger Danger – Revolve (2009)

This is another top priority for early 2010! I don’t know how I missed that Danger Danger were releasing a new album but I only found out about it in November. I’ve been following Danger Danger since their debut in 1989 and I’m psyched that this is the first Danger Danger album in years with original lead singer Ted Poley. I have read a lot of great reviews on various websites and I noticed more than a few of those sites’ year end lists had REVOLVE on it. If the new Winger and Helix are awesome I have no doubt the new Danger Danger is as well. I tried ordering this from a couple of different online stores in the last couple months of 2009 and they were sold out everytime! Like I said, a top priority, so I will either be ordering online or burning gift cards at the local record store for this CD in the next week.

WANTED: W.E.T. – s/t (2009)

WANTED

W.E.T. – s/t (2009)

This is the album I really, really want! I have tried on 6 separate occasions to order this online through some of my favorite online record stores and they are sold out everytime! You’ve got three major players from three major Melodic Rock bands: Robert Sall (Work Of Art), Erik Marnensson (Eclipse) and Jeff Scott Soto (Talisman). How can this album not be one of the best of 2009? Every review I have read has praised it for being an excellent pice of work and I have noticed this on a ton of year end best of lists…..Melodicrock.com gave this album a perfect score of 100. I am looking to pick up the limited edition with the bonus DVD that contains 3 videos and an interview. I should have this by the end of next week because this is my top prioity.

 

Coming this week……WANTED!

Time to kick off 2010 with a quick look at 2009…..specifically some of the CDs & DVDs that I failed to acquire and desperately want! This week will feature all WANTED posts and maybe a review or two by the end of the week.

Four Year Blog-versary: another year of Metal

Today marks another year in the books for this website. It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years but time really does fly by when you do something you enjoy. Needless to say, my hobby has grown over the last four years, and the music continues to pile up thanks to all the bands, labels, distribution companies and PR firms sending in so many CDs for review. Add those promos to the stuff I buy and it’s no wonder why I need more storage!

So what happened here in 2009?

I didn’t post as much. For some reason I just didn’t feel like posting. There were plenty of great albums, plenty of Metal news to discuss and plenty of purchases made for my collection…..but I didn’t feel like writing. Without actually counting I believe I posted about a third less than 2008. Hopefully this is something that I can fix this year because I enjoying discussing everything. One of the reasons for my lack of posts was that I took the time to sit and listen and not rush a lot of the albums I acquired. Another reason was that there are a ton of other websites & blogs doing the same thing and I felt that they did a better job.

I finally received a million hits! In July, HMA finally received it’s 1,000,000 visitor so thanks to everyone who has stopped by. I thought that I would get to a million earlier in the year but the lack of posts contributed to the lack of visitors. I started off 2009 well in January & February…..readership was blowing away the previous year but the I started to write less and site traffic went down 10,000+ each month. I don’t really care much about site stats and site traffic but WordPress allows you to track your traffic and I noticed a serious drop-off for 2009 by 140,000 readers. Either way, a lot of people still like to come to the site no matter what I post and it’s nice to know that my opinion may count for something. I’ve made a lot of friends online through this site, as well as a lot of contacts in the industry, so to all of you a big “thanks” for coming by a spending some time.

There were some popular posts this year and the top one was my WANTED post on Whitesnake’s LOVEHUNTER (1979) & STARKERS IN TOKYO (1997). The Van Halen “reunion” picture with David Lee Roth from Feb 2007 was 2nd, followed by my review of Lita Ford – OUT FOR BLOOD (1983), the first picture of Journey with new singer Arnel Pineda and my review of Legs Diamond – TOWN BAD GIRL (1990). The funny thing about these Top 5 posts is that only the Whitesnake post was from 2009, the Journey post was from January 2008 and the other three from 2007. The Top 5 viewed album reviews for 2009 were Lita Ford and Legs Diamond coming in #1 & #2 with Ozzy Osbourne – BLACK RAIN (2007) in the 3rd spot. Following those three were Whitesnake – s/t (1987) and AC/DC – HIGH VOLTAGE (1975) with Anvil – THIS IS THIRTEEN (2007) right behind. Lita, Legs Diamond and Ozzy all made the top album reviews for 2008 as well.

So what’s on deck for 2010? Not sure…..hopefully I will post more, that’s probably the thing I would like to do the most. Reviews of older/classic Metal records is definitely going to be a priority as is catching up on some of those 2009 albums I didn’t get a chance to review. January is always a catch up month for me so there are going to be some 2009 albums I missed out on being purchased and reviewed. I say the same thing every year but I’m going to try and keep up with the 2010 releases…..we’ll see what happens because I never do, there are just too many albums out there! I’ll still do playlists, Ebay Madness, Wanted, CD Scavenger Hunt and I am hoping for more concerts to come around so hopefully this year will be another good one.

So that’s about it for now. I’d like to thank everyone for stopping by in 2009 and giving the site a look. Hopefully site traffic continues to grow again and people will comment on the posts. I’d also like to thank all the bands, labels and PR people again for sending in the promos last year, it was a great year for discovering new music.

Here’s to a great 2010! Cheers!

– Steve