Tuesday, September 25, 2007



Lord Worm : vocals

Alex Auburn : rhythm and lead guitars,vocals

Eric Langlois : bass

Flo Mounier : drums and vocals


Originating from the Montreal area, this group first appeared in 1992, when it was called Necrosis; in the same year it was reincarnated under the name of Cryptopsy. With just a demo called Ungentle Exhumation and then the album Blasphemy Made Flesh (1994), the group acquired a solid reputation on the international scene. Their release of None So Vile in 1996 was the first burst of brilliance in their career. From that point the group clearly outclassed other groups by reinventing the style, today categorized as extreme music. Their album None So Vile will always be considered a grind classic.In 1997, the addition of the vocalist Michael DiSalvo replacing Lord Worm added a very intense front man to the group. After a remarkable performance at the Milwaukee MetalFest, the band received a contract offer from Century Media Records, one of the weightiest disc companies specializing in metal music. In each period since the beginnings of the underground metal wave, lead groups have pushed past the limits of musical genres. Feeling the pressure to compose an album even more extreme than None So Vile, Cryptopsy members launched Whisper Supremacy in 1998.In its association with Century Media Records, the group achieved world distribution for Whisper Supremacy, meaning they were able to put on shows on several continents, including Asia, Europe and North America. In Japan just three weeks after its release, 6,000 copies had already been grabbed up in the land of the Rising Sun and total sales around the world have exceeded 50,000 copies - quite an exploit in this musical niche. Cryptopsy is the first Quebec metal group since Voïvod to make such a significant impact on an international level.Since their 1998 release of Whisper Supremacy, significant events have multiplied at an accelerated speed. After their American and European tours, their participation at the famous Dynamo Festival in Holland and shows in Japan, the quintet has gone back into the studio to record And Then You'll Beg, a fourth opus in six years. Once again, this album has been produced by Pierre Rémillard (None So Vile, Whisper Supremacy) and was released worldwide during Fall 2000.In August 2001, the vocalist Michael DiSalvo left the band after a performance at the German Festival Wacken Open Air. He was then replaced by Martin Lacroix from the band Spasme. On June 1st 2002, Cryptopsy put an end in Montreal to a world tour of 150 concerts through North America, Europe and Asia. The album None So Live was released in May 2003 and since then all the fans of extreme music around the world can experience this memorable concert.At the end of 2003, Cryptopsy were proud to announce the return of the original member and legendary vocalist-lyricist Lord Worm. With Lord Worm back in the fold and a fifth studio album due in 2004 the future looks very promising.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Band - BiographyThe history of Nightwish

The idea of Nightwish was "born" in July 1996 at midnight when Tuomas was spending a night with his friends around a campfire. The first three songs, which were acoustic mood music, were recorded between October and December 1996. At that time, the band had three members: Tuomas, Tarja and Emppu.

The band wanted to see what the music would sound like if drums were added (Jukka joined the band). Also at this time, the acoustic guitar was replaced with an electric. After a couple of weeks of training, the band went to the studio this was in April 1997. At that time seven songs were recorded. These songs can be found on the limited edition of the album Angels Fall First.In May 1997, Nightwish signed a recording contract with Spinefarm for two records. That August, the band went to the studio and recorded four new songs. Before the release of Angels Fall First, a single called The Carpenter was released, and made it to number eight on the official singles chart in Finland. Angels Fall First was released in early November and went number 31 on the official album chart in Finland. Nightwish played their first gig in Kitee on the 31st December 1997. After that Nightwish played only seven gigs in the following winter because Jukka and Emppu were in the army and Tarja was busy with her studies. Nightwish and at this time, Spinefarm extended the contract to include three records instead of two.

In April 1998, they started filming the first video, The Carpenter. It was ready in early May and was first played on Jyrki. In late May, Tuomas and Tarja interviewed on that show. In the following summer, the bassist Sami Vänskä joined the band.During the summer, songs for the new record were rehearsed and the band went to the studio in early August; the recordings were finished in late October. On November 13th, Nightwish played a gig in Kitee during which, a video for Sacrament of Wilderness was filmed. That song's single was released on November 26th and the new record called Oceanborn was released on December 7th.Everybody was surprised by the success of Oceanborn. It went up to fifth place on the official Finnish album chart and the single Sacrament of Wilderness was the number one on the singles chart for weeks.

In winter 1999, Nightwish played a lot of gigs all around the country for three months which included a gig on the Lista chart show program. In spring Oceanborn was first released outside of Finland. In May, the band started to play gigs again and toured the country for two and a half months, playing in almost all of the big rock festivals. At the same time the single Sleeping Sun was recorded, which was written for the eclipse in Germany. In August, the single was released in Germany and it also included the songs Walking in the Air, Swanheart, and Angels Fall First. In Germany alone the single sold 15,000 copies in just one month. In August, Nightwish learned that Oceanborn and Sacrament of Wilderness had sold gold. At the same time it was confirmed that Nightwish would be touring Europe for 26 gigs with the German band Rage.

In early 2000 the band entered the studio again for the recording of their third album. A welcome interruption came to the repetitive studio work when they took part in the Finnish qualification for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Sleepwalker. Nightwish cleared the first round of the qualification, but the final position was second despite an overwhelming win in the public televoting.The new album, Wishmaster, was released in May and the Wishmaster Tour started from Kitee, the home town of the band. After the show, the band received gold discs for the album Oceanborn and the singles Sacrament of Wilderness, Walking in the Air, and Sleeping Sun. Wishmaster went straight to number 1 on the Finnish album charts and stayed in that position for three weeks, during that time, it also reached the gold disc mark. Wishmaster was approved by both the fans and the media and it was named the album of the month by the German magazine Rock Hard in their issue 6/2000, past the long-awaited new releases by Bon Jovi and Iron Maiden.Wishmaster also debuted in the National German Charts at No. 21 and No. 66 in France! The "Wishmaster World Tour", which started from Kitee, continued first to the big festivals in Finland and then to South America in July 2000. The three-week tour in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Panama and Mexico turned out to be one of the band's greatest experiences so far. This was followed by successful shows at Wacken Open Air, Biebop Metal Fest and the first headliner European tour with Sinergy and Eternal Tears Of Sorrow. In November, Nightwish also played two shows in Montreal, Canada.The next project of Nightwish included the making of a full-length concert DVD & VHS with a limited live album (only for Finland). The concert was performed in Tampere on the 29th of December 2000. The material was released in April 2001 in Finland and worldwide during the summer of 2001. At the end of the show, Nightwish were given platinum discs for "Wishmaster" and gold discs for the single "Deep Silent Complete".

In March 2001 Nightwish entered the studio again to record their version of Gary Moore's classic Over The Hills And Far Away, with 2 new songs and a remake of Angels Fall First's "Astral Romance". The Finnish release for this EP was in June 2001. The German version of "Over The Hills And Far Away" (released by Drakkar) includes 6 live tracks in addition to the 4 unreleased songs. Nightwish has also extended the record deal with Spinefarm Records with one full-length album, which was set to be released in Summer 2002.The video for the track "Over the Hills and Far Away", which had rapidly sold platinum in Finland as a mini-CD, was shot in August 2001 in Finland. The tour in Finland the same year ended in Nivala, and the band was close to disbanding. Tuomas went hiking and gathering his thoughts in Lappland; some changes had to be done in order for Nightwish to be able to continue. According to his own words, Tuomas wanted to end the band due to prolonged disagreements within the band. Luckily, that didn't happen. But something happened, a lot in fact. Sami Vänskä, who had been with them since Oceanborn, had to leave. Marco Hietala, known from Tarot and Sinergy, promised to step in as a replacement for the next album and tour. King Foo Entertainment became their new booking agency, and long-time friend and colleague, Ewo Rytkönen, was to become their manager. To celebrate the "new beginning", the first official shop for fan-products, Nightwish-Shop, was opened on the band's homepage on November 24th 2001, a month before Christmas. The recording of the next album Century Child started in January 2002.

The beginning of 2002 brought Nightwish good news, in comparison to previous rough times. As a band and as individual musicians they were voted to the top on many domestic and foreign magazines reader's polls. The fans had not abandoned them after the changes, on the contrary. Ever Dream, the first single from the forthcoming album, went gold in Finland within 2 days. At the same time Nightwish announced they would take a break as soon as the "Century Child World Tour 2002" would be over, Tarja would finish her educations in Germany during the break. That announcement brought up all kinds of speculations among fans. Sami leaving the previous Fall, now a break that would last a year...Century Child came out in May 2002 and made a sales record, selling gold in Finland within 2 hours! Within two weeks it sold platinum (30,000 copies) and continued selling rapidly. At the same time Nightwish held the top-position in both singles-and album charts, for their first time ever. Foreign countries responded, too: in Germany, Century Child went straight to number 5 and in Austria, number 15, those two being the band's highest positions abroad so far. In July, Nightwish toured successfully in South America, where nearly all gigs sold out. In Brazil, the first edition of Century Child was sold out in one day, and the successful European tour that year didn't go unnoticed by booking agencies. Many European gigs were broadcasted live on the internet, needless to say the connections were often jammed. At its most, nearly 10,000 fans were trying to follow the live feed. Having sold an astonishing 59,000 copies in Finland, Century Child was the country's 2nd best selling album in 2002. The first visit to Sweden took place on 16th November 2002, in Fryshuset, Stockholm. The break started in late 2002, and sure enough there was no rest for the guys. Jukka played with Sethian and Bitch Driven, Tuomas with Sethian, For My Pain..., and Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus, Emppu played with Altaria, and Marco with Tarot. All in all the break wasn't to last nearly a year, back on the road...

The beginning of 2003 saw more good results in reader's polls of various magazines, and a studio was booked in order to start recording the next album, planned to be released the next year. Happenings also at the home-front: Jukka and his girlfriend Satu had a daughter, Luna, on March 11, 2003. Nightwish received their first double-platinum award for Century Child, having sold 60,000. The band performed mostly abroad in 2003, the only gig in Finland was at RMJ 2003 on June 20th. The second visit to Sweden took place at the sold out "Gates of Metal"-festival in Hultsfred. During 2003, the forthcoming DVD-documentary End of Innocence was being put together, and it's release was postponed a few times due to huge amount of material.In May 2003, Tarja Turunen announced that she had secretly gotten married a few months earlier, and would be moving back to Finland. The DVD "End of Innocence" was finally released on October 6th 2003, and at that point, Nightwish had already started recording the next album. Their fifth album "Once" would be the most important release in the history of Nightwish. Meanwhile, Finland's President, Tarja Halonen, had also taken note of Nightwish's achievements and invited Tarja Turunen and her husband Marcelo Cabuli to the annual independence-day party held at the presidential residence. Tarja's dress was voted as the most beautiful dress that evening.Before the Christmas of 2003 Nightwish auctioned their "Century Child World Tour"-backdrop, and donated all the money to charity. The outcome was 1,750 EUR, and was given to Parikanniemi's Children's home in Ristiina on December 2003. The funds were handed out by Tarja Turunen, Michael "Big Tini" Leipold from Germany became the new proud owner of the backdrop.

The year 2004 was eagerly expected by both the fans and the band. Exhausting studio-sessions took their toll both physically and mentally. The actual recording took place at the Phoenix-studios in London, the same studio and with the same orchestra (The Academy of St. Martins in the Field) that Howard Shore used for writing the score for "The Lord of the Rings"-trilogy. Orchestral-and choral arrangements were written by Pip Williams, who has produced "Status Quo"and "riah Heep" Big time, great expectations!Nemo was the first single released off the forthcoming album, and a big-budget video was made. The director was Antti Jokinen, who had previously worked with Shania Twain and Eminem.With the new album, Nightwish had some changes with the recording contract, and the new material was released by Nuclear Blast. Good old Spinefarm Records would still handle the distribution in Finland. Nuclear Blast spent a considerable amount of money marketing Once, especially in Germany. Pictures of Nightwish and Once were splattered all over the television-channels, subways, buses and streets, and the press wasn't forgotten either. Every German will know Nightwish by now.Once went gold in Finland on its day of release, as did the single "Nemo". Nightwish started a world Tour of 150 concerts in all continents, the tour lasted until the end of 2005. This tour was be the biggest in the history of Nightwish so far. The album "Once" sold gold in Finland immediately on its release day, as did the single "Nemo". In May 2004, Nightwish started the Once World Tour. The Once World Tour lasted until the end of October 2005. There were about 130 gigs all over the world, including new countries such as Japan, Australia, Colombia, Ecuador, Poland, Slovenia, Portugal, Denmark, and Greece. The tour was the biggest in Nightwish's history. From month to month the venues grew bigger and the news told about success.The second single, Wish I Had An Angel, was released in Autumn 2004. The song's video was directed by Uwe Boll, director of the movie "Alone In The Dark", in which the song was also played. The second single was again a great success and boosted the sales of the Once album.In August, Nightwish finally made it to the USA! The tour was very successful and they planned to come back for a bigger tour in 2005. After the tours in Europe and South America in the Autumn of 2004, and some separate gigs in December, the band had some time off in January 2005.

In February 2005, Nightwish won five awards in Emma-Gala (Finnish Grammy). Among the others they won awards for "The Band of the Year" and "The Best Selling Album of the Year". Tuomas and Marco flew from European tour to Helsinki to receive the awards. The last show in the European tour was so far the biggest gig of their own, in Stuttgart there were 10,001 people watching the show!In March, Nightwish performed the first time in Japan and Australia; in April and May, they had to have a break because of Tarja's other interests, but at the end of May the band started the tour again by playing with Iron Maiden in Poland and with Mötley Crüe in Norway.In July, the 3rd single, a new version of Sleeping Sun, was released since the record label had decided to use it to promote the forthcoming collection Highest Hopes. The new version of the video for "Sleeping Sun" was directed by Joern Heitmann and shot in August 2005 in Prague. During the Autumn 2005, Nightwish played several shows and performed in the legendary Hammersmith Apollo Venue for sold out seats. After a short festival tour in South America (in October), the Once World Tour was coming to an end. The final concert was played on 21 October for 11,500 people in Hartwall-Arena in Helsinki. The concert was also recorded to be released as an End of an Era live DVD.After the last concert, Tuomas, Emppu, Marco and Jukka fired Tarja Turunen, and her manager Marcelo Cabuli. The reason for this was because during the Once Tour their attitude and actions had turned out to be against almost all that Nightwish represents. As one may guess, the news of the firing was followed by an incredible sensation and hullabaloo. Once the nearly ridiculous fuss was finally starting to calm down in the end of 2005, Nightwish was able to look to the future and wait for an adequate singer to be found.By the end of 2005, "Once" has sold approx. 1,000 000 copies worldwide as well, it has sold triple platinum in Finland, platinum in Germany, and gold in Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Greece, and Austria. The "Highest Hopes" collection has sold double platinum in Finland and gold in Norway by the end of the year 2005.

Part One

It's the sort of story that scriptwriters would get laughed out of conference rooms for entering. The sort of story that illustrates perfect synchronicity between hunger, passion and time. The sort of story that only happens every 30-odd years. And the sort of story that would approximately 500 pages to do it true justice. Metallica. A household name. The 7th biggest selling act in American history. Who'd have thought it when, on October 28th, 1981, drummer Lars Ulrich made guitar player/singer James Hetfield an offer he couldn't refuse: "I’ve got a track saved for my band on Brian Slagel's new Metal Blade label." The truth is, Lars didn't have a band at that time, but he did that day when James joined him. The two recorded their first track on a cheap recorder with James performing singing duties, rhythm guitar duties and bass guitar duties. Lars dutifully pounded the drums, helped with musical arrangements and acted as manager. Hetfield's friend and housemate Ron McGovney was eventually talked into taking up bass and Dave Mustaine took lead guitar duties. The band adopted the moniker Metallica after a suggestion from Bay Area friend Ron Quintana, and they quickly began gigging in the Los Angeles area opening for bands like Saxon. Eventually recording a fully-fledged demo called No Life Til Leather, Metallica quickly saw the tape whistle around the metal tape-trading underground and become a hot commodity, with San Francisco and New York particularly receptive. Metallica performed 2 shows in San Francisco and found the crowds friendlier and more honest than LA's "there to be seen" mob. They also caught up-and-coming band Trauma, and most importantly their bass player, Cliff Burton. Cliff refused to move to Southern California: it was enough to convince Metallica to relocate to the Bay Area, and Cliff subsequently joined Metallica. In New York, a copy of No Life Til Leather made its way to Jon Zazula's record shop, the aptly named Metal Heaven. Zazula quickly recruited Metallica to come out east to play some shows and record an album. The band made it to New York in a stolen U-Haul. Dave Mustaine, at that point the band's guitarist, was proving to be more problematic than even these loose young chaps could handle. Thus a few weeks after arrival, Mustaine was sent packing, roadie Mark Whitakker suggesting Kirk Hammett from Bay Area thrashers Exodus. Two phone calls and one flight later, on April 1, 1983 Kirk Hammett joined Metallica. Metallica's first album, Kill 'Em All, was released in late 1983 and some ferocious touring which saw the band's reputation soar both in the US and Europe. In 1984 they went to work with producer Flemming Rassmussen in Copenhagen at Sweet Silence Studios on their second album. 'Ride The Lightning' proved that Metallica were not some thrash-in-the-pan one trick pony, the writing and sound illustrating a growth, maturity and intensity which saw them immediately targeted by major management in QPrime, and a major label in Elektra. Both deals were done by the fall of '84 and their reputation continued to grow worldwide. Returning to the same studios in 1985, the group recorded 'Master Of Puppets', mixing in LA with Michael Wagner and releasing in early 1986. They quickly secured a tour with Ozzy Osbourne, and that stint (plus a top 30 album chart position) saw their fan base and name take a quantum leap. What had seemed so unlikely was nearer than ever to coming true; world domination.

Part Two

On September 27th, 1986, that dream was given the most shattering of blows. Somewhere in Sweden on an overnight drive, the bands' tour bus skidded out of control and flipped, killing Cliff Burton. His influence on the musical growth of the band was enormous. Burton combined the DIY philosophies of jamming and experimenting with an acute knowledge of musical theory, and Hetfield in particular found a lot in his playing and personality. It was impossible to imagine Metallica without him. Yet Cliff would equally not have cared for people throwing in the towel because he wasn't around. And so it was that after a brief yet intense mourning period, Lars, James and Kirk decided to fight on. Jason Newsted was chosen from over 40 auditions to be the new bassist, the Michigan-born four-stringer leaving Arizona based Flotsam & Jetsam to take on the chance of a lifetime. The quartet immediately jumped into a tour, and then quickly recorded an EP of cover tunes titled Garage Days Re-Revisited (the band literally did the dirty work in Lars' garage!). With Jason fully established, the band went back to record their fourth full-length album, ...And Justice For All, released in August 1988. The explosion that had been threatening for sometime finally happened. It reached #6 on the US charts, received a Grammy nomination for Best Metal/Hard Rock album, the band blew headliners Van Halen off-stage during the Monsters Of Rock tour and subsequently embarked upon an enormous worldwide tour. It was even the moment they finally delved into video territory, although the footage for 'One' was most certainly the most 'anti' video video of it's era. The band took the show back out on the road and toured extensively to all parts of the world. ...And Justice For All produced two US singles and the band's very first venture into music video for the song One. In 1991 Metallica released the self-titled 'Black' album, and saw their popularity soar to stratospheric heights. With new producer Bob Rock, this album was a subtle departure from the previous album with shorter songs, a fuller sound and simpler arrangements. It went straight to number one all over the world, stayed there for several weeks and ended up selling in excess of 15 million copies worldwide, spawned several legitimate singles as well as earning a Grammy and MTV/ American Music Awards. The band toured for close to three years, playing a solo arena tour in 'An Evening With Metallica', with Guns N' Roses on the duos' joint-headline stadium tour, and as headliner at many festivals. It meant that by the time the fall of 1993 rolled around, the four members were shattered both physically and mentally. Save for some Summer Shed action, there was little major activity as the band allowed their real lives to catch up with their rock lives. Nearly four years would pass before the next Metallica album saw the light. Called Load, and recorded at The Plant in Sausalito California, it was the longest Metallica album to date with 14 songs, and signaled some significant changes for the band. Produced by Bob Rock, the material was loose, powerful and eclectic, the sound thick and punchy and the image one which screamed out change and freedom from enslavement to the Black album era. So many songs came from the sessions, that a second album titled ReLoad, followed in 1997. The Load tour was spectacular, encompassing cutting-edge technology, stuntmen, two-stages and an epic two-plus hours of performance. What ever doubts people might have had were swiftly blown away, and whilst Load could never match the heights of the Black album sales wise, it became a phenomenally successful album in it's own right. In 1998, they re-packaged all the old B-sides, covers and the two previous Garage Days sessions and ran into The Plant to slam down 11 new covers. Electric, exciting and raw, the double-disc Garage Inc. was great reminder that for all the success, Metallica's heart still lay in the music. This point was further proven in 1999, when with conductor/composer Michael Kamen, Metallica embarked upon collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony to bring new dimension to classic material. Any potential skepticism of the project was blown away by two nights in April at the Berkeley Community Theater which proved to be epic milestones in the group's history. Far from their material being compromised, the arrangements of songs such as 'Master Of Puppets' gave symphonic instruments the chance to explode into the spaces and fill them with greater, heavier power than ever before. Having recorded and filmed the shows on the off-chance it might turn out alright on the night, Metallica released the S&M double-disc and DVD in late '99, marking yet another significant chapter in a Hall Of Fame - like history.

Part Three

In the summer of 2000, Metallica took yet fresher steps towards establishing freedom from convention, proving that it was possible to assemble, and headline, your own stadium tour without promoting a record. Summer Sanitarium, Hetfield's back not withstanding, was a huge success, and anticipation grew as to when the band would hit the studio again. The anticipation was replaced by fear at the turn of 2001 when, after several rumors, Jason Newsted departed the band. No one reason can be fairly the cause, more several long-standing issues that silently grew beyond their initial molehills. Of course many assumed that this would precipitate the break-up of the band, when of course it merely provided a conduit to newer levels of creativity and understanding. The band realized there was much work to be done on both their personal and creative relationships, and spent the first part of 2001 investigating spontaneous avenues of discovery both in and out of the studio. They set up shop at an old ex-Army barracks called The Presidio, jammed together at length and made a decision not to rush the process of finding a new band member, opting instead to have producer Bob Rock do all bass parts. In the middle of 2001, James Hetfield reached a place in his life where he felt rehabilitation, rest and re-focus were necessary for him to not only continue but also flourish. It meant that for many months, the members of Metallica embarked upon various levels of deeper discovery about themselves, the band and their lives both as a band and human beings. The results were to manifest themselves two-fold: when they came together again in the Spring of 2002 there was a deeper respect and appreciation for each other than ever before. And they were finally ready to make a new album, free of outside expectations, free of inner expectations and independent of anyone. Settling into their new HQ, the band set about making 'St Anger' with Bob Rock. Those early Presidio sessions had certainly helped shape the freeform thinking and expression that was to come, but no-one, least of all the guys themselves, could've known just how fierce, raw and passionate the 'St Anger' material would turn out to be. With Rock always offering prompt and support, lyrics were written by everyone, writing was shared and performance was off the cuff, spontaneous and a 180 degree turn from the months of cut-and-paste which had become a part of the Metallirecording process in the past. This Metallica was proud, confident, appreciative, humble, hungry, edgy, angry and also happy. Nervous? Sure, a little bit, but that too was good, yet another driver to new places and creative achievements that Metallica were enjoying. It was in the Fall of 2002 that the band decided it was time to search for a new bassist, and after some closed auditions with personal invitees over a few months, ex-Suicidal Tendencies/Ozzy Osbourne bass player Robert Trujillo was chosen to be the new member of Metallica. Note, member. Not bassist or hired gun or replacement. But a band member. His whole demeanor, happy, relaxed, warm, enthusiastic blended with over 15 years of experience and a ferocious finger-picking style made Robert the only natural choice. And so it is that as you read this, 'St Anger' has been completed, expectations are reaching heights that even the band cannot believe and there is the excitement of the first proper tour since Summer Sanitarium 2000. Looking at them, listening to them and seeing them, Lars, Kirk, Robert and James look like excited, eager children, men who cannot wait to be let out of then house to go and wreak aural havoc. Why? Because they can't! Metallica are about to hit a whole new level...and this is a story that will most DEFINITELY be continued...

Part Four

…the “St.Anger” era kicked off on April 30th/May 1st with the small matter of a video shoot at San Quentin prison for the same-titled track, and continued in earnest with an MTV Icons tribute show a week later, where peers such as Korn and Limp Bizkit lined up to pay tribute to the chaps. The guys also performed live, marking the first ‘official’ live appearance of Robert Trujillo (and the last in which he wore long trousers!) as well as James Hetfield’s first public performance since his stint in rehab. Then came the small matter of rehearsals…which Metallica chose to do in front of their loyal fan club members over 4 nights at the historic Fillmore Theatre in San Francisco…and then it was off to Europe in June for the start of what would end up being 19 months of touring, with the festival circuit taking the early brunt, Metallica successfully playing to multiple 60,000-plus crowds. “St.Anger” saw it’s release on June 5th, a raw, feral, unrestrained slab of molten Metallica stuffed with abrasion, aggression and the overspill of four years excitement, anger, frustration and ultimate fruition. For those who thought it would signal a radio-hohned band, “St.Anger” was a big, fat slap in the face. Indeed, it was actually too heavy for some! Oh, and as if to prove that this ‘new’ Metallica were not a bunch of ginger-snap panty-waists, the boys played three shows in three different Parisian clubs in one day during mid-June, each venue harboring a temperature of not less than 100 degrees. In the US, Summer Sanitarium followed, with Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit amongst the support acts on another series of stadium sell-outs. In the meanwhile, the fervor was slowly building for ‘Some Kind Of Monster’, the documentary film by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky about the world of Metallica between 2001 and 2003. Ostensibly slated to be about the making of an album, the filmmakers found a whole new project developing when James went into rehab, and thus having been projected as a marketing tool, the end product ended up being an incredibly revealing 2 hour 20 minute documentary. As the Mighty Metallica continued ploughing on through the world (going back to Europe, Japan and then onto Australia in January), SKOM was debuted to enormous critical acclaim at the 2004 Sundance Independent Film Festival in Utah during January. And the year continued in the way that you’d imagine a Metalli-year does, deciding to play (seemingly) every single town capable of hosting a major arena gig in North America (some 80-plus dates) with Godsmack in support. Result? Oh well, the usual sell-outs you’d expect for this ‘in-the-round’ two hour thirty minute set which saw no song off limits and many a fan favorite raised from retirement for a gleeful airing. (p.s….there was another Grammy in February for Best Metal Performance – ‘St.Anger’). July saw the theatrical debut of ‘Some Kind Of Monster’ which opened to enormous critical acclaim and went on to hold it’s own in North American theaters for three months before going through Europe. And August also saw the release of the first official Metallica book, “So What! The Good, the Mad, and the Ugly”, an edited compilation of the band’s fan club magazine spanning 10 years from 1994 to 2004. And still the ‘Madly In Anger With The World’ tour continued, selling out venues right through to it’s final date in San Jose, California on November 29, 2004… A busy spell? By many’s standards most certainly. By Metallica’s? Business as usual. They did publicly state that the majority of 2005 would be spent re-charging those creative and mental batteries, and true to their word it was a quiet year, except for two little hometown gigs with the Rolling Stones at SBC Park in November. We all knew an entire year would not pass without at least a sighting of the guys! With batteries re-charged after the two shows with the Stones, the guys hit the studio in early 2006 to start writing a new album and were excited to announce that they would be working with a new producer, Rick Rubin. The spring and summer found them escaping from the studio once again with shows in South Africa (their first ever visit to the continent!), Europe, Japan and Korea. “The New Song” made its debut in Berlin, Germany on June 6 to give us all a little taste of things to come in 2007 with the remainder of the year scheduled for more writing and jamming.


March, the two-disc DVD anthology Arsenal of Megadeth is released.
March, James LoMenzo (Black Label Society) replaces James MacDonough on bass.
March, Megadeth headlines the United Arab Emirates' Dubai Desert Rock Festival.
April, Megadeth begins recording a new album at SARM recording studios in England.
May, Megadeth signs with Roadrunner Records.
July, Megadeth plays Spain's Metalway Festival in Gernika and Jerez.
August, Gigantour's inaugural festival tour is released on 2-CD and 2-DVD sets.
September, Gigantour 2006 begins in North America. Megadeth headlines with Lamb of God, Opeth, Arch Enemy, Overkill, Into Eternity, Sanctity and the Smashup.
October, Megadeth tours Japan and continues Gigantour in Australia with Soulfly, Arch Enemy and Caliban.
Halloween, Megadeth takes part in launching the 'Gears Of War' XBOX 360 game with a mini-concert at Six Flags theme park in Springfield, MA.
December, Dave Mustaine announces his departure from ESP guitars.
February, Megadeth continues its Blackmail The Universe tour worldwide with Diamond Head and Dungeon opening.
June, more worldwide shows and European festivals; Megadeth plays Iceland, Romania and Bulgaria for the first time.
June, Greatest Hits: Back To The Start is released.
July, Gigantour 1 hits North America all summer. Megadeth headlines with Dream Theater, Anthrax, Fear Factory, Dillinger Escape Plan, Nevermore, Life of Agony, Symphony X, Dry Kill Logic and Bobaflex. Footage is shot for an upcoming CD and DVD.
October, Dave Mustaine announces his decision to keep Megadeth together at a concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The show is filmed for a live album/DVD.
January, Dave Mustaine makes an announcement about his good health, the future of Megadeth and upcoming releases.
July, Megadeth's back catalog is re-mixed and re-mastered with bonus tracks!
A new Megadeth album is recorded with drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist Jimmy Sloas and guest soloist Chris Poland. "The System Has Failed" is released September 14, 2004.
August, The new touring lineup is announced: Glen Drover (King Diamond/Eidolon) and James MacDonough (Iced Earth).
October, The "Blackmail The Universe" tour begins in North America with Exodus opening. New drummer, Shawn Drover joins the band the week before.
February, Dave Mustaine announces his departure as an endorsee for Jackson Guitars
April, Mustaine performs four Megadeth songs acoustically at a benefit for John Calleo
July, Mustaine attends the summer NAMM convention in Nashville to unveil his new signature ESP guitars.
October, Peace Sells ...But Who’s Buying? is released as an audio DVD presented in Dolby 5.1 surround.
February, Killing Is My Business ...And Business Is Good! is re-mixed, re-mastered, and released
March, the double live album Rude Awakening is released.
April, Megadeth disbands after Dave Mustaine suffers a nerve injury in his arm, leaving him unable to play guitar.
September, Still Alive..And Well? is released.
March, Dave Mustaine and Al Pitrelli begin a world press tour for the new album.
April, Megadeth shoots the video for Moto Psycho.
April/May, Megadeth begins a short U.S. acoustic tour sponsored by local radio stations.
May, The World Needs A Hero is released by Sanctuary.
June, Megadeth spends the summer on a world tour playing festivals, opening for AC/DC
September, Megadeth tours North America with Endo and Iced Earth.
October, Megadeth’s VH1 Behind The Music special is released on DVD.
November, Megadeth plays last two shows of TWNAH tour in Arizona, films both for a live album and DVD.
January, Al Pitrelli joins Megadeth mid-tour.
April, the band starts work on its 10th release.
June, Megadeth plays the Maximum Rock festival with Anthrax and Motley Crue.
July, Megadeth leaves Capitol Records.
October, Megadeth releases Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years
November, Megadeth signs with Sanctuary Records.
The band returns to the studio in LA to finish recording their new album.
New Year's Eve, Megadeth closes out the millennium in Anchorage, Alaska, broadcasts the concert on their website.
January, Megadeth enters the studio with producer Dann Huff in Nashville to record their follow up to Cryptic Writings.
Megadeth spends the summer playing festivals, including Woodstock '99.
"Crush 'Em" is released on the Universal Soldier 2 Soundtrack and eventually makes its way into NHL arenas and WCW.
July, Megadeth covers "Never Say Die" for Nativity In Black II: Tribute To Black Sabbath.
Risk is released on August 31, 1999.
September, Megadeth opens for Iron Maiden on European tour.
December, Marty Friedman announces departure from Megadeth.
January 28th, Dave Mustaine's daughter, Electra, is born.
January, "Trust" nominated for a Grammy.
January, Megadeth performs on The Howard Stern Show.
July, Megadeth takes part in "Ozzfest '98".
July, Nick Menza and Megadeth part ways, Jimmy DeGrasso is hired as Megadeth's new drummer.
October 23rd, David Ellefson's daughter Athena is born.
New Year's Eve, Megadeth opens for Black Sabbath along with Soulfly, Slayer and Pantera.
June, Megadeth releases Cryptic Writings, launches new official website, Megadeth.com.
June, The Misfits open for Megadeth on summer U.S. tour.
June, Chaos Comics release The Cryptic Writings of Megadeth comic books.
October, remix of Megadeth's "Almost Honest" included on Mortal Kombat Annihilation Soundtrack.
December, Megadeth plays its first all-acoustic show in South America.
January, "Paranoid" nominated for a Grammy in the Best Metal Performance category.
Dave Mustaine collaborates with Lee Ving of Fear on MD.45, The Craving.
David Ellefson's son, Roman Alexander, is born.
September, Megadeth begins recording new album in Nashville, TN.
January, Megadeth's "Diadems" featured on Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight Soundtrack.
January to February, "Youthanasia" worldwide tour with Corrosion of Conformity.
March, Megadeth releases Hidden Treasures compilation in Europe.
May, Evolver: The Making of Youthanasia video is released.
July, Megadeth releases Hidden Treasures compilation in USA and Japan.
July to August, "Reckoning Day" tour with Flotsam and Jetsam, Korn and Fear Factory.
September, Megadeth plays "Monsters Of Rock" festival in South America with Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper.
October, Megadeth covers "Paranoid" for Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath.
Halloween, Megadeth releases Youthanasia, plays on MTV's "Night of the Living Megadeth".
Halloween, New website Megadeth Arizona is launched.
November, Megadeth kicks off the Youthanasia tour in South America.
Dave Mustaine makes a guest appearance on Diamond Head's Death and Progress album.
January, Megadeth tours the USA with Stone Temple Pilots. The tour is cancelled along with Japanese dates in May.
June, Megadeth plays Milton Keynes Bowl with Diamond Head and Metallica.
June Megadeth opens for Iron Maiden and Metallica on their European tour.
June, Megadeth's "Angry Again" featured on Last Action Hero soundtrack.
July, Aerosmith kicks Megadeth off their American "Get A Grip" tour after 7 dates; Jackyl takes their place.
November, Megadeth's "99 Ways to Die" featured on The Beavis and Butthead Experience Soundtrack.
February, Dave Mustaine's son, Justis, is born.
May, Megadeth's "Breakpoint" featured on Super Mario Bros Soundtrack.
July, Megadeth releases Countdown to Extinction.
July, Dave Mustaine covers Democratic National Convention for MTV.
November, Exposure of a Dream home video is released.
Pantera and Suicidal Tendencies open for Megadeth's "Countdown to Extinction" Tour.
January, Megadeth plays to 140,000 people at the Rock In Rio II festival in Brazil.
March, Megadeth's world tour beings, with The Almighty and Alice In Chains opening.
April, Dave Mustaine gets married to Pamela Anne Casselberry.
April, Rusted Pieces home video is released.
May, US "Clash of the Titans" tour featuring Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth and opener Alice in Chains.
July, Megadeth's "Go to Hell" featured on Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Soundtrack.
September, Megadeth performs at the '91 Foundations Forum, wins awards for Hangar 18 and Rust In Peace.
February, Marty Friedman is hired as Megadeth's lead guitarist.
September, Megadeth joins Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies and Testament for "Clash of the Titans" world tour.
October, Megadeth releases Rust in Peace.
October, Megadeth opens for Judas Priest in support of their new album Painkiller.
July, Nick Menza is hired as Megadeth's new drummer.
Megadeth covers Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" for Wes Craven's Shocker Soundtrack, their only song recorded as a three-piece band.
Mustaine is arrested for impaired driving, forced to clean up in 12-step program.
January, Megadeth releases So Far, So Good... So What!
Megadeth opens for Dio on North American tour.
June, Megadeth featured in acclaimed documentary, Decline of Western Civilization 2: The Metal Years.
June, Megadeth opens for Iron Maiden on their "Seventh Son" tour.
August, Megadeth plays "Monsters of Rock" festival at Castle Donnington along with KISS, Iron Maiden, Guns N' Roses, David Lee Roth
August, Megadeth drops off the "Monsters of Rock" tour after one show. Jeff Young and Chuck Behler are fired soon after.
Dave Mustaine produces Sanctuary's debut album Refuge Denied.
February, Megadeth opens for Alice Cooper's "Constrictor" tour.
Megadeth tours with Mercyful Fate.
March, Megadeth's first world tour begins in the UK.
Dave and David appear on Malice's License To Kill album.
Megadeth re-record "These Boots" for the Dudes soundtrack.
May-June, Megadeth tours the U.S. with Overkill and Necros.
Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson are fired after last show of tour in Hawaii.
Gar's drum tech Chuck Behler is hired as Megadeth's new drummer.
Jay Reynolds of Malice leads Megadeth to their new guitarist, Jeff Young.
Capitol Records signs Megadeth, gets rights to Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? from Combat.
Megadeth opens for King Diamond and Motorhead in the U.S.
September, Cliff Burton dies in bus accident.
November, Megadeth releases Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?.
Megadeth shoots first video, "Peace Sells"
May, Megadeth releases Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!
Summer, Megadeth tours the U.S. and Canada with Exciter, Mike Albert takes over for Chris Poland.
October, Chris Poland rejoins band.
October, Megadeth begins recording new album, Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? for Combat Records.
December, Megadeth plays New Year's Eve show in San Francisco with Metallica, Exodus and Metal Church.
Megadeth record 3-song demo with drummer Lee Raush.
Kerry King assists Megadeth at live shows and then returns to Slayer.
Lee Rausch is replaced by Gar Samuelson.
November, Megadeth is signed to Combat records.
December, Chris Poland is hired as the new guitarist
December, Megadeth plays its first New York shows with Slayer.
March, Cliff Burton's first gig with Metallica.
April, Dave Mustaine is fired from Metallica, Kirk Hammet leaves Exodus to replace him.
April, Mustaine forms new band Fallen Angels
Summer, Dave meets bassist David Ellefson, forms Megadeth with guitarist Greg Handevidt and drummer Dijon Carruthers.
Metallica's first album, Kill 'Em All, is released.
December 31st, Mustaine becomes Megadeth's singer.
Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield form Metallica.
Dave Mustaine leaves Panic and joins Metallica.
Ron McGovney is hired as Metallica's bassist.
March, Metallica's first gig at Radio City in Anaheim.
March, Metallica opens for Saxon on their "Denim and Leather" tour.
April, Brad Parker (a.k.a. Damian Phillips) is hired as Metallica's second guitarist. He leaves band after one gig, Metallica's only day as a five-piece band.
May, James Hetfield takes up rhythm guitar in addition to vocals.
June, "Hit the Lights" is included on Metal Massacre compilation.
Rare demo album No Life 'til Leather is released.
December, Cliff Burton leaves Trauma to replace Ron McGovney.

These are heady days for those of us who wear our devotion to metal like a badge of honour. The deafening beast of the dark depths has lived to roar and rampage again and the scene has never been in a happier or healthier state. But don’t be deceived. Metal never really went away. In fact, its current fortitude stems entirely from the bands that never surrendered; those brave, liquor-soaked men whose total disregard for the vagaries of fashion and finance kept them glued to the grindstone through metal’s mainstream wilderness years. Now, as seems wholly fitting, the greatest of these are finally reaping their rewards and hitting new creative peaks as they surge unstoppably onwards and upwards. And, as it was in the beginning, so shall it be in 2006.
Just as the gravel-lined, turd-stained streets of urban England gave heavy metal to the world back in the late ‘60s, so that small country with the big voice continues to be the place where the world’s finest dark metal band rest their weary, alcohol-ravaged heads after another sonic killing spree. Love them, hate them or both, Cradle Of Filth is back again to fondle you while slitting your throat. Thornography has arrived.
Recorded at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire, England, with renowned metallic production genius Rob Caggiano (Anthrax, Bleeding Through) and mixed by Andy Sneap (Killswitch Engage, Arch Enemy,Trivium) at Backstage Studios, Derbyshire, Thornography is the band’s seventh full-length studio album and their second for Roadrunner. The follow-up to 2004’s widely acclaimed meisterwerk Nymphetamine it’s a scintillating and terrifying collision between the familiar and the unexpected. It’s the dark, destructive and unsettling sound of a globe-conquering heavy metal band at the height of their sick, twisted powers, and the continuation of a proud, priapic and unhinged legacy that stretches back nigh on 15 years.
When Cradle Of Filth released their now legendary debut album, The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh back in 1994, the notoriety surrounding the Black Metal scene – and its spiritual epicentre in Oslo, Norway, in particular – was reaching fever pitch throughout Europe. These legions of the damned and disgusted took metal further into the abyss than it had ever been before, stripping away its worldly concerns and reducing it to a pure and chilling core of impenetrable black menace. Cradle Of Filth were undoubtedly inspired by this sea-change in metal’s ongoing evolution, they had their own plans for disseminating their own distinct, gothically-erotic propaganda and swiftly defined their own left hand path. Their disdain for playing by the rules was startling in its intensity from the very start.
Throughout the ‘90s, Cradle of Filth – led by vocalist, lyricist and crypt-crawling master of ceremonies Dani Filth – beavered tirelessly away, producing a series of peerless extreme metal classics that drew from an endless, dizzying array of inspirations and influences while always maintaining that instantly recognisable heart of filthy darkness. The brutal and brief Vempire mini-album and the lustrous, lascivious Dusk & Her Embrace (both 1996) began to reveal the band’s great sonic range. Later taking into account the slithering concept piece Cruelty & The Beast (1998) and the Clive Barker-inspired Midian (2000) – not to mention their excursions into the visual realm of film and promo– the Cradle Of Filth sound showed itself to be a many-headed creature. It was one that took delight in confounding both the purists and the critics who continually assailed the band’s motives and creativity even as their fan base expanded and their status soared. With a line-up that seemed to be constantly changing – thanks, perhaps, to the cobweb-encrusted revolving door that rumours suggest marked the entrance to the band’s rehearsal space during this period – the music was never allowed to stagnate; fresh blood and its revitalising effects remained a permanent weapon in the boys’ macabre arsenal.
As the 21st century dawned, Cradle Of Filth unleashed the epic, ambitious Damnation And A Day - a sprawling, theatrical masterpiece that has yet to be truly recognised for either its semantic depth or its thrilling levels of metallic artistry. Quietly walking away from a fractious partnership with their previous label, the band eventually found a logical home with Roadrunner Records. It was a match made in hell that spawned what was, until now, almost certainly the strongest collection of songs in the Cradle canon, the mighty Nymphetamine. Wildly varied and as heavy as anything the band had ever recorded, it was widely hailed as a triumph and led to yet more gruelling treks around the world, where their rabid fan base lurks in every shadowy corner waiting for their latest fix of barbaric drama and blood-soaked belligerence.
And so to 2006, where Cradle Of Filth find themselves in the enviable position of being in a league and class of their own. Having long since outstripped the achievements of their one-time contemporaries, the band are now firmly entrenched in a rich vein of form. The current line-up of Dani Filth, guitarists Paul Allender and Charles Hedger, bassist Dave Pybus and drummer Adrian Erlandsson is the most solid and powerful in the band’s career and Thornography is the resounding, conclusive proof. With songs as brutish, bombastic and diverse as “Libertina Grimm,” “Tonight In Flames,” “Cemetery & Sundown,” “I Am The Thorn,” “The Byronic Man” (featuring HIM’s Ville Valo on guest vocals) and a deranged cover of Heaven 17’s ‘80s pop gem “Temptation,” the world’s biggest and best extreme metal band have never sounded so exhilarating, so vital, so venomous…
“There are a lot of characters on this album,” says Dani Filth of the new opus. “There’s no central concept. It’s more along the lines of Nymphetamine in respect of diversity of content, both lyrically and musically. We spent the whole summer of 2005 working really hard on writing the material and making sure it was the best of songs we’ve ever written. Which undoubtedly it is. It’s obviously our best material thus far. It’s far more rhythmic and catchy and easily the heaviest thing we’ve done, especially on the production side of things. And there’s a real retro feel to the record, in terms of style. It’s slightly experimental for us and a lot of people will be surprised I think at the level of diversity we've managed to achieve with this, especially having worked with other musicians and having our first band instrumental included (Rise Of The Pentagram). We started to write and got into a habit of coming up with tons of stuff. Everyone would be working on ideas and we’d pool it all together in the dank confines of our rehearsal room. We kept stirring the cauldron and adding or subtracting accordingly. Thus each song has its own sound and feel in relation to the concept behind each track. And as per normal, it's all in good taste! For example, Libertina Grimm, (which concerns itself with a haughty little vivisectrix and her dissonant life of crime) meanders through a succession of twists and turns as if to mimic her dark, labyrinthine obsessions with the dead, before finding foothold with a real primal, sex-laden hook. She might be mad, but before all else she's groovy!"
Louder, harder, faster, heavier, darker, catchier - the unstoppable force that is Cradle Of Filth slithers menacingly forward, crushing the opposition and striking warped, blackened glee into the hearts of misanthropes and malevolents the world over. The nightmare continues…may we never wake up!
DOM LAWSON, June 2006


Formed in 1988, Buffalo born/Tampa raised Cannibal Corpse helped found, manipulate and transcend the very boundaries of death metal beginning with the scandalously controversial debut, Eaten Back To Life. Raising the eyebrows of inquisitive metalheads and incensed parents and politicians, the record - produced by Scott Burns at the now renowned Morrisound Studios - was more extreme and confrontational than anything the metal genre had ever known. As a result of the band's brilliantly gruesome cover art, grisly lyrics and song titles like "Hammer Smashed Face," "Meat Hook Sodomy" and "Addicted To Vaginal Skin," follow-up records Butchered At Birth (1991) and Tomb Of The Mutilated (1992) were met with further contempt by the likes of such organized censorship leagues as the PMRC. In just three years, the sale of Cannibal Corpse merchandise was (temporarily) prohibited in Australia, Korea and New Zealand (in fact, the sale of Butchered At Birth and the performance of those three records is still forbidden in Germany). But dissuaded they were not.
Proving technical dexterity, diabolic vocal grunts and a penchant for serial killers, zombies and gore of all shapes, sizes and textures, Cannibal Corpse won over the hearts of many a metal extremist and have since become a harrowing household name. Since the bands inception they have sold millions of albums world wide and show no sign of slowing or bowing down to the ever changing metal genre. Massive tours throughout the U.S. and Europe as well as Australia and South America only underscored the band's staying power…and all this with zero commercial radio presence and minimal video play (although the band did appear in the Hollywood blockbuster, Ace Ventura - Pet Detective).
The momentum continued with the 1996 release of Vile, the first Cannibal record to feature former Monstrosity throat George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher following the departure of Chris Barnes. Any skepticism over the new voice behind the mighty Corpse was quickly put to rest. Simply put, Vile slayed from beginning to end and became the first ever death metal record to enter the prestigious Billboard charts. Over the next few years, relentlessly touring, bolstered musicianship and progressively more potent recordings saw the band increase in popularity within the underground and beyond.
After the mass success of 2004's The Wretched Spawn and some personnel changes (longtime guitarist Jack Owen fled the band in 2004 to carry on his commitments with his rock project, Adrift. Origin axe-master Jeremy Turner filled in for the band during their remaining tours that year before Malevolent Creation/Hate Plow/Solstice guitarist Rob Barrett, who played on Cannibal Corpse's infamous releases The Bleeding and Vile records, rejoined the band as a fulltime member.), Cannibal Corpse has returned to the Death Metal frontlines with the pungently eloquent majesty that is Kill.
Simply titled but meticulously assembled, Kill was recorded with producer Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal/ex-Morbid Angel) at Mana Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida. The tenth record of their storied career, each track basks in its own claustrophobic abrasiveness and maniacal subject matter. From the onset of the fiery "The Time To Kill Is Now," guitarists Barrett and Pat O'Brien, vocalist George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, bassist Alex Webster and drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz pummel with a renewed sense of urgency. Fast, furious and scrupulously timed, the tune is a palpable reminder that Cannibal remains a force to be reckoned. "Make Them Suffer" sears with an old school Possessed vibe (a band to whom Cannibal has paid homage to on several occasions), while "Necrosadistic Warning," replete with a barrage of blistering solo work by O'Brien whose guitar deftness is often underestimated, comes riddled with visions of zombies sexually gratifying themselves with the body parts of the beings they've slain. Other tracks like the telling "Five Nails Through The Neck," "Death Walking Terror," "Brain Removal Device" and instrumental closer "Infinite Misery" see the five-piece at their most cogent, both lyrically and musically.
Older, wiser, and as malevolent as ever before, the time to Kill is now!

Saturday, September 22, 2007



James LaBrie -- vocals

John Myung -- bass

John Petrucci -- guitars

Mike Portnoy -- drums

Jordan Rudess -- keyboards


Octavarium is not only the eighth studio album from progressive heavy rockers Dream Theater, but it also marks 20 years of existence for this majestic outfit. "It's pretty incredible," says drummer Mike Portnoy, "Especially given the nature of what we do. I think maybe that's probably been the secret to our longevity, is that we've never fit in. But it's still incredible that here we are, 20 years later, and we're not one of those bands that's just sticking around on the downslide. We're still growing and progressing with each album and tour."Not only has the five-piece resolutely defied both popular trends and fickle public tastes throughout its career, but Dream Theater's sound and approach is more vibrant, powerful and wide-ranging than ever. Octavarium, produced by the longtime tandem of Portnoy and guitarist John Petrucci, and mixed by Michael Brauer, encompasses the many varieties of heavy, epic, complex rock that has drawn legions of fans to the band's monumental catalog of releases and dynamic, marathon live shows. "We had two goals this time," explains Portnoy about the band's focused-like-a- laser approach. "The first goal was a reaction to our last album, Train Of Thought (2003), which was intentionally very, very dark and heavy from start to finish. It was definitely the heaviest album we ever made. So when it came time to make this record, we knew we didn't want to do that again. We wanted to go back to a more traditional Dream Theater style, which is a variety of everything. We still have heavy songs, but also have some lighter songs, some epic, progressive songs -- it's more of a balance."Portnoy adds that the group's second goal was to challenge themselves as songwriters by composing shorter pieces than the band is famous for. "Our last three or four albums, almost every song was very long. I mean, we've always had long songs our whole career, but -- we kind of did that formula to death. So we wanted to challenge ourselves this time to try and write shorter songs. For most bands, it's a challenge to write a long song, but to us, the challenge is to go the other way. There are three or four songs on the album that are very short and concise, but are still Dream Theater."Indeed, tunes such as "I Walk Beside You" and "The Answer Lies Within" clock in at five minutes or under -- largely unexplored territory for a band known for "double digit" masterpieces like "A Change Of Seasons" and "Metropolis." But what's even more surprising about those two new tracks -- both highlights of Octavarium -- is the diversity of material they represent. "Songs like those are kind of new for Dream Theater," says Portnoy. "There's almost a Coldplay or U2 influence. It's something that we've always had and tried to tap into, but I don't think we've ever truly nailed it as strongly as we did with these songs. And then you have songs like 'Panic Attack' and 'The Root Of All Evil' which are so dark and heavy and progressive and technical, and then something like 'Octavarium' and 'Sacrificed Sons,' which are true epics."The latter two cuts both feature an orchestra, something the band has never utilized before, while the 24-minute title cut is sure to become one of the band's signature pieces. "I think it's one of the best things we've ever written, because it encompasses a little bit of everything that Dream Theater is about in one statement," says Portnoy proudly. "I think most of our fans' favorite songs from our catalog tend to be those type of songs."That catalog extends back to 1989, when Dream Theater released its debut album, When Dream And Day Unite. The group has formed several years earlier, in September of 1985, when Berklee School of Music students Portnoy, John Myung and John Petrucci decided to start a band together. Originally known as Majesty, the fledgling act recruited keyboardist Kevin Moore and singer Chris Collins into the fold. Collins eventually left, replaced by Charlie Dominici, while another band forced them to drop the Majesty moniker in favor of Dream Theater, named after a demolished California cinema.When Dream And Day Unite made an immediate impact on the underground progressive rock scene, but Dream Theater wanted to push further. Replacing Dominici with James LaBrie, the group signed to Atco (later absorbed by Atlantic) and recorded 1992's groundbreaking Images And Words. Featuring the hit, "Pull Me Under," the album introduced Dream Theater to hordes of new fans that continue to support the band to this day.Many more albums followed, including 1994's Awake, 1997's Falling Into Infinity and 1999's Scenes From A Memory. At the same time, Kevin Moore gave way to first Derek Sherinian, then Jordan Rudess. Personnel changes, label turnover, and the ill-timed release of 2001's Live Scenes From New York -- which arrived on September 11th, 2001, with cover art featuring a New York skyline against a backdrop of flames -- roiled the group but never truly deflected it from its musical path. "The biggest reason we've been able to endure that is our devoted fan base," says Mike Portnoy. "Our fans are as big a part of the story as we or our music is. They're the reason that we're able to keep a major label deal and go and play sheds and large theatres and stuff like that without mainstream exposure. It's due to this incredible fan base that stands by us through thick and thin from year to year."And now that fan base is about to be rewarded once again with the June 7th release of Octavarium. The last album to ever be recorded at New York's legendary Hit Factory before it closed its doors for good in March of 2005, this record is sure to please every single diehard Dream Theater fan out there, and will continue to draw new ones to the band's skillful medley of heavy metallic power, delicate melodicism, and brilliant, literally award-winning musicianship. "There's always gonna be an audience for musicians and artists and people who actually want to create something that's valid and unique," concludes Portnoy. "The rock stardom thing and being on MTV and selling millions of records and being part of a trend has never been interesting to us. We're just five musicians that like to play and write together, and luckily there's this devoted audience that's been behind us all this time."