Posts Tagged “Wings Of Destiny”

German power metallers GAMMA RAY have issued the following update:

“After a successful tour across Europe and Asia, it is time now to finish what had been started with ‘Master Of Confusion’ EP beginning of this year: the band will enter their studio tomorrow looking through and carrying together new material for the new album, ‘Empire Of The Undead’, which is supposed to be completed right before the band heads out for the South American leg of the Hellish Rock II tour [with HELLOWEEN in late November].”

GAMMA RAY‘s new EP, “Master Of Confusion”, was released on March 15 via earMUSIC, the Hamburg, Germany-based international rock label which is part of Edel Group.

In addition to the brand new title cut, “Master Of Confusion” features a second new studio track, “Empire Of The Undead”, showing the heavier side of the band, with an explosion of energy and pure GAMMA RAY sound at its best.

The release is not free from tasty rarities: a brand new studio cover versions of British glam rock band SWEET (“Lost Angels” — “the reason I have joined a band many years ago,” stated GAMMA RAY frontman Kai Hansen) and a hidden treasure of NWOBHM (“Death Or Glory” by HOLOCAUST).

“Master Of Confusion” is rounded off with six live versions (“The Spirit”, “Wings Of Destiny”, “Farewell”, “Gamma Ray”, “Time To Break Free” and “Insurrection”, recorded in Bochum) that were already included on the Blu-ray “Skeletons & Majesties Live” but were not featured on the CD release (which included the show recorded in Pratteln).

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German metal act Gamma Ray posted a preview clip from the band’s upcoming live DVD/2CD Live LP “Skeletons & Majesties Live.” The DVD features the live recording of the band’s performance at the legendary Z7 in Pratteln, Switzerland on April 29th, 2011 and will now be released on 2CD, Blu-ray and DVD on November 30th, 2012 through earOne Music. The DVD and Blu-ray also feature additional bonus tracks, lots of behind the scenes bonus material, rare archive material and interviews with the band.

“Skeletons & Majesties Live” has a playing time of two hours and is a tour de force through the band’s history so far, including lots of hits and classics, but also tracks which were undeservedly under-represented to date.

“The EP, ‘Skeletons & Majesties,’ is practically a continuation of our ‘Skeletons In The Closet’ concept, in other words: new versions of songs which didn’t receive the attention they deserve, as well as unplugged versions of some of our classics,” says Kai Hansen, the band’s vocalist, guitarist and founder.

The double CD includes a total of 18 songs (plus intro & interlude); DVD and Blu-ray will feature six additional bonus tracks with alternative versions of “The Spirit,” “Wings Of Destiny,” “Farewell,” “Gamma Ray,” “Time To Break Free” and “Insurrection,” all recorded at another show at the Zeche in Bochum, the day before the Pratteln show . In addition, the DVD and Blu-ray feature behind the scenes bonus material, very rare archive material and interviews with the band.

The release of “Skeletons & Majesties Live” will mark the beginning of an eventful 2013 for Gamma Ray: After Hansen spent 2012 concentrating mainly on his second band, Unisonic, he and his three colleagues Henjo Richter (guitar), Dirk Schlächter (bass) and new addition Michael Ehré (the Firewind/Love.Might.Kill drummer has replaced Daniel Zimmermann, who left the Gamma Ray fold on friendly terms in January 2011) are now focusing exclusively on Gamma Ray again. A co-headlining tour with Helloween has been scheduled for February 2013 and will also mark the arrival of a new Gamma Ray studio recording.

“Gamma Ray will have top priority in 2013,” comments Hansen, “and ‘Skeletons & Majesties Live’ is the perfect harbinger of this!”

Check out the preview clip here:

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Judas PriestScreaming For Vengeance 30th Anniversary Edition
Columbia Records/Legacy
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

There’s no question why Screaming For Vengeance should appear in your music library.  If you’re metal, this album should’ve been one of the first you ever came into contact with.  It’s mandatory.  Like the first Black Sabbath album, like Blue Oyster Cult’s Tyranny and Mutation, like Kiss’ Destroyer, like Maiden’s Number of the Beast and like Metallica’s Master of Puppets, Screaming For Vengeance represents a pivotal moment in heavy metal music.  It’s biblical to this genre and it’s symbolic of metal at its most symbiotic.  It just is.

Judas Priest are the legends they are for a reason and while British Steel is regarded by many as their finest work, Sad Wings of Destiny their most artistic and Point of Entry their most underrated, their esteemed reputation comes down to 1982 and the bombastic Screaming For Vengeance.  Stained Class and Hell Bent For Leather are absolute masterpieces for Priest as well, but all that came before Screaming For Vengeance can be viewed as evolutionary milestones culminating in one of the fiercest and most majestic slabs of all-time.

It’s a case of preaching to the choir if you’re a seasoned metal fan, but is there anything in the entire cosmos of heavy music that summons the outer regions of the unknown into harmony with our own  than “The Hellion?”  There has never been nor will there ever be a more perfect intro to a metal album than this.  The opening shreds of Slayer’s “Angel of Death” come relatively close.  Ditto for the lavish acoustic-meets-electric symposium of Metallica’s “Battery.”  You hear those, you’re pumped up for what comes next, sure.  “The Hellion,” however?  Nothing like it.  It is for metal culture, the equivalent of Beethoven’s Fifth and Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.”  Distasteful as it was to find “The Hellion” pounding within a car commercial, the way that ad was set up with the explosive gala and stacked amplitude to recreate a Priest concert around their product, you had to forgive them.  At least they had the savvy choose the mightiest metal chops there ever was for a disguised glittering testimonial.

Thirty years it’s been since Judas Priest turned Screaming For Vengeance loose upon us and three decades later, it remains one of the heaviest audile experiences you’ll ever hear.  The title track alone set a precedent for metal music by picking up the pace and the aggression.  Remember, most groups weren’t playing this fast in 1982.  “Screaming For Vengeance” and Priest’s “Freewheel Burning” from their subsequent Defenders of the Faith album are the foundation blocks of thrash, alongside Iron Maiden’s “Invaders,” “Gangland” and “Run to the Hills.” 

Thirty years later, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” is the rare exception of accessibility that hasn’t grown sour.  That cut still kicks and though it’s discomforting to see yuppies toss up horns, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” is a bonding agent proving why Priest became immediate icons of the arena from this point forward in their careers.

“Devil’s Child” remains one of the meanest-sounding tunes Judas Priest ever recorded, while “Riding On the Wind” and of course the dystopian mini-epic “Electric Eye” remain obligatory for fans and for Priest themselves onstage.  The Orwellian “Electric Eye” propagated paranoia and fantastical fear which still intimidates now in the desensitized, dumb-downed age of Big Brother.  We snarl along with the Metal God, Rob Halford about being perpetual and keeping our country clean, but put into proper context, that was some scary shit Priest had touched on.  If a government took it upon itself to cleanse its borders in Hitler-esque fashion, we’ll one day think back on “Electric Eye” as the grotesque horror story it is.  For now, the song is so much of an ass-kicker, we ride into glory with Judas Priest and go bonkers with it. 

For the thirtieth anniversary of Screaming For Vengeance’s release, Columbia Records remasters this golden nugget with a handful of live tracks and the bonus track “Prisoner of Your Eyes,” plus a DVD featuring Judas Priest’s reknowned performance at the 1983 US Festival in San Bernardino, California.  The remix of Screaming For Vengeance is crisp but the original source was so powerful even the original analog stands up to the current rewash.  The quasi ballad “Prisoner of Your Eyes” should be familiar to diehards as Rob Halford has been known to bring it out in his solo shows.  It previously made an appearance on his Live Insurrection album.

Thus the major selling point to this anniversary edition is the US Festival show.  As rad as the 1982 concert at the Mid South Coliseum contained in Priest’s Metalogy box set is, the US Festival gig shows much of the Screaming For Vengeance selections at full polish.  Playing before 300,000 fans in the four day festival, it’s impressive to see so many people even in 1982 pumping fists and going wild for a heavy metal band.  “Electric Eye” comes off as a slow cooker for the band and Rob Halford skulks onstage from behind the amps and Dave Holland’s massive drum riser to deliver the goods in sinister fashion.  The band picks up with “Riding On the Wind” but hits full stride four songs in with “Metal Gods.”  Halford comes alive with his full vocal range while KK Downing and Glenn Tipton feed off of his energy.  Ian Hill bobs back in forth at amp’s edge as he’s always done (as signature for him as Angus Young’s ceaseless up and down knee jacking), while Dave Holland, a forgotten cog in the Priest machine, looks half frightened and half euphoric from his mount overtop the survey of humanity before him. 

Holland has the best seat in the house and so do you with this DVD.  Though it’s amusing watching the camera operators focus on the wrong guitarists during the first few solos, eventually everything hums and the US Festival performance lives up to its reputation.  Priest whips out their olden year standards, “Victim of Changes,” “Diamonds and Rust” and “The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown”) and they rank amongst the highlights of this show.  “Screaming For Vengeance” is just as thunderous here as the studio version, but none of it seems wholly fulfilling until Rob Halford manifests on his Harley during “Hell Bent For Leather.”  Oh, hell to the yes.

So on the wings of a screaming metallic falcon, have another go with an immortal album, if not for your first time.  If this is your first time coming to Screaming For Vengeance, you are to be envied because this is a genuine experience you’re about to confront.  You’ll take the pain and the pleasure from Screaming For Vengeance and chances are, you’ll rank this album deservedly high on your personal meter as the rest of us have.

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Mystic Prophecy is set to release the new album “Ravenlord” this coming Friday, November 25th, 2011. The album was recorded at the Prophecy and Music Factory Studios with engineer C. Schmid and mixed with Fredrik Nordström (In Flames, Arch Enemy etc.) in Sweden. You can check out the album’s artwork here.

On the heels of the album release, Mystic Prophecy has now also announced an appearance at the Metalfest Open Airs 2012 in Germany and Austria. Details are available in the festival promo poster below.

The “Ravenlord” track listing is as follows:

1. Ravenlord
2. Die Now
3. Eyes Of The Devil
4. Cross Of Lies
5. Hollow
6. Wings Of Destiny
7. Endless Fire
8. Damned Tonight
9. Reckoning Day
10. Miracle Man (Ozzy cover)
11. Back With The Storm

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Mystic Prophecy is set to release the new album “Ravenlord” on November 25th, 2011 via Massacre Records. The band has now revealed the cover artwork for the album, which can be viewed below. The track listing is as follows:

1. Ravenlord
2. Die Now
3. Eyes Of The Devil
4. Cross Of Lies
5. Hollow
6. Wings Of Destiny
7. Endless Fire
8. Damned Tonight
9. Reckoning Day
10. Miracle Man (Ozzy cover)
11. Back With The Storm

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As Judas Priest will be hitting the road this year for their reported final tour, it’s appropriate to wander back to their 1977 masterwork, Sin After Sin.

Sin After Sin was, at one time, an acquired taste in Priest’s catalog. While it remains one of their all-time heaviest and most polished recordings, most fans picked up with the band either via British Steel and Hell Bent For Leather or Screaming for Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith. Those albums are slicker, louder and filled with iconic heavy metal classics. Sin After Sin is iconic itself, but you really had to dig backwards when learning the history of metal in order to appreciate their grinding “Dissident Aggressor” (made popular by benefit of Slayer’s cover) and the banging “Sinner,” “Race With the Devil” and “Starbreaker.”

A bit more refined than the over-the-top bludgeoning and tunefulness of their later work, Sin After Sin is a portal into a heavy metal wonderland, in sound by “Last Rose of Summer” and visually by the album’s escapist artwork. I have a great fondness for a lot of the older, detailed paintings gracing Judas Priest’s albums, in particular for Sad Wings of Destiny, Rocka Rolla and the Hero Hero compilation. I’m most fond, however, of the minimalist copier paper trail to infinitum found on Point of Entry. As a writer, that triggers my neurons and sends them scampering in search of that elusive vanishing point.

Yet the Sin After Sin album cover may provoke the most imagination of any of Priest’s albums. I think of Heavy Metal the magazine, I think of Arthur’s fadeout in Excalibur and I think of lust and desire, depicted in the abstract forms found at the sepulchure’s portal on this cover. One must deal with temptation from both sides when approaching the tomb, which really strikes my fancy.

Seduction and damnation await all who enter, and yet the Sin After Sin cover makes you want to see more, particularly to see if there’s a payout to the suggested sex by the translucent girl parting her legs to the side. What’s she hiding between her thighs? Kind of reminds you of an installment of Den from the pages of Heavy Metal, yes? With the devil obscura towards panel left, you get the feeling there’s pain coming with the pleasure, woe be to your genitalia…

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Mornin’ ya’ll…

I say it so much I might as well consider myself a suck-up, but you readers make my week and it’s my pleasure to keep The Metal Minute afloat while I work on my other projects plus attend to family duties. Not once have you faithful lot deviated according to the weekly hit count, even with scaled-back production. I can’t it say enough, thank you.

Coming up through this week will be reviews of what was promised already and I think we’ll see a surprise Take 5 sneak in here, groovy?

Though he’s not metal, almost every true music fan loves Johnny Cash. The original Man in Black, before metalheads usurped the image. In fact, Johnny was so forward-thinking he embraced all types of music outside of country. Yeah, he did a strange duet with U2, but more so if you’ve ever seen his seventies variety show, Johnny Cash brought on entertainers from country to rock to folk to soul to gospel. The man was a legend for multiple reasons and if you get a chance to hear his farewell album American IV: Ain’t No Grave, be prepared to be devastated. Joey Ramone’s goodbye solo album was wrenching enough, but Johnny Cash stares death in the eye and sings about it on this album. If the Grammy committee doesn’t give him a posthumous award for this album, then quite simply…they’re fucked in their heads.

On that note, cheers to each and everyone of you and enjoy the Easter holiday however you may!

Blue Oyster CultTyranny and Mutation
Blue Oyster CultSecret Treaties
Blue Oyster Cult Spectres
Armored SaintLa Raza
ExodusExhibit B: The Human Condition
ScorpionsSting in the Tail
ScorpionsBlackout
Nick DrakeFive Leaves Left
Jimi HendrixValleys of Neptune
Miles DavisPorgy and Bess
Charles MingusMingus Ah Um
Harry Connick, Jr.Red Light Blue Light
Johnny CashAmerican IV: Ain’t No Grave
Grace JonesWarm Leatherette
Bob DylanThe Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
Judas PriestSad Wings of Destiny
WolfmotherCosmic Egg

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