Tag Archives: Andrew Catania

Revolution Saints Light In The Dark, A Powerful, Superb Record With Great Musicianship

By Andrew Catania

If there is one thing the current Rock and Metal landscape is overpopulated with, it is these so-called “Supergroups.”  They usually come in different genres of music.  There are the burn-out bands who continue until they turn to ashes. Then you have the ones that seem like you’re getting a bunch of session musicians together for no reason what so ever.   Then you have Revolution Saints.  I call them Deen Castronova’s version of Journey.

Photo by Johnny Pixel

Formed in 2014 by three of the most talented and revered musicians in the music industry, the three members of Revolution Saints have resumes a thousand miles long; Doug Aldrich ( Whitesnake, Dio, The Dead Daisies) on guitar, Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankees) on bass and Deen Castronovo (Journey, Ozzy Osbourne, Hardline) on drums and lead vocals. Now they are back with their sophomore album Light In The Dark.”

Photo by Johnny Pixel

The album opens with the rather uplifting title track “Light In The Dark” – a  rocker with Aldrich’s superb guitar playing taking center stage. Possibly even more impressive is Castronovo’s singing – with all the melodic sense of Journey’s very best work, his voice is just brilliant. “Freedom” is a mid-tempo rocker with a big emotional punch. The religious themes of salvation and freedom sound like Castronovo truly liberated here, both personally and musically – it’s a theme that runs through the entire album.

Photo by Johnny Pixel

Ride On” is a brilliant AOR number with a huge chorus and a stand-back-and-watch Aldrich solo while the piano-led ballad “I Wouldn’t Change A Thingwhich is a tear jerker of a song that punches you in the gut about certain things in life. Aldrich’s playing in the rain for the video is brilliant I cringe when I see Alessandro Del Vecchio producing.  He tends to overproduce and overpolish records.  With Light in the Dark, he does it right,  Balancing the melodic sound without overproducing it.

Revolution Saints sophomore album lives up to the expectations I have with this kind of talent.  They’ve knocked it out the park.  The most important thing to me about this album is that Deen Castronova is back and he’s kicking ass and taking names.  Deen is a legend.  He’s been a drummer in many of my guitar heroes solo records.  Doug Aldrich is a superb guitarist.  Jack Blades is fantastic.

Photo by Johnny Pixel

In the end, Light in the Dark lives up to everything a sophomore album should be and from a “supergroup.” Revolution Saints have delivered a superior album.

Side note to Neal Schon, if you plan on cleaning house in Journey, might I suggest you bring back Deen for vocals and percussion.  Hearing him sing those old Journey classics would be amazing!

Welcome back, Deen!  9.5/10 Rating

Sorcerer To Release The Crowning Of The Fire King On 10/20 Via Metal Blade

Sorcerer was formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 1988 by Johnny Hagel (Tiamat, Sundown, Lithium), Tommy Karlsson and Peter Furulid. The singer Anders Engberg (Lion’s Share, Therion, 220 Volt) joined them together with a second guitarist Mats Liedholm in 1989. That year they recorded their first demo Anno 1503 which sold more than 1500 copies. The band played two shows in Stockholm in ’89; the first show was together with legendary Swedish doom band Count Raven, and later in the year they also entered the stage at a festival with bands like Entombed (their first show ever as Entombed), Carnage, Therion and Mezzrow among others.

In 1992 they recorded their second demo which showcased a more mature sound and a higher level of musicianship. Both demos were very well received by the metal press all over the world. Johnny Hagel left the band later in ’92 to join Tiamat. Sorcerer disbanded shortly after this and the members went their separate ways. In 1995, John Perez of Solitude Aeternus decided to release both demo tapes on CD through his label Brainticket Records.

Fast forward 15 years…

In 2010, Johnny Hagel was contacted by Oliver Weinsheimer of the Hammer Of Doom festival in Germany and was offered a spot. Johnny and Anders decided to put a band together made up of friends for this one show more than 20 years later from the first demo release, so joining them onstage was Kristian Niemann on guitar (Therion, Demonoid), Ola Englund on guitar (Feared, The Haunted, Six Feet Under) and drummer Robert Iversen. The band played a set of classic tracks such as “Born With Fear,” “Queen In Black,” “Northern Seas,” and “The Sorcerer,” among others. The show was a big success with the crowd singing along to every song!

In 2011, John Perez re-released the demos again, now re-mastered and featured some songs that never had been released on CD before. The same year, the band played another gig at the Up The Hammers festival in Athens, Greece. Another massive success and the thoughts of putting together a new album started to take form.

In 2012, guitarist Ola Englund left the band to join Six Feet Under and Peter Hallgren (Rob Rock, 220 Volt) was brought in to complete the lineup. Work on the new album progressed slowly but steadily, and in the end, it took over two years to write, arrange and record it – but the result is nothing but pure, heavy epic doom metal. The process of putting all bits and pieces together and making it ready for mix and mastering was the work of drummer Robert Iversen, also a very fine recording engineer, who was acting as the spider in the recording web. The album was mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Amon Amarth, Devin Townsend).

After fielding offers from several labels, the band signed with Metal Blade Records in 2014.

Finally then, in March 2015, Sorcerer released the critically acclaimed In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross. Sorcerer played several festivals in support of the album; Sabaton Open Air and Rock Hard Festival among others, with the latter, especially being a huge success for the band, selling out their entire merch supply even before finishing their set.

2015 also saw the release of the EP Black, which consisted of 3 songs left over from theIn The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross sessions, as well as an acoustic version of the track “Prayers For A King.”

At the end of 2015, the band started to write material for a follow-up album to In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross. Progress went pretty fast, and ten new tracks emerged out of the Royal Epic Doom chest. The songwriting carried on throughout 2016, and in early 2017, they went into the studio to record.

During the recording, the band and drummer Robert Iversen parted ways because of musical differences, and Lars Sköld (Tiamat, Avatarium) filled the role as a session drummer on the album.

In the early summer of 2017, the album was ready to be mixed by the very talented Ronnie Björnström (Aeon, Cut Up, 220 Volt), who also turned the knobs on their last album. The mastering this time was expertly handled by Mr. Thomas “Plec” Johansson (Soilwork, Watain).

Sorcerer is extremely happy with the outcome of their second album The Crowning Of The Fire King, and hope that their fans will embrace this one as they did the last. They will promote the album with live shows during 2017 and 2018, determined to put their mark on the doom metal scene. With top-notch musicianship coupled with strong, powerful songs, they are ready to deliver their Royal Epic Doom to the masses around the world for years to come.

Sorcerer line-up:
Anders Engberg – vocals
Kristian Niemann – guitars
Peter Hallgren – guitars
Johnny Hagel – bass
Richard Evensand – drums

Sorcerer online:

Act of Defiance Master Guitarist Chris Broderick Talks New Album And Guitar Line

By Andrew Catania

Chrіѕtорhеr Alаn “Chrіѕ” Brоdеrісk іѕ аn Amеrісаn muѕісіаn, bеѕt knоwn as thе former lead аnd rhуthm guіtаrіѕt оf thе Amеrісаn hеаvу mеtаl bаnd Megadeth. He іѕ аlѕо fоrmеrlу thе lеаd guіtаrіѕt аnd kеуbоаrdіѕt fоr Jаg Pаnzеr, арреаrіng оn fоur оf Jаg Pаnzеr’ѕ albums Thе Agе оf Mаѕtеrу, Thаnе tо thе Thrоnе (а соnсерt аlbum аbоut Shаkеѕреаrе’ѕ Macbeth), Mесhаnіzеd Wаrfаrе and Cаѕtіng the Stones before mоvіng оn tо Mеgаdеth, rерlасіng Glеn Drоvеr.

Photo by Stephanie Cabral

Bеfоrе jоіnіng Mеgаdеth аnd whіlе ѕtіll іn Jаg Pаnzеr, Chrіѕ Brоdеrісk wаѕ аlѕо a tоurіng guіtаrіѕt fоr Nevermore bеtwееn 2001 аnd 2003 аnd thеn аgаіn bеtwееn 2006 аnd 2007, hе іѕ nоw thе Lеаd Guіtаrіѕt fоr Aсt оf Dеfіаnсе, whісh hе formed wіth fellow еx-Mеgаdеth bаndmаtе, Shаwn Drоvеr.

In lаtе 2007, rumоrѕ hаd bееn сіrсulаtіng thаt Mеgаdеth guіtаrіѕt Glеn Drоvеr hаd lеft thе band. Thіѕ wаѕ рrоvеd tо bе truе аftеr statements rеlеаѕеd frоm bоth Glеn аnd Mеgаdеth frоntmаn Dаvе Muѕtаіnе. Thе nіght аftеr thе ѕtаtеmеntѕ wаѕ rеlеаѕеd, Mеgаdеth drummer Shаwn Drоvеr brоught uр Chrіѕ аѕ a роѕѕіblе rерlасеmеnt. Shаwn thеn ѕhоwеd Dаvе a video оf Chrіѕ Brоdеrісk рlауіng both сlаѕѕісаl аnd еlесtrіс guіtаr. Dave wаѕ іmmеdіаtеlу wоn over аnd ѕооn managed tо gеt іn соntасt wіth Chrіѕ. Twо wееkѕ lаtеr, Broderick hаѕ officially dесlаrеd thе nеw guіtаrіѕt fоr Mеgаdеth.

Photo By Stephanie Cabral

Chrіѕ Brоdеrісk mаdе hіѕ lіvе dеbut wіth thе bаnd оn Fеbruаrу 4, 2008, іn Fіnlаnd аnd tоurеd wіth thеm оn Gіgаntоur 2008 аnd аlѕо rесоrdеd guіtаr раrtѕ fоr thеіr 12th аlbum Endgаmе thru thеіr 14th аlbum, Suреr Cоllіdеr. Duе tо еxtеnѕіvе tоurіng with Mеgаdеth hе wаѕ nо lоngеr bе аblе tо соllаbоrаtе wіth Jаg Pаnzеr аnd Nеvеrmоrе. Dаvе Muѕtаіnе ѕаіd thаt whеn hе partnered uр with Brоdеrісk, hе ѕаіd thаt іt rеmіndеd hіm оf whеn “Ozzy Oѕbоurnе mеt Rаndу Rhоаdѕ.” On March 8, 2009, Dаvе commented thаt hе thоught Chrіѕ wаѕ the grеаtеѕt guіtаrіѕt Mеgаdеth hаѕ еvеr hаd. In thе thеn-сurrеnt lіnеuр оf thе bаnd, hе was thе уоungеѕt mеmbеr іn Mеgаdеth. Chrіѕ Brоdеrісk said іn аn interview wіth Tоtаl Guіtаr hе wоuld stay wіth Mеgаdеth аѕ lоng аѕ they were hарру tо hаvе hіm.

On Nоvеmbеr 25, 2014, Chrіѕ Brоdеrісk роѕtеd a mеѕѕаgе оn hіѕ wеbѕіtе ѕауіng hе wаѕ раrtіng wауѕ with Mеgаdеth. “Due tо аrtіѕtіс аnd muѕісаl dіffеrеnсеѕ, it іѕ wіth grеаt rеluсtаnсе thаt I аnnоunсе mу dераrturе from Mеgаdеth to рurѕuе mу оwn muѕісаl dіrесtіоn. I wаnt аll оf you tо knоw hоw muсh I аррrесіаtе thе аmоunt thаt you thе fans hаvе ассерtеd аnd respected mе аѕ a mеmbеr of Mеgаdеth fоr thе lаѕt ѕеvеn уеаrѕ, but іt іѕ tіmе fоr me tо mоvе оn. I wіѕh Dave аnd еvеrуоnе іn Mеgаdеth аll thе bеѕt. I аm wоrkіng оn a fеw thіngѕ оf my оwn аnd hоре thаt whеn they come out, уоu wіll аll dіg іt.”

We spoke with Chris about Act of Defiance’s new album, Old Scars, New Wounds.

Did you guys do anything differently this time around vers your debut album?

CB: Not so much. There were a few things that were mildly different but I think the two of the most significant differences were the one that we had time to go back all of us and listen to what we had worked on creatively and collectively and go back and come back with ideas of editing and format and structure.  so we had more time to go back and forth and do that.

And then secondly Matt and Henry were able to do more writing. On Birth and the Burial,  Matt didn’t get any writing on the CD because he was so late to the game.  On Old Scar, New Wounds, he has credit for three songs. It was those big differences.  It was much more collaborative.   The last album it is was all right we’ve got to get this written, form the band at the same time and get this out within four months.  Shawn and I were scrambling the whole way forming the band getting things set up trying to get a record deal because you find out when you just form a band it’s not like OK now we’ve got a record deal.  We’ve got to go out and shop and try and get interested in. So we were doing all of that. The last album. And so everything was under the gun and pressure, and this time it was just as much more hey we’re a cohesive band, and we write that way. And that’s the biggest difference

When it came time to shop Birth of a Burial to the labels, who was interested? 

CB: Yeah, there were a few others that were interested. I have my preference and Metal Blade was it.  I’ve known Brian and I know how he works with those bands. If you look at it like the turnover rate of the artist and you look at the turnover rate within his company itself they’re very loyal there, and they’re very fair they’re very level headed to work with. And so I think that speaks for itself  I knew that my preference would be towards Metal Blade but we did entertain other offers as well.

When you recorded Birth and the Burial, you didn’t have long to record.  How long did you have to record Old Scars, New Wounds?

CB: Well from inception the band which was sometime in December to the product being turned in was the first of May. I think or yeah. So from that time, we went from nothing to having a CD on a label recorded with a band formed. So that was the major difference we probably took about the same amount of time to record this CD. But we didn’t have those other issues. We have our band we have our label. We had copyright material. You know what I mean. Yeah. So there was a lot more in place this time around. So it’s great.

Photo by Stephanie Cabral

How was it working with Dave Otero? 

CB: It was incredible.  I was very impressed right from the get-go. The one thing that turned me onto him as I remember when Birth and the Burial came out.  I was listening to the Devil’s Dozen on Sirius, and there was another band that was on the Sirius Devil’s Dozen at the same time, and that was a Cattle Decapitation, and I would just remember going wow that sounds impressive. I was impressed with that mix. And I didn’t think about it much of the time I thought we had a great mix on our CD as well.  I remember noting that I liked their mix and so you know time goes on this CD comes up and you know we were planning to work with Zeuss again, but he had potential conflicts timing conflicts, so we had to find a backup in case he couldn’t make it. And through finding out and talking about Dave Otero and all the great recommendations we just thought that he was the better fit for us and just to go with him. He was awesome in the sense that not only does he have a great ear for a great mix and things of that nature but also he’s very open to letting you be a part of the mix. Like the way he went about it was a very accommodating and that’s not something you always get from an engineer you get engineers that a lot of them will be like listen I don’t want anybody else in the room when I’m mixing I don’t want you to know there’s no you get what I give you kind of thing, and that was definitely not a Dave at all. He was very accommodating, and he took our ideas and not only did he implement them, but he made them better.

Photo by Stephanie Cabral

Do all members of the band equally contribute to the writing?

CB: We all present ideas and then it’s just looking at what songs are looking like the best candidates for the CD. We wrote 12 songs, and we put 11 on this CD, so we do have an extra one that I think we’re going to hold out for an import or something of that nature. It’s funny because I’m in a band full of guitarists really because even Shawn is is a guitarist that is in a way, so it’s funny.  Everybody writes and everybody can write a great vocal line and great melody and the cool thing is the diversity that you get from just having individuals that can do that.   I think no matter what your writing style is you always have preferences as an individual and you can’t escape those preferences. And therefore when I write a song I might like my melody to do this kind of thing it’s kind of a line where you know it ascends here and descends there.  I’m making up fictional circumstances. Matt might like the opposite. He might want his vocal line so that in itself creates variation even if it’s the same style of song.  To me you can’t you can’t beat that kind of a combination.

Do you have one song on this record that is your personal favorite? 

CB: Yeah, I do. But I think again that subject to change over time. And the reasons why I like certain songs are different for liking other songs. Right now I like the Rise of Rebellion the final song on the CD. That’s because it’s got a lot of guitar shredding on it.  It’s got to raise your fist in the air kind of vibe to it. I love those kinds of songs.

Photo by Stephanie Cabral

How did you evolve from the first and second album has had this album? Why did you expand your playing with your fingers tapping in all your different styles?  

CB: Absolutely. It was on my mind before we even started writing for the album. I was like I need to write down all of the different technical styles that I want to try and incorporate in this CD and work out exercises and get things ready and have some ideas and that honestly never ended up happening.  It must have been in the back of my mind when I was writing because  I ended up working out some cool amalgamation of styles and just incorporating things that I’ve never done before. The solo and misinformation age for one-second solo, so I’m using almost like a right-hand classical guitar technique with Octave dispersed arpeggios and sliding in and out of them building a melody line between the upper and the lower almost kind of like counterpoint between the upper and lower voices. And that’s something I’ve never done before, and it requires more than just an individual free finger on your right hand. It requires three fingers that are individual to be able to play it well. I mean I’m not sure, I’ve never tried it any other way, but that’s what I would imagine being the case.

With your Patented fingerpick, how does that help you with your style of playing? 

CB:  Absolutely. So for example for that riff because I needed both my thumb index and middle finger and to be able to execute three notes at a time at a swift succession actually and next to each other. So it allows me to open up my hand like that so I can use those three individual fingers and still have the pick on my thumb. And then at the same time when I go into two-handed tapping stuff that keeps the pic attached to my thumb while I tap out multi-finger notes with the right hand.  I’ve started working on what I call my pick clip 2.0, and it’s a newer version.

it’s a little less this than the original, and the original one holds the pitch so tightly to your thumb that I think it is. It doesn’t allow for string loading what I call string loading where the pick will kind of flex in your grip a little bit and then kind of flick to the other side of the string. So this the new pickup allows that to happen. And to me makes alternate picking and things of that nature much more tonefull and you know just better to execute

What size picks are you using? 

I use any anywhere from a 1.4 to 1.14 in there’s typically where I kind of mess around with but it would depend on materials and stuff like that. Right now I’m using InTune Guitar picks and their jumbo jazz.

Do you have anything coming out for NAMM 2018? 

So this NAMM show I will be releasing my Jackson Proline Hardtail version of my signature series Jackson guitars. That’s because of a huge demand for a hardtail version of my signature guitar and at an affordable level. And I just got the prototypes back. The last couple of weeks I’ve been testing them out, and they’re awesome.

Alex Hess Photography

Please see my review of Old Scars, New Wounds!

Act of Defiance – Old Scars, New Wounds: A Near Masterpiece

Pre-Order  Old Scars, New Wounds here out on 9/29:


Please follow Chris Broderick and Act of Defiance @


Act of Defiance line-up:
Chris Broderick – guitar
Henry Derek – vocals
Shawn Drover – drums
Matt Bachand – bass

Act of Defiance online:

Europe’s New Album “Walk The Earth” Out On October 20TH

Europe is pleased to announce the release of a new studio album “Walk The Earth” on the 20th October 2017.

If Europe’s 2015 album “War Of Kings” was the album that made the rock world realize what a formidable act Europe had become then “Walk The Earth” is the album that is set to establish the band as one of the most exciting contemporary rock acts of current times.

The new album ‘Walk The Earth’ will feature original artwork by famed Los Angeles artist Mike Sportes of Filth Mart

“We were in the studio a few days into recording and Dave (Cobb, our producer) comes in wearing this very cool T-Shirt with one of Mike’s designs on it. Immediately we knew we had to check Mike’s other work and have him come up with an exclusive design for us based on the vibe of the album. We are very proud to have his amazing artwork as the Walk The Earth album cover!’Joey Tempest on the appointment of Mike Sportes to do the cover.

“Walk The Earth” tracklisting:
1. Walk The Earth
2. The Siege
3. Kingdom United
4. Pictures
5. Election Day
6. Wolves
7. GTO
8. Haze
9. Whenever You’re Ready
10. Turn To Dust

From the stunning opening salvo of the first single “Walk The Earth” – with pounding riffs and the aching vocals of Joey Tempest – to the brutal heavy riffing of “Haze”, from the instant melody of “Election Day” to the lyrical content of “Kingdom United”, “Walk The Earth” is the album that should see Europe rightly acclaimed as a band at the height of their powers. The wonderful melodies and depth of Joey Tempest’s vocals along with a powerhouse rhythm section and the guitar playing of John Norum, one of the great underrated guitarists. Norum’s guitar playing shines across the record. It is an album that is big in its scope and sound. Much like previous album “War Of Kings,” “Walk The Earth” is an album that needs to be lived with, to uncover it’s depth. The album was recorded at famed Abbey Road Studios in London with Grammy winning producer Dave Cobb (Rival Sons, Chris Cornell, Shooter Jennings, Jason Isbel, Chris Stapleton).

Late 2016 saw Europe perform a series of “The Final Countdown Anniversary Shows” across Europe – culminating in a show at The Roundhouse in London. The show has been immortalized in a July 2017 DVD release “The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary Show – Live at the Roundhouse”.

Preceding the landmark event, fans were also treated to a live performance of Europe’s last album, 2015’s War of Kings, a release which re-established Europe as one of the top rock bands in the world.

Since forming in 1979 Europe have sold over 25 million albums, toured across the world and became one of the greats of modern rock music. The bands all-conquering “The Final Countdown” album has alone sold over 15 million copies worldwide and the single of the same name was No 1 in 25 countries.

Europe tour with Deep Purple in late 2017. Full dates are below

Fri 17th Nov 2017                      Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham UK
Sat 18th Nov                              Manchester Arena, Manchester UK
Mon 20th Nov                           Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff UK
Wed 22nd Nov                           The SSE Hydro, Glasgow UK
Thurs 23rd Nov                          The o2 Arena, London UK

For tickets see http://europetheband.com

European Tour Dates for November and December to announced imminently

“Walk The Earth” is released through Hell & Back Recordings (Silver Lining Music) on 20th October 2017.

Website: http://europetheband.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/europetheband/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/europetheband

Warlock Is Back! Doro Discusses Tour, Ronnie James Dio And Future Warlock and Doro Albums

By Andrew Catania

I had the pleasure of speaking with Doro from WarlockWarlock just did a handful of shows here in the States in support of Triumph and Agony.

How’s the tour going?

DP: Pretty good.  We did our last festival here in Europe in August. We’re playing in the states now.  We’re all excited for this tour and playing the Triumph and Agony. We played here all over from Sweden, Norway, Spain, Slovenia, Germany, and here in the states.  I’ve been working on new songs, and it’s all fascinating.

Are you excited to be with Tommy Bolan for this tour?

Photo courtesy of Joe Schaffer Photography

DP: Yes. We’re so excited to get to play together again. We’ve always stayed friends. We played a couple shows here in Europe the Sweden Rock Festival which is a great festival and Norway Rock in Norway it wasn’t great was great. It was raining fast and it was a lot of mud, and it was it was fantastic. Tommy’s a great player great guy and yeah we still have the same great chemistry as we had in the 80s.

Photo Courtesy of Joe Schaffer Photography

You’re playing only a handful of shows.  Could that change?

DP: I wanted to play for New York where everything started for me. We’re looking at adding more dates so we can get to many more cities.

I know you had some legal issues using the Warlock name.  Has that been settled?

DP: The reason why it was called Doro was that we had trouble with the name which was unbelievable. But yeah that’s the reason. Now, I can use the name again.  Many, many lawsuits involved.

What did you learn from Ronnie James Dio when you were out on tour with him?

A bunch of things.  I watched every concert, and I could see the passion the intensity for the fans of the music and just let you know how he was singing how he was like working for the crowd. It was so genuine and so loving and it was so wonderful, and I just like by watching him do his thing. It was awesome, and it was a big honor even to get the chance to tour together.  That was back in 87 and I couldn’t speak much English.  So we would just say great show and things like that.

Doro im Hallenbad Wolfsburg am 02.May 2015. Foto: R¸diger Knuth

But then in 2000, we had a  long conversation, and we became close friends.  I learned so much from him in ways I couldn’t even describe, but it was also soulful and so genuine. It’s like you know him and then and he loved the fans. He always liked talking to the fans even when he had a bad cold. He was standing outside in the pouring rain. It was freezing it was winter time, and he was talking, writing autographs were doing pictures with everybody and. That’s the way to do it. Every fan was important to Ronnie. I learned so much from Ronnie.  Same thing with Lemmy.

After this tours done, will you be going back to German to record a new album under the Doro or Warlock name?

DP: We have one in the making it’s under the dome name, and it will be out next year, and it’s almost done it’s 80 percent done.  It will come out probably next year when Wacken takes place. But I think the absence will make it fresh for us.

We’re also thinking about a Triumph and Agony live CD. I already have some new songs with Tommy Bolen in the making.   Tommy is a powerhouse of a guitar player.  A lot of stuff coming out next year!

Check out Doro @


Is Spotify Short Changing Artists While Keeping Most Of The Profits?

By Andrew Catania

Thе ԛuеѕtіоn іѕ hоw Sроtіfу іѕ screwing оvеr аrtіѕtѕ bу paying thеm реnnіеѕ whіlе thеу kеер mоѕt оf its рrоfіtѕ. Thе ѕеrvісе hаѕ bееn dоggеd bу ассuѕаtіоnѕ thаt іt dоеѕn’t vаluе muѕісіаnѕ hіghlу еnоugh. In 2013, Radiohead’s Thоm Yоrkе mеmоrаblу саllеd Sроtіfуthе lаѕt dеѕреrаtе fаrt оf a dуіng соrрѕе,” a remark thаt “ѕаddеnеd” Ek. In Julу, Tауlоr Swіft wrоtе іn a Wаll Strееt Jоurnаl еdіtоrіаl, “In my оріnіоn, thе vаluе оf аn аlbum іѕ, аnd wіll соntіnuе tо be, bаѕеd оn thе аmоunt оf hеаrt аnd ѕоul аn аrtіѕt hаѕ blеd іntо a bоdу of wоrk.” For Swіft, ѕtrеаmіng іѕ nоt muсh different frоm ріrасу. “Pіrасу, fіlе sharing, аnd streaming hаvе ѕhrunk thе numbеrѕ оf раіd аlbum ѕаlеѕ drаѕtісаllу, аnd еvеrу аrtіѕt hаѕ hаndlеd thіѕ blоw differently.”

Yеt, whу аrе аrtіѕtѕ rесеіvіng lеѕѕ mоnеу аѕ Sроtіfу grоwѕ, nоt more? Tор-lіnе rеvеnuеѕ аt Sроtіfу аrе ѕurgіng аhеаd, thanks tо a flооd оf new ѕubѕсrіbеrѕ.  A bооѕt іn mоnthlу рrеmіum рауmеntѕ аnd increased аdvеrtіѕіng means a lоt mоrе revenue.  Thаt раrt іѕ ѕіmрlе.  Yеt ѕtrаngеlу, Sроtіfу’ѕ реr-ѕtrеаm rоуаltіеѕ асrоѕѕ bоth rесоrdіngѕ аnd рublіѕhіng арреаr tо bе ѕіnkіng, ассоrdіng tо dаtа ѕhаrеd wіth DMN.  Thаt includes реr-ѕtrеаm payments tо lаbеlѕ (including іndіе labels аnd ѕеlf-аdmіnіѕtеrеd аrtіѕtѕ), рluѕ mесhаnісаl rоуаltу рауmеntѕ tо рublіѕhеrѕ.

Rесоrd lаbеlѕ fоrсе muѕісіаnѕ tо рау fоr thеіr оwn ѕtudіо tіmе, vіdео ѕhооtѕ аnd рrоmоtіоn, whісh іѕ whу ѕоmе аrtіѕtѕ bаrеlу make аnу money оff thеіr muѕіс. But thе rіѕе оf thе Intеrnеt сhаngеd thе іnduѕtrу fоrеvеr, аnd muѕіс еxесutіvеѕ hаd tо devise nеw mеthоdѕ оf еxрlоіtіng аrtіѕtѕ.  Sроtіfу іѕ gіvіng uр 70 реrсеnt оf аll thеіr revenues tо rіghtѕ оwnеrѕ. It’ѕ just thаt реорlе dоn’t knоw whеrе thе mоnеу іѕ bесаuѕе thе rесоrd lаbеlѕ hаvеn’t bееn trаnѕраrеnt.

Wіѕе wоrdѕ frоm a mоѕt fіnаnсіаllу lucrative аlumnuѕ, but thе іѕѕuе аrе Sроtіfу’ѕ оutсоmе іѕn’t асtuаllу income. The соmраnу іѕ сurrеntlу рауіng rights hоldеrѕ аѕ muсh аѕ іt fеаѕіblу саn, but іt’ѕ kіnd оf hаrd tо turn a рrоfіt whеn уоu оnlу сhаrgе $10 fоr vіrtuаllу еvеrу ѕоng іn thе unіvеrѕе.

Spotify іѕ not thе еnеmу; ріrасу іѕ thе enemy. “Piracy dоеѕn’t pay artists a реnnу.” Ovеr thе уеаrѕ, Spotify hаѕ соntrіbutеd bіllіоnѕ оf dоllаrѕ tо thе muѕіс іnduѕtrу, but the ѕtаrvіng аrtіѕtѕ hаvеn’t received thеіr fair ѕhаrе оf thе сut.

Fаnѕ ѕhоuldn’t fееl bаd fоr using Sроtіfу; bесаuѕе ѕtrеаmіng ѕеrvісеѕ wіll not ѕіnglеhаndеdlу dесіmаtе thе wоrld’ѕ music іnduѕtrу. Thеу’rе grеаt, especially іf уоu lоvе muѕіс. But mаjоr lаbеlѕ nееd tо ѕtор ѕtеаlіng rоуаltіеѕ frоm hаrd-wоrkіng muѕісіаnѕ, аnd rесоrdіng соntrасtѕ hаvе tо bе trаnѕраrеnt аnd fаіr fоr аll раrtіеѕ involved. It’s nоt Sроtіfу’ѕ fаult thаt аrtіѕtѕ аrеn’t gеttіng раіd еnоugh. Bу аll mеаnѕ, kеер оn ѕtrеаmіng. Lіѕtеn tо as mаnу ѕоngѕ аѕ уоu роѕѕіblу саn. But іf уоu rеаllу wаnt tо support уоur fаvоrіtе muѕісіаnѕ, go ѕее thеm іn concert, buу уоurѕеlf a t-ѕhіrt аnd tаkе hоmе оnе оf thеіr CDѕ. Yеѕ, thеу dо ѕtіll mаkе those.

What Is It Going To Take To Increase Guitar Sales Again?

By Andrew Catania

It dоеѕn’t take a gеnіuѕ оr a сulturаl рrоgnоѕtісаtоr tо nоtе thаt tоdау’ѕ уоung реорlе hаvе mуrіаd options fоr еduсаtіоn, еntеrtаіnmеnt, еngаgеmеnt, and juѕt рlаіn fun. People ѕtіll buуіng hіgh-еnd Amеrісаn-mаdе guіtаrѕ rіght nоw аrе thоѕе whо wеrе іnѕріrеd bу Vаn Hаlеn (1978) and 80ѕ mеtаl but thеѕе guуѕ (аnd thеу аrе аll guуѕ) аrе аll 50+ nоw аnd рuttіng kіdѕ thrоugh соllеgе аnd ѕtаrtіng tо thіnk about hоw thеу mіght rеtіrе wіthіn thе nеxt 20 уеаrѕ.

Thіnk аbоut it lіkе thіѕ: уоu’rе іn уоur mіd-50ѕ аnd уоu’rе thіnkіng about buуіng a guіtаr thаt costs $1500 (bесаuѕе уоu оnlу hаvе nіnе оthеr guіtаrѕ соllесtіng duѕt) but іf you put thаt mоnеу іntо аn іndеx fund drаwіng a mоdеѕt 7% іntеrеѕt rаtе іt would represent аn аddіtіоnаl $6K bу thе tіmе уоu pack іt іn. If уоu’rе іn уоur 50ѕ аnd nоt mаxіng оut your rеtіrеmеnt соntrіbutіоnѕ уоu’d bе a damn fооl tо buу аnоthеr guіtаr.

Guіtаr buying for Bооmеrѕ and Gеn-Xеrѕ wіll continue to dесlіnе and whіlе ѕоmе guуѕ wіll соntіnuе tо buу gаudу guіtаrѕ thаt соѕt a ѕmаll fоrtunе most wіll kеер аn еуе оn thеіr budgеtѕ. Fіrmѕ hоріng tо lurе mоnеу оut оf thеіr росkеtѕ wіll have tо kеер рrісеѕ lоw оn Amеrісаn-mаdе guіtаrѕ, аѕ Fеndеr аnd G&L hаvе managed to dо. But even lоw prices саnnоt оvеrсоmе thе ѕhіft thаt іѕ undеrwау. Thе dеѕіrе for US guіtаrѕ оvеr imports аmоng thіѕ grоuр wіll сrеаtе a bіnd thаt іѕ unѕuѕtаіnаblе.

Ironically, thе hоmе rесоrdіng mоvеmеnt аlѕо mеаnѕ a decline in guitar ѕаlеѕ аѕ muѕіс-rеlаtеd budgеtѕ nоw іnсludе соmрutеrѕ, іntеrfасеѕ, DAW ѕоftwаrе, рlugіnѕ, mісѕ, рrеаmрѕ, mоnіtоrѕ, аnd аѕѕоrtеd ассеѕѕоrіеѕ, ѕо there іѕ lеѕѕ mоnеу tо lау оut fоr аn unnесеѕѕаrу guіtаr.


Whеn guіtаrіѕtѕ tаlk аbоut gеttіng ѕіgnіfісаntlу mоrе bеgіnnеrѕ іntо the rаnkѕ, thеrе’ѕ аlwауѕ that fеаr thаt ѕuссеѕѕfullу арреаlіng tо a mаѕѕ audience wіll mеаn “dumbіng dоwn” guіtаr сrаft. Thеrе wіll аlwауѕ bе уоung guіtаrіѕtѕ whо wіll аѕріrе tо ѕсаrу tесhnіԛuе, аnd wе ѕhоuld рrоvіdе thеm thе tооlѕ tо tаkе thаt dіffісult (аnd rеwаrdіng) ԛuеѕt. But реrhарѕ, аѕ a соmmunіtу, wе hаvе fосuѕеd оn those whо аѕріrе tо thаt lеvеl оf ассоmрlіѕhmеnt mоrе thаn thоѕе whо ѕіmрlу wish tо utіlіzе thе guіtаr аѕ a ѕоund ѕоurсе.

Thе grеаt sonic, tеxturаl, аnd соmроѕіtіоnаl players ѕhоuld bе juѕt аѕ rеѕресtеd fоr thеіr сrеаtіvіtу, аѕ thоѕе ѕіmіlаrlу еxсеllеnt рlауеrѕ whо аrе influenced bу Yngwіе Malmsteen оr Jеff Bесk. It wоuld bе a wоndеrful rеаlіtу іndееd іf bоth tуреѕ оf рlауеrѕ соuld co-exist wіthіn thе lаrgеr guіtаr соmmunіtу.

If оnе kеерѕ аn ореn mіnd, thеrе аrе оbvіоuѕlу mаnу wауѕ thаt thе guіtаr саn be dерlоуеd аѕ a muѕісаl аnd соmроѕіtіоnаl tооl. A bеgіnnіng рlауеr mіght сhооѕе a сrеаtіvе option thаt you оr I mіght fіnd, “nоt tо оur tаѕtе.” But іf wе саn ѕtіll fіnd it wіthіn оurѕеlvеѕ to ѕuрроrt аnd rеѕресt thоѕе сhоісеѕ, thеn perhaps we саn hеlр mаkе thе guіtаr less іntіmіdаtіng аnd іmреrіоuѕ, аnd асtuаllу, ѕtор ѕоmе роtеntіаl players from ѕhоvіng thе іnѕtrumеnt under thеіr bеdѕ to соllесt duѕt.

Act of Defiance – Old Scars, New Wounds: A Near Masterpiece

By Andrew Catania

I’ve been waiting patiently for Act of Defiance’s sophomore release, Old Scars, New Wounds.  As soon as you hit play, this record rocks from the first beat to the last.

When the Dave Mustaine regime was calling up his musicians to start recording what would eventually be “Dystopia,” Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick knew that it was time to move on.  They wanted to express their creativity and write their music instead of being told what to play by King Mustaine.  When Act of Defiance was formed, they went from inception, having no record deal, to recording Birth and the Burial and handing in the master to Metal Blade Records in six months.  This time around, they didn’t have those issues to deal with.

Producer Dave Otero (Cattle Decapitation, Allegaeon) guided Act of Defiance to a near-perfect sophomore effort.  The album opens up with “M.I.A.” where Broderick’s blazing riffs take you through this song taking issue with fake news.  “Molten Core” is a Slayer-ish mosh pit song.  We have acoustic guitar parts in “The Talisman.”  Old Scars, New Wounds gets heavier with each song.

Henry Derek’s vocals fit this album perfectly.  Shawn Drover’s drumming is incredible.  Matt Bachand’s bass is mixed elegantly as Chris Broderick’s outstanding guitar playing, tapping, and riffs make this one kick ass album! This was a total band effort, and you can hear it in the music.  Mark my words, Act of Defiance will be picked up for a tour with a huge band (Slayer comes to mind).  This record is a near masterpiece! Broderick kicks some major ass!

Rating 9.5/10 A must-have for every metalhead and guitar junky!

Molten Core
The Talisman
Lullaby Of Vengeance
Circle Of Ashes
Conspiracy Of The Gods
Another Killing Spree
Broken Dialect
Rise Of Rebellion

Pre-Order today!


Release Date:  September 29, 2017
Label:  Metal Blade Records
Act of Defiance online:

Rising Fusion Guitar Virtuoso Jason Kui Releases New Video for “Polarized”

Rising Fusion Guitar Virtuoso JASON KUI Releases New Video for “Polarized” 

Watch Here 

New Album, Absence Of Words, out Worldwide on October 13 | Pre-Order Here 

Prosthetic Records recently welcomed Hong Kong-based rock/blues musician and composer JASON KUI to its roster and will release his debut album, Absence of Words, for the first time outside of Hong Kong on October 13, 2017. Absence of Words features diverse sounds – modern metal, hard rock, funk, and ballad – while integrating rock lead techniques and compelling melodies throughout. Pre-order the new album here: http://smarturl.it/JasonKui

Today marks the release of JASON KUI‘s first new single, “Polarized”, via live performance music video. Watch here: https://youtu.be/Mhn3ylH95ZU

JASON KUI says: “The main hook came to me when I was in the Netherlands – a mix of technical and melodic. It captured the modern rock instrumental sound that I had in mind. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the album, and it’s the most challenging song for me to play live, fun to play though.” 

JASON KUI is a session and touring guitarist who has worked with many well-known artists throughout Hong Kong and China, and credits iconic guitarists Eddie Van Halen, John Petrucci and Andy Timmons as major influencers. Kui started his career as a sideman at the age of 23, and has played countless shows at the Coliseum, Hong Kong’s largest venue which seats 12,500. He recently finished a two-year world tour as lead guitarist for Eason Chan, the legendary Hong Kongsinger.  The 135-show tour included venues in China, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA, including Madison Square Garden. The two finale shows were performed at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium to sellout crowds totaling 100,000 people. 

Kui’s new album, Absence of Words, was mixed and mastered in New York by Matthew Sim at Germano Studios and Alex Psaroudakis at Sterling Sound and features several other guest musicians, including one of the most in-demand bassists in Hong Kong, Chan Siu Kei, as well as American modern metal drum virtuoso, Anup Sastry. Sastry played on all the tracks on the album and his unique, modern sound and incredible techniques are recognizable in every song.

Stay tuned for more upcoming content advancing the release of Absence of Words.

Absence of Words track listing:

  1. Polarized
  2. Reactive Impulse
  3. Morning Breeze (featuring Rafa De la Garza)
  4. Dance of Awakening (The Spirit)
  5. Squeaky Switch
  6. Now! You! Know! (featuring Josh Smith)
  7. Moving On

JASON KUI online:


SoCal Heavy Metal Shredders EXMORTUS Announce Tour Dates With Darkest Hour And Warbringer

SoCal-based neoclassical shredders EXMORTUS are already gearing up to hit the road later this month with modern thrashers Lich King, touring September 27 in San Francisco, CA through September 30 in Fullerton, CA. Today, the band is thrilled to announce another group of upcoming dates with metal masters Darkest Hour and thrash band Warbringer. The dates will begin in Las Vegas, NV on December 1 and hit a total of 10 cities, ending in Upland, CA on December 15. See below for a full listing of all confirmed EXMORTUS tour dates. 

The band says, “We’re stoked to hit the road again with Darkest Hour and good friends Warbringer! Come out and get your craniums crushed and minds melted!” 

EXMORTUS 2017 Tour Dates:

w/ Lich King

9/27 San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge

9/28 San Jose, CA – The Ritz

9/29 Long Beach, CA – Di Piazza’s

9/30 Fullerton, CA – The Riff Haus

w/ Darkest Hour and Warbringer

12/01 Las Vegas, NV – Beauty Bar

12/02 San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick

12/03 San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge

12/07 Spokane, WA- The Pin

12/08 Seattle, WA – Studio Seven

12/09 Vancouver, BC – The Venue

12/10 Portland, OR – Analog Theater

12/12 Fresno, CA – Strummers

12/14 Los Angeles, CA – 1720

12/15 Upland, CA – Gideon’s Hall

Get a taste of EXMORTUS‘ high-octane, animated live performances via their music video for the track “For The Horde”, featuring behind-the-scenes and live footage recorded from their tour with Children of  Bodom, Abbath and Oni. Recorded and directed by James Pesature of Magnetar Studios, the video can be streamed via YouTube: https://youtu.be/ItpE5oTGf-0

Debuting at #12 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Charts, EXMORTUS‘ most recent full-length album, Ride Forth, was recorded with Zack Ohren (Immolation, Suffocation) and features an “irresistible mix of thrash, death metal and shred”, according to MetalSucks. Get your copy now at www.store.prostheticrecords.com/b/exmortus.

Digital downloads are also available at:

Amazon MP3: https://amzn.com/B0171RHM2S

iTunes: https://itun.es/i6SZ82h

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1kumqrW

Bandcamp: https://exmortus-official.bandcamp.com/


Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez – vocals/guitar

David Rivera – guitar

Mario Moreno – drums

EXMORTUS online: