CONCEPTION To Release Deluxe Version Of 'State Of Deception' Album

CONCEPTION To Release Deluxe Version Of 'State Of Deception' Album

Reactivated Norwegian progressive metallers CONCEPTION, who feature in their ranks former KAMELOT singer Roy Khan, have released a brand new single, “Cry (Live)”. It is the first single from a brand new crowdfunding campaign supporting the release of an expanded version of their successful 2020 album “State Of Deception”, to be made available early in 2022. The set will feature a host of new recordings, including new songs, re-recordings of some of their classic back catalog and a number of live performances.

“Cry” was, to quote Khan, “a magical moment we captured when we undertook our re-entrance onto the metal scene after more than a decade apart,” having been recorded at CONCEPTION‘s homecoming gig in Gjovik, Norway in 2019. The first of several new singles to be released over the course of 2021, “Cry” is also the first live recording the band has ever released digitally. Guitarist Tore Østby added: “It has been so great to play live again, and I have been thrilled to discover new energy in our old songs. This release is a great example of that.”

Meanwhile the deluxe version of “State Of Deception” is an acknowledgement from the band to address the fans’ call for making more material available. As well as the new recordings featuring alongside the original album on both CD and vinyl, the deluxe box set will also include a host of additional items, including instrumental versions of the album tracks, posters, an extensive history of the band with never-before-seen photographs and exclusive competition access.

In recognition of the band’s desire to maintain their existing direct-to-fan relationship, the process will once again be enabled via a brand new crowdfunding campaign.

“We’ve been lucky enough to have such loyal fans,” Khan observes. “They have been incredibly generous in supporting us, and we’ve tried really hard to acknowledge that by making some particularly distinctive items and experiences available to them. You should see what we intend to make available over the course of this campaign.”

CONCEPTION will also finally be undertaking its COVID-19 delayed headline tour, for which an extra date has been announced, as the band marks its return to Belgium by headlining Antwerp’s Thunder Metal Fest on March 27.

CONCEPTION 2022 live dates:

March 19 – Gjøvik, Norway @ Friscena
March 27 – Antwerp, Belgium @ Thunder Music Festival
April 07 – Barcelona, Spain @ Salamandra
April 08 – Madrid, Spain @ Shoko
April 09 – Lisbon, Portugal @ Lisboa Ao Vivo
April 14 – Amsterdam, Holland @ Melkweg Oz
April 15 – Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg @ Rockhal
April 16 – Paris, France @ La Maroquinerie
April 17 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Plaza
April 23 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Fryshuset
April 29 – Oslo, Norway @ Rockefeller
June 3/4 – Atlanta, GA @ Progpower XXI Festival

“State Of Deception” followed a 20-year interval during which bandmembers Khan, Østby, Ingar Amlien and Arve Heimdal remained friends throughout, and the album release marked a full-circle evolution of the band.

“State Of Deception” was wholly produced by the bandmembers themselves, with mixing duties handled by Stefan Glaumann (RAMMSTEIN, WITHIN TEMPTATION, EUROPE). The nine-song effort perfectly captured the band’s trademark breadth of progressive sound, from symphonic melodrama to rock riff utopia, and featured a guest appearance by AMARANTHE vocalist Elize Ryd.

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CONCEPTION To Release Deluxe Version Of 'State Of Deception' Album
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LIGHT THE TORCH Feat. Ex-KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Singer HOWARD JONES: 'Let Me Fall Apart' Video Available

LIGHT THE TORCH Feat. Ex-KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Singer HOWARD JONES: 'Let Me Fall Apart' Video Available

LIGHT THE TORCHHoward Jones (vocals), Francesco Artusato (guitar), and Ryan Wombacher (bass) — has released the official music video for the song “Let Me Fall Apart”. The track is taken from the band’s second full-length album, “You Will Be The Death Of Me”, which is due on June 25 via Nuclear Blast.

“I loved this song as soon as I heard it,” says Jones. “The music stuck in my head, so I knew I had to work on it right from the beginning of writing the new album. Francesco wrote a huge chorus so I did my best to match that energy. We are thrilled for this to finally see the light of day.”

Artusato also weighs in on the track, saying: “The initial idea for this song was to combine an ‘old-school’ type of guitar riff and vibe — because I love to hear Howard sing over that style — with a more ‘contemporary’ type of arrangement and chorus. I remember writing and arranging the chorus, and feeling that it had the potential to become great knowing what Howard could do with it. And, of course, he delivered once again. This was one of the first songs that we worked on during pre-production and it felt really good right away. It was definitely one of the songs that helped shape the sound for the rest of the record.”

The video was directed by Ramon Boutviseth, who also lensed the video for first single “Wilting In The Light”.

LIGHT THE TORCH has announced a full-length performance airing on album release day — Friday, June 25 at 7 p.m. ET. The set will include several songs from “You Will Be The Death Of Me” which have never been performed live before. It will also include a VIP Zoom hangout with the band beforehand. Tickets for the performance are just $12 and are available here.

‘You Will Be The Death Of Me’ has been a journey — even without the pandemic,” said Jones. “This album has been emotional and rewarding in every way, and we couldn’t be more excited to finally release it. Maybe there was a bit of desperation writing and recording these songs.”

He shared: “Going through personal turmoil and watching Francesco deal with injuries, we knew this could change things drastically for us. The album was a welcome distraction, and we dumped every emotion we had into ‘You Will Be The Death Of Me’. To watch Fran heal and become an even more complete artist in front of my eyes has been amazing to watch. Everything we went through individually and together with this album drew Fran, Ryan, and I together. I couldn’t be more proud of this album knowing I made it with my family.”

Artusato opened up about his experiences, saying: “This record is special to me in a different way. From writing the music during one of the toughest times of my life while dealing with a bad injury due to a car accident to being obsessively involved with every aspect of its production, recording, and creating the artwork. It’s hard to describe how I feel, and to finally see this record getting ready to be released.”

He continued about the redemptive power of the album, offering: “We are all very satisfied with how this record showcases the evolution of our band and our evolution as individuals. Without our brotherhood, this music could not have happened. Music is what kept us strong together during our toughest times. There’s nothing like art that expresses pure and deep emotions, and that’s what I feel when I listen to Howard‘s performance on this record.”

Wombacher concurred: “I think this album shows the growth the band has experienced after years on the road together, and a friendship that has continued to thrive doing what we love together.”

The guys returned to Sparrow Sound in Glendale, California to once again work with the production team of Josh Gilbert and Joseph McQueen (BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, AS I LAY DYING, SUICIDE SILENCE). This time around, they also welcomed WHITECHAPEL‘s Alex Rudinger on drums. “He’s incredible,” said Artusato. “He was exactly what we needed.”

Upheld by head-spinning seven-string virtuosity yet anchored to skyscraping melodies, LIGHT THE TORCH crafted 12 metallic anthems, including an unexpected and awesome cover of the ’80s hit “Sign Your Name” by R&B singer Terence Trent D’Arby.

“You Will Be The Death Of Me” track listing:

01. More Than Dreaming
02. Let Me Fall Apart
03. End Of The World
04. Wilting In The Light
05. Death Of Me
06. Living With A Ghost
07. Become The Martyr
08. Something Deep Inside
09. I Hate Myself
10. Denying The Sin
11. Come Back To The Quicksand
12. Sign Your Name

The group shot out of the gate as a contender on their full-length debut, “Revival”. It bowed at No. 4 on the Billboard U.S. Independent Albums chart and at #10 on the Hard Rock Albums chart in addition to receiving acclaim from Revolver, Outburn, and many more. “Calm Before The Storm” racked up a staggering 14.5 million Spotify streams, while “The Safety of Disbelief” remains one of SiriusXM Octane‘s all-time most requested songs. They also crisscrossed North America and Europe on tour with the likes of TRIVIUM, AVATAR, IN FLAMES, ICE NINE KILLS, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and AUGUST BURNS RED, to name a few.

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LIGHT THE TORCH Feat. Ex-KILLSWITCH ENGAGE Singer HOWARD JONES: 'Let Me Fall Apart' Video Available
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VIXEN Has 'Some Great Ideas' For Next Studio Album

VIXEN Has 'Some Great Ideas' For Next Studio Album

VIXEN guitarist Brittany Denaro (a.k.a. Britt Lightning) spoke to Talking Metal about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s next studio album. “Well, it’s going a little bit slower than we had anticipated,” she said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “Before COVID, we had a bunch of writing sessions — in person — scheduled, where we all just get together and hang out and work on stuff.

“We all live in different states across the country, actually — from L.A. to Michigan to Florida — we’re very spread out,” she explained. “So it’s not easy to travel. And honestly, nobody is super jazzed about sending tracks back and forth, trying to record it separately and everything like that. So we got a little bit slowed down. But we’ve got some great ideas. We’re gonna be seeing each other in a couple of weeks, so we’re really looking forward to getting back on track and just finishing the writing so we can get in the studio and bang this thing out. I’m very anxious to have it done. I know we’ve been talking about it for a while.”

Asked about the musical direction of the new VIXEN material, Britt, who has been in the band since 2017, said: “Definitely it will be traditional VIXEN. When you hear it, I think you’re gonna know it’s VIXEN. We’re gonna keep with the big three-part harmonies, the big, catchy choruses, cool, rocking riffs and solos and that thumpin’ bass and, of course, Roxy‘s [Petrucci, drums] awesome sound. I think it’ll be a slightly modern twist maybe — I think maybe I bring that a little bit, but I’ve been so influenced by VIXEN and other bands from that era that I think it’s gonna stay consistent. And we want that — we don’t want fans to be, like, ‘What the heck is this? This isn’t the band that I love.’ But I think it’s gonna be a good mix.”

Britt‘s comments echo those made by VIXEN singer Lorraine Lewis, who told Metal-Net last November that the band’s new material is “always going to sound like VIXEN as far as harmonies — [which is] really important to us — but really fresh. Lots of messages, lots of what our journey has been as individual women. And we’re all just kind of putting our horses together, and I’m really excited. I’m just stoked to be in the studio again.

“We don’t have it a hundred percent mapped out,” Lorraine admitted. “Right now, we’re still in writing process, we’re still working on stuff — lots of lyrics and just kind of sharing them with all of us. Sharing choruses with [producer] Fred [Coury from CINDERELLA]. He says, ‘Yes, this is a great chorus. Let’s work on this.’ So we’re really, really happy and proud to be working with him. He believes in us, and he believes in me, which I really, really love. We’ve had a really great couple of talks in the studio and otherwise, like with Britt there, and him just saying, ‘You guys have everything going for you. You have an amazing band. You’re a legacy band. And you’ve got Lorraine doing vocals for you.’ And I’m so appreciative that he believes in me and he thinks I can sing anything. When Fred tells you that you can do anything, you believe it. So I’m really excited to go into the studio and work with him. And I’m really honored that he has said some of the things that he said to me. So the sky’s the limit here.’

Lewis added: “I wanna release a really powerful, amazing record. And let’s get a couple of singles out there, and let’s revise the VIXEN legacy and keep on rocking.”

In January 2019, VIXEN recruited Lewis as its new lead singer following the departure of Janet Gardner.

Lewis had already performed with VIXEN in March 2018 in Durant, Oklahoma while Gardner was recovering from surgery.

Prior to Lewis‘s addition to VIXEN, Petrucci, Ross and Denaro vowed to “expand upon the VIXEN legacy while remaining true to our musical roots.”

Gardner, who released her debut self-titled solo album in 2017, broke the news of her exit from the group on January 16, 2019.

Gardner, Petrucci and Ross are considered to be part of VIXEN‘s classic lineup, along with founding guitarist Jan Kuehnemund, who died of cancer in October 2013.

Gardner contributed lead vocals to VIXEN‘s most commercially successful studio albums — “Vixen” (1988), “Rev It Up” (1990) and “Tangerine” (1998) — as well as the group’s latest release, 2018’s live album “Live Fire”.

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VIXEN Has 'Some Great Ideas' For Next Studio Album
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Churches Without Saints – DESASTER

Churches Without Saints – DESASTER

There is something magical and deliciously nasty about that blood-spattered sweet spot where death and thrash metal meet. DESASTER have been mining that viscous seam since the late ’80s and have, in true German tradition, made a noble virtue of their refusal to deviate from the left-hand path. Frankly, few bands do this stuff better than DESASTER and “Churches Without Saints” is the kind of instantly satisfying avalanche of hateful, muscular extremity that almost defies analysis. If you’re in this metal thing for the long haul, this will make you want to bang your head. It’s that simple.

Five years on from the infernal assault of “The Oath of an Iron Ritual”, DESASTER have noticeably loosened up a little. The result is that their ninth full-length album has a real swing and swagger to it: the ragged fury of the old school, whipped into shape by three decades of active service. “Learn to Love the Void” rattles in on waves of VENOM and DISCHARGE debris, with frontman Sataniac barking and gargling existential threats like a cracked mirror LEMMY on a mission to deafen and terrify the world. The core of the band’s sound continues to favor a grubby thrash attack, but swathes of blackened discord and a mounting sense of drama are integral, too. For straight-ahead thrash moments, both “Failing Trinity” and “Hellputa” fit the bill, eschewing atmosphere in favor of grotesque, unstoppable force. But DESASTER have more than myopic devotion to the past to draw from: “Exile Is Imminent” weaves some arcane, doomy textures into an otherwise pummeling fight-to-the-finish; “Churches Without Saints” plunges into menacing, scabby-knuckled doom and black metal pomp; “Primordial Obscurity” begins as a vicious, dissonant whirlwind before morphing into a gleaming monument to old-school metal, with shades of MAIDEN, SABBATH and CELTIC FROST emanating from the mesmerizing melee. Best of all, preview single “Endless Awakening” showcases DESASTER‘s adventurous streak across seven minutes of old-school bravado, taking in everything from epic, mutant SABBATH riffs to tooth-shattering blackened blasts along the way.

The band’s authenticity and purity of intent is glaringly obvious throughout, but the melancholy post-punk pulse of the closing “Aus Asche” hints at a deeper well of inspiration than the rest of this utterly ripping album may suggest. Either way, “Churches Without Saints” is a deafening reminder that the dark side of heavy metal is still the best place to be.
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Churches Without Saints – DESASTER
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