Dark Tranquility re-sign with Century Media

Long-time Century Media band Dark Tranquility has officially resigned with the extreme metal label.  Dark Tranquility is one of the bands that helped to establish the Gothenburg sound as a leader in rock.  The band’s re-signing marks the third time that the band has re-signed with Century Media since the release of its Centry Media debut, “Projector” (1999).

The band said of this new milestone, “After such a long history together, we’re more confident than ever that Century media is the perfect working partner for DARK TRANQUILLITY. In a climate where a lot of record labels are weighed down by cynicism or have just plain given up in the face of the rapidly changing industry climate, Century media are still enthusiastic and forward thinking and take huge pride in releasing great music that matters. Here’s to another 13 years!”

Dark Tranquility will head out on tour across Europe beginning May 2nd in Ankara, Turkey.  Its tour will include performance dates on this year’s Metalfest tour in early June.  Those dates will be followed by a handful of dates in Sweden, Germany, France, and the Czech Republic. 

More information on Dark Tranquility is available online at http://www.darktranquility.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/dtofficial, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dtofficial, and on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/dtofficial.

Between The Buried and Me, Job for a Cowboy join Summer Slaughter tour

AGOURA HILLS, CALIFORNIA–Metal Blade label mates Between The Buried and Me and Job for a Cowboy have announced their addition to this year’s Summer Slaughter tour.  The bands will join Faceless, Periphery and a slew of other metal acts.  Job for a Cowboy joins the tour fresh off the heels of the release of its new album, “Demonocracy.”  Between The Buried and Me will start work on the follow-up to its metal Blade debut, “The Parallax:  Hypersleep Dialogues” after completing its tour. 

North Carolina fans of the bands will get their chance to see all the bands on the bill when the tour makes a stop at Amos’ SouthEnd in Charlotte on August 3rd.  Between The Buried and Me and Job For a Cowboy will continue on together to play three dates together to close out the month of August after the Summer Slaughter tour ends.  Those shows will be in Arizona, Oklahoma and Missouri on August 28th, 29th, and 30th respectively. 

More information on the Summer Slaughter tour and both bands is available at the Metal Blade website, http://www.metalblade.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/metlabladerecords, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/metalblade.

Offspring announce new album, single

Rock veterans The Offspring have officially announced the release date for the band’s upcoming new album.  “Days Go By” is set for release June 26th on Columbia Records.  It was produced by Bob Rock (Metallica).  The album’s title track is playing at radio stations nationwide now.  When he was asked about the new album, singer/guitarist Dexter Holland said of “Days Go By”, “I don’t know why but I felt sort of serious writing this record and when I finished I felt I needed to have a few playful songs too.  Kind of both sides of the Offspring.  Either way I think these songs are all going to be a lot of fun to play live.”

The band is already slated to perform at this year’s annual KROQ Weenie Roast Y Fiesta May 5 alongside Coldplay, Incubus, Silversun Pickups and Pennywise.  It will also perform its 1993 debut album, “Ignition” from start to finish at Alex’s Bar May 3rd in Long Beach, California.  Following this pair of performances, the band will embark on a world tour in support of its new album.  Fans can keep up with the band’s tour dates online at http://www.offspring.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Offspring, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/offspring.

Cancer Bats confirmed for Demon Hunter Tour

AGOURA HILLS, CA–One of Metal Blade Records’ newest bands has made a big announcement.  Toronto based Cancer Bats has announced that it will be heading out on tour this Summer with one of Christian metal’s biggest acts in the one and only Demon Hunter.  This announcement comes fresh off the heels of the release of Cancer Bats’ fourth full length studio release, “Dead Set on Living.”  “Dead Set on Living” is also the band’s first album on Metal Blade Records.

This Summer’s tour with Demon Hunter will kick off July 26th in Portland, Oregon, and take the bands down the west coast and into the midwest, ending in Boise, Idaho on August 5th.  Also along for the ride will be Bleeding Through, Willows, and The Plot in You.  Demon Hunter’s tour is in support of its newly released album, “True Defiance.” 

More information on Cancer Bats is available online at http://www.metalblade.com/cancerbats, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cancerbats and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/cancerbats.  Fans can pick up Cancer Bats’ new album directly on Metal Blade at http://www.metalblade.com, on iTunes, Amazon and at any local retailer.

New Mill Creek blu-ray takes viewers on a “beautiful” tour of France and Italy

The second of Mill Creek Entertainment’s new “Beautiful Planet” blu-ray’s is a stunning look at two more of Europe’s most…well…beautiful countries.  On this second disc, Mill Creek offers viewers a look at the art and architecture of France and Italy.  In an age when interntaional travel is extremely expensive, this new blu-ray is one more way to enjoy the wonder and awe of Europe without blowing one’s bank account.

One of the most interesting aspects of this blu-ray is its examination of the nine Sacred Mounts of Sacri Monti.  Sacri Monti is the final region examined in Italy.  The study of Sacri Monti examines the impact of the region’s Christian beliefs on the architecture and art of the nine Sacred Mounts.  This final piece of the blu-ray presentation gives an full in depth look at the chapels that will be of great interest to any student of art, theology, construction and engineering.  As expansive as Sacri Monti is, this section of the presentation makes one appreciate that it saves viewers the walking time and the massive tour groups.  Viewers can experience the beauty of the Sacred Mounts from the safety and comfort of their own homes.

Viewers who want to tour the streets of France’s most stunning regions get to do that, too.  This partner to Mill Creek’s other Beautiful Planet blu-ray takes viewers throughout Avignon, Bordeaux, and another pair of France’s most stunning regions all without worrying about passports, exchange rates or anything else.  The documentary looks at the impact of the regions’ histories on their buildings.  One of the most interesting facts in watching the tours of both France and Italy is that regardless of whether or not one is a student of engineering, construction or art, there is a noticeable difference in the buildings throughout each area.  There are thsoe who would criticize the Beautiful Planet blu-rays for focusing so much on art and architecture.  But the reality of things is that people tour these countries in large part for their architecture.  The buildings in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal have stood for ages.  That being the case, being able to see these beautiful buildings without the stress of travelling and its associated stresses will make any viewer happy.

One on One with Trioscapes’ bassist Dan Briggs

1)  Trioscapes and Between The Buried and Me are as opposite as two bands
can be. So as metal as BTBAM is, you must have been a fan of other forms
of music for a long time.  Have you always been a fan of the Mahavishnu
Orchestra, or was that one song just something that’s always caught your
attention?

-I got into John Mclaughlin and Mahavishnu when I was in high school
browsing through my dad’s cd collection. “The Inner Mounting Flame” and
“Bird of Fire” albums were so appealing to me because of the sheer force
of the playing and how raw the unison lines between the guitar and violin
were.  MClaughlin’s playing with Mahavishnu has been an inspiration for
years, and more recently his playing in Shakti is proving to be a whole
new level of inspiration and motivation to constantly pursue new way of
reinventing my playing.

2)  This one’s for all three of you.  The band’s bio states that Dan
actually contacted Walter and and Matt.  When Dan told you two his plans,
what was your first reaction to his proposal?

-Only Dan on this interview, but I had talked to both separately at
different times about playing together, so I dont think it was much of a
shock. The main shock was probably when we were all in the same room
together playing for the first time and realizing how tough some of the
material was.

3)  Trioscapes is being marketed as a jazz fusion band.  But I personally
get a prog rock feel, too.  So how would you guys classify yourselves?

-Yeah I’m not big on thowing a lable on everything under the sun, and with
this group in particular I feel like every song is kind of its own
different thing. I dont think you can really lump the song “Separate
Realities”, which is 11 minutes of mayhem and high energy in the same
category as “Gemini’s Descent” which is kind of “Discipline” era King
Crimson like with a bass drone and a miriad of lush textures thrown over
top. But then I can see how  a song like “Blast Off” lends itself to being
considered more of a fusion song. I dont know, the jazz thing is funny to
us, fusion seems to obvious, progressive rock is a huge part of our make
up…it’s just burst of creative explorations.

4)  The album’s opener, ‘Blast Off’ is a perfect way to open the album.
It really mixes prog rock and jazz fusion seamlessly.  Can you guys expand
on how that song came to life?  Which one of you came up with the original
skeleton of that song? Did it just grow naturally?

-“Blast Off” and “Curse of the Ninth” were two songs I brought in early on
that were pretty much finished compositions. When I went to Georgia to
play with Matt for the very first time, he played me this crazy beat that
he had written, I jotted down the time signatures and wrote a line to go
along with it and it became the post-solo section outro for the tune.

5)  Speaking of a prog vibe, I noted in my review that I felt a kind of
Liquid Tension Experiment/Attention Deficit feel.  Are the three of you
fans of progressive rock?  If so, do you have any favorite prog bands?

-All of us have connections to different progressive rock bands. Alot of
my favorite music falls into that category, so there’s quite a few…to
name just a couple though, obviously King Crimson, Genesis, Gentle Giant,
Yes, Dream Theater. More recently, Astra, Unexpect, Sleepytime Gorilla
Museum, Field Music, Pain of Salvation, etc…Matt’s a huge King Crimson
fan, Bill Bruford is one of his main drum inspirations. We all obviously
love forward thinking, interesting music.

6)  Getting back to Dan for a moment.  You’re also a member of Between The
Buried  Me.  they’re going to be out on tour this Summer.  Has it been
difficult trying to balance that tour with potential new dates with
Trioscapes?

-Nope, it’s very easy. BTBAM’s year gets laid out way in advance so I’m
able to fill in the gaps whne I can.
7)  Staying on the subject of BTBAM, it’s an N.C. based band.  Did that
play a role in Trioscapes recording “Separate Realities” in Winston Salem?
What led you to record it at The Basement Studios?  How did you come to
your choice of producers?

-Jamie King has had a hand in every record that I’ve done since 2005. All
the BTBAM stuff, my other band ORBS, and now Trioscapes. It’s a comfort
thing recording with Jamie, and I was curious to see what he could do with
Trioscapes. We wanted to keep it simple and present like how you would
hear the band live. The only real overdubs we did were a few layered bass
distortion lines and doubling a few sax parts with flute. Aside from that
though, it’s just the songs the way we’d play them live and Jamie captured
it really well.

8)  “Separate Realities” has been received to pretty positive feedback
from every direction.  Considering that, do the three of you see the band
working on another record any time in the near future, or do you see this
simply as a one-off record?

-In the near future, no because we will be touring on this record for a
while. We all have a few little things written though. I’m sure we’ll
start throwing around ideas before too long. And no, this is not a one-off
record.

9)  What would you say is your favorite song off of this album?  Songs
aside, do any of you have any favorite moments from the recording process
for this record?

-Walter and I tracked “Gemini’s Descent” together and that was really fun.
We turned the lights down and did about 5 or 6 different takes and then
that was it. We wanted to capture the vibe we had while jamming it at the
rehearsal space. I’m really excited to finally play the song live, we’ll
be playing our full album at our CD release shows coming up next week. I
can tell you that “Separate Realities” is maybe the most stressful song
I’ve ever played live haha, but it’s also one of my favorites. Super high
energy and just non stop. I’ve never had to be so locked in to every
single second of music like I am when playing that.

10)  The video for ‘Blast Off’ was so simple.  But it shows you guys
really getting into the groove of the song.  It’s proof that the K.I.S.S.
formula works.  So came up with the idea for the video?  How did you
decide on using Symmetry Studio for the video?

-Our friend Johnny Davis runs Symmetry Studios, he tracked Matt’s drums
there for the record and they sounded awesome. He’s a super talented
engineer and being that he’s a friend we knew it’d be easy to set up. We
actually went down and played the whole album, not just “Blast Off”. Those
videos will be available before too long. There were just no live videos
that had popped up that were a good quality, so we thought this would be a
good representation for people that haven’t been able to see us live.
Although, there’s much more energy live.

11)  I’ve got one last question before I have to go.  As well received as
Trioscapes is already what do you see the future of this band being?

-We’re going to go hard and do as much as we can when I’m free and not
busy with BTBAM. We have a tour confirmed for September that we’ll
announce soon, some stuff in June/July that’s being worked out, and
hopefully a full US in November/December. If we all exist past doomsday,
then I’m sure we’ll have alot more in our future.

Serj Tankian set to release new solo album

System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian will drop his new solo release, “Harakiri” July 10th via Reprise/Serjical Strike Records.  Fans can pre-order the album via iTunes beginning May 1st.  The album’s lead single, ‘Figure it Out’ will also be for sale the same day on iTunes.

While a video for the single is currently in the works, fans can watch a teaser video set to the music of ‘Figure it Out.’  Fans can check out the teaser now.  Just click or paste the following links to watch the video.

http://www.serjtankian.com/splash

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74z9E1RJUmE

System of a Down fans also got some good news this week, as it was announced that the band will get back to gether this Summer for a handful of dates.  The band will be mostly in the northeast and midwest.  The tour will also include a couple of dates in Canada.

For more information on Serj Tankian and System of a down, go to http://www.serjtankian.com, http://www.facebook.com/serjtankian, and Twitter at http://twitter.com/officialserj.