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“In many ways, it is a new beginning and also a tribute to where it all began,” reflects CRO-MAGS founder Harley Flanagan on the band’s new album, In The Beginning, out today via Mission Two Entertainment and Arising Empire. This marks the CRO-MAGS first official release since the album Revenge (2000).  

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Iced Earth founder, songwriter, guitarist and producer Jon Schaffer announces the release of his first ever book, Wicked Words and Epic Tales. The book is the debut release from Schaffer and his new publishing company Wicked Words, LLC and is the first of many original concepts planned for future release by Schaffer.  

The Big Kahuna Hard Music, News Add Comments

Brazilian/Dutch death metal alliance CRYPTA have officially signed with Napalm Records and Napalm Events. Formed in June 2019, the four-piece line up consists of Fernanda Lira and Luana Dametto, both former members of Brazilian thrash metal force NERVOSA, plus the talented Sonia Anubis (Cobra Spell, ex-Burning Witches) and Tainá Bergamaschi (ex-Hagbard).  

Valkyrie, the Rockbridge County, Va. band who MetalSucks said “have riffs tailor made for the big wide open: mountainous, thunderous, booming and earth-shaking,” have released a second song from the quartet’s forthcoming album, Fear (July 24, Relapse Records), debuting the track “The Choice”  

September 2019 saw melodic death metal juggernaut, The Agonist, release their sixth studio album, Orphans, via Rodeostar Records.  With Orphans the band delivered their most extreme, melodic, and larger-than-life sounding record to date.</  

Rage are back from the Corona crisis with a double bang: as had already been rumoured behind the scenes, guitarist Marcos Rodriguez has left the band. To replace him, vocalist/bassist Peavy Wagner has welcomed two new stringsmen to the Rage fold. New addition Stefan Weber (ex-Axxis) was introduced to the public at the METAL HAMMER online show in early May, now the band has presented its second new member, Jean Bormann (formerly Angelic, Rage & Ruins).  

Thrash metal is the common ancestor of all extreme metal in that we wouldn’t have death metal, grindcore, or black metal without it. Back when Venom came on the scene and influenced the likes of Metallica in the early 80’s, everything changed from what the 70’s had worked up, and henceforth did metal become less of a fad and more of a movement that we all identify with today. Bands like Metallica and Slayer are the crème de la crème of the genre, but what about the smaller bands from the second wave that emerged? I took it upon myself to explore the debut albums from bands I’ve enjoyed but never listened to. It’s here I confess that I never gave these albums the time of day because... 

Texas metal quintet POWER TRIP surprises fans this week with a new release, issuing a crushing new live album. Live In Seattle 05.28.18 was issued overnight through Dark Operative and is now streaming in its entirety on all digital platforms.  

“Dragons and fairy tales are only cool if Ronnie James Dio is signing it,” is something you’d probably hear some boomer metalhead say in a bar while bashing everything post-1989. Granted, let’s be honest: rock and nerd-fantasy culture have been crossing over for a while, so that statement would be ignorant. You’re just too closed-minded to accept it. Power metal still gets a bad rap, and its safe-natured approach and anthemic, four-course meal of cheese and tropes can be silly at times no matter how fun it is. But you know what makes the genre cooler and much more fascinating? Throwing some prog into the mix.  

Años En Infierno, the devastating fourth LP from Pomona, California guerrillas XIBALBA, is out now through Southern Lord.  

Five decades after the release of their landmark album, Morrison Hotel, The Doors and Z2 Comics announce a brand new graphic novel written by Leah Moore, daughter of the legendary Watchmen scribe Alan Moore, to be released on October 13.  

In honor of Bill & Ted Day, Orion Pictures has released the official teaser trailer and teaser poster for BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC. The stakes are higher than ever for the time-traveling exploits of William “Bill” S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winter) and Theodore “Ted” Logan (Keanu Reeves).  

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