3/16- Heavy Metal News Round Up || Feat. Rhapsody, Iced Earth, The Haunted, Blind Guardian, Firewind, Hammerfall, Graveyard, Saxon

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A smattering of the day’s heavy metal news in one convenient post…

Italian symphonic power metallers Rhapsody of Fire are releasing their new album, From Chaos To Eternity, on June 17th through Nuclear Blast Records.  From Chaos To Eternity is the band’s tenth studio album since their formation in 1995, and will once again feature some narration from the one and only Sir Christopher Lee (Saruman from the LOTR movies). Pictured above is the album’s artwork created by the legendary Felipe Machado Franco. The track listing is as follows:

01. Ad Infinitum
02. From Chaos To Eternity
03. Tempesta Di Fuoco
04. Ghosts Of Forgotten Worlds
05. Anima Perduta
06. Aeons Of Raging Darkness
07. I Belong To The Stars
08. Tornado
09. Heroes Of The Waterfalls' Kingdom
I. Lo Spirito Della Foresta
II. Realm Of Sacred Waterfalls
III. Thanor's Awakening
IV. Northern Skies Enflamed
V. The Splendor Of Angels' Glory (A Final Revelation)    

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Iced Earth announced today the addition of Stu Block (Into Eternity) as the band’s new vocalist. Block is replacing Matt Barlow who left the band to focus on his family. Barlow will continue to perform with the band on their festival dates this summer but starting in November going all the way into next year, Iced Earth will hit the road, new vocalist in tow, for the largest tour the band has ever embarked upon. We’ll have more on that soon.

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After the jump: The Haunted’s new album streaming in it’s entirety, a statement on the future of the band and Demons and Wizards from Blind Guardian's Hansi Kürsch, new album details from Hammerfall and Saxon, and new videos from Graveyard and Firewind

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Unseen, the forthcoming album from The Haunted, is available to stream in it’s entirety right now at MetalSucks. An appropriate site to house this release because it’s “metal” is debatable and it kinda sucks. At least, I don’t like it. If you'd like, have a listen here.  
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The following is a rather long statement from Blind Guardian’s main man, Hansi Kürsch summing up the band’s past, future, and the possibility of a new Demons and Wizards album (!). Read it:

Another year, another message. Here, as promised a little while ago, the ultimate report about what we were dealing with the past few months and what to expect for the upcoming year.

I assume everyone reading these lines has had a chance to discover At the Edge of Time and hopefully still enjoys it as much as we do. The very positive feedback we have gotten worldwide is of course a strong motivation for us. As said at other places before, we consider this album as the perfect connection between new and old. It contains a little bit of everything but still has a strong musical thread running throughout and offers us many options for our next projects.

It is no surprise when I tell you that the next journey will certainly lead us into an even more classical direction. There will be a few more trips to Prague necessary to finalize all orchestral recordings for our classical project but all things must come to an end eventually. The result of the stuff we have already recorded keeps me in a very good and optimistic mood, even though I consider the wait until the project’s completion very painful. Charlie [Bauerfeind] and I nonetheless will start working on the first vocal recordings during the next days. Since we will be interrupted by quite a lot of upcoming shows I would be happy if I were to find myself in a position to finish the first five songs vocalwise before the year is over. It is challenging stuff for everyone. One fine day, all of a sudden, when no one expects it, I will announce its completion. Certainly not within the next twelve months, but one very, very fine day.

From one long-term project to another. As we had time to share some serious moments with each other during the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise (somewhere on the oceans of time) Jon [Schaffer; Iced Earth & Sons of Liberty] and I had finally found the chance to put our minds together for a possible next Demons & Wizards album. We cheerfully simultaneously announced our wish to start working on it as quickly as possible. Although time is an issue for both of us we nonetheless decided to start songwriting together during the European summer festival season when Jon will be in Europe for Iced Earth performances. During that season we will use every possible moment to complete as much material as possible. To guarantee a good-mood-songwriting feeling I have already saved some good bottles of red wine and a smaller amount of Johnny Walker black label in our studio.  Things are still in the mist but we are about to recognize structures of a busy future.

As for the people who have bought the limited edition and may have started wondering about the promised additional stuff on the connected media page I can, one more time, promise that your waiting will soon be over and all your doubts about the value of having such questionable access will be erased. We have several things we are about to accomplish during the next days. Once finished we will make an official announcement telling you when the material will be available for download.

Apart from having worked on some remixes of the new stuff we obviously were able to catch a lot of impressions from our time on the road during the last months. Touring in all these European and Northern American venues was a definite blast and we cannot wait to hit the next countries and cities fairly soon. As we recorded most of the shows we have played so far, I can tell you that there have been a number of outstanding magic moments. I mostly was impressed by the great response the new stuff has gotten. Even when we toured in the early nineties it usually took one round to establish new material. But that is not the case with any of the new ones we played. They immediately got very significant responses each night. Another approval for their quality, I dare to say. Of course, we will try to come up with more new songs for the shows we are going to play during the next months. Since we have some time to waste until then we have decided to work on even more songs to be performed for these shows. I will keep it a secret which songs we are working on… though it won ‘t be many, I have to confess. Yes, I know how to spoil a story. It ‘s one of my best qualities – apart from looking cool while sitting on a chair.

Enjoy life.

Hansi

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A band new video clip for the track Embrace the Sun from Firewind can be viewed below. The track is off Firewind’s latest album, Days of Defiance, out now on Century Media Records.

Enjoy!

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Calendars out, everybody! Hammerfall will be releasing their new album, titled Infected, on May 20 through Nuclear Blast Records. Check the cover art and track list below:

Infected track list:

01. Patient Zero
02. Bang Your Head
03. One More Time
04. The Outlaw
05. Send Me A Sign
06. Dia De Los Muertos
07. I Refuse
08. 666 - The Enemy Within
09. Immortalized
10. Let's Get It On
11. Redemption

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The title track of Graveyard’s forthcoming album, Hisingen Blues, was given the video treatment and released today. Watch:

Hisingen Blues will be released on April 19 through Nuclear Blast Records. The track listing is as follows:

1. Ain't Fit To Live Here
2. No Good, Mr. Holden
3. Hisingen Blues
4. Uncomfortably Numb
5. Buying Truth (Tack Och Förlåt)
6. Longing
7. Ungrateful Are The Dead
8. RSS
9. The Siren
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Aaaaaaand finally… The mighty Saxon will release a new album, Call to Arms, on May 23 though EMI Music. You can view the albums track list below. 

Could this possibly mean a State-side Saxon tour in the future?? I freakin’ hope so.

Call To Arms track list:

1. Hammer Of The Gods
2. Back In '79
3 Surviving Against The Odds
4. Mists Of Avalon
5. Call To Arms
6. Chasing The Bullet
7. Afterburner
8. When Doomsday Comes (Hybrid Theory)
9. No Rest For The Wicked
10. Ballad Of The Working Man
11. Call To Arms (orchestral version)
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