Iron Maiden and Robinsons Brewery Announce “HALLOWED”, A Special Release Belgian-Style Ale To Be Released in October

Iron Maiden and Robinsons Brewery Announce “HALLOWED”, A Special Release Belgian-Style Ale

New Limited Edition Beer Available for Pre-Order Now, To Be Released in October

British rock legend Iron Maiden and front-man Bruce Dickinson have revealed a new Belgian styled beer, HALLOWED, in collaboration with Robinsons Brewery. HALLOWED is to be released in October for a limited time. Pre-orders are available now. (Image courtesy Iron Maiden Beer.)

Iron Maiden and Robinsons Brewery have announced that their latest collaboration beer HALLOWED will be released in October of this year, and is available for pre-order now.

HALLOWED is a 6% ABV Belgian-inspired ale packaged in a 330 ml bottle and available for a limited time only. The beer will only be distributed for four months, with details on where it will be available to be announced on Iron Maiden Beer and Robinsons’ social media accounts.

“What makes this brew pretty special is that we’re adopting a Belgian yeast for the first time,” said Bruce Dickinson. “I’m a big fan of Belgian beers, so I jumped at the chance to brew my own. While I get very excited about experimenting with new formulas and ingredients, the thing about Belgian beer is that it’s as much a way of life as it is a drink. We’ve tried to bottle that philosophy in HALLOWED, albeit with a British twist.”

The use of Belgian yeast within HALLOWED is a landmark occasion, as Robinsons hasn’t changed the yeast used in its beers since 1942.

“It’s all in the yeast,” says Martyn Weeks, Head Brewer at Robinsons Brewery. “Belgian yeast yields a very distinct taste and presentation. You can sniff out a Belgian beer simply from its aromas: fruity, spicy and earthy. Belgian yeasts withstand higher alcohol levels, they attenuate well and create an array of phenolics and esters… put simply, this means more flavor and I think Hallowed drinkers are in for a treat.”

The bottle art for HALLOWED will feature Iron Maiden mascot Eddie garbed in traditional monk’s robes as a tribute to the beer’s Trappist Belgian inspiration. The art follows in the footsteps of other collaborations between Iron Maiden and Robinsons. These collaborations include TROOPER, which has sold over 15 million pints since its launch in 2013, and the previous limited edition beers TROOPER 666 and RED ‘N’ BLACK.

Pictorial: Trans Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve at PPG Paints Arena

When Paul O’Neill first conceived Trans-Siberian Orchestra, his goal was as straightforward as it was incredibly ambitious. “The whole idea,” he explains, “was to create a progressive rock band that would push the boundaries (of the genre) further than any group before… Way, way further.”

With more than 10 million albums sold, TSO has inspired generations of fans to rediscover the multi-dimensional art form of the rock opera. Meanwhile, on the road, they have become one of the world’s top acts, with Billboard magazine naming TSO as one of the top touring artists of the past decade — a $20 million-plus production that has played to over 100 million people in 80+ cities, selling more than $280 million worth of tickets and presenting $11 million to charity.

O’Neill, a New York City native grew up, “with a wide-ranging world of (rock) musical influences.” But, O’Neill also soaked up sources such as Broadway musicals, Motown and singer-songwriters such as Jim Croce and Harry Chapin, while authors such as Oscar Wilde and Robert Graves fueled his literary tastes. He began his career playing guitar for touring productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair, then went to work in the late ’70s for Leber-Krebs Inc., the Manhattan management company whose clients included Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Def Leppard, the Scorpions, the New York Dolls, and scores of others. In the ’80s, O’Neill became a major concert promoter in Japan as well, but returned to the States to start writing and producing full-time.

O’Neill helmed Aerosmith’s Classics Live I and Classics Live II albums before beginning a fortuitous relationship with the band Savatage that led to conceptual pieces such as Hall Of The Mountain King, Gutter Ballet, Streets: A Rock Opera and Dead Winter Dead. Producing introduced O’Neill to Jon Oliva, Bob Kinkel and Al Pitrelli, as well as reconnecting him with legendary studio engineer Dave Wittman, who all became key original collaborators in O’Neill’s grand vision – Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

“I wanted to take the very best of all the forms of music I grew up on and merge them into a new style,” O’Neill says. “Basically I was building on the work of everybody I worshipped: the rock opera parts from bands like the Who; the marriage of classical and rock from bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Queen; the over-the-top light show from bands like Pink Floyd… I always wanted to do a full rock opera with a full progressive band and at least 18 lead singers.”

O’Neill took the idea to Atlantic Records which, to his surprise, went for it and financed the creation of Romanov, which was initially to be TSO’s first release. “We were very fortunate,” he says. “It was one of the only labels left that still did an ‘old school’ kind of artist development. My original concept was that we were going to do six rock operas, a trilogy about Christmas and maybe one or two regular albums.”

However, when Romanov got temporarily put on the back burner, the first installment of the Christmas trilogy, Christmas Eve and Other Stories became TSO’s debut album. Fueled by the socially conscious single “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24,” the album was certified double platinum. More platinum certifications followed with 1998’s The Christmas Attic, and the final installment of the Christmas trilogy, The Lost Christmas Eve in 2004. In the midst of completing the trilogy, TSO released their first non-holiday rock opera, the gold certified Beethoven’s Last Night.

But TSO really cemented its following in concert. The group hit the road in 1999, beginning an annual November-December extravaganza that O’Neill takes pride in being, “as over the top as we can make it. We have, two stages –with pyro, light and lasers– on both sides of the arena, as well as in the crowd and the best sound we can find… There’s no second-class seats at a Trans-Siberian Orchestra show. I want people to walk out of our shows speechless and still not believing what they have seen was possible.”

TSO’s latest album, Night Castle, released in October of 2009 debuted at #5 and was certified gold by year’s end. A sweeping two-discs of genre-bending epics, Night Castle is an affecting story that takes the listener around the world, through time and to points beyond. O’Neill and company will eventually give Night Castle its due in a live setting just as they have Beethoven’s Last Night in spring ’10 with a new hybrid form of concert they called “Rock Theatre”– just one of many multi-media avenues TSO will be exploring in the near future…

“We spend a lot of time planning,” O’Neill confesses with a laugh, “and people are always telling me, ‘Paul, stop writing and start recording!’ It’s working out great, though. I feel lucky that it’s gone this long and that we get to do what we love for a living. The arts have incredible power, and with that comes incredible responsibility. Someone once said that if you want to change the world, don’t become a politician — write a book, write a great song. I believe in that, and that’s what Trans-Siberian Orchestra is about.”

“I’ve always believed that music has the power to transport and transform,” O’Neill explained. “The original concept of Trans-Siberian Orchestra was how to make music have the most emotional impact. We always try to write melodies that are so infectious they don’t need lyrics and lyrics so poetic that they don’t need a melody, but when you combine the two together they create an alloy where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Once those songs are woven together into a tapestry they create a story which gives each song a third dimension.”

“That was so much in the spirit of Trans-Siberian Orchestra,” O’Neill explains. “This is a group –a constantly morphing group– of extremely creative and talented individuals who are always trying to raise the bar of where a band can take its audience sonically, visually and emotionally. With that as our core ideal, the possibilities are endless.” (from: http://www.trans-siberian.com)

All images property of Ed Thompson/HyXposure Photography © 2017

Concert Coverage: Anti-Flag “Rock Against the TPP” road show @MrSmalls in Millvale

Pittsburgh’s own politically active punk band Anti-Flag brought the “Rock Against the TPP” road show to Mr. Smalls in Millvale Thursday night. The Rock Against the TPP Tour is being organized by Fight for the Future along with Firebrand Records, the new social justice infused record label co-founded by Tom Morello and Ryan Harvey, acting as the tour’s artistic partner. The road show is sponsored and co-organized by a diverse coalition of groups fighting against the corporate power grab that is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. According to the tour press release, “The TPP has little to do with trade, but instead grants multinational corporations extraordinary new powers to threaten jobs, the environment, affordable medicine, free speech, and food safety.” The Rock Against the TPP tour brings together a broad coalition of supporters including digital rights groups, labor unions, environmental groups, and small businesses to mobilize opposition to what is viewed as a dangerous, anti-democratic deal. “

Story and photos © 2016 Jack Fordyce

NECROWRETCH announces debut album, ‘Putrid Death Sorcery’

French death metal maniacs NECROWRETCH are proud to announce that the recording and mastering of their debut album has been finished. The album was recorded in late August at Blackout Multimedia studios in Brussels by Phorgath of ENTHRONED and is entitled Putrid Death Sorcery.

NECROWRETCH’s guitarist / vocalist Vlad comments: “We are extremely pleased with the way the recordings took place in Brussels as Phorgath of ENTHRONED put all his energy in this album and did everything possible to make those days in the studio a stainless experience. A first album is always a turning point in the life of a band and we were willing to push everything one step further while remaining faithful to our influences such as MERCILESS and GROTESQUE. We also wanted this album to be more personal and more varied than everything we have done in the past. All in all I think the mission is accomplished! We are now looking forward to puke on the face of the earth what NECROWRETCH has to offer on a full length album through songs such as ‘Ripping Souls Of Sinners,’ ‘Putrid Death Sorcery’ or ‘Spewed From Hell.’ Our friend Milovan Novakovic from Montenegro is now working on the cover artwork and some shirts design that will symbolize our Putrid Death Metal!”

Jerry Maréchal, A&R at Century Media Europe comments: “Witnessing the band in the studio was a truly impressive experience to say the least! It was like seeing a beast come to life and I can’t wait to see the face of people when this beast will cross their paths!”

Putrid Death Sorcery will see a worldwide release via Century Media Records in early 2013. Stay tuned for more news about this release coming soon.

NECROWRETCH live:
15.12.2012 – Detest Records farewell show – Magasin 4, Brussels, Belgium
17-19.05.2013 – Deathkult Open Air 2013 – Göllnitz, Germany

Megadeth and Zombie Will Continue Co-Headlining Tour

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ALL PHOTOS COPYWRITTEN AND COURTESY OF MPAPPHOTO
Megadeth and Rob Zombie rocked Stage AE in Pittsburgh last week and will continue to do so throughout the U.S. and Europe. MPAPPHOTO was there to capture the pure energy of the show and has joined Pittsburgh Music Magazine as a collaborator.

Metal icons MEGADETH are delivering volcanic performances and earning rave reviews on their co-headlining tour with Rob Zombie, which marks the first time the two bands have toured together. The trek kicked off Friday, May 11 in Holmdel, NJ and will include two high-profile rock festival appearances including Rock On The Range and Rocklahoma, where the tour wraps on Saturday, May 26. A list of confirmed dates is below. For additional information on purchasing tickets, visit www.megadeth.com.

Prior to the show, the New York Times proclaimed that “the speed pioneers Megadeth have the decibels to fill the grandiose PNC” and the New York Daily News said, “At last year’s faceoff with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, the band led by Dave Mustaine offered a set that did both their sub-genre and legacy proud (5/10/12).”

In a review of the first show, Tris McCall of the Newark, NJ Star-Ledger said, “While most of the band’s peers have either slowed down, broken up or switched to a more profitable style, Megadeth presses on, hard and fast as ever. Mustaine is a study in perseverance–and professionalism, too: He recently had to re-learn how to play guitar after suffering nerve damage in his arm. That trauma has left no mark on him–his solos, sometimes taken in harmony with sideman Chris Broderick, are as dextrous, and rapid-fire, as ever (5/13/12).” Theexaminer.com added, “The musicians ripped and shredded their way through riffs and solos with machine-like precision, yet somehow projecting an earnest passion through the notes that speaks to the raw emotion of Mustaine’s songwriting (5/13/12).”

After their tour with ROB ZOMBIE wraps at Rocklahoma, MEGADETH–singer/guitarist DAVE MUSTAINE, bassist DAVID ELLEFSON, drummer SHAWN DROVER and guitarist CHRIS BRODERICK–will head to Europe for shows in Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Czech Republic, England, Luxembourg, Netherlands, France, Romania, Turkey, Switzerland, Greece, Belgium, Russia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland, then in September will head to South America for concerts in Chile, Argentina and Mexico.

A newly released video for the group’s next single “Whose Life (Is It Anyway?)” can be seen now.. The video is a heavy metal tour de force, depicting youth angst turned violent, resulting in an apocalyptic finale.

The current tour comes on the heels of MEGADETH’s critically acclaimed return of the traveling festival GIGANTOUR, created and curated by frontman DAVE MUSTAINE. Rave reviews poured in for the festival, which also featured MOTÖRHEAD, VOLBEAT and LACUNA COIL. “The return of Gigantour, a nicely curated package tour of heavy metal bands, is just one more step in a great run underway by Megadeth,” wrote the Boston Globe. “It was a smart and well-paced show, one that illuminated metal’s various angles (1/31/12).”

2011 marked the release of MEGADETH’s 13th album, the appropriately titled Th1rt3en. Released November 1 on Roadrunner Records, the album debuted at #11 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and #1 on the Billboard Hard Rock chart. The album also landed on international charts including Top 10 placements in Argentina, Finland, Korea and Japan. MEGADETH also received their tenth Grammy nomination for this project, earning a “Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance” nomination for their single “Public Enemy #1.” The “Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance” category was, eerily, category #13.

Check out MEGADETH in the following cities:

DATE CITY VENUE
5/22 La Crosse, WI La Crosse Center
5/24 Sioux City, IA Tyson Center
5/25 Wichita, KS Hartman Arena
5/26 Pryor, OK Rocklahoma
5/31 Dessau, Germany Metalfest @ Airfield
6/1 Jaworzno, Poland Metalfest @ Zalew Sosina
6/2 Mining, Austria Metalfest @ Castle Mamling
6/3 Ljubljana, Slovenia Kino Siska
6/5 Zadar, Croatia Metalfest @ Zadar Beach
6/6 Milan, Italy Metalfest @ Alcatraz Club
6/7 St. Goarshausen, Germany Metalfest @ Loreley
6/8 Plzen, Czech Republic Metalfest @ Amphitheater Lochotin
6/10 Leicestershire, England Download Festival
6/12 London, England Electric Ballroom
6/13 Luxembourg, Luxembourg Den Atelier
6/14 Heerlen, Netherlands Parkstad Limburg Theater
6/15 Clisson, France Hellfest
6/17 Bucharest, Romania Ost Fest @ Romexpo
6/19 Istanbul, Turkey Hi-Voltage Festival
6/20 Athens, Greece Iera Oldos
6/22 Lausanne, Switzerland Les Docks
6/23 Dessel, Belgium Graspop Metal Meeting @ Festival Dessel
6/25 Moscow, Russia Stadium Live
6/27 Vilinius, Lithuania Teatro Arena
6/28 Tallinn, Estonia Rock Café
6/29 Helsinki, Finland Tuska Festival @ Sulvilhati
9/7 Santiago, Chile Teatro Caupolican
9/14 Buenos Aires, Argentina Estadio Cubierto Malvinas
9/16 Cordoba, Argentina Orfeo
9/19 Mexico City, Mexico Pepsi Center WTC
9/21 Guadalajara, Mexico Arena VFG