SAXON: ‘Unplugged And Strung Up’ Cover Artwork Unveiled

British heavy metal legends SAXON produce a series of alternative takes on classic favorites to herald a worthy new entry to the Saxonian Institute of Metal. There is always feral beauty in a raging beast…and with "Unplugged And Strung Up", SAXON's selection of unique, fresh and adventurous interpretations of material previously heard only with raw heavy metal thunder, the point is triumphantly underscored. Due on November 18, "Unplugged And Strung Up" reveals layers and pieces previously dormant in many of the 14 classic SAXON songs chosen for this makeover, thanks to some ear-catching new arrangements and mixes. Recorded, mixed and mastered with Andy Sneap in Derbyshire, U.K. earlier this year, "Unplugged And Strung Up" contains re-evaluated, re-worked and re-energized versions of "The Eagle Has Landed" and "Crusader" by introducing orchestral dynamics to offer added dimension. "Frozen Rainbow", from the band's 1979 debut, gets a stunning acoustic reprisal which transports it into a power ballad to be proud of, while "Red Star Falling" soars and sweeps the emotions with its orchestrally arranged dovetail.

ROYAL HUNT: ‘A Life To Die For’ Cover Artwork, Track Listing Revealed

Danish/American hard rockers ROYAL HUNT will release their twelfth studio album, "A Life To Die For", in November through Marquee/Avalon (Japan and Southeast Asia) and Frontiers (Europe and North America). The material has been described as a continuation of the band's last CD, "Show Me How To Live", but with new elements in in both the songwriting and production departments. The cover artwork was created by Kai Brockschmidt (PINK CREAM 69, PRETTY MAIDS) and can be seen below. "A Life To Die For" will be mde available in three different versions: * Digipack CD + DVD (containing live footage from the band's last year tour, tour documentary and interviews) * Regular CD * 180-gram vinyl, gatefold "A Life To Die For" track listing: 01. Hell Comes Down From Heaven 02. A Bullet's Tale 03. Running Out Of Tears 04. One Minute Left To Live 05. Sign Of Yesterday 06. Won't Trust, Won't Fear, Won't Beg 07. A Life To Die For In order to upgrade its trademark sound, ROYAL HUNT employed a large number of classical/orchestra players in the studio as well as a large choir.

ICED EARTH: ‘Plagues Of Babylon’ Cover Artwork, Track Listing Revealed

North American metallers ICED EARTH will release their new album, "Plagues Of Babylon", for a January 2014 via Century Media Records. The cover artwork was created and illustrated by Eliran Kantor (TESTAMENT, ATHEIST, SIGH, ANACRUSIS, GWAR). Says ICED EARTH vocalist/guitarist Jon Schaffer: "This is a seriously heavy album with a seriously brutal album cover. I'm sure it will go down as a classic in the epic ICED EARTH catalog." "Plagues Of Babylon" track listing: 01. Plagues Of Babylon 02. Democide 03. The Culling 04. Among The Living Dead 05. Resistance 06. The End? 07. If I Could See You 08. Cthulhu 09. Peacemaker 10. Parasite 11. Spirit Of The Times 12. Highwayman Speaking to Metal4 magazine at the Rockharz open-air festival in Germany in July, Schaffer said about the upcoming CD: "It's a bit of a different thing for us, because it's half of a concept and the other half is [standalone] tracks. Musically, I think it's just another step in the right direction. It's really heavy, it's very melodic. It has a really epic feeling. Even though there isn't, like, a monster, long epic track, the overall feel of the songs is very epic. I mean, there's no 'Dante's Inferno' or 'Gettysburg' or the 'Something Wicked' trilogy or something like that on here, but I'm really happy with it." ICED EARTH recently parted ways with drummer Brent Smedley for "personal family reasons." He has since been replaced by Raphael Saini (CHAOSWAVE). ICED EARTH has been hitting it relentlessly, with the recent studio album, "Dystopia", being the most toured album in the band's illustrious history.

AYREON: ‘The Theory Of Everything’ Cover Artwork, Track Listing Revealed

Dutch guitarist/composer Arjen Lucassen has revealed the cover artwork and track listing for the new AYREON album, "The Theory Of Everything", The artwork was once again created by Belgian artist Jef Bertels, who has an incredible and distinct fantasy/sci-fi style, and can be seen below. "The Theory Of Everything" track listing: Disc 1 Phase I: Singularity 01. Prologue: The Blackboard 02. The Theory Of Everything Part 1 03. Patterns 04. The Prodigy's World 05. The Teacher's Discovery 06. Love And Envy 07. Progressive Waves 08. The Gift 09. The Eleventh Dimension 10. Inertia 11. The Theory Of Everything Part 2

MOTÖRHEAD: ‘Aftershock’ Cover Artwork Unveiled

MOTÖRHEAD's 21st studio album, "Aftershock", will be released as a an official Classic Rock collectors fanpack that features the new LP in full plus a 132-page magazine that forms the "ultimate sleevenotes" to the new release, with extensive and exclusive interviews with Lemmy, Mikkey Dee and Phil Campbell. Pre-order your copy now at this location (official on-sale date is October 21). Inside is everything you need to know about "Aftershock" and the world of MOTÖRHEAD in 2013: inside the making of album, new features covering all eras of the band's career from 1975 to 2013, and tons of previously unseen pictures. Fanpack edition includes: * New album "Aftershock" * 132-page magazine * Giant double-sided poster * Exclusive MOTÖRHEAD car sticker Plus, if your order is placed before 12:00 (GMT) on Monday, September 23, your 100% official collector's fanpack will come with an exclusive personalized poster featuring your name.

ENTOMBED Signs with CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS; New Album Title, Artwork Unveiled

Swedish metal veterans ENTOMBED have inked a deal with Century Media Records. The band's tenth album, "Back To The Front", will be released on October 29 (one day earlier internationally). The CD was recorded at Studio Bohus (ABBA, EUROPE) in Kungälv, Sweden with producer Roberto Laghi (IN FLAMES, HARDCORE SUPERSTAR). The cover artwork was painted by Zbigniew Bielak (WATAIN, VADER) and can be seen below. A press release states: "Don't be afraid that it will sound like ABBA — it's 666% true to the ENTOMBED everybody loves. While not falling for total regression back to the early classics 'Left Hand Path' or 'Clandestine', expect a total bone-crushing opus that will have fans of 'Wolverine Blues', 'To Ride…' or 'Morning Star' cry tears of joy. From the morbid, pissed-off lyrics over detuned, massive riffs to the inimitable brick-heavy groove and L.G. Petrov's titanic roar, 'Back To The Front' has it all, so get ready for a stone-cold stunner!" Comments singer L.G. Petrov: "After almost seven years of studio absence, w

CARCASS: ‘Surgical Steel’ Cover Artwork Unveiled

The cover artwork for "Surgical Steel", the comeback album from reactivated British extreme metal pioneers CARCASS, can be seen below. "We went back to working with Ian Tilton, who is an iconic English photographer famous for working with THE STONE ROSES," statedCARCASS bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker. "He actually did the front cover for [1991's] 'Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious' as well. We've deliberately tried to evoke the feeling of that album and [1993's]'Heartwork'." "Surgical Steel" will be released on September 16 in the U.K., September 13 in the rest of Europe and September 17 in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. The effort was produced by Colin Richardson (FEAR FACTORY,

DREAM THEATER: New Album Release Date, Cover Artwork, Track Listing Revealed

Progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER will release their new, self-titled album — the band's 12th studio release overall, and fourth withRoadrunner Records — on September 24. Says guitarist John Petrucci about "Dream Theater": "I see every new album as an opportunity to start over. To either build or improve upon a direction that has been evolving over time or to completely break new ground. "This is the first self-titled album of our career and there is nothing I can think of that makes a statement of musical and creative identity stronger than that. We've fully explored all of the elements that make us unique, from the epic and intense to the atmospheric and cinematic. "We're incredibly excited about 'Dream Theater' and can't wait for everyone to hear it."

GORGUTS: New Album Cover Artwork, Track Listing Revealed

Canadian technical death metallers GORGUTS will release their fifth album,"Colored Sands", on August 30 in Europe and September 3 in North America via Season Of Mist. The effort will be made available will be available as a digipak CD limited to the first pressing, regular black LP, transparent clear LP and red/yellow colored LP. "Colored Sands" track listing: 01. Le Toit Du Monde 02. An Ocean Of Wisdom 03. Forgotten Arrows 04. Colored Sands 05. The Battle Of Chamdo 06. Enemies Of Compassion 07. Ember's Voice 08. Absconders

KREATOR: ‘Dying Alive’ DVD/Blu-Ray Cover Artwork, Release Date Revealed

German thrash metal veterans KREATOR will release their new concert DVD/Blu-ray, "Dying Alive", on August 30 via Nuclear Blast. The set features the band's sold-out homecoming show in Oberhausen, Germany on December 22, 2012 after an extensive 45-day European tour in support of KREATOR's "Phantom Antichrist" album. The packed and sweat-driven show was filmed by 24 cameras, as well as guitar and even mosh-pit cams. The DVD/Blu-ray contains footage of the Oberhausen concert, a behind-the-scenes documentary as well as video clips. Approximate total running time: 115 minutes. "Dying Alive" will be issued in the following formats: * DVD/2CD * Blu-ray/2CD * Earbook (DVD/Blu-ray/2CD + Bonus CD featuring "Phantom Antichrist"demo songs) * Earbook + seven-inch single (DVD/Blu-ray/2CD + bonus CD featuring"Phantom Antichrist" demo songs) (Nuclear Blast mailorder only)