Thrash heroes Hirax will release highly anticipated new studio album El Rostro de la Muerte (The Face of Death) in mid-August 2009. It is the veteran thrash band’s first full-length since 2004’s The New Age of Terror.
El Rostro de la Muerte also contains a bonus track from the Chaos and Brutality EP, previously unavailable in the United States. Muerte combines the production talents of John Haddad and Michael Rozen, both of whom had worked on previous Hirax albums.
“It’s the first time Hirax has ever brought two of our producers together,” said vocalist Katon de Pena. “But it seemed like the logical thing to do since they both have an ear for detail and a certain work ethic, which brings out the best in the band. Musically, it combines everything that Hirax is known for and much, much more—true thrash metal!”
Muerte will be also be released on vinyl and as a limited edition picture disc.
Further, the Hirax back catalog is now being made available for download. Not Dead Yet (a pairing of the band’s two thrash classics Raging Violence and Hate Fear And Power) is now available digitally through iTunes, as are Thrash and Destroy, Assassins of War, The New Age of Terror and Barrage of Noise, with more from the band’s extensive back catalog to follow by the end of 2009.
In other band news, a new line of Hirax shirts can be purchased online through Razamataz.com Ltd. (heavymetalonline.co.uk/acatalog/HIRAX.html), and the Muerte tour will begin in Modesto, Calif., on August 1.
Jackson’s Chris Cannella (center) flanked by Gojira.
Fresh from a successful and critically acclaimed first U.S. headlining tour, the French metal-shred onslaught we know and love as Gojira has been tapped to be the opening act for the first half of Metallica’s North American tour in September and October 2009, along with Lamb of God in the main support slot. Gojira will also headline its own shows between Metallica dates.
“Metallica has invited us to open for them on the first part of their North American tour this fall,” said Gojira vocalist/guitarist Joseph Duplantier. “Fifteen shows around the United States and Canada. Metallica has been our main influence since we started playing music … this announcement is a dream come true.”
The latest Gojira album, The Way of All Flesh, debuted at #138 on Billboard and slammed into the #1 spot on the Billboard New Artist chart. The cleverly named website MetalSucks.com recently named the band’s 2005 album, From Mars to Sirius, as one of the “21 Best Metal Albums of the 21st Century.”
Gojira has previously toured North America with Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, In Flames, Machine Head, Trivium and Behemoth, among others. Fall 2009 tour dates with Metallica and Lamb of God are:
When Grammy-nominated, groundbreaking U.S. metal kings Lamb of God hit Phoenix in early April 2009 for the first date of the band’s headlining North American tour for their chart-topping sixth studio album Wrath, guitarist Mark Morton graciously invited Jackson’s video crew down to the venue mere hours before the show.
There, the fleet-fingered and always-eloquent Jackson signature artist let us train our cameras on him for a trio of videos in which Morton gives an up-close-and-personal look at his band, his gear, and his role as one of modern metal’s sharpest shredders. Enough talk—let’s roll the clips, all three of which feature live footage of Lamb of God tearing up a soundcheck …
Jackson Guitars Presents Mark Morton: Lamb of God on Tour
Morton talks about touring and how his dark, foreboding guitar tone evolved for Wrath, which slammed into Billboard at #2 when released in early 2009—the band’s best chart debut ever.
Jackson Guitars Presents Mark Morton: Dominion
Morton gives a guided tour of his Jackson Custom Shop “Black Beauty” Dominion™ guitar, and discusses the development of his Dominion signature model, his varied musical influences and why Jackson is “synonymous with great heavy metal guitars.”
Jackson Guitars Presents Mark Morton:Rack of Jacksons
Rack ’em up! Join Morton as he brings you up onstage to give you a personal guided tour of the Jackson axes he’s using on the road—including his beloved Dominions, a gorgeous mahogany Soloist™, an Adrian Smith San Dimas™ DK and the very first Rhoads Jackson ever sent him.
Jackson-shredding Tainted guitarist Tim Facoory checked in with Jackson News to remind us that the band is featured in the current issue (issue three) of Nocturne Magazine, New Zealand’s own glossy journal of alternative dark arts and culture. Facoory and fellow Tainted guitarist Linly Baxter are both devoted Jackson players.
From Jackson’s Down Under bureau comes news that Aussie melodic power metal ensemble Black Majesty will be joined by guitarist/producer Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween) for a new album scheduled for release in early 2010 on the band’s own Limb Music label.
Black Majesty guitarist Stevie Janevski told Australian metal radio station Triple R FM (“Musically Incorrect”) that drum tracking is scheduled to start in August 2009 at Grapow Studios in Slovakia. Grapow will mix the album.
Janevski and fellow Black Majesty guitarist Hanny Mohamed proudly both wield Jackson guitars, onstage and in the studio.
Black Majesty’s Stevie Janevski (left) and Hanny Mohamed. Photo by Jiri Rogl
The Mark Morton D2 model, with trans-black finish on quilt maple veneer top.
Jackson’s Mark Morton Dominion™ signature model is now available in an even more affordable version, the D2.
Available in two finishes—black or an eye-catching trans-black on a quilt maple veneer top—the Mark Morton Signature D2 Dominion boasts a bolt-on maple neck with a compound radius (12”-16”) rosewood fingerboard, dot inlays and a 24.75” scale length. Loaded with a pair of Duncan Design™ HB-101 humbucking pickups, each with individual volume and tone controls for maximum sonic flexibility, the guitar also features an adjustable chrome bridge, a stop tailpiece and the Lamb of God guitarist’s signature on the truss rod cover.
The D2 easily evokes the Jackson vibe of its high-end big brother, and Morton himself calls the new model “a unique instrument” with “a great sound to it.”
“We wanted to offer a Jackson Dominion that was a little bit more affordable,” Morton said. “You still get all the essentials, and it still plays and sounds like a Jackson Dominion. It’s just a little more stripped down.”