Thursday, March 5, 2015

Apocalyptica - Shadowmaker

Where have I been living recently?!  Apparently when cold weather hits Toronto, I become absent to some major music announcements from some of my top bands.  There has been a lot of activity in the past few years with regards to Apocalyptica from the commercial success of "Worlds Collide" and "7th Symphony" to the recent works of "Wagner Reloaded".  The addition of their new singer also took some people by surprise.  While Tipe Johnson (Leningrad Cowboys) served as their touring vocalist from 2009-2012, the need for a full time vocalist soon arose.  This is where Scars On Broadway singer Frankie Perez enters the scene.

"I was in a band called SCARS ON BROADWAY with the guys from SYSTEM OF A DOWN, and we were playing a festival in Europe [in 2008], Area4 Festival, and I remember sitting on the side of the stage watching these guys, 'cause there was a lot of talk about this band doing metal with cellos. So it's kind of crazy that I literally sat on the side of the stage; we opened up for them and watched them play. And then now, however many years ahead, I got a call from someone that was, basically, in touch with their management, and he said, 'Hey, APOCALYPTICA is looking for a singer.' He actually said — he used these words — 'It's kind of a long shot, but give it a shot,' And so, they sent me a track, which, another weird coincidence is that they sent me Corey's [Taylor] track, 'I'm Not Jesus', and Corey's a friend of mine. So I sang that, sent it back, and then they responded with another — 'We like that. Try this' — whiich was an original song, which was the song 'Hole In My Soul' — it's on the new 'Shadowmaker' record. Then I really wanted the gig. When I heard that song, I was, like, 'Damn! I need this gig.'" -Franky Perez

Soon after Frankie was announced as their vocalist, they began to work on their next album and also tour showing off their new found singer.  I believe we caught them in August last year during their stop off in Toronto.  While they never did play any new material, here is the first single from the new album.

A fresh new artistic look for a freshly inked record deal with Eleven Seven Music (plus the eight minute single wasn't a bad start to the album).  As their contracts with Sony and Universal expired, the group was looking for a new home for their new album.  With no doubt I am sure lots of labels jumped on the chance to add the unique five-piece to their roster.  However, it was Eleven Seven Music who struck the deal with Apocalyptica sometime in August, 2014 (when the article was released).  The band seemed equally pleased with the outcome.

“A lot of bands we really like or we are friends with are signed with Eleven Seven. After our previous record deals with major record companies, we were aiming for a label-home where we know the people and can rely on working with them for at least the period of an album cycle. Having Allen with us gives us this confidence, paired with a great team full of passion and ideas for what we do. We are excited being part of this!” -Apocalyptica

So here are all the details surrounding the album thus far.  "Shadowmaker" will be released on April 20th, 2015 via Eleven Seven Music.  The album is being produced by Nick Raskulinecz (working with artists such as Bush, Mastodon, Rush, Alice In Chains, Deftones, Foo Fighters, Danko Jones, Death Angel, etc) and will contain ten new tracks of material.

(Album artwork courtesy of Apocalyptica and Eleven Seven Music)

1. I-II-V Seed of Chaos
2. Cold Blood
3. Shadowmaker
4. Slow Burn
5. Hole In My Soul
6. House of Chains
7. Riot Lights
8. Seas Song (You Waded Out)
9. Till Death Do Us Part
10. Dead Man's Eyes

"It's always hard to talk about albums without being a nerdy musician.  I think it's a totally new kind of record for APOCALYPTICA, especially because we have one singer on the whole album, and I think it's making the whole album more solid. It's more of a band record compared to the album that we have had guest vocalists, so I think it's more solid.

We had a break when we stopped touring for '7th Symphony', we had one year off, we didn't write a single song for a record, nothing except for 'Wagner Reloaded', but for the regular stuff, nothing. And after the break, we came together and if we wanted to do something, we have to do exactly what we want to do and this record is the result of that, that journey.

We wanted to challenge ourselves even more and we wanted to be tight as a band before the pre-production and the thing that Franky [Perez, vocalist] was part of the pre-production, we spent weeks with him in the rehearsal room arranging the songs and getting things more defined before we went into the studio.  I think this album is full of attitude, it's a real attitude record." -Eicca Toppinen

So I guess now we sit and await the rest of the album for our listening pleasure.  I feel that with the warpath that these guys have forged themselves in the past few years will prove beneficial for this album.  I won't go to the extent of 'Apocalyptica can do no harm', but with the recent success of "Worlds Collide", "7th Symphony", and "Wagner Reloaded", would you expect a half decent record?  I would think not.  So as a conclusive reminder to you all, "Shadowmaker" comes out on April 20th, 2015 via Eleven Seven Music.  Make sure to pick it up on their pre-order.

You can catch Apocalyptica in North America in April, 2015 as they tour in direct support of Sixx A.M. and their album "Modern Vintage".

04/08/2015 US – San Francisco, CA (The Regency Ballroom)
04/10/2015 US – Las Vegas, NV (The Joint)
04/11/2015 US – Los Angeles, CA (Club Nokia)
04/13/2015 US – Denver, CO (Ogden Theatre)
04/14/2015 US – Kansas City, MO (Midland Theatre)
04/16/2015 US – Houston, TX (Warehouse Live)
04/17/2015 US – Dallas, TX (Bomb Factory)
04/19/2015 US – Minneapolis, MN (Mill City Nights)
04/20/2015 US – Chicago, IL (The Vic Theater)
04/21/2015 US – Detroit, MI (Royal Oak Music Theatre)
04/23/2015 CA – Toronto, ON (Phoenix Concert Theatre)
04/24/2015 US – Sayreville, NJ (Starland Ballroom)
04/25/2015 US – Worcester, MA (Worcester Palladium)
04/27/2015 US – New York, NY (Best Buy Theater)
04/28/2015 US – Philadelphia, PA (Electric Factory)
04/29/2015 US – Silver Springs, MD (The Fillmore)

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