Metal Contraband News For January 26th, 2021:

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Soulfly have just started to work on their follow-up to 2018’s Ritual as they head into the Platinum Underground in Phoenix, AZ for the recording of their twelfth album. Max Cavalera says, “I’ve been working on this record with my son, Zyon, since June of last year. We are in the studio now with producer Arthur Rizk, creating a really wild record. Expect the unexpected! No rules, no limits, not holding anything back, just pure SOULFLY!” The album is expected to be released in 2021 via Nuclear Blast Records. Keep an eye on: http://www.soulfly.com for updates. 

Epica is on the way to the release of Omega, their first new studio album in five years, set for February 26th via Nuclear Blast. This week, the band has revealed a music video for the third single off the album, the ballad “Rivers”, which you can check out here: https://youtu.be/3rW7Vpep3II. Frontwoman Simone Simons says of the track, “Our third single has arrived! ‘Rivers’ symbolizes the calmness and at the same time the uncertainty in life, the ebb and flow. The calm water represents peace, and a strong river stream means that you have to face challenges and swim against the tide of life”. The Epic Apocalypse Tour, featuring Epica alongside Apocalyptica with support from Wheel, has officially been postponed to early 2022. Visit: https://www.epica.nl for more. 

The new album from the Michael Schenker Group – also known as MSG – is almost here, with the release of Immortal set for January 29th via Nuclear Blast. This week, the band has revealed the fifth in a series of album trailers discussing the making of Immortal, and you can check it out right here: https://youtu.be/LBmsNlh0C-s. MSG has several 50th Anniversary UK and European tour dates planned for the fall, including a few shows with special guest Doro. For all the details and updates, visit: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelSchenkerRocks/. 

Battle Beast has officially announced their re-signing to Nuclear Blast Records, in addition to a deal with Artist Group International (Metallica, Ghost, Sabaton) for North American booking, and European booking agency K2. Battle Beast bassist Eero Sipilä comments, “We are thrilled to announce our continued co-operation with the metal titans Nuclear Blast records. With 200+ million plays on the various streaming services and high chartings around the world there’s absolutely no questioning the fruit our long partnership has borne. The work for the next Battle Beast opus is well under way, and we can’t wait to hit the stages around the world once this disease has blown over! Here’s to many more great years to come! Cheers!”, while Nuclear Blast Europe Managing Director Marcus Hammer adds, “I am very happy and proud that we were able to extend the partnership with Battle Beast and can continue this success story! As we can see there are still Hollywood Endings to some stories. We are stoked to open together the next chapter for this remarkable career”. For more on Battle Beast, including their most recent release, Hollywood Endings, check out: https://battlebeast.fi. 

Swedish Symphonic Metallers Therion have just unleashed the 17th album of their discography, Leviathan, and you can check out the video for the track “Tuonela”, featuring guest vocalist Marko Hietala (formerly of Nightwish), right here: https://youtu.be/dFC62uL9R1I. Christofer Johnsson says of the album, “We have done the only thing that was left of all the different angles to explore. We have decided to give the people what they kept asking for. ‘Leviathan’ is the first album that we have deliberately packed with Therion hit songs”. Head to: https://www.therion.se for more on the album. 

Memoriam, the four-piece Death Metal unit featuring former members of Bolt Thrower, Benediction, and Life Denied, is headed toward the release of their fourth studio album, To The End, on March 26th via Reaper Entertainment. Check out the first single, “Onwards Into Battle”, right here: https://youtu.be/goDKHYj-UFY. Vocalist Karl Willetts says of the track, “‘Onwards into Battle’ is the opening track from the new album ‘To the End’. A powerful introduction that sets the tone of the album and gives the listener a taste of what is to come. Lyrically the track provides continuity from the previous album ‘Requiem for Mankind’ and is similar in many ways to the track ‘Fixed Bayonets’. The lyrics focus on the start of battle ‘Zero Hour’ which is appropriate for the start of the album. Within the theme of ‘War’, the lyrics explore the brutality of trench warfare specifically. The war continues. Let battle commence”. For more on the band, head to: https://www.facebook.com/Memoriam2016.