Iced Earth announce the release of two new EPs on April 28th, 2023, via ROAR! Rock of Angels Records.

Fans of American metal act Iced Earth have long hoped for a new sign of life from their icons. On 28 April 2023, the wait will be over at last: the band has announced the release of two new EPs on ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records. Entitled ‘Hellrider’ and ‘I Walk Among You’, these releases will include rare recordings from the transition phase between singer Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens' and predecessor/successor Matt Barlow in 2007 and 2008, a particularly exciting and eventful period in Iced Earth’s band history. The ‘Hellrider’ EP consists of the songs ‘Prophecy’, ‘Birth Of The Wicked’ and ‘The Coming Curse’, originally from the album ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ (1998), voted one of the best power metal records of all time by Metal Hammer. In late summer 2007, all three tracks were re-recorded, featuring Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens. The second EP ‘I Walk Among You’ includes the studio tracks ‘Setian Massacre’, ‘A Charge To Keep’ and ‘The Clouding’ from the 2007 album ‘Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Part I)’, which were remixed and remastered in 2008 and feature the recently-returned Matt Barlow. In addition, there are the live tracks ‘Dark Saga’, ‘Pure Evil’ and ‘Iced Earth’, cut at the 2008 Graspop Metal Meeting and also featuring Barlow. Iced Earth comment on the EPs: “Before now, these releases hadn’t been issued on anything other than CD. Now they’ve been remastered, with new artwork, new mastering, new formats on vinyl, picture disc, and they’ll be available for digital download for the first time".

Track list CD:
HELLRIDER (feat. Tim “Ripper” Owens)
1. Prophecy
2. Birth Of The Wicked
3. The Coming Curse
I WALK AMONG YOU (feat. Matt Barlow)
4. Setian Massacre
5. A Charge to Keep
6. The Clouding
7. Dark Saga (Live at Graspop 2008)
8. Pure Evil (Live at Graspop 2008)
9. Iced Earth (Live at Graspop 2008)

“Hellrider” line-up:
Jon Schaffer – Rhythm, Lead, Bass Guitars, Backing vocals
Tim Owens – Lead Vocals
Brent Smedley - Drums
Tim Mills – Guitar Solos

“I Walk Among You” line-up:
Jon Schaffer – Rhythm, Lead, Bass Guitars, Backing vocals
Matt Barlow – Lead Vocals
Brent Smedley - Drums
Troy Seele – Guitar Solos

“Graspop Raw 2008” line-up:
Jon Schaffer – Rhythm Guitar, Backing vocals
Matt Barlow – Lead Vocals
Brent Smedley - Drums
Troy Seele – Lead Guitar
Freddie Vidales – Bass Guitar

Official Site:

Cruachan celebrates 30 years as a band and will release their ninth album 'The Living and The Dead' on March 24th, 2023. 

The Irish folk-metal pioneers are recognized as one of the founders of the folk metal genre. With a specific focus on Celtic music and the use of Celtic mythology in their lyrics.

Ireland’s Cruachan have enjoyed a storied career since they took those tentative first steps back in 1992. As frontman and sole original member Keith Fay elaborates; ‘When I started writing music as a 13-year-old, I had no idea that I was laying the foundations for what would become a brand-new genre, Folk Metal, or that I was planting the seeds of what would be one of the longest running Irish metal bands in history. There have been many ups and downs over the last thirty years, band members have come and gone, record deals have come and gone. We've played some of the biggest metal festivals on the planet, travelled to more countries than most Irish bands would ever dream possible. And it has all led to this - our ninth album, 'The Living and the Dead'.

‘From the opening blast of 'The Living' to the final lament of 'The Dead', the Living and the Dead is everything you want from Cruachan and more. 12 tracks of Blistering riffs, magnificent melodies, and bewitchment.’ - Stu 'La Rage' Dixon / Venom

A man whose vision and passion for his band has never wavered in the ensuing three decades, Cruachan’s place in, not only in metal history, but that of Ireland’s musical landscape, has been hard earned and hard fought. But Fay was always confident that he and the band would always deliver. ‘This album had to be good. No, it had to be better than good. This had to be the best Cruachan album ever made. I faced a decision in 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, when three band members left the band. ‘Do I call it a day? or do I press on with the mammoth task of replacing everyone’. There was no real decision to be made, I worked way too hard over the years to allow Cruachan to fizzle out. I had been writing some of the best music of my career in recent years. I secured a record deal with a label (Sweden’s Despotz Records) that understood exactly what Cruachan and my vision is’.

‘From the uplifting excitement and energy of track one, The Living, this album grabs your heart and mind then drags them on a fantastic journey through haunting and foreboding stories put to sublimely beautiful folk and aggressive metal, constantly interweaving until we reach.... The Dead' 
- Jon Campling / Actor (Harry Potter, Final Fantasy)

With the deal signed, talk obviously turned to new music. ‘The new album only existed in my head but he still pushed me to get a single out. We recorded The Hawthorn and the reaction was immense.’ Buoyed by the amazing reaction to the single, Fay recruited new members for Cruachan in ‘record time’. ‘Joe Farrell had already re-joined Cruachan on bass at the start of 2020, apart from being one of my oldest friends, he was also my rock during this time. Tom (Woodlock), one of the best metal drummers in Ireland, joined us early in 2020. I've known Dave Quinn for many years so was a relief that I didn't need to audition for guitarists, he came in and was a natural fit for the band. I did advertise for a folk instrumentalist and had a few interesting applications. Audrey sent me a mail with some links to her playing. My jaw literally dropped and I recruited her right away. She has been playing violin since the age of 4, the quality she brings to every aspect of Cruachan is beyond compare, from our folky stuff to our classical stuff, it has all just moved to a level I never thought possible.’

‘It was a pleasure to be a part of this project, the fusion of heavy metal and folk music on this album is furious, organic, and natural. Folk metal fans are in for a treat.’ - Camillus Hiney / The Fureys

New line-up in place, and a clutch of songs Fay felt were among the strongest he’d ever written for the band, the time came to enter the studio to work on what would become ‘The Living and the Dead’. ‘Finally, in April 2022, we entered Trackmix studios to start recording. The quality and maturity of our new material was obvious right away. There have always been elements of classical music in Cruachan's material but I explored this a lot more on some of the new songs. The honesty and credibility in the finished songs takes my breath away. The song 'The Reaper' is about my dad, who sadly passed away in 2020. There was a point when Audrey was layering the strings section for this song, I was listening with Joe and our producer Mick and it literally brought me to tears. I turned to Joe and all I could manage to say was 'wow'. I did my dad proud with that song but I think we did all of our fans proud with this entire album. I could talk about many other parts in many other tracks but you'll hear it yourself and see what I mean. I achieved my goal. I created the best Cruachan album to date.’

‘This album has everything from groovy death to the folkiest of metals! If you're a true folker then this album is for you!’  - Mathias 'Vreth' Lillmans / Finntroll

More on Cruachan:
Since forming the band in 1992, it’s been Keith Fay’s singular vision that has steered the band for nearly thirty years. Appearing originally under the moniker Minas Tirith the band’s focus on Irish history and mythology prompted a change to more suitable Cruachan. The band’s blend of Irish folk music and metal was unique and in late ’93, their demo 'Celtica' soon landed the band their first record deal with Nazguls Eyrie Productions. The first fruits of this endeavour was the band’s cult classic debut album, 'Tuatha Na Gael', which hit the shelves in 1995 to critical acclaim. The band began to draw admiring glances from a number of bigger labels, but none suited the band’s ambition. They eventually signed with Hammerheart records and released 'The Middle Kingdom' in 1999. 'The Middle Kingdom' record saw the band make their first international live appearances. Their third album 'Folk-lore' was produced by and featured the unmistakable vocals of The Pogues legend Shane MacGowan on 'Ride On' which was a surprise hit single in Ireland. Subsequent releases, including 'Pagan' and 'Blood on the Black Robe' saw the band join up with AFM and Candlelight records and led to Cruachan hitting some of the biggest festival stages, including; Hellfest and 70, 000 Tonnes of Metal (where they became one of the few bands to ever perform three sets, one of which featured Gwar vocalist Kim Dyalla as special guest), as well as their own ‘25th Anniversary’ show in Ireland.

After a few tumultuous years band leader Keith Fay observes; "A number of long-term members chose to leave the band, but that prompted a time of rebirth for the band and it has only been a positive thing."  Despite the upheaval behind the scenes, one thing has never faltered; and that is Keith’s passion for folk and metal music, and Cruachan’s unique way of bringing the two together.
'The Living and the Dead' features NINE guest musicians. Here is some info on everyone who helped make this album what it is!

Kim Dylla – Backing Vocals
Kim is the former vocalist of GWAR and runs Kylla Custom Rock Wear, making stage clothes for the greatest metal bands in the world! When she can, she is also our live female vocalist.

Nella – Lead Vocal (‘The Changeling’)
Nella is a singer songwriter based in Ireland. She has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry and performed live with 'Video Games Live' as well as sang on the soundtrack for 'World of Warcraft'.

Mathias ‘Vreth’ Lillmåns – Lead Vocal (‘The Ghost’)
Mathis is lead singer with FINNTROLL!! He adds some really amazing growls to the most 'Death Metal' track on the album.

Jon Campling – Backing Vocals (‘The Crow’, ‘The Changeling’)
Jon is an actor that has appeared in Harry Potter (the Death Eater that stops the Hogwarts Express) as well as King Regis from Final Fantasy. In recent years he decided to learn to play guitar and sing and we're delighted his professional singing debut is on this album (and he nailed it)

Geoffrey Dell’Aria – Bagpipes, Tin Whistle, Low Whistle
Geoff is an accomplished musician who plays in many, many bands. He made a huge contribution to this album with pipes and whistles throughout.

Camillus Hiney – Accordion (‘The Festival’)
Camillus is the box player for the legendary Irish folk group THE FUREYS. Having a folk musician of Camillus's calibre on this album is a huge moment of pride for us.

Stu ‘La Rage’ Dixon – Guitar solo (‘The Witch’)
Stu is the guitarist with metal legends VENOM. An amazing lead guitarist who lends a real touch of class to this song.

John Fay – Tin whistle (‘The Children’)
John needs no introduction, long-time member of Cruachan over the years it was a pleasure to have him back and still involved with the band as a guest musician. You'll see John on TV all the time in shows such as Vikings, Game of Thrones etc

Sinead Richards – Euphonium (‘The Reaper’)
Lastly a huge thank you to Sinead, the 14-year-old daughter of our producer. She is a huge talent and added such orchestral heft to this song that we can't imagine how it would sound without her contribution.

01. The Living
02. The Queen
03. The Hawthorn
04. The Harvest
05. The Festival
06. The Ghost
07. The Crow
08. The Reaper
09. The Children
10. The Changeling
11. The Witch
12. The Dead

Cruachan Discography
Tuatha na Gael (1995)
The Middle Kingdom (2000)
Folk-Lore (2002)
Pagan (2004)
The Morrigan's Call (2006)
Blood on the Black Robe (2011)
Blood for the Blood God (2014)
Nine Years of Blood (2018)
The Living and The Dead (2023)


North Carolina indie pop outfit The Mystery Plan present the single 'Big Bliss', previewing their forthcoming 'Haunted Organic Machines' LP (their seventh full length album and 13th major release), to be released via American boutique label 10mm Omega Recordings.

This new single, which features Amy Herring on vocals, takes us to the opposite end of the spectrum from their recently-released lead track and 'What A Day' EP, a scrumptious dose of bliss-pop.

"'Big Bliss" is about feeling all the horrible things that humans do to each other while simultaneously feeling so grateful for the art that my husband brings to my life. (Regrettably) we arere news junkies in our home. The constant stream of sadness and devastation was breaking me down. I was crying daily and had to switch to waterproof mascara in an attempt to hide my tears," says Amy Herring.

A staple on the local music scene, the Charlotte-based collective started in 2010 as a duo with Jason Herring and Paul Jensen (Fetchin' Bones / the Interstellars) writing and producing everything. Jason's wife, Amy Herring, then joined. Several years later, the line-up was rounded out with Otis Hughes, Patty McLaughlin Thomas and Jefferson Chester. 

Produced and mixed by Jason Herring and Rob Tavaglione, 'Haunted Organic Machines' finds the band exploring new, but familiar territory from spacey dance grooves, to spooky, moody dream pop and everything that goes with it.

The Mystery Plan is very prolific, their latest releases involving legendary producer John Fryer (This Mortal Coil, Black Needle Noise), known for seminal releases by Love and Rockets, Dead Can Dance, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Clan of Xymox, Xmal Deutschland and Stabbing Westward, among others. This collaboration shaped The Mystery Plan albums 'Queensland Ballroom', 'Zsa Zsa' and 'You Also Have Eyes', plus an epic remix on the 'Thought Bubbles' record.

'Big Bliss' is now available digitally via Bandcamp, while the 'What a Day' EP is also available via Spotify and Apple Music. On March 31, the full ''Haunted Organic Machines' album will be released, both digitally and on CD.

1. Big Bliss
2. What a Day (Disco)
3. Inner Space
4. Late Night
5. I Think I'm Granola
6. Snow Queen
7. What a Day
8. Holding My Interest


UK-France duo The Noise Who Runs has released the single 'Takes a Long Cold Look and Then The Kitchen Sink' - the impossible, illegitimate child of solo album-era Syd Barrett and immediately post-Talking Heads David Byrne. The Bandcamp edition also features the B-side 'More Beautiful Perhaps (LHT REMIX)', created by Left Handed Tendencies (LHT).

The Noise Who Runs was formed by songwriter-performer Ian Pickering of 90s British trip hop outfit Sneaker Pimps, who co-wrote such hits as 'Spin Spin Sugar', '6 Underground' and 'Tesko Suicide'. He is also known for his involvement in Front Line Assembly. Pickering churned out this new material over the past two years simultaneous to working on the new Sneaker Pimps album.

This new single comes hot on the trail of 'Beautiful Perhaps', the anthemic lead track from their 'Preteretrospective’ LP, scheduled for release on April 7. This album arrives four years after Pickering launched this project after relocating from his home town of Hartlepool (north-east of England) to Lille, France. Today, The Noise Who Runs is a duo of Pickering with Brazilian-born French guitarist Felipe Goes.

The Noise Who Runs is a direct, literal translation of ‘O bruit qui cour’, a French phrase meaning ‘gossip’. It was also the name of Pickering’s favourite restaurant, where the ideas for this project fell into place.

'Takes a long cold look and then the kitchen sink', penned in 1996, is as timely now with the ever-increasing insanity of populist politicians. Less a testament to how timeless writing can be and more to how an entire generation has failed to change the world for the better, leaving a catastrophic mess for Millennials and Generation Z to deal with, the lyrics also point to the inadequacy of political systems and desperate corrupt pandering to big business, which actively encourages destruction.

“Every TNWR song has a personal story in it on some level; usually it’s a composite or gestalt of various people rather than anyone specific. But the bigger, wider panorama always the main thing. This is a lot gentler, musically, than 'Beautiful Perhaps', but easily as abrasive and damning in its lyrical content," says Ian Pickering.

"Really, it concerns itself with the detachment from the real lives, the real suffering of people, in the approach and the decisions taken in big business and politics, while addressing the kind of mentality that felt the need to ‘Check Your Privilege’ a few years back simply as a way of defending that privilege by refuting it. By the same spurious ‘keep them on the platform’ online reckoning, I would simultaneously be a pink Labrador, the fourth Doctor Who’s third companion and about to die of 10,000 heart attacks shortly after 3pm next Good Friday."

The new 'Preteretrospective’ album follows the 'These Will Be Your Gods' EP, released in January, and ‘High Time in Lo-Fi’, their third EP released in mid-2022. During the lockdown stalemate of 2020, the duo released two EPs - ‘The First of Two Sides of a Double-headed Coin’ and ‘The Other Side of the Same Double-headed Coin’.

The Noise Who Runs' is rooted in the shared principles and approach to making music of punk/new wave and early hip-hop - both the mentality and the message. This brand of indie-electronic rock is heavily shaped by the 1970's experimental electronic scene in Sheffield, the 1990's guitar-house mix of the Manchester scene, Primal Scream's guitar-electronic sound after 1997’s 'Vanishing Point', and 2000’s XTRMNTR.

Pickering's role in Sneaker Pimps is rooted in a lifelong friendship with founding member Liam Howe and Chris Corner. Having written and worked with Howe and Corner on various projects throughout their teens, he became Sneaker Pimps’ lyricist shortly after recruiting Kelli Dayton for the debut record 'Becoming X'.

As of March 14, the new single is available via BandcampSpotifyApple Music and elsewhere. The full 'Preteretrospective’ album will be released on April 7.