One group that has definitely paid their fair share of dues is the Southern California based quintet IN THIS MOMENT who, through hard work, resiliency and an undying worldwide touring schedule have propelled themselves to the top of the heap of the metal pantheon. They have now returned with their most dynamic and focused offering, which quickly proves that this unit has greatly matured well beyond their years.

IN THIS MOMENT spent the early part of 2010 at The Wolve's Den studio once again with acclaimed producer Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch) recording A Star-Crossed Wasteland, an album hailed by Alternative Press as "One of The Most Anticipated Releases of 2010."

The group are extremely excited to be performing on this summer's much anticipated Rockstar Mayhem Tour playing on the Mayhem Festival Stage alongside Korn, Rob Zombie and Atreyu. This tour will mark the start of the group's official, massive worldwide touring cycle.

Chris Howorth (guitars) further states: "The writing process for A Star-Crossed Wasteland was different than on our previous records. This time we had more of a plan and we knew we wanted to write darker heavier songs while still keeping our melodic side. We started working on new music last August right after Warped Tour ended and wrote continuously for five months to get as many song ideas on tape as possible. We ended up with about 15 demo songs. Once we got into the studio with Kevin we dissected everything again to make sure everyone was happy with the arrangements and then started tracking.

"For us, using Kevin Churko was a no brainer, we had such a great experience making The Dream that we didn't even consider using anyone else. I've said it before and I will say it again, Kevin is the man. He is like the Gandolf the Grey or Yoda of producing. He has so much knowledge and is so creative musically we feel like magic happens when we work together.

"I am extremely happy with the end result. We made a record that shows who we are and what we are really about. We feel like it's our defining statement. We really put a lot of effort into making sure the guitars were massive and the drums were slamming while still retaining the depth and melodic layers in the songs. Vocally and lyrically Maria was very emotional and coming from a darker place than on previous albums, and she really poured her heart out and as usual you can tell that it's 100% genuine."

One always hears the same old adage growing up: "believe in your dreams, because dreams really do come true." Well, this statement perfectly defines the life of IN THIS MOMENT's frontwoman, Maria Brink, who always believed that she would become a rock star, and overcome all of the obstacles that stood in her way while having to escape an overall non-positive environment.

Brink, an Albany, NY native, refused to let any of this deter her from achieving her lifelong goal and soon embarked for Los Angeles to begin her musical career. After a number of odd jobs and failed creative partnerships her life soon took a sudden turn upon meeting guitarist Chris Howorth in 2005, as the two immediately realized that they had something special together. This union would soon be rounded out by Jeff Fabb (drums), Blake Bunzel (guitars) and Jesse Landry (bass) to form IN THIS MOMENT, who just three years later performed to a sold-out crowd at the renowned Madison Square Garden opening for Ozzy Osbourne, ultimately proving dreams do come true.

Their invigorating mixture of metal and hard rock quickly caught the attention of metal and hard rock fans alike. The diversity and depth was refreshing and simply undeniable. In 2010, they continue to carve out their own unique and exhilarating chapter in the hard rock genre, laying the foundation for an extremely bright future. Original bassist Jesse Landry left the band after Warped Tour in 2009 to pursue non music related endeavors but Kyle Konkiel quickly joined the fold and instantly became a perfect fit. This group is collectively defined by their undying belief in themselves and this confidence and strength is conveyed perfectly through their new material.

For IN THIS MOMENT, the dream was always to become a worldwide phenomenon and that is something that will never fade, especially with this new effort. If you haven't heard of IN THIS MOMENT, it won't be long until you do because this band is at the brink of greatness.

Motionless In White

Determination, a taste for hard work, a love for being on the road, countless self booked tours and undeniable talent have all earned the band a solid following which continues to grow steadily. Emphasizing in every interview how much they appreciate their fans, MIW want to get their point across that saying their thank yous is something not to be taken lightly. “To be honest, we’ve wanted this,” says singer Chris Cerulli during an interview with Weekender. “We’re not a band that just practices once a week and says ‘I hope something happens.’ We work every day to make this happen, so having it happen isn’t even overwhelming in the slightest.” Fearless Records

Like old-timey carnival ringmasters, AVATAR invites miscreants, tattooed ladies, blue-collar workers, metalheads, rock fanatics and listeners of all stripes to their party. The theatrical metal-n'-roll vaudevillian visionaries have infiltrated Rock Radio and the hearts and minds of those thirsty for creative innovation, inescapable melodic hooks and a sense of dangerous revelry all wrapped up in deliciously subversive hit songs.

The eleven tracks on HAIL THE APOCALYPSE join a rich catalog filled with cred-building artistic peaks and commercial breakthroughs alike, following in the tradition of larger-than-life bands like Rammstein, System of a Down and Rob Zombie who have conquered the airwaves without sacrificing their brilliant uniqueness and unfettered expressionism. Working from the playbook of Alice Cooper, Kiss and like minded phantoms of rock, Avatar delivers a postmodern party, electrifying the mainstream and underground alike.

Produced by longtime collaborator and two-time Grammy nominee Tobias Lindell, mixed by Jay Ruston, and mastered by Paul Logus. Hail the Apocalypse serves as ample evidence why Avatar is welcomed at Download UK, Rock on the Range and on tour with rock radio hitmakers, like label mates Pop Evil.

"Bloody Angel" and "Hail the Apocalypse" are new anthems for the ages, precision heat-seeking missiles targeting a cultural landscape primed and ready for fresh songs to champion from a band with a giant persona to rally behind. Breaking into America on tour with Sevendust, conquering their native Europe in arenas with Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch, Avatar shocked the world with the Top 30 commercial rock radio success of "Smells Like a Freakshow" and "Let it Burn."

Nobody was more amazed when Avatar devilishly polluted the commercial airwaves with their last album, Black Waltz, than band cofounder Johannes Eckerström. "Sweden is a smaller country. In terms of airplay, there isn't much room for heavier stuff and we aren't typical radio material. So, to me, with all due respect, isn't radio where you go to hear Lady Gaga songs? To hear we were Top 30 in America, it was like, 'Say what?!'"

Avatar puts equal emphasis on their visual presentation, stage presence and overall creative coherence, giving fans more than a killer live show and hit songs. Avatar is a work of art.

Hail the Apocalypse was recorded live at Karma Sound Studios in Bang Saray, Thailand. Bands like Bullet For My Valentine have made records there, enveloped in a trippy/exotic locale not unlike Killing Joke making a record inside an Egyptian pyramid back in the day. The band then went on to Tobias Lindells' studio in Patong, also in Thailand to record vocals and guitar solos. The studio is located in a house owned by a horror movie buff that includes a swimming pool decorated like Castle Grayskull.

The plane ride over inspired an unexpected turn in the creation of Hail the Apocalypse. After they had become sufficiently buzzed from the plane's bar, the band synched up their video screens to take in "Sound City," Dave Grohl's documentary love letter to the famed studio where seminal albums from the likes of Nirvana, Metallica, and Slipknot were made.

"After the documentary was over, we looked at each other and said, 'We should totally record this album live.' We were planning to do it in a more modern way, track-by-track, to a click track. But we said, 'Screw it! Let's do this live, the old-fashioned studio way.'"

Avatar didn't see much sunlight while in Thailand, opting instead to put their collective nose to the grindstone and work hard on what has become a hard rock masterpiece.

"The band was in a room staring at each other instead of staring at the floor. It was a great experience. Our producer rents a house from a guy who is a big horror movie fanatic. So when I did my vocals, I had big statues of Leatherface and Predator starring me down. And then there was that skull fountain in the pool! It was the perfecting setting. Here we were in this tropical environment, and yet death was everywhere."

Black Waltz began a momentous climb for Avatar both in terms of their career and in terms of their evolving sound. Hail the Apocalypse follows suit, building on the strengths of the last album while blowing down the doors off even the highest of expectations.

"When we did that music video for the title track on the last album, that's where we came up with the face paint and everything around it," the band's frontman explains.

"Something really clicked on a much deeper plane than we expected when I got my face paint. I saw myself in the mirror and I was awakened. We've been riding on that ever since. It's hard to even put it into words. We've played together for ten years; we've started to evolve a certain groove together, while still rooted in extreme metal."

Avatar came together at a young age, wrapping their heads around the New Wave of Swedish Death Metal that surrounded them in their native country and sharpening their chops. In short order, the technical melodic death metal of Thoughts of No Tomorrow (2006) and the even more intense Schlacht (2007) gave way to the classic rock n' roll and traditional heavy metal style of their self-titled third album, which demonstrated Avatar's ability to craft catchy songs with memorable hooks was equal to their technical proficiency. The group toured with metal luminaries In Flames, Dark Tranquility and Helloween, among others, as they steadily built a profile in the worldwide underground.

The ensuing word of mouth success around Black Waltz brought an increasingly diverse swath of newcomers to Avatar's shows, as they toured the U.S. supporting gold-selling rockers Sevendust and fellow Europeans Lacuna Coil. That tour included the band's first ever casino gig. "We had always said, if we ever play in a casino, we are going to take the payment for the show and put it on red at the roulette table," Eckerström says, laughing. "We finally got an opportunity to do that and guess what? We actually won!"

The string of good fortune continues, as Avatar gears up to conquer the world with Hail the Apocalypse. The virtuoso side of their earliest rumblings remains intact, enhanced with momentous strength by songwriting chops, gigantic hooks and a sense of groove. Hail the Apocalypse is not only the best album in the Avatar catalog, it's one of the most diverse hard rock records of the modern age, catapulting Avatar above the pack.

Avatar's music is challenging, daring, but altogether captivating, boasting Charlie Chaplin's winking silent movie flair for the dramatic and Marilyn Manson's dark merging of the commercial and the macabre, but still rooted in heavy music for its own sake.

"We are doing something that I strongly feel is lacking," Eckerström says. "This is metal music made by metal heads for metal heads. It's honest, intense and full of integrity."

Gemini Syndrome

Bursting on the scene, comes Gemini Syndrome from Los Angeles. And by bursting that is no understatement. Although only officially a band since January 2010, they are poised to become the next big thing happening in music. Their spectacular live show, brilliant musicianship accompanied by Aaron Nordstrom's melodic voice that still retains that metal edge, have raised the bar in the Los Angeles rock scene.

Rich Juzwick (Guitar) - Gemini Syndrome was borne out of Rich's great riffs with an ear for arrangements and the development of the music.

Aaron Nordstrom (Vox) - His melodic harmonies prefacing clear legible growls are fantastic, and his tone, timing, and lyrics are what make him a truly talented vocalist.

Brian Steele Medina (Drums) - Incredible backbone and clean beats, that aren't over bearing. A very visual drummer with great stage presence.

Mike Salerno (Guitar) - Brilliant guitar player whose rhythms set the tone for the harmonic flow of the music, and backing vocals that make the live show sonically full.

Alessandro "A.P." Paveri (Bass) - Talented italian born bass player that lends not only exceptional bass lines to the rhythm, but his unique bass style is also vitally important to the bands sound.

Gemini Syndrome is one of those perfect storms that come along in music every now and then, to create a package that works wonders. By no means is this is "local" band trying to make it in the scene. Produced by Mikey Doling (Snot/Soulfly/InVitro), even their live show lends credence to the fact that this is a polished product, ready to conquer. Their songs are hook after hook and are radio friendly tunes that connect with listeners, regardless of what genre they follow. That is the key; this is not a metal band or pop band or any one thing. They incorporate many influences to develop their own sound that crosses over musical genres. As well produced as they are, their live performance is every bit of what is on their recordings and so much more.

Bursting on the scene, comes Gemini Syndrome from Los Angeles. And by bursting that is no understatement. Although only officially a band since January 2010, they are poised to become the next big thing happening in music. Their spectacular live show, brilliant musicianship accompanied by Aaron Nordstrom's melodic voice that still retains that metal edge, have raised the bar in the Los Angeles rock scene.

$27.50 - $32.00


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