Living Sacrifice News
Metal legends LIVING SACRIFICE have announced a U.S. co-headlining tour, dubbed ‘The Abominable Snowtour’, that will crisscross the nation from February 5-28. The band will share top billing throughout the tour with metal cohorts WAR OF AGES, with support from SHAI HULUD, LIONHEART and THE GREAT COMMISSION. We are really excited to get out and play some of the new stuff live,” says LIVING SACRIFICE frontman Bruce Fitzhugh. “We’re also stoked on the other bands on the tour. I’ve been a fan of SHAI HULUD for years, and we have become close with the WAR OF AGES guys over the last few years, playing together at festivals. We’re just really glad to be able to do this.” The tour comes on the heels of the release of The Infinite Order, in stores January 26 on SolidState Records. The album – LIVING SACRIFICE’s seventh full-length overall, and first since 2002’s acclaimed Conceived In Fire – is shaping up to be one of 2010’s most hotly anticipated metal releases. The Infinite Order finds the band returning to its thrash roots for an unapologetic reminder of how unrelenting, honest metal is done at a time when some folks could use a reminder. There aren’t too many metal lifers out there who AREN’T named SLAYER or METALLICA that are still making ferociously relevant music 20 years into their career. LIVING SACRIFICE are among the few and the proud, and despite the fact that they have inspired a huge portion of today’s young metal bands, they’re still playing like they’ve got something to prove.” LIVING SACRIFICE have opened the gates for album pre-orders, with several options available, including added value such as DVDs and t-shirts. Options can be viewed here.
Check out Living Sacrifice’s new video for “Rules Of Engagement”:

Thousand Foot Krutch News
As this year comes to a close, Tooth & Nail Records celebrates an amazing year for Thousand Foot Krutch with the release of their fifth studio album, another Top 30 Active Rock single, national TV/Movie song placements, touring and more. To applaud this band on their amazing efforts throughout 2009, below is a year in review as well as a look ahead to 2010. Thousand Foot Krutch began the year with a performance at the ESPN Winter X Games 13 in Aspen/Snowmass, CO. as part of the “Best of the Beat” for Taco Bell®’s Feed the Beat program, which the band was voted as one of three winners in 2008. The games were held January 22-25, 2009 and aired live on ESPN and ABC and affiliates. Fans were giving a preview of what has been named as one of the best rock albums this year by many with the free download “Bring Me To Life” as part of the Taco Bell’s Feed The Beat music program. TFK partnered with familiar face, Aaron Sprinkle, to produce the single, and mixer Randy Staub, to mix the single, which was available for a free download to fans preceding the Fall release. This summer, TFK lit up TV airwaves with their hit song“Fire It Up.” This high-energy, crunchy riff-filled, rock song was featured in the major movie trailer for “G.I. Joe”, EA Sports NHL 10 video game, ESPN’s NASCAR Nationwide series as well as on the Versus Network IndyCar races multiple times. These song placements were a huge precursor of the success to come with the release of the new album in September. TFK released their fifth album, “Welcome To The Masquerade,” which was co-produced by Aaron Sprinkle and Trevor McNevan, to resounding media and fan acclaim debuting at No. 35 on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 2 on the Christian albums chart. Digitally, the album spent street week in the Top 10 on the overall album and rock chart on iTunes (peaking at No. 4 and No.2). Multiple media outlets named this release as one of the band’s best efforts, but in addition TFK received a 4.5 star review along with the stamp of approval from All Music Guide. The review stated: “Each track is propelled by muscular riffs, fighting its way into permanent memory alongside the greatest mainstream rock bands of the decade.” The band also celebrated their seventh No. 1 Christian Rock single with “Bring Me To Life” (3 weeks straight) as well as entered the Top 15 on CHR with the single “Forward Motion.” Supporting this new release and expanding their reach, TFK signed with Paradigm Agency (Coldplay, Avril Lavigne, Augustana). The band is represented by Larry Webman and Mike Snider. As hockey season kicked in full gear, three teams (New York Islanders, Rockford Icehogs and Ottawa Senators) selected “Fire It Up” as their pre-game warm up or promotional song for the season. At the same time the song “Scream” was used for Spike TV’s Scream Awards as Harrison Ford entered the stage. Also this year, TFK once again entered the charts on the Active Rock format with “Fire It Up” marking their fourth Top 30 hit on this chart. The single continues to climb and currently sits at #27.

Owl City Single Goes Double Platinum
Owl City announces a Spring headlining tour of the US kicking off on March 30th in Boise, ID and hitting every major US market including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Denver, DC and more before ending on May 2nd in Milwaukee. The tour will come on the heels of a headlining tour of Europe and the UK as well as a tour of Australia where they’ll be joining up with Cobra Starship. In addition, the Spring headlining tour will be Owl City’s second Stateside headlining tour in 2010 as the band is heading out on a sold out Winter tour in January. As the band gears up for a busy 2010, Owl City can reflect on what has been an unbelievably successful 2009. Ocean Eyes was recently certified gold in the US and the first single “Fireflies” has sold more than 2 million copies making it double platinum. “Fireflies” also hit the #1 position on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart twice and went #1 on iTunes in the US, Canada, Denmark, Holland and New Zealand. In addition, the video for “Fireflies” found fans at MTV, FUSE and VH1 where it is currently the #1 Most Played video on the channel and the band established themselves as a viable live act thanks to sold out headlining tours of the US, China and Japan – making this small town artist an international phenomenon. Additionally, Owl City earned numerous accolades from the media over the past six months. He was featured in Rolling Stone who said “…Ocean Eyes is filled with appealing dreamy electro-pop…,” USA Today who wrote “…Young belongs to a grand pop-music tradition – the bedroom musical savant,” and Entertainment Weekly who said “Young’s album Ocean Eyes contains quite a few catchy tunes, so we’re betting radio programmers won’t be leaving Owl City soon” and post Owl City’s NYC show in September Rob Harvilla at the Village Voice wrote “Owl City…gets a more intense reaction from a Bowery Ballroom crowd than even Nine Inch Nails did…too infectious to resist.” He’s also graced the covers of HITS and Pollstar and was featured in the New York Times, NME, and Billboard who have been incredible supportive since the beginning.
Tour Dates:
3/30 – Boise, ID
3/31 – Spokane, WA
4/1 – Seattle, WA
4/3 – Portland, OR
4/5 – San Francisco, CA
4/6 – San Francisco, CA
4/7 – Pomona, CA
4/8 – San Diego, CA
4/9 – Los Angeles, CA
4/10 – Phoenix, AZ
4/12 – Salt Lake City, UT
4/13 – Denver, CO
4/15 – Austin, TX
4/17 – Dallas, TX
4/19 – Nashville, TN
4/20 – Atlanta, GA
4/22 – Washington, D.C.
4/23 – Boston, MA
4/24 – New York, NY
4/25 – Philadelphia, PA
4/28 – Cleveland, OH
4/29 – Detroit, MI
4/30 – Chicago, IL
5/1 – Minneapolis, MN
5/2 – Milwaukee, WI

Billy Graham Ministry Launches Ransom
Representing a new effort to reach the next generation, an innovative Christian Web resource, Ransom, is now up and running to introduce young people to Jesus Christ. A project of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), Ransom features compelling music videos and interviews with Christian artists, athletes and other personalities all designed to connect with youth and young adults and present the life-changing message of the Gospel. Young people are facing tremendous pressures from the world, and many are searching for the answers to life’s toughest questions, said Ken Barun, senior vice president of communications, BGEA. Ransom allows us to meet them where they are, speak their language and let them know there’s a God who loves them. It’s the same message Billy Graham has always preached this time in Web 2.0. The site Ransom.tv is loaded with videos of artists relaying everything from their personal testimony of faith in Jesus Christ to their thoughts on what Christmas means to them. In honor of the Christmas season, included on the site is a brand-new video of Little Drummer Boy, by the rock band The Almost. More than a site, Ransom is an online experience, featuring videos, culturally relevant articles, testimonials and a simple, compelling presentation of the Gospel to which users can respond using social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. New videos and other pieces will be added regularly to keep the content fresh and encourage visitors to return. Ransom also has a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a YouTube channel. The ministry derives its name from Jesus words in Mark 10:45: For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Ransom is in part a continuation of the popular 2009 Rock the River Tour, a youth-focused concert series that travelled up the Mississippi River last summer with soul-stirring music from bands like Flyleaf and challenging messages from Franklin Graham. The site is a place for these youth and young adults and others to visit and grow in their spiritual walk.

Iona News
Iona has announced US Tour plans in their latest news update: Hello from the Iona office over here in the freezing (but beautifully frosty) UK! We are very excited that the band will be playing in the USA next June for the first time since 2002. Yes it has been far too long! The band will be in the USA for two weeks. So far we are booked to play at Near Fest, Bethlehem, PA on Saturday 19th June and at Cornerstone Festival, Bushnell, Illinois on Wednesday 30th June. These will be the first and last gigs on the tour and we are currently trying to fill in between with as many other gigs as we can manage, plus radio interviews and any TV appearances we can get. There are several possibilities in the pipeline already but there are some gaps we’d like to fill and here’s where we’d like to enlist your help. If you’ve always longed to have Iona play in your area and know of a suitable venue that you have any contact with (could be your church, a local club venue etc – we don’t mind!), or if you are involved in the media and would like to interview the band or have them play a live session, or would just love to help out publicize the band’s tour we’d love to hear from you. Although there is a limit to how far we can cover in 2 weeks it would be good to build up a list of possible venues for future trips to the USA. If you think you can help out, please email our USA booking agent Kathy Bunker at music4world@netzero.com. Many thanks for your support!
Debbie Bainbridge

Tenth Avenue North Finishes 2009 Strong
Tenth Avenue North, the reigning GMA Dove Awards New Artist of the Year, wrapped an incredibly active and successful 2009 with appearances on both the charts and the airwaves, plus news of appearances already scheduled for 2010. Coming in at No. 1 on the Billboard 2009 Hot Christian Songs Artists chart, the band also landed an impressive two songs on the Hot Christian Songs chart, including the No. 1 radio single “By Your Side” at No. 2 and “Hold My Heart” at No. 13. More impressive is the fact that Tenth Avenue North, still on its first album, ranked No. 3 on Billboard’s overall decade ranking of Christian songs. The band’s debut record, Over And Underneath, finished the year at No. 10 overall on Billboard magazine’s list of Top Christian Albums of 2009, alongside such Provident Label Group rostermates as Michael W. Smith, Casting Crowns, Third Day and Red. Over And Underneath has surpassed the 200,000 sales mark since its release on May 20, 2008. Tenth Avenue North’s radio reception has been equally impressive, with singles “Hold My Heart” and “By Your Side” both notching in the top 10 on AC Monitored and CHR charts. The band was featured on the nationally syndicated “Total Axxess” program’s first-ever weeklong “Acoustic Christmas” series, together with Jars of Clay, Red and Brandon Heath the week of Dec. 14. Fresh off the success of its own headlining “Inside and In Between” tour this fall – seeing more than half of the shows sold-out – Tenth Avenue North has been tabbed as special guests for two months worth of dates on Casting Crowns’ “Until The Whole World Hears” tour in 2010, paving the way for the release of Tenth Avenue North’s sophomore effort in early summer.

Rush Of Fools News
Christian music’s premier progressive worship band, Rush Of Fools, has been invited to play during the pre-show for the Fourth Annual Papajohns.com Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. The band will be performing at 11 a.m. CT on the Papapalooza Stage in the Fan Zone at Birmingham’s historic Legion Field. Wes Willis, the lead singer of Rush Of Fools, has also been invited to sing the national anthem before kickoff at the game. Rush of Fools’ performance will precede the Papajohns.com Bowl matchup pitting the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Connecticut Huskies at 1:00 p.m. CST. Of the invitation to play at the game, Willis said, “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to partner with Papa John’s and ESPN for the Papajohns.com Bowl. Growing up in Alabama, we are huge college football fans and it is an honor and privilege to be able to be a part of this game. We love that it’s in our own backyard and we’re looking forward to a great game!” “We are happy to have partnered with WDJC and Crawford Broadcasting to put together the first annual Papapalooza as part of our bowl week activities,” said Mark Meadows, Executive Director of the Papajohns.com Bowl. “We are excited that we were able to book Rush of Fools as our headliner in the pre-game Fan Zone.” Tickets to the Papajohns.com Bowl can be purchased on game day at the ticket box office at Legion Field.

Dead Artist Syndrome Gives Up “Silent Night”
Dead Artist Syndrome has a new version of Silent Night up for a free download at the cool Down The Line Zine website (it’s a cool online zine that focuses on the legends of alternative Christian music’s past).
This song is the first new music by DAS in about 5 years! Check out this song here.

Free track By Saint
Retroactive Records and Saint would like to offer fans a MERRY CHRISTMAS and give them an EXCLUSIVE FREE DOWNLOAD of the track “Terror In the Sky” (Classic Mix). This exclusive track is edited and features new vocals by Josh Kramer that differ from what is available on this song found on new release Crime Scene Earth 2.0 by Saint! Download the song here. Don’t forget we do have the SAINT “CRIME SCENE EARTH 2.0? CD now available (”HELL BLADE” too!) as well as the phenomenal LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE “LIGHT IT UP”. Everything should be available at CDbaby, Amazon, Rad Rockers, Divine Metal Distro… etc….

Cross Rhythms Treated Like Kings
Chris and Kerry Cole, founders and trustees of the Cross Rhythms media ministry, recently attended the No 10 ‘Christmas Tea’ Celebration at 10 Downing Street hosted by PM Gordon Brown. This was the second year running that Cross Rhythms had been invited to celebrate Christmas with the PM, and Kerry Cole says she was thrilled to be asked again. “From Cross Rhythms point of view, it is very encouraging that our work with local radio is recognized at the highest levels of government, because we believe that we have something so good to influence our cities with, especially our youth,” said Kerry. During the event, the Prime Minister spoke to assembled guests about how the practice of Christian values can help improve society: “At the centre of our society,” said Mr Brown, “perhaps more so than any other country I know in Western Europe, is the belief that churches and faith have a role. At the centre of our society is the belief that the legitimate public debate is how we interpret our Christian values and our faiths to make for a better society. At the centre of that is also a sense that families are important. What we can do to support family life in this country is absolutely crucial.” The Prime Minister went on to say, “…let us not forget that this is a country where the Christian values that were so important over all the centuries are still right at the centre of our national life. Never forget that, when we are reading newspapers or watching television, whatever you see day to day, there are issues far more important than the day-to-day coverage of individual events. They are the basic values that underpin our society.” The Prime Minister’s emphasis on family values and how they are embodied in the Christian faith resonates with Cross Rhythms. “We started broadcasting contemporary Christian music that reaches our young people with a positive message over 25 years ago,” said Chris Cole, “to hear those values endorsed by the PM was truly encouraging. Cross Rhythms radio stations (in Stoke-on-Trent, Plymouth and Teesside) are run by Christians but they are broadcast for the whole of the community in our cities. The music is excellent quality, with every genre imaginable represented in all its diversity. At the core of all that we do and all that we broadcast is the profound belief that the Christian faith has a tremendous contribution to make to the well-being of our city, and especially our young people, in these troubled times.” Chris and Kerry Cole are seeing increased recognition on a national stage, and the profile and value of Cross Rhythms is beginning to be recognized at the highest levels. Yet Cross Rhythms started with only a half hour radio show on a local radio station. Recognition of their pioneering media work was recently acknowledged at the Christian Broadcasting Council Conference, held in Buckinghamshire in late November. CR Founders Chris and Kerry were presented with the prestigious Gold Exploits Award for their pioneering of the Cross Rhythms media ministry. Upon presentation of the award, CBC Chair Olave Snelling declared: “This CBC Gold Exploits Award is a passionate tribute to the pioneering work of Chris and Kerry Cole. We applaud Cross Rhythms and the magnificent work it does through music and speech, spreading hope in the community and communicating that precious Word of God with power into untold numbers of lives, particularly among young people.”

Shhh! John Reuben Said, “Sex!?!”
Just in time for Christmas, SEX, DRUGS AND SELF-CONTROL, the latest project by Gotee recording artist John Reuben, hit stores December 22. Produced with long time collaborator and drummer Seth Earnest, SEX, DRUGS AND SELF-CONTROL balances struggling with tough topics with simple observations of daily life. Boasting a full lineup from Reuben’s home state Ohio, the album was written and recorded in his Columbus studio, all musicians (aside from an appearance from friends Deas Vail) are from, and all videos were created, there. With live instruments and drum loops, Reuben achieves a sound that suggests the influence of artists like Beck and the Dust Brothers. His personality once again sets this album apart lyrically and brings it to life. At times broodingly dark and at other times the life of the party, SEX, DRUGS AND SELF-CONTROL gives listeners a glimpse of who he really is. “My goals artistically are so intertwined with what I’m experiencing spiritually that it’s impossible to separate the two,” explains Reuben. “I’m most creative when I feel close to the heart of God. It’s only then that certain spiritual disciplines seem freeing and inspiring instead of restricting. It’s only in that place that spiritual disciplines feel like an authentic expression instead of rigid censorship. In a lot of ways this record is a confession of faith and lack thereof.”
For more information on John Reuben, please visit:
Tour Dates:
12/31 – Columbus, OH
1/9 – Hickory, NC
1/10 – Huntersville, NC
1/13 – Peoria, IL
1/15 – Franklin, IN
1/21 – Akron, OH
1/23 – Brookville, PA

New Stryper Mini-Pack Available For Guitar Praise
Experience Stryper music like never before with this new downloadable mini-pack of 5 Stryper songs from their latest CD, Murder by Pride. Rock the lead and bass guitar tracks on each of the 4 levels in this set of 5 rocking Stryper songs. The perfect virtual stocking stuffer! It’s so new, we don’t even have the song previews up on our website yet. But we wanted you to know about this before Christmas! So, strap on the guitar and play along with Stryper. But watch out, if you can’t keep up, they’ll take a break and stop the music. Crank it up and try again – you’ll soon be rockin’ with the best while praising the Lord.
*NOTE: You must already have Guitar Praise installed on your computer.

©2009 HM Magazine All Rights Reserved

More news from last week:

still fresh (as far as you know)



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Heaven's Metal: An Oral History of the Genesis of Christian Metal

Heaven's Metal

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