Former Iced Earth members Matt Barlow and Freddie Vidales return with their third full-length album Emperors and Fools. This album sees the duo take the darkness and aggression from their previous album Well of Souls to an upper echelon. Once again drums are done by Van Williams (Nevermore) who played on the previous two LPs. The album ends with the eleven-minute long epic “Monster’s Lament” which features yet another ex-Iced Earth frontman – Tim “Ripper” Owens joining forces with Barlow. Emperors and Fools will be released on January 21 2022 through Rock Of Angels Records. The lyric video for the current single “By My Blade” can be seen here:
Last month legendary metal drummer Van Williams (Nevermore, Ghost Ship Octavius) lost his wife Dore (Dorraine) Williams to cancer after a tough battle over many years. In her memory, the USA Royal Affair Tour Fundraiser has been launched to help his family in their time of need. The 2019 Royal Affair Tour consisted of YES, ASIA, The John Lodge Band (featuring John Lodge of the Moody Blues) as well as the Carl Palmer (ELP) band. Van worked on the tour in production and was considered a cherished member of the crew. Proceeds will be given to Van to help aid him in the accumulation of bills stemming from their medical situation, as he is now a single parent and the touring and gig situation being what it is in the world right now, he can sued the help. Van is one of the best people in music so please check out the eBay auction list of amazing memorabilia below, and help out if you can.
While Nevermore never quite broke into the mainstream, they always seemed to be just under the radar ready to make an impression. The band’s signature combination of proggy rhythms, gothic vocals, groovy chugs, extreme drums, and shredding solos seemed to have something for everyone in the Metal sphere, but their eccentric execution also meant they never found belonging in any single demographic. That all seemed like it was poised to change with their sixth album, 2005’s This Godless Endeavor (Century Media Records), which saw them gain greater exposure compared to their earlier efforts and more unanimous acclaim.
Progressive thrashers Ghost Ship Octavius are kicking off their first ever performances with a run of tour dates starting tonight in Seattle, at the famed Studio 7 club. Dubbed “The Northern Passage Tour”, the band follows with a show tomorrow night in Vancouver, BC at The Venue, and more dates next week on the east coast. All east coast shows have openers Next to None (featuring Max Portnoy), Binary Code and Spiritual Sickness. GSO is led by guitarist Matt Wicklund (God Forbid/Himsa) and drummer Van Williams (Nevermore/Ashes of Ares) the band is joined by Queensryche member Parker Lundgren on additional lead and rhythm guitar for the tour. The band is out on the road supporting their self-titled début album, which was the result of a successful crowd-funding campaign in 2014. Wicklund discusses the tour:
“It’s been a long time coming and I couldn’t be happier that we are finally making our live debut and doing this run of shows! This is just the beginning for us and we will be working hard to Bring Ghost Ship Octavius to stages worldwide through 2016 and beyond.”
Melodic progressive metallers Ghost Ship Octavius, featuring lead guitarist Matt Wicklund (God Forbid, Himsa, Warrel Dane), drummer Van Williams (Nevermore, Ashes of Ares, Pure Sweet Hell) and vocalist Adōn Fanion, is streaming the lyric video for “Mills Of the Gods,” off of their brand new self titled album through a successful Kickstarter fan campaign launched in 2014. The record is available via digital outlets such as iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Google Play, Spotify, or simply via www.ghostshipoctavius.com. Stream it below.
The new self-titled album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Aaron Smith at Envisage Audio in Seattle, WA. Ghost Ship Octavius’ sound features technical and groove metal elements, highlighted by Adōn’s powerful clean vocals, Van’s tasteful rhythms and Matt’s melodic and intricate guitar solos. Their diverse yet complimentary music styles combine to create a powerful and dynamic sound highlighted by soaring vocals, virtuosic guitars and hooky but progressive arrangements.
Guitarist Matt Wicklund is beyond grateful for their fans who donated to their album campaign.
“GHOST SHIP OCTAVIUS is musically and artistically everything that I have always wanted to do. We put everything we had into this album and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! The fans have been outstanding and made it possible for us to successfully fund this album independently through Kickstarter. It’s really exciting to see this all come to life! See you all on tour!”
Drummer Van Williams adds,
“I’m super stoked on this album and if I weren’t in the band I know I still would be a huge fan. It’s an exciting time for us as we are collectively brand new and forging our own path. The fans that backed this record not knowing what they would get, and our family and friends that have showed and provided support during this process are truly awesome and the ones who really brought this album to everyone else. For that I’m truly grateful and look forward to getting this beast out on the road to meet the fans that have been so positive and patient.”
Watch guitarist Matthew Wicklund’s Ghost Ship Octavius solo-writing demo video featuring a Caparison Guitars C2 Series axe below.
“The culmination of experiences, trials and tribulations of founding members Matt Barlow, Van Williams and Freddie Vidales”; the opening line of Ashes OfAres biography. Now these names should rings bells and if they don’t then you probably aren’t a follower of Nevermore & Iced Earth because these guys used to play in them.Continue reading →