Hansi Kürsch On Upcoming Blind Guardian Album: “It Is By Far The Most Intense Album We Did In A Very, Very Long Time”

During a recent interview with Rock Hard Greece, Hansi Kürsch discussed the upcoming Blind Guardian album. According to him, the effort “is by far the most intense album [they have done] in a very, very long time.”

Kürsch said the following:

“As of today, we finally decided who’s going to do the mastering, which means we have finished the mixing. And I wanna hand in at least the audio stuff to the record company within the next two weeks.”

He also added:

“It is by far the most intense album we did in a very, very long time. It is, in every measure, a roller-coaster ride. There is a lot of let-your-hair-down stuff — more than I expected. There are some typical surprising BLIND GUARDIAN elements.

I’m just curious to see, really, or to hear what people will think about it. I think it’s a very, very strong album. It will surprise a lot of people.

It is straight-forward in the sense of BLIND GUARDIAN, so don’t expect a straight-forward album if you compare it to anything else. It’s not a straight-forward album at all, but it’s very straight-forward for BLIND GUARDIAN. It’s very aggressive, it’s very dark.

The composing mostly has been accomplished before corona started to happen, but you can feel that there is a lot of anger in the album. It really delivers also very catchy and positive vibes, but there is a very raw energy you will feel.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Avenged Sevenfold, Nine Inch Nails, Etc. Set For 2022 Hellfest Open Air Festival

The lineup has been revealed for the 2022 Hellfest Open Air Festival. That event will take place in Clisson, France on June 17-19 and June 23-26.

Here’s the artists set to perform:

June 17:

Mainstage 01:

Deftones
Dropkick Murphys
The Offspring
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
The Distillers
The Inspector Cluzo
The Wildhearts
Frog Leap

Mainstage 02:

Volbeat
Five Finger Death Punch
Opeth
Mastodon
Shinedown
Leprous
SOEN
Ego Kill Talent
Laura Cox

Warzone:

Suicidal Tendencies
Powerflo
Youth Of Today
Cro-Mags
Dog Eat Dog
Rudeboy (plays Urban Dance Squad)
Slapshot
Higher Power
In Other Climes

Valley:

Electric Wizard
Baroness
High On Fire
Witchcraft
Black Mountain
Elder
ASG
Greenleaf
Abrahma

Altar:

Obituary
Death To All
At The Gates
Grave
Gatecreeper
Cadaver
Enforced
Necrowretch
Tremplin Voice Of Hell

Temple:

Mayhem
Abbath
Rotting Christ
Primordial
The Great Old Ones
Seth
Mephorash
Numen
Tremplin Voice Of Hell

June 18:

Mainstage 01:

Faith No More
Megadeth
Rival Sons
Heaven Shall Burn
Knocked Loose
Crystal Lake
Fire From The Gods

Mainstage 02:

Deep Purple
Airbourne
Steel Panther
Alestorm
The Darkness
L7
The Dead Daises
Galactic Empire
Joyous Wolf

Warzone:

Social Distortion
Anti-Flag
Agnostic Front
Reverend Horton Heat
The Toy Dolls
Frustration
Guerilla Poubelle
Lion’s Law
Grade 2

Valley:

Envy
Mono And The Jo Quail Quartet
OM
Pelican
3TEETH
The Picturebooks
Me And That Man
Duel
Point Mort

Altar:

Sepultura
Sacred Reich
Flotsam And Jetsam
Exciter
Loudblast
Xentrix
Rectal Smegma
Brutal Sphincter
Karras

Temple:

Vreid (“1184” show)
Skald
Ensiferum
Taake
Kampfar
Einherjer
Helheim
Aktarum
Artus

June 19:

Mainstage 01:

Avenged Sevenfold
Korn
Maximum The Hormone
Code Orange
Jinjer
Lacuna Coil
Kontrust
Deadly Apples

Mainstage 02:

Judas Priest
Running Wild
Down
Michael Schenker
Doro
Battle Beast
Sortilege
Tempt

Warzone:

Walls Of Jericho
While She Sleeps
Deez Nuts
Counterparts
Jesus Piece
Moscow Death Brigade
Landmvrks
Glassbone

Valley:

Killing Joke
Perturbator
Life Of Agony
Red Fang
Twin Temple
Inter Arma
Lysistrata
Vile Creature
Ecstatic Vision

Altar:

Devin Townsend (by request set)
Coroner
Dying Fetus
Misery Index
Monuments
Ingested
Dyscarnate
Exocrine

Temple:

Watain
Alcest
Belzebubs
Borknagar
Gaahls Wyrd
Regarde Les Hommes Tomber
Numenorean
Penitence Onrique
Deliverance

June 23:

Mainstage 01:

Scorpions
Whitesnake
UFO
Thunder
Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons

Mainstage 02:

Wardruna
Helloween
Danko Jones
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown

Warzone:

Rise Against
Turnstile
Of Mice & Men
Dragged Under
Worst Doubt

Valley:

Hangman’s Chair
Lowrider
IV And The Strange Band
Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel

Altar:

Therion
Septicflesh
Insomnium
Tribulation
Crown

Temple:

Heilung
Zeal & Ardor

June 24:

Mainstage 01:

Nine Inch Nails
Ministry
Skinny Puppy
Killing Joke
HEALTH
Youth Code

Mainstage 02:

Alice Cooper
Megadeth
Kreator
DragonForce
Blues Pills
Crisix
Disconnected

Warzone:

Bad Religion
Goldfinger
Millencolin
Opium du Peuple
Pogo Car Crash Control
Justin(e)
Dirty Fonzy
The Baboon Show
Sons Of Flaherty

Valley:

Atari Teenage Riot
New Model Army
Earth
Godflesh
AA. Williams
Human Impact
Stöner
Okkultokrati
As A New Revolt

Altar:

Decapitated
Deeds Of Flesh
Legions Of The Damned
Gama Bomb
Benighted
Dropdead
Teethgrinder
Yarotz

Temple:

Enslaved
Marduk
Moonspell
Ihsahn
Hjelvik
Dirty Shirt & The Transylvanian Folkcore Orchestra
Gaerea
Neige Morte

June 25:

Mainstage 01:

Guns N’ Roses
Airbourne
Myles Kennedy
Gary Clark Jr
Ayron Jones
Michael Monroe
Dirty Honey

Mainstage 02:

Nightwish
Epica
Blind Guardian
Eluveitie
Symphony X
Gloryhammer
Diamante
Existance

Warzone:

The Exploited
Discharge
Touché Amoré
The Rumjacks
Xibalba
Stereotypical Working Class
Martyrdöd
Hawser

Valley:

Converge: Bloodmoon
Kadavar
Villagers Of Ioannina City
Hällas
My Own Private Alaska
Molasses
Slift
Untitled With Drums

Altar:

Katatonia
My Dying Bride
Draconian
Fleshgod Apocalypse
Sorcerer
Betraying The Martyrs
Humanity’s Last Breath
Nero di Marte
Dropdead Chaos

Temple:

In Extremo
Moonsorrow
Myrkur
Folkesange
Igorrr
Arcturus
Conjurer
Fejd
Autarkh
Les Chants De Nihil

June 26:

Mainstage 01:

Metallica
Black Label Society
Avatar
Ugly Kid Joe
Alien Weaponry
Bokassa
Spiritbox

Mainstage 02:

Sabaton
Bring Me The Horizon
Tagada Jones
Ill Niño
Novelists

Warzone:

Hatebreed
Suicide Silence
Madball
Lionheart
Terror
Crowbar
Judiciary
Year Of The Knife
Clowns

Valley:

Monster Magnet
The Obsessed
Eyehategod
Thou
Ufommamut
Regarde Les Hommes Tomber vs. Hangman’s Chair
Year Of No Light
The Atomic Bitchwax
20 Seconds Falling Man

Altar:

Carcass
Napalm Death
Destruction
Vltimas
Blood Incantation
Demilich
Carnation
High Command

Temple:

Mercyful Fate
Triptykon
MGLA
Archgoat
Cult Of Fire
Midnight
Svart Crown
Nytt Land
Sordide

Hellfest organizers commented:

“Hellbangers,

What can we say except that we are proud (and excited) to finally unveil the long-awaited line up of our anniversary edition! Keeping such a line up as a secret for several weeks has been no easy task, especially in the last few days…

It’s been more than 16 months since our work rhythm was turned upside down by the arrival of this virus, since the live music industry was extinguished. Despite this, our confidence has never been affected and we have kept working with a positive mindset.

The frustration of two years without a festival has led us to dream even bigger about our reunion! In 2022, we are offering a new and unique format spread over 10 days! Never done before, this formula will, without a doubt, remain in the history of so-called “extreme” music! Twice as historic, because this formula is meant to exist only in 2022 and will not happen again in the years to come.

After a first weekend from 17 to 19th June 2022, we double the fun with an additional weekend from 23rd to 26th June! A real marathon that will see no less than 350 artists on 6 stages!

As usual, the festival does not deviate from its principles: you will see artists capable of performing in stadiums, with artists who are usually playing in smaller venues, and for some even in pub caves. Punk, Heavy, Black, Hardcore, Death, Stoner, Pagan, Power, we have done our best to put together what we believe to be the “edition of the century”.

No need to list the program in detail as you are not, and for the second year, headbanging at the festival right now. You can find out all this by yourself, at home or with your friends, enjoying our virtual edition “Hellfest From Home“! (More information over here : fromhome.hellfest.fr)

This exceptional edition is also an opportunity for us to thank the pass holders who have been waiting for more than 2 years. Your loyalty and trust have kept us going and we do not have enough words to thank you. It seemed fair to us that you should access the ticket sale 24 hours before the public sale in order for you to obtain your ticket for sure.

We are aware that some of you, for professional, family or simply financial reasons, will not be able to attend this XXL edition. By going through (and only through!) our partner TICKETSWAP (please stop Viagogo and others…), you will be able to resell your pass for the weekend you are the least interested in, and thus make one more happy fan!

For all the others who will have the chance to live these 10 days of anthology with us, we promise that you will remember our reunion! As a bonus, we might even make you a nice “FINISHER” t-shirt so that this moment will remain engraved forever in your memories. Once in a lifetime celebration!

Last but not least, we could not finish without thanking all those who have supported us during these last months. Volunteers, intermittents, sponsors, service providers, media partners, people from Clisson, we are all eager to see you again and to live with you this future adventure, which promises to be historic!

Stay Strong. Stay Safe.

Hellfest Crew

Tickets info :

– Hellfest part 1 from June 17 to 19, 2022 /// 3-DAYS PASS : SOLD OUT (go to http://www.ticketswap.fr for a second-hand ticket)
– Hellfest part 1 from June 17 to 19, 2022 /// 1-DAY PASS : SOLD OUT (go to http://www.ticketswap.fr for a second-hand ticket)
– Hellfest part 2 from June 23 to 26, 2022 /// 4-DAYS PASS (289€ +fees) : PRESALE FOR 2020 PASS HOLDERS* – July 6 at 1:00 PM only on http://www.hellfest.fr
OFFICIAL TICKET SALE – July 7 at 1:00 PM only on http://www.hellfest.fr
– Hellfest part 2 from June 23 to 26, 2022 /// 1-DAY PASS (89€-105€ + fees) : OFFICIAL TICKET SALE – July 8 at 1:00 PM only on http://www.hellfest.fr

* A special presale will be organised on July 6 at 1:00 PM for 3-days pass holders of the postponed edition, pass only purchased via the official sale in October 2019.
Any ticket that has been re-sold via the official Ticketswap resale, or for which a refund has been claimed (in 2020 or 2021) will not be affected by this presale.”

Organizers Of Wacken Open Air Announce Mini Bullhead City Festival

With the Waken Open Air festival having been postponed to 2022, organizers have decided to move forward with a mini festival called Bullhead City. The event will be held on September 16-18 in Wacken, Germany and it will feature: Nightwish, Blind Guardian, Powerwolf, Doro, Saltatio Mortis, Nasty, Gaahls Wyrd, Endseeker, Slope, and Burning Witches.

Blind Guardian Team Up With 19Grams For “Majesty Roast” Coffee

Blind Guardian have joined forces with 19Grams to create “Majesty Roast” coffee. Fans can purchase that HERE. 19Grams commented:

“Beforehand, we had an intensive discussion about what makes a good coffee. It is important to Blind Guardian and us, as roasters, that the coffee not only tastes great, but that it is also produced responsibly. That’s why we chose a specialty coffee where the origin is clear, where the farmers are paid fairly and where the soil is not depleted. And here it is: the Majesty Roast. The Bourbon Beans have been sourced from India and bring flavours of chocolate, hazelnut, almond and spices to your cup, which gives the coffee the taste and the kick that you expect from a brilliant espresso. Crafted like a long guitar solo, roasted with skill and perseverance, this espresso is now your perfect start to the day, an after-dinner treat or a little kick whenever you want.”

Hansi Kürsch Exits Demons & Wizards

Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) has officially announced his departure from Demons & Wizards. The frontman’s exit comes after his bandmate Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth) was arrested due to his involvement in the treasonous pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Kürsch told RockHard the following:

“I told Jon and Century Media on Monday that I was leaving the Demons & Wizards project with immediate effect. My collaboration with Jon in Demons & Wizards is over.”

Blind Guardian Premiere Video For Cover Of Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody”

Blind Guardian have premiered a new video for their cover of Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody.” Hansi Kürsch commented:

“In my opinion, Slade created the ultimate Christmas song with ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’, a timeless, jolly tune with the perfect dose of cheesiness and almost untouchable in its greatness. Usually, it is prohibited in the Kürsch household to play Christmas songs prior to the Advent season, but as it’s mid-November now, and I am just out of the studio doing this cover, I guess I’m breaking a tradition. What you are about to hear now, is our attempt at paying tribute to the glam rock Santa Clauses Slade, and while the original version is just perfect, its chorus was tailor-made for Blind Guardian as we do understand quite well how to go big. So, why have sausages with potato salad when you can have the Xmas goose? Well, check it out yourselves and Merry Xmas Everybody!”

Blind Guardian Premiere “Another Holy War” Live Video

Blind Guardian have premiered a new live video for their song “Another Holy War.” This news comes as the band officially released their 25th anniversary edition of “Imaginations From The Other Side” today (December 11).

Hansi Kürsch commented:

“There are songs that carry albums and others that are seen more as a filler. At least that’s the case for most bands, so they say. But there are always exceptions to the rule; one of which is Blind Guardian and ‘Imaginations From The Other Side’ is the ultimate exception. It is all killer, no filler. The thing I can say about ‘Another Holy War’ can be said for all of the songs on the album, which is that the song is awesome. Period.

It’s funny how during the recording of Imaginations …, every band member underestimated the song in terms of its complexity – severely underestimated! We thought of ‘Another Holy War’ as a rather simple song, which was a typical error of judgement. At the same time, we thought of ourselves as flawless. That too was an error of judgement, at least in some parts. The price we had to pay for our juvenile arrogance was blisters on our hands, strained fingers and worn-out vocal cords. Still, we pulled it together in the end, and its thanks to Flemming Rasmussen you can’t hear our issues in the final result. I’m repeating myself here, but ‘Another Holy War’ is awesome. Seriously. The song isn’t only challenging because of its speed, and 25 years later not much has changed about that. But you grow with your challenges. Give us another 25 years and we’ll master it just perfectly. I promise.”

Blind Guardian Premiere “Bright Eyes” Live Video

Blind Guardian have premiered a new live video for their song “Bright Eyes.” You can check that out below. This news comes after the band previously announced that they will be releasing a 25th anniversary edition of “Imaginations From The Other Side” on December 11.

Hansi Kürsch commented:

“‘Bright Eyes’ is a godsend. The piece was composed during an unexpected forced break in production. When we were able to continue recording the album, André and I were not entirely happy with the composition, but luckily Marcus and Thomen had recognised the song’s potential straight away, so it landed in its raw form on the album without any further intervention on our part. We put it on the album and then it surprisingly turned out to be one of the absolute highlights of the record, or perhaps even our entire career. I have no idea, nowadays, what we did not like back then. The songwriting for Imaginations… was long finished and we were already recording the album, when André got severe problems with his fingers and had to undertake a critical surgery, which as we know now, was fortunately successful. ‘Bright Eyes’ is without any doubt one of the band’s and the audience’s favourite songs, especially when it comes to live shows. One of the ultimate singalongs and therefore one of the absolute highlights in a Blind Guardian concert. Check it out.”

Blind Guardian Release Live Single “Violent Shadows”

As previously reported, Blind Guardian performed a new song titled “Violent Shadows” during their set for the Wacken World Wide digital festival. Now, the band have decided to release the live version of the track as a digital single. Hansi Kürsch commented:

“Your wish is our command! So we have heeded the call, or in other words, we observed your many requests and wanted to oblige. Here it comes, today we proudly present you with our glorious, virtual Wacken live version of ‘Violent Shadows’ as a digital single. Enjoy this vicious ride and scream along with us. Stay tuned for more, and come to meet your violent shadows.”

Megadeth, Anthrax, Etc. Members Cover Deep Purple’s “Burn” For “Metal For Kids United”

The “Metal For Kids United – All-Star Charity Jam” is celebrating its fifth anniversary by releasing an all-star cover of Deep Purple’s “Burn” in support of the Peter Pan Association. 25 musicians took part including David Ellefson (Megadeth), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Brian O’Connor (ex-Vicious Rumors), Rafael Bittencourt (Angra), Thomen Stauch (ex-Blind Guardian), Jens Ludwig (Edguy), and more.

Fabrizio Troiano, president of “Metal For Kids United,” commented:

“Due to sudden spread of the coronavirus pandemic, we were forced to cancel the 2020 edition of the annual benefit show booked in Rome for April. During the spring lockdown period, we asked old and new friends of ‘Metal For Kids United’ to jam together from their own place to celebrate our fifth anniversary and keep the promise made to the association.”

He also added:

“We are very proud of the achievements over the years and we hope, despite the impossibility of making a physical event as in our tradition, we can once again share fun together, raise funds for the kids in need and give the chance to the people from all over the world to experience the ‘Metal For Kids United’ spirit of solidarity Don’t forget to play it loud, make metal horns, headbang and share the video.”

Fans can donate HERE.