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This week's round-up: New music from Saxon, Crossbone Skully and The Georgia Thunderbolts

In this week's round up we've been spinning new tracks from new metal, old metal and some southern tock!

Saxon - 'Witches of Salem'

Saxon release the video for “Witches Of Salem”, the forth single from the band’s critically-acclaimed 24th studio album, Hell, Fire And Damnation - out now via Silver Lining Music.

Hell, Fire And Damnation is an album which sees Saxon investigate all areas of history and mystery amidst ten of their most confident and thunderously powerful songs yet. In “Witches Of Salem”, lead singer and founding member Biff Byford, explores the unjust condemnation of the women victimised at the Salem witch trials and the sheer bigotry and mass hysteria prevalent at the time.

“This is an American story, but the witch trials started in Scotland, spread into England and across the sea to the colonies in America. Those poor women in Salem,” explains Byford “they weren’t ‘witches’ more than just unfortunate women really, blamed for everybody’s ailments... whether your horse died, or the milk went sour, they blamed women. Maybe because they were jealous of them, or maybe it was because some guy had made some advances and she’d told him to piss-off, so he’d declare that she was a witch. And once a person was declared a witch, I don’t think there was any way back from that; very few of them were found innocent.”

Following the release of the global chart-topping Hell, Fire And Damnation albuma successful European tour alongside Judas Priestand Uriah HeepSaxon show no sign of slowing down with the co-headline US tour with Uriah Heep named “Hell, Fire & Chaos - The Best Of British Rock & Metal”.

Crossbone Skully - 'I Am The Wolf'

Rising new rock outfit CROSSBONE SKULLY will unleash the howling and eerie track “I Am The Wolf” via an exclusive YouTube premiere of the song’s music video today at 2:00 P.M PT / 5:00 P.M. ET.  The premiere will be followed by a special announcement fromCROSSBONE SKULLY frontman TOMMY HENRIKSEN (guitarist and musical director for Alice Cooper’s band and member of Hollywood Vampires) and the band’s guitarist ANNA CARA.

When I wrote the lyrics to ‘I Am The Wolf,’ I found my spirit animal,” says HENRIKSEN. “It's a one-way trip to hell to kill the devil and destroy anything in my find my rebirth and reclaim my worth! For I Am The Wolf!”

I Am The Wolf” follows three consecutive track releases—“Evil World Machine,” “The Boom Went The Boom (feat. Phil Collen),” and “I’m Unbreakable”—which have combined amassed over 1.2 million streams to date. The aforementioned tracks will be featured on CROSSBONE SKULLY’s debut album due out this fall via Better Noise Music.

The forthcoming album was executive produced by the legendary Mutt Lange (AC/DC, Def Leppard) and includes features on the animated short film (“Evil World Machine”)  from notable musicians, celebrity friends and bandmates of HENRIKSEN’s for its recording sessions including Johnny DeppAlice Cooper, Nikki Sixx, Joe Perry, and Kane Roberts. The album features first-class recording musicians including Nikki Sixx (Mötley Crüe),  Jamie Muhoberac (My Chemical Romance, John Mayer, Seal), Chris Wyse (Hollywood Vampires, Ace Frehley, the Cult, Ozzy Osbourne), Tommy DenanderGlen Sobel (Alice Cooper, Hollywood Vampires),  the late UFO bassist Pete Way, and producer/mixer Mike Plotnikoff (AC/DC, My Chemical Romance, Aerosmith). Stay tuned for further details.

The Georgia Thunderbolts ' Stand Up'

The Georgia Thunderbolts have announced their highly-anticipated sophomore album, 'Rise Above It All,' set for release on August 23rd via Mascot Records. Featuring the quintet's signature blend of Southern rock, blues, and heartfelt Americana, the 13-track album showcases the band's ability to navigate a vast array of musical terrains, while also capturing the profound emotional and artistic growth fostered by their years on the road. “When you cut back on being a tough guy, more emotions can come through, and you hear that on this record,” says TJ Lyle, lead vocals, harmonica, and keyboards. “This album travels all musical genres,” he adds.

To celebrate the announcement, the band released the album’s latest single, "Stand Up," accompanied by a music video directed by Jim Arbogast. The video captures the band in their element, performing this powerful track that combines slithering guitar riffs and soaring vocals with a Southern rock flair. "I believe this song is relatable to many. It was written with the mindset of overcoming an obstacle I was facing at the time. I hope the listeners can feel that. Perseverance, faith in yourself, and perspective is the key," says Lyle about the new single.

The road to being hailed as the new torchbearers of Southern rock hasn’t been as glamorous as you might imagine for The Georgia Thunderbolts. It wasn’t many years ago that the guys busked at gas stations, fumbled through covers, and drove four hours to Alabama to play to a bartender and a three-legged dog sitting on a barstool.

These days, however, the Rome, Georgia-based quintet is a critically acclaimed and internationally touring band fending off the sophomore slump with its latest release. The Georgia Thunderbolts are rounded out by Zach Everett, bass, classical guitar, harmony vocals; Bristol Perry, drums; Logan Tolbert, guitar; and Riley Couzzourt, guitar. The quintet’s earthy and emotive aesthetic spans late 1960s singer-songwriter intimacy, the yearning of the blues, the mythological stories of country, and a bracing dose of arena-ready classic hard rock. 

“I was raised by my dad and my grandma. He loved 1980s rock, and my grandma loved classic country, like Hank Williams Jr., Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard,” Riley says. “As soon as TJ opens his mouth you know we’re from the South.”

Previously, the band released its debut album, ‘Can We Get A Witness,’ smack in the middle of the pandemic. Despite not having the opportunity to tour, the album amassed over 6 million streams across digital platforms, and earned critical acclaim from No Depression, Rolling Stone, Classic Rock, American Songwriter, Loudwire, Paste Magazine, and many others.

Raring out of lockdown, the guys made up for lost time, performing alongside a who’s who of rock icons. Select live performance highlights include sharing stages with Black Stone Cherry, Deep Purple, The Marshall Tucker Band, the Allman Betts Band, Blackberry Smoke, The Kentucky Headhunters, The Steel Woods and The Outlaws

“We’ve learned a lot from our heroes. Playing with these bands made us better musicians,” TJ says. “Also, seeing the world opens up your perspective as a songwriter—you encounter people from all walks of life.”

However, the most transformative experience for the band has been the month back in 2022, The Georgia Thunderbolts spent touring Europe with Black Stone Cherry. None of them had been across the pond before, and it was the longest they had been away from home.

Playing historical European theaters and seeing firsthand how their music translated overseas was eye opening. “Hearing people sing our songs back to us felt like we were in the Twilight Zone. We never thought this was possible—it’s a long way from getting beer bottles thrown at us,” TJ says laughing. All the growth and maturation over the past two and half years can be heard on ‘Rise Above It All.’ The 13-song collection is a flag-planting album, setting the stage for an exciting new chapter as The Georgia Thunderbolts continue to rise and resonate with audiences worldwide.




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