The announced instrumental collaboration with Knapp and guitar great Markus Johansson is nearing completion. Over 40 minutes of blistering guitar solo trade-offs and progressive arrangements. Each musician wrote and recorded four songs and all eight tracks will feature guitar work from both players. Expect to see the release of "Johansson/Knapp" sometime in the Spring on the infamous guitar label, Shredguy Records! A bombastic and over the top shredfest is coming your way very soon....
Toby will finally return to performing live! The reunion of the first "real" Metal band he joined in 1991 is underway. That band, Forced Religion, earned a reputation as the most brutal and intense band in the west with stage antics similar to early Mayhem and a unique brand of searing Black/Death Metal. Toby returns on lead guitar, and along with founding members guitarist Dale Richard, vocalist Sheldon Bare, drummer Loren Vashler and ex- Onward bassist, Chris Payette the band will begin rehearsals soon and will have some regional live dates booked by summer's end. Lots of plans for this special reunion so stay tuned! After two decades, the beast is resurrected!! Give Forced Religion's remastered 94' demo complete with Knapp's 2014 solos a listen here; FORCED RELIGION EP.
Knapp's newest sinister Speed Metal onslaught "Where Evil Follows" is in it's final stages as well! All drums, bass, rhythm and lead guitars have been tracked. The band's debut, tentatively titled "Portable Darkness", should appeal in particular to fans of Onward as well as classic early 80's Traditional Metal and Speed Metal bands. Searing guitar solos reminiscent at times of classic King Diamond and even Cacophony albums combine with powerhouse riffs and soaring vocals. The vocals are scheduled to be tracked in April at Moordeb Studios in New York and this will be released by Moribund Records later in the year. There is also a good possibility Pure Steel Records will handle the vinyl release in Europe- stay tuned! If you are a fan of pure, raging traditional metal- this is not to be missed!
Germany's Pure Steel Records, whom recently secured rights from Century Media to release the first two Onward albums on vinyl, have completed work on the albums "Evermoving" and "Reawaken"! Both albums have been remastered and given surreal new album covers depicting magic and wizardry. The albums will also feature liner notes from Knapp and rare Onward photos. Get them now while supplies last direct from Pure Steel Records (click Onward link above).
Knapp's one man Black Metal project, Waxen, has signed with elite Black/Death Metal label Moribund Records! A recent press released issued by the label reads: "Today, MORIBUND RECORDS sets May 27th as the release date for WAXEN's Agios Holokauston. WAXEN is the cult solo-project of metal vet and scene legend Toby Knapp (Onward, Toby Knapp band, GODLESS RISING), and Agios Holokauston is WAXEN's first album for MORIBUND and second overall. But above all, Agios Holokauston is dark 'n' dazzling display of Knapp's songwriting acumen and technical mastery. Handling all instruments, complex 'n' coiling black metal is ripped asunder with Knapp's characteristic brand of shred, his six-string sorcery winding 'n' wending through all manner of riff catacombs yet always locating a haunting, poignant place for the listener to dwell. But no matter where WAXEN's diabolical vision goes, Knapp never loses sight of heavy metal songcraft."
Still brand new and picking up momentum are Knapp's 2013 solo albums; "Static Warfare" released in July by premiere progressive guitar label Shredguy Records and "Archives of Magick" vol 2, a collaborative release issued by Shredguy and Sumthin' Fierce records. "Static Warfare" has gained popularity among musicians and prog fans with it's intense arrangements (compared to Voivod and early Emperor by Metal Rules.Com) and "Archives of Magick" vol. 2 is a special double disc set encompassing 25 years of rarities. "Archives" contains two hours of music including previously unreleased Onward tracks, neo-classical instrumentals and explorations into the extreme. Excellent packaging and custom artwork courtesy of Metal Artist Jumali, This limited edition retrospective is a must have for the serious Knapp collector. If that's not enough look for a live Onward DVD/EP of the final show filmed at the Key Club in Los Angeles in late 2002 to be released by Sumthin' Fierce Records in the coming year.
Mega thanks to guitarist extraordinaire Joe Stump for hooking Knapp up with the great folks at ESP guitars. Cheers to a killer 2014 and beyond!