Around Hear: Big in Japan

Japan, Rock Hall, and more

Big In Japan: Japanese microlabel Obliteration has pressed No Rest for the Wizard, the long-languishing debut by crusty metal band Necrodamus. It features members of Akron sludgemeisters Fistula backing Scott Stearns, a Cleveland-based visual artist and hardcore veteran who played guitar with Integrity forerunner Die Hard.

Label head Naru discovered Stearns in a 2007 metal-album gallery show in Oregon. "I liked Scott's artwork," says Naru. "His drawing is very powerful and looks blasphemous."

Last week, Naru displayed some of Stearns' gnarly line-art illustrations in his Tokyo art gallery, Galleria De Muerte. The show's opening night doubled as a CD release party. Obliteration pressed 500 copies of the disc and gave Stearns 200 for U.S. sales.

Stearns is working on an art book called The Book of Skulls, for which Necrodamus has recorded music under the name Ancient Sickness. He plans to release the music and book as a handmade combination package, hopefully later this year. Listen to the ambient-doom tracks at

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum hosts a simulcast of the 24th annual Rock Hall Induction at 8 p.m. April 4. Since the event is in Cleveland, two Rock Hall guests will be randomly selected to receive tickets to the event at Public Hall and taken there to enjoy it live. Tickets are $5 at Ticketmaster outlets and the Rock Hall box office.

Integrity has two new tracks available as free downloads. At, the A389/Chainsaw Safety sampler features the title track from Integrity's VValpurgisnacht 7-inch, as well as songs by Cleveland's Ringworm and Roses Never Fade (Integrity mainman Dwid's arty unplugged project). Deathwish Inc.'s MMIX sampler, at, features "Learn to Love the Lie," from the group's upcoming Blackest Curse.

Youngstown traditional-country chanteuse B.J. O'Malley has relocated to Nashville, where she just finished recording a new album which is being mixed by country veteran Chuck Howard, whose résumé includes Johnny Cash and Hank Williams III.

O'Malley's backing band includes journeymen Chris Leonardi, Joshua Black Wilkins and Miles Price. No release date is set; O'Malley hopes it will be out by summer. Take a listen to unmixed tracks at

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Below Jupiter has wrapped work on its second album, Step Into Home (Act II), slated for April release. "Musically, it continues the eclectic approach of the first album," says singer-keyboardist Josh Emmet. "Two songs are uptempo piano-rock. Four songs have an Americana folk feel. And four songs have a strong classical music influence. Some may view three as politically controversial." Five unmastered new tunes are posted at

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