Up until recently, the all-star collective Metal Allegiance have enjoyed the chance to get together onstage and rock out to some familiar metal classics. But the group has just inked a new record deal with Nuclear Blast Entertainment and they're planning a new album of original material.

Principal partner Mark Menghi brought together Megadeth's David Ellefson, The Winery Dogs' Mike Portnoy and Testament's Alex Skolnick to begin writing material for an album and keeping the "all-star" concept in mind, the musicians then reached out to some of their rocking pals to put a stamp on the songs. The end result is nine brand new tracks and fans can look forward to a new album coming this fall. As for the additional performers and song titles, that information will be revealed in the near future. In the weeks leading up to this announcement, Portnoy had been teasing the project via a series of social media posts.

Metal Allegiance played their first performance using the moniker last fall on Motorhead's Motorboat Cruise and they followed up with appearances on the ShipRocked Cruise and at NAMM in Anaheim back in January. Several of the players had also crossed paths multiple times as part of the "Metal Masters" concert series.

In addition to Ellefson, Portnoy and Skolnick, some of the past participants in Metal Allegiance have included Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown of Pantera fame, Anthrax members Joey Belladonna, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante and Scott Ian, Slayer's Kerry King, Gary Holt and former drummer Dave Lombardo, Testament's Chuck Billy, Mastodon's Troy Sanders and Sepultura's Andreas Kisser among others. Meanwhile, Motorhead's Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee, Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler, Steve Vai and The Winery Dogs' Billy Sheehan have all made surprise guest appearances at shows.

Upon signing Metal Allegiance, Nuclear Blast president Monte Conner stated, “I am incredibly fortunate to be able to work with legendary musicians and personal heroes like David Ellefson, Alex Skolnick and Mike Portnoy, as well as Metal Allegiance founder Mark Menghi. These guys wrote an amazing and diverse record that is 100 percent pure metal, and lined up some killer guest vocalists and lead guitarists to bring it home in an epic, shredding fashion -- just the leads on this record alone will blow people away!”

He adds, “Perhaps the coolest part of all is that unlike similar projects in the past that existed as studio-only creations, Metal Allegiance were a touring entity first and have now organically evolved into a studio band that makes albums. I am very grateful to these guys for choosing me and the Nuclear Blast team as the vehicle to bring their music to the metal masses.”

Stay tuned for additional details on the debut Metal Allegiance album.

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