For Judas Priest, it’s ReverbNation’s TuneWidget. By using the widget, Judas Priest was able to pre-release the title track to its upcoming Nostradamus CD more than a month before the album drops.

Now, before you go thinking this is just another online stunt, think again. Radio isn’t exactly friendly to bands like the Priest, making metal acts look for other ways to get the word out on new albums. And, by using the ReverbNation widget, it looks as if Judas Priest has found a viable alternative to airwave circulation.

Initially, the band placed the widget on only four Web sites. However, fans could grab the widget and place it on their own Web pages, blogs and social networking profiles like MySpace. The end result was more than 200,000 impressions on launch day alone. Furthermore, the track was streamed once every two seconds during the first 24 hours of the promotion to listeners most apt to buy the album.

“We are ecstatic at the results that Judas Priest has realized,” said ReverbNation co-founder and COO Jed Carlson. “TuneWidget was designed to deliver viral promotional impact in conjunction with additional ongoing value like e-mail collection and demographic data. Artists only get one chance to release a new single to the public, and they should capitalize on it in as many ways as possible.”

Metallica may not have a name for its upcoming album, but the band has a plan – promote the hell out of it through a new Web site called

At Mission Metallica, fans can assume the proverbial “fly on the wall” position in the studio and watch the metal men at work. Future plans include riffs and excerpts from the new album, exclusive new studio and archive photos and chances to win backstage passes to see the boys during their upcoming summer tour.

Mission Metallica offers fans different levels of access, with the free level acting as an introduction to what the site is about, while platinum level membership privileges include receiving the new album the day of release, plus additional video, contests, tickets and downloads of live shows.

For bands and artists that attract as fervent a fan base as Metallica, Mission Metallica represents another way to drum up excitement for an upcoming release, as well as build upon that important band / fan connection.

“Shortly after you’ve had a chance to surf around, roll a few videos, and see what it’s all about,” reads a message from the band, “we’re going to step it up another notch, get that platinum thing going we told you about and in general, bring it the f**k on!”