"some music was meant to stay underground..."

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Band Photo: Slayer (?)

Formed: 1982
From: Huntington Beach, CA, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Background

The thrash metal sound of Slayer was formed in Huntington Beach, CA in 1982. Comprising Tom Araya (bass, vocals), Kerry King (guitar), Jeff Hanneman (guitar) and Dave Lombardo (drums), they made their debut in 1983, with a track on the compilation Metal Massacre III. After that the rest has been history. The band played at breakneck speed with amazing technical precision, but the intricacies of detail were lost in a muddy production. Araya's lyrics dealt with death, carnage, Satanism and torture, but were reduced to an indecipherable guttural howl. But this chaos called music is what set the ways for Slayer and many bands to follow.

Through the years, Slayer has been hit with much controversy over their lyrics, including lawsuits. But through the years Slayer has managed to build a following from coast to coast. Slayer has played such tours as Monsters of Rock, Ozzfest, and recently toured the U.S. co-headling with Pantera.

Now almost 20 years later, Slayer is still playing just as hard as ever. Will Slayer ever stop? Not likely, considering they are keeping up with thrash bands half their age, after all they did start it!

Latest Slayer News

Below is our complete Slayer news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Slayer and Mastodon To Do Next MySpace Secret Show

SLAYER and MASTODON will be playing the next MySpace secret show, July 25th at In the Venue in Salt Like City. Check out the poster here.

For more info, check out http://www.myspace.com/secretshows

SLAYER will release Christ Illusion, featuring the single "Cult" on August 8 and MASTODON's Blood Mountain will follow on September 12

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UFC Ultimate Beatdowns To Be Re-Issued

The UFC backed compilation "UFC Ultimate Beatdowns Vol. 1" will be reissued on August 29th via Nitrus with a revised track listing. Here's how it will now shape up:
01 - UFC Intro - "Optimus Bellum Domitor"
02 - Stemm - "Face The Pain"
03 - Slayer - "Warzone"
04 - Damageplan - "Blunt Force Trauma"
05 - Hatebreed - "Live For This"
06 - American Head Charge - "Cowards"
07 - Shadows Fall - "Power Of I And I"
08 - Sepultura - "Bullet The Blue Sky" (U2 cover) 09 - Fear Factory - "Slave Labor"
10 - Icepick - "Born To Crush You"
11 - Killswitch Engage - "Breathe Life"
12 - Chimaira - "Indifferent To Suffering"
13 - U.P.O. - "It's Alright"
14 - Index Case - "Listen"
15 - Black Flood Diesel - "Lost Cause"
16 - Scars Of Life - "Dying Here"

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Slayer / Modern Drummer Interview

Modern Drummer: "Christ Illusion" is your first recording with SLAYER in fourteen years. Were you totally itching to get this album out?

Dave: "Yes. It was frustrating, because Kerry [King] and I were recording demos back in early 2003. So it's been three years of working on this stuff. We made two demos at my house and then we rehearsed the songs forever. The good part was, once we went into the studio, we were ready. I recorded the songs in, like, three and a half days — bam, slammed 'em out! I was almost disappointed, because I didn't get a chance to enjoy the studio."

Modern Drummer: From the tracks we've heard, there seems to be more of a thrash beat being worked back into the songs.

Dave: "Yeah, it's in there, but it's only at special times. We didn't want to overdo it. You want to add that sort of thing at the right time and in the right place. SLAYER was originally a metal band, but we were influenced by punk, too. And that fast beat is the punk influence coming back in."

Modern Drummer: You've now had a chance to reflect on all the albums you've done with the band. What went through your head this time before you started writing your parts?

Dave: "Actually, I wanted to be a little more creative than I was allowed to be. There were certain boundaries I had to stay within. I've learned so much while I was away from the band, and I wanted to apply some of those concepts. But the other guys didn't feel those ideas were really what SLAYER is all about. So, in a way, I revisited the approach I used with the band years ago."

Modern Drummer: When you started writing with the band again, was it pretty much the same as it was for previous SLAYER recordings?

Dave: "Their writing and approach is the same. I don't think they've changed one single but from back then. But my approach has changed — I'm thinking about things a bit differently."

Modern Drummer: In what way?

Dave: "A guitar riff can have many types of drum beats, and at this stage of my playing, I have a wide variety to choose from. It's cool, because I can give the guys different options.

Modern Drummer: Do you think your time away from SLAYER was god for you?

Dave: "It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had been a part of the greatest metal band in the world, and then I was able to venture into other styles and work with very different musicians. Honestly, if I stayed in SLAYER, I would have never had those incredible musical experiences. All of that experience shaped me and kind of 're-formed me' into the drummer I am now. I now feel confident jumping from one thing to another."

Modern Drummer: You've had a solo percussion album in the works for a few years now.

Dave: "God, it's been forever. I don't know, one of these days I'll get it out. It's close to completion. I need to do a bongo overdub, a timbale overdub, and a drumset overdub. The recording is essentially me in my room with a keyboard, drums, and percussion, layering parts. I'll do one beat, layer something on top, layer something on top of that, and so on.

"I've been working on this record in my free time. The problem is, I don't have a lot of free time! When I'm on tour, I really can't work on it because I don't have everything on hand. I've been doing some editing of the parts, but not any recording. When I'm home, I'm occupied with a hundred and one other things. But the record is sitting there, waiting. When it's ready, it'll be out."

Modern Drummer: What's on it? Is it metal?

Dave: It's unclassifiable. Some people might describe it as world music. It could be a film soundtrack. It's definitely not metal."

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Slayer To Tour Mexico In September

Los Angeles thrashers SLAYER will embark on a Mexican tour in late September, immediately following their short run of dates in South America. Although no details have yet been officially announced, these are believed to be the tentative dates for the trek:

Sep. 1, 2, 3, 6 - Brazil
Sep. 9 - Chile
Sep. 12-13 - Argentina
Sep. 15 - Colombia
Sep. 17 - Venezuela
Sep. 21 - Arena V.F.G. - Guadalajara, MEX
Sep. 23 - Monterrey Metal Fest - Monterrey, MEX
Sep. 24 - Salon 21 - Mexico City, MEX
Sep. 25 - Salon 21 - Mexico City, MEX

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Slayer Alternate Less Offensive Album Art Revealed

BLABBERMOUTH.NET can reveal the alternate non-graphic SLAYER "Christ Illusion" album cover that is being offered to retailers who will not carry the regular version because it is "too offensive." Check it out at this location.

The "regular" cover artwork for SLAYER's new album, "Christ Illusion" can be viewed at this location. Larry Carroll, who did the cover artwork for SLAYER's "Reign in Blood", "South of Heaven", and "Seasons In the Abyss" album, painted this original piece for the "Christ Illusion" cover. Working only from the song titles and early lyrics, Carroll has produced a classic SLAYER masterpiece — a portrait of the Christ whose forearms have been chopped off, standing in an ocean of blood surrounded by floating, decapitated heads. Carroll created the painting on a 4-by-4-foot slab of wood using a combination of mediums. SLAYER guitarist Kerry King already has placed dibs on ownership of the original wooden canvas.

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Slayer Post More Footage From the Studio Online

Previously unseen footage of SLAYER in the studio recording the vocals for their upcoming album, "Christ Illusion", has been made available at the Warner Bros. web site:

Quicktime: 200k, 450k, 700k
Windows Media: 220k, 300k, 450k, 700k

"Christ Illusion" is SLAYER's first new studio album since 2001, and the first recorded by the band's original line-up — Kerry King (guitar); Tom Araya (bass, vocals); Jeff Hanneman (guitars); Dave Lombardo (drums) — since 1990's "Seasons In The Abyss". "Christ Illusion" was produced by Josh Abraham and executive-produced by Rick Rubin.

"Christ Illusion" is scheduled for release on August 8, 2006 via American Recordings/Warner Bros. Records.

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Tom Araya: Slayer's Lyrics Are "Just Words"

Jenny Feniak of the Edmonton Sun recently conducted an interview with SLAYER frontman Tom Araya. A few excerpts from the interview follow:

On being "the most evil band in the world":

"It's all about the cool factor - that's the main point. If something we find is really cool and gory and graphic, we'll go with it."

On being still at the top of its game 25 years after the band's inception:

"Our vision of how we see the band has been the same; that's never altered. We've never shied away from what we initially started this band as, but we have grown in all aspects of that."

On the band's early days:

"It sounded amazing, so I was in. It was easy as that. They [Kerry, Jeff and Dave] were into it; we knew the songs, you know. It's kind of hard to find a group of guys that serious about that.

"We didn't want to look like all the hair bands that were coming out at the time.

"We didn't want to look like girls; we wanted to look like a bunch of guys putting on makeup like guys. That was a must.

"So we did everything completely opposite of that, which included the dark image, you know, that whole Satan vibe. And our first album being Side 6 Side 66, people were really freaking out over that."

On possible issues between his Catholic faith and the band's subject matter:

"Kerry's written some really far-out shit. If it's a good song, I'm not one that's going to go, 'This sucks because it's contrary to my beliefs.' To me it's more like, 'This is really good stuff. You're going to piss people off with this.'

"People have these heavy issues and ask, 'Isn't this a problem for you?' and no. I'm well-rounded, I have a really strong belief system and these are just words and they'll never interfere with what I believe and how I feel.

"People are not in good shape to where they have to question their own belief system because of a book or a story somebody wrote, or a SLAYER song."

On the current metal scene:

"(Metal's) like a serpent that comes up out of the water and you see all his ripples and his humps, and then he goes back down into the water to brood for a while and then he comes back up.

"I think right now it's at its momentum. It's above water and it's cruising for awhile.

"Give it a couple years and it'll go back down again and then it will become an underground thing, and then all the kids in the new generation will discover the bands that started it all, and then there'll be reunions...."

Read the full article at Jam! Music.

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Slayer To Appear On "The Henry Rollins Show"

Henry Rollins reports on his website that SLAYER will soon be taped for an appearance on his Independent Film Channel program "The Henry Rollins Show".

The frontman of the ROLLINS BAND, which kicks off the "As the World Burns" tour with X later this month, says that all of his interviews for the first season of the TV show have been taped, but that "We still have SLAYER to tape next week." According to the IFC show's web site, the episode featuring SLAYER will premiere on July 29. The ROLLINS BAND is scheduled to be the musical performer on the final episode of the season on August 12.

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Slayer's "Eternal Pyre" Enters Finnish Chart at #2

SLAYER's new single, "Eternal Pyre", has entered the Finnish national chart at position No. 2. As previously reported, the US release date for "Christ Illusion" is August 8th. As it seems Germany will be lucky and will get the release 4 days earlier which will make it August 4th.

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Testament Drummer Clemente To Sit Out Tour Dates

Due to medical reasons, TESTAMENT drummer Louie Clemente will be unable to perform with the band on the upcoming shows scheduled in the United States, Europe, and South Korea. Veteran drummer and good friend Paul Bostaph (EXODUS, ex-SLAYER, FORBIDDEN, SYSTEMATIC) will be filling in for Louie on the following dates in July and August:

Jul. 12 - Key Club - Hollywood, CA
Jul. 13 - Galaxy Theatre - Santa Ana, CA
Jul. 14 - Nevada Empire Ballroom - Las Vegas, NV
Jul. 15 - Venue of Scottsdale - Scottsdale, AZ
Jul. 16 - Reflections - Victorville, CA
Jul. 21 - Earthshaker Fest - Rieden, GER
Jul. 22 - Metalcamp Fest - Tolmin, SLO
Jul. 24 - Carling Academy Islington - London, UK
Jul. 25 - Bradford Rio - Bradford, UK
Jul. 26 - JB's - Dudley, UK
Jul. 28 - Metalway Festival - Jerez, SPA
Jul. 29 - Metalway Festival - Gernika, SPA
Aug. 05 - Busan Rock Festival - Busan City, KOR

TESTAMENT are tentatively planning to enter the studio in the fall to record the long-awaited follow-up to 1999's "The Gathering", due in early 2007.

In a recent interview with LivingForMetal.com, TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson stated that the upcoming CD will feature the band's original lineup. He said, "We're gonna get Louie [Clemente] to come back to do some songs. The drummer situation, we are probably gonna use a couple of drummers 'cause we've had people that are in our lives and a part of TESTAMENT so it wouldn't be fair to not have these people play on it. Probably Jon Allen from DRAGONLORD and SADUS will play on it, who's also been a part of TESTAMENT and toured with us. Just the way we do things now, we don't tour extensively so it's kind of hard to keep steady players. Like if something comes up and someone's not available we'll go, 'Let's see if this guy's available.' Yeah it's gonna be killer, the new material is sounding pretty old-school. . . Alex's [Skolnick, guitar] got some riffs that he's been sending me and they sound pretty TESTAMENT, just really cool stuff. Like that 'Apocalyptic City' kind of vibe. Good chord progressions with octaves over it."

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Slayer Under Fire From Christian Groups

World Entertainment News Network is reporting that SLAYER are courting controversy among Christian groups by releasing sacrilegious artwork on their latest album.

The cover for upcoming record, "Christ Illusion", depicts a tattooed and amputated Jesus Christ standing in a sea of blood and corpses, and has infuriated right-wing religious groups.

The Californian foursome are preparing themselves for a bitter backlash after the pictures were slammed as hurtful and grossly irreverent.

However, guitarist Kerry King defends the shocking imagery, saying, "We wanted Christ in a sea of despair.

"The first version that came back looked like he was just chilling out in the water!"

Frontman Tom Araya adds, "Then when they sent a new one he had his eyes half open and was surrounded by floating heads. It was much better because he looked like a drug addict!"

SLAYER hit the headlines last month when fans desecrated a New York City seminary after being urged by a fansite to cause chaos on the so-called "day of the devil." They have also angered 9/11 victims' families with extremist track "Jihad", which appears on their new album.

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Live Megadeth Video From 1984 Featuring Kerry King

A rare MEGADETH live video from 1984, filmed at the band's debut live performance in Berkeley, California with Kerry King of SLAYER guesting on guitar, has been posted online at YouTube.com.

In a recent interview with Decibel magazine, Kerry King and fellow SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman spoke about King's decision to play MEGADETH's first live shows more than 20 years ago:

Jeff Hanneman: "I thought [Kerry] was an ass for doing that. [laughs] I remember talking to Tom [Araya] about it, like, 'I guess we're gonna get a new guitar player.' I thought he was kissing Dave's [Mustaine] ass or something, and I thought it was kinda fucekd up. I think he was gonna join. Kerry will probably tell you something different, but why do that if you're not thinking about joining? I'm a loyalist, you know, and I thought SLAYER was the best thing going. Why go hang out with somebody else? If Dave would've asked me to do it, I would've told him to fuck off."

Kerry King: "I did it because I admired Mustaine — I'd seen him play with METALLICA. He'd be up there drunk off his ass, just ripping, not even looking at his fingers. Me and Jeff didn't know how to do that yet. [laughs] When he got kicked out and was sniffing around for a guitarist, I figured I'd do it because I thought I ould learn something. The other guys in SLAYER were probably unhappy, but we weren't really known back then, and the way I looked at it was that if people saw me playing in Dave's band, it'd be more publicity for SLAYER. Now you look back and you think 'supergroup,' but back then, absolutely not. I played their first five shows, and then I was like, 'Man, this is taking too much of my time.' I can't speak for Dave, but I don't think he would've been unhappy if I stuck around."

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Slayer Have Three New Tracks Streaming Online

Three songs from SLAYER's upcoming "Christ Illusion" album — "Cult", "Jihad" and "Eyes of the Insane" — are available for streaming at the Spanish web site Rafabasa.com in Real Media format.

Slayer's first new studio album since 2001 and featuring its original lineup, "Christ Illusion" is due out August 8, 2006.

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Slayer Plan 7" Vinyl "Eternal Pyre" Picture Disc

Nuclear Blast Records is currently offering a 7" vinyl picture-disc version of SLAYER's new single, "Eternal Pyre", to be made available in a limited-edition pressing of 1,000 copies on June 30. YOu can order a copy here. In addition, the regular CD single version of "Eternal Pyre" — which was sold in the U.S. exclusively via Hot Topic stores starting on June 6 — will be made available in Germany on June 23. You can check it out here.

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Slayer's Unholy Alliance Setlist Revealed

The Slayer-headlined "Unholy Alliance Tour: Preaching to the Perverted" kicked off in Camden, NJ yesterday. Slayerized has revealed Slayer's setlist for the tour:

01. South of Heaven
02. Silent Scream
03. War Ensemble
04. Blood Red
05. Cult
06. Disciple
07. Mandatory Suicide
08. Seasons in the Abyss
09. Chemical Warfare
10. Dead Skin Mask
11. Hell Awaits
12. Raining Blood
13. Antichrist
14. Angel of Death

The Slayer's upcoming tour dates including the North American "Unholy Alliance Tour: Preaching to the Perverted," the European edition and some Europena and Asian festival tour dates are as follows: More...

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Slayer's Final Cover Art For "Christ Illusion"

The "final" cover artwork for SLAYER's new album, "Christ Illusion" — complete with the band's logo and album title — has been posted online. You can check it out here or here. Larry Carroll, who did the cover artwork for SLAYER's "Reign in Blood", "South of Heaven", and "Seasons In the Abyss" album, painted this original piece for the "Christ Illusion" cover. Working only from the song titles and early lyrics, Carroll has produced a classic SLAYER masterpiece — a portrait of the Christ whose forearms have been chopped off, standing in an ocean of blood surrounded by floating, decapitated heads. Carroll created the painting on a 4-by-4-foot slab of wood using a combination of mediums. SLAYER guitarist Kerry King already has placed dibs on ownership of the original wooden canvas.

"Christ Illusion," due out August 8, 2006, is Slayer's first new studio album since 2001, and the first recorded by the band's original line-up - Kerry King/guitars; Tom Araya/bass, vocals; Jeff Hanneman/guitars; Dave Lombardo/drums - since 1990's "Seasons In The Abyss." "Christ Illusion" was produced by Josh Abraham and executive produced by Rick Rubin, and will be released on Slayer's long-time label, Rubin's American Recordings/Warner Bros. Records.

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New Slayer Album Title Officially Announced

"Christ Illusion" has been confirmed as the title of the new Slayer album, it has been announced (not "The Final Six," as previously reported), and the CD's release date is now confirmed for August 8, 2006.

"Christ Illusion" is Slayer's first new studio album since 2001, and the first recorded by the band's original line-up - Kerry King/guitars; Tom Araya/bass, vocals; Jeff Hanneman/guitars; Dave Lombardo/drums - since 1990's "Seasons In The Abyss." "Christ Illusion" was produced by Josh
Abraham and executive produced by Rick Rubin, and will be released on Slayer's long-time label, Rubin's American Recordings/Warner Bros. Records.

"Christ Illusion" deals with familiar Slayer themes - god, religion, hate, and war. Song titles are "Flesh Storm," "Catalyst," "Eyes of the Insane," "Jihad," "Skeleton Christ," "Consfearacy," "Black Serenade," " Catatonic," "Cult," and "Supremist." According to Araya, "No one is going to be disappointed, it's going to blow everybody away. It's fast, heavy, and maybe faster than anything we've done before."

"It's a good mix of fast, brutal music and slower moodier stuff, it's pretty intense," added King. "It sounds like a damn Slayer record."

A core player in Slayer's history has also rejoined the team for the "Christ Illusion" project. Larry Carroll, who did the cover artwork for "Reign in Blood," "South of Heaven," and "Seasons In the Abyss," has painted an original piece for the "Christ Illusion" cover. Working only from the song titles and early lyrics, Carroll has produced a classic Slayer masterpiece - a portrait of the Christ - whose forearms have been chopped off - standing in an ocean of blood surrounded by floating, decapitated heads (likely the same one previously referenced here and here). Carroll created the painting on a 4-by-4-foot slab of wood using a combination of mediums. King already has placed dibs on ownership of the original wooden canvas.

Slayer will headline this summer's six-week-plus "Unholy Alliance Tour: Preaching To The Perverted," which features Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Mastodon, and Thine Eyes Bleed, and kicks off at the Tweeter Center in Camden, NJ next Thursday, June 15. Confirmed tour dates are as follows: More...

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Slayer's New Album Title, Euro Tour Dates Revealed

Tom Araya said in an interview with CBC's "The Hour" that the new album will be called "The Final Six." As previously reported, the album is due out July 25th. "The Final Six" is the first new studio album since 1990's "Seasons In The Abyss" that features the entire original SLAYER lineup (drummer Lombardo left the band in 1992 and rejoined in 2003). Rick Rubin, who helped solidify the much-emulated SLAYER sound beginning with their genre-defining 1986 classic "Reign In Blood", was executive-producer, and Josh Abraham (KORN, VELVET REVOLVER, ATREYU) produced it.

The (unconfirmed) tracklisting has been reported to be as follows:

01. Cult
02. Consfearacy
03. Flesh Storm
04. Jihad
05. Eyes of the Insane
06. Black Serenade
07. Supremist
08. Skeleton Christ
09. Catatonic
10. Final Six
11. Catalyst

The song "Cult" can be streamed in its entirety at Slayer.net. The lyrics and tablature for the album's first single "Cult" are now online at Slayerized.com.

In related news, more European tour dates of Slayer's and the Unholy Alliance Tour have been revealed. The complete list of tour dates are as follows: More...

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Slayer's Entire Song "Cult" Streaming Online

The new song "Cult" from Slayer's upcoming album due July 25th can now be streamed in its entirety at Slayer.net.

As previously announced, Slayer today released "Eternal Pyre," a limited edition EP that will preview "Cult," a brand-new song from the band's as yet untitled new album (due out July 25), a live version of "Dead Skin Mask" recorded at last year's Full Force Festival, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the new album, and, originally available only on 1995's now out-of-print "Live Intrusion" video, a 5-minute clip of the Slayer fan who carved the band's name into his forearm. "Eternal Pyre" will be available exclusively at all Hot Topic stores.

In other Slayer news, Kerry King was interviewed by Luke O'Neil of Metro New York. Kerry King speaks about Slayer's fans, having Dave Lombardo back in the band and other stuff. You can read the short interview here.

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Slayer's New "Cult" Snippet Online & Single Cover

A short audio sample including vocals of the new SLAYER song "Cult" in has been posted online at this location (click the play button below "Posluchaj" to launch audio). That page also shows what should be the single cover for "Cult," which can be viewed directly here.

Despite a previous announcement to the contrary, Amazon.com WILL NOT be selling a limited-editon (5,000 copies) SLAYER "Cult" single. A SLAYER management representative has told BLABBERMOUTH.NET that the single will ONLY be sold through Hot Topic stores. All Amazon.com pre-orders have apparently been cancelled and the money will be refunded.

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