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Archive: Headline News

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Pagan Altar Vocalist Passes Away

U.K. outfit Pagan Altar has issued the following announcement about vocalist Terry Jones passing away this morning:

"It's is with great sadness to announce that Terry Jones of Pagan Altar finally lost his extremely brave battle with cancer this morning 15th May @ 10:15.

"Terry has been fighting this for the past year with me Lynn and his family always by his side. You all know how much he loved performing and especially to all the wonderful PA Fans he had a pleasure too meet, we are all devoted by his loss and will miss him more then words can say.

"And would like to thank you for your loyal support and love all these years. Always love you Terry. The Time Lord is on his Travels." More...

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Lamb Of God Posts New Song

Lamb Of God has released a new website titled "Lamb Of God VII" (a reference to the fact the band has previously released six full-length albums).

This new website just dropped a new track titled "Still Echoes" as a teaser for an upcoming full-length release.

Head over to the band's website here to check out the track (also now available in the player below).

Lamb Of God also just announced the new album will be titled "Sturm Und Drang," with a July release date expected. Stay tuned for full info shortly. More...

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Bruce Dickinson Declared Cancer Free

Iron Maiden announced that following a recent MRI scan, vocalist Bruce Dickinson is cancer free. The band is finishing work on a new studio album, which will be "definitely be [released] this year."

Bruce commented: “I would like to thank the fantastic medical team who have been treating me for the last few months, resulting in this amazing outcome. It’s been tough on my family and in many ways it was harder for them than me. I’d also like to send a heartfelt thanks to all our fans for their kind words and thoughts. I’m a firm believer in trying to maintain a positive attitude, and the encouragement from the global Maiden family meant a great deal to me. Right now, I’m feeling extremely motivated and can’t wait to get back to business as usual, as soon as I can!”

Manager Rod Smallwood added: “We are of course all absolutely delighted that Bruce’s doctors have pronounced him free of cancer. Although Bruce is naturally eager to resume Maiden activities, it will take a while before he is completely back to full strength, as we explained previously. Because of this, the band will not be touring or playing any shows until next year. We know our fans will understand the situation and, like us, would prefer to wait until Bruce is back to his usual indefatigable levels of fitness before going out on the road. More...

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Ex-Havok Guitarist Shawn Chavez Passes Away

Former lead guitarist of Denver, Colorado thrash metal outfit Havok, Shawn Chavez, has passed away. He was only 30-years-old. Chavez was a member of Havok from 2004 - 2010.

Frontman David Sanchez has issued the following statement:

"It is with deep regret that I must inform fans, friends, and family of Havok that Shawn Tyler Chavez, the former lead guitarist of Havok, passed away on April 30, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was 30 years old. Shawn was the very first lead guitarist of Havok and helped forge the band's sound in the early years. Without Shawn's dedication during the first 6 years of the band, Havok would not be where it is today. More...

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Dimesland Guitarist Passes Away

Drew Cook, the guitarist for Oakland-based Dimesland and Wild Hunt, has tragically passed away in recent days.

Drew is remembered by the Bay Area music scene and thrill-seeking metal explorers worldwide for his unstoppably tight, technical, unique guitar skills, and is cherished by his friends and family as a greatly loving person.

Nolan Cook, the other half of the dual-guitar tandem of Dimseland, has issued the following on the loss of his brother, bandmate and best friend:

"We are saddened to announce the untimely passing of Oakland musician extraordinaire, Drew Cook, of the bands Dimesland and Wild Hunt. Drew was a special guitarist and a wonderful individual who will be deeply missed by the Bay Area music scene and by the many who were fortunate enough to have collaborated with or otherwise known him. We have lost an incredibly kind, funny, and talented human being."

The passing of Drew has placed all of his current acts on hiatus until further notice. The most recent of Cook's guitar wizardry can be heard on Dimesland's scorching debut album, "Psychogenic Atrophy," independently released by the band last year. More...

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"Lords Of Chaos" Movie Adaptation Coming

Variety.com is reporting that a movie version of the infamous "Lords of Chaos" book is coming. The movie will be produced by Ridley Scott's Scott Free London and directed by Jonas Akerlund. Variety reports on the casting and storyline:

Rory Culkin (“Scream 4,” “Signs”) and Caleb Landry Jones (“X-Men: First Class,” “Byzantium”) are confirmed for leading roles in the film, with further cast to be announced shortly.

[The move] which is co-produced by Chimney and Eleven Arts, is the terrifying story based on real events about a dream-turned-nightmare for a group of teenagers who spiral out of control.

The pic follows 17-year-old Euronymous, who is determined to escape his traditional upbringing in 1980s Oslo. He becomes fixated on creating true “Norwegian Black Metal” music with his band Mayhem, and creates a phenomenon by using shocking stunts to put the band’s name on the map. But as the lines between publicity and reality start to blur, acts of arson, violence and a vicious murder shock the nation.

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Mike Howe Rejoins Metal Church

Legendary frontman Mike Howe has returned to Metal Church. In the summer of 2014, the band suddenly found themselves in need of a new singer with the departure of Ronny Munroe. As fate would have it, guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof was already in talks with Mike for another project that he was working on with Saxon drummer Nigel Glockler, so he decided to ask Mike to rejoin Metal Church. Mike agreed, but true to form, didn’t want to make it official until he knew for sure that the integrity of the new material was there. In Mike’s own words, "I didn't want to come back to Metal Church just for nostalgia, it had to be for the right reasons, it had to be the best stuff we’ve ever written together or it just wouldn't be worth it to anyone, especially the fans.”

Soon after, Kurdt and Mike began exchanging ideas and writing new material with the band. The end result sounds like "Classic Mike Howe era Metal Church, it’s both heavy and melodic" says Vanderhoof and further states "Mike sounds the same as he did 20 years ago, this is going to be truly epic!!" Drummer Jeff Plate comments, "Mike Howe is the ONLY singer for Metal Church. He has a reputation of complete honor and respect. We can now take Metal Church to the next level!"

Mike Howe originally joined Metal Church in the late 80’s and released 3 albums with the band: "The Human Factor," "Blessing In Disguise" and "Hanging in the Balance." Mike was also the face of popular music videos "Date With Poverty" and "Badlands" that aired during MTV’s heyday.

The band is currently in the process of working on their new album, which will be released later this year via Rat Pak Records.

Metal Church is:

Mike Howe (Vocals)
Kurdt Vanderhoof (Guitars)
Jeff Plate (Drums)
Steve Unger (Bass)
Rick VanZandt (Guitars) More...

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Unearthly Trance Reuniting

Like an undead phoenix (or really just a regular phoenix, but hey, a skeletal phoenix seems cooler), Brooklyn based black/doom/sludge trio Unearthly Trance rises again!

After putting the band on ice in 2012, Darren Verni, Ryan Lipynsky, and Jay Newman have decided to resurrect the group and start playing together once again.

The band is already currently writing new music for what will be a sixth full-length album and fourth for Relapse Records. Stay tuned for more info.

2015 has shown sparks of life already for the band with the 2xCD release of "Ouroboros;" a compilation of hard to find songs, vinyl only releases, and a few unreleased gems from years past released on Throne Records.

Although Unearthly Trance became inactive in 2012, the three members were still active and releasing monolithic death/doom records under the banner of Serpentine Path, which will be performing at this year's Maryland Death Fest 2015 in Baltimore on May 23rd.

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Remembering Gary "Godlike" Snyder 1969 - 2015

This morning, myself and other members of the MetalUnderground.com community were shocked and saddened to read that one of our most beloved visitors to the site, Gary Snyder, better known around here as "Godlike," had passed away suddenly on March 10th at the age of only forty six. That it took so long for some of us who knew him to find this out has added to the sadness felt that we will never again get to speak to him about the music he loved so dearly and the life he led so fully.

Gary was the embodiment of rock and roll. He lived on the road thanks to his occupation as a trucker and was all about having a good time through the usual rock channels. He knew guitars perhaps better than anyone else I've ever known, creating quite a collection and eager to pass on his knowledge to the younger crowd. In the days when the Metal Underground community was thriving, communicating via e-mails and telephone conversations, he would frequently contact me to see how I was, what I was up to and most of all, to talk about rock and metal, introducing me to such bands as Fastway and Jake E. Lee's, Badlands in the process. He also was very keen to get me to the United States, extending the invite indefinitely for me to come and stay with him, something I tragically will now be unable to do.

It wasn't just myself that Gary reached out to. Some of the older members such as Wilco and Blindgreed1 (real/full names withheld unless otherwise requested,) were able to bond with him over their memories of the bands they loved back in their youth such as Saxon and the younger members were drawn to him because of his life experience, easy going attitude and love of the music that we were told by people his age, "we'd grow out of." Even when he suffered through bad times, he only asked us for patience while he was away and that he would be back to his old self as soon as possible. No sob stories, no aggression, just a man who was concerned that he wouldn't be making people laugh as much as he had.

I'm sure we all have fond and specific memories of Gary, which are welcome to be left in the comments section below. It seems the most appropriate way to close this small tribute to a great character, would be to rock out to some of the music he lived for, which in this case, will be one of his favourite bands of all time, Led Zeppelin. Raise a glass, light one up or bang your head in memory of a brother, friend and above all, rocker. This one's for you Gary. More...

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Soil Tour Bus Crashes

Ryan McCombs, front man of rock band SOiL, just announced that the group's tour bus crashed early this morning.

According to his status on Facebook, he was asleep in his bunk when he heard the driver shout for them all to "hold on" while the bus storms off the highway and into the hard shoulder. No injuries occurred and everyone involved has left unharmed. Here is the status McCombs uploaded to Facebook:

"At 4:33 AM the last thing you want to hear in your bunk is a combination of the driver yelling 'HOLD ON!!,' the sound of the bus flying off of the highway and The Jake (tour manager) screaming like a 12 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

"I find it interesting that as everyone sits around the stranded bus talking about what was going through their heads all I can remember is gripping my pillow like it was going to save me from whatever was about to occur and thinking '....huh...." No serious injuries.. Just a bus full of arseholes that for the most part are happy to be alive and now just making fun of each other for their responses.. We really are a bunch of fu*kwads..' Life's being a bumpy road for Ryan and the band..!" More...

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Twisted Sister Announces Farewell Tour

It was with heavy hearts that Twisted Sister said goodbye to their drummer A.J. Pero, who passed away on March 20.

Today, Twisted Sister members Dee Snider (vocals), Jay Jay French (guitar), Eddie Ojeda (guitar), and Mark “The Animal” Mendoza (bass), have announced that world renowned drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob, Winery Dogs) is the replacement for their brother A.J. Pero for all shows this year.

To honor Pero’s memory, two shows will take place on the east coast and west coast. The first, on May 30th at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, will be filmed for broadcast, DVD, and CD. The second, for the A.J. Pero family, is scheduled on Saturday, June 13 at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ.

Additionally, fulfilling all concert obligations that have been made for the remainder of 2015 (in several different countries), Twisted Sister want their fans to know all festival dates that they have been advertised as playing will happen.

Finally, Twisted Sister has made it official that 2016 will formally close the touring chapter of their illustrious and legendary career. The “Forty and F*ck It” farewell shows celebrates the band’s 40th anniversary with the core line-up of Snider, French, Ojeda and Mendoza. More...

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GWAR Responds To Lawsuit

Style Weekly recently reported that William Brockie, father of GWAR member Dave Brockie who passed away last year, is suing the band over Dave's remains. GWAR has now issued this statement about the situation:

"We have not yet seen the actual lawsuit papers, and thus cannot comment on the substance of the lawsuit brought against GWAR by Dave Brockie's father, William Brockie, but we can say that the claims in the Style Weekly article are false. We did not steal Dave Brockie's ashes, or anything else that belonged to him. In fact, all of the items mentioned in the article, including Dave's ashes have been available to his attorneys for weeks. At all times, and under very trying circumstances, we have acted in good faith to honor the wishes of our dear friend. Dave left no will or instructions for final arrangements, and so we have done the best we could to honor what we believe Dave Brockie would have wanted.

"The accusation concerning Dave's ashes is particularly troubling for us. Following Dave's passing, the first thing we did was notify his father, who signed over Dave's body so we could have him cremated. We were told by Dave's father that he did not want to be involved in making Dave's final arrangements. For this reason, Slave Pit assumed that responsibility, paying for his cremation, arranging two memorial services (one public and one private), and purchasing a plot for Dave in Richmond's famed Hollywood Cemetery. Dave's father did not attend either of the services held for his son in Richmond.

"Over 30 years of working and living with Dave, several of us had heard him say that he wished for his ashes to be kept at Slave Pit, so he could 'keep an eye on GWAR' while we worked. In the weeks following his death, we developed a plan for a memorial fund that would raise money to honor Dave's memory with a statue in Hollywood Cemetery and work to continue his passionate support of the arts. We felt strongly that a portion of his remains should live at the site of his proposed monument in Hollywood Cemetery. When William Brockie later approached us, we released a portion of the ashes at his request, so he could spread them in the location where Dave's brother and mother's ashes were dispersed. More...

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Wormreich, Khaotika In Fatal Van Crash

Update: Moribund Records has confirmed that Wormreich guitarist Ian Andrew McKinney (Nazgul Vathran) and bassist Paul Truesdell both passed away due to injuries from the crash. The remaining fatalities have not yet been identified.

AJC.com is reporting that three people died in a van crash carrying members of Wormreich and Khaotika. The report reads:

Three people died Monday when a van carrying members of two heavy metal bands wrecked in northeast Georgia, authorities said.

Authorities were on the scene of a multiple fatality, multiple injury crash on southbound I-85 early Monday.

The wreck happened about 7 a.m. on I-85 southbound near Maysville Road in Jackson County, about 65 miles northeast of Atlanta.

Members of the Atlanta-based band, Khaotika, and the Huntsville, Ala.-based band, Wormreich, were in the van.

Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Scott Smith said the driver of the 15-passenger van “apparently fell asleep and allowed the vehicle to leave the roadway, at which time the vehicle struck a tree on the passenger side.”

At this time the names of the fatalities have not been revealed. We'll update this story as more information becomes available. More...

Read the full article at AJC.com.

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In Solitude Calls It Quits

Sweden's In Solitude, which was founded back in 2002, has decided to officially call it a day after releasing three full-length albums: a self-titled debut, breakout "The World. The Flesh. The Devil." (reviewed here), and final studio release "Sister."

The band issued this statement about the breakup:

"Dear friends. It is with great sadness that we inform you that we have chosen to end In Solitude here.

"This is something that's been taking shape for a long time and suddenly the day came when we had to evaluate our positions in life and find a solution.

"The reasons for our departure are not hostile in any sense and our love for each other and the music is stronger than ever before. But it is with respect for that music and that love between us that we choose to end it at this point.

"Changes in our personal lives demanded that we treated this as carefully as we could and with our deepest respect and reverence for all personal feelings, and for the aim of our journey.

"This has been one of the hardest decisions we've ever had to make and we've had to investigate every inch of our beings in order to make this right. In Solitude has been the center of our lives for 13 years and we've invested everything we have in this and to make this decision was to rip us up by ours roots and make us re-evaluate our entire lives and our future.

"As the final words fell in our concluding agreement, we looked back and saw with new eyes the magnitude of our brotherhood and the things that were carried through because of it. Our trust, our love, our shared obligation. The truth of the hand and the truth of the word to disperse the bounds between us and to diverge the shore for us follow. How it gave us the width of the world and the means to share it and store it together. All that was in it and all that was taken from it. And all the things that now shall pass without our collective notice. More...

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Statement On Future Of Immortal Issued By Abbath

In an exclusive statement to Metal Hammer at this location, Immortal founder Abbath issued a statement about the future of the band, a new album with a different lineup under the moniker "Abbath" and an impending tour.

The statement reads: "Immortal’s frontman and founding member has been writing and rehearsing fervently, with a deluge of new material ready to be recorded; unable to come to an agreement in order move forward with the other members of the band, he has formed a new line up. Whilst grateful and respectful for the contributions of Demonaz, Horgh and Apollyon, the time is now right for Abbath to present his art to the world and continue to evolve the legacy.

"The next two years will see the release of a new album alongside select live performances – the first of these to be announced is The Forum in London on Friday 18th September. This will be Abbath’s first time back on stage in the UK since triumphantly headlining Bloodstock Festival in 2011 alongside W.A.S.P and Motörhead. Following this, February 2016 will see a return to playing on home soil as the headliner for the prestigious Blastfest in Bergen – on top of a 100% Norwegian line up.

"Abbath is a continued weaving of this artist’s creative thread: new songs have been honed, ready to sit alongside classic Immortal material and rarely – if ever – played gems that will be unearthed from an epic catalogue spanning over two decades.

"Using his own name is a natural step for Abbath, having become iconic and synonymous with the band that he co-founded in 1990. That’s 25 years of powering face first into the northern wind; a milestone for any band, and rather than exploit it by dragging Immortal’s name through the mud, Abbath will instead carry his own on his back.

"The name of Immortal, for the time being, will rest; the essence, the power, the music – and Abbath – will not."

More information on the new album and confirmed dates of the tour are expected soon. More...

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Former Death Bassist Passes Away

Former Death and Death To All bassist (see also live clip below) Scott Clendenin has passed away at the age of 47. Says former manager of Death Eric Greif on the band's official Facebook page:

"With a sense of shock, I'm letting all of you know of the passing today of former Death bassist Scott Clendenin. Scott had some health challenges in the last few years but was optimistic about his prospects.

"Of course he was the skilled player on 'The Sound Of Perseverance' Death album, and recently participated in two DTA (Death To All) live runs, in 2012 and 2013, including the highlight of his acoustic guitar in a poignant rendition of 'Voice Of The Soul.' Our thoughts go out to Scott's family at this difficult time."

Scott Clendenin stated in an interview 2011 about the experience of playing with Death and Control Denied: "It was a great honor to have played with someone so revered as Chuck (Schuldiner). I can say it made me a better player and person to be involved in these bands." More...

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Otep Drops Off Tour, Alleges Sexual Assault

Update: Terror Universal has now parted ways with its front man without stating a specific reason for the split, but it appears likely to be triggered by these events.

Otep has dropped off The Civil Unrest Tour due to issues with another band slated to be on the bill, with front woman Otep Shamaya alleging sexual assault on the part of that group's front man. The Otep Facebook page released this message to fans:

"Before the rumor mill begins: We dropped off the Civil Unrest tour because Terror Universal's molester singer violently grabbed my crotch on our last tour. He’s a drunken joke and a fucking scumbag. He’s lucky security handled it before I or my band could.

"We gave them a shot to play in front of our fans and we were repaid by this drunken jackass violating me during the meet and greet in front of our fans.

"We made it very clear that we will never play any show that has Terror Universal on it. We don’t tolerate any kind of passive sexual violence. We owe that to our fans and I never want to experience anything like that again especially from an opening act we were trying to help by giving them exposure to our TRIBE.

"We will be headlining in May-June and give the TRIBE a proper RIOT without any pants rapists on the bill. Onwards & upwards."

However it appears not everyone agrees with Otep's recounting of events, as The Civil Unrest Tour's Facebook page was just updated with this message in response: More...

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Twisted Sister Drummer A.J. Pero, Dead At Age 55

Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French has reported that drummer A.J. Pero passed away. The cause of death is not yet known.

On his Facebook Page, French reported: "The members of Twisted Sister are profoundly saddened to announce the untimely passing of our brother, A.J. Pero.

"The band, crew and most importantly the family of A.J. Pero thank you for your thoughts and prayers at this time."

Pero played with Twisted Sister from 1982-1986, 1997-1998 and 2003-present, having appeared on all but one release ("Love Is For Suckers," 1987). He also appeared on the classic Cities album from 1986 - "Annihilation Absolute." In addition, Pero has performed on the latest two Adrenaline Mob releases: "Men of Honor" (2014) and this year's EP "Dearly Departed."

More information on his untimely death is expected soon. More...

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Mick Thomson Stabbed In Altercation

Update: Corey Taylor has now issued this brief statement via Twitter: "Mick Update - from what I've heard he's okay. We're sending him all your thoughts. Thank you for that."

KCCI.com is reporting that Mick Thomson of Slipknot was stabbed in the head during an altercation with his brother. The report reads:

Police said two brothers were injured early Wednesday morning in a knife fight in a Clive front yard.

Clive police said police were dispatched to 1905 NW 129th Street, where a caller said two brothers were fighting in the front yard with knives.

Police said Mickeal Gordon Thomson, 41, who lives at the home, and Andrew Thomson, of Des Moines, were involved in some sort of altercation inside the home.

According to police, the altercation spilled into the front yard, where the incident became physical.

Officers said both men appeared to be intoxicated and had serious injuries consistent with a fight. Police said Mickael Thomson sustained a stab wound to the back of his head. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

We'll keep you updated on the situation as more information becomes available. Slipknot is currently scheduled to start touring with Hatebreed next month in support of comeback album ".5: The Gray Chapter."

Read the full article at KCCI.

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Original Broken Hope Drummer Dies At 42

Broken Hope's co-founding drummer Ryan Stanek has passed away at the age of 42 on March 1st. States Broken Hope guitarist Jeremy Wagner about Stanek's unexpected death:

"I was stunned to hear of Ryan's passing and I'm still not believing it. Though Ryan and I didn't talk that often since he split from Broken Hope many years ago, we did correspond once in awhile, and we always wished each other well in whatever endeavors we were pursuing. Ryan was always an extremely talented man.

"When we first met, he was the best metal drummer within a 100-mile radius, and Joe Ptacek and I were fortunate to have this amazing drum-kid in our own backyard! Ryan co-founded Broken Hope with Joe and me. We were the core… just the 3 of us, in the beginning, all in high school. Ryan also designed the very first Broken Hope logo, which was a 'circular logo' we used on our first flyers and backdrop.

"With all that, Ryan's artistic talents went beyond drums and drawing, he also played acoustic guitar incredibly well, wrote some of the segues on the earlier Broken Hope albums, contributed his own lyrical-parts on the 'Swamped In Gore' album and also, Ryan became a singer-songwriter post Broken Hope, in other bands he formed where he expressed his art his own way, and very well done. Ryan set the bar for death metal drumming when we recorded 'Loathing.' Specifically, the track 'Siamese Screams' is a song that measures any drummer's worth if he or she can play it to Ryan's original level.

"If there's a heaven, I wish you travel well, Ryan… and I imagine you and Joe [Ptacek] have met up and are having a blast." More...

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