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Archive: Headline News

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Windir Now History

Norwegian black metallers Windir have posted this message on their official website:

The farewell concert at Rockefeller September 3rd, was a tremendous success. There were about 1200 people at the concert, and Windir, with Valfars brother Vegard Bakken as a special guest, performed a great show.

Windir would like to thank those who could make it to Oslo this special evening. Also the band would like to thank Mindgrinder, Finntroll and Enslaved for honouring Valfars memory with great live-performances!

Windir is now history. Those who have supported us, you know who you are, we thank you! To everyone else: RAIS TI HELVETE ADLE I HOP!!!!!

Hváll, Steingrim, Sture, Strom & Righ.

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Burnt By The Sun Lose Singer And Drummer

The future of Burnt By The Sun is in doubt as frontman Mike Olender and drummer Dave Witte have now left the group. Remaining members Teddy Patterson and John Adubato may or may not continue under the same name. Here's what Mike Olender said about the split:

"The decision was amicable and there are no ill feelings between any of us. This core line-up was really exciting, satisfying, and rewarding for me to take part in and I'm honored to have shared the last 4 years with Dave, Ted, and John. We wrote music that we loved and tried to convey a message that made people think."

Olender will do a few more shows with For The Love Of, before focusing on his website The O Report. Witte will continue on with various other projects. Adubato and his wife are expecting another child in November.

UPDATE: Teddy writes on the band's site:

Things are looking up at Camp BBTS today. Johnny & I are talking about future plans, they are not as bleak as they seemed last week, we'll keep this a secret for a while...

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Johnny Ramone Passes Away At 55

Johnny Ramone, guitarist and co-founder of the legendary band The Ramones died in his sleep Wednesday, September 15th following a five year battle with prostate cancer. He was 55.

Ramone (born John Cummings) founded the band in 1974 with Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone and Tommy Ramone. Joey (real name Jeff Hyman) died of lymphatic cancer in 2001, Dee Dee (Douglas Colvin) died of a drug overdose in 2002. Tommy is the only surviving member of the original line-up.

Along with his wife Linda Cummings, Ramone's friends Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) and wife Jill, Rob Zombie and wife Sherrie, Lisa Marie Presley and others were at his bedside when he passed away.

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Amen Guitarist Quits, Calls Casey Chaos A Fraud

Amen guitarist Matt Montgomery has quit the band, branding the group's leader Casey Chaos "a fraud."

In a statement posted at the Metal Hammer web site, Matt writes, "If I joined Amen to be famous or be a 'rock star', I joined for the wrong reasons. I joined it purely for an intense love and passion for what Casey Chaos led me to believe he stood for.

"I had two Amen tattoos before I joined, and moved myself to L.A. to join one of my favorite bands. Now after 2 long years I can say I've had enough and learned a hard lesson.

"I've made a lot of friends and had some great experiences which I'm grateful for. However, living on just under 2800 dollars (that is my full take-home pay) from over two years has put me in extreme debt, and caused so many problems for me. All that was ever asked from the band was a band agreement that would split any profits from gigs and merch evenly so we could survive. That was apparently too much to ask.

"But the most heartbreaking reason for leaving is the realization that Casey is a fraud. The promises of band solidarity were nothing more than lies. Myself, and previous members all played with the band because we believed in Amen and its message. I now know why there have been so many members in this band.

"Thanks to all who helped us get through the last 2 years. And a huge thanks to the fans that are so open minded and die hard. I wish I could say I was still one of you."

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Circle II Circle Announce New Lineup

Circle II Circle, the new band fronted by former Savatage singer Zachary Stevens, have announced the details of their new lineup.

Commented Stevens: "Zak says, We have been very careful to select only the best musicians for the new band. All of these guys came highly recommended by a very good friend of ours, John 'Ozzy' Osborn, who had just filled in on drums for our Saxon/Doro tour. He really understood what kind of players we needed to go to that next level, and thank god he did, because he introduced us to some really great players and some really great friends.

"Mitch Stewart (bass/vocals) and Tom Drennan (drums/vocals) were able to get on board during the June/July tour with Blaze and Saxon. They were so absolutely fantastic and made such a HUGE impression on all of the fans and press that we knew they were the guys we were looking for.

"After the tour they recommended that we contact some great friends of theirs, Evan Christopher (guitars/vocals) and Andrew Lee (guitars/vocals), both of whom they had been performing with in Nashville for many years. On the December tour with Saxon and Doro, Circle II Circle hooked up with keyboard great Oliver Palotai of Doro to handle the intricate keyboard arrangements and soon he became Circle II Circle's sixth touring member."

Circle II Circle are currently completing work on their second album, "Faces In the Dark", tentatively due late February 2005 through AFM Records. The pre-production for the CD was completed at Cabin Fever Studios in Brooksville, Florida.

Commented Zak: "We have finally found our own Circle II Circle sound!

"We make 'classic heavy metal' in a modern way!! Pushing the old boundaries, and creating a new future for this style of music that we all love so much."

In 2005, Circle II Circle will hit the road once again with an extensive worldwide tour, including some great summer festivals and possibly a headlining tour in the fall.

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Cancer Part Ways With Guitarist

Reunited U.K. death metallers Cancer have parted ways with guitarist Rob Engvikson following the completion of their recent European tour dates. "This was a totally amicable decision by both parties," reads a posting on the group's web site.

Commented Cancer drummer Carl Stokes: "There is no malice between the band and Rob, and we wish him well with his Asatru project, and we'll see him down the pub for a beer."

Stokes and Cancer guitarist/vocalist John Walker will spend the next few months writing material for a new full-length album, tentatively due in 2005 through Copro Records.

Cancer recently issued their comeback EP, "Corporation$", through Copro. Included on the effort was the group's cover version of the Celtic Frost classic "Dethroned Emperor".

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Exodus Singer Fired

San Francisco Bay Area thrashers Exodus have confirmed the departure of singer Steve "Zetro" Souza from the group's ranks. "Zetro is out of the band for sure!" Asked about the reports that Zetro left the band of his own accord, Exodus manager Steve Warner replied, "He did not quit, he was fired!"

Guitarist Gary Holt has slammed singer Steve "Zetro" Souza over the circumstances that led to his departure from the group, calling the singer "human crap" and vowing to carry on with a replacement vocalist.

In a posting to the band's official forum, Holt writes:

Okay people, the word has leaked, so I'm here to give you a brief rundown. Let me give you an idea of what we've had to deal with as far as that fat motherfuckin' shit brick is concerned. He pulled out of going to Mexico City only about twenty-four hours before were ready to leave, saying, "I'm not getting on the plane, you'll see me on Thursday to go to South America." He lied to our manager, saying that he had talked to me already about this, which was a total lie. He then ducked every fuckin' phone call and just hid out. The promoter had already paid a non-refundable 8 thousand dollars for the room and it would have been a disaster to have cancelled. None of this mattered to that miserable piece of shit. The only thing he cares about is himself and money.

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Iced Earth Bassist Quits To Join Megadeth

Iced Earth bassist James MacDonough has officially left the band to join Megadeth as their touring bassist. MacDonough's statement on the matter (as posted at Iced-Realm.de) is as follows:

"A while back I had heard that Megadeth might need a bassist, so I contacted them via email and much later got a response, to my suprise. Before I knew it, I was on a conference call with Dave [Mustaine]. I sent in some video of me playing a couple Megadeth songs and I got a call a couple of days later. Everything with Iced Earth has been up in the air as far as touring, so I told [Iced Earth mainman] Jon [Schaffer] about this when I got the first email back, and being my older bro, he told me to go for it. Unfortunately, I won't be able to play with Iced Earth in the future because this will be a very lengthy tour, but we'll see what happens down the road. I am keeping in touch with Jon and maybe something in the future will happen.

"Megadeth has always been one of my favorite bands and I have a lot of respect for Dave and what he's done for music. I feel honored to have been picked for this endeavor."

Megadeth's lineup for the upcoming tour will be as follows:

Dave Mustaine – Guitar/Vocals
Glen Drover (EIDOLON) – Guitar
Nick Menza – Drums
James MacDonough (ex-ICED EARTH) - Bass

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Circle II Circle Frontman In Hospital

According to BW&BK sources, Circle II Circle frontman Zak Stevens (ex-Savatage), cut off a finger yesterday mowing his lawn in Florida and is currently in the hospital.

As previously reported, Circle II Circle have set Faces In The Dark as the working title to their second album, due out through AFM early next year. The band recently finished pre-production at Cabin Fever Studios in Brooksville, Florida.

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Life Of Agony Sign With Epic Records?

Reunited New York metal band Life Of Agony are rumored to have inked a deal with Epic Records. The group, who were previously signed to the Roadrunner label, will shortly enter the studio to begin recording their first album of new material since 1997's "Soul Searching Sun", tentatively due in early 2005. Songtitles set to appear on the as-yet-untitled effort include "The Day He Died", "Justified", "The Calm That Disturbs You" and "Love To Let U Down".

Life Of Agony 's last release was a live album and DVD, entitled "River Runs Again: Live 2003". The two-disc set was recorded during the group's sold-out reunion shows at Irving Plaza in New York City on January 3-4, 2003 and was issued through SPV Records worldwide.

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Motorhead Cancel US Tour

Motorhead have been forced to cancel their previously announced U.S. tour scheduled for September/October due to a foot injury suffered by vocalist/bassist Lemmy.

Lemmy, ignoring the pain and against his European doctor's recommendation, completed the few remaining shows on the Motorhead summer festival tour.

Since he was not able to rest his foot for a while, Lemmy's injury worsened, and his U.S. doctor insisted in no uncertain terms that Lemmy stay off his foot for several weeks in order for it to heal properly.

Motorhead will return for a U.S. tour in March 2005. "Lemmy, guitarist Philip Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee hate to disappoint their fans but it is necessary for Lemmy's injury to heal so that Motorhead can rock long into the future," reads a statement from the band.

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Diabolical Masquerade Break Up

Yes, it’s true. After the release of 4 full length albums, despite the starting process of recording their 5th full length album, it will never be finished and Diabolical Masquerade is now over. No more horror, no more fear.

For more information, visit diabolicalmasquerade.com.

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Cadaver Call It Quits

Norway's Cadaver have called it quits. Here is an official statement from the band's website:

Cadaver have decided to split up after 15 years of underground service, and 4 studio albums. We would like to thank our fans for all these years and all the people who supported us. Thank you all!

Anders Odden, Carl-Michael Eide, Lasse Johansen and Ole Jørgen Moe.

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UFO Bassist Denied US Visa, Replacement Announced

UFO bassist Pete Way will have to sit out the band's upcoming U.S. tour after being denied a working visa "due to having overstayed the number of days he was there on his last visit," according to a posting on the group's web site. His temporary replacement is Barry Sparks (Dokken, ex-MSG, Ted Nugent). Barry previously played with UFO at Donington in 2001, and he has also worked with current UFO guitarist Vinnie Moore.

UFO tour dates:
Sep. 22 – Baltimore, MD - Thunderdome
Sep. 23 - Glenside, PA - Keswick
Sep. 25 - Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino
Sep. 26 - Sayerville, NJ - Starland Ballroom
Sep. 27 - Buffalo, NY - Club Infinity
Sep. 28 - Pittsburgh, PA - The Rex Theater
Sep. 29 - New York, NY - B.B. Kings
Oct. 01 - New York, NY - B.B. Kings
Oct. 02 – Poughkeepsie, NY - The Chance
Oct. 06 – Sauget, IL - Pops
Oct. 08 – Ferndale, MI - Magic Bag
Oct. 09 – Cleveland, OH - Odeon
Oct. 10 – Chicago, IL - House Of Blues
Oct. 11 – Chicago, IL - House Of Blues
Oct. 12 – Milwaukee, WI - Potowatami Casino

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Slayer Frontman Rushed to Hospital

Slayer were forced to cancel their show in Myrtle Beach, SC Wednesday night (Sep. 1) after the band's frontman, Tom Araya, was allegedly rushed to a hospital as a result of suffering a bad allergic reaction. There was been no official update with regards to Tom's condition.

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Sever The Fallen Break Up

New Jersey's Sever The Fallen have decided to break up once and for all. Formed in 1998, the group has released material with Tribunal Records. Here is a statement from the band:

"Time for some news. The last news from Sever The Fallen. Yes, that's right, STF has come to the end. We felt that we were not where we wanted to be with STF due to the many lineup changes halting the progress of the band. There are no hard feelings and we are still great friends. It has been six fun years and will not be forgotten. Thank you to everyone who supported us, people we met at shows, Tribunal Records, other bands we played with, and promoters. We have made alot of new friends through this. We have seven unreleased songs which will be lost forever unless you've seen us live recently and recorded them. Anyone who has video clips of us from shows, please send them to us. The website will be up for a couple of months so post on the message board and give your thoughts. Who knows, you might be able to get a few of us back together for a new project."

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Body Count Issues Statement On Guitarist's Death

BODY COUNT members Ice-T and Ernie C have issued a statement regarding the death of the band's rhythm guitarist Dennis "D-Roc" Miles, who passed away Tuesday due to complications from lymphoma. He was 45 years old.

"D-Roc was the backbone of the BODY COUNT sound," Ice-T said in the statement. "He went to school with me and Ernie, for me it was great to bring friends from my childhood along to share in success. Words cannot explain how much we will miss D-Roc — more as a friend than as a band member."

"We will carry on the band in some form," Ernie C added. "I don’t know if it will be BODY COUNT, but in some form, Ice and I will always play together."

Family and friends were at Miles' bedside at City of Hope hospital in Duarte, California when he died. Miles is survived by a daughter Paris, stepdaughter Kianna and family in Los Angeles.

BODY COUNT, whose previous drummer Beatmaster V died of leukemia and bassist Mooseman was killed in a drive-by shooting in South Central Los Angeles, had been inactive for several years following the release of 1997's "Violent Demise: Last Days".

The band were the focus of national media attention with their controversial song "Cop Killer", which was included on the group's self-titled debut in 1991.

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Kittie Forced To Cancel All Reminaing Tour Dates

Canadian metal quartet KITTIE have officially cancelled the remaining dates on their North American headlining tour. As reported yesterday, due to severe dehydration and exhaustion, KITTIE drummer Mercedes Lander was hospitalized on Wednesday (August 11) in Cleveland, Ohio, where the band were scheduled to perform that night. Mercedes' condition recurred earlier today (August 13), and as a result she is no longer fit to continue the tour. The tests in Cleveland were inconclusive; although Mercedes appeared to be recuperating, it is now clear that this is not the case. Mercedes is returning to Canada to undergo more extensive examinations to determine the exact nature of her illness. The remaining dates of the tour will be made up after Mercedes has fully recovered. "The band wishes to thank all of the fans for their love and support through the tour and now at this critical time," reads a posting on the group's web site. "Expect to see KITTIE back in full force and back on tour later this year."

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FTC Clears Way For Proposed Sony-BMG Merger

Not content with the sorry state of the music industry as it is, federal antitrust regulators have cleared the way for the proposed merger between Sony Music Entertainment and BMG. This merger would create a company that owns 1 out of every 3 new releases.

The FTC released its approval a little over a week after the European Union gave its unconditional support to the 50-50 merger stating that it would in no way harm the consumer.

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Satan Perform Live For First Time In 20 Years

A bunch of photos from legendary NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) band SATAN's one-off reunion show Friday (August 6) at Germany's Wacken Open Air festival have been posted online at this location (courtesy of Germany's Bright-Eyes.de).

SATAN's classic "Court In The Act" lineup (including BLITZKRIEG singer Brian Ross and SKYCLAD's Graeme English and Steve Ramsey) performed together at Wacken for the first time since 1984. A live recording from the group's early days, entitled "Live in the Act", is tentatively scheduled to be released later in the year.

In related news, BLIND FURY's only album, "Out of Reach" (1985), was re-released by Majestic Rock in early June. BLIND FURY was essentially SATAN with a different singer (Lou Taylor - vocals, Steve Ramsey - guitar, Russ Tippins - guitar, Graeme English - bass, Sean Taylor - drums).

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