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Vektor Splits With All Members

Vektor's David DiSanto has apparently parted ways with all other members of the band: drummer Blake Anderson, guitarist Erik Nelson and bassist Frank Chin.

A post went live on the Vektor Facebook page explaining those three members were departing the group, which was shortly after deleted (but can still be read below). Since then David DiSanto issued this statement:

"I apologize to anyone who was concerned about the post from earlier today. Vektor is not stopping. I started writing Vektor songs in 1999 and I'm still writing Vektor songs. As long as I live, Vektor will not die. I appreciate everything that Blake, Frank, and Erik have done to help this ship take off. I also appreciate all of my band mates before them: Willy, Pablo, Adam, Mike, and Kian. See you on the road!"

The original message (since removed from Vektor's social media) reads as follows: More...

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Civil War Splits With Vocalist

After just announcing an upcoming tour with Nightmare, vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson has unexpectedly parted ways with Civil War. The band comments:

"Good evening to you all! As some of you probably already noticed our vocalist Patrik suddenly left the band without any further notice. It came as a really big surprise to us all.

"We just had a meeting and we came to the conclusion that Civil War will go on! We'll take the holidays now to let all this sink in and then we'll start the hunt for a new singer after that.

"Best Regards, Myhr, Mullback, Rikard and Petrus! STAY TUNED!" More...

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Eths Disbanding, Announces Original Lineup Shows

Although it seemed like the band had a promising future, Eths is sadly calling it quits and lining up some final shows. Season Of Mist comments:

"Sad news for all fans of Eths. The French modern metal stars have announced the end of their career and are calling it quits. Season of Mist regrets to hear this decision, but of course fully respects it. We wish our long-time partners and personal friends for many years all the very best for their future as musicians and persons."

Eths had this to say: "These last few years, a number of ordeals slowly pushed us towards different musical yearnings while dulling the fun that we have had playing as a band. Eths has always been about honesty and fun, but we have to face the fact that our hearts are not in there anymore. Therefore we made the joined decision to call it quits - in order to fully focus on our separate musical endeavors and to find our joy in music again.

"From the bottom of our hearts, we want to extend our deepest thanks to all the fans, old and new, who supported the band through thick and thin. Thank you also to all musicians, road crews, bookers, radio DJs, directors, graphic designers, photographers, producers, journalists, and all other professionals of the music business, who helped us out in one way or another along the way. We have experienced unforgettable moments thanks to all of you and we will cherish those times forever. Just one more thing: you haven’t heard the last of the band yet and can expect one final surprise from Eths." More...

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73 Lose Jobs As Team Rock Future Uncertain

DailyRecord.co.uk is reporting that 73 people are now out of jobs as Team Rock - the parent company to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, and Prog magazines - has been taken over by administrators attempting to stave off bankruptcy. An excerpt from the report follows:

Publisher Team Rock Ltd has gone into administration with the loss of 73 jobs. The Hamilton-based business, founded in 2012, published a stable of rock music magazines as well as the rock music website www.teamrock.com and TeamRock internet radio.

Team Rock had also acquired the Classic Rock, Prog and Metal Hammer magazines from Future Publishing in 2013 in a £10.2 million deal which took the Small/ Mid sized Deal of the Year at Insider's 2013 Deals and Dealmakers Awards.

Appointed administrators from FRP Advisory said the business had traded at a loss “for a significant period of time, with consequent constraints on the cash position." The administrators added: “Cost-cutting measures were implemented and despite the best efforts of the directors to seek additional investment or a purchaser for the business, no deal could be completed, leaving the company with no viable option other than to enter administration and to immediately cease trading. A handful of staff have been retained to assist the administrators, with all other employees made redundant.”

Team Rock employed 31 staff at its offices in High Blantyre, Glasgow and a further 49 at its offices in London. Across both offices, seven staff have been retained to assist the administrators.

According to the report, the seven employees who have been retained will assist with continued physical publications and website maintenance, but it's unclear if sites like Metal Hammer are going to remain operational in the coming weeks with such a reduced work froce.

Our condolences go out to all those fellow metal writers and staff who have lost their jobs this holiday season. More...

Read the full article at DailyRecord.

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The Best And Worst Of Heavy Metal In 2016

We're at the end of the year already somehow? It was a big one for me personally as my head banging, bouncer moshing son arrived in May ready to throw the horns straight out of the womb!

There was a whole lot going on in the metal world as well to mark the year of his birth, with about equal parts good, bad, and utterly bizarre.

With the notable exception of one long-dormant mega band whose name is on everyone's lips, it seems like the reunion / reboot craze has finally come to a rest, for now anyway, and we can once again forget about all those broken up '80s and '90s groups seeking another day in the spotlight.

That paved the way for both a crop of new bands (and there were some awesome newcomers this year!) and long-running groups who never called it quits to show us what they could do throughout 2016.

The Good: Metal Highlights of 2016

It was back in 2015 that we started asking why there wasn't more heavy metal invading the world of PC and console gaming, and this year we actually saw some new additions. The top-down bullet hell wonder of "Metal Tales: Fury Of The Guitar Gods" just arrived last month, while the rhythm game / RPG "Metronomicon" landed at the end of September.

The beginning of the year was also marked by the very metaltastic "Slain," drawing heavily from early Castlevania, and while it had an incredibly rocky launch, reviews are steadily getting more positive as patches are released.

On the music front, this was unquestionably the year of thrash!

New albums arrived from Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, and even the long-awaited return of the band everyone loves to hate, Metallica (although as our reader poll and CROMCarl's review show, there's clearly still some fans out there in the metal underground). More...

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Todtgelichter Announces Final Album, Tour Dates

Following the "Rooms" album release earlier in 2016, German avant-garde outfit Todtgelichter has revealed 2017 will be the band's final year. A handful of last shows are being lined up, along with a final studio output. The band comments:

"Okay people, some sad news for you: We have mutually decided to put Todtgelicther on ice indefinitely. We will play some selected shows in 2017 (the last ones in March/April), after that we will effectively function as a studio band for one more album coming soon (promise!) and then –
Good Night.

"Reasons? Legion. The effort to create something new and exciting with which we can surprise ourselves feels bigger and bigger, and we keep asking ourselves more often why we put up with it. Add to that the hardships of the whole business, the decline of physical sales, the fading will to tolerate let-downs and disappointments you inevitably get when people that are supposed to work with you do not burn for the band with the same fire as you do, the fact that any band our size will know this hobby is a money-burning machine (Did we really get filthy rich with the supposedly moneygrabbing move 'Apnoe?' Not so. Yes, people actually did accuse us of that intention). More...

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Exivious Calling It Quits

Tymon from Exivious just issued the following announcement via Facebook about the band deciding to call it quits:

"It is with a heavy heart that we’ve decided to end Exivious. I started the band not long after I picked up the guitar and ever since, it has been a major part of my life. Exivious has always evolved with our musical tastes. From the death metal days of our early demos to the jazz-fusion inspired debut album to the post-rock inspired 2nd album, 'Liminal.'

"I started a progressive singer/songwriter band called Our Oceans with whom we released our debut album at the end of 2015. Taking on the vocal duties in this band changed everything for me; the way I see myself and what I aspire to become as a musician has completely shifted. Singing allows me to express myself in a way that I could never achieve on guitar. Which is why I decided to continue my musical endeavors with Our Oceans and focus all my energy on that band.

"Meanwhile, my band mates’ need to play progressive, jazz-fusion inspired music has faded as well. Michel (Nienhuis, guitars) has been working on a 2nd album for his post-black metal band Dodecahedcron, which is going to be released early next year. Robin (Zielhorst, bass) has started a groove metal band Onegodless - The artist formerly known as Mourn. Their debut album is to be released early next year as well and features Yuma (van Eekelen) on drums. More...

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Reader Poll: Vote Your Best Metal Album

Update: the staff awards are now here! Check 'em out and see who won at this location.

Our year-end awards for 2016 are nearly here as the staff just wrapped up our internal voting on the best album, performance, DVD, and metal newcomer of the year, along with a vote on our most anticipated album coming in 2017.

While awaiting our official awards ceremony later this week, we want to know: what was YOUR favorite metal album that came out this year? Cast your vote below!

In the poll we've listed out every single album that was nominated by our staff this year, but if you thought some other album should be #1 instead that's perfectly fine - just hit "Other" and type in your nominee.

Wondering why we have so many nominees? Each of our staff members nominates five albums, and we reach our winner by consensus of the album that gets the most votes, resulting in a well-rounded winner who was appreciated by a larger group of metal heads rather than just by people who prefer one sub-genre.

Since you can see who we nominated, we'd also like to know: who do you think was our ultimate winner in all the nominees? More...

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Mike Patton Joins Dead Cross

Dead Cross is a Southern California outfit featuring Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Misfits), Justin Pearson (The Locust, Retox, Head Wound City) and Michael Crain (Retox, Festival of Dead Deer).

The group just now added Mike Patton (Faith No More) as vocalist, and Dead Crosss is currently working on a debut album with a 2017 release coming via Ipecac Recordings. Stay tuned for full details.

In additional news, Dave Lombardo will be the guest drummer on Late Night with Seth Meyers this week (December 12 to 15).

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Decibel Magazine Tour 2017 Revealed

Florida death metal legends Obituary were just confirmed for the sixth annual Decibel Magazine tour. The band will provide direct support for Kreator with additional support from Midnight and Horrendous.

Tickets for the 2017 Decibel Magazine tour can be found here and all dates and venues are below. Obituary will also release an exclusive flexi track to appear in the annual Decibel tour issue of the magazine due out March 2017.

Mar 17 Charlotte, NC Underground
Mar 18 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
Mar 19 Tampa, FL The Orpheum
Mar 20 New Orleans, LA House of Blues
Mar 21 Houston, TX House of Blues
Mar 22 Dallas, TX House of Blues
Mar 24 Phoenix, AZ Club Red
Mar 25 Santa Ana, CA Observatory
Mar 26 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Mar 27 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theater
Mar 28 Seattle, WA Neptune
Mar 29 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theater
Mar 31 Calgary, AB MacEwan Ballroom
Apr 01 Edmonton, AB Union Hall
Apr 04 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
Apr 06 Minneapolis, MN Cabooze
Apr 07 Chicago, IL House of Blues
Apr 08 Indianapolis, IN The Vogue
Apr 09 Cleveland, OH House of Blues
Apr 11 Toronto, ON Opera House
Apr 12 Montreal, QC Club Soda
Apr 13 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
Apr 14 New York, NY Irving Plaza
Apr 15 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of the Living Arts More...

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New Carcass Album Coming In 2017

Following comeback album "Surgical Steel" (reviewed here), Carcass is apparently preparing a new album projected to land by the end of next year.

In an interview with Dead Rhetoric, Bill Steer discussed what's gone into work on a forthcoming release so far, and noted that "I think we should have an album that’s available by the end of the year [2017]. But I know how the industry has changed…so if it’s not happening, it’s not happening. We can’t really rush this. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time, including our own by putting out something substandard."

Excerpts from the interview follow. More...

Read the full article at Dead Rhetoric.

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2017 Grammy Nominees Revealed

It's Grammy Award nomination time again, which is always an odd experience for metal fans. There's only one actual metal category - Best Metal Performance - and no category for actual metal albums to win.

Best Rock Album occasionally has heavy metal releases, but usually only of the most well known bands that aren't representative of the best metal had to offer in any given year.

In a move that literally left the audience scratching their heads, earlier this year Ghost took home the Best Metal Performance for the 2016 Grammy Awards.

Today the nominees are announced for the upcoming 59th annual 2017 Grammy Awards. These songs are now in the running for Best Metal Performance:

- "Shock Me" by Baroness
- "Silvera" by Gojira
- "Rotting In Vain" by Korn
- "Dystopia" by Megadeth
- "The Price Is Wrong" by Periphery

Alright, it's prediction time: who do you think is going to win the 2017 Grammy Best Metal Performance?

Gojira's "Magma" album also managed to land in the Best Rock Album category alongside the likes of Blink-192, Weezer, and Panic! At The Disco.

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Panzer Announces New Members, Releases New Song

German metal act Panzer - featuring bassist/vocalist Schmier (Destruction) and ex-Accept drummer Stefan Schwarzmann - announced a new lineup. Replacing Herman Frank on guitar will be Poltergeist guitarist V.O. Pulver and HammerFall's Pontus Norgren.

"After producing the debut with Panzer, the guys asked me to help them out live to help provide the double axe-attack on stage", recalls V.O. Pulver. "Of course I took the opportunity to rock out with my buddies. And when the chance came up to join them permanently, I didn't hesitate to accept and now I can't wait to play the sound of my youth!"

Pontus Norgren was just as excited to join the heavy metal war machine: "It was not a hard decision when I got asked to join the Panzer project, it was a straight up YES! To be able to create music with good friends is the most important thing in my world and in this band, having fun when making music, is number one. I'm looking forward to all of the craziness that the future is going to bring with these guys. So let's kick some serious...!" More...

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Antifa Protests Turn Violent At Messe Des Morts

Violent protest apparently struck the Messes Des Morts festival that just took place November 24th - 26th in Montreal, with Portland-based metal band Uada offering this first hand account of events:

"First and foremost Uada would like to send our thanks to the promoters & staff who put a lot of hard work into organizing this great event. They were not only some of the most professional groups of organizers we've met but they also put the safety of the concert-goers first & deserve the highest respects for making that decision. We were honored for the invitation & despite the travesty Saturday night, we greatly enjoyed our time in Montreal.

"Secondly we would like to send our heartfelt apologies to the fans, as they were the ones who really suffered this weekend. We know a lot of people were looking forward to this specific night of the festival, including their first Uada experience, & it saddens us that we were unable to share it with you. We definitely will return to Montreal sometime in the future.

"When we formed in 2014 we made a point to be a band with zero political, religious or cultural bias in our viewpoints or our art. Music, art & our freedom to express it is extremely important to us but unfortunately at Messe des Morts this weekend we were forced to shut down & unable to share our art with the hundreds of people that were there to enjoy it. We know it was not specifically because of our band or in association with any of our members, but we were just as devastated by the turn in events as many others from all around the world were.

"While we were locked in the building as the riots of the Antifa organizations in Montreal intensified, we stood among a great group of cultural & racial diversity just as we did the previous night in the venue. We all gathered under one roof to forget about our differences & find common ground in something we all love, MUSIC. Meanwhile hundreds of Antifa (majority Caucasian by the way) stood outside protesting with threats, violence & vandalism. More...

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"Hardwired... To Self Destruct" #1 Album In World

Metallica's 10th studio album, "Hardwired...To Self Destruct," debuted at No. 1 around the world today selling over 800,000 copies worldwide.

In addition to the United States, "Hardwired...To Self Destruct" is No. 1 on the album charts in: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, and Sweden with many of these markets having their best sales week of 2016.

In the United States, "Hardwired...To Self Destruct" debuted atop the Billboard Top 200 chart with over 291,266 equivalent album units and 281,645 actual album sales, and is the band's 6th consecutive No. 1 album in the United States. It is the largest debut for a rock band in 2016, and according to Hits Magazine, this is the third biggest debut of 2016 behind Beyoncé and Drake. It is currently the "Most Wished For" album on Amazon.com.

"Hardwired...To Self Destruct" was released on November 18th via Metallica's own Blackened Recordings record label. If you haven't heard it yet, video clips are available online for every single song here.

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Galactic Empire Releasing Album

It's finally happening: after killer videos for "The Imperial March" and the Star Wars main theme took the Internet by storm, Galactic Empire is now slated to release a full album of heavy metal Star Wars covers in February. Pre-orders are available here and the full track listing is as follows:

1. Main Theme
2. Imperial March
3. Duel of the Fates
4. The Force Theme
5. The Asteroid Field
6. Battle Of The Heroes
7. Cantina Band
8. Ben's Death: Tie Fighter Attack
9. Across The Stars
10. The Forest Battle
11. The Throne Room: End Title More...

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Black Friday 2016 Heavy Metal Deals Revealed

The month that apparently only exists so people can buy things for Christmas (I can't think of another holiday before that occuring in November... can any of you?) is nearing its end, and that means its Black Friday deal time once more.

While some stores are easing off the notion of opening early on Thanksgiving due to backlash, there's plenty others giving into the greed and sending metalheads to work on Thursday, when they should be sitting at home worshiping Satan with their families, just as the founding fathers intended.

We'd like to give a hearty heavy metal finger to that nonsense. Skip all the lines and the stampeding and instead buy some new heavy albums online at a discount. Below we're listing out all the holiday / Thanksgiving / Cyber Monday / Black Friday heavy metal 2016 deals currently available.

We will update this article throughout the week as new deals become available. Know of a deal we missed? Be sure to let us know and we'll add it ASAP!

The Nuclear Blast holiday sale just kicked off and runs through November 28th. See all the 300+ discounted albums right here.

LADLO Productions has a 30% off sale running through December 15th using coupon code XMAS2016.

Cannibal Corpse is selling tour date back tees at half off and everything else 25% off here with no coupon code necessary.

Agonia Records is offering 5% off absolutely everything at the label's webshop here by entering coupon code RD111 at checkout. Black Friday (11/25) only, everything is 20% off with coupon code BLKFR16.

Through November 28th, all CDs at the Rockshots Records store will be $7.99. Check out the selection here.

There are a ton of albums and box sets for 20% - 50% off through AFM Records at the label's webstore here.

Blood and Ink Records currently has a free holiday sampler available digitally at Bandcamp here (one a "name-your-price" basis, including free). You can also stream the tracks below. You can also get 25% off your order at the Blood & Ink webstore with coupon code Friday16.

Amazon.com runs rotating daily deals on music of all varieties. Right now there are a handful of physical metal CDs on sale, but stay tuned as their daily $5 metal album sale is sure to start in the next few days as normal. The $5 hard rock and metal album sale is online now, covering everything from Katatonia to Fear Factory to Rage Against The Machine.

Through Sunday at midnight, Anaal Nathrakh is offering 25% off anything in the band's merch store with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY.

Rob Zombie's webstore is offering 25% off online orders and free shipping on orders over $50 with coupon code THANKS through November 28th.

Sevared Records has a fall sale ongoing offering a free CD plus one bonus Sevared release for every $30 you spend at the label's webstore here.

The Facedown Records annual Thanksgiving week sale includes all CDs already marked down, plus 25% off everything except pre-orders with coupon code FD25, with the sale running until November 28th while supplies last.

As usual, the fine folks at Razorback Records have a slew of sale CDs and digital albums here, but check their main page throughout the week as well as they typically run a holiday sale for an extra percentage off non-sale items. The sale has begun and you now get 30% off your order if you buy at least $10 worth of items.

Evilspeak Magazine is offering 30% off issue and merch with coupon code 666 at checkout here.

Comatose Music runs a continuous sale where you get 1 CD free for every 3 CDs you buy - browse what's available here. More...

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Metallica Releases Video For Every Song On Album

In an unprecedented move for Metallica and echoing Kataklysm's 10 videos last summer, the band will release music videos for each song from forthcoming album "Hardwired...To Self-Destruct" starting today at 12:00 PM EST. A new video will be released around the world every two hours.

New songs and their videos will premiere right up to when the clock turns over at midnight in New Zealand, where the first official copy of the new album will be available worldwide. The videos - shot around the globe - will give fans the opportunity to hear the long awaited Metallica album two days ahead of its official November 18th release via Blackened Recordings.

We've embedded those already released below, and will update this article with the new clips as they come online.

Directors for the videos include: Jonas Åkerlund, who originally worked with the band on "Turn The Page" and "Whiskey In The Jar," Clark Eddy ("Atlas Rise," and countless "Making of . . ." clips), Tom Kirk ("Moth Into Flame"), Claire Marie Vogel, Jessica Cope, Rob Valley, Phil Mucci, and Metallica's very own videographer Brett Murray. More...

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Helloween Announces "Pumpkins United" Reunion

Here comes the sensation for all Hellowen fans: You believed in it for years and continued to ask for it – now is the time: In fall 2017, Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen will once again mount a Hellowen stage together and resurrect the band’s legendary original line-up.

Yes, it’s official: Weikath, Kiske, Hansen, Grosskopf are going to play Hellowen classics live and on a joint tour. Massive news. Awesome. But you might want to sit down again, because that’s not all of it! Under the flag Pumpkins United all pumpkin heads will step up – meaning Andi & Kiske on vocals, Kai & Weiki & Sascha on guitars, and Markus & Dani in the rhythm section.

The super tour’s first confirmed date is October 28, 2017 in Sao Paulo and takes the full Pumpkins entourage across selected cities and venues in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the US. An extremely big deal, which, including a few secret surprises, will present almost three hours of the biggest hits from three decades of Hellowen as the band will obviously insist on performing a full-speed trip through the Hellowen repertoire. "We already had an awesome time on the Hellish Rock part 1 & 2, but this time we’ll definitely double down on it" says Kai Hansen, and Markus Grosskopf adds: "There’ll for sure be songs that we haven’t played in a very long time or even ever before." More...

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Rhapsody Of Fire Announces New Vocalist

Italian fantasy metal pioneers Rhapsody of Fire announced that Teodasia vocalist Giacomo Voli will be the band's new voice, replacing Fabio Lione, who announced his departure back in late September.

The band commented: "We are extremely proud to announce that Giacomo Voli is the new singer of Rhapsody Of Fire. As you can imagine, we are very enthusiastic to have Giacomo in the band and we can promise you that, beside his beautiful voice, he has brought new energy that we are looking forward to unleashing. Stay tuned! More news and footage coming really soon!"

In a world exclusive interview with MetalUnderground.com back on October 10th, band founder Alex Staropoli spoke about the qualities he was seeking in a new vocalist: "There are three main aspects for both: personality, technique and emotion. We want someone with the right chemistry. We want to have a lot of fun playing, performing, recording and touring together. For instance, the new singer needs to have a solid vocal background, skillful and experienced, with a wide range and lots of power. It’s important that the singer can easily communicate with our audience on stage and convey a wide range of emotions through epic storytelling. Regarding the drummer, it’s of course less about storytelling emotion but more about the fun on tour and the energy on the stage in addition to a mind-blowing technique that fits our music."

The announcement came via a video clip with Voli introducing himself and a performance clip giving a taste of what he brings to the band. Check it out here:

More...

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