Archive: Headline News
Finnish metal band Norther has decided to call it quits after sixteen years, leaving behind a legacy of six full length albums, the last of which was the 2011 Century Media Records release "Circle Regenerated." The band announcement reads as follows:
"We hereby announce after a long and careful consideration that we have decided to quit Norther.
"During the last year it has become clear that we are not able to tour or do shows as much as we would want to, this being due to members´complicated and time consuming life situations. We have been forced to find session members and turn down too many gig offers. We simply cannot act as an active and working band and it is clear that these issues are not solved in the future. This is everything but an easy decision for all of us, but all this have taken the band to the point that pulling the plug is the right thing to do. There is no drama, this is a mutual decision and we all remain as good friends. The last show of Norther will be on the 10th of August at Brutal Assault Festival 2012 (CZ).
"However, most of us will continue in other bands: Jukka in Wintersun and Amberian Dawn, Aleksi in Medicated and ASXX, Daniel in Naildown, Heikki in Naildown, Tuoni and Amberian Dawn, and Kristian in his solo project.
"Norther would like to thank especially our FANS, friends and partners for their support for the past 12 years. Also great hails goes to Tomi Luoma, our ex-members Toni Hallio and Petri Lindroos, and producer Anssi Kippo for their contribution. It has been one hell of a ride and together we shared truly unforgettable moments!!
"Aleksi, Jukkis, Tuomas, Kride, Heikki, Daniel"
Former Deep Purple keyboardist, Jon Lord, who was with the band from 1968 until 2002, has passed away at the age of 71, after succumbing to pancreatic cancer. A message from his official website reads as follows:
"It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday, July 16th at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jon was surrounded by his loving family.
"Jon Lord, the legendary keyboard player with Deep Purple co-wrote many of the bands legendary songs including 'Smoke On The Water' and played with many bands and musicians throughout his career.
"Best known for his Orchestral work Concerto For Group & Orchestra first performed at Royal Albert Hall with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969 and conducted by the renowned Malcolm Arnold, a feat repeated in 1999 when it was again performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the London Symphony Orchestra and Deep Purple.
"Jon’s solo work was universally acclaimed when he eventually retired from Deep Purple in 2002.
"Jon passes from Darkness to Light.
"Jon Lord - June 9, 1941 – July 16, 2012." More...
Former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di'anno has posted a short message online via his official Facebook page, in which he has bluntly announced that he will retire next year. His statement reads as follows:
"I am gonna be 'Pulling The Plug' next year 2013, and making it my 'Farewell Tour'...it was good whilst it lasted. Details will follow in the next few weeks/months."
Di'anno began his career with Iron Maiden, with whom he recorded two classic albums before being let go. He went on to front a number of other bands including Killers, Battlezone and Praying Mantis, as well as releasing solo records. For more information about his career, feel free to check out our Sunday Old School columns about Iron Maiden and Di'annos post-Maiden career.
U.S. act Unearthly Trance has checked in with the following statement about officially deciding to call it a day:
"2000-2012: Unearthly Trance has broken up. We have decided it was the right time and this time it is for real. Thanks to all the people around the world who have supported us in any way.
"All 3 of us will be still creating heavy doom with Serpentine Path with Tim Bagshaw. Ryan will continue on in a new project as well his blackend metal band w/Tim called The Howling Wind... and Darren also has a new project with our friend Eddie Ortiz called The Sheltering Sky.
After Fear Factory just recently announced the band was dropping off the Shockwave Festival, which was set to kick off on July 6th, the organizers of the tour have now issued the following statement about the entire run being shut down:
“It is with great disappointment that we have to make this announcement. With the recent departure of Voivod from the Shockwave Festival lineup, as well as low advance tickets sales we have decided to pull the plug on the Shockwave Festival.
"For purchases made with a credit card, your card will automatically be refunded. All other refunds are available at point of purchase.
"We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused."
Finnish act Children of Bodom, which recently signed to Nuclear Blast Records, has issued the following announcement about canceling upcoming shows due to frontman Alexi Laiho being hospitalized:
“It is with great regret that we are forced to cancel tonight’s show in Oslo as well as tomorrow night’s show in Malmö.
"Alexi was rushed to the Oslo hospital earlier this evening with extreme stomach pain. The doctors in the emergency unit checked him and while we are still waiting for a diagnosis, they made clear that he will not be able to perform within the next 48 hours.
"We apologize to all our fans who have bought tickets to these shows - we will try to reschedule both Oslo and Malmö at the earliest possibility. Keep your fingers crossed with us that Alexi will get well again soon!”
Further information will be announced as it is made available, and you can check out the band's Facebook profile for updates on upcoming live shows.
American black metal band Abigail Williams has checked in with the following announcement about disbanding and forming new projects after a final U.S. tour:
"After much consideration we have decided to make these upcoming Abigail Williams shows our last US tour. This was a very hard decision to make but feels absolutely necessary at this point. I've had the best times of my life with this band and learned so much about what I want to do with music as well as what I don't like about the industry etc. and we honestly feel like its best to put the band to rest after making what we feel to be our very best album.
"I'm honestly just feeling satisfied with everything we have done as Abigail Williams and I feel ready to put it to rest. We want everyone to know this has nothing to do with differences inside the band as we are still very much a family and these are still the same people I want to make music with now and in the future.
"We think that 2012 is the perfect year for new beginnings and we definitely plan to put music out later this year in the form of a new band(s). It would be easy to give people the names to our new projects here but rather than capitalize off this announcement we would rather word get out naturally starting with our friends when the time is right. We want to thank our friends and fans who have supported us through the good and bad times over the years, we know its been a very bumpy road at times. We are still very dedicated to making music and this change will actually allow us to do more of what we want to do and be more productive.
"We hope to see everyone on the road for this tour that we booked DIY for the most part by ourselves. The dates are below even though some of them are still waiting to be confirmed. Also we want to emphasize that this is our last US tour and that we are open to touring overseas if the right tour comes up."
The band makes this announcement after the release of latest album "Becoming" (reviewed here), which followed sophomore full-length "In The Absence of Light" (reviewed here). The upcoming Abigail Williams tour dates are as follows: More...
As reported by MetalSucks.net, citing an article on Novinky.cz, Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe was arrested on charges of manslaughter stemming from a "tragic incident" in Prague at a Lamb of God performance on May 24, 2010, which led to a death.
The article states that Lamb Of God performance scheduled tonight at Club Cafe in Prague was cancelled by the band's management, which identified no specific reason to local promoting agency Obscure.
The band was scheduled to perform with All Shall Perish and Skeletonwitch. Stay tuned for more information on this breaking story.
According to Billboard.com (full article at this location), Queensrÿche and singer Geoff Tate have parted company over "creative differences." Crimson Glory vocalist Todd La Torre was tapped to replace Tate, as prior to this report the remaining band members went on to form Rising West with the vocalist.
Rumors have been circulating about trouble in the Seattle progressive metal band's camp including the band's recent performances in Brazil and culminating with Geoff Tate's statements to the crowd at Rocklahoma 2012.
In an excerpt from the exclusive story with Billboard, drummer Scott Rockenfield was quoted as saying:
"Over the past few months, there have been growing creative differences within Queensryche. We want our fans to know that we hoped to find a common resolution, but in the end parting ways with Geoff was the best way for everyone to move forward in a positive direction. We wish him the best of luck with all of his future endeavors. We can't wait to bring Queensryche to our fans with Todd behind the microphone."
Billboard could not get a comment from Tate through his agent Jeff Albright of the Albright Entertainment Group prior to running its story.
La Torre made it clear that he has no intentions on leaving Florida act Crimson Glory, stating on his Facebook page: "I am not a 'former member' of Crimson Glory. Both bands are fully aware of my involvement. Crimson Glory is still alive and well, and we are continuing to write material for the new record. Queensryche enters a new chapter, buckle up." More...
Read the full article at Billboard.
Candlemass has issued the following statement:
"We are sorry to inform you that Robert Lowe is no longer the singer for CANDLEMASS. It has been a very difficult decision for the band and has mainly to do with the quality of the live performances.
"For the upcoming shows, Robert will be replaced with Mats Levén [YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, THERION, TREAT, ADAGIO, AT VANCE, KRUX], longtime friend of the band. We are convinced this will work out just great.
"The band is currently rehearsing new and old songs with Mats and we know that nobody attending the gigs at Debaser Slussen, Metaltown, Borås or Southern Discomfort will be disappointed.
"Bring you earplugs….it will be hard, massive and loud!
"Keyboard player Per Wiberg [OPETH, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS] is also joining CANDLEMASS onstage for the live shows."
This concludes Lowe's five-year run with Candlemass, whose ranks he joined in 2007. He performed on the band's three most recent studio albums: "King Of The Grey Islands" (2007), "Death Magic Doom" (2009) and "Psalms For The Dead" (2012).
"Psalms For The Dead," Candlemass' planned swan song, is set for release on June 8 via Napalm Records. Our review can be read here. The band will celebrate the new album with a June 5 performance at Debaser Slussen in Stockholm, Sweden.
Guitarist Dan DeLucie of U.S. power metal act Crescent Shield has issued the following announcement about vocalist Michael Grant passing away:
"Today I have lost a dear and close friend, a band mate, and a heavy metal brother. Michael Grant passed away on May 31, 2012 at Glendale Memorial Hospital in Glendale, CA after a relatively brief but serious illness. He was 39 years old. He was peaceful and surrounded by family at the time of his passing. Michael recorded and toured with several bands throughout his career most notably Onward on Century Media Records and more recently Crescent Shield on Cruz del Sur Music.
"Michael’s rich and powerful baritone and clean melodic vocal style made him a distinct voice in heavy metal. He was known for crafting memorable vocal hooks and layered harmonies. He often weaved multiple vocal phrases together creating a complex and striking tapestry of vocal melodies. Perhaps most notable however was the passion Mike sang with. He could evoke the strength and grandiloquence of the mightiest metal warrior or the mournful atmosphere of a passing life.
"Mike was more than just a singer though. He was a greatly talented songwriter and lyricist. Although he didn’t play an instrument, he would often write complete songs by humming guitar lines and vocalizing drum beats. His lyrics were profound, evocative and often personal. He was a true lover of heavy metal and would sing its praises with a sense of poetry and grandeur. No matter the topic: journeys into the unknown, the choices we make in life, religious dogma, or a crimson moonrise, Mike always delivered a moving message with unique elegance.
"Writing, recording, and performing music with Mike in Crescent Shield was a joy. We were in synch creatively and complimented each other’s abilities very well. We produced music for the love of it. We performed for the love of it. Crescent Shield’s pinnacle performance at Keep It True 08 in Germany was a dream come true for both of us. More...
Season of Mist Records reported that guitarist/vocalist Trondr Nefas of the Norwegian black metal band Urgehal has died suddenly at the age of 35. No news as to the cause of death was released as of yet. In a post on the label's Facebook page, it was stated: "We are deeply sorry to announce that URGEHAL guitarist/vocalist Trondr Nefas just passed away. More news and official statement to follow soon. RIP."
Nefas also played with Beastcraft (as Alastor Nefas), Bloodsworn, Endezzm, In Lingua Mortua, Vulture Lord, Angst Skvadron (As T.B.) and Kvist. Ironically, the last release from Urgehal was the 7" "Death Is Complete" released in January 2011 through Folter Records.
Nefas also provided a guest solo for Italian black metal band So Much For Nothing's track "My Previous," which was released on My Kingdom Music earlier this year. Owner and general manager of My Kingdom Music, Francesco Palumbo, has these comments on the passing of Nefas:
"It's a sad day for many Black souls because Trondr Nefas's death. A few one knows him as a great man, a lot of you knows him for his great talent and music in URGEHAL, BEASTCRAFT and other great acts and some of you have listened to his great musical talent because he played a great guitar solo in the song 'My Precious' available in the SO MUCH FOR NOTHING album "Livsgnist" released by my label. That's the personal reason I want to show with this my being close to his family, girlfriend, his fellow musicians in Urgehal, Angst Skvadron and Beastcraft and of course to Erik and Jarle from 'my' SO MUCH FOR NOTHING! Rest in peace!!!"
More news on the death is expected shortly. More...
Saskatchewan born Rob "Smiley" Doherty suddenly passed away, the cause of which is not yet announced. Doherty was a former guitarist with Canadian based band Into Eternity. He played on the band's LP "Buried In Oblivion," as well as guest starred on the band's latest singles "Fukushima" and "Sandstorm" providing death vocals. Doherty released his one man band project Final Darkness at the end of 2011.
Into Eternity's Tim Roth commented: "He was a special part of our band. Our condolences go out to all of Rob's family and friends, and to all those, who Rob's music touched."
Former Into Eternity vocalist Stu Block (Iced Earth) posted the following statement on his Facebook page: "It is a sad day RIP Rob Doherty. My good friend and former band mate from Into Eternity. Enter the gates with a strong soul and heart. I love u brother!!!!"
Australian thrash metal veterans Mortal Sin have announced that they will be breaking up for the fourth time in their history, following their most recent reformation in 2004. A statement from guitarist Ryan Huthnance reads as follows:
"It's time the rumours were laid to rest. Yes, Mortal Sin is finished. Due to changing personal circumstances, as well as priorities, Luke and Nathan have both decided that their time with the band is at an end. This decision was not made lightly, and was not a result of the actions and words made by other parties who would lead you to believe it was.
"The truth is, without passion, conviction, and love for the music you play, being in a band means nothing. While Andy, Dave and myself could easily continue and find new band members, without the core songwriting unit from the last two albums, it wouldn't be Mortal Sin. We're extremely proud of our last album 'Psychology Of Death', and we've completed the longest and most intense tour of the band's career - the Thrashfest Classics tour. These two milestones are a fitting way to close the 25 year journey that was Mortal Sin.
"On behalf of Mortal Sin, I'd like to thank you - the fans - for staying loyal to a band that's had more ups and downs than any other in Australia. Without you, this journey would have ended long ago. For those who'd like to follow the future musical exploits of this final lineup, Dave's band NEKROFEIST are about to release their new album, my band THE SEER just released a new single, and Luke will continue playing with his cover bands. We sincerely apologise to those who hoped to see us on the road in the shows we had booked."
Jim Marshall, the man dubbed the "father of loud," who founded the iconic Marshall guitar amplifiers has passed away at the age of eighty eight. The cause of death has not yet been revealed. Guitar hero Slash, formerly of Guns N Roses, has posted a message online via Twitter which reads:
"The news of Jim Marshall passing is deeply saddening. R & R will never be the same w/out him. But, his amps will live on FOREVER!"
A message has also been posted online on the official Marshall website, which reads:
"It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved founder and leader for the past 50 years, Jim Marshall. While mourning the Guv’nor though, we also salute a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life.
"Jim’s ascent into the history books as ‘the Father of Loud’ and the man responsible for ‘the Sound of Rock’ is a true rags-to-riches tale. Cruelly robbed of his youth by tubercular bones, Jim rose to become one of the four forefathers responsible for creating the tools that allowed rock guitar as we know and love it today to be born. The ground breaking quartet also included the late, great trio of Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover – together with Jim, they truly are the cornerstones of all things rock.
"In addition to the creation of the amps chosen by countless guitar heroes and game changing bands, Jim was also an incredibly humble and generous man who, over the past several decades, has quietly donated many millions of pounds to worthy causes."
Read the full article at www.jimmarshall.co.uk.
With a new album ("Carolus Rex") expected in May and a major headling U.S. Tour confirmed, Sabaton has announced a major mutual split of the current band. According to multiple news sources, guitarists Oskar Montelius and Rikard Sundén, drummer Daniel Mulback and keyboardist Daniel Mÿhr have agreed to departed the band. Vocalist Joakim Bróden and bassist Pär Sundström will continue on as Sabaton with new, yet undisclosed members. The statement was posted up on the band's Facebook page, with a link to the full story on band's website, however, the link quickly crashed the band's hosting server. No word of the news has yet been confirmed by label Nuclear Blast.
News sources report that the full statement on the band's website reads as follows:
"Starting a band at the age of 18 is simple, keeping it intact for 12 years is much harder, and finally we have come to the crossroad where we will go separate ways.
"Pär Sundström and Joakim Brodén will continue to battle on stage, carrying the banner of Sabaton to further victories.
"We will always have an eternal bond to each other, created by more than 12 years of friendship & touring, and wish each other long and prosperous lives with families, various projects and musical careers.
"In the end, all six of us will end up in our own glorious future…"
The band has not commented on the upcoming U.S. tour. More information is expected shortly.
The organisers of the British leg of the Sonisphere festival have announced that they have had to cancel this years event, which was set to feature headline performances from KISS, Faith No More and Queen + Adam Lambert, amongst others. The statement from the organisers reads as follows:
"It is with very heavy hearts and much regret that we announce the cancellation of Sonisphere Knebworth 2012.
"Putting the festival together in what is proving to be a very challenging year was more difficult than we anticipated and we have spent the last few months fighting hard to keep Sonisphere in the calendar. Unfortunately circumstances have dictated that we would be unable to run the festival to a standard that both the artists and that Sonisphere’s audience would rightly expect. More...
According to Courthouse News Service, Great White singer Jack Russell plans to sue his former bandmates, who are continuing with their own version of the band, for trademark infringement and unfair competition. Among those Russell is suing are guitarist Mark Kendall, drummer Audie Desbrow, guitarist/keyboardist/backing vocalist Michael Lardie and talent agency Bigg Time Entertainment.
"In August of 2010, plaintiff was hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery for a life threatening condition. While he recuperated from this surgery, other singers filled in for him during the band's live performances, however, it was undisputed that plaintiff's absence was temporary, and that he retained his position in the band's lineup and would resume singing with the band upon his recuperation," the federal complaint states.
Read the full article at Courthouse News Service.
Austrian death metal/grindcore veterans Mastic Scum has announced that their former vocalist Will passed away last Friday (March 23rd,) reportedly as a result of an automobile accident. A statement from the band reads as follows:
"In deep sadness we have to announce that our friend and ex-member Will died by accident on Friday, March 23rd. We are all very shocked about his tragic death. Will joined Mastic Scum in 1993 and left the band in 2008. We had a great time and lot of experiences together. R.I.P. Will - we'll see us in another life!"
A young heavy metal band named Twisted State Of Mind, from Witney in Oxfordshire, England (who featured in an Unearthing The Metal Underground column in January), has been the subject of some controversy this week, when the band members found out that a contest they entered, in which the prize was an opportunity to perform at the Houses Of Parliament, had already had it's winner chosen by British Prime Minister David Cameron five weeks before the closing date.
After taking their problem to the BBC, who contacted the Prime Ministers office, they were told that the Prime Minister would make an exception and allow two bands from Witney to be nominated, leaving them with another chance to showcase their music in Westminster. You can check out a BBC South report on the incident below.