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Drowning Pool Part Ways w/ Second Singer

Texas-based metallers DROWNING POOL have parted ways with singer Jason "Gong" Jones. Jones apparently announced his decision to leave the band on the eve of the group's scheduled appearance in their hometown of Dallas on Sunday, June 12, resulting in the show's cancellation.

Jones officially joined DROWNING POOL in 2003 following the death of previous frontman Dave Williams. Jason went on to sing on the band's sophomore album, "Desensitized", which was released in April 2004 via Wind-Up Records, and spent most of the last year touring with the group in support of the CD.

A relative unknown, Gong had previously auditioned for the then-vacant singer slot in SEPULTURA during the Brazilian band's vocalist search in 1997 and was briefly a member of CHOP SHOP, the short-lived Los Angeles group led by ex-MANHOLE guitarist Scott Ueda. Prior to joining DROWNING POOL, Jones was linked with a project formed by ex-FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares (with whom he recorded a three-song demo) and was believed to be involved with FIVE-O-CLOCK, a short-lived group featuring former AMEN guitarist Sonny Mayo, ex-WHITE ZOMBIE drummer Ivan De Prume and bassist Stevo Bruno.

The 30-year-old Williams was found dead on the DROWNING POOL tour bus on August 14, 2002 while the band were touring as part of the U.S. Ozzfest. An inquest into the singer's death in September 2002 concluded that the vocalist died from cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle disease for which he was never diagnosed. No traces of drugs were found in Williams' system, finally dispelling widespread speculation about the cause of his death.

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Twisted Method Singer Leaves, Band Breaks Up

Mark S. Krzos of News-Press.com has issued the following report:

After just one CD, "Escape from Cape Coma", metal band TWISTED METHOD is no more.

Last week, Derrick "Tripp" Tribbett, the lead vocalist for the Cape Coral-based band that formed after members at Mariner High School, announced on its Web site that two members were leaving for other pursuits.

On Thursday (June 9), the band's manager Charlie Pennachio, confirmed that drummer Ben Goins and guitarist Andy Howard left the band.

"I'm floored," said Pennachio, adding that the split was not about creative differences. "They were building on something. They were ready to start work on a new record and they have a DVD with two new songs coming out later this summer." The DVD will be available through twistedmethod.com.

About a month ago, Howard (not to be confused with THE UNKNOWN's Andy Howard, the only other Lee band to be signed by a major label) announced that he couldn't be involved in the recording sessions in Chicago.

"He has twins and he needed to be with his family," Pennachio said.
Tribbett said being on the road and playing in sweaty nightclubs is not the way to raise children.

"The road beats you up, man," he said.

Shortly after the Chicago sessions, Goins met with Pennachio and announced that he too was leaving.

"He left the band for God," said an incredulous Pennachio. "I thought he was joking at first. I mean, I know he always had a Christian faith, but I guess now he's taking it to a more serious level."

Tribbett said TWISTED METHOD's in-your-face attitude and apparent hostility was mostly an act.

"We weren't the most polite band ... and I think he realized he just didn't want to deal with the road’s temptations anymore," Tribbett said.

Read the rest of the article at News-Press.com.

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Dimebag Shooting Video Released

NBC 4 has issued the following report:

A homemade video (slideshow) was released Friday (June 3) of a deadly nightclub shooting that occurred during a heavy metal concert last year.

The camera was positioned at the back right portion of the stage looking into the audience as Nathan Gale began shooting during the DAMAGEPLAN concert at Alrosa Villa on Dec. 8, 2004, NBC 4's Teresa Garcia reported.

The band had set up the camera before the show. The camera captured most of the five-minute shooting rampage. Gale shot and killed four people and injured three others before a Columbus police officer entered the building and killed him with one shotgun blast to the head.

DAMAGEPLAN began playing just after 10 p.m. About a minute later, a security guard runs off stage and within seconds, Gale can be seen on stage with a gun. He is pursued by the security guard, and the first shot is fired. More shots soon follow, and two men are hit.

One of those killed by Gale was renowned heavy metal guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

The crowd appears stunned, but many stay by the stage and watch.

"Call 911 somebody," one person can be heard yelling. "Somebody call 911."

Gale is still on stage. Some people try to jump on the stage to help those shot.

While one man tries to motion people away from the stage area, the chaos continues, Garcia reported.

"Get him, get him, go," one person said.

Five shots are then heard.

"He's gotta run out of ammo by now," another person said.

But Gale wasn't done.

"He reloaded man," someone said. "I know he did, dude. He reloaded. He reloaded. Get down dude, get down. No!"

After five minutes, Gale has a hostage gripped by the neck. By then, Officer James Niggemeyer had entered the back of the building. He then fired the shot that ended it all. The shot can be heard clearly on the tape.

Other officers immediately run in to assist. Niggemeyer also can be seen on stage, clearly shaken by what just occurred.

Some people in the club immediately approach him and thank him for what he did and pat him on the back.

"He had his gun to his head," one man said. "You had to do it."

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Silent Scythe Disbands

The following message has been posted by Tommi (Guitars) on Silent Scythe's official website:

SILENT SCYTHE IS NO MORE! Silent Scythe has been disbanded due to commitment-issues. Unfortunately this means that "Born Into Bondage" won't see the light of day. I wish to thank the fans who actually believed in this crazy circus, contrary to some bandmembers. It feels strange to write this when we were just voted best new band of 2004 in brazilian metalmagazines. But, hey, I've certainly learned not to put this much trust in someone elses hands again. Before I forget: We would like to thank the people who came to our last gig may 20th, YOU GUYS KICKED ASS!!! So this is Tommi, Fredrik, Oge, Peter & Johan signing off!

I travel within
Let the longest journey begin
Dissect what I feel
Till there´s nothing more to conceal

Stare into the cold abyss
It stares back into you
The shackels of denying bliss
Repress the haunting truth

Dreams come true but only for a few
You are free to do as they tell you
You are free to be: Born Into Bondage

Cheers! C'ya under the table

Tommi

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Love Is Red Call It Quits

Following months of rumors and conflicting information, it appears that Love Is Red have indeed disbanded. As you may recall, the group parted ways with vocalist Hunter Weeks and bassist Jeff Yancey in late-February, but intended to regroup and carry on. Apparently that hasn't happened. Drummer Kyle Mims is now playing drums for Evergreen Terrace, while other members have moved to various parts of the country. Formed in 2000, Love Is Red has released material with Stillborn Records and Recorse Records, and had reportedly solidified a deal with Abacus Recordings.

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System of a Down Debuts At #1 On Billboard Charts

System of a Down's fourth album, "Mezmerize" (American Recordings/Columbia Records), enters the Billboard/SoundScan chart in the Number One position, as did their CD "Toxicity" when it was released in September, 2001. Since the release of "Mezmerize" last Tuesday, May 17, the CD has scanned an astounding 453,000 copies domestically. "Mezmerize" is the first disc in a 2-disc set with disc two, "Hypnotize," expected out late this fall. "Mezmerize/Hypnotize" was produced by Rick Rubin and System's Daron Malakian.

"Mezmerize" also came in at #1 on numerous music charts around the world including those in Germany, Canada, Austria, France, Sweden, Japan, Switzerland, Colombia, Greece, Brazil, and New Zealand, bringing the first week's worldwide sales in excess of 800,000 copies.

System of a Down kicks off a 23-date tour of Europe this Friday, May 27 that will include appearances at major rock festivals in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, and Switzerland, as well as a three-night headline stand at London's Brixton Academy. System of a Down will headline a major North American arena tour (with The Mars Volta as special guest) beginning early August. Dates will be announced shortly.

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Six Feet Under Postpone US Tour

SIX FEET UNDER has posted the following message on their official website concerning their forthcoming tour:

"THE UPCOMING U.S. TOUR THAT SIX FEET UNDER WERE SLATED TO HEADINE "MASTERS OF BRUTALITY TOUR" HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL LATER THIS YEAR, MOST LIKELY EARLY THIS FALL.REASON FOR THE RESCHEDULNG BEING,THE BAND WIL BE WORKING IN THE STUDIO ON VARIOUS PROJECTS AND SCHEDULING CONFLICTS AT THIS TIME PREVENT THEM FROM STARTING THE TOUR."

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Former Heathen Bassist Passes Away

Former HEATHEN bassist Mike "Yaz" Jastremski passed away this morning (May 23). No further information is currently available.

Jastremski performed on HEATHEN's classic 1987 debut "Breaking the Silence" before leaving the group a short time later to form PIGS. He eventually rejoined HEATHEN in time for their appearance at the August 2001 Thrash of the Titans benefit concert for TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy.

HEATHEN parted ways with Jastremski in June 2004 over what was rumored at the time to be Yaz's "continued drug and drinking problems." He was replaced in the group by Jon Torres, who had previously participated in such bands as THUNDERHEAD, WARNING SF, ULYSSES SIREN, LAAZ ROCKIT and ANGEL WITCH.

HEATHEN guitarist Lee Altus said at the time of Yaz's final departure from the band, "We're sorry to see [Yaz] go and wish him all the best. He is a good friend and I'm glad that we parted ways without any animosity and can still remain best of friends."

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Brutality Guitarist Dead

According to a post on the official BRUTALITY web site, guitarist Mausolus Arguelles Von Kiszka has died. No cause of death was disclosed, only that he "has made the journey to the other side."

As previously reported, BRUTALITY recently disbanded after Poland's Still Dead Productions "completely backed out of their end of the deal" to release the band's next album, according to a post on the group's web site. The band's final recording lineup was as follows:

Scott Reigel - Lead Vocals
Jeff Acres - Bass/Vocals
Mausolus Arguelles Von Kiszka - Vocals/Guitars
Demian Heftel - Lead Guitars
Jim Coker – Drums

A three-song demo was completed in June 2003 with the above lineup containing the songs "As Darkness Falls", "I Deny", and "Ashes and Snow". All three cuts, along with "Brutality" and "Gates of Thorn", were expected to be re-recorded for the album.

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Les Paul Inducted Into Inventor's Hall of Fame

Electric guitar pioneer Les Paul was one of 14 people inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame this year. Guy Gugliotta has done a nice writeup of the history, so do yourself a favor and read the whole article. Here's some random excerpts:

On Saturday, Les Paul, less than a month shy of his 90th birthday, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, in Akron, Ohio, as the creator of the solid-body electric guitar, arguably the most important musical innovation of the past half-century.

The electric guitar brought Paul international renown as a musician, won him five Grammys, put him on television for eight years with his wife, Mary Ford, and made Gibson Guitar Corp.'s signature Les Paul Standard a guitar of choice for garage bands and virtuosos on five continents.

"In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would see so many people using them," Paul said in a telephone interview last week from his New Jersey home. "I owe it to the rock-and-roll players, especially the Jeff Becks, the Paul McCartneys and Jimi Hendrix. All of them were playing a Les Paul guitar." More...

Read the full article at Washingtonpost.com.

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The Hostage Heart Call It Quits

Massachusetts' The Hostage Heart have decided to call it quits. No official reason for the move has been released, however a member of the band recently quit due to "personal problems," apparently precipitating the dissolution of the band. The group is expected to play the remainder of their booked shows (see below). Formed in 2002, the band signed a two-album deal with United Edge Records in December. The Hostage Heart's final shows include:

5/14 Nashua NH @ Drifters w/ Mercury Switch, Too Pure To Die, more
5/15 Middletown NY @ Club NY w/ Nora, 25 Ta Life, Mercury Switch, more
5/27 Mount Laurel NJ @ Grand Slam USA w/ Stray From The Path, more
5/28 Sturbridge MA @ Hamilton Rod And Gun Club

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Former Metal Church Vocalist David Wayne Dies

The following press release has been posted at the David Wayne's Metal Church web site:

"On behalf of David Wayne's Metal Church, we would like to express our deepest sorrow in the passing of our metal brother, David Wayne. This is not only a loss for us as a band and his family, but also millions of metalheads throughout the world. David died due to complications from injuries he sustained in a head-on automobile accident several months ago.

"David Wayne was the patented scratchy vocals of several METAL CHURCH albums and was in the process of returning to the metal scene with his new band lineup. His goal was to return to the sounds of METAL CHURCH's albums released in 1984 and 1986. We will always remember the burning words and vocals in 'Gods of Wrath', 'Watch the Children Pray', and 'Start the Fire'. David and his current band had just completed several new songs and were ready to head to the recording studio after their European tour dates this summer.

"Along with David's family and friends, we would ask that cards, letters, and flowers be sent to the below address. Additionally, donations are being accepted to help David's family with funeral expenses.

David Wayne's Memorial Fund
C/O Verna Schielling
1217 North 57th Court
Ridgefield, WA 98642

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Rage Frontman Hit By Car

Rage frontman Peter "Peavey" Wagner was hit by a car on Wednesday (May 4) while he was riding his bicycle. The driver of the car reportedly didn't give Peavy right of way, resulting in injuries to Peavy's arm. Peavy is presently in the hospital, where he underwent surgery. No further information is currently available.

Rage recently signed a long-term deal with Nuclear Blast Records. The group's follow-up to 2003's "Soundchaser" is expected in early 2006.

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Brutality Split Up Again

Tampa death metallers BRUTALITY have apparently once again disbanded after Poland's Still Dead Productions "completely backed out of their end of the deal" to release the band's next album, according to a post on the group's web site. The band's final recording lineup was as follows:

Scott Reigel - Lead Vocals
Jeff Acres - Bass/Vocals
Mausolus Arguelles Von Kiszka - Vocals/Guitars
Demian Heftel - Lead Guitars
Jim Coker – Drums

A three-song demo was completed in June 2003 with the above lineup containing the songs "As Darkness Falls", "I Deny", and "Ashes and Snow". All three cuts, along with "Brutality" and "Gates of Thorn", were expected to be re-recorded for the album.

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Pessimist Founder Rejoins, Leaving Unholy Ghost

PESSIMIST founder/lead guitarist Kelly McLauchlin has parted ways with UNHOLY GHOST, in order to continue full-time with PESSIMIST.

The newly re-formed lineup for the upcoming PESSIMIST release has been finalized and will include guitarist Bill Hayden and bassist/vocalist Ralph "Reaper" Runyan from their latest CD "Slaughtering the Faithful". In addition, the band will be working once again with original drummer Chris Pernia from the first two PESSIMIST CDs, "Cult of the Initiated" and "Blood For the Gods".

The band is currently writing new material for the next release, a Demo/EP tentatively called "For Stronger than Death is Hate". Song titles include "Exit Wounds", "Unclean Spirit", and "Punishing Those Despised". The band plans to record the demo at Nightsky Studios in Maryland with producer/guitarist Ron Vento of Aurora Boraealis.

In other news, check out this new PESSIMIST interview with SupremeBrutality.net (Denmark).

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AHC Guitarist Died of Prescription Drug Overdose

MTV.com is reporting that the cause of AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE guitarist Bryan Ottoson's death has been determined to be the result of a prescription-drug overdose, according to North Charleston, South Carolina police records. The 27-year-old musician's body was discovered Tuesday (April 19) in a sleeping bunk on the band's tour bus in North Charleston, where the group was set to play at the Plex club. Police found a pill bottle containing "numerous amounts of prescription medicine" in Ottoson's bed.

Members of AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE told police they last saw Ottoson alive at around 4 a.m. on the morning of April 18, just as the band was departing Jessup, Maryland, for North Charleston. Ottoson had consumed "a large amount of alcohol at a bar" in Jessup that evening, according to police documents.

Police were called to the scene at around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening; by that time, Ottoson was dead. Bassist Chad Hanks (known to fans by his stage name, Mr. H.C. Banks III) and guitarist Karma Cheema told police that Ottoson was a "heavy sleeper, and it was not uncommon for him to sleep late before a concert."

The report also claims police were told that Ottoson had been "consuming unknown prescription medications."

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Response Negative Call It Quits

RESPONSE NEGATIVE, the Florida-based death/thrash metal act featuring former OVERKILL/GRIP INC. guitarist Bobby Gustafson, have officially called it a day. "Lack of professionalism and drive from within the band and a lack of label interest prompted the split," according to Gustafson. Look for Bobby and former RESPONSE NEGATIVE frontman Nick Barlow to launch a new project during the coming months.

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Martyr AD Break Up, Leave The Agnostic Front Tour

MARTYR AD has broken up, according to a post on the official AGNOSTIC FRONT site. The band says MARTYR AD dropped off their tour with Agnostic Front and broke up due to "band indifferences." Local bands will be added to the remaining AGNOSTIC FRONT dates to make up for MARTYR AD's cancelation of the tour.

In other news, AGNOSTIC FRONT has issued the following tour report:

"Two days ago on Wednesday, we headed out on the road again. the first show was a makeup show with MADBALL, MURDERERS ROW, and AFTER THE FALL in albany. We had a lot of friends come out to support us. Seeing so many familiar faces was a good way to start everything off. Both opening bands were really good, and MADBALL played great as usual. During our set, my brother Freddy came up to sing "so pure to me" with me. Yesterday was the first show of the actual tour in Lancaster, PA. Needless to say, everything got off to a chaotic start. We received news that our main support band for the tour, MARTYR AD, just broke up. Then on the way to the show we had van problems and [had to] stop to get it fixed [which] making us very late. We got to the venue only to hear that DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR's van had broken down and that they probably couldn't make it. But FIVE ACROSS THE EYES and ALL SHALL PERISH played and both had really good sets. The crowd was great for us and despite all the complications, it turned out to be a really great show."

Here are the remaining dates for AGNOSTIC FRONT's tour with DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR and ALL SHALL PERISH:

April 15 - Harrisonburg, VA @ Captain Tee's
April 16 - Carboro, NC @ Catts Cradle
April 17 - Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
April 18 - West Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
April 19 - Jacksonville, FL @ Thee Imperial
April 20 - Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
April 21 - Fort Lauderdale, FL @ The Factory
April 22 - St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theater
April 23 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
April 24 - Tallahassee, FL @ Beta Bar
April 25 - Houston, TX @ Engine Room
April 26 - Austin, TX @ Emo's
April 27 - Corpus Christi, TX @ Equal Eyes Live
April 28 - San Antonio, TX @ Sanctuary
April 29 - Dallas, TX @ Trees
April 30 - Alburquerque, NM @ Launch Pad
May 1 - Tempe, AZ @ The Clubhouse
May 2 - Corona, CA @ Showcase
May 3 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theater
May 4 - San Francisco, CA @ The Pound
May 5 - Orangevale, CA @ Boardwalk
May 6 - Portland, OR @ Loveland
May 7 - Sseattle, WA @ El Corazon
May 8 - Vancouver, BC @ Mesa Luna
May 10 - Calgary, AB @ Warehouse Night Club
May 11 - Edmonton, AB @ Starlite
May 12 - Regina, SA @ Riddell Center
May 13 - Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret

For a listing of AGNOSTIC FRONT's other upcoming dates, click here.

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Former Trouble, Zoetrope Drummer Passes Away

Barry Stern, who drummed for doom-metal legends Trouble and '80s thrashers Zoetrope, died April 1 in his hometown of Chicago shortly after undergoing hip-replacement surgery. A chapel service was held Tuesday. Stern sang and played drums on Zoetrope's 1985 debut, "Amnesty," and 1987's "A Life of Crime." He left to join Trouble for that band's 1990 self-titled record and also performed on 1992's "Manic Frustration."

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The Promise Call It Quits

Syracuse hardcore band The Promise have now broken up. Originally formed in 2000, the group has released material with Deathwish Inc. and Indecision Records. Here's a portion of a statement from bassist Jonathan Buske:

"Life's priorities have been placed on hold or back-burnered so that we could spread what the band had to offer to as many people and places that cared. It's gotten to a point where we need to get a second record written, recorded, and released. With that, touring must be done immediately afterwards and we've all come to a crossroad. Do we do this record and sacrifice all that we need in our lives, or do we end the band because we can no longer afford to make those sacrifices?

Unfortunately, we don't live at home with our parents paying our rent while we are on tour. Unfortunately, the gas and electric bill doesn't stop coming because we left for tour for 6 weeks. Unfortunately, the businesses that we own/operate can't self-exist so that we can go play to a bunch of punks in Japan, Europe, Canada, or the States. Life can't shut down and wait for The Promise to come home from tour and it's all gotten to be too much for some of us. Therefore, we have decided to stop doing the band... Thanks to everybody who cares across the globe. You've all affected us the same as we've hopefully affected you."

The band may or may not play a final show. They will however be playing Turmoil's official reunion show in Philadelphia on April 15th, so you might want to go in case this is the last time they perform together.

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