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Emperor Frontman's Peccatum Project Is No More

PECCATUM, the Norwegian band featuring EMPEROR frontman Ihsahn and his wife Ihriel, have issued the following statement:

"After eight years of creating within the borders of PECCATUM, Ihsahn and Ihriel have decided to go elsewhere with their music. Ihsahn is going solo and Ihriel will continue her work in STAR OF ASH. They both still run Mnemosyne Productions and Symphonique Studio, and will definitely continue to explore the outer boundaries of dark music in many years to come — 'To boldly go where no man has gone before.' Ihriel and Ihsahn would like to take the opportunity to thank all PECCATUM fans and listeners, and hope they will find equal pains and pleasures in their new musical endeavours."

As previously reported, Ihsahn has set "The Adversary" as the title of his upcoming solo album, tentatively due later in the year via a collaboration between Mnemosyne Productions and Candlelight Records worldwide. Owned/operated by partners Ihsahn and Ihriel since 2003, Mnemosyne Productions was established as an outlet for duo's musical collaborations as well a place for new talent and innovative artists. The recordings for the album took place last year at Symphonique Studios in Norway with the final mix planned for early 2006. A video is in the works for the song "Invocation", though specific details as to director and concept are still in development.

"The music is a continuation of my work within the metal genre," said Ihsahn. "It incorporates influential elements from all periods/stages of my background since I first picked up the guitar 20 years ago. Powerful, epic, extreme and straight from the heart."

All music and lyrics for "The Adversary" have been written and performed by Ihsahn with exception of drums, performed by Asgeir Mickelson (BORKNAGAR, SPIRAL ARCHITECT). "He has been the perfect drummer for this album," noted Ihsahn. "He has really brought to live the patterns I programmed in pre-production.

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Police Battle Punk Fans At California Concert

The Associated Press has issued the following report:

Rioting broke out Saturday night (March 4) at British punk band concert in San Bernardino, California, injuring several people and destroying two police cars, officials said.

Some in the crowd of about 1,500 at the "British Invasion 2K6" show pelted police with rocks and bottles, forcing the officers to withdraw, police spokesman Sgt. Rick Lindsey said.

Two concertgoers were hospitalized with serious injuries, and two officers suffered minor injuries, he said.

The rioting began when police responded to a report of a stabbing at the National Orange Show Events Center concert. When officers arrived, the crowd became agitated and several fights broke out, forcing the officers to back off, Lindsey said.

After backup arrived, the officers went in again and extracted the stabbing victim and another person who was beaten, Lindsey said. But the violent crowd forced officers to withdraw again.

With additional backup, including Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies and Fontana police, officers lined up in phalanx formation to clear the streets and they fired pepper balls and tear gas to move the crowd, Lindsey said.

As the crowd dispersed they destroyed two police cars and vandalized area businesses, Lindsey said. A trash bin was set on fire (photo) and storefront windows were smashed.

The all-day concert was scheduled to feature 22 punk rock bands, including G.B.H. and THE ADICTS.

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Monster Magnet Mainman ODs, Euro Tour Cancelled

MONSTER MAGNET have cancelled their European tour after the group's mainman, Dave Wyndorf, was hospitalized following a drug overdose.

"The battle with one's inner demons is the most personal fight any of us can undertake," said MONSTER MAGNET's manager, Steve Davis of Davis Entertainment Group. "The fight is at times a lonely, confusing journey. On the evening of February 27, Dave Wyndorf suffered a setback in his own fight and was hospitalized due to a drug overdose. His full recovery is expected. We ask that all those he has encountered over the years or simply affected by his music to take a moment to think good thoughts of and for him. With the grace of God and those who love him we are all confident that Dave will rebound from this set back and continue to play and make great rock and roll."

MONSTER MAGNET recently spent time at Sound City and Paramount recording studios in Los Angeles recording the follow-up to 2004's "Monolithic Baby", tentatively due this summer via SPV. The CD is being produced by friend and veteran MAGNET producer/mixer Matt Hyde ("Powertrip" and "God Says No"). Also planned for release are reissues of the band's classic albums "Tab" and "Spine of God", featuring new artwork and liner notes, as well as bonus tracks, as part of SPV's SuPerValue reissue series. A DVD is also in the planning for late 2006.

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Cancer Call It A Day Again

CANCER drummer Carl Stokes has posted this announcement on the band's official website:

"Due to the lack of commitment to the band from John Walker (vocals, guitar), CANCER is no more. Carl Stokes wishes to thank every one who has supported the band with its return, and say sorry to anyone who is disappointed with this decision. However Carl is working on another band called HAIL OF FIRE .

The band will feature ex-CANCER members Dave Leitch (lead guitar), Barry Savage (lead guitar), Ian Buchanan (bass), myself on the skins and newcomer Rob Lucas on vocals.

This band is more brutal than the last CANCER albums, although I am very proud of them. It's time to get back to the straight ahead ferocity.

More news as it develops."

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Vehemence Are Back Together

Vehemence, who broke up in October, have decided to get back together following their "reunion" show this past weekend. The group has released the following statement:

"Well, we had our 'reunion' show last night, and it went over extremely well. Thanks to all that showed up. Nathan (vocals) also announced on stage that we are back together, and working on new material. This is true, however Vehemence is coming back on our own terms, without any label pressures. We will be doing very little touring if any, since we are pretty tied into our lives here in Phoenix. We also have other projects going on...

Mark, Andy, and Bjorn are currently working on a new band with Connor Woods (ex-Abigail Williams vocalist) and KC Bradham (guitar, ex-Brides of Chirst) - myspace.com/thesymmetryinchaos

Nathan also has his other project in the vein of extremely brutal death metal - myspace.com/hewhobindshimself

and John's band that will soon take over the world - myspace.com/cursedinblack

So to whoever gives a shit, thanks for supporting Vehemence. We hope to get some new tunes up for you to check out soon."

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Scooter Ward Announces Cold's Demise

COLD have called it a day after the disappointing sales performance of the band's fourth album, "A Different Kind of Pain". Frontman Scooter Ward's official statement on the matter (as it appears on the band's message board) reads as follows:

"This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to write, but I've always been straight-up with y'all [the fans] and kept you informed.

"The week before our record was released, Jason Flom and Lee Trink (the two presidents of Lava and Atlantic) were fired. Those were the two people that we had faith would deliver this record like it should of been delivered.

"I'm not blaming Atlantic for what happened, because they did give us a chance to put these songs out and see what was to come. And a few people that tried to work it, COLD thanks them for their time and help.

"When you put a song out on the radio, it is what it is. It's a gamble on your life and your career and your hope. People just didn't react the way we had hoped they would.

"We appreciate all your hard work on trying to promote the record and we love all of you guys, but now I ask you to lay down your arms! The battle is over.

"Since we've gotten off tour in December, we haven't even talked to the label. Hell, I wouldn't even know who to call. But instead of having someone tell us that it's over, we choose to tell them instead. We bled on those tracks and the label just didn't see what they had. The industry today is too jaded and fake.

"Instead of being upset and bitter about this, we reflect on what we did do. We got to touch people's lives for the better part of a decade. We got to experience things we only dreamed about all our lives and for that we are grateful. God, I love you guys so much! And I'm more worried about y'all than I am myself.

"I know that some of you need our music like we do too. And I'll never quit writing songs for y'all. Sam [McCandless, drums] and I are going to start a new project. If God allows us to do this (which I have confidence that he will), you will hear songs again from us some day.

"We made it through a lot of hard times and a lot of bands dream of having a career that lasted as long as ours. We have never made a DVD, and that's the first thing I'm gonna work on. We have footage from the making of the first record until now.

"Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart for what you have given me and COLD. It's too hard to express in words how I feel about y'all, so I'm not even attempting that.

"I know a lot of people are gonna be mad and say that I gave up on them. But I didn't. This is just another bump in the road called life.

"Music has been the important thing to me since i was a lil' kid. I chose to make records instead of being with my family and my two lil' girls, so don't ever say that we gave up, please.

"Some might say we gave up becuase of the money. For some reason, people think we're rich rock stars who live in mansions and all that, but that is far away from the truth. We made enough to survive and we have no regrets.

"I hope that you understand our decision to bow out gracefully instead of being told that we can't do this anymore. I wanted to disappear and shut myself off from the world of music, but I can't do that. My world is music. All I have in my life now are these songs that we created and memories of our life as COLD.

"Thank you guys for being our family for the last 10 years. We love you all and please try to understand our decision."

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Alice In Chains Reuniting For Summer Shows

MTV.com reports that the surviving members of Alice In Chains will be reuniting for a number of gigs this summer, and a possible North American tour, and are seeking a vocalist for those gigs and possibly for recording future material with the band either under their name or a new band name.

In the words of Jerry Cantrell, "There will be some Alice in Chains shows this year — that's a fact." There may even be a new record from the grunge rockers, who've been idle for close to 10 years. At this point, the guitarist said, all he can really say is that the band is active, and that the remaining members of Alice — himself, bassist Mike Inez and drummer Sean Kinney — will be taking the stage this summer to perform songs from the band's catalog.

"We're making it up as we go along," Cantrell explained. "It's what we always did in the past. We're writing the book as we live it. We feel confident that we will have a good time and that it's something that will live up to the same level. It's an exploratory thing, and we're just having fun with it. We'd like to go out and play for the people that supported us and love the music as much as we have all these years. We want to celebrate what we did and the memory of our friend."

Cantrell of course refers to Layne Staley, the late Alice In Chains frontman, who died in April 2002 from a mixture of heroin and cocaine at 34 years old.

"We have played with some [singers] who can actually bring it and add their own thing to it without being a Layne clone," Cantrell explained, adding that the three remaining Alice In Chains members will be meeting with several would-be Staley proxies in the coming months, to front the group at European festival gigs. Alice in Chains have been listed as one of the acts performing at Austria's NovaRock Festival in June, but the guitarist said nothing's been confirmed yet.

Kinney said the band hopes to play several North American dates this summer. Cantrell, Kinney and Inez started jamming together late last year, and the reunion will get into full swing March 10, when the reunited Alice in Chains perform at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as part of VH1 Classic's "Decades Rock Live" homage to Heart. Former Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan, "American Idol" winner Carrie Underwood, Rufus Wainwright and Gretchen Wilson are also set to appear. Cantrell promised a host of other special guests during the show, but he wouldn't give names.

The band will perform with Comes With the Fall frontman William DuVall — a member of Cantrell's touring band. DuVall could, theoretically, be part of the Alice in Chains fold come this summer. "We've done some rehearsing with Will and we're having a lot of fun with him," Cantrell said. "But we're still in the beginning stages where we're trying to figure out what we want to do. He could cut it, without a doubt — but we haven't made a final decision on that yet."

Kinney continued, "I don't see continuing as Alice and replacing somebody. ... We're not trying to replace Layne. We want to play these songs one more time, and if it seems like the right thing to do, it'll happen. I don't know how long it will go or where it will take us. It's kind of a tribute to Layne and our fans, the people who love these songs. It's not some 'I'm broke and I need the money' situation. We love playing together."

Kinney said Alice in Chains had been approached by the producers of "Rock Star" for the reality show's second season. They turned the offer down.

Read the full article at MTV.com.

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Irate Calls It Quits

New York heavy metalers Irate have decided to call it quits and released the following statement:

"It is with great sadness that I announce the end of Irate. New York's most brutal band have punished the underground scene for ten years strong having accomplished many great things and having met many great individuals and bands along the way. However, we have reached the end of this wonderful ride and will now go forth to enjoy other endeavors. To anyone who has ever bought a record, bled at a show, jumped on my back, fucked to our records, enjoyed our music, or simply believed, we say thank you. To all our closest friends (you know who you are) we say thank you. To all the crews in NY that have shown us love over the years (IDS, DMS, BDC, CEC and more) we say thank you. We will never forget the good or the bad times and hope to remain a positive part of NYC's underground history. Finally, Irate will not go away without to say goodbye in person.....That is why I am pleased to announce that Irate will play 2 final shows in support of our friends God Forbid. The first show is on 2/23 in New Jersey and our last show will be on 2/25 at "North Six", Brooklyn, NY."

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Siebenburgen Split Up

Swedish melodic black metallers SIEBENBÜRGEN have split up. The group's official statement on the matter reads as follows:

"I am hereby sad to inform you all that SIEBENBÜRGEN is no more.

"On the 1st of February 2006 we had a band meeting and came to the conclusion that we have to bury SIEBENBÜRGEN. After 12 years, we sadly don't have the energy and inspiration to take the band any further and it would be wrong to us and to our fans to continue without the passion that SIEBENBÜRGEN deserve.

"During these years, we have struggled and bled to keep SIEBENBÜRGEN alive and well, we have published five albums that we are very proud of we got to see the world and we met a lot of great people in the process, and our fans fucking rule! But now it is over and we will lay SIEBENBÜRGEN to rest. It has been a great experience that we would not trade for anything in the world.

"We would like to thank Ed and Karen of No Cross Management, Sabine at IDB booking, Eva and the staff at Napalm Records and all the bands we have toured with during the years, and last but not least, all of our devoted fans that believed in us and kept us going through all this time.

"Thanks for everything and may the gods of metal be with you!"

SIEBENBÜRGEN's fifth album, "Darker Designs & Images", was released last year via Napalm Records.

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Drummer Adam Sagan Leaves Into Eternity

Into Eternity Drummer posted the following message on the band's message board:

"I'm very sad to announce to all of you that I am no longer a member of INTO ETERNITY. This is not what I wanted, but the simple truth is, for personal and professional reasons I cannot continue to play in Into Eternity at this point in my life. I have nothing bad to say about Tim, Rob, Stu and Troy. They are truly wonderful people and some of my best friends. We've been through some tremendous experiences, and I can't thank them enough for the amazing times we've had and the incredible opportunities that they've given me. It's been absolutely humbling playing with such ferocious, capable and professional musicians. Thank you gentleman. I wish you nothing but the best. I also want to send a huge THANK YOU to all of the incredible fans and friends I've met and gotten to know so well, along with the truly gracious promoters that always treated IE so well, particularly the Brazilian Pride (you know who you three are), Sean "The Captain" Cipriano at The Pound in San Francisco, Noel at Inertia, Stephan and all of BCI, Jay Nedry and co. at Jaxx, and the whole crew of BB King's in NYC. An extra special thank you goes to all of the wildly dedicated and insane Into Eternity fans up in Regina. You all truly know how to support your scene! And of course, horns up to all the guys in Amorphis, Beyond the Embrace, Graveworm, Hate Eternal, Krisiun, Opeth, Nevermore, Kataklysm, and all of the other incredible bands with whom we've shared a stage (or gazebo) in the last 18 months. THANK YOU!!"

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Pitchshifter Return After 2 Year Hiatus

PITCHSHIFTER are returning to the scene after a two year hiatus. Every single ticket buying fan will get a free new PITCHSHIFTER 6 track CD put in their hands at the show. The new PITCHSHIFTER 6 track EP entitled 'All For One And None For All' features the first new material since 2001's 'PSI' album. The CD features 2 brand new previously unreleased PITCHSHIFTER songs, 3 brand new previously unreleased remixes and one special treat. There is no plan at this time for PSI Records to release the EP commercially.

Scheduled tour dates, and the poster for the upcoming tour, can be found here.

Openers include:

SKINDRED: London and Nottingham
THIS IS MENACE: London
MURDER ONE: All dates
ARCHITECTS: Portsmouth

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Champion Throw In The Towel

Seattle hardcore band Champion will reportedly be breaking up following a few final shows during the coming weeks. Formed in 1999, the group has put out several releases with Bridge Nine Records (a new deal with Equal Visions Records has recently been rumored as well). Champion will likely play their final show in March in Seattle.

Champion recenlty toured Australia with Betrayed, Internal Affairs, and Miles Away in December.

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Finntroll Part Ways With Vocalist

FINNTROLL vocalist Tapio Wilska has announced that he's been asked to leave the band:

"With a heavy heart I bring you the following news: In a band meeting one hour ago I was fired as a singer of FINNTROLL. Reasons are many and for the most part private, but personal differences and lack of discussion have led my bandmates to doubt my commitment for this band. I believe this will be discussed widely in the following days and more info will undoubtedly be out soon for your viewing pleasure. I will only say the following: These past three years have been the best times of my life and I want to thank all the friends I've gained from this, crews past and present, supporters who came to our shows and shared the good and the bad times. I will always cherish you in my heart. Thanks for my now ex-bandmates for sharing this experience with me. Life goes on and wounds will heal. The future remains to be seen.

Thank all of you and see you sometime, somewhere."

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Disturbed Confirms Ozzfest 2006 Appearance

Disturbed frontman, David Draiman confirmed his band will tour the Ozzfest circuit this summer.

Draiman revealed his forthcoming tour schedule to a Seattle Radio on January 7. The pierced singer stated, ""It looks like at this point that we are confirmed for Ozzfest this summer, so that should be a good thing. It's looking like that's gonna happen, so…"

Disturbed last played Ozzfest in 2003 on the main stage with Ozzy Osbourne, Korn, Marilyn Manson, and Chevelle.

As previously reported, Black Label Society has also been confirmed for the Ozzfest 2006. Atreyu and Avenged Sevenfold have been offered spots on the tour, but not publically committed either way.

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Crashdiet Frontman Found Dead

The surviving members of the Swedish band CRASHDIET have issued a statement regarding the death of their frontman David Hellman (photo) (a.k.a. Dave Lepard) and the group's future plans.

Shortly before 1:00 a.m. on Friday, January 20, the police in the Swedish city of Uppsala, north of Stockholm, were called to the apartment of CRASHDIET frontman David Hellman (photo) (a.k.a. Dave Lepard). He had not been in touch with his friends or family for 20 days and a close friend of his had entered the apartment and found him dead, reports the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

"There is no foul play involved in his death, other than that we don't know what the circumstances are," police spokesperson Christer Nordström told the newspaper Expressen.

Zübeyde Güngodogmus is shocked by the news that her neighbor has been found dead in his apartment. They were acquaintances.

"He was so sweet and very friendly," she tells Expressen.

However, she had noticed a change in the rock star. Last week she met him at the local supermarket.

"He looked so thin and was out of character," she says.

During the first weeks of 2006, there were signs that everything was not well in the CRASHDIET camp. The other members were rumored to be fed up with Hellman's excessive drug intake and were on the verge of leaving, or already had left, the band. Both they and Hellman's family have declined to talk to the media at the moment.

Hellman, 25, made no qualms about his sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle.

"We want to get hard rock back on track again and it's nice that it's getting bigger again," he told the Swedish music magazine Groove last year. "All the other crap is becoming so tiresome. I mean, hip hop people live the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle to a much larger extent than hard rockers do."

Describing his lifestyle, he said: "You live in chaos, depend on welfare, are an addict and things fucking suck. That's why it often collides with the music; it's too much of the good stuff and the music is affected. You would need 48 hours per day, but you're so fucking stupid and get your priorities wrong."

In a joint statement released to the media, Martin Sweet (guitar), Peter London (bass) and Eric Young (drums) said, "As a bandmember, but most of all as a person, we will miss him for all eternity. Dave was nothing but a genius and a very special person. CRASHDIET will definitely not continue as a band. CRASHDIET consisted of four people and now one has left us."

CRASHDIET was a Stockholm, Sweden-based Eighties hard rock-style band whose debut album, "Rest in Sleaze", entered the Swedish national album chart at position No. 12.

"It's pretty clear that, up to now, there's been a vacuum as far as hard rock goes," Dave said in a 2005 interview. "We can play a gig for 1,200 kids with big hair and skinny spandex-covered legs, who just stand there screaming. So it's even cooler when ZTV [Swedish music video channel] or MTV and the others play our rock-hard video which gets to be one of the most played clips alongside old ladies like J-Lo, or whatever she's called."

A video clip, dubbed "On the Road with Crashdiet 2005", was recently posted on their official web site. You can check it out here: Real Media, Windows Media.

CRASHDIET were reportedly the first "sleaze rock" band in over 10 years to be signed directly to a major company — Universal Music. The group, whose members were said to be in their early 20s, were scheduled to make their U.S. debut in March at the South by Southwest music conference/festival in Austin, Texas.

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Blitzkrieg Guitarist Leaves Band to be Father

New Wave of British Heavy Metal band, Blitzkrieg, post an update on their myspace page regarding a line up change:
"BLITZKRIEG wishes to announce that Paul Nesbitt has decided to leave the band. Paul has recently became a father for the very first time and he feels that his time with the Krieg has come to an end.

On behalf of Brian, Phil, Ken and Paul Brewis we would just like to say that having Paul in the band has been an absolute honour and a privelige and the times we have all shared will remain with us for a very long time.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish Paul all the best for the future and would also like to thank him for the immense creative element he brought to the band.

BLITZKRIEG would like to welcome to the band our new guitarist Guy Laverick, Guy comes with a wealth of playing and writing experience having learnt his trade at the guitar institute of technology in Los Angeles, Guy has played with the likes of Paul Gilbert and Michael Angelo as well as a host of bands during his time in L.A., a full profile of our newest family member will be up soon."

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YOB Breaks Up

YOB, who released their last album with Metal Blade Records in 2005, have officially broken up. Here's a statement from the band:

"This is Mike from YOB. I regret to say that YOB is disbanding after almost 10 years of existence. The time we spent with YOB exceeded our wildest expectations and hopes and it has truly been a dream come true. Travis Foster and Isamu Sato left the band in July, and I have been trying to decide what to do for the last six months. YOB has had 3 other line-ups, but this one was the best. At the end of the day the best thing for YOB is to call it a day. I want to thank everyone who has been supportive to YOB over the years...labels, bands, fans, the venues, our families...without you none of this would have been possible. I will be working on a new band called AGE that will very much be in the vein of YOB, with some new twists."

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Terrorizer Signs To Century Media Records

Recently re-formed legendary grindcore pioneers TERRORIZER, have signed to Century Media Records worldwide. Released in 1989, the bands highly acclaimed and influential debut album "World Downfall" (Earache Records) took the metal scene by storm. With an as yet unheard of aggression the band became a cult institution even though they quickly disbanded. Following the break up the main founding members, drummer Pete Sandoval and guitarist Jesse Pintado, moved on to join legendary extreme bands Morbid Angel and Napalm Death respectively.

The band remained popular through the next 16 years with newer acts citing inspiration from "World Downfall." The massive amount of available bootleg recordings and band merchandise as well as rumours of a follow-up album kept TERRORIZER’s name alive. Now, after what might seem like an eternity of silence, the band have signed a worldwide deal with Robert Kampf, owner of Century Media. Sondoval and Pintado have already started working on a new studio album, to be recorded early 2006 in Florida with producer Juan “Punchy” Gonzalez (Morbid Angel, Unholy Ghost, Christian Death, Diet of Worms etc.) for a summer 2006 release.

“After long negotiations with several labels, it’s official: TERRORIZER and World Management are happy to announce the new album will be on Century Media,” commented the band.

Introducing themselves to the TERRORIZER fold are guitarist Tony Norman (MORBID ANGEL, MONSTROSITY) and vocalist Tony Militia (RESISTANT CULTURE). Many people have asked why Oscar Garcia (NAUSEA) and David Vincent (MORBID ANGEL) are not returning. Simply put, Oscar is no longer interested in TERRORIZER and wants to focus on his own band NAUSEA.

Regarding what the fans can expect from the group's long-awaited new release, Pintado said, "It will be different but in the TERRORIZER vein." There are reportedly talks of introducing classical piano parts, industrial noise parts and chants on the new record. A 13-minute-plus song is in the works as well as some of the fastest drumming ever put to tape.

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Beecher Call It Quits

UK outfit Beecher have officially disbanded. Formed in 2001, the group signed with Earache Records in 2004. Here's a statement from the band:

"After almost five long years of putting everything we have into this band, it has finally brought itself to an end. For the whole time we've put all our creative and physical energy into writing and performing music that we believed in completely, and for the most part we've been underappreciated, misunderstood and misrepresented by both the media and by the general public. We've never been 'the UK's answer' to anybody; we've never been a 'fashioncore' band or a 'noisecore' band and we've certainly never once adhered to any of your bullshit 'scene' rules. We are who we are and we played what we wanted, and in our minds we've set an example and achieved more than we ever thought possible. I'm sorry to say that it seems that right now, you either need to look stupid or sound shit (or more often than not a combination of the two) to get anywhere in this 'scene,' two things that have never applied to Beecher.

The reason for our break-up is a combination of personal reasons that no one outside of our band needs to know, but rest assured now is the time, the time for us all to get our lives back

We have made some great friends and fans along the way and to those people we give our sincere thanks. We hope our band will live on in your memories, as it's sure to in ours. We've had some fucking good times. If you ever deserved thanks, then you got it in at least one of our record sleeves."

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Metalunderground.com's Best of 2005 Awards

Having just wrapped up another year, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on what made this year a great year in metal.

Like last year, I've polled the entire staff here at metalunderground.com about their favorite albums of 2005. This year we've also added a few more categories as well. At the end of announcing the winners of all of the categories, the entire ordered list of nominees will be presented, because there was simply so much good metal to check out.

So without further ado, I'll present Metalunderground.com's staff picks for the following categories: Best Metal Album of 2005, Best Metal Newcomer of 2005, Best Live Act of 2005, and Most Anticipated Release for 2006.


Best Metal Album of 2005

There were some great metal albums released in 2005, although dare I say not many landmark albums. Still, a few great releases rise to the top of 2005 and the nod for Best Metal of 2005 goes to:

Nevermore's "This Godless Endeavor"

Runners-up:
Chimaira's "Chimaira"
Behemoth's "Demigod"
Dark Tranquillity's "Character"
Strapping Young Lad's "Alien"
Rammstein's "Rosenrot"


Best Metal Newcomer of 2005

Bands eligible for "Best Metal Newcomer of 2005" included bands who have released their first full length album or released their first album on a somewhat major metal label, or even have no formal release at all. This is a tough category to get consensus on, since we all have different tastes in metal and will hear of only a relatively few new bands each year. The band who rose to the top should be no surprise, however, as they've made waves and generated loads of press for being such a young band. Metalunderground.com's Best Metal Newcomer of 2005 is:

Trivium

Despite there being many great new bands coming out in 2005, only one other band got multiple nominations from the staff at metalunderground.com in this category.

Runner-up:
3 Inches of Blood


Best Live Act of 2005

Best Live Act was by far the most competitive category we voted on, since it was not restricted to releases from this year. The winner may not be expected by many metal heads, but at the same time may come as no surprise to those who have seen them live. Metalunderground.com's Best Live Act of 2005 is:

Apocalyptica

Apocalyptica embarked on their first full-fledged headlining US tour in 2005, and won the top votes from two of our staff (including myself) - enough to ensure victory. While the band plays cellos, their performance is as heavy and intense as any true metal band's you'll ever see.

As I mentioned, the competition was tight in this category, and we had seven more bands get multiple nominations and were right on the heels of Apocalyptica when the votes were counted.

Runners-up:
Megadeth
Anthrax
Mudvayne
Children of Bodom
Therion
Amon Amarth
Killswitch Engage


Most Anticipated Release for 2006

Most Anticipated release for 2006 as a category also generated a wide range of nominations due to the complete difference in people's tastes in metal. However, the few bands that got multiple nominations were really no surprise. The Most Anticipated Release for 2006 is:

Slayer

Slayer is well overdue for an album. Between their parent label being bought up and touring heavily, Slayer has delayed putting out an album since 2001's "God Hates Us All." Still, several other bands are garnering a lot of anticipation for new releases, including these:

Runners-up:
In Flames - Come Clarity
Metallica
Vader


Looking back, 2005 was a great year in metal despite there being few or no landmark releases. Nu-metal was all but nonexistent with the exception of its few top remaining bands such as Disturbed, Korn (who have moved away from metal once again) and System of a Down. Metalcore seemed less of a huge trend than the previous year, as the good bands have risen above the label and hardcore/metalcore elements have found their way into other styles of metal.

Last year was a huge year for many newer and up and coming bands putting out albums. But it was an even bigger year for many seasoned bands and old school metal bands - some recently reunited - on the tour circuit. 2006 looks to be even bigger with a slew of big releases by big name bands slated for release and more headlining tours by many of last year's up and comers as well as those bands reunited in 2005.

Finally, here is the entire list of nominations for the 2005 categories voted on, because all of these bands are worth looking into: More...

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