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Former Static-X Guitarist Is a Free Man, For Now

MTV.com is reporting that former STATIC-X and DOPE guitarist Tripp Eisen was released from a California state prison last week, a little more than six months after his arrest on a single crimes-against-children count.

Eisen's freedom could end up being short-lived, depending on what next week brings. He's due to stand before a judge in New Jersey on October 7 for arraignment on charges of sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, luring and endangering the welfare of a child.

Eisen, whose real name is Tod Rex Salvador, was arrested in Orange County, California in late February for allegedly meeting and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl a few weeks earlier in New Jersey. The 39-year-old musician allegedly met the Sayreville, New Jersey girl on the Internet, drove from Pennsylvania on January 7 to meet her, and assaulted her in a shopping center in Old Bridge, New Jersey. The girl's mother found out about the incident and alerted police.

On February 10, Eisen was arrested on one felony count of crimes against children. Authorities from the Orange County (California) Sheriff's Department found the 39-year-old musician sleeping in a parked car with an underage female with whom he'd just had sexual intercourse, according to Bergen, New Jersey's The Record. Eisen was taken into custody and released on $100,000 bail several hours later.

Steve Meister, Eisen's defense counsel for his California criminal case, told MTV.com that the guitarist accepted the terms of a plea bargain on June 24. "He acknowledged his responsibility," Meister said, and pleaded guilty to two felony counts of engaging in unlawful sex with a minor. He was sentenced to a term of one year, but because he'd been in custody since late February, "[Eisen] had substantial custody credits" and wound up "serving just a couple of months."

Meister told MTV.com that because Eisen pleaded guilty to felonies that weren't "as serious," he was only required to serve half of his one-year sentence. Eisen "made a mistake, he owned up to it, and he paid his penance," the attorney said.

According to Meister, the plea deal followed soon after "a preliminary hearing that substantially weakened the [prosecution's] case, but ultimately, we were not going to have the defenses available to us that we wanted, and so it became clear that we had to try to resolve it by way of a plea instead of a trial.

"The [California accuser's] credibility was very shaky," explained Meister. "She told people she was anywhere from 14 to 19. She told a cop one age, a detective another, [Eisen] another. She met him at an 18-and-older club, so she either had a fake ID or lied to the bouncers. We weakened the prosecution's case, but really, [Eisen] had a reasonable, good-faith belief that she was an adult."

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John Bush: My Time With Anthrax Is 'Over'

In a brand-new interview with Revolver magazine — his first since being "replaced" as the voice of ANTHRAX by his predecessor, Joey Belladonna — vocalist John Bush confirmed that the original idea for the band's current reunion trek was to bring both Belladonna and Bush on tour, as ANTHRAX had planned in 2000, but Bush wasn't interested. "At one time, I had been willing to tour with Joey, but now everything is different," Bush says. "It just wasn't in my heart. I figured I had been in this band 12 and a half years, and we felt positive about what we had done, and we all thought our last album, 'We've Come for You All', was the best record we'd made together. So I just wanted to move forward and do another album."

Bush's refusal to take part in the tour complicates his relationship with the band. He's still officially a member of ANTHRAX, but he's not on retainer and hasn't been given a date to report back to duty. In addition, ANTHRAX released two albums in September, neither of which involved Bush; a double-disc collection of their studio songs with Belladonna, 'Anthrology', and a live album of the reunion tour, 'Alive 2'. In Bush's mind, that doesn't bode well.

"The idea of this reunion tour was to generate a bunch of enthusiasm for the band. But if they get people excited, they're going to want a new record, so they're going to follow up with a new album with Joey," Bush says. "So for me, I look at it as it's over. The last thing I want to do is say, 'Hey, I'll be here if you want me.'"

Strangely, ANTHRAX haven't actually committed to a new CD with Belladonna, which is trying for the man who rode with them to their greatest heights in the Eighties.

"I can't even begin to understand how this all works," Belladonna says. "People are all worried about Bush not being here. I know for a fact he wasn't booted out. I was. I had to go. I had no choice. But the minute I start thinking about stuff like that, I'm not getting anywhere. Right now, I'm just doing the best job I can, and That's what I'm focused on. But I'm not just here for a temporary run. I'm ready for the ride."

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Twisted Method Guitarist Found Dead

Former TWISTED METHOD guitarist Andy Howard was reportedly found dead in his bed Friday afternoon (September 16). He was 23 years old. Howard left TWISTED METHOD back in May, citing his desire to take care of his twin girls at home as the reason for his departure.

According to The News-Press, TWISTED METHOD were one of only two rock acts to originate in Lee County, Florida and go on to sign national recording contracts. The band were signed to MCA in 2002 and released "Escape from Cape Coma" the following year. In 2003, the band were tapped to perform on the second stage at Ozzfest.

Over the past two years, TWISTED METHOD continued to tour and and bring new "inmates" (as they called their fans) to their asylum of sound. Their first show back home after Ozzfest at the defunct Neptune's was sold out and their performance at radio station 99X's X-Fest stole the show from more popular bands such as PUDDLE OF MUDD and TRAPT.

Following TWISTED METHOD's split in June, the group's vocalist, Derrick "Tripp" Tribbett, formed a new project called MAKESHIFT ROMEO with ex-TWISTED METHOD bassist Derek DeSantis (who plays guitar in the new band). The new group also includes ex-MOTOGRATER bassist Jonny Nailz and former SLITHERYN drummer Tom "T-Bone" Burke.

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Nephasth Split Up

Brazilian extreme death metallers NEPHASTH have apparently split up as a result of "incompatibilities of ideas and interests between the bandmembers," according to a message sent out by the group's webmaster. "With the purpose of not hurting the name of NEPHASTH in the extreme underground scene, keeping itself in an honorable way and respecting after all its original ideology, the bandmembers have decided to finish their activities with the band.

"In spite of NEPHASTH having established itself with the same bandmembers since the beginning, and all of its work along the last eight years was the result of the four members' dedication, it has been decided that none of its members shall use the name NEPHASTH [in order to preserve] its legacy. That has been decided by everyone. Thanks to all the bands, labels, webzines and metalheads that supported us all these years!"

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Olympic Recordings Closes Its Doors

Effective immediately, Olympic Recordings, a sub-label of the Century Family Inc. specializing in "extreme" music, will cease to exist. Century Media Records was recently contacted by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) who notified us that because they own a trademark on the word "Olympic," we would have to stop using it ourselves in order to avoid a legal battle.

A representative on the committee's behalf has informed us that the word "Olympic" is a legally protected trademark that Congress gave the USOC the exclusive right to use. Furthermore, the USOC may file a civil action suit against anyone if they, without consent of the USOC, use the Olympic trademark to induce the sale of any goods or services.

This is not the first time the USOC has contacted a business over this matter. The USOC is said to contact about 50 groups a year on average about the matter. More information can be found here.

At this time, Century Media would like to welcome Aborted, Behemoth, Immolation, Incantation, Swallow The Sun, and Vital Remains to the Century Media roster.

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Dungeon Announce Last Show Ever

Leading Australian power/thrash metallers DUNGEON have parted ways with longtime guitarist Stuart Marshall and bassist Glenn Williams. The band, who recently returned from a successful world tour supporting MEGADETH and METAL CHURCH, also announced that their next three shows will also be their last performances under the name of DUNGEON. For the full story, the band's future plans and statements from every member, visit www.dungeon.cd.

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Teen At Heavy Metal Christian Concert Brutalized

Brock Parker of Alabama's WTVM News Leader 9 is reporting that a teenager at a Christian heavy metal concert was brutalized by police this past Saturday night (Sept. 3).

Witnesses at The Breaker Box club in Lanett, Alabama say the teenager was calling home to get a ride when police threw him into a light pole and then onto the ground.

"I saw two Lanett police officers. One of them grabbed a young black male, head-locked him, ran him into this pole, slammed him to the ground, put their knee in his back and cuffed him," John Keith told WTVM News Leader 9.

That's when the lead singer of ONLY AFTER FAITH grabbed his video camera.

"A blow to the back of the head, and a couple of knees to the back. They finally got a little 13 or 15-year-old boy in the car," said Adrian Buice.

The video apparently shows the boy, without handcuffs, refusing to get into the car. The officer uses his nightstick to force him into the back seat.

According to police, they cannot comment on the case until an independent investigator looks into the incident.

"When his investigation is complete, if there's a violation of policy or law, then we'll take steps to address the situation at that time," said Chief Ron Docimo of the Lanett Police Department.

Witnesses say people were being pulled from their cars by the officers after trying to leave the club.

WTVM News Leader 9 asked Docimo if this was standard procedure, if the officers have been suspended, or if police cameras show anything different. He said he is not allowed to comment until after an investigation has been conducted.

For more information on this incident, read these Valley Times-News articles from writer Patrick Sands: Story#1, Story#2.

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Frediablo Quits Necrophagia

Norwegian guitarist/vocalist Frediablo (Necrophagia, Grimfist, Gorelord, Hemnur) has issued the following statement:

"I have decided quit all my musical engagements except my role as singer in Grimfist. Necrophagia, Gorelord, Wurdulak, Chamber of Strength etc... I'm done!! I desperately need to distance myself from a large portion of this scene in order to maintain any love at all for metal music. I either stop, or I work myself into a state of mental and physical misery. I will continue to raise hell in Grimfist, and will be seeing some of you fuckers on tour next year.

"Thanks to all the fans, press and people that have believed in me and supported me and my work over the years. You have my respect, and you all kick fucking ass!!"

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Voivod Guitarist Passes Away

According to VOIVOD vocalist Denis "Snake" Belanger:

"Yesterday, Friday 26th at 23:45, Piggy passed away.

I would like to thank all of you for all the good words and encouragments you gave Denis during his battle. I will keep you posted for funeral details."

Former Voivod bassist Jean-Yves (Blacky) Theriault has issued the following statement:

"Life does not always turn out the way you expect. Mine and the lives of many of my friends from Jonquiere were certainly influenced by one specific person, Denis D'Amour. He was a mentor and a hero for many of us. He was my best friend.

I have dreaded the arrival of this day for a while now. My old bandmate is gone. He passed away last night at peace with himself and without pain. Until the very end he was both a sweetheart and a real rocker, without compromise.

I am so grateful that I had the chance to let him know how much he meant to me and how much I loved him. Denis did not live to see his last artistic effort released but the rest of us will appreciate it all the more.

Long live Denis D'Amour. Long live Piggy."

As previously reported, Voivod guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour had been battling advanced colon cancer which spread to his liver. Denis was 45 years old.

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40 Below Summer Disband

40 Below Summer have decided to call it a day and will play a final show at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on September 17th with all of the bands original members. It will be filmed for a DVD that the band will sell through their official website at a later date. Despite the end of 40 Below Summer, the remaining members of the band, frontman Max Illidge, guitarist Joe D'Amico and bassist Hector Graziani, will continue on together under the moniker of Black Market Hero. Also in the line-up are Ryan Jurhs of Flaw fame on guitars and drummer Ali Nassar. The band will open the aforementioned 40 Below Summer show.

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Bruce Dickinson Gets Egged At Ozzfest

I received an interesting email from a reader (Jonny) who attended the San Bernardino Ozzfest:

"I went to OZZFEST 2005 san bernardino last night and things got pretty crazy. Sharon osbourne had people throwing eggs at bruce dickenson and messing with Iron Maiden's equipment during Maiden's set. Bruce said "I'm going to rip your fucking eyes out if I see who's doing that" "This is fuckin' Maiden Fest" Almost every song was plagued by her mischeif, such as Bruce's vocals being cut off and being replaced by an annoying OZZY OZZY OZZY chant. Bruce was livid. He said america stands for "we the people" and the people were the only reason he didn't leave.
There were other subtle signs of the "shit hitting the fan"

Sharon then cut them short and you could hear the sounds of a fight backstage. Sharon then goes on the Big Screen and calls Bruce a "Prick". Next ozzy comes on and gives the worst perfomance ever. Please find some more people who were there to corroborate my account."

This seems to be well corroborated by a lengthy post and more emails Blabbermouth.net received as well as the fact that two photos of IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson have apparently been removed from the official Ozzfest web site, Ozzfest.com — presumably because the Ozzfest organizers believe that Dickinson has "disrespected" the festival (based on comments made by Sharon Osbourne during last night's Ozzfest in San Bernardino, California). View the IRON MAIDEN photo page (containing pictures taken earlier in the tour) at Ozzfest.com. The photos that are believed to have been removed from the page can be seen on the Ozzfest.com server, but are no longer part of the former page: Photo#1, Photo#2 More...

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Transport League Splits Up

Sweden's TRANSPORT LEAGUE have officilally split up. The group's statetement on the mater reads as follows:

"TRANSPORT LEAGUE is no more!! We have decided to bury this ship for good! After several years of hard work and releases of four CDs, we've now decided to move on! The TRANSPORT LEAGUE sound has changed so much since the release of 'Stallion Showcase' 1996 and 'Superevil' 1997, and many member changes has affected the sound so much... etc., a cleansing was needed !.

"Out of the ashes rises the new era, the new band, a new level of art: M.A.N!!! The lead singer, Tony [Jelencovich], has also decided to put away the guitar, and just concentrate on the singing and to front the band better than ever!!!

"M.A.N is yet unsigned, but negotiations are going on."

As previously reported, M.A.N recently recorded 13 songs at Gothenburg, Sweden's Grand Recordings towards their planned debut album, "Obey, Consume, Reject" (originally a TRANSPORT LEAGUE projected album title). A fall release is expected.

"The sound of M.A.N is maybe a bit more brutal than in TRANSPORT LEAGUE, and we just felt that we had make something out of these crushing riffs!" said Jelencovich.

You can check out samples of M.A.N's music at Transport League's Myspace page.

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Former Vader Drummer "Doc" Dies

Former Vader drummer Krzysztof "Docent" Raczkowski (a.k.a. Doc) has passed away at age 35. No further details about his death are currently available.

In a March 2005 statement announcing Doc's departure from the group, Vader frontman Peter said, "Doc pretty hard tried to 'fight' against his weaknesses, which were troubles for all of us. Finaly he had not prevailed over that battle... All in all, he attempted. . . Vader today is not just a friendship anymore — it's our life with armies of man involved in music, releases and — first of all — fans waiting for shows or new albums... This is a high responsibility, not too many know about. If a person, even the most talented one, cannot stand it — [he] has to leave... That was Doc's decision as well."

In an April 2005 interview with AbrasiveRock.com, Vader guitarist Mauser elaborated on Doc's "weaknesses," stating, "He had a problem with alcohol and this is the problem. Maybe in the future, if he will be alright, he may be back in the band. Maybe someday. We will see what happens."

This news has been confirmed by Vader's official website, Vader.pl.

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All Members of Blood Freak Killed in Car Accident

The following message was posted on the Razorback Records website:

"It is a very, very sad day for Razorback Records and the whole Horror Hive. We received a call today from Jason Grinter's wife, Martha, that Jason and the rest of BLOOD FREAK died in a horrible car accident sometime over the weekend. They had left Anaheim, BLOOD FREAK's hometown, on Friday morning and were driving to Seattle so they could begin recording their long-awaited second album, "Live Fast, Die Young, & Leave a Flesh-Eating Corpse," this week. The album was to have been the second released by Razorback Records. Jason and the boys were about to head into Portland when something went wrong and their rented van veered off the road. Tragically, all three passengers were killed in the crash. Exactly what went "wrong" with BLOOD FREAK's van isn't known yet. We hope to have more details soon. What we do know is that Razorback Records and the Horror Hive mourns the deaths of our fellow gore-hounds in BLOOD FREAK, a band that rose out of the obscurity of the '80s/early '90s death metal/goregrind underground only to be lost before its time ...

BLOOD FREAK: 1988 - 2005
R.I.P."

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Hellfest 2005 Is Cancelled

Hellfest was set to happen this weekend in New Jersey and Metal Underground .com was to be there covering the event. However, the official Hellfest site has been updated with a message stating that the event has been cancelled. Here is the statement:

Due to circumstances beyond our control, Hellfest has been cancelled. After a full day in court in Burlington County, NJ, Hellfest was unable to meet unreasonable demands brought to Hellfest's attention by the Sovereign Bank Arena on August 16, 2005 at 6:21 PM, and to be met by August 17, 2005 at 7:00 AM. Actions were taken and Hellfest had an injunction filed by noon on August 17, 2005, but was overruled by the judge.

We send our deepest apologies out to the fans and everyone who was involved with the event and want you to be aware that legal action is being taken. For ticket refunds please contact the Sovereign Bank Arena box office.

More information to come.

If you have problems or complaints with the Sovereign Bank Arena or with Mercer County Authority. Please contact the following: More...

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Ozzy Osbourne Retires As Ozzfest Headliner

It's been rumored for months that this summer's Ozzfest would be its namesake's last — and on Friday, Ozzy Osbourne announced that he is retiring as the headliner of the annual heavy metal festival. However, the singer is expected to finish this summer's tour and plans to make occasional appearances at future Ozzfests.

"After 10 years, the Ozzfest's name and reputation have been established," he said in a statement. "It's time for me to move on and do other things." His publicist noted in a statement, "Ozzfest will carry on in 2006, however Ozzy will limit his performances to only a few, select cities."

Ozzy, who's been performing with Black Sabbath this summer as the tour's headliner, has been dogged by throat problems, which have forced the band to drop off of the bill on several recent dates, with Black Sabbath cancelling three Ozzfest appearances so far this year (July 27 in Holmdel, New Jersey, July 31 in Noblesville, Indiana and August 2 in Columbus, Ohio).

No official explanation has been given for Ozzy's throat problems, and it is unknown how severe they may be.

Read the full article at MTV.com.

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First Annual Ride For Dime Info Released

The first annual "Ride for Dime" bike rally will be held on Saturday, August 20 (late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's birthday) in Dallas. The event has been organized to raise money for the Dimebag Darrell Memorial Fund, which has been set up to help the victims of the Alrosa Villa shootings in Columbus, Ohio on December 8, 2004, which took the life of legendary heavy metal guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

The bike run, which will begin and end at The Clubhouse, will take the participants into Arlington, where Dimebag lived all of his life, with stops of interest including his favorite restaurant, Campo Verde, where the riders will eat dinner. The ride will also pass through Elkins Park, where Dimebag often went to relax, and by his high school. The route will finally pass by Moore Memorial Gardens, Dimebag's final resting place, where the riders will toss flowers near the cemetery gates as they pass by. The ride will then return to the Clubhouse, where a night of Dime-style partying will take place.

Anyone interested in participating in this ride can find registration information at http://www.dallasentertainment.com/rfd.


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Man Dies At Wacken Open Air Festival

A 37-year-old heavy metal fan was killed in a tragic accident at Germany's Wacken Open Air festival early Friday morning (August 5). The accident reportedly occured at about 12:25 a.m. on the Bokelrehmer Weg near the adjoining camping ground. An apparently very drunk festival attendee from Rendsburg was walking in the bushes near the road with a friend. As he emerged, he tumbled and fell backwards. In the fall, he hit the side of an ambulance driving past at slow speed. The Rendsburg man was critically injured, and despite immediate medical attention, was pronounced dead a short time later at Itzehoe medical clinic. The 43-year-old ambulance driver and his partner, as well as the friend of the victim, suffered shock and received psychological counselling.

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Mork Gryning Working On One More Album

Swedish black metal band Mörk Gryning is officially still disbanded, but due to major pressure from fans they have decided to release a final album. This album will be released by Black Lodge Records. Mörk Gryning are in the studio right now, in the mixing stage of the coming album named “Mörk Gryning” set for release later this year.

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The Program Call It Quits At Start Of Tour

Just days into a U.S. tour, The Program have broken up. Here's a statement by the band:

"The Program truly regret to inform all of you that we have broken up. Last night was the cap of a 4 year run of bad breaks and sketchy happenings. We will be taking this time to dial in our lives, return to school, and begin the next step of things to come. Thank you all for your support over the years and we apologies to the 25 people who were psyched to see us on this tour. We will all be starting new projects, the details of which will be named later."

Formed in 2001, the group released an album with Stillborn Records in 2003.

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