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Archive: Headline News

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Tower Records Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

US retailer Tower Records has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy filings for Tower and its privately held parent MTS Inc comes after loss-making Tower was unable to find a suitable buyer. Tower has stated it's been unable to cope with competition from digital downloading and file copying. MTS listed more than $100m of assets and $100m of debts. The company closed its UK stores last year, but still has international outlets in the US, Asia, Latin America and Israel.

Tower opened its first store in Sacramento in 1960 and sold record albums for just $1.98. Over forty years later stiff competition from retailers such as Wal-Mart, Virgin Megastores and Best Buy, coupled with high lease costs, drove it into heavy debt.

I will not post the rest of their unfounded bullshit excuses (downloading music, etc). The real reasons are, as stated, competition - the fact that their prices were to high, coupled with the fact that they invested heavily in an online foray, which failed largely due to their high prices (and poor affiliate terms on top of it!). Tower has simply failed to change with the times and compete with the newcomers, which all face those "other issues", whatever effects they may have on business.

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Gorgoroth Investigated For Performance In Poland

"A prosecutor in Poland has launched an investigation into whether a concert by the black metal band GORGOROTH has breached the country's law protecting religion. The Norwegian band are suspected of having sent a hateful and offensive message with their performance Sunday (Feb. 1) at the Krakow studios of Polish Television.

The show, which was to be filmed for an upcoming DVD, featured two naked women (with hoods over their heads) and one naked man, all of them "crucified" and covered in sheep blood, a number of sheep heads on spikes and sheep entrails thrown all over the stage, as well as approximately 80 liters of fresh sheep blood. During the performance, which was attended by an audience of 300, one of the models reportedly fainted from the lack of oxygen. The TV show's producers, who were not briefed in advance about the nature of the concert, were said to "shocked" by the activities on stage. The manager of the studio, Andrzej Jeziorek, notified the police and the recorded footage was confiscated by the authorities as evidence of a possible crime. More...

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Iced Earth Cancel European Tour, Possibly US Tour

Due to Jon Schaffer's complications from back surgery, he will have to undergo additional testing throughout the European tour dates and into the US dates.

Here's straight from the official ICED EARTH site, Icedearth.com: More...

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40 Grit Call It Quits

Bay Area metallers 40 GRIT, who issued two full-length albums through the Metal Blade label (2000's "Heads" and 2003's "Nothing To Remember"), have sadly decided to call it a day.

The following is the group's official statement on the matter:

"Hey all, this is a day that I was hoping would never come. Last week we have decided that 40 GRIT will no longer be a band. It's been a very fun and cool road we have been on. 40 GRIT has been doing this for 7 years and to be honest we have little to show for it except for our fans and memories. We want to thank all the fans that have been with us since the beginning and all the new fans we have made over the years. The music biz has taken a toll on all of us in the band and it makes us sick to our stomach. There is so many bands with so much talent out there that will go without notice because of the way this industry is. Well, thanks for all the support."

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Mustaine Hints Strongly At Megadeth's Return

Even before singer Dave Mustaine spoke of a reunion recently, it wasn't hard to imagine Megadeth regrouping. After all of the recent speculation, Mustaine has posted an audio clip, complete with new music teaser and a message from Mustaine regarding the band's return. He talks about returning to the classic sound and that the only official news will come from the Megadeth site. Click here to go directly to the teaser.

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Ex-Priest Drummer Found Guilty of Attempted Rape

BBC new reports that former JUDAS PRIEST drummer DAVID HOLLAND has been found guilty of trying to rape a teenage boy who visited his home for drum lessons.

Holland had denied the accusations Monday (January 19), saying the charges were "ridiculous." Holland said he had formed a "friendship" with the teenager, who is aged 18 but cannot be named for legal reasons, and had invited him to his house on several occasions. The drummer stressed that no sexual advances were made towards the teenager. He said he had never touched the boy's genitals or had sexual intercourse with him, and added: "I have never, ever, had sexual intercourse with another man. It is not something that interests me at all."

Meanwhile, Judas Priest was quick to post this statement online:

We are as shocked and stunned as everyone else by this news - however, we would like to point out that Scott Travis is Judas Priest's drummer and has been since 1989.

We have not see or heard from or had any contact with Dave Holland at all since we parted company with him over 15 years ago.

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Bassist Paul Barker Leaves Ministry

Bassist Paul Barker has left MINISTRY after 18 years with the industrial-metal pioneers, according to MTV.com. Barker says his decision to leave the band was cemented by the death of his father on the final night of MINISTRY's summer European tour.

"Last summer Al was extremely enthusiastic about the possibilities of what the band could do, and I wasn't as excited. I thought, 'What are we going to do and what am I going to get out of it?' and I realized that now would be the perfect time to bow out," Barker told MTV.com.

Barker also said he plans to produce other groups and write music on his own:

"I wanna make big, ugly, heavy music because that's what I love," he said. "But it's pop music. It has verses and choruses. It's not abstract and experimental."

MINISTRY have hired John Monte (ex-MIND FUNK, M.O.D.) to replace Barker, and they're in the studio in Tornillo, Texas, working on the follow-up to 2003's "Animositisomina", titled "Houses of the Molé". A late spring release through Sanctuary Records is expected.

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Century Media Now Majority Owner of Now Or Never

The following is the press release on the Century Media Records website:

"The Century Family is proud to announce it’s joining forces with New Jersey-based label Now Or Never Records. This exciting collaboration will result in the Century Family, and its affiliated imprints, handling the manufacturing, marketing, and retail distribution of current and upcoming Now Or Never releases. This includes highly anticipated releases from DIECAST, DEVILINSIDE and THE POSTMAN SYNDROME.

Now Or Never has made a name for itself as more than just a typical hardcore label, but as a diverse operation showcasing a wide spectrum of aggressive styles, featuring acts like DIECAST, THE DILLENGER ESCAPE PLAN, BRAND NEW SIN, DEVILINSIDE, WORTHLESS UNITED, ALL ELSE FAILED and THE POSTMAN SYNDROME. Its artists have landed impressive tours that include SLAYER, MOTORHEAD, HATEBREED and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, among others, while being backed by a team of dedicated, energetic music lovers with quality distribution to aid in their already imminent impact on the music world. Now Or Never and the Century Family’s emphasis continues to focus on building up their artists in a “classic” artist development sense, a valued ethic that has been lacking throughout much of the music industry. It’s this ideal that has garnered much success with both labels’ diverse rosters and lasting relationships with their bands."

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Ripper Owens: 'I Would Never Rejoin Judas Priest'

Former JUDAS PRIEST/current ICED EARTH singer Tim Owens spoke to FoundryMusic.com Friday (January 16) about his departure from PRIEST, the "drinking incident" with ICED EARTH guitarist Jon Schaffer that was spotlighted in the current issue of Revolver magazine, and his plans for a solo project. Asked if he would ever consider rejoining JUDAS PRIEST for a six-month tour that would feature the band playing only the classics (nothing off the "Jugulator" and "Demolition" albums that Owens sang on), Tim said, "Depends on how much money [they would offer me]...(laughs). I would never rejoin JUDAS PRIEST, ever. . . You know, that's a different scenario though. If they would ever call me, and say, 'You wanna do a tour?' but they would HAVE to play 'Jugulator' and 'Demolition'...There's no way they'd do it WITH me without doing them. I mean, it all depends on what I was doing. I would never quit ICED EARTH, and I never would rejoin JUDAS PRIEST. But if they did say, 'Listen, we're gonna do a couple of month tour, and you wanna do a tour with us, just being the guest Ripper here,' then I'd probably do that if it fit in my schedule. But I would never rejoin them [permanently]."

Regarding Owens' interview in Revolver magazine where he mentioned going on a press tour in Europe and noticing Schaffer's drinking habits one night," Tim said, "Yeah, that... You know...that thing has become a pain in the ass. That Revolver article, to me, on my end, was crap. They messed up everything I said. Never had that happen, but even some stuff I said about PRIEST was like, 'No, that's not even...' What happened was, we had an interview, and they spread whatever I said out wherever it fit into the article. After Jon would say something, they'd fit my thing in there. Read the rest of the interview here. FoundryMusic's entire 31-minute conversation with Tim Owens can be downloaded here (MP3 format, 22 MB).

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Obituary To Reform

Legendary Florida death metallers OBITUARY are in the process of reforming with a view towards releasing a new CD in late 2004 or early 2005. "[Drummer] Donald [Tardy], [guitarist] Allen [West] and I have been working on some new stuff and are thinking about a new album," singer John Tardy told BLABBERMOUTH.NET. "We are just getting started and I know [Donald] has talked to [ex-OBITUARY guitarist] Trevor [Peres] about it, too. Right now we have no timeline or record deal set up, but we are writing songs. If all goes well, [the reunion] would be with all 'original' members [John, Donald, Allen, Trevor and bassist Frank Watkins]."

Although the reformed OBITUARY would likely perform select live shows before and after the recording of a new studio album, there is no truth to the reports that the band will make an appearance at the Sun N' Steel festival in Tampa in early March. "I don't know anything about a Sun N' Steel show...never heard of it," John said.

Formed in 1984 as EXECUTIONER (later shortened to XECUTIONER), OBITUARY are widely considered to be one of the most influential and groundbreaking bands in the death metal genre. After releasing several successful albums in the late Eighties/early Nineties (including the classic 1989 debut "Slowly We Rot" and its equally punishing 1990 follow-up, "Cause of Death"), the band announced their breakup, with John Tardy's disinterest in touring apparently a major factor, according to the Internet heavy metal encyclopedia BNR Metal Pages. Trevor Peres has since started CATASTROPHIC, while Donald Tardy joined Andrew W.K.'s band some time ago.

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Windir Frontman, Valfar, Found Dead At 25

WINDIR frontman Valfar (a.k.a. Terje Bakken) (photo#1, photo#2) was found dead on Friday, January 16. He was 25 years old. Bakken's family are asking that speculation as to the nature of his death be withheld until the official report has been released.

Sogndal, Norway-based black metallers WINDIR (web site) had issued four albums, the last being "Likferd" through Head Not Found Records in July of 2003.

The band, who had inked a deal with Tabu Recordings early last month, were a highly acclaimed live act, having performed at such Norwegian festivals as the Inferno, Quart and Hole In The Sky.

In July of 2003, WINDIR played their first U.S. dates, which included an appearance at the Milwaukee Metal Fest, where they performed alongside such acts as ENSLAVED, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, M.O.D., NUCLEAR ASSAULT and BODY COUNT. These shows were followed by a very successful headlining Norwegian tour in the Autumn. The tour included headlining shows at both Mosh Fest and the 1001 Watt festival.

WINDIR's first album for Tabu Recordings was due to recorded at Sweden's Abyss Studio over a four-week period in May-July 2004. It is not presently clear if the rest of the band will carry on with a replacement frontman. A more detailed WINDIR biography and discography can be found at this location.

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Stratovarius Gets Singer And Contract Dispute

A Finnish lady dubbed Miss K has been enlisted as the band’s new vocalist – she is said to have a 3 octave range and according the the band’s website: “she is capable of transforming Stratovarius’ sound to something unique, something that has never been heard in metal before” – in addition, the drummer for the next album will be Anders Johansson, the brother of Jens Johansson. Meanwhile, Sanctuary Records is asking Timo Tolkki to pay back 1 Million Euros from the recording agreement advance based on their position that the agreement was for the old line up. Tolkki disagrees with their position and refuses to pay.

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Former Hypnosia Drummer Passes Away At 27

Former HYPNOSIA drummer Mikael Sjöstrand passed away on Thursday, January 8 after a battle with skin cancer. He was 27 years old.

A highly acclaimed Swedish thrash/death metal act, HYPNOSIA split up in June 2002 after a seven-year existence that produced a seven-song EP (1999's "Violent Intensity", Iron Fist Productions) and one full-length album (2000's "Extreme Hatred", Hammerheart Records). No reason was given for the band's break-up.

At the time of their split, HYPNOSIA were hard at work on the material for their second full-length album, which carried the working title of "World Sacrifice".

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Vocalist Departs In Haste

HASTE, after three critically acclaimed full-length albums, have announced the official departure of vocalist Kelly Reaves due to irreconcilable differences. HASTE further describes the recent lineup change below: More...

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First Gaelic Metal Band, Armachdan Leir-Sgriosail

Murdo MacLeod of Scotsman.com is reporting that two Gaelic-speaking metalheads are organizing the first ever Gaelic-speaking heavy metal band, which will play a mixture of their own compositions and top metal hits, translated into Scotland's oldest living language.

ARMACHDAN LÈIR-SGRIOSAIL (Weapons of Mass Destruction), headed by Alasdair MacCaluim from East Kilbride, are working on composing Gaelic metal songs and translating a number of rock classics, including "Metal Gods" (Diathan Iarunn) by JUDAS PRIEST and "Die Die Darling" (Faigh Bàs, Bàs, Bàs a Leannan) by METALLICA. More...

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Online Metal Awards

In it's second year, the Online Metal Awards (run by the folks at Ultimate Metal) are now open for voting for the entire month of January. The site gives fans the chance to vote for their favourite bands, releases, labels and festivals (and more!) from the last year, every year.

Head over to http://www.onlinemetalawards.com/ and make yourself heard! And if you like this site, cast a vote for metalunderground.com in the "Best Metal Website" category.

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(hed)P.E. Continue, Despite Departures

(HED)P.E. vocalist Jahred (a.k.a. Paulo Sergio Gomes) has confirmed that the group have parted ways with guitarists Wes Greer and Sonny Mayo (guitar), as well as drummer Ben "BC" Vaught. In addition, the band have been dropped by longtime label Jive/Volcano Records.

The following is vocalist Jahred's official statement on the matter: More...

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Factory 81 Says Goodbye

FACTORY 81 has left the following message on their official website regarding the disbandment of the band:

"After seven years of the greatest musical experience of our lives, FACTORY 81 has decided to part ways and pursue other goals. Although the timing couldn't seem to be worse with the new album almost being complete, we felt that if we were'nt into the project 100% anymore that it would be a diservice not only to ourselves but the fans as well. We've always prided ourselves on performing with as much heart and energy as possible and we didn't want to see that disintegrate over time. This band has fought through more obstacles than anyone will ever know. We were able to continue soley from the support of our friends and fans that made it more than worthwhile. It's impossible for us to put into words the amount of respect we have for you, like we've always said, you guys made FACTORY 81. We appologize for those of you that have been so extremely patient during these last couple years waiting for new F81 material. We still plan on making these new songs available to everyone one way or another. Once again, thank you so much for everything and making this past seven years the best of our lives......

Andy, Bill, Kevin and Nate.

Please continue to check in at Factory81.com for further updates on the release of new F81 material....we hope to post more songs online for free ASAP"

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Impaled Nazarene, The Legion Euro Tour Cancelled

The forthcoming tour with IMPALED NAZARENE and THE LEGION has been cancelled. Here's THE LEGION's take:

“IMPALED NAZARENE are going on a European tour in May and the booking agency wanted to move the tour from February/March to a future date which wasn't possible for IMPALED NAZARENE."

THE LEGION also wrote:

"We have just finished with the last pieces of our recording session for the upcoming (limited edition) gatefold LP Unseen To Creation. Two bonus tracks were recorded in Art Decay Studio and it's a old song in a completely different version plus a cover with the mighty thrash legends TESTAMENT (Curse Of The Legions Of Death’). We have no release date at this point but it should be out in late February."

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Down Leaves Elektra

Down, the supergroup featuring former Pantera duo Phil Anselmo (vocals) and Rex Brown (bass), guitarists Kirk Windstein (Crowbar) and Pepper Keenan (COC) plus drummer Jimmy Bower (Eyehategod), have left their label Elektra. This seems to have happened following the disappointing sales of the ‘Down II: Bustle In Your Hedgerow’ album. Right now, the band are on ice, as the members pursue other projects, and it’s not known when/if there will be a third album.

In related news, siN's Metal News has an interview with Phil Anselmo, who answers questions about Down, Ozzfest 2004 and blank metal among other things.

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