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Archive: Headline News

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Queensrÿche Splits With Geoff Tate

According to Billboard.com (full article at this location), Queensrÿche and singer Geoff Tate have parted company over "creative differences." Crimson Glory vocalist Todd La Torre was tapped to replace Tate, as prior to this report the remaining band members went on to form Rising West with the vocalist.

Rumors have been circulating about trouble in the Seattle progressive metal band's camp including the band's recent performances in Brazil and culminating with Geoff Tate's statements to the crowd at Rocklahoma 2012.

In an excerpt from the exclusive story with Billboard, drummer Scott Rockenfield was quoted as saying:

"Over the past few months, there have been growing creative differences within Queensryche. We want our fans to know that we hoped to find a common resolution, but in the end parting ways with Geoff was the best way for everyone to move forward in a positive direction. We wish him the best of luck with all of his future endeavors. We can't wait to bring Queensryche to our fans with Todd behind the microphone."

Billboard could not get a comment from Tate through his agent Jeff Albright of the Albright Entertainment Group prior to running its story.

La Torre made it clear that he has no intentions on leaving Florida act Crimson Glory, stating on his Facebook page: "I am not a 'former member' of Crimson Glory. Both bands are fully aware of my involvement. Crimson Glory is still alive and well, and we are continuing to write material for the new record. Queensryche enters a new chapter, buckle up." More...

Read the full article at Billboard.

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Candlemass Fires Singer Robert Lowe

Candlemass has issued the following statement:

"We are sorry to inform you that Robert Lowe is no longer the singer for CANDLEMASS. It has been a very difficult decision for the band and has mainly to do with the quality of the live performances.

"For the upcoming shows, Robert will be replaced with Mats Levén [YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, THERION, TREAT, ADAGIO, AT VANCE, KRUX], longtime friend of the band. We are convinced this will work out just great.

"The band is currently rehearsing new and old songs with Mats and we know that nobody attending the gigs at Debaser Slussen, Metaltown, Borås or Southern Discomfort will be disappointed.

"Bring you earplugs….it will be hard, massive and loud!

"Keyboard player Per Wiberg [OPETH, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS] is also joining CANDLEMASS onstage for the live shows."

This concludes Lowe's five-year run with Candlemass, whose ranks he joined in 2007. He performed on the band's three most recent studio albums: "King Of The Grey Islands" (2007), "Death Magic Doom" (2009) and "Psalms For The Dead" (2012).

"Psalms For The Dead," Candlemass' planned swan song, is set for release on June 8 via Napalm Records. Our review can be read here. The band will celebrate the new album with a June 5 performance at Debaser Slussen in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Crescent Shield Vocalist Passes Away

Guitarist Dan DeLucie of U.S. power metal act Crescent Shield has issued the following announcement about vocalist Michael Grant passing away:

"Today I have lost a dear and close friend, a band mate, and a heavy metal brother. Michael Grant passed away on May 31, 2012 at Glendale Memorial Hospital in Glendale, CA after a relatively brief but serious illness. He was 39 years old. He was peaceful and surrounded by family at the time of his passing. Michael recorded and toured with several bands throughout his career most notably Onward on Century Media Records and more recently Crescent Shield on Cruz del Sur Music.

"Michael’s rich and powerful baritone and clean melodic vocal style made him a distinct voice in heavy metal. He was known for crafting memorable vocal hooks and layered harmonies. He often weaved multiple vocal phrases together creating a complex and striking tapestry of vocal melodies. Perhaps most notable however was the passion Mike sang with. He could evoke the strength and grandiloquence of the mightiest metal warrior or the mournful atmosphere of a passing life.

"Mike was more than just a singer though. He was a greatly talented songwriter and lyricist. Although he didn’t play an instrument, he would often write complete songs by humming guitar lines and vocalizing drum beats. His lyrics were profound, evocative and often personal. He was a true lover of heavy metal and would sing its praises with a sense of poetry and grandeur. No matter the topic: journeys into the unknown, the choices we make in life, religious dogma, or a crimson moonrise, Mike always delivered a moving message with unique elegance.

"Writing, recording, and performing music with Mike in Crescent Shield was a joy. We were in synch creatively and complimented each other’s abilities very well. We produced music for the love of it. We performed for the love of it. Crescent Shield’s pinnacle performance at Keep It True 08 in Germany was a dream come true for both of us. More...

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Urgehal Vocalist Trondr Nefas Dead At 35

Season of Mist Records reported that guitarist/vocalist Trondr Nefas of the Norwegian black metal band Urgehal has died suddenly at the age of 35. No news as to the cause of death was released as of yet. In a post on the label's Facebook page, it was stated: "We are deeply sorry to announce that URGEHAL guitarist/vocalist Trondr Nefas just passed away. More news and official statement to follow soon. RIP."

Nefas also played with Beastcraft (as Alastor Nefas), Bloodsworn, Endezzm, In Lingua Mortua, Vulture Lord, Angst Skvadron (As T.B.) and Kvist. Ironically, the last release from Urgehal was the 7" "Death Is Complete" released in January 2011 through Folter Records.

Nefas also provided a guest solo for Italian black metal band So Much For Nothing's track "My Previous," which was released on My Kingdom Music earlier this year. Owner and general manager of My Kingdom Music, Francesco Palumbo, has these comments on the passing of Nefas:

"It's a sad day for many Black souls because Trondr Nefas's death. A few one knows him as a great man, a lot of you knows him for his great talent and music in URGEHAL, BEASTCRAFT and other great acts and some of you have listened to his great musical talent because he played a great guitar solo in the song 'My Precious' available in the SO MUCH FOR NOTHING album "Livsgnist" released by my label. That's the personal reason I want to show with this my being close to his family, girlfriend, his fellow musicians in Urgehal, Angst Skvadron and Beastcraft and of course to Erik and Jarle from 'my' SO MUCH FOR NOTHING! Rest in peace!!!"

More news on the death is expected shortly. More...

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Former Into Eternity Guitarist Rob Doherty Passes

Saskatchewan born Rob "Smiley" Doherty suddenly passed away, the cause of which is not yet announced. Doherty was a former guitarist with Canadian based band Into Eternity. He played on the band's LP "Buried In Oblivion," as well as guest starred on the band's latest singles "Fukushima" and "Sandstorm" providing death vocals. Doherty released his one man band project Final Darkness at the end of 2011.

Into Eternity's Tim Roth commented: "He was a special part of our band. Our condolences go out to all of Rob's family and friends, and to all those, who Rob's music touched."

Former Into Eternity vocalist Stu Block (Iced Earth) posted the following statement on his Facebook page: "It is a sad day RIP Rob Doherty. My good friend and former band mate from Into Eternity. Enter the gates with a strong soul and heart. I love u brother!!!!"

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Mortal Sin To Disband Again

Australian thrash metal veterans Mortal Sin have announced that they will be breaking up for the fourth time in their history, following their most recent reformation in 2004. A statement from guitarist Ryan Huthnance reads as follows:

"It's time the rumours were laid to rest. Yes, Mortal Sin is finished. Due to changing personal circumstances, as well as priorities, Luke and Nathan have both decided that their time with the band is at an end. This decision was not made lightly, and was not a result of the actions and words made by other parties who would lead you to believe it was.

"The truth is, without passion, conviction, and love for the music you play, being in a band means nothing. While Andy, Dave and myself could easily continue and find new band members, without the core songwriting unit from the last two albums, it wouldn't be Mortal Sin. We're extremely proud of our last album 'Psychology Of Death', and we've completed the longest and most intense tour of the band's career - the Thrashfest Classics tour. These two milestones are a fitting way to close the 25 year journey that was Mortal Sin.

"On behalf of Mortal Sin, I'd like to thank you - the fans - for staying loyal to a band that's had more ups and downs than any other in Australia. Without you, this journey would have ended long ago. For those who'd like to follow the future musical exploits of this final lineup, Dave's band NEKROFEIST are about to release their new album, my band THE SEER just released a new single, and Luke will continue playing with his cover bands. We sincerely apologise to those who hoped to see us on the road in the shows we had booked."

If you'd like to know more about the band, you can read our Sunday Old School column about Mortal Sin here. More...

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Guitar Amp Pioneer Jim Marshall Passes Away

Jim Marshall, the man dubbed the "father of loud," who founded the iconic Marshall guitar amplifiers has passed away at the age of eighty eight. The cause of death has not yet been revealed. Guitar hero Slash, formerly of Guns N Roses, has posted a message online via Twitter which reads:

"The news of Jim Marshall passing is deeply saddening. R & R will never be the same w/out him. But, his amps will live on FOREVER!"

A message has also been posted online on the official Marshall website, which reads:

"It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved founder and leader for the past 50 years, Jim Marshall. While mourning the Guv’nor though, we also salute a legendary man who led a full and truly remarkable life.

"Jim’s ascent into the history books as ‘the Father of Loud’ and the man responsible for ‘the Sound of Rock’ is a true rags-to-riches tale. Cruelly robbed of his youth by tubercular bones, Jim rose to become one of the four forefathers responsible for creating the tools that allowed rock guitar as we know and love it today to be born. The ground breaking quartet also included the late, great trio of Leo Fender, Les Paul and Seth Lover – together with Jim, they truly are the cornerstones of all things rock.

"In addition to the creation of the amps chosen by countless guitar heroes and game changing bands, Jim was also an incredibly humble and generous man who, over the past several decades, has quietly donated many millions of pounds to worthy causes."

Read the full article at www.jimmarshall.co.uk.

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Sabaton Members Announce Mutual Split In Band

With a new album ("Carolus Rex") expected in May and a major headling U.S. Tour confirmed, Sabaton has announced a major mutual split of the current band. According to multiple news sources, guitarists Oskar Montelius and Rikard Sundén, drummer Daniel Mulback and keyboardist Daniel Mÿhr have agreed to departed the band. Vocalist Joakim Bróden and bassist Pär Sundström will continue on as Sabaton with new, yet undisclosed members. The statement was posted up on the band's Facebook page, with a link to the full story on band's website, however, the link quickly crashed the band's hosting server. No word of the news has yet been confirmed by label Nuclear Blast.

News sources report that the full statement on the band's website reads as follows:

"Starting a band at the age of 18 is simple, keeping it intact for 12 years is much harder, and finally we have come to the crossroad where we will go separate ways.

"Pär Sundström and Joakim Brodén will continue to battle on stage, carrying the banner of Sabaton to further victories.

"We will always have an eternal bond to each other, created by more than 12 years of friendship & touring, and wish each other long and prosperous lives with families, various projects and musical careers.

"In the end, all six of us will end up in our own glorious future…"

The band has not commented on the upcoming U.S. tour. More information is expected shortly.

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Sonisphere Knebworth Is Cancelled

The organisers of the British leg of the Sonisphere festival have announced that they have had to cancel this years event, which was set to feature headline performances from KISS, Faith No More and Queen + Adam Lambert, amongst others. The statement from the organisers reads as follows:

"It is with very heavy hearts and much regret that we announce the cancellation of Sonisphere Knebworth 2012.

"Putting the festival together in what is proving to be a very challenging year was more difficult than we anticipated and we have spent the last few months fighting hard to keep Sonisphere in the calendar. Unfortunately circumstances have dictated that we would be unable to run the festival to a standard that both the artists and that Sonisphere’s audience would rightly expect. More...

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Great White Singer To Sue Former Bandmates

According to Courthouse News Service, Great White singer Jack Russell plans to sue his former bandmates, who are continuing with their own version of the band, for trademark infringement and unfair competition. Among those Russell is suing are guitarist Mark Kendall, drummer Audie Desbrow, guitarist/keyboardist/backing vocalist Michael Lardie and talent agency Bigg Time Entertainment.

"In August of 2010, plaintiff was hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery for a life threatening condition. While he recuperated from this surgery, other singers filled in for him during the band's live performances, however, it was undisputed that plaintiff's absence was temporary, and that he retained his position in the band's lineup and would resume singing with the band upon his recuperation," the federal complaint states.

Read the full article at Courthouse News Service.

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Former Mastic Scum Singer Passes Away

Austrian death metal/grindcore veterans Mastic Scum has announced that their former vocalist Will passed away last Friday (March 23rd,) reportedly as a result of an automobile accident. A statement from the band reads as follows:

"In deep sadness we have to announce that our friend and ex-member Will died by accident on Friday, March 23rd. We are all very shocked about his tragic death. Will joined Mastic Scum in 1993 and left the band in 2008. We had a great time and lot of experiences together. R.I.P. Will - we'll see us in another life!"

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Twisted State Of Mind Snubbed By British PM

A young heavy metal band named Twisted State Of Mind, from Witney in Oxfordshire, England (who featured in an Unearthing The Metal Underground column in January), has been the subject of some controversy this week, when the band members found out that a contest they entered, in which the prize was an opportunity to perform at the Houses Of Parliament, had already had it's winner chosen by British Prime Minister David Cameron five weeks before the closing date.

After taking their problem to the BBC, who contacted the Prime Ministers office, they were told that the Prime Minister would make an exception and allow two bands from Witney to be nominated, leaving them with another chance to showcase their music in Westminster. You can check out a BBC South report on the incident below.

More...

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Pantera To Unveil Unreleased Song and Music Video

Pantera has announced via its official Facebook page that the band plans to release a new music video for the unreleased track "Piss," off the "Vulgar Display Of Power" recording sessions.

The band will premiere the song at the Revolver Golden Gods award show in celebration of the 20th anniversary of "Vulgar Display of Power." The music video will be the first from the band in twelve years.

Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul commented, "'Piss' is the only unheard complete Pantera track in existence. It was recorded at the same time as Vulgar Display of Power and it’s 100 percent Pantera with attitude and our signature groove! After mixing it, I can’t believe it didn’t make the record! So it’s 2012 and 20 years later and new Pantera music has been delivered. Cheers!"

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King's X Drummer Gaskill Suffers Heart Attack

Jerry Gaskill, drummer and vocalist for Houston progressive hard rock band King's X, had a heart attack Saturday night, according to a Facebook post by his bandmate Doug Pinnick:

The Houston Press reports that King's X drummer Jerry Gaskill suffered a heart attack last night and underwent emergency surgery. Gaskill is in stable condition at the hospital. Vocalist/bassist dUg Pinnick reported the event on twitter with the following message:

Jerry had a heart attack last night. He was operated on and is in stable condition at the hospital. Were all waiting for more info. I will keep you posted.

The band is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first self-titled release this year and the "First Church of Rock and Roll" North American Tour was scheduled to start in March.

More information is expected shortly. To read the entire article, head over to this location.

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Elis Calls It Quits After Departure Of Vocalist

Lichtensteinian gothic metal band Elis has decided to call it quits with the recent departure of Simone Christinat (Legenda Aurea) due to "too much stress." The band has seen its share of bad luck with the death of Sabine Dünser in 2006 due to a cerebral haemorrhage on July 8, 2006. After the death the band vowed to carry on and hired Ex-Eyes of Eden original vocalist Sandra Schleret, who joined the band in 2006 and stayed until 2011, having only recorded one album, "Catharsis" in 2009. The band decided to make one last attempt and hired Simone Christinat in 2011. Less than a year later Christinat has departed and the band has called it a day.

The following statement was issued on the band's official website:

We have to inform you that ELIS has passed into history.Simone told us a couple of days ago, that she will leave ELIS immediately due to too much stress.We have decided now to quit the band. Too much things happened during all these years to continue once again.

But on the other side, there were a lot of good and lucky moments in this almost ten years of ELIS. Therefore we want to say thank you for your support, your dedication and your friendship through all these years!

But this will not be the end of our musical careers, some projects are already in the pipeline.
You will find more information about these things very soon on this location.

Cheers and take care!
Max, Tom, Pete, Chris

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Lordi Drummer, "Otus" Passes Away

Finnish heavy metal outfit Lordi has announced that drummer Tonmi Lillman, also known as "Otus," has passed away at the age of 38. The cause of death is presently unknown. A message from the band reads as follows:

"Our dear friend and band mate, "Otus" Tonmi Lillman, has sadly passed away. He will be greatly missed and we send our condolences to his family and friends.

"Otus: we thank You from the bottom of our hearts for the short time we got to know you and spend with you together.

"Rest in peace, friend."

Lillman joined the group in late 2010, replacing long time drummer Sampsa Astala, AKA, "Kita." He joined after the release of the band's latest studio album, "Babez For Breakfast" and as such, had not recorded an album with Lordi. He had also spent time with such bands as Ajattara, To/Die/For, Sinergy and Vanguard.

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Deftones Bassist Emerging From Coma

After over three years in a coma, Chi Cheng is now beginning to emerge from an unconscious to partially conscious state. Cheng is now able to move his leg when commanded but is still otherwise unable to move or speak aside from being able to make grunting noises since October. Those looking to see Cheng's Progress can check out the official website for his recovery fund.

Cheng was injured in a car accident in late 2008 which left him comatose and requiring surgery to remove part of his brain. Seven months after the accident, he was no longer on life support. Two years later, Cheng Began to briefly emerge from his coma in short intervals. More than a year later, Cheng is able to respond to commands more often and now has the use of his legs.

Even after a benefit concert and single, Cheng's family is running out of money. The family only has $17,495 our of the $250,000 that they need to hopefully give Chi Cheng a full recovery.

Cheng recently underwent surgery earlier this month, after which he showed signs of improvement. His recovery has been incredibly slow but he has shown steady improvement over the course of the past two years.

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Riot Guitarist Passes Away

Riot guitarist and founding member Mark Reale passed away yesterday (January 25th) due to complications from Crohn's disease. He was fifty seven years old. He had been in a coma since January 11th as a result of a subarachnoid hemorrhage. He had battled the disease for most of his life, and was bravely attempting to practice to perform with the band at their scheduled shows, before his condition worsened. His band mates have issued the following statement:

"To friends and fans of Mark Reale and Riot, we are deeply saddened to confirm that Mark has lost his battle with a lifelong illness. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated by Mark's family, friends, and bandmates at this difficult time."

Metal Blade founder and CEO Brian Slagel commented:

"I was a huge fan of Riot's Fire Down Under album and got to interview them for my fanzine. Great guys and I was lucky enough to finally re-issue Fire Down Under and the other early Riot albums on Metal Blade. We signed the band for their second run, so to speak, and put out some records in the '90s that did well, especially in Europe and Japan. It was a pleasure working with them and Mark was always a kind soul — an amazing player who really has a big time place in the history of metal. One of the really nice guys who put out some incredible stuff."

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King Diamond Announces Return To Stage

Metal legend King Diamond will return to playing concerts. The official King Diamond/Mercyful Fate Website, Coven Worldwide, issued a statement regarding new booking agents. King Diamond will use Nick Storch at ICM for booking concerts in North and South America, and Paul Ryan of the Agency Group to book Europe and the Rest of the World.

King comments: More...

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Former Diamond Head Drummer Passes Away

Although no details have been revealed as of yet, a post from the official Diamond Head Facebook page has announced that the band's former drummer Robbie France, passed away on Saturday the 14th of January. France was the drummer in the legendary New Wave Of British Heavy Metal group from 1983 to 1985, joining the band shortly after the release of the "Canterbury" album and staying with them until their first break up two years later. France also spent time with British hard rock legends UFO and Wishbone Ash, as well as alternative rock outfit, Skunk Anansie. More details will be revealed as they become available.

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