Archive: Headline News
On a brief post made on the official Ozzfest Facebook page it has been announced that there will be no version of the popular Ozzfest taking place in 2011. One of the pioneering hard rock and metal festivals, started in 1997 by Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, will once again miss out on another summer touring cycle - for the second time in three years. The festival has gone through a number of changes over the past few years as a result of economic woes and more competition from events like the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem and Uproar festivals.
Ozzy Osbourne offered a short statement in regards to the cancellation by saying;
"No, [there will be no Ozzfest] this year. I just finished a lengthy arena tour of the U.S., so I've decided to tour Europe this summer instead."
The festival's official website, Ozzfest.com, had previously posted polls asking for fans to vote on bands they would like to see appear at this year's event. The site also featured a forum post requesting fan input. Both articles have since been removed.
American metalcore act Still Remains has posted the following statement online, announcing a return from its three year hiatus.
"Maybe we shouldn’t have called it a break-up. Maybe we needed a few years to purge the strain of having six or seven full-time roommates living in a van, and get back to having fun. When Haste The Day asked us to come back for one show none of us immediately said yes. Obviously, we eventually did. Getting together and playing those songs again in a tiny little corner-room in Mike’s basement had a bigger effect than we expected. We want more…
"We are not aspiring to get back to the same type of touring schedule that we had to walk away from. We all have other priorities and many of us are invested in other musical projects, but we know Still Remains has chemistry and musicianship that is not easy to come by.
"New tunes are in the works and we’ve booked a hometown show in Grand Rapids. We are looking forward to rocking together again. "
Dag Stokke, the keyboard player of Norwegian heavy metal veterans TNT, passed away this morning after a struggle against cancer. He was 44 years old. A statement from the band's drummer Morten "Diesel" Dahl reads as follows:
"He was simply a wonderful human being. Positive and with a very good life."
Former TNT vocalist Tony Harnell also commented on Dag's passing, saying: "I can't believe I am writing these words. Sadly, this morning I have to say goodbye to Dag Stokke, my long time friend and keyboardist for TNT, who has left us today way too young. He fought a hard battle with dignity, courage and optimism. I will always see him in my mind, smiling at me from across the stage. A gentle giant, a huge spirit, truly an angel on this earth. I loved him very much as did so many that he touched in his brief time here. My thoughts are with his son Jonathan and his family and friends. Have a good journey my friend. I will miss you dearly."
British heavy metal icons Judas Priest have announced that KK Downing, one of the founding members of the band, has decided to retire from the group and as a result, will not be taking part in the group's forthcoming Epitath tour. A press release from the band reads as follows:
"It is with regret that Judas Priest announce that K.K. Downing has formally retired from the band and will therefore not be joining them on their forthcoming Epitaph Tour. The band respect his decision and naturally all wish him well.
"Having thought long and hard about how to proceed, Rob, Glenn, Ian and Scott uninimously agreed that they should go ahead with the tour and not let the fans down around the world.
"Fate also stepped in and delivered the perfect replacement - 31 year old British guitarist Richie Faulkner - he has blended into the band perfectly and is a great talent who is going to set the stage on fire!
"The Epitath tour will include songs from every Judas Priest album and also tracks they have never performed on stage, plus all the old favourites!
"With a new album due to be released next year, the Metal Gods are preparing to tour the planet once more - Heavy metal at it's best with lasers, lights, bikes and hellfire! It's a show not to be missed!"
American death metal veterans Skinless have announced that they have decided to disband after nineteen years. A statement from guitarist Noah Carpenter reads as follows:
"We know that many of our fans are restless and wondering what is happening with Skinless, and for the last few years we haven't even known either. I'm not going to go into a deep, detailed description of what has transpired since the Trample album, but we were plagued with lineup issues once again. The frustration of 1 step forward and 2 steps back forced me to just put the band on hiatus and try to recharge the batteries for a while.
"In June 2010 we reunited the old lineup (from the first 2 CDS) for a show in New York, and I had anticipated that we'd end up writing a new album in that formation. When the time came for serious discussions about moving forward with the album a couple of the guys told me they didn't have the 'fire' and/or time to dedicate to the project. For several months afterwards I continued to work on new material and jammed with potential new band members. But, much like the other guys, I concluded that I didn't have the 'fire' either, and my inspiration was more directed towards my other band Armor Column. More...
American death metal act The Famine has posted the following statement online, detailing its decision to disband.
"The Famine never should have existed. I don’t mean that like when a jealous brother screams ‘I wish you were never born!’ at his little sister. What I mean is that we came together as a group of married thirty-somethings with kids and small businesses. Our singer lived on the other side of the country. It was a cumbersome proposition, but we made it work. Most of you are familiar with the fire that claimed most of our equipment and the departure of our vocalist about a year ago. We should have never been able to make our last record, but we did. This brings us to the present day.
"As of this past Saturday, The Famine is no more. In my mind, bands break up because Courtney Love kills their singer or because they can’t stand each other. Neither of those circumstances is descriptive of our situation. For us, life simply got in the way, as it often does. There is a medical emergency in my family, and I’ll be moving to Los Angeles in August to care for a loved one in his final days.
"Mark and Andy both have families for which they are the breadwinners, and Jon has been putting off going to graduate school. Instead of trying to simultaneously satiate Mark‘s drive and Andy‘s inability to tour and my distance from the band and Jon‘s webbed toes (sorry, Jon), we came together and decided as a group that it is time to lay The Famine to rest.
"Words cannot express how thankful we all are to have had these experiences, and without those of you who are reading this right now, none of this would have been possible. So, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all of you for the support and kindness you have shown us for the past four years.
"Thank you for allowing us in to your lives, and for giving us the opportunity to connect, even though most of us have never met. You’ll see us around. You might not see the same faces or the same names, but I know that music means too much to all of us to let it die with this moniker. So, this is goodbye for now."
The Famine's Nick Nowell also recently conducted an interview with Metalunderground.com. You can read the interview at this location.
The organisers of Norway's Hole In The Sky festival have announced that this year's edition of the event will be the last, concluding twelve years of history. However, it promises to go out with a bang as some of the biggest names in extreme metal will be performing at the event with Immortal, Mayhem, Satyricon and Enslaved being the latest confirmations. A message from the organisers reads as follows:
"There’s a saying that all good things must come to an end. For twelve years we’ve been fortunate enough to meet many of our favourite artists, shared some incredible metal moments with fans coming from all over the world, and worked with some of the best in the scene.
"Twelve years is a long time and we’ve always invested a lot of time and effort in making the festival the best it possible can be and never compromise.
"Hole in the Sky has been a thing we’ve taken great pride in and it would be a very sad thing to let the festival suffer due to other commitments and responsibilities that comes along as you get older, so basically we want go out on a high note when we still feel inspired and on top of the game. Mind you, we will go out in a spectacular fashion. More...
Last year the musical world was dealt a serious blow when gothic metal titan Peter Steele tragically passed away at the age of 48. While Peter may be gone, his music and his legacy live on, and they continue to inspire musicians around the world.
To honor Peter’s memory on the anniversary of his passing, and lead a new generation of metalheads to his music, heavy metal news site Metalunderground.com has teamed up with a dozen underground bands from across the globe to release an exclusive tribute album. The tribute, entitled “All For None, None For All: A Tribute to Peter Steele," was done in collaboration with Dan Mitchell of Beneath The Woods Studio and features twelve stellar cover songs from many stages of Peter’s career in both Type O Negative and Carnivore.
The songs covered, which include interpretations running the gamut from depressive rock to power metal to death metal and many stops in-between, are as follows:
Auvernia - “I Don't Wanna Be Me”
Fairytale Abuse - “Black No. 1”
In.verno - “Everything Dies”
Dead Shape Figure - “Dead Again”
Revilement - “Sex and Violence”
Emancer - “Girlfriend's Girlfriend”
A Band of Orcs - “Green Man”
Enthrope - “Wolf Moon”
Stabbingback - “Halloween in Heaven”
Dark Hound – “Life Is Killing Me”
Autumns Eyes – “Love You To Death”
Blind Greed – “Christian Woman”
A final track listing is still being determined.
Discussing his own exposure to Type O Negative, Fairytale Abuse vocalist Simon Pederson explained, “I remember very clearly when one of my friends introduced me to Type O Negative back in the early 90´s. I was quite impressed by the ambiance and melancholia of the music but even more by the depth and character of Peter Steele´s vocals. Since then their albums still regularly find their way to my CD player.” Simon then went on to add, “Peter Steele is for us without doubt one of the most significant forefathers within the entire melodic metal genre. So when being asked to deliver a song for his tribute we were doubtless that we had to participate and are honored to do so.” More...
According to a post on former Manowar drummer Scott Columbus' official Facebook page by his girlfriend Nancy, he passed away on April 4th at the age of 54. The cause of death has yet to be revealed. The message reads as follows:
"For all you to know, this is Scott Columbus's girlfriend of over 3 1/3 years... and I cannot get the words out, but he died today. Please send your thoughts and prayers. I can't believe he is gone. He was the absolute love of my life."
Former Manowar guitarist Ross The Boss commented on the passing with the following brief message:
"Scott Columbus R.I.P my brother. I'm gonna miss you!"
An official statement from the band reads as follows: More...
Knights Of The Abyss has posted the following statement online through its official Facebook page:
"In all seriousness, we have been on an 'indefinite hiatus.' There is no telling what the future holds for Knights. We are all currently involved in other musical endeavors, therefore Knights will not be touring anytime soon.
"Ben is drumming with Whitechapel, Griffin is tracking and mixing his ass off pulling 14 hour days at his studio with new projects, Nick is playing guitar in another band, etc.
"We will keep you updated with these projects and other Knights related news as more unfolds. Will we ever release another album? Maybe. Will we ever tour again? Maybe. Can’t say yes or no. Now you know."
Henrik Frykman, the bass player of Disfear, who joined the band in 1990 when the group was still known as Anti-Bofors, has passed away as a result of a longtime battle with cancer. A message from his bandmates Björn Pettersson, Marcus Andersson, Ulf Cederlund and Tomas Lindberg, reads as follows:
"It is with heavy hearts we inform you that on Friday, the 25th of March, Henrik Frykman passed away in his home after a long battle with cancer. Henrik will be greatly missed by family and friends."
Frankie Sparcello, the bassist of New Orleans band Exhorder, passed away today. There will be more information released as we receive it.
His bandmates, friends, and fans everywhere are grieving today as they await the information on his tragic death.
Kyle Thomas (Exhorder vocalist): "Don't know quite what to say, so I will say I love you and see you on the other side some day. For those that are unaware, Frankie Sparcello of Exhorder passed away yesterday. What was supposed to be a birthday gathering for me now will include toasting his life and friendship tonight at Pat's Pub."
Jimmy Bower (EyeHateGod guitarist and Down drummer): "Thoughts go out to Frankie's family and friends... Damn dude just saw ya last week.. RIP"
Flesh Parade: "Would like to send our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Frankie Sparcello of Exhorder. R.I.P."
Bruce Corbitt (Rigor Mortis vocalist): "RIP Frankie Sparcello of Exhorder! Man, I admit I am shocked about this tragic news. I just saw him at the Down show in Houston 2 weeks ago and he seemed fine. I was really looking forward to having fun with him in a few weeks at the Exhorder/Rigor Mortis shows. My thoughts and condolences go out to his family, friends and bandmates!"
Footage from the band's recent performance at the Hangar bar in New Orleans in December is available online: More...
According to the Daily Mail, Paul Di'anno (former vocalist of such bands as Iron Maiden, Killers and Battlezone) has been jailed today after being found guilty of benefit fraud. Di'anno was sentenced to nine months for claiming over £45,000 in benefits. He was told he would serve at least four and a half months of the sentence behind bars before being released on conditional bail.
Di'anno claimed he suffered severe nerve damage to his back that prevented him from working, but he was caught when Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) investigators spotted a YouTube video of him jumping around on stage during a live show in 2006.
The footage, from his own website and video sharing site YouTube, showed the singer energetically moving across the stage, putting his claims in severe doubt.
He admitted the eight counts of benefit fraud at Salisbury Crown Court on February 11.
TMZ.com is reporting that former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr has died in Utah. Starr was 44 years old. According to TMZ, police found his body in a Salt Lake City, Utah home earlier today. No information on the cause of death has yet been made available.
ABC News 4 in Salt Lake City is reporting that Starr's body was found at 1:42 p.m. in a residence at 1986 South Richards St. The station is also reporting that Starr was busted in February in Salt Lake City for illegal prescription drug possession.
Tributes to Starr have already been posted on his personal website - www.wix.com/mikestarr. The site also includes an undated posting from Starr which reads: "Wrote a killer song with my new band . . . We jammed last week at a small club. It was straight comedy."
Born in Hawaii, Starr played with AIC from the band's formation in Seattle in 1987 until he left in 1993. He also appeared on the 2010 reality TV show "Celebrity Rehab" with Dr. Drew Pinsky on VH1. Dr. Drew posted a message moments ago on his Twitter, which read: "Devastating to hear of Mike Starr succumbing to his illness. So very sad. Our prayers are with his family."
Additional information on this developing story will be updated as it is made available and as statements are made by family and friends.
Read the full article at TMZ.
After returning to the band in 2007 following high demand from fans, singer Matt Barlow has announced that he will be leaving Iced Earth after their summer tour, citing family committment and the toll of touring as a result. An emotional message from Barlow reads as follows:
"Let me begin by saying how much of an honor it has been to share my time in Iced Earth with Jon and the guys…and with all of you! Since my return to the band in 2007, it has truly been extraordinary. I have had the opportunity to travel the world and see old friends and meet new ones. Though we had originally thought that the Iced Earth touring schedule would be very limited, we were able to play our fair share of concerts.
"During that time we were also able to have a live DVD produced (the forthcoming Festivals of the Wicked). However, due to the rapidly changing music industry, it has become increasingly clear to recording artists that the only way to keep a band viable and to truly reach its potential is through live performances. That means that a band must reach out to new regions of the globe and become pioneers for their own livelihood. Since 2007, Jon and I have always had the best intentions for the future of Iced Earth, and we still do. However, given the band’s projected touring schedule, Iced Earth’s future and mine must now take separate paths.
"On my departure from Iced Earth in 2003, I made a commitment to my wife and to the idea that we would start, and raise, our family together. Two years later, my first child was born and two years after that, my second. My youngest son was born about a week before Jon asked me to return to Iced Earth. It was a very exciting and emotional time for all of us, but we were all clear on our intentions. It is apparent to us now that regardless of our belief at that time, time can change an intended outcome. In this instance, I hope that change will not be regarded as a bad thing, but rather as a necessary part of evolution. More...
Finnish traditional heavy metallers Machine Men have posted the following statement online;
"Things have been quiet for the past two years. During this time we have gone through many changes and we have been thinking about the future of the band. Unfortunately, we feel that the challenges as a band would be too hard to overcome. After long conversations we have decided that the story of Machine Men ends here. It's better to end what we started together without bitterness than to make a new album we couldn't put our hearts and souls into. We wouldn't be the five guys that stuck together no matter what. We would be something else, not Machine Men.
"This band has been the centre of our lives for over a decade. During these years we have experienced great and unforgettable moments on the road (and off). The thanks goes to all the people who have supported us and have come to see our gigs. It hasn't been an easy ride but yet we have taken all the shit with our heads held high. After all, we are from Suolahti, for fuck's sake!
"Even though it's sad, we end this with smiles on our faces and with loads of good memories to share over a pint. The story of the band ends here but we'll continue to make music as individuals. We are grateful to so many people but most of all we would like to thank our fans - without you we would have been nothing!"
U.K. progressive metal act Oceansize has posted the following statement online, through its official website, announcing its decision to disband.
"We regret to inform you that Oceansize have split up.
"An explanation for this occurrence is neither forthcoming or indeed necessary. All that remains is to say THANK YOU for being there for us. It's been a very eventful and life-affirming 12 years. We'll miss you.
"There will be more music from each of us as soon as possible."
Phil Vane, one of the two vocalists of British crust punk/grindcore legends Extreme Noise Terror, has been found dead in his home. He was 46 years old. No cause of death has yet been revealed. A short statement from the band reads as follows:
"The rumors are true - we're sorry to announce that Phil (Vane) passed away recently. The band will make a full statement soon, but for now we need to take the time to come to terms with this terrible loss."
Phil Vane was one of the two vocalists of Extreme Noise Terror since the group's inception in 1985 along with singer Dean Jones and spent a brief period in the 1990's as the vocalist of fellow British grinders Napalm Death. For more information on Vane and Extreme Noise Terror, please check out last month's Sunday Old School article about the band.
The Grammys have been awarded, February is winding down, and we are officially late with our Best Of Year in Metal acknowledgments. So let's get to it. Like every year, I polled our diverse staff of metalheads to obtain their picks in several categories for 2010.
2010 was an interesting year in metal. Was it good? Yes. But not what one might expect at the outset. There were a lot of releases by big names, but most did not make the splash one would expect. Iron Maiden, Rob Zombie, Fear Factory, Dimmu Borgir, Dark Tranquility, and Living Sacrifice all put out decent albums, but nothing too bold or worth raving over. 2010 was one more year removed from the fading metalcore trend; a year in which we could savor thrash's second life, and melodic death metal is still living strong. When the trendiest things are a return to thrash and technical metal (despite losing much of its death metal influences), that's not too bad from a metal perspective.
It's hard to say 2010 was a year for the underground to shine. The true underground bands rarely get widely noticed. But there were quite a few lesser known bands making names for themselves and grabbing their fair share of attention last year. Why is this? Is it a sign of a changing of the guard in light of the aging greats, and perhaps despite the thrash revival? It's hard to say, but personally, I discovered a lot of new bands that I thoroughly enjoy, so I am all for continuing along this path.
Let's get down to the details and talk about those bands that made 2010 a solid year for heavy metal by announcing the Metalunderground.com staff picks for 2010. The staff picks include the following categories: Best Metal Album of 2010, Best Metal DVD of 2010, Best Metal Newcomer of 2010, Best Live Act of 2010, and Most Anticipated Release for 2011. More...
Dutch death metal outfit God Dethroned has announced that the band will be put to rest at the end of this year, mostly due to a lack of interest in touring. A message from singer/guitarist Henri Sattler reads as follows:
"2011 is God Dethroned's final year in existence.
"We could have spent another year in a tour bus because the amount of offers was endless, but I just don't feel like touring anymore. People told me to take a break for a year or maybe two, but as I'm an "all, or nothing at all" type of person, I decided to call it quits.
"Not immediately, but in December of this year we will definitely play our last show. That's gonna be at the Eindhoven Metal Meeting in Holland.
"I'm very proud of what we achieved with the band, but the time has come for new challenges.
"I would like to thank all of our fans for their support for all these years."