Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Black Veil Brides to go punk?

Goth Metal outfit Black Veil Brides say their third studio album is "going to be a punk rock record".

The band spoke to NME at Download last weekend and discussed their plans for their third studio effort and follow-up to 2011's 'World's On Fire'.

"We've got three songs tracked. We've set ourselves a deadline of the end of August to finish it. We've got 20 to 25 songs written and we're narrowing it down now," Singer Andy Biersack revealed. "It's going to be more of a punk rock record than anything we've done before. It's Social Distortion meets Metallica."

Biersack also revealed that the band have a title prepared for the record, as well as a concept.

"We've got a title, we've got a story. It's a bit of a concept record; there's a very serious story behind it. It's full of surprises."

Monday, 11 June 2012

Download 2013 Early Bird

This year's Download festival may have only just ended but the organisers are already looking to the future.

A limited number of Early bird tickets for Download 2013 are going to go on sale this Friday (June 15).

The event will take place at Donington Park on June 14-16 2013. And with the announcing of these Early Bird tickets, there is also the introduction of a brand new deposit scheme to pay for the tickets.

Let's hope the weather for next year's Download is better than this year's. In a recent statement, Download directory John Probyn commented on the weather conditions, stating: "We can assure customers that every effort was made to prepare the ground prior to the event. All options were considered to manage this situation, but unfortunately there was nothing that could be done...we will use the events of 2012 to once again improve the site for years to come."

The tickets will be available from 9am June 15 from here.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Are Arctic Monkeys heavy metal?

They've been developing a new, harder-hitting sound since the release of their fourth album 'Suck It And See'. They've even been selected to play at Metallica's Orion Festival this summer. But are the Arctic Monkeys heavy metal? Lars Ulrich seems to think so...

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Ulrich defended the decision to invite the band to perform at the Orion music festival. He told the magazine "for me, having the Arctic Monkeys on there is big. I think they're heavy metal disguised as an indie band."

Ulrich even went as far as comparing the band to Canadian prog icons Rush, claiming that he feels there is "almost a Rush element" in 'Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But...'.

So what do you think? Are Arctic Monkeys a heavy metal band in disguise? Is there a hint of Rush in 'Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But...'? Let us know.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Black Sabbath album plans

Black Sabbath have revealed that a new album could well be out next year.

"We've written about 15 songs so far, whether they'll get on an album I don't know," Ozzy told NME in a recent interview. "I was trying to work out where would we be now musically if we'd have stayed together?"

Ozzy also hinted that the album, if it is made, would be released next year. "Next year, '2013', is a good clue of what we'll call the album."

Guitarist Tony Iommi also took the opportunity to speak about the band's dynamic.
"We've had ups and downs over the years, even feuds, and this that and the other. But it all sorts out, the friendship never goes away, whatever's going on. If we're suing each other, we're still friends. It's weird...this band is really strange like that."

Monday, 4 June 2012

Slipknot announce festival

Slipknot have announced their own festival, which will take place this August.

The event, known as 'Knotfest', will take place August 17 and 18 in Iowa and Somerset (Wisconsin) respectively.

The band will perform at the festival alongside some massive metal acts such as Cannibal Corpse, Deftones, Lamb Of God and Serj Tankian.

In addition to performances the festival will feature a Slipknot museum, fairground rides, burlesque entertainment and other carnival-esque entertainment - such as firebreathers, big tops and "drum circles made of junkyard cars".

"[The festival is] all about having fun and bringing something to the world of rock and roll, bringing it to the standard it used to be," Shawn Crahan told Rolling Stone. "It's time for us to really engulf this idea known as Knotfest where we're in control, we make a day devoted to our mindset, our ideas, the people that we want to play with, the people that we think our fans want to be around."

Friday, 1 June 2012

Ozzy talks retirement

Ozzy Osbourne has spoken out regarding the issue of retirement.

Before you get worried, folks, Ozzy isn't retiring. Nor does he have any intention of doing so.

In a recent interview, Ozzy stated that retirement wasn't an option for him and he expressed a keen desire to stay in the music business for as long as possible.

"How the fuck can I retire? It's not a job. I didn't go 'ooh, I'm 65 now, I'm gonna get my pension and look at my photo album from when I met Paul McCartney'," Ozzy told Kerrang! magazine. "It's a passion! Do you ever stop having sex?"

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Black Sabbath Update

It's time for a brief update on Black Sabbath.

The band's string of reunion shows has recently kicked off and the band have already discussed how they are finding everything so far.

"Every time we get back together it's like we've never been apart," Geezer Butler told Kerrang! magazine. "Time doesn't seem to exist. We talk about old times. Ozzy's always telling jokes, pissing about."

He went on to say "Ozzy's really enthusiastic, it's great to see him like that. I haven't seen him like that for a long time. He really wants to do it, and we're all the same. And that's such a great attitude."

Ozzy also chipped in, revealing that he prefers more intimate shows to festivals.

"At festivals the audience are eight fucking miles away! You're there going 'Is anybody out there?'"

Monday, 28 May 2012

Best British album in 60 years...

Iron Maiden's 1982 release 'The Number Of The Beast' has been voted best British album of the last 60 years.

The album, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, topped Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath in a special HMV poll to commemorate the Jubilee.

"We're astonished and delighted," said singer Bruce Dickinson. "Some of the most influential and classic albums from the past 60 years were in the running so it's a testament to our incredibly loyal and ever-supportive fans who voted for us."

The top ten British albums of the past 60 years according to the poll are as follows:

  1. Iron Maiden - 'The Number Of The Beast'
  2. Depeche Mode - 'Violator'
  3. The Beatles - 'Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'
  4. The Beatles - 'Abbey Road'
  5. Pink Floyd - 'The Dark Side Of The Moon'
  6. The Beatles - 'Revolver'
  7. Queen - 'A Night At The Opera'
  8. Oasis - '(What's The Story) Morning Glory?'
  9. Adele - '21'
  10. The Beatles - 'The Beatles (White Album)'

Monday, 21 May 2012

Every Time I Die announce UK tour

Every Time I Die have announced a UK tour for later this year.

The tour will see the band perform throughout late October and the early part of November.
  • 24 October - The Brook, Southampton
  • 25 October - The Fleece, Bristol
  • 26 October - White Rabbit, Plymouth
  • 27 October - The Haunt, Brighton
  • 28 October - Solus, Cardiff
  • 29 October - Electric Ballroom, London
  • 30 October - Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
  • 31 October - Academy 2, Manchester
  • 1 November - Garage, Glasgow
  • 2 November - Academy 2, Newcastle
  • 3 November - Cockpit, Leeds
  • 4 November - Corporation, Sheffield
Stray From The Path and Last Witness will provide support for the tour. Tickets will be priced between £14 and £16.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Black Sabbath respond to Bill Ward's statement

Black Sabbath have responded to Bill Ward's statement from earlier this week.


The band, although officially refusing "to make any detailed comment" regarding Ward's statement, have revealed their progress and have announced that they have "engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows".

Their full statement reads:

"We have decided not to make any detailed comment on Bill's latest statement. There are two sides to every story. We have been working hard at rehearsals, making excellent progress after Tony's treatments and we have engaged a substitute drummer for the forthcoming shows. See you at Download."

There has, as yet, been no official confirmation on who will drum for the band during the shows, but its is strongly rumoured that Ozzy drummer Tommy Clufetos will replace Ward.

Looks like we'll just have to wait until their warm-up show at O2 Academy Birmingham tomorrow night (May 19).

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Watain join Golden Gods line-up

Black metal band Watain have joined the line-up for this year's Golden God awards.

The Swedish death-dealers are set to not only join the mayhem that will ensue at the awards but are also set to spread shadows at the pre-awards show boat party, where Shadows Fall, Attica Rage, Fozzy and the fresh-faced Evil Scarecrow are performing.

The event itself already has a star-studded line-up of fine metal performers. Anthrax, Biohazard and Ghost are all scheduled to perform at the event. Adding Watain to that list is going to lead to some absolute carnage.

The event this year will also be presented by Chris Jericho, frontman of Fozzy and WWE icon. The event will take place at the Indigo2's O2 complex on June 11.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Ronnie James Dio Special

Two year ago today the world lost a musical legend as Ronnie James Dio lost his battle to stomach cancer, aged 67.

To commemorate the life and works of Ronnie, we give you our top ten songs that he gave to us.

1. Dio - Rainbow In The Dark

2. Rainbow - Run With The Wolf

3. Dio - Holy Diver

4. Rainbow - Starstruck

5. Black Sabbath - Voodoo

6. Heaven And Hell - Neon Knights

7. Black Sabbath - Sign Of The Southern Cross

8. Dio - Stand Up And Shout

9. Dio - Killing The Dragon

10. Dio - Breathless

We don't think we need to explain our choices. They are Dio masterpieces and they are testament to the power and talent of a true rock god. R.I.P

Bill Ward officially out of Black Sabbath reunions

Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has issued a statement which reveals that he will not be participating in the reunion shows with the original lineup.

The drummer had been keeping fans notified on his websites as negotiations continued with the individuals organising the reunion. In February Ward stated that he wouldn't be participating in the tour until a "signable contract" was offered.

But Ward has stated on his site that "after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued." He then added "I have to inform you that I won't be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012."

A key point of Ward's statement, however, is that he mentions the offer from a reunion representative of performing the first show for free. Ward states "Playing for free would not have been a problem for me", which poses the question: If you were willing to perform for free, why don't you do so for the sake of the fans and the rest of the band?

You can read the full statement below.

Dear Sabbath Fans and Fellow Musicians, 
I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued. At this time I have to inform you that I won’t be playing with Black Sabbath at the Birmingham gig dated May 19th, 2012, nor will I be playing at Download on June 10th, 2012. Further, I will not be playing at Lollapalooza on August 3, 2012. 
It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I’m very, very sorry that it’s fallen to this. This statement is even more painstaking to write, as I was particularly excited to play alongside Tony Iommi after the recent treatments he underwent. I wanted that to become a reality. 
To express my thoughts about you, the Sabbath fans, I’m going to speak to you all through an experience my brother James had recently. My brother Jimmy lives in the U.K. When speaking with him a couple of days ago, he told me that an acquaintance had stopped him on the street and confronted him, “is your brother playing Birmingham? What’s going on? I waited in line with my son and paid x amount for the concert tickets.” 
The man’s son is a young drummer. He’s going to see Sabbath, and he wants to see Bill Ward play drums. Upon hearing this news, I felt horrible. I couldn’t help feeling some resentment towards the failure to reach an agreement, the failure to remember where we came from, the failure to be as brothers, as we once were. To be clear, I’m not blaming the other guys or finding any faults with them. I would think it can’t be easy for them either, but this situation is just really sad. It’s sad that it’s come to this. “This” will surely leave a mark and be unwelcome to the memory. Hopefully “this” will heal and pass in time. 
My heart sank when Jimmy told me about this young boy. I know this boy is going to be disappointed, and I don’t know how to amend it, other than to put my arms around the boy and tell him I love him. Sabbath fans have a voice and a face, to me you’re human, you have families and despair. You have ferocity and emotions and graciousness, and at this moment as far as I’m concerned you are also that young boy in England. I don’t know how to amend my part in these failings other than to put my arms around you and say I love you and let you know I’m very, very sorry. 
Throughout this process, which began over a year ago, I have had to stand up for myself time and time again. I have had to stand up for myself and in doing so realize my actions indirectly, although unintentionally, are upsetting and hurting a lot of you. I know in my heart I couldn’t have done these concerts by agreeing the terms suggested. I made a solemn vow after the last European and Ozzfest concerts that I would never again enter into what was, in my opinion, a totally unsatisfactory contract. I have to stand for something, and as painful as it is, I’m doing it.
Earlier in April 2012, I’d been asked to participate “minimally” in the Download festival. I believe I’d been offered no more than three songs to play while another drummer presumably played the rest of the show with Black Sabbath. I was not willing to participate in that offer. I was not prepared to watch another drummer play a Sabbath set, while I was to play only three songs. 
I found out about the Birmingham gig on Monday, April 30 through the Internet ad. I was taken aback somewhat by the date, and the fact it was Birmingham. Knowing the “signable” contract negotiations were at best in shreds, I was upset by the idea that the band was going to play Birmingham and play it assumedly without me. I had no prior knowledge of the date and location, and I felt totally excluded. We contacted the representative for Black Sabbath to see if something could be worked out. In the meantime my drum crew and I, along with our US endorsers, finished all the necessary planning for a swift departure to the UK. There wasn’t a whole lot to complete; we’d all been on standby more or less since mid-January 2012. The remaining work in the UK was confirmed done by our European and UK endorsers and we were good to go by Friday, May 4 2012. There were two stress points: firstly, getting an agreement in place, and secondly, getting to England in a timely manner. Jetlag time was taken into account as well as drum practice, a drum practice room in the heart of Birmingham, accommodation, and travel arrangements were all in place to meet with any band rehearsals that may have transpired before the Birmingham show. So far everything that had been arranged was on my dime, but we didn’t move ahead without a realistic confirmation. 
Communications between the representative and my lawyer continued through the weekend of May 5 finalizing on Wednesday, May 9. The offer we received on May 9 was, “come to the UK, play for free and see how the first show goes.” I was tempted. Playing for free would not have been a problem for me, but “seeing how the first show goes” left an element of risk which could have affected Download. My ideal thought was to play in full the Birmingham show, in full Download, and in full Lollapalooza. 
I had notified the representative that May 10 was my cutoff day in order to have good lead-in time for England. On the night of May 9 I asked for a brief letter to be sent to the representative asking to find out if we were at an end. On the morning of Thursday, May 10, I received a reply in the affirmative. After consulting with my advisors and crew a decision was made to let go and stop. 
I can’t prioritize the Sabbath fans making one show more important than the other. I can’t do that. All of you are important. It’s all the gigs or none at all. I can’t come to Birmingham and “see what happens” knowing there is a risk of not being able to play Download or Lollapalooza. Again, for me, it’s all or nothing. I had to say “no” to Birmingham on the principle of wanting to play all the shows. Saying no to Birmingham is very difficult for me. My family grew up in Birmingham. Black Sabbath grew up in Birmingham. It’s still my hometown and I resent having to arrive at such a difficult choice. 
Although the statement was made that, “the door is always open” for me, as explained above, walking through that door is not always as easy as it sounds. There are many complicated issues and unseen and unspoken agendas on hand. I can assure you, my criteria for a “signable” contract is based in mindful principles, respectability, and acknowledgement of my history within the band. 
I hold no malice or resentment towards the other band members. I love them; I’m tolerant of them; I’m frustrated with them, as they may be with me. My fight has never been with them. I’ll love them forever. In my opinion, nobody wins this time; the band doesn’t win; the fans for an original lineup don’t win. Nobody wins, nobody. Even the ones who thought they did.
I didn’t want to make this decision, but I have to be honest and transparent. This is the statement I didn’t want to write; it’s the last thing I wanted to do. But, I have written it, and now it can go into the universe. 
Since Spring of 2011, I’ve waited patiently and hopefully for a signable contract, you know the rest. I stand for the boy in the U.K., for the coming drum student, for all the drummers, who write their parts out and get stiffed on the publishing, I stand with the Sabbath fans chanting “Bill Ward” and asking “why?” and I stand with Tony and Geezer and Ozzy.
On a final note, even though I’m at an end with the upcoming announced concerts, I will remain with an open mind and a position of willingness to negotiate "signable" terms with Sabbath’s representatives in the future. 
Stay strong.
Stay safe.
With all my heart and strength, I love you,
Bill Ward

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Velvet Revolver reunite...?

Yesterday we ran a story on how Scott Weiland had revealed that he was back with Velvet Revolver and the band would be touring later this year. Today, Slash has denied all knowledge of this.

In an interview with Minnesota's 93X Radio, Slash commented that Weiland was "out of his mind" and that he has "no intention of going back to that."

He added "there's been a common rumour going around. I know he's been positive about that subject. Maybe they know something I don't...I'll call Duff, but I seriously doubt it. We have no intention of going backwards."

So although Slash hasn't categorically ruled out a Weiland-fronted Velvet Revolver return, he has ruled himself out of the equation. Understandably so, considering Slash's solo record 'Apocalyptic Love' is about to be released and he will be touring on the back of that.

We'll keep you posted on any developments in this story.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Velvet Revolver reunite!

Scott Weiland has officially rejoined Velvet Revolver as a full-time member.

Weiland, who left the band in 2008, joined the band earlier this year for a special one-off show. But speaking to ABC news radio today he revealed that he would rejoin the band, stating that everybody has "grown up a lot" and that they've been able to "put egos and differences and old...conflicts aside".

Weiland has also revealed that the band will be doing some shows later this year, stating "We're going to go and do some shows in the late part of summer into early fall."

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Behemoth's Nergal: Playing live is "like an orgasm"

Nergal, frontman of Polish death metal band Behemoth, has claimed that the feeling he gets when playing live fills him with energy and is "like an orgasm".

The frontman, who recovered from leukaemia last year, spoke to Metal Hammer and stated that it doesn't matter whether it's "45 minutes or 60 minutes, it's all worth all the boring times before the show". He then went on to say "it's like an orgasm. It's very difficult to define it but when you experience it, it's very special and very individual". He also stated that, despite getting this feeling from performing live, the touring itself leaves the band feeling "exhausted", "tired and lame".

The band are set to headline the Bloodstock festival this year, which will take place from August 10-12. The band will appear alongside the likes of Alice Cooper, Dimmu Borgir and Orange Goblin.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Metal up your glasses

US glasses company Moscot have decided to embark on an unusual marketing campaign for their glasses...by recruiting some big metal names.

The campaign includes the likes of Chris Adler, Matt Heafy, Scott Ian and even Zakk Wylde all sporting a pair of Moscot's lenses.

A strange way to sell your product, but one that may prove effective among musicians and metalheads. The Moscot glasses can be found here.

Next up - Mattel's new campaign for Barbie endorsed by Amy lee and Cristina Scabbia...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Eatmewhileimhot: Mushroom Album Review

Mushroom is the 10-track second album by experimental post-hardcore outfit Eatmewhileimhot and it says a lot about the musical abilities of all those in the band...but sadly it doesn't say a lot else.

Eatmewhileimhot, for those who aren't aware, are a band from Missouri and consist of members of Never Shout Never. Anybody familiar with that band will know that it is driven primarily by talented musician Christofer Drew, a musician who doesn't seem quite clear of which musical path he wants to follow.
Currently Drew is involved with his main project, the pop-rock styled Never Shout Never, as well as Eatmewhileimhot and his experimental psychedelic-dance project GONZO. Although Drew has this wide range of musical genres under his belt, this appears to simply be a double-edged sword.

The album starts relatively messily, with 'Damn Straight' and 'Anti-Venom' sounding like they've come straight from Bring Me The Horizon jam sessions, rehearsals and sound-checks. The only thing that makes these two songs, particularly 'Anti-Venom', stand apart from Bring Me The Horizon tracks is that they are more melodic..and a lot messier.

After the messy start, it appears that the band have started to slowly pull themselves together. 'Demons', shows that the band could do quite well if they focused on the music more. However, as is the main problem with the entire album, the band seem more than happy to throw unnecessary sections and sounds in and to spontaneously change the sound of the song.

'Gods Of Metal' and 'Judgement' are the closest that the band gets to refined metal songs on the entire album. Both songs show strong signs of better things to come, but are not refined enough to save the album.
'Gods Of Metal' in particular sounds like the band combined two different songs together in the studio to make the final version of the track. This not only gives a feeling of lacking to the song but the awkwardness in which the, essentially, patchwork track fits together doesn't provide the best listening for the audience.
'Judgement' on the other hand sounds like the most complete metal song on the album, but still sounds unrefined.

The title track for the album is, without question, one of the finer songs on the entire album. 'Mushroom' sounds complete and, unlike the album that shares its name, it goes somewhere. What's curious though is that this isn't really a metal song - it's more in the same vein of bands like Steel Panther. It is arguably the best song on the album and reinforces the idea that Chris Drew doesn't fit too comfortably into the metal scene.

'Rock 'n' Roll', as the name suggests, leans more towards rock & roll than metal. However, the experimental side of the band shines once again on this track and there is several points during the track in which the band add a metal touch. However, unlike most other experimental moments on the album, this one doesn't end too badly. It does fit. It's not the best fit in the world but it works quite well. It's not enough to save the album but it is enough to pique your interest for three minutes.

This album is not the worst attempt at metal in the world, as it is by no means unlistenable. But it is average at best. This album just serves as proof that Chris Drew isn't quite as multi-talented as he'd like to be - and proof that softer rock is definitely his calling.
Fans of Chris Drew will no doubt buy this album. And although it does have moments of merit for fans of Bring Me The Horizon and Steel Panther, it should still be avoided.