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Decapitated Accepting Donations To Aid In Hospital/Funeral Expenses 11-10-07
Decapitated's official MySpace page has been update with the following message:

"We are getting ready to organize a special sale with original Decapitated gear (some of which was actually used in the recording studio) limited/never before printed T-shirts and merch, other one-of-a-kind memorabilia, and gifts from our friends in other bands to help raise money for Vitek's and Covan's families. For those who would like to make donations directly, there will be more information posted in a few days, so please keep checking back with us. Every effort, big or small, counts for something!"

Decapitated drummer Witold "Vitek" Kieltyka died late last week at the age of 23 in a Russian hospital from injuries sustained in a recent road collision. Decapitated singer Covan (real name: Adrian Kowanek) was also hurt in the accident, which involved the band's tour bus and a truck carrying wood in Gomel, on the Russia/Belarus border. The frontman reportedly also sustained a head injury in the collision, which is believed to have been the fault of the band's driver (although this has not yet been officially confirmed).

Covan's family released a statement on Thursday (November 1) that the vocalist's condition had improved. At the time, the singer was still said to be at a hospital in Novozybkov, Russia, where he and Vitek were taken following the accident.

www.decapitatedband.net

 

Ian Astbury On The Making Of Born Into This 11-10-07
Keith Ryan Cartwright of The Post And Courier's Preview recently conducted an interview with The Cult frontman Ian Astbury. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

Preview: What is it about now that lent itself to making this record [Born Into This]?

Astbury: Oh, maybe experience. I think having gone through every single permeation possible in a rock 'n' roll band — from the proverbial broken family childhood, traveling in a band, homeless, going through punk rock, touring America, selling platinum records, going through psychotherapy, going through the crash and burn, going to the Himalayas — the whole cycle is a very rounded experience of life, right? I think having done all of that you sort of find yourself back at the beginning point again where you go it's still me, it's still my life, it's still The Cult, it's still Billy and me and here we are. We're still standing as a group and as a body of work. I think that gives you a great sense of confidence. … I think our songwriting has evolved since Beyond Good And Evil. I think that was a record we tried to make like a comeback record, so to speak, but when we got in the studio we all had different opinions about what we should be doing; from the record company level to even Billy and myself had different opinions. Now with this record it just became evident that the most important thing for us to do was to be as present as possible and as truthful as possible. My whole thing was if we got entrenched in the studio for a long period of time then we were going to get into the same situation as in the past. I said, "You know what? We need to run in, grab this and get out quick."

Preview: That's exactly what allows you to capture the emotion much like a live show captures the emotion of that particular evening.

Astbury: Precisely. This record isn't a refined record. It's interesting because I think it's a body of work that really works as a record. Those 10 songs tell the story of Born Into This. The other songs didn't connect and weren't as much a part of the collective story. … I think performing with Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger for the last three and a half years really helped me to elevate my performance abilities. We've never been great self-promoters. You've never seen The Cult at celebrity functions — very rarely. Occasionally, yeah, I might go to an event. We never whored ourselves out like that whereby you're better known than your art. Whereas now we're like ... why not us?

Preview: You made a conscious effort to get in and out of the studio, but was it a lot of work on your part to make sure you didn't get bogged down with the machinery and the mechanics of being in a studio?

Astbury: There was absolutely no time. It was 21 days in Los Angeles over maybe a seven-week period. I was in Vancouver, at the time, so I was going from Vancouver to L.A. for a four to five day session. The sessions were from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. You keep it tight like that because when you're in the studio you're there to work, not to screw around. You're not calling your buddies on the phone. You're not ordering food or hanging out. You're not looking at somebody's new car, goofing around or playing video games — pretty much what every other band does. It was probably six solid hours of work a day and out of that we walked out with 18 pieces of music. So we didn't really have time to (get caught up in) the recording process. … We pretty much stayed in the groove. Then we came over to London to work with Youth, who's someone we've wanted to work with for a long time, and he said, 'I've only got 15 days' and we were like, 'we'll take it.' We just rolled tape and in that studio we were there for like 10-hour, 12-hour days.

Preview: And that's the way it should be done.

Astbury: You can't lose your head. It's a busy place and it's not a place many people go to. Once you've recorded it, then it's none of your business how other people perceive it. Then it takes on a life of its own. Then you have a responsibility to those songs to go out and perform them and to communicate to anybody who is interested in what it's about. Life is full of contradictions and so you just go out and do the best you can with what you've got at the time.

 

Another Rambling Ozzy Interview (or Maybe Your Last Album Just Sucked Balls) 11-2-07
Cameron Adams of Australia's Herald Sun recently conducted an interview with Ozzy Osbourne. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On becoming an unlikely small-screen star and kick-starting the now ubiquitous celebrity reality-TV genre:

"The phenomenon that happened from the show was that a lot of people who watched it didn't realize I was still an active rock and roll singer.

"They thought I was an ex-rock star, or they had no idea who I was. I'd be walking down the street and someone would say 'What are you doing in this town?' I'd tell them I was doing a show, and they'd say 'What kind of a show?' What the fuck? 'A rock and roll show.' Idiots.

"I believe the trick of The Osbournes was it was edited brilliantly. If you have a camera crew walking around your house from 6am to 3am the next morning, and hidden cameras as well, every single day, that's hours and hours of tape.

"People would stop me and say 'Who writes your scripts?' I'd say 'What are you talking about?' It was real. That's why it worked. But I have to say we had a bit of fun with it, trying to keep people guessing."

On battling lower record sales with his new album, Black Rain:

"I've been suffering terribly from people downloading it. If they don't find something to stop it, people won't be able to make records. There won't be any new bands. How are they going to survive?

"I'm an old-timer, I've been doing it 40 years now, but new bands are going to suffer. It's ridiculous, you could be doing it for nothing.

"Sharon said I'd be astounded to find out how many bands are touring because you can download a record but you can't beat a rock show.

"I've never done in a long time as many live shows as I'm doing now. This year I've done 90 shows.

"I mean, I ain't getting any younger. Sharon says to me 'Just stand there'. I can't just f---ing stand there! I'm a moving target. People would aim their can of beer at my head!"

On whether he's entertaining the notion of retirement:

"I did try that but I've still got life in my bones. I'm still selling lots of records. If there comes a day when I'm playing to empty clubs, what's the point after I've done what I'm doing? It seems to be getting bigger and bigger.

"I've been doing it at the level I'm at now for a lot of years. There have been ups and downs along the way, like any career, but I've survived it physically and professionally. All I know is I'm here today.

"I'm either incredibly lucky or a survivor. To survive you don't have to be strong. A lot drank and used more drugs than I did. Some are dead. Then there are some who didn't do as much drugs and alcohol as I did. Some lived, some died. I've always said that when I die it won't be from natural causes, it'll be some rare bird who's shit on me and given me some disease no one's heard of."

www.thecult.us

 

Pest In Morbid Darkness 11-10-07
Swedish black metallers Pest have inked a deal with Season Of Mist for the release of their new album, Rest In Morbid Darkness. Due in Europe on January 21 (February 5 in the U.S.), the CD contains "nine tracks of violent sickness, lurking horror and triumphant bloodshed, all in the true spirit of blackend demo 'Metal.Decadence', darkness and death," according to a press release.

Rest In Morbid Darkness track listing:

01. Possessed By The Beast
02. Nights In The Cursed Chapel
03. Blessed By Hellfire
04. Rest In Morbid Darkness
05. Bestial Crucifixion
06. Vomit Up The Blood of Jesus
07. Shadows Of The Dead
08. Final Strike Of Doom
09. The Lust For Cruelty

Pest's last release was the Evil Return two-song seven-inch single, which came out in 2006 via Iron Fist Productions.

 

Infernus Releases Final Statement To Press Regarding Split 11-10-07
Gorgoroth guitarist Infernus — who is involved in a legal dispute with his estranged bandmates over the rights to the group's name — has released the following statement to blabbermouth.net:
"I will here present you a press statement which is my intention to be the last in the line of short open letters to the media, where I have informed fans, friends and co-workers on the somewhat strange situation that occurred some one and a half weeks ago and its progression until now.

"First, I will open with a short summary for those of you who did not get it all from the beginning.

"Late Friday afternoon, October 19th, I got to know that my former band members had made the decision that we should split the band and that their intentions were to continue — without me — under the name and logo of Gorgoroth.

"That people get tired of each other or have reasons for not getting along after a quite long and at times pretty close partnership I find fully natural and understandable. It goes without saying that you learn to know both each other's positive and negative sides. I will nevertheless not participate in any open discussion on the nature or personalities of anyone involved; that is well below my standards. Neither will I do anything to defend myself against whatever accusations people might come up with in a situation like this.

"I have a strong belief that people are able to judge themselves, based on the chronology of how things happened, and from the actions that have already been taken.

"When being told that we should split ways, I immediately proposed that we should do the European tour as planned, then let lawyers do the legal discussions for us, settling the question of ownership of the band's name and logo.

"As its founding member, building the trademark in the formative years, and with a clear intention on keeping the pact with the devil I made in Sunnfjord, 1992, I would, of course, not agree on giving away the name i rightfully own to our third vocalist and sixth or seventh (!) bass player for whatever reasons they might have.

"The vocalist has been considering quitting the band numerous times. The other actually quit last year due to difficulties combining playing in a clear-cut Satanic metal band as Gorgoroth with the fact that he is full-time employed as a primary school teacher.

"It was my intention to do the tour and then, after the tour, come to terms with the legal problems as smoothly and professionally as possible.

"I am sorry for the European audience which at the moment must witness this embarrassing circus it has become, and I am sorry for the Russians and Ukrainians we were supposed to have done a mini-tour for from 23rd to 28th of January.

"Late Sunday evening, October 21st, I received a text message from the vocalist stating that the November tour would go on without me, and that they had consulted legal advice on the matter and that next day they would release a press statement on the issue.

'To keep things straight, I will focus on legal matters here.

"It took me ten minutes to get confirmed that what they did was of a highly illicit character. According to Norwegian law of March 3rd, nr. 4. 1961, § 2 & 7 it is. It is also difficult for me to see how they thought it was possible to achieve what they wanted by doing what they did.

"Next morning I contacted attorney Egil Horstad from Vogt & Wiig. In a letter to their legal representantive he presents the case and parts of the paragraphs. It also refers to one of metal history's worst cases of backstabbing and greed to date.

"The same Monday I got confirmation that the bass player already before we went on the September tour to South America — without informing me — applied for copyright of the name and the logo. It seems like he actually believed it would be as easy as that to get it transferred to himself as his own personal belonging ad infinitum!

"Regarding the upcoming European tour, which it seems that they intend to do in the name of Gorgoroth. I have personally been in touch with Henk at Vain Productions offering him a good deal if he would delay it, until I have a new lineup ready. And my lawyer has explained to him the possible legal consequences of him making the wrong choice in this situation. I am convinced they could be able to start up a new and rather good band on their own, and he should rather do a separate tour for that band, whatever else they would choose to call it.

"Now for my future plans: I will devote myself 99% to the present situation and the mess that occurred to help getting clarity in it and to take whatever legal action towards whoever is exploiting the name and reputation of the band. This includes some certain third parties, as there seems to be a few rotten apples among them. This is a necessity for me at the time being, so that I am sure who I can trust when starting to restructure and plan my return. I am afraid this might have to take the time it needs.

"I promise for Satan that I will come back, and I am already now at an initial stage consulting possible future partners, including a new lineup for studio and live. So far both ex-members and other more or less sinister musicians from Norway and abroad have shown interest. Choosing the right partners will be difficult, as I have high demands for these. I will update the world on this when the time is right.

"First things first. When the legal matters are properly settled, I will implode for a while letting media be an arena for other ones. During restructuring I will finish off the writing of new material for the next studio album — Quantos Possund Ad Satanitatem Trahunt — to be released through Regain Records. In between 50 and 70% of the music has already been written (some of it even pre-recorded) as goes for two or three lyrics.

"For the rebirth of the live band it is considered necessary to get this done first, as it is my intention to erase as much as possible of the traces of the last years' periods output. The new live band will focus on old material and brand new and shall in one form or another by Satan last for another 15 years!

"That is about what I have to say at the moment. I will only accept doing a few select interviews and these should be requested via Joerg Brauns at Regain Records.

"I will use the opportunity to not only thank the faithful and dedicated fans around the world for this seemingly endless support I have received the last week, but also Joe Hollow, Satannichen, Frank Watkins and the Obituary guys for letting me use their networks and capacities in this time when i do not have access to my own website or even the band's MySpace.

"Thank you a thousand times and praise hail Satan!"

 

Metallica: It's All About The Benjamins, Baby 11-10-07
According to The Wall Street Journal, Metallica licensed two of its best known songs - "One" and "Enter Sandman" — for use in the Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Rock Band video games, respectively. Marc Reiter, who works for Q Prime, the firm that manages Metallica, says the band was previously approached to license its music to games, including Guitar Hero, but never agreed because makers only offered flat fees, instead of royalties based on sales.

 

Primordial To Release Limited Vinyl, Reveal Tracklisting For New Album 10-19-08
Irish dark metal masters Primordial will have their The Gathering Wilderness released soon on picture disc vinyl. The double 12" picture disc will be released by Sentinel Records sometime between November and December 2007. The double vinyl is limited to 500 copies worldwide. Pre-orders are now being taken. The first 100 copies come with a patch.

The Gathering Wilderness was originally issued in 2005 through Metal Blade Records.

Primordial recently posted a new song called "Empire Falls" on their MySpace profile. The track comes off the group's sixth album, To The Nameless Dead, which will be released in Europe on November 19 via Metal Blade Records. According to a press release, the group's second CD for Metal Blade "is a timeless statement and an ode to their forefathers which lives and breathes the ancient spirit mixed with anger, pain and despair. . . To The Nameless Dead is defiantly at odds with a modern metal scene that often seems to place banality, mediocrity and safety above passion, honesty and truth."

Harsher and faster than its predecessor, To The Nameless Dead wasn't recorded digitally — just analog to keep the sound old school and powerful.

The album will be available as a limited first edition in a digibook featuring another design, 40 pages and a bonus DVD of Primordial's performance at the Rock Hard Festival.

To The Nameless Dead track listing:

01. Empire Falls
02. Gallows Hymn
03. As Rome Burns
04. Failures Burden
05. Heathen Tribes
06. The Rising Tide
07. Traitors Gate
08. No Nation On This Earth

 

OM To Tour Northeast US, Israel 10-19-07
OM, the duo formed by Al Cisneros (bass, vocals) and Chris Hakius (drums), both founding members of legendary doom pioneers Sleep, has posted new tour dates at its website.

The dates:

Nov. 13 - Rock And Roll Hotel - Washington, DC
Nov. 14 - Europa - Brooklyn, NY
Nov. 15 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia, PA
Nov. 16 - Knitting Factory - New York, NY
Nov. 17 - The Loft - Brattleboro, VT
Nov. 18 - Middle East (upstairs) - Boston, MA
Dec. 05 - Uganda Club - Jerusalem, Israel
Dec. 06 - Levontin Club - Tel Aviv, Israel
Dec. 08 - ATP Festival - Minehead, UK

OM released its third full-length album, Pilgrimage, on October 2 via Southern Lord Recordings. The CD was recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago, Illinois by Steve Albini and is currently being mastered by Bob Weston (also in Shellac) at Chicago Mastering Services.

According to a press release, Pilgrimage "expands on their unique use of riff… cadence… chant.. as heard on previous recordings yet finds the band expanding their vision into new territories. Of particular note is how much the songwriting has developed and in turn makes the dynamics of the songs much more intensely powerful.".

 

Russia, You Have Our Deepest Sympathies 10-19-07
Swedish metallers In Flames have scheduled two dates in Russia in January 2008. The details are as follows:

Jan. 26 - St. Petersburg, RUS - PORT Club
Jan. 27 - Moscow, RUS - B1Maximum

Commented the band: "This is the first time for In Flames in Russia and we are really looking forward to the shows. We have heard from friends in other bands who have recently played there, that is was great so we wanted to try it out and see for ourselves."

In Flames is currently at the band's own IF Studios in Gothenburg, Sweden working on the follow-up to last year's Come Clarity. All drums have been recorded and most of the bass is done. Rhythm guitars are nearing completion and the group is about to start laying down the solos. This week the vocal-recording sessions will begin and In Flames is receiving assistance from producer Daniel Bergstrand, who previously produced the vocals on Reroute To Remain, Soundtrack To Your Escape and Come Clarity.

Commented the band: "Everything is going great and we are very happy and excited about the new songs and how they are turning out. We are really looking forward to let all you guys out there hear the new album and come and play live next year in a city near you."

 

Bruce Dickinson Discusses Upcoming Tour, Maiden’s 2007 Validity 9-25-07
Jason Nahrung of Australia's The Courier-Mail recently conducted an interview with Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On next year's Somewhere Back In Time world tour, which revisits the heavy metal grandeur of Iron Maiden’s 1984-5 Powerslave tour:

"We're not trying to rewrite the tour. It won't be Live After Death word for word. I won't be wearing my jocks on the outside of my Spandex. We'll be re-creating the cool bits, but the main thing is the music. We don't want to look like our own version of an Iron Maiden cover band."

On the band's enduring popularity:

"Maiden is a unique band. You could say we're one of the last of the originals. If anything, the fan base has regenerated. There's a whole new generation — two new generations — of kids turning up. We played Sweden and filled 50,000-seat soccer stadiums. We never filled a soccer stadium in the mid-'80s. You look now and the first 50 rows are 16-year-olds. On our last tour we were able to play a new album (the 80-minute A Matter Of Life And Death) in its entirety, and still sell out a worldwide tour of arenas. The fans are attracted to us because we are still an active musical force."

On Iron Maiden being a more relaxed outfit than it used to be:

"Fifteen to 20 years ago we were under the gun, doing loads of touring. We were frazzled. People couldn't give it their best. It was like a sports team, someone was always injured. Now we know it's better to take three months off than to do a bad job. Our performance has improved, the reliability of the performance has improved as well."

On Ancient Egypt seeming a natural backdrop for a tour from one of the most flamboyant of bands:

"As for Egypt, you could overrate the pudding on that one. We were interested in it in the mid '80s, and (the songs) “Revelations” and “Powerslave” take imagery from that era, but it's such a fabulous era to plunder. There's an outrageousness about Egypt and there's an outrageousness about heavy metal bands. Making these enormous stone pyramids for everyone to look at seems like heavy metal madness. They were over the top in monument construction — minimalists they were not. That strikes a chord — we're hardly Bauhaus in our aspirations."

 

Online Chat With Al Jourgenson Posted 9-25-07
Vassil Varbanov of Bulgaria's Tangra Mega Rock recently conducted an interview with Ministry mainman Al Jourgensen. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Tangra Mega Rock: Let's now talk about your upcoming album, The Last Sucker, which is promoted as the last-ever album by Ministry. Obviously, it's a very American record... so why should we Europeans pay attention to it?

Jourgensen: Because it's a world economy, a world society, one hand affects the other, and our policy is obviously affecting the rest of the world... as do other countries' policies. It's all connected now — exactly what they said in the '90s would be a new world order.

Tangra Mega Rock: So how should we think about The Last Sucker — as the funeral album or the swan song?

Jourgensen: Neither. View it as a really kick-ass Ministry record, because that's what it is, that's what we set out to do. We didn't set out to do this a big dramatic send-off rock opera and a seven-year tour and then a reunion. It's just a kick-ass Ministry record. We work good at what we do, we know our Ministry sound and we just do it, and the reason is that I said two years ago it's gonna happen, so I've been preparing for this for a while. I mean we didn't take it any differently. We just said, "Let's make a kick-ass album to leave with." Tommy Victor has Prong going on, Paul Raven has Mob Research and Killing Joke, I have a record label, 13th Planet Records, and I'm producing like 3-4 other bands, I have one more Revolting Cocks record to do. We're so busy that we just figured to leave when we're on top as opposed to the bands that hang out too long. I really feel that this album hits the Ministry sound right on the mark, and I think anything after this would be downhill.

Tangra Mega Rock: You've been around for quite a while now. Was Ministry cloned over the years? Do you know of any bands that copy your sound?

Jourgensen: I don't know if you believe this or not, but I really don't listen to this kind of music in my house, so I wouldn't know. It's actually really funny when I meet some kids in the recording studio in the room next door and they apparently sell like a billion records worldwide. I don't even know who they are, and they're telling me I'm a big influence and all that and I'm very flattered, but to be honest, I wouldn't fuckin' know them from a hole in the ground.

Tangra Mega Rock: The Last Sucker has two sides — one is the music side, the other is the political one. Do you only point a finger at your government this way, or you also wanna prove that you guys in America still have the freedom of speech?

Jourgensen: That's what they tell us, but I'm not so sure it's so free anymore. That's the whole irony — our whole political agenda is to promote freedom and democracy across the world, yet the more the more they promote it, the more they take it away. People are afraid to voice their opinion, people are being spied upon, people are being wiretapped... It's not good.

Tangra Mega Rock: Last year we had this talk with guitar player Al Di Meola. He said that every artist in America stands against the presidency of George W. Bush. However, he's been elected, which means there are enough people to vote for him.
Jourgensen: Right, but you have to understand how prevalent media manipulation is. I have a theory about this. I was in complete shock for two weeks after the 2000 election, and I was in shock for about six weeks after the 2004 election. I couldn't fuckin' believe there were that many stupid... no, not stupid, but gullible people! Then I realized that everything's so fucked since he's taken office that people have to work two, three, four jobs, and by the time they come home they don't wanna fuckin' think about politics or anything — they just try to make ends in this economy, in this American society, in this new millennium. They just sit there mindlessly like a sponge in front of the TV and are completely manipulated by the media, which are all owned by really fucked up greedy multinationalists. People are completely manipulated and too tired to fight back.

Tangra Mega Rock: Can we say that today America is divided in a way?

Jourgensen: I'd say right now America is in classic "fall of the Roman Empire" stage. And can we say it's divided? Absolutely! There's like 25-30% of the people who, no matter what you tell them, consider it a sin or treason to speak out against your government if you're not happy. That will never change. Everyone sees how corrupt this government and this system have become. It says it's a democracy on paper, but it's been completely commandeered by money and greed. I can see people disillusioned with it, but there's also been a period of time when people rise up and take that power back. That's what we're ringing the bell for. People like Jello Biafra and Noam Chomsky have been doing this for years, as it is possible to take the power back. Of course, it takes effort, information and awareness, and that's what's not going into it right now, and I can see why - because people are too exhausted.

Tangra Mega Rock: We know your wife works for your label, too, so you can spend more time together. Do you see this as a chance for a better family life?

Jourgensen: Absolutely. When we go on tour she comes with me anywhere, so when we do a Ministry tour, it's very difficult to do label work or to deal with other bands. I mean, this is so much of a better situation for me. Today, for example, I have Static-X flying in to sing on one of the songs on the cover record that I'm doing. If I was on tour with Ministry now, I would have missed this opportunity, and it's not easy to get all these people's different schedules in line with yours, so if I'm pretty much in one spot — in the studio or the label upstairs — it becomes much easier for those people to find me.

The entire interview is available in text and audio format at Tangra Mega Rock..

 

3 Inches Of Blood To Unleash Digital-Only EP, UK Tour Dates Announced 9-25-07
On November 5, Canadian battle metallers 3 Inches Of Blood will release a digital EP titled Trial Of Champions. The set will include the unreleased studio tracks "Trial Of Champions", "In The Time Of Job When Mammon Was a Yippie" and "Key To Oblivion".

3 Inches Of Blood recently confirmed its return to the U.K. in November, supporting the band’s latest record Fire Up The Blades. The group has been on the road all summer across the USA on the Ozzfest tour and is about to embark on dates with Lamb Of God, Behemoth, Divine Heresy, and Shadows Fall during September/October.

3 Inches Of Blood U.K. dates:

Nov. 07 - Wolverhampton, UK - Little Civic
Nov. 08 - Southampton, UK - The Brook
Nov. 10 - Minehead, UK – Hard Rock Hell
Nov. 11 - Swindon, UK - The Furnace (Remembrance Festival)
Nov. 12 - Brighton, UK - The New Free Butt
Nov. 13 - London, UK - The Barfly

 

Conquest Of Steel: Cursed, Or Just Sloppy Drunks? 9-25-07
UK "true heavy metal" band Conquest Of Steel has issued the following update:

"Following an evening of heavy drinking with fellow band members, Conquest Of Steel guitarist DD Danger fell headlong down his house stairs after taking a drunken stumble at the very top of the staircase. The fall resulted in a badly sprained wrist, extensive bruising, cuts and slight concussion.

"DD was forced to miss the scheduled gig at York (UK) Cert 18 the following night; however, the band continued to play on in his absence.

"DD's wrist is now healing and he should be back in action for the Meltdown Metal Fest in Birmingham (UK) on 31st September.

"This incident follows drummer Chris 'The Destroyer' Mills breaking his wrist at the DOD festival in Ireland in June, and bassist Vic Victory breaking his collar bone earlier in the year.

"Is it possible that Conquest Of Steel are cursed? Are the forces of mainstream music conspiring against them to halt their goal of playing the loudest most heavy metal music known to mankind?

"Let it be known that none shall stop the Steel. Conquest Of Steel will continue to battle on in the face of adversity, pitting themselves against the forces of nature and playing true heavy metal until the end of time."

Conquest Of Steel recently released its second album, Hammer And Fist. This follows the May Your Blade Never Dull EP (2006) and their debut album Conquest Of Steel (2004). All releases are through UK independent label No Face Records.

Conquest Of Steel are known for being hardened road warriors and play at least 50 gigs a year. The band has already completed a two-week European tour this year and continues to gig up and down the country and beyond.

Drummer Chris "The Destroyer" Mills recently broke his wrist whilst drunken wrestling after the DOD festival in Ireland. John Savage of Hypnosis is currently standing in for the Destroyer while his wrist is healing.

Bass player Vic Victory recently broke his collar bone. He is now back playing with the band after a few weeks out of action.

Upcoming Conquest Of Steel shows:

Sep. 30 - Birmingham, UK - Barfly (Meltdown Metal Fest)
Oct. 06 - Bolton, UK - Soundhouse
Oct. 11 - Bradford, UK - Gasworks.
Oct. 19 - Leeds, UK - Josephs Well
Oct. 28 - Kingston upon Thames, UK - Peel Club
Nov. 03 - Leeds, UK - [to be announced]
Nov. 17 - Wakefield, UK - Snooty Fox
Dec. 14 - Birkenhead, UK - Hotel California

 

End Of Level Boss Announce New Album, Upcoming Shows 9-25-07
London-based anguish rock outfit End Of Level Boss will release its new album, Inside The Difference Engine, in the U.S. on September 25 through Southern Records. The CD, which was issued in Europe in May via Exile On Mainstream Records, was recorded in the analogue domains of Earth Terminal studios, Hampshire.

Upcoming End Of Level Boss shows:

Sep. 22 - ZXZW Festival, Tilburg, Holland
Sep. 25 - MTC, Koln, Germany

 

Duff McKagan On Possibility Of GN’R Reunion 8-28-07
Mike Kerwick of NorthJersey.com recently conducted an interview with Velvet Revolver/ex-Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On being sober:
"You thought you were missing something if you didn't go out one night. You might miss the greatest party ever. That's just really kind of a teenage way of looking at things. I actually know people that still kind of think that way. They're in their 30s and 40s. Poor [expletive] people. My life has become a lot richer since I've been sober.”.
"I'm living a full life. I got an education and I read and I'm fascinated by things. I kick-box. I water-ski. I ride a motorcycle. More importantly than all that other [expletive], I have two little girls and a wife who look to me for everything."

On playing with his former Guns N’ Roses bandmates in Velvet Revolver:
"I think there's definitely some weird chemistry that Slash and I have tapped into. I almost feel like some sort of weird old soul thing. We never talk about music, never have. We never talk about what we want a song to sound like. To me that would just be goofy."

On possible reunion of Guns N’ Roses’ classic lineup:
"It would have to be kind of a cool groovy situation, a feel-good situation, for us to do it. You know, I think it could happen someday, somehow, because of the fact that we're all still alive. It's really not something I waste any time thinking about. As far as my music goes, I have a great band, I love what we do. I love the record we made."

On repeating Guns N’ Roses’ amazing success:
"It's never gonna happen again. We were at the right place at the right time for a generation that needed it. It just doesn't happen. People ask, 'Well, is Velvet Revolver going to get the success of Guns N’ Roses?' Oh [expletive] no. Nobody will. Nobody ever will. Unless in 10 years there's some need for a rock band that comes along and captures their imagination.".
Entire interview at:
www.northjersey.com

 

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive To Ozzfest 8-28-07
Kevin Manahan of The Star-Ledger reports: The day after two deaths at Ozzfest — the free, all-day heavy-metal party at the PNC Bank Arts Center — the concert venue in Holmdel, New Jersey announced a ban on all alcohol. While it wasn't being totally enforced Friday night at the Velvet Revolver/Alice In Chains show, many of the concertgoers whined about the crackdown.

Cliff Loeser, 46, and his companion Lisa Jenner, 38, contentedly sipped their water and iced tea.
"I'm like the police, I guess," Loeser said. "I just don't want to deal with the garbage anymore. I'm too old. I don't have the patience. No alcohol? Great. I'm all for it. They should've done it a long time ago. People have gotten out of control here."

About 10 years ago, Loeser said, he and a friend attended Ozzfest, and having lived through one, he wasn't stunned to hear that two people didn't.
"I came with a friend and we had good seats, which I paid a lot of money for," Loeser said. "The crowd was out of control. At one point, the people on the lawn started streaming over the fence. My buddy had gone to the bathroom and some guy jumped over the fence and into his seat. I said, 'Hey, that seat is taken,' but he didn't care.

"It was bedlam. There were fights breaking out everywhere. I tried to get security to do something, at least kick the guy out of our seats, but they didn't want to get involved. Everyone was so drunk.".
www.starledger.com

 

Leaves’ Eyes Guitarist Updates On North American Tour 8-28-07
Leaves’ Eyes — the German/Norwegian band formed by ex-Theatre Of Tragedy singer Liv Kristine Espenaes Krull and members of Atrocity (who are fronted by Liv's husband Alexander Krull) — is currently touring North America as the support act for Kamelot. Guitarist Thorsten Bauer has checked in with the following update:

"We are very happy to be back in the USA again. The first two shows of our North American tour together with Kamelot have been really great! Thanks to all our fans for making these shows real events. It's a pleasure to see a lot of familiar faces again, especially for Liv. She is in contact with the fans every evening at the merchandise stand. Really cool is that Alex is performing one Kamelot song on stage together with them. He is giving some additional and powerful heaviness to the Kamelot sound...and me the opportunity to see my own singer on stage from the perspective of the audience...what a strange and great experience."

Leaves’ Eyes latest EP, Legend Land, entered the German chart at position No. 75.

Legend Land was released in North America on July 28, 2006 via Napalm Records.

www.leaveseyes.de

 

Cannibal Corpse Bassist Explains Shortened Colombian Appearance 8-28-07
Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster has issued the following clarification regarding the band's abbreviated August 17, 2007 performance in Bogota, Colombia:

"OK, I'm posting this blog to help clear up any confusion about our Colombian concert which was shut down by the police. During the concert I was very sick and had to leave the stage twice to deal with the physical problems associated with food poisoning (vomiting, etc.). When I returned to the stage after one of these episodes, I was told the show had to end because of the police. Apparently, there had been a riot outside of the club by fans who could not get in (the show was sold out). For this reason, the police demanded that the concert end immediately. Anyway, the fans had begun chanting my name, so I figured I would try and explain the situation about why I left the stage twice during the concert, and also, I could mention the problem with the authorities. I know a little Spanish, so I here is what I said: 'Hola. Por la primera, necesito decir lo siento. Estoy enfermo hoy. Me duele el estomago mucho. Tambien, la autoridad ha dicho 'no mas.' Lo siento, muchas gracias.' What I was trying to say was: 'Hello, First, I need to say I am sorry. I am sick today. My stomach is very sick. Also, the authorities have said 'no more.' I am sorry. Thank you.' This was obviously a mistake for me to try and explain the situation, as many people didn´t fully understand and assumed we were cancelling due to my illness, which was not true. I was ready to continue playing, and even if I wasn't, the others would have continued without me. I really wish the local promoter would have come to the stage to explain what was happening to the audience. It is very frustrating to see our fans be angry with us over something that is not our fault.

"OK, I hope this helps all of our Colombian fans better understand this lousy situation. We are very sorry that the concert had to be cut short due to this police intervention. I am also sorry I was not able to communicate more clearly what was happening to the audience, but I did the best I could. Really, that job should have been handled by the concert promoter, or by somebody else fluent in Spanish, not somebody in the band.

"Also, for anybody who is interested, I am feeling a little better, although I have not eaten in two days."
www.cannibalcorpse.net

 

Anaal Nathrakh…Forward To Damnation  8-8-07
Britain's finest black metallers Anaal Nathrakh will perform a one-off exclusive headline show at Damnation Festival on Saturday, October 20 at Leeds Metropolitan University, England to mark the release of their next album.  
 
Hot on the heels of last year's Eschaton, recording of the third full-length, as-yet-untitled Anaal Nathrakh CD has already commenced. Speaking from his Necrodeath studios in Birmingham, instrumentalist Mick Kenney described the new album as "100% non-stop total savagery," saying "These songs are gonna blow everything we've ever done in the past clean away." According to vocalist V.I.T.R.I.O.L., song titles set to appear on the CD include "Castigation and Betrayal" and "The Final Absolution", with the subject material being "worryingly bleak". The completed work is set to include guest vocals from Circle Of Dead Children's Josama Bin Horvath and Dirty Von Donovan from Exploder, as well as Shane Embury (Napalm Death) on bass. Other guest appearances are planned, but remain unconfirmed at this time. The album is due out via Feto Records in late 2007. 
 
Anaal Nathrakh, who have only played live a several special shows previously, will top a brutal-looking Terrorizer Stage at at Damnation Festival, which already boasts Kataklysm, Aborted, and 1349, with Relapse Records new boys Man Must Die, and fast-rising Leeds death-merchants Soulfacture opening proceedings. 
 
Meanwhile, Damnation veterans Raging Speedhorn and the latest contenders for U.K. metal's crown Malefice will bolster the stunning Jagermeister Stage, topped by the diverse billing of Kreator, Amen, and Orange Goblin. 
 
Festival spokesman Gavin McInally said: "After three years of begging, bribing and going way past the point of harassment, the finest extreme band the U.K. has to offer will finally grace Damnation Festival, in the shape of the mighty Anaal Nathrakh. 
 
"No stage is more fitting of a Terrorizer moniker and we're delighted to have them on board as well as the best new extreme talent in Man Must Die and Soulfacture, also primed for the mayhem. 
 
"The additions of Raging Speedhorn and Malefice to the Jagermeister Stage will again bring the best in British talent together for what is no doubt the biggest showcase of diverse heavy, homegrown talent in the UK this year." 
 
The full lineup for Damnation Festival is available at:

www.damnationfestival.co.uk

 
Melechesh Video Posted On YouTube, Band To Headline Noctis Valkyries  8-8-07
Fan-filmed video footage of Sumerian black thrashers Melechesh performing the song "Rebirth of Nemesis" on July 19, 2007 at the Earthshaker Fest in Kreuth, Germany has been posted onYouTube. 
 
Melechesh's latest album Emissaries -- the follow-up to 2003's Sphynx -- was released January 23, 2007 on Osmose Productions/The End Records. 
 
Melechesh has been confirmed as the headliners of Noctis Valkyries, a new pagan-black-folk metal festival set to take place Saturday, September 22, 2007 at University of Calgary's MacEwan Hall Ballroom in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

www.melechesh.com

 
Daath Explains No-Shows  8-8-07
Atlanta's Daath has issued the following update: 
 
"I'm sitting in a hotel room in Denver right now. I should be in Oklahoma City tonight, and Kansas City tomorrow, but I'm not. I'm in Denver and I'm fucking pissed about it. I'm not the only one that's pissed about it.  
 
"We've been getting lots of mail from pissed off Daath fans that either wanted to see us at the Phoenix Ozzfest last week, or in Oklahoma City. I'm going to explain what happened.  
 
"At the start of the tour a company which will remain nameless rented us a converted airport shuttle bus. On paper it sounded perfect for us but in reality it was an uninhabitable, undriveable piece of shit. The shuttle bus had no [air conditioning] at all that was working or could be fixed without spending at least a day on it. In some cities it was hotter in there than outside. The thing also barely ran. On the first full day we had to replace the alternator at our own cost. Any time you turned the thing on it bounced around like a washing machine, The emergency exit wouldn't open, there was no fire extinguisher, it was improperly wired on the inside so that none of the appliances worked reliably, the hookup for the trailer lights didn't work and you couldn't read the gauges at night because the internal panel wasn't well lit enough among other things. We were roughing it out with that thing but finally last week, right outside the House of Blues in Hollywood, the transmission on it fell out. That's why we missed the Phoenix Ozzfest. We didn't have a way to get there. The company we rented it from did nothing to help us out. We were going to have to pay for it out of our own pocket and miss more shows even. We decided to ditch it and rented an RV. We set a date and time for a pickup from Denver and when that date arrived the RV didn't. In fact, there's no [estimated time of arrival] on the RV. Supposedly it's in San Fransisco. We currently have no confirmed way out of Denver. We are going to figure something out soon. If you're wondering why we've been missing shows then wonder no more. 
 
"Other than that, Ozzfest has remained as badass as how it began. All the bands we're touring with are cool motherfuckers, we drink a lot of Jager, and on top of all that I get to watch Behemoth every day." 
 
Daath recently released an exclusive remix of "Dead On The Dance Floor", a track from their debut Roadrunner release, The Hinderers, via digital EP. The song was remixed by Danny Lohner, former of Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle.  
 
www.daathmusic.com
 
Schenker Loses It?  8-8-07
According to fan postings on the official Rock & Blues Custom Show forum, legendary German guitarist Michael Schenker delivered a less-than-impressive performance at the annual U.K. festival, which was held over the weekend at Coney Grey Showground, Chesterfield Road, Pentrich, Derbyshire, England. One attendee, who goes by the name "trkelly", described Schenker's performance Saturday night (July 28) as "pathetic," adding that "you could see people in the crowd cringing at his performance. The man wasn't in a fit state to pick up a guitar, never mind play it. I did feel a bit sorry for the rest of his band, but got to say the singer murdered every UFO song they did; it would have certainly given Phil Mogg a good laugh." 
 
Fan-filmed video footage of one of Schenker's solos has been posted on YouTube.  
 
www.michaelschenkerhimself.com
 
Don Arden Remembered  8-8-07
Mick Wall of Britain's Daily Mail reports: Like everybody else who ever knew him, I'd heard about Don Arden, who died last week, long before I met him: he was the self-styled Al Capone of Pop, as he enjoyed being known.  
 
He was the music-business gangster who'd hung fellow pop impresario Robert Stigwood by his legs from a balcony window for daring to cross swords with him; The Small Faces manager who, they later claimed, kept their money for himself; the gun-toting former manager of Gene Vincent, Black Sabbath, and many others including, most lucratively of all, the Electric Light Orchestra, whose phenomenal record sales in the Seventies allowed Don to purchase Howard Hughes' old Hollywood mansion for $8 million (the equivalent of £40 million today) in cash.  
 
His daughter, Sharon Osbourne - known then as the wife and manager of Ozzy Osbourne, famous now as the glamorous if foul-mouthed matriarch of The Osbournes, as a star of The X Factor and her own teatime chat show -- rang and asked me if I'd consider working with Don on his memoirs.  
 
I was taken aback. As a music journalist and biographer who'd known Sharon and Ozzy for more than 20 years, I knew of the antipathy that existed between her and her father.  
 
Once a daddy's girl who'd learned everything about the music business from working for Don, Sharon had fallen out with her father so badly some 20 years before that they'd waged war on each other ever since.  
 
Sharon had thrown soup over the woman Don had begun an extramarital relationship with in Hollywood in the early Eighties (leaving Sharon's mother to live alone in England) and once even tried to run over Don in her car -- as Ozzy cowered in the passenger seat.  
 
Read the entire article at 
 
www.dailymail.co.uk
 
Moshpit Tragedy Offers Free Downloads  8-8-07
Last month, Canada's Moshpit Tragedy Records announced it will give away one of its out-of-print releases for free download from their web site each week for eight weeks. 
 
Moshpit Tragedy co-founder Rayny Forster comments: "Our first eight releases are now out of print and as both a thank you and as a kind of final push to get these releases into the hands of underground music fans, we're offering a high-quality download of one release per week in its entirety -- absolutely free of charge. We invite those who missed out on the physical product to check out the bands and enjoy these free MP3s." 
 
Week five (July 29-Aug 4) comes to a start with Windsor, Ontario death metal act Corprophemia and the three tracks that comprised their earliest demo which was released as part of Moshpit Tragedy's "DIY Series".  
 
Corprophemia (featuring ex-Woods Of Ypres, Searchingforchin, and Facedown members) formed in 2006 and after releasing the demo a series of lineup changes took place which now sees the band in their strongest incarnation. An 11 song album entitled Arrived In Pieces has been recorded and is set for release on CDN Records. A sample from the upcoming album which better represents their current lineup can be found at this location. 
 
Moshpit Tragedy Records' remaining free download schedule" is as follows: 
 
Aug. 5-11: Clusterfuxx - Peace E.P
Aug. 12-18: Various Artists - 69 Minutes Of Shit From 8 Assholes 
Aug. 19-25: Various Artists - Moshpit Tragedy Presents 
 
For more information, visit: 
 
www.moshpit-tragedy.com
 
Hellyeah On Montano…Hellnaw!  8-8-07
Hellyeah singer Chad Gray recently commented on the events leading up to the band's dismissal of bassist Jerry Montano in April, just one week after the group released its self-titled debut album. While Gray was not present for the incident, he told Launch that the group took the decision to let Montano go very seriously. "I've heard through the grapevine that obviously some things went down or whatever, and we just banded together as a group and we felt, all of us, including Jerry, I think we all felt like we needed to do what was best for Hellyeah and we wanted to do what we thought was best for Jerry at the time," he said. "And we wish him the best and we love him, and it was for a lot of reasons and it was, believe me, there was a lot of deliberation. I mean, it took us a long time to come to that decision." 
 
No official explanation was ever given for Montano's exit. Unconfirmed reports indicated that he got drunk and violent during the band's CD release party on April 10, allegedly threatening his bandmates.  
 
The party took place at the Clubhouse, the Dallas nightclub founded by Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul and his late brother, Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.  
 
Montano was replaced by Bob "Zilla" Kakaha, who played with Vinnie and Abbott in their post-Pantera group, Damageplan, until Abbott's death.  
 
Hellyeah's debut album entered the Billboard chart at No. 9 upon its release. The latest single from the disc is "Alcohaulin' Ass".  

www.hellyeahband.com

 

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