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Strictly Metal (Vol.11)

We would like to offer a VERY warm yet overdue welcome to your latest installment of all things heavy. Yes, Strictly Metal is back (in black) from an unforeseen hiatus (bloody internet providers!!) It’s been a loooooong two weeks with more news, reviews, and announcements than you could shake a stick at. So let’s cut the crap and get it on.

News from the Fortnight:
MORE RIGHTEOUS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENTS! Yep, Download’s Andy Copping continues to pull the big names out of the hat like some kind of band wielding magician. 12 new acts have been shared with the world who are destined for the hallowed turf that is Donington Park. Rocking the crowds to their very core will be the multi-talented Corey Taylor, a nice slice of NWOBHM with Blighty’s finest Saxon, Sylosis, Dropkick Murphys, former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, Soil, While She Sleeps and uber scantily clad LA rock outfit Butcher Babies.
Whol.E.Fucking.Shit. See you down the front! Not to be outdone, Sonisphere have also dropped a few names this past week. Joining Kiss, Queen (with special guest Adam Lambert) and Faith No More are US dirty deep south rockers Black Stone Cherry, blackened punk metallers Kvelertak, Seether, Hundred Reasons, Welsh ragga metal boyos Skindred and one-time shock rock veteran Marilyn Manson.
Oh and just in case there’s any hardcore fans lurking out there. The mighty Glassjaw will be performing the rather epic Worship & Tribute album ten years to the date of it’s initial release. In it’s ENTIRETY. Not too shabby! Still not rocking your world? Fancy a jaunt overseas? Well, the first lot of Graspop Metal Meeting 2012 bands are in now and by god, they are impressive.
Your headlining acts this June will be Ozzy Osbourne and Friends, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Limp Bizkit. Joining them in Dessel include metal heavyweights Slayer, Motorhead, Machine Head, Megadeth, Dimmu Borgir, Lamb of God and Amon Amarth. There are a shit load more but as we only have a limited amount of time and space, we suggest you head here for more info: http://www.graspop.be/nl/bands/index.html.
We don’t like to be bringing sad news to the masses but it was unavoidable this week. Davy Jones of 60′s cult TV fame/pop group The Monkees sadly passed away at the age of 66 after suffering a heart attack. Okay, we know, The Monkees didn’t exactly epitomise metal, but that didn’t stop an outpouring of tributes from the likes of Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, Disturbed’s David Draiman and Billy Idol via their Twitter accounts.
The world of rock and metal lost yet another great this week in the form of Ronnie Montrose. The legendary guitarist tragically died this week at the age of 64 after a five year battle with prostate cancer. Slash, Dave Ellefson, Gus G and Myles Kennedy were just a handful of musicians who extended their condolences via various social networking sites with Kennedy citing Montrose as “one of the all time great rock and roll allstars. RIP, man”.
Strictly Metal would also like our lovely readers to take a moment to remember former Alice In Chains bassist Mike Starr who passed away a year ago as of 8 March. Like fellow bandmate Layne Staley before him, Starr had been battling a well publicized substance abuse problem which regrettably ended in his demise. The hugely talented bassist and lyricist left AIC shortly after 1992′s masterpiece Dirt was released which subsequently propelled the Seattle natives into the musical stratosphere. The reason for his departure at the time was  “a difference in priorities”  but it was revealed years down the line that having reached the end of their collective tethers over his addiction, the band were forced to fire Mike. Gone but not forgotten, RIP Mike Starr.
A shock departure this week for Swedish prog metallers The Haunted as Peter Dolving officially quits the band. As of 29th February 2012, Dolving will no longer be lending the fivepiece his unmistakeable vocal talents. Dolving took to his Facebook page to release the following statement: “I am officially quitting The Haunted. After years of working with the band, I am out. I have had it. I will NOT answer questions as to why. It’s no one else’s business. I’m looking forward to seeing you at other shows with other projects.” The Haunted formed back in ’96 with Peter as one of the founding members. He left in 1998 only to return to record the opus that is rEVOLVEr in 2004. At this point it is unknown if the band have found a replacement for Dolving or if they will indeed continue on without him. We sincerely hope so and would like to wish Peter the best of luck in his future musical endeavours.
TOUR NEWS!! Guns ‘n’ Roses have confirmed that they will be touring these shores this May-  which adds fuel to the rumour fire in light of their recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announcement in that they WILL be in their original lineup format. Lets pray that Axl and Slash continue to put their ahem, “creative differences” aside so we can witness the glorious spectacle of classics such as “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City” how they were meant to be performed.
Former G’n’R and current Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum recently spoke to Las Vegas based radio station Komp 92.3 regarding the upcoming induction to the Hall of Fame: “People keep asking me about the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and I’m really like the last guy to ask… I was the guy that joined Guns N’ Roses and I was lucky to get the gig. And I was there to be of service to the rest of the band.” He goes on to to say how both himself and original drummer Steven Adler will be at the event: “It’s part of our lives, it’s part of what we’ve done and what we accomplished.” We will be keeping everything crossed in the hope that former keyboardist Dizzy Reed’s earlier prediction that the original Guns will be present at the ceremony.
Megadeth’s illustrious frontman and all round gobshite Dave Mustaine has reaffirmed a desire to play with former Metallica bandmates James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. Could we see him on the next ‘tallica album then?? Will Lars let this happen? Very interesting.
The very lovely Maria Brink and the rest of SoCal metal quintet In This Moment are back in the studio at long last working on the follow-up to 2010′s A Star Crossed Wasteland and have just announced a handful of 2012 tour dates. to get involved if you can as these guys know how to kill it live.
The legendary WASP have just announced a 30th anniversary UK tour. Oh yes, Blackie Lawless and his glam metal compadres will be rocking a stage near you this autumn. If the thought of this reduces you to a jibbering mess squeeing with glee , get yourselves to http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/section and reserve your spot in good time.
Black Label Society mainman and Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde is about to exercise his literary muscles and publish a book this coming April. Yes, coming to a Waterstones near you soon will be the rather beautifully titled Bringing Metal To The Children. Pffft step aside Enid Blyton and Harry Potter. Kids literature will never be the same after this. Ooooh we deffo smell a bestseller in our midst.
Max Cavalera has spilled a few more beans on the forthcoming Soulfly album. Apparently Enslaved captures the very essence and sound of Sepultura- surely this cannot be anything other than a good thing! Cheers for that Mr C, SM is looking forward to getting their eager mitts on this!
Living in the Leeds area or studying there? Sick of crap towny bars? Well be sure to roll by Leeds Uni Student Union from 30th June to 1st July and check out Ghostfest 2012. For a mere £35, you can check out bands like Emmure, All Shall Perish and Comeback Kid ALL weekend!
Bit of a smug sod and heading to Central/South America around April or May time? Then do NOT miss Rock and Roll Allstars. This musical smorgasbord has been dubbed as “a live show unlike anything else you’ve seen” and with monolithic performers on the bill that include current/former members of Kiss, G’N’R, Def Leppard, Alice in Chains and The Cult to name but a few, we have to agree wholeheartedly with this description. At a recent press conference at the Roxy in LA, Gene Simmons, Duff McKagan and Sebastian Bach were all in attendance and shooting the shit on this very event. Bach commented on how “to be then singer in Gene Simmons first ever project is amazing to me. Dreams come true, indeed.”
Children Of Bodom’s Alexi Laiho chatted to MusikUniverse.net this past fortnight and was keen to share the very good news that on completion of their North American tour with Eluveitie and Threat Signal, the band are heading for studio: “It’s time for us to start writing new music. I’m really anxious to get to that ASAP. This fall we’re gonna start writing new shit.” This “new shit” will be the eagerly awaited follow up to 2011′s corking Relentless Reckless Forever.
Trivium’s Paolo Gregoletto has been spilling the beans to Aussie music mag Loud about how the band are already looking ahead to the new album and by all accounts, it looks set to be even heavier than current record In Waves. “We’ve been talking about it a lot…. I think we’ve definitely learnt to write better on the road and we’re learning that writing with a more focused vision musically is the way to go…. we’re all trying to be conscious of how much we’re writing and really just spending the time with a smaller batch of songs…But it’s definitely I think going to be a heavier record.” Dunno about you, but we are loving the sound of that.
The self-proclaimed “heavy metal holocaust” that are GWAR are currently recording new demos for their next album. This will also the first record since the untimely death of Corey “Flattus Maximus” Smoot and the scumdog head honcho Oderus Urungus had this to say on the subject: “Like any band worth it’s salt, GWAR is constantly working on new songs…. there’s no release date, no gory details but rest assured of one thing, GWAR is working on a new album and it will be a tribute to their lost scumdog brother Flattus Maximus.” Splendid.

The once infamous Marilyn Manson is very much alive and kicking. Not only has the self proclaimed “God of Fuck” just been confirmed for this year’s Sonisphere Festival, Mazza and his cohorts have just completed eighth studio album entitled Born Villain. The follow up to 2009′s The High End Of Low is described as being a real turning point in terms of creativity and will be unlike anything previously released. Manson revealed to this month’s edition of Revolver that the album “doesn’t really sound like any of my old records….it’s very rhythm driven…very bluesy”. Citing bands such as Bauhaus, Revolting Cocks and Killing Joke as influencing the overall sound of the album, he also admits this will be the first time that he repeats verses in songs and that how he believes it will be “the grandest concept record of all”. Born Villain is set to drop 30th April via Cooking Vinyl. The debut single will be No Reflection and Strictly Metal has to admit, it’s not half bad. Let’s just hope that Manson manages to pull a half decent show out of his arse this time around at Sonisphere come July and we don’t have a repeat of his past UK festival appearances which were lacklustre to the point of appalling.
Rob Zombie has announced that production of his upcoming slasher flick Lords Of Salem is close to being done and dusted and once that happens, Rob will be starting work on new material (“in a remote location with no distractions, just music”). This will be RZ’s fifth solo offering after the pretty awesome but ridiculously over the top Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls and The Systematic Dehumanization Of Cool. Cool indeedy.
Metallica’s Lars Ulrich has been shooting the breeze at Spin.com and has spoken of how the band are trying to find “wacky” new strategies to get their music to the fans who want it. The guys from SF are something of an enigma now in the sense that they get to call the shots in the musical sense nowadays which the great Dane was keen to talk of: “We’re free and clear of our record contract. The world’s our oyster again. We’re writing music again… at some point we’re going to want to share that with people who are interested in listening to it- from giving it away in cereal boxes to getting people to do handstands for it.” Hell, it certainly beats some crappy plastic toy/footy cards in your bowl of Frosties! And there’s been a further development to the Metallica festival creation Orion which is set to take place 23-24 June in Atlantic City. There will now be a metal/punk stage for all those who aren’t particularly frothing at the mouth at the prospect of seeing the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Modest Mouse. Keeping shit good and heavy will be Sepultura, Landmine Marathon, Suicidal Tendencies, Red Fang and Black Tusk. Great decision.
Speaking of Metallica, Machine Head’s Rob Flynn and Phil Demmel got the opportunity to voice their opinions on the controversial Lulu project” in March’s edition of Total Guitar. Flynn articulately described it as sounding like “Granpa Simpson rapping over fast thrash beats or something”. The ‘Head guys are “huge fans” and Rob goes on to say how Metallica will remain his fave band but Lulu was “fascinatingly bad”. A pretty accurate as well as imaginative (albeit kinder than what we reckoned!) description there, cheers guys. If you’re one of the many (us included) who felt the sharp blade of envy pierce their very being after seeing the absolutely INCREDIBLE lineup that is Australia’s Soundwave Festival, you will have undoubtedly spat blood and feathers when you heard that System Of A Down are not only playing the fest, but are also doing a fair few headlining shows in between performances. Oh, and just to make us turn that more vivid shade of green, Serj and co invited a few “people” on stage to join them during these shows. Slipknot’s Joey Jordison joined SOAD on Suite-Pee and Ben Weinman (Dillinger Escape Plan) lent a helping hand on Aerials. Talk about an all-star affair. Not that we are remotely bothered or anything… *hysterical sobbing ensues*
Korn’s Jonathan Davis is about to release an electronic EP under the moniker and alter-ego ‘J Devil’. This is unlikely to raise too many eyebrows, particularly given the dub/wobble heavy Path To Totality and the fact that Davis is a regular fixture in the clubs these days keeping the kids raving to his own personal brand of dub or “brostep” as it has been scathingly referred to by some. “I love DJing and I love rocking out,” Davis told Rolling Stone. “It’s fun going from DJing electro and heavy dubstep to Korn. It’s therapy for me.” Working with Radio 1 approved and Grammy award winning Korn collaborator Skrillex has undoubtedly influenced and encouraged the artist soon to be known as ‘J Devil’ to get his mash on and splice and dice all genres of music in order to bring something unique and fresh to the table. PREDICTION: Like Marmite- you’ll either bloody love it or fucking hate it.
Across the pond in the gud ol’ U S of A, an especially vile radio host (you may have heard of him) Rush Limbaugh has been plastered all over the news after making some controversial and downright shocking remarks about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, who has been campaigning for free contraception. Well, unsurprisingly Limbaugh has been losing sponsors left, right and centre in the aftermath of all this and he went on to make the somewhat fatal mistake of dropping some Rage Against The Machine (‘Sleep Now In The Fire’) during one of his shows. Now we all know that RATM are well known for speaking out against social injustice so it didn’t take long for Tom Morello to voice the band’s distaste for the shock jock via his Twitter account. Mr Morello, we salute you.
To Rush Limbaugh: Hey Jackass, stop using our music on your racist, misogynist, right wing clown show. Sincerely, Rage Against The Machine9 Mar 12
LOL of the Week: Limp Bizkit have revealed that hip hopper Lil’ Wayne will join them on their debut offering released through new label Cash Money Records. The Bizkit left the Flip/Interscope stable after 15 years in December following poor sales of 2011′s Gold Cobra. The track will be titled “Ready To Go” and will eventually be distributed online for free. We can only imagine how that will sound. Probably shit.

Band to Watch: Crow Black Sky

Like a bit of Behemoth? Enjoy Emperor everyday? Well then you’re going to fucking love this. This is Crow Black Sky- a phenomenal band hailing from the darkest bowels of South Africa. With their Facebook bio describing them as “The African blackened death metal band which releases all their material for free download!” and a wholly unique sound fusing atmospheric prog, classical AND acoustic elements which manages to retain that all important balance between heavy as fuck and melody to boot, we cannot say enough positive things about this lot. Debut album Pantheion has already garnered a worldwide following in a matter of months and this success is bound to continue as 2012 will see the release of two music videos AND a brand new album. Get involved and head to http://www.crowblacksky.com/ to grab your free album download while you still can. And because we love you, here’s the official trailer for upcoming music vid Stars of God for you to feast your eyes on. Epic.

Well, that is finally all for this week folks. It’s been one hell of a fortnight and hopefully there will be just as much exciting news, reviews and glorious gossip from the heady world of metal. Right now, the power of beer compels us. Have an amazing weekend and until next time, keep it Strictly Metal. \m/

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Author: david

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