Happy Friday everyone and welcome to another jam packed edition of Strictly Metal- your weekly injection of all things related to the best genre of music ever created. Deaths, festival announcements, metal bands winning grammys and a shit load of new album releases. You name it, it’s happened this week. So without further ado, here we go.
News this Week:
Still no announcements from Galbraith and co at Sonisphere HQ (although I will say watch this space on that score) but Andy Copping has titillated us all once more with the addition of another 6 bands. Joining the already pretty epic bill for Donington this June are the new look Killswitch Engage, prog rock masters Opeth, punk stalwarts NOFX, Nightwish, Black Veil Brides and Shinedown. Oh, and if you’re worried your pennies won’t quite stretch to a full Weekend ticket or there’s one particular band on one day you wanna see, then fear not as day tickets are now available. Bloodstock have gone and done it again by announcing that both Deicide and thrash icons Testament will be tearing up Catton Hall this summer. Both are UK festival exclusives and this will be Testament’s only UK show in 2012. See you down the front.
When we first heard this bit of news, the weather channel was checked pretty bloody sharpish to see if hell had indeed frozen over. Don’t panic, it hasn’t but it has been confirmed that the original, yes that’s the ORIGINAL Guns ‘n’ Roses lineup WILL be attending the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Induction ceremony this April in Cleveland, Ohio. Yep, current keyboardist Dizzy Reed chatted to Billboard this past week and had this to report: “I know that all of the original band is gonna be there. I don’t know exactly what will go down. It’s one of those things I’m sure will all come together. Perhaps Slash tweeting happy birthday to Axl has sealed the deal! It will be almost twenty two years to the day since the original band members took to the stage together-their last gig was back in April 1990 at Farm Aid.
Now, SM doesn’t want to start any rumours or get anyone excited (or worse, piss anyone off) but could this point towards an announcement? For a certain festival which has yet to confirm any bands but has hinted at the delay being due to problems with contractual issues and/or egos? And when the said egos belong to the likes of Axl and Slash, the clashes are going to be inevitable. With Universal dropping the clanger over Queen and Faith No More, could this snippet of gossip mean we will see the original GNR headlining Soni this year? Well, you’ll all just have to wait and see. Oh and FYI, the word on the street (well, the Sonisphere website) is that news is coming this Monday at 8pm. Just remember that this is mere speculation- we don’t have the authority to announce the bands!
SPOTTED! Nicest man in rock Dave Grohl collected a Grammy for “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for White Limo” whilst sporting a Slayer tshirt. The Foo Fighters beat off competition from the likes of Mastodon, Megadeth, Sum 41 and Dream Theater to bag this coveted award. Dave was later heard lamenting on taking it away from Dream Theater as he happens to be a big fan of the prog metal outfit. Kudos to you Mr Grohl for having the balls to ditch the tux and for proving to the world that fashion doesn’t fucking matter- it’s the music that counts.
Whilst we are on the subject of the Grammys, Sharon Osbourne has commented further on the whole Bill Ward/Black Sabbath situation. Mrs O had the opportunity to speak to Artisan News at the Annual Grammy Week Preservation event and when asked if the Sabbath contingent had found a replacement for Ward she said “You know I don’t know, I honestly don’t know. It’s all up in the air. The one thing that is for sure is that Sabbath are in the studio and Tony is doing brilliantly well.” Bill’s son Aron actually took to Facebook to defend his father and has commented on how the press is “spinning a shitstorm to read as if my dad has quit. This is not true.” This goes some way to coincide with the statement that Ward has just released today via his blog. He writes “I wanted to let you know where things are at, from my point of view, as of today, February 17, 2012. As my statement of February 2, 2012 indicated, I have not declined to participate in the Sabbath album and tour. At the earliest opportunity, I am prepared to go to the U.K. and record, and later tour with the band.” He goes on to say how he remains “hopeful” that a signable contract will emerge and expresses his appreciation for the support of fans worldwide.
STOP PRESSES! Right before this article went to print, the news came in that Download Festival will be the ONLY date that Black Sabbath will perform this summer. So let’s all say a prayer for Tony Iommi AND Bill Ward and hope to fuck that the whole ugly situation can be resolved and we get what we truly want- The original band. Live and fucking loud at Download this year!
On a slightly lighter and indeed weirder note, Iceland (as in the country, not the shite supermarket) have banned the sale of Motorhead branded wine. Apparently Lemmy’s blend of Shiraz is a little too fruity for some with the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland (ATVR) refusing to stock the tipple due to the negative associations with the band’s name. The real shitter here is the fact that this is the only place outside of pubs and bars where the country’s residents can score booze from,
New album AND tour news now. Dave Lombardo has delighted millions on Facebook with his most recent update on the progress of Slayer’s upcoming album. He writes that “the King (Kerry) and I have seven kick ass songs for you so far, you’re going to soil your pants.” This poo inducing work of art will be the thrash legends TWELFTH studio album and also promises to be “classic” in it’s sound without the merest hint of any acoustic tracks. If there’s any band that we’d happily crap our pants for, it’s Slayer.
God Forbid are set to release their sixth studio album ‘Equilibrium’ on 26th March. This will be the follow up to 2009′s Earthsblood and with names such as Mark Lewis (Black Dahlia Murder) and Jason Suecof (Chimaira) at the production helm, it promises to deliver. Guitarist Doc Coyle had this to say on the New Jersey boys’s new material: “There are some really fast, super heavy groovy songs…the album sounds huge. The lyrics come from a very personal, very real place. The title of the album says it all.” Glam rock and 80′s hair metal faves
Motley Crue are currently writing new material for their tenth studio album according to Nikki Sixx. He recently tweeted (12th February to be precise) that Motley are “back into the writing session here in Vegas…the first song is really ratty, sexy and loud.” We wouldn’t expect anything less.
Down drummer Jimmy Bower has confirmed that the first EP has been mixed and just needs the finishing touches in terms of mastering and album artwork. The New Orleans sludge/groove metallers anticipate a release date sometime in early May and at this point have a working title ‘Down IV’. Not content with just completing a UK tour supporting Mastodon,
The Dillinger Escape Plan are once more heading back to Blighty. The prog metal/hardcore hybrid maestros will be rocking the Highbury Garage in London on 26th April. Tickets are on sale now so get involved and don’t miss out on what is sure to be a face meltingly good show.
The fucking awesome Sylosis have also announced a UK tour for this April. The tour will take in many of the secondary cities around the country that don’t often see bands of this calibre. According to vocalist and guitarist Josh, the dates will be “the best chance we’d get in support of the digital release ‘Slings and Arrows’.” The three bands chosen to support will be Hang The Bastard, Xerath and Chapters who have had the opportunity to hit the road with Sylosis in the past and are now great friends of the band. Fancy it? Then head straight to See Tickets for all the date/venue information you’ll need: http://www.seetickets.com/.
After impressing all and sundry with their acoustic interpretation of Korn’s dub infused ‘Narcissistic Cannibal’, UK rockers The Dirty Youth have been invited to join the Bakersfield crew on their European tour dates. Guitarist Munky apparently saw the vid for the cover and retweeted it as he was so taken with it. Not bad at all!
We don’t like ending SM on a negative, but there was also some very sad news in the world of music this week. Pop/R’n’B superstar Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room last weekend. Houston, who has fought a well publicized battle with both booze and drugs over the past five or so years, was due to appear as the guest and indeed subject of honour at this year’s star studded Grammy Awards. Many big names in the world of rock and metal paid tribute to the star including Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach and Poison’s Bret Michaels. And whilst Houston’s passing was plastered all over the tabloids, everyone was quick to forget that we lost another talented musician this week.
Lordi drummer Tonmi Lillman (aka Otus) passed away at the shockingly young age of 38. No cause of death has been confirmed at this moment in time. Lillman had joined the band in 2010 after previous drummer Kita was dismissed for revealing his identity. An accomplished musician and producer, Tonmi had also lent his talents to bands like Sinergy and To/Die/For. The rest of the band have paid loving tribute to their sticksman on their official website: “He will be greatly missed… Otus we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the short time we got to know you. RIP friend.” Our thoughts exactly.
Song/Video of the Week: Meshuggah- Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion
Oh yes. Another offering from the ‘shuggah’s upcoming album Koloss which is due for release on March 23rd via Nuclear Blast. So it’s just a lyrical vid. But… Shit.The.Fucking.Bed. This is nothing less than an ear bleeding, riff filled, snare pounding epic which is raw and visceral in it’s execution. It does not get better than this folks. Altogether now, the power of djent compels me…
Unsigned Band To Watch: Arcite
Strictly Metal always enjoys discovering new talent. Particularly when the band in question comes from your neck of the woods. Hailing from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Arcite are a five piece metal outfit with years of live experience already under their young belts. After struggling to reach a wider audience through a variety of demos, the lads found themselves in London writing and recording with renowned producer Dan Weller whose band roster includes Sikth, Malefice and Rise To Remain.
Debut EP We Like Awake is pure killer and zero filler. Aggressive riffs and growling vocals but with just the right amount of harmony to balance it out and some melody to boot. And after seeing a clip of these Geordies in a live capacity, believe us they take no prisoners with their verbal assault on the assembled throng. We predict great things for these guys and one day when people talk about the (often forgotten) pedigree of metal from the North East, Arcite will be up there with the likes of Venom and Raven. Watch this space.
Well, unfortunately that’s all for this week folks. Have a top weekend and we’ll see you next Friday for more gossip from the world of metal and rock. Until then, keep it Strictly Metal. \m/