10-07-10

OZZY OSBOURNE

Legendary heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne took part in a signing session on Thursday (July 8) at the Media Markt Alexa shopping center in Berlin, Germany. Watch video footage of his appearance below.

Ozzy revealed in a new interview with Guitar World that alcohol was the reason he had to part company with longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde. The singer admitted that it was difficult to stay sober around someone who drank so heavily. Ozzy explained, "Zakk came in at the beginning of the new (record), but he was still drinking. When you're drunk and somebody else is drinking, it's OK, but when you're sober and somebody's blabbering away in your ear, it ain't."

Ozzy added, "I love his playing; he's one of the greats. But it was the drink getting the better of him. I couldn't watch him die. In one sick respect, it was good for me to see, because that's what I was like, and worse. Believe me, if I started drinking now you'd think, 'I've got to get out of here.' That's how I felt around Zakk toward the end."

Ozzy, who hasn't had a drink since 2007, says he heard that Wylde himself is now sober as well. He also insists the two are still friends, saying, "We're like family."

Wylde's replacement in Ozzy's band is Greek axeman Gus G., and Ozzy admitted to The Pulse of Radio that playing guitar in his band is a high-pressure gig. "Whoever stands in the shoes of another guitar player that's played with me has got a lot to achieve, you know," he said. "And no matter what I say to them, you know — Zakk was the new guy once, and Randy (Rhoads) was the new guy once, and Jake E. Lee was the new guy — it's got to be the hardest gig in the world after all them guys I've had, from Tony Iommi onwards, you know. I mean, the guitar players I've worked with in my career have been unbelievable, you know."

Ozzy plans to tour extensively behind "Scream", starting with six Ozzfest dates in late August.


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IMMORTAL

Norwegian black metallers IMMORTAL will release a concert DVD, "The Seventh Date Of Blashyrkh", on August 6 via Nuclear Blast. The disc will include professionally filmed video footage of the band's headlining performance at the 2007 edition of the Wacken Open Air festival, which was held August 2-4, 2007 in Wacken, Germany.

A trailer for the DVD can be viewed below.

In a recent interview with About.com, IMMORTAL's Demonaz stated about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to last year's "All Shall Fall", "We already have three songs for the next album. We'll be working on the album this year. And we have material for a lot of other songs, so maybe in August we'll be finished with half the album. But we haven't come so far that I can see the end of the album."

He continued, "I think we'll try to work with the songs and make them classic IMMORTAL songs.

"The next album will be different than 'All Shall Fall'. I think the songs will come off as one package.

"Every album is different for us, but we won't try too many new things. We'll stick to the plan and make the music we like.

"Don't expect something revolutionary. (laughs)"

"All Shall Fall" sold around 3,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 162 on The Billboard 200 chart. The CD landed at No. 7 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

"All Shall Fall" entered the German chart at position No. 33 and Finnish chart at No. 20. In the band's home country, the CD landed at No. 23 in its opening week.

"All Shall Fall" was released in North America on October 6, 2009 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD, which was issued in Europe on September 25, 2009, was recorded at Grieghallen and Abyss studios in Norway and Sweden, respectively.

The "Blashyrkh Limited Edition Bag" version of "All Shall Fall" includes:

* Digipak version of "All Shall Fall"
* Logo t-shirt (size of your choice)
* Abbath's replica battle axe in the form of a stainless steel pendant
* Four buttons
* Double-sided poster
* Special black IMMORTAL plastic bag

"All Shall Fall" was also made available in the following formats:

* Standard jewelcase CD
* Limited-edition digipack
* Limited-edition 180g vinyl
* Limited-edition picture disc
* Limited-edition box, only available through Nuclear Blast webshop.

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09-07-10

DIMMU BORGIR

Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR are rumored to have tapped Swedish multi-instrumentalist Snowy Shaw (real name: Tommie Helgesson; THERION, DREAM EVIL, KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE, MEMENTO MORI, NOTRE DAME) to replace bassist/clean vocalist ICS Vortex (real name: Simen Hestnæs) on the band's upcoming album and world tour.

**UPDATE**: Snowy told earlier today that his rumored collaboration with DIMMU BORGIR is nothing more than a "false and unfounded rumor, without any substance."

Shaw (pictured below) announced yesterday that he was quitting his post as vocalist for Swedish progressive/experimental metallers THERION after four years, two studio albums, live DVDs and numerous tours around the world.

ICS Vortex and keyboardist Mustis (real name: Øyvind Mustaparta) were fired from DIMMU BORGIR in August 2009. The remaining members of the band issued a statement at the time downplaying the impact that ICS Vortex and Mustis' departures would have on the sound of DIMMU BORGIR's next album, insisting that "the creative force in the band is highly intact, perhaps even more so than ever."

In early June, DIMMU BORGIR announced its collaboration with Norwegian composer and Berklee College of Music summa cum laude alumnus Gaute Storaas in addition to the 51 members of KORK (the Norwegian Radio Orchestra) and the 38-member Schola Cantorum Choir. To date, over 101 musicians have contributed to the making of the band's ninth studio album, which will be released in Germany on September 24, in the rest of Europe on September 27, and in North America on October 12 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Composer Gaute Storaas has said of DIMMU BORGIR: "Their music is epic, thematic and symphonic already from the creation; they are clearly having an orchestral approach to composing."

The cover artwork for the new DIMMU BORGIR album was created by Joachim Luetke (ARCH ENEMY, KREATOR, SOPOR AETERNUS), the German artist / painter / graphic designer who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. Luetke's artwork and layout art also gracea two other DIMMU BORGIR albums: 2003's "Death Cult Armageddon", which has sold 130,000 copies in the U.S. (according to Nielsen SoundScan) and debuted at No. 7 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart, No. 10 on the Top Independent Albums chart, and No. 170 on The Billboard 200 chart; and 2007's "In Sorte Diaboli", which has sold over 75,000 copies in the U.S. (according to Nielsen SoundScan) and debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart and at No. 43 on The Billboard 200 chart.

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07-07-10

VOLBEAT

Metalhead.ro conducted an interview with singer/guitarist Michael Poulsen of Danish metal rock 'n' rollers VOLBEAT on June 25, 2010 at the Sonisphere festival in Bucharest, Romania. Watch the chat below.

VOLBEAT will release its fourth studio album, "Beyond Hell/Above Heaven", in Germany on September 10 and in most parts of Europe on September 13 by Vertigo/Universal. The CD was once again recorded at Hansen Studios in Ribe, Denmark with producer Jacob Hansen.

Regarding the title of VOLBEAT's new album, Poulsen previously stated, "The title refers to the overall theme of the album, and it continues the storyline from where [the last VOLBEAT CD] 'Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood' left off…"

VOLBEAT is "very excited" about the new material, "carrying the songs into both extreme metallic territory, punk variations and some very catchy stuff at the same time," according to a posting on the band's web site. In addition, fans can expect to hear various guest musicians on the CD.

Added Poulsen: "We have fast, slow and mid-tempo songs. We still blend different styles of punk, rock 'n' roll, rockabilly, metal, heavy metal, thrash metal, country — we still keep it very open, it's just music! I cannot say too much about it right now, but we're really excited about it and it's going to be very, very cool. Again, we're going to give people something they haven't heard before. We always try to do something special and different on each and every album."

"Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood", the third studio album from VOLBEAT, received a U.S. release in March 2009 via Mascot Records.

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ANVIL

More-Metal.com conducted an interview with Canadian metal legends ANVIL on July 2, 2010 in Berlin, Germany . Watch the chat in two parts below.

"Anvil! The Story of Anvil" was honored in the "Best Documentary" category at this year's Independent Spirit Awards, which was held on March 5 at LA Live's panoramic event deck in downtown Los Angeles. ANVIL also performed twice during the ceremony, which aired live and uncut on IFC (Independent Film Channel).

"Anvil! The Story of Anvil" is the directorial debut of screenwriter Sacha Gervasi ("The Terminal") and was produced by Rebecca Yeldham ("The Kite Runner" and "The Motorcycle Diaries"). The film follows guitarist/vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner and their band, ANVIL, which released one of the heaviest albums in metal history, 1982's "Metal on Metal". The album influenced an entire musical generation of rock bands, including METALLICA, SLAYER, and ANTHRAX, who all went on to sell millions of records. ANVIL, on the other hand, took a different path — straight to obscurity. The film is both entertaining and touching as it follows their last-ditch quest for the fame and fortune that has been so elusive to them. "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" is a timeless tale of survival and the unadulterated passion it takes to follow your dream, year after year.

Praised as "the best documentary I've seen in years," by documentarian Michael Moore, "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" contains appearances by an array of heavy metal icons, including METALLICA's Lars Ulrich, former member of GUNS N' ROSES, Slash, ANTHRAX's Scott Ian, and SLAYER's Tom Araya, among others.

 

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06-07-10

AC/DC

AC/DC Italia has uploaded video footage of AC/DC performing the song "Let There Be Rock" on June 26, 2010 at the Estadio Olimpico De La Cartuja in Seville, Spain. Watch it in two parts below.

AC/DC's Angus and Malcolm Young were honored in the "Songwriter Of The Year" category at the 2010 APRA Music Awards, which were held June 21 at a red-carpet gala event at the Sydney Convention Centre in Sydney, Australia. The Young brothers also took home the accolade for "Most Played Australian Work Overseas" for the AC/DC single "Rock 'N Roll Train".

Hosted by Jonathon Biggins and Julia Zemiro, the APRA Music Awards celebrate composers and songwriters across 12 categories who have achieved excellence in their craft over the last year.

AC/DC's 2008 album release, "Black Ice", peaked at No. 1 across 27 countries and sold more than 1,700,000 units in its first week, and was accompanied by a worldwide, sold-out stadium tour.

 

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05-07-10

DEVILDRIVER

Filmmaker Daniel J. Burke (a.k.a. Bruce Wayne), sole proprietor of Mbarrier Productions at House of Slor Studios in Southern California, has uploaded the first of 25 parts (see below) of a recently completed full-length DEVILDRIVER documentary. Eight years in the making, the documentary — entitled "You May Know Us From The Stage" — focuses on "one of the hardest-working bands" as it "spend[s its] time on and off stage," according to Burke. "Sometimes, things don't go the way they'd want, but most of the time, DEVILDRIVER grabs hold of the reins and leads the charge."

DEVILDRIVER recently finished recording its fifth album at Sonic Ranch studios in Tornillo, Texas with producer Mark Lewis (TRIVIUM, CHIMAIRA, ALL THAT REMAINS) for a tentative early 2011 release through Roadrunner Records. According to drummer John Boecklin, acclaimed British producer Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, MACHINE HEAD, NEVERMORE, ARCH ENEMY) will mix the effort in late July at Andy's Backstage studio in Derbyshire, England.

Regarding the new album's musical direction, Boecklin stated, "It's interesting to me — it's not the fastest shit we have done, nor the slowest, [but it] just [has] lots of groove. But to me, when people say 'it's got groove,' I think it's a nice way of saying simple and boring these days. We wanted to avoid this.

"Our record has a great contrast of dark riffs, stomp bouncing drums with the right amount of blasts and double bass, and outstanding vocal delivery from Dez [Fafara] that takes it past your average approach of the metal attempt. I'm not talking about reinventing the wheel or nothing. I just think our new album sits in its own corner from any of our other albums."

In an interview with Metal As Fuck, Fafara stated about DEVILDRIVER's plans for its next studio album, "Record five with this band, and I've said it before, even with record five, six, seven, eight and nine, will continue to get better. Not a lot of bands can say that and not a lot of bands have done that. Most bands, by the time they've done that amount of records, they're either over it or they're not giving you the anticipation of the record release that they should. But we want to keep DEVILDRIVER fans on their feet. So every two years we're going to release a record and just continue to tour like we do, and we're booked until May 2012. Then we're going to take about six months off. That'll be the most time I've had off in about fourteen years."

DEVILDRIVER's latest CD, "Pray For Villains", sold around 14,600 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 35 on The Billboard 200 chart.

 

DevilDriver "You May Know Us From The Stage" Chapter 1 - Intro from Daniel J. Burke - MBARRIER Prod. on Vimeo.

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