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Mick Jagger, Ozzfest, Ronnie James Dio, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Accept, Ratt, Airbourne, and tons more news

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  • Robert
    Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger is calling for government officials to legalize marijuana on a British island – to see if it prevents drug-related
    Message 1 of 1 , May 21, 2010
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      Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger is calling for government officials to legalize marijuana on a British island – to see if it prevents drug-related violence.

      The singer, who was convicted of possessing narcotics in the 1960s, insists youngsters will always experiment with substances, despite the risk of negative side effects. He is now urging officials to legalize cannabis on the Isle of Man – a British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea – for a limited time to test the consequences of an end to drug prohibition.

      Jagger tells Larry King, “The whole question of legalizing drugs is fraught… You usually try these things out in very small places… You know, like you try a new product out in a small kind of society or an island somewhere. And in England they always try out new mobile phones (cell phones) in (the) Isle of Man. They’ve got a captive society. So I said, you should try – you should try the legalization of all drugs on the Isle of Man and see what happens. Human beings seem to have a propensity to want to take drugs in some form… It seems to be the propensity of human beings to want to use them… I think you have to take that as read, you know.”

      “But then what do you do when it affects so many people’s lives, and not in a good way. And then also you get a lot of violence at both ends of the scope. So you get violence in some countries… which, like, we have in Mexico now, and you get violence at the other end of people trying to obtain drugs. That’s the part that speaks to some sort of legalization. Because that, you would hope, would help the violence from both ends of the supply line.”

      Source: Starpulse.com

      Sharon Osbourne was the surprise guest at Ozzy Osbourne's elaborately staged news conference on Wednesday afternoon (May 19) at Casa Loma's Great Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to promote his new album, "Scream".

      When asked about the billing of this year's edition of Ozzy's travelling festival, Ozzfest, which is set to hit six cities from August 14 to August 24, after skipping last year, tour co-organizer Sharon said, "I felt that at the time that after we did free Ozzfests [Sharon Osbourne experimented in 2007 by making the show admission-free, with fans obtaining tickets through corporate sponsors. But the bands were not paid either, leading to a lack of big names. — Ed.] that it was time to take a break. And then when you take your break, it's like you stay away for a year and then your spot's filled with other festivals. They come in and take your place, and then the competition gets more and more, which is healthy; it's natural.

      "But coming back out this time, it was like, 'Whoa!' It just seems to me that in the space of two years everybody wants to be something else — and everybody still wants to be bloody alternative. Or, um, hard rock. 'We're not metal. We're not metal, no no no.'

      "Going to ALICE IN CHAINS, who are really good friends of ours and a great band, great friends, they're 'too alternative' for us. That's why they took PAPA ROACH to support. So when you're dealing with people that think like that, it's very hard [laughs] to put a tour together, but I think we did extremely well at the end of the day. I think it's more of an event with what we've put together."

      The 2010 Ozzfest will kick off August 14 in San Bernardino (the birthplace of the first Ozzfest in 1996) and then make stops in Chicago, Illinois; Hartford, Connecticut; Camden, New Jersey; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Boston, Massachusetts.

      The main stage will feature full sets from OZZY, MÖTLEY CRÜE and HALFORD (whose frontman Rob Halford last appeared on Ozzfest in 2004 with JUDAS PRIEST). DEVILDRIVER and NONPOINT will round out the main-stage lineup. Second-stage headliners and six-time Ozzfest veterans BLACK LABEL SOCIETY will be joined by DROWNING POOL, KINGDOM OF SORROW, GOATWHORE, SKELETONWITCH, SAVIOURS and KATAKLYSM.

      Each Ozzfest date will include 13 bands on two stages with music beginning at 1:00 p.m. In addition, concert-goers can once again visit the Ozzfest "Village of the Damned" featuring a mix of interactive activities, shopping and entertainment throughout the venue concourses.

      These Ozzfest dates mark the first concerts in the U.S. in connection with the June 15 release of "Scream" (Epic Records), the Ozzfest founder's first album in three years and 10th studio album overall. Produced by Ozzy and Kevin Churko, both of whom did the same honors for Ozzy's 2007 worldwide million-seller "Black Rain", the album will feature the first single "Let Me Hear You Scream".

      Ozzfest 2010 Main Stage:


      Ozzfest 2010 Second Stage:


      The dates are as follows:

      Aug. 14 - San Bernardino, CA – San Manuel Amphitheater
      Aug. 17 - Chicago, IL – First Midwest Bank Amp.
      Aug. 19 - Pittsburgh, PA – First Niagara Pavilion
      Aug. 21 - Hartford, CT – Comcast Theater
      Aug. 22 - Camden, NJ – Susquehanna
      Aug. 24 - Boston, MA – Comcast Center

      Ozzfest did not take place in 2009 after Osbourne stated that he did not want to tour until he had a new album in stores. The move was not really surprising, given the festival's scaled-down reconfiguration as a one-day event in 2008 after more than a decade as a full-length summer tour.

      In addition to the general slowdown in both the economy and the concert business, Ozzfest began facing competition in 2008 from the Rockstar Energy Mayhem tour and Crüe Fest.

      The 2008 "destination festival" took place on August 9, 2008 in Dallas and featured METALLICA, SERJ TANKIAN and others along with headliner Ozzy.

      According to the official web site of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) — an independent Baptist church and hate group known for its hatred of homosexuals and its protest activities (which include picketing funerals) — WBC is planning on picketing Ronnie James Dio's public memorial service on Sunday, May 30 at 2:00 p.m. at The Hall Of Liberty located at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, California. What will presumably one of WBC's standard "peaceful sidewalk demonstrations" is meant to "remind you who worship that old Serpent, Satan, that your time is very short," according to a post on the "Upcoming Picket Schedule" page of the web site. The post continues, "You know 67 year old, Satan-worshiping (or at least one of their enablers) Ronnie James Dio (of showing his devil horns to the world each time he goes in public) BLACK SABBATH fame is dead, right? We'll be there! Just because the chances of any of God's elect
      being amongst this group of heavy metal sycophants is slim to none does not mean they should not get some good words."

      The post goes on to say, "Yes, it is true that Ozzy Osbourne did 'accidentally' bite off the head of a bat, but THAT is the least of their sins (little nasties!), they currently do not do that, but they throw raw meat to the audience and encourage violence of EVERY FORM!"

      The WBC web site then proceeds to list "admitted sins of this now dead and in hell pervert: 1) He hates his neighbor(s) starting with Ozzy Osbourne, and continuing down to his pornography star niece Gen Padova! 2) He hates God. Pay especial attention to the fact that he changed his original sir name from Padova to Dio, which means God in Italian. 3) Ronnie the simpleton enabled, and encouraged Sorceries: everything he was about including the little finger horn thing (he got this from his mother which is an incantation to ward off the 'evil eye') to the drugs, bloody raw meat and his fellowship with those pentagon necklace wearing freakish band members."

      The post concludes: "Yes, Ronnie James Padova (NOT DIO) is currently residing in hell. When all those who worship him and his false gods meet him in hell it will be just like this: Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: Isaiah 14:11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. Praise God all ye, His people. The Great Day of the Lord draws nigh. AMEN!"

      According to CNN.com, the members of the Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church filed a legal brief with the high court last year indicating that they "believe it is their duty to protest and picket at certain events, including funerals, to promote their religious message: 'That God's promise of love and heaven for those who obey him in this life is counterbalanced by God's wrath and hell for those who do not obey him.'"

      The congregation is made up mostly of pastor Fred Phelps and his family. The pastor has 13 children, and at least 54 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He described himself as an "old-time" gospel preacher in a CNN interview in 2006, saying, "You can't preach the Bible without preaching the hatred of God."
      For more information on the Westboro Baptist Church, read this entire CNN.com article from June 2009.

      Wendy Dio, wife/manager of late heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW), has released the following statement in response to reports that the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) — an independent Baptist church and hate group known for its hatred of homosexuals and its protest activities (which include picketing funerals) — intends to picket Ronnie's upcoming public memorial service:

      "Ronnie hates prejudice and violence! We need to turn the other cheek on these people that only know how to hate someone they didn't know. We only know how to love someone we know!"

      The church, which was the subject of a 2007 BBC documentary entitled "The Most Hated Family In America", is made up mostly of pastor Fred Phelps and his family. The pastor has 13 children, and at least 54 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He described himself as an "old-time" gospel preacher in a CNN interview in 2006, saying, "You can't preach the Bible without preaching the hatred of God."

      Ronnie James Dio's public memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 30 at 2:00 p.m. at The Hall Of Liberty located at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, California.

      For more information on the Westboro Baptist Church, read this entire CNN.com article from June 2009.

      Rhino Records has released the following statement to Goldmine magazine regarding the passing of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW):

      "R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio.

      "The Rhino family is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Ronnie James Dio.

      "As a member of ELF, RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH, DIO, and HEAVEN & HELL, Ronnie was truly a pioneer in rock 'n' roll with one of the most powerful voices in the history of music.

      "Ronnie had a nearly 50-year relationship with the Warner Music Group family, from one of his first singles on Atlantic in 1962, to his platinum albums with BLACK SABBATH and DIO on Warner Bros. Records, up to his final release with HEAVEN & HELL last year on Rhino. Not only was Ronnie a true legend in rock 'n' roll, but he was also a sincere, gracious man that we were proud to call a friend.

      "One of our favorite memories from Ronnie's many visits to the Rhino offices was the time he personally went from office to office to thank people individually for all the hard work they had been doing on his behalf — a truly sincere gesture that demonstrates what a generous, caring person he was.

      "Today we take the time to celebrate his life and music.

      "Ronnie, your Rhino family is raising our horns up for you today. We know that is the way you would have wanted it."

      Former DIO and current ALICE COOPER bassist Chuck Garric spoke to the Tahoe Daily Tribune about the passing of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW).

      "I called Ronnie a couple of times but he was really sick," said Garric. "He was living in privacy and I gave him his privacy. ... I just dropped him a line to tell him I was thinking about him."

      Garric played in the band DIO in 1999 and 2000.

      "Getting to play with Ronnie is what launched my whole career," Garric said. "I wouldn't be in ALICE COOPER if it hadn't have been for Ronnie James Dio. He gave me my break."

      "He was one of the nicest and sweetest guys you could imagine," Garric said. "I felt at home as soon as I walked into the rehearsal room and played with Ronnie. It just felt natural and comfortable. He was just a pleasure to be around."

      Former SCORPIONS drummer Herman Rarebell has released the following statement regarding the passing of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW):

      "I knew Ronnie for quite some time — he often came to SCORPIONS shows over the years.

      "Although he just passed away last weekend, I already really miss him.

      "Hanging out with Ronnie was always fun and we always had a great time laughing and joking.

      "Without a doubt, he will go down in history as one of the greatest singers in the world of heavy metal and hard rock.

      "The best way we should remember Ronnie and to celebrate his life is to break out any one of his classic recordings from RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH, DIO, or HEAVEN & HELL.

      "Ronnie, you will never be forgotten."

      Some of Sweden's finest heavy metal musicians will gather to pay tribute to Ronnie James Dio during this fall's edition of the Sweden Rock Cruise, set to sail on October 7, 2010 from Stockholm, Sweden for Åbo, Finland and return the following day. There will be a long tribute concert with a number of guest musicians performing classic songs from Dio's career with a main band consisting of members of LION'S SHARE.

      So far the following artists have been confirmed to perform with LION'S SHARE at the event:

      * Mikael Åkerfeldt (OPETH)
      * Joacim Cans (HAMMERFALL)
      * Björn Gelotte (IN FLAMES)
      * Ian Haugland (EUROPE)
      * Messiah Marcolin (ex-CANDLEMASS)
      * Johan Edlund (TIAMAT)

      Also scheduled to appear:

      * TIAMAT
      * ALIEN

      The show will end with all artists performing HEAR 'N AID's "Stars" (Dio was behind the HEAR N' AID project, a collection of metal artists who recorded the track "Stars" in 1985 to raise funds for African famine relief.)

      On the cruise, Sweden Rock Magazine will donate SEK 25,000 to the Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund, set up by Ronnie James Dio's wife Wendy Dio. Everyone attending the cruise can donate money, which will be sent to this cancer fund.

      John Tsantakis, guitarist of New York City-based power metallers GOTHIC KNIGHTS, has released the following statement regarding the passing of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW):

      "It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear that Ronnie James Dio passed away earlier this week.

      "The bands's sincerest and deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.

      "To us, he was and always be one of the greatest singers in metal.

      "All week, I have been reminiscing about the past and thinking how much Dio was a huge influence on me, both musically and lyrically. To me, his music, imagery, aura, and showmanship was simply true metal at its finest.

      "Back in the day, I used to buy his albums on cassette and vinyl. I kept listening to the cassettes over and over, so many times that I kept wearing out the tapes and rebuying them. I played the vinyl on special occasions as I didn't want to scratch them. Plus the album covers were pieces of art to me.

      "I remember the days back in high school when I used to draw out the Dio logo down to the detail on every one of my blue canvas binders. My wife, too, is a huge Dio fan. In fact, she is a HUGE RAINBOW fan, to say the least. She told me the other day when we were listening to 'Rainbow Rising', that she feels so sad that she lost her Elvis. She so is right, we lost our Elvis."

      GOTHIC KNIGHTS is putting the finishing touches on the long-awaited follow-up to 2003's "Up from the Ashes", tentatively due before the end of the year. The band states, "Our next CD is going to be mixed this July at Trax East Studios by Eric Rachel!

      "This next CD from beginning to end, is going to feature our darker and heavier side, and we expect to release it sometime soon after. The cover artwork, which is already finished, was developed by Eliran Kantor.

      "It's been a long time since our last release, but we feel that this next CD is going to be a great representation of the band's growth musically and sonically!"

      "Up from the Ashes" was released in 2003 on LMP/SPV.

      Powerhouse Norwegian vocalist Jorn Lande (MASTERPLAN, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ARK, THE SNAKES) will honor the musical legacy of Ronnie James Dio with his new album, aptly entitled "Dio", to be released on July 2 in Europe and July 27 in the U.S. via Frontiers Records.

      Handpicking some lesser known tunes of the Dio era, along with some of the true classics, Jorn offers a fine collection of songs that present the music of the man and the artist, with a unique twist.

      Commented Lande: "Throughout the years I have had the privilege of both meeting and working with many of the musicians that have inspired me on my musical journey. Ronnie James Dio has inspired me through decades, and this man's influence continues to add colour to my creative spirit. Ever since the first time I heard his royal roar back in the '70s, I have been fascinated by this extremely talented man's creative force and dedication to music. His career has been going on for so long and includes so many great songs that it was a challenge to decide which songs and what era to focus on. I ended up focusing on the Dio era."

      "Dio" will also include an original song for which a video, shot by Thomas Tjader (PRETTY MAIDS, IN FLAMES), was produced. Jorn says, "I wrote 'Song for Ronnie James' as a tribute and a personal thanks to the man who has been my mentor for more than 35 years. This great man has affected my life and career in such a way that without his presence, I would not have become the artist I am today."

      The "Song for Ronnie James" video can be viewed below.

      "Dio" was mixed by Tommy Hansen at Jailhouse Studios and it features the following tracks:

      01. Song For Ronnie James
      02. Invisible
      03. Shame on the Night
      04. Push
      05. Stand Up And Shout
      06. Don't Talk to Strangers
      07. Lord Of The Last Day
      08. Night People
      09. Sacred Heart
      10. Sunset Superman
      11. Lonely Is The Word / Letters From Earth (2010 version)
      12. Kill The King
      13. Straight Through The Heart (live)
      14. Song For Ronnie James (video)

      JORN is:

      Jorn Lande: Lead Vocals
      Willy Bendiksen: Drums
      Tore Moren: Guitar
      Jgor Gianola: Guitar
      Tor Erik Myhre: Guitar
      Nic Angileri: Bass

      MASTERPLAN vocalist Jorn Lande has a vocal capability that is world-class, distinctive, rich and spanning a large range. As such, the man is in high demand since he has guested or sung for such bands as MILLENIUM, ARK, THE SNAKES and many others. He is also a well-known solo artist with several albums under his belt, beginning with his 1999 debut, "Starfire".

      Steve Williams of U.K.-based metallers POWER QUEST has released the following statement regarding the passing of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW):

      "Well, it's five days on from hearing the terrible, saddening news of the passing of Ronnie James Dio. I wanted to let the news sink in before commenting officially but, in all honesty I still can't quite believe that he has departed.

      "Ronnie was a massive inspiration and influence to me from the time I first heard his vocals in the early 1980s on [SABBATH's] 'Heaven And Hell' record. I was 11 years old and here I am 27 years later still remembering that time as if it were only a short time ago. Whether it was with SABBATH, RAINBOW, DIO or latterly HEAVEN & HELL, there is no doubt in my mind that we have lost a truly legendary figure and one of the gentlemen of rock as well.

      "I had the pleasure of seeing Ronnie James Dio fronting both DIO and SABBATH over the years. I particularly recall two shows above all others. Firstly BLACK SABBATH (supported by TESTAMENT) in Southampton, U.K. on the 'Dehumanizer' tour in 1992. This was an incredible show that many of us who were there still talk about to this day. Secondly, the 'Holy Diver' tour in 2005 once again in Southampton. This show will stick in my mind forever.

      "The 2005 show fell on my birthday and my friend Andre Bargmann (former POWER QUEST drummer and at the time, drum tech for Simon Wright. Andre went on to tech for Vinny Appice in HEAVEN & HELL, amongst others) contacted me the day before to ask if I would be going to the show. Needless to say, I was already planning to attend but Andre made some arrangements for myself and my girlfriend to meet Ronnie and the rest of the band backstage, where I was presented with a signed drum skin with birthday wishes from all the guys. This has had pride of place on my studio wall ever since, and will continue to do so.

      "Ronnie was so welcoming and friendly, as were the rest of the guys as well, and it was a real privilege to be able to spend just a few minutes chatting and talking about music. It's just one of those things that I will never forget and I'm very thankful for.

      "Although Ronnie may have left us, his immense legacy will live on in the wonderful music he leaves behind. Not just for those of us who have followed his career for years but also for future metal/rock fans and musicians.

      "On behalf of myself and the POWER QUEST family, I would like to pass on my sincere condolences to Wendy [Ronnie's wife/manager] and all her family and friends at this most difficult of times."

      Gil Moore, drummer for Canadian hard rock legends TRIUMPH, has released the following statement to Goldmine magazine regarding the passing of Ronnie James Dio (DIO, HEAVEN & HELL, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW)

      "He was a great singer. And it's a tragedy to see him die so early in life. I mean, he wasn't young, but he sure wasn't old.

      "He had one of the best voices. His first record with RAINBOW … that really blew me away. I just about wore out the cassette playing it. This guy had a freight train of a voice. He really did.

      "We would see Ronnie backstage. He would show up at TRIUMPH shows with quite a bit of regularity. He'd show up at our show and come backstage. And he was always a great guy."

      Kevin Alba of MetalAsylum.net has submitted the following report to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:

      "Just got back from the North American tour kick-off of PRIMAL FEAR at New York City's Gramercy Theater. The band was joined by the amazing vocalist Pamela Moore [who is best known for her performance as Sister Mary on QUEENSRŸCHE's 1988 epic release 'Operation: Mindcrime' and 2006's sequel 'Operation: Mindcrime II'] on the tracks 'Seven Seals' and 'Fighting the Darkness'.

      "Prior to 'Fighting the Darkness', vocalist Ralf Scheepers dedicated the song to the late Ronnie James Dio which generated a huge audience response. Following the tune, Ralf encouraged the audience to chant Dio's name, which everyone did. Also HALFORD/PAINMUSEUM/ex-SEBASTIAN BACH guitarist 'Metal' Mike Chlasciak came out and joined PRIMAL FEAR during their encore for a blazing rendition of the JUDAS PRIEST classic 'Metal Gods'. The Queen of Heavy Metal Doro Pesch was also in attendance tonight, just enjoying the show and meeting with fans who spotted her hanging out. She took time to speak with each of these fans and was extremely nice to all, a true class act. Support on this show came from New York power metallers DESDEMON and Denver, Colorado thrashers HAVOK."

      PRIMAL FEAR's setlist was as follows:

      01. Final Embrace
      02. Killbound
      03. Nuclear Fire
      04. Six Times Dead (16.6)
      05. Angel In Black
      06. Seven Seals (w/ Pamela Moore)
      07. Sign of Fear
      08. Fighting the Darkness (w/ Pamela Moore)
      09. Riding The Eagle
      10. Running In The Dust
      11. Metal Is Forever


      12. Metal Gods (w/ Metal Mike Chlasciak)

      METALLICA's official web site has been updated with the following message:

      "Can't make it to Europe this June for one of the seven Sonisphere 'Big Four' shows featuring the 'TALLICA along with SLAYER, MEGADETH, and ANTHRAX? No problem . . . we've got the next best thing through the magic of satellite technology with a special HD simulcast from Sofia, Bulgaria on June 22!

      "Here's how it works: The live show will be transmitted via satellite to over 450 movie theaters in the U.S. and over 350 theaters across Europe, Canada, and Latin America. Within hours of all of us walking off the stage, depending on what time zone you live in, you'll be able to rock out to each set in the cozy confines of your local movie theater that same night.

      "Now the nitty gritty details: Tickets for the one-night-only event are available at the local theater box offices and online at TheBigFourLive.com where you can see a complete list of presenting theaters. They will start to go on sale Friday, May 21 in the U.S and Friday, May 28 internationally. Please note that ticket on sale times and even days will vary by theatre, so check with your friendly neighborhood participating movie theatre for exact days and times tickets will be available and keep watching TheBigFourLive.com for theatre additions/changes. For our friends in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, delayed screenings will be coming your way. Again, keep watching here and TheBigFourLive.com for updates.

      "A few more tidbits you might find helpful: Ticket prices in the U.S. will be around $20 plus whatever service charges your local theater may add. No, unfortunately each band's entire set will not be shown, but trust us, you'll see most of the action.

      "If you're still with us here and want a little more info about the good people helping to make this happen, check out: byexperience.net. They've done some awesome events!"

      According to Classic Rock magazine, reformed German heavy metal legends ACCEPT will have a special guest with them on stage on May 26 at the Islington O2 Academy in London, England — their producer Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, ARCH ENEMY, NEVERMORE).

      "They've asked me to do one song with them — a classic," Sneap told Classic Rock. "So I'd better dust down the guitar and get learning!

      "I don't wanna give away which song it is — let that be a surprise!"

      A longtime SABBAT guitarist, Sneap produced ACCEPT's comeback album "Blood Of The Nations", which is scheduled for release in North America on September 14 via Nuclear Blast Records. The band's 15th LP was recorded at Backstage Studio in Derbyshire, England with Sneap. The CD — which will mark the recording debut of the band's latest addition, vocalist Mark Tornillo (ex-TT QUICK) — will contain around 14 tracks, including "The Abyss", "Shades Of Death", "Teutonic Terror", "Blood Of The Nations" and "Pandemic".

      The new lineup of ACCEPT made its live debut on May 8 at the 750-capacity Gramercy Theatre in New York City.

      ACCEPT 2010 is:

      Wolf Hoffmann: Guitar
      Peter Baltes: Bass
      Herman Frank: Guitar
      Mark Tornillo: Vocals
      Stefan Schwarzmann: Drums

      Faces only a mother could love: (left to right) Wolf Hoffmann and Andy Sneap (photo taken in Nashville in August 2009)

      Rock Street Reviews recently conducted an interview with RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

      Rock Street Reviews: You wrote "Look Out Below". What was inspiration for it?

      Blotzer: Well when I wrote "Look Out Below" it had different lyrics and melody to it. Which I presented to Stephen [Pearcy, vocals], and as Stephen does, he likes to write his own melodies and lyrics and story lines. Sometimes he uses parts of stuff I've written so I try not to get to married to my part because I don't want to have to try and force, "Hey, dude, you gotta sing this like this or with these lyrics," 'cause then it will turn into a possible squabble over it, and it takes the vibe outta the song. So I give him a copy of it musically, and then what we do is I play it and I sing the lyrics, give him a copy of the lyrics sheet, and say, "OK, here's what I got." So he came and basically rewrote it, with the title "Look Out Below". It's basically his interpretation of what the lyrics mean.

      Rock Street Reviews: If you could relive any moment in RATT what would it be and why?

      Blotzer: The only thing in RATT I'd like to relive is having RATT headline arenas and packing 13,000-14,000-seat venues. We still get to play in front of that many people, not on a nightly basis, but we pick up different tours, and support slots and special guest slots that kind of thing. I think RATT really fits well on the bigger stages and bigger gigs. A lot of people like to see the band in smaller venues — 1300-1400 seaters — but I personally love playing in arenas and on bigger stages. So I just hope we can shimmy our way back up the ladder, ya know. I'm working, I'm thankful for that. There are people without jobs and I'm still getting to be this "rock personality" and play and have people love what you're doing, is a blessing from god, and I don't take it lightly!

      Rock Street Reviews: What tracks on the album best highlight your drum style?

      Blotzer: All of them. I was able to have free reign pretty much on this record. I thought Michael "Elvis" Baskette producing skills were pretty good and open minded. Beau Hill used to really hold me back and everyone in turn in doing that, I guess. If I argued the point, he (Beau) would get the other guys and it would be like me against the band. On this one pretty much everyone got doin' what they wanted to do, interpreting the songs the way they want to interpret them.

      Rock Street Reviews: Do you like him better as a producer?

      Blotzer: I respect what Beau did for this band. But there's alot of stuff I don't like. And his approaches, he has definitely got musical talent and definitely helped create the sound of RATT in our recordings. I like Elvis' approach better and the other producers, I like their approach better. I don't like manipulation, I don't like separatism and we had a lot of that with him. And, again, I'm not disrespecting him, just telling you my point of view.

      Rock Street Reviews: So how do you feel about that and the current resurgence in metal?

      Blotzer: I never wanted to break up. As far as a resurgence and business doing good, if you have good music, people are gonna come — it's as simple as that. I don't ever see a revival of the bands from 2000. It's like, oh, there was a ton of us from the '80s that had multi-platinum records, most of us headlined three or four tours. I just don't see a lot of that happening in the '90s. Most of those bands came and went pretty quick. I'm not saying they were not good. I don't know, man. It's just a different vibe, I think. The '80s metal stuff is more fun to go out and rock to.

      Rock Street Reviews: So were you happy with the way the outcome of VH1 "Behind The Music" episode they did a couple of years back?

      Blotzer: It's OK. They missed a few parts and edited things, too. I realized it's a drama series going in but I wish they would have at least focused on some of the bigger accomplishments we had other than just we were a bunch of drunken idiots. The [Robbin] Crosby [late RATT guitarist] portion was pretty sad, I watched it in my house in Texas with about 25 friends and I hadn't seen it and everyone kept looking over at and looking over at me and trying to get my reaction. That was interesting. I felt a little bit like I was on the hot seat, but anything that keeps RATT out there in people's minds and introduces it to people who may not know is a good thing.

      Rock Street Reviews: Is there a certain type of life style or hunger you feel is required within you to write catchy quality songs?

      Blotzer: I try to just write hook-heavy, catchy music that will stick in your mind, whether it's lyrics or melodies. I can pull from experiences in relationships but I don't generally have any kind of political inspiration in tunes. I'm not that kind of writer, you know what I mean? It's more like life experiences over things I see on the news or wherever. I'm not comparing myself, obviously, to someone like Bono — he's a superstar writer, of course — but he tends to seem to do the opposite of what I think; he's socially conscious on everything he writes. I just want to have a good time. And I don't write anything trying to be gu ball, it doesn't necessarily have to have to deep a meaning to be a great song. Fun is fun. You can have a decent meaning to it, of course, but I'm just saying it doesn't have to be too serious. Not that there's anything wrong with people who write like that, but our brand of music I think is more fun orientated.

      Australian hard rockers AIRBOURNE will return to their home country in October for their first Australian run of dates since 2007.

      The details are as follows:

      Oct. 22 - The Metro - Sydney, Australia
      Oct. 23 - The Hi Fi - Brisbane, Australia
      Oct. 29 - The Gov - Adelaide, Australia
      Nov. 01 - The Hi Fi - Melbourne, Australia

      "No Guts. No Glory.", the sophomore album from AIRBOURNE, sold around 6,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 89 on the Billboard 200 chart. The CD was released in the U.S. on April 20 via Roadrunner Records. The special-edition digipack version of the album includes five bonus tracks and a bottle opener.

      AIRBOURNE traveled to the Windy City to record "No Guts. No Glory." with producer Johnny K, live and straight to analog tape. Like debut album "Runnin' Wild", "No Guts. No Glory." continues that good time vibe, but ultimately, according to drummer Ryan O'Keeffe, the record is about "standing up and going for it, and being a man. There's a tougher element to the album, so to speak." Instead of sleeping every night in a comfortable hotel room bed on the label's dime, the band actually slept in the studio, taking inspiration from Bruce Springsteen and his E STREET BAND, who were known to live in the studio until an album was completed.

      Versailles Records' forthcoming "Rock & Roll Train: A Millennium Tribute to AC/DC" will feature former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade alongside LIZZY BORDEN guitarist Ira Black on the Bon Scott-era classic "Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll)". Black co-produced the track, along with album producers Richard Kendrick and Jake Brown, who commented of Slade's inclusion that "it's one of the true highlights for Rik and I, in over 10 years of producing these albums, to be working with a member of the greatest hard rock band of all time on this record — coupled with the fact this will be our first tribute LP ever issued on vinyl."

      In addition to Slade, "Rock & Roll Train: A Millennium Tribute to AC/DC" will feature current/former members of such acts as GUNS N' ROSES, MEGADETH, LIZZY BORDEN, BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION, RAINBOW, HANOI ROCKS, DANGEROUS TOYS, WARRANT and L.A. GUNS, as well as a number of original artists, including THE SKYSCREAMERS (which features vocalist Rose Reiter), KATET, LOADED DICE, ATTICA and MARTIAN HONEY. The album will be issued with a bonus sampler featuring up-and-coming millennium rock and metal bands influenced by AC/DC. A fall release is expected.

      Former IRON MAIDEN/WOLFSBANE singer Blaze Bayley, who currently fronts his own band, has issued the following update:

      "As you all probably know, Anna [Di Laurenzio; manager] and Larry [Paterson; drums] have decided to leave the [BLAZE BAYLEY] band. This is for reasons we will not go into to respect their privacy. We wish them well in the future.

      "First of all, our apologies for not coming out with this news first, but we are on road and didn't have the opportunity to do so.

      "This will only be a short statement as we are facing a 12-hour drive today to Moscow.

      "We would like to reassure you that this will not change anything for the band. We are going on with finishing the gigs that are booked and new bookings are still coming through. All recording plans for the next album stay on as well as all other plans for the future.

      "We have found a good, talented replacement drummer in Claudio [Tirincanti], so hope that the fans will support him as well.

      "So far we have had incredible reactions on this tour and hope that you will keep on supporting us as you have done in the past."

      Due to "illness," Paterson was unable to make the South American leg of BLAZE BAYLEY's "Promise and Terror Tour", which kicked off on April 1 in Teresina, Brazil.

      LOST ANGELS, the band featuring singer John Corabi (MÖTLEY CRÜE, RATT), guitarist Eric Dover (SLASH'S SNAKEPIT, SEXTUS, ALICE COOPER), bassist Muddy Stardust (L.A. GUNS, GILBY CLARKE) and drummer Troy Patrick Farrell (WHITE LION, PRETTY BOY FLOYD), has scheduled the following dates in the Midwest:

      Jun. 25 - The Hayloft - Mt. Clemens, MI
      Jun. 26 - Tailgaters - Bolingbrook, IL (w/ THE GELHEADS)
      Jun. 27 - Oneida Bingo & Casino - Green Bay, WI
      Jun. 28 - Oneida Bingo & Casino - Green Bay, WI
      Jun. 29 - Oneida Bingo & Casino - Green Bay, WI
      Jun. 30 - Milwaukee Summerfest - Milwaukee, WI (Rock Stage)
      Jul. 01 - [to be announced]
      Jul. 02 - Hard Rock Café - Pittsburgh, PA (w/ D'MOLLS)
      Jul. 03 - [to be announced]
      Jul. 04 - [to be announced]

      Last September, LOST ANGELS performed its inaugural shows in India along with visiting a hospital for children with cleft lip and palate, donating proceeds of their shows to help aid in surgeries and research. The band is planning to go back to India sometime later this year.

      For more information, visit www.lostangelslive.com.

      World-renowned guitarist George Lynch (DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB, SOULS OF WE) will unveil a selection of his custom art and carved guitars on June 5 at The Rock and Roll Emporium in Huntington Beach, California. The event will also feature a debut performance by THE GEORGE LYNCH TRIO and a chance for attendees to meet the artist in person.

      George Lynch is one of the most recognizable names in the world of heavy metal guitar. With a career that spans more than 30 years, it was clear that George's technical ability and unique style that was formulated on the Sunset Strip in the late '70s, would lead him to success.

      Best known as the lead guitarist for the band DOKKEN from 1983 to 1988, George recorded five albums that achieved success in the United States, Europe and Asia. Platinum-selling recordings "Tooth And Nail", "Under Lock And Key" and "Back For The Attack" highlighted George's innovative guitar work and helped cement his reputation as a true guitar legend. The band earned a Grammy nomination for the instrumental track "Mr. Scary" in 1989.

      After departing DOKKEN, George's musical creativity surged as leader of aptly-titled band LYNCH MOB followed by his first solo effort in 1993, "Sacred Groove". In the nearly two decades since, George has unleashed several more solo and LYNCH MOB efforts, as well as a brief reformation of DOKKEN, the LP (LYNCH/PILSON) project with former DOKKEN bandmate bassist Jeff Pilson and drummer Michael Frowein titled "Wicked Underground", and SOULS OF WE with London LeGrand of BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION.

      At present, George Lynch has been busy in the studio and on the road. His current projects include a retrospective compilation titled "Lost Lynch". The collection exhibits his natural progression and growth as a musician, guitarist and songwriter. Spanning over 30 years, "Lost Lynch" showcases his earliest recordings at age 15 to his multi-platinum successes later in his career. This collection explores some choice examples of missing links from DOKKEN and LYNCH MOB, as well as Lynch's later projects that have never been released to the public.

      "Most of our customers know George Lynch as one of the most influential guitarists of our time, and they would be right. But we'd like to introduce people to George Lynch, the artist," said Andrew Kirby, managing partner of The Rock and Roll Emporium. "The only place anyone has seen these incredible works of art or his custom-carved guitars, is if you have been a guest in his home or bought one from his web site. This is a rare and unique opportunity to see some of these pieces in person, and George has even planned a never-before-seen trio performance just for this occasion."

      To meet George, and attend the art premier and performance… you must have a ticket. Tickets will be made available at The Rock and Roll Emporium for $40 starting Friday, May 21. Your ticket is free with the purchase of an exclusive George Lynch Memorabilia Pack that includes: event laminate, George Lynch axe heaven mini replica guitar, limited-edition 8x10 photo, and a George Lynch custom guitar pick.

      Joe Matera of Ultimate-Guitar.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist Alex Skolnick of veteran San Francisco Bay Area thrashers TESTAMENT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

      Ultimate-Guitar.com: TESTAMENT currently working on a new album how has it been going and what can fans expect to hear?

      Alex Skolnick: It's too early to say. We're in the "riff-writing" stage. We'll be meeting up to start putting ideas together soon, but right now it is hard to describe exactly.

      Ultimate-Guitar.com: Has the process been easier when it comes to making a TESTAMENT record today compared to the earlier recordings?

      Alex Skolnick: The technology has definitely made it easier. There used to be the issue of running out of tracks and who could go in to record their parts at what times. Now you can record as many tracks as you want and for some parts, you don't even have to rent an official studio with the clock running anymore, so there's less pressure. At the same time, the band got it together before there was this technology so no one relies on it, as some modern bands do.

      Ultimate-Guitar.com: In many interviews you have stated that the last album, "The Formation of Damnation", is the best TESTAMENT record to date. Is there pressure on the group for this new record to push yourselves musically and top the previous record?

      Alex Skolnick: It seems counter-intuitive to think too much about our previous recording whatever it may be. Each record is its own entity and you have to go in with a certain amount of acceptance of that.

      Ultimate-Guitar.com: How does being on the road with TESTAMENT differ today to how it was back in the 1980s?

      Alex Skolnick: It is much more civil. You used to not be able to fit into the dressing room before or after the show, as there were so many hangers-on. After the show, everyone would migrate to the bus and fill it with smoke, loud music and alcohol. There was nowhere to go and I think the band lost focus. Nowadays, it is much different. The dressing room and bus are kept more private and everyone is more respectful of each others space. If someone is tired and feels like going to sleep on the bus after the show, they are now able to so. That wasn't always the case.

      Ultimate-Guitar.com: What has been the most embarrassing stage moment for you?

      Alex Skolnick: I'll never forget this time many, many years ago with TESTAMENT — I was playing an open guitar solo and all of a sudden the electronics in my guitar went dead. By the time we figured out it was the guitar, it was too late to complete the solo. It was already a stretch to try to hold the attention of all these drunken moshers in the pit and force them to listen to my guitar solo. But all of a sudden, there's no sound and I'm standing there in a panic. I'm turning all the knobs, flicking switches, trying cables in desperation. In seconds I have descended from guitar hero to complete jackass. My tech tries checking every cable and eventually changes the amp head, but still there is no sound. The crowd starts booing and chanting. It is not directed at me personally, they're booing the silence. They're not placing blame, they're just fired up, restless and want the show to start back up. Even though I know this deep down, it is little
      consolation. I leave the stage, mortified, shrunken, ignominious.

      Ultimate-Guitar.com: You seem to have a healthy creative balance between TESTAMENT and all your jazz outings. How important has it been to you as a musician and artist, to have these outlets for your creativity?

      Alex Skolnick: The jazz outings are what make it possible to play in TESTAMENT. I know not everyone understands that, but the truth is that TESTAMENT is more about Eric's [Peterson] rhythm guitar and Chuck's [Billy] vocals. It's a huge, high volume barrage of sound and for most of a song you don't really hear me, except for the solo, which lasts for a short time. In fact sometimes, it is hard to hear me at all at the shows, unless it is mixed right, which isn't always the case. It's still a lot of fun to do, especially feeding off the great fans and their energy. But as a musician, I can't imagine just doing that. I have to do projects where I'm heard for the whole song and can explore different textures, tones rhythmic and harmonic ideas, improvisation and dynamics.

      Ultimate-Guitar.com: Obviously there are times when your other projects, clash with your Testament commitments as evident by the recent tour where you sat it out due to your THE ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO dates opening for RODRIGO Y GABRIELA. Do you normally have backup plans in place for times like these so neither you and the group is at the mercy of each other's schedules?

      Alex Skolnick: They [TESTAMENT] felt they needed to take the last minute MEGADETH tour that was booked in wake of the "American Carnage" tour postponement. I'd already been booked on the RODRIGO Y GABRIELA tour, which is a big tour, one of the best possible opportunities for my trio. Fortunately, Glen Drover [ex-MEGADETH, KING DIAMOND] is a great guy to come in and do the occasional tour and gig. It is difficult at times. The other guys live in the Bay Area, only play in the band, have local jobs with flexibility to work around tour dates and are nearly always available for last-minute tours. I live in New York City, play music professionally with different situations and am often booked months in advance. I realize it is asking a lot of the fans to be patient with this. We try to avoid conflicts and try to find the best solutions to them when they arise.

      Swedish power metallers NOCTURNAL RITES have recruited 23-year-old Christopher Rörland (TME) from Skellefteå, Sweden as their new lead guitarist.

      Commented rhythm guitarist Fredrik Mannberg: "It feels great to have Chris in the band. He's a really, really nice guy. We're very happy to have found this guy very close to our hometown. We are very excited to start working on new material and play some live shows with him, so it's great."

      A short video message from NOCTURNAL RITES introducing the band's newest addition can be viewed below.

      NOCTURNAL RITES previously stated about the material that has been completed for the follow-up to 2007's "The 8th Sin", "We have some really dark and aggressive stuff written as well as some more melodic, so this new album will definitely cater to all aspects of the NOCTURNAL RITES legacy! [It sounds] a little [like we're going] back to the darker 'Afterlife' [2000] days mixed with some trademark NOCTURNAL RITES catchy melodies — those that can never go wrong!"

      Guitarist Nils Norberg announced his departure from NOCTURNAL RITES in June 2008. "I have decided to lay down the guitar as my interest for music kind of cooled down the last years," he said in a statement.

      "The 8th Sin" in 2007 landed on the Japanese album chart at position No. 68 (No. 28 on "international" chart).

      PORCUPINE TREE's Steven Wilson revealed to Chordstruck Magazine that he has begun work on material for his much-anticipated collaboration with Mikael Åkerfeldt from OPETH and Mike Portnoy from DREAM THEATER. "I started writing with Mikael last month, finally," he said. "It's still in the very early days.

      "We wrote about 15 minutes of music last month in my studio near London and we're very excited about it.

      "I think people are going to be very surprised by the direction.

      "If they're expecting some kind of death-metal-progressive rock, they're going to be surprised [because] it's not like that."

      He continued, "If you put the two of us together, the last thing we're going to do is something similar to what people already know from our most high-profile project.

      "It's very arty, very ambitious; it's going to be epic.

      "We're still writing.

      "[It's going to be] very dark, very twisted, very experimental.

      "It's still rock music, but we're trying to do something really, really special and really different with this."

      In a September 2009 interview with Australia's PyroMusic.net, Mike Portnoy stated about the project, "The three of us each mentioned wanting to work with each other years ago, and since then it's kind of been this rumor that won't go away. I think all three of us regret ever mentioning it at this point, but I think the hype or anticipation around it has surpassed anything we possibly could realistically deliver. So I think now all three of us are kind of hesitant to do it, because there's been so much hype about it. (laughs)

      "This is an example of where the Internet can somehow be a bad thing and I think... that's why I try to keep as tight of a lid on things as possible when we're making a record, because anything that is said or leaked or heard, it opens up this can of worms of discussion and once people start discussing and discussing and discussing and dissecting and anticipating, they build up such a level of hype and expectations in their head that it's impossible to ever satisfy it. So that's one of the bad things about the Internet.

      "In answer to your question though, I think we'd love to work together, but at this point, we just don't know when."

      Los Angeles cyber metallers FEAR FACTORY have scheduled three more in-store appearances/meet-and-greet sessions as part of their ongoing "Fear Campaign" American tour 2010. All four members of the band will be available to meet with fans at Magnolia Thunderpussy in Columbus, Ohio on May 30; Digital Ferret Records in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 6; and Vintage Vinyl in Fords, New Jersey on June 10.

      FEAR FACTORY, currently on tour supporting its latest album, "Mechanize", had a brief scare earlier this week when its tour bus nearly went off road while en route to Boise, Idaho. Luckily no one was injured and the band made its show at Knitting Factory without much delay. Guitarist Dino Cazares says, We were on our way to Boise for a day off when about 8:45 a.m. our bus driver fell asleep at the wheel. He swerved to the opposite side of the road. Most of us woke up when we felt the bus on the rumble strips and then the dirt. He woke up in time to swerve back onto our side of the road and pull over. He added, "Thank god there was no oncoming cars or 18-wheelers on the road. Everyone is fine, just a little nervous."

      FEAR FACTORY's latest radio single, "Final Exit", made impact this week at hard rock/metal stations nationwide. The song is expected to follow the success of earlier singles "Powershifter" and "Fear Campaign".

      FEAR FACTORY's newly added tour dates with support from 36 CRAZYFISTS, AFTER THE BURIAL, DIVINE HERESY, BAPTIZED IN BLOOD:

      Jul. 07 - House of Blues, W. Hollywood CA
      Jul. 09 - Roseland Theatre, Portland OR
      Jul. 10 - Studio Seven, Seattle WA
      Jul. 11 - Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC
      Jul. 13 - Flames Central, Calgary AB
      Jul. 14 - The Starlite Room, Edmonton AB
      Jul. 15 - Riddell Centre, Regina SK
      Jul. 16 - The Garrick Centre, Winnipeg MB
      Jul. 17 - The Rock, Maplewood MN
      Jul. 19 - People's Court, Des Moines IA
      Jul. 20 - Metro, Chicago IL
      Jul. 21 - Harpo's, Detroit MI
      Jul. 23 - Opera House, Toronto ON
      Jul. 24 - Parterre Parc Jean Drapeau/Heavy MTL Festival (no tour package)
      Jul. 25 - Fillmore NY @ Irving Plaza, New York NY
      Jul. 26 - Recher Theatre, Towson MD
      Jul. 27 - Crocodile Rock, Allentown PA

      For more information, visit www.fearfactorymusic.com.

      Germany's NIGHT IN GALES has entered Studio 141 with producer Roger Grüninger to begin recording its fifth full-length album for a tentative late 2010 release. According to guitarist Jens Basten, "Adriano [Ricci] finished already the complete drum takes during three days between May 7 and May 9. The forthcoming recording steps (guitars, bass and vocals) will be finished [before the end of] August at different studios."

      NIGHT IN GALES' new CD will be mixed and mastered by Dan Swäno at Unisound Studios in Örebro, Sweden. According to Basten, the album "won't disappoint anyone who's still into the early NIGHT IN GALES shit and supports melodic death metal the old vein."

      NIGHT IN GALES' most recent full-length album, "Necrodynamic", was released in 2001 via Massacre Records. Prior to signing with Massacre, the band released three albums through Nuclear Blast Records (1997's "Toward the Twilight", 1998's "Thunderbeast", and 2000's "Nailwork").

      A Russian town famed for its crusades against swearing and easy morals is trying to ban heavy metal concerts arguing that they are "satanic" and "ideologically destructive."

      Officials in Belgorod, a town some 400 miles south of Moscow, have written to local café, club and restaurant owners asking them to refuse to host heavy metal concerts.
      "I am not familiar with such music myself but we have been asked to head off any satanic activity," a local official, Vladimir Shatilo, told the daily Kommersant newspaper.

      "The parents of youngsters who attended such events would never forgive us for (allowing) the performances of people interested in satanic ideology," added another official. He cited recommendations from an infamous Soviet-era psychiatric hospital that said heavy metal music had an "ideologically destructive" effect on young people.
      Some local club owners appeared unlikely to comply. One of them, Oleg Proskokov, told the same newspaper that he planned to hold a number of rock events in the near future and that any officials who tried to interfere would get a "punch in the face."
      Alexander Naumenko, the lead singer in a local rock group, said the campaign reminded him of the "worst aspects of the Soviet system" when Communist party officials sought to tightly control the kind of music people could listen or dance to in public.
      Belgorod has previously introduced fines for public swearing, restricting the number of people on the town's dance floors, and for waging a campaign against Valentine's Day.

      After 22 years of existence, black/death metal band ACHERON has officially calledit quits. The group has released five original full-length albums, three mini-CDs, one covers CD and a number of other underground releases.

      Commented mainman Vincent Crowley: "After a 22-year run, I am finally putting ACHERON to an end.

      "It has been an interesting journey, but it is indeed over now.

      "I know I have broken up the band in the past, but there is no turning back this time. This musical entity has run its course and I didn't want to tarnish what ACHERON represented. Some people didn't agree with my decision, but I feel I know what is right to do.

      "ACHERON never set out to be the most technical, fastest or heaviest band out there. That was not what I strived to achieve. Those who resonated to our music knew the feeling and spirit it had behind it. And this music was not created for the masses, it was an art form to be embraced by other kindred souls who shared the same likes and interests. That is why the fans have always been very special to me. Their dedication and support fueled the Hellfires!

      "In the end I never really cared what the media thought of us, but I did want the fans to always get 100% ACHERON.

      "I'm glad we were able to put out our last album, 'The Final Conflict: Last Days Of God'. I am very proud of the work we all did on it and was very pleased with the positive response we got from it.

      "How ironic to have such a title. Very fitting, indeed!

      "I'd like thank all the fans for showing their support throughout the years and keeping the Satanic beast alive for so long. I hail all you metal maniacs!

      "I've had the chance to meet a lot of you throughout the years and the pleasure has been mine.

      "I would also like to give special thanks to all the great musicians I have been able to work with the last twenty-plus years. Without their contributions I couldn't have continued to release albums and played shows.

      "'Rites Of The Black Mass' was recorded in 1990 and it is now 2010. My 20=year pact with ACHERON has been fulfilled. But be assured, I will always be a thorn in the side of all that is Holy! (Ha, Ha)

      "Originally we were going to play shows until the end of the year, doing the 'Rites Of The Black Mass' set. Unfortunately, the lineup I had planned to use for the shows didn't work out, so all those shows have been cancelled, including the Central Illinois Metalfest and Michigan Death Fest. I apologize to the fans and the promoters, but there is nothing I can do about it. So as of now, ACHERON will no longer be recording or playing shows. It has officially been laid to rest.

      "Presently, I am slowly working on putting together a new project called CRIMSON HEROIN. And who knows what else I will get into? So you haven't heard the last of me! (sorry, media. lol) But I am taking my time and not rushing anything. For now I need a little solitude and escape from the populous.

      "I hope you all keep an eye out for future musical assaults from me."

      "I Am Heathen", the latest video from ACHERON, can be viewed below. The clip was filmed with Werner Videos Services and was directed by Aaron Werner. The video features the band lineup of Vincent Crowley, Kyle Severn, Max Otworth and Ash Thomas, and includes a special appearance by actress Madison Riley.

      This video is featured on a free promotional DVD put out by the band. The disc is over 90 minutes long and also contains in-depth band video documentary on "Making Final Conflict" (rare footage!), video footage from the band's 2008 "December Damnation" mini-tour in Brazil and the complete "Satanic Supremacy" three-song demo. This DVD is being given out for free to people who are buying the new "The Final Conflict: Last Days Of God" CD from the band or Ibex Moon Records.

      "The Final Conflict: Last Days of God", was released on April 30, 2009 via Displeased Records. The CD was once again recorded at Mars Recording Compound with Bill Korecky and was mastered at West West Side Music in New Windsor, New York. The follow-up to 2003's "Rebirth: Metamorphosing into Godhood" is a concept album based on the fall of the three major white light religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
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