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To say that 2010 was a rough year for metal has to be one of the most colossal understatements any journalist could conceive. Listing all of the fallen heroes of this year would be a column unto itself, as would a list dedicated to the many near-miss accidents, sicknesses, and crimes endured both by entire bands and individual band members. As it is, today we will examine a list with some of the most tangible and immediate consequences in the metal world – the breakup and hiatus announcements and completions of the past year.
Nobody likes to see bands calling it a day, but it’s understandable when a band has been around for a long time and has made enough music to be satisfied with their career. This year has seen nothing like that, as only one truly legendary group of veterans is among the list of bands calling it quits. Call it the consequence of a floundering music industry, an unstable economy, the lure of side projects, or just the desire for a more normal life – no matter which way you slice it, the younger bands are much more susceptible to fast exits now than they were ten or even five years ago. It’s a damn shame too, because there are so many young acts that could be hugely influential waiting for their chance to shine, but are eventually forced to break up when circumstances dictate that the band cannot function. How many Slayers, Panteras, Testaments, and Motörheads of the new generation have we let slip past because of this? One can never be certain, but my estimation is that the number is too high to even fathom.
With that in mind, let us now look back at the bands that announced their final runs or took their last bows this year. And in honor of these great artists, let us raise our horns in tribute to them and the music they selflessly gave us.
Judas Priest – No self-respecting metal fan in the world can say that they are not a fan of at least one Judas Priest song. With the exception of Black Sabbath, Judas Priest has been around longer than any other metal band in history. Before there were Iron Maiden and Motörhead, and WAY before there were Metallica and Slayer, Judas Priest was melting faces and stunning crowds. After more than four decades as part of the music scene, who can blame them for wanting to retire? They are certainly going out on top, with a monumental world tour planned that will take this breakup announcement well into 2011 and possibly 2012. But knowing that I may only get to see Priest once in my life before they call it quits is a personal shame for me, as it likely will be for legions of other metalheads. Read more »
Devildriver bassist Jonathan Miller has revealed that he will be entering into rehab for alcohol and drug addiction. Miller released the following statement regarding his decision:
“To all Devildriver fans and friends, I wanted to give you an update on my status as far as my health is concerned. Regarding the past two European tours, I was either forced to leave by my own accord or asked to leave by my band/managment. I have been touring with Devildriver for almost the past ten years and the drugs and alcohol have finally caught up with me. I realized this when I ended up in the ICU on my birthday last week.
I need to make a change so that I can save my own life and keep the friends that I still have left. I know that a lot of Devildriver fans seek me out first as the one to party with because I consider myself a very social person who is quite outgoing, personable and friendly. That was all fun in my 20s touring with the band, but as I am entering my early 30s, I can feel the damage catching up with me mentally and physically. I don’t want to burn out prematurely before my time on this Earth is up.
On January 1st I will be entering an intense rehabilitation program in order for me to reclaim my health and the person who I once was. I will not be doing the Canadian tour in January or the Australian tour in February and March. This is for my own good. I need to come out of rehab with a sound body and mind. After I complete my rehabilitation I hope to see all Devildriver friends and family as soon as I can.”
It is very courageous of Miller to be so open about his addiction and that he is seeking out help. Hopefully he will be able to rejoin Devildriver on tour soon. We wish him the best of luck.
Okay, this is it! This is the last time I’m doing this! I’m through! At least, with 2010, I’m through. This year has been harsh for metal. I’m sick of it, and I want to get into 2011 now so we can have the proper spirit of intensity, positivity, and brutality inside us. So let’s get this over with. Here it is, the last new release of 2010:
Asking Alexandria, Life Gone Wild (Sumerian)
This EP is being released exclusively in digital form, and can also be purchased at Hot Topic with a bonus DVD included. The music contents include one new song that will likely be the first single from their forthcoming full-length album, a couple of demos and remixes, and covers of the Skid Row classics “18 and Life” and “Youth Gone Wild”. Obviously the covers are the big draw of this EP, hence why its name is drawn from those two song titles. The group made some waves headlining this summer’s Thrash and Burn tour, as well as opening for All That Remains this fall, so those factors will likely boost sales of this EP going into the post-Christmas retail deals.
And that’s the end of it! I was going to have my top ten albums of the year at the end of this article, but the list has already been posted over here. So I will end this by saying THANK YOU to every single person that has read New & Noteworthy since it began on June 8th of this year (complete with the wrong date in the page address). It has been a privilege writing for this website, and I look forward to more incredible lists of new releases in 2011.
Only one last thing for me to do: come back tomorrow as I take a final look at the bands that you won’t be seeing new material from next year, or ever again (most likely).
Alice In Chains has released a new video for the song “Last Of My Kind.”
First, Portnoy leaves Dream Theater. Then, Avenged Sevenfold, who he’d been helping out this past year in the studio and on tour, told him his services were no longer needed. In that situation, one can either decide to pursue new music endeavors, or see if they can get their old job back. Apparently, Portnoy did the later and was, according to him, turned down.
Portnoy revealed the following through a recent post on his official website forum:
“Just for the record, this is indeed true…Fairly recently, I reached out to the guys to try and make amends and offered to reconcile for the sake of having peace back in our lives…(plus I know how much it meant to alot of the fans…)
I figured it was still possible to try and save us because they hadn’t made any announcements yet or begun any public activity with another drummer…but sadly, they declined my offer (well, actually their lawyer did…they didn’t even tell me themselves….) Sorry gang, I honestly gave it my all…So now the fans on my twitter and facebook can please stop asking me to go back to DT…I tried, and the door is now shut…the ball is now in their court, not mine…
PS – I’m not crying or looking for mercy by posting this…I am merely trying to set the record straight as that is always the most important thing about my relationship with you guys…no BS, no spins, nothing to hide…and for better or for worse, I tell it like it is… I’ve also recently seen some people accuse my online activity of ‘looking for attention or media coverage’ or ‘looking for sympathy,’ but it’s honestly none of the above…I merely value having an open and active communication with my fans…always have, always will…it is the cornerstone of everything I’ve done since day #1 with DT….
This was posted here FOR YOU GUYS to know about…here on MY message board on MY website….if it ends up on Blabbermouth or some other website that chooses to sensationalize it, that is THEIR doing….I did not send it out or create a ”press release”….I am merely responding on a thread on my own Forum…Anyways, onward and upward…”
If this indeed is true, then you can’t necessarily blame Dream Theater for not wanting to take back Portnoy. First of all, guitarist John Petrucci has already confirmed that they have found Portnoy’s replacement. Plus, after all of the media drama surrounding the break up, which both Portnoy and Dream Theater helped contribute to, it’s not exactly like both sides can reunite without one having egg all over their face (or at least not so soon).
At this point, it’s just time to move on. I know Portnoy claims he isn’t trying to attract media attention, but ever since leaving the band he’s been constantly releasing statements about his departure and even dissing DT for moving forward without him. It’s great that he wants to be so active with his fans, but enough’s enough. Even A7X singer M. Shadows was uneasy at how “press-release happy” Portnoy has been. Sure, no one would complain if Dream Theater and Portnoy reunite in the future. But at the moment, I’m sure everyone is more interested to find out who Dream Theater’s new drummer will be and what Portnoy will do next. So enough with the press releases about the past, and let’s wait to hear about the future.
Glassjaw has announced dates for a February/March tour.
Saxon frontman Biff Byford recently got to meet and hang out with Lady Gaga backstage at one of her shows in London over the past weekend. The pop star herself posted a picture of the two together via Twitter with the following message:
“Me and Biff Byford of Saxon! Denim and Leather, he said I look better in the blood flesh. (DIED)”
Byford also confirmed the odd meeting by posting the following message on Saxon’s official website:
“Got passes to see Lady Gaga for my daughter, but she couldn’t go so I went with our agent, Steve. As we walked backstage, we met the manager of heavy metal DJ Lady Starlight and a couple of members of the support act Semi-Precious Weapons and they invited us back to the dressing room for a drink. As we drained our glasses, we said thanks and say hello to Lady Gaga from us.
The show was great, [and] we went off to the backstage bar for another drink. Suddenly Lady Starlight came in and said that Lady Gaga would like to meet us. Then we had a fantastic 50 minutes with Miss Gaga, who is a massive heavy rock fan and SAXON fan talking everything rock. She’s a great lady and it was a great privilege to meet her.”
This pretty much confirms that Lady Gaga is a secret metal head/hard rock fan, which we already suspected In addition to posting pictures of her meeting KISS this past Summer, and to including Metallica and Iron Maiden as her Ping picks, Miss Gaga was also caught quoting Saxon via tweets after a visit to the burger join Kuma’s Corner. And now she’s freaking out over meeting Saxon’s singer via Twitter. Like we said before, the fact that she follows a metal band as obscure as Saxon (well, at least obscure to mainstream America) earns her major metal props in our minds.
Crowbar is streaming a new song called “Let Me Mourn” exclusively at NoiseCreep.com.
Motörhead has announced dates for a Winter tour with Clutch and Valient Thorr.