Back in the 90’s, rap was dangerous, with an East Coast/West Coast rivalry that resulted in the deaths of Biggie and Tupac. Hardcore also used to be dangerous, with skinheads and metalheads clashing all the time and to paraphrase NYHC band Cro-Mags, street justice. Earlier this year at the first (annual?) CBGB Festival, it was a return to the bad old days, as the Cro-Mags headlining set was cut short – literally cut. Former bassist Harley Flanagan went backstage shortly before the band was to play, and the end result was him stabbing two people – including current guitarist Mike “The Gook” Couls before being subdued (aka had the crap beat out of him by the band and security) and arrested. Although the charges against him were dropped as it was proven he was acting in self-defense, it proved that time doesn’t necessarily heal all wounds.
2012 was supposed to be Lamb Of God’s year. They started 2012 off with a #3 album on the charts, and were all set to tour the States with Dethklok and Gojira. However, no one could have expected what would happen to singer Randy Blythe in late June. Upon arriving in Prague, Blythe was arrested for manslaughter, being accused of causing the death of a fan during a show two years ago. Blythe remained in a Czech Republic prison for another five weeks, after having to post bail twice. And though he was finally able to return to America, Blythe still has to stand trial in Prague on February 4, 2013, where he may be sentenced to more time in jail. Blythe’s arrest and ordeal continues to leave the metal community dumbfounded, and without question serves as the most shocking moment of 2012. We can only hope that 2013 ends on a better note for Blythe.