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Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman Died From Alcohol Related Cirrhosis; Band Planning Celebration To Pay Tribute

Just a week after word broke that the music world had lost Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman, new information has shed some light on the circumstances surrounding his death.

According to the official report, Jeff Hanneman died from alcohol related cirrhosis of the liver. To celebrate his memory, as well as announce plans for a public tribute, Hanneman’s friends and family have spoken out in a new press release. You can read the full statement(s) below:

“While the details are being worked out now, Slayer wants its fans to know that there will be a celebration of Jeff Hanneman‘s life sometime later this month, along with Jeff‘s family and friends, the public will be invited to attend. More information will be posted here soon.

Kerry King and Tom Araya are trying to deal with the loss of their brother by remembering some the good times they shared.

KERRY: “I had so many great times with Jeff… in the early days when we were out on the road, he and I were the night owls, we would stay up all night on the bus, just hanging out, talking, watching movies… World War II movies, horror movies, we watched “Full Metal Jacket” so many times, we could practically recite all of the dialogue.” Continue reading ‘Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman Died From Alcohol Related Cirrhosis; Band Planning Celebration To Pay Tribute’

Rest In Peace Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman

Sad new this morning, as the music world has been rocked by yet another tragic loss. Jeff Hanneman, guitarist for popular metal group Slayer, has passed away.

Slayer broke the news to fans themselves via a short-yet-personal message on Facebook. The update reads:

Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.

Our Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 – 2013).

RIP, Jeff. You will be missed. Click below to enjoy one of Hanneman’s classics one last time. Continue reading ‘Rest In Peace Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman’

Metal Monday: Metal Urban Legends

The metal world, historically, has been known mostly as an insiders-only club. People on the outside don’t usually get metal, and people on the inside can rarely communicate what exactly it is about metal that is so compelling. As Sam Dunn says in Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, “Ever since I was twelve years old I had to defend my love for heavy metal against those who say it’s a less valid form of music. My answer now is that you either feel it or you don’t. If metal doesn’t give that overwhelming surge of power that make the hair stand up at the back of your neck, you might never get it, and you know what? That’s okay, because judging by the 40,000 metalheads around me we’re doing just fine without you.”

Just because you don’t “feel it,” though, doesn’t mean that you have to go on misunderstanding things about the genre, the people who make metal music or the people who enjoy it. I’m here to dispel some pretty common rumors and misconceptions around the metal world. Perhaps you’re someone who might think some of these sentiments are true, or maybe you know someone who does; whatever the case, it’s time to learn a thing or two.

Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: Metal Urban Legends’

Metal Monday: Metal Soundtracks

Inspired a bit by Rami’s Soundtrax column, this week’s Metal Monday focuses on the most metal movie soundtracks Hollywood has to offer. You might be wondering “Are there even enough metal movie soundtracks to make a list?” The answer is yes, absolutely. Admittedly, however, some of these albums are much better than others. While not totally metal, the idea of a metal soundtrack started with movies like This Is Spinal Tap and similar films. So, where should we start? How about with the most “Extreme” soundtrack on the list?

Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: Metal Soundtracks’

Metal Monday: Riff Fest 2011

Over the years, the cornerstone of many great metal songs has been the almighty riff. Think of just about any legendary metal song, and there’s a pretty fair chance it also features a great riff. Slayer’s “Raining Blood”? Check. Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”? Check. Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”? Check. The list goes on, and on, and on. We here at OurStage believe in the power of the almighty riff. So, to help honor it’s greatness, we’ve found eight killer OurStage metal tracks that riff, and riff hard. Everything from super heavy riffs to blisteringly fast thrash riffs to hyper-technical death metal riffs—we’ve got you covered.

First, we have the straight-forward “Psycho Intentions” by Reign of Fury (above). Riffs fast, riffs hard and melts faces. No more, no less. Well, except the ludicrous guitar shredding and slight acoustic break in the middle, but we’re cool with that. Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: Riff Fest 2011′

Metal Monday: A Look Back At Megadeth’s ‘Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying’

1986 was a good year for metal. A really, really good year. Megadeth‘s Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying was a big part of why ’86 was so great. As you probably already figured out, 2011 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the album’s release. Now, to commemorate Peace Sells as an absolute classic in the metal world, a new anniversary version of the album has been released–we’re doing our part by giving away a signed flat of the album art. This package isn’t an ordinary album + bonus material disk set, either. With five CD/three LP (three different mastered versions of the album and previously unreleased concert audio), a twenty- page book, assorted photos and reproductions of memorabilia and an especially cool rendition of the album cover, this version makes a pretty fantastic box set.

If you’re a fan of metal and are older than thirteen, there’s a pretty solid chance you’ve heard at least one song from Peace Sells (especially if you played Grand Theft Auto: Vice City). Whether it’s the iconic bass line that opens “Peace Sells” that gets you rocking, the evil opening of “Devils Island” that hooks you in or the litany of blistering solos that keeps you on the edge of your seat—there’s no denying that Peace Sells is a metal record for the ages. It’s stood the test of time, battling with albums like Metallica’s Master of Puppets, Slayer’s Reign In Blood and Iron Maiden’s Somewhere In Time for the top spot in metal for 1986.

Megadeth Signed Art Flat

Peace Sells art flat, signed by Dave Mustaine

To further celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Peace Sells, OurStage is giving away an art flat of the album art signed by Dave Mustaine himself (cool, right?). How do you win, you ask? Tell us how you first heard Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying and what you thought of it in a comment on this post for a chance to win! If you somehow haven’t heard this album, don’t worry, you’ve got time to check it out and let us know how awesome you thought it was via a comment on this post (you’re totally welcome). You’ve got until 11:59pm on September 4th (EDT) to enter, but if you’re of the crowd that hasn’t checked out Peace Sells, we recommend doing so immediately.
Continue reading ‘Metal Monday: A Look Back At Megadeth’s ‘Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying’’

Metal Monday: The Metal Fight For Middle Earth

Believe it or not, A Band Of Orcs doesn’t actually hail from Middle Earth. Far from it in fact. The band currently resides in sunny Santa Cruz, California. As the story goes, “a group of young nerds playing Dungeons & Dragons inadvertently summoned the monstrous orcs into [their] realm by rolling dice on a ‘Random Encounter Table.’ Unfortunately for them, they encountered A Band of Orcs, who reacted with all of the inappropriate violence that you might expect from such savage warriors.”

As you may or may not guess, A Band Of Orcs chooses to play one of the more sinister styles of metal: good old fashioned death metal. At times they’re fast and unrelenting, at others they’re slow and brooding. Their sound is a very good mix of the standard death metal styles, but they’re never overly technical at any given moment. There’s also some heavy thrash elements at times—the track”Into The Maelstrom”, for instance, sounds as though it’s a nod to mid-80s Slayer.

As much as you may be inclined to think that the whole “orc thing” is just schtick, it’s not. A Band Of Orcs have some really solid music out in the world right now and are already catching the attention of some pretty important people in the metal world (when Bruce Dickinson chooses to play you on his radio show, you know you’re doing something right). They’re a very multi-dimensional band that branches out farther into the metal world with every new song, only getting better each time.

For the quintessential Band of Orcs track, check out the epic video for “Into The Maelstrom”:

Noms and Snubs: 2011 Grammy Awards

This year was a curious one in GRAMMY world, with some heavy hitters being shut out and some less popular acts finally getting a chance to shine. The ‘Record of the Year’ category is dominated by urban pop, with just one band—CMT Artist of the Year Lady Antebellum (nominated in six categories)—bringing up the rear with their country album Need You Now. Eminem leads the pack with ten nominations for his smash success Recovery, landing on the list for ‘Best Rap Album,’ and “Love The Way You Lie”, featuring Rihanna, scoring nominations for ‘Record of The Year,’ ‘Song of The Year,’ ‘Best Rap Song’ and ‘Best Rap Collaboration.’

Other hip hop standouts include Cee-Lo’s three nominations for “[Forget] You” for ‘Record of The Year’ and ‘Song of The Year’ and ‘Best Urban Performance’.  Jay-Z made the list for ‘Best Rap Album’ with Blueprint 3 and again with newlyweds Alicia Keys (with “Empire State of Mind” up for ‘Best Rap Song’ and “Best Rap Collaboration”) and Swizz Beatz (with “Onto The Next One” contending for ‘Best Rap by Duo’ and ‘Best Rap Song’). Keys’ album, Elements of Freedom was shockingly snubbed from all categories, despite its heavy radio play.  Swizz Beats is also nominated for “Fancy,” his collaboration with Drake, whose debut album,  Thank Me Later earned him a nomination for ‘Best Rap Album,’ while his single “Over”scored him a bid for ‘Best Solo Rap Performance.’

On the pop front, Katy Perry is the front-runner with four nominations for her album, Teenage DreamKe$ha’s debut,  Animal, failed to garner any attention for the saucy newcomer and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” popped up on the shortlist for ‘Best Female Pop Vocal’ but was slighted in the categories of  ‘Song and Record of The Year.’  “Dance In The Dark” earned Gaga a ‘Best Dance Recording’ nom and “Telephone,” her duet with Beyoncé, earned her a nomination for ‘Best Pop Collaboration.’

B.o.B fared well with his debut album, The Adventures of Bobby Ray, earning him five nominations including ‘Record of The Year’ and ‘Best Rap Album’ while his single, “Nothin On You” featuring Bruno Mars is making a run for ‘Best Rap Song’,  ‘Best Rap Collaboration’ and ‘ Record of The Year’. B.o.B’s duet with Paramore front-woman, Hayley Williams is also up for ‘Best Pop Collaboration.’ Meanwhile, Mars came in with seven nominations for his work with B.o.B., his single, “Just The Way You Are” and his work as producer with The Smeezingtons who are up for the ‘Producer of The Year’ title.

‘The ‘Best New Artist’ category seems the most diverse with contender Justin Beiber going head to head with Florence and the Machine, Drake, Mumford & Sons, and Esperanza Spalding (who was curiously excluded for any noms in the Jazz category) for the honor. Usher’s, Raymond V Raymond will go against Chris Brown’s, Grafitti for ‘Best Contemporary R&B Album.’

This is the year of new beginnings. In addition to  Chris Brown’s nomination, fellow tabloid darlings Lee Ann Rimes and Fantasia, whose troubling private lives made very public headlines, end their year on a happier note with nods for the former in ‘Best Female Country Vocal Performance’ and the latter in ‘Best Female R&B Vocal Performance’ and ‘Best R&B Song’ for “Bittersweet.”

There’s a good chance we’ll see last year’s ‘Best New Artist’ winner Zac Brown Band on stage again this year, this time sans stick puppet—2009 addition Clay Cook was unable to accept the award with the band for their win last year because he did not have a credit on their first album. They’re nominated for ‘Best Country Performance,’ ‘Best Country Song’ and ‘Best Country Album.’ Other country favorites Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, Gretchen Wilson, Miranda Lambert, Jewel also received nominations.

No huge surprises found among artists in the rock categories, with multiple nominations for veterans Jeff Beck (‘Best Rock Album,’ ‘Best Rock Performance’ with Joss Stone and ‘Best Rock Instrumental’) and Neil Young (‘Best Rock Song,’ ‘Best Rock Album’ and Best Solo Rock Performance’) while Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, John Mayer earning one nom each.  Hard rock and metal showcased no new artist nominations either: Ozzy Osborne, Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Iron Maiden, Korn, Megadeth, Lamb of God and Slayer.

For the complete list of nominees across all 100 categories, visit Grammy.com

By Cortney Wills with additional reporting by Paula Gould

Cortney Wills is a pop culture journalist born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has lived in LA, Chicago and NYC and enjoys all things entertainment.

Metal Monday: Q&A with Kylesa

Dual-drumming metal band Kylesa are gearing up to release their first record on Season of Mist. A follow-up to 2008′s Static Tensions, Spiral Shadow is pushing the boundaries of progressive, stoner, psychedelic metal even further. With two drummers, two guitarists, a bassist, and three people contributing to the vocals it’s easy to see how parts of the band could get lost in the shuffle—but that’s not the case with Kylesa. Phillip Cope (guitarist, vocalist and one of the founding members) took the time to answer some of our questions about the recording and release of the new album, as well as some other questions about the Georgia sound and playing to the band’s extremely varied musical tastes.

OS: So, Spiral Shadow is going to be your first release on Season of Mist. How was the transition from Prosthetic Records?

PC: It was about a year in transition, and we just needed to figure out what we wanted to do next. We waited about a year and we figured we should tour hard to support the record that Prosthetic put out before we left.

OS: In line with Static Tensions, Spiral Shadow is your most progressive and psychedelic album to date. Do you think it’s getting close to an ideal sound that encompasses all the influences that you have in the band?

PC: You know, no one’s ever really put it that way, but I definitely think it is.  I know we’re the happiest with this we’ve ever been for sure.

OS: Did the writing process change from previous albums?

PC: Actually, it stayed pretty much the same.

OS: You’ve said you share writing duties amongst band members. Did anyone in the band have more of an influence for Spiral Shadow than your other albums?

PC: That’s really hard to say, I don’t remember it getting to the point where anyone was getting too domineering.  I think we all kind of run our ideas across each other before we go full on with anything too weird.

OS: Do you think that coming from Savannah [GA] has had a profound effect on your influences, and in turn, the music you make?

PC: In terms of bands from Savannah, definitely not.

OS: How about growing up in the south, and the music you were exposed to as kids?

PC: I’d say the big thing was being exposed to punk rock, heavy metal and other weird stuff like that at an early age due to there being an art school in our city.  It’s a small southern town, but it did have an art school, and that brought in a lot of people from many different places and I was able to get into a lot of different stuff because of that.  But also, because it was small there weren’t a lot of scenes, all of the people who were into stuff that was a little different all sort of had to stick together. So there wasn’t really a lot of room for different cliques, if you know what I mean.  When I was in high school I was more into punk rock, and there were only like two other kids into thatthen there were like 5 or 6 other people who were into metal, you knowand everybody else were jocks and rednecks.  We kind of had to stick together, we didn’t really have a choice.  You’d argue at lunch about whether Slayer or Misfits were a better band, but… (laughs)

OS: Do you think that, with other bands from Savannah like Black Tusk and Baroness, you’re sort of giving Georgia a sound identity?

PC: You know, it’s hard to say, but it looks that way.  It sounds like you know some of our historylately people have been saying “Oh, you sound like Baroness or Mastodon” but our roots go farther back than that. I think all the bands ought to keep going their own directions.

OS: Yeah, obviously you guys are going in a bit different direction than Black Tusk, Baroness, Mastodon, etc. but there are definitely some similarities among the area.  Would you compare it to the Desert Rock scene with bands like Kyuss and Fu Manchu?

PC: I don’t know, I think it’s too early to tell.  I know this though, when Kylesa started, Baroness and Black Tusk weren’t even bands yet, and Mastodon had just started up too, and I had already been going for seven years with DamadI don’t think there was an intention of there being a scene.  It just kind of what happened.  Mastodon was going in one direction and we were going in a different direction, it wasn’t until years down the road until people even made a connection between our two bands.  But what happened in Savannah was that people were starting to get an interest in there was a scene starting to build up.  Damad kind of started it, but when Damad broke up there were like sixteen people at our last show (laughs).

OS: You alluded to it earlier, and Laura has mentioned it in an interview in which she appeared to get a bit offended–you don’t like to pigeon-hole yourselves stylistically, but do you have problems with other people applying labels to your band?

PC: You know, I don’t think Laura was actually as pissed off as that article made her sound, but she might have been, I don’t knowshe said she wasn’t (laughs).  But when you play music like we play that’s like ours, what the hell do you call it? You don’t have to accept people who call it what you don’t want them to call it, but I don’t really have a problem with people calling us somethingI realize that writers need something, you’ve got to describe us somehow.  We’ve made it kind of difficult on people because we won’t call it anything ourselves.  Some people get it, some people don’t. I don’t really get too upset by people calling us the wrong term, if that makes sense.

OS: Yeah, that makes sense. So what do you think the future for Kylesa is as a band?  Do you think you’ll get more progressive and psychedelic?

PC: I’m not sure, that’s really hard to say at this point.  We try to find a good balance between being true to ourselves and being true to our fans.  We don’t want to do anything that would alienate our fans.  You know, for all the talk they’re having about this album being different, there might be some songs that are different, but there’s plenty of stuff that continues along the lines of what we’ve done in the past.  We’ve done that with every album.  We’ve brought something from the past and brought in something new.

OS: Yeah, I’ve definitely noticed that with the new album you’ve polarized it a bit more.  You’ve got some old school heavy Kylesa sections and some more pure psychedelic sections as compared to Static Tensionswas that on purpose?

PC: Yeah, completely.  We wrote how we wrote, but you know, at the same time we don’t want to alienate the people that support us and got us here.  We have a great loyal fan base of people that have been sticking around for years, and some people that continue from Damad, and we don’t want to do anything that those people would see as a middle finger.  But we’ve said this from day one, and people who have been following us understand this, that that is part of what we dowe change, we do new things and we’ve said that from the beginning.  People aren’t going to get the same record over and over.

Spiral Shadow drops October 26th on Season of Mist. It’s a really solid albumboth for old Kylesa fans and new. You can order a copy of the new album with a DVD and/or a t-shirt from the Season of Mist webstore, or get a limited edition deluxe digipack from the Relapse Records webstore.

If you’re still on the fence about the band, check out the Spiral Shadow album trailer:

 


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