CLASSIC ALBUMS REVISITED: Metallica – Thirty Years Of The Black Album


Arguably the most divisive album in the history of metal, no other record seems to split opinion quite likeMetallica’s The Black Album (Elektra). Otherwise known simply as Metallica, whenever the San Franciscan act’s fifth studio album is mentioned even in passing, the results are usually the same. Like a red rag to a bull, loud and vociferous “true fans” are still guaranteed to leap straight in with comments like “only the first four albums are real”, “sell-outs” and “commercial bullshit” etc.

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Watch a Previously Unseen Video of Eddie Van Halen and Jason Becker in 1996


Tributes continue to pour out for Eddie Van Halen in the wake of his passing two months ago. A new and touching one has come from guitar genius Jason Becker (Cacophony/David Lee Roth) as he has shared a previously unreleased video of Eddie and Jason together in 1996. An amazing meeting took place on August 31, 1996. That’s when Eddie Van Halen spent the day with a guy who had followed in his footsteps playing alongside David Lee Roth—Jason Becker. Jason had been diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and was not in good shape. Van Halen came to Jason’s house to give love and support—as well as a guitar—to his friend and to film an ALS awareness promotional video. During that time, Eddie told stories, talked about his creative process, and played amazing music, instantly sounding exactly like Eddie Van Halen even when playing Jason’s guitar through a small practice amp.

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Mike Portnoy, Dee Snider, Chris Jericho, Ray Luzier, John Moyer, and More to Raise Money for The David Z Foundation Livestream Tonight


Stars from across Rock and Metal will join together on a livestream to raise money tonight on the David Z Foundation Livestream. David Z (David Zablidowsky) was the brilliant metal and progressive rock musician best known for his work in bands such as Adrenaline Mob, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and ZO2, died three years ago on July 17th, 2017 when a tractor-trailer collided with Adrenaline Mob’s tour bus. Check out the updated poster from Mike Portnoy’s tweet below. You can donate at the GoFundM link below and watch the live stream including artists ranging from Mike Portnoy, Dee Snider, Chris Jericho, Ray Luzier (Korn), John Moyer (Disturbed) Rikki Rockett, Don Dokken, Richie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan, Jeff Scott Soto, Carmine Appice, Eddie Trunk, Marco Mendoza, Joel Hoekstra, Tiffany, John Pooper, Alex Skolnik, Charlie Benante, Dug Pinnick, Ra Diaz and more! Continue reading


Billy Sheehan Signs with Metal Blade for Talas Debut Album


Billy Sheehan (Sons of Apollo, The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big), who emerged from the upstate New York music scene in the late 1970s with the band Talas, has signed a deal with Metal Blade Records for the release of a new studio album, their first formal album ever. Talas earned its reputation performing gigs in the Buffalo and Rochester scenes. Although Talas started out by playing covers, it eventually introduced originals to its setlist. Sheehan later was well known as a studio musician before joining David Lee Roth’s late 1980s solo band, and later chart-topping stardom with Mr. Big (‘To Be With You’). The news of TALAS’s new record deal was broken by Sheehan’s longtime manager Michael Faley, a former roadie with Talas who also works for Metal Blade. On Friday (January 17), Faley posted a photo of Sheehan signing the contract with Metal Blade and included the following caption: “Billy Sheehan signing contract for a new TALAS studio album with Metal Blade Records. The 4 piece TALAS never recorded a studio album and there is soooo much material to pick from.”Continue reading


Check Out This Unreleased Take of “Running With The Devil” by Van Halen


The popular fan site Van Halen News Desk has uncovered a doozy of a lost take. The site shared a clip from YouTuber Groovefunkel Second Helping has uploaded an alternate take of the classic first song heard on Van Halen’s 1978 debut, featuring a different vocal track by David Lee Roth and an extended Eddie Van Halen guitar solo. Check it out right now! Continue reading


Epicenter Books Disturbed, Godsmack, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deftones, Papa Roach, Staind, David Lee Roth, Chevelle, Gojira and for 2020 Fest


Finally! After the announcement of Metallica performing at all the Danny Wimmer Presents Fests in 2020, now the full lineup of Epicenter is here, and it’s stacked! Among the bands booked are Disturbed, Godsmack, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deftones, Papa Roach, Papa Roach, Staind, David Lee Roth, Chevelle, Gojira, Royal Blood, Cypress Hill, Rancid, I Prevail, Anthrax, Dropkick Murphys, Alter Bridge and more. Check out the early bird discount tickets and the full poster below!Continue reading


Bart Walsh, Former Guitarist for David Lee Roth, Dead as Age 56


Sad news to report as former David Lee Roth guitarist Bart Walsh has reportedly died. He was just 56. No cause of death has as yet been revealed. Ex-Mötley Crüe frontman John Corabi paid tribute to Bart on social media, writing: “R.I.P. Bart Walsh ….A great guy, talented guitar player, and always beyond helpful when I worked at Gibson Guitars…I hope you’re happy playing guitar up there buddy!!!! You’ll be missed…” Walsh’s death was also reported by a DLR fan account. Walsh was the original guitarist for the Van Halen tribute band The Atomic Punks, which also once featured singer Ralph Saenz, now better known as Michael Starr from Steel Panther. His years spent performing with them caught the eye of VH frontman David Lee Roth, and he was soon recruited to join Dave on his 1999 world tour as his lead guitarist. Although Bart is best known for his time playing hard rock, he grew up under the tutelage of his great uncle Cecil Campbell, a Country Music Hall Of Famer. After the DLR band, Bart toured with Brett Michaels, worked for years for Gibson Guitars and other projects. Continue reading


Van Halen to Release “The Japanese Singles 1978-1984” Collection


Van Halen famously released 13 singles in Japan between 1978 and 1984. Like many bands of that era, their fame in Japan was huge and helped catapult the band to one of the biggest in the world. Those singles will now be collected in a new 7″ vinyl set from Rhino. Each replica single features the original sleeve artwork and comes housed in a cigarette-style box. Two versions of The Japanese Singles 1978-1984 will be available on November 1: a black vinyl version and a limited-edition version of 750 copies on red vinyl, which is available now to pre-order at Rhino.com. Both versions have a suggested retail price of $129.98. Watch the teaser trailer for the collection below. Continue reading


Eddie Han Halen Cancer Rumors Persist


Normally we don’t do the rumor mill here at Ghost Cult HQ, as some of our brethren at other metal sites do. When it is a monumentally important artist, we listen to new information and try to be respectful. One story we have been tracking is the end of the Van Halen reunion with David Lee Roth, which we broke the news last week of Roth saying definitively the band is done with him. In that same interview Roth gave, he alluded to health issues from Eddie Van Halen being the culprit and even said that Eddie needs to address the public. Now TMZ has reported that Eddie has had a relapse of his throat and tongue cancer that he has battled for the last 20 years. According to a published report, Eddie has been traveling to Germany for routine treatments. In a recent article, Eddie alluded to the fact that he believes he got his initial tongue cancer from holding metal guitar picks in his mouth during his solos like ‘Eruption’, and not from Smoking. One wide-spread report last winter had the band booking a summer tour of baseball stadiums with Foo Fighters, Metallica and others, but that it fell apart over the involvement of bringing founding VH bassist Michael Anthony back in on a part-time basis. We wish Eddie the best and we will keep following this news. Continue reading