The organizers of Hellfest have been officially canceled after the French government culture ministry said summer events would be allowed to go ahead — but with a limit of 5,000 people, all of whom must remain seated, to meet COVID-19 restrictions.This is a bad sign for the upcoming European festival circuit this year as other countries are likely to follow the same protocols. The Union of Contemporary Music (SMA), which represents festivals, concert venues and producers, said late Thursday that the figure had been agreed at a meeting with culture minister Roselyne Bachelot. Hellfest, which drew 180,000 people in 2019, generally features a lineup which is 90 percent made up of international acts and 20 percent of spectators coming from abroad. Hellfest 2021 was to have featured Deftones, Faith No More, System of A Down, Judas Priest, Puscifer, Korn, Volbeat, Opeth, Dropkick Murphys, Northlane, Deep Purple, Wardruna, Rival Sons, Devin Townsend, Suicidal Tendencies, and more.
Although the brand of epic European power metal that Crystal Viper performs is most definitely up my street, I must preclude this review by admitting that aside from hearing the odd song here and there, I have had no real exposure to them on a studio album level. The Cult, is the Polish act’s eighth full-length release in a legacy that has thus far lasted eighteen years. At face value, a band that maintains that level of consistency would have me assume they have nailed down a singular style and were comfortable releasing records in said style without a whole lot of variation. It is therefore with a great sense of irony that my first review of their noise is of a disc which caught me completely off guard by occupying a different scene entirely. The sweetly epic elements the band is known for are certainly present in The Cult, but the power metal is largely downplayed in favour of a more classic but simultaneously epic style of heavy metal, one that calls back to the days of bands like Accept and Saxon without ever sounding derivative of either.
In a press conference this morning and stating “We Simply Cannot Stay Closed,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York State will open arenas and other large capacity venues to the public with only 10% capacity and assigned seating, on Feb. 23rd, provided they receive a negative (PCR) COVID-19 test within 72 hours before an event. This is meant to open up venus to not only shows and concerts but to continue to grow for use as mass vaccination centers, sports games, and other events. This has been the first ray of light for the concert and touring industry since the pandemic broke out, even though major concert agencies and even the worlds leading infectious disease doctorspredicted shows would comeback in fall 2021 or sooner. Declaring New York state’s demonstration with the Buffalo Bills an “unparalleled success,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday he will extend the testing- based program to any large stadium or arena later this month. Barclays Center, the site of concerts from Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Tool, and others, has been cleared to reopen on that day and has been granted approval to host fans for the Nets game against the Sacramento Kings, Cuomo said, adding, “Anyone else who is interested should let us know.” Watch the video below.
Heavy Metal supergroup KK’s Priest will release their debut album in 2021, in a post revealed on Facebook. The band features former Judas Priest members K.K. Downing (guitar), Tim “Ripper” Owens (vocals), and Les Binks (drums), will release its debut album in 2021 via Explorer1 Music Group. The group will also play select shows next year to mark the 50th anniversary of KK’s old band. Their set will focus on new music and classic hits from the band.
For their seventh full-length studio release, Irish thrashers Gama Bomb return with a 19th-century nautical theme. Sort of like Moby Dick except with a Yeti, Sea Savage(Prosthetic Records) finds the band dressed like a hairier version of the cast of arthouse horror film The Lighthousewhile presenting the album as a play split into two acts. Or at least try to anyway, as they inevitably end up getting sidetracked into songs involving movies and martial arts.
Bloodstock Open Air is making plans to return in 2021 and every year festival founder Paul Gregory curates a selection from other heavy-metal-friendly artists, both established and new, who has caught his attention the previous year. In 2021, Paul wants to give a chance to artistic newcomers to win the opportunity to hang a piece of their work alongside his own and other respected creatives in the on-site RAM Gallery, so he’s devised an art competition. To enter you need to design and create your own piece of artwork, based around and inspired by one of the bands performing at Bloodstock 2021. Paul will jointly judge the competition alongside friend and fellow artist, Mark Wilkinson (illustrator of album sleeves for Marillion, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, The Darkness), and the winner will have their work professionally framed, lit, and hung in the RAM Gallery on-site next August. In addition to this honour, the winner will bag a pair of weekend festival tickets, a personal tour of the RAM Gallery on-site with Paul Gregory, and the potential to watch 3 songs from the side of the stage of the band they’ve chosen to create their artwork for (subject to closed stages).
Cover songs can be tricky. A balancing act that often results in calamity. Lean too far one way and be accused of musical blasphemy; keep things too safe and be reliably informed you shouldn’t have bothered in the first place. So with that in mind, surely an album consisting entirely of cover versions is just asking for trouble, isn’t it?Continue reading
Just in time for Halloween, Joey Diabolic is releasing a twelve-part singles series over covers inspired by the 1980s horror movie classic “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. A mix of clever originals and choice covers, Joey is showing his affinity for horror, metal, and his ingenuity as an artist when others waylaid by the pandemic are resting on their laurels. Next in the series:“A Nightmare On Elm Street” (featuring haunting vocals by D. Lolli of MaMa Doom), the track was originally composed by Charles Bernstein as the “Prologue” to the first film, it has easily become one of the most iconic and chilling pieces of film music ever composed. Check out Joey’s cover now!
Ozzy Osbourne has rescheduled previously postponed dates for the European leg of his “No More Tours 2”. Judas Priest will again be the opening act for all of the dates, except for one new date in Hungary, at the Budapest Arena. Fans should hold on to their tickets as they remain valid for all rescheduled tour dates, and refunds must be sought at the point of purchase. Ozzy himself sent a message of thanks to his loyal fans:
The 1980s were a curious time for music. It was one of the most creative and cool times ever for all kinds of music from Rock, Heavy metal, Pop, Hip-Hop, and Dance Music. Art and music is an expression of society and what people are feeling, and rarely just artists pushing their opinions on fans. But forces were aligning against personal freedom, especially in the United States Government and the Parents Music Resource Center (The P.M.R.C.)led by Tipper Gore, wife of Senator and later Vice President Al Gore; Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker; Pam Howar, wife of Washington realtor Raymond Howar; and Sally Nevius, wife of former Washington City Council Chairman John Nevius.