Concert Memories: BLACK SABBATH, OZZY OSBOURNE, PANTERA, TYPE O NEGATIVE, MARILYN MANSON @ Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion, June 29, 1997, San Bernardino, California

Ozzfest 1997Back when I was a senior in high school, a friend called me up and was yelling at the top of his lungs about an “Ozzfest.”  When he told me about the dream line up, I was beyond excited.  Who on this earth wouldn’t have wanted to see OZZY, DANZIG, SLAYER, SEPULTURA, and FEAR FACTORY in 1996?  Unfortunately, my friend didn’t care enough to actually go with me to the show and I was the only person in my school that cared enough to go.  Thus, I missed the show.

So 1997 rolls around and I’m a freshman in college and working as a school teacher during the summer.  Most importantly, I had my own damn car.  When the announcement for the second Ozzfest came out, I was beyond excited.  To be able to see the reunited original line up of BLACK SABBATH meant everything to me.  SABBATH were my favorite band at the time (and still are).  Those first six albums changed my life.  Not even Technical Ecstacy or Never Say Die hurt my feelings as much as Load but that probably has more to do with the fact that I was born in ’78 and not ’68.  I still have those first SABBATH albums on cassette tape.

Unlike 1996, I wasn’t going to be deterred by the fact that I did not know a single soul who wanted to go.  Armed with a Thomas Guide map, I set out in my car on the furthest drive of my 19 year old life.  After the over two hour drive, I arrived at the venue, which is out in the middle of shitsville (AKA San Bernardino County, California).  Lots of dirt, rocks, scorching heat, and rednecks.  As I pulled up to entrance of the venue, there were the obligatory Christian groups protesting the show with a focus on Ozzy.  They were holding up signs about damnation and devil worship…completely harmless stuff.

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DOCTOR MIDNIGHT & THE MERCY CULT – I Declare: Treason

When Hank von Helvete abruptly and quietly quit Norwegian death punk gods TURBONEGRO in 2010, it shocked and saddened fans. And with the same suddenness he is back with a new band, DOCTOR MIDNIGHT & THE MERCY CULT. This super group also features ex-members of APOPTYGMA BERZERK, CADAVER, EXTOL, KMFDM, and MARILYN MANSON. Their sound is straight up metal with a mean, dark, and brooding edge.

It doesn’t take much to discern that the theme of I Declare: Treason deals with very personal issues such as betrayal, disillusionment, revenge, misunderstandings, redemption, and broken relationships. There’s no doubting that Hank is singing from the heart.

I Declare: Treason is quite diverse in its metal riffing. It’s a seamless blend of classic and contemporary thrash, death metal, and black metal that doesn’t seek to blow the listener apart with speed or heaviness. I Declare: Treason is not necessarily about being hard hitting, immediately gratifying, or extreme either. Instead the band focuses on strong riffs, hooks, muscular grooves, and spacing. Credit must certainly be given to this veteran line-up.

Hank von Helvete lays down, perhaps, his most soulful and diverse vocal performance here (i.e. “Ok (We’re Just About to Die)“). His vocal lines fit in with whatever the song calls for instead of being a one trick pony. His hardcore punk background also helps to inject some attitude that is often missing from other bands.

Taken as a whole, the album hits its stride often with some less potent songs in the mix. Stylistically, it may take some time to adjust to the band’s unique style but it’s definitely worth it. If you can get the digipak version which contains two bonus songs, go for it. I Declare: Treason is a damn good debut album that may be one of the year’s best releases. They got the snarling attitude and the songs to back it up. (Season of Mist)

BEHEMOTH Posts First Single Off Evangelion

BEHEMOTH, who have set Evangelion as the title of the band’s ninth hell-breaking opus, have just posted a brand new track and the first single off the band’s August release on their official MySpace page. Head over to www.myspace.com/behemoth now to listen to the track “Ov Fire and the Void” off Evangelion and while you’re there be sure to check out video footage of the band during the recording process as well as upcoming tour dates.

Evangelion was recorded in the band’s hometown at Radio Gdansk studio with longtime sound engineer Malta, the Wieslawscy Brothers, and Daniel Bergstrand (drum engineering) in the producers’ chairs. Evangelion was mixed in Miloco Studios by Colin Richardson and will be unleashed in the US on August 11th via Metal Blade Records and in Europe on August 9th via Nuclear Blast.

In support of the band’s 9th full-length studio album Evangelion, BEHEMOTH will be touring on what is sure to be this summer’s largest and most bone crushing metal festival; The Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival with mighty SLAYER and MARILYN MANSON as co-headliners. BEHEMOTH will be conquering the Hot Topic stage alongside label mates CANNIBAL CORPSE, THE BLACK DHALIA MURDER, JOB FOR A COWBOY and WHITECHAPEL, on over 25 dates this summer so make sure to catch the masters of blackened death metal live when they come to a city near you.

http://www.behemoth.pl

http://www.myspace.com/behemoth

TURBONEGRO: Rocking Hard On

Norway’s least classiest band, TURBONEGRO, are now three albums strong since their much ballyhooed reunion in 2003. Their latest, Retox, certainly isn’t a return to their filthy deathpunk past, but it’s timeless much like their feel-good-but-feel-naughty rock ‘n roll they’ve perfected of late. Having recently taken their raunchy rock ‘n roll rollercoaster on the road, we pulled bassist, Happy Tom, aside for a quickie and a lightening round of questions to uncover the mystery of the German Shepherd, the homo shtick, and the magic of Retox.

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MARILYN MANSON and SLAYER Co-Headline Summer Tour Dates Announced

MARILYN MANSON and SLAYER‘s 25-city co-headline North American tour will kick off on July 25 in West Palm Beach, FL, pillaging its way cross-country to wrap up in San Antonio, TX on September 1. Confirmed dates are below.

For this two-pronged-threat double bill, SLAYER and MANSON will each play full sets with BLEEDING THROUGH and one other support band, yet to be determined, opening all shows.

MARILYN MANSON just wrapped up work on his upcoming June 5th release to be titled Eat Me, Drink Me.

Celebrating its 26th year together, the always-uncompromising SLAYER will be promoting their latest album, Christ Illusion – which debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Albums Chart.

Confirmed tour dates for the SLAYER/MARILYN MANSON co-headline summer tour are as follows:

JULY
25 Sound Advice Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach, FL
27 Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa, FL
28 Hi Fi Buys Amphitheatre, Atlanta, GA
30 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
31 Tower City Amphitheatre, Cleveland, OH

AUGUST
2 Tweeter Center, Philadelphia, PA
4 DCU Center, Worcester, MA
5 PNC, Holmdel, NJ
7 Centre de Foire, Quebec, QC CANADA
8 Bell Centre, Montreal, QC CANADA
10 Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON CANADA
11 DTE Music Theatre, Detroit, MI
13 Allstate, Chicago, IL
14 Xcel, Minneapolis, MN
16 TBA
18 Coors Amphitheatre, Denver, CO
21 Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Sacramento, CA
23 Sleep Train Pavilion, Concord, CA
24 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre @ Irvine, Los Angeles, CA
25 San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, CA
27 Cricket Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ
28 Journal Pavilion, Albuquerque, NM
30 Nokia Theatre, Dallas, TX
31 Reliant Arena

SEPTEMBER
1 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, San Antonio, TX