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1349 – Cancel Death In The Forest Fest Appearance

Norwegian black metallers 1349 have issued the following statement:

“Due to delays in the processing of the visa-application to enter the USA, 1349 will unfortunately have to cancel their appearance at the Death In The Forest festival, scheduled to find place tomorrow 20’th of may in New York. We’ve done everything in our power and have followed every procedure to make this happen, and this matter is out of our hands. It is with great dissapointment that we have to announce this, and we share with the fans the frustration this causes- this is mutual from our side.”

WITHERSOUL have also been forced to cancel their appearance:

As much as we hate to do this, but Withersoul has cancelled from being
on the festival. We’ve talked to TJ and informed him of our cancellation. We can’t risk driving 400 plus miles each way for a festival that has been teetering on the edge of cancellation and constant replacements all week long. Also the fact we have no hotel reservations (plus we’d not be able to afford anything inside NYC either). Not to mention to have all those bands two stages for a 20 minute set isn’t a good thing for a band that plays 10+ minute songs. This trip alone would have cost us well over 1000 dollars all together at it’s current location. We have very set & limited finances and we can’t risk coming up all that way for very little. If this would have happened a week earlier, something could have been arranged. We are all seriously bummed out over this, and have been looking forward to this for almost 6 months now…
We hope everything goes well for TJ Morris and Watchers Entertainment and everyone has a kickass time…”

The expected set times for the festival, which will take place tomorrow (May 20th) at Avalon in New York City, can be viewed here.

Blind Guardian – New Album Update

BLIND GUARDIAN frontman Hansi Kürsch has posted the following update:

“Time to break the silence, time to say hello. As you all most probably know: we have finished the album some days ago and started doing some first shows already. It has been a blast to be back on stage again and do these small shows in Rijssen and Vosseljaar. We appreciate the kindness and the support of the people there and enjoyed the club atmosphere a lot. Istanbul was a great experience and “The Bard’s Song” sung by more than 2000 Turkish fans has been nothing but spectacular. I could go on like that but I guess what you are more interested in at the moment is the new album. Even though the secret is revealed already I would like to point out one more time the album is entitled “A Twist in the Myth” and that’s just because I unfortunately could not find allies for my most favorite album title suggestion “A Day at the Races”. :)

With this album, I think, we have widened the range of the BLIND GUARDIAN universe more than we have ever done before. Comparing it with a compass “Fly” would be west, “Skalds and Shadows” east, “This will never end” south and “The Edge” would be north. Does that mean anything? No. But it sounded good, when I first thought about it. Now I think it’s not worth to be deleted.

In terms of quality we have had a very good feeling during the whole recording session. But I nevertheless have do admit, that the songs did make a gigantic step during the last days of recording and the mixing session.

While doing the last recording steps, which traditionally are reserved for backing vocals, all songs have made a significant raise in quality. To give you a very small idea about what to expect, I tell you this: “The Edge” and “In search of the Lionheart” certainly will achieve absolute cult status within a very short amount of time. They are very heavy, almost thrashy, though very progressive in certain ways.

“Skalds and Shadows” will prove its longevity in numerous live concerts. To those who consider it a “The Bard’s Song” rip off: the album version clearly proves it is a “A Past and Future Secret” rip off, with a different melody, different rhythm pattern and different lyrics, which reminds one of “Harvest of Sorrow”. :)

Marcus and I composed a number called “All the King’s Horses”, which will be released on the Japanese version of “A Twist in the Myth” and on a single we are going to release in the beginning of 2007. It is a great song which will set emotions free, I am sure.

We are most excited about what your reaction to “Another Stranger Me” ? an aggressive and powerful Heavy Rocker ? will be. The song has great potential.

A very good mixture of the BLIND GUARDIAN blend we have found in the songs “This will never end”, “Straight through the mirror”, “Carry the blessed home”, “Turn the Page”, “New Order” and “Otherland”. These songs will be enjoyable for all B.G. fans. They contain most strong elements of the past and a very good amount of new elements ? so they offer a perfect mixture of both worlds, i.e. they present a constant mixture of bombastic elements, surprising breaks, an endless amount of new and very catchy melodies and the right grade of heaviness. Nuclear Blast is going to release a digi pack version containing interviews and one bonus track. This song is called “Dead Sound of Misery” and presents a dark version of “Fly”. While mixing the album it was very difficult for us to decide which version would be the better one. Knowing “Fly” already you will be led from surprise to surprise. The song clearly proves nothing is how it seems to be.

The album is going to be released in the first days of September. As you all know by now Anthony Clarkson did a great cover artwork and Nikolay Simkin’s booklet design is simply outstanding.

Some of the new songs will be presented on the road when we will start touring in September. We will use the summer break to check out which songs will fit in best to the program.

So everything and everyone is in pretty good shape. All preparations for the Fall tour are on schedule and the interest in tickets for the tour is really high. It pretty much looks like there are even more fans willing to see us than in 2002 which was the most successful tour we have done up to now. I’d better let you go and stop here. One more time we would like to thank for your patience and can’t wait to hear and see your reaction to the new songs. As soon as there are some download samples, we will let you know. Your endurance will be rewarded.”

Antigama – Sign To Relapse Records

Relapse Records has announced their latest signing: ANTIGAMA.

The Warsaw-based, progressive grindcore quartet is comprised of Lukasz Myszkowski (vocals), Sebastian Rokicki (guitar), Michal Pietrasik (bass) and Krzysztof Bentkowski (drums). Rokicki comments on the signing: “Relapse is the perfect label for ANTIGAMA and we are happy to be there. We grew up on Relapse and have watched the label develop from the very beginning. Our new album for Relapse means an awesome new chapter in the history of our band.”

ANTIGAMA are planning to enter the studio in the winter to begin recording their as-yet-untitled Relapse debut. Those unfamiliar with the band can check them out here.

Cannibal Corpse – Comment On Sounds of the Underground

The following article was originally posted at MTV.com:

When ultra-violent death-metallers Cannibal Corpse take the stage, it’s almost always to close out a gig. Bassist Alex Webster said the band is and always has been a headlining outfit.

So this summer should be interesting, considering the Corpse aren’t topping the bill for the second annual Sounds of the Underground Tour ? As I Lay Dying are instead.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever been able to do a festival tour in the United States, and we’ve had very few opportunities to do tours where we weren’t the headliner,” Webster explained. “I don’t know if a lot of bigger bands didn’t want to take a band like us on the road with them or what, but … this is the first time in 10 years we’re doing something with bands that are more popular than us.”

He said the Brooklyn, New York, band’s thrilled to be part of Sounds, because he feels the gig’s going to expose Cannibal Corpse to thousands of metal fans who’ve been too timid to check them out.

“We really feel like we haven’t ever had the chance to play to an audience that is not mostly our own,” he said. “We’ve done lots and lots of headlining tours, but very few opening tours, and never an opening tour of this size. We’re in the middle of this package, and so, if an average Cannibal Corpse headlining show’s in the hundreds of people and the average Sounds show’s going to be in the thousands of people, we’re obviously meeting a lot more people each night than we would on our own headlining run.

“I can’t wait to see what people think,” he continued. “If there’s certain people who don’t like what we do, and they’re forced to watch us anyway, that’s always kind of entertaining too. When we toured with the Misfits and Anthrax, there was always a handful of people out there going, ‘What the f— is this sh–?’ We’re very confident and proud of what we do, so we don’t care if some people react negatively to it. If anything it makes us laugh. Some of these fans could be interested in us, if they have a chance to see us and get to know what we’re like live.”

In late March, Cannibal Corpse released Kill, their 10th studio LP. The album debuted at #170 on the Billboard albums chart, selling more than 6,000 copies in its first week. It was the second time in the band’s career that one of its albums breached the mostly pop-friendly list; in 1996, Vile opened at #151, with more than 6,100 copies sold. And it’s all due to the fans, Webster said.

“We don’t have a huge following, but we have a strong following of dedicated fans,” he said. “That’s the difference between us and a lot of bands that kind of come and go. We have a dedicated fanbase that has been with us for a long, long time. Whereas I think a lot of bands that are more popular than us [are] kind of fleeting. They’re popular for a couple of years, and [their] fans … move on to the next big thing. We’ve had a slow and steady career.”

After SOTU, Cannibal Corpse plan to launch a U.S. headlining run ? the kickoff will most likely take place in early November. Webster said next month the band will film a clip for “Death Walking Terror.” Well, probably. When you’re in Cannibal Corpse, selecting the right song can be tricky.

“Every one of our songs has some kind of violent or dark imagery in it, but we have to look for songs that are a little less graphic,” he said. “We only have a couple of songs on each record where the lyrics aren’t more or less R-rated for violence. We have to carefully choose what songs we do videos for, because otherwise it won’t make it passed the censors. The song ‘Murder Worship,’ I think all of us would have liked to have done a video for that. But there’s no way, with the decapitated heads and all.”

Avenged Sevenfold – Comment On Ozzfest Main Stage Slot

The following article was originally posted by Chris Harris at MTV.com:

Avenged Sevenfold are suffering something of an identity crisis.

To thousands of metal fans, Avenged are, well, not very metal. But ask any of the guys in the band, and they’ll tell you Avenged Sevenfold are a bona fide heavy metal outfit with old school punk influences. This summer, Avenged will have a chance to prove their naysayers wrong, as the band has been booked on the main stage for the 11th annual Ozzfest.

“It’s our chance to prove to the world that if there’s a torch to be carried, we can help participate,” guitarist Zacky Vengeance said. “We’re not nervous at all about it. We’ve been on tour long enough to know that with our fans alone, they’ll be excited to come out and support us. These shows are going to kick ass.” Vengeance added that talk of the band being faux metal “makes its way onto online messageboards, and that’s where it originates and disappears, too. When we get onstage, people in the crowd will have a good time. There’s always going to be haters, but those people are few. We’re not too worried about it.”

Vengeance said that Avenged plan to silence the skeptics and prove themselves worthy of a headbangin’, horn-throwin’ salute.

“There’s people that have never heard our album,” he said. “The most they’ve seen is either our video on ‘TRL’ or our picture on the cover of magazines. Every show we play is going to be a battle. Until you see us live and experience it firsthand, I don’t expect you’d be a believer. After they see us, I think it won’t leave any doubt in their minds that we’re anything other than a metal force to be reckoned with. We go out there every night, and we fight the battle. We don’t care about people who don’t think we’re true metal. We hope to change their minds. I have total faith.

“We can’t wait to get out in front of a strictly metal audience, and prove to the world what we’re about and what we can do,” Vengeance continued. “We want to show the world that we think we can hang with all the great bands that we love.”

This summer’s Ozzfest kicks off June 19 in Seattle and is set to conclude August 13 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Avenged will be joining Hatebreed, Lacuna Coil, Disturbed and System of a Down in this year’s mainstage lineup, along with the newly announced addition of British prog-metal revivalists DragonForce.

For the first time in 10 years, the festival’s namesake, Ozzy Osbourne, will not be closing out all of the Ozzfest‘s dates; he’s committed to playing 10 shows, with one as the headliner on the tour’s second stage. Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Atreyu, Bleeding Through, Norma Jean, Unearth, Strapping Young Lad, and Full Blown Chaos are among the bands slated for the second-stage bill.

Avenged Sevenfold‘s mainstage slot, although unannounced before now, has been one of the worst kept secrets in Ozzfest history. But don’t blame the band for letting it slip. In recent interviews, Avenged have demurred when asked about Ozzfest, saying simply that, while an offer was on the table, they hadn’t reached a decision regarding their summer touring schedule.

“We’ve been keeping the secret this whole time, which has been pretty much a difficult task because we are excited and we wanted to tell people,” he said. “It almost slipped out a few times, but we’ve known for three months now. This is going to be the first time that we’ve ever done something other than the Warped Tour in the States.”

The Avenged dudes have spent the last three years traveling the nation as part of the Warped Tour‘s annual caravan. And Warped has been good to the ‘Fold. But it’s time, Vengeance said, to tackle a new fest.

“In the last couple of years, we felt we wanted to continue our fanbase through Warped Tour, and conquer that, as last year we got a chance to headline,” he explained, adding that the band is toying with the idea of including its cover of Pantera‘s “Walk” in its Ozzfest setlist. “For us to make an impact at Ozzfest, it had to be the right time ? and this year definitely seems like the right time. Being on the main stage, especially, that’s where we wanted the Ozzfest crowd to see us for the first time, because that’s when we’re at the top of our game. We’re going to go up there and put on the best show possible. We won’t hold anything back. The only thing we can do is go there and play our asses off and put on an Avenged show the best we know how. We’re going to go out there and have as much as we can.”

Death In The Forest Festival – Moved To New York City

The Death In The Forest Festival has been moved once again, this time to Avalon (47 West 20th Street at 6th Avenue) in New York City. It will take place on Saturday, May 20th. Doors are at 10am and the show is expected to run from 11am – 11pm. Bands expected to perform are:

1349
ALL HEAVENS FALL
ANAL CUNT
BELPHEGOR
BLOOD THRONE
CALMSITE
DEATH SICK
DIMENTIANON
DISTORTED MIND
DIVINITY DESTROYED
ENGORGE
EXPULSIVE INCISION
FECAL CORPSE
GRIM MONOLITH
IMMOLATION
IMPALED
NATHANIEL WHITE
NEPHILLIM
QUINTA ESSENTIA
SEMPER TYRANNIS
SKINLESS
THE BLOOD FEAST ISLAND MAN
THE GREEN EVENING REQUIEM
TYPHUS
VITAL REMAINS
WITHER SOUL

Avenged Sevenfold, DragonForce – Added To Ozzfest

Both AVENGED SEVENFOLD and DRAGONFORCE have been added to the main stage of this year’s Ozzfest. Meanwhile, OZZY OSBOURNE will now be headlining the festival’s second stage on the following dates:

July 8 – San Bernardino, CA’s @ Hyundai Pavilion of Glen Helen
July 11 – San Antonio, TX @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
July 22 – East Troy, WI @ Alpine Valley Music Theatre

Sepultura, Hatebreed – To Tour North America

SEPULTURA, HATEBREED and 3 other acts will be gearing up to tour North America this August/September. More information is expected within the next few weeks.

Anonymous – Announce September Live Date – Lineup Change

Quebec-based metallers ANONYMUS have the following live dates lined up:

September 2 – St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC @ Place du Quai

In late March 2006, BW&BK received news from the band that “after more than 600 concerts, five albums, nine videos, unforgettable tours, after shows worth of mention and thousands of kilometers traveled together, it?s with great sadness but by common accord that ANONYMUS and founding member Marco Calliari are now parting ways.”

For ANONYMUS, future projects remain unchanged. The band’s new album is in pre-production and is scheduled for a fall 2006 release. Carlos Araya, Daniel Souto and Oscar Souto are writing material for the new album which will be produced by Jean-François Dagenais of KATAKLYSM. Studio dates are scheduled for July.

Dragonforce – Sydney – Photos and Videos.

Australia’s PyroMusic has posted 2 videos and a slew of photos from DRAGONFORCE‘s sold-out Sydney show last night. Check them out at this location.

URN – Begin 1st Segment of North American Tour

Chicago-based, dark metal band URN begins their first segment of their North American tour, in support of their latest release, “Dancing with the Demigods”, released by Rotting Corpse Records. The enhanced CD includes the full-length video for their single, “Shadow Dancer”, released on Tuesday, May 16th, 2006, featuring psychic vampire and author Michelle Belanger, along with the Vampire Don Henrie, from tv’s “Mad, Mad House”.

Artimus Pyledriver – ‘Swamp Devil’ Most Added Song to Metal Radio – Video Coming Soon…

ARTIMUS PYLEDRIVER has the #1 most added song this week at Metal radio with their first single, ?Swamp Devil,? receiving over 112 CMJ adds, and beating out old favorites like Shadows Fall. The band?s self-titled Sever/DRT debut will in-store June 6, and they are currently tearing it up on tour supporting DEVILDRIVER. Look for the video for ?Swamp Devil? soon.

Named in homage to LYNYRD SKYNYRD drummer, Artimus Pyle, the 10 track aural attack of ARTIMUS PYLEDRIVER will introduce your ears to their own unique brand of ?heavy Southern rawk.? Recorded at The A Room Studios in Atlanta GA, the album was mixed and mastered By Matt Washburn at Ledbelly Studios and produced by ARTIMUS PYLEDRIVER and Dave Angstrom. “This album is just the beginning of our sonic assault on Southern rock and hardcore,? raves singer Dave Slocum. ?This is the shit that bridges the gap between David Allen Coe and Black Flag.”

ARTIMUS PYLEDRIVER have toured nationally with both NASHVILLE PUSSY, HANK WILLIAMS III, as well as played with MASTODON.

American Head Charge – Working to Release DVD – Post Tracks from First Album Online

AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE have posted tracks on their MySpace page from their first album “Trepanation”. The band will be releasing it for sale in stores and on the web soon. They are also working on a DVD with the working title of “Can’t Stop the Machine” which will be released through Nitrus Recordings. More info is coming soon from the AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE camp about the new album which is currently in the works.

Spitfire – Confirm New Music Video on MTV2 this Weekend

SPITFIRE?s new music video for the song “Life And Limb” will see its MTV2 network premiere this weekend. The video will make its premiere on Saturday, May 20th as part of MTV2?s “Headbangers Ball.? “Headbangers Ball” airs Saturday evenings at 10:00 PM EST on MTV2 in the USA.

?Life And Limb? is the first video from SPITFIRE?s heralded new album Self-Help, which was released February 28th on Goodfellow Records. Self-Help was the first new release by the band since reforming in 2005 and is their first new full-length release in more than five years. The band, originally a quartet, now consists of six members total with the addition of guitarists Scottie Henry (NORMA JEAN) and Dan Tulloch (SCARLET) into the line up. You can check out the video here for now.

SPITFIRE is currently on the road in the US with UNDEROATH, POISON THE WELL, AS CITIES BURN. This sold out tour comes to an end on Wednesday, May 17 in Fayetteville, AR. After that, the band is confirmed to play the Ichthus and Cornerstone Music Festivals in June and July and will be announcing more tour dates in support of “Self-Help” shortly.

Manntis – Added to Dope’s Jagermeister “Summer of Sinn” Tour

MANNTIS has been added to the Jagermeister “Summer of Sinn” Tour which kicks off next month. The full tour will also feature DOPE, BLEED THE SKY, MAKESHIFT ROMEO and A NEW REVELATION.

Exodus – Gary Holt Speaks About Bands New Sound and Lineup

antiMUSIC?s Morley Seaver spoke with Gary Holt leader of thrash legends EXODUS before their recent Montreal concert. Here?s what Gary had to say:

antiMusic: Overall, how has the sound of EXODUS in 2006 compare to any lineups of the past?

Gary Holt: Good question. Exodus at their peak with the original line up was as good as it gets. But the bottom line is there were certain members who were no longer anywhere near their peak. Tom was, like, before he had his, you know, full-on nervous breakdown and stuff he was, you know, starting to doubt how long he could continue to play this kind of music. This stuff was starting to take its toll on his body, so he wasn’t able to, you know always keep the aggression levels as high as I wanted, and as high as Paul can, and Rick with his drug problems, it was, you know, his lead playing was okay, his rhythm playing was terrible. And like now this band has never been as tight as it is now.

You can read the whole interview here.

Amity Lane – New Project Featuring Trust Company Guitarist/Vocalist

AMITY LANE, the new project featuring founding TRUST COMPANY guitarist/vocalist Kevin Palmer and bassist Josh Moates have signed a deal with Corporate Punishment Records, who in conjunction with their newly formed sister label THEN Music, will release the band’s debut LP in September 2006.

AMITY LANE (named for the street Palmer grew up on) also featuring in its ranks Kevin’s wife Layla Palmer (keyboards,vocals), are currently finishing up production on the LP, which is set to feature tracks including “Die For You”, “Drown You Out”, “Shutting Eyes”, and “Million Miles Away”, all of which the band has previewed for fans on Myspace in recent months.

TRUST COMPANY released their debut Geffen LP, “The Lonely Position of Neutral” in 2002, marking the start of a whirlwind year for the Alabama quintet, as the Don Gilmore produced LP debuted at #11 on the Billboard charts, selling over 78,000 copies in it’s first week (it was eventually certified Gold) and spawned the hit singles “Downfall”,(which was subsequently featured in every movie trailer and video game for 2 years after) and “Running from Me”.

Their follow-up, 2005’s True Parallels (also helmed by Gilmore) went on to sell over 200,000 copies, with little to no label support, and soon Trust Co. parted ways with Geffen Records. Shortly after Palmer exited and began writing new material with Moates (who had also left the group several months earlier) for what would eventually surface as AMITY LANE.

And even though Palmer and Moates were the majority songwriters in Trust Company., the duo felt a new identity was appropriate.

Says Moates, ‘We could’ve tried to keep the name, and do it as another Trust Company record, but even though musically there’s definitely some similarities, we wanted to put this out with a clean slate. It’s really a new band, new songs. We’re extremely proud of what we did as TRUST COMPANY, but we wanted this to be something new. AMITY LANEis the street Kevin grew up on, and that’s really what this is about, getting back to where we started.”

Corporate Punishment is a Los Angeles based label that has quickly risen to the top of the Indie Hard Rock heap with recent releases from SWITCHED, ALLELE, TRIGGER POINT, RIKETS and more.

AMITY LANE has recently uploaded some new material from their forthcoming debut album on their My Space site at: www.myspace.com/amitylaneband

Into Eternity – Currently Hard at Work – Call In From Studio

Canada?s technical metallers INTO ETERNITY are currently hard at work recording the follow-up to 2004?s groundbreaking, “Buried In Oblivion”. Calling in, guitarist and mainman Tim Roth said. ?This week Jim (Austin) finished tracking drums on six songs, and I?ll start recording all the guitar parts Thursday. Hopefully I?ll be done this weekend as we start recording Troy?s bass on Monday and are shooting to get to vocals recorded by next weekend. All signs point towards an early fall release, if all goes well. I?d also like to say that the New England Metal Fest went great, and we got some great photos from that trip, check them and our photos with Dragonforce out here. We also posted photos from our sold-out hometown show there as well. That?ll have to tide you guys over until we get back on the road. See all of you later this year!?

INTO ETERNITY spent 2005 circumnavigating North America on six different continent spanning tours. Returning home to finish writing material for this new album the band also performed at the New England Metal Fest before supporting GAMMA RAY on the East Coast. For more information, please contact me directly.

Fireball Ministry – Confirmed to Support H.I.M. on June 11 at Final US Performance

L.A. hard rock quartet FIREBALL MINISTRY will support Finland’s H.I.M. at the House of Blues in Hollywood, Calif. on June 11. This will be H.I.M.‘ s final U.S. performance of the summer, and the groups’ first West Coast show together. (They performed five concerts along the East Coast late last year as part of Bam Margera’s inaugural “Viva La Bands” tour.)

“We had a really good time with H.I.M. last fall on the Bam tour,” says FIREBALL MINISTRY vocalist/guitarist James A. Rota. “It’ll be fun to do a hometown show with ‘em.”

In other FIREBALL MINISTRY news, the fifth leg of their tour in support of new album “Their Rock Is Not Our Rock” kicks off this Saturday May 20), when the band begins a two-week stint with DISTURBED at the McElroy Auditorium in Waterloo, Iowa. After the trek ends in N. London, Ontario on June 4, the band will play a handful of shows on the way back to Los Angeles.

SMNnews – New Official Band Forums Online!

SMNnews is happy to welcome the latest bands to have official forums on our site: MUNICIPAL WASTE, GRAVE, and JUNGLE ROT!

They join an already impressive list of other great bands including: Between The Buried And Me, The Red Chord, Suffocation, Necrophagist, HORSE The Band, Atheist, Job For A Cowboy, Cryptopsy, Skinless, Spawn of Possession, Today Is The Day, Decrepit Birth, Disgorge, Psycroptic, Rotten Sound, Vile, Cephalic Carnage, The Berzerker, Arsis, Anata, XXX Maniak, Sleep Terror, killwhitneydead, Kataklysm, Visceral Bleeding, Vomit Remnants, Severed Savior, Machetazo, Goratory, Macabre, Rompeprop, Mucupurulent, Cliteater, Phobia, Retch, FondleCorpse, Gorerotted, Mucopus, Look What I Did, Kill The Client, Impaled, Green Carnation, Demilich, Gorgasm, Behold…The Arctopus, Genghis Tron, Emeth, Defeated Sanity, Dawn of Azazel, Circle of Dead Children, and many more!

Register and start a fight with a stranger today.

www.smnnews.com/board

Mucopus – “Load Rag” Video Posted Online

You can check out a video of MUCOPUS performing a brand new song entitled “Load Rag” at the recent Sick Shit Fest 5 in upsate New York here.

Zao – Added To Last Two Dates of the Strhess Tour

ZAO have been added to the following two dates of the Strhess Tour, which will also feature SHADOWS FALL, POISON THE WELL, IT DIES TODAY, and SUFFOCATION:

August 11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
August 12 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium

Death In The Forest Festival – Still Taking Place, Location Changed

TJ Morris of Watchers Entertainment, one of the organizers of the Death In The Forest Festival ? set to take place May 20 in upstate New York ? has issued the following update regarding the festival’s current status:

“First and foremost: Death In The Forest is still on. DITF was never off. We have been in the process of relocating, for a few reasons, which will be addressed shortly.

“Death In The Forest has been moved, less than 20 minutes, to the Catskill Mountain Ranch, located just outside of Wurtsboro, New York, in the town of Mamakating.

“The date is still the same: May 20th, 2006. The times are still the same. We will still have the same brutal bands, and still have the same great vendors. Only the location has changed.

“Catskill Mountain Ranch is literally in the middle of the woods (how perfect) and features a full-service paintball field (bring your own guns, the rentals will surely sell out) a pretty large skate park, and on-grounds camping. With the camping, you can come in the night before, have yourselves a little beer-b-que, see the greatest metal show to hit the tri-state area, and then have another bigger beer-b-que, all for less than the cost of one hotel room.

“As for the people who do have hotel rooms already booked in Middletown: CMR is less than 20 minutes away, and easily located from the middletown, new york area. We have made every attempt to relocate this event to an area within a reasonable distance to the Orange County Fair Grounds, and we feel that a 20-minute drive up the road is reasonable.

“You can Google the Catskill Mountain Ranch to call and book a spot for your tent, RV, or camper. They do have an online reservation feature, but we have been asked not to utilize this, as it is not so reliable.

“Now, as for the relocation. Let me start by saying that yes, in fact, we did feel it necessary to relocate from the OC Fair due to weather. The grounds at the OC Fair have been ill-kept, and only see action once a year for the annual fair. Our stages weigh about as much as a fully loaded semi-trailer, and anyone who knows about trucks knows that they sink in mud. That’s not good for a multi-million dollar stage. Additionally, two of the stages would have located outside, so if in the event (and highly probable, in fact) that T-storms did hit the area, as forecasted, we would have had large metal structure swaying in the rain, while the equipment got soaked. not good. A decision had been made, even with the fairgrounds’ approval, to relocate the stages.

“Now, for the bullshit. We did not tell everyone the bullshit between our company, Watchers Entertainment, and the Orange County Fair Grounds. And for good reason, we are not slanderers, and we have nothing to gain from brining to light thier business misdealings. However, when backed into a corner, there is no option except to attack. The OC Fair has a long history of extortion, both with our company, and with several others. We have been paying grease money (several thousands of dollars in cash) to the company that manages the Fairgrounds, ABS, or Associated Building Services.

“I will not name names of the employees, as we are involved in legal action against these individuals and thier parent company.

“We were told to come up with an additional $5,000 grease money on Monday or there would be no festival. I told them that there terms were absurd, and I was told to fuck off, and get them thier money. Well, I, with a lot of help from alot of people (ticket sales, personal loans, etc… Thanks Nick Roman, JP, Alex, Matt, Skylar, and the boys from Death Sick!!!) came up with the money overnight. not a small feat. We called the OC Fair back, and let them know we had their money. They said that they didnt want it, and that the fest wasn’t going on… they were just gonna can it altogether.

“The OC Fair canned a different show last year a week before the event, with no solid explanation.

“Well, that’s a breach of our contract, which is why we are suing them. That’s as far as I will get into that.

“I will say that the people who run the races at the fair, namely the head of security, Jim, were angels, and were great to do business with. Good people, not enough of them. Thanks, guys.

“Now, for the accusation that we are broke, and have no money: Yeah, that’s pretty damn close. Who else do you guys know that throws $120,000 of their own money at a dream? There’s a only a few, I am sure, and it’s hard to disrespect that. We are getting close to broke. The several thousand dollars that we have paid to the OC Fair as grease money hasn’t helped. As for a bounced check, we put a stop on that check at our bank, not your business, but you guys should know. The only people that knew of this were us and the OC Fair. This proves that not only are they malicious, but they know how to use Blabbermouth.

“I have maxed out my own personal credit cards, diverted funds from other projects, and overall stuck my neck out for this event. But it will be worth it, if even one-tenth of the expected crowd shows up. Fuck, even if there’s only three of you guys out there sreaming, it will still be phenomenal.

“So in short: There is still a Death In The Forest Festival. There always was a DITF. It has only moved. Directions and further info will become available within the next few hours on www.deathintheforest.com.

“I personally want to thank everyone who has helped Watchers Entertainment out over the past few days, weeks, months, and years. We are nothing with you guys, and we are nothing without the fans. A sincere thanks, indeed.”

Converge – On Select Dates of the Sounds of the Underground Tour

CONVERGE have been added to the following dates of the Sounds of the Underground tour:

July 9 – Tinley Park, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
July 11 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Amphitheatre
July 12 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
July 13 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ Mid-Hudson Civic Center
July 14 – Mansfield, MA @ Tweeter Center
July 15 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
July 16 – Camden, NJ @ Tweeter Center At The Waterfront
July 17 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post

XM Radio – Sued By Record Labels

The following article was originally posted by Gil Kaufman at MTV.com:

XM thinks of its Inno device as a high-end VCR that customers can use to make personal copies of their favorite satellite-radio programs. The recording industry sees it as a form of “massive wholesale infringement” and it took action with a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York to cut the power.

According to The Associated Press, the battle between the record labels and the leading satellite service is over the question of how consumers can legally record songs on the next-generation devices. The recording industry says the $400 iPod-like device that allows XM users to record up to 50 hours of music and automatically organize recordings by song and artist is a form of copyright infringement. The Inno’s slogan is “Hear it, click it, save it.”

The suit seeks $150,000 in damages for every song copied by XM customers using the devices, which went on sale several weeks ago. The company says it plays 160,000 different songs every month. While the suit doesn’t seek to punish XM customers or have them pay for the alleged infringement, if it were successful, it could raise the company’s costs ? which could result in higher monthly fees than the $12.95 consumers currently pay, according to the AP.

XM vowed to fight the suit and accused the labels of using the action as a form of leverage during negotiations over licensing fees. “These are legal devices that allow consumers to listen to and record radio just as the law has allowed for decades,” XM said in a statement. “The music labels are trying to stifle innovation, limit consumer choice and roll back consumers’ rights to record content for their personal use.”

XM has argued that the device is more like a VCR than an iPod, because it allows consumers to store songs that can’t be copied and can only be played as long as they retain their subscription to XM. While XM rival Sirius has agreed to pay the kind of expensive distribution licenses as those paid by download services like iTunes for its portable devices, XM has so far refused. XM chairman Gary Parsons has said those licenses ? on top of the performance licenses the company already pays the music industry ? would amount to a “new tax being imposed on our subscribers.”

The head of the Recording Industry Association of America said XM’s device is legally indistinguishable from iPods and other portable music players that work with downloading services, according to the AP

“Yahoo!, Rhapsody, iTunes and Napster all have licenses,” said RIAA chief Mitch Bainwol. “There’s no reason XM shouldn’t as well.”