It is indeeed a sad time in the Metal Community today as it has been announced that Slayer founding member and Guitairst, Jeff Hanneman, passed away on May 2nd, 2013 at just 49 years of age. Cause of death is reported as liver failure, though Hanneman had suffered with the extremely rare but serious condition Necrotizing Fasciitis (popularly known as flesh eating bacteria) since contracting it possibly through a spider bite in 2011. What a horrible way to go. RIP, Jeff and just remember, God Listens to Slayer.
Steve Harris, bassist and brain trust for Iron Maiden was born on this day, March 12th, in 1956. Happy Birthday, Steve, and Death to False Metal!
Ivan Rodero is an Argentinean graphic artist whose work is lots of fun and reminds me of other contemporary Comic Artists I like, such as Dean “Dino” Haspiel (who created the Worley Gig Avatar you see on the home page) and Carol Lay of The Story Minute. See more of Ivan’s work at This Link.
Pantera Drummer Vinnie Paul (born Vincent Paul Abbott) was born on this day, March 11th, in 1964. Happy Birthday, Vinnie!
On This Date in 1986: Metallica released its highly influential third album, Master of Puppets, considered by many in the metal community to be the best metal album of all time. This was the final Metallica album with original bassist Cliff Burton, who was killed when the group’s tour bus over-turned in southern Sweden while touring to promote the album.
The legendary Stan Lee has created a brand new super-hero, Blood Red Dragon, based on rock icon Yoshiki, leader of the Japanese heavy metal band X Japan. The Blood Red Dragon comic book series will feature a surprise, first-of-its kind publishing innovation. The series debut issue will premiere at Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego, which runs from July 21 – 24 and is already completely sold out. As part of Comic-Con, Lee, world-renowned comic book artist Todd McFarlane (whose Todd McFarlane Productions is publishing BRD) Yoshiki and book writer Jon Goff will take part in a panel discussion about the comic, scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 21, 2011 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM. If you’re already registered to attend Comic-Con, you should add this panel to your daily agenda, because it sounds awesome.
Blood Red Dragon focuses on the origin of an ancient and benevolent force, locked in an epic battle with the dark armies of Oblivion. Creative expression and destiny collide, as once in a generation, an individual is born with the potential to unlock the awesome might of the Blood Red Dragon, thus channeling a power beyond comprehension and assuming the mantel of Earth’s protector. When agents of Oblivion discover that the key to accessing the Blood Red Dragon’s energy lays in music – the melodic heart of the human spirit – they launch a series of violent attacks on musicians across the globe. As he performs in front of a large crowd during the opening show of a massive world tour, drummer and keyboardist Yoshiki comes face-to-face with his destiny, experiencing a transformation that will forever change his life – and possibly the face of the world.
The Los Angeles Times has a cool article on Blood Red Dragon at This Link.
The Blood Red Dragon Panel takes place at The Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, Located at 1 Park Boulevard, San Diego, California.
Map Of Metal is a totally addictive and endlessly entertaining interactive website, designed by Metal Historian Nick Grant and Graphic Designer Patrick Galbraith. The site traces Metal music all the way through from its 1960s beginnings to its latter-day mutation into crazily specific genres (Black Ambient, Mathcore, Crust Punk, Swedish Death Metal, etc ad infinitum). The artists featured are as diverse as Black Sabbath, Queen, Slayer, Lamb of God and Cannibal Corpse. Different genres of music not usually associated with metal – Punk Rock, Grunge and Post Rock – but with ties to the genre are also represented. The Map of Metal is available to order in various poster sizes (and would surely make an amazing gift), but the online version includes hundreds of sound files and doubles as a heavy-metal radio station. It takes a few minutes on the site to orient yourself and get used to how the interactive functions work, but it’s best to get started by clicking on the “Navigation Map” thumbnail in the upper right hand corner of the page. Then just drag your cursor all over the place, from sub-genre to sub-genre, as you explore the Origins of Head Banging in all its brutal glory. Valhalla, I am coming.
Warning: Loudness Approaching
Oh my, this Slayer fan’s holiday display is definitely something to see. I bet the neighbors really appreciate their idea of Christmas spirit. Slayer!
Note: Unfortunately, since I posted this, I’ve discovered that the embed code is disabled by SONY on “select” browsers. If the above video won’t play for you or it shows an error message, please click this upcoming link to Watch all the madness unfold on YouTube.
Thanks to Heidi Ellen Robinson Fitzgerald for the Tip!
Horns up, Metal Heads! KnuckleBonz is excited to announce its production of the Ronnie James Dio Rock Iconz® statue – an officially licensed product, approved and endorsed by Wendy Dio and Niji Entertainment. Wendy Dio remarked about the project, “Ronnie would be very proud.” KnuckleBonz is honored to be creating a tribute piece of Ronnie James Dio, widely recognized as one of the most powerful singers in all of heavy metal.
The Ronnie James Dio Statue, part of KnuckleBonz music-based sculpture series: Rock Iconz, is a hand-crafted sculpture of Dio posed flashing his signature devil horns, in a familiar crouched stance. A portion of all sales made from the KnuckleBonz site will be donated to the Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund created in honor of Ronnie James Dio.
“We learned that Ronnie wanted to work on a statue project before he fell ill. We are honored that Wendy Dio and his management called on us for this project,” remarks Tony Simerman, President and Creative Director of KnuckleBonz, Inc. “It’s been a real pleasure to work with Ronnie’s family and the people at Niji on this project. I was a fan of Ronnie’s very early and owned all the original Rainbow records. I was fortunate enough to see him out in front of Sabbath. RJD was one of the greatest live performers I have ever seen,” adds Simerman.
The statue will be sold directly from KnuckleBonz Dot Com and through select retailers worldwide. Scheduled to ship in December 2010, The Ronnie James Dio Rock Iconz Statue can be preordered at This Link. Created at 1/9 scale, making the figure approximately 8” tall on top of a wooden display base, this highly collectible, limited edition statue was created in a series of 3000 pieces only. Priced at $115.00, each figure in the edition is hand-painted, numbered and includes a certificate of authenticity. Order now so you won’t be “the last in line” to get your hands on one.
Testament vocalist and Native American activist Chuck Billy is pleased to announce his inclusion in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s new exhibition, Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture. Of his inclusion in the exhibit, Billy said, “I’m humbled and proud to be recognized as a Native American contribution to the Arts and Music.”
Quoting the Smithsonian official press release, Up Where We Belong tells [Native artist’s] stories and histories and provides visitors the opportunity to hear music and discover artists with whom these exceptional musicians collaborated. Visitors will also learn of the musical greats who inspired these artists, as well as the growing number of contemporary performers who follow in their path.”
Chuck Billy is featured in the “Encore” segment of the exhibition, which includes artists who represent the span of Native achievement in mainstream music over the past half century, according to the Smithsonian. Other musicians featured in this segment are saxophonist Jim Pepper and singer Debora Iyall (Romeo Void).
The exhibition is located on the National Mall in Washington, DC on the second-floor level of the Sealaska Gallery, and will run through January 2, 2011. For more information about the Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture exhibition, please visit This Link.
Chuck Billy and Testament are currently on tour with Slayer and Megadeth.