This has been an incredibly shocking last seven days in the world of Metal and Hard Rock. First we lost the great Jeff Hanneman to liver failure not even a week ago. Then HIM’s Ville Valo falls severely ill and cancels their brief but sold out tour for their latest album. Now tonight the cell phone blows up with texts and questions about the latest news, which is that As I Lay Dying’s singer Tim Lambesis had been arrested in a murder for hire plot. If there was ever a need for a “Heavy Metal Holy S**t” posting it was this information. Read on.
Heavy Metal Holy Sh*t
Early in the day on Saturday I started seeing some tweets that the Friday evening performance by the Finnish Rockers HIM had been cancelled just before the band was going to take the stage based on the groups singer, the enigmatic Ville Vallo, having suffered a severe asthma attack and needing to be hospitalized. At the time there was no official word from their tour press so all hoped that this was merely a scare and the run of dates would get picked up for the Saturday appearance. From here I observed cancellations being listed on Ticketmaster while the bands Unofficial Street Team Twitter informed all that the full run of six dates had been cancelled. While this news started making the rounds on numerous other websites, the released details about what had happened have only just a moment ago come to light from their official press outlet. Now I could do my own post on this as I prefer to wait than speculate on anything and this is because as a writer I have been following and reporting on the band HIM since before there was even a PiercingMetal to begin with and you can see our views on them HERE. Please pardon the fact that Chimaira also came up in the search, I cannot control that sadly.
HIM’s North American tour (which was due to kick off in Los Angeles on May 3rd at the House Of Blues) has been cancelled due to unforeseen medical circumstances. HIM’s lead vocalist Ville Valo has been diagnosed with severe asthma with presumptive pneumonia. Tickets for all dates will be refunded at the point of purchase. HIM will be back later this summer as part of the Rock Allegiance tour.
HIM’s Cancelled Tour Dates
May 3 – Los Angeles, CA- House Of Blues
May 5 – San Francisco, CA- The Fillmore
May 8- Chicago, IL – House Of Blues
May 9 – Toronto Canada -Danforth Music Hall
May 10 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
May 12 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre Of Living Arts
These dates all appeared to have been sold out, and I knew for sure that NYC’s pair of shows were but obviously his good health is much more important than shows. I’ll close up now with the sending of good vibes and get well wishes to Ville Valo in hope that he recovers from this asthma attack fast enough to get this tour back underway at full strength. “Parane pian”.
So according to pretty much every music website and blog on the planet right now, the rumors indeed seem true and apparently singer Scott Weiland has been fired by the other members of the Stone Temple Pilots. Clearly this news is going to generate more Internet “he said, she said” than the Dream Theater, Queensryche and Slayer camps combined.
Now this one I never saw coming, but happen it did and as result we get another one of our “Heavy Metal Holy Sh*t!” postings. I only really try to do these when something super dramatic happens in the Metal scene and the apparent dismissal of founding drummer Dave Lombardo from Slayer is certainly a reason to get one out there plus every single other website is tossing their views into the mix so why not let our readers know what we think of the whole thing (that is what the blog part of PiercingMetal is for after all). Please read on.
Kind of shocking isn’t it. I know that I never expected any news like this, but let’s recap the story as it played out from the other day until early today. My Saturday morning on 9/29 was begun by coffee to wake me from the needed slumber after Down’s killer NYC show, when the Finnish Ambassador (my friend Sam in reality) sent a text to inform me that Anette Olzon had fallen ill, was in the hospital and that Nightwish had performed without her by using Alissa White-Gluz and Elize Ryd as Metal Understudies for lack of a better word.
I don’t want any of you Metal Legions to tell me that you didn’t see this one coming. What’s that? You didn’t? Well okay, I guess I should believe you when you tell me that you never expected that Geoff Tate would eventually announce the formation of his own Queensryche and start to map out his touring plans after being fired as the singer for the original Queensryche. Maybe I am just still shocked about that particular case scenario.
Last night I am out and about doing my usual thing and I suddenly see a mess of postings on Facebook that stated how Lamb Of God’s singer Randy Blythe had been arrested in the Czech Republic for manslaughter. If there was any reason to offer up a WTF it would be now. Here is what I have pieced together from the various reliable news sites that are available to The Metal Republic.
Back in 2010 there was apparently an altercation of some kind with a fan. The end result of this reported altercation found the fan succumbing to his injuries and passing away. That is truly terrible stuff to hear happening but what was the root of this altercation many were wondering. Was it outside of a show beforehand, during, or after it was all said and done? Was it in a bar? Who knew at the time. I could not do much research since I was only dealing with the phone for my supply of updates.
I’ve long dealt with the Lamb Of God publicity team of Adrenaline PR and their official statement to the world came early this morning and I have pasted it below for your edification because it brings a lot more about the overall issue to light….Please read on.
“Lamb of God Management will be issuing an official statement on Monday regarding the charges made against singer Randy Blythe. As no formal charges have yet been made and the case is only in the investigation stages, it would be premature to make an official statement filled with false truths or innuendos.
“Having said that, management wished to address today one false piece of information that has been included in many of the news stories released so far. Under no circumstances was there a fight of any kind involved. This incident deals with a fan that three times during the concert jumped the barricade and rushed Randy during the performance. It is alleged that the third time, security was not able to reach him and that Randy pushed him back into the audience where supposedly he fell and hit his head.
“Again, until the investigation is concluded this weekend, nothing more will be released, but clarity and the facts needed to be addressed on this one reported point which is totally inaccurate.”
Let’s see what management has to say come Monday. This is some serious business because if he is convicted he will face from five to ten years in prison based on the law. I got that from the guys at the Metal Sucks mansion who had posted the actual charges being made (bodily injury resulting in death). My personal view of the whole situation is that this is a terrible cycle of events that sadly led to the death of one of the bands fans. As I am honored to be in the photo pits of the Metal shows that are staged in my region I can tell you that sometimes the fans are way out of control during the events and they are dying to be on the stage with their favorite performers. However, since the terrible incident/murder of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott back in 2004, the bands are not too hip on having you join them up there because you really never know what can happen. Add to the fact that these musicians are in their zone and entertaining the masses and not paying attention to anything else. One cannot fault someone for pushing an intruder away from them. I strongly doubt that Randy would have ever expected that his quick action would result in someone’s eventual death but it did happen and that is a shame. When the management statement gets out I will append to this piece. Let’s see what happens.
Below please find the official statement from Lamb Of God regarding this terrible situation.
July 6, 2012
First of all, thanks to everyone who has reached out in support of Randy and each of us in this terrible situation. It’s noted and very much appreciated.
We have been keeping our heads down and not speaking out due to the fluid nature of the situation and the constantly changing information that even we receive daily.
Within an hour things can do endless 180’s. It’s maddening to try and make heads or tails. We’re taking the time to speak to you as it has been a significant period of time since this situation began and while nothing is immediately clear to any of us, we are not trying to keep anyone in the dark.
We have reached out and are making use of the resources we have acquired to help our brother who is still detained in Czech jail. In the two years since, we were never notified of anything related to this incident. Randy is our brother and we assure you, we are all staying very positive for him, working endlessly behind the scenes to provide any and all assistance possible.
The best we can do is to stay positive and continue to support our friend that we know is innocent. We know that justice will prevail and we will continue to do our part to support our friend.
- LAMB OF GOD
Back at the beginning of the month I posted a blog narrative which spoke to the developments that had been going on within the Queensryche camp and touched upon the issues that were brewing with their founding member, vocalist Geoff Tate. You can read HERE first if you need a little bit of refresher. It was not a pleasant set of circumstances to say the least. Here are the latest developments….
Queensryche members have announced that Todd LaTorre is their new singer after officially parting ways with Geoff Tate. I’m really of mixed opinion on all of this because I love Geoff as a legendary Metal vocalist and really enjoy what I have heard Todd bring to the table as a member of Crimson Glory and in his samples of the classic Queensryche tunes. I really never wanted to see it come down to this because it also divides the fans in some sense. One has to envision this as similar to the time when the world saw Tim “Ripper” Owens taking over the vocals in Priest. The band did record some solid tunes but they really suffered as far as attendance and album sales.
As a fan of Geoff’s overall creativity and legacy I wish him well, and as a very longtime fan of what Queensryche has meant to the Heavy Metal music scene I wish the guys well in this interesting new chapter. I don’t think I ever mentioned to my readers that I first saw Queensryche when they had opened up for KISS on the “Animalize” tour back in 1984 or 85. They were brand new to the larger Metal audiences back then for sure.
Read more on the Bravewords report from Billboard.com HERE; Let’s see what happens. I expect a veritable shit storm of postings on all of the news sites and many already feel we shall find more postings on these resources than we found happening when Mike Portnoy decided to leave Dream Theater. Only time will tell right?
I flipped a coin when it came to commenting on this recent bit of news and it landed on the “OK dude toss your views into the mix” side so here we go. Over the last few weeks I have been reading a number of different posts about the band Queensryche and what was transpiring in their camp. One website reported in that in April the bands singer Geoff Tate assaulted two of the members of the band prior to taking the stage in Brazil when he was informed that he was being “dismissed” but since I was not there to witness the exchange, I can only imagine what led to the statement or its real deal outcome. No one ever publicly came out and said that this was happening after all, unless I missed a post on Bravewords somewhere along the line. Moving on, there was also a back and forth with Tate during the Queensryche set at the recent Rocklahoma event. As the main spokesman during a show, Tate is tasked with periodically trying to stir some response from the crowd but he was not appear to get much love back from them. So what does he do?
Well, he tells the audience that “They Suck” or “You Guys Suck” in more clear terms and while everyone was up in arms with this statement since it was captured for all eternity on YouTube, he was very clearly being sarcastic. Come on, we see shows all the time and that is what you tease an audience with when they don’t give you anything back. It’s the whole “do you hear me?”, “hey is this microphone on? Do you hear me!!!!!” kind of thing. I am hard pressed to think that after three decades that anyone in Queensryche think that their audience sucks. This next bit of news sort of surprised me and in some sense it did not. Geoff is touring as a solo artist doing some acoustic tunes that feature Queensryche numbers, solo material and tunes that he likes as a musician. I missed the show that came through NYC based on bad timing but friends went and said it was a good time. Queensryche, who are now signed to Roadrunner Records, only recently had completed their 30th Anniversary Tour and one side of my friends loved it, while the other side said it was less than exemplary. I would have given you my own thoughts on it but I was on vacation and not even in the city when they played. Sorry about that. Even the Metal Media needs a day or two off. The surprises continued when the rest of the members of Queensryche announced that they would be touring and recording with Crimson Glory’s new singer Todd LaTorre. I do have a few thoughts on this since they said the band would be playing the first five albums level of QR tunes and doing some new originals. I admit that the name doesn’t “catch me” right away but there is a saying that goes “what’s in a name” so I will leave that alone for now.
Todd joined Crimson Glory I guess a little over a year ago now and was the perfect replacement for the now deceased Midnight. He can hit all of those stratospheric notes that the former singer hit so it would be really interesting to hear him doing some Queensryche numbers as well. The guys are calling this side project “Rising West” and I will admit to some curiosity about seeing it in action since like some other fans I have found myself being a little left for want with recent Ryche sets. I admit that this is my own fault for wanting so much of the old, old stuff though because that material still floors me to this very day. Back to the point, let’s not be alarmed here. The bands publicist Jeff Albright sent out a statement to that proper industry resource Billboard Magazine and said that all was fine in the bands camp. Geoff is working on his solo material and the rest of the guys just need to keep busy and who can blame them for that. Perhaps some time away from Queensryche as a band is what everyone needs anyway. It let’s them come back fresh and armed with some hopefully killer stuff.
I am appending these thoughts because when I learned that LaTorre had uploaded a sample of him doing some Queensryche classics onto his YouTube page I knew that I had to share it with you readers without a doubt. I was already a fan of what he brought to the table with the Crimson Glory material but just wait until you hear him do this stuff. It brings you back. One has to only hope that this all gets recorded and released to the fans as we deserve to own historic moments like this. Maybe this will even reach NYC.
Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging after a word from our sponsor……..
There are few Metal heads who felt that the whole Mike Portnoy versus Dream Theater soap opera was getting a little long in the tooth for their attention span and thankfully it seems as though the guys in Black Sabbath were more than ready to jump into the fray and fire up the fans with some truly insidious doings. Let’s get a little recap brewing first shall we?
I’m guessing that its been almost a year since we had all first heard rumblings about meetings taking place with the original members of the legendary Black Sabbath and these discussions were leading towards not only a full on world tour with the influential lineup, but also the first new material from this group of four since 1979′s “Never Say Die”. Many of the fans were divided in the potential excitement based on the great stuff we heard from the Dio fronted Heaven and Hell against Ozzy’s latest output but even the skeptics were willing to give it a shot. Then the dramatics began and some of them were beyond anyone’s control. First Tony was diagnosed with lymphoma but was quickly being treated for it which was a good thing to know. Next up there seemed to be issues with the contracts being given to drummer Bill Ward. He was not pleased with them, and was holding out for a proper, more respectful of his station in the band piece of paper. One never came, so Ward said he would not be a part of the reunion. Fans around the world jumped to the defense of the skin basher citing how could this original reunion tour be valid without the drumming talents of Ward, and what about this group of events being “for the fans”. Give them what they want right? It continued unfortunately.
Iommi’s treatment for the lymphoma found the whole Sabbath tour being cancelled with the exception of a couple of appearances. Everyone wanted Tony healthy without a doubt but I think they would have preferred that the dates be postponed and made up for later as opposed to what was then announced. For these shows there was no clear information on who the drummer would be but it looked like it would NOT be Bill Ward. The world then learned that the cancelled Sabbath dates would be replaced by events known as “Ozzy and Friends”. This was hardly exciting when compared to the original premise but some were willing to give it a go. I admit that I was marginally curious.
But wait…..there’s more……
The other day what appeared to be a final statement from Bill Ward came to light, and it stated how he would not be a part of any of the minimized appearances of Sabbath despite his interest and then to make matters incredibly worse, the Sabbath side of the fence managed to find the time to eradicate any images of Bill Ward from their website. Amazing right? Founders of a musical genre and no one can seem to work out something magical “for the fans”. I used quotes because this really shines a negative light on some of the business that gets practiced here and as a former musician myself I find this kind of thing reprehensible, hurtful, and disrespectful to a person who helped make something incredible happen. It’s nothing less than disgusting to find this kind of grade school antics coming into play. What’s next guys? A re-issue of the back catalog without Ward’s face on the album covers or even worse, without his drumming? It’s been done before in case you didn’t know that.
A few years ago, Ozzy released appended versions of his first two albums and essentially removed the talents of Lee Kerslake and Bob Daisley from them and replaced them with Mike Bordin and Robert Trujillo. Shocking yes? I considered this blasphemy and reviewed them as such on the website. You can examine those HERE in case you are interested in seeing my viewpoints.
Right now I am pretty convinced about any Sabbath shows as being difficult to support. I’m an almost lifelong card carrying Metal head and I feel that the fans deserve a full once more around from the original members while we still have them all with us. Black Sabbath needs to reinforce their legacy in our hearts and Metal minds by working something out with Ward and not doing all of these shenanigans. Petty stuff only fuels the fires and eventually the blaze will be too big to extinguish.
What do you readers think? Am I off base here? Comments are open for discussion.