70,000 Tons Of Metal May Be Christofer Johnsson’s Final Show

Christofer Johnsson of Therion will be performing at the impending 70K Tons Of Metal cruise, but the musician will then be taking time off performing and recording due to a serious health issue. He comments:

“Possibly my final live performance ever on 70,000 Tons Of Metal. Over 2 weeks ago I started to get HUGE pains in my arm, shoulder and back. It hurt worse if I lay down and got worse by each day. In the end I could not even sleep in bed anymore and had to sit up sleeping in the sofa every night.

“Medicare in Sweden don’t work anymore. Equipment is great and the doctors are competent and do their best, but due to the massive population increase, the capacity and medical infrastructure has lacked behind each year and just seem to get worse and worse. After I got in contact with the emergency, it took me eight (8) days before I got to see a physiotherapist and he could not make a proper diagnosis without a MRI scan of the neck. It would have taken up to a month before I would get a MRI done and then it can take another month before I get the results.

“At this point I slept worse and less each night and when I tried to play guitar, I would only play half a song before the pain made me stop + my motorics got so bad that I was even physically unable to play most songs.

“In order to not have to cancel 70.000 Tons of Metal and in order to faster get a diagnosis and get it cured, I (upon recommendation) decided to fly to Moscow and have it done there. They are at the same technical and competence level like in Sweden, but have capacity to treat patients immediately. So I got an appointment straight away, flew there and got a fantastic care with not only MRI, but also got to see a neurologist, physiotherapists and specialists.

“So I got a diagnosis the same day and it seems I have two spinal disc herniations in my neck, one really bad and one small that could get worse. In plain English this means that two of my discs in the neck are worn out (from headbanging and sitting too much in front of computer in the office and the studio) and have cracked so that fluid runs out from it. The fluid put pressure on the nerves in the spinal chord and create pain in shoulder/arm/back and distort mobility in the right arm.

“In order to stabilize the neck, I have to wear a support collar for 2 weeks (even on stage) and they gave me cortisone injections to block parts of the pain temporary. So now I can at least (after 2 weeks of sleeping sitting in the sofa) sleep in my bed and with some pain and efforts I can play a festival set of simplest possible songs. So at least we don’t have to cancel.

“After the cruise I will go back to Russia to meet a world class neuro surgeon who will determine whether it’s better to do surgery or to treat this without knives. The advantage with surgery is that if successful, I would recover much quicker. But surgery in the neck is always a risk and if worse come to worse, a failed surgery there could end up with me never being able to play on stage again.

“To treat without surgery will be very painful and normally take 4-5 months before fully recovered (if unlucky longer), but this is what I am hoping for and the specialists that gave me the diagnosis were quite sure it would be treatable that way. But we will know for sure what the deal is after I’ve met the neuro surgeon after the cruise.

“So what does all this mean? It means that I will be playing at 70,000 TOM with great difficulties and using a support collar. It also means that the Rock Opera will get some month or two delayed, as I can’t sit in the studio at the computer (I will have to use a studio assistant) and not for as long sessions as usual.

“It also means that if I end up having to do surgery, there is always a small risk that the cruise will end up being my final stage performance (which is a good reason for choosing the best surgeon Russia has to offer as soon as possible before the odds get worse – rather than taking my chances being assigned one randomly in Sweden and maybe have to wait many months before they have time to do it).

“Finally I would like to give a special THANK YOU to the following: Russian Embassy of Stockholm and the IFS Visa Centre in Stockholm. You people did much more than obligated by your duties and thanx to your extra efforts, I could get visa done in time for the hastily booked trip.

“Leyla Namazova-Baranova and all the amazing medical specialists and staff at the hospital in Moscow, who offered me the most professional medical care treatment I have every experienced. Thanx to you people I have a diagnose now (instead of in 2 months from now), I can sleep in my bed at night and I can now even play guitar enough that we don’t have to cancel the cruise.

“Alexander Osipov and Jane Odintsova from Imperial Age who suggested me to fly to Moscow instead and who also arranged everything for me there. If it wasn’t for you guys I would have canceled the cruise by now.”

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Music Video For New Single “This String Is For Your Neck” Issued By Sawthis

Italian death thrash act Sawthis released a video clip for the new single “This String Is For Your Neck.” The song will appear on the upcoming new album “Babhell,” which is set to drop on March 24th via Mighty Music.

More information on the album is expected soon. For now, check out “This String Is For Your Neck” here:

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Cradle Of Filth Guitarist James McIlroy Issues Surgery Update

Last week Cradle Of Filth announced that guitarist James McIlroy would be undergoing surgery, but now Dani Filth has issued the following update about the procedure being cancelled:

“Greetings Filthlings! Remember last week that I told you all about guitarist James Mcllroy’s career-changing neck surgery? Well, it seems there was one massive fucking complication. I’ll leave it to James himself to explain, by way of an email he sent me yesterday evening… (Please see below).

“I hope you join (with the rest of the band and I) in wishing him all the very best in overcoming this horrible situation he finds himself embroiled in.”

James comments:

“Hi Dani, right now I should have been coming to from surgery that would have fixed the pain in my back and arm that has plagues me for years. However, things did not go according to plan this morning and I am left sitting here, back at square one this evening.

“Last night I went into hospital, got admitted, got given a bed and had a few tests done, and one last MRI scan. Everything was set, and this morning, after having not slept all night (hospitals aren’t exactly fun to sleep in) I was going through the operation prep this morning, had my ECG, had psyched myself up and was all ready to go with 30 minutes to an hour until they were going to take me in when suddenly i found out that the disc replacement surgery to them meant inserting a small cage in place of the damaged disc and then letting the bones fuse together. Now neck fusion is not what I had believed was going to happen for the past 9 months since the diagnosis, and from everything I have read about it reduces neck mobility and ends up with the other discs getting worn resulting in needing more fusions.

“After speaking to the surgeon and head consultant for the first time (instead of a different junior doctor every time) he said he would not perform the disc replacement surgery as he did not think it was proven enough, and would not do it as he had been performing fusions for the past 20 years, which is at odds with the impression I had got that he was one of the people championing prosthetic disc replacement surgery.

“Today is the first time in the whole process I have heard the term fusion. In every single consultation I have had since being diagnosed and being told I needed surgery I have mentioned the replacement disc, and noone has corrected me, or even told me that that was not the case.

“As I don’t want decreased mobility and know that they do do the actual artificial disc replacement I refused the surgery. As such I could not sign the consent form to undego a surgery that I would have not said yes to due to the possible impact on degenerating the rest of the discs in my neck.

“Instead of waking up and being hopeful that for the first time in almost a decade I won’t have to constantly worry about being crippled by periods of pain, and knowing that the disc which is in such bad condition and is pressing on my nerve canal in my neck is finally fixed, I am now back at square one having to go through the whole process again, along with all the waiting.

“I have been blown away by the support from everywhere, it’s been mind blowing and humbling to know that there are so many people out there who have wished me well.

“I am not going to let this be the end, as I am going to keep fighting to get the surgery I need and I feel is best for me.

“However, at the moment I feel robbed of a better life and resigned to still having to deal with the pain I have been dealing with on a daily basis, and that it will be with me for longer.

“Thanks to everyone for their support and wishes, this isn’t over yet, not if I have anything to do with it!”

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Toxic Holocaust Releases New Music Video For “Acid Fuzz”

The new Toxic Holocaust video for “Acid Fuzz” will break your neck and fry your brain: watch it now in the Vevo player below.

The band’s new album “Chemistry of Consciousness” drops tomorrow (October 29th) in the U.S. and is already available now in Europe. You can stream the entire album by heading over to this location.

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Benighted Announces French Tour Dates With Loudblast

Brutal grind / death metallers Benighted will join forces with Loudblast to brutalize the French territory next winter. The tour will start on February 27th, with confirmed dates below. Benighted comments:

“Yes, there will be blood. Yes, you will lose some teeth. Yes, you will break your neck. So warn your fucking physiotherapist and get your asses to the shows! The two bands will introduce their new albums during that tour. Be there and stay brutal!”

Benighted’s forthcoming album, the title of which is yet to be unveiled, will be released in the first quarter of next year.

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Grab your neck brace and call the chiropractor: It’s time to bang your head with Goldmine magazine’s May 2011 heavy metal issue, on newsstands now.

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