Grave Part Ways With Drummer Ronnie Bergerståhl

Drummer Ronnie Bergerståhl according to Grave is no longer in the band. Grave addressed the situation via Facebook after fans had noticed Bergerståhl hadn’t been with the band live throughout 2017. Read what Grave have to say about it below:

“To set the record straight.

There has been circulating rumours about our drummer and why he has not been with us on all shows this year.

We are unhappy to inform you that we have parted ways with our drummer Ronnie Bergerstål.

After being a part of Grave for more than 10 years he will surely leave a big hole that needs to be filled.

“This is not the place to discuss or speculate about why we have decided to part ways”

We wish you all the best Ronnie.

//Ola, Tobias & Mika”

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Exhorder: Reunion & 2018 Live Dates Announced

Legendary NOLA thrash metal outfit Exhorder officially announced that they have reunited. Previously, the band have not been active since Maryland Deathfest in 2011, one of their only live dates following the death of longtime bassist Frankie Sparcello.

Original members Vinnie LaBella (guitar) and Kyle Thomas (vocals) return with the lineup being rounded out by Jason Viebrooks (Heathen) on bass duties, Sasha Horn (Forbidden) on drums and Marzi Montazeri (ex-Superjoint Ritual, ex-Phil Anselmo & The Illegals) as second guitarist.

Exhorder will perform live at Saint Vitus on February 9 and 10 and in New Orleans on February 12.

In a statement, LaBella says:

“Over our 30 year history we have obviously had more than our fair share of struggles. Struggles that have broken us apart on several occasions. Whether those struggles were internal, external or both, no matter the situation, we always find are way back to one another. How? Why? It took me 30 years to realize it’s because the relationships run too deep, the songs are timeless, and the fans are ageless. It’s meant so much to us and so many others. And it’s for these reasons Exhorder CAN’T be broken, even by the hands that created it. Like it or not, love it or hate it, Exhorder is forever and it’s my duty, my honor and privilege to do it again!”

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New Release “Reforged: Riding On Fire” Announced By Iron Savior

Hamburg based power metal band Iron Savior was facing a problem: what to do when your early albums are not available regularly anymore but a re-issue is not possible due to legal reasons? Well, the decision was made to use this situation to give the material a sonic upgrade.

“We can’t re-release our albums from the Noise Records years in their initial form,” band boss Piet Sielck says, “but we are free to re-record songs from these albums. We’ve approached this challenge with a lot of enthusiasm.”

What Sielck refers to, became a 19 track strong double album now, titled “Reforged – Riding On Fire,” which consists of the best and most popular songs Iron Savior has released so far. These 2017 re-recordings come with a much more powerful sound of course, but the band managed the task to keep the songs’ character and feel. The album will be issued via AFM Records on December 8th as a 2CD digipak and double vinyl.

Demand is steadily rising: especially after the band’s latest album “Titancraft” (2016), which became the biggest chart success in their history, new fans wanted to discover Iron Savior’s catalogue. They’ll now get the best 19 tracks with an upgraded sound – of course mixed by Piet Sielck.

“Reforged – Riding On Fire” is a highly enjoyable treat for old and new fans alike. The track list is as follows:

1. Riding On Fire
2. Battering Ram
3. Brave New World
4. Prisoner Of The Void
5. Titans Of Our Time
6. Eye To Eye
7. For The World
8. Mindfeeder
9. Watcher In The Skye
10. Mind Over Matter
11. Warrior
12. Iron Savior
13. Tales Of The Bold
14. No Heroes
15. Break The Curse
16. Condition Red
17. Protector
18. I’ve Been To Hell
19. Atlantis Falling

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Xandria Splits With Vocalist Dianne Van Giersbergen

German symphonic metal band Xandria has now split with its fifth vocalist, officially parting ways with Dianne van Giersbergen today. The group issued this statement:

“Dear all, we are very sad about the situation that we and you, the people following Xandria, have to face now. After we already had to cancel many concerts since July due to Dianne not being able to perform we had now been informed by her that she is leaving the band with immediate effect.

“This happened after we published news that the upcoming concerts will be played with a temporary replacement singer. It was clear to everyone, including Dianne, that it was supposed to be a temporary solution only. We had to learn about her departure in a way that has been surprising us very much and with a statement in which we do not recognize ourselves in.

“We have been very downhearted about not being able to play these concerts, and probably would not have been able to play for an undetermined time also in the future. For that reason, we wanted to play at least the concerts in November and December with a temporary replacement singer that can celebrate the music we love so much together with you and us, instead of cancelling any more concerts.

“We always have been doing our best to be there for you fans, so we tried the same in this difficult situation. Just as we always tried to find a good way to care for all members of the band to live the passion that is music, which can sometimes be difficult for everyone. Unfortunately, it seems that Dianne´s needs and goals were drifting apart from the band´s ones.

“However, we are proudly looking back at what we achieved together and we are thanking Dianne for the great times we shared and everything she did for the band. We wish her all the best for what she is heading for on her future way. We will live the passion we have for our music together with you all on our concerts in November, December & beyond! With a heavy heart, but at the same time looking forward to the future and to see you out there sharing our music with you,

“Philip, Marco, Steven & Gerit.”

Dianne tells a very different version of events, posting this message online via Facebook about her departure from Xandria:

“The moment I promised you and me that would never come is here: I am leaving Xandria. And the reason is simple: staying in the band would cause further damage to the health problems the band has caused me.

“For nearly 2 years now I’ve been trying to put band and management issues on the table, with the sole reason to keep this band healthy, together and ready for the future. Today I am sad to say that my attempts failed and have been ignored, that my cries for help have been met with financial threats and emotional extortion and that my persistence to keep on going, ignoring all the warning signs, has left me with uncontrollable stress symptoms (confirmed by doctors). I am a fighter, but I’ve come to see that this is one I cannot win. I don’t want to leave, I love the music that I got to write for you – which is 100% me – but I can’t live, can’t perform, can simply not exist in an environment that harms me. This environment does not care for me nor for the fans (even proposed me to playback in order to do more shows in a row) and somehow miraculously never generated any financial outcome and therefore no stability for any of its band members.

“Yesterday evening the last hope I had of ever reconciling with the boys was shattered when they made a statement announcing that ‘I’ could not perform with the band anymore, forgetting to mention that I am in this unhealthy position because of Xandria & management. Not surprisingly they also already have a replacement for me and kicked me out of every Xandria social media page. With that they’ve send me one last clear message: they are not interested in fixing the situation nor are they willing to support me if that means (partly) stepping away from the business perspective (quote: ‘we are not friends’) which leads me to conclude what I know now: it is time for me to close this chapter and wish them the best of luck in continuing the band I loved so much.

“Now, I don’t know where we will meet again, but I didn’t follow my passion, study all those hours and travel all those roads to simply give up. I’m sad to close this chapter, but I’m sure there will be another one to write. In the meantime I will be focussing on what does make me happy and I will be posting my daily business and updates on my Precious Metal Jewelry and Ex Libris stuff as usual. I very much hope to see you online so we can stay in touch and who knows, maybe one day in an audience again. Thank you all for understanding, for your love and support! I am forever grateful.”

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Tim Lambesis Reportedly Working On New As I Lay Dying Album With New Band Members

Two months ago As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis shared some vague posts via his and As I Lay Dying’s social media accounts, simply stating the word “activity”. Now Rock Feed, citing a source they say is familiar with the situation, reports that a source with knowledge on the matter has revealed that Lambesis is indeed working on new music and planning to release it under the As I Lay Dying moniker.

Tim Lambesis served only two and a half years on a six-year sentence after he was arrested and convicted of solicitation of murder for attempting to hire an undercover cop posing as a hitman to murder his then wife, Meggan Lambesis.

It’s worth noting that Lambesis has previously stated that As I Lay Dying is “sleeping rather than dead” in a blog entry posted back in 2014. Blabbermouth also noted in a recent report that rumors suggested the band was “working on new material”. Representatives for the band did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Various now former members of the band spoke out against Lambesis after his actions, with those ex-members having since largely gone on to now perform as Wovenwar.

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The Convalescence Kicked Off Otep’s “The Resistance” Tour

Yet another band has run afoul of performing live with Otep on the road.

After that ugliness during the “Civil Unrest” tour a few years back and a handful of instances in the interim, The Convalescence has now been kicked off the “Resistance” tour by Otep.

The Convalescence issued this statement about the situation:

“We will no longer be a part of the remaining dates of ‘The Resistance Tour’ with Otep. After years spent on the road touring worldwide and never having a problem, this is a first. Otep kicked us off the tour after already loading in for tonight’s event in Pittsburgh. This stemming from an alleged incident that occurred in Michigan two nights previously where claims were made that we sold merchandise during the intro of their set.

“This was not the first time being threatened to remove us from the tour. First happening in Jacksonville, FL after their driver accused us of buying weed from venue staff the night before and went as far as to say we forced a venue runner to drive with him and a kid in the car to pick it up. This was in an attempt to take the heat off the driver himself because he called the police on the band’s guitarist after an argument between them that morning.

“In both instances, we were unable to explain or make any attempt to approach the situation since even after 50+ dates as direct support – unless she felt the need to threaten to kick us off the tour and belittle us, we weren’t even allowed in the same room.

“After being told we were not needed on the tour, that we were not helping the attendance, we were simply a time filler and countless other negative comments about us being part of this tour we came to a mutual decision that we could no longer share a stage together.

“We are all about being team players on the road. After going out of our way with things like covering her merch table every night during their set, helping the band with security at understaffed venues, and helping her band and crew load in and out daily. We were met with only disrespect from Otep herself.

“We have no hard feelings towards her hired band and crew but Otep is an absolute nightmare to work with. Again, we apologize to any of our fans that had planned to see us on this tour. Thanks for your continued support and we’ll see you on the road this Fall!”

Otep, of course, had a different take on the situation, issuing this video response:

A member of the band also commented on the video: “Let’s be clear on something, while the whole incident with selling of merch is going to be looked at as the straw that broke the camel’s back, Otep wasn’t looking to kick the Convalescence off the tour. In fact, Otep instead came up with that the Convalescence and Brand of Julez switch places in the lineup for the last few days Brand of Julez was on the tour.

“Brand of Julez was only playing selected dates on the tour, and they only had 5 or 6 shows left with the tour. After that, everything would have went back in terms of the lineup, but the Convalescence was having none of it. So this isn’t people trying to say Otep got pissed because they sold merch during Otep’s set and thus kicked them off the tour. They’d still be on the tour with Otep if they just did the lineup change for a few shows.”

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Five Finger Death Punch Comments On Disastrous Tilburg Show

After a show in Tilburg last night was cut short last night and Ivan Moody apparently quit the band mid-set, Five Finger Death Punch has now released a statement about the situation. It doesn’t address the Moody situation at all, but does indicate the band will still continue touring. The band comments:

“Those who have followed 5FDP from the beginning can tell you there has always been an element of danger and unpredictability in our music and in our shows.

“That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll. When you do over 150 shows in a year, you will inevitably have a few derailments, but the train always keeps on moving. Last night in Tilburg was one of those instances, but as they say, you aren’t a race car driver if you don’t wreck a car or two.

“We can’t wait to put on amazing shows tomorrow night at Nova Rock all the way to our just announced winter tour all over Europe. See you all on the race track… bring a helmet…”

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Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling To Miss Tour, Reportedly Arrested For “Physical Abuse Of A Vulnerable Adult”

Pentagram has issued a statement about heading out on tour without Bobby Liebling, which can be read below.

Although it wasn’t mentioned in the statement, it appears Liebling was arrested last month for assault and “physical abuse of a vulnerable adult” according to court records.

The records site is currently crashing due to high traffic, but a screenshot can be seen below. Pentagram posted this message online about the situation:

“As was the case for the recently completed US shows, vocalist Bobby Liebling will not appear with Pentagram for previously booked European dates this summer.

“To elaborate, Bobby called on April 17 saying he had been admitted to the hospital. He called again on April 19, this time after being transferred to a Maryland detention facility. He’s now awaiting a preliminary hearing at which time it will be determined if a follow-up on any alleged charges are necessary. An update will be published when information is available. The band will be fulfilling all currently booked appearances with 36-year mainstay guitarist Victor Griffin performing all vocals.

“A personal note from the band: the outpouring of support on our recent US dates was outstanding! Your energy was matched ten-fold and encouraged us to carry on and deliver what many have called, even by skeptics, some of the best Pentagram performances they’ve seen. Thank you!

“We have the best fans in the world and if not for you, the legacy of this band would have died long ago. We won’t let you down now. The music lives on and as we move forward, we reiterate the lyrics of Curious Volume: ‘In this venture death waits in the shadows, but in survival the volume won’t die!’

“Sincerely, Victor, Greg, & Pete.”

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Dark Sermon Calling It Quits

Johnny Crowder from Dark Sermon just issued the following statement about the band deciding to call it quits:

“Hey all, J here. My eyes are flooding as I type this, but you deserve to hear it. Dark Sermon has been my life’s work for nearly a decade – an unforgettable whirlwind of sweat, flat tires, and insane tours. In my head, DS would live on forever, but life rarely follows the imaginary paths we paint for it.

“At this point, we have fulfilled our contracts with eOne and Nuclear Blast. This, coupled with a rather unforgiving season of rotten luck, led several members to retire from touring altogether. While I was stubbornly determined to press on, the remaining members decided that now would be a good time to let DS rest.

“Initially, I couldn’t accept it, but now I understand. Since high school, we’ve barely had a moment to tend to anything outside of the band. Looking back, I see how undying dedication to one solitary thing can lead to imbalance.

“Is Dark Sermon done? Unfortunately, that is not up to me. However, I can’t just stop writing music and sharing it with the world. This is why I created my new band, Prison. You can watch our new music video or pre-order our new record if you’d like to support us.

“Although I am still trying to make peace with this situation, Dark Sermon brought immeasurable healing to me and countless others. And for that, I will never, ever forget it – or you. To everyone who has followed my personal journey with mental illness, faith, and sobriety, thank you. Whether you decide to accompany me in this new chapter or not, you’ve already given me more than I could ask for. You saved my life.

“I love each and every one of you. Deeply. Goodbye for now.”

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Woe And Ultha Booted From Festival For Performing With Inquisition

The Antifa crowd strikes again… despite being a liberal slanted band with specifically anti-fascist songs, U.S. black metal band Woe has been booted from performaning at the Hamburg ist Droneburg fest due to sharing the stage with Inquisition – a band frequently cited as being fascist. Chris Grig from Woe issued this statement to the fans:

“Woe and Ultha were just kicked off of a show because we are performing with Inquisition. We learned this via SMS, before our booker was informed, after driving four hours across Germany, and with no opportunity to appeal the decision.

“The absurdity of this situation is profound. For years, we have been exceptionally vocal about our political and social stances but still careful to not let them define us as a band. We never backed down from an opportunity to discuss it in interviews, we never shrank from it online, we covered a classic anti-fascist punk song to extremely apolitical black metal crowds, and we doubled down with songs like ‘No Blood Has Honor’ on our new album. Along the way, we introduced countless black metal fans who had never considered politics that it is possible to take an anti-fascist stance without sacrificing the harsh, abrasive stance of a black metal band.

“Our politics have made us the subject of ridicule by some people in the extreme metal scene, but we do not care. Even our detractors typically understand that black metal is full of conflict and diversity. Those who hate us for our liberal views are free to do so, and, ironically, those are the people who are least willing to tell us what we should or shouldn’t do, what shows we should and shouldn’t play. We’d find this funny if it wasn’t so poignant right now.

“The worldwide extreme metal scene is a diverse, complicated thing full of people with different backgrounds and experiences. Many bands and fans have never once thought about politics, many of them do not care about politics and object to the idea that they should have to care about them to appreciate music. To these people, riffs are riffs, songs are songs, imagery exists to build mood, and message is secondary to feeling. Even within Woe, we have varying levels of political involvement. Regardless of whether you agree with the apolitical metal fan’s perspective, recognizing it is crucial to understanding why bands with questionable backgrounds can operate on an international level and why a band like Woe might choose to put ourselves in close proximity to people with whom we may not agree.

“Woe and our tourmates Ultha exist to create and perform art, not proselytize, but we are also adamant that performing at explicitly apolitical events with diverse lineups is crucial for the representation of our social and political beliefs. Black metal encourages questioning systems, offending those in power, and evolving beyond outdated beliefs.

“If we were to only play to crowds who were squeaky clean, nothing would change, nobody would grow. Similarly, if you think that a band has committed such intense crimes that they should be barred from participating in the international scene, that is between you and the band, not your allies who choose a different approach to engagement. If we choose to participate in an event, it is because we are confident that it does not compromise who we are.

“To have a show canceled now, after years of unflinching willingness to stick our necks out to crowds who might be unreceptive, goes beyond being a slap in the face. Hamburg ist Droneburg and the venue Hafenklang decided how two openly anti-fascist bands, one of whom is primarily comprised of people of Jewish background, should engage with extremism in a music scene that is only now starting to become politically aware. We and those alongside us deserve the trust and respect to effect change as we see fit. Every adult must be responsible for themselves and choose a level of involvement that is right for them. It is not appropriate for others to decide how we should or should not engage.

“This is why the right thinks that the left is full of fools and reactionary children who have never stepped out into the real world. Rather than targeting the actual fascists or supporting allies within the scene, they eat their own. Hamburg ist Droneburg and Hafenklang have today acted as agents of the right by silencing us and, once again, promoting the right’s message that anti-fascism is the enemy of black metal.

“Despite this, we are resolute in our position. We played an antifa benefit in Brooklyn for J20 protestors barely a week before leaving for this tour, and we will continue to support the greater mission. Those responsible for today’s cancellation, as with all similar events, are people from outside of the scene who have decided that they know how to handle our problems better than those of us actively participating in the metal scene. To those who would deprive of us our voice and strip us of our agency, we urge you to improve this situation by making bridges with people within the metal scene. Wars like this are won through discussion and understanding, not force.”

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