Kirk Hammett Was on The Toilet When Metallica Called Him to Join

The story behind how Kirk Hammett came to join Metallica is a peculiar but memorable one. As if getting the call on April Fool’s Day wasn’t strange enough, the guitarist revealed was actually on the toilet when the phone rang, per a previously unpublished 2014 interview with Metal Hammer

“It was April 1st, April Fool’s Day, and I was sitting on the toilet,” Hammett confessed, who further recollecting the life-changing 1983 moment, went on, “I got the call from [Metallica sound engineer] Mark Whittaker, and after I hung up, I was like, ‘I can’t believe I just got that phone call. Was that an April Fool’s Day prank?’ A couple of days later I got this tape from them, but I already had the demo and I already knew two thirds of the songs on there.”

Naturally, the offer to join Metallica necessitated Hammet’s exit from Exodus, of which he was one of the founding members. His playing can be heard on the group’s first two demos, released in 1982 and 1983.

But how did Exodus take the news? “I told the guys in Exodus and they were pissed,” said Hammett, “They were pissed. I remember [Exodus singer] Paul Baloff was so pissed that he poured a beer over my head. He said, ‘[angry-hurt voice] I can’t believe you’re doing this Kirk’, then poured his beer over my head. I just took it, ‘Yeah, yeah, I know…’

It’s also worth noting that Metallica had originally intended on titling their debut record Metal Up Your Ass, featuring artwork by Stephen Gorman, which pictured an outstretched arm emerging from a toilet bowl, tightly gripping a sharpened dagger. Distributors were repulsed by it all, however, and with little chance of the record making it on to retail shelves, the band reluctantly agreed to go in another direction, settling on Kill ‘Em All and its now iconic artwork.

After leaving Exodus, Hammett took some of his original riffs with him, repurposing them for Metallica on the Ride the Lightning track “Trapped Under Ice.” The riffs were originally written for the Exodus song “Impaler,” which did not make it on to any studio album until the 2004 comeback effort, Tempo of the Damned.

“[The riffs] came from songs I had written, music I had written. I consider them my parts,” Hammett told Metal Hammer. “I didn’t feel guilty about that,” said the guitarist, “but I did feel guilty about leaving the band I started in high school. I’ve known [Exodus drummer] Tom Hunting since I was 16 years old, I’ve known [Exodus guitarist] Gary Holt since I was 17. We’re all close to this day, but there was a lot of guilt there for a while. A little bit of remorse.”

The Best Metal Song of Each Year Since 1970

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Scientists Name Newly Discovered Crab Species After Nightwish

Scientists have named a new crab species after symphonic metal group Nightwish.

A recently published scientific paper on Mesozoic reef crabs was submitted in November of last year and accepted in June. Amid the dozen-plus figures outlined in the paper is “Tanidromites nightwishorum,” a coral reef crab discovered in the Ernstbrunn quarries in Austria.

“Named in honor of the members of the symphonic metal band Nightwish (Troy Donockley, Kai Haito, Marco Hietala, Tuomas Holopainen, Floor Jansen, and Emppu Vuorinen), in particular for their 2015 album Endless Forms Most Beautiful about the evolution of life,” states the etymology section of the paper.

For their Endless Forms Most Beautiful album, Nightwish teamed up with evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who contributed narrative dialogue to the opening and closing tracks of the record.

Nightwish shared the news on Facebook (accompanied by photos), stating, “The new species of crab was found in eastern Austria and lived during the late part of the Jurassic period, around 150 million years ago. While dinosaurs dominated the land, parts of Europe were covered by a warm, shallow sea full of life.”

“Tanidromites nightwishorum was discovered in a fossil coral reef,” the band continued, noting, “Crab diversity and abundance exploded for the very first time in their evolutionary history during the Late Jurassic in central Europe.”

Expressing their gratitude for being immortalized within crab taxonomy, Nightwish said, in closing, “Thanks to Dr. Adiel A. Klompmaker and his colleagues for this truly fantastic honour (Adiel is curator of palaeontology, Alabama museum of natural history).”

See the post below and to see more species named after rock and metal artists, head to the bottom of the page.

Earlier this year, Nightwish released Human. :II: Nature., their first new album since Endless Forms Most Beautiful.

15 Rock + Metal Icons Who’ve Inspired the Name of a New Species

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Alice Cooper Stresses the Importance of Independent Music Venues

Alice Cooper may be considered one of the most legendary acts in rock today, but all legends started out small. The shock rocker recently spoke with Loudwire Nights about the importance of salvaging smaller, independent music venues around the country that are facing potential closure due to Covid-19.

“We all started there,” Cooper began. “Everybody from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones to Guns N’ Roses to Alice Cooper to everybody — anybody that’s worth a salt in this business started in a bar somewhere or started in a small venue.”

The rocker went on to explain that his band’s early days in Detroit were spent in old movie theaters that had been converted to music venues, along with other acts such as Iggy Pop, MC5 and The Who.

“If you don’t have that, how is a rock band — a young rock band — ever going to get good?” he continued. “I don’t care if it’s 20 people or 200 people. That’s where your fanbase comes from, that’s where the band actually becomes good enough to go out and then get on tour once they do make it.”

Aside from starting off in smaller venues, Cooper has some advice for other young bands — listen to the Beatles.

“We all go back to two things — Chuck Berry and the Beatles,” he affirmed. “Chuck Berry is your rock foundation. The Beatles are… listen to any album and tell me those aren’t perfectly-written songs.”

The rocker recently released his latest song “Don’t Give Up” regarding the coronavirus pandemic. His upcoming album Detroit Stories will be out sometime later this year. To hear more about the album, listen to the full interview above.

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Judas Priest Announce Rescheduled 50th Anniversary 2021 Tour

Before the coronavirus pandemic struck globally, Judas Priest were set to embark on a massive 50th anniversary tour as metal’s longest active running band. With their sights on September and October of 2021, the band have rescheduled their U.S. tour.

Judas Priest have announced 14 rescheduled stops thus far, and, unfortunately, 11 of the original dates have been outright canceled with no makeup concert. There is still hope, however, as the band declared, “We have every intention of adding more shows and cities to our 50th anniversary tour in the fall of 2021 — as soon as we have the new dates finalized, we will announce them.”

All tickets purchased for the original tour dates will be honored at the respective rescheduled stop, which can be viewed below. Ticket holders will also receive an email from their point of purchase with information pertaining to refunds if you are unable to make the new date.

Regarding the canceled dates, ticket holders will receive an automatic refund from their point of purchase in approximately 30 days. If your purchase was made directly at the box office or if you have any other questions, contact the venue directly.

RESCHEDULED: Judas Priest’s “50 Heavy Metal Years” 2021 U.S. Tour Dates

Sept. 9, 2020 Washington, D.C. @ MGM Casino has been moved to Oct. 28, 2021
Sept. 12, 2020 Ledyard, Ct. @ Foxwoods Casino Arena has bee moved to Oct. 30, 2021
Sept. 17, 2020 Charlotte, N.C. @ PNC Music Pavilion has been moved to Sept. 13, 2021
Sept. 24, 2020 Youngstown, Ohio @ the Covelli Centre has been moved to Sept. 17, 2021
Sept. 29, 2020 Milwaukee, Wis. @ Miller High Life Theater has been moved to Sept. 22, 2021
Sept. 30, 2020 St. Louis, Mo. @ St. Louis Music Park has been moved to Sept. 25, 2021
Oct. 02, 2020 Oklahoma City, Okla. @ The Zoo Amphitheatre has been moved to Oct. 16, 2021
Oct. 03, 2020 Dallas, Texas @ Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory has been moved to Oct. 15, 2021
Oct. 05, 2020 Cedar Park, Texas @ HEB Center Cedar Park has been moved to Oct. 13, 2021
Oct. 06, 2020 San Antonio, Texas @ Freeman Coliseum has been moved to Oct. 12, 2021
Oct. 09, 2020 Denver, Colo. @ The Mission Ballroom has been moved to Sept. 29, 2021
Oct. 13, 2020 Phoenix, Ariz. @ Arizona Federal Theatre has been moved to Oct. 9, 2021
Oct. 15, 2020 Los Angeles, Calif. @ Microsoft Theater has been moved to Oct. 6, 2021
Oct. 17, 2020 Las Vegas, Nev. @ Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood has been moved to Oct. 8, 2021

CANCELED: Judas Priest 2020 Tour Dates NOT Being Rescheduled

Sept. 11 — Long Island, N.Y. @ Nassau
Sept. 14 — Philadelphia, Pa. @ Mann Center
Sept. 15 — Newark, N.J. @ Prudential Center
Sept. 18 — Orlando, Fla. @ Rebel Rock Festival
Sept. 20 — Louisville, Ky. @ Louder Than Life Festival
Sept. 21 — Grand Rapids, Mich. @ Van Andel Arena
Sept. 23 — Detroit, Mich. @ The Fox Theatre
Sept. 26 — Chicago, Ill. @ Rosemont Theatre
Sept. 27 — Minneapolis, Minn. @ Armory
Oct. 08 — Albuquerque, N.M. @ Sandia Resort and Casino
Oct. 11 — Salt Lake City, Utah @ Vivint Smart Home Arena

See Judas Priest in the 66 Best Metal Albums of the Decade: 2010 – 2019

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Kataklysm’s ‘The Killshot’ Might Be Their Heaviest Song Ever

Canadian death merchants Kataklysm have returned with a music video for “The Killshot,” the first song to be shared off their forthcoming 14th album, Unconquered.

The new track serves as the album’s opener, setting the tone with what may be the group’s heaviest piece of work yet, even factoring in their long lost frenzied style present on the Sorcery debut. Kataklysm have clearly tightened their grip on modern metal’s hallmarks while keeping everything true to their groove-laden 21st century output and ever-present death metal overtones.

Watch the music video further down the page and read through the lyrics (via Genius) to “The Killshot” as well.

Commenting on the first Unconquered single, Kataklysm stated, “‘The Killshot’ is very Machiavellian at its base meaning. The song deals with revenge and planning it out, I wrote the song in an open interpretation because everyone has their own story that they can attach to it. In general, the album deals with pain or setbacks, overcoming them and fighting back especially in today’s situation, the timing is on point. In February, we flew to Atlanta, Georgia, and worked with director Scott Hanson. We saw some of his creations and wanted to try his style. The experience was awesome, and we won’t forget it anytime soon. Everything went great but it was there, sitting at the airport that we first started seeing on all the screens that COVID-19 was about to shutdown the country.”

Here I come again
This time, to ruin your life
Because, everything you say is a lie
Everything you are is a lie
And I’m here to sever the ties

Fear the face of hate
The face of fear
And all the things you never could see
These words won’t kill
The silence will and everything you fail to reap
I feel your wrath
I feel your heart
I feel everything you are
This bond you broke
This trust you took
The monster you created is here

I know the things you did
I know who you really are!
Sow the seeds of confrontation
Into the soul of annihilation
Take the steps to enter the void
A declaration of war!

I’m locked and loaded
And I won’t miss
This is the killshot
I’m locked and loaded
And I won’t miss
This is my killshot

Face the face of war
The face of death
And all the justice that you deserve
You bring the dark
I bring the light
Your blood will spill in the hands of dissent
The sky will fall
Your world will end
And so will the lies you try to mend
My name is truth
My name is death
And I have come to take you away

We know the things you did, the things you did
I know who you really are!
Sow the seeds of confrontation
Into the soul of annihilation
Take the steps to enter the void
A declaration of war!

I’m locked and loaded
And I won’t miss
This is the killshot
I’m locked and loaded
And I won’t miss
This is my killshot

Unconquered will be released Sept. 25 through Nuclear Blast. Pre-order the album here and view the artwork and track listing beneath the music video.

Kataklysm, “The Killshot” Music Video

Kataklysm, Unconquered Album Art + Track Listing

Nuclear Blast

01. “The Killshot”
02. “Cut Me Down”
03. “Underneath The Scars”
04. “Focused To Destroy You”
05. “The Way Back Home”
06. “Stitches”
07. “Defiant”
08. “Icarus Falling”
09. “When It’s Over”

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Rising Rocker Ayron Jones: Our Beginnings Don’t Have to Define Us

Seattle-born guitarist and vocalist Ayron Jones grew up in a tough familial environment, but with a passion for music. A self-proclaimed multi-instrumentalist, the rising rocker recently signed with Big Machine Records and released his first major label single “Take Me Away.” He hopes to spread the hopeful message that our beginnings don’t have to define where we go.

The guitarist was listening to a lot of ’60s bands and trios like the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream when he formed what was originally titled Ayron Jones and the Way years back. That era of the band were successful to the point of sharing the stage with groups like Slipknot and Lamb of God, but the members unfortunately quit in 2015, leaving Jones to carry on by himself.

“I felt like as the composer and the writer for all this music, I think the whole band-feel kind of took away from all the work that I was putting in,” he explained. “I think a lot of people thought that we sat down as a band and wrote these songs, as opposed to me writing out all these parts and then bringing it to an instrumentalist to play these parts and me sing the music and do all of that. So I changed the name to be solo.”

The decision to go solo has proven to be triumphant for the artist, who has opened for big names like B.B. King and Guns N’ Roses, gone on tour with Theory of a Deadman and worked with Run D.M.C. and Public Enemy. So when it came time to be scouted by Big Machine records, Jones was already a natural.

Last month, he released his first single as a signed artist called “Take Me Away.” “Having grown up with the background I had, dealing with feelings of abandonment and all that, and what those kind of emotions do to you as an adult and in your relationships,” Jones said of the inspiration behind the song. “And also just being a black man in America, and kind of figuring out what that means for myself.”

“‘Take Me Away’ was really about how I was gonna use my music to take me out of whatever turmoil or whatever beginnings I had,” he continued. “And that no matter where I came from or what kind of beginnings I had, I knew that those things didn’t have to define me.”

Check out “Take Me Away” below.

To hear more about Jones’ story as well as his future endeavors, listen to the full Loudwire Nights interview above.

Ayron Jones – “Take Me Away”

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Rock + Metal Virtual Performance Streaming Calendar

Updated July 10

If you’re missing out on concerts and festivals because of cancelations over the coronavirus, you’re not alone. The live entertainment industry is taking a pretty big hit due to the illness, but musicians are coming together all over to put on streamable live performances for their fans in the meantime.

Dave Grohl and Billie Joe Armstrong have hosted concerts from their living rooms, where they play the classics everyone loves. Whether it’s an online festival in a game or a Facebook live, there’s something for all rock and metal fans alike. Some organizations and labels will be even be hosting a different artist every week.

We have compiled a list of virtual performances you can stream throughout the coming weeks while you continue to quarantine, and will update as more come up. Some will be recurring on a weekly basis, while others are one-time events. See them all below.

Enjoy, and stay safe!

Knotfest Weekly Live Streams

Knotfest’s website will stream a live performance from your favorite metal bands every Friday. So far, they’ve aired sets by Lamb of God and Megadeth, which both featured live chats with members of the bands.

Napalm Records’ “Napalm Sofa Series”

Napalm Records will host several bands on their “Napalm Sofa Series,” which take place in the form of live streams on their Facebook page. Be sure to stay tuned for updates, as they announce different performances every few days.

Crush Coronavirus by Washing Your Hands to These Rock + Metal Songs

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The Hunna’s High Energy ‘I Wanna Know’ Is a Jam You Can’t Miss

How much do you miss live shows? After watching The Hunna‘s “I Wanna Know” video you’re going to be missing them even more and be all the more anxious for the band to return to the concert stage.

This rocker is just brimming with energy, so much so that we dare you not to rock out to this track. It includes a prerequisite energy expelling “Woooo!” and a killer all out jam out to conclude the track, leaving you breathless by the end.

“‘I Wanna Know’ is up there for us with one the best songs we’ve ever written,” says The Hunna’s Ryan Potter. “It’s high octane all the way through and doesn’t let up, it’s kind of our Motley Crüe moment on the album. We played it on tour before we’d even started recording the album from a demo we did with Feldy and it was insane every time!”

The singer continues, “Its story comes from a place of extreme lust and infatuation with someone, wanting to know how they tick, what they feel, what they believe, wanting to be apart of anything they do, almost so much you could literally blow up.” Check out the lyrics for the track below.

I wanna know where you’re getting your drugs
I wanna know what you breathe in your lungs
I wanna know who you kiss with your lips
Kiss with your lips
Kiss with your lips

I wanna know how to get in your bed
I wanna know how to fuck with your head
I wanna know how to lie to your face
Lie to your face
Lie to your face

What you wait what you wait
What you waiting for
I can taste it
I can taste it

Na na
Na na
Na na na


I wanna feel all the heat of your sweat
I wanna strip you from your toes to your head
I wanna see what you can do with those hips
Do with those hips
Do with those hips

I wanna live with you by my side
I wanna die with you on my mind
I wanna kill what you leave behind
Leave behind
Leave behind

Fittingly, the band chose to showcase the pure unadulterated energy the song exudes in the live setting for their video (seen below). You can look for “I Wanna Know” on the band’s upcoming album, I’d Rather Die Than Let You In, which is due Oct. 2. The band worked on the record with producer John Feldmann, and the set includes guest turns from Blink-182’s Travis Barker, Twenty One Pilots’ Josh Dun and Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz. Pre-orders are available here.

The Hunna, “I Wanna Know’

300 Entertainment

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Greg Puciato Unleashes Heavy ‘Do You Need Me to Remind You’ Song

Dillinger Escape Plan may be no more, but singer Greg Puciato is still cranking out crushingly heavy music. The latest song from his forthcoming solo debut, Child Soldier: Creator of God, is “Do You Need Me to Remind You?,” a track that reminds us of the singer’s great range.

The song starts off in a more sludgy vein, pummeling beats crushing over slow ebbing wall of distorted low end guitar. Pulling back for the vocal, Puciato’s soulful yet gritty vocal delivery takes center stage, giving the song a darker and more vulnerable vibe until the chorus arrives with Puciato flipping the switch on a more aggressive delivery. The track itself ebbs and flows in waves between crushing heaviness and more melodic moments.

The new song is yet another example of the dedication Puciato has thrown into his new record, playing many of the instruments on the album on top of delivering killer vocals.

The singer, who played everything but drums and some programming for the record, explains, “I’d been writing for so many different projects, Dillinger, then The Black Queen, and Killer Be Killed…and I just kept on writing, It felt as if I had more to say, but nothing that necessarily filled the script of those bands, so I ended up with something that I found to be intensely personal and super satisfying, but also confusing as far as what to do with it. When I realized that it was a solo release, it was sort of an ‘oh that’s interesting’ moment, both terrifying and exciting at once, and challenging, and new, and that combo is almost always a good sign, so I committed to it.”

He continues, “It’s important to continue taking risks in order to grow both your creativity and your future possibilities, to create new avenues and freedoms for yourself, and it also felt like a good time for me to integrate and own everything that I am into one thing, without fragmentation or limitation. I needed to come out from telling myself that I always have to be ‘guy in a band,’ and to release this as my own name.”

“Do You Need Me to Remind You?” follows his previous solo tracks “Fire for Water” and “Deep Set.” If you like what you hear, the new album Child Soldier: Creator of God is currently available for pre-order at this location. The album will drop on Oct. 23. See the full track listing and artwork below the new video.

Greg Puciato, “Do You Need Me to Remind You?”

Greg Puciato, Child Soldier: Creator of God Artwork + Track Listing

Federal Prisoner

Heavy of Stone
Creator of God
Fire for Water
Deep Set
Temporary Object
Do You Need Me To Remind You?
Roach Hiss
Down When I’m Not
You Know I Do
Through The Walls
A Pair of Questions
September City

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Pallbearer Reveal Sabbathian Track ‘Forgotten Days’ + New Album

Pallbearer have just released the debut single from their upcoming fourth studio album, Forgotten Days. The album’s title track is filled with Sabbathian doom riffs, mixed in with Pallbearer’s signature vocal style.

The Arkansas act emerged in the 2010s as one of modern metal’s most consistently brilliant acts, hitting a new height of popularity with 2017’s Heartless.

“I’m extremely stoked to finally share this song with everyone,” says singer/guitarist Brett Campbell. “The video for ‘Forgotten Days’ tells the story of an unfortunate traveler who journeys too far, and becomes lost in the depths of both inner, and outer, space. What is real when you cannot trust your own mind?“

“Joe [Rowland] and I have always written lyrics separately,” adds Campbell. “But we always end up with lyrics that are connected by threads. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe it’s because we’ve been in close proximity for a long while. Between Heartless and Forgotten Days, we were home for an extended period of time. I think we finally had time to reflect. Memory is a big aspect of the new record. The passage of time. How things change as perspective changes. Was the past truly the way that you remember it at all?”

Forgotten Days is us exploring what is natural to us,” adds bassist Joseph Rowland. “The songs tell me where I need to go when I write. We wanted to focus on songs that were visceral and enjoyable to play live – that our audiences would enjoy experiencing. We’re also getting back to more of the groovier and heavier elements of Pallbearer. Heartless is fairly uptempo and technical. This one is a little more open, it hammers you.”

“This record has a lot of thematic ties to our first record,” Rowland continues. “When we were writing Sorrow and Extinction, my mother was terminally ill. It’s been 10 years since she passed. It’s taken me all of this time to take a really good look at myself. While we were writing Forgotten Days, I knew, ‘Now is the time to sit down and begin to understand who I have become.’”

Forgotten Days will be released via Nuclear Blast on Oct. 23. Listen to the album’s title track and check out its artwork and track listing below.


Nuclear Blast

Pallbearer, Forgotten Days Track List:

Forgotten Days
Silver Wings
The Quicksand of Existing
Vengeance & Ruination
Rite of Passage

The 66 Best Metal Albums of the Decade: 2010 – 2019

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Shvpes Announce Band Breakup After Two Albums

English metalcore group Shvpes have announced that after releasing two albums, they have made the decision to split up the band, placing a priority on mental health and personal relationships in a three-part Twitter post.

The group, which features singer Griffin Dickinson, son of Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, originally formed in 2009 under the name Cytota, before changing their moniker to Shvpes in 2015. From there came two full length albums, 2016’s Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair and 2018’s Greater Than.

Shvpes stated the decision came “after much introspection” and knowing that the members of the band “have grown a lot as musicians and as people,” things were splintering in different directions. The band said any effort to continue would have strained mental health and personal relationships and that they are splitting up “on good terms.”

In closing, the group expressed gratitude for the worldwide support from all their fans.

Read the complete statement below.

Good things all come to an end.

After much introspection, we have decided to call it a day with SHVPES.

As this band has evolved, we have grown a lot as musicians and as people. And as a result we have found ourselves beginning to move in separate directions.

To continue on as SHVPES would only place further strain on our mental health and personal relationships, as well as be dishonest and a disservice to all of you.

We leave on good terms, proud and grateful for everything we’ve achieved.

To the fans & all who has supported, invested & believed in us, we wholeheartedly thank you. You have allowed us to accomplish things we only ever dreamed of & be a part of something bigger than ourselves. For now, it’s time for a new chapter.
Peace & Love
SHVPES 2015 – Infinity

Dickinson did vow that he is “not done with music” and that he has an “arsenal” of new songs already written, though he did not elaborate on if the musical style would be a continuation of the metalcore/nu-metal leanings of Shvpes or if we can expect something entirely different.

Earlier this year, the singer, while locked down amid stay-at-home-orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, elected to run the equivalent of a marathon in his backyard garden, raising funds for COVID-19 relief.

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See Photos of Ronnie James Dio Through the Years

“You’re just a picture / You’re an image caught in time”

Ronald James Padavona was born on July 10, 1942. The future metal god spent a lot of time listening to opera as a child, and he developed a passion for music. He played the trumpet while in college, which he never completed, and eventually started dabbling in different bands. He also took up the name “Dio,” which is Italian for “God.”

Ronnie James Dio was one of the strongest and most distinctive voices in metal, known as the high-pitched wailing behind songs by Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, his self-titled band Dio and Heaven and Hell. Additionally, he was the innovator behind the “sign of the horns” being associated with heavy metal.

After a 50-year career, Dio tragically passed away in 2010 from stomach cancer. His impact on rock and metal was profound, having influenced tons of vocalists throughout the decades. To celebrate his legacy, we’ve compiled a gallery of photos of Dio throughout the years, which you can scroll through below.

Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Frontmen of All Time

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