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Day wasn’t strange enough, the guitarist revealed was actually on the toilet when the phone rang, per a previously unpublished 2014 interview with Metal Hammer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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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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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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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

2020’s Most Anticipated Rock + Metal Albums

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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.

2020’s Best Metal Songs (So Far)

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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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Avatar Deliver Dystopian Nightmare With ‘Colossus’ Video

The future may not be a bright one, especially if the narrative of Avatar‘s latest video comes to pass. The band just released their third song off the upcoming Hunter Gatherer album, a song called “Colossus,” and it comes with a rather disturbing prophecy.

After a prologue from singer Johannes Eckerstrom, the action pulls back to a disembodied robot forced to continually assemble items with growing frustration. Being presented a treat, the mood starts to change but the complexity of the task remains an issue, leading to a further demoralizing conclusion.

The song itself speaks to our continual reliance on technology and the darker side of what that might bring, although as singer Johannes Eckerstrom shared with us late last year, it also might be our future salvation. Have a look at the video below.

“Colossus” follows the previously released tracks “Silence in the Age of Apes” and “God of Sick Dreams.” All three songs are featured on the Hunter Gatherer album, which is due Aug. 7. Pre-orders are available at this location.

Avatar, “Colossus”

2020’s Best Metal Songs (So Far)

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Ozzy, Sharon + Jack Osbourne to Star in Paranormal TV Series

Ozzy, Sharon and Jack Osbourne are set to return to the TV landscape next month with a new Travel Channel series based on paranormal activity. The series, titled The Osbournes Wants to Believe, will premiere on Sunday, Aug. 2 at 10PM ET.

According to Variety, the premise of the series has son Jack Osbourne trying to convince his parents on the veracity of shocking videos of alleged paranormal activity. In the series premiere episode, Jack shows Sharon and Ozzy video footage of poltergeists, haunted dolls, UFOs and unidentifiable beasts.

“We see if I can poke at my parents over such things as ghosts and UFOs,” says Jack. He added that with the current pandemic, it’s given him more time to spend with his parents, who decided to take part in the project from their home. Sister Kelly Osbourne will not be part of the series, keeping it from being a full-on reunion from the family’s MTV reality show days.

Given Ozzy and Sharon’s often very frank and candid nature, the responses are bound to be one of the more interesting parts of the series, as Jack’s parents critique each of the videos.

Jack says that paranormal activity has always been an interest for him, and he’s looking forward to exploring it further on the show. “I was a big X-Files fan – the biggest nerd ever. I read all the books, watched all the episodes. And so, for me, as a kid, it was like a nerdy hobby – the paranormal, and UFOs and ghosts,” says Osbourne.

Black Sabbath Songs Ranked (Ozzy Osbourne Era)

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That Time Philip Anselmo Sang for Alice in Chains

In 2006, Alice in Chains were beginning the current phase of their legendary career. During their second appearance back from hiatus, the grunge icons appeared on VH1 with Pantera’s Philip Anselmo and Guns N’ RosesDuff McKagan to perform a rousing rendition of “Would?.”

The death of Layne Staley seemed to put the final nail in Alice in Chains’ coffin back in 2002, but in 2005, a tsunami benefit concert brought Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney and Mike Inez onstage together for the first time in nine years.

“It was no grand plan,” Jerry Cantrell recently told Lars Ulrich about the benefit. “It was just something that kind of like we did a thing and then we thought, well, let’s take another step. And then we did another thing and then, all right, we’ll take another one. And it was just that sort of incremental things strictly going by feel, which is how this band has always operated.”

Thus, Alice in Chains slowly began to resurrect, and by the end of 2006, the Seattle legends had performed a total of 84 reunion gigs in North America, Japan and Europe. Performance No. 1 of 84 took place on March 10, 2006, at VH1’s Decades Rock Live television special. The show was booked to honor Heart, but Alice in Chains’ return quickly became its top story, bringing Anselmo on vocals and Duff McKagan on guitar into the fold.

The weight of this landmark performance seemed to manifest in Anselmo’s facial expressions. Instead of his tough onstage persona, Anselmo can be seen bracing himself and holding on to his earpiece to make sure his vocals were perfect. The rare vulnerability of Anselmo speaks endlessly to the otherworldly talent of Layne Staley and the challenge any vocalist would face by filling his shoes.

Of course, some backlash came as Alice in Chains continued with a “replacement” for Staley, but the band members later explained their decision. “What is this ‘You can’t replace Layne’? We’re not replacing. We’re playing our songs, man,” Kinney said, while Cantrell added, “Who’s somebody else to tell us we can’t be with somebody? You get divorced and what — you can’t be with anybody else? Somebody dies in your family, you can’t continue to live on?”

Watch Anselmo and McKagan perform “Would?” with Alice in Chains in the video below.

Alice In Chains – Would (Ft Phil Anselmo , Subtitulado al español ) Live HD

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