Lee Kerslake, Drummer for Ozzy Osbourne + Uriah Heep, Dead at 73

Lee Kerslake, an English drummer who had performed with both Uriah Heep and Ozzy Osbourne, died on Saturday (Sept. 19) at the age of 73. Ultimate Classic Rock and TMZ each reported news of the death.

Last year, Kerslake revealed that he had been given months to live after battling cancer for several years. He stopped playing with Uriah Heep in 2018, four years after receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer, according to TMZ. Over the weekend, Heep confirmed Kerslake’s death on social media.

Kerslake was borne in Dorset, England, in 1947. Playing drums from a young age, he performed with several groups such as With the Gods, Head Machine and Toe Fat before joining up with Uriah Heep in 1971. With Heep, he recorded on the bulk of the group’s studio efforts from 1972’s Demons and Wizards to 1998’s Sonic Origami. An early-’80s stint as Ozzy’s drummer only brought Kerslake further recognition in the rock world.

“Lee was one of the kindest men on earth, as well as being a brother he was an incredible drummer, singer and song writer!” Uriah Heep guitarist Mick Box shared on Saturday. “He had a passion for life bar none and was much loved by the fans, as well as anyone who crossed his path!”

In January 2019, reports emerged that Osbourne had given the terminally-ill musician a pair of platinum plaques for Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, classic Ozzy albums to which Kerslake had contributed.

“I really wrote a nice letter to them and I hope they will come to terms with it and say yes,” Kerslake said of his initial request, which was ultimately granted by Osbourne. “A platinum certification on my wall for these albums would be fantastic and it would say I helped create those albums.”

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Dave Mustaine: How I Forgave + Got Back With David Ellefson

Today, there’s no bad blood between Megadeth vets Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson. In 2004 though, that wasn’t the case as Ellefson attempted to sue his then ex-bandmate for the sum of $18.5 million. Ultimately, the two put it all behind them and in a new interview Mustaine explained how he forgave the bassist and welcomed him back into the band.

“I think forgiveness is a super-cool thing,” Mustaine told Fox Sports 910’s ‘Freak Nation’ (transcription via Blabbermouth) when discussing his new book, Rust in Peace: The Inside Story of the Megadeth Masterpiece, which is out now.

“When David Ellefson sued me for $18.5 [million], and the judge dismissed it [in January of 2005] and then made him pay a bunch of money on top of that, he got his ass handed to him in public,” described Mustaine, who admitted, “And I was really, really, really hurt by the things that he said about me. And I thought, ‘You know what? If I never see him again, I guess I’ll be okay.’ And I was sad, but I figured he was gone.”

Fate had different plans, however, as Mustaine recalled, “One day, I was flying home from Dallas, and the flight stopped in [Ellefson’s hometown of] Phoenix, and for some stupid reason, I called him up and I said, ‘Hey, you wanna have dinner?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ So we went out.”

From there, the intentions were pretty clear.

“The first thing he said was, ‘I wanna tell you, it was the stupidest thing I ever did suing you, and I wanna apologize.’ And I looked at him and I waited a beat, and I said, ‘Dave, I forgive you. I completely forgive you. I love you.’ And it was over like that,” the Megadeth frontman confessed.

It’s a life lesson Mustaine has carried with him and he urged others to consider it in their lives. “I think that that’s really something great that people should take with them today, anybody listening to this. There may be somebody you need to forgive or somebody you need to apologize to, but I’ll tell you what — it makes [you feel] a lot better at the end of the day,” the Megadeth leader affirmed.

Ellefson, who was a part of Megadeth from 1983 through 2002, officially rejoined the legendary thrash group in 2010. He even may sing on a ballad about all that past bad blood between him and Mustaine on Megadeth’s forthcoming record. Most recently, Mustaine compared the new material to the band’s first two albums.

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34 Years Ago: Megadeth Release ‘Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?’

As a founding member of Metallica and a major contributor to the band’s groundbreaking debut Kill ‘Em All, Dave Mustaine was clearly a gifted songwriter and a talented musician. However, his first effort to reach the top of the thrash metal hierarchy with his band Megadeth, 1985’s Killing Is My Business… And Business is Good, suffered from sub-par production and it lacked the stand-out hooks to catapult the band to stardom. Fifteen months later, on Sept. 19, 1986, Mustaine and his bandmates followed-up their debut with the exceptional, catchy and powerful riff-fest Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?

The band started working on two of Mustaine’s compositions, “Black Friday” and “Black Omen” as early as December 1985, but most of the heavy lifting for Peace Sells took place after Megadeth finished touring in support of Killing Is My Business. Again, Mustaine wrote all the songs and the caliber and quality of his new material was leaps and bounds above anything he had ever done.

“Megadeth was capable of extraordinary musicianship,” he wrote in his memoir Mustaine. “The twin guitar attacks on ‘The Conjuring,’ the great harmony line in ‘Peace Sells’ were achieved not only through careful composition, but through the camaraderie that comes when a band is really clicking.”

Megadeth, “The Conjuring”

That Megadeth clicked so well is amazing considering the physical condition all of its members were in. Guitarist Chris Poland and drummer Gar Samuelson were addicted to heroin and sometimes pawned the band’s equipment for money to score dope. Bassist David Ellefson and Mustaine weren’t in the throes of addiction, but they were heavy users. To a large extent, Mustaine and Ellefson started abusing narcotics because they were living in barely tolerable conditions and were basically penniless.

“I was living in a building called the complex, which is where all the bands used to rehearse,” Mustaine told me in 1999. “The place was by the meat packing plants and it was a dive. David Ellefson had found some unsuspecting victim to live with. This was the singer from Détente, [Dawn Crosby]. Dave and I went over to her house one time and the sink in her bathroom looked like the sink in a gas station – and the same with the toilet. And Dave would tell me nightmares of him being over there, and her making him sleep on the floor while she had sex with another girl.”

Megadeth was still under contract with indie label Combat Records when it started recording Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? at The Music Grinder Studios in Los Angeles on Feb. 15, 1986. Mustaine co-produced the album with Randy Burns, and the group exited the studio March 20. While the budget was scant, the albums sounded much fuller and more professional than the band’s debut. Before the album was released, Combat sold Megadeth’s contract to Capitol Records, which hired engineer Paul Lani to fix the recording flaws and give the record a crisper bite.

Mark Weiss, Getty Images

Clearly, songs like the chant-along “Wake Up Dead” and the barreling, graphically brutal “Good Mourning/Black Friday” were next level stuff, but the obvious standout was the title track. From the opening jaunty bass line to the contagious main riff, “Peace Sells” remains one of the most memorable numbers from the thrash era. The vocals were snarky, but political, proving the Mustaine had more than tales of decadence and mayhem in his lyrical arsenal, and the rhythmic shifts in the song gave it lasting impact.

Even MTV picked up on the appeal of “Peace Sells,” using the bass intro for its MTV News reports for nearly 10 years. Though Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying wasn’t as musically intricate as Megadeth’s tech-metal masterpiece 1990’s Rust in Peace, it featured more challenging rhythm and tempo shifts, and more guitar fills and better leads than most early speed metal and thrash releases. And the album cover blew away Killing, establishing the band’s mascot Vic Rattlehead as an iconic metal figure right up there with Iron Maiden’s Eddie the Head.

Megadeth, “Peace Sells” Music Video

Art for the album was rendered by Ed Repka, who also rendered classic covers for Death as well as model designs for the “Hellraiser” films. “The jacket art arose from a lunchtime conversation at a rib joint in New York, across the street from the United Nations,” wrote Mustaine. “I was there with our agent, Andy Summers, and we started brainstorming. By the end of that conversation we had come up with the idea of Vic standing in front of the UN, shortly after a nuclear holocaust, trying to sell property. That became the quintessential Peace Sells image.”

Megadeth toured extensively for Peace Sells and the album reached No. 76 on the Billboard album chart. After the tour, however, Mustaine fired Poland and Samuelson because their drug problem was impeding the forward progress of the band. Peace Sells was certified gold in November 1988, and went platinum four years later.

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

See Where ‘Peace Sells’ Ranks Among Our Top 50 Thrash Albums of All Time

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Metal-Loving, Trans Satanist Won a Republican Sheriff Nomination

Get used to the name Aria DiMezzo, because she’s making the rounds in metal media after winning the Republican nomination for Cheshire County Sheriff in New Hampshire. Why is this news relevant? Because not only does she love metal and play in a band, but she’s also a transgender anarchist Satanist who used the election to prove a point about being an uninformed voter.

That’s right, the 32-year-old is not boasting about her success. Instead, she’s using it to show that people put too much faith into the political system without doing their own research on the candidates they elect into such positions.

DiMezzo first posted on the blog Aria for Sheriff back in June, announcing that she would be running against Eli Rivera for Cheshire County Sheriff with the slogan “Fuck the police.” “Aria is also from the south, where she has seen first-hand the dangers of bigotry, overt and subtle,” the introductory post reads.

A self-proclaimed libertarian anarchist, she ran unopposed and ended up winning the GOP nomination by receiving over 4,000 Republican votes. In her follow-up blog entry, which was posted Sept. 11, she explained how her victory shows how broken the system is, because she likely wouldn’t have won if more people knew who she was and what she stands for.

You could have easily looked at a sample ballot prior to the election, and you could have simply looked up the candidates in a search engine. By doing so, you, like the good citizen in Rindge, would probably have been appalled, and probably wouldn’t have voted for me. I wouldn’t have begrudged you for that. I was, after all, rather upfront about it. I went into it expecting that I would lose the primary to a write-in candidate, because I didn’t think that so many voters were just… completely and totally oblivious about who they are voting for.

Because the fact is that you didn’t bother. You trusted the system. You trusted the establishment. You trusted the party. You felt safe. You were sure that there must be some mechanisms in place to prevent from occurring exactly what just occurred. Your anger is misplaced if you direct it at me. Please listen. Your anger is with the system that has lied to you. Your anger is with the system that convinced you to believe in it, trust in it, and have faith in it, when it is completely and utterly broken.

More than 4,000 people went into the voting booth on September 8 this week, and they all filled in the circle by my name despite knowing absolutely nothing about the person they were nominating to the most powerful law enforcement position in the county. That’s a level of recklessness of which any decent human being should be ashamed.

DiMezzo elaborated further on her decision to run for the position.

I’m running for sheriff because I oppose that very system, and the sheriff has the most hands-on ability in Cheshire County to oppose that system. The system that let you down by allowing me–the freaking transsexual Satanist anarchist–be your sheriff candidate is the same system I’m attacking. I’m sorry, and I know it hurts to hear, but that system is a lie. The entire thing is a lie. It’s broken from beginning to end, and my existence as your sheriff candidate is merely how this reality was thrown into your face.

The nominee recently announced that Trivium‘s “The Heart From Your Hate” will be her campaign song. Also, check out a video of her band FUD covering Black Sabbath‘s “War Pigs” below.

aria4sheriff.com

FUD — “War Pigs” Black Sabbath Cover

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Ozzy Osbourne Hopes to Tour in 2022

Ozzy Osbourne‘s ‘No More Tours 2’ farewell run has been met with several obstacles. Multiple worldwide tour legs were postponed as the singer battled a litany of medical setbacks before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the touring industry. Despite all this, the 71-year-old legend has expressed hope to be back on the road in 2022.

Speaking with Rock Classics Radio on Apple Music Hits (audio below), the Prince of Darkness answered a handful of questions ahead of the 40th anniversary expanded edition reissue of his iconic debut solo record, Blizzard of Ozz.

When pressed for his perspective on the influence he’s wielded over half a century’s worth of music, the singer remained humble, confessing, “I never really thought about it. I’m just Ozzy. My wife calls me Ozzy. I’m just Ozzy. I’m just here.”

In the same question, Ozzy was also asked to share his thoughts on the ongoing pandemic, to which he continued, “I’m trying to recover so I can get… The only good thing about this pandemic [is that] I couldn’t work anyway [this year] because of my injuries.”

That’s when he looked ahead at when he could feasibly be back on the road.

“I’m hoping that I’ll be booking 2022, I think,” said the singer, who cast doubt on how feasible a return to touring will be over the next year as the coronavirus pandemic looms large. “To be honest with you, I don’t think it’s going to get ship shape until the end of next year,” forecasted Ozzy.

He elaborated, “I think this winter is going to be fucking bad. Because you’re going to have the flu. People are saying, ‘I’m not taking the flu shot.’ You know what? You can give me any fucking [inaudible], but I’m not going to be number one on that fucking new vaccine. I don’t want to be the first one to wake up with a set of fucking antlers in the morning. I’m the Prince of Fucking Darkness [inaudible] fucking brandy. Horns maybe.”

Listen to the interview clip below.

Ozzy Osbourne released Ordinary Man, his first solo album in 10 years, earlier this year and featured Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses) on bass and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on drums. Slash (Guns N’ Roses) and Elton John also made guest appearances in addition to Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine).

A new Ozzy-branded Funko Pop! figure is on the way as well, this time with the singer modeling the same appearance as on the Ordinary Man album cover.

Ozzy Speaks With Rock Classics Radio on Apple Music Hits

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Judas Priest’s Rob Halford Names His Single Biggest Influence

Judas Priest‘s Rob Halford has served as one of metal’s most influential figures of all time. But who is the Metal God’s biggest influence? The singer revealed that and more in a new interview with GQ ahead of the Sept. 29 release of his memoir, Confess.

Born in 1951, Rob Halford almost pre-dates rock ‘n’ roll’s existence and he was there to see this exciting new development unfold. The real rock awakening, though, came with the ascension of The Beatles and it’s one of the “Fab Four” in particular that the Priest frontman count’s as his ultimate influence.

John Lennon,” responded Halford to GQ when pressed about that one all-powerful musical figure in his life. “I’ve always been a big Beatles fan and always will be,” he continued, “and I just feel that what he was offering about striving for world peace was an incredibly moving and powerful thing to do. He was an ambassador for world peace. He wasn’t Gandhi – he had a different take on it – but, as far as what he was trying to achieve.”

Beyond advocating for peace, Lennon left an impact on Halford in other ways. “And add to that the incredible music he wrote with Paul McCartney, for me, musically and personally, in the way he conducted himself and the way he had that incredible indestructible self belief, he is a big one,” the Metal God beamed, adding, “He always had this great gift, this great oratory gift to engage people and explain his feelings. I’m sure he’d still be doing great music and making a difference today if he’d been able to.”

Keeping with the theme of celebrity, Halford also divulged his ideal candidate to play him in a theoretical movie about his life. Well, sort of… the selection may require a time machine. “I’d like it to be a Brit,” said Halford, narrowing down the list of potentials.

“If there was a young Gary Oldman that would be good,” he admitted, “but then with CGI you can do anything now, can’t you? He was mind-blowing as Winston Churchill and he’s just a national treasure, isn’t he? He could do the job I’m sure! All this wishful thinking is fun.”

Pre-order your copy of Confess here.

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Carcass’ New Song Is Death ‘N’ Roll Perfection

Carcass‘ new album Torn Arteries may not be coming out in 2020 as originally promised, but the band is at least serving up a four-track EP platter titled Despicable. With “The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue” already out, the shape-shifting death metal unit has now dished out “The Long and Winding Bier Road” as the follow-up in advance of the EP’s release.

“Well, the COVID situation has put the release of the new Carcass album on the backburner for the time being,” said bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker. “Given that we said there’d be new music in August, we thought it would be cool to have a stop-gap release and let you hear some of the tracks that never quite made the cut. Don’t say we never give you anything. Enjoy.”

“The Long and Winding Bier Road” draws parallels to Carcass’ divisive 1996 record, Swansong, which stood as their last until the comeback record Surgical Steel was released in 2013. This is the more rockin’ side of Carcass, though not without those choppy, staccato riffs that keep the band’s sound rooted in the extreme.

Listen to the new track below.

Despicable will be released Oct. 30 through Nuclear Blast. Pre-order your copy here.

Carcass, “The Long and Winding Bier Road”

Carcass, Despicable EP Artwork + Track Listing

Nuclear Blast

01. “The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue”
02. “The Long And Winding Bier Road”
03. “Under The Scalpel Blade” (album version)
04. “Slaughtered In Soho”

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Deftones’ New Song ‘Genesis’ Is Heavy as F–k

Deftones can do no wrong, and their newest song “Genesis” is one of the heaviest of their career. From the highly anticipated Ohms, Deftones mix fat grooves with the violent, yet etherial vocals of Chino Moreno.

The title track to Ohms was received with massive fanfare earlier this year, easily wracking up three million views on YouTube in a month. While “Ohms” fits into the more atmospheric, transcendental side of Deftones’ sound, “Genesis” is uncompromising and vicious, expertly balancing a simple, two-note main riff from a reinvigorated Stephen Carpenter, who sat out for much of the Gore writing sessions.

Check out the lyrics to “Genesis” below via Genius:

[Verse 1]
I reject
Both sides of what I’m being told
I’ve seen right through
Now I watch how wild it gets
I finally achieve
Balance, balance, balance, balance
Approaching a delayed
Rebirth, rebirth, rebirth, rebirth
I’m positive
There’s no sense to what I’m being sold
Yet here I go
I watch how wild we get
Oh, can you taste your life?
Balanced, balanced, balanced, balanced
How will you spend your time?
Reborn, reborn, reborn, reborn

[Chorus]
Climbing out of the ashes
Turning time inside out
We’re miles beyond the sound

[Verse 2]
We’ll start again
Taste a lifestyle that never gets old
Yet here we go
Just watch how wild it gets
I finally achieve
Balance, balance, balance, balance
Approaching a delayed
Rebirth, rebirth, rebirth, rebirth

[Chorus]
Climbing out of the ashes
We’re turning time inside out
We’re floating off in the ether
We’re miles beyond the sound

[Bridge]
We’re everywhere
No need to return
I’ll show you the way
We’re everywhere
No need to return
I can show you where
No need to return
I can show you

[Chorus]
Climbing out of the ashes
We’re turning time inside out
Floating off in the ether
We’re miles beyond the sound

[Outro]
Oh, can you taste your life?
Balanced
How will you spend your time?
Reborn

“Everybody gets together and we lock ourselves in a room and we write together, which I think that’s the important part, that we’re not just sending ideas over the Internet,” Moreno recently explained to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “We’re actually writing music together. But once we do that, everybody steps away and goes back into their own little worlds, and then we take a tally on what’s this and what’s that and then we can work that way. So it’s worked out for us.”

Ohms was recorded at Henson Studios in Los Angeles and Trainwreck Studios in Woodinville, Washington, reuniting the band with producer Terry Date. Listen to “Genesis” below and you can pre-order the album ahead of the Sept. 25 release at this location.

Deftones – Genesis (Official Music Video)

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50 Years Ago: Black Sabbath Release ‘Paranoid’

When fans and critics look back at the early career of Black Sabbath they recognize that the band released six groundbreaking albums in a row before being consumed by their appetites for drugs and alcohol. But what they often fail to absorb is that all six albums were released within a five year timeframe. Yes, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward were reinventing the mythology of rock ‘n’ roll as they stormed from one town to another, but they had their act together enough to write some legendary music. Take, their second album, Paranoid, which was released on September 18, 1970.

The landmark release, which includes the metal staples “Paranoid,” “War Pigs” and “Iron Man,” was recorded live in the studio with producer Rodger Bain. And they tracked the entire album at Regent Sound Studios and Island Studios in London between June 16 and 21. It took just six days because, well, that’s all they were given.

“We finished the first album, toured Europe for six weeks and then went right back in the studio,” bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler told me in 2010. “It felt like the four of us against the world. We still hadn’t realized we had made it, you see?”

Sabbath started working on Paranoid so soon after returning from the road, all they had seen was negative reviews of their first album from the world’s rock press. They didn’t realize a loyal fan base was building in the U.S. and they’re main goal was to prove to their families that they weren’t wasting their time making music.”

Chris Walter, WireImage/Getty Images

“Our families had no nope in us whatsoever of ever making anything of ourselves,” Butler said. “They thought we were bums. And our friends used to laugh at the idea that we’d ever be successful at what we were doing. That brought us closer together and made us more determined to be successful. We didn’t feel like rock stars or anything. It was quite the opposite.”

Compared to the single day Black Sabbath had to record their first album, six days seemed like a luxury.

Fortunately, they had played some of the songs on the road, so when the stepped into the studio they acted on instinct. “We literally went in and played as if it was a live gig,” Butler said. “We didn’t know anything about studios or production or engineering. We just went in, set up and played live in the studio and they recorded us. It sounds easy, but it’s actually a really hard thing to do — to record a band live in the studio and get the whole feeling across. A lot of producers tried that, but dismally failed. But Rodger had the for it. He came up with a few suggestions here and there and we’d do it.”

One of the biggest suggestions was to write another song for the album that would serve as a single. So after tracking the other seven songs, Black Sabbath wrote the title track on the spot.

“I sat there during the lunch break and came up with the main riff for ‘Paranoid,’ Iommi said. “And then when the other guys came back I played it to them and they thought it was good, so we recorded that just as a filler.”

Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” Music Video

“We didn’t think anything of it because we thought it was just another song,” Butler said. “And then later the record company said, ‘Hey guys, this is the best song on the album. Let’s call the record Paranoid.’”

It was a strange suggestion since Black Sabbath and Warner Bros. Records had agreed to call the album War Pigs and were already working on the cover art. Even that was a compromise. The band’s originally wanted to use the title Walpurgis, for the record, which Butler said is “kind of like Christmas for Satanists.” The label refused and a compromise was reached – or so everyone thought.

“The record cover is really horrible to begin with, but it was based on this idea of ‘War Pigs,’” Butler said. “The cover was bad enough when the album was going to be ‘War Pigs,’ but when it was ‘Paranoid’ it didn’t even make sense.”

“There’s a guy standing there with a shield and a sword, with the album title called Paranoid,” added Iommi. “Imagine the questions we got asked after that? “What’s the have to do with Paranoid?” Well, nothing, really. But that’s how it was.

Black Sabbath, “War Pigs” — Live (1970)

Contrary from being the Satanic album it was portrayed as, Paranoid is filled with relevant social and political commentary. For example, “War Pigs,” with the famous line, “Satan laughing spreads his wings” isn’t about the Devil at all. “To me, war was the big Satan,” Butler said. “It wasn’t about politics or government or anything. It was evil. So I was saying ‘Generals gathered in the masses / Just like witches at black masses’ to make an analogy. But then everybody turned it all upside-down and accused of being Satanists. And in a way, I suppose we bought into that, but of course we never were.”

Another song, “Fairies Wear Boots,” which was based on an incident in which the band members were harassed and threatened by a gang of skinheads wearing Dr. Martens boots. “I wrote about whatever I saw going on around me,” Butler said. “I wrote about the Cold War in “Electric Funeral.’ It was always touch and go whether Russia would drop the atomic bomb on us or we would drop the atomic bomb on them. So atomic war was always imminent, we thought.”

Chris Walter, Getty Images

Much of the energy of Sabbath, especially on their first two albums, stemmed from their disgust with the rest of ‘60s youth culture. Having grown up in war-torn Birmingham, ‘flower power’ was an entirely foreign concept. They were surrounded by bombed out parks and when they looked around they saw unhappy people with dead-end jobs.

“We were four working class people in the most industrial part of England and all we had to look forward to was a job working in a factory,” Butler said. “We felt hopeless and constantly frustrated and we thought at any second we’d be called up to drop in to the Vietnam war because it looked like Britain was going to get involved in it as well. So there wasn’t much future in anything for us.”

As legendary as it became, Paranoid was a slow grower. The album reached No. 23 on the U.S. charts and No. 8 in Britain. The album went Gold in the States on May 7, 1971, almost eight months after it was released. And it took another 15 years to go platinum. In 1995, the album was certified quadruple platinum.

Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, as well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.

Black Sabbath Songs Ranked (Ozzy Osbourne Era)

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NSFW: Alpha Wolf Debut Violent ‘Restricted (R18+)’ Music Video

Alpha Wolf, an ascending metalcore group out of Australia, have just put out what has to be the year’s most disturbing music video and one that requires a warning for all potential viewers due to its extreme and graphic themes. The rated-R clip for “Restricted (R18+)” makes no effort to mask the uncomfortable reality of domestic abuse, suicide and thoughts of revenge and murder.

“The following clip contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing, including scenes of assault, violence and suicide. Viewer discretion is advised,” reads a warning before the music video begins.

In “Restricted (R18+),” Alpha Wolf blend feral, brutish hardcore rhythms with scenes depicting a woman tormented by an abusive father figure at home. As the video plays out, we see the woman flash back to violent scenes from her childhood as she blankly stares down the manifestation of her younger self in the home’s halls. In the present, the father figure remains prone to violent action, which prompts thoughts of murder in the woman’s mind. We see this urge play out, but only in fantasy as the video ends on an overhead shot of the woman lying in a tub filled with blood-soaked water, her bleeding arm lying over the edge as blood pools on the floor.

Read the lyrics to“Restricted (R18+)” directly below and watch the NSFW video further down the page.

I had a dream I slit your throat
I saw you bleed, I saw you choke
Found peace in the prophecy
Though it left when I awoke

Trouble on my mind, digging graves in my sleep
Turn me loose, I might snap.

It’s the devil in broad day
Smile make a pretty face

Blame it on the bloodline, no
Blame it on the state of mind

Suffering soul, never let it go
Suffering soul, exorcise the ghost

Don’t you ever think I would forget
Don’t you ever think I would forgive
I’ll keep having these thoughts
Until you’re fucking dead

Been spinning webs in my head
Bending my mental backwards
Dying to justify insidious intentions

I had a dream I slit your throat
No sweet dreams, no goodnight

Predator, prey
Dreams a reality
Predator now prey
Now pray

If I were you, I’d wanna kill myself too

The song comes from Alpha Wolf’s forthcoming second album, A Quiet Place to Die, which will be released Sept. 25 through SharpTone Records and Greyscale Records. To pre-order the album, head here.

Alpha Wolf, “Restricted (R18+)” Music Video

Alpha Wolf, A Quiet Place to Die Album Art + Track Listing

1. “a quiet place to die”
2. “Creep”
3. “Golden Fate; Isolate”
4. “Akudama”
5. “Acid Romance”
6. “Rot In Pieces”
7. “bleed 4 you”
8. “Ultra-Violet Violence”
9. “The Mind Bends To A Will Of Its Own”
10. “Restricted (R18+)”
11. “don’t ask…”

2020’s Best Metal Songs (So Far)

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Metallica’s Lars Ulrich Settles John Bonham vs. Neil Peart

When you’re discussing who the greatest drummer of all time is, it’s best to do so with someone who’s actually a drummer themselves. Howard Stern called up Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich to settle the long-standing debate over who the best drummer of all time was — Led Zeppelin‘s John Bonham or Rush‘s Neil Peart.

In a new snippet from Stern’s radio show, the host goes on about how Bonzo was the absolute cream of the crop and cited “When the Levee Breaks” as one of the most iconic, highly-sampled drum beats ever recorded. However, drummer Richard Christy told Stern he would place Peart right at the top with Bonham and pointed out the solo in Rush’s “Tom Sawyer.”

A few other guests went back and forth with their choices as well, but Stern bet $100 that Ulrich would choose Bonham — he called him to settle the score.

“It’s fucking hard,” Ulrich said, shaking his head. “Listen, I’ve been asked that question on and off for 40 years.”

After Stern also name-dropped Cream‘s Ginger Baker and the Who‘s Keith Moon as superior drummers, Ulrich added Deep Purple‘s Ian Paice and AC/DC‘s Phil Rudd. But that still didn’t answer the question at hand.

Ulrich then reflected on the first time he met Peart in 1984 because he had questions about drumming. “I was 20 years old with not a pot to piss in. I called him and we spoke 30, 45 minutes on the phone and were geeking out on drums. The whole thing was like a fairytale. You can’t play drums and not love Neil.”

After a dramatic drumroll, the Metallica drummer finally came to a conclusion. “Between Neil and between John — no disrespect — I’ll have to go with John Bonham.”

Rest in peace to both. See the full video below.

Lars Ulrich Decides: John Bonham vs. Neil Peart

The 66 Best Metal + Hard Rock Drummers of All Time

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Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher: New Album is Full of Despair + Tragedy

A COVID-19 vaccine isn’t the only thing to look forward to in 2021. Mastodon plan to release their newest album next year, which, according to guitarist Bill Kelliher, will bring a lot of big riffs, despair and tragedy — and possibly even a theme comparable to Emperor of Sand.

After Kelliher played some of his favorite riffs for us, he got into detail about Mastodon’s upcoming album. The guitarist hopes the modern metal lords will begin recording by the end of September, teasing some killer surprises and fresh soundscapes.

“There’s so much material there between all four of us. As always, there’s some surprises, there’s some cool soundscapes that we have just never gone down that path before. We like to keep it interesting. It gets stagnant if you keep putting out the same sounding stuff every single record. That’s the greatest thing about our band — there’s no formula where someone’s gonna say, ‘Nah, that doesn’t fit.’”

He adds, “In this record, there are some concepts going on that I can hear. I know a lot of the lyrical content is already there, but I don’t know if it’s finalized. As usual, there’s a lot of despair and tragic moments and stuff like that that has happened in all our lives, that we kind of feed off of when it comes down to writing lyrics and concepts for songs. I’m sure there will be some sort of theme along the lines of Emperor of Sand.”

“I just wanna get it recorded while it’s still exciting to me. That’s the thing about the studio, you spend too long in there, you can’t tell if stuff sounds good anymore. You gotta get it out while it’s hot, while it’s still got that spontaneity to it, which it still does.”

Watch our interview with Bill Kelliher below and click here to grab Mastodon’s new Medium Rarities compilation.

Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher: New Album is Full of Despair + Tragedy

2020’s Best Metal Songs (So Far)

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