Epica 2016


2016

BACK IN GEAR
After a five-year lay off, Sydney prog wunderkinder Cog will be back on the road in July. The band officially announced four east coast shows today (Feb 10) for July. Tickets are available through cog.com.au!

R.I.P. JIMMY BAIN
Former Dio bass player Jimmy Bain has died while on a cruise performing with the Dio tribute band Last in Line, which also features original Dio member and Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell. Bain, who played on two Rainbow albums and toured and recorded with John Cale and Phil Lynott before joining Dio in 1983, was 68. He had been suffering pneumonia for some time.

SUFFER A RISE
On the eve of a national tour with The Plot in You, Perth six-piece Make Them Suffer have announced an international deal with Rise Records, the Oregon label that also handles Northlane, In Hearts Wake, The Devil Wears Prada, Memphis May Fire, Silverstein and more.

R.I.P. JASON MACKENROTH
Original Mother Superior drummer Jason Mackenroth has died of prostate cancer, aged 46. Multi-instrumentalist Mackenroth died on Jan. 3 at his home in Nevada after a four-year struggle with the disease. Along with six Mother Superior albums, whom he left in 2004, Mackenroth also played on two albums by Rollins Band - Get Some Go Again and Nice - when he and the other two members of Mother Superior were recruited by Henry Rollins in 1997.

WE ARE LEGION - UPDATE
The Legion Music Fest is a crowd-funded event established by John Sankey from Devil You Know in the wake of the collapse of Soundwave. While the original plan to hold the event as early as March this year has come undone, the team is still hoping they can raise enough to get it off the ground in January 2017. Hit up the Pozible page and pledge your support. The team has a complete breakdown of expected costs and budget, and supporters' packages up to $100,000 for corporate groups or as little as $50 for individuals. Get behind the campaign!

HORIZONS TOUR BACK ON TRACK
Melbourne power metal band Horizons Edge are back on track to visit Sydney and Canberra with re-scheduled dates in February. The band was forced to cancel the shows last year when the Lewisham Hotel in Sydney suddenly closed and the show promoters were left without a venue. Horizons Edge will now play The Basement in Canberra with Saralisse, Mattersphere and Silentia on Feb 21 and the Bald Faced Stag in Sydney on Feb 22 with Atomesquad, Enthorium and Snow Leopard.

2015

R.I.P. LEMMY
Lemmy of Motörhead has died from cancer. The story was originaly tweeted by Eddie Trunk late on Dec. 28 and both Ozzy Osbourne and Anthrax soon posted tributes on Facebook. The legendary rock n roll hellraiser turned 70 on Christmas Eve. Born Ian Kilmister on December 24, 1945, he played in a variety of rock n roll bands during the 60s and worked as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix and Hawkwind before joining the latter band in 1972. After he was fired in 1975 he formed Bastard, which later became Motörhead, the band he helmed for the rest of his life. Motörhead produced 23 studio albums during their storied career and toured relentlessly. Lemmy began suffering serious health problems recently, blowing out a show in Germany. Early drummer Phil Taylor died on November 11. Read our obituary for Lemmy here.

A SONG A DAY - FOR A YEAR
As revealed in our interview with the man back in November, Hard-Ons frontman Peter 'Blackie' Black will attempt to release a new, never-before-released tune every day between January 1 and December 31, 2016. Every song will be an original, and will be added to his Bandcamp site each day. Blackie is looking for subscribers to help this project succeed, so drop him some coin while you're there.

CJ DEPARTS THY ART
CJ McMahon has departed Thy Art is Murder this morning (Dec. 22). Citing personal and financial reasons for the decision, the 31-year old vocalist has left the band he joined in 2010 on the eve of overseas touring with Parkway Drive and Architects. McMahon has since posted on Facebook that the main reason for his departure is an inability to continue living on the meagre amount of money that Thy Art is Murder - one of this country's biggest and hardest working bands - has actually earned: an average of $3000 each, highlighting the disparity between the illusion and reality of success in the music industry. Molotov Solution vocalist Nick Arthur will be taking CJ's place on the upcoming tour.

WAVE GOODBYE
Inevitably, considering the turmoil the festival and its production company has found itself in over the past few months, Soundwave 2016 has been cancelled. Five hours after US rockers L7 announced they would no longer be appearing at the festival, MusicFeeds Australia confirmed that the event had been abandoned. Rumours came to a head last week when British chart toppers Bring Me the Horizon Tweeted that their appearance at Soundwave may not be 100% confirmed. At the same time, punk legends Frenzal Rhomb, currently on a regional tour, caused uproar with a Facebook update from drummer Gordy Forman suggesting they too might not play unless they get paid 'what was agreed upon', though whether that was for real or Frenzal doing some shit-stirring is unclear. NOFX had also cancelled their touring plans. Festival owner AJ Maddah blamed ticketing agent Eventopia for much of the drama, claiming they failed to release money he was to use as advance payments to artists. MusicFeeds also reported that neither the Sydney nor Melbourne venues had even been booked for the festival.

LOVE A GOOD RE-ISSUE
Massappeal were one of the pioneers of Australian HC and their early releases Nobody Likes a Thinker and The Bar of Life are among the most intense recordings ever made in this country. Nerve Gas has just overseen a new reissue of both, with Thinker available on 180g vinyl in 3 colour options, packaged in a gatefold sleeve with The Bar of Life 7" as a bonus. The release also includes downloads of both and is limited to 1000 copies worldwide! Essential. At the other end of the spectrum, 90s favourites Baby Animals are re-issuing their self-titled debut next year as a double CD that will include a live performance from a 1992 show in Boston. The band's original drummer and bass player Eddie Parise and Frank Celenza will reunite with Suze Demarchi and Dave Leslie to perform the album front-to-back at two exclusive gigs in May 2016.

R.I.P. SCOTT WEILAND
Scott Weiland, best known for his roles as the singer with Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, has died in his sleep during a tour stop in Minnesota, USA. The addiction-plagued 48 year old vocalist formed STP in 1986 and made six albums with them, along with another two as the singer with Velvet Revolver between 2003 and 2008. He also produced four solo albums, the most recent of which, Blaster, he was touring with his band The Wildabouts at the time of his death.

HANDS ON ASS TOUR
The Big Ass Tour took a little blow with the unsurprising announcement that The Ghost Inside would be standing down from touring after their bus crash last month. Canberra's Hands Like Houses have stepped into the breach however, on the back of their recent world tour and new single "New Romantics" (UNFD/Warner).

STRIKING OUT AT STRIKE HARD
The Strike Hard Festival will hit Sydney at UTS Underground on January 30, bringing down the curtain for two of the Australian hardcore scene's most prominent acts. After eight years and three albums including the #19 hit Life and Death, Confession will be bowing out after this show, following through on frontman Michael Crafter's announcement earlier this year. Hand of Mercy are also using Strike Hard for their farewell performance. At the other end of the scale, the fest will be the first show back for the reformed Shinto Katana. Other acts on the bill include Relentless, Ocean Grove, Boris the Blade, Graves and more. Tix on sale from December 4 at Oztix.

AND THE AWARD GOES TO...
The ARIA Awards were held last night (Nov. 26) and in the only category that matters, Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album, Northlane have beaten out Thy Art is Murder, King Parrot, In Hearts Wake and Born Lion to take out the award for Node.

REFORMATTING THE OCEAN
With their Big Ass tour with A Day to Remember just around the corner and their highest-ever ARIA Single peak at #19 for "Shine On" last week, The Amity Affliction have announced the re-release of Let the Ocean Take Me in five new formats. The album is now being issued in three new vinyl forms - white & blue, white & red and picture disc - and also on cassette, for some reason. There will also be a special CD/DVD edition that includes the Seems Like Forever doco and two extra tracks./p>

FOCUSING ON METAL!
The US podcast Focus on Metal and Aussie promo Maric Media have teamed up to put together a massive 40-track free downloadable compilation album. Metal of Oz features past, current and unreleased tracks from Australian, US and Canadian metal bands including Segression, LORD, Heaven the Axe, Daemon Pyre, Killrazer, Orpheus Omega, Arcane Saints, Envenomed, Lillye, Silent Knight, Whoretopsy, Melody Black, Azrael's Bane and more. The album can be downloaded now, for free, from this link.

THE GHOST INSIDE IN FATAL CRASH
Members of The Ghost Inside, who were due to tour Australia with The Amity Affliction and A Day to Remember in December, have been hospitalised after a crash involving their tour bus and a semi-trailer in Texas today (Nov. 20) Sydney time. While all members of the band survived, it is believed the drivers of both vehicles were killed when they collided head-on near El Paso.

THUNDER TO ROLL ON - UPDATED
Next year's Rolling Thunder festival, headlined by The Sword and also featuring Clowns, American Sharks, Broozer, Beastwars, Holy Serpent and more, has been thrown into chaos with revelations by Tone Deaf  in an article called 'Is This One of Australia's Most Dishonest Music Festivals?', that the show's promoter, Heathen Skulls, was advised on November 12 - three days before the festival was announced - that Kryal Castle had not agreed to have the event at their venue. Tone Deaf has also revealed that the festival's advertised primary sponsor, Young Henry's, also failed to come to an agreement with Heathen Skulls about the show. Heathen Skulls' Robert McManus is adamant the festival is still going ahead, at a new venue in a different format.

AMPING UP
The amazing King Parrot simply keep on kicking goals. Following multiple successful overseas tours, a #21 album peak and nomination for an ARIA and a Victorian Music Award, the devastating Melbourne five-piece have now been nominated for The Amp, the Australian Music Prize, an independent music award promoting the album format with a whopping $30,000 reward.

R.I.P. CHRIS PAINE
Chris Paine, guitarist with popular early 90s metal bands Killing Time and Mantissa, has died. The announcement was made on Facebook on November 16 on the official Killing Time/Mantissa page. Mantissa, originally formed as Killing Time in Sydney in 1989, scored a number of minor hit singles in the mid 1990s. They opened for Pantera on their first Australian tour and appeared at the Big Day Out in 1995. No further details of his death have been made public.

UNDER LOCK AND KEY
I Killed the Prom Queen have been detained in Malaysia shortly after a performance in Kuala Lumpur after apparently being in possession of the wrong visas. Band spokesman Jona Weinhofen has tweeted that they could face up to 14 days in detention.

JE SUIS PARIS
None of us here can express deeply enough the shock and sorrow at the events in Paris on Saturday morning Sydney time. Most deeply, our hearts are with those who suffered loss and fear at the Bataclan where people were engaging in one of the least political activities you could think of - checking out a rock show. Of the 87 killed, several were music industry figures including journalist William Decherf, four members of staff from Universal and merch seller Nick Alexander. No members of Eagles of Death Metal, who were playing at the time, or Deftones, who were in attendance but left before the shooting started, were injured but EODM have not surprisingly cancelled the remainder of their European tour.

REVOLUTION ALIVE AT SOUNDWAVE
Foillowing the major announcement of the Soundwave line-up last week comes the additional notice that festival favourites Killswitch Engage will be on the bill performing Alive or Just Breathing in full. Ill Niῆo will also be returning to play Revolution Revolucion in its entirety, and in a strange reversal of the festival's creed to never feature the same band on successive events, Terror Universal have also been added to the bill.

R.I.P. PHIL TAYLOR
Former Mötorhead drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor has died at 61. Taylor came to prominence with Mötorhead from 1975 until he departed in 1984. He rejoined the band in 1987 but left again midway through the recording of 1992's March or Die, racking up ten albums with the legendary band. According to friend and former band mate Eddie Clark, Taylor had been unwell for quite some time.

CHANGES IN TENSION
Melbourne noisemongers High Tension knocked out Ne Obliviscaris and King Parrot to win Best Heavy Album at The Age Music Victoria Awards on November 11. The news comes as drummer Damian Coward departs and hands the sticks over to Lauren Hammel. High Tension will appear at the Laneway Festival in February.

R.I.P. GLEN BARRIE
Guitarist Glen Barrie of As Paradise Falls has died suddenly in Thailand. He was 26. Barrie was in Thailand with his band working on their debut album when he passed away in his sleep. Barrie was an expectant father and a GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for his widow Cass and their unborn son. Loud Online would urge you to make a contribution.

TRUTH WINS OUT
Adelaide metal veterans Truth Corroded have won the Most Popular Artist category at the South Australian Music Industry Awards. The band also picked up the gong for Best Heavy Music Act for the third straight year.

COLLECTIV TOLL AT 45
Goodbye to Gravity drummer Bogdan Enache has succumbed to injuries suffered in the Collectiv nightclub fire in Bucharest, Romania on October 30. His death brings the toll so far to 45, including two other members of his band, guitarists Vlad Telea and Mihai Alexandru. The fire, which injured a further 95 people, was caused by fireworks let off during the band's set and caused the Romanian Prime Minister to resign after a massive 20,000 strong protest the following day.

THE EDGE OF TWENTY
Twenty years ago, The Edges of Twilight, the second album by Canada's The Tea Party was embraced so wholeheartedly by Australians that the band practically lived here, playing a tour where shows were added by the day. This year to mark the album's second decade, the band is presenting The Edges of Twilight in its entirety on their latest tour, starting the second week of November. Check Tour Announcements for dates.

SATAN OVER SYDNEY
Paul and Andrew teamed up recently to cover the insanity when Behemoth, Watain and Bolzer brought their Satanic metal to the Metro in Sydney, with a review and a gallery.

HELLO TO THE METRO
German metal legends Helloween dropped in to the Metro in Sydney recently and Mick was there to capture the action in this photo gallery.

PARKWAY MURDER SYDNEY
Parkway Drive and Thy Art is Murder teamed up with Miss May Fire and The Word Alive this month to bring the noise to Sydney's Hordern Pavilion. Brendo was there to give us this review and this gallery from the action.

R.I.P. FRANK WATKINS
Obituary and Gorgoroth bassist Frank Watkins has died from cancer. Watkins was a member of Obituary between 1989 and 1997 and again from 2003 until he was fired in 2010; he joined Gorgoroth in 2007. After a long battle with cancer, his death was announced on October 18. He was 47.

SATYR WONGRAVEN IN CANCER SCARE
Sigurd 'Satyr' Wongraven of Norway's Satyricon has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. In a statement on Instagram, Wongraven wrote: "Scans have shown that there is a blind passenger in my head. Most likely it is benign. I can live with it as long as it does not grow bigger. Removing it is extremely complicated and should only be done if it grows into a size where it is a matter of life and death." Blabbermouth has more.

#1 WITH A VENGEANCE
Parkway Drive have posted their first ARIA #1 album with Ire hitting the summit on debut this week. It's the latest in a string of high-charting positions for heavy rock over the past month or so with Northlane, Disturbed and Bring Me the Horizon also scoring #1 and Iron Maiden (#2), Slayer (#3) and Five Finger Death Punch (#3) all getting their highest-ever Australian charts positions recently.

R.I.P. MARTIN KEARNS
In devastating news, Bolt Thrower drummer Martin Kearns has died suddenly at 38. Kearns took ill during a rehearsal on September 14 and passed away in his sleep. Drummer for the band between 1994 and 1997 and again since 2000, he was due to tour Australia with Bolt Thrower next week. The tour has of course been cancelled.

TOUR OF DUTY
Australian rock veterans The Mark of Cain are back on the road again from late November. The tour will also take in two mid-week residencies at Adelaide's Enigma Bar with all proceeds going to the Cancer Council of Australia. "Having lost family members, friends and work colleagues to cancer in the past, I thought it was time to personally do something about cancer - not only to raise awareness, but also to do something directly to help fund cancer research. As everyone knows, cancer doesn’t discriminate and we are all potentially only a doctors appointment away from hearing those life changing words," says bass player Kim Scott. "In January 2016, I will ride with the Beat Cancer Tour team at the Tour Down Under - it allows me to combine my passion for cycling with raising funds for the Cancer Council SA, who do an outstanding job in converting every dollar that is donated to four dollars of research." Check the dates on our Tour Announcements page.

R.I.P. GARY RICHRATH
Gary Richrath, guitarist with US rockers REO Speedwagon, has died aged 65. Richrath passed on September 14 after a long battle with cancer. The guitarist joined REO in 1970 and remained until 1989, writing some of their best known tracks -- including 'Riding the Storm Out' and the US Top 5 hit 'Take it On the Run' -- over the course of their 40-million plus selling career that saw them veer from psychedelic prog to 70s hard rock and into AOR territory from the early 80s onward.

MORE CORNELL
With both Sydney Opera House shows sold out already, Chris Cornell has announced a third and final gig there on December 13, along with an added date for Canberra's Llewellyn Hall on December 3.

MAIDEN DOWN UNDER
With their latest album sitting at #2 on the national chart, Iron Maiden has announced Australian tour dates for May 2016. Tix go on sale at noon on September 24 thru Ticketek. Dates: Tour announcements.

HITTING IT UP
Adelaide doom monsters Space Bong have announced their biggest tour yet, dragging fellow South Australians Tombsealer out for a few shows in anticipation of their latest album Deadwood to Worms (FALSExIDOL). Having added Michael Ellingford (noise) to their already expansive line-up, Space Bong will be touring Australia through October and November before heading to Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Let's hope their choice of band name doesn't impede their return to our shores. Dates: Tour Announcements.

THE END, MY FRIEND
Black Sabbath, the band who made so much possible in the world of heavy music - and beyond - have announced a final world tour. They will be gracing Australian shores for the last time in April, 2016. The band's tour dates are now up on our Tour Announcements page.

FOLLOWING THE TRAIL
Rhiannon was on hand to record the magic when ...and You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead teamed up recently with The Red Paintings. The whole gallery is here.

TO THE SLAUGHTER
The annual Slaughterfest brought together 14 of the country's most disturbed underground talents to Sydney in August and Brendo braved the madness at the Valve to bring you this gallery.

HELL CAME YOUR WAY
Hellyeah came to town in August and Charlyn and Andrew were there to capture the moments at their wildly successful shows in Brisbane and Sydney. Brisbane pics here, Sydney ones here.

MACALPINE CANCELS
Shredder guitarist Tony Macalpine has been forced to cancel his planned Australian tour due to the discovery of what may be cancer. The musician posted this statement today (Aug. 25): "Last week I was taken to the hospital with severe stomach pains. Following blood work, multiple MRI scans and various procedures, medical doctors discovered a large mass in my intestine, and it seems likely that we are dealing with cancer. My doctors have advised me that this will need to be dealt with immediately, and I am scheduled for surgery this week. Recovery from this surgery will take a month - right when I was scheduled to tour the Australasian region."

ALESTORM COMP WINNERS
...And the winners of our recent Alestorm contest are: Chris Ford (Adelaide), Daniel Stevenson (Brisbane), Karel Vensalaar (Melbourne), Amos Polglaze (Perth), Harry Calwell (Sydney), Andrius Kilgour (Auckland) and Jessica Lunsford (Wellington). Congratulations, you have each won a ticket and a tour poster.

SOME SERIOUS FUNDING
Mindbending Sydney prog metallers Serious Beak are about to launch their second full-length album Ankaa in November. In order to press it onto vinyl, the band is launching a Pozible campaign to seek keen contributors to the cause. Check out the video here and chuck them some funds!

GET IN THE PIT WITH HELLYEAH!
Hellyeah are giving lucky fans the opportunity to contribute to their next live DVD. Seven fans at each show will be given Go-Pros to film the gig from wherever they like in the crowd with footage being used in a forthcoming feature-length DVD release. Fans can enter at the band's website, www.hellyeah.com for shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne only.

FIRST SOUNDWAVE ARTIST ANNOUNCED
On the back of their new album Venom's release today (August 14), Bullet for My Valentine are the first band to be revealed from the 2016 Soundwave Festival bill.

MURDER IN SYDNEY
Mick and Brian battled the mayhem at the Factory in Sydney to bring you a review and gallery of The Black Dahlia Murder as they teamed up with Psycroptic, Boris the Blade and Colossvs in June.

R.I.P. CHRIS SQUIRE
Chris Squire, bassist and founding member of British prog powerhouse Yes, has died from leukaemia. Squire, who formed the band in 1968, also had a celebrated solo career. He was 67.

FEEL THE STEEL
A bunch of true and power metal bands descended on Melbourne in June for the Legions of Steel fest. Mick jetted down to capture the action with some glorious pics.

SHRED OVER SYDNEY
Yngwie Malmsteen returned to Australia earlier in June to blaze his way around the nation. Paul was there as he crowded the stage with Marshalls and fretboard fury. Check out the review.

MURDERING BRISBANE
The Black Dahlia Murder teamed up with Aversions Crown last weekend (June 20) to bring devastation to the Crowbar in Brisbane and Charlyn was there to capture the action in this gallery.

DEAD OF WINTER
One of Brisbane's biggest days of local music extremity returns this year with the Jubliee Hotel hosting the Dead of Winter Festival on July 25. Featuring a rare appearance by rock legends Tumbleweed, the enormous bill also includes A Breach of Silence, LORD, Daemon Pyre, Hadal Maw, The Go Set, Melbourne metal veterans Dreadnaught, Kyzer Soze, Darkc3ll, Lagerstein, Our Last Enemy, Chronolyth and dozens more.

PARROT ATTACK!
King Parrot swooped into Wollongong in May as part of their devastating national tour with COLOSSVS and High Tension and proceeded to lay waste as Brendo braved the pit with camera at the ready to record the mayhem in this gallery.

AUSSIE METAL CHRONICLED
Loud Online editor Brian Giffin has spent many years archiving and chroniciling Australia's metal talent. In May, his 300+ page tome The Encyclopaedia of Australian Heavy Metal was finally published. Available exclusively online, the book features more than 2000 encyclopaedic entries on acts from AC/DC to that band down the road who played three gigs once. Paperback versions of the book are now available at Lulu.com and Amazon. The hardcover version is only available here.

GOATSOUND FOR SEA SHEPHERD
On May 15 at the newly-completed Goatsound Recording and Rehearsal rooms in Melbourne, 15 bands came together to reinterpret the classic Black Flag album Damaged. Including acts like Vicious Circle, HOstile Objects, Partyy Vibez, The Kill, Broozer, Surefire Midnights and more, each performed one track and the results are available at this Bandcamp page. All proceeds are being donated to Sea Shepherd to support their work protecting ocean wildlife in the southern seas.

THE HAUNTED MADE US DO IT
Fiona got in the pit when The Haunted and Insomnium descended on Sydney in May. Check out her gallery of the night's adventures.

R.I.P. ALLAN FRYER
Allan Fryer of 80s hard and heavy rockers Heaven has died from cancer. The news came in the early hours of June 5, Sydney time. Fryer had been battling cancer since at least 2011. The singer first came to national attention with Fat Lip in the late 1970s before being head-hunted by George Young and Harry Vanda to replace Bon Scott in AC/DC, losing out to Brian Johnson. Fryer then formed Heaven in Sydney, a band that released three well-received albums and toured across the US. He led them through countless line-ups that included people like Mark Evans, Mick Cocks, Bradford Kelly and Mitch Perry, until settling in Texas in the late 1980s. Reformed versions of Heaven toured Australia in 2001 (with Judas Priest) and in 2012 before he became too ill to continue working.

SPACE INVADER
Andrew and Paul were witness to the immortal Ace Frehley when he touched down in Sydney in April. See the pics and read the review.

A GRAND CONJURATION
When Opeth came to Sydney they brought their heavy game and Brian was there to capture the moment.

ONE LAST MÖTLEY HURRAH
Mötley Crüe came to Sydney for one final time last weekend (May 16) with their old friend and inspiration Alice Cooper tagging along. Brian and Andrew got along to see what it was all about with a review and gallery.

SUFFOCATION SLAM SYDNEY
Suffocation slammed Sydney on May 8 with assistance from Decapitated and locals Ouroboros and Viscera. Fiona was there to record the result for our gallery.

BATTLEGOD TURNS 21
Sydney-based Battlegod Productions is one of Australia's longest-running metal-specific distros and labels. 2015 marks the 21st year of Battlegod and to celebrate five of the label's acts will be playing at Sydney's Bald Faced Stag Hotel on May 15. The line-up features Pegazus, Dark Order, Temtris, Herratik and Black Reign, from 7.30

R.I.P. CRAIG GRUBER
Original Rainbow bassist Craig Gruber has died of prostate cancer. The 63-year old musician, who was a member of Elf with Ronnie James Dio before being recruited to play on Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, died on May 6.

A DECADE OF THEMATA
Karnivool are on the road celebrating ten years since the release of their breakthrough Themata. Brendo was there to capture the first show of the tour with a gallery and a review.

R.I.P. CHOOK
Sydney has lost another metal veteran with the sad news about the passing of Mark "Chook" O'Rourke overnight (April 24). Chook was the bassist and vocalist of the death metal band Tscabeze, a fixture on the local scene for most of the 90s.

DONE FOR DIRTY DEEDS
Ex-AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has pleaded guilty to charges of threatening to kill and drugs possession in New Zealand. Rudd was arrested in Tauranga in November and was originally also charged with attempting to procure a murder, a charge that was later dismissed. The 60-year old will be sentenced in June.

SUNS ARISE
Sydney rock legends Sunnyboys reunited for a 35th anniversary tour recently and Andrew went down to check them out in Sydney. See the gallery here.

BLACK METALLERS DIE IN ROAD CRASH
Two members of two US black metal bands have been killed in a van crash in Jackson County, Georgia. Members of Atlanta's Khaotika and Wormreich, from South Carolina, were travelling together on a short tour with Kult ov Azazel when the crash happened on April 6. Those killed were 25-year old Khaotika drummer Nicholas Crisostomo, Wormreich's 30-year old guitarist Ian 'Nazgul Vathron' McKinney and non-band member Paul Truesdell, 29. Nine others were injured when the vehicle, being driven by Khaotika's Sergio Quesada, ran off the road as they headed for a gig in Atlanta.

GIVE HEAVEN A HELPING HAND
Allan Fryer, frontman of legendary Aussie rockers Heaven, was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and is in palliative care in his home in Texas. As with any medical treatment, the expenses are extremely high and Allan's family need financial assistance. To this end, Allan's son Kallan has started a gofundme campaign for friends and fans to donate to his ongoing care. Follow the link to find out more and kick in if you can!

PSYCROWHORE
Psycroptic and Goatwhore teamed up to spread devastation across the country, and we sent Fiona in to capture the action in Sydney. See the gallery here.

HEEPING IT ON SYDNEY
British legends Uriah Heep toured Australia this month and Mick took his camera down to Rooty Hill RSL to catch the action with Hemina and Under Night's Cover also on the bill. Check out the gallery here.

R.I.P. RON CARTLEDGE
Loud has learned that Ron Cartledge, guitarist with pioneering Melbourne band Renegade - whose chaotic thrash album Total Armageddon from 1987 was the first Australian album of its kind - has died. Peter Hobbs of Hobbs' Angel of Death posted the news on his Facebook feed on March 26. No further details are yet known.

EREBUS ENDS
Sydney black metal band Erebus Enthroned has announced it has ended. In a statement on their Facebook page, the band has declared: "Erebus Enthroned has been laid to rest in a state of dreaming death. We are proud of what we have done and joyous of the friendships made, adventures taken, dreams followed and hell raised.Thank you to all who have supported us throughout these years. So, in the dark of the new moon upon the Australian Autumnal Equinox; we lay Erebus Enthroned upon its pyre and cast it out to sea…".

KARNIVOOL ROLLS ON
Karnivool's intimate Themata tour is close to being a complete sell out with one extra show added in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Two Melbourne shows have already sold out and the rest are close to going that way, so get in quick if you don't want to miss this.

R.I.P. A.J. PERO
In what has been a busy week for the rock n roll Reaper, Twisted Sister drummer AJ Pero has died of an apparent heart attack. He was 55. Pero, who was on the road with his other band Adrenaline Mob, was found unresponsive in the band's tour bus in New York on March 20. Pero joined Twisted Sister in 1982 and played on their first four albums, including the mega-hit Stay Hungry, before departing in 1986. He rejoined the band in 2003.

PARROT FASHION
They annihilate every audience they play to, and now the follow-up to Bite Your Head Off is due for release. Recorded with Phil Anselmo in New Orleans, King Parrot's new album will be released in May on EVP in Australia, Anselmo's Housecore label in the US and Agonia Records in Europe, where they are currently ripping audience several new ones before heading to SXSW and dates in the US in April.When they return, King Parrot will be tearing through Aussie venues with fellow wrecking crews High Tension and Colossvs! Check the tour announcements section for dates.

R.I.P. ANDY FRASER
Andy Fraser, bass player with legendary early 70s heavy rockers Free, has died aged 62. Fraser, who featured in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in the 1960s before forming Free with Paul Rogers and co-writing that band's monster hit 'All Right Now', was diagnosed with AIDS during the 80s and was later also found to be suffering from cancer. The cause of his death on March 17 has not yet been made public.

Mike PorcaroR.I.P. MIKE PORCARO
Toto bassist Mike Porcaro has died after a lengthy battle with amytrophic lateral sclerosis. He was 59. Porcaro, who replaced original bass player David Hungate following the release of the Grammy-winning IV album in 1982, had been suffering the disease for more than a decade, finally handing over bass duties with Toto to Leland Skar in 2009. Porcaro's death was confirmed by his brother Steve on Facebook early on March 15.

THEMATA DECADE
It's been ten years since Karnivool broke out of Perth and into the national spotlight with Themata and this May they are celebrating that achievement with a run of intimate shows in both capital cities and regional centres, during which they will be performing old and new tracks plus Themata front to back.

NEW FINAL CRUE
Due to overwhelming demand, Mötley Crüe have announced a second Melbourne date on their final tour, which will see them team up with Alice Cooper. A second show has been added at Rod Laver Arena on May 13 as the first show there inches toward Sold Out status

LAMB KILLERS
Brendo hit the Metro to catch Lamb of God and Killer be Killed teaming up for a smashing Sidewave in Sydney. Check out his review here.

SYDNEY CATCHES THE WAVE
Paul's epic review of the Sydney leg of Soundwave is online here. Andrew, Brendo and Mick were all on hand to shoot the event and Day One's pix are up now. Dave's shots from the Brisbane show are also online now.

SLASH & THE PANTHER
Mick was on hand to shoot Slash and Steel Panther when they descended on Sydney's Hordern Pavilion for their Sidewave performances. Here's the pix. Paul's review of the show can be checked out here.

FALL OUT BOY
When Fall Out Boy hit Brisbane for their Sidewave show, Charlyn was there to capture it for our galleries. Check out her shots.

THE PRIEST OVER SYDNEY
Brian and Andrew covered the show when Judas Priest and DragonForce teamed up to demolish the Enmore in Sydney. Pix are here. Review is here.

10 YEARS OF SOMBRE LIGHT
Melbourne dark progsters The Eternal are celebrating the tenth anniversary of the release of their album The Sombre Light of Isolation this year. The band recently re-recorded five of the album's songs and are offering them as a free download from their Bandcamp page. Fans are also encouraged to donate towards their next album.

WANT TO PLAY SOUNDWAVE?
Triple J unearthed are offering one unsigned artist the opportunity to join this year's Soundwave line-up in each state the festival visits. Click here for all of the competition details.

NEW AND DEAD
Adelaide's New Dead Metalfest returns for its sixth incarnation this year at Fowlers on March 14. Headlining this year will be Psycroptic and Goatwhore as part of their dual tour with the rest of the day's entertainment coming from Dreadnaught, Alarum, Aversions Crown, Colossvs, Earthrot, Metalstorm, Mammoth, Oath of Damnation, From Birth to Burial, Blood Covered Shovel, WITMOTR and Storm the Asylum.

LIVE AND KICKING
In the wake of a huge 2014, Melbourne rockers Sydonia are preparing for album number three with an east coast tour in March and April, including appearances at Queensland's El Grande festivals with 28 Days, Dream On, Dreamer, DZ Deathrays, Voyager and more. The band will be previewing new songs at these shows, with a view to recording by mid-year.

R.I.P. ROWLEY HILL
Tragic news out of Alice Springs. 24-year old Rowley Hill, drummer of the death metal band Uncreation, was drowned on the weekend when he and a friend were caught in flood waters while inner-tubing on the swollen Todd River. HIll was also involved in the local metal collective/label The Black Wreath.

HAPPY NEW YEAR
Happy New Year to all of our readers. What were our highlights of 2014, you ask? Click here to find out.


Cog
10-Feb-2016

Angelus Apatrida
09-Feb-2016

Coheed & Cambria
09-Feb-2016

Radio Birdman
09-Feb-2016

Trivium
28-Jan-2016

Big Ass Tour
18-Dec-2015

Chris Cornell
14-Dec-2015

Frankie's Goes Rock
01-Dec-2015

Helloween
27-Nov-2015

The Tea Party
17-Nov-2015

King Parrot
11-Nov-2015

Acolyte
05-Feb-2016

Kingswood
16-Jan-2016

Ne Obliviscaris
11-Jan-2016

Hy-Fest 2015
25-Dec-2015

The Mark of Cain
15-Dec-2015

Heavy Metal Merchant