Metallica, known for their groundbreaking performances, has once again pushed the envelope with their innovative concert format for the “M72” tour, promoting their fresh-out-of-the-studio album, ’72 Seasons’. Each city is treated to a two-night spectacle, with no song repeated.

The concert setup is nothing short of revolutionary. Imagine a colossal ringed stage; right at its heart lies the electrifying ‘Snake Pit’, with fans becoming the central attraction.

Radiating outwards are four distinct drum setups. This unique arrangement ensures that Lars Ulrich, the rhythmic backbone of the band, can transition between these stations, offering fans an up-close and immersive drumming experience.

In a candid chat with The New York Times, Lars Ulrich revealed the inception of this game-changing idea:

“For the first time, we’ve broken the conventional mold of a 360-degree stage setup in an arena. The question that stirred our creative juices was: ‘Why not position the fans, our true heartbeat, right in the center?’ This pivot led to the birth of the quad-drum layout, with each kit facing a cardinal direction, revolutionizing our entire stage dynamics.”

As per a snippet from Billboard, the Herculean task of mobilizing Metallica’s mammoth production requires a convoy of 87 trucks.

This includes 45 dedicated to the ensemble and their instruments, with the remainder transporting the avant-garde steel stage and towering structures.

The on-road team comprises 130 stalwart crew members, bolstered by an additional 40 local wizards – laborers, contractors, and the unsung heroes, the truck drivers.

Offering more insights, Cliff Burnstein, the strategic mind behind Metallica, mentioned to Billboard that a whopping 80 to 90 percent of Metallica aficionados ensure they bask in the glory of both performances.

For fans unable to catch them live, Metallica has another treat up their sleeve. Their twin performances at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, slated for the coming weeks, will be beamed live across theaters worldwide, a cinematic musical fest.

Interestingly, this will be their maiden performance in the Lone Star state since their November 2021 cameo at a Triad Combat event at Globe Life Field.

Switching gears, Metallica recently went digital to shower birthday love on Juanes, the Colombian sensation. Their camaraderie traces back to Juanes’ memorable contribution to the 2020 homage album, “The Metallica Blacklist”.

In their long-standing career, it’s common for artists to feel indifferent towards some of their tracks. In a recent chat with Revolver, Corey Taylor shared which Slipknot song he finds most overrated and which one he believes deserves more recognition.

With seven albums under their belt, Slipknot has a plethora of songs to consider for their live performances. Many of the tracks from their eponymous 1999 album remain staples in their setlist, especially since this was the album that thrust them into the limelight.

Yet, there’s one song from that album Taylor finds wearisome and would rather not perform, even though it’s a crowd pleaser.

“Let me be clear, ‘Wait and Bleed’ grates on me. I’ve belted it out for 26 years and trust me, it doesn’t get more pleasant,” he quipped.

“However, I still perform it both with Slipknot and on my solo gigs. It speaks to my madness, but it’s clear fans adore the track. So, I oblige. Honestly, it’s a nice issue to face.”

Conversely, Taylor feels the song ‘Danger – Keep Away’ from the ‘2004 album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)’ doesn’t get the credit it deserves. “In my view, ‘Danger – Keep Away’ is an overlooked gem. Both its versions, the one on the album and the extended cut, resonate with me deeply.”

Data from shows “Wait and Bleed” is a regular in Slipknot’s gigs, ranking as their fourth most performed song. On the other hand, “Danger – Keep Away” has yet to make a live debut. Maybe it’ll grace the stage in their future tours.

As of now, Slipknot is gearing up for the Blue Ridge Rock Festival in September. Meanwhile, Taylor is hitting the road to promote his forthcoming solo project, CMF2.

The first four albums by Metallica are often revered as sacred within the thrash metal community. Prior to the involvement of figures like Bob Rock and the turbulent era that produced St. Anger, these albums epitomized the perfect fusion of metal and punk, despite certain questionable decisions like the barely audible bass on And Justice for All.

While each of these albums could be considered among Metallica’s best work, they also harbor a song that frontman James Hetfield appears to hold in disdain.

Positioned right in the heart of Ride the Lightning, “Escape” is a track that Hetfield has seemingly disliked from its inception. And his sentiments are not without cause, as technically, the song wasn’t meant to exist.

While finalizing the album’s tracklist, the band believed they had sufficient material until their label requested an additional song with potential as a single. As a result, “Escape” came into being on one of the last days of recording.

In an interview with Sopitas, Hetfield recalled the process:

“The ‘Ride the Lightning’ album was the first time we wrote a song in the studio. I remember we had all the songs and Lars said, ‘They want us to record one more, they need one more for the album.’ I was like, ‘You didn’t tell me that…’ So we had to write and it was really last-minute. So ‘Escape’ was one of those songs that was written in the studio.”

While the track exudes a heavier Thin Lizzy influence, James has preferred to cast it aside, avoiding its inclusion even during the band’s prime years.

However, Metallica eventually, albeit reluctantly, performed the song in 2012 as part of their Orion Music Festival. This performance was a result of a promise to play Ride The Lightning in its entirety for the first time.

Addressing the audience before playing ‘Escape’ during the show, Hetfield stated:

“Do you know what song is next? Don’t say it out loud, please! This is groundbreaking right here, this is historical, for those of you who might know what’s coming up next. The song that we never wanted to play live, ever… is now on the set list. We’re not afraid, we’re just hoping it’s good. We’ll do our best.”

Despite his reservations, the song has aged better than anticipated. Its bridge section stands as one of the heaviest portions the band crafted in the ’80s, featuring a doomy quality that verges on the sludge reminiscent of Sabbath.

While fans might have embraced it, Hetfield remains unswayed, even candidly admitting to the crowd that he never intended to play it again once the performance concluded.

In hindsight, tracks like “Escape” might evoke memories akin to old high school photos. Nonetheless, fans would likely prefer hearing songs like this over anything from the divisive Lulu collaboration.

In the realm of heavy metal, there exists a towering legend known as Ronnie James Dio. With a storied history as the vocalist of revered bands like Rainbow and Black Sabbath, Dio decided to carve his own path and formed his eponymous band, Dio.

Embarking on this solo venture, Dio unleashed a torrent of iconic albums that left an indelible mark on the music world from the ’80s and well into the 00s.

Among the crowning jewels of Dio’s discography was the monumental hit, “Rainbow in the Dark,” nestled within their groundbreaking 1983 debut album, “Holy Diver.”

Astonishingly, Dio revealed in an intimate interview that he once contemplated annihilating the very song that would eventually become one of their greatest triumphs.

He confessed that he despised the final rendition of “Rainbow in the Dark” and felt it veered too close to a poppy sound, an incongruity with his desire to remain entrenched in the heavy metal ethos, particularly after his tenure with Black Sabbath.

In Dio’s mind, the rest of the album boasted a ferocity and darkness that he cherished, and he feared the inclusion of “Rainbow in the Dark” would dilute the album’s overall impact. Driven by his artistic convictions, Dio was determined to take drastic measures.

The tangible threat of obliterating the song loomed over the band as they toiled away on those tangible, tangible tapes of yesteryears.

Yet, fate intervened through the voices of his fellow band members and the song’s writers, all of whom passionately argued for its preservation.

Their impassioned pleas persuaded Dio to reconsider, and he begrudgingly relented. Little did he know that this concession would pave the way for a resounding success.

“Rainbow in the Dark” transcended its perceived “poppy” nature to become the veritable anthem of Dio’s legacy, resonating deeply with legions of fans and securing its place as a must-play track in their electrifying live shows.

The “Holy Diver” album itself was a tapestry of musical brilliance, woven by the masterful talents of Dio and his formidable bandmates: the relentless drumming of Vinny Appice (formerly of Black Sabbath), the nimble bass and ethereal keyboard touches by Jimmy Bain (formerly of Rainbow), and the scorching guitar wizardry of Vivian Campbell. Together, they forged an unparalleled synergy that elevated the album beyond greatness.

“Rainbow in the Dark” may have soared as Dio’s most renowned hit, but “Holy Diver” boasted an array of other electrifying anthems.

From the eponymous track “Holy Diver” itself, which roared with an otherworldly intensity, to the invigorating rallying cry of “Stand Up and Shout,” and the haunting allure of “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” the album unfurled an awe-inspiring musical tapestry.

Just as the songs enraptured listeners’ ears, so did the album’s artwork captivate their gaze. A testament to Dio’s vivid imagination, the cover was an artistic masterpiece conceived by the talented Randy Barrett.

Adorned with the band’s enigmatic and demonic mascot, affectionately dubbed “Murray,” the artwork beckoned fans into Dio’s world, a realm where music and myth intertwined.

Ronnie James Dio’s journey through the halls of heavy metal immortalized him as more than just a musician; he became a true vanguard, shaping the genre’s identity and inspiring generations to come.

His unwavering dedication to authenticity and refusal to succumb to commercial pressures cemented his place as an icon of integrity in the music industry.

With Dio’s extraordinary talent, a rich musical legacy was forged—one that continues to resonate with metal enthusiasts worldwide, a legacy that shines like a “Rainbow in the Dark,” casting a brilliant light upon the heavy metal landscape.

Dave Mustaine’s exit from Metallica was not only filled with bitter emotions but also fuelled an infamous feud in the music world that continues to fascinate fans till date.

In the wake of his dismissal, Dave Mustaine was spurred by a potent mix of resentment and ambition to form his own band, a process that began on a rather poetic note during his 48-hour bus ride back home.

Mustaine’s parting words were a declaration of war: he was hell-bent on not only matching but surpassing Metallica, and he had a name in mind that would embody this fiery determination – Megadeth.

A term he discovered from a pamphlet by Senator Alan Cranston, struck him as being more ‘metal’ than Metallica itself.

Initially a working title for a song, it eventually turned into the name of his band and the title of a track, “Set the World Afire”, on their album So Far, So Good… So What!

Mustaine’s fury was not just reflected in the naming of his band, but also in the music they created. One notable instance is the song “Mechanix”.

Originally written by Mustaine while he was still part of Metallica, it was performed at their shows. However, after Mustaine’s departure, Metallica modified it into “The Four Horsemen”.

“I hated them, I was so angry. I thought I needed to regroup and start over again because now I’m gonna get revenge.”

“On the ride back, I needed to come up with a name that’s more metal than someone who has metal in their name. While I was on the bus and there was a piece of paper there from Senator Alan Cranston ‘The arsenal of megadeath cannot be rid.’ I thought that was a great name for a song.”

Mustaine, in an act of musical defiance, sped up “Mechanix” for Megadeth, proclaiming his intent to be faster and heavier than his previous band.

Despite Megadeth’s success, Mustaine was often reminded of the lingering controversy around the band’s name

. He recalled a radio instance when, after a cover of “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, the DJ failed to mention ‘Megadeth’.

It dawned on him that people were uncomfortable saying ‘Megadeth’ on air. But regardless of such instances,

Mustaine’s revenge was well underway, and he was carving out a path for Megadeth to become one of thrash metal’s most significant bands, earning their place in the genre’s “big four” alongside Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer.

Unfortunately, due to ongoing health issues, Ozzy Osbourne has made the difficult decision to withdraw from the Power Trip festival lineup. This announcement comes as a disappointment to fans who have been eagerly anticipating his return to the stage. In his statement addressing the situation, Ozzy wanted to provide clarity and put an end to any rumors or speculations regarding his departure.

Since his ATV accident in 2003, where he suffered multiple fractures, Ozzy has faced significant challenges in his recovery. Over time, his injuries have worsened, and he recently disclosed that his ability to walk has been severely impacted. The toll of these physical ailments, combined with the demanding nature of touring, which involves constant travel, physical exertion, and exposure to various pressures, has led to the realization that Ozzy’s current health condition cannot support the rigors of performing at this time.

Although the news is disheartening, Ozzy remains optimistic about his future in music. He has revealed that he plans to postpone his return to the stage until 2024, as his body is signaling that it needs more time to heal and regain strength. Despite the setback, Ozzy’s determination and passion for his craft remain unwavering.

In a year filled with artists making comebacks and reclaiming their positions in the spotlight, such as Creed and QOTSA, there may be some curiosity about the possibility of Ozzy making a partial return. However, given the current circumstances and the focus on his health and recovery, it appears unlikely that he will be able to make any immediate appearances. Nevertheless, Ozzy’s unwavering spirit and commitment to his fans fuel the hope that he will once again grace the stage in the not-too-distant future.

In the meantime, the Power Trip festival will go on without Ozzy, but not without a spectacular replacement. Billboard has confirmed that the renowned heavy metal band Judas Priest will be taking his place. This announcement has generated excitement and anticipation among fans, as Judas Priest is known for their electrifying performances and iconic presence in the music industry.

Judas Priest, originally set to tour Europe alongside Ozzy this year before the cancellations, has proven to be a pillar of support for their fellow musician. Their willingness to step in and fill the void left by Ozzy’s absence is a testament to the strong camaraderie within the music community. This is not the first time that Judas Priest, led by the iconic Rob Halford, has come to Ozzy’s aid. In the past, Halford has filled in for Ozzy during Black Sabbath shows when the Prince of Darkness was unable to perform due to illness. The bond between these artists extends beyond mere professional collaboration and showcases the genuine friendships formed in the face of adversity.

The official statement from Judas Priest regarding their participation in the Power Trip festival exudes enthusiasm and readiness to deliver a mind-blowing heavy metal experience. They express their excitement at the opportunity to ignite the stage with their signature style, urging fans to raise their double horns high and unite in a celebration of metal music. Their inclusion in the festival’s lineup adds another layer of excitement and ensures that attendees will be treated to a phenomenal performance.

The Power Trip festival, scheduled to take place from October 6 to October 8 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, promises to be an extraordinary event despite Ozzy’s absence. The current lineup features powerhouse acts such as Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Metallica, and Tool. While it’s regrettable that Ozzy won’t be able to grace the stage, the addition of Judas Priest ensures that fans will still witness a remarkable showcase of talent.

As the music industry continues to witness artists reclaiming their place in the spotlight, we hold onto hope for Ozzy’s full recovery and eagerly anticipate his return to the stage. His resilience and determination serve as an inspiration, and his loyal fans remain supportive throughout his journey towards better health. The music world eagerly awaits the day when the Prince of Darkness can once again captivate audiences with his unparalleled charisma and unforgettable performances. Until then, we extend our best wishes to Ozzy for a speedy and complete recovery, and we look forward to witnessing his triumphant return.

In a recent interview with Rock Antenne, Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor revealed that he plans to eventually step away from the band, although not for a few years. Taylor recognizes that physically he only has about five years left to meet the demands of touring and performing live shows. However, he emphasized that he does not intend to separate Slipknot and believes the band could continue without him.

Taylor sees Slipknot as more than just a group of individuals; it has become a symbol with a lasting message, sound, and structure. He believes that the band’s music has transcended its members and that Slipknot represents something greater. Taylor stated, “For something we have masks because we are more a symbol that always changes but whose message remains. That’s why I think the band could go on.”

If the time comes for Taylor to step away, he expressed his willingness to seek out his own replacement. However, it is worth noting that fans may be hesitant about a Slipknot lineup without the original vocalist. Over the years, the band has experienced departures and changes that have affected its trajectory, including the deaths of Paul Gray and Joey Jordison.

While Taylor’s comments provide insight into his personal thoughts and plans, there have been no official announcements about his departure from Slipknot. As of now, Slipknot continues to perform with Taylor as their frontman, and they have upcoming tour dates scheduled. The future of Slipknot beyond Taylor’s involvement remains uncertain.

Guitarist Mick Mars has been vocal about his troubled relationship with Mötley Crüe, both in the context of the lawsuit he filed against them and in various interviews. The 2022 stadium tour seems to have been a particularly stressful and upsetting experience for him.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Mars reveals that during the entire Mötley Crüe tour, he claims that “nobody” spoke to him, and he often felt like he was playing alone. He clarifies that the last meaningful conversation he had with his bandmates was during the premiere of their 2019 film, The Dirt.

Speaking to the magazine, Mars shares, “Throughout 2022, nobody spoke to me. I frequently felt like I was on my own. You know that feeling of being alone in a crowd? That’s how I felt throughout the tour. I felt used, unhappy, and powerless.”

He further adds, “When we played the final show in Las Vegas on September 9, 2022, I felt a sense of relief. A lot of the pressure dissipated. However, I was deeply hurt emotionally. These wounds were not superficial; they were profound wounds that don’t heal easily.”

In the interview, Mars also makes it clear that he has no intention of reconnecting with the members of Mötley Crüe. “I think we all agree on that. I don’t just mean speaking with them about myself, but even among themselves. I have no intention of holding a funeral. If I were to, they might come out of courtesy. But as far as I’m concerned, there will be no funeral. There will be nothing,” he firmly states.

Mars’ candid revelations shed light on the strained dynamics within Mötley Crüe and his personal struggles within the band, indicating a profound rift that may be difficult to mend.

Eddie, the beloved mascot of Iron Maiden, is just as famous as the band itself. This character has evolved alongside the band, appearing in their illustrations and on stage. However, not everyone was initially convinced about the idea.

Guitarist Adrian Smith recently shared his thoughts with Metal Hammer magazine, expressing his initial doubts about Eddie’s potential impact on the band’s image.

Smith said, “I had mixed feelings about Eddie over the years. I wondered if it would overshadow the band. Having a mascot is great, but could it be seen as questionable? We had a few versions of Eddie that were a bit questionable, and I thought, ‘Oh dear…'”

However, as time passed and Eddie underwent improvements with each iteration, Smith gradually came to accept the mascot’s integral role within the Iron Maiden universe.

He elaborated, “In this new series, we have struck a good balance. The visuals have a modern feel, and the latest versions of Eddie look really impressive. The actors portraying Eddie in costumes are outstanding!”

Iron Maiden’s European tour is currently ongoing and will conclude in Germany at the Wacken Open Air festival in August.

Iron Maiden – The Writing On The Wall

Mötley Crüe took the stage at The Underworld, a 500-capacity club in London, on Friday, June 30, under the name “DÖGS OF WAR” for a special performance.

The band had announced the show on social media a week prior, leading fans to speculate that it would feature the debut of a new song titled “Dogs Of War.” However, it was reported that the new song was not played during the evening.

According to Ultimate Classic Rock, Mötley Crüe thrilled the approximately 450 fans in attendance with a setlist that included hits such as “Wild Side,” “Shout At The Devil,” “Too Fast For Love,” “Live Wire,” and “Looks That Kill.” They also performed a medley of cover songs, including “Rock and Roll, Part 2 / Smokin’ In The Boys Room / Helter Skelter / Anarchy In The U.K. / Blitzkrieg Bop,” as well as a cover of the Beastie Boys’ “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!).” Other fan favorites like “Dr. Feelgood,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Primal Scream,” and “Kickstart My Heart” rounded out the energetic set.

Bassist Nikki Sixx shared a brief clip of the performance on Instagram, highlighting the intimacy of the small stage at The Underworld.

The following day, on July 1, Mötley Crüe held a joint concert with Def Leppard at Wembley Stadium, which has a capacity of 90,000.