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Ronnie James Dio


The Revolver Golden Gods awards show took place on Wednesday night (April 23) at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, where various rock and metal acts were honored for their talents and achievements and both Axl Rose and Joan Jett were given lifetime contribution awards. According to The Pulse Of Radio, the show opened with a surprise performance from thrash metal veterans SLAYER, while other acts who performed included Jett, GUNS N' ROSES, THE PRETTY RECKLESS, SUICIDE SILENCE and A DAY TO REMEMBER. Ex-GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan performed with the band at the event, marking the first time that McKagan has performed with the group on U.S. soil in 20 years. He joined GUNS onstage in London for the first time in 17 years at an October 2010 concert in London, followed more recently by shows in Vancouver and South America. Axl Rose took home this year's Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award, while Joan Jett became the first female recipient of the Golden God Award. VH1 Classic streamed the show live and will also air an edited version on Saturday, May 24th at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Also appearing at the show were members of BLACK SABBATH and LINKIN PARK, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Jacoby Shaddix of PAPA ROACH, Alice Cooper, Ace Frehley and others. Revolver Golden Gods list of winners: * Best Vocalist: Josh Homme of QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE * Best Live Band: Rob Zombie * Most Devoted Fans: AVENGED SEVENFOLD * Best New Talent: TWELVE FOOT NINJA * Comeback Of The Year: DEEP PURPLE * Paul Gray Best Bassist Award: Chris Kael of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH * Best Film & DVD: PIERCE THE VEIL * Best Drummer: Arin Ilejay of AVENGED SEVENFOLD * Song Of The Year: FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's "Lift Me Up" * Most Metal Athlete: Josh Barnett, Mixed Martial Arts * Dimebag Darrell Best Guitarist: Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance of AVENGED SEVENFOLD * Album Of The Year: BLACK SABBATH's "13" * Golden God Award: Joan Jett * Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award: Axl Rose of GUNS N' ROSES revolvergoldensuicide

Bulgarian Heavy Metal Museum On National Tour

According to the FOCUS Information Agency, a museum dedicated to heavy metal music was launched by the mayor of the Bulgarian coastal town of Kavarna, Tsonko Tsonev (pictured). Dubbed Kmetal — a combination of the word "mayor," which in Bulgarian is "kmet" and heavy "metal" music — the museum is now on a national tour and is presently making a stop in the country's capital, Sofia. Among the items being exhibited are autographed guitars, a miniature model of the Ronnie James Dio monument and a gold DEEP PURPLE "Burn" album signed by Glenn Hughes. An avid hard rock and heavy metal fan, Tsonev has attracted dozens of top metal bands to his hometown — DEEP PURPLE, MOTÖRHEAD, MANOWAR and SCORPIONS among them — as part of the annual Kaliakra Rock Fest, later renamed the Kavarna Rock Fest. Tsonev, mayor since 2003, has an assistant named assistant Maria who is a fan of "melodic death metal." He told BBC in a 2011 interview: "I didn't run for office on a heavy metal platform. It just happened that way, step by step." In October 2010, Tsonkov, a lawyer by education, unveiled the world's only statue memorializing legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio. The 250-kilogram bronze, erected just five months after Dio's death, sits i

ROB HALFORD: New JUDAS PRIEST Album Is ‘Absolutely Finished’

British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST have completed work on their brand new studio album, to be released later in the year. Speaking to Artisan News at last night's (Monday, March 17) VIP listening party for the Ronnie James Dio tribute album "This Is Your Life" and awards gala at the Avalon in Hollywood, California, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford stated about the band's new CD (see video below): "The record is finished; it's absolutely finished as of today." He added: "It's a relief. It's a relief because whenever PRIEST makes an album, like any band, you put your heart and soul into it; it is that typical 'blood, sweat and tears.' It's not an easy thing to do 40 years later. But PRIEST has always been up for the challenge of that, and it's one of things that we love to do more than anything else as we move on through our metal years. So this is a great time for PRIEST: 40th anniversary, a brand new record. Life couldn't be better." In a 2013 interview with, Halford described the new PRIEST CD's sound as "hard. It's heavy. It's something we think our PRIEST fans will be thrilled with. We know we have a reputation to maintain, and we know we have to deliver something really strong and solid. The album is going to be full of all the great things you love about JUDAS PRIEST — I don't think I can say anything more than that without being hung, drawn and quartered." Speaking to VH1 Radio Network's Dave Basner, Halford said about what fans can expect from JUDAS PRIEST's next LP: "We felt it was very important to follow up [2008's] 'Nostradamus', the last release, and that was a concept experiment and it was a real success for us and the fans loved it, but I think our fans and ourselves as a band, we want to get back to the side of PRIEST that we haven't heard for a few years and reemphasize and remake those big, heavy metal statements again." PRIEST's next album will mark the band's first release with Richie Faulkner, most recently guitarist in the backing band for Lauren Harris (daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris). Faulkner joined PRIEST as the replacement for original PRIEST guitarist Kenneth "K.K." Downing, who announced his retirement from the band in April 2011. Asked how it has been collaborating on new music with Faulkner, Halford told Guitar World in a 2012 interview: "Really, really strong. Exciting. He's riffing and saying, 'Robby, I'm thinking of this and this and this.' It's really exciting to have that kind of energy, because you feed off of it." He added: "[Richie] went through the ritual on [the 'Epitaph'] tour, did great work on stage, the fans embraced him, so it's now time to see what we're capable of, the writing trio of Glenn [Tipton] and Richie and myself." Regarding whether technology has changed JUDAS PRIEST's songwriting process at all, Halford said: "It's dangerous to walk around with a flash drive on a bunch of keys. [Laughs] To a great extent, it doesn't really change. The technology is amazing in terms of the advantages it brings to music now, some of it good, some of it very bad. It's all about discipline and self-belief, determination, wanting to do the best you can do and not accepting anything that's below par. We've always had that attitude in PRIEST. We've always felt really strongly about any track that goes out for our fans. We're still doing it like we always have: firing up the riffs and finding a vocal melody to go with it, me going into me wonderful world of the Roget's Thesaurus and trying to come up with a new lyric and a new idea. And that's what we've been doing for four decades."

CANDLEMASS Mainman Says New BLACK SABBATH Album ‘Could Have Been Better’

Metal Blast recently conducted an interview with CANDLEMASS and AVATARIUM mainman Leif Edling. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Metal Blast: Considering the success of CANDLEMASS and the fact that it stands proud as THE doom metal band, what led you to start AVATARIUM? Leif Edling: My last year was very stressful, and I needed a break. The guitar became the vehicle for that. I sat on the sofa, playing guitar just trying to relax because I needed a few months to myself. I started to like some riffs, and those riffs became songs, and I needed to record those songs that I had. My friend Marcus [Jidell; EVERGREY, ROYAL HUNT] here at the studio not too far away where I live now, he's got a small studio, so we sat there and demoed the songs that I had. So that's how it started… me needing break. [laughs] Metal Blast: I agree that it does represent a difference from CANDLEMASS; while it maintains the slow tempo, it's also more psychedelic or maybe stoner in terms of sound, and the lyrics aren't quite as dark as in CANDLEMASS, they're a little more poetic. This goes very well with Jennie-Ann Smith and her style of singing, you know, this jazzy vibe that she gives the songs. While it's taking a break in the sense that you're not working with the same band that you've worked with all these years, is it also therapeutic in that you touch on things that are not as dark as what you're usually writing? Leif Edling: Yeah, man. I enjoyed writing these songs very much because I could work in a little bit broader scope when compared to CANDLEMASS. I could go "outside the box" a little bit more and write these relaxed verses and have some kind of bluesy feels in the vocals, like you said "jazzy." It's been kind of interesting for me to go outside the stuff that I normally do with CANDLEMASS and work a little bit more with the energy and atmosphere. As a songwriter, to me that is really interesting, because you can do something that you can't usually do. For instance, normally I don't like piano verses or verses like the one in "Moonhorse" where it's almost folk. Metal Blast: But you're still unable to leave CANDLEMASS fully on the side. You mentioned "Moonhorse" which has this whole "folky" and psychedelic element, but at the same time these folk elements are "interrupted" by the harder CANDLEMASS doom sound. I thought this combination was great. Leif Edling: Thanks! This was the whole purpose of the AVATARIUM album, to create something that was a little more organic. Something that not only had hard energy, but also soft energy. We worked pretty hard with the arrangements and tried to make the songs flow in a way that gave in to more atmospheric, more bluesy elements, sometimes a little dark, sometimes a little light. It was great to work with the different energies and atmosphere's and doom riffs [laughs] and even, sometimes, a little bit more progressive stuff. I'm just a fan of good music. Working with someone like Jennie-Ann Smith was great, because she can really sing the blues. She's a blues singer. Metal Blast: In an interview, you mentioned her being able to reach sort of a "Ronnie James Dio sound," which reminds me of the fact that when you released the mini-LP for "Moonhorse", you had a cover of "War Pigs" (BLACK SABBATH]. When you're tackling such a classic song by a band as famous as BLACK SABBATH, and you give it a completely new sound, was there a bit of fear of how people will compare it to the original, and also how people will react to the re-imagining? Leif Edling: Yeah, that's the trickiness. It doesn't matter how you do it; if you do it in the traditional way, people either complain and say, "Yeah, yeah, you can't do it like SABBATH, you're not as good and it's boring," and if you do an acoustic version, people will say, "Yeah… it's cool, but I don't get it. They should have done a traditional version." You can't please everybody. In the end, you can only do it for yourself. When we were talking about it, we said that there was no way we could really do "War Pigs", since is such a classic song that you simply cannot touch the original, it can't be done. The only thing we could do with it was to make it our own. We completely re-did it, and I love it. We've had a couple of complaints, but we've also had a bunch of people saying that it was a great cover and that we did the right thing.