2011 Metal Retrospective: Events

Judas PriestHere are some of the major events that happened in metal in 2011.

Coroner played one of their first reunion shows at this year’s edition of Hellfest, which took place June 17-19, 2011 in Clisson, France.

Judas Priest to embark on their final world tour this summer, entitled Epitaph World Tour. Despite this, the band insist that they are not going to break up. However, founding member K. K. Downing later retires from the band. Judas Priest also stated “Having thought long and hard about how to proceed, Rob, Glenn, Ian and Scott unanimously agreed that they should go ahead with the tour and not let the fans down around the world”. 31 year old British guitar player Richie Faulkner was announced as the replacement, but the press release did not state if it is on a permanent basis.

Morgoth are embarking on a festival tour throughout this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1991 album, Cursed.

Slipknot to tour again this summer. This will be their first tour without bassist Paul Gray, who died in May 2010.

Acid Reign released their remasters of Moshkinstein, The Fear and Obnoxious on January 17, 2011 on CD and digital download. All remastered by the legendary Bill Metoyer.

Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy forms an as-yet-unnamed project with Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Kansas, Deep Purple), Neal Morse (Spock’s Beard), Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev, Endochine) and Dave LaRue (Steve Morse, Dixie Dregs). Portnoy is also touring with a Beatles cover band called Yellow Matter Custard.

Warbringer’s drummer and founding member Nic Ritter leaves the band.

Bury Your Dead announces the departure of Myke Terry and return of Mat Bruso.

On January 8, 2011 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner was arrested for shooting and killing six bystanders in Tucson, Arizona, and injuring 14 others. The Washington Post noted that Loughner’s YouTube channel had only one clip; a fan-made music video for the controversial Drowning Pool song titled “Bodies.” Other members of the media also suggested that his music tastes had an impact on his behavior, including political commentator Rush Limbaugh who was quoted saying, “The guy listened to heavy metal, and some of that anarchist stuff. We’re dealing with an insane individual.” Drowning Pool responded to these allegations by claiming that the song was written about the camaraderie seen in mosh pits, and is in no way a violent song.

The original long-running guitarist for Dutch metal band Vengeance died due to a heart attack at his home in Mierlo, The Netherlands.

Doom metal band Cathedral have announced they will disband after releasing another album in 2012.

Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis, and underwent emergency surgery on his right arm. On Saturday April 23, Jeff Hanneman made a surprise stage return in Indio, CA. He came out during the 2 song encore unannounced, and delighted a crowd of roughly 50,000. Jeff commented afterwards that, “I’m the happiest man in the world.”

Iron Maiden wins their first Grammy award in the category of Best Metal Performance for the song “El Dorado” from their latest album The Final Frontier.

Nevermore bassist Jim Sheppard will undergo brain surgery to remove a “benign brain tumor”.

Blinded Colony have changed their band name once again (previously Stigmata) to The Blinded.

After searching for over a year, DragonForce have finally found 23-year-old Marc Hudson as their new vocalist.

Vocalist Matt Barlow leaves Iced Earth again for personal reasons.

Vocalist Anette Olzon of Nightwish broke a couple ribs from slipping on her son’s toys.

Niclas Engelin, officially rejoins In Flames.

The Red Chord once again parts ways with their drummer Michael Justian.

Corey Taylor has announced that Slipknot will not be recording for a while due to bassist Paul Gray’s death. He said to Undercover.com.au, “I don’t see it happening. And if it does, it’ll be way way down the line. There is a such a huge piece missing now. A piece so huge that the fans can’t even understand.” Slipknot have also announced their bass guitar touring replacement is their original guitarist Donnie Steele.

Paul Di’Anno (ex -Iron Maiden) has been charged with 8 counts of benefits fraud of £45,000 (53,000€, $72,000). He claimed to have nerve damage in his back and the Department for Work and Pensions got a tip from an anonymous tipper who said he was jumping around on stage. The Department for Work and Pensions gave him four and a half months in jail and took his property. He was released from jail in March 2011.

Origin recruits Jason Keyser (Skinless) as their new vocalist.

Manowar caused a blackout in Cleveland, Ohio while performing a sound-check on March 11. A whole city block lost electricity and was not back in service for another 24 hours. Manowar had backup generators so the show was able to continue.

Keyboardist Per Wiberg has parted ways with Opeth as “part of a mutual decision with the band”, after finishing recording. A new keyboardist has already been found, but is waiting to be announced.

Iced Earth have announced their replacement for Matt Barlow as Stu Block (Into Eternity).

Aspera were forced to change their band name to Above Symmetry due to a lawsuit over right to the name by American indie rock band Aspera.

Legion of the Damned guitarist Richard Ebisch left the band due to health issues.

Shining announced the departure of guitarist Fredric Gråby, and his replacement as temporary bassist Christian Larsson who is also now announced as a full-time member.

Nevermore announce the departure of original members Jeff Loomis and Van Williams.

After some speculation, Kamelot vocalist Roy Khan announced his departure from the band.

Unfortunately, Sinister parts ways with drummer Edwin van den Eeden, guitarist Alex Paul, and bassist Joost van der Graaf. Three days later Sinister announces Toep Duin on drums, guitarist Bastiaan Brussaard, and bassist/guitarist Dennis Hartog.

ICS Vortex returns to Borknagar as a second vocalist.

Dream Theater announce their replacement for Mike Portnoy as Mike Mangini (ex-Steve Vai, ex-Extreme, ex-Annihilator).

IWrestledABearOnce have changed their genre to black metal as a joke.

Jon Levasseur rejoins Cryptopsy for work on their upcoming record.

Bison B.C. part ways with original drummer Brad McKinnon.

X Japan releases Jade, their first worldwide single.

On June 5, New Zealand authorities confiscated Cradle of Filth’s t-shirts. The shirts depict a nude nun and the words “Jesus Is A Cunt”.

Lead vocalist Keith Caputo of alternative metal band Life of Agony changed his name to Keith Mina Caputo, and his gender from male to female.

Mayhem bassist Necrobutcher will appear on Norwegian television station NRK, to exorcise the demon within himself.

Tarja Turunen has announced her participation in a new musical group, entitled “Harus”.

A reporter from England’s Birmingham Mail erroneously announced that Black Sabbath would reunite to write a new album based on an off-the-record statement made months prior by Tony Iommi. In his statement denouncing the reformation of the band, Iommi said he was just “shooting the breeze” with the reporter and the band is not reforming.

Roadrunner Records has announced they have signed legendary progressive rock outfit Rush.

After 23 years of playing, Dismember decided to call it quits on October 15th 2011.

Original vocalist of Exhorder Kyle Thomas and guitarist Jay Ceravolo quit the band. Kyle also stated “I wish all of my brothers involved well and good luck in whatever the future brings them, whether or not Exhorder continues.”

Frontman, guitarist and founding member Helmuth Lehner (Belphegor) had a “a serious and difficult operation”, and therefore Belphegor has ceased all activity until May 2012.

After 13 years with the band, guitarist Johan Hallgren leaves Pain of Salvation to focus on his family-life.

Decapitated survive an emergency plane landing in Warsaw. They were flying back to Poland from the United States, when they needed to make an emergency landing when the landing gear failed to operate. They have also cancelled all forthcoming festival dates.

The two guitarists Matt DeVries and Rob Arnold of heavy metal outfit Chimaira announce their departure of the band. Their last show will be “Chimaira Christmas 12”.

Power Quest announces new front-man/vocalist Colin Callanan.