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  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO PART 3
A Mission To Play Heavy Metal In The Bosnian War, December 1994
1st August 2012


chris dale

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Click here for Part 1...
Click here for Part 2...


In parts 1 and 2 I'd been going on about the time I went to Sarajevo during the Bosnian War with the Bruce Dickinson band. We pick up the tale with a day off in the besieged city after the gig...

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Your Humble Narrator

So, what do we do on a day off in Sarajevo? Well, much the same as we'd do in any other town.

On days off on normal tours you might do some sight seeing, maybe do a celebrity appearance or signing session type thing for some fans, then go to a bar or find a party.

All three of these happened in Sarajevo but being in a war zone they were all a bit more surreal than on 'normal' tours.

Being shown the sights in Sarajevo was done by Major Martin Morris and a couple of British soldiers in a mini-bus, driving along mostly deserted streets through the ruins of what had been a modern thriving city. Every other building was pock marked by shrapnel. Most of the windows were long gone and now boarded up.



bruce dickinson sarajevo
A street scene in Sarajevo. Notice the missing windows and the wrecked bus with sheet metal down the side to protect its passengers.

Spare bits of greenery were converted to vegetable patches, even the roadsides and central reservations. But the growers risked death by sniper fire every time they checked on their carrots.

We stopped here and there to see the sights. As I remember these sights consisted mostly of views of the Serbian frontlines (always from a distance) and various shell holes (usually in civilian targets such as a block of flats or a market place).

We saw a large graveyard with all of the graves looking poignantly fresh. Each time we got out to see the sights we rushed back inside the mini-bus, as if its thin panels offered real protection. We kept our heads low through fear. This was not a fun-filled tourist trip.

Our 'celebrity' personal appearance was a little different too. Bruce and Alex were going to do an acoustic session at an orphanage.

An orphanage is always a kind of sad place, kids who for whatever reason don't have their mums and dads there to look after them. This was more tragic.

These kids had all lost their parents in the war. Many of them had seen them murdered in front of them. Some were still in shock, just staring straight ahead. They'd been like that for months. Others clung to us and wouldn't let go. Maybe they knew we'd be getting out of here soon.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Alex Elena playing with a child at the Orphanage

There were two shell holes in the playground. The people running the orphanage told us the Serbs had fired the first shell during playtime. Then they put the second one in when the ambulance crew arrived. It was a cold attack and was calculated to cause the most possible casualties amongst children and non-combatants.

It was under these conditions that Sarajevo lived. Before we got there I had known this was a war. I had known that wars are bad things. But I wasn't emotionally prepared for this at all.

*****************

balls to picasso   'BALLS TO PICASSO'
"It's not before time. There's so much stuff on it that people will be unaware of..."
Bruce Dickinson
balls to picasso
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON 'BALLS TO PICASSO'balls to picasso

*****************

In the evening we went to a local fire station, where UN firemen and other workers were having a small party for us. I'm not sure what the real address was but it was known to our British Army hosts as 'Sniper Alley'. I resisted asking how it got its name.

It was a dual carriageway that was largely deserted as dusk approached. There were burnt out cars and rubble across the road and its pavements.

The sensible route to take, we were told, was just blasting down it at full pelt while also swerving left and right. I've been in cars before when people drive too fast, sometimes because they're drunk or stupid, often a combination of the two. Somehow it's even scarier when a sensible and sober driver does it deliberately because dangerous driving is infinitely safer than safe driving in this topsy-turvy world.

I didn't actually urinate myself on the journey but I seem to remember it was a close call.

At the fire station, Andy and Bob set some of our gear up for a quiet jam. We didn't bring Ampegs and Marshalls down here so one of the locals was going out to pick up a little guitar amp from his friend's house. Sponder went with them out of curiosity.

When he got back he told us that at the friend's house, all the family were in one room with a nine-volt battery running a single Christmas tree light bulb taped to a mirror to illuminate the room. They invited him in and offered him food and drink.

We felt unable to help these people. Sponder gave this household all the British money he had on him. They cried in gratitude but nothing could help them really. Back home we had lit houses, CD players, nights out and what we took most for granted, relative personal safety.

These people had none of that. They all had crippled, missing or dead relatives. They lived in squalor and fear.

Yet, you know the odd thing? They were, more alive, more happy for the moment and more generous with what little they had than anyone back home. Their human spirit was unbroken.

These people smiled. They were probably not far from clinical starvation and yet they offered Sponder food. All the civilians we met out there were like that.

During the gig the night before, people at the front had a few times rolled cans of beer across the stage at me. I thanked them and gave them back. We had free beer backstage (thanks to the Danish Army!). These people had no proper running economy. Half of them had no regular water supply but they would buy you a beer.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Alex Dickson and Bruce performing an acoustic 'Tears Of The Dragon' in the fire station

Back at the fire station Bruce and Alex did a few acoustic tunes, then me, Sponder and Alex jammed around a bit and got some of the locals up. One was the Portuguese UN Medical Officer - he wasn't a bad drummer! We did 'Jumping Jack Flash' with him.

The insane situation outside broke down all barriers, smiles and beer flowed all round till late in the night... or would have done if the Bosnian military police hadn't turned up to enforce the curfew and send us back to base.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Jose, the Portuguese Medical Officer on drums!

The next morning after an emergency rations breakfast of pasta and baked beans Major Morris and our British Army friends from the previous days were ready to pick us up for the trip out of the city. They were driving us to a UN base in Kiseljak, where we'd get helicoptered back to Split and flown home from there.

The only slight worry we had in advance was that we'd be passing through Serbian Army lines this way.

We were neutral non-combatants in the war and we were being chaperoned by British UN peacekeeping soldiers in armoured Land Rovers. The UN had arranged with the Serbian command that we were coming through so nothing should go wrong for us but anytime you have to meet a group of armed and drunken murderers is cause for concern.

Also the thought of actually meeting the people who had been deliberately putting Sarajevo in such a state of death and misery was daunting in itself.

We were due to pass through four Serbian checkpoints. They were imaginatively known as Sierra One, Two, Three and Four by our UN hosts.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Serbian Army Checkpoint. It was pointed out to me later that taking photos like this can potentially get you shot as a spy.

At Sierra One we were stopped but we didn't have to get out. The Serbian soldiers took a quick count of passports and passengers to make sure they tallied up then waved us through.

Sierra Two and Three also waved us past. Fine, we thought, they've radioed ahead and we clear through.

At Sierra Four we were stopped and asked to get out and line up on the roadside.

The Serbian officer in command was a woman who had aged badly but was probably in her late twenties. She spoke reasonable English and was dressed exactly like so many rock chicks at London's nightclubs of the time - bleached blonde permed hair, too much make up, tight leggings and thigh high boots. The only difference was the blue/grey camouflage Serbian Army jacket she wore over the top.

Following her were two or three soldiers in the same camouflage pattern uniforms but without the leggings and thigh boots. They had Kalashnikovs casually slung over their shoulders. She smiled at us. They didn't.

She went up and down the line of us, examining passports, asking general conversational questions and being ever so charming. Her unshaven escorts did not charm us but stayed back, smoking and eyeing us up and down, no doubt with their trigger fingers itching.

She eventually bid us a happy journey. We were keen to get out of there and quickly got back in the Land Rovers.

Back on our way, the British soldiers told us: "She's one we'll be hunting down after the war. She's had plenty of people shot on the side of the road. She wouldn't touch you guys but we didn't want to mention it before the check in case you got freaked out."

From the Serbian lines we drove up to the UN base at Kiseljack in Croatian-Bosnian territory. There, we finally felt a little relief. We were beyond sniper fire, landmines, stray shells and mortar rounds. Kiseljak was nice; it was the first time in two days when there wasn't any gunfire to be heard in the background.

We weren't bothered at all when we were told that our helicopter ride to Split would be a little delayed. They gave us some lunch instead.

The delay, we were told over lunch, was due to one of their two Sea King helicopters undergoing repairs. It turned out that it had been hit yesterday by small arms fire. Nothing serious, they said.

We had been due to go out on that one but instead we'd have to wait for the other to get back from its current mission and be refuelled.



bruce dickinson sarajevo
The UN base at Kiseljak. Notice the two Sea King helicopters. The one on the right, partially tarpaulined, is undergoing repairs after being shot at and ours is on the left.

Pretty much everything that everyone had said since we got here had made me think that this whole trip was a quite stupidly dangerous thing to have attempted but this was at least surely the last crazy thing we'd have to do before going home, so with no option we got into the least damaged of the Sea Kings.

Getting into the Sea King, a British Naval officer was handing out life vests but ran out just before me and Alex Dickson.

"Sorry about that," he said. "We haven't got anymore but not to worry. To be honest they're not a lot of help. Most of the trip is over land, if you do get shot down over the lakes, then you've got to get out of the helicopter and swim clear of the rotors before they hit the water. Once the rotors touch down they'll chop up anything floating within their radius. Then you have to inflate your jacket.

"If you panic and inflate it too early inside the copter, you'll float the to top of it, get stuck in the fuselage and sink with it. Then if you've managed to get out and clear the rotors and inflate your life jacket you might have two or maybe three minutes to swim to safety or get rescued before hypothermia will set in.

"Bearing in mind that the rescue copter is currently under-going repairs, I wouldn't worry about the life jacket too much."

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Me in the Sea King helicopter

That was more reassuring advice that made my bowels loosen. But surely, this lot are winding us up a bit with all this scary reassurance? I mean, I know there's a war on but maybe I'm just jumping at shadows and they're all having a laugh at us for it and telling bigger and bigger tales?

Once we were inside the helicopter, they fixed a heavy machine gun to the open port on the right next to us and belted in some ammunition. The gunner cocked it and sat back for the flight. We took off and flew over some stunning forested mountainous countryside.

After the first twenty minutes or so and passing over some lakes, he packed the gun up and put the ammunition away. I asked him why he was packing up now.

"We're past the fighting zone now. We don't need it." More reassurance for now but that meant they really did think there was a possibility of being shot at over the last section: the life-jackets were for real.

But now surely at last the danger really is over. We can rest easy. We're safe and nearly home!

Most of us had headphones on in the helicopter and could hear the pilot and crew talking all the "Roger Charlie Bravo Two Zero" stuff that pilots do. Bruce loves that kind of thing and probably even knew what they were on about.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Bruce on board the Sea King helicopter

Then the pilot said over the headphones: "I hear we have some civvies onboard. We'd like to show you what the Royal Navy can do with a Sea King."

At that moment we dropped out of the sky to below tree level, spun over hilltops at high speed, swung side to side in tight valleys and generally risked our mortality in every conceivable way.

On the ride some of our flight crew shouted: "The Royal Navy are not pussies!!!" I had never suspected they were, and have certainly not doubted it since.

We didn't have seat belts and the starboard side was wide open for the machine gun which had been taken away. We clung on for dear life to anything we could grip.

The flight crew loved it. They must have done it dozens of times before. They threw their heads back and laughed. They lived with mortal risks every day and this was how they dealt with it. More danger, this time for fun.

Other British UN soldiers had told us of similar episodes, for example driving up and down 'Sniper Alley' under fire for kicks or shooting up buildings, which a female UN soldier told us felt "sexy". This is how the human mind deals with being in fear constantly; it turns to viewing the danger as fun.

Black humour was rife in all the UN troops we met. Most of it was good humour with some great jokes and a seemingly fearless attitude. But in some cases I suspected it was caused by intense personal stress with only the comradeship of their unit as a relief.

I've not been on a fair ground ride since. They're all stupid and useless as compared to what the Royal Navy can do with a Sea King.



bruce dickinson sarajevo
Andy Veasey, myself and Alex Dickson on board the homebound Hercules. Notice the visible relief on our faces, contrasting with the concerned looks all through the previous two days in Sarajevo.

When we landed at Split we spent an evening drinking with some British special forces (they were highly trained drinkers as well as killers) then flew on a Hercules transporter plane back to RAF Brize Norton where Maiden's legendary roadie, Johnny Allen, picked us up in a splitter van.

"Make sure you've got your seat belts on", he said. It seemed so trivial. We drove at a steady 68 mph down the M40. We were not going to be swerving sniper fire, or being shot down into a frozen lake. Seat belts? Pah!

In fact, of course, wearing a seat belt is a very sensible thing to do back in real life. But that was the problem. British normal life didn't work for me anymore. I'd only been away for a weekend yet everything was changed forever. We'd all changed inside a bit.

I'd not actually been personally shot at, none of us were injured and my family was still alive. I've got nothing to complain about. In fact we got back into London as it was building up for Christmas. Oxford Street, the lights, Santa, presents, shoppers... consumerism. It should be great. But I couldn't be happy.

I tried telling people at home what had happened out there but they couldn't understand. They nodded and agreed but they couldn't see it and I could see that they couldn't see it.

I would break down in tears at the wrong moments, excuse myself and go to the toilet to sort myself out. It's OK. That's a normal reaction. I'm fine now. Mostly. I was only there for a weekend.

But what about the people of Sarajevo? They'd lived through years of it. They actually lost friends, family members and limbs.

What about the soldiers who still fight in Afghanistan and other parts of the world? What happens when they get home after a six month tour of duty?

What about the innocent people who live (and the children who grow up) through that shit in Syria today or any of the many conflict zones around the globe?

Can these people ever be normal again?

Quite frankly no. Seeing a war and its effects and meeting its victims up close for a couple of days was far more shocking than I'd expected. If Tony Blair and George Bush had seen the Bosnian War up close they could never have invaded Iraq.

Living through or taking part in a war is more horrific than can be imagined. You'd literally be scarred for life.

Remember those stories about how Grandad was in the Second World War or Uncle Bob was in Korea and he never wanted to talk about it? He couldn't talk about it.

War veterans walk our streets every day. Their view of the world is very different to ours. Everyday life is extremely trivial to them. The price of tomatoes, someone complaining about a having a headache, soap operas - it means nothing after what they've seen.

But they can't tell you what they've seen because you wouldn't understand it and you would think they are mad, which is what much of society does. They need understanding and support.

In all 18 British soldiers were killed in action in Bosnia, trying to save civilian lives. You can donate towards helping injured British servicemen and women at Help For Heroes by clicking here.

According to the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Yugoslav Wars resulted in the deaths of around 140,000 people in total. Of those over 11,000 were Bosnian civilians living in Sarajevo during the siege and of those over 1,500 were children. A further 15,000 children were injured in Sarajevo.

You can donate to the children of Bosnia at SOS Childrens' Villages by clicking here.

Normal service will be resumed next month. Until then enjoy your life - you are blessed to have it.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Roland Hyams and Alex Sponder Elena - smiles all round on the way home

Thanks to Roland Hyams, Alex Dickson, Alex Sponder Elena, and Mirza Coric for providing extra information about this experience. Thanks very much also to Bruce, Sanctuary Management and Major Martin Morris for making all this possible. However the biggest thanks should go to all the UN personnel who kept us safe, the Serious Road Trip who got us there and the people of Sarajevo who made us feel so welcome throughout.

Click here for Part 1...
Click here for Part 2...





MORE CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN COLUMNS HERE...

April 2015: Undiscovered Kisstory: The Kiss Drummer Auditions Of 1980
March 2015: Matthew Trippe RIP - The strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx
November 2014: Kiss: 'Love Gun' Deluxe Edition
October 2014: Mr. Big – Live Review at Koko, London
September 2014: Mr. Big: 'The Stories We Could Tell' album review
September 2013: Intensive Bass Course with Billy Sheehan
August 2013: Booking Agents vs Promoters
July 2013: Rock and Metal Pub Quiz
June 2013: Communication Tips For European Festivals, Or How To Learn A Language In An Evening
May 2013: Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
April 2013: Daily Mail Columnist Richard Littlejohn Sinks To New Low With Anti-Heavy Metal Article
April 2013: The Future Of Classic Bands
March 2013: Smashing Pumpkins Video Shoot
Febuary 2013: Ten Years On Total Rock
January 2013: Kiss Follow Up To Monster 2013
December 2012: Kiss Reformation Magick
November 2012: Exclusive Interview With Geoff Tate
November 2012: Morally Worrying Session
October 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Review
October 2012: The Best Invention Of All Time
September 2012: A Conversation With Rudy Sarzo
August 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 3
July 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 2
June 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 1
May 2012: Managers v Producers
April 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Album Preview
March 2012: London Venue's Nazi Past?
February 2012: How Not to Join the Ozzy Osbourne Band
January 2012: Metal Evilution
December 2011: Take Your Pick Competition
November 2011: The Pandora's Box Of Pop
October 2011: Tank Tour Diary 2011
September 2011: Festival Stage Collapses
August 2011: Bruce Air, The Early Days
July 2011: European Festival Round-Up
June 2011: Bernie Torme Proud To Be Part Of MT Ozzy Article
June 2011: Who's Your Favourite Ozzy Guitarist?
May 2011: Japanese Tsunami Disaster
April 2011: 10,000 Tank Albums!
March 2011: Death Metal Session!
6th February 2011: Gary Moore (4th April 1952 - 6th February 2011)
February 2011: Recording Bass at Steve Harris'
January 2011: A Column About Columns



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kreator KREATOR ANNOUNCE TOUR WITH SEPULTURA, SOILWORK AND ABORTED
Ever since the early 2000s Kreator have taken their sound and thrash Metal in general to the next level by releasing modern classics...

epica EPICA ANNOUNCE SHEPHERD'S BUSH EMPIRE SHOW WITH POWERWOLF
"We are excited to return to gorgeous London to promote our upcoming album which will be released later this year..."

dead kennedys DEAD KENNEDYS ANNOUNCE 2016 UK TOUR DATES
Formed in 1978 the Dead Kennedys were a pioneering force in America's punk movement in the late 70s and early 80s...

blue oyster cult BLUE ÖYSTER CULT CONFIRM EXCLUSIVE UK APPEARANCE IN JULY
The Long Island rockers will be jetting in from NYC to play their 'Agents Of Fortune' album in full, plus a full set of other powerful classics...

freddie mercury FREDDIE MERCURY SCHOLARSHIP AT ACM ANNOUNCED
"Freddie's name endures in so many ways so it's therefore great to have this scholarship celebrating his musical genius!"

dream theater DREAM THEATER DEBUT OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'OUR NEW WORLD'
The video, which premiered in the USA with The Wall Street Journal, highlights the band's immersive and interactive live show and captures the prog-virtuosos' transcendent performances...

goo goo dolls GOO GOO DOLLS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR FOR OCTOBER 2016
The tour kicks off in Norwich on October 8th and finishes up at London Eventim Apollo on October 14th...

ace frehley kiss EXCLUSIVE: ACE FREHLEY POSSIBLY ABOUT TO MAKE SENSATIONAL KISS RETURN
Earlier this year Paul Stanley recently appeared on Ace Frehley's latest album 'Origins'...

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA TO PLAY FREE SHOW AT LEGENDARY CAVERN CLUB IN LIVERPOOL
This intimate concert in front of 300 people will preview material that he will perform at five special concerts in the UK this July...

ac dc axl rose IT'S ROCK, NOT BUST AS AC/DC TRIUMPH IN LISBON - CONTAINS SPOILERS
The banter with the fans was light and extremely good natured all the way through the gig. And yes, Axl did take to the stage bang on time...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD RELEASE SECOND VIDEO FROM 'CLEAN YOUR CLOCK': WATCH 'WHEN THE SKY COMES LOOKING FOR YOU' HERE
'When The Sky Comes Looking For You' is a standout track from Motörhead's much acclaimed final album 'Bad Magic'...

armored saint EXCLUSIVE: ARMORED SAINT'S JOEY VERA WARMS UP FOR UPCOMING TOUR BY PLAYING HULA GIG
We look forward to seeing them at the Camden Underworld on July 14th...

eluveitie BREAKING NEWS: HAVOC IN THE ELUVEITIE CAMP AS THREE MEMBERS LEAVE THE BAND
"Eluveitie was always meant to be about 'rock'n'roll', passion and also about 'carrying the torch' of the Celtic spirit..."

ac dc axl rose AC/DC DISCUSS BRIAN JOHNSON'S HEARING PROBLEMS IN NEW VIDEO INTERVIEW
The eyes of the world will be on Lisbon tomorrow night (Saturday 7th May 2016) when Axl makes his debut with the band...

sertraline SERTRALINE ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE TOUR
Based in Stoke-on-Trent, Sertraline are undertaking their first ever headline tour of the UK this coming June/July...

ac dc axl rose AXL PAYS HUGE TRIBUTE TO BRIAN JOHNSON IN REVEALING BBC INTERVIEW WITH AC/DC
"I'm happy and excited in one sense, but I think it would be inappropriate to be celebrating, in a certain way, at someone else's expense..."

babymetal BABYMETAL ANNOUNCED FOR DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL
"We're so excited to come back to the UK next month. We will play the main stage at Download Festival. We are looking forward to seeing you all there."

ac dc axl rose AC/DC: THE VERY FIRST OFFICIAL PHOTO OF THE CURRENT LINE-UP
"Back on tour this Saturday night. First stop Lisbon - Let's do this."

hotei INTIMATE BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO WITH HOTEI AND RAMMSTEIN'S RICHARD Z KRUSPE RELEASED
The track is taken from Hotei's debut UK release 'Strangers', which features an array of high profile guests including Iggy Pop and Matt Tuck...

motorhead FIRST OFFICIAL MOTÖRHEAD VIDEO FROM 'CLEAN YOUR CLOCK' RELEASED: WATCH 'BOMBER' HERE
Never was the spirit of Motorhead more alive than when they were on tour...

little richard UK EXCLUSIVE: LITTLE RICHARD, THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR MOTÖRHEAD, ANNOYED ABOUT "GRAVE HEALTH" REPORTS
'"You know, I want you to talk to the press because I'm really annoyed. This thing started on Facebook..."

desert trip BREAKING NEWS: THE ROLLING STONES, NEIL YOUNG, THE WHO, PAUL McCARTNEY, BOB DYLAN AND ROGER WATERS ALL ANNOUNCED FOR MASSIVE GIG IN OCTOBER
A once-in- a-lifetime concert when six of the world's most iconic and influential rock and roll artists come together for Desert Trip...

alexander van der bellen UK EXCLUSIVE: AC/DC SOUNDTRACK ON AUSTRIAN PRESIDENTIAL PROMO VIDEO CAUSES COPYRIGHT CONTROVERSY
Herr Van der Bellen is not known to be an AC/DC fan although he is a self confessed smoker...

france euro 2016 FRENCH UP IN ARMS OVER KISS SONG BEING CHOSEN AS EURO 2016 ANTHEM
Euro 2016 kicks off in mid-June and France have launched their official anthem which is performed in English...

robert plant LED ZEPPELIN'S ROBERT PLANT GUESTS WITH DEBORAH BONHAM AT LOCAL GIG
Plant joined Deborah Bonham to perform the Led Zeppelin classic 'When The Levee Breaks' and a cover of the Johnny Kid & The Pirates standard 'Shakin' All Over'...

status quo STATUS QUO ANNOUNCE 'DOG OF TWO HEAD' ALE AND 'DOWN DOWN' CIDER
Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo are delighted to announce another great double act...

sabaton SABATON TO RELEASE NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'THE LAST STAND' ON AUGUST 19th
"Did any other artist ever say 'Our new album is the best we ever made'? That's not for us to decide, that's up to our fans..."

doro DORO TO RELEASE NEW LIVE DVD/BLU-RAY 'STRONG AND PROUD - 30 YEARS OF ROCK AND METAL'
30 years of dedication, passion and love for the music and her fans all over the world...

destruction EUROPE UNDER ATTACK! DESTRUCTION, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, NERVOSA ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR
Thrash metal icons Destruction are set to fire their new missile of heavy 'Under Attack' on May 13th via Nuclear Blast Records...

grand magus GRAND MAGUS RELEASE NEW TRACK 'FORGED IN IRON - CROWNED IN STEEL'
"Metalheads! Grand Magus are back. We are proud to unleash this iron-clad anthem, we give you... VARANGIAN!"

tyler bryant TYLER BRYANT AND THE SHAKEDOWN SPECIAL UK HEADLINE WARM-UP DATE FOR AC/DC EUROPEAN TOUR CONFIRMED
Unleashing their high-proof blend of melody, muscle and psychedelic mystique to well in excess of 600,000 riff-hungry fans across 12 different countries...

klogr MUSE, TOOL, STONE SOUR, RUSH PRODUCER FOR KLOGR'S NEXT ALBUM PLUS NEW MUSIC VIDEO PREMIERE
Italian progressive metal band unveil the final music video from 'Make Your Stand'...

rage RAGE REVEAL LYRIC VIDEO FOR NEW TRACK 'SPIRITS OF THE NIGHT' PLUS NEW ALBUM TRAILERS
Iconic German metal trio Rage are set to release their new studio album 'The Devil Strikes Again' on June 10th...

bon scott LIFE-SIZED STATUE OF AC/DC LEGEND BON SCOTT UNVEILED IN KIRRIEMUIR
The bronze statue is the result of a two-year crowdfunding campaign which was supported by AC/DC and the band's former bass player Mark Evans officially unveiled it...

mikkey dee BREAKING NEWS: SAXON WITH PHIL CAMPBELL AND MIKKEY DEE TO PAY TRIBUTE TO LEMMY AT GOLDEN GODS, HAMMERSMITH ODEON
Ticket price is a very reasonable £6.66 with all proceeds going to Nordoff Robbins, Teenage Cancer Trust, and Childline...

mikkey dee BREAKING NEWS: MOTÖRHEAD'S MIKKEY DEE ANNOUNCED AS SCORPIONS DRUMMER
"We would like to continue our Return to Forever tour with James, but we have to realize that his health is priority..."

alex dickson gun BREAKING NEWS: ALEX DICKSON REJOINS GUN
As exclusively predicted by MetalTalk last week, guitarist Alex Dickson has re-joined Scottish rockers Gun...

cockney rejects WEST HAM UNITED TRIBUTE 'GOODBYE UPTON PARK' TO BE RELEASED BY COCKNEY REJECTS
"We were all born within a mile or so from the hallowed Boleyn ground and have all stood on the terraces through snow, rain and sunshine from a very early age."

ac/dc AC/DC RELEASE TICKET REFUND DETAILS FOR MOST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
If you don't want a refund, then we'll see you at The Olympic Stadium in London as we think we're about to witness a major piece of rock history...

deep purple IAN PAICE AND DON AIREY SCHEDULE SOLO EUROPEAN DATES AS 2016 DEEP PURPLE TOUR APPROACHES
Deep Purple are kicking off their 2016 tour next month in Japan, before heading to Israel, Russia and Europe in June and July.

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT TO RELEASE 'THE TOTAL EXPERIENCE LIVE IN LIVERPOOL', HIS ACOLYTE TO 'WOLFLIGHT' WITH GENESIS REVISITED TOUR
"Besides, it's not as if Liverpool is known for having any good music – there's never been a good band from there. Ha!"

lacuna coil LACUNA COIL LAUNCH NEW ALBUM TITLE TRACK 'DELIRIUM'
Lacuna Coil will be making their much-anticipated return to North America as part of the 'Delirium Worldwide' tour starting in San Francisco on May 7th

bibeau YOUNG, PROGRESSIVE BAND BIBEAU OFFER THEIR FIRST SINGLE/VIDEO, 'MARK THIS'
"We were also hoping to convey the look, feel and flow of some of the classic, timeless rock and metal videos from the height of MTV's popularity..."

virginmarys THE VIRGINMARYS ANNOUNCE HEADLINE UK TOUR FOR JUNE 2016
"It's going to be so great to get back in front of our home fans again, and really important to us to play some of the towns we've been wanting to come back to..."

weapon uk WEAPON UK TO HEADLINE THE RETRIBUTION ALIVE ROAD TRIP IN MAY
"They toured with Motörhead in the 80s, including four sold out shows at the Hammersmith Odean and I have to say, we're pretty excited about this!"

headbangers ball ICED EARTH AND ENSIFERUM TO HEADLINE MTV HEADBANGERS BALL TOUR 2016: FULL DATES HERE
"So brace yourselves for the ultimate Metal experience of a lifetime! See you in front row!"

bloodstock BLOODSTOCK ADDS MORE BANDS, DETAILS METAL 2 THE MASSES FINALS AND ANNOUNCES FIRST NEW BLOOD STAGE WINNERS
Bloodstock HQ is readying to send Team M2TM out on the road for the finals, but in the meantime, there's a few more band additions to the August bill

dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN DATES FOR JULY/AUGUST IN SUPPORT OF NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'MAKE SOME NOISE'
The Dead Daisies, the biggest new name in Rock, have just recently announced the addition of Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio) as their new lead guitar player

wolf hoffmann WOLF HOFFMANN TO RELEASE SOLO ALBUM 'HEADBANGERS SYMPHONY' ON JULY 1st
"I have always incorporated classical music in my song writing with Accept, especially with 'Metal Heart', but I constantly felt there was so much more that I could do..."

jaegermeister JÄGERMEISTER RELEASE FULL DOCUMENTARY OF WORLD'S FIRST MUSIC GIG ON AIR, SEA AND LAND
"We go bigger every year and because of the nature of this world first this gig was not only a test of friendship but one of supporting each other too..."

john otway JOHN OTWAY PLANNING ON BEING FIRST ARTIST SINCE THE ROLLING STONES TO RECORD IN MONTSERRAT
"Although the old Air Studios are now derelict the studio in the basement of Sir George Martin's house is sound – it just needs rebuilding..."

fates warning FATES WARNING - NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'THEORIES OF FLIGHT' ANNOUNCED, ARTWORK UNVEILED
"There's a loose theme running through a lot of the lyrics, and this developed organically and separately..."

amon amarth RAISE YOUR HORNS AND BE IN AMON AMARTH'S NEW MUSIC VIDEO
Swedish Heavy Metal goliaths Amon Amarth are inviting their fans around the globe to be a part of their forthcoming video...

sixx am SIXX:A.M. ANNOUNCE THE "#REASONTORISE" CAMPAIGN, TOUR DATES AND 'VOL.1 PRAYERS FOR THE DAMNED' DETAILS
"It is our duty as citizens of this world to come together, communicate with one another and rise up to demand more of ourselves and our leaders."

armored saint ARMORED SAINT ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN FESTIVAL AND CLUB APPEARANCES
"For our first time in Spain, it's gonna be sick! And as if this wasn't enough - Saint is playing for the first time ever in Japan..."

black country communion BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION TO REFORM IN 2017
"Preparing BCC Rocket Ship Re-launch for 2017 - all systems go."

tarja TARJA PREMIERES OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO OF HER NEW SINGLE 'NO BITTER END'
'No Bitter End', the opening track of the prequel album 'The Brightest Void', is the first glimpse of Tarja's new work – her heaviest to date...

stratovarius STRATOVARIUS RELEASE LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'UNTIL THE END OF DAYS'
"To me it's a testament to the fact that paying attention to song writing and production was expensive, but so worth it..."

brian johnson EXCLUSIVE: PROMINENT AC/DC CREW MEMBER GIVES REMARKABLE INSIGHT INTO AXL ROSE APPOINTMENT
AC/DC are covering themselves in case Axl's poor reputation for unprofessionalism manifests itself...

brian johnson THE DARKEST DAY OF MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE: BRIAN JOHNSON ISSUES PERSONAL STATEMENT ON AC/DC DEPARTURE
"I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring. My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that..."

thin lizzy THIN LIZZY ANNOUNCE BASS PLAYER AND NEW DRUMMER FOR 2016/17 ANNIVERSARY SHOWS
Thin Lizzy are undisputed legends and to be a small part of their lineage is a humble honor for me...

ian gillan IAN GILLAN TO PERFORM UNIQUE SOLO SHOW OF DEEP PURPLE CLASSICS IN BULGARIA
There is a possibility that Ian will also play some material from his catalogue outside of Deep Purple...

don airey DEEP PURPLE'S DON AIREY AND FRIENDS ADDED TO CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL PLUS ATOMIC ROOSTER
Expect to hear many classics from Airey's illustrious past which includes time spent with Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne as well as his current job with Deep Purple...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016 ANNOUNCE SUNDAY NIGHT HEADLINERS AND FIVE MORE ACTS
With June creeping ever closer, Wildfire Festival's impressive main stages line-up is all but finalised...

whitesnake THE END OF WHITESNAKE: DAVID COVERDALE TO RETIRE IN 2017
Whitesnake headline the UK's Ramblin Man Festival in July in what could be their final ever UK appearance...

axl rose AXL ROSE CONFIRMED AS AC/DC SINGER FOR THE REMAINING ROCK OR BUST DATES
The worst kept secret in rock is now official...

aerosmith THE END OF AEROSMITH?: NO FAREWELL TOUR CONFIRMED AT THE MOMENT
"A farewell tour is something we've talked about doing for years, let's say roughly in the last five years..."

hrh united ALESTORM, HAMMERFALL, FINSTERFORST, NAPALM DEATH, ARMORED SAINT, VENOM INC. AND EVIL SCARECROW ANNOUNCED FOR HRH UNITED
HRH United 3 will be an exclusive upgraded Metal Edition taking over the entire site @ Camp HRH, Pwllheli, North Wales...

rolling stones PROUD GALLERIES PLAYING HOST TO FABULOUS ROLLING STONES PHOTO EXHIBITION: TERRY O'NEILL TO ATTEND SIGNING SESSION
It's a wonderful book by photographer Terry O'Neill of Rolling Stones images from 1963 to 1965, an era when the Stones were just "breaking through"...

between the buried and me BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN SUMMER DATES
As well as the European tour dates, BTBAM have launched a live video for 'The Ectopic Stroll' whih you can see here...

jade vine LONDON BASED ALTERNATIVE PROG ROCKERS JADE VINE ANNOUNCE ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW
Jade Vine's music has been influenced by artists such as Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Anathema and Pain Of Salvation...
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