This Week In Metal (15/6/15 - 21/6/15)

It’s been a good times bad times sort of week. Starting with the lousiest news: following Dave Grohl’s nasty tumble off stage last week which resulted in a broken leg, the Foo Fighters have had to cancel their remaining tour dates – including two Wembley shows, a concert at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium and their headline slot at Glastonbury. The band say in a statement: “Due to injuries sustained in Dave Grohl’s fall at Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, doctors have required the cancellation of the remainder of the band’s dates in the UK and Europe. After undergoing surgery Monday, Dave’s full recuperation time is still to be determined.”

While this is undoubtedly a rotten bunch of arse, the edge was taken off a little with the announcement of a website called Sign Dave’s Cast, which gives fans the chance to leave messages which will be added to a ‘virtual cast’. The best 300 will be printed onto a real cast, which will be presented to the stricken Mr Grohl by the organisers, creative agency EVB and web development group Bauscode, who announced: “When a rock god breaks a leg, he finishes the show. When mortals sign his cast, they do it with the internet. Sign on Twitter by posting with #SignDavesCast. All posts will appear on Dave’s Virtual Cast. And as many as possible will be printed on an actual cast sleeve.”

There’s no such glimmer of sweetness in the saga of Hagar Vs Van Halen, which has reached new depths of unpleasantness after Eddie told Billboard that he had to show the band’s ex-bassist Michael Anthony how to play his parts via video tutorials, and got his son Wolfgang in the band to make up for Anthony’s musical limitations. He subsequently leapt to the defence of Michael Anthony, his bandmate in rock supergroup The Circle, releasing a forthright video on Facebook declaring: “Fuck you, Eddie Van Halen, for saying that about Mikey. You’re a liar,” adding that EVH’s claims are “the biggest line of bullshit I’ve ever heard in my life.” Hagar had already been in the news earlier in the week slinging literal fighting talk at the Van Halens, claiming they’re trying to stop him playing songs that he wrote for the band. “They’ve had attorneys and people say, ‘No, he can’t play them,’” the singer insisted. “They will actually fight legally to try and stop me. I’m going crazy – I’m going, ‘I’m going to break these guys’ necks.’”

By contrast, even David Vincent has been the height of tact and diplomacy in the wake of this week’s dramatic and confusing dissolution of Morbid Angel. On Tuesday, Trey Azagthoth announced on Facebook that he was working with the Floridian death metallers’ ex-vocalist Steve Tucker. This was followed swiftly by a response from Vincent, claiming “To be clear, I have not left Morbid Angel, nor have I been asked to do so.” Tucker then confirmed that he was now the band’s sole frontman, which was followed by the news that drummer Tim Yeung had left, citing the reason behind so many disgruntled drummer departures as “financial differences”. He’d barely shut the door before guitarist Destructhor announced that he too was leaving, “Due to issues of them wanting to work with someone more local,” apparently. Finally, on Friday, Dave released a statement declaring “I had good communication with Trey yesterday and we agree that there are incompatibilities with regards to us working together. Trey and I have accomplished amazing things together over the past 30 years and I wish him the best with his future projects. Out of respect for the legacy of these accomplishments, I encourage Morbid Angel fans to not take sides, because I am not.”

So we saved the best news for last, and I think we’re all on the same side here: Iron Maiden are releasing their 16th album, The Book Of Souls, on 4th September worldwide, and it’s a double album! And the first and last songs are Bruce Dickinson’s first solo writing credits since Revelations and Powerslave 1984! And the latter track is eighteen minutes long! The next two and a bit months can’t happen fast enough.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.