This Week In Metal (21/8/15 - 27/9/15)

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As Lemmy fought off a lung infection, returning to full health to perform a well-received live set in New York, Motörhead celebrated the life force this week with a range of vibrating sex toys. Available in a variety of sizes and shapes and emblazoned with the band’s logo and Snaggletooth designs, these are some distinctive and downright beautiful three-speed gift ideas. Christmas is coming – and so will you.

The multimedia institution that is Motörhead continued their, um, penetration into new markets this week with their own branded whisky – though it’s only available in Sweden. “Life is less painful with Motörhead Whisky,” reckons Lem, though it’s perhaps not a slogan that would be approved by the Advertising Standards Authority. With other Motörhead tipples including wine, vodka and beer, plus sex toys and the smashing new album Bad Magic, Motörhead’s 40th anniversary year has seen them corner the markets for sex, booze and rock ‘n’ roll: job done lads.

Slayer reached number 11 in the UK album chart – and number one in Germany – with Repentless, their first LP without Jeff Hanneman. More importantly, according to Kerry King, Slayer’s European tour is close to selling out. “I judge it more by people coming to shows rather than on people buying music,” the big-bearded, bullet-headed thrash guitar icon told the Irish Times. “It’s very different to what it was 20 years ago, but the live environment is unchanged, and that’s when you see if you are doing well. The tour that’s coming up is almost sold out already which is great news. It does seem to be a good time for metal.“

It certainly seems to be a powerful vindication of Kerry and Tom’s decision to keep Slayer going after Jeff Hanneman’s shocking death in 2013. Kerry was quoted this week sweetly likening his decision to ask Exodus guitarist Gary Holt to fill in for Jeff as “Like asking a girl out to the prom. If you get turned down you’re like, ‘Oh man, we suck,’” he told Chris Jericho’s Talk Is Jericho podcast, adding that he had already approached Gary about a potential future collaboration in early 2010, and that Jeff had given his approval for Gary’s promotion to Slayer’s touring line-up, declaring “Man, it couldn’t be a better pick.”

There’s another legendary name from the early days of 80s LA thrash who are about to reveal a new-look line-up with a world tour starting soon: Megadeth this week launched their online countdown clock, grandly ticking down the days until they issue an ‘announcement’ about their as-yet-untitled fifteenth studio album - their first featuring new guitarist Kiko Loureiro and stand-in drummer from Lamb Of God, Chris Adler. Mustaine’s crew subsequently play China, Japan, Australia, India, Russia and will tour the UK in November alongside Lamb Of God – a knackering month for Chris Adler, then…

Another busy boy this week is Rob Zombie. He’s still working on his latest horror film 31 with Malcolm McDowell, he’s got a string of US live dates in October, and it was reported by Deadline that he’s also to co-produce and direct an upcoming TV comedy horror series. Trapped, created and written by Arrested Development co-producer Joey Slamon, focuses on a family who find themselves besieged by a murderous cult, and was commissioned by US network Starz in association with Mila Kunis’ Orchard Farm Productions. “Me and my pal Mila have some crazy shit planned,” promises Rob.

One more intriguing development in a feel-good sort of news week: the UK’s Official Charts Company is to start including records sold at live shows in its weekly album listings. With the new ‘Lightning Live’ system, every recording sold at the merch stall will now count towards a band’s Official Albums Chart placing. It’ll be interesting to see what impact this has, and to see if more bands will now make sure their records are on sale alongside the tour hoodies, branded mugs and embroidered thongs.