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Mommy Goes Back To Metal: A Surly Middle-Aged Woman’s Review Of Ozzfest/Knotfest 2016
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Marissa Bergen   |  
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Ozzfest Knotfest 2016 banner

Don’t ask me why I decided to go to Ozzfest/Knotfest this year. Normally an annual rite of passage for my husband and our 13-year-old son, I somehow got it in my head that it would be a fun thing for me and my 9-year-old daughter to tag along this year. Perhaps it is all part of my middle-aged crisis that is also attempting to convince me that I am a somewhat relevant rock n’ roll star who is destined for success in my family band (#thecheesebergens), but anyway…

I was approaching the festival in what already looked like miserable conditions as hot winds kicked up dust storms all over the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, CA. Early thoughts on the parking lot situation: Why do schlubby guys feel like it’s necessary to take off their shirts and stand in the beds of their pickup trucks? And why are there so many more of them taking off their shirts than the ones who actually look good without shirts? But there were plenty of those too…shout out to the twin shirtless heavy metal cowboys with man buns (yes, you are reading that correctly!).

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The Metalhead’s Holiday Gift Guide 2015
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Marissa Bergen   |  
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Holiday Metal Gift Guide 2015

It’s getting colder. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer, and everyone is so full of Christmas cheer, it makes you want to burn down a church. Worse than that, you have to spend precious beer money on… gifts. Well, whether you have metal buddies who are seriously expecting something this season, or whether you want to give Aunt Mabel something so heinously inappropriate that she will regift it right back to you, you might want to take a look at this list.

Here’s the 2015 Metalhead’s Holiday Gift Guide

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2015’s Ozzfest Japan To Be Black Sabbath’s Farewell Gig
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Black Sabbath Band Photo 2013

Sharon Osbourne, wife and manager of Ozzy Osbourne, has just released a video announcing that Ozzfest will be returning to Japan later this year. She also casually dropped the bombshell that Black Sabbath‘s headlining slot on the second night of the festival will be the band’s farewell performance.

Watch the announcement video here below.

Ozzy himself had previously stated that the band would record one more album and do one last tour. No word, as yet, on whether those plans are still on. Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has been undergoing treatments for lymphoma since 2012. His health issues did not derail the band from releasing the critically acclaimed comeback album 13.

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‘Fingers Bloody Fingers’: Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi Featured In Animated Short
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath

The past couple of years have been quite eventful for the godfather of metal, Mr. Tony Iommi. The guitarist has seen the reunion of his band Black Sabbath with original singer Ozzy Osbourne and the release of their first album together in 35 years, the impressive 13. That album’s opening track, “God Is Dead,” went on to win the band their first ever Grammy for “Best Hard Rock or Metal Performance” in 2014.

Iommi’s personal life has been no less eventful. He was diagnosed with cancer during the recording sessions for 13 and has been undergoing treatments while also undertaking a massive world tour. It has been a grueling process for Iommi, who recently celebrated his 67th birthday. It hasn’t been all bad news for the six-string legend though; he was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Coventry University “in recognition of his contribution to the world of popular music.”

And now as we all celebrate the 45th Anniversary Of Black Sabbath’s debut album this month, Iommi is the subject of a new VH-1 animated short about the origins of his unique iconic riff mastery.

Watch the animated short, The Complete History of Heavy Metal: Fingers Bloody Fingers, here below.

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Massive Metal Monday: Black Sabbath “Black Sabbath”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Black Sabbath Original Band Photo

In honor of the 45th anniversary of the release of Black Sabbath‘s self-titled
debut album this past Friday, today’s edition of Massive Metal Monday is dedicated to the album’s eponymous opening track. Watch the band perform the song live in Paris from 1970 here below.

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Black Sabbath’s Self-Titled Debut Album Turns 45
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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Black Sabbath

Released on Friday, February 13, 1970, today marks the 45th anniversary of Black Sabbath, the debut album by the legendary band of the same name. In many ways, Black Sabbath — released on a Friday the 13th like today — stands atop a short list of influential albums which nearly singlehandedly ushered in a sound, genre, influence, and style that continues to be studied and copied endlessly by musicians and bands globally.

In Black Sabbath’s case, they fused together a musical amalgam of Sun Records style rock and roll, doomy blues, classical overtones, jazz complexities, and a drudging sound to create a concoction that had never been heard before it. While many of the most groundbreaking bands in musical history (even The Beatles) sort of wear their influences right on their sleeves (think about Led Zeppelin records), Black Sabbath had a sound, stance, and style that almost was like coming from a mold specifically created for them.

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Black Sabbath Bassist Geezer Butler Arrested In Death Valley
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler

Heavy metal godfather Geezer Butler, bassist of the legendary band Black Sabbath, was arrested on Tuesday night on charges of misdemeanor assault, public intoxication, and vandalism at The Corkscrew Saloon on the grounds of the Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley, California. Details are sketchy but it seems that Butler was involved in a physical altercation with another man that resulted in property damage to the bar.

The Inyo County sheriff’s department issued the following press release regarding the matter. See it here below.

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Massive Metal Monday: “Trashed” By Black Sabbath
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Black Sabbath with Ian Gillan and Bev Bevan

Born Again is Black Sabbath‘s highly underrated album from 1983. Having suffered the loss of their second singer and drummer in five years when Ronnie James Dio and Vinnie Appice left to form Dio, many folks had written Black Sabbath off as a going concern. But guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler roared back with a new “supergroup” lineup and a killer lineup of new tunes. Legendary Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan came aboard as front man and newly sober Sabbath founding drummer Bill Ward was back behind the kit. By the time the album was released, Ward was drinking again and unable to tour while he sought treatment. Legendary drummer Bev Bevan, who had been in both The Move and Electric Light Orchestra filled in for the tour.

The album proved to be very polarizing among critics and fans alike and its album cover is widely considered to be one of the very worst in the history of metal, but the music contained therein possesses an immediacy uncommon to Sabbath and lyrical content very atypical of the band. It is a very unique album in the band’s pantheon and a cult classic among metal fans. The album’s one and only single “Trashed” helped push the album into the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and the video for the song provides a brief glimpse into this short-lived but storied period in the Black Sabbath’s history.

Watch the video for “Trashed” here, below.

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Massive Metal Monday: Black Sabbath “Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Black Sabbath Original Band Photo

When it comes to metal, it doesn’t really get any more massive than 1970’s Black Sabbath. The band that almost singlehandedly invented the genre with their 1970 self-titled debut album would see its original lineup collapse under the weight of heavy drug use and artistic stagnation by the end of the decade. But in 1973, at the time they released their fifth album, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, the band was firing on all cylinders.

Here, with the title track of that monumental release, are Tony Iommi, Bill Ward, Geezer Butler, and Ozzy Osbourne, the original Black Sabbath.

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Black Sabbath Guitarist Tony Iommi Receives Honorary Doctorate
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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Tony Iommi

The always omnipresent “Iron Man,” Black Sabbath guitarist and co-founder Tony Iommi, can now add another accolade to his illustrious career: an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Coventry University in Coventry, England “in recognition of his contribution to the world of popular music.”

You can view the video here below of Iommi receiving the honorary doctorate last week.

After basically re-sculpting and redefining the entire hard rock genre, and then using what he did in Sabbath as a precursor to the Heavy Metal boom that followed and continues to be passionately revered by scores of fans globally, Tony Iommi created riffs for a multitude of songs that are instantly recognizable to the sound, attitude, and style of the band, by the staunchest fan or the lightest Sabbath treader.

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