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Slipknot has revealed that they are taking their Knotfest music festival south of the board later this year where they and Megadeth and Lamb of God will lead the lineup.

The band revealed via the website on Monday that Knotfest Mexico will be taking place at Foro Pegaso in Toluca, Mexico on December 5th.

The announced lineup includes Slipknot, Megadeth, Lamb of God, HIM, A Day To Remember, Trivium, Atreyu, Asking Alexandria, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Here Comes The Kraken and Tanus.

Visit the event site for more details here...

The track is taken from the Disturbed's sixth studio album, "Immortalized", set for a August 21st release through Reprise Records. Lead single "The Vengeful One" is out now, along with the accompanying animated video from filmmaker Phil Mucci, and "Immortalized" is available for pre-order everywhere, from members David Draiman (vocals), Dan Donegan (guitar), Mike Wengren (drums) and John Moyer (bass).

Draiman revealed that "Fire It Up", which opens with the sound of a bong hit, was inspired by the singer's routine. He explained: "There was a big fat bowl before that one. 95 percent of the songs I've written in my life, I've written them while high. That's the god's honest truth."

Draiman continued: "I'll have a very skeletal musical idea in my head, and then I'll light one up, go in the shower and let the steam kind of build up. It helps me relax, and I can see the gaps. I can see the holes in the rhythm and the melody and I'll know where I can go, and what the possibilities are. It helps me be able to perceive everything a little bit more clearly."

Get this Blitzers, Draiman says that "Fire It Up" was inspired by a recording session where he sang DISTURBED's new cover of SIMON AND GARFUNKEL's "The Sound Of Silence" while high. "I was done with the day and I wanted to relax, so I went ahead and I smoked a bowl," he laughed. "I came back and was high out of my mind and no, no, by no means ready to track vocals by any stretch of the imagination. And they all encouraged me to go into the vocal booth, and I was pretty blown away. I hadn't heard my voice that vulnerable in a very, very long time."

Draiman added that "Fire It Up" is more lighthearted than usual for DISTURBED, remarking: "Yeah, that's me saying it: There' s a song on this DISTURBED record that's fun… And God knows there's certainly enough people out there that appreciate the enlightening aspects of smoking marijuana."

"Immortalized" ends a four-year hiatus for the band and DISTURBED are scheduledto play its first show in four years on August 21 at the House of Blues in the band's hometown of Chicago.

It's Here! "Better Place", the first video from SAINT ASONIA, the new act featuring ex-THREE DAYS GRACE frontman Adam Gontier and STAIND guitarist Mike Mushok, STUCK MOJO and DARK NEW DAY bassist Corey Lowery and FINGER ELEVEN drummer Rich Beddoe! They played their first live show at Rock On The Range here in Columbus in May as a "Surprise Guest". The Blitz Presents Saint Asonia at The Newport Music Hall August 25th!

The clip was filmed in Los Angeles with director Paul Brown, who has previously worked with MARILYN MANSON, THREE DAYS GRACE, EVANESCENCE, SLIPKNOT, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, AVENGED SEVENFOLD and MÖTLEY CRÜE, among others.

Speaking about the video shoot, Gontier said: "It was a great experience. I'm pretty proud of it myself. I co-directed the video with the director Paul Brown. And Paul is someone that I've worked with in the past, and he does great, great stuff. I wrote the treatment and got a chance to co-direct the video, which is something I have always wanted to do. I'm really, really proud of it."

Regarding the "Better Place" video concept, Gontier said: "It's basically looking out at a few different people in different situations in their lives where they just finally, sort of, stop getting stepped on and end up in a better place. There's a few different ways that people will interpret the video, but it's a really, really cool idea and it's something that I don't think has really ever been done. So, yeah, I'm excited for people to see it and [to see] their reaction, for sure."

"Better Place" is taken from SAINT ASONIA's self-titled debut album, which was JUST released (Friday, July 31)

Gontier has kept a low profile since leaving THREE DAYS GRACE in December 2012. The band replaced him with Matt Walst and recently released a new album called "Human".

Mushok's band, STAIND, has not released new music since 2011 and has no plans to return to the studio. Mushok played briefly in 2013 with ex-METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted in his self-named band.

Beddoe exited FINGER ELEVEN in late 2013.

Lowery's resume includes stints with STUCK MOJO, SWITCHED, STEREOMUD, DARK NEW DAY and most recently EYE EMPIRE.

Back in December, a 1,000-person band was being put together in an attempt to lure the Foo Fighters to play in Cesena, Italy. That performance did go off, and now a video of the epic rendition has been released on the group’s official website Rockin1000.

The video is the brainchild of Fabio Zaffagnini, who simply wants to the Foo Fighters to perform in the Cesena, which is located in the Romagna region of Northern Italy, near the Adriatic Sea. Zaffagnini started the crowd-funding event late last year and raised over 44,000 Euros, the equivalent of over 48,000 U.S. dollars.

The epic clip is shot brilliantly and features artists from all over Italy, who descended on the Italian city of Cesena at their own expense to perform “Learn to Fly.” The clip is destined to go viral and is sure to catch the attention of the band.

At the end of the clip Zaffagnini explains, “I guess that this video is going to be seen by millions of people all over the world, but to be true it was conceived to be addressed just to five people: Chris, Pat, Nate, Taylor and Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters.” He adds, “You know, Italy is a country where dreams cannot easily come true, but it’s a land of passion and creativity. So what we did here is a huge miracle. I have been working on this f—king project for more than one year, waking up every morning thinking about how to make it real.” Zaffagini concludes by addressing the band saying, “1,000 rockers that came from all over the nation at their own expenses … for one song, your song. So our call is to ask you the Foo Fighters to come play for us in Cesena.”

Last year there was a successful crowd funded campaign to get the Foo Fighters to play in Richmond, Va. for the first time since 1999. The concert took place on Sept. 17 and the date was declared Foo Fighters Day in the city.

While Cesena fans wait for word, the ball is in Dave Grohl’s court and the Foos have responded via Twitter, with a simple message, “Che bello, Cesena” which means, “How beautiful, Cesena!”
....stay tuned to see how it plays out!



The first Pantera album to capture the sound most people associate with the band today was actually the group’s fifth record, Cowboys from Hell, which came out on July 24, 1990. Inspired by a love for Metallica and classic Judas Priest, guitarist Dimebag Darrell (then known as Diamond Darrell) and drummer Vinnie Paul strived to achieve a sound that cut with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel and the destructive power of a chainsaw. But the album wouldn’t have been nearly as heavy and scathing if vocalist Philip Anselmo hadn’t insisted on bringing a hardcore mentality and an ultra-heavy thrash perspective into the band.

“I showed them the f–king path, man,” Anselmo told me in 2010. “It would be a lie to say anything different. Dimebag came over to the first house I lived in in Texas in early ’88 and I said, ‘Look here. This is what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna smoke this bowl and you’re gonna sit down and listen to a song.’ And he was like, ‘Okay.’ So we smoked a bowl, and I proceeded to put on the vinyl version of ‘At Dawn They Sleep’ from Slayer’s Hell Awaits. He sat there and stared at the turntable and by about the middle of the song that big curly head started to move a little and groove, and by the end of the song he’s like, ‘Damn, son, that’s bad-ass!’”

The first song Pantera wrote for Cowboys From Hell was “The Art of Shredding,” which they later recorded on a demo along with “Cowboys From Hell” and “The Sleep.” “Psycho Holiday” and “Heresy” came soon after. “We were on fire,” Paul says. “We wrote all three of those songs in the same two-day jam session. And they really energized everybody and re-focused everybody. Once we laid those demos down and people started hearing them, they became really serious about wanting to sign the band.”

After numerous rejections, Pantera finally inked a deal with Derek Shulman at Atco Records after his A&R man Mark Ross saw Pantera play a birthday party. Ross was in town to see another band when his plane was grounded by Hurricane Hugo. With nothing on his schedule, he called Shulman, who suggested he see if Pantera, a band he had his eye on, were doing anything. In the middle of the birthday gig, Ross disappeared and Pantera figured he lost interest and left. As it turned out, he couldn’t wait to step out of the club to call Shulman and tell him how great Pantera were.

The most enduring song from the record was the title track, which was built on a guitar part Darrell came up with while messing around with a four-track recorder. “The crazy noise at the beginning was just a Dime thing,” said bassist Rex Brown. “That’s what he was hearing in his head so he made a loop of that to play over. I just remember it was f–kin’ very repetitious and very f–kin’ annoying for a long while. And that ‘Cowboys From Hell’ intro is a little form of in-the-box scaling. We were always down the street watching all these great blues guys come through because Vinnie and Darrell’s dad [Jerry Abbott] was an engineer at Pantego studio. We’d sneak down there and sit way underneath the board listening to all this great stuff. And I think that’s where Dime got the idea for that intro to ‘Cowboys.’ He started it as a kind of modal exercise because he would practice it forwards and backwards.”

Pantera spent six months writing Cowboys From Hell, which was heavily rooted in thrash with hints of NWOBHM in songs like “Shattered” and “Heresy.” As much as the band wanted Cowboys From Hell to showcase their heaviness and agility, they also wanted to imbue the record with a Southern vibe that was latter dubbed the power groove.

“We always felt like our musicianship enabled us to be more than just a thrash band,” Vinnie Paul says. “A lot of thrash bands are sort of limited in what they can do, and we always felt like the groove thing was something we didn’t want to lose even though we got heavier. We just felt like a lot of these other heavier bands that were out were missing that groove. So we really focused on that because we really wanted people to be able to move to the music. Being from Texas, we were always fans of ZZ Top and bands that had really big grooves.”

With part of Cowboys From Hell written, Pantera entered Pantego Sound to record the album. They originally wanted to work with Max Norman, but that didn’t work out. “We were such huge fans of Ozzy’s Diary of a Madman and this band Malice and they were all produced by Max Norman,” Paul says. “We were head over heels. We had to have Max Norman. So he flew to Houston to see a gig and he loved the band. We were all set, ready to go. But our recording budget only allowed for $30,000 for the producer. About two days before we were supposed to start recording with Max, he got offered $50,000 to go do Lynch Mob. So he calls us up and said, ‘Guys I gotta take this. I need the money. I’m out.’ We were like, ‘What the f–k?’ This guy was one of our heroes and we always wanted to make a record with him and suddenly he’s gone. So Mark Ross calls us up and goes, ‘Okay guys, we gotta find another producer. I got this guy named Terry Date who just finished doing Soundgarden and Overkill.’ And we were like, ‘Man, I don’t know.’ And he said, ‘Well, let’s find out.’”

Date developed a strong bond with Pantera and worked with them through 1996’s The Great Southern Trendkill. The symbiotic trust between band and producer enabled Pantera to sound as heavy as a granite tabletop or as melancholy as a gloomy day without seeming contrived or detracting from the band’s heaviness. While Date wasn’t directly involved in writing of the experimental ballad “Cemetery Gates,” his influence likely rubbed off on the song.

“I played a whole lot of the strumming stuff on the front of that and a lot of the alternate picking,” Brown said. “Me and Dime were just sitting around in the back of the studio and we said, ‘Well, let’s try a little something else’ and came up with that. We went back to where Vinnie and Terry were working and we said, “We got something here that we want to do before ‘Cemetery Gates’ that’s gonna be really cool. So we played it on our acoustics and they dug it, and then we made it into a two-minute section before ‘Cemetery’ actually came in. And you hear the loud thunderous thing. That’s eight grand pianos stacked [together] that I played backwards on tape. You speed the tape up and then when you turn it back around it makes this big crescendo.”

As much as “Cemetery Gates” added to Cowboys From Hell, Anselmo wasn’t feeling the track and still considers it a weak link on the album. But everyone else wanted him to sing the song so he stepped up to the plate. “This is where compromise came in a lot,” he said. “Remember, Pantera didn’t really lock in and fully find its sound until Vulgar Display of Power and after that we were f–king possessed. So there was a big part where the band would want to write something melodic and they knew I could actually sing. Being as hard headed as I was about the whole heavy metal thing, sometimes I would be apt to shortchange myself and purposely not sing when I could have. But at this point in the band I felt like I had ‘Heresy’ and ‘Psycho Holiday’ in there, so okay, I’ll do ‘Cemetery Gates.’ And by the way, I did know the Smiths had a song called ‘Cemetery Gates.’ I just thought it would be ironic to call it that. So yeah, ‘Cemetery Gates’ was a big compromise musically at the time, and if you think about it, in the career of Pantera you didn’t hear us play that song much live. It got to the point where it wasn’t necessarily us anymore.”

When Cowboys From Hell was released, the first song the public connected with was the title track, which helped Pantera reach No. 27 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and No. 117 on the album chart. With “Cemetery Gates,” the band expanded its fanbase, and tours with Exodus and Suicidal Tendencies helped prove the band was one of the most crazed and exciting live acts in metal. The final single from Cowboys From Hell was “Psycho Holiday,” but by then Pantera had their eyes set on making an even heavier and more uncompromising album than Cowboys From Hell.

Pantera’s major label debut went gold in September 1993 and platinum in July 1997. A 20th Anniversary CD featured two bonus discs; one was made up of live versions of the songs and the other contained all the album demos.

Rockers Pay Tribute To ‘Cowboys From Hell’ on 25th Anniversary

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