Top 10: Albums of 2010

2010 has been a fantastic year for music, band old and new have released absolutely stunning albums. That has only made the job of choosing a top 10 much harder. But here’s my attempt.

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Download 2011 Announce First Two Bands

Download festival, which will take place in Donington Park next June (10th -12th) have announced that System Of A Down will headline the saturday night. Avenged Sevenfold will also play at the festival.

Downoad organizer, Andy Copping, has also revealed a list of bands that will NOT be playing, via his Twitter:

“More to come but to quah the rumours there’s no Foos, Jovi, Ozzy, Zombie, Halen, Rush, MCR, Blink, Green Day this year…that I can tell you.”


Mike Portnoy Leaves Dream Theater

Mike Portnoy released the following statement in the early hours of this morning (UK time)

“I am about to write something I never imagined I’d ever write.

“After 25 years, I have decided to leave Dream Theater… the band I founded, led and truly loved for a quarter of a century.

“To many people this will come as a complete shock, and will also likely be misunderstood by some, but please believe me that it is not a hasty decision…it is something I have struggled with for the last year or so….

“After having had such amazing experiences playing with Hail!, Transatlantic and Avenged Sevenfold this past year, I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in Dream Theater.

“Please don’t misinterpret me, I love the Dream Theater guys dearly and have a long history, friendship and bond that runs incredibly deep with them… it’s just that I think we are in serious need of a little break.

“Dream Theater was always my baby…and I nurtured that baby every single day and waking moment of my life since 1985… 24/7, 365… never taking time off from Dream Theater‘s never-ending responsibilites (even when the band was ‘off’ between cycles)… working overtime and way beyond the call of duty that most sane people ever would do for a band.

“But I’ve come to the conclusion that the Dream Theater machine was starting to burn me out…and I really needed a break from the band in order to save my relationship with the other members and keep my Dream Theater spirit hungry and inspired.

“We have been on an endless write/record/tour cycle for almost 20 years now (of which I have overseen EVERY aspect without a break) and while a few months apart from each other here and there over the years has been much needed and helpful, I honestly hoped the band could simply agree with me to taking a bit of a ‘hiatus’ to recharge our batteries and ‘save me from ourselves’…

“Sadly, in discussing this with the guys, they determined they do not share my feelings and have decided to continue without me rather than take a breather… I even offered to do some occasional work throughout 2011 against my initial wishes, but it was not to be…

“While it truly hurts for me to even think of a Dream Theater without Mike Portnoy (hell, my father named the band!!), I do not want to stand in their way…so I have decided to sacrifice myself and simply leave the band so as to not hold them back against their wishes.

“Strangely enough, I just read an interview that I recently did that asked me about the future of Dream Theater and I talked about ‘always following your heart and being true to yourself’… Sadly, I must say that at this particular moment, my heart is not with Dream Theater…and I would simply be ‘going through the motions,’ and would honestly NOT be true to myself if I stayed for the sake of obligation without taking the break I felt I needed.

“I wish the guys the best and hope the music and legacy we created together is enjoyed by fans for decades to come… I am proud of every album we made, every song we wrote and every show we played….

“I’m sorry to all the disappointed Dream Theater fans around the world… I really tried to salvage the situation and make it work… I honestly just wanted a break (not a split)… but happiness cannot be forced, it needs to come from within.

“You Dream Theater fans are the greatest fans in the world and as you all know, I have always busted my ass for you guys and I hope that you will stay with me on my future musical journey, wherever it may lead me…. (and as you all know my work ethic, there will surely be no shortage of future Mike Portnoy projects!)”

This is very sad news for Dream Theater fans, Portnoy was one of the main creative forces in the band, as well as one of the greatest drummers alive, Dream Theater are going to have a very hard time replaceing him.

The band released this statement shortly after Portnoy’s:

“To all of our loyal fans and friends: It is with profound sadness — regret — we announce that Mike Portnoy, our lifelong drummer and friend, has decided to leave Dream Theater.

“Mike’s stature in the band has meant the world to all of us professionally, musically, and personally over the years. There is no dispute: Mike has been a major force within this band.

“While it is true that Mike is choosing to pursue other ventures and challenges, we can assure you that Dream Theater will continue to move forward with the same intensity — and in the same musical tradition — that you have all helped make so successful, and which is truly gratifying to us.

“Fans and friends: File this episode under ‘Black Clouds and Silver Linings.’

“As planned, we begin recording our newest album in January 2011, and we’ll follow that with a full-on world tour.

“‘The Spirit Carries On.’

“All of us in Dream Theater wholeheartedly wish Mike the best on his musical journey. We have had a long and meaningful career together. It is our true hope that he finds all he is looking for, and that he achieves the happiness he deserves. He will be missed.”

So, does this mean Portnoy will be joining A7X full time?

“I BEG of the fans to please not hold A7X responsible for my decision… they are just as shocked as you guys.. I has been contemplating this and desiring a “break” (not split) as long as last year…everything else is fully explained in the press release… Thank you for all your support and understanding…this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

By the looks of things, Portnoy will continue to play with A7X until their tour schedule is complete, what happens next for Portnoy is anyone’s guess.

Personally, I think he will return to Dream Theater at some point down the line, but maybe that is just wishful thinking…

Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare Review


It’s your fucking nightmare…

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New A7X Song

Avenged Sevenfold And Stone Sour Tour Dates

26 Glasgow, SECC
27 Manchester, Academy
28 Birmingham, NIA
30 London, Hammersmith Apollo

02 Newcastle, Academy
03 Leeds, Academy
04 Manchester, Academy
06 Plymouth, Pavilion
07 Brighton, Centre

Tickets go on sale this Friday at 9 a.m.

Third A7X Nightmare Video Teaser

Second A7X Nightmare Video Teaser

Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold To Tour UK Together

Corey Taylor Has revealed to Kerrang that Stone Sour and A7X are to tour together:

“Tours in the past used to be huge events with different types of music, lately, tours have become watered down with same sounding bands and same sounding songs. What we’ll be offering is a great live and musical experience that will appeal to all different types of music lovers.

“I’m really looking forward to it! We last did some shows with Avenged in 2007 and we got to know them really well at that time.”

“The other bands on the bill are yet to be determined, but I can promise you that I might wear pants, there will be several pairs of pants throughout the tour.”

This should be a great show and hopefully the support bands they pick are great too.

A7X Nightmare Video Teaser