After reading some (unnamed to protect the guilty…ha!) year end lists of what some thought the biggest news stories of 2009 were, here is another view on the biggest stories in METAL for 2009. Agree or disagree? Comments welcome!
#1. ANVIL – The success of "ANVIL! The Story of Anvil"
The Canadian band heavy metal band Anvil really made a splash with their documentary that has been dubbed a "real life Spinal Tap". The doc was directed by screenwriter and former Anvil roadie Sacha Gervasi. It has made waves throughout 2009 both in metal circles and surprisingly (those who haven’t seen it), in the general public. The underdog story of perseverance despite seemingly insurmountable odds speaks to everyone…metalhead or not. Opening for AC/DC, Saxon, and have since played at a number of festivals, appearances on all major news outlets, this is beyond the recognition they ever had even at the peak of their 80′s popularity. Let’s hope that they ride the wave onto the musical success they so rightly deserve.
#2. SENTENCED guitarist Miika Tenkula (March 6 1974 – February 19 2009)
The worst news of 2009 was when we heard that SENTENCED guitarist Miika Tenkula was found dead in his home on Thursday, February 19th. Miika was the former lead guitarist and main songwriter of the acclaimed Finnish band SENTENCED. He was only 35 years old.
#3. EVILE – R.I.P. Michael Alexander – 22.06.77 – 05.10.09
The rising UK thrash metal band, Evile, had to deal with the horrible news of the sudden death of their bassist, Mike Alexander on October 5th 2009. Mike died from a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot on the lungs. Mike was just 32 years old.
#4. The Collapse of METAL CHURCH (1981-2009)
On July 7, 2009 it was announced on the bands official website that they were calling it quits. This was also the date of their last gig at Rocklahoma. Metal Church was one of the underdog bands who despite being loved by many never gained the household name status of some of their peers. They struggled though line-up changes, a hiatus, label woes, the grunge wave, etc. Their contributions are however, undeniable. They will be missed!
#5. IRON MAIDEN: Flight 666
A metal doc on the big screen!?! Iron Maiden flying around the world in a jet piloted by Bruce Dickinson?! Awesome! This film documented Iron Maiden’s 2008 Somewhere Back in Time World Tour. The theatrical release and then DVD/Blu-Ray release in 2009 were one of the bigger events of the year for metal.
#6. RONNIE JAMES DIO Diagnosed With Stomach Cancer
Scary news for Dio in late November 2009 with the announcement of Dio being diagnosed with stomach cancer. This news story is still developing with the latest being that it was caught in the early stages and treatment has already begun, so we hope this means he’ll be back on stage again soon!!
#7. AFTER FOREVER Call It Quits (1995-2009)
In February 2009 the Dutch symphonic metal band, After Forever, announced that they had disbanded. The band took a break in 2008 and when they regrouped in early 2009, they didn’t feel the same passion and energy towards continuing. Since then, no new music has come from these talented musicians but in October 2009 On October 17, 2009, Floor Jansen announced via myspace that the name of her new band is ReVamp. That band contains former After Forever keyboardist Joost van den Broek…so there is hope that this will continue the band’s symphonic metal legacy.
#8. FIREWIND’s Gus G. joins the Ozzy Osbourne band replacing Zakk Wylde
In 2009 both Ozzy and Zakk announced that they were no longer working together for either studio work or for live appearances. Shortly thereafter Firewind guitarist Gus G. appeared with Ozzy at Blizzcon and other shows. After being with Ozzy for so long, this came as a surprise to many, and worried Firewind fans that it might spell the end of Firewind, however that hasn’t been the case even though 2 other Firewind members started their own band Outloud this year.
#9. SUSPERIA – Athera’s (Metal) Heart
On March 9, 2009, it was reported that vocalist Athera (real name Pål Mathisen) had suffered a heart attack. After being admitted to hospital, he then underwent a successful triple bypass operation on March 16, 2009. Thankfully, having made a rapid recovery from his heart attack Athera was able to play some shows with Susperia once again in 2009.
Link: http:// www.susperia.net/
#10. SACRIFICE release THE ONES I CONDEMN
After a lengthy 16 year absence, Canadian thrashers Sacrifice returned with a new album THE ONES I COMDEMN. Widely heralded as the best comeback in ages, the band sounds as angry and vital as ever.