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White Noise: Guitar Hero: Van Halen, Slayer Release Date Revealed, Nebula Album Notes

Sometimes, we wonder whether video games like “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” are ultimately only going to end up hurting the future of music, with more and more kids picking up faux guitars over Razorback V’s. But even we’ve got to admit Activision’s announcement Thursday has us giddy. Plus, we find out why Clown has to miss those Slipknot dates, and when we can expect the new Slayer. It’s your Friday installment of White Noise.

+ According to Billboard.biz, Activision Blizzard has confirmed the long-rumored development of “Guitar Hero: Van Halen.” Scheduled for release in the second half of this year, the game is slated to cover the band’s David Lee Roth years, as well as tracks from Queens of the Stone Age, Queen, Weezer, and more.

Little is known about the game, but Activision is expected to release more details soon, including which tracks will be playable on the game, and which members of the band will be featured as avatars. In particular, fans want to know whether original bassist Michael Anthony will be included as a character. Here’s hoping Gary Cherone and Sammy Haggar end up being unlockable characters in the game.

+ Earlier this week, we told you that Clown was forced to return home to take care of some personal business, and as such, would be missing a few dates on Slipknot‘s current tour. Now, we know why. Unfortunately, Clown’s mom, Mary Crahan, passed away over the weekend; she was 64. “No preaching from me, but spend as much time as you can with your parents,” Clown wrote to the band’s fans.

+ Cosmic metallers Nebula will release their new album, “Heavy Psych,” on July 7. Look for the set to feature nine sings, including “Dream Submarine,” “Crown Of Thorns,” and “Little Yellow Pill.”

+ Billboard recently caught up with Testament‘s Eric Peterson, who promises fans they won’t have to wait as long (nine years, to be exact) for new material as they had to for 2008′s ‘The Formation of Damnation.’ “We’re definitely not going to take as long,” Peterson says, adding that the band’s already working on five songs.

+ July 7 is going to be a good day for metal. First Nebula, and now, the sinister Slayer. That’s right, kids. Columbia Records has etched that date in stone for the release of Slayer’s next LP, which is currently untitled and follows 2006s ‘Christ Illusion.’

+ A broken hand is to blame for the Cripple Bastards‘ decision to scratch its forthcoming U.S. tour, which was supposed to have kicked off this week in San Francisco. The Italian grindcore act’s drummer Al Mazzotti broke his hand, and as you can imagine, playing drums with a broken paw doesn’t tickle. “Our drummer broke his hand (two) months ago, but it looked like he could make it for this tour,” the band says in a statement. “He was coming to practice and was gradually getting the hand back in full shape, playing the whole live set without any apparent problems. A few days ago, we did a show, and halfway through the set, he stopped because of pain in his hand. We were forced to take him to the hospital where the doctors said he has developed tendonitis due to his broken hand.”

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