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White Noise: News on Opeth, Devin Townsend, Metallica, Clutch, and More

Some days, writing an intro to this column is easy. Other days, I struggle. Today, there’s more than a few topics swimming around in my head I want to talk about. But which one? Do I tell you about today’s podcast taping, with Guy Kozowyk from the Red Chord? Do I talk about how I think Lisa Marx is an aesthetic step up from Kristen Randall for Winds of Plague? Or, do I rip apart the dudes I saw at last night’s Them Crooked Vultures show? Rather than wear a band’s shirt to said band’s show (an established concert-going no-no), these dudes actually bought shirts at the show, and then put ‘em on. That is worse, right? Do I talk about how much ass the Yankees are going to kick tonight, weather permitting? So many topics, so little time. Instead, I think I’ll just get to the White Noise.

+ So, this is a sad story. Opeth‘s tour bus was traveling from Ireland to Belgium this week when it was involved in a vehicular road mishap. Only two members of the band, bassist Martin Mendez and keyboardist Per Wiberg, were on the bus at the time of the crash, which turns out wasn’t much of an accident. In an online posting, frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt says the driver of the other car in the accident, “who made the U-turn [in the middle of the highway], that our bus crashed into, sadly passed away from his injuries. On top of that it seems as if it was a deliberate death stunt from his side as the police had found a suicide letter in the car wreck. I’ve no idea who he was, but I have to say our condolences goes out to his family and loved ones.” Weird, no?

+ According to reports, Poison frontman Bret Michaels and Ozzy Osbourne‘s wife Sharon Osbourne will be appearing on the third season of ‘The Celebrity Apprentice,’ which just started taping in New York. Doesn’t Bret have herpes to catch?

+ Last week, we debuted the title track from the Devin Townsend Project‘s new LP, ‘Addicted.’ Now, our pals at MetalSucks are debuting the second track off the disc, ‘Universe in a Ball,’ which, according to Hevy Devy, is either about the end of ‘Men in Black’ or testicles. ‘Addicted’ is in stores Nov. 17.

+ Candlelight Records will release two limited-edition versions of Abigail Williams‘ debut album, ‘In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns.’ Set to drop Jan. 12, the deluxe edition will feature a bonus disc containing five previously unavailable tracks plus the band’s video for the song “Into the Ashes.”

+ Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan’s side project, Puscifer, will release an EP called ‘C is for (Please Insert Sophomoric Genitalia Reference Here) EP’ on Nov. 10. The disc features six songs, one featuring model actress Milla Jovovich.

+ Fear Factory has set ‘Mechanized’ as the title of its latest CD. The disc drops in February.

+ Metallica‘s Kirk Hammett has said in a recent interview that the ‘Big Four’ tour, with Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax, will not happen. “That tour is not gonna happen. I’ve been hearing that, we’ve all been hearing that for awhile,” he says. “I get asked [about] it regularly. And as far as a tour going on, it’s not gonna happen. Conflicting schedules, conflicting personalities, [a lot of] conflicting things. It’s a good idea, though. And personally, I can see the significance of playing a tour like that, but…it’s not gonna happen.”

+ Clutch and Doomriders will play a brief run of East Coast dates later this year. They’ll be in Charlotte, N.C. on Dec. 27; Washington, D.C. on Dec. 28; Albany, N.Y. on Dec. 29; Boston on Dec. 30; and Sayreville, N.J. on Dec. 31.

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