Man, what a gorgeous weekend we had here in New York, despite what every single meteorologist told us heading into the holiday. What an awesome job that must be, huh? You can be wrong all the time, and still, no one fires you. Must be nice. Anyways, we've been away for three days now, which means we've got three days of metal news to catch you up on. Its good to be back, and we're glad you're here, checking us out. Try and make a habit of it.

+ Kiss aren't just a band, they're a brand. Fans can purchase Kiss toilet paper, Kiss coffins, Kiss action name it, it's probably got a Kiss logo slapped across it. But now it seems Kiss is trying to compete with Yahoo. "Search With Kiss" is a new search engine, powered by Google and, that rewards fans for using it with "Swag Bucks," redeemable for Kiss prizes and high-end electronics. The search engine features the Kiss logo and provides quick links to and other Kiss-related stuff. What's next, Kiss gasoline?

+ It seems Godsmack has started working on their next album. Frontman Sully Erna promises the follow-up to 2006's "IV" will be "really heavy" and "very aggressive." He admits that it's still too early to say when the record may be ready for release, "but as far as the whole record goes, I think it's going to be a lot more in your face. I don't think there's going to be any 'Voodoo''s or 'Serenity''s on this one. We decided to go balls out." Meanwhile, Sully's also got a solo record ready to go, but there's no word yet on when that effort will be in stores.

+ Death metal outfit Nocturnal Fear are in the midst of wrapping production on their forthcoming album, 'Metal Of Honor,' which is slated for release later this year. The record will feature nine songs, and run just under an hour.

+ Converge dropped a bombshell over the weekend, by revealing some special guests for their forthcoming disc. The album will feature Genghis Tron's Mookie Singerman, Michael Sochynsky, and Hamilton Jordan, along with Blacklisted frontman George Hirsch. Look for the album to hit stores before year's end.

+ Venom are drummer-less no more. Following months of auditions, the black metallers have announced the addition of Danté to the fold. Frontman Conrad "Cronos" Lant says while many excellent drummers tried out, Danté landed the gig "who was really hungry to be in the band for all the right reasons." The band plans to start recording demos for its next album in the coming weeks.

+ Black metal act Immortal have wrapped work on their next album, 'All Shall Fall.' The set is expected in stores this fall through Nuclear Blast Records.

+ Animals As Leaders guitarist Tosin Abasi has been tapped to join Born Of Osiris on this year's Summer Slaughter tour. The trek kicks off June 5 in Baltimore and runs through July 20 in New York City. Rounding out this year's bill are Necrophagist, Suffocation, Ensiferum, Darkest Hour, Winds Of Plague, Dying Fetus, Origin, Beneath The Massacre, After The Burial, Decrepit Birth, and Blackguard. More information can be found here.

+ Massachusetts hardcore heroes Ligeia have apparently split up. While there's been no official word on the situation, the group has apparently scrapped its tour with Deez Nuts.

+ It seems former Burzum leader Varg Vikernes (a.k.a. Count Grishnackh) is a free man. Convicted of murdering Mayhem guitarist Oystein Aarseth (a.k.a. Euronymous) in August 1993, Vikernes had been serving a lengthy sentence in Norway. He was up for, and denied, parole four times, and ended up spending 16 years behind bars. Vikernes will have to report to a parole officer weekly for one entire year.

+ Wanna laugh? The dudes over at the Gauntlet have posted the original trailer for 'This is Spinal Tap,' and it's amazing. Unlike any trailer we've ever seen, it features director Rob Reiner discussing the film, and how he's still in the middle of editing the masterpiece. Its also said to feature a cameo from a young Jake Gyllenhaal.

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