What better way to start a Thursday than with some metal beef? Read on to find out what Underoath think of Avenged Sevenfold, which bands are working on new material, and see one of our picks for album cover of the year. Rise and shine... it's time for the metal info you need to know.

+ Underoath aren't the sort of band you'd expect smack talk from. Perhaps it's the band members' Christian beliefs, or maybe its because the Underoath dudes are just super nice guys. But when it comes to Orange County rockers Avenged Sevenfold, its obvious guitarist Tim McTague is willing to make an exception.

In the latest issue of Metal Hammer, McTague discusses the differences between Underoath and other bands, saying that the band has always strived to buck the norm, musically. He then goes on to rip Avenged a new one.

"People might associate us with Avenged Sevenfold because they're pissed Republicans and 'so metal,' but they're a gimmick, they're a circus," McTague spouted. "They can't play and they can't write a song. What's worse is the way they look. If you need to have make-up and crappy names like Synyster Gates to sell records, then you shouldn't be here. That's not rock and roll to me. Arena rock maybe, but not real rock and roll. If you're basing yourself on how cool you are or how many girls you can trick into thinking your band is cool, you can just... take that home."

On that note, you can check out the band's steampunkarrific video for "Writing on the Walls," directed by Swedish duo Popcore Films, right here.

+ The search is far from over for Velvet Revolver's next frontman. Bassist Duff McKagan tells Rolling Stone that a replacement for Scott Weiland has not been decided on yet, even though the band did think they had found their man not too long ago. "We thought we landed on the singer. We all did," McKagan said. "We played with him and we said, 'OK, we got our guy. He's great.' Maybe if we would've got there and had gigs booked right then and there it would've been a different story. But we didn't have gigs booked. We were given too much time and we were able to go, 'Ah, [expletive], I don't like that about the guy.'"

+ Could there be some fresh Iron Maiden on the horizon? According to Bang Media International, the British metal pioneers will soon start working on material for a new album, which would hit stores in 2010. The band is also planning to tour in support of the as-yet-untitled LP. "At the end of the year, we'll be writing again, rehearsing and recording at the beginning of next year," says guitarist Adrian Smith.

+ According to a press release, death metal minstrels Dying Fetus have begun work on the follow-up to 2007's War Of Attrition. The band hope to have the effort done before they head out on this year's Summer Slaughter tour with Necrophagist, Suffocation, Origin, and others, and are planning to release the disc in September.

+ According to Blabbermouth, there's a new rock and roll supergroup out there with a not-so-super name. Korn's Ray Luzier, ex-Guns N' Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed, and Mr. Big's Billy Sheehan have formed a side-project called The 4 Dudes. The guys played their first gig on Wednesday (April 22) at The Joint in Los Angeles.

+ In related news, Korn are working on two records: one featuring new Korn tracks, and another of covers. Bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu tells Billboard the studio offering could be out within the year. The band is once again working with producer Ross Robinson again, because he can "really bring out, like, old school Korn. It's heavy riffs and we're trying to strip it down raw and get those heavy groove riffs that make you want to hop around or jump around or just go crazy."

+ In light of recent events, it seems ironic that one of our favorite album covers of the year (so far, anyways) just happens to come from New Jersey's Swashbuckle. The thrash outfit's forthcoming Nuclear Blast debut, 'Back To The Noose', sails into stores July 31.

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