Ladies and djentlemen, it's that time of year again - the Metal Storm Awards 2015 are open for business.
The voters are about to swarm like gundarks, so be prepared to withstand the onslaught of chatter and indiscriminate, early bird vote-lobbing that will soon unfold.
For the next however many days are in February this year (lousy indecisive month), the Awards are all yours to paw through and explore. We've got an impressive array of nominees, as usual, so don't be afraid to consider the other candidates before purposefully striding right past them and voting for your favorite band anyway.
Click here for the best that Metal had to offer us in 2015. As always, feel free to discuss below how much you love us and agree with our decisions (or not).
Last month, we covered the story of Chthonic frontman Freddy Lim and his bid for a seat in the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan's national legislative body. The results from the January 16th general elections are in, and Lim's campaign was successful: in February, he will take office as a representative of the Wanhua and Zhongzheng districts of Taipei, Taiwan's capital city.
Last week, Russian alternative metallers The SLoT revealed that longtime drummer Kirill "The Dude" Kachanov would be stepping down from the kit after 11 years of service. While they did not go into detail about the reasons for his departure, the band stated that they parted as friends and that they wish The Dude well in his future projects.
Russian nu metallers The SLoT have kept busy over the past month. Following the February release of their Бой! EP, featuring multiple versions of the "Бой!" single from their 2013 album Шестой, they recently unleashed their first all-new output of 2015: a new single, entitled "Сила Притяжения."
Static-X and publicists at FiXT Publicity issued a statement on their official Facebook page that frontman Wayne Static has passed away at age 48. Details are scarce and cause of death has not been revealed. He leaves behind a wife, former adult film actress Tera Wray, and a successful two-decade career.
Russian alternative metallers The SLoT have released a new music video for the song "Бой!" ("Fight!"), taken from their last album, 2013's Шестой. After a presentation concert in Moscow last week, the band uploaded the video to YouTube and shared it on their Facebook page; it can be viewed below.
Iconic shock rocker Alice Cooper revealed on his Facebook page that legendary guitarist and former bandmate Dick Wagner passed away on Wednesday, July 30th, at the age of 71. Wagner had recently undergone heart surgery, and contracted a lung infection while hospitalized.
A week-and-a-half ago, we received the horrifying news that The SLoT's vocalist Daria "Nookie" Stavrovich had been stabbed before a signing session in Saint Petersburg. After a stint in the intensive care unit, some surgery, blood transfusions, and close supervision, Nookie has been released from the hospital.
Horrifying news from Russian band The SLoT today. Before a signing session in St. Petersburg, an armed assailant approached the band. After striking up a conversation to get their attention, the man stabbed singer Daria "Nookie" Stavrovich in the neck multiple times before being subdued. The band's other vocalist, Igor "Cache" Lobanov, helped to ward off the attacker and then administered first aid to Nookie until she was taken to the hospital.
Testament announced on their official website and Facebook page that Greg Christian, the band's original and longtime bassist, has departed after a nearly-nine-year second term with them. The band's statement fortunately indicates that the split is mutual, and also saves us all the anticipation of waiting for the replacement. None other than Steve DiGiorgio has stepped in to fill Christian's shoes.
Iced Earth's drummer Brent Smedley has announced his departure from the band, owing to personal responsibilities. After recording three albums in his third, seven-year-long stint with Iced Earth, Smedley will be departing to devote more time to his older family members in Jacksonville, Florida.
Russian alternative metallers The SLoT have quite a lot to offer in the way of news. First and foremost, the band has started recording their next album, their eighth studio album overall and their sixth of new material. This still untitled follow up to 2011's F5 will be the product of an experiment conducted by The SLoT, who have decided to crowd fund the album. Donations can be made here (though users should be warned that the site is in Russian, naturally).
In a statement on Korpiklaani's official website, Juho Kauppinen announced that he has stepped down as the band's accordionist. After eight-and-a-half years with Korpiklaani, during which he recorded six albums, Kauppinen has decided to leave, citing the difficulties of touring life and discomfort with his musical responsibilities. Kauppinen says that he has grown to prefer playing his music privately and free of stress, away from the obligations of performance.