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Withered Prepare For Extremely "Fest"-ive Spring Touring
February 16, 2009
The "tortured blackened doom" Georgia quartet Withered – who recently wrapped up a national tour with Watain and labelmates Book of Black Earth, and whose recently released 'Folie Circulaire' was named one of Decibel Magazine's Top 40 albums of 2008 – is currently preparing for a busy spring that will see the band play three of the most significant metal festivals of the season.

First up is the inaugural Scion Rock Fest, which takes place later this month in the band's Atlanta hometown. There, Withered will play alongside Mastodon, Neurosis, High on Fire and many more. Says vocalist/guitarist Mike Thompson, "We're incredibly excited to be a part of this. Big thanks to the Scion crew (especially Adam) for inviting us to participate in this unprecedented event. Hell, I couldn't have put together a better lineup myself. I've never attended, much less performed at, a fest where there were so many bands I'd climb over my own mother to see live! This one will be truly historical for Atlanta, and for this generation of hard rock/metal fans."

Soon after, Withered will perform on day two of the 11th Annual New England Metal and Hardcore Festival in Worcester, Mass., where they'll play alongside Lamb of God, Children of Bodom and many of the band's Prosthetic Records labelmates. On the way to and from New England, the band will also play a handful of headlining shows. "It's great to be a part of this fest, as we had a blast in 2006 and can't wait to do it again," Thompson says. "The lineup looks fantastic and it'll be great to rub elbows with the likes of Napalm Death, Suffocation and all the other incredible bands playing. New England is one of the oldest events in extreme music, and everyone should experience it at least once in their life, so make it out if you can and have a few beers with us."

Finally, Withered was just announced as one of the participants in the inaugural "Blackenedfest," which will see the band team up with Mayhem, Marduk, Cattle Decapitation and Cephalic Carnage for a month-long tour. "We're very honored to take part in this tour," Thompson says. "Mayhem, Marduk, Cephalic and Cattle Decap are all veterans of extreme metal, and each has had a significant impact on the scene. Just being around these bands everyday will help drive our focus and performances to new levels. We'll be faced with warming up the crowds each night, but it's a welcome responsibility. It'll be great to see our fans again while also, hopefully, earning some new ones. We'll be performing selections from both of our full-length albums, and we might even pull out a new song or two just to give our dedicated fans something fresh to chew on. We'll see everyone on the road!"

Four tracks from 'Folie Circulaire' – including a cover of Necrophobic's "Into Armageddon" – can currently be streamed on the band's Myspace page. The album was produced by Kylesa's Phillip Cope (Baroness), and it features artwork by Paul Romano (Trivium, The Acacia Strain, Mastodon).

Withered on tour:
2/13 - Warehouse - Atlanta, GA
2/20 - Ground Zero - Spartanburg, SC
2/27 - Criminal Records - Atlanta, GA (free in-store performance)
2/28 - Masquerade - Atlanta, GA (Scion Rock Fest)

4/15 - Sonar - Baltimore, MD
4/16 - Union Pool - Brooklyn, NY
4/17 - Palladium - Worcester, MA (New England Metalfest)
4/18 - The M Room - Philadelphia, PA
4/19 - Volume 11 - Raleigh, NC

w/ Mayhem, Marduk, Cephalic Carnage, Cattle Decapitation:
5/21 - The Fillmore at Irving Plaza - New York, NY
5/23 - Ground Zero – Spartanburg, SC
5/24 - Club Firestone - Orlando, FL
5/26 - Numbers - Houston, TX
5/27 - White Rabbit - San Antonio, TX
5/29 - Sunshine Theater - Albuquerque, NM
5/30 - Clubhouse - Tempe, AZ
5/31 - House of Blues - San Diego, CA
6/02 - House of Blues - Hollywood, CA
6/03 - DNA - San Francisco, CA
6/04 - Hawthorne Theatre - Portland, OR
6/05 - Studio Seven - Seattle, WA
6/06 - Knitting Factory - Boise, ID
6/07 - Gothic Theater - Denver, CO
6/09 - Station 4 - St. Paul, MN
6/11 - House of Blues - Chicago, IL
6/12 - Peabody's - Cleveland, OH
6/13 - Majestic Theater - Detroit, MI
6/14 - Opera House - Toronto, ON
6/15 - Foufounes Electriques - Montreal, QC
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Cephalic Carnage Announce Japanese, U.S. Tours
February 16, 2009
Cephalic Carnage, who are currently touring through the U.K. and Europe alongside The Black Dahlia Murder, have recently announced two spring tours.

The band will first head to Japan for ‘Extreme The Dojo: Volume 21’ along with Destruction and Into Eternity in mid-May. Immediately following that, Cephalic Carnage will take part in the inaugural run of BlackenedFest, a three-week North American tour, alongside Mayhem, Marduk, Cattle Decapitation, and Withered. A TuneWidget for BlackendFest, featuring audio from all five bands is available below. A complete listing of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

Cephalic Carnage Tour Dates:
w/ The Black Dahlia Murder, Psycroptic, Sylosis:
2/16 - Sheffield, United Kingdom - The Corporation
2/17 - Dublin, Ireland - The Button Factory
2/18 - Glasgow, United Kingdom - Ivory Blacks
2/19 - London, United Kingdom - Carling Academy
2/20 - Vosselaar, Belgium - Beibob
2/21 - Enschede, Netherlands - Atak
2/22 - Esch-Alsette, Luxembourg - Kulturfabrik

Extreme The Dojo V. 21 w/ Destruction, Into Eternity:
5/12 - Osaka, Japan - Club Quattro
5/13 - Nagoya, Japan - Club Quattro
5/14 - Tokyo, Japan - Club Quattro

w/ Mayhem, Marduk, Cattle Decapitation, Withered:
5/21 - New York, NY - The Fillmore
5/22 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar (Maryland Deathfest)
5/23 - Spartanburg, SC - Ground Zero
5/24 - Orlando, FL - The Club @ Firestone
5/26 - Houston, TX - Numbers
5/27 - San Antonio, TX - White Rabbit
5/29 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
5/30 - Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse
5/31 - San Diego, CA - House Of Blues
6/02 - Los Angeles, CA - House Of Blues
6/03 - San Francisco, CA - The DNA Lounge
6/04 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
6/05 - Seattle, WA - Studio Seven
6/06 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory
6/07 - Denver, CO - The Gothic Theater
6/09 - St. Paul, MN - Station 4
6/11 - Chicago, IL - House Of Blues
6/12 - Cleveland, OH - Peabody’s
6/13 - Detroit, MI - Majestic Theater
6/14 - Toronto, ON - Opera House
6/15 - Montreal, QC - Les Foufounes Electrique

Cephalic Carnage is touring in support of their most recent full-length, 'Xenosapien'. The band has been writing the follow-up to 'Xenosapien' in-between touring and is expected to hit the studio later this year.

Updated Cephalic Carnage news and tour information will be made available via the Relapse Records website at, the Official Cephalic Carnage website and the band's Official MySpace page at
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Cattle Decapitation To Take Part In Blackened Fest
February 11, 2009
California’s most brutal goregrinders, Cattle Decapitation, will join fellow extreme metal veterans, Mayhem, Marduk and Cephalic Carnage, as well as black metal newcomers, Withered, on this summer’s Blackened Fest.

The tour will kick off on May 21st in New York at the Fillmore at Irving Plaza and wrap up in Montreal, QC on June 15th. This is one of the most extreme tour packages of the year and is no doubt one you do not want to miss!

A widget for Blackened Fest is available below.

Blackened Fest
w/ Mayhem, Marduk, Cephalic Carnage, Withered:
05/21 - New York, NY - The Fillmore at Irving Plaza
05/22 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar (Maryland Deathfest) tickets
05/24 - Orlando, FL - Club Firestone tickets
05/26 - Houston, TX - Numbers
05/27 - San Antonio, TX - White Rabbit tickets
05/29 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
05/30 - Tempe, AZ - Clubhouse tickets
05/31 - San Diego, CA - House Of Blues tickets
06/02 - Hollywood, CA - House Of Blues
06/03 - San Francisco, CA - DNA tickets
06/04 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre tickets
06/05 - Seattle, WA - Studio Seven tickets
06/06 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory Concert House tickets
06/07 - Denver, CO - Gothic Theater tickets
06/09 - St Paul, MN - Station 4
06/11 - Chicago, IL - House Of Blues tickets
06/12 - Cleveland, OH - Peabody's
06/13 - Detroit, MI - The Majestic Theater
06/14 - Toronto, ON - The Opera House
06/15 - Montreal, QC - Les Foufounes Electriques

For more info on Blackened Fest, head on over to And for more info on Cattle Decapitation, visit the band's Official Myspace page at
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(3 news stories listed.)
HOME TOWN: Oslo, Norway
Attila Csihar - vocals
Blasphemer - guitar
Necrobutcher - bass guitar
Hellhammer - drums

Mayhem was founded in 1982 by guitarist/vocalist Euronymous (ystein Aarseth - then 'Destructor'), bassist Necrobutcher (Jrn Stubberud) and drummer Manheim (Kjetil Manheim). Euronymous concentrated solely on guitar following the hiring of vocalist Messiah (Eirik Nordheim) in 1986, with Maniac (Sven Erik Kristiansen) replacing Messiah. The band went on to record their third release, following two demos, Deathcrush, with Euronymous's newly formed label 'Posercorpse Music'.

By this time Mayhem's sound had developed from their initial death / speed metal influences to arrive at a sound more distinctive, dark and unique. Though maintaining the usual death metal obsessions in gore and violence, more sinister and nihilistic preoccupations with religion and paganism had emerged, influenced in part by Norse mythology, the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, Satanism (though Euronymous opposed the Crowleyan and LaVeyan brands of Satanism, in favour of a Christian perspective).

An initial release of 1,000 copies Deathcrush quickly sold out, and was later repressed in 1993, by the Posercorpse Music label, since having been renamed Deathlike Silence Productions as a joint venture with ystein's Oslo specialist record shop Helvete. ystein's plans for this new outlet included that it was to be " a black church in the future. We've thought about having total darkness inside, so that people would have to carry torches to be able to see the records."

By the summer of 1988 both Manheim and Maniac had left the band; Manheim, tired of 'the life', to get a 'real' job, Maniac, following a failed suicide attempt and confinement in a mental institution. After two brief replacements, their positions were filled by Swede Dead (Per Yngve Ohlin, previously of Morbid), and scene drummer Hellhammer (Jan Axel Blomberg).

Dead, as suggested by his stage name, was melancholic by nature and fascinated by death, decay, and darkness. He left even Euronymous, who by all accounts despised him, expressing concern for his mental stability. Despite this he was well liked on the scene, though regarded as a little nave.

According to Bard Eithun "He (Dead) wasn't a guy you could know very well. I think even the other guys in Mayhem didn't know him very well. He was hard to get close to. I met him two weeks before he died. I'd met him maybe six to eight times, all in all. He had lots of weird ideas. I remember Aarseth was talking about him and said he did not have any humour. He did, but it was very obscure. Honestly, I don't think he was enjoying living in this world."

Dead had, over time, carefully cultivated a notoriety for strange behaviour; once burying a set of clothes underground for weeks so that he could later wear the decaying rags on stage[citation needed]. He had kept a rotting raven in a plastic bag so better to "inhale the scent of death" before going on stage[citation needed]. Such morbid fascinations and antics further developed Mayhem's progressing musical atmosphere, and by this point the band's lyrics had moved increasingly toward Satanism, darkness, depression and evil. A focal point of gigs at this time was the planting of pigs heads on stakes, center stage, and Dead cutting himself with a knife.

The new lineup with Dead and Euronymous was quickly to become the band's most notorious. After some live gigs in Norway and Germany (where Live in Leipzig was recorded), Mayhem started working on their first full length album: De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (Lord Satan's Secret Rites), though by the time of its eventual release the two cornerstone members would be dead.

Classic line-up (1991-1993):
By April 1991, Dead was dead, aged 22, having suffered a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head and several lacerations to the wrists, inflicted by a knife he had bought that day. Dead committed suicide in a house he was sharing in Krkstad with the other members of the band, and left a note asking that they "Excuse all the blood."[citation needed] Other members of the band claimed it was more extensive, also saying "The knife was too dull to finish the job so I had to use the shotgun." Euronymous was first to discover the body, and took a series of photographs of the corpse, one of which was later stolen and used as cover art for the bootleg album Dawn of the Black Hearts.

According to Occultus, who briefly took position as vocalist after Dead's suicide: "He (Dead) didn't see himself as human; he saw himself as a creature from another world. He said he had many visions that his blood has frozen in his veins, that he was dead. That is the reason he took that name. He knew he would die.."

The shells used had been sent to him by Bergen, Norway musician Kristian Vikernes (aka Varg Vikernes, Count Grishnackh; ex Old Funeral, sole member of black metal band Burzum, later convicted murderer of Euronymous). Euronymous was particularly cold and opportunistic about Dead's suicide; in interviews he claimed, speciously, that Dead had killed himself due to the rising popularity of death metal, the American movement Black Metal had risen against. According to Hellhammer, Euronymous took pieces of Dead's brain and made a stew, in which he put ham, frozen vegetables, and pepper. "He'd always said he wanted to eat flesh, so he figured this was an easy way." Euronymous also claimed to have collected and forged fragments of Dead's skull into necklaces, sending pieces to those he felt 'worthy' (amongst those rumoured to be in possession of such pieces are the members of Swedish black metal band Marduk & Abruptum). Hellhammer has said he made a necklace from Dead's skull fragments as well. Euronymous, however, claims he did not in fact consume any part of Dead's corpse, though he had intended to.

In 1993, Live in Leipzig was released as the band's tribute to Dead. Dead's suicide affected Necrobutcher so much that he left Mayhem, thinning the band's ranks down to two.

Later that year, the recording of Mayhem's upcoming album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas resumed. In Dead's and Necrobutcher's absences, Attila Csihar handled vocals, with Vikernes on bass.

Due to adverse media and police attention, Euronymous was forced around this time to close his scene focal point record shop Helvete. By this stage he owed Vikernes 30,000 NOK (for album sales and related costs), which he was refusing to pay back, a fact argued over publicly on several occasions.

On the morning of August 10, 1993, Vikernes traveled, along with 21 year old Blackthorn (Snorre Westvold, of the band Thorns), the seven hours between Bergen to Euronymous's apartment in Oslo. They created alibis, en route, by getting friends to rent a video locally in their names. Upon arrival, Vikernes fatally stabbed Euronymous with a knife, although Vikernes claims that Euronymous had been planning to kill him for quite some time, and that upon his arrival to Euronymous' apartment, Euronymous had attempted to attack him first. The autopsy revealed that Euronymous suffered twenty-three stab wounds: two to the head, five to the neck & sixteen to the back. However, Vikernes claims that Euronymous fell onto pieces of broken glass, from a lamp shade broken in the ruckus, which he says, attributed to the multiple puncture wounds.

"He then stumbled and broke a lamp on the wall, probably with his head or arm, and fell into the glass fragments - in his underwear. I ran past him and waited. Snorre was still upstairs, and I had no idea how he would react to all of this. Perhaps it was a set-up and he was in on it? Perhaps he too would attack me? I didn't know. When Snorre came running he looked very scared and I just let him ran straight past me. I realized he was not a part of this, so I asked him if he was okay (because he certainly didn't look okay). By then Euronymous was back on his feet. He looked resigned and said: "It's enough", but then he tried to kick me again, and I finished him off by thrusting the knife through his skull, through his forehead, and he died instantaneously. The eyes turned around in his head and a moan could be heard as he emptied his lungs when he died. He fell down to a sitting position, but the knife was stuck in his head, so I held him up, as I held onto the knife. When I jerked the knife from his skull he fell forward, and rolled down a flight of stairs like a sack of potatoes - making enough noise to wake up the whole neighbourhood (it was a noisy, metal staircase)."

Varg Vikernes, A Burzum Story

Though initial suspicion pointed towards members of the Swedish scene, Vikernes had left key pieces of evidence, including a blood stained copy of a recording contract (used as the pretense for his visit to Euronymous). Within days Vikernes was apprehended by police and charged with the murder. He has continued to record for his one-man project Burzum while in prison. With only Hellhammer remaining, Mayhem effectively ceased to exist.

Later years (1994-present)
In 1994, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas was released and formally dedicated to Euronymous. Its release had been delayed due to complaints filed by Euronymous' family, who had objected to the presence of bass parts played by Vikernes. Contrary to contemporary reports these were not re-recorded by Hellhammer and appear unblemished.

By late 1995 Hellhammer had decided to reform the band with the help of new guitarist Blasphemer (Rune Erickson) and two previous Mayhem members - Maniac and Necrobutcher. The first release of this new lineup was a 1997 EP titled Wolf's Lair Abyss, and was followed by some live European shows. One of these took place in Milan, Italy, guest starring Attila Csihar, and was recorded for the Mediolanum Capta Est live album of that year.

In 2000 the band's second full-length CD, Grand Declaration of War was released. Strongly influenced by progressive and avant-garde metal, the album was concept-based, dealing with themes of war and post-apocalyptic destruction. Maniac largely abandoned the traditional black metal rasp for dramatic spoken-word monologue, with most of the songs sequencing seamlessly into one another. Reaction to the album was polarized. Some criticised the album for its avant-garde and electronic elements, which they perceived as pretentious, and for Maniac's vocals, which they perceived as inferior to Dead's and Attila's; others saw it as a laudable attempt to recreate and redefine black metal, with critic Brian Russ going so far as to call it "really the first cohesive work the band has ever done" and "a fitting culmination to their career thus far." In retrospect, the electronic elements of the album were often heavily overstated by its detractors, appearing notably in only a single track, "A Bloodsword and a Colder Sun."
After a four year silence, Mayhem released Chimera in 2004. It showed a return to their earlier raw and brutal style, but with considerably better production values than earlier releases. Chimera still maintained a progressive edge, perhaps due to increasing input from Blasphemer. In 2004, Maniac was forced out of the band and Attila Csihar was reinstated as his replacement.

The band has finished their new album, titled Ordo ad Chao ("Order and Chaos"), scheduled for release on April 6, 2007 (April 17 in the United States and Canada), and set to contain ten tracks. The single, "Anti" can be heard on the official MySpace. As of May 4, 2006, Mayhem is signed to "Season of Mist" records, a French label specializing in Black Metal.