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Kataklysm Re-signs With Nuclear Blast Records
July 14, 2008
Canada’s very own extreme metal titans, Kataklysm, have re-signed with Nuclear Blast Records! This isn’t the first time the band has re-signed to the label either but actually the fourth time; a first in the history of the label. It is a partnership that has thrived for the past 15 years and has produced such classics as 'Temple of Knowledge', 'Shadows and Dust' and 'In the Arms of Devastation' to name a few. The band is currently touring with The Black Dahlia Murder as part of the annual Summer Slaughter tour, supporting their soon to be classic new album 'Prevail'. Lead singer Maurizio Iacono took a quick break from the madness of the road to comment on their renewed partnership:

“Today is a very important day for Kataklysm. A pivotal decision in our career has been made and we are beyond happy to say that we have decided to renew our deal with Nuclear Blast! This is the label who discovered us, believed in us, and still pushes the envelope for Kataklysm's future to this day. When times were rough many people turned their backs on Kataklysm but not Nuclear Blast. They stayed true to us and we learned from each others mistakes and grew together overtime. So today we make history together by becoming the first band on Nuclear Blast to re-sign four times! We started with them and we intend to finish with them but not before releasing more Kataklysm-ic events on the masses! Believe me when I say the best is yet to come. Celebration time!”

Jaap Wagemaker, European A&R and head of promotions for Nuclear Blast Europe, added: “Nuclear Blast is really stoked to announce that one of the cornerstone bands of the label is re-signing for the 4th time now! The legendary Canadian hyperblasters, Kataklysm, have been with the label for 15 years and have seen how Nuclear Blast grew from a small independent to the #1 label for extreme music worldwide! During this time Kataklysm has evolved to one of the leaders in today’s international death metal scene! After having released masterpieces like ‘Shadows and Dust’, ‘Serenity in Fire’, ‘In the Arms of Devastation’ and this year's ‘Prevail’, Kataklysm has made their way to the top of the death metal scene! This of course did not unnoticed by other labels. So we couldn't have been happier when Kataklysm told us that they wanted to stay with the Nuclear Blast. Together we made it possible for them to be where they are now! All these years working with Kataklysm have been a great ride and we are looking forward to continuing to work with them. Maurizio, Max, J-F and Stephane welcome home! Together we will prevail!”

Nuclear Blast America’s Label Manager Gerardo Martinez continued:

“It has been a dream come true working with these bunch of crazy Canadians these past years. Looking back now, I would’ve never guessed back in 1995 (the first time I saw Kataklysm live) that I would one day be working with such a great group of people and one of the most successful death metal bands on the planet today! The band has grown so much in the past few years due to their strong work ethic, and of course their knack for cranking out killer death metal records!

We are proud to announce that today, at the Nuclear Blast U.S.A. headquarters in the beautiful city of Los Angeles, the band resigned with us one more time to make this the 4th time. This marks a first in the history of the label and goes to show how amazing of a relationship we have with the band. Congratulations Maurizio, Max, J-F and Stephane; hard work never goes unnoticed!”

Video footage of the contract signing can be viewed below.

Singer Maurizio Iacono also recently spoke to MTV for their Headbangers Blog. The audio of that interview can be found here.
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Strapping Young Lad Post Update On Myspace
September 20, 2006
Strapping Young Lad have posted the following update on their Myspace page:

"Well people, the Lad is hangin' and chillin'...well, not really...

"Devin and (wife) Tracy are to be proud parents at any time or day now...and we wish them nothing but the best. I guess we'll need to get some custom 1/2 size flying V's for the little one...or maybe some drums.Yeah, Tracy would love that, haha!

"Gene is in LA, rocking and spending good time with the First Family of Metal, his family, The Hoglans. We love them, and they are simply fine, excellent people. I wish there were more folks like them...good people.

"Jed is back in Philly working on the Tenet album for release next year on Century Media. He has been waiting a long time to do it, and is very excited.
He'll be getting the official website up, and starting a Tenet page here soon, so keep your eyes open.

"Byron, as most of you know, is working hard with the Fear Factory gang...does this guy EVER take a break? The answer is no...he is a bonafide machine...must be all that 'good for ya' stuff he eats! Smokies on Deck!!

"Willy is Willy...and whatever he is doing we're sure involves Les Pauls, his
Powerbook, and plenty of volume!!

"Word on the street is that Jed, Byron, Willy, and the other Zimmers Hole guys are getting together, and doing some drinking, I mean headbanging, I mean writing, for a new Zimmers Hole release...we say BRING IT ON!

Again, a thanks to all who came to see SYL this year! You rock."
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"You Suck," Strapping Young Lad
August 11, 2006
"You Suck" becomes the unofficial anthem of Ozzfest 2006

Strapping Young Lad
have embraced the fact that they are the bastard children of this years Ozzfest and in turn redefined the lyrics to You Suck to further represent their feelings on the massive summer festival. Jed Simon (guitars) further elaborates, Playing You Suck every day on the Ozzfest has become a bit of a legend. We keep hearing people talking about it, and Devins slightly changed lyrics are always hilarious. Its cool to look around while we are playing it, and see the crews and other band members cracking up! Bob Meadows, vocalist from A Life Once Lost, has been joining us everyday on stage to help with the backup vocal duties and it is definitely a sight to behold.

View their new E-card with the You Suck MP3 here.

The highly acclaimed new STRAPPING YOUNG LAD album, The New Black, had a phenomenal first week at retail debuting at #200 on the Billboard charts. The album is already being hailed as the groups most ambitious and dynamic offering yet. The group have been annihilating the masses on Ozzfest, and due to the sheer abrasiveness and intensity of their live performances, they quickly became one of the most talked about, must-see acts of the fest.

In conjunction with Ozzfest, a new video for the track Wrong Side was recently completed by renowned director David Brodsky (God Forbid, The Red Chord). View it here.

The group welcomed bassist James MacDonough (ex-Megadeth, Iced Earth) to their line-up on August 1st for their remaining Ozzfest and offdate performances. MacDonough replaced Byron Stroud only for these remaining shows since Stroud had previous touring obligations with Fear Factory.

Century Media Records also recently re-released STRAPPING YOUNG LADs 1995 debut album, Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing, which changed the metal world forever. The re-issue features a re-mastered version of this classic debut, four bonus tracks, the S.Y.L. video and a 12-page booklet with extended liner notes from Devin himself.
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Strapping Young Lad Guitarist Checks In From Ozzfest
July 27, 2006
Strapping Young Lad's new album, 'The New Black', had a phenomenal first week at retail debuting at No. 200 on The Billboard 200 chart. The group has been annihilating the masses on Ozzfest, and due to the sheer abrasiveness and intensity of their live performances, they quickly became one of the most talked about, must-see-acts of the fest.

On August 1, the group will be welcoming James MacDonough (ex-Megadeth, Iced Earth) to their line-up to handle the bass duties for the remaining Ozzfest and "off" dates. MacDonough will be replacing Byron Stroud only for these remaining shows since Stroud will be hitting the road with Fear Factory.

Jed Simon (guitars) checks in with the following report: "The SYL juggernaut continues its Ozzfest rampage through the U.S. It's so freakin' hot every day, and we are constantly wondering how the fans can keep themselves together for the paltry 20 minutes that we are on stage, let alone the whole day. So here is a loud 'fuck yes' to the fans who endure that brutal heat to see their favorite bands. You truly rule. Playing 'You Suck' every day on the Ozzfest has become a bit of a legend. We keep hearing people talking about it, and Devin's slightly changed lyrics are always hilarious. It's cool to look around while we are playing it, and see the crews and other band members cracking up! It's good to smile and more people should do it more often. Bob Meadows from A Life Once Lost has been joining us on stage to help with the backup vocal duties on 'You Suck'. He's awesome, and his entire band and crew are good people. Hats off to them.

'The New Black' came storming out the gates on July 11th and has been doing very well for us. We appreciate you folks showin' your love by getting out there and buying it. Keep it up. We are extremely proud of the new album, and it's very representative of where we are at as a band now. Every album has been a snapshot of our lives at that moment, and this one is no different. So from my 'New Black' heart, I thank you...WE thank you...and we'll see you wonderful, crazy people on tour alright?! Hell yeah!"
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Former Megadeth Bassist To Tour With Strapping Young Lad
July 26, 2006
Devin Townsend's (Strapping Young Lad, The Devin Townsend Band) label, Hevy Devy Records, has issued the following update:

"Strapping Young Lad's 'The New Black' was released July 11th or 17th, depending on where you live. So you should all have it by now, and if you don't 'You Suck' . has been available to hear for a while on the HDR, Century Media websites and SYL's MySpace site. The video for 'Wrong Side' can also be seen on those sites as well as an awesome clip of 'The New Black' from the Download Festival in England. 'The New Black' U.S. standard edition comes with an enhanced CD and Century Media sampler disc. There is also a digipack version that comes with one new bonus track, 'The Long Pig', and the Melvins' cover 'Zodiac'.

"There has been a lot of discussion in the past while as to the future of Strapping Young Lad and Devin's views on the band and his career. There was a particular interview Devin did which was translated and reprinted on the Internet that raised alarm. In it, Devin was admittedly negative and candid with his thoughts on everything from the industry to metal music in general."

Commented Devin: "I was really tired, I warned people that it probably wasn't a good idea there were too many interviews and I just wasn't in the head space for it." Despite this, he was scheduled for 33 hours of interviews over 3 days.

Continued Devin: "That interview makes it sound a lot more dire than it actually is. I was just exhausted. I just don't want to HAVE to do STRAPPING ALL THE TIME. I want the energy to be pure but it's a small aspect of my personality and it can't be pure if it's forced. I could go on doing heavy music forever, but only if allowed to do it when it comes naturally."

"So SYL will continue only when Devin feels it, not when demanded.

"After Ozzfest, Devin is taking six months off where he will focus on things other than music. His first child is due in October and he wants to spend time with his family and assess what he would like to do in the future. Beginning in March, there will be three more tours in support of 'The New Black', likely in Europe, Australia/Japan and again in the U.S./Canada. He then wants to experiment with varying musical styles and do something away from The Devin Townsend Band and Strapping Young Lad for his next project. He would also like to get further into production, ultimately setting up a facility in Vancouver where he can house and produce bands on one site. He would like to feel free to do music without feeling forced to live in the 'scene' that he doesn't relate to well.

"There are a few things we must also bear in mind. The first being that we all know that Devin thinks in extremes and in the immediate, otherwise the The Devin Townsend Band/Strapping Young Lad dichotomy would not be possible. He speaks his mind freely but how he may be feeling at one moment may be entirely different from the next. Also, like his lyrics, a lot of what he says is layered in sarcasm so you cannot always accept it as 'truth.' For now, just give him some time off and he may come back with an entirely new outlook.

"The Ozzfest tour continues with great success. It has been a very surreal experience for the band. While it can be difficult going out and screaming 'You Suck' at 10 in the morning, the response from the crowd as well as the signing sessions and greetings with people afterwards have made it really rewarding.

"As with the Sounds Of The Underground last year, Byron (Stroud) unfortunately ended up double-booked with Fear Factory so after August 1st there will be a substitute bass player for all of the remaining Strapping dates. At this time it is confirmed to be James MacDonough, formerly with Megadeth."
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(17 news stories listed.)
HOME TOWN: Vancouver, B.C.
Devin Townsend (vocals/guitar/keyboards)
Jed Simon (guitar)
Byron Stroud (bass)
Gene Hoglan (drums)

Once an underground phenomenon, the Canadian quartet STRAPPING YOUNG LAD are now on the verge of a major genre-defying breakthrough with Alien , their highly anticipated fourth studio album. This offering is quickly going to redefine the meaning of extreme, and you can't possibly comprehend what form of insanity awaits upon pressing play.In 1995, frontman Devin Townsend (ex-Steve Vai) quickly caught people's attention with the debut STRAPPING YOUNG LAD album, Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing , created solely to punish the senses of the metal underground. Although, it was the sheer blast of utter insanity and carnage caught on 1997's City that brought the entire metal community to its knees and helped the band garner a cult-like status. The album was recorded at Vai's Mothership Studios in L.A. with acclaimed Swedish engineer Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah) and would be the group's first offering to feature the current lineup of Byron Stroud (now also of Fear Factory) on bass, Jed Simon (ex-Frontline Assembly) on guitars and the mighty Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, ex-Death, ex-Testament) on drums. In the spring of 1997, SYL embarked on the Full Of Hate European tour alongside Crowbar, Entombed and Obituary, which immediately led into a U.S. tour with Stuck Mojo and Testament. In an effort to capture the unfiltered and uncompromising nature of their performances, the band recorded two shows in Melbourne, Australia in 1998, resulting in the once again self-produced live No Sleep Till Bedtime album.Unfortunately, that same year the band would take an unwelcome hiatus as Townsend nurtured a flourishing solo career, while concurrently honing his talents as a producer. In the midst of a slew of solo releases, including the highly acclaimed Infinity, Ocean Machine, Physicist and Terria projects, he also cultivated production credits on Zimmer's Hole (featuring SYL bandmates Simon and Stroud), December's Lament Configuration , Lamb of God's As The Palaces Burn and Soilwork's critically acclaimed Natural Born Chaos album. Over time, the desire for new SYL material only grew stronger, and fortunately, in 2002 Townsend's angst and insanity reached a breaking point. He decided it was time to vent the only way he knew how. This catharsis would result in 2003's SYL , which garnered critical praise from the fans and media alike.After spending the better part of the past two years on the road alongside such genre titans as Nile, Meshuggah and Superjoint Ritual, Townsend realized the group's potential, and it quickly became his sole focus over his many side-projects. The group's mesmerizing live show was recently captured on their first-ever DVD, For Those Aboot To Rock (Live at the Commodore) , released in November 2004, featuring a full set from a sold-out hometown show in Vancouver, B.C.STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's lineup is now more determined and focused than ever. It took Hoglan only three days to pound through 11 tracks at Armoury Studios (Kiss, Van Halen) in Vancouver before the band moved on to Greenhouse Studios (also in Vancouver) to record Simon's guitars, Stroud's bass and all vocal tracks. This is the first SYL album written as a cohesive unit and Townsend promises that it is the group's most maniacal and outlandish offering to date.Townsend further describes the recording process, The record isn't about anything in particular; it's just a freak out. The idea is to have something cathartic to put on, and the title Alien just seemed fitting. It has no meaning beyond that. Metal is our life; we are qualified to do little else and we can do crazy things with our instruments. We are too ugly to play pop, so we decided to fuck shit up again. This album seemed a good excuse to exercise full excess.The only theme worth mentioning on the record is that it starts bitter and ends 'resolved to be confused.' It's definitely metal and if you have any doubts, please listen to it first to see if it's something you would like. But know this: We live for this shit and it has never been about spandex, eyeliner, wigs and ironic Dokken shirts. It's about the crunch, the kick and the power. The new themes might be closer to more everyday topics than City , and you may or may not relate, but it really doesn't matter as long as you get our drift ('s about unicorns and rainbows and stuff.) Alien is just the next SYL record, and the acoustic song is supposed to make you feel worse...not better. Unhealthy music for healthy minds." This is the soundtrack to the Armageddon, and SYL wouldn't have it any other way.