10 Biggest Rock + Metal Stories of 2013
As 2013 draws to a close, we look back on the many stories, triumphs and tragedies that affected us all this year. We were shocked by some, disgusted by others, inspired by many and even reduced to tears at times. There were many headlines in the worlds of rock and metal in 2013, but these are the stories that made us stop in our tracks.
We were hit by some tragic deaths in 2013, including the loss of Slayer's Jeff Hanneman, Deftones' Chi Cheng and former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr. Some of rock and metal's biggest names spent a great deal of time in jail and/or court, while others accomplished feats that had never before been done. It's been a mixed bag of the good, bad and the ugly this year, and we count down the 10 Biggest Rock + Metal News Stories of 2013 below:
The metal world lost a legend on March 12. Early Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr died at age 56 due to complications from Multiple Sclerosis. Burr is remembered as one of heavy metal's all-time greatest drummers, having manned the kit for Iron Maiden on their self-titled album, 'Killers' and 'The Number of the Beast.' "This is terribly sad news," said bassist Steve Harris. "Clive was a very old friend of all of us. He was a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out."
Metallica took some incredible chances this year while planting landmarks along the way. Apart from hosting the second edition of the band's Orion Music + More Festival and releasing the 3D concert film 'Metallica: Through the Never,' Metallica also accomplished a feat never attempted before by their contemporaries. In 2013, Metallica became the first band to ever perform in all seven continents in one year, finishing the checklist with their 'Freeze 'Em All' gig in Antarctica in early December.
Deftones bassist Chi Cheng passed away this year from complications due to injuries suffered in a 2008 car crash. Chi, who was mostly in a coma since the accident, had begun to show some responsive signs last year. Although Chi was going in and out of the hospital, Deftones fans remained optimistic about the bassist's eventual recovery, but Chi died on April 13 after his heart suddenly stopped beating. "He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear," Chi's mother wrote. "He fought the good fight. You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone."
2013 was a truly triumphant year for Black Sabbath. Along with releasing their long-awaited '13' album, the metal legends did some intense touring, including a North American run originally scrapped due to Bill Ward's contract issues and Tony Iommi's cancer diagnosis. When '13' was released in June, it became the first Black Sabbath album in the band's history to hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts. '13' also topped the German, Canadian, Danish and U.K. album charts, among others, as Iommi continued to courageously battle his lymphoma while performing around the world.
Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister scared us a bit this year with various health issues, but the iconic rocker has since pulled through. This year alone, Kilmister had an implantable defibrillator put into his chest, suffered from a hematoma, and was forced to leave the stage at Wacken after feeling faint. Lemmy went on to chalk it up as "paying for the good times." Regardless, Motorhead put out an awesome album this year in the form of 'Aftershock.'
On Dec. 12, Slipknot released some shocking news. After 18 years with the band, drummer Joey Jordison parted ways with the pinnacle metal act. Slipknot has always been an incredibly tight unit, with all members becoming one creature the second they hit the stage. The brotherhood seemed unbreakable, so Jordison's departure was truly unpredictable. "It is with great pain but quiet respect that, for personal reasons, Joey Jordison and Slipknot are parting ways," reads an official statement from the band. We all wish Joey the best in whatever his future holds."
This year, Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins was convicted of the most disturbing crimes in rock history. On Nov. 26, Watkins pleaded guilty to a total of 11 charges including two counts of attempted rape and a count of sexual assault of a child under 13. One of the children in question was less than a year old. Additionally, Watkins admitted to three counts of sexual assault involving children; six counts of taking, making and possessing indecent images of children; and one act of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal.
Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe displayed tremendous courage and honor by returning to the Czech Republic to stand trial for manslaughter. Blythe was back in the U.S. before the trial and was advised by many not to return to the Czech Republic, but even though many cried corruption, Blythe faced the music and was ultimately given a "not guilty" verdict. Although Blythe wanted to clear his name, the vocalist also chose to stand trial to give the deceased Lamb of God fan's family the same sense of justice.
This was a truly shocking story from 2013. As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis was arrested on May 7 on charges of attempting to hire a hitman to murder the singer's estranged wife, Meggan. Tim Lambesis shares three adopted kids with Meggan, having adopted the children from Ethiopia. Divorce papers showed concern from Meggan Lambesis about Tim's behavior, and the As I Lay Dying frontman's lawyer would go on to blame steroid use for devastatingly affecting his thought processes. As of this posting, Tim Lambesis' trial is tentatively set to begin in early 2014.
On May 2, the tragic news of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman's death was made public. The iconic shredder died from liver failure, but Hanneman had also been suffering from necrotizing fasciitis since 2011, taking him off the road and decreasing the man's quality of life. The man who composed thrash masterpieces such as 'Raining Blood,' 'Angel of Death,' 'War Ensemble' and many others left us way too early, leaving metalheads worldwide with tears in their eyes.