Metal Contraband News For January 24th, 2023:

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Our yearly tradition of Happens is coming up, set to take place in Las Vegas, February 22nd-24th, 2023. Registration is open now for radio and industry, so you can head to: https://happens.vip for more info. Details on the schedule and lineup will be released closer to the event, so keep an eye out for that as well!

The 6th Annual Metal Hall of Fame is set to take place this week, as Twisted Sister will reunite for the first time since the passing of the late A.J. Pero, with the classic lineup of Dee Snider, Jay Jay French, Eddie Ojeda, and Mark Mendoza to be formally inducted (along with Pero, posthumously) by fellow Long Islanders Steve Vai and Mike Portnoy. Lou Gramm, Chris Impellitteri, and Raven are also inductees this year, and the gala will feature a Hall of Fame All Star Jam, including Rudy Sarzo, Doug Aldrich, Keith St. John, Rick Dreier, Joe Travers, and Sean McNabb. The event will be hosted by Eddie Trunk and Cathy Rankin, and take place on January 26th at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA. Keeping with the nonprofit event’s tradition, all proceeds will benefit special needs children and wounded veterans. More info at: https://www.metalhalloffame.org.

Pantera has officially announced a 2023 North American tour, with support from special guests Lamb of God. Original members Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown will be joined by Zakk Wylde on guitar and Charlie Benante on drums. The band will play a blend of festivals and individual shows, with some dates supporting Metallica on the M72 World Tour. Dates run from May through November, and you can find all the details at: https://pantera.com/.

Fear Factory has announced their re-signing to Nuclear Blast Records, their label since 2013, on which they’ve released Genexus, Aggression Continuum, and Recoded. Dino Cazares says, “This is a new year and a new chapter for Fear Factory. We are off to a great start because we have re-signed with Nuclear Blast Records and our A&R legend Monte Conner, who originally signed the band in 1992. It is a great feeling to be with a label that gets us and who has always had our backs, especially when we needed them the most. Prepare for the future of Fear Factory”. Monte Conner comments, “Working with Fear Factory right from the start of their amazing career has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my own career. I was thrilled to be reunited with them when I signed Fear Factory to Nuclear Blast in 2013, and to be able to continue that journey once again for round #3 feels incredibly satisfying. I have believed in Dino Cazares from day one, and I know he is going to deliver a killer new album with all the trademarks that have made and still make Fear Factory one of the most pioneering and unique sounding metal bands of all time”. Fear Factory is preparing to head out on tour alongside Static-X for Rise Of The Machine in North America this spring. With support from Dope, Mushroomhead, and Twiztid on select dates, the 42-show tour runs February 25th through April 15th. For all the dates and details, visit: https://fearfactory.com/.

Epica just dropped a new live video for “Rivers”, a symphonic ballad off their latest full-length, Omega. The one-shot video was filmed during the band’s show in Santiago de Chile as part of their 2022 Latin American tour by Panda Productions, and you can check it out here: https://youtu.be/qcLGgfyOmZE. Epica has also re-released three albums in vinyl form, with The Phantom Agony, Consign To Oblivion, and Design Your Universe (Gold Edition), officially out now. For more, head to: https://www.epica.nl/band.

Grave Digger is getting ready to release 25 to Live, a limited-edition 4-LP box featuring an iconic concert from the band’s career, recorded in São Paulo, Brazil in 2005, and featuring a 27-song set of classics and rare live tracks. February 3rd marks the release of 25 to Live on Metalville Records, which will also include a poster and certificate signed by frontman Chris Boltendahl. Find more info at: https://grave-digger.de/.

Enforcer is kicking off 2023 with a re-release of their popular track, “Running In Menace”. Originally from 2010, the band also recorded a new music video to accompany the track, which you can check out here: https://youtu.be/uMJfJqP3HSA. Olof Wikstrand says, “Let’s kick off the new year with some exclusive stuff! Last year we had an Instagram vote for your favorite album song that we don’t normally play. And the winner was…”Running in Menace” from 2010! So, we decided to include that in our set, but also, re-recorded the song during a soundcheck in Warsaw and put together a tour video for it. Hope you all enjoy it!” Keep an eye out for updates on Enforcer via: https://www.facebook.com/enforcerofficial/.