Metal Insider’s 10 most shocking moments of 2016

Posted by on December 30, 2016

3) Dio returns in hologram form


Well, this was almost bound to happen. 2010 saw Dio, one of metal most beloved frontmen, shuffle off this mortal coil. Several years later, “Tupac,” or rather a holographic version of the late rapper, showed up at Coachella. Initially touted as the future of music, we didn’t hear much more about hologram versions of deceased musicians… until this year. 

Dio’s Disciples, a band featuring former Dio members, headlined this year’s Wacken Open Air festival in Germany, and for the encore, Ronnie James Dio showed up in hologram form. Whether it’s an amazing technological advance, or crass and one of the worst things to happen to music since Dio died, “We Rock,” taken from archival footage of the singer and hours of recordings, closed out the show. There’s talk of “Dio” touring next year, and we’ll see it – once. Depending on advances in technology and aging rockers passing on, this could be something you’ll be seeing quite a bit of in the near future. 



2) Phil Anselmo’s Uncomfortable Year In The Spotlight


Phil, you should have known better. Whether it was a deep-seeded hatred for those not white or as you’d said, a dumb drunken in-joke amongst friends, we live in an age where anything you say or do can be held against you, especially because it’s probably being captured on a smart phone. When the singer sieg-heiled and said “white power” at the Dimebash earlier this year, he initially said he wouldn’t apologize. However, as outrage grew, he first apologized verbally, then visually, in a stark video clip. Artists including Machine Head’s Robb Flynn and Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian took him to task, and Down cancelled the shows they’d had booked as the singer wisely went dark for the next six months. 

Towards the end of the year, Anselmo resurfaced with Scour and Superjoint, and with that came more press. In a revealing interview with Rolling Stone, the vocalist revealed that he’d been sexually abused as a child. That’s a pretty dark admission, and while it doesn’t necessarily make up for what he said, he’s certainly remorseful, and not just because he got called out on it. In a year where the President-elect can brush off disturbingly sexist comments as “locker room talk” and still go on to win the Presidency, it’s become pretty apparent that if you choose to support someone, what they’ve said in the past is irrelevant. Or to sum it up in a Pantera song, yesterday don’t mean shit. 


1) Misfits reunite with Danzig


If there is one reunion that’s even more shocking than Axl Rose and Slash, it would be the Misfits with Glenn Danzig. Sure, Danzig had reunited with guitarist Wolfgang Von Doyle for special “Misfits” sets on a handful of his solo tours over the years. But Danzig and bassist/remaining member of the Misfits Jerry Only have bad blood that has brought them in and out of court against each other. That’s why many had to do a double take when Riot Fest announced that a Misfits lineup consisting of Danzig, Only and Doyle was headlining its Denver and Chicago installments.

Ironically, the reunion supposedly came about when Danzig and Only met to discuss the next round of their legal battle against each other. The “Original” Misfits (as they were billed) would end up being rounded out by Dave Lombardo on drums (another shocking turn of events) and Acey Slade on rhythm guitar. What resulted were two well-received shows in September, not only giving fans a chance to witness Danzig perform under the Misfits moniker, but arguably a better stage production than the original lineup could’ve ever given when first starting out.

The performances even left Only hopeful for more to come to fruition. However, according to Danzig himself, those two performances are all we’ll likely be getting.


Honorable Mention: Team Rock (Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Prog)’s future in limbo

Print media in general has been experiencing trouble for years now. That doesn’t make the abrupt closure of Team Rock, the parent company of publications like Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Prog, any less unfortunate. While it remains unclear whether those publications will cease to exist for good, 73 staff members were laid off as Team Rock went into liquidation (a week before Christmas, nonetheless). 

Even though it was based out of the UK, Metal Hammer had a strong presence in U.S., playing as important of a tastemaker in metal as American outlets. So to see such an important part of metal’s history potentially come to an end (we say potentially, but it’s not looking good for the outlet and its sister publications) is truly sad and shocking. All we can really do now is to contribute to Orange Goblin’s crowdfunding efforts for the laid off staffers (which even Avenged Sevenfold have contributed to). 

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Categorised in: Best Of 2016, Columns, Top 10