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This Week In Metal (13/4/15 - 19/4/15)

What you might have missed over the past seven days...

Two very different stories this week provided us a classic good news/bad news scenario. The good news is that more and more people are getting into rock music on its original format. Monday saw the launch of the UK's first ever devoted vinyl chart – inaugural chart-toppers being ironically-named pop-punkers All Time Low – ahead of Saturday's Record Store Day, which has grown into an eagerly anticipated, high-profile event. When Dave Grohl was announced as RSD ambassador in February, he spoke movingly of the importance record stores had on his life, and encouraged people to "take an afternoon (and some hard-earned lawn-mowing money) and please support them."

Vinyl sales are continuing to rise, with 1.29 million records sold last year – a 20-year high – according to figures released by market research agency ICM Unlimited. Furthermore, the first quarter of 2015 saw a particularly pleasing 69% increase in people shelling out for a good old-fashioned long-player. ICM boss boss Martin Talbot adds: “Vinyl junkies could well have snapped up two million units by the end of this year – an extraordinary number, if you consider sales were one-tenth of that just six years ago." According to the survey, rock music accounts for 41% of the overall vinyl market, with 34% of buyers saying they don't actually play the records they purchase; as All Time Low frontman Alex Garth explains, ATL fans "buy a vinyl of our record so they can hang it on their wall." Whatever you do with your records, it's heartening to see increasing awareness and investment in the trusty circle of wax, especially after the downturn in sales and fears for the future of physical formats during the file-sharing fad of the last decade. 

And so to the bad news. This week a friendship that dates back to the Aston bomb-sites of the 1960s publicly dissolved in bitterness and confusion. The bond between Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne and original drummer Bill Ward has endured nearly 50 years of triumph and tragedy, sackings and addictions, miscommunication and madness, estrangement and reconciliation. But that bond is apparently now severed after a venomous exchange of words online. On Wednesday, Bill released a statement declaring that "I will not participate in any musical undertakings until a righting of the wrongs spoken against me has been achieved," referring to allegations made by Ozzy that Bill wasn't fit enough to take part in the band's 2012 reunion. Ward says "the often inaccurate statements about me as a person and as a musician have caused me to be guarded and be especially detached emotionally and spiritually from Ozzy" and “I’ve listened to nothing but insults and false remarks."

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