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It’s been months since reunited collective, Soundgarden, announced that they were recording a "diverse" new album, their first studio album since 1996's Down On The Upside, (which was one of the first albums I ever bought but that’s another story). But we can now reveal that the band have gone one step further as they have been signed up to appear at this year’s Download Festival 2012 in June.

Soundgarden were signed this week to appear at the 10th year of the infamous Download Festival alongside Scottish band Biffy Clyro, comedy rockers Tenacious D and Chase and Status who were all added to the 2012 line-up, according to NME.

The weekend of June 8-10 at Donington Park will see the bill, which is set to be headlined by The Prodigy, Metallica and a reunited Black Sabbath, play to thousands of fans.

The Prodigy will headline the festival's first night (June 8). Metallica have confirmed that they will be headlining the festival's Saturday night (June 9), playing a set that will feature the entirety of their classic 1991 self-titled fifth album, known to fan’s as 'The Black Album', while Black Sabbath are currently set to close the event on Sunday (June 10).

Last year’s Download Festival was headlined by System Of A Down, Def Leppard and Linkin Park and even featured sets from the excellent Bullet For My Valentine, Rob Zombie and Pendulum.

Though the gig saw the return comeback show from The Darkness, their first major festival since Justin Hawkins' departure in 2006, the show was stolen by Steward 836. Steward 836 while awaiting the next live band to enter the stage, caught the attention of the crowd after one of the giant stage-screens showed him making the devil horns gesture. The official Download Festival website even featured him as an artist on their site.

You can find out more about the Download Festival 2012 and it’s lineup at the official Download Festival Website at:


Heavy metal supergroup Metallica have announced that they will perform their best-selling self titled album Metallica, also known as The Black Album, in its entirety when they step onto the stage to headline at next year's Download festival at Donington Park.

It will be the band's eighth visit to Donington Park when they step onto the stage at Download 2012. They first played at the Monsters of Rock festival in 1985 and most recently back in 2006, Metallica headlined Download festival.

Co-founder and drummer Lars Ulrich revealed on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show that the reason for them performing the 1991 album in full is to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Download heavy metal festival.

Lars Ulrich said: "Six years is way too long to be away from the hallowed grounds of Donington Park. We are beyond psyched and feel privileged to come back once again to soak up the energy and vibe of the most legendary of festival sites."

Vice president of promotions at Live Nation, which runs the festival, Andy Copping was “bowled over” by Metallica's decision to perform in such a way, noting "The album is up there as one of the greatest albums of all time, everyone knows the songs,".

The “Black album” was the band’s self-titled fifth studio album and reached number one in more than 25 countries selling more than 25 million copies worldwide. It includes the six hit singles that are considered today among the band's best-known hits including Enter Sandman, Sad But True, Wherever I May Roam, Nothing Else Matters, and The Unforgiven.

Black Sabbath are also set to headline the main stage on the 10th of June, closing the  Download 2012 festival which takes place from June 8-10. Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday (November 18).

Just two months after news of their collaboration was revealed, seen on Intrumania here back in June, Metallica and Lou Reed have set a date for the release for the album they recorded.

The official website of the project reveals the release dates are set for October 31st worldwide, and November 1st in the US.

The project, entitled "Lulu", will feature 10 tracks all based on the music and lyrics originally written out by Reed for a theatrical production in Berlin. Following on from Reed's concerts with Bay Area thrashers Metallica in 2009, for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, everyone involved had a hunger to make more music together, the efforts of which we'll be treated to this Fall.

Reed recently told New York magazine that the project is "maybe the best thing done by anyone, ever", perhaps a testament to how free from boundaries Lars Ulrich says Metallica feel about working with the legendary former Velvet Underground guitarist.

Following a recent blod post on Metallica's site, the Bay Area thrash masters have revealed they have put together a 10-track album's worth of material for a forthcoming release, working with The Velvet Underground's legendary guitarist and vocalist Lou Reed on the new material. And it seems they can't wait to share their new stuff with their army of fans either.

In an excerpt from this blog post, the band reveal just what they've been getting up to over the last few months:

"Ever since we had the pleasure of performing with Lou at the 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden in October of 2009, we have been kicking around the idea of making a record together.

Some of you astute Bay Area residents may have picked up news of recent Lou Reed sightings in the greater San Francisco area and we have indeed been working at our home studio at HQ on and off over the last few months.

In what would be lightning speed for a Metallica related project, we recorded ten songs during this time and while at this moment we're not exactly sure when you'll hear it, we're beyond excited to share with you that the recording sessions wrapped up last week."

Also, as the photo above reveals, it would appear James Hetfield is getting into the groove with his new signature Snakebite guitar from ESP, released at this year's NAMM show, as we revealed here previously.

The long awaited NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) rocks into town next week, kicking off on January 14 in the Anaheim Convention Centre.

Founded in 1901, the NAMM show is one of the largest music product trade shows in the world. With nearly 1,500 exhibitors and 88,000 attendees in 2010 this year’s extravaganza is expected to be even bigger. And what makes these figures even more overwhelming, the show is not open to members of the general public, and accepts only invited guests and members of the music trade.

There has been much excitement building around the introduction of two new guitars for sale, Metallica signature guitars at NAMM 2011, namely the James Hetfield Snakebyte and Kirk Hammett Signature Series.

The James Hetfield Snakebyte is a brand new body style for ESP and LTD in 2011. It has a set-neck construction at 24.75’’ scale, with a mahogany body and neck, and an ebony fingerboard with 22 XJ frets.

The Snakebyte comes with a whole host of high-end components, including Sperzel locking tuners, Schaller straplocks, a Tonepros locking bridge / tailpiece, and EMG 81 (bridge) / EMG 60 (neck) active pickups.

The James Hetfield Snakebite is available in both the ESP and LTD versions, and are available in two finishes: either Black or Snow white, with a pearloid snake inlay on the fingerboard.

The Kirk Hammett Signature Series model is to be introduced as both an ESP KH-2 SE and LTD KH-SE, with both being special edition guitars limited to just 100 and 300 pieces worldwide respectively.

Highlighted by a stunning Metallic Greenburst finish, the ESP KH-2 SE offers neck-thru-body construction, a 25.5” scale, an alder body, and maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, 24 XJ frets (with frets 17-24 scalloped), and green pearloid skull inlays.

Other high-performance features include Gotoh tuners, EMG 81 (bridge) / EMG 60 (neck) active pickups, and an original Floyd Rose bridge. The LTD KH-SE has a bolt-on maple neck, a basswood body, ESP tuners and pickups, and a Floyd Rose Special bridge.

For further news and reviews and all the latest information for the discerning musician, look no further than Instrumania. And if you’re in the market for a new guitar we really are the site for you. We compare the prices of thousands of guitars for sale, bringing the very best deals online.