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Evil Eye Productions

2003: The Year In Metal



Crematory announces that they are working on new material

Will Haven calls it quits

Steve “Zetro” Souza parts ways with Exodus only to rejoin the band at a later date after disputes are ironed out

drummer Max Duhamel leaves Kataklysm

vocalist Mathias Blad leaves Falconer

Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell (guitar) and Vinnie Paul (drums) announce that they have a new band called New Found Power - the band name is later changed to Damageplan

Children Of Bodom's 'Hate Crew Deathroll' debuts at number one on the Finnish charts

legendary Fates Warning vocalist John Arch signs a deal with Metal Blade Records

SPV/Steamhammer Records signs Iced Earth

Crash Music signs Soulless


1/03 - Compos Mentis - Fragments of a Withered Dream
1/07 - Children Of Bodom - Hate Crew Deathroll
1/14 - Amon Amarth - Versus The World
1/20 - Old Man's Child - In Defiance Of Existence
1/28 - Nightingale - Alive Again
1/28 - Grave - Back From The Grave
1/28 - Raunchy - Velvet Noise
1/28 - Blood Red Throne - Affiliated With the Suffering





Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves, Ozzy) signs on as Metallica's new bassist

Queensrÿche's founding guitarist, Chris DeGarmo, rejoins his former bandmates to write new material

rapper Ice T announces that he is bringing back Body Count after a six year hiatus

drummer Steve Schwarzmann (Accept, Running Wild) replaces Mark Cross in Helloween

drummer and founding member Jensa Paulsson is replaced by Cristofer Barkensjö (Kaamos) in Grave

an announcement is made that Lollapalooza will return after a five year hiatus and feature Jane's Addiction, Audioslave, Incubus and Queens Of The Stone Age

Limbonic Art splits up

Spock's Beard drummer Nick D'Virgilio takes over as lead vocalist in the wake of Neal Morse’s departure

Ozzfest lineup will include Cradle Of Filth, Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage and VoiVod

Korn wins Grammy for Best Metal Performance

InsideOut Music America signs The Devin Townsend Band

Season Of Mist signs E-Force


2/10 - Lost Horizon - A Flame To The Ground Beneath
2/11 - Madder Mortem - Deadlands
2/11 - Twelfth Gate - Summoning
2/11 - Strapping Young Lad - SYL
2/11 - Corporation 187 - Perfection In Pain
2/11 - Rapture - Songs For The Withering
2/11 - Behemoth - Zos Kia Cultus (Here and Beyond)
2/11 - Stratovarius - Elements Part 1
2/18 - Blood Red Throne - Affiliated With The Suffering
2/19 - While Heaven Wept - Of Empires Forlorn
2/24 - The Gathering - Souvenirs
2/24 - Marduk - World Funeral
2/24 - Anthrax - We've Come For You All
2/25 - The Haunted - One Kill Wonder





Teemu "Somnium" Raimoranta, guitarist for Finntroll and Impaled Nazarene, dies in Helsinki, Finland when he falls from a bridge onto ice below

bassist Jason Newsted (Flotsam & Jetsam, Metallica, VoiVod) joins the Ozzy Osbourne band

bassist Mike Inez (Ozzy, Alice In Chains) joins Black Label Society on bass guitar

guitarist Larry Tarnowski leaves Iced Earth

Von Blomberg (aka Hellhammer) leaves The Kovenant

Usurper parts ways with drummer Dave Hellstorm

Deceased parts ways with Relapse Records

Queensrÿche and Dream Theater announce plans to team up for a summer tour

Sanctuary signs Anthrax

SPV/Steamhammer signs Rhapsody

EMI Records signs Amorphis

Metal Blade signs As I Lay Dying and The Black Dahlia Murder


3/03 - Enslaved - Below the Lights
3/04 - VoiVod
3/10 - Cradle Of Filth - Damnation And A Day
3/11 - God Dethroned - Into the Lungs of Hell
3/11 - Necrophagia - Divine Art of Torture
3/18 - Biohazard - Kill Or Be Killed
3/24 - Katatonia - Viva Emptiness
3/25 - OverKill - Killbox 13
3/25 - Dawn of Relic - Lovecraftian Dark
3/31 - Bathory - Nordland II
3/31 - The Devin Townsend Band - Accelerated Evolution


VOIVOD: Part 1 - Interview with Away

VOIVOD: Part 2 - Interview with Snake



Dave Lombardo announces that he is working on new material with Slayer

Edge Of Sanity's Dan Swanö announces his plans to release ‘Crimson II’

Kittie and their producer, Garth Richardson, file suit against Artemis Records

Alabama Thunderpussy parts ways with founding vocalist Johnny Throckmorton

Technocracy calls it quits as guitarist Phil Demmel, Robert Flynn’s former Vio-lence bandmate, joins Machine Head

guitarist Tuomo Louhio (Antidote) joins Impaled Nazarene

guitarist Tony White and bassist Scott Crochet join Soilent Green

longtime members Joe Calandra (bass) and Jon Kleiman (drums) leave Monster Magnet

Twisted Sister announces that the classic lineup will reunite for select headlining dates

Arch Enemy's Angela Gossow (vocals) and Michael Amott (guitar) reveal that they are an item

Century Media signs melodic death supergroup, Nightrage, featuring: guitarist Gus G. (Dream Evil, Firewind), guitarist Marios Iliopoulos (Exhumation), drummer Per M. Jensen (The Haunted, Invocator), melodic vocalist Tom S. Englund (Evergrey), main vocalist Tomas Lindberg (The Great Deceiver, At The Gates) and bassist Brice Leclercq

Capitol Records signs Jane’s Addiction


4/01 - Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Altered States Of America
4/22 - Black Label Society - The Blessed Hellride
4/22 - Cage - Darker Than Black
4/22 - Cult Of Luna - The Beyond
4/22 - Carnal Forge - The More You Suffer
4/22 - Usurper - Twilight Dominion
4/22 - 1349 - Liberation
4/22 - Leadfoot - We Drink for Free
4/22 - Vital Remains - Dechristianize





Headbanger’s Ball returns on MTV2

Halford's Metal Gods North American Tour comes to a premature end amidst a storm of controversy

Morbid Angel welcomes bassist/vocalist Steve Tucker back to the fold

Annihilator splits with vocalist Joe Comeau (OverKill, Liege Lord)

Dick Delicious And The Tasty Testicles disbands in the wake of the departure of Dick Delicious

Electric Wizard's Mark Greening (drums, piano) and Tim Bagshaw (bass) leave the band to form a new group called Ramesses

Blind Guardian drummer Thomas Stauch is unable to tour because he is suffering from ongoing problems with nerves in his hand - Rhapsody's Alex Holzwarth sits in

Dave Mustaine announces that he is working on a solo album to be released by Sanctuary Records in 2004

bassist Jim Baglino (Lord Sterling) replaces Joe Calandra in Monster Magnet

guitarist Craig Goldy rejoins Dio

new supergroup, Chaos Breed, arrives on the scene featuring: drummer Nalle Österman (Gandalf), bassist Oppu Laine (Amorphis, Mannhai), guitarist Marko Tarvonen (Moonsorrow), guitarist Esa Holopainen (Amorphis) and vocalist Taneli Jarva (Sentenced, The Black League)

Nasum bassist Jesper Liveröd announces that he will leave the band to concentrate on Burst

Crash Music signs Transport League

Candlelight Records signs Grimfist

Rage Of Achilles signs While Heaven Wept

Century Media signs My Ruin

Cleopatra Records signs Flotsam And Jetsam


5/05 - Callenish Circle - My Passion // Your Pain
5/05 - Helloween - Rabbit Don't Come Easy
5/06 - Circle Of Dead Children - Human Harvest
5/06 - Lamb Of God - As The Palaces Burn
5/13 - Dying Fetus - Stop At Nothing
5/13 - Chimaira - The Impossibility Of Reason
5/13 - Nasum - Helvete
5/13 - Dysrhythmia - Pretest
5/20 - Darkest Hour - Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation
5/20 - Hatesphere – Bloodred Hatred
5/20 - Forest Stream - Tears Of Mortal Solitude
5/20 - Sleep - Dopesmoker
5/20 - Soulless - Agony's Lament





vocalist Matthew Barlow leaves Iced Earth

Soilwork drummer Henry Ranta is replaced by Richard Evensand (Ebony Tears, Dog Faced Gods)

bassist Novy (Behemoth, Devilyn) replaces Simon in Vader

Coal Chamber’s Dez Fafara dubs his new project Devildriver

vocalist Nicke Holstensson (Nominon) Isidor in Thy Primordial

Metallica's ‘St. Anger’ debuts at #1 on the Billboard album chart

Century Media signs Watch Them Die

Nuclear Blast signs Fireball Ministry

Thrash Corner Records signs Deceased

SPV/Steamhammer Records USA signs Sepultura

Willowtip Records signs Watchmaker


6/05 - Metallica - St. Anger
6/09 - Agent Steel - Order Of The Illuminati
6/10 - Throcult - Soldiers Of A Blackened War
6/10 - Divine Empire - Nostradamus
6/16 - Green Carnation - A Blessing In Disguise
6/17 - Type O Negative - Life Is Killing Me
6/17 - The Black Dahlia Murder - Unhallowed
6/17 - John Arch - A Twist of Fate
6/17 - Alchemist - Austral Alien
6/17 - Skinless - From Sacrifice To Survival
6/23 - Kalmah - Swampsong





Rob Halford officially reunites with Judas Priest

Crowbar recruits bassist Rex Brown (Pantera, Down)

Immortal calls it quits

the words “headbanger” and “mosh pit” are added to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

Earache / Wicked World signs The Chasm

Liquor and Poker Music signs Nebula

Nuclear Blast signs Cathedral


7/01 - As I Lay Dying - Frail Words Collapse
7/07 - Transport League - Grand Amputation
7/15 - Jane's Addiction - Strays
7/15 - Withered Earth - Of Which They Bleed
7/21 - Chaos Breed - Unleashed Carnage
7/22 - Circle II Circle - Watching In Silence
7/22 - Superjoint Ritual - A Lethal Dose Of American Hatred
7/28 - Nevermore - Enemies Of Reality
7/29 - A Life Once Lost - A Great Artist
7/29 - Exhumed - Anatomy Is Destiny





vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Winters Bane) is drafted by Iced Earth

Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain is arrested and charged with assault after allegedly hitting a parking attendant with his car

Küth (drums & percussion) and Brat (keyboards & live effects) join The Kovenant

vocalist Bob Mitchell (Vyndykator, Alchemy X) reunites with Attacker

drummer Randy Black (Annihilator) replaces Klaus Sperling in Primal Fear

vocalist Johan Liiva (Hearse, Arch Enemy) and drummer Matte Modin (Dark Funeral, Defleshed) bail out on Nonexist

guitarist Glenn Ljungström (In Flames) leaves Dimension Zero

Electric Wizard revamps the lineup with the addition of drummer Justin Greaves (Iron Monkey, Teeth Of Lion), second guitarist Liz Buckingham (13, Sourvein) and bassist Rob Al-Issa

vocalist Liv Kristine leaves Theatre Of Tragedy

EatUrMusic signs Satyricon

Relapse Records signs Suffocation

Nuclear Blast signs Exodus

Century Media signs Impaled


8/04 - Entombed - Inferno
8/04 - Farmakon - A Warm Glimpse
8/12 - Wehrwolfe - Godless We Stand
8/12 - Extol - Synergy
8/12 - Gorgoroth - Twilight Of The Idols
8/25 - The Quill - Hooray! It's A Deathtrip
8/25 - Dew-Scented - Impact
8/25 - Psychotogen - The Calculus Of Evil
8/25 - Arch Enemy - Anthems Of Rebellion
8/26 - Edge Of Sanity - Crimson II
8/26 - Misery Index - Retaliate
8/26 - Goatwhore - Funeral Dirge For The Rotting Sun





Cancer reforms with the following lineup: Carl Stokes (drums), John Walker (guitars & vocals), Rob Engvikson (guitars) and Adders (bass)

vocalist Bobby Liebling reforms Pentagram with the following lineup: guitarist Kelly Carmichael (Internal Void), bassist Adam S. Heinzmann (Internal Void) and drummer Mike Smail (Penance)

guitarist Roope Latvala (Sinergy, Stone) replaces Alexander Kuoppala in Children Of Bodom

Motörhead is inducted into the Hollywood Rock Walk Of Fame

original Usurper drummer, Apocalyptic Warlord, returns to the fold

drummer and founding member Col Jones leaves Exhumed

Life Of Agony reveals plans to record a new studio album

Arch Enemy's ‘Anthems Of Rebellion’ becomes the most purchased album one week after release in the history of Century Media’s existence

Dimmu Borgir's ‘Death Cult Armageddon’ becomes the most purchased album one week after release in the history of Nuclear Blast’s existence and lands at #169 on the Billboard album chart

Superjoint Ritual's ‘A Lethal Dose Of American Hatred’ debuts on the Billboard album chart at #55

Iron Maiden's ‘Dance Of Death’ debuts at #18 on the Billboard album chart selling over 40,000 copies in the first week

Hammerheart Records closes its doors, however owners Peter van Ool and Guido Heijnens start a new label under the name Karmageddon Media

Century Media completes the worldwide purchase of Olympic Recordings

RCA Records signs Velvet Revolver

Season Of Mist signs Mayhem


9/08 - Place Of Skulls - With Vision
9/09 - Radiation 4 - Wonderland
9/09 - Dimmu Borgir - Death Cult Armageddon
9/22 - Morbid Angel - Heretic
9/22 - Vader - Blood
9/22 - Krisiun - Works Of Carnage
9/23 - Monstrosity - Rise To Power
9/23 - Six Feet Under - Bringer of Blood
9/23 - Zyklon - Aeon
9/23 - Grimfist - Ghouls of Grandeur
9/23 - Nebula - Atomic Ritual
9/23 - Burst - Prey On Life





former Omen vocalist, J.D. Kimball, passes away after a three year battle with cancer

original vocalist Peter Dolving returns to The Haunted

former guitarist Scott Sergeant (Laaz Rockit, Killingculture) returns to Skinlab

former Malevolent Creation drummer Dave Culross (Suffocation, Incantation) rejoins the band

Nasum adds bassist Jon "Elle" Lindqvist (Sayyadena, Victims) and former live-only guitarist Urban Skytt

Alabama Thunderpussy recruits vocalist Johnny Weils (Barbed Wire Dolls)

drummer Brian "Bob" Fouts (Burn it Down, Amongst the Swarm) joins Harakiri

former Helloween and Metalium drummer, Mark Cross, announces that he has beat the Epstein-Barr virus

drummer Mike Mangini returns to Annihilator as a replacement for Randy Black (Primal Fear)

Soulfly announces that Max Cavalera will be joined by drummer Joe Nunez, guitarist Mark Rizzo and former Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson for the recording of the band’s fourth album

the MTV2 Headbanger's Ball soundtrack debuts at #34 on the Billboard album chart selling over 31,000 copies in its first week

Burzum's Varg Vikernes (aka Count Grishnack) allegedly escapes from prison while on leave from a low-security facility – he was apprehended when the stolen car he was driving was forced off an Oslo highway by police

Deicide's Eric Hoffman and a member of the band’s crew are reportedly arrested by U.S. customs inspectors when drugs and weapons are found in their possession at the Canadian border

Kalmah keyboardist Pasi Hiltula leaves the band

bassist Frank Banx leaves Angel Dust

drummer Frank Gilchriest (Virgin Steele) joins Riot

bassist Hugo Prinsen Geerligs leaves The Gathering

guitarist/vocalist Andrew LaBarre leaves Impaled

Nuclear Blast signs Death Angel

Epic Records signs Lamb Of God

Metal Blade signs Unearth


10/07 - Watch Them Die
10/07 - Macabre - Murder Metal
10/07 - Fireball Ministry - The Second Great Awakening
10/07 - MTV2 Headbangers Ball
10/14 - Kill 2 This - Mass.[down]-sin.(drone.)
10/21 - Destruction - Metal Discharge
10/21 - The Crown - Possessed 13
10/21 - King Diamond - The Puppet Master
10/21 - Moonspell - The Antidote
10/21 - My Ruin - The Horror Of Beauty
10/21 - All Out War - Condemned To Suffer
10/22 - Penumbra - Seclusion
10/27 - Stratovarius - Elements Part 2
10/28 - Hatebreed - The Rise Of Brutality





original Riot vocalist Guy Speranza dies due to pancreatic cancer

vocalist Legion leaves Marduk

bassist Byron Stroud (Strapping Young Lad) joins Fear Factory

Cryptopsy parts ways with vocalist Martin Lacroix

all Circle II Circle members other than vocalist Zak Stevens leave the band

Septic Flesh calls it quits

drummer Micheal Wildwood (Chrome Locust) leaves Monster Magnet

Hatebreed's ‘The Rise of Brutality’ debuts at #30 on the Billboard album chart

Dream Theater's ‘Train of Thought’ enters the Billboard album chart at #50

Fear Factory signs to D3 Entertainment for the U.S. and Roadrunner Records for Europe

Sanctuary signs Stratovarius and Brides Of Destruction


11/04 - Akercocke - Choronzon
11/17 - Judas Priest - Electric Eye (DVD)
11/25 - Slayer - Soundtrack To The Apocalypse (Box)





Ozzy Osbourne is seriously injured in a quad bike accident

bassist Rob Nicholson (Rob Zombie) replaces Jason Newsted (Flotsam & Jetsam, Metallica, Voivod) in the Ozzy Osbourne band

original vocalist Lord Worm returns to Cryptopsy

Wino parts ways with Place Of Skulls to focus on The Hidden Hand

vocalist Timo Kotipelto and drummer Jörg Michael leave Stratovarius

drummer Robert "Bob" Pantella (Raging Slab) replaces Michael Wildwood in Monster Magnet

Hammerheart Records releases a statement that the company plans to release the unfinished Control Denied album that was in the works when Chuck Schuldiner died

drummer Bård "Faust" Eithun (Emperor) leaves Dissection as he is unable to stand behind the band's satanic ideology

Savatage’s Jon Oliva recruits the former members of Circle II Circle to back him in his solo project

Heathen announces that they have reformed and are working on new material

vocalist General Diabolical Slaughter quits Usurper

Mötley Crüe announces plans for a reunion tour and possible album in 2004

The End Records signs Crisis

Century Media signs Chaos Breed

Earache Records signs Blood Red Throne

Regain Records signs Danzig and Dark Funeral






Compiled by: Brant Wintersteen [ ]
Webmaster: Sean Jennings [ ]

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