In 1969, a long-haired band arrived out of nowhere, brandishing a heavy sound and dark vibe that was completely at odds with the "get back to the garden" idealism of the Woodstock generation. The band's jazz-influenced drummer was almost physically incapable of playing a straight 4/4 beat, and the guitarist had lost the tips of two fret-hand digits in a freak industrial accident.
Anyone who caught one of the Big Four shows over the past couple of years would agree that they were truly once-in-a-lifetime events. As many fans are still hoping the Big Four -- Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth -- will come their way, Slayer's Kerry King believes the bands will likely now go their separate ways.
The announcement of a full-on return for The Darkness has only added to the buzz for 2012, which is shaping up to be a monster year for music. The band recently took part in a conference call with reporters, and Guitar World was there to get the scoop on the new album and why they decided to finally get back together.
Guitar World is ringing in the holidays with ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons. With a long-awaited ZZ Top album on the way, the Reverend Willie G. has a wealth of things to celebrate this holiday season. Plus, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Lamb of God and Judas Priest talk about their upcoming albums and projects for 2012.