The Week In Music: Turn Up To 11

National Metal Day, 11-11-11, marks the heaviest day of the century
  • Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
    Metallica's James Hetfield
  • Photo: John Shearer/WireImage.com
    Ozzy Osbourne
  • Photo: Zak Kaczmarek/WI/WireImage.com
    Axl Rose
November 11, 2011 -- 6:00 am PST
GRAMMY.com

At first glance, today may seem like the second Friday in November. But in actuality, today marks the heaviest day of the 21st century, as declared by VH1 Classic: National Metal Day, 11-11-11. Aspiring and seasoned headbangers alike are invited to raise their fists and rock their inner-metal with a slew of programming on VH1 Classic throughout the entire day. Programs scheduled to air include "Behind The Music Remastered: Megadeth"; a "groundbreaking" documentary charting the path of metal's existence, Metal Evolution; interviews with artists such as Marilyn Manson, Slash, AC/DC's Brian Johnson, and Megadeth's Dave Mustaine, among others; and concert performances from Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Metallica, Slayer, Motörhead, and Judas Priest. Of course, VH1 Classic will also be airing the movie no National Metal Day would be complete without, This Is Spinal Tap, which will literally allow metal fanatics to go to 11.

In related news, VH1 Classic will air an exclusive intimate interview with elusive Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose in conjunction with National Metal Day at 11 p.m. ET. True to his penchant for starting concerts on the later side, Rose finally sat down for the interview with the hosts of "That Metal Show" at 5:30 a.m. on Oct. 30, following the kickoff of the band's North American tour in Miami the evening prior. Topics of conversation included Guns N' Roses' 2008 album Chinese Democracy, Rose's knack for starting concerts tardy, misconceptions about Rose, the band's current tour, and more. Viewers may even be in for a surprise or two, according to "That Metal Show" host Eddie Trunk. "I think people are going to see a side of him they may not have realized existed," said Trunk. Watch a preview clip of Rose's interview here.

Appropriately, National Metal Day is shaping up to be a monumental day for the genre's founding fathers as Black Sabbath are hosting a press conference today at the Whisky A Go Go. Though an official report has not yet been disclosed, it is expected the group is convening to announce the reunion of its original members, bassist Geezer Butler, guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. The GRAMMY-winning metal quartet's catalog includes classics such as "Paranoid," "Iron Man," "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," "Children Of The Grave," "War Pigs," and "Planet Caravan," to name a few. Iommi and Butler most recently recorded and toured as part of the Sabbath spin-off Heaven & Hell with drummer Vinny Appice and vocalist Ronnie James Dio. But with Dio succumbing to stomach cancer in 2010, the door opened for the first reunion of the original Black Sabbath since 2005. This past summer, in a leaked interview by Birmingham Mail, Iommi essentially confirmed the bat was out of the proverbial bag. "It's all been very hush-hush," said Iommi. "Ozzy's been the worst at holding it back."

Of course, National Metal Day is an appropriate day for a lively debate (read: heated argument) on which band reigns supreme in the metal universe? Rolling Stone recently conducted a poll on this topic, asking readers to help construct a list of the top 10 metal acts of all time. The results proved to be fairly standard with metal warhorses such as Pantera (No. 9), Megadeth (No. 6), Slayer (No. 5), and Iron Maiden (No. 4) all garnering nods. Perhaps surprisingly, Led Zeppelin placed No. 8. While Led Zeppelin are typically included in the pantheon of classic rock instead of metal, many metal guitarists cite the six-string wizardry of Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin's impactful first two albums in 1969 as predating Black Sabbath's seminal 1970 self-titled debut. Arguably a bigger surprise, Black Sabbath were edged out of the runner-up position by Dream Theater, a progressive metal quintet known for their impeccable technical skills. (Upon further review, maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise as Dream Theater announced the poll via Twitter.) With a legacy spanning three decades and classic metal offerings such as Master Of Puppets and Metallica, aka the "the Black Album," it comes as little surprise that Metallica landed at No. 1. That said, Metallica's standing in future metal polls may be in jeopardy due to some of the scathing reviews Lulu, their latest collaboration with Lou Reed, has received.

With Black Friday approaching, shoppers are looking to score that perfect gift of the holiday season. If you have a metal fan on your list, we present five gifts sure to garner the metal hand-sign approval: 5) Trust Me, I'm Dr. Ozzy: Advice From Rock's Ultimate Survivor, a book in which Ozzy offers "medical" advice based on his near-death experiences and 40-year history of drug abuse; 4) Kiss cremation urn, for safekeeping the ashes of a loved one or use as a cool mantle piece; 3) From The Bars To The Stars, Twisted Sister's new box set chronicling three decades of live performances, bad costumes and garish makeup; 2) "Metallica Monopoly," a fresh take on the classic board game, though instead of landing on Park Place you may "Jump In The Fire"; and 1) Ultimate Air Supply, because let's be honest, every headbanger has a soft side.

Rihanna's "We Found Love" featuring Calvin Harris is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Taylor Swift's "If This Was A Movie" is tops on the iTunes singles chart.

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