Underoath, Aaron G split [Amicable parting of the ways…] The six-man band made the announcement the Monday after Easter weekend, posting this on their MySpace: “We are taking this opportunity to sadly inform you the six of us have decided at the end of the current European tour, Aaron will no longer be playing in UNDEROATH. This was not a decision made in haste, but a thought-out and prayed-upon group agreement. It in no way affects any of the shows left on this tour. They will still be our best efforts and enjoyable experiences for all. For the future, Aaron will be pursuing other musical and ministry endeavors. As for the rest of us we will continue to work hard on the new UNDEROATH record. We appreciate the love and support from everyone in the past and hope that all of us will continue to receive your support on our future paths.”

Blindside announced details on their new album: “We’ve been working on this album for three years and really feel we have something special, worth waiting for and something worth getting right. “

Haste the Day is back in the studio with acclaimed producer Andreas Magnusson, recording for their fifth studio release.

Upon returning home from the They Came in Shoals European tour, A Plea for Purging has entered Foundation Studios to record their third full-length record titled The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

I Am Alpha and Omega have just sent their new album titled The Roar and The Whisper off to mastering. It will be mastered by Alan Douches (Duchess). His mastering credits include: A Day To Remember, The Acacia Strain, Our Last Night, Emmure, Zao, Gwen Stacy, A Plea For Purging and Oh, Sleeper.

Purple Door Festival marks its 15th anniversary this year (from August 13-14).

The Devil Wears Prada “back to the roots” tour [band to mix small clubs with fests] “We want to go back to our roots, play little hole-in-the-wall places where fans can be right there in front of the stage, where we can hand someone a mic and really have the fans be an active part of the show, not behind a barrier ten feet away,” explains Mike Hranica. This summer, Rockstar Energy Drink partners with one of the brightest rising stars in the metalcore world, The Devil Wears Prada, who will play the biggest venues of their career, and probably the smallest. 25,000 screaming kids one night, then 250 hot and sweaty fans the next. A much-anticipated venture for a band that regularly plays to sold-out crowds of 1500-2500. Joining the band at all the smaller venues will be Miss May I and Your Demise. “We’ll include several Dear Love songs that we have not played in a long time, and probably will not play again or anytime soon,” adds Hranica.

One of Christian music’s most respected singer/songwriters, Andrew Peterson, headed to Washington state to record his new project, slated for a July release.

Bonded Records and Universal Music Christian Group have partnered together for the March 30 release of the Letters to God: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. A two-disc, 23-song collection consisting of original score compositions and inspirational songs inspired by the upcoming feature film. Letters to God, from one of the producers of Fireproof and Facing the Giants, opens in theaters nationwide on April 9 via Possibility Pictures and Vivendi Entertainment.

Owl City started a Spring headlining tour of the US on March 30, hitting every major US market.

Leeland and Phil Wickham will co-headline the 26-city A Night Of Worship Tour featuring special guest, songwriter/artist/worship leader Matt Maher.

In back-to-back weeks, Headbangers Ball (which now airs at the crazy time-slot of  Mondays 3am EST) has been hosted by Demon Hunter and The Devil Wears Prada.

Strike First’s newest family member is from Hendersonville, TN: As Hell Retreats. Look for their debut full-length Revival to be released on May 25.

The German power metal band Sinbreed have released their video for the track “Dust to Dust” online.

Relient K fans are about to get more than their money’s worth when Gotee Records releases Relient K: The First Three Gears (2000-2003) on April 20 at retail stores and digital retailers worldwide. With a whopping 51 songs, including five rare bonus tracks, the compilation is a three-disc set of the first three Relient K albums.

The UK-based ice-cold legion Wintersoul are proud to announce that they have just signed a deal with American record label Nokternal Hemizphear.

Just weeks after releasing its bonecrushing new album, The Infinite Order, metal juggernaut Living Sacrifice continues beating down doors at radio, elbowing its way onto scores of stations across the nation, as well as Sirius/XM, Music Choice and DMX. The band currently holds the #23 position on the CMJ Loud Rock charts, the #27 position on the Media Guide Metal Specialty charts and #4 on the FMQB Metal Detector chart.

The Almost have contributed their cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” to the upcoming compilation Punk Goes Classic Rock.

“Again,” the lead single from A&M/Octone recording artist Flyleaf’s latest album, Memento Mori, has climbed to #3* at Modern Rock radio.

“Castaway” off of Chasen’s  March 9 release of That Was Then, This Is Now, was featured as March 23’s free Discovery Download on iTunes.

The Sufjan Stevens song “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is featured on the Friday Night Lights Vol. 2 Original Television Soundtrack.

U2 to release historic Rose Bowl Concert on DVD.
U2360° At The Rose Bowl will be released on DVD and Blu-ray by Interscope Records on June 3, coinciding with the band’s first U.S. show in 2010. U2360° At The Rose Bowl was the penultimate gig of last year’s U2360° tour in support of their Grammy-nominated album No Line on The Horizon. The Rose Bowl performance was the band’s biggest show of 2009 and U2’s biggest U.S. show ever, with a live audience in excess of 97,000. The show was also streamed across seven continents via YouTube. The first-ever live streaming of a full-length stadium concert, U2360° at the Rose Bowl had over 10 million views on the channel in one week. Shot entirely in HD, the concert was filmed with 27 cameras and directed by Tom Krueger who had previously worked on U23D, the first live-action 3D concert movie taken from U2’s Vertigo Tour. Available in standard and two-disc deluxe DVD formats. The deluxe formats and the Blu-ray will feature a new documentary called “Squaring the Circle: Creating U2360°,” with new interviews from U2, Paul McGuinness and the team behind the touring production.

Corrections: Last issue’s Classic Moments section was laid out by Jeff Bruno and The Spiritual Significance of Music (reviewed in the LIFEstyle section)is available at xtrememusic.org