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Editorials, OZZFEST Nostalgia

Ozzfest 1996: Where Are They Now?

Posted by on July 12, 2017 at 4:51 pm

It's official: Ozzfest is back! Merging once again with Knotfest, Ozzfest will be returning to California this November. Since its creation in 1996, this festival, created by Sharon Osbourne, has showcased bands from around the world and gave fans the opportunity to see some of the most renowned names in the hardcore and metal genres.

Over the years bands like Black Label Society, DevilDriver, and Hatebreed have made continual appearances on the tour, but one might wonder what the rest of the alumni are up to. We know what happened to groups like Rob Zombie and System of a Down, but what about other supporting acts from the side stages? Let’s take a look back through the seventeen previous editions of Ozzfest and find out what some of the bands farther down the card are up to. We’ll kick off this series where it all began: October 1996.

Cellophane

The history of this band is a short one. Formed in 1995, they released a self-titled album under Virgin Records and joined the maiden Ozzfest lineup. Before a second album could be produced, vocalist Shannon Crawford dissolved the band, choosing to go the solo route. Ultimately, Crawford would go on to form Monster In The Machine in 2007. Bassist Doug Ardito would join Wes Scantlin in Puddle of Mudd before being replaced 2010 (which was a blessing in disguise honestly). Meanwhile, Mark Bistany drummed for Hed PE and Otep. If you haven’t checked Cellophane out, give their single “Down” a listen.

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Biohazard

This group brought a mix of hardcore, metal, and punk to the New York scene in the late ‘80s.  They produced eight studio albums before temporarily disbanding in 2006 and unfortunately, the years since Biohazard’s reunion in 2008 have had more downs than ups.  2011 saw the departure of vocalist Evan Seinfeld, and while they replaced him with Scott Roberts, their latest album in 2012 did not receive a North American release. The band continued touring throughout 2013 and 2014 with an intent to finish an album in 2015. In 2016, still without a new album, the band cancelled their planned shows after announcing that Roberts would no longer be a member. Hopefully soon Biohazard can find a replacement and continue on. Until then, check out guitarist Billy Graziadei's new group Powerflo which features members of Cypress Hilldownset., and Fear Factory.

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Neurosis

In case you missed it, Neurosis is back with their 11th studio album Fires Within Fires that you can stream here. Since their debut LP in 1987, the band’s been putting out plenty of heavy hitting, slow burning music. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than the heaps of albums under their belt is the amount of side projects the various band members have been involved in over the years (including yet another appearance from Scott Kelly on a Mastondon album). The guys in Neurosis are showing no signs of stopping and we don’t mind that one damn bit.

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Earth Crisis

From ’91 until the millennium, this five piece from Syracuse brought metalcore to the masses. A six year breakup until 2007 did nothing to kill their sound, spawning five more releases in eight years. Though Earth Crisis as a whole has been quiet since 2015’s The Discipline EP, their members have not. Vocalist Karl Buechner has a new album with Freya, as well as one with 1000 Drops of Venom. Guitarist Scott Crouse and bassist Ian Edwards are also keeping busy with the debut album from Sect. Whenever Earth Crisis decides to put out new music, it will be welcomed with open arms. Until then, we’ve got three solid hardcore bands keeping the pit satiated.

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Ozzfest 1996 as a standalone concert was impressive, shown clearly by a main stage headlined by Ozzy Osbourne himself with Slayer and Sepultura preceding. The second stage did more than hold its own and set the bar for a side stage that would elevate many more bands to worldwide prominence over the following decade.

All in all, the majority of the Ozzfest ‘96 bands have remained part of the metal scene in some form or fashion to date. Neurosis, as well as Coal Chamber, Fear Factory, and Powerman 5000, would go on to make another successful return to Ozzfest in 1997.

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What originated as a reactionary move by Sharon Osbourne after Lollapalooza denied Ozzy a spot on the circuit quickly became one of the most iconic metal festivals. Though it only appeared in three cities, the initial Ozzfest was a pioneering force that laid the foundation for the successful years that followed. More importantly, it gave hardcore and metal fans an opportunity to witness performances of legendary rock stars and get turned on to lesser known bands that were emerging into the mainstream.

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