The UK's KILL II THIS have been dropped by Visible Noise Records and have parted ways with singer Matt Pollock. In an e-mail sent by Visible Noise MD Julie Weir to Steve Braund of Amplify This web 'zine, it was revealed that the budget required for the recording of a new album could not be justified by the profits from the previous two releases, leaving the label no choice but to pass on picking up an option on the group's next CD. This latest setback has also contributed to singer Pollock's decision to leave the group, citing the fact that “the constant upheavals and problems suffered by the band of late have simply become too much for him and he no longer feels he can carry on as part of KILL II THIS.” Pollock has evidently stated his intention to carry on in music in some way or other, although it is presently unclear what form those endeavors will take. According to the group's official web site, the remaining members of the band are currently taking a time out while they take stock of events and consider what the next step may be. Before this latest turn of events, KILL II THIS were preparing to enter the studio to record their fourth studio album, tentatively entitled Mass.Down.Sin.Drone (as reported here on August 9th), for which they had completed at least half a dozen songs, including “The Universe in a Nutshell”, “Plan B”, “Spineglass”, “Frames of Mind” and “Perspectives (From A Hierarchy Of Insecurities' Needs)”.
Welsh crew SKINDRED, featuring former members of DUB WAR, have selected Howard Benson (i.e. SEPULTURA, MOTORHEAD, NULLSET, ZEBRAHEAD, etc.) to produce their RCA Records debut, which is scheduled to be recorded in a Los Angeles studio this November for an early 2002 release. Among the tracks that are likely to be considered for inclusion on the as-yet-untitled CD are the following:
09. Boom It Up
10. Steppin' Razor
In other news, SKINDRED will be mailing out a two-track sampler CD in October to everyone who had signed up to the group's mailing list at the band's recent gig dates.
Sweden's THE CROWN have started pre-production for their upcoming, as-yet-untitled full-length CD for Metal Blade Records. The group's first CD with new vocalist Tomas Lindberg (ex-AT THE GATES), the forthcoming album is currently being recorded in demo form and is having its lyrics finalized before the group head into Studio Mega on October 5th to begin tracking the actual LP. THE CROWN will take about a month for the recording process, after which they will enter Gothenburg's Studio Fredman to mix the CD, which is tentatively scheduled for a February 2002 European release. No US release date has yet been set. Among the tracks that are set to appear on the upcoming album are the following:
01. Drugged Unholy
02. Crowned In Terror
03. Under The Whip
04. (I Am) Hell
Norway's mighty EMPEROR have had the release date of their upcoming album, entitled Prometheus: The Discipline of Fire & Demise, pushed back to October 22nd. No reason was given for the delay.
According to Chart Attack, Canada's KITTIE treated various media types to a preview of their forthcoming Oracle CD on Tuesday, August 21st at Warehouse Studio in Vancouver B.C., where the girls have been busy mixing the effort with veteran knob-twiddler Randy Staub (i.e. METALLICA, BON JOVI, BACKYARD BABIES). Scheduled for release on October 30th through Artemis Records, Oracle is set to include the following tracks, among others:
02. Mouth Full Of Poison
03. What I've Always Wanted
04. In Winter
07. Run Like Hell (PINK FLOYD cover)
08. No Name
As previously reported, KITTIE have parted ways with guitarist Fallon Bowman and have recruited their former guitar tech, Jeff Phillips, for live performances, while KITTIE will continue officially as a three-piece, with no plans to find a permanent replacement for Bowman at this time.
The Japanese release date for LULLACRY's excellent sophomore effort, Be My God, has been set for October 3rd through King Records. This particular version will include a bonus track entitled “In Tears” that is not available on the European and American CD.
Detroit's TAPROOT are in the middle of selecting a producer for their upcoming sophomore release, which is tentatively scheduled to be recorded in November for a spring 2002 release through Velvet Hammer/Atlantic Records. According to guitarist Michael DeWolf, about 18 songs have been written and the band is still working on more. “We are very excited about the direction its going in. No one will be disappointed,” insists DeWolf.
BUSH's first album for Atlantic Records, Golden State, is scheduled for release on October 23rd.
BLACKMORE'S NIGHT's Fires At Midnight is currently at position #58 in Germany's Media Control Album charts, six weeks into the album's release.
Stockholm, Sweden's BLACKSHINE will issue their eleven-track new album, entitled Soulless and Proud, through SPV/Steamhammer Records on October 8th.
Italy's “atmospheric metal” act OPERA IX have parted ways with drummer Flegias and vocalist Cadaveria due to the fact that they “no longer believed in the fundamental values of the musical and spiritual nature of OPERA IX, that Ossian its founder and composer, created”, according to an official statement released by the remaining members of the group. The statement goes on to say that replacements have already been found in the shape of drummer Taranis and vocalist Madras, and work on a new album has begun, with a tentative release date of spring 2002. A claim is also made in the same release that “after leaving OPERA IX, Flegias and Cadaveria formed a new band, stole OPERA IX's guitar composition and tried to release Ossian's work under their own name. The stolen music, on tape, was discovered by a representative of Avantgarde Music. This incident has strengthened us to not let the magical music of OPERA IX die.”
Norway's AETERNUS will be playing two gigs in Holland and one in Belgium on January 4-6, 2002 in support of their upcoming fourth album, Ascension Of Terror, which is scheduled for release in October. According to AETERNUS guitarist/vocalist Ares, the new album is “very different in ways [from our past work]. The acoustic parts and usage of folk-elements are not present here on this album. We went for more extreme stuff and that's why we decided to use a lot of death/thrash elements in the songs. The songs are shorter than before, hits you right in the face and they end before you know it, as the older songs are quite long compared to these ones. The sound is even better, at least in a way where it really suits the music. This goes for my vocals too. Dry, deep and more aggressive in a way. We felt like playing around with stuff that belongs in other styles of metal, but we knew that the AETERNUS feeling had to be in there and it is... Maybe hidden in a way and not too present. It can be looked upon as a natural progress... We're not trying to turn AETERNUS into a death metal band, though this new album is nearly 100% death metal in ways. It might take some time before people can say and feel that this IS AETERNUS after all.”
DEEP PURPLE's classic live release Made in Japan entered the Swedish hard rock album charts this past week at #18, presumably as a result of the band's concerts in Scandinavia earlier this month. To see the complete chart, click here.
DARK TRANQUILLITY's upcoming gig in Istanbul, Turkey on October 6th will take place in the Sold Out Concert Hall (previously called Casablanca). Doors will open at 16:00 (4 PM), and local support bands are DISHEARTEN and AFFLICTION. In addition, there will be a signing session on October 5th at 13:00 (1 PM) in Köstebek Music (located in the 'Aznavur Pasajý').
Following the recent reports about yet another complete overhaul of the line-up of musicians performing in guitarist YNGWIE MALMSTEEN's touring band, the various musicians currently involved in the group have issued their own statements on the matter. Included here are a few short comments on the subject by new vocalist Doogie White (ex-RAINBOW), and new keyboardist Derek Sherinian (ex-DREAM THEATER):
'This came out of the blue really when I was singing on the CORNERSTONE record, but I am very excited about it. We had talked a bit in London when YNGWIE played there during the summer. I thought we may get together and do the next album, so to find that we will tour first is brave on his part, as it's a whole new line-up, but also very clever, as we can find out how we all work together. I'm busy learning songs and wearing very tight pants. The notes these guys hit are quite something. Have you heard 'Hiroshima Mon Amour'??”
[In return for Derek's appearance on the upcoming South American tour, YNGWIE has agreed to play guitar on the next Sherinian solo CD, which is due sometime in 2002] 'I have been a fan of YNGWIE since I was a kid, and it will be an honor to play with him. I am REALLY looking forward to writing music with YNGWIE in mind for my next solo record.'
In related news, former YNGWIE bassist Randy Coven has completed mixing his fourth solo album, entitled Witchway, which has since gone to pressing and will be issued shortly. Randy also played bass on a WHO tribute CD, and has written and recorded the music to a soundtrack to an independent short movie. Coven will shortly be joining other former YNGWIE members Jorn Lande (vocals), John Macaluso (drums), and keyboardist Mats Olaussion, along with ex-CONCEPTION guitarist Tore Østby, for a European tour by ARK, which is scheduled to kick off during September. According to Coven, this schedule conflicts with the South American leg of the YNGWIE's tour, which is why Randy and Mats will not be appearing with him in those territories. “Randy regrets that he can't join him in South America as he has enjoyed touring with YNGWIE and thinks he is one of best guitar players he has played with,” states the bassist's official web site.
In other related news, CORNERSTONE—the project featuring Doogie White and ROYAL HUNT bassist Steen Mogensen is almost done recordings its second album, with Doogie having just spent 10 days in Copenhagen with Steen recording the vocals for the CD. During the sessions, they took a day or so off and went to see DEEP PURPLE at the gig on the beach just outside the city where RAINBOW had played in ྜ, when RAINBOW guitarist Ritchie Blackmore reportedly “turned off Doogie's vocals”. White comments: 'What a blast Steen and I had. This was my first venture into the studio proper since the surgery and I had no idea how it was going to go. We took it easy on the first day and set up a great sound and recorded one tune. The next day we did five and the following three. I am really pleased with the results and think that 'Forever Young' is just about one of the best tunes I have had the pleasure to sing on. The music Steen wrote for it is awesome, and I just hope that what I brought to it is up to scratch. We had a few beers and went to see DEEP PURPLE. It was kinda weird for me as I didn't have happy memories of the venue. Still, the band were on top form and we went for an ale or two afterwards and had a good old natter.' Doogie is still planning on finishing up work on his solo CD, but will not have a chance to do so at least until the YNGWIE tour is done in October. According to Doogie, 'The solo record is sounding great but taking as long as DEF LEPPARD. In reality it's only been 15 maybe 20 days recording so far but has been on going since January. When the tour is completed, I hope to get in to the studio and finish the album off, then get some time to mix it before Christmas. I've done all the vocals on CORNERSTONE's next CD and am well happy with the results. So for now I am concentrating on learning the songs for YNGWIE's tour to make sure that all will be well. See you on tour…'
DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell turned 39 on Saturday, August 25th. He was said to be in Los Angeles celebrating with his wife and two daughters.
A WARLOCK live DVD, featuring German solo star Doro Pesch, will be released on October 2nd. The same video that was originally released in 1985 under the title Live From London (US title) and Metal Racer (European title), the DVD contains a playable audio CD of the same concert. The DVD can be preordered at: http://www.amazon.com.
Swedish 'progressive power metal' band EVERGREY will be playing a couple of new songs and will conduct an autograph-signing session at the CD-Specialisten record store in Gothenburg on September 17th at 7:00 PM (19:00). A release party for the group's upcoming In Search of Truth CD is also planned for September 15th somewhere in Gothenburg. More information as it becomes available.
ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian will be Julz & Dave's very special guest on TotalRock's Breakfast Show on Tuesday, August 28th. Tune in from 7-9 AM (UK time) or 2-4 AM EST at www.totalrock.com.
Former HANOI ROCKS frontman Michael Monroe and guitarist Andy McCoy will be presenting their “HANOI Revisited” tour at the following Finnish venues during September/October:
Sept. 14 - Tampere, FIN @ Santalahden Sauna
Sept. 21 - Turku, FIN @ Club Feenix
Sept. 28 - TBA
Sept. 29 - Kauhajoki, FIN @ Kauhajoen Kasino
Oct. 03 - Kuopio, FIN @ Puijonsarvi
Oct. 04 - Oulu, FIN @ Foxia
Oct. 05 - Jyväskylä, FIN @ Lutakko
Oct. 06 - Rovaniemi, FIN @ Cafe Tivoli
Oct. 12 - TBA
Oct. 13 - Nivala, FIN @ Tuiskulan Ns-talo
Oct. 19 - Helsinki, FIN @ Nosturi
TAKARA's long-awaited new album, Perception Of Reality— the group's first with new vocalist Michael James—will be released through Metal Mayhem Records in the US on December 5th, Avalon Marquee in Japan on November 21st and Lion Music in Europe.
During an online chat with USA Today last week, bassist extraordinaire Billy Sheehan made some additional comments on his split with MR. BIG. Here is Sheehan's statement on the matter: 'I will tell the exact and absolute truth regarding the situation. I received a phone call from the band basically firing me from the band. Prior to the phone call there had been a lot of tension and upset over several issues. I will post the details on my web site in the upcoming weeks once I've discussed how much we want to reveal with the other members of MR. BIG. In the meantime, I'm no longer in the band. The band is in flight to Japan right now to do promotion on the newest record, Actual Size. I don't know what their plans are as far as continuing or not without me. I expect to hear from them very soon regarding that issue. I hold absolutely no animosity to the members of MR. BIG, who've been my friends for the last 12 years.'
As previously reported on these pages, former DOKKEN guitarist George Lynch is looking for a vocalist for an as-yet-unspecified new solo project. To be considered, all applicants must go to: www.tonos.com and click on George's post on the front page, where they will be asked to follow the instructions. The deadline for all applications is September 27th.
The Orange County-based four-piece called DOWNER appears to be on the berge of permanently splitting up, if a recent interview conducted between University Of Anarchy and frontman John Scott is to be believed. According to Scott, “as we speak, we are breaking up and ending the misery of doing this forever. It is ending bitterly for all involved. Friendships are ending and new eras in our lives are beginning. You are hearing it first right hear. DOWNER is officially no more. Bet you didn't expect to hear this, huh???' When asked why their self-titled debut took so long to release after it was completed, the vocalist lay most of the blame at the feet of their label, Roadrunner Records. “[The CD took so long to come out] because Roadrunner sucks my cock. They have no f.cking idea what the hell they're doing sometimes. If you wear masks and look scary, you get top priority. If you put out a record that can go to radio and still retain hardcore integrity, They forget how to do their jobs and force you to scratch and claw for everything you can get. They've been f.cking us since day one and it won't end until we are gone. Hell, we signed a five-record deal and I'm still answering these questions from work. We can't tour because the majority of the band is sitting at desks working their jobs to pay rent. Every band on that label is f.cked....even if they don't know it yet. They'll get screwed one way or another. How's that for honesty?” No official comment has been issued by the Roadrunner camp, but a source close to the label summarized the situation in the following way: “I like the record, but a great band they are not—they never lifted one finger to help themselves and they suck ass live.”
THERAPY? have confirmed the first batch of European tour dates in support of their upcoming Shameless CD, which is due to be released in USA/Canada on September 18th. The details are as follows:
Oct. 17 –Colisseum - Coventry, UK
Oct. 18 – University - Newcastle, UK
Oct. 19 - The Garage - Glasgow, UK
Oct. 21 - Hop And Grape - Manchester, UK
Oct. 22 - Concorde 2 - Brighton, UK
Oct. 23 – Zodiac - Oxford, UK
Oct. 24 – Waterfront - Norwich, UK
Support at all shows will come from Canada's THE BLACK HALOS.
Florida's DIABOLIC will be the opening act on the forthcoming MARDUK/AMON AMARTH US tour, which is scheduled to begin on October 4th in St. Louis and which will run into early November. Exact dates and venues will be announced shortly. DIABOLIC's Olympic Records debut, entitled Vengeance Ascending, will be in the stores on October 30th.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
ENGLAND'S ANATHEMA PRESENTS A FINE DAY TO EXIT THROUGH KOCH RECORDS ON OCTOBER 9TH
Having performed as the first night headlining act at this year's Milwaukee Metalfest XV, the ethereal English rock band ANATHEMA is prepared to unveil its latest masterpiece, A Fine Day To Exit, through KOCH Records on October 9th.
It could be said that this new album has been 12 years in the making. ANATHEMA has made the album that it was always destined to. This is the band's sixth full-length studio album, and with each release ANATHEMA honed its distinctive sound to a climax of absolute perfection. The current lineup currently consists of vocalist/guitarist Vincent Cavanagh, guitarist Danny Cavanagh, keyboardist Les Smith and drummer John Douglas. Adding a depth and intensity never previously realized, the album was produced by Nick Griffiths (PINK FLOYD, MANSUN, CAST, ROGER WATERS) and was recorded at The Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire during spring/summer 2001.
Guitarist Danny Cavanagh expresses the band's maturing:
'The production is different this time...the music is more varied. Our work is definitely a group effort, but it's also a combination of individual work. The creativity is much more widespread…it's tranquil at times, more mature & diverse and the lyrics are further advanced from anything we've previously done. We've really really tried to push the envelope with this one.'
A Fine Day To Exit is a collection of beautiful, powerful masterpieces performed with feeling and intelligence. From the opening piano chords of 'Pressure', whose RADIOHEAD influence cannot be ignored, through the maniacal insanity of 'Panic' ('I can feel my chest pushing inwards, sucking through my skin into my brain”), to the heartfelt closing track 'Temporary Peace', A Fine Day To Exit will undoubtedly find its way into the hall of fame alongside the albums of bands whose existence triggered the chain of events that resulted in this classic album.
'Our sound has gone through a metamorphosis through every album. But I think the best bands really do go through style changes over time, like THE BEATLES, PINK FLOYD, etc. They changed their songs, sound and ideas with each album. I'm not saying that we're as good as those bands, but I think we're on the right track,' muses Cavanagh.
ANATHEMA has long since been known as one of the most incredible live bands to materialize from the UK, and is consistently asked to headline festivals around Europe and America. With the release of A Fine Day To Exit, ANATHEMA will certainly achieve worldwide recognition.
In expectation for the band to follow-up its mesmerizing Milwaukee Metalfest performance, Cavanagh is eager to come back: 'The ideal thing would be to get a great support tour in support of a really superb band. We have to wait to see how things develop. It's a really good sound to circulate to America. There are a couple songs that are radio-friendly, but it's still very melancholic…but so was O.K. Computer [RADIOHEAD]. Our music is definitely designed to be experienced live.'
A Fine Day To Exit hits stores October 9th.