APOLLYON SUN, featuring former CELTIC FROST mainman Tom Gabriel Fischer, are currently composing and demoing new material for the group's upcoming sophomore full-length album at the band's own rehearsal studio facility (where the act have just upgraded the computer-based recording system) and at Oakland Recording, the group's long-time home when recording in Switzerland. These new works are being produced by AS guitarist/programmer Erol Unala and Fischer, and engineered and co-produced by long-time AS engineer Walter Schmid. Among much other AS work, Schmid has in the past been closely involved with APOLLYON SUN's 'Dweller' remix (on the Sub album) and with the CELTIC FROST reissue CDs. A number of musical guests from both sides of the Atlantic have already participated in the above-mentioned sessions.
The material so far completed reportedly ranges from more rock-oriented and organic than 2000's Sub album to rather adventurous and daring ideas. Among the working song titles set to appear on the upcoming CD are the following:
01. Solitary Lodge
03. Deep Inside
04. All Gone Dead
05. The Beautiful End
06. Mouthful of Lies
07. Apple on a Tree
09. Smallwood Red Cheek
10. Lagrange Point
Some of the material written this year for the new AS album will still undergo significant development, while other songs have been recorded to final album standards. All material is being circulated on a variety of work-in-progress CDs within the AS camp and for AS industry associates, and some of this material may soon available via the group's official web site at www.apollyonsun.com.
Erol Unala and Tom Gabriel Fischer are also currently involved with extensive preparation work for another, as-yet-undisclosed musical project, which, if it will bear fruit, will be of major significance. If given a go-ahead, the project's details will be officially announced sometime during 2002.
Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash will be accompanying ROLLING STONES guitarist Ronnie Wood on a four-show tour of the UK and Ireland later this month. The dates announced so far are as follows:
Dec. 08 – Dublin, IRE @ Vicar Street
Dec. 11 – London, UK @ Shepherd's Bush Empire
Dec. 12 – London, UK @ CC Club
Another Dublin show, possibly on the 9th, is currently being planned, although not yet confirmed. The four-show outing will be in support of Wood's recently-released Not For Beginners solo CD, and it will include a celebrity-studded performance at the CC Club in London in front of 450 attendees, all of whom will get to see Ronnie joined on stage throughout the evening by friends performing a wide range of songs.
Los Angeles' MEDICATION, featuring former MACHINE HEAD / SOULFLY guitarist Logan Mader, ex-UGLY KID JOE / LIFE OF AGONY vocalist Whitfield Crane, ex-ADAYINTHELIFE guitarist Blunt and SOULFLY drummer Roy Mayorga, have made available for download one-minute MP3 clips of all five tracks featured on their upcoming EP release, which is due to be issued through a Warner Bros. Records-affiliated label in February. The samples can be downloaded from the following locations:
01. Something New
04. No Direction
05. Need to Never
DREAM THEATER will be playing a one-off warm-up show at B.B. King's in New York City on Saturday, January 19th before leaving for Europe to begin the first leg of their World Tourbulence 2002 tour. The gig will start at 7:30 PM, and there will be no opening act. This will be the only US performance until the American leg of the tour kicks off in March, and it will be an opportunity to hear some of the group's brand new material live before the new CD, entitled Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence, is released through Elektra Records on January 29th. The show will reportedly not be advertised to the public for several weeks. In other news, the first of DREAM THEATER's two shows in Barcelona, Spain, at Razzmatazz on February 18th, will feature opening act PAIN OF SALVATION, while the second gig, at the same vanue on February 19th, will be a “very special evening with DREAM THEATER” with no opening act. Also on the DREAM THEATER-related front, the full track listing for bassist John Myung's side project THE JELLY JAM, featuring KING'S X guitarist Ty Tabor and THE DIXIE DREGS drummer Rod Morgenstein, has been released. It is as follows:
01. I Can't Help You
02. No Remedy
04. Nature's Girl
07. The Jelly Jam
08. I Am The King
09. The King's Dance
10. Wind On The Way
12. Under The Tree
THE JELLY JAM's self-titled debut (the cover artwork to which can be viewed at this location) is due to be released through Inside Out America Records on March 18th.
In one of the more bizarre pairings in recent memory, former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and current TALISMAN singer Jeff Scott Soto has collaborated with KORN frontman Jonathan Davis on the soundtrack for the upcoming vampire flick Queen of the Damned, for which Davis co-wrote and recorded five songs. According to an MTV News report, the KORN vocalist's record label contract prohibited his voice from appearing on the disc, which will be released around the same time as the next KORN album, thus necessitating the recruitment of veteran session singer Soto (whose distinctively melodic rasp can also be heard in this year's Rock Star movie) to record his parts. The Queen of the Damned soundtrack will be released just before the movie hits theaters in late February. The film, based on the third novel in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, was directed by Michael Rymer (In Too Deep), and it stars Stuart Townsend (Wonderland) as Lestat, a vampire first introduced in Interview With the Vampire, who becomes an ྌs rock star.
NEVERMORE are in the beginning stages of the songwriting sessions for their forthcoming fifth studio album, entitled Enemies Of Reality, which they hope to record early next year for a late 2002 release through Century Media Records. The group's last album for Century Media under their current contract with the label, Enemies Of Reality is likely to once again be produced by Andy Sneap (who collaborated with the group on their awesome 2000 release, Dead Heart In A Dead World) and is set to include an instrumental called “Psychotic Intellectual Narcotic” (the album's original working title), which is “going to be a very long, very complicated, and very confusing song to the average listener—if we do our jobs correctly,” according to vocalist Warrel Dane. In other news, NEVERMORE bassist Jim Sheppard recently commented on NEVERMORE touring guitarist Curran Murphy's decision to leave the fold and join Canada's ANNIHILATOR: 'We wish him the best of luck. Curran was never an official member of NEVERMORE and his chances of becoming so ended when he decided to join ANNIHILATOR. Of course this won't hinder the writing or recording process of NEVERMORE.”
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's upcoming third album, entitled 1919 Eternal, has had its name changed from its original title of Deathcore War Machine Eternal as a reference to the year 1919, which is the year mainman Zakk Wylde's father was born.
MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine and collaborators Bill Kennedy (i.e. MORBID ANGEL, TESTAMENT) and Chris Vrenna (i.e. NINE INCH NAILS) have completed re-mixing the group's classic 1985 debut, Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good, and have begun the mixing process for the group's upcoming live CD/DVD, which is due to be released through the Sanctuary label in early 2002. The upcoming Killing… reissue, which will reportedly not include MEGADETH's cover of the Nancy Sinatra classic “These Boots Are Made For Walking” after the original writer of the song, Lee Hazelwood, refused to grant the group the rights to re-release the track, will contain an as-yet-undisclosed “big surprise”, according to the frontman. Former MEGADETH guitarist Chris Poland, who left the group under acrimonious circumstances, is also said to have come by the studio (Enterprise) where Killing… was being remixed to say hello, and “was laughing hysterically because of how great he thought things sounded,” said Mustaine. “He actually asked me if I re-sang the vocals tracks and I told him that not one single note has been rerecorded. it was great to see him and when we said goodbye we hugged and it seems for now that everything is behind us.”
ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante has posted the following reaction to the passing of BEATLES guitarist George Harrison via the group's official web site at www.anthraxtheband.com: “I'm very sad today, George Harrison died, he was a BEATLE. I knew it was coming but... He and the other BEATLES were like family members. You get so attached to them over the years, and you never think about one of them dying... They are forever! John Lennon still lives in everyone's heart and mind the same way George will. I knew about the BEATLES when I was 2 and loved them ever since, they were the reason I do what I do. George was the quiet BEATLE who wrote some of the best songs—'Taxman', 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', 'Here Comes The Sun', and 'Something', just to name a few. I will spend this day making music and listening to music... BEATLE MUSIC!! Maybe you all should go and get a BEATLES record, CD whatever and learn where it all started... HE WAS FAB... GEORGE RULES!! Sad – CHARLIE”
Former DEEP PURPLE/BLACK SABBATH vocalist Glenn Hughes has posted his own reaction to George Harrison's death via the following message at www.glennhughes.com: “I'd like to express my sadness at the passing of George Harrison. George was very kind to me in the early TRAPEZE years. We were recording at Apple Studios in London and he let me borrow one of his bass guitars. He was very inspirational to me as a musician but more importantly, in the spiritual path that we have both taken. Long live THE BEATLES. Life is too short. Glenn'
According to the Rising Power unofficial AC/DC web site, AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young is already working on material for the group's upcoming studio album. “We're gonna do everything to release an album as soon as possible,” vocalist Brian Johnson is quoted as saying. “Last time the fans were so angry to wait five years... We didn't realize that it was so long. I talked to Malcolm last week and he told me that he's working on new songs.” “I think that we ain't gonna wait too much time before entering in studio because the fans tell us that five years without a new AC/DC record is a little bit too long,” added guitarist Angus Young. “So we have to hurry up.” In other new, AC/DC's classic Highway To Hell and Back In Black CDs have just been released in France in limited-edition “boxed set” format, featuring the regular CDs and a platinum award.
Germany's REBELLION, featuring former GRAVE DIGGER guitarist Uwe Lulis, ANNIHILATOR drummer Randy Black, vocalist Michael Seifert, guitarist Bjoern Eilen and bassist Tomi Goettlich, will be issuing their debut album on March 25th. A track called “Power Of Evil”, taken from the forthcoming CD, can be downloaded from this location.
NOTHINGFACE are rumored to have parted ways with TVT Records following the lackluster sales performance of the group's last offering, Violence. No official announcement has yet been made on the matter.
PITCHSHIFTER have tentatively set PSI as the title to their forthcoming CD, which is currently being produced by Machine at The Shop Studios in Hoboken, New Jersey. Due to be released on April 9th through Sanctuary/Metal-Is Records, the album will likely not be completed before Christmas, as originally planned, because of the delays caused by the vast amount of programming that is involved in the recording process. According to vocalist JS Clayden, “we are five days into vocals. All the drums bass and guitar went down perfectly. [We're spending] just until the end of this week (December 8th) on vocals, and then it's mix time. Machine is rocking on this record and I really can't wait for [everyone] to hear it. It's just all coming together perfectly.”
ANGRA's recently-released comeback effort, entitled Rebirth, is on the verge of being certified gold in the band's native Brazil for sales in excess of 50,000 copies, with current worldwide sales exceeding 100,000. Impressively, the album also entered the traditionally domestic artist-driven Japanese charts at position #18. As previously reported, ANGRA have lined up a tour of Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland in March—the band's first European appearance since the departure of vocalist Andre Matos (currently in SHAMAN).
The 2002 installment of the Sweden Rock Festival, which is set to take place on June 7-8, 2002 in Sölvesborg, Sweden will include appearances by the reunited classic line-up of CANDLEMASS, DORO, EVERGREY, MAGNUM, GAMMA RAY, MANFRED MANNS EARTHBAND, MICHAEL KATON, DOC HOLIDAY, FIVE FIFTEEN, and GODA GRANNAR, among others. More confirmations are expected to be made in the coming weeks.
LIMP BIZKIT's New Old Songs special, featuring bandmembers Fred Durst, John Otto and DJ Lethal, along with remixers Neptunes, E-40, 8-Ball, Bosko, Josh Abraham, Timbaland, and Bubba Sparxx, will be airing via MTV at the following times during the coming week:
Dec. 03 @ 3 PM & 10 PM
Dec. 05 @ 5 PM
Dec. 06 @ 10:30 PM
Dec. 07 @ 7 PM
Dec. 08 @ 11:30 PM
Dec. 09 @ 8 PM
Dec. 10 @ Midnight
In other news, Fred Durst will be partaking in a live chat via MSN.com on December 7th at 9 PM EST. Also on the LIMP BIZKIT front, Durst has apparently decided that he will give evidence after all at the inquest into the death of 16-year-old fan Jessica Michalik at the Big Day Out Festival in Sydney earlier this year. It is unclear whether Durst will give evidence in person or via video link when the inquest re-opens early next year, but the frontman has reportedly issued a statement through his lawyers saying that he is ready to co-operate with the inquest. According to LIMP BIZKIT manager Peter Katsis, the band have been deeply affected by Jessica's death. “The band will never look at an audience in the same way,” stated Katsis. “This is something that will affect them for the rest of their lives.”
Vancouver's THE BLACK HALOS have reportedly split up following the decision by longtime guitarist Rich Jones to leave the band in order to join AMEN as a replacement for Paul Fig. Both guitarist Jay Millette and bassist Matt Camirand have apparently announced plans to leave the group, claiming (in the case of Millette) that they could not continue in the band with different members. 'I kind of hoped [the HALOS] would go on and do stuff, but I guess they aren't going to,' Jones told www.chartattack.com. THE BLACK HALOS' Christmas show, scheduled for Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom on December 22nd, will reportedly still go on, although Jones will apparently not be participating. The group's web site also sports a small posting that reads: BLACK HALOS 1994-2001.
C.H.U.D. is the name of a side project featuring former members of DAYINTHELIFE, FOOLS PARADISE, DEEP SEA ALUMNI, and current members of VISION OF DISORDER (all of whom appear under aliases), according to V.O.D.'s unofficial web site Beneath The Green. The group's current line-up is as follows:
Reonard - Vocals, Guitar, Guitar Synth
Harloequin Millahkin - Bass
Skullion - Guitar, Lyricist
General Ahd Naan Sahdunhka - Drums, Percussion
More information on this project will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.
Veteran NWOBHM act ANGEL WITCH are preparing to enter the studio to record their long-awaited new album, which is tentatively due to be completed by the end of January for a late spring release. Featuring a “dark, menacing and heavy sound”, the as-yet-untitled effort will be “definitive ANGEL WITCH” and will include such tracks as “Darkness Reigns” and “Geborah”, amongst others. In other news, ANGEL WITCH have been confirmed for the Motala Festival (also featuring ICED EARTH), which is scheduled to take place in Sweden in February, and Germany's massive Wacken Festival, which will happen in early August.
After receiving an overwhelming amount of e-mails from fans all over the States disapproving of the band's decision to cease their touring activities on North American soil (due to unspecified problems with lackluster promoters), Canada's KATAKLYSM have decided to give it another shot. According to a statement posted on the band's official web site, KATAKLYSM have ended their working relationship with former agency Digger International and have now hooked up with Universal Attractions in New York. A US tour announcement is expected shortly.
HYPNOSIA and fellow Swedes KAAMOS will play at Uffe's Dungeon in Växjö, Sweden on December 15th as part of a “very special” evening dubbed A Celebration Of Darkness. In other HYPNOSIA-related news, two dates in Stockholm in January/February 2002 are currently being planned. As previously reported, HYPNOSIA are currently writing and arranging songs for the follow up to last year's Extreme Hatred album. Tentatively titled World Sacrifice, the upcoming effort “is a logical step forwards for the ban,” according to a statement on the group's web site. “The new album will be dominated by very fast and aggressive thrash/death metal, but with a few new inputs and ideas to be explored within the boundaries of what can be considered to be the HYPNOSIA sound. World Sacrifice will be recorded at Euphony Studios, Växjö, Sweden sometime early next year, if everything goes as planned with the songwriting process”.
Germany's DARKWELL will shortly enter Mirror Production Studio to begin recording a new EP, entitled Conflict of Interest, for a March release through Napalm Records. Conflict Of Interest will contain four new tracks, one cover version, one live track, as well as two live videos and “other goodies”.
California's DEPSWA have lined up producer Howard Benson (i.e SEPULTURA, P.O.D.) to produce their Geffen Records debut, which is expected to be tracked during January for a May/June release. According to reports, SLIPKNOT vocalist Corey Taylor, who is friends with the band, is expected to make an appearance on the as-yet-untitled CD.
The dates for the forthcoming RAGING SPEEDHORN/CLUTCH tour of the UK, also featuring CANDIRIA and LANDMINE SPRING, have been announced. They are as follows:
Jan. 24 – Garage - Glasgow, SCO
Jan. 25 - Fleece and Firkin - Bristol, UK
Jan. 26 - Arts Center - Colchester, UK
Jan. 27 - The Waterfront - Norwich, UK
Jan. 28 - MDH - Manchester, UK
Jan. 29 - Cockpit - Leeds, UK
Jan. 30 - Wulfrun Hall - Wolverhampton, UK
Jan. 31 - Mean Fiddler - London, UK
San Diego's BRICK BATH have officially signed with Pavement Records/Crash Music and will have their debut album, entitled I Won't Live the Lie, re-issued with new artwork and packaging on February 12th. A tour of the US, Canada and Europe will shortly follow the release. BRICK BATH have two songs featured, along with those of ROB ZOMBIE and others, on the new White Knuckles Extreme Sports DVD titled Slednecks Trilogy, which was released worldwide on October 23rd through Image Entertainment. For more information, visit the band's page at MP3.com at this location.
Classic US metallers OMEN are currently in the studio recording their eagerly-anticipated follow-up to Reopening The Gates, entitled Eternal Black Dawn. The group's first CD with new vocalist Kevin Goocher, Eternal Black Dawn will reportedly feature a return to the traditional metal sound that can be found on such OMEN classics as Battle Cry, Warning of Danger, and The Curse.
Acclaimed Dutch metallers ELEGY are due to enter Germany's Rocko Studios later this month to begin recording their first CD for Locomotive Music, entitled Principles of Pain. Due to be issued in the spring, the band's ninth CD will once again feature the services of French guitarist Patrick Rondat, who joined band during the recording of last year's Forbidden Fruit CD.
STRATOVARIUS vocalist Timo Kotipelto has finished mixing the first three songs from his as-yet-untitled forthcoming solo CD, which is tentatively scheduled to be issued during February. As previously reported, the album will feature a host of guest appearances from some of metal's top musicians, including the following: Mike Romeo (guitars SYMPHONY X), Roland Grapow (guitars HELLOWEEN), Arjen Lucassen (guitars AYREON), Sami Virtanen (guitars JOE DOAKES), Jari Kainulainen (bass STRATOVARIUS), Mirka Rantanen (drums TUNNEL VISION), Gas (drums H.I.M.), Janne Warman (keyboards CHILDREN OF BODOM), and Mikko Harkin (keyboards SONATA ARCTICA).
Sweden's DRAGONLAND, featuring former PROPHANITY/NIGHTSHADE guitarist Nicklas Magnusson and KING DIAMOND touring keyboardist Elias Holmlid, will be at Gothenburg's Studio Fredman between March 14th and April 4th recording their sophomore full-length album for a late 2002 release.
MACABRE and NECROPHOBIC are the latest bands to be confirmed for next year's Wacken Festival, which is scheduled to take place on August 2-3 in Wacken, Germany. Other bands set to appear include BLIND GUARDIAN, RAVEN, PUNGENT STENCH, DIMPLE MINDS, KREATOR, DESTRUCTION, J.B.O., IN EXTREMO, ANGEL WITCH, FALCONER, and AMON AMARTH.
Sweden's RUNEMAGICK have signed a new record deal with Norway's Aftermath Music following their split with Century Media Records earlier this year. The group's upcoming fourth album, now apparently re-titled Requiem Of The Apocalypse (with the original title of Revelation Of Darkness having been scrapped), was recently partially tracked at KING DIAMOND guitarist Andy LaRocque's Los Angered Recording and is due for release release in the spring of 2002. The band commented in an official press release: “After almost a year of searching for the right label we now finally signed a deal with Aftermath Music from Norway, a pure underground label that fits our music and is dedicated to the scene of black/death metal. Now it's time for our fourth studio album with the working title Requiem Of The Apocalypse! Some parts are already recorded at Los Angered Recording with Andy La Rocque and we will now continue to finish the album at our own studio. So watch out for our new piece of darkness and death to be unleashed in 2002 by Aftermath Music, it will crush our old recordings like a hammer of doom! Now we got looong studio time and full control over cover and layout so we just feel great about it!! The music on the upcoming album is more in the vein of our second album Enter The Realm Of Death, than our last release but darker and with new fresh ideas and riffing. We got a steady line-up with Nicklas Rudolfsson - Guitar / Vocals, Emma Karlsson - Bass, Fredrik Johnsson - Guitar and Daniel Moilanen - Drums. So after over 10 years RUNEMAGICK is still in the scene!! Hail the metal of darkness, death & doom!'
According to unconfirmed reports, GWAR have parted ways with Slymenstra Hymen. Although she will reportedly no longer join the group during the upcoming tours, Hymen may return to the group for “special” performances, including upcoming New Year's Eve shows.
ICED EARTH guitarist/mainman Jon Schaffer had the following to say about the group's just-completed tour with MEGADETH: “I think we made some new fans for sure. The reactions we got from the crowds were great! The MEGADETH guys were cool and treated us with much respect. I couldn't believe some of the distances some of the fans traveled to come see us—5 to 6 hundred miles from other states. Their dedication is incredible. It's awesome to experience their loyalty. Something that was definitely a highlight was meeting a Navy Seals team that came to see us in Norfolk, Virginia. Their team captain told us they trained on their obstacle course to ICED EARTH's music, and we've been officially invited to visit. They know we're real patriotic and we've always had a special rapport with soldiers due to '1776' from the Something Wicked album. Actually, our first European Tour coincided with Desert Storm. When we flew over it was still called Desert Shield. By the time the European Tour was over, we flew back with soldiers who had listened to Dark Saga. We're looking forward to headlining and playing a longer set here once we get back from the European tour.'
Israel's SALEM have signed a three-album deal with Germany's KMG/System Shock Records (i.e. VADER, MALEVOLENT CREATION, KRABATHOR, MASTER, etc.). SALEM's first CD for the label will be recorded at the end of this month and early 2002 for a mid-year release.
SIX, the new Los Angeles-based act featuring frontman Lauren (i.e. DROWN, FAMOUS), guitarist Alfunction (i.e. CYPRESS HILL, OPM, MALFUNCTION), producer/ bassist/programmer Bob K (ROND.CORE, ALTERD STATE, DREAD ZEPPELIN), and drummer Rob Woods, will play with LOONY BINN this Saturday, December 8th at The Lotus Lounge in Huntington Beach, California.
Finland's IMPALED NAZARENE have had the US release date of their Absence Of War Does Not Mean Peace CD indefinitely postponed after local distributor DNA filed for bankruptcy. More information as it becomes available.
Former SHY/SIAM vocalist Tony Mills has completed work on his debut solo release, entitled Cruiser, for Z Records. Due to be issued in early 2002, the CD will feature the following track listing:
01. Only Love Knows Why
02. Keep the Faith
03. As Sure As the River Runs
04. When Two Worlds Collide
05. Walking Away From Love
06. We've Got The Night
07. Hearts Under Fire
08. Into The Unknown
09. Dressed In Music
10. Don't Look In The Mirror Much
Finland's CHARON will issue their third album, entitled Downhearted, on January 21st.
Swedish “black/death/thrash” metal act SATANIC SLAUGHTER are planning a tour with CORPORATION 187 and LORD BELIAL in April 2002.
THE SCORPIONS and the Sparda Bank Hannover will auction two original SCORPIONS guitars to benefit children in need. The auction will take place from December 1st to December 31st, 2001. For more information (in German), click here.
According to the unfortunately-named A.S.S Concert & Promotion agency, SKYCLAD are due to play the following gigs in Germany during December:
Dec. 27 - Aschaffenburg, GER @ Colos-Saal
Dec. 29 - Zwickau, GER @ Alarm
Dec. 30 - Hamburg, GER @ Logo