Finland's SENTENCED are still hard at work composing new  material and will now not begin recording their forthcoming studio album until the fall. However, the group are presently considering making several continental festival live appearances during the summer. More details will be announced shortly.
SEPULTURA's upcoming Nation CD has reportedly already gone gold in Brazil, with over 50,000 pre-orders as of two weeks prior to the album's official release date.
Atlanta's SICK SPEED, featuring STUCK MOJO's Rich Ward on vocals/guitar, Mike 'Happy' Schneider on guitar/vocals, STUCK MOJO's Dan Dryden on bass/vocals, and STUCK MOJO's Bud Fontsere on drums, are currently in negotiations with Century Media Records for a European deal that would include the release of their recently-released eight-song CD, combined with three new tracks (denoted by * below). There is also talk of the band traveling to Europe for a few select shows and a possible small headlining tour. The release date for this, Europe-only CD is expected to be around June.
In the meantime, the song titles for a new five-song EP have been confirmed, to be completed within the next week and hopefully available at the band's shows shortly thereafter. The full track listing is as follows:
03. Starting Over
05. The Way I Am
Upcoming SICK SPEED shows:
March 17 - The Opera House, Rome, GA
March 23 - Cotton Club, Atlanta, GA
SHAMAN, the new band of former ANGRA members Andre Matos (vocals), Luis Mariutti (bass) and Ricardo Confessori (guitar), will be making its debut European appearance at the first installment of the N.T.S. heavy metal festival, taking place on March 31 in Colombes, a suburb of Paris, France. The full list of acts performing at the festival is as follows:
TESTAMENT are due to play a couple of festivals in Europe this summer. Confirmed dates so far are:
June 8 - Mind Over Matter Fest - Vienna, Austria
June 9 - Gods of Metal Fest - Milan, Italy
Norway's THE 3RD AND THE MORTAL are reportedly close to signing a deal with Century Media Records.
Chicago's SOIL, featuring former BROKEN HOPE / SINDROME bassist Shaun Glass, are in talks with several major labels about a possible deal, including Clive Davis' J Records and Elektra Records. The band were recently flown to New York for a meeting with the J staff, but no paperwork has yet been signed. More news as it develops.
TIAMAT will be playing the Decibel Festival in Bengntsfors, Sweden on May 19th! For more info, visit the official Decibel web site.
THE YO-YO'S, featuring ex-WILDHEARTS bassist Danny McCormack, have issued the following statement regarding the band's immediate future plans:
'Following the release of their single, 'Sunshine Girl' on February 19th,THE YO-YO's would like to announce that they will now be taking a long break in terms of touring and recording. Having toured non-stop for the last 2 years (including tours in Japan and the US), and releasing their debut album Uppers and Downers in 2000, the band have decided to take stock of things in the face of the apparent lack of support and disinterest faced by them from the industry in the UK.'
Although the above statement does not include any direct reference to it, THE YO-YO's' apparent break-up leaves the door wide open for the much anticipated THE WILDHEARTS reunion, which was recently announced by former/current THE WILDHEARTS mainman Ginger and is tentatively scheduled to include gigs in the UK during June/July.
MSG (the MICHEAL SCHENKER GROUP) have acquired a new vocalist by the name of Chris Logan.
New York's MORTICIAN have been confirmed for the Wacken Open Air Festival in Wacken, Germany in early August.
VICIOUS RUMORS are lining up a tour of Europe during April and May. Dates will be announced shortly.