Thrash Of The Titans publicist/co-organizer Jerry Allen has sent us the following update on the benefit concert for TESTAMENT vocalist Chuck Billy (tentatively scheduled to take place on August 11th at San Francisco's Maritime Hall), who was recently diagnosed with cancer:
'We are seeking a larger venue to accommodate the newly added headliners, ANTHRAX, and to make sure everyone is able to attend this historical and symbolic event that will no doubt be remembered for a very long time. Every day, people from around the world e-mail us messages that they plan to attend and how much this event means to them. In addition to this, some other very big named artists are interested in appearing, but it is far too early to name names.....but we will keep you posted as soon as any of them confirm.
'You will notice that S.O.D. and SKINLAB are no longer on the bill. Unfortunately, it was overlooked by all that [S.O.D. bassist] Danny Lilker has prior commitments and will not be able to take part. However, all is not lost on that subject....in their place, M.O.D. will be performing and some other surprises for fans of S.O.D. are being contemplated, so things still look good. Now, don't interpret this as anything but what is written here. Nothing is set in stone...it's just being discussed. If I'm being ambiguous, there's a reason for it.....we're still in the planning stages, and this event is constantly evolving and taking shape. Expect many more changes. Some for the good, some not so good. As you know, that's the nature of this biz, but we are doing our best to make this the event of a lifetime, not only for Chuck but for the fans as well. Since we are fans, we will try to give everyone the experience we would expect ourselves.
'As for SKINLAB, it was agreed that we keep this event an 80's thrash/old-school show. SKINLAB are no doubt a great band and they were one of the first bands who agreed to take part in this, but the simple facts are, they don't fit on the bill with the other bands. All respects go out to SKINLAB for wanting to contribute. Nobody knew in the beginning that this would turn into the old-school event of the millennium.
'The bottom line is, this is an event geared to help those in need. As you all know, Chuck Schuldiner of DEATH and CONTROL DENIED fame is stricken with cancer as well. He is not doing as well as Chuck Billy and needs some serious treatment that he is lacking the funds to see through. Chuck Billy has been outspoken on this and wants to help. A portion of the proceeds from Thrash of the Titans will be offered to Chuck Schuldiner. So this benefit is now even more meaningful and important. Thank You, Jerry Allen.'
For an updated Thrash Of The Titans poster (reflecting the above-mentioned changes), click here.
Chile's PENTAGRAM took the stage as a band for the first time in 13 years on Thursday, May 24th when 3/4ths of the original line-up (Anton Reissenegger on vocals, Eduardo Topelberg on drums, and Juan Pablo Uribe on guitar) joined CRIMINAL bassist Fracisco 'Cato' Cueto (who was filling in for former bassist Alfredo 'El Bey' Peqa) for a rendition of the band's classic 'Fatal Predictions' track as the final encore of CRIMINAL's unannounced performance at the Zoom club in Santiago (on a bill that also included BOA, DORSO and DOGMA). Due to a recent hand injury, Anton only handled vocal duties during the show, which evidently turned out to be a very memorable experience for everyone involved. As previously reported, PENTAGRAM will play its first official show in 13 years tomorrow, Sunday, May 27th, when they headline a 'send-off' show for Reissenegger, who is re-locating to Spain to try his luck over there for a few years.
SLASH'S SNAKEPIT are ending their self-imposed hiatus after Slash's bout with pneumonia by embarking on the next leg of their US tour, which will include northeastern dates beginning June 15th in Clifton Park, NY and ending June 29th in Pittsburgh, PA. Here are all the confirmed shows so far:
June 15 - Clifton Park, NY @ Northern Lights
June 16 - Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizons
June 17 - Buffalo, NY @ Erie Basin Marina
June 19 - Hyannis, MA @ Pufferbellies
June 21 - Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
June 22 - New York, NY @ Wetlands
June 23 - Old Bridge, NJ @ Birch Hill Niteclub
June 25 - Cleveland, OH @ Peabody's
June 26 - Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
June 27 - Detroit, MI @ Royal Oak Theatre
June 29 - Pittsburgh, PA @ I.C. Light Theatre and Tent
New England's MILLIGRAM, featuring former ONLY LIVING WITNESS vocalist Jonah Jenkins, will be appearing at the Memorial Auditorium in Burlington, Vermont on June 3rd on a bill that will also include SOUL BRAINS, CAVE IN, JESUS EATER (ex-SWIZ), NEW END ORIGINAL (ex-FAR, ex-TEXAS IS THE REASON), PIEBALD, GARRISON and other yet-to-be-announced acts.
STAIND vocalist Aaron Lewis has commented on the reports that the group's sophomore major label offering, the just-issued Break The Cycle, has sold 250,000 the first day of its release and that it would beat TOOL's first-week opening sales figure (550,000) by about 50,000 when the SoundScan numbers get officially announced in a few days. Speaking to MTV News, Lewis stated that 'I didn't expect those first-day sales for sure. I would have been extremely ecstatic for having that as first-week sales. For that to be our first-day sales is just unfathomable.' Break The Cycle is expected to debut at #1 on the Billboard Pop Album chart when the final positions are officially tallied later in the week.
MTV2 will be airing an hour-long COLD concert special on this weekend — Saturday, May 26th and Sunday, May 27th at 10 PM.
AMEN will be making an appearance at five east coast shows on the upcoming Warped Tour in early August. The dates are as follows:
Aug. 03 - Camden, NJ @ Blockbuster-Sony Ent. Center
Aug. 04 - New York City, NY @ Randall's Island
Aug. 05 - Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Park Lot
Aug. 07 - Cleveland, OH @ Nautica Stage
Aug. 08 - Buffalo, NY @ La Salle Park
AMEN will commence work on the follow-up to last year's We Have Come For Your Parents with producer Ross Robinson in September.
Former VAN HALEN frontman David Lee Roth is reportedly auctioning off the Harley Davidson motorcycle he rode in the classic VAN HALEN video 'Panama'. The bike is due to be auctioned via Roth's official website at: www.davidleeroth.com.
KING'S X guitarist Ty Tabor is keeping busy with several projects while awaiting the start of the upcoming KING'S X US tour, which is likely to run for six weeks and will probably take place later in the year. Among the guitarist's projects is a band called JELLY JAM, whose sound is being described as 'progressive rock with a 70's rock flavor' a project with the Bissonette brothers, Gregg and Matt on drums and bass respectively, which is said to be more up-to-date pop/rock ala FOO FIGHTERS and a solo project, with which Ty has already issued two albums so far and will have a third one coming out next year.
CATASTROPHIC guitarist Trevor Peres (ex-OBITUARY) will be intervewed on Live Rocks radio on Tuesday, May 29th at 7 PM PST/10 PM EST. To listen, tune in to Live Rocks at www.lvrocks.com . Call in with questions or comments at 1-866-LV ROCKS or 1-866-587-6257.
For anyone that cares, MOTLEY CRUE bassist Nikki Sixx has reconciled with wife Donna D'Errico (of Baywatch fame) after a period of separation that Sixx attributes to his 'short bout with insanity'.
Despite rumors to the contrary, we received word from the Century Media Records camp that NEVERMORE fill-in guitarist Curran Murphy is still part of the band and will in fact be joining the group for their European festival appearances this summer. The dates are as follows:
June 09 - Mailand, ITA @ Gods Of Metal Festival
June 22 - Dessel, BEL @ Graspop
June 24 - Roitzschjora, GER @ With Full Force
Aug. 03 - Wacken, GER @ Wacken Open Air
Aug. 04 - Neerpelt, BEL @ Eurorock
SCORPIONS have apparently had a road in a suburb of Madrid, Spain (Leganes) named after them as a special honor that was already bestowed upon AC/DC earlier. SCORPIONS vocalist Klaus Meine was reportedly 'very honored and pleased' by this special commemoration. It seems, however, that the road signs keep disappearing after being stolen by determined fans who are interested in a fresh souvenir of their own.
Finnish black metallers ARTHEMESIA have reportedly parted ways with guitarist Routa and have had bassist Mor Voryon move to the second-guitarist slot. A new bassist by the name of Aconitum was also recruited. ARTHEMESIA are currently working on the material for a new studio album, tentatively titled 2 Describe 1 Mind, which will contain 12 songs and will be recorded during winter/spring for a mid-2002 release through Native North Records.
Sweden's LEFT HAND SOLUTION are reportedly receiving very positive reviews for their recently-issued Light Shines Black CD, which was released through the Massproduktion label. Gemany's Rock Hard magazine gave the CD 7 out of 10, while Zillo called it the best of its genre this year and placed one of the album tracks, 'Lucid Dream Desire', on a free CD going out to the 50,000 readers of the magazine this month. In other news, the video for 'Missionary Man' is on Nuclear Blast's Beauty in Darkness 4 video collection, and the band has been sheduled to play at the Headbangers Open Air festival, which is due to take place close to Hamburg on July 7th.
EMPIRE is the name of the solo project of VANIZE guitarist Rolf Munkes, who has assembled a stellar cast of musicians to appear on the group's first album, entitled Hypnotica. The full list of artists contributing to the album is as follows:
Vocals: Lance King (BALANCE OF POWER)
Guitars: Rolf Munkes (VANIZE)
Bass: Neil Murray (ex-BLACK SABBATH/WHITESNAKE)
Drums: Gerald Kloos
Vocals: Mark Boals (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN)
Drums: Anders Johansson (HAMMERFALL/ex-YNGWIE)
Keyboards: Don Airey (ex-RAINBOW/BLACK SABBATH)
Hypnotica is due to be mixed by former ACCEPT drummer Stefan Kaufmann at Roxx Studios in Cologne in June and will be released through Lion Music Finland at the end of the year.
Finland's DEEPRED will have their contribution to the SUFFOCATION tribute album, 'Pierced From Within', combined with one or two new tracks for a split 7' with DYING FETUS that will be released through the Blunt Force label later in the year. The recordings will take place in June or July and will be produced by Jani Loikas, who worked with the band on their Prophetic Luster CD. Another half-a-vinyl-appearance will be a split 7' with DEEPRED's fellow Helsinki-area death metallers SLUGATHOR, who will be recording their tracks for this release in June. DEEPRED's contribution will consist of an unreleased new version of an old demo track from the Prophetic Luster sessions and the IMPETIGO cover that was previously made available Razorback Records' Wizards of Gore IMPETIGO tribute. In other news, DEEPRED will be making several live appearances during the summer, including scheduled continental European performances in September with Finland's gore fiends TORSOF.CK. The dates are as follows:
June 01 - Lahti, FIN @ Hammerfest III
Sept 05 - Bratislava, SK @ Hellraiser
Sept 06 - Vienna, AUS @ TBA
Sept 07 - CZ @ TBA
Sept 08 - Ludwigshafen, GER @ Deathfest
The full track listing for the Breeding the Seeds of Suffering SUFFOCATION tribute album, which is due to be released through Repulsive Echo Records later in the year, is as follows:
PROPHECY (USA) - 'Catatonia'
DEVOURMENT (USA) - 'Liege Of Inveracity'
ROTTING (Canada) - 'Infecting The Crypts'
MISCREATION (Australia) - 'Breeding The Spawn'
INVERACITY (Greece) - 'Human Waste'
DISAVOWED (Holland) - 'Funeral Inception'
HARMONY DIES (Germany) - 'Synthetically Revived'
SEVERED SAVIOR (USA) - 'Thrones of Blood'
Here is the complete list of musicians/artists performing on the upcoming QUEEN tribute album Stone Cold Queen, which was produced by Bob Kulick (MEATLOAF/session musician/producer) and is due to be released in June:
01. 'Stone Cold Crazy'
Vocals: Robin Zander (CHEAP TRICK)
Guitars: Steve Stevens (BILLY IDOL, VINCE NEIL)
Bass: Billy Sheehan (DAVID LEE ROTH, MR. BIG)
Drums: Matt Sorum (THE CULT, GUNS N' ROSES)
02. 'Play The Game'
Guitars: Marty Friedman (ex-MEGADETH)
Bass: Chuck Wright (QUIET RIOT)
Drums: Gregg Bissonette (DAVE LEE ROTH)
Keyboards: Paul Taylor
03. 'Fat Bottomed Girls'
Vocals: Joe Lynn Turner (ex-RAINBOW/DEEP PURPLE)
Guitars: Reb Beach (DOKKEN)
Bass: Tony Franklin (BLUE MURDER, PRISONER)
Drums: Eric Singer (KISS, BADLANDS, A. COOPER)
04. 'Somebody To Love'
Vocals: Geoff Tate (QUEENSRYCHE)
Guitars: Doug Aldrich (BURNING RAIN, LION)
Bass: Carmine Rojas (DAVID BOWIE, STEVIE WONDER)
Drums: Aynsley Dunbar (JEFF BECK GROUP)
Keyboards: Paul Taylor
05. 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love'
Vocals: Gunnar & Mathew Nelson (NELSON)
Guitars: Albert Lee (the blues legend)
Bass: Michael Porcaro (TOTO)
Drums: Pat Torpey (MR. BIG)
06. 'Fight From The Inside'
Vocals: Jack Blades (DAMN YANKEES, STYX)
Guitars: Jake E. Lee (ex-OZZY OSBOURNE, BADLANDS)
Bass: Tony Levin
Drums: Tony Thompson
07. 'You're My Best Friend'
Vocals: Jason Scheff (CHICAGO)
Guitars: Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, ex-POISON)
Bass: Marco Mendoza (THIN LIZZY)
Drums: Vinnie Appice (ex-DIO/BLACK SABBATH)
Keyboards: Paul Taylor
08. 'I'm In Love With My Car'
Vocals: Kip Winger (WINGER, solo artist)
Guitars: Steve Lukather (TOTO, session muso)
Bass: Phil Soussan (OZZY OSBOURNE, VINCE NEIL)
Drums: Frankie Banali (QUIET RIOT)
09. 'Killer Queen'
Vocals: Glenn Hughes (TRAPEZE, DEEP PURPLE)
Guitars: Pat Thrall (NIRVANA)
Bass: Stu Hamm (JOE SATRIANI)
Drums: Carmine Appice (ROD STEWART, GUITAR ZEUS)
Keyboards: Paul Taylor
10. 'Spread Your Wings'
Vocals: Tommy Shaw (DAMN YANKEES, STYX)
Guitars: Dweezil Zappa
Bass: Tim Bogert (BECK BOGART APPICE)
Drums: Steve Ferrone
Keyboards: Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER)
11. 'We Will Rock You'
Vocals: Jack Russell (GREAT WHITE)
Guitars: Bruce Kulick (KISS, UNION, BLACKJACK)
Bass: Bob Kulick
Guitars: Jeff Pilson (DOKKEN)
Drums: Mikkey Dee (MOTORHEAD)
THRESHOLD vocalist Mac is currently working on material for his proposed debut solo album. Provisionally entitled A Better Part Of Me, the album is expected to see Mac reunited with two members of his old band SARGANT FURY, bassist Carsten Rebentisch and drummer Heiko Heike.
Doom metallers PENANCE recently spent time in the studio record several new tracks that will be included on the group's Martyr Music Group release Alpha and Omega, which is tentatively scheduled to be released in August 2001.
NOKTURNAL MORTUM will have their cult 1996 Lunar Poetry MCD re-issued through The End Records on June 5th as part of a package that will also include the 11-minute opus 'The Return Of The Vampire Lord', plus a cover of CELTIC FROST's 'Sorrows Of The Moon'. The full track listing for Lunar Poetry is as follows:
01. Tears Of Paganism
02. Lunar Poetry
03. Perun's Celestial Silver
04. Carpathian Mysteries
05. And Winter Becomes
06. Ancient Nation
07. The Grief Of Oriana
08. Sorrows Of The Moon
09. Autodafe/Barbarians Dreams
10. Return Of The Vampire Lord (bonus)