The classic TROUBLE line-up of vocalist Eric Wagner, guitarist Rick Wartell, guitarist Bruce Franklin, drummer Jeff Olson and bassist Ron Holzner has reunited and is in the process of demoing new material, according to several postings from Ron on Patrick Schlimm's excellent TROUBLE Heaven web site. TROUBLE entered the studio on May 21st to start tracking new material, which Holzner says 'will sound like TROUBLE…and also a bit like all the bands we're influenced by! So don't worry about us sounding like POISON or something.' No titles have yet been revealed, but the bassist goes on to say that as of early April, the band had already come up with some eight song ideas, and this is after Rick, Bruce and Eric had only rehearsed together twice! Although not entirely surprising, this latest news seems to directly contradict vocalist Eric Wagner's previous statements in which he appeared to rule out a reunion in the near future, and it appears to mark the end of Wagner's LID project (also featuring ANATHEMA guitarist Daniel Cavanagh), which issued the lukewarmly-received In The Mushroom CD back in 1997. In related news, it appears that Holzner has joined doomsters GOATSNAKE (featuring ex-THE OBSESSED drummer Greg Rogers) for some touring action, which saw the bassist playing dates with the group on the west coast in March and is likely to include a UK tour in June supporting QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE.
BIOHAZARD's long-awaited Uncivilization opus is tentatively set for a September 10th European release through SPV/Steamhammer Records. The band is yet to announce a US record deal, although rumors quite clearly indicate that a pairing with Sanctuary Records has been in the works for several months and is due to be finalized any day now. An American release date through Sanctuary is also expected around mid-September.
NEVERMORE fill-in guitarist Curran Murphy (also of AGGRESSION CORE) has dropped us a line to refute the recent rumors of his departure from the group on the eve of the band's European festival tour. Curran's note reads as follows:
'It is always funny and distressing when you hear gossip from the web second-hand, and have to dig out the source and see what's up!!!!! So I will set the record straight as it stands right now, but please remember that this all can change in five seconds or less!!!!
'There has never been any friction between myself, Jim, Warrel, Jeff or Van. There are always days on tour when you want to kill each other for something stupid that someone says or does or how they treat you as a person. Every single person involved with NEVERMORE has these days, and we are all guilty of this as well! We are all friends and have been for about three or four years, and it has been an absolute blast getting to tour the world and play some of the best music ever written. I truly hope that the guys are planning on taking me out again for the festivals and the rest of there tour, because, of course, it is always fun to meet all the cool peeps on da streets and see new places as well. But if they decide to use someone else, good luck to them and the new guy they choose, because this will not be the last you hear from me. Curran Murphy — AGGRESSION CORE/NEVERMORE'
MEDICATION vocalist Whitfield Crane (ex-UGLY KID JOE/LIFE OF AGONY) has confirmed the departure of bassist Robert Trujillo from the group's line-up in order to focus on the recording of the upcoming OZZY OSBOURNE solo record, which is currently being tracked with producer Tim Palmer in Los Angeles. MEDICATION, who feature in their ranks Crane, former MACHINE HEAD guitarist Logan Mader, ex-SOULFLY drummer Roy Mayorga and ex-ADAYINTHELIFE… guitarist Blunt, have been using a fill-in bassist by the name of John for the group's recent live shows, but are planning on recruiting a permanent four-stringer in the near future. According to Crane, MEDICATION has completed recording an album's worth of material and is shopping around for a record deal that will either enable the group to mix down the existing recordings or track a brand new full-length from scratch. It should be noted, however, that MEDICATION's sound is far removed from that of MACHINE HEAD and SOULFLY, with much of the group's material featuring a dark, eerie vibe that perfectly complements Whitfield's hypnotic vocal delivery, which is easily some of the singer's best work to date. Having said that, fans of the heavier, more aggressive sound will be happy to know that the group have not completely abandoned that side of their songwriting, as evidenced by the excellent 'Clouded', which is certain to keep the metal contingent happy with its up-tempo, driving groove and a killer main riff that as deceptively simple as it is memorable. On the whole, MEDICATION is a hauntingly dark-yet-impressively-melodic act whose collective talent far exceeds that of most of their counterparts, a factor which bodes well for the group's long-term future.
SKINLAB have dropped The Revolting Room as the working title for their forthcoming third full-length CD and are presently considering several other options, none of which have yet been officially revealed. SKINLAB, who recently acquired a new guitarist by the name of Glen Telford (ex-WIRED SHUT), are due to enter Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco with producer Steve Evetts on June 7th to begin work on the upcoming album, which is tentatively scheduled for release in October through Century Media Records.
TOOL's just-issued Lateralus CD has debuted in the top 10 in the following countries: Australia (#1), Norway (#2), Germany (#5 #1 on Alternative chart), Holland (#7), Sweden (#8), Austria (#9).
Swedish melodic metal gods NOCTURNAL RITES are currently writing material for their fifth studio album, which is tentatively scheduled to be recorded at the end of the year for an early 2002 release. About four songs have been completed, according to bassist Nils Eriksson, 'plus a truckload of ideas'. NOCTURNAL RITES are making a number of festival appearances during the summer, including one at the Sweden Rock Festival this coming weekend, where they will be performing alongside W.A.S.P., U.D.O., HELLOWEEN, DOKKEN, GARY MOORE and many others.
Chile's PENTAGRAM played their first 'official' live show in over 13 years when they took the stage at Santiago's Teatro Providencia last night (Sunday, May 27th) and performed all the tracks from their two demo tapes along with the never-recorded 'Demented', plus covers of SLAYER's 'Raining Blood', VENOM's 'Countess Bathory' and the hardcore classic 'Pigs', which was dedicated to the policemen of Chile during the '80s. According to our eyewitness (the ever-reliable Cristobal Lagos), the venue was packed with fans singing every word, and an amazing time was had by all. As previously reported, PENTAGRAM/CRIMINAL mainman Anton Reissenegger is leaving Chile and re-locating to Spain, where he will reportedly attempt to resurrect CRIMINAL, pending the level of interest garnered the group's latest CD, Cancer, which will be issued by Metal Blade Records Europe shortly.
LIMP BIZKIT frontman Fred Durst has announced that he and his significant other (rumored to be a blond named Jen that he met while on the road last year) are expecting a baby boy in late August/early September. The baby's name will be Dallas Durst.
According to Inter Sandman, the Home Shopping Network recently sold three autographed guitars with signatures from METALLICA's James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Jason Newsted, and Lars Ulrich within three minutes for $1,495 each.
According to an article published in the New York Daily News, KISS' Gene Simmons is prepping a movie for Paramount based on the life of Neil Bogart, the founder of KISS' first label, Casablanca Records, and the late '60s co-founder of Buddha Records, which struck gold by releasing a string of bubblegum singles by such now-forgotten groups as OHIO EXPRESS and the 1910 FRUITGUM CO. Bogart was also apparently largely responsible for the '75 disco explosion after persuading radio stations to play the 16-minute version of 'Love to Love You Baby', by a then-unknown DONNA SUMMER. 'He was the first grownup who said to me that I was capable of a lot more in my life than just drooling blood and sticking out my tongue onstage,' stated Simmons. 'We wore more make-up than most clowns, higher heels than most women, and more leather than you normally find in an S&M bar. Neil was honest enough to admit that he didn't get us. But he gambled on our passion.' If the project gets green-lighted, Mike Myers and Kevin Spacey are reportedly Simmons' top choices to play his ex-mentor.
SHAMAN/ex-ANGRA vocalist André Matos will reportedly participate in a special performance by VIPER on June 24th, marking the first time he will share a stage with the band since 1990, when he left the group to form ANGRA. He is expected to sing several numbers from VIPER's Soldiers Of Sunrise (1987) and Theatre Of Fate (1989) albums, both of which were originally recorded with him on vocals.
DEEP PURPLE bassist Roger Glover has reportedly been making progress on a new solo album, his first since The Mask back in 1984 (discounting the GILLAN/GLOVER project). Not many details have surfaced so far, but reports suggest that he has been working with Rufus Thomas' daughter, among others. A 2002 release is expected.
CLOCK, the side project of DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell, is planning to do more LA-area shows during June.
German melodic metallers EDGUY will issue their brand new studio album, Mandrake, on September 24th. A five-track single entitled Painting On The Wall will precede the album's release on August 27th.
Veteran Dutch hard rockers HELLOISE will issue a new studio album, Fata Morgana, in September. The album will reportedly include guest appearances from keyboardist Robby Valentine and vocalist Lana Lane, among others. Additional production and mixing will be handled by ANGRA/KAMELOT producer Sascha Paeth.
Sweden's THE DEFACED, featuring SOILWORK drummer Henry Ranta and DARKANE guitarist Klas Ideberg (both of whom were also involved with the TERROR 2000 debut album Slaughterhouse Supremacy), are due to release their first album, entitled Domination Commence, in Europe in October, while the Japanese release is scheduled for September and will include as a bonus track the group's cover of LED ZEPPELIN's 'When The Levee Breaks'. THE DEFACED's musical style is being described as 'an incredible thrash-tornado mixing influences from early MACHINE HEAD, MESHUGGAH and TESTAMENT.'
Following the departure of founding member Steve Minelli (ex-DEATH SS), who left the band after the release of their Technical Crime debut, Italy's NODE are preparing to record their second CD, entitled Sweatshops, which will be tracked during August at Underground Studios in Sweden (NECRODEATH, CARNAL FORGE, TERROR 2000). Set to feature cover artwork done by former SOILWORK keyboardist Carlos Del Olmo, Sweatshops will include the following tracks, among others:
01. Bloody Hills
02. Last Doctor
05. Scorn Toward Water
NODE's musical style is being described as 'a great mix of DEATH, CARCASS, IN FLAMES, and AT THE GATES influences.'
Italian metal veterans NECRODEATH have completed work on their fourth album, titled Black As Pitch, which was recorded at Underground Studios in Sweden with producer Pelle Saether (CARNAL FORGE, EBONY TEARS, TERROR 2000). The follow-up to the group's 'comeback' effort Mater Of All Evil, the new album is, according to the band, 'the most violent album we've done since the beginning of our career. It follows the same vein [as] Mater of All Evil, it's NECRODEATH style 100%, but the new songs are and even more direct and the riffs will cut your throat like never before! A real blood-shower!' Set for release in October, Black As Pitch will include the following songs, among others:
01. Burn And Deny
02. Mortal Consequence
04. Killing Time
05. Saviours Of Hate
Australia's SAKKUTH have rejected previously published rumors of a name change and have stated emphatically that they have no intentions of doing. So there you have it.
Norway's TRAIL OF TEARS have reportedly completed work on instrumental versions of four new songs and have loads of other ideas ready for their forthcoming studio album, which they hope to record in January for an April 2002 release.
AMERICAN PEARL have parted ways with guitarist Kevin Quinn. According to the group's official web site, 'more information will be posted soon and we ask that our fans please respect us, respect Kevin, and above all respect our mutual decision to not work together at this time by NOT spreading false rumors and half-truths.'
Here is the full track listing for BLUE OYSTER CULT's Curse Of The Hidden Mirror CD, which is scheduled for a June 5th release through Sanctuary Records:
01. I Just Like To Be Bad
03. Eye Of The Hurricane
04. One Step Ahead Of The Devil
05. Good To Feel Hungry
06. Here Comes That Feeling
07. Dance On Stilts
08. Stones Of Love
09. The Old Gods Return
10. Out Of The Darkness
The current BLUE ÖYSTER CULT line-up is:
Eric Bloom - vocals, guitars & keyboards
Buck Dharma - vocals, guitars & keyboards
Allen Lanier - guitars & keyboards
Danny Miranda - bass, vocals & keyboards
Bobby Rondinelli - drums
BAD COMPANY are said to have canceled their May 22nd Albuquerque, N.M. gig with STYX and BILLY SQUIER when frontman Paul Rodgers' new in-ear monitors damaged his eardrums. The tour has since resumed, but there's been no word yet on whether Rodgers has sustained permanent damage.
DEEP PURPLE drummer Ian Paice's performance as part of the backing band for THE BEATLES' Paul McCartney at Liverpool's Cavern Club last year will be released on DVD and video next month.
Former GARY MOORE keyboardist Tommy Eyre passed away after a prolonged battle with oesophageal cancer on Wednesday, May 23rd. Eyre performed keyboards on GARY MOORE's Corridors of Power, After Hours, Blues Alive CDs and joined the guitarist for several live tours.
Sweden's KATATONIA have confirmed their upcoming return appearance at the Milwaukee Metalfest this August and have stated that 'the band shall bring their own equipment this year to ensure the sound quality is up to their standards. Be sure not to miss it, this years performance will be different and better than last year's.'