Former CELTIC FROST guitarist/vocalist Tom G. Warrior (aka Thomas Gabriel Fischer) has contacted BLABBERMOUTH.NET to refute the reports of am imminent reunion of the band's classic line-up of Fischer, bassist Martin Eric Ain and drummer Reed St. Mark, the rumors of which gained fervor in the past week following the publication of a one-page article in the current issue of Britain's Terrorizer magazine. According to Fischer's e-mail—a copy of which was also forwarded to the North American publicist of Tom's APOLLYON SUN project, Chip Ruggieri at Chipster Entertainment—“the information contained in [the Terrorizer aticle] is ficticious and contrived. CELTIC FROST have not been active for some ten years now, and there are currently no plans to change this status. I am working on the development of three projects right now, by far the most significant for me being the new APOLLYON SUN album, for which we are continuing to write and demo material. Regards, Tom Gabriel Fischer”. Fischer's message appears to directly contradict the cryptic recent postings made at the group's official web site at www.celticfrost.com, which seem to endorse the Terrorizer version of the present situation and clearly imply that a reunion-of-sorts is planned for the end of next year. We hope to get more information on this shortly.
SEPULTURA are strongly rumored to be on the verge of signing a new record deal with the Sanctuary/Metal-Is label following their split with Roadrunner Records earlier in the year. Although no official announcement has yet been made, Sanctuary and SEPULTURA have reportedly been involved in intensive negotiations over the past several weeks, and Sanctuary is apparently feeling comfortable enough about the prospect of the group signing on the dotted line to have placed an ad in the metal/hard rock special section of the current issue of trade magazine Billboard listing SEPULTURA as one of the acts on their growing roster. As some of you may recall, Sanctuary pulled a similar stunt back in June when it included QUEENSRYCHE in a label ad placed in Billboard as part of the publication's last metal/hard rock special, even though the group had not yet officially signed with the company at the time and had not actually announced their decision to ink a deal with Sanctuary/Metal-Is until the middle of July.
In related news, the once-thriving UK metal web site Metal-Is (www.metal-is.com), launched in April 2000 with the backing of the Sanctuary Music Group (the entertainment conglomerate behind Sanctuary Records and Sanctuary Management), has now been re-launched as the official site for Metal-Is Records. As originally reported here on August 23rd, Metal-Is ceased to exist in its previous form at the end of September as a result of “a change in [Sanctuary]'s policy towards new media,” according to a letter that was sent to the Metal-Is freelance writers by then-Metal-Is editor Valerie Potter in early August.
OZZY OSBOURNE's Down To Earth CD has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America last week for sales in excess of 500,000 copies in the US. This is the 24th consecutive release, including his recordings with BLACK SABBATH, for which OZZY has earned at least the gold certification in the States. In other news, OZZY is due to lens a clip for the track “Dreamer”, reportedly the singer's favorite track off the aforementioned Down To Earth opus, with director ROB ZOMBIE today and tomorrow (November 27-28) at a Los Angeles soundstage. The video is tentatively due to begin airing before Christmas.
LIMP BIZKIT manager Peter Katsis has hit back at press criticism of the group after the death of a 16-year-old fan at Sydney's Big Day Out Festival via an official statement that was released to press outlets yesterday. The statement reads as follows:
“ 'We are disgusted [over the way LIMP BIZKIT has been hanlded by the press],' said Peter Katsis, manager of the group LIMP BIZKIT. It was hard enough to deal with the loss of Jessica's life after all of our warnings to the promoters of the BDO, now we are forced to deal with journalists who seem to have no time to check their facts before printing, and even more appalling we are in fear that the focus of the press continues to drift further away from the more important issues of security, and that the lives of other concertgoers will continue to be put into danger in the future.'
“To set the record straight, here are some facts:
The following large festivals played without incident by LIMP BIZKIT within the last few years used T-Barricades, Wave breaks, or other Multi-barriers when dealing with large audiences of 60,000 or more:
* Pink Pop ༽ Holland T-Barricade 60,000+
* Rock Am Ring ༽ Germany Double Barricade 80,000+
* Reading Festival ༽ England T-Barricade 65,000+
* Weenie Roast ༼ Los Angeles T-Barricade 65,000+
* Fuji Fest ༼ Japan Multi-Barricade 65,000+
“The following large festivals that LIMP BIZKIT played in the last few years that used no second barrier:
* Big Day Out ༽ Australia 65,000+
“On basic facts regarding their communication with the Big Day Out staff:
LIMP BIZKIT's production staff, management and band saw the crowd at the first show in Auckland and new some changes in the security system had to be made. LIMP BIZKIT's agent, the Creative Artists Agency, sent a written demand on behalf of the band and management for a T-Style barricade. The Big Day Out staff responded to the letter by written notice stating that the 'Australian Permitting Body' would not allow a T-Style barrier. Unknown at the time to the Management or Band, it turned out that there is no such thing as an 'Australian Permitting Body' for concerts.
“The suggestions for security changes that the BDO staff did make, called for hiring and additional 50 security staff members that would act as 'Pit Crews' that would jump in and help concertgoers in trouble. Very few BDO security staff ever actually went into the audience. It was not surprising that Fred Durst told the crowd, 'We are on our own here, we need to look out for each other, if you see someone down, pick your brother up.'
“On communication with the [parents of the girl in question]:
Fred Durst has NEVER claimed to have personally visited or spoken to the family of Jessica Michallik. If anyone bothers to watch the episode of the American TV show Access Hollywood quoted by the Australian press they can see it is the TV show's host, Pat O'Brien, who claims this, NOT Durst. Alex MacLeod, LIMP BIZKIT's Tour Manager, stayed behind in Sydney (after the group left the country) and spoke with George Michallik every day, offering assistance to the family. Both MacLeod and Peter Katsis (LIMP BIZKIT's manager) stayed in touch with George Michallik and are still in touch with him to this day.
“MacLeod was told by Mr. Michallik that the staff of the Big Day Out Festival NEVER called or made any attempts to contact the girl's family.
“LIMP BIZKIT paid for 'Round The World' airline tickets for George Michallik and his wife in June so that they could visit their family and set Jessica's ashes free in Los Angeles. The couple visited Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, London, and their native Poland before returning home in the early fall.
“LIMP BIZKIT's management has instructed their Australian attorney to offer the court the opportunity to set up a video conference session so that the management staff, LIMP BIZKIT's Production Manager and head of Security can offer direct testimony to supplement the coroner's questions they have already answered when the Australian police visited Los Angeles. 'This hearing is about the security of people's lives,' said Peter Katsis. 'The people on our team that know the most of what is truly pertinent here,' Katsis continued, are the ones who made the contracts, advanced the production details with the promoter, stood next to the promoter and the police during the show, wore the headphones that communicated with the festival staff, and got into the pit when the security proved inadequate.'
“The group's management also vowed to seek to help provide the opinions of top concert security officials from the world's other festivals and will continue to develop other ideas on how to shed a proper light on the coroner's hearings.”
MANOWAR will release their brand new, as-yet-untitled studio album through Nuclear Blast Records in Europe at the end of May. The album will be preceded a “hymn-like single”, entitled 'Warriors Of The World (United)', which is set to feature previously unheard and unseen bonus footage.
According to www.ampwire.com, DEFTONES frontman Chino Moreno makes an appearance in the upcoming LINKIN PARK DVD, entitled Frat Party At The Pancake Festival. Apparently, the footage in question captures LINKIN PARK frontman Chester Bennington pulling “some evil pranks” against the DEFTONES by replacing their on-stage water battles with vodka. In related news, members of Moreno's TEAM SLEEP project, DJ Crook and Todd Wilkenson, are said to have been tapped to do a remix of the TINFED track 'Drop' for the latter band's upcoming remix album entitled Designated Rival EP, which is due out on January 22nd. As previously reported, TEAM SLEEP is hoping to issue their Maverick Records debut in March, with a US tour scheduled to coincide with the album's release. Among the tracks that are tentatively set to appear on the CD are:
01. Amherst Terrorist
04. Death By Plane
05. Exhume King Diamond (feat. Mike Patton)
06. Kool-Aid Party
07. Ligeia (feat. Mary Timony of HELIUM)
NONEXIST, the new band of former ARCH ENEMY frontman Johan Liiva, are currently at Studio Abyss recording their debut album, entitled Deus Deceptor. According to Swedish Metal, “the band aim at a short intense recording session in order to capture the inflammable intensity of the song material”. When asked if NONEXIST's upcoming release can be compared to the urgency of Black Earth-era ARCH ENEMY, Liiva responded in the affirmative: 'Definitely. [Black Earth] felt like an explosion of pent-up energy. I really want Deus Deceptor to have the same kind of feeling. You know, a bit like 'do or die''. Deus Deceptor is tentatively due to be released in January/February through New Hawen Records. Esclusive MP3 samples of the upcoming album should shortly be available on the New Hawen web site at this location.
HATEBREED have launched a contest via www.xmulletx.com for a lucky person to win a chance to sing back-up vocals on HATEBREED's forthcoming album, Perseverance, which is currently being recorded at Longview Farms Studios in North Brookfield, Massachusetts with producer Matt Hyde (i.e. MONSTER MAGNET, SLAYER). In other news, HATEBREED tracked a a cover of SHEER TERROR's 'The Spoiler' during the above-mentioned sessions, but the band are “not sure” where the version will end up, according to the band's official web site. HATEBREED are presently finishing up the vocal tracks for the upcoming album, which is tentatively scheduled for release through Stillborn/Republic/Universal Records during March. Also on the HATEBREED front, the band will be joined by AMERICAN NIGHTMARE at the former group's headlining shows from January 8th onward.
FEAR FACTORY's debut DVD, entitled Digital Connectivity, which was originally slated for a December 18th street date, will not be available in the stores on January 15th, according to the Roadrunner Records web site.
Germany's U.D.O., featuring former ACCEPT frontman Udo Dirkschneider, have been confirmed for the 2002 Wacken Open Air Festival, which is scheduled to take place on August 2-3 in Wacken, Germany. According to U.D.O.'s official web site, the band will be performing on August 3rd late in the evening (which means a full-light show) on one of the two major stages. U.D.O.'s upcoming Wacken appearance will mark the third time the group have performed at the festival—a possible event record.
According to unconfirmed reports, Germany's BLIND GUARDIAN have set A Night At The Opera as the title of their next studio album, which is presently being recorded at the band's own studio in Krefeld. A March 4th release through Virgin Records in Germany is expected. In other news, BLIND GUARDIAN's just-issued new single, 'And Then There Was Silence', reached position #41 in Swedish single charts.
Former HELLOWEEN guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch have officially scrapped MR. TORTURE as the projected name for their current collaboration, which also includes SYMPHONY X singer Rusell Allen, among others. According to the guitarist's official web site, “Roland is very busy right now in his studio, Crazy Cat, working more than 16 hours a day on the recordings of the upcoming project with Uli Kusch. After the poll, the members decided not to take MR. TORTURE as the band name, but they're still accepting suggestions through the 'Projects' section of this site. [Roland] already recorded the guitar lines for 6 songs, but there's still a lot of work to do. There are 16 compositions by him and Uli, and they're planning to record a LED ZEPPELIN song for an upcoming [tribute album]. [Producer] Andy Sneap is also doing a great job on the production.” In related news, HELLOWEEN's previously-announced Japanese reissues of their earlier releases have now been “cancelled without explanation”, according to Grapow's web site. HELLOWEEN are said to be working on an upcoming double-CD compilation of Charlie Bauerfeind remixes, which will reportedly not include any B-sides because the band are planning to release a B-sides compilation at a later time. However, an old song, probably 'Windmill' from the much-maligned Chameleon album, will be re-recorded with  current singer Andi Deris on vocals. An early 2002 release is expected.
The December 14th show by the reunited San Francisco Bay Area thrashers VIO-LENCE at Slim's in San Francisco (on a bill that is also set to feature SKINLAB and KAOS) will be recorded and filmed for a possible CD/DVD release. Tickets can still be purchased at slims-sf.com and tickets.com. The VIO-LENCE line-up for the gig in question will reportedly not include guitarist Ray Vegas, who is said to have backed out of the show for undisclosed reasons. A replacement axeman has apparently already been found and is currently rehearsing with the group.
AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen (ex-BODINE, VENGEANCE) has posted the following update on the recording of the debut album of his upcoming STAR ONE project, entitled Space Metal, which is currently being tracked with a cast of different singers, namely Damien Wilson, formerly with THRESHOLD, Floor Jansen of Dutch gothic metal band AFTER FOREVER, SYMPHONY X vocalist Russell Allen, and Dan Swanö (NIGHTINGALE, MOONTOWER):
'I have finally decided on the name of my upcoming metal project:
“Arjen Anthony Lucassen's STAR ONE.
“I took the name from my favourite SF TV cult series from the UK, Blakes 7. I hope STAR ONE will become a 'household name' like AYREON! Mattias Norén who will do the lay-out and lots of artwork for this CD has already designed a great logo/sign for it.
“Last week I recorded Ed Warby on drums in studio RS29. Despite the fact that we had lots of problems with the computer the first day, he managed to record his drums for the whole album in almost one day! And that's really unique, for Ed is very critical of himself and I'm only allowed to continue to the next song until he's satisfied. In fact I've got practically nothing to say, Ed's in charge!
“And again on this album he will continue to surprise you right from the start with this amazing double-bass powerfill. And once again Ed has shown that he masters both the most complicated techniques and the straight-forward drumming when it's needed. And after all these years of working together, we understand each other perfectly. I don't have to tell him what to do, when I record him he plays exactly the things that I hope he will play. Ed is like a self-thinking computer that doesn't need to be programmed!
“This week Dan Swanö will be here and at the beginning of December Russell Allen will visit the Castle. Man, am I looking forward to recording both of them! I will of course let you know how it went shortly, so keep your eye on the site.
“I've also recorded a 9-minute medley for this album of one of my favourite bands, and I managed to get the original singer to sing it!
“I have always been a huge fan of the band HAWKWIND, ever since the 70's. HAWKWIND were the inventors of 'space-rock' and they have released over a 100 albums (including live and compilation albums) and I've collected most of them. Now I have tried for years to get their founder member and still the main focus of the band Dave Brock (vocals, guitars, synths) to guest on my AYREON albums, but never succeeded in doing so. In fact nobody has ever succeeded in having him do a guest appearance on any rock album!
“As you know, the lyrics of my new metal album are based entirely on space movies, and I thought it would be very cool to record a HAWKWIND medley for it. So quite spontaneously, I sent Dave an email asking him if he wanted to sing the lead vocals on it, and I sent him the instrumental demo after he answered that he was interested. To my (very pleasant!) surprise he said he liked the demo and wanted to do it!
“For those of you who don't know HAWKWIND, they are an English psychedelic band who started out in 1969, had a big hit in the early 70's with a song called 'Silver Machine' (sung by Lemmy) and they are still going strong. In fact at the moment they are touring the UK with their extravagant live show. They are a big influence on AYREON's music they combine analog synthesisers/sequencers, Mellotrons and organs with fuzzy guitarriffs, use spacy atmospheric sounds and write science fiction lyrics. What I also like about them is that they always stayed true to their style and fans, which enabled them to build a very loyal fan base and record many, many albums.
“A few days before I was scheduled to fly over to Dave Brock's studio, he called me up and told me that when he was rehearsing with HAWKWIND in his studio, the whole band was infected by some bug and got sick. So he warned me that he had a terrible cold on the chest and his voice would be quite croaky, but I decided to go anyway in order to go over the songs with him and—of course—to finally meet him!
“Dave picked me up from the airport and drove me to his huge estate. It was great to be in the studio where most of the HAWKWIND albums were recorded, the place was full of memorabilia. We went over the songs together, took a long walk through his huge forest, saw his horses and then Dave cooked me a great meal. He is a real gentleman and took great care of me. He also gave me many HAWKWIND collectors items that I had been looking for for years. I found out that we have a lot in common. How great it is to meet one of your musical influences, and he turns out to be a nice guy as well!
“Meanwhile Dave (now 60!) has recorded his vocals on his own in his studio and he sent me the tapes with his voice about a week ago. I must say that he did a great job! It's so great to hear that voice that I've been listening to for 30 years on my own recording. Don't expect a singer with lots of technique like Ronnie Dio, but expect a singer who sings from the heart, delivered with a great London accent O)
“For all you Hawkfans out there, these are the songs in the medley:
Master Of The Universe
Silver Machine (chorus only)
Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear In Smoke)
Assault And Battery
The War I Survived
(Space Is Deep) (instrumental riff)
Spirit Of The Age (chorus only)
Lost Chronicles (instrumental outro)
Talk to you soon!”
Swedish death metallers NECROPHOBIC have completed work on their fourth full-length album, entitled Bloodhymns, which is scheduled to be released through Hammerheart Records on March 11th. The full track listing for the effort is as follows:
01. Taste of Black
02. Dreams Shall Flesh
03. Act of Rebellion
07. Cult of Blood
08. Roots of Heldrasill
09. Blood Anthem
10. Among the Storms
Bloodhymns will be released both on CD and vinyl.
Greece's ROTTING CHRIST will enter Stage One Studios in Germany (where the group's Triarchy of the Lost Lovers CD was recorded) at the end of spring to record their as-yet-untitled new album, which is due to be issued through Century Media Records during the summer. Production will be handled by Andy Classen and RC mainman Sakis. According to the group's official web site, the band is going to be using old ROTTING CHRIST logo for the upcoming release, and the new album is going to be “more 'black' than ever”.