Despite rumors to the contrary, former HELLOWEEN frontman Michael Kiske will guest on only one track on the forthcoming debut CD from the as-yet-unnamed group of ex-HELLOWEEN guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch. Kiske's contribution is set to be recorded in February. Meanwhile, after much debating, it has now officially been decided that SYMPHONY X singer Russell Allen will not, in fact, be partaking in the group's upcoming recording and touring activities, since he's already busy with SYMPHONY X and both bands are planning on playing at some of the same festivals during the summer. According to Grapow, this was “a very difficult decision” to make, and he's very sorry to Russell and to all the fans who liked the idea of a collaboration between the pair, but the group “needs someone who can go on tour and support the band without any problems”. Keyboardist Janne Warmen, whose main priority is Finland's CHILDREN OF BODOM, is still in the line-up for Grapow's group, since he's reportedly free during the next year, thus allowing for no working conflicts between Roland's band and COB. Grapow and Kusch are planning on announcing the identity of the group's new singer and the band name soon. In other news, the act's previously announced cover of LED ZEPPELIN's "Black Dog", which is being recorded during the album's sessions for inclusion on an upcoming LED ZEPPELIN tribute CD to be issued by Spain's Locomotive Music, is also likely to be issued as a single B-side around the time of the release of the forthcoming debut album, which is currently being produced by Andy Sneap for a late spring release.
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