Sweden's GARDENIAN have resurfaced after a lengthy, self-imposed hiatus and have announced details of a new lineup and album. Joining guitarist Niklas Engelin and drummer Thim Blom in the group's latest incarnation are TIME REQUIEM singer Apollo Papathanasio and former GOOSEFLESH bassist Robert Hakemo. Kriss Albertsson, who previously played bass in the group, remains a member of the band, but only as a touring/session guitarist. Meanwhile, longtime guitarist/vocalist Jim Kjell, who played on the group's three full-length albums to date — 1997's "Two Feet Stand" (Listenable), 1999's "Soulburner" (Nuclear Blast), and 2000's "Sindustries" (Nuclear Blast) — has since left the band, having found "the day job he was searching for," according to a statement on the group's new official web site, www.gardenian.net.GARDENIAN, who split with Nuclear Blast Records in 2001, are presently recording the follow-up to "Sindustries" at Studio Fredman and will be using the finished CD to procure a new record deal. If all goes well, the as-yet-untitled effort will be out in late spring/early summer. Among the 12 working titles tentatively set to appear on the album are the following: 01. Inhale/Exhale
02. Drowning Empire
05. Dark Waters
06. Dead To The World An MP3 clip of the excellent "Remembered" can be downloaded from this location. With regards to the group's current musical direction, the band write, "We know that it may sound like a cliché, but [these are] the best songs we have done/recorded so far in our career it feels like all the pieces [have] finally [fallen into place] just perfect [as it relates] to [realizing] our vision." GARDENIAN's only announced live appearance of 2003 so far will take place at the fourth edition of the 2000 Decibel festival, which will be held on May 17 in Bengtsfors, Sweden (180 km north of Gothenburg). Also set to appear at the event are DIMENSION ZERO, TALISMAN, AMON AMARTH, PATHOS, DIONYSUS, SEVENTH ONE and THE PROJECT HATE, among others. As previously reported, Engelin's side project with IN FLAMES vocalist Anders Friden, ex-TRANSPORT LEAGUE drummer Patrik J. Sten, and HEADPLATE bassist Håkan Skoger, which goes by the name of PASSENGER, recently inked a deal with Century Media Records for the release of their already-completed debut album, due in April.