"Lifer", the long-awaited third album from MELDRUM, the multinational hard rock/metal band formed by late ex-PHANTOM BLUE guitarist Michelle Meldrum, will be released on November 20 via Reversed Records. The CD was produced by Rob Shallcross (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, GWAR, ZIMMERS HOLE, WEST OF HELL) and Gene Hoglan (TESTAMENT, DEATH, DARK ANGEL, DETHKLOK). The album will come as a digipak that includes an eight-page insert and CD. Fans who place their order between now and the release date will receive a free download of MELDRUM's latest single, "Paid".
Michelle Meldrum died in May 2008 as a result of a cystic growth that had restricted oxygen and blood flow to her brain, rendering her braindead. Since she passed away before any of her guitar tracks for "Lifer" were laid down, Laura Christine played the majority of the rhythm and bass guitars, as well as all the leads, on the album as a tribute to Michelle and her vision.
"Lifer" stands as a proud tribute to Michelle, who wrote the material for the CD with Hoglan, along with Laura Christine (bass) and Michele Madden (vocals).
"Lifer" is sonically different in direction than anything previously released by the band. With new life, and new talent, this album has carried the talents these four have to a higher level.
Hoglan previously stated about the CD: "Let me say this: Never have I obsessed over the recording of any album I've been involved in as I have with MELDRUM's latest. The tragic circumstances that took Michelle from us also provided us with a laser-sharp focus to record the most amazing album we could. Michele Madden, Laura Christine, and hell, even Chicken, our engineer, put forth performances of a lifetime, with each member's full love and respect going into every nuance of every song. Not only to honor Michelle, but to also lay down some bad-ass music, which was ultimately what she stood for… what MELDRUM stands for. I think the songs speak for themselves, and I, for one, have never been prouder to be a part of a family, let alone a project such as this. Metal with balls. Crank it up, indeed."
Michelle Meldrum was born on September 28, 1968 in Detroit, Michigan to a family of musicians and actors, and moved to Los Angeles, California at the age of 13. She started her career in music by forming the thrash metal band WARGOD with drummer Gene Hoglan (DARK ANGEL, DEATH, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD), then moved on to become both co-founder and lead guitarist in PHANTOM BLUE. PHANTOM BLUE released its self-titled debut album on Shrapnel Records in the U.S. (Roadrunner in Europe and Japan) and eventually landed a major label deal with Geffen.
While her career flourished, Michelle married EUROPE guitarist John Norum and moved to Sweden to form MELDRUM. After many successful tours with such acts as MOTÖRHEAD and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, she reunited with Gene in 2006 when he appeared as a guest on MELDRUM album and events. Inspired to once again collaborate, Michelle moved back to America where she and Gene began writing the third MELDRUM album together.
Partial proceeds from "Lifer" will go to Michelle's son Jake Thomas (father is John Norum), whom she left behind when she passed.