SYMPHONY X Bassist Diagnosed With Crohn's Disease; Band Cancel European Festival Dates

Progressive metallers SYMPHONY X have been forced to cancel their previously announced European festival appearances in June (Lorca Rock in Spain and Sweden Rock) due to "severe illness."

Commented SYMPHONY X bassist Michael LePond: "I have been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease (an inflammatory bowel disorder). This has caused an obstruction in my small intestine, making it impossible to digest solid foods. Currently, I am hospitalized where they can feed me through an I.V. unit supplemented with a liquid diet.

"But, there is some good news. The doctors tell me that with a surgical procedure, they will have me back to 100 percent in about six weeks, and although it is a chronic disease, this procedure will make it much easier to control its effects in the future.

"I want to thank the band, the crew, the fans and everyone else involved for your understanding and support during this tough time. You will all make my healing process much easier and I'll be back on the bass in no time."

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All "get well" wishes for Mike can be sent to [email protected] The messages will be printed out and sent to him until he's able to access the mailbox himself.

SYMPHONY X are currently working on the follow-up to 2002's "The Odyssey", tentatively due this fall. The band expect to return to the road shortly after the release of the new CD.

SYMPHONY X were one of the second-stage bands at last summer's Gigantour, a six-week festival trek co-headlined by MEGADETH and DREAM THEATER. "Rarities and Demos", the first fan club CD from the SYMPHONY X fan club, Church of the Machine, was shipped out in July 2005 to fan club members. The CD includes demo material, rare unreleased material, and guitarist Michael James Romeo's interpretation of the "Star Wars" theme, done with over 15 guitar tracks.

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