ENTOMBED have announced the initial dates for their upcoming European tour, which will also include CROWBAR and 2 TON PREDATOR in the support slots. The confirmed shows so far are as follows:
Sept. 08 - King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, UK
Sept. 09 - Limelight, Belfast, UK
Sept. 10 - The Shelter, Dubling, Ireland
Sept. 11 - The Underworld, London, UK
Sept. 12 - BieBob, Vosselaar, BEL
Sept. 13 - Effenaar, Eindhoven, NETH
Sept. 14 - Die Börse, Wuppertal, GER
Sept. 15 - SO36, Berlin, GER
Sept. 16 - Alarm!, Zwickau, GER
Sept. 17 - Hirsch, Nürnberg, GER
Sept. 18 - Backstage, Hamburg, GER
Sept. 19 - Planet Music, Vienna, AUS
Sept. 20 - Komma, Wörgl, AUS
Sept. 21 - Orpheum, Graz, AUS
Sept. 22 - Rocking Chair, Vevey, CZ
Sept. 23 - Abart Music, Zurich, SWI
ENTOMBED are reportedly in the process of mixing the last three of the 12 songs that will appear on the group's upcoming Morning Star album, which is tentatively scheduled for an early September release through Music For Nations Records.
TESTAMENT guitarist Steve Smyth will reportedly be playing second guitar (alongside Glen Alvelais) at the one-off reunion performance of FORBIDDEN EVIL (pre-FORBIDDEN) at the upcoming Thrash Of The Titans benefit concert for TESTAMENT vocalist Chuck Billy, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Smyth will be taking the place of the sadly-absent Craig Locicero, who will reportedly be too busy with the recording of MANMADEGOD's debut album for American Records (via Island/Def Jam) to take part in the August 11th event.
Contrary to a recent slew of rumors posted elsewhere, ex-HELLOWEEN vocalist Michael Kiske has no intention of joining former HELLOWEEN bandmate Kai Hansen in GAMMA RAY. In an official statement, Kiske simply states that "I haven't even spoken to Kai for a few weeks now! I will not join his band! It was never even a subject! I have got to do my own thing, guys!"
SUPERFIX members Martina Axen (vocals/drums) and Anna Kjellberg (guitars/bass) made an appearance backstage at the June 30th Ozzfest stop in San Bernardino, California, where they hung out with former DRAIN STH bandmate/vocalist Maria Sjoholm, who was traveling with fiancé Tony Iommi (BLACK SABBATH) for the duration of the tour. According to Axen, “I had a good time with Anna and Maria. Maria will be here in LA today [Sunday, July 1st] and tomorrow [Monday, July 2nd] and we will see her and Tony again tonight for dinner. It was great to see her, I had a lot of fun.” On the SUPERFIX front, Axen went on to say that “Anna and I are mixing a couple of songs with Steve Tushar right now. He is a good friend that I met on tour when he was the programmer for FEAR FACTORY on the European tour we [DRAIN STH] did with them in '96. He has also done some remixes for KORN and some other bands.” As previously reported, SUPERFIX are expected to record a self-financed album this summer and shop the finished CD to various labels, with a view towards releasing the group's debut LP in early 2002.
According to informed sources, former LIFE OF AGONY vocalist Keith Caputo's collaboration with the band FREAX—which is taking the form of a full-length album that is currently being recorded in Miami, Florida— is sounding like “a mix of ABSOLUTE BLOOM [Keith's first post-LOA project]-style vocals with an LOA influence” and a “hint of an old-school goth feeling.. and everything in between.” The group's as-yet-untitled CD is due to be released through an as-yet-undisclosed label at the end of the year.
QUEENSRYCHE's Operation: LIVEcrime, which was originally issued in a boxed set with a VHS tape in 1991, will be released on a separate CD along with a companion DVD on September 25th. The special edition will include two bonus tracks: "Roads to Madness" and "The Lady Wore Black", and the DVD will include commentary by vocalist Geoff Tate about the original album and concert, which was recorded during the band's tour in 1988.
According to the guitarist's official web site, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN received a special invitation from the members of the Chinese government to be one of the few Western musicians ever to tour the whole of China. After reportedly witnessing the axeman's performance in Hong Kong, the government officials commented that “YNGWIE's music was not like the typical western music they hear, but instead contained complex technique and melodic content which they find lacking in most modern-day Western music”, going as far as to refer to YNGWIE as a "modern-day Mozart with electricity". As a guest of the Chinese government, YNGWIE would be performing both rock shows and Concertos with the Chinese National Orchestra in Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, and many other cities throughout China. More information on this as it becomes available.
NIGHTWISH's recently issued Over The Hills And Far Away mini-CD, which spent three weeks at the number 1 position in the official Finnish Pop Album charts, has been certified gold in the group's native country.
According to vocalist Steve Gaines, the reunited ABBATOIR recorded their recent performance at the Classic Metal Festival in Kalamazoo, Michigan for a special, limited-edition (500 copies) CD release, to be made exclusively available to the visitors of the group's official web site.
Belgium's ANCIENT RITES recently-issued Dim Carcosa CD entered the Dutch indie charts at position #9, ahead of such well-known artists as SPEARHEAD, ORBITAL, AUTECHRE, PENNYWISE, and ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN.
According to CATHEDRAL's official web site, Earache.com has removed the bootleg CATHEDRAL shirts from their stock that the band had previously asked their fans to refrain from purchasing. In other CATHEDRAL news, the previously very rare Alkahest CD from former DEATH SS guitarist Paul Chain, on which CATHEDRAL singer Lee Dorrian makes an appearance on four tracks, is now available for purchase at www.southernlord.com.
Former TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider and his band, the SMFs, will be appearing at the Metal Factory in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on August 10th and at Jannus Landing in St. Petersburg, Florida on August 11th.
BLACKMORE'S NIGHT, featuring former DEEP PURPLE/RAINBOW guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and his “companion” Candice Night, have lined up a few UK shows to promote their upcoming Fires At Midnight CD, which is being released in Germany through SPV/Steamhammer Records today, July 2nd. The tentative dates are as follows:
Sept. 21 – Ayr, UK @ Pavillion
Sept. 23 – Liverpool, UK @ Philharmonic Hall
Sept. 24 – Buxton, UK @ Opera House
Sept. 25 – York, UK @ Opera House
Sept. 27 – Swansea, UK @ Grand Theatre
Sept. 28 - Milton Keynes, UK @ The Stables
Sept. 30 – Reading, UK @ Concert Hall.
According to the band's official web site, the worldwide release of the four DEF LEPPARD DVDs (Historia, In The Round In Your Face, Visualize and Video Archive) has been pushed back until the autumn of 2001. At the moment, the members of DEF LEPPARD are still recording running commentary, to be added to each of the discs. The commentaries will be done by vocalist Joe Elliott (Historia), bassist Rick Savage (In The Round In Your Face), guitarist Phil Collen (Visualize), and Vivian (Video Archive). Furthermore, the promo clips the band shot for the Slang album (for the tracks “Slang”, “Work It Out” and “All I Want Is Everything”) and the Euphoria album (for “Promises” and “Goodbye”) will be added to Video Archive. The discs will be available as a "two-for-the-price-of-one" package: Historia and In The Round are bundled, as are Visualize and Video Archive.
German melodic rockers DEMON DRIVE (formerly known as CASANOVA) have enlisted former Canadian “Metal Queen” Lee Aaron to add her vocals to the band's cover of the SUZI QUATRO classic “She's In Love With You” for the band's upcoming album, Rock And Roll Star, which is currently being mixed by veteran producer Michael Wagener (i.e. ACCEPT, HAMMERFALL, EXTREME, OZZY, etc.).
THE WILDHEARTS will be playing the Out Of Hell Festival at the NK Hall in Tokyo, Japan on July 21st.
The reunited HIRAX will shortly be issuing an eight-song EP entitled Barrage Of Noise, featuring the song “Walk With Death”, for which the band is currently filming a video. The vinyl 10” version of Barrage of Noise will be released on BadMan Records from Czech Republic, Europe. In the meantime, HIRAX is rehearsing and gearing up for their world tour, which is set to begin in the fall.
TRISTANIA have completed work on their forthcoming release World of Glass, which is scheduled to be released through Napalm Records on August 27th. An extensive European tour with VINTERSORG and other as-yet-undisclosed acts is planned for September.
Sweden's SIEBENBÜRGEN will be releasing their Plagued Be Thy Angel CD through Napalm Records during August.
In a brand new posting on his official web site, guitarist Reb Beach has confirmed the recent rumors of his departure from DOKKEN, who are said to be presently working on a new album with former EUROPE guitarist John Norum. According to Beach, “Playing in DOKKEN has been a marvelous opportunity for me, and for personal reasons, I am not playing or writing on their new album. I just got off the phone with [DOKKEN mainman] Don [Dokken], and we had a nice conversation. He is a very funny guy, and I laughed most of the time. We are all still friends. Even though I was only in the band for a few years, I feel like it is the last episode of Cheers. I guess that's because I felt so comfortable playing with those guys. Their music is right up my alley. I learned so much from them! Don taught me to wear my guitar lower and turned me on to bell-bottom jeans, which is all I wear now. I learned a lot of writing and recording techniques from [bassist] Jeff [Pilson] and [drummer] Wild Mick...... Wild Mick is one of my favorite people. He always made it a good time, even when things looked bleak. Just standing next to the guy is a really good time. I have never been challenged to rock so hard, and like ALICE, DOKKEN has been a wonderful platform for me. My deepest gratitude goes out to the many DOKKEN fans who excepted me with open arms, and I will continue to make records that rock, no matter what the line up. From the little I have heard , and knowing Norum's amazing prowess on the guitar, I'm sure you will love the new DOKKEN album.”
SILVERCHAIR have selected producer David Bottrill (i.e. TOOL, PETER GABRIEL, KING CRIMSON) to produce their as-yet-untitled studio album, which is tentatively scheduled to be recorded in Australia beginning in mid-August and released in early 2002 through Atlantic Records. According to SILVERCHAIR mainman Daniel Johns, Bottrill was chosen because "I was looking for someone who wasn't scared of doing something different, which has been harder than I thought. We also wanted someone who didn't necessarily specialize in any specific type of music — just a real 'all-rounder'."
Swedish/German melodic power metal act DIONYSUS, featuring the voice behind guitarist Luca Turilli's solo work Olaf Hayer and ex-SINERGY drummer Ronny Milianowicz, have signed a multi-album deal with AFM Records. The group's as-yet-untitled debut is tentatively scheduled for release in early 2002.
THYRANE will have their Black Harmony mini-CD re-released on July 30th through Spikefarm Records as a double split-CD, also featuring THE DEAD BEGINNERS.
According to www.metal-rules.com, Sweden's DARKANE are scheduled to enter the studio in January 2002 to begin recording the follow-up to Insanity with producer Daniel Bergstrand at Dug Out Productions in Uppsala, Sweden.
NWOBHM legends JAGUAR will be taking the stage at 9:00 PM on Saturday, July 7th at the Headbangers Open Air Festival, which will be held in Elmshorn near Hamburg, Germany. The band are also reportedly planning to visit Hellion Records in Itzehoe on Friday, June 6th for an autograph session.