After a prolonged self-imposed absence, PRONG mastermind Tommy Victor is getting things back in gear with an eye toward releasing a new album in 2002. Currently based in Los Angeles, Victor has been quietly working on new demos over the past few months with the help of several musicians, including DIESEL MACHINE guitarist Pat Lachman and drummer Dan Laudo. Meanwhile, former PRONG rhythm section, Paul Raven and Ted Parsons, have re-teamed for several different projects, including touring activities with UK industrial extremists GODFLESH, recordings with Parsons' former SWANS bandmates Algis Kizys and Norman Westberg in New York, and first and foremost the reunited KILLING JOKE. The latter band whose current line-up includes mainman Jaz Coleman, Geordie, and former NINE INCH NAILS drummer/programmer Chris Vrenna, in addition to Raven and Parsons, have been recording their new album in Los Angeles, Prague, and Morocco. According to Raven, the disc, due out sometime in 2002, promises to be KILLING JOKE's 'most crushing, violent opus yet.' Also on the Raven front, the bassist has joined L.A.'s SOCIETY ONE, who also feature original WHITE ZOMBIE drummer, Ivan DePrume. The band's sophomore release, Exit Through Fear, is currently being recorded at a Los Angeles studio with a release scheduled for early spring. Parsons' side projects include ambient duo DRONE with former MASTERS OF REALITY guitarist Brendon McNichol and New York-based TELEDUBGNOSIS. Samples of both are available at www.tedparsons.com.
STAIND's Break The Cycle CD has been certified quadruple-platinum for sales in excess of four million copies in the US. In other news, STAIND vocalist Aaron Lewis and his wife Vanessa are expecting their first child—a boy that the plan to name Zachary.
Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash joined his ex-G N' R bandmate/bassist Duff McKagan on stage last night at the House Of Blues in West Holywood during the four-stringer's appearance there with his new band LOADED. In related news, former GUNS N' ROSES drummer Matt Sorum is due to issue his solo album, entitled Hollywood Zen, in March. Sorum was reportedly planning on releasing the album earlier, but due to THE CULT's successful tour, Matt has pushed back touring with his own album.
Unofficial reports indicate that Holland's Dynamo Festival will make a re-appearance in 2002 in a town called Weert on May 31st, June 1st and June 2nd. The first confirmed bands for the festival will reportedly be announced in the next couple months.
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD mainman Devin Townsend is said to have completed the writing portion for his next album, which is being described as 'very heavy'. However, contrary to rumors, the upcoming CD will not be a STRAPPING YOUNG LAD record, but may end up getting released under the DEVIN TOWNSEND AND STRAPPING YOUNG LAD banner, although this has not yet been decided. Musically, the album is said to be unlike the previous SYL records and is not considered to be a follow-up to SYL's classic City opus. In other news, Devin will return to Gothenburg, Sweden on December 11th to complete the mixing for the upcoming CD from SOILWORK, which he recently co-produced at Studio Fredman with Fredrik Nordstrom. Also on the Devin front, a possible west coast US tour is in the planning stages for February 2002, but no dates have yet been announced. We will have more information on this as it becomes available.
Speaking of SOILWORK, the Swedish melodic deathsters have announced a couple festival appearances for the next spring/summer, after the release of the group's forthcoming studio opus through Nuclear Blast Records. The confirmed dates so far are as follows:
April 4-7 – Worcester, MA @ New England Metal & Hardcore Fest.
May 18 – Bengtfors, SWE @ Decibel Festival
July 5-7 – Flugplatz, Roitzschjora, GER @ With Full Force Fest.
Other bands scheduled to appear at the With Full Force Festival in Flugplatz, Roitzschjora, Germany on July 5-7 include the following:
PUNGENT STENCH (reunion show)
SUBWAY TO SALLY
LOVE & KILL
Former TESTAMENT/DEATH/OBITUARY guitarist James Murphy needs your help. After being diagnosed with a benign brain tumor back in August, James is presently undergoing treatment in Lakeland, Florida and is in desperate need of donations to help him out with medical expenses. More information can be obtained through Murphy's newly-launched official web site at: http://www.msanthrope.com/jamesmurphy/
San Francisco black metallers DRAGONLORD, featuring TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson, bassist Steve DiGiorgio and drummer Jon Allen, are scheduled to perform the following gigs during December:
Dec. 01 – San Francisco, CA @ The Pound (w/MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE)
Dec. 08 – Anaheim, CA @ The Shack (unconfirmed)
Dec. 09 – West Hollywood, CA @ The Whiskey (unconfirmed)
MARILYN MANSON has revealed via his latest posting on the message board of his official web site that he has been “in the studio every day writing the [upcomng MARILYN MANSON] album, which is very much guitar driven. Some people think when I say beat-oriented that I mean it won't be heavy, but I assure you it will. [Drummer] Joey [Jordison] from SLIPKNOT has worked on a track with me, and I am currently collaborating with Thim Skold (KMFDM, ex-SHOTGUN MESSIAH)…[The fans] are going to love the new record, because it takes no shit from nobody (sic).”
GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna was recently contacted by director Chuck Russell about helping pick the band to appear on the soundtrack for The Scorpion King, the third installment of The Mummy series, which is due out next spring. So far, DISTURBED, SEVENDUST and METHODS OF MAYHEM have agreed to provide tracks for the album, with several others currently being contacted about contributing. According to an MTV News report, the SEVENDUST song likely will be a previously unreleased outtake from their Animosity sessions, while the METHODS OF MAYHEM cut will probably be new as well. Other groups that are presently being approached about appearing on the soundtrack include METALLICA, INCUBUS, A PERFECT CIRCLE, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and STAIND.
Swedish power metal gods NOCTURNAL RITES are due to enter Dug-Out Studios in Uppsala, Sweden with producer Daniel Bergstrand (i.e. STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, STUCK MOJO, MESHUGGAH) later this month to begin recording their as-yet-untitled brand new CD, which is tentatively due to be released through Century Media Records in the spring. Among the song titles that are set to appear on the effort are:
04. Faceless God
BLAZE, led by former IRON MAIDEN/WOLFSBANE vocalist Blaze Bayley, will reportedly play the following dates in Brazil in late January:
Jan 25 – Curitiba, BRA @ TBA
Jan. 26 - São Paulo, BRA @ TBA
BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's upcoming CD, entitled Deathcore War Machine Eternal, will be released In Japan on February 17th and everywhere else on February 19th. The Japanese edition will contain an as-yet-undisclosed bonus track.
BLIND GUARDIAN frontman Hansi Kursch will be interviewed by Dr. Metal from Metal Meltdown Online on Wednesday, November 21st. More information can be obtained via this location.
ENDO have reportedly written 11 new songs for their forthcoming CD, which they hope to begin recording shortly for release sometime in 2002.
FOO FIGHTERS will be going up to New York in the next few days to shoot a video for their new song called 'The One', on which they will once again be collaborating with with director Jesse Peretz, who did the 'Big Me' and 'Learn To Fly' clips with the band. According to mainman Dave Grohl, the video will be just as hilarious as the other two they have worked on with Jesse.
Finnish black metal band FUNERIS NOCTURNUM have issued their Slay and Burn demo on CD, also featuring a cover of MANOWAR's “Wheels of Fire”, a cover of BARATHRUM's “Last Day In Heaven” and a video for the track “I Abhor Thee”.
Former Canadian “metal queen” LEE AARON will be embarking on a Canadian tour in December with fellow veteran hard rockers HELIX. Confirmed dates so far are as follows:
Dec. 11 - Calgary, AB @ The Back Alley
Dec. 13 - Lac La Biche, AB @ the Lac La Biche Inn
Dec. 14 - Edmonton, AB @ King's Knight Pub
Dec. 15 - Edmonton, AB @ King's Knight Pub
MOONSPELL will play the following FNAC showcases in their native Portugal during late November:
Nov. 24 – Cascais, POR @ FNAC de Cascais
Nov. 25 – Colombo, POR @ FNAC do Colombo
According to www.rockreunion.com, former DEUCE / TENSION / WARDOG mainman Tom Gattis has changed the name of his new band from AFTERBURN to BALLISTIC. For more information, visit www.gattismetal.com.
Detroit-based progressive rockers TILES have begun work on the material for their upcoming studio CD, which is tentatively due to be issued through Inside Out Records in mid-2002. According to guitarist Chris Herin, “everything started well and we all seem to be into creating something challenging & unique. The songs are: (4) in the 4 to 5 minute range, (1) at 9-minutes, (1) at 17-minutes, and (1) at 23-minutes (broken into 4 sections). This adds up to almost 70 minutes not including various interludes & segues we seem to have laying around. I'm not sure what will happen as [vocalist] Paul [Rarick] is adamant against having more than 60 minutes on the disc...'
The long-awaited NTSC version of NIGHTWISH's DVD From Wishes To Eternity will be released by The Foundry / PHD Canada in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico at the end of November or early December.
CEMETARY 1213, the Swedish band led by former SUNDOWN mainman Mathias Lodmalm, has pushed back the release of their “farewell” online EP, entitled 1213 Eternal, to April/May. According to Lodmalm, “[I've been] throwing some ideas around for the online release, better turn out good, right.... Digging through all that old junk, gets the mind going. Any chance of it coming around this year can easily be put to rest. Realistically it should be available late April / May next year. Can't deal with all that stress anymore so being my own boss on this one.. I'm chillin' and making sure that when it comes out, it comes out right!”
Former RAINBOW keyboardist David Rosenthal will be going back out on tour with Billy Joel and Elton John in 2002.
Season Of Mist Records have inked a deal with the acclaimed German gothic metal act PENUMBRA and will issue the group's latest studio effort in April 2002.