BLAZE, the band fronted by former IRON MAIDEN/WOLFSBANE singer Blaze Bayley, has parted ways its longtime manager Neil Marklew. Neil's statement on the matter reads as follows:
"Firstly, my apologies for the lack of news this year, but, to be honest there has been nothing to report due to the band deciding to 'take a year out.'
"However, the time has come for me to inform you that I will be standing down as manager of the band.
"This is primarily due to the fact that I have had several health issues to deal with this year. As some of you may know, I received a kidney transplant some 11 years ago.
"Until this year this has been deemed as successful but during the past 12 months I have seen an ongoing substantial increase in my blood pressure and a deficiency in the working of the transplanted kidney.
"In July this year I underwent surgery to try and rectify this and whilst early indications show a marked improvement it has become obvious to me that I now must stand aside as the Manager of the band and concentrate fully on my health.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me during my time as manager and whilst this is a painful decision for me to take, I feel that it is best for both me and the band. I wish the band all the best for the future."
BLAZE is currently working on material for its fourth album, tentatively due in early 2007. The band's most recent release, "Blood & Belief", was issued in Europe in April 2004. The follow-up to 2002's "Tenth Dimension" was recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, England with producer Andy Sneap (NEVERMORE, EXODUS, ARCH ENEMY).