EUROPE Record Japanese Shows For Live CD

Reunited Swedish hard rockers EUROPE recorded three of the gigs on their recent Japanese tour for a live CD, tentatively due before the end of the year. In addition, the band "are still dealing with different companies" regarding the release of their live DVD, which was filmed on November 15, 2004 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. "Nothing's signed yet, but will be pretty soon!" drummer Ian Haugland writes on the group's web site.

EUROPE are continuing to tour in support of "Start from the Dark", the group's first collection of new material since 1991's "Prisoners In Paradise". EUROPE guitarist John Norum will release his new solo album, entitled "Optimus", on February 23 via Mascot Records. The album was produced by John, who is also responsible for all the vocals. Ricard "Hux Flux" Nettermalm, from the Swedish bands PAATOS and BUCKSPONY, laid down all the drums, while the bass tracks were handled by Thomas Torberg. Guest musicians on the CD include keyboardist Mats Lindfors and guitarist Fredrik Åkesson (TALISMAN, KRUX). A posting on the Mascot web site describes the album as "truly great melodic hard rock/metal with plenty of guitar and a massive sound."

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