EXXPLORER Parts Ways With Guitarist, Announces Replacement

Guitarist Ed LaVolpe has left reactivated New Jersey metallers EXXPLORER and has been replaced by original "Symphonies of Steel" (1985) axeman Kevin Kennedy. The lineup continues otherwise unchanged, with Lennie Rizzo on vocals, Mike Sakowski on drums, Jay McCaffery on bass, and Kevin Kennedy and Fred Gorhau on guitars.

EXXPLORER is currently writing and recording a new album for a mid-2010 release.

EXXPLORER was formed over 25 years ago in West Keansburg, New Jersey. The band's first album, "Symphonies of Steel", has been "recognized for well over 20 years as one of the most innovative heavy metal albums of all time," according to the group's official bio. "The LP topped the charts in several countries for overall import sales, and appeared at the top of hundreds of radio play lists throughout Europe, and in many then-still-communist countries. During this period of time, EXXPLORER continued to be one of the tri-state area's favorite heavy metal bands, appearing in concert with an elaborate stage show, and the powerful momentum generated from their European success."

EXXPLORER's second album, "A Recipe for Power", was released in 1994. Although a long time had passed between the first and second albums, the fans loved "A Recipe for Power" for its blend of Eighties progressive power metal and an up-to-date Nineties feel. These were the songs that the band honed during the period of time when they were going through numerous management and personal trials.

Soon after the release of "A Recipe for Power", EXXPLORER had major personnel changes. Vocalist Lennie Rizzo, bassist Jimmy Gardner, and guitarist Kevin Kennedy left the band for personal reasons. Jay MaCaffrey took over as the new bassist, Barry Hocking Jr. took control of vocals, and Fred Gorhau took over as the new guitarist. The new lineup spent 1997 recording "Coldblackugly" with producer Bruce Buchanan. Due to creative and directional differences, this version of the band split in 1999.


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