NEWS ARCHIVE 2002

NEWS ARCHIVE 2002

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31 December 2002

IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain and ex-ANTHRAX guitarist Dan Spitz have formed a new project together. The musical direction will be very heavy although no more details are available. The project will also be joined by ex-MEGADETH David Ellefson on bass guitar.

30 December 2002

CULT-band HAVE MERCY has finally found a Metal Maniac that made a very nice website off them!! If you want to visit it: click here!. Hope they will reunite some day!!! For people that don't know the band: they sound a bit like (old) AGENT STEEL, LETHAL, HELSTAR and/or FORBIDDEN.

30 December 2002

STRATOVARIUS -boss Timo Tolkki seems to have been infected with the Lars Ulrich-syndrome. Upon his discovery that the new Strato-album is already on the internet, Tolkki announced a witchhunt against everyone who has made the files available. Tolkki: "I have contacted our lawyer and the internet department of the Helsinki police. I already have in my possession some ip-numbers and there’s more to come. We have obtained a list of journalists who have received the promo copy. We will find those people who did this and they will face a courtcase for sure." To make sure his message is clear, Tolki added: "Don’t download unless you don’t wanna get into trouble. We have means to find out these things. If you think that you have the right to download copyrighted Stratovarius material you are wrong. In that case I don’t want you as a fan."

30 December 2002

A lifelong bachelor, MOTÖRHEAD legend Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister revealed during a recent interview with Britain's Observer that he has been involved in a serious relationship with a Los Angeles-based woman for the past several years. However, don't expect the singer to tie the knot anytime soon.
"I've been going out with this one girl for six years," Lemmy said. "Am I in love? I'm in serious like, you know what I mean? I don't know if love exists, not the kind that keeps. I think love's an infatuation that turns into a habit, because you can't keep that passion going. You get used to people, and that's death for me — I like to be surprised. Like that song of mine, 'The Chase is Better Than the Catch', right? Always.
"If you take a girl to a party at least five other women — absolutely wonderful - will be looking at you across the room and brushing by you. Go on your own, there's 26 geezers, three ugly birds and no booze."

27 December 2002

Canadian thrash pioneers EXCITER have announced the addition of vocalist Rob Degroot to the group's ranks. Degroot replaces Jacques Belanger, who left the band last year. Guitarist John Ricci told online that "[Rob's] vocals are similar in style to Rob Halford ... real strong high vocal stuff. He can perform great renditions of the EXCITER classics!" The band are still auditioning bass players to replace the recently-departed Marc Charron and have begun writing new material for a record that may appear late next year through Osmose Productions.

27 December 2002

The next release of VADER will be a mini CD featuring bonus tracks recorded at the sessions for "Revelation", plus a couple of new songs. The mini CD will be released in the Fall while the band will also release a DVD available only in Poland through Metal Mind. The new studio album of the band will not be released until 2004. In the meantime the band will do some extensive touring through 2003 all over the world.

27 December 2002

EIDOLON are working on their new studio album. Here's an update: “We have begun to record the follow-up to the Coma Nation record, which will be called "Apostles Of Defiance". We have 75 minutes of material, though not all of the material will be on the record - 1-2 songs will be put away for the 2004 record - we just came up with more than enough material this time. The release date is slated for September, 2003, through Metal Blade/ Skyscraper music. We are taking our time with this record, as we really want to make sure everything is just the way we want it to be, and not be pressured by time restraint's or things of that nature. We have evolved with each record, and we want to make sure this continues. We refuse to become stagnant musically. We always try to better ourselves with each record and this will continue with Apostles Of Defiance. We will continue to make Eidolon a more recognized name in the realm of Heavy Metal. In the sea of metal bands that currently exist right now, it certainly isn't an easy task, believe me. But like a bad rash, we wont go away!

27 December 2002

MOTÖRHEAD, QUEENSRŸCHE, URIAH HEEP, SQUEALER and TWINBALL are the latest artists confirmed to appear at the 12th annual SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL, scheduled to take place Jun. 6-8, 2003 in Sölvesborg, Sweden.
The complete list of acts currently set to perform at the event is as follows:
TWISTED SISTER
MOTÖRHEAD
QUEENSRŸCHE
URIAH HEEP
BLIND GUARDIAN
JETHRO TULL
Y&T
KROKUS
BUDGIE
KAMELOT
PEER GÜNT
SONATA ARCTICA
TANKARD
SQUEALER
TWINBALL

An additional 36 bands (!) will be announced in the coming weeks.

27 December 2002

Reunited Florida metallers NASTY SAVAGE will issue a six-song EP containing early demo tracks and newly-recorded compositions on Feb. 18, 2003 through Crook'd Records.
"Wage Of Mayhem" will contain the four tracks from the group's 1983 demo of the same name, plus two brand new tracks, recorded in 2002.Two of the four original demos — "Witches Sabbath" and "Savage Desire" — have never been released before, while "XXX" and "Unchained Angel" are much different than the re-recorded versions.
The two new songs — "Sardonic Mosaic" and "Wage of Mayhem" — were laid down by the lineup that recorded the group's final full-length release, 1989's "Penetration Point" — "Nasty" Ronnie Galetti (vocals), Ben Meyer (guitar), David Austin (guitar), Richard Bateman (bass), and Curtis Beeson (drums) — at Tampa's Red Room studios with engineer Mark Praeter.
NASTY SAVAGE are currently writing material for a new full-length album, due in late 2003.

23 December 2002

'Souvenirs' will officially be released by THE GATHERING's own independent Psychonaut Records. The first release of 'Souvenirs' will be February 24th in the following countries: Benelux / France / Spain /Portugal / GAS / Greece / UK / Italy. The second release for 'Souvenirs' will be March 12th in the following countries: USA / Mexico / Argentina / Chile / Brazil /Scandinavia / Eastern Europe.
The official release covers 10 tracks and will also include the songs 'A life all mine' with Trickster G. (Ulver). March 18th The Gathering will start an extensive European tour and will visit the following countries: France / Spain / Portugal / Germany / Austria / Italy / Czech Republic / Switzerland. May 2003 the band will tour The Netherlands and Belgium

23 December 2002

The long awaited new GORDIAN KNOT album, "Emergent", will surface on Jan. 14, 2003 through Sensory Records. GORDIAN KNOT is the project of former CYNIC and current OSI (ORCHESTRA OF STRATEGIC INFLUENCE) bassist Sean Malone. "Emergent", the project's second album, will feature guest appearances by Bill Bruford (YES, KING CRIMSON), Jason Gobel (ex-CYNIC), Steve Hackett (GENESIS), Jim Matheos (OSI, FATES WARNING), Paul Masvidal (ex-CYNIC) and Sean Reinert (ex-CYNIC).
Playing with these musicians is something Sean describes as "simply incredible." Regarding Bruford's participation, Sean says: "Bill Bruford is one of the most original, creative, and influential musicians in the genre. I grew up listening to YES and KING CRIMSON, and now to collaborate with him is something almost beyond description. I'm not embarrassed to admit that as I reflect on our recording sessions, there's always some sense of disbelief. While recording, he described the music on this disc as 'the kind of music our fans wish KING CRIMSON would write, only we haven't gotten around to it.' I'm grateful he thought enough of the music to participate."

19 December 2002

MOTÖRHEAD drummer Mikkey Dee is set to join Swedish eurodance star E-TYPE on tour in January and February, Swedish newspaper GT has reported. E-TYPE has been one of the country's most successful artists over the past decade, with record sales in the million range. E-TYPE (real name Martin Eriksson) himself was a metal drummer in the Eighties, playing with the thrash/power metal combo HEXENHAUS. Now he has decided to return to his roots by turning his eurodance songs into thundering heavy metal numbers and performing them live. Enter Mikkey Dee.

19 December 2002

NUCLEAR ASSAULT have commenced the songwriting process for their next studio album, tentatively due in late 2003/early 2004.
"We are in the process of writing new material, and I can tell you that it's definitely in the style of the old stuff," bassist Danny Lilker said in an official press release. "Once again speaking for myself, I think the metal scene NEEDS an injection of classic thrash metal 'cos I've had enough of people thinking LINKIN PARK is metal. We'll have to show these youngsters how metal is really played!"
In the meantime, the group — comprised of Lilker, vocalist/guitarist John Connelly, guitarist Erik Burke, and drummer Glenn Evans — will release a live album, titled "Alive Again", through Screaming Ferret Wreckords. "We will soon be releasing our new live album, so people can see for themselves that we still have it!" Lilker explained. "I know a lot of thrash bands seem to be reuniting and some people are wondering 'Can these guys in their late 30s still hack it?' The answer is undoubtedly yes!"

19 December 2002

Holland's WITHIN TEMPTATION have signed a deal with G.U.N. Records.
The group's most recent album, "Mother Earth" — which has been certified platinum in Holland and gold in Belgium — will be re-released on Jan. 27, 2003 and will include four bonus tracks and a new cover.
WITHIN TEMPTATION, who released their first-ever live DVD on Nov. 22, will be supporting PARADISE LOST on part of their upcoming European tour.

17 December 2002

Legendary '80s Californian act BITCH, fronted by Betsy "Bitch" Weiss, have reunited and will make their European live debut at the 2003 edition of BANG YOUR HEAD FESTIVAL on Jun. 27-28, 2003 in Balingen, Germany.
"Back in the Eighties, Betsy Weiss [became] known as 'Pat Benatar's evil twin' and sang herself into metal's hall of fame with her (back then) quite unusual and provocative S&M image and recordings like 'Be My Slave' or 'The Bitch Is Back'," reads an official Bang Your Head newsletter.
Also newly confirmed to appear at the event is ex-IMPELLITTERI singer ROB ROCK, who is currently working on his second solo album, due in early 2003.

17 December 2002

IRON MAIDEN and METALLICA will team up for a "MONSTERS OF ROCK" concert in the Netherlands sometime in June/July 2003. IRON MAIDEN's new CD is not expected to arrive until later in the year, at which point Steve Harris and co. will embark on a proper European tour in support of the upcoming effort. Both groups have also been confirmed for next year's Roskilde Festival, scheduled to take place Jun. 26-29, 2003 in Roskilde, Denmark.

17 December 2002

HALFORD producer/co-writer Roy Z (TRIBE OF GYPSIES, BRUCE DICKINSON, ROB ROCK) will fill in on second guitar for the band's upcoming 2003 world tour as the replacement for Patrick Lachman, who announced his split from the group last week. Roy is not expected to become a permanent member of HALFORD, who will resume the auditioning process for a full-time replacement once the upcoming touring commitments have been fulfilled.

17 December 2002

WHITESNAKE have finalized and confirmed their 2003 touring lineup. It is as follows:

Vocals - David Coverdale
Drums - Tommy Aldridge (OZZY OSBOURNE, THIN LIZZY)
Guitar - Doug Aldrich (DIO, LION, BURNING RAIN)
Guitar - Reb Beach (WINGER, ALICE COOPER, DOKKEN)
Bass - Marco Mendoza (TED NUGENT, THIN LIZZY)
Keyboards - Timothy Drury (EAGLES, DON HENLEY)

The band will make their live debut as part of a three-band North American package — also featuring THE SCORPIONS and DOKKEN — beginning in late January. European dates will follow in the spring.

15 December 2002

STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's Jed Simon has turned down an offer to fill the vacant guitarist slot in DARK ANGEL following the departure of founding member Jim Durkin. Although he had originally agreed to join the Los Angeles thrashers in their reunion bid, Simon has apparently had a change of heart — the reasons for which he says were multi-fold.
"It fucking kills me to say this, especially since DFA [DARK FUCKIN' ANGEL] is a major reason I do what I do...but...I am NOT joining DARK ANGEL! "Here are my reasons:

01. No time...with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD/ZIMMERS HOLE and the recording of my other project TENET coming up, I can't, and wouldn't, do it justice.

02. Jim IS DARK ANGEL, and although it would be an honor to fill his shoes even for one fucking song ('Death Of Innocence'!), I just can't...

03. I don't want to be involved in ANY politics that may or may not be going on...period.

"I wish these guys [the founding members of DARK ANGEL] could fix whatever it is that needs to be fixed, and do it for the love of what they created together...or just walk away content with the knowledge that they inspired many...including myself. So, reunion or not, they will always have a special place in my heart. And hey, I can jam DFA riffs any fucking day of the week with [DARK ANGEL/STRAPPING YOUNG LAD drummer] Gene [Hoglan]!! How cool is that??!!

15 December 2002

Rumors are continuing to circulate about a possible EUROPE reunion, with all the members of the group having publicly expressed interest in exploring the option at some point in the not-too-distant future. However, for the time being, at least, those plans have been put on hold as frontman Joey Tempest continues to promote his recently-released third solo album, which has been receiving positive reviews.

15 December 2002

Guitarist Patrick Lachman has left HALFORD in order to commit himself fully to his band DIESEL MACHINE.
The following is frontman Rob Halford's official statement on Lachman's departure:
"Last month, November 2002, Pat Lachman notified all of us at HALFORD Central that he had decided now was the time to commit himself fully to his band DIESEL MACHINE. Further, he wanted to focus on collaborations with several other musical contemporaries this coming year. Therefore, he would be unavailable for the forthcoming HALFORD tours.

15 December 2002

Vocalist Rick Mythiasin has spoken out about his decision to leave STEEL PROPHET and concentrate completely on his German/American band TARAXACUM
In an interview posted on the TARAXACUM web site, Mythiasin revealed his reasons for exiting his previous band on the eve of the release of their latest CD, "Unseen".

"To make a long story short, I quit STEEL PROPHET 'cause I wanted to be myself, and have more creative input," the singer explained. "I was restricted, didn't like being held back. To me, the songwriting was really boring. [guitarist] Steve [Kachinsky] didn't let the other musicians in the band have a crack at writing. Even if we did write he would make the final arrangement, so it was never a group effort. We just grew tired of working with each other. The creative spark died the minute he started telling me how to sing. Let's set the story straight. He is running around telling everyone how I was fired from STEEL PROPHET. The fact is I quit. He is still trying to be in control. He's really upset that I quit on my own terms and that he didn't get the chance to fire me like I know he wanted to. Now I can focus all my energy on TARAXACUM. There is team work! I get a say-so. It's cool working with German musicians. You know, it won't be long until I get on their nerves too."

15 December 2002

Akron, Ohio-based WINTERS BANE — best known as the former home of current JUDAS PRIEST frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens — have tapped Alexander Koch (POWERGOD, SPIRAL TOWER) as their new singer.
Commented founder/guitarist Lou St. Paul: "I haven't been this excited about a vocalist since Tim Owens joined [WINTERS BANE] in 1991."
The group are currently working on the as-yet-untitled follow-up to 1997's "Girth", due sometime next year.

12 December 2002

John Cyriis (Ex- AGENT STEEL singer) is in a new band, named STELLAR SEED, and has a CD/Live single called ''The Godz of Man''. A clip of the song can be heard on the Official band web site: www.stellarseed.com

12 December 2002

AC/DC has signed a multi-album record deal with Sony Music. Besides new future releases on Sony’s Epic label the record company now also owns the rights of the entire AC/DC back-catalogue, including classics like Back In Black, Live' 92, High Voltage, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap and Highway To Hell. The aforementioned titles will be re-released in the beginning of 2003, while the rest will be re-released later that year. All re-releases will have the original artwork, but also new pics, new liner notes and interactive possibilities in combination with Internet.

10 December 2002

Reunited Bay Area thrashers EXODUS have delayed the recording of their new studio album until early next year.
The as-yet-untitled effort — the group's first studio CD since 1992's "Force of Habit" — was originally scheduled to be recorded during November at Sonic Ranch studios (formerly Village Productions) in Tornillo, Texas with producer Andy Sneap (NEVERMORE, ARCH ENEMY, MACHINE HEAD, SKINLAB). However, the songwriting process took longer than expected, eventually forcing the recording dates to be pushed back.

10 December 2002

DEATH ANGEL have officially reunited as a full-fledged band and have announced plans to write and record a new album, due sometime in late 2003/early 2004.
"A couple nights ago, we had a meeting at a place in my neighborhood called Julie's Supper Club. We really dug deep to see what we all thought of DEATH ANGEL and where we wanted to take it. In the end we decided that we are officially back as a full-on band," "We begin writing for the new album in January 2003.

10 December 2002

Reunited Los Angeles thrashers DARK ANGEL have announced the addition of bassist Danyael to the group's ranks.
In other news: STRAPPING YOUNG LAD guitarist Jed Simon has been tapped to join the reunited DARK ANGEL on their upcoming West Coast tour and subsequent European festival appearances.
Simon, a thrash metal veteran whose pre-SYL recording history includes work with such underground acts as CAUSTIC THOUGHT and ARMOROS, replaces founding member Jim Durkin, who was recently dismissed from the group due to scheduling conflicts.

10 December 2002

Veteran German power metallers PARADOX have rejoined forces with guitarist Kai Pasemann and have now parted ways with bassist Oliver Holzwarth (SIEGES EVEN) and drummer Alex Holzwarth (RHAPSODY, ANGRA, SIEGES EVEN, AVANTASIA). According to the group's official web site, "the process which led to this decision has taken many months, as you know, but now we are definitely back to rock! We will try not to comment on the matter and there is no need to — we'd rather look into the future and proudly present the good news:
"Stefan Schwarzmann will play drums for PARADOX! You might know him as drummer of the berlin-based band SKEW SISKIN or as former drummer of U.D.O., ACCEPT and RUNNING WILD. One of his first bands was the speed-metal band CRONOS TITAN, in which Kai also played.
"We have also asked a former member of PARADOX to play bass on the upcoming album and to join the band. Armin Donderer has played with the band for some time in the early eighties until he left Germany to study bass in Los Angeles. Armin is ready to rock, so we have the main problems solved...

7 December 2002

Reunited San Francisco Bay Area metallers DEATH ANGEL will participate in the upcoming NO MERCY / EASTER FESTIVALS 2003 European tour. Also scheduled to appear on the trek are TESTAMENT, MARDUK, DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, PRO-PAIN, MALEVOLENT CREATION, DARKANE, and CALLENISH CIRCLE.

7 December 2002

The new album of SOILWORK is well under way. The band will enter the studio on December 16th to start recording the new songs and if everything turns out well the new album will see the light of day on April 2003 through Nuclear Blast. The band will use two studios and two producers. Recording of guitars and keyboards will take place at Queenstreet Recording in Helsingborg with producer Fredrik Nordstrom while the drums will be recorded at Dug-Out Recording in Uppsala with Daniel Bergstrand. According to the band the songs will sound a lot like "Natural Born Chaos" but with better choruses.

7 December 2002

NARNIA guitarist Christian Rivel is just about to release his solo album called "A Life I Have Been Given To Live". It includes covers on tunes written by Pelle Karlsson, Jerusalem, Roland Utbult as well as classic tunes like Bridge Over Trouble Waters.

7 December 2002

According to Metal Rules:MOTÖRHEAD drummer Mikkey Dee has slammed fellow Swedens HAMMERFALL for "acting like rock stars" and "completely ripping off" bands like HELLOWEEN, IRON MAIDEN and KING DIAMOND in order to attain their current level of success. Speaking to Metal Rules, Dee stated, "Look at a band like HAMMERFALL and shit. They're going through the roof. When kids come up to me and say 'IRON MAIDEN, they're almost as good as HAMMERFALL,' there's something wrong, you know? I saw two kids with IRON MAIDEN shirts in Stockholm when me and Lemmy were there doing press, and I was sitting in the lobby waiting to get to the airport, and I saw two eleven-year-olds with IRON MAIDEN t-shirts and I said, 'Yeah, that's a great band you've got there,' and they said, 'Yeah, they're almost as good as HAMMERFALL, they sound exactly the same.' [laughter] Then you realize there's something wrong here, you know. It's not a shit band, but it's incredible that they can hit the way they did.
[HAMMERFALL vocalist] Joacim [Cans] and [guitarist] Oscar [Dronjak], they can suck my cock. Because they really think they're god's gift to the planet, and I used to say don't shit on the ladder because you're going to climb on it on the way back.
They pissed me off too much, let's say two years ago, by being rock stars. I've done this now for 22 years, around the world, and I'm no fucking rock star, I'm a normal guy, and I have a million friends around the world. They did a couple of fucking club shows and they were being the biggest rock stars you've ever seen in Gothenburg. It pissed me off because they were treating me almost the same way, and I said you should kiss my ass instead of throwing me out of the dressing room, you know?

5 December 2002

Angela Gossow of ARCH ENEMY is preparing a book about women in extreme music. As Angela said "This book will be written by women for women, based on hard facts, tips and interviews. There will be no gossip and pin up posters".

5 December 2002

The new album of CHILDREN OF BODOM, titled “Hatecrew Deathroll”, is now finished and will be released in Finland on January 7th. The rest of the world will still have to hold it’s breath until March.

3 December 2002

Veteran German power metallers HELLOWEEN are utilizing the services of MOTÖRHEAD drummer Mikkey Dee during the recording sessions for their as-yet-untitled new album after regular skinsman Mark Cross (ex-METALIUM) was struck "by the malicious (EBV) Epstein-Barr virus also known as Mononucleosis" this past September, according to the band's official web site. "[Mark will] need at least 4-5 months of recovering," continued the band's statement. "The symptoms of this virus are very dangerous and can leave serious marks in your health. It first destroys your entire immune system and leaves you no energy. Therefore Mark is still is too weak to do any kind of intense activities at the moment and strictly needs to rest by the doctor's orders.
We all agreed on having MOTÖRHEAD's Mikkey Dee as the replacement for the recordings only! To avoid possible rumors, Mark Cross remains the drummer in HELLOWEEN and we're looking forward for the tour next year."

3 December 2002

HALFORD guitarist Metal Mike Chlasciak has announced the formation of PAIN MUSEUM, a new powerhouse metal band featuring vocalist Tim Clayborne, current HALFORD drummer Bobby Jarzombek and long time Metal Mike collaborator Steve Booke on bass. The band will tour and record around the HALFORD schedule.
PAIN MUSEUM's debut CD will build on the style of HALFORD's groundbreaking "Resurrection" CD, laced with melodic crushing riffs and over the top metal vocals. The new CD is being produced by Metal Mike and will be completed by spring 2003.

3 December 2002

Again some German Metal Festival news: ASSASSIN, the reunited German thrash act that released a couple of promising albums in the late '80s via the SPV label (1987's "The Upcoming Terror" and 1988's "Interstellar Experience"), have been officially confirmed to appear at next year's installment of WACKEN OPEN AIR festival.
The event, which is scheduled to take place Jul. 31-Aug. 2, 2003 in Wacken, Germany, will include performances from the following artists, among others:
DARK ANGEL
DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER
EXTREME NOISE TERROR
GAMMA RAY
ICED EARTH
MALEVOLENT CREATION
NILE
PRIMAL FEAR
RAGE
STRATOVARIUS
THE ALMIGHTY PUNCHDRUNK
VADER
RUNNING WILD


3 December 2002

Some German Metal Festival news: The reunited TWISTED SISTER have now been officially confirmed to headline the 2003 edition of BANG YOUR HEAD FESTIVAL, scheduled to take place Jun. 27-28, 2003 in Balingen, Germany. The complete list of artists currently set to perform at the event is as follows:
TWISTED SISTER
SODOM
U.D.O
OVERKILL
ANNIHILATOR
DOKKEN
PINK CREAM 69
AXXIS
BRAINSTORM
HYPOCRISY
AMON AMARTH
ANGEL WITCH


29 November 2002

DESTRUCTION are preparing a DVD and a new album. Here's an update from the band: “We'll go in the studio around March/April 2003. The release date should be September 2003. We will produce ourselves this time. No more compromises! Peter Tägtgren did a great job on The Antichrist, but we have to move on, look for a new challenge! I love Peter and we surely will work together again one day. The DVD should be ready at the end of next year. We wanna take our time with that. We already have a lot of bits and pieces from all over the world

29 November 2002

KREATOR 's upcoming live CD, "Live Kreation (Revisioned Glory)" , is scheduled to be mixed by producer Andy Sneap during December for an early 2003 release through SPV Records. According to the group's official web site, the accompanying booklet will contain 36 pages with photos from the last tour and a "quite brutal" painting by Andreas Marshall.

27 November 2002

The ongoing legal action between the original members of the band SAXON has finally resulted in a Judgement regarding the trademark.
Guitarist Graham Oliver and bassist Steve Dawson, now performing as Oliver/Dawson Saxon, have won the action brought against them by vocalist Biff Byford regarding the trademark to the name Saxon. Byford tried to have the trademark invalidated on the grounds of Passing Off and Bad Faith, however the court found against him on both counts. Oliver and Dawson were represented in the case by the manager of Oliver/Dawson Saxon, Rupert Withers, who despite having no legal qualifications, believed in the situation and acted as a litigant in person on their behalf. The result of this case means that the trademark Saxon is still owned by Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson. It proves that contrary to certain propaganda stories in the press, Oliver/Dawson Saxon have a legitimate claim to use the name.
The timing on the judgment is good, with Oliver/Dawson Saxon having just finished a very successful UK tour with DIO, and with 2003 being the 25th anniversary of Saxon. Oliver/Dawson Saxon intend to continue working hard and will be touring and recording again next year. However this does not mean that Oliver/Dawson Saxon will be changing their name back to Saxon. As Oliver and Dawson have maintained throughout the case, Saxon is the band made up of the original 5 members, and as such they are not attempting to confuse or mislead the fans into thinking that they are the same band. Oliver/Dawson Saxon's new live DVD Rock has Landed is coincidentally released this week by Angel Air Records.

27 November 2002

SUPARED is a new band featuring: Michael Kiske (Vox, EX - Helloween), Sandro Giampietro (Guitar), Aldo Harms (Bass ) and Jürgen Spiegel on Drums.

27 November 2002

JUDAS PRIEST have once again strongly denied reports that they’re about to get back with former vocalist Rob Halford. The latest rumours have suggested a tour featuring both Halford and current singer Ripper Owens, or an album and tour with Halford. Both are said to be totally wrong.

26 November 2002

VOIVOD — vocalist Snake (a.k.a. Denis Belanger), guitarist Piggy (a.k.a. Denis D'Amour), drummer Away (a.k.a. Michel Langevin), and Jasonic (a.k.a. ex-METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted) — are three days away from having completed the mixing process for the group's new album, "The Multiverse", at Sausalito, California's The Plant studios.

The band, who recently withdrew from a North American trek featuring NILE, NAPALM DEATH, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, and THE BERZERKER in order to focus on completing the new CD, have reportedly scheduled a Dec. 19 mastering date in New York City for the album, which is set to surface on Mar. 4, 2003 through Newsted's own Chophouse label (in association with Surfdog Records).

26 November 2002

WATCHTOWER guitarist Ron Jarzombek has completed work on his latest solo CD, "Solitarily Speaking Of Theoretical Confinement", for a Dec. 10 release through EclecticElectric Records.
"What's rather surprising (to me anyways) is how the CD materialized, and how close the CD's final outcome is compared to how I had envisioned it over a year ago," Jarzombek wrote about the album on his official web site. "The contrast between heaviness/aggressiveness (lots) to soft/calm (a little), the humor, character, musical styles other than 'progressive rock/metal', solos (lots), production, graphics, etc... I'm sure that lots of artists have a vision in mind when they first come up with an idea or concept for a CD, movie, painting, etc. but what is finally produced in the end is far different from their very first, original plan. I think just about the only thing I didn't quite achieve with this CD was (of course) the length of time that it took for it to become a reality. From the inception of the idea to release date I was shooting for 8-9 months, and at the very latest, one full year. I missed it by a few months. But hey, at least I'll have a release out this year! Barely!!!
"This is obviously a 'guitar-dominant' CD," Jarzombek continued. "However, this is not a shred-fest with simple progressions or heavy riffing in the background. I would like to think that compositions and concepts are far more vital than all of the solos (by the way, there are over 20 solos). Anyone who is into hidden meanings or messages in music will surely get a kick out of this CD. Rather than having lyrics or a visual, the music was written by itself, to itself, and for itself. If that makes any sense. The only thing accompanying this music should be the liner notes explaining what's happening theoretically within the music."

With regards to the long-awaited new album from WATCHTOWER, entitled "Mathematics", Ron has confirmed that things are moving along at a very slow pace, with no set release date in sight.
"WATCHTOWER is going extremely slow," he said. "Mostly because the four of us already had hectic schedules when we decided to squeeze TOWER into full-time jobs, part-time jobs, teaching, gigging, family, and whatever else came up. It's not an excuse, just reality. Honestly, I think we should have just played the Bang Your Head festival in 2000 and left it at that. But we've had the material written for 'Mathematics' for over a year now, and it will be killer when we finally do record the CD. And about a release date, don't even ask. I have no idea..."

26 November 2002

Reunited San Francisco Bay Area thrashers VIO-LENCE are tentatively due to enter the studio in February to begin recording their new album for a late spring/early summer release.
The as-yet-untitled effort will likely surface through a new label entity formed by former EXODUS manager Toni Isabella and one-time Capitol Records A&R executive Rachel Matthews (who signed EXODUS and RIGOR MORTIS to the label back in the late '80s).
"I've got ideas for five [new] songs. Just need to structure them out and add a few 'VIO' twists then I'll sit down with [singer] Sean [Killian] and add some words," guitarist Phil Demmel wrote on the band's official web site. "The new stuff is definitely in the vein [of our first album, 'Eternal Nightmare'], but with more arpeggiated riffs. In playing with the three bands [VIO-LENCE, TECHNOCRACY and MACHINE HEAD) these past seven months or so, I've been able to put in quite a bit of practice time. Expect a ton of riffs and tempo changes (nothing too progressive) and some crazy double bass."
Also planned for release through the same label are a live CD and DVD from the group, recorded last Dec. 14 at Slim's in San Francisco, as well as a reissue of "Eternal Nightmare", featuring bonus cuts not found on the original version.
The live album and the "Eternal Nightmare" reissue are likely to arrive sometime during the first quarter of 2003, according to Demmel, while the DVD is expected a short time later.

21 November 2002

Once-promising North Carolina metallers CONFESSOR have regrouped and their branch-off group, FLY MACHINE, have ceased to exist. The reformed CONFESSOR reportedly features all of the original members except for guitarist Ivan Colon, who passed away last year. In the beginning of 2003, Earache Records will release a CONFESSOR compilation made up of the album "Condemned", the CONFESSOR EP and some live tracks recorded at London's Astoria on the Gods Of Grind Tour. The band will also record a new demo in the next few months that will be shopped to labels. Some US tour dates are being scheduled for next year.

21 November 2002

Reunited hard rockers LEATHERWOLF will be re-releasing their first three CDs with bonus tracks on each CD. "If anyone comes across other re-issued CDs like the ones under Wolfpack Music, these are bootlegs so please don't buy them!" the band write on their official web site. "These bootlegs also sound like cheap copies taken from our original CDs. The new releases that will be coming out soon will be remastered. They will sound awesome and with new unreleased bonus tracks! Stay tuned!"

21 November 2002

MERCYFUL FATE guitarist Hank Shermann has teamed up with KING DIAMOND bassist Hal Patino and MERCYFUL FATE drummer Bjarne T. Holm in a new project. The group, which is presently unnamed, is due to record a new demo shortly at the Danish studio owned and operated by KONKHRA mainman Anders Lundemark (who will also produce the effort). No further information is available at this time.

21 November 2002

SLAYER have set Feb. 11, 2003 as the release date of their upcoming DVD, titled "War At The Warfield".
Recorded at San Francisco's The Warfield on Dec. 7, 2001 during the band's "God Hates The World" tour, "War At The Warfield" marks one of the last live appearances with the group of drummer Paul Bostaph, who announced his departure from the band shortly before Christmas 2001 due to a "chronic elbow injury." Bostaph has since joined San Francisco Bay Area metallers SYSTEMATIC, who are currently recording their sophomore album, titled "Pleasure To Burn", for an early 2003 release through Elektra Records.

21 November 2002

Y&T's forthcoming live album will be released in Japan on January 29th, 2003 through Avex Records.

21 November 2002

ANNIHILATOR have inked a three album deal with AFM Records. Says leader Jeff Waters: "Here we go guys and gals! Finally a North American release on the way for Waking The Fury, Double Live Annihilation AND the next Annihilator studio CD in 2003! AFM will be releasing Double Live Annihilation in Europe in early 2003 as well as the next three studio CD's worldwide!"

21 November 2002

CRUSTACEAN just signed a deal with the Cold Blood Industries label. The band’s second album (their first for CBI) is entitled ‘Insaniac’ and is scheduled for a February 2003 release. Crustacean has also found a new guitarist, Ferry Damen, who replaced Richard Schouten. For more info, surf to http://www.crustacean.com.

19 November 2002

MASTERPLAN, the new band featuring ex-HELLOWEEN guitarist Roland Grapow, ex-HELLOWEEN drummer Uli Kusch and former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN/ARK singer Jorn Lande, will issue their self-titled debut album one week earlier than previously announced. The Andy Sneap-produced effort will now surface on Jan. 20, 2003 through AFM Records.

19 November 2002

Despite the tragic passing of CONTROL DENIED mainman Chuck Schuldiner (founder of the seminal death metal outfit DEATH) in December 2001, the surviving members of the band — bassist Steve DiGiorgio, vocalist Tim Aymar, guitarist Shannon Hamm, and drummer Richard Christy — will regroup early next year to complete work on the act's long-awaited sophomore effort, tentatively entitled "When Machine and Man Collide".
"I know you're all concerned that the new CONTROL DENIED album won't happen but the legal problems had to be taken care of first, including the legalities connected with Chuck's will," Jane Schuldiner, Chuck's mother, wrote on DEATH's official web site. "Now things are clearing up and after the first of the year things should start coming together. That's the most important thing in our lives at this time, making sure that we honor Chuck's request that this album be released.
According to previously published reports, the drums and most of the guitar parts have already been laid down (Hamm is believed to have only "a few touch-ups" left to do), and DiGiorgio and Aymar are waiting to record their parts, after which the album will be mixed and mastered. As Steve himself indicated in his touching tribute to Chuck, "it's sad beyond belief that [Chuck] never saw [the album] to its completion. We will try our best to finish it in his honor, but will never know if it lives up to his standards. That's the least we can do for someone who gave so much and cared so much about what he did and how it affected those who believed as well."

18 November 2002

BEEHLER, the band formed by ex-EXCITER Drummer/Singer Dan Beehler and Bass-player Allan Johnson has launched their official website. On this website you can (for example) listen to fragments of their latest Demo. The band is still searching for a record label. Labels that are interested can contact the band. Visit my LINKS section for their website adress.

18 November 2002

Due to undisclosed "circumstances," ARCH ENEMY have been forced to postpone the first leg of their European tour, namely the Scandinavian dates (Sweden & Denmark), to January 2003. The first European show will now take place in Eindhoven, Holland on Nov. 29.

18 November 2002

THE ALMIGHTY PUNCHDRUNK, featuring STRAPPING YOUNG LAD/DARK ANGEL drummer Gene Hoglan, are the latest act to have been officially confirmed for next year's installment of WACKEN OPEN AIR festival, which is scheduled to take place between Jul. 31 and Aug. 2, 2003 in Wacken, Germany. Also set to appear at the event are ICED EARTH, GAMMA RAY, STRATOVARIUS, and DARK ANGEL. Among the other groups rumored to have secured slots at next year's festival are SINNER, PRIMAL FEAR and ANGEL WITCH.

13 November 2002

ABATTOIR are currently mixing their new album, "Evil Incarnate". The band commented: "It's only taken 20 months, three false starts at three different studios, etc. etc. But we are in the final stages. We have played some of the songs for a few people, and the reaction has been very positive. We have been told that it has the complete Vicious Attack vibe, but with a proper recording. That is exactly what we set out to do. Barring any unforeseen changes, the track listing on the CD will be as follows: 'Baptism', 'Evil Incarnate', 'Off', 'Twisted Hands Of Darkness', 'Broken Mental Decimation', 'The Marching', 'Kill, Destroy, Erase', 'Sheep', 'Vicious Return ', 'Everybody Dies', 'Process Elimination', 'Feast Upon The Flesh', 'The Rage That Is Reborn and 'Survive In The Fire'

13 November 2002

NUCLEAR ASSAULT will commence a world tour in 2003 to support "Alive Again" with confirmed dates in the U.S from end of January until late March. Planning a tour of Texas and the West Coast between January 22nd and February 8th. Among the cities the tour will hit are Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Ana, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. In addition, the band is planning to do several Northeast dates as a warm-up for the tour. April through late spring 2003 we will see the band returning to European shores on the "No Mercy/Easter Festivals 2003 " packaged with TESTAMENT, DARKANE, MARDUK and PRO-PAIN.

12 November 2002

ARK Split With JORN LANDE !!!
ARK, who feature in their ranks ex-CONCEPTION guitarist Tore Østby, former MALMSTEEN drummer John Macaluso, and ex-MALMSTEEN bassist Randy Coven, have reportedly parted ways with former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN/current MASTERPLAN vocalist Jorn Lande. In addition, the group are said to have split with Inside Out Records and are currently seeking a new record deal. ARK, who recently entered Area 51 Studios in Celle, Germany to begin recording their new album with producer Tommy Newton (HELLOWEEN, VICTORY), are now believed to have put the sessions on hold while they seek out a suitable replacement for Lande.

10 November 2002

CELTIC FROST have begun the initial part of the recording sessions for the group's long-awaited new album, tentatively titled "Probe".
As has been anticipated by a variety of sources, the group currently consists of the classic "To Mega Therion" and "Into the Pandemonium"-era line-up of Reed St. Mark (drums/percussion), Martin Eric Ain (bass/vocals), and Tom Gabriel Fischer (voice/guitars/keyboards), along with Fischer's long-time songwriting partner and co-founder of APOLLYON SUN, guitarist/producer Erol Unala.
After initial meetings with the original members of CELTIC FROST in Zurich and New York in summer of 2000, Unala became an increasingly integral and important part of the re-envisioned CELTIC FROST in the course of the subsequent extended development and songwriting sessions. In fact, it is said that Unala and Ain have written some of the forthcoming album's most unusual pieces so far. It is expected that a number of guests will also participate on the album before the conclusion of the recordings (at present tentatively scheduled for early 2003).
Both Ain and Fischer describe the album as "dark, risky, adventurous, strange, and heavy in a variety of ways". A summer 2003 release through an as-yet-undisclosed label is expected.

10 November 2002

WATCHTOWER frontman Jason McMaster has posted the following update on the status of the band's long-awaited new CD, "Mathematics".
"Attention... Since we have released the information about WATCHTOWER releasing an ALL NEW CD... 'Mathematics' .. people will not leave it alone. They won't let WATCHTOWER sleep... I receive emails everyday from hardcore WATCHTOWER fans, living and breathing the arrival of 'Mathematics'..... a release long awaited of course. The revival has definitely started with the reformation of the almost original line up, and the reunion at Bang Your Head / Balingen Germany July 1 2000.
"I am sorry to give you no new information on 'Mathematics'. It is only the mention of the word 'Mathematics' that has thrown fans into a frenzy for new material from WATCHTOWER. We apologize sincerely for possible premature mention and 'coming soon' tactics for the release of this seemingly 'legendary before its own time' release from WATCHTOWER. It's not happening any faster.
"The best thing about this mess, is that we know how much WATCHTOWER might mean to some of you, and this is very pleasing. Please do not give up, but do not expect months to be the clock, it has been years and might take years to complete 'Mathematics'.
"Accept this as a letter of intent, intentions are as said, to complete and release this CD, but not in due time. "Keep the faith, defend the faith. Jason"

10 November 2002

Canadian thrashers EXCITER have parted ways with bassist Marc Charron, who left the band to pursue his career in the high tech industry. A new bass player is auditioning for the vacant spot later this week.

10 November 2002

Long-defunct Dutch hard rockers VANDENBERG have reportedly reformed with a new lineup featuring original guitarist Adrian Vandenberg (ex-WHITESNAKE) and singer Bert Heerink. No further information is available at this time.

6 November 2002

AGENT STEEL has posted three brand new audio clips from the group's forthcoming CD, "Order Of The Illuminati - Agent Steel 4", via its official web site (see LINKS).
The cuts available for preview are as follows:
01. Avenger
02. Earth Under Lucifer
03. Human Bullet
"Order Of The Illuminati - Agent Steel 4" is tentatively scheduled for release in early 2003 through World War III Records.

6 November 2002

Veteran heavy rockers RIOT are set to begin work on their next studio album in late December for a spring 2003 release through Metal Blade Records.

6 November 2002

Long-running Florida death metallers DEICIDE have signed a worldwide recording agreement with Earache Records.

6 November 2002

WITHIN TEMPTATION has announced plans to release its first-ever live DVD on Nov. 22. Dubbed "WITHIN TEMPTATION: Mother Earth Tour", the DVD will contain a full live concert as well as a unique backstage documentary, a "Making of..." of the album "Mother Earth" and its cover sleeve, interviews with the band, the music videos for "The Dance", "Ice Queen" and "Mother Earth", plus an acoustic version of "Ice Queen" with violins. The three-hour DVD will be accompanied by a 16-page booklet with "spectacular" photos and a free live CD featuring the band's entire performance at Lowlands in August of this year.

6 November 2002

ZZ TOP are being forced to tour Europe without drummer Frank Beard, who is recovering from an operation connected with his appendix. His place on the tour has been taken by John Douglas. It’s the first time the famed Texan trio have ever toured without one of their founder-members.

6 November 2002

Milwaukee's own Beer City Records is proud to announce the official signing of legendary D.R.I. Beer City will be reissuing the band's back catalog in CD enhanced form beginning with The Dirty Rotten LP/CD. The disc will include songs from their 1983 demo sessions and two radio interviews from 1982 where the band can be heard playing songs from their first bedroom recorded demo as well as live songs from one of the band's first gigs ever. The enhanced portion of the CD will contain a video of the band's CBGB's show in 1984, a photo album/scrap book from 1982-1984 and a screen saver. The band's later releases will also be reissued and will contain bonus tracks and video footage as well. D.R.I. will release a brand new CD sometime next year.

6 November 2002

GOD DETHRONED have finished the recordings of their fifth studio-cd, Into The Lungs Of Hell. When quizzed about the subject, guitarist Jens had the following to say about the subject. “We’ve finished the recordings. Eight songs have been captured on tape. Some songtitles: ‘Into The Lungs Of Hell’, ‘The War Cult’, ‘The Gods Of Terror’. The songs are a lot heavier than the songs on the previous cd’s, with more mid-tempo parts. The typical God Dethroned-sound remains intact, despite the choice for a different studio.” Last week the band returned to the studio in Malmö to add the finishing touches and do the final mix.

6 November 2002

Atmospheric metallers THE GATHERING have posted an update on the status of the band: "Dear people, We are all proud to announce the birth of our new full length album Souvenirs (still a working title, but still number 1 in our album title rat race) which will be out somewhere in February 2003. We are still mixing right now, and expect to go mastering soon. Because we all think this is a very important album, we take the time. Our apologies for all delays. Tracklisting and mp3 excerpts from songs coming soon! - Hans".

6 November 2002

Florida death metal band DIABOLIC has parted ways with guitarist Jerry Mortellaro and has replaced him with Eric Hersemann of Chicago's LORD BLASPHEMER. "Eric is an extremely talented professional that will complement perfectly the new solidified DIABOLIC line-up," said guitarist Brian Malone. The revamped group — also featuring COFFIN TEXTS frontman Robert Cardenas — will tour together for the first time during the European Vengeance Tour, slated to begin in November. DIABOLIC will then proceed to begin pre-production for their fourth full-length studio recording, due in early 2003.

6 November 2002

The new FEAR FACTORY, featuring all bar guitarist Dino Cazares from the last line-up, have recorded four tracks for possible inclusion on a new album. These are ‘Slave Labor’, ‘Corporate Cloning’, ‘Archetype’ and ‘Bite The Hand That Feeds’. So far there no confirmation on which label would release any record.

6 November 2002

DVS will re-release the debut CD of HEAVEN'S CRY "Food For Thought Substitute" around June 2003. The band will re-mix and re-master the whole stuff, new artwork will be made and they probably will add 1 or 2 bonus tracks to the album, to make it different from the original release. Besides this DVS and Heaven's Cry made already some plans for the third release from the band for early 2004.

30 October 2002

DESTRUCTION bass player Schmier broke his hand recently in an accident. The band was forced to cancel their UK dates. Here's the official announcement: “This situation really sucks! I feel terrible! The plaster on my hand is far too big - it gives me a hard time to handle my fucking bass. I did play with the broken hand for one week in the States, this didn't help. I need my fingers and can not risk any further complications. It was broken for already two weeks before I went to see a doc, I thought it wasn't that bad but... I know it is my own fault, but sometimes things drive you crazy and you lose control! I am sorry for that situation and we will try to find a solution ASAP. We have waited for so fucking long to finally come back to the UK, I would hate my guts more than anybody else if those shows won't happen. How did the injury happen? Oh no you don't wanna know... CHEERS to all the dedicated fans out there - YOU RULE!”

30 October 2002

SINERGY has slammed as "false" a report on a popular Finnish web portal implying that guitarist Alexi Laiho has left the group after allegedly missing the band's performance at Mystic Festival in Katowice, Poland this past Saturday (Oct. 26).
"Alexi was there in Poland with us, where the fuck do they get this shit from?" responded SINERGY frontwoman Kimberly Goss when confronted with the report.
Laiho has just completed work on a new CD with CHILDREN OF BODOM (in which he plays guitar and sings)

30 October 2002

Former ANTHRAX frontman Neil Turbin has set Jan. 16, 2003 as the release date through Metal Mayhem Music of his long-awaited solo debut, entitled "Threatcon Delta".
According to an official press release, "Threatcon Delta" is "a dynamic metal album that combines ultra-heavy old-school thrash, speed, groove, powerful vocals and melodies that you would expect from someone who spent two years in ANTHRAX."
Among the featured guests on the CD are guitarists Mitch Perry (MSG, HEAVEN, TALAS), Kurt James (DR. MASTERMIND, DRIVER, STEELER, BLACK SHEEP), keyboardist Claude Schnell (DIO, ROUGH CUTT, HUGHES/THRALL), and bassist Sandy Vasquez (BLOODLUST).

26 October 2002

Houston’s James Rivera has recently relocated to Tampa, Florida, the death metal capital of the U.S., which has opened the doors to a multitude of projects. He has just successfully completed recording the new SEVEN WITCHES album Passage to the Other Side, due to be released in February 2003 on Sanctuary Records. In addition to Rivera, Seven Witches consists of Jack Frost (Savatage), Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning, Engine) and Brian Craig (Destiny’s End).
Furthermore, Rivera has joined Jack Owen and Paul Mazurkiewicz of Cannibal Corpse, on their project PATH OF MAN, which will be picked up by Metal Blade. He has also been asked to consider projects with other top notch musicians Richard Christy (Death, Incantation, Iced Earth) and James Murphy (Disincarnate, Testament, Death, Malevolent Creation).

26 October 2002

Sweden's NOCTURNAL RITES and WOLF have been announced as the support acts on the forthcoming SAXON "Heavy Metal Thunder Tour 2003" headlining tour of Europe.

Confirmed dates are as follows:
Jan. 17 - Halle Gartlage – Osnabrück, GER
Jan. 18 - 013 – Tilburg, NETH
Jan. 19 - Turbinenhalle – Oberhausen, GER
Jan. 20 - Babylon – München, GER
Jan. 21 - Löwensaal – Nürnberg, GER
Jan. 22 - Hugenottenhalle - Neu-Isenburg, GER
Jan. 23 - Z7 – Pratteln, SWI
Jan. 24 - Elysee Montmatre – Paris, FRA
Jan. 25 - Ancienne Belgique – Brussels, BEL
Jan. 26 - Astoria – London, UK

26 October 2002

MASTERPLAN , the new band featuring ex-HELLOWEEN guitarist Roland Grapow, ex-HELLOWEEN drummer Uli Kusch and former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN singer Jorn Lande, have launched their official web site (see LINKS section). Currently, most sections of the site are still under construction, but it is expected that the site will be fully operational soon. Meanwhile, some of the first official pictures of the band have been posted, as well as new tour dates for the group's upcoming tour with HAMMERFALL.

26 October 2002

VOIVOD are currently recording their new album, "The Multiverse", at The Plant studios in Sausalito, California for a tentative March 4, 2003 release through Chophouse (in association with Surfdog Records).

26 October 2002

ARK, who feature in their ranks former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN/current MASTERPLAN vocalist Jorn Lande, ex-CONCEPTION guitarist Tore Østby, former MALMSTEEN drummer John Macaluso, and ex-MALMSTEEN bassist Randy Coven, have entered Area 51 Studios in Celle, Germany to begin recording their new album with producer Tommy Newton (HELLOWEEN, VICTORY).

26 October 2002

CHASTAIN are in the final stages of recording their first CD since 1997's "In Dementia". As yet untitled, the band's eighth release will feature vocalist Kate French, guitarist David T. Chastain, and original VICIOUS RUMORS members Larry Howe (drums) and Dave Starr (bass).

26 October 2002

GORGUTS mainman Luc Lemay has issued an official statement regarding the untimely passing of drummer Steve MacDonald, who hung himself last week after battling depression for the past few years. It is as follows:
"It's with great sadness that I write these words for you, Steve, my acolyte, my accomplice, my friend. Your talent hit me the first time that I heard you play. Your talent can resume you. It's also that talent that fed my musical flame for almost a decade.
"We both lived great experiences and magical were the moments when we've put our sense of creation together. Steve Cloutier and myself will always keep a great memory of you close in our hearts… how great a musician you were.
"May your soul rest in peace… We will miss you. Luc Lemay"

26 October 2002

Former SKUNK ANANSIE guitarist Ace is shortly to release his first solo album, ‘Still Hungry?’, through Snapper. The album includes guest appearances from the likes of Lemmy, Benji (Skindred), Yap (One Minute Silence) and JJ Burnel (Stranglers

26 October 2002

JUDAS PRIEST are to release yet another live album in January. Called ‘Live In London’, it was recorded last December at the band’s Brixton Academy show, which was recently issued on DVD.
However, there will be tracks included on the CD that weren’t featured on the DVD.



26 October 2002

The new ICED EARTH album will be called “The Glorious Burden”. Jon Schaffer has finished 14 songs, most of which will end up on the record. The leftovers will be used for the upcomming Demons & Wizards cd, which will be released after the Iced Earth-cd. The band is close to inking a recorddeal, which will probably happen in the next four weeks.

26 October 2002

Neal Morse and SPOCK'S BEARD have parted ways. Here's the official announcement: "At this time we are officially announcing that Neal Morse will no longer be touring or recording with Spock's Beard. He has decided to put all his energy and focus on his spiritual path. We love and support Neal and wish him well in whatever he decides to do. It has been a privilege sharing the stage and studio with him all these years. We will miss him both personally and professionally. We had a lot of great times together. The Mighty Beard will go on! We must Rock! We love this music and will keep on writing, recording, and performing it for you. We will be recording a new album in the next few months with a worldwide tour to follow. We appreciate the love and support of our fans over the years and hope you will continue to support us going forward. We will continue to perform your favorite SB songs, as well as our new material, in our live shows. See you all soon on the road!" Neal Morse made his own statement: "Dear fans and friends of Spock's Beard, I'm sorry to say that the rumors are true, I am leaving Spock's Beard for parts unknown. I feel that God wants me to do something else, and I'm not sure why exactly, but it's a feeling I've had for a while. I've been hoping it would change, but it hasn't, and so I'm quitting. I want you all to know that I've given it careful consideration, thought and prayer, and it's with great sadness that I make this announcement. The band is going on and I fully love and support them and I hope you will too. Thanks to you all for making our dreams come true. My family and I wish you all the best."

26 October 2002

Brazilian legends SEPULTURA have signed a deal with SPV. Spring 2003 brings a new Sepultura studio album, which will be released by SPV in Europe. The band will also release a covers EP before the end of the year, titled "Revolusongs".

26 October 2002

OVERKILL are working really hard lately. The band has entered the studio in order to record their new studio album, which is scheduled for March 2003. The album is produced by Colin Richardson. They are also finishing their first ever DVD, titled "Wrecking Everything - An Evening In Asbury Park" which will see the light of day on November 19th.

26 October 2002

News from the AGENT STEEL website: We have some disappointing news to announce. We’ve have been re-recording tracks to our long over due album. Due to technical difficulties we lost data- actual tracks (our hard drive crashed!). But no worries, Bernie has been putting in long hours on the enginnering duties and we are glad to report the intricacies have been repaired (this should only set us back about a month). The selective Live West Coast dates we are planning are being rescheduled for December. Regarding our European tour it has been postponed for 2003. Our priority is getting this recording mixed and released. (It should be finished by December).

11 October 2002

ANGEL WITCH bassist/TYGERS OF PAN TANG frontman Richie Wicks has joined Britain's SHADOWKEEP as the group's new lead vocalist. This development follows the amicable departure of Rogue M. Vox, who will now be pursuing his own projects. The band are currently working on tour arrangements in support of their new album, A Chaos Theory, which is available in Europe through the LMP label. The album is due for release in the USA on November 26th, with distribution via Navarre Corporation.

11 October 2002

New York hardcore heavyweights MADBALL have reunited and will perform their first comeback show at Krome in South Amboy, New Jersey, USA on Friday, December 6th.

11 October 2002

Vocalist Johan Lindstrand has officially rejoined Sweden's THE CROWN as the group's new permanent singer. Here is what the man himself had to say about it:
"Alright planet earth!!!! This is Johan Lindstrand speaking… I'm very proud to say that I'm back in THE CROWN. This time with full fuckin' force. My commitment and dedication is 110%, and I'm very excited about the future of the band. I have already rehearsed on a couple of new songs and they fuckin' blew me away. Really awesome. It feels great to scream with the band again, and I'm looking forward to see you on the road, so what I wanna say is: THE CROWN HAS RETURNED!!!!!"

11 October 2002

The reunited Los Angeles thrashers DARK ANGEL MORBID ANGEL and DARK ANGEL are among the acts rumored to fill the co-headlining slot on the forthcoming No Mercy/Easter Festivals 2003 European tour, which is set to include appearances by TESTAMENT, MARDUK, PRO-PAIN, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER, MALEVOLENT CREATION, GRAVEWORM, CALLENISH CIRCLE and ARKHON INFAUSTUS.

11 October 2002

VOIVOD have set The Multiverse as the title of their 13th studio album, which is scheduled to be recorded and mixed at The Plant in Sausalito, CA from October 13 through November 13, 2002.
Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted has officially confirmed his role as the group's latest addition alongside original VOIVOD vocalist Snake (a.k.a. Denis Belanger), guitarist Piggy (a.k.a. Denis D'Amour), and drummer Away (a.k.a. Michel Langevin). Jasonic (Newsted's new given moniker) will also serve as producer for the metal legends' upcoming release on the Chophouse Records label (in association with Surfdog Records).
Longtime friends and pioneers of metal music, the four musicians first began working together at Newsted's Chophouse studio in 1995, intent on keeping the music alive between busy touring schedules. However, with his recent departure from METALLICA in January 2001, Newsted was free to work on a myriad of projects, which could now be more than just hobbies.
Commented Newsted: "Those who know VOIVOD respect VOIVOD around the globe! This is the new beginning for all of us. We're the same age, raised on the same music. We've been through a lot of similar situations. All four of us are having such a good time writing our metal music together, in one room — bashing it out, it's real again!!"
The Multiverse is tentatively due to be issued on March 4th, 2003.

9 October 2002

The reunited Los Angeles thrashers DARK ANGEL have launched their official web site at :
  • www.thebiitch.com


  • Guitarist Eric Meyer on the site says: "I want to take a second and give a huge 'THANK YOU' to all of the 'Legions of Darkness' ut there. It was your relentless enthusiasm that has kept the DARK ANGEL memory alive and kicking... YOU brought us back together after 10 fucking years!!!!!! We're booking tour dates now, and I can't wait to see all of you crazy mutherfuckers again!!!"

    9 October 2002

    MOTÖRHEAD 's Lemmy Kilmister will publish his long-awaited autobiography, White Line Fever, via Simon & Schuster in late October/early November.
    The 320-page book will be unveiled via several book signings in Europe, including an appearance at HMV on Oxford Street in London, England on October 18th.

    9 October 2002

    KING DIAMOND is preparing his new album, titled "The Puppet Master" and here's what he had to say: “The rules of censorship are being thrown out the window as this is going to be the rawest story/album we have ever done. If you are into horror, you’re definitely going to get it with this album!”

    9 October 2002

    FLOTSAM AND JETSAM are still looking for a singer. Here's an update from their drummer: "Wish I was writing to say that A.K. was over his long break, but this is not the case. He is fully into his country project and actually has good reason to feel like it may go somewhere, cuz apparently he is getting serious interest. As far as the rest of us, we are still looking at all options including new singers. But of course we are not going to settle for anything less than total pro. James Rivera did a great job on the last tour, but now he is in SEVEN WITCHES, and we need a permanent guy. We were just offered to tour with Krokus believe it or not ... yes they are still around, and we actually would like to do it, so we are looking closely at a few guys who may be able to grow quickly into the part. Once again, if you know a guy who is the real deal, then email me (flojet@mindspring.com) with a phone number and I will make contact. Time is of the essence."

    5 October 2002

    SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo expressed his interest in contributing to a new album to Metal Webzine BW&BK: “There is going to be a (Slayer) record. There will be a record. . . if they come up with music.
    I’m hoping they can come up with some music as soon as possible. . . You never know, if they take a year or two years, will I still be interested? You never know.
    I don’t know what is going to happen in that time frame. I’m hoping that they grasp the moment and run with it. You know, let’s do it.”

    5 October 2002

    WHITESNAKE are planning a tour for 2003, with North American dates tentatively scheduled to begin in February. Band leader/frontman David Coverdale himself announced the news with this message on his official web site: ... WHITESNAKE will tour in 2003!!!"
    As a way of getting people warmed up to the idea, Coverdale has posted a few videos from WHITESNAKE's earlier days, including "Love Hunter", "Would I Lie To You", "Don't Break My Heart Again", "Slow An' Easy", "Love Ain't No Stranger", and a live performance of 1989's "Sailing Ships" from the Starkers In Tokyo album.
    Coverdale has yet to announce the lineup of musicians that will accompany him on tour, but is expecting to do so by year's end.

    5 October 2002

    TESTAMENT, MORBID ANGEL, MARDUK, NUCLEAR ASSAULT and PRO-PAIN are rumored to be teaming up for next year's No Mercy Festival tour, which is tentatively scheduled to kick off on April 8th in London, England.

    The following dates are tentative and have yet to be officially confirmed:
    Apr. 08 – London, UK @ TBA
    Apr. 09 – Paris, FRA @ TBA
    Apr. 10 – Essen, GER @ TBA
    Apr. 11 – Leipzig, GER @ TBA
    Apr. 12 – Vienna, AUT @ TBA
    Apr. 13 – Wels, AUT @ TBA
    Apr. 14 – Pratteln, SWI @ TBA
    Apr. 15 – Milano, ITA @ TBA
    Apr. 16 – Munchen, GER @ TBA
    Apr. 17 – Berlin, GER @ TBA
    Apr. 18 – Ludwigsburg, GER @ TBA
    Apr. 19 – Strasbourg, FRA @ TBA
    Apr. 20 – Antwerpen, BEL @ TBA
    Apr. 21 – Tilburg, NETH @ TBA

    5 October 2002

    CANDLEMASS will record their new album with the original line up, featuring Messiah Marcolin on vocals. According to the band the new material will be even heavier than their first albums.

    5 October 2002

    The new album of EVERGREY is well under way. The band is in the studio working on the album, which is titled "Recreation Day". The album is produced by Andy La Roque, the King Diamond guitarist.

    5 October 2002

    Benicia, California-based EATMYFUK, featuring Chris Reifert (drums/vocals, ex-DEATH/AUTOPSY), Danny Coralles (guitar, ex-AUTOPSY), and Joe Allen (bass, ex-VON), have uploaded their DrunkSexPunkRock five-song demo via MP3.com.

    The songs available for download are as follows:
    01. Drink and Bleed
    02. Kneel Before My Cock
    03. Wet Slit and a Bottle of Whiskey
    04. Horny Fuckin' Slut
    05. Destroy the Factory

    The band, whose musical direction is being described as "total GG ALLIN-inspired sleazy raw punk rock," will shortly issue a new CD via Bestial Onslaught Records. The same recording will apparently be made available on LP via Nuclear War Now! Productions.

    5 October 2002

    Jason Newsted has officially joined VOIVOD on bass. The band will enter the studio in October to record their 13th album, which is scheduled for a March 4th release. There are rumors that Jason will also join the band for the tour.

    5 October 2002

    THE GATHERING's new full length album is in progress! Within a couple of weeks the mastering phase will start. The band streamlined the album into a 10 track full length, a mere 50 minutes of music.

    5 October 2002

    NEVERMORE plan to enter the studio with producer Andy Sneap later this year to record “Enemies Of Reality”. An early 2003 release is anticipated, and will include the following songs: "The Story Of Our End," "Who Decides," "The Song Of The Solemn One," "Enemies Of Reality," "Psychotic Intellectual Narcotic," "Tomorrow Turned Into Yesterday," and "Abomination."

    1 October 2002

    Former JUDAS PRIEST drummer Les Binks, who was in the band between 1977 and 1979 and who co-wrote the PRIEST classic "Beyond the Realms of Death", has reportedly joined a British cover band called THE SHAKERS, also featuring in its ranks ex-ALICE COOPER/THE ALMIGHTY guitarist Pete Friesen.
    Les played on the PRIEST albums Stained Class, Killing Machine and Unleashed In The East and is widely recognized as one of the best drummers PRIEST ever had.

    29 September 2002

    HOBBS ANGEL OF DEATH , once described as Australia's answer to SLAYER, have reformed under the leadership of guitarist/vocalist Peter Hobbs and are said to be writing material for the follow-up to the group's 1996 Inheritance CD, due sometime in 2003. The band, who recently supported MAYHEM on their Australian tour, are believed to be currently unsigned.

    29 September 2002

    Former STEEL PROPHET and current TARAXACUM / NEW EDEN vocalist Rick Mythiasin broke his leg while performing a handstand at a park in Los Angeles recently. According to an official statement, "[Rick] got the idea of trying to do a handstand on one of the many picnic tables [while walking with his two dogs through a park in Los Angeles]. Unfortunately, [the table] was wet, and Rick slid off, which caused him a complicated three-time break in his upper leg." Now the bone has to be fixed externally with several metal pins coming out of his right leg, which are held together by metal slides. "It's bizarre," stated Mythiasin. "I'm looking like Terminator!!!" Despite Rick's injury, the singer is sticking to his plans to come to Germany in November for about two months to put the finishing touches on the new TARAXACUM material. TARAXACUM's as-yet-untitled second album is tentatively scheduled to be released in early/mid 2003 through MTM-Metal Records.

    29 September 2002

    MASTERPLAN , the new band featuring ex-HELLOWEEN guitarist Roland Grapow, ex-HELLOWEEN drummer Uli Kusch and former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN singer Jorn Lande, have parted ways with keyboardist Janne Wirman, who was unable to commit himself to the group due to his involvement with CHILDREN OF BODOM. Replacing him in the band is Axel Mackenrott, who has previously played in various cover acts.

    29 September 2002

    AGENT STEEL are continuing work on the follow-up to Omega Conspiracy, tentatively entitled :Order of the Illuminati/Agent Steel Vol. 4", for an early 2003 release.
    The full track listing for the effort is as follows:
    01. Avenger
    02. Dead Eyes
    03. Earth Under Lucifer
    04. Enslaved
    05. Forever Black
    06. Human Bullet
    07. Insurrection
    08. 10 Fists Of Nation
    09. Final Dawn (instrumetal)
    10. A Death That Lasts Forever
    11. Hole In The Sky (bonus track)

    29 September 2002

    ANNIHILATOR have set Double Live Annihilation as the title of their forthcoming double live CD, which is tentatively scheduled for release in Europe in January. The group's first official live release since the '89/'90 recordings for In Command (Live 1989-1990), Double Live Annihilation was recorded in Europe in June and features the following track listing:

    01. Murder
    02. Ultra Motion
    03. The Box
    04. Denied
    05. The Blackest Day
    06. King Of The Kill
    07. Torn Lunatic Asylum
    08. Set The World On Fire
    09. I Am In Command
    10. Refresh The Demon
    11. Syn. Kill 1
    12. Never, Neverland
    13. Striker
    14. Bliss
    15. Phantasmagoria
    16. Crystal Ann
    17. Alison Hell
    18. Shallow Grave

    29 September 2002

    Casey Orr (Beefcake the Mighty) and Zack Blair (Flattus Maximus) of GWAR have parted ways with the band - both were motivated by a desire to make music closer to their homes in Dallas and are playing in a new band called The Burden Brothers - Todd "T" Evans (Lazy American Workers) has been brought on board to fill the role of Beefcake and taking over as Flattus is Cory Smoot

    26 September 2002

    BEEHLER , featuring Dan Beehler (ex-EXCITER - vocals, drums), Allan Johnson (ex-EXCITER - bass), Scott Walsh (guitar) and Sean Brophy (guitar), have finished recording their first demo and are set to mix it in the next week. According to the band the new material "sounds more like an album than a demo".

    26 September 2002

    The all-star lineup of SEVEN WITCHES has begun rehearsals for Passage To The Other Side, the debut with singer, James Rivera (Helstar/Destiny's End) . On September 20, the band returns to Lafayette Studio, site of Xiled To Infinity And One.

    26 September 2002

    Former ANTHRAX frontman Neil Turbin has reportedly pushed back the release of his debut solo album, entitled Threatcon Delta, to December 2002/January 2003 through Metal Mayhem Records. According to AMSTERDAM guitarist Ronnie Borchert, who makes a guest appearance on the album, the CD "really shreds. People out there will dig it."

    26 September 2002

    Dutch death metallers GOD DETHRONED have changed the projected title of their ne album to Into The Lungs Of Hell from the previously-announced The Universal Slavedriver. The album will be recorded during October at Berno studio in Sweden and will be "another masterpiece of brutal but melodic death metal," according to an official statement from the group. "The band is very confident to beat the predecessors and is looking forward to their first recordings outside their home country." A January 2003 release through Metal Blade Records is expected.

    26 September 2002

    MASTERPLAN, the new band featuring ex-HELLOWEEN guitarist Roland Grapow, ex-HELLOWEEN drummer Uli Kusch and former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN singer Jorn Lande, will issue a five-song EP, entitled Enlighten Me, on November 18th through Germany's AFM Records. The maxi single will contain two different versions of the title song, "Kind Hearted Light" (another track from the upcoming album), "Through Thick And Thin" (a non-album track) and a cover of LED ZEPPELIN's "Black Dog" (non-album track). The group's self-titled full-length album will follow on January 27th and will be released as a special limited edition double-CD featuring a video clip for "Enlighten Me" and a 30-minute interview with the band.
    In other news, MASTERPLAN will be supporting HAMMERFALL throughout Europe in January/February 2003.

    26 September 2002

    CIRCLE II CIRCLE , the new band of former SAVATAGE frontman Zachary Stevens, will release their debut album, entitled Watching In Silence, in February/March 2003 through Germany's AFM Records.

    24 September 2002

    Former CRIMSON GLORY/SEVEN WITCHES frontman Wade Black recently laid down lead vocals on a track called "Towers of Babylon" for the forthcoming solo album from ROB ROCK guitarist Rick Renstrom, tentatively titled "Until The Bitter End". Also appearing on the CD are ICED EARTH/ex-DEATH drummer Richard Christy, bassist/vocalist Mat Sinner (SINNER, PRIMAL FEAR), keyboardist Ferdy Doernberg (ROUGH SILK, AXEL RUDI PELL), vocalist Rob Rock (WARRIOR, ROB ROCK, who is also producing the album), and vocalist Tobias Sammet (EDGUY), among others.
    "The recording for the vocals for 'Towers of Babylon' went extremely well," Black stated. "Working with Rob, Rick, and [engineer] Sean [Shannon] was great. What could be better for a singer than having your tracks produced by a vocal legend like Rob Rock? Hopefully there will be further collaborations down the line.
    "Also appearing on this track is the phenomenal drumming of Richard Christy. Incredible playing. Some of the sickest fills I've heard in a while. The detail in his playing is just mind-blowing.
    "This album is shaping up to be huge. Also appearing on the album will be Tobias Sammet, Mat Sinner, Mike Terrana, Ferdy Doernberg, and perhaps a few more surprises. I think this CD will end up on a lot of 'best of the year' lists. I have no doubts that once this disc is released, a whole lot of people are going to be marveling at Rick's songwriting and guitar-playing abilities."

    24 September 2002

    SHAPE 68 is the name of a new "pop" band featuring former DEEP PURPLE/BLACK SABBATH frontman Glenn Hughes, ex-MOGG/WAY guitarist Jeff Kollman and drummer Robin DiMaggio. The group's live debut will take place on Wednesday, October 16th at Platinum Live in Studio City, California in the form of a special record company showcase set consisting of five or six songs.

    24 September 2002

    Reunited San Francisco Bay Area thrashers VIO-LENCE will likely issue their next studio album through a new label entity formed by former EXODUS manager Toni Isabella and one-time Capitol Records A&R executive Rachel Matthews (who signed EXODUS and RIGOR MORTIS to the label back in the late '80s).
    Demmel and vocalist Sean Killian plan to spend the next several months penning the material for the as-yet-untitled record, which will feature a musical direction along the lines of the group's acclaimed 1988 debut, Eternal Nightmare. Also planned for release through the same label are a live CD and DVD from the group, recorded last December 14th at Slim's in San Francisco, as well as a reissue of Eternal Nightmare, featuring bonus cuts not found on the original version.

    24 September 2002

    The Official HEART website (see links) has been updated with new information. It looks like a new 2CD Greatest Hits (Essential Heart) will be released in October, followed by a pay-per-view concert in November and Heart's first-ever DVD concert to be released in December. A new studio album is still expected in the first half of 2003.

    24 September 2002

    MORBID ANGEL will be re-issuing their classic 'Altars of Madness' and 'Blessed are the Sick' albums shortly. The albums will be remastered and will include personal liner notes from Trey Azagthoth - also included will be the rarely seen videos for 'Immortal Rites' (to be added to the 'Altars...' release) and 'Blessed are the Sick' (to be added to the album of the same name). European versions of both albums will initially come in limited edition slipcase sleeve editions.

    24 September 2002

    MALEVOLENT CREATION have completed work on there 8th studio album "The Will to Kill". Recorded and mixed at Mana Recording Studio in Tampa, Florida this is the first release to feature the savage style of Kyle Symons on vocals. The album will be released on Arctic Music in North America and everywhere else. Guitar legend James Murphy also laid down a few solos for the song "Assassin Squad" which really brings an old school feel to the track. Release date for the US is November 5th and for Europe November 11th.

    19 September 2002

    Portland, Oregon's WILD DOGS are back on the active list and are planning their first series of live shows this fall.
    Presently consisting of Jeff Mark (guitars), Dann Kurth (bass), Tom Moller (drums) and Matthew McCourt (vocals), the group are scheduled to issue in December a 17-song CD entitled Beyond The Reign Of Terror containing the songs that were projected to be included on the follow-up to 1987's Reign Of Terror.
    "Its just what the doctor ordered," stated McCourt. "After playing with [former drummer] Deen [Castronovo]'s son Kyle on drums last year, we realized what we do best is go out and slay audiences. We wanna go to Europe and finally make a live appearance there..and I miss fronting the band with these guys. This was the lineup that toured and recorded in 1989-94.

    19 September 2002

    OVERKILL have enlisted veteran British metal producer Colin Richardson to produce the group's next studio album, tentatively due in early 2003 through Spitfire Records.
    "We've used Colin in a mix capacity in the past... but this is the first time, in a long time, that we're in this position where we can have the album recorded and mixed by the same person," singer Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth stated via the group's official web site.

    17 September 2002

    SEVEN WITCHES have started writing their new album, titled "Passage To The Other Side". The guys will enter the Lafayette Studio on September 20th to start recording. Here's what Jack Frost had to say: "Originally, it was going to be called Betrayed, but will all the difficulties I've gone through, I decided to change it. I've written more lyrics than I've ever done before. I'm really excited about these songs. They are very dark. Joey Vera (bass) wrote a few songs. The artwork will be done by Kristian Wahlin, who did the Morgana Lefay albums. I can't wait to get started!"

    16 September 2002

    Columbus Ohio's JACOBS DREAM are continuing their vocalist search following the departure of David Taylor. Commented guitarist John Berry: "We are scheduling a date at a studio to work on some tracks with a vocalist. He is quite good. A classical tenor voice. A good songwriter and studio engineer as well. When we get done I will let you know how it went. I have met the guy and spent some time with him and his wife, and they seem to be good people. I hope the rest of the guys in the band agree. He played some tracks he did for me on the phone last night. I took him a CD with me on vocals and he re-cut it with his over top. It sounded like him singing lead and me and the other guys singing backup. He had excellent range and control of his pitch. He is very powerful." In other news, JACOBS DREAM's demo CD has once again been made available through Sentinel Steel Records or directly from the band for $12.00. Included on the demo are original versions of "Sara Williams", "Wisdom", "Love And Sorow" and "Violent Truth" along with other tracks available nowhere else, "The Jewel" and "Outer Realm".

    13 September 2002

    JAG PANZER drummer Rikard Stjernquist has joined BALLISTIC , the new band of former DEUCE / TENSION / WARDOG mainman Tom Gattis (which was previously going under the moniker AFTERBURN). According to BALLISTIC's official web site, "Rikard remains firmly as the drummer for JAG PANZER, but will be working with Gattis and co. as well!!"

    13 September 2002

    THE BLOODY HELLS, featuring Cretin of THE DAYGLO ABORTIONS have recorded their debut album.
    A release date is yet unknown.

    13 September 2002

    THE RAVENOUS, featuring the all-star line up of Danny Lilker (BRUTAL TRUTH, S.O.D., NUCLEAR ASSAULT, HOLY MOSES), Killjoy (NECROPHAGIA, WURDULAK, EIBON), Chris Reifert (AUTOPSY, ABSCESS), Danny Coralles (AUTOPSY, ABSCESS) and Clint Bower (HEXX, ABCESS), have inked a deal with Southern Lord Records.
    The band will enter a studio in Vancouver, Canada this November to record their next full-length effort,"Blood Delirium", for an early 2003 release.
    In the meantime, THE RAVENOUS will release a new MCD titled "Three On A Meathook" in October via Red Stream Records.

    13 September 2002

    Florida death metallers DIABOLIC have amicably parted ways with vocalist Paul Ouellette and have replaced him with ex-COFFIN TEXTS frontman Robert Cardenas. The revamped outfit are currently writing material for their upcoming fourth release, due out in spring 2003.
    "The new material promises the unrelenting intensity and dynamics that DIABOLIC is known for," reads an official statement from the band.
    In other news, DIABOLIC are preparing to embark on the European Vengeance Tour 2002 with BEHEMOTH and DESTROYER 666. The tour is scheduled to kick off on November 2nd in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

    10 September 2002

    Mike Chlasiak, guitarist with HALFORD, is putting together a new side project called PAIN MUSEUM. He’s currently looking for a suitable heavy metal vocalist (male or female). Think you fit the bill? Contact chris@rickdorfman.com

    10 September 2002

    DIMMU BORGIR are currently working on new songs. The songs sound like "a mix between DIMMU's old school sounding classic tunes and new militant death marches," according to guitarplayer Silenoz.

    10 September 2002

    DEAD HEAD are currently working on their new album, titled "Assumption Is The Mother Of All Fuckups". The recordings are planned for January 2003. Later this year they will play some gigs in Europe with SADUS

    10 September 2002

    OVERKILL will issue their first-ever DVD, entitled Wrecking Everything – Live, on November 19th via the Spitfire label. Recorded in March 2002 in Asbury Park, New Jersey, the DVD will contain the following track listing:
    01. Necroshine
    02. Thunderhead
    03. Evil Never Dies
    04. Deny The Cross
    05. Wrecking Crew / Powersurge
    06. Gasoline Dream
    07. I Hate
    08. Coma
    09. Shred
    10. Hello From The Gutter
    11. Bleed Me
    12. Long Time Dyin'
    13. It Lives
    14. Battle
    15. Spiritual Void
    16. The Years Of Decay
    17. In Union We Stand
    18. Overkill
    19. Horrorscope
    20. Rotten To The Core / Elimination
    21. Fuck You

    10 September 2002

    IRON MAIDEN will issue Eddie's Archive — a three double-CD set containing the band's earliest live recordings from 1979 through to their headlining performance at Donington in 1988 — on November 5th through Columbia Records. In addition to this, the compilation The Best Of The B'sides will be made available for the first time as one collection. Rod Smallwood, manager of the band since mid 1979, comments "We've been talking for a while about issuing a special release for our fans and I think the live recordings are very important to the history of the band. In fact, other than the Maiden Japan EP and a couple of live B-sides, there were no live recordings released until Live After Death in 1986. These recordings encompass the early days with Paul Di'Anno through to Bruce Dickinson's arrival. MAIDEN's career went on from one high to another — it really was a rollercoaster ride! I think they capture the essence of what the band was and still is all about: pure, raw energy, great musicianship and an in-your-face attitude. I've seen the casket and it looks fantastic. This is a great way to celebrate our history with the people who helped us make it." The set will be presented in a unique 270x190x60 mm limited edition silver Eddie embossed casket. Alongside the music, fans will find a crystal Eddie Head shot glass and an individually numbered Pete Frame family tree on parchment scroll, detailing the complete IRON MAIDEN history and rolled in a specially designed Eddie ring! Each of the three double CDs have full color 24 page booklets, two with new Eddie artwork with previously unseen photos of the various line ups and one based on the original classic '82 tour program.

    4 September 2002

    The new album of BRAZEN ABBOT is well under way. The recordings will probably be over in October and a release is expected in November. The album will feature 3 singers, Joe Lynn Turner (4 songs), Göran Edman (3 songs) and Jörn Lande (4 songs).

    4 September 2002

    WATCHTOWER has finished writing the music for the next CD, to be entitled "Mathematics". Doug Keyser (bassist), who is writing all of the lyrics, has maybe 4 or 5 songs left. Right now, they are recording 4 songs that will probably be shopped to labels. When "Mathematics" gets out, they'll most likely come over to Europe to play at a few festival and push the CD, and maybe doing some shows in the US. But for now, they're trying to focus on finishing up the material for the next record. A release date is yet not known

    4 September 2002

    It seems that HELSTAR's James Rivera got a-lot of calls for this tribute of Helstar to do more shows. James and the guys agreed to do it so now there will be shows starting in June... In Europe. The shows went great at the 19th Hole and Dynamo in Eindhoven, Holland with Doro. It looks like they might be doing another 50 dates with Doro throughout Europe starting in September. This is what the official HELSTAR website says, still nothing is confirmed yet!!

    4 September 2002

    HEIR APPARENT will start recording their new album this month. They hope to release it March 2003. The current line-up of HEIR APPARENT is:
    Bryan Hagan - vocals
    Terry Gorle - guitar
    Bobby Ferkovich - bass
    Clint Clark - drums


    3 September 2002

    SYMPHONY X are currently putting the finishing touches to their new album, entitled The Odyssey, at guitarist Michael Romeo's Haslet, New Jersey home studio for a tentative October release through Inside Out Music. Containing nine tracks, including an 18-minute opus based on Homer's epic sequel to "The Iliad", the album traces Odysseus' perilous, decades long return from the Trojan War, including encounters with all sorts of mythological creatures. Says Romeo: "The new CD is much more focused and quite a bit heavier than a lot of our past work."
    SYMPHONY X have reportedly been confirmed as the main support act on the upcoming STRATOVARIUS European tour, which is scheduled to kick off in early 2003. The opening act for tour will be Finland's THUNDERSTONE.

    3 September 2002

    Reunited Danish thrashers INVOCATOR have inked a deal with Italy's Scarlet Records and will issue their fourth full-length album — the group's first eight years — in late 2002.
    Produced and engineered by mainman Jacob Hansen the as-yet-untitled album will include 11 tracks, including an undisclosed cover song.

    3 September 2002

    FATES WARNING have negotiated a new record deal with Metal Blade Records and are scheduled to begin writing material for their tenth studio album in the coming weeks.
    In other news, FATES WARNING are nearly done compiling their upcoming DVD, The View From Here, which will include all of the "MTV" videos, some live footage, and some documentary footage from the Disconnected recording sessions. Release looks to be early in 2003.
    Also on the FATES WARNING front, Metal Blade will be re-issuing the group's early albums, Night on Brocken and The Spectre Within, on September 24th. Both releases have been remastered and will include bonus tracks. Bonus tracks for Night on Brocken are "Last Call" (unreleased song from the original MISFIT demo), "Kiss of Death" (recorded live at L'Amour 1985) "The Calling" (rehearsal from 1983) and a rehearsal recording of IRON MAIDEN's "Flight of Icarus" from 1983. The Spectre Within will include "Radio Underground" (live early version of "Pirates of the Underground"), "The Apparition" (rehearsal from 1985), and early demos of both "Kyrie Eleison" and "Epitaph".

    3 September 2002

    VOIVOD are tentatively planning on releasing their next studio effort on March 4th, 2003, according to former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted, who will play bass on and co-produce the album. Vocalist Snake (a.k.a. Denis Belanger), drummer Away (a.k.a. Michel Langevin) and guitarist Piggy (a.k.a. Denis D'Amour) are currently composing and demoing the material for the as-yet-untitled CD in their hometown of Montreal, Quebec and hope to commence the album recording sessions sometime this fall at Newsted's The Chophouse home studio in Walnut Creek, California.

    31 August 2002

    Thrash Core legends D.R.I. will re-release their entire back catalogue, through Beer City Records, starting from October 15th.

    31 August 2002

    The new group formed by ex-MEGADETH members Al Pitrelli, Dave Eleffson and Marty Friedman will have little to do with the music of Megadeth. Al Pitrelli, when quizzed on the subject: "there is no new Megadeth. If the other members and I create a band, it will be a completely separate entity."

    30 August 2002

    Swedish neo-classical metallers NARNIA are finishing up work on their fourth full-length album, entitled The Great Fall, for a spring 2003 release through Nuclear Blast Records. According to the group's official web site, "this time we will give you a concept album based on some of today's topical issues." Former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN/current HAMMERFALL drummer Anders Johansson and SAVIOUR MACHINE singer Eric Clayton will both makes guest appearances on the new album.

    29 August 2002

    Former VOIVODbassplayer Blacky has formed a new (cover) band called: BLACK CLOUD. The other guys in the band are: Pat (GHOULUNATICS) singer, Pierre (OBLIVEON) guitar, Dan (MARTYR) guitar and last but not least Flo (CRYPTOPSY) drums!!
    There are no real plans for an upcoming tour soon.

    29 August 2002

    TENET, the new Vancouver-based project featuring STRAPPING YOUNG LAD guitarist Jed Simon, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD/ex-DEATH drummer Gene Hoglan, ex-GRIP INC. bassist Stuart Carruthers, and former SACRIFICE/current INTERZONE frontman Rob Urbinati, have inked a deal with Hamburg, Germany's Virusworx Records and will record their debut album in February 2003 with producer/SYL mainman Devin Townsend. A May release is expected. According to Simon, the 11-track album will be a huge thrash metal monster. "After all the years with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD and the futuristic industrial influences I want to make a brutal, real metal album without keyboards," said the guitarist. "Stay tuned for a pure thrash metal album with extreme riffs, and a one of the best metal singers in the world

    27 August 2002

    Reunited San Francisco Bay Area thrashers EXODUS are tentatively planning on entering Sonic Ranch (formerly Village Productions) studio in Tornillo, Texas in late October/early November to begin tracking their much-anticipated new CD for a late spring release, according to manager Steve Warner. Manning the knobs during the sessions will be acclaimed producer Andy Sneap (i.e. MACHINE HEAD, SKINLAB, NEVERMORE, etc.), who will mix the effort at his Backstage facility in Derbyshire, England.

    27 August 2002

    Acclaimed New York death metallers SUFFOCATION, who released several successful album in the early '90s, have reunited after a four-year break and are said to be in the process of rehearsing for upcoming shows and a possible new album. No official announcement has yet been made, but it is believed that the group's current line-up consists of the following musicians:
    Mike Smith - drums
    Terrance Hobbs - guitar
    Guy Marchais (INTERNAL BLEEDING) - guitar
    Frank Mullen - vocals
    Josh Barohn – bass


    25 August 2002

    The cult Swiss death metal band MESSIAH will re-release their older albums through Massacre. Every record will include seven bonus-tracks, a lot of photo-material plus some more specials.

    25 August 2002

    CRADLE OF FILTH guitarist Gian Pyres has announced his departure from the band. A press statement issued by the band reads as follows: "After six years as guitarist with CRADLE OF FILTH, Gian Pyres has announced that he will be leaving the band. "Gian would like to continue his career in music, but in a slightly different direction and one that will allow him more time in his personal life. COF are currently ensconced in the studio recording their first album for Epic Records, tentatively titled Damnation And A Day. The album is due for release February 2003.

    22 August 2002

    Acclaimed Florida metallers NASTY SAVAGE have reformed and recorded two brand new songs for a forthcoming Crook'd Records "rare tracks"-style CD, due later in the year. The line-up that recorded the group's final full-length release, 1989's Penetration Point — "Nasty" Ronnie Galetti (vocals), Ben Meyer (guitar), David Austin (guitar), Richard Bateman (bass), and Curtis Beeson (drums) — entered Tampa's Red Room studios several weeks ago with engineer Mark Praeter to lay down the tracks "Sardonic Mosaic" and "Wage of Mayhem" for inclusion on the as-yet-untitled CD (one possible title: Wage of Mayhem Pt. 1), which will also feature the four songs contained on the band's classic Wage Of Mayhem (1984) demo: "Unchained Angel", "Savage Desire", "Witches Sabbath", and "XXX".
    At this time, there are no concrete plans for the band to partake in a full-fledged reunion. However, a possibility exists that the group will record a new full-length album in a few months' time, according to Meyer, who is set to embark on a six-week US tour with his new band LOWBROW (also featuring Bateman) sometime in September/October.
    For more information on frontman " NASTY RONNIE" Galetti's recent non-music-related activities, click here.

    22 August 2002

    The new album of SAVATAGE is well under way and it is will be a return to the dual vocals they used in the past. Jon Oliva said that: "Savatage with Damond is a more aggressive band. Damond is much more aggressive than Zakk; he brings different things to the table for what we're looking to do in the future. He's very versatile. He covers my stuff perfectly, and when he covers Zakk's stuff, if I close my eyes I can't tell the difference. We've discovered some great things about Damond's voice, so it'll make the new record a lot better. The fans have accepted him, and he's brought some youth into the band which has been a real kick in the ass for the rest of us. We're in preproduction right now, just compiling material that Chris and I have written. We're back to two voices, splitting the material evenly. As far as direction goes, I think half the record is pretty much going to be what Savatage fans expect, and the other half is going to wander in directions that I've been experimenting with. I've been playing with string instruments and tuning guitars to them, and it's weird because you have to learn how to play guitar again. But, once you find the chords you end up with some really interesting overtones. There will be symphonics, but they'll have more of an edge, especially with Damond in the band."

    22 August 2002

    The reunited DARK ANGEL have been rejoined by drummer Gene Hoglan (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD) after a short stint with interim skinsman Al "Mayhem" Mendez.
    Hoglan's decision to return to the DARK ANGEL fold is not expected to affect his involvement with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, who are scheduled to begin recording their self-titled third full-length album in early September for an early 2003 release through Century Media Records.

    22 August 2002

    The reunited RACER X, featuring JUDAS PRIEST drummer Scott Travis, ex-MR. BIG guitarist Paul Gilbert, and ex-BADLANDS drummer Jeff Martin (on vocals!), are scheduled to enter Batgirl Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada in September to record a new CD for a Christmas 2002 Japanese release. According to Gilbert, "Jeff Martin, John Alderete, Scott Travis, and I will be using EVERY NOTE WE KNOW to make a killer METAL follow-up to our last studio CD, Superheroes!!!!

    18 August 2002

    Guitarist Erik Rutan has announced his departure from MORBID ANGEL in order to devote himself entirely to HATE ETERNAL. "Being in MORBID ANGEL for the past nine years has been the greatest time of my life," Rutan said in a statement. "To play in my favorite death metal band of all time has been a tremendous honor. "I want to thank [MORBID ANGEL guitarist] Trey [Azagthoth] and [drummer] Pete [Sandoval] for all the great years and all they have done for me, and all the fans who have supported me and will hopefully continue to support me in the future. It is now time for me to stand on my own two feet with HATE ETERNAL."
    In HATE ETERNAL, Erik fully expresses his own musical and lyrical ideas, handling vocals and guitar, and the majority of the songwriting. The group's second album, King Of All Kings, is now finished and is set for release on September 16th in Europe and September 17th in the US.

    16 August 2002

    It's treu: Legendary Los Angeles thrashers DARK ANGEL have reunited and are in the process of writing material for a possible new album according to guitarist Jim Durkin Three-fifths of the line-up that recorded the acclaimed 1989 CD, Leave Scars — Durkin, guitarist Eric Meyer, and vocalist Ron Rinehart — has teamed up with bassist Jeremy Peto (ex-MORGION) and drummer Al "Mayhem" Mendez (DREAMS OF DAMNATION) to form the latest incarnation of the group, which has already written "some new brutal tunes in the vein of Darkness Descends [the band's classic 1986 effort]," according to Durkin.
    Although Hoglan is not currently involved in the reunion, a possibility exists that he may rejoin the group later on once he has fulfilled his recording and touring commitments with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD.
    "It is my hope that Gene will get involved [at some point down the line]," Durkin said, "but since the logistics are not right [at the moment], we plan to carry on with Al [on drums], being that he can play all the Gene stuff and then some with POWER and little effort. However, I have always considered Gene the cornerstone of DARK ANGEL [so the door is always open for him to get involved if he wants to]. The music is bigger than any one member. [In the meantime], we will do what we can to keep it close to the original line-up."

    16 August 2002

    A special honor was recently bestowed upon late EXODUS frontman Paul Baloff when a German fan by the name of Juergen Kappel — a palaeontologist who is currently completing his doctorate thesis about fossils from an area near Muenster, Germany (where he is working at a local university) — decided to name a trace fossil of a previously-unknown form after the singer. The new species, which Kappel came across during his research, was named "Laqueichnus Baloffi" .
    According to Kappel, the Latin name "Laqueichnus" refers to a "sling-like trace" which was made by a worm-like animal now fossilized in undersea mud at some time in the Upper Cretaceous (about 80 million years ago). The resulting formation looks on the surface to be "an unspectacular little burrow in a gray rock piece," but in fact represents proof of a newly-established species, named after Paul as "a special way of honoring the memory of this extraordinary personality and the (still developing) history of an extraordinary heavy metal band."

    16 August 2002

    SHADOW KEEP's vocalist Rogue M. has decided to leave the band. Their new album will still be released. Two years after Corruption Within's release and almost a year after the beginning of the recording sessions, A Chaos Theory is anticipated to hit the shelves on 23rd September.

    15 August 2002

    INFERNAL MAJESTY is almost finished with the recording of their new album One Who Points To Death. Kenny Hallman, in a recent interview with Metal-Rules: "I think it's a great album, it's heavy, it's complex and it's Infernal Majesty." The group is currently looking for a suitable recordlabel.

    15 August 2002

    MACABRE have been busy writing recipes for the new Murder Metal-album. Some of the songtitles are Hillside Stranglers, Dying To Be With You, Brudos & Acid Bath Murderer. According to the band the new album is going to be diverse and very sick.

    15 August 2002

    Several dates for the forthcoming MOTÖRHEAD / ANTHRAX European tour have been leaked.
    Scott Ian words: "Finally, after all these years… We've never toured together. The first time I met Lemmy was in 1986 at the St. Moritz club in London. I was there doing promo for Spreading The Disease. I saw him at the bar and we started talking and drinking and drinking and drinking and I made the huge mistake of trying to keep up with him. What did I know about beer in Europe? Nothing then. I ended up with alcohol poisoning and was puking on the plane all the way to Amsterdam the next day. Good times. Now when I bump into him at the Rainbow, I'll have a Maker's and know my place. We are going to be in the middle slot with an as-yet-unknown opener. This should give us a decent set length. I'm really excited about these dates. Big halls, thousands of metalheads every night. I'm fucking pumped, I wish it started today. It's going to be great."
    Confirmed dates so far are as follows:

    Oct. 13 - Manchester, UK @ Apollo
    Oct. 14 - Glasgow, SCO @ Clyde Aud
    Oct. 15 - Birmingham, UK @ NIA
    Oct. 17 - Newport, UK @ Newport Centre
    Oct. 18 - TBA
    Oct. 19 - London, UK @ Wembley Arena
    Oct. 21 - Offenbach, GER @ Stadthalle
    Oct. 22 - Stuttgatart, GER @ Philharmonie
    Oct. 23 - Berlin, GER @ Columbia Hall
    Oct. 25 - Munich, GER @ Colosseum
    Oct. 27 - Cologne, GER @ E Werk
    Oct. 28 - Amsterdam, NETH @ Heineken Music Hall
    Oct. 29 - Paris, FRA @ Zenith


    15 August 2002

    After six months of negotiations, Finland's CHILDREN OF BODOM have officially inked a new deal with Spinefarm/Universal Records. They will shortly enter Astia studio to begin recording the follow-up to 2000's Follow The Reaper, due out early next year.
    "We'll spend about five weeks [recording and mixing], and the new album should be out in January or February," said keyboardist Janne Warmen. "We have about nine new songs ready to record [right now], and they're really heavy."

    13 August 2002

    MOTÖRHEAD leader Lemmy is considering having his famous facial warts surgically removed, according to Spin magazine. "They get bigger as you get older," Lemmy says, "and I've been shaving around them long enough." Incredibly, the bassist/vocalist would also be open to the possibility of auctioning off the gnarly things to a lucky (and presumably rich) fan. "Yeah, I could sell them on the Internet, like that porn-star chick Houston who sold pieces of her labia."

    13 August 2002

    DOKKEN, ANNIHILATOR, AXXIS, BRAINSTORM, SODOM, and ANGEL WITCH are the first bands confirmed for next year's installment of the BANG YOUR HEAD FESTIVAL, which is scheduled to take place on June 27-28, 2003 in Balingen, Germany. More acts will be announced in the months to come.

    13 August 2002

    The current line-up of AGHORA — drummer Richard Komatz and bassist Alan Goldstein (who replaced ex-CYNIC members Sean Reinert and Sean Malone. respectively), plus mainman Santiago Dobles and sister/vocalist Danishta Rivero — is recording a new album, entitled Formless, for an autumn release through Code666 Records.

    13 August 2002

    MASTERPLAN, the new band featuring ex-HELLOWEEN guitarist Roland Grapow, ex-HELLOWEEN drummer Uli Kusch and former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN singer Jorn Lande, have revised the track listing for their forthcoming self-titled debut album, due in January through AFM Records in Europe and Avalon Records in Japan. The amended final track listing for the album is as follows:
    01. Spirit Never Die
    02. Enlighten Me
    03. Kind Hearted Light
    04. Crystal Night
    05. Soulburn
    06. Heroes
    07. Sail On
    08. Into The Light
    09. Crawling From Hell
    10. Bleeding Eyes
    11. When Love Comes Close
    Masterplan was produced by Andy Sneap (i.e. NEVERMORE, MACHINE HEAD, STUCK MOJO, SKINLAB) and mixed by Mikko Karmila at Helsinki, Finland's Finnvox Studios. Currently, the band and artist Rainer Laws are working on the album artwork and band logo, which they hope to complete by mid-September.

    11 August 2002

    AGENT STEEL are hard at work on the follow-up to Omega Conspiracy, tentatively entitled Order of the Illuminati / AGENT STEEL Vol. 4, for an early 2003 release. Meanwhile, the group are scheduled to embark on a European tour, dubbed Illluminatus '02, during November.

    11 August 2002

    The rumor goes that DARK ANGEL has reunited with the following almost all original lineup: Ron Rineheart, Eric Meyer, Jim Durkin, Gene Hoglan (still unconfirmed), and a new bassplayer.

    8 August 2002

    JAG PANZER are getting ready to take the best tracks from their pre-Century Media releases (the Tyrants EP, Ample Destruction, Dissident Alliance and the Chain Of Comand bootleg) and record them as if they were new songs for an upcoming double CD, tentatively titled "Decade Of The Nail Spiked Bat"(a reference from the song "License to Kill"). According to drummer Rikard Stjernquist, "we have been doing a lot of pre-production work and are very excited about revisiting this old material and giving it a polish that will blind. We hope to complete recording and mix down by the end of September."

    8 August 2002

    Former MEGADETH guitarist MARTY FRIEDMAN has completed writing, playing, and engineering his new solo album, entitled Music For Speeding. According to an official statement, "fans of Marty's first solo album, Dragon's Kiss, and his aggressive playing in CACOPHONY and MEGADETH will freak out when they hear that style applied in Marty's new and more modern format… This is the kind of playing that Marty's fans wish that he had played for the last few years while he was in MEGADETH. He is currently in negotiations with labels (majors and indies) all around the world and it is looking like a winter release."

    8 August 2002

    TIWANAKU is the name of a new band featuring Wade Black (Ex- Crimson Glory, Ex- Seven Witches) and Emo & Mike (Ex- Nocturnus). They hope to release their debut CD early 2003. Wade Black is also recording his first solo album which will also be released at the beginning of 2003. But that's not all: he has also started up his old local band: LUCIAN BLAQUE

    6 August 2002

    CRADLE OF FILTH are currently recording their new album ‘Damnation And A Day’ at Parkgate Studios near Hastings. The record will be engineered by Doug Cook and will feature 17 tracks in all. This will consist of an intro, outro, three instrumental pieces and 12 songs, including ‘Thank God For The Suffering’, ‘Presents From The Poison-Hearted’, ‘Mannequin’ and ‘Horror Epic’). The band are using a 36-piece orchestra and choir on the album, and these parts are to be recorded in Budapest. This will Cradle’s first album for Sony.

    6 August 2002

    STRATOVARIUS are to release their new album, ‘Elements Part 1’, through Nuclear Blast in January 2003. For tourdates visit their website ( see: LINKS ). STRATOVARIUS has also been confirmed for the WACKEN OPEN AIR 2003, which will take place on July 31st to August 2nd

    6 August 2002

    James Rivera (HELSTAR, SEVEN WITCHES) has put his project WARDOG to rest because he was fed up with the attitude of some of the other bandmembers. Together with Eric Halpern (Helstar, ex-Wardog, ex-Destiny's End) he has started a new project called DISTANT THUNDER. In addition, the vocalist has also left FLOTSAM & JETSAM after their US-tour last year.

    2 August 2002

    As the result of internal strife, bassist Frank Banx and guitarist Ritchie Wilkison of the German band ANGELDUST have announced that they will continue the band with a new drummer and vocalist. This means that singer Dirk Thurisch and drummer Dirk Assmuth are no longer part of the band. The other guys will move to the US for searching new musicians.

    2 August 2002

    Y&T frontman Dave Meniketti will release his second solo album, entitled simply Meniketti, in the UK on September 23rd. The Japanese release is scheduled for September 11th. According to press reports, Meniketti "moves up a gear to become a rockier rock and blues album" than Dave's solo debut. Undisclosed members of Y&T also appear on the CD.
    The full track listing for the follow-up to Out Of The Blue is as follows:
    01. Messin' With Mr. Big
    02. No Lies
    03. Hard As I Try
    04. Tough Luck Avenue
    05. I Remember
    06. Storm
    07. It's Over
    08. All In This Together
    09. I Can't Take It
    10. Lay Me Down
    11. The Other Side
    12. Tell Me (Why I Should)
    13. Take My Time


    1 August 2002

    Reunited Austrian death metal veterans DISHARMONIC ORCHESTRA have announced the details of their comeback release, entitled Ahead, due on September 9th through Nuclear Blast Records. Produced by Herwig Zamernik and LordDeisen at Fuzzroom studios in Klagenfurt, Austria, Ahead features the line-up of Patrick Klopf (guitars, vocals), Martin Messner (drums), and Zamernik (bass, vocals)

    1 August 2002

    Swedish thrashers THE CROWN are not letting the fact that they have yet to secure a permanent replacement for frontman Tomas Lindberg (ex-AT THE GATES) get in the way of the songwriting process for the group's next studio album, guitarist Marko Tervonen has revealed via the group's official web site. "[Bassist] Magnus [Olsfelt] has probably around 10 new songs ready and we have actually started rehearsing 2-3 of them," Tervonen wrote. "It really doesn't matter who will do the vocals in the future, THE CROWN sound will remain as long as the four of us take care of the music. I mean, we pretty much wrote and rehearsed the whole Crowned In Terror album without a vocalist. We know how to take care of business!!" At the moment, THE CROWN are rehearsing for their upcoming appearance at the Party San Open festival, which is scheduled to take place in Bad Berka, Germany on August 8-10. As was the case with the band's performance Finland's Tuska 2002 festival two weeks ago, THE CROWN will be utilizing the services of original vocalist Johan Lindstrand during the gig, but will likely secure a new frontman for future live activities. "We just might have a future live vocalist ready," Tervonen hinted in his message, before quickly adding that "it's not Johan."

    30 July 2002

    HEART singer Ann Wilson has taken extreme steps to lose weight. She's been fitted with a lap-band, a device that limits the amount of food the stomach can take. So far she's apparently lost around 50 lbs.

    30 July 2002

    NUCLEAR ASSAULT frontman John Connelly spent time this past weekend at Screaming Ferret Studios in southern New Hampshire completing "clean-up" work for the group's upcoming live reunion release, due later in the year through an as-yet-undisclosed label. .

    23 July 2002

    NEW EDEN's forthcoming full-length CD, entitled Stagnant Progression, will include a guest appearance on "ambient voices" by ONWARD frontman Mike Grant (who previously spent time in an early incarnation of NEW EDEN). Featured in the lead vocalist role on the album will be ex-STEEL PROPHET frontman Rick Mythiasin, who has just completed laying down his tracks for the CD, due in the fall. In other news, NEW EDEN are currently searching for a new bassist following the departure of Melanie Sisneros, who left the group to hook up with Finland's SINERGY.

    21 July 2002

    KING DIAMONDand MERCYFUL FATE are on the verge of signing new record deals with Metal Blade Records and Massacre Records for the North American and European territories, respectively. Licensing deals for Japan, Australia, and South America are still pending. In an official statement posted at KING DIAMOND/MERCYFUL FATE's official web site, King Diamond (the man) explains that as a result of increased music-downloading and CD-burning in the recent months, the bands' record sales have taken a plunge, and consequently, the groups are no longer able to command the kinds of recording advances they were able to in the past. However, to insure that the bands' albums remain of the same quality as in the past in spite of the smaller budgets, a plan was devised to record much of the music for the next KING DIAMOND album, titled The Puppet Master, at Diamond's home studio in Dallas and guitarist Andy LaRocque's Los Angered studio in a suburb of Gothenburg, Sweden.

    21 July 2002

    Finland's SINERGY have recruited bassist Melanie Sisneros to permanently replace Marco Hietala, who left the group earlier this year to join NIGHTWISH on a full-time basis. "Sisneros [is] no stranger to playing in metal bands," reads a statement on SINERGY's official web site. "She's been playing bass for over 11 years and has lots of recording and stage experience. [SINERGY vocalist] Kimberly [Goss] has known her for over a year now and they've built a strong friendship over the course of that time. "Melanie prepared an audition DVD with her playing five SINERGY songs. They didn't have time to send her any notes, tabs or sketches of the songs, so she learned them 100% by ear and played them flawlessly! The DVD also included live performances of her playing with two of her former bands, NEW EDEN (progressive power metal) & RAVEN MAD (thrash metal) and also live clips of her current cover band THE IRON MAIDENS (an all-female tribute to IRON MAIDEN featuring two members of the all-female hard rock band PHANTOM BLUE).

    21 July 2002

    The current incarnation of VOIVOD —vocalist Snake (a.k.a. Denis Belanger), guitarist Piggy (a.k.a. Denis D'Amour), drummer Away (a.k.a. Michel Langevin), and ex-METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted—are in the process of recording demos for their much-anticipated new studio album, according to a July 9th posting on the web site of Newsted's Chophouse Records. "The quartet and [producer] Brian Joseph Dobbs [i.e. MANMADEGOD, ECHOBRAIN] plan to record a new album in Northern California later this year," continues the brief message.
    Although no official word has come down on the matter, it is believed that the as-yet-untitled CD will surface through Century Media Records in early 2003. So far, only one song title has been revealed for the forthcoming effort: "Gasmask".

    21 July 2002

    LABYRINTH have parted ways with Olaf Thörsen. Olaf Thörsen is already writing new songs for the third album of Vision Divine. Labyrinth will be finishing the recordings of a demo before they record the new studio album, which will be released at the beginning of 2003.

    21 July 2002

    EXCITER have posted the following message on their official web site: "After months of being dormant since [frontman] Jacques [Belanger]'s departure back in September, EXCITER has regrouped. A couple of months ago, we put the word out that we're searching for a new vocalist. This has generated interest from singers worldwide. Countries such as Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Canada, USA and Brazil. All candidates will be listened to and then our decision will be made for who the new frontman will be. Till then, KEEP ON POUNDING!!!!"

    19 July 2002

    STEEL PROPHET have parted ways with vocalist Rick Mythiasin due to "musical and personal differences".
    Rick Mythiasin will concentrate completely on his German/American band TARAXACUM. The split was reportedly amicable and the remaining members of STEEL PROPHET would like to wish Mythiasin all the best in his future musical endeavors. As for the future of STEEL PROPHET, bassist Vince Dennis says that "the band is excited about the future and will continue on with a new vocalist as soon as possible". The group will release their fifth release for Nuclear Blast, entitled Unseen, on July 29th in Europe, followed by a September 17th release date in North America. The album, which was recently completed, will be the band's final release featuring Mythiasin on vocals.Vocalists that are interested in auditioning for STEEL PROPHET should contact Jeff Keller Management at jpkeller7@earthlink.net, or via mail at P.O. Box 485, Pollock Pines, CA 95726, USA.

    17 July 2002

    Former SKUNK ANANSIE frontwoman Skin revealed that she is still working on debut solo album, due in late 2002/early 2003 through EMI/Chrysalis Records. According to the singer, the stuff laid down so far "is sounding pretty fantastic." When pressed to describe the musical direction on the CD, she offered simply that "the flavours are extreme. Bit of this, bit of that."

    15 July 2002

    BEEHLER is the name of a new band featuring Dan Beehler & Allan Johnson of early EXCITER. There are two new guitarist in the band: Sean Brophy and Scott Walsh. They have 75% of the album written and "it's the heaviest shit they've ever done", according to Dan Beehler. (See his mail on my guestbook!!)

    15 July 2002

    SEVEN WITCHES have recruited singer James Rivera (i.e. HELSTAR, DESTINY'S END, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM) as the replacement for ex-CRIMSON GLORY frontman Wade Black, who left the band last month due to "personal and business related matters within the band." Rivera made his debut appearance with the group at this past weekend's Classic Metal Fest II in Cleveland, Ohio alongside ANVIL, OMEN, KATAGORY V, DAVID NEIL CLINE, CURSED ETERNITY, GOTHIC KNIGHTS, WARPIPE, and a host of others

    15 July 2002

    Chicago thrashers WRATH will reunite for their first live show in three years on August 24th at Cruisers in Beach Park, Illinois. Also appearing on the bill will be STEPCHILD, featuring ex-WRATH/STYGIAN singer Gary Golwitzer. WRATH's line-up for the show will be the one featured on the group's 1990 release Insane Society: Kurt Grayson (vocals), Gary Modica (bass), Mike Nyrkkanen (guitar), Scott Nyquist (guitar), and Dave Sollman (drums).

    13 July 2002

    Veteran Canadian metallers ANVIL will issue their latest CD, entitled Still Going Strong, on August 26th through Germany's Massacre Records.

    12 July 2002

    DEBRIS INC. keep your eye out for this new act featuring Dave Chandler (Saint Vitus) and Ron Holzner (Trouble). Veteran drummer Barry Stern (Trouble, Zoetrope) will sit behind the kit for the band's upcoming appearances at the Milwaukee Metalfest and Wacken Open Air.
    DEBRIS INC.'s forthcoming debut will be released later in the year through an as-yet-unspecified label.

    12 July 2002

    ROCKBITCH the all-female group has announced that they will no longer perform live

    8 July 2002

    MOTORHEAD frontman Lemmy Kilmister will be releasing his memoirs, entitled White Line Fever - Lemmy: The Autobiography, through Simon & Shuster on November 4th. The UK hardback edition will cost £16.99.

    6 July 2002

    Progressive metal legends WATCHTOWER have issued through Monster Records a compilation CD, entitled Demonstrations in Chaos, containing unreleased rehearsals and recordings from the Control & Resistance era, plus previously-unavailable live tracks, and the infamous Boss Studio demos from 1983 and 1984.
    The full track listing for the album is as follows:
    01. Meltdown (1984)
    02. Asylum (1984)
    03. Argonne Forest (1984)
    04. Social Fears (1984)
    05. Tyrants in Distress (1984)
    06. Energetic Disassembly (1984)
    07. Cimmerian Shadows (1984)
    08. The Eldritch (1987)
    09. Instruments of Random Murder (1987)
    10. Hidden Instincts (1987)
    11. The Fall of Reason (1987)
    12. Control and Resistance (1986)
    13. Cathode Ray Window (1986)
    14. Ballad Assassin (1985)
    15. Meltdown (1983)
    Tracks 1-11 are demos Tracks 12-14 are live recordings Track 15 is taken from the Texas hardcore compilation Cottage Cheese from the Lips of Death, released in 1984 on Plan 9 Records.

    2 July 2002

    JAGUAR has just finished recording the basic tracks for their new album, they will start mixing in July. They are aiming to release the album in the autumn, and it will contain twelve new songs. There has not been any line-up changes since Darren Furze replaced Jeff Cox two years ago. The new album should be sounding much heavier than 'Wake Me'.

    2 July 2002

    Due to commitments made prior to re-joining SAVATAGE, Al Pitrelli will not be able to play on this summer’s short Savatage Tour - instead, Annihilator guitarist / main-man Jeff Waters will step in to help out with the guitar duties.

    2 July 2002

    WHIPLASH is going to put out another CD with existing bass tracks that Tony Bono laid down before he passed,and write some new material. The album will be dedicated to Tony Bono.

    2 July 2002

    HADES has called it quits - in the words of Dan Lorenzo: "We THINK we've decided to stop playing indefinitely - too much work for too little reward. If a great European festival offer came around I'm sure we'd consider it though." - while they think: Ed started a new band called Ten Ton Truck, Ron is in a cover band called Southern Shift and Dan is writing tons of non-Hades type stuff on his digital 8 track. In the words of Alan Tecchio:"We are taking a bit of a break, that is all. Ed needs time for his side band and we are all taking advantage of the downtime".

    20 June 2002

    SEVEN WITCHES: has lost their singer again. Former CRIMSON GLORY singer Wade Black has left SEVEN WITCHES due to "personal and business related matters within the band". Here is the frontman's official statement on his departure and his future plans: "At this time I would like to make a few announcements regarding my current and future projects. First off I will no longer be involved with SEVEN WITCHES in either a recording or touring capacity due to personal and business related matters within the band. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Sanctuary/Noise Records for it's professional way that you handle your Co. And most of all to the fans the people that I talked to on this recent tour truly love metal music to the core!! Thank God for Europe if not for you who knows? Now on a good note I am currently recording w/ Emo Mowery and Mike Davis, [formerly] of NOCTURNUS. This is some of the darkest, heaviest, and most complex music I have ever done or any thing that is out now. I am also working on a solo record and auditioning as we speak for spots. These projects will allow me the creative outlet and growth I need since they will both be locally based. And will also allow me to give my family and business the attention they need and deserve. Thanks to all you metal freaks worldwide who have continued to show your support. See you in the near future stay hard!!"

    16 June 2002

    NEVERMORE has hired Steve Smyth (Testament, Dragonlord) to play second guitar for upcoming live performances

    8 June 2002

    NOCTURNUS has broken up - Emo and Mike will be starting a new band featuring vocalist Wade Black (Crimson Glory, Seven Witches)

    7 June 2002

    THE CROWN has parted ways with Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates, The Great Deceiver) due to personal differences - although Johan will fill in for the Tuska Festival on July 13, The Crown has made it clear that this does not mean that he is back in the band


    3 June 2002

    The new album of INFERNAL MAJESTY is well under way. The band started recording of the vocals on May 19th. The album is titled "One Who Points To Death".

    1 June 2002

    Guitarist Glen Alvelais (Forbidden, Testament) has joined F-BOMB which features vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza (Exodus)


    1 June 2002

    STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH in a post on Anthrax's message board, Danny Lilker has confirmed that S.O.D. is no more - as the result of a war of words that erupted between Billy Milano and Anthrax's Scott Ian and Charlie Benante after Lilker was left out of the Anthrax's "Behind The Music" episode, the band members have vowed never to play together again - for some time, Billy Milano indicated that he would continue S.O.D. without Benante and Ian, but according to Lilker, Milano has changed his mind


    28 May 2002

    Former WHIPLASH / INTO ANOTHER / CAUSE FOR ALARM bassist Tony Bono passed away on Friday night/Saturday morning from an apparent heart attack at the age of 38. Bono had most recently played bass and sang in FR8, a three-piece "heavy hard rock" act completed by guitarist Doug Dobol and drummer Spike.
    Bono's tragic passing comes less than four months after his father, Vincent Bono, suffered a mild stroke, from which he has since fully recovered.
    As a longtime acquaintance of Tony and the rest of the former WHIPLASH members, I would like to extend my condolences to Bono's family and friends over this devastating loss.
    Tony, you will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, friend.

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