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Iron Maiden: Host in 'Masters of Rock' Radio show

IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson will be hosting a new seven-part series featuring the best in hard rock and heavy metal.

The series, dubbed "Masters Of Rock", will be airing on November 27 on BBC Radio 2.

Last time round "Masters of Rock" looked at six key years in the music's history. This time each part looks at different aspects of the world of heavy rock, starting with a program devoted to LED ZEPPELIN.

Band profile: Iron Maiden
Posted: 28.11.2003 by undercraft | Comments (0)

Stratovarius: The Drama Goes On!

STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has posted the following message on the group's web site:

"Unfortunately my trip was delayed for one day because I had to travel to Orimattila and Lahti.

"I am writing this in my beautiful suite in New York after trying to talk some sense to Johansson. Next I will be going to talk to Michael.

"Many thanks for all those who supported me in these heavy times. Through tough times you find out who your real friends are.

"For those who have been attacking me I only want to say one thing: FUCK OFF!

"And I repeat it one more time that it becomes clear: FUCK OFF!!! Thanks for showing me the way idiots!!"


Band profile: Stratovarius
Posted: 27.11.2003 by undercraft | Comments (0)

Dio - Start recording in January.

The material for the new record is coming along nicely, and if all goes as planned, the band should be ready to start recording sometime in January 2004. Also, Ronnie wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Band profile: Dio
Posted: 27.11.2003 by Malcolm | Comments (0)

Vintersorg: Release date For The New Album

VINTERSORG, the band led by BORKNAGAR frontman Andreas Hedlund (a.k.a. Vintersorg), have set a February 16, 2004 release date through Napalm Records for their forthcoming album, "The Focusing Blur". A four-minute 35-second MP3 file containing soundclips of five tracks that will appear on the album can be downloaded here:

As previously reported, the follow-up to last year's "Visions From The Spiral Generator" is being described by Hedlund as "both intricate and flowing It holds a nice balance between the usual VINTERSORG elements, like harmony and cacophony, warmth and coldness, melodism and monotonism, speed and calmness, ambience and focus."

Band profile: Vintersorg
Posted: 27.11.2003 by undercraft | Comments (0)

Opeth: Jordan Gig Cancelled!

OPETH have been forced to cancel their previously announced gig in Jordan due to sickness.

The following is OPETH frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt's official statement on the matter:

"It's seem to be a dark spell upon OPETH at this moment. First Chile and now Jordan. I'm in a terrible state myself right now but will try to explain to you our reasons for cancelling.

" Martin Lopez called me 10 minutes before I was supposed to get in the cab for the airport saying he couldn't go. He's suffered a stress-related breakdown and said he simply couldn't do this. We've never cancelled a gig ever before due to the state of the band, so I knew he was serious when he said this. He has a doctors appointment and my guess is that he's suffering from panic or anxiety attacks. This is the reason why we decided to cancel this gig in Amman, Jordan.

"Yesterday our entire (all but one) crew dropped off due to the recent terrorist attacks. See, our crew is from the UK and were worried they'd be going into trouble. So at one point we had no crew, and the gig was in danger of being cancelled. After close talk with Mute Records we decided that we'll go anyways regardless if we had enough crew guys or not, and now this!!

"I want to stress out to all the fans that has travelled high and low to get to the venue in Amman that we are beyond sorry! I can't tell you how bad we feel about this. We sincerely hope that we'll get another chance to do a gig in Jordan soon, in fact we are trying to talk to Mute Records about that possibility. All of us really looked forward to going to Amman, not only because of the gig but also because there was a day set out for us to do some serious sightseeing of your country.

"These are dark times for OPETH and it seems like the circumstances got the best of us this time. We've done over 150 gigs this year I believe so in a way I'm not surprised.

"As I'm writing this I've just got informed about a death in the Akerfeldt family so my mind is not what it should be. I'm trying to keep it together here and explain to you, and apologize for all the problems we've caused.

"Anyways, we love you all and again, we're so sorry!! I'm gonna post something about Martin Lopez state as soon as I know myself."


Band profile: Opeth
Posted: 26.11.2003 by undercraft | Comments (0)

Mayhem: Release Date Of "Chimera"

Norwegian black metallers MAYHEM have set a March 29, 2004 release date through Season Of Mist Records for their new full-length CD, "Chimera".

The album, which is currently being recorded at a mobile studio in the mountains of Norway, will feature a musical direction that is being described by the band as "much more back to basics and much more brutal" than 2000's "Grand Declaration of War".

Among the tracks set to appear on "Chimera" are the following:

01. Rape Humanity With Pride
02. Chimera
03. Dark Night Of The Soul
04. Deathwhore

As previously reported, MAYHEM and DECAPITATED (as well as KRISIUN and ANAAL NATHRAKH) will be teaming up for a European tour beginning on April 8 and running through May 16. More details will be made available soon.

Band profile: Mayhem
Posted: 26.11.2003 by undercraft | Comments (0)

Pantera: "Philip Anselmo Was Afraid Of Success"

Ex-PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul recently spoke to Revolver magazine about the circumstances that led to the group's demise two years after the release of their critically acclaimed "Reinventing The Steel" CD.

"With the last couple of PANTERA records, we kept getting more and more narrow-minded because of Phil," Vinnie said. "He didn't want to experiment or take any chances, and it was like being in a tube that was getting to be so small you couldn't even breathe. Personally, I think the dude was afraid of success. He wanted to be such an underground icon that the bigger PANTERA got, the more he didn't want to be involved.

"I did everything I could to get the guy squared away so he could have a good time. We had already agreed to take six months to a year off anyway, because we had been doing this for 12 goddamn years and we needed a break. But next thing I know, he's off doing DOWN with Rex and talking shit about us.

"Phil has no respect for anything and just perceives other people to be less than he is. After hearing him talking so much shit, I looked at and went, 'You know what? I think this might be the end of this. We better start doing something, because the only thing we know how to do is play music."

According to Vinnie, Anselmo hid many things from his bandmates, including his appetite for heroin. It wasn't until 1996, when he overdosed after a hometown show in Dallas that the rest of PANTERA learned of affinity for the needle.

"It was about 118 degrees outside that day, so I thought the dude had passed out from heat exhaustion," Vinnie said. "He was blue and medics were hitting him in the chest. Then they're saying it's a heroin overdose, and I'm like, 'Dude, you gotta be kidding!' Because he used to preach antidrugs back in the day."

" he was very private about . I don't know if he was using the whole time or what, but it got to the point where I didn't know which Phil was gonna show up to the gig. One night he would walk in and be a fucking animal. The next night, I'd walk backstage and he'd be lying in the corner and he'd say he was tired. I will never take anything away from that dude from when he was at the top of his game, but where he's at right now, I think he's much less than subpar at what he does. I have a hard time watching him when I see him on MTV talking about SUPERDOPE RITUAL, or whatever they're called, and he can't keep his fucking eyes open."


Band profile: Pantera
Posted: 26.11.2003 by undercraft | Comments (0)

Crematory: Album Recording Sessions Halted

German melodic gothic metal band CREMATORY, who split up in 2001 after a successful, decade-long career, have been forced to postpone the release date of their much-anticipated comeback album, "Revolution", after keyboardist Katrin Goger gave birth to her daughter two weeks prior to the expected due date. As a result, the band have halted the recording sessions for the new album and the CD's previously announced release date (March 1, 2004) will not be kept, according to an official press release.

However, since more than half of the album is already finished, CREMATORY have decided to release a single in advance on the originally scheduled album a little consolation for the fans. The CD will contain the single- and album-version of "Greed", a cover version of METALLICA's "One" and a ballad named "Farewell Letter" as well as the video clip for "Greed", which was wrapped only a few days before Katrin's daughter Janina was born.

"Greed" will be released on March 1 worldwide through Nuclear Blast Records. The full-length album, "Revolution", will follow later in 2004.

Band profile: Crematory
Posted: 25.11.2003 by undercraft | Comments (0)

ICED EARTH's Jon Schaffer Statement

ICED EARTH mainman Jon Schaffer has posted the following message on the band's official web site:

"Season's Greetings!

"First of all, please accept my apology for the delay in this posting. These last 3 months have been extremely busy and I've been pretty overwhelmed with the workload. However, everything came to a screeching halt a few weeks back when I had lower back surgery. Everything's going well and I'm healing just fine, so in another few weeks I'll be as good as new.

"Anyway, there is actually quite a lot to report, so let's get to it!

"First, as you all know by now, the CD release has been delayed to early January. I know this has upset many fans and I wasn't happy about it myself, but when the label explained their reasons I couldn't argue with them. Because of the fact that we had to re-record the vocals and re-mix the record it pushed everything back and the label would have had to perform a miracle to do their job properly. It takes time and a lot of organization to release a priority record and they just wanted to do the best job possible, so as I said, I couldn't really argue the point. Believe me, we want you to hear the new tunes ASAP, but sometimes shit happens and we all have to live with it.

"It is an absolute pleasure to report that the response so far from journalists that have heard the CD has been very positive. We all expect big things for this record and that should make all I.E. fans proud. Tim and I did a 2-week whirlwind promo tour of Europe and it was a great time very intense but very positive, and fun.

"The single was released a few days earlier in Europe than here at home due to a release snafu but it didn't seem to hurt us any. In Europe we sold out of the digi-pak edition, which was 40,000 units in one week, so now the slim case versions are being made and sold. As for the States we entered the Billboard U.S. single sales charts at #13, which is a great accomplishment for a metal band in this day and age. I thank you all for that. It's your loyalty and dedication that has made all of this possible.

"Other good news from Europe is that the 'Alive in Athens' CD has now been certified Platinum status in Greece. This actually happened several months ago but I forgot to post it. My label in Greece (Sound & Vision) has also informed me that 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' and 'Horror Show' along with others in the catalog will be certified Gold very soon. We also expect 'The Glorious Burden' to reach Gold very quickly there. Again, the fans make all of this possible and we thank you dearly.


Band profile: Iced Earth
Posted: 25.11.2003 by undercraft | Comments (0)


Cover artwork for the upcoming Cruachan-album (Pagan) will be painted by John Howe, the leading JRR Tolkien illustrator and the conceptual artist from The Lord of the Rings-movies. A brand-new sound sample of the Pagan-album can be downloaded on the band's website.


Source: Karmageddon Media Promotion
Band profile: Cruachan
Posted: 25.11.2003 by Dream_Taster | Comments (0)

After Forever Enter Dutch Album Chart At No. 56

AFTER FOREVER's recently issued mini-CD, "Exordium", has entered the official Dutch Album chart at position No. 56.

As previously reported, "Exordium" which contains four originals and two covers was recorded at Excess studios in Rotterdam, Holland with producers Hans Pieters and Dennis Leidelmeijer. The Dutch gothic/atmospheric doom metal group who recently filmed a video for the song "My Choice" off "Exordium" have already completed the bulk of the recordings for their upcoming full-length CD, tentatively due in early 2004. AFTER FOREVER's last full-length effort, "Decipher", was released in 2001.

Band profile: After Forever
Posted: 25.11.2003 by undercraft | Comments (0)

Pantera Is Officially Over

Former PANTERA guitarist Dimebag Darrell recently spoke to the U.K.'s Rock Sound magazine about the current status of the band that is widely considered to be one of the most influential American metal acts of the '90s.

When asked point-blank if PANTERA is officially over, Dimebag said, "Oh yeah, it's been officially over since our lead singer started announcing it from stages across the United States." Dimebag went on to explain that " threatened it before but when he started announcing it in the press and from onstage, that was when it became official. He never had the decency to talk to us about it. Nobody would return our calls so me and Vinnie just sat at home not knowing what the fuck was going on."

Despite all the obvious bad blood, Dimebag admited "we're not ashamed of a fuckin' thing we've done. It was a great ride and we wanted it to last forever. It didn't but we're back with DAMAGEPLAN and we're ready to kick some muthafuckin' dick!"

DAMAGEPLAN, which features Darrell, Vinnie, singer Patrick Lachman (former HALFORD/DIESEL MACHINE guitarist) and bassist Bobzilla, will release their debut album, "New Found Power", on February 10 through Elektra Records. The group expect to begin playing select shows in January, with a full-scale North American tour to follow shortly after the album's release.


Band profile: Pantera
Posted: 25.11.2003 by undercraft | Comments (0)

Illnath - Part Ways With Drummer

Danish melodic black metal band ILLNATH have parted ways with drummer Benjamin Johannesen shortly after the completion of the group's European tour with KONKHRA and CORPUS MORTALE. "However, as far as we can tell he is not entirely out of the music business," the band write on their web site. "You might well find him on an upcoming Danish metal album."

ILLNATH are currently working on the material for the follow-up to this year's "Cast Into Fields Of Evil Pleasure" (Worldchaos Production), tentatively due in late 2004. In the meantime, guitarist Peter Falk and keyboardist Artur Meinild (a.k.a. Tyr) have joined forces in a brand new "progressive power metal" side-project, the exact details of which have yet to be divulged.

Band profile: Illnath
Posted: 25.11.2003 by undercraft | Comments (0)

SLAYER: 'Apocalypse' Packaging Previewed

SLAYER fan site has posted a "sneak peek" at the packaging for the group's "Soundtrack To The Apocalypse" box set, which is set to be officially released tomorrow (Nov. 25) through American Recordings/Ume.

As previously reported, "Soundtrack To The Apocalypse" includes tracks spanning every SLAYER album since 1986, soundtrack cuts, Japan-only tracks, more than a dozen rarities, and a DVD of live performances spanning 20 years, all digitally remastered. The deluxe edition adds a full-length concert CD from SLAYER's 2002 "God Hates Us All" tour stop in Anaheim, California, presented in a "blood pack" sleeve (with faux blood and floating skulls). The tour was the band's first with original drummer Dave Lombardo since 1992. The deluxe edition also includes a wall banner and replica backstage laminate. Both editions have an extensive, 60-page booklet spotlighting a history based on interviews with each bandmember and long-time producer Rick Rubin.

Check out the Package Here:

Band profile: Slayer
Posted: 25.11.2003 by undercraft | Comments (0)

Charon - Jasse left the band.

Charon's guitarist and songwriter have announced that he left the band.

More of this later... there is no English translation yet, but this is the reason, in Finnish:

Aikansa kutakin

Pitkän pohdinnan ja asioiden prioriteettien seurauksena olen tullut siihen pisteeseen, että on aika jättää yksi vaihe elämässäni taakse. Charonilla ei ole minulle enää mitään annettavaa musiikillisesti eikä muutenkaan, mielenkiintoni kyseistä kokoonpanoa kohtaan on hävinnyt täysin.

Viimeisen vuoden aikana olen yksinkertaisesti saanut totaalisesti tarpeekseni siitä kaikesta.

Tällä hetkellä keskityn leipätyöhöni.

Tulen kuitenkin jatkamaan musiikin parissa jatkossakin ja kirjoitan uutta materiaalia koko ajan. Se missä yhteyksissä sitä mahdollisesti tullaan
jatkossa käyttämään, jääköön tässä vaiheessa tulevaisuuden näytettäväksi.

Kiitos kaikille faneille ja tukijoille näistä vuosista.

Jasse Von Hast

Oulussa 24.11.2003

Band profile: Charon
Posted: 25.11.2003 by Malcolm | Comments (0)