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Monday, December 27, 2010

Drummer ALEX LANDENBURG: STRATOVARIUS Fans 'Accepted Me With Open Arms'


Alex Landenburg (AT VANCE, ANNIHILATOR, MEKONG DELTA), who just completed a European tour as the stand-in drummer for STRATOVARIUS after the band's regular drummer, Jörg Michael, was diagnosed with cancer and had his entire thyroid removed, has issued the following update:

"I'd like to take the opportunity to say thanks to Jörg for asking me to step in and to the wonderful STRATOVARIUS fans for accepting me with open arms in this difficult situation.

"Despite these sad circumstances that led to me doing this tour, I had a lot of fun still.

"It was a weird situation....sometimes I almost felt a bit guilty for having such a great time. However, from meeting Jörg right before the tour and seeing that he was doing considerably good already, I knew that he'd back soon and that made things easier right away.

"My most heartfelt thank you goes out to Timo, Jens, Mati and last but definitely not least my clone brother Lauri... my bandmates of five weeks!

"I had such a great time with you, guys... I'm happy things went as good as they did and I'm glad to call each of you a friend.

"It's not about touring... it's about having fun — while you're touring!

"Finally I wanna thank the 'rest' of the whole tour party....crew, drivers and last but not least the HELLOWEEN guys. What a bunch of cool and down-to-earth people!"

STRATOVARIUS's thirteenth full-length studio album, "Elysium", will be released in Asia on January 12, 2011 via JVC and in the rest of the world on January 14, 2011 through earMUSIC/Edel.

Uriah Heep To Record New Album


Legendary progressive rock veterans URIAH HEEP have entered Liscombe Park Studios in Buckinghamshire, England to begin recording their next album of all-new material for a 2011 release.

URIAH HEEP recently announced plans to release a new live album, "Official Bootleg Volume II – Live in Budapest, Hungary 2010", containing recordings from the band's May 4, 2010 concert at the Petofi Hall in Budapest Hungary. The band said, "There are going to be many more recordings from around the world, as this will be an ongoing series, giving fans the chance to hear the band in many different countries.

"These recordings are true official bootlegs in every sense and they reflect that nights performance as it happened, totally untouched. You can almost feel that you are at the concert, so put the CD on, turn it up loud, close your eyes and enjoy a night in Budapest with URIAH HEEP."

"Celebration", the latest album from URIAH HEEP, was released in North America on March 16, 2010 via a new deal between DisManic Distribution and Knife Fight Media.

HEEP history has been an extraordinary journey and it was time that their greatest classics were recorded in studio by the lineup playing them live to fans all over the world for more than 20 years.

For "Celebration", the band re-recorded twelve of their most successful songs — classics like "Free Me", "Gypsy", "The Wizard", "Easy Livin'", and, of course, their all-time smash hit "Lady in Black". In addition to that, they composed and recorded two completely new songs as a special gift to their fans: "Only Human" and "Corridors of Madness", two of their best tracks in years.

December News Bytes

  • Atlanta Technical Progressive Metal Band Canvas Solaris have split up.
  • British project Magenta has re-recorded the Emerson/Lake/Palmer track "Lucky Man" and can be found on their website at http://magenta-web.com/
  • Swedish band Beardfish are getting ready to release their new album for 2011 titled "Mammoth" to be released on the InsideOut label.
  • Opeth will start the recording of their 10th album on the 31st of January 2011. The band has picked the legendary Atlantis studios (ex Metronome studios) in Stockholm and will once again work with Jens Bogren engineering. Mixing duties will be handled by Steven Wilson (Porcupine tree). Possible release worldwide in the fall of 2011, through Roadrunner records.
  • A new Jaco Pastorius two-CD boxed “audio biography” is being released and provides a seamless account of Jaco’s development from his very beginnings as a musician all the way through his tenures with Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell, and the ‘70s super group Weather Report. It includes an 80-page full-color booklet and over two hours of never-before-heard music including Jaco’s very first home recordings, solos, sessions, record dates, and earliest original compositions. Includes, spoken words from family, friends and music luminaries.
  • Stan Whitaker of "Happy the Man" - now "Oblivion Sun", and Ray Bennett of "Flash" are both finishing new CD's for their respective bands, and are considering a joint tour in 2011.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

STRATOVARIUS' Cancer-Stricken Drummer: 'Let's Get Alive And Kicking Once Again'


STRATOVARIUS' German drummer Jörg Michael, who was was recently diagnosed with cancer and had his entire thyroid removed, has issued the following update:

"I hope this message finds everybody well and everybody is in an easy-peasy Christmas mood already.

"The first leg of the European tour with HELLOWEEN is over — time to have a few words with you.

"First of all, let's not forget the brilliant emergency rescue action and playing of Alex [Landenburg; AT VANCE, ANNIHILATOR, MEKONG DELTA]. Thanks again for all what you did for the fans, the band and also for me.

"Surely I hate the idea of somebody is sitting on 'my chair,' but this special action needed some special treatment and I am proud and happy that it was you, Alex. Thanks again; we'll get together for a real drink, not like these other Scandinavian pussies in the band :-)

"I was overwhelmed by all the wishes, tons of emails and text messages I received from all over the world wishing me a speedy recovery. Thank you so much for supporting me, and it made me feel very strong when fighting these bastards inside of me.

"I have some good news to tell you and believe me — I really enjoy to tell the world:

"The surgery was done about six weeks ago and the first therapy is done as well. All looks good so far and as Jens [Johansson, STRATOVARIUS keyboardist] told me before: 'Do not worry, Jörg, nothing survives in your body after all what you did to it!'

"Finally he was right, there are only small bits and bobs left — I will fight those with another therapy in about four months' time.

"I think I have been very lucky that it was discovered by one of my friends in a very early state. Very good that my friend decided to become a doctor; he was very lousy when he tried playing the guitar.

"Besides preparing myself for Christmas, I am currently practicing the drums to be ready and kickin' again when the tour continues in the New Year. I will be back.

"Thanks again for everything and let's get alive and kicking once again.

"See you in Paris and everywhere else."

STRATOVARIUS will release its thirteenth full-length studio album, "Elysium", in Asia on January 12, 2011 via JVC and in the rest of the world on January 14, 2011 through earMUSIC/Edel.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

DREAM THEATER Keyboardist Schedules Solo Date


DREAM THEATER keyboardist extraordinaire Jordan Rudess has announced an exciting and rare solo appearance on Sunday, January 23 at the Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, New York with special guest DREAM THEATER vocalist James LaBrie. Along with Turkish prodigy Eren Basbug, Rudess will debut his composition "Explorations" on two keyboards.

"Explorations for Keyboard and Orchestra" was first premiered with two shows on one night, November 19, in Caracas, Venezuela. During these sold-out performances in Venezuela, Basbug conducted the Chacao Youth Symphony Orchestra while Rudess played all of the keyboard/synthesizer parts. It is Rudess' first orchestral composition, and the January 23 Tarrytown show will mark the first time it is played live on only two keyboards. At the show, Rudess will also highlight his acclaimed Billboard-award winning app (2010) MorphWiz.

Rudess and friends will also be performing two keyboard renditions of music by DREAM THEATER, LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT and more. In addition, Eyal Amir and Ray Livnat from Israel's PROJECT RNL will be joining Rudess for a new creative version of PROJECT RNL's song "Wake".

Tickets go on sale to the public on this Friday, December 24. They are currently available for Tarrytown Music Hall members only. Tickets range from $25 to $65 each. Note: the first 25 buyers of the $65.00 tickets — for an additional $20 — will be able to meet Jordan and his guests after the show. Tickets can be purchased through the Tarrytown Music Hall's web site.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gazpacho Sign to Kscope Records

Kscope is pleased to announce the latest signing to our roster, Norwegian act Gazpacho.



Gazpacho were formed in Oslo in 1996 by childhood friends Jon-Arne Vilbo and Thomas Andersen along with Jan-Henrik Ohme (later joined by Mikael Krømer, Lars Eric Asp and Kristian Torp), and have spent the last 15 years honing their unique sound over a string of critically acclaimed albums and numerous tours, including several with long-time supporters Marillion.



Until this point all the band’s releases have either been self-released or on Marillion’s Racket Records label but the band have now signed to Kscope who are set to give an international release to the band’s latest album Missa Atropos, which has previously only been available in Germany.



Front man Jan Henrik Ohme has explained that the band have made the decision to ’get our music out to our fans around the world, and we're all looking forward to working with such an excellent group of people’.


Jon-Arne Vilbo adds, ‘we will be joining bands such as Porcupine Tree, Anathema, Blackfield, to mention a few, which is the perfect fit for Gazpacho while staying true to the term: “different music”. We believe Kscope understand who our fans are and understand how to reach out to them. So… while they’re phoning their bank to borrow gazillions for their promo budget, we hope our new friends will help us in bringing you the music that you crave.’


The Kscope edition of Missa Atropos will be available in February 2011 and will come packaged in a deluxe digibook.



Sign up to the Gazpacho mailing list at www.kscopemusic.com/gazpacho for more details.

NEARfest Announces Friday Night Lineup

NEARfest is proud to present, a break for your pockets and a treat for your ears. Three outstanding bands, all the future-present of progressive music and all ready to tear it up on the Zoellner stage. Toronto Canada's Half Past Four, Illinois's own Von Frickle and Finland's Jeavestone will split the evening, each providing their own spin on progressive/art rock.
Half Past Four's style is hard to describe as the group does not restrict itself to following one specific genre. The musicians concern themselves with what they do best - writing and performing a free spirited, never before played chord structures and melodies. Experimental arrangement, fusion composition, polyrhythmic structures and atonal melodies are not uncommon in their music. Drawing its inspiration from stalwarts such as King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Jethro Tull as well as many other progressive, kraut, art and math-rock bands, Half Past Four takes pride and pleasure in taking art rock a little further and planting its seeds in the harsh soil of contemporary popular culture.
Von Frickle, an instrumental band that are inclined to full experimentation as well as to sound streams and beautiful melodies. Everything in their music creates the "stereotype" of unique music, a heavy listen which translates into a tremendous experience. Drawing from such influences as Zappa, Pink Floyd and the Dregs, the band still maintains an air of originality via their expression of aggressive, modern art rock. Von Frickle's use of theatrics further enhances their live experience; projections, expressionless masks and white suits act as the norm for this eclectic group.
Jeavestone was formed in 1999 and released their first self-financed EP in 2001. The first full length album "Mind The Soup" was released in 2005 and they played their first gigs outside Finland in July 2006 when they performed at the Burg Herzberg Festival and at the Freakshow Artrock Festival in Germany. It was their 2nd album "Spices, Species and Poetry Petrol" released in 2008, that Jeavestone found its identity. Their self imposed style deemed "eclectic prog" or "prog'n'roll, features an amalgam of influences from '70s classic prog acts like Gentle Giant and King Crimson combined with modern sounding rock. There is no shortage of humor in their musical approach which can be likened to the insanity of Zappa and Beardfish. Their instrumentation spans from traditional rock combo on the first album to the extensive use of woodwind and string instruments on their subsequent releases. Their latest release entitled "1+1=OK," continues their tradition, it is a fantastic slice of psychadelicartprog.
NEARfest is very excited to bring to you the diversity that has been our trademark. This "Night of the New Progressives" will thrill you all both musically and financially, a showcase for new bands at a great value. Half Past Four, Von Frickle and Jeavestone will make for a memorable NEARfest Friday night.

Steve Morse To Re-Release 3 Solo Albums In January 2011

Steve Morse is best known for being the current guitarist of Deep Purple, replacing Ritchie Blackmore back in 1993. But his passion for rock started long before joining the legendary British group. Out of all the musical endeavors he participated in, the Steve Morse Band is perhaps the most significant and personal one. This instrumental trio is well known for re-inventing rock in all possible ways, mixing it with jazz, country, funk and even bluegrass.

“High Tension Wires” (1989), “Southern Steel” (1991) and “Coast to Coast” (1992) are to this day considered some of the finest albums Steve Morse has ever released. Metal Mind Productions is proud to present the exclusive reissues of those three albums which bring back true classics of one of the world’s most talented rock guitarists…
Steve Morse was born on July 28th, 1954 in Hamilton, Ohio. Although he was learning to play piano and clarinet at that time, guitar ultimately became his instrument of choice. After his family moved to Augusta, Georgia, Morse and his older brother formed a band called Three. The group existed until Morse got enrolled in the Academy of Richmond County, where he met bassist Andy West, with whom he started the musical project initially called the Dixie Grit. The group did not last long, mostly because covering Led Zeppelin or Cream was not widely appreciated by the mainstream audiences at that time. After graduating from the school, Morse and West wanted to continue playing, officially naming their band Dixie Dregs. At one of their performances, they got noticed by Capricorn Records recruiters and, in late 1976, the label offered the group a record deal. Dixie Dregs’ first LP – “Free Fall” – was released in 1977 and, although it received great reviews, the album sales were rather poor. A similar situation occurred after the release of the group’s sophomore offering – “What If” – in 1978. In July, Dixie Dregs got the opportunity to play at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Their performance was recorded and released the following year as “Night of the Living Dregs”. Soon after that, their label went bankrupt and the band signed a new deal with Arista Records, which released three of their albums – “Dregs of the Earth” (1980), “Unsung heroes” (1981) and “Industry Standard” (1982), the latter being voted “Best Guitar LP” by readers of Guitar Player magazine (Morse was also voted “Best Overall Guitarist” by the same magazine – he managed to maintain that title for five consecutive years before ultimately joining the “Gallery of Greats”, an honor shared only by Steve Howe of Yes). The group disbanded in early 1983, tired of constant touring and label pressure. This became a perfect opportunity for Morse to put his own band together. With the addition of bassist Jerry Peek and drummer Doug Morgan, the first incarnation of the Steve Morse Band was born. After Rod Morgenstein replaced Morgan, the group began working on their debut album in early 1984. Later that year, the band signed to Elektra Records and released “The Introduction”. A second album – “Stand Up” - was released in 1985. 1989 saw the release of Morse's third solo effort entitled “High Tension Wires”, one of the most laid back albums in the guitarist's catalogue. Morse managed to gather the classic Dregs line-up on this offering – the musicians even performed one of their songs called “Leprechaun Promenade”. The rest of the LP was an eclectic mix of various genres, with such highlights as “Highland Wedding” and “Tumeni Notes”. In 1986, Morse took some time off his solo work and joined the rock group Kansas. He recorded two LPs with them – “Power” (1986) and “In The Spirit of Things” (1988). After the promotional tour for the latter album, Morse left the band and, for a short while, the music industry in general. He returned in 1991 with a brand new record released under the Steve Morse Band moniker – “Southern Steel”. The album was a medley of various styles such as rock, jazz, country and folk, combined with a wonderful southern rock vibe. The LP featured a guest performance by guitarist Jeff Watson (ex-Night Ranger) in the opening track “Cut to the Chase” and was considered one of the highlights of Steve’s solo career.“Southern Steel” was followed in 1992 by another album – “Coast to Coast”. Steve’s fifth solo offering was a bit more explorative than his previous LP, again delivering a variety of styles ranging from bluegrass (“Runway Train”) to classical music (“Flat Baroque”). In 1993, during Deep Purple’s tour promoting their “The Battle Rages On” album, long-time guitarist Ritchie Blackmore decided to leave the group. He was temporarily replaced by Joe Satriani but, after the tour was finished, Deep Purple needed to find another replacement. They chose Morse, who became the band’s permanent member and, since then, recorded four studio albums with them – “Purpendicular” (1996), “Abandon” (1998), “Bananas” (2003) and “Rapture of the Deep” (2005). After recording over fifty albums overall, Steve Morse still continues his solo career. His last effort, “Out Standing In Their Field”, was released in November 2009.

The exclusive reissues of “High Tension Wires”, “Southern Steel” and “Coast to Coast” showcase the remarkable talent of this guitar virtuoso. For fans of good old rock music, these albums are absolutely essential. The albums will be available in a new digipak edition each limited to 2000 copies. Metal Mind Productions set the release date for 31st January 2011.

Source: MetalMind

Mike Portnoy Rebuffed By Dream Theater Lawyers


Ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy has revealed that he made a recent attempt to rejoin his former bandmates but was rebuffed by the group he formed and led for 25 years. Writing on his official forum, Portnoy states, "Just for the record, this is indeed true..

"Fairly recently, I reached out to the guys to try and make amends and offered to reconcile for the sake of having peace back in our lives… (plus I know how much it meant to a lot of the fans…)

"I figured it was still possible to try and save us, because they hadn't made any announcements yet or begun any public activity with another drummer… but sadly, they declined my offer (well, actually their lawyer did… they didn't even tell me themselves….)

"Sorry, gang, I honestly gave it my all…

"So now the fans on my Twitter and Facebook can please stop asking me to go back to DREAM THEATER… I tried, and the door is now shut… The ball is now in their court, not mine…

"I'm not crying or looking for mercy by posting this… I am merely trying to set the record straight as that is always the most important thing about my relationship with you guys… No BS, no spins, nothing to hide… and for better or for worse, I tell it like it is… I've also recently seen some people accuse my online activity of 'looking for attention or media coverage,' or 'looking for sympathy,' but it's honestly none of the above… I merely value having an open and active communication with my fans… Always have, always will… It is the cornerstone of everything I've done since day #1 with DREAM THEATER…

"This was posted here FOR YOU GUYS to know about... here on MY message board on MY website... If it ends up on Blabbermouth or wherever else, that is THEIR choice to spread, I did not request it or send out a 'press release'...

"Anyways, onward and upward...

"I've got a lot of great music and ideas waiting to come out of me and alot of exciting collaborations in the works....so goodbye 2010...bring on 2011!"

AVENGED SEVENFOLD issued a statement late on Friday (December 17) regarding the dismissal of Portnoy, who played on the band's latest album, "Nightmare", and toured with them during the past year following the death last December of original drummer Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. The band's statement read in part, "For the past few months, we've been blessed with Mike Portnoy's talent and humanity. When Mike agreed to tour with us, it was only through the end of 2010. We always knew we'd need to find another solution for 2011 and beyond. And it's time for us to take that next step."

As for why Portnoy himself was not their man, the statement said, "[Portnoy] is a brilliant writer, producer and, of course, drummer. Because of that, the world and we would always see it as AVENGED SEVENFOLD with Mike Portnoy. We take a lot of pride in AVENGED SEVENFOLD being about something greater then any individuals."

Portnoy himself broke the news via his Facebook page on Thursday, following several days of rumors about his status.

AVENGED SEVENFOLD frontman M. Shadows told The Pulse Of Radio that the band was not happy about the public way in which Portnoy's split with DREAM THEATER was played out, which may have soured Portnoy's relationship with AVENGED. "We were actually a little more shocked," M. Shadows said. "We felt that maybe both parties could have handled it a little more internally without being so press release-happy about what had happened between them. Because we're a band that, really, when it comes to news all over web sites or this or that about bands, you know, we don't tweet much, we don't try to put ourselves out that much, and all the drama and controversy wasn't something that we wanted at all."

In an interview over the weekend with LA Weekly, AVENGED manager Larry Jacobson said, "The plan had always been for Mike Portnoy to play with the band through 2010. Nothing changed there but it was confusing (because) Mike gave interviews suggesting he may be touring with the band beyond 2010."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

AVENGED SEVENFOLD Manager: Plan Was Always For PORTNOY To Play With Band Only Through 2010


AVENGED SEVENFOLD manager Larry Jacobson has told LA Weekly's "West Coast Sound" blog that there is no correlation between drummer Mike Portnoy's departure from the band and the cancelation of the group's participation in the Australian Soundwave festival. He writes, "The plan had always been for Mike Portnoy to play with the band through 2010. Nothing changed there but it was confusing [because] Mike gave interviews suggesting he may be touring with the band beyond 2010. There will be another drummer behind the kit for the band's 'Nightmare After Christmas' tour [in January/February] as well as for the many other dates around the world that are underway into 2011 and beyond. As for Australia, the timing is completely unrelated. If you've read any of the juvenile and public attacks by the [Soundwave] promoter, you can probably figure out why the band had legitimate doubts they could work with him to be able to put on the professional show their fans
expect. They're not in Australia every day so each tour needs to be the best the band has to offer."

AVENGED SEVENFOLD issued a statement yesterday explaining that "we know we are not ready to add another permanent member of AVENGED SEVENFOLD [following last year's passing of drummer Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan]. We don't know if we will ever be. But if we do, it will only be with someone who is not only a brilliant drummer, but also someone we've gotten to know well on the road and off, and who you the fans have had a chance to get to know, and hopefully accept. In other words, in this family, we take these steps together, band and our extended fan family."

The group added, "Mike and the band agree that can't be him. Why? Long before there was an AVENGED SEVENFOLD, there were members of this band who looked up to Mike and, in Jimmy's case, learned a lot from watching Mike play. He is a brilliant writer, producer and, of course, drummer. Because of that, the world and we would always see it as AVENGED SEVENFOLD with Mike Portnoy."

AVENGED SEVENFOLD is slated to hit the road in the U.S. next month as part of the "Nightmare After Christmas" tour, along with STONE SOUR and HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD.

James Sullivan, AVENGED SEVENFOLD's founding drummer, was found dead in his California home last December 28 of a fatal mixture of drugs and alcohol.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Woolly Wolstenholme Commits Suicide

From Barclay James Harvest:


It is with great sadness that John Lees' Barclay James Harvest announces the passing of Woolly Wolstenholme. In recent weeks Woolly's mental health had taken a turn for the worse and sadly he took his own life on Monday 13th December 2010. As you can imagine, John, Craig, Jez and Kevin and everyone associated with the band are stunned that a shining light of Barclay James Harvest is no longer with us. In this difficult time our thoughts are with Woolly's partner, Sue. We would ask all of Woolly's fans to remember his incredible contribution to popular music and his unique presence on stage.


http://www.woollywolstenholme.co.uk/


Captain Beefheart Passes Away At Age 69


FROM ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE


By Maura Johnston
December 17, 2010 4:57 PM EDT
Don Van Vliet, who became a rock legend as Captain Beefheart, died today from complications from multiple sclerosis in California. His passing was announced by the New York-based Michael Werner Gallery, which represented his work as a painter.

His Trout Mask Replica was Number 58 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In a 1969 review, Lester Bangs called Trout "a total success, a brilliant, stunning enlargement and clarification of his art."

"Don Van Vliet was a complex and influential figure in the visual and performing arts," the gallery said in a statement. "He is perhaps best known as the incomparable Captain Beefheart who, together with his Magic Band, rose to prominence in the 1960s with a totally unique style of blues-inspired, experimental rock & roll. This would ultimately secure Van Vliet's place in music history as one of the most original recording artists of his time. After two decades in the spotlight as an avant-garde composer and performer, Van Vliet retired from performing to devote himself wholeheartedly to painting and drawing. Like his music, Van Vliet's lush paintings are the product of a truly rare and unique vision."

Van Vliet grew up in Glendale California. In high school he met Frank Zappa, and in 1959 he dropped out of a junior college to work with him on film and musical projects. By 1964 Zappa left for Los Angeles to form the Mothers of Invention, and Van Vliet formed Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band. A&M records signed the group, but after early blues-rock singles (including a cover of "Diddy Wah Diddy") went nowhere, a crushed Van Vliet parted ways with the label.

Van Vliet teamed up with Ry Cooder for Captain Beefheart's first LP, Safe as Milk, but the disc attracted few fans outside of a small cult. That cult grew slightly with the release of 1968's Strictly Personal, but it wasn't until Frank Zappa signed Van Vliet to Straight Records that Beefheart's full creativity flowered. Without the limits imposed by a traditional label, Van Vliet began creating his masterpiece.

The double album Trout Mask Replica was written in an intense eight-and-a-half-hour session at the piano. In a 1970 Rolling Stone cover story, Van Vliet described the process. "Well, I'd never played piano before and I had to figure out the fingering," he said. "I don't spend a lot of time thinking. It just comes through me." The album redrew the boundaries of popular music, combining avant-garde jazz, R&B, poetry and garage rock in a fantastically surreal way. "It is a masterpiece," RS wrote in 1970. "It will probably be many years before American audiences catch up to things that happen on this totally amazing record."

Those words proved to be prophetic. Captain Beefheart continued to release records through the 1970s, though none aptured the acclaim of Trout Mask Replica. Van Vliet retired from music after 1982's Ice Cream Cow and began a new career as a painter. For the past three decades he was a rock and roll recluse, though unlike Sly Stone and Syd Barrett he continued to communicate with his audience through his artwork.

Van Vliet leaves behind a wife, Jan. The two were married for more than 40 years.

Andy Greene contributed to this article.

MIKE PORTNOY's Time With AVENGED SEVENFOLD Comes To An End

Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy has released the following statement:

"Yes, the rumors are true... Sadly my time with AVENGED SEVENFOLD has come to an end... The band has decided to carry on into 2011 without me...

"I had a great time with them throughout 2010, but it was their choice to end the relationship at the end of 2010 as was always the initial plan....

"I had an awesome time on stage with the guys every night and have so many cool memories from the experience with them... I am proud to always be part of the AVENGED SEVENFOLD family and history. I also adore the AVENGED SEVENFOLD fans and totally appreciate the way they welcomed me aboard and were so loving and supportive during my time with the band...thank you!

"As far as my future, I am excited by the endless musical possibilities that lie ahead of me...my love for music runs very deep and my taste is very broad and ecclectic which will give me the chance to explore many different things and collaborate with many great friends and artists I admire and respect...

"Happy holidaze to you all and c-ya in the New Year."

Drum-cam footage of Mike Portnoy performing the songs "Almost Easy" and "Welcome To The Family" with AVENGED SEVENFOLD on November 20, 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden and November 14, 2010 in Paris, France, respectively, can be viewed below.

AVENGED recruited Portnoy to play on its new album, "Nightmare", following the death last December of the band's drummer, James "The Rev" Sullivan. Portnoy was Sullivan's favorite drummer.

Portnoy recently stated about his involvement with AVENGED SEVENFOLD (see video below), "The relationship started as a tribute for Jimmy, and as a result of the musical and personal chemistry making the record, it's blossomed into being on the road with them. Originally that was only going to be for a couple of months until I went back to DREAM THEATER. Now because of the way the DREAM THEATER story unfolded, I will remain out with AVENGED SEVENFOLD into 2011, and stay on the road with them through the whole album cycle."

He added, "Although I'm not a band member [of AVENGED SEVENFOLD], I'm definitely part of the onstage presentation and chemistry. During the first couple of shows I played I was trying to lean back and be respectful. I was thinking, 'This is Jimmy's drum throne, this is his space.' But they were like, 'No! Be yourself, do your thing.' I came out of my shell and now I'm totally at home with these guys. We have a great chemistry, musically and personally."

Portnoy added one of Sullivan's cymbals to his touring kit: a Sabian ride The Rev had owned for years which the company had refurbished, but hadn't been able to return before his death.

Portnoy made his concert debut with AVENGED SEVENFOLD on July 25 as they played live for the first time since Sullivan's death at the Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



Source:RNRCOLA

Friday, December 17, 2010

Steve Nardelli Announces Original Music Collaboration with Moon Safari


The Nucleus for a New Album from The Syn

London - December 16, 2010 - In a major proclamation of musical creativity, Steve Nardelli is promising a progressively innovative new album coming out of 2010 recording sessions of The Syn with Moon Safari. The nucleus for the new album is Sweden's top band of 21st century art-rock music joining forces with one of the iconic players of progressive music history. Nardelli promises to build musical bridges spanning generations by lifting the modern progressive Syn rock sound to yet another creative level with a new album merging the musical talents of The Syn and Moon Safari.

Commenting on the upcoming Syn / Moon Safari super sessions, Moon Safari bass player and group spokesman Johan Westerlund states, 'There is no end to the creative possibilities of this collaboration. Moon Safari's outlook on life begins and ends with ideals fortified in an era in which The Syn was in full bloom, and working with Steve Nardelli will give us a taste of that dream we wish we could have experienced firsthand.'

A big Moon Safari fan himself, Steve Nardelli is proclaiming to Syn insiders that he's very much looking forward to the old guard of '60s mod prog joining forces with one of the genre's rising young groups to deliver a fresh blend of artistic Eurorock to follow up The Syn's masterworks Syndestructible and Big Sky. Big Sky was awarded the #1 Prog Album of the Year in 2009.

Speaking about this unique meeting of musical minds Nardelli states, 'I first came across Moon Safari when The Syn were on the same bill at ROSfest with them last year and was completely captivated by their musical prowess and brilliant 5 part harmony arrangements; the association will create the perfect platform to build the new Syn album!'

Recording started this month in Skelleftea, a small stretch of shoreline in the north of Sweden and will follow up with sessions in London and New York. The album is due out in early 2011.


About The Syn
While The Syn has their eyes firmly focused on the future of progressive art rock; their roots go back to the 1960s. One of the precursors of prog rock and adorned with some of the most important musicians of the genre across its remarkable history, The Syn today are a band that operates intently in the modern day world, focused on pushing the envelope of modern progressive rock and moving it in new directions. Their lineups have been littered with musical masters during their long and storied history of constantly exploring new musical soundscapes. A new chapter opens with the collaboration on a new album for 2011 between Syn founder, Steve Nardelli, and the remarkable Moon Safari.

Key members of The Syn history: Andrew Pryce Jackman, Chris Squire, Steve Nardelli, Gunnar Hakonarson, Peter Banks, Alan White, Gerard Johnson, Francis Dunnery, Tom Brislin


About Moon Safari
Just outside of reach of the deafening buzz from pop culture, in Skellefteå, a small village in the north of Sweden is where Moon Safari manufactures their special brand of music since 2003. The band quickly caught the attention of the musical world with their 2005 debut A Doorway to summer; an album that
successfully managed to mix the classical British progressive rock sound with unmistakably American vocal group arrangements and brought the band onto the path from which they've since not strayed. In 2008 they released Blomljud, a conceptual double album that portrayed the search for the last human truth over 100 minutes, to critical acclaim. This year parched critics were once again commanded to the well of beauty and freedom as 2010 saw the release of Lover’s End, the third album from the vocal fashionistas. It is certainly the strongest, the most focused and the most determined work they've mustered up in their relatively short existence and it seems Moon Safari will keep people guessing for a long time to come. It has been suggested though that 'there must be something in the water' along the outer rim of the polar circle. Visit: www.moonsafari.se


Members:
Petter Sandström - Vocals, acoustic guitars
Simon Åkesson - Vocals, piano, organ, mellotron and moog
Pontus Åkesson - Vocals, electric guitars
Sebastian Åkesson - Vocals, assorted keys
Tobias Lundgren - Vocals, drums and percussion
Johan Westerlund - Vocals, bass



About Steve Nardelli
Always on the leading-edge of music innovation, Steve Nardelli is the driving force behind The Syn. His forward thinking sense has transcended The Syn to iconic status with its cultivated artistic collaborations. In music and in business, Nardelli is a well-established pioneer. Beyond music, he founded the P3 Group as a leader in ecological house development. Since The Syn's 2009 award winning album, Big Sky, Nardelli's pioneering spirit has expanded to deliver the first eco-development in England, a 5000 house extension to NW Bicester that was master planned by Sir Terry Farrell as 4 separate revolutionary zero carbon eco villages. Nardelli says, 'I am not a house builder, but I was drawn into this project by the chance to be part of this new concept of creating homes that are harmonious with Nature, you could call it 'prog eco'!

Tomasz Dziubiński Of MetalMind Records Passes Away

From http://metalmind.com.pl


It is with utmost regret that we must inform you that, after his long struggle with a severe sickness, our Managing Director Tomasz Dziubiński passed away on the 16th of December.

He bound his life with rock and metal music already in the early 80’s, working as a journalist and, later, as a manager and an energetic organizer of the music scene. In 1989, he founded the company Metal Mind Productions and, in 1990, he started publishing the magazine Metal Hammer – a magazine whose editor in chief he remained to this day.

To the very end he remained true to music. He looked forward to the release of the new Rush and Pendragon albums and he still believed in the reunion of Black Sabbath in its original lineup...

His plans regarding the concerts and releases in the forthcoming years shall be carried out by the board and the staff of Metal Mind Productions.

KAMELOT Singer Unable To Tour Behind New Album; RHAPSODY OF FIRE's LIONE Steps In


American/Norwegian melodic metallers KAMELOT have released the following statement:

"Unfortunately, we have been informed that, due to continuing medical and
personal issues, [vocalist] Roy Khan [full name: Roy Sætre Khantatat] will not be able to finish the remaining touring in support of [KAMELOT's latest album] 'Poetry For The Poisoned'. However, we are pleased to announce that metal icon Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY OF FIRE) will be joining the tour and handling the lead vocal duties. There will also be guest vocal appearances throughout the tour by Simone Simons (EPICA), Tommy Karevik (SEVENTH WONDER), and many more surprise guests throughout this very special and rare tour."

Fabio Lione is eager to get on the road, stating, "I am excited and pleased to be part of the next KAMELOT tour..I always loved the sound of the band..and I think this will be a great experience for me, the band and for all the fans of great music and KAMELOT... See you soon on tour and let's rock!!!"

KAMELOT has announced the following two shows as part of what will be a full U.S. tour.

Aug. 30 - Grammercy Theater - New York, NY
Sep. 02 - Club Soda - Montreal , Quebec Canada

Promoters will offer a special VIP ticket for these shows. This will include a pre-show meet-and-greet, and an autographed poster commemorating the show.
Both shows go on sale today exclusively through EnterTheVault.com until January 22, when they will become available everywhere.

KAMELOT recently announced its highly anticipated return to Europe on the heels of "Poetry for the Poisoned". The 2011 European leg of "The Pandemonium Tour" will begin on April 22 at Paris' famous Elysee Montmartre venue, taking the band's spectacular show to 18 top venues and a host of new cities in Europe.

In keeping with KAMELOT's flair for the theatrical, as well as their innovative and creative spirit, the second leg of the tour promises to push the limits of the live concert experience, bringing fans a spectacle even more eye-popping than what they experienced during the thrilling first leg of "The Pandemonium Over Europe Part 1". "It's still called 'The Pandemonium Tour', but it's more theatrical and visual than before," guitarist Thomas Youngblood said in a October interview. "It has a dark theme, a new stage design and more surprises for the KAMELOT fans!"

"Poetry For The Poisoned" sold around 6,100 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD was released in North America on September 14 via the group's own label, Kamelot Media Group (KMG Recordings), and in Europe on September 10 through earMUSIC/Edel. Marquee/Avalon Records made the CD available in Japan.

Recordings took place in the familiar Gate Studios in Wolfsburg, Germany with producers Sascha Paeth and Miro. Additional tracking also took place in Tampa, Florida as well as various studios in Sweden, Greece and the U.S.

"Poetry for the Poisoned" features guest appearances by Simone Simons (EPICA), Gus G. (OZZY OSBOURNE, FIREWIND), Björn "Speed" Strid (SOILWORK) and Jon Oliva (SAVATAGE, JON OLIVA'S PAIN). The artwork was created by many great artists, including Seth Siro Anton, Natalie Shau and Michal Loranc.

The Album Finished In The GlobalProgressive Rock Network's Top 100 of 2010 in the #22 position at http://gagliarchives.com/10top100.html

SOURCE: RNRCOLA / SW

Thursday, December 16, 2010

RHAPSODY OF FIRE: 'The Cold Embrace Of Fear' To Receive North American Release In January


Italian symphonic metal masters RHAPSODY OF FIRE will release an epic monument called "The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony" in North America on January 25, 2011 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD was issued in Europe in October.

Commented RHAPSODY OF FIRE guitarist Luca Turilli: "For this special CD we composed a unique song of around 35 minutes divided in seven 'acts.'

"Looking at the title, you can easily imagine that such long and epic song will show the most cinematic and orchestral side of our band, all our passion for the world of cinema we love so much and that always represented our main influence while composing the RHAPSODY's music.

"Essentially it is a long huge song, sounding very symphonic, full of orchestral sections very soundtrack-oriented, narrations and spoken parts. More than in other cases we tried to create a real movie atmosphere with very dynamic musical results, also thanks to the help of the English actors that gave voice to different charachters. You will just need to close your eyes and explore those new emotional dimensions we wrote the music for."

The lyrics of this monumental, epic symphony are based on the "dark secret saga" and represent a new chapter, directly connected to the band's latest album, "The Frozen Tears Of Angels".

Luca: "After the long journey to the icy frozen northlands at the borders of the known world, while facing concrete natural obstacles and the inner demons lying in the depths of their conscience, the five main charachters reach the ancient gothic fortress of Har-Kuun, a real monument of evil trapped between ice and snow, the mystic place where the Erian's book could be finally found.

"'The Cold Embrace Of Fear' tells about the entrance of those bravehearts in the ancestral world of Har-Kuun and the dramatic search for the holy book of the angels, only possible way to understand something more about the dark secret threatening the whole known world. Also in this case I liked to create particular 'bridges' connecting the new chapter of the saga with our modern life on the basis of symbolism, ancient wisdom and spiritual evolution.

"To someone who knows something about modern psychology and the study of the different 'self,' the hidden geometries and gothic labyrinths of Har-Kuun will reveal themselves very clearly."

Once again, legendary actor Christopher Lee was chosen for the spoken parts as a main narrator. "We couldn't imagine to release something like this without his fundamental participation," Luca says. "Sir Lee is one member of the RHAPSODY OF FIRE's family since a lot of time and we love him not only as an actor but also as man. Because of his great and majestic personality he has surely the aura of a king of the ancient times."

RHAPSODY OF FIRE's latest album, "The Frozen Tears Of Angels", sold around 800 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 52 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

SOURCE: RNRCOLA

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

CYNIC Announces Lineup Changes

Reunited progressive rock/metal band CYNIC has released the following statement:

"We're announcing a change in the band's lineup this winter.

"After much soul-searching and discussion, CYNIC will say goodbye to bassist Robin Zielhorst and guitarist Tymon Kruidenier. This decision was reached mutually, with great respect for each other as people and the work that we've done over the past 2-3 years.

"The logistical challenges of maintaining a band that is half based in The Netherlands and the other half in the United States (drummer Sean Reinert and guitarist Paul Masvidal live in California) has become unworkable.

"The pre-production stages for CYNIC's next release have just begun and it seemed like an appropriate time to define the next chapter of the band.

"The new CYNIC release is coming in summer 2011 on the Season of Mist label."

Stated CYNIC guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal: "Tymon and Robin are great guys whose hard work made it possible for CYNIC to get back out on the road and tour the world with 'Traced In Air'. I'm really grateful for their contribution and presence, and look forward to seeing where their talents and music will take them next."

Commented Zielhorst: "It has been an honor to play and perform in CYNIC.

"Tymon and I would like to thank Paul and Sean for the opportunity and to especially thank the fans for their support and for warmly welcoming us into the CYNIC family. We look forward to seeing you all on the road soon."

CYNIC's immediate plan is to continue writing and do pre-production for their new record. They are also working towards a remixed re-release of their classic recording, "Focus".

Robin and Tymon plan to work on a new release from their band EXIVIOUS, which will likely be tracked in Tymon's new soon-to-be completed recording studio.

CYNIC recently completed the inaugural Hall of Fame tour. Historic in every sense, the Hall of Fame tour, titled "Re-Traced / Re-Focused Live", saw the band performing Hall of Fame album "Focus" in its entirety, along with tracks from the group's lauded second album, "Traced in Air", and more. Direct support came from progressive masters INTRONAUT and DYSRHYTHMIA.

On May 17, CYNIC released a brand new EP entitled "Re-Traced", featuring reinterpretations of four songs from the group's critically acclaimed "Traced In Air" album as well as a previously unreleased song.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

PORTNOY: There Are 'Things Going On In My Life I Wish I Could Openly And Honestly Talk About'


Former DREAM THEATER and current AVENGED SEVENFOLD touring drummer Mike Portnoy has posted the following cryptic message on his Twitter profile:

"There's a lot of things going on in my life I wish I could openly and honestly talk about at the moment, but cannot... but when I can, I will..."

AVENGED recruited Portnoy to play on its new album, "Nightmare", following the death last December of the band's drummer, James "The Rev" Sullivan. Portnoy was Sullivan's favorite drummer.

Portnoy recently confirmed that he will remain on the road with AVENGED SEVENFOLD until the band has completed touring in support of "Nightmare", which sold 162,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at the top of The Billboard 200 chart. He told cymbal manufacturer Sabian, "The relationship started as a tribute for Jimmy, and as a result of the musical and personal chemistry making the record, it's blossomed into being on the road with them. Originally that was only going to be for a couple of months until I went back to DREAM THEATER. Now because of the way the DREAM THEATER story unfolded, I will remain out with AVENGED SEVENFOLD into 2011, and stay on the road with them through the whole album cycle."

He added, "Although I'm not a band member [of AVENGED SEVENFOLD], I'm definitely part of the onstage presentation and chemistry. During the first couple of shows I played I was trying to lean back and be respectful. I was thinking, 'This is Jimmy's drum throne, this is his space.' But they were like, 'No! Be yourself, do your thing.' I came out of my shell and now I'm totally at home with these guys. We have a great chemistry, musically and personally."

Portnoy has added one of Sullivan's cymbals to his touring kit: a Sabian ride The Rev had owned for years which the company had refurbished, but hadn't been able to return before his death.

Portnoy made his concert debut with AVENGED SEVENFOLD on July 25 as they played live for the first time since Sullivan's death at the Heavy MTL festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

DREAM THEATER 'Incredibly Excited' About New Drummer


Guitarist John Petrucci of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER has issued the following update:

"Hey, everyone. Wanted to quickly let you all know what's been happening lately.

"I know that the big question is 'Who is the new DREAM THEATER drummer?' I also realize that some people are getting frustrated waiting for the news.

"Well, auditions went great and we do have someone but we are spending some time getting everything in order before making an official announcement. Let me just say that we are all incredibly excited about our choice and just bursting at the seams to let the world know!

"The Long Island Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony was a lot of fun and truly an incredible honor. DREAM THEATER is so thankful to the board to be recognized in that way.

"I've been demoing tunes for my next solo record at my home as well as writing and cataloguing riffs and ideas for the new DREAM THEATER album. We'll be in the studio come January which is already just around the corner. Can't wait!

"Been working on and developing a few new signature products which will be released soon. Stay tuned for details. Also, I've recorded a few demo videos for some of the gear companies I endorse which should be available to view soon. The one for the Zoom Q3HD is already up [see below].

"Besides that, just practicing, lifting and taking care of the family.

"Life is great.

"I hope this message finds everyone well and again, thanks so much for the tremendous support."

DREAM THEATER will co-headline next year's edition of Classic Rock magazine's award-winning High Voltage festival, set to take place Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24, 2011 in Victoria Park, London, England. The band will headline the main stage on July 24. High Voltage 2011 will mark the first U.K. performance of the group's new lineup following the departure of drummer and founding member Mike Portnoy.

Portnoy, who is currently out with AVENGED SEVENFOLD as their touring drummer, previously said of his decision to quit DREAM THEATER, "Please believe me that it is not a hasty decision . . . it is something I have struggled with for the last year or so . . . After having had such amazing experiences playing with HAIL!, TRANSATLANTIC and AVENGED SEVENFOLD this past year, I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in DREAM THEATER."

Portnoy added, "I love the DREAM THEATER guys dearly and have a long history, friendship and bond that runs incredibly deep with them — it's just that I think we are in serious need of a little break."

The drummer said that DREAM THEATER's "endless write/record/tour cycle for almost 20 years" was the main factor in his decision. He said he wanted a "break," not a "split," but that the band decided to move forward without him.

Portnoy added in a separate post on Facebook that his current gig with AVENGED SEVENFOLD had nothing to do with his departure from DREAM THEATER, writing, "They are just as shocked as you guys."

Source: RNR COLA

Friday, December 10, 2010

RUSH To Film Cleveland Performance For Future Release


As a tribute to the U.S. city that first played their music, Canadian rock legends RUSH have confirmed that the Cleveland performance of their "Time Machine" show on April 15, 2011 at the Quicken Loans Arena will be filmed for a full-length release.

Cleveland is remarkable for being one of the very first U.S. cities where RUSH performed, in addition to being the first city to provide American airplay.

This will be a must-see event for RUSH fans in Cleveland — and for everyone able to make the road trip as it is will also mark the first live full-length filming on U.S. soil.

Tickets for Cleveland go on sale on Saturday, December 11, with pre-sales for RUSH fan-club and CITI cardmembers beginning December 7.

Tickets for Ft. Lauderdale, Greensboro, Nashville, Louisville, Toledo, New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Hamilton and Montreal all go on sale this week.

Newly announced RUSH tour dates:

Mar. 30 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Bank Atlantic Center
Apr. 01 - Greensboro, NC @ Coliseum
Apr. 03 - Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
Apr. 05 - Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
Apr. 06 - Toledo, OH @ Huntington Center
Apr. 08 - Hershey, NJ @ Giant Center
Apr. 10 - New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
Apr. 12 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
Apr. 15 - Cleveland, OH @ Quickens Loans Arena
Apr. 17 - Detroit, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills
Apr. 19 - Hamilton, ON @ Copps Coliseum
Apr. 20 - Montreal, PQ @ Bell Centre
Apr. 22 - Baltimore, MD @ 1st Mariner Arena

The "Time Machine" tour is an evening with RUSH, where they will perform their classics, give a taste of the future and will — for the first time ever in the U.K. — feature the "Moving Pictures" album live in its entirety.

The first North American leg of the tour kicked off in June of 2010 and led to RUSH ranking #1 on Billboard's "Hot Tours" chart, followed by a return to Brazil and first-time shows in Argentina and Chile on their South American tour this past fall.

"'Moving Pictures' is our most popular album and it's the one that seems to have passed the test of time most gracefully," observes singer/bassist Geddy Lee. "We're playing better than ever, and I'm not sure we're quite ready to put that tour away," he adds.

Markus Reuter To Release New Contemporary Classical Composition


For Immediate Release

Markus Reuter releases digital download of his contemporary classical composition 'Todmorden 513'

Producer, musician, composer and sound designer Markus Reuter has just released the first performance of his contemporary classical piece 'Todmorden 513'. The piece is an algorithmic composition for live instruments and electronics. This recording of the piece is available for digital download (and on CD, see below) at http://www.markusreuter.com.

'Todmorden 513' is an hour-long composition based on a cycle of 513 evenly spaced chords that were strictly derived from systematic combinations of pitches and recursive definition (i.e. the repeated application of a set of rules).

As Henry Warwick explains in the liner notes, "It is a continuous movement and sequence of five hundred and thirteen harmonies and triads generated by a combinatorial compositional technique of Reuter's own design.

The notes of each harmony or triad is then fed back into the same algorithm, resulting in a progression of chords and note clusters of highly varied density, ranging from simple two note harmonies to dense twelve note chords spread across several octaves. Starting on an A flat, the sequences of pitches form a kind of melodic or thematic line throughout. The rhythms of the performing instrumental trios and quartets were derived from the chord sequences themselves, which were looped across the whole piece, mapped to the notes of each chord, then mixed together. From there it was split into three or four independent voices respectively. The result is a shifting set of harmonic densities
-- at times quite spare -- ranging from a harmony of two instruments to other moments of thick and lush instrumentation."

Critically acclaimed composer Nik Bärtsch says of the piece, "The composition sounds like a totally liberated Richard Wagner after an intense week of meditation in a space station behind Mars in the year 2050."

This performance of 'Todmorden 513' features a string and recorder ensemble and is intended as a starting point as Reuter intends for many more performances of the work in the future.

Personnel for this original recording include Reuter, Tobias Reber, Karina Bellmann, Uta Maria Lempert, Wiebke Tschöpe, Juliane Gilbert, Ulrich Pollmann, Frieder Zimmermann, and Robert Rich.

Todmorden 513 is also an experiment in distribution: for a minimum price of 4 EUR for the download from Bandcamp, a CD hardcopy (signed if
requested) will be sent to the buyer. The small cost covers shipping and handling of the CD to anywhere in the world.

New Eloy Documentary on DVD

Cinematic Document of Germany's Most Successful Progressive Rock Band ELOY To Be Released


"The Legacy Box" (2 DVDs / PAL)
Release date: 10.December 2010
Artist Station Records/Soulfood


12/7/2010 – Germany – In celebration of their 40 year band history, a new cinematic document of Germany's most successful progressive rock band ELOY take the friends of their music on a journey through four decades of the band's fascinating history. In the 90-minute documentary Mighty Echoes (DVD 1) former and current ELOY musicians (Frank Bornemann, Klaus-Peter Matziol, Jürgen Rosenthal, Hannes Folberth, Michael Gerlach, Fritz Randow, Hannes Arkona) talk about their time and work with ELOY. Likewise engineers, product managers and other important companions of the band also have their say. All phases are documented and enhanced with previously unpublished pictures making this the definitive documentary of the legendary German ensemble. On the clip compilation (DVD 2) there is an additional collection of old TV shows, live videos and promotional videos, such as The Midnight Fight, The Sun Song, Decay of Logos, Silhouette and Voyager of the Future Race.


The Legacy Box is the ultimate Eloy collectors item!!!


Formed in Hanover, Germany by guitarist Frank Bornemann in 1969, ELOY derived its name from HG Wells science fiction classic 'The Time Machine'. After winning a regional band competition the band recorded their first single in 1970. In 1971, ELOY signed their first recording contract with Philips and went to Hamburg to record their debut album with sound engineer Conny Plank (who was also working with Kraftwerk, The Scorpions and Jane at that time). The sometimes socio-critical lyrics were reflected in the iconic folding dustbin album cover. Frank Bornemann, reflecting on this debut in 2008 said, “Despite the often polarizing positions concerning the artistic line, we nevertheless managed to put an album together which aptly depicts the zeitgeist of this era.”


With a new line-up, ELOY recorded 'Inside', which was released in 1973 on EMI’s prestigious Harvest label (Pink Floyd, Deep Purple among others). These changes proved successful, and now a clear musical outline was visible. The typical ELOY sound, a synthesis of spherical sounds, pulsating rhythms, powerful guitars and complex concert arrangements was born, and set out to enthuse an ever growing community of fans. Sales figures for 'Inside' were good enough to call the album a success and the band proceeded to the next album, 'Floating', which consolidated their success. However, the band did not consider this rock-orientated material a step forward and went on to tackle a more substantial project. 'Power And The Passion' was ELOY's first concept album. It was released in 1975, and featured new synthesizers. Putting a story into music allowed the band to give their work a broader narrative scope.


Unfortunately, the influence of ELOY’s manager at the time, Jay Partridge, caused strong tensions. The band fell apart, and eventually, Frank Bornemann found himself without fellow musicians. However, EMI stood by him, still trusting his artistic abilities. They offered to help him to rebuild the band with new members and continue his career. With a new line-up intact, the music became even more orchestral, structurally diverse and atmospheric. During rehearsals, ELOY wrote the music for the new album, 'Dawn'. At subsequent recording sessions in Cologne, a string orchestra added orchestral elements. This gave the music a unique touch, something special. The album hit the stores in 1976, at once becoming ELOY’s greatest success so far. With two subsequent tours, the band gained a dedicated following. The ground was cleared for the big one, which followed in 1977 with the album 'Ocean', which has remained ELOY's best-selling album till today. This album precisely mirrored the zeitgeist, with its synthesis of atmospheric electronic sounds, orchestral rock-music patterns and esoteric lyrics. It brought about the band's breakthrough and put them at the top of the so-called progressive-rock movement. It eventually turned out to be the best-selling progressive rock album by a German band to date. In 1995, it was awarded a gold award by EMI - 25 years after the release, with sales figures in Germany alone at 250,000. ELOY were high in the German charts in 1977, sometimes outperforming their British colleagues in Genesis and Pink Floyd. The subsequent tour was elaborately staged with a laser show. The audiences were growing and the live show was triumphant. Recordings of it were released in 1978 as a double album named 'Live'.

Eloy would go on to record several more critically acclaimed albums throughout the '80s with several line-up changes, albeit the one consistent original driving member Frank Bornemann. After a break in the early '90s, 1993 became a special year in the band's history with the approaching 25th anniversary of ELOY the following year. It was to be celebrated with the ambitious 'Chronicles' project, with two CDs comprising the best ELOY songs. Some of the material was re-recorded with the original cast, some was remixed or remastered. Autumn of this year saw the release of 'The Tides Return Forever', and, for the first time since the '80s, they were touring again. Due to public demand, there was a second part to the tour in 1995, and the second part of 'Chronicles' was released that year as well. “What more is to come?” asked Frank Bornemann? The answer was 'Ocean 2'. This ambitious project also owed itself to the fan club, which had been set up for the tour of '94. In 1998 the 16th studio album eventually saw the light of day. Positive reactions everywhere sent the band on another tour. Unfortunately, this was to be the last sign of life from Germany's most successful progressive rock band for a long time.

In 2003, EMI released 'Timeless Passages', the ultimate song collection on two CDs. The product was graced with elaborate cover artwork, strongly suggestive of the band's heyday. Shortly after, the last newly mastered old EMI studio albums hit the market. The back catalog sold in respectable quantities, proving the interest of the fans was still alive. And so the people at Frank's label, Artist Station, which he founded together with Martin Kleemann, had to figure out a way of meeting expectations. In December 2010, ELOY are celebrating their 40th anniversary with the release of 'The Legacy Box' DVD-set. On the occasion of the anniversary, new music is being written and recorded much to the elation of ELOY fans around the globe. 'Visionary' is the title of the new album, set to challenge the best of the old ones. Frank has brought the band together again and inspired them to give their best. ELOY is back!


The entire ELOY history, discography, pictures and more can be viewed at
www.eloy-legacy.com

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

THE JELLY JAM To Release New Album Next Year

THE JELLY JAM, the three-piece progressive rock band featuring KING'S X guitarist/vocalist Ty Tabor, DREAM THEATER bassist John Myung and DIXIE DREGS drummer Rod Morgenstein, will release a new album, entitled "Shall We Descend?" , in early 2011 via Molken Music. The same label will also re-release the first two THE JELLY JAM LPs — "The Jelly Jam" (2002) and "The Jelly Jam 2" (2004) — as high-quality MP3s. Bonus material from the first two albums will be available soon.

Along with keyboardist Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION), Tabor, Morgenstein and Myung previously collaborated under the name PLATYPUS.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bruford To Have Speaking Events In US In December

An evening appearance at the Guitar Center, Manhattan, NY has been added to the public dates on Bill's US trip in December.
December 1st: Guitar Centre, Manhattan, NY
December 2nd: Drummers Collective, NYC, NY
December 3rd: Manhattan School of Music: NYC, NY
December 7th: Drumshop, Memphis, TN
December 8th: Borders, King of Prussia, PA.
Bill will also be at UArts in Philadelphia on December 6th, but that is a private event for students only. Full details here on all of the above as soon as we have them.

November News Bytes

  • The next Van der Graaf Generator album, "A Grounding in Numbers", will be released on 14th March 2011 on Esoteric/Cherry Red.
  • German legand band Eloy will release double DVD's called "The Legacy Box" in December.
  • A recent rumor has swirled that Dream Theater's new drummer is Mike Mangini. He has played with both James LaBrie and Jordan Rudess in the past. The others who auditioned were Virgil Donati, Marco Minnemann, Thomas Lang and Peter Wildoer. Dream Theater is to work on a new recording in January.
  • Karmakanic is to play NEARFest 2011 as announced on the Gagliarchives radio program on Saturday 11/20/10

Friday, November 26, 2010

MIKE PORTNOY Thought He Could Control DREAM THEATER, Says Keyboardist RUDESS


U.K.'s Classic Rock Prog magazine recently spoke to the four remaining members of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER — guitarist John Petrucci, vocalist James LaBrie, bassist John Myung and keyboardist Jordan Rudess — about the surprising departure of the band's drummer and founding member, Mike Portnoy. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the August 30 meeting between the DREAM THEATER bandmembers in a New York City hotel room when first learned that Portnoy wanted to take a break from the group:

Petrucci: "It's definitely a bit surreal and I'm okay, but it's just so weird how things change. Basically, we went into a meeting expecting to talk about details of the studio and when and where, and it took a whole different turn. We were supposed to go into the studio in January and we had actually extended our break a bit so that Mike could finish out the rest of the year [as the touring drummer for] AVENGED SEVENFOLD. Then he brought up that he wanted to take a hiatus. There wasn't anything that led up to it in our minds and it kind of shocked us, you know?! We weren't expecting that at all."

On Portnoy's only proposed solution — for DREAM THEATER to go on an indefinite hiatus, believing that a break would help to rekindle his enthusiasm for both the DREAM THEATER machine as well as his relationship with the other members:

Rudess: Yeah, he was saying a few years, three years, five years, or whatever. I really believe that's what might've been best for him and I'm sure he doesn't want to let go of DREAM THEATER. Why should he necessarily have to? Of course, there's the reality that there are four other guys who also happen to have DREAM THEATER as their lives. I think a lot of the problem was with us personally, but to me the vibe within DREAM THEATER was fine. I mean, so you've got John Myung who wasn't really socializing with us at all anymore, but as I said to Mike, 'Tell me how it's any different to when I first joined this band.' I don't see it. And I've really got no problem with him doing what he's doing with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. I think it's pretty cool going out and playing with a really successful rock group. I just have a little bit of a problem with him thinking that he could control DREAM THEATER. It's like a captain who is trying to command his ship when he's
not even standing on the ship. And all the other guys are just sitting there , cruising along with a guy saying, 'The captain has left the ship. Okay, boys, here's what we're going to do: You're going to take a break.' And they're, like, 'But wait a minute, we're standing on the ship.' But Mike remains our very good friend and I think there's a lot of love there between everyone, really, when it comes down to it. He may have been a little tired of us, but the bigger picture is that we're all brothers."

On DREAM THEATER's decision to carry on without Mike Portnoy:

Petrucci: "You know, we've known each other for a long time, 25 years-plus, and I love Mike. One of the first things I said was that I was trying to understand where he was coming from and that I don't judge him. Everyone is their own man and I get it. But from my perspective and from that of the other guys, you could take those same elements mentioned by Mike, the fact that we've been a band for 25 years, that this is something that we have built up and that we love, as a reason not to stop it or even take a break."

Myung: "We love what we do and we didn't want to wait around as things became unstable. What was initially a four-month break suddenly turned into a hiatus, then changed to a year and four months, which then could have turned into anyone's guess."

Petrucci: "It was an extremely emotional moment and the whole thing to me is very heartbreaking and very sad. You know, you walk around afterwards going, 'Is this really happening?' It's almost like that feeling when somebody dies. You feel like you're in some kind of weird, limbo dream state and it's hard for me to imagine this band without him. But I think the whole beauty of DREAM THEATER is the collective nature and everybody has their talents. I think we've always been about more than just one individual and that's part of our strength. Of course we are going to miss Mike a lot, but we move forward, as is our right."

On the fact that DREAM THEATER is replacing more than just a drummer — Portnoy was the band's mascot, chief interviewee, driver of concepts, selector of setlists and was always at the forefront when the band was deliberating over a musical direction:

LaBrie: "Yes, Mike was all about those things and not to simplify it or belittle it, but that will just have to be something that we allocate to each and every one of us to take over. So that will be a major difference in the band. Instead of one person handling all of those responsibilities, it's going to be spread out over four others."

Rudess: "I guess we're excited about being able to look at all the cool stuff Mike did and spread them around a bit. We've got an amazing team of managers and tour managers, we're all very capable guys and we're not scared. This is not rocket science. This is not curing cancer, this is a rock band, and I think we can handle it."

On whether in a few years time, when all this turbulence has subsided and Portnoy feels sufficiently recharged, he would be welcomed back in DREAM THEATER:

Petrucci: "You know, I've played with Mike for so long and we have done so many things together that at some point we will play together again, and we told each other that. It would be ridiculous to think that we won't play together again. That's kind of silly. Whether it's in DREAM THEATER or something else or we reunite down the line, who knows?! If that's the way the planets align and things work out in both of our lives, then I'm certainly open to that. But in the meantime, I think we owe it to ourselves to carry on with focus and intention. Right now, we have to find an ass-kicking drummer…"

SOURCE: RNRCOLA

Thursday, November 25, 2010

RUSH: Scandinavian Tour Dates Added


Canadian rock legends RUSH will bring their revered three-and-a-half-hour "Time Machine" tour to Europe this coming May 2011.

Confirmed dates so far:

May 04 - Helsinki, Finland - Hartwall Arena
May 06 - Stockholm, Sweden - Globe
May 08 - Malmo, Sweden - Malmo Arena
May 12 - Dublin, Ireland - O2
May 14 - Glasgow, UK - SECC
May 16 - Sheffield, UK - Motorpoint Arena
May 19 - Manchester, UK - MEN Arena
May 21 - Newcastle, UK - Metro Radio Arena
May 22 - Birmingham, UK - LG Arena
May 25 - London, UK - O2
May 29 - Frankfurt, Germany - Festhalle Frankfurt

The "Time Machine" tour is an evening with RUSH, where they will perform their classics, give a taste of the future and will — for the first time ever in the U.K. — feature the "Moving Pictures" album live in its entirety.

The North American leg of the tour kicked off in June of 2010 and led to RUSH ranking #1 on Billboard's "Hot Tours" chart, followed by a return to Brazil and first-time shows in Argentina & Chile on their South American tour this past fall, all the while rabid demand warranted extending the tour to Europe.

"'Moving Pictures' is our most popular album and it's the one that seems to have passed the test of time most gracefully," observes singer/bassist Geddy Lee. "We're playing better than ever, and I'm not sure we're quite ready to put that tour away," he adds.

TESSERACT Announces DVD Plans


U.K. progressive metal hopefuls TESSERACT just spent the last month touring across the United States with DEVIN TOWNSEND in support of its "Concealing Fate", EP which was engineered, produced and mixed by TESSERACT bandmembers Acle Kahney and Amos Williams.

Commented the band: "So, we've just returned from what was possibly the most incredible first tour of the U.S. and Canada that any band could ever have hoped for. We've seen many wonders like the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls and experienced trials and tribulations like a two-day drive and a GPS that said 'in 704 miles, turn left.' We ate more food than any one man should ever be able to eat at breakfast, every...single...day.

"It's a shame, but for the rest of the world, North America has a lot of stereotypes, most of them negative. However, within the first 24 hours, most of these were dispelled and all of us fell in love with the place. The people, the crowds and the country were wonderful and in many cases simply epic.

"You can see a portion of the silliness in this album of photos taken by Kristell Gathoye who was on the road with us.

"We feel we must thank Devin Townsend and the wonderful band of musicians collectively known as THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT for their kindness, hospitality and genuine humility. Along with DTP, we have made so many good friends and are looking forward to meeting them all again and catching up in person when we tour 'over the pond' once again. Speaking of which, we're just confirming a mammoth six-week U.S. and Canadian tour to coincide with the release of our debut album next year; more information will be released on this soon.

"Wishing to strike whilst the iron was still hot, we headed straight in to the studio upon our return to record and film a DVD that we will include with the release of 'One'. It will be a stark example of what a band sounds like live and in one take. So see it as a take on a live performance, but in the studio environment.

"You don't really get the opportunity to hear music in its pure form these days, but with this DVD we hope to show you a band without the typical production tools and 'smoke and mirrors.' So no quantization and no over-dubbing, just plain and simple TESSERACT, warts and all, as you would see us live at a gig. We also aim to give those of you with the capability the whole thing in 5.1 Surround Sound.

"Things are coming together and slowly building up to the release of 'One' next year, but before that we still have two exciting tours to complete. The first is in December in India, as part of the Great Indian Rock Festival 2010, alongside MESHUGGAH, ENSLAVED and PURIFIED BY BLOOD, as well as a whole host of homegrown Indian talent. The second is around the U.K. as part of the 'League of Extraordinary Djentlemen' with PERIPHERY and MONUMENTS.

"The response to the release of the 'Concealing Fate' EP has been fantastic. We are so grateful to all of you that have taken the time to check us out and listen, be it on the web, CD or in the flesh at a gig. We look forward to seeing you all at a gig in the future."

TESSERACT's promotional video for the song "Conceling Fate Pt. 1", directed by Khaled Lowe and produced by Campbell Beaton, can be viewed below.

With constant support from the U.K. media, TESSERACT has been able to achieve a loyal following in its home country as well as the rest of Europe, having their video for "Concealing Fate Part II" in constant rotation on Scuzz TV and other media outlets. They've toured throughout Europe, playing everything from clubs to festivals and last spring made it over to Russia for the first of what will surely be many stops.

Formed in 2003 as a solo writing project in the mind of guitarist Acle (who was a founding member in FELL SILENT), TESSERACT first broke through in the scene with their 2007 demo and later appearances at U.K.'s Bloodstock, Hammerfest, Caos Emergente in Portugal and the Hellfire 2 festival at the Birmingham NEC arena. TESSERACT soon become one of the most-talked-about bands among musicians and tech-heads, thanks to the quintet's time signatures and musical complexity.

TESSERACT is:

Acle Kahney - Guitar
Amos Williams - Bass
Dan Tompkins - Vocals
Jay Postones - Drums
James Monteith - Guitar

For more information, visit www.tesseractband.co.uk

Source: RNRCOLA

Monday, November 22, 2010

Greek Progressive Metal Band Wastefall Reforms

Two years after announcing their split, Greek progressive metallers WASTEFALL have reformed. The band states, "We are more than glad to announce that Domenik [Papaemmanouil; vocals, guitar, keyboards] returned from exile and Alex [Katsiyiannis, guitar] decided to abandon his haven. The only difference is that we decided to recruit Tassos Loukos behind the drums, since Kostis [Papaleksopoulos] is still in exile. Apart from that, the members remain the same."

WASTEFALL's third album, "Self Exile", was released in 2006 via Sensory Records. The CD was mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen (HELLOWEEN, TNT, JORN LANDE) at Jailhouse Studios in Denmark.

Greek Progressive Metal Band Wastefall Reforms

Two years after announcing their split, Greek progressive metallers WASTEFALL have reformed. The band states, "We are more than glad to announce that Domenik [Papaemmanouil; vocals, guitar, keyboards] returned from exile and Alex [Katsiyiannis, guitar] decided to abandon his haven. The only difference is that we decided to recruit Tassos Loukos behind the drums, since Kostis [Papaleksopoulos] is still in exile. Apart from that, the members remain the same."

WASTEFALL's third album, "Self Exile", was released in 2006 via Sensory Records. The CD was mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen (HELLOWEEN, TNT, JORN LANDE) at Jailhouse Studios in Denmark.

MIKE PORTNOY: DREAM THEATER Carrying On Without Me Will 'Seriously Damage Our Relationship'



Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy recently spoke to Classic Rock Prog magazine about his decision to quit the band he formed and led for 25 years. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

Classic Rock Prog: Were you expecting the guys in the band to agree with you that DREAM THEATER needed an extended break?

Portnoy: "Well, I knew my proposal would be met with some shock and hesitation, but I honestly hoped the guys would see my need for a break or a hiatus and respect it. It's not the most insane request in the history of rock... MANY bands have done it, only to return bigger and stronger than before. SOUNDGARDEN, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, JANE'S ADDICTION, FAITH NO MORE, ALICE IN CHAINS, MEGADETH, PHISH, etc. etc. Even RUSH, GENESIS, PINK FLOYD have all taken extended breaks in order to keep the band together."

Classic Rock Prog: Were you shocked and upset that they ultimately decided to go on without you?

Portnoy: "I'd be lying if I didn't say I am devastated they chose to continue without me rather than take a break. After me giving my heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears to them and the band for 25 years, I hoped they'd value me and our relationship enough to respect my need for us to take a little break. I am truly heartbroken over their decision. I suppose it also kills me that in the past the guys NEVER would question or ever debate my direction within the band. They always let me call the shots and always trusted my vision and guidance. And NOW, with such a huge and personal conflict.. they disagreed with me for the first time... on the biggest decision of them all.

"DREAM THEATER is my baby and I NEVER wanted to abandon my child. I only felt the parents needed a little breather to help save the marriage.

"The big irony here is that I wanted a break to help mend and strengthen our relations and ultimately bring us closer together.... and now by them chosing to move on without me it is ultimately going to seriously damage our relationship.... as well as the DREAM THEATER legacy I spent so long building and protecting."

Classic Rock Prog: Apart from wanting a break from the DREAM THEATER routine and the guys in the band, was there any part of the music that you needed to escape from? (e.g. Were you happy with the musical direction of the last two albums or had it become stale for you? Had this become a "day job" and you were worried you might just be going through the motions?)

Portnoy: "Honestly, it had nothing to do with the music itself or the musical chemistry within the band. I was always very inspired when writing and recording together and am as proud of our last few albums as anything else in the catalog. It really was more of the behind-the-scenes, personal relationships within the band. Yes, on the surface it may seem that life was great and full steam ahead for DREAM THEATER... things like playing Download and Wembley, the recent [IRON] MAIDEN tour in the U.S., Top 10 entry on Billboard were all nice feathers in the cap... but beneath the surface, there was a lot of friction and burn-out. I mean, we have one bandmember that would literally not even sit in the same room with the rest of us for years now and we'd only see him on stage or at meet-and-greets...and then other members just doing a lot of complaining about the day-to-day stuff... To me, these are obvious signs of wear and tear and a need for a break from
each other in order to recharge the batteries and reignite the flame. On the opposite hand, I would go out on tour with TRANSATLANTIC or AVENGED SEVENFOLD and all of the band members are hanging out, eating meals together and enjoying each other's company.

"I think DREAM THEATER really needed a bit of a break to rejuvenate our relationships. Of course, now in the wake of this split, the four guys HAVE to pull together to keep the band together, so I'm sure they will surely look at these issues and change them. I'm just saddened that they wouldn't wait for me to do it."

Classic Rock Prog: Do you regret your decision?

Portnoy: "Well, I absolutely HATE the outcome and the situation I was put into to have to make it. But I could not honestly return to the band to make an album in January without feeling resentment and being uncomfortable that I was forced into doing something I wasn't ready to do. I have chosen the harder, more challenging road rather than the safer, easier road. But my heart has never steered me wrong. I've always followed it and only done things that I knew would make me happy.

"At the moment, I am very happy playing with AVENGED SEVENFOLD...and I do not want to stop doing something I am happy doing to go do something I'm not very happy doing. I cannot do something with my life and career because I 'have' to, I need to 'want' to do it.

"For 25 years now, I have made decisions for DREAM THEATER and our fans...for once in my life, I needed to make a decision for Mike Portnoy."

Portnoy, who is currently out with AVENGED SEVENFOLD as their touring drummer, previously said of his decision to quit DREAM THEATER, "Please believe me that it is not a hasty decision . . . it is something I have struggled with for the last year or so . . . After having had such amazing experiences playing with HAIL!, TRANSATLANTIC and AVENGED SEVENFOLD this past year, I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in DREAM THEATER."

Portnoy added, "I love the DREAM THEATER guys dearly and have a long history, friendship and bond that runs incredibly deep with them — it's just that I think we are in serious need of a little break."

The drummer said that DREAM THEATER's "endless write/record/tour cycle for almost 20 years" was the main factor in his decision. He said he wanted a "break," not a "split," but that the band decided to move forward without him.

Portnoy added in a separate post on Facebook that his current gig with AVENGED SEVENFOLD had nothing to do with his departure from DREAM THEATER, writing, "They are just as shocked as you guys."

AVENGED recruited Portnoy to play on its new album, "Nightmare", following the death last December of the band's drummer, James "The Rev" Sullivan. Portnoy was Sullivan's favorite drummer.

DREAM THEATER said in its own statement, "All of us in DREAM THEATER wholeheartedly wish Mike the best on his musical journey. We have had a long and meaningful career together. It is our true hope that he finds all he is looking for, and that he achieves the happiness he deserves. He will be missed."

JON LORD To Perform 'Concerto For Group And Orchestra' In Germany

According to JonLord.org, former DEEP PURPLE keyboardist Jon Lord has confirmed three German concerts, billed as "An Evening With Jon Lord Featuring Concerto For Group And Orchestra."

The dates are as follows:

May 11 - Koblenz, Germany - Sporthalle Oberwerth
May 13 - Frankfurt, Germany - Jahrhunderthalle
May 14 - Stuttgart, Germany - Liederhalle Beethovensaal

Saturday, November 20, 2010

RUSH Announces U.K. 'Time Machine' Tour Dates

Canadian rock legends RUSH will bring their revered three-and-a-half-hour "Time Machine" tour to the U.K. — with shows in Glasgow, Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and London — this coming May 2011.

The "Time Machine" tour is an evening with RUSH, where they will perform their classics, give a taste of the future and will — for the first time ever in the U.K. — feature the "Moving Pictures" album live in its entirety.

The North American leg of the tour kicked off in June of 2010 and led to RUSH ranking #1 on Billboard's "Hot Tours" chart, followed by a return to Brazil and first-time shows in Argentina & Chile on their South American tour this past fall, all the while rabid demand warranted extending the tour to Europe.

"'Moving Pictures' is our most popular album and it's the one that seems to have passed the test of time most gracefully," observes singer/bassist Geddy Lee. "We're playing better than ever, and I'm not sure we're quite ready to put that tour away," he adds.

RUSH's 2011 U.K. dates are as follows:

May 14 - Glasgow - SECC
May 16 - Sheffield - Motorpoint Arena
May 19 - Manchester - MEN Arena
May 21 - Newcastle - Metro Radio Arena
May 22 - Birmingham - LG Arena
May 25 - London - O2

Tickets go on sale on Friday, November 26 at 9:00 a.m. GMT.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Drummer MARK ZONDER Forms New Prog-Metal Band, Offers Lessons Via Skype


FATES WARNING drummer Mark Zonder has issued the following update:

"I have been working on a few new things of late. I finished the album with Gary Hughes and the band TEN. Dennis Ward will be mixing and it will be out on Frontiers Records soon. Great record and I can't wait to hear the final version. Really enjoyed myself and challenged myself on this as it is a strong commercial rock album, but I also added my personality to it. This will really be something. Very proud of my work on this. I have also decided to give drum lessons via Skype. I will be able to reach students worldwide and trying to use technology to its fullest. I will be taking a stereo feed from my recording console so my drum sound should be album quality. I am planning both an ongoing course of study program or a single lesson, much like a master class.

"A students input and desired instructional direction is crucial. I want to teach what the student wants to learn, not just what I want. More details in the next couple weeks. I can be reached at mark@markzonder.com for inquires.

"Last but not least, I have put together a full-out prog-metal band. Yes, I said prog… Time to get back to this world, time to go home. At present we are putting together songs. Sort of like playing a drum solo from start to finish. A lot of playing but also great vocals and big hooks. Sort of fun not worrying about having the vocals start 20 seconds in. More to come shortly."

For more information, visit
www.markzonder.com

PRESTO BALLET: New Album Cover, Release Date Revealed



PRESTO BALLET, the project led by ex-METAL CHURCH guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof, will release its new album, "Invisible Places", on February 4, 2011 via SAOL / H'Art / Zebralution. The cover artwork for the CD can be viewed below.

PRESTO BALLET's current lineup consists of Vanderhoof, former METAL CHURCH singer Ronny Munroe, drummer Bill Raymond, keyboardist Kerry Shacklett and bassist Bobby Ferkovich.

PRESTO BALLET released its second LP, "The Lost Art of Time Travel", in 2008 in the U.S. through ProgRock Records.

PRESTO BALLET's music was previously described as "highly reminiscent of '70s prog rock, as the band was founded chiefly as a tribute to classic progressive bands such as YES and KANSAS. Their debut album, 'Peace Among the Ruins', was released in 2005 to general praise and considerable press. Critics consistently commented on the album's warm and organic sound, a feeling created through the use of analog recorders and vintage instruments, played with great skill and precision. The band used no drum machines, digital recorders or sequencers in the studio."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

EVERGREY: New Album Details Revealed


Swedish metallers EVERGREY will release their eighth studio album, "Glorious Collision", via Steamhammer/SPV on the following dates:

Germany: February 25
Rest Of Europe: February 28
USA/Canada: February 22

Occasionally a musician has to take a step back into the past to develop artistically. Tom Englund, guitarist and vocalist with EVERGREY, took this risk and reorganized his artistic environment. "The most recent EVERGREY lineup had reached a point where we no longer had fun as a group," he confesses, adding: "So we went our separate ways to save our friendship. There were no angry words, and we're still friends privately."

Naturally, the decision to break up wasn't easy for these long-standing friends, especially for Englund and his remaining keyboardist, Rikard Zander, for whom a continuation of EVERGREY was never called into question. Yet they both had to face a new challenge. In the beginning, we weren't sure whether we'd be able to write a new album without the wealth of experience that the previous lineup brought in," Englund says. "But after Rikard and I had composed a full three numbers during the first week, we felt that was a real coup."

Listeners will feel this positive energy throughout "Glorious Collision", which is described as "a dynamic goody bag featuring the most diverse material ever released on an EVERGREY album." "This may sound like a contradiction in view of our personnel situation, but Rikard and I have allowed more influences on 'Glorious Collision' than ever before," Englund says. "Some elements on 'Glorious Collision' are classic rock, based on a metal format, sometimes the tracks are quiet and haunting, sometimes wild, demanding and gripping."

This diversity is also expressed in the instrumentation of this extremely dynamic studio production which presents the new band members Marcus Jidell (guitar), Hannes Van Dahl (drums) and Johan Niemann (bass). "It's great to hear what a breath of fresh air Marcus, Johan and Hannes have brought into the band," Englund enthuses. "Although the entire material, except for two songs to which Marcus contributed on the compositional side, had already been decided when we started recording, they all left their own, very personal mark on this album." The great experience of Jidell and Niemann, who have worked with acts such as ROYAL HUNT and THERION, among others, and have now contributed lots of positive energy together with the 20-year-old drummer Van Dahl, can be felt throughout the album.

"Glorious Collision" track listing:

01. Leave It Behind Us
02. You
03. Wrong
04. Frozen
05. Restoring The Loss
06. To Fit The Mold
07. Out Of Reach
08. The Phantom Letters
09. The Disease ...
10. It Comes From Within
11. Free
12. I'm Drowning Alone
13. ... And The Distance
14. ... And The Distance (Carina bonus track)