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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Epica are to release new album 'The Divine Conspiracy' through Nuclear Blast on September 10.

Klaus Meine mentions in this interview that this might be the last Scorpions album – www.scorpions.gr/root/goldinter.mp3

NIGHTWISH has been forced to re-schedule the announcement of their new singer. It'll now happen tomorrow, Thursday the 24th of May, at 4:00 CET on the band's website:
www.nightwish.com

NIKKI SIXX has finished the recordings of the 13 tunes to be featured on "Heroin Diaries" soundtrack. The new band has been named SIXX: A.M.

INTENSE has released their album "As Our Army Grows". The Video for "Fear Is Not Enough" has been uploaded to YouTube:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oEYsxh_h1U
The band's first show of 2007 is in Germany, at the Headbanger’s Open Air
www.intense-uk.com
www.myspace.com/intense

Linkin Park have entered the American albums charts at number one with their latest long player Minutes To Midnight, which entered the UK charts at number one last week. The album has sold 623,000 copies making it the year's biggest selling album.

Jimmy Eat World are to enter the studio on May 20 to start mixing their sixth studio album. The follow up to 2005's Futures is expected sometime in September.

Oasis are planning to release a DVD of there 2005 Don't Believe The Truth world tour. Full details are to be confirmed but the bands official site are asking fans to send in personal photos and video footage of the bands Manchester City Stadium shows in July 2005.

PRESS RELEASES

VOIVOD drummer Michel “Away” Langevin has issued an update on the band’s current activities: "Hello there, Here's what's up: The video for Polaroids is finished. It was done with Banger Productions and Ottoblix and contains some of my animation work. I started working on the video for The X-Stream, also in collaboration with Banger Productions and Ottoblix. We will be recording the follow-up to Katorz in the fall 2007. I'm almost finished with the Roar re-issue on Sanctuary. It will include a bonus DVD pulled from the Iron Gang archives of the era. Expect a fall release. Troubleman Unlimited are done with the layout of my art book. The book will contain 325 Voivod related drawings and covers the years 1976-2006. No release date yet but it's getting close! Check out our new belt-buckles, soon on Bandmerch.com. My project Les Ékorchés is out on Indica/Outside. Produced by Glen Robinson. Info: lesekorches.com and myspace.com/lesekorches
My other project Kosmos will come out this year on The End. Info: myspace.com/kosmostheband
Snake's project Paranoland is on the way. Also produced by Glen Robinson. Info: myspace.com/paranoland
Also in the works: The Outer Limits and Angel Rat re-issues on The End. Killing Technology and Dimension Hatross re-issues with bonus Iron Gang DVDs on Sanctuary. DVOD 2 and DVOD 3 are coming along too. That's about it I guess. I'm very sorry about the delays, all of this is a lot of work! Peace, Away" The band released the critically-acclaimed Katorz last summer on THE END RECORDS. The album was recently released as a limited edition vinyl pressing available exclusively through THE END RECORDS’ mail-order. The beautiful gatefold 180gm vinyl comes in color format and also includes special artwork and packaging designed by VOIVOD artist/drummer Michel “Away” Langevin. The album was done with full cooperation from the band. The release is limited to 1,000 copies: 400 clear vinyl, 400 red vinyl and 200 black vinyl For more information, go here: http://www.theomegaorder.com/s.nl/it.A/id.14168/.f?sc=2&category=2

GIG NEWS

THE TRACIE HUNTER BAND
Jun 29th Camden Bar Monsta
July 25th Islington Lark In The Park

REVIEWS

KILLING FOR COMPANY ‘Enemies’ (CDS 2007)

The charmingly named Killing For Company (they got their name from a book about the serial killer Dennis Nilsen) have this download only song out now. There is a name in the band though in former Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable plus Steve Williams, ex-Sheer Shock Revival. Stereophonics this isn’t as it is a big, anthem headed by the shouty vocals of Greg Jones and underpinned by a damn fine rhythm section.

***1/2
Jason Ritchie

H.I.M. ‘Uneasy Listening Vol.2’ Universal (2007) www.universalrepublicrecords.com

Second volume of live and alternate versions that is really for fans only, as those new to the band would be better off getting the ‘And Love Said No’ greatest hits collection (which is re-released and re-mastered along with this CD and includes two unreleased songs). Frankly some of these tracks are cack like ‘Rendezvous With Anus’ and ‘Again’. On the other hand the live version of the Chris Isaak cover ‘Wicked Game’ is great stuff – wonderful vocals - and ‘Endless Dark’ is the hook filled goth metal H.I.M. do so well.
If you’re a fan buy this otherwise spend your money on the band’s studio albums.

***
Jason Ritchie

Saga “World’s Apart Revisited”, 2 DVD. InsideOut/SPV

Recent DVD releases have been like buses- you wait ages for a great value, treat for the fans package to come along and then all of a sudden there are a few. Whilst most bands are sticking out live DVDs with little or no bonus material, Canadian melodic/prog band Saga have released a real smorgasbord of a package.
Disc one contains a full gig, recorded in Switzerland in 2005, a show where they performed a one off rendition of their classic “World’s Apart” album in it’s entirety, in between classic tracks and rarely played tracks.
Throughout the show the band are fresh, energetic and clearly having fun.
Disc 2, however, is the real treat. We get interviews with the band, sharing tales from the road on their “World’s Apart” tour of the early 80’s. We also get 5 tracks from that tour, live from England in 1981- plus photo gallery from the recording of the “World’s Apart” album and a documentary including interviews and live footage from 1981/82.
This is a great release for fans of the band and is also available as a 2DVD& 2Cd set.

Nikk Gunns

Poison “Poison’d!” Capitol/EMI

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive about hearing this 13 track covers album from Poison. One of the biggest selling bands of their genre, the band have sold over 25 million albums in a 20 year career- and believe it or not they are still selling out the big venues with their annual US tours.
Produced mostly by legendary producer Don Was, 4 tracks have been previously released by the band, this CD was a revelation. On it we have tracks originally recorded by The Rolling Stones (“Dead Flowers”), Bowie (“Suffragette City”), Tom Petty (“I Need To Know”) and The Cars (“Just What I Needed”)- and the band has succeeded in making the tracks their own, with every song sounding less like the original artist and more like Poison did them all along. I have to be honest and say that the older, previously released, tracks such as Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite” and Loggins & Messina’s “Your Mama Don’t Dance”- itself a massive hit for Poison, do sound a little dated and would have benefited from a new recording. However, this does not detract from the fact that the band have pulled off what others have tried before- and failed, to do- they have released a credible covers album, that released with this summers tour, should do well for them.

Tracks to Burn? “Just What I Needed”, “Mama’s Got A Squeezebox”, “I Need To Know” & “Dead Flowers”.
Why Buy? Long standing fans of the band and fans of party band style rock will love this CD.

Nikk Gunns 4 out of 5

MASS ‘Crack Of Dawn’ Escape Music (2007) www.escape-music.com

Blimey here’s a blast from the past! US hard rock band who released a couple of good albums back in the 80’s. Amazingly they have been carrying on since although mainly touring and releasing albums in their native US. This is a damn fine hard rock album, that has a big dose of the classic 80’s hard rock sound plus some neat modern touches. I defy any rock fan not to love ‘It’s You’ – a great riff, big chorus and emotive vocals from Louis D’Augusta. Doesn’t get much better than this! The title track is pure 80’s hard rock, similar to say Dokken or Sugarcreek. Ballads? Try ‘Someday’ that builds nicely to an epic chorus and the vocals/guitars are nice and clean in the mix. ‘Leaving You’ starts off acoustically before kicking in big time by the song’s end. ‘Who Am I’ shows the band can bring their songs up to date being a very modern rocker in the style of Hinder or Buckcherry. A couple of songs sound a tad to generic like ‘Empty Soul’ and ‘Money Brain’ but overall this is a damn fine album. Crank it up! One for hard rockers everywhere.

****
Jason Ritchie

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