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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

NEWS

Bernado has left NEXX and the band have suspended all their online activity eg MySpace for now as well.

Deep Purple will release a new live DVD Live At Montreux 2006 June 2 in the UK on Eagle Vision and June 8 in Germany on Edel and June 12 in North America.
The track listing is: DVD 1 (40th Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, July 2006): 1. Pictures Of Home, 2. Things I Never Said, 3. Strange Kind Of Woman, 4. Rapture Of The Deep, 5. Wrong Man, 6. The Well-Dressed Guitar, 7. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, 8. When A Blind Man Cries, 9. Lazy, 10. Keyboard Solo, 11. Space Truckin', 12. Highway Star, 13. Smoke On The Water, 14. Hush, 15. Too Much Fun, 16. Black Night.
DVD 2 (Rapture Of The Deep release party, Hard Rock Cafe, London, October 2005): 1. Fireball, 2. I Got Your Number, 3. Strange Kind Of Woman, 4. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, 5. Rapture Of The Deep, 6. Wrong Man, 7. Lazy, 8. Perfect Strangers, 9. Highway Star, 10. Smoke On The Water.

Former Creed frontman Scott Stapp has been arrested and charged with assault. This is allegedly after a domestic incident.

PRESS RELEASES

Dear Camel Fans,

At long last, our return to England is complete. As with most things, it has taken far longer than we had anticipated, but most things do it seems. It was more than worth the effort. We are both so happy to be back home.

This eBeast is more of a personal message. We would like to share some personal news with you:

Back in 1992, when Camel had well and truly returned to the forefront of their musical niche, Andrew began to display some unusual physical symptoms that necessitated a visit to the doctor. After some tests, he was diagnosed with a little-known blood disorder called Polycythaemia Vera (PV). It's rather like an upside-down leukaemia where there are too many red blood cells as opposed to too many white blood cells. For most, fortunately, PV is a slow-moving disorder and it hasn't had a tremendous impact on our daily lives. In fact, it has been quite cooperative. However, it is a progressive disorder, and has a very specific course that it runs if the patient responds well to treatment. Andrew has responded very well to all the treatments, at each stage, and seems to have been on a very 'normal' course. As time has passed, his health has gradually become less robust as it once was. Many of you know that he lost his voice on the past two tours, and a couple of shows had to be cancelled due to illness (Camel's only performance in Ireland). His immune system has to work harder than normal, and being exposed to such a demanding tour schedule with so many different environments, it has been taxed considerably. He has had to deal with more than his fair share of colds, chest and/or throat infections. Nothing terribly serious, but it's not conducive to intensive touring. Ultimately, we were forced to announce the Farewell Tour, though Andrew was already thinking about the 'Retirement Sucks' tour.

We have now come to the latter stage of PV, and a condition known as Myelofibrosis (MF) is taking its place. Once again, this isn't necessarily a fast-moving disorder. It can be for some, but Andrew is a strong-willed person and has virtually followed the medical text-book to date. I feel he will continue on this positive route. His physical symptoms have changed thought, and they're having a more direct effect on our lives than the PV symptoms. Fatigue is the most common symptom, and with the recent move, we have both been considerably more tired than usual, so it's not surprising. Andrew would be the first to tell you that he isn't exactly speedy when it comes to writing music that satisfies his heart. MF is having a direct effect on this, so he's slower than he has been in the past. But he's still thinking/writing/playing. The spirit is willing, the flesh is a little under the weather at times.

There are a couple of reasons we have elected to tell you about this. The first is, of course, that he hasn't been in the limelight of musical output of late. Rather than continue the roaring sound of silence, we wanted to let you all know why. The other reason is a bit more down to earth. You have all been much like an extended family to us, and we feel you should know. Your support, both emotional and financial, has accorded us a life of musical freedom, and we have said many times in the past that we are eternally grateful. We say it again.

That, in a nutshell, is how things are with us. We have thought that some of you may want to write to Andrew. Since he needs to conserve his energy to focus on musical pursuits and his general health, he won't be able to receive nor reply to emails. Instead, we have set up a special Guest Book where you can post words of encouragement. That way, Andrew can easily read them when he has the opportunity, and take strength from your words. Remember, just because there has been a medical diagnosis, life is not therefore cast in stone. The power of our determination is the only thing that can impress a stone.

We see this glass as more than half full, and not empty in any way. Presently, we are looking for a home to buy, where we can build a new studio and get on with the business we both love. It's easy to look at the darker side of life, but I was certainly never one to take the easy path. There are so many blessings in our lives that deserve far more acknowledgement, from the simple song of the blackbird, to the strong relationship we have shared for nearly 30 years now. One of the beautiful things about this stage of life is gaining the understanding that it's really all about the little details, things that happen in the unexpected swiftness of a breeze. They are moments that make up the true quality of our lives. Everything in life is only as significant as we make it. That is the wonder of choice, where we think we have none.

Our choice is to keep our eyes on the prize. We were given this life to live, not to stand idly by and watch what falls upon us. We are planning a new studio album and we are looking at the feasibility of some brief, mini-tours, as it were, as opposed to a 3 month odyssey of consecutive rehearsal and performance dates, with nothing but travel in between. Not only do we know that isn't good for Andrew's health, we just don't want to do it any more. Once Upon a Time, it was incredibly exciting to go from city to city, crammed on a bus, playing cards, watching the horizon change and fall behind with ever new horizons to chase. We think we'd like to stroll through it all now, taking a bit more time to savour those horizons and expand the pleasure of more intimate performances.

Life isn't easy, nor fair. No one ever said it would be. But we can take life easier, and that's the special give of life for us right now. Yesterday, 17th May, was Andrew's birthday. For me, it was the best day that ever happened in the Universe.

With our fondest regards to each and everyone of you,
Susan Hoover


Metal Heaven welcomes 3 new bands the ever growing family - Steve Grimmett Band, Consortium Project and Viron.

Steve Grimmett Band - This is the brand new project put together by Steve Grimmett simply titled 'The Steve Grimmett Band'. Steve's history is nothing short of incredible, having one of the most powerful and original voices in rock. His successes include Grim Reaper who accomplished major success worldwide with three highly acclaimed studio albums along with single releases and MTV airplay. After Grim Reaper came a brief spell with Onslaught and again there was commercial success even from that unlikely line-up. The band's debut single even charted in the UK. More recently Steve's success came in the form of Lionsheart, a powerful melodic metal band that took places such as Japan by storm with their debut album reaching number 1 in the mainstream charts as well as a top 5 hit single.
A new Steve Grimmett Band studio album is due out in October 2007 on Metal Heaven and will be produced by the highly rated and acclaimed Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69) and Pete Newdeck.
Steve Grimmett Band is: Steve Grimmett (Grim Reaper, Onslaught, Lionsheart), vocals; Ian Nash (Seven Deadly Sins, Lionsheart) guitars; Richie Walker, bass; Pete Newdeck (Paul Di'Anno's Killers, The Shock), drums.
Guests: Eric Ragno (Jeff Scott Soto, Tony Mills), keyboards; Carsten Schulz (Evidence One), backing vocals.
Live 26.10.2007 UK-Nottingham, Trend University, Firefest IV (with Threshold, Demon, Soul Doctor & Stormzone)

Consortium Project IV - Producer and lead singer Ian Parry (ex Vengeance, Elegy) is proud to present his forth offering Consortium Project IV Children of Tomorrow for a release in July 2007. Unlike previous albums C IV is a more diverse rock metal production with progressive elements reminiscent of his earlier productions. Parry has spent more than a year on this epic co-produced production writing, recording and mixing with colleague Elegy keyboard player Joshua Dutrieux.
The song writing has been shared as on the previous Consortium 3 albums with Joshua, Ian and newcomer to the Consortium family, ex-Within Temptation drummer Ivar de Graaf. Consortium show on the road later in 2007, as a prelude to an Elegy reunion.
The full line-up of Consortium Project 4 is: Ian Parry vocals; Joshua Dutrieux keyboards; Ivar de Graaf drums; Henrik van der Laars - guitars.
Guests: Lou St.Paul (Winter's Bane) guitars; Rosita Abbink female vocals; Erna auf der Haar female vocals; Kyrah Dutrieux spoken words; Judith Rijnveld femals choirs; Niels Vejylt - guitar; Marcel van der Zwam - bass.
www.ianparry.com

Viron - New at Metal Heaven is one of Germany's most promising Metal bands Viron. The band's debut album NWOGHM received high class reviews all over Europe last year and built the foundation for some single gigs and short tours with Ruffians, Solemnity, Morgana Lefay, Sacred Steel, Sabaton, Legion of the Damned, Majesty, Rebellion, Bonfire & Tierra Santa plus performances at festivals such as Headbanger's Open Air, Swordbrothers Festival and United Metal Heads Festival.
The coming album will again be recorded at "Kohlekeller" studios with producer Kristian Kohlmannslehner (Sieges Even, Abandoned, Killers, Crematory) and is scheduled for a release in early 2008.
Line-Up: Alexx Stahl - vocals; Thilo Feucht - guitars; Roger Dequis - guitars; Ingmar Holzhauer - bass; Neudi - drums.
Live - 25.05.2007 - D-Weinheim, Cafe Central (with Sabaton); 11.08.2007 - D-Mommenheim, Mommenheim Open Air (near Mainz)
www.viron1.com

In further news, Finnish Metal band Manitou will release their 3rd album No Signs Of Wisdom in July!
The archetypes for Manitou are Queensryche, Iron Maiden, Annihilator, Ozzy, Dio, Whitesnake, Judas Priest and Tarot. Manitou's own trademark is to compose honest, traditional heavy metal and mix some little proggy elements here and there. You'll find 3 minute straight-forward metal rockers as also 11 minute epic stuff on their albums.
The band in the past has played numerous gigs with the likes of UDO, Paul Di'Anno, Helloween, Graham Bonnet, Tarot, Machine Men, Thunderstone etc., got cheering and great reviews from the metal media and even topped the Finnish single chart on position #2 last year with their Fools In Control single.
No Signs Of Wisdom includes the following songs 1. In This Indolence, 2. Dread Of The Freaks, 3. No Signs Of Wisdom, 4. The End Within, 5. Harbinger, 6. Polluted World, 7. Some Of The Sins Revealed, 8. The Loon, 9. August Sky.
MANITOU are: Markku Pihlaja - vocals (Kaihoro); Markus Vanhala - guitars (Omnium Gatherum, Malpractice); Antti Lauren - guitars; Ismo Laukkanen - bass; Matti Suhonen - drums.
www.metalheaven.net

GIG NEWS

THE ANSWER
20th June Borderline, London

COUNTING CROWS + COLLECTIVE SOUL + LIVE
July 22: Wilmington, Del. (Daniel S. Frawley Stadium)
July 24: Eastlake, Ohio (Classic Park)
July 25: Washington, Pa. (Consol Energy Park)
July 27: Dayton, Ohio (Fifth Third Field)
July 28: Comstock Park, Mich. (Fifth Third Ballpark)
July 31: Erie, Pa. (Jerry Uht Park)
Aug. 1: Buffalo, N.Y. (Dunne Tire Park)
Aug. 3: Louisville, Ky. (Louisville Slugger Field)
Aug. 4: Indianapolis (Victory Field)
Aug. 7: Sauget, Ill. (GCS Ballpark)
Aug. 8: Tulsa, Okla. (Drillers Stadium)
Aug. 10: Sedalia, Mo. (TBA)
Aug. 11: Des Moines, Iowa (Principal Park)
Aug. 14: Aberdeen, Md. (Ripken Stadium)
Aug. 15: Frederick, Md. (Harry Grove Stadium)
Aug. 17: Manchester, N.H. (MerchantsAuto.com Stadium)
Aug. 18: New Britain, Conn. (New Britain Stadium)
Aug. 21: Altoona, Pa. (Blair County Ballpark)
Aug. 22: Lakewood, N.J. (First Energy Park)
Aug. 24: Pawtucket, R.I. (McCoy Stadium)
Aug. 25: Wappingers Falls, N.Y. (Dutchess Stadium)
Aug. 27: Syracuse, N.Y. (TBA)
Aug. 28: Allentown, Pa. (TBA)
Aug. 30: Ft. Wayne, Ind. (Memorial Stadium)
Sept. 1: St. Paul, Minn. (Midway Stadium)
Sept. 2: Fargo, N.D. (Newman Outdoor Field)

REVIEWS

ART OF DYING Revolver Records (2007) www.artofdyingmusic.com

Canadian band’s debut album and they have already been gaining glowing praise form ‘Classic Rock’ amongst others. This praise is indeed justified as there are some cracking rock tuners on here like ‘Fits Of Clarity’, with its catchy chorus and ‘’Completely’ driven along by a cracking guitar riff. They sound at times like fellow Canadians Nickelback as they have the knack of penning hook filled modern rock tunes that will have a wide appeal.
An assured debut album and one for fans of Nickelback for sure.

***1/2
Jason Ritchie

TM STEVENS ‘Africans In The Snow’ SPV (2007) www.spv.de

Bass player TM Stevens has worked and appeared on many albums including the Pretenders, James Brown, Steve Vai and Billy Idol to name but a few. This solo album features plenty of guests including Kings X drummer Will Calhoun and former Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt who whips up a storm on the rap meets funk metal of ‘Gotta Get My One’. Imagine James Brown jamming with King’s X! It is a real musical potpourri from the traditional music on ‘Afro Soul’ through to the rap/funk of ‘Mama Said’. ‘Ayeahi’ is a wonderful song with soothing rhythms and some great African backing vocals.
If you like your music varied with a strong underlying funk vibe this is a damn fine album and will be right up your street. One to play loud on a sunny day!

***1/2
Jason Ritchie

SYMPHONY X ‘Paradise Lost’ Inside Out (2007) www.insideout.de

There are a lot of top notch progressive metal albums out this year including Threshold, Kamelot, Dream Theater and now Symphony X weigh in with another ‘must have’ album. Lyrical references include Milton’s poem of the album’s title plus Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’. You can tell just by the string and choir led intro track that you are in for a treat – sheer pomp glory! The whole album is a highlight really with Russell Allen showing the more aggressive side to his singing than appears ion the Allen/Lande albums. Juts listen to ‘Serpent’s Kiss’ or the title track where he really lets fly vocally. Musically it all hangs together well with no one band member dominating or running away with pointless soloing of the ‘look at me’ variety sometimes. Michael Romeo’s guitar solos often have you have to skip back and hear them again! Stunning yes, flashy no.
They have done it again with another fine album that hangs together well musically and has plenty to keep the listener coming back for more. This album sees them use more backing arrangements coupled with the strong melodies they are so good at.

****
Jason Ritchie

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