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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Cult are to title their new album 'Born Into This'.

FOREIGNER plan to release a new album either late 2007 or early 2008 plus a live DVD is in the works.

The Outfield have updated their website with news of the health of band mate John Spinks. The update can be found at: www.theoutfield.com/news2.html

Since reuniting in January 07' to perform a benefit concert, Great White has moved forward and hit the studio for their first album in 8 years. "It's just like old times," states lead singer, Jack Russell. "There's a bond that forms between people that is very special. I've missed my friends."
2007 marks Great White's 25th Anniversary, so original members Jack Russell (vocals), Mark Kendall (lead Guitar), Audie Desbrow (drums), Michael Lardie (Guitar/keyboards) and Sean McNabb (bass) have been in studio the last few months writing and recording. Back To The Rhythm is being mixed, produced, and engineered by band member Michael Lardie while collectively all are adding their sounds to the mix. "The new songs sound fresh to me, very Great White, but with an approach of what we sound like in a live performance situation," explains Michael Lardie. "Kendall and I are having fun channeling our Stones roots and playing off each other in the Richards/Woods tradition."
Great White then released on Portrait Records Can't Get There from Here was released in 1999 and is the band's last studio opus thus far. Back To The Rhythm will be released in lavish digipak edition on Frontiers Records on August 31 with the following tracklisting:
1. Back To The Rhythm, 2. Here Goes My Head Again, 3. Take Me Down, 4. Play On, 5. Was It The Night, 6. I'm Alive, 7. Still Hungry, 8. Standin' On The Edge, 9. How Far Is Heaven, 10. Neighborhood, 11. 30 Days In The Hole (exclusive bonus track for the Frontiers Records version), 12. Just Yesterday.
Release in Japan is settled around the same date on King Records. The band is currently working on settling a few live dates in Europe.

LINE OF FIRE’s new album has now been pushed back until early 2008.

GIG NEWS
=========

WHITE LION have had to withdraw from the US RATT/POISON tour.

Marc Bolan: The Celebration will happen at London Shepherd's Bush Empire on September 15, the eve of the 30th anniversary of his death. Tribute band T.Rextasy will accompany a number of major names, who will perform Bolan/T. Rex classics Proceeds will be split between Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy and the PRS Members Fund. Tickets go on sale from June 8. They cost 30 (plus booking fee) via the Empire Box Office: www.shepherds-bush-empire.co.uk/tel: 0870 771 2000.

Eden featuring Vince O'Regan (Bob Catley) and Nick Workman (Kick), will be playing at Dudley JB's this sunday june 10th. Support on the night comes from Tomorrow the World, a new band featuring Craig Chapman formally of Tara's Secret. Tickets are a very reasonable £4 and the doors open at 8pm. Eden will be playing songs from there debut album Open Minds and also new songs. Details of Eden's second album "Karma" will be finalised and announced soon.

MIKA
17TH NOVEMBER - CARLING ACADEMY - GLASGOW
19TH NOVEMBER - APOLLO - MANCHESTER
22ND NOVEMBER - CARLING ACADEMY - BIRMINGHAM
24TH NOVEMBER - DONCASTER DOME - DONCASTER
26TH NOVEMBER - CARLING ACADEMY - NEWCASTLE
28TH NOVEMBER - BOURNEMOUTH INT'NL CENTRE - BOURNEMOUTH
29TH NOVEMBER - PLYMOUTH PAVILIONS- PLYMOUTH
30TH NOVEMBER - BRIGHTON CENTRE - BRIGHTON
2ND DECEMBER - CARLING ACADEMY BRIXTON - LONDON
3RD DECEMBER - APOLLO HAMMERSMITH - LONDON

REVIEWS
========

Iced Earth - Overture Of The Wicked EP. SPV June 4th

Currently, every man Jack and his dog are releasing metal/prog concept albums but this EP is the harbinger of one, which has the potential to stand head and shoulders above the rest. From Tim "Ripper" Owens' searing scream at the start of the intense pounding metal that is 'Ten Thousand Strong' you know Iced Earth have stepped up yet another gear! This isn't the slightly rough round the edges IE of old, here they manage to straddle the camps of both Classic and Power Metal with ease.

Introducing Ripper in 2004 was something of a masterstroke by main man John Schaffer, not only bringing them a higher profile but also harnessing the services of one of heavy metals finest. His vocal talents displayed here are comparable to anyone. The remaining tracks are remakes of the 3 closers from 98's "Something Wicked This Way Comes" Heavier, more polished, and certainly slicker than their predecessors. In 22 glorious minutes, we are introduced to an epic metal storyline, which will span
12,000 years..... and 2 CD's (2007's Framing Armageddon and 2008's Revelation Abomination) Schaffer enthuses "What is coming next... is a far more in depth look into this heavy and apocalyptic sc-fi/fantasy story" This certainly whets the appetite!

November will see Iced Earth back on these shores supporting Heaven & Hell for the UK leg of their tour. On this evidence, Ronnie & the Sabbs might well have their work cut out following these guys!

****
Dave Hunter

AT VANCE VII AFM Records 2nd July

Top-drawer melodic hard rock with a biting power metal edge from the band At Vance, founded by guitarist Olaf Lenk in 1998. Playing in bands since the age of 16 Lenk has certainly learned his trade well, displaying fine song writing and playing technique, this album is testimony to his ability. After many line up changes, this represents surprisingly their 7th release with vocal duties handed this time to the very capable Rick Azti. Himself, a former bassist and vocalist with Swedish metal band Sanity as well as a spell with Treasure Island. Azti, who at times brings to mind David Coverdale, carries a good tune, certainly lending himself well to some cracking tracks here.

A criticism which many albums of these genres are subjected to is that they are all one paced. Not true here, from the outstanding ballad Lost In Your Love though slower AOR tunes such as shiver to the almost power metal of Golden Leaves, Shine and Truth this album has something for everyone. Crossing from AOR into power metal territory with ease At Vance should appeal to a wide audience. Followers of Kamelot and their ilk with love ‘em, fans of Whitesnake, however, will probably be divided because of Azti’s similarity to “The Soldier Of Fortune”.

***1/2
Dave Hunter

CASINO STEEL ‘There’s A Tear In My Heart’ Wild Kingdom (2007) www.wildkingdom.se

A country album with a shot of blues and some very tasty playing by Casino Steel himself. A fire few covers on here including the country twang of ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’, one of three Hank Williams songs on the album. Sadly not quite so good is a cover of ‘What A Wonderful World’ as Steel’s voice just lacks the passion needed to really make this song come alive. Of his own songs ‘I Was Barely Getting By’ dips into the blues and ‘Ballad Of the Sad Café’ features some fine guitar playing.
If you like your country and blues very traditional then this album will suit you down to the ground.

***
Jason Ritchie

AWAKE ‘Illumination’ Lion Music (2007) www.lionmusic.com

Awake are UK prog metal band Humanity under a new name and minus guitarist Steve Wallace. The album is produced by Evergrey’s Tom Englund, who also adds backing vocals along with fellow Evergrey band member Hendrik Danhage guesting on ‘Forgiven Now Forever’.
Musically it is very Evergrey in feel from the vocals of Simon Sahdwell through to the mix of guitar riffs and keyboards throughout the album. ‘Disbelief’ and the brooding ‘Begin Again’ are definite stand out tracks. Like Evergrey Awake are aggressive sounding but manage this without the need for screaming vocals or distorted guitars. There is a real menace in the air behind each songs delivery. That said the songs can sometimes sound too much like Evergrey, which is no bad thing but this might hinder the band who some may see as mere clones and they are not.
Certainly worth getting for lovers of well crafted progressive metal and of course Evergrey fans!

***1/2
Jason Ritchie

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