In the beginning of 2014, the talented keyboardist of Dream Theater, Jordan Rudess, released two new solo albums: the successfully crowdfunded Explorations, recorded with the Sinfonietta Consonus symphonic orchestra, and All That Is Now which is generally a "piano album" (initially released in December 2013). And what's really surprising is the fact that both of them are up for consideration for Grammy nominations.
Haken have confirmed the release of a 3-track EP featuring reworked materials from their 2008 demo Enter The 5th Dimension, featuring guests Pete Rinaldi (Headspace) and Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic / Flying Colors). Entitled Restoration, it's set for launch on October 27th via InsideOut, midway through the progressive metal band's UK tour with Leprous and Maschine.
Russian power/progressive metal band Eclipse Hunter announced their intentions to halt its development for an unspecified period of time. However, the band will play their last 2 shows in October and December, after which the musicians will concentrate on their own projects and maybe return to Eclipse Hunter someday later. The full letter from the band can be found below.
Sonata Arctica have just announced that their long-time member and bassist Marko Paasikoski is leaving the band. The band expressed much gratitude to him for completing their last tour, despite his wish to quit touring. Sonata Arctica have also announced a new bass player - Pasi Kauppinen (Silent Voices, ex-Requiem (FIN), Winterborn), whom they had known for many years. Pasi mixed both of their DVDs, and recorded several parts for their last 3 studio albums. He will fully join the band starting with the upcoming album.
Paul Antonio Ortiz, the main man in the Chimp Spanner project, has recently announced that his new album is officially in progress. He also confirmed that there will be no songs from the last EP All Roads Lead Here and it will only feature new material. Some working titles include "Mega Rainbow", "Curiosity Killed My Cat" & "BRB Gone Crazy".
Arjen Lucassen, aka Ayreon, has recently uploaded some more excerpts from the new album The Theory Of Everything on YouTube, revealing the first guest singer. This post was a part of the "guessing contest" on his Facebook page, and more excerpts with other singers are awaited soon. Regarding the first part, the majority of fans instantly guessed Marco Hietala (Tarot, Nightwish, Northern Kings) which has been confirmed today as the first guest on the album. The video can be found below.
Danish progressive/neoclassical metal band Royal Hunt has recently announced the release of an anniversary 3CD + DVD compilation, simply entitled 20th Anniversary. The special edition will be released via Frontiers Records in Europe on November 23rd, 2012, in the USA on January 22nd, 2013 and through Marquee/Avalon in Japan/SE Asia on November 21st, 2012.
Tore Moren (guitar) and Nic Angileri (bass) are no longer playing with Norwegian heavy metallers Jorn. According to the band's official website, they will both be focusing on their solo careers and other projects and their departure was not caused by any conflicts within the band. Tore Moren has been playing with Jorn since 2001 and has recorded five studio albums plus one as a session musician and also two live albums. The new line-up is promised to be announced soon.
Frontiers Records announced a worldwide release of "Hard Rain's Coming" - the first single taken from Danish prog/power metallers Royal Hunt's forthcoming album Show Me How To Live - on November 14th (the single will only be available digitally).
Danish power/prog metallers Royal Hunt are putting the very last touches on their new album Show Me How To Live and getting ready to mix it, this time in Sweden, and have also unveiled the new album cover. The album will be first released in the USA on November 29th, then by Frontiers Records in Europe on December 2nd, and finally in Japan on December 7th. More album details were previously reported here.
Royal Hunt are getting ready to enter the studio to record a new - yet untitled - album. The band's 11th studio album is expected to be released in November/December through Marquee/Avalon (Japan and SE Asia) and Frontiers Records (rest of the world).
The band describes the music as a "full-fledged return to that classic RH sound" which put the band on the map in the first place, all the way back in 1991.
The line-up on the album will be the same as the line-up appearing on the mini-reunion-tour this spring.
After repeated requests from fans and concert promoters alike, Royal Hunt and their former lead singer DC Cooper mutually decided to reunite for a very few selected dates, in order to perform the entire Paradox (the band's first concept album from 1997) and several of "everybody's all-time favourite" songs from that period.
Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend has tapped Jens Bogren (Opeth, Paradise Lost, Bloodbath etc.) to mix Deconstruction — the third in a series of albums to be made available under The Devin Townsend Project moniker. The sessions will take place in late February 2011 at Fascination Street studio in Örebro, Sweden.
In a November update Townsend had the following to say about Deconstruction: "There are 2 drummers on this one, Ryan Van Poederooyen (The Devin Townsend Band) for the crushing stuff, and Dirk Verbueren (Soilwork, Scarve), Aborted) for the inhuman stuff. This is a record I have been working up to for some time, and while doing it, I realize that not only am I in control of it (totally) but that this newfound control allows me to take it to places I would have never been able to a decade ago. I pretty much believe that this will be one of our finest hours, and although there is some funny moments, it's a pretty 'pointed' record (if ya know what I mean)..."
In a short update on the band's website, Royal Hunt have announced they signed a record deal with Italian label Scarlet Records for the European release of the new upcoming album, entitled X. An estimated release date is set for early June 2010.
Keyboard player André Andersen said the following about the new album: "This album came out of our love for the 70´s music (tagged as Classic Rock nowadays) - from Kansas, Genesis and ELP to Uriah Heep and Deep Purple - music which was/is very adventurous while just a tad naïve at the same time (as some might say). We all are notoriously resistant to categorize it in any way, form or shape, but (if hard pressed) would go as far as saying that it's definitely much more hard rock than metal and if by "progressive" you might mean some odd time signatures here and there as well as random key changes - sure, there're tons of them here... as well as really basic, simple stuff - so go figure."