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Metal News for May 20, 2006

Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 4:11 PM ET

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6 news articles posted on this day.

New Conelrad (ex-Zao Drummer) Song Posted Online

CONELRAD, the project featuring ZAO drummer Jeff Gretz and Adam MacGregor (former CREATION IS CRUCIFIXION guitarist), have unveiled a new track from their upcoming "Sluts and Slobs" EP being released in June on Pittsburgh's Oh No Vertigo Records. The preview track is available for download on the band's PureVolume site in addition to streaming audio of the band's past compilation appearances and various tracks from prior releases.

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Excalion Begin Recording New Album

Finnish symphonic power metallers EXCALION have entered Watercastle studios to begin recording the follow-up to 2005's "Primal Exhale", due later in the year via Sound Riot Records. "The new songs are very mature both musically and lyrically," reads a press release. "The whole band has improved a lot since their debut album in 2005 and the vocals of Jarmo Paakkonen are more impressive than ever. The actual music is fully rich in the songwriting and playing; it isn't prog or power metal anymore; there are strong influences of Euro melodic metal and U.S. hard rock. We could say the band found their 'own sound' for now!" Songtitles set to appear on the CD include "Soaking Ground", "The Wingman", "I Failed You", "Streams Of Madness" and "Losing Time".

Described as a blend of NIGHTWISH and STRATOVARIUS, "Primal Exhale" was recorded and mixed at Watercastle studios and was mastered at The Digital Audio in U.K. (ROYAL HUNT, RING OF FIRE, LAST TRIBE). Cover artwork duties were handled by C.A. Interactive (MORIFADE, AXENSTAR, SUPREME MAJESTY).

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Show Of The Summer (VA, NJ) Info

Show Of The Summer will take place on June 10th in Virginia, and June 11th in New Jersey. Here are the details:

June 10 - Fredericksburg, VA @ KC's

Dillinger Escape Plan
Haste the Day
Chiodos
Sworn Enemy
The Number Twelve Looks Like You
Full Blown Chaos
From a Second Story Window
Cattle Decapitation
Misery Index
Black My Heart
Despised Icon
Suicide Silence
The Showdown
Flee the Seen
Carol
Suprise Special Guests
+ local talent on second stage

June 11 - Asbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony More...

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Former S.A. Slayer Singer Passes Away

Former S.A. SLAYER and JUGGERNAUT vocalist Steve Cooper (photo) passed away in the early morning hours of May 14 at a San Antonio, Texas hospital from complications due to kidney failure. Cooper, who was diabetic, had been in ill health and on dialysis for several years prior to his untimely death.

"Steve was a gentle soul, a beautiful person, and a great vocalist - his contributions to Texas heavy metal will never be forgotten", said longtime friend Liliana Martinez, who documented much of the vibrant early '80s Southern Texas metal scene, including SLAYER, as a photographer and contributor to Cutthroat, Texas Music News and the Unholy Book fanzine and other outlets. "We had a lot of good times together. Steve was an awesome metal presence, albeit a country boy at heart, and SLAYER were just incredible in their heyday. But find LIQUID SKY's 'Cry For The King' - it is the definitive Steve Cooper! It was the song that when we all first heard of Steve had us knowing he was more than just a metal singer. Steve loved music it ran through his veins. His finest hour came through in his work with S.A. SLAYER. He enjoyed the respect and admiration of all people who came to know him and his music. I will miss him immensely.... my dear friend, affectionately nicknamed Scooper. May you rest in peace... and yes, we know where you are going, hope to see you there someday."

Steven Lane Cooper first came to local prominence as the frontman of San Antonio favorites LIQUID SKY, also featuring guitarist Jonathan Grell (WINTERKAT, RHETT FORRESTER), whose only recorded output came in 1981 with "Cry For The King" on the 99.5 KISS-sponsored "Homegrown Album" compilation LP. Cooper then joined forces with bassist Don Van Stavern (PITBULL DAYCARE, ex-RIOT), drummer Dave McClain (MACHINE HEAD, ex-SACRED REICH), and guitarists Art Villareal and Bob Catlin in legendary Texas metal pioneers SLAYER (not to be confused with the L.A.-based act of the same name) who released their acclaimed debut EP, "Prepare To Die", in 1983 on the Rainforest label.

The band's explosive mix of early IRON MAIDEN, MERCYFUL FATE, and ANGEL WITCH was further documented on their classic "Go For The Throat" LP, recorded with lead guitarist Ron Jarzombek (WATCHTOWER, SPASTIC INK) and released posthumously under the slightly altered S.A. SLAYER moniker some four years after the group's breakup. Cooper, Van Stavern, and McClain subsequently teamed up with RIOT guitarist Mark Reale in the short-lived NARITA. Cooper would re-surface with fellow Texas metallers JUGGERNAUT and contributed lead vocals on the band's 1987 sophomore album, "Trouble Within", before doing a short stint with East Coast-based Metal Blade labelmates EXXPLORER.

Condolences can be sent via e-mail to hpydragon@aol.com and will be forwarded to Steve's mother, Faye. A remembrance service will be held on Saturday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. at 150 Ridge Dr., San Antonio, TX 78228. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association.

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Tristania Complete Recording Of "Illuminations"

Tristania have finished recording their new album,"Illuminations," and sent the following update about the album and more:

"We are eager to announce that the new album is completely finished. We are all delighted with our latest creation, which has been named Illumination. The planned release is in September.

"Some titles from the album are Sanguine Sky, Open Ground, Lotus, Down and Mercyside, to mention a few. All titles will be revealed at a later date.

"True to tradition, we have made an album with a definite and unmistakably Tristanian sound, but which also brings a lot of new and fresh material. The album is another evolutionary step and lets us explore new areas while staying true to our roots.

"On every track, the moods and elements are plentiful; ranging from doom to industrial, from soothing synthesizer passages to technical metal riffs, from dark ballads to classic goth rock – it's all there. We've used a string quartet on several tracks, which attributed yet another dimension to those songs.

"The collaboration with producer Waldemar Sorychta worked really great; we all worked well together as a team. We are delighted with the production, which is exceedingly powerful. Waldemar also came to Norway, prior to going into studio, for two pre-production sessions. This was a very rewarding process which left us better prepared than ever going into the studio.

"It is hard to describe the individual songs, but as ever, the material is very diverse. In a few weeks time, we will post samples from the album online, to give you an impression of the release. We will also post a video collage from recordings made in Woodhouse Studios, where we have spent quite some time this spring.

"Illumination sports some of the strongest vocal performances from both Vibeke and Østen. The extreme vocals are less frequent, but the parts appearing on the album are truly great. We wanted to get someone special to do these parts, and were lucky to get one of our personal favourites in the field to make a guest appearance on the album; namely Vorph from Samael. His performance is truly of the highest standard.

"The music is written by Anders & Einar, with a couple of tracks co-written with producer Waldemar during the pre-production in Norway. Østen is the main lyricist, although Einar has written words for a few songs. Kjartan Hermansen has also once again shared with us his skills as a lyricist.

"Those of you who will see us on the Evolution Fest in Italy and Mera Luna in Germany this summer will get to listen to some of the new material – that's a promise. A lot of the new tracks will be killer live material. ----TRISTANIA"

"Illuminations" is scheduled for release on August 29th through SPV USA.

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All-Star Performance, Bands For ProgPower USA VII

ProgPower USA promoter Glenn Harveston has confirmed that there will be a very special "all-star" performance led by vocalist Jorn Lande during his headline set at ProgPower USA this year.

Confirmed thus far to join Lande on stage are Zak Stevens (Circle II Circle, ex-Savatage), Lance King (Pyramaze), Michele Luppi (Vision Divine), Pasi Rantanen (Thunderstone), Mikkel Sandager (Mercenary), Michael Eriksen (Circus Maximus), and Mattias "IA" Eklundh (Freak Kitchen). Other participants will be announced at a later time.

Along with Lande, Swedish progressive/power metal band Evergrey will headline the two-day festival, performing a worldwide exclusive set featuring the Evergrey choir and the Poulenc String Quartet from Atlanta.

Lande and Evergrey will be joined by German power metal band Savage Circus, Dutch symphonic metal band Epica, Pyramaze, Wastefall, Sweden’s Freak Kitchen, Finland’s Thunderstone, Italy’s Vision Divine, and Denmark’s Mercenary, who is returning to ProgPower due to overwhelming popularity at ProgPower IV.

ProgPower USA VII will take place on Friday and Saturday, September 15 and 16 at Earthlink Live in Atlanta. A very limited number of tickets are available via progpowerusa.com.

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