Rumors continue to abound regarding the possible sale of a 49% equity stake in Roadrunner Records (for a reported asking price of $30 million) and/or a joint venture between Roadrunner and a major label that would include the release of the forthcoming sophomore effort from SLIPKNOT, entitled Iowa, which is widely expected to shift in excess of 200,000 units within the first week of its being issued. A #1 debut on the Billboard Top 200 Pop Album chart is also looking increasingly likely for the band that has shifted 1.3 million copies of its first album in the US so far, according to SoundScan. Various sources indicate that Sony/Columbia is no longer the leading candidate to grab the label, and that BMG/RCA appears to be the current frontrunner to walk away with the rights to the next SLIPKNOT release, an arrangement that would include the major label giving back to Roadrunner distributor/partner Edel Music the loan (in the neighborhood of $17 million, according to sources) that the financially troubled German music company gave to RR for a 17% equity in the label—a move that enabled Roadrunner to merge with the Arcade Music Company to become Roadrunner Arcade Music (a deal that has since gone sour and has reportedly resulted in most of the Arcade Music offices across Europe being shut down).
Although at the moment SLIPKNOT's Iowa is still tentatively scheduled to be issued on August 7th, the exact release date will depend largely on the outcome of the above-mentioned negotiations, which could potentially result in LP getting pushed further back. Meanwhile, here is the final track listing for the 64-minute album and the comments on each track as published in the current issue of the UK's Kerrang! magazine (cover date: June 23rd), who were recently given a sneak preview of the full CD:
01. 515 (1.00):
An unhinged and unsettling intro, featuring 60 seconds of low-end throbbing topped with depraved screaming and yelps from the 'KNOT.
02. People=Sh.t (3.36):
The first of the songs, recently aired in the UK for the first time at Ozzfest, this explodes into a savage, death-metal style blast beat and some deranged bellowing from Corey. It's instantly apparent that SLIPKNOT's second album is a far more aggressive and intense beast than their first.
03. Disaster Piece (5.09):
This kicks off with a trademark, 'KNOT stomp, a la 'Surfacing' and then builds into a series of intense metal riffage, recalling both SLAYER and MORBID ANGEL. Hearsay fans will remain unimpressed. SAMPLE LYRIC: 'What the f.ck are you looking at?'
04. My Plague (3.39):
Another immensely heavy track but this time with an incredibly catchy and melodic chorus amid the sick riffs and thunderous percussion. This also features a few blasts of twisted drum 'n' bass. SAMPLE LYRIC: 'Im just a bastard, but at least I admit it.'
05. Everything Ends (4.14):
One of the band's most immediate tracks and a potential future single, this again proves that SLIPKNOT have moved forward into more brutal, metallic territory. Reminiscent of 'Spit it Out', but faster and heavier. Yes, heavier. SAMPLE LYRIC: 'This is the end of everything, you are the end of everything.'
06. Heretic Song (4.18):
Another song aired at Ozzfest and available for MP3 download at roadrunnerrecords.co.uk — this is another song clearly inspired by death metal and SLAYER. An outrageous 'Angel of Death'-style bass drum break appears amid the shout along chorus and intense chuggery. SAMPLE LYRIC: 'If you're 555 then I'm 666'
07. Gently (5.00):
An old 'KNOT tune from the Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. days, fully resurrected, 2001 style. One of the mellower tracks the band have done to date, this kicks off with a slow and spooky intro, before eventually speeding up into yet another savage metal riff. SAMPLE LYRIC: We were too being scared to pick one, sorry.
08. Left Behind (4.06):
Originally bearing the working title 'Lust Disease', this is considerably more melodic than the rest of the album, providing a brief moment of respite from the outright nastiness elsewhere. SAMPLE LYRIC: 'As I close my eyes, I feel it all slipping away'
09. The Shape (3.38):
Introduced with a tortured battle cry of destroy, this is one of the album's heaviest and most twisted sounding songs, some of the riffs are very peculiar indeed. SAMPLE LYRIC: 'I lost my only way'
10. Skin Ticket (6.52):
We're back in spooksville. A strange rambling song with a killer chorus and an ugly, sludgy and disjointed ending. Distinctly unsettling stuff. SAMPLE LYRIC: 'Come see my cage, built in my grave'
11. New Abortion (3.37):
Another song premiered at Ozzfest, this is a classic SLIPKNOT shout-fest, with added aggression and a killer chorus. The maggots will be roaring along with this one. SAMPLE LYRIC: 'You can't take my soul away from me'
12. Metabolic (3.53):
After a cheeky, SLAYER-inspired opening riff, this turns into one of the album's most evil sounding songs, with numerous death-metal flavored guitar lines and raucous, distorted vocals, Nice. SAMPLE LYRIC: 'I'm always ready to die but your killing me'
13. Iowa (15.08):
As with 'Scissors' on the first album, SLIPKNOT end Iowa with a slice of prime indulgence. Fifteen minutes of slow, grinding noise which starts of with a mellow mood and builds up to a series of explosive crescendos. Utterly uncompromising, in true 'KNOT fashion. SAMPLE LYRIC: 'You will always be mine'
'Left Behind', which is loosely based on an old demo track called 'Lust Disease', has been tentatively selected as the first single from the album, and it is expected that it will go for adds on radio shortly before the album's release.
Sweden's ENTOMBED are well into the mixing process for their seventh studio album, tentatively entitled Morning Star, which is said to be 'less rock n' roll and more metal-sounding' than the group's past couple of releases. Recorded at Stockholm's Polar Studios with producers Nico Elgstrand and Stefan Boman and due at the end of the year, the album will reportedly contain the following 12 tracks:
01. Chief Rebel Angel
02. Ensemble Of The Restless
03. City Of Ghosts
04. When It Hits Home
05. Mental Twin
06. I For An Eye
07. Bringer Of Light (working title)
08. Year One Now
09. Empty V
10. Fractured Skulls (working title)
11. Young Man Nihilist (working title)
12. Out To Die
QUEENSRYCHE are heavily rumored to be on the verge of signing a new deal with Sanctuary Records following their recent split with the Atlantic label. More information as it becomes available.
PITCHSHIFTER are on a creative roll, having demoed over a dozen tunes at their home studio for the purposes of shopping for a new record deal. According to vocalist JS Clayden, 'The demo is up to nine tunes as of now. We do actually have 14 tunes on the go, but we've only mixed nine of them up to demo standard so far. Jim and I are on a roll at the moment. We came up with a new tune yesterday out of thin and mixed it down today. It sounds awesome. We're writing new tunes so fast I can't get the vocals done quick enough to catch up!' Guitarist Jim Davies states: 'JS and I are on a real creative roll right now. Dropping the guitars down seems to have allowed us a little more room to move and it makes the tunes heavier. There's a variety of tempos from 92 to 180bpm and they're all banging. This is going to be a great LP.'
As previously reported, PITCHSHIFTER and new manager Gloria Butler (wife of BLACK SABBATH's Geezer) are talking to a number of different labels about a possible deal, with Sanctuary Records appearing the current favorite to snap up the band to a long-term contract.
FEAR FACTORY recently went back into the studio and laid down an 'alternate' version of the track 'Invisible Wounds' from the group's most recent Digimortal release, as well as a brand new, as yet-untitled track for an upcoming Sony PlayStation 2 game called Frequency.
SKINLAB frontman Steev Esquivel has finished laying down vocals to five tracks for the group's forthcoming third album, tentatively titled tHEreVOLTINGROOM>>dISTURBING tHE aRT oF eXPRESSION<<, at Trident Studios in San Francisco with producers Steve Evetts (i.e SEPULTURA, EARTH CRISIS) and Juan Ortega (i.e. 40 GRIT). According to Esquivel, 'this is by far the best singing I have ever done !! Still keeping it heavy as all hell, but there is a certain taste of freshness that will separate this record from my past comparisons.' Meanwhile, the band have made available for download MP3s of two brand new demo tracks, 'Purify' and 'Take As Needed' (both of which will appear on the upcoming album), via the group's official web site. To get the music, click here.
PROFESSSIONAL MURDER MUSIC will be performing live on the KNAC.com soundstage on Monday, July 2nd at 3:30 PM (PT).
POWERMAN 5000 have firmed up the track listing for their upcoming album, Anyone For Doomsday?, which is due out on August 7th through Dreamworks Records. It is as follows:
01. Disease Of Machinery
02. Danger Is Go
04. The Meaning Of Life
05. Tomorrow Is Yesterday
06. The End Of Everything
07. What The World Does
08. I'll Try
09. The One And Only
10. Wake Up
13. The Future That Never Was
The album's first single, 'Bombshell', for which a video clip was recently shot in Los Angeles, will go for radio adds early next month.
BLIND GUARDIAN frontman Hansi and his wife are expecting the birth of a baby boy in late August.
TOOL frontman Maynard James Keenan, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian and and HOLE/MOTLEY CRUE drummer Samantha Maloney have joined forces to record a track entitled 'Ass Kickin' Fat Kid' for the upcoming film Run, Ronnie, Run. The song will appear under the fictional band moniker TITANNICA.
DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliot recently spoke to MTV News about the direction of the group's upcoming studio album, which is currently being recorded in Los Angeles and Dublin. Accoridng to Elliott, 'Off the top of my head, I can conservatively say it will be half-Slang, half-Euphoria. I think some of the hits will be like classic DEF LEPPARD, but we may let some of the songs go through sounding slightly less polished than normal. I think overall it may have a rockier edge than the Euphoria album.
'There's no anger there, and nothing controversial, but at the same time they're not bland and boring,' he continued. 'We're just going for things that are fist-pumping when they need to be and thought-provoking when they can be. Hopefully it will be clever without sounding too clever.'
DEF LEPPARD's as-yet-untitled new album is due early next year.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, American Recordings is leaving its current home of Columbia Records and moving to the Island/Def Jam Music Group following Island/Def Jam's acquisition of Columbia's 50% stake in the label to secure the entire catalog and roster, which includes SLAYER, Johnny Cash, DJ KOOL, and Chris Rock, among others. However, SYSTEM OF A DOWN will reportedly remain with Columbia. American's first releases under Island/Def Jam are said to be from Saul Williams and AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE.
SEVENDUST's forthcoming third full-length effort, tentatively entitled Animosity, is due to emerge through TVT Records on October 16th. The group are hard at work recording the album in Orlando, Florida with producer Ben Grosse (i.e. FILTER, SIMON SAYS). Among the tracks set to appear on the album are:
03. Sh.t Comes Out
06. Useless As Tits On A Boar
Unconfirmed reports also suggest that a reworked version of the track 'Angel's Son', which originally appeared on the Strait Up tribute to SNOT singer Lynn Strait, is being recorded for the effort.
Finland's H.I.M. will be issuing 'Pretending', the first single from their forthcoming Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights CD, on July 2nd in a three-track format featuring alternate mixes by John Fryer, Kevin Shirley and Randy Staub. A five-song limited-edition version of the CD will also be made available, featuring the aforementioned cuts, plus an acoustic version of 'Please Don't Let It Go' and a special mix of 'Lose You Tonight'. The release of Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights, which is scheduled for August 27th, will be followed by a full European tour. Confirmed dates so far are as follows:
Sept. 17 - Hamburg, GER @ Sporthalle
Sept. 18 - Rostock, GER @ Stadthalle Rostock
Sept. 19 - Berlin, GER @ Columbia-halle
Sept. 21 - Chemnitz, GER @ Eissporthalle
Sept. 22 - Madgeburg, GER @ AMO
Sept. 23 - Hannover, GER @ Capitol
Sept. 24 - Cologne, GER @ Palladium
Sept. 25 - Oberhausen, GER @ Turbinehalle
Sept. 27 - Munster, GER @ Jovel Hall
Sept. 28 - Offenbach, GER @ Offenbacher Stadthalle
Sept. 29 - Stuttgart, GER @ Schleyerhalle
Oct. 01 - Furth, GER @ Stadthalle Furth
Oct. 02 - Munich, GER @ Colosseum
Oct. 03 - Vienna, AUT @ Libro Music Hall
Oct. 04 - Zurich, SWI @ X-Tra Limmathaus
Oct. 19 - Stockholm, SWE @ Klubben
Oct. 20 - Oslo, NOR @ Rockefeller Music Hall
Oct. 21 - Goteborg, SWE @ Kaaren
Oct. 22 - Malmo, SWE @ KB Club
Oct. 24 - Copenhagen, DEN @ Pumpehuset Club
Oct. 25 - Aarhus, DEN @ Voxhall
Oct. 29 - Amsterdam, NET @ Paradiso
Oct. 30 - Brussels, BEL @ Botanique
Oct. 31 - Luxembourg, LUX @ Den Atelier
Nov. 02 - Paris, FRA @ Elysee Montmarte
Nov. 04 - Vaduz, LIC @ Vaduzer Saal
Nov. 05 - Strasbourg, FRA @ La Laiterie
Nov. 06 - Clermont-Ferrand, FRA @ Cooperative
Nov. 09 - Oporto, POR @ Coliseum
Nov. 10 - Lisbon, POR @ Coliseum
Nov. 13 - Granada, SPA @ TBA
Nov. 14 - Madrid, SPA @ La Riviera
Nov. 16 - Bilbao, SPA @ Bergara Jam
Nov. 17 - Barcelona, SPA @ Razzamatazz
Nov. 20 - Milan, ITA @ Rolling Stone
Nov. 21 - Florence, ITA @ Tenax
Nov. 22/ - Rome, ITA @ Palacisalfa
Nov. 23 - Athens, GRE @ Peristeri Arena
Nov. 24 - Thessaloniki, GRE @ Mylos
Dec. 06 - Ankara, TUR @ Saklikent
Dec. 07 - Istanbul, TUR @ TBA
Dec. 10 - Zagreb, CRO @ Dom Sportova
Dec. 11 - Prague, CZE @ Akropolis