German power metallers HELLOWEEN have canceled their appearances this weekend at the Hellsinki Metal Festival in Helsinki, Finland and the Bloodstock Open Air festival in Derbyshire, United Kingdom due to "an acute laryngitis" suffered by the band's singer Michael Kiske. Replacing HELLOWEEN at Hellsinki Metal Festival will be APOCALYPTICA, while KK'S PRIEST, the new band featuring founding JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing, will step in for HELLOWEEN at Bloodstock Open Air.
HELLOWEENsaid in a statement: "The heavy storms in Slovenia (our thoughts are with the flood victims) and cloudbursts in Wacken couldn’t harm us - we played all our scheduled shows and celebrated together with our loyal fans. Much more difficult for us is now to inform you that we have to cancel the upcoming festival gigs at the Hellsinki Metal Festival in Finland and Bloodstock Open Air in the UK due to an acute laryngitis our singer Michael Kiske is suffering of. We did make this decision with a lot of consideration and with heavy hearts but Michael's condition unfortunately does not leave us any other choice. Thanks for your understanding."
HELLOWEEN recently completed the "United Forces" tour of North America with support from Swedish metallers HAMMERFALL.
Kiske's first album back with HELLOWEEN, 2021's self-titled effort, landed in the Top 10 in more than 10 countries, including Germany, Spain, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria. The cover artwork for the LP was painted by artist Eliran Kantor, who has previously worked with HATEBREED, SOULFLY, TESTAMENT, ICED EARTH and SODOM, among others.
Produced by Charlie Bauerfeind and Dennis Ward, the latest HELLOWEEN LP was recorded in part at the H.O.M.E. Studios in Hamburg (where everything started in 1984). The same recording console used for such HELLOWEEN albums as "Master Of The Rings", "Time Of The Oath" and "Better Than Raw" was utilized to record the band's new material. The effort was mixed at the Valhalla Studios of Ronald Prent (IRON MAIDEN, DEF LEPPARD, RAMMSTEIN).
"Helloween" saw the legendary German power metallers going "back to the roots," with the band recording fully analogue and Daniel Löble playing the drum kit previously used by HELLOWEEN's original drummer, the late Ingo Schwichtenberg, on the legendary "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" recordings.
The "Pumpkins United" tour marked the first time Kiske had played live with HELLOWEEN since 1993. Guitarist/vocalist Kai Hansen, who departed HELLOWEEN in 1988, had been joining the band onstage on various tours and festival appearances throughout the years. The set featured several duets with Kiske and his replacement, Andi Deris, along with many rarely played songs, including "Kids Of The Century", "Rise And Fall" and "Livin' Ain't No Crime". Hansen — who fronted HELLOWEEN until late 1986 — sang a medley of several early HELLOWEEN classics, including "Ride The Sky", "Judas", "Starlight" and "Heavy Metal (Is The Law)".