LOUDNESS Drummer Diagnosed With Liver Cancer

LOUDNESS drummer Munetaka Higuchi was diagnosed with liver cancer (Hepatocellular Carcinoma) earlier this month, according to Japanese media reports. He is still in the hospital, where he has been undergoing radiotherapy for HCC.

LOUDNESS will play the three previously announced Japanese dates with a replacement drummer, whose name hasn't been revealed yet. After those gigs, the band will be put on hold indefinitely until Munetaka gets his full strength back.

LOUDNESS' latest album, "Metal Mad", was released in Japan on February 20 through Tokuma Communications. Release dates for other territories have not yet been announced.

Upcoming LOUDNESS shows:

April 22 - Tokyo (Shibuya) - Club Quattro
April 25 - Nagoya - Club Quattro
April 26 - Osaka - Club Quattro

LOUDNESS released a 25th-anniversary box set in Japan in April 2007, entitled "Loudness Complete Box", featuring its complete Columbia Records catalog. The package includes the following albums: "The Birthday Eve" (1981), "Devil Soldier" (1982), "The Law Of Devil's Land" (1983), "Disillusion" (Japanese and English versions) (1984), "Thunder In The East" (1985), guitarist Akira Takasaki's solo album "Tusk of Jaguar" (1982), Munetaka Higuchi's solo album "Hakai Gaisen Roku", the "Loudness" and "Eurobounds" DVDs, and a singles CD compilation, entitled "Single Collection", featuring unreleased tracks. All CDs have been remastered and come in a deluxe box featuring a plastic case and replica tickets.

LOUDNESS issued a live DVD, entitled "Loudness in America 06: Live Shocks World Circuit 2006 Chapter 1", on August 23, 2006. The disc features footage from the band's North American tour, which took place in early 2006.

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