Metal File: Hard & Heavy News On Slipknot, Vader, Ramones, Annihilator, Sick Of It All, 40Grit & More

Hey, what’s up everybody? Iann Robinson here. Looks like the summer is starting to really kick in. We’re starting to get that lovely steam-and-soup humidity vibe in NYC. It kind of sucks.

I spent most of this week listening to an advance of this live Ramones disc that King Biscuit is putting out. It’s pretty amazing. It’s live in 1978 in New York City, right after Rocket to Russia had come out. The tracks sound great and the song choices are killer. I could see this seriously becoming the live disc to beat for Ramones fans. I also saw the documentary “End of the Century,” all about the Ramones’ career from beginning to end. It’s a great film, and it breaks your heart that while all these idiotic pop-punk bands are making millions, the Ramones are still working-class guys even though they basically started the art form. The film also has great interview footage with Dee Dee Ramone, a man all of us Ramones fans miss.

OK, that’s it for me this week. Stay metal, and I’ll see you at the shows.

Slipknot bassist Paul Gray has been tapped by Unida (the band featuring ex-Kyuss frontman John Garcia) to play on an upcoming tour, following the departure of bassist Scott Reeder (also ex-Kyuss). The dates Paul will be on kick off June 25 in Tempe, Arizona. … Sick of It All will release their new album, Life on the Ropes, in the last week of September on Fat Wreck Chords. The band is also putting out a three-song CD and 7-inch on Bridge 9 Records on July 26. That release will include two songs not on the upcoming album as well as the single “Relentless.” …

Vocalist Joe Comeau has left Canadian trash outfit Annihilator due to what he calls a personal problem within the band. “Annihilator is and always will be Jeff Waters, ” Comeau said in a statement. “It was his decision and his decision alone that he made to end our musical collaboration.” … Atreyu will kick off their Bitter, Broken, Bound & Gagged Tour on August 7. Supporting acts will be God Forbid, Darkest Hour and Underoath. … Polish death metal band Vader are set to release a seven-track EP called Blood later this year. The EP will include two new songs, plus five rare recordings. …

Cannibal Corpse frontman George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fischer has teamed up with ex-Morbid Angel guitarist Richard Brunelle in a band called Paths of Possession. Their first release is a split album with Dark Faith, due to be released later in the month by Splattergod Records. … 40 Grit recently parted ways with bassist Kevin Young. The band is currently looking for a 20-something bassist with “pro gear, pro attitude.” Those interested in an audition should e-mail info@40grit.com. … German metal titans Kreator will release their first live album and DVD on July 22. Live Kreation was recorded during the band’s recent Violent Revolution tour and will spread 24 tracks over two discs. …

Cerebral Seattle band Queensrÿche will release their new album, Tribe, on July 22. The disc features guitar work by original axeman Chris DeGarmo, who left the band in 1997. Track titles include “Open,” “Losing Myself,” “Desert Dance” and “Falling Behind.” DeGarmo will not join Queensrÿche for their tour, which begins June 23 in Houston and runs through August 2 in their hometown. … Sweden’s the Crown are one step closer to completing their new album, which teams the band again with vocalist Johan Lindstrand. The band recently finished recording sessions for the album and will soon begin mixing at Gothenburg’s Studio Fredman with hopes of a September/October release. … Flotsam and Jetsam will film their show at the Bash on Ash in Tempe, Arizona, on July 18 for their upcoming DVD. The release should surface late this year or in early 2004. … Sweden’s Wolf will enter Abyss Studios with producer Peter Tagtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain) on June 18 to begin recording their third album. …

— compiled by Iann Robinson, Jon Wiederhorn and Robert Mancini