Another sad loss for the metal music world, as Ralph Santolla died yesterday (6th June 2018) after suffering a heart attack. He had been in a coma for almost a week. 

His mother, Sue Santolla-Rocha, had revealed his condition in a Facebook post:  "Friends and family, it is out there now, so let me tell you what I know. Ralph thought he had a spider bite on Saturday. Went to the hospital. It was not a spider bite; it was a blood clot. Tuesday night he fell and he had a heart attack. John Rocha gave him CPR until EMT arrived. His heart had stopped but they got him back. His visuals are stable but he is in a coma. He is on a ventilator, but he is breathing around it. He could breathe on his own, but they do not want to add additional strain to his body. He is in a coma. That is the main concern at this moment. They can fix everything else. We are having as many of his friends as he can come and talk to him and play music. There has been a minimal movement, but some. It is ICU, but he is in a private room and they are letting anyone in and they can stay as long as they want. So please pray as he has people all over the world praying and if you can come and spend time with him. Please… he needs to get back from the place that he is in. I love you all... Let's just work on getting him out of the coma if we can".

Later on, Ralph's mother confirmed that he was taken off life support and passed away. The Italian-American guitarist had been a member of Death, Iced Earth, Deicide, Obituary etc. Our thoughts go his family and friends. Rest in Peace, Ralph ...    

 

Symphony X fans and power/progressive metal enthusiasts, get ready! Michael Romeo, Symphony X's leader and mastermind, is about to release his solo album, "War Of The Worlds / Pt. 1". This solo album will be released worldwide on July 27th on Mascot Label Group and is available as CD, 2LP and two limited edition colored vinyls (Camo Green / Pearl White Marble). According to a press release, the wildly ambitious 10-song disc sees the founder, chief songwriter and prime mover of the progressive titans Symphony X furthering his reputation as one of the world's prominent axe slingers and composers of adventurous, multi-faceted orchestral metal. You can have a taste of Romeo's album right below (it's the lyric video of the song "Black").

 

 

The one and only Dee Snider, the frontman of Twisted Sister, is going to release his solo album, "For the Love of Metal", on July 27th via Napalm Records. was produced by Hatebreed vocalist Jamey Jasta and featuring contributions from Howard Jones (ex-Killswitch Engage), Mark Morton (Lamb Of God), Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy), Joel Grind and Nick Bellmore (Toxic Holocaust) and Charlie Bellmore (Kingdom Of Sorrow). 

The tracklisting is as follows:

01. Lies Are A Business 
02. Tomorrow's No Concern 
03. I am The Hurricane 
04. American Made 
05. Roll Over You 
06. I'm Ready 
07. Running Mazes 
08. Mask 
09. Become The Storm 
10. The Hardest Way 
11. Dead Hearts (Love Thy Enemy) 
12. For The Love of Metal
 
Below you can watch Snider making an announcement about his upcoming new solo album:
 
 
 
 

Phil Mogg has confirmed that next year’s 50th-anniversary tour with UFO will be his last as the frontman of the long-running hard rock band. Consequently, it seems almost certain that at that point they will cease to exist. UFO were formed in London in 1968 and Mogg is their only ever-present member, performing on all of the group’s 22 studio albums.

“This decision has been a long time coming, I’ve considered stepping down at the end of UFO’s previous two tours,” Mogg explains. “I don’t want to call this a farewell tour as I hate that word, but next year’s gigs will represent my final tap-dancing appearances with the band. 2018 marks UFO’s 50th anniversary, so the timing feels right,” he continues. “There will be a final tour of the UK and we will also play some shows in selected other cities that the band has a strong connection with. But outside of the UK this won’t be a long tour. Being out on the road isn’t always tremendously luxurious and although the playing is as great as it ever was, the stuff that surrounds it becomes very tiresome. I always told myself that when I reached that stage I would step down, and that’s what I’m going to do. This is the right time for me to quit.”

Mogg turned 70 back in April and although his voice remains strong, he admits that age played its part in his conclusion.“I’m a big reader of obituaries, and my finger always goes down to: ‘I wonder how old they were…’,” he chuckles. “The last few years have been tough, losing Lemmy was awful and I was sad that Jimmy Bain passed on a cruise ship. That distressed me quite a lot.”

While many veteran bands in such a position simply cease playing live and continue to record, UFO will no longer be releasing new music. "A Conspiracy Of Stars" in 2015 and last year’s covers collection ‘The Salentino Cuts’are set to become a signing-off point, though Mogg insists that however unlikely the prospect might seem – the singer is a lone strand of consistency throughout a 50-year history – he would have no problem with UFO continuing with a replacement.

The band’s current line-up – completed by keyboard player/second guitarist Paul Raymond, guitarist Vinnie Moore, drummer Andy Parker and bassist Rob Le Luca – have of course been informed of Mogg’s decision.“I’ve told the guys that this is how it is,” he says. “They know it’s my time to go and they know that they can do whatever they want to do without me but I don’t want to play live or make records anymore, though having said that I might go on and do an album of my own. I’ll have to see how I feel about that.”

Of course, UFO have either split up, retired or gone on hiatus several times before but Mogg is keen to make the distinction that next year’s dates don’t just mark the end of his touring commitments with UFO – for Phil, there will be no further concerts of any kind.“For me, this is the end of my stint with UFO,” he clarifies. “This is a line in the sand. I’m suggesting we call the tour ‘Last Orders’, though I also like ‘The Bar Is Closing’. I’m also tempted to name it ‘The Drinks Are On Parker’,” he chuckles, referring long-suffering sticksman Andy Parker.
You’ll have gathered that Mogg is not about to slash his wrists anytime soon. Of course, he is sad that the finishing line is now within slight but has had sufficient time to live with and process such a massive personal decision.
“Maybe the best word to use is ‘bittersweet’,” he concludes. “But my time has arrived and all that remains is to make sure that we have a good tour.”

First confirmed date 2019: March 14th-17th GB-Gwynedd/North Wales - Hard Rock Hell

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