Hugh McDowell, former Electric Light Orchestra cellist, died at Tuesday, 6th of November, 2018. He was 65 years old. He was battling with cancer for several years, but didn't manage to overcome his illness.

McDowell, born in London, got into ELO in 1972, played some gigs with the band, and left together with Roy Wood and horn player/keyboardist Bill Hunt to form the rock n' roll band Wizzard. Soon enough, he replaced Colin Walker in ELO prior to the recordings of "ELO II" (1973). He was a member of ELO until the recordings of the "Discovery" album (1979) and his performance can be heard in classic prog rock albums like "Eldorado", "A New World Record" and "Out of the Blue". After ELO, he played together with Melvyn Gale (the other cellist of ELO) in Wilson Gale & Co., with which he released the album "Gift Wrapped Set" (1980). That autumn he began teaching part-time at the musical instrument technology department of a London higher educational college, the London College of Furniture, now part of the Guildhall University. He conducted a children's orchestra and other orchestras at several London schools. He was also a member of Radio Stars and recorded the single "My Mother Said" with them. McDowell has been a member of the 20th-century chamber groups George W. Welch, Harmonie Band and Quorum. He joined the Cornelius Cardew Ensemble, a contemporary music group, in 1995. More recently he has worked on the 2004 Simon Apple album "River to the Sea", on the 2005 Saint Etienne album "Tales from Turnpike House", the 2005 Wetton Downes album "Icon" and appeared as a guest artist on the 2007 Port Mahadia album, "Echoes in Time". He also played cello on Asia's 2008 album "Phoenix", on "An Extraordinary Life" and "I Will Remember You". McDowell has also arranged and recorded for numerous pop, rock and jazz-fusion albums, as well as collaborating in dance, film, and theatre projects.

Melvyn Gale said: "I'm sad beyond words to have to pass on the news that my old friend and fantastic cellist Hugh McDowell passed away last night after a long illness. We met in our mid-teens and were close until we left ELO in 1980. He was a beautiful free spirit, had such a natural gift as a cellist and just a lovely bloke."

Hugh McDowell's passing is a great loss for the world of rock n' roll, since he was a pioneering musician and a great guy. His works, especially with Electric Light Orchestra, will be always remembered.

Thank you for everything, Hugh. Rest in Peace.

 

The new album of the progressive metal titans, Dream Theater, will be out in February 2019. It will be entitled "Distance Over Time" and according to the band itself, it is a return to the roots album. The fantastic cover of the album is done by Hugh Syme. "Distance Over Time" will be out by Sony Music's progressive imprint InsideOut Music. But let's see what the band members have to say.

James LaBrie:  "There's a heaviness to it, there's an aggression to it".

John Petrucci: "So far the music is heavy, it's progressive, it's melodic, it's shredding, and it's also epic. So it has all those elements, which… they are the five pillars of Dream Theater, if you wanna call it that".

Jordan Rudess: "(On this album we are) back to the core of the sound — screaming Hammond organ, killing leads, chunky riffs, slamming drums, and everybody will be there moshing!", "(The songwriting process was) definitely very collaborative. We basically hid away in a secret location, we found an old barn turned into studio and set aside a couple of months to do everything. We were very constructive, very energized, had a great time together, a lot of laughs. We cooked together, joked around, but in general, we had an uninterrupted musical experience together, which was very productive".

The fourteenth studio album of Dream Theater will be supported by a six-week North American tour that launches in San Diego, California on March 20. Right below you can find the new album cover and a brief teaser snippet.

 

 

 

Conception, the prog metal legends, have returned, as they announced in May 2018. They have just released a single package, named "Re:Conception", which features three tracks, the instrumental intro "Re:Conception", "Grand Again" and "Feather Moves". The first two songs will be part of the reunited band's new EP, "My Dark Symphony", which will be out on November 23rd.

See what the band posted on Facebook: "After a break from releasing of (just!) 21 years, we're super excited to share our new single package "Re:Conception" with you all today. Check it out here https://Conception.lnk.to/ReConceptionFA 🤘👊🤘
P.S. Thanks to everyone for your support. Some of you who pre-ordered might just be in for an early surprise treat".

"Wow, truly humbled to be bothering the charts in a number of countries right now, and sitting pretty at the top in our homeland of Norway! Thanks everyone! Apple Music iTunes Oh and in case anyone missed it the first time, you can listen to the new single package here! https://Conception.lnk.to/ReConceptionFA".

 

Line-up:

  • Tore Østby - guitars (1989–1998, 2018–present)
  • Roy Khan - lead vocals (1991–1998, 2018–present)
  • Ingar Amlien - bass guitar (1990–1998, 2018–present)
  • Arve Heimdal - drums (1990–1998, 2018–present)

 

 

Nice news is coming from the Grand Magus camp. The Swedish heavy metallers are preparing their new album and they have already entered the studio! Below you can read what they posted on their official Facebook page.

“The Magus is back in the studio to record the ninth album! It’s been a very special process this time. We decided to let go of the current philosophy to record drums first and then bass and then guitar etc. This time we met up, jammed and created together during the last six months with the goal to record basic tracks live. That basically means the thing we do everytime we play live. When we do that, we play together. It’s music after all, not a science project. This led us to use the studio you see in the video. We recorded take by take (usually first takes, haha) until the groove, feel and violence was right. Now we will start with the overdubs, solos and vocals. We are chuffed and we think you will be too. Metal victory!”.

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