Although ANTHRAX singer Dan Nelson has yet to publicly comment on his mysterious illness that allegedly forced the band to cancel the first three shows of their latest European tour, he has posted several cryptic messages on his Twitter account in the last couple of days which suggest that there may be more to this story than has thus far been revealed. In addition to deleting his “DanNAnthrax” Twitter profile (cached Google page) on July 16, he has posted the following messages on his “DanNelson76” account:

July 16, 3:47 a.m.: “Funny, I don’t feel so lucky…Wonder what everyone is talking about??”

July 16, 4:28 a.m.: “is done.”

July 17, 7:54 p.m.: “loves his family and friends more than ANYTHING.”

On Friday, July 17, ANTHRAX issued the following statement regarding the European concert cancelations:

“The members of ANTHRAX regretfully announce that the first three shows of their European tour scheduled to begin tomorrow, Saturday, July 18th, are canceled. Yesterday, lead singer Dan Nelson unexpectedly informed the band that he was seriously ill and unable to travel or perform at this time. Options for the balance of ANTHRAX’s European tour dates are being addressed posthaste. The members of ANTHRAX are devastated by this unfortunate turn of events and ask all of their fans to join them in wishing Dan the speediest of recoveries.”

Affected dates:

July 18 – Sonisphere – Hultsfred, Sweden
July 19 – Vega Jr. – Copenhagen, Denmark
July 20 – Columbia Club – Berlin, Germany

ANTHRAX’s new album, “Worship Music”, will be released in Europe on October 23 via Nuclear Blast Records. The CD, which was mixed at a New Orleans studio by Dave Fortman (a former member of UGLY KID JOE who has also worked with artists such as MUDVAYNE, EVANESCENCE), is the band’s first studio effort in six years and marks the recording debut of Nelson.

About ANTHRAX’s new singer and CD, drummer Charlie Benante previously stated, “This album has been in the making for two and half, maybe three years. After the reunion tour ended, we all went our separate ways. I started to write songs again, but I had no voice for them in mind, I didn’t know who would be the singer. So Scott [Ian, guitar], Frankie [Bello, bass]and I got together and just started putting some songs together. This was pretty much the way ‘Spreading the Disease’ was done, too — we wrote those songs without a definite singer in mind. Then, in October of 2007, I was talking to Rob Caggiano [guitar] who said he found this guy in Long Island who he thought would be really good — Dan Nelson. So I did some research, called him up, and flew him out to Chicago.”

According to Bello, it didn’t take much time to realize that they had found their man. “Dan brought in the obligatory ‘breath of fresh air,’ but it really WAS. He has a killer voice and he’s a good guy, and really fits ANTHRAX. The guy sings like nobody I’ve heard — I’m really proud of what he’s done. This is the new ANTHRAX — yes, it does sound different, but it’s in the same heavy/melodic vein. I don’t compare it, I just see it as, ‘I love the challenge of having a new ANTHRAX.'”

“While making this album,” added Nelson, “I found that if I just tried to approach my vocals from the heart, to not overthink anything, I could bring a fresh, heavier yet still melodic approach to an already brutal style of music. Being the singer of ANTHRAX has already proven to be a great opportunity to play with great musicians.”

Shortly after the lineup was solidified, Nelson was welcomed into the ANTHRAX fold via a true baptism by fire — opening up a pair of sold out shows for the mighty IRON MAIDEN in California. “The second night, we’re backstage,” recalls Ian, “[IRON MAIDEN singer] Bruce Dickinson came over to our dressing room to say hi, and he says to me, ‘Your new singer, Dan, is amazing. I was watching you guys from the side of the stage last night — he totally fits you guys, he’s perfect. His voice is incredible and strong. I loved it!’ And I was like, ‘Would you come inside and tell Dan? He’d love to hear it from you.’ We walk in the dressing room and I’m like, ‘Where’s Dan?’ And I hear from the bathroom, ‘I’m in here, taking a crap!’ It was so great — not that we’re looking for validation, but when Bruce Dickinson comes up and is congratulating you on your new singer, it’s a pretty cool moment.”