ENSIFERUM Keyboardist Forced To Sit Out South American Tour

Keyboardist Emmi Silvennoinen of Finnish folk metallers ENSIFERUM will be forced to sit out the band's South American tour — which is scheduled to kick off on May 28 in Bogota, Colombia — due to personal reasons. The group states: "The shows will go ahead as planned and the band will perform with Emmi's parts as backing tracks, so you needn't worry about the shows missing the signature ENSIFERUM melodies! "We'd like to assure you that everything is fine within the band — Emmi is healthy and this is just for this tour because of circumstances beyond her control. She will be performing at future ENSIFERUM shows. "We hope to see as many of you as possible at the shows and look forward to playing in South America for the first time!" ENSIFERUM recently forged a deal with Metal Blade Records. The band signed the agreement with Metal Blade CEO Brian Slagel during thePaganfest USA tour, and all parties are enthusiastic about new

IN FLAMES To Take Year Off From Touring To Write Next Album

100.3 The X Rocks conducted an interview with Björn Gelotte of Swedish metallers IN FLAMES backstage at this year's Rock On The Range festival, which took place May 17-19 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. You can now watch the chat below. Also available is footage of IN FLAMES' entire Rock On The Range performance. IN FLAMES' tenth album, "Sounds Of A Playground Fading" (Century Media), sold around 14,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 27 on The Billboard 200 chart. IN FLAMES' previous CD, "A Sense of Purpose" (Koch) opened with 20,000 units to land at No. 28. This was slightly less than the opening tally of "Come Clarity" (Ferret), which shifted just under 24,000 copies in February 2006 to enter the chart at position No. 58. "Sounds Of A Playground Fading" was the first IN FLAMES album to be recorded without founding guitarist Jesper Strömblad, who quit the band in February 2010 in order to continue receiving treatment for his alcohol addiction.

NIGHTWISH Kicks Off Japanese Tour In Osaka; Audio Available

Finnish/Dutch symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH kicked off their Japanese tour this past Tuesday, May 21 at Namba Hatch in Osaka. The band's setlist was as follows: 01. Dark Chest Of Wonders 02. Wish I Had An Angel 03. She Is My Sin (performed for the first time since 2007) 04. Ever Dream 05. Storytime 06. I Want My Tears Back (with Troy Donockley) 07. Nemo (with Troy Donockley) 08. Last Of The Wilds (with Troy Donockley) 09. Bless The Child (with Troy Donockley) (performed for the first time since 2005) 10. Romanticide 11. Amaranth 12. Over The Hills And Far Away (GARY MOORE cover) (with Troy Donockley) 13. Ghost Love Score 14. Last Ride Of The Day Fan-recorded audio clips of the concert can be streamed below. NIGHTWISH keyboardist and main songwriter Tuomas Holopainen told Finland's in November that he was pleased with the addition of Dutch singer Floor Jansen to the group and that she was only getting better with each performance. "We have done 13 shows with her [so far] and every concert has been better than the last," he said. "We are taking it day by day as much as we can. The vibe in the band is marvellous. We are enjoying every moment." Holopainen has known Jansen, who is Dutch, for more than 10 years already, having previously toured with her former band, AFTER FOREVER.

Driver In BARONESS Tour Bus Crash May Never Face Charges

Savannah, Georgia-based quartet BARONESS was involved in a road accident on August 15, 2012 in England when the band's tour bus reportedly plummeted for 30 feet over a viaduct after going through a security barrier during heavy rain. Nine people, including the four members of the group, were sent to the hospital, two of them with serious injuries. According to BBC News, the driver of the bus — a German national by the name of Norman Markus — was to be charged with dangerous driving, using a vehicle with defective brakes and breaching a 7.5-ton weight limit. He was summonsed to attend the court on Friday for a preliminary hearing, but his attorney, Jonathan Turner, said that if Markus chose not to attend court "nothing can be done" because the summons was not served in the U.K.