Drummer RAY HARTMANN Pulls Out Of ANNIHILATOR’s ‘Alice In Hell’ 35th-Anniversary Concert

Ex-ANNIHILATOR drummer Ray Hartmann will not join his former band for the group’s previously announced appearance at the Topfest in Slovakia this coming June. The show will celebrate the 35th anniversary of ANNIHILATOR‘s classic debut album, “Alice In Hell”, with former ICED EARTH frontman Stu Block singing the entire record. There will also be a few “best-of” songs that will include “hits” chosen by the fans.

Earlier today, ANNIHILATOR released the following statement via social media: “Quick note about our awesome exclusive summer 2024 Alice 35 show: Unfortunately, drummer Ray Hartmann will not be with us for this celebration and, since long-time ANNIHILATOR drummer Fabio Alessandrini stepped aside to let Ray give it a go, Fabio happily stepped right back in! See you soon, Topfest!”

When the Topfest concert was first announced in December, ANNIHILATOR guitarist and leader Jeff Waters commented: “2024 is the year of Alice: ‘Alice In Hell’. 35 years since its release and we will be celebrating with many of you for the year with merch, signature guitars, shows, events, catalogue re-issues, etc… and this will lead us into 2025, which is the anniversary of our biggest record: ‘Never, Neverland’. Alice will continue on with us, into 2025.

Randy Rampage, ‘Alice In Hell’‘s vocalist and awesome frontman, passed away a few years back. To honor Rampage, I had a tough job to find someone to fill his shoes for this anniversary.

Stu may be known as a badass vocalist and frontman BUT he also loves Rampage‘s attitude and will be the perfect singer to channel this classic record onstage. Longtime fellow axe-slingers Rich Gray (4 strings!) and Aaron Homma (6 strings!) also continue their journey with ANNIHILATOR.

“Stage? Oh yea. Let us just start with this: ANNIHILATOR will be co-headlining, along with SCORPIONS and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, at Topfest, Slovakia on June 29, 2024. We will play the entire ‘Alice’ record, along with some other rockin’ tunes.

“This will be an exclusive Europe festival show for 2024, however, we will be announcing lots more. We have NOT forgotten anyone. We will do our best in 2024-2025+ to get to where we should have been playing AND to where we already have!

“So, thank you all for getting ANNIHILATOR to the point of 17 studio records, a zillion tours and STILL rockin, after all these years. We are very aware that we’re still going strong because of our fans; not the industry.

“On that note, any festivals and promoters that want this legendary ‘Alice’/‘Neverland’ set in 2025, talk to our dude Nik at Bottom Row for Europe and our web site contact for everywhere else!

“Check the socials for regular updates now, cause we have a lot coming for you!”

Block can be heard on “Metal II”, the reworked version of ANNIHILATOR‘s 2007 “Metal” studio album. “Metal II” also features former SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo.

Founded in 1984, ANNIHILATOR took the metal scene by storm with “Alice In Hell”, upped the ante with 1990’s “Never, Neverland” and has continued a non-stop career-pattern of releasing records and touring with many of the biggest bands in the metal genre (mostly all outside North America),ever since, cementing ANNIHILATOR as the biggest-selling metal act in Canada’s history.

“Alice In Hell” was the first of six ANNIHILATOR albums to feature songwriting contributions from the band’s former singer John Bates, who was credited as the co-writer of the songs “Alison Hell”, “W.T.Y.D.”, “Burns Like A Buzzsaw Blade” and “Human Insecticide”.

To promote “Alice In Hell”, ANNIHILATOR supported ONSLAUGHT internationally on the “In Search Of Sanity” tour, and TESTAMENT in the United States on the “Practice What You Preach” tour.

“Alice In Hell” was re-released twice: in 1998 with three demo tracks as bonus tracks and again in September 2003 as part of a two-disc compilation set along with “Never, Neverland”, titled “Two From The Vault”.

Two years ago, earMusic announced a reissue series of (almost) the entire ANNIHILATOR catalog. In total, 18 records are being released over the next few years, including the original 2007 version of the “Metal” album.

Quick note about our awesome exclusive summer 2024 Alice 35 show: Unfortunately, drummer Ray Hartmann will not be with…

Posted by Annihilator on Sunday, February 4, 2024

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