#1
New Zealand-based hard rock/heavy metal group SONIC ALTAR will record its debut album with U.K. producer Mike Exeter (BLACK SABBATH, CRADLE OF FILTH, IAN GILLAN) starting in late November.

Commented guitarist Tom Duffy: "[We are] completely over the moon to be working with someone of that caliber. We were all fans of Mike's last album ('The Devil You Know') which he produced with the Dio lineup of BLACK SABBATH who now go under the name HEAVEN & HELL. It sounded massive!"

Exeter believes wholeheartedly in the band and will be making his way to New Zealand to work with the group."That's why I'm coming all that way!" he said. "There's nothing better than working with talented creative artists and I think there's just 'something' about SONIC ALTAR. I'm confident we are starting on a really great project that is just the beginning for these guys. I think we're all excited about unleashing this!"

SONIC ALTAR has had some success so far, such as coming third in the "World Battle of the Bands" in 2006 and playing the Rock2Wgtn festival in 2008 alongside bands such as ALICE COOPER, OZZY OSBOURNE and KISS.

"We have a feeling this album is going to be something extremely special," says vocalist/frontman Kane Bennett. "We've been working for over a year on the songs that are going on the record, making sure they are all the best they can be. There will be something for every type of rock fan on there. We don't want to be tied down to any particular metal or rock genre. If we want to put a ballad on, then we will. Or a power ballad, should I say. And if we want a big epic eight-minute apocalyptic sounding rock out tune on there, then so be it."

The band hopes to see the album in stores sometime in early 2010 but "don't want to rush it out independently," says Bennett. "After all this hard work and the hard work that's still to come, we won't be rushing it out just to have five copies scattered through a few music stores in our local mall. We'll be hunting down a record label who appreciates our vision and believes in the record like we do. At least... That's the plan."