THERION / DIMMU BORGIR
Swedish progressive/experimental metallers THERION have confirmed that their split with vocalist Snowy Shaw (real name: Tommie Helgesson; DREAM EVIL, KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE, MEMENTO MORI, NOTRE DAME) was caused by his decision to join "another big band" — rumored to be the Norwegian symphonic black metal act DIMMU BORGIR as a bass player.
"We are sad to confirm that Snowy Shaw has suddenly decided to not do any of the upcoming shows with THERION," THERION said in a statement. "This decision took us by surprise, because, up to now, we have had a great collaboration. The reason is simply that he has been working on an album with another big band (as a bass player — that came as a surprise, too!), who have now offered him a deal he felt he could not refuse. We don't think this is a good decision, but accept the situation and wish him good luck.
"We realize many will miss Snowy, who did a great job during the more theatrical direction THERION took during the 'Gothic Kabbalah' era (as well as on the coming album, 'Sitra Ahra'). Like all the other close guest collaborators in the history of the band (Mats Levén, Andy 'the bald guy' Engberg, Karin Fjellander, Sara Jezebel Deva, Martina Hornbacher, Dan Swanö...) he contributed with something unique and put his mark on the ongoing THERION development. And just like the choice of Mats Levén was questioned in the beginning, (for being too rock n roll for THERION) and later became a beloved part of the bands identity at the time, Snowy also made the journey from being regarded as a somewhat odd choice to becoming a popular character in the THERION show. This vacancy, however, gives us an opportunity to yet again take a different direction.
"We are right now in the process of creating the new production that will be used for the 'Sitra Ahra' world tour, and we have some thrilling options to choose from.
"As always, THERION will deliver something unique and challenging that will turn the water of the sceptics into the wine of a classic setup. Stay tuned!"
Shaw announced his departure from THERION on July 7 after four years, two studio albums, live DVDs and numerous tours around the world.
"I've had a terrific and great time touring and working with THERION and I do wish them nothing but the best in the future, but I've felt for some time that it's time for me to move on," Snowy told in a statement. "I also wanna take the opportunity to show my gratitude and thank all the loyal fans for their support, love and understanding."
Shaw — who has previously toured and/or recorded with DREAM EVIL, KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE, MEMENTO MORI and NOTRE DAME, among other acts — was forced to sit out last weekend's show with THERION at the Rockharz festival in Germany due to sickness. This would have been Snowy's last appearance with the band.
Snowy has written and co-written songs for the forthcoming THERION album, "Sitra Ahra", which is scheduled for release in September through Nuclear Blast Records.
Shaw's departure from THERION will not affect the group's upcoming live appearances, as singer Thomas Vikström handled Snowy's parts at the Rockharz festival and will do the same on the upcoming tours in South/Central America, Mexico and Europe.
As a graphic designer and artist, Snowy was hired to oversee the visual aspects and help improve THERION's stage act and performance for the "Gothic Kabbalah" world tour 2007 and the band's 20th-anniversary tour.
Snowy is believed to have joined DIMMU BORGIR as the replacement for bassist/clean vocalist ICS Vortex (real name: Simen Hestnæs) for the band's upcoming album, "Abrahadabra", and world tour.
Shaw told on July 8 that his rumored collaboration with DIMMU BORGIR was nothing more than a "false and unfounded rumor, without any substance."