Manic Street Preachers have revealed that their next album will be released in April or May 2009 and feature lyrics left by Richey Edwards, who disappeared in 1995 and has never been found.
In addition, the band are recording live to analogue tape with legendary producer Steve Albini at the helm. Albini famously recorded Nirvana's final studio album In Utero along with a host of other alt-rock classics.
Here's the statement from the band - sent to fans by email - in full:
We thought you would like to know that we have been making music. We have been in the studio with Mr Steve Albini recording live - to tape - analogue - no digital hiss - no Pro Tools - no safety nets. Quite scary, daunting but invigorating.
All the songs we are recording are lyrics left to us by Richey. Finally it feels like the right time to use them (especially after the last 18 months being so amazing with Send Away The Tigers).
Musically, in many ways it feels like a follow up to the Holy Bible but there is also an acoustic side - tender, romantic, nihilism, Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky esque.
It's a record that celebrates the genius of his words, full of love, anger, intelligence and respect. We have to make this great. Wish us luck.
We hope to release the record next April or May. The working titles are Journal for Plague Lovers or I Know I Believe In Nothing But It Is My Nothing.
Nicky, James and Sean."