I think they have taken a massive fall over the last ten or so years. Hopefully they can get back to close to where they used to be.

MANIC STREET Preachers have completed their new album, they confirmed today.

Bassist Nicky Wire posted a handwritten note on their official website, manicstreetpreachers.com, and told fans the band had finished recording.

And he said the album, tentatively titled 'Journal For Plague Lovers', and featuring lyrics written by the late Richie Edwards, is due for release in May.

He added that the band were now preparing to choose the tracklisting and get it mastered in New York.

Wire wrote: "Just finished recording in Rockfield. Only running orders left to be finalised then cut the record in New York - looks like middle of May for release.

"We're excited, nervous, proud and fearful as usual but can't wait for everyone to hear it."

Wire also posted several photos of the Manics recording the album in the studio on the website. then thanked fans for giving him a "monumental" 40th birthday card on January 20.