Solar Dawn guitarist Anders Edlund, former Pan-thy-monium member Robert Ivarsson (Mourning) and Edge Of Sanity/Infestdead member Andreas "Dread" Axelsson have a new band called Incapacity. The debut album called Chaos Complete is due soon through Cold Records. It was recorded in December at Black Lounge Studio...Faith Or Fear has reformed in its original line-up. The band features Tim Blackman, CJ Jenkins, Bob Perna, Chris Bombeke and drummer Daniel Hansen. The band is practicing old songs and working on new music. A reunion show is due on the 11th of the month...Marduk's World Funeral will be out this February through the band's own Blooddawn Productions...The release of the full-length album of Law Of Plague is delayed due to difficulties in the mix process. The band will have to reconstruct the album in several stages beginning this month...Infernal Hatred will release a CD on Regimental Records next year. The band has a newly-recruited member called Dalkiel from Algol. Dalkiel replaces Lasiurus...Usurper has completed work on Twilight Dominion. Expected next March, according to guitarist Rick Scythe, "This album will kill all posers. This album is total Earache quality."...Destructive Records has released Necroblaspheme's Introducing Pure Violence CD...Galy Records has signed Reckon With One. The band's The Purpose Of Existence is available now...Serpens Caput Production of Italy has released the debut album of Italian black metal band Beatrik which is entitled Journey Through The End Of Life...Here is some news from Goregiastic Records of Spain: the label has now released True Blasphemy by Colombia' Carnal. The label has also signed The Netherlands' Caedere whose debut is due next summer. Spain's Infernal Hate will release The Wisdom of Obscure Dimensions early next year. Finally, the label has signed America's Mutanis Castration who will release the MCD Traces of a Mutilated Blasphemous Reality soon. The band has not been around for a long time, reportedly being formed as recently as last summer....Agathodaimon recently lost bass player Marko T. He decided to leave the band due to health problems...Russian death metallers Merlin are gearing up for the release of a new album tentatively entitled Brutal Constructor. The band is also re-releasing its previous albums Deathkoteque and They Must Die with new packaging...Bloodthrone has finished recording its second album. The band is looking for a new label and is promoting a two-song promotional demo. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org...God Dethroned has finished recording its upcoming album Into The Lungs Of Hell at Berno Studios in Sweden. It album was produced and mixed by Henrik Larsson (Amon Amarth). The album features eight songs with a total running time of 38 minutes. The album will be out in February...Scar Culture has announced the departure of vocalist Pheroze Karai and touring drummer Alpheus Underhill. The band has begun writing, while looking for new members. Original drummer, Duke Borisov, has rejoined to the fold for the writing process... Melechesh are currently at Los Angered Studios in Gothenburg, Sweden recording the third album for Osmose Productions Sphynx...Former Sodom and Kreator guitarist Frank Blackfire has returned with a band called Mystic. There is a demo...Upcoming releases from Earache are: Corporation 187's Perfection In Pain, The Haunted's One Kill Wonder, The Haunted's Caught On Tape DVD, Usurper's Twilight Dominion and a new Deicide album due in the spring...Dutch thrashers Katafalk have posted a new MP3 online on their website www.katafalk.com. The track, titled Cannonfodder, will appear on their upcoming album Storm Of The Horde which will be out January 10th 2003 through Cold Blood Industries...Bane Of Existence has finished mixing its new demo Humanity's Splintered Salvation...Pat of Callenish Circle will perform guest vocals on the new Sahara Dust album...The new Tourniquet album is called Where Moth And Rust Destroy. It is due for release in March...Vile, Mangled, Inhume, Disavowed and Dawn Of Possession are touring Europe from the 20th of February to mid-March under the Violating Europe banner...Kell of Pessimist has laid down some guitar work for Black Mass' CD Voices Of Fate. The album was produced by Roger Beaujard who is the drummer and guitarist for Mortician and Malignancy...Rob Degroot is the new singer for Exciter...Jim Durkin is out of Dark Angel. His erstwhile replacement, former Strapping Young Lad, Amoros and Caustic Thought guitarist Jed Simon, has decided against joining the band. Durkin supposedly was kicked out of the fold because of schedule conflicts. The band will play Wacken Open Air next summer...To/Die/For will release a new album called Jaded in March through Spinefarm Records...The recording of the new Denata album will take place in early January at studio Hell Smell with Mique of Seance engineering. The album will feature 13 tracks including a cover of Celtic Frost's song Morbid Tales. The album is scheduled for release through Arctic Music Group in April 2003...Dream Or Nightmare is recording five new songs towards the release of a third demo. The music is more progressive than the previous material. The song titles are announced as, Tomorrow, Self Inflicted, Kill For Me, Lost Wish and The Dawn...Cold Blood Industries has signed signed Dutch death metal band Monolith.This band features ex-Dead Head singer/guitarist Michiel Dekker and ex-Altar and To Elysium drummer Sjoerd Visch. A European tour, together with The Crown, will commence starting March 25th. Cold Blood Industries has also signed Dutch Thrashers Csustacean The follow-up to their debut Burden Of Our Suffering is entitled Insaniac and will be released in February. Katafalk's debut Storm Of The Horde will be released January 28th, 2003...Florida's Brutality has reformed and signed with Still Dead productions. A new album entitled From The Ashes is due in the summer...Maze Of Torment has left Necropolis Records and signed with Swedish label Hellspawn Records which will release The Unmarked Graves in February...Thronspawn is working on its next album entitled Sanctified by Satan's Blood. The band expects to enter Morrisound Studio to record the album which will feature songs like Sanctified by Satan's Blood, Occult Black Death and God of Unholy Battalions. In the meanwhile the band is seeing a reissue of its debut Blood Of The Holy, Taint Thy Steel through Osmose Production. This version will feature the EP Empress From The Realms Of Blasphemy and a new cover.
Stellar Seed, featuring former Agent Steel singer Max Havlock/John Cyriis (CD single reviewed this month), will have a full-length CD entitled Xerpion Particle Stormout in the spring. The song titles are Soliloquy Of The Stellar Cult, The Space Seed Manifests, Fury's From The Dark Aeon, Plethora Of Epoch's Curses, Endarkened NucleoSynthesis, Xerpion Particle Storm, Dream Detective, Trance/10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, Brethren of The Slave Godz and Eclipse Of The Godz. The Subject matter is "dedicated to a revealing, disturbing, Cosmological discovery."...Statetrooper will see a reissue of its 1987 debut in re-mastered format next month. The album is picked up by Escape Music for worldwide distribution. Expect a few live bonus songs. The band has additionally been confirmed to play New Jersey for the weekend of the 7th - 9th March...Bitch, the original early 80's L.A. band, has reformed and will play at the Bang Your Head Festival...Halford guitarist Mike Chlasciak has announced the formation of Pain Museum, a new band featuring vocalist Tim Clayborne, current Halford drummer Bobby Jarzombek and long time collaborator Steve Booke on bass. An album and a tour are expected next year. The departed guitarist Patrick Lachman is replaced for live dates by band producer Roy Z. In the meanwhile Rob Halford was denied entry into the USA recently ostensibly for not having a work visa...The Best Of Zed Yago is a new CD package featuring 100 minutes of the band's music, a video for Black Bone Song and other goodies...Susperia has left Nuclear Blast...Helloween is using Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee for the recording sessions of their as-yet-untitled new album after regular skinsman Mark Cross (ex-Metalium) was struck by the (EBV) Epstein-Barr virus...Former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach recently auditioned for the vocal slot of the band put together by former Guns N' Roses members Izzy, Slash et al...Kelly Shaefer has formally disbanded Neurotica. Shaefer was recently in L.A.'s Rumbo Studios cutting vocal tracks with ex-Guns N' Roses members, Slash, Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin and Matt Sorum...Nuclear Blast Records has signed Denmark's Mnemic. The band is described as fusion-metal...Featuring new bass player Franky, Gurd is back with a new contract with Diehard. The new album is expected this winter...Following a UK tour as part of $ign Of 4, guitarist/producer Jeff Kollman is entering the studio as producer for Glen Hughes. The recording will take place at Kollman's Crumb Studio in San Fernando...Eyehategod is looking for a label following its departure from Century Media...The Great Kat has released a new 11-minute video entitled War. The video is inspired by the events of September 11, 2001 and features US Generals Patton, Eisenhower, Bradley as well as The Great Kat leading the US troops, the WTC collapse, Kat leading America to triumph and other material...Vancouver based Warhag is at Treefort Studio working on new material destined for a full-length. Songs include Marchers Of Valhalla and UMA. The band now features drummer Scott Gamble and second guitarist Dave Bonnycastle - the latter from from Severed Serenity...My Cold Embrace is touring Denmark with Withering Surface...Gun Barrel's guitarist Rolf Tanzius recently played a rocker-type on the TV show Das Strafgericht on the RTL channel. The band's Battle-tested album is now due in February...Armored Saint is reissuing A Trip Thru Red Times video which is being released as a DVD full of extra material...Axel Rudi Pell's next release is a double-live CD entitled Knights Live. The album was taped at The Zeche in Bochum, Germany and will be out in February...Rapture's Songs For The Withering album will be out in February and features a dual-vocal approach with new vocalist Henry Villberg...Animal, the new band of former W.A.S.P.s Chris Holmes and Randy Piper, have released their new album entitled 900 lb. Steam, through Perris Records. See www.animal.101main.com for more information...Ron Holzner has left Trouble...former Voivod singer Eric Forrest has a new band called Project: Failing Flesh...Former EZO and Loudness singer Masaki Yamada has both a new solo project and a band called Snakebite with EZO drummer Homma...Anders Friden of In Flames has yet another project called Passenger...Former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar and Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony have a new band called Planet US...Winters Bane has recruited Alexander Koch (Powergod, Spiral Tower, etc.) as its newest singer. A new album is expected late next year through DCA Entertainment...Swedish hard rockers Babylon Bombs are recording their debut album for Fastlane Records entitled Delirious Deluxe, with producer Tomas Skogsberg Expect the release in the spring...Tapping The Vein, Opeth, Lacuna Coil and Paradise Lost are touring North America this month...Soundriot Records has signed Norwegian power metal act Gaia Epicus. Their Satrap album is due shortly. The same label has issued the Molesting The Entrails Of The Disemboweled album of Rupture Christ. Finally on Soundriot is another side project, this one called Shadow Season. The band's The Frozen MCD is out soon. Steve Tucker, formerly of Morbid Angel, will guest on the band's album...Amaran is set to record the follow-up to their debut A World Depraved in April at Studio Underground...Doom metal band Zafira has a new web site at www.zafira.net...Kamelot's Epica will be released via Noise/Sanctuary in February...Here is Chavis Records' release schedule: Legacy's (heavy metal from L.A.) debut in January, Bangkok Babes' Locket N' Chain (in the vein of Guns N' Roses, Aerosmith) also in January, Mirthrandir' Luna (progressive rock - comeback album) in February, Pharoah's Gonna Get U (glam) in April and a new Ivory Tower album in May. The label is also planning new albums by Brave New World, Sinnocence and Redd Threat...Drummer Jeff Singer has left Blaze...Molly Hatchet is releasing a new live album called Locked And loaded on February through SPV...Upcoming releases for Lion Music are: Reign Of Terror's Conquer And Divide, a reissue of Takara's Blind In Paradise and Rusty Cooley's self-titled album described as "Killer neoclassical shredmaster."...Raiden, Nocti, Verymetal and Martex of Poland's Enter Chaos are forming an electronic band in the style of Pain. Elsewhere Henri Sorvali from Moonsorrow and Finntroll will play on the band's second album which is tentatively entitled Aura Sense and will feature the songs Dilated Perception and ART-work...Morty Black of TNT is the guest bassist on the debut album of Gaia Epicus, entitled Satrap, out now through Sound Riot Records...Guitarist Nick Savio has left Whiteskull due to musical differences...Singer/Guitarrist Peter Durst has returned to Darkside...Ex-Iron Monkey Guitarist Justin Greaves has joined Iron Wizard...October 31's Dave "Scarface" Castillo has replaced King Fowley as the drummer for Deceased following a severe bloodclot and lung damage afflicted to the latter...Brand New Sin recently shot a cameo for a new movie called School Of Rock which features Joan Cusack...Tommy Paris of Britny Fox is working on his solo project entitled 2009. The band does not have a record contract yet.
TOMBTHROAT - THE REVENGE OF EVIL
When you really think about it, Tombthroat is a marvelous name for a metal band. I love it! Our grinding Germans were formed in 1996 as a black metal band and today are made up of Evil Ass (vocals), Evil Graveyard Bjorn (guitars), Evil Terror Pete (bass) and Evil Al on drums. The style is close to Autopsy with a little more speed thrown in. It's raw and dirty and full of zombies staggering here, there and everywhere. The drums sound must get heavier next time though. Underground Bastards is really reminiscent of Ghoul which is probably due to the band's Autopsy influence again. Tombthroat, how evil is that? Contact the dudes through email@example.com or at www.tombthroat.de. - Ali "The Metallian"
STELLAR SEED - THE GODZ OF MAN
Imagine my surprise a month or so ago upon receiving a note asking whether I would like to receive the CD single of Stellar Seed featuring a former Agent Steel singer! Well, here it is. The man is, of course, John Cyriis (now revealed to be Max Havlock) and the CD is in fact comprised of one song called The Godz Of Man. Now if a book could be judged by its cover, this CD would be crap. The cheap graphics and confused presentation would render it that. Instead, the song is prime speed metal complete with the high pitch of Havlock propelling it instantly into unique (celestial) status. The song is multi-layered vocally and musically and talks of humanity, money, greed and aliens. Naturally, and this is a given with Cyriis, everything is heavily encrypted in lore. The band provides no photographs and the only other information provided is the imminent arrival of a full-length entitled Stellar Propulsion Laboratory. Who else is in the band? No clue. When will the full CD arrive? Soon. What is the band about? Cyriis doing it his own way. Beg for the disc at stellarseed.com as only 100 copies were pressed. - Ali "The Metallian"
HELLBLAZER - PROMO SUMMER 2002
Hellblazer's demo-CD kicks off with a sample from the film Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, a movie which went over my head. Thankfully Germany's Hellblazer is another matter. Having issued a couple of prior 7" EPs, as splits with Groinchurn, Exhumed and others, the current CD is a powerful grindcore attack. It is reminiscent of very old Napalm Death, has a growling and a screaming vocal, speed riffing and the occasional unexpected riff. The production is not the best, but in some ways that is par for the course. Send $6 Cdn. to Olli at Feuerbachstr. 1, 06114 Halle Germany. - Ali "The Metallian"
MS2 - same
Many might remember American death metal act Morta Skuld who released four albums, methinks, in the mid-90's. MS2 is the continuation of that band. The moniker, quite appropriately, stands for Morta Skuld 2 and the band features Dave Gregor and Jason Hellman from the old band. With the addition of Andrew Broas on vocals and Ed Wallner on drums, MS2 has released this new three-song demo to get word of its new sound to the masses. Speaking of a new sound, MS2 while still harbouring some metal riffing, has picked up a hint or two from Disturbed and Coal Chamber and gone mallcore. The odd notes drop here and there, the samples and synthesizers fill the backdrop and the dual-vocal system titillates between the gruff of Crowbar and ambient screams of Fear Factory. This is not exactly what metal fans appreciate, but mainstream fans or Morta Skuld diehards can find out more by visiting www.mortaskuld2.com or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali "The Metallian"
WILL O WISP - UNSEEN
If the band's intention is to write progressive music, then they have succeeded. After all, inherent in the definition of progressive music is the ability to write different and capable music unlike one's contemporaries. Taken in that sense, bands like Dream Theater or Planet X do not qualify for the classification. Having said that, this listener is not ashamed to admit that he does not comprehend what the Italian quintet is attempting. Certainly, there are individual moments reminiscent of Rush, Voivod Cynic and Metallica on this disc. Yet these are drenched in jazz, fusion, neoclassical and odd time changes and general quirky musical themes. The male vocals are outright weird and the female vocals ambient. The music will not tolerate a definition and is all over the place. No doubt, these guy are fantastic musicians, but can they write? Is that or is that not what musicians are supposed to do? Write to email@example.com in order to contact the band. Note the e-mail address! - Ali "The Metallian"
WATER DEPTH - PREMONITION
Water Depth's Premonition is an unexpected demo-CD to arrive at Metallian Towers. The mini-CD was actually recorded in February of 2000 and produced by Necronomicon's Rob the Witch. The band is influenced by Megadeth and the listener will encounter quite a few riffs composed by Mustaine and boys. That is probably not a good thing. Having said that, with Megadeth's absence, fans might be looking for a replacement. For, truth be told, Premonition's compositions are not bad at all. The sound is reasonably good as well, even if the vocals are given superior status in the mix. Which takes me to the singer. He not only is influenced by James Hetfield, but also manages to sing out of tune occasionally. Coupled with his straining to sing here and there, the band would do well to replace him. As things stand though, he is a definite acquired taste. Does anyone have Mustaine's telephone number? Contact the band by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali "The Metallian"
SPELLDOWN - DAMNATION FROM THE HIGHEST POINT
Spelldown's three-song demo-CD arrived without any biographical information. Focusing on the three songs featured as a result, the Canadian quintet seem to have divided their loyalties between Metallica and Iron Maiden. One songs sounds close to the American hipsters, while another resembles that of an Iron Maiden composition. Once again, the instrumentalists are better than the band's singer. Sebastian Nudo needs to concentrate on achieving a style his own and abandon the Hetfield-isms he currently employs. Otherwise, the music is good and metal fans will likely appreciate the moments most associated with Iron Maiden. - Ali "The Metallian"
NEVENT - FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT
Meshuggah slept with Pantera in Switzerland and approximately nine months later Nevent was born. www.nevent.org. - Ali "The Metallian"
CRYSTAL TEARS - EMBRACE THE HORROR
I don't know why the band have written 'promotional copy' all over this CD with their markers. Maybe they figure I will soon try to sell it to the used record store? Maybe they suspect I will auction it on ebay for $100? Or maybe they don't want me to scan the jacket for a review? Silly matters aside Crystal Tears hail from Greece and reveal their influences without a veil of any kind. The singers are clearly trading off Stratovarius singing and Manowar screams. The music is occasionally very close to Iron Maiden (the lead off track is pure Maiden) and at other times (I guess I am now being repetitious) follows the path of Iced Earth. The production is above average for a demo and the nine songs last forty minutes which is very good value for money. What's more four out of the five guys have long hair which always helps, you know? www.crystal-tears.com to contact, look or buy - Sheila Wes Det
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