HYPNOS has modified its name to HYPNÖS and reports that former guitarist David M. will guest on the band's third CD Rabble Manifesto which is due this month and was again produced by Harris Johns. The band's new name signifies a change in musical direction...HUMAN MINCER entered V.R.S. Studio in Madrid in October and will issue an album called Devoured Flesh soon...Metal War Productions has cancelled the PENTACLE/BLOOD STORM split-10" following criticism of the label by two members of the latter band. The label is hoping to release a 7" by PENTACLE instead...Upcoming releases by the new Canadian label Sinister Sounds are albums by CONTAGION BLACK, GAUNTLET and MARTIAL BARRAGE...Upcoming releases on Autopsy Kitchen Records are SUPERCHRIST's Back & Black 12", PROFANATOR's Shit On The Cross 7" (featuring Antimo of DISGORGE) and CHEMIKILLER's Evil Speak. Elsewhere, SUPERCHRIST has issued a live CD called Heavy Metal Tonight through Bestial Onslaught Productions...Red Stream has two new releases. These are Italy's URSHURARK's Pandemonium Theory and REVENGE's Victory, Intolerance, Mastery CDs...Karmageddon Media has re-released MITHOTYN's back catalogue comprised of the In The Sign Of The Raven, King Of The Distant Forest and Gathered Around The Oaken Table releases...ADIMIRON has recruited Danilo Valentini as its new guitarist. Danilo was already a session member in the band for most of 2004. The band will record a video-clip for the song Cold Anxiety in February which will be included as a bonus on the band's second album...JUDGEMENT DAY has a new bassist. He is Bas van den Boogaard and has already helped the band out on its most recent Benelux mini-tour supporting DISMEMBER and CALLENISH CIRCLE. Furthermore, the band will enter the studio in March, 2005 to record a new album...Deadsun Records has a new website at http://deadsun.free.fr. The French label can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org...Alien, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's fourth Century Media album, has been slated for release on March 22, 2005. The band's first DVD For Those Aboot To Rock (Live At The Commodore) was released on Nov. 15th...According to Code666, NEGURA BUNGET has started recording its new album which is scheduled for a late March 2005 release. Entitled OM ('man' in Rumanian), the album is another concept, but this time dealing with purification. The label has also signed SCALD from Northern Ireland to a Licensing deal. The same label will release and promote the instrumental CD Vermiculatus which is planned for September, 2005. DIABOLICUM spent the summer of 2004 in studio recording its third album, Vengeance (The Matricide). Unfortunately the final result did not meet expectations and the act has decided to rerecord everything from scratch. In the meantime, they have composed new songs and will enter another studio in February, 2005. Finally, UK's THE AXIS OF PERDITION is finishing its new full-length album, Deleted Scenes From The Transition Hospital, which is scheduled for March, 2005 on Code666...Metal Blade Records has signed a deal with the upstate New York metal band THE RED DEATH. Having previously released a six-song EP with Crooked Halo Records, this will be the band's first full-length album and is due to hit stores in the Spring/Summer of 2005. The band has just finished recording its album...Candlelight Records has confirmed February, 8th as the US release date for the new album for ENSLAVED. Titled Isa, the US pressing is set to contain bonus material not featured on the current European release...Some upcoming releases on The End Records are EPOCH OF UNLIGHT's The Continuum Hypothesis, FRANTIC BLEEP's The Sense Apparatus, GREEN CARNATION's The Quiet Offspring, LILITU's The Delores Lesion, NOVEMBERS DOOM's The Pale Haunt Departure, OATHEAN's (from South Korea) Fading Away Into The Grave Of Nothingness, an album by UNEXPECT and ULVER's Blood Inside...Brazil's TORTURE SQUAD has a new album called Death, Chaos And Torture Alive...After a string of bootleg products, Meyhna'ch the only member of MÜTIILATION has decided to give all the rights of the works (old and new) to Ordealis Records for a 2005 release as a set. These works were originally released on Drakkar Productions, but are now deleted...UNHOLY GHOST has teamed up with COUNCIL OF THE FALLEN for the Reigning Florida Tour this month...New Jersey's KNIFE THE GLITTER has recently signed with Venge Records. The band will be releasing an EP in early 2005...MALEVOLENT CREATION has organized a major European tour for March and April...Profound Lore Records has announced a vinyl release of the classic DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE debut album, Ravendusk In My Heart. The label has also signed Canada's DEAD OF WINTER...WINGED SERPENT MASTER has three new songs from its second album Serpent Sigil on its website www.purevolume.com/wingedserpentmaster. WINGED SERPENT MASTER is 21-year-old Adhab Al-Farhan (a k a Lord Nefarious) and is based in Virginia...The third PANDEMIA album, named Riven, is complete. The band has secured various South American licensees...THORNAFIRE's Exacerbated Gnostic Manifestation will be released by Ibex Moon Records in March...Poserslaughter Records is re-releasing NECRONY's Pathological Performances from 2003, DEAD's You´ll Never know Pleasure... from 1995 and promises a surprise for 2005...Austria's DEMOLITION has a new demo out called Existence...KLANG has lost drummer Mickael, but expects to forge ahead with the recording for its debut this summer. The band has made its MCD available for download at klang.music.free.fr...On December 9th SUNN O))) recorded its first Peel Session, posthumously of Peel. The music was commissioned by Peel before his passing. The track is available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/alt/johnpeel and the band expects to have it on CD at some point...Earache Records has several releases planned for the next few months. These are the reissue of AKERCOCKE's Rape Of The Bastard Nazarene, SOCIETY 1's The Sound That Ends Creation, BLOOD RED THRONE's Altered Genesis and WITH PASSION's In The Midst Of Bloodied Soil plus releases from England's Codebreaker Records...CLANDESTINE BLAZE's Deliverers of Faith six-song CD is out on Northern Heritage Records...SODOM has been confirmed to perform at next year's Minneapolis Mayhem 2 Metalfest on May 7th, 2005. The band is also issuing a DVD this March...Restless Records is issuing a DEATH ANGEL CD/video box featuring the band's The Ultra-Violence, Frolic Through The Park and some unreleased material February 1st, 2005. The package is called Archives & Artifacts...NASUM's Mieszko Talarczyk is among the approximately 1,500 Swedes missing in Thailand following the recent tsunami...BELPHEGOR has picked The Goatreich - Fleshcult as the title for its next album. Expect it in February though Napalm Records...PSYCHOTRON has completed recording its third CD Pray For Salvation and will have it out this spring...ARCH NEMESIS has followed up the release of the Of Mind And Fantasy album with the addition of guitarists Lars Solbakken and Espen Carlsen...Nepherex Records will release the debut album by black metal band MORRIGU. Blood Shall Be Spilled will feature twelve tracks...EXTOL's fourth full-length album Blueprint will be out in March through Century Media and will be the band's first with guitarists Tor Glidje and Ole Halvard Sveen both formerly from LENGSEL and GANGLION)...WITHERING SURFACE has thrown in the towel...OVERKILL has chosen Relix IV as the title for the new album. It is expected in April through Regain Records in Europe...Former THE CROWN singer Johan Lindstrand has a new project called ONE MAN ARMY AND THE UNDEAD QUARTET. He is currently the act's sole member...FIGHT might release a live DVD culled from shows performed in 1993...WITHIN Y and guitarist Niklas Almen have parted ways...Death metal band CRYPTIC has a new album called Once Holy Realm on Dark Horizon...The recent SATYRICON tour of North America was cut in half when two of the band members were accused of rape during the Toronto stop...DISBELIEF and guitarist Jan-Dirk Löffler have gone their separate ways. He is temporarily replaced by a Tommy Fritsch. The band's 66 Sick album is sue in May through Nuclear Blast Records...A Kris Verwimp retrospective book is due to be released soon. The book, entitled The Seventh Serpent, is limited to 400 copies and offers an overview of the man's best work from the past ten years. Head to home.tiscali.be/krisverwimp/welcome.htm...SOULGRIND will include a bonus DVD with its upcoming album, The Origins Of The Paganblood, due on January 24th, 2005 through Holy Records.
In EDEN news, guitarist Dave Van Heusen has replaced Rick Scott Crocco. The new album, Metal For The Millennium, is still due this month...Paul Gaskin, of GASKIN, is in the process of putting together brand new tracks to be recorded by a new line-up in the new year. The band will be playing next summer, including another trip to Germany for the Headbangers Open Air festival...Bryan "Avatar" formerly of GOTHIC KNIGHTS has recorded three albums worth of material for his new act MAJESTIC SYMPHONY which is described as "Theatrical Symphonic Power." The man is looking for a double bass drummer and a keyboard player in order to complete the NYC-based band...Italy's Iron Tyrant label, in conjunction with Swedish label Monster Nation, will issue SABBAT's Live Resurrection CD this month...Vocalist Mac of THRESHOLD is working on a solo album at the moment...Jamie Rowe, Tony Palacios, David Bach and Karl Ney have reunited as white metal band GUARDIAN. A new album and video is expected this summer...RUNNING WILD's Rogues En Vogue will be out next month through G.U.N....Frontiers Records has a new studio album by JOE LYNN TURNER, entitled The Usual Suspects, scheduled for February...BON JOVI has finished recording its ninth studio album. The first single is called Have a Nice Day. In the meanwhile, the band's rarities box set 100 Million Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong is doing brisk business in the USA...THUNDER's next CD is called The Magnificent Seventh and is scheduled for February 21st through Frontiers Records...The new JUDAS PRIEST album is called Angel Of Retribution. The band has announced the following titles so far: Judas Rising, Deal With The Devil, Revolution, Worth Fighting For and Hellrider. The album will be released on March 1st in Canada...GOTTHARD has signed to Nuclear Blast. A new album is expected in July...Former FREE and BAD COMPANY singer Paul Rodgers has joined QUEEN for a string of dates on both sides of the Atlantic in 2005...LOUDNESS will have a live DVD of its most recent shows called Rock Shows Live 2004 out in Japan on March 16th...XYZ and EVERY MOTHER'S NIGHTMARE are touring together this month in the USA using the Revived In '05 Tour monicker...Black Lotus has signed former CRIMSON GLORY singer MIDNIGHT who returns to the scene after 16 years of absence. He returns with a solo album entitled Sakada due in April, 2005...LABYRINTH has signed a deal with Arise Records. The band's new album will be entitled Freeman. Recorded and mixed at Elnor Studio in Milan, Italy and mastered at The House Of Audio Studios in Germany, the album will be released in March 2005. The label will also re-release No Limits which was originally released in 1996...DARK MOOR will release its new album, Beyond The Sea in March, 2005. The album was recorded at M20 (drums and backing vocals) and New Sin Studios...A new DREAM OR NIGHTMARE CD, Light Burning Bright Till The Dawn, has been released...Retrospect Records has just issued the self-titled CD by the COWBOY PROSTITUTES...SKYLARK's 2-CD 'Best Of' is scheduled for February 2005 through Scarlet Records. The Skylark compilation In The Heart Of The Princess, already released by Soundholic in Japan, is coming in February. It is meant to celebrate the tenth birthday of the band...QUIET RIOT will commence its 2005 world tour in England where the group has not performed in twenty years. Four dates are planned for February. The band's Live And Rare Volume 1 will be out this month as well...CINDERELLA, RATT, QUIET RIOT and FIREHOUSE are touring North America this summer using the Rock Never Stops 2005 monicker...Greece's NOCTA has completed the recordings for its forthcoming release, Wicked Woman. The band is searching for a label...InsideOut America has the following releases planned for 2005: AYREON's Actual Fantasy Revisited Special Edition, SPOCK'S BEARD's Octane, ARENA's Pepper's Ghost, RPWL's World Through My Eyes, EVERGREY's A Very Special Evening double live CD and DVD and a PAIN OF SALVATION DVD...Y & T's Unearthed Volume 2 is now out. The second in the series of previously unreleased songs features material which were either written or recorded between 1974 and 1989...Thundering/Manitou Music has announced the following 2005 releases: MZ - Romantic, DARK-N - Loading Complete, OUTCAST - First call/Last Warning, ELVARON's third album The Buried Crown...DIAMOND HEAD will be the support act for MEGADETH on its February and March European tour...Dimebag Darrell (formerly Diamond Darrell and born Darrell Abott), the guitarist for DAMAGEPLAN and formerly of PANTERA, was killed during a shooting spree at a Columbus, Ohio nightclub on December, 8th. He was 38-years old. Also killed were the gunman, 25-year-old Nathan Gale of nearby Marysville, Ohio; DAMAGEPLAN bodyguard Jeff Thompson, 40; fan Nathan Bray, 23; and Erin Halk, 29, who worked at the club. Gale also wounded three people...SPIRITUAL BEGGARS has picked Demons as the title for its next album which is due in March...DECEASED's As The Weird Travel On will be out on February 1st through Thrash Corner Records...FLESHGRIND has been joined by drummer Jesse Kehoe formerly of SCREAMING AFTERBIRTH and FOETOPSY...PRIMORDIAL's The Gathering Wilderness is now out through Metal Blade...Former SYSTEMATIC man Tim Narducci, guitarist Craig Locicero formerly of MANMADEGOD and FORBIDDEN, bassist James Walker formerly of MANMADEGOD and drummer Steve Jacobs also formerly of MANMADEGOD and FORBIDDEN have a new band called SPIRALARMS...STRYPER is actually recording a new album.
THE PHARAO'S - OPEN FIRE
Hey, here is a very cool demo. The Pharao's is a German band that can only be described as a Motörhead clone. This band knows its early Motörhead as good as anybody. Song after song has the feel of a battering primal metal band with a touch of punk here and a trace of Bon Scott's voice there. The Lemmy-inspired riffs come fast and furious. Moreover, they are genuinely good. Loud bass, aggressive abandon, heavy guitars and crushing drums have all joined forces on this demo. The band must have a sense of humour though and not just because of its copycat music, but because the songs have titles like Rock 'N' Roll (Dead In Mexico), Elvis Presley and Lawyer. The squealing vocals sometimes sound like Macabre which is one downside to the band. Bottom line: one hell of a fun metal disc here! For more information get hold of someone at email@example.com or write to the band at firstname.lastname@example.org. - Anna Tergel
DOGS ON LEAD - PLAY IT LOUD
Upon receiving this disc from the lord of Metallian Towers and noting the band's monicker the first thing that came to me was the name Accept. Wasn't there an Accept song called Dogs On Lead? And isn't this band from Germany? Well, playing the CD brings AC/DC to mind, not Accept. The first chord of the first song R.I.P. Off wastes no time in establishing the band's love affair with Australia's biggest export. The style, the build up and the sound are all AC/DC. Encounter is more straightforward rock, while Take Hold Of The Flame has elements of The Cult and Bon Jovi's I Am A Cowboy tune. Things are off again on Jump Into Hot Water with its Van Halen-ish lead work, while A Day In Arabia is both slower and crunchier. This rock song has more classy lead work on it. The demo ends with the interestingly-named Canada. Hey talk about brownie points!
Dogs On Lead is a cool band with good music and a vocalist with character to spare. It is not surprising that the band is so effective given how they have been around since 1986. Will they ever become known? To find out visit www.dolmusic.de or write to email@example.com. - Anna Tergel
AVENUE F - same
Avenue F is rock band from New Jersey down there in the USA. The four have supposedly taken the name of the road they rehearse on as their act's title. There is nothing here that would be justifiably called hard or heavy. The band plays professional and serious rock music with the opening song Suffer Unto Me being the most intense. The following two songs continue the competent delivery, but are slower in nature. The band is styled after the likes of Pearl Jam and Creed and is geared towards that market. Let us wish them good luck because their three songs are substantive. Check this out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.avenuef.com. - Anna Tergel
CEASE.AND.DESIST - same
Cease.And.Desist was actually Panzerdivision not long ago, but after being threatened with a liability involving a considerable sum of money the project's sole member decided to change names, or put another way, put a cease and desist on the menacing party. The band is thoroughly noisecore and those who recoil from the style should stop reading now. On the other hand, if a bulldozing wall of guitar, a singer who sounds like beelzebub on a bad day and a pencil-sharpener-against-the-desk drum machine sound makes you glee at the thought of torturing the neighbours then this will do just fine. Even when the man introduces a semi-thrashy riff on The Procrustean Bed the result is a garbled onslaught of chaos. This CD can be had through Norway's Machinery Productions by emailing email@example.com. - Ali "The Metallian"
LOSS - NO SANITY LEFT
This is a wonderful demo from the Swedish band. Loss is inspired by early Entombed no doubt, what with the massive guitar sound, volley of rhythm and shouting vocals, but plays its own music. The three songs on display, namely Pestilent Illusion, Reverent One and No God Worth, come at the listener with clear malicious intent and batter with power. The band has a big sound and the compositional skills to go with it. What is more, the lead breaks on songs two and three prove the band's musical capability and attention to detail. Whether you like it heavy or fast Loss will do it for you. The Swedes had a record deal with Scarlet Records a couple of years back. Chances are very good that the label is regretting losing Loss right about now! firstname.lastname@example.org or www.loss.se. - Ali "The Metallian"
DELTA - APOLLYON IS FREE
Delta is, of all places, a Chile-based band whose young age belies its guitarist's capabilities. The guitarists are singled out because they are possibly the band's sole gifted members. The other instruments come across as either background fodder (i.e. the keyboards) or simply monotonous and nonprofessional (the drumming). The guitarist, and the general musical direction, are clearly influenced by the first two Yngwie Malmsteen albums. There are two guitarists listed in the line-up so it is not immediately clear whether one or two of the gentlemen is responsible for the shredding, but either way the seventy-minute long CD is stocked with both fast and heartfelt axe work. The keyboards give the band's progressive and Classical influences a good front, while the bass appears competent at least. In fact, the bass guitar shines on Face The World. The singer is adequate, but occasionally flat in his delivery. The band has included a couple of instrumentals in its arsenal. The second half of the demo features an operatic triumvirate with odd wailing vocals. The limits of the singer are amplified on these tracks. Delta is an impressive band, but needs to plug quite a few holes before becoming competitive internationally. Contact them by visiting www.deltachile.com or e-mailing email@example.com. - Ali "The Metallian"
DISCONSOLATE - CRIMSON PLEASURE
The Dutch band Disconsolate - incidentally no relation to their countrymen Consolation - had me going for a while. First, there was the mention of weak bands like Anathema, My Dying Bride and Orphanage in its biography. Fortunately for the listener, the band is heavier and more pure than those comparisons suggest. In fact, the quartet is heavier than all those bands combined and has a sound like Cancer for instance. Second, the CD kicks off with the sound of a projectile hitting and silencing the sound of Arab Semites with an Arabic melody in the background. This might put the band in the same column as the rest of the Dutch racists, but the sample returns signifying that the culture survives the assault on it. Furthermore, reading the lyrics makes the band's protest of the Christian arrogance clear. The band's songs are sequenced in order of quality on the disc with opener Promised Land being the best and closer Crimson Pleasure and its stupid keyboard presence last. E-mail the band at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.disconsolate.nl for more information. - Ali "The Metallian"
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