GENERAL SURGERY is recording an album called Left Hand Pathology. The band hopes to see it released in the summer…Former THE CROWN bassist Magnus Olsfelt has a new band called STOLEN POLICECAR. The band is looking for a record deal…London’s thrash metal act THINE EYES BLEED will be taking time off from the road over the next few months in order to concentrate on writing the follow-up to the debut album, In The Wake Of Separation…BANE OF EXISTENCE has uploaded a new song, entitled Sanguinary Annihilation, at this location http://www.myspace.com/baneofexistence. The band recently announced the addition of vocalist Dusty Lyon and guitarist Chris Farmerie (both formerly of ACEPHALUS and DESPOILMENT) to the group's ranks…The Adversary has been confirmed as album title for the forthcoming solo recording from EMPEROR’s singer/guitarist Ihsahn. The album will be issued by Mnemosyne Productions/Candlelight in early 2006…AGALLOCH has entered the studio in order to begin pre-production work for its third full-length album entitled Ashes Against The Grain. The recording process began December 10th and the band hopes to have the album finished by mid-January. The band will be working with Ronn Chick, who has engineered and produced both of the previous albums…Deadsun Records has issued INGRAVED’s Hatred from Oustide CD…DERANGED is entering Berno Studios in Malmö, Sweden this month to record a new album, called Obscenities In B Flat, which is due on March 27, 2006 through Listenable Records. In the meanwhile, the band has pulled out of its European tour with NATRON because of work commitments. DERANGED’s place has been taken by GOD DETHRONED…GODLESS RISING is a new band featuring original VITAL REMAINS members Jeff Gruslin, Paul Flynn and Ricky Corbit. The band, which also features former Descent guitarist Rob, will be releasing an EP, called Rising Hatred, in January through Not Common Records…Peaceville is celebrating the return of DARKTHRONE by issuing a special box set edition of Preparing For War - the anthology of early live and rare material. The package comes with a DVD as well. This set comes in a clam-box including a poster and booklet containing an exclusive, in-depth interview by James Hinchliffe…DEMONIZER has parted ways with guitarist Nerclath...IMPALED NAZARENE has completed recording its new album Pro Patria Finlandia. The band will mix the album in January at Sonic Pump Studio with Tapio Pennanen. Mika Jussila will master the album at Finnvox studio and hopes to have it released in March. A European tour will follow…German “funeral doom band” AHAB has signed with Napalm Records. The band features members of the German-Norwegian band MIDNATTSOL and the underground grind/death act ENDZEIT. The trio is currently holed up at S.A.D.-Studio...YYRKOON has finished recording its fourth album, called Unhealthy Opera, which is due in February 2006 through Osmose Productions…Battle Kommand Records has issued a Xasthur/Leviathan split CD…VOMITORY has recruited guitarist Peter Östlund formerly of THE LAW…Century Media Records has announced February 27th as the release date for WITCHERY’s new album, Don't Fear The Reaper…KALMAH has finished recording its new album, entitled The Black Waltz, and will see it released on February 22nd through Spinefarm Records…SINDECADE is a new side-project of DARK FORTRESS singer Azathoth and former DARK FORTRESS guitarist Crom. The band has released an EP, entitled Terrorcrowned, through Neocreation Productions…Spinefarm Records will issue NORTHER’s new full-length CD, Till Death Unites Us, on January 25th…GORY BLISTER will release a new album, entitled Skymorphosys, on January 30th through Mascot Records…Japan’s DEFILED has three new members with guitarist Sumita being the only original man. The new guys are Kenji Sato on vocals, Haruhisa Takahata on bass and drummer Tadashi Kurihara…Singer Hreidmarr has quit ANOREXIA NERVOSA. The band is looking for a replacement and can be reached c/o email@example.com...LEGION has been joined by singer Kjetil Hektoen formerly of CREST OF DARKNESS and ENTHRAL. Bassist Lars Martinsson has left to pursue his studies though…ILLDISPOSED (now featuring former EXMORTEM guitarist Martin Thim) has announced Burn Me Wicked as the title for its next album, due in June…Bassist Martin has quit DECAPITATED. There are rumours that singer Adrian "Covan" Kowanek is also following him following disagreements with the band’s label Earache Records…EXODUS will support Sweden's THE HAUNTED on the latter’s tour of Australia in March…FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING has completed work on its second album, Sterling Black Icon, for a March 24th release…BLACK CRUCIFIXION’ debut full-length album Faustian Dream will see the light of day in February. An MP3 from the album for the song As Black As The Roses (As Weak As My Smile) can be found at http://www.paragonrecords.net/mp3/As%20Black%20as%20the%20Roses.mp3…DIMENTIANON has completed work on its third album, Hossanas Novus Ordo Seclurum, and a release is planned for the first half of 2006. The releasing label will be announced shortly…Belgium’s GARMENHORD has split up…Following in the footsteps of GRAVE DIGGER Germany’s SUIDAKRA will issue a new album this year dealing with Scottish history. Caledonia is due in the autumn…The Netherland’s MIDIAN is back and now features a new drummer called Georg Bahlcke...In Naer Mataron news, the band is planning on touring Belgium with KAMPFAR and The Netherlands with Zemial. The Greeks are also planning a split-EP with Voice Of Hate. The group is also writing new song…APTORIAN DEMON, featuring members of NAER MATARON and former members of KEEP OF KALESSIN, will issue two EPs this year in order to complete a planned trilogy…AVULSED will enter the studio next month in order to record a mini-CD, called Reanimations. The EP will feature two new songs.
Former OZZY OSBOURNE man Phil Soussan has an independent solo album called Vibrate…ANNIHILATOR has a new two-DVD package out entitled Ten Years In Hell…Former EMPEROR man Faust is in a new band called BLOOD TSUNAMI. More information can be had at www.myspace.com/bloodtsunami...ENTOMBED is at Studioland studio in Sweden recording a new album, called Serpent Saints, which is due out on the band’s own Threeman Recordings in July…Norway’s GRIFFIN has lost lead guitarist Marcus Silver. The band also lost singer Pete Beck recently. No word if a planned European tour for May will go ahead…ENTER MY SILENCE has picked Coordinate: D1SA5T3R as the title for its sophomore album, due on February 27, 2006 through JMT-Music…PINK CREAM 69’s singer David Readman is working on a solo album, due next year, with Paul Logue of CRY HAVOC in tow…A new AMORPHIS album, called Eclipse, will be issued on February 17th, 2006 through Nuclear Blast Records. A single called House Of Sleep will be issued in January…CRYSTAL EYES has recruited former STARRATS singer Søren Nico Adamsen...RHAPSODY’s Live In Canada 2005 - The Dark Secret album, which was recorded in Quebec City, will be issued in January. The album will come with a bonus DVD…WOLVERINE has left Earache in search of a new label. The band’s next album, entitled Still, will consequently be delayed…QUEENSRŸCHE’s sequel to 1988's concept album Operation: Mindcrime, entitled Operation: Mindcrime II, will be released in March…Earache imprint Elitist Records has gone out of business. A&R man Lee Barrett has returned to Candlelight Records…WINDS – comprised of singer Lars Eric Si (KHOLD), guitarist Carl August Tidemann (ARCTURUS), keyboardist Andy Winter (AGE OF SILENCE) and Jan Axel Von Blomberg (ARCTURUS and MAYHEM) – will be entering the studio this week for continued work on their as yet untitled fourth album which will be out through The End Records. The album is the follow-up to 2004’s The Imaginary Direction Of Time and is supposed to be more progressive than past material...JACOBS DREAM is in the studio working on the follow-up to the Drama Of The Ages album. The new CD will be the band’s fourth release on Metal Blade Records and the second with vocalist Chaz Bond. Some titles from the new and as of yet untitled CD are Angry Day, Don’t Talk To Me About Love and To Live Again…SOILWORK singer Björn "Speed" Strid and former BLIND GUARDIAN and current SAVAGE CIRCUS drummer Thomen Stauch are collaborating on a new band called COLDSEED. The act is now on Nuclear Blast…Guitarist Peter Wichers has left Sweden's SOILWORK ostensibly due to a lack of motivation for touring…BIOMECHANICAL will hit Chicago's Powerfest on Saturday April 8th, 2006…Black Lotus Records has signed Mark Zonder’s new band TEMPLEWITHIN. After departing from FATES WARNING, the drummer of WARLORD was joined by Wayne Findlay (MSG) and Gregory Analla (SEVENTH SIGN and TRIBE OF GYPSIES…QUIET RIOT vocalist Kevin DuBrow and drummer Frankie Banali have been joined by Tracii Guns, formerly of L. A. GUNS and BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION. A new bass player will be announced shortly. The revamped QUIET RIOT will enter the studio in January to record new songs for a studio release, the first new material from the band since the release of Guilty Pleasures in 2001. Look for QUIET RIOT to tour in 2006…Sweden’s CLOUDSCAPE has announced Crimson Skies as the title for its sophomore album, tentatively due in June 2006 through Metal Heaven…Germany’s SACRED STEEL has lost Jörg M. Knittel and Oliver Großhans in order to concentrate on their other bands, namely MY DARKEST HATE and Knittel’s DAWN OF WINTER. The band will issue a CD/DVD called Live Blessings through Massacre Records featuring the old line-up. The band is working on a new album with new material tentatively called Hammer Of Destruction…Sweden’s STEEL ATTACK has signed to Massacre Records...BAL-SAGOTH has picked The Chthonic Chronicles as the title for its sixth album, due in the summer through Nuclear Blast Records...BLOODBOUND, featuring singer Urban Breed (ex-TAD MOROSE), guitarist Tomas Olsson and bassist Fredrik Bergh has released a debut album called Nosferatu through Marquee Inc. Breed recently left TAD MOROSE due to personal differences with the rest of the group…NWOBHM’s BLACK ROSE has released a new CD, entitled Bright Lights Burnin' - The Anthology through the Majestic Rock label…Nightmare Records will soon issue an album by PYRAMAZE entitled Legend Of The Bone Carver…AVENGER has a new website at http://www.avenger-uk.com/home.htm...EMERALD TRIANGLE, featuring singer Jade Steel and guitarist Ira Black (VICIOUS RUMORS, HEATHEN, etc.), has a new CD which is called Tales Of The Rondo…Locomotive Records will issue the debut of BENEDICTUM in January. Entitled Uncreation, the band features vocalist Veronica Freeman, guitarist Pete Wells, bassist Jesse Wright, drummer Blackie Sanchez and keyboardist Chris Morgan. The European release has been pushed back by one week and is now scheduled for January 27. The album was produced by former DOKKEN bassist Jeff Pilson and mixed by Pilson and former WARLOCK bassist Tommy Henriksen. Expect guest appearances by former DIO guitarist Craig Goldy and bassist Jimmy Bain…BEFORE THE DAWN will release a new album, entitled The Ghost, in April of 2006 through Locomotive Music. The CD was recorded at Villvox studio by Aleksanteri Kuosa...A reunited ANTHRAX is writing new songs...JACKNIFE and drummer Tommy Crooks have gone their separate ways…Sweden’s AMARAN has called it a day. The members will probably begin new projects in the coming months…LMP has signed CODE OF PERFECTION. The band features guitarist Thorsten Koehne (formerly of DEMON DRIVE), bassist Keisuke Nishimoto (KELLY SIMONZ and HIDEOUS SUN DEMONS) and drummer Frank Kraus (also formerly of DEMON DRIVE and LETTER X). The group's debut CD is called Last Exit For The Lost and is expected in March…Black Lotus Records has announced the formation of a sub-label named Wheel Of Time Productions. The label, whose web site is at www.wot-records.com, is dedicated to the release of older metal records and issuing older demos on CD…Former DEEP PURPLE organist is going to release a solo album this year and tour in its support…KRAGENS has recruited former MEDUSA and XTRUNK guitarist Gilles Giachino to replace departing member Ludwig Laperche. The band is writing a third album…DAWN OF DEFIANCE has signed with Mythic Silence Records.
WEAPON 13 - same
Weapon 13 is a new band comprised of scene veterans. Formed by former members of Hirax and Wargod the band's three-song demo is everything fans would expect from the line-up. The songs are all about unbridled metalcore a la Hirax and old DRI. The band's straightforward attack and shouted and angry vocals are tempered and embellished by sharp riffs and impressive leads. The band's music and lyrics are mad as hell which is something younger musicians pretend is not to be fully embraced. Weapon 13 gives its listeners none of that risk averse/diversified crap. This is what it is. Go over to www.weapon13.com to order the CD for $7.50 (US) or e-mail the band at firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali "The Metallian"
VIOLENT DIVINE – same
Swedes are really smart and progressive. Violent Divine is from Sweden and has chosen a name that is both historically accurate, genre-wise appropriate and set in utter veracity. Who cares what a superstitious middle America thinks?
The quartet makes hay of its roots in ‘80s music and good old hard rock and heavy metal. Regrettably, two things are getting in the way. First, is the band’s twelve-track CD which has arrived with no information, sleeve or song list. Second is the mixture of the music that leans heavily on the said genres, but certainly deviates from the essence. The debut track is certainly everything for which one could wish. The opener is like an accessible cross between Motörhead and Faster Pussycat. The song rocks and is aided by great vocals, backing vocals and a catchy upbeat hook that is heavy nonetheless. Then the CD changes tact and veers towards a mixture of late-era Ozzy and grungy overtures. The guitars take a jab at being Zakk Wylde and the mood becomes more somber. Rest assured that songs like number three still hint at riffs like Thin Lizzy, but there is more to the evil deity than straightforward hard rock. Regardless, twelve tracks of full-on professionalism and considered songwriting will not be ignored. Write to email@example.com. - Ali “The Metallian”
SILENT RITES - demo
For some reason my CD player's software believes the Silent Rites disc is an album by Bob Seger. Speaking of odd information, the band calls its music "melodic metal" which is probably going too far. The Finnish/Swedish duo comprised of instrumentalist Stefan Persson, formerly active in the death metal sub-genre, and singer Zowie Virtanen mix a commercial and melodious rock to hard rock format weaved with the quite palatable and commercial singing more often associated with top 40 material. Aside from the offbeat drum signatures, the guitars, the prominent bass and the whole structure is standard, as opposed to unoriginal, and not for those on a quest for innovation. Still, the band has a nice and comfortable groove going for it and the occasional flourish showcases a musical capability that is above average. The Stefan guy can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali "The Metallian"
OVERLOADED - HAIL THE KINGDOM
This Detroit band has put together a professional package given its independent status. From the packaging to the photography to the sound everything about Overloaded is handled in a professional manner. It might be the corporate endorsements the band has garnered, which actually had me approaching the disc with trepidation to be honest, but the band has managed to put together a serious effort here featuring seven tracks.
The demo begins in a more hard rockish mode and ends up with grungier songs. Beaver Fever (hmmm) begins with an edgy riff and a scream a la Deep Purple and goes onto become a sleazy mega hard rock party. This is metallic like Los Angeles from the late '80s and has a wailing solo. Feeling Overloaded is more like Soundgarden and comes with throatier vocals. King Of The Landfill - interesting title - has more nasal vocals which is a mix of Pearl Jam and Megadeth. The song is fast-paced and urgent nevertheless. Sick ends the demo as a song that could have belonged to Guns N Roses. The band proudly waves the flag of heavy metal and struts its stuff, although the grunge songs make one wonder. Although, the band and its style should have many adherents soon, if not already. Go to www.overloadedmusic.com or e-mail email@example.com. - Anna Tergel
OVERLOADED - HELLFIRE
Hot on the heels of a full-length comes a new release from Detroit's proud heavy metal stalwarts, Overloaded. This disc is even better than the full-length. The direction is more purely professional hard and heavy with an emphasis on the singer and the stylings of Skid Row. While the third song, Zygote, is slower the other three rock with a mixture of organic heavy rock with lots of guitar and bass as music and a screaming freak behind the microphone. Expect a lot of proud heavy metal chest pounding which is always a good thing (except when Manowar tries it). Is it me or demo closer, Heavy Metal Highway, is trying to be Radar Love? It is not me! Visit www.overloadedmusic.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org - Anna Tergel
SONIC BLISS – METAMORPHOSIS
Sonic Bliss’s demo-CD is a professional piece of work ready for prime time. The band has invested time and money to produce a professional package all around. The songs are focused around a clean rock sound with some hard rocking influences. Given the membership which comprises former Anthrax and Dee Snider guys fans would probably expect something nearer to those groups. Instead, Sonic Bliss is mostly about Creed, Pearl Jam and Monster Magnet. This can be on radio any time of day anywhere. Metal fans would not like this, there are also several slow songs in between the twelve tunes, although Sonic Bliss is not going after that crowd anyway. That is fine, except the band may cut back on the ballads, better image with some long hair flowing and keep going with the same serious attitude. The website is www.sonicbliss.net and the e-mail is email@example.com. - Sheila Wes Det
PRAEMONERE - A VISION FOREWARNED
The US Mid-Atlantic region has been the spawning ground for a bunch of exotic bands of late. Take The Green Evening Requiem for instance. Virginia Beach is probably an odd place for a band like Praemonere, but they might be seeing something in their future that I do not. The band has no image to speak of, although packaging-wise and musically there is a thing or two a foot here. The band's music is a mixture of progressive and technical metal, moody and sombre acoustics and whirlwind of notes alternating with lucid and thoughtful passages. Sure, Opeth is an easy comparison, but add to that analogy and list bands such as Voivod and Obliveon and now we are getting somewhere. It is hard to see which faction the band will attract - Praemonere is trying its hand at its own thing - except if one believes there is a fan base out there for bands simply doing something of its own. Write the band c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.praemonere.com for information. - Ali "The Metallian"
POST-MORTEM - MANKIND AUTOPSY
This is an older demo that nonetheless has made its way to me, although the band is promising to release something new very soon. The disc features five tracks notwithstanding a total length of just over twelve minutes. Ironically, this is not a band that blasts and grinds nonstop. Actually, the emphasis is on short and slow crunchy death metal. Take the music of Cannibal Corpse and infuse very deep growls like Illdisposed and the picture becomes clearer on Post-mortem's sound. Certainly the band's music is more original than its name. To find out ore about the action check out www.post-mortem.fr.st or please e-mail email@example.com. - Anna Tergel
PHLEGETHON ANIMAE – CHAOS FROM ABYSS WITHIN
Sadly, the underground band does not get much past its good album cover art. The band blends a heavy underground metal sounds with keyboards and other acoustics, except the songs are not quite up to the standards many metal fans have become accustomed to. The ‘drum’ sound and the production values in general are weak and given the absence of compelling riffs or vocal performance it is difficult to make constructive criticisms of the band. The band is trying to be technical. For a band that has been around for several years the results are rather poor. Keyboards solos are fine, but in a new wave band. To find out more go to www.phlegethonanimae.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. – Anna Tergel
LOU DIBELLO - THE AXEMAN COMETH
The Axeman Cometh is an all-instrumental second solo album of this Illinois based guitar soloist and teacher. Classical riffs and passages, melodic hard rock and ballad type solos that incorporate blues can all be found here. There are even some reggae tones on Caribbean Cruise. The three part song, A Dangerous Alliance, starts off very much like a hard rock or heavy metal song complete with the sounds of rain and thunder before delving into proficient and well structured solos, reminiscent of early Yngwie. In fact, abundant on this 30 minute release is lots of Yngwie Malmsteen sounding sections and passages. Available at www.loudibello.com. - Anna Tergel
PRESENCES - MUTATION OF THE WOODED CREATURES
The back of this CD demo features the words necrotorture.com. A visit to that site brings up a page belonging to the band with the said name! This reviewer browses the site and ends up finding a link to necroagency.com promoting a bunch of bands including Presences. All that effort for nine songs, including an intro of basic, atmospheric black metal complete with synths and keyboards that drag on for almost an hour. - Anna Tergel
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