Metallian Heavy

Metal Mind Productions will issue a SINISTER package called Altered Sins Birth containing nine CDs, the live DVD Prophecies Denied and a book with the history of the band and more. It is out on February 14th. SINISTER, which just released Legacy of Ashes, through Massacre Records has recruited bassist Joost Van Der Graaf of CREEPMIME.

DRUGS OF FAITH‘s debut full-length Corroded is out in February. It features 14 tracks in under 27 minutes and will be issued by Selfmadegod.

ROTTEN SOUND‘s new full-length album, Cursed, will be released on March 15th through Relapse Records.

Season Of Mist has signed death metal band BENIGHTED. The tentative release date of the band’s, as yet untitled, sixth album has been set for April 18th.

Following a five-year hiatus NIDINGR has returned with its sophomore full-length, Wolf Father. Vendlus will issue the album on January 18th.

The fourth album of AVA INFERI is entitled Onyx and due on February 14th through Season Of Mist.

BLOOD FREAK has signed a two-album deal with Willowtip Records. The band’s next album, Mindscraper (formerly Scared Stiff) will be released in March. BLOOD FREAK was previously on Razorback Records.

JUNGLE ROT has recruited drummer Jesse Beahler (HER VIRGIN WOMB and NIGHTFIRE) as the replacement for Eric House who left in the summer due to a personal crisis.

CRYPTOPSY drummer Flo Mounier has joined former NILE members Chief Spires and John Ehlers in a new band called TEMPLE OF THIEVES. The band has recorded several songs and is looking for a contract. The Canadian drummer was recording with the two last summer for a new SHAITAN MAZAR EP. In the meantime, Pete Hammoura, ex-drummer for NILE, has a new band called PSYCHO SPOON. The sound for PSYCHO SPOON is described as “raw rock and roll not death metal.” The band is working on an album.

Norway’s VREID will release its fifth album, entitled V, on February 7th through Indie Recordings.

ARTILLERY is currently working in Medley Studio, Denmark on the follow-up to 2009’s When Death Comes. The new album, My Blood, will be released by Metal Mind Productions in March of 2011. ARTILLERY has recorded 14 songs including ten new tracks, a remake of Ain’t Giving In from 1992´s Mind Factory demo and three bonus tracks which are all new versions of songs from the 1985’s Fear Of Tomorrow, namely The Eternal War, The Almighty and Show Your Hate.

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM will play at Club Caradura in Mexico City, Mexico on January 14th and 15th. The band’s line-up features guitarists Michael Gilbert and Edward Carlson, who will share the stage for the first time in over a decade.

EXHORDER has a new drummer. Seth Davis played his first concert with the band on Friday, December 10th.

Honoured! Northern California-based crossover veterans CONDEMNED? has re-signed with its former label Nuclear Blast Records. As the second band to ever be released by Nuclear Blast the label is honoured to be working with one of the groups that helped the label begin. The band is currently wrapping up recording at Prairie Sun Recording Studios with producer Billy Anderson. The band’s Humanoid Or Biomechanoid? album was issued in 1987.

INSISION has asked guitarist Magnus Martinsson (GRAVE, etc.) to leave due to his “involvement and focus on other bands and projects” and has recruited Tobias Alpadie as a session member.

DEICIDE will issue its Century Media debut To Hell With God on February 15th. The band’s tour with BELPHEGOR, BLACKGUARD, NEURAXIS and PATHOLOGY will begin on the same day in North America.

MARDUK has completed its Asian Black Death Redemption tour. The band travelled to China, Singapore and Indonesia in December.

A video of FUCK THE FACTS’ April 11th, 2009 in Whitby, Canada called Live In Whitby is out now. An audio version was issued earlier.

Featuring a former DEATHLESS drummer, SETGE, which was was formed in 2006, has signed to Xtreem Music. The band’s Cecs De Rabia, Cecs De Dolor was issued in December.

Woodcut Records has issued ALGHAZANTH‘s Vinum Intus album.

DEFILED‘s Crisis album is out through Season Of Mist. The band’s fourth album was produced by Bill Metoyer.

KATAKLYSM is planning a twentieth anniversary DVD.

EX DEO will see the release of its second album, Caligula, through Napalm Records. The band was previously on Nuclear Blast.

OMNIUM GATHERUM‘s New World Shadows is the band’s fifth album, and first for Lifeforce Records, and is slated for release on February 4th.

USA’s LAZARUS A.D. has announced Black Rivers Flow as the title for its second full-length, which is due out on February 1st through Metal Blade Records. The album was recorded in July and August 2010 at Belle City Sound with Chris Wisco and was mixed and mastered by James Murphy at Safehouse Production.

Former BROKEN HOPE and current LUPARA guitarist Jeremy Wagner has signed a book deal for his work of fiction, The Armageddon Chord. The book is due for release in August of 2011. The book is about a song which can unleash evil upon mankind.

SODOM has a new drummer. Former DESPAIR man Markus “Makka” Freiwald replaces who left in November due to personality clashes with the rest of the act.

Germany’s DEADLOCK will release a new album, Bizarro World, on February 28th through Lifeforce Records. The album was recorded at Slaughter’s Palace.

Paragon Records is releasing Return To Abandoned, the new full-length album from Ukrainian black metal band KHORS.

AS I LAY DYING is touring North America with WINDS OF PLAGUE and AFTER THE BURIAL in tow. The trek will take place over February and March.

Mexico’s INFINITUM OBSCURE will tour Russia in February. The band is supporting its 2009 album Sub Atris Caelis which was issued by Deathgasm.

Driven Music Group has worked out a licensing deal with Nuclear Blast Records for the release of FLOTSAM AND JETSAM’s The Cold album. Nuclear Blast will handle distribution and marketing in Europe, Japan and Australia.

CHANNEL ZERO is in the studio in the USA recording its next album with producer Logan Mader (MACHINE HEAD). The album is due in May.

Inspired by KEEL? MORGOTH has decided to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the Cursed album by playing several shows in 2011. The song list will be comprised of of songs from Cursed and the Resurrection Absurd and The Eternal Fall EPs. The band’s line-up for these shows will feature Marc Grewe (vocals), Harry Busse and Sebastian Swart (guitars) and Thilo Mellies (bass). A drummer is being sought.

Swedish black metal band INFUNERAL will release its second album, Torn From The Abyss, on January 7th through Blackcrowned Records.

Sweden’s APOSTASY has picked up guitarist Peter Huss of SHINING.

Reunion 2012? DÉTENTE, which recently issued an album called Decline, has called it a day citing the day-to-day responsibilities of the members as the reason.

ARCH ENEMY is at the Sweet Spot Studio in Sweden recording a new album due in June through Century Media. The album is being produced by the band and engineered and mixed by Rickard Bengtsson. The band is scheduled for Germany’s Summer Breeze festival in August.

ALGHAZANTH’s new full-length album is entitled Vinum Intus. The album features 54 minutes of black metal. The album was released by Woodcut Records on January 1, 2011 as a digipak CD and will be out in February as a gatefold double LP.

SPEED\KILL/HATE, featuring OVERKILL guitarist Dave Linsk, is releasing its second album, Out For Blood, on January 25th through Hammerfist Records.

Lebanese death metal band KAOTEON has signed a deal with Osmose Productions. The band’s full-length debut, Veni Vidi Vomui (‘I came, I saw, I vomited’), was recorded in Beirut and mastered by Dan Swanö. Expect it in February.

THE HAUNTED has picked Unseen as the title for its next album. The album was again recorded with producer Tue Madsen at his Antfarm Studio in Århus, Denmark. The album will be seen in April through Century Media Records.

And in the ‘no band will ever go away’/’inspired by KEEL’ category: ACHERON, which disbanded in May, is back. Singer Vincent Crowley, guitarist Max Otworth and drummer Kyle Severn have reformed.

Metallian Hard

KINGDOM COME will issue Rendered Waters in March through SPV.

Old habits die hard. Former DIO and current BUDGIE guitarist Craig Goldy has formed a new project with BONHAM singer Chas West, bassist Sean McNabb (QUIET RIOT and GREAT WHITE) and drummer Gary Holland (also of GREAT WHITE).

Older habits die harder. Guitarist Michael Schenker, UFO bassist Pete Way, former SCORPIONS drummer Herman Rarebell and singer Michael Voss of CASANOVA and SILVER have a new project called STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT. The band is in England working on material for an album.

Former DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy, who recently quit the band while guest drumming for AVENGED SEVENFOLD, has revealed that he attempted to rejoin DREAM THEATER only to be rebuffed.

MVD is releasing a GARY BARDEN (MSG) solo album called Rock 'N' Roll My Soul this month. The album is a tribute covers one featuring influential songs for the English man.

MOB RULES has lost keyboardist Sascha Onnen to his family and has replaced him with a Jan Christian Halfbrodt.

BULLETBOYS' singer Marq Torien has joined VICIOUS LICKS. The singer made his live debut with the band on December 4th at Hollywood's Three Clubs.

Inspired by KEEL? The reformed ELECTRIC BOYS, Conny Bloom (vocals and guitar) Franco Santunione (guitar), Andy Christell (bass) and Niklas Sigevall (drums), has signed a deal with Supernova Records. The band's new album will be released in March. A single, Father Popcorn's Magic Oyster, will appear earlier.

Toronto's DIEMONDS has a new demo. It is called The Bad Pack. It is due in February.

Toronto's HELIX has signed a deal with EMI Canada for the release of its acoustic album, Smash Hits Unplugged. The songs That Day is Gonna Come and Dream On will be released as singles this month.

Toronto's STARRING JANET LEIGH has announced its plans to disband. A final tour of Ontario and Quebec provinces, called Lastt Call Tour (sic), is underway in January. The band is changing monickers in order to reflect the reality of its new progressive sound and new members.

MANOWAR will play its entire debut album, 1982's Battle Hymns, at the band's headlining performance on March 27th, 2011 at O2 Academy in Birmingham, England.

RHAPSODY OF FIRE will release an album called The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony in North America on January 25th through Nuclear Blast Records. The album was issued in Europe in October. The band is playing Wacken in 2011. Christopher Lee is again guesting on the album.

KAMELOT singer Roy Khan [Roy Sætre Khantatat] continues to have medical issues and will not tour for the the Poetry For The Poisoned album. The band has picked up Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY OF FIRE).

Inspired by KEEL? NWOBHM band TYTAN has reformed and will play at the 15th edition of the Keep It True (no conservatives) festival.

AXXIS has picked 20 Years Of Axxis as the title for a DVD, which is out in February. The DVD was filmed at the band's December 13th, 2009 20th-anniversary concert at Zeche in Bochum, Germany and features 33 songs.

Four years following Hordes Of The Brave IRON MASK is back with an album called Shadow Of The Red Baron. It is out through Lion Music. BORKNAGAR drummer David Kinkade has recruited singer Jarret Roberts of KASTASYDE and guitarist Marco Martell (MALEVOLENT CREATION and DIVINE EMPIRE) to form a rock band called MONARCH.

Udo Dirkschneider has recorded a Christmas song for the European music and merchandise mail-order company EMP. The track Jingle Balls was written by several EMP employees and is a version of the Christmas song Jingle Bells and the ACCEPT song Balls To The Wall. UDO's own new album, Rev-Raptor, is now delayed to May following guitarist Stefan Kaufman's back injuries. Jingle Balls has now been released under the band name EVIL DISPOSITION and is available from Musicload and Amazon. All proceeds will be donated to PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals).

Finnish folk band KORPIKLAANI will release a new album, Ukon Wacka, on February 4th through Nuclear Blast Records.

ICED EARTH's live DVD, Festivals Of The Wicked, is out next month. The right-wing band, featuring Jon Schaffer. Will include several shows and a documentary on its DVD.

The Eric Carr Story is a new book by author author Greg Prato. It contains 256 pages about the former KISS drummer.

After nearly 40 years of heavy metal, JUDAS PRIEST has announced 2011 will bring its final world tour. However, JUDAS PRIEST's Epitaph tour will be hitting all the major cities throughout the world.

WARBRINGER opened up three concerts for HALFORD in California. The shows followed HALFORD's recent tour with OZZY OSBOURNE. Slash will join Ozzy Osbourne for a five-week U.S. tour this month.

SKINNER, is a new band featuring Rob Kolowitz (IMAGIKA), Jim Pegram (IMAGIKA), Ramon Ochoa and Norman Skinner (MACHINE.CALLED.MAN and IMAGIKA). The band is writing music for its debut album.

SAMAEL has picked Lux Mundi ('Light Of The World') as the title for its next album, which is due in the spring through Nuclear Blast Records. The album was recorded in two different studios in Switzerland with the mixing done by Russ Russell in Kettering, England.

FAR AND AWAY is a new band featuring three former members of CONFESSOR, guitarists Brian Shoaf and Chris Nolan as well as drummer Steve Shelton. The band will will make its live debut on Friday, February 4th at DIVEbar in Raleigh, NC, USA. Support comes from PARASITE DRAG featuring Cary Rowells (also ex-CONFESSOR).

CYNIC has asked bassist Robin Zielhorst and guitarist Tymon Kruidenier to leave the band. The logistic of the Dutchmen living in The Netherlands made coordination difficult apparently. The two will focus on their band EXIVIOUS instead. CYNIC is working on a new album.

Friday, December 3rd marked the live debut from NYC progressive band CREATION'S END. The hometown show at Manhattan's Ace Of Clubs also doubled as the CD release show for the band's debut album, A New Beginning, which was released by Sensory Records on November 9th.

KING DIAMOND underwent triple bypass surgery of the heart after being transported to the hospital on November 29th of 2010. He is well and recuperating. KING DIAMOND is on indefinite hiatus as a result.

Self-cover band: GIRLSCHOOL is in the studio re-recording its 1981 album Hit And Run. The new version of the album will be released in 2011 to commemorate the album's 30th anniversary.

AVANTASIA's Angel Of Babylon is out on the 11th Of January. The album features guest appearances by Klaus Meine, Bob Catley and Michael Kiske.

CHILDREN OF BODOM will release its new album, Relentless Reckless Forever, on March 8th through Universal Music. The first single and video is for the song Was It Worth It?.

Others are not so proud? Frontiers Records is “proud to announce” the signing of a new distribution contract with EMI Music Distribution in North America. The agreement will be effective from January 1st, 2011 and marks a “huge step forward in the label’s expansion strategy” according to Frontiers President, Serafino Perugino. The agreement follows recent reports that EMI is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Frontiers Records is releasing HURTSMILE's self-titled debut album on January 21st. HURTSMILE is a new band featuring singer Gary Cherone (EXTREME and VAN HALEN) who has teamed up with his brother Mark.

Finnish "battle metal" band TURISAS will release its third album, Stand Up And Fight, through Century Media Records in February.

Metallian Demos

That is correct, poseurs! This demo is released on tape (“Cassette tapes For The Old Glory” the group proclaims) and is not for you!
This is part of the charm – if that is the word for it – of the Philippines-based Paganfire a band that likely defines the underground in 2010. With a tape in hand and a DIY cover depicting a crossed out computer/MP3 holder and songs like Lust Possession and Obscure Syndrome this quartet is the biggest FOAD the so-called scene has seen since every so-called extreme band obtained a MySpace address, started being interviewed by girls in corsets on Youtube and started pushing out e-cards. Seriously.
Not that Paganfire’s songs are very good – even the band doesn’t like them much given the presence of a Classical intro, a Classical outro and covers of Slayer, Celtic Frost and Dark Angel – but one has to appreciate titles like Apoy Ng Kamunduhan or Untitled. The solos are noisy like it’s Kreator in 1985. It might be speed metal or it might be death metal, but more importantly it is one hell of a cacophony and it is the real underground. Nonoy Padrejuan, #60 Narig Street, Veterans Village, 1105, Quezon City, Philippines or e-mail - Ali “The Metallian”

New York’s The Handful received a positive review from this writer some three years ago for its Second Hand Smoke demo and is back for round three courtesy of a disc called Wooden Indian (Third hand Smoke?). In actuality, the band barely fits the format of Metallian. The sound is rockier than before and is a combination of Danzig, Lynyrd Skynyrd and bar band rock. The songs contain several riffs that could have come from a Maiden, Scorpions (the beginning of Grip) and Thin Lizzy album, yet the bulk of the material is straightlaced rock. The sound is strong and the vocals are expressive. As was with the last disc the songs are strong and capable. What is different and interesting is some of the pessimistic lyrics reflected in the songs. None of that clichéd lovey dovey sweetness here. Barely Metallian. But definitely rocking. Write to them c/o Jason R. Mischel, 201 E. 19th St., #5L, New York, NY, 10003 USA or e-mail - Anna Tergel

It is hard to imagine what these Finns can do to improve. Perhaps start an heavy metal animal charity or blow up a Country Music award show would do it?
Whatever it is, the band's music is nearly perfect for the genre and the amount of energy deployed is sky-high. The demo has three well-produced tracks and a massive sound. Each song is riddled with energy and oozing with power. Between the roar of the singer, the brilliant pounding of new drummer with his heavy tuning and the overarching urge of the group to write songs that crush there is nary a reason to complain. For aggressive death/thrash Values is it. The demo's packaging, as with the sound, is professional so perhaps the reason this band is not signed is that they do not wish to be! After all, many bands do not have a band this good. Get to the band through - Anna Tergel

Ominos metals like it’s 1989 and that sure is welcome. The demo, which starts with Ominous (yes, with that spelling), is rough sound-wise and barely superlative with one exception, but as far as metal and potato real heavy metal, this is it. Past the muffled sound, Ominos kicks off the demo with an acoustic intro reminiscent of the famous Halloween music from the film before launching into the aforementioned Ominous, the demo’s heaviest and most thrashy song. The singer has hell of a raspy voice. The following tracks are more melodic and more standard HM with the singer being the band’s best asset (and highest in the mix) and the drums being off. Love the title of the third song, Scar-Spangled Banner. The demo ends with a virtuoso acoustic cut that has nothing to do withy metal, yet is really well played. This kind of talent was not exactly apparent before then on the disc. Write to the band c/o 7321 Geary Boulevard Apartment 1, San Francisco, California USA 94121. – Anna Tergel