Metal Blade Records has picked April 17th as the release date for the new SIX FEET UNDER album, entitled Commandment…NOCTIFER is seeking a new singer following the split with singer Entheos…DIMENTIANON has signed with Non Compos Mentis Records for the band’s follow-up to 2003’s Seven Suicides album, entitled Hossanas Novus Ordo Seclurum…Open Grave Records has announced the signing of Dutch death metal band GRIND MINDED. An album is expected in August…Guitarist Thomas Pioli and singer Oscar Matter have regrouped in CEREMONIUM and are recruiting new members…Bassist Peter Theobalds has left AKERCOCKE. His replaced is CONCEPT’s Peter Benjamin…Lille Gruber of Germany’s DEFEATED SANITY will be filling in on the drums for BELPHEGOR on the upcoming North American tour with UNLEASHED and KRISIUN…Guitarist Markus Lempsch has left German death metal band OBSCURA due to a lack of dedication…GORY BLISTER and vocalist Adry Bellant are no longer a couple. The replacement singer is Clode, formerly of SALMORAR and HATEFILES…INCANTATION’s Primordial Domination album is now out. Early member Jim Roe will be filling in for drummer Kyle Severn on INCANTATION’s upcoming European tour with MALEVOLENT CREATION and ROTTING CHRIST…Joey Belladonna and ANTHRAX have parted ways once again. The promised reunion album will not happen amidst a flurry of accusations from both parties… DEICIDE has performed a European tour without singer Glenn Benton who had to stay at home to deal with family issues! Seth van Loo of CENTURIAN fame and Garbaty of DISSENTER replaced Benton on vocals on select dates and the band performed without bass! The band’s Doomsday L.A. video is out now...DEICIDE drummer Steve Asheim was arrested last month by Austrian police after bank employees became suspicious of the bank notes he was depositing into the band’s accounts. A leaky red pen was cited as the cause of the fishy currency…GOSPEL OF THE HORNS managed to split up and reform in January. An album, Realm Of The Damned, is due in March through Invictus Productions…MASTER will release a new album, entitled Slaves To Society, on April 13th through Twilight-Vertrieb…CATTLE DECAPITATION has been rejoined by drummer Michael Laughlin…ORIGIN have been rejoined by drummer John Longstreth…UK/Norwegian band CODE has announced the recruitment of vocalist Simen Hestnaes of DIMMU and ex-BORKNAGAR to the group's line-up…MARDUK has picked Rom 5:12 as the title of its new album for Regain Records. The album is due in April…Candlelight Records has signed CARNAL FORGE. Testify For My Victims, the current working title for the band's sixth album, is to be mixed at Black Lounge Studios in early February with an expected May release date…MYOPIA, the Bielsko-Biala, Poland-based thrash metal outfit has signed a record deal with Selfmadegod Records. Enter Insectmasterplan, a reissue of the band’s second full-length demo - previously self-released in 2005 - will hit the stores this month...INHUMATE has just released the At War With... INHUMATE DVD…SCHIZO is back and will issue an album called Cicatriz in March through Scarlet Records...DESTRUCTOR has picked Forever In Leather as the title for its forthcoming album, which is due on April 13th through Auburn Records…The former members of BLOOD OF CHRIST have reformed in a band called AUTUMN 1971. Jeff and Jason Longo, and singer Jason Deaville, have a demo called The Last Leaf…Finland’s DEATHBOUND, featuring members of THE DUSKFALL and ROTTEN SOUND, will release its third album, We Deserve Much Worse, through Dynamic Arts in March…ETERNAL OATH has thrown in the towel after the members lost in death metal…Ian Campbell is out as the singer of NEURAXIS. Alex Leblanc is in…Bassist Phorgath of EMPTINESS has rejoined ENTHRONED…Frank 'Akaias' Nordmann has left AGATHODAIMON for vocational reasons…Singer K.J. Khaos has replaced Rotten in DEATHCHAIN on vocals…ABSCESS will release its long-promised Horrorhammer in March through Tyrant Syndicate Productions…Switzerland’s REQUIEM has finished recording a new album called Premier Killing League at Stage One studios in Germany. The album is due on March 23rd through Massacre Records…CARPATHIAN FOREST has parted ways with bassist Vrangsinn and cancelled all pending shows. The band will enter the studio instead to record an album…Former Century Media band HASTE has officially called it quits…ASPHYX now featuring Martin van Drunen (vocals), Paul Baayens (guitar), Wannes Gubbels (bass/vocals) and drummer Bob Bagchus is back at it…Guitarist RAF JANSEN has quit ANCIENT RITES after two years in order to focus on his own band, AHRÁYEPH…Former MASSACRE singer Kam Lee has been invited to perform the vocals on the next HATEPLOW album…Prior to the release of its new album Shadows In The Light in April, IMMOLATION will issue an EP called Hope And Horror through Listenable Records…HATE ETERNAL has signed with Earache Records and will enter the studio in June or July in order to record a new album…IMPALED NAZARENE has begun writing a new album, which will be called Manifest. The band is re-releasing Rapture and Latex Cult with new covers and bonus tracks and issue double 10" EP versions of Tol Cormpt Norz Norz Norz and Ugra-Karma later this year. The band is also reporting further censorship and bureaucracy on the part of a German state organization called BPjM...SIX REASONS TO KILL is back with a new vocalist following Chris Valk’s departure in December. The replacement is Torsten Polomski from BUBONIX…Founding member and guitarist Simon has left Swiss crossover band CATARACT and will form his own project…MUDER ONE has thrown in the towel thanks to a lack of interest…ABYSMAL DAWN has parted ways with bassist Carlos Arriola due to personal differences...DYING FETUS has picked War Of Attrition as the title for the next album, due on March 6th through Relapse Records.
DOKKEN will issue a live recording, entitled Dokken Live 1981 From Conception, on March 13th through Rhino Records. Lightning Strikes Again, the band’s new album, will soon follow…Drummer Jens Maluschka has left Germany’s DISILLUSION citing fatherhood and family obligations…DECEASED will play at the Los Angeles Murderfest Version 3.0, which takes place on March 24 and 25 at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood…CRASHDIET has recruited singer H. Olliver Twisted of the Finnish hard rock band RECKLESS LOVE to replace David Hellman who committed suicide in January, 2006…SOLITUDE AETURNUS, which just released a new album called Alone, has had singer Robert Lowe join CANDLEMASS as well!...KROKUS was involved in a bus crash on January 22 while on tour in Europe with THE POODLES and HAMMERFALL. The accident, which happened in Denmark, only resulted in some bruises...Former JOURNEY and VINNIE VINCENT INVASION singer Robert Fleischman will release a solo album, called Look At The Dream, in March through Spirit Box Music…Bassist Brandon West has left America’s version of SILENCER...David Lee Roth has once again rejoined VAN HALEN (with bassist Wolfgang, the son of Eddie Van Halen). The band will tour America this summer…FATAL SMILE, whose new album is called Neo natural Freaks, has signed with Locomotive Records…BORKNAGAR Drummer Asgeir Mickelson Joins a new Norwegian band called THORNBOUND…SAVATAGE’s Chris Caffery has signed a solo deal with Metal Heaven Records. His new album, entitled Pins & Needles, will be released late in 2007...Former LIAR OF GOLGOTHA and FUNERAL WINDS drummer Jeroen Lankhuizen has formed a symphonic female-fronted band called ANDROID SOUL…Now Former CRIMSON GLORY singer "Midnight" McDonald was arrested on January 20th in Sarasota, Florida and charged with DUI or drunk driving. Wade Black has again stepped in to sing for the band…Bassist Dave Starr has once again quit VICIOUS RUMORS and will concentrate on WILDESTARR…FORCE OF EVIL has officially begun the search for a label after being dropped by Escapi Music…Former FAITH OR FEAR guitarist Chris Bombeke and Shane Gellert of ONE IN THE CHAMBER have formed a band called TRAGEDY IN PROGRESS in which Chris plays bass…The rumoured reunion of Seattle’s FIFTH ANGEL will not occur due to a couple of members’ lack of motivation…Shrapnel Records will issue a new instrumental MARTY FRIEDMAN record called Loudspeaker next month...NANOWAR OF STEEL will release a new double demo entitled Made In Naples. The first CD features NANOWAR's live show at the Metal Dayz Festival in Prattlen, Switzerland, which took place on the 5th of August 2007. The second CD features three parts. The first one is entitled Dragon Of The Powerflame which is a concept based on Timo Tolkien's autobiographic novel The Lard Of The Rings which features the new songs Fight The Dragon For The Village and To Kill The Dragon You Need A Sword. The second part is entitled Fill Up and is a ‘fill up’ with “demi-unreleased tracks” while the last part is Demi-Unplugged in Buenos Aires 1983!...MAD MARGRITT will be heading to Houston, Texas in April to record a new CD. The album (tentatively titled Tales From The Gutter) will be released this summer on Perris Records…CELLADOR has announced a parting of ways with bassist Valentin Rakhmanov and is seeking a replacement…BITCH just played a one-off show at Paladino’s in Tarzana, California…Alone Records will issue WARCHETYPE’s Goat Goddess Supremacy next month. The Spanish band is compared to BLACK SABBATH…Mina Giannopoulou is not a part of KINETIC anymore. Her substitute has already been found. The new singer’s name is Margaret Staikou…BULLETBOYS has set a release date in April for its live album Behind The Orange Curtain. Ryan Haffer recorded the album at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana, California...JAGUAR’s Holland ’82 is a live CD issued by Majestic Rock in a limited edition of 1,000…SAMSON’s bassist and founder Chris Aylmer died last month…FREEDOM CALL’s Dimensions album is due in May through SPV Records…RIOT and THE LIZARDS singer Mike DiMeo, who recently joined MASTERPLAN, has officially ended his collaboration with RIOT…Following Mike Terrana’s departure from RAGE the band has picked up former SILENT FORCE and AXXIS man Andre Hilgers to drum…BURNING POINT has announced the addition of bassist Jukka Jokikokko. The band just released its third album, Burned Down The Enemy through Japan’s Soundholic…GAIA EPICUS’ Victory album is being issued this month independently. The group was not able to procure a new recording contract following its disagreement with its former label…SYMPHORCE Become Death is out this month through Metal Blade…HEIR APPARENT members Peter Orullian (vocals), Bobby Ferkovich (bass), Op Sakiya (keyboards) and Jeffrey McCormack (drums) have abandoned the group…NIGHTRAGE has completed its upcoming Lifeforce Records debut, A New Disease Is Born, at Hansen studios in Denmark with producer Jacob Hansen. The album is due in April…THRESHOLD guitarist Nick Midson has opted to take a break from the band on the eve of the release of the group’s Nuclear Blast Records’ debut, Dead Reckoning…CARNAL FORGE has signed to Candlelight Records where it will release a new album in the autumn timeframe…VINTERSORG is busy completing a forthcoming release called Solens Rötter (English Translation: The Origin of the Sun) which will be released through Napalm Records…Napalm Records has signed UK’s INTENSE. The band’s album, As Our Army Grows, is due on March 30th…MIDDIAN, formed by former YOB man Mike S, will issue an album called Age Eternal through Metal Blade Records…TWILIGHTNING has picked Swinelords as the title for its third full-length album, due on March 21 through Spinefarm Records.
THE SEVENTH SEASON – TRANSPOSITION (DVD)
Transposition is further proof that a DVD production and release is an affordable way to go these days. The Seventh Season surely prove that large crowds or big venues are not needed and one is left wondering that neither is a big following. An almost empty venue, which naturally doesn’t provide much impetus for stage antics and movement, is the setting for this 13-song performance by the now father and son team of TST. The band has been around in some form or another since 1972 and was originally based in Russia but has made it to the USA for the 21st century. Musically, this is simple and pure rock with the requisite sense of humour as heard on Commando, a song about not wearing underpants, and The Pirate Song, where the son and main vocalist Konstantin Batygin asks the few present to shout ‘arrrrgggg’ before getting into the song. Songs like So Insane, Liquid Water, My Only Honor and Ocean Of Time alternate between slightly higher tempos and more melodic and mostly laid back sounds. – Anna Tergel
ORION NIGHTFALL – SADISTIC NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST
When a band calls its fourth demo Sadistic Nuclear Holocaust one does note expect it to play nice and the Finns certainly do not disappoint. Orion Nightfall calls itself and its music “Aryan” conjuring images of racism and idiocy, but were that a hint of extremism the demo’s raw an unabashedly deadly sound and attitude execute on the plan. A cover of Mayhem’s Deathcrush hints at the band’s influences, although early Immortal and Gorgoroth would not be terrible comparisons either. There is a certain magnetism embedded to sonic nihilism like this and the atomic four certainly delivers on the coldness. This type of brutal music is as alien to the wimped out land of Finland as logic is to a right-wing political movement so just for sheer novelty Orion Nightfall wins some kudos. Similarly, the presumed reference to Kristallnacht in the song November Goat might further provide clues to the band’s stance. www.orionnightfall.tk or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali “The Metallian”
THE HANDFUL – SECOND HAND SMOKE
Classic demo mistake: cram as much as possible unto the disc in the hopes of attracting the attention of the powers in charge of the record company or feeding the listener so much that eventually something sticks. The Handful has a handful of fourteen songs on this disc, yet the kicker is that there is not a single weak song in sight. Unbelievable! Gasp! What!! The duo in charge, Mark Duda and Jason Mischel, take influences like Deep Purple, NWOBHM, Thin Lizzy and David Bowie and turn out a great number of rocking riffs, amazing drum beats and entertaining real rock rhythms plus seriously capable singing to boot. Not exactly heavy nor commercial and mindless Second hand Smoke is about honest rock a rolla the likes of which younger bands shun and older bands have forgotten. Email the gents at email@example.com or visit www.thehandful.com. - Anna Tergel
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