Metallian Heavy

Forging death metal with elements of thrash, groove, black and melodic tones, Ottawa, Canada’s OMINOUS ECLIPSE will release a new demo, called Sinister, later this year. It is the follow-up to the 2015 release End Of Days.

TANKARD has picked One Foot In The Grave as the title for its new album, which shall be released through Nuclear Blast this summer.

Greece-based RITUAL OF ODDS​ has signed a worldwide deal with Swimming With Sharks Records. The band’s third full-length Ritual of 9 was recorded at StudiOdds Recording Studio and mixed and mastered by John Mcris. The album is out by the time you read this.

Austria-based DARKSIDE has a new album called Inferno. It follows Amber – Skeletal Journeys Through The Void from six years ago.

Italy-based OBSCURA AMENTIA has signed to Sliptrick and is working on album for the label. The band is described as black and doom metal.

AT THE GATES members Tomas Lindberg (vocals) and Adrian Erlandsson (drums) have joined guitarist Jonas Stålhammar (THE CROWN), guitarist Fredrik Wallenberg (SKITSYSTEM) and bassist Andreas Axelsson (DISFEAR, EDGE OF SANITY, etc.) in a death metal project called THE LURKING FEAR.

Season Of Mist has signed Australian death metal band NOCTURNAL GRAVES. The band is working on a new album.

NECROPHOBIC has been rejoined by guitarists Sebastian Ramstedt and Johan Bergebäck after drummer Joakim Sterner fired guitarist Fredrik Folkare. The drummer yearned for a two-guitar band again and wanted more control.

INSANITY CULT will release a new album, called Of Despair And Self-Destruction, through Ogmios Underground this month. The Greece-based band plays black metal.

GORY BLISTER is working on a new album for 2017. Fabiano Andreacchio has joined the band on bass. The new member has a solo project, called ATOMIC FACTORY which is also on Sliptrick Records.

Montreal-based ENIME has a demo called Demon Inside. The band is compared to METALLICA and MEGADETH.

Montreal-based SAMSKARAS, which was founded by Eric Burnet (DERELICT and UNBURNT) has a demo called Asunder.

Germany-based CTULU issued a self-titled album through MDD in late 2016.

Eradication Of Society by Germany-based death metal band OBSOLETE INCARNATION will be released on January the 27th through Rising Nemesis Records.

Code666 is issuing Gnosis, the fourth album from black metal band SAILLE, which is a concept record “exploring the world of the Promethean ideal and its Luciferian counterpart.”

Brazil’s CERBERUS ATTACK is streaming its new single Face Reality, which is one of many tracks on the band’s next release being recorded at studio Eastside. The new album will be the follow-up to its 2014 split with CRANIAL CRUSHER and its 2011 EP Welcome To Destruction.

Metal Scrap Records has issued ARKANA CODE’s Brutal Conflict.

Science fiction-oriented band TELEPORT has issued a demo called Ascendance.

The release Supports Flag Burning And Female Raping by VIRANESIR has been issued by Merdümgiriz. Tracks include NSBM = Nigger Sucking Bi Metal, Burning The Flag Of USA and the instant classic Christians Oppose Abortion Because They Like To Fuck Orphans.

MEMORIAM will release its debut album, called For The Fallen, on March 24th through Nuclear Blast Records.

OBITUARY will release a self-titled studio album on March 17th through Relapse.

MORBID ANGEL will embark on a U.S. tour in May. Opening the shows will be SUFFOCATION, REVOCATION and WITHERED. The band has recruited Scott Fuller of ANNIHILATED to play drums on its next album, which is being recorded at Mana Recording with former MORBID ANGEL guitarist Erik Rutan. It is due mid-2017 through UDR Music.

SIX FEET UNDER will release its next album, called Torment, on February 24th through Metal Blade.

Yet another project: Former MALEVOLENT CREATION singer Bret Hoffman who recently left the band, guitarist Gio Geraca (also now departed from MALEVOLENT CREATION), bassist Tony Choy (PESTILENCE and CYNIC) and former SUFFOCATION drummer Mike Smith have banded together and are recording a demo.

Drummer Francisco Pagano, formerly of ARKGABRIEL and LANDSEMK of Venezuela, has joined THYBREATH. The Spain-based band is touring.

KEITZER’s Ascension album is out next month through Give Praise Records. The band plays a mix of death metal and grindcore. The label has also issued THE BROOD’s The Truth Behind album.

GRAVE PLAGUE’s The Infected Crypts album is out next month through Give Praise. The Sweden-based band grinds.

Australia-based THY ART IS MURDER has been rejoined by singer C.J. McMahon who had left a year ago due to substance abuse and fatigue.

ATREIDES will issue an album called Neopangea through Suspiria Records this March. It is the follow-up to Cosmos.

Switzerland-based CARNAL DECAY will release its fourth full-length You Owe You Pay mid-February through Rising Nemesis Records.

UK-based FEN has issued its Winter album through Code666. The band plays black metal.

Belgium-based “modern melodic death metallers” HEXA MERA will release its second full-length, called Enlightenment, on March 31st. The album was recorded at Empyrean Studio and mixed at OceanSide Studio by Ace Zec (SPOIL ENGINE, DIABLO BLVD, etc.).

US-based MANETHEREN has issued The End through Avantgarde Music.

Italy-based TETHRA has an album called Like Crows For The Earth out on Sliptrick Records. The band is described as melancholic doom death.

Metallian Hard

Italy-based SLEAZER has signed with Inferno Records and will issue Fall Into Disgrace this year. The label has also signed Serbia-based JENNER whose album is called To Live Is To Suffer.

USA-based heavy rock band SOLDIERS OF SOLACE has signed a record deal with Germany-based label Rock’N’Growl Records, a division of Rock'N'Growl Promotion. The band is currently in the studio recording its debut album for a release due later in 2017.

GHOST AVENUE (formerly GHOST) has issued its Impact album through Pitch Black Records.

France-based MOURNING DAWN has released Waste featuring two tracks. The band reports that when they are overlaid onto each other they create a third exclusive and original track in its own right.

Relapse Records has signed U.K.-based doom metal band IRON MONKEY. The band is at Moot Group studios recording an album.

Headstone Records has issued USA-based FOUR STAR REVIVAL’s The Underdog album.

SKELETOON’s Ticking Clock album will be released through Revalve Records next month. The concept album features several guests including Piet Sielck from IRON SAVIOR as ‘The Father’ and Jens Ludwig from EDGUY as The Time.

Art Gates Records has signed Austria-based VINEGAR HILL. An album is due late this year.

UDI LEVY has a new demo. It is called Addictive Substance, out this month and is the follow-up to Sudden Transition.

Rotten Roll Rex has issued SOUTHERN DRINKSTRUCTION’s Vultures Of The Black River album. The band is based in Germany and calls its music death ‘n’ roll.

Diamond Prod. has issued RUXT’s debut CD Behind The Masquerade. The band is compared to VICTORY and GOTTHARD.

DEEP PURPLE has filed a lawsuit against its accountant of two decades, accusing him of removing up to £4 million (over $5.5 million) in band money from the company’s accounts. Singer Ian Gillan, bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice are suing Dipak Shanker Rao. Former guitarist Ritchie Blackmore did the same in recent years, but at that time had indicated the rest of Deep Purple had been ahead of him in taking action. The band, ALICE COOPER and THE EDGAR WINTER BAND are touring North America this summer.

LEATHERWOLF has recruited solo artist and one-time JAG PANZER guitarist Joey Tafolla. Tafolla replaces Greg Erba, whose last show with JAG PANZER, was last summer at the Bang Your Head festival.

Former BLACK SABBATH keyboardist Geoff Nicholls died last month due to lung cancer. He was 68 years old. Nicholls was a former QUARTZ member whose 1977 debut was produced by BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi. Nicholls was with BLACK SABBATH from 1980 to 1995 and also played on former BLACK SABBATH singer TONY MARTIN’s solo records and a band called JOHNNY NEAL AND THE STARLINERS.

MERCYFUL FATE was honoured with the Pioneer Prize at the 2017 Steppeulven of Foreningen Af Danske Musikkritikere (Association Of Danish Music Critics) at Bremen Teater in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 28th.

USA-based FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY will release a new album, called The Great Collapse, through SPV on March 17th.

Singer Matt Barlow (ICED EARTH and PYRAMAZE) and piano player Jonah Weingarten (PYRAMAZE) have a new project called SENTINELS. It is said to emphasize orchestral arrangements.

WINTERSUN has announced The Forest Seasons as the title for its next album, which is due late this year through Nuclear Blast.

KATHAROS from Sweden has signed to Sliptrick. The band whose sound is compared to EMPEROR, DIMMU BORGIR and DEATH will issue its debut album, Exuvian Heraldry, in March.

Frontiers Music will release Don't Let Up, a new studio album by NIGHT RANGER, on March 24th.

DIMMU BORGIR will release a double DVD, called Forces Of The Northern Night, on April 14th through Nuclear Blast.

Finally released after endless delays is a new FLEURETY 7", which is the fourth and final wax in the vinyl 7" series since 2009. A FLEURETY compilation is due out later this year. The band is also working on a new full-length, which is its first since 2000.

SOILWORK has recruited Taylor Nordberg (INFERNAEON and RIBSPREADER) to play bass on its European tour with KREATOR, SEPULTURA and ABORTED replacing Markus Wibom.

IN FLAMES has recruited Håkan Skoger (PASSENGER and GARDENIAN) to play bass on its European tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD and DISTURBED. The new man replaces Peter Iwers who left in November.

DANGER DANGER singer Ted Poley and TRIXTER guitarist Steve Brown have a new project called TOKYO MOTOR FIST. Its self-titled album is out this month through Frontiers. Former RAINBOW drummer Chuck Burgi is also in.

Finland-based CRIMSON SUN will join AMBERIAN DAWN's Tenth Anniversary Tour performing ten shows in Europe this month.

Singer Steve Grimmett of STEVE GRIMMETT'S GRIM REAPER has had his right leg amputated in the middle due to an aggressively expanding infection, which could have infected his body. He was in Ecuador in the midst of a tour and had performed his latest show mostly immobile.

Genoa, Italy-based power metal band ATHLANTIS has signed a deal with Diamond Prod. to release a new album in 2017.

CEREBUS and Heaven and Hell Records plan to re-issue the sole LP and EP of CEREBUS as two separate CD releases. The releases include the 1986 full-length Too Late to Pray, 1987’s …Like A Banshee On The Loose EP, the limited Regression Progression demo from 1991 and the never before heard last songs recorded with guitarist Chris Pennell in the early 2000s. The band is singer Scott Board, guitarists Chris Pennell and Andy Huffine, bassist Eric Burgess and drummer Joby Barker. The band will play the Legions of Metal Festival 2017 in Chicago.

VESCERA is the name of a new project by Michael Vescera (LOUDNESS, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, etc.), which has signed a contract with Pure Steel Records. The band features ex-NITEHAWKS members Mike Petrone (guitar) and Frank Leone (bass) and drummer Fabio Alessandrini. An album called Beyond The Fight is expected in April.

MASTODON will release a new album, called Emperor Of Sand, on March 31st through Reprise Records.

The founder of GREY WOLF, Fabio Paulinelli, who also assumes the roles of bassist, singer and composer has announced that the band is ceasing its characteristic multi-member formation and returning to being a one-man studio project, at least for a while. The man has severe tendinitis and will focus more on special performances. Nonetheless, a new album is being composed.

CHICKENFOOT will release a new song called Divine Termination, which is its first new song in five years on the Best + Live sampler. It is out on March 10th.

L.A. GUNS will issue a sampler called Fistful Of Guns next month.

SAMAEL has signed a worldwide deal with Napalm Records.

CYNIC's Uroboric Forms - The Complete Demo Collection will be released on February 10th through Century Media.

ELMO KARJALAINEN’s instrumental CD Age of Heroes is out now. The album features a guest performance by Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER, BILLY IDOL, etc.).

Italy-based DAMNED PILOTS has an album called Overgalaxy through Sliptrick records.

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Metallian Demos

All German lyrics, all German bio ... German trio or quartet (more on that in a second!). Wolves Den features two ex-Equilibrium members and of course like the aforementioned is from the Bavaria region of the country. Helge Stang on vocals and Manuel Di Camillo on drums are joined by Mexx Steiner on guitars and the band is complemented by Stefan Botz as a "live guitar" member.
Via Iusorum is the intro that starts off Deus Vult (Latin for 'god wills it') deus vult is a declaration made famous by crusaders in 1095 to help the Byzantine empire against Islamic invasion. The first full song Gedeih Und Verderb is a standard sounding black metal song a la (a lighter version of) Dark Funeral, with a few extras adding a Dimmu Borgir touch. Schwarzes Firmament sounds like Stang decided to scream louder and vary his vocal range. The first hint of something more atmospheric appears within the six minutes of this song when the band slows down and dips into something darker. The title track starts off slow but speeds up with a catchy driving riff but it also includes something of a doomy church choir chorus. Grau Wird Nebel (gray fog) follows a similar pattern by starting slow but moving into speedy and then not so speedy black metal. At over seven minutes it has time for the atmospheric. Dysterborn doesn't deviate from the set formula of the preceding. With an acoustic start that originated at the end of the song before it Sieche provides another dose of 'melodic' black metal. VobisCum is shorter, heavier and more varied. Its heavier and speedier sections stand out and blast through the ears and make for an aggressive three and a half minutes. Mortis closes this debut release with a more technical sounding song that slows down in parts but is nonetheless a heavy dose of metal with a solid sound. Summon the will to check - Anna Tergel

Alberta is known as the home for right-wing blowhards, cowboys lassoing defenceless animals and multinational corporations polluting mother nature in order to ensure the CEO’s wife gets a bigger fat SUV and shareholders maximize revenue and capital gains. Good music, in such an environment, would be impossible to come by, except it is often within cruelty, oppression and the tyranny of capitalism and market that heavy metal thrives and finds a voice as counter programming to all that is mainstream. It is consequently pleasing to notice this area spew a few metal bands as of late. Red Cain, however, is unfortunately not going to contribute to the filling of the void.
Named after the murderer sent this planet’s way by the Christians’ god, Red Cain has so much talent, ability and capability that its adherence to commercialism, trends and weakness is indeed a loss. It is what it is however. The band is compared to Kamelot, Symphony X, Tessearct and something called Alter Bridge in its biography. A more apt comparison would be Dark Tranquillity.
This is a band that could be metal and could be above average metal; alas goes down the rabbit hole of mainstream coupling and degradation. The singer has a limited range, but deploys its with emotion and nuance. The guitarist can clearly play and do so with riffs and solos entirely his own. The bassist similarly, while knowing his place, leaves a favourable impression and fills his spots with aplomb. The beginning of the song Hiraeth, for instance, comes across like a contest of talents between, in order, the bassist, guitarist and the singer. The drum machine, well, he has as much brain and personality as an oil patch CEO farting his way around the planet and therein lies the problem. A drum machine (mind you the band calls him Samuel Royce), boatload of keyboards, synthesizers and simulated string arrangements and other miscellaneous sounds as Depeche Mode or Aqua or Beyonce or Emperor would use abound. It is embarrassing really. The guitars are so sharp one would wish the man would be slapped out of his stupor to see the light, but what is the point of talent and originality if it is all placed under a cold shower of conventional humiliation? The band could be reached through its publicist – Ali “The Metallian”

For Japam (‘Japanese-American’) to name its demo ‘How’s My EP’ is either a challenge to the profession of every single professional music reviewer out there or a validation of the role. It may also be construed as an experiment so the music on the disc better be good to the ear. What is the answer then?
Japam’s (‘Ja Pam’ which is what Hitler used to tell his girlfriend in private according to reports) simple cover artwork is the front for four tracks, which are partly modern rock, partly progressive rock and mostly mall groove. It is barely metal so the bulk of Metallian Metal Encyclopedia visitors need not apply to Japam (‘Jane And Peter Are Mad’ inspired by the guitarist’s parents). The first track, named Seraph, is the most interesting for the simple fact that it begins with the bass riff nicked from Pink Floyd’s One Of These Days. Like the rest of the tracks the sounds are those of dropped tuning, intricate arrangements in a mid-paced environment and doubled up vocals which unfortunately smack of everything that is the same old nu. Wolf Harass is the heavier of the tunes and packs a bigger punch than DK Facepunch. Japam’s (‘Jalapeno Pampas’) CD closes with Leggy Blonde (this one inspired by the drummer’s grandmother – on the mother’s side) is whinier and most notable for its title and gerontophilia.
Japam falls within a lamentable category and is a victim of the anti-strength and elegance of the modern age, but really charts its own course. Find them at – Ali “The Metallian”