Metallian Heavy


Touring guitarist Andreas Holma (ex-SCATTRED CORPSES) has officially joined HYPOCRISY following the introduction of former IMMORTAL drummer Horg into the band, thus transforming the band into a quartet...GOREROTTED is touring the UK with Mexico's DISGORGE. The band is also appearing at the Summer Breeze Festival this summer in Germany and then doing a short club tour with VOMITORY as well...Sinternational has released the debut CD of SICSEED entitled Psychotic Bloodline. The label has also ceased working with ART OF DESTRUCTION...GOAT HORN has completed a video for the song Rotten Roll which can be viewed at www.goathorn.com...According to the band's newsletter, L. CHUCK D is the name of the new singer of CARNAL LUST. The band also has a new bassist called Death'met...Here is some news from Ireland's Invictus Productions. URGRUND has finished recording the Battle Skin 7". The CD version of KILL's Horned Holocaust release will be out shortly. The label's forthcoming releases are an ALLFATHER LP/CD and AXIS OF ADVANCE's Landline 12"...Morbid Records has signed IMMORTAL RITES from Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Germany. The band's debut Art of Devolution was produced by Alex Krull of ATROCITY at Mastersound Studios and will be available this month. The label has also signed America's DARK DISCIPLE whose forthcoming album is called Unholy Hate Gore. PROFANATION, however, have begun reworking their album It's Lunch Time Again because the band was dissatisfied with the results...VITAL REMAINS will embark on a U.S. tour this spring alongside BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, CATTLE DECAPITATION and WATCH THEM DIE. VITAL REMAINS' line-up is DEICIDE frontman Glen Benton, Tony Lazaro on guitar, Dave Suzuki on drums and Istvan Lendvay (RISE, ex-BEHEMOTH) on bass...ISO 666 has issued the following releases: the third album from BLACKDEATH called Bottomless Armageddon, Greek band END's End II CD and FOREST's Like A Blaze Above The Ashes which is the Russian band's second outing...New releases from Merciless Records are: AVENGER's Godless LP (licensed from Deathgasm Records), OBEISANCE's Lucifer Master LP (licensed from Utterly Somber Creations) and BURIED GOD's Sacrificed" 7" EP...Here is some news from Folter Records: LUGUBRE from The Netherlands has signed to the label for one album and will enter the studio in May. The album is due in June. Latvia's SKYFORGER will release its album Thunderforge this month. TRIMONIUM's new album is due in June. LUNGORTHIN - which has lost its drummer - has finished with recordings for its third CD Morgrom...Metal Blade's UNEARTH is in the studio recording a new album. The label is aiming for a June release...Arizona's VEHEMENCE has finished recordings for its second Metal Blade release Helping The World To See. Right before the recordings the band parted ways with keyboardist Jason Keesecker. A replacement is not being sought...ANCIENT has completed the recording for its upcoming album, the bands sixth, and is currently in Sweden mixing the record at Studio Fredman with Fredrik Nordstrom. The release date has been set as the first of June. A video for the title track Night Visit will be shot...FACE THE FACT is back with a new MCD entitled Romeo And Juliet Are Not Dead. The European version of the CD is out through Germany's Beniihana Records...According to MALEVOLENT CREATION, Metal Mind Records and Productions from Poland has released an illegal live DVD/VHS from the band taken from a show in early 2003 at the Metal Mania Festival in Krakow Poland. The band has initiated legal proceedings after discussions with the label failed. The band will release a DVD later this summer through Arctic Music Group. MALEVOLENT CREATION's Warkult album is now out...THE ACCURSED is at Count Trackula Studio recording an album for Screaming Ferret Wreckords...Karmageddon Media has the following releases this month: DISMEMBER's Where Ironcrosses Grow CD, OCCULT's Elegy For The Weak, WITHIN Y's Extended Mental Dimensions and CHUCK SCHULDINER's Zero Tolerance CD...France's IMPERIAL SODOMY is working on a second album called Demolished. The band is also looking for a label...Reformed thrashers FAITH OR FEAR have a website at www.faithorfear.net. The band is playing a show in May...Spain's Death To Mankind Records has three new releases. These are FUNERAL WINDS' Koude Haat, Brazil's GOATPENIS' with its Trotz Verbot Nicht Tot album and MUST MISSA's Ma Ei Talu Valgust full-length. The band is from Estonia...EXPERIMENT FEAR, the band which spawned NEVERMORE' Jeff Loomis is back. An MP3 of the song Upstroke taken from the act's 2004 demo is available for download at www.dcarecordings.com in the 'Sounds' section...Death metal band DEVOURED has been left without a bassist and drummer as of last month. European residents can e-mail info@hardebaran.com for more information if interested in trying out for the available positions...DEATH ANGEL's forthcoming album TheArt Of Dying will be released on May 4th...IMPIETY has signed a two-album contract with Agonia Records. The band left Osmose Productions in October of 2003. IMPIETY will record its fourth album this July at Ambox Studios in Mexico...MAPLE CROSS has parted ways with guitarists Late and Sami Siekkinen and has replaced them with THYRANE's Avather and SETHERY's J. Henttunen...France's Season of Mist has signed a record deal with ANAAL NATHRAKH...Here is some news from Black Lotus Records: The debut album of THRAWN will be called Dispiritism. It will be out in late 2004. SATARIEL will begin recording a new album called Hydra this month. THE DUSKFALL's Source album is now out...Aftermath Music has issued RUNEMAGICK's On Funeral Wings CD. The label will soon distribute SARCOMA INC.'s Torment Rides Forever CD. This is the new band of Daemon (LIMBONIC ART and ZYKLON fame)...Skyscraper Music has issued BLOOD OF CHRIST's Breeding Chaos album...INTERNAL SUFFERING, INCINERATE (USA), STABWOUND and EMETH (Belgium) are touring the USA this July under the Brutal Domination Tour 2004 moniker...LEASH LAW vocalist Wade Black and guitarist Rick Renstrom have just returned from Athens, Greece where they completed the mastering for the forthcoming debut album Dogface. A one-off acoustic set was also performed by Wade and Rick at the Texas Club in Athens. Dogface will be released by Black Lotus Records on April 19th, 2004...GRAVE has parted ways with drummer Christofer Barkensjö. According to the band's site "Both parties decided to go separate ways after the recent European tour for personal reasons and also for Chris to focus more on his main band KAAMOS." Barkensjö's replacement is COERCION's drummer Pelle Liljenberg. "Pelle played with us during the 2002 European tour."...THE HAUNTED has entered Studio Fredman in order to record the band's fourth full-length album which is due late summer through a new label following the completion of the band's contract with Earache Records...Following a controversial GORGOROTH gig in Krakow, Poland on February 1st. prosecutors in Poland have launched an investigation into whether GORGOROTH's concert and the filming of a DVD breached the country's law protecting religion. The show, which was filmed for an upcoming DVD, featured two naked women (with hoods over their heads) and one naked man crucified and covered in sheep's blood, a number of sheep heads on spikes, sheep entrails thrown all over the stage, as well as approximately 80 liters of fresh sheep blood...M.O.D., the band of former S.O.D. frontman Billy Milano, has been joined by guitarist Jon Aaron...ROTTING CORPSE, whose original line-up included SOLITUDE AETURNUS' guitarist John Perez, will record and release an album according to guitarist Walter Trachsler who was himself DEATH's touring guitarist and roadie...INFINITED HATE, which features members of SINISTER and HOUWITSER, has signed to Displeased Records for two albums. INFINITED HATE line-up is Rachel Kloosterwaard (vocals), Ron van de Polder (guitar) and Aad Kloosterwaard on drums...DARKANE's Drummer Peter Wildoer recently suffered a wrist injury, thus forcing the postponement of the band's planned recording sessions for a new album last month...IMPIOUS has signed to Metal Blade Records...MORTAL SIN has reformed. The band's 2004 line-up features original members Mat Maurer on vocals, Andy Eftichiou on bass and Wayne Campbell on drums, alongside ex-ADDICTIVE guitarists Joe Buttigieg and Mick Sultana. The band will play its first gig in many years on March 5th at the Annandale Hotel in Sydney...GRIMFIST, the band of ex-IMMORTAL and current HYPOCRISY drummer Horgh, is writing a new album for an early 2005 release through Candlelight Records...HADES ALMIGHTY has signed with Dark Essence Records. The group will also re-release its previous album The Pulse Of Decay in mid-April, this time featuring a DVD section and bonus tracks...MANTAS, the band of VENOM guitarist Mantas and former ATOMKRAFT/VENOM bassist and vocalist Tony "Demolition" Dolan will release a new album called Zero Tolerance on April 26th through Demolition Records...Former SLAYER and SYSTEMATIC drummer Paul Bostaph has joined TESTAMENT...Norway's EINHERJER has thrown in the towel...THE BERZERKER will release a DVD called The Principles And Practices Of The Berzerker on March 29th through Earache...ABORTED will release a new mini-CD called The Haematobic on April 19th just in time for its tour with CANNIBAL CORPSE and others...RESUSCITATOR has signed to Displeased Records. The group's first release will be a re-issue of the debut album, Cursed Visions From His Infernal Realm ...MARDUK's new singer Mortuus was previously a member of the bands FUNERAL MIST and TRIUMPHATOR using the name Arioch. Mortuus replaced previous singer Legion, who left MARDUK in November...INSISION will enter Soundlab studio on March 4th to begin recording its sophomore album which is tentatively entitled Revealed And Worshipped. The album will be produced by Mieszko Talarczyk of NASUM fame ...HECATE ENTHRONED has lost singer Dean. He disagreed with the other members' yearning for "progression" and left on good terms...WITHERING SURFACE has signed a two-album deal with Italy's Scarlet Records. The group's Force The Pace CD will be released in June...AGATHODAIMON has announced Serpent's Embrace as the title for its next album. It is due on June 21st through Nuclear Blast Records...TANKARD, HATEWORK and IRREVERENCE will be undertaking an Italian tour in May...MESHUGGAH has announced the title of its next album as Catch 33. The Swedes, who recently asked bassist Gustaf Hielm to leave the fold and replaced him with Dick Löwgren (ex-IN FLAMES, ARCH ENEMY), also recently negotiated a new deal with Nuclear Blast Records...Australia's DAMAGED officially split up last month after a long period of inactivity...FLESHTIZED has reformed with a line-up of vocalist Rob Kline (PESSIMIST, PSYCHOTOGEN), guitarist Sonny Lombardozzi (INCANTATION), bassist Garth Lovvorn and drummer Gary White...Majestic Rock will issue SAXON's Alternative Innocence featuring material from the archives of guitarist Graham Oliver. The album contains alternative and unused versions of songs from the band's 1985 release Innocence Is No Excuse, along with three unreleased tracks...COLLAPSE 7 has signed to Napalm Records. The band, featuring drummer Mike Gröger of HOLLENTHON, will release its debut In Deep Silence in April. In Deep Silence was produced by Martin Schirenc (PUNGENT STENCH, Hollenthon)


Metallian Hard



Guitarist Max has left SIGMA after fifteen years in the band. No replacement has been announced...FREEDOM CALL will be releasing a live album called Life Invasion on April 19th through SPV. It was recorded in Germany during the band's tour in 2002 with BLIND GUARDIAN. The double-album will feature the Taragon EP as a bonus...American glam metal band MAD MARGRITT is working on a new album, called Tales From The Gutter. This will be the act's first release featuring new bassist Brad White. The band will be featured on the upcoming Perris Records release Hollywood Hairspray-Volume 3"...North Carolina's CONFESSOR is back and is playing live locally on Saturday March 13th at the Lincoln Theater. The band features all of the original members except guitarist Ivan Colon who passed away a couple of years ago. Shawn McCoy has stepped in for Ivan. The band's new material will continue the band's Sabbathy tradition...SUPERVILLAIN (reviewed last month in the demo section) has signed a distribution deal with Nightmare Records. The band is also recording a new demo which is tentatively entitled Earthquake Machine. Several of the songs are Altar Ego, Hit The Road, Lowlife and Show Em All...ANTHENORA has inked a worldwide deal with Locomotive Music. The band's album, entitled The Last Command, will be issued next month...ICED EARTH and CHILDREN OF BODOM will spend much of April and May touring North America together...Italy's SKYLARK has signed to Scarlet Records. The band's next album is called Wings and will be released in May, 2004...Greece's CRYSTAL TEARS is back. After announcing that the Embrace The Horror demo will be issued by a label over a year ago, and noting the label's inactivity, the band has remastered the CD and is again issuing it independently...A new SEBASTIAN BACH studio album is expected in August through Spitfire Records...Guitarist Andy LaRocque is mixing the upcoming KING DIAMOND live album. It will be a two-disc set and will contain most of the songs from The Puppet Master USA tour...RIVAL has finished recording its Metal Blade debut State Of Mind. The band is described as power metal...HEROD has released its For Whom The Gods Would Destroy album through Lifeforce Records...SPASTIC INK, featuring guitarist/composer Ron Jarzombek, bassist Pete Perez and drummer Bobby Jarzombek has signed a deal with Marquee Inc. for the release of the sophomore album Ink Compatible which is set for April 21st. Marquee will handle Japan and most South East Asian territories while the rest of the world will be covered by the band's own EclecticElectric label. The album features guest appearances by, among others, keyboardist Jens Johansson (STRATOVARIUS, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) and Jimmy Pitts (SCHOLOMANCE and THE FRACTURED DIMENSION)...After eleven years of using the Name OSH, the band reassembled its line-up and changed its name to DAS ROTE UNIVERSUM ('The Red Universe'). The band is now a three-piece...EYES OF FIRE, featuring Matt Fisher (vocals, bass) and Dan Kaufman (vocals, guitars) of MINDROT fame, has released an album on Century Media called Ashes To Embers. The band is described as sounding like ANATHEMA and NEUROSIS...BIOMECHANICAL is recording a new album called The Empires of The Worlds. The album will include about 13 to 14 tracks and continue the same concept as the band's previous work Eight Moons...AEROSMITH's blues album, Honkin' On Bobo, will be released in April...Greece's HOMOIRATUS has independently released a new album called Apocalypse...BLITZKRIEG's Tony J. Liddle is starting a new band called GHETTO MESSIAH. The band will feature Gary Young, former drummer of AVENGER...JAG PANZER has been scheduled to play Tampa Florida's Sun and Steel Festival Saturday March 6th...KHANATE is hitting the road in the USA this month under the moniker of Let Loose The Lambs tour 2004. The band's Pittsburgh show on March 3rd will feature George Romarro (Night of the Living Dead) as a speaker...A demo version of a new WINTERS BANE song called Seal The Light is available for download at www.dcarecordings.com in the 'Sounds' section. This track will be on the forthcoming album of the band which is due this summer. This is the band's first release with new vocalist Alexander Koch (ex-POWERGOD). Other tracks include Glory, Remember To Forget and The World...VICIOUS RUMORS has signed to Mascot Records...The track listing for the new SCORPIONS album Unbreakable is as follows: New Generation, Love Em Or Leave Em, Deep And Dark, Borderline, Blood Too Hot, Maybe I Maybe You, Someday Is Now, My City My Town, Through My Eyes, Can You Feel It, This Time, She Said and Remember The Good Times. The album is due in April...Sound Riot Records will release MEMORIZED DREAMS' Theater Of Life CD in April. The power metal band hails from Norway...THOR is touring Canada to launch and promote the new CD Beast Women From The Center Of The Earth. The Ontario dates will be supported by GOATHORN...DOMINE's Emperor Of The Black Runes is now available...IRON MAIDEN's Bruce Dickinson has confirmed his participation on TRIBUZY's new album, Execution. Bruce and Tribuzy met for breakfast in Brazil recently. Bruce will record his parts this month in Los Angeles with producer and guitarist Roy Z who is himself also performing on Execution. The album will also feature Kiko Loureiro, Chris Dale, Michael Kiske and Rolland Grapow and is planned for release in mid-2004...HANKER will soon complete the recording of its debut album for Skyscraper Music. The follow-up to Snakes & Ladders is entitled Web Of Faith...MORGION's Cloaked By Ages, Crowned In Earth album will be out April 27th through Dark Symphonies Records...CHASTAIN's first CD since 1997's In Dementia is called In An Outrage. It will be released in July through the band's Leviathan Records...GLUECIFER has entered the Norwegian pop charts at position No. 2 with its new album Automatic Thrill...THE KILL is a new band featuring former FORTE members singer Kevin Valliquette, guitarist and bassist Greg Nicholson...ICED EARTH recently postponed its European tour (which PRIMAL FEAR was supposed to open) because guitarist John Schaffer has not fully recovered from surgery on his back...BLINDED BY FEAR is a new Danish band featuring former members of IRONFIRE. The group's line-up consists of vocalist Niels Toft (ex-MORFEUS), guitarist Jose Cruz (ex-IRONFIRE, #213), guitarist Jeff Lukka, bassist Jakob Lundgaard Lykkebo (ex-IRONFIRE), and drummer Steve Mason (ex-IRONFIRE). IRONFIRE vocalist Martin Steene has spent much of his time recently focusing on FORCE OF EVIL...WARRIOR's album The Wars Of Gods And Men was released on February 24th through Reality Entertainment...EVIL MASQUERADE featuring guitarist Henrik Flyman (ex-MOAHNI MOAHNA, ZOOL and WUTHERING HEIGHTS) and original ROYAL HUNT vocalist Henrik Brockmann has signed to Frontiers Records...RAUNCHY and vocalist Lars Vognstrup have parted ways. His replacement is named Kasper Thomsen...Graham Bonnet (RAINBOW, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP, FANDANGO, etc.) has accepted an offer to join Italian guitarist Dario Mollo's ELEKTRIC ZOO...DRAGONLAND has signed a deal with Century Media Records. The band has released two albums through Black Lotus Records...A new project featuring former OZZY OSBOURNE bassist Bob Daisley alongside members of URIAH HEEP and DEEP PURPLE will release its debut album using the LIVING LOUD moniker. The band consists of Daisley, Lee Kerslake (URIAH HEEP, OZZY OSBOURNE) on drums, Don Airey (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK SABBATH, SILVER, RAINBOW) on keyboards, Steve Morse (DEEP PURPLE) on guitar, and Jimmy Barnes (COLD CHISEL) on vocals. The project will release its debut album in February on Melbourne record producer Michael Gudinski's Liberation label...SUSPERIA will release its latest album Unlimited on March 22nd through Tabu Recordings/Tuba Records...IRON SAVIOR is scheduled to release its new album Metalizer in May through Noise Records...TYGERS OF PAN TANG is back again with a new studio album called Noises From The Cat House. The album was mixed by Chris Tsangarides. The band's current line-up is former ex-ANGEL WITCH singer Richie Wicks, Robb Weir (guitar), Dean Robertson (guitar), Brian West (bass) and drummer Craig Ellis and has been performing since 2002 around Europe...DOKKEN's new album is called Hell To Pay and is due in late April...Jeff Pilson's (DOKKEN, MSG, DIO, WILD HORSES) WAR & PEACE has signed a deal with Z Records. The band's new album is called The Walls Have Eyes and is scheduled for release in April...NOSTRADAMEUS has announced Hellbound as the title of its fourth album which is now due in May from AFM Records...LEMMY, SLIM JIM & DANNY B., the rockabilly project of MOTÖRHEAD's Lemmy, STRAY CATS' Slim Jim Phantom and THE ROCKATS' Danny B. Harvey has filmed its January 13th performance at The Cat Club in Hollywood for an upcoming DVD...Bassist Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, WHITESNAKE) has joined YNGWIE MALMSTEEN's touring band for the North American Attack!! Tour 2004 which begins March 3rd in New Orleans, Louisiana...ION VEIN has parted ways with guitarist John Malufka...RAZORBACK, a new band consisting of singer Stefan Berggren (ex-COMPANY OF SNAKES), guitarist Rolf Munkes (MAJESTY, ex-VANIZE), guitarist Chris Heun (guitar, ex-SHYLOCK), bassist Marcus Bielenberg and drummer Pierre Fienhold (drums, ex-VANIZE) will release its self-titled debut in March through Massacre Records...VICIOUS RUMORS have signed a European record deal with Holland's Mascot Records. The group's follow-up to 2001's Sadistic Symphony is named Immortal and is expected this spring...STEEL PROPHET has signed with Massacre Records and is recording a new album which is due this summer...DISTANT THUNDER, featuring vocalist James Rivera (ex-HELSTAR, SEVEN WITCHES, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM), ex-DESTINY'S END guitarist Eric Halpern and SYMPHONY X's bassist Mike Lepond, is recording its debut album with producer Jack Frost for Massacre Records...STEEL PROPHET has decided on the title Beware as the name for its new album...DARK MOOR and guitarist Jose Garrido have parted ways "because of professional reasons."...THE HOLLYWOOD ALLSTARS is a new side-band featuring singer Chas West (ex-BONHAM, LYNCH MOB), guitarist Carlos Cavazo (ex-QUIET RIOT), Jeff Pilson (ex-DOKKEN, WAR & PEACE, DIO) on bass, Alan Krigger (ex-GIUFFRIA, HOUSE OF LORDS) and Frankie Banali (W.A.S.P., ex-QUIET RIOT) on drums...Original FATES WARNING drummer Steve Zimmerman has put together a new band called MILLENNIUM X...Ex-JAG PANZER/TEACHER's PET/GOTHIC SLAM vocalist DANIEL CONCA Passed away recently. He also worked for Pit Magazine in the 90's...ENTOMBED was forced to cancel its U.S. tour in March due to visa problems. "There wasn't enough time to secure a work visa for our new bass player Nico Elgstrand," according to the band...FORSAKEN will release its second full-length album, entitled Anima Mundi, through Golden Lake Productions...9MM SOLUTION, featuring ex-MORTA SKULD members Dave Gregor, Jason Hellman, Ed Wallner, and Hobbes Caltous, have a new EP called The Trial....STRYPER's next release is a live album called 7 Weeks: Live in America 2003...Drummer Eric Singer will be sitting behind the kit for KISS' upcoming Japanese tour...HEARSE, featuring former ARCH ENEMY/NONEXIST vocalist Johan Liiva, will release the Armageddon Mon Amour album through Candlelight Records in May...LIONSHEART, featuring singer Steve Grimmett, has signed to Frontiers Records for the release of its fourth studio album Abyss. Expect it in May...FIREWIND has announced that vocalist Chity Somapala (ex-AVALON, FARO) has joined the group...ELDRITCH is scheduled to release its Portrait Of The Abyss Within album on May 24th through LMP...HALLOWS EVE has regrouped. Joining bassist Tommy Stewart is guitarist Skully (formerly known as Skellator) and vocalist Steve Cannon, editor of Vibrations Of Doom and a long-time fan of the band...DREAMAKER will visit Japan inn May to present its debut album Human Device and to support LABYRINTH live...A new issue of Sang Frais is now out. Issue 13 of French metal zine Sang Frais is now out and features CRADLE OF FILTH, HELLOWEEN, SKID ROW and much more. For more information visit www.sangfrais.com...BLACK AND BLUE vocalist Jaime St. James has joined WARRANT.



Metallian Demos


CURSED - NEITHER DEAD... NOR ALIVE
Cursed hails from France and is one of the few surviving bands still adhering to the rules of the death/black underground as practiced in late 80's and early 90's. According to the enclosed biography the band's origin does not date back that far, but the act is certainly a nostalgia trip for fans who still appreciate the raw and dirty sound of early Mayhem, early Mystifier or early Marduk. The sound is hardly professional, the drumming is not the tightest and the guitarists have never heard of N Flames or Dummy Burger. Instead the singer screeches and growls, the guitars practice death metal, the bassist throws a solo and the drummer bashes away with little disregard for commercial acceptance. It is difficult imagining Cursed gaining much traction unless one is either nostalgic or would like to find out about the roots of the scene before every 12-year old discovered a piano and a girlfriend who wants to sing opera for the band. The group's website is at www.ifrance.com/cursed or e-mail cursed@ifrance.com for information regarding this five-song disc. - Ali "The Metallian"

THUNDER RIDER - TALES OF DARKNESS & LIGHT - CHAPTER II
Long-standing Montreal band Thunder Rider is back with a new album and a comprehensive promotional package. The completely professional CD is accompanied by many goodies which are a surprise. Who needs a record label? Were more people to buy music directly from independent bands, fans would forever be rid of the greedy middleman.
Most importantly though, what is the band like musically? Let us start by dropping names like Virgin Steele, Ivory Tower, Hammers Of Misfortune, Jethro Tull, 70's-era Judas Priest and Lord Weird Slough Feg. The band has a narrative stance and the mix clearly favours the vocals. The singer's voice is certainly an acquired taste, although he fits more and more the more one spins the disc. The band is, rumours be true, a white metal act, but this is something that singer John Blackwing expressly denies. Whatever the case, Thunder Rider is for hard rockers who seek a literate band with interesting imagery, lyrics and narrative. Head to www.thunderrider.com for more information or e-mail thunderrider@thunderrider.com and ask for a band photograph and information. - Ali "The Metallian"

ABIURA - PROMO 2003
Abiura is a busy Italian band with a demo cover that labels the band's work as 'Obscure Extreme Music.' Well, obscure no more now that we are printing this review! Half the band is short-haired and half the band is long-haired so I have to say I only like this band some fifty-percent. Seriously though (well maybe), Abiura is a brutal band. There are deep vocals and screaming vocals, thrashy riffs, a sharp guitar sound with varying speeds which adds up to a pretty effective attack. The music is perhaps muted by the messy drum sound a tad. There are three songs on the demo and I Join The Endless Line begins with a Cannibal Corpse riff, a synthesized sound and a wild and unruly attack. Every song has wild vocalizing, but the third track truly kicks off in a good shape vocally. Abiura is a brutally demented band. Visit them at www.abiura.com or e-mail them at fastdegree@email.it. The band is now signed to Grindmind Records. - Sheila Wes Det

MACHESCAZO - 1+1=COCK - ORAL LESSONS FOR...A FAST DEGREE
Machescazo is another band featuring drummer Raphael Saini who also drums in Abiura and runs STD distribution. The guys apparently has a difficult sexual life. Regardless, he uses the Gorebachov alias here. The four songs on the demo, Today's Special Offer, The Sad Princess, Beyond The Fatal Tragedy and The Unexpected Assfuck, confirm the band's label of porn death metal, but none of the songs have X-rated samples. That is unless those Italian monologues are saying something the mainstream would not approve. Musically, these three guys are depraved, loud, heavy and only let down by the muffled drum sound. There is more grinding here than on a grindcore compilation, but then again one song differentiates itself through a jazzy part. Get this through Raphael Saini the drummer at www.std-distro.cjb.net. - Sheila Wes Det

DEDSON - same
Dedson's CD arrived at Metallian Towers with little fanfare and without any other collateral information which can be good or bad. It is not an optimal situation when the writer has little information to go on. On the other hand, a lack of reference allows for an unprejudiced review based solely on the music.
Dedson features some metal and some hardcore. The band has both angry metallic and commercial vocals, and the music is reminiscent of bands like Propain, Rollins and even Haste. The sound is good and the band clearly possesses a modern commercial edge. It is difficult to guess which way the band will sway so stay tuned. Visit www.garageband.com/artist/dedson or e-mail patfrankiebee@aol.com for information. - Ali "The Metallian"

DIVINITY DESTROYED - same
New Jersey-based Divinity Destroyed is a unique independent band. The band has issued two professionally-recorded and packaged CDs simultaneously without any label support. This one is a digipak featuring five tracks. The bands's sound is best described as progressive rock. There is hardly any metal here, but comparisons can be made to Opeth and Hammers Of Misfortune. That is not meant as a direct musical comparison, but rather speaks to the act's unattached status. The band has put much effort into writing and recording this demo and made something special for those who do not mind an indie sound packed with layered vocals, keyboards and an arty approach. The keyboard intro to the CD has to mentioned too for its sentimental melody. - E-mail divinitydestroyed@hotmail.com or visit www.divinitydestroyed.com. - Ali "The Metallian"

DIVINITY DESTROYED - EDEN IN ASHES
Eden In Ashes is the second new demo-CDs released by Divinity Destroyed and is the longer of the two. The CD is, typical of the band, professionally packaged with great artwork, photography, lyrics, bar code (C.I.A-P.A.T.R.I.O.T. tracking system) and good sound.
Eden In Ashes presents the band in all sorts of moods. The vocals can take the shape of a growl or a storytelling bard. The guitars can doodle as in jazz or throw chords at the listener. The drums, well they are powerless. Come to think of it the production and mix really favour the vocals. Musically the proceedings bear shades of Cynic and Hammers Of Misfortune - the Heart-like acoustic intro and Iron Maiden rhythm on Empty The Sky excepted. If these elements sound appealing find the band at www.divinitydestroyed.com. - Ali "The Metallian"

ATHELA - RELIANCE
Athela is indeed a special band. The Swedes hail from Sweden and often cite Opeth as an influence. That might be true, but Athela is a much more interesting band than Opeth. In fact, Athela is moody, doomy and heavy at the same time and has the chops to pull off a one-song fourteen-minute demo. Unlike Opeth, Athela's track is powerful and a wretched joy to soak in. The musicians can play and pull off one slow rhythm change after the other with the music floating from slow doom to Pink Floyd to brutal death metal at will. Acoustic guitars and normal vocals are present, but Athela's focus is on crushing technical heaviness and deep growls. Regardless, the band's delivery is constantly stimulating. Adding to Athela's prowess in the crisp and concise production. Individual instruments shine warmly as the young band pulls off one mean disharmonic riff after the other. Fans of everything from Esoteric to Opeth will find that Athela is a wonderful find and a collection of able musicians. Contact the band via jake@athela.com. - Ali "The Metallian"





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