CEREMONIUM has signed to Weird Truth Productions in order to issue a compilation CD entitled The Netherworld Project…Canadian label Sinister Sounds has signed Brazilian black metal band BLACKMASS. The band’s debut, Gloria Diaboli, will be issued on a worldwide basis in the spring…Hot on the heels of The Cult Is Alive album DARKTHRONE has announced Fuck Off And Die as the title for its next and thirteenth album…According to its organizers, the 20th anniversary of Poland’s Metalmania Festival will feature EVERGREY as special guests. In other news, 1349 has replaced CARPATHIAN FOREST. Other bands playing on 04.03.2006 are U.D.O, NEVERMORE, ANATHEMA, BELPHEGOR and more…PHAZE I, the new project of David and Frank Potvin (of LYZANXIA) and long-time friend Dirk Verbeuren (SCARVE, SOILWORK, etc.) has signed a deal with Scarlet Records. The band has finished working on its debut album, due on May 22nd, which was mastered by Peter In De Betou (RAMMSTEIN, MARDUK, etc.) at Tailor Made Studio…Norway's ALLFADER will have its debut album At Least We Will Die Together released this spring through Osmose Productions…YYRKOON and NILE will jointly tour Europe this April and May…The Polish group INFERNUM has returned with its second full-length album, The Curse, which features a new line-up. The CD will be out the 17th of March through Sound Riot…THANATOS is at Studio Excess recording an album tentatively entitled Justified Genocide…French grindcore band TREPAN'DEAD has issued a demo called Obsessional Dysfunctions. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information…The GOREFEST, MASTER, LUNAFIELD, RESURRECTURIS and KRAGENS European tour has been cancelled. According to GOREFEST, The “German agency Bruchstein Records” turned the tour “into a farce”… Germany’s SUBCONSCIOUS has revealed the cover artwork for its upcoming Supreme Chaos Records’ debut Irregular which is due to hit the streets on 3.3.2006. Head to www. s-c-r.de…The Southern German four-piece COCKROACH has finished art and studio work for its upcoming forth full-length release The Observer which offers “modern sounding thrash metal.”…Antico Misticismo, the brand new album from TENEBRAE IN PERPETUUM, is now available…The new HORNA album will be titled Ääniä Yössä and will be released in June 6…Lifeforce Records America/Abacus artist CALIBAN is touring the
USA in May in support of its new release The Undying Darkness alongside ION DISSONANCE and SWORN ENEMY…CHTON's new promo release Death Awaits was recorded at Godt Selskap Studio and is the first recording featuring newly recruited drummer Vegar 'Vyl' Larsen (KEEP OF KALESSIN). The band will use one of the tracks on a split 7” with BLOODTHORN…Norway’s SULPHUR has signed to Osmose Productions. The first release on Osmose will be the Outburst Of Desecration demo as a 10" EP limited to 500 copies…AGANKAST has a new demo on tap and has posted a video for the song Dance Of The Dead on its site…TAF Production has issued the MCD of CRIMINAL HATE entitled Regression Of Human Race…GRAND BELIAL'S KEY’s Kosherat CD is now out through Drakkar Productions…Drummer Erik “Vrolok” has quit AETERNUS and been replaced by S. Winter (FORLORN, A WINTER WITHIN, GEHENNA, etc.). The band’s new album HeXaeon is complete and expected this summer…HORNED ALMIGHTY, from Denmark and featuring members of EXMORTEM and KOLDBORN, has completed a new album called The Devil's Music - Songs Of Death And Damnation which will be issued in April through Infernus Rex...DISSECTION’s Reinkaos album is due on April 30th through the band's own label, Black Horizon Music…Guitarist Erol Unala has left CELTIC FROST on the eve of the release of the Monotheist album…Former EXODUS drummer John Tempesta has joined THE CULT…SATYRICON’s next album, Now, Diabolical, is due out in April through Roadrunner…Crossover band CRUMBSUCKERS will reunite for a show this summer to mark the 20th anniversary of its Life Of Dreams album. Original members participating will be Chris Notaro (vocals), guitarist Chuck Lenihan (GENITORTURERS), bassist Gary Meskil (PRO-PAIN) and drummer Dan Richardson (LIFE OF AGONY, PRO-PAIN, STEREOMUD)…Former CARCASS bassist/vocalist and current solo artist Jeff Walker and NAPALM DEATH bassist Shane Embury have completed several dates with BRUJERIA recently…LECHEROUS NOCTURNE, featuring NILE guitarist Dallas Toler-Wade on drums, has recruited MONSTROSITY and CAPHARNAUM’s Mike Poggione on bass in time for the upcoming debut album, Adoration Of The Blade...SUMMONING will issue the Oath Bound CD on March 21st through Napalm Records…MERCENARY drummer Mike Park broke his leg in an accident last month. Mike is expected to recover quickly and record the band’s upcoming album in March and May…LIVIDITY will release a new album, Used, Abused, And Left For Dead next month through Morbid Records…Bassist Martin has rejoined DECAPITATED and announced himself problem-free…FACE DOWN has parted ways with drummer Erik Thyselius and replaced him with BLACKSHINE’s Christofer Barkensjö…TANKARD will issue a new album, The Beauty And The Beer, in May through AFM. The album was produced by Andy Classen at Stage One Studio…THE RED DEATH, which recently lost bassist Dominic Mastronunzio, has been dropped by Metal Blade…SODOM will release a self-titled album in Germany on April 21st. The album was preceded by a new DVD entitled Lords Of Depravity Part I…NECROEATH has recruited guitarist Pier Gonella of LABYRINTH fame and completed the recording for its next album, entitled 100% Hate. The album is due in May through Scarlet Records…SPAWN OF POSSESSION is at Pama Studio with producer Magnus Sedenberg recording, Noctambulant, for a summer release through Neurotic Records…Ibex Moon Records has a new DAWN OF AZAZEL album ready for release entitled Sedition…HIRAX has seen the return of drummer John Tabares and the addition of guitarist Lance Harrison to the group…Blast has quit ZUUL FX and the band is seeking a new guitarist. E-mail them at email@example.com. Blast will soon form a new band with Maik (NOSTROMO) and Ben (SYBREED). The band still intends to tour with IMPALED NAZARENE in May…Accelerating the recent years’ trend VEHEMENCE has reformed a mere four months after disbanding following losing the support of Metal Blade Records…HOLY TERROR has reformed and will play in Seattle this month. The band features new vocalist Chris Tretton (of MIDNIGHT IDOLS), guitarists Kurt Colfelt and Matt Fox, bassist Jeff Matz and drummer Joe Mitchell…ZYKLON’s third album, entitled Disintegrate, was recorded at Akkerhaugen Lydstudio and will be issued in May through Candlelight…New releases on Destro Records are TERROR OF THE TREES Devil Worship and GROTESQUEUPHORIA Conquered By Corruption.
Rock Candy Records is re-releasing LITA FORD’s self-titled and STAMPEDE’s Hurricane Town albums this month…JON OLIVA'S PAIN has recruited guitarist Shane French (ex-CIRCLE II CIRCLE...BALTIMOORE has completed a new album. Entitled Kaleidoscope, the disc will emerge through BLP Music next month…Perris recording artist BANG TANGO has joined former RATT frontman Stephen Pearcy and PRETTY BOY FLOYD for the Metal In America Tour 2006…SKYCLAD has signed to Black Lotus Records. The band will issue an album this year which will be preceded by an EP called Jig-A-Jig…INNERWISH will release a new album called The Final Prophecy in May through Diversity Media. A show is also planned for Athens as the opener for MANOWAR and RHAPSODY…Chavis Records will issue VIOLENT DIVINE’s Rush You album immediately…MAD MARGRITT, featuring new guitarist Scott Banks, has shot a video for the song Cold Sweat. The video will be featured on a DVD due for release later this year by Perris Records…DCA Recordings has announced the release of Redivivus, the comeback album of WINTERS BANE, on April 11th. The album marks the debut of WINTERS BANE's new line-up, with vocalist Alexander Koch (SCENES, POWERGOD) and drummer Mark Cross (FIREWIND, ex-METALIUM) joining founding member, guitarist Lou St. Paul. The album was engineered and produced by Curran Murphy (ex-NEVERMORE, ANNIHILATOR) and Chris Tsangarides (JUDAS PRIEST, THIN LIZZY)…Crash Music has signed UK crossover act TWIN METHOD to a four-album deal. The band’s The Volume Of Self is due in May…Guitarist Chris George has left WAYSTED in order to focus on his own band…There is another new MEGADETH bassist. James Lomenzo (formerly of BLS and WHITE LION) has replaced Jimmy MacDonough. The latter was fired without warning…Drummer Stet Howland has left W.A.S.P. and will focus on his own band, TEMPLE OF BRUTALITY. Howland has been replaced by Patrick Johansson who is formerly of YNGWIE MALMSTEEN…Italy's MERENDINE ATOMICHE has signed a deal with Mausoleum Records and will issue its Raw album this autumn. The album was produced by Jack Frost…PAUL DI’ANNO has a new album called Living Dead…TIAMAT will release The Church Of Tiamat DVD on April 24th. The video will feature videos and a live performance recorded last year in Poland…THRESHOLD has an independent live CD, entitled Surface To Stage, which was recorded in Switzerland in 2004. The band is playing at the ProgPower UK festival this month…Guitarist Thaen Rasmussen (ANVIL CHORUS and BLACK SUN) has joined VICIOUS RUMORS for several live dates in Europe…METAL CHURCH will release a new album, A Light In The Dark, on May 26th. The band features bassist Steve Unger and drummer Jeff Plate…DIVINEFIRE guitarist Jani Stefanovic has completed an album by his ESSENCE OF SORROW project called Reflections Of The Obscure. The album features singer Christian Palin of RANDOM EYES…MORTIFICATION, featuring drummer Damien Percy, has a new album called Erasing The Goblin…ZERO HOUR has a new singer. His name is Chris Salinas and is formerly of POWER OF OMENS…HEAVY METAL KIDS has a DVD of shows from 1974 to 2004 entitled Delirious - Classic Kids Capers…OVERLOADED is currently raising money for the recording of its next demo. The band hopes to be back in the studio by June in order to record five to eight songs including a re-recorded version of Feeling Overloaded from Hail The Kingdom and a cover of Crazy Horses which was originally recorded by the OSMONDs in 1972…Kristoffer Gildenlow is no longer a member of PAIN OF SALVATION. After having been the band's bass player since 1994 he has been asked by the other members to leave the band. The separation is the result of growing difficulty of the band to function as a unit since Kristoffer moved to Holland a few years back…Slovakia’s PORTIKUS is progressive metal band whose Virtual World demo was just released…VOIVOD has picked Katorz as the title for its forthcoming album due out in late spring…CINDERELLA will be touring in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Nightsongs this summer…Warner Music Canada is issuing a HONEYMOON SUITE compilation DVD this summer…A line-up of Steve Grimmett, Ian Nash, Ritchie Walker and Pete Newdeck will play at Keep It True VI on April 8th in Germany…World Chaos Production will issue PANTHEON – I’s Atrocity Divine album this month. The band hails from Norway and is described as “atmospheric black.”
FURNAZE – NO STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
Time to get confused, boys and girls. Furnaze is not a typo. The band is based out of London, England, but is manned by Belgians, Germans, Austrians, Italians and more. The demo is entitled No Stairway To Heaven, but Page, Plant and the other two guys would probably run to the hills were they to hear it. Actually, that might explain the name!
The Furnaze guys describe themselves as “thrash metal with a new edge” which is only partly apt. The CD kicks off with a mystic rhythm better associated with a Tea Party album before revving into high gear and some thrashing in the form of the instrumental Back To The Battlefield. The rest of the damned thing sounds like Kreator meets Thin Lizzy. It is hard, thrashy, bashing, energetic and powerful, but is tuneful and does not rely on power solely to hammer its point home. These guys actually are wise enough to not forget a good band also needs to write songs. Singer Olivier Vermeersch snarls with menace and takes care of the guitars, Andi Cayne (candy cane?) holds down the backbeat, FJ Lighter is a drum power house and rhythm guitarist Federica… well, not sure if she even played here. In reality, this thrashing hard rock demo is a lot of fun to soak in – in a masochist way, of course – but the spoken word parts on Marching Through Hell have to go. One should also note the spoken word segment in World Of Lies sung to the tune of Kreator’s Flag Of Hate. The backing chant here has to go too. In contrast the guitars and the leads have to stay! Reminds one of Annihilator, doesn’t it? For more information head to www.furnaze.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. – Ali “The Metallian”
FUCK THE FACTS – LEGACY OF HOPELESSNESS
There was a time in the late ‘90s that Fuck The Facts’ Topon would mail me cassettes of the band (typically a split) almost on a monthly basis. The band is not only still around, but also has thrived. More importantly, it has done so on its own terms. Fuck The Facts is still delivering the same whacked out grindcore with metal, dance and techno influences. Metal fans like knights of the Metallian Towers can certainly pass on the non-metal loops, synthesizers and other miscellaneous wastes of time, but the speed, ferocity, massive screams and growls and the actual riffing here are nothing to sneeze at. The best song here is Eclat.Boue.Sang whose Morgoth-ish intro leads to a brutal deathly bonanza. Kills your average Poptera fan from a kilometre away. For more information e-mail email@example.com or visit www.capitalkill.com. – Ali “The Metallian”
MINDSLIP – REPRODUCED
Every once in a while a demo arrives at Metallian Towers that crushes everything else out there, including albums by signed bands. Reproduced by Sweden’s Mindslip is just such a demo CD. The Swedes have issued two prior demos and if they feature anything like these four songs then it is a wonder that Mindslip has not been signed yet. The songs, Reproduced, Sado-consumism, Dead Silence and Lashing Out, are perfect examples of the punishment wrought when death metal struts in all its intense glory. The songs are tight, uncompromising, hyper fast and explosive. In fact, these songs sound like the best songs Vader never wrote. The singer spews hatred, the bass slaps distortion to heavens, the guitarist puts the listener on the road to perdition and the drummer blasts without mercy. Keep your fingers crossed that Mindslip can maintain its extreme qualities upon signing the dotted line with a very smart record company. Get this through Janek Hellqvist, Albygatan 120, 172 63 Sundbyberg Sweden or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali “The Metallian”
VORE – MALEFICUS
Vore hails from Arkansas and, given the cover, is clearly unashamed of proclaiming its Deicide influences. How it fares to be a sinister death metal band in Arkansas is difficult to fathom, but the band has apparently endured the feeling for eleven years. That is enough time for any act to perfect its art which might explain the heavy and chunky riffs Vore has come up to create a professional full-length comprised of eight songs in 35 minutes. The material sounds very confident. While the band’s furious brutality is pure and well-produced, more speed and a few leads here and there would have been welcome. Those elements are not the band’s forte apparently so Vore is really for those into the heavy style riffing than speed hounds. For more information e-mail email@example.com. – Anna Tergel
HEMORAGY – FIRST BLOOD
2006? 2005? 21st century? Hell no, if Paris’ Hemoragy has anything to do worth it. The French quartet’s music, as demonstrated on the seven-song demo CD, is hardly the kind of music that is hip, trendy or on the record labels’ short list. To which Metallian say, who cares?
Hemoragy is all about the kind of early thrash metal practiced on those early Flotsam & Jetsam and Intruder CDs. Throw in some Motörhead and prepare to bang your head. On the plus side is the material’s scarcity in this day and age, authentic feeling, wild solos and bass runs. On the down side are the slower passages, which are much weaker than the fast parts, and the singing during the slower crooning moments. The band’s female bassist kicks in some vocals at the end of the CD, but Hemoragy will never be mistaken for one of those trendy pop rock abominations running around everywhere. Head over to www.hemoragy.com, e-mail the band at firstname.lastname@example.org and begin waving €7 for a copy of the compact disc. – Ali “The Metallian”
COLD BLOOD – same
Cold Blood is the latest, brand new, hot off the presses demo of… nah, just kidding. Originally released in 1987 and featuring Hirax members Gary Monardo, Bob Savage and John Tabaras, as well as singer Rob Perkins the demo and songs like Disillusioned, President Elect and Engines Of Progress is fast ripping thrash metal from an era in which brashness and viciousness were much in demand. Aside from the screamed vocals, chaotic rhythms and ripping leads the five-track demo clearly indicates where Vio-lence brought their inspirations from. OK, perhaps they were contemporaries, but Cold Blood’s singing is the closest thing to the vocals of Sean Killian on Vio-lence’s 1988 debut Eternal Nightmare one would hear anywhere. Now you know what to expect. The demo is obviously nowhere for sale or available but since some of the members are now in Weapon 13 try that bunch at www.weapon13.com or e-mail email@example.com. - Ali “The Metallian”
MOONVILLE – SILVER SCREEN
Moonfall the first song off the new demo of Sweden’s Moonville begins with a whip of keyboard leading the listener to believe he is stuck with a pomp rock outfit for the next ten songs. Except the band’s allegiance lies elsewhere. Is Moonville a black metal band drawing down the moon? Is it a band composing film scores? Or perhaps the band is a joke given titles like The Coleslaw Serenade and Millionaire In Mind?
Well, Moonville is a commercial, yet galloping hard rock band with a touch of power metal and another of progressive rock. Comparisons to Pain Of Salvation, Stratovarius and Freedom Call would not be off. The presence of K&F, mellow parts and poppy vocalization nix the band as a metal outfit, but the Swedes do know how to write a chord progression and handle their instruments too. For more reading check into www.moonville.se or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali “The Metallian”
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