Metallian Heavy

One-time PROSTITUTE DISFIGUREMENT guitarist Benny has formed a band called UNLOCKED. The death/thrash metal band also features DETONATION drummer Michiel.

RESURRECTED has picked Fierce as the title for its sixth album. The CD was recorded at Catacomb Productions.

ASPHYX has picked Death…The Brutal Way as the title for its return album, which is now due in July through Century Media Records. The album was mixed by Dan Swano at his Unisound room.

A thrashing soap opera! DESTRUCTION is back on the bill of the Chris Witchhunter Tribute Concert, which is taking place on Saturday, April 11. Singer/bassist Schmier had pulled DESTRUCTION out of the tribute to the dead drummer apparently due to a conflict on the placing of the band’s name on the event’s poster. HOLY MOSES, TANKARD, PROTECTOR and DARKNESS are playing the show. SODOM is headlining.

After seven years of existence AS I LAY DYING is issuing its first full-length DVD. This Is Who We Are is comprised of three discs and out April 14.

California’s PATHOLOGY will release its album, Age Of Onset, on May 26th through Comatose Music.

Inspired by KEEL? The reformed UNANIMATED will release its new album, In The Light (The Covenant Of Death), in April through Regain Records.

ENDSTILLE will release its sixth album, entitled Verführer, in April through Regain Records.

ARALLU’s Desert Battles – Descending To The Sands is out this month or next through Raven Music. The Israeli band’s album features a video as a teaser for an upcoming DVD.

MAYHEM will celebrate its 25th anniversary by touring North America in May and June with MARDUK, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, CATTLE DECAPITATION and WITHERED.

Inspired by KEEL? Stockholm, Sweden’s DESULTORY has reunited after a 13-year absence and signed a deal with Pulverised Records. Former bassist Håkan Morberg is now on lead guitar, while Jojje Bohlin is the band’s bassist.

CHILDREN OF BODOM is compiling a dozen or so cover versions it has recorded over the years and issuing them on one disc in the autumn.

America’s DARK EMPIRE has parted ways with singer Jens Carlsson who is better known for his role in PERSUADER and SAVAGE CIRCUS. The singer’s base of Sweden made touring and rehearsing difficult.

Guitarist Alex Auburn has left/been asked to leave CRYPTOPSY after a ten-year tenure. The guitarist is looking for a new group to join.

Denmark’s URKRAFT has called it a day and consequently made its recorded album, A Scornful Death, available for download free of charge. Browse this site: http://www.urkraft.dk/the-end/

Inspired by KEEL? TOXIK is working on a DVD after reuniting to write new material and play a show or two.

Inspired by KEEL? Greek grindcore band HOMO IRATUS has reunited after a two-year absence. The band’s original guitarist Kostas is back.

ALL SHALL PERISH has replaced guitarist Chris Storey with newcomer Jason Richardson. The guitarist was fired due to interpersonal differences. The band is headlining the The Atticus Metal Tour.

Norwegian thrashers PICA FIERCE have gone on an indefinite hiatus.

America’s SATHANAS released its new album, Nightrealm Apocalypse, on February 28th through Pagan Records. The CD was mixed by Tore Sternja at Necromorbus Studio in Stockholm, Sweden.

MADDER MORTEM will release a new album, called Eight Ways, on May 18th through Peaceville Records.

Belgian band CRIMSON FALLS has signed a deal with Genet Records. The band will release its second album, Fragments Of Awareness, next month.

Chris Reifert, Danny Coralles and Eric Cutler have recorded two songs for a new AUTOPSY single called Horrific Obsession. The single is available through Peaceville. Severed Survival will be reissued as well to celebrate the album’s twentieth anniversary.

MALEVOLENT CREATION is hitting Singapore, Indonesia and Australia next month.

TARDY BROTHER, featuring OBITUARY singer John and drummer Donald, will release its debut album Bloodline on April 7th through Candlelight Records. The band features XECUTIONER (pre-OBITUARY) guitarist Jerry Tidwell.

Candlelight Records has announced its third label packaged tour for North America. Set to kick off on June 6th, CIII will feature ABSU with support coming from France’s GLORIOR BELLI, Austin-based AVERSE SEFIRA and Los Angeles-based SOTHIS. The tour will pass through 22 cities in the USA and Canada.

Why didn’t anyone think of this before? EXTREMA has finally completed the recording process of the new album Pound For Pound, which is set to be released in May on Scarlet Records. It contains a cover version of another band’s song namely KISS’ Deuce.

Candlelight Records has picked up SUSPERIA. The Norwegians were previously on Tabu Records, but were licensed and distributed by Candlelight Records. The band’s next album is completed and will be issued in June.

Jaučiant Pabaigą Arti (Feeling The End Is Near) is the title for the new LUCTUS album and the band’s debut full-length for Ledo Takas Records. It is out now. The label is also re-issuing old material from Lithuania’s DISSECTION, namely the demos Suffocating Syndrom from 1992 and Pyramid Of Hate from 1993.

NAILDOWN has recruited drummer Heikki Saari of NORTHER.

Drummer Gaetan “Gate” Bourassa of the Canadian thrashers AGGRESSION dies last month in the Laval neighbourhood of Montreal at the age of 43 after overdosing on drugs and suffering a heart attack. Many tributes shall flow.

EMBEDDED will release its new album, Beyond The Flesh, this autumn through DB Agency. The album was recorded at the Soundlodge Studio in Germany.

The debut album of Spanish thrash metal band AGGRESSION is called MoshPirit and due out soon through Xtreem Music. The album includes nine tracks, five of which were included in the band’s Thrashing Your Brain demo.

MORTIFICATION is still around and will issue an album called The Evil Addiction Destroying Machine in the name of Jesus Christ in June through the band’s own Rowe Productions.

CHAOSANCT, which features former CRADLE OF FILTH guitarist James McIlroy and former BIOMECHANICAL drummer Matt C. has recruited former AKERCOCKE guitarist Paul Scanlan who is also in SKALDIC CURSE.

Members of BLUT AUS NORD have formed a new industrial project called 777.

German death metal band HACKNEYED has lost guitarist iX and replaced him with Juan Sierra.

THANATOS will release its newest album album, Justified Genocide, on March 15th through Deity Down Records. It was mixed by Dan Swano at Unisound.

U.K’s NO CONSEQUENCE has signed with Basick Records. The band’s debut album, In The Shadow Of Gods, is due in August.

Three ACID DRINKERS albums are being remastered and rereleased by rerelease label, Metal Mind Productions. These are Dirty Money, Dirty Tricks, Streap Tease and Are You A Rebel?

Turin, Italy black metal band GRIMWALD has released a new demo, entitled The Legend Of The Raven.

Ukraine’s MENTAL DEMISE has issued its second album, Final Step To Future Madness, through Spain’s Xtreem Music.

EXUMER which is playing its reunion shows in Greece and Germany this April, has completed its line-up with the addition of a German drummer called J.P. Rapp. The band’s affairs are being managed by SODOM’s people.

FAITH OR FEAR has reformed again and signed a deal with Lost And Found Records. The band has finished recording new and older material towards a new CD, called Instruments Of Death, which is due in May.

DISMEMBER‘s Tobias Cristiansson will play bass for GRAVE for two shows in Mexico this month. Apparently, GRAVE bassist Fredrik Isaksson had already booked a holiday trip and would not re-reschedule.

MASTIC SCUM has lost singer Will to “musical differences.” The new man is Maggo Wenzel of INZEST, TRISTWOOD and WATCH ME BLEED. MASTIC SCUM is recording a new album.

Bret Hoffmann (MALEVOLENT CREATION) has posted the first video for his band DOWN THE DRAIN. The band’s video for Back Of My Hand at www.myspace.com/downthedrain. The band has finished its second album Ground Pounder and awaiting its release later this year.

Candlelight Records has signed England’s ANAAL NATHRAKH to a worldwide deal. The duo is currently in the studio working on its label debut titled In The Constellation Of The Black Widow. The album is expected to have a summertime release.

Xtreem Music has released a DEMILICH 12” LP of the band’s 1993 album Nespithe. It is adorned in “Red Wax Splattered In Black.”

Jyväskylä, Finland’s SOULFALLEN will release its second studio album this spring. Titled Grave New World the album was recorded in studio Watercastle by Arttu Sarvante, while mastering was done by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios. The album will be released by Off Records Finland while distribution will be done by Firebox Records/Firebox Export.


Metallian Hard

mg src="bpmet2.gif">IAN GILLAN’s newest album, One Eye To Morocco, is out this month through Eagle Rock.

LOUDNESS is working on a new album featuring a new drummer. It is the band’s first post-Munetaka Higuchi. The band is touring Japan playing songs exclusively from its first four albums, The Birthday Eve, Devil Soldier, Law Of Devil's Land and Disillusion.

KROKUS has signed a deal with Sony Music for Switzerland only and subsequently is preparing to record a new album.

Newly signed to Sensory, Greek progressive metallers PERSONA NON GRATA (Latin for "an unwelcome person") has issued its debut full-length Shade In The Light.

DREAMLAND has completed recording its Exit 49 album at Andy La Rocque's Sonic Train Studio. It is due for release on April 22nd through Dockyard 1 Records.

My Kingdom Music has issued MORTAL FORM’s Taste The Blood, LAST WARNING’s Throughout Time and signed funeral doom band MAJESTIC DOWNFALL.

AXE has been confirmed for this year's South Texas Rock Fest, which will take place May 22-24 in San Antonio, Texas.

Inspired by KEEL? GUANO APES has been booked for Nova Rock Festival, which will take place June 19-21 on the Pannonia Fields in Burgenland, Austria.

BLAZE has picked The Night That Will Not Die as the title for its live DVD, which is due this month through Blaze Bayley Recordings. The DVD was filmed on December 13, 2008 at Z7 in Pratteln, Switzerland.

BLACK MESSIAH’s First War Of The World album is out on March 20th through AFM Records.

Guitarist Mike Stone has quit QUEENSRŸCHE in order to focus on his project, SPEED X. The band’s American Soldier album is out through ATCO this month.

On July 10, 2009 MANOWAR will headline the Norway Rock taking place in Kvinesdal. This will be the Americans only appearance in Scandinavia this year.

ILLNATH has recruited keyboardist Larz Munch.

Bassist Oliver Holzwarth (BLIND GUARDIAN) has joined Britain’s POWER QUEST.

Guitarist Ira Black has quit LIZZY BORDEN and will concentrate on PROPHESY.

UFO is recording a new album in Germany, but bassist Pete Ways is on hiatus due to illness of the liver.

Guitarist Jesper Strömblad of IN FLAMES has signed up for rehabilitation in order to get a grip on his alcoholism. In a bout of band cohesion and loyalty IN FLAMES will tour South America and Asia this spring with Niclas Engelin of ENGEL.

It took them 15 years? AFTER FOREVER has called it a day. A reunion has not been announced yet.

Michael Schenker’s next album is an acoustic outing featuring singer Gary Barden and is called Gipsy Lady. The album is out next month and will be followed by touring. The band is going under the SCHENKER BARDEN ACOUSTIC PROJECT name.

Thou Shalt Not Kill! Nightmare Metal Fest II will give all American military personnel and their families who attend the second annual progressive and power heavy metal festival 25% off the price of admission. Nightmare Metal Fest II will be held at The Warehouse Music Venue, 1303 E Houston St. on the weekend of March 20-21, 2009.

WOLFCRY has finished the recordings of its fourth album, Glorious. The mastering of the album was done at Jailhouse Studio in Denmark by Tommy Hansen (HELLOWEEN/PRETTY MAIDS, etc.)

KISS is hitting Venezuela for the first time this April 17 at La Riconda Hippodrome in Caracas. The band is also hitting Argentina and Brazil.

Could a grave Digger be claustrophobic? Veteran guitarist Thilo Herrmann has left GRAVE DIGGER after a short year with the group. The band was not jelling and missing the extra space on stage!

According to MACHINE HEAD main man, Rob Flynn, he briefly quit the band last year in France whilst the band was on tour with SLIPKNOT. Flynn has had a running interpersonal difference with bassist Adam Duce.

AMORPHIS has picked Skyforger as the title for its next album, which is out on May 29th through Nuclear Blast Records.

Southern Lord Recordings has signed Chicago heavy-rock instrumental band PELICAN. The band is at Red Room studio in Seattle, WA recording an EP and also touring this month with label-mates WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM.

DAVID T. CHASTAIN will release a compilation of his instrumentals, called Heavy Excursions, in April through Leviathan Records.

Aki Salonen of NEVEREND has become a full-time bassist of GLORIA MORTI.

SUNN O))) is releasing its seventh studio album, after 10 years of existence, entitled Monoliths & Dimensions in May through Southern Lord. The album features orchestral and horn parts.

CANDLEMASS bassist Leif Edling will issue his first solo album, Songs Of Torment - Songs Of Joy, on March 10th through Candlelight Records. The style is doom metal.

HEAVEN AND HELL has picked The Devil You Know as the title for its debut album, due on April 28th through Rhino Records. Several titles are Rock & Roll Angel, Bible Black and Eating the Cannibals.

Wimp no more! EMBRAZE has thrown in the towel after 15 years. The group's farewell show will be held at Club Teatria on May 1.

Century Media Records has announced May 19th as the release date for Slaves Of The World, the latest album by OLD MAN’s CHILD. DARKANE’s Peter Wildoer is on drums.

THRESHOLD will headline the opening day of Rotherham Rocks in Rotherham, England on 8th of May, 2009. Other bands on the bill include KYRBGRINDER which is fronted by THRESHOLD drummer Johanne James.

American white metal band CAGE will release its latest album, Science Of Annihilation, on May 22nd independently through Music Buy Mail.

Snowy Shaw, known for his work with DREAM EVIL, KING DIAMOND and MERCYFUL FATE, has launched his own record company, simply called Snowy Shaw Productions. The first release from the label will be the debut album from the glam rock act XXX, entitled Heaven, Hell Or Hollywood?, which is licensed to Perris Records in the USA.

STONELAKE is preparing for the release of a new album called Shades Of Eternity. The album was once again recorded and mastered at UMP Unlimited Music Production Studio in Furulund, Sweden by Jan Åkesson.

Former SENTENCED guitarist Miika Tenkula was found dead at his home on February 19th. He was 34 years old and no official reason was given.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's new compilation Skullage is due on April 21st. It will be released in three different formats, namely CD, DVD and CD/DVD.

Inspired by KEEL? BARON ROJO is reuniting for a show at this year's Metalway Festival, which is taking place in June in Zaragoza, Spain. The band is singer and guitarist Carlos de Castro, guitarist Armando de Castro, bassist José Luis Campuzano and drummer Hermes Calabria.

After its success with the independent film Anvil! The Story Of Anvil, the band ANVIL is now with SLAYER's manager and COLDPLAY's booking agent companies.

DOWNSPIRIT is a new hard rock band formed by current SYMPHORCE and former FREEDOM CALL guitarist Cedric Dupont. The band has recruited DOMAIN bassist Steven Wussow as it prepares to record a debut.

Following the departure of drummer Matt Suiter bassist Dustin Mitchell is the only member left standing in KATAGORY V. Curtis Morrell’s departure has meant a loss of songs forcing the bassist to begin writing songs and new members after his decision to continue the group. He has recruited vocalist Albert Rybka and drummer Matthew 'Bizzaro' Lefevre.

Singer Tony Gambino of BLESSED BY A BROKEN HEART was hospitalized last month suffering from meningitis. Despite his being Canadian and enjoying national healthcare the man is asking for financial assistance to alley the cost of his treatment.

QUEENSRYCHE has set up a telephone number to commemorate its new album, American Soldier. The number is (206) 260 1215.

DARK CASTLE is hitting the road this month as a warm-up for the touring expected after the release of the band’s first full-length, Spirited Migration, which is due out on At A Loss Recordings in late April/early May of 2009.

LION'S SHARE has signed a Japanese deal with King Records for the release of its sixth full-length album, Dark Hours, which was issued elsewhere through Blistering Records.

Money talks! After attacking one another for much of last year DEF LEPPARD and POISON have banded with opener CEAP TRICK for an American tour spanning the entire summer.


Metallian Demos

DEVASTATOR – BURN THE BEAST
This California trio was once called Atrosity. The band had to change their name because Atrocity was taken but then they went ahead and chose a moniker that is even more certain to have been taken, not to mention that they surely should and would have known that Atrocity was already taken. Questionable decision-making aside Devastator is early thrash and speed metal with clear roots in Flag Of Hate era Kreator, Violence, Testament and Exodus. Devastator also dab into something that was once called crossover and played by the likes of DRI. Burn The Beast is the band’s fourth demo, it contains five songs running at 28 minutes with perhaps better than expected and strong production courtesy of Juan Urteaga (Testament, Machine Head). Two of the songs, March Of The Wicked and Rise Of The Undead, are not new and are featured on Burn The Beast in ‘revised formats’. Good, nostalgic fun. Feel the blast at www.myspace.com/devastatorblast. - Anna Tergel

DERELICT – UNSPOKEN WORDS
Derelict bear the intensity of the At The Gates’ Slaughter Of The Soul and Strapping Young Lad and mix elements of the likes of Cryptopsy. Quebec strikes once again. This 12 track 48 minutes blast abates only for short progressive and (ala Cryptopsy) slapstick comedy moments that the band prefer to call stepping ‘outside of their comfort zone’. Those, and indeed every other, moments only serve to prove that the Quebec scene is alive. Moments like the beginning of Pirates and Xenocide, the middle of Forth With The Herd and the end of Unspoken Words Part 1: Demonizing can all be accepted as typical and obligatory Quebec style humour simply because the rest is also done in true Quebec blasting style. Instead of signing 10 useless non-metal folk bands the so-called metal labels should jump on Derelict and promote the brutality. Check out the band at www.myspace.com/derelictmetal. - Anna Tergel

SOS – ADULT SITUATIONS
In the sea of tacky and useless CD covers many bands demonstrate they have no idea what they should use as artwork. Silly logos sit on top of stock pictures or drawings with little relevance or significance. A boring cover is either indicative of boring music or a band that just has forgotten to put the final changes on its album or demo. SOS is one of those bands that has no inspiration for its cover. The difference is that instead of picking a silly little diagram or figure for its cover the SOS boys have done something elegant. The band and demo name are plastered in white over a black background. That is called simplicity.
SOS has been around, the band’s biography insists, and is something of a veteran band. The music is indeed mature and professional. The sound is as tight as the band’s delivery. For some reason – probably the vocalist’s attitude – SOS reminds one of Danzig or Misfits. The bravado and the attitude give the hard rock/punk stylings a boost, but other names come to mind too. Circus of Power’s wild chords, hardcore’s abandons (and later drift into pop) are audible on Adult Situations. The band is from New York after all, you know? The experiments or variations of the vocalist, in contrast, are detrimental to the flow and power of these songs.
Enthusiasts of genres like hard rock, grunge and hardcore have a little bit of their likes in Adult Situations. Is the band good enough to make it? Maybe, maybe not. After all, most signed or famous bands are inferior to SOS and its twelve songs here. Read more by visiting www.sosnyc.com or www.316productions.com. – Ali “The Metallian”

TAGHUT – EJACULATE UPON THE HOLY QUR’AN
Unbelievably the cover of this disc depicts exactly what the title promises. Taghut is a New York underground band with a lot of aggression, anger and noise. The band has a special place in its heart for Muslims and the Koran (or Qur’an), but is not about to leave Christianity and Judaism alone either. In fact, if the “Sieg heils” are to be believed only Nazis escape the wrath of the Taghut members. Oddly enough, the group disclaims politics in the liner notes while making sure it thanks only its white countrymen!
The music is a barrage of deathly aggression filled with processed vocals and drums that sound distinctly programmed. The words are not difficult to decipher though. The guitars clash with the rhythm and wail in tremolo. The pace is mid to fast and the production rough and unyielding. It is the lyrics, however, that drive and propel this lot. Boy, imagine the publicity if Taghut decides to, er, promote itself a bit further afield. One cannot but think how this band would have felt right at home on the old Turbo label of so many years ago. A tour with Beherit would have been the first order of business. – Ali “The Metallian”

MYSTICAL GATE – OUT OF CONTROL
Mystical Gate (potential Kataklysm influence here) has a fairly original sound with melodies that could be ethnic folk, but have been twisted into monstrous riffs. The vocals are gargantuan, accompanied by backing vocals that are different and the production as mechanical as the band’s style. Yet, it is the bass guitar that makes itself the most noticeable. The wooden four strings have a distinct thud too them. It is not as preposterous as Meshuggah but the bass on Out Of Control is loud and gigantic. This is unfortunately negated (or balanced depending on your point-of-view) by the weird effects emanating from the synthesizers. That is too bad. The band should logically sign to a Season of Mist or Listenable with this sound then. It is a full-length with multimedia and a grossly cool cover artwork. www.mgbrutal.com or write to mysticalgate@gmail.com. - Anna Tergel

THE COTTON SOETERBOEK BAND – TWISTED
Featuring members of Ayreon, Halford and After Forever it is surprising that the listener is met with something of a laid back blues and southern rock song in Set Me Free, the opener. Perhaps the best comparisons can be made to the likes of Whitesnake, Deep Purple and Lynard Skynard and that is in everything including the vocal styles of Robert Soeterboek and the keyboards of Joost van den Broek. Encountering and indeed a band releasing such an album in the 21st century is, if nothing else, unusual. Song titles like Pretty Maureen, Leave Me Blue, Little Sister and even Still Of The Night explain and take it further for this quintet. A song like Twisted, for example, is in many ways a complete journey to the ‘70’s. Colorado and Leave Me Blue, like many others, conjure images of blues bands of the past and in that sense Twisted is a success. Little Sister is more a Deep Purple or Whitesnake type while Gold And Gray and Still Of The Night are 100% southern rock. The album closer, The Game, takes a very slight turn away but is nevertheless just rock. Contact the band at www.cottonsoeterboekband.com. - Anna Tergel