Metallian Heavy

Ottawa, Canada-based OMINOUS ECLIPSE has a new demo called Sinister.

USA-based heavy metal band MURKOCET has a demo called Digging Mercy’s Grave.

Mosher Records has issued Upcoming Reality the debut full-length by Portuguese technical death metal band TREPID ELUCIDATION.

GUERRA TOTAL and METALUCIFER have issued a split CD through Forgotten Wisdom Productions.

Non Serviam Records is issuing WORMWOOD ‘s Ghostlands – Wounds From A Bleeding Earth on May 10th.

Grindcore group BUCKSHOT FACELIFT (Featuring ARTIFICIAL BRAIN, GREY SKIES FALLEN and THAETAS members) has announced new album, Ulcer Island. It will be issued on April 14th through Paragon Records.

The 2017 edition of Black Mourning Light festival of Edmonton, Canada is set for October 13th and 14th at the Starlite Room. This year’s festival features Canada’s REVENGE (Edmonton), BLASPHEMY (Vancouver), RITES OF THY DEGRINGOLADE (Edmonton) and ANTICHRIST (Vancouver).

Belgium-based black metal band ANDE has issued a demo called Het Gebeente.

Swedish musician Tony Särkkä (a.k.a It) of ABRUPTUM, MARDUK and more has died at the age of 45.

A MARDUK show at the Oakland Metro Operahouse in Oakland, California, USA was cancelled after police could not guarantee its security. MARDUK has displayed NAZI imagery and been pro-war.

Season Of Mist has signed Spain-based ALTARAGE. The death metal act will release its sophomore album on the label in 2017.

Netherlands-based thrash metal band DISTILLATOR will release a full-length album, called Summoning The Malicious, on May 1st through Empire Records. The album was recorded at the band’s own studio and the mix and mastering were done by Dennis Köhne (SODOM, EXUMER, etc.).

Art Gates Records has issued German power metal act FAIRYTALE’s new album, Battlestar Rising.

France-based RIGHT TO THE VOID has recruited a new drummer, Alex Dumas.

Unholy Prophecies is issuing MORBID FLESH’s Rites Of The Mangled album in April. The band is based in Spain.

Romania-based black metal band KATHAROS XIII is set to release its second full-length album six years after its debut, Dead Emotions. Negativity will feature 7 new tracks and is set to be released soon through Loud Rage Music.

ONSLAUGHT will play in Lebanon on June 10th at The Station in Beirut as part of its The Force 30th Anniversary world tour, which kicked off in November, 2016.

Romanian melodic death metal band FALSE REALITY has announced a line-up modification after Marc Spedalska, the bass player who only performed in three live gigs, decided to quit the band following being admitted as a resident neurologist medic in the city of Cluj-Napoca. His replacement is a young bass player from Brasov, the band’s home city. Radu “Snuff” Constantinescu, who was active in the bands CONSEQUENCE and AROUND THE WORLD, has other two active projects, ARREST THE MOMENT and MY BACKYARD TELESCOPE.

MEAT TRAIN is on mainland Europe to play two dates with FLESHCRAWL in Germany and Austria.

Spain-based NORUNDA has issued Irruption through Suspiria Records. The band was formed in 2016.

SLAYER, LAMB OF GOD and BEHEMOTH will tour the USA this summer.

VENOM INC., which features original VENOM members Jeff “Mantas” Dunn (guitar) and Anthony “Abaddon” Bray (drums) alongside ex-VENOM bassist/singer Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan, has signed a record deal with Nuclear Blast. The band’s debut album is tentatively due later this year.

Gods Of Violence, the new album by KREATOR, has entered the charts in Germany at position No. 1.

EVOCATION will release a new album, called The Shadow Archetype, on March 10 through Metal Blade.

Hungary-based “epic pagan death metallers” HEROIC have issued a demo called Barbár.

Kopfjagd, the first demo of WIKING1940, is out featuring three tracks of “pure black metal.” The members are formerly of VIA DOLOROSA and LORD H.

DISBELIEF will release a new album, called The Symbol Of Death, on April 21 through Listenable Records.

ARKHAEON’s Beyond was issued late last year through BergStolz. The black metal is based in Switzerland.

To Live Is To Suffer, the debut album by all-girl band JENNER out of Serbia, is now available through Inferno Records.

The Netherlands-based GOD DETHRONED has picked The World Ablaze as the title for its next album, which is due on May 5th through Metal Blade Records. It is the follow-up to 2010’s Under The Sign Of The Iron Cross and the final chapter to a World War I trilogy.

Blasting Shit To Bits – The Final Show is a documentary, which showcases the final 2012 performance by NASUM. It will premiere at Copenhagen’s Music Film Festival on April 27th to coincide with the band’s 25th anniversary.

Oklahoma City-based trio DISCHORDIA will be hitting the road for The Wastelands Tour this month covering part of the Bible belt in the USA.

HATE will release a new album, called Tremendum, on May 5th through Napalm Records.

Belgium-based COLDBORN’s Lingering Voidwards album was issued by Final Sacrifice Records late last year. The band plays black metal.

Netherlands-based black metal band DYSTOPIA will release a full-length album, called Chaos Philosophorum, onApril 21st. The album was recorded at Studio Helvete in Den Helder and mixed by Thomas Cochrane of TC Music.

FREAKINGS’ Toxic End demo is out this month. The band plays thrash metal.

SO THIS IS SUFFERING has issued the Palace Of The Pessimist full-length worldwide through Unique Leader Records and is touring the USA.

UK-based FOETAL JUICE’s Masters Of Absurdity album is out through Grindscene Records. The band’s style is death metal.

GHOUL is touring Europe.

CATTLE DECAPITATION, WHITECHAPEL, GOATWHORE, ALLEGAEON and NECROMANCING THE STONE are touring the USA as part of the Metal Blade Records 35th Anniversary Tour.

Heidelberg Deathfest or HDDF 2017 is taking place in that city on March 11th. Bands playing include GOD DETHRONED (HOL), HAEMORRHAGE (ESP), DERANGED (SWE), JIG-AI (CZ), ULTIMO MONDO CANNIBALE (ITA), MUCUPURULENT (CD-Release- Show), JAPANISCHE KAMPFHÖRSPIELE, KORPSE (HOL) and FLESHLESS.

Armstrong Metalfest is happening in that city in Western Canada on July 14th and 15th at the Hassen Arena. Bands playing include AGRESSION, CELL, REVOCATION, Vancouver’s ska-metal project NINJASPY and more.

PESTILENCE has picked Hadeon as the title for its 2017 album, which is due in the summer. Alongside singer and guitarist Patrick Mameli the band features Santiago Dobles (AGHORA) on guitar, Alan Goldstein on bass and Septimiu Hărşan (DISAVOWED) on drums.

‘Negative metal’ project REBEL WIZARD has reissued its Triumph Of Gloom full-length demo through Prosthetic Records.


Metallian Hard

GOTTHARD’s drummer Hena Habegger was forced to leave the band's European tour for undisclosed health reasons. Filling in on the tour in support of the Silver album is HELLOWEEN's Dani Löble. In the meanwhile, commenting on the current bout of touring with former members Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske, alongside current singer Andi Deris and guitarist Sascha Gerstner, HELLOWEEN guitarist Michael Weikath has reported that the old members will record at least one new track with the current band.

Greece-based doom metal band REFLECTION will issue an album called Bleed Babylon Bleed next year. The band has a new vocalist called George Thomaidis.

Mighty Music has signed NWOBHM band BLITZKRIEG. The group is writing music for a new album which is due to be recorded in late summer.

HAUNT OF JACKALS, featuring former LEATHERWOLF members Carey Howe and Geoff Gayer, has released its demo, The Chosen.

MVD Entertainment will release the feature film debut of Geoff Tate, formerly of QUEENSRŸCHE. The film is called The Burningmoore Deaths (formerly The Burningmoore Incident) and is a horror piece written and directed by Jonathan Williams.

PRONG will release a new album, called Zero Days, this June through Steamhammer/SPV and also tour Europe.

Sweden-based MEAN STREAK has signed a three-album deal with Japanese label Marquee/Avalon. MEAN STREAK's first release through the label is due to be released on May 31, 2017. The new album Blind Faith will have at least 12 songs and include one Japan-only bonus track. HighVolMusic will issue the album in USA in June while ROAR Rock Of Angels Records will handle Europe.

Vancouver-based progressive band OMNISIGHT has issued a demo called Power Of One. The band is playing a show in its hometown at the Astoria on March 11th.

UK-based hard rock band THE JOKERS has signed a worldwide management deal with German based Rock’N’Growl Management/Promotion.

Newly formed technical death metal band VIRULENT DEPRAVITY has completed work on its debut full-length, Fruit Of The Poisoned Tree. It is set for release on April 7th through The Artisan Era Records. The band is compared to SPAWN OF POSSESSION, FIRST FRAGMENT, ARCHSPIRE and ORIGIN.

MEGADETH was given a Grammy in the Best Metal Performance category for its 2016 album, Dystopia. Grammy is a USA industry award.

VIRULENT DEPRAVITY is the brainchild of guitarist, bassist and vocalist Colin Butler. Joining him are guitarist Malcolm Pugh (INFERI, ex-ENTHEOS) and bassist Svart Crown (ex-BENIGHTED) drummer Kevin Paradis. The band’s Fruit Of The Poisoned Tree is out on April 7th through The Artisan Era Records’ imprint.

Hard rock quintet ROCKSTAR FRAME (RSF) is issuing an album called Bullet For Birthday on March 31st through Musicarchy Media.

AS I LAY DYING’s former singer Tim Lambesis was released from prison in December after serving half of his six-year sentence for conspiracy to have his divorcing wife killed. Lambesis was released in California and transferred to the Division Of Adult Parole Operations. The news was relayed by DOKKEN’s George Lynch whose daughter was formerly engaged to AS I LAY DYING's Nick Hipa.

Frontiers Music will release an album called Saint Of The Lost Souls by HOUSE OF LORDS on March 24th.

Boston, USA-based INTOXICATED RAGE has a demo called Kill The King out soon. The band just played in Toronto, Canada.

THE DARKER MY HORIZON will play at the Riffs Bar in Swindon UK on the 1st April for a fundraiser for singer Steve Grimmett, who is currently in an Ecuadorian hospital after having part of his leg amputated. The man contracted the infection while on tour in South America. The band itself has a new recording called No Superhero.

RED DRAGON CARTEL has recruited Phil Varone (SAIGON KICK, SKID ROW, etc.) on drums. Varone is the replacement for Jonas Fairley.

LABYRINTH will return with a new studio album, called Architecture Of A God, on April 21st through Frontiers Music. The band has reformed with singer Roberto Tiranti. Also in are bassist Nik Mazzucconi, drummer John Macaluso (TNT, RIOT, etc.) and Oleg Smirnoff (VISION DIVINE and EDRITCH) on keyboards.

ASHES OF ARES, featuring former ICED EARTH members Matt Barlow and Freddie Vidales, has lost drummer Van Williams (ex-NEVERMORE) who will focus on GHOST SHIP OCTAVIUS.

HALLATAR, featuring AMORPHIS singer Tomi Joutsen, SWALLOW THE SUN and TREES OF ETERNITY guitarist Juha Raivio and former HIM drummer Gas Lipstick, is issuing No Stars Upon the Bridge through Svart Records. The band claims inspiration from Tomi’s beloved Aleah Starbridge the dead singer of TREES OF ETERNITY.

AVATARIUM will release a record, called Hurricanes And Halos, on May 26th through Nuclear Blast.

63 million Americans voted for Donald Trump. With USA going to the religious right, to the military-industrial complex and old establishment billionaires could this mean a new era of popularity for heavy metal as a means of protest?


Metallian Demos

STRIKER - Same
Not long after 2016's Stand In The Fire the West Canadians are back with a self-titled full-length. It is once again mastered by Fredrik Nordstrom at Studio Fredman. Former Glory jumps straight into hard rock in a way that would play very well in the ‘80s. This Dokken-style hard rock would be a bigger hit in another era. Tim Brown shows that he knows his instrument well and his guitar playing does add to the Dokken feel too. Pass Me By ups the tempo and heaviness somewhat and features screaming backing vocals that elevate the song to something more than hard rock. Born To Lose has a more melodic chorus. Cheating Death is a pseudo-techno sounding intermission. Shadows In The Light retains an up tempo hard rock feel with the highlight once again being Tim Brown. Rock The Night does the cliché title justice with lines like ‘I don't know the reason why ... It's just the way I feel ... To rock the night away.’ Musically it is a power ballad, but without an acoustic start. Over The Top takes a heavier and thicker approach in its riffing but doesn't resist more melodic sections dominated by the vocals of Dan Cleary and the chorus. Freedom's Call is lamenting at the state of the world and features lyrics that yearn for a different one. The song intersperses melodic heavy metal and heavier riffing and solos not far from a German style. Curse Of The Dead is a faster closer with speedy guitars and a few high pitched screams too. Not for the first time the best song is left to the end on a heavy metal album! www.striker-metal.com to capture the glory. – Anna Tergel

DAMMIT! - DARKER AND DARKER
Based in San Francisco and led by guitarist John Gillette this decade old band now features "goth rocker" Caroline Blind on vocals and bass. The trio, complemented by Walter Boland on drums, plays simple heavy rock. The opener is called Just Enough To Lose and is low-key, but somewhat angry song without any complex structure. Darker And Darker is based on the same simplicity but has a bit more variation in tempo and musicianship. Blind's vocals are as simple as the music and rhythm varying between clean and almost spoken word to something close to an angry clenched fist style. Let There Be Light starts off slow and settles on a yet another simple journey, again no crazy solos or technical riffing here. Replacement Feeling is a shorter song clocking in at less than three minutes, perhaps owing to its shorter duration it feels punk-ish for moments, it is as if a crossover influence makes a brief appearance. Short Fuse attempts to be sludgy but remains true to the first three songs' straightforwardness and closes this five song debut EP. Check out www.dammitsf.com. – Anna Tergel

ALPHASTATE – OUT OF THE BLACK
Iron Maiden is one of the most popular heavy metal bands in history and, by extension, it would be natural for the Brits to be one of the more copied of groups. Except, it is not so. While the band's dual guitar harmonies are the subject of a fair bit of plagiarism, the group's overall sound and structure have been fairly well protected.
Greece-based AlphaState is clearly influenced by Maiden, but amusingly not in the conventional way. This quartet, featuring one-third the number of ‎guitarists as the English band, does not dabble in Maiden-like soloing or harmonies or exchanges. Rather, it is the structures and the vocals of its singer Manos that demonstrate the band's fountainhead. Take the first five or six early classic IM albums and set them aside and one could a good impression of the songs on this mid-paced full-length. ‎The sound and attack pick up on the song Great Divide. The guitar and drumming is metallic of course, but make no mistake after a minute Bruce Dickinson is back. Admittedly the vocals are good and the man does not take his influences to an extreme. World’s Control begins slowly and has some minor orchestration, and yes the Greek Bruce is again behind the mike deploying his controlled vocals, but the song is not exciting until it kicks into gear mid-track. One could easily agree with the band that there is no right or wrong on Only Chance, while The System offers some metal whose combination of precise drumming and attacking guitars signals who the band's most interesting instrumentalist is: the drummer. The doubled up vocals offer some variety. One last thing, hearing the lead on the aforementioned Great Divide makes one wonder why the band does not include more of them. They certainly have the chops to do so. - Ali "The Metallian"

A REBEL FEW – AS THE CROW FLIES
It is not A Rebel Few. It is this girl. There is just something inauthentic about a Canadian band playing a style of music similar to Hellyeah and Queens of The Stone Age or Kyuss. The sound is associated with the desert in the US and not anywhere in Central Canada. The band may be Canadian, but devil knows it really has a deep infatuation with the American psyche. It is the style, it is the former monicker West Memphis Suicide, it is the American producer and mastering engineer and hell these guys even sing about Texas and New Orleans. Truth be told, it is not what a metal girl drifts towards. Take that as a disclaimer. On the bright side most of these guys have weaved their hair down. There is just something about men with long hair.
Readers just need to know that the band is a sure bet for fans of Soundgarden, Queens…, Black Label Society and Hellyeah and leave it at that. Want more details? The smoky vocals mix with the wah wah pedal. The song A Rebel Few is the band’s best overall, Said And Done has the best lead and solid riffing. Bitter Man, towards the album’s end, clones Wolfmother’s Joker & The Thief. The song Serious has it all backwards, or is it the American mentality, when it claims ‘it’s not what you do it's how you do it/it’s not what you say it's how you say it’ because actually it is just the opposite. The intention and truth behind the words and deeds are everything. All else is just style and superficial. This is a full-length and a professional package and here is where you go for more details:www.arebelfew.com. - Sheila Wes Det