Metallian Heavy

Taiwan-based FATUOUS RUMP has an album called I Am At Your Disposal through Brutal Mind and Fat Tub Of Lard on April 28th. It is an introduction to the band’s new bassist Daniel Chen as well.

Avantgarde Music is issuing CURSEBINDER Drifting album, which is described as psychedelic black metal from Poland and ARGENTHORNS’ The Ravening, which is described as symphonic black metal from Finland.

Season Of Mist has signed MISCREANCE. The Italy-based death metal group will release a new album as well as the re-issue of its 2022 release Convergence.

Det Österbottniska Mörkret is the name of the new album this May on Black Lion Records by Finland-based black metallers ONDFODT. The band has a video for the song Tvelatan. This band has keyboards.


SUFFOCATION is touring Europe this spring using The Warmth Within The Dark monicker.

WATAIN, BÖLZER and CONCRETE WINDS are touring Europe using the Agony & Ecstasy over Europe monicker.

TOTAL INVASION has its debut EP Invasion Zone released through Brutal Mind. The band is described as death metal.

Dave Lombardo has joined a new extreme band called EMPIRE STATE BASTARD for its mini-tour of the UK this month.

HATEBREED singer Jamey Jasta, who owns the right to the name Milwaukee Metal Fest, has announced the return of the festival in Wisconsin, USA this May. Bands appearing include RAVEN, MACHINE HEAD, OBITUARY, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, LAMB OF GOD, CROWBAR, ANTHRAX, FEAR FACTORY and JUNGLE ROT.

NEIL TURBIN, the early ANTHRAX singer, is touring Brazil in April with material from the Fistful Of Metal album.

Formed by ex-members of SHADOWFLAG, VOLTANE and LORD MISERY, GORGONCHRIST has a demo called Fish In A Mountain on March 10th. The band is described as crust punk, metal and grindcore and compared to FUKPIG. The line-up is Jaff – bass/vocals, Carps – guitar/vocals and drummer Si.

Death/grind group BRED FOR SLAUGHTER has an EP called Here You’re Born… Here You Die through Horror Pain Gore Death.

Bay-area death-doom group LARVAE will release a new album, called Entitled To Death, through Fucking Kill Records in April. The band is vocalist/ guitarist/ engineer Brad Kobylczak (EULOGY, KURU, MACHINE HEAD and GREEN DAY), bassist Wyatt Culbertson (BORN/DEAD and ABRUPT) and Eric Evert (REBELS ADVOCATE) on drums.

The Decibel Magazine Tour in Canada and the USA this May features DARK FUNERAL, CATTLE DECAPITATION, 200 STAB WOUNDS and BLACKBRAID.

Canada-based drone duo THEY GRIEVE has a record called To Which I Bore Witness through Silent Pendulum Records. This was produced by Topon Das of FUCK THE FACTS and features keyboards, synthesizers and piano.

EYEHATEGOD will tour the USA for its 30 Years of Take As Needed For Pain tour. GOATWHORE shall open. The band is also playing the Take As Needed For Pain album of 1993 in its entirety at Decibel Metal & Beer Fest.

UK-based COLPOCLEISIS will release a new album, entitled Elegant Degradation, through Reality Fade Records on 03.03.2023.

Finland-based solo act UNOHDUS has independently released Niin Turhaan Tähdet Valaisivat Meitä, which features two tracks of melodic and atmospheric music. The lyrics delve into the emotions sparked by mankind’s foolishness and self-destructiveness. The act being Finnish, a violin is included.

Australia-based WILDEORNES has a demo called On The Earth, Under The Sky. Compared to BATHORY, On the Earth, Under the Sky is a concept with tracks 1 to 5 being new and 6 to 9 reworked songs from the 2021’s Gæð Wyrd A Swa Hio Scel… The CD reflects this concept with two matching front covers and separate track listings.

EMPEROR, which has not released new music in twenty years, has a mini-tour of the USA lined up for June and July.

VIO-LENCE drummer Perry Strickland has been let go. In the age of interchangeable project temps, Adrian Aguilar (EXMORTUS) has been recruited. VIO-LENCE has also added that guitarist Phil Demmel cannot travel to Asia, Australia or New Zealand and will be temporarily replaced by Miles Dimitri Baker (VOIDBRINGER and INTERLOPER).

Artist Brent Elliott White, responsible for the artwork for MEGADETH’s latest record The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! As well as two previous albums, is suing the band and its label Universal for non-payment of fees and using his work without agreement. In the meantime, former MEGADETH guitarist Marty Friedman joined the band at its concert at Tokyo’s Budokan last month. The Tokyo-based guitarist joined the band for three songs during the encore.

FULCI has a DVD called Tropical Sun – The short movie, which is accompanied with a 7″ of its soundtrack through Time To Kill Records.It celebrates the passion for Lucio Fulci’s zombie movies and death metal.

UK-based thrash metal group KING ABYSS has a demo called Snake Oil.

Italy-based LITOST has a demo called Pathos. The band explains that the monicker is “a term coined by the Czech philosopher Milan Kundera and related to introspection and human misery.”

Italy-based thrash metal group FURIOUS BARKING has a compilation of rare or unreleased material. We Will Meet One Day (The Anthology 1989-1993) is due through Rude Awakening Records this month.

For fans of DEMOLITION HAMMER and SODOM, Horror Pain Gore Death is releasing USA-based thrash metal act KRULLUR’s Dead Live! Album this month.

Germany-based WRACK has signed with Crawling Chaos Records to release its second full-length album. It follows the debut Gram Und Gleißende Wut from thirteen years ago. The label manager had seen the band perform at Ketzer Fest in 2009.

TRAGEDY STRUCK FIRST has uploaded a song called That Which Leaves Us Hollow through One Eyed Toad Records. It is a collaboration between VESICARUM vocalist Grymm Neve and WICKED STONE guitarist Dave Austin. The band reports influences from ARCHSPIRE and SHADOW OF INTENT.

Aesthetic Death is releasing MEGALITH LEVITATION‘s third full-length album, Obscure Fire, on March 31st. The band’s line-up remains the same.

Season Of Mist has signed Italy-based doom/black act PONTE DEL DIAVOLO.

Condemned To Be Doomed from 1988 by crossover band SCARECROW has been re-released by re-release specialist Golden Core. The band was founded as BEATFIX in 1987.

Sweden-based IRONMASTER will release a new album, called Weapons Of Spiritual Carnage, through Black Lion Records in April. The band features current and ex-members of DARK FUNERAL, SCAR SYMMETRY, RAUBTIER, CARNAL FORGE, and FACEBREAKER. The band has a lyric video for Bringer Of Deception.

Germany-based “atmospheric black metal” group NEMESIS SOPOR has a demo called Firmament on CD (limited to 300 copies) and LP (limited to 200 copies).

VISION DEPRIVED will release its debut album Self Elevating, Deep Inside The Void, through Slaughterhouse Records on March 28th. The band was originally founded by drummer Carlo (GREEDY MISTRESS, MORAL VALUES and producer and sound engineer at the Toxic Basement Studio) and bassist Aldo (CAIN and BANG BANGALOW) and welcomed Elias (END) on guitar and Alberto (FORGED IN BLOOD and EPHYRA) on vocals. The band is compared to INFESTER.

Germany-based BLOODJOB is issuing an EP, called Metastasis, through Lethal Scissor Records this month.

BURNING WITCHES will release its next album, entitled The Dark Tower, through Napalm Records in May. There is a video for the title track, which references Elisabeth Bathory.

BIRDFLESH’s Sickness In The North is out through Everlasting Spew Records on 21st April.

Black Tears has a deal with SCHIZO and Apocalypse Extreme Agency to release the live album Live From Collapse, which was released on vinyl in 2022, on CD. The album contains the live version of the Main Frame Collapse record from 1989 and was recorded during a concert at Traffic Club in Roma, during the 30 Years Of Collapse Show in February 2020.

Death metal group COLPOCLEISIS releases the Elegant Degradation album through Reality Fade Records on March 3rd.

Serbia-based KOLAC’s upcoming album is a self-titled loose concept record featuring nine new tracks and an intro revolving around the usage of stakes (‘Kolac’ in Serbian) as a punishment method in the Middle Ages. It is out on Pest Records. KOLAC played at the Metal Fest in Sarajevo, Bosnia on Saturday, the 25th of February.

The band is described as funeral doom metal, but features violins and cellos! MESMUR’s new album is entitled Chthonic. The title is based on the Greek word for ‘underworld.’ Guest organ is from Kostas Panagiotou of PANTHEIST to whom Jeremy and John of MESMUR contributed guitars and drums for the 2021 record Closer To God.

The Grey Zone Phobia is the latest release by gothic /industrial/metal solo project DERHEAD. It shall be released through Brucia Records on March 30th.

USA-based NECRONOMICON EX MORTIS, featuring friends from Berklee,has a debut self-titled demo this March. The band is compared to a mix of OBSCURA and RACER X and has an advance song called Celestial Tomb.

Politically charged crossover band UTILITARIAN will release a new demo, called Gaslights, on April 7th.

The band calls itself “groove/death metal” but has its music inspired by TOOL and MUDVAYNE: USA-based YOTUMA has uploaded a song called Traveler off a demo called Otherworldly Incarnate, which is due out later this year.

NILE, OMOPHAGIA, VAPOR and CONFESS are using the Vile Nilotic Rites European Tour 2023 monicker for their trek beginning next month. OMOPHAGIA and NILE have toured together with HATE ETERNAL on the Vile Desolate Sands Tour of 2019 as well.

Death/grind act HERETIC PLAGUE has its debut Context Is A Stumbling Corpse out through Selfmadegod Records on April 7th. The band is compared to NASUM and CRYPTOPSY.

Canada-based solo act MAUDIIR has a demo called Soliloque out on April 7th. The man has uploaded a song called L’Éloge Du Cuivre. The band is deemed to be thrash, but the song is reportedly a mixture of HELMET and PRONG instead.

Metallian Hard

VOIVOD is touring the USA first with IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT in May and then flying to Europe with a tour with EXODUS and TESTAMENT. The band’s USA concerts are part of VOIVOD's 40 Years Of Morgöth Tales tour. The band is working on a release called Morgöth Tales, featuring self cover versions, as well.

RED CAIN is following up the uploads of its Fisher King and Blight songs with a demo called Näe'bliss on April 28th. This full-length is a homage to the world of Robert Jordan's fantasy The Wheel Of Time.

DEVIN TOWNSEND had a 2007 album called Ziltoid The Omniscient. Incendium and Opus Comics are issuing a Ziltoid comic book priced at $6.66 (US) in April.

FORMOSA is issuing a demo called Bittersweet through its own Metalmosa imprint.

GHOST and AMON AMARTH are touring the USA this summer.

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is touring Europe in May. The band will also appear at Desertfest London and Desertfest Berlin.

Original AC/DC singer Dave Evans is commemorating his former band’s 50th anniversary by touring in multiple countries playing early AC/DC tracks, as well as cover versions the act would play. Evans was with the band from 1973 to 1974 and more recently offered to rejoin when Brian Johnson was unable to tour in 2016.

Former DEEP PURPLE singer Glenn Hughes is touring Iberia in May. He is performing material from his former band’s Burn album from 1974, as well as other material. He is using the Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple Live - Celebrating The 50th Anniversary Of The Album Burn monicker. He is also taking the act to the UK in the autumn.

DREAM THEATER's concert in Oulu, Finland on February 3rd was cancelled after the stage set-up and rigs were deemed insufficient by the promoter.

Danish guitarist THOR SEJERSEN RIIS (INNSMOUTH) has a record called The Eternal Now through Lion Music.

BRITISH LION is touring Europe between May and July. Openers include AIRFORCE, STRAY and DARKTRIBE. The act is also appearing at Hellfest and Sweden Rock Festival.

USA-based LUNAR has a new demo called The Illusionist with an advance upload called Showtime featuring a guest guitar solo by PALADIN's Taylor Washington. The nine-track concept tells the story of a magician. The Illusionist is distributed by HELION PRIME’s Saibot Reigns imprint. Drummer Alex Bosson is in both bands.

Australia-based modern hard rock band THUNDERBLOOD has a demo called The Final Beginning.

ANTHEM’s next album is called Crimson & Jet Black and out through Ward Records in April. The band will conduct a Crimson & Jet Black Tour 2023 in Japan in May.

Early RUNNING WILD guitarist Michael "Majk Moti" Kupper has died at age 65.

VANDENBERG has a video for the song House On Fire, which is taken from the Sin album being issued by Mascot Records. Mats Leven is on vocals.

OZZY OSBOURNE has announced that, due to injuries suffered four years ago, he once again has retired from touring. The postponed tour with JUDAS PRIEST for Europe for this spring is cancelled. In his statement, Osbourne alluded to working on a string of concerts when and where he would be able to muster the physicality. Osbourne has reported being afflicted by Parkinson’s disease. Ozzy’s song Degradation Rules, from his 2022 album Patient Number 9, won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance while the full album was awarded best rock album. Guitarist Steve Vai has reported that he and the singer wrote an album’s worth of music in the 1990s. Finally, Osbourne's management has announced he is fine and will perform at Power Trip festival in October.

Time for a bath? Rockshots Records has signed “dirty rockers” BAD BONES for the release of its Hasta El Final! album on March 17th The band has a single called Bandits.The act is Mekk Borra - vocals and guitars, Steve Balocco - bass and vocals and drummer Lele Balocco.

Goth rockers CRADLE OF FILTH have a live album called Trouble And Their Double Lives through Napalm Records in April. The record contains material recorded world-wide between 2014 and 2019.

A violinist called Ava-Rebekah Rahman played three concerts with ACCEPT in Germany last month. She joined the band during the instrumental Samson And Delilah.

After cancelling its announced tour in the summer of 2022 due to ticket sales and higher costs, STRYPER has announced a tour of the USA from the end of March through June.

QUEENSRŸCHE and MARTY FRIEDMAN are touring the USA this month. QUEENSRŸCHE is supporting its Digital Noise Alliance album of 2022. Friedman has been issuing J-pop cover tunes recently.

METAL CHURCH has recruited ROSS THE BOSS and LET US PREY singer Marc Lopes as the replacement for Mike Howe who committed suicide two years ago.

MANOWAR has a single called Laut Und Hart Stark Und Schnell. The song, which translates into ‘Loud And Hard Strong And Fast,’ is released during the band’s current tour of Germany. MANOWAR announced its farewell tour seven years ago.

Twelve of SCORPIONS’ early albums are being released, using the Scorpions - Colours Of Rock marketing title, as coloured vinyl. These are remastered and feature several bonuses.

As predicted by Metallian, the deluge of CHILDREN OF BODOM merchandise continues. This year former members Henri "Henkka T. Blacksmith" Seppälä, Jaska Raatikainen and piano man Janne Wirman will have a book about the band and even offer a special price to subscribers.

PRIMAL FEAR will release an album called Code Red through Atomic Fire in September. It was mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen who has worked with the band before.

TYGERS OF PAN TANG will release a new record, entitled Bloodlines, through Mighty Music in May. Tue Madsen is the producer.

AYMARGEDDON, CONTROL DENIED and PHARAOH singer Tim Aymar has died at the age of 59.

Former TYPE O NEGATIVE musicians Kenny Hickey (vocals and guitar) and Johnny Kelly (drums) and CROWBAR’s Kirk Windstein (vocals and guitar) and Todd Strange (formerly bass) have a new project called EYE AM. The new act is recording a song.

MOONSPELL, ELEINE, OCEANS OF SLUMBER and VINTERSEA will tour North America in May. MOONSPELL had cancelled its previous outing last summer.

FEAR FACTORY has announced unknown Italian singer Milo Silvestro as its latest recruit. The man has been rehearsing with the band for months and will tour with the act immediately. FEAR FACTORY and STATIC-X are touring North America. Pete Webber of HAVOK will drum as Mike Heller has a scheduling conflict. In the meanwhile, the band was caught in a storm and had to cancel the first concert of its tour dates.

Originally issued in September 2019 on Curtain Call Records, stoner act AITTALA has re-released its False Pretenses album through Exitus Stratagem Records. The band is playing several USA concerts this month.

Ten years after his departure, guitarist Richie Sambora reports that he is talking to Jon Bon Jovi to return to BON JOVI.

Italy-based LOGICAL TERROR has an album, called Sides Of The Unknown, through Darktunes Music in May.

Denmark-based ALTAR OF OBLIVION has signed with From The Vaults. The band’s Burning Memories EP is out in the summer of 2023 followed by the full-length album, Proselytes Of The Apocalypse. Both were recorded prior to the pandemic.

Embarrassing lack of knowledge of music and geography: Australia-based Season Of Mist band VOYAGER is representing that country in the Eurovision band contest with a song called Promise.

THE JOE PERRY PROJECT, with EXTREME singer Gary Cherone on vocals, is playing six concerts in the USA in April.

Why are anti-vaxxers such whiners?

Metallian Demos

My relationship with Spain-based Icestorm did not get off to an agreeable start. The Northern Crusades is my first time listening to the band. Spaniards singing of an ice storm and a “northern” crusade comes across as ersatz and feigned. It is not their history, it is not their background, their context or culture. It does not sound convincing. The southern Europeans composing heroic music regarding the Baltic Sea is like all the Korean and Chinese sushi restaurants that are obviously inauthentic.
The publicist elaborates: “Martyrdom on ice. Paganism or the cross. The time has come to join the ranks of Icestorm. Take up your sword and face your destiny.” This makes more sense, but there is still the band’s monicker creating mental dissonance in the reader.
Then there is the phrase “glorious day” about war. The war being heralded as a "glorious day" may be striking a subtle demarcation point in the realm of heavy metal between fantasy and reality, but the band is narrating a true story lest one forgets. Now, the concept may be very thematic and common in metal circles, but aside from hyperbole and metaphors regarding metal’s domination we all must acknowledge that in all seriousness killing is wrong and killing for religion is doubly stupidly wrong. The band may say that they are telling a story and, should that be their stance, they may be correct, but the preceding sentences explain my initial impressions of the band music unheard.
The album kicks off with a narration regarding the battle On the Ice in the year 1242, which involved the northern expansion of catholicism into the Baltics. Past that it is on to the first song proper, called Across The Baltic Sea [Ascent Of The Northern Campaigns] and man what a powerful track this is. It is Amon Amarth that immediately comes to mind both musically and vocally. Although, in a sense the overt influence makes sense after all given that this is a Spain-based act singing of Scandinavia, the Baltics, ice and the cold. Nonetheless, the speed, fury and structure of this song, as well as the rest of this full-length demo, is all the more amazing because it is a concept. These thematic albums usually get bogged down in their story and the music suffers. That is not the case here. Essentially, what you are reading is who needs originality when the songs are this heavy and sublime, the vocals so bombastic and that guitar tone so crunchy and hard? The singer offers multiple tones and occupies as many channels. The singer’s growl is the type that with some attention could be deciphered and understood despite the obvious effects. The snare sound too fares well. Less successful is the clicky bass drums, which so many new bands suffer from. Similarly, the chants and backing vocals which start as early as the second track are superfluous. In this context, the first track would be misleading because it is 100% metal and pure. Still, a track like this one with its chants and folk elements contains barbed-wire sharp guitars and a thick patch of brutality and, moreover, track one is the norm of the material on the disc. Clash Of Titans has keyboards and the phrase “ice storm,” the Power To Fight a sublime Bolt Thrower-ish guitar tone and Novgorod Arise an accomplished and melodic solo. Triumph Of Pagan Warriors that closes the record is more melodious.
A lot of good stuff then here with some stupid keyboards and chanting make this overall and in majority quite recommendable. The material contains less Metallibore - now that I have gone and reviewed the band’s older material - influences than the past and is more impressive than most record company output. Side-note: The spoken word introduction that sets up the story and points to the concept for the demo is interesting at first, but for a reviewer or any repeat listener becomes repetitious soon enough.
Icestorm is extreme stuff that maintains its pace and is tight as hell. This band is to the rescue if Amon Amaarth has gone too melodic and Maiden-ish for you. - Ali “The Metallian”