GRAVE has announced As Rapture Comes as the title for its next album, which is due in July through Century Media...Germany’s Merciless Records has signed NONEUCLID and will soon issue its The Crawling Chaos album…ARCH ENEMY, CHIMAIRA, HATE ETERNAL, GOD FORBID and NEVERMORE (on select shows) will tour as part of the Jagermeister sponsored co-headlining bill this April in Canada and the USA. The trek includes a stop at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival on April 29th. ARCH ENEMY’s Live Apocalypse DVD is also now complete. It will be a two-disc release with the main show being from The Forum in London, U.K (December ’04)…According to Black Lotus Records, VARATHRON has ten new songs almost ready for its upcoming – and as yet untitled – album. Recordings will start later this year and the release is scheduled for early 2007…On June 13th, SHADOWS FALL returns with a new release, Fallout From The War. The record’s sessions were again produced and mixed by Zeuss (HATEBREED and GOD FORBID) at Planet Z Studio…THESYRE has inked a deal with Osmose Productions. The band’s third album and first for the label will be entitled Exist! and is expected to be released later this year. In related news, THESYRE will soon team up with Norway’s AUDIOPAIN in order to release a split 7” vinyl through the Norwegian label Worship Him Records…THE ACCÜSED has signed to Nuclear Blast Records. The label will re-issue 2005’s Oh, Martha! Album…Metal Blade’s GOATWHORE is readying an album which will be entitled A Haunting Curse and will hit stores in September. Three of titles on the album are I Avenge Myself, Alchemy Of The Black Sun Cult and Bloodletting Upon The Cloven Hoof…On May 2nd, AMON AMARTH will release its 3-disc DVD Wrath Of The Norsemen…Italy’s SOUL TAKERS will record a second album in Luigi Stefanini's New Sin Studio in July and August 2006 hoping for a release in early 2007. The band is now signed to the Dragon Heart label…Belgium’s THEUDHO will soon issue a demo entitled The Völsunga Saga. The recording is conceptually based on a late 13th century Icelandic manuscript, according to the band…For the first time in fifteen years SACRIFICE will play together again at the Day Of The Equinox II taking place on Saturday September 23rd, 2006 in Toronto at the Opera House. The band's line-up is the classic quartet of guitarist and singer Rob Urbinati, guitarist Joe Rico, bassist Scott Watts and drummer Gus Pynn. Also performing at the show will be RAMMER, MELECHESH and others…Crash Music has signed an agreement with New Jersey metal band VICIOUS CIRCLE for the release of a new album, called The Art Of Agony, this summer…Upcoming releases on Displeased Records are AGATHOCLES’ Mincer CD, STRIBORG’s Embittered Darkness/Isle De Morts CD, ABOMINATOR’s Eternal Conflagration CD and CIANIDE’s 2CD Ashes To Dust: Demo Anthology…CELTIC FROST will spend September and October touring USA and Canada…KEEP OF KALESSIN, now featuring singer Theban, will issue its next album Armada in May…Paul Marital a.k.a. Themgoroth (ex-DARK FUNERAL and INFERNAL), Gustaf Jorde (ex-DEFLESHED), Peter Tuthill (ex-CONSTRUCDEAD and DOG FACED GODS) and Stefan Norgren (ETERNAL OATH) have a new act called NAILSTATE…HIRAX will release a DVD, called Thrash Til Death, on April 25th through its own Black Devil Records…MALEVOLENT CREATION is currently in pre-production for its tenth studio album, Doomsday X, which is due out in the latter part of 2006 through Nuclear Blast…DIM MAK, featuring drummer John Longstreth (formerly of ORIGIN), will release a new album called Knives Of Ice on April 25th through Willowtip Records…Guitarist Henrik Johansson of the Swedish black metal band APOSTASY was stabbed to death at his home on the 8th of March by his girlfriend…GENERAL SURGERY has had to cancel its announced tour of Europe following the sudden departure of singer Grant McWilliams. The band’s latest album, Left Hand Pathology, is now due in May through Listenable Records…A CANOROUS QUINTET has reformed as THE PLAGUE. The band has a demo called Let The World Burn…Belgium’s KILLER is looking to issue a live album through Mausoleum Records later this year…Germany’s DARK AGE has turfed bassist Torsten Eggert due to the man’s time constraints…EXODUS, SUBZERO and FULL BLOWN CHAOS (THE CLASSIC STRUGGLE dropped off following the injury of drummer Tyler Solnosky) are touring North America this month and next using the North American Abomination 2006 monicker…To coincide with the release of the Reinkaos album, out May 16th, the band is filming a unique video for the song Starless Aeon. Singer and guitarist Jon Nödtveidt comments that the band is, “shooting scenes backwards, with the band literally having to perform their music and sing the lyrics backwards. The filmed sequences have then ultimately been reversed again, with an original backwards sequence playing forwards in sync with the album version of the song. The visual result appears rather sick and disturbing…”…Here are Season Of Mist’s upcoming releases: ANCIENT RITES’s Rvbicon CD and CONFESSOR’s Live In Norway DVD in mid-May, CARPATHIAN FOREST’s Fuck You All!!!! CD in late May, TSJUDER Norwegian Apocalypse and RED HARVEST’s Harvest Bloody Harvest DVD in June, as well as STURMGEIST Uber CD in late June…Canadian label Sinister Sounds will issue BLACKMASS’ Gloria Diaboli and OF HUMAN BONDAGE’s The Goat Sessions Volume II: Antichristendom, A Revelation CDs in late April. The label has signed OCULTAN for the release of the Profanation CD which was previously only available in Brazil through Pazuzu Records…Peter Kubik/Virus 666 has stopped his HELLBOUND and ST. LUCIFER bands and has reformed ABIGOR. The Austrian band was dissolved in 2003 when the main man announced he has had enough of the black metal scene…After failing to find a label for its album, AURORA BOREALIS has decided to self-release its next album, entitled Relinquish, through Nightsky Productions…Christofer Johnsson, the singer and guitarist of THERION and DEMONOID, has announced he will give up his position behind the microphone for both bands. In the meantime, THERION will soon issue a six-disc DVD/CD package called Celebrators Of Becoming…BURDEN OF GRIEF has asked guitarist Ulrich Busch and bassist Dirk Bulmahn to leave the fold. Replacing them are guitarist Johannes "Joe" Rudolph (GUTLOCK) and bassist Florian Bauer (TWILIGHT PROPHECIES)…STRAPPING YOUNG LAD has picked The New Black as the title for its next album, which will be issued in August. The band has been booked to play at this summer’s Ozzfest…NOVEMBRE will soon issue a new album, called Materia, through Peaceville…GORELORD will issue its third album, entitled Norwegian Chainsaw Massacre, on April 1st through Coffin Records…DEATHBREATH, featuring former ENTOMBED drummer Nicke Andersson and former GRAVE vocalist Jörgen Sandström is recording an album called Heading For Decapitation…”Aristocratic French Black Metal legends” CELESTIA have signed on to Paragon Records. The label will re-issue the debut album APPARITIA - Sumptuous Spectre this month. In addition, the label will release the band’s latest album, Frigidiis Apotheosia - Génèse De l'Abstinence…The organizers for the annual festival have already announced the dates for the 2007 editions of the Metalmania Festival. The 2007 dates (21st anniversary) in Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary are as follows: 22nd march 2007, Budapest (H) at Petofi Csornok, 23 March 2007, Zlin (CZ) at Novesta Hall and 24th March 2007, Katowice (PL) at Spodek, cap. 3500. Bands interested in playing should contact firstname.lastname@example.org…LYZANXIA has finished recording its upcoming album Unsu. It was recorded and mixed by Fredrik Nordström and Patrick J. Sten at the new Fredman Studio in Sweden and is expected out in September…Dutch band DESENSETISED is looking for a label to issue its Virus Of Violence CD. The band has a couple of local shows with DEVIOUS and IMPALED NAZARENE next month…DEICIDE singer Glen Benton will be pulling a double shift this month every night performing with DEICIDE and VITAL REMAINS on the bands' The God Killers Tour Part 2" through the USA…Drummer Derek Roddy has abruptly left HATE ETERNAL and been quickly replaced by Kevin Talley. HATE ETERNAL is scheduled to tour with GOD FORBID and ARCH ENEMY this month…BLUT AUS NORD is working on its next album, M.O.R.T. (Metamorphosis Of Realistic Theories). The album will be issued by Candlelight in the autumn time frame.
LOUDNESS took advantage of its North American tour last month to shoot a live DVD at NYC’s B.B. Kings’s…British metal band ELIXIR has signed to Majestic Rock Records, which will issue the band’s Mindcreeper album this summer…DIO’s Holy Diver Live CD is out on April 17th. The album features the entire Holy Diver album, plus classics from the man’s past played live in London last year…IN FLAMES, THROWDOWN, NEVERMORE and EVERGREY will tour the USA in May…Italy’s GLACIAL FEAR has recorded an album which it is shopping to labels. The band is promoting a three-song demo sampler at this point…The title of the upcoming PAIN OF SALVATION album will be Scarsick. The band, which lost its bassist recently, will take its time before choosing a replacement…Season Of Mist’s TWELFTH GATE has issued the following news: “Due to uncontrollable circumstances, singer Scott Huffman will not be performing with TWELFTH GATE during their performance at the Chicago Powerfest - held on April 7th & 8th. Guest singer and close friend of the band, Brent "Red" Erickson, will be handling vocal duties for the show.”…Italy’s DOOMRAISER, in conjunction with its appearance at the Doom Shall Rise festival in Germany, will release a limited edition 7” containing the piece The Old Man To The Child parts 1 and 2 through Oscura Release/Ghost Record. The band has also completed material for a full-length and is looking for a suitable label…Liquor And Poker Music has set a May 30th release date for In Distortion We Trust, the debut full-length by Sweden's CRUCIFIED BARBARA. The all-female quartet, which has been called a cross between MOTÖRHEAD and THE RUNAWAYS, will be touring Europe throughout the spring and the summer…Perris Recording artists STEPHEN PEARCY and BEAUTIFUL CREATURES will be on tour in Europe during April...Crash Music has signed South Carolina’s SOULS HARBOR to a four-album deal. The band is a five-piece unit hailing from different parts of the U.S. that was formed in late 2000 when they all met in the military. In 2005, the band self released a demo entitled Burning Souls…Metal Blade Records will be releasing a HALLOW’S EVE box set entitled History Of Terror. This box set will include re-mastered versions of all three Metal Blade albums, piles of bonus material and a bonus DVD with over 200 minutes of footage…NWOBHM’s GASKIN is playing a 25th anniversary concert on the 11th of August at the Baths Hall in Scunthorpe England. Tickets are £5 each for the show at Baths Hall. The line-up is Paul Gaskin, guitars and vocals, Dave Norman, drums, Tony Ilkiw, bass and singer Andy Wood. This line-up is also planning a new studio album…KINGCROW’s Timetropia album will soon be released by Lucretia Records…Guitarist Joe Sims has left DREAM OR NIGHTMARE in order to concentrate on AXEMASTER. The band, which has several releases to its name, had recruited former OMEN and BELLADONNA drummer Mike Hissam and was looking to sign with a record company soon. Following the drummer’s abrupt departure however, original drummer Brian Henderson recently signed on with the band again…LEATHERWOLF, featuring SEVEN WITCHES singer Wade Black, has signed to Massacre Records. The band's album, World Asylum, will be released on June 23rd…GAIA EPICUS has gone public on its web site regarding its separation from its former label Sound Riot. The band has listed a myriad of complaints about the label by itself and other former company acts. The label has responded with accusations of low sales figures against GAIA EPICUS and copies of payment slips made to the band…Guitarist Gus G. has left NIGHTRAGE in order to concentrate on FIREWIND…Former ANNIHILATOR bassist Russ Bergquist has rejoined the band in time for a European tour…Guitarist Andy Southwell has been given the boot from MARSHALL LAW. The band has a new drummer called Pete Hunt as well…Former AVALON and FIREWIND singer Chitral "Chity" Somapala has a new band called CIVILIZATION ONE. He is also joined by former HEAVENLY bassist Pierre-Emmanuel Pélisson…The North American release date for BLIND GUARDIAN’s Fly single, which includes an acoustic version of Skalds And Shadows and a cover of the IRON BUTTERFLY song In A Gadda Da Vida (two tracks which will not appear on the upcoming full-length album) has been set for April 18th…VELVET REVOLVER is entering the studio this month in order to record a new album…Rumour has it that Now And Then Records is facing bankruptcy…TAD MOROSE has recruited singer Joe Comeau (formerly of ANNIHILATOR, LIEGE LORD and OVERKILL) and has begun working on a new album...THUNDERBOLT will release its second album, Love And Destruction, on May 19th through Massacre Records…MERCENARY has lost bassist Henrik "Kral" Andersen and is looking for a replacement…Roadrunner Records has signed BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. The band’s next album will be called Shot To Hell and is due in the summer…SIGH has signed with The End Records. The band will record and release an album called Hangman's Hymn this year…FATES WARNING will be joined by former guitarist Frank Aresti and SPOCK'S BEARD drummer Nick D'Virgilio for an upcoming show in California and Germany…SIGH has signed a worldwide deal with The End Records and will release its seventh album, Hangman’s Hymn, sometime later this year…Former FATES WARNING guitarist Frank Aresti has a new band called DARK DAY SUNDAY…NWOBHM’s METAL MIRROR has reformed. The group will imminently issue a previously unreleased live album that was recorded in 1981 in London. The album features the band’s original line-up, including the late Chris Haggerty, who passed away in 2004. METAL MIRROR is also working on material for a new studio album, titled One Thousand Days In Hell, which is due to be recorded later this year. Replacing Chris Haggerty will be Andy Barnet, who has played with Paul Di'Anno, Bernie Torme, Gary Barden, Doogie White and Neil Murray. Andy was also in the NWOBHM band URCHIN. Benjamin Reio Franklyn has replaced Mick Green on drums. Benjamin has played with BARNSTORMERS, PRAYING MANTIS and Jon Lord in the past...GRAND MAGUS has parted ways with drummer Fredrik "Trisse" Liefvendahl. The band recently issued its Wolf’s Return album through Rise Above…DOKKEN and TED NUGENT bassist Barry Sparks will tour the West Coast of the USA this month in order to support his solo album, Can't Look Back…Former HELLOWEEN and current MASTERPLAN drummer Uli Kusch has rejoined MEKONG DELTA as the replacement for Peter Haas (formerly of KROKUS and POLTERGEIST). The latter man was apparently unavailable…WARREN APPLEBY has signed a contract with CD Baby for the release of a compilation featuring 13 tracks. This Metallic Renaissance is due this month. The man is also working on a new demo, which will be entitled Dead Eye Reckoning. The material is said to be Appleby’s heaviest yet…A student filmmaker has cast actor David Hasselhoff and EDGUY’s Tobias Sammet in the modern version of Blake Edwards' 1965 film, The Great Race…Texas metal act AZRAEL’S BANE has joined the line-up for Texas Metal Health IV, a tribute to singer David Wayne. The fourth annual benefit for leukaemia research features REVEREND, AZRAEL’S BANE, IGNITOR, ANCIENT CROSS and DRIFTER. The event will take place on May 13th at Sam’s Burger Joint in San Antonia, Texas…England's ORANGE GOBLIN will return to the USA on May 16th for a handful of shows that will culminate in their headline performance at this year's Emissions From The Monolithe festival in Youngstown, Ohio on May 26th…San Francisco’s ASUNDER has signed to Profound Lore. The doom metal band is currently putting the final additions to its next full-length album with producer Billy Anderson…IMAGIKA has signed an American deal with Crash Music for the release of the band's My Bloodied Wings album. Expect it in June…SUPREME MAJESTY has recruited guitarist Jimmy Hedlund formerly of FALCONER)…Hard rock project GUY-MCCOY-TORME or GMT, which features guitarist Bernie Torme and bassist John McCoy of GILLAN fame will be touring the US in October and November…LOSA has also been dropped by Metal Blade. Subsequently, guitarist Kory Koch and drummer David Hall have left the band…ROSE TATTOO guitarist Pete Wells died on March 27th due to prostate cancer. He was interred on the 31st…STEELHEART has engaged new management in the form of Tom Tremeuth of Hypnotic Records. Tom, who managed HONEYMOON SUITE once and has recently been running a CD pressing and design company, has begun supervising the release of new compilations and a vintage STEELHEART video.
UNFRAGMENT – VICES AND VERSES
If you think the demo’s title is clever wait to hear the band’s fluid death metal. It is incredible that the French band has not been signed yet. These songs are fast, heavy and accomplished and as good as - likely better – anything the labels are churning out. Favourite songs are the crushing title track, A Nos Defunts with its layered vocals, Alesia and the crushing Sentenced To Death. Conquerir Les Reves is a smooth instrumental and the demo’s sole weak track comes at the end where Mon Frere experiments with vocals that do not work out. As good as the songs are, the band has utilized a drum machine to its detriment. Even this song makes up for the vocals partially with the interesting guitar solo. Given the fantastic songs, great cover artwork and above average material Unfragment needs to recruit a drummer and complete the circle again. Fans should get in contact via Jerome.email@example.com or for more information visit www.metal-impact.com. The CD is available for €10. One question though, wasn’t this demo announced two years ago? – Ali “The Metallian”
MEMORIUM – TRIUMPH OF THE ORIGIN
A couple of things should be mentioned before the actual review of this disc. Firstly, unsigned bands have begun calling their demos ‘EPs.’ An EP is a short version of an album. Demos are not albums. Secondly, the members of Memorium must be very young. The band advertises itself as “above all metal,” but then claims it sounds like Slipknot!! What is up, boys?
Thankfully, the band’s music has little to do with mallcore or other clown music. This is gruff and brutal metal that relies on a very distorted guitar sound. The drumming is usually fine, although it sometimes cuts up the music. A little synchronization would help. The band is young and there is promise here based on four songs. Visit www.memorium13.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for information. – Anna Tergel
KONTRA – KONTRAMUNDO
Kontra is a heavy rock act from Chile promoted by the Risestar agency. The band has been around for about a year and a half only and it shows. The band has assembled eight tracks here, but none of them really exude any type of distinction, energy or memorable riffs either way. The music is not bad, yet fails to stir any type of emotion. It just plods along slowly until the last song, the introspective Ante De Caer. Given the Spanish lyrics and lackadaisical attitude the band is probably aiming for a local reputation and not much else. Go to www.kontra.cl for information or e-mail email@example.com. - Ali “The Metallian”
SUN DESCENDS – INCINERATING THE MEEK
Most reviews of the ‘80s German thrash metal band Exumer would alternately either reference Exodus or Slayer depending on the album being reviewed. What does that have to do with New York City’s Sun Descends? The band is the latest creation of Mem V. Stein that band’s erstwhile singer. Fans of ‘80s authentic thrash metal… this is for you. Fast and furious songs, belting vocals, ripping leads, unperturbed madness and more it is all here. The disc also features a re-working of Exumer’s Fallen saint, a track so Slayer-ish that it almost sounds like a cover version off the Show No Mercy album of the Californians. My favourite song here should be Incinerate Them though owing to the blazing and crazed guitar work. The band has label distribution for this and is even touring Europe so locating this should be relatively easy. Regardless, feel free to contact the band through www.sundescends.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali “The Metallian”
LOATHE – UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
The band’s biography alludes to the Maltese five-piece’s past and the listener hears snippets of it on the demo. While the majority of the songs - …And Then Came Sorrow, Hell To Burn, Unless We Die and Vulnerably Numb Within The Presence Of Beauty – are mid-paced, extreme and underground, every song (the last two in particular) have some rapping interwoven into them. On one occasion it sounds like Anthrax rapping over guitars, on another like the guys from Beastie Boys and on track four it could be a Coal Chamber medley. It is too bad. The sound is thick otherwise, the singer has a low growl and the bassist slaps the instrument around shamelessly. Were the band to chuck the offensive pop parts it would come together next time. In the meanwhile e-mail email@example.com or visit www.totaloathe.com. - Anna Tergel
DEATHEVOKATION – BLOOD
What does a band named after an old Carnage song, with a cover drawn by C. Moyen, a release originally issued on tape and songs with names like Embers Of A Dying World sound like? The answer is God Macabre, Adramelech, Demigod, very old Necrophobic, Afflicted Convulsion and Asphyx of course. The CD version of the band’s demo (with a slightly different track list than the tape version) is being promoted by Xtreem Music, which has signed the band and is aiming to issue a full-length with it later this year. The songs are heavy, mostly mid-paced, authentic death metal with a singer who growls and bellows with power. Everything about this band takes you back to the years 1989 – 1991 with nary a thought accorded to the gimmicky bands that have come around since. Deathevokation is a timely slap in the face to the bands and supporters of the bands, which dare call pure crap like In Flames, Scar Symmetry, Vacuum or Nokturnal Mortum death metal. – Ali “The Metallian”
HEADLESS CROSS – BURNING SANCTUARY
Despite its name Midlands, UK-based Headless Cross is not directly influenced by Black Sabbath. Neither is the band hardcore despite its acronym. The quartet instead mixes elements from Megadeth, thrash and heavy metal on each of the five songs of the professionally-produced and packaged demo, Burning Sanctuary. The song Circle Of Madness is probably the band’s best given its mood and feeling, although a close second is the title track for the sheer delivery of the guitar and powerful sense of song writing. Blinding Sorrow is the disc’s sole slow song and not exactly a success. Headless Cross, to its credit, is bereft of gimmicks and outside influences. The band delivers honest and traditional heavy metal the way the gods intended it to be. Years of indoctrination by the corporate media (Kerwank, Errorizer, MoneyTV et al) in the UK have not been able to kill off heavy metal. For more information visit www.headless-cross.co.uk or simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and nicely ask a question! – Ali “The Metallian”
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