Satanic Slaughter bassist Filip Carlsson has joined Corporation 187 as a vocalist. Contrary to rumours, he has not left any other band he is currently in including Thornclad. Satanic Slaughter's fourth album Banished To The Underworld will be unleashed shortly via Black Sun...Lord Gore has parted ways with singer Nekro Von due to 'personal differences'. The band will push ahead with plans for a split album with Engorged and an appearance on a Repulsion tribute CD...Equitant has left Absu...Immolation has signed to Listenable Records for Europe and Olympic Records for America. The band's next album which is due in November and entitled Unholy Cult is being recorded at Millbrook Studios...Broken Hope's Scott Creekmore (vocals), Jeremy Wagner (guitars), Fleshgrind's Steve Murray (guitars), Putrid Pile's Shaun LaCanne (bass) and drummer Jeff Bumgardner have formed Earthburner. Meant to replace the recently split-up Broken Hope, Earthburner has demoed five tracks for labels with titles like Hardwired To Kill, Brain Food and Flesh Mechanic. You will find the band at www.earthburner.com...Having added bassist O.D. Lallo to the line-up, America's Deteriorot has recorded a new album for Repulse Records entitled Faithless...A recent Nuclear Assault show on the 11th of May was recorded by Screaming Ferret Wreckords for a new Nuclear Assault live album...Scar Culture recently recruited drummer Alpheus Underhill to replace Duke Borisov for their North American tour with Hypocrisy. Borisov, the band's drummer, had to take a hiatus from the band last month for personal reasons...Konkhra, now reformed in the Spit Or Swallow lineup, has begun recording a new album featuring songs like Grapes Of Wrath, Murder One and Parasite. No label has been found for the album which is tentatively entitled Reality Check. Konkhra main man Anders Lundemark is also writing music for Killswitch, a new side project. Killswitch also featuring former Exmortem drummer Reno Killerich will concentrate on the death metal genre and hopes to record an album this autumn...Throneaeon has left Hammerheart Records...Sodom, Dying Fetus and Dimension Zero are touring Europe under the Extreme Dojo moniker. Dying Fetus is also touring Europe with Monstrosity and Houwitser..Divine Empire is in studio recording the follow-up to Doomed to Inherit...Smash Fest Open Air has been announced for the 28 and 29 of June in Ustronie Morskie, Poland. For further information regarding this event, which features Grave, Sinister, Hypnos, Houwitser, Devilyn and others. For more information visit www.smashfest.mip.av.pl...A reformed Grave lineup of Jonas Torndal (guitar), Jensa Paulsson (drums), and Fredrik "Fredda" Isaksson (bass, ex-Therion) and Ola Lindgren will begin touring Europe this month with Disinter and The Forsaken. Expect the Back From The Grave CD this summer...The Forsaken's Arts Of Desolation album is produced at the Abyss Studio and will be in stores at the end of July. The American version will feature the bonus track Human Prey...Watchmaker's Kill.Crush.Destroy album is licensed by Dream Catcher Records for the UK. This version will come with new packaging...Right after recording demo tracks for an upcoming albums, Nocturnus called it a day. The band split up after Mike and Emo decided to move on and form a 'more aggressive and versatile' band...Old Man's Child's i.e. Galder, with drummer Nick Barker (Dimmu Borgir, etc.), is in Studio Fredman recording a new album...Two new releases on Aftermath Music are Runemagick's Requiem For The Apocalypse and Poema Arcanvs' Iconoclast...Supernal Music has announced the release of a Mayhem/ The Meads Of Asphodel picture disc. Mayhem's tracks are the songs Freezing Moon and Carnage from the band's early lineup...Bloodbath, featuring members of Opeth and Katatonia, will release a full length entitled Resurrection Through Carnage later this year. The band describes songs like The Soulcollector and Bathe In Blood as, 'a brutal outburst of sheer winter-like death metal.'...The Haunted is entering Studio Fredman in September to record its next full length album...Canada's Kralizec has readied its debut album. Entitled Origin and recorded at Montreal's Peter Pan Studio, the albums will feature songs like Le Vigile, Sailing To The Origin and Apatride...Gorgoroth's singer Gaahl is still in prison after a violent and personal incident recently in Norway. The band has also let guitarist Tormentor go. Plans to record a new album in June seem to be intact...In Flames will support Soulfly and Slayer in August and September. The band's new album is also due for that time period...Prior to the release of the band's next album entitled Nothing in August, Meshuggah will be trekking with Ozzfest through America...Terror 2000's Faster Disaster features Erik Thyselius of Construcdead on drums following Henry Ranta's decision to concentrate on The Defaced and Soilwork. The album's release date is June 25...Gore metal band Ghoul has been busy writing newer songs with titles like Maniaxe and As Your Casket Closes. Razorback Records is planning a Ghoul/Machetazo split CD...New signing on Razorback Records is gore/grind act Frightmare. The band features current and former members of Maniac Killer, Engorged and Lord Gore and is due to release an album early next year...The Berzerker new album Dissimulate will feature thirteen songs and present a live drummer...Century Media's tenth anniversary show in California will be available as DVD this autumn. It will feature Nevermore, Strapping Young Lad and others....Centurian has broken up ostensibly because the members could not get along...Carnal Forge will be entering Sweden's Studio Underground in September to begin recording its new album. The band has thirteen songs written so far...Necroharmonic Productions will release the debut album of Cadaverizer featuring former Massacre singer Kam Lee. The album is entitled Beneath The Column Of Abandoned Gods...Enthroned has signed with Napalm Records...Enslaved has asked guitarist Roy Kronheim to leave the fold. Two session members have already been recruited: guitarist Arve and keyboardist Oyvind. The band has also booked Grieghallen Studio for September in order to record its new album. A couple of song titles are Queen Of Night and Horns...Vital Remains has lost vocalist Jake Raymond and guitarist Ron Green to Cast Of Vengeance. The latter also features original Vital Remains singer Joe Lewis on bass. In the meanwhile, Vital Remains has recruited Glen Benton to sing on the band's next effort...Circle Of Dead Children are readying twelve songs for the release of a MCD. Now featuring new drummer Meat Grindallero, the grinders have named the forthcoming release Cut And Run...Limbonic Art's forthcoming album The Ultimate Death Worship (scheduled for September) will feature an appearance by ex-Mayhem singer Atilla Csiha..The End Records has secured the rights to Satyricon's tenth year anniversary compilation album for the USA. Released by EMI in most of Europe, the sampler features songs spanning Satyricon's career... Shallow Grave has finished recording an album entitled A Measure Of Pain for Deadhead Records...Dislimb's Secluded Perversions CD is completed and will be released on Comatose Music...Naglfar's next album entitled Sheol is almost finished. The band claims the album features the band's most brutal material yet...Toronto-area death metallers Rotting have signed to Civilian Death Network. The band's next release is a compilation CD...Callenish Circle, fresh off a European tour with Amon Amarth and Vomitory, will play the Dutch leg of OzzFest on June 1...Original guitarist Ritchie Haynes has returned to Shallow Grave. The band is currently promoting the remastered CD A Measure Of Pain...Sic Seed (previously featured here in the demo section) is now sponsored by Jaegermeister. The band is playing shows and writing music for a new album...Decapitated was recently chosen to play the Polish leg of the OzzFest on May 29. The band will spend September touring Europe with Vader and Krisiun...A new Vintersorg album entitled Visions From The Spiral Generator is ready for worldwide release via Napalm Records...Pegazus' new bassist is Hanny Mohamed...Darkane's next album is entitled Expanding Senses. The album is due in September...Iron Clad, featuring Ancient Rites singer Gunther Theys, has released a heavy metal album on Goodlife Records...The next Mystic Circle album is entitled Damien and is expected in September through Massacre Records...Eighties Aussie thrashers Hobbs Angel Of Death have reformed...Bassist Tony Bono of Whiplash, FR8 and Into Another has passed away due to a heart failure...Hot on the heels of the not unexpected shutting down of Hammerheart America and several internal changes at the mother label, Sinister has left the Dutch label and re-signed with Nuclear Blast Records. A new album is expected next winter...Allfather's self-titled MCD will see a 10' vinyl release through Invictus Productions...Dreams Of Damnation has a new MP3 for the song The Bloodletting at www.necropolisrec.com/index.html. The band will be entering the studio on June 8th with producer Bill Metoyer to record its album tentatively entitled Epic Tales Of Vengeance...Gospel Of The Horns has completed work on its next full length due in late summer through Invictus Productions. The tour with In Aeternum is cancelled however and the band hopes to tour Europe this autumn...Marduk have been forced to cancel their US tour with Danzig after being unsuccessful again in obtaining US visas.
The next Heaven's Cry album is delayed by three months and now scheduled for September. The band is still working on mixing the album...Blind Guardian's recent show in Stuttgart, Germany was filmed for an upcoming video release. The band is also filming other shows on the current world tour for additional footage...Denmark's Zool has welcomed drummer Keneth Olsen (Royal Hunt) and bassist Kasper Gram (Manticora) into its ranks. The lineup debuts June 7 at the Sweden Rock Festival...California's Cosmosquad, featuring Dokken's Barry Sparks, has been invited to take part in Guitar Day taking place on June 13 in Rome, Italy. Drummer Shane Gaalaas is also flying to Japan in June as a member of The B'z. The B'z also feature bassist Billy Sheehan and will co-headline an appearance with Aerosmith in celebration of the World Cup...Onward recently completed shooting a video for the song Night from the Reawaken album...And Oceans has decided against using the title Insect Angels & Devil Worms for the upcoming album and instead opted for Cypher, which means 'empty' in Latin...Steel Prophet has completed Unseen. Due in August the album will feature songs like Magenta, Blackest of Hearts, Martyred...Rockfest 2002, featuring Dokken, Ratt, Warrant, Firehouse and L.A. Guns, is a tour crisscrossing the United States from 20th of June to 28th of July this summer. Please find more information at www.metaledge-rockfest.com...Damage Done, the next Dark Tranquillity album is due in early autumn. Recorded at Studio Fredman some titles are Cathode Ray Sunshine, The Enemy, and White Noise/Black Silence...Chaos Theory has announced the addition of bassist Bill Hendriksen and guitarist Joe Keavney to the fold. The band is still seeking a new singer. Any NJ-area singers may contact the band at 609-298-3845...Having signed the band to a worldwide deal, Nuclear Blast is releasing Helloween's album of 2000 The Dark Ride in North America...Now featuring fellow Primal Fear men Tom Naumann, Henny Wolter and Saxon drummer Fritz Randow, Sinner's next album entitled There Will Be Execution is due through Nuclear Blast in early 2003...Nevermore will play a few dates on the Vans Warped Tour's swing through Western USA in July... Nevermore drummer Van Williams has announced a side project called Pure Sweet Evil. The band also features Nevermore guitarist Jeff Loomis and ex-Nevermore and current Annihilator guitarist Curran Murphy...A Eyehategod/Soilent Green split 7" will be available shortly via Soilent Green vocalist Ben Falgoust's label, Incision Records...Angra are releasing a CD Plus this month entitled Hunters And Prey...Jack Frost's new album Self-Abusing Ugly Sex God is due this month through Napalm Records...Freternia's second album is entitled A Nightmare Studio and due in October. The band has recruited new drummer Martin Tilander...Arwen has ended the recording of their debut album Memories Of A Dream which is due in October on Arise Records...Finnish power metal band Celesty has signed with Arise Records. The band was the winner of a Helloween cover songs contest. The Finns will enter the Fantom Studio this August...Former Grave Digger drummer Philip Seibel passed away due to a stroke in April...Skyclad has a new album on Demolition Records entitled No Daylights Nor Heeltaps...Requiem's The Arrival has been licensed to Soundholic Records for Japan. A bonus track called Tomorrow's Dream will be featured on this release...June will bring a new Riot album entitled Through The Storm...Fates Warning will release a DVD in the autumn...Guitarist Leo Curley is out of Biohazard...Bad Company has issued a CD/video entitled In Concert: Merchants Of Cool...An as yet untitled Paradise Lost album will be issued early next year through the band's new label G.U.N...Former Raven/Pentagram man Joe Hasslevander has joined an underground band called Black Manta...Lullacry have dismissed singer Tanya and are instead looking for 'a courageous female singer who is ready to put 110 percent effort into the band like the rest of the band members.'...Out now through Sanctuary Music is the new Soulmotor album Revolution Wheel billed as, ' balls-out, solid, heavy rock! No nu metal, rap-metal flavor of the week stylings'...Motley Crue is being sued by producer Tom Werman who claims unpaid royalties to the tune of $400,000 for the Shout At The Devil, Theater Of Pain and Girls, Girls, Girls albums...W.A.S.P.'s new album Dying For The World will hit the stores on June 11, 2002 through Sanctuary Music...SPV recently signed an American distribution agreement with Navarre...Former Robin Trower singer and bassist James Denwer has passed away...Morifade is releasing a new album in Japan entitled Imaginarium...Def Leppard's brand new X album is scheduled to hit the stores on July 1...Victory Records has signed Martyr AD...Heir Apparent is back (again) and will play several shows this summer in the USA...Burden Of Grief has lost drummer Christian Nürnberg and Guitarist Oliver Eikenberg and replaced them with ex-Dark Breed and Wald drummer Carsten Schmerer and ex-Sleeping Gods, Kali, Ronin bassist Börn Läpke. The band expects to release a new album early next year...The next Enuff Z'nuff album is tentatively entitled Back To Blue Island and out this summer through Pony Canyon...Bad for Good: The Very Best of Scorpions features two brand new songs...Poison has a new CD entitled Hollyweird...Sanctuary Music has bought the bankrupt Neat Records...Ahrue Luster is out of Machine Head because of 'creative differences'...Running Wild has announced the release of a live DVD this summer through G.U.N. Records...The End Records has secured the rights to distribute and promote the releases for Black Mark Records in Canada and the USA. Releases this year include new albums from Bathory, Lake Of Tears, Cemetary and Dumber.
ALIENGATES - DARK DAYS QUANTUM
Right from the cover and quality layout of this demo one can see that this Swiss deathrash bands intends to work professionally to establish itself. The artwork, photography and strong sound on this 20+ minute CD confirm the band's intentions. Musically, however, the report card is mixed. Aliengates is a fairly exciting bands with above average chops. The influences are derived from Night In Gales, Kreator, Demolition Hammer with the vocalist sounding like a cross between Mille of Kreator and any Gothenburg singer of note. Aliengates' strength lies in the riffing. Two riffs, in particular, are well above average. Honourable mention goes to the incredibly exciting riff that kicks off Fever The Mind and begins and closes the title track - world class! Having said that the tracks do overstay their welcome; seemingly a tad too long for their own good. What brings the band down is two-fold. First and foremost is the lackluster drumming. Acting as a follower, the man behind the kit should really consider picking it up a notch. As is, he is content with following the rest of the band. Secondly, the introduction of the ever-trendy female vocals on Heartless is both cliche-ridden and sordid given the offending female's voice. All in all though, many metallers will be pleasantly surprised given the accomplished nature of this MCD. Write to Hauptstrasse 27, 8588 Zihlschlacht Switzerland or visit www.aliengates.com.
ZAFIRA - EMBALMED
Zafira hails from Chile and with Embalmed has issued a second release. The band being doom metal, the cover is suitably morose and the band delivers a sound to match. Listening to the CD it becomes clear that Zafira is inspired by Paradise Lost. The guitarist cries and leaves a trail of sadness which the listener can follow. The singer is also similar in voice and dynamic to what Paradise Lost attempted until 1995 albeit with a more gruff voice. The man can probably do with a better technique but things are not abysmal either. The eight tracks weave slowly in and out of doom and sorrow with the lead guitarist clearly knowing to where he wants to go. The Passages sung in Spanish are less successful especially when sung over the acoustic interludes, for those amplify that effect. Like it or not these passages give the impression of Zafira being a Spanish rock band to listener, not a doom metal band. Still, all the more power to Zafira if that is where they need to be going. Contact email@example.com.
DISEMBARKATION - RANCOROUS OBSERVISION
As soon as one sees the religiously-motivated cover, one knows he's in for something different with Canada's Disembarkation. Born in Joliette, Disembarkation is as unconventional and complex as bands like Death, Cynic or Obliveon dared to become and more. Unconventional arrangements in the music are the norm here along with a Classical instrumental adaptation and so forth. The issue with bands such as this quintet is how one man's experimentation is another's man's tedium and ultimately the band is left holding the bag having not penetrated the scene for conservatism or steadfast regard for the genre - call it what you will. Either way special kudos to the singer, Martin Frechette, who attempts more vocalizations than that to which most are accustomed. He howls and growls and then sings and screams. Oh sure, he is an acquired taste. Lyrically too disembarkation is trying different things here and there. They are certainly looking to convey a message. Although any objective person would have to take exception to the band's quoting one of the more prominent perpetrators of genocide in this Century (US president Kennedy) whose quotation on this album in an anti-war context is an affront to the thousands who died in East Timor, Vietnam, etc.
ATELLO - WELCOME TO THE WRECKING BALL
New York's Atello and its new full length CD is one welcome surprise here at Metallian Towers. It's not being lazy or lackadaisical to say that these four guys are the perfect crossing of Motley Crue, Skid Row, Kix, Big House and Poison. Just listen to any of the twelve tracks here to get the idea. Glam metal fans will dig this. Larry Atello has the perfect pitch for this style, coming across like the successor to Vince Neil and Jackyl's Jesse Dupree. The band should have packed in a couple more up-tempo and speedy tunes for my tastes, with the majority of the tunes being mid-paced, but fear not for the fast songs do kick in. There is the not so unusual jingoistic American chest-thumping on the title cut, but it can safely be ignored for the music is rocking. Then there are the requisite number of ballads, the good sound and the fun cover. These guys are so unglamorously glam metal that one can only admire the true and hard-nosed rock attitude. No price is given but do write to P.O. Box 60892, Staten Island, NY. 10306 USA or see www.atello.com.
DATAKILL - L' ODIO
Datakill is a hardcore band from Italy who sing in Italian and do so with urgency. It is real stuff too. There is no retarded rapping on the go here or other bubblegum aspirations. These guys are angry and make it sound like Cromags and the originators of the style. They have a full-length ready to go and seek a label. For that, and from a commercial point-of-view, they might be better off singing in English. Should that be a compromise to them, and one can respect that, a good suggestion would be for the band to change its moniker which lends itself to a more technical band than a hardcore one. Here you get five songs of pure core without deviation with the exception being a cover of Suicidal Tendencies' Fascist Pig. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MABUS - HANDMADE
Mabus hails from Germany's fashion district and plays the most unfashionable genre of metal namely, death metal. What pleases this reviewer is the successful sound the band has garnered for the three songs on offer. The production does a good job of presenting the band in the best possible light, but what is the music like? Mabus are purveyors of simple and crunchy death metal and have been at it since 1994. So simple is the music in fact that the first group that comes to mind upon first hitting play is Six Feet Under. As the CD progresses and during Dawn Of Anger and My Beloved a better picture emerges. Mabus is better described as a cross between Six Feet Under and Obituary with a couple of riffs which are reminiscent of early Atrocity. It's simple, it's crunchy and it is well played. More information from http://www.mabus.de/home.htm.
INAVOID - same
When a CD comes up to the Metallian Towers with a cover depicting an astral nebula it can't be all that difficult to guess where the band is heading. The first song, entitled In A Void, kicks off with a very Zeppelin-esque introduction followed by a riff and an attempt at a soulful passage before diving into a slow-paced heavy rock passage where the emphasis is on feeling and variation. Taking the mood and tempo up and then down is a constant with these Danes. They are attempting a complex potpourri of influences which haven't quite gelled yet. This is why they shouldn't stop now. Should it work, things could get quite interesting. Right now though, Inavoid needs to work on bringing the phrasing and the music together. Brindisi (possibly a reference to the Italian town) is the next song and the quintet picks up the pace. One can see what the band is trying but it still hasn't come together. The song is no less than hard rock where traditional elements meet progressive instances. Forgave is the third and last song and begins with a familiar rhythm. Then it's off to the technical races. The song also represents the catchiest song yet and is almost mainstream in construction. What Inavoid has going for them is good intentions coupled with a total absence of keyboards and that is to their credit. It accords them a lot of credibility and originality. This band showcases a lot of variety and ability to grasp at diverse approaches. What they need now is to completely hold and successfully blend the diverse styles. For more information please look at www.inavoid.dk.
THE HANDSHAKE MURDERS - BATTERY AND SUICIDE
First the disclaimer: after listening multiple times to The Handshake Murders this writer still can't say with certainty where from the band is coming. Oh, they are from Arizona down in the States, but musically, well that's another matter. They obviously have a hardcore affinity and the first few notes of the CD had all present ready to smash the disc at that first whiff of mallcore. Banish the thought though, THM are better described as... Voivod with a Tool-meets-Converge sensibility. Well, clearly that sentence was grasping for straws; the comparison is not so far off. Lyrically too the band has things to say and places to go. Just don't expect to get it right away. Yeah, that's just it. $10 for a full length to Jayson Holmes, 1140 Pine Hollow Drive, Van Buren, AR. 72956 USA or email email@example.com.
BANE OF EXISTENCE - same
Bane Of Existence hails from Massachusetts down in the US and plays death metal. The CD kicks off with a wicked intro sampled from a movie. 'Jesus is dead, Jesus is dead...' sings the sweet girl before the band jumps horn first into Denounced where they leave no doubt regarding their credentials. Speed, heaviness, tunnel-of-wind vocals, power chords, etc. are the order of the day. The distorted bass break here is well worth mentioning. Art Of Fisting is much the same with a particularly exciting tempo change situated right in the middle. Evisceration features more musical violence and is the song where the quartet attempts to vary things and incorporate more intricate riffing. Here the band tries its hand at doom metal (surprise!) which for my money is an odd turn of events. Iconoclast begins with another sample and then its off to the races. These guys may have short hair, but sure play like real metallers. The song pounds with both fast and heavy rhythms. More of the beautifully distorted bass sound can be heard here. The demo songs with another brutal song and one where the band demonstrates their power to create a cacophony almost at will. Aside from the obvious potential for improvement in sound, one thing Bane Of Existence ought to improve next time around is the snare sound. The pots 'n panish drum sound - oft adopted by death metal bands - is annoying and light weight. Having said that, Bane Of Existence is a triumphal nod to the lasting and strengthening power of death metal. Send $7 (US) to Jim Ash, 21 Zana Park Dr., Braintree MA. 02184 USA.
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