CRYPTOPSY will headline the first Destruction Of Oz Festival in Melbourne, Australia. Also on the bill are DORO, SODOM and MARDUK...According to Season Of Mist, copies of NECROPHAGIA's DVD were recently confiscated by Canadian Customs for its explicit content. The DVD features, among other things, footage of the film Cannibal Holocaust. NECROPHAGIA's MCD Goblins Be Thine will be out in the autumn...Montreal's OBSCENE CRISIS is in the studio recording a comeback demo. Vocalist Eric describes the songs as, "faster, heavier, a better thing...it's potent!"...Here is some news from Lifeforce Records: CALIBAN is touring the USA with REMEMBERING NEVER, SCARLET and DEAD TO FALL. The label has signed Florida's TRIVIUM. The band is described as a mixture of SHADOWS FALL and IN FLAMES. BEYOND THE SIXTH SEAL is also touring the USA. The next releases on the label are: MINDFIELD's be-low CD and WILLIAM's Tints And Shades CD...CARNAL FORGE, who were part of the recently-aborted Metal Gods tour, will embark on the Bonded By Metal Over Europe tour in October alongside EXODUS, NUCLEAR ASSAULT and BEHEMOTH...DEICIDE is currently in Tampa, writing material for a forthcoming Earache debut. According to drummer Steve Asheim the new material will be "the heaviest, fastest shit DEICIDE has ever released. Fans should have a box of Depends ready 'cause they'll all be shitting all over themselves when they hear it." DEICIDE plans to enter the studio mid-summer...Earache Records and NAPALM DEATH have finalized the track listing for Noise For Music's Sake, a forthcoming two-CD NAPALM DEATH package. Disc one will feature the band's better-known songs, while the second will feature rare demo material and live songs...Crash Music has two new releases. TRANSPORT LEAGUE's Grand Amputation, and SINGLE BULLET THEORY's Route 666 are out now...MARDUK has shot a video for the song Hearse...CATTLE DECAPITATION has asked drummer David Astor to leave the fold due to the inability to live up to the obligations of touring. He has been replaced by drummer Michael Laughlin from CREATION IS CRUCIFIXION. The band will be entering the studio near the this month to record a new track for the upcoming Metal Blade compilation, Uncorrupted Steel 2...ATROX has completed the recording of a new album called Orgasm which will be out in September on code666. In the meanwhile the band is working on a video for the title-track and is planning to play at several Summer Festivals...Cold Blood Industries has signed AS IT BURNS. The Dutch band's debut, entitled Mortal Dusk, will be released this summer...The new GHOUL album Maniaxe is ready for pressing. Songs include Pleasant Screams/Forbidden Crypts, Maggot Hatchery, Sewer Chewer and Ghoul Hunter. The album will be released by Razorback Records in June...Disinter will release a double-CD called Designed by the Devil, Powered by the Dead at the end of the year through Morbid Records. The band's line-up is expected to alter soon due to "private obligations."...The Danish band PANZERCHRIST has entered the Antfarm Studio (EXMORTEM, MNEMIC, RAUNCHY, etc.) with producer Tue Madsen (THE HAUNTED, KONKHRA, etc.) to record the follow-up album to 2000's Soul Collector. PANZERCHRIST is recording eleven songs, including a version of METAL CHURCH's self-titled song. and The lineup is Reno Kiillerich (ex. EXMORTEM and VILE). Bo Summer - Vocals (also ILLDISPOSED), Michael Enevoldsen - Bass and guitarists Rasmus Henriksen and Frederik O'Carroll. The title of the new album is Room Service and the cover artwork is by Lasse Hoile. Room Service is expected to be released on Mighty Music in the late Autumn of 2003...Gothenburg, Sweden-based death/thrash band WITHIN Y recently signed a multi-album deal with Hammerheart Records. The band will enter Meta4 Studio in August to record its debut album. The working title is Extended Mental Dimensions. A releases is scheduled for early 2004...New releases on Hammerheart Records are: ANCIENT RITES' ...And The Hordes Stood As... live CD, HEARSE's Dominion Reptilian, DIMENSION F3h's Reaping The World Winds, SKYFIRE's Mind_Revolution and SOULREAPER's LifeErazer...Metal Blade has signed German act FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING. The band, whose sound is described as "Swedish styled Death Metal," has begun work on an album tentatively entitled Skywards...KREATOR, VADER, NILE, AMON AMARTH and GOATWHORE will tour the USA in September...Morbid Records is working on The Morbid Two Compilation CD. It will feature rare tracks from the label's roster. A DVD will also follow. The label will release PROSTITUTE DISFIGUREMENT's second album, Deeds of Derangement, and HARMONY DIES' Impact album in August...Denmark's WITHERING SURFACE recently released an EP called Ichor. The EP features older and unreleased songs. The band will enter Berno Studio this summer in order to record a new album for Copro Records. The band recently cancelled planned Swedish gigs after drummer Lukas Meier fell ill...EVEMASTER's second full-length album entitled Wither was released in Finland on 9th May by Low Frequency Records...CUMSHOT, a side-project of WITCH TOWER, has released a MCD called The Cock Tales...MORBID ANGEL have reunited with bassist/vocalist Steve Tucker...EXTOL will tour the USA this summer to support its forthcoming album, Synergy....Evil Horde Records is about to release the debut album of Norway's SUBLIRITUM, entitled Dark Prophecies. The band is described as, "symphonic black metal"...Moonfog Records has signed DISIPLIN. The band was formed by Savant M after quitting MYRKSKOG. The debut album is expected in August...TESTAMENT's guitarist Steve Smyth is working on an instrumental side-project called THE ESSENESS PROJECT...HATE PLOW, ROTTEN SOUND and DEBAUCHERY are touring Europe this month...GORGASM has signed to Unique Leader Records. The band's next album Masticate To Dominate will be recorded from May 2nd-13th for an autumn release. Paul Garcia has been added on bass and the band is confirmed to play on the Bloodletting North America #4 tour later this year...Century Media Records has signed California's WATCH THEM DIE. The crossover band features former members of WORD SALAD, BUZZOV-EN and OJORO. A self-titled debut is expected this fall...Austria's SEEDS OF SORROW has completed work on an independent album called Immortal Junkies. The album was recorded at Metamorphosis Studio and will be released this summer. Please visit www.seedsofsorrow.com for more information...DISPATCHED's Terrorizer album has been released following a lengthy delay...GRIP INC. has reunited for a new album...THROCULT's Soldiers Of A Blackened War will be released in North America this month and appear in Europe in July...The title of the next ARCH ENEMY album is Anthems Of Rebellion. The album was produced by Andy Sneap and will be released at the end of August. Song titles include: Exist To Exit, Despicable Heroes, End Of The Line and Dehumanization...Finnish thrash band DIVINE:DECAY will release its follow-up to the debut album Songs Of The Damned in September. The original release date for the album was June 2nd, but the date has been changed to September 8th by Osmose Productions.The new album is called Maximize The Misery...EXODUS will begin recording a new album, tentatively titled Tempo Of The Damned, at the end of May with producer Andy Sneap...GOD DETHRONED's drummer Ariën Van Weesenbeek is recording a demo with Belgium's Edgecrusher...Drummer Morten Toft Hansen has left HATESPHERE. He wishes to concentrate on the more successful RAUNCHY...NEURAXIS' tour of Canada has been cancelled. Guitarist Steven Henry will guest with hardcore band HANDS OF DEATH as session guitarist for this summer's shows...ANNIHILATOR and vocalist Joe Comeau have gone separate ways. Dave Padden is the band's new front man...THRONEAEON is changing its name to GODHATE...DARK ANGEL has postponed all live activity following the injury of singer Ron Rinehart...There is a line-up shuffle in INTO ETERNITY. Guitarist Jeff Storrey has been replaced by Rob Doherty, formerly of PERICARDIUM...
Florida's IRON CROSS is signing to Mausoleum Records...Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH is working on a solo record expected to be released by Sanctuary next year...Craig Goldy has rejoined DIO. Goldy replaces Warren De Martini (formerly of RATT) who was recently announced as DIO's new guitarist. DIO will shortly release a DVD called Evil Or Divine...DAMMAJ, featuring all the original members, has reformed and is working on a new eight-song album. The band will also be doing a summer tour in the San Francisco Bay Area...GREAT WHITE, L.A. GUNS and XYZ will be on tour this summer as part of an, as of yet, undisclosed itinerary to raise money for the victims of the Rhode Island tragedy relating to the former band...After more than two months on a ventilator, a woman with severe burns recently became the 100th person dead of the fire that started during a February 20 show by GREAT WHITE...Brazilian hard rockers MOONSHADOW have gained a new drummer by the name of Marcio Ribeiro. The former Moonshadow drummer Felipe Okazaki had to leave the band, "due to personal problems." The band will record a full-length demo called The Last Drop at the end of 2003...A couple of select shows will constitute GRAVE DIGGER's only 2004 live appearances. These are the Gods Of Metal Festival, June 8 in Monza Italy, the Blind Guardian Festival on June 13th at Coburg, Germany and three shows in October in Brazil...PRONG will release a new album called Scorpio Rising in June through Locomotive Music...San Antonio group HEYOKA played a reunion concert on April 24. opening for MARK FARNER and BLUE OYSTER CULT...The new LEGEND album is entitled Still Screaming and is released through Monster Records...Italy's hard rock band LABYRINTH has signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records and will release its fourth full-length album simply entitled Labyrinth next month...WITHERED EARTH has completed the writing process for Of Which They Bleed, its third full-length release, which will be out through Olympic Recording next month...After failing to find a major label to release it Kiss Alive IV, KISS has formed Kiss Records in association with Sanctuary Records. KISS Symphony: Alive IV will be out in July. It was recorded with the 60-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in Australia...ANTHRAX recently postponed their Toronto, Sunrise Records in-store appearance originally scheduled for Monday, May 12. The band was wary of the S.A.R.S. outbreak...SKID ROW will release a new CD entitled Thicksin and a documentary DVD of the album's recording process this summer. The band is planning on touring with POISON and VINCE NEIL this summer...WARRANT will be joining the Rock Never Stops tour across the USA this summer. The tour's line-up is WHITESNAKE, WARRANT, KIP WINGER and and SLAUGHTER...AXENSTAR are working at Underground Studio (Sweden) for an album due in November. Song titles include, Infernal Angel, Far From Heaven and Don't Hide your Eyes... A DECEASED DVD called Digital Graveyard will be released late 2003 via Maltsoda. The band will also have a split MLP with NUNSLAUGHTER out by the end of this year through Metal War Productions. The release will feature the band's new drummer Dave Castillo...Power metal band GAIA EPICUS has released a new album called Satrap through Sound Riot Records. The band's line-up is Thomas C. Hansen on vocals and guitars and Joakim "Jokke" Kjelstad on guitars...Chavis Records' WYCKED SYNN will release an album called The Vision this month...Drummer Snowy Shaw has finished the mixing of NOTRE DAME's new album Creepshow Freakshow Peepshow. It will be the very last album of the band...CONCERTO MOON has released a new album in Japan called Live On The Wire...Los Angeles-based MY RUIN (featuring former TURA SATANA/MANHOLE singer Tairrie B ) has signed a worldwide contract with Century Media. The band had previously released the Speak & Destroy, A Prayer Under Pressure Of Violent Anguish, and the limited release To Britain With Love And Bruises (Live). The band's Century Media debut, The Horror Of Beauty (co-produced by Mick Murphy, Todd Osenbaugh, and Nick Raskulinecz of Foo Fighters, Marilyn Manson, and Danzig fame) is tentatively scheduled for an October release...Nevermore's Enemies Of Reality will be released on July 29. Song titles include: Ambivalent, Never Purify, and Tomorrow Turned Into Yesterday...Finland's REVEREND BIZARRE will release a 7" EP called Thulsa Doom through Aftermath Music. Expect it in late autumn...Although the band has broken up, the RIPPER album, And The Dead Shall Rise will soon be re-released by Italy's Black Widow Records on both CD and LP. Rob Graves has already formed a follow-up band...Sound Riot Records has signed five bands. These are VICIOUS (Melodic Death Metal from Sweden), SAVALLION DAWN (Heavy Metal from Germany), HELLVETO (Orchestral Heathen/Black Metal from Poland), MADOG (Speed Power Metal from Austria) and VII GATES (Classic Heavy Metal from Sweden). VICIOUS features Henrik Wenngren, the vocalist of SKYFIRE. HELLVETO is a one-man band...CANDLEMASS will perform a short set of acoustic tunes, Saturday afternoon, June 14th, prior to its headlining gig at the BW&BK 6-Pack Weekend in Cleveland...The next Deep Purple album is entitled Bananas. It will appear through Spitfire in the autumn...MOONSPELL's new album will be called The Antidote. It¹s due out in late summer through Century Media...IRONFIRE's guitarist Søren Jensen has left the fold. He is replaced by Jeff Lukka...HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE has been signed by Cruz del Sur Music...ASTERIUS will have ATROCITY singer Alex Krull produce its forthcoming album which is called A Moment of Singularity. The recording will happen at Subzero Studio...ANTHEM has a Japanese-only DVD called The Show Still Carries On...Enuff Z' Nuff has signed to Perris Records. The forthcoming album is called Welcome To The Blue Island..AMORPHIS' Far From The Sun will be released through Virgin Records in Scandinavia. Relapse is issuing a compilation of the band's music soon called Chapters...IRON MAIDEN's next album will be called Dance Of Death and hit the street in September. The eleven songs were produced by Kevin Shirley...ASTARTE has signed to Avantgarde Records...The reformed OMEN is on Crash Music for North America and Mausoleum in Europe...original BLACK 'N BLUE members Jaime St. James (vocals), Jef Warner (guitars), Patrick Young (bass) and drummer Pete Holmes have reunited to record a new album for Z Records.
XYZ - LETTER TO GOD
The new XYZ album is an independent release from the Los Angeles band. The band released two albums on a major label, but after one live CD is now back with a modified sound and line-up. Gone are the glam days and in is a new look to go with the new sound.
The album is a homage of sorts to the son of singer Terry Ilous who has passed away. Consequently, the sound is more soulful taking from bands like Led Zeppelin, Kingdom Come and vocally Slaughter. The band's earlier Dokken influences are still there, but is the three aforementioned bands that make the most sense in the context of this album. Furthermore, the emphasis here is more on slow soulful melodies than hard rocking - although the latter finds room to exist. The album's weakest moment comes at the end where the band performs a Spanish version of the song Tango. Nevertheless the album taken as a whole has a special, if laid-back, vibe. Note the guest appearance of drummer Vinnie Appice on the title track. - Ali "The Metallian"
UNFRAGMENT - IN MEANDERINGS OF AIN-SOPH
We featured a review of Unfragment's older demo on this site about a year ago. The music got this reviewer's nod, as did the lyrics and the overall presentation. That has not changed with the new CD. The professional package (that is the CD, cover and lyric sheet) represents a French band committed to death metal through and through. The music sticks to the basics of death metal, the lyrics - partially in French, but always narrative of demons of imagination - and the art all speak of Unfragment's commitment to their art. While no direct lines can be drawn, much of this material is based on the Florida death metal sound of 1990. Then again, a song like Sacred Night brings Cannibal Corpse to mind. It is all good. That includes the cryptic message at the close of the CD. Write to or visit www.unfragment.fr.st for more information. - Ali "The Metallian"
DEATHCHAIN - POLTERGEIST
Deathchain is a Finnish deathrash band which was formed in 1997 under the Winterwolf name. Winterwolf released two demos. This is the band's first demo using the name Deathchain. The band's image corresponds with the new moniker. The band's sound is a cross between Slayer and Boltthrower. It's fast and heavy stuff, but rather stifled by the muddy sound. A better production would help the band. Deathchain shares members with Trollheims Grott, but is undefiled compared to the latter band. Please either visit www.deathchain.cjb.net or write to firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing or more information. - Ali "The Metallian"
COLD MOON - CARNIVOROUS LUNAR ACTIVITIES
Some might opine the title refers to lycanthropy. Others like to believe it refers to how we received this American demo-CD from a Toronto-based label called Attack Records - seems pretty shady, doesn't it? Regardless, this is a full-length and professional demo with a variety of influences. The production is not optimal, but the Colorado band harbours influences from Iron Maiden, Testament, Alice Cooper and punk rock. The variety of the material on this disc is labelled Nightmare Metal by the band, a label which suits the band's name and presentation. It is pretty grim material that could benefit from a booster shot of sound production and slightly more compact arrangements. Find the band through email@example.com. - Ali "The Metallian"
SIGMA - WIN OR LOSE
Sigma is an Italian band formed from the ashes of hard rock band Love Machine. As a measure of how blatantly embellished biographies are, Sigma's claims that this CD will be, "a new masterpiece in the Italian metal history." Without that statement Sigma would have been an average hard rock band influenced by Labyrinth, Helloween and others. That statement though just clouds the horizon. Regardless, if melodic hard rock, with keyboards, is your cup of tea then Sigma is not a bad choice. The vocals need some work and the drum machine has to be replaced by a human, but the band has its merits and of interest to fans of the aforementioned sound. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. - Ali "The Metallian"
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