Displeased Records has issued ASPHYX's Embrace The Death album on vinyl complete with Liner notes by drummer Bob Bagchus. The label has also issued SARGEIST's Tyranny Returns from 2001 on vinyl and has a HORNA/BLACKDEATH split-7". Next on the label is ARCANA's Le Serpent Rouge album...MALEVOLENT CREATION, ORIGIN, DIVINE EMPIRE and ANIMOSITY are jointly touring the USA this July and August. For more information check out http://www.malevolentcreation.cjb.net...DEICIDE, IMMOLATION, SKINLESS, DESPISED ICON and WITH PASSION are touring North America this June...TWILIGHT's self-titled debut will be out soon through Southern Lord. The album is being mastered by Scott Hull (PIG DESTROYER) at the moment...SHADOWS FALL has surpassed The 200,000 U.S. SoundScan figure and will be doing a European festival tour (Download, Rock Im Park and Rock am Ring) and plays Ozzfest's main stage...This Dark Reign Recordings/Devil Doll will release the debut record by Maryland's RECOURSE entitled Weakening the Structure in July...Texas veterans ROTTING CORPSE will issue the band's demos through its own Fuck It Records. The release is simply called The Demos. For more information go to www.rottingcorpse.net...POLTERCHRIST and Dan Loughry have parted company. Dan's replacement on guitar is Ed Drozdowski who is currently also the bassist for MORTAL DECAY and previously was in INSATANITY, BODY PART TROPHY CASE and PYREXIA...TERROR 2000 is in the studio recording a new album called Terror For Sale. Most of the recording is done and singer Bjorn is going to record his vocals as soon as he's back from SOILWORK's US Tour. The release date is planned for late August/early September through Scarlet Records...Following the recruitment of Rob Dukes on vocals, EXODUS has brought back drummer Paul Bostaph. Drummer Tom Hunting has apparently fallen ill. The band is working on a new album at Trident studio which is due later this year...DARKANE's fourth album, Layers Of Lies, will be available in North America on July 12th...Ottawa's FUCK THE FACTS has split with guitarist Dave Menard and bassist Marc-Andre Mongeon due to timing conflicts for the band's shows...Guitarist Daniel Mongrain has been kicked out of CRYPTOPSY...HATE ETERNAL, which just released I, Monarch, has added second guitarist Eric Hersemann to the line-up...Crash Music will issue KULT OV AZAZEL's third album, The World, The Flesh & The Devil, this month...Singer Joey Fuchs has joined BLOODCUM...CATARACT recently completed a German tour without bass player Michael who had injured his foot during a football match...Candlelight Records is set to ship its first promotional sampler since the launch of its US operation in 2001. Entitled Beyond Extremes, the 76-minute compilation features artists from the label and its US label partners (including Regain Records, Tabu Records, Appease Me Records, Threeman Recordings, Continental Entertainment and Karmageddon Media). The sampler will include advance music from forthcoming albums by PRO-PAIN, GRAND MAGUS and OCTAVIA SPERATI, each with a new record coming out in June...WITH PASSION has lost drummer Jacob Peete following the recent release of In The Midst Of Bloodied Soil album through Earache...BATTERED is a new band featuring former EINHERJER members Frode Glesnes (a.k.a. Grimar), Aksel HerlÝe (guitar) and Gerhard Storesund (a.k.a. Vivar, drums). The band is working on its debut album at Sifa Lyd studio...CONSTRUCDEAD and vocalist Peter Tuthill and bassist Johan Magnusson have parted ways. Jens Broman from THE DEFACED and HATELIGHT stood behind the microphone during the recording of The Grand Machinery which is due this summer...Guitarist Bart Vergaert has left ABORTED seemingly growing tired of the band's music and looking to form his own act...OBITUARY's Frozen In Time will be issued next month through Roadrunner Records...EXHUMED and guitarist Mike Beams have parted ways. The new guitarist is Wes Caley (ex-UPHILL BATTLE). The band has just recorded a covers album called Garbage Daze Re-Regurgitated...Drummer Erik Sayenga has left DYING FETUS and will concentrate on WARTHRONE. Also in the new band are Richard Johnson (ex-WITCH-HUNT, SANGUINARY) and Kristel (ex-WITCH-HUNT, DARK PURITY)...ABORTED is in the midst of playing select shows in the USA. The band will also be shooting a video for the track Dead Wreckoning with director Darren Doane in California...Former ATOMKRAFT guitarist Rob Matthew has returned to the scene with a thrash metal band called AGANKAST...MESHUGGAH has re-signed with Nuclear Blast Records...GRIFFIN's singer Pete Beck has once again left the band due to illness...Guitarist Bryan Hipp of DIABOLIC, BRUTALITY fame and drummer Gaberiel Lewandowski of HELLWITCH, ACHERON and EQUINOX have joined UNHOLY GHOST...PATHS OF POSSESSION, the project of CANNIBAL CORPSE's George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, has signed to Metal Blade Records. The band's Promises In Blood album will be out this year...Osmose Productions has announced the release of Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001, a double CD and LP anthology of ABSU which is due out in September. The collection of songs, compiled by Equitant and re-mastered by Proscriptor, will feature tracks recorded by the band, yet never featured on any of ABSUís five official releases...Norway's CRITERION will play at Morbide Festspiele festival in Germany in September...The upcoming US tour that SIX FEET UNDER was slated to headline, Masters Of Brutality Tour, has been postponed until later this year as the members are in studio working on various projects...METHADRONE, featuring Craig Pillard, is booked to tour Europe this September with Hungarian band STEREOCHRIST. The band is supporting its Retrogression release...LOCKUP's live album Play Fast Or Die is out through Toy's Factory Records.
EARTHRIDE has just finished recording its album Vampire Circus with Mike Dean of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY. The album will be released in November through Southern Lord...EDEN has cancelled the release of a full-length and will instead be entering The Rec Room recording studio this month to record a four-song demo of new material. Fans can find a video clip of the band's recent live performance at www.medalmediaproductions.com/images/EdenPoundItOutLive.wmv...Power Play Records has issued hard rock band KHIGH's Wise Hedonist albums...NEVERMOREís This Godless Endeavor will be out on July 26th. The album was recorded at Englandís Backstage Studio with producer Andy Sneap...PAINSTRUCK has broken its contract with Paranoid Records. After many years of work and two albums together the band has decided to end the contract with label and seek a new home...Brazilian doom metal band BLOOD TEARS has lost Malthus (drums) and Conatus (bass). The remaining trio Myth (vocals, guitars), Arntor (keyboards) and Earth (vocals, guitars) have rerecorded the drums and began the recordings of guitars for the Nothing But Sorrow album...Perris Records has announced the signing of former SHOTGUN MESSIAH vocalist Zinny Zan's new project Zan Clan. Zan Clan will be releasing "We Are Zan Clan, Who The Fuck Are You" in June 2005...According to Season Of Mist SOLEFALD is busy completing its new album, Red For Fire, Black For Death. The band believes "This will be a True Nordik, Viking Metal album."...RED HARVEST has signed with Season Of Mist...SHADOWSIDE has signed with Seven/Universal Music...Black Lotus Records has reissued DOCTOR BUTCHER's debut album. This version includes an unreleased song and four demo tracks. Also on the same label, THE BEREAVED is currently working on a new album to be recorded throughout this summer and cut to plastic by early 2006...Exile On Mainstream Records has signed PLACE OF SKULLS. The band is currently working on a new album to be recorded throughout this summer and be released in early 2006...IN FLAMES has announced that they will be opening for MOTLEY CRUE in Finland for two shows in June and IRON MAIDENís Gothenburg show on July 9th. The band will also be performing on the Ozzfest Main Stage throughout the summer. The band is also putting the finishing touches on its next album, Crawl Through Knives...AOR Heaven label has signed a licensing deal with Rivel Records to handle all of the latter label's upcoming releases for the European territory...Former KISS and ESP drummer Eric Singer performed with MONTROSE at the Rib America Festival in May...CRUACHAN has left Karmageddon Media...GOD DETHRONED's AriŽn Van Weesenbeek has recorded the drums for the debut album of DELAIN which is the new act of former WITHIN TEMPTATION member Martijn Westerholt...STRATOVARIUS' self-titled album will be out on September 5th through Sanctuary Records. The band and HAMMERFALL will tour Europe in the autumn...Guitarist Bart Eeltink (a.k.a. Grev Drake) has left GODDESS OF DESIRE, but is looking for members for his new solo band in The Netherlands. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org...IRON MAIDEN will release a DVD and a live album called Death On The Road through EMI Records on August 29th...Former CRUMBSUCKERS and GENITORTURERS guitarist Chuck Lenihan (a.k.a. Chains) has a new band called GLITTER GUNS...David Wayne, of REVEREND and METAL CHURCH fame, died in May ostensibly due to complications from injuries he sustained in a head-on automobile accident which happened last winter. Wayne was 47 years old...ANUBIS GATE has completed its disc, A Perfect Forever, at the Jacob Hansen Studio in Denmark. The music is being used to shop for a deal...California's VAIN will release a new album called On the Line this month...OPETH has signed with Roadrunner Records...WITCHCRAFT's Firewood album will be out in North America on July 26th through Rise Above/Candlelight...QUIET RIOT was recently animated and featured on The Simpsons television show in an episode called The Father, The Son And The Holy Guest Star. The band is expected to issue a new album in 2006 and is part of a touring package across North America this summer...JUDAS PRIEST has filmed its May 18th show at the Budokan Hall in Tokyo for an upcoming DVD called Re-Unleashed In The East. The video is expected in November...KING'S X has signed a record deal with InsideOut Music following its departure from Metal Blade. The band's next studio album is scheduled for release on September 27th...MOT÷RHEAD has a 30th anniversary DVD, entitled Stage Fright, coming out on July 4th through SPV. The video will feature a show immortalized in Germany and a band documentary...DEF LEPPARD's delayed covers album has been entitled Yeah! It will be out on September 20th...Guitarist Curran Murphy of ANNIHILATOR and NEVERMORE has formed a crossover band called SHATTER MESSIAH...Former HEATHEN and GRIFFIN bassist Mike "Yaz" Jastremski, a veteran of the Bay Rea scene, died last month...Candlelight Records and Regain Records have announced June 14th as the USA re-release date for Lunar Strain and Subterranean, the first two recordings from Sweden's IN FLAMES..Michele Luppi of VISION DIVINE 's MICHELE LUPPI's HEAVEN will issue its Strive album through Scarlet Records in July...According to Cleopatra Records, For the third time in twelve months, the label has prevailed in court against singer Axl Rose of GUNS N' ROSES, who tried to sue the label in June 2004 for releasing an album entitled Hollywood Rose: The Roots of Guns 'N' Roses. Judge Gary Allen Feess has awarded Cleopatra Records' request for attorneys' fees and costs in the amount of $24,176.38...All Sound Riot products are distributed by PHD in Canada...Finland's GLORIA MORTI has recorded five songs so far for a new album. The band is making two songs available as a promotional CD...The Dutch hard rockers AVALON have reformed and are working on releasing a double-CD through the Suburban Records label featuring the band's '80s' EP The Third Move, some demo recordings and live footage and video material. The band is BG Muermans on vocals, guitarists Jack Pisters and Maarten Huiskamp, bassist Jan van Dinteren, drummer Jax Kraa and keyboardist Giovanni Pileri...FIREWIND's UK tour with YNGWIE MALMSTEEN has been cancelled after singer Chity Somapala's was unable to procure a visa for the the U.K...HONEYMOON SUITE is touring Canada this month and next...SHEAVY will issue a new album, entitled Republic?, in July through Rise Above Records. A video is also planned.
ANTIQUUS - RAMAYANA
Antiquus is an interesting band for not only it hails from the relatively metal-barren west coast of Canada, but the band's monicker, style and music are not quite standard fare. Generally speaking, releasing a full-length demo is not tin an unsigned band's interest. As with any band, putting ten tracks on a demo is bound to present a mix of material, both good and bad. The approach might work in countries, like Germany, where a band can live solely off the unsigned circuit of distributors, shows and festivals. In Canada, and elsewhere, bands have to put their best foot forward for record companies and releasing a dull-length is consequently risky. Having said that Antiquus has set up a network of distributors and, more importantly, is actually good. The demo features four standalone songs and a six-song concept called Ramayana - An Epic In Six Parts which transports the band from India to Sri Lanka and beyond to the universe! It is interesting and well-presented and so is the music which is pleasantly colourful. The quartet goes from Virgin Killer-era Scorpions - we need more music like this - to Iron Maiden and to Slayer, the latter on the song Changeling. The band's approach works most of the time too. The intricacies of Sri Lanka and the moods of Ayodha, A Beautiful Stag and He Who Makes The Universe Scream! are testament to the band's talent. Antiquus needs to tighten its arrangements a tad and things will certainly fall in place. Check these guys out by visiting www.antiquus.net or e-mail email@example.com for information. - Ali "The Metallian"
CAR BOMB - same
Not to put down the New York quartet's music, but the sticker and car air freshener that came with this demo must take the cake. Order this demo just to get your hands on these goodies. On the musical front, the band's disc features three songs in less than seven minutes. Yes, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge are prime points of reference for this choppy, staccato fanatics. The proceedings are ridiculously controlled chaos and maddeningly interesting until some funny singing rears its head on Solid Grey. Notwithstanding that little silliness, fans of frantic techno-grind-hyper-thrash should get into this easily. Write the band at firstname.lastname@example.org! - Ali "The Metallian"
COVET - same
Covet's unassuming demo-CD, simple cover design and lack of profile on the metal scene may promise little to the potential fan, but listening to the three songs will change all that. This band hits hard and if adjectives like 'wild', 'brutal' or 'bestial' have any meaning left in them then Covet deserves to be termed by them. Shades of Naglfar and At The Gates are all over this disc, although the American act by and large does its own thing. Be it the wild metal attack of Mortal, the speedy Withered or the heavy riffing of Beneath The Fallen Sky, every song is accompanied by vicious vocals and serious riffing. The band is rhythm-based and lacks guitar solos, something it has to rectify for the next outing. Head over to http://covet.tk or write to email@example.com for more information. - Ali "The Metallian"
THREE SIXES - same
If the band DRI went mad and converted to Satanism Three Sixes would be just that. Three Sixes hailing from Orange County, CA spin their sinister tale of brutality with their self-titled release that is a mixture of previous songs from two earlier releases coupled with three new song additives. Not to bad if you ask me considering this is not your typical evil band of today! Upside to this band has to be the original style Three Sixes has with riffs that verge on the chaotic side of early '90s metal but offering a fresh mesh of sound that makes this group diverse in more ways than one. Track song strengths are Lord Of The Dead, God Denied and Holy Man are raw, thrilling and enticing seductive giving the rest of Three Sixes an untamed energy that gives an erotic twist to a band that some can label lyrically as distortedly sick. Front man Damien LaVey shrills with an otherworldly voice that generates a new eeriness with each song sung; unlike bands with a mainstream vocalist he delivers refreshing forms of wickedness. Highlight power track of this album is song Bleed For Me sounding like an Anthrax tune mixed with techno blasts voicing death counterparts of a sinister crime with fury drum beats. Additive bonus is the two band videos of God Denied and Holy Man which show live band footage mixed with the concept for each video. Downfall to this highly energized group has to be said is that the music gets too repetitive with the song samples ranging in the conversion of rap metal which is not compelling. Nonetheless, these cats rage with tainted imagery that can even make the horrid erotically beautiful. (www.threesixes.com) - Jussi
SOL ASUNDER - demo
The CD playing in the hallowed halls of Metallian Towers is apparently a compilation of Sol Asunder's different recordings from the last five years or so. The CD does not seem to follow a chronological order, but the last few songs are all instrumentals. That is odd perhaps, but there is nothing wrong with the band's music. There is just enough melody here to make the band's music work, but this California mob is joyful underground death metal all the way. The vocals can be growly or screaming and the music can either be simple and pounding or slower and more knotty. In either case, the shrieks and howls of this band brings names like Death, Dawn, At The Gates and, if we have to name an American band, Throcult to mind. This band is easily better than most of the bands currently signed and better than one-hundred percent of the crossover/mallcore crap that every label is signing with abandon right now. Get cranking! Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://solasunder.com/ for more information. - Ali "The Metallian"
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