After three years of inactivity SVARTSYN has begun work on a new album, which will be issued by Sound Riot Records late this year…France’s AGRESSOR is gearing up again and will record a new album this year for Season Of Mist…The release of MELECHESH’s Emissaries album has been postponed by Osmose Production to September from its original May timeframe. The band apparently was unhappy with the mix done by Attie Bauw and went back to work further with recording engineer Dennis Koehne…Crash Music has picked June 27th as the release date for JUNGLE ROT'S new album entitled War Zone. The band is scheduled to tour with DEICIDE in September…UK’s Conquer Records has severed ties with Poland-based Conquer Records SP ZOO. The split is apparently due to unpaid debts, etc…D.U.K.E. has issued the album Terror Inside by THE END 666 formerly IMPERIAL…MISERY INDEX’s Relapse debut, Discordia, is out now in North America and features ten new tracks from the Baltimore-based quartet. Discordia's track listing is Unmarked Graves, Conquistadores, Outsourcing Jehovah, Breathing Pestilence, Meet Reality, Sensory Deprivation, The Medusa Stare, Dystopian Nightmares, Discordia and Pandemican…Italy’s NOCTIFER has issued an independent DVD called Bellicvm Praeconium Live In Roma 24/04/2006…REAKTOR (formerly known as RE:AKTOR) is searching for a new drummer. Since an amicable split with Cato Bekkevold (currently in ENSLAVED) in 2003, REAKTOR has been touring with drummers Daniel Cardoso formerly of SIRIUS, HEAD CONTROL SYSTEM) and Cyph…GRAVE has completed work on a new album, called As Rapture Comes, due on July 25th through Century Media Records…DISMEMBER, GRAVE, VITAL REMAINS and others will kick off a North American tour on September 29th…Following the half-hearted response to the band’s reunion album Reinkaos and its inability to obtain a bigger recording deal, DISSECTION has thrown in the towel. The band’s sole non-American show outside Sweden will take place in June in Israel. The band will be the subject of a live record and DVD however…AGANKAST has a new demo and will appear at the Bloodstock festival in September…LYZANXIA has signed a worldwide deal with Listenable Records. The new album, Unsu, will be released in September in Europe and shortly thereafter in the USA. The album was recorded and mixed at the Fredman Studio with producer Fredrik Nordström in Sweden…The Dutch band DESENSITISED is looking for a bassist. Interested parties should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The band has also signed with Pathos Productions for the release of its Virus Of Violence CD…Texas’ ROTTING CORPSE has just issued a DVD. Head over to http://www.texasmetalunderground.com/rc_DVD/ for information…For the third time in ten years Jacques Belanger has quit EXCITER. Due to "differences of opinion” on many issues between Jacques and the rest of the band, he felt he could no longer continue as vocalist for EXCITER. The band has had to cancel shows in Europe, the USA and Canada, but has completed the writing for a new CD…The official debut album of Canada’s ARCTIC CIRCLE is now out. Christened Forcing The Astral, the album is out through Profound Lore Records…IMPALED NAZARENE has had to cancel a portion of its European tour after being dogged with allegations of fascism. The openers SUN DESCENDS were also affected…BENEDICTION drummer Nick Barker recently broke his ankle hence affecting all the band’s activities…Former Nuclear Blast act RESURRECTION has reformed and is writing new music. Original members remaining are singer Paul DeGolyer and guitarist John Astl. The band also features former EPITAPH and current ADRIFT drummer Kevin Astl…DESTRUCTION is recording a new album’s worth of its own earlier material…Reformed ATHEIST’s guitarist Rand Burkey has been forced to temporarily leave the band “due to legal troubles.”…Former SUICIDAL TENDENCIES members guitarist Grant Estes, drummer Amery Smith and bassist Louichi Mayorga have come together with former EXCEL frontman Dan Clements to form AGAINST. The band can soon be heard on the Welcome To Venice 2 sampler…YEARNING - which recently left the fledgling Holy Records - drummer Kristonic recently drummed for Finland’s THYRANE on its two farewell shows…FLESHMOULD has completed recordings for The Lazarus Breed, which will be issued on June 6th through the resurrected Shiver Records…ANTIGAMA has signed to Relapse Records…Sweden’s VISCERAL BLEEDING has parted ways with guitarist Marcus Nilsson…Singer and guitarist has left NAER MATARON and will focus on his other band, Norway-based APTORIAN DEMON…NIGHTRAGE was dropped by Century Media and is currently seeking to record a new demo in order to obtain a recording deal…CELTIC FROST has announced the addition of Norwegian guitar player Anders Odden as a touring member. Odden has previously been a member of MAYHEM and SATYRICON…ENSLAVEMENT OF BEAUTY has officially decided to disband due to a "lack of motivation."...Screaming Ferret Wreckords will issue the following albums this year: JACK FROST's Out In the Cold - Aug. 29th, MELIAH RAGE's The Deep And Dreamless Sleep - Sept. 12th, SEVEN WITCHES - Years Of The Witch DVD - Sept 26th and NUCLEAR ASSAULT's Louder Harder Faster DVD on October 10th...Singer Witto has left LISTERIA. The band is looking for replacements and can be reached at email@example.com...AMPHITRYON has signed to Manitou/Thundering and will issue an album called Sumphokeras this summer. The label has also signed Finland's Crystalic.
BLIND GUARDIAN, which just shot a video for the song Another Stranger Me, will be touring the US and Canada in November…The Swiss hard rock band BACKWASH is looking for a drummer. For more information visit http://www.backwash.ch…THE OLD DEAD TREE is losing guitarist Nicolas Chevrollier. A founding member of the band, Nicolas has decided to focus on his family duties, as he will soon become a father…Contrary to a report last month Larry Howe is not leaving VICIOUS RUMORS for W.A.S.P. The latter band has instead recruited Mike Dupke who played with HAIR OF THE DOG…Toronto’s GOAT HORN can be seen live in Canada and select US cities this month. Head to http://goathorn.com for dates… Grzegorz Kupczyk, the one-time vocalist of TURBO and CETI, has recorded a covers album of ‘70s songs. The album features songs of DEEP PURPLE and others and is called Memories…AXEMASTER is reissuing its debut 1987 album, Blessing In The Skies… Finnish heavy rock band GOTHAM O.D will release a new Mini-CD, entitled Serenity. The release includes five songs and was produced at Sundicoop Studios, Savonlinna by Juuso Jalasmäki (of SETHIAN) and engineer Tuomo Valtonen. Serenity is released through a new Finnish label, DynamoKruts… Guitarist Tom of DOUBLEDIAMOND recently had a severe motorcycle accident and is in hospital for recovery. He is undergoing some skin transplantation on his feet and back. The band will consequently play the next few shows with Steve Deleu from OGRESS…ROYAL HUNT is set to release an as yet untitled live DVD which was filmed in St. Petersburg on the band’s last year tour…ORANGE SKY, from Trinidad and Tobago, has announced its second tour with guitarist YNGWIE MALMSTEEN. Dates are scheduled in the United States and Canada. The band first toured with the Swedish six-string in the winter of 2005…BIOMECHANICAL recently opened for DECAPITATED on a couple of shows. Since bassist Jon Collins could not tour due to his university exams the band utilized Dom Lawson from BOWLRIDER…Drummer Dave Murray - who is best known for his work with ESTRADASPHERE, the DESERTS OF TRAUN, DAEDELUS and the soon-to-be-released THOLUS - has agreed to join SCULPTURED for the recording of its third full-length album entitled Embodiment, which is due this autumn through the End Records…AFTERSHOK drummer George Borden has left the band…CRISIS has officially been put on ice… OMNIUM GATHERUM, which was dropped by Nuclear Blast last year, has also parted ways with vocalist Antti Filppu and instead recruited Jukka Pelkonen of the band ELENIUM…Drummer Robin Engström of MORGANA LEFAY has left the band…GUNS N' ROSES were scheduled to join THE ROLLING STONES in Germany for two shows before the latter band’s tour was cancelled, but will go ahead and conduct its own tour of the continent…IMAGIKA has left Mausoleum Records, but will continue working with Crash Music in America…ANIMAL will issue its new album, Violent New Breed, on May 15th through Cargo Records…Former GREAT WHITE tour manager Dan Biechele was sentenced to four years in prison last month for operating the pyrotechnics displays that sparked The Station nightclub fire, which killed 100 people...HELSTAR has reunited with the Remnants Of War album line-up…MEGADETH has signed to Roadrunner Records…Drummer Peter Stjärnvind has left ENTOMBED and will concentrate on his other band, NIFELHEIM instead…ICARUS WITCH has recruited second guitarist Quinn Lukas…Norway’s TNT has announced the addition of singer Tony Mills known for his fronting SHY…SHEAVY has a second guitarist called Tommy Boland…One-time LIQUID SKY, S.A. SLAYER and JUGGERNAUT singer Steve Cooper died on May 14th in San Antonio, Texas hospital from complications attributed to kidney failure…Black Lotus Records has bitten the dust…BLACK LABEL SOCIETY will release a live DVD, entitled The European Invasion - Doom Troopin' Live, on June 27th...ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY has recruited former EXHORDER, TROUBLE and FLOODGATE man Kyle Thomas to sing for the band…Chicago’s ION VEIN has asked vocalist Russ Klimczak to leave the band…BLOODBOUND has three new members all at once. They are guitarist Markus Albertson, bassist Jörgen Andersson and drummer Pelle Åkerlind…Cruz Del Sur will issue HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE’s The Locust Years album next month…Nuclear Blast and PRIMAL FEAR have Parted ways. Mat Sinner has also been let go from his position at the label and gone on to sign his band SINNER to MTM. Former PRIMAL FEAR and current MY DARKEST HATE drummer Klaus Sperling is now also part of SINNER…KORN has recruited FEAR FACTORY guitarist Christian Olde Wolbers…On September 22nd, Locomotive Records will release a GRAVE DIGGER single, entitled Yesterday. The band has signed to the label…Lion Music will issue two CJSS albums on one disc as CJSS - 241: World Gone Mad/Praise The Loud.
GAUNTLET – PATH OF NAILS
When it comes to professionalism and presentation, you will not come across anything like Gauntlet’s Path Of Nails. The band has not only recorded a long full-length with outstanding packaging and quality, but also included a second disc featuring a biography, thumbs and a video. The band has even included a slide presentation of itself. Now that is effort.
It would all be for naught were the music appalling, but fans of traditional hard rock and heavy metal will love this. Nothing can stand in the band’s way now. It is usually not advisable to include all your songs on a demo – after all, it is just a demo – but it all comes together here. The disc’s first song is Jack The Riffer, which is the band’s best probably. It is not afraid to speed up and has that certain traditional edge that many modern bands lack. The singer can wail. In case you noticed the wordplay, there is more. Song titles like Grime Reaper and a trilogy based on the Alien trilogy will follow. There are also a couple of slow songs here like the good one, Sea Of Tears, and the corny one, The Light. Another notable cut is Darkened, which begins with a Slayer rhythm and appropriately has a heavy riff. Expect some female vocals, but not as backing singing, but more as a male-female duet. Oh, the band has somehow managed to get members of Dreamaker, Dark Moor, Ebony Ark and Arwen to appear on the disc as well. Path Of Nails is an incredible effort. For more information write to firstname.lastname@example.org. - Anna Tergel
END MY SORROW - A MIND UNSOLVED
End My Sorrow is one of the crop of younger bands that uses female singers. However, like most contemporary bands the group’s Liv Stikling has a popish voice that really negates any heaviness the rest of the band pushes forth. It is not very different from the chick fronting The Gathering. Christian Jensen plays guitar and growls, but is no match for the off-key crooning of Stikling. Still, the band tries hard to be heavy in the background which includes heavy percussion work by drummer Jesper Skousen. Please visit www.endmysorrow.dk for information. – Anna Tergel
OBLIVION – REMIXED
Here is an absolute labour or love. Whether actually remixed or not, Remixed is a compilation of underground thrashers’ Oblivion and the demos the band issued from 1988 to 1991 plus a couple of live songs. As expected the band’s thrash metal is consistent with the style of the late ‘80s, which had speed, fury and rage all rolled into one. A couple of Testament influences pop up here and there, but for the most part Oblivion would have been at home on the East Coast alongside Faith Or Fear, Ripping Corpse and Blood Lust. The CD’s insert is adorned with pictures of show posters, which is a treat to see, like a who’s-who of the late ‘80s thrash metal scene. Email oblivionCD@comcast.net and guitarist David Fesette will get you any information needed about these 18 tracks. – Anna Tergel
DANGER – KEEP OUT
When the first riff of leadoff track Enemy came out of the speakers the first association that came to mind was Stratovarius. The likeness ended there. Danger shares a name with an old Belgian band and, for a moment, the thought occurred to me that this might be the same ‘80s act resurrected and reactivated. The style is pure classic heavy metal and not far from the brilliant stuff one would have expected from a label like Mausoleum circa 1984. This is nostalgia, but with vigour, power and reason.
This Danger is a quintet of Swedes that mixes equal parts Euro-metal, Iron Maiden and hard rock to fantastic effect. The song Out In The Cold and The Curse (the latter directly comparable to the song Alexander The Great) are pure early Maiden gems with Killer riffs and sturdy rhythm. Eridanus and Remembrance are above average instrumentals, while the demo’s closing number is the obligatory slow song. A more than adequate singer and a demo cover and design reminiscent of the French metal bands of 1985 seal the deal. Often bands playing this style express humour or a tongue-in-cheek attitude. Danger, in contrast and to its credit, takes its music, style and image seriously. More please! Write to email@example.com for more information. – Ali “The Metallian”
THE KILLING MACHINE – FELLOW’S WAIT
A couple of general comments first before we deal specifically with Italy’s The Killing Machine. The band surely knows that it has to switch its monicker in favour of something less typical. There are already several Killing Machines driving around the scene and if this quintet is to make any kind of mark it better make the move sooner and cut its losses. Moreover, a professional band with serious aspirations needs better cover art than the standard skull or juvenile caricatures of the band members in the CD’s booklet.
Should you have noticed that there are a couple of forward-looking statements in that last paragraph then you have probably guessed that The Killing Machine can easily have a future in this over-bought metal market of ours. The band’s melodic metal needs a little more tough and rumble heaviness, but songs like Fellow’s Wait, the strangely named We Bore and CD’s closing cut Mansion are near-perfect heavy metal tracks. The band’s professional and advanced song craft is nearly awesome. In fact, fans of America’s Killing Machine will love this, as will fans of Helstar, Fates Warning, Nocturnal Rites and Metal Church. Frank Morana’s voice, in particular, has the right balance of grit, pitch and power. He sounds close to John Bush at his best. In contrast, the drumming of Daniele Ferru is relatively weak and de-emphasized in the production department. Get this through firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali “The Metallian”
© 2002 - 2006, metallian.com, All Rights reserved. Limitation of use: excerpts may be used only if source is noted.