Displeased Records has re-issued AGATHOCLES’ Theatric Symbolisation Of Life from 1991 + Live Aalst '90 as a bonus…Open Grave Records has signed Brazil’s BLACKMASS. The band’s nemesis album is due in December…ABSU is back with a new line-up. The band is comprised of Proscriptor McGovern - percussion, mellotron, vocals, Vastator Terrarum - guitars, bass guitar, analogue synthesizers & backing voices, Aethyris MacKay - guitars, bass guitar, analogue synthesizers & backing voices. A self-titled album is expected through Osmose Productions in June of 2008…LOITS has a new album called Must Album (or Black Album) through Nailboard Records…Norwegian black metal band TREMOR is in Kamfer Studio recording a second album called Le Matinée De Enfer. It is due for release in the autumn through INRI Unlimited. The band is also planning to release a mini-LP entitled Lipsynced With Satan with one new track and two BATHORY covers, Witchcraft and Satan My Master. The band is looking for a label for this release…Imperium Productions has signed to German doom death metal band OPHIS. The debut album of the four, Stream Of Misery, will be unleashed in July, 2007…MINDGRINDER has welcomed back drummer Nex to the group and is working on a new album…KONKHRA has lost much of the recordings for its next album due to drive failures and is rerecording the material. James Murphy is contributing leads and recording parts of the album…Rise To Ruin, the next album of GOREFEST, will be issued by Nuclear Blast in August…NACHTMYSTIUM has signed to Century Media for two albums. The band’s Eulogy IV album is now out. ANGELCORPSE’s drummer Tony Laureano will play a few shows with the band…ONSLAUGHT cancelled its UK shows last month after singer Sy Keeler fell ill and lost his vision on stage. He has been operated on to reattach his retina…Bassist Clint Norris has left AS I LAY DYING. The band’s new member is Josh Gilbert…J.J. Hrubovcak of VILE and DIVINE RAPTURE fame has joined MONSTROSITY for several summer shows including the Fuck The Commerce festival…DEICIDE has cancelled its planned appearance at Milwaukee Metalfest XIX. INCANTATION has been added to the line-up…Former FORBIDDEN and TESTAMENT guitarist Glen Alvelais has joined SCORCHED-EARTH POLICY…HATESPHERE’s Serpent Smiles And Killer Eyes is now out…Devin Townsend has tired of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD and has put the band on ice…The German black metal band REIGN IN BLOOD has finished the recordings of its first MCD, End All Spiritual Sacred Lies, which will be available on the 28th of May. It is available through Miriquidi Productions…Singer Azathoth was booted from DARK FORTRESS due to non-musical differences. The band is cancelling forthcoming shows…ANUBIS GATE has announced a new name for its new album. It is called Andromeda Unchained and is due this summer through Locomotive Music. The album was recorded at Hansen Studios and Sphere Music with producers Jacob Hansen and Kim Olesen…Following the departure of founding drummer Fred Estby, DISMEMBER has recruited Thomas Daun of INSISION fame to tour with the group…IN BATTLE has postponed the release date of its fourth album, Kingdom Of Fear to August 27th through Nocturnal Art Productions. The album is also a tribute to the band’s deceased ex-drummer Otto Wiklund who died last summer… After a five-year hiatus, Dino Cazares (co-founding member of FEAR FACTORY) has returned with a new group. DIVINE HERESY features Cazares handling guitar and bass duties, Tim Yeung (HATE ETERNAL and VITAL REMAINS) on drums and newcomer Tommy Vext on vocals. The band’s Roadrunner/Century Media Records’ debut offering, Bleed The Fifth, is set for an August release…On the 25th of June Metal Mind Productions will release the first live DVD of the Polish black/death metal band DARZAMAT. The DVD is entitled Live Profanity (Visiting The Graves Of Heretics)…The new MORRIGAN album The Damned is out now through Undercover Records…OBITUARY have confirmed Xecutioner's Return as the title for its forthcoming album. The album's release date has been pushed forward by Candlelight Records to August 28 from the earlier announced September 11 date. The album’s title is a reference to the band’s original monicker… Osmose Productions will be releasing SJODOGG`s debut full-length Landscapes Of Disease And Decadence this autumn. The basic concept behind SJODOGG is “to create dark music with an emphasis on atmosphere and groove.” …KATAFALK will be utilizing the services of GOD DETHRONED’s Henk 'Henke' Zinger as its regular bassist Jurjen is not able to make it the immediate future. Henke is returning the favour as Jurjen also filled in for Henke during GOD DETHRONED's European tour with THE HAUNTED in 2005…Crossover band AS I LAY DYING has picked An Ocean Between Us as the title for its next album which is the follow-up to Shadows Are Security. The band has also recruited bassist Josh Gilbert from THIS ENDEARING…Christian Catholic guitarist RALPH SANTOLLA has left DEICIDE…America’s HEMLOCK has signed with Candlelight Records…SLAYER is co-headlining an American tour with Marilyn Manson…Rockatak Productions (which in the past has managed VOIVOD, OBLIVEON and CRYPTOPSY) has organized a three-day festival celebrating the 25th Anniversary of metal made in the Canadian province of Quebec. This event will feature a dozen bands, including eight which are reuniting specifically for this occasion. The festival is set to take place at Club Soda in Montreal from August 31st to September 2nd. Bands like OBLIVEON, DBC and NECROTIC MUTATION will take part. As well, the deceased Piggy of VOIVOD will be inducted to something called the Quebec Metal Hall Of Fame.
Eagle Rock Entertainment will release They All Came Down To Montreux: Deep Purple Live At Montreux 2006 as a two-DVD set and a separate CD this month…One-time ACCEPT singer David Reece has joined Swedish hard rock outfit GYPSY ROSE which is due to release an album late this year…Former BLITZKRIEG member Glenn S Howes is concentrating in his band EARTHROD. The group has been an experimental side-project of Glenn for many years, but is taking on renewed emphasis. Howes will be the band’s frontman and is asking interested parties to contact him through email@example.com…Scarlet Records is issuing EXTREMA’s Murder Tunes & Broken Bones - 20 Years Anniversary DVD…THE GREAT KAT has a new DVD. It is called The Flight Of The Bumble-Bee…The European Union release of Halford Metal God Essentials - Volume 1 is on June 8th through license with Frontiers Records of Italy. Halford Metal God Essentials Volume 1 features thirteen tracks from Rob Halford's FIGHT and HALFORD solo releases. The band's first new songs in more than four years Forgotten Generation and Drop Out are also featured; as is an exclusive 2007 remix from producer Attie Bauw called Redemption European Mix…Distribution Fusion 3 has signed Metal God Entertainment and ROB HALFORD to an exclusive Canadian distribution deal. The first release will be Halford - Metal God Essentials - Volume 1, which will hit the streets July 10, 2007. Halford Metal God Essentials - Volume 1 features thirteen tracks from Rob Halford's FIGHT and HALFORD’s solo releases. The HALFORD band's first new songs in more than four years Forgotten Generation and Drop Out are also featured; as is an exclusive 2007 remix from producer Attie Bauw called Resistance Canadian Mix…Gold Storm Records has released VIOLENT STORM's album Storm Warning, with guests Yngwie Malmsteen and JUDAS PRIEST's K.K. Downing, on July 17th, 2007…BALANCE OF POWER performed new material from an upcoming and as of now untitled album, including the song Pariah, at the upcoming appearance at the Bay Area Rock Fest (BAR Fest) on Friday, May 4th. This show marked the North American debut of the band’s new vocalist, Corey Brown, known for his work with MAGNITUDE 9 and PSYCO DRAMA...EYECONOCLAST will issue a full-length entitled Unassigned Death Chapter through Stagefright Records (UK)…GMT's (GUY-MCCOY-TORME) new CD Bitter & Twisted featuring singer and guitarist Bernie Torme and John McCoy is now out through Torme’s Retrowrek Records…DOOMSWORD will release its new album, My Name Will Live On, on June 22nd through Dragonheart Records...DOKKEN has hired drummer Vik Foxx (ex-ENUFF Z'NUFF) to fill in for drummer Mick Brown for several shows the man cannot play this summer….IN FLAMES’ bassist Peter Iwers will join Peter Tagtagren’s PAIN for three shows in Russia in May. He is filling in for André Skaug who is touring with CLAWFINGER…ENTOMBED will release its new album, Serpent Saints – The Ten Amendments, on July 13th through Threeman Recordings. The band’s new drummer is Olle Dahlstedt (ALPHA SAFARI and ex-MISERY LOVES CO.). The band has cancelled all its pending live dates however apparently due to a death in the family of guitarist Alex Hellid…After completing work on the band’s Hymns To Steel album EMERALD drummer Andreas Bächler has decided to leave the band. The band’s roadie Alex Spicher is the replacement…Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Izzy Stradlin's new solo CD Miami is now out…Singer and guitarist Chris Kalandras (ex-FEAR OF GOD), bassist Rob Michael (ex-HAVE MERCY, FEAR OF GOD and JAKKPOT) and drummer Nort (ex-HAVE MERCY) have a new band called DEN OF GERMS…AMORPHIS’ next album is called Silent Waters…Utah’s KATAGORY V will issue its fourth album, Hymns Of Dissension, in the autumn…BRITNY FOX is touring the US…IRON FIRE’s fourth album, Blade Of Triumph, will be out on June 29th through Napalm Records…US metal band ATTACKER has signed a deal with Chavis Records for the digital distribution of its back catalogue, Battle At Helms Deep, The Second Coming, The Unknown and Soul Taker…CENTURY MEDIA president Marco Barbieri has been temporarily replaced by the company’s second-in-command, Brian Sharp…Former CANDLEMASS singer Thomas Vikström has joined THERION replacing MATS LEVEN. The band wanted to go in a different direction vocally… Profound Lore has released THE ANGELIC PROCESS’ Weighing Souls With Sand album featuring a husband and wife duo…OFFICIUM TRISTE’s Giving Yourself Away CD is now out through Displeased Records…FC Metal Recordings has announced its first signing. Spain’s DARKSUN will issue The Dark Side in September. It is an English version of DARKSUN's second album, El Lado Oscuro…NANOWAR OF STEEL has a new single, The Power Of The Power Of The Power Of The Power Of The Power Of The Power Of The Great Tour - United (2007 Tour Edition). The band is playing shows in Italy and neighbouring countries this summer…HAMMERFALL will issue a compilation called Steel Meets Steel - Ten Years Of Glory on October 12th, The CD will feature three new songs…DIO’s guitarist Craig Goldy has also joined HYDROGYN…MANNINYA BLADE from Sweden has reformed. The group is singer Leif Eriksson, guitarists Nicke Johansson and Jerry Rutstrom, bassist Jan Lindberg and drummer Andreas Lindmark…Singer and bassist Angelos has quit HOMO IRATUS due to musical differences…After 16 years in the band guitarist Peter Lindgren has quit the band after losing much of his enthusiasm. Fredrik Åkesson formerly of ARCH ENEMY, KRUX and TALISMAN has been picked as the new guitarist of the band…The Dutch doom metal band OFFICIUM TRISTE has its fourth album, Giving Yourself Away, out now through Displeased Records…GREAT WHITE’s original members Jack Russell (vocals), Mark Kendall (lead Guitar), Audie Desbrow (drums), Michael Lardie (Guitar/keyboards) and Sean McNabb (bass) have been in studio the last few months writing and recording a new album called Back To The Rhythm, which is being mixed, produced, and engineered by band member Michael Lardie. The new album is expected through Shrapnel Records in August…KINGCROW has a new bass player, Angelo Orlando…GRAND LUX’s Carved In Stone album has been licensed to Nightmare Records by Ulterium Records for North America…WINGER is playing Waterstock 2007 in Des Moines, IA at Water Works Park on June 30th. Also confirmed are VINCE NEIL, WARRANT, WHITE LION and others…Power metal outfit KATAGORY V is now part of the Burning Star Records’ roster…Locomotive Records has issued the new album of SQUEALER A.D. in North America. The album, Confrontation Street, was originally released by AFM in Europe and featured the now dead owner of AFM, Andy "Henner" Allendörfer. Also in the band is former GRIP INC. man Gus Chambers…SHEAVY’s new album, The Machine That Won the War, is almost complete…Bassist Steve King has left ROSE TATTOO for his own musical projects ironically following the release of the band’s Blood Brothers album...FASTWAY has parted ways with its Irish singer, John "Harv" Harbinson reportedly due to the physical distance between the two parties…New Guitarist Niclas Karlsson has left CRYSTAL EYES for personal reasons…HANOI ROCKS' new single, entitled Fashion, entered the Finnish chart at position number one last month…Former ALCATRAZZ members Jimmy Waldo, Gary Shea and Jan Uvena have sent singer Graham "cease-and-desist" letter to the group's singer, Graham Bonnet, requesting that he stop calling his new band ALCATRAZZ in violation of their intellectual property rights…SONATA ARCTICA’s Unia album is now out through Nuclear Blast Records…Locomotive Records’ FATAL SMILE has parted ways with bassist Markus Johansson and already replaced him with Alex Johnson… Metalhead Music Management has apparently dropped Blaze Bayley from its roster claiming personal and professional differences…EDGUY has been chosen to open for AEROSMITH for three German shows this month...AVENGER UK is playing live in Europe in tandem with preparations for the release of a new album. The band has scheduled shows on the 13th and 14th July at Headbangers Open Air in Elmshorn, Germany, with CANDLEMASS, SINNER, MALICE, HOLLOW GROUND and others. The band is next playing on the 22nd of September at the Metieval Festival Beverly UK WITH SKYCLAD, TALAMASKAR, HEATHEN FORAY and HEAT RAY. Finally, the band is playing on the 9th and 10th of November at the Hard Rock Hell in Maidenhead UK with CRADLE OF FILTH, TWISTED SISTER, UFO, GIRLSCHOOL, SAXON and many more.
TOMBTHROAT – BLOODRED HISTORY
The dilemma of not being able to punch through the barcode on a digipak is curiously solved by punching through the booklet, partially ruining this promotional CD. Musically, a Hell Awaits type intro starts things off and takes the listener to the title track. A gory death metal song that combines many elements of the genre follows complete with rapid drumming, growling and varying levels of speed and heaviness. In The Arms Of The Lord borrows both North American and European riffs and structures ranging from Broken Hope, Autopsy, Obituary and even Slayer in the American and the Grave and early Carcass in the European inspiration departments. Hypnotized takes a small step towards the thrash side of things but manages to retain the all-encompassing death metal sound that is Tombthroat. Cheesy title aside Here Cums The Pain is gory, fast and heavy. A Lesson In Fear could do without a break or two but is effective nevertheless. Resignation and Soul Trade seem to confirm the Obituary influence. The Downfall Of Mankind and Terrorized are shorter songs and are dominated by their respective speeds. Dirty Bastards Never Die and Bloodstained highlight some of the aforementioned European influences and close Bloodred History on a positive and brutal note. – Anna Tergel
HJALLARHORN – NEW WAVE OF CLASSIC HEAVY METAL
Hjallarhorn from Oslo, Norway, clearly worship the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Not only the title of their current demo CD, but also their sound points in the direction of early ‘80s British metal. The band’s sound can be described as a mixture between Grim Reaper and early Bay Area thrash, especially Forbidden and Testament. Dani Nilsen, both singer and rhythm guitarist, has a voice that combines the best of Steve Grimmett and Chuck Billy. The opener The Changeling starts with Testament-like breaks and features a balladesque part later in the song. Murder has very traditional riffing, and Eye Of The Storm is a long track with 9:15 minutes playing time. The CD features two bonus tracks from former demos, namely Blood And Black Lace and Iron Clad Soldier. Now here are your vintage song titles! Their mix is not as good as the one on the three first songs and their sound is simpler, but they carry even more of the early ‘80s spirit. Needless to say, this band does not feature keyboards in any way – the Metallian himself would love this CD. They have not played concerts outside of Norway yet, but a spot on the next Headbanger’s Open Air or the Keep It True, both of which are in Germany, should be able to jump-start their career. They should try to get into these festivals. People who go there like this kind of classic metal, and who knows, someone might hook them up with the right record company. Kalle Trapp could be the ideal producer for the band. Their website is www.hjallarhorn.com. – Andreas Herzog
THE SERENITY PROJECT BY STEVE BIFFORD - Same
This is a demo by Steve Bifford who is the guitarist for Canada’s Severed Serenity. On this 45-minute release, he claims to try different things and mentions folk, jazz, prog and fusion as his inspirations. In other words, don’t look for much in the way of heavy metal here. Starting from the instrumental Summer Breeze it is clear that this is purely an outlet for him to just play and showcase his talents. Titles like Serenity, Autumn’s Wind, Betterdays, Frost Dreams and Lament are very representative of this mostly relaxed, ambient, easy going album that is almost like one song that is only interrupted artificially into segments. Listen for a cover of SOS Message In A Bottle, one of his stated influences. Contact him at www.myspace.com/stevebifford. - Anna Tergel
EVOLUTION EDEN – STORY ROAD
Evolution Eden needs an evolution before it reaches anywhere close to Eden. This demo disc is some of the most tepid, tiresome and tedious material that has come this way in quite some time. The San Francisco trio that is Evolution Eden somehow reckons it is a mix of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Nickelback, although how any of this collection of soft rock and (barly) rock songs is comparable to the listed bands is difficult to fathom (Nickelback notwithstanding).
Song after song on Story Road is slow, quiet and conservative with only a nod here and there to the type of ballads bands like Bon Jovi or White Lion would write. With barely an upbeat moment in tow and all the charisma of a SUV Evolution Eden is way off the mark on this website. Speaking of which, hilarity ensues with some of the quotations in the ‘press’ section of the band’s website where miscellaneous reviewers call the band everything from superb to the definition of metal! If this is metal, George Bush is a great visionary and peacemaker and that is that. Was my CD switched without my knowledge? For more information, visit www.evolutioneden.com. The members should stick with corporate conference gigs and leave rock and metal to rock and metal bands. – Ali “The Metallian”
GOD – HELL & HEAVEN
Want to know what is funnier than a Portuguese band calling itself ‘Viking metal’? A Portuguese band, which is lead by a couple of Romanians, that is laden with clean vocals, hoarse chanting and a ton of synthesizers that dares call itself metal of any sorts – let alone Viking!
This particular God has been around 13 years – trying to shirk responsibility for the countless atrocities perpetrated throughout history perhaps – and has several releases to its name. The group’s current demo does indeed contain several notable guitar solos and an impressive growl or two, but it is utterly impossible to take the band’s trendy and commercial music seriously. Were the real Vikings around they would surely maim and massacre this lot for defiling the band’s legacy with such a treasonous and weak handiwork. The band’s website is at www.khaeotica-productions.com with labels looking to go out of business sooner rather later invited to contact the group via firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali “The Metallian”
PESTIFER – DEMO 2006
Pestifer? Pestilence? Lucifer?... This Belgian quartet has been around since 1998 and claims that the major reasons for its existence are metal and beer. Finally having written a dozen songs they have decided to release three of them. Wrested From Saturn, Carcinogenic Matter and Solstitium are mostly technical death metal with quite a few rhythm changes but without sounding too technical, fast or heavy. A few hints of their compatriots, Blasphereion, can be heard throughout. The production is the one limiting factor here and as is the vocals of Morty which is sometimes all over the place and not really definable. Some of the music and the bass sound courtesy of Adrien Gustin give this demo a hint of Death’s Individual Thought Patterns. Contact the band at email@example.com or visit www.pestifer.be. - Anna Tergel
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