BENEDICTION, which is putting the finishing touches to its next album Killing Music, has cancelled its USA tour ostensibly due to immigration issues…ARCH ENEMY has completed work on its next album, entitled Rise Of The Tyrant, which is the follow-up to 2005's Doomsday Machine. The band has once again enlisted producer Fredrik Nordström at Sweden's Studio Fredman, where the band recorded all of its albums since Wages Of Sin (2001). Look for Rise Of The Tyrant everywhere on September 25th through Century Media...INHUMATE will follow-up the release of its At War With...INHUMATE DVD with a new album due in 2008 called The Fifth Season…NECRODEATH will issue an album called Draculea through Scarlet Records in October. In the meanwhile, drummer Peso has left the act…Metal Blade’s THE RED CHORD has a new album. The album, titled Prey For Eyes, was recorded at New Jersey’s Trax East with producer Eric Rachel (ATREYU and EVERY TIME I DIE)…MALFEITOR, featuring Fabban (ABORYM) has signed a one-album-deal with Scarlet Records, the label which launched the first two ABORYM albums in 1999 and 2001. The group’s debut full-length will be out in September, 2007 both on CD and vinyl LP formats. The title is Unio Mystica Maxima…SCARVE’s The Undercurrent album is now out through Listenable Records...Death metal bands, JUNGLE ROT, DENIAL FIEND and ASHURA will be the opening acts on the upcoming European tour of MASSACRE in October and November. MASSACRE is Terry Butler - bass (SIX FEED UNDER and DEATH), Kam Lee - vocals (DEATH), Steve Swansen - guitar (SIX FEET UNDER), Sam Williams - guitar (DAWN BY LAW and PSEUDO HEROES) and Curt Beeson of NASTY SAVAGE on drums. ASHURA’s The Legacy Of Hatred album is due in September...DARKTHRONE’s next album is called F.O.A.D. and due in the autumn. The group will issue an EP in July as a precursor to the album…Following his departure from DEICIDE guitarist Ralph Santolla has joined OBITUARY. The latter band has just completed the recording of Xecutioner’s return which is due on September…SIEGES EVEN’s Paramount album is now out through InsideOut Music…Vocalist Pierrick Valence has left SCARVE to focus on his other band PHAZM. The latter band has had many structural problems in the last several years…BRUTAL TRUTH is touring Europe this summer…Drummer Mike Hamilton of DEEDS OF FLESH has also joined CURIOSITY KILLED THE COP…Drummer Nils Fjällström (AEON, SANCTIFICATION etc) has joined DARK FUNERAL and will henceforth be called Dominator. He replaces the departed Dominator...Sven De Caluwé (also of metallers ABORTED) has quit his drummer position for LENG TCH'E. Apparently the band was not fun anymore…JUNGLE ROT is recording a new demo following its departure from Crash Music…Germany’s SODOM is re-recording its first EP, In The Sign Of Evil for a release through SPV Records. The new CD, which is now called The Final Sign Of Evil, will feature no less than seven bonus tracks written in the mid-‘80s and guest appearances by early members like Witchhunter and Grave Violator…Better Motörhead Than Dead: Live At Hammersmith, which is a live album recorded at MOTÖRHEAD's 30th-anniversary show on June 16, 2005 at London's Hammersmith Apollo is now out through SPV…Australia’s BLACK MAJESTY will release its new album, Tomorrowland, on July 17th through SPV…Open Grave Records’ FEAST ETERNAL have finished work on a new album called With Fire. The disc is due in September…Guitarist Tuomio has left IMPALED NAZARENE and been replaced by Tomi UG Ullgren who has sessioned with the band since 2000. The band’s Manifest album is due in September…Season Of Mist has several releases coming in the next few months including BESTIAL MOCKERY Slaying The Life, THE OLD DEAD TREE’s The Water Fields and GHOST BRIGADE’s Guided By Fire…Equilibre Music will issue the new DIRGE album called Wings Of Lead Over Dormant Seas in September…AGAINST THE PLAGUES, featuring members of LOST HORIZON, LUCIFERION, FOREST OF IMPALED and DAMNATION, has completed work on a CD called The Architecture Of Oppression…GOREROTTED and guitarist Matt "Robin Pants" Hoban have gone separate ways. Hoban will focus on his band THE AGONYST in the future…TEXTURES’ bassist Dennis has left the group and been replaced by Michel 'MuD' Quak temporarily for the upcoming tour with CYNIC. The band will spend the autumn recording a new album due in December…Techno metal band MEKONG DELTA has signed with AFM Records for the release of its next album, Lurking Fear...Finland’s OLYMPOS MONS will release a new album, called Medievil, on July 16th through its new label Scarlet Records…Former MOTÖRHEAD drummer Philthy "Animal" Taylor has joined a band called CAPRICORN. Also in the band are former MONSTER MAGNET man Phil Caivano and former DANZIG guitarist Todd Youth…Bassist Joey Vera will play bass for NEVERMORE this month at Italy's Evolution Festival as regular bassist Jim Sheppard is unable to attend. Vera is also playing there with FATES WARNING…MERCYFUL FATE and KING DIAMOND guitarist Mike Wead has a new band called PROBULATOR. Also in the band is the singer of black metal band NATTAS…HELSTAR has signed with AFM Records. The band’s first release for the label is a rerecording of some of the group’s better known songs…TESTAMENT has signed with Nuclear Blast Records. The reunited line-up (with drummer Nick Barker) will enter the studio in late summer…HOUR OF PENANCE has finished the songwriting for its forthcoming album, The Vile Conception which is out this autumn through Unique Leader Records. The band will enter the 16th Cellar Studio in Rome on July 10th with Stefano Saul Morabito as producer…CHARNEL VALLEY's sophmore album, The Igneous Race, is set for a July 6th release date through Paragon Records.
THE ORDER is working on a new album, entitled Metal Casino…Rudy Sarzo, who is currently playing bass for DIO, will play live with Blue OYSTER CULT as well in the next few months…THRESHOLD will begin supporting its Dead Reckoning album with a late summer/autumn tour with COMMUNIC, MACHINE MEN and SERENITY in tow…SAMMY HAGAR AND THE WABOS has a new DVD out called Livin’ It Up! In St. Louis. He was also a guest at the St. Louis Cardinals’ home game at Busch Stadium on the day of the release, June 19th...Dave King (of BATTLEAXE fame) has a new song called The Warm Winds Of Dallas which is a tribute to John F. Kennedy. He is working on a new country-tinged album called Love Does What It Does…Sweden's VAINS OF JENNA has replaced WHITE LION as the support act for the POISON and RATT summer co-headlining tour. WHITE LION’s participation was apparently a victim of former members’ threat of legal action…Anneke van Giersbergen has left THE GATHERING in order “to pursue new goals in life and music.”…Singer Corey Taylor of SLIPKNOT infamy is rehearsing with ANTHRAX. In the meanwhile, former guitarist Dan Spitz is working on a solo project…ICARUS WITCH will release a new album, Songs For The Lost, on September 11th through the Cruz Del Sur/Cleopatra…Chris Nolan has replaced departed guitarist Shawn McCoy in CONFESSOR. Nolan had briefly spent time in the band in the past…Bassist Nick Gryszka and drummer George Borden have left AFTERSHOK due to work obligations. The band is seeking replacements…IMAGIKA has signed a record deal with Sleaszy Rider Records for the release of its My Bloodied Wings CD in Europe. The release is due in September. The band’s new guitarist is Noor LaCroix replacing Pat Toms…CYNIC is touring Europe…Former OVERLORDE singer Bobby Lucas is in a JUDAS PRIEST cover band called STEEL MESSIAH following his departure from the band. His replacement is Chris Colfax…SQUEALER A.D. and former GRIP INC. singer Gus Chambers have parted ways. The band already has a new singer…SCORPIONS’ latest album Humanity - Hour 1 is selling well and charting across Europe. The band has completed a video for the album’s title track…Singer El Rapo has left THE MENTORS. Apparently, the band’s current members will share vocal duties in the future…California’s EVOLUTION EDEN is working on new material with famed hard rock producer Beau Hill…A Y&T DVD will be issued this June (August in North America) by the band which will feature live footage from the Bang Your Head festival 2006 and backstage material, as well as audio tracks…Italy’s Cruz Del Sur is back with a couple of imminent new releases. SLOUGH FEG’s Hardworlder is due next month, as is WIDOW’s Nightlife. ICARUS WITCH’s Songs For The Lost album, featuring Joe Lynn Turner, has also been picked up by the label for a European release in September. The label’s new signing is IGNITOR whose album Road Of Bones is due on September 11th…TERRY ILOUS of XYZ has issued a compilation CD of rare or unreleased tracks from his solo act. The CD features 18 tracks and is called Here And Gone…Legacy Records is reissuing JOE SATRIANI’s Surfing With The Alien in September…Barbara Schenker, who is the sister of Michael of MSG and Rudy of SCORPIONS, and Marc Paganini have reformed VIVA…Dutch progressive band CIRRHA NIVA has found a new vocalist to replace the recently departed Arnold Kloek. The new singer’s name is Legrand…SHATTER MESSIAH was forced to cancel the remaining dates of its tour in support of TO/DIE/FOR ostensibly due to the promoter’s arrangement with local venues and its financial implications…FC Metal Recordings will be releasing it's first album, DARKSUN’s The Dark Side, which is the English version of DARKSUN's second album, El Lado Oscuro. The Dark Side was mixed by Dennis Ward…TIAMAT has signed on to Nuclear Blast Records…TORMAN MAXT’s third CD, entitled The Problem Of Pain: Part 1, is now out. The demo is the first of a two-album set. It is a rock opera based upon the book of Job from the Old Testament that investigates why God allows evil and human suffering on earth. Most of Part 2 has already recorded and due in 2008.
WARREN APPLEBY – IRON FORGED IN FIRE
Disclaimer: I did not have the opportunity to listen to Iron Forged In Fire as many times as I would have liked. With the CD not spinning in my computer, where most reviews stem from, the golden disc was transferred to the Metallian chariot. One trip yielded several listens before the disc went on strike. Not only would it not play anymore, it adamantly refused all pleas for it to be ejected. Not sure if the attraction belonged more to the disc or the audio system, but one would not let go of the other. And that was that.
The few times Iron Forged In Fire was played did make clear that this is a much more synthesizer-oriented recording. The prolific former Blacktask man’s latest recording might bear a more forceful title than past recordings, feature a red-hot guitar on the cover and include a biography citing Thin Lizzy, UFO and Deep Purple as influences, but make no mistake this is the man’s most complex and progressive recording yet. Warren does admit to a heavy dosage of Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater in his most recent musical diet, even though this is almost a venture into electronica territory! Fear not though, for Warren’s trademark soundtrack landscapes are still in full swing coating everything with a film of imaginative patterns. That statement also goes for the artist’s cover of Blacktask’s song Rip, which is now given the instrumental treatment and rebranded as Rip In The 21st Century – pretty clever. The song also features a cameo vocal appearance. At this rate of progression, Warren Appleby’s 2012 CD should have a minute or two of singing – ha!
Be it nostalgia, curiosity or simple support for independent artists Iron Forged In Fire is available through CD Baby or www.warrenappleby.com. - Ali “The Metallian”
HAMMER – READY MOTHERFUCKER
If you are going to call yourself Hammer and then compare your style to NWOBHM then you should be ready to be notified England had a band called Hammer during the early ‘80s, which was signed to Ebony Records. This particular Hammer hails from Italy and has a demo with 6 tracks. The CD is indeed a rough version of the metal of the heydays, although the voice of forced singer Ricchard could use some refinement and training. The bassist was forced to take on the role of the vocalist as well because the trio was unable to find a suitable person. The search might need to be continued. The other element of note is the annoying harmonica played and heard on the last track One Is A Bitch, One Is A Witch. There is a reason metal bands do not include harmonica in their compositions. Nevertheless, this is bang-up stuff and if anything the group should be commended for remembering the glory days. The aforementioned demo closer’s title itself reminds one of Diamond Head’s Am I Evil song. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for ordering information. – Anna Tergel
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