Metallian Heavy

The new PHAZM album, Cornerstone Of The Macabre, will be released in September through Osmose Productions.

EXODUS is rerecording its 1985 album, Bonded By Blood, with Rob Dukes on vocals.

EXHORDER has decided to record some portions of its debut album Slaughter In The Vatican in order to rectify, what it deems, the album’s weak sound.

CATALEPSY singer Josh Anderson is undergoing emergency surgery for Crohn’s disease and will not participate in the band’s summer shows. His replacement is ex-IN THE RUINS man Rick Norman.

DIABOLICAL joins DEMONICAL! DEMONICAL has added singer Sverker “Widda” Widgren who is the guitarist for DIABOLICAL and the co-owner of Necromorbus Studios. The band has several European shows planned this summer.

GOREAPHOBIA has joined Ibex Moon Records.

JACKNIFE has signed a deal with Battle Flag Records and will issue its second album, A Plague Of People, in September.

F5’s The Reckoning is out now through OarFin Distribution. The band is former SICK SPEED singer Dale Steele, guitarists Steve Conley and John Davis, former MEGADETH drummer Jimmy DeGrasso and former MEGADETH bassist Dave Ellefson.

Bassist Eerik Purdon has left Finnish metal band OMNIUM GATHERUM.

Mincecore band AGATHOCLES is completing the recording of Grind Is Protest, which is due for release in the autumn through Displeased Records.

CARCASS mounted the stage for the very first time last month as part of the Sweden Rock Show. The band was supported by ARCH ENEMY drummer Daniel Erlandsson, although original drummer Ken Owen briefly appeared on stage despite his illness. The band will tour the world in the coming months.

AUSTRIAN DEATH MACHINE, the side project of AS I LAY DYING singer Tim Lambesis, has released its debut album, Total Brutal through Metal Blade Records.

HOLY MOSES has picked Agony Of Death as the title for its new album, due in September 19th through Wacken Records/SPV.

Singer Kam Lee (DENIAL FIEND, MASSACRE and DEATH) has joined SKINCRAWLER. This band features ‘Grossera’ of Razorback Records.

Jeff Becerra of the reformed POSSESSED has joined filmmakers Shane and Amy Bugbee in a new “acoustic country and folkish” project called REPOSSESSED.

ORDER OF ENNEAD, featuring DEICIDE drummer Steve Asheim, singer and guitarist Kevin Quirion of COUNCIL OF THE FALLEN, guitarist John Li and RESURRECTION bassist Scott Patrick, has signed with Earache Records.

LÄÄZ ROCKIT will release a new album, Left For Dead, on July 25th through Massacre Records.

DEATH ANGEL was forced to play its Canadian shows last month without bassist Dennis Pepa who was denied entrance to Canada.

FUCK THE FACTS’ Disgorge Mexico album will be puked forth proudly this month through Relapse Records.

BOLT THROWER has ceased its new album’s writing and recording process believing that the new material would not top the Brits’ last album, Those Once Loyal.

Canada’s UNDER THE GRAVE has announced the addition of drummer Alexis Serres to the group’s ranks.

Drummer Jari Kaiponen has left Finland’s BURNING POINT and will focus on NATIONAL NAPALM SYNDICATE whose album, Devolution Of The Species, is due in September. His replacement happens to be the band’s keyboardist Jussi Ontero.

Bassist Novy has left VADER and been replaced by former DECAPITATED man Martin.

Long-time death metal band SEPSISM from Los Angeles has signed with Displeased Records.

After losing Scott Reigel (vocals) and Jay Fernandez (guitar) BRUTALITY has once again quit forever.

NECROPHOBIC will release a limited metal box called Satanic Blasphemies in September through Regain Records. The box will feature rare music from demos, poster and a patch.

Bassist Al’Hazred has officially left MELECHESH after years of part-time availability.

Technical death metal band PSYCROPTIC has signed with Nuclear Blast Records.

Canada’s BISON is currently recording its Metal Blade debut, entitled Quiet Earth, with Jesse Gander (3 INCHES OF BLOOD and S.T.R.E.E.T.S.) at The Hive Studio in Burnaby, BC for an autumn 2008 release. BISON evolved from skate-thrash band S.T.R.E.E.T.S.

Mascot Records’ HEATHEN has been rejoined by drummer Darren Minter. The band is recording a new album.

Crossover band HIRAX has released a new live DVD, entitled Thrash And Destroy, through Selfmadegod Records.

CEREBRAL FIX has recruited bassist Scott Fairfax (of LIFE DENIED).

Metal Blade’s Fresh Meat Tour featuring THE ABSENCE, EPICUREAN, THE DESTRO and ROSE FUNERAL has been cancelled reportedly due to “a family emergency and other unforeseen circumstances.”

AMON AMARTH will play four shows at Zeche in Bochum, Germany in December using the Bloodshed Over Bochum monicker where the band will play one of its first four albums in its entirety each night. The group will also incorporate several new songs from its 2008 album Twilight Of The Thundergod. The band is also touring America with THE ABSENCE in the autumn.

GLOOMY GRIM has kicked out original guitarist Mörgöth. His replacement is an “occultist” called Father Umbra Sol who was preciously in the band as well.

DECEMBER’S COLD WINTER from Costa Rica has a new singer, Alfredo Guzman, who used to sing in a band called FALLEN MEMORIES. Freak World Entertainment will issue the band’s new album, Ablaze All Shrines.

GORGOROTH’s DVDs Black Mass Krakow 2004 has entered the Norwegian Music DVD Chart at number four.

HIMSA has thrown in the towel claiming an inability to tour extensively as before as a reason. The band is performing a last show near home on August 16th.

SHINING VI/Klagopsalmer will be out soon through Osmose Productions.


Metallian Hard

EDGUY’s next album is called Tinnitus Sanctus and due in December.

LOUDNESS will release a four-disc DVD compilation on August 6th featuring three DVDs of live footage recorded from the band's early days and up to today. The band will separately issue a new DVD called Live Shocks 2008 featuring drummer Kozo Suganuma.

AVIAN, featuring singer Lance King (formerly BALANCE OF POWER and PYRAMAZE) and former CELLADOR guitarist Bill Hudson, will release its second album, entitled Ashes And Madness, on September 16th through King’s Nightmare Records.

Sweden’s GRAND MAGUS has just issued a new full-length album, called Iron Will, through Rise Above Records.

Scott Weiland is back in STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and hitting the road following his acrimonious departure from VELVET REVOLVER.

Original SORTILEGE singer Christian 'Zouille' Augustin will perform as “A Night Of SORTILEGE” with a cast of French metal band members - including SATAN JOKERS member - at Keep It True XII festival next year in Germany.

English whiz kids DRAGONFORCE will release a new album, called Ultra Beatdown, on August 25th through Roadrunner Records.

Former DIO bassist Teddy Cook and W.A.S.P. drummer Stet Howland have joined the reformed LITA FORD.

LED ZEPPELIN’s Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones joined the FOO FIGHTERS on the stage on June 7th during the latter band’s encore at the Wembley in London, England. The duo and the FOO FIGHTERS played the song Rock And Roll from LED ZEPPELIN.

LANFEAR has picked X To The Power Of Ten as the title for its fifth album, which is due on August 22nd through Locomotive Records.

Singer Rob Thompson has left PEGAZUS.

Former NIGHTSHADE and HEIR APPARENT drummer Jeffrey McCormack has surfaced in a new band called Screams Of Angels as the vocalist. BLOODGOOD guitarist Craig Child is also in the fold.

Marty Casey, a former contestant on the US TV show Rock Star: INXS, was recently named the singer for the Tracii Guns version of L.A. GUNS.

Drummer Chris Slade of AC/DC and THE FIRM has joined MSG.

Jonas Iscariot has left the vocalist position in AGATHODAIMON. The band, which is working on a new album called Phoenix, is seeking a replacement.

More line-up changes in AXXIS which has parted ways with drummer André Hilgers. The man will concentrate instead on RAGE.

FALCONER has completed its new album, entitled Among Beggars And Thieves, at Andy La Rocque's Sonic Train Studio. Expect it in September through Metal Blade.

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM has signed with Driven Music, the label of ex-KORN guitarist Brian Welch.

Right-wing and pro-war pomp band NIGHTRANGER has a new album, which is entitled Hole In The Sun.

TOURNIQUET has recruited former STRYPER bassist Tim Gaines for its appearance at the Christian Flevo Festival August 14th to 17th in The Netherlands.

SUSPYRE has signed to Sensory Records and will release a new album called When Tim Fades in September.

DIMENSION ZERO has signed with Vic Records (which was responsible for launching the career of HAMMERFALL) and will issue an album called He Who Shall Not Bleed in September.

ICED EARTH's new full-length album, The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked Part II), will be released through SPV Records in September.

Bassist Sebastien Piché has left DESPISED ICON. Max Lavelle from GORATORY has replaced him. DESPISED ICON is touring Europe with CEPHALIC CARNAGE next month.

DOWNSPIRIT is a new blues band by guitarist Cédric "Cede" Dupont of SYMPHORCE.

ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian will join PEARL – a band fronted by his fiancée Pearl Aday – on tour in Europe.

Singer Joe Lynn Turner, guitarist Craig Goldy, drummer Bobby Rondinelli and keyboardist Tony Carey have banded together as PURPLE RAINBOW to play covers.

RHAPSODY OF FIRE and its (former) label Magic Circle Music are now entangled in a legal dispute. Magic Circle Music is run by MANOWAR’s Joey De Maio.

Guitarist Nils Norberg has departed NOCTURNAL RITES after losing interest in music.

BIOHAZARD has reformed and on June 20th was live at L'Amour in New York. The group was also touring with KORN, CHIMAIRA and THROWDOWN.

DE PROFUNDIS has lost drummer Sterghios Moschos to a relocation.

DANZIG, DIMMU BORGIR, MOONSPELL, WINDS OF PLAGUE and SKELETON WITCH are touring Canada and the USA together using the Blackest Of The Black monicker.

Season Of Mist has two new bands, OUTLAW ORDER and SIGN OF THE SOUTHERN CROSS. The latter band’s Of Mountains And Moonshine is due out in October, 2008. The former’s debut record, Dragging Down The Enforcer, is out in October. The band features Michael D. Williams (EYEHATEGOD and ARSON ANTHEM), Brian Patton (EYHATEGOD and SOILENT GREEN) – guitar, Gary Mader (EYEHATEGOD and HAWGJAW) – guitar, Joey LaCaze (EYEHATEGOD) - drums and Justin Grisoli (ex-EYEHATEGOD) – bass.

Progressive band LIQUID GRAVEYARD, which features singer RAQUEL WALKER (ex-ABFYS), guitarist JOHN WALKER (ex-CANCER), bassist ADRIAN DE BUITLÉAR (ex-MOURNING BELOVETH) and drummer MARK O´CONNELL (ex-DECAIDAH) has recorded an industry-only demo hoping to obtain a deal and record an album in November.

Featuring Tim Schmidt and vocalist Philip Swanson (known for his work with UPWARDS of ENDTIME and HOUR OF 13) the doom band SEAMOUNT has signed with Merciless Records

Chicago's NOVEMBERS DOOM will release its first live DVD, The Novella Vosselaar: Live in Belgium, on August 5th, through The End Records. The band is touring North America and Europe.

Denmark’s ILLNATH has recruited drummer Danni (FAIRYTALE ABUSE) in advance of the release of Three Nights In The Sewers Of Sodom, which will be released through Spain's Deathlight Records.


Metallian Demos

THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE – WAY OF THE BLADE
Way Of The Blade is a professionally put-together package that has taken two years to reach Metallian Towers. Consequently, several members of the Metallian Royal Couriers are no longer on this mortal coil. The disc itself comprises ten tracks of top-notch power metal with a presentation and sound to match. It is amazing how irrelevant record companies are these days. Bands should recognize this and position their products and music not as a means of reaching recording companies, but as the end i.e. a way of reaching their potential fans and launching and furthering their careers.
Adorned with an Oriental font type and similar imagery, The Ottoman Empire (“the empire reigns in its full glory”) is a complex and technical metal band that belies its claim to be ‘progressive thrash metal.’ Frankly, there is little here that is either progressive or thrashy. Instead, the band uses a variety of sounds to showcase its substantial capabilities and song writing and instrumentation skills. Anemic World begins the disc with the kind of galloping riffs that made Iced Earth famous, which might explain the ‘thrash metal’ reference, while One If By Sea copies Helloween. The title track has clear musical references to Excess, but this might be coincidental whereas the other references might not be. Of note, also are the Rush references in both patterns and drumming. The guitars, rhythms, solos and all are exceptional. All in all, an accomplished feast of metallic styles on a surprising CD from an even more surprising location, the backwaters of Wisconsin. The vocals, however, are not on par with the music. Vocalist Mary Zimmer does well to sell one on her sexuality. She is capable and focused, but her clean vocals which comprise the majority of her singing, are flat at the higher range. This is her signature style, which is analogous to Rob Lowe of Solitude Aeternus albeit with much less mysticism. Work is needed here. She even reminds one of the weak Francine Boucher of Echoes Of Eternity. She has much more bite, attitude and gusto with her scarcely used snarl. On that note, the spoken word at the end of the album sounds cheesy and has to go. The band does not have a real website so go to the teenybopper world at http://www.myspace.com/theottomanempire or write to booking@theottomanempire.net. - Ali “The Metallian”

BESTIAL CARNAGE – Same
Bestial Carnage is one of those sludgy downtrodden brutal mid-paced death metal bands that has all the grace and production sound quality of a SUV in a museum of fine arts. Seriously the muffled sound is that underground, which is just fine except the four songs on the demo never cross the threshold of run-of-the-mill. One of the four songs is a cover of Unleashed’s Shadows In The Deep, although the opening track Bestial Carnage is centered around thrashy riffs. Bestial Carnage is a nice enough racket, but nothing outstanding at this stage. – Anna Tergel

BE’LAKOR – THE FRAIL TIDE
There is a lot that can be said about Be’lakor on a musical level. The qualities of the band are many and, inspired by the music and imagery, quite descriptive perhaps. Business first though, and as the lord Metallian himself has said before, this six-track compact disc is one more reason not to wait around for a record label. From a desolate and mysterious landscape and photography to a superior production value and playing capability the Melbourne, Australia five create music that is impressive.
Musically, the band takes the atmospheric dark doom approach that is a child of My Dying Bride, Phlebotomized and Opeth. The songs are beautiful, melodic and intermittently haunting. The vocals (all growled) are deep and eminent. Most of all, the melodies and riffs are constructed with depth in mind. This is not a throwaway effort. Difficult to fathom how the inspiration for Be’lakor has been instilled in an Australian band. This type of art is usually associated with the forests of central Europe and old growth trees. Much good can be said about The Frail Tide then.
Nevertheless, and why do we always have to have one of these, the disc has a major pitfall. The existence and occasional dominance of the piano is a stab in the front chest of metal, power and impact. With keyboards and pianos everywhere and a semi-instrumental called Paths being all about this Achilles' heel one is left saddened. On another note, Sanguinary begins reminiscent of at least two Metallica songs. Sadly, these elements or influences stress the group’s music and this review.
Be’lakor is incredibly advanced and presents its music with utter confidence. Metal fans, however, need to be pre-warned. Visit the band’s website at www.belakor.net or contact them for ordering information via belakor-admin@hotmail.com and ask what the name signifies. - Anna Tergel

FIERCE – WHERE THE FLAMES PREY
Lest there be any doubt that this Finnish band is damn ‘fierce’ the photograph on the cover drops a bomb on that suspicion – with a picture that looks like a reversed cover of Morsüre’s Acceleration Process no less. If you read the word “Finnish” and are still with me then you have done well. Fierce is not your typical rubbish poseur wimp crap from this lame country. On the contrary, Where the Flames Prey is a thrash metal feast with loads of authentic riffing a la Dark Angel and Slayer with touches of Agnostic Front hardcore madness. Vocalist Matti (formerly of Amoral) in particular howls his lungs out in good hardcore fashion with no regards to what is going around him. Jani and Hena make sure their right hands are constantly moving and throw in a few choice leads to boot. Thrashers are guaranteed a banquet by visiting www.fiercemetal.org. Alternatively write to fierce@fiercemetal.org. – Ali “The Metallian”

V/A – EXTREME METAL INSIDE – SG PROMOTION
Agabus are the first of five Italian bands featured here, each with two songs. Golpe and Atman Collapse put the quartet in the thrashcore category. The music is chaotic and in your face, good enough to bang a head or two. Akustik Rebellion is not a good omen for a song title and Antagonism seem to confirm that with a mostly acoustic piece. Politicized is the noisy version of its predecessor and should have been called Noise Rebellion. C.O.M.A. and L’Inferno Avanza are amateurish and disjointed sounding and don’t help Clinicamente Morti’s brand of speed or heavy metal. Necrofili start their turn with Fleshweak, a more enjoyable song that carries a good pace and fair amount of heaviness throughout its seven minute plus length and it improves as it goes along too. The decidedly shorter Full Thoughts Overflow picks up the tempo and is impressive and effective. Resurrecturis are thrash and grindcore and close out Extreme Metal Inside with Fuck Face and The Origin. - Anna Tergel

IBRIDOMA - PAGE 26
Any heavy metal release from Italy immediately invokes the melodic and out dated. This five-track sophomore release confirms that, but only to some extent. The vocals can be termed semi-annoying in the way that Christian Bartolacci’s high pitched singing sounds stuffy and akin to something like a nag. The production and music are thick riffed melodic heavy metal that is neither blatantly dated nor wholly unoriginal, but nevertheless doesn’t offer much new and save some catchiness is unremarkable if not forgettable. Juliet is a ballad and it closes these 27 minutes with something different. Contact the band at www.ibridoma.com. - Anna Tergel

THE SEVENTH SEASON – LIQUID WATER
The father and son team of Yuri and Konstantin Batygin, plus Sergei Smet, are back again with 12 songs and Liquid Water. As with their previous releases, the 2006 Transposition DVD and 2003’s Fall Within, the trio offer simple rock songs and as they cite their influences as The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Pink Floyd, T.Rex and Uriah Heep it is clear where the senior members of the band, Yuri and Sergei, draw from for inspiration. The result is laidback, non-flashy and almost melancholic in songs that range mostly between three to four minutes. Each song is a reminder of the ‘70s albeit with a modern sound and production and as such one feels that the maximum enjoyment will be taken and belong to the listener who experienced the era first hand. Liquid Water takes the listeners back as they pinpoint each experience and influence from the title track opener to the closer Wherever. There is however something for the younger generation who can put himself in Konstantin’s shoes and imagine how that era must have felt. Contact the band at www.theseventhseason.net - Anna Tergel