Metallian Heavy

CARCASS, 1349, NECROPHAGIST, SUFFOCATION, ABORTED and ROTTEN SOUND are touring North America next month.

ANTIGAMA has replaced singer Lukasz ‘Lucas’ Myszkowski, who left the band due to vocational pressures, with Patryk Zwolinski of BLINDEAD. Bassist Mike has also left the fold and replaced by a Jose temporarily.

Peaceville Records has announced October 20th as the release date for the next DARKTHRONE album, entitled Dark Thrones & Black Flags.

Zetro Souza, formerly of EXODUS, has joined TENT, which is the band of SYL/ZIMMERS HOLE man Jed Simon. The band is writing and recording in San Francisco for an album that will be released through Century Media Records.

INFESTUS will release an album called Chroniken Des Ablebens this month through Debemur Morti Productions.

Germany’s ENDSTILLE has announced a tour of Mexico for November.

INBREEDING SICK’s singer Alex has left the band. Rolo is temporarily taking over.

Denmark’s DAWN OF DEMISE will release an EP, called Lacerated, in October.

TREMOR’s upcoming EP is called The Lipsynced With Satan and out this month through INRI.

CRIPPLE BASTARDS has picked Variante Alla Morte as the title for its fourth full-length album, which is due for release through FETO Records in September.

Hot on the heels of a bunch of re-issues courtesy of re-release label Metal Mind Production of Poland, Italy’s BULLDOZER has reformed and working on new music.

BENEDICTION is using the No Reunion Needed tour monicker in Europe this autumn with HOLY MOSES and NOMINON in tow.

THE BERZERKER will release its fifth album, entitled The Reawakening, in the autumn through its own Berzerker Industries. The band’s singer Luke Kenney was reportedly assaulted by a gorilla bouncer at the band’s recent show at The Underworld in London.

EXMORTEM’s Funeral Phantom (mixed by Jacob Bredahl) will be released on October 20th through Mighty Music.

Ukrainian death metal band MENTAL DEMISE has signed a deal with Xtreem Music for the release of the second Final Step To Future Madness. This album new vocalist Andrey ’Sadist’ Burovenko.

Xtreem Music has also signed Spanish thrash band KORGUL THE EXTERMINATOR.

Toronto’s Metal Queen Management has announced that Ottawa’s EXCITER will headline the second series of MQMusicFest on August 17th at the Phoenix Theater. The first series was held in June.

LIVING DEATH will perform one last show at 2009’s Keep It True XII festival in April in Germany. The band is
Toto Bergmann (vocals), Reiner Kelch (guitar), Dieter Kelch (bass) and Jörg Michael as usual on drums.

San Francisco’s ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT has reformed and recently played at the Tidal Wave Festival.

AMON AMARTH will release its new album, Twilight Of The Thunder God, through Metal Blade Records in September.

After touring Europe and Japan the reunited AT THE GATES is now in North America. The band is returning to play in Europe again later this summer.

KATAKLYSM has re-signed with Nuclear Blast Records for more albums.

THE HAUNTED has picked Versus as the title for its new album, due late September through Century Media Records.

ATHEIST is apparently reforming with singer Kelly Shaefer and drummer Steve Flynn writing together.

Singer Ryan Richards (ex-NO CONVICTION), guitarist Jeremy Wagner and Tom Brandner, bassist Mike “Lurk” Ruehle (ex-FULL BLOWN CHAOS) and drummer Scott Creekmore are writing a new LUPARA album.

Stéphane Paré (vocals), Dominic “Forest” Lapointe (session bass) and drummer Yanic Bercier have all quit QUO VADIS.

Former DIVINE HERESY vocalist Tommy Cummings has joined the reunited crossover band SNOT.

ENSLAVED has signed with Indie Recordings. The band’s new album, Vertebrae, will be released in September.

Black metal band ACHERON will issue an album called The Final Conflict: Last Days of God in February through Displeased Records.

Three months after rejoining Paul Souza has again vacated the vocalist position of MELIAH RAGE. The singer will instead focus on VELVETEEN PLAYBOYS. Original singer Mike Munro is now back in the fold. The band is recording a new album.

LEGION OF THE DAMNED (formerly OCCULT) will release a new album called Cult Of The Dead, on December 19th through Massacre Records. A rerelease of OCCULT’s Feel The Blade album was issued earlier this year under the new band name.

DISILLUSION has welcomed drummer Jens Maluschka back into the fold following a one-year absence. New to the band is bassist Matthias Becker who was in the band SAFI.

Regain Records has been ordered to stop selling GORGOROTH’s Live In Greighallen album. Gaahl and King have won their case that the album’s bass tracks were erased and subsequently remixed. Regain Records cautions that the court has only placed an injunction on the release.

Norway’s KOLDBRANN will release an EP called, Stigma: På Kant Med Livet, on August 15th through Twilight-Vertrieb featuring a rerecording and a cover version.

AURA NOIR will release a new album, called Hades Rise, on August 25th through DARKTHRONE’s Tyrant Syndicate.

SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser will release his solo CD, entitled Hubris I & II, on October 6th through Holland’s Mascot Records.

UNSANCTUM is back following a hiatus and touring the UK this summer and autumn.

NOCTEM has signed a deal with NoiseHead Records of Austria. The band is now writing all the material for its debut album, which will feature ten new songs. NOCTEM will enter in the NoiseHead Studios on January 30th, 2009.

SAPREMIA’s With Winter Comes Despair album is out now through Open Grave Records.

MISERY SIGNALS’ album, Controller, is now out through Metal Blade Records.

Candlelight Records has set September 16th as the American release date for Left To Die, the new EP from OBITUARY. The band is touring the USA next month.

SPV and Wacken Records (formerly Armageddon Music) have joined forces with the latter operating as a special independent entity of the former. The venture’s first releases will be out in October with HOLY MOSES’ Agony Of Death, ROSE TATTOO’s Blood Brothers, SUIDAKRA’s 13 Years Of Celtic Wartunes and FOREVER SLAVE’s Tales For Bad Girls all due.

FLESHGORE has released its new album, entitled Wake Up For Freedom, through Moon Records.

Metallian Hard

Sweden’s ANDROMEDA has signed with America’s Nightmare Records. The band’s The Immunity Zone album is out next month just prior to the band’s show at ProgPower show.

BONFIRE DVD, The Räuber, which is the companion to the album is out through LZ Records.

CYNIC’s Traced in The Air Comeback album is due out in October through Season Of The Mist. The band is touring Europe.

Toronto’s PILEDRIVER is back and will release a new album, Metal Manifesto, through Northern Storm Records on October 31st. The CD was recorded at Metalworks studio in Toronto and was mixed by Neil Kernon.

Drummer Jeff Martin (of RACER-X and BADLANDS) was fired by DOKKEN mid-tour last month.

DOKKEN Will be joined by former guitarist George Lynch for one song at the Rock The Bayou festival in Houston at the end of this month.

HEARSE has joined the Vic Records’ roster.

CRASHDIET has lost singer Olli.

Former TAD MOROSE singer Urban Breed has now joined PYRAMAZE. The band had initially insisted ICED EARTH’s Matt Barlow would remain with the group.

One last show on August 29th in its hometown of Salo in Finland will mark the end for TWILIGHT GUARDIANS.

Last month LIZZY BORDEN managed to sneak in two shows in one day at Germany’s Bang Your Head festival. The group not only played its own slot, but also took the place of another band which had cancelled its appearance.

Former WHITESNAKE and TRAPEZE guitarist Mel Galley died last month due to cancer of esophagus.

Bassist David Ellefson of F5 has recorded tracks for THE ALIEN BLAKK’s next album, which is due in February.

BATTLELORE 's fifth album, entitled The Last Alliance, will be out this October through Napalm Records. It was mixed by Dan Swanö.

POISONBLACK’s A Dead Heavy Day is out in August through Century Media.

SINNER has finished recording its new album, Crash & Burn, for an expected September 19th release through AFM Records. The CD was produced by the band’s leader Mat Sinner and Henny Wolter at the House Of Music.

Stephen Stills of CROSBY, STILLS AND NASH has discovered a 40-year old recording of music he and JIMI HENDRIX completed. This is now being prepared for release.

Canada's doom band GEORGIAN SKULL has signed a deal with Scarlet Records. The group's debut album, Mother Armageddon, Healing Apocalypse, will be released later this year.

DREAM THEATER’s Chaos In Motion 2007/2008, which documents the band’s Chaos In Motion world tour is due in September. Drummer Mike Portnoy directed it.

DIMMU BORGIR’s The Invaluable Darkness 2 DVD + 1 CD package is due out in October.

BON JOVI performed at New York's Madison Square Garden on July 14 and 15and at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game concert on July 12th in New York's Central Park.

Singer Niko Kalliojärvi has left Finland’s AMORAL after losing his drive for the band. Jules Näveri of PROFANE OMEN and ENEMY OF THE SUN will perform live with the band.

ENEMY OF THE SUN will play a set of GRIP INC. songs with GRIP INC. singer Gus Chambers on August 16th at Zeche in Bochum, Germany. The band features GRIP INC.’s Waldemar Sorychta.

ALCATRAZZ featuring Graham Bonnet headlined Berkrock Fest last month in Berkovitza, Bulgaria.

A reunited DRIVER, which features singer Rob Rock and guitarist Roy Z will release its album, Sons Of Thunder, on September 26th through Metal Heaven.

CELLADOR has picked For All Or Nothing as the title for its next album, which is due for January of 2009 through Metal Blade Records. The band’s new guitarist is a chap called Yord.

BIGELF’s Cheat The Gallows album is due out this month through the Custard label. Singer Damon Fox produced the music.

Former ACCEPT bassist Peter Baltes has recorded music for the new white metal project of former ANTHRAX man Dan Spitz.

MYSTIC PROPHECY guitarist Martin Grimm and bassist Martin Albrecht have left the band in order to focus more on their day jobs.

CRADLE OF FILTH’s Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder album is out October 28th through Roadrunner Records. The album is based on the French historical figure Gilles de Rais.

ICON has inevitably reformed following a couple of rereleases in recent years. The band features original guitarists Dan Wexler and John Aquilino and has just parted ways with drummer Bruce Stoddard in favour of original man Pat Dixon. The band is recording a new album.

CRUZ DEL SUR will issue a HADES DVD in November.

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS will participate in this summer’s Thrash And Burn Tour. Kicking off July 29 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the festival tour also features DARKEST HOUR, PARKWAY DRIVE, MISERY SIGNALS, WINDS OF PLAGUE, ARSIS and others. The band is supporting its In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns album.

Metallian Demos

The band’s name and demo title are such that one can quickly presume what the band’s sound would be like. If not, the violet cover or the bare girl on the same cover would do it. Having said that, the group is not folk and does not have an ‘80s touch no matter what the group thinks of itself. Julian’s Lullaby is a female-fronted soft and melancholic band that ventures into harder realms via isolated riffs and distorted guitar flashes. By and large the keyboards and clean male and female vocals give the band a dismal feel that is accompanied by synthesizers, keyboards and drums. There are a couple of instances that the astute listener might perceive as near to Rush and Van Halen’s 1984, but this Greek unit is really much less commercial than either of those bands despite the melodic emphasis. is the band’s contact information. – Anna Tergel

The German band Into Obscurity (founded in 2004) plays melodic Death Metal, much in the tradition of early In Flames and Amorphis. There is a touch of Morgoth present as well, but only in the rare brutal parts. While most of the songs are fast, there is not much blast-speed or Cannibal Corpse-type frenzy to be found. This band is definitely serious about melodies and dual lead guitars. A short intro sets up the opener and title track, a well-written song with a lot of variation and some progressive breaks. The Ancient Spirit is shorter, and Reins Of Fate has some acoustic guitar interludes and again shows the band’s desire to put some variation into the old formula. Empire In Red features very melodic leads and a galloping main riff. Sometimes keyboards provide some background choirs and strings, but they are not dominant at all – a big difference to early Amorphis. Scars is the only song where the vocals don’t really fit the slower parts. The CD has an excellent production and shows solid musicianship. The band’s website is – Andreas Herzog

Synthesizers and effects welcome the listener after the short intro, Arcanum Mysterium, is done. Burn Witch Burn! is too often buried by the synthesizers and to further add to the disappointment there are shades of Cradle Of filth here too. The seconds spent being death metal or black metal are just not enough. Veneficia has a folksy intro before turning into screaming black metal but the synthesizers and early Cradle Of Filth elements are not far behind. Between Shadows again starts off in folk territory and is mostly a snail’s pace fare. Ice Forest Rituals starts faster and is more traditional black metal. The title track is pretty much all spoken word. Under The Sign Of The Archangel seems to try but nevertheless doesn’t escape the clutches of the extracurricular stuff and plunges into African beats, of all things. Ragnatele Su Velluto Scarlatto is a keyboard-laden horror inspired intermission. By the time Pleasure And Pain starts it is clear than Ecnephias are causing more pain than pleasure with their insistence to flood the ears with more of Dan Filth. To The Forgotten is the band’s heavy metal offering, but of course the synthesizers and odd effects are present as well. Notte A Craco is one minute to close this mostly uninspiring 41 minutes. Learn more about this trio at - Anna Tergel

This quintet has been around for over 10 years but had apparently taken a break to redefine itself. This new version of the band, nevertheless tries to be a few things at the same time. There is the screaming black metal, the thrashy metal and slower, doomy segments. The latter mostly influenced by Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride. The opener, At The Gates Of Confusion, fuses many of the aforementioned elements into an almost six minute piece. Ghost is on the thrashy side and only briefly ventures into other styles. Dead Flesh opens on the doomy side before jumping into black metal and then further into the song into a more low key lower paced heavy metal-ish rhythm. Towers Of Repugnance is basically another version of the song that preceded it. Hell In The Cell starts on the death thrash side of things and then throws in some basic black metal into the mix. Fucking Spiritual Priest is a nine-minute song that seems to be trying to be grind but always reverts back to the fast black metal riffing and mixes in the mid-paced and melodic as well. It is of little surprise that a song that long also includes an acoustic or slow atmospheric moment or two. However, a further surprise is that the latter parts of the song is filled with something akin to techno metal, not that such a thing can actually exist. This is a band that actually does seem confused at times and hasn’t managed to create a clear identity. Contact the band at - Anna Tergel

Rasping vocals and a guitar sound so sharp that it is difficult to listen to are the first impressions of this demo from this Italian quintet. Add to that synthesizers and the desire to be called symphonic black metal and the omens are not positive. Soilblack is raw and reminiscent of the early days of many a Nordic or Scandinavian band of years gone by. There are actual black metal moments here, witness Dark Hatred as one example with its additional catchy elements mixed in with some atmospheric extras. The result is an unoriginal offering and a pattern followed on the remaining songs. Damned Creation present synthesizers, quiet, mid-paced and faster sections, all in repeated succession. It is as obvious as ever which song or which sections are the most effective for a metal listener. Contact the band at - Anna Tergel

Evil Mother Nature starts of as a ballad before, aided by the vocals of Francesco Valente, the listener is plunged into melodic heavy metal ala many a German band. Vlaente shifts between higher pitches and lower screams as the music moves between the progressive and heavy. The Hidden Memories does touch on Nevermore or Sanctuary territory and synthesizers notwithstanding is a decent heavy metal song. Ode To Loneliness is a ballad and this is where the vocals fail, the song tries to pick itself up several times but this ballad fails to succeed on most fronts. Black Blood has an enjoyable speed metal-ish start and minus the most unfortunate, albeit relatively brief, presence of synthesizers is a good song. Demon’s Lullaby closes The Hidden Memories and spends more time on the progressive side of things. The band is at - Anna Tergel

Of Suicidial (Suicidal?) Dreams takes over from The Beginning... intro and the style is quickly apparent. Both in music and the vocals of Giuseppe Falcicchio this quintet borrow heavily from the Scandinavian sound that has now been co-opted by many an American band. The song even has an acoustic intermission of sorts reminiscent of At The Gates et al. Into The Neverwhere has an acoustic intro and incorporates equal measures of angry heavy metal and melody into the proceedings with the result being a rather enjoyable song. The title track is again a mix of the heavy metal and the Swedish sound and at a generally fast pace. Illusive Conception is easily an extension or continuation of Failed, with perhaps a hint or two of hardcore. The band does not let up here. Everbleeding closes off this good effort with a bit more variation but one that is not necessarily an improvement. Contact the band at - Anna Tergel

Starting a four track demo with a cover of Death’s Zombie Ritual does not exactly inspire confidence in a band’s own song writing ability, nevertheless this is what this young Italian quartet have done here. Fear And Loathing starts amateurishly and the band move between mid-paced and faster segments trying to capture some of the early Death spirit hinted at in the opener. Abhorrences And Diseases continues in the vein of early death metal borrowing some influences from Hellhammer and Celtic Frost and mixing a few thrashy moments too. That however doesn’t succeed in lifting Modern Visions Of Human Madness from its apparent unpolished, for lack of a better word, structure and musicianship. Inside Violence adds a few more thrashy elements with riffs sounding like early and raw Kreator or Slayer. Check the band at - Anna Tergel

Suffocate Bastard from Germany, Divaricate from the US and Visceral Carnage from Mexico share this split. Suffocate Bastard are up first with five songs and an intro. Titles like Architects Of Perversity, Cold Eyes Of Murder, In The Whirls Of Spiritual Violence, and most of all the wonderfully titled Winds Of Stench And Poisoned Atmosphere Of Bliss Happiness speak for themselves. The music is grinding gore with a thick chunky guitar sound all aided by the vocals of Stefan Meja. The two-minute songs are fast, brutal and to the point. Divaricate are next with three songs totaling around eight minutes. The production is 100% demo material and The Perfection Of Error, Gaia Deformed and Disinterring Truth are all blasting grind with growling vocals. This trio is pure death grind. Visceral Carnage offer six songs again averaging two minutes each. The titles are more of the same. With the likes of Hymns Of Anguish And Torture, Ravenous Cannibalistic Gluttony and Demise Of The Despised Female it is no surprise to find that the quintet are a natural companion to the other bands here. The pace is almost as unrelenting as the others and the production slightly clearer but not heavier or thicker. This is 32 minutes of arrrrgghhh! Available via - Anna Tergel