Eight years after breaking up New Jersey's Demonacy has reformed...Impaled has the following forthcoming releases: a mini-CD called Medical Waste via Necropolis, a split EP with Spain's Haemorrhage on Razorback Records and a split 7' EP with Machetzo...Obsidian Gate has parted ways with Skaldic Art Productions. The band is completing an independent EP...Suffocation has reformed after a four year absence...Former Gorgasm, Incestuous, Lividity, etc. drummer Derek Hoffman has joined Fleshgrind. The band expects to record a new album in early 2003...Incantation were recently forced to cancel the rest of their US tour dates due to a van problem...Bloodthorn is busy writing songs for a new and as yet untitled album. A few of the titles are Blitzkrieg Annihilation, Sacrificial Slaughter, Witches' Damnation and Hell on the Eastern Front. The band also reports that guitarist Tom has been replaced by Ihizahg...Georgia's Vastion has broken up...Lamb Of God has completed a video for the song Black Label from New American Gospel. The band is writing music for its second album...Cattle Decapitation will be hitting the road with label-mates Gwar in October...Amon Amarth, who appeared at the Summer Breeze Festival, have finished work on their new album at Berno Studio...Swedish death metallers Pandemonium have released their Insomnia album through JCM Records...Carnal Forge is entering Studio Underground on the sixteenth of this month to begin recording a new album. The follow up to Please...Die! will feature songs like My Bloody Rampage and Baptized In Fire...Decapitated has shot a video for the song Spheres of Madness...Grave's new and comeback album is entitled Back From The Grave and will feature a bonus disc with eleven demo material from 1988-1989...Erik Rutan has announced he is leaving Morbid Angel in order to devote himself to his own band Hate Eternal. Hate Eternal will support its new and second album King Of All Kings via a tour with Cannibal Corpse this autumn. The band has also planned two shows in Brazil this month...Dark Funeral guitarist guitarist Dominion has left the band in order to "pursue other musical avenues.' According to the band a replacement is being sought...Norway's 1349 has signed to Candlelight Records...Limbonic Art's new album is entitled The Ultimate Death Worship" and available this month via Nocturnal Art...Monumentum has signed to Tatra Records...Vomitory has shot a video for the song Blessed And Forsaken. Some footage is taken from the band's appearance at Wacken Festival this year...Death metal act Spinecast will have its album entitled Go Forth And Mutilate released by Crash Music this month...Profanity and their label Cudgel Agency has announced an amicable parting of ways. The band continues to write for its next album entitled HateRed Hell Within...After much delay Invictus Productions will release the new album of Gospel Of The Horns this month. Call To Arms will be issued in both CD and LP format...Disciples Of Power's In Dust We Trust is now out independently...The Berzerker is supporting Vader and Immolation in the USA this autumn...Guitarist Frank Buffalino has joined Internal Bleeding. He replaces Guy Marchai...Work on Darkane's new album entitled Expanding Senses is almost complete. The band recorded with producer Daniel Bergstrand at Dug-Out Studios. One song features guest vocals by former singer Lawrence Mackrory...Tentatively entitled Karma in Black, The Defaced's new album is being co-produced by Darkane guitarist Klas Ideberg...Paris-based death metal band Carnal Lust is seeking a label for the release of its album entitled Whore Of Violence. Please contact the band via www.carnallust.fr.st...Dark Angel has reformed...Blood Red Throne has completed the recording for its next album entitled Affiliated With The Suffering...Hearse will precede the release of its new album Dominion Reptilian with a 7' entitled Torch...Hammerheart Records' Impious has a new album entitled The Killer. The band will also release a MCD this year entitled The Deathquad...Septic Flesh has just finished recording a new album called Summerian Daemons...Aeternus' (Norway) next album is to be recorded at Greighallen Studio with Pytten (Mayhem, Enslaved, etc.) this November...According to Crook'd Records Nasty Savage has reformed and recorded two songs. The band is looking at live opportunities...Meshuggah is following its Ozzfest appearances with a new US tour with Tool...Flesh For Beast Records has announced the release of Urgehal's third release entitled Atomkinder. The Norwegian band plays black metal...Unsung Heroes Records has the following albums out: the doomy Eyes Of Ligeia's The Untuning of the Sky and Black Moon Rising's Tales From The Pit: 1998-2002. The label is also working on a tribute to Beherit...Coming soon on Soundriot Records is Demon Child's Shadow Cult album. The band hails from Finland and is described as black metal...Coming this October from France's Warpath Records, Mortem's Death Is My Name album is described as 'totally sick.' The band hails from Russia...Using the Generation Armageddon Part I moniker, Dismember, Ancient Rites, Primordial, Septic Flesh, Blood Red Throne and Impious are touring Europe this November...Circle Of Dead Children's next album is entitled Human Harvest and due next spring...Guitarist Michel Alderliefsten has left Houwitser...Seppo Taatila has left the drum stool of Demigod and been replaced by ex-Torn man Tuomo Latvala.
The reformed Candlemass is in the process of putting together a video of their recent shows. The band is discussing a new studio album as well...According to guitarist Ian Toomey English hard rockers Bitches Sin have reformed and are writing a new album. This will be their first album since 1986...Eidolon is shooting a video for the song Coma Nation off the album of the same name this month. The production will take place in Toronto and is set to be of high budget...Scarlet Records has signed Invocator...At Vance and keyboardist Uli Müller have parted ways. While no immediate replacement is named, the band assures the fans that the current European tour remains unaffected...New York hard rockers recently played a showcase for both Universal and Atlantic. Prototype has joined the roster of Denmark's Intromental Management group...In order to complete its contractual obligation to Century Media, Samael now featuring guitarist Makro will release issue a guitar-less album this autumn entitled Era One...Brainstorm is using its appearance at Summer Breeze Festival to record a live album...Gamma Ray's next album will bear the title of the current tour, Skeletons In The Closet, and be a double live CD...Formed from the ashes of Mindrot, Shiva has garnered a deal with Century Media Records. The debut is due next spring...Sweden's Wolverine, described as 'progressive,' has signed to Elitist Records for four albums...Loudness' Biosphere album is out now in Japan. No foreign release has been announced...Paul Samson's Live - The Blues Night is now available in England...Children Of Bodom has re-signed with Spinefarm Records. The band's next album is due in the spring of 2003...Australia's Skin Inc. recently had to forego a recording contract because one member lives in Melbourne and the rest in Perth...Chicago's Diamond Rexx has completed their Crash Music debut at Pumpkin Studios in Illinois. The band is shooting a video for the song Sick...Kalibas and Rune will have a split CD available via Relapse Records next winter...In an on-line post about Megadeth's new live CD, singer and guitarist Dave Mustaine reports that he will be back soon with more music...Kingdom Come have readied a new album entitled Independent. The album is released via Ulftone Music...King Diamond and Mercyful Fate have re-signed with Metal Blade...Scarlet records has a new Provenance album coming out entitled Still At Arms Length...In Joe Lynn Turner news, www.joelynnturner.com has been relaunched. Turner is playing his first two British shows in seven years this month in London and Birmingham...Sanctuary Records Canada has announced that Megadeth's Rude Awakening has now gone gold in Canada. Megadeth's Still Alive...And Well? compilation is out imminently...Locomotive Music has signed Prong. A live album is expected October 15 of this year and a new album next spring...Tiwanaky is yet another band featuring former Crimson Glory and Seven Witches man Wade Black, Emo and Mike of Nocturnus are also in the fold...Jackyl's forthcoming album entitled Relentless will feature another vocal collaboration with AC/DC's Brian Johnson on the track Kill The Sunshine...Former Trouble bassist bassist Ron Holzner has joined former Saint Vitus singer Wino in Place Of Skulls...John O' Fathaigh who has been responsible for the flute in Cruachan has left the band due to the pressures of touring. A replacement is being sought...Antimatter featuring former Anathema bassist Duncan Patterson has signed with The End Records for North America. The band's Saviour album is due this month...Former Freedom call guitarist Sascha Gerstner has replaced Roland Grapow in Helloween...AFM Records has signed Masterplan featuring former Helloween members Roland Grapow and Uli Kusch. The band's self-titled debut is due in January...Shadow's Fall recently shot a video for the Thoughts Without Words from its recent release The Art Of Balance...Angelwitch, after splitting up over a year ago, have reformed. The line-up is main man Kevin Heybourne, guitarists Keith Herzberg and Scott Higham, bassist Richie Wicks and drummer Scott Higham...In the midst of recording the tentatively-entitled Damnation And A Day, guitarist Gian Pyres has left Cradle Of Filth...Featuring Magnum's Bob Catley, Timo Tolkki of Stratovarius, and Eric Singer of Kiss, Tobias Sammet-lead Avantasia's The Metal Opera Part 2 is being released in North America with two bonus tracks...Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony has joined Sammy Hagar, the former Van Halen singer's, live band for a few select dates...Produced by Jon Oliva, the debut of Circle II Circle, the band of former Savatage man Zak Stevens, will be released by AFM Records...Seventh One guitarist Johannes Lösbäck has joined Wolf...DVS Records has signed Chrome Shift. Ripples In Time will be out next spring...Italy's Time Machine has a new album entitled Evil through CD-Maximum. The band has also seen a re-release for Act II via Lucretia Records which includes bonus material...Cage, Tunnelvision and Anguiah have all signed to Massacre Records...Mecca has begun writing for the second album. Simultaneously several of the members are involved in the Genius all-star opera project...Robin Beck has announced that a new album will be ready for the winter...The End Records has the following albums coming soon: Antimatter's Savior album, Monumentum's Ad Nauseam album, Downfal's My Last Prayer and Silent Voices' Chapters Of Tragedy (the latter two from Low Frequency Records), Bathory's Nordland, Lake Of Tears' The Neonai and Dumper's self-titled album (the latter three from Black Mark Production)...Requiem has shot a video for the song Broken Alliance...Guitarist Pete O'Malley has left Orange Goblin.
WARREN APPLEBY - DARK FOREST TRAIL
The year was 1986 and Warren Ay (neé Appleby) and Blacktask had just released their one and only album for Axe Killer Records. Fifteen years following the band's disappearance, former singer and current guitarist and keyboardist Warren Appleby is back with an independent instrumental CD. It is remarkable how many disparate styles Appleby can rig onto one disc and still make it sound as if they belong together. Dark Forest Trail is no less than thirteen tracks which mix and match progressive metal, hard rock, jazz, new age with what can best be described as musical scores. In fact, Appleby would do well to go after some commercial motion picture work. Listen to the groove of Lotus King for instance. Then listen to the heavy rock of Spotted Mouse and its patented Deep Purple melody.
One thing that Appleby will want to rectify next time is the 'click' sound at the end of the tracks. Songs end with a certain thud akin to depressing the stop button of a tape recorder. It is audible and specially so when using the headphones.
A unique characteristic about this disc is the creativity behind the titles. While Appleby has (oddly) opted to forego vocals, one can only imagine how lyrics to intriguing titles such as Painted Lady, Snapdragon, Kokoum's Hunt or Nightwing would have turned out. Fans of progressive music with influences as diverse as Rush, Deep Purple and New Wave may check out Appleby's approach. To order the CD please either visit www.warrenappleby.com or send $10 to Madkar Records, P.O. Box 3138, Maple Glen, PA. 19002 USA.
SENCIROW - CROWN OF CREATION
A short month after reviewing Sencirow's debut demo Dreamscape we present to you a review of the band's second and latest independent work entitled Crown Of Creation. The Germans may have seen a line-up change with the addition of Holger Fischer on bass, but their melodic heavy metal sounds remains intact. Crown Of Creation is made for fans of early NWOBHM and US metal. The sound is down-to-earth and bereft of any non-metal elements. It is laden with melody and comprised of just the meat and potatoes of our genre. Were comparisons a must, NWOBHM act Weapon or America's Oliver Magnum would be referenceable here. The band can and does pick up the tempo occasionally as demo closer Dark memories proves. The music might be terrestrial, but the lyrics are seemingly celestial. The band, lead by singer Daniel 'Kensington' Seifert, seems Christian in orientation. Further topics addressed are humanity and the environment. These are not surprising given the demo name or the cover's depiction of our planet. To contact the band please either email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sencirow.de.
THROCULT - HUNTED
When former Serberus man Ivan contacted me about his new band Throcult, there was no hesitation in wanting to hear their songs. After all Serberus is a quality act that is deserving of respect. In an earlier review, this writer greatly praised Serberus' composition prowess and promotional onslaught. Then what happens? Serberus signs with Pavement/Crash and, well, crashes off of the fans' radar screens. It seems that more people have heard the Serberus demo than their debut album. What is my point? It is that you can only harm yourself. No one can bring you down except for yourself. Which brings me to Throcult. The featured three tracks on the CD, Kill Or Be Killed (not a Blessed Death cover), Hunted and Eclipse Of The Blood Moon, depict a superior quality death metal band. The drums sound is heavy, the guitars sting and the vocalist spews hatred with power. The band is as tight as a virgin and the sound perfect for the genre - even if this is a rough mix. Then what does the band do? Introduce a keyboardist! Why would a band so capable of being taken seriously mess around with trendy pop instrumentation is beyond my feeble mind. Safe to say that it takes away from the pure enjoyment that can only be derived from the true essence of metal. The band is practically giving these away so write either to email@example.com or 1390 Everett Ct. #210, Lakewood, CO. 80215 USA.
ILLOGICIST - POLYMORPHISM OF DEATH
Wow! It is thoroughly illogical that this is Illogicist's first demo. What the three tracks on these Italians' debut demo demonstrate is how the band may give a nod to late-era Death, Atheist, Martyr and Meshuggah, but in essence this is one of the more original and powerful demos arrived at Metallian Towers. The sound is crushing, the instrumental prowess frightful, the solos high caliber and the above-named influences coupled with the odd Classical and jazz fusion incorporation transforms Illogicist into a force to be reckoned with. It is simply difficult to get ones head around how the quartet is a young band showcasing a debut demo CD onto the scene. Who knew Italy will one day demand respect on the metal scene? Fans and labels contact Illogicist either via firstname.lastname@example.org or simple visit www.illogicist.com now. You do not need to be a scientician to know that the act will not remain unsigned long.
VEX - SPHEREITH
The demo name might be routine, but there is little that is business-as-usual about Vex's music. Vex treads the same ground as the likes of Incantation, Numskull and The Chasm, but shows little inclination to be a clone act. In fact it is easy to like this American band. Be it anger, barbarism, melancholy or sorrow they put a lot of feeling into every note they play. Yes, Vex focuses on different elements and multiple tempos while emphasizing the mid-pace. An intro leads to the first song which shows some dynamism without sounding ostentatious. The sound is clear and the great lead work proves Vex means business. The band should come up with an ending for the song as fading out tracks is rarely optimal. The next song is entitled Eyes Of Wrath and features menacing vocals and more dynamic melodies. Added to the mix the listener finds spoken segments, cool rhythm changes, a favourable bass sound and another meaningful lead guitar part. The latter reminds us why the metal gods stipulated metal shall be accompanied by solos! The snare sound is too tinny though and needs tuning. This song is followed by Era Of Delusion where a heavy riff alternates with such a melody that would have been at home even with a hard rock act. The drumming is a little light-weight, but the song certainly outlives that minor hindrance. On With Eyes Closed the band deceives the listener with a calm introduction before lurching forward and yanking back into the abyss of brutality. This is a slower song which sounds barbaric. All in all, Vex is an impressive band with particular strength in its riffs and lead guitars. One could certainly have done without the useless keyboard intrusions (ah! it could not be perfect, could it?), but it might yet be that as the band grows it divests itself of this trendy element. In the meanwhile either contact the band via email@example.com or send $5 to Ciaran McCloskey, 3211 Clare Drive, Apt. 64, San Angelo, TX. 76904 USA.
HAZE - LET ME BE YOUR SNAKE!
I am so disappointed baby. Excuse my buns, but isn't Haze a glam band? What no photographs? Just when I expected a bunch of good looking looong manes and superb overall looks, I get the Haze demo and find out there are no pictures to be had. Even the guys will be disappointed. Why are the babe's breasts covered on the cover? What's up with that? What really got me going though was the song line-up. Most of these are not originals. Kiss and Led Zeppelin played Italian style? It's too quiet. Turn up the sound. This stuff needs glam, glitz and blitz and this production does not deliver. No one's given me a price so just get those pens up and write to Alex 'Midnight' at V.le Rosselli 31/9, 51016 Montecatini Terme (PT) Italy or type out firstname.lastname@example.org - Sheila Wes Det
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