America's Descend is in Mars Studios with producer Bill Korecky (Incantation, Decrepit, etc) recording its debut full length. As well as new songs, the band will include some rerecorded 95 and 99 demo tracks...Lost Disciple Records has signed Averse Sefira...Formerly known as Inhuman, Soul Demise are releasing the Berno Studio-recorded Beyond Human Perception in December on Gutter Records...Vincent Crowley (Acheron), Jeff Gruslin (Vital Remains), Kyle Severn (Incantation), Lord Ahriman (Dark Funeral) and Thomas Thorn (Electric Hellfire Club) have banded together to record an EP called Conquer Divine under the Wolfen Society moniker...Speaking of Dark Funeral, Defleshed drummer Matte Modin has joined the group and the band will enter Abyss Studio in January to record a new full length...Diehard Music had re-signed Thorium after dropping the band in August for expressing racist sentiments in an interview earlier. Both band and label now deny the Nazi connections and speak of a misunderstanding...Simon Hestnaes (aka Vortex) has left Borknagar in order to fully concentrate on Dimmu Borgir. The departure lead to the band pulling out of the European tour with Mayhem. His tour replacement is Tyr (Satyricon, Emperor, etc)..Dimmu Borgir has also fired Astennu and replaced him with newcomer Archon...Enthroned is entering Germany's Real Sound Studio to record the next album entitled Armored Bestial Hell...Belgium's Impedigon is recording the debut album tentatively entitled As Desires Fade. The direction is Swedish death/black metal...The planned Incantation/ Nile / Hate Eternal tour of Europe is canceled. This follows the cancellation of Incantation's USA tour this year...Sweden's Carnal Forge (featuring Dellamorte and In Thy Dreams members) has signed to Century Media and will release their new album shortly...Centurian has left Full Moon Production and signed to Listenable Records. The band expects to have a new album out in January. In the meanwhile the band's side project Severe Torture has an album out called Feasting on Blood...Necropolis Records news: An album by rockers The Leftovers called 667: The Neighbor of the Beast, Black Dawn's Blood for Satan, and Maze of Torment's Death Strikes...Pagan Records has signed Misteria and is about to release the Masquerade of Shadows album of the Poles...Skyforger have ended the recording of their second album Latvian Riflemen. Expect it in November...Expect the third Profanum album in December. the duo's album is called Musaeum Esothericum...Ars Metalli has signed Impending Doom...Upcoming releases from Hammerheart are: Hypnosia's Extreme Hatred (thrash), The Ravenous' Assembled in Blasphemy (death metal featuring Dan Lilker and Chris Reifert) and Thanatos' Angelic Encounters in October; Aura Noir's Increased Damnation (black metal), Die Apokalyptische Reiter's All You Need is Love (eclectic), Aeternus' Burning the Shroud (death metal), After Death's Vibrations (featuring Mike Browning of Nocturnus), Corona Borealis' Cantus Paganus (Medireview) and Avrigus' The Secret Kingdom (gothic rock) in November...Recorded at Sunlight Studio, Svartsyn's third album will be called Bloodline and will appear early next year on Soundriot...Fuck The Facts has been busy doing split tapes with Smes as well a release called Vagina Dancer. The band is also on several compilations...Former Dimmu Borgir/ Old Man's Child drummer Tjodalv has a new band called Susperia which is signed to Nuclear Blast...Last Episode has signed Jack Frost. Also on the label is The Dreamside of ex-Pyogenesis member Roman Schoensee...German grinders Kadath have a new guitarist in the form of Gesuz of Mental Aberration who will remain active with his original band as well. The band just played Belgium's Wee Lewaat Festival...More melodic death metal comes our way via Sweden's The Forsaken who are in the Abyss Studio with Tommy Tagtgren recording their debut album for Century Media...The same label has licensed Krisiun's rare first two albums (Black Force Domain and Apocalyptic Revelation) for North American release...Gurkkhas already completed three songs for their next album and is touring Southern Europe...Sinister has signed to Hammerheart USA...Anvil is recording a new album entitled Plenty of Power with an eye to a February release date...Former Obituary guitarist Trevor Peres has signed his band Catastrophic to Metal Blade. Their debut entitled The Cleansing is due next winter...Repulse has signed Severance and will release an album called What Lies Ahead for Christmas..Fleshcrawl recently had to leave a badly organized tour with Vital Remains and Vader after its front man was gripped with a bad case of flu....New signings on Folter Records: Ork from Bulgaria, Lungorthin from Germany and Neldoreth (featuring members of Castrum and Ashes You Leave) from Croatia...Morbid Records has signed Disinter...Zyklon (formerly Zyklon B) featuring Zamoth (aka Samoth) of Emperor is in the studio...Due to time constraints Peter Tagtgren is no longer a member of Lock Up. His replacement is former At The Gates man Thomas Lindberg...Immolation were forced to cancel appearances in the Benelux and Wacken due to immigration restrictions on their drummer to travel. The band's album Close to a World Below is now due at the end of November...Einherjer are in Los Angered Studio recording an EP featuring two covers. The band's extreme side project Angelgrinder is releasing its debut The Heretic imminently on Native North Records...Brujeria is back November 7 with a new album...Tarantula has ended the recording session for its next album with producer Tommy Newton and is looking at a winter release...The next Gorguts album From Wisdom to Hate is now due for Christmas...French gore metallers Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition are almost finished with work on their second release. In the meanwhile the band has released a split EP with Belgium's Lymphatic Phlegm...Audie Desbrow and Sean McNabb have left Great White while Jack Russell spends time in rehab. The band will begin preparing for a new release this year...Here are three new releases from Deadsun Records: Disinter's Welcome to Oblivion (US death metal ), Kemet's Dying with Elegance MCD and Umbakrail's In Unity Paienne (black metal). The label has also signed Italy's Horrid, who are entering Sunlight in March for a fall 2001 release, and English grinders 7th Child...Marduk, who had earlier left Osmose following the expiration of their contract, are now seemingly back on the Osmose roster again...Bloodthorn is now on Red Stream Records. The band's forthcoming album Under the Reign of Terror is due this December...Rossomahaar from Russia has signed to USA's X-Rated Records...Neglected Fields from Latvia is now on Scarlet and recording Mephisto Lettonica at Abyss Studio. The band's debut was released through Neat...God Dethroned are recording their third album called Ravenous. Watch for a 'rarities' CD out soon...Also on Metal Blade Vomitory has a new CD finished called Revelation Nausea. Expected in November it will be the first release with bassist Erik Rundkvist on vocals...Finland's Crimson Midwinter has called it a day just weeks prior to the planned recording of its second album...Macabre will issue the out-of-print Grim Reality EP on CD through Decomposed Records. The band, currently on tour in Europe and slated to hit Canada and USA at the end of the year, has a new web site at murder metal.com...Anasarca follow up their Fuck the Commerce appearance with a visit to the studio to record an album called Moribund for their new label Mighty Music. Future releases on the label are Beheaded's Resurgence of Oblivion MCD, Enter my Silence's Remotecontrolled Scythe, Cronic Disorder's Torture Test, as well as albums by new signings Solar Fire (Sweden) and Fleshtizied from the USA. The label is switching focus in the future and focusing on the extreme end of the metal scene...Avantgarde has signed Winds the band of drummer Hellhammer and guitarist Carl August Tidemann (also of Arcturus). Expect a MCD entitled Of Entity and Mind from this 'atmospheric' band in the winter time...Tim Calvert has left Nevermore due to personal reasons...In an on-line statement Dan Swano has renounced death metal forever. He will concentrate on symphonic rock in the future...Paul Di Anno was forced to cancel his North American summer tour following refusal by US customs to allow him into the country. The man has a wanted by the British authorities...The Haunted's post-show album signing session turned into a riot recently in Chile...Murder Squad featuring members of Entombed and Dismember has signed to Pavement...Autumn Leaves has officially disbanded.
Blackie Lawless is performing acoustic versions of Crimson Idol in L.A, NYC and London with an eye towards releasing a filmed version on DVD as well as a live CD. W.A.S.P. will also release a rarities CD early next year...Jorg Knittel and Oliver Grosshans of Sacred Steel, Klaus Sperling of Primal Fear and newcomer Rene Pfeiffer are recording an album for their death metal project My Darkest Hate. The direction is akin to Six Feet Under..Michael Olivieri has left the vocalist slot in Leatherwolf. The band has begun the search for a replacement...Aerosmith will not only make an appearance on The Sopranos TV series, they are also slated to contribute to an up coming sound track...Bruce Dickinson gave fans notice at a recent live show in Hartford, USA that Iron Maiden's next release is a live one...Enochian Crescent has saw the departure of both guitarist Michael and bassist Harald. The band is regardless entering the studio in November...In order to promote Embrace Damnation Houwitser is releasing a video for the track Feeding on Fools...French black metallers De Profundis have changed their name to Ad Inferna...Studio Fredman is host to Opeth who are recording the next album called Blackwater Park. Expect it in February...Children of Bodom are in the studio recording their third album called follow The Reaper. with Peter Tagtgren...Eighties thrashers Executioner, who released two albums on New Renaissance, have released their shelved third album The Storm After the Calm which was originally recorded 12 years ago...Obliveon have thrown in the towel. Sick of getting no support from the labels they've worked with, and the industry in general the band has fired its singer and will work under a new name and with a new style in the future...Italian thrashers Sisthema have signed to Noise...Spitfire records has signed Yngwie Malmsteen...Dutch band Callenish Circle is working on a third album expected for release winter 2001 on DSFA...Testament's Eric Petersen has signed his band Dragonheart to Spitfire and is entering the studio to record a debut full length...Racer X, which still features Judas Priest drummer Scott Travis, will reunite shortly to record a follow up album to last year's Technical Difficulties...Nightmare Records will promote and distribute Double Diamond's In Danger CD in the USA...Featuring Vader's Mauser, Dies Irae has signed to Metal Blade...Doomsters Green Carnation, featuring ex-Emperor/ Carpathian Forest/ Satyricon Tchort, Synne from In The Woods and Vibeke of Tristania has an album called Journey to the End of the Night...Dutch band Callenish Circle is looking to enter the studio at the end of this year with an eye on releasing a third album in early 2001...Century Media has signed Tad Morose. The band's new album is called Nuclear Skies...White metallers Jacob's Dream are recording their third release entitled Third Way. Some tracks are Theater of War and Sanctuary...Eighties hard rockers Hurricane are back and on frontiers Records...SPV has signed Kreator with the band working on some songs a la the the Coma of Souls era. There are also rumours the band will kick off 2001 touring with Sodom and Destruction...Blind Guardian report that they will enter the studio this October with producer Charly Bauerfeind for a new album due next summer. At least one track will be some 12 minutes long and will be a tribute to Tolkien...Straight off the Dio and Sinner tour, Unrest are in TTS studio working on a new album...Due to disagreements between Sarcophagus and Necropolis Records, the band has asked its label Baphomet Records to not have Necropolis market its forthcoming MCD. The band will announce a release date once a label more 'serious about death and black metal' is found...The next Aerosmith album scheduled for early summer 2001 will be self-produced...Contagious has fired keyboardist Ged Rylands...Produced by Roy Z, The Dark Ride Helloween's forthcoming album (released on Halloween) will feature tracks like Immortal and If I Could Fly...Warrior Soul's original line up has reformed. Expect a 'best of' sampler at first...Hellion has reformed...Due next February is Primal Fear's new album Nuclear Fire. Looks for tracks like Kiss of Death and Red Rain...Annihilator's new album featuring Joe Comeau is called Carnival Diablos and features songs like Hunter Killer and Battered. The band is on CMC...Graham Bonnett has rejoined Impelliteri after some ten years...Tad Morose's new album is called Undead and will be out by Christmas...A reformed Lizzy Borden has a new album on Metal Blade called deal With the Devil...Wish the band of ex-The Gathering singer Bart Smits is back and signed to Soundriot.
Hermit's Chant #3 ($6 to Via Genova 63, 20025 Legnano, Milano Italy) might be slightly older and sold out, but take note of the address as issue four is very close to release. The editor's interview policy is too open-minded and artsy for my tastes, and the posed questions seem to be occasionally longer than the answers given but the style here is very individual and strive for something a tad different. The reviews give you concise info and the underground zine's scene gets a good good nod as well. Featuring: Setherial, Dawn, Dornenreich, Darken and more! La Lettre de Sappho #10 ($1 to 11 rue du Quartier Neuf, 88230 Fraize France) is an expanded French newsletter from this underground distributor. As well as featuring loads of underground acts like Chaostar and Depraved, you get a catalogue with different (mainly) indie releases to order. Also included is a small Australian scene report which could have been much more informative...Golden Lake Productions (send 1 IRC to 19 Castlehill drive, Newton Mearns, Glasgow G77 5JZ Scotland) has incorporated interviews and reviews into its catalogue as well. This is full of truly underground releases...Flakyounot #16 ($1 to 6515 N. Anthos, Chicago, IL. 60631 USA) is a one-page newsletter of metal and hardcore albums and zines. The reviews seem generally honest and don't mind mentioning the negative which gives them credibility, but the layout managed to lose me...BW&BK #43 ($6 to 368 Yonge St. Toronto M5B 1S5) is Canada's heavy metal magazine. What is increasingly clear is that the monthly publication is better than most of its international competition and a required source. What is disappointing is the writers' tendency to incorporate inarticulate showy 'thesaurisms' into their verbiage and the high marks accorded everything reviewed. This latter is a function of every commercial mag I have ever read though, and probably justifies the existence of fanzines. This issue is packed (again) with Iron Maiden, Halford, Venom and Hammerfall so wait not!...And we end the section with Beyond #15 ($1 to 22 rue Reniers, 1090 Jette Belgium) which is a half sized compact thing with death metal -oriented interviews and multiple reviews all in English. A nice underground attitude is built into this one.
Select Top 5 Releases
Ali "The Metallian" - Editor
1 - Disgorge - Forensick - Repulse
2 - Serpent Obscene - same - Necropolis
3 - Halford - Resurrection - Metal-Is
4 - Rotten Sound - Still Psycho - Deathvomit/ Necropolis
5 - Soulless - The Darkening of Days - Independent
Leon - Guitarist for Impaled
1 - Nasum - Human 2.0 - Relapse
2 - Babylon Whores - King Fear - Necropolis
3 - Tricky - Maxinquaye - Island
4 - Andrea Parker - Kiss My Arp - Mo'Wax
5 - Rotten Sound - Still Psycho - Deathvomit/ Necropolis
Fabrice Antoine - Sappho Musique
1 - Chaostar - Chaostar - Holy
2 - Pink Floyd - The Wall Live - EMI
3 - Kyuss - Welcome to the Sky Valley - Elektra
4 - In Flames - Clayman - Nuclear Blast
5 - F Tone - F Tone - Independent
Michael Guinther - Descend/ Cutting Edge Records
1 - From The Depths - Elysium - Nightfall/Terrorizer
2 - The Chasm - Procession to the Infraworld - Dwell
3 - Immortal - Damned in Black - Osmose
4 - Disciples Of Mockery - Prelude to Apocalypse - Independent
5 - Nunslaughter - Hells Unholy Fire - Revenge
Laden with the age old themes of metal supremacy, humour and necrophilia, Denata's independently released MCD comes chock full of fun'n games in the guise of tracks like Necro Erection (the band has the hots for fellow Swedes Necrophobic), Happy Days (described as when the band goes girl watching at a local high school), Sent From Hell (about a band experience at McDonald's) and of course the rocking Mistress of Buffalo Shit (dealing with the topic of lost love and abandoned relationships). Musically the band specializes in thrash metal as perfected by the likes of early Sacrifice and Dark Angel. The songs are short and generally played with no frills. Send $10 to the same town that spawned death metal heroes Seance to get this CD: Tomas Andersson, Norrsattersgatan 5A, 586 63 Linkoping Sweden.
THE GREAT KAT - ROSSINI'S RAPE
I can't be sure how many of you out there ordered or saw Kat's year old concept video - suffice to say it will not be featured on any TV station soon - but the new four track MCD of NYC's The Great Kat is nothing short of incredible, bizarre, blistering, weird, fast, vicious, S&M, whacked, thrashing mix of speed metal-meets-classical. As a visiting friend, Mr. Death, pointed out it is hard to imagine where The Great Kat gets the money to finance her CDs, videos, promo campaigns and so forth but the very well-adapted showing of William Tell Overture of classical composer Rossini is hard to ignore. Rossini himself would surely suffer a coronary were he to be exposed to this sodomy of his art. The Great Kat is all the above adjectives, and well beyond the norm. Go ahead and check the MCD FOR $7 out via 775 Park Ave, Suite #222, Huntington, NY 11743 USA.
HIGHROAD NO. 28 - OBSCURE MADNESS
What obscure madness grips an artist to spend hundreds of Dollars to independently compose, record and promote his music? Whatever it is, one of the biggest joys of the underground is to hear young bands from across the world potentially before their discovery by a larger audience. Based in Australia and masterminded by one Andrew Cantwell, the disc at hand is a 20+ minute of heavy rock-cum-hardcore. Musically the band sounds as if Souless-era Grave has gone hard rock. Vocally though the approach is more punk rock and has less polish. The vocals and the music are quite clear in the mix and the band seems to be headed towards a steady line up before recording again next year. Andrew Cantwell, PO Box 502, Parramatta, NSW Australia 2124.
SOULLESS - THE DARKENING OF DAYS
Formed by former members of Cleveland, USA bands Decrepit, Bloodsick (who had a split 7' with Nunslaughter) and Decimation, Soulless (not a Grave tribute band) has sent in an older full length recorded two years ago. The band is planning another release but this CD showcases an aggressive thrash metal with influences ranging from Slayer to Atheist. The vocals specially remind of early Atheist with their high shrieks and gargling attack. The band does veer to the technical occasionally (and would have been more so if the drums weren't muffled), but overall this is a speedy metal to which it is fun to bang heads and listen. Overall a very professional package from a band that has its act together. The question though is the market's appetite for a thrash metal band that doesn't appeal to the low elements of society like Pantera. $10 to 6110 Bradley Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44129-2218 USA.
SHADEWORKS - LIGHTS HIDING IN 8-D ARCHITECTURE
This is terrible. Is this Italian? Songs like Soulseller's Eyes or Architecture 8 show no inclination to feature a structure anywhere as keyboards, a nagging female and the obligatory drum machine wail over each other to no end. Just plain give it up. I will give half my serfs away if this poster tape for waste of time and money ever gets signed. On the other hand Panterrible is still releasing albums, so perhaps I shouldn't be so quick with my serfs...aaarrgghhh. c/o 22 rue Reniers, 1090 Jette Belgium.
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