ENTHRONED's guitarist Nornagest has joined PLAGUE on vocals. PLAGUE is recording a debut demo called Visions Of The Twilight...ROT's A Long Cold Stare album is available now...GOATSBLOOD has assembled a number of live and unreleased songs and looking for a label to release the material. The band's second album, entitled Drull, was released last month by Willowtip Records...THE ACCURSED is heading into the studio to record a new full-length demo with Tim Koukos (Screaming Ferret Wreckords/Red Right Hand). The band will also appear on a Screaming Ferret Wreckords' sampler with the song Aftermath Of Sorrow...The members of the defunct band EXCEL are considering legal action against METALLICA. They allege that the latter's Enter Sandman is a duplication of their song Tapping Into The Emotional Void...Nickro (vocals) and Julien (bass) have left CARNAL LUST. The French band is looking for replacements. Please e-mail the band at email@example.com...ENCRYPTOR, a death metal band from Panama has just released it second album through Dysmorphic Records...Japan's COLURFAST has just issued an independent album called The Art Of One...LORD BELIAL has seen the return of original drummer Micke Backelin to the fold...VOMITORY is searching for a new vocalist after bassist and singer Erik Rundqvist decided to focus on his bass exclusively. Erik will record the vocals on the forthcoming VOMITORY album. Interested singers can contact the band at firstname.lastname@example.org...Conquer Records has released DAMNATION's Resurrection Of Azarath CD. The compilation includes Rebel Souls (1996), Coronation (1998), a Promo '98 which was never released, as well as two cover versions...The second HELL-BORN full-length album, Legacy Of The Nephilim will be out shortly...IMMEMORIAL 's After Deny' album will be available on November 27th, 2003. It will feature the new singer Karolina and the new bass player Frost (ex-member of BEHEMOTH and HEFEYSTOS)...SHANE GALAAS known for his drumming in DIESEL MACHINE and COSMOSQUAD has a solo album out called Primer...A version of MSG's One Night At Budokan album now featuring an unreleased Cozy Powell drum solo and the song Tales Of Mystery is out in Japan through Toshiba EMI...SOUL AT ZERO (not to be confused with the defunct US act SOULS AT ZERO), the side project of GRAVEWORM guitarist Eric Treffel, has a website at www.soulatzero.com...BRUTALITY, featuring singer Scott Reigel, bassist Jeff Acres, guitarists Mausolus Arguelles Von Kiszka and Demian Heftel - Lead and drummer Jim Coker have resolved their year-long dispute with Still Dead Productions and will release a new album in February...WITHOUT END is the name of the new band of former BLOOD FEAST, HEAD LOCK, LAST REMAINS guitarist Adam Tranquilli. The band is at Big Blue Meanie Studio in Hoboken, New Jersey recording a full-length album...INCANTATION is hitting the South American touring circuit this month...DARKANE has postponed recording a new album until after returning from a string of dates with DEATH ANGEL in Europe. The reasons cites are an injury to the back of Klas Ideberg and the incompletion of the band's home studio. In the meanwhile, the band has reissued the Rusted Angel album through Regain Records...BANE OF EXISTENCE is searching for a second guitarist. Anyone interested and in the Boston area should write to email@example.com. The band is also negotiating with Fleshfeast Productions...Metal Blade Records has signed Massachussetts' UNEARTH...The forthcoming album of CANNIBAL CORPSE will be entitled The Wretched Spawn and is set for a February 2004 release. A couple of song titles are Decency Defied and Cianide Assassin...THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER has seen the return of original members Trevor Strnad (vocals) and Dave Lock (bass)...Belgium's KLUDDE is in the studio with a new singer recording new material that will be used as a split release with MORRIGU...THE MEADS OF ASPHODEL's Exhuming the Grave of Yeshua album is out now. The first 1,000 copies contain a bonus track...Forthcoming music on Supernal Music is: CAPRICORNUS (Poland): Alone Against All, DRUDKH (Ukraine): Autumn Aurora, HATE FOREST (Ukraine): Battlefields INFERNUM (Poland), Taur-Nu-Fuin and HATE FOREST (Ukraine): Scythia CD. All releases are slated for the spring of 2004...According to FS Management FORGOTTEN SUNS' second album will be called Snooze. There is no release date yet...KOBEAST, the side project of axe man Michael Kopietz (FROZEN SUN, PANZERCHRIST and 12 GAUGE) is in Niflheim Studio recording eight songs. The session features drummer Reno Kiilerich (FROZEN SUN, PANZERCHRIST, 12 GAUGE, VILE and EXMORTEM) and vocalist Søren "Azazel" Jensen (GRANHAMMER and IRONFIRE)....Ronnie Bergerståhl (JULIE LAUGHS NO MORE, AMARAN) is the new CENTINEX drummer...PANZERCHRIST's Roomservice album is now out...Eric Hoffmann and a roadie named as Benjamin T. Boynton (a poor anagram for Benton?) of DEICIDE were reportedly arrested upon leaving Canada for the US for carrying weapons, narcotics and steroids. The band's Detroit show was cancelled...LEASH LAW, the group featuring vocalist Wade Black (ex-CRIMSON GLORY, SEVEN WITCHES), guitarists Rick Renstrom (ROB ROCK) and Emo Mowery (TIWANAKU, ex-NOCTURNUS), bassist Stephen Elder (ROB ROCK) and drummer Richard Christy (ICED EARTH, ex-DEATH) has signed a two-album deal with Greece's Black Lotus Records...FIREWIND, featuring Gus G. (DREAM EVIL, MYSTIC PROPHECY, NIGHTRAGE) and vocalist ROB ROCK (Ex-IMPELLITERI, DRIVER, JOSHUA) and the latter's solo band RAGE OF CREATION have announced a tour of Japan for January. FIREWIND's second CD, entitled Burning Earth, is out now through Massacre in Europe and Toshiba in Japan...In a move reminiscent of DISMEMBER in the early 90's, DREAM EVIL performed an unplugged set on the Stockholm radio station Rockklassiker 106.7 on Friday, October 31st...Former GUNS N' ROSES/THE CULT drummer Matt Sorum has released his debut solo album, Hollywood Zen, via www.mattsorum.com...VARGSINN of WORLD DESTROYER and CARPATHIAN FOREST has joined the former's E. Kulde in a band called HATEPULSE. The band's demo is now on CD through Rage Of Achilles. It is called Extenso Letalis...After releasing two albums KEEP OF KALESSIN's Obsidian C. put the band on hold to tour as guitarist for SATYRICON. KOK is now back, featuring former MAYHEM vocalist Attila Chisar and SATYRICON drummer Frost, with an EP called Reclaim...Humanity = Destruction...The End Is Near the album of CONSPIRACY A.D. is set to be released worldwide by Crash Music on January 13th 2004...ABOMINATOR's Nuctemeron Descent is now out. The band has recruited bassist Valak Exhumer and singer Max Krieg since the last release...Here is some news from Morbid Records: HAEMORRHAGE will release its new DVD Visions From The Morgue in December. The label will also release footage of its Morbide Festspiele Festival in January. Bands like MANOS, BLOOD, HARMONY DIES, etc. were present at the show. The label has signed both PROFANATION from Gorlitz, Germany and COCK AND BALL TORTURE from Bavaria. The former's next album is called Its lunch time again and is due in the winter...TORTURE KILLER's debut For Maggots To Deliver has survived the wrath of the CD manufacturing plant and has been issued by Karmageddon Media...Aeternus' Beyond The Wandering Moon and ...And So The Night Became albums have been reissued by Karmageddon Media and feature bonus songs...Napalm Records has issued a new FALKENBACH album called Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty...KALMAH and keyboardist Pasi Hiltula have parted ways. The man will pursue his own projects from now on...DAWN OF AZAZEL has released a new studio album entitled The Law Of Strong. The album is issued by Agonia Records...The Norwegian media is reporting that BURZUM's Varg Vikernes (a.k.a. Count Grishnack) failed to return after a short leave from his prison in Vestfold, Norway where the former musician was serving a 21-year sentence. He was consequently arrested after a car chase and returned charged with failure to return to prison and hijacking a car...KOBEAST, a project of guitarist and bassist Michael Kopietz (FROZEN SUN, PANZERCHRIST, 12 GAUGE, etc.), will enter Niflheim studio in December to record eight songs of "brutal death metal in the vein of MALEVOLENT CREATION, MORBID ANGEL and DEICIDE." Joining him in the studio are drummer Reno Kiilerich (FROZEN SUN, PANZERCHRIST, 12 GAUGE, VILE, EXMORTEM) and vocalist Søren Jensen (GRANHAMMER, IRONFIRE)...ASTERIUS' debut, A Moment Of Singularity, has been released by Cruz Del Sur Music. The same label has issued the new full-length of HAMMER OF MISFORTUNE...Italy's MOTHERCARE has been chosen as the support band of the Italian leg of the current NAPALM DEATH tour across Europe...The new full-length album from HOMOIRATUS will be called Apocalypse. It is recorded, mixed and Mastered at Rocksound Studio in Thessaloniki Greece. The band is still searching for a label after earlier leaving Arctic Music.
Former VICIOUS RUMORS members Tommy Sisco and Mark McGhee have reunited in melodic band LUVPLANET...HANKER, which recently signed to Skyscraper Records, has announced five song-titles for its 2004 album. These are Empower, Stigmata, Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, Do Or Die and Under Cover Of Darkness. The band will be playing at at the Headbangers Open Air 2004 in Germany...STRATOVARIUS is signing to Sanctuary Records (parent of former label Noise Records) for a reported three million Euros. The band just release Elements Part 2 album on Nuclear Blast Records...Italy's KINGCROW is working on a new full-length album entitled Insider. The independent album is due out at the end of the year...Drummer Frank Gilchriest of VIRGIN STEELE has also joined RIOT...THE PLOT's self-titled album has just been released. The project features Michael Schenker and Pete Way...Germany's ATTACKER has a new studio album after a fifteen year hiatus. The new studio album is titled Soul Taker and is scheduled for a January 26th release through Iron Glory Records...RAGE, which is touring Europe with HELLOWEEN, will kick off a twentieth anniversary trek across Europe in January. The tour will be immortalized for a video release. In the meanwhile, the band had to cancel at least one week's worth of European shows after vocalist Andi Deris fell ill from a virus mid-tour...SAXON/DORO/CIRCLE II CIRCLE/DIONYSUS are touring Europe in December...KAMELOT and CAGE are performing three shows in Mexico in February...A new super group featuring members of URIAH HEEP, DEEP PURPLE and famed bass player Bob Daisley (OZZY, etc.) is calling itself THE RAGE. The band, which consists of Daisley, Lee Kerslake (URIAH HEEP, OZZY OSBOURNE, etc.) on drums, Jon Lord (DEEP PURPLE) and Don Airey (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, etc.) on keyboards, Steve Morse (DEEP PURPLE) on guitar, and Jimmy Barnes (COLD CHISEL) on vocals, will soon record an album...US band ST. MADNESS has just released We Make Evil Fun its first new album in three years...Sebastian Bach, the former singer of SKID ROW, is embarking on a short tour run with his new band BACH TIGHT 5. He will be joined by his former SKID ROW bandmate, drummer Rob Affuso, on several dates. Bach is also guesting on the new BULLETBOYS album. The latter band's album Sophie is being released on Bulletboys Records...MIBMusic has released a CD compilation called Defenders of Metal, Vol. I The Seduction. The sampler features songs by JESTERS MOON, STAIRWAY, RAIN, ART OF FEAR and others...Finland's IMPERANON and SONATA ARCTICA have signed deals with Nuclear Blast Records...Anneke van Giersbergen, the singer for THE GATHERING, has recorded some vocals for the new CD from Dutch rockers LAWN...In a move reminiscent of original AC/DC singer Rod Evans, former IRON MAIDEN singer Paul Di'Anno will tour Italy and Switzerland in November with the Italian MAIDEN cover band CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED...OPETH has postponed its Australian tour because the price of flights to Oceania were "ridiculously expensive" due to the time of year and thus making the tour uneconomical...ANNIHILATOR have asked drummer Randy Black to leave the fold after the man also joined PRIMAL FEAR. The Canadian power metal band has brought back drummer Mike Mangini into the fold...SILENT FORCE, the band of ex-ROYAL HUNT singer D.C. Cooper, has signed to Noise Records after earlier leaving InsideOut Music...SKEW SISKIN has set November 17th as the release date for its new album, which is entitled Album Of The Year...AGENT STEEL has dropped off the Bonded By Metal Over Europe Tour following unspecified disagreements with its booking agency. The tour continued without the Americans. Furthermore, CALLENISH CIRCLE was also forced off the tour a few days later by Metallysee Agency due to financial pressure...PINK CREAM 69 has set Thunderdome as the possible title for its new album due on January 26th through SPV Records...LAMB OF GOD has signed to Epic Records. The band has a DVD called Terror And Hubris out this month...GOD FORBID, who are currently on tour with SHADOWS FALL, have completed a new full-length album entitled Gone Forever. The album was recorded at Trax East Studios by Eric Rachel and was mixed by producer Colin Richardson. The album will be preceded late this autumn by an EP called Better Days...CORNERSTONE, the project featuring ROYAL HUNT bassist Steen Mogensen and former RAINBOW and current YNGWIE MALMSTEEN singer Doogie White will release its third album Once Upon Our Yesterdays on November 15th through Massacre Records...Massacre Records has signed PROTOTYPE...Former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick was recently hospitalized after being accidentally shot in the thigh in Hollywood. Kulick was exiting Key Club following a performance by Vince Neil when he got caught in the crossfire of a shooting...SYMPHORCE has finished the recordings for the upcoming new album Twice Second. Fans can expect it in February...Relentless Records has just released a twentieth-anniversary VILLAIN CD entitled Time Machine. The CD features new songs, live songs and the original Only Time Will Tell album originally released in 1986. The label has also issued WARNING SF's The Aftermath CD. The album features rerecorded songs from the 1985 incarnation of the band...METAL CHURCH, now featuring ROTTWEILER singer Ronny Munroe, is recording a new album. This will be the band's first full-length since 1999...Dan Lorenzo and Jimmy Schulman, both formerly of HADES have recorded material for a project called CASSIUS KING...MADOG, which is also heard on the Defenders Of Metal sampler, has released a new album called Fairytales of Darkness...BONFIRE's Free album has just been released...SHUGAAZER is a new melodic rock act featuring Paul Laine. The band's debut disc is called Shift. In related news, DANGER DANGER's Rare Cuts album is finally due out next month...RICK WAKEMAN of YES fame has a solo album entitled Christmas Variations out through Mascot-Provogue...CRADLE OF FILTH has a new DVD called Mannequin slated for release in December through Red Ink/Epic...French Canada's leading metal fanzine Sang Frais has just issued its twelfth issue. This issue comes with a colour cover and features Queensryche, Nuclear Assault, The End and much more. Visit www.sangfrais.com or e-mail the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org...France's Metallian magazine has just released its issue #33. This one features The Crown, Necrodeath, The Legion and E-Force among others...Any bands looking to shoot a promotional video may contact 2droogies Productions. The company has worked with Tribe Of Anger and NYB among others and aims to work with metal bands on a budget. For more information please contact PO Box 020206, Staten Island, NY 10302 USA or reach Edmund Varuolo either at 718-981-4768 or email@example.com.
THE HALLOW - NATIO
The Hallow is a Canadian band with a thoroughly professional presentation. The band's gothic image, press kit and most importantly production value all reek of lots and lots of investment. Sound-wise the quartet look like a goth band; yet mix that sound with Danzig, hard rock and even a sappy slow song named The Ladder. In essence, fans of Tool and Danzig will dig this stuff while everyone else might be put off with the melancholy soundscape, but no matter what one has to admit the band's sound is ready and primed for the big time - whatever that is. An unconventional arrangement is the presence of a number of instrumentals which are interspersed among the actual songs. The Hallow could easily be on the road with Marilyn Manson or on heavy rotation on Much Music. That is not meant as an insult! Those interested in the aforementioned sounds must either head to www.thehollow.ca or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. - Ali "The Metallian"
JACKHAMMER - THE ULTIMATE MARTYR
Jackhammer is an Italian band featuring an appropriate name and members of White Skull. The quintet's stated reason for forming the side-project is to leave power metal for thrashier domains. Nevertheless, Jackhammer comes across as a cross between Iced Earth, Iron Maiden and Rage. The vocalist can alternately sound like James Hetfield or ex-Iced Earth man Barlow and the thrashy music keeps a pounding rhythm going almost incessantly. The sound is quite good and the four songs, The Ultimate Martyr, The Worship, Green Fingers Grey and Anti-me, sure to appear on a full-length album should the group seriously pursue the opportunity. For more information or to obtain the CD either e-mail email@example.com or write to Love Music Center, via Gardone, 11, 20319 Milano Italy. - Ali "The Metallian"
THE ACCURSED - STRAIGHT FROM HELL
The Accursed is an American band formed from the ashes of a black metal and a hardcore band. Little wonder then that the band has a little hardcore and a little more metal running through its vein. The quintet is definitely high energy and the speed abrasive. Influences can be heard from hardcore, Iron Maiden, Children Of Bodom and Death. The latter band is an obvious choice given the presence of a cover version of the song The Philosopher. If one criticism could be levelled at the young band it would be the drum playing and sound. The drummer is content to follow the rest of the band. This is all the more annoying given the light sound of the snare here. On the other hand the layered vocals and a couple of skilled leads add value to the band and shore things up very well. The band can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or found at www.lifeofsinpromotions.cjb.net. - Ali "The Metallian"
THE SEVENTH GATE - CHEAP SEX AND PAINKILLERS
This CD has fallen into the laps of this reviewer without any information or supporting collateral and there is consequently little to go on here except for the music etched on the CD. The last time The Seventh Gate arrived at Metallian Towers, the CD was SR03 (Satanrock 03) and the review noted the ferocious vocals and lagging music. Not much has changed here. The disc features a collection of songs showcasing a roaring singer backed by a couple of followers who adapt themselves to his leadership. No, this is not the US Congress, but The Seventh Gate, a brutal US band which describes itself as Satan rock. The advice from the last round still stands. Turn up and advance the music, exclude the regular vocals and forge on with the immense growls and send some information with your music. Oh well, find out more at www.satanrock.com. - Ali "The Metallian"
ART OF DESTRUCTION - UNDER ATTACK
Under Attack is a four-song demo by American death metal act Art Of Destruction which was sent in by Sinternational Records. Whether the band is now signed is not certain, but the four songs, Under Attack, End Of The Suffering, Pay For Your Freedom and The Blood You Gave, demonstrate a workman-like death metal delivery which is both raw and harsh. The guitar sound can often be thrashy, but the act lays down the brutality slab after slab. Art Of Destruction's fortunes are currently muffled by a so-so production. A stronger sound next time around would allow more of the band's strengths to shine through. Please visit www.artofdestruction.com for more information. - Ali "The Metallian"
SIC SEED - same
Here is another demo sent our way by Sinternational Records. As reported a year ago in the News Section, Sic Seed now belongs to a group of bands sponsored by German liquor company Jagermeister and consequently the back of the CD is an advertisement for the band. There must be some give and take involved here of course, and the firm is probably responsible for the group's good demo sound, if not for the demo itself! The current three songs are metallic in essence and aggressive, but veer into either Primus (The House Of No Secrets) where the band possibly sings of modern apartments or Voivod (Washed Up God) where the band could be singing of Any number of American symbols. In all seriousness, Sic Seed is a band with a slightly different bend and can be discovered at www.sicseed.com. - Ali "The Metallian"
RAIN - HEADSHAKER
Rain is a noteworthy heavy metal band from Italy. This advance copy of their independenet full-length demonstrates band with a powerful vocalist with great range, musicians in command of their instruments and a sterling production worthy of a signed band.
The band - which can also be heard on the Defenders Of Metal sampler reviewed elsewhere - mixes different hard rock and heavy metal sounds successfully. The group's downfall though is the assortment of sounds. While one song reminds the listener of Manowar, another called Blood Sport is a clone of Iron Maiden's Wicker Man. As a matter of fact, the band might as well have covered that Iron Maiden single! Next song, entitled Yellow Putrefaction, goes the way of Motley Crue and so on. Rain is a good band, but needs to curtail the humour and variety of material and concentrate on its core competency. For more info write to email@example.com. - Ali "The Metallian"
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