HIRAX is touring Japan this month…Nuclear Blast Records will issue a DEATH DVD entitled Death: Live In Cottbus this month. It will feature the same track listing as the Live In L.A. (Death & Raw) DVD/CD…ORIGIN has parted ways with guitarist/singer Clinton Appelhanz and drummer James King due to "personal and creative differences." Appelhanz and King have completed work on a full-length album for their new outfit UNMERCIFUL, which features former ORIGIN/CANNIBAL CORPSE guitarist Jeremy Turner…GORGUTS, which was officially defunct last year, will issue a DVD next year through the label of its former management, Great White North Records. The material is culled from European shows of a decade ago. In the meanwhile, former GORGUTS members Steeve Hurdle as well as Luc Lemay (guitar, vocals) have a new band called NEGATIVA. Also in the band are Dominic Lapointe of QUO VADIS and Etienne Gallo of AUGURY on drums. The four will be entering the studio in the winter in order to record a demo…The reformed FACE DOWN's new album, The Will To Power, featuring former THE HAUNTED singer Marco Aro is scheduled for release on November 7th through Black Lodge Records. The CD was recorded at Fear And Loathing studio in Sweden…ŠHELL-BORN’s Cursed Infernal Steel is recorded at Hertz Studio and out through Conquer Records this winter. The band’s Legacy Of The Nephilim was recently issued in America by Ibex Moon Records…DEAD HEAD has issued its fourth album, Haatland, through Extremity Records/GMR Music Group…GAMMACIDE's 1990 Wild Rage album Victims Of Science has been reissued by the band. Several local shows are also planned…Austria’s TRISTWOOD has signed a three-album deal with Sound Riot Records. The group’s The Delphic Doctrine album is due next spring…Eagle Rock Entertainment has picked November 1st as the release date for a DVD from TESTAMENT called Live In London…BELPHEGOR has left Napalm Records after complaining about a lack of support…Displeased Records has reissued WHIPLASH’s Messages In blood and released a limited edition LP of INCRIMINATED’s Promise Of Worse To Come. The label will also release CELESTIAL SEASON's Solar Lovers album with 3 EPs, namely Sonic Orb, Above Azure Oceans and Flowerskin, as a bonus…CIANIDE will issue a 2-CD and limited 3-LP version of all the band's demo material through Displeased Records…Obliteration Records, which is run by C.S.S.O. main man Narutoshi, will reissue the band’s early works…Crash Music, has signed a deal with the veteran New York hardcore band LEEWAY to release its new DVD entitled Leeway’s Last Laugh…TRISTWOOD has signed with Sound Riot Records. The Austrian band "combines the brutality and speed of black and death metal with the abysmal atmosphere of Industrial," proclaims the label…ISO666 has the following releases coming soon: HIEMS’ Cold Void Journey which is described as old school black metal, FROSTMOON ECLIPSE’s third album Dead And Forever Gone which is an acoustic album and LEGION OF DOOM’s God Is Dead album…Guitarist Olly Lenz of DISBELIEF is not touring with the band as part of The Monster Mosh Down Tour due to "health problems." A friend of the band, Matthias Richter, will replace him for the tour…MARDUK will release a live album, called Warschau, on November 27th through Regain Records…BATTERED is a new Norwegian band featuring former EINHERJER members Frode Glesnes, Aksel Herløe and Gerhard Storesund (Vivar). The band is now signed to Tabu Recording…More soap opera: MALEVOLENT CREATION has reportedly split with guitarist Rob Barret and bassist Gordon Simms. Returning members John Rubin (guitar) and Jason Blachowicz (bass) will fill the void…AZURE will release a new album, King Of Stars - Bearer Of Dark, in Europe on October 31st through Pulverised Records…SADUS has completed work on its new album, Out For Blood, which will be issued in March through Mascot Records…TORTURE SQUAD will soon issue a DVD called Death, Chaos And Torture Alive…Crash Music has announced the release date of February 21st, 2006 for the new FLOTSAM & JETSAM DVD entitled Live In Japan. The DVD was filmed over three shows in Japan in January of this year. Some of the songs included will be No Place For Disgrace, Doomsday For The Deceiver, Hard On You, Nothing To Say, Hammerhead and more…JUDAS PRIEST will release a new live DVD entitled Rising In The East on November 15th, 2005, through Rhino Home Video.
Sascha Sauer has vacated the drum stool in SYMPHORCE. Steffen Theurer formerly of CHINCHILLA will sit in with the band…Gary Barden and Michael Schenker, last together in MSG, recently recorded a song for Barden's upcoming solo album. The song is called Let Me Down, while the album is entitled Songs From The Thai Room…UK’s PSYLENCE will release its debut album, Through Distorted Eyes through Casket/Copro Records this month…MORIFADE has asked founding guitarist Jesper Johansson to leave the fold. A new member is being sought. Candidates may e-mail email@example.com...WHITESNAKE has changed the title for its upcoming live DVD to In The Still Of The Night instead of the original title, The Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues Show. The DVD was recorded in October of 2004 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London…Former ANNIHILATOR bassist Russell Bergquist has joined the German band DUSKMACHINE which also features PRIMAL FEAR/ex-ANNIHILATOR drummer Randy Black. DUSK MACHINE's debut album, The Final Fall is out through Twilight Records this month…England’s DRAGONFORCE has completed work on its third album, Inhuman Rampage, which is due in February…AZURE has signed a deal with Pulverised Records for Europe, Asia and Australia and with Deathgasm Records for the USA. The band’s King Of Stars - Bearer Of Dark is out now…Old School Metal Records (RUFFIANS, etc.) has signed an agreement with Century Media for worldwide distribution…Former CRADLE OF FILTH/CHRISTIAN DEATH guitarist Gian Pyres has joined DRAGONLORD for a string of live shows…BYZANTINE and guitarist Tony Rorhbough have parted ways…SEPULTURA has a new DVD, entitled Live In São Paulo, through SPV Records. The band’s next album tentatively entitled Dante XXI is being recorded at Trama Studios in Brazil…OMNIUM GATHERUM has recruited a keyboardist called Aapo Koivisto…Prosthetic Records has signed Chicago’s YAKUZA. The band’s Samsara album is due in March. The band was signed in 2002 to Century Media and duly dropped thereafter…Swedish rockers EASY ACTION will reunite for a one-off show on December 16th in Kalmar, Sweden. HANOI ROCKS will open…InsideOut Music has announced November 11th as the release date for the FATES WARNING DVD, Live In Athens. It was mixed by producer Bill Metoyer…Scotland’s CRY HAVOC have re-issued the Fuel That Feeds The Fire album as Refuel. This edition features a bonus second disc containing six live tracks. CRY HAVOC is currently working on its second album, due for release in the first quarter of 2006…PSYCHOTRON has signed a record deal with the Greek label Sleaszy Rider Records which will release the band’s new album, Pray For Salvation…Sanctuary Music has released TIGERTAILZ’ Bezerk and Banzai albums as one package in the USA. The band is looking to our the USA in mid-2006…Hard rockers THE LIZARDS have completed the band’s upcoming CD. The session featured an appearance by a mystery guest star. The group is also putting the finishing touches on an album of cover tunes, as well as a new DVD of live performances culled from its recent tour of Europe. All three releases are expected next year…MYSTERY BLUE is in the studio to record the Claws Of Steel CD. The session is underway at H.O.A Studio (SILENT FORCE, VANDEN PLAS, etc.) in Karlsdorf. The mixing will be done by Achim Köhler…Sound Riot Records has licensed the new CHAIN COLLECTOR album to Massacre Records. The latter label will release The Masquerade CD in Europe, Canada, Australia and South America on November 18, 2005. Sound Riot Records will release the album in the rest of the world (including the U.S.) on November 04, 2005…VISION DIVINE’s fourth album The Perfect Machine is scheduled for the 7th November 2005 through Scarlet Records. The album was produced by Timo Tolkki of STARTOVARIUS…LISTERIA’s Full On Fire album is now out through Lion Music…THYRANE will issue an album called Travesty Of Heavenly Essence on November 16th through Spikefarm Records…In a surprise move IN FLAMES has signed to Ferret Records for the US territory. The band's Come Clarity album is scheduled for February 7th, 2006. The CD will be released through Nuclear Blast in Europe…Bassist Ilker Ersin (formerly of FREEDOM CALL, MOON DOC) and vocalist Chitral "Chity" Somapala (formerly of FIREWIND, AVALON, FARO) have a new band called POWERWORLD…SILENT FORCE has signed to Germany's AFM Records…NARNIA has picked Enter The Gate for the title of its fifth full-length CD, due in April 2006 through Nuclear Blast Records…FASTER PUSSYCAT guitarist Brent Muscat has recently been diagnosed with oral cancer…SHADOWKEEP has recruited vocalist Richie Wicks (formerly of ANGEL WITCH and TYGERS OF PAN TANG) and drummer Scott Higham (formerly of SAMSON and ANGEL WITCH)…MOTÖRHEAD's 30th anniversary DVD, Stage Fright, is now due in January through SPV…AMORPHIS has announced Eclipse as the title for its next album which is due in February through Nuclear Blast Records…An updated and rerecorded version of DIMMU BORGIR's 1996 album, Stormblåst, will be released through Nuclear Blast America on February 7th, 2006 with a limited collectors item DVD. This edition will only be available in the North American pressing. Stormblåst was completely rerecorded with producer Peter Tägtgren and MAYHEM's Hellhammer on drums…Black List is the name of the newest L..A. GUNS record. It features tracks from the original band - most never heard before ¬ featuring singer Paul Black…Following its North American debut at Toronto’s Day Of The Equinox show, Norway’s GREEN CARNATION and Profound Lore Records have issued a limited edition EP, The Burden Is Mine...Alone. It features of two tracks (the title track and Sweet Leaf) that will appear on the band’s acoustic full-length album (which will be released early 2006) and two tracks exclusive for this EP…GAIA EPICUS has announced the addition of drummer Ole A. Myrholt formerly of ARCHON, DIABOLICAL, BREED and ENSLAVEMENT OF BEAUTY…GARY MOORE is the opening act for B.B. KING at a series of shows next spring dubbed as B.B.'s Farewell U.K. Tour…BOMBERS is a MOTÖRHEAD covers band featuring Abbath (formerly of IMMORTAL and currently in I) on bass and vocals, Tore Bratseth (formerly of OLD FUNERAL) on guitar and Pez on drums. The band has released an EP of cover tunes.
GEMINI - HEADING FOR THE ABYSS
With a cover depicting the world being devoured by Leviathan it probably is a good bet that Gemini does not have a rosy view of this planet's future.
At first listen the Dutch quintet seems to share traits with mid-'90s' English thrash metal bands and be only an average outfit, but the more one hears the more it becomes clear that the band's roots lie in pure heavy metal and that the band gives a good performance. The vocals of Loek Gerris do sound like Anthrax's once in a while and he does strain when hitting the higher notes, but the band is generally good and the songs get better as the disc spins. In fact, the band has left its best three tracks to the end of the CD. Better Off with its surprise tempo change, The Unspoken Word with its fine melody and solo and Surprise Attack with its cool lead guitar are all above average heavy metal renditions. These Dutchmen sure know how to let fly with on their guitars. Rapture also takes a fine swipe at current American politics. For a professionally recorded and presented heavy metal CD with touches of thrash and progressive metal take a look at Gemini. For more information either e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.gemini-metal.com. - Ali "The Metallian"
ENTENTE - OUTLINED
Many bands get labelled as 'old school' but Germany's Entente is probably the real deal here. It is 1984 all over again! The German silhouettes go after a mixing of punk, hardcore, TT Quick and early Anthrax that could have been an early Megaforce release of its own. The hollering vocals, yelled backing vocals, occasional higher-pitched shrieks, straight ahead moshing drums, screeching guitars all within a very simple structure point to the band's rawness and nod to the early '80s. Entente can speed up frightfully or be slow and sustain a calm tempo with acoustic guitars or incorporate a noteworthy solo as on Knight Of The Deplorable Shape as well, yet the quintet needs to better its sound and production values whichever direction. In the meanwhile fans can get hold of this for 14 Euros all included by writing to Andy Flache, Hohlgasse 2, 88339 Bad Waldsee in Germany or by e-mailing email@example.com. Listen for the Kill 'Em All phrasing on the demo's opener The Phantom or look for the cover shot featuring five silhouetted outlines of the members. -Ali "The Metallian"
AUTERE - LINES AND FRAGMENTS
Finland's Autere was formed in the autumn of 2002 and has already had many comings and goings, which as you may have guessed, means the band is influenced by the Swedish metal scene. That would be a correct assumption for indeed the group was initially envisioned as a Gothenburg-styled metal cover band.
Lines And Fragments, the band's second effort, sees the band pull away from its original sound, but still retain enough of the elements that made Gothenburg famous on the metal scene, melody,harmony and heavy hi-hat, and try its hand at its own creation. The band's music is accomplished and largely heavy and interesting. The guitarist is able and dexterous. The cool leads, the strong riff on Slow Motion Death which reminds me of A.R.G. and the rhythms all work. The vocals work most of the time, but the band's insistence that they need to be diverse is not helping. Several different tones and styles are tried and with mixed result. Jemmy Kaumi should never try to actually sing, for instance.
From brutal metal to bluesy soloing to Sentenced-like depression and heavy Death-isms Autere has it all. The professional packaging and sound obviously aid the band's cause as well. See the band's site at www.autereband.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for ordering information. - Ali "The Metallian"
THE UNHEARD OF - THE STRUGGLE
According to the band's biography The Unheard Of is a Los Angeles group whose founders followed up their experience with the act Two Hit Creeper with something a little closer to their roots, namely Rainbow, Alice In Chains, Led Zeppelin and so forth. Having completed its line-up, the band was offered sponsored time to record the disc at hand which features eight tracks.
What is extraordinary about this fact is that the band was formed in late 2003 (the songs are as professional as anything on radio) and that studio time was probably limited (the production is faultless). Now The Unheard of is a lot more about rock music than hard rock and the band's image is a little too sans--long mane to be to a real hard rocker's liking, but one has to admire the professional and commercial songs of this 'unheard of' band for their full and professional quality. From the soulful singing of Michael Del Pizzo to the soloing to the Latin guitars The Unheard Of shows it is serious in breaking into the big leagues. Not exactly suited for Mr. Metallian and his knights, the first song has the vibe of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man, Your Face is a slow song that can easily be on radio, Beautiful is akin to Santana's older music and If You Wanna...is as if Axl and Izzy got back together. All in all a pretty mature contribution for fans of Bon Jovi, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Creed. www.theunheardof.com or email@example.com. - Sheila Wes Det
KILLING SPREE - DECEPTION BETRAYAL REVENGE
The trio of Eric Hansen, James Murray and Mike Taylor is probably not a happy crew given the disc's title. Not to be confused with the other Killing Spree - the band was previously called Flush - making the rounds several years ago or as being influenced by either Deranged or Cannibal Corpse, given the band's name, this particular bunch is into '80s sounding crossover with hints of DRI, Exodus, Vio-lence and a couple of other Bay Area mainstays. The band's thrash metal is generally simple and rudimentary. The vocalist is strained, screaming and often backed by chanting backing vocals. The band probably lacks the skill to write more impressive riffs and memorable songs for the 12 tracks on display here are rudimentary and paltry. This type of crossover is not a bad style in itself given the energetic delivery and this trio is not awful, but Killing Spree does not have what it takes to stand out - crowded field or not. The two distinct songs on Deception Betrayal Revenge are Hollow Structure with a simple and almost commercial melody and Going Nowhere which sounds similar to Exodus' Strike Of The Beast. For more information visit www.whatsmycut.com. - Ali "The Metallian"
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