Metallian Heavy

The tour bus carrying UNLEASHED, DIE APOKALYPTISCHEN REITER and SWASHBUCKLE caught fire while en route from Graz, Austria to Milan, Italy during the Paganfest European tour. There were no injuries.

HYPOCRISY has enlisted the help of CHILDREN OF BODOM guitarist/frontman Alexi Laiho for its upcoming North American tour. Alexi has agreed to temporarily fill the vacant guitarist spot on the tour with ENSIFERUM, EX DEO, BLACKGUARD and SWASHBUCKLE.

SAATUE‘s second album, Vuoroveri, was released on October 21st through Spikefarm Records.

Optimism Incorporated! ACHERON has signed with Ibex Moon Records for the US release of The Final Conflict: Last Days Of God, which is being issued this month through Displeased Records.

Disconcert Music has signed Vancouver’s MUSPELLHEIM. This death metal band will release its album, Violent By Design, shortly.

German death metal band FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING will release its next album, The Everhaunting Past/Chapter IV – A Splendid Retrospection, on October 16th through Cyclone Empire Records.

The reformed EXHORDER has announced a concert. It will take place on November 14th at Southport Hall in Jefferson, Louisiana. As previously reported here the band’s bassist is again Frankie Sparcello.

Shagrath and King (Ov Hell), respectively with credits from DIMMU BORGIR and GORGOROTH, have formed a band called OV HELL. The two have recruited Frost, Ice Dale and Teloch to record an album, which is due in early 2010 through Indie Recordings.

MVD Visual has announced the worldwide DVD release of Tatsumaki: VOIVOD In Japan 2008 on November 17, 2009. The band’s line-up on this video consists of singer Snake, drummer Away, new guitarist Dan Mongrain and bass player Blacky.

FUELED BY FIRE has cancelled its appearance at the Thrash Assault 4 Festival, which happens on November 14th at Posthalle in Würzburg, Germany. The Americans are replaced by PARADOX. SODOM, NECRONOMICON, LEGION OF THE DAMNED and others are on the line-up.

Recently fired ANTHRAX singer Dan Nelson has been busy writing music and singing and playing guitar in INSIDE HOLLOW. He has also become involved in a new metal band with SLAYER and TESTAMENT drummer Paul Bostaph. John Bush has returned to ANTHRAX.

Swedish Black metal band WATAIN has been silent since its 111 date Fuck The World Tour. The band has reappeared to update that it has been working on its fourth full-length album. The band states: “We can now reveal the long awaited first live performance to break the silence. WATAIN will return to the stage at the Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore, Maryland on the 28th of May 2010, alongside legends such as AUTOPSY, PENTAGRAM and POSSESSED. This will be the first performance done in relation to the new WATAIN album, to be released worldwide only weeks after the show through Season Of Mist.”

Pulverised Records has signed Ukranian black metal band BALFOR. The band is working on a new album. More information is available at

In the midst of the band’s European tour opening for AMON AMARTH, bassist Mike Alexander of thrash metal band EVILE fell ill and was transported to the hospital. He died on Monday October 5th in Luleå, Sweden. He was 32 years old.

Dutch thrash metal band FUELBLOODED has signed with Deka Records and issued its new album, Off The Face Of The Earth. The album was mixed by Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY, THE ABSENCE and CARNAL FORGE).

Artist Joachim Luetke (DIMMU BORGIR, KREATOR, ARCH ENEMY, etc.) has released a DVD-ROM featuring his work for with DIMMU BORGIR, KREATOR, ARCH ENEMY, DIVINE HERESY, PAIN, MESHUGGAH, RAGE, SIRENIA, THE KOVENANT, YELWORC, PERSEPHONE and SOPOR AETERNUS. The DVD contains 26 songs, 9 videos plus two interactive books of DIMMU BORGIR and SOPOR AETERNUS. DIMMU BORGIR’s Silenoz has provided the foreword.

JUDAS PRIEST, MEGADETH, ANTHRAX, ARCH ENEMY, SLAYER, NAPALM DEATH, ANVIL, DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB and others were on the bill for Loud Park festival, on October 17th and 18th at Makuhari Messe in Japan. The appearance of LYNCH MOB and DOKKEN, followed by a couple of more California dates at the end of November, on the same stage follows persistent rumours that guitarist George Lynch of LYNCH MOB is rejoining DOKKEN.

RAGEwill release a new album, Strings To A Web, on February 5th through Nuclear Blast Records. The album was recorded at Twilight Hall Studio and was produced by Charlie Bauerfeind.

Southern Lord Recordings has signed Washington’s BLACK BREATH. The band’s Razor To Oblivion MLP is set for re-release on Southern Lord this November 10th, while a debut full-length will see the light of day in early 2010. The band is being compared to a blend of BATHORY, CELTIC FROST, POISON IDEA and DISCHARGE.

All Shall Fall, the first new album in seven years from reunited Norwegian black metal band IMMORTAL, has debuted at #7 on the Heatseekers Album chart (new & developing artists who have never appeared in the Top 100 of the Billboard Top 200 chart) and at #162 on the Billboard 200 for selling 3,300 copies in one week in the USA.

German thrash metal band EXUMER has released its first new song in 23 years, titled Waking The fire, featuring founding member Mem V. Stein on vocals. The song is taken from the new 2-track demo, which was recorded in Hawaii and Germany during the band’s last tour earlier in 2009. Find it here: The band is still seeking a label.

Belgian black metal band GORATH has signed with Germany’s Twilight Vertrieb. The band’s next album, MXCII, is due in February. The album is a historical concept from the point of view of a heretic.

Champions of the old school Swedish death metal style Ventura, California’s FATALIST pay tribute to the likes of NIHILIST, GRAVE, ENTOMBED, and DISMEMBER on the debut full-length The Depths Of Inhumanity. The follow up to 2007’s Loss demo will be released on November 23, 2009 through Ibex Moon Records.

After nearly 30,000 views, the uncensored version of the video for the song My Funeral by DARK FUNERAL was pulled from MySpace. The band attributes the incident to censorship.

Reactivated California crossover artists D.R.I. are touring the USA beginning November and well into March. The band has been dormant for five years.

JOB FOR A COWBOY dropped off the GWAR and LAMB OF GOD tour for three weeks due to a family emergency. THE RED CHORD continued opening the tour.

After a year of inactivity California’s ANIMOSITY has officially broken up. Drummer Navene Koperweis has a solo album featuring vocals from JOB FOR A COWBOY’s Jonny Davy, while being in ANIMALS AS LEADERS as well. Guitarist Chase Fraser is in SON OF ARELIUS.

Due to “scheduling conflicts” THE ACCUSED was forced to drop off as support act during one leg of the MUNICIPAL WASTE US/Canadian tour in November. Other regions with other support acts on the MUNICIPAL WASTE headlining tour are unaffected. THE ACCUSED’s latest full-length, The Curse Of Martha Splatterhead, is out now on Southern Lord Records.

OBITUARY will release a new DVD, Live Xecution – Party.San 2008, on November 19th through Regain Records. The footage was filmed at last year’s Party.San Open Air festival, 2008 at Bad Berka, Germany.

ANNIHILATOR will release a new DVD, Live At Masters Of Rock, this month through SPV. It was recorded on July 11, 2008 at the Masters Of Rock Festival in Vizovice, Czech Republic. This will be the band’s last release with the bankrupt label.

BENEDICTION has recruited Nick Barker (MONOLITH, CANCER, LOCK UP, CRADLE OF FILTH, DIMMU BORGIR, TESTAMENT, EXODUS, DUST, ATROCITY, BRUJERIA, et cetra) to drum for its South American tour next month.

Don Decker, singer for ANAL BLAST and a heavy metal concert promoter, died on October 11th. He was 41 years old.

CRYPTOPSY, DESPISED ICON, THE ACACIA STRAIN, TRAPPED UNDER ICE and BLIND WITNESS will tour central Canada in the first week of December.

CROWN THE LOST has parted ways with bassist Dom Scarano and replaced him with GRAVE DESIRE’s Tim Boyle. GRAVE DESIRE features MANTIC RITUAL member Dave Watson.

Greek band THE FALLEN WITHIN has signed with Coroner Records for the release of its debut album, Intoxicated. The album was recorded and produced by Bob Katsionis of FIREWIND and mixed and mastered by Ahti Kortelainen at Tico Tico Studio in Finland. The album will be released in December through Coroner Records.

Italian melodic death band DISARMONIA MUNDI has completed its new record, The Isolation Game. The album has been recorded, produced, mixed and mastered at The Metal House Studio by Ettore Rigotti and contains 13 new tracks featuring guest appearances by Björn “Speed” Strid (SOILWORK) on vocals and guitarist Olof Morck (NIGHTRAGE) on solos on several tracks. Coroner Records will release the album in December.

PROSTRATION, featuring ex-BANE OF EXISTENCE guitarist Jim Ash, has uploaded a new song called Keep The Change onto its myspace page ( and reverb nation page ( The band is performing on Friday November 6th, 2009 at Accu Billiards in New Bedford MA.

Germany’s DARK AGE will release its next sixth album, Acedia, on November 13th through AFM Records. The album was recorded at Eikey Studio.

E1 Music Canada has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with DEVIN TOWNSEND. After releasing Ki in May 2009 Devin Townsend (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD) thought it was time for the second instalment of the series of four albums under the monicker DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT. The new album, Addicted, features vocal support by Anneke van Giersbergen, ex-THE GATHERING.

Recorded, mixed at Necropalace Studio, and mastered at 322 Studio, L’Eterno Maligno Silenzio, the new album by TENEBRAE IN PERPETUUM, was released on October 30th through Debemur Morti Productions.

GOREZONE’ Brutalities Of Modern Domination was issued in October by Xtreem Music. It is the Germans’ third album.

‘80s American band POSTMORTEM, which reformed in 2003 only to see frontman John McCarthy die has now issued a demo called Message From The Dead. The independent relase, through the band’s own Taboo Productions, has been completed largely through the efforts of guitarist John Alexander.

Sweden’s MACHINERY have lost guitarist Mano Lewys and drummer Johan Westman. Singer Michel Isberg will handle the guitar and a drummer is also sought.

After losing both it singer and guitarist Jens Basten DEADSOIL has thrown in the towel. Guitarist Boris Pracht and bassist Jogi are focusing on COPYKILL, drummer Hartmut Stoof is with SYMBIONTIC and Jens s reverting to NIGHT IN GALES again. The band’s vocal-less album may yet be released one day.

SUFFOCATION and NAPALM DEATH have announced a tour of Mexico in May, 2010. The tour begins on May 5th in Mexico City.

Inspired by KEEL? A resurrected ALGAION has picked Exthros (‘Enemy’ in Greek) as the title for its third album, to be released through Pulverised Records. Exthros was recorded at Helltower Studio by ALGAION drummer Robert Eng (CORPORATION 187) and mastered by Simon Söderberg at Mayfire Studio.

California’s EMBRYONIC DEVOURMENT is in the final stages of producing the next full-length album, Vivid Enterpretations Of The Void. The follow-up to Fear of Reality Exceeds Fantasy 2007 debut, Vivid Enterpretations Of The Void is based on the Reptilian Agenda, a theory put forth by British author/reporter/former football player David Icke. “This is basically our whole theme and platform for the new release; the theory that a reptilian race controls our world,” elaborates bassist/vocalist Austin Spence.

Swedish speed metal band NOSTRADAMEUS will release its next album, Illusion’s Parade, on November 13th through AFM Records. The album was again produced by Anders “Theo” Theander at RoastingHouse Studio in Malmö, Sweden.

Xtreem Music has issued VIDRES A LA SANG’s Som album. It is the third chapter in the band’s conceptual trilogy.

But is the band reliably conservative? Negativity Records has issued the self-titled debut album for CHRIST HATE. The group hails from Kansas.

Metallian Hard

Ronnie James Dio is raising money for the Brittany Foundation on November 7th at the corner of Sierra Highway and Anthony Road in Agues Dulce, California from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. He will be raising money to “free wife/manager from her cage.” The foundation is a no-kill dog rescue charity.

THRESHOLD's new box set Paradox - The Singles Collection is now released. This limited edition eight-disc box set marks 20 years of THRESHOLD and contains eight radio singles with rare b-sides and a 20-page booklet. THRESHOLD has uploaded a new track on its MySpace site. The song Smile At The Moon is a new recording of an old song that was previously unreleased but now made available on THRESHOLD's limited edition box set Paradox - The Singles Collection. THRESHOLD's European tour is now underway with support from SERENITY and SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE. Visit

MÖTLEY CRÜE has an updated version of its Greatest Hitsalbum, including a special never before heard remix of The Animal In Me and the Grammy nominated Saints Of Los Angeles from the hit Saints Of Los Angeles album. The remix of The Animal In Me comes from an interpretation by James Michael, who co-produced the song with Nikki Sixx and DJ Ashba.

National security alert! FIREBIRD has lost bassist Smok Smoczkiewicz. The departure was due to “personal reasons.”

Guitarist Manni Schmidt was asked to leave GRAVE DIGGER last month. Reportedly, the guitarist dug his own grave when he disagreed with many of singer and founder Chris Boltendahl’s opinions.

BANG TANGO and D’MOLLS are touring the USA’s Mid-West this month for the Made, Laid And Paid In America 2009 20th-anniversary tour. BANG TANGO is entering the studio thereafter in order to record a new album.

Norwegian metal band KRAKOW released its demo, Monolith, on October 26th.

20 Buck Spin will release the self-titled debut from MEGASUS on November 24th. The band had issued the album on vinyl earlier this year.

ENSLAVED will be the “artists-in-residence” for next year’s Roadburn Festival, set to be held from April 15 – 18, 2010 at both the 013 venue and Midi Theatre in Tilburg, Holland. The band will perform several shows.

ANVIL has put together an extensive North American tour for next January and February. The band performed on The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien on October 6th.

HELIX will release its new album, Vagabond Bones, on November 17th through Universal Music. Singer Brian Vollmer and new guitarist Sean Kelly (CRASH KELLY/NELLY FURTADO) wrote the album. Select Canadian dates are planned for November.

Finnish folk band KORPIKLAANI has announced a return to the United States in January after headlining the last instalment of Paganfest North America. The tour support will come from fellow folk rockers TYR, pirate thrashers SWASHBUCKLE and heavy metal band WHITE WIZZARD.

Mike Williams, singer for EYEHATEGOD and ARSON ANTHEM is now the author of Cancer As A Social Activity: Affirmations Of World's End and issuing a single 7” through Chrome Peeler Records. He is called MIKE IX now.

Slovenian glamsters TOXIC HEART have released a full-length demo entitled, Ride Your Life.

Finland’s LEVERAGE will release its third full-length album, Circus Colossus, this month through Spinefarm Records.

Metal Blade’s ARMORED SAINT is at the Tranzformer Studio in Burbank, California recording a full-length album. The band is working with Bryan Carlstrom, while bassist Joey Vera will produce. The album is expected in March.

BLUE CHEER singer and bassist Allan “Dickie” Peterson died on October 12th at the age of 63 in Erkelenz, Germany.

PAGAN MIND CD/DVD Live Equation is out now independently.

HELLOWEEN will issue a compilation called Unarmed - Best Of 25th Anniversary in December (Japan) and January (elsewhere) through SPV.

Dani “Filth” of British band CRADLE OF FILTH has co-written The Gospel Of Filth: A Black Metal Bible with Gavin Baddeley. The book addresses both the history of the occult and the British band. CRADLE OF FILTH is writing new music aimed for a 2010 release.

KISS’ first album in over a decade, Sonic Boom, is out. Americans can get it at Wal-mart. Wash your feet and nostrils afterwards. Bassist and singer Gene Simmons, in the meanwhile, has a role in the upcoming film, The Christmas Movie alongside Cybill Shepherd. KISS performed its new single, Modern Day Delilah, on October 6th on Late Show With David Letterman. Subsequently, the album entered the Billboard charts at position number 2, the band’s best ever.

Former KISS drummer Peter Criss has revealed that he was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. He is now cancer-free.

LION’S SHARE members Lars Chriss and Sampo Axelsson have, in cooperation with Sidelake Media and Christian Rehn (ANGTORIA), written the official intro song for the Swedish ice hockey team TIMR’ IK (‘Red Eagles’). "The main riff was based on the song Shadows from LION’S SHARE’s Two (1997) album, with an AC/DC and RAMMSTEIN twist since this style works so well in hockey arenas." See a clip here:

Re-release label Metal Mind Productions of Poland is re-releasing early MAD MAX albums, Mad Max, Rollin’ Thunder, Stormchild and Night Of Passion. Each release is limited to 2,000 copies.

Metal Blade Records will issue a BRAINSTORM sampler on November 9th called Just Highs No Lows (12 Years Of Persistence). The album is a two-CD package.

Gibson Guitar, Epiphone and Monster Cable have pooled their sales and marketing dollars to launch two new model guitars and pro headphones with a special event in New York on Halloween, October 31, 2009. Zakk Wylde, guitarist for OZZY OSBOURNE and founder of the heavy metal band BLACK LABEL SOCIETY is set to perform at a free concert event at the Hard Rock Café New York in Times Square beginning at 8PM.

Voice Of The Wilderness, the new album by Bulgarian heavy metal band RAMPART will be out in November 2009 on Inferno Records.

DEF LEPPARD’s frontman Joe Elliott opened for the reformed MOTT THE HOOPLE on the last show of its tour on Tuesday, October 6th at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo in London, England. Elliot’s band, which comprised of members of THE LONDON QUIREBOYS, used the DOWN 'N' OUTZ monicker as "a one-off performance, not the start of a new project." The third leg of DEF LEPPARD’s North American tour was recently cancelled without an explanation.

The demise of metal continues. JON OLIVA’S PAIN, SEVEN WITCHES, EVERGREY, CIRCLE II CIRCLE and EUMERIA will take part in a metal cruise, Triton Power Cruise departing April 30th of 2010. The cruise will depart at the Carnival Imagination in Miami, Florida. CIRCLE II CIRCLE had initially cancelled, but is now back on the ship.

SUTUANA has signed to SG Records. The Italian band SUTUANA from Mantova has signed with SG Records in order to publish PerdutaMente..., its first album. The band specializes in rock and hard rock with Italian lyrics.

Billie Perry, the wife of AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry, doesn’t like or listen to band’s music. In a Twitter post, she claims to have never listened to an entire album of Aerosmith.

Singer Russ North has left CLOVEN HOOF apparently to dedicate himself to a solo career. The NWOBHM band has cancelled appearances at The Barbaars festival in The Netherlands and all English shows, but a new vocalist will be recruited in time for the Hard Rock Hell festival in December.

DIAMOND HEAD guitarist Brian Tatler's has written an autobiography called Am I Evil? It features forewords by Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH and Lars Ulrich of METALLICA. It is available through

Ninetone Records will release the debut album of PLANTHREE on November 25th. PLANTHREE’s new single, Still Broken, is out now.

Right-wing wacko wet dream! Somebody get Ted Nugent and Blackie Lawless together in a band in Texas.

Metallian Demos

Listening several times to the demo one can’t but help think of goth and alternative underground time and time again. As per the name, the French band is indeed rooted in doom, but there is a whole element of goth and rock embedded in song after song of this full-length. The music, unfortunately, is destroyed by the vocals. While average, the music has notable moments, heavy moments, interesting moments where the ‘doom’ tag is justified, but the horrid vocals take away all credibility from the disc. One can label the vocals an ‘acquired taste,’ and indeed, it somehow becomes easier to digest by repeat listen number four, yet Doom With A View (very funny) is lacking any quality control in the singing department. The singer would ostensibly survive in the whole Bauhaus/Sisters Of Mercy world, but some semblance of power/tune/range is a minimum requirement in heavy metal.
The best thing about this demo is the valiant attempt at taking HP Lovecraft, Aleister Crowley and other juicy bits of history in order to create interesting song titles and lyrics. Add to that the banishment of the synthesizers to a mere whiff and there are one and a half positives. The band is at the very underground, metal, independent, individualistic website or can be contacted at – Ali “The Metallian”

“Has Montreal’s Foreshadow reformed?” was the question once this disc arrived. Well, no. This band is based out of Tampa in the land of the free and home of the brave, but does not realize its country’s status. Either that, or the description is false. The CD begins with a few strums and some technicality and ends with an acoustic piece (give or a take a nuclear detonation), but what is sandwiched in-between is a destructive sludge of which Eyehategod, Dystopia and Crowbar would be proud. Furthermore, the band has a certain amount of good political knowledge. The numerous ‘terror’ samples might sound funny until one recalls the context and the real wickedness that the culture of American politics has wrought. The vocals are alternately guttural and shrieking and a lyric sheet was not provided, but song titles like Police State Paradise, MK Ultra, TRANCEformation Of America, Destruction Of Justice and End Of Innocence speak for themselves. One wonders, how does one become politically aware in the United States and recognize the lies and deception.
Nations Of Failure is part technical and part politically aware, yet the bottom-line is the crushing heaviness that the band delivers on these songs. The rawness and anger are never forgotten. Write to or visit if you wish to visit a website owned by Fox News/Sky right-wing megalomaniacs (forgive the redundancy) News Corporation. – Ali “The Metallian”

Demo Mania a compilation of two demos, 2004’s Mabangis! Marahas! and 2006’s Dudurog! Lilipol!, for a total of eight songs and one hell of a racket. This disc is the mother of all noises. The crude and raw thrashing is untight, raw, wild, crazy and insane. There are no production values. All there is mayhemic thrashing. The band responsible is Philippines’ Paganfire, which is a quartet on a mission. The band both deliberately and inadvertently insists that the underground exists. With cassette tapes and CDRs, raw rehearsal sounding tapes, proclamations of war against all posers and a carefree sound that never betrays a commercial interest, Paganfire is out to draw blood. Nevertheless, behind all the speed, bashing thrashing and blazing solos recorded in lo-fi there are good riffs. Hearing them is something else though.
There is a CD called Tasteless Revenge on its way as well, but in the meantime get hold of the band by emailing or write to Nonoy Padrejuan, #60 Narig St., Veteran’s Village, Project 7, 1105, Quezon City, Philippines. – Ali “The Metallian”

The cassette tape at hand proves two things about these Philippines band. Firstly, this band is blatantly and unapologetically old-school. “DIY OR DIE” is one thing. Issuing tapes in 2009 is another. Secondly, the band’s compilation of its 2004 and 2007 material is thrashy, tasteless, thunderous and totally triumphant. Kreator-like solos, a drummer that never waivers from hammering and a sub-underground production from the depths of the abyss make for a great tape. The singer croaks as though his (?) life depends on it. Does it get any more underground than this? Unlikely. E-mail them at Sorry, kiddies. They do not have a Myspace page or Twitter Tweets. – Ali “The Metallian”

Overthrone is an American band from the state of Illinois. Neither the band’s music nor its lyrics is US-sounding however. The band bases its music on European (occasionally so-called) black metal and, for a few minutes, seemingly on the better bands of said geography and genre. However, it soon becomes apparent that the group copies not just the elite, but also the gamut. One song, typically the much better one, echoes Dissections’ last album Reinkaos, while others go after the Cradle Of Filth and Emperor sound and crowd. That is correct. The ever-popular “synth” (Disney) makes many an appearance. The lyrics are heavy on content, profound and often interesting. Again, considering the European trait, the band’s words border on Sabbat material. Being American, the duo of Toby Nickels and Nathan Nickels do not have the same command of English as a typical European, but the words are above average quality and length.
Overthrone is derivative and wimpy, but fulfils its role with many a riff, words and some atmosphere. Find the band at this exclusively deep and adult site: or e-mail - Ali “The Metallian”

Ironwood is an Australian “progressive/folk/metal band” with an interest “to meld the disparate influences of animism, heathenism, grief and creative exploration.” Are they trying to say they smoke up? Is it a 420? Whether heathenism embraces animism and it brings grief and creativity can be explored by sifting through the long and involved lyrics of tracks Jarnvidr Gallows, The Serpent Seeks Its Tail, Eihwaz Descending or Önd Ascending. Speaking of which, Ironwood is incredibly professional in its sound, packaging and importantly music. The layer after layer of vocals and progressive music is astounding.
What any of this has to do with heavy metal is another question. Sure, the band speeds up or blasts cacophony on that scarce instance, but most of this material is comprised of acoustic strumming with hoarse theatric vocalizing that would depress the heart of a medieval king or have the local Middle Ages troubadour plot murder having found competition on his turf. Worse, the hoarse vocalizing, which most recently little boy Viking wanna-bes have picked up on, is beyond annoying. Commercial potential alert! Månegarm and Vintersorg fans buy now.
When a demo hits Metallian Towers and barely contains any metal best we could do is point out the band’s efforts, expense and particular talent and specify that music which comes across as a Joan Baez vinyl played at 45rpm instead of 33 mixed with The Tea Party’s more esoteric moments is beyond and below what we tolerate. Exploring the soul of a stone is – Anna Tergel

This demo gives it way right away. The black and white cover is riddled with industrial images of gadgets, tools and horrors is the photography and design elsewhere. Lo and behold, the tracks, one after the other, are sample-ridden, dubbed and overdubbed industrial noise beats that will never be danced to outside a robots’ convention. The tracks, hardly songs, have no rhythm, no commercial thought and certainly no melody. A drum machine dubbing recorder and just for fun a rockabilly song put through the noise grinder. More electronic than a supercomputer’s circuit board can be had or e-mail Enjoy the chaos that a title like Pustular Eyesocket Nervotomy suggests. - Ali “The Metallian"

This CD is an advance copy of the band’s forthcoming full-length demo and, as such, came with scant information regarding credits, titles or track sequences. The band is Belgian and can be found at It is interesting to describe the band as a cross between the Gothenburg sound and nu metal because each of those subgenres is in itself a mix of different sub-genres, but Vhan somehow has melded it all into fairly consistent outing. The vocalist is obviously more hardcore inclined with his grating screams that border on barking. He cuts in over the more melodic, but furious, music regularly and consistently. The rhythm section is very tight and impressive, but the best of the disc is saved for the guitars. Whether cutting through with a biting rhythm or deploying a melodic solo Vhan greatly benefits from the six strings. As well, melody is not a foreign concept to the band, although happily it is not abused. The inclusion of Grieg’s Hall Of The Mountain King is perhaps unnecessary having already been covered elsewhere in metal (Savatage for instance), but there is not much else that is superfluous on this disc. Write the band at – Ali “The Metallian”

Dawn Of Tears is a Spanish “melodic death metal” band from Spain. The band does not sound Spanish, which is a positive probably. The ‘death metal’ part is just blatant falsehood. The group is more gothic than anything. Imagine a band that likes and adores Dark Tranquillity and mixes some Cradle Of Filth speed and riffs. Of course, such a band has synthesizers and cannot resist having female vocals. At least, the guitar solos are very well played. Sadly, guitar solos are scarce on this disc. Even worse, a keyboard is sure to come in almost immediately to make up for the guitar. The drums are especially samey throughout. The demo is thirty minutes long and good for Dark Tranquillity/Norther fans. - Anna Tergel

Gulch ‘could play one night with a metal band and the next night with a southern rock band.’ It is questionable if that is a good thing or just the band’s way of rehashing the old ‘don’t categorize us’ line. Watching Old Friends Die opens it up and is similar to the likes of Corrosion Of Conformity. Including the fact that a Ted Nugent cover, Just What The Doctored Ordered, is proudly adorned in the bio it is obvious that this quartet have their hearts set in something of a heavy rock mould. Tough riffs and vocals don’t win any awards for musicianship nor for originality but there is some power and fury here, just nothing that hasn’t been put on a CD before. Born To Burn has some much needed variation and even a bit of catchiness. Contact the band at - Anna Tergel

Politics is the central theme of The Revelation Diaries. The opening intro is called The Cobra and features excerpts of speeches by presidents Kennedy, Clinton and Bush before the sound of one gun shot. And while the intro’s message and the general lyrical theme may or may not be clear the style of the band is unquestionable. Absolution is ‘80s thrash and heavy metal. This is the California style of the aforementioned decade with Megadeth the major influence. Many of the sections of each song borrow, sometimes heavily, from So Far, So Good...So What, Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? and Killing Is My Business.... Having chosen this route Absolution doesn’t and can’t escape the dated tag. Screaming backing vocals and the leading vocals of Dave Deroscher are other prominent dated sounding features of The Revelation Diaries as are numerous solos that while proficient are not groundbreaking. Deroscher can be compared to Death Angel’s Mark Osegueda as indeed the music when not showcasing the Megadeth inspiration. Follow this quintet at - Anna Tergel

Mimi Gualtieri is a Toronto born guitarist who credits funk as one of his major influences. Lounge Rock is like a compilation of his work, which is mostly instrumentals. Funk, pop, disco and techno influences are scattered among rock, hard rock and simple and pure guitar jams. Mimi certainly knows his instrument but when instrumental Lounge Rock sometimes takes the form of background songs sometimes heard on not very high budget action or adventure movies. When not an instrumental Mimi’s songs are somewhat reminiscent of Extreme or perhaps the likes of Sven Gali. On Song For Daniel he takes a shot at creating a ballad and in this case the result is no less effective than many similar songs written by much better known bands. Check Mimi at - Anna Tergel

A year and a half since the obscure debut The Frail Tide turned nobody’s ears around, Australia’s budding metal innovators Be’lakor return with Stone’s Reach, an album that would have been groundbreaking if its very own creators hadn’t ruined its potential. While certainly not a case of too many cooks spoiling the proverbial broth, Stone’s Reach suffers from the opposite malady. There’s just too much on this sonic stew that ruins the music’s grandiose intentions. Imagine dark, beautiful, lush, contemplative, heavy metal influenced by the Swedish melodic scene but with touches of epic shit and progressive arrangements. This is Be’lakor at their optimum. Unfortunately, instead of eight outstanding tracks everything is fucked by excessive running time (nothing here clocks in less than five minutes) and inane growly vocals. These guys were supposed to shape something breathtaking from a disparate blend of metal styles, resulting in songs that match the promise of the album’s intriguing cover. What happens is the expected fillet mignon comes out as doggy doo. For the listener’s sake, it’ll probably take a few hundred spins before you really start digging Stone’s Reach. – Michael Thrash