CRYPTOPSY has parted ways with vocalist Martin Lacroix. No reason was offered for Lacroix's departure and the band is continuing the writing of a new album while seeking a replacement...ENTER CHAOS' new album Aura Sense is now recorded and is currently being mixed. The band has posted rough versions of the songs d.Evil Inside and Fire In The Hole on www.enterchaos.metal.pl. The album will be released shortly through Metal Mind and features songs like the aforementioned two, as well as Crisis Connection and Sell Out. The band is Martex (throat), L. Rambo (drums), Zenek, Seb-off and Ozz (guitars) and B. Low on bass...Former ARBITRATER drummer Lawrence Paterson has formed a new band called METALHEAD and is working on an album and a tour of the UK...MAUSOLEUM's debut CD Cadaveric Displays Of Ghoulish Ghastliness is now out through Razorback Records...Keyboardist Jason Keesecker has left VEHEMENCE. There are not any plans for a replacement and a session pianist will be used for the band's upcoming album. The band is recording a new album called Helping The World To See...Ordealis Records has the following upcoming releases: GNSTIC's Evoking The Demon CD (featuring video clips), PERDITOR's In Signo Suo MCD, and GHOLGOTH's Somnus Mortis Imago full-length...MORBID ANGEL has borrowed Tony Norman from MONSTROSITY for second-guitar duties during the former's current tour with SUPERJOINT RITUAL and DANZIG. MORBID ANGEL is heading to Europe in January...AGENT STEEL has a new four-song EP. The release features three classic songs re-recorded this year (Mad Locust Rising, Unstoppable Force and Agents Of Steel), as well as the title track to the new album Order Of The Illuminati...BORKNAGAR will be reissuing their self-titled debut album on December 28th through Displeased Records. It was originally issued by Malicious Records and had previously been re-issued in 1999. The band, in the meanwhile, is in the studio recording a new album...Germany's ANCIENT CEREMONY has been threatened with legal action by that country's Catholic church. The Church wants the band to remove its blasphemous images from its website....Former FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares is rehearsing with reformed Oregon metallers BODY BAG...DAWN will re-release their old albums on one double-CD complete with extra material on December 8th through Necropolis Records. The band is currently working on a new album called The Fourfold Furnace for MNW Records...Drum nomad Dave Culross has rejoined MALEVOLENT CREATION. The band's next album is due in June through Nuclear Blast Records worldwide...INFERNAL HATRED will be doing a split 7" with CIANIDE. It is due next February through Italy's Hellflame Productions. The former band is still looking for a guitarist...Former THROCULT bassist Cassie has joined DEADSPEAK. The Denver-based act is still looking for a replacement. The band will shortly issue a video for the song Eclipse Of The Blood Moon...CENTINEX has announced March of 2004 as the release date for the next album Decadence - Prophecies Of Cosmic Chaos through Candlelight Records...According to Osmose Production, the new DEMENTOR album is entitled God Defamer and has already been completed. The recording was done at Stage One Studio in Germany...CANNIBAL CORPSE guitarist Jack Owen and ex-EPITAPH/RESURRECTION drummer Kevin Astl are in a new band called ADRIFT...GOD AMONG INSECTS is a new death metal group comprised of ENTOMBED bassist Jorgen Sandstrom (on vocals here), THE PROJECT HATE guitarist Lord K, SANCTIFICATION bassist Tomas Elofsson and VOMITORY drummer Tobias Gustafsson. The band plans to release its debut album in 2004...VOMITORY will enter Studio Kuling in Örebro, Sweden on December 8th with producer Henrik Larsson to record the band's fifth full-length Primal Assault...MORTUARY I.O.D. is following up the release of its album on the, band-owned, Fearsome Records with a promo demo. This new CD is due in the winter...Belgium's DREFT is issuing a double-CD featuring The End and Butchered demos, as well as the band's rehearsal tapes and unreleased live material. The CD is available for 10 Euros from the band by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org...Death To Mankind Music of Spain has released CRUCIFIER's Stronger Than Passing Time LP/Pic LP /CD. The LP and picture LP versions of this debut full-length are limited to 500 and 200 copies respectively...DEADSOIL has signed to Lifeforce Records. The band plans to enter the studio in May...AMON AMARTH is back from the Art Of Noise 2 tour featuring NILE, KREATOR, VADER and GOATWHORE and preparing to head out to the X-mass festivals tour in December...SUFFOCATION has named its upcoming album Souls To Deny. It is expected through Relapse in the spring...KEEP OF KALESSIN Of Kalessin is issuing a new MCD called Reclaim. The band now features, in addition to Obsidian C. who is also the live guitarist for SATYRICON, SATYRICON's drummer Frost as well vocalist Attila Csihar of MAYHEM fame...Former MISERY INDEX guitarist Mike Harrison has a new project called KOMMISSAR. This act's CD, Equalizing Mediocrity, is due in 2004...THUS DEFILED has a new album out called Weeping Holocaust. The CD is released by singer Paul Carter¹s own label Shadowflame...German death metal band FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING has readied its full-length Skywards A Sylphe's Ascension which will be out through Metal Blade in January...HAEMORRHAGE will have a DVD, entitled Visions From The Morgue, on December 8th through Morbid Records...Former BROKEN HOPE guitarist Jeremy Wagner has launched a new band called LUPARA...Jesse Pintado, NAPALM DEATH's guitarist, is skipping the band's current European tour, "recovering from a very exhaustive year."...Halifax's INFERNO RACKET has relocated to Toronto. The band is performing at Toronto's Stonesplace on December 10th...Aside from a new CD on Fleshfeast Productions, BANE OF EXISTENCE is working on material for a 5-way Split CD on Sickened Records with bands such as LIVIDITY and SPINEFED...Golden Lake Productions has issued MITHRAS' Worlds Beyond The Veil CD...CAPHARNAUM has signed to Willowtip Records. The group's debut full-length CD, Fractured, will be released on February 17th, 2004. CAPHARNAUM is comprised of vocalist Matt Heafy (TRIVIUM), guitarists Daniel Mongrain (MARTYR) and Jason Suecof (MONSTROSITY), bassist Mike Poggione (MONSTROSITY) and drummer Jordan Suecof...MARDUK and singer Legion have parted ways. While no reason was offered, Legion is known to have become ill recently after a tour of South America. A replacement has already been chosen...ANAAL NATHRAKH have recorded a session for BBC Radio's John Peel show. The session is due to be broadcast on December 16th between 10:00 p.m. and midnight in the U.K. and can be heard on the Internet...Agonia Records will be releasing a live album from death metal fathers POSSESSED. The disc features a recording made on January 26th, 1987 in Parma, Ohio where POSSESSED opened for DARK ANGEL. The album is called Agony In Paradise...ENFORSAKEN are seeking a temporary bassist. Eric Kawa has had to take time off from the band for personal reasons. Contact the US Midwestern band at email@example.com...ABOMINATOR's Nuctemeron Descent is now out...ArthemesiA has started the pre-production for its upcoming ShamaNatahS album...DIMENSION F3H have said farewell to Mr. Thunderforce (drums) and session bass player Mr. Krokmo. In a statement DIMENSION F3H's Morfeus explained: "since both could not spend enough time on DIMENSION F3H the decision was made to end the co-operation. No hard feelings from any of us. We have already recruited a new bass session member in the person of Mr. Moe and a drummer is on the testing stage at the moment"...After ten years of existence and three albums, MELECHESH will appear live for the first time in Europe. The band's first shows in six years will take place over the Christmas period is Leipzig, Berlin and Scharzfeld in Germany...ELYSIUM's Feedback album is now out through Metal Mind Records....AZRAEL has completed its sophomore album, Into Shadows Act II: Through Horned Shadows Glimpse. The album is out in December through Moribund Records...DRAWN AND QUARTERED has a new album called Extermination Revelry...HATESPHERE's Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Black EP is now out through Scarlet Records...Council Of The Fallen has signed to Season Of Mist. The debut for the label will be released on Feb 23rd, 2004. Deciphering The Soul was recorded at Mana Studio in Tampa, Florida, engineered by Shawn Ohtani and mixed and mastered by Eric Rutan. The band is Sean Baxter on bass and vocals, Kevin Quirion on guitar and vocals, Shawn Ohtani on guitar and Tim Yeung on session drums...DECAPITATED has been joined by Hero again...SPINAL CORD has temporarily recruited Novy (VADER, DIES IRAE) to fill in on bass...The forthcoming CANCER EP Corporation$ has a CELTIC FROST Cover, two new songs, Oil and Oxygen Thief which are in the same vein as the Black Faith material, plus an old song called Witch Hunt rerecorded in November 2003. The EP will also feature a remix of the new track Oil by Ian Buchanon, the original bass player. The band's new member Rob Engvikson is also working on material for his own band, ASATRU...CHARON has parted ways with guitarist Jasse Von Has...AFTER FOREVER has issued an EP called Exordium...BATTALION has recruited a new bassist. Sven Janssens is formerly of DISOWN and currently in AXAMENTA...A reformed BLOOD FREAK is working on a new album.
HEADPINS is back again and will record new songs. The recording will take place over the winter and the album is expected to be out next spring...WYCKED SYNN recently pulled out of the Dwell In Darkness and the Southwest Metal Thunder tours. This after Keith Miller left the band. Darrell White is now the drummer and Gary Carrillo was added as a second guitarist. Finally, the band is reported to be writing for a new album...REQUIEM has released its second album Mask Of Damnation. The label is Sound Riot Records...COLOURFAST is working on a second release. Main man Akira Naito is also working on finishing the first CD of his GASPANIC side-project...ENTOMBED recently cancelled their Canadian shows after drummer Peter Stjärnvind came down with severe sore throat and had to be hospitalized...ENTOMBED guitarist Uffe Cederlund has joined DISFEAR as a touring guitarist. The two bands will tour together in Europe this month...Brazil's DARK AVENGER has a new 30-minute mini-CD called X Dark Years. It contains four songs, namely Dark Avenger 2003, Caladvwch, Utther Evil (a new song), and Unleash Hell (also a new song)...TESLA has announced Into The Now as the title for the upcoming album. It is due in February, 2004 through Sanctuary Records...INTO ETERNITY has announced February 10th, 2004 as the release date for their third album Buried In Oblivion...DRAGONHAMMER has just finished the recording of the second album Time For Expiation. The band is now on Scarlet Records. Also on the label is Node whose Das Kapital album will be released in March...WWIII's first record in over a decade is called When God Turned Away and due out soon through Reality Entertainment. The group's current lineup is comprised of Mandy Lion on vocals, Moni Scaria on guitar, Rob Farr on bass and Dave DuCey on drums...ANVIL's next album is called Back To Basics and due out through Massacre Records next May...Iron Tyrant will release a LP version of ANAEL's Necromantic Rituals. The band originally issued the CD version through Barbarian Wrath Records...VANDEN PLAS vocalist Andy Kuntz will release an album with his solo act ABYDOS in April, 2004...DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess is working on a solo album...FRAMESHIFT, Featuring DREAM THEATER Vocalist James Labrie, releases its debut entitled Unweaving The Rainbow on Progrock Records this month. Labrie will also appear on the next AYREON CD...BENT BROTHER - TWISTED SISTER without the makeup - will be performing regularly in the NYC area for the next few months...THRESHOLD has completed work on the forthcoming live DVD and double-CD which is entitled Critical Energy. It will be out in February through InsideOut...CURLY FESTER is a Los Angeles-based "heavy blues" band formed by former DIO and WWIII guitarist Tracy G...EMBRAZE has voluntarily left Mastervox Records and seeking a new label. The Finns have already recorded a promotional demo...PRIMAL FEAR has completed work on a new album, Devil's Ground, due on February 23rd through Nuclear Blast Records. Song titles include: Metal Forever, Suicide & Mania and The Healer. The band will tour Europe next spring with BRAINSTORM...MANOWAR will issue another DVD, this time titled Hell On Earth III, on December 8th through SPV. The DVD features footage from seventeen countries...Zinny J Zan has resurrected ZAN CLAN. The band has contributed the song/single Surrender to Fastlane Records' CHEAP TRICK tribute CD...Arise Records reports that both WIZ and DREAMAKER have completed their debut albums for the label. Both releases are due in February. Jose Antonio Ramas has left RED WINE. HIGHLORD has just finished the songwriting for the fourth album. The band will record it at New Sin Studios (DARK MOOR, LABYRINTH, etc.) in January 2004...ANGEL DUST and bass player Frank Banx have parted ways. Banx has left the fold because of differences with singer Dirk Thurisch. Banx is probably moving to the USA, forming Frank Banx Enterprises and reissuing older ANGEL DUST material. In the meanwhile, the band is continuing and expects a new album to be ready for release by the end of the next year...CIRCLE II CIRCLE, the new band of former SAVATAGE singer Zachary Stevens has disintegrated following irreconcilable business-related differences. Stevens is currently the only member after the rest of the band resigned over wages. The remaining man supposedly still aims to fulfill the band's opening slot for SAXON and DORO in December. Guitarist Shane French aims to put his old band TEER back together...FIREWIND are releasing their sophomore album, Burning Earth, through Leviathan Records. The band has also shot a video for the song I Am The Anger...CHASTAIN¹s new album, In An Outrage, will be out through Leviathan Records in early 2004. The band features new drummer Larry Howe and bassist Dave Starr, both formerly of VICIOUS RUMOURS...Dario Grillo (formerly of THY MAJESTIE) has signed to Frontiers Records using the PLATENS.name...IN FLAMES has decided upon Soundtrack To Your Escape for the title of the next album, due in April...BULLET BOYS have cancelled the remainder of their tour with L.A. GUNS and BLACK N' BLUE. The band's manager Mark was recently injured after an altercation with the bus driver for the band. The band's new CD Sophie is now out...MOTORHEAD's leader Lemmy Kilmister is working on a solo album expected at the end of 2004. Members of SKEW SISKIN are assisting the man with studio space...former RIOT singer Guy Speranza has passed away after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer...According to HAMMERFALL, the band has lost the approximately $45,000 proceeds from the band's latest USA tour. Apparently a tour employee managed to get away with the cash which was earned through ticket and merchandise sales...Former CRIMSON GLORY guitarist Ben Jackson has managed to get former singer Midnight to record vocals for the former's next solo release entitled All Over You. Midnight has recorded some vocals at Tampa's Morrisound Studios...Heavy metal band SECRET HEROES has released its new album Loose, High & Free...Cruz Del Sur Music has two new bands on its roster. New York's MAHAVATAR will begin recording this month and release its album in the summer. The label's other signee ENSOPH will see the release of Opus Dementiae - Per Speculum Et In Aenigmate in April, 2004...CHRIS CAFFERY (guitarist of SAVATAGE and TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA) has signed with BLACK LOTUS RECORDS for the release of his debut solo album expected next September. The tentative title is Faces and will feature Caffery on guitars and vocals...Mad Margritt will be opening for former RATT singer Stephen Pearcy on Sunday, December 21st at The Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia. The band will be entering the studio for a new album immediately thereafter...SEPTIC FLESH has called it a day...SHAMRAIN (formerly TEARS), which features ENTWINE singer Mika Tauriainen, will release a debut full-length album called Empty World Excursion on November 28th through Watch Me Fall Records...Michael Schenker has established a relationship with singer/guitarist Amy Schugar in a new project called SCHUGAR/SCHENKER. The duo recently completed work on an eight-song demo entitled Under Construction...AXXIS' drummer Richard Michalski is reported by the band to have been missing for the past year! PINK CREAM 69 drummer Kosta Zafiriou has guested on the band's forthcoming album Time Machine. The two bands will tour Europe in March...Vocalist Johan Liiva has decided to leave NON EXIST in order to concentrate on HEARSE...Crash Music has signed a licensing deal with Low Frequency Records for distribution of the latter's releases. This deal will include most of Europe and North America. The release date for EVEMASTER's Wither, the first fruit of this cooperation, is set for 13th of January 2004...GHOST MACHINERY has signed to Sound Riot Records. The band features Pete Ahonen, the vocalist and guitar player of BURNING POINT...STEEL ATTACK has recruited Ronny Hemlin of LACK OF FAITH as its new singer. The band will record its new album in April...STEEL PROPHET has a new three-song demo. The CD features new vocalist Nadir D'Priest (formerly of LONDON and D'PRIEST) and guitarist Pete Skermetta...STRATOVARIUS is in turmoil after the publicization of an internal rift. Guitarist Timo Tolkki is meeting with the different band members to determine who will be part of the band's future...Hammerheart Records/Karmageddon is releasing the rough tape of CONTROL DENIED's last recording as the band's second album after failing to procure the music from the mother of the band's deceased leader, Chuck Schuldiner. Jane Schuldiner and the label are in the midst of a legal battle...ILLNATH has split with drummer Benjamin Johannesen following the completion of a tour with KONKHRA and CORPUS MORTALE...DEINONYCHUS has signed a two-album deal with My Kingdom Music. The band's next album is due next spring.
GOATHORN - STORMING THE GATE
Now residing in Toronto, Goathorn is band whose reputation is quickly rising on the metal scene. That is a good thing, for this trio professes and practices its love for genuine heavy metal. That is, its music is devoid of keyboards, female vocals, banjos or other commercial tendencies. In fact, Goathorn has a definite 'true metal' vibe on every track. The vocals are a cross between spoken and raspy. The musicians cross the sounds of old Trouble with Manilla Road and perhaps even Motorhead for that special feeling. Nonetheless, the band has a way to go in the skill-set department. The instrumentation is not where it should be yet and, as proof, the sole solo attempted is nothing to write home about. We all know that heavy metal needs heavy solos. Elsewhere, the band shows its influence by covering Sacrifice and presents a cool image with its photograph and CD artwork. Hard rock and heavy metal fans should either visit www.goathorn.com or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali "The Metallian"
SPAZMOSITY - STORM METAL
Never mind the Storm Metal title. This is pure Swedish death metal as delivered by the Stockholm scene in the early 90's. Spazmosity - ugly name and all - has been around since 1994, first as an Iron Maiden cover band of all things, and has since evolved into a superb Swedeath band as demonstrated by the four tracks on offer here. The band does owe some to Amon Amarth and early Desultory, but the bulk of the quintet's allegiance goes to Necrophobic. In fact, Storm Metal's airy brand of death metal took this writer back to 1993 when the necrophobes delivered their seminal debut. Spazmosity is ready to release a full-length on a label if this material is any indication. In the meanwhile though, visit the band at www.spazmosity.com or write to email@example.com to get this CD. - Ali "The Metallian"
RUTTOLAPSET - VALA
Finland's plague children are back with a newer demo CD. This time the demo features a colour cover and professional art. What has not changed is the weak production. Music should be judged on its own merit of course, but the sound does affect the band whichever way one cuts it. Regardless, the band is as raw as ever. The growled vocals, screeched singing, slow and deliberate solos and chunky riffs are as underground as underground gets. Furthermore, the band is down to a trio now which probably further crumples the band's sound. Fans of subterranean plague metal can find the band either by visiting ruttolapset.cjb.net or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali "The Metallian"
NANOWAR - TRIUMPH OF TRUE METAL OF STEEL
The underground is a wealth of talent and Nanowar is undoubtedly the richest of the rich in this regard. In fact, wise men would stop reading and instead order this demo CD now. Nanowar's CD is the funniest piece of music that has arrived at Metallian Towers ever. No words will describe how hard the knights laughed when listening to this disc. Taking the piss out of Manowar, Metallica and other assorted bands, the Italians demonstrate a true penchant for sarcasm and humour by delivering brilliant lines like "The forest of steel, of the steel, steel - metal iron, and all the heavy minerals...have you ever noticed that the word poser rhymes with loser... our metal is so strong 'cos our dick is so long." These lines just have to be heard to the band's tune and in the (ahem) serious timbre that only Nanowar can muster. Triumph Of true Metal Of Steel is a fantastic investment. This is unrestrained roll-on-the-floor-of-laughter true metal. www.nanowar.it or email@example.com. - Ali "The Metallian"
METHARIA - PROMO 2003
Metharia was recently mentioned in the review for the Defenders Of Metal sampler, which is where this writer first hear the Italian band. Hard rock bands singing in their native tongue, other than English, have never enjoyed an international market. Whether Metharia knows this and does not care or does not want to hear, the fact is based on experience. Metharia is a hard rock band with Italian lyrics. The singer does a very good job in his department and along with the emotional music manage to represent Metharia as an original act bent on doing its own thing. The powerful vocals are complemented by an outstanding bassist and good sound. For whatever reason though, none of the four songs here feature a guitar lead which is poor judgment on Metharia's part. Such sentimental music would have benefited from a searing solo or two. Having said that,the deficiency is understandable has the band omitted solos due to insufficient skill. For something a little different give Metharia a chance. www.metharia.net or firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali "The Metallian"
IMPERIAL CRYSTALLINE ENTOMBMENT - same
This band is cold, cold as ice! Everything about these Americans points to a fondness for ice, frost and winter. The band's name abbreviated is I.C.E, a couple of band members are called Blisserred and IceSickKill and the songs are Astral frost Invocation, Apocalyptic Blizzard Regime and Behold Thy Frozen Arctic Kingdom. I can't be sure if the band is completely serious ("hello Bergen!! We are Imperial Crystalline Entombment and my name is....IceSickKill!!"), but the music rips all the way to Hudson Bay and back. These four guys play with a furious drive comparable to Darkthrone, Immortal and Dissection. It is a full-blown metallic sleigh ride to hell. To boot, the band members look like they sport long hair and have recorded the demo in Akureyri, Iceland. As regarding the last fact, sure and this girl was born yesterday.www.imperialice.com or email@example.com - Sheila Wes Det
MANIFEST - THE ART OF WAR
First thing a picky reviewer would likely mention is that only one of the members in Manifest has long hair. Say it isn't so. Real handsome men always have long hair, right? Right. Musically, the band names Slayer, Sepultura, Meshuggah and others as influences. In fact, the Norwegian thrash boys have their own sound. It does go chugga-chugga but adds a good dose of creepiness and chunky riffs into it as well. The four guys are quite heavy and have also received a helpful treatment at the producer's hands. This demo only has two songs totaling eight minutes. The two songs are quite impressive and original though. There is not ordering information so visit the band at www.manifest-rock.com and write to firstname.lastname@example.org. - Sheila Wes Det
WAVE - SEE-THROUGH HEARSAY
It is fabulous when metal musicians have long hair. It is a sign that they are serious to look the part and m(e)an business. Two of the male band members here sport long hair. The band's singer is a female with her own particular look. Her voice though is low-key. The two songs on this professionally-recorded CD have astral themes (called See-Through Hearsay and Big Bang And Black Holes) and the CD has a complementary cover. The band get the message through despite taking liberties with English, like using words like 'flied.' The music is heavy rock with an easygoing spirit. The vocals are steady and occasionally no joke sound like Madonna. Mira is a little lifeless although that might be on purpose because she is perfect for the band's music. There is a great solo on the first song which are completely professional in every respect. Heavy rock and hard rock fans should get this. www.fade.to/wave or email@example.com. - Sheila Wes Det
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