France’s PITBULLS IN THE NURSERY has signed to Black Lotus Records. The band’s album Lunatic will be out in April...According to a statement by the band, Proscriptor and Melechesh will not be working together on the upcoming MELECHESH album. This was a mutual decision that was taken due to the long distance between the two and overlapping time schedules...INFERNUM has signed a record deal for three albums with Sound Riot Records. A new album is now due in early 2006...Candlelight Records has signed North Carolina’s DAYLIGHT DIES. The band's label debut, Dismantling Devotion, is currently being recorded at The Cutting Room in Sweden which is expected for release in early 2006...ENDSTAND has signed a multi-album deal with Lifeforce Records. The release of ENDSTAND’s, as yet untitled, Lifeforce debut is scheduled for March, 2006...A VENOM box set, called MMV, will be available on November 8th through Sanctuary Records. MMV features demos, outtakes, rarities, a radio interview and alternative versions of songs...ARCHGOAT’s Angelcunt: Tales Of Desecration picture LP and poster is now out through Battle Kommand Records...New and upcoming on Displeased Records are AMMIT’s Hammer Of Darkness CD, PENTACLE’s Archaic Undead Fury 10’, a new AGATHOCLES CD next year called Mincer, ANAL VOMIT’s Flagellation album in a picture disc version and a full-length by SURRENDER OF DIVINITY...Goodfellow Records has signed California’s INTRONAUT. The band is comprised of members of ANUBIS RISING, EXHUMED, MURDER CONSTRUCT, PHOBIA and the defunct UPHILL BATTLE...The new CD of VIBRATORE BIZARRO Sex Hundred & Sexty Sex is now out through Mad Prophet Records...Sweden's DARKANE is touring North America with FEAR FACTORY, SOILWORK and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD...DEFLESHED has split up. The band is still hoping to go ahead with a discussed tour of American with DISMEMBER in April...Nuclear Blast has signed Canadian thrashers THREAT SIGNAL. An album is expected next winter...ZYKLON has commenced recording its third album, Disintegrate, at Akkerhaugen Lydstudio...DISSECTION and bassist Haakon Forwald (a.k.a. General K of MYRKSKOG, DISIPLIN) have gone separate ways. The band is still negotiating a record deal with different labels...LYZANXIA will enter Studio Fredman in Gothenburg in January with producer Fredrik Nordström to begin recording a third album. Some of the songs will be Bled Out, Early Phases, Path Blade and Wise Counsellor...BRICK BATH has cancelled the second leg of its US tour and left Crash Music after encountering a lack of support and communication from the label...Osmose will soon issue a new DRILLER KILLER album called The 4Q Mangrenade. The band’s line-up is Klyph on vocals, Adamagecase on guitar, Asparagus on drums and Christ Of Fear on bass...IMPALED NAZARENE has decided to name its ninth studio album Pro Patria Finlandia. The band is at Sonic Pump studio with producer Tapio Pennanen and will issue the album in March through Osmose Production ...The third full-length of ANTEMON Kadavreski is now out through Manitou Records. The same label will issue AMETHYSTE Thrown Off Balance in January...CALLENISH CIRCLE has been announced as the opening act for PARADISE LOST on its Mexican tour in January...RAZOR has been rejoined by bassist Mike Campagnolo and will record an album for Mausoleum Records which is due next summer...BEYOND THE EMBRACE has parted ways with drummer Kevin Camille...Fomer VEHEMENCE guitarist John Chavez has a new band called CURSED IN BLACK...Finland’s TORTURE KILLER has recruited SIX FEET UNDER’s vocalist Chris Barnes. The new line-up has an album called Swarm due out this winter. FUNERAL FEAST’s Sallinen will continue to help the band for domestic concerts...THY PIMORDIAL has thrown in the towel for good...Former NILE, ANGELCORPSE and current DIMMU BORGIR drummer Tony Laureano is touring with THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER...PANDEMIA has lost guitarist Alex Marek. The founding member is looking forward to better organizing his life situation...Finland’s NORTHER has announced Till Death Unites Us as the title for its next album which is due in January 25 through Spinefarm...DECAPITATED and NEURAXIS will tour Canada beginning December 1st at the Kathedral in Toronto and finish up on December 10th at Arlequin in Quebec City. DECAPITATED is currently supporting VADER in the USA...KRISIUN has completed work on its new album, AssassiNation which is tentatively due in February through Century Media Records...GOD AMONG INSECTS has left Threeman Recordings...Century Media has signed Germany’s DARK FORTRESS. The band’s fourth full-length CD, Séance, will be released in February...A new ENFORSAKEN album, called Sinner's Intuition, will be issued through Crash Music on March 7th, 2006...MALEVOLENT CREATION, NIGHTRAGE and NECROPHAGIST are the opening bands for BOLT THROWER’s European tour beginning in January...Temis Osmond is out of SABBAT...MELECHESH has officially added drummer Xul formerly of THANATOS and LIAR OF GOLGOTHA to the group's line-up...Belgium’s ANCIENT RITES has signed to Season Of Mist...NECROPHOBIC has commenced the recording of a new album. The result is expected next summer through Karmageddon Media...Blasphemy, Mayhem & War the split-CD of TOXIC HOLOCAUST, CHAINSAW KILLER and EVIL DAMN was just released through Warhymns Records...ABYSMAL DAWN, an extreme metal band from Los Angeles featuring former RISE and INHUMAN VISIONS members, has just put the finishing touches on its debut release entitled From Ashes.
According to a statement by InsideOut Music, "THE KING'S X tour bus caught fire early Thursday (November 17) burning the back end of the bus. Don’t worry though. The band and all their gear are fine. The bus was replaced and the tour continued without a hitch. Dug took some photos and posted them for everyone to check out. http://www.kingsxonline.com/photos/bus/". The band is touring the USA...KATATONIA's new album The Great Cold Distance will make its debut on Monday 13th March, 2006 through Peaceville...Candlelight Records will issue six back catalog titles from CANDLEMASS in the USA in February. The titles include four currently unavailable albums, a live record and the band's CD/DVD collection...ORACLE SUN is a new band of members from LABYRINTH, SIGMA, SHINING FURY and others. The band’s debut album Deep Inside will be released in January by Scarlet Records. The line-up is Val Shieldon - vocals (ex-SIGMA), Emy Manuguerra - guitars (ex-ANGEL GRACE), Fabrizio Marnik ¬ guitars, Alessandro Cola - bass (ex-SHINING FURY) and Frank Andiver - drums (ex-LABYRINTH/WONDERLAND)…Spitfire Records will release the self-titled debut for SLAVE TO THE SYSTEM in February. The band features Scott Rockenfield of QUEENSRYCHE fame...LLOTH, featuring bassist Tristessa of ASTARTE fame, has signed to Sleaszy Rider Records. The band was formed in 2003. A debut album is due in mid-2006...ANTHEMON is about to release its third full-length album, Kadavreski, through Thundering Records. Recorded and mixed during the summer of 2005 at Tico-Tico studio by Ahti Kortelainen (MORS PINCIPIUM EST, NIGHTFALL, SENTENCED, etc.), the band wanted to return to the tradition of the Œ70s concept albums. The disc features four titles and 45 minutes of music...The original line-up of Y&T comprised of Dave Meniketti, guitarist Joey Alves, bassist Phil Kennemore and drummer Leonard Haze will reunite for a New Year's Eve concert at the Avalon in Santa Clara, California...Escape Music will issue a new album by PHENOMENA in February called Psycho Fantasy...Arise Records has released the long-awaited reissue of GARY SCHUTT’s Sentimetal album which was originally released in 1995. All vocals for the album were recorded by Jeff Scott Soto...The re-united BATTLE BRATT will issue an album called Seed Of The Universe in 2006 through Battle Cry Records...To promote the launch of www.wintersbane.net WINTERSBANE has made the Girth album available for free download...Black Lotus Records has signed MANILLA ROAD and will issue a new album by the band in late 2006...Golden Lake Productions has announced the release of FORSAKEN’s third full-length album, Dominaeon...LULLACRY’s Vol. 4 album will be issued on January 24th through Century Media Records...REVENGIA, featuring ARCH ENEMY drummer Daniel Erlandsson, is currently in the studio recording a new album...Relapse Records will issue a compilation of older ALCHEMIST material on February 21st called Embryonics...Chavis Records and WYCKED SYNN have agreed to part ways due to differences of opinion and direction. The band now features ex-SHADOWKEEP vocalist Ronnie Stixx...UFO's new live DVD/CD Showtime is now out. Drummer Andy Parker has rejoined the band replacing Jason Bonham who is with FOREIGNER...DEVIN TOWNSEND’s Synchestra CD will hit the stores on January 31st through InsideOut Music...EVERGREY is finishing up its seventh release. The producing and mixing are being handled by Sanken Sandquist and Stefan Glauman. The as yet untitled CD features songs like Monday Morning Apocalypse, Unspeakable and At A Loss For Words...Singer Mathias Blad has rejoined FALCONER. Apparently, the band’s last album, Grime Vs. Grandeur, which featured singer Kriss Goebel was not selling well...Norway’s CIRCUS MAXIMUS has parted ways with keyboardist Espen Storø...Producer Michael Bradford will replace regular guitarist Steve Morse for DEEP PURPLE's European TV appearances this autumn. Steve Morse is unavailable to appear due to personal reasons...Former IRON ANGEL guitarist Juergen Blackmore, the son of Ritchie Blackmore, will have his solo 1990 album Still Holding On re-issued through Twilight...Australia’s DEMOLITION will be out on tour supporting SUSPERIA on the upcoming European tour in December. DEMOLITION’s line-up will feature Italian guitarist Janos Murri from RESURRECTURIS merely for this tour...DREAM OR NIGHTMARE is scheduled to play at the Dallas Music Fest on Saturday, January 28th. The band is also working on a full-length album...Candlelight Records has announced two American shows for the reunited EMPEROR. The announcement follows a recent confirmation of European shows. The US shows are on Friday, July 14th at BB Kings Blues Club in New York and Sunday, July 16 at Key Club in Los Angeles...DAWN OF DEFIANCE has a new independent CD called The Obscure Awakening...former FEMME FATALE guitarist Bill D'Angelo has passed away following a heart attack...GLORIA MORTI and bassist Jukka Salonen have parted ways...Norway’s MEMORIZED DREAMS has left Sound Riot Records. The band is seeking a home for its next album End Of Innocence after finding the label lacking in the last couple of years...Former CARCASS singer and bassist Jeff Walker has completed a country solo album comprised of cover versions. The CD is entitled Welcome To Carcass Cuntry...BLACK SABBATH’s Tony Iommi will be hosting a weekly radio show on the U.K.'s rock radio station Planet Rock...KROKUS and drummer Patrick Aeby are no longer together.
SEVERED SERENITY - OUT OF THE SHADOW
The last CD which arrived at Metallian Towers in a DVD package was Empyria's Sense Of Mind. Three years later, another West Coast band has used the same ploy and, surprise, the line-up features guitarist Mike Kischnick, he of Empyria. Severed Serenity also features founding guitarist David Bonnycastle whom was last heard of as a member of Warhag.
Severed Serenity was reportedly formed as a death metal band, although the music here is cleanly played and fluently executed heavy metal. The main and gritty vocals are suitable and the music flows well. The guitars are especially fluent in their art and execute interesting and pleasing melodies. The heavy rhythm balances the act. Less appealing are the straight backing vocals. The band is probably trying to appeal to the washed up fad emanating from Gothenburg and other trendier locales. Still, the five songs proper, the instrumental and the cover version are rather good and one can honestly say that the music on Out Of The Shadow is original and impressive in a nonchalant way. Write the Canadian band at 111-321 Whitman Road, Kelowna V1V 1Y6 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali "The Metallian"
BEYOND MORTAL DREAMS - PROMO 2005
The current CD of the Australian band is a compilation of the band's 2004 demo, rehearsal in 2004 and another rehearsal session in 2005. For a total of eleven songs the band goes for the jugular in uncompromising fashion, albeit with mixed sound quality obviously. The bread and butter of the band is swift and speedy death/thrash metal although many of the songs do not have vocals here. The band is reportedly working on a proper album. The demo also supposedly features a couple of cover versions that are completely unrecognizable. The songs with vocals feature some dual-vocals plus heavy growls. the drums are blasting and the direction partly grinding as well. With a proper product in hand Beyond Mortal Dreams can really wreak some havoc. email@example.com or on.to/beyondmortaldreams. - Anna Tergel
EXHAUSTED PRAYER - LOOKS DOWN IN THE GATHERING SHADOW
California's veteran underground dweller Exhausted Prayer is a hell of a beast. The band showcases an efficient and capable beast on its latest demo that figures melody and harmony into its vicious attack. Be it infernal screaming, unrestrained growling, blasting forth or melodic and systematic guitars Exhausted Prayer has figured out a way to deliver it without doubt, trepidation or hesitation. These gentlemen know how to master their instruments and chosen sub-genre and prove so during the course of five songs called, in order, Now Grief, The Noble Lie, The Meaninglessness And Futility Of Existence, Death Of Logic and Logic Of Death (no typos there). One look in the gathering shadow and you will see the thinking man's underground metal. Send $10 to the band through www.exhaustedprayer.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get it all for yourself. - Ali "The Metallian"
DARK ILLUSION - PROMO
Dark Illusion's two-song promotional CD is a precursor to the band's full-length debut and features the songs Night Knight and Weeper Deeper (presumably the Swedes like rhymes and puns). Released through its own Battlefield Records imprint one would expect the promo to be a so-so release. The band was first formed 25 years ago and, at least, would need some time to regain its footing after a period of prolonged absence.
In fact, the two songs are top-notch heavy metal and hard rock specimens embodying almost everything a fan of the genre could wish for. Night Knight is a Classic heavy metal pounder with all the right elements, including soaring vocals, classy and rapid-fire solo and tight rhythm. This is vintage metal that combines power and melody. Weeper Deeper represents the other side of the band which is more similar to '80s hard rock a la Dokken. The tune is noticeably more commercial, but no less competent. Get this CS separately should these songs not make it onto the full-length. - Ali "The Metallian"
DARK ILLUSION - BEYOND THE SHADOWS
Hot on the heels of the band's two-song teaser comes the full-length Beyond The Shadows which surpasses its predecessor in quality. Be it melodic metal, heavy metal or '80s LA metal, these Swedes, featuring former Candlemass singer Thomas Vikström, will not disappoint. The band's name, album title and artwork might hint at darker and more violent material, but trust this review. The demo begins in fine form with the songs Night Knight and Child Of The Night. These are exemplary heavy metal numbers. The third song might customarily be too early for a ballad, but Warrior is just that. Power Of The Evil is more hard rockish and again excellent. Tragedy's main riff is reminiscent of Dio's We Rock, while Leave No Traces is another superlative heavy metal pounder and Sensational Walk could have been a 1985 hit from Dokken. Listen to the vocals, the bass and the guitars - phew!
Dark Illusion is too good a band to remain so obscure. Be it vintage metal, Dokken, early Pretty Maids or just brilliant underground metal that you are into this disc belongs in your collection. Get this through the band's Battlefield Records. E-mail email@example.com. - Ali "The Metallian"
HESS - OPUS 2
Intricately binding of four creative beings expressing magical thought forms into compositional creations that can be heard in Hess-Opus 2. Drawing upon influential aspects of Symphony X, Malmsteen and Dream Theatre with Steve Vai to Joe Satriani's melodic twists Hess musically charters to places most bands within Progressive/Neo Classical metal dare explore. Opus 2 is a technical, yet highly complex, release utilizing classical ambiance to modern day speedy fretboard imagination. Six-string masterminds Tom Hess and Mike Walsh web their thought provoking mastery on tracks Nexuses, Behold and Beyond The Brink. Overall creative merit Opus 2 lands between the worlds of refined classical abilities to metal music ingenuity. Emotionally touching to its heart stopping harmonics Hess discovers worlds not even sought by some. Compelling and dramatic this release speaks volumes. http://www.hess.4t.com - Jussi
T-E-R - PICTURES FROM THE WAR
It is incredible that a band formed only in 2004 can have such a strong compositions already. For a one-year old death and thrash metal group Tyrannic Ethical Reconstruction has solid songs on its demo. There is a theme of war and violence running through the disc. The cover represents this perfectly as do titles like Pure Violence, Terrorist and Bleeds For War. The band has its solid brutal riffs and squeaky solos like very early Exodus. The vocalist(s) uses two techniques as well, although the band and singer Horus are no longer a couple! Visit the band's web site at www.t-e-r.com or e-mail either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. - Anna Tergel
DARKEMIST - MINDSEEK
Here comes another Chilean band courtesy of Chile's Darkemist promo service. For the sake of up front disclosure, the sextet features a keyboardist by the name of Fernanda Manquez, but don't stop reading now. The offender is rarely heard. Instead, the band concentrates on strong riffs, guitars and a loud bass sound. The demo begins with a keyboard intro and it is soon obvious that the band is impressive and above average. A good example is song number two, Kingdom Of My Own (possibly a George Bush quotation), which has good riffs and breaks. Further down the 11-track, 40-minute disc comes the Death-inspired Turning Your Life Into My Hatred and the Slayeresque Face Your guilt. Although the name the band reminds the listener most of is Sweden's Desultory. As a matter of fact, and quite analogous to the Swedes, Darkemist needs to make sure the guitarists use their right hand more consistently and not let the notes die out. This would singlehandedly increase the band's intensity. Otherwise, not much to complain about with this professional band. Either visit www.darkemist.cl or write to firstname.lastname@example.org for information. - Ali "The Metallian"
TWILIGHT ODYSSEY - same
Not really terrible, Twilight Odyssey is nonetheless a weak band which gets worse the more one listens to its full-length CD. At the core of the matter is the biography's contention that "Twilight Odyssey is what 'Classic Metal' is all about." That is the problem, you see. So-called Classic Metal is all about exciting, energetic, fist pumping, action-packed, powerful music. Arguably, Twilight Odyssey presents none of those propositions.
The band's attraction to Iron Maiden and influences is not a secret. The music has a Maiden-esque quality that is unfortunately sabotaged by the buried music, flat range and annoying screeches of the singer Pamela J. Berlinghof and generally weak and monotonous music. The singer, in particular, has mistaken screaming with range and uses every occasion to empty her lungs with nary a thought given to pitch or power. The songs follow a hard rock and heavy metal framework, but are hardly ever spectacular. Of course, given the mix it is difficult to say for sure. Zero Hour has a funny use for keyboards, Near Dark is powerless and has interesting melodies and ends with something Iron Maiden could have written, Plaza De Toros uses a medley from an old song ostensibly to represent the trumpet of the angels and Gettysburg finally arouses some curiosity towards the end of the CD by moving into a direction akin to classic Rainbow. For more information go to www.twilight-odyssey.com or e-mail email@example.com. - Ali "The Metallian"
TRIP ELEMENT - PAIN CREATING PAIN
Rhythm induced melodic metal at its best combining rich style songs with Pantera like spice Trip Element is just that. What this band utilizes is varied sounds based on the listening quality that offers more than most traditional melodic metal bands. One can say an eclectic sound with each track offering an earful of punch where needed especially in regards to vocalist/guitarist Monte Anderson who delivers a strong presence for which can be felt within the recording. Mentioning the minuses of Pain Creating Pain is the tolerant pain duration of over 16 songs well over an hour of music. Such longevity takes away from Trip Element but more than makes up for this aspect with powerfully established songs Silent Song, Axe From God, My Yesterday and Your Sin. Downfall factors that sheds darkness to Trip Element would have to be the use of the dual vocals shared by a washed up version of Pat Benatar for which takes away from the songs that already display power. Though lacking areas that need improvement this energetic band displays potential if they reconsidered what additional elements to their recordings next time. Much like the name Trip Element the music itself it’s a trip to travel indeed. - Jussi
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