NOVEMBERS DOOM’s The Novella Reservoir album will be out on February 20th through The End Records. The band and label-mates AGALLOCH are touring Europe…GOD FORBID was slated to embark on a week long Canadian trek as direct support to PROTEST THE HERO, which would have been the former band’s most extensive run of Canada yet. The opening act for the tour was cancelled as the two bands could not reach an agreement on the details surrounding GOD FORBID’s own tour and its announcement…Candlelight Records has announced January 23rd as the North American release date for ABIGAIL WILLIAMS' Legend. The limited edition 5-song EP is the territory's formal introduction to the Phoenix-based band and coincides with the band’s first national American tour. A full-length is expected next summer…AFM/Candlelight Records has announced January 23rd as the North American release date for DESTRUCTION's Thrash Anthems. The 70-plus minute recording contains thirteen songs from the band's catalogue re-recorded with modern studio enhancements plus two brand new songs to hold fans over until the next studio album expected in early 2008…Norway’s FUNERAL has lost one of its founders. Guitarist Christian Loos was found dead at his apartment on Saturday, October 28th. He was 31 years old...DISBELIEF has parted ways with guitarist Oliver "Olly" Lenz. The group is seeking a replacement. The band’s Navigator album is still due in February through Massacre Records…Germany’s ASSASSIN is working on a new album and seeking a bassist…Eleven years after its original release as a demo tape, OBTEST's Pries Audra mini album is being released again on vinyl with two extra bonuses, recorded this past January. The release is limited to 222 hand-numbered copies…MALEVOLENT CREATION has completed the writing and pre-production demos for 13 songs and will begin the recording of its tenth full-length album, Doomsday X. The album's recording and touring line-up is: Jon Rubin – guitars, Phil Fasciana – guitars, Dave Culross – drums, Jason Blachowicz – bass and singer Brett Hoffmann. Touring starts in Europe in February under The Domination Tour 2007 monicker and features the line-up of ROTTING CHRIST, MALEVOLENT CREATION, CARPATHIAN FOREST, INCANTATION, NEURAXIS and HARM…The title of HELL WITHIN's early 2007 album will be Shadows Of Vanity. The band now features former TRAUMA CONCEPT drummer Derek Jay…SUN DESCENDS has a new line-up and a re-scheduled studio date. Singer Mem Von Stein, has recruited Kristian Shamash on guitars (replacing Sam Awry) and Steve Proios on drums for the band's up-coming, second full-length demo. The position for a bass player is currently filled by session musicians, including Craig "The Reaper" Horval of NUNSLAUGHTER/CRUCIFIED MORTALS until the group finds a permanent replacement for former bassist Jillian A. LaBoy…SACRIFICE frontman/guitarist Rob Urbinati has contributed a guitar solo to the song Dies Irae/The Master Malice of the forthcoming SIGH album Hangman’s Hymn due out in 2007 on The End Records…Tim Yeung of AURORA BOREALIS, HATE ETERNAL and VITAL REMAINS fame will temporarily join ALL THAT REMAINS on tour this month…MARDUK drummer Emil Dragutinovic is the latest member to quit and join ELIZIUM. He is scheduled to complete the drum parts for the former band’s upcoming album however…RED HARVEST has picked A Greater Darkness as the title for its next album, due on February 19th…EVOKEN has signed to a new label called I Hate Records…The following all-star Bay Area thrash line-up has put together a new band called DUBLIN DEATH PATROL: TESTAMENT’s Chuck Billy on vocals, EXODUS’ Steve "Zetro" Souza also on vocals, guitarists Andy Billy, Greg Bustamante and Phil Demmel, bassists Willy Langenhuizen and John Souza, as well as drummer Danny Cunningham. The band is recording an inaugural demo…Norway’s CREST OF DARKNESS is recording its fifth album, Give Us The Power To Do Your Evil, with producer Giuseppe Orlando. Simultaneously, the band has asked guitarist Akke to leave and replaced him with new man Rebo…Ukraine’s FLESHGORE has a demo called Wake Up For Freedom…DEFIANCE guitarist Doug Harrington died of cancer on November 14th. The band is working on a new album and video…Hammy and Lisa Halmshaw, founders of Peaceville Records, have left the label for the second time. Peaceville will be run by Paul Groundwel of parent company Snapper Music…Singer Ski has left DEADLY BLESSING but the band is already seeking a replacement and intends to forge ahead with the reunion…Former DECREPIT BIRTH guitarist Mike Turner was arrested in California last month on child molestation charges…Italy’s HOUR OF PENANCE, which is currently unsigned, has completed work on three new songs, which will be recorded on the 18th of December. The band had issued two albums previously through Xtreem Music…UNLEASHED's Midvinterblot North American Tour 2007 will begin in February and also feature KRISIUN, BELPHEGOR and HATESPHERE…Italian thrashers DYSTOPYA has signed a record deal with the upstart On Dead Sound Records. The band has been active since 2000 and issued a demo called Alameida in that year. An album called Always Remember Me has already been recorded…Swiss band KRUGER has signed with France's Listenable Records. The band's third studio album, Redemption Through Looseness, is being recorded at Belle Fontaine studios in Lausanne, Switzerland and will be mixed by Kurt Ballou at Godcity studios in Salem, Massachusetts…ISO666 has issued DIECOLD’s Rest In Hell CD, which is described as “Old school black metal performed by DUSK members” and the JUDAS ISCARIOT To The Triumph Of Evil Tribute CD featuring band like XASTHUR, LEVIATHAN, KRIEG, NACHTMYSTIUM, MERRIMACK and FROSTMOON ECLIPSE…Displeased Records has issued STRIBORG’s Nefaria/Tragic Journey Towards The Light CD…Southern Lord’s EARTH has finished the recording and mastering of an album tentatively entitled Hibernaculam. The audio material consists of three old songs of the band redone in a “different, stark and clean tone” plus the track A Plague of Angels, which was previously available on a rare tour-only 12”. The album will be a special dual CD/DVD release…Candlelight Records has several new bands on its roster. Norway's THRONE OF KATARSIS will have a full-length release in early 2007. Finland's OMNIUM GATHERUM was previously on Nuclear Blast and will issue the Stuck Here On Snake's Way album in April. Oslo-based PANTHEON I, featuring vocalist/guitarist Andre Kvebek (1349) and guitarist John Espen Sagstad (TROLLFEST/SARKOM) is currently working on a Candlelight debut. Finally, Norway's MANES is near to completing a debut for Candlelight. How The World Came To An End is expected for an early 2007 release as well... INSISION bassist Daniel Ekeroth has published a book about the Swedish death metal scene, simply called Swedish Death Metal…KREATOR and CELTIC FROST will tour Europe together beginning March…OBSCENITY and bassist Alexander Pah have parted ways. The Germans are looking for a replacement…BRUTAL TRUTH has officially regrouped and will maintain a busy touring schedule following several festival appearances in the last few months…The original line-up of SACRED REICH — Phil Rind (vocals and bass), Wiley Arnett (guitar), Jason Rainey (rhythm guitar) and drummer Greg Hall — has reunited for several shows in the US and in Europe next summer, including an appearance at the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany on August 4th, 2007…IN AETERNUM has dropped its label, Poland’s Agonia Records, and accused it of being a scam…DERANGED has recruited bassist Tomas Ahlgren of ARSONIST and PANDEMONIUM…Gore metal band IMPETIGO will reform for a one-off show at the Central Illinois Metalfest, on July 20 and 21st at the Canopy Club in Urbana, Illinois…Finland’s DEATHCHAIN recently cancelled its Helsinki show due to illness on the part of guitarist B. Undertaker.
DOMAIN has recruited vocalist Chity Somapala (ex-FIREWIND, AVALON and FARO) and bassist Steven Wussow (of SHYLOCK). The band released its 20th anniversary album, called Stardawn, only last month…HEAVEN AND HELL — the new band featuring Dio alongside original BLACK SABBATH members Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward — will likely headline next year's Monsters Of Rock festival in Europe...WINGER is releasing its first album in over a decade. The founding members of WINGER, Kip Winger (bass/vocals), Reb Beach (guitar), Rod Morgenstein (drums), have reunited for their fourth record, Winger IV. WINGER is joined by John Roth (guitars/vocals) a member since 1993’s Pull album and newcomer Cenk Eroglu (keyboards/vocals)…Due to irreconcilable differences, Lance King will no longer be singing with PYRAMAZE. King will continue to sing for AVIAN and run Nightmare Records…Spain’s DARK MOOR has signed a deal with Scarlet Records. The band’s next album is called Tarot and will be a concept about the major arcanes of the tarot. The album is due in March. Simultaneously, the band and drummer Andy C. have parted ways due to "scheduling conflicts" with the drummer’s other musical projects. His replacement is one Roberto Cappa who has previously played in the Spanish metal band ANIMA SOLA…A HEAVY PETTIN’ video called Pettology is now out. It contains the band's first two albums Lettin Loose and Rock Ain't Dead. It also contains the band's live gig at The Astoria in London (DVD) and the live CD of the show. Next month will bring the Prodigal Sons unreleased material CD…BACKWASH’s Kickass album is now out through Perris Records…Metal Heaven Records has inked a deal with ROAD TO RUIN, the Swedish band consisting of Matti Alfonzetti (vocals; JAGGED EDGE, THE POODLES, SKINTRADE), Lars Chriss (guitar; LION'S SHARE); Sampo Axelsson (bass and keyboards; GLENN HUGHES, LION'S SHARE), and Thomas Broman (drums; GREAT KING RAT, JOHN NORUM, GLENN HUGHES). An album is due next spring…Former CHIMAIRA/SOILWORK drummer Richard Evensand is currently in the studio recording drums for the comeback album by Swedish band LION'S SHARE…BATTLELORE's fourth album, entitled Evernight, is almost complete. The new album includes ten tracks and is due in March, 2007…FAITH AND FIRE, featuring current and former RIOT personnel Mike Flyntz and Tony Moore, has signed to Metal Heaven. The band’s Accelerator album will be issued in Europe in January through the label…IRON MAIDEN and its manager Rod Smallwood have left the Sanctuary Records Management roster. The band will still be signed to Sanctuary Music in the USA…LA-VENTURA is a new Dutch metal band which features former ORPHANAGE drummer Erwin Polderman. The band has signed a deal with Razar Ice Records and will issue an album next winter…Former CHASTAIN singer Kate French will issue an album called Vainglory by her band of the same name next spring. A label is being sought. Rebellion Records will re-issue the band’s demo…VIXEN's new album, entitled Live & Learn, has just been issued through Demolition Records. The band has had to cancel a European tour however following the promoter’s decision to back out of the organization…Locomotive Music has issued DIONYSUS' Fairytales And Reality album on Tuesday, November 7th…Dusty Watson, who has previously played for SUPERSUCKERS and LITA FORD, will drum for RHINO BUCKET until a full-time replacement for the departed Jackie Enx is found…Singer Wade Black has quit LEATHERWOLF in order to concentrate on his family and job. He has initiated a new band called BLACK REIGN, which will allow him to remain local and record his solo material…Norway’s GRIFFIN has signed to Burning Star Records for two albums. The band’s next album is called The Ultimate Demise and due in May…The much maligned power metal band MALICE has reformed and again features the guitarists Mick Zane, Jay Reynolds and Mark Behn, as well as Pete Holmes (BLACK 'N BLUE and MICHAEL SCHENKER) on drums. The group is now fronted by one Brian Allen…IN FLAMES has brought back guitarist Niklas Engelin of GARDENIAN to fill in for Jesper Strömblad who is dealing with some “personal issues” at the moment. Engelin served time with the band in 1998. Furthermore, Henrik Danhage from EVERGREY will replace Björn Gelotte who will also stay home to watch his wife give birth… BALTIMOORE performed on the Swedish TV show Nyhetsmorgon on November 15th in support of its tenth album, entitled X. The band recently parted ways with guitarist Thomas Larsson and bassist Weine Johansson…ARMORED SAINT singer John Bush has landed a gig doing voiceover work in commercials for Burger King. No word about his cholesterol count…CRADLE OF FILTH has recruited Czech drummer Marthus (a.k.a Martin Škaroupka) to replace Adrian Erlandsson who departed to focus on his own band NEMHAIN…Guitarist Joe Dougherty has left THE GREEN EVENING REQUIEM due to musical differences. The band will be performing at this year's Black X-Mass in Toronto on Saturday December 23rd…Stick It! is the title of latest CD by FUNNY MONEY, which includes former members of KIX. The CD was mixed by producer Beau Hill who also produced the KIX album Midnite Dynamite…Perris Records has signed SEQUEL, featuring bassist Todd Jensen who has worked with David lee Roth and Alice Cooper in the past. The band’s album is entitled Back and due in January. The label has also signed AOR band BLIND ALLEY…Century Media has signed Seattle’s HIMSA…HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE has a new line-up. Original drummer Chewy has returned to the fold. Furthermore, Patrick Goodwin (of DIRTY POWER) is playing guitar and assuming duties as the male lead vocalist. Jesse Quattro (SECRET CHIEFS 3 AND CARNICERIA) is the new female vocalist...Magic Circle Music has announced the signing of the German heavy metal act MAJESTY to a management contract…Season Of Mist will issue ROTTING CHRIST's Theogonia album on January 22nd…The Greek metal band FIREWIND is set to make its U.S. debut at ProgPower USA, which takes place in Atlanta on October 5-6, 2007…PHD Canada will issue the new SINNER album Mask Of Sanity in Canada, USA and Mexico. The CD will be released on The Foundry which is one of PHD Canada’s imprints and has a street date of January 30th 2007…ABYSMAL DAWN was added to the GRAVE/DISMEMBER tour of North America which was subsequently cancelled…Southern Lord artists THE HIDDEN HAND have put the finishing touches to their next album, The Resurrection Of Whiskey Foote. It features the line-up that recorded the 2005 EP Devoid Of Color of Scott Weinrich (Guitars, Vocals), Bruce Falkinburg (Bass) and drummer Evan Tanner…Former HELIX Guitarist Brent Doerner’s new band DECIBEL has issued an independent album…SKID ROW has cancelled a string of North American dates with rumours blaming poor ticket sales as the culprit…FEAR FACTORY and Liquid 8 Records have parted ways. The band is competing with ANTHRAX for number of labels it has been dropped from…CRYSTAL BALL has signed a deal with MTM Music…DESTINY has been left without a frontman following the departure of singer Kristoffer.
THE LIZARDS – AGAINST ALL ODDS
It is not often that a disc like Against All Odds creeps into Metallian Towers. Completely anachronistic in every respect - from the music and arrangements to the recording and the band’s apparel – The Lizards’ newest independent full-length is one for lovers of organic music better associated with the ‘70s. While probably not aimed at the metal community, these hard rock veterans have nonetheless fashioned a release chock full of groove, rock, hard rock, funk and boogie of accomplished degree. The disc has a sedate and moody disposition. The disc’s best track is probably My Dark Angel, although depending on individual tastes song after song has something to say. Among the approximately 65 minutes and 12 tracks the band fits in a short instrumental, a song called Revelation No. 9 which smacks of Rush, a jam track called Take The Fall and plenty of soulful music. That latter style should come as no surprise given the presence of Glenn Hughes on four tracks. Not only has the famed solo artist and former Deep Purpler contributed vocals to the four songs, but has also lent a hand by arranging the same tracks.
Against All Odds is the rare breed of modern retro discs that goes all out and delivers in a style reminiscent of The Firm, Bad Company and Deep Purple. The packaging is complete and professional as is the band’s recording and musical presentation. – Ali “The Metallian”
EMPATHY DENIED – DEMO 2006
Empathy Denied is the demonstration disc of several veteran Montreal musicians, Steven Henry of Neuraxis and Yan Chamberland and Eric Fiset of Obscene Crisis. The band is nothing but brutal and true to the members’ death metal past. Neuraxis anyway has always traded in underground brutality and heaviness. The music is thick and reminiscent of Misery Index and Dying Fetus (minus the solos) and the vocals of Fiset powerful and deep. The screams add a lot of variety to the tracks, although Empathy Denied never shows any sympathy for fans of commercial signatures. He only twist is the band’s pro-environment lyrics and green concept. Life metal anyone? For more information, please visit www.empathydenied.com. – Anna Tergel
HUNGRY GHOST – Same
I just found a CD in the mail the other day – and it was from the North Carolina-based punk band Hungry Ghost. The band plays the classic British style of punk, very much in the tradition of the Anti-Nowhere League. American followers of that sound like the Dropkick Murphys are also an influence, but their folk elements are entirely missing on this CD.
The album’s highlights are the songs Bill Of Rights, Bush Knew, Merovingian Line and Mr. President, with an imitation of Arnold Schwarzenegger where he says that the U.S. constitution needs to be changed so that he can become President. It’s too bad that there is no lyric sheet, as the songs seem to be highly political and critical of the Bush regime. The sound is not very clear, but that is o.k. for that kind of music. Fans of traditional punk should check this out. The band’s myspace domain is http://www.myspace.com/hungryghostband. - Andreas Herzog
MIDNIGHT IDÖLS – WE RULE THE NIGHT
Despite the band’s boisterous claims to understand the essence of heavy metal and meaning to restore the name to its former glory, one could be forgiven for being wary of a Seattle-based band manned by former and current punk rockers. So, a bunch of punk rock old hands mean to bring heavy metal out of the gutter and remind us of the term’s roots?
Midnight Idöls has all the edge, power and speed a true metal fan would want. Taking cues from the NWOBHM days, the Seattleites produce a sharp sound packed with leads, screechy guitars, energy and attitude. The band reminds one of the old French heroes Warning, with singer Diamond C coming close to one Paul Di’Anno in the latter’s heyday. The singer means business, as do the rhythm and lead guitars. Light Of The Crimson Moon has great heavy riff, although the band’s focus is on speedy and up-tempo numbers. The one weaker track is Helltrain with its sliding guitar arrangement. The drums also need to step up a notch. Even the songs’ themes hearken back to the ‘80s with titles like We Rule The Night, Nihilistic Angel and Bright Lights, City Dreams.
Midnight Idöls does not let in breaks between songs, which is the way it should be. Old French heavy metal, NWOBHM, early Iron Maiden and Guns ‘N Roses influences are all here and make for a crazy demo. For information, visit www.myspace.com/idols or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali “The Metallian”
BROCK – Same
California’s Brock is a one-man song-writing machine that cites his influences as Alice In Chains, Hank Williams Jr. and Motley Crüe. This seven-song demo is recorded with the aid of three other local musicians. The music on offer is decidedly low-key and the vocals of Brock himself contribute a sense of despair to the songs reminiscent of the grunge days. The song writing doesn’t offer much in terms of originality and many of the riffs and songs do indeed fit well on an Alice In Chains album or other similar releases of that era. The lyrics seem to fit that mould too with verses like ‘I won’t take shit from anyone’ and ‘Not going to let you tell me who I am’. Contact Brock at www.myspace.com/brockmusic1 - Anna Tergel
YDIN – SILVOTTUNA JA HAPAISTYNA
Northern Finland’s Ydin are unlike 99% of their country-mates. For one thing this, their second release, recorded over four days, is fast, heavy and it is unquestionably death metal. The opener, Inho, is not unlike a Deranged song since it is heavy, fast and aggressive all at once. Verivaltias is like a storm of fresh air, more death metal the way it should be with a few technical riffs thrown in as well. Kylma Ydin doesn’t let up and blasts its way through the speakers and the band even manage the difficult task of making the slower and heavier segments, ala Amon Amarth, fit well around the faster parts. No.1 (Pt.2) is more than just an amusing song title as the song is an excellent example of how to damage the listeners’ ears. Ikuinen closes this 16-minute release and features more of the vocal talents of Punishment, guitars of Ahmis and Kangas, bass of P.Massacre and the drums of Ydin’s newest member Kuusisalo. Watch for two bonus live videos and other extras on the CD. Contact this great find at email@example.com or at www.ydinband.com - Anna Tergel
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