Metallian Heavy

ENTHRONED has signed a two-album deal with Agonia Records. The band’s next album, Obsidium, will be released in early 2012. Elsewhere, ENTHRONED’s touring guitarist Tzelmoth has quit the band.

Horror Pain Gore Death Productions will release the debut album from Philadelphia death metal band FISTHAMMER, entitled Devour All You See, on CD on January 24th.

DYING FETUS has announced Reign Supreme as the title for its next album, which is due in the summer through Relapse Records. The album is currently being recorded at Wrightway Studio in Baltimore with producer Steve Wright.

DEMONICAL has parted ways with drummer Ronnie Bergerståhl and replaced him with Fredrik Widigs.

33 Polish bands will take part in a charity tour, called Covan Wake The Fuck Up Tour 2012, in January to help former DECAPITATED singer Adrian “Covan” Kowanek who was injured in a bus accident in 2007.

Bassist Youri Raymond has left CRYPTOPSY. He apparently wanted to return to guitar and will focus on his band UNHUMAN.

FDA Rekotz has signed Spain’s GRUESOME STUFF RELISH. The label has plans to release the band’s next full-length album on CD and vinyl in the Spring of 2012.

Female-fronted band WYKKED WYTCH has signed with Goomba Music for the release of its upcoming fifth full-length album, The Ultimate Deception, in February.

HYPNO5E has a new CD called Acid Mist Tomorrow.

Pulverised Records has signed U.K.’s deathcrust band WINDS OF GENOCIDE. An album is due in 2012.

ONSLAUGHT has recruited drummer Michael “Mic” Hourihan (EXTREME NOISE TERROR). He has been touring with the band since March. The band is touring USA and Canada next March and April.

Inspired by KEEL? The returning EXUMER has signed with Metal Blade Records. The band’s first album since the ‘80s, Fire & Damnation, will be released in April. The album was recorded with producer Waldemar Sorychta.

ANTHRAX, TESTAMENT and DEATH ANGEL will play US concerts in January and February beginning in Las Vegas. The bands played the first legs of the show earlier in the autumn of 2011.

Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH joined his former band-mates METALLICA on stage on Saturday, December 10th at the fourth and final show at the Fillmore as part of the week-long celebration of the 30th anniversary as a band for fan club members only. MERCYFUL FATE members King Diamond (vocals), Hank Shermann and Michael Denner (guitars) and Timi Hansen (bass) also joined METALLICA on stage on December 7th.

LENG TCH’E has lost drummer Tony Van den Eynde and replaced him with an Olivier Coppens.

Former members of Finnish bands OVERSTRAIND, TARPITORCHESTRA and REQUIEM have formed a new modern metal band called TORA. The band’s demo is called New Anatomy.

Japanese weirdo band SIGH will release its next album, In Somniphobia, in March through Candlelight Records.

Former GORGOROTH members GOD SEED’s Live At Wacken DVD and CD will be released on January 27th through Indie Recordings.

Sweden’s SKINEATER’s debut album, Dermal Harvest, is scheduled for an early 2012 release through Pulverised Records.

MUNICIPAL WASTE has completed its fifth studio album, The Fatal Feast, and will release it in March through Nuclear Blast Records.

Former ANNIHILATOR bassist Dave Sheldon, former DARKEST HOUR guitarist Kris Norris (also of STRAIGHT LINE STITCH) and former DARKEST HOUR drummer Ryan Parrish have a new band called A CANCEROUS AFFAIR. Ryan Parrish was just replaced with Timothy Java (DEAD TO FALL).

And because Satan is materialistic after all: Norwegian black metal band 1349 has joined with Anti Denim company’s designer Karoline Bakken Lund to design and manufacture handmade jeans as part of the Custom Made collection. The jeans cost upwards of $500.

NAGLFAR has completed work on its sixth album, Téras, which will be out in March through Century Media. Drums-for-hire Dirk Verbeuren plays on the album.

David Gold of Canadian doom band WOODS OF YPRES was killed on December 21st in an accident near Barrie. WOODS OF YPRES’ new album, Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light, will be released on January 31st through Earache Records.

BLOOD RED THRONE has lost singer Osvald “Vald” Egeland and bassist Erlend Caspersen and replaced them with Yngve Bolt Christiansen (GODDAMN) and Ole Bent Madsen (HORIZON ABLAZE) respectively.

Last month AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED released a holiday EP, called Make A Joyful Noise, as a free download.

ALL SHALL PERISH has canceled its participation in the Get Infected European tour for “personal reasons.”

Metallian Hard

THRESHOLD has announced March Of Progress as the title for its new album, which is due In March through Nuclear Blast Records. The album features original vocalist Damian Wilson who rejoined the band in 2007 following the departure of Andrew "Mac" McDermott. Mac died last year. Band members Karl Groom and Richard West are producing.

MUSTASCH has lost drummer Danne McKenzie due to, you guessed it, personal differences.

The reformed MALICE has signed with SPV.

Düsseldorf, Germany keyboard ‘metal’ band ELMSFIRE has signed a deal with Massacre Records. The band's full-length debut, Thieves Of The Sun, will be released on February 24th.

Hello L.A. GUNS and lawsuits: there is a whole new GREAT WHITE lead by singer Jack Russell called GREAT WHITE FEATURING JACK RUSSELL. In the band are Matthew Johnson, former guitarist for GREAT WHITE and Robby Lochner, former guitarist for HALFORD, Dario Seixas former bassist for FIREHOUSE and the STEPHEN PEARCY and Derrick Pontier former drummer for GREAT WHITE. The other members of the original line-up are touring as… GREAT WHITE with singer Terry Ilous of XYZ. The latter incarnation disputes Russell’s permission to use the ‘GREAT WHITE’ name and accuses him of being a victim of drug use and ill as a result.

Just two months after recruiting Dilana Robichaux as the band's singer, L.A. GUNS has already parted ways with the former Rock Star: Supernova reality-TV show participant and has replaced her with former BLACKLIST UNION singer Tony West.

DUFF MCKAGAN'S LOADED, featuring ex-GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan, opened for GUNS N' ROSES in Seattle and Vancouver in December. GUNS N' ROSES will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on April 14th, 2012 in Cleveland.

IRON SAVIOR’s new album, The Landing, is out on January 17th through AFM Records.

Weekly CLOVEN HOOF line-up change report: singer Russ North is back. Ash Cooper is out for now.

PARADOX has parted ways with Greek guitarist Gus Drax "due to personal reasons."

James McVay, the criminal who slashed the throat of a 75-year-old South Dakota nurse, claims that he became involved with a "cult" called the ‘Black Label Society’ which he claims was founded by Zakk Wylde, who also fronts a band of the same name. The man had concocted a plan to kill US president Obama.

LILLIAN AXE, with Brian Jones on vocals, has signed with AFM Records. The band's next album, XI: The Days Before Tomorrow will be released on January 27th.

CIRCLE II CIRCLE, featuring former SAVATAGE frontman Zak Stevens, has booted guitarist Rollie Feldmann and drummer Johnny Osborn and replaced them respectively with the returning Andy Lee and new man Jayson Moore. A new album called Seasons Will Fall is due next summer.

Inspired by KEEL? ELECTRIC BOYS has been booked for next year's edition of the Sweden Rock Festival scheduled for June 6th to 9th in Sölvesborg Sweden.

ELUVEITIE will release a new album, Helvetios, on February 10th through Nuclear Blast Records.

RAGE is at the Twilight Hall Studio in Grefrath, Germany recording its 21st studio album, entitled 21, which is due in February through Nuclear Blast Records.

AFM Records has announced that Motion, ALMAH's third full-length album, will be available in North American on January 17th, 2012.

Rock The Nation touring Agency has come to North America through Maurizio Iacono of EX DEO and KATAKLYSM. Century Media America will provide marketing support when booking bands and for the roster.

Uppsala, Sweden-based doom metal outfit ANGUISH will release its debut full-length album, Through The Archdemons Head, through Dark Descent Records in February, 2012, with vinyl treatment coming later in the year.

TANK will record its first live DVD. The band featuring Mick Tucker and Cliff Evans on guitar alongside ex-RAINBOW/YNGWIE MALMSTEEN frontman Doogie White, ex-BRUCE DICKINSON bassist Chris Dale and ex-HELLOWEEN/FIREWIND drummer Mark Cross will record a show on March, 9th in Stodola Club in Warsaw Poland.

MANOWAR has cancelled its Forces Of Metal Festival appearance. According to the band, the festival organizer's failure to pay the band’s advance money meant MANOWAR's headlining performance at Forces Of Metal Festival on June 8th 2012 was officially canceled.

MANOWAR lawsuit? BLAZE BAYLEY is working on an album, called The King Of Metal, due in April. A European headlining tour in support of the album will begin in March in Belgium.

Candlelight Records has announced February 28th as the release date for the self-titled new album from CORROSION OF CONFORMITY. Recorded at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 in Los Angeles, the album was produced by the band in cooperation with long-time collaborator John Custer.

LANFEAR has signed a deal with Pure Steel Records. The band's sixth album, This Harmonic Consonance, will be released on February 24th.

DESTINY is at DRS studio recording its 30th-anniversary album, The Incompatibility Of Philosophical Terminology, for a late 2012 release. The band had announced an album called Global Warming, but has postponed that recording.

Both current and former members of DOKKEN, guitarist George Lynch, bassist Jeff Pilson and drummer Mick Brown, have formed a new project called TOOTH AND NAIL. The band is named after DOKKEN’s 1984 album and is in the studio recording an album featuring both new material as well as new version of DOKKEN’s Alone Again (from the Tooth And Nail album) featuring Sebastian Bach, Ripper Owens and Doug Pinnick (KING'S X) on various songs’ vocals. The album is due in 2012.

The Dutch VENGEANCE will release a new album, entitled Crystal Eye, on February 24th through SPV/Steamhammer. It was produced by Michael Voss.

MÖTLEY CRÜE singer Vince Neil has told Las Vegas Sun that he is contemplating departing from the band to pursue other opportunities. The band has shows booked this February. The band itself has discussed its retirement plans.

Singer Robin McAuley and guitarist Michael Schenker have reunited in MSG for the first full tour in 20 years. MSG is touring in support of the Temple Of Rock album this winter in both Canada and USA.

MOONSPELL has signed a worldwide contract with Napalm Records. The band's new album, whose initials are A.N., is due this spring.

IRON SAVIOR founder Piet Sielck has left SAVAGE CIRCUS to focus on his main band.

Keyboards and metal. Ha?

Metallian Demos

Thankfully, the band’s biography includes several exaggerations and falsehoods. Why ‘thankfully’? In this case, it is a good thing since it misrepresents the band.
In went the CD into my player and what came out was unbridled and undefiled death metal with no skill or power left wanting. Nephelium is undoubtedly serious, competent and structured to maim. The vocals are alternately guttural, deep or even screaming. The drummer has a bottom-heavy sound that smashes the enemy to smithereens and the guitarist, in particular, is a skilled axe wielder that understands metal. In heavy metal, the guitar is meant to be razor-sharp, fast, heavy and dynamic. James and Alex of Nephelium keep up the action by mixing things up including rhythm changes, speed changes, licks, tremolo and other tools of the trade (done right). Want death metal done, right? Get Coils Of Entropy. Peculiarly, my choice tracks Hellborne, Halls Of Judgement and the title track, come towards the end. With the sound being full, it is only the disc's amateurish cover - including the blue and green and the boys in shorts - that lets the whole package down.
Back to the biography, which informs one that the band’s origins are the Kingdom of Dubai and scare the reader needlessly. Why? Every band thus far from that region of the world has wimped things up by indeed including Arabic rhythms, oriental medleys, assorted stupidities and such. The last Middle Eastern band that came through the raised portcullis at Metallian Towers was a typical My Dying Bride clone and was duly burned in a bonfire. In fact, the band is now Canadian-based. Nephelium is referred to as having “Arabian melodies: which would compel a true metal fan to ignore the act with derision. Metallian readers would be gratified to learn that the band is not ethnic, folk, wussy or any such things and is indeed right for fans of actual death metal. Only a solo at the disc’s end hints at anything Near Eastern. Visit the band at or e-mail – Ali “The Metallian”

Su Ta Gar is a Spanish band with Basque lyrics. The current disc sounds like a modern version of traditional heavy metal, which is not odd since according to the biography the group has been around since 1987. Yes, the band is 25 years old! Whatever propels the band to keep going must be powered by metal. Seriously, ehem.
The disc begins with a short Latin sounding track but it is next that the group’s Iron Maiden influence and thoroughly metal tradition kicks in. Pitzia is the song and is pretty wonderful metal. The Basque words are not as rhythmic to ears accustomed to English, but it could be that the language is not metal-suitable as well. And for more songs with ‘Z’ in them check out: Bizi (a Sepultura-esque hard track), Zain, Zure Zain (Which like Beti Tente Eta Tinko is slower and a step back) and of course the more metallic album closer Ametsak Pilatzen. On a technical note, the rhythm guitar is somewhat missing, but the producer has given the band a commanding drum sound. The leads and guitars are not far behind. Here is something different: or e-mail: - Anna Tergel