Metallian Heavy

Deathwitch reports that a new line-up is ready to record a new album entitled Deathfuck Ritual. While no label is chosen, some tracks are Satanic Orgasm Abyss, Only Death and Evil Fertilizer...Nuclear Blast has indefinitely postponed the release of its announced Dissection live CD/video...Bart van Wallenberg has vacated the guitar position in Sinister for personal reasons. The band is looking for an immediate replacement for the Creative Killings tour...Colombia's Goretrade has signed to Repulse and will release a full length there mid-2002. Out now is Corpsefuckinart on Coagulated Records and a split CD with Carnal on Supreme Musick...Gothenburg's Runemagick has signed with Aftermath Music. Requiem Of The Apocalypse, the band's next album is being produced by Andy LaRocque for a 2002 release...Thorium has spent the entire January in Vader's Red House Studio (Pol.) to record its next album entitled Unleashing The Demons. The band will tour Europe with Withering Surface and Iniquity in the summer...Internal Suffering is now on Displeased Records. The Dutch label should release the band's Chaotic Matrix CD any day now...Martyr AD had to leave The Haunted US tour in December after a mere three shows because of troubles with their van...Diabolic were refused entry into Canada in December when the band arrived at the border as part of their tour with Enslaved...Aborym has signed to Code 666...Dark Fortress will enter Grieghallen Studio this May to record the follow up to Tales From Eternal Dusk. Red Stream will release the Profane Genocidal Creations CD in the autumn...Prophecy Productions reports that Orplid's Nächtliche Jünger is complete and will appear shortly...Mayhem's Blasphemer is recording a solo album for Seasons Of Mist due in the summer...Steve Tucker has now officially left Morbid Angel. His temporary replacement, Jared Anderson of Hate Eternal, will continue with the Floridians...Birdflesh's next album is called Night Of The Ultimate Mosh...Crash Music (formerly Pavement) has licensed Sanatorium's Internal Womb Cannibalism for the US market. The band is also planning a trip to the Ohio Death Fest 2002...American death metal band Iranach has signed to Supreme Musick...Despite aggressive treatment Chuck Schuldiner of Death/Control Denied died of his cancer at 16:00 EST on 13.12.2001...Anal Cunt called it a day and broke up as of December 21, 2001. The band's last show was in Massachusetts and anyone who wishes to write can still contact them at The Woods will release a live album this spring as a post mortem of sorts...Teenage Giallo Grind is the title for the forthcoming Gruesome Stuff Relish album. Hailing from Spain the band is touted as influenced by Necrony...Aghora is in the studio recording its album Formless for Code 666...Colombia's Warhymns Records has release the tape version of Evil Incarnate's Blackest Hymns Of God's Disgrace. The label has also made Nunslaughter's live CD Devil Metal and Nameless' Dirge album available. Speaking of Evil Incarnate, Morbid Records says the band is touring US and Mexico and has recruited Disinter's Xion to record its new album tentatively called Waiting For His Return...Impaled Nazarene has a new 7' called To Fuck Off And Die...Lord Gore's The Autophagous Orgy is due this March on Razorback Records. The label has also announced the delayed Impaled/Haemorrhage CD for later in 2002...Following four months of back and forth discussions Broken Hope has 'negotiated a termination of contract' with Martyr Music and is now free to move ahead with the recording of its next album Flesh Mechanic...Illdisposed has replaced drummer Rolf with Thomas Sølvkæde Muskelbuks who has not been active in any bands for the last five years...Ireland's Abaddon Incarnate is playing the Fuck The Commerce Festival in Berlin in May. The band's Nadir album is now out...Brazil's Mystifier has announced a tour of Europe for all of July of this year...Holland's Pernicious is in studio recording a third album. The album will feature seven songs and be faster than the older material...Diabolicum has re-signed with Code 666 for two more albums...Evoke is busy writing for a MCD due this April...Lord Of Beneath, the forthcoming Unlord album, will be the act's farewell album...Taetre has signed to Mighty Music. Divine Misanthropic Madness CD is due in September...Serberus has signed to Crash Music...Coming soon on Candlelight are Source Of Tide's Blueprints, Centinex's Diabolical Desolation (Johan Ahlberg of Subdive has now joined the band), Insomnium's In The Halls Of Awaiting and and a new album by Kaamos. The label has also secured the European rights for the next Incantation CD due in April. The latter band is taking Acheron and Infernal Poetry on tour throughout Europe in February and March...Boston crossover band Overcast is returning for a show at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival due April 5 and 6 in Worchester, MA. USA. The band features the current vocalist of Shadows Fall Brian Fair...Upcoming releases from Blackend Records are: Eclipse's Act Of Degradation debut full length, Skymning's Artificial Supernova CD, a new album from Thy Primordial called The Crowning Carnage and the sixth edition of Blackend sampler...Thorium has entered Exponent Studio in Slovakia to record Unleashing The Demons albums...Hammerheart Records has signed Septic Flesh. The band will enter Studio Fredman in May and hopes to release its album in October...Death To Mankind Records has released Axis Of Advance's Strike album. The former Sacramentary Abolishment and Conqueror Canadians are described as 'militant black metal.' The LP and CD versions feature different art. The label is also releasing Spear Of Longinus' Nada Brahma / Nazi Occult Metal12' imminently...Lugubrum has finished writing for De Vette Cuecken and expects to record in the summer...Dutch heavy metallers Goddess Of Desire were involved in a serious accident in Germany. While the band survived a traveling writer was killed in the accident...Australia's Gospel Of The Horns has added a second guitarist to the lineup named Masochist...Biomechanical has resumed the recording of its debut album Eight Moons due in April...Code 666 has signed Manes and Atrox...Band member The Necromaniac reports that Apocalyptic Raids has changed its name to Apokalyptic Raids (with a 'k') and recruited Farscape's Pedro Rocha Skullcrusher on drums. The band is recording eight songs for a mid-year release and has a split 7' with Gravewurm on Iron Bonehead Records...Eternal Darkness has finished work on a new album called Valley Of The Kings. The album, the first for Element Records, is due late spring...Amon Amarth have been forced to discontinue their US tour as of 31.01.2002. After the earlier loss of headliners Marduk to visa problems, the tour was not feasible...loss ofTo/Die/For drummer Tommi Lilman is recording a solo album with help from friends in Waltari and Sentenced...Angel Dust's Of Human Bondage will be released on March 5...Gurthang has lost the services of drummer Myvatn and keyboardist Enuresor. The duo will nonetheless record The Irony of Death CD with the band...Wilko Reijnders (formerly Fadeless and Hammerheart) has set up Unique Leader Europe and will promote and release that label's music in Europe. Upcoming releases are: Disgorge's Consuming The Forsaken and Severed Savior's CD. Severed Savior's guitarist Rob Lumbre was killed on January 5th due to a car accident...Dutch thrashers Mortuary I.O.D. are releasing a full length album entitled Distorted Massacre: Fear The Madness imminently...Grey Skies Fallen's second album will be out shortly on Maelstrom Music. Mike Kimock of Corrupture (also the other band of Pessimist singer/bassist Reaper) replaces John Grden on the drum stool in Pessimist. Grden will continue with True Unholy Death...Machetazo's Trono De Huesos is done and will be out shortly through Razorback...Hollenthon is touring Europe with Siebenbürgen and will also play Wacken in the summer...Just in time for the new album Hatefuel, Internal Bleeding has a new singer (replacing Mike Lolito) in the form of ex-Bodyfarm (who called it a day recently) vocalist Jerry Lowe. The band is playing select shows...

Metallian Hard

Edgerunner Records has signed Larvik, Norway's Absolute Steel and will release its double CD The Fair Bitch Project in April. The band specializes in outrageous shows and titles...Overkill has signed with Spitfire Records. The first release under the new banner will be a live album this spring with a full length to follow in the autumn...Rhapsody's Alex Holzwarth is drumming for Kamelot on the current European tour.. Casey Grillo is still in the band...The current line-up of Jag Panzer is releasing a newly-played compilation of the band's older music culled from the Tyrants EP, Ample Destruction and Dissident Alliance. The band will also have a live DVD for Christmas...Germany's Primal Fear is finishing the recording of its next album at Sonic Ranch Studio in Texas. Due in April, Black Sun features songs like We Go Down and Mind Control. A limited edition covers MCD called Horrorscope is available now from the band...Michael Schenker has teamed up with Marty Friedman to record an album under the Thank II moniker...In a recent interview, Sadus' Steve DiGiorgio - partly responding to Jon Schaeffer's comments on DiGiorgio - called Iced Earth an 'Iron Maiden cover band'. The bassist also expressed his hope that the he and the other members of Control Denied can complete the Control Denied album without Chuck Schuldiner...Iron Maiden's forthcoming Live At Rock In Rio 2001 CD/video is now due out in April. The band is also getting together for two special shows in support of former drummer Clive Burr who has Multiple Sclerosis. To be held On March 20 and 21 at the Brixton Academy in London, the shows will be the band's only 2002 appearances...Seth's Divine-X is now due in March...Mess Age has signed to Conquer Records. The Polish band's album is due in April...New York doom metal band Winter is reforming and playing a comeback show this May in NYC...Featuring new singer Apollo, Meduza's new album Now And Forever has been completed. The band is seeking a record contract...Angra, with producer Dennis Ward, is recording a new MCD. The band is also participating in a Led Zeppelin covers CD with Kashmir...Kurz, the bassist for Sick Of Society, has left the band due to financial difficulties. The band is writing new songs as a replacement is being sought...Montreal's Porno Coma has lost its singer and is searching for a new front man...Anthrax who recently suffered some headaches for their web site's obvious address, have ended work on their coming album Take Back The Music at NY's Bear Tracks Studios. The band's web site was hacked recently by a group claiming to be Christian. Some tracks will be Superhero, What Doesn't Die and Strap On my Mind..Night In Gales has unilaterally left Massacre Records because that label refused to pay for tour support or do promotion...Not only is Diamond Head releasing an acoustic MCD featuring several of the band's best songs, but the original line up is rehearsing for a new album possibly produced by Dave Mustaine...Century Media publicist Loana Valencia is the new singer for Dreams Of Damnation. The band will enter the studio with Bill Metoyer this spring to record an album for Necropolis Records...Majestic Union Records is releasing a Poison (Germany) CD featuring old eighties demo and MLP recordings. Further Down The Abyss is due in the spring. The label has also released Mortuary Oath's Once Upon A Dreary...'96 CD which features Angelkill's singer Blakk...Brett Hoffmann has been fired from Malevolent Creation (again!) for drug use and is replaced by former singer Kyle Symons (again!). The band's European tour is not affected...The End Records has licensed progressive metal band Wolverine's MCD Fervent Dream and Squealer's (German thrash) Under The Cross for America...Former Stigmata drummer Jason Bittner has completed the Shadows Fall line up...California thrashers Brick Bath have signed a deal with Pavement/Crash Music. Said label will re-release the band's independent CD in February...The come back House Of Lords album is back on track for this autumn - without the major label. The album will appear on Frontiers Records...Italy's Kaledon, who describe themselves as Fantasy Metal, will release a debut CD called Legend Of The Forgotten Reign Chapter 1: The Destruction in March...Anvil's next album is due in April and is entitled Still Going Strong...Slayer have replaced Paul Bastoph with original drummer Dave Lombardo. The replacement is temporary but the loss of Bastoph due to a persistent hand injury is permanent. Bostaph is in Systematic now which were signed to the now-defunct Music Company of Lars Ulrich. Lombardo is reportedly only with the band until the end of the current tour...US progressive band Chiaroscuro has garnered label interest following its three-song demo of September...A reformed Disharmonic Orchestra has re-signed with Nuclear Blast for three albums and will release a new album this spring. The band now features a synthesizer...Active for the last 20 years with two albums to its name, Dutch progressive band Exises is working on a third album due late 2002. Some titles are Machines and Alpha Centauri...Andy Spaan is the new drummer for Cassiopeia. The band will not replace its departed second (female) singer...Arch Enemy has resolved its contractual dispute with Century Media. The label will release Wages Of Sin in April with the first edition being a double CD. The second CD will feature odd Liiva-era songs...Chavis Records, a new hard rock/heavy metal label, is accepting demos from bands looking for a recording contract. Some bands on the label are Scotland's Cry Havoc, Bangkok Babes and Naked Son. Contact the label at 15 E. Churchville Rd. Suite 115 PMB #134 Bel Air, Maryland 21015 USA...Doug Aldrich (ex-Lion, Bad Moon Rising, Hurricane, Burning Rain) has joined Dio on guitars and the band is hard at work on a new album expected through Spitfire this summer...Nonexist, featuring former Arch Enemy singer Liiva, has completed recording its debut Deus Deceptor at Abyss Studio...Dead Soul Tribe is the new band for former Psychotic Waltz member Devon Graves...Bassist Alessandro Lotta has been asked to leave Rhapsody...Manowar's next album is now due in June and will be called Warriors Of The World - United...Recently Nocturnal Rites had to postpone their recording session for an upcoming album due to illness of drummer Owe Lingvall...Some bands confirmed for Wacken 2002 are Kreator, Destruction, In Extremo and the headliners Blind Guardian. The latter band has also chosen Freedom Call as openers for its April/May German tour. Freedom Call intends to record material for a live mini album during this tour...Due to a van accident while on tour with Soilent Green, Brian Patton and Eyehategod have had to postpone a Japanese tour...Shinichiro Okada is out of Shadow...Guitarist Stefan Elmgren of Hammerfall has signed his solo project to Eagle Records and will release the album in June. Hammerfall is also slated to begin work on its next album then...Sirius has signed to Nuclear Blast...Aurora has finished work on its latest album Dead Electric Nightmares. The album is expected imminently through Italy's Lucretia Records... Medulla Nocte has called it a day...Century Media has announced the release of the next Onward album for February 19. Entitled Reawaken, the album is described as in the older, pure metal style...Slash's Snake Pit is no more. Slash will work on a solo album and write with his former Guns'n Roses colleague Izzy...Warlord will release Rising Out Of The Ashes this summer...Former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza is back with a solo album which is appropriately called Life After Deth. The hard rock album is written over the last decade or so, produced by Max Norman (Ozzy, Loudness, etc.) and available exclusively from Jovi's next album is called Bounce and is now due in October. The band is already planning shows and a box set to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2003...Thilo Hermann has left Running Wild. His replacement is former Angel Dust man Bernd Aufermann...Mascot Records has signed progressive act Cosmosquad. The band's new album Squadrophenia will feature 11 tracks and be out in March...Rush is recording its next album at Metalworks and expect to release an album in the late summer...Swedish hard rcokers Zool have signed to Lucretia Records. The band, now featuring an entirely new rhythm section, will have an album in March...Eighties hard rockers F.N. Guns are back and have recorded a new album called Ban The Guns which is due in March on MUG Records...The End Records has signed on Winds for North and South America. Winds features Jan Axel von Blomberg (aka Hellhammer from Mayhem) and plays classical and dark rock. The album Reflections Of The I is due in April...Entwine is in Astia Studio recording its second album. The album is expected this summer via Spikefarm and will be preceded by a single...Former Grave Digger musicians Uwe Lulis and Tommi Goettlich have named their new band Rebellion. The line up also features ex-Annihilator drummer Randy Black. In the meanwhile Grave Digger and Brainstorm are touring Europe...Guitarist Curran Murphy has abandoned Nevermore for Annihilator. The former band expects to release its next album Enemies Of Reality in the autumn...Slated for the summer, the next UDO album is entitled Man And Machine and will feature an appearance by Doro Pesch...Chris Caffery of Savatage has a new project called Block 16 which features Rick Skatore the bassist for 24-7 Spyz. The band is recording another tribute to the US Army...Steelheart is reforming with a new lineup...former Y&T guitarist Dave Meniketti has a solo album in the works which is now due late summer. He describes the album as, 'straight rock with some blues.'...David 'Rock' Feinstein is in studio recording a second album...Ex-Harem Scarem drummer Darren Smith, singer Brett Carrigan of Honeymoon Suite and Steve Skull of Killer Dwarfs/Fear Disorder have a new band called Pozer.

The new issue of Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles (#56 - $7 to 368 Yonge St. Toronto M5B 1S5) is, content-wise, a winner. Bands featured take a heavier turn (Sodom, Arch Enemy, Impaled Nazarene, UDO, Tesla, etc.) and the issue is yet again packed with all the news and features to which one has gotten used. I dare say the bulk of the reviews are biased to the positive, but given the interviews, CD and release list your money is well spent...How can you not like a fanzine whose cover depicts a slain Korn groupie (who seems to have Sepoptura tattoos) presided over by a metal Warrior? Metalcore (#30 - $1 to P.O. Box 622, Marlton NJ 08053-1109 USA) is 15 years old and that's saying quite a bit. The editor/writer still can't spell and has zoomed in on even more females to interview, but most people admire Metalcore because it is obvious that the work is from the heart. There are no band interviews any longer (don't ask me, I don't know why ) but the zine's interviews are useful if you want to start a record company or edit a fanzine!

Select Top 5 Releases

Ali "The Metallian" - Editor
1- Dew-Scented - Inwards - Nuclear Blast
2- Double Diamond - Conquer With Steel - Steelhunter
3- Onward - Reawaken - Century Media
4- Aphasia - Arcane In Thalassa - Independent
5- Carnal Forge - Please...Die! - Century Media

Andreas K. - Manager for The End Records
1- Hammers Of Misfortune - The Bastard - Tumult
2- Museo Rosenbach - Zarathustra - BMG Ricordi
3- My Dying Bride - The Dreadful Hours - Peaceville
4- Portishead - Dummy - Go Discs
5- Winds - Reflection Of The I - AvantGarde/The End

Tomasz Podolecki - Manager for Conquer Records
1- Hell-Born - Hellblast - Pagan
2- Immemorial - Monologue - Conquer
3- April Ethereal - Advent - Conquer
4- Mess Age - Self Convicted - Conquer
5- Epitome - Autoeroticism - Independent

Brian Fair - Manager for Bullpen Promotions/Singer for Shadows Fall
1- Entombed - Morning Star - Koch
2- Blind Guardian - And Then There Was Silence - Century Media
3- Burning Inside - Apparition - Crash
4- Medium - Terra Firma - Independent
5- Beyond The Embrace - Demo - Independent

Jacob Bannon - Singer for Converge
1- 5ive - All - Tortuga
2- New Order - Get Ready - WEA
3- Knives Out - Radiohead - EMD
4- The Promise - New Single - Deathwish
5- Mastadon - Lifesblood - Relapse

Metallian Demos

Hailing from the nation's capital, Ottawa's Ivory Knight fight in the name of hard rock and heavy metal. The band's biography cites several bands as influences. Having listened to the nine tracks on the CD repeatedly, I believe, I have discovered the band's real influences as heard and reflected in the act's compositions. Ivory Knight will appeal to fans of Iron Maiden, Triumph, Diamond Head (the guitars on Perfect 10), Sacred Blade (vocals also on Perfect 10), Rush (the beginning of Roads To Glory is a good example) and Judas Priest. Imagine that! A Canadian band with its heart in all the right places. I can already see a Much Music/major label marketing rep reading this and having a massive coronary. 'What, you mean we haven't brainwashed everyone??' IK works best when they either speed things up or attempt to step a little out of their element - two things they should do more often. The CD depicts a quartet, yet the promo photograph enclosed is that of a trio and so I can't be certain of the line up's exact status. What I can say is that fans of AOR, hard rock and heavy metal can send $14 (includes shipping worldwide) to singer/bassist Perinbam (who at one time shared bands with Jeff Waters) via P.O. Box 38144, 1430 Prince Of Wales Drive, Ottawa K2C 1N6.

It does happen once in a blue moon: The Metallian receives a CD that surprises him. When the four-track demo of England's Biomechanical arrives one couldn't be blamed for having visions of Meshuggah and Biohazard prancing in his head. In fact, Biomechanical is best described as a cross between Dream Theater and VoiVod. The band's hefty and pompous compositions feature the kind of feel Dream Theater might produce. But far from being an Italian (ha!) clone of DT, Biomechanical infuses several harsher sounds and manages to craft something its own. Yeah, this is not a clone product. In fact, this Hertford act comes across as surprisingly mature and polished for a 'mere' demo band. There is no doubt that a label will come knocking soon, but in the meanwhile I advise the band to drop the keyboards, become more serious and keep on composing material for the labels can't be far behind.

HUMAN ABSTRAKT - self titled
Lets take things from the top, shall we? This two song demo CD has an inexplicably attractive cover. What looks like a magical yet dead female poses below a sinister portrait of skulls and...someone - a well done piece indeed. The bio assigns the black and progressive adjectives to the band. Human Abstrakt is neither really. I am not sure where the band's thinking was, yet the Georgia, USA band is better described as proficient and loud heavy metal with keyboards. Ah, the keyboards. It is no secret to the readers that keyboards and metal don't mix. Which is why it is such a pity that Human Abstrakt has decided to take the easy way out, installed keyboards and managed to destroy everything with one big swipe. Regretful because HA has in fact very good and loud riffs, very respectable drumming and a capable (and emotional) singer. In fact from what I can hear of the lyrics, they too are quite interesting. Collectively HA is easily better than most of the garbage released by most labels out there. Then they go ahead and water it down with that sound of the wimp: the trendy keyboard and make a mockery of the effort. Time for lost opportunities boys! C/o 2931 Appling Circle, Atlanta, GA. 30341 USA

Oi, punk, cores and pogo dancers listen up!! Last time we met SOS, the biggest problem was the drum machine and the inevitable fake sound it brings - that hasn't gone away. However, and with the help of Bastian of Fleshcrawl engineering, the band launches a number of reworked older songs and new songs with heavy riffs that have a cruising crushing crunch! I kid you not. If you needed another reason to become sick of society, I will give you one. SOS exudes independence and total disregard for the norm. This is the genuine item which screams out, 'i do whatever I want' with no rules and no trends. You can hear it on every song, SOS just does whatever it wants and is real. $6 for the CDR to Oliver Kast, Roemerstr. 26, 89268 Voehringen Germany. Next time print the lyrics please (esp. Louise!) and for heaven's sake skip the cover songs.

Upon receiving this demo CD my first impressions were not the most positive. Firstly, Godless is Greek. Greek metal has never amounted to much and so noticing the band's suspect logo - which resembles the international physicians emblem with a serpent coiled around the inverted cross - the Metallian could be forgiven for expecting less and less. Listening to the CD seemed to confirm my suspicions. The sound is weak and the singer sounded similar to the old Greek black metal band who never could muster much power. Yet the more one listens to this the better it all gets. I suppose it's a more complete picture that does the trick. Firstly this is a rough mix CD of what's to come. Secondly the band gets better the more you listen. It is underground stuff and Godless has taken the obscure approach. There are no commercial overtures or trendy elements here. It's dark and subterranean music for those who like metal mid-paced and more in tune with the scene of 1990 than 2000. Play tip: The 14:40 minute Tale Of A Gothic Cathedral.

If a tree falls in a forest, is there a sound? Similarly if a hardcore band with 'social critic' lyrics has no listeners, does it matter? I say this because Cross X is not good - not good at all. The German hardcore trio (featuring Sick Of Society's Oliver Kast) was formed in September 1997 to bash together hardcore music with both socially-relevant and fun lyrics. Setting the lyrics aside, Cross X is two years away from compositional aptitude and should have delayed recording and releasing by at least that length of time. Sadly the riffs are primitive, the music unimaginative and the playing untight. It's not a disaster but the band's inexperience and need for practice is explicit. Only the most hardcore may send the required $8 to Andi Rohrer, Teutonenstr. 6, 89250 Senden Germany.

It is always a welcome CD whose influences completely circumvent the rapcore horseshit passed off as 'music' by Much Music and its corporate co-conspirators. Here it is: imagine a real sleaze'n roll band whose sound is the product of a high powered blender of that first Mötley Crüe disc, Hanoi Rocks, Quireboys and even Rolling Stones vocally. The whole affair is ably produced and played and includes no less than 13 songs - and the band has mostly the material to support it. To add value these loud Aussies have tagged a video clip of Diatribe onto the CD and produced a real attention-grabber. I like most of the instruments here - with the sole exception of the drums. Content with following the rest of the band, the man behind the kit needs to come alive. Come on loosen up a little here! More Satanic than 10 Norwegian boys running around their label's offices, spending $1,000 on band shots, wanking on their keyboards, etc., in reality Skin Inc. has more vice in it than two thirds of the so-called evil bands out there. Write to PO Box 460, Collins Street West, Melbourne VIC 8007 Australia.

It's always been this writer's opinion that the Canadian metal scene's biggest problem is its lack of professional development. Notice, not the music; the professional know-how, expertise and lack of knowledge-based resources is what Canada lacks. Canadians have always been metal leaders. From Rush to Triumph, from Exciter to VoiVod and from Blasphemy to Cryptopsy Canada has consistently done it better and earlier than any other country. Which brings me to Aphasia: great band! The musical prowess is only (rightly) surpassed by the enjoyable speed and heaviness. The band, during eight songs and 51 minutes, mixes ample melody with elements of speed metal and vicious Darkthrone-style blaze to deliver some of the more accomplished moments you will hear all year. The sound is great and the band slaps its competition in the face. Yet, look at the cover - ouch! Worse, the band photo depicts three guys in crumpled shorts with my favourite being the dude squinting his eyes under the sun. I would have advised the band to get a manager and work at a more professional level to go somewhere, but what are you going to do? Canada is riddled with 'managers' who have never done anything for their former bands - save disservice. 'Label' bosses whose only record is the record number of past failures and 'distributors' whose only forté is seeing if they can last under their current name more than three months before going bankrupt for lack of trying. Under these circumstances I salute the spirit of independence and ask everyone to overlook the presentation and get hold of Aphasia's debut full length - it metals! No price given so write to C.P. Saint-André, Box 32111, Montreal H2L 4Y5.

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