Metallian Heavy

DARK TRANQUILLITY, SOILWORK, HYPOCRISY and MNEMIC will tour North America in April and May...Drummer Cory Grady (formerly of THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER) has joined PREMONITIONS OF WAR. THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER will begin recording a new album, entitled Miasma, in March and will tour with KING DIAMOND and NILE after the sessions...VEHEMENCE vocalist Nathan Gearhart has stepped down due to family obligations. The band is looking for a replacement and can be contacted at DECAPITATION's Human Jerky album will be released on 12" vinyl picture disc through Accident Prone Records...TERROR 2000 has joined forces again and will record a new album in March. Bjorn Speed Strid (SOILWORK), Klas Ideberg (DARKANE), Nick Sword (EL MAGO), Erik Thyselius (CONSTRUCDEAD) and Dan Svensson (HATELIGHT) are still writing new songs announced as "the most neck-breakin', fast and aggressive" recorded by the band. No title for the new album is yet confirmed, but the release date is planned for June 2005 through Scarlet Records...AGENT STEEL's live DVD is out now. Live @ Dynamo Open Air features live footage from band's appearance at Dynamo Open Air 2004 festival in Holland and also a few songs from the warm-up show at the Effenaar in Eindhoven and some bonus material. The band is planning on releasing a new album this year as well...BEHEMOTH and SUFFOCATION are touring North America this month...Sweden's NAGLFAR, has signed a new worldwide multi-album contract with Century Media Records. A new album, tentatively entitled Pariah, is currently being recorded at Ballerina Studios in the band's hometown of Umeå...KRONOS will play at the Killer Fest in March near Paris with bands such as TANKARD, INQUEST and OUTCAST. The band will record a DVD on this occasion...Circulation Records has signed COMECLOSER. A new album is due in March...Canadian deathcore six-piece DESPISED ICON has signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records. DESPISED ICON's, The Healing Process, which was produced by Yannick St-Amand is currently set for an April 5th release. The group's first album, Consumed By Your Poison, was released in October, 2002 on Galy Records...THE RED CHORD's new album Clients is currently being recorded at Planet Z with engineer/producer Zeuss. The new album is slated for release on May, 17th through Metal Blade/BMA...GOD FORBID is currently writing material for a new album, IV: Constitution Of Treason, set for an autumn release. The group will enter the studio on May 1st...INCANTATION's first U.S. tour in support of Decimate Christendom was January's The Winter Migration Broootality '05 tour featuring MORTICIAN, INCANTATION, THE CHASM and ARSIS...KATAKLYSM has parted ways with drummer Martin Maurais due to "personal and professional reasons." Replacing Maurais in the group's line-up is returning drummer Max Duhamel who was recently re-recording older material with the band...Candlelight Records has confirmed March 8th as the US release date for the new MARDUK album. It is called Plague Angel...Canadian Band PENETRATOR has signed with Sonic Age Records...GOD DETHRONED's The Lair Of The White Worm album is now out...BLOOD RED THRONE's Altered Genesis will be released this month by Earache...Conquer Records will soon release DEVILYN's 11 full-length...NEAERA has just finished recording of its debut album, The Rising Tide Of Oblivion. The album features 13 crossover songs...HEATHEN has made its entire Breaking The Silence and Victims Of Deception albums available for free download on ...VADER will soon release a new MCD currently entitled The Art Of War...The End Records has announced the signing of a multi-album deal with Canadian act THINE EYES BLEED. The act's debut album, In The Wake Of Separation, is scheduled for an April, 26th release. The band's line-up includes former KITTIE guitarist/technician Jeff Phillips, Justin Wolfe from ACACIA and John Araya (brother of SLAYER's Tom Araya)...HATEFRAME, featuring drummer Tonmi Lillman (TO/DIE/FOR and SINERGY), guitarist Joonas Koto (MALPRACTICE and TO/DIE/FOR) and bassist Make Kanki (TO/DIE/FOR) is now on Rising Realm Records. The band's debut, Sign Of Demise is due in August...According to Nuclear Blast Records June 27th is the release date for DARKANE's new CD, Layers Of Lies...EXODUS has been joined by singer Rob Dukes...HOLY MOSES' next album Strange Power Will Passion will be out on May 23rd through Armageddon Music. The band will also be hitting the road with ILLDISPOSED as part of the Wacken Roadshow...INVOCATOR drummer Jakob Gundel and Allan Tvedebrink and Kasper B of WITHERING SURFACE have a new band called THE DOWNWARD CANDIDATE...GORGOROTH has ended up not signing with Season Of Mist after the parties could not reach an agreement...Thrashers DEFIANCE are back for another round...FUNERIS NOCTURNUM has split up and Simo Rahikainen, Matti Honkonen, Timo Häkkinen and J-V Hintikka have regrouped with singer Jimmy Salmi in a band called ATAKHAMA...GORGOROTH, DARK FUNERAL and DISMEMBER have signed to Regain Records...Former MORBID ANGEL singer Steven Tucker, who was replaced by his predecessor David Vincent, has a new band called UNDERCURRENT...AFTERSHOK has released a new album, entitled Burning Chrome...DIMMU BORGIR's Simen Hestnaes has rejoined ARCTURUS as the band signs to Season Of Mist...Former guitarists Eric and Brian Hoffmann are suing their former band DEICIDE and the band's label Earache Records...MÖRK GRYNING has split up following Jonas Berndt's (a.k.a. Goth Gorgon) consideration that he dislikes underground metal...DESTRUCTION has signed with AFM Records...Nuclear Blast's THE DUSKFALL has parted ways with bassist Kaj Molin.

Metallian Hard

NWOBHM band WEAPON has a website at The band will also be playing live this year for the first time in some twenty years...Alex Calder and Ian (Finn) Muir, both formerly of FLYING SQUAD and the latter from WAYSTED, are putting together a band which will be playing at the Glastonbury Festival in 2005...A posting on WAYSTED website explained the postponement of the band's tour. "It is with much regret Waysted announce the postponement of their forthcoming Back From The Dead January UK tour. Pete Way is dealing with a close personal family problem, and feels that it is inappropriate to tour at this time The shows are currently being re-booked for September 2005."...A Reformed HELL'S BELLES is building a recording studio and looking to record an album called Rebellion this spring. The line-up is Paul Quigley, Pooch, Spiv and Jon Archer. Paul Quigley is also playing guitar...EDDY MALM, formerly of HEAVY LOAD, has a new '70s-oriented hard rock band. The band features Eddy, Per Hesselrud (guitar), Peter Söderström (bass) and Olof Bergius (drums). The band is recording a demo...GEEZER or G//Z/R, now featuring the line-up of bassist Geezer, guitarist Pedro Howse, vocalist Clark Brown and drummer Chad Smith (formerly of ANACRUSIS), will release an album called Ohmwork this spring on Sanctuary...NWOBHM's AVENGER is going to be touring this year with original members Gary Young and Mick Moore finalising a new line-up and performing shows in Europe for later this year...NOVEMBERS DOOM's The Pale Haunt Departure is due out on March 8th. The band will be filming the first video for the new CD in January. The song chosen is the title track The Pale Haunt Departure...BRAINSTORM's Liquid Monster album will be released on April 4th through Metal Blade Records...Scarlet Records has signed Sweden's KAYSER. The band was formed in June, 2004 when Spice (ex-SPIRITUAL BEGGARS), Mattias Svensson (also in THE DEFACED), Bob Ruben (ex-THE MUSHROOM RIVER BAND) and Fredrik Finnander (ex-AEON) decided to join forces. The band is in the studio now...Finland's REQUIEM has signed to Scarlet Records and is working on a new album...GOAT HORN is currently recording new tunes for an E.P. release. The MCD will be titled Threatening Force and will feature the songs For Heavy Metal Threatening Force, Rise Into The Night as well as re-mixed versions of Fate Strikes and The Last Force...BIOMECHANICAL has announced that Andy Sneap will mix its forthcoming album The Empires Of The Worlds. The album is due in April...DARK MOOR will release its new album Beyond The Sea on March 4th. Arise Records is also arranging the re-issue of the band's debut album Shadowland with a new cover artwork and graphics...LABYRINTH's new album Freeman will be released in March. Some tracks are L.Y.A.F.H., Deserter, Dive In Open Waters and Freeman...DREAMAKER will release its new album, entitled Enclosed on March 11th. Some new songs are: I Live My Own Life, Reverse Universe and Over The Edge...Arise Records has signed Italy's RAINTIME. This Italian metal act plays melodic heavy metal with different vocal styles. The debut album will be released in May...The latest SOILWORK release, Stabbing The Drama, comes out on March 8, 2005. A video for the title track has been shot and will make it's way to the airwaves soon...Sweden's LOUD 'N' NASTY will release Too much Ain't Enough on Perris Records on Jan. 31st. This was originally released in 2002 on Hellbound as a 12" Vinyl...Andy ³Henner² Allendörfer, the managing director and founder of AFM Records, was killed on January 16th following a road accident...SYMPHONY X's singer Russell Allen has completed the mixes for his first solo effort, tentatively titled Russell Allen's Atomic Soul. Expect it in May...NEVERMORE is currently wrapping up the song writing process for its new album, set for a summer release. In other news, the group's 2003 album, Enemies of Reality, is currently being remixed by Sneap for a re-release...ARCTURUS, now featuring Simens Vortex (of DIMMU BORGIR and BORKNAGAR fame), has signed with Season Of Mist. ARCTURUS' new album, untitled so far, will be released at the end of August. The band will be hitting the studio this February...THE GREAT KAT has announced the release of a guitar DVD, called Extreme Guitar Shred...STATETROOPER will play at the Sweden Rock Festival June 11, 2005 alongside the likes of KANSAS, ACCEPT and DIO. The band has also signed to Toshiba-EMI. The deal will see the release of the new album, The Calling in Japan...Candlelight Records has confirmed April, 5 as the release date for the self-titled debut album from DEBRIS INC. The record is the first release through the new US arrangement between Rise Above Records and Candlelight, announced earlier this year. DEBRIS INC. is a new band featuring SAINT VITUS alumni Dave Chandler and TROUBLE bassist Ron Holzner...The re-united ACCEPT is now Udo Dirkschneider, guitarist Wolf Hoffmann and bassist Peter Baltes, as well as new guys guitarist Hermann Frank and drummer Francesco Jovino. The band will play in Europe and Japan...METALIUM is working on a new album, entitled Demons Of Insanity, due for release on April 25th...Candlelight Records USA has confirmed April 19th as the US release date for Raw Video, the first DVD from metal/hardcore band PRO-PAIN...A live CD from DIO entitled Evil Or Divine: Live In New York City will be released on February 22nd, 2005 through Spitfire Records. This is a companion CD to the DVD released last year...Drummer Chris Pistillo (YETI/DESPERATE CRY) Of ST. Petersburg, Florida has joined TIWANAKU...LOUDNESS singer Minoru Niihara has recorded an English version of the band's latest album, Racing. He also recorded vocals for a cover version of the LOUDNESS song Heavy Chains for the upcoming POWERGOD album...RAGE guitarist Victor Smolski will record a CD with ex-ARIA singer Valery Kipelov in Russia. After release of the CD, Smolski will play selected shows with Kipelov's band...PUMP, featuring former BRAINSTORM singer Marcus Jürgens, is currently working on the follow-up to the 2004 debut, Against Everyone's Advice...FREEDOM CALL has confirmed March 21st as the release date for the next album, Circle Of Life...MOB RULES has announced April 25th as the release date for its live DVD and CD, Signs Of The Time - Live...THUNDERSTONE has picked Tools Of Destruction as the name for its third full-length album...FROM BEHIND is a new band featuring former SAMSON singer Nicky Moore and former OVERDRIVE guitarist Janne Stark...ETERNAL TEARS OF SORROW has reformed and signed with Spinefarm Records. The band now features Janne Tolsa from TAROT and Risto Ruuth SCYRON...MORGANA LEFAY has announced Grand Materia as the title for its next album... SHY's new album Sunset & Vine is now out through MTM...Y&T has signed with Demolition Records for the release of UnEarthed Volume 2...BATTLELORE and bassist Miika Kokkola have parted ways. He has been replaced by Timo Honkanen...CANDLEMASS has signed with Nuclear Blast...Bassist Timpa has left HANOI ROCKS in order to spend time with his family...Former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Gilby Clarke has joined a reformed MC5 for at least a European tour...DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy will fill in on drums for FATES WARNING's live shows until a replacement is found...GODIVA has recruited singer Fernando Garcia (ex-VICTORY and WICKED SENSATION)...Germany's ATROCITY has added drummer Moritz Neuner (GRAVEWORM, DARKWELL and ABIGOR) to the line-up...Pop rockers AMORPHIS have added singer Tomi Joutsen (NEVERGREEN) to the band's line-up...YNGWIE MALMSTEEN's new album Unleash The Fury is out this month...Guitarist Jan Kuehnemund of VIXEN fame has formed a band called DRAWING DOWN THE MOON (not the old BEHERIT album).

Metallian Demos

It is a surprise to me that the West Coast's Faces Of Black grabbed my attention. The trio of singer/bassist Christine Apro, her brother and guitarist Norm Apro and drummer Adam Hancock have an interesting band which, as much as the guitars rock and the drums wallop, is mostly due to the vocals. Christine - who has previous band experience - is not the typical boring yawn of a female vocalist. Her delivery was intense enough to make me search out the band's site at, but alas the site is to information what scrooge was to money. No matter, Christine somehow fits the band like a glove. She manages to hold her own in a world full of female ersatz rock-opera moaners. She is not one of them and tweaks her singing from soft to rough and back depending on the requirements of the moment. There is a big heavy guitar sound throughout the eight tracks, although on the flip side there is little intricacy and no solos. The drummer hits hard without overwhelming the larger message and the big picture. This is interesting and rocking music. It is both contemplative and loud at the same time for fans of Black Sabbath, punk rock and Monster Magnet that nonetheless remains metal-oriented without ever admitting it. Just check out the band's biography.
The best song on the disc is Log Jam because it is energetic, expressive and tender all at the same time. Faces Of Black comes across as honest and organic right now. One hopes they never become the typical music industry jerks for as things stand there is something inherently cool about these guys. Visit the website, e-mail or write to 545 Judah Street, Victoria V8Z 2J8. - Ali "The Metallian"

Miles Beyond might be based in the god forsaken town of Flint in Michigan, USA, but its heart (as indicated in its name) really lies far away in London, England. The band is clearly sold on the Iron Maiden school of heavy metal with song after song showing some influence from the British heroes. The band's biography may also list influences such as Metallica, Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy, but it is Maiden which drives the band's sound. There really is nothing wrong with the band's inspiration, for Iron Maiden is clearly one of the better bands anywhere. Then again, this level of influence might be too much.
Listening to the 12 songs on the disc one easily detects a medley of riff, rhythm and melodies from albums like Piece Of Mind, Iron Maiden and even Fear Of The Dark. More specific to the band, the mid-paced and faster segments really gel, while the slower ones seem to plod. The band needs to abandon the slower segments in favour of a little more gallop. With twelve tracks on the disc these boys are really delivering value for money; alas the lengthy repertoire (for a demo anyway) is somewhat damaging to the quality of the demo. Check this band out and catch the not so subtle riff from Metallica's Seek And Destroy embedded on the disc. Also listen for the historical and epic lyrics which are probably, once again, as a result of influence from Iron Maiden. The band can be reached at or by visiting - Ali "The Metallian"

That the San Antonio, Texas band has an affinity to the word and concept 'infinity' is not in doubt. The band's name, the demo's title, the song It's Only For Forever and the presence of the symbol for infinity on the CD's jacket make that clear. Whether the band's music has an everlasting character is another story.
In my opinion, the trio (the jacket's photography) or the quartet (the band's biography) has a wonderful goth/Classical demo here. Singer/pianist Alessandra Zinicola has a wonderful voice which is obviously trained, lucid and emotional. Her phrasing is nearly impeccable, as are her lyrics if my reading of them is correct. Although such idealism are probably a waste in the sands of the most regressive state of the most regressive country in the world, United States Of America. The guitars too harmonize well with the rest of the band and back the instrumentation non-obtrusively.
The only snag is the band and the press' insistence on categorizing the act as a metal one. This is as metal as Budweiser is the king of beers. Seriously, The Essence Of Infinity is suggested only for fans of image-oriented goth/opera music, that has a great vocalist and a professional production. Either write to or visit - Ali "The Metallian"

Andreas, Stig, Tor Erik and Robert are a cold-hearted four-piece from a frozen land where the wind sings harsh symphonies of madness. Picking up pieces from early Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, as well as a sense of riffing and dynamism from Dissection the psychotic four bash out three songs, The Virgin, Sedated And Seduced, Prelude: The Birth and Set Out To Die (great title) which were it not for the synth would have been excellent. I guess the guys are showing their age, but putting the silly keyboards aside the mad rhythms and the horrific screams are damn effective. Put poison to paper and write or head to to see more. - Anna Tergel

When lord of the Metallian Towers, the Metallian himself, handed me the new disc by Germany's Kaminari (Japanese for thunder and storm) the band's region and promotional photograph whispered the name Primal Fear into my ears. The genre might be the same, but the sounds are in fact different. The ten songs on the band's completely professional and all-out demo bear allusion to Saxon, Iron Maiden and Sinner. Some songs works, while some do not. In general, the band needs more fast parts because those are the group's more interesting instants. The sound - as mentioned the band must have sunk a lot of money into this - is flawless. All the same, the band or the producer has decided to let the voice of Roland Seidel lead the charge. Contact the boys at or check out the band at - Sheila Wes Det

Information on the band is scarce as a bio did not arrive with the demo. Regardless, and despite myself, this is an agreeable band. What started to turn me off was the appearance of female vocals. "Oh no more goth masquerading as metal," were my immediate thoughts. Then the music kicked in and it was forlorn. It was wretched. It was sad and it was doom. Then the vocals fit perfectly. In the end, Skumring (ha?) turned out to be a fantastic listening choice for fans of doom and while the band might not be as destructive as Esoteric for instance, it will appeal to that band's fans as well as lovers of Disembowelment and Winter. The three songs, Søvn, De Glemte Tider and Forførelse I Natten, span some 43 minutes. That might help you imagine the band's music better. It is good stuff. Write to or visit for more information. - Ali "The Metallian"

New York-based metal band Phoenix Reign lash harmonies verging on 90's metal to a newly updated sound of standard rock music. Straight edged rock with some fancy guitar work and rhythms creates the foundation of the band's music. Founding members Billy Chrissochos (guitar) and Chris Pollatos (bass) have a visional groove as to where the band is going to be, but the band's latest release might not prove that. Song Shredder is the band's power shining guitar works displaying creativity in that area. One More Rendezvous is another story of a lover relationship gone badly and wanting the love to be back where it used to be. Please, there is more to life than relationships! Other than that the song is way to whiny for metal standards. Major downfall aside from the lack in recording is vocalist Theresa Gaffney. If she added some vocal power the musical demands of the band might be met. If interested check out the website at - Jussi

Psychotron's professional demo CD runs for 56 minutes and has both long and average length tracks. The band's music is certainly not conventional which becomes apparent right after an intro, simply called Intro, which is reminiscent of Rush's 2112. The music is often offbeat and the vocals are usually doubled-up, layered and theatric. Aside from the German spoken interlude, the music can be innovative with parts which work and parts which are plain stuffy. The heavier moments are usually supplied courtesy of chugging rhythm inclusive of pronounced bass guitar. This balances the sporadic complex arrangement and unique chord progression. The song Beauty Of Sadness is probably my favourite, but the band has an array of material that can be of interest should they gel better. E-mail for more information. - Ali "The Metallian"

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