Metallian Heavy

France-based black metal band DRASTUS’ La Croix De Sang is out through NoEvDia this month.

Umbravorous, a new album of black thrash band PERVERSOR will be released by Pulverised Records on March 15th.

Romania-based MERCY’S DIRGE will have a CD version of the Live, Raw & Relentless album in collaboration with Loud Rage Music in the spring.

Slovakia-based CEREMONY OF SILENCE will issue a debut album called Oútis through Willowtip Records on the 5th of April.

VIO-LENCE, which reunited for one benefit show in April, has now added the Alcatraz Hard Rock & Metal Festival on August 9th to 11th in Kortrijk, Belgium to its schedule. The band is also playing a Los Angeles show with SACRED REICH.

Another project: Former EXODUS and current GENERATION KILL singer Rob Dukes, DARK ANGEL guitarist Eric Meyer and AUTUMN’S END’s Chris Cannella, bassist Michael Gonzalez and former SACRED REICH drummer Greg Hall have a band called BLOODMOON RITUAL.

SACRED REICH, IRON REAGAN, LEEWAY and ENFORCED will tour North America in May. SACRED REICH’s Awakening album is out in the summer.

Italy-based NEW DISORDER is on Art Gates Records now and shall release an album called Mind Pollution on March 15th. The first single and video extracted from the album is the self-titled track Mind Pollution, which is directed by Paul Sciò.

BRUJERIA is following up the Viva Presidente Trump! seven-inch with a new single called Amaricon Czar. The band is hitting Europe with VENOMOUS CONCEPT and AGGRESSION.

War Arts Productions has set February 23rd as the release date for EGGS OF GOMORRH’s demo repress, Rot Prophet, on cassette tape.

BERKOWITZ makes its Horror Pain Gore Death Productions debut with the World Gone To Shit album. Formed in 2017 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, BERKOWITZ‘s album features twelve tracks of goregrind from ex-members of THRONE OF BOTIS, MURDER and GATES OF ENDOR.

The Festival team –, Vertigo and Eagle Booking Live Promotion – has announced the details of the 2019 edition of the festival, which will take place once again at the Live Music Club in Trezzo Sull’Adda (Milan), Italy. FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, DARKANE, GOTTHARD, ARCH ENEMY and HARDCORE SUPERSTARS are among the booked bands.

SATYRICON will perform the entire 1999 album Rebel Extravaganza at the Tons Of Rock festival in Oslo, Norway in June.

ATARAXIE, featuring past and current members of BETHLEHEM, SORDIDE, VOID PARADIGM and others, has an album called Résignés through Xenokorp and Deadlight labels on March 8.

Comatose Music is reissuing MORTAL DECAY’s A Gathering Of Human Artifacts compilation this March to commemorate the release’s twentieth anniversary.

FEED THEM DEATH’s No Solution/Dissolution is out through GrimmDistribution and Exalted Woe Records. The old school death-grind solo project is created by Void, founding member of ANTROPOFAGUS.

ASEPTIC’s Senses Decay demo is being re-issued on cassette by Redefining Darkness Records on 08.03.2019. The band is working on an album for 2019.

HERETICAL SECT’s self-titled EP is out in different formats through Redefining Darkness Records, Caligari Records and Vendetta Records this month.

The reformed PIST.ON is touring the UK this month.

Brazil-based thrash metal act TORMENTOR BESTIAL has a single called Nephilins from the album Supplicium Plus Quam Bestia scheduled for April 5th. The album will be released on Music-Records.

VENOM INC. will tour Canada and USA in April and May.

BLACK TUSK is touring Europe in May.

Rockshots Records/Extreme Metal Music has signed “symphonic black metallers” SINNRS. Formed in Denmark in 2017 by Nero (vocals/strings/piano) and Maestus (drums), the duo will issue its debut album Profound on April 26th, 2019. The album was also the band’s demo.

Italy-based STORM OF PARTICLES has released a new song entitled The Reject. Given the line-up changes the band is signalling its existence.

Spain-based CHILDRAIN’s The Silver Ghost is out this month. The “groove metal” band is compared to SEPULTURA and GOJIRA.

ARES KINGDOM’s Instruments Of War is the third of four online-only retrospective demo EPs, bringing together all of the band’s instrumentals from 1996 to 2015 in a single package.

SADNESS’ Rain is out through Flowing Downward on 10.03.2019.

BOTANIST’s Hammer of Botany + Oplopanax Horridus is out through Aural Music on 26.04.2019. The band calls its music “green metal.”

FOUL BODY AUTOPSY’s The Unquiet Dead demo is out now.

Singapore-based OSHIEGO’s The Book Of Wonders is out through Horror Pain Gore Death this month.

Winnipeg, Canada-based ANOMALISM has a demo called Parasitic Spawn. The death metal band was founded in 2018.

USA-based UNMERCIFUL has signed with Willowtip Records. An album by the death metal band is due this year.

Connecticut, USA-based quintet INDESTRUCTIBLE NOISE COMMAND (I.N.C.) will issue an album called Terrible Things this month.

DESTRUCTION has recruited Damir Eskic as its second guitarist. The Swiss GOMORRA member is a guitar teacher who was himself tutored by Tommy Vetterli of CORONER. He had contributed solos to the band’s previous record.

Italy-based grindcore band CRIPPLE BASTARDS have been around for 30 years. The band’s latest full-length album La Fine Cresce Da Dentro (‘The End Is Growing From Within’) was issued by Relapse Records in 2018.

GAAHLS WYRD, led by singer Gaahl (GORGOROTH), will release its debut full-length album GastiR – Ghosts Invited through Season Of Mist on May 31st.

A Memphis, Tennessee, USA concert venue has cancelled the April concert of AS I LAY DYING following several requests and objections given how the band’s singer was convicted of attempted murder of his wife in 2014.

Canada-based metalcore band ARRIVAL OF AUTUMN will release its full-length album Harbinger on Nuclear Blast on March 29th. it was produced and mixed by Jason Suecof.

EYEHATEGOD vocalist Mike IX Williams and right-wing Arkansas, USA senator Jason Rapert traded barbs and accusations recently. The singer objected to the man’s crusade against women’s choice, and other policies, while the Republican senator asked the venue of the band’s show in Arkansas to cancel the show and violate the First Amendment.

Agoge Records has opened an office in Romania. The label opened an office in Japan last month.

DESERT NEAR THE END has an album called Of Fire And Stars through Metal Scrap Records. The title track is an advance single.

GRAVE VIOLATOR’s Back To The Cult is out through Reaper Metal Productions this month. The band is compared to IMPALED NAZARENE.

PROFANATICA has signed with Season Of Mist.

On February 16th DECAPITATED, RAGING SPEEDHORN, ACID REIGN and others will take to the stage of the O2 Academy in Birmingham as part of HRH Metal: Metal Meltdown.

THE FLAYING, death metal from Quebec City, Canada will release an album called Angry, Undead through PRC Music on March 22nd. The band worked with Christian Donaldson (CRYPTOPSY) at The Grid in Montreal.

Death metal band VALE OF PNATH’s Accursed is out through Willowtip Records in May. VALE OF PNATH, DARK FUNERAL, BELPHEGOR, INCANTATION, and others will be on the Devastation On The Nation North American tour that month.

USA-based thrash metal band OUR DYING WORLD has its debut demo Expedition out this month.

Italy-based VIOLENTOR has a single called Haunter Of The Anorexis from its upcoming album Putrid Stench, which will be issued by Inferno Records.

EMBLUDGEONMENT’s brutal Barn Burner album is out through Comatose Music in April.

DRAGHKAR’s Eternal Abyss is a compilation of the band’s music out through Horror Pain Gore Death this March.

Redefining Darkness Records will issue NOCTURNAL HOLLOW’s A Whisper Of A Horrendous Soul and SIX OF SWORDS’ Regime Decay/Polar Vortex compilation this month.

MYSTIFIER’s new full-length Protogoni Mavri Magiki Dynasteia will be released through Season Of Mist on March 8th.

Current UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS and former JOB FOR A COWBOY and SCORPION CHILD drummer Jon Rice filled in for BEHEMOTH‘s Inferno in both Israel and Istanbul, Turkey on stage. Inferno is injured, but is expected to be back with the band soon.

Due to personal reasons related to his work and body, Andreas “Vintersorg” Hedlund has left BORKNAGAR. Consequently, I.C.S Vortex will take over the microphone once again.

Western Canada’s Armstrong Metal Fest’s 11th annual will take place on July 12th and 13th at the Hassen Arena in Armstrong, British Colombia. Bands playing include BETRAYING THE MARTYRS, WAKE, ENTHEOS, CENTURIES OF DECAY and ORIGIN among others.

Ottawa, Canada-based ACCURSED SPAWN will issue its debut album The Virulent Host through PRC Music this month.

Metallian Hard

GRAND MAGUS will release a new album, called Wolf God, through Nuclear Blast in April. The album was produced by Staffan Karlsson.

Germany-based heavy rockers, and Ripple Music label-mates, PLAINRIDE and THE TRIKES, join forces to hit the European road this March for the High On Tires Spring Tour. The tour comes on the heels of Ripple Music release of PLAINRIDE's LP, Life On Ares.

Following the cancellation of the European leg of the OZZY OSBOURNE tour the man was hospitalized for the flu. He is feeling better now, but has also cancelled Oceania and Japanese shows.

Italy-based VISION DIVINE has signed with Scarlet Records. An album is due this year.

USA-based power metal outfit MORTANIUS has released its debut album Till Death Do Us Part through Rockshots Records.

France-based heavy/power metal act STONECAST has an album called I Earther through Pitch Black on March 8th.

FATES WARNING, which is on the road with QUEENSRYCHE, has returned to the Metal Blade roster. An album is due in 2020. Bassist Joey Vera is unable to play the concerts in Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee due to his ARMORED SAINT schedule. He will be replaced by original FATES WARNING bassist Joe DiBiase.

UK-based doom metal band ESOTERIC shall begin recording its seventh full-length album at singer and guitarist Greg Chandler's Priory Recording Studio in Birmingham on the 11th of April.

PRONG will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Cleansing album with a series of “intimate” shows as well as festival in Europe.

PARALLEL MINDS’ Every Hour Wounds...The Last One Kills’ is out through Pitch Black Records on April 5th.

ENTOMBED’s Clandestine – Live is performed with an orchestra and out as an album through Threeman Recordings in April.

Yet another project: TRONOS, featuring Shane Embury (NAPALM DEATH), producer Russ Russell and Dirk Verbeuren (MEGADETH) will release its debut album Celestial Mechanics through Century Media in April. The band is a cross between METALLICA and VOIVOD.

BLIND GUARDIAN and author Markus Heitz have teamed up. The former has a new novel, called Die Dunklen Lande, set in 1629 and contains the prequel to BLIND GUARDIAN's Legacy Of The Dark Lands, which will be released November 1.

Following several back and forths between TWISTED SISTER members and the right-wing politician, Universal Music has filed a lawsuit against Australia’s Clive Palmer who used the melody and tune of TWISTED SISTER's We're Not Gonna Take It for his political advertising. Palmer represents the reformed United Australia Party, which represents conservative policies like reducing taxes, defunding the government and inaction on climate chaos.

Diamonds Prod is issuing Camelot the debut album of ANCIENT KNIGHTS, which is compared to AT VANCE, RHAPSODY and EUROPE. Guests on the album include Goran Edman (Ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN), Fabio Lione (ANGRA, RHAPSODY, etc.), Roberto Tiranti (LABYRINTH) and Elisa C. Martin (Ex-DARK MOOR) and Fuhito Nakamura.

DIAMOND HEAD will issue a new album called The Coffin Train through Silver Lining Music on May 24th.

Former CANDLEMASS singer Mats Levén has teamed up with Napalm Records to release his first solo album under the name SKYBLOOD.

KATATONIA will commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Night Is The New Day album with a European tour and a deluxe album reissue.

SAINT VITUS will issue a self-titled album through Season of Mist this May.

AC/DC guitarist Angus Young has donated $19,260 CAD to the Alzheimer Society Of Ontario after hearing about a fan called Steve McNeil fundraising with skating for the cause. Young’s brother and former band member was stricken with the disease.

TOM KEIFER, formerly of CINDERELLA, is completing his second solo album for a tentative summer release.

GREAT WHITE will issue a video of its show at the Kentucky State fair in 2018 sometime this spring.

Following the departure of Peter Baltes ACCEPT performed with temporary bassist Danny Silvestri at the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise.

Per singer Don Dokken, DOKKEN will "probably" appear at the M3 Rock Festival in the USA with the band's former guitarist George Lynch again. The band has songs ready for a 2019 album.

JUDAS PRIEST’s debut shows in South Africa slated for March were cancelled. The band claims it was due to circumstances beyond its control.

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN will release an album called Blue Lightning through Mascot Records on 29.03.2019. The album is self-produced and features a number of cover versions.

DEF LEPPARD's second Las Vegas residency will take place this summer between August and September.

ROTTING CHRIST’s The Heretics is out through Season Of Mist now.

OCTOBER TIDE will release its next album, In Splendor Below, through Agonia Records on May 17th.

Heavy rock band BRIGHT CURSE has signed with Ripple Music. An album is expected this year.

THE QUIREBOYS will release a new album, called Amazing Disgrace, through Off Yer Rocka in April.

Rockshots has signed EXTREMA and will issue an album called Headbanging Forever for the act this year. The band’s frontman is Tiziano Spigno.

BLACK LUNG’s new album Ancients is out through Ripple Music soon. It was produced by Frank "The Punisher" Marchand. Adam Bufano and Elias Schutzman (founding members of THE FLYING EYES) along with multi-instrumentalist Dave Cavalier comprise the act.

TRANSPORT LEAGUE has signed a contract with Mighty Music and will release A Million Volt Scream sometime this year.

IN FLAMES’ I, the Mask is out through Nuclear Blast now. The band has a new rhythm section.

AMORPHIS will perform the entire Queen Of Time album of 2018 at festival appearances, like Provinssi and Tuska, in Finland this summer. The band will be joined by former THE GATHERING singer Anneke Van Giersbergen on stage.

USA-based sludgy band TEL has issued an album called Lowlife through Aural Music.

FEAR FACTORY has picked Monolith as the title for its next album, which is due this year through Nuclear Blast.

The Hollywood Chamber Of Commerce has announced that AEROSMITH will be honoured with its own star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. The ceremony took place on February 14th.

Any band or album older than ten years old is called “legendary.” What a crock.

Metallian Demos

Lars is a former member of hard rock bands Dizziness, Pole Position, Reptilian and Neondaze and is continuing on the tradition of what he correctly calls “melodies and riffs.” The band is firmly nestled in the hard rock realm, but has the advantage/disadvantage of employing a variety of tempos, feels and influences where the listener is treated to music that could come from Mr. Big, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden or Dream Theater. Lars’ goal is to ditch his bicycle and own a Ferrari like Yngwie Malmsteen. Watch Kill Bill and you would know that Ferraris are Italian trash and bicycles are the manly and environmentally friendly way to go. Heck, Lars should know that. He has a song called Sell Out on this very disc. He does not explain what 1712 refers to, but that is the year Sweden defeated Denmark in battle so perhaps Lars hates Danes (one has to admit their pastry is fattening and unhealthy, but then again given the meatballs who are the Swedes to say anything?). The band evidently never goes into high gear, but certainly the solos (e.g. Travel By Light), moods and tempos do change and indicate the band’s ability within the context of crunchy guitars and melodic vocals. Visit (unless you are a Dane) or e-mail (unless you are a Dane) to ask whether Pink Floyd or Jean Michel Jarre have influenced the demo title or cover artwork. – Ali “The Metallian”

Pierced is of the ilk of bands that sings of blood, sweat, aim and fire and, at first (and second) glance is of the machoer-than-thou variety. Don’t stop reading. Keep reading. No, they are not like Manowar. Well, No one is that bad. OK, back to the review. The New Jersey-based band reminds one of the heydays of NYC crossover and CBGB and, whatever the case, has an array of imposing songs on this debut demo given that it was issued in 2018 a mere year after the quartet’s formation. There is something going on with these guys and it is impossible to say not knowing them, but the band thanks god, Hells Angels of Newark and Old Bridge Metal Militia, the last of which is out of the blue as it has been years since anyone mentioned that group (think TT Quick…). As for god, well it is all lip service of course and no one mentioning it actually follows its so-called teachings, but for the record as far as mythical figures go my choice would be Gandalf. The CD announces that the act sponsors, and is not sponsored by, a martial arts academy.
Since the band is new and one cannot really put his fingers on it let us concentrate on what is right in front of us and that is hard crossover music that is honest and bashing and originally came to the fore in 1987 and 1988. As mentioned, however, it is not that simple and there is dissonance all over the place. The vocals begin (and continue) harsh, hoarse and belligerent a la hardcore, but the second higher-pitched vocals soon come in and they are an acquired taste. Think Bobby Blitz gone shrilly. The mostly mid-paced tracks feature a couple of tasteful leads that are too short. Drink The Venom’s solo is really like those by happy metal bands from Europe. For my money the opening tracks 911, which is not about the fateful day the American CIA killed democracy in Chile, and Impaler are the best tracks here. The image is of hardcore tattooed guys, – see the band’s monicker – the music is serious and capable and the guitar tone and the bass sounds are first-rate. The snare drums should be lower tuned however.
There you have it. Hard sounds that should appeal to both metal and hardcore fans with the added bonus/distraction of a few idiosyncrasies, which as far as talking points go should make for publicity for the American four. Find the band at – Ali “The Metallian”