NECROPHAGIA's Goblins Be Thine MCD has been released by Red Stream Records...Brazil's FARSCAPE has a new album called Demon's Massacre. The album is released by Dark Sun Records in CD format and released by WitchHammer Records on Tape...The new CANNIBAL CORPSE album The Wretched Spawn has entered the German Album Charts at position 74...CALLENISH CIRCLE has recruited a session drummer in the form of STORMRIDER's Spike, also formerly of FORM. He will be taking over drummer Gavin's duties for the rest of the year on the live front. The band is writing music for its fifth album...BELEF has signed with Candlelight Records. The band's debut is expected at the end of the year...GRIP INC's come-back album is called Incorporated and is now out...TOTENMOND's sixth album is called Unter Krochen and is out now...MARDUK's delayed DVD Funeral Marches And Warsongs is now available. It features two video clips, two full concerts and more bonus material...Drummer Matt Byers has decided to part ways with Baltimore's MISERY INDEX. "Matt has decided himself to move on and do other things in life, and we respect his decision, metal will miss yet another great drummer", the band commented on the split. The band is looking for a permanent replacement. All candidates should e-mail email@example.com. The band will be joined by former drummer Kevin Talley for immediate shows...Soundriot Records has released VICIOUS' Vile, Vicious & Victorious CD. The band features Henrik Wenngren of SKYFIRE on vocals...Eric Forrest of E-Force has moved to France. According to the singer, "Due to personal and business reasons I have relocated to France. Toulouse that is. I got married to Nathalie Denaclara (fmr 89.1/Havana-cafe.fr) last September.' The new E-FORCE line-up is as follows: Eric Forrest (bass/vocals), Lewis Leveque (drums), Denis Rousell and Yann Ploquin both on guitar. The new line-up's debut is May 17th at Havana-café in Toulouse with IMPALED NAZARENE and SCARVE. In the meantime, Eric has written new songs. "The new compositions are heavier and faster than the last recorded E-FORCE songs..."...LENG TCH'E will begin working on its third album in May. The band will also travel to the USA for the Maryland Deathfest...Sweden's DEVIANT has signed to The Spew Records. The band, which was recently joined by bassist Erik, is working on its debut...Metal Mind has issued ENTER CHAOS' new album called Aura Sense...SIX FEET UNDER's next release is the Live With Full Force DVD. The footage was filmed at 2003 With Full Force festival in Germany...BAALPHEGOR is preparing its brand new album for the French label Dead Sun Records. Alfred Berengena, the drummer of the band, was recently operated on for his knee and is still recovering. Shows are planned for the spring nevertheless...MACHINE HEAD, ARCH ENEMY and GOD FORBID are set to embark on a U.S. tour this spring. The trek, called the Weapons Of Mass Destruction tour, is set to kick off on April 26th and run through the end of May. The tour will also make a stop at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival on April 30th...KARMAGEDDON has released HEARSE's Armageddon Mon Amour CD. The band features singer Johan Liiva formerly of ARCH ENEMY and NON-EXIST. Armageddon Mon Amour was recorded at Basement Audio Studio in Stockholm and was produced by Jonas Edler...DARK TRANQUILLITY has set a North American release date of June 15th for its rarities and compilation double CD Exposures: In Retrospect and Denial...Thundering Records has issued DISCREATION's (formerly NO SOBRIETY) Death By Design CD and INSANE's Mechanical Revolt album. Both French bands play thrash metal...THE CROWN has decided to call it a day. The sudden departure from the scene was attributed to the band's difficult financial situation...ARTHEMESIA has announced that famous drummer Dr. K.H. will drum for the band's upcoming album titled ShamaNatahS - II Describe I Mind. The worldwide release for the album is scheduled for autumn...According to Karmageddon Media NECROPHOBIC will soon start writing material for its upcoming, and as yet untitled, fifth full-length album...JUNGLE ROT will be releasing its new album, Fueled By Hate, on June 15th through Olympic/Century Media. Guitarist Chris Djuricic of JUNGLE ROT is guesting as the bassist for HURTLOCKER on the band's current recording sessions. The band is recording a demo...... Music has signed a four-album deal with American newcomers I.C.E. (IMPERIAL CRYSTALLINE ENTOMBMENT)...This year's Fuck The Commerce VII festival in Neiden, Germany will feature, among others, INCANTATION, OBITUARY, MASTER and HOMOIRATUS. The latter band's Apocalypse album is out now. The festival will take place between 20.05 and 22.05...INCANTATION has signed to Listenable Records and is currently working on its next album Decimate Christendom...Montreal's NECRONOMICONN is seeking a bass player to replace Dominik. Due to a tendinitis in his right wrist, the bassist must halt his activities for an undetermined period of time. The band is still searching for a full-time female vocalist. Those interested should contact firstname.lastname@example.org...INSISION has entered Sound Lab Studio in Orebro, Sweden to work on its forthcoming album, tentatively titled Revealed And Worshipped...CADAVER will release its album, Necrosis, through Candlelight on April 19th...POISON's Further Down the Abyss CD is a re-release of Midian Creation's MLP of the same name, plus rare tracks from the German underground act. The CD has been issued by Majestic Union...Morbid Records has issued its Morbide Festspiele 6,66 VHS-Video. It features footage from, among others, BONESTORM, HARMONY DIES, EMINENZ, BLOOD and MANOS...SLAYER is recording its first studio album with original members since 1992's Seasons In The Abyss. A new album is expected through American Recordings in September..THE CHASM will start the production of its Earache debut, tentatively entitled Spell Of Retribution, in April at Soto Sound Studios in Palatine, Illinois...C.A.H. Records has issued AGATHOCLES' Live At Werm... CD...Scarlet Records has issued HATESPHERE's Ballet Of The Brute album. The band will tour with MISERY INDEX in Europe this August...Bay Area thrashers HEATHEN will release the long-delayed Recovered CD this month. The album is a compilation of sorts and features rare tracks, demo versions, cover versions and a newer song...ANTHRAX are slated to attend the premier of their DVD Music Of Mass Destruction in Los Angeles on April 7th. The premiere will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Laemmle Sunset Theatre, 8000 Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood. Fans can book a seat through www.anthrax.com. The band has recruited ARMORED SAINT's Joey Vera as a touring bassist...ARMORED SAINT's Armored Saint Magazine: Lessons Not Well Learned DVD will be out next month...Minneapolis Mayhem Metal Festival will take place on April 24th, 2004 at the Questclub. Bands playing include SUFFOCATION, MORBID ANGEL, INTO ETERNITY and EIDOLON...BANE OF EXISTENCE's new album Humanity's Splintered Salvation is now out through Fleshfeast Records...STRAPPING YOUNG LAD has re-signed with Century Media Records worldwide and is already hard at work on the follow-up to its SYL album. The group just completed its first DVD, which is set for a late summer release...FINAL DAWN's Under The Bleeding Sky is now out through Karmageddom Media...KEEP OF KALESSIN's Reclaim has just been released in Europe...CRAIG PILSON has rejoined DIO. He replaces the departed bassist Jimmy Bain. DIO's next album is expected in July...MISTELTEIN has recruited OBSCURE DIVINITY's Ville Kemi (a.k.a. Skorrgh) to sing on the band's next album, tentatively due in December...Grind unit THE RED CHORD has signed with Metal Blade The band plans to record a full-length album, called Clients, later this year...BLUT AUS NORD has picked May 18th as the release date for its new CD, The Work Which Transforms God...Former PANZERCHRIST, EXMORTEM and VILE drummer Reno Kiilerich has joined DIMMU BORGIR...THE DUSKFALL has parted ways with guitarist Joachim Lindbäck. The man had to leave the band due to family commitments. His position will temporarily be filled by Lars Löfven of DEFLESHED ...DESTRUCTION was joined by former members guitarist Harry Wilkens and drummers Tommy Sandmann and Sven Vormann at the band's DVD-release party on March 12th at the House of Rock in Herboldsheim, Germany....THANATOS has set a June 12th release date for its fourth full-length album, Undead. Unholy. Divine through Black Lotus Records....ABORTED has announced the addition of drummer Gilles Delecroix to the group. Gilles replaces longtime drummer Frank...THORNSPAWN has signed a two-album deal with Poland's Agonia Records...
Mandy Lion's WWIII is booked to play the Key Club in Hollywood on April 18th. It is rumoured that former members Jimmy Bain and Vinny Appice will appear with the band on stage...Franck Métayer, the drummer of THE OLD DEAD TREE since 1999, has decided to leave the band in order to devote himself to his personal life. The French band invites all interested drummers to get in touch by writing to email@example.com...Divenia has released MAGICA's The Scroll Of Stone CD...Adam Gonsalves the bass player for BEYOND THE EMBRACE has decided to leave the band to pursue other interests...Sanctuary Records will release a solo album from GENE SIMMONS of KISS in May entitled Asshole. This release will mark the second solo album from Simmons since his self-titled solo album in 1978...FEAR FACTORY Returns with an album called Archetype on April 20th through Liquid 8 Records. The band will also spend April doing the Jagermeister Tour with SLIPKNOT...Scottish hard rockers CRY HAVOC have a self financed CDR available available through their website at http://www.cry-havoc.co.uk. Recorded in 1996 at The Stuffhouse Recordings Studio in Glasgow, the recording features five tracks that made the Chavis Records 2002 release Fuel That Feeds The Fire and one unreleased track Heartland. There is also an additional bonus unreleased demo titled Beat The Bullet. Stevie Durrand and Paul Logue have also commenced the writing and recording of the second CRY HAVOC album which currently has a working title of Caught In A Lie. The band is currently without a deal as their deal with the defunct Chavis Records has expired...NWOBHM's ACENGER has released a two-disc compilation called Too Wild To Tame: The Antholog...NEVERMORE has officially re-signed with Century Media Records worldwide and is now preparing for more touring. The group will also be featured on the upcoming New England Metal and Hardcore Festival DVD compilation...WINDS' The Imaginary Direction Of Time is now out...AGENT STEEL, STEEL PROPHET, ENRAGED and others will play Los Angeles' Gates Of Metal II on June 6th, 2004 at Ibizia Theater...Fastlane Records has issued BANG THE UNION's debut American Dream CD. The band is compared to Bon Scott-era AC/DC...The long-planned WHITE LION reunion has fallen apart. The various intra-band negotiations put an end to the venture. All booked shows are now cancelled...Fastlane Records and CD Smash Records have banded together to operate IRG Radio...VOID OF SILENCE's Human Antithesis album, featuring new vocalist Alan Nemtheanga from PRIMORDIAL is completed and will be released in Digipack before summer 2004 on code666...UK's THE AXIS OF PERDITION has signed a contract with code666 and will release its next album in 2005...TAD MOROSE, EDGUY and NOCTURNAL RITES will tour Scandinavia together in May. The band has completed a video for the song Anubis and will appear at Atlanta ProgPower V in September...GOTTHARD has parted ways with guitarist Mandy Meyer. The band is also looking for a new label and new management...TWILIGHT ODYSSEY has signed a record deal with the Italian label Steelheart Records for its debut album which is slated for release in the summer of 2004. Three of the tracks featured are from the band's 2003 demo...The the upcoming JUDAS PRIEST reunion album will not be released before late autumn. The band is touring Europe beginning June and appearing at Ozzfest as openers for OZZY OSBOURNE...ARTCH's 2 DVD set, due for release on April 20th, contains nearly four hours of never-before-seen material...Z Records has signed a worldwide deal with GYPSY ROSE and will release the band's next album which is their first in 14 years...CINDERELLA bassist Eric Brittingham has just released a solo album called Naked Beggars. It features his wife Inga on vocals...QUEENSRYCHE will release The Art Of Live' DVD through Sanctuary Music on the twentieth of this month. The band is touring the USA this month...SHAMAN's Ritual Live DVD is now out and features 18 songs captured live and two video clips...http://riffs.8m.com/blitzinter.html has posted a massive interview with vocalist Brian Ross of BLITZKRIEG and SATAN fame...SPV Records has released a rerecorded CD version of MOLLY HATCHET's Best Of. The band is touring the USA for the rest of the summer...CATHEDRAL is working on new a new album. The band will record its first album for Nuclear Blast this summer. Cathedral is also putting together a best of album through former label Earache, tentatively entitled A Serpent's Gold...Crash Music has signed agreements for distribution with ZYX Music and RSK Entertainment. The agreements will see all Crash Music releases distributed by ZYX in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Poland and by RSK in the United Kingdom starting in April...CROWBAR's forthcoming CD, tentatively titled Life's Blood For The Downtrodden, was recorded in Louisiana with producers Warren Riker and Rex Brown. Brown also handled the bass on the album. The band's line-up also features drummer Craig Nunenmacher and guitarist Steve Gibb of BLACK LABEL SOCIETY...Former ONWARD guitarist Toby Knapp has changed the name of his black metal project to WAXEN from UNIT 100...VINDIKATION, the new band featuring former STEEL PROPHET members Jim Williams and Karl Rosqvist, singer Jason McCrarey (formerly of SANCTUS) and keyboardist Rob Rampley (WINDS DIED DOWN), has completed its debut demo CD Chamber of Discontent...CREMATORY and Nuclear Blast have picked May 3rd as the release date for the band's comeback album Revolution...Ron Taylor, vocalist for LILLIAN AXE, is leaving the band. Interested singers can call the band at (225) 749-8890...SECRET SPHERE has announced the addition of drummer Dave Simeone (ELDRITCH) to the band's line-up...SATAN will reunite in the original Court In The Act-era line-up for a special performance at the Wacken Open Air in August...Drummer Fred Coury of CINDERELLA is looking for two touring guitarists for his dance project EFFCEE. More information can be found at http://www.effcee.com...MOB RULES has finished work on its fourth album, Among the Gods, which is due on May 17th through SPV Records...THUNDRA, featuring former members of EINHERJER and ENSLAVED, has left Spinefarm Records...Reunited hard rockers LEATHERWOLF has announced the addition of singer Jeff Martin (RACER X) to the band's line-up...SHAPE OF DESPAIR has set Illusion's Play as the name of its third album. Expect the album in the autumn through Spinefarm Records...Sanctuary Records has released a new DIAMOND HEAD compilation album called Am I Evil? - The Anthology. It is a two-CD compilation that covers the group's entire career...ISENGARD has lost the services of bassist Janne "Goat" Tillman...Former SCORPIONS drummer Herman Rarebell is launching a German tour with his new band R&R in late April...THERION will be releasing two albums, Sirius B and Lemuria, on May 24th through Nuclear Blast Records...PARADISE LOST has parted ways with drummer Lee Morris due to "personal and musical differences." ...SENTENCED frontman Ville Laihiala has also assumed the lead vocals in his side-project POISONBLACK following the departure of CHARON singer Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto...Former W.A.S.P. and BELLADONNA drummer Stet Howland has joined the New York glam band CARNIVAL OF SOULS.
TOXIC VIRGIN - SULPHUR
Mmmm... a toxic virgin...
2004 brings Toxic Virgin's fourth independent CD. The Germans have again opted to release a professional full-length disc. The band's hard rock is straightforward, compact and fun. Songs like Evil Days and Born To Run are seriously good tunes with great vocals, guitars and arrangements. Rock Bottom and Whiskey A Go Go are more likely wisecrack songs and designed for the band's many live appearances. The same goes for the tongue-in-cheek Girls Don't Drink. Otherwise, if one could imagine the hard rock answer to Blind Guardian this band would be it. Aside from a general lack of solos, the CD could have used a better cover artwork. It seems that the band's very first CD had the best cover of all four. Having said that, Toxic Virgin is a good hard band well worth the time and effort to procure the CD or see the band live. Either visit www.toxicvirgin.de or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. - Ali "The Metallian"
HFM - A VIRTUE THEORY
A Virtue Theory is a surprisingly powerful affair. The bio's description of the band as 'metal/hardcore' and the list of acts HFM has played with in the past all pointed to a turkey. Nevertheless, the five-piece has put together an impressive affair of a CD with five songs.
The singer does take the band into a direction best described as metal's answer to System Of A Down. He has the same rapid fire singing style as the mallcore MTV act, although HFM is a far heavier group with vocals which are quite intense. The music is crushingly hard and has the benefit of an incredibly potent production. Whatever the band has paid on the studio and engineering of this disc is well-spent. HFM is obviously not a band with guitar solos or melodic vocals. Instead the band takes the commercial mainstream as espoused by Kerrang, Metal Hammer and MTV and renders it heavy before delivering it to the masses. Either write to email@example.com or visit www.hfmhfm.com for more information. - Ali "The Metallian"
VOLC VERMALEDIDE/WEEMOED - Split demo
Both Volc Vermaledide and Weemoed are splinter groups of the Dutch band Walpurgisnacht and seem to be solo efforts. Volc Vermaledide is the work of singer Mor De Naere and is a varied and atmospheric act with hints of Burzum and Pan-Thy-Monium. The man is supported by a drum machine and synthesizers and is a bigger fan of form than substance. This is as underground as the river styx. The cover artwork of Weemoed's side is familiar, although its origins are a mystery to me. This act is also a solo one supported by drum machines and synthesizers, but has a better sound than Volc Vermaledide. The sound is raw, grim and more linear than most bands. Houtekiet is the guitarist for Walpurgisnacht, but has an angry snarl worth hearing. The split-CD is available for a mere five Euros by either e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com! - Ali "The Metallian"
WALPURGISNACHT - MOERASGHESOMP
This Dutch band is as underground as it gets in the black metal scene right now. Banishing all thoughts of plastic so-called black metal like Dimmu Borgir or Old Man's Child, the Dutch quintet bashes together a raw, dark, ominous and definitely subterranean affair with enough wails, screams, untight drumming and necro guitars to make Euronymous himself proud. The band's dark art and artwork, Dutch lyrics and obscure approach to music is good enough for me and is a real thorn in the side of barbie 'black metal' bands parading in the pages of Kerrang, Revolver and other teeny bop magazines out there. Five Euros should do it. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information. - Ali "The Metallian"
ST. MADNESS - WE MAKE EVIL FUN
Scottsdale, Arizona's St. Madness is a different breed of a band. The self-described 'Theatrical, shock-metal band' is out to entertain in a sick and twisted way. We Make Evil Fun is a compilation of the band's previous releases and six new songs and is a loud, politically incorrect, anti-everything disc with song titles like You Are My Food, Evil Elvis, God Bless America and Love's Butcher Shop. The CD also features several interpretations of songs like Wild Thing and Hey Joe. St. Madness is an all-out romp through everything that is loud, unconventional and oddball. This is the perfect Fourth Of July gift for the mother-in-law. Get it from Amendment One Management at P.O. Box 11614, Scottsdale, Arizona 85271 USA or for more information e-mail email@example.com! - Ali "The Metallian"
SCHUGAR/SCHENKER - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
To be honest the type of AOR/hard rock made available on Under Construction is as hip as an SUV nowadays. Commercialism or popularity has rarely been an indicator for quality though and Under Construction should be judged on its own merit.
Schugar/Schenker is a demo project and collaboration of previously unknown singer and guitarist Amy Schugar and erratic axeman Michael Schenker. The eight songs, with titles like High Cost, Love & Danger and Victim Of The System, range in direction from AOR to rock to pop and hard rock. The quality of the songs is generally good, although a couple of misgivings are in order. The demo CD begins with one of the poppier and weaker tunes called High Cost. In contrast, it is the CD's closer, Victim Of The System, which takes the cake, for quality, among the songs. Schugar concentrates on her vocals, but does kick in with her guitar here and there. Schenker sticks to a mix of acoustic and electrical guitar playing and only lets rip on a couple of occasions. This is the other problem with this CD. Listening to Michael Schenker letting loose once in a while is such a tease. He evidently still has it in him to work his magic with the best of them. Why be so conservative then? Guitar fans will find some great work on All I Got, at the end of Love & Danger and on Victim Of The System. The more vocally-inclined will get their kicks on the aforementioned Victim Of The System (Victim Of Illusion part II?).
Under Construction is obviously not a return to top form and to the days of One Night At Budokan, but that was never a consideration. Having said that, this demo is an above average release and substantially better than much of Michael's more recent work. Get this by heading over to www.amyschugar.com or by writing to P.O. Box 84424, Phoenix, AZ. 85071-4424 USA. - Ali "The Metallian"
BOWLSCRAPER - RED HAIR REVOLUTION
Whether any of the band members have red hair is not clear for the group photograph is in black and white. What is sure though is that two of them have long hair which is always yummy! Musically, there are snippets of COC and Sacred Reich present with the Bowlscraper, but the main influences of the band come from Metallica and especially Pantera. The band is angry and makes sure that it gets heard. The production is thick an the delivery chunky. The CD is a full-length with fourteen tracks so for more information or to order the professional demo e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bowlscraper.net. Perhaps you can find out what the red hair revolution is all about! - Sheila Wes Det
KINGCROW - INSIDER
Kingcrow's full-length independent demo is an ambitious project. The demo is a concept narrating the story of two friends, Jason and Alan, who are caught in a web of events related to project Insider. The band has gone out of its way to create a complete package comprised of the concept, complete artwork and packaging.
Kingcrow's music is a mix between hard rock, heavy metal and progressive rock. A distinct Rush influence can be heard through, and the band borrows from Iron Maiden on Eyes Of A Betrayer and Megadeth's Tornado Of Souls song on Lies, but much of Insider is the work of a band thinking its own thoughts. To discover kingcrow for yourself visit the band's site at www.kingcrow.it. - Ali "The Metallian"
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