Metallian Heavy

OVERKILL has signed on with Nuclear Blast USA after working with the label’s European branch. A box set of the group’s work will be issued this autumn. The band is touring with SYMPHONY X this autumn as well.

The reunited CARCASS was refused a visa to play Malaysia. After protesting and mocking Malaysia by posting that country’s flag upside down a number of Malaysian fans expressed disapproval on the band’s web page. Apparently, the band was denied a visa due to its lyrical content.

New York thrash metal band NUCLEAR ASSAULT will release a new EP on June 1. Entitled Pounder, the EP will feature four tracks.

Canadian thrash and groove metal band, MERIDIUS – named after Russell Crowe’s character in Gladiator – has issued a first single called Speed Kills from its upcoming self-titled debut demo due out March 20th.

Norwegian black metal legend GORGOROTH, featuring remaining original member Infernus, has signed to Soulseller Records for a worldwide deal. The band’s new and tenth studio full-length is entitled Instinctus Bestialis and will be released on June 8th 2015 on digipack CD, limited black vinyl, limited picture vinyl and digitally.

New England-based progressive death metal architects, ESCHATON, will release the Sentinel Apocalypse full-length this May through Unique Leader Records.

Montreal, Canada’s black doom metal band ÉOHUM’s debut full-length Revelations, Aurora Of An Epoch is set for release on April 7th. It is being offered as a ‘pay what you want’ release through band mastermind and guitarist Jeremy Perkins’ label Mycelium Networks.

Germany’s Ván Records has signed London-based black metal band CROM DUBH. The band’s debut full-length album Heimweh is now released.

New Zealand-based band DAWN OF AZAZEL will release its fourth full-length this month. Titled The Tides Of Damocles, the ten-track album is the trio’s first output in six years following 2009’s Relentless long-player. The Tides Of Damocles was recorded, mixed and mastered last year at Mana Recording Studio in Tampa, Florida by Brian Elliot and J.J. Hrubovcak. The title references the ocean.

B.C. based thrash and groove metal band MERIDIUS – named after Russell Crowe’s character in Gladiator – has released its self-titled debut EP.

Season of Mist has signed BLACK COBRA. The American sludge metal band will enter a studio in the near future to record its Season Of Mist debut album for a late 2015 release.

After co-founding member Steven “Steve-In” Breen decided to part ways with MUTANK in January to return to his hometown of St. John’s, NL, the Montreal based thrashers and 2014 Wacken Metal Battle Canada winners recruited Jordan Kelly into the fold.

New Italian death metal act DEMIURGON (featuring members from UNBIRTH and DARKEND) has signed with Ungodly Ruins Productions (RUS) for the release its debut album Above The Unworthy. It will be out on May 31st.

Art Gates Records has signed Spanish thrash metal band O.D.I.O (Our Days In Oblivion). The band is working on a new album, which is due in May.

Inspired by KEEL? SKINLESS will issue its first album in nearly a decade this June. Titled Only The Ruthless Remain, and featuring the late ’90s lineup, the album was recorded by Tom Case at Edie Road and Doomsday Bunker Studio.

DISARMONIA MUNDI’s new album. Entitled Cold Inferno, the album will be released on the 9th of June through Coroner Records.

Athens-based thrashers BIO-CANCER will release a new full-length, Tormenting The Innocent, in North America through Candlelight Records this month. Mixed by Andy Classen (DESTRUCTION, KRISIUN, etc.), the nine-track album is the first worldwide offering for the young five-piece and follows the 2012 demo Ear Piercing Thrash.

DESTRUCTION drummer Vaaver will not join the band for the upcoming North American tour with SEPULTURA and ARSIS due to the birth of his second child. Standing in will be former PRIMAL FEAR/ANNIHILATOR and current DUSKMACHINE drummer Randy Black.

April 2015 will see the return of Europe’s HateFest Tour. The bill will be headlined by SIX FEET UNDER and includes MARDUK, VADER and HATE! Special guests on all weekend-dates will be EISREGEN and DEBAUCHERY. Stepping in for the SIX FEET UNDER bass player, Jeff Hughell who is becoming a father, will be Victor Brandt from ENTOMBED.

Italian band DARKEND is participating in a PARADISE LOST tribute album with a cover of Colossal Rains from the Icon album.

After 17 years AMON AMARTH has parted ways with drummer Fredrik Andersson. The drummer will focus on THIS ENDING.

Following a legal battle with his former band-mates of IMMORTAL ABBATH has decided to write and perform under his own name going forward. The band ABBATH is writing songs and will appear at Blastfest in Bergen, Norway in 2016.

Former DEATH bassist Scott Clendenin, who played on The Sound Of Perseverance album, has died. He was 47 years old. A cause of death was not offered. Clendenin was recently involved in the DEATH cover band, DEATH TO ALL.

Spain’s NOCTEM is touring China.

Miami, Florida’s MARUTA will issue an album called Remain Dystopian through Relapse in June.

As Ván Records is issuing the sophomore album from Greek pagan ‘black metal’ band, MACABRE OMEN. The album is called Gods Of War – At War.

Metallian Hard

Belgian heavy metal KILLER will release a new album, called Monsters Of Rock, on May 21st through Mausoleum Records. The band has self-produced the record.

Sony Music Entertainment and Legacy Recordings, which is mostly Sony's catalogue imprint, have signed a worldwide deal with ROB HALFORD. Fans may expect a series of reissues and compilations from the JUDAS PRIEST singer.

MEGADETH has hired drummer Chris Adler (LAMB OF GOD) to play for the band on its new album.

TIGERTAILZ has announced the departure of singer Jules Millis "due to personal reasons."

Italian band STEEL CITY has recruited Gabriele Bruno (SBRINAFRIGO) as its lead singer following the departure of Fabio Riccio. The band is working on a new full-length album.

The infamous farewell show: BLACK SABBATH will play its "farewell" concert at this year's Ozzfest Japan, which will take place November 21-22 at Makuhari Messe near Tokyo. Ozzfest is returning this year after a prolonged absence.

Finnish band AMORAL is now a sextet following reuniting with its original vocalist Niko Kalliojärvi. AMORAL will play at the Tuska festival after party at the end of June.

Following his departure from AC/DC due to dementia, cancer and heart condition former AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young has spent over eight million dollars for a waterfront property in Palm Beach, Sydney, Australia.

Australia’s MESHIAAK, featuring SLAYER/TESTAMENT drummer Jon Dette, has signed a deal with Mascot Label Group. The band’s Alliance Of Thieves is due in September.

RED DRAGON CARTEL has booted singer Darren James Smith and replaced him with Michael Beck. Smith will continue with HAREM SCAREM. Bassist Greg Chaisson has also left. Chaisson's replacement is Anthony Esposito formerly of ACE FREHLEY.

TWISTED SISTER and ADRENALINE MOB drummer A.J. Pero has died at the age of 55 apparently from a heart attack. Pero was on tour with ADRENALINE MOB and was not aroused on the tour bus in the morning. He was taken to a hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York. Pero had also just joined FOUR BY FATE replacing Stet Howland.

Canadian hard rockers MOXY will release the 1974 To 2014 – 40 Years And Still Riding High – Best Of CD + Live CD and DVD on May 22nd through Escape Music in UK/Europe. The first pressing will be a Limited Edition of 2,000 copies and includes a Live DVD in a triple CD boxset.

Jolly Roger Records has announced the signing of Italian - now relocated to the UK - band NEGACY. Previously going under the name RED WARLOCK, the new band’s debut album Flames Of Black Fire will be out June 15th. The band is compared to SANCTUARY, ANNIHILATOR and MORGANA LEFAY.

German-based trio VALBORG will release its next full-length album through Temple Of Torturous. Titled Romantik, it is the follow-up to 2012's Nekrodepression.

One-man blackened doom metal band TOTAL NEGATION will release a full-length called Zeitzeuge in May through Sweden-based Temple Of Torturous Records.

Vancouver, Canada thrashers TITANS EVE return with a new demo called Chasing The Devil on June 12th. It was recorded at Warehouse Studio in Vancouver.

Finnish thrash/sleaze/glam band TORNADO has signed a worldwide deal with Wormholedeath for the release of its sophomore album, Black President. It features US President Obama on its cover. The act has released a video for the track David And Goliath.

Former Arista Records recording artists BABYLON A.D. has issued a new live CD entitled Live @ XXV to celebrate its 25 years of recording and touring together. The band is also playing several US shows.

British heavy metal band TANK will return in June with its tenth studio album, Valley Of Tears. It is the first album featuring the former DRAGONFORCE frontman ZP Theart. TANK will tour Italy in April.

British pagan metal band, WOLVES OF AVALON, will release a new album in May. Mantas (VENOM/M.PIRE OF EVIL) has recorded the guitars for a cover of VENOM’s Die Hard, along with vocal contributions from, Rob of AMEBIX and Mirai of SIGH.

German hard rockers MIRACLE MASTER have started the search for a new singer following the departure of vocalist Oliver Weers. The band is currently working on a full-length and a few summer shows.

Western Canada's open air metal festival Farmageddon has announced the line-up for its 2015 edition in Ryley, AB (80 KMs East of Edmonton) from June 11 to 14. This year's line-up features headliners STEVE GRIMMET’S GRIM REAPER from the UK, American bands PALLBEARER and INCANTATION plus Canadians INTO ETERNITY and ARCHSPIRE along with many support bands from Western Canada.

HELLOWEEN will release its next album, My God-Given Right, on May 29th through Nuclear Blast. The album was recorded between October 2014 and February at the group’s MiSueno Studio in Tenerife with producer Charlie Bauerfeind.

VAN HALEN will support the release of its new live album, Live: Tokyo Dome In Concert, with a performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday, April 2 on American TV. The band is touring North America.

LEAVES' EYES has signed a new deal with AFM Records.

AEROSMITH singer Steven Tyler is working on a country album potentially for the Nashville-based Big Machine Label Group. It is due in 2016.

Born again Christian rockers Blackie Lawless and W.A.S.P. have signed a worldwide recording deal with Napalm Records. The band's next album, entitled Golgotha, will be released this August.

SHAPE OF DESPAIR’s next album is called Monotony Fields. The album is scheduled for release on the 15th of June.

Metallian Demos

Not to be confused with the Greek band of the same name Fall Of Man is a female fronted Los Angeles based quartet. Buried is the band's current single with two other songs - Leave Me Alone and Servants Of Nothing - available online. Buried is four minutes plus long and has a laid back grungy feel to start. The band seem to try to be a bit more than that and Erica's vocals, lyrics and song structure end up making Buried a bit of epic and gothic too. There is a little of Anneke style catchiness in Erica's voice too. Keep up with the band's news, songs and upcoming album at - Anna Tergel

Them County Bastardz is a quintet based in Leamington, Canada and is self described as Canadian rednecks. Sick Daze is the band's debut and seven songs (six plus 25 seconds of It's Not Metal) and only 28 minutes long. Inevitably with the redneck tag cops and defiance seem to be a central theme. The macho feel is emphasised with Andrew Watson's vocals, his being the come and get me angry grunt vocals. The Pantera comparison seems inevitable but Them County Bastardz probably owe more to the other names attributed to them, like Godsmack and Sevendust for example. There is nothing particularly too heavy here, the guitar is thick and the bass strong but none of it feels earth shatteringly so. The aforementioned It's Not Metal showcases the band's sense of humour as a short acoustic piece is interrupted by "That's not metal, I wanna hear some metal for Mark." The song that follows it, appropriately titled Metal For Mark, resumes the norm. The Bastard is a bit different as it features a more distinct chorus, sometimes cleaner vocals and a less aggressive edge. Rise Up closes Sick Daze mostly the way it started and offers more of what a listener might expect when an album features images of band members, a truck and beer cans. Drive by to see the band in action. - Anna Tergel