CD & DVD REVIEWS 2007

CD & DVD REVIEWS 2007

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Archive: CD, DVD & DEMO REVIEWS 2005 & OLDER
Archive: CD, DVD & DEMO REVIEWS 2006


DECEMBER

3HM - Three Headed Monster (CD) USA December 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic Instrumental Metal Running time: 40:38 (Tracks: 8)
3HM (Three Headed Monster) consists of four former high school friends who play an all-instrumental blend of genres, varying from power and thrash to prog and old-fashioned heavy metal. 3 Headed Monster came into existence in 2001 (first under the name "Baptismal By Fire") after the four friends decided that it was time to put aside their friendship... and start a band. The band started playing show after show and gained a cult following in the New England area based on their crazy live antics and songs filled to the brim with guitar shred. 3HM writes enjoyable instrumental metal songs, the dual guitar shred of Chris and Chris and the great rhythm section of Paul (Bass) and Andy (Drums).
Normally when I listen to instrumental bands than they are mostly solo projects of guitarplayers which have formed a band around themselves to express their ideas and to give their own music a more serious sound. 3HM is not of this kind; this is pure heavy metal!! Not songs that are written to fullfil some guitarsolos but real, complete, metalsongs that sound superb! Personally I dont even miss a singer in this kind of music. Melissa Records released 4 albums till now but this is their best if you ask me. Musically it reminds me to the early years of bands like Megadeth, Fates Warning and I even hear some Slayer riffs back in some of their songs. Great stuff and if you ask my opinion; better no singer than a moderate/mediocre singer! Keep continuing this musical direction guys! Only little complain is the short running time of the CD.
Recordlabel: http://www.melissarecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/3headedmonster

90/100

AGANKAST - Walking with Angels…Running with Devils (2CD) United Kingdom December 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: (Tracks: 17)
Again a new album from UK's thrashers Agankast, a double album this time, there has been some changes around this band since I reviewed their last album. To start with, founding member guitarist Rob Matthew (ex-Atomkraft) has decided to step down now after the recording of the album, and has been replaced by 17yr old riff machine Steven Gray. Also due to complications they had to change the name of the band, which is now called Insanita. This however doesn't effect their music in any way. Back to the new album, the first disc 'Walking with Angels' is similar to what they have done before, great thrash anthems, with great riffs and guitarwork in them. The songs are all on the long side, with an average of 7 minutes, slow chugging songs but never boring. Then on the second disc 'Running with Devils' a full on thrash approach, which takes the band in a new direction, which is also where they are taking the band on the live scene. Theres absolutely no doubt about it; great thrash metal, with songs like 'Heathen', 'Razorwire' , 'End it all' and title track 'Running with Devils'. Great riffs, full speed thrash metal, which makes me very curious to their live performance, this is the good stuff. Well now you know I like it, but give it a try for yourself and find out, the British know how to make some serious thrash metal! The only thing which could have been done a bit better maybe is the production of the album, but for a self produced album certainly not bad at all, I guess they didn't find a label yet, but this should only be a matter of time, cause quality stands out here!
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/agankast

75/100

ANCIENT CREATION – Evolution Bound (CD) USA December 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 49:54 (Tracks: 9)
Ancient Creation is the latest addition to the Melissa Records camp, a label which specializes in power metal. This Missouri based band presents us its debut after a few years of underground presence. According to the press note the intention of the band is to present us some old school power metal with progressive elements. I think that the guys more or less achieved that goal. Evolution Bound is power and progressive metal but the old school term doesn't apply in every single song. For example the death growls don't sound very old school to me. And the production isn't the best possible since I think that the band needed a more "razor sharp" sound. On the other hand the quintet surely knows how to play. The nine songs vary from dark mid tempo to fast paced power metal tunes and I wouldn't go too far if I said that these guys reminded me of Destiny's End. Steve Bentley's voice bears a striking resemblance to that of James Rivera but the similarities expand to the song writing and performance field too. Well I guess that "Evolution Bound" will appeal to most fans of the American power metal sound and all these guys who want their metal rough!
Visit their website: http://www.ancientcreation.net
Recordlabel: http://www.melissarecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ancientcreation

75/100

BLACK CRUCIFIXION – Promethean Gift (CD) Finland December 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Black Metal Running time: 37:53 (Tracks: 8)
Black Crucifixion started in early years of the 90s. This band hasn't released much material and what they released they did that on a very small edition. Their first demo was released in 1992, and after that they released an MCD. In 2006 they released the Faustian Dream record (which was a re-release of their demos). So this one is their debut. This record contains 8 tracks of dark and rare black metal. The first four songs are new and the sound great, not spectacular but good, the songs are very dark and doom. The guitar riffs aren't typical black but heavier. The drums are pounding through every song with fury. The vocalist has a very dark and filthy voice not heavy but very dark. All the songs contain a very high atmosphere in it. The other four songs are old songs that sound old (terrible performance and production). They are more raw as black should sound in those years. I like the new songs more then the older ones. All though black metal isn't my favourite music I think that this band hasn't stopped evolving in time. This is their first full length release in ten years and its well worth checking out!
Visit their website: http://www.paasto.com/bc
Recordlabel: http://www.soulsellerrecords.com

70/100

CULT OF THE FOX – Cult of the Fox (CDemo ) Sweden December 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 16:29 (Tracks: 4)
Cult of the Fox is a band coming from ‘Skåne län Sweden’ and has been in progress for several years, but the band was officially formed in early 2007. Cult Of The Fox sounds like pure, honest, true 80’s Heavy Metal! The music is not from a very high level but that’s absolutely no problem to me! The music has got a great spirit and sounds good in the ears. Cult Of The Fox even sounds a bit like Dutch Heavy Metal Legends ‘Hammerhawk’! In my opinion… A great true, honest Heavy Metal demo for real Underground Metal Maniacs!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cultofthefox

70/100

DEPRESSED MODE – Ghost of Devotion (CD) Finland December 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Melodic Doom Metal Running time: 51:16 (Tracks: 9)
Depressed Mode started in 2005. In 2006 they signed with Firebox Records and now they released their debut "Ghost of Devotion". This album contains 9 tracks of pure old school doom metal. All the songs have great variety and the production is great. The guitar riffs are very very slow and heavy. The drums are also just the way how it must be slow and slower. There are two vocals on it a female and a male. The voice of the female is great and not annoying. Normally I don't like a female voice in doom metal because in my opinion it takes away the darkness in a song, but in this case I must say that it sounds great (not to hard in the mix, only as backing vocal). Tthe lead singer has a very dark and heavy grunt that reminds me a lot of Ataraxie (France doom metal band). Even the keyboards aren't annoying and give a very dark dimension to the songs. When I listen to this album I feel really relaxed and in a trance, well done! If you like bands that sound like Ataraxie, My Dying Bride then you should buy it!
Visit their website: http://www.mikseri.net/depmode
Recordlabel: http://www.firebox.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/depressedmodedoom

80/100

DUG PINNICK – Strum Sum Up (CD) USA December 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Psychedelic Rock Running time: 54:28 (Tracks: 14)
"Strum Sum Up" is Dug Pinnick's second solo album for Magna Carta, after "Emotional Animal" in 2005. Of course is Dug known as King's X bassist and lead vocalist. His newest album is featuring Wally Farkas of Galactic Cowboys, and he also got the help of Billy Idol's guitar wizard Steve Stevens and Army of Anyone's Ray Luzier, amongst others. Half of the album is composed of two-part rock suites, containing extended jam sections. The music on "Strum Sum Up" reminds a lot of King's X music ; a mix of prog, grunge, funk, soul, blues,rock, pop and psychedelic with Dug's characteristic voice.
Visit their website: http://www.dugpinnick.com
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dugpinnickpoundhound

71/100

GAMMA RAY – Land Of The Free-Part II (CD) Germany December 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 65:18 (Tracks: 12)
Gamma Ray exist since 18 years, when Kai Hansen decided to leave Helloween. They never have been so successful as Helloween, although they play more or less the same style. In 1995 they released their classic "Land Of The Free" album, which is considered as their best album through fans and press. Now, 12 years later they release the follow-up, "Part II". Still all Gamma Ray ingredients are the same ; fast-paced, anthemic, deeply melodic, diverse, many choruses, amazing solos and Kai's characteristic voice. So nothing has changed that much since their start. They still sound like a mix of Priest/Maiden and old Helloween. At the end of November, Gamma Ray and Helloween will start the Hellish Rock 2007/08 tour. The fans can look forward to a full 70-minute Gamma Ray show with their own stage set, plus a nightly session together with Helloween, likely to feature a number of classics from Kai Hansen's own Helloween era!
Visit their website: http://www.gamma-ray.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gammaraymyspace

87/100

GARY HUGHES – Veritas (CD) England December 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 62:42 (Tracks: 12)
There is no need to hide that Gary Hughes is one of my favourite artists. The leader of British hard rock legends Ten, has been composing magnificent music for years. And although his recent Ten effort wasn't equivalent to his previous ones, he still remains a highly acclaimed composer and performer. Just for the record and for those who aren't familiar with his works I'll mention both Once and Future King project albums, the Bob Catley solo albums and his previous solo efforts. Veritas is his recent venture, an album I had been waiting for eagerly. Mister Hughes didn't prove me wrong.
From the very first moments you get the picture. This is the typical Gary Hughes work. Great melodies, emotional performances and catchy choruses are all over the place. Hughes at his best. He also brought along some of his colleagues at Ten plus a handful of top notch British musicians. Veritas is a cross between Precious Ones (his previous solo album) and the mellower moments of Once and Future King. I enjoyed every single moment of it, sitting back and listening to it over and over again. It's the kind of album you could listen to repeatedly for several times without even noticing, lost in its beautiful melodies. If you are into melodic rock and A.O.R. then you shouldn't miss this one.
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/garyhughesband

89/100

HELLCITY 13 - Hellcity 13 (CD) Finland December 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Sleaze / Pop / Gothic/ Hardrock Running time: 39:13 (Tracks: 10)
Hellcity 13 is a new, sensational band from Finland that plays dark streetrock. You can describe this band as a Sleaze/Pop/Gothic/Hardrock band in the vein of bands like 'The Rasmus' and 'Him'. They have already released one mini cd and my opinion about their first full length is absolutely the same as the last time I reviewed their mcd for Marios Metal Mania. Definitely no bad music but not oldschool enough for me. I prefer real Scandinavian Sleaze Rock and not this kind of Gothic Glam. In a musical way it’s from a good level and the music sounds pretty good actually. But hell no, it’s not really my taste of music. I’m sorry, please keep the gothic influences away next time !
Visit their website: http://www.hellcity13.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hellcity13

60/100

HELLOWEEN – Gambling With The Devil (CD) Germany December 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Heavy / Power Metal Running time: 57:38 (Tracks: 12)
"Gambling With The Devil" is Helloween's twelfth studio album. These German guys were one of the first European speed/power metal bands in the 80's and they still are playing good metal songs. Probably they will never release albums like "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" Part I & II anymore, but "Gambling With The Devil" is a more than decent album. The album opens with the intro "Crack The Riddle", with Biff Byford (Saxon) as a gues speaker. The other eleven songs range from classic heavy/power metal till a lot more softer material. The focal point of this diverse album is a three-part epos consisting of the chapters "The Bells Of The Seven Hells", "Falling To Pieces" and "I.M.E.", which represent the ambiguous album title that thematically covers all the songs. Vocalist Andi Deris is singing good (although he's certainly not a Michael Kiske!) and the guitarists Weikath/Gerstner are playing execellent guitar solo's over and over again! "Gambling With The Devil" is a good mix of old and new (read : more modern) Helloween stuff, a combination of melody and power. Sound and song-wise comparable with their albums "Master Of The Ring" and "Time Of The Oath".
Visit their website: http://www.helloween.org
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/helloween

84/100

HELSTAR - Sins of the Past (CD) USA December 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Power/Speed Metal Running time: 1:02:52 (Tracks: 13)
At the present time Helstar features the nucleus of the legendary "Remnants of War" line up. Lead vocalist James Rivera has finally reunited with co-founder and guitarist Larry Barragan. Along with guitarist Rob Treviño, bass player extraordinaire Jerry Abarca and featuring Russell Deleon on the drums, this is the line up most people have wanted to see reunited. Helstar originally began it's quest in 1982. The line up consisted of James Rivera (vocals), Larry Barragan (guitar), Tom Rogers (guitar), Hector Pavon (drums) and Paul Medina (bass). By 1984 the band had signed with Combat Records and recorded its first album entitled "Burning Star". Helstar recorded "Remnants of War" in 1985 with a new and powerful line up. Helstar signed with Metal Blade records and produced two albums for the label: "A Distant Thunder" & "Nosferatu". It was the last album Helstar would record for Metal Blade. Later they recorded "Multiples in Black" with the help of Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson as producer. This would be the last proper album Helstar would record. James Rivera has enjoyed much success staying busy with several projects. He is considered by some to be one of the most legendary metal vocalist ever. He has recorded with Destiny's End, Seven Witches, Killing Machine, Distant Thunder and and Vicious Rumors (which he recently left after a bottle fight with Geoff Thorpe in which James got wounded). Larry Barragan, Rob Treviño, and Russell Deleon have also resurfaced with a new band named Eternity Black. They have released a self-titled 5 song EP as well (see Archive CD/DVD reviews). Helstar has recorded eight full length albums spanning over two decades. "Sins of the Past" is more a kind of a compilation album. The band re-recorded 11 songs from their earlier stuff and added a few new songs to this album. Not really an addition for your collection if you already own their original albums. Only nice to win some new fans. Hope they reach that goal with this album because for me personally its a useless release. The new recordings are not even better than the original. The 2 new songs are both in the same style as the older Helstar stuff.
Visit their website: http://www.helstar.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/helstar

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IGNITOR - Road of Bones (CD) USA December 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Metal Running time: 52:50 (Tracks: 11)
Out of Texas comes Ignitor. The band was formed when guitarists Stuart Laurence and Beverly Barrington, bass player Brendon Bigelow, drummer Pat Doyle, and vocalist Erika joined forces in the summer of 2003. Influenced by 80s masters Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Ignitors music is a blend of classic true metal with the power of today's true/powermetal bands. Their MiniCD "Take to the Sky" was already Demo of the Month by Germany's Rock Hard magazine. 2006 saw a lineup change, with Beverly leaving and Annah Moore joining the fold. Ignitor has shared stage space with great bands like W.A.S.P, Distant Thunder, M.O.D., Beyond Fear and Jag Panzer.
This is the bands first full length album and its a very good one! Musically its pure US-metal but still it sounds different because of Erika's voice. She sometimes reminds me to Nathalie Geyer of Mystery Bleu (except that Nathalie has her typical French accent). This is, again, a great release from the Cruz Del Sur recordlabel and I cant wait to see these guys/girls on stage in Europe because I missed their performance at the KIT festival in 2005.....
Recordlabel: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ignitor

80/100

KILLING FROST – Falling From The Sky (CD) Japan December 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 51:57 (Tracks: 10)
Killing Frost is a solo project of Tetsu Kishi. Tetsu Kishi was active as a guitarist of other Japanese power metal bands such as Idiot Savant, Tytan's Claw and As Dusk Descends. He started to play live in April 2005, for which he found other musicians to help him. At the same time he began the making of new songs and the production of the full album. He completed his first album "Falling From The Sky" after production periods of more than two years. Vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards and drum programming are all performed by Tetsu Kishi. He only got some help for backing vocals from other Japanese vocalists. The album starts with a cool Iron Maiden guitar riff, and continues with mid and up-tempo melodic power metal songs. Influences can be heard from Scandinavian, Italian and Japanese melodic power metal bands. Especially early Helloween comes to mind when I listen to the album. Tetsu is an excellent musician and also his vocals are good enough (maybe his English can improve a bit). He did a nice job for a solo project!
Visit their website: http://www.killing-frost.com

81/100

KING LEORIC – Thunderforce (CD) Germany December 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 54:25 (Tracks: 11)
This is the second full length album from these German metal guys. In 2000 they already released a demo and in 2002 their first album "Piece Of Past". When I listen to their latest album, "Thunderforce", I can't believe that they aren't signed yet! King Leoric plays a great mix of Teutonic Metal, NWOBHM and U.S. Metal. Their songs have a lot of variety in tempo – midpaced, up-tempo and even some balladesque parts. Bands to refer at are Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Manowar, Rebellion, Running Wild, Accept and, more recent bands like Majesty and Messiah's Kiss. With Jens Wunder they have the perfect vocalist for their metal music. He sings very powerful but stays always melodic too, without singing too polished. Currently the band is working on their third album "Lingua Regis", which will be another killer album in my opinion!
Visit their website: http://www.king-leoric.de

89/100

LA VENTURA – A New Beginning (CD) The Netherlands December 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Gothic Nu-Metal Running time: 37:38 (Tracks: 10)
After the split of the Dutch band Orphanage, drummer Erwin Polderman found female vocalist Carla Douw and a few other musicians to start a new band. The musical direction was gothic metal, but after hearing the album, I decided that gothic nu-metal was a better label for La -Ventura's music. La-Ventura were signed for a record deal with a US label after being discovered on MySpace, but due to several deadlines not being respected, the band decided to make the cd themselves. The production of the album was eventually done by a producer-friend, and so this album saw the light of day after that friends of the bandmembers took care of several stages of realising and releasing this cd. The outcome is a refreshing debut ! The song "Trefoil" is obviously their oldest track; carefully developed, a song that resembles Evanescence in more than one way, setting the course for the rest of the tracks. With diverse songs like "Cry", La-Ventura will probably and hopefully reach a higher status. I think this band has a lot of potential, and they should really aim for a status in the ranks of, for example, Within Temptation. The band has produced a bombastic debut, full of musically high-end performances, and of course, very important, a steady and gorgeous frontwoman.
Visit their website: http://www.la-ventura.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/laventura

90/100

MEKONG DELTA - Lurking Fear (CD) Germany December 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Thrash Metal Running time: 49:35 (Tracks: 10)
In 1985 MEKONG DELTA came into the metal scene as a mystery band, with the story being that the members were under contract to other bands and thus could not reveal their true identities. Early lineups featured Rage mainman Peavey Wagner (and other Rage members as well), but by the time of the first album "Mekong Delta", a firm lineup was established, consisting of the following members: Keil (Wolfgang Borgmann), Rolf Stein (Frank Fricke, then in Living Death), Vincent St. John (Reiner Kelch, also of Living Death), Bjorn Eklund (Ralf Hubert), and Gordon Perkins (Jorg Michael, then in Rage). The band continued to use pseudonyms for several years (Uwe Baltrusch was listed as Mark Kaye, and Uli Kusch as Patrick Duval). Eventually the real names were revealed, and by 1990 (when Dances Of Death was released) all but Jorg Michael were using their true names. The music of MEKONG DELTA is best described as Germanic thrash, with strong progressive and classical tendencies. "Kaleidoscope", "The Music Of Erich Zann" "The Principle of Doubt" are their most consistent releases. The band has also covered several classical pieces and these have been re-released as the Classics compilation. Mekong Delta has now a new vocalist: Leo Szpigiel--formerly of Angel Dust, Crows, Duke, and Scanner and Peter Lake (Theory In Practice) plays the guitars.
Mekong Delta, which reformed in 2005, still sound like in their old days; progressive thrashmetal with a lot of classic elements in their songs. Mostly all the songs are up-tempo which suits me very well. Their style nowadays is a mix of the stuff they already had before their break in 1997. So expect a more thrashy variant of bands like: Hades (USA), Watchtower & (old) Sieges Even. Fav. songs: 'Immortal Hate' & 'Defenders of the Faith'. The original CD contains a bonus DVD "Live in Frankfurt".
Visit their website: http://www.mekongdelta.eu/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mekongdeltaband

88/100

MICHAEL LEE FIRKINS – Blacklight Sonatas (CD) USA December 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Rock/Blues/Country Running time: 46:58 (Tracks: 9)
Michael Lee was born in Nebraska in 1967. He started playing acoustic guitar at the age of 8. Mostly self taught, he also took lessons at a local music store. That time he was heavily into Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Black Sabbath. He soon played in local bands and in church from the age of 12 until 18. Michael's musical influences were expanding ; Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins and Albert Lee were among his new favourites. He recorded a 5 song demo of instrumental guitar tunes which he has sent to Shrapnel Records. They signed him and a release of his first solo album was soon to follow in 1990. His first release sold more than 100.000 copies and he was praised in every guitar magazine as a great new talent. He also won the Edison award, which is Holland's version of a Grammy. Michael released 3 more records for Shrapnel. Howling Iguanas (1994) was a blues rock album echoing past influences. The third, "Chapter Eleven", followed in 1995. It had even more diverse music styles. "Cactus Cruz" was the last album for Shrapnel in 1996, a blues rock explosion of guitar. In 1997 he recorded "Decomposition" an album of mostly covers. His latest album, entitled "Blacklight Sonatas", released by Magnatude Records, is once again a diverse instrumental guitar album, which showcase Michael's impressive guitar playing. It is a mix of rock, blues, country riffs, funk and jazz. One of the songs is a cover of the Ram Jam classic "Black Betty".
Visit their website: http://www.michaelleefirkins.com
Recordlabel: http://www.magnatuderecords.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/michaelleefirkins

73/100

MOLESKIN – Generator (Mini CD) France December 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Stoner Rock Running time: 28:46 (Tracks: 6)
Moleskin originates from France. The band was formed in 2002 and this is its debut EP after a demo and several live performances. The press brochure characterizes Moleskin as a Stoner Rock band, a genre that I really can't relate to. The music isn't that slow or heavy compared to other stoner rock bands; it has its faster moments and the resemblance to Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age is more than obvious (especially Q.o.t.S.A.). Moleskin is pretty much your typical stoner rock band with lots of rock elements of the 90ies (Noir Desir is one of them; the band even got its name from a Noir Desir song). It's really up to you to decide if this kind of music is appealing or not.
Visit their website: http://www.moleskin.fr
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/moleskinfrance

50/100

OVERKILL - Immortalis (CD) USA December 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Thrash Metal Running time: 49:21 (Tracks: 10)
After Overkill released a self-financed EP in 1984, Overkill broke onto the scene in 1985 with "Feel The Fire", a crushing thrash assault on Megaforce Records. By 1987's "Taking Over", the band had worked their way up to a deal with Atlantic Records. 1988's "Under The Influence" and 1989's "The Years Of Decay" represent Overkill in their prime. Sid Falck would replace Rat Skates on drums.
1991's "Horrorscope" would bring great changes for Overkill. Gustafson left the band to pursue other interests. In his place, the band recruited two guitarists, Rob Cannevino and Merritt Gant (ex Faith Or Fear), making them a 5-piece engine of destruction. "I Hear Black" (1993) saw the departure of Sid Falck, and the arrival of Tim Mallare. The band released several other albums but I lost my interest in their latest releases (Killing Kind, From The Underground and Below, Necroshine, Fuck You! And Then Some, Coverkill, Bloodletting on Metal-Is, Wrecking Everything, Killbox 13). Now with Bodog Music, the band is set to rejoin forces with Jonny and Marsha Zazula, previous owners of Megaforce Records, who are now part of the Bodog Team in the United States.The new album "Immortalis" features Overkill's latest lineup, which, along with founders Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and D.D. Verni, includes guitarists Derek "The Skull" Tailer and Dave Linsk, as well as the newest member to join the band, drummer Ron Lipnicki.
Because im not familiar with the latest releases of Overkill; I only have the old stuff to compare Overkill's latest album with. The album starts agressive and sounds superb! Songs like 'Devils in the Mist', 'Shadow of a Doubt', 'Chalie get your Gun' & 'Hell is' could have been on their first releases which shows that the band stays true to their roots. Of course, which is very smart, it all sounds much more modern. Bobby Blitz is still singing/screaming in his typical style and that has always been one of the things that made Overkill original. Ive seen the bands several weeks ago as support of Motörhead and live the band is also very fanatic on stage. Overkill will always be a great live band and their newer stuff has a lot of recognizable, great songs but also some "space-fillers' tracks. But way back they had the same problems because I still hate their main stay song 'In Union we Stand'. Nevertheless this is a very good album and it suits me that Bobby Blitz can still thrash old-school because after his debacle on the album of The Cursed I had my doubts about him. Gladly he is not letting us down this time....Good album!!!
Visit their website: http://www.wreckingcrew.com
Recordlabel: http://www.bodoglife.net/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl
MySpace: http://profile.myspace.com/overkill

82/100

PICTURE OF THE MOON – Ageless day (Mini-CD) The Netherlands December 2007 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 16:21 (Tracks: 3)
Picture of the Moon is a young progressive metal band originating from the eastern part of Holland. The first line-up consisted of students who were studying at the University of Twente. After putting out a demo in 2004 called "Waxing Crescent" this is their second EP. This time they recorded 3 songs each of them running over 5 minutes. The producer is the young and talented musician Joost van den Broek (After Forever). The current line-up consists of Michiel Borkent (vocals/keyboards), Rudolf Saathof (drums), Frans Klaver (guitar), Alex Rosenhof (lead guitar) and Sander Rhebergen (bass guitar). The EP starts of with pounding drums, keyboards and a heavy guitar-riff. 'Black Roses' develops into a beautiful but heavy song, that offers a duel between keyboards and guitars. Combined with high clear vocals this up-tempo song marks a good start. The second song "No Break Space" starts slow with boring vocals. Luckily the use of some grunt-vocals and the music itself make this song more interesting. The song gets better towards the end and delivers some atmospheric parts, a lot of keyboards and double-bass drums although the vocals remain a bit boring. The last song is the title-track and is a very up-tempo song, using a megaphone to ad some deformed vocals. This is a great song which combines different styles and offers clear vocals and some grunting. All musicians show their skills in this song and still it remains a song which is a compliment. The guys are also working their way up through gigs like Progpower Europe in Baarlo and Face your Underground in Belgium. We'll just have to wait for a full length album to know how far these guys can get in the business.
Visit their website: http://www.pictureofthemoon.net
Recordlabel: http://www.darkbalance.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pictureofthemoon

83/100

PETER PAN SPEEDROCK - Pursuit Until Capture (CD) The Netherlands December 2007 Ad van Osch
Style: Speedrock / Rock Running time: 33:00 (Tracks: 13)
PETER PAN SPEEDROCK from Eindhoven Rockcity, has a well known name here in Holland and they have built a huge live reputation over the past years. I'm sure that every metalhead, rocker, hardcorefreak, rockabilly and psychobilly has seen this band at least once or twice (I have seen them 36 times so far). Well, for "Pursuit Until Capture" PPSR again choose for Tomas Skogsberg as their producer ("Spread Eagle" (2005) was the first album Tomas did for PPSR) who did a great job because the album sounds great. Only this time the vocals were produced by the band themselves. I had to get used to this album first because "Pursuit Until Capture" is less speedrock than on their former albums. It's more rock this time. But of course after several times listening to "Pursuit Until Capture" the album gets better and better. The CD starts with "Speedfreak Blitzkrieg" which is a short intro for "(Hangin' With The) Wrong Crowd". On the title track PPSR used a little bit piano (Jerry Lee Lewis style) for the first time, which gives the song a real rock and roll sound. A few songs ("Speedfreak Blitzkrieg", "Heatseaker", "Gimme Some" and the GBH cover "Sick Boy") I already knew, because PPSR had these songs in their set list for a couple of months before this album was released. My favorite songs of this CD are "Evil Sweet Thing", "Bottle-O-Dope", "(Hangin' With The) Wrong Crowd", "Cool-School Drop-Out", "Gimme Some" and of course "Heatseaker" which already is a live classic now. However "Premium Quality…Serve Loud" and "Spread Eagle" are still my favorite albums, "Pursuit Until Capture" is a great album too. Go see them at their own festival SPEEDFEST #2 on December 8th, 2007.
Visit their website: http://www.peterpanspeedrock.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.suburban.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/peterpanspeedrock

88/100

RAVENDUSK - Astroblack Advent (CD) Poland December 2007 Suzanne de Volder-Ruiter
Style: Black Metal Running time: 47:01 (Tracks: 11)
This band from Poland, not yet very well known, was co-founded in 1997 by guitarist Patryk Syry. The first months the guys where busy with composing songs and getting their gear together. They played several shows in the local scene of Lublin and the band had to deal with several line up changes. In 1999 they financed their first demo with four songs named "Tears shall Burn". A year later a new album was recorded while they also signed a record deal with "Metal Age Prod", a label from Slovakia. "Shadow Cast" was released in 2002 and could be described as gothic/black metal. In June 2004 Patrik left the band and the following years more line up changes took place but also live shows were done and new songs written. In 2005 a promo tape was recorded by the name of " Astro Black" but guitarists kept on leaving and new ones joining and at last in 2006 Ravendusk found two new guitarists. After a lot of promotion Ravendusk received good reviews for "Astroblack" in the underground press. In February of this year the band signed up with Mondongo Canibale Records and they recorded this full length cd " Astroblack Advent" which is a combination of new songs and songs from the demo "Astro Black" with new arrangements. But not long after the release again one of the guitarists left the band, hopefully the guys keep their band together for a while now… The most recent line up is now: Marcin Gorniak-vocals / Tukasz Duleba-guitars / Wojciech Lichota-guitars (left the band) / Grzegorz Kulawiak-bass / Dominik Stryjecki-keyboards and Dariusz Tomasik on drums. The music on "Astroblack Advent" can be called melodic black metal in the style of Dimmu Borgir, Limbionic Art or Cradle of Filth, the keyboards are clearly present but the aggression has not gone away. The music is well played and Marcin's voice is deep and growling. He does not scream but that is ok, he sounds aggressive as it should be with Black Metal. The songs are varying; tempo changes and keyboard fills without losing the speed and rawness in the songs. This is a good cd and worthy of your attention if you like melodic black metal.
Visit their website: http://www.ravendusk.pl
Recordlabel: http://www.mondongocanibale.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ravenduskpoland

78/100

REVOLUTION MOTHER - Glory Bound (CD) USA December 2007 Ad van Osch
Style: Speedrock / Metal / Hardcore Running time: 36:00 (Tracks: 11)
Revolution Mother is a brand new band (formed in late 2005) who have released a very fine debut album (it seems they have released a 5 track EP in 2006 too). This four piece band exists of Mike Vallely (also a skate-god) on vocals, guitarist Jason Hampton, bass player Colin Buis and Brendan Murphy on drums. The band's debut album "Glory Bound" was released in June 2007 and has eleven tracks. Revolution Mother plays a mix of speedrock, metal and hardcore. The openings track "Come On" is a song who could have been from Dutch speedrockers Peter Pan Speedrock. This is one of my favorite tracks of the album. Second song "Above The Crawl" has a great drive, a fantastic song and also one of my favorites. Songs like "Bullet" and "Burning From The Inside" reminds me to the Rollins Band very much. The album features also a cover which is Black Sabbath's "Holy In The Sky" (from "Sabotage") and is done very well. I would say, this is an album who's absolutely worth checking out. Let's hope they will come to Europe very soon for some live shows!!
Visit their website: http://http://www.revolutionmother.com
Recordlabel: http://www.cementshoesrecords.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/revolutionmother

86/100

SALEM - Necessary Evil (CD) Israel December 2007 Suzanne de Volder-Ruiter
Style: Thrash / Death Metal Running time: 1.02.28 (Tracks: 14)
We don't hear much of this Israeli band, which was already founded in 1985! And still very much alive, it is only the fifth album and is a mix between thrash and death metal. But Salem created a style of their own with breaks and tempo changes and whispering voices in their own language. That may sound a bit strange for an outsider but when you listen to it more you notice that this is an unique style! Their career started with the demo "Salem" in 1986. Followed by "Destruction till Death" in 1987 and "Millions slaughtered Live" in '90. After the last demo they signed a deal with the German label Morbid Records. Working with this label they released the cd's "Creating with Sins" - 1992 and "Kaddish" in 1994. Before that album an EP with the single "Dying Embers" which was also released as a picture disc for the promotion for "Kaddish". Years later there was going to be a contract with the Israeli label BNE and the cd "Moment of Silence" was recorded and released. But unfortunatelly their was an miscommunication between the label and the band and the deal was off. In 2001 Salem was released from their contract with BNE and at the end of the year they signed up with yet another German label called KMG/System Shock; in September 2002 "Collective Demise" was released. Two years later Salem recorded a live DVD and this was released and gives a good impression of the band! And this year the fifth full length album "Necessary Evil "is released by Season of Mist. The current line up is: Ze'ev T- vocals / Lior M- guitar / Nir G-guitar /Michael G- bass / Nir N -drums.
Visit their website: http://www.salemband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.season-of-mist.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/salemband

84/100

SAXON – To Hell And Back Again (2 DVD) United Kingdom December 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock/metal Running time: approx. 5 hours (Tracks: 49)
Oldschool hardrock-metallers Saxon, founded in 1976 and successful since 1980 have released yet another live document. And what a document it is ! The band is seen on DVD1, before, during and after the release of the 2004 album "Lionheart", including releaseparty and live footage from their following tour, showing us festival performances of Wacken and Graspop, but also a few songs filmed in smaller venues. DVD2 consists of a few rare videoclips, including their latest single "I've Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)" which also features Lemmy, Andy Deris and Angry Anderson, followed by the bands performance at the Swiss "Rockstage" festival and a few clips, shot at "Rock For Asia". Unfortunately, the performance of the Judas Priest classic "You've Got Another Thing Coming" features Doro, whose vocal performance leaves a lot to be desired. Over 5 hours of Saxon material, that will undoubtedly please the Saxon fans, as well as the fans who lost track of Saxon after their big hitalbum "Power And The Glory". Biff is in excellent shape, and the fact that of course he is getting older doesn't bother me one bit. I commend the band for showing lots of insights to the fans that are related to recording an album and touring the world. In my opinion, Saxon has hit all the right buttons to please old and new fans, and after their fine latest release : The Inner Sanctum", the future looks great for them.
Visit their website: http://www.saxon747.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/saxon747band

85/100

SEVERE TORTURE - Sworn Vengeance (CD) The Netherlands December 2007 Suzanne de Volder-Ruiter
Style: Death Metal Running time: 36.00 (Tracks: 10)
Severe Torture from our little country on the North Sea started back in 1997 and released the first demo a year later and it was called "Baptized in Virginal Liquid". In 1999 a promo "Pray for Nothing" containing 2 songs was recorded and released as a 7" EP. Finally in 2000 a record deal with the Dutch label Fadeless Records was signed, Fadeless Records merged with Hammerheart Records the same year. Their debut album was also released that year: "Feasting in Blood". An American tour was done to promote the album. After this cd a 7" EP "Lambs of God" and "Butchery of the Soul" were released. In 2002 the second official album was released by the name of "Misanthropic Carnage" and again the band played an USA tour and some festivals there! After three years in 2005 a live album called "Bloodletting" was recorded and released as a farewell by Karmageddon Media, with the new record company Earache Records. "Fall of the Despised" was released in the same year. A large part of 2006 was spend on touring and playing summer festivals; Severe Torture went to the US again for the third time and also played in Germany and Austria and toured with Vader and God Dethroned. This cd "Sworn Vengeance" is now recently released and can be described as good solid Death Metal with mid tempo parts and breaks and excellent guitar work. Needless to say it does not get soft anywhere; the songs stay powerful and brutal. The guest growlers on" Sworn Vengeance" add an extra dimension to the cd. This is probably the best album the band made so far. You know what you can expect from this sextet, merciless Death Metal without any compromises. To promote "Sworn Vengeance" a large tour is already planned so if you get a chance to see them live on tour next year: don't miss them! Check their website for the exact tour dates.
Visit their website: http://www.severetorture.com
Recordlabel: http://www.earache.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/severetorture

84/100

SHATTER MESSIAH - God Burns like Flesh (CD) USA December 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Modern Thrash Metal Running time: 44:40 (Tracks: 9)
For a bio of this band you can better read the review of their predecessor album "Never to play the Servant" (October 2006). The band formed around ex-Nevermore/ex-Annihilator axeman Curran Murphy and ex-Breaker/ex-Archetype vocalist Greg "Wags" Wagner delivers their second album within circa 1 year. It counts me that Greg Wagner's voice is fitting better to the songs than they did on their debut album. He can express himself much more this time; you can hear that back in the songs. This album is a step forward in the good direction; I prefer this album above their debut! Expect a mix of Nevermore & Kragens-a-like metal with great songs and a very good production! Hopefully the band can make it to play at next years edition of Mario's Metal Meeting because this is a kind of metal that will be very much appreciated in The Netherlands! Fav. songs: 'Idolator', 'God burns like Flesh' & 'Stripped of Faith'. Great album!!!
Visit their website: http://www.shattermessiah.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.dockyard1.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/shattermessiah

92/100

SHYLOCK - Devotion (CD) Germany December 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Hardrock Running time: 56:23 (Tracks: 14)
Doing lots of gigs can raise a band to a higher level, and that's exactly what has happened to the German band Shylock. Since the release of their album "Welcome To Illusion" in early 2004, the band has been on tour constantly. They played headliner shows, showed up at several open air festivals and supported bands like 'Axxis', 'Bonfire', 'Crystal Ball', 'Gotthard', 'Jaded Heart', 'Krokus', 'Primal Fear', 'Shakra' and 'Vanden Plas'. Now in 2007 they have released a fabulous new album called: 'Devotion'. This new melodic powerfull Hardrock album has a great mainstream sound which is interesting to all kinds of people. The band has got some great catchy keyboard and guitarplaying and some really nice vocals. The album is absolutely a must for all fans of Melodic (Hard)rock. Great album and I am very curious about the next one, keep on the good work rockers!
Visit their website: http://www.shylockmusic.de/
Recordlabel: http://www.myspace.com/artistservice
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/shylockmusicde

80/100

STEVE GRIMMET - Personal Crisis (CD) United Kingdom December 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Hardrock / Heavy Metal Running time: 49:44 (Tracks: 11)
Steve Grimmett has a history that is nothing less than incredible, having what is widely regarded as one of the most powerful and original voices in rock & metal. As vocalist with the legendary Grim Reaper, Steve accomplished major success during the 80's with three highly acclaimed studio albums. After 'Grim Reaper' Steve spent a brief period with Onslaught and again enjoyed commercial success, including a single that charted in the UK . More recently Steve's success came in the form of Lionsheart , a powerful melodic metal band whose debut album reached number one in the mainstream Japanese charts. In early 2006 Steve assembled a touring band with the intention of playing a full Grim Reaper set at a series of European metal festivals & venues. Now, in 2007 Steve released a new master album! 'Personal Crisis' sounds different but maybe as good as the old classic material of the mighty Grim Reaper, I really love this new album! All the musicians did a really great job and the voice of Grimmet is just like I expect…Great ! His voice has always found the perfect combination of melodic hardrock and real heavy metal, perfect for me ! I’m sure all fans of good oldschool 'hardrock', 'aor' and 'heavy metal' will be happy when they listen to this new album which sounds like the good old days! Steve this is an album to be proud of my friend ! All fans of 'Dokken', 'Crimson Glory', 'Yngwie Malmsteen' and ofcourse the legendary 'Grim Reaper', buy or die!
Visit their website: http://www.stevegrimmett.co.uk/
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thestevegrimmettbandgrimreaper

95/100

THEODORE ZIRAS – HyperpyrexiA (CD) Greece December 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Metal Running time: 40:28 (Tracks: 10)
Theodore Ziras was born in Poros, Greece. His musical training started at the age of 15. At the age of 18 he moved to Athens and he continued his studies in guitar, music theory, jazz harmony, rhytm and counterpoint. His first serious bands were the Greek power metal band Ice Divine (1994-1998) and progmetallers Guardian Angel (1997-1998). In 1998 Theodore left Greece and started at the Guitar Institute of London where he graduated 3 years later. In 2001 he returned to Greece where he released his first solo album, "Trained To Play". Almost 2 years later he released his second solo album "Virtual Virtuosity"(see Archive CD/DVD reviews 2004). A few months later he decided to record an album with vocals. Searching for the perfect vocalist was not easy, but with Jiotis Parcharidis he found the perfect one in his opinion. After almost 2 years of recordings the Euroforce album (see Archive CD/DVD reviews 2005) hit the market in 2005. During 2006 and 2007 he prepared his third solo album. This is his first solo album which he recorded with a real band. And what a band it is! Theodore on guitars, famous Derek Sherinian on keyboards, drummer Brian Tichy and on bass Theodore's friend and bandmember Manos Markopoulos. On "HyperpyrexiA" (=high fever situation) you can listen to a diversity of styles such as metal, shred, rock, prog, melodic, neo-classical and fusion, all mixed together in a unique way! Of course Theodore is the big star on this album with his phenomenal guitar playing, but sure there is also a lot of space for Derek, Brian and Manos. In my opinion the best solo album that Theodore recorded for the moment, a unique mix of melodic elegance and guitar virtuosity!
Visit their website: http://www.theodoreziras.com
Recordlabel: http://www.sleaszyrider.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theodorezirasguitar

91/100

THE RIPLETS - Rock (CD) The Netherlands December 2007 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock / Punk Running time: 38:00 (Tracks: 11)
The third album of Rotterdam based all girl band THE RIPLETS is simply called "Rock", and they really rock on their new CD, but still with that punk attitude. On their debut album "Rock 'n Roll Beat" (2002) The Riplets sounded very raw and punky and on their second album "Love Special Delivery Boy" (2004) they played more poppy punk songs. But with adding ex-BAD CANDY guitar player Ryanne (alias Ryan Riot and also known as Elle Bandita) as a new member, this trio really rocks on their newest album. I have seen The Riplets in this line-up on October 25th, 2007 in the Mezz in Breda (it was a fabulous show), and man Ryan Riot is really a great guitar player, what a guitar solos she can play. Instead of the first two albums, who were produced by Perry Leenhouts and Vincent Koreman (TRAVOLTAS), they produced "Rock" by themselves and Janneke, Valesca en Ryan did a great job. The CD has 11 catchy songs. One of them is a cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" which is done very nice (listen to Ryan Riot solo and you know what I mean). Some of my favorite songs of "Rock" are "Love U Rock 'n' Roll", "My Turn To Play", "Jump All Night" and "Rock 'n' Roll Manifest". After a time off, because of the birth of Janneke's baby, The Riplets ARE BACK. Go see them live on the BATTLE OF THE SEXES TOUR with DE HEIDEROOSJES, MALLE PIETJE AND THE BIMBO'S and JEREMY'S in December.
Visit their website: http://www.riplets.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.sonicrendezvous.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theriplets

80/100

THESSERA – Fooled Eyes (CD) Brazil December 2007 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 64:47 (Tracks: 9)
Although this album was released in June 2006 it would be a shame not to review it. What these six young Brazilians have achieved on this debut-album is magnificent. They start of with a concept-album which is normally not the first choice for a debut. Responsible for this effort are Marcelo Quina (vocals), Nando Costa and Raphael Lamim (guitars), Marcelo Mattos (bass), Rodolfo Amaro (keyboards) and Fernando Cerutti (drums). In the first song of the album the main character (Andrew Hesser, a young artist) is celebrating his engagement to Jeanne Seamus as he faints. While being unconscious this marks the start of a journey into his past with all kind of memories ranging from very good to very bad. After regaining consciousness Andrew receives a phone-call from the hospital about his Jeanne being seriously hurt. He rushes over to the hospital but unfortunately she dies. After her death Andrew visits Kane and kills him, blaming him for Jeanne's death, making the nightmare even bigger. To make the story more realistic and lively there are some speaking parts that help you visualize the story. Musically the story results in a fine selection of progressive metal-songs like "Heaven's Gate" which offers over nine minutes of high quality progressive metal or "Party's on" with a jazzy intro. Besides singer Marcelo that delivers an extraordinary performance the musicians are extremely capable with Rodolfo Amaro being present throughout the album. Although the average age is low and this being a debut-album the result is a very mature and complete album that promises a lot for the future. In August/September 2007 Thessera did some live-shows in Holland, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland and hopefully we'll see them back again on stage or at least with a new album.
Visit their website: http://www.thessera.com
Recordlabel: http://www.progrockrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thessera

88/100

TOURETTES – Treason Songs (CD) Australia December 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Thrash Metal Running time: 41:23 (Tracks: 12)
Tourettes started to become a name in the metal scene in 2004. They released their debut album in 2006 by Armageddon Music. This is their second release and I must say that it sounds great. The music is well composed and the production is great. The guitar riffs have a lot of variety in it, the guitar riffs are also very progressive and technical with great solos and the drums are very groovy but not to annoying. There is a very relaxed sound in the songs. Now the vocalist, the grunts of this female is great. Not to brutal and well listenable. If you like death thrash metal then you're going to enjoy this record.
Visit their website: http://www.tourettes.com.au
Recordlabel: http://www.armageddonmusic.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tourettessf4l

70/100

TRIBUZY – Execution Live Reunion (DVD) Brazil December 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 61:40 (Tracks: 12)
Renato Tribuzy is a Brazilian singer and composer. A couple of years ago he put together a very ambitious project under the Tribuzy moniker. He gathered huge household names such as Roland Grapow, Bruce Dickinson, Roy Z, Mat Sinner, Michael Kiske, Kiko Loureiro, Dennis Ward and Ralf Scheepers and recorded the "Execution" concept album. As you can easily imagine the album caused some stir not only because of the guests but for the good music it contained too. Tribuzy didn't stick to the album but materialized the whole concept in to a live performance!
So this DVD is a testimony of this huge collaboration. The track list contains the Execution songs plus the Dickinson classic Tears of the Dragon. All the guests that appear on the Execution album, also appear on the stage of Credicard Hall at Sao Paulo. This is a giant achievement nonetheless. The filming is great. Many cameras and many different angles captured an amazing light show plus the great performances of all musicians. For those who don't know what Tribuzy is all about, I would describe the music as Judas Priest inspired metal, powerful and melodic. This is a great chance to own some great music and I would recommend this DVD not only to those who want to explore the Tribuzy music but also to the fans who have already bought the Execution album.
Visit their website: http://www.tribuzy.com
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotiverecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tribuzyband

86/100

VENGEANCE – Same/same….bit different (live)(CD) The Netherlands December 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 45:39 (Tracks: 10)
Vengeance was one of Hollands most popular hardrockbands in the eighties. After having released excellent albums like "We have ways to make you rock", "Take it or leave it" and "Arabia", the band had almost reached a divine status. Unfortunately, various line-up changes and the highly underrated comeback-album "Back from flight 19" caused a definite split at the end of last century. The band resurrected again last year with their second comeback-album "Back in the ring". This album has put Vengeance right back in the hardrock ranks, and during their tour with Sinner and Axel Rudi Pell, recordings were made to release this live album, marking Vengeance's 25th anniversary in 2008. Those who have seen one of their latest shows will acknowledge the fact that it's still a party to attend. Musically, opinions differ. I have heard and read that the band gained lots of new fans, where the fans from 20 years ago found that it was not "their" Vengeance anymore. It is only fair to say that it isn't because it can't. I must place myself somewhere in between. Musically, I am not that impressed after hearing the album through a headphone. Also, I hate the drumsound which could have been a lot better. But is it fair to compare Vengeance 2008 with Vengeance 1983-1999? In that perspective, the title of the album is well chosen. Also, the album is very short (45 minutes) compared to the huge amount of available songs. Instead of Rose Tattoo's "Bad boy for love" I had preferred songs from their debut and "Flight 19". And I suspect that in 2008, we will see a live DVD being released. That will do more justice to the show that Vengeance puts on stage nowadays. A must have for die hard fans; an album to listen to first for the older fans who are used to hearing Arjen Lucassen, Oscar Holleman and Peer Verschuren.
Visit their website: http://www.vengeanceonline.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vengeancebackinthering

79/100

Winger - Live: (CD) November 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: AOR/Hardrock Running time: 96,64 (Tracks: 19)
Winger was formed in 1987 by top musician 'Kip Winger' as a new succesfull American aor/melodic hardrock act. Their debut album: 'Winger' was released in 1988 on Atlantic Records, and scored platinum in the U.S and even gold in Japan and Canada. 'In the Heart of the Young' was released on Atlantic Records which became 'RIAA platinum' in the U.S. and gold in Japan. 1993, Winger releases the critically acclaimed 'Pull' on Atlantic Records. The track "Down Incognito" was a smash at radio. And the last releases were Winger - IV from 2006 which was really great, and their Demo Anthology (2007) which was amazing too! Now, not even one year later Winger released a great double Live album. Kip Winger is always doing a great job and 'Winger – Live' sounds really great again! It's a little bit louder than on their old records but who cares it’s still 100% Winger and it rocks your socks off! The production is great and the musical style of Winger’s music is still very American! Winger found the perfect combination of 'AOR' and 'Melodic Hardrock/Metal'. The ballads of Winger are always my favourites, I really love their ballads, those are killer! The new stuff of Winger is a bit louder than the old stuff, but whatever, it is still real Winger material and that's most important of all! It’s very strange but Kip has never played here in Holland or Belgium, we really need his music here too! Winger is still one of the best American Melodic Hardrock bands from the past and now, and that’s why it’s so fucking strange he had never played here in Europe? Please Kip, come to Holland and give us a great show like you did here on this two cd’s! 'Winger – Live' is a must for every Melodic Headbanger, Amazing stuff!
Visit their website: http://www.wingertheband.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wingertheband

90/100

NOVEMBER

7 THORNS – Glow Of Dawn (CD) Denmark November 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 52:32 (Tracks: 10)
7Thorns from Denmark was already formed in 1998 with the idea to start a band playing in the vein of Helloween, Gamma Ray, U.D.O., Accept, etc.. There where several line-up changes till the release of their promo cd in 2005. Their debut album "Glow Of Dawn" is a fine melodic power metal album, with memorable riffs, highpitched vocals, keyboard support and catchy choruses. The album was recorded and engineered by Steen Mogensen (Cornerstone, Royal Hunt), mixed and produced by Peter Brander and mastered by Andy Horn in Germany. Musically 7Thorns plays a mix of 80's Scandinavian power/melodic metal and German power metal. Bands to refer at are Edguy, Helloween, Heavenly and especially Freedom Call. An excellent debut album from these sympathic Danish melodic power metal band!
Visit their website: http://www.7thorns.dk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/7thorns

85/100

AIRTIME – Liberty Manifesto (CD) Canada November 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 53:46 (Tracks: 12)
In 2003 Rik Emmett and Michael Shotton met eachother backstage at an orchestra rehearsal for a show where the two vocalists were performing separately. They knew of eachother from their respective background in Triumph and Von Groove. One thing led to another, and they began a studio writing project, working towards a hard, melodic rock album that would have some progressive leanings, featuring mature lyric themes, polished songwriting and arranging, and challenging ensemble instrumentation. Together Rik and Michael have managed to record a mature sounding classic rock album in the style of Led Zeppelin, Rush, but also adding of course some Triumph and Von Groove elements. This is all mixed with vocal melodies and harmonies that are sometimes remiscent of Journey or Queen.
Recordlabel: http://www.escape-music.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/escapemusic1

78/100

AWAKE – Illumination (CD) United Kingdom November 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 48:48 (Tracks: 11)
This is the debut album from the U.K. based progressive metallers Awake, one of the newest additions in the Lion Music roster. The guys get some sympathy points for being a heavy metal band in a country that has forsaken this music.
"Illumination" is a good listen but doesn't get much further than this. The band plays progressive metal with keyboards and an aggressive and contemporary approach but the songs, although well executed, are nothing out of the ordinary. There are several good ideas though and the album is enjoyable in its entirety. The thing is that I couldn't remember too many things after each listen. I recommend that you give it a try before buying it, you might find some interesting things on this cd.
Visit their website: http://www.awakemusic.net
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/awakeuk

68/100

AZRAEL – Libre (CD) Spain November 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Heavy / Power Metal Running time: 43:53 (Tracks: 10)
Spanish heavy metal band Azrael bursted into the local scene in 1991, soon having the opportunity to open for major bands such as Mercyful Fate, Saxon, and Labyrinth. In 1994, the band beats a record after playing live for nine days, being published by Guiness as the longest rock concert ever. Now in 2007 they have released a new fabulous heavy/power metal album! The band sounds very clean/melodic but still very powerfull too. Great Spanish vocals and very strong riffs! It’s really a must for fans of the old Helloween, Judas Priest, Iron Savior and ofcourse all those great classical Spanish hardrock & metal bands such as: Baron Rojo and Muro. Great album if you know the Spanish lyrics or if you don’t care where they're singing about. I really like this new Spanish heavy metal album, it’s fantastic!
Visit their website: http://www.azrael.se/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/azraeles

90/100

BLIND THARM – Morbid Visions (CD) Norway November 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Heavy / Doom / Death Metal Running time: 37:24 (Tracks: 10)
This Norwegian band from was originally known as Tharm. It is not known when the band was formed. The Tharm brothers had played together since they were kids, focusing on old school heavy metal. In 1995 the brothers met guitarist/organist Roger Raev and drummer Arne A.Pendiksen, after that the band took on a new, more extreme, musical direction. They felt they needed to change their name too and then Blind Tharm was chosen, for a part because of Pendiksens obsession with German Metallers Blind Guardian, and for a part because of Raev’s bad eyesight at the time. But now about the new record. Morbid Vision is a really crappie Death/ Doom/Heavy metal album, and I don’t like it at all ! It’s very chaotic, borring and has a very bad production. Enough said
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blindtharm

40/100

BONEBAG – Noli Me Tangere (CD) The Netherlands November 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 61:40 (Tracks: 12)
The name Bonebag was completely strange to my ears. It turns out that it's the band of drummer Arno Menses, currently singing in progressive metallers Sieges Even. "Noli Me Tangere" (I don't have a clue what the hell that means) is the band's debut album, released from the same label as the recent albums by Sieges Even; Quixote Music.
Lets move on to the musical part. Bonebag play hard rock with some progressive elements and alternative attitude. A strange blend, don't you think? Vocals are good. Nothing outstanding but overall good sounding. The songs have that airplay dynamic and tunes like "Oliver Sudden" might as well appear on MTV or something. The choruses are pretty catchy. Although I am usually not into this kind of music, "Noli Me Tangere" is an interesting, easy going album. It managed to captivate me with its uplifting atmosphere. It could be a pleasant break between countless hours of metal listening, head banging and air guitaring…
Visit their website: http://www.bonebag.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.quixote-music.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bonebag1

70/100

DARKSHINE – Ten Years (CD) France November 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 36:32 (Tracks: 08)
Darkshine was formed in 1995. In 1998 they released their first demo "Under Hypnosis". After that they released their second demo "Nocturnal sun of Wolves" in 2000. They released the demo" Infernorum"and in 2003 "Stigma Diaboli" was recorded. The five tracks on this MCD are released in 2004. Their latest album contains 6 tracks of ten years of madness and two new tracks. All the songs have a great variety in it. The guitar riffs are very fast and technical. The drums are pounding through every song like a big blast beat. The vocalist has a great grunt that is very low but if you listen well you can hear the lyrics (sometimes reminds me of Gorefest and Vader). The production of this album is great and the composing of the numbers are very good. If you like bands like Vader & Sacramentum then you should definitely check this album
Visit their website: http://www.darkshine.new.fr
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/darkshineband

75/100

DAWN OF SOLACE – The Darkness (CD) Finnland November 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Dark Metal Running time: 39:37 (Tracks: 8)
Dawn of Solace is a new solo project of Tuomas Saukkonen, besides his other solo project Before The Dawn, which he started in 1999. When he was in the writing process of the third BTD album "The Ghost", he had written over 30 songs, it was clear one album was not enough. First plan was to make a double album for BTD but some of the material was slower, more melodic and darker than the songs he had chosen for "The Ghost". Tuomas wanted to take it a bit further, Dawn Of Solace was born, not to compete with Before The Dawn but to complete what he needed to say with notes and words. All music and lyrics of this album are written by Tuomas, also all instruments are played by himself. He had some help from Lars Eikind, who is responsible for the clean vocals, and Jukka Salovaara in backing and screaming vocals and guitar solo on 'I Was Never There'. The result of this multitalented musician is a very dark album, with starts off with a kind of horror intro of almost 3 minutes. The music will appeal to a mostly melodic doom audience, with the clean and dark vocals being a plus in my ears. Can't really name any band to compare it with, so it must be original I guess, one thing is for sure only quality on here. If you like it dark, try this, you won't easily find anything darker than this.
Visit their website: http://www.dawnofsolace.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotiverecords.com

75/100

DELPHIAN – Unravel (CD) The Netherlands November 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 48:06 (Tracks: 8)
Dephian originate from Holland. The band emerged in 2004 with a demo and was picked by record label Lion Music. This is the band's second album on Lion since the 2005 release "Oracle". Dephian is a female fronted band. Its musical style is something between progressive metal and gothic with lots of heavy rock elements. The thing is that the songs didn't manage to blow me away. Not even close. The vocals are ordinary, the typical siren-like ones that every band with female vocalist uses. To tell you the truth I have grown tired of this trend. I wish I could listen to more women singing the way Doro or Leather did back in the days. Instead the metal world is full of singers who sound like Epica, Sirenia, Lacuna Coil and Nightwish. The musicians are good but that doesn't cover for the lack of interesting songs.
Visit their website: http://www.delphian-metal.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/delphianmetal

60/100

EMERALD – Hymns to Steel (CD) Switserland November 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: True Heavy Metal Running time: 57:39 (Tracks: 12)
EMERALD starts in the year 1995, when the two local bands DARK CRYSTAL and OPPRESS broke up. This is because all founding members of EMERALD: Michael Vaucher (guitars, ex Dark Crystal), Jvo Julmy (guitars, ex Dark Crystal), Véronique Remy (vocals, also ex Dark Crystal) plus Stefan Neuhaus (drums, ex Opress) and Roger Winkler (bass,also ex Opress) ) played in those two bands before. But now they wanted to start a new band dedicated to Heavy Metal, which they did under the new name: "EMERALD". The first songs though were composed out of old DARK CRYSTAL songs. But soon, the band started writing their own material. "Hymns To Steel" is a great new True Heavy Metal record with lots of great oldschool and Epic influences. But I still prefer their "Calling The Knights" record from 2002. "Calling The Knights" was a real great underground classic in the scene, this was also because of the more than fabulous Medieval Steel cover. "Hymns To Steel" has got a great CRIMSON GLORY cover named ‘Azrael’ on it. The album has a great production, some excellent melodic Murray/Smith, Tipton/ Downing twin guitarplaying and a fabulous clean singer which I really love! "Hymns To Steel" is a really great melodic album for fans of ‘Crimson Glory’, ‘Cirith Ungol’, ‘Running Wild’, ‘Savatage’, ‘Iron Maiden’ and ‘Medieval Steel’. Keep On The Good work, this is what the Heavy Metal World really needs !
Visit their website: http://www.emerald.ch/
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/emeraldch

85/00

ENTHRONED - Tetra Karcist (CD) Belgium November 2007 Suzanne de Volder-Ruiter
Style: Black Metal Running time: 35.37 (Tracks: 10)
This album from the Belgium Black Metal veterans is their 7th release …Enthroned was formed back in 1993 by drummer Cernunnos and was joined soon by Tsebaoth and Sabathan. The first demo was released in 1994 and was a success. A short discography to refresh your memory: 1995 - split EP with Ancient Rites, 1997- "Towards the Skullthrone of Satan", 1998 - MCD "Regie Sathanas", 1999 - "The Apocalypse Manifesto", 2001 - "Armoured Bestial Hell", 2002 - "Carnage in Worlds Beyond", 2005 - "Black Goat Ritual "live album- recorded during the Brazilian tour", 2007- "Tetra Karcist" (released end of September 2007)
The band has known many line-up changes but always managed to believe in their band and they kept on working on the music and the satanic message.It is quit clear to hear experianced musians who know what they are doing, the production is good too, especially when you turn the volume of your stereo wide open! Enthroned played a lot of live shows through out the years with well known bands as Ancient Rites, Enslaved, Dark Funeral, Emperor, Marduk; just to name a few... And this winter they will join Gorgoroth on their European tour! Check out the tour dates on their website. This newest cd" Tetra Karcist" is a very good one, brutal, though and fast and with excellent guitar work! But of course with a pure Black Metal sound! Not in the style with bombastic orchestras or choirs but the old school style, extreme and without compromises! So if like extreme music…. I recommend you this cd. It will not disappoint you.
The latest line-up is now: Nornagest- lead vocals, guitar / Phorgath-bass, vocals/ Nguaroth- guitar, vocals / Ahephaim- drums and Alsvid- drums for the studio sessions.
Visit their website: http://www.enthroned-horde.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/enthronedhorde

88/100

EPHEL DUATH – Pain Remixes the Known (CD) Italy November 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Extreme Jazz Ambient Metal Running time: 31:35 (Tracks: 9)
Ephel Duath was formed in 1998. Their debut release was "Phormula", on the Code666 record label. Following Phormula's release, they signed to Elitist Records (a sub-division of Earache), and released that same album with demo tracks in 2001 as "Rephormula". In 2005 they released the album "Pain Necessary to Know". Their latest record is definitely not my cup of tea, 9 tracks of very experimental shit. All the songs sound more like dance combined with freaky noises and metal. The composing of the songs are probably good but I must confess that after listening to it once I will not touch this record again. The songs are very dark and the production of this album is good. I like bands that do freaky things but I don't like ambient. And I hate house music. If you like extreme music then you should give it a try....
Visit their website: http://www.ephelduath.net
Recordlabel: http://www.earache.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ephelduath

60/100

EVERWOOD – The Raven's Nest (CD) Hungary November 2007 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 53:52 (Tracks: 15)
The Raven's Nest is the second studio release that these Hungarian prog-metalmusicians present. It's a beautiful concept-album that's divided into three parts. If you play the cd on your computer the multimedia-part enables you to read the stories behind the songs. This is great but if you just listen to the songs without reading the lyrics or realising that there are three concept-stories behind the songs you'll still love this album because there's so much to listen to.
The band consists of Balazs "Balu" Koncz (vocals), Ferenc Farkas (guitars), Attila Tanczer (keyboards), Viktor Erdos (bass) and Tamas "Toi" Szabo (drums). Attila is the man who wrote the short stories. Each part tells a different story ranging from a doctor trying to save the lives of people in Africa (The White Angel) to the story of the plans to build a hotel in Canada in a spooky area (Quiet Valley) to a lawyer in the USA with big personnel problems (The Raven's Nest). The music on this album is so divers. You'll get the complete range of progressive music and even some film-music and steel-music. If Everwood is able to continue this quality on the next albums they will enter the major-league of prog-metal. It's about time that some of the organisers (Progpower/Headway) bring this excellent band to Holland so we can enjoy the band live because so far Everwood only played in Hungary and Italy.
Visit their website: http://www.everwoodsite.com
Recordlabel: http://www.burning-star.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/everwoodsite

87/100

FRAISE – A New Beginning (CD) Sweden November 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 49:52 (Tracks: 12)
Fraise from Sweden began as a studio project in 2003, gradually growing into a band resulting in the 2004 independent release "Hellicornia". After a few line-up changes, Fraise are now back with their follow-up album entitled "A New Beginning", released in October 2007. Once again they have managed to compose 12 powerful melodic/power metal jewels. They sound like a mix of 80's heavy and nowadays melodic/power metal bands. Their sound is quite heavy but they stay melodic all the time too. The band with who they best can be compared are the mighty Nocturnal Rites, also from Sweden.
Visit their website: http://www.fraise.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fraisemetal

88/100

FREUND HEIN – Chaos Immanent (CD) Austria November 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Metal Punk Core Running time: 31:35 (Tracks: 8)
All right I have heard a lot of names that sound very weird to me, but Freund Hein? This band started about ten years ago and this is their first record. This album contains 8 tracks of very strange and weird metal. The guitar riffs are metal but the rest is more punk. This is a band that probably doesn't care if they ever will be taken for a serious band. The songs are very fast and sometimes even technicall. The vocalist uses all kinds' voices. The production of this album isn't too bad. Overall if you have a bad day and you need to be happy then put on this album. Or if you want to annoy some one then give him this record.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/freundhein

60/100

GORGONS EYES – Inglorious Birth (CD) Germany November 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 56:07 (Tracks: 11)
Gorgons Eyes was founded in 1992 by Andre Muchow and Bjorn Below, and operated under the name Battle Axes. In the beginning they only played covers from their favourite bands like Metallica, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. In 2000 they changed their name into Gorgons Eyes, due to copyright problems. Over the years their musical style grew more and more into one direction, melodic, powerful and epic music. Influenced by traditional heavy metal music and bands like Manowar and Iron Maiden, their songs are telling stories based on legends, sagas and myths. Especially the Greek mythology, from where they took the name Gorgons Eyes, is a never ending source of themes to write songs about to them. Up until 1998 they had permanent line up problems, guitarplayers came and went. Nevertheless they recorded a demo tape 'Battletales' in 1996, that got them some positive reviews all over the world. In the summer of 1998 they found a steady guitar player in Rocco Stellmacher, with whom they recorded a 3 song mini cd called 'Bold and Unbroken', which was reviewed positively in magazines and got them even some airplay. In the summer of 2002 a new bass player joined their ranks by the name of Robert Dietrich, and in this line up they recorded their debut album "The Battle Rages On". In February 2004, Bjorn left the band due to personal reasons, and a new singer was found in Harald Sommer. Then they recorded this album "Inglorious Birth", which shows absolutely that Manowar is one of their favourite bands, but they give it their own twist. Lots of power available, with a superb production, delivers a heavy, powerful metal album that conquers Manowar to the throne. Great songs like 'Spirit of Steel', 'Bloodlust' or 'Warriors' shows their potential and skilled musicianship. Nothing totally renewing or original, but well done heavy metal as it's supposed to be, play this one LOUD!
Visit their website: http://www.gorgonseyes.de
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com

75/100

IVORY MOON – Human Nature (CD) Italy November 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Symphonic Metal Running time: 50:02 (Tracks: 11)
Rome based symphonic/epic metal band Ivory Moon was formed in the summer of 2000, and after two years the band released their first promo cd. In early 2004, the debut album, "On The Edge of Time" was recorded and took Ivory Moon to a higher level, and the response, especially in Italy, was overwhelming. Late 2005, the line-up went through some changes, and the band started to work on new songs and ideas for the next album. During 2006, Ivory Moon took residence at Temple of Noise Studios in Rome, to record "Human Nature". The album was tracked, mixed and mastered by Christian Ice, and the band was very satisfied with the finished result.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same. Musicianship is present in this band, without a doubt. I like the guitarparts and the drums a lot, actually. Compositionwise, the band aims to tell stories through their songs which all have their own feel and structure. But for me, the vocals are the downside. I never get that "wow" feeling, and sometimes the vocal parts really irritate me. The band claims that fans of Nightwish and Epica will like this album, but I doubt strongly if fans of Tarja/Annette and Simone will like the way that Cecilia Serra sings. Also the male vocals lack power, something that this music really needs. The keyboardparts should be the wall behind the other musicians but to me that is not the case. However, these are personal observations, and everyone who is interested in this genre should listen to the bands samples that they have on their MySpace page.
Visit their website: http://www.ivorymoon.it
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ivorymoonofficial

67/100

JADED HEART – Sinister Mind (CD) Germany November 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 64:57 (Tracks: 12)
This new release of German rockers Jaded Heart is, let's start with the conclusion this time, a great album! In 2003, singer Michael Borman quit the band (now singing in Bloodbound) and it was time for new frontman Johan Fahlberg to join the ranks, resulting in a sort of "comeback" with the album "Helluva Time" that was very well received. At the producers desk : Michael Voss (must be a busy man these days!) and when Michael is producing, we all know what that means: power !
I must say, I like Fahlbergs vocals better than Bormanns with Bloodbound! He is a very dominant presence on the album, and with his capacities, everyone will agree that he is a good addition to this band. Maybe this was a lucky shot to get Jaded Heart back on track. This is lean, mean and heavy sounding hardrock like it was always meant to sound. Like the releases of Fair Warning and Human Zoo (both also from Germany), this band knows how to use the juice and impress our ears for over 60 minutes. The keyboards are used as they are expected to be used; like a wall behind the rest of the musicians who are all in excellent shape here. Songs like "Hero" and "Going Under" are grabbing you by the throat. About time that this band starts touring and share their energy with us.
Visit their website: http://www.jadedheart.de
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thebandjadedheart

86/100

JOHN MACALUSO & UNION RADIO – The Radio Waves Goodbye (CD) USA November 2007 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 65:35 (Tracks: 13)
The names of some musicians are known by everyone and other names are less famous. In the case of John Macaluso he often doesn't get the credits he deserves. This excellent drummer has played on many albums ranging from Ark to Malmsteen and from TNT to Riot. In total he delivered his duties to over more than 200 albums. There are not many people in the industry that have achieved that. But so far he didn't release a solo-album, at least until now. On this album there are a lot of colleagues/friends that help John out. Starting of is James Labrie (Dream Theater) with "Soul in your mind" which is a heavy opener that will please the progressive-metal fans. On the next track "Mother Illusion" , which is a very futuristic song, Masterplan's vocalist Mike Dimeo and Vitalij Kuprij on keyboards offer you a piece of modern music. Adrian Holtz (ARK) delivers some great vocals on a big part of the album. Especially the way he hypnotises the listener on "The Prayer Pill" and "Shimmering Gray" is fantastic.
T-34 is an instrumental masterpiece with Vitalij Kuprij on keyboards and piano and Marco Sfogli on guitar that offers you a ride in an instrumental rollercoaster. There are also a lot very moody songs on this album that invite the listener to sit back and relax. A very special song is the song "Pretzel" which is a drumsolo and shows you what John is capable of. Of course all through the album you'll notice that this is a drummer's solo-album but it all stays within the structure of the songs so you won't have the idea that this is a drummer that wants to prove himself on every song. There are some pieces of Pink Floyd throughout the album but there are so many other directions this album takes you. It will take you some time to discover the beauty of this album, but after getting there you'll realise that you've bought a masterpiece.
Visit their website: http://www.johnmacaluso.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/johnmacaluso1

90/100

JOOP WOLTERS – Out Of Order (CD) The Netherlands November 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Guitar Rock/Metal Running time: 61:17 (Tracks: 16)
Joop Wolters, a guitarist from The Netherlands, started playing the guitar at the age of 15. He has played in several bands such as Elysion (1990-1996) and Arabesque (1989-2004). Joop also delivered contributions for projects such as LaLu, Hubi Meisel, Shadrane, … In 2003 he has released his first solo album for Lion Music, called "Workshop", in 2004 followed by "Speed, Traffic and Guitar Accidents". With "Out Of Order", Joop has released his third solo album. Once again it is filled with mainly complex songs, with influences ranging from prog metal, fusion, jazz, funk and even some Spanish guitar riffs. "Out Of Order" is a not that easy listenable guitar album for me personally, but without any doubt he's a very good guitarist!
Visit their website: http://www.joopwolters.net
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/joopwolters

76/100

JORDAN RUDESS – The Road Home (CD) USA November 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Progressive/Symphonic Rock Running time: 64:19 (Tracks: 6)
Jordan Rudess is of course known as the keyboardist of Dream Theater, but he has also recorded songs with guitarist Vinnie Moore, singer Annie Haslam and David Bowie. Jordan has always been influenced by classic progressive acts such as Genesis, Yes and Gentle Giant. On "The Road Home", his 8th solo album, Jordan revists some of the great songs from those bands with his own special touch. With the help of today's leading prog talents, Jordan re-envisions Genesis' "Dance On A Volcano" (with former Spock's Beard frontman Neal Morse on vocals), ELP's epic song "Tarkus" (featuring Kip Winger and Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson), Yes' fusion-esque electric piano extravaganza "Sound Chaser" and Gentle Giant's "Just The Same" (with Kip Winger on vocals). There's also an Jordan Rudess piano medley with bits of Yes' "Soon", Crimson's gentle, supernatural "I Talk To The Wind" (with vocals by Jordan himself), Yes' "And You And I", and Genesis' "Supper's Ready". With "Piece Of The ?" there's also one original Rudess composition, but this one sounds almost the same as the songs which he has covered. "The Road Home" is a very good prog/sympho cover album, with addition of Jordan's own touch.
Visit their website: http://www.jordanrudess.com
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jordanrudess

79/100

KMFDM – Tohuvabohu (CD) Germany November 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Industrial Dance Running time: 51:09 (Tracks: 11)
KMFDM are already in their 23rd year of existence and held a strong cult following in the 80's, with their dark and distorted guitar driven industrial dance. This new album 'Tohuvabohu', which is an Old Testament word meaning "wild and chaotic", is full of 'heavy' dance beats and experimental, industrial tunes with some elements of darkwave, sweeping epic and even rock/pop. So why is it reviewed here? I have absolutely no idea, because Mario did send it to me to review it I guess, but it has absolutely nothing to do with heavy metal whatsoever! My guess, this music belongs to a totally different audience, that's the reason I didn't grade it. Only nice song in my ears is 'Saft Und Kraft', in this song the drums actually sound like drums, and not like a machine, and it has a thrashy feel about it. Ok, there are some heavy guitars on here, but then to call it heavy metal is a big overstatement. Only for those who keep an open mind to different styles of music.
Visit their website: http://kmfdm.net
Recordlabel: http://www.metropolis-records.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/officialkmfdm

--/---

LACERATER – Nessun Urlo Nell Ombra (MCD) Italy November 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Grind Metal Running time: 13:21 (Tracks: 4)
Lacerater started in 2002. After releasing some demos (two) they decided to record this MCD and I must say…FUCK YEAH! This record is recorded and mixed in the FEAR studio (Handful of Hate, see MMM's reviews of February 2007). The production is fucking great and it sounds very brutal and old school. The guitar riffs are technical and very groovy (you should think ad Bolt Thrower). The drums are very straight in your face with a lot of technical moves in it. Then there is the vocalist who has a grunt that's pulled out of graveyard…very nice. The singing lines in the numbers are very chaotic (makes me think about Brutal Truth). If I read the letter that they send with the MCD, then it reverse to the lyrics that they have a very political meaning. Well I don't hear that because its in Italian but never the less, I think their CD fucking rules. If you like bands that sound like Bolt Thrower or Brutal Truth then you should check out their website and order it.
Visit their website: http://www.lacerater.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lacerater

80/100

RESURRECTION - Rising form the Dead (CDemo) The Netherlands November 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 10:45 (Tracks: 4)
Resurrection is a brand new young traditional Heavy Metal band from the North Of The Netherlands. They were founded in 2001, in the area of Hardenberg Overijssel. The band was official founded by Bert Rink (guitar/bassguitar,drumprogramming). In late 2006/early 2007 they recorded a demo cdr, but now in 2007/08, only Emiel Rolefes (vocals) is still in the band. "Rising from The Dead" is a great new demo cd of a great young True Dutchsteel band which sounds like all those early/mid 80’s cult Heavy Metal bands! Heavy Metal in the vein of bands like 'Exciter', 'Venom' and Dutch legends such as 'Future Tense', 'Vortex', 'Angus' and ofcourse the mighty 'Dark Wizard!' Resurrection sounds fucking 80’s and all underground Heavy Metal Maniacs will love this shit for sure! True Dutchsteel never dies! !
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/resurrectionnl

85/00

RICHIE KOTZEN – Return Of The Mother Head's Family Reunion (CD) USA November 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Bluesy Hard Rock Running time: 57:19 (Tracks: 12)
It all started for Richie at the age of seven when he learned to play the electric guitar. He formed his first band at the age of twelve and played live gigs. When he turned eighteen he headed West to San Francisco and recorded his first instrumental album for Shrapnel Records. That year, Kotzen was featured on several magazine covers including Guitar World and was voted one of the Top 3 Best New Guitarists Of The Year by it's readers. After recording three albums for Shrapnel Records, Kotzen moved to L.A where he joined the multi platinum glam metal band Poison. After Poison, Richie continued recording albums on various labels until 1999 when he was invited by jazz legend Stanley Clarke to form the band Vertu. Later that year Kotzen joined the immense popular rock band Mr. Big. Richie continued to record solo albums and tours around the world. His new album is entitled "Return Of The Mother Head's Family Reunion" and let us hear Richie's amazing guitar playing, passionate soulful vocals, and songs that melt together influences from rock, soul, funk and blues with timeless melodies. A great album for fans of Cream, Peter Frampton, The Black Crowes, Jimi Hendrix, Mothers Finest and Glenn Hughes!
Visit their website: http://www.richiekotzen.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/richiekotzen

82/100

ROAD TO RUIN - RIIR (CD) Sweden November 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 40:41 (Tracks: 9)
Sweden has been a huge supplier of great rock and metal bands in the past decades. Road To Ruin is a musical project by members of Lion Share in the hardrock style, as the songmaterial was not fit to be on a Lion´s Share album. So guitarplayer Lars Chriss and bass-keyboardist Sampo Axelsson (Glenn Hughes) teamed up, found vocalist Matti Alfonzetti (Skintrade, Jagged Edge) and drummer Thomas Broman (Glenn Hughes, John Norum) to do this trick.
Normally, when a band says they are influenced by Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath and Whitesnake, and you know all about the capabilities of the musicians, you may expect a new pearl on cd. The album sounds good, but it lacks originality, and it lacks the so very much needed powerful singer. Alfonzetti is a clean vocalist but he misses the power and the balls that, let's say, Coverdale has to lift the compositions to a higher level. Thus the album remains in mediocracy, and that is a shame. When I hear a song like "Walk The Line" and think of how it would sound when RJ Dio would sing this, then I must say that this is exactly my point. I miss that little "magic". Fans of the above mentioned bands must have a listen first before they decide to buy this album.
Visit their website: http://www.roadtoruin.org
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/roadtoruintheband

74/100

SIMONE FIORLETTA – My Secret Diary (CD) Italy November 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Guitar Rock/Metal Running time: 51:01 (Tracks: 10)
Simone Fiorletta is the guitarist from Moonlight Comedy, an Italian progressive metal band. Besides that, he also releases instrumental rock albums. In 2004 he has released "Parallel Worlds" and now, three years later, he has released its follow-up "My Secret Diary". His new album can be divided into three parts : uptempo guitar songs, especially Vai/Satriani style, - songs with many variety with a lot of keyboards from Andrea De Paolo (from Labÿrinth) and several acoustic guitar parts, and part three, which are the mid-tempo guitar songs. Simone has released a solo album with a lot of different styles such as prog, rock, jazz, fusion and metal. "My Secret Diary" is an album influenced by life and his emotions so it is a very emotional instrumental guitar album, with influences ranging from Steve Vai, Joe Satriani till Gary Moore.
Visit their website: http://www.simonefiorletta.it
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/simonefiorletta

79/100

SPEEDFREAKS – Out for Kicks (CD) Sweden November 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Speed Rock Metal Running time: 33:55 (Tracks: 10)
The Speedfreaks are a new band that play fucking rock´n`roll on steroids. This is a band formed on a base of punk rock, metal and hard rock. When you read this you probably think yeah right, but I must say this fucking rocks. The music isn't very original but the composing is great. You can hear guitar riffs of Motorhead mixed with the Stray Cats or Peter Pan Speedrock combined with doses of metal. The drums are pounding through every song and the vocals are fucking great not heavy but good enough for this genre. The production of this album is great. If you like speedrock,and bands like Peter Pan Speedrock then you are going to need this album.
Visit their website: http://www.speedfreaks.se
Recordlabel: http:// www.mondongocanibale.com

75/100

STEPHANE PILETTE – Guitar Work – Part I (CD) Belgium November 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Rock/Metal Running time: 60:30 (Tracks: 12)
Stephane Pilette, a self taught guitar player, has been playing guitar since more or less 14 years. He has played in several bands, which played different styles of music. But Stephane decided to turn back to his early years playing instrumental songs. His first album "Guitar Work – Part I" is a very good instrumental rock/metal album. Stephane played all the instruments and also selfproduced his album a very nice way. His influences range from Pat Metheny, Richie Kotzen, Greg Howe, Patrick Rondat, John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Dan Huff till Marty Friedman and Jason Becker. His album is covering styles such as rock, metal, funk, jazzrock and fusion. Sometimes Stephane is shredding, but most of the time his songs are very melodic with interesting themes and a lot of emotion.
Visit their website: http://web.mac.com/stephane.pilette/iWeb/Site/homepage.html
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stephanepilette

82/100

TED POLEY - Smile (CD) USA November 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: AOR / Sleaze Hardrock Running time: 47:35 (Tracks: 12)
Ted Poley was born in Englewood, New Jersey in 1964. He started music with the band Lush, as a drummer. The band also featured bassist Joe Slattery, with whom Poley would play again later. After that he joined New Jerseys progressive rock band 'Prophet' as a drummer. They released their first album in 1985. Poley also sang lead vocals on some of their songs. In 1987, while working on the band's second album, he was approached by Bruno Ravel and Steve West to join Danger Danger, and he accepted. With Danger Danger, Poley had much success as the band caught the late surge wave of 80s hair rock. Together they released two albums (Danger Danger and Screw It!), and toured with bands like KISS, Alice Cooper, and others. In 1993, he finished recording Danger Danger's third album, Cockroach, but was surprisingly fired from the band. The same year, he formed a new band called Bone Machine with guitarist John Allen III (Tommy Lee's band.) In 1994, they released their first album, titled: 'Dogs'. In 1995 they toured the UK and released a live record titled: 'Search and Destroy'. In 1996, they released their last album titled Disappearing, Inc. The album is noted for featuring an eerie premonition of what would happen in the 2001 9/11 attacks in the cover art. In 2000, he joined the band Melodica with Gerhard Pichler on guitar. As a band, they released several albums: USAcoustica, and Lovemetal among them. During this time, Poley returned to USA and played for the first time in seven years. In 2001, Danger Danger finally released the album Cockroach after reaching an agreement with Epic Records. The album featured two discs: one with the Poley vocals, and the other with the new vocals by the band's new singer, Paul Laine. In 2002, Poley's band (now known as Poley/Pichler) released an album titled Big. This album featured Joe Slattery on bass guitar, with whom Poley had played before in Lush back in the early 80s. In 2004, he rejoined Danger Danger and started touring with them again. In 2007 he released one of the best solo records I ever heard since the late 80’s/early 90’s! "Smile" is more than 100% Oldschool AOR/Sleaze Hardrock of the good old days! "Smile" has a great melodic sound, great clean vocals in the vein of Joey Elliot (Def Leppard) and so the newer fans of the more melodic cd’s of Def Leppard, and ofcourse the old fans of Danger Danger will love it for sure ! It’s a brilliant late 80’s Hardrock album from 2007 and I really wanna see this man live onstage here in Europe. This is what I call AOR/Sleaze Hardrock, It’s really Awesome !!!
Visit their website: http://www.tedpoley.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tedpoley

98/100

TITAN STEELE - The Force (CD) Germany November 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: True Heavy Metal Running time: 40:31 (Tracks: 9)
Germany's Titan Steele was founded in 2005 by some members of the band 'Ritual Steel'. The band recorded the 7" single "Fallen Star", which has been released by Anger Of Metal Records. A demo was recorded in summer 2006 and now Titan Steele has got a great record-deal and album with the German label 'Pure Steel Records', the label of Volker Raabe (also from The Swordbrothers festival). The Force is a great New melodic true metal album which reminds you of the good old early/mid 80’s! Heavy Metal with lots of great Epic and NWOBHM influences. Titan Steele has got a lot of great mid tempo songs, some great twin guitar solos and great vocals! The album was made in 2007 but the production and the style of their Heavy Metal is totally early/mid 80’s. I think in Holland there will be no big market for this kind of Oldschool Heavy Metal, too bad because I really love it myself and I think this is the right kind of Metal the world needs so hard! I think 'Lady Lighting' is the greatest song of the album, I think it will be a classic song in the German underground Heavy Metal Scene! The Force is absolutely a fabulous record, and all fans of bands like: 'Manilla Road', 'Manowar' and 'Slough Feg' will love it for sure! Hope to see you guys live onstage soon, great record and I‘m hoping to hear more soon!
Visit their website: http://www.titan-steele.de/
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/titansteele

90/00

ZONARIA – Infamy and the Breed (CD) Sweden November 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 46:37 (Tracks: 12)
Zonaria was formed in 2002 (maybe interesting to know that their age was 15 at that time). The band released their "Evolution Overdose" demo in 2005 which was very well spoken of. In 2006 they released their second demo. And now their debut"Infamy and the Breed". This album contains 12 tracks of pure straight in your face Swedish death metal (except for the first song which is an intro). You can definitely hear influences of Hypocrisy (in my opinion very good!). All the songs are very groovy and technical. The guitar riffs are very progressive and groovy. The drums are straight in your face and the vocalist has a grunt that reminds me a bit of Dimmu Borgir and good old Peter form Hypocrisy and Pain. The production of this album is fucking good, every thing sounds like a band that already got several records. This record sounds like a wall of music that takes you away from this earth. If you like bands that sound like Hypocrisy or Dimmu Borgir but not a rip off then buy this record.
Visit their website: http://www.zonaria.com
Recordlabel: http://www.pivotalalliance.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/zonaria

80/100

OCTOBER

AKASHIC – A Brand New Day (CD) Brazil October 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 55:01 (Tracks: 10)
Akashic was founded in 1998 to produce high quality prog metal with meaningful lyrics. The band was formed by Marcos De Ros (guitar), Rafael Gubert (vocals), Fabio Alves (bass), Mauricio Meinert (drums) and Eder Bergozza (keyboards). They recorded a debut album in Portugal, called "Timeless Realm" (2001), which is also available in Brazil through Hellion Records. "A Brand New Day" is the second album released also by Hellion Records and produced by Luis Barros. Once again the band Akashic has released a mature sounding progressive metal album, with melodic rhytms, impressive vocals and guitar solo's and a nice melodic balance. The songs never sound too complex, they prefer to play real melodic songs with progressive twists. I'm wondering when they will release their third album, because that can be a real masterpiece I think!
Visit their website: http://www.akashic.com.br
Recordlabel: http://www.hellion.com.br
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/akashicrock

81/100

AMARAN'S PLIGHT – Voice in the Light (CD) USA October 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 77:00 (Tracks: 13)
"Voice in the Light" is one of the highly anticipated releases for the fans of progressive metal music. The reason for this is quite simple. Amaran's Plight is a project formed by vocalist D.C. Cooper (ex Royal Hunt, Silent Force), guitarist Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery), drummer Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard) and bass player Kurt Barabas (Under the Sun). Cooper and Wehrkamp where no strangers since the Danish vocalist had contributed some vocals on the Shadow Gallery "Tyranny" album. A very promising team, don't you think?
Usually I am very reluctant when it comes to projects but Amaran's Plight dissolved my doubtful thoughts. "Voice in the Light" is a decent progressive album in the Shadow Gallery vein (mostly "Tyranny" era). Here you will find the classic Wehrkamp trademark guitar sound, Shadow Gallery sounding keyboard parts, excellent drumming without exaggerations and the powerful Cooper vocals. This is a concept album and the story is about a near death experience so there are many atmospheric and really sentimental parts but you shouldn't think that the record is slow and boring. There are some fast parts and instrumental breaks with excellent drum fills. Not to mention the fantastic guitar solos in each and every song. The best moment in this record is the 13 minute epic "Shattered Dreams", a song that could have appeared in any of the Shadow Gallery albums. Absolutely fantastic. I don't know if there will be another Amaran's Plight album but I hope that this project will continue to exist since the chemistry between the members is simply great.
Visit their website: http://www.amaransplight.com
Recordlabel: http://www.progrockrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/amaransplight

80/100

AXEL RUDI PELL – Diamonds Unlocked (CD) Germany October 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Classic Hard Rock Running time: 55:30 (Tracks: 11)
Axel Rudi Pell, the German guitar wizard born in 1960, released his first album with the German band Steeler in 1984. Three more albums followed until he decided to leave and start a solo career in 1989. Since then and for over 25 years, Axel Rudi has counted as one of Germany's most versatile guitarists with his caracteristic Blackmore influenced guitar style. He has recorded over a dozen of studio albums which are loved by his fans and respected and praised by the press. Alongside numerous original compositions, cover versions of his favourite songs have always taken a special place in his heart. He has not only covered the work of his own idols such as Deep Purple and Rainbow, but also songs from acts such as Alphaville, Free and Uriah Heep. Now Axel Rudi Pell has scheduled to release "Diamonds Unlocked", his first album consisting exclusively (except for the instrumental opener "The Diamond Overute") of compositions by other musicians, proving his expertise when it comes to the history of rock and pop music. Axel Rudi has covered songs from the following bands ; Riot, U2, Chris Rea/The Law, Kiss, Michael Bolton, Free, Montrose, Phil Collins, The Mission and The Who. These cover songs now sound like a kind of typical Axel Rudi Pell songs, with several ballads amongst them. He has covered/recorded the songs like they were his own songs, with fantastic vocals from Johnny Gioeli and great guitar solo's from the man himself!
Visit their website: http://www.axel-rudi-pell.de
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/

81/100

BLACK BONZO – Sound Of The Apocalypse (CD) Sweden October 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Progressive Running time: 54:03 (Tracks: 8)
Looking at the cd cover, and then the inside and back, I thought "oh my god….is THIS for me?" Well…yes it was. Reading the bio, already playing the first track, it struck me that the style of this band is much alike the old Gentle Giant, and the keyboards are just as dominant and determing the colour of the songs like Rick Wakeman did with Yes, and like Keith Emerson in ELP. The vocals, however, remind me of bands like Camel and Jethro Tull. Well, I guess this band is a mixture of all mentioned bands. Black Bonzo was founded in 2003 and already released one (highly proclaimed) album, so the question was: did the succeed making an even better one?
The compositions are in that oldfashioned style; very sixties, early seventies, lots of Moog and mellotrons, skinny guitar sounds, excellent drumming and bassparts that guide the other musicians through the songmaterial. Not spectacular, unless you have remained in the sixties and keeping yourself away from everything that is modern. Would this album have been released in 1971, this band would have really made it big !
Visit their website: http://www.blackbonzo.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lasersedgegroup.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blackbonzo

70/100

BLACK RAVEN – The Day Of The Raven (Promo CD ) Italy October 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: True Heavy Metal Running time: 24:17 (Tracks: 5)
BLACK RAVEN is a new band from north-east of Italy devoted to the classic and direct sound of HEAVY METAL. The band was born out of the passion for real metal music that Marco (bass guitar) and Giovanni (guitar) had. Then Francesco (drums) entered the band after some changes in the line-up. In 2004 Claudio ”The Reaper” from the rock band Flow entered the band as the second guitar player, and also Andrea “Sax” came as vocalist: the band was complete. Black Raven is a must for the real headbangers who love the good old glory of true honest Heavy Metal of the 80‘s ! "The Day Of The Raven" (Demo) is the best demo of 2007 I've heard so far and it’s 24 minutes and 17 seconds of pure hellraising and worshipping of real Heavy Metal, death to false metal! People that like bands such as: Raven, Accept, Manowar and all those underground maniacs who like bands such as Defender (The Netherlands), Heavy Load (Sweden) and Running Wild (Germany), go check them out! Black Raven is pure Heavy Metal with no nonsense, straight to the bone! A good oldfashioned, oldschool production and high screaming vocals, just like real metal has to be! Underground Metal Still Lives, awesome demo and I can't wait to see them somewhere live onstage or to hear their debut album! Heavy Metal Is King!
Visit their website: http://www.black-raven.it/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blackravenheavymetalband

90/00

CRUSHED – My Machine (CD) USA October 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Grunge Rock Running time: 48:57 (Tracks: 14)
Crushed is a five-man band, hailing from Phoenix, Arizona who just deliver their debut album 'My Machine'. With their sound, that manages to merge goth with metal (according their bio), they quickly impressed one of rock's most renowned producers, Mike Clink, who was the main man behind Gun's N' Roses' 'Appetite for Destruction', among other rock classics. And perfectly produced, the music has a very high airplay level, and the band is destined to get big I guess. Not really my cup of tea, but the album sounds awesome, a lot of hit potential on here, like the songs 'Dwell' or 'Unbroken' or…well almost any song on here. In times sounding heavy, but mostly very catchy and easy listening away. Also melodic songs like 'Crash Coping' will do great with a large public, that's open minded to some poppy rock/metal in the vein of, for instance Korn. There are some nice, groovy guitar riffs on this record like in 'Leaving', but overall it's a real radio friendly (hard)rock album. Besides nice vocal duties, Mark Lauer can also scream, like in 'A Game Of You', but most of the time he sings the sad lyrics with his normal voice. With 'Everything's Gone' there is also an acoustic song on the album, which makes it more diverse. This is an album that needs more playing to get it totally, it's well done, quality music for a big audience, not really only to a metal audience that is.
Visit their website: http://www.crushed.net
Recordlabel: http://www.chipsterpr.com/
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/crushed

77/100

DARKSUN – The Dark Side (CD) Spain October 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Power Metal Running time: 43:27 (Tracks: 9)
Spanish band DarkSun was formed in 2002 after the split of the band Northwind. DarkSun released their first album in 2004. It was called "El Legado" and was recorded in Germany. The reviews were very good and the band was a great newcomer on the metal scene. Their second album "El Lado Oscuro" was recorded during the summer of 2005. It was also recorded in Germany, with the help of Dennis Ward and Lars Ratz from Metalium. DarkSun also worked together with German band Rage on their "Speak Of The Dead" album, creating a Spanish version on one song, which appeared as a bonus track. Rage's vocalist Peavy Wagner sings also on a song of "The Dark Side". Now they are releasing their second album again, but for the first time for them the vocals are sung in English. DarkSun is a very good power metal band, with several progressive and symphonic influences as well. They remind me of bands such as (early) Avalanch, Angra and Rhapsody Of Fire. Musically very good, but the vocals of Daniel Gonzalez can't convince me that much. His English is quite good, but he doesn't sing that cristal clear in my opinion. But that's maybe because he's not singing in his native language.Time will tell I think.
Visit their website: http://www.darksunweb.com
Recordlabel: http://www.fcmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/darksunband

78/100

DAY ELEVEN – Sleepwalkers (CD) Finland October 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Grunge / Pop Rock Running time: 39:38 (Tracks: 10)
Day Eleven are a 5 piece group from Tampere, Finland, who got their roots planted in the 90's grunge rock scene. The band started out about ten years ago, and got their debut album 'Almost Over Everything' out in 2005. This is their second release "Sleepwalkers", a really refreshing album that combines different styles of music like grunge rock, with the energy of punk rock and the harmony from the darker side of pop mixed with heavy guitars. I must admit, it makes a nice combination, and delivers some heavy in your face songs like opener 'Dissonance Fading' and some more laid back pop rock songs like 'Your Cloud' or 'Blood Runs Thick'. These guys know how to write a catchy pop/rock song, and I have no doubt that they will follow in the footsteps of (more commercial) bands like Him or The Rasmus. It seems that their first single of this new album "Whenever you say you love me" already got good airplay in Finland, they probably gonna get some commercial success, and that's what they are aiming for I guess. Musically theyre album starts off heavy, that makes the opening track my favourite song, but it gets very soft and poppy towards the end of this record, not at all a bad release, but not really metal in my opinion. If you like it (very) sweet, and go for bands like fore mentioned Him and The Rasmus, you will undoubtedly love this band too!
Visit their website: http://www.day-eleven.com
Recordlabel: http://www.dockyard1.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/dayeleven

72/100

DEADSOUL TRIBE – A Lullaby for the Devil (CD) USA/AUSTRIA October 2007 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 53:52 (Tracks: 10)
"A lullaby for the Devil" is the fifth album that Deadsoul Tribe has recorded. Like the four previous works and the stuff that Psychotic Waltz (the former act of Devon Graves) has put out I've never been disappointed by Devon. According to Devon this cd marks a new era for Deadsoul Tribe and means a definite change of direction. In fact there are some changes on this album like the more aggressive vocals and less tribal-rhythms but to me it's still Devon Graves. One of Devon's trademarks , the flute, is prominently present on a big part of the album. Devon's vocals vary from very aggressive like on 'Psychosphere' (the first track) to sweet like on 'Fear' and sometimes almost hypnotic. The contrasts on this album are very big. Some parts are very metal and other parts are very laid back. For those who like diversity this is a great album. The most important conclusion is that the overall quality of the songs is very high and when you start listening you don't want to stop listening. This is the best compliment you can give Devon because along his long career he keeps on experimenting without losing the high quality of his songs.
Visit their website: http://www.deadsoultribe.com
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/deadsoultribe

89/100

DERDIAN – New Era Pt.2 : War Of The Gods (CD) Italy October 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Power Metal Running time: 64:18 (Tracks: 11)
This Italian band started in 1998 as a thrash metal band, playing covers from bands such as Metallaica and Megadeth. When they started to write their own songs they changed their style into power metal. They released a demo cd called "Revenge" and some time later, in 2003, they released their MCD "Incitement", which caught the attention of Steelheart/Adrenaline Records. For this label they debuted with their album "New Era Pt. 1" in 2005. For a part thanks to their myspace page they got in touch with the famous Magna Carta label. So Magna Carta released their second album "New Era Pt. 2". Derdian plays typical Italian bombastic power metal, with classical influences. They have managed to write very catchy and melodic compositions, with epic, baroque, medieval and symphonic influences. Comparable with especially Rhapsody Of Fire, DragonForce, Fairyland and Secret Sphere. A good second effort from these Italian guys.
Visit their website: http://www.derdian.com
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/derdianspace

80/100

ELVENKING – The Scythe (CD) Italy October 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Power Folk Metal Running time: 55:07 (Tracks: 10)
Founded in 1997, Italian band Elvenking delivered their first album "Heathenreel" in 2001. This album was already awarded Album Of The Month in many magazines. "Wyrd", the band's second album was released in 2004, followed in 2006 by "The Winter Wake". With their new album "The Scythe" they come up with an album with stories about "The Death". Elvenking plays melodic power metal, mixed with elements from folk, thrash and death (some grunts) metal. They now sound a bit heavier and darker than before, but they still sound super melodic. Most of the time they are comparable with (especially) Edguy, Blind Guardian, Skyclad and The Dogma. With contributions from guitarist Mike Wead (King Diamond, …) and a great mix by Nino Laurenne (Sonic Pump Studios-Finland), now Elvenking's new album is sure to satisfy lovers of melodic power metal.
Visit their website: http://www.elvenking.net
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/elvenking

81/100

FAITH FACTOR - 07/07/07 (Mini CD) USA October 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Christian US Metal Running time: 18:23 (Tracks: 3)
Faith Factor is the "newborn child" of ex-Deadly Blessing singer Ski (Norman Kiersznowski). After his split with Deadly Blessing in 2006 he decided to concentrate on this new "white-metal' band and I was very curious with what kind of music he would return in the metalscene. Ski had always been the most memorable bandmember of Deadly Blessing with his extreme high-pitching vocals (which I like very very much!!). Well, dont worry; on this 3 song CD he is screaming his lungs out again in a way we where used from him. I dont listen to lyrics because I want to judge a band on their musical qualitys and I can tell you that this band is awesome! After last years debutalbum of "Temple of Blood"; again a superb whitemetal masterpiece! Keep an eye on this band!!! Expect music in the vein of (of course) Deadly Blessing, (old) Queensryche & Forbidden but with a more moderate production (otherwise my rate would have even be much higher)!
Visit their website: http://www.faithfactorband.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/faithfactorrocks

93/100

GRIFFEN - Promo 2007 (Promo CD) Sweden October 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Hardrock/Heavy Metal Running time: 19:17 (Tracks: 4)
Griffen is a new Swedish band that exist since 2006. I came in contact with the band because I still had some mailcontact with their guitarplayer Tomi "Tompa" Peltonen since the Torch show at KIT a few years ago. Tomi is also playing guitars in this legendary Swedish metalband since 2004. Musically Griffen sounds less metal & more rock than Torch. The band owns a good singer in Jörgen Söderberg; this guy sometimes reminds me a bit to Ronnie James Dio. To compare this band with another band is difficult but I hear some influences from bands like Whitesnake, Pretty Maids & Rainbow. So this is stuff for the real hardrock fans and I think it wont take long before this band signs a nice recorddeal! They deserve it anyway! Very nice promo CD!!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/griffentheband

78/100

H.A.T.E. - Metal Forever (CD) USA October 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Metal Running time: 1:04:36 (Tracks: 14)
A few years ago I could review nearly every month a project or band of my friend in metal; Greg Wagner (ex-Archetype/ex-Breaker). Since he joined Shatter Messiah he is very busy with this great band and for his solo and other stuff is less time left. Years ago Greg already had a band called H.A.T.E. and finally he has found some spare time to re-activate this band. Nowadays the line-up has changed a lot and we find some bandmates back who are also in Shatter Messiah (Curran Murphy f.e.). There is also a guest appearance of Lou St. Paul (Wintersband) on this album. Musically it all sounds more old-school than Shatter Messiah but I also hear some Pantera/Machinehead riffs back in some of the songs. The production of this self released album is nice and was recorded at Curran Murphy's private studio. I realy think that H.A.T.E. has the qualitys to become bigger but for that they really need a good recordlabel and distribution because otherwise it all will stay underground. So hopefully a good label will pick up this band! H.A.T.E. sounds to me as a mix of bands like: Metal Church, Overkill & Pantera; so if you like these bands; check H.A.T.E. out!! Personally I also hope that Greg Wagner will also re-activate his Buzzkiller project because that was my personal fav. band of him!
Fav. songs: 'Isolate the Exiles', 'Assassin'.
Visit their website: http://www.wehateu2.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/halfwayattheend

85/100

HUMAN ZOO – Over the Horizon (CD) Germany October 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 47:00 (Tracks: 12)
Human Zoo is a new German Hard Rock band. Formed in 2004 by members of other veteran rockers like Glenmore and Subway, the band released its debut album "Precious time" in 2006. This second attempt comes only 16 months later. From the very first minutes of the cd, the listener gets the picture. Classy melodic hard rock according to the great German tradition is the game in "Over the Horizon" with top notch guitar work and catchy multi vocal choruses captivating your attention. Bands like Jaded Heart, Bonfire, Frontline and China come to mind while Scorpions seem like the main influence. Human Zoo are not better than the aforementioned bands but they seem to have the potential to create equally interesting music. The only thing I didn't really like where the few saxophone parts that appear in a couple of songs. I am not a fan of this kind of orchestration. The album flows nicely; once you give it a spin, you won't even realize how quickly these 47 minutes passed. And I bet you will press play once again…
Visit their website: http://www.humanzoo-music.de
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/humanzooband

80/100

HURTLOCKER – Embrace The Fall (CD) USA October 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 36:10 (Tracks: 10)
Hurtlocker was formed at the turn of the century in Chicago, and released a handful of demos during their first years of existence. After they got picked up by Austria's Napalm Records, they recorded their debut album 'Fear in a handful of dust' with producer Zeus (Hatebreed, Shadows Fall) which was released in 2006. After a year or so of ups and downs and a ton of live performances, Hurtlocker stopped the train to record their sophomore release in Studio One (Racine, Wisconsin). Now Chicago's thrash metal monsters return with their most diverse and violent offering to date, 'Embrace the Fall'. What you get is a brutal 36 min of pure thrash, extreme and full of aggression, that's what Hurtlocker stands for. Heavy riffs, superb drumming and vocalist Grant Belcher, who growls like a rabid Pitbull throughout the songs. This is thrash metal how it's supposed to be, comparable even to the grand masters of thrash, Exodus, Hurtlocker only operates at full power. Listen to songs like 'I am Napalm' , 'Let Them Die' or 'Destroying Bliss' and you know what I'm talking about, no lovely melodies, no ballads, and no time to repose!!! This shit kills…
Visit their website: http://www.hurtlocker.biz
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hurtlocker1

88/100

ICED EARTH – Framing Armageddon (CD) USA October 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 68:56 (Tracks: 19)
I have to admit that I am a huge fan of Iced Earth and their first 4 albums. And although I own each and every recording under that name, I believe that their creative period ended with "Dark Saga". From that point and on it seemed like the band was stuck in an inspirational swamp, repeating styles and ideas over and over again. With the addition of my personal favourite Tim Owens and the "Glorious Burden" album the band made a step forward. What the fans had to do was wait until the next album in order to verify the ascending course of the band. And here it is.
"Framing Armageddon" marks a return to the "Something Wicked This Way Comes" album era in terms of lyrics. It's a concept album that picks the story from where the band left it in the aforementioned 1998 release. Concept means a lot of interludes, overtures and introductions in order for the story to unfold properly. This seems to be working since the album flows nicely, as a single unit. Unfortunately "Framing Armageddon" is not the kind of album I anticipated. Apart from the fantastic performances from Owens and a few songs like "Setian Massacre" and "Ten Thousand Strong", the album failed to capture my attention, to make me devote to the listening process. Songs like "The Clouding" even sound a bit boring. The story is very interesting and ambitious but the lack of equivalent music doesn't help at all. I also noticed the lack of volume, the songs simply don't sound heavy enough. I recommend you try an experiment. Play "Framing Armageddon" and then give "Burnt Offerings" a spin at the same volume level. It will feel like an earthquake hitting your room. The comparison is overwhelming. But the sound wouldn't matter that much if the compositions where close to albums such as "Dark Saga" and "Burnt Offerings". From the leading bands of my favourite music I expect masterpieces. A leading band earns its title from presenting top notch music. Simple as that. Maybe that's why I am more demanding from a band of the Iced Earth calibre. I know they can do so much better than this.
Visit their website: http://www.icedearth.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/icedearth

69/100

JORN - Live in America (live) (2CD) Norway October 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Hardrock/Heavy Metal Running time: 39:54 (Tracks: 9) & 55:12 (Tracks: 9)
Jorn Lande is a very busy man these days! His (solo) releases are following up in a high tempo. Well, here is his first live album released as a double CD. I already reviewed a lot of Jorn's album so im not gonna tell you any bio about him again. Also the fact that im a huge Jorn Lande fan is no secret anymore these days. Last year I had the luck to see Jorn's soloband live at the Biebob club in Vosselaar, Belgium. Man, how impressed I was during that gig! Jorn was doing his own thing more than ever and you could hear it clear in his vocal range, amazing! This live CD contains 15 live songs and three extra tracks. There are also some covers in the live set; 'Perfect Stranger' (Deep Purple), 'Are you Ready' & 'Cold Sweat' (both Thin Lizzy), 'Straight through the Heart' (Dio) & a Whitesnake medley.
Pity that he is doing all these covers because Jorn owns lots of own songs and/or songs from bands he was playing in during the last years. The only songs he is playing on this album are 'Soulburn' (Masterplan) & 'Godless & Wicked' (Beyond Twilight). Nevertheless this is a great live album and the best way to make acquaintance with Mister Jorn Lande if you still didnt know him (or his stuff)!
Visit their website: http://www.jornlande.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/realjorn

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MANOWAR- Gods of War (live) (2CD) USA October 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 1:17.33 (Tracks: 14) & 37:14 (Tracks: 8)
Manowar is, again, delivering a live album which this time was recorded in Nurnberg, Germany during their "Demons, Dragons & Warriors World Tour 2007". In their early years I was a huge fan of this band and especially "Battle Hymns" and "Hail to England" where my favorite Manowar albums. After several albums the band began repeating & copy themselves and my interest in the band disappeared. The same happened with their live shows in which they always had to show some titties (which is not the biggest problem for me, hahaha) and they where also always asking someone out of the audience to play some live guitar tunes. After seeing several of these live shows I quit being a Manowar fan and when my friends and I are speaking about Eric Adams & Co we always call them The Flintstones and/or Spinal Tap. And we are not the only ones that are laughing about their stage act!!! Outside of Germany (and a few other south-european countries) the band has lost a lot of fans during these years and im curious if they will ever be rehabilitated?
Well now back to this live album: It first counts me that singer Eric Adams is singing rawer than ever but still can hit the high notes. The set contains 21 songs and offer a nice mix of their repertoire so far. There is also an enhanced video part of "Gods of War" on this album. Probably they cut a lot of breaks out of the recordings because, except for some long intros, the band is doing a good job on this album! No bullshit talk but just playing metal in a way Manowar made it once big; true metal!! I heard that the band will play their entire first 4 albums live in July 2008 in Germany (where else)? So for the old fans that also lost their faith in the band; be there!!!
Visit their website: http://www.manowar.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.magiccirclemusic.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/manowardefendersofsteel

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MARIO PARGA – Entranced (CD) England October 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Rock Running time: 43:25 (Tracks: 9)
Mario was born in 1969. At an early age he became interested in music and more specially, the guitar. He played in his first band at the age of 10, playing covers. That time he also became interested in rock music. Sometime in 1988 he was asked for an unknown pop-rock band at a London venue as they performed for an audience containing music business people. A rock journalist from a magazine called Metal Forces attended the gig and liked what he did, and he then began to feature Mario in the publication. Since then, Mario has appeared in numerous magazines, he played a live guitar solo on MTV and played live numerous radio shows in the U.K. and around the world. Between '87-'90 Mario made a few demo recordings that never got/get released and during '90he met vocalist Graham Bonnet who was involved with a band called "Forcefield". Mario played on two albums of that band. He also recorded a solo album, "The Magician" in 1991. During '91 he played in Cozy Powell's band "Hammer". In '92 he became obsessed with the acoustic guitar, but in '93 he switched back to the electric guitar with a new project, "Savage Paradise". Due to personal problems he went away from the music scene completely. Five years later he met up again with Graham Bonnet and played on his album "The Day I Went Mad". Between '99 and 2000 Mario experimented with guitar music and wrote a lot of material. In 2001 he recorded a track for Liquid Note Records' album "The Alchemists" and in 2002 he also recorded a track for the Lion Music album "Wamth In The Wilderness II". His new album, "Entranced", consists of material that was written over a decade. It was recorded in phases during 2004 and 2007. All instruments were played by Mario himself and he also produced "Entranced". It's a very personal album and represents both happy and sad moments of his life during that period. The first three songs are in my opinion very influenced by Vinnie Moore, great melodic guitar instrumentals with now and then some shred parts. There are also a few calmer songs, of which one of them is acoustic. "Ritual" is the longest track and switches from acoustic to electric guitar. There are also two short songs which are a kind of guitar solo's like Vinnie Moore did at the first Vicious Rumors album. Mario has managed to compose and record a very diverse and very good instrumental guitar album, with neo-classical, shred, rock, metal and ambient songs.
Visit their website: http://www.marioparga.com
Recordlabel: http://www.midnightcafemusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/marioparga

91/100

MELIAH RAGE – The Deep and Dreamless Sleep (CD) USA October 2007 Michel van Hassel
Style: Thrash / Power Metal Running time: 36:00 (Tracks: 8)
Meliah Rage was one of my favourite bands in the late 80's and early 90's. So I was very surprised to hear that they had put out a new album. There had been some releases in 2002 and 2004 but I didn't expect a new album. Especially because from the original line-up Stuart Dowie (drums), Jesse Johnson (bass) and the two guitarists Anthony Nicols and Jim Koury are present. Replacing Mike Munro on vocals is Paul Souza.
Unfortunately this album isn't the killer album like "Kill to Survive" or "Solitary Solitude" were. Still it's good to hear that these Boston-veterans remain true to their roots. What you get is power-thrash like we used to get a lot in the 80's. Some of the songs sound a bit like Metallica. It's a pity that the songs of this latest release lack the quality that made Meliah Rage one of my favourites. Although the songs are good still they miss that little bit extra. The running time of the album is a bit short too. Hopefully the next album will bring back the good old days.
Visit their website: http://www.meliahrage.com
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotiverecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/meliahrage

78/100

MOTÖRHEAD - Better Motörhead than Dead / Live at Hammersmith (2CD) England October 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Motörhead, nothing more, nothing less.. Running time: 46:57 (Tracks: 12) & 56:04 (Tracks: 11)
Finally I have the chance to review a CD from my alltime favorite live-band Motörhead! Next month when the band is playing in Kerkrade, The Netherlands, I will see the band for the 40th time and that says enough about my passion for Lemmy & Co!! I've seen the band also several times in their homecountry England and I can tell you that these shows where all very special to me because they have a very dedicated audience overthere! Especially their 25th anniversary show (which I reviewed for the Belgium Mindview magazine) was one of the highlights to my list of gigs over all these years! Well here is again a live CD of this, already, legendary band and this time it was recorded during their 30th anniversary tour at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, England (June 16, 2005).
This double CD is packed in a very good looking digipack and the booklet contains a lot of nice pictures of the band. The setlist contains 23 songs including all their classic ones but also some 'newer' stuff like: 'Killer' , 'Love for Sale', 'In the name of Tragedy' & 'Whorehouse Bleus'. The sound is very good for a live recording. Only little complain I have about Motörhead in common, especially during the last years, is the very moderate guitarplaying and 'no-attitude' look of Phil Campbell. He isnt playing any good solos anymore live and thats a big disadvantage to the band. During the whole gig he is rattling through all the songs in a way that doesnt belong to Motörhead's status. Gladly for Phil Campbell is the fact that he is lucky to play in a band with the legendary Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister and "probably the best drummer in the world" Mikkey Dee.
Nevertheless this is a very good live recording and during the listening I was feeling that typical UK atmosphere again..... But to be honest; "No Sleep 'till Hammersmith" will never be improved. Good album anyway!!
Visit their website: http://www.imotorhead.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/motorhead

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MUNICIPAL WASTE – The Art Of Partying (LP) USA October 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 32:00 (Tracks: 15)
This is already the third effort of Municipal Waste, 'The Art Of Partying' after 'Hazardous Mutation' in 2005, and their debut album 'Waste Em All'. They bring back the glorious crossover thrash metal from the eighties, who said thrash metal is dead? It's never been more alive, these guys know their shit, awesome I can tell you! Fast and furious from beginning to the end, they bring their vicious, crossover thrash metal in the veins of D.R.I. & S.O.D. These guys know how to party, so prove their songs "The Art Of Partying", "Beer Pressure" or "Chemically Altered", with lyrics Tankard would be jealous of. This is top fun, but played as tight as a duck's ass, Municipal Waste knows how to handle their instruments! The only thing about the album is, it's too short, but then again it's hard to keep up with this for more than half an hour at break neck speed. Don't miss the chance to catch these guys live at work, cause they will tear the place up, Municipal Waste is gonna fuck you up! So grab a six pack of your favourite beverage and have yourself a party with this excellent piece of thrash metal!
Visit their website: http://www.facethewaste.com
Recordlabel: http://www.earache.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/municipalwaste

95/100

PAUL SABU – Strange Messiah (CD) USA October 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 41:07 (Tracks: 10)
Paul Sabu, a name we all know; if not from one of his numerous solo or band-attempts, than maybe because of his contributions to other artists'music, like David Bowie or Madonna or even Alice Cooper. I even remember that he wrote one of the first Shania Twain cds before she came a true poprock/countrystar. Paul went to Germany this time, to the music factory of Michael Voss (Casanova), who is producing a lot of albums these days ! And when Voss produces, he gathers a selection of German musicians to fill in some spots; including Sabu himself there are 4 guitarplayers on this album.
I must say the production is awesome; Voss really knows how to let rock sound like ROCK: pounding, screaming and everything sounding major! The compositions on this album, however, are a bit above mediocre; opening track "Strange Messiah" is a slow, heavy pounding track, and I also like "Hey Look (But Don't Touch). Who knew that Vinnie Appice writes songs too? Well, he co-wrote "Jack Of All Trades"; not that this is such an outstanding track, but it differs from the other tracks on this album. I must conclude that the songs are fitting to Sabu's raw and raspy voice, that the songmaterial is OK for listening on the background, but this is not a candidate for cd of the year; a name like Sabu should be in that category, though….
Visit their website: http://www.paulsabu.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/paulsabu

79/100

POVERTY'S NO CRIME – Save My Soul (CD) Germany October 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 53:35 (Tracks: 10)
German Progressive metal leaders Poverty's No Crime have been around since the mid 90ies. I personally started tracking their career since the debut and the magnificent "The Autumn Years" album but somehow didn't follow them through their next steps. I even had the chance to watch them perform live here in Greece, supporting Virgin Steele. Just for the record, it was a great show. But although I've lost track of them I somehow have the feeling that "Save My Soul" will cover for the lost time.
The first thing I noticed was that the band has adapted its style to a more straight forward power metal direction, diminishing the progressive elements in many songs. Some would think that it's not a wise thing to do but I found the music in "Save My Soul" very amusing, well executed and inspired. The album can still be categorized as progressive metal but not in the "Autumn Years" fashion. Musicianship is supreme, all instruments and voices cooperate in the ideal way and the result is excellent. A very enjoyable record indeed.
Visit their website: http://www.povertys-no-crime.de
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/povertysnocrime

83/100

PRIMAL FEAR - New Religion (CD) Germany October 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Heavy / Power Metal Running time: 54:02 (Tracks: 11)
.Primal Fear was formed in Esslingen Germany by Ralf Scheepers (ex Tyran Pace and ex-Gamma Ray). Primal Fear's original line-up comprised fellow Judas Priest enthousiasts and old friends: bassplayer Matt Sinner (ex-Sinner), guitarist Tom Naumann (also ex-Sinner), and drummer Klaus Sperling (Sinner, Insanity). The band's first demo secured a deal with Nuclear Blast Records and their self-titled debut appeared in 1998. Primal Fear toured a lot and already released seven studio albums! I saw the band many times live onstage and I think in Holland its one of the most famous Heavy / Power Metal bands nowadays ! The new album "New Religion" is an album with many different influences... Sometimes I really like it, a song like 'Face Of Emptiness' is maybe even one of the best Primal Fear songs ever made ! And I also like the fast and melodic songs. But I really hate the song 'Everytime It Rains', with Epica's Simone Simons, too much Gothic influences for me! "New Religion" is probably one of the best Primal Fear albums ever made, but I really miss the speed and power of the very first two records ! The production is really great and the musicians too, especially Ralf did a great job. But no, I still prefer the very first two records which are much more heavy metal for me ! But I would say go check it out for yourself and maybe your opinion is different than mine.
Visit their website: http://www.primalfear.de/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/primalfearofficial

80/100

RITUAL – The Hemulic Voluntary Band (CD) Sweden October 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 53:04 (Tracks: 6)
The first Ritual album was released in 1995 ("Ritual"), later followed by "Superb Birth" in 1999 and "Think Like A Mountain" in 2003. "The Hemulic Voluntary Band" is their fourth album and with this new album the band goes one step further in terms of its myriad of different facets. The four band members mix elements of rock, folk and world music, sprinkle in jazz elements and take their songs to the verge of avant-garde. Their album has got a creative range that is almost impossible to describe.
Visit their website: http://www.ritual.se
Recordlabel: http://www.tempusfugit.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ritualsweden

71/100

ROB ROCK - Garden of Chaos (CD) USA / Sweden October 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy / Power Metal Running time: 46:15 (Tracks: 10)
Rob Rock is one of the most expressional voices in the metal scene. He is wellknown for his work with bands like: Impellitteri, M.A.R.S., Joshua, Warrior, Avantasia et al.... The band consist mostly members of Narnia, the same he used for tthe predecessor "Holy Hell". "Garden of Chaos" is Rob's 4th solo album and again this is a classic piece of fine powermetal with a great modrn sounding production (done bij Roy Z). Its difficult to compare Rob Rock's music with any other benad because of his typical voice. If you like his first 3 albums than im sure you will love this one also! Personally I liked his second album "Eyes of Eternity" most but qualitative they all are great and this new one is awesoem too! Check it out if you like melodic heavy/power metal with an outrageous singer! You wont regret it!!!
Visit their website: http://robrock.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/robrock1

95/100

RUST – Rust (CD) Cyprus October 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 21:12 (Tracks: 4)
Rust is a new band originating from Cyprus. I am sure that most of the readers are not familiar with any bands originating from this island state of the Mediterranean but I have to tell you that a heavy metal revolution is taking place over there with plenty of new bands emerging. Rust is one of the most promising ones and I have the privilege of reviewing their self financed debut mini cd.
From the 4 tracks of this cd you should expect nothing more or nothing less than pure heavy metal played with excess passion and enthusiasm. These five young guys know how to rock hard and mean. The Rust sound has that classic 80ies heavy metal feeling, influenced mostly by Iron Maiden. It's almost hard to believe that the band was formed a year ago by 5 young guys. The word is that Rust throws some great energetic shows on the island, gathering new fans rapidly. I really hope that the band will manage to break through the borders eventually and present its music to a wider audience.
Contact the band: R_U_S_T_@hotmail.com

83/100

SODOM – The Final Sign Of Evil (CD) Germany October 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 49:49 (Tracks: 12)
Sodom was born in Gelsenkirchen Germany in 1982 and debuted as a trio consisting of guitarist ‘Angelripper’ ( A.K.A Thomas Such ), drummer ‘Witchhunter’ ( Christian Dudek ) and vocalist ‘Aggressor’ ( Frank Testegen ). They released their very first demo ‘Witching Metal’ in 1983 with Bloody Monster ( Rainer Focke ) on drums. In the year 1984 they released their second demo "Victims Of Death". Those days (early/mid 80’s) Sodom made True Black/Thrash Metal ! The German Scene followed with bands such as : ‘Iron Angel’, ‘Kreator’ and ‘Destruction’, German Thrash Metal was born ! I think almost all oldschool Thrashers have waited for this new record since 1984 ! "The Final Sign Of Evil" consists of 7 rare additional bonus tracks written in the “In the Sign of Evil” era that were never released. The album has appearances from the original drummer ‘Chris Dudek’ (also known as Chris Witchhunter) and guitarist Josef “Peppi” Dominic (also known as Grave Violator) both played on the very first Sodom EP. Great new album if you ask me and a must for every oldschool Thrasher and ofcourse every Sodom Maniac! The production of the record isn’t that great, but I think that is just cult! That’s what makes this album to what it is. Hopefully they will do a special oldschool tour with only rare oldschool stuff ! The fans can’t wait ! Sodom is still one of the best Thrash Metal bands ever and they never changed their sound and way of thinking ! Keep on the good work, the world needs more real Metal bands like the German Thrashers Sodom !!!
Visit their website: http://www.sodomized.info/
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sodomdeathsquad

95/100

SOUL DOCTOR – Blood Runs Cold (CD) Germany October 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 47:30 (Tracks: 10)
Vocalist Tommy Heart of German rockers Fair Warning released yet another album, following the "For A Fistful Of Dollars"album. Soul Doctor is a band that plays hardrock with a bluesy touch; here and there a little AC-DC style, and combined with Tommy's soothing voice, this is supposed to be a good combination. But beware: expect more blues than AC-DC. The titletrack is one for fine digestion; man, what a killer ! If this level is maintained during the album, this is a winner; but…there often is a catch. In this case the catch IS the diversity. A track called "F.A.F.O.D."(For A Fistful Of Dollars) sounds like a rocking Led Zeppelin, and I can appreciate this variation in style. But why a song like "The ocean" is on this album, I don't know. This song does not fit to the rest of the material in my opinion. Luckily, to me these are the only flaws. The band sounds more and more like Bon Jovi rather than the above mentioned Australians, and for their future, I think it's for the good. Tommy Heart does a fine job lending his vocals to the music of Soul Doctor, although I like him better with Fair Warning, but that is a different kind of music alltogether. Bon Jovi fans, look out for this one, you won't be disappointed.
Visit their website: http://www.souldoctorrocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/souldoctorrock

76/100

STEEL ASSASSIN – War of the Eight Saints (CD) USA October 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 64:14 (Tracks: 11)
The legendary Steel Assassin is back! The band that issued the monumental "From the Vaults" album and gave us multiple epic power metal orgasms has returned with a vengeance courtesy of Sentinel Steel Records, a label that has been resurrecting monsters of steel for over a decade now. Phil Grasso (also a member of cult metallers Madd Hunter) and his gang is here to stay. The explosive Donnie Escolas no longer fronts the band. John Fanzone stepped in his shoes with a difficult task at hand. Let's see what "War of the Eight Saints" is all about.
The opening track " Hawkwood" leaves no room for doubt. The Assassin has returned! The mind blowing speedy power metal of the band rushes from our speakers and the headbanging begins. The amazing tracks come one after another, leaving us breathless. This is one hell of a comeback! While other so called legends of the past return with mediocre and contemporary sounding albums, Steel Assassin treats us with classic Americal steel, traditional power metal at its best. At first I had my doubts about Falzone. He is no Escolas but his rough and powerful voice is a match for the energetic songs of the album. Just listen to the epic "Sword in the Stone" or the classic "Barabbas" from the Madd Hunter days. No need to continue writing. You should already be rushing out there, buying a copy of this magnificent piece of METAL! All Hail the Assassin made of Steel!
Visit their website: http://www.steelassassin.com
Recordlabel: http://www.sentinelsteel.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/steelassassin

89/100

TANKARD – Best Case Scenario: 25 Years In Beers (CD) Germany October 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 64:39 (Tracks: 18)
The local school band from 1982 that practiced in the basement is still alive! The inventors of "Alcoholic Metal" have celebrated their 20th anniversary in spring 2002 with the release of album number 10: "B-Day". But now back to the past! The band played their first gig in a classroom on May 28th, 1983. Since alcohol was not allowed in school they poured their beer in milk cartons which they consumed while playing. Back to the year 1984. Tankard played at a legendary happening in Sindlingen. Other bands that were present were 'Sodom' and the southern trio 'Destruction', rambo outfits and such. "...Manfred Schütz of SPV, who was also there, made them an offer but then withdrew it after he saw us play...", says Gerre with a grin. "...He had the balls to say that we weren't bad. Weren't bad? We sucked!..." The main reason was that Andy wore a blue sweater with some deer on it. Not very Metal! Sodom and Destruction signed up with SPV-Label Steamhammer and Tankard still had no contract. What the boys really needed aside from gigs and popular demos like "Heavy Metal Vanguard" and "Alcoholic Metal" was business. But then came manager Buffo Schnädelbach. He gave up his job as banker because he couldn't take wearing a tie all day. From then on he took care of marketing and merchandising. At first he didn't do it all too well as sixth "Beer belly" on stage (Gerre was allowed to sing 'Alcohol' and failed), but the Frankfurt Südbahnhof was completely sold out. There were even ten police cars parked outside waiting for trouble. At this time our heroes had their first record contract and "Zombie Attack" was in the stores. At last they recognized their potential in the mid eighties. The combination of alcoholic humor, political irony, pounding rhythm and the stage presence of front-man Gerre gained them increasing popularity. The band made many great records and also supported bands such as Metallica and Twisted Sister while touring in Germany. Since then the whole metal community loves Tankard very much! I know for sure that every oldschool thrasher has all records of these legends from Frankfurt am Main in their collection! These guys are fucking metal and very crazy! Tankard is a positive party/beer metalband who have only one statement: PARTY! Fuck Satan and all those other bullshit, beer and metal is the only way! The albums contain all the classics from the past and it’s a must for all the young ones in the Thrash Metal Scene! Tankard is still a band to see live and I think it’s not the same when you listen to the records than seeing them live! But if you are not very familiar with this German Thrash Metal Legends, this best of cd is a good way to introduce you with the beerbelly boys of Tankard! Buy Or Die Thrashaholics, every real headbanger will love this Metalband, Mosh and drink beer that‘s for fucking sure!
Visit their website: http://www.tankard.org/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tankardfrankfurt

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THE POODLES – Sweet Trade (CD) Sweden October 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 43:38 (Tracks: 12)
The history of The Poodles began with some of Sweden's wellknown and most respected metal musicians teaming up (Jakob Samuel-vocals, Pontus Norgren-guitar, Pontus Egberg-bass, Christian Lundqvist-drums). The band has existed for a few years doing quite a bit of touring. In the Fall of 2005 the current line-up was completed and in Spring 2006 The Poodles competed successful in the Swedish version of the European Song Contest. The debut album "Metal Will Stand Tall" was released in Sweden and Finland in May 2006 and has topped the Swedish sales charts, finally reaching gold status in their home country! Three singles with songs of the album were released and did it very well in Sweden. Then The Poodles signed a deal for the rest of Europe with AFM Records, releasing the "Metal Will Stand Tall" album on January 19th 2007. The same time they toured with Krokus and HammerFall. "Sweet Trade" is the successor of their highly successful debut album. Again they have managed to write 12 catchy hard rock songs, with influences of classic hard rock, melodic rock/metal and A.O.R.. With Jakob Samuel they have the perfect vocalist for their sound and guitarist Pontus Norgren is exceptional good with his Schenker/Norum/Sykes influenced solo's. Musically they sound like a mix of Bon Jovi, AC/DC and MSG. Also their live shows are very good in combination with their great songs, so nobody can't stop them anymore!
Visit their website: http://www.thepoodles.se
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thepoodles

94/100

TWO OF A KIND – Two Of A Kind (CD) The Netherlands October 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: AOR Running time: 49:49 (Tracks: 11)
A new Dutch AOR band has been born: brothers Fred and Ron Hendrix (Terra Nova) teamed up with TN guitarplayer Gesuino Derosas and drummer Hans in 't Zandt (Vengeance) and found 2 angels in singers Esther Brouns and Anita Craenmehr. It was the goal of Fred to form a band that plays fine, melodic, sometimes even angelic AOR, and with a strong production he succeeded in doing it. More than that, I must add. In 't Zandt is a powerful and technical skilled drummer (he has his own drummers school), and that basis gets filled up with excellent guitarwork and the forementioned two angels on vocals.
Making AOR like this, one automatically presumes that there might be a hit on this album, ready to take the charts. Yup, there is. Opener "Light In The Dark" is a beautiful, powerful song with an open character, very accessible and in my opinion worthy a single. The other material on the album is of high quality; it never bores me while listening, and sometimes I notice similarities to Heart (how surprising), especially on "Give Me A Reason". Being a fan of guitars, I must mention the ballad-like "Unbearable", where the rhythm guitar is incredibly functional and powerful that makes me want to play it real loud. For those who are into AOR, this cd is a must have. Hopefully we'll get this band to see on a tour, and I hope that Frontiers realises that the opening track is ready for some big time airplay, if not in Holland, then certainly in the USA.
Visit their website: http://www.toak.name
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/

90/100

WOLFPACK UNLEASHED – Anthems Of Resistance (CD) Austria October 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 46:49 (Tracks: 10)
WolfPack Unleashed hail from Austria, and WPU were even Austria's only thrash band in 1995, founded by Wops Koch (guitar). While at first similar to the German scene kings, the style and taste of the guitarist evolved into the Bay Area Thrash sound, comparable to the sound of bands like Metallica, Exodus, Megadeth or Testament. The band split up, but Koch reformed WPU in January 2005, after recruiting new musicians the band worked on the first songs and finished the demo 'The Art Of Resistance' in 2006. Their demo was voted Best Demo of the Month by Rock Hard Italy. After a lot of positive press feedback, the band got signed by Napalm Records, and as a result 'Anthems of Resistance' is here! This WPU debut album contains intelligent, technically superb melodic thrash, as they call it, and it suits the music perfectly. Great songs like opener 'Last Dance Of A Dying King', 'Next Victim' (with some recognizable Megadeth riffs in it), 'Killling Fields' or 'Religion Of Control'. Lyrically WPU unapologetically relates to the hypocrisies of today with classic anti-war themes, which clearly expresses their views about religious extremism. The Austrians also provoke us with lyrics about the last moments of Beethoven ('Eroica'), abuse/abortion and personal loss. All in all WPU creates their own style of melodic thrash metal, and they definitely deserve their place, give it a try and enjoy!
Visit their website: http://www.wolfpackunleashed.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wolfpackunleashed

76/100

SEPTEMBER

ALEPH – In Tenebra (CD) Italy September 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Progressive Thrash Metal Running time: 48:19 (Tracks: 7)
Aleph started in 1998 and released their first demo in 2004 before that they have released some songs on different kind of compilation albums. In 2002 they released a promo (self-production) and now they found a label to release their debut "In Tenebra" by Fuel Records. This album contains 7 tracks of Progressive Thrash Metal. All the songs have a great variety in it and the production is brutal for that genre. The guitar riffs are trashy and progressive and the drums are very technical. The composing of this album is great, it sounds like a musical journey. Long songs and a lot of solos finish the musical side of this album. The vocalist hasn't got a grunt but that isn't annoying to me. The vocals are clean but with a strong touch on it (like Nevermore). If you like progressive thrash metal then you should check this album.
Visit their website: http://www.alephmetal.org
Recordlabel: http://www.fuelrecords.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/alephmetal

70/100

ALLEN / LANDE - The Revenge (CD) USA / Norway September 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Hardrock/Heavy Metal Running time: 1:03:33 (Tracks: 12)
This is the second album of the cooperation between this two giant voices. I probably dont have to tell that Russel Allen is the leadsinger for Symphony X and that Jorn Lande (who still is one of my favorite rock singers) made name with his last band Masterplan but also sung in several projects/bands (f.e. Ark, Millenium, Beyond Twilight et al...). Nowadays Jorn is concentrating on his solo band simply named: Jorn.
Jorn & Russel already delivered a classic rock album "The Battle" a few years ago and I was already impressed by that one. This new album "The Revenge" is a logical follow up to that album; nothing more; nothing less. Dont expcect a change in musical direction; Both Jorn & Russel are doing the things they are best in; rockin'& singing their lungs out!! I already loved their first album and im glad these guys continued with this music. Hope they will release more albums in the future because I cant get enough of it! Great album! Also of course a compliment to the other musicians on this album; you did a hell of a job too!!
Visit their website: http://www.jornlande.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/realjorn

90/100

AS LIGHT DIES – A step through the Reflection (CD) Spain September 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Atmospheric Black Metal Running time: 66:55 (Tracks: 13)
As Light Dies was born as a project in 1999 by a few friends who played in all kinds of bands. They started this project so that they could play whatever they want which they couldn't do in other bands. This is the result, a melodic atmospheric black metal band that musically is very interesting but not the thing I would put in my CD player. The music has very much variety in it and the guitar riffs are typical black metal riffs but sound far far to kind. The good thing about it is that they play solos. The drums sound very thin and the vocalist uses different kind of vocals. His black scream is okay but not the best voice I heard (way to friendly and without aggression) and then you have his clean vocal that sounds really terrible. The most annoying thing about this album is they have all kind of noises throughout the songs (keyboard) that sounds really terrible. The production of this album is way way to friendly (it gives you the idea that your listening to a demo). I understand why the CD contains almost 70 minutes, because if you have so much intro`s and outro`s you can easily bring out a CD like this. If you ask me you can better spend your money on another band.
Visit their website: http://www.aslightdies.tk
Recordlabel: http://www.mondongocanibale.com

55/100

AUTUMN BLACK – Beneath the Shadows (CD) USA September 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Hardcore Thrash Metal Running time: 38:29 (Tracks: 12)
Autumn Black is formed in 2004 and they play a raw mix between hardcore and melodic thrash metal…..what, yeah I now a really weird description. This is their debut album released by a new record label ThrowDown Records. This album contains 12 tracks of very very good produced metal. The guitar riffs are very technical but also raw and the drums are also technical, but even groovy. The vocalist has a light grunt combined with a very melodic clean vocal. The only thing I don't like about their clean vocals is that it reminds me to much of the new metal stream like Linkin Park etc. but the rest of the music is great. All the songs have a lot of variety in it and if this is their first album then I am definitely going to check out their second.
Visit their website: http://www.autumnblackmusic.com
Recordlabel: http://www.throwdownrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/autumnblack

70/100

BLITZKRIEG – Theatre Of The Damned (CD) UK September 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: NWOBHM Running time: 55:11 (Tracks: 12)
Blitzkrieg is a heavy metal band from Leicester England formed in 1980, consisting of Brian Ross (vocals), Ken Johnson (guitar), Guy Laverick (guitar), Paul Brewis (bass) and Phil Brewis (drums). Blitzkrieg has stayed in the music industry for more than two decades. The band released eight records and always kept their metal straight & honest just how it was meant to be! The band made classical metal songs like Inferno & Blitzkrieg ( covered by Metallica )!!! I saw the band two times live on stage and I can say Brain Ross is a very impressive & great frontman with a typical own voice and character. Blitzkrieg is a typical Second Wave Of British Heavy Metalband and probably also even one of the better acts in their genre. Since 1995 Brain Ross released every or two year a great new Heavy Metal album on the market and every time I can say Yes!!! Just like their new album "Theatre Of The Damned" which sounds like 1985 and for me that’s always really great ! Blitzkrieg keeps traditional metal alive and for me that reason No:1!!! All the songs have got a mid-tempo NWOBHM vein and tell little horror tales, far from original, but who cares? The music has got atmosphere and sometimes the bands even reminds you of the old Black Sabbath, ( listen to Tortured Souls and you will know what I’ll mean ;). The band also put some oldschool classics like Armageddon and Blitzkrieg as bonus on this cd ! Great album and withsome great extras like the Digipack videos Escape From The Village and I’m Not Insane the cd already reached my top of 2007. Very nice and great food for traditionals, Buy Or Die !!!
Visit their website: http://www.blitzed-alive.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.armageddonmusic.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/absoluteblitzkrieg

89/100

BLOOD RED THRONE - Come Death (CD) Norway September 2007 Suzanne de Volder-Ruiter
Style: Death Metal Running time: 42:31 (Tracks: 9)
The idea to start a band together came from Tchort and Dod while they were on tour with Satyricon as members of their live band. Since the guys shared the same ideas about music the idea was growing in time. Some time after the tour they found a drummer, Freddy Bolso and they started rehearsing songs from bands like Deicide, Death and Obituary. In 2000 the first demo was released by the name of "Death mix 2000". Here's a short discography of the band's work so far: 2000 : Singed up with Hammerheart Records and a new drummer joined the band: Mr. Hustler. 2001: Release of debut album "Monuments of Death" 2002: Mini album "A taste of blood" a new drummer was found in the person of Espen Antonsen and BRT played a lot of festivals that year and supported Dimmu Borgir on their tour. 2003: "Affiliated with the suffering" was released. Also in '03 the band signed a deal with Earache Records. 2004: In October the recording of "Altered Genesis" began and the album was released in 2005.
And finally in 2007 the release from "Come Death" is here and with two new band members Blood Red Throne will do a promotion tour for this cd, so check out the band's MySpace/Website for the tour dates! The music of Blood Red Throne is brutal and without compromises! It doesn't have the Norwegian sound you might expect but they adopted the Florida death metal sound! "Come Death" is extremely heavy and fast but still there's space in the songs for catching riffs and tempo changes! One can be quit short about this cd: you must listen to it if you like the brutal kinds of death metal! It is very well played with obviously experienced musicians, production is also good. So to make a long story short: buy it, play it and let your neighbours enjoy it too! And for the fans: BLT covered a song from Gorguts: "Disincarnated" and put it on "Come Death".
Visit their website: http://www.bloodredthrone.net
Recordlabel: http://www.earache.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bloodredthrone666

90/100

CALIBERN – Insane (CD) The Netherlands September 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 36:08 (Tracks: 7)
Calibern is a heavy metal band from Delft in The Netherlands, once started as an epic power metal band formed by friends who loved the same music. After a while Calibern ceased to exist, but years later in 2004 they started over due to the perseverance of some old bandmembers. Nowadays Calibern is a heavy metal band, bringing back the old school heavy metal from the eighties mixed with some modern influences. As their influences they name Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Crimson Glory, but also newer bands like Symphony X, Kamelot , Nevermore and many more. This is their first complete cd release, after their demo "The Darkest Night", which was released in 2004. Their music could best be described as NWOBHM with some 80s us metal influences, great song structures with really nice guitar work, and a singer who doesn't sound really dutch, which is a good thing. They actually have a lot in common with another dutch band namely Roadkill where the music is concerned. In my opinion a good debut album with very strong songs like opener "Blazing Through The Sky" and "The Darkest Night" for instance, one of my favourites. I just think the production could have been done a bit better, or heavier if you like, but nonetheless a great album!
Visit their website: http://www.calibern.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/calibern

82/100

CEREMONY OF OPPOSITES – Deaths Dominion (CD) The Netherlands September 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 50:30 (Tracks: 13)
Ceremony of Opposites is formed in 2005 and released their first demo also in 2005. This is their debut album and I must say that it doesn't sound too bad. This album contains 13 tracks of pure ravaging thrash death metal. The production of this album is a little to soft for me (Everything is too soft in the mix). All though they don't have a record label it is a great album. All the songs have a lot of variety in it and the composing of the songs are great. The guitar riffs are very fast, technical and groovy. The drums are pounding through every sound like a mad train. The vocalist has a great grunt but you can't hear that to well on the CD because it's mixed in too soft (pity). Allthough that the production of this album isn't the best I must say the rest is good enough for me. If you like bands that sound like Vader or Benediction then check out their website and order it.
Visit their website: http://www.ceremony-of-opposites.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ceremonyofoppositesmetal

70/100

CIVILIZATION ONE - Revolution Rising (CD) International September 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Progressive/Power Metal Running time: 41:31 (Tracks: 10)
Civilization One was started by vocalist Chitral Somapala (highly regarded for his work with Avalon, Firewind, Faro, Moonlight Agony and Red Circuit) and guitarist Aldo Lanobile (from Secret Sphere) in early 2006. Chitral and Aldo wanted to create a band that combined heavy, aggressive guitar riffs with the melodic sensibilities of classical music, and featured memorable vocal lines and choruses. After successful songwriting sessions they wanted to form a real band. The first person they recruted was drummer Luca Cartasegna, also from Secret Sphere. The next player on board was bassist Pierre-Emmanuel Pélisson from the French power metal band Heavenly. The last member they found was keyboard player Jesper Stotz, who originally hails from Brazil. Their first album "Revolution Rising" is a very good melodic metal album with influences from power, progressive, neo-classical, symphonic and even death metal (some grunts in two tracks). Bands to refer at are especially Firewind and Heavenly. The songs are mainly played in up-tempo, with powerful vocals from Chitral. A very good newcomer for the power metal genre.
Visit their website: http://www.civilization-one.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/civilizationone

82/100

CONQUEST OF STEEL – Hammer & Fist (CD) UK September 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: True Heavy Metal Running time: 40:04 (Tracks:10)
Conquest Of Steel was founded in 1998 in West Yorkshire Great Britain. I saw the band for the first time in our local Metalbar Little Devil in 2004. I was really impressed that night and for me it’s still one of the best gigs I ever saw in that club. In 2005 I saw them again at the Heavy Metal Maniacs FC Fest in Hoorn in the North of Holland. It was party time again ! Conquest Of Steel is England’s new Manowar of the new Century ! The band stands for traditional true and melodic Heavy Metal. Metal music from the heart and soul in the vein of some old NWOBHM bands of the late 70’s and early 80’s and True Metalbands like Majesty and Manowar. You don’t see that much Uber True Heavy Metalbands in Great Britain and sometimes I even think the British Scene is almost dead nowadays. But Conquest Of Steel keeps that flame burning with their very good sounding and strong pure powerfull Heavy Metal. All musicians have got a lot of qualities and spirit in their hearts to grow the upcoming years. Hammer & Fist sounds a bit like the old Iron Maiden and old Manowar records with a little bit of their own pride and glory! The new albums also sound a lot more grown up and I can even say full of pride I am a die hard fan and I want them back here in Tilburg very very soon again ! Keep On The Good Powerfull Work Guys & Don’t Forget Keep It True, Death To False Metal !
Visit their website: http://www.conquestofsteel.co.uk/
Recordlabel: http://www.nofacerecords.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/conquestofsteel

90/100

CYPHER SEER - Awakening Day (CD) USA September 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Power Metal Running time: 49:18 (Tracks: 10)
CYPHER SEER? MALAKIS REIGN? Well in 2007 Malakis Reign had to change its name due to legal issues at the time and came up with CYPHER SEER. It's that simple. In the time the band was named Malakis Reign they had singer James Rivera (Helstar, Destiny's End, Vicious Rumors, Seven Witches, et al) and bassist Mike Lepond (Symphony X) in their ranks; not the worst musicians in my opninion! New Jersey's Sentinel Steel Records scooped up the quintet nowadays led by former ONWARD, LEGEND MAKER, NEW EDEN and current CRESCENT SHIELD vocalist Michael Grant, whose voice is the first trademark of this American Power Metal band's sound, as manifested in "Awakening Day", their full length debut album. Musically the band takes very catchy melodies, combines them with varied tempos and rhythms and uses these dynamics to their advantage. According to their bio the band compare themselves as a mix of Iced Earth meets Symphony X. Personally I think more of Helstar/Destiny's End meets Heaven's Cry. This is pure US powermetal the way I like it mostly; only pity is the fact that singer Michael Grant doest do any high pitching vocals; otherwise this album would probably have a much higher rate! But the band will not complain (I hope) about my rating :). Good US powermetal! Hope to see this band live someday!
Visit their website: http://www.cypherseer.com
Recordlabel: http://www.sentinelsteel.com/

86/100

DEVIOUS - Domain (CD) The Netherlands September 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 49:00 (Tracks: 12)
Devious is a relatively new band that started in 2000. They released their first demo in 2002 and their debut album "Acts of Rage" in 2004 by Spitzenburg records. After a line up change they decided to work on a new album and I must say it definitely kicks ass. They signed a deal with DeityDown Records a relatively new label (the only thing they released yet is "A Nihilistic Swarm" of Vermin) that will bring them right back in the metal scene. Their latest album is really great. The songs have a lot of variety in it and the production of the album is great. The drums are very fast and pound through every song. The guitar riffs are very technical and sound furious. All though I also like there first album with the old singer (also singed with Altar) I must say that there new singer has a great grunt that finish this album as a great death metal record. Fast songs combined with old school Morbid Angel riffs, very nice. If you like bands like Morbid Angel or Krisiun you should check out this album.
Visit their website: http://www.devious.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.deitydownrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/deviousdomain

75/100

EDEN'S CURSE – Eden's Curse (CD) International September 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Hard Rock/Metal Running time: 68:11 (Tracks: 14)
Eden's Curse was formed in early 2006 by bassist Paul Logue (David Readman/ex-Cry Havoc) and U.S. born vocalist Michael Eden. The line-up is completed by Ferdy Doenberg (Rough Silk/A.R. Pell, U.J. Roth) –keyboards, Pete Newdeck (Steve Grimmett Band/ex-Lionsheart/ex-Paul Dianno) – drums, and German guitar virtuoso Thorsten Koehne (Code Of Perfection). Backing vocals are sung by wellknown vocalists such as Doogie White, David Readman and Carsten Schulz. Their first album is a great mix of power and catchy energy. Very melodic all the time, with great songs in the vein of Bonfire, Axel Rudi Pell, Gotthard, Ten, Dokken, … . Great melodic hard rock/metal, with excellent musicians, a superb vocalist (who also adds some A.O.R. influences) and above all a very good guitarist.
Visit their website: http://www.edenscurse.com
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/edenscurse

87/100

EMILIANO SICILIA - Devotion Materialize (CD) Italy September 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Industrial Horror Metal Running time: 49:17 (Tracks: 7)
Emiliano was born in Milan in 1977. He started getting fond of guitar and music at the age of ten and from 1988 till 1995 he devoted seven years to private lessons of classic and flamenco guitar. After reaching full mastery of his instrument, Emiliano decided to give private lessons and from 17 till 24 years of age he taught many people the secrets of rock-fusion guitar. After graduating in History and Philosophy and achieving great live experience thanks to ten years of shows with several cover bands, he finally decided to start his solo carreer, devised to gather several music genres onto a skeleton of sounds inspired by the most visionary horror, sci-fi and cyber space movies. His debut album "Devotion Materialize" was recorded at the wellknown Moon House Studio in Milan and produced by the famous Mantra guitarist Gianluca Galli, who's also the founder of the Horus Music label. His album is a mix of many music genres such as metal, ethnic, funk, industrial, electronic, flamenco, country, folk and blues. The mainly instrumental album has been enriched with the presence of an incredible team of voices. "Devotion Materialize" reminds me mostly of Steve Vai's weirdest songs. Not bad at all, but very complex to listen at.
Visit their website: http://www.emilianosicilia.com
Recordlabel: http://www.gianlucagalli.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/emilianosicilia

73/100

ERA VULGARIS – What Stirs Within (CD) Ireland September 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Progressive Thrash Metal Running time: 55:22 (Tracks: 8)
Era Vulgaris started in 2004 and released their first demo in 2006. This is their debut album released by Open Your Ears Music. Now this album is a weird way of progressive thrash. This album contains so much variety in it, combined with all kinds of music styles (heavy, thrash, hardcore, acoustic etc.), that makes this really heavy to review. Never the less I'll give it a try. The guitar riffs are a mix between heavy, thrash and hardcore riffs combined with very much technical solos and melody. The drums are technical but sound very straight in your face and very controlled. The vocalist uses all kind of vocals, like clean, grunt, hardcore and sometimes screams. When you listen to this CD then the first impression is what the FUCK! Everything on every song is well thought of. Not one song sounds like the one before. Sometimes it even sounds a little like jazz. The production of this album is amazingly good. Listening to this even reminds of Cryptopsy but then more for every kind of metal freak and not only for the brutal fans. If you like bands that are very musically but also not standard then you're going to enjoy this album.
Visit their website: http://www.eravulgaris.com
Recordlabel: http://www.openyourears.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eravulgaris

75/100

FRANCESCO FARERI – Secrets Within (CD) Italy September 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Rock/Metal Running time: 72:27 (Tracks: 15)
"Secrets Within" is the third solo album from Italian guitarist Francesco Fareri and his second release for Lion Music. In 2001 he has released "Suspension" and in 2005 "Forbidden Dimension". His new album is divided into two sections ; one heavy, which features especially shred/prog metal with a lot of themes and melodies (called "Into The Dark Line") and one acoustic, with only guitar and piano/keyboards with more delicate melodies and some really introspective movements (called "Out Of The Dark Line"). He divided this album to better show all of his ideas, feelings and the way he considers music. For "Secrets Within", Francesco teamed up with Kyle Honea (bass) and Lucrezio de Seta (drums). There are also several keyboard/piano solo's from Vitalij Kuprij and Bob Katsionis, two of the world's best keyboardplayers. "Secrets Within" shows a nice demonstration of Francesco's shred AND acoustic guitar playing.
Visit their website: http://www.francescofareri.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/francescofareri

78/100

HAMMERHEART - Dreamworks (CD) Slovakia September 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: NWOBHM Running time: 39:20 (Tracks: 8)
Hammerheart is a Slovakian band which was formed in 1994. In 1996 they recorded their demo "When Dark Dreams…", which was released in 1997. In 1999 they appeared at the compilation cd of Metal Age Productions. In 2000 they recorded also a promo-cd. In May 2006 they recorded their debut "Dreamworks" which is now finally released through Ride Production. Their music is pure NWOBHM influenced, especially early Iron Maiden comes to mind when I listen to them (twin guitarleads!). "Dreamworks" was released in memory of Quorthon, former Bathory. Normally their second album should be completed at the end of 2007.
Visit their website: http://www.hammerheart.sk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hammerheartband

73/100

JUAN MARTIN - Flying Reindeer (CD) Spain September 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Rock Running time: 29:11 (Tracks: 8)
Juan Martin was born in 1977. At the age of 5 he became interested in the guitar, after listening to Pink Floyd and other rock and metal bands. It made a great impact to Juan when he started listening to Yngwie J. Malmsteen, so his parents bought him a guitar. He began playing the guitar at the age of 12. Later he also discovered Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and John Petrucci. In 1995 he formed the band Northwalls. In 2000 the band Bartok was born with previous members of Northwalls. Bartok released their first cd "Revolution" in 2003. In 2005 Juan receives a call from Ibanez Spain to record a cd for them. After some time, he recorded and released his first instrumental solo album, called "Flying Reindeer", with six own compositions and two covers ("The Enternainer" from Scott Joplin and "Winter", a fragment of Vivaldi's Four Seasons). Most song on his cd are easy listening melodic rock instrumentals, but now and then Juan lets hear that he also can shred as the best! Only "The Enterntainer" is a more happy up-tempo song. "Flying Reindeer" is a very good instrumental debut, and I'm sure that fans who like Satriani/Vai/Eklundh/Rondat will like Juan's guitarplaying too! At the moment Juan is a guitar teacher, continues playing with Bartok and he's also composing his second solo album.
Visit their website: http://www.juanmartin.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/juanmartinjg6

81/100

KAOS – Kaos Among Us (CD) USA September 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 45:33 (Tracks: 12)
Although KAOS is a new band to me, their history is quit long, started out in the late eighties by founding members Jason Darnell, Jay Figueroa and former guitarist Joe Loescher who met in high school. Eventually Stacey Murray was acquired by the band as second guitarist, who played in a band called 'Hate' at that time. KAOS are from the same time era as well known bands like Violence, Testament and Death Angel, who did make name through the years, they even shared stages and rehearsal rooms with them. They had some line up changes throughout their existence, in the early 90s Darnell switched from being the bands drummer, to becoming their vocalist. The band had several drummers until Burton Ortega joined them in early 2003. While just after the release of this second full length album, Joe Loescher parted ways with KAOS, and Keven Albert (son of..) stepped in to fill the spot. Also the documentary "Get Thrashed" features songs from this 'Kaos Among Us' cd, which is a great sounding thrash album with some modern influences, but never forgetting their roots. Some really chaos creating thrash metal songs on here, with the screamy vocals of Jason, for instance listen to 'F.O.(Die Young, Die Old)' , and furious guitar work of Joe and Stacey, they have made a timeless thrash album. As it seems they go for quality, instead of quantity, this being only their second album in their more than 17 year career! The music of KAOS is influenced by earlier mentioned bands mixed with some Pantera style music, and delivers some heavy and fast songs like 'The Rage Of War', 'Descent Into Madness' and 'KAOS Among Us'. Give these guys a listen, cause they have got their thrash metal hearts in the right place, and won't let you down!
Visit their website: http://www.kaosamongus.com
Recordlabel: http://www.relentlessmetalrecords.com
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/kaosamongus

84/100

KAOS – Sludge (CDemo) USA September 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 16:40 (Tracks: 4)
Another one from KAOS, this time it's their latest achievement, a 4 track demo cd which is just out. On this demo Keven Albert is playing, who stepped in after founding member Joe Loescher left just after releasing their second full length album 'KAOS Among Us', see other KAOS review this month. Actually their album was already out in 2006, while this demo is the most recent recordings from 2007. Four brutal killer tracks on the album, 'Screaming in the Mirror', 'Let God Sort Them Out', 'Bleed Some More' and 'Sludge', with 'Bleed Some More' being my favourite track, it blew me away, fast riffing guitars full speed ahead, what a power and energy they put in their music. It seems they are already busy making a new album, and some songs on this demo will also appear on there, so this gives you a good idea of what the album is gonna sound like. My opinion, the next album is gonna rip you apart, powerful, brutal thrash metal, with screamy hardcore vocals, continues where 'KAOS Among Us' left off. All these guys are talented and skilled musicians who are very experienced and earned their stripes, they know what they are doing, and that's clear to be heared! Keep an eye on this band, cause they will get there, hopefully a European tour will follow after the new album is finished, so we can see them perform live on stage, will be a hell of a party I guess…
Visit their website: http://www.kaosamongus.com
Recordlabel: http://www.relentlessmetalrecords.com
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/kaosamongus

87/100

LILLIAN AXE – Waters Rising (CD) USA September 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 74:12 (Tracks:12)
It is not often that you consider a band to be lost for the music scene, to hit you on the head as strong as Lillian Axe does on "Waters Rising". After the very good "Psychoschizophrenia" album in 1993, we only heard of Lillian Axe through the "Live 2002" album, which just seemed to be a one off moment. Thankfully it is not, because now Lillian Axe have regained the power and drive that they always used to have, added with a new lease of life ferocity. The ballads have become more mellow, the rough songs have gotten harder. The quality of songs written has even gone up. I mustn't forget to mention that because of the superb production of the album every second you listen to it makes it into a great joy. Having read all that you must agree that for me "Waters Rising" is a divers album that does not disappoint. I really love it, from start to finish. But, I hear you cry, what about the loss of Ron Taylor? Well, quite honestly I must admit that I haven't missed him for one second. Not only does the voice of Derrick LeFevre come very close to that of his predecessor, he also knows how to sing a tune. When he needs to, he goes full throttle. When it's asked for, he steps it down. He is good! Let's put it this way; if you always liked or loved Lillian Axe, you still will do so now. They haven't become another band, only a better one. At least, that's my opinion. They have signed with Locomotive Records for a long time. Let's hope that they fill that time by more records of this magnitude. And some tours of course!
Visit their website: http://www.lillianaxe.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotiverecords.com/
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/lillianaxe

89/100

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles (CD) Italy September 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 51:05 (Tracks: 11)
Los Angeles is a project led by Vision Divine vocalist Michele Luppi who of course is of Italian origin. The project also features the ever-present Tommy Denander (Radioactive) on guitars, Fabrizio Grossi (Starbreaker, Glenn Hughes) on bass and A.O.R. master Gregg Giuffria on the keyboards. Songs were provided by Richard Marx, Jeff Paris and Dennis Matkovsky among others. A very promising recording, don't you think?
Los Angeles is indeed a great Melodic Hard Rock and A.O.R. listen. Luppi has put aside his progressive-power identity and reveals his mellower side. His vocals are truly great, Luppi went to the States to improve his knowledge and abilities on both vocals and music and this is more than obvious. Apart from Luppi's vocals, the listener must focus on the remarkable songs which are true A.O.R. diamonds. The melodic choruses stick right inside your head and I bet you will catch yourself moving to the rhythm many many times. Los Angeles captures all the essential elements of American and British A.O.R. and melodic rock creating a fabulous album.
Visit their website: http://www.micheleluppi.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/micheleluppi

88/100

MANTICORA - The Black Circus / Part 2 / Disclosure (CD) Denmark September 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Heavy Metal Running time: 42:13 (Tracks: 10)
MANTICORA was formed in 1997 by Lars (vocals), Kristian (guitars) and Mads (drums) - these three have made up the core of the band ever since. In the early days the band was a foursome with bass player Rene as the last member. The band recorded the mini CD "Dead End Solution", which marked the beginning of the MANTICORA sound; power metal with epic and thrash elements. In 1998 MANTICORA signed with Intromental Management and shortly afterwards their first record deal was signed with Greek record label Black Lotus. The same year the band added an extra guitarist, Flemming, and a keyboardist, Jeppe, to the line-up. The debut full-length disc, "Roots Of Eternity", was released in summer 1999, and received good response from both media and fans around the world. 2000 the band signed with the Italian record label Scarlet Records, and half a year later a more melodic album, "Darkness With Tales To Tell", was released. In 2001 bassist Rene decided to leave the band and was replaced by Kasper. Along with the change of bassist came also the change of guitarist, as Flemming left MANTICORA and Martin joined the band. In the fall 2002 "Hyperion" was released and early 2004 the band began work on their new disc, "8 Deadly Sins".
"The Balck Circus - Part 2" is the bands latest release and, shame on me, my first acquaintance with these Danish metallers! Musically the band combines progressive metal with the standard Scandinavian powermetal which results in a quit unique sound. Think of a mix of bands like Mercyful Fate, Sonata Arctica, Savatage & Eidolon. I realy enjoyed listening to this album and if I ever have the time (and money) I will surely check out their earlier stuff! Good album!
Visit their website: http://www.manticora.dk/
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotiverecords.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/manticorarocks

82/100

MARCO MENDOZA – Live For Tomorrow (CD) USA September 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Melodic Hardrock Running time: 49:36 (Tracks: 12)
Marco is a very talented bassplayer, who has played and recorded with a few big names already, like Ted Nugent, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Lukather and Whitesnake. Marco thought that it was time for a solo cd, so he found a partner-in-crime in Richie Kotzen, found a few other big names for the other instruments and started recording his songs, using his own voice for the vocals. Now should a bassplayer do that instead of hiring a good vocalist? Well..he pulls it off himself ! Marco has a raw, bluesy voice which immediately made me think of Joe Walsh, but with more power. Although this cd has some blues and even pop influences, Marco did a great job, and he really seems to know what his capabilities and limitations are. He also had a great way of knowing where to use his guest musicians, like Steve Lukather on "Live For Tomorrow" and Uncle Ted Nugent on "You Got Me". Finally, Richie has to be commended for his fine guitarwork on this album, that will appeal mostly to a generation of heavy bluesrock-fanatics. This release has to grow on you; playing it for a second and a third time makes the listener realise what a great cd Mendoza has made!
Visit their website: http://www.marcomendoza.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/

83/100

MEHIDA – Blood And Water (CD) Finland September 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 47:43 (Tracks: 11)
Mehida is a new band that comes from Finland. Four Finnish musicians teamed up with Swedish vocalist Thomas Vikstrom and present this debut album hoping that their sound will make the breakthrough within the murky progressive waters. Vikstrom happens to be one of my favourite vocalists. For years I've admired his work with Candlemass ("Chapter VI"), Brazen Abbot, Talk of the Town or his most recent collaboration with Speedy Gonzales. I was very curious to see what he would present with a progressive band like Mehida.
Vikstrom is definitely the best thing you can find in "Blood and Water". Especially in songs like "Guilty" he presents his powerful range in all its strength. He is the best choice possible for a band like this. Mehida performs an interesting mixture of hard hitting progressive metal with avante garde and atmospheric parts. Melody is ever present, especially during the keyboard and piano parts. Of course there are some contemporary elements within the bands music and so are some experimentations (a couple of death metal bits and pieces for example). The music is quite dark; you can feel it especially in all the slower parts and ballads ("A Letter from Home" etc.). The guitar sound in most parts reminded me that of Michael Romeo's in Symphony X but the band's sound has little to do with these American prog metal heroes. Another interesting clue is that the majority of the lyrics seems to be dealing with religious matters. A rather interesting listen for the prog fans.
Visit their website: http://www.mehida.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mehida

77/100

MONKEYRAM – Control (Mini CD) The Netherlands September 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Alternative Metal Running time: 21:55 (Tracks: 5)
Monkeyram was formed in 2004. Even though this formation is new they all played in different kinds of bands. In 2006 they released this EP "Control". 5 songs of very catchier metal (I don't think its even metal but more alternative rock mixed with metal influences, like bands like Creed). Strong guitar riffs and a great vocalist that reminds sometimes of the singer of Anathema (Not the old years). All though this is definitely not my cup of tea I must confess that the structure of the songs are very good and the songs sound great. Very strong lyrics and a great production of the CD. If you like bands like Creed or Tool then check their website and buy it!
Visit their website: http://www.monkeyram.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/monkeyram1

70/100

MORTIFILIA – Redemption (CD) Czech Republic September+ 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 33:09 (Tracks: 10)
Now this is a very interesting death metal band from the Czech Republic because mostly in these regions they play brutal and extremely fast but Mortifilia takes that idea of mine away because they play Scandinavian metal…..hell yeah! All right back to the basics. Mortifilia started in 1998 and released their first promo in 1999 and they released their debut "Care of Gomorrah" in 2000 and 2002 their 2nd. This album was released in 2005, all though its an old album its definitely worth reviewing. All the songs have a great variety in it and the production of this album is great. The guitar riffs remind a lot of Dismember, but not a copy of it. Of course the have the groovy riffs and a lot of fast solos in it (just the way we like it….hehehe) The drums are straight in your face and the vocals are fucking brutal (the vocalist reminds me a bit of Bloodbath). The composing of the songs is very melodic but straight in your face and it contains immense power. Its probably the first time that I can say that there is nothing that irritates me about this album. If you like bands like Dismember, Bloodbath or Unleashed then buy this album.
Visit their website: http://www.mortifilia.cz
Recordlabel: http://www.mondongocanibale.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mortifiliacz

80/100

NAILDOWN – Dreamcrusher (CD) Finland September 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 42:13 (Tracks: 9)
Naildown is a relatively new name in the metal scene. They released their first single CD in 2005 and their debut also, and everything with the label Spinefarm. Their latest album is very very easy listening record, all the songs have a lot of variety in it and the production is fucking brutal. The guitar riffs are straight in your face, fast melodic and but not all the time, technical and sometimes even a little Fear Factory in it. And then there is the drum that sounds like a train that can't be stopped. The vocalist uses clean, grunt and even a scream. Everything on this album sounds great and reminds me a lot of the bands that are now on the top (Soilwork, Darkane). This album is well produced, composed and more important very very well played. If you like bands like Fear Factory or Soilwork then you should definitely check it.
Visit their website: http://www.naildownrock.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spinefarm.fi
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/naildown

75/100

NINE VOLT – Nine Volt (CD) The Netherlands September 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Rock / Metal Running time: 54:19 (Tracks: 14)
Nine volt is a very very new band. This is there debut released by Squash Records and I must say it sounds great. Nine Volts plays a raw mix between rock, metal and even some stoner. The guitar riffs are very groovy but not to lame and the drums are very straight. The composing of the songs is great. It sounds like rock n roll but there is a heavier twist on it. The vocalist has a great clean throat that gives the music a very good place. The production of this album is great. I can try to tell a lot more about this band but there isn't much more to tell then: buy it, check it.
Visit their website: http://www.ninevolt.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.squashrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ninevoltnl

70/100

ROADKILL – Dark Side (Mini CD) The Netherlands September 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 24:00 (Tracks: 5)
Roadkill is a Dutch band who recorded their debut "Merlin" two years ago. The band had a sad and unfortunate loss in their singer Marco Hendriks. Hendriks was replaced by Marc Mac Blade who is the bands current singer. This mini CD is a worthy successor in both musical and productional aspects. The band plays heavy metal, with a touch of old school hardrock. A somewhat strange combination, because sometimes I hear Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden, and then again I sense some real mean metal as well. I must say the album has to grow on me because each time I listen, I hear new things. A pity that sometimes I hear a distinct Dutch accent in the vocals of both Marc and Christine Roetert, who joins in on the ballad-like "Lost". This particular song does not really stand out musically, but the structure of this song is very interesting. All in all Roadkill has proven to be a steady band, but I think they have to develop some more musically. Because the band has no label, it is obvious that when they will eventually get a deal, the quality of production will improve. That will probably change my view on the band; so far, I am not super-impressed. Maybe, when the band opens for Vengeance later this year, they will impress me with a good live show. Go for it, guys!
Visit their website: http://www.roadkill.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/roadkillheavymetal

70/100

ROBIN BECK – Livin' On A Dream (CD) USA September 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 52:18 (Tracks: 13)
Robin Beck; we all know her from the Coca Cola tv commercial song "First Time" which made her world famous and this really launched her career and shortly after, she recorded her bestseller "Trouble Or Nothin'" feauting Steve Lukather and Paul Stanley. At 53, married to House Of Lords vocalist James Christian, Robin is still eager to make albums and this time, hubby Christian called his band into the studio to backup the vocals that Robin layed down . Well, to be honest , this album sounds a lot like what Heart has released over the years. Robins vocals are heading towards Ann Wilson, but less pure and powerful (no female beats ms. Wilson) but nevertheless nice to listen to. "Wrapped Around Your Finger" sounds like made for the US charts, where "Always" sounds a lot like Roxette's "Listen To Your Heart". Most of the songmaterial is more or less mainstream poprock, but closing track "Love Lies" makes me believe that Robin is capable of doing a REAL hardrocking album. I bet James feels the same; he does a duet with his wife in the beautiful ballad "Till The Last Teardrop Falls" but both forgot that the guitarist had to do a shredding solo in that one! Oh well…I forgive her for that. All AOR fans should have a listen because with House Of Lords as your recording band, Robin must consider herself a lucky devil.
Visit their website: http://www.robinbeckrocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/robinbeck

80/100

SACRED OATH - Darkness Visible (CD) USA September 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Power Metal Running time: 53:28 (Tracks: 10)
Sacred Oath was originally formed in 1985 in Bethel Connecticut by founding members Rob Thorne (vocals/guitar),Pete Altieri (bass), and eventually Kenny Evans (drums), and Glen Cruciani (guitar). The debut album, "A Crystal Vision" was released on vinyl and cassette in 1987 and later it was released on CD in 1988. Unfortunately the band broke up in December 1988 and didn't play together again until re-entering the studio 10 years later in 1998 to record "A Crystal Revision" (see Archive CD/DVD Reviews).
Recently guitarist Billy Smith replaced Glen Cruciani. This is the band's first 'official' new album and compared to "A Crystal Revision" their style didnt change a lot. Musically its still all in their old typical way but vocally it changed a lot. I compared singer Rob Thorne on their older stuff with King Diamond & Jim Gillette (Nitro); nowadays Rob sounds much more professional and grown up. Not that I didnt like his high pitching vocals on the older stuff; it now all sounds much more accessible for the standard audience. They will reach a wider range of fans because with his old style of singing it was the same as with King Diamond; love it or hate it! I loved both and still do!! If you're into US powermetal which has influences from bands like Mercyful Fate, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Lethal & Metal Chuch...than you can better check out in this outstanding album! Superb!!
The band will play on the November edition of the Keep it True festival in Germany; so if you have the chance to check it out; dont hesitate & be there!!!
Visit their website: http://www.sacredoath.net
Recordlabel: http://www.sentinelsteel.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sacredoath

92/100

SHADOW GALLERY - Prime Cuts (Compilation CD) USA September 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 68:55 (Tracks: 12)
Shadow Gallery was formerly known as Sorcerer in the early 80's, but they changed their name just in time to sign with Magna Carta Records in 1991. It was a young band joining forces with a young label. In the 90's they became one of the leading progressive metal bands. "Prime Cuts" features eleven tracks hand-selected by the band from their previous four Magna Carta Records albums and a special (unreleased demo song from "Carved In Stone") twelfth track. The albums released by MC were "Shadow Gallery" (1992), "Carved In Stone" (1995), "Tyranny" (1998) and "Legacy" (2001). Shadow Gallery has always played a complex kind of music, mixing prog rock with prog metal, with many tempo breaks. Music played with virtuosity and emotion, by very wellskilled musicians and an emotional singing vocalist. Still one of the best progressive metal bands of the moment!
Visit their website: http://www.shadowgallery.com
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officialshadowgallery

90/100

SLOUGH FEG – Hardworlder (CD) USA September 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 42:56 (Tracks: 13)
The Lord Weird Slough Feg (recently plain Slough Feg) is without a doubt one of the most inspired heavy metal bands to come out of the nineties. With a ton of 70s influences, folk elements and heavy metal attitude, the band surprises the audience with each and every release. None of their six releases (including Hardworlder) is identical to another. But in my opinion the band reached its peak with the extraordinary "Traveller" album, a record of inspired epic spacey heavy metal.
Hardworlder sounds like a compilation of all Slough Feg releases to date. 70s sounding yet heavy, a mixture of folk rock and classic metal through the progressive eye of Slough Feg. The band's mastermind Mike Scalzi owns a distinctive voice; one could recognize him from miles away. His vocal interpretations are powerful and emotional as always. The band has selected a couple of coversongs, very characteristic and fitting to the Slough Feg identity. One is "Dearg Doom" originally performed by the Irish Horslips (Scalzi's love for Irish music is no secret, especially for Thin Lizzy…) and the other is Manilla Road's "Street Jammer", an original 70s tune. Hardworlder may not be the best Slough Feg album to date but it's definitely a shining diamond on the band's royal crown. Slough Feg is a unique sounding band. I have even invented a term trying to describe their musical style. It's Space Folk Metal. Hope it does the band some justice. I recommend them to all fans that look for something out of the ordinary.
Visit their website: http://www.sloughfeg.com
Recordlabel: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sloughfeg

81/100

SSS – Short Sharp Shock (CD) UK September 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal / Crossover Running time: 38:07 (Tracks: 17)
From Liverpool comes these new crossover thrashers S.S.S. (Short Sharp Shock) who launch their debut album 'Short Sharp Shock' through Earache. These Merseyside thrashcore maniacs spawned from a meeting of minds in a greasy spoon café, finding a mutual appreciation of comic books, Cliff Burton, rollercoasters, vinyl (that's music to my ears haha), DIY gigs and a love of 80s thrash. Intent on emulating their heroes, the band gigged incessantly with all manner of metal and punk acts, building up a fearsome reputation in the process. According to their bio they brew a menacing mix of 'Kill Em All' era Metallica, early Nuclear Assault, and the punk thrash of legends like S.O.D., D.R.I., RawPower, Suicidal Tendencies textured with a hi-energy approach, S.S.S. deploy a rough and ready skate thrash sound that demands participation and pulls no punches. About this cd, the bio is right on all fronts, this is a legendary new band, with songs rarely clocking in at over 2 minutes long, never getting boring and always wanting more. Brought with enormous energy and enthusiasm, bringing back memories of M.D.C., Wehrmacht and even Crumbsuckers, besides the bands mentioned earlier this is the stuff of a new generation that honours the old school stuff. Together with bands like Municipal Waste, S.S.S. carries the torch on for a long time I hope! Songs like 'Warhorse', 'New Dogs', 'Overload' and a lot more are already classics in the genre, who can resist this, I know I can't, or as they say it "S.S.S. encourage others to get with the programme and share their love of speed, positive attitude and mutual enjoyment". They bring you what their name stands for, their music is like a short sharp shock to enjoy! Try it…
Recordlabel: http://www.earache.com
Visit their website: http://www.myspace.com/shortsharpshock

93/100

SQY ROCKING TEAM – Get it done & NYC (DVD) The Netherlands September 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: HardRock Running time: ---
Another one from SQY Rocking Team, a dvd this time, with video-clips of two songs of their latest album 'Top Fuel Tendencies'. They took two great up tempo rock songs "NYC" and "Get it Done" and recorded promotional video-clips of them with some national and international 'celebrities' friends of them. During the filming of "Get it Done" they were joined by friends and band members from Epica, BZB, Asrai, Dreamside, Mennen and Peter Pan Speedrock make their appearance in this video clip and follow each other up at full speed on the screen. The other video clip for "NYC" has been filmed by Erocktica, who's front woman Pink Snow stars in it. You can see her in New York during a day moving and driving through the city. Much nicer are the bonus features, especially the video outtakes made during the recordings for "Get it Done", which are hilarious, and you can actually see who were in the video clip. Also a photo slide show and a poster gallery on there, not really a whole lot considering there are only two songs on it, I think they could have done a lot better (more) for a band with such a long career.
Visit their website: http://www.sqy.nl
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.metalrevelation.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sqyrt

60/100

SQY ROCKING TEAM – Top Fuel Tendencies (CD) The Netherlands September 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: HardRock Running time: 30:14 (Tracks: 10)
SQY Rocking Team is a four piece rock band from the Netherlands. Their music can be described as hard-metal glam-rock'n'roll that finds its roots in the 70s and 80s. They are well known for their energetic live performances and have played over 650 gigs Holland as well as abroad. They have already been around for 14 years, and shared stages with famous international bands and played on several renowned festivals like Bospop and Arrow Rock. Their fourth full length cd "Full Throttle" was very well received, and now this is the follow up "Top Fuel Tendencies", their fifth full length album continues their "Full Throttle" music style. On this album you will find ten powerful rock songs, in true hardrock style tradition like it's made in the late 70's or early 80s but with modern production and sound. Some nice up tempo rockers like "NYC", or "Get it Done" or "Cover Me", maybe comparable to another dutch band, namely Peter Pan Speedrock, but more to their softer tunes that is, cause PPS plays a lot harder. But some really nice compositions to be found here, even some ballad like songs in the form of "Pear Shaped Beauty" and "She Says". A nice cool rock album from a great band, definitely worth checking out, also while you're at it, check them out live on stage too, cause they seem to have an awesome live performance reputation…
Visit their website: http://www.sqy.nl
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.metalrevelation.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sqyrt

72/100

TENEBRARUM – Voices (CD) Columbia September 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Gothic Metal Running time: 55:41 (Tracks: 12)
Tenebrarum started in 1990 and released their first demo and in 1994 their debut "El vuelo del las almas" (flight of souls for those who don't understand Colombian…like me). After that they released six more albums. This album is a re-edition of their 5th album for the European market. And I must say a very good move! This album contains 12 tracks of what they call gothic metal and it sounds fucking great. All the songs have a great composing and structure. The guitar riffs sound very much like heavy metal and they also have very progressive riffs and the drums are great. The vocalist has a great voice (reminds me a bit of the clean vocals of Cemetary), even his grunt is great (that also reminds me a bit of Crematory) the thing that makes this band different of others is that they have a real violin player and it sounds great. All songs sound very groovy but metal and in some songs a female singer sings along and even that sounds great. The production of this album is great. As an extra on this CD they have three video clips on it (one video and two live clips). If you like gothic metal on a higher level then your going to enjoy this album, its money well spend.
Visit their website: http://www.tenebrarumband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.mondongocanibale.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tenebrarumband

75/100

TERHEN - Eyes Unfolded (CD) Finland September 2007 Suzanne de Volder-Ruiter
Style: Doom Metal Running time: 53:52 (Tracks: 5)
Terhen from Finland was formed in the beginning of the year 2004 under the name of Thamuz. It wasn't an easy start for them; the members were struggling with each other and also about the style of music their band should be playing. After 4 months they recorded a rehearsal demo. In October 2005 the first official demo was recorded and was released with the name of "Self Crucifixion MMV", it was send to several record companies and the media. The result was a record deal with Firebox Records. The name of the band was chosen to be "Terhen" and the recording of this album started in February and was released this August 2007. The music can be described as atmospheric doom metal (not in the style of Solitude Aeturnus). The music of Therhen is a little rougher than that but on the other side the synths give the music a mysterious touch and dark feeling to the music .The grunts of Jyri are low and growling . The music is well preformed and produced! It sounds good and when you listen to the cd more often you really get into the gloomy atmosphere! The voice of Elisa goes well with this kind of music and to my joy she is not singing in an over- the- top "opera" style we hear so much with the gothic bands nowadays!! She adjusted her way of singing to the music instead of the other way around! And that pleases me. "Eyes Unfolded" seems to me is a very good debut album of Terhen and certainly worthy of your attention!
Visit their website: http://www.terhenband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.firebox.fi
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/terhen

76/100

THE OATH - The end of Times (CD) France September 2007 Suzanne de Volder-Ruiter
Style: Death Metal Running time: 45:00 (Tracks: 12)
The band "The Oath" was formed back in 1999 in the French city of Lyon, so they go a long way back. In the beginning the band struggled with the line up but the core of the band always remained the same. In that same year a demo was recorded with 4 songs and was produced by the band them selves. It took a few years until 2002 before a second demo was recorded by the name of "Présages… & ténèbres" that was quite successful and made the band widely known in the scene. That resulted in more concerts to play for The Oath and make useful contacts. It took four years to finally record this album which was again self produced and released; the recording of "The end of Times" already started in 2006 and was released recently. A short while ago another line up change took place and so the most recent line up is now: Destroyer- guitar, vocals Madrignac-guitar and new member! Carcharoth- bass Tyrael- drums Peter Pal- keys Lord Ash (guitar, backing vocals) left the band a few months ago.
It is not easy to describe the music of "The Oath" it is of course and without any doubt death metal but with a atmospheric touch to it. The band more or less created a style of their own. The synts are clearly present in the music and it shaves off the raw edges death metal should have- a little bit- to my opinion. But the drums and guitars still have the leading part in The Oath's music. The screaming grunts of Destroyer are well done; it sounds dirty and fits to the music. The songs are varying with tempo changes, guitar riffs and blast beats; just when you think you heard this kind of music before, the song takes another turn into a different direction. With so many death (and black) metal bands around there's always the trap of mediocrity, but I think "The Oath" managed to stay away from that, but only just! All in all this is a good album and also- not to forget - the production sounds good too!
Visit their website: http://www.theoath.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theoath666

75/100

THE SHADOWLAND - Falling (CD) Sweden September 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Progressive Melodic Metal Running time: 49:06 (Tracks: 10)
The Shadowland was formed in 2003 by vocalist Robert Forse (Heads Or Tales, Afterglow) and guitarist Tobias Andersson (Seven Wishes). They wrote songs for a new band which should later turn out to become The Shadowland. During the following months, the two musicians started to record their album. They also recruted drummer Olle Rod'ehn (Poseidon) and bassist Jörgen Jönsson (Damned Nation). The band's debut album "The Falling" was recorded in Autumn 2006 at their very own Rose Valley Studio. And what a debut it is! "Falling" is a great Scandinavian melodic hardrock/metal album, with several progressive metal influences. Heavy prog guitar riffs mixed with very good melodic vocals, strong melodies and a focus on the songwriting. For me they sound somewhat in between DGM, Circus Maximus, Treasure Land and Balance Of Power. A fantastic new melodic/progressive metal band from (once again!) Sweden, released by the new German label GerMusica (from Rock It!'s Magazine Birgitt Schwanke).
Recordlabel: http://www.germusica.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/shadowland1

88/100

THUNDERSTORM – As We Die Alone (CD) Italy September 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Doom Metal Running time: 49:08 (Tracks: 10)
Thunderstorm is among the best bands of the Italian doom metal scene. Formed back in the early nineties, the band forged its way through numerous demos, line up changes and splits. Things got better in 2001 when the band was finally given the chance to release its debut album, "Sad Symphony". I really liked "Sad Symphony". I consider it a great sample of old school doom metal, free from stoner or drone elements; a plague that strikes many doom metal bands nowadays. The band seemed really devoted to the roots of doom as defined by Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Trouble. I lost track of Thunderstorm (mostly because I lost track of the doom metal genre in general with the main reason being what I wrote before. Too much stoner and drone…) but I was fortunate enough to come across "As We Die Alone", the band's fourth release. The things haven't changed that much. Thunderstorm remains devoted to true doom. The only difference I have spotted is that the band has incorporated some 70s elements. The band even delivers a very interesting and heavy Jimi Hendrix cover ("Voodoo Child"). Musicianship is great and so is the production. I guess I could say that in many occasions, "As We Die Alone" leans a bit more towards Trouble material (their late eighties, early nineties stuff). One way or another, all songs are truly great and highly enjoyable. I bet that every real doomster will gladly feast upon the grim reality that Thunderstorm has to offer. Support true doom!
Visit their website: http://www.thunderstorm-doom.com
Recordlabel: http://www.dragonheartrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thunderstormlair

82/100

TRW – Rivers Of Paradise (CD) USA September 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: AOR Running time: 45:05 (Tracks: 10)
Because nobody will know what or who TRW is: 3 excellent musicians (Michael Thompson on guitar and vocals, John Robinson on drums and Mark Williamson on bass and vocals) that have played with some big names in music industry; to name a few: Cher, Michael Jackson, Joe Cocker, Steve Winwood, Christina Aguilera. By no means is this a cheap sidetrip but 3 friends making the music they love: rock, with a touch of blues. What struck me first are the harmonies in the vocals; some of you may remember bands like Badger (reli-rock from the seventies), Toto, Doobie Brothers and Eagles. Well, these are the kind of harmonies that TRW use frequently, and that's a big plus in todays metal-driven scene.
The music that TRW plays brings back a lot of memories. Of course, these guys are not the young and fresh dudes that play AOR but you can see from their experience-list that they have played practically all kinds of music on a high level, and that is exactly what you get. Beautiful sings like Rivers Of Paradise, and a lot of groove in songs like Hold On, One Good Woman and Alimony Blues (which is probably autobiographic). Come on, you rock dinosaurs…get out and give this one a chance; it is hard to find such good musicianship these days!
Visit their website: http://www.michaelthompson.cc
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/trwrock

82/100

VANISHING POINT – The Fourth Season (CD) Australia September 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 49:07 (Tracks: 11)
Australia has presented some fine bands in the power progressive metal field over the past few years. Vanishing Point is one of them. With three albums prior to "The Fourth Season", the band has established a strong household name, touring with the likes of Gamma Ray, Nightwish and Dragonforce. Many people (including the band's record company) categorize Vanishing Point as progressive metal but I think that they play pure melodic power metal in the European vein. Of course there are some progressive metal elements in their music but really not enough to define their musical style. To be exact there is not a single progressive metal song until the 7th one ("Behind the Open Door") which is partially prog. The most impressive thing about Vanishing Point is the band's vocalist Silvio Massaro. He owns a strong voice that bears a resemblance to Bruce Dickinson's own only that Silvio sounds more powerful and lacks that annoying vibrato. The 11 songs won't reinvent power metal but you simply can't ignore the fact that each and every tune is well produced and flawlessly executed. Hence the result is really satisfying.
Visit their website: http://www.vanishing-point.com.au
Recordlabel: http://www.dockyard1.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vanishingpointofficial

79/100

VERISMO – City of Kings (CD) USA September 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Metal Rock Running time: 43:02 (Tracks: 10)
Verismo is a new band that released their first album "City of Kings" by their own. Now if you ask me what kind of music it is ,then I probably have to say: I don`t know but its fucking great. Their music is a raw mix between Punk, Metal, and Hardcore. All the songs have a lot of variety in it and the production of the album is great. The guitar riffs are raw but very metal and sometimes even very hardcore influenced, with riffs like slayer, Motorhead. The drums are very steady and give the right push to the music. The vocalist hasn't got a grunt but a very heavy vocal. All the songs have a punch in it that makes you want to bang your head. I must confess that I don't understand why they don't have a label? This is fucking good. So check their fucking website and order their CD.
Visit their website: http://www.verismetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/verismo

70/100

VIRGIN SIN – Brotherhood of Freaks (CD) Sweden September 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Thrash Black Metal Running time: 48:02 (Tracks: 10)
Virgin Sin started in the early years of the 80`s but never produced an album, so here we are. This album isn't a masterpiece at all and that is probably not so strange because there is almost nobody left of the original line-up. The music has a lot of variety but isn't very great performed. The drums aren't so good (sounds like a cookie basket or a pan) and then there are the guitar riffs that are totally ripped off and bad performed. The music isn't bad performed but definitely not original. The vocalist sometimes has a good moment but not my cup of tea (trying to sound like Annihilator). There making commercials about the fact that there Sweden's first black metal band but after hearing this album I think even the metal scene of Sweden is a little bit a shamed about that fact. If you make commercials that the band is alive since 1983 then you may expect some musical quality and not a total rip off! If you like crappy music then check this album but don't buy it before you listened to it.
Visit their website: http://www.virginsin.net
Recordlabel: http:// www.mondongocanibale.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/virginsin

40/100

WIDOW – Nightlife (CD) USA September 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 44:12 (Tracks: 11)
Widow is a USA based hardrockband, much in the style of the oldfashioned 80s hardrock. This is actually their third album, after having released their debutalbum "Midnight Strikes" in 2003, followed by "On Fire" in 2005. What becomes obvious after a few tracks is that Widow combines this 80s style with melodic death metal and other modern influences. Textwise, the band likes to write about horror; werewolves, witches….much in the style of, what they call B-movies. In a way that would mean lyrics are not that important. Musicwise, I would say the combination is actually quite interesting; not every track makes me bounce off my chair because for a listening audience, it's a bit dangerous to combine such different styles. I assume that Widow has a reasonable fanbase back home, and that they have a good live reputation. They sound like a popular local band wanting to get more fans from over the globe. Tracks like "Teacher's Pet" come close to what I like; good sounding guitars, nice riffs, good vocals. Other tracks sometimes sound like Dead Old Tree, a band that cannot grab my attention. "Beauty Queen" is another track I like; fast paced rock 'n roll like it is meant to be. This album also has 2 covers (why ???), Van Halen's "Ain't Talking Bout Love" and Kiss' "I Stole Your Love". Guys…..only record those as bonus tracks, not for filling a cd with your own music. To me, it shows that they are willing, it also shows their (in-)capacitities. Old school hardrock lovers, check them out. You might like it, you might not.
Visit their website: http://www.widowusa.com
Recordlabel: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/widow

70/100

AUGUST

AMERICAN ANGEL - Vanity (CD) USA August 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 53:06 (Tracks: 13)
American Angel is band that has its roots in the nineties, where in 1989 the band released their debut album, followed by an EP in 1992 and a double cd in 1998 called "Archives". Now the band has been reformed by original vocalist Rocco Fury, bringing us 80s/90s-style hardrock with steady vocals, a pounding rhythm section and of course some impressive guitarwork; often this is a setback compared to earlier material, but I got surprised. Rocco's voice immediately summoned another vocalists' name in my thoughts: Ronnie James Dio. Rocco has that same appealing style and also the colour of his voice, more in the higher regions, appeal a lot to me. The songmaterial is without a doubt very hardrockish with a bluesy touch here and there, indeed very 80s but man, this is played and produced so well that I can only recommend all hardrockfans that used to listen to the likes of Def Leppard to have a listen. You will most probably not be disappointed ! Patience is needed however, because apparently, something went wrong in the pressing of this CD. It will be for sale probably end of July.
Visit their website: http://www. americanangelrocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.chavisrecords.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/americanangel

88/100

CONSORTIUM PROJECT IV – Children Of Tomorrow (CD) The Netherlands August 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock/Metal Running time: 45:57 (Tracks: 11)
Former Elegy vocalist Ian Parry, who also had a short stay in Vengeance, released his fourth Consortium Project cd, teaming up with his old Elegy buddy, keyboardplayer Joshua Dutrieux. It took them about a year to compose, record and produce. Where the three earlier albums contained recognizable, melodic hardrocksongs, this one is more epic-metal-rock-like. While I played this cd, I was not that impressed by the songmaterial. The other thing that struck me is the theme; global warming, images of the future and looking back to the past from there sounds to me like a copy of Ayreon's Final Experiment, although musically there is only 1 song on this album that resembles that style: "Shadowland".
Of course there is diversity on the album, and I guess one must appreciate Ian's style and voice to like. Personally I expected and hoped for more power and melody; guitars are downtuned and to me that is allright when it is done to reach a certain powerlevel in music. Halfway, with the song "Enigma", Parry shows us that he certainly knows how to bring us powerful rock. Better yet, 1 song later, he does it again with "Mastermind". Did Ian put us to sleep, to wake us up rude later? In that case he has played a game with us all. All in all, my perception is that the quality of the songmaterial has too much highs and lows, and I know Ian can bring us an album with more stability. That will be the next one, I hope.
Visit their website: http://www.nonstopmusicproductions.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/

76/100

COSMO – Alien (CD) USA August 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 45:32 (Tracks: 12)
Cosmo is a band assembled by former Boston and Orion the Hunter vocalist Fran Cosmo and his son, Antonio; also of Boston fame. "Alien" is the band's debut album and features another former Boston member, bass player Bill Carman.
Unfortunately "Alien" has little to do with the sound of Boston and Orion the Hunter. The music is contemporary American rock with no fancy elements or distinguishable things. Cosmo's voice is very good as always but I think he spends his talent singing indifferent songs like most of these twelve compositions are. This album could make some success in the States but I think that the European audience seeks a more solid traditional melodic rock listen.
Visit their website: http://www.cosmomusic.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cosmotheband

60/100

DAVID READMAN – David Readman (CD) England August 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 56:34 (Tracks: 12)
David was born in Burnley, a small northern town in England, where he played with local bands in the club circuit since the age of 16. At age 19, he attended the Nelson and Colne Music College where he learned the basics of what was required to become a professional singer. Two years later it was time for David to find a real band. After sending his demo tapes around, it wasn't long before he received calls from throughout the U.K.. These would eventually lead to auditions and jobs with Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden), then Thomas McRocklin (Vai-like virtuoso) and a move to London with Misha Calvin, who would later release the demos without David's consent. The 17th June 1994 is the day that David's life, as he knew it, would change forever! He flew to Germany for an audition with Pink Cream 69, whose vocalist Andi Deris had left to join Helloween. David got the job and felt that at last he had discovered the band that he had so long searched for. David recorded 7 very succesfull studio albums with PC 69 with whom he toured also worldwide. During the years David was also part of the French power metal band Adagio with whom he recorded 2 studio albums. David's voice can also be heard on the Missa Mercuria rock opera and more recently on the studio album "III" with Royal Hunt mainman Andre Andersen and former Danger Danger singer Paul Laine. After he left Adagio in 2005, David started to gather material for a solo album which has been his ultimate dream. He worked hard on the songwriting and started recording his material during 2006. After a long break (needed to record and complete the last PC 69 album "In10sity"), David resumed the work in February and finally delivered the album. David's first solo album is already a high class melodic hard rock album! It's nicely divided in mid and up-tempo songs, and of course there are also (3) ballads. For this album David worked together with Paul Logue (Eden's Curse) on bass (he also co-wrote 2 tracks with David), Dirk Bruinenberg (Elegy) and Chris Schmidt on drums, Eric Ragno (ex-Takara) and Günter Werno (VandenPlas) on keyboards and Alex Beyrodt (Silent Force), Gerald Sänger, Tommy Denander and bandmate Uwe Reitenauer on guitars. David also plays guitars and keyboards. Production duties are handled by Dennis Ward. Fans of PC 69 and David Readman will not be disappointed with this album who sets the style in melodic hard rock with soaring hooklines and in your face guitars!
Visit their website: http://www.davidreadman.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/davidreadman

82/100

ELECTRIC EARTH – Vol2 - Words Unspoken (CD) Sweden August 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Rock Running time: 44:34 (Tracks: 12)
Electric Earth started out back in 2001 in Sweden, and this is their second album, after their 2005 debut album 'Organic Songs – Volume 1'. The four musicians already possessed quite some experience in writing and playing music in different other bands. Together they set out to create some original sounds, without disavowing their influences such as Kiss, Black Sabbath, Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden. In 2006 old drummer Lars decided to quit the band in pursuit of other interests. He was replaced by Draken, who had previously played with Sabbra Cadabra and Roarkit. The same year Electric Earth also completed their their follow up to 'Volume 1' non surprisingly entitled 'Volume 2 – Words Unspoken' for which the tracks were cut at Bohus, a renowned Swedish studio where everyone from Abba and Status Quo to metal outfits like Evergrey have recorded. The production of the album was done by the band themselves with assistance of Roberto Laghi (a.o. Hardcore Superstar, Mustasch), and they have done quite a good job, cause the album sounds awesome. The sound of the album is very powerful and heavy, almost stoner, and consists of great, quality songs with a mighty powerful groove. For instance opener 'Drowning' or 'Again & Again' , what a sound, with the perfect fitting, pleasant voice of Peter, makes it a very nice and complete, and original rock album. This is a band that can make it very far, especially with such a great record as this one. My favourite track 'Wheels of Confession', give it listen for yourselves, they won't disappoint you at all!
Visit their website: http://www.electricearth1.com
Recordlabel: http://www.mausoleum-records.com
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/electricearthband

82/100

FATE – Love on the Rox (CD)
FATE - Cruisin' For a Bruisin' (CD)
Denmark August 2007 Peter de Kok (a.k.a Warlock)
Style: HardRock/Hair Metal Running time: 41:51 (Tracks: 11) & 39:24 (Tracks: 10)
After the 1984 split of the legendary Mercyful Fate, Hank Sherman formed a new band with Maxim vocalist Jeff Lox Limbo, Bass/keyboard player Pete Steiner and Drummer Bob Lance (Bjarne T. Holm) and formed the band Fate (coincidence?). Their debut album (1985), produced by Henrik Lund and Svein Dag Hauge, was self-titled and named "Fate" and consists of a collection of mediocre hard rock/hair metal songs. Some catchy songs on this album are "Rip it up", "Victory", "(She's got) the Devil inside" [with a nice MF-like solo in the middle], "Backdoor man" (?!?) and a bonus track "won't stop". Don't expect any fireworks or classics like: "Satan's Fall" or "The Oath" from Mr. Sherman's hand here. Just simple glam/hair metal with corny lyrics and moderate riffs with a mandatory solo from time to time is all you can find here. "Cruisin' for a bruisin'" Is officially the third album of Copenhagen-based Danish melodic rock band Fate. Producer Simon Hanhart, who had worked with the likes of Asia, Bryan Adams, Yngwie Malmsteen and Marillion joined forces with the band to create this album in 1988. This album featured the single "Lovers" which was a moderate success for the band, after drastic line-up changes (Sherman left the band prior to the recordings and was replaced by a "Mr. Moth") and the joining of full time keyboard player Flemming Rothaus. A non-consistent album was the result of this, including a rewritten version of the song "Love on the Rox" from the debut album. Unfortunately, it's not as full or powerful as the original version. "Dead Boy, Cold Meat" is an up-tempo track even though it does have an offbeat, almost David Lee Roth-like chorus, and struts along with a very Van Halen-like feel overall. "Lock Up" is another catchy track. Bottom-line in this review is: Great there are record labels like MTM who dare to take a risk by releasing "classic" albums, but being a fan of Hank Sherman (and Mercyful Fate) the release of these Fate albums is redundant and only recommended material if you're a Glam/Hair metal fan who wants to complete his/her collection of 80's material. Fate couldn't rock my world back then and it still doesn't do it for me now (in spite of the digital re-mastering of the songs).
Line-Ups: Bob Lance (Bjarne T. Holm) – Drums, Jeff Limbo – Vocals, Hank Sherman / Mr. Moth – Guitars, Pete Steiner – Bass/keyboards, Flemming Rothaus – Keyboards
Visit the official website: http://www.fateband.dk
Recordlabel: http://www.mtm-music.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fatedk

61/100

FATT MATT – Southern Fried Steel (CD) USA August 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 40:15 (Tracks: 11)
Again some new material from the busiest man in metal, being the man behind the Wild Dogs and Dr. Mastermind, and his own label US Metal Records, and now bringin out his second album under the name Fatt Matt. After I reviewed his first record 'Atomic Thunder' last September, I was curious about his next work, cause that one blew me away. With this new album 'Southern Fried Steel' , Matt changed his style drastically to what he did on 'Atomic Thunder'. As he stated, this cd is all about what used to be and what is goin' on now in the world, his dissatisfaction with the puritanical direction their USA seems be embracing. He misses the 70's and he's been listening to a lot of Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Aerosmith and tons of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and this is his version of it all. In contrast to 'Atomic Thunder' this is more straight ahead metal fuelled power rock, as he calls it, where I like to add that it has also a very 70's and sometimes bluesy touch to it. Even boogie on this album, in the last song simply called 'Fatt Matt Boogie'. Some great songs in true 70's tradition like 'Drinkin Time', 'Days Gone By', and 'Addicted To Love'. And it all starts off with a protest song 'Damned', clearly making his statement of dissatisfaction. Although very different from his other album 'Atomic Thunder' , it needs some getting used to, a great and diverse album, whit a true spirit!
Recordlabel: http://www.usmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/usmetal

82/100

FREDERIKSEN DENANDER – Baptism By Fire (CD) Sweden August 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 53:32 (Tracks: 12)
Frederiksen-Denander is a project formed by former Toto, Trillion and Le Roux frontman Dennis Frederiksen and charismatic guitarist and composer Tommy Denander. Frederiksen and Denander had also worked together on the Radioactive albums so the good chemistry was already a fact. The duo brought some friends such as legendary Jim Peterik (Survivor, Pride of Lions) and Michael Thompson (M.T.B., T.R.W.) along and created "Baptism By Fire".
This album screams success from a thousand miles away. With all this potential, the expectations were huge and the band didn't let us down. Not even a bit. The duo created a fantastic melodic hard rock album, containing all the elements that could make it a classic. Amazing vocal performances, great compositions and supreme musicianship in general. If you like Survivor or Pride of Lions you will love this album and its twelve easy going melodic and hard rocking songs full of great vibes and strong rhythm. On top comes the crystal clear production, an essential element for records like this one. I would like to stand particularly on Frederiksen's velvet vocals. The man owns a fantastic, melodic and sentimental voice. One of the best in hard rock music. Well done guys!
Visit their website: http://www.tommy-denander.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tommydenandermusic

89/100

GREAT WHITE – Back To The Rhythm (CD) USA August 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: American Hardrock Running time: 55:02 (Tracks: 12)
Great White knows something about great bluesy sleazy hardrock. The Southern California blues-rock band first took a bite out of the rock scene in 1984 and has never let go. Great White has achieved worldwide success. Encompassing sales of over six million records. They received a grammy Award nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance for the song "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", and earned a double platinum certification for the album Twice Shy. Great White is poised to conquer once again. The soulfull, blues-based signature sound that turned songs like "Face The Day", "Rock Me", and "Save Your Love" into international hits ! Great White has been making out memorable songs since the early 80's. Great White did their first European tour with "Whitesnake" in 1984. The first time I saw Great White live was in 1988 at the memorial Monsters Of Rock Festival in my hometown Tilburg, The Netherlands. Great White and Jack Russel ( vocalist ) always worked hard but never got that big in The Netherlands, it's a pity because it's a really strong and tight full band. That's why I really love their new album "Back To The Rhythm" so much. The album totally sounds like 1987, great tight full melodic mid-tempo American hardrock. Russel's voice is still the trademark of Great White and if you listen to his voice you will be back in the mid/late 80's. Classic Sleazy/Bluesy Hardrock with a Oldschool traditional 70's vibe. If you ask me, it's an amazing rock album which brought back the good old days. Keep On The Good and please come to Holland as soon as you can ! We need this kind of US Hardrock in The Netherlands.
Visit their website: http://www.mistabone.com/index.shtml
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/

90/100

HELLFUELED – Born II Rock (CD) Sweden August 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 37:53 (Tracks: 11)
Hellfueled was formed in 1998 by Jocke Lundgren, Kent Svensson, Andy Alkman and Henke Lonn in Huskvarna, Sweden. This little town is mostly known worldwide for it's motorcycles and chainsaws…and now also for Hellfueled! In 2003 they signed with Black Lodge and recorded their debut album 'Volume One' at studio Fredman Gothenborg with masterproducer Fredrik Nordstrom (a.o. In Flames, Hammerfall). After releasing 'Volume One' Hellfueled got the chance to be special guest on reunited Swedish rockers Europe's Scandinavian arena tour 2004. The band also played some great festivals across Europe and received many album of the year and best newcomer band by a lot of the big metal magazines. In spring 2005 the band once again teamed up with producer Fredrik Nordstrom and engineer Patrik J at studio Fredman to record this album 'Born II Rock'. What can I say about the album, besides that it came out already in 2005, well after I put it on I got a surprise, wow is Ozzy singing? What a voice, exactly sounding like Ozzy in his best days, or maybe even better, just checking the cover, no it really isn't Ozzy, it's Andy Alkman, unbelievable what a similarity. Well this album rocks I can tell you that, guitarist Jocke is also influenced by Zakk Wilde and it shows, great rock songs with heavy grooving guitarwork, and with a production from Fredrik Nordstrom, you get a guaranteed heavy sounding album. Also the songs don't lie about it, all heavy rock in it's best form, 'Can't Get Enough', 'Look Out' , 'Born To Rock' all jewels of rock, with a big R. If you have to compare it with something, well logically Ozzy Osbourne comes to mind, also Black Label Society, but they don't need to be compared, cause they stand out on their own!
Visit their website: http://www.hellfueled.com
Recordlabel: http://www.blacklodge.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hellfueled

88/100

HELLFUELED – Memories In Black (CD) Sweden August 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 49:49 (Tracks: 12)
This is the latest album by Hellfueled, after their second album 'Born II Rock', they got some great reviews all over the world, and even got album of the month in Rockhard magazine Germany. In October/November they did a European headlining tour, and played clubs all over Europe. Hellfueled continued 2006 playing some of the biggest summer festivals in Europe like Wacken Open Air, Gods of Metal, Bang Your Head. In November/December that year Hellfueled locked themselves in at the new studio Fredman to record their third album 'Memories In Black'. Fredman is now located in the woods outside Gothenburg so the band lived and breathed the album night and day for a couple of weeks. The result is now here in my player, although it was hard to get 'Born II Rock' out of there cause I really liked that one, but hey gotta listen to their latest achievements to hear where they went musically. The new album sounds fresh and heavy, with some more seventies influences in there, and with a little less similarity to Ozzy and Zakk Wilde in opposite to their earlier albums. Which ofcourse isn't a bad thing at all, the new album is a little more diverse than the last one, great compositions on here, with in some songs less speed than before, like in 'Again'. All in all more variation on this album, but still as heavy as hell, like 'Face Your Demon' with even an organ in there. This band has one of the most grooving and heavy rhythm sections and it shows listen to 'Monster', 'Right Now' or 'Master of Night'. This could well be their breakthrough album, listen and judge for yourself.
Visit their website: http://www.hellfueled.com
Recordlabel: http://www.blacklodge.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hellfueled

84/100

HER WHISPER – Children of the Black Soil (CD) Sweden August 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 59:34 (Tracks: 13)
This is the debut album 'Children of the Black Soil' of a new band from Sweden called 'Her Whisper'. They already have a four track cd by the name 'Age of Innocence' out, but is was only send out to eighty or something record companies, so don't think it's available anymore. But hey this is the stuff, a very fine and heavy debut album, which is not easy to categorize cause these guys play a mix of different styles like power metal, dark heavy metal and even progressive metal. The result is a fresh and original style of music, add the great production this album has, and it's killer. The songs are pieces of art on their own, for instance "Theater of the Absurd", a great song which start with a little intro, and has everything in it a good song needs, great singing, superb guitarwork, even some piano, yes these guys know how to play their instruments, very entertaining. The singing is also very diverse sometimes almost clean, and in some parts almost like grunting, also the keyboards sound perfectly fitting to the atmosphere of the music and not too overruling, while the guitars sound very heavy, almost death metal like. While great song structures with melodic refrains make this an interesting album, just listen to some like the title track, or 'Dawn of War' or 'Mind over Matter' well almost all of them actually. An awesome debut, by an awesome band, one to keep an eye on in the future!
Visit their website: http://www.herwhisper.net
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/herwhisper

83/100

KORPIKLAANI - Tervaskanto (CD) Finland August 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Humppa Folk Metal Running time: 42:38 (Tracks: 11)
Korpiklaani (in English : Forest Clan) emerged out of the ashes of Shaman, when the band opted to change its name, as well as its musical and lyrical expression. Vocalist/guitarist Jonne envisioned a new direction characterized by original metal songs heavily influenced by traditional Finnish folk melodies. In 2003 they debuted for Napalm Records with "Spirit Of The Forest". Two years later they released "Voice Of Wilderness". In 2005 there were some line-up changes, but in 2006 they returned with "Tales Along This Road". That year they also played at Wacken, Masters Of Rock, Up From The Ground, Tuska and Metalmania, making 2006 Korpiklaani's most successful year to date! Now they have released their fourth album, called "Tervaskanto". Once again a mix of metal and folk, mostly up-tempo songs which are perfect to play at festivals. Theses wild Finns have again managed to bottle the atmosphere and energy of their live shows and inject it into "Tervaskanto".
Visit their website: http://www.korpiklaani.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/korpiklaaniofficial

77/100

KUTURLAT - Necroritual (CD) Spain August 2007 Suzanne de Volder-Ruiter
Style: Death Metal Running time: 37:51 (Tracks: 11)
Kuturlat was formed in 2004 by musicians from various bands in Madrid, all experienced musicians who played in bands for many years before they decided to join forces. The line up is as following: Juanma-vocals, Barny-guitars, Kiko-bass and Javier-drums. After the line up was completed the guys spend most of the year rehearsing and playing some life shows. This album "Necroritual" was recorded in the VRS studio in the winter of 2004. "Necroritual" is not a bad cd and you can hear experienced musicians and the songs on them selves are not bad. But is doesn't seem to impress much, the production is bad, the sound is simply too "thin". You can barely hear the drums at all in some passages. The grunts of Juanma are well done and the songs have good tempo changes and blast beats, but because of the sound it isn't as evil as it was supposed to be! And that is a pity! Because these guys know how to play their music and the cd booklet looks professional so I think with the right production it al would be really brutal and evil! Personally I would not call this band a black metal band as referred in the bio from the record company but death metal. On the band's MySpace site is very little info on the band, so I also see an opportunity there to promote the band! Kuturlat is certainly a band with potential and a poor production will not stop them from going on torturing the metal scene in Spain I think.
Visit their website: http://www.kuturlat.com
Recordlabel: http://www.mondongocanibale.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kuturlat

69/100

MATTHEW MILLS - Neoclassical Rock Guitar, Part 2 (CD) USA August 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Neo-classical Metal Running time: 38:40 (Tracks: 13)
Matthew started playing the guitar around the age of 15. He was completely blown away after hearing Yngwie Malmsteen's album "Trilogy". This album completely changed his world and he knew he wanted to take guitar very seriously. He began to play guitar for 6 to 8 hours a day. Matthew started also to listen to Vinnie Moore, Tony MacAlpine, Joe Stump and George Bellas. In 2002 he released his first album "Matt Mills Project". In 2005 his second "Neoclassical Rock Guitar". Now he has released the follow-up, "Neoclassical Rock Guitar Part 2". Most songs are again of breaknecking speed, but always with strong melodies and themes. There are also a few slower songs/parts. But in general "Neoclassical Rock Guitar Part 2" is a superb guitar shredfest of arpeggios and speed picking madness, but always with a melodic touch too! As guests there are Sean Baker and Mike Orlando, they both contribute with a guitar solo. Matthew also plays in the power metal band Forgotten Realm, which will release an album for Sonic Age Records later this year.
Visit their website: http://www.mattmillsmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/matthewmillsinstrumentalguitar

83/100

MILAN POLAK - Straight (CD) Austria August 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Bluesy Hardrock Running time: 52:49 (Tracks: 13)
Milan Polak is an Austrian guitarplayer, first self-taught, later officially graduated from the American Institue of Music, where he later teached himself. He has played with a lot of known musicians in the nineties, played in the band of Austria's hitparade-machine Falco and has released two instrumental guitaralbums so far. As fas as I could find, people were very enthousiastic after hearing a 6-track pre-release cd, finally ending up on this 13-track cd. Obviously I was curious.
Milan has a pretty bluesy, roaring voice, fitting a bluesy rockstyle perfectly. At some point, with my eyes closed, I thought I heard Ace Frehley…..I must admit that his compositions are pretty much OK, but man, I wished he had spent more money on a producer; drums sound demo-like, bassguitar is almost unhearable. After hearing the full album, I am not yet convinced. A man who is influenced by Randy Rhoads and the likes of Malmsteen, Van Halen and Gilbert delivers Jimi Hendrix and Pat Travers bluesrock, which to me is a bit strange. People who are fond of Pat Travers and Robin Trower will very much appreciate this cd. I had better wait for the next one myself because I think Milan can do MUCH better.
Visit their website: http://www.milanpolak.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/milanpolak

67/100

OFFICIUM TRISTE - Giving Yourself Away (CD) The Netherlands August 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Doom Metal Running time: 47:45 (Tracks: 6)
Officium Triste is one of the oldest and most renowned Doom Metal bands in The Netherlands. The band has a rich history since 1996, including four full length albums, two 7" and one mini cd. After three years of absence, the band returns with a brand new album, hoping to bring melancholy upon the doom metal fans. I think that melancholic doom death metal doesn't comply with a hot summer in Greece. Bad timing I guess but really cannot connect to this kind of music while drinking ice cold coffee in my bathing suite by the beach under a sun umbrella. But I will try to ignore my summer mood and give these guys the fitting record review they deserve after the hard work they put for this album.
I am pretty sure that My Dying Bride and Anathema fans already know about Officium Triste. The connection is more than obvious. All fans of melodic melancholic doom death metal should check this band out. Their music is loyal to the lamenting style of these British pioneers. Clean vocals blend with death growls, grieving piano tunes make way for ultra heavy and slow riffs. I think I made my point. This album is not recommended to people with suicidal tendencies. Pure grimness.
Visit their website: http://www.officiumtriste.com
Recordlabel: http://www.displeasedrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officiumtristeholland

75/100

PITIFUL REIGN – D.I.V.E (CDemo) England August 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 19:50 (Tracks: 4)
Pitiful Reign is a new British Oldschool Thrash Metal band who started back in mid/late 2003. The band recorded their first four-track demo in 2005 which was received very well. In 2006 the band released a self recordered and produced cd called “Toxic Choke”. The band also did a successful tour with bands such as: Xentrix and Onslaught. In 2007 the band supported “Skyclad” and released a brand new really cool four-track demo which sounds a bit like the old British Heroes of Acid Reign and Re- Animator. Hard thrashy hitting slamming riffs and screaming vocals/backing vocals. The music sounds timeless and takes you back in time. Oldschool Thrash how it was meant to be in the mid/late 80’s. Oldschool thrash metal with a little bit more class than most other bands these days. For me “Pitiful Reign” is one of the coolest 80’s copies I’ve heard in the past 2 years. Great Demo, curious to hear more material of these British lads. Mosh It Up !!!!
Visit their website: http://www.pitifulreign.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pitifulreign

88/100

SILVER FIST – Tears Of Blood (CD) Spain August 2007 Marco van Empel
Style:Heavy Metal Running time: 50:15 (Tracks:11)
After the separation of MURO, his singer Silver decides to form a new band at the end of 2002 with the name Silver Fist along with the ex-drummer of Muro Iván Manzano with the clear idea to practice pure and direct Heavy Metal. Shortly after Diego Lopez (guitar) and Jose M. the Perez (bass) joined the band. In September of 2004 they record the subject “Killer of Giants” for the album tribute to Ozzy Osbourne “Tribute to Madman” devised and produced by Jorge Escobedo (Sober Skizoo), idea that took to the band to participate in the festival Viña Rock 2005 under the name of “The Mad Ones” with other musicians who participated in this tribute album (Antonio Bernardini and Jorge Escobedo (Sober, Skizoo) on the guitars, Oscar Sancho (Lujuria) voice, Enrik Garcia guitar and Alfred Romero voice (Dark Moor) and David Martinez, keyboards. During the year 2005 they began to compose great part of which will be the second album of Silver Fist and playing in several Spanish festivals as the baptism of Rockzinanta Excalibur Metal Festival that took place in Alcala de Henares (Madrid) together with Saratoga, Baron Rojo and Medina Azahara. 2006 being a great year for the band, accompany in January Saratoga in Madrid in the presentation by its last album and in April presenting “Ave Fenix” live, also in Madrid, and with great participation of its followers, later to stay in Germany on the 6th edition of the festival Keep It True where they shared stage with bands like Exciter, Paradox, Ross The Boss, Grim Reaper, Riot… very being valued between the public who 2 times a year meets for this festival, which also served so that at the end of June they return to German lands to another metal event, Thrash Till Death near Hannover. Now in 2007 they released an English version of Lagrimas De Sangre of 2006. Tears Of Blood created a perfect mix of rock, power, heavy and speed metal. Just a great piece of work. Clear raw vocals, great guitar riffs and lots of atmosphere. A great Heavy Metal album with temperament ! Listen to the ballad I Still Believe in You and you will understand what I’ll mean. Fans of bands such as Helloween, Savatage, Omen and even OverKill will love this album for sure ! Tears Of Blood is an album with lots of variation and atmosphere. As bonustrack they have put a little bit weak cover version of German Metalgods Accept ``Balls To The Wall` on the album haha now no German accent but an even stronger Spanish accent lol…not a very good cover but whatever still very cool to hear ! The rest of the album is absolute a must for every traditional headbanger, heavy metal is king !
Visit their website: http://www.silverfistmetal.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.avispamusic.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/silverfistmetal

72/100

SONIC X - Thirteen (CD) Canada August 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Hardrock Running time: 57:37 (Tracks: 12)
Sonic X is a Hard Rock band based out of Toronto, Canada who deliver their second album with this one "Thirteen", after their self titled debut in 2004. Their debut cd was well received and garnered a fair share of great reviews. With this new cd, Sonic X has captured a truly unique sound that has been described as a cross between classic rock with modern influences intertwined, according to their bio. Well about the album, their description fits the music very good in my opinion, for example the song 'Carried Away' sounds like it could have been on any Foreigner album, but they gave it a twist of their own. The sound of the album came out very melodic and classic Rock, which shows their talented musicianship. Some superb classic guitar work is to be heard on this album, and their vocalist Adam Troy has a great voice that fits their music perfectly. All together a great sounding album which reminds of the classics from time to time, like in 'Seeds Of Thunder' which has a bit of an Aerosmith feel, other bands to compare could well be Whitesnake or Led Zeppelin, which tells you something about this band, they got it in them to become big I think, but give it a listen for yourself and find out! It's just a matter of time until they get picked up by radio stations and get interest of big labels, if they haven't got it already, some nice radio friendly tunes like the song 'Shine' with reminded me of another great band that got big, namely Extreme. So if you're into some good quality mainstream classic rock this is it!
Visit their website: http://www.thesonicx.com
Recordlabel: http://www.chavisrecords.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thesonicx

85/100

SPHERIC UNIVERSE EXPERIENCE - Anima (CD) France August 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 1:07:42 (Tracks: 11)
Spheric Universe Experience began its venture in 1999. After some line up changes and a split in 2002, the band re-emerged in 2003 with a brand new line up and a demo. The debut album "Mental Torments" followed one year later, released with the help from the band's current manager and progressive music specialist Intromental Management.
"Anima" is a decent progressive metal listen. The influences from the early Dream Theater works are obvious but I dare say that S.U.E. is a bit heavier. There is also some Pain of Salvation around. The production is quite fitting; all instruments can be heard loud and clear and is obvious that the band wanted to reproduce the sound of "Images and Worlds". The drumming is immense, a great job indeed. Guitar is heavy and precise, vocals are good but nothing extraordinary and keyboards play a significant role. I really like the fast and heavy parts where rhythm guitar meets the double bass. The entire album generally moves is a fast pace. I mean there are some mellower and more atmospheric parts but the majority is fast and aggressive and I think it's good for the listener; it helps you keep focused during the entire listen. All the serious progressive metal fans should give S.U.E. a try. These guys are more than Dream Theater clones and they produce music that stimulates the senses.
Visit their website: http://www.sphericuniversexp.com
Management: http://www.intromental.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sphericuniverseexperience

78/100

STEEN GRONTVED - Night Vision Goggles (CD) Denmark August 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Rock/Jazz/Fusion Running time: 38:59 (Tracks: 12)
Danish guitarist Steen Grontved is a veteran of the session music scene having appeared on countless releases over the last few years across many genres. Steen makes his debut onto the instrumental guitar platform with the fusion/jazz/rock rich "Night Vision Goggles". The album is home to 12 tracks that travel through a myriad of tonalities and cultural expressions. Most tracks are laidback jazz-rock-fusion songs, except the songs "Timber" (Greg Howe style) and "Run" (Satriani style) which are played more uptempo. Influences from several other guitarists can also be heard such as Gambale and Henderson. A nice start from this Danish guitarist.
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/steengrontved

72/100

SVARTHARID - Sadness and Wrath (CD) Norway August 2007 Suzanne de Volder-Ruiter
Style: Black/Viking Metal /b> Running time: 43:51 (Tracks: 8)
The band Svartharid was formed by Istar (guitar, vocals) and Forn (drums) back in 1994 in Norway. The line up was completed in '96 with Bjorn (synthesizer) and Ilvastar (bass).Two years later their first demo was recorded and that resulted in a record deal with Napalm Records! In 1999 the first cd was recorded and released: "Forthcoming storm", in that year Bjorn left the band. August 2000 the next cd was recorded and given the name of "As the sunrise flickers", it was released in 2001. Also in 2001 Ilvastar left the band due to a prison sentence and he was replaced by Frank. After promoting this album "Sadness and Wrath" was recorded in 2003 but was not released yet! Frank left the band a year later and replaced by Nidgrim who is still the current bass player now.
It wasn't until this year that "Sadness and Wrath" was released by Soulseller Records! And it is expected that a follow up will be recorded this year and released in 2008. But first we concentrate on "Sadness and Wrath", what a great album this is!! It can be recognized as Norwegian metal, not necessarily Black metal but its certainly influenced by it. They themselves describe it as dark and grim and that is exactly what it is. Al songs have several tempo changes and catching riffs with of course brutal grunts of Istar. The production is good too, nothing to complain about. "Sadness and Wrath" is varying until the last song so you won't fall asleep at the end of the cd. One song is written and sung by Nocturno Culto from Darkthrone, which is a good contribution to the cd too. If you are in anyway interested in Black/extreme Metal from "the North" you really have to listen to this band! I'm sure that it will not disappoint you at all! For me this cd was an immediate winner!
Recordlabel: http://www.soulsellerrecords.com

93/100

TESLA - Real To Reel (CD) USA August 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 64:04 (Tracks: 13)
Tesla is the name of an American rock band originating in Sacramento, California. The band formed in 1984 on Guam as City Kidd and was renamed Tesla during the recording of their first album on the advice of their manager. The band derived their name, certain album and song titles, and some song content from events relating to "Nikola Tesla", a Serbian inventor and electrical engineer born in the 19th century. Vocalist Jeff Keith fronted a band that included guitarists "Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch, bassist Brian Wheat and drummer Troy Luccketta". Tesla's music was close to heavy metal, but was more bluesy and the band's lyrics strayed from the partying and women themes popular at the time.. Tesla, which toured with David Lee Roth, Def Leppard, and Poison was incorrectly categorized as a Glam band. In 1990 Tesla released "Five Man Acoustical Jam", a live album featuring acoustic renditions of hits such as "Comin' Atcha Live," "Gettin' Better," "Modern Day Cowboy," the Ph.D. cover "Little Suzi," "Edison's Medicine," and "Love Song." The album also featured "Signs", a cover of a song by the Five Man Electrical Band. The band reformed in 2000 and recorded a double live album. In 2002 they were featured in the Rock Never Stops Tour alongside other 80s rock bands. In 2004 they released their fifth studio album Into the Now which debuted on the Billboard album chart at number 30. The album was well received by fans and the band was featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live. In the summer of 2006, the band embarked on the Electric Summer Jam Tour and put the following statement on their web site: "We would like you to join us in welcoming guitarist "Dave Rude", who will be hitting the road with us for the 2006 Electric Summer Jam Tour. Tesla is back with a classic authentic Tesla hardrock album ! The band still got their bluesy vibe and the trade marking voice of vocalist "Jeff Keith" still got that extra's of the band. Tesla got their own 70's/80's hardrock vein such as bands like "UFO, Led Zeppelin, Uriah Heep and Aerosmith". I think most listeners will enjoy their version of "Thank You" by Led Zeppelin and of course their "UFO" cover "Rock Bottom". "Real To Reel" sounds like a whole Rock History at one cd! Great musical qualities and a lot of atmosphere will bring you in trance. My opinion is that "Tesla" is still one of the best American hardrock bands of the 80's and early 90's. Great new album and absolute a must for every traditional ( Hard ) Rock fan and Headbanger !
Visit their website: http://www.teslarealtoreel.co.uk/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/teslatheband

80/100

V.A. - GUITAR GREATS Volume 1 (CD) USA August 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Magna Carta Compilation cd Running time: 64:43 (Tracks: 11)
It must have been difficult for Magna Carta's Peter Morticelli to assemble this compilation of fine guitar driven performances. Peter selected songs from past Magna Carta releases like Explores Club (John Petrucci), Jethro Tull Tribute (Derek Trucks), three songs from the Rush Tribute (Michael Romeo – Jake E Lee – George Lynch), Bozzio Levin Stevens (Steve Stevens), two songs from Jordan Rudess (Joe Satriani – Vinnie Moore), Niacin (Steve Lukather), Steve Morse and Alex Skolnick Trio. A nice collection of especially prog, sympho, fusion and (bluesy) hardrock.
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/magnacartarecords

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V.A. - US METAL SAMPLER (CD) USA August 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 1:15:22 (Tracks: 20)
Another one from US Metal Records, or Fatt Matt McCourt, which is the same actually, this time it's a sampler, simply called 'US Metal Sampler'. On this album you will find favourite tracks from recent releases on his label. Starting off with 2 tracks from the recent Wild Dogs album 'Ring of Blood', called "American Way" and "the Burning", 2 true old school metal tracks, which makes me get curious at their complete album! Next up 3 tracks from the 'Atomic Thunder' album by Fatt Matt himself, including the Alice Cooper cover of "Elected", but already reviewed in September 2006, so to be short, some of the best tracks of the album. After this we get 2 songs from Fatt Matt's 'Southern Fried Steel' album, reviewed also this month, so check that out. Also on this album Church Of El Duce (Mentors) with "Devils Hand" and "Ladies Man", true sleaze rock in Mentors tradition, and both tracks from different albums. Next up Fatt Matt psychedelic blues experience, 3 tracks with some superb guitar sounds, but not really something to do with metal. Mattison Avenoo & The Bloomstones are following, it's an adult humor album by Fatt Matt's alter ego. Both tracks are funny, more rockabilly sounding songs with hilarious lyrics called "Kick Your Ass" and "Dirty Rotten Scumbag". Next is another Wild Dogs song called "Down & Dirty", great metal song with an 80's feel to it. Dr.Mastermind follows with 2 tracks from 'Sin Sandwich', namely "On The Road" and "Sin Sandwich", the production is a bit poor on these tracks but the songs are great, fast and furious metalrock. Evil Genius is up with 2 songs from their 'Dr.Mastermind Must Die' album, "Black Leather Maniac" and "Vampire", true metalrock songs again Saxon and Maiden would be jealous off. Last song on the album is a track called "King Of The World" by Fatt Matt McCourt, real fast metal song by the man who is living metal, he's got it running through his veins I think, he's the most busy man I can imagine in metal. Keep on doing what you do best Matt, delivering your metal to the world, can't get much truer than this.
Recordlabel: http://www.usmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/usmetal

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WASHED - Washed (CD) USA August 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 39:24 (Tracks: 8)
It is a funny thing how fate and luck play their games on some bands. Washed originate from Pennsylvania, U.S.A. and kicked off as a group in the mid 80ies. Throughout these years Washed didn't manage to get a record deal despite the great feedback from fans and the numerous shows across the east coast. The group disbanded in 1992 and the members went after diverse careers. It wasn't until 2006 when Washed started a myspace page and realized that the interest from fans was still out there. This 8 track cd is actually the prelude to the band's debut cd after 20 years of career. The cd will contain 6 more tracks, all written between 1986 and 2006. Judging by these 8 tracks, I really can't wait for a full Washed release. This band is amazing! High quality melodic hard rock with heavy metal touches is the game, played in the original 80ies style. Great hooks, memorable choruses, amazing guitar and vocals in all. The opening track "I Need an Angel" is a true American hard rock anthem, built for extensive airplay. The rest of the tracks follow that successful recipe, a recipe that should have given the band a record deal in the first place alas the luck wasn't on their side. I really hope that such high quality music will not fall upon deaf ears for a second time. I won't bother writing down which bands Washed brings to mind. If you are a melodic rock fan, you are already trying to contact the band for details on how to obtain its music.
Visit their website: http://purevolume.com/washed
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/washedpa

90/100

WHISPER X - Warside (CD) France August 2007 Suzanne de Volder- Ruiter
Style: Death Metal Running time: 29.50 (Tracks: 10)
Whisper-X is quite a young band from Lyon, the band was formed in 2003 and after several line up changes in the beginning, the line up is now solid and the members are: Thomas-vocals, Cedric-drums, Vincent-guitar and Ferid-bass. The first demo was recorded in 2003 and two years later another one was recorded. In 2006 the band released a live demo containing 4 songs and also a live DVD (seven songs)! Whiper-X is an active band who plays a lot of live shows and after four years they build up quite a reputation for themselves. They are well known in the local scene and other regions/cities in France and as a result of that the have played with a lot of other French- and foreign bands. They have decided to take things a lever higher and have taken on a manager, web designer, light- and sound engineers to help them to a professional and international carrier. The band also decided to record this cd "Warside" in a professional studio and release it by themselves. And this cd is really brutal! Brutal death metal without compromises and it hits you like a sledgehammer! The grunts of Thomas are deep and mean as it should be. All the songs are fast and furious with well played drums and guitars. I can recommend you this cd without any doubt for anyone into extreme death metal! "Warside" will not let you down at all!
Visit their website: http://www.whisper-x.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/whisperx

85/100

JULY

ANNIHILATOR - Metal (2CD) Canada July 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Metal Running time: 55:01 & 49:15 (Tracks: 10 & 11)
Adding a bio of Annihilator is senseless when its up to me? Every self-respecting metalhead has to be familiar with Jeff Waters (because he IS Annihilator). The band already released several classic albums like: Alice In Hell, Never, Neverland, King Of The Kill, Carnival Diablos, Schizo Deluxe and others over the years. In April 2007, after a full year of writing and production, Annihilator released "Metal". The tracks on "Metal" were recorded by Jeff Waters (guitar, bass and lead vocals on one song), drum legend Mike Mangini and Dave Padden (long-time vocalist and touring guitarist/vocalist). Metal also features performances by some of metal's finest players and Annihilator's good friends, like Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom), Danko Jones (Danko Jones), Michael Amott and Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy), Corey Beaulieu (Trivium), William Adler (Lamb Of God), Jeff Loomis (Nevermore), Jesper Strømblad (In Flames), Steve ´Lips` Kudlow (Anvil), Anders Bjørler (The Haunted), Mike Mangini (Steve Vai, Extreme, Annihilator), Jacob Lynam (Lynam), Dan Beehler & Allan Johnson (both ex-Exciter) and many more.
Just because of these guest appearances, "Metal" sounds different form the earlier releases of Annihilator. There is a lot of variety between the songs on this album and that suits me very well. Some tracks sound 'oldschool' while others have a very modern touch. On the other side; Jeff always keeps true to his typical style of shredding but I suppose that no one is waiting for a change of style at this point! This CD is provided very well and the promoter even send me a double CD with a lot of old stuff on the bonus CD. Thats a real improvement after the promostuff I got from his earlier AFM label in the past!!!! To subscribe/review this album is very easy; If you like all of Annihilators earlier stuff; you sure will this one also!! Check it out & buy it!!!
Visit their website: http://www.annihilatormetal.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/annihilatorofficial

80/100

BEYOND FALLEN – Mindfire (CD) USA July 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 52:06 (Tracks: 10)
Beyond Fallen hails from Pennsylvania, U.S.A. and began its venture in 2003. The band released a mini cd that had an immediate impact upon the fans of underground heavy metal. The band had already established a strong name playing many shows and winning "battle of the bands" competitions. The singer of the group Joe Karavis was well known for his participation in the early days of Unleashed Power (also known as U.P.). The first full length album came a couple of years later. "Lost in the Shadows" is another great sample of American power metal.
A few years ago I had the privilege of reviewing the Beyond Fallen debut mini cd. I was impressed by the power of this band and its dedication to real and uncompromising metal. Now, listening to "Mindfire", I see that these things haven't changed a bit. The band remains faithful to the original power metal style of the debut but the production is much better and all five guys have formed a strong musical bond that reflects throughout the entire album. Joe Karavis still sounds angry and powerful while both guitars really slay! I could describe "Mindfire" as a cross between Overkill and Iced Earth. This is how contemporary power metal should be played in the States.
Visit their website: http://www.beyondfallen.com
Recordlabel: http://www.melissarecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/beyondfallen

88/100

BLACK MAJESTY - Tomorrowland (CD) Australia July 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 49:45 (Tracks: 10)
Black Majesty was founded in 2001 by five Australian metal maniacs. Roughly a year later they released their first EP "Sands Of Time", which led to a track on the newcomer cd's of two of Germany's most important metal magazines, Rock Hard and Heavy, oder was?! This EP got excellent feedback and as a result of this, the band signs with LMP in 2003. The same year saw the release of their first album "Sands Of Time". In 2005 Black Majesty presented "Silent Company", their successor of "Sands Of Time", which showed their class even more. After that release, they performed at the Headbangers Open Air in Germany and they supported HammerFall and Edguy at the Czech Metal Fest. In 2006 they toured very successfully with Dragonforce in their home country and they started to work on their new album "Tomorrowland". Black Majesty is playing fast melodic power metal, with excellent melodic vocals, energetic guitar duels and great melody lines. They sound somewhat inbetween Iron Maiden, HammerFall and Helloween. The only calmer songs on their third album is the Deep Purple cover "Soldier Of Fortune". Parallel to the regular cd, "Tomorrowland" will also be released as a limited digipack with two bonus tracks.
Visit their website: http://www.blackmajesty.com
Recordlabel: http://www.limb-music.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blackmajesty

86/100

BLESSED DEATH - Hour of Pain (CD) USA July 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Metal Running time: 43:55 (Tracks: 11)
This is BLESSED DEATH's third album officialy. "Hour Of Pain" was originally titled "Born to Die" and should come out in the early 90's, but it didn't for some reasons. Finally the band has decided to release this record so that people who loved the superb style of thrash that BLESSED DEATH played could eventually hear it.
Blessed Death has always been, and still is, one of my alltime fav. bands. The typical kind of speed/thrash and the extreme vocals of power-pitcher Larry Portelli make me long for the old days even more than I already do when i'm listening to metal. Their first two albums "Kill of be Killed" & "Destined for Extinction" are two classic ones and i'm so fucking proud that I had the opportunity to see this superb band live twice.
"Hour of Pain" is a worthy successor for these 2 albums eventhough the recordings arent sounding that great. The recordings are from 1991 and you can, ofcourse, hear that. With a good recording quality this album should has been a classic one too! Musically its, again, so fuckin great and Larry Portelli is a very unique singer/screamer. Awesome! Larry Portelli for president!!
Rely on poor sound quality my rate shouldnt be so high but this cult band deserves a high rate! Fav. songs: 'Shadows of the Living', 'Atomic Fear', 'Terminal Rage' & 'Born Dead'. I already tried to organise a reunion gig for the upcoming Mario's Metal Meeting festival but the band isnt interested in any kind of reunion......pity...
Visit their website: http://www.blesseddeath.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blesseddeath3

85/100

BRETT WALKER – Spirit Junky (CD) USA July 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 58:44 (Tracks: 15)
Born and raised up in Norman Oklahoma, Brett Walker moved to Los Angeles at age 20. In keeping with his song writing vision, in 1991 Brett wrote two charting singles; one for Jimi Jamison and the other for the band Alias. "Waiting For Love" recorded by Alias, went on to become Brett’s first Billboard top-10 hit in 1991. Brett’s song writing caught the ear of renowned producer David Prater. Soon after, Brett went to New York to work on recordings with David that would eventually become Brett’s first solo record. Brett signed his first record deal for Europe and Asia in 1994. His debut CD reached the national top 40 sales charts in Scandinavia, while having a hit song entitled "Lecia". In 1996 Brett released his 2nd record in Europe. The first single "It’s A Good Thing" reached the radio charts in Denmark as well as going to No.1 on Radio City 105.4 in Karlstad, Sweden. Spirit Junky is Brett’s newest album and I can say yes; it’s a very good sounding record but overall it's too soft for me. I like aor and or melodic rock a lot but this record sounds all the same to me. Maybe a normal mainstream rock/pop fan will like this album? For me it’s to sweet and too poppy, I’m sorry.

Recordlabel: http://www.artistworxx.de/

68/100

CELESTY - Mortal Mind Creation (CD) Finland July 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Power Metal Running time: 45:14 (Tracks: 9)
After "Reign Of Elements" (2002) and "Legacy Of Hate" (2004), "Mortal Mind Creation" is the third album of this Finnish six-piece. Their first two albums were released by Arise Records, but now they signed a deal with Dockyard1. They deliver once again a concept album that continues the saga which started with their debut album. Celesty has managed to record a very diverse album, a mix of Finnish (keyboard) power metal and Bay Area thrash metal, but there are also several calmer parts/songs like "Among The Dreams". Yes, it's a very diverse and good album, although I personally don't like that much the vocals of Antti Railio.
Visit their website: http://www.celesty.net
Recordlabel: http://www.dockyard1.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/celestymetal

74/100

DARZAMAT - Transkarpatia (CD) Poland July 2007 Suzanne de Volder- Ruiter
Style: Gothic Metal Running time: 50.52 (Tracks: 11)
Darzamat was founded back in 1995 which means that they have a long biography, so I made an extraction of that and if you want more details I suggest that you check their website or Myspace! Flauros and Simon started the band and after two years the band recorded their debut album called "In the flames of black art". It was a combination of black metal with orchestral sequences, and just before the recording started female singer Kate joined the band. Her voice added sensuality and melancholy to the music, what at the same time smoothed the music a little bit. It was very well received both by the music press and the fans! Discography: 1999-"The opium of black veil", 2003-"Oniriad", 2004-"Semidevilish", 2005-"Transkarpatia".
After several line up changes the band signed up with "Avantgarde Music" in 1999 but shortly after that Darzamat stopped the studio activities and started a studio, owned by Simon. Due to tension, line up changes and bad atmospheres between the band members during the recording of Oniriad, they decided it would be better to split up. Simon chose to work in the studio and Flauros to restart Darzamat. To make a long story short, "Transkarpatia" was recorded in 2005 and released early 2006 and was produced by Andy La Rocque from King Diamond. In 2006 a lot of promotion was done for the new cd and they played a lot of shows and festivals. And only very recently ( June 26th) a new live dvd was released! How should one describe the music of Darzamat? Well that is not an easy question! It is fast, sinister, with grunts from Flauros. But at the same time a lot of tempo changes and orchestral sequences, mix that with the sweet voice of Nera and your getting close! But it is not like gothic music, it is more brutal than that! In the bio the term black metal is often used but I strongly disagree with that, some phrases sound like that but this style is just not black metal! That would be an insult to bands like Marduk or Gorgoroth for example. The music is well played with good musicians who know what they are doing. The production is very good too! It sounds like a bell, really nothing wrong with that! So if you are interested in brutal metal combined with a female singer you should really listen to this band, if you don't know them already of course!
Visit their website: http://www.darzamat.art.pl
Recordlabel: http://www.metalmindproductions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/darzamat

80/100

DAVID VALDES - Imhotep (CD) Spain July 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental neo-classical/progressive metal Running time: 62:07 (Tracks: 13)
David Valdes started playing the guitar at the age of 14. At that time he liked especially death and thrash metal. The following years David discovered the magic of Yngwie J. Malmsteen and his influences J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin. Other guitarists that he admired were Friedman, Becker, Vinnie Moore and Paul Gilbert. David continued to play in black, death, thrash and heavy metal bands. But he soon also recorded a 5 track instrumental demo. He continued to compose more instrumental songs and 2002 saw the release of his first instrumental album "Paradise Lost" (reviewed on MMM in 2005). Now David has finally released its follow-up, "Imhotep". Just like "Paradise Lost", his new album is a great instrumental guitar release. It's especially filled with very interesting neo-classical and progressive metal songs. Main influence of David is still the great Jason Becker, but other influences are for sure Vinnie Moore, George Bellas and Marty Friedman. It's surely not a shredfest all the time because David always plays with many emotion and melody. There are also two J.S.Bach compositions on "Imhotep", and on the song "In Darkness" are guest solo's from Arnaldo Garcia and Stephan Forte. David played all the instruments, except for the drums which were handled by Ferran Roch. "Imhotep" is a very emotionally, instrumental guitar album.
Visit their website: http://www.davidvaldes.net
Recordlabel: http://www.heavencrossrecords.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/davidvaldesguitar

87/100

DELIBERATE JEOPARDIZATION – Self Control (CD) The Netherlands July 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: ExperiMetal Running time: 30:43 (Tracks: 8)
Deliberate Jeopardization is a new band from the area of Rotterdam, who have been playing and creating music they call "experimetal" for years. Their music is filled with influences of bands like Machine Head, System of a Down, Led Zeppelin, Dry Kill Logic and Hatebreed. They use all the elements of different styles of music they like, and that makes their own unique style of music. Clean, melodic songs that change into heavy, thrash-like songs in an instant and back, with sometimes screamy vocals turning to clean singing. They accomplished a real modern sound which you either like or dislike I guess, not really my cup of tea. But then again, they deliver a great debut album, and I know there are lots of people who are into this kind of music and will enjoy it. Sometimes really aggressive and then the next moment almost easy listening, listen to 'Rescue' for instance, only tracks 1 & 2 recorded in 2007, the other tracks were recorded in 2005, so not all new material. As they say "You don't listen to our music, you experience it", so maybe best to check em out live on stage right?
Visit their website: http://www.deliberatejeopardization.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/deliberatejeopardization

68/100

FLESH - Temple of Whores (CD) Sweden July 2007 Suzanne de Volder-Ruiter
Style: Death Metal Running time: 39.57 (Tracks: 9)
This album is the second solo cd from Pete Flesh after the "Dodsangest". This cd is a personal project from Pete and should be valued as such. The music is good and completely written by himself. The music is ok, death metal, no more and no less. After a while it starts to notice that the songs are more or less shaped on the same mould, not many surprises anymore at the end of the cd. It's not a world shocker but it should be seen a personal document. Pete started to think about a solo project after a couple of years gathering ideas and thoughts about it. In 2005 the first album was recorded and released. This second one is released 2006 and also recorded in the Abyss studio in Sweden together with Tommy Tagtgren . So don't worry about the production, that is good! Pete is also the vocalist/guitarist of Deceiver and Thrown, both Swedish bands. Check it out on the website. Only recently Flesh changed it record company and moved from Iron Fist Productions to Pulverised Records! And you may expect live shows from FLESH in 2008!
Visit their website: http://www.peteflesh.tk
Recordlabel: http://www.pulverised.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/peteflesh

75/100

GILO – Blood in Blood Out (MCD) The Netherlands July 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Metal Core Running time: 29:44 (Tracks: 06)
Gilo was formed in 2001 and is relatively new name in the metal scene. All though they play a music style that in my opinion isn't too spectacular, this MCD (self-financed) is really good. They play a raw mix between Chimaira, Soulfly etc. The guitar riffs are very heavy and the drums are pounding through every song.
The vocals are very brutal but in the hardcore style. The production of this album is straight in your face and the structure of the songs also. There isn't much more I can say about this band except that their probably going to be picked up soon by the new metal scene. If you like bands in the style of Chimaira, Soulfly, Machine Head than check out their website and order the MCD.
Visit their website: http://www.gilo.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gilomusic

70/100

HERMAN RAREBELL & BAND - I'm Back (CD) Germany July 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Rock Running time: 48:49 (Tracks: 13)
Mausoleum Records used to say "if it ain't heavy, it ain't on Mausoleum". How things can change! Former Scorpions drummer Rarebell found a bunch of friends with whom he made a comeback cd as a "soloartist". He introduces his new buddies in the booklet; singer Stefan Erz has starred in several musicals and sang in "Unknown Stuntman" and the AC/DC coverband "Overdose"; further, Herman also stars saxophone player Claudia Raab (his wife) who plays on 6 tracks.
Was it worth the trouble? Hmm…. This cd is full of mediocre rocksongs, a few ballads and some vague melodies. Erz sounds like a raspy Bon Scott/Axl Rose which gets on my nerves after song number 4. The song "Heya Heya" introduces guitarist Horst Luksch as, like Hermann calls it, "the next guitar hero". Horst plays an excellent piece of music in this song, I must admit; if he is a future hero…time will tell. Back to the cd. After being bored, track 9 gives us a version of the Scorpions anthem "Rock you like a hurricane" with a rapping Rarebell. AAAARGH !!!! And a sax solo instead of the roaring Matthias Jabs….come on !!! The song "Drum Dance" opens like Cozy Powell did with his "Dance with the devil" which makes me believe Herman should stop releasing cd's and be a producer, at which he is apparently quite good. That is the only positive thing I got out of this cd.
Visit their website: http://www.hermanrarebell.com
Recordlabel: http://www.mausoleum-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hermanrarebell

49/100

INHUMATE – 15 Years of Soul Grinding / At War with Inhumate (DVD) France July 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Grind Death Metal (Tracks: 28)
Inhumate is a well known name in the underground scene. You can probably say theyre the France Napalm Death. They were formed in 1990 and they kept grinding for all these years. They released their debut "Internal Life" in 1996 and after that they released three more albums. This DVD is the celebration of their 15 years of soul grinding madness. I personally never seen them live so I must confess that this DVD is fucking great. 28 songs of pure brutal grind death metal.
For their anniversary they arranged a gig at La Laiterie in France with bands like Mumakil, Ingrowing and Deranged (very nice bands especially Deranged). 23 songs of that show are on this DVD and 5 of bonus material taken from other gigs. This DVD is definitely a treat for every one who loves grind death metal in the style of Napalm Death. Before I forget I keep talking about Napalm but if you see the vocalist of Inhumate sing and hear their songs then you'll understand why. The quality of the filming is great, it is filmed from 5 angles and the sound is great. The five bonus songs are taken from old gigs of 1993 and newer once. The menu option is well arranged and the cover as well. If you like music DVD's and you like Grind Death Metal then check out their site and buy it!!!!!!!!!!
Visit their website: http://www.inhumate.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/inhumate

75/100

KNIGHT AREA – Under a New Sign (CD) The Netherlands July 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 55:07 (Tracks: 7)
Knight Area is among Holland's best known progressive rock acts. Formed at the dawn of the new millennium, the band released its debut album "The Sun Also Rises" in 2004 and received great reviews. Many live shows followed and the band established a solid fanbase. Both Knight Area albums where released under the famous American prog rock label The Laser's Edge.
For those unfamiliar with the band's style, I would describe them as a classic progressive rock act like the famous ones of the genre that came from the British Islands. The range of influences include Yes, Marillion, Pendragon, E.L.P. and of course Genesis. There are large instrumental parts, a wide range of keyboards and synths, melodic leads and dramatic vocals that remind me of Fish. The band is not afraid to get a bit heavier in some points, approaching prog metal in tracks like "Mastermind" and "Dreamweaver". Definitely a good listen for the fans of the genre.
Visit their website: http://www.knightarea.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lasersedgegroup.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/knightarea

70/100

KREPUSKULE - CDemo (CD) France July 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 14:06 (Tracks: 3)
Krepuskule is a band from Paris, France that started in 2002 after the band Marmur split up; their bio says they play "melodic metal with intimate texts which explore the recesses of human soul". Through the 5 years of their existence, the band struggled with their identity. Their aim was to go closer to metal with different influences, and they hope to have accomplished this stage after having brought in a female vocalist and a female violin player.
I tried….I really did. But their 3 tracks that were put on this cd makes me think of experimental, industrial, technometal, where it is impossible to hear what the singer is singing, and the guitars are so loud and distorted, melodies are hard to find. The beeping guitarsound that is so common in newer nu-metal bands and experimental music is such a turnoff that it is hard to focus on track 2 and 3. Finally, I found myself pushing the "forward" button on my player, but I had to repeat that once again in order to be freed of this wall of experimental sounds. Unless you are into experimental stuff, you'd better leave this alone.
Visit their website: http://www.krepuskule.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/krepuskule

40/100

LAST AUTUMN'S DREAM – Saturn Skyline (CD) Germany/Sweden July 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: AOR Running time: 49:30 (Tracks: 11)
Mikael Erlandsson, from Gothenburg, is one of the best singers/songwriters in Sweden today. He recorded four successful solo albums and after being supporting act to Tina Turner and Brian Ferry and after the participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, Mikael decided he wanted to do something else. His Japanese record company came up with the idea of putting him together with the fantastic guitar player Andy Malecek from the successfull German hard rock band Fair Warning for an album project. Mikael and Andy were both hooked by the idea and a plan for the album began to grow. Ian Haugland, Mic Michaeli and John Leven of Europe-fame were asked if they were interested to join, which they did and the band LAST AUTUMN'S DREAM was born!
So far the history. Reality says that this band is not playing real hardrock. This is poprock, sounding very slick and possibly there are a few hitsingles on this album. It is really incredible that this band is hyped in the musicpress. OK, they are fine musicians, compositions are OK but like I said, no hardrockmaterial. Personally, the vocal sound bores me quite soon and the fact that no song really is hard enough to interest the real rocklover, I cannot give this album a high rating
Recordlabel: http://www.escape-music.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lastautumnsdream

60/100

MARK SWEENEY – Slow Food (CD) Swiss July 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Pop/Hard Rock Running time: 51:58 (Tracks: 13)
Swiss rockers Crystal Ball's frontman “Mark Sweeney“ is here with his first soloalbum. Mark has worked together with Michael Bormann (ex-Jaded Heart, Zeno, Rain) who is one of the hardest working musicians at the rock scene right now. Slow Food sounds like a weak mix of British rockers The Dogs DÁmour, Robby Williams and Oasis and a bit of mistake influences of bands like: Bon Jovi, Brian Adams, Bonfire and Def Leppard. Mark Sweeney has got a good sounding powerful voice but his debut album is not really my cup of tea. It’s boring and I think one of the only real highlights on Mark’s debut cd is the strong powerful rocksong Superman ! Slow Food is probably an album for quite a big commercial audience but not the album a hardrocker like me is searching for.
Visit their website: http://www.marksweeney.ch/
Recordlabel: http://www.artistworxx.de/

65/100

MELDRUM – Blowin' Up The Machine (CD) Sweden/USA July 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 40:55 (Tracks: 11)
Meldrum is the band of Michelle Meldrum, who is not really unknown in the metal world, started out with Gene Hoglan in Wargod. After Wargod she co founded Phantom Blue, which got her name established in the metal scene. After 8 years in Phantom Blue, Michelle participated in different projects, including touring with John Norum, and then forming Meldrum. In 2002 their debut album, 'Loaded Mental Canon', was released, and now there is the follow up 'Blowin Up The Machine'. As it seems they don't have a drummer anymore, so old friend Gene Hoglan was found prepared to hit the album tight, what more could a band wish for? With Michelle's furious guitar work, Frida's pounding bass and Moa's raw and screamy vocals, they delivered another great album again. Great powerful songs like opener 'Purge' or 'Scar' or some of my favourites, 'Hang Em'' and 'Get Yours' all powerful heavy songs. Also Mr. Lemmy himself does vocals on a track 'Miss Me When I'm Gone'. There's even a kind of ballad on here in the form of 'Get Me Outta Here', well if you can call it that anyway. I've already seen them perform live and I like what I saw, so wanna see them again, cause they are a great live band and they already toured with great bands like Motorhead, Black Label Society and Nashville Pussy among others. So for what a treat will we be in next?
Visit their website: http://www.meldrum.nu
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/meldrumrocks

82/100

MOKER - Translating the Pain (CD) Belgium July 2007 Suzanne de Volder-Ruiter
Style: Death Metal Running time: 38.29 (Tracks: 10)
Moker is a promising new band from our neighbours in Belgium; the band was founded by drummer Wouter and guitarist Angelo. The line up was soon completed with their friend Stijn on bass guitar. After two years the band recorded a split cd with Outkast, which was released by Shiver Records. That same year Stijn left the band for personal reasons and was replaced by Fre Wauters. Moker signed a new contract with Shiver Records, also in 2006 (busy year!) and at the autumn the recording started of "Translating the pain". This album is their first full length album and was released in the spring of this year. And in order to complete the band's line up, second guitarist Dirk was recruited and will make his first public appearance this spring.
Line up: Ad de Wachter (vocals), Angelo Mannetstaetter (guitars), Dirk Broeren (guitars), Frederic Wauters (bass & backing vocals) & Wouter Snels (drums). This debut can be called a successful one! The production is good and the cover lay out looks good too. The music can be described as brutal death metal but with a fresh aggressive approach! And with good catchy riffs and breaks. The grunts and screams from Wouter go well with the music; he can do both very well! The drums are very well played, loud and fast; as it should be! If you get a chance to see these guys play, I think you should do so! Check out the Moker website.
Visit their website: http://www.mokermetal.be
Recordlabel: http://www.shiver-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mokermetal

79/100

MORTIIS – Some Kind of Heroin (CD) Norway July 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Atmospheric Dark Metal Running time: 78:43 (Tracks: 16)
Mortiis is a well known name in the metal scene. They started in the early 90's and realesed their debut in 1993. Mortiis is a respected band in the metal scene and almost every album they released was well spoken of, but their latest album is definitely not my cup of tea. This album contains 16 songs of older albums but then remixed by other artists like The Kovenant, Gothminister etc..I like their music very much but I personally hate these remixes. All though it's well done but not my thing. If you ask me then Mortiis should bring out a new studio album and not this crap (or at least not under their name). But fair is fair this is an easy way to release a new album! In my opinion if you like Mortiis then you should better wait for a new studio album, but if you like electric or industrial then you should give it a try.
Visit their website: http://www.mortiis.com
Recordlabel: http://www.earache.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mortiis1

55/100

PARAGON – Forgotten Prophecies (CD) Germany July 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: True Heavy/Power Metal Running time: 51:43 (Tracks: 11)
German Heavy Metal Band Paragon was founded in 1990 by guitar player and main songwriter Martin Christian. In 1992, long before any “True Metal Hype was started” Paragon recorded their first demo tape "Maelstrom Of Decline" and played their first live shows. 1994 the band released the "Into The Black" Mini CD and received good reviews in the Metal press all over Germany. At the end of 1994 Martin had written enough songs to record the first "official" release "World Of Sin". After the release of "World Of Sin" came a difficult time because the record company which released the CD went bankrupt and there was almost no promotion for the CD. The consequences were bad sales, no shows and many line-up changes. In 1996 Martin finally decided to put Paragon on ice to wait for the right time to strike back again. With vocalist Andreas Babuschkin, bass player Jan Bünning and the two remaining members of the last Paragon line-up, Markus Corby (drums) and Claudius Cremer (guitar) , Paragon was complete again. Martin begun to write new songs and In autumn 1997 they entered the Spiderhouse studios of the famous German producer guru Harris Johns (Helloween, Tankard, Sodom, Kreator...) to record the "World Of Sin"s follow up "Final Command". After a longer search for a new record company "Final Command" was finally released in Europe in August 1998 on ‘B.O.Records’. As there was no proper tour offer, Paragon went right back into the studio in January 1999 to record "Chalice Of Steel" with Harris Johns again. Both CDs received good reviews in the Metal press for their refreshing interpretation of 80s Metal. The reward for this unbroken faith in real Metal was the offer to play on both most important Metal Festivals in Germany - Bang Your Head and the Wacken Open Air ´99 and also some smaller open airs and single club shows. "Forgotten Prophecies" is Paragon’s 8th studio album. Paragon is fast, pumping and furious traditional heavy/power metal for real headbangers and metalmaniacs who prefer 80’s metal above modern death and black metal. Influenced by bands such as “OverKill, Helloween, Manowar, Judas Priest and Grave Digger”, Paragon sounds like the perfect mix between the old German, British and US metal styles. Highlight of this new longplayer are the great /strong guitar riffs and the cover of one of the best Overkill numbers ever made ( Deny The Cross). Great classical speed/power metal for real true metalheads who need oldschool speed, power and screaming heavy metal vocals! No modern metal crap but pure mid 80’s metal, a great German product to be proud of!
Visit their website: http://www.paragon-metal.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.remedyrecords.de/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/paragonlegions

85/100

POWND – Circle of Power (CD) USA July 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 48:04 (Tracks: 11)
Pownd is a band based in Detroit Michigan, the famous Motor City. It was formed in 1996 and debuted in 1998. Although the guys toured extensively and gave countless concerts across America, Pownd couldn't establish a solid record deal until this year when they signed with Nightmare Records releasing "Circle of Power". The Pownd style is groovy heavy metal. The guys focus their attention on the powerful melodic vocals and the crunchy guitars. All songs are groovy and aggressive at the same time, good headbanging material. Their music has a progressive edge and contemporary elements but doesn't lack melody and emotion. I tried to find a match for Pownd but I could only come up with Radakka and an edgy version of "Empire" or "Promise Land" era Queensryche. Through in some "Demolition" by Judas Priest and you might get the picture for this talented band. I believe they deserve your attention.
Visit their website: http://www.pownd.com
Recordlabel: http://www.nightmare-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pownd

73/100

RHAPSODY OF FIRE – Visions From The Enchanted Lands (2 DVD) Italy July 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Epic Metal Running time: 150 minutes (approx.) (Tracks:19)
When a band like Rhapsody Of Fire releases their very first official DVD set, one tends to become very eager. Their music is so intensely impressive that it seems almost impossible for them to get it that good on stage. The setup they have chosen is a deliberate one: on the first DVD you get a lot of live songs with comments in between. The band and the fans get to say their piece. On the one hand I am glad they did it this way, because you are not obliged to sit through a whole concert in one go and you can absorb the enthusiasm of band and fans alike. On the other hand the flow never becomes full force, because after every live song they have something to say. The live songs have been chosen from concerts in Montreal, Canada (with the same perfect sound as the live CD), Czech Republic (with a very bootleg-like sound) and Germany (with a sound in between the former two). All together I must admit I do enjoy it all. If you love Rhapsody, you'll certainly appreciate this DVD. The biggest surprise is the quality of Fabio's voice, especially on the slow songs. That man has come a long way and is now really a great singer! On the second piece of plastic they have put a number of videos, a few documentaries and some rehearsals. It is not as impressive, but still very much a welcome addition to the musical side of Rhapsody of Fire. Now you can see the shoots they have done to promote their music and you can feel the way they have evolved over the years. All in all I am impressed by "Visions From The Enchanted Lands", because it shows how honest hard working Italians have been able to conquer the world without losing themselves along the way.
Visit their website: http://www.rhapsodyoffire.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.magiccirclemusic.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/rhapsodyoffireband

73/100

RIEFENSTAHL – Instinkt (CD) Germany July 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 45:43 (Tracks: 12)
Aus Deutschland…oops, from Germany are Riefenstahl founded in 2002 and delivering their second album 'Instinkt', after releasing their debut album 'Seelenschmerz' in 2004. The band brings their music in their own German language, which makes it almost impossible to not compare it with the band that made it their mark, Rammstein. I guess the success of Rammstein had a lot to do with bands getting started, making music with german language in a kind of Rammstein way. Listening to this cd, opener 'Es Ist Vorbei' could have well been on any Rammstein album. But getting through the whole album you notice the differences, although more Rammstein like songs come up, they do give it their own swing. It seems that their furious, emotional songs are continuesly heard on the radio, no wonder there cause they bring a popular mix of Rammstein fury and more emotional, ballad kinda songstructures, like for instance 'Venusschrei' or 'Mit Brennender Wut'. More slow tempo songs, changing into heavy and dark, and back. The vocals are more raw and sometimes screamy, I can't say it's bad, not all that original, but well done, although not really my thing. So if you are into this kind of music, and don't dislike the german language, which actually suits the music good, this could be your band, I myself rather listen to the original, mentioned earlier.
Visit their website: http://www.riefenstahl-music.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.ruderecords.de

69/100

SEVENTH CALLING - Monuments (CD) USA July 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Metal Running time: 49:18 (Tracks: 12)
Seventh Calling was formed in 1989 by Lance Lange and Steve Handel. They both had an individually vision of what heavy metal should be. After several years of playing in numerous groups and doing club gigs, each in their own projects, the pair met in 1989. In the early years of the new millennium, they decided to build what is now the heavy metal band Seventh Calling. They name bands like; Judas Priest, Fifth Angel, Metal Church, Iron Maiden, Dio and No exit-era Fates Warning as their main influences. In 2006 they already recorded this debut album "Monuments", featuring a collection of songs in the classic US metal tradition. Complementing the Lange/Handel guitar tandem are bassist Michael Poplees (known for his work in Florida-based traditional metallers Seasons Of The Wolf and the progmetalband Within Another) and drummer/percussionist Jamie Strobach (reknowned for his recording/mixing of groups such as Under Eden and legendary shock rockers Impaler).
This album was originally released as a self financed CD but is now picked up by the new US-metal promoting Dutch label Melissa Records. Musically the band reminds me a lot to the older Iced Earth stuff but I also hear a lot of influences from bands like Mercyful Fate, (old) Metallica, Wrath & Tyrants Reign. Nothing wrong with that if you ask me but still I have some comnplains about this album. Musically its okay but not all the songs can impress me. Why?? Well, both Lance Lange and Steve Handel are very good guitarplayers but are not singing so well and even sometimes sound a bit boring. Productional it also sounds moderate. Pity because with a good production & a better singer my rate would have been much, much higher!! This band has the quality to become a wellknown band but they have to invest in that. So my advice; Hire a good metalsinger & spend a bit more money in the recordings of the next album.
Recordlabel: http://www.melissarecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/seventhcalling

78/100

SMASHED FACE – Virulent Procreation (CD) Czech Republic July 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Brutal Death Metal Running time: 31:14 (Tracks: 10)
Smashed Face released their first demo in 2002 and their debut in 2004. Their latest album "Virulent Procreation" contains 10 tracks of pure straight in your face brutal death metal. All the songs contain extreme blast beats and the guitar riffs are very heavy and fast. Technical riffs combined with a little groove. All though I said all the songs are very extreme and fast there is an exception for number 5 (Requiem II) and number 9 (Virulent Procreation Intermezzo) which is instrumental and totally another style of the rest (calm and relaxed). The vocalist has a grunt that has definitely been fucked up very many times. The production of this record is great and the structures of the songs are very strong. If you like brutal death metal in the style of Fleshgrind,Despondency or Devourment then you're going to enjoy this album.
Visit their website: http://www.smashedface.com
Recordlabel: http://www.ntey.wz.cz
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/smashedfacecz

75/100

STAN BUSH - In This Life (CD) USA July 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: AOR/Melodic Rock Running time: 50:21 (Tracks: 11)
Stan Bush is an American A.O.R/Melodic (hard) rock singer whose most notable work include the songs "Dare" and "The Touch" from the soundtrack to the 1986 animated film Transformers: The Movie, and "She's Got the Power", featured in the American voice dub of the animated series Sailor Moon. Other notable work includes the song "Fight for Love" from the movie Kickboxer, the theme from Bloodsport: "Fight to Survive". Both movies starred Jean-Claude Van Damme. Stan already released nine studio records before and “In this Life” will be number X. That new record “In This Life” is again a great melodic Pomp Rock-AOR record. Music in the style of bands like: Foreigner, Journey and Nightranger. Good powerful clean and emotional vocals and great musical qualities of musicians like Holger Fath (Guitars, Keyboards), Matt Laug (Drums), Lance Morisson (Bass), Dirk Nagel (Keyboards) and of course Mr. “Stan Bush” on Lead & Backing Vocals. "I Can’t Cry”, “This Moment”, “Waiting For You”, “Long Long Way”, “Over You”, “In This Life” and the acoustic cracker: “Southern Rain” ( about his youth in Florida) are great commercial rock songs and ready to hit the American music charts ! Stan has a reason to be very proud, "In This Life" is again a high-class rock album and a must for every melodic hardrock/AOR and Pomp-Rock fan ! Keep On The Good Work and long live great melodic rock music !
Visit his website: http://www.stanbush.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/116446489

80/100

SUSPYRE – A Great Divide (CD) USA July 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 1:10:26 (Tracks: 12)
Suspyre debuted in 2005 with the "Silvery Image" cd. The band was formed in 2001 when some talented musicians with diverse musical influences met and decided to go for it. At first it was all about ideas but soon enough the band had its own compositions and the opportunity to present them to a live audience.
"A Great Divide" is a strange album. I mean very strange. You can listen tons of stuff going on during these 70 minutes. The only certain thing is that the music is progressive metal. The guitars, both lead and rhythm, are truly amazing. The solos are fantastic, melodic and precise. This is probably the best element of this recording. Vocals are a close second. Suspyre has incorporated many diverse influences. From jazz and fusion to classical music and heavy metal. While listening to a solid power metal rhythm you suddenly find yourself in an orchestral part that gets interrupted by saxophone. It is truly amazing how these guys came up with such a complex structure. The most difficult part in all this is making these diverse parts and pieces sounding as a solid composition and Suspyre have achieved that. Every song functions a solid piece despite the numerous parts combining it. I think Suspyre is a band you would like to listen to.
Visit their website: http://www.suspyre.com
Recordlabel: http://www.nightmare-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/suspyre

77/100

SYMPHONY X - Paradise Lost (CD) USA July 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 28:44 (Tracks: 08)
Symphony X was already formed in April 1994. The same year saw the band recording their self-titled debut. This was followed eight months later by their tremendously received second album, The Damnation Game, which featured the new singer, Russell Allen, for the first time. They made a huge leap up the ladder in Autumn 1996 with the release of The Divine Wings Of Tragedy, which was especially well received in Europe. March 1998 saw the release of their fourth studio album Twilight In Olympus, and the band's first concerts. Their fifth studio album, V - The New Mythology Suite, took Symphony X on a European tour in Autumn 2000. During this tour, they recorded their live double album, Live On The Edge Of Forever. This live album was released in October 2001.
With their sixth studio work, The Odyssey, Symphony X united recognized progressive elements and their clean, sharp melodic vocals with a somewhat harder, rawer production.
The band's seventh studio release, Paradise Lost, is now out on Inside Out/SPV Records. From the first notes this album rules!! I've heard most of their earlier releases but I dont own one of them. On the other side: Ive seen the band several times live and I can tell you that they are amazing ON stage too! It counts me that singer Russel Allen is singing more raw that he does live. He even reminds me several times to Jorn Lande on this album (listen for example to 'Seven' or 'The Sacrifice"). Musically this album is nearby perfect and the production is superb too! Hope to see these guys on stage very very soon again!! Great album!!! Fav. songs: 'The Walls of Babylon' & 'Eve of Seduction'.
Visit their website: http://www.symphonyx.com
Recordlabel: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officialsymphonyx

93/100

THE PROPHECY – Revelations (CD) England July 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Doom / Death Metal Running time: 1:07:32 (Tracks: 7)
This band has been around for quite some time. Starting in 2001, The Prophecy recorded a couple of demos before issuing the "To End all Hope" mini cd and the "Ashes" debut in 2003. Originating from Huddersfield (homeland of fellow doomsters Solstice) England, the capital of doom death metal, The Prophecy would present nothing else than haunting doom music.
Although this style is considered slightly outdated, The Prophecy shows a remarkable passion on presenting excellent doom death following the steps of successful bands like My Dying Bride and early Anathema. In "Revelations" you will encounter violin parts, both death and clean vocals and haunting rhythms. If you enjoy albums such as "The angel and the dark river", "Turn loose the swans" (My Dying Bride) and "Serenades" (Anathema), this one is for you. You will find the same atmosphere, the same sound, the very same grimness. If someone told me that "Revelations" was recorded 14 years ago, I would believe him.
Visit their website: http://www.the-prophecy.net
Recordlabel: http://www.nofacerecords.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theprophecyeng

75/100

THOUGHT CHAMBER - Angular Perceptions (CD) USA July 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 54:58 (Tracks: 10)
Michael Harris and manager John Purdom had the collective vision of a progressive metalband about 5 years ago. Through the internet, Michael hooked up with Ted Leonard, vocalist of the band Enchant. After Michael and Ted spent quite some time crafting the material, they then united with the rhythm section; Derek Blakley on bass, and Rob Stankiewicz on drums and Outworld keyboardist Bobby Williamson to form "Thought Chamber". Their styles ranging from metal to jazz to classical tinged prog. The debut CD is entitled "Angular Perceptions", which the band has secured a deal for with InsideOut Music, and was released in April 2007 worldwide.
In a world where it's hard to find anything original, Thought Chamber manage to draw attention right from the start with their debut album "Angular Perceptions".
Expect a mix of progressive rock/metal in the vein of bands like Enchant, Fates Warning & Redemption but much more keyboard orientated. Musically it sounds perfect and i'm curious how this band will do it on stage. Hope to see them someday. Very good progressive album!!
Visit their website: http://www.thoughtchambermusic.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.insideoutmusic.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thoughtchamber

85/100

THURISAZ – Circadian Rhythm (CD) Belgium July 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Atmospheric Black Death Metal Running time: 49:18 (Tracks: 9)
Thurisaz is formed in 1997 as a three man band that played doom death metal. In 1999 they decided to work with synth arrangements so their band attracted a new member, after several of gigs they attracted their last member in the band and they changed their music style in atmospheric Black Death metal. After three demos they finally released their debut "Circadian Rhythm". This album contains 9 tracks of pure easy listening metal. All songs have a great variety and the production of this album is great. The structures of the songs are very well composed. The guitar riffs are very groovy and melodic and the drums are very technical but sound very relax. The vocals are very good, they've got black metal screams, death grunts combined with clean vocals. The finishing touch on this album is the synth that gives it a very dark and atmospheric feeling in every song. Well done guys! The best thing about this album is that if you put this in your CD player you won't put it of.
Visit their website: http://www.thurisaz.be
Recordlabel: http://www.shiver-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thurisazmusic

75/100

TOMMY MERRY – 3 (CD) USA July 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Guitar Rock Running time: 49:54 (Tracks: 11)
For the last decade Tomy Merry has been tearing up the fretboard with his passionate and high-energy instrumental music which has been featured on local radio shows, commercials and national TV shows. In 2006 he has had the privilege of sharing the spotlight with world renowned guitarists Eric Johnson, Gary Hoey and Foghat on an extreme sports video soundtrack. Past acts he has shared the stage with include Journey, Satriani, Metallica, Y&T and MacAlpine. Tommy's latest line-up, featuring drummer Brian Shearn and second guitarist James Beard, got its start in 1998. With the price money of two battle of the bands showcases they went into the studio to record their first cd "As Above…So Below". After another year and a half of playing live and refining their sound they went back into the studio to record their second cd "Drawing Down The Moon". Most recently Tommy Merry was awarded best guitarist for the third year in a row by the California Bands4Bands association. "3" is another fine instrumental guitar rock album. It features mostly songs in the style of Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson. Mostly calm, melodic compositions. Only "The Hell You Say!" and Rites Of Passage" are heavier songs. With "24 Caprices Op. 1" there's also a N. Paganini cover on "3".
Visit their website: http://www.tommymerry.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tommymerry

75/100

TWILIGHTNING – Swinelords (CD) Finland July 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Rock/Metal Running time: 44:53 (Tracks: 10)
Twilightning was formed in 1998.Till 2001 they released three demo's. As a result of these demo's, they signed a deal with Spinfarm Records at the end of 2001. In 2003 their first album "Delirium Veil" was released. On that album they played power metal in the vein of Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica and Edguy. One year later, "Plague-House Puppet Show" was released. With that album they also changed their style, which was much darker as their debut. "Swinelords" is their third fullength album, and it still sounds like their second album. These days they play a mix of metal, rock and even pop. Hard to give their style a name. Anyway, for me the only interesting parts on "Swinelords" are the good guitar solo's from Sartanen & Wallenius. I liked their debut very much, but now sound far too modern for me.
Visit their website: http://www.twilightning.net
Recordlabel: http://www.spinefarm.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/twilightningownass

65/100

UDO - Mastercutor (CD) Germany July 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 50:39 (Tracks:15)
Udo Dirkschneider was born at April the 6th 1952, exactly at 1pm in the beautiful town called Wuppertal. As the years were passing by, at the age of 12 he received a gift from his parents, a record from ‘The Beatles’. From then on he was obsessed by music. Then The Rolling Stones came into his life, and from that moment on The Beatles were only wimps. He had a really music minded youth and when he was sixteen he created his first band ”Band X". He played in clubs for 3 years and in the year 1971 Michael and himself changed the name of their Band. From that time on they were called "Accept". At the same time Michael faced himself with the fact that he was not a good guitar player, and he changed to studio work. It needed 4 years to find the right Line up which got the success to break through under the name “Accept”. After a band competition in Düsseldorf they got their first record deal in 1978. The band made some amazing records in the years 1979 till early 80’s and toured a lot with bands such as Judas Priest. Since 1987 the man went solo and "Mastercutor" is already Udo’s 14th full length album. And yes Udo didn’t lost his aggressive vocals which are his trademark. The new album is full of screaming powerfull heavy metal vocals with some great guitarwork of guitar player Stefan Kaufmann who came up with some excellent solos and riffs on the new album. The new Udo record has got the perfect balance between mid and up-tempo heavy metal. And the sound is still very authentic and maybe if I say that Animal House (1987) is still my favourite… Mastercutor is far from worse and maybe I can even say it’s Udo’s best record in the last five years! Metal On, great record !!!
Visit their website: http://www.udo-online.de/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/udoonline

80/100

VINTERSORG – Sollens Rotter (CD) Sweden July 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Nordic Folk Metal Running time: 52:57 (Tracks: 10)
Vintersorg started as early as 1994 as a black metal band with dark atmospheric influences named Vargatron (Wolfthrone) but after several of line-up changes that came to an end and Vintersorg was born. In 1998 they released their first MCD released by Napalm Records. In 1999 they released their debut "Odemarkens Son". After that they released several albums, their latest album "Solens Rotter" is even more folk combined with metal and even some pop influences in it. This new album contains 10 tracks of very melodic and clean metal. The production is all right. The guitar riffs are very melodic, with a lot of acoustic in it combined with heavy riffs. The drums are very clean not spectacular but good enough. The vocals are clean combined with screams. Overall this album is an album that you should give a change and listen to it more then once, because the first time I heard it I thought 'no thanks'. But after listening to it a couple of times I must confess it is a great musical journey with a lot feeling in it. The only thing I don't understand is Swedish so don't ask me were the lyrics are about? All though this is not my cup of tea, if you like bands like Solefald or Finntroll then you should give it a try
Visit their website: http://www.vintersorganic.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vintersorganic

70/100

WELKIN – The Origin (CD) Belgium July 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 35:43 (Tracks: 9)
Welkin was formed in 1997 and started as a death core band. After several line-up changes they decided to change their music in death metal and in 2000 they released their first demo. In 2002 they signed with The Spew Records and released their debut "Angel Inside". Now in 2007 they released their second album by Shiver Records and this album brings them right back in the picture. This album contains 9 tracks of progressive death metal. All songs have a lot of variety and the production of this album is great. The vocals are brutal but not in the sense of low grunts. Filthy screams and sometimes low and some hardcore screams (sometimes reminds of the new Aborted). The guitar riffs are very progressive and technical. The drums are pounding through every song with a lot of blasts and old school drums in it. All though all the songs have a lot of variety in it and the structure of the songs are great they sometimes sound very much a like (in my opinion). If you like bands like Aborted (new), Suhrim then you're going to enjoy this album.
Visit their website: http://www.welkin.be
Recordlabel: http://www.shiver-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sonicdeathmetal

70/100

ZION – Zion (CD) USA July 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: AOR Running time: 49:30 (Tracks: 11)
This is the first serious project of singer Freddy Curci after his participation in SHERIFF and ALIAS. I knew SHERIFF from a compilation cd with the song "When I'm With You" and that sounded great, so I was curious of this ZION project would bring me what I expected. His resumé certainly predicted that.
Well, to be honest about it, he had better left this project alone. There could not be more wrong with a cd than this one. Bad production, sounding like an old overused tape, lacking dynamics. Drums sound very demo-like, the guitarsound is hollow with glamrock-like distortion like in the eighties. Even the vocals are not what was to be expected. What the hell happened to Freddy?? The compositions, not thinking about the sound and performance, are OK but not more than that. I can only advise you to leave this release alone unless you are a major Freddy C. fan. He deserved much more than this, and I wonder why this was ever released….
Visit their website: http://www.freddycurci.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://myspace.com/freddycurci

51/100

JUNE

ABANDONED – Thrash You! (CD) Germany June 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 48:11 (Tracks: 14)
Abandoned brings back the bay area thrash metal, and how!! Their 2003 recorded demo 'Misanthrope' was announced as "demo of the month" by Germany's Rock Hard magazine. They also won the SIMeVIL talent award in 2005, and played lots of festivals like Rock Hard Open Air, Wacken Open Air, Earthshaker Open Air and Thrash 'em All to name a few. They recorded their debut album 'Thrash Notes' late 2005 at Hammer Music Studios, and now here is their follow up 'Thrash You!'. What can I say, I love this album, great thrash metal like in the best days of thrash metal, back in the eighties! They could well be compared with Testament, Slayer or Exodus, only difference is that their bay area is in the south of Hessen, Germany. Only great thrash songs on this album, like 'Visions Of Death', 'Disorder' or my personal favourite 'Feel The Fire', tight breaks, neckbreaking riffs, pure thrash as it supposed to be, fast and furious in your face, with tons of attitude and aggression, I want more…
Visit their website: http://www.abandoned.info
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.dockyard1.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/abandonedthrash

82/100

AGE OF NEMESIS – Terra Incognita (CD) Hungaria June 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Progressive Metal Running time: 67:42 (Tracks: 12)
Age Of Nemesis is a Hungarian prog metal band, which exist since 1997. Since the beginning they recorded their albums with Hungarian lyrics, but with "Eden", their third album, they switched to English lyrics. However, "Terra Incognita" was first also recorded in Hungarian for their home country but later they've translated the lyrics into English and re-recorded the cd for the rest of the world. The concept for "Terra Incognita" is based on a fictional story by guitarist Zoltan Fabian. The story is as if we would read it from a dead girl's diary. The girl has no name ; she could be anyone, or no one at all… .
It's the first time that I listen to an album of them, but they succeeded to impress me with their melodic prog metal compositions. The members are all well skilled musicians (listen only to the instrumental song "Inferno"), vocalist Zoltan Kiss sings in James LaBrie style, and the songs sound mostly like Dream Theater's best albums "Awake" and "Images And Words". Other influences which can be heard are Symphony X, Evergrey, Fates Warning, Kansas, Yes and Rush.
Visit their website: http://www.ageofnemesis.com
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ ageofnemesis

83/100

AITHER – Awoken From Beyond (CDemo) Italy June 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Symphonic Black Metal Running time: 9:48 (Tracks: 3)
After just three rehearsals with their to that date new line-up, Aither decided to record a demo cd by themselves in 2005. This demo is filled with a short intro and two symphonic black metal songs. I don't know much about this genre, but what I like of them are the short but very good guitar solo's in the style of Carl August Tidemann (from Winds/Arcturus). Currently the band is hardly working on the distribution of this demo and concentrating on the release of their next 5 track demo which combines the various influences of the members of Aither.
Visit their website: http://www.aither.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ aithercrew

66/100

ALTARIA – Divine Invitation (Compilation CD) Finland June 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 72:07 (Tracks: 19)
Altaria was formed by Tony (bass) and Marko (drums) in the year 2000 and after recording a couple of demos together with guitarist Jani (from Sonata Arctica) and various vocalists, both media and fans saw themselves forced to give this band a massive support. Their first album "Invitation" was very well received. With new vocalist Taage they had their second tour in January 2004 while the recordings of "Divinity" took place. The year 2006 saw the release of their third album "The Fallen Empire", a slightly harder album with less keyboards. This "Divine Invitation" album is a compilation album filled with the best tracks from their debut album "Invitation" and its follow-up "Divinity". It was also an excellent occasion to introduce their new vocalist Marco, who sings on the two new tracks "Keeper Of Mystique" and "Ball & Chain". As an extra there are also seven bonus tracks from their demos "Sleeping Visions" (2001) and "Feed The Fire" (2002). Altaria is a typical Scandinavian melodic metal band with catchy hooks, powerful riffs, controlled but striking heavyness and power, remarkable melodies and a versatile instrumentation. This compilation album shows how much the band has grown concerning songwriting, musicianship and vocal performance.
Visit their website: http://www.altariamusic.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ altariametal

76/100

BLACK THE SKY – Fully Simplistic Mechanics of Deformable Bodies (CD) USA June 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 28:44 (Tracks: 08)
Black the Sky is formed in 2004 by James Whitehurst (ex-Lividity…fucking great band) and Jeff Brooks (ex-Of Parting Worlds…never heard of it) as a project that came alive as a real band. After releasing a two song promo they signed with Epitome Productions. Their debut "Simplistic Mechanics of Deformable Bodies" contains 8 songs of fast death metal mixed with a little bit of hardcore flavour in it. All the songs have a lot of variety in it and the production of this album is very brutal. The guitar riffs are very old school, sometimes Scandinavian riffs combined with old school death riffs. The drums are very very straight in your face. And the vocals sound great even though it's more a hardcore voice (not my kind of grunt) combined with low grunts and lets not forget that like almost every new death metal band from America they also use intros through and before a song (guys the best one in my opinion is the Devils Rejects). If you like bands that sound like At the Gates mixed with old Napalm Death than you're going to like this album.
Recordlabel: http://www.epitomite.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blackthesky

70/100

BLOODBOUND – Book of the Dead (CD) Sweden June 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 56:29 (Tracks: 11)
In 2006, Swedish band Bloodbound debuted with "Nosferatu". This album made quite an impact, gaining the respect of the European power metal fans. Although the image of the band combined with the demonic figure on the cover pointed to a black metal band, Bloodbound delivered high quality power metal with classic influences. Singer of the band at the time was Urban Breed, a great vocalist well known from his past works with Swedish power progsters Tad Morose.
"Book of the Dead" features the same demonic figure on the cover (I think it became a mascot such as Eddie for Iron Maiden which is a strong influence for Bloodbound by the way…) and the same kind of music as on the debut. Only this time Urban Breed has been replaced by German vocal master Michael Bormann. No doubt I am a great Bormann fan but I only knew his melodic hard rock side as presented through his solo albums and his works with Rain, Jaded Heart, Sygnet, Charade, Zeno and more. This time he was challenged to reveal his power metal talents and I think he is doing more than great. Bormann is a vocal chameleon, adapting his voice with ease according to the required style. Bloodbound remains faithful to its sound, ballsy European power metal like Dream Evil and Brainstorm with galloping rhythms and great guitar. I won't bother comparing the two albums of the band; I think you should own them both.
Visit their website: http://www.bloodbound.se
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bloodboundonline

88/100

BURN – Hardrock Las Vegas (CDemo) The Netherlands June 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 6:35 (Tracks: 1)
"Burn" is a Dutch band that recently won the Starsound 2007 competition. They claim to be a "new wave of Dutch heavy metal" band playing honest and passionate hardrock and metal. The band already found their way into clubs and smaller festivals, and will release a new EP on June 11th this year.
Although I must take into account that these guys (ages between 16 and 22) are very young, this cd single is obviously an early stage for them. The composition is OK but no better than that, and I hope that they will eventually progress in the near future.
Musically, it is quite good what they bring us listeners. It is common knowledge that Holland has no trunk full of great vocalists, and "Burn" hasn't found another trunk as well. I see more future for them in performing rather than recording, however I realise that every band wishes to offer their fans something new and official.
This CD single also offered a video of their performance during the final of Starsound 2007, and also their website offers downloads such as this particular song and some videos as well. Go ahead and check them out.

Visit their website: http://www.burnmusic.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/burnmusic

70/100

COLLARBONE – The Back Of Beyond (CD) Finland June 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Alternative Rock Running time: 36:48 (Tracks: 11)
Collarbone is a new band that hails from Finland, and just released their debut album 'The Back Of Beyond' on Spinefarm. They started their career by winning a Finnish 'Battle of the Bands' contest. This album has a big American influence in it's sound, you wouldn't guess they are from Finland when you hear this album for the first time, not surprisingly their first single of the album 'The Last Call' is already played a lot on Finnish radio. The sound of Collarbone is really radiofriendly commercial rock, in the veins of Papa Roach, The Rasmus, and that kind of bands. They have some nice grooves on the album, and a very good production, the singer sounds a bit to 'sweet' for me, but hé, they do a good job and deliver a great sounding album with a lot of potential airplay songs on it like opener 'Seafarer's song' or 'Four Walls' or…well almost every song on this album actually. The album is full of good quality songs, all well done by this skilled band, so if you are into this kind of metal, you should check em out cause they are one of the better one's in their genre.
Visit their website: http://www.collarbone.org
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
MySpace: http:www.myspace.com/collarboneband

88/100

DESECRATION – Process of Decay (CD) England June 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 28:37 (Tracks: 9)
Desecration is formed in 1993. In 1995 they released their debut LP "Gore and Perversion". Now this album made history in England and was banned by the police for its obscurity. This band has got a lot of releases on their name and their latest album "Process of Decay" released by Epitomite Records is fucking brutal. Ravaging guitar riffs, heavy and fucking technical, the vocalist sounds like its been caught out of the sewer and the drums with brutal blast beats finish this album to a master peace. Even though I never heard of this band, in the English underground they're well respected and I can understand that. The production of this album is very good and the music has a lot variety in it. If you like brutal bands like old Suffocation or Cannibal Corpse than buy this album.
Visit their website: http://www.desecration.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.epitomite.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/desecrationuk

80/100

DIAL – Synchronized (CD) The Netherlands / Sweden June 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 51:57 (Tracks: 11)
Dial is a Dutch based Progressive rock band that emerged in 2003. Swedish bass player Kristoffer Gildenlow of Pain of Salvation fame became a member and a coule of years later he passed on to permanent member status after his departure from P.o.S. in 2006.
Listening to "Synchronized", I found it quite difficult to locate elements that would get me through the entire listen. Maybe I am not the suitable person for this kind of music, I was never a fan of Pain of Salvation or prog rock anyway. The band is female fronted (Liselotte Hegt, ex-Cirrha Niva) and its basic elements are atmospheric parts with piano and samples, pitch shifted vocals and very slow musical parts. There are some quite strange tracks like "Candyland", a song that could be a carousel ride soundtrack or "Wounded" which is like a Bjork song. Psychotic Waltz mastermind Devon Graves has contributed some vocal parts while being also the producer. Well, there is nothing more to write, visit the band's myspace page in order to listen to the music and judge for yourselves.
Recordlabel: http://www.progrockrecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thebanddial

40/100

DRIFT EFFECT – Be Something (CD) USA June 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Alternative Rock Running time: 39:43 (Tracks: 12)
Drift Effect is a new band who just delivered their debut full length album 'Be Something' on Salt Line Records. They found middle ground amongst their varied taste in music. Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Audioslave, Incubus and the Deftones had inspired them individually, and they had combined these influences into something new. In the summer of 2006 Drift Effect was invited to play the Vans Warped Tour, this amazing experience made them realize that making music their career was a realistic goal. In January of 2007 , the band began work on their debut album 'Be Something' with Nashville producer Chris Mara. And now this is the result of their hard work, for anyone of you who is still wondering what they sound like, see above mentioned bands, their singer even sounds like Eddie Vedder. I can't say it's bad at all, although it has little to do with metal, this music will appeal to a more mainstream crowd I guess. Lot's of potential hits on here, like opener 'Shake', or 'Listen to Me' or 'No Rides', I do think they will get their share of airplay, and get picked up by a big commercial label, but not at all my cup of tea, but for fans of before mentioned bands, you can't go wrong with this one!
Visit their website: http://www.drifteffect.com
Promotion: http://www.moxiestar.net/

65/100

ELDRITCH – Blackenday (CD) Italy June 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Progressive Thrash Metal Running time: 51:05 (Tracks: 12)
Eldritch was formed in 1991 and after the completing of their line-up and the release of two high quality demo tapes they found in 1993 with Limb Schnoor a competent manager and music publisher. In 1995 and 1997 they released two very interesting progressive metal albums with "Seeds of Rage" and "Headquake". With the release of "El Nino" in 1998 things changed musically. They added more aggressive elements to their music. That was for me also the moment to stop buying their albums because I didn't like their new direction they went. "Blackenday" is already their 7th studio album and they are still playing a mix of progressive metal with more aggressive power and thrash influences. Somewhat inbetween Pain of Salvation, Annihilator, Fates Warning, Metallica, Pantera and Anthrax. Sorry guys for me not my cup of tea anymore because they now sound quite boring!
Visit their website: http://www.eldritchweb.com
Recordlabel: http://www.limb-music.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ neighbourhell

72/100

FULLY CONSUMED – Fully Consumed (CD) USA June 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Progressive Death Metal Running time: 33:41 (Tracks: 10)
Fully Consumed is a relative new name in the metal scene. The band was formed 2003 and released their first domo in 2003. All though theyre a new name they have already toured with bands like Cryptopsy, Suffocation, Krisiun, Immolation and Hate Eternal. In 2006 they signed with Epitome Productions and released their debut "Fully Consumed". This contains 10 tracks of very progressive and brutal death metal. Most of the time the really freaky death metal gets on my nerves but this album doesn't. The guitar riffs are very technical and freaky but not annoying. The drums are very fast and thrashy. The vocalist uses different kind of grunts. But mostly a grunt with scream. The music reminds me a lot of Cryptopsy (very good). The production of this album is great and the variety in the songs are good enough. If you like bands that sound like Cryptopsy than you should definitely check this album!!!!
Visit their website: http://www.fullyconsumed.com
Recordlabel: http://www.epitomite.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fullyconsumed

75/100

HYBRID – The Will to Create (CD) Greece June 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 47:02 (Tracks: 9)
Hybrid is a Greek band that emerged in 2000 with the "Pain is Pleasure" demo. In 2003 the band released its second demo "Into the Deep". In 2007, Secret Port Records signed Hybrid and "The Will to Create" is the debut album for these five talented guys. The record company refers to the band's music as progressive thrash metal but I would say that "The Will to Create" contains mostly some new age power metal. The vocals are clean and melodic (the accent could be a bit better though). Some will find a few Nevermore references, others might spot a resemblance to later Megadeth. I personally think that Hybrid has developed something of a personal style with lots of atmospheric parts and a prog approach. I really liked the guitar work, the solos are great and some riffs are quite impressive. Note that the album was produced by Greek guitar hero Theodore Ziras (you should check his stuff too). This is a very professional work and all those interested in such kind of music should buy this one.
Recordlabel: http://www.secretport.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hybridgr

77/100

IRON FIRE – Blade of Triumph (CD) Denmark June 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Power Metal Running time: 54:50 (Tracks: 11)
Ever since I reviewed their last cd 'Revenge', I was awaiting their follow up album, and now it's here 'Blade of Triumph'. One thing is for sure, they didn't disappoint me at all, what a great album they delivered again. True power metal at it's best, by teaming up with Frederik Nordstrom, one of Europe's most revered producers, the band achieved an immaculate sound, while still delivering their heroic power metal! With the recognizable and unique vocals of Martin Steene, in your face drumwork and heavy guitars, and a great production, this album sounds amazing. Great songs like opener 'Dragonheart', 'Bloodbath of Knights' and 'Bridges Will Burn' as one of my favourite, on this album will appeal to every traditional true metalhead. This is 100% genuine true Danish Power Metal Dynamite! Not a bad song to discover on this album, I know this one will play it's rounds in my cd player for some time to come. Each time you listen to the album you discover new things in there, let the 'Steel Invaders' march on, on the 'Gladiator's Path' with their 'Blade of Triumph'! I can't wait to see them play live…
Visit their website: http://www.ironfire.dk
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officialironfire

87/100

IRON SAVIOR – Megatropolis (CD) Germany June 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Power Metal Running time: 45:36 (Tracks: 9)
Iron Savior is the brainchild of Piet Sielck, a down to earth jeans and T-shirt guy from Hamburg.Piet is known throughout the metal community for producing bands like Saxon and Blind Guardian, and to some for playing a central role in forming the embryo of the now legendary Helloween.After ten years behind the mixing desk, Piet felt the urge to grab his guitar again but his plans to make "Iron Savior" (1996) a one-off project album fell apart when the outfit was offered a gig at the mighty Wacken Open Air.Other albums ("Unification" and "Interlude" in 1999, "Dark Assault" in 2001, "Condition Red" in 2002, "Battering Ram" in 2004 – all released through Noise Records) and important tours and festivals followed through the years, and they became more and more known.In June of this year Iron Savior's new label, Dockyard1, of which Piet is the owner, will release "Megatropolis".Once again Piet and his other bandmembers have managed to release another interesting heavy/power metal album. Most songs are straightforward up-tempo heavy metal tunes, with heavy riffs and melodic solo's, Piet's powerful and raw vocals, and with a very good production. When I listen to their new album, I still can hear several Judas Priest influences, but together with Primal Fear, Wizard, Gamma Ray and Freedom Call they are for the moment one of the best German heavy/power metal bands.
Visit their website: http://www.iron-savior.com
Recordlabel: http://www.dockyard1.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ ironsaviorofficial

83/100

JAYCE LANDBERG – Lost Without You (EP) Sweden June 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 10:45 (Tracks:3)
Swedish guitarist and composer Erik Jayce Landberg was born in Switzerland. Growing up, he lived in both countries and absorted both their cultures. At an early age, Jayce developed a strong intrest in art and especially music. Soon he began composing as well as writing poetry. Following a permanent relocation to Sweden he began playing in several bands. For this EP he recruted famous vocalist Göran Edman with who he recorded two great melodic rock songs. The first song "Lost Without You" starts already with an impressive Yngwie-wise guitarspot, and continues into a superb mid-tempo melodic rock song. Second track "Marilyn" starts with a piano intro and is a kind of balladesque composition. "Lulluby" is a short laidback acoustic guitar song. I really am impressed by Jayce's songwriting ability, his guitar parts/solo's (laidback Yngwie-style) and of course the excellent vocal performance of Göran! I nearly can't wait to listen to his full-length album, out to be soon I hope.
Visit their website: http://www.jaycelandberg.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ landbergmusic

86/100

JOE LYNN TURNER – Second Hand Life (CD) USA June 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 50:00 (Tracks: 11)
Joe Lynn Turner is one of my favourite rock vocalists. This man has accomplice the toughest tasks of them all. He replaced Ian Gillan in Deep Purple releasing the fantastic Slaves and Masters album, he did the same with Ronnie James Dio and Rainbow, not to mention Brazen Abbot and Malmsteen, plus he has established a solo career most singers would envy. He has influenced some of the greatest frontmen of our times like Jeff Scott Soto and every album he participates in is a must buy.
"Second Hand Life" is a classic J.L.T. album. Melodic and Bluesy with the man giving some great performances. Time passes by so easily while listening to this album that you will find yourself pressing play over and over again just to listen to all these great songs again from the start. "Stroke of Midnight is a song co-written by melodic rock masterminds Ritchie Blackmore, Jim Peterik and Roger Glover. The entire album has a Survivor-meets-Deep Purple style while J.L.T. himself considers it a cross between his last solo effort "Usual Suspects" and his Sundstorm project. One way or another you must get this record and listen to some quality music. J.L.T. has done wonderful again!
Visit their website: http://www.joelynnturner.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/joelynnturner

88/100

JK NORTHRUP – Wired In My Skin (CD) USA June 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 39.59 (Tracks: 11)
We have to go back a long way in music history to find JK Northrup, as guitarist for XYZ and King Kobra III; this guy has toured, played and recorded with a lot of well known musicians throughout the years (starting way back in 1982), most prominently with Paul Shortino. He is also songwriter for loads of artists (he co-wrote a song for Foreigner's "Unusual Heat"album). Now he has surrounded himself with lots of excellent musicians for this album. Amongst them are John Edwards, Kelly Keeling, Ted Poley, just to mention a few. That would mean this is a killer album! Well….it is and it isn't. The overall sound is too familiar to call this an original sounding piece of work. Musicians are delivering excellent work, although JK's play is not really my cup of tea. His solowork to me is not always as solid as it should be, with sometimes too much emphasis on speed rather than melody. For "Big Blue Sky" he used Kelly Keeling as vocalist; I don't know if Kelly is happy with the outcome, and I am a huge admirer of Kelly's vocal capacities, but he had better left this untouched. Terry Ilous' performance on "The Road" is surprisingly good! I already said the quality of the songmaterial is not steady. "Big Blue Sky" , "Mark My Territory" and "Metamorphosis"are out of tune with the rest of the album being more melodic. I think JK has tried to put more metal into the album and I wonder if his fans agree with it. I know I don't. I'll stick to re-listen to "Wired In My Skin" and "The Road".
Visit their website: http://www.jknorthrup.8k.com
Recordlabel: http://www.alien-records.com

70/100

KHALLICE– The Journey(CD) Brazil June 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 56:33 (Tracks: 9)
Khallice, the band of founder/guitarist Marcelo Barbosa, played in the beginning covers from Rush, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple.After the release of two demo's, vocalist Alirio Netto (who has performed the role of Jesus in the Brazilian and Mexican casts of Jesus Christ Superstar) joined them.With him, the band soon started the recordings of their English language debut album."The Journey" is composed of new tunes and rebuilt versions of songs written since the beginning of the band. Influences from past and present bands which can be heard are Shadow Gallery but especially Dream Theater and Rush.They mix their progmetal songs with progrock, jazzrock and fusion.The keyboards add 70's/80's touches to their music, Alirio's vocals reach close to James LaBrie voice, and Marcelo is for me the star of this band with his great guitarparts and solo's.Maybe the only complaint is that their compositions might be a bit too technical/complex for the moment.
Visit their website: http://www.khallice.com.br
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ khallice

79/100

LUCTUS / ARGHARUS - Sonitus Caeli Ardentis (Split CD) Lithuania June 2007 Suzanne de Volder - Ruiter
Style: Black Metal Running time: 46:36 (Tracks: 10)
What a pleasant surprise, this split cd!! The bands were unknown to me but that changed immediately after I played this cd. The booklet looks good, the lyrics for Luctus are mostly in English and Argharus is written in Lithuanian. Both bands used different studio's to record their music but the production for both bands is good! Sonitas Caeli Ardentis is released a few months ago, March 13 th.
It starts off with 6 songs from Luctus, which is basically a one-man-band with a drum computer. Luctus does everything by himself, vocals, guitar and bass guitar. The band as it is now started in 2001 by a guy named Simonas aka Luctus, he recorded 2 demo's in 2002 ("My sorrow in the lifeless landscapes") and 2003 ("The dawn ov the eclipsed desperation"). Musically these demo's were completely different then their music nowadays. The style changed in 2004 with the recording of the mini cd "Ad Arma!", it became more aggressive and powerful. With this release Luctus became well known in the Lithuanian metal scene, he also formed a live band around him to do several live gigs (with a Italian drummer, because Luctus lived in Rome for a number of years). The songs on this split cd were recorded in March 2006 and only later that year it was decided to use them on this release. It is also the first recording what is released by an official label! A new (live) line up has been found to do live shows in Lithuania and Italy and play at festivals in Lithuania: Luctus - (guitars, bass, vocals), Sergejus - (session drummer) & Justinas - (session bass player).
And what about the music on this cd ?? Well I can tell you that it sounds really aggressive and brutal with a mean and aggressive grunt and fast drums! This is how black metal should be, without compromise and grim. You can buy this cd without hesitation; it will not disappoint you at all! Luctus does not use corpse paint as a lot of other Black Metal bands do, but that doesn't spoil the fun at all, I would really like to hear more of this band in the near future!!
Argharus is the second band on Sonitas Caeli Ardentis, the band is quite a new band and this is the first recording the band made. The band was formed in 2004 and the guys spend nearly two years on writing songs and finding their own identity and style as a band. In 2006 they presented themselves on the Tvaikas III festival and were "the talk of the town" for a long while! After a few more festivals in 2006 and 2007 Argharus signed up with Ledo Takas Records and went into the studio for the recording of the 4 songs to be released on Sonitas Caeli Ardentis. The music can be described as brutal Death Metal; I don't see it as Black Metal to be honest. But how a style is categorised is not important, Argharus is a talented new band and they have a lot of potential! The music is fierce and fast, not in the style of Luctus but still loud and blasphemous. Line up: Auktuma- bass, vocals Furor- guitar Pestiferos- guitar Opacus- drums You can buy this cd without hesitation; it will not disappoint you at all! I think that it is a good idea to keep an eye on the Lithuanian metal scene…
Visit their website: http://www.luctus.net
Recordlabel: http://www.ledotakas.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ledotakasrecords

85/100

MARTIE PETERS GROUP – Road To Salvation (CD) Denmark June 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 55:21 (Tracks: 12)
Martie Peters began his career with his self-formed band "Push", releasing 4 albums until 2002 with moderate success. After the band split up, Martie lend his musical capacities to Mike Tramp (White Lion) helping out on two soloalbums. Martie composed an anthem for a Danish soccer club back in 2006. His bio shows some names of people that influenced him. Between those names, his friend Mike Tramp, Bryan Adams, Def Leppard and Rod Stewart, just to name a few.
These names, which I of course did not pick at random, represent for me the style that Martie shows on his new album. Sound structures are not original, his voice sounds like Mike Tramp and I hear some edge like Rod Stewart's, but what he does on the album is quite agreeable. This is hardrock with just a tiny little metal, a tiny bit of punk, but recorded and played to my liking. This album has no songs that stand out, this album is one to play when you're sitting on your couch and listen to good music. Nice to see that Denmark is bigger than Lars Ulrich (and of course that was a joke).
Visit their website: http://www.martiepeters.com
Promotion: http://www.artistworxx.de
Recordlabel: http://www.nldistribution.de/

82/100

MESSENGER – Under The Sign (CD) Germany June 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: True Heavy / Power Metal Running time: 42:06 (Tracks: 11)
German heavy metallers Messenger started their career in the year 1990 to play real traditional true heavy/power metal. The band released five records and one sampler in the past 16 years. This German metalband from the area of Neunkirchen (Saarland) sounds like Grave Digger, Helloween, Hammerfall, Metal Inquisitor, Sacred Steel and yes,ofcourse the mighty mighty Manowar! Strong melodic heavypower metal with good variation and some fantastic vocals with ofcourse: yes yes the great typical German accent,I love it !
Ofcourse the songs are inspired by the trueness of real heavy metal. That's why "Kill The Dj" is the best song on the record! This metalsong shows that the world sucks big time and there is only one thing to survive and to live, listen to real heavy metal !!! Great album and I really like to have them onstage in Tilburg some day ! Messenger: great True heavy metal from Germany !!!
Visit their website: http://www.messengerband.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.m-system.de/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/messengermetal

82/100

MONSTROSITY – Spiritual Apocalypse (CD) USA June 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 46:02 (Tracks: 10)
Monstrosity is a respected death metal in the scene. They released their first demo 1991 and signed with Nuclear Blast and released their debut "Imperial Doom". In 1996 they released their second album "Millenium" (great album) by Conquest Music and in 1999 their 3rd album "In Dark Purity" also by Conquest Music after that they released two more albums and now their latest album "Spiritual Apocalypse" released by Metal Blade. This album contains 10 tracks of pure old school death metal. All the songs have a lot variety in it. The songs are very good composed and the production is very masterly good. The guitar riffs are progressive, fast and technical combined with some melody in it. The drums are straight in your face with blast beats combined with a groovy beat in it. The vocals are very dark, and for a grunt it's even well to understand the lyrics (don't hear that a lot in the death metal).Monstrosity is a death metal band that never delivered a bad album in their 15 year carrier but this album is definitely their best! Check out this record or better said buy it.
Visit their website: http://www.monstrosity.us
Recordlabel: http://www.metalblade.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/monstrosity1

85/100

PALACE – Black Sun (CD) Germany June 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: True Heavy Metal / Hardrock Running time: 41:19 (Tracks: 9)
This German Band plays Hard n' Heavy Rockmusic since 1990. Four committed musicians present a powerful mix of up-tempo songs and heavy grooves. The union formed over years led to an original style of their own,without neglecting new ideas and trends. The first record (Toy of Rage) appeared in 1996, the second album (Unsolved;1999) combines the musically diversity with the experience of numerous gigs. The 2003 record (Machine Evolution) convinces through stylistics compactness and intricate recording. It received only positive reviews in Germany and abroad. 2004: the final of the German Rock awards in Hamburg were reached. In the meantime a lot of concerts in clubs and at festivals followed which were partly done as support of internationally well-known groups. The band approaches the crowd live with an energy that can grip and enthuse. Black Sun was released in 2006 and sounds like a typical true heavy metalband in the vein of bands like: Accept, Stormwitch, Grave Digger and Steeler ! Old fashioned hardrock/heavy metal with no modern elements. I'm sure songs about "Women In Leather" says enough about the spirit of this oldschool metalband from Germany ! I think traditional headbangers will love it !!
Visit their website: http://www.palace-music.de/
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/palacemusicde

70/100

PANTHEON I - The Warrior and his Shadow (CD) Norway June 2007 Suzanne de Volder - Ruiter
Style: Epic Black Metal Running time: 42:19 (Tracks: 8)
There are a lot of good bands coming from Norway and this is one of them. This band from former 1349 guitarist Andre Kvebek (Tjalve) started in 2002 with Tor Risdal Stavernes (Seideman, also- and still- from 1349, Koldbrann) on bass, John Espen Sagstad, guitar and Eirik Renton on drums. In 2004 the line up was completed with Live Julianne on cello and Gunhild Olaussen on violin. He left in 2006 end Erik left the band in 2005 and was replaced by a drummer from England, Dan Theobald. In 2003 the band recorded a demo simply called " MMIII" and was for promotional use only, it got a lot of attention so in 2004 a 7 inch vinyl was recorded with two songs and self released. In the summer of the same year the guys and girl started recording the first full length album "Atrocity Divine" which contains 11 songs. It took about a year later in 2006 before it was released because 2005 was mostly spend on playing live shows. But also in the summer of 2006 the band started to record this album and lucky for them they signed a contract with Candlelight Records in September!
So now in April 2007 the second full length album of Pantheon I has been released:" The Wanderer and his Shadow"! Pantheon I is a good technical band who knows how this music must be played. But with a few critical side lines on this new released cd. It is fast and well played with technical breaks and tempo changes but the vocals however, are to my taste, not aggressive enough and a little monotonous. It al sounds a bit over composed, eager to make a good cd, it sacrificed spontaneity and that is a pity. The violin and cello give it atmosphere but do not belong to a Black Metal band I think. But don't misunderstand it, this is a good cd an certainly worthy of your attention. So check it out for yourself!
Visit their website: http://www.pantheon-I.com
Recordlabel: http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pantheoni

77/100

PATOLOGICUM – Hecatomb of aberration / Promo 2006 (CD & CDemo) Poland June 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Gore Grind Death Metal Running time: 28:45 (Tracks: 14)
Patologicum is formed in 1999 and plays fucking brutal shit. They've released their debut "Hecatomb of Aberration" in 2003. All though this is an old album I have to say that this is fucking sick shit. The guitars are very heavy and have a great old school groove in it. Almost every song starts with an intro of a film or somebody shitting. The drums are very pounding and not to fast. The production of this album is very good and sounds great. I`ve saved the best for last, the vocalist has a very very low and filthy grunt that almost make you wonder if they use a pitch. Well they don't so the only thing I can say is respect. Their latest promo 2006 is even more brutal. I must confess that I am very curious if they can produce this vocal live. So if you like bands that sound like Mortician or Cock and Ball Torture then you're going to enjoy this shit.
Visit their website: http://www.patologicum.prv.pl
Recordlabel: http://www.crudeent.isk.net.pl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/patologicum

70/100

PRIVATEER – The Traitors (CD) Poland June 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Power Metal Running time: 43:36 (Tracks: 11)
Privateer was founded on 5th July 2005. The original line-up included Andrzej "Skorgan" Pichlinski (bass, backing vocals), Tomasz "Hannibal" Bator (guitars) and Wojtek Sypek (drums). The band started with playing cover songs of bands such as 'Nightwish' (Wishmaster) and 'Helloween' (Future World). They did so for their own pleasure, curious to see, if it is possible to play such music in Poland, if there are people to play with and to play for. In August Slawek "Coyote" Kramarski (keys) joined the band. In the middle of September, after the departure of Wojtek Sypek, Xen (drums) joined the band. Szymon "Pudel" Kostro joined the band in November, and Privateer recorded their first mini album "Monolith". This is the beginning of the great history....The year 2006 brought this Polish band a great 'high class' power-metal album. Not really my style of music but definitely not bad at all. The Traitors is a melodic metal album in the vein of bands such as: 'Sonata Artica', 'Stratovarius' and 'Blind Guardian'. Fast and strong mainstream heavy/power metal with lots of double bases and strong guitar and keyboard riffs. The vocals are perfect for the style of music this band plays and they are clear/healthy and sometimes even a bit high. Fans of melodic/commercial power metal will absolute love this record ! For me it sounds a bit too mainstream. Good luck guys, I think there will be absolute a market for this new young band from Cracow Poland.
Visit their website: http://www.privateerband.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/privateermusic

70/100

SATYRIAN - Eternitas (CD) Germany June 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Gothic rock Running time: 55:13 (Tracks: 12)
Satyrian goes back to 2002, where guitarist/composer Jan Yrlund (Ex-Ancient Rites, Imperia) forms a gothic band, then called Danse Macabre. Their debut album "Eve" was recorded earlier and it was time for this next album, when the band went on tour and the album did not finish earlier than 2004. The rights of that album were transferred to another label (Lion Music) who finally released the album.
Having two male and two female vocalists, one can imagine that the vocals will be prominent. Well….they are, but not in the way I like them to be. The female leading vocals have a strong German accent and are not sounding gothic at all, more pop. The music to me sounds simple, efforts are made to make it sound gothic by using keyboards, but they somehow disturb me. I like the guitar parts…but that's it. I hear other influences (Rammstein, medieval music) but this album does not impress me one minute. Visually (but that is not a leading factor), they have a beautiful singer (Judith Stüber; check the website!!) but musically I think there is far more than met my ears so far.
Visit their website: http://www.satyrian.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/satyrian

60/100

STORMAGE – Balance Of Power ( CD ) Germany June 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Power Heavy Metal Running time: 60:12 (Tracks: 14)
German metallers Stormage from Plettenberg (North-Rhine/Westphalia) were created in 2002 and play American Powermetal. You can not put Stormage in one particular genre because they really have an own original sound. You can describe this young German band as a band in the vein of bands as Metal Church, Jag Panzer, Crimson Glory, Gamma Ray and even a bit Iron Maiden. The band has got some great headbanging mid tempo pumping rhythms and a great aggressive vocalist. Sometimes singer “Heiko Heseler” even reminds me of Andi Deris (Pink Cream 69 and Helloween.). I really think the most traditional and modern power metal fanatics will clap their hands if they listen to this great German metal record. Balance Of Power is a great piece of metal and a album which makes you want much more. Keep On The Good Work Guys !!
Visit their website: http://www.stormage-metal.de/
Recordlabel: http://www.m-system.de/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stormagemusic

75/100

STYX (with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra) – One With Everything (CD) USA June 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hard Rock Running time: very long.... (Tracks: 13)
Styx are US Rock legends. Their name became synonymous with the symphonic orchestrated rock format that was to later termed 'Pomp Rock'. Styx's status was such that they hold the record for being the first ever band to gain triple platinum honors with four consecutive album releases. The band's cooperation with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra (made up of 115 musicians aged between 15 and 19 years old) started last year when the band was asked to join the Orchestra for a concert. On May 25, 2006, Styx took the stage in Cleveland for a new venture accompanied by the 115 piece Contemporary Youth Orchestra and a 60 member chorus. With a setlist that combined some of the band's classics, two brand new songs and more. But they missed a few classics in the process. What happened to "Babe"(especially with an orchestra!)? Although the matching of Styx with this orchestra is a good one, the band sounds a bit out of date, although I particularly enjoyed "Blue Collar man"(despite a few mistakes) and "Miss America". They should have left out Beatles-cover "I Am The Walrus"; why on earth did they want to play that? I guess this cd (and there's a DVD, too) is one for a rainy Sunday afternoon when you look back at all those bands from the eighties.
Visit their website: http://www.styxworld.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/styxmuzik

77/100

WINTERBORN – Cold Reality (CD) Finland June 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 53:42 (Tracks: 9)
Finnish band Winterborn is the latest addition to the Massacre Records camp. Massacre has a tradition concerning power metal bands and Winterborn could be no exception. Formed in late 2004, this five piece group released this debut album two years later. Winterborn is something more than the average power metal band. You can trace melodic rock and progressive metal influences in the band's music. There are a lot of keyboards but in a secondary role because the protagonists in Winterborn are the guitars and vocals, both doing a great job. Vocalist Teemu Koskela reminded me of British legend Steve Grimmet, he owns a powerful and melodic voice that will impress you. The music reminded me of another great Finnish band, Tarot (featuring Nightwish member Marco Hietala, check them out!) but also brought Malmsteen and Symphony X to mind. This is a listen well worth of your time and money.
Visit their website: http://www.massacre-records.de/
Recordlabel: http://www.winterborn.info
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/winterbornband

83/100

MAY

AGANKAST – Welcome to Insanitarium (CDemo) Scotland May 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 41:04 (Tracks: 8)
Agankast was formed in 2005 by ex-Atomkraft guitarist Rob Matthew Redhead, who, after leaving Atomkraft in 1989, returned to academic studies gaining honours in graphic design and illustration before spending the remainder of the 90's travelling the world. Rob relocated to Britain in 2002, where following Atomkraft's "Anthology" release on Sanctuary Records he returned to metal forming new band 'Agankast'. They already released their self produced debut album "Dance Of The Dead" in 2005, and now their follow up "Welcome To Insanitarium". The album is produced by Rob himself, and sounds quit good for a self produced album, the music speaks for itself, old school thrash metal! Not a bad album at all, some great songs on there, like opener "Reign Of Terror", blasts full speed out of the speakers. I do wonder why they haven't been picked up by any label, cause they make some great music and have strong songs that stand out, but that can only be a question of time I think. Only thing I can say is, that with a bigger budget, they could make a better produced sounding album, cause it sounds a bit thin, but the songs are great listen to. "More Meat?" or "Within Darkness" all done well I must admit, there lies a great future ahead of them I guess when picked up by the right record label. Can't wait to see them perform live…
Visit their website: http://www.agankast.com

74/100

ANTHROPIA – The Ereyn Chronicles – Part I (CD) France May 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Fantasy Progressive Metal Running time: 68:19 (Tracks: 10)
Anthropia is the creation of Hugues Lefebvre (Hugo), who studied classical guitar from the age of six till eighteen. The story of this album started in 2003, when Hugo got in touch with Quentin Borderie, the author of a fantastic story, which captured Hugo's imagination. "The Ereyn Chronicles – Part I", a fantasy-based concept album, is the first of 3 parts of the story. It takes place in the fictional world of Ereyn, ruled by Queen Lunne. The land has fallen in chaos. The main character, Amryl, is on a mission to find the all-knowing oracle which will save his people. Part I ends as our soon-to-be hero thinks that his journey and existence are over. It took Hugo one year of hard work to complete the songs, arrangements and lyrics. Except of a few guest appearances and the help of drummer Damien Rainaud, Hugo did everything by himself! Now he has got a very professional team of musicians to play live shows. The first album of Anthropia is an excellent mixture of bombastic prog/sympho metal, classical heavy riffs, great keyboard/guitar solo's and beautiful chorusses. Influences from several styles/bands can be heard such as Dream Theater, Symphony X, Rhapsody Of Fire, Malmsteen, Megadeth, Pain Of Salvation, Shadow Gallery, Kansas and Rush. There are many tempo changes and great musicianship from Hugo himself. Also his vocals are topnotch for this kind of music. "The Ereyn Chronicles – Part I" is an adventurous, complex journey into prog/sympho metal land!
Visit their website: http://www.anthropia.org
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/anthropiachronicles

91/100

AUTUMN – My New Time (CD) The Netherlands May 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Nu-Metal Running time: 48:30 (Tracks: 11)
Autumn is a band from The Netherlands, founded in 1995. After the albums "When Lust Evokes The Curse" and "Summer's End", giving them a fanbase in the goth-rock scene, the band changed its line-up with an extra guitarplaayer and the replacement of founding member and bassplayer Meindert Sterk. The result of getting a new record deal with Metal Blade Records is their new album "My New Time" which is indeed a new step in the bands' career.
The band has indeed changed their style of music. Where the band were seen as a gothic rock/metal act during the first two albums, this one will change a lot. There is no gothic edge to the music anymore and sometimes I think I hear nu-metal with some elements that I don't particularly like. Singer Nienke de Jong, a very nice, friendly and warm personality, has twintoned singing in some songs that disturb me and sometimes her English is taking away my attention; also some keyboardparts are also very disturbing. Judging the album as a whole, it is a strong album that might cause a breakthrough in other countries. For my taste, there are too little songs ('Closest Friend Conspire' and 'Twisted and Turned') that keep playing in my mind. Although I hope that this sympathetic band will get their share of fame and sales, I fear that this album won't do the trick.
Visit their website: http://www.autumn-band.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.metalblade.de/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/autumnband

70/100

AXEHAMMER - Windrider (CD) USA May 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: US/True Metal Running time: 44:58 (Tracks: 10)
American Axehammer was born in April 1982 by good old friends: Jerry Watt (guitars) and Kit Carlson (bass). They had the same taste of music and wanted to make real true metal in a Town called Los Angeles. The group was not a typical L.A. band but did play shows in clubs like: the Woodstock Club in Orange County, Gazzaries in Hollywood, the Troubadour, the Whisky-A-Go-Go, and so on... A young L.A. band named 'Slayer' even opened for Axehammer in the first half of the 80's !!! Watt, Carlson, Sky and Ramp tried different things - like adding a second guitar player, Jim Bratton - but he left soon. 1985's Satan's Revenge compilation record has a picture of the band with Jim, but he was never on any Axehammer recordings. Axehammer was neither glam or thrash, so it was very hard in a town like L.A ! The debut Axehammer CD, titled "Lord of the Realm, was released in 1998, sixteen years after after their start in 1982 ! The album is a must for US Metal Fanatics !!! The Year 2006 was time for a great Us Metal album as well! "Windrider" is produced by legendary Bill Metoyer, (famous from his work with bands like: Sacred Reich, DRI, Flotsam & Jetsam, Omen, Helstar, Trouble, Fates Warning and ofcourse Slayer) and mixed by Eric Rachel (Gothic Knights, Manilla Road and Overlorde)! Axehammer sounds powerfull, strong and absolutely metal ! Vocalist Bill Ramp has a really powerfull, clean screaming high voice ! It’s a pitty he left the band and nowadays the vocals are replaced by Mark Stewart. Never heard this guy singing but it will be a very hard job for him to replace Bill. By the way: Axehammer has the perfect epic up tempo sound of the early/mid Old-fashioned US Metal for fans of bands like: Attacker, Mannila Road and Omen ! Heavy Metal Is King !!!
Visit their website: http://www.sentinelsteel.com/Label/Axehammer/Axehammer.html
Recordlabel: http://www.sentinelsteel.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/axehammerweb

85/100

BEREAVED – The Spirit driven by Hate (CD) Japan May 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 55:38 (Tracks: 11)
Bereaved is a relatively new name in the death metal scene. This band started in 1997 and delivered their first demo in 2001. In 2004 they released their first MCD on a label (Frantic Blade Productions). Now in 2007 they released their Debut "The Spirit driven by Hate" by Konklav Records (a department of Deadsun Records). This album contains 11 tracks of pure old school death metal. All the songs have a great variety in it that reminds me a little bit of Death. Even the vocalist has a same kind of grunt. The production of the CD is all right. The guitar riffs are very technical, melodic and have a lot of thrash influence in it. They're also not afraid to put solos in their songs (which is a good thing in my opinion). The drums are pounding through every song like a train that cannot be stopped. The total sound of this album sounds great. If you like technical death metal then you should try this album.
Visit their website: http://www.bereaved.jp
Recordlabel: http://www.deadsunrecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bereavedjapan

70/100

BEYOND THE FLESH - What the mind Perceives (CD) USA May 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 45:35 (Tracks: 10)
Beyond the Flesh is a death metal band from America that plays Scandinavian death metal. Their latest album "What the mind Perceives" was already released in 2003 and now re-released by Escapi Music. Normally I would say Scandinavian death metal rules but in this case I have to say that this album sounds a little bit like a bad recorded demo. If they would have made grindcore then it would have been allowed but not if you try to make this kind of death metal (in my opinion).
All the songs have a lot of variety in it and sometimes the music and vocals reminds me a bit of Carcass. The other side of this album is very boring, not original and definitely not my cup of tea. The guitar riffs aren't original and the drums are missing a lot attack in it. The production of this album is in my opinion very crappie. I can better say come on guys this is death metal so where is the attack and power? If you like Scandinavian metal than its better to buy the real stuff!!!
Recordlabel: http://www.escapimusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/beyondtheflesh

55/100

BONFIRE - Double Vision (DVD) Germany May 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Hardrock Running time: 100:10 (Tracks: a lot....)
Bonfire is a German heavy metal group from Ingolstadt, Germany, that began in 1980 under the name Cacumen and became Bonfire in 1985. The line up has changed a lot, with the only permanent founding member being singer 'Claus Lessmann'. In the early '90s, the band was filled out by drummer Edgar Patrik, guitarist Michael Voss, guitarist Angel Schaeffer, and bassist Joerg Deisinger. Bonfire released their debut album, 'Don't Touch That Light' in 1986, and their second, 'Fireworks', in 1987. Their third album, 'Point Blank' (1989) reached the U.K. charts. Their fourth album, 'Knockout' was released in 1991. After that it was not over, they hold the line to make briliant strong melodic hardrock ! Bonfire is from Germany and sounds like bands as Scorpions, Dokken, MSG and Steeler. German hardrock with a little American influence. This live DVD was recorded in Nottingham England in 2006 and has got all the elements a good live video must have ! The show is filmed very well, It was filmed with at least 3 camera's and the sound quality sounds very professional too. The band's looks are still very Rock 'N' Roll and you can say Bonfire is a must for every traditional fan of good old 80's Hardrock ! The show has lots of atmosphere and you'd really wish you were there !! As a bonus, the DVD includes some behind the scene footage, "Rock Gegen Rechts" at Rock Pallast (Live) and 5 briliant good old video clips ! Great DVD if you ask me ! Fans of good old hardrock, 'don't forget to buy this DVD!' Bonfire shows the world hardrock is not dead at all !!!
Visit their website: http://www.bonfire.de/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bonfire22

95/100

CAN ABYSS – Animated Pictures in a Spiralling Mind (CD) The Netherlands May 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 42:03 (Tracks: 10)
Can Abyss is formed in 1994 and released there first demo in 1999. After that release the band had several line-up changes and in 2004 they finally found a new drummer but after the recording of their latest album he decided to leave the band. So Can Abyss drew back their old drummer and are ready to destroy. This is their debut "Animated Pictures in a Spiralling Mind" self-financed. This album contains 10 tracks of dark melodic death metal. All songs have a lot of variety in it and sound great. You can really hear that they didn't want to bring a prototype album out. The guitar riffs are melodic and thrashy but also straight in your face. The drums are little bit soft in the mix but not annoyingly. The vocalist has a grunt that sometimes sounds like a brutally butchered animal (very nice). Most of the songs have a atmospheric sound through it that gives it a dark dimension (long live the keyboard). All though the production of this album can be better. I have to say that this album is a very good metal release and I wouldn't be surprised to hear a lot more of Can Abyss. So the only thing I can say is check their website and order their CD!!!!
Visit their website: http://www.can-abyss.com

75/100

CHRIS CAFFERY – Pins And Needles (CD) USA May 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 57:08 (Tracks: 14)
This band doesn't need any further introduction I guess, as Chris Caffery is well known for his work in Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and numerous other projects. And now he delivers his third solo album, after "Faces" in 2004 and "W.A.R.P.E.D." in 2005, called "Pins And Needles", featuring Nick Douglas (Doro) on bass, Paul Morris (Rainbow) on keyboards and Yael (Fireball Ministry, My Ruin) on drums. This album is a very fascinating and complete and various metal work, with Chris's superb guitar work. It will appeal to all Savatage fans as well, and even if you're into Megadeth you will dig this, cause it has some of both. Great songs with no instruments left unplayed, as there are cello, violin, piano and even a sax used on there. It all makes it an album that needs some times playing to catch it all. Although Chris isn't a great singer, it fits to the music, even if it sounds a bit forced in some songs, but the music makes up for that. Also a lot of guest musicians who contribute to this album, like Alex Skolnick, who plays a fabulous solo on 'It's Sad'. This album has become a real strong and adventures metal work, with a lot of great songs that convince like 'Crossed' or 'Walls' , great musicianship and won't get you bored easily!
Visit their website: http://www.chriscaffery.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/chriscaffery

78/100

CONSPIRACY - Reincarnated (CD) The Netherlands May 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Black Metal Running time: 41:43 (Tracks: 8)
Conspiracy is at present a one man project of Carpathian Wolf, who was born in Bukovina and now resides in The Netherlands. The original line-up has disbanded in 1995. In 2005, 10 years after the original band ceased to exist, the old material of Conspiracy was re-evaluated for the present times. Conspiracy has a more melodic old school black metal sound then most black metal bands have nowadays, with some great thrash influences in there too. It all sounds quite original and refreshing to me, different from most bands heard today. If you have to compare it with other bands, which is almost impossible, names like Morbid Angel, old Dimmu and old Cradle maybe, but the music is still very far from those bands. Listen to songs like 'Virgin's Blood' or 'United In Hate' and 'Brothers Of Black Metal' all great old school stuff!

Recordlabel: http://www.pulverised.net
Visit their website: http://www.myspace.com/metalconspiracy

77/100

CRÜSADER – SkinClad (CD) Belgium May 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 44:46 (Tracks: 10)
Crusader was founded in 1996. In the beginning they only played metal covers. The entry of guitarist Filip Lasseel was the start of writing their own songs. Two well received albums were recorded ("This Mortal Flesh"- 2000) & ("Fools" – 2004) and many live gigs followed. Between many line-up changes the band sees the driving force of Filip Lasseel leaving the band after the recordings of their third album, "SkinClad".
Well, listening to their new album I can understand why… ."SkinClad" sounds like a demo from a starting band that has just experimented with some equipment. The songs are totally uninspired and have lousy melodies, simple rifffing and psychedelic keyboard "sounds". Complete that with average vocals and a very poor production. I don't know where their mighty 80's heavy metal sound/songs from their first two albums has gone to… .But I hope that they'll be back with a better album in the near future, because I know they can do much better!
Visit their website: http://crusader.heavymetal.be
Recordlabel: http://www.shiver-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/crusadercrew

31/100

CRYONIC– Evil Mind (CD) Sweden May 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Heavy / Power Metal Running time: 39:49 (Tracks: 10)
When Bigswede and Freddy's old rock/pop band Madigan stopped their activities, they both decided to do something completely different. Without hesitation they started a powermetal project and Bigswede realized a secret dream by singing leadvocals. They recruted other bandmembers and started the recordings of their songs. In 2006 they released their selffinanced EP "Rising". But thanks to Bigswede's hardwork building contacts for Cryonic, the band signed a deal with Swedmetal Records. In February 2007 the debut album "Evil Mind" hit the sores in Sweden and about half of Europe. "Evil Mind" is a very good debut album of this Swedish heavy/power metal band! Mainly catchy, bombastic up-tempo songs with many singalong choruses, great guitarsolo's and powerful vocals from Bigswede. Consider them as a mix of 80's metal (Accept, Pretty Maids) and nowadays heavy/power metal (HammerFall, Dream Evil, Bloodbound). For me, one of the best heavy/power metal newcomers from the latest months!
Visit their website: http://www.cryonicmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.swedmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ cryonic1

85/100

DANTE FOX – Under The Seven Skies (CD) England May 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: AOR Running time: 52:05 (Tracks: 10)
A real 80s die-hard band: UK set Dante Fox was founded in 1989. The year 1989 represents an era where bands were recording some good AOR, influenced by the greater 70s and 80s bands like, in this case, Rainbow. Musicwise this is an OK album with fine musicians but a bit out of date for the present time. Singer Sue Willets for me is a disturbing factor. Her vocal sound is not my taste, I feel she wants to sing in regions she cannot reach and this de-values the album as a whole.
As the album progresses, I get the feeling that the fireworks were put in the beginning of the album, because as time progresses, I get bored. Just until the end, where "Under The Seven Skies" awakes me, after having appreciated "Firing Guns" eight tracks earlier. That is not enough for me, and neither for AOR fans today.
Visit their website: http://www.dantefox.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dantefox

60/100

DARTH – Buttfucked by Destiny (CD) Germany May 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 27:42 (Tracks: 9)
Darth is a death metal band from Germany that plays old school death metal in the style of Bolt Thrower and Napalm Death. Darth was formed in early 90`s. After doing a lot of various artist albums. In 2001 they released their first demo and in 2002 their 2nd. They released this debut "Buttfucked by Destiny" by Crude Entertainment in 2003. This album contains 9 tracks of pure death metal. The guitar riffs are very fast and brutal. The drums are ravaging and the vocals rage through every song. The vocalist has a grunt that is a mix between Bolt thrower and Napalm Death. The production of this CD is straight in your face. The songs are brutal, fast and have a lot variety in it. Because this is an old CD release I hope to hear a lot more of this band in the future. If you like bands of the old death metal scene you're going to enjoy this album.
Visit their website: http://www.darth.here.de
Recordlabel: http://www.crudeent.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/darthgermany

75/100

DECOY – Call of the Wild (CD) Sweden May 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 51:40 (Tracks: 11)
Decoy was created in 2005 by vocalist Peter Sundell, guitarist Torben Enevoldsen (Section A, Fatal Force) and drummer Thomas Heintzelmann. Sundell had just exited Grand Illusion and Enevoldsen was looking for a vocalist for his new project. The two of them started working on new material and begun recording in 2006. In the meantime Enevoldsen presented his work with Section A (you can find a review on the album in our site).
"Call of the Wild" contains all the materials required for the making of a great hard rock-melodic metal album. Catchy riffs and choruses, great voice that combines power with melody, flawless musicianship and edgy but clear production. Although Decoy originate from Sweden and Denmark, their music is more American sounding and this alone is a great advantage in my opinion. Sundell reminded me of Joey Lynn Turner and Graham Bonnet. I know this sounds like sacrilege but the man has a great voice, you should listen for yourselves, amazing harmony vocals. I wasn't aware of his work with Grand Illusion and got quite surprised by his talents. The music also reminded me of most bands these two legends participated. Bands like Brazen Abbot, JLT, Impellitteri (without the flashy guitar work; Enevoldsen keeps it simpler and melodic), Blackthorne etc. Decoy sounds fresh, groovy and melodic. "Call of the Wild" maintains mostly a mid tempo speed and the entire album flows easily. I am sure you will find yourselves pressing play again and again.
Visit their website: http://www.torbenenevoldsen.com
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/decoytheband

89/100

DIMEBAG DARREL - Dime Vision (DVD) USA May 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 1:15:23 (tracks: a lot...)
This is a DVD "DimeVision", about the well known "Dimebag" Darrell, who was killed while playing live on stage on December 8th, 2004 with his band Damageplan. If you are expecting a Pantera or a Damageplan video, you're wrong cause this is not a music video DVD. This "Dimevision Vol 1: That's The Fun I Have" video came out to honour "Dimebag", but instead of showing a biography of his life achievings or something like that, it's a video with all bits and pieces of homemade video recordings of Dimebag himself and his friends, with a high "Jackass" level. The only interesting complete song on here is a cover of Metallica's "Seek & Destroy" with Dimebag on vocals, from Pantera in 1984, the rest of this video contains a lot of fireworks, smoked tires, beer drinking and some bits and pieces of solo's done by Darrell. It does represent the life style of Darrell, but is only really interesting for the real fans in my opinion or for people who like to watch a lot of nonsense with Dimebag in the lead.
Visit their website: http://www.dimevision.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotiverecords.com

65/100

DOKKEN - From Conception (Live 1981) (CD) USA May 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: AOR / Hardrock Running time: 48:40 (Tracks: 10)
Dokken's roots date back to the late '70s, when Lynch, along with drummer Mick Brown, teamed up with Don Dokken to form the Boyz. In 1981, Don moved to Germany and was signed to Carerre Records. The band, now simply known as Dokken, recorded and released Breaking the Chains, their first studio album, in 1983. While the record failed to retain a decent chart position in the United States, the group was immensely popular in Europe. After a tour in Germany, Dokken was signed to Elektra Records, and Jeff Pilson became their first official bassist. In 1984, the band released Tooth and Nail, which featured the hit songs "Into the Fire," "Just Got Lucky," and "Alone Again." With heavy MTV and radio airplay, Dokken were topping the charts worldwide, and Tooth and Nail eventually sold over one-million copies in the U.S. alone. Following a tour with the Scorpions, the group recorded Under Lock and Key in 1985, which had a similar success due to the hits "In My Dreams" and "It's Not Love." In 1987, the band released Back for the Attack, which featured a track they had written as the subtitle for the third Nightmare on Elm Street film, "Dream Warriors." The coinciding music video, which included scenes of the band interacting with the movie's characters, was their most popular ever, and Back for the Attack became Dokken's third record to reach platinum status. The album's subsequent tour resulted in a live compilation, Beast From the East, which was released shortly before the band broke up in 1988, due to Don Dokken's and Lynch's creative differences. After the disbanding of Dokken, Don pursued a solo career with Up From the Ashes, and Lynch formed the Lynch Mob, releasing an album in 1990; both releases failed to chart. In 1992, the band reunited, but it wasn't until 1995 when they signed with Columbia Records and released Dysfunctional, which was met with harsh reviews and poor sales. Tensions once again seemed to hover around the group as they recorded the live acoustic release, One Live Night, in 1996 under the CMC label. In 1997, the band released Shadowlife, which was met with a similar response to their past two recordings. In 1998, Lynch left a second time to reunite Lynch Mob, and was replaced with Winger guitarist Reb Beach for 1999's Erase the Slate. This was followed in 2000 by another concert record, Live From the Sun, which captured the Beach lineup at Anaheim's Sun Theater. Beach left the group and was replaced by John Norum, and the group recorded Long Way Home for release in the spring of 2002. In 2003, ex-Warlock guitarist John Levin and ex-Ted Nugent and Yngwie Malmsteen bassist Barry Sparks joined the group, resulting in the release of Hell to Pay the following year. Barry Weber, All Music Guide. The year 2007 was starting very very well with the release of this live recording album made in 1981.Great clean steamy American hardrock with a bit of German influence. Sometimes the band even reminds you to MSG & Scorpions. Yeah, Don Dokken really sounds like the American Klaus Meine ( Scorpions ). All the early classics are on this record and when you hearing a classic like 'Breaking The Chains' through your speakers, the party is complete I guess! Dokken really rawks your socks off and for me. 'From Conception - Live 1981' rocks even harder than their live classic album of 1988 'Beast from the East'. I think it will probably be one of the best live conception albums of the new 2000 decade, a must for every fan ! Great production, some never before released songs and even better atmosphere, awesome! Of course this band had some great musicians and an even better vocalist and yes maybe you can say Dokken really was one of the best hardrock bands the United States has ever had !!! ROCK ‘N’ ROLL NEVER DIES !!!
Visit their website: http://www.dokken.net/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dokken1

93/100

EMERALD SUN – Escape from Twilight (CD) Greece May 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 52:17 (Tracks: 11)
Emerald Sun hails from Salonica, Greece. The band emerged in 1998 and recorded two demos in 2003 and 2004. In 2005 the band entered the studio to record its debut album with R.D. Liapakis handling both mixing and mastering. "Escape from Twilight" drew the attention of Limb Music Productions and Emerald Sun gained a contract for this album and for future releases as well. The band also finished second at the Metal Eurovision song contest in 2005.
The band's style is European melodic power metal with some speed elements. I can say that they sound identical to Helloween (Keepers era) and Gamma Ray. And probably this is the greatest disadvantage of this release. Emerald Sun lack individual style and musical identity. No doubt the musicians are great, the album well produced and among the best of the genre recorded in Greece but I don't think that "Escape from Twilight" will appeal to any other fans that the ones totally devoted to Helloween and co. If you go nuts for Kiske sounding vocals and Weikath-Hansen compositions then this one's for you. And since Helloween don't follow that path anymore, Emerald Sun could be a great substitute.
Visit their website: http://www.emeraldsun.gr
Recordlabel: http://www.limb-music.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/emeraldsunband

72/100

EMPYRIOS - And the Rest is Silence (CD) Italy May 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 44:48 (Tracks: 12)
The project empYrios came to light in the fall of 2001 by Simone Mularoni and Matteo Mastroianni, with the will to create something different in the metal panorama. In the middle of 2002 Silvio Mancini was recruited to fulfill vocal duties on empYrios' frontline. These three folks recorded their first promoCD "The EverSinner" obtaining some of the greatest reviews worldwide and promoting it with a lot of shows. The lineup was completed by Astra's keyplayer (the official Italian Dream Theater tribute band), Emanuele Casali and unDEAD axegrinder Simone Bertozzi adding the bass.
This is the bands first full length album and its good to know that there are not only Rhapsody clones is Italy! Empyrios plays very technical metal but also have some pure powermetal influences in their music. The band names bands as; Nevermore, Symphony X, Evergrey & Ark as their main influences. I also hear some later Pantera, Fear Factory & Biomechanical influences back in their music. Looking from another vision: the songs are not stolen and sound all very original. This is music for the future and I think the band will make it with some good promotion. If their Greek label, Burning Star, is the right label for this promotion; I dont know! They have my metal blessings!! Very good album!!
There will also be a digipack edition released of the album with a "making off" video. Fav. song: 'Perseverance'.
Visit their website: http://www.empyrios.it/
Recordlabel: http://www.burning-star.net/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/

90/100

ERIK NORLANDER – Hommage Symphonique (CD) USA May 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Symphonic old school prog Running time: 66:25 (Tracks: 8)
Erik Norlander is the driving force behind acts like Lana Lane and Rocket Scientists. As a virtuoso keyboardplayer Erik has gained respect and fans throughout this globe. This time he wanted to record tracks from his musical past, thus honouring those who have influenced him years ago. Names like Yes, Jethro Tull, Rick Wakeman, E.L.O. pop up, which makes the listener curious about how Erik covers such masterpieces of music history. He does that quite good, actually. Erik's talent, besides the fact that he is a great musician, is to gather talented people around him. One of the examples is Kelly Keeling (whom we remember from Baton Rouge and later his MSG period), brilliantly singing Procol Harum's "Conquistador" and excellently imitating Yes vocalist Jon Anderson on "Turn of the Century". Erik puts his old Moog synth to good use, and has even put in some trumpets and other classical instruments to color what he had in mind with these songs. Daring as it was to do a Chuck Mangione song, Erik successfully sets the spotlight on what Chuck's music was all about. This is no rock album, but the older reader who recognizes these band names from the past should have a go at this, Excellent stuff!
Visit their website: http://www.thetank.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.progrockrecords.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eriknorlanderandlanalane

89/100

FLESHLESS- To Kill for Skin (CD) Czech Republic May 2007 S. De Volder - Ruiter
Style: Death Metal Running time: 33:39 (Tracks: 11)
Fleshless was formed in 1994 and soon after that 2 demo's were recorded and released; '93: "Stench of Rotten Heads" and "Grinding", both demo's sold well. A short discography: (1996) two split CD's were recorded; (1999) CD "Grindgod"; (2000) CD "Abhorrence off cadaveric"; (2001) split CD; (2001) CD "Nice to eat you"; (2003) CD "Sensual death imitation"; (2005) CD "To kill for skin". Since 2000 the band worked with Obscene Productions and they have been playing a lot of foreign countries as Germany, Holland, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia and also the USA. Actually the guys play a lot to promote the CD's and don't forget to mention the festivals. This CD "To Kill for Skin" is the fifth full length album from Fleshless. The production is a bit poorly and that doesn't help to make a good judgement of the CD.
It is brutal death metal with gruesome lyrics and the album cover and titles are inspired by the song "To kill for skin". The artwork on the cover looks professionally done and it has given a lot of work! The music is good well played death metal and the musicians are experienced but still it sounds like many bands who play death metal. It is a bit like thirteen in a dozen. But if you don't care about that and you want ruthless death metal, than you should listen to this band! If you want to check these guys out on stage, they are booked on the "Up from the ground" festival on 24. and 25. of August 2007! This festival will take place in Gemunden am Main in Germany. (www.upfromtheground.de) Check it out! Want to see them on tour? Check the "Live" section on the website.
Visit their website: http://www.fleshless.xf.cz
Recordlabel: http://www.obscene.cz/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fleshlessband

69/100

FREEDOM CALL – Dimensions (CD) Germany May 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic / Happy Power Metal Running time: 51:40 (Tracks: 12)
Freedom Call was formed in 1998 by Chris Bay (vocals) and Dan Zimmermann (drums). Only one year later, they already released their debutalbum "Stairway To Fairyland", which sold over 30.000 copies. Their 2001 release "Crystal Empire" even surpassed the debut's success. Following this release, Freedom Call embarked on a 63-day European tour with HammerFall and Virgin Steele. June 2002 saw the arrival of the third Freedom Call recording, "Eternity", followed by an extensive tour with Blind Guardian, during which their double live album "Live Invasion" (released in 2004) was recorded. In 2005 "The Circle Of Life" was released and numerous gigs followed. In April 2007 Dan and Chris released, together with the new members Lars Rettkowitz (guitar) and Armin Donderer (bass), their current album "Dimensions". After an intro ("Demons Dance") the album starts with "Innocent World", a fast uptempo melodic metal song. Most other songs are also played in up-or mid-tempo. An exception is the slower song "Words Of Endeavour" and the last track "Far Away", which is a kind of Irish drinking-metal song (The Pogues meet Freedom Call). Musically Freedom Call is still very much influenced by Helloween and Gamma Ray, but they are a nice alternative for these bands.
Visit their website: http://www.freedom-call.net
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/newfreedomcall

81/100

HYADES – And The Worst Is Yet To Come (CD) Italy May 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Thrash Metal Running time:43:23 (Tracks: 11)
Italian "Bay Area" thrashers Hyades are back with a great new full length record ! Hyades started in the year 1996, already 11 years ago. They released four demo CD's, some were good and some of them are better forgoten... But hey! they were so fucking young. The 'absolutely-no-alternative' 2001 EP, was surely the best release of this band in the first nine years of their career. They released some tracks on different compilation cd's and recorded their first record by themselves in 2004. Some labels were really interested in signing them, so they were signed by the Belgium cult label "Mausoleum Records", for the main worldwide release, and by Brazilian Marquee Records for a special release in South America and Japan with bonus tracks and different artwork. "Abuse Your Illusions" was released on November 14, 2005 and they toured across whole Europe with bands like US Metallers Phantom X and Omen. Hyades will bring you back some good old memories! Hyades plays oldschool thrash metal in the vein of bands like: Exodus, Testament, Forbidden, Metallica, Anthrax and even some Dark Angel and Slayer influences. Great musicans and strong lyrics with an important message inside. Hyades will take you back to the mid/late 80's with the great artwork of Ed Repka (Known for his artwork for bands like Toxik, Death, Evil Dead, Megadeth, Vio-Lence, Nuclear Assault and many others!). Hyades new album is great and it's absolutely a must to check these Italian Thrashers out! 29 September they will play at Mario's and mine Festival in Tilburg The Netherlands. (www.tilburgheadbangersfest.com) so come over and check them out! Hyades will get you moshing for absolutely sure! Thrash Till Deathhh!!!b>
Visit their website: http://www.hyades.us/
Recordlabel: http://www.mausoleum-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hyadesband

90/100

INFEST - Feel the Rage (CD) France May 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 28:04 (Tracks: 11)
Infest is a new name in the death metal scene, their debut "Feel the Rage" released by Hurricane Entertainment is a very fast and brutal death metal album. Not original, not special but good enough. The guitar riffs are very fast but not original combined with some hardcore riffs to give that extra straight sound. The drums have a lot of blast beats in it; the snare has a sound like a cookie box to give it that old school sound. The music hasn't got much variety in it and the vocals aren't my cup of tea. I like screams but not the irritating one. The backing vocals are old school grunts which I like more. All though the production of this album is all right, this album isn't a really bad album but definitely not original and every song sounds the same. The good thing about this album is that some of the intros are from the movie Snatch (very good movie!!!!). I also have an advise for the band…get your website in English because not everyone speaks France!!!!.
Visit their website: http://www.infest-metal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.hurricaneentertainment.com
MySpace: http:// www.myspace.com/infestbaiona

60/100

KATAGORY V - The Rising Anger (CD) USA May 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US / Progressive Metal Running time: 52:43 (Tracks: 10)
Katagory V came into inception in early 1999, when founders Curtis Morrell (guitar) and Dustin Mitchell (Bass) met at a local rock show through mutual friend. The two immediately found they had a lot in common musically, and decided to put a metal project together that would boast the sound and style of many of their influences. Dustin would call in the help of drummer Matt Suiter, whom he had played in various other bands with (Vivid Image, Malevolence), and Curtis would recruit guitarist Ryan Taylor, who was his partner in their previous band, Arbitrator. The four started writing a few songs and decided it was time to seek out a vocalist that would be competent and talented enough to take on the task at hand. The band came across Lynn Allers (formerly of the band Tanis). After the first audition, he decided to stick around. The band started tracking their first album, “Present Day” in early 2000. During the writing of their 2nd album, in the early part of 2002, they would see the departure of guitarist Ryan Taylor which then brought them down to a four piece. Katagory V would continue on without Taylor, and would enter the studio in the late fall of 2002 and begin recording there sophomore effort “A New Breed of Rebellion”, with Curtis handling all the guitar duties; and which would be geared in a more progressive metal direction. In January of 2003 Katagory V held auditions for the vacant guitar slot left by Ryan Taylor, and came across the talent of Trevor Asire. The band would complete the recording of the album in the spring, and sign to Metal Ages Records. Their 2nd album, which had been complete in July of 2003, and would not be released until January of 2004, nearly three years since the release of “Present Day”. During this period guitarist Trevor Asire left the band already. After the release of “A New Breed of Rebellion” in January, the band again began looking for another 2nd guitarist, and would hire on Marc Hanson. Katagory V then made the decision of not performing live for the rest of 2004, and concentrate on picking up the slack from their 2nd album, by writing and recording their 3rd album, tentatively titled “The Rising Anger”.
Well finally the album was released in April 2006 via Nightmare Records, a label specialized in good, progressive, US-metal bands. Due to lack of time I didnt had the time to review this CD earlier but I dont think the band will be mad at me :) I already reviewed their second album "A New Breed" a few years ago and I was very positive about that album! Well luckily the band did it again this time because "The Rising Anger" is again a classic US-metal album with great musicianship, good production and its even better than his predecessor!! Their mix of standard US-metal & Progmetal suits me very well! Think of a mix of bands like Helstar, Pyramaze, Symphony X & Destiny's End. Fav. songs: 'The Rising Anger' & 'Leave us Behind'.
Visit their website: http://www.katagory5.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.nightmare-records.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/katagoryv

88/100

KILL THE ROMANCE– Take another Life (CD) Finland May 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 46:07 (Tracks: 11)
Kill the Romance is a new name in the metal scene but their music isn't (in a good way). But first a little bit history, they released their demo in 2004 and in 2005, 2006 they released two EP`s. Now in 2007 they released their debut "Take another Life". This album is released by Locomotive Records. The album contains 11 tracks of pure pounding death thrash metal. In the style of The Haunted, Soilwork and Darkane. All the songs have a lot of variety in it. The album production is also very good.
The guitar riffs are very technical and straight in your face. Combined with solos and melody. And the drums have a great aggressive attack in it. Pounding blasts combined with melody and thrash. The finishing touch on this album is definitely the vocalist who sings with a grunt combined with screams and clean vocals. In my opinion this album is a must for everybody that enjoys fast and melodic death thrash metal. If you like bands that sound like the bands that I already descript then you're going to enjoy this band.
Visit their website: http://www.killtheromance.com
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotiverecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/killtheromance1

80/100

LANA LANE - Gemini (CD) USA May 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive / Hardrock Running time: 56:47 (Tracks: 15)
LANA LANE is an accomplished rock vocalist with a long history of albums and tours. To forward her career, Lana moved to Los Angeles in the late 80s where she met her husband / producer Erik Norlander. Lana's first album, Love is an Illusion, was released in 1995 to critical acclaim. Lana's second CD, Curious Goods, was released in 1996, and then in 1998, their label launched a new high profile label called Avalon with the Lana Lane as their flagship artist. Avalon released several Lana Lane releases which skyrocketed her career on the international stage, resulting in her first European releases. Lana has been dubbed as "The Queen of Symphonic Rock" by her fans and the press, and yet she remains a very versatile artist able to move from intimate jazz pieces (Ballad Collections, Winter Sessions) to bone crushing progressive metal (Secrets of Astrology, Lady Macbeth, etc.). Lana is a dedicated artist who approaches her craft with grace and integrity. She celebrated the 10 year anniversary of her first album in 2005 and has recently released a live DVD and CD of her 10th Anniversary Concert Tour.
My first acquaintance with Lana was during a sampler CD on which she was featured (around 2003). When she toured Europe in 2004 I was in the frontrow at Elshout, The Netherlands to see/hear her perform live. Later on I've seen the band live again in Schiedam, The Netherlands. So I was very glad when I received this new album "Gemini". Funny is the fact that the album is a rock-cover band. From each band they covered at least 2 songs: Cream (Sunshine of your live & White Room), Heart (Dream of the Archer & Johnny Moon), Foreigner (Starrider & Long long way from home), Jefferson Airplane (White Rabbit & Wooden Ships), Moody Blues (Nights in white Satin & You can never go home), et al.........
Musically this album is great; not only the production but also the guestmusicians that participated in making this album: Vinnie Moore, Keely Keeling, George Lynch, Tony Franklin, Mark McCrite & David Schiff. This is again a very good album from Lana Lane and its a pity I missed her last European shows a few weeks ago. Next time I will be there again!
Visit their website: http://www.thetank.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.progrockrecords.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eriknorlanderandlanalane

85/100

MASTERS OF LUXURY – Welcome to Opulence (CD) USA May 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 44:43 (Tracks: 12)
Masters of Luxury (or M.O.L. if you prefer) come from Ohio State and this is the band's debut album. The record company states that M.O.L. has gained a loyal following and tours extensively through Ohio and the Midwest. This is one of the strangest records I have ever listened to. And I have listened to several thousands. I really can't figure out in what musical style the band belongs to. Throughout the entire listening session I encountered rock, heavy metal, hardcore, stoner, progressive, death, doom, desert etc. and not even a single song is similar to another. The album sounds like Sabbath meets Pro-Pain meets Rollins meets Zappa. Got a clue? M.O.L. definitely have a sound of its own and the guys know a great deal of things about music but I am not sure how many people can actually figure out what's going on in "Welcome to Opulence". You might need to refresh your math knowledge. I sucked at math.
Visit their website: http://www.molband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.allhailrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/molband

51/100

MIND'S EYE – Waiting for the Tide (CD) Sweden May 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 1:03:53 (Tracks: 12)
Swedish Progressive metallers Mind's Eye have taken huge leaps since their forming in 1992. It was the big bang of progressive metal when Johan Niemann (bass) and Daniel Flores (drums & keyboards) met Fredrik Grünberger (guitar). They began their ventures under the Afterglow moniker. For 4 years the band kept looking for the proper vocalist and finally recruited Johan Persson. One year later as Mind's Eye, the band recorded the debut album "Into the Unknown". Since then 3 albums followed and the group gained some following among the prog metal audience.
"Waiting for the Tide" is actually the band's second album recorded in 2000. Lion Music signed Mind's Eye and decided to reissue all their works including bonus tracks. This is a fine recording containing some great progressive metal moments. Vocals are really superb. Melodic and emotional. Guitars and keyboards hold the key role and the rhythm section is quite inventive. I really liked the bass. The Fates Warning and Dream Theater inluences are obvious and so is the Rush element, everpresent in such recordings. In my opinion there are also some Chicago sounding parts, at least that's what i hear in songs like "Primitive Mind". "In My Mind" is probably the best tune of an album that will not tire the listener but instead will draw his attention till the end.
Visit their website: http://www.roundrec.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eyeofthemind

81/100

MOONLIGHT AGONY – Silent Waters (CD) Sweden May 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Power Metal Running time: 44:43 (Tracks: 10)
Swedish act Moonlight Agony debuted in 2004 with "Echoes of a Nightmare". The band emerged in 1999 under the Thorin moniker but changed into Moonlight Sonata in 2000. The band went through many line-up changes (especially in the vocals department) and the debut features Chitral Somapala of Faro, Firewind, Court Jester and Avalon fame. Somapala departed a few months later and the rest of the group spent the time searching for a replacement while preparing the next recording.
"Echoes of a Nightmare" was an impressive power metal album with the right doses of progressive elements and melody. "Silent Water" continues this legacy as a worthy successor. Here you can find well executed and produced power-prog in the Symphony X vein. The New Jersey band is a major influence in all areas, from guitars and vocals to keyboards and songwriting. David Akesson is a worthy replacement for Somapala, he has a powerful and melodic voice. I was also impressed by the lead guitar department and the wise use of keyboards. If the band could change a thing I would point to the drums cause they needed some extra volume, especially during double bass parts. Totally recommended to all the prog-power fans, Moonlight Agony are bound for even greater things in the near future. They should maintain a permanent line-up though.
Visit their website: http://www.moonlightagony.com
Recordlabel: http://www.dockyard1.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/moonlightagony

85/100

MOTHERNIGHT - Mothernight (CD) Poland May 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 1:09:06 (Tracks: 12)
MotherNight is a relatively new band from Poland, founded in 2000 by guitarist Deimos and bassplayer Gabriel. The main goal they wanted to achieve, was to combine different kinds of music like metal, cold wave and gothic. In 2003 they found drummer Berith, and also Freya joined on vocals. This is their self titled debut album and it sounds like a mix of different styles, but more industrial, doomy and sometimes real heavy. Although it's not all good, because lack of power, and some too long tracks which get boring after a while, but they do have some strong points. One of their strong points is their singer Freya, who , in some songs, sounds a bit like Veronica Freeman of Benedictum, really raw and heavy. As I said some of the songs on here are really heavy, and do have what it takes, like opener 'My Pain' or 'Don't Wanna Listen'. Another thing that I noticed is the keyboards, which have a big role in this album, with strange sounds in the songs here and there, which drives they attention a bit away from the music, not in all luckily, cause there are some heavy grooving riffs on the album. Not at all a bad debut album, with a good production, but there could have been more in this in my opinion.
Visit their website: http://www.mothernight.eu
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotiverecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mothernightprofile

65/100

NEVERLAND – Schizophrenia (CD) Switzerland May 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Progressive / Power Metal Running time: 55:31 (Tracks: 9)
Neverland was formed in 1999 by Daniel Huber (guitars) and Boris Stoll (drums) who first met eachother while studying music in Zurich. From the very beginning they were trying to find the perfect mix of classical riffs and melodies as well adding progressive elements. With Andreas Mislin, Roland Jost and keyboardplayer Manuel Wagner they soon had a team of musicians together which were sharing the same vision. When vocalist Mike Zotter joined the band in 2003 the group was finally ready for a first strong statement. Produced by Tommy Vetterli (Coroner, Kreator, …), Neverland released their first selftitled demo-album which was very well-received by the international press! Preparing themselves for the recording sessions of their first album, the band had to deal with some musical and personal problems within the band. Mike Zotter and Manuel Wagner left the band and were replaced by Jean Marc Viller, the powervoice from Berne, and by Oliver Benz. Together with these new guys they recorded "Schizophrenia", once again produced by Tommy Vetterli. "Schizophrenia" is an excellent progressive metal album. The songs have several breaks , there are some faster and mid-tempo songs, one slow song ("Anguish"), and some of their songs are mixed with melodic hardrock. Main influence of Neverland is the excellent U.S. progressive metal band Symphony X, and for songwriter and guitarist Daniel Huber his main influence is Symphony X's guitarist Michael Romeo. Other bands to refer at are Dream Theater, Artension and Royal Hunt. A great first release from this Swiss band!!!
Visit their website: http://www.never-land.ch
Recordlabel: http://www.escape-music.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ neverlandmetal

85/100

NIGHT RANGER - Hole In The Sun (CD) USA May 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: AOR / Hardrock Running time: 53:35 (Tracks: 12)
Featuring ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Brad Gillis and former Montrose keyboardist Alan Fitzgerald, Night Ranger was one of the most popular mainstream hard rock bands of the mid-'80s. The group was formed in the early '80s in San Francisco; in addition to Gillis and Fitzgerald, the members included Jack Blades (vocals, bass), Jeff Watson (guitar), and Kelly Keagy (drums). After a few local gigs, promoter Bill Graham managed to get them supporting at Judas Priest, Santana, and Doobie Brothers concerts. Night Ranger's first album, Dawn Patrol (1982), reached number 38 on the U.S. charts, yet it was 1983's Midnight Madness that established the band as a commercial force. Featuring the AOR hit "(You Can Still) Rock in America" and the number five single "Sister Christian," the record peaked at number 15 and sold over a million copies. 1985's 7 Wishes was just as successful, reaching number ten on the charts. Night Ranger's audience began to diminish after 1987's. Now in 2007 after 9 years of silence they released a awesome commercial mainstream melodic aor/ hardrock album and let the world know they are still Alive!!! "Hole In The Sun" sounds like the later Bon Jovi and Europe albums. Melodic hardrock music for the big US maintream market! Strange enough they were never very big in The Netherlands. Hopefully they reached the European hardrock audience with this good sounding strong modern hardrock album of high level very soon ! Night Ranger recorded an album many rockers and house ladies will love! Oldschool hardrock with modern mainstream influences and some good power ballads! Not bad at all and definetly a record I'll will listen a lot more in the upcoming future ! American Hardrock is back and it's ready to play Europe! Great record without any doubt !
Visit their website: http://www.nightranger.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/nranger

80/100

NON-DIVINE – Asylum 45 (CD) The Netherlands May 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 39:33 (10 tracks)
Non-Divine is a dutch metal band who, after they released their first demo cd "My Obsession", participated in the 'Metal grand slam tour 2001' presented by Aardschok magazine. Besides that they supported bands like Dio, Anthrax, After Forever and Murderdolls. In 2003 Non-Divine won the 'Best band of Arnhem' award and played many festivals. Late 2005 they became winner of the biggest metal award in the Netherlands, Aardschok's metal bash competition. And now they have released their debut concept album 'Asylum 45' through Rusty Cage records. The music of Non-Divine is very modern sounding melodic metal, with even some hit potential, bands like Metallica, Nickelback and Megadeth are mentioned in their biography, with a bigger part Nickelback in my opinion. But nevertheless they give their music a twist of their own, and I think they can be proud of it too, with a very good production and sound, by Jacob Hansen, a great debut album. They are heavy, melodic and groovy and have a very modern and progressive sound, songs like 'One man, one soul' and 'New die-hard Vampire' sound real groovy, while a song like 'Breathe' sounds more heavy. Also an instrumental song on the album with 'Love Loss'. All in all, a very diverse album, and if you're into this kind of metal, give them a listen, you won't regret it cause this band is one of the better ones in their kind.
Visit their website: http://www.non-divine.com
Recordlabel: http://www.rustycagerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/groovymetalbeyondmadness

78/100

PINK CREAM 69 – In10sity (CD) Germany May 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Hardrock / Metal Running time: 59:18 (Tracks: 13)
Pink Cream 69 has been founded back in 1987 by vocalist Andi Deris, guitarist Alfred Koffler, drummer Kosta Zafiriou and later on completed by bassplayer Dennis Ward. After winning a local competition, the band signed a multi-album deal with Epic/Sony Music BMG. After their successful first three albums ("Pink Cream 69"-"One Size Fits All" and "Games People Play) they landed high in the German and Japanese album charts. Intense touring with renowned acts like White Lion and Europe followed, which helped Pink Cream 69 to gain a big and loyal fan base all over the world. In 1994 Andi Deris left them to join Helloween and also to pursue a solo career. He got replaced by Englishman David Readman which debuted as vocalist on the "Change" album in 1995. The "Food For Thought" album from 1997 saw the band heading for a new direction.
After the release of their live album in the same year they re-thought and re-adjusted their musical direction even more and with "Electrified" (1999) they returned one hundred percent back on the hardrock track! The album has been followed by a tour as a special guest for Bruce "Scream For Me" Dickinson.Later followed "Sonic Dynamite" (2000) and "Endangered" (2001). Than news came that guitarist Alfred suffered from a serious disease that affected his left hand and his playing. So they recruted Uwe Reitenauer for upcoming live shows as second guitarist to relieve Alfred's situation. In 2004 they released "Thunderdome", which was received by the fans as one of their best albums to date. With "In10sity", their 10th studio album during 20 years, Pink Cream 69 deliver another brilliant piece of melodic hardrock/metal! Strenghtened by second guitarist Uwe, who's now a regular member of the band, they now got a much more guitar-driven sound. It's also their debut album for their new record label, Frontiers. "In10sity" is a great melodic hardrock/metal album, with excellent vocals, great guitars, melodic hooks, catchy melodies and a superb production by Dennis Ward!
Visit their website: http://www.pinkcream69.de
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ pinkcream69

86/100

POWERWOLF – Lupus Dei (CD) Germany May 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 43:31 (Tracks: 11)
This is the second album by Powerwolf, after their debut 'Return in Bloodred' , which came out in 2005. What I heard after I put on this cd, was totally different from what I had expected after seeing their pictures and the cover. I didn't knew them before, and expected some dark, black metal kind of music, but instead I got to hear great powerful heavy metal in the veins of Mercyful Fate, King Diamond mixed with some powermetal like old Hammerfall and a bit of Candlemass influences in there. This is absolutely a great album, with not a bad song on it, I totally love it. Lyrically they handle all dark subjects like vampires, Satanism and that kind of stuff, and it goes really well with the music. After a little intro, the album starts off with 'We Take It From The Living' , a great powerful songs, which the album is full of, 'Prayer In The Dark' continues, songs like 'Saturday Satan' and 'Vampires Don't Die' keep stuck in your head, even after listening the first time. Also some really bombastic songs on here like for instance the title track 'Lupus Dei', a real quality album with 'Mother Mary Is A Bird Of Prey' as one of my favourite tracks, although I like em all! I'm very curious how they will do live on stage, they already played some big festivals like Summer Breeze, Metal Blade's 10th anniversary festival and Bang Your Head, also they did a full European tour as support to Gamma Ray, I know I wanna be there when they play over here! This is one cd that will be in my player for a long time, that says enough I think!
Visit their website: http://www.powerwolf.net
Recordlabel: http://www.metalblade.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/powerwolfmetal

88/100

PRETTY MAIDS - Wake up to the Real World (CD) Denmark May 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Hard Rock / Heavy Metal Running time: 45:17 (Tracks: 11)
Back in 1981 a young man from Horsens was crazy about Heavy Rock and his guitar. His name was Ken Hammer and he was not alone with his interest in the music. With his friend Ronnie Atkins the two of them soon started what would turn out to be the foundation of Pretty Maids The band Pretty Maids was formed. In 1982 they recorded a demo tape at their own expenses which they presented to several record companies. Pretty Maids ended up at an English record company. In 1983 the EP "Pretty Maids" was released on Bullet Records. Then things developed. The succes was so overwhelming, that the record company had to set up a fanclub. Pretty Maids also supported the legendary band Black Sabbath on their Scandinavian Tour in 1983. At the beginning of 1984 Pretty Maids was signed to CBS Records. The EP was remixed and released throughout Scandinavia. In June Pretty Maids started the recordings of "Red, Hot And Heavy" with producers Billy Cross and Tommy Hansen. It was released in October 1984 and achieved great sucess all over Europe. After touring the rest of 1985 Pretty Maids went to USA in July 1986for the first time. They ended up at The Bearsville Studio inWoodstock, NY and recorded "Future World" was recorded in 1986 with producer Eddie Kramer (Kiss, Jimi Hendrix among others). "Future World" was released all over the world in April 1987 and was followed up by a world tour. "Future World" was the commercial break though. On the other side it was also the moment I lost my interest in Pretty Maids. The band had different line-up changes during all these years and recorded several albums that i'm not familiar with: 'Jump the Gun', 'Sin Decade', 'Offside', 'Scream', 'Screaming live', 'Spooked' & 'Carpe Diem'.
The more curious I was when I received their latest album for a review! The band signed to Frontiers Records lately and normally this label has bands under their flag that are to soft for my metal ears. Well at that point I was right; the strong/heavy songs they had on their first releases are not present on this album. But is it necessary to deliver a good rock-album? No, not always. Pretty Maids still have their typical sound after all these years and Ronnie Atkins is a great singer.
Gladly there also a few heavier songs on this album like: 'Why die for a Lie', but still these songs have not the calibre of their classic songs like; 'Back to Back' & Çity Lights'. There is also a Deep Purple cover (Perfect Strangers) on the album and thats to me the weakest song of the entire album. But to be honestly: I never liked the original song either....
After all it was pleasant to review this album and i'm curious if they will ever play in The Netherlands again in the near future. Last time I have seen the band was in 2002, in Germany because they didnt play for a long time overhere. There popularity in The Netherlands is very low and they dont deserve that!!!
This is after all a very nice album but not really comparible with their older stuff. Luckily for the band is that I still have a weak heart for this kind of bands.....A Danish band reviewed by a Dutch maniac during his vacation in.......................Denmark.
Visit their website: http://www.prettymaids.dk/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pmaids

77/100

RAZORBACK – Deadringer (CD) Germany May 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 51:43 (Tracks: 11)
Razorback has evolved into a kind of supergroup since its forming back in 2003. Multitalented guitarist Rolf Munkes (of Vanize, Majesty, Tony Martin and Empire fame) joined forces with ex Company of Snakes and Snakes in Paradise vocalist Stefan Berggren (of Swedish origin), ex Shylock guitarist Chris Heun and the rhythm section of Vanize. "Animal Anger" in 2003 and "Criminal Justice" in 2005 created a fan base and the band started touring. Drum genius Mike Terrana (Kuni, Rage, Malmsteen, Axel Rudi Pell, Masterplan etc.) soon stepped in as Heun became the band's bass player. "Deadringer" was recorded under the Munkes, Berggren, Heun, Terrana lineup.
Razorback is considered by many as the next big thing in the European hard rock and melodic metal scene. Personally I don't think they will ever be something like "the next Scorpions" but I can't deny the fact that they play good music. Not groundbreaking stuff but honest melodic metal that has a couple of power metal and hard rock moments. Something like Masterplan meets Empire. Crunchy guitar work by Munkes, Terrana tries to keep it simple but groovy and heavy and Berggren's performance is top notch. After all, the guy used to sing for some great bands, his talent is undisputed. Production is a bit modern but fitting. Go for it.
Visit their website: http://www.razorback-online.com
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/razorbackonline

82/100

REDKEY - Rage of Fire (CD) Germany May 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Power Metal Running time: 51:33 (Tracks: 11)
This newly founded band is called RedKey and the five-some has just released its debut album "Rage of Fire". The musicians themselves arent newcomers at all. Many of you probably are familiar with vocalist Thomas Rettke and guitarist Sascha Paeth who, back in the late 80s and early 90s were the heart and soul of the metal band Heavens Gate. Their albums IN CONTROL (1989) and LIVIN IN HYSTERIA (1991) were internationally acclaimed and i'm one of the lucky guys to have them both in my collection!! Once Heavens Gate broke up Rettke and Paeth decided on different paths for their future endeavours. Paeth started to work as producer and became a sought after expert in the trade. He produced well-known Rock acts such as Edguy, Kamelot and Rhapsody as well as the latters mastermind Luca Turillis solo albums. Rettke on the other hand acted as guest musician to various bands. Not a single one of Rhapsodys albums has been recorded without featuring his vocals and bands like Edguy, Kamelot, Running Wild, Victory and Mob Rules also didnt want to recording without him singing.
I'm very wellknown with the Heavens Gate stuff but if they should have sent me this CD without any info, I think I would have never guessed that former HG members are the founders of Redkey. The band still has his roots in 80's heavy metal but Redkey hasnt that typical Helloween style that Heavens Gate did have. According to the biography; the band is highly influenced by Judas Priest and I can only confirm that. Thomas Rettke is not such a good singer as Rob Halford (on CD I mean because on stage Rob Halford isnt that good either). Ralf Scheepers has another competitor in Germany!!! Very good album that is not typical German. Hope to see this band live someday because i'm curious how they are on stage. Fav. songs: 'Rebellion', 'Rage of Fire' & 'The Fortune'. (together with Edguy's Tobias Sammet)
Recordlabel: http://www.dockyard1.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/redkeymetal

82/100

ROCKET SCIENTISTS – Revolution Road (2CD) USA May 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Progrock Running time: 101:21 (Tracks: 18)
It took the band 7 years to follow up on their hitalbum "Oblivion Days" but they have come up with some wonderful material, gathered in this 7 year period. After the sad passing of drummer Shaun Guerin, guitarist Mark McCrite took the initiative and took a box full of demo material and live recordings to Erik Norlander. They both felt that there was so much fantastic material that they had to release an album with all of that. The songmaterial is very atmospheric, and you will recognize influences of Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull , E.L.P. and King Crimson.
Besides Mark McCrite doing the (warmer and sweeter) vocals, they found David McBee for the rougher edge, like in "Dream In Red" and "Eden Burns". Of course Don Schiff is there playing his N/S stick, and Gregg Bissonnette fills in the space on the drums. In memory of Shaun Guerin, a live recorded drumpart was used in the middle of "Better View". The versatility of the double album lies in the variation in themes and atmospheres; an instrumental jewel is "Ptolemy", where " Sky is falling" is very bombastic. Just one advice to you all: fill your head with Rocket Scientists and have a nice trip!
Visit their website: http://www.thetank.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.progrecords.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/rocketscientistsband

83/100

SARATOGA – The Fighting Clan (CD) Spain May 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Heavy / Power Metal Running time: 60:27 (Tracks: 13)
I looked at the website of this Spanish band, but it's only written in Spanish, so I can't tell that much about the history/biography of them. What I know is that "The Fighting Clan" is their 7th studio album. It's a new version of their in 2004 released cd "El Clan De La Lucha", but now with English lyrics and with an improved production. Since some years I'm a fan of Spanish metal bands like Tierra Santa and Avalanch, but this is the first Saratoga cd that I listen at. And I can tell that they aren't a bad band at all. They play mainly fast heavy/power metal, with high pitched vocals from Leo Jimenez (Tate/Kiske style), and the songs are always topped off with great guitarsolo's from Jeronimo Ramiro. Musically they remind me especially of German topbands like Helloween and Gamma Ray, but I also hear some early Queensrÿche influences. Now with English lyrics they can maybe breaktrough worldwide. Only time will tell…
Visit their website: http://www.saratoga-agotaras.com
Recordlabel: http://www.avispamusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl

78/100

SPECTRAL - Dawn of Gods (CD) Germany May 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Viking Black Metal Running time: 42:42 (Tracks: 10)
Spectral was founded in 1995 and are still pulling the plug with their black Viking metal. Even after 10 years their not picked up by a label but their still going strong. This is their second album and is self-financed. There isn't much to say about this album except the fact that it's an old album released in 2004. The album contains 10 tracks of how they subscribe it their self: Black Viking Metal…Yeah Right!!!!!!!!!! This album sounds very boring and the production isn't too good (it makes me think of a demo). The guitar riffs are classical black riffs and the drums sound also the same. Blast beats combined with groovy drums. The vocals are typical black but not impressive. To give it that Viking metal feeling the have a backing vocal clean. Allthough at the last 2 songs the composing of the songs are better. More melody and groove in the guitar riffs. If they would have done that by all songs then this album would have been a little masterpiece. So if you like bands that try to sound like Mithotyn of Twin Obscenity then you should check out their website.
Visit their website: http://www.spectral-metal.de.vu
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blackvikingpower

60/100

TENEBRIS – Catafalque-Comet (CD) Poland May 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 43:07 (Tracks: 10)
Tenebis is formed in 1991 and in 1992 they released their first demo. After releasing some more demos they signed in 1994 with Baron Records and released their debut "The Odious Progress". In 1996 they released a MCD and in 1997 they released their second album by DSFA Records and in `98 they released another MCD. After that period the band had a lot of member changes and recorded their third album but never released it. In 2006 the band had a reunion and now in 2007 they released this album by Bad Taste Entertainment. This album is a compilation of their best songs. Old school death metal with a lot of variety in it. The compositions of the songs are very good. Atmospheric songs combined with trashy and progressive riffs in it. Everything on this album is very musically. The only thing I don't like about this album is the production (very thin) and the vocals (in my opinion a heavier grunt would sound better). Never the less this album brings back to a musically journey of a death metal band that probably will bring the old school scene a lot of pleasure.
Visit their website: http://www.tenebris.igk.pl
Recordlabel: http://www.badtaste.pl
MySpace: http:// www.myspace.com/tenebrisband

70/100

THE CURSED - Room Full of Sinners (CD) USA May 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Sleazy Rock 'n Roll Running time: 48:35 (Tracks: 13)
THE CURSED, a new band formed/featuring vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (OVERKILL) & former HADES guitarist Dan Lorenzo which also features bassist Job The Raver (MURDER 1) and drummer Mike Cristi (NON-FICTION). With such an excellent line-up my expectations where very high. But after listening the album I did remember Dan Lorenzo's solo stuff which also has little to do with metal. The Cursed delivers here an album with sleazy rock 'n roll that has nothing in common with the kind of metal bandmembers Dan Lorenzo (ex-Hades) & Bobby 'Blitz" Elsworth (Overkill) normally make (or made). Personally I think (and wish) that this is just a side-project and the band will disappear soon.......Me as a metalhead in heart & soul have deep respect for the things Bobby, Dan & Mike Christi (ex-Non Fiction) did in the past but I cant find any peace with this material. Sorry guys but I can rate this kind of stuff high. Hope to see you all soon on the road with Overkill, or even better; a Hades reunion!
Visit their website: http://www.the-cursed.net/
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotiverecords.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thecurseddotnet

40/100

T.M.E. – Worlds Collide (CD) Sweden May 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 34:24 (Tracks: 10)
TME is a new name in the metal scene, but not with unknown members in the band. This band is formed by three members of Vintersorg. All though I don't like Vintersorg so much I can understand why Aphotic Records signed this band. This album sounds fucking brutal and fast but not in the sense of bands like Putrid Pile or Fleshgrind but in the sense of Vader or Dew Scented. Very technical metal but not boring or over the top. The guitar riffs are very technical and sometimes have some black metal and thrash influence in. The drums are pounding through every song and the vocals are very aggressive, good composing of the songs and in my opinion a very professional sounding album. This band is definitely worth to check. So if you like death thrash metal in the style of Vader, Dew Scented or Lost Souls than you're going to like this album.
Visit their website: http://www.generation666.com
Recordlabel: http://www.aphoticrecords.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/generator666

75/100

TO MERA - Transcedental (CD) UK / Hungary May 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 52:42 (Tracks: 8)
I already reviewed the bands first demo in December 2005. This 2-track demo impressed me a lot and I already predicted that To-Mera didnt had to wait to long to sign to a good recordlabel. Soon after this release the band signed to Candlelight Records. And yes here it is; the bands debut album! Fabulous looking frontwoman Julie Kiss (what's in a name...) gave me the CD after their Headway performance a few weeks ago (see Live-reviews).
Live they couldnt impress me that much because my expectations where probably to high and the sound was very moderate. Gladly the new CD sounds killer and Jullie Kiss is singing as good as she did on the CDemo. Both songs of the demo 'Dreadful Angel' & 'Born of Ashes' are also on this CD. Sometimes the CD has a bit of a Gothic-feeling and that had to do with Julie's voice and the background music on some of the songs (like: piano & violin) but I also hear some Jazz influences back in their songs. Technically this band is much better than any Gothic band and thats probably the reason they played the Headway Festival. In their demo review I named Meshuggah, VoiVod & Aghora as comparable bands and I still have that same opinion after listening to this full length album. Good job!! Fav. songs: 'Phantoms' & 'Born from Ashes'.
Visit their website: http://www.to-mera.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk/
MySpace: http://myspace.com/tomeraband

78/100

URSKUMUG - Am Nodr (CD) Latvia May 2007 S. De Volder - Ruiter
Style: Tribal Black Metal Running time: 41.40 (Tracks: 8)
This CD "Am Nodr" is the second release from this band from Latvia; the band was formed in 2001 (then with the name Raven). The duo Krauklis (guitar and vocals) and Slayorda (keyboard) became a threesome when Maera joined them on guitars. The band became faster and more into atmospheric black metal. Strangely there is no drummer in this band but the guys use a drum computer, on CD but also with live gigs! The name Urskumug was chosen in 2002, it is a mythical animal/human sort of creature which looks like half bear/boar and half human and this beast was used in the fantasy novels written by English author Robert Holdstock. Later in 2002 the band played some live shows and the first demo was recorded. The next year, 2003, they recorded the first full length CD by the name of "Pareja" it was a self released production. Until 2005 they played a lot of live shows and the band worked on new songs, and was also happy to finally find a bass player listening to the name of Kriviks to join up with the band. Sadly later that year long term member Slayorda left the band, but was soon replaced by Draake! A line up change quite recently in this spring resulted in a new (female) bass player Ilze and drummer (!) Balrogh, both ex-Anima. Also in 2005 Urskumug signed up with record label "Ledo Takas". And they recorded and released their CD "Am Nodr" ("The other side") which was released in april 2006. The music can be described as up tempo black metal as it should be but also atmospheric at some points. The keyboards are used as an extra sound effect and luckily it is not overdone. So it is not soft and gothic but a dark atmosphere is created. The voice of Krauklis is grim and goes well with the music. Production is good too, a good sound for all the instruments and the vocals. It just sounds good.
Recordlabel: http://www.ledotakas.net/
MySpace: http://myspace.com/tribalblackmetal

78/100

V.A. - Always (A tribute to Bon Jovi) (CD) USA May 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Tribute Running time: 1:03:59 (Tracks: 14)
When a tribute project is being set up, there are 2 things you can do when you're the boss of a record company: gather some well-known musicians to get close to the original and let them play very well, or ask some friends to jam with a band's repertoire. It seems that the latter has taken place, unfortunately. This is by far the worst tribute I have ever listened to.
"I'll be there for you" by Jasy Andrews is a country-style ballad, well sung but not with a Jovi feel. A very good rendition of "It's My Life" by the Issues is one to play in a bar when the atmosphere is right to sing along, and record company boss Richard Kendrick does an OK version of "Blaze Of Glory", but I had to skip through the rest of the tracks which was a blend of mediocracy and sheer amateurism. One must be a HUGE Bon Jovi fan to buy this record. If you're not, leave it be.
Recordlabel: http://www.nldistribution.de/
Promotion: http://www.artistworxx.de

40/100

VISIONS OF ATLANTIS – Trinity (CD) Austria May 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Gothic / Symphonic Metal Running time: 47:45 (Tracks: 11)
This Austrian gothic/symphonic metal band was formed in 2000. After "Eternal Endless" (2002/re-release in 2004) and "Cast Away" (2004) is "Trinity" their third album. All songs of them have both operatic female (Melissa) and clean male (Mario) vocals. They play music in the territory of (especially) female fronted symphonic/gothic metal bands like Nightwish, After Forever, Edenbridge, Elis, Evanescence and Epica. Not the kind of music that I (personally) like, but I think that "Trinity" is a nice release for fans which like the mentioned bands.
Visit their website: http://www.visionsofatlantis.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ visionsofatlantisofficial

73/100

VOMITORY- Terrorize Brutalize Sodomize (CD) Sweden May 2007 S. De Volder - Ruiter
Style: Death Metal Running time: 41:12 (Tracks: 10)
Vomitory is of course a well known brutal death metal band from Sweden which doesn't need much introduction, but here's a short bio to refresh your memory: The band was formed back in 1989 in the town Karlstad by guitarist Urban Gustafsson and was influenced by bands as Sodom, Venom, Slayer and Napalm Death. After a few demo's the first album "Raped in blood" was recorded in '96 and released by the Dutch label Fadeless Records. On "Fadeless Rec." they also released "Redemption", a split CD and their 10 year anniversary limited edition picture mini LP; this all was done in 1999! A year later in 2000, bass player Erik Rundqvist started to do the vocals and the CD "Revelation Nausea" was released on the new label "Metal blade Records". Other releases are (2002) - "Blood Rapture", (2004) - "Primal Massacre".
In 2005 guitarist Ulf Dalegren decided to leave the band after 15 years which was of course a sad moment but a replacement was soon found in Peter Ostlund. After working several years with producer Henrik Larsson the decision was made to make a new start with everything, new guitarist, new studio/producer (Rikard Ostlund) and compose new songs for the forthcoming new album. A source of inspiration was found and the results can be heard on "Terrorize Brutalize Sodomize!! This new release of Vomitory is as brutal as you may expect from them! Little rest is given you and it will not disappoint you at all!! The album cover has a bloody photo of a medieval torturing device on it, which is a good signal of what is to come on the CD itself. 10 pounding brutal songs raging on, with a good production, what more do you want from this band? So to make a long story short: do not hesitate to buy this album!
Visit their website: http://www.vomitory.net/
Recordlabel: http://www.metalblade.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vomitoryswe

85/100

WARCRY – La Quinta Esencia (CD) Spain May 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 56:00 (Tracks: 11)
Warcry is a Spanish band (not to be confused with blacksters and fellow countrymen Warcry) from the Asturias region. Vocalist Víctor García, guitarist Fernando Mon and drummer Alberto Ardines were also members of the well known Spanish power metal band Avalanch. The band emerged in 2001, debuted in 2002 and has recorded a total of four albums with "La Quinta Esencia" (meaning "The Quintessence") being the fifth one.
Warcry delivers quite enjoyable European oriented power metal with a twist. Europower is a very popular musical style among the Spanish metal fans (with many representatives such as Avalanch, Northwind, Lujuria and Dark Moor) but in the Warcry case don't expect the whole album being boring Helloweenish speed-power with neverending double bass and high pitched vocals. The band incorporates some hard rock elements with memorable choruses and the vocals are somehow unique. Not the typical melodic style but a bit harsh sounding (somehow like Lujuria but more melodic). I would prefer a less extensive use of keyboards with the attention drawn towards the guitars a bit more. Of course the album is sung in the band's native language and to be honest i think that Spanish and heavy metal form a good bond. Warcry deserves your attention.
Visit their website: http://www.warcry.as
Recordlabel: http://www.avispamusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/warcryspace

78/100

WIM ROELANTS – Burn (CD) Belgium May 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Guitar Rock Running time: 56:06 (Tracks: 10)
Belgian guitarist Wim Roelants, born in 1974, started playing the guitar at the age of 8. When he was 14 years old, he joined the band Basement. They played covers (Kravitz, Guns 'n Roses, …) and funky grooved compositions of their own. Later he joined For A Million Years, a progressive Dream Theater-like metalband with a great future but everything that could go wrong went wrong! More successfully he was with the band In-Quest, a brutal band between Meshuggah and Death with sparkling melodic guitarsolo's. With them Wim released two albums. He also played guitar on the first album of Alan Askari (melodic rockband) and on the solo album of drummer Bruno Meeus. Wim was/is also quite successful with his project Mr. G and the Blue Power, a mixture of blues with funky grooves, fusion, good looks and loads of energy. He also toured the clubs of the Benelux and the north of France. Wim works exclusively for Laney Amplification, Lag Guitars and Elixir Strings. For those companies he's the official international endorser. Wim played at every big guitar-event and he has done master classes and clinics in many music stores.
After a long planned time, Wim finally released his first instrumental solo album, together with drummer Bruno Meeus, bassplayer Roman Korolik and keyboardist Vander. "Burn" is an instrumental guitar masterpiece from a true virtuoso in balancing music, show and technical skills. Musically and songswise we can hear influences from especially Joe Satriani's and Steve Vai's best songs. There is a variety of slower and more uptempo songs (50/50), so emotional ("Whispers",…) but also "happier" songs like "Burn"and "The Quickening II". "Burn" is an excellent mixture of instrumental rock, blues and fusion, played by a technically perfect, emotionally playing guitarist!
Visit their website: http://www.wimroelants.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ wimroelants

88/100

WINGER - Demo Anthology (2CD) USA May 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: AOR / Hardrock Running time: 1:13:51 & 1:17:06 (Tracks: 37)
Winger was formed in 1987 by top musician Kip Winger as a new succesfull American aor/melodic hardrock act. Their debut album, "Winger" was released in 1988 on Atlantic Records, and scored platinum in the U.S. and got gold in Japan and Canada. Winger toured for over a year with bands as Bad Company, Scorpions, Cinderella, Bon Jovi, Poison, Skid Row and Tesla. The band was nominated in 1990 for an American Music Award for Best New Heavy Metal Band. 1990 release of "In the Heart of the Young" on Atlantic Records mines more RIAA platinum in the U.S. and gold in Japan. Hit radio tracks and MTV videos includes "Can't Get Enuff", "Miles Away" and "Easy Come Easy Go". Winger tours the world for 13 months playing over 230 dates with Kiss, Scorpions, ZZ Top, Extreme and Slaughter. 1993 - Winger releases the critically acclaimed Pull on Atlantic Records. The track "Down Incognito" was a smash at radio. This demo Anthology is the perfect mix of all their briliant demo work they released over the past 20 years. Winger was and is still the most perfect melodic hardrock/aor band you ever heard ! Great clean vocals, tasty guitars and keyboards this is and was the very best American aor/hardrock band of the late 80's and early 90's ever. Great double CD compilation of one of the very best rock bands ever !!! It's a great piece of History !
Visit their website: http://www.wingertheband.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wingertheband

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APRIL

AMERICAN HEARTBREAK – Liquor & Poker (CD) USA April 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Punk rock Running time: 48:35 (Tracks: 13)
I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Not because of the lack of quality in the music of American Heartbreak. No way, there is enough of that on this record. Not because the singer is a very typical punk rocker. Light weight in tone and easy to follow. So no, I don't mind that, because that's just what "Liquor & Poker" needs. No, it's because of the blatant stealing of ACDC riffs. Yes, American Heartbreak has done just that. On the other hand I must admit that they use them very well. And because of the lighter, gentler and less shouting voice used you never get too much of a copycat feeling. On the contrary, now you are sure that this rocks full time and that it never gets too serious or heavy on the ears. All together makes this a very enjoyable record. Nothing more, nothing less.
Visit their website: http://www.americanheartbreak.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.suburban.nl
MySpace: http://myspace.com/americanheartbreak

65/100

BATTLELORE – Evernight (CD) Finland April 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Gothic Metal Running time: 42:55 (Tracks: 9)
In Star Trek they always say; "to boldly go where no one has ever gone before", or something like that. Well, Battlelore does just the opposite: they go where many have gone before. With Gothic Metal you could be in serious danger of being compared to some of the greats as Nightwish, Within Temptation and of course The Gathering. I believe that Battlelore couldn't care less. Not because they want to be seen and heard as a copycat, but because they are certain of the quality of their material. And they would be right. Although everything sounds as if you have heard it before (Lacuna Coil, Wish), you still are very pleasantly surprised. The songs are composed to a high standard, played superbly and last but certainly not least, the voices fit in perfectly. There never is a dull moment and the tempos used are such that not one song is too much alike any other. That on itself is a feat, but to keep that up for a full length album is quite impressive. Battlelore have done just that on "Evernight" and I applaud them for it.
Visit their website: http://www.battlelore.net/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/battleloremusic

75/100

BURNING POINT – Burned Down The Enemy (CD) Finland April 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic/Power Metal Running time: 58:05 (Tracks: 11)
Burning Point was founded in 1999 in Oulu, Finland. After the recording of a promo CD, the band managed to get a record deal with LMP where they released two albums, "Salvation By Fire" (in 2001) and "Feeding The Flames" (in 2003). Despite massive legal problems which ended up with the loss of their record deal, the band nevertheless managed to play at festivals such as Tuska Metal and Sweden Rock. In 2005 they recorded another promo CD which was brought to the attention of Metal Heaven who offered the band a record deal. The album was recorded at Hellgate studios in Oulu, mixed in Tonebox studios and mastered in Finnvox studios.
Once again Burning Point managed to release a more than decent melodic/power metal album. The band of mastermind Pete Ahonen (vocals/guitars) has written their most heavy and aggressive songs since their start. But they haven't forgotten to include great melodies and huge choruses too. Opener "Parasite" is a great up-tempo melodic power metal track, just like "Hell Awaits", To Hell And Back" and the title song. But there are also some calmer, mid-tempo songs such as "Heart Of Gold", "Deceiver", and "Against The Madness Of Time". On these songs Burning Point sounds more like German melodic hardrock bands such as Domain and Affair. There are also two ballads, "From The Beginning Of It All" (Queensrÿche style) and ""Icebound".
"Burning Down The Enemy" is a nice mix of fast melodic power metal and melodic hardrock. Pete Ahonen is a very good guitarist (Malmsteen/Tolkki style), but as vocalist he can't convince me that much. Reminding me of Belgian vocalist Peter De Wint (ex-CrossFire, Mystery), he sounds too raw for this kind of music I think.
Visit their website: http://www.brnpoint.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/burningpointband

77/100

CHIMAERA – Rebirth (CD) Germany April 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: True Heavy Metal Running time: 51:47 (Tracks: 11)
Yeah fucking awesome !!! This German true metal band from Düsseldorf Germany, started in the year 1999 to play real true heavy metal deep from the heart and soul. The band was formed by band members as "Pan Vogiatzis (Vocals), Sascha Schäfer, Dirk Faber (Guitars), Susanne Schäfer (Bass) and Domenico Bosco (Drums)". Since the year 2001 the band had many line-up changes and in 2006 vocalist "Pan Vogiatzis" was the only one who survived the band's line-up. Together with some new young true metallers he has made a great brandnew record about castles, dragons and more of the subjects of true metal . So you can say "Chimaera" plays typical oldschool German heavy metal, but still with its own modern influence. This bands sounds very strong, heavy but still melodic. Like true metal was meant to be in the 80's! The drums and guitars are tasty & strong, together with the very fine compositions and high screaming vocals this band makes itself special and different from the others. Chimaera is a band for all headbangers who still love the good old sound of bands like Running Wild and Grave Digger, but with some modern influence of these days' power metal. For me it's a great record and it's cool that a guy like Volker ( Swordbrothers Festival ) is so much into these kind of new warriors metal bands. In The Netherlands true metal is nearly dead since 1990, but in Germany there is still a market for bands like Chimaera and that's the best thing in real metal ! True Metal Will Never Die !!!
Visit their website: http://www.chimaera.de/
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com

85/00

CHRIS VELERIS - So Close Yet So Far Away (CDemo ) Greece April 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Instrumental/ Guitar-driven Metal Running time: 16:37 (Tracks: 3)
Chris Veleris was born in Athens, Greece in 1982. His first contact with the guitar was when he was about 10-11 years old and when he bought a classic guitar to begin his journey through the music. Unfortunately, he gave up learning after 3 years because he couldn't play even a simple melody (according his won words...).
At the age of 16 he gave it a second chance. But this time he would not give up. He started writing stuff with his drum machine and sequencer and as the years were going by, the style begun to unfold from his hands. At the ends of 2003, he recorded a demo CD with his band DISSOLVE (they changed its name as UTOPIA by the way) playing some kind of bay area thrash metal. Also by the beginning of 2004 he recorded another demo CD with INSECTED playing technical death metal. His main influences are: Marty Friedman, Vinnie Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Jeff Loomis, John Petrucci, Al Di Meola, Jeff Beck, Greg Howe and lots of others.
This is a 3 track demo from, again, a great guitarplayer from Greece!!! For a 25 year old guitarust, he is dojng a great job!. If you're into the kind of guitargods mentioned above; you should check out this new Greek god! They already have dozens of hystorical gods in Greece but this guy is a new, young god!! Check him out!!
Visit their website: http://www.chrisveleris.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/chrisveleris

85/100

DAWN OF SILENCE – Moment Of Weakness (CD) Sweden April 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 51:16 (Tracks: 12)
It all started for this Swedish young guys when they met each other in school and became very good friends. The common interest for heavy metal and in particular Iron Maiden made them start a band. They hired a rehearsal room and started to play some Maiden covers. But soon they got bored only playing covers, so they started to write their own songs. Their first demo "Eternity" was recorded in a local studio in 2002, later followed by "World of Lies" (2003), "Follow Your Heart" (2003), "Fear Of Life" (2004) and "Lost All Hope" (2005). These demo's were reviewed very well by the international metal press, songs have been played over the radio in various countries and they begun to create a name, especially in their hometown Finspang with their notorious liver performances. In 2006 the band got tired waiting for a label to pick them up, so they decided to go into the "Black Lounge" studio with Jonas Kjellgren (Scar Symmetry, Centinex) as producer/engineer and record their first professional full-length album "Dawn Of Silence" in May 2006. The recording paid off, with the same line-up since their start, because Metal Heaven released their debut album at the end of 2006.
I already was aware of these guys their demo's, so I was not surprised when a good record label like Metal Heaven offered them a deal. The reason of that is that Dawn Of Silence plays high quality melodic heavy metal. Yes, they are mainly influenced by Iron Maiden, but they mix it with some Edguy, Nocturnal Rites and Supreme Majesty influences as well. Most of the songs are played in up-tempo, but there are also some mid-tempo songs as well, always topped off with great, melodic twinguitar solo's. Also vocalist Patrik Johansson improved a lot since the start. He now sounds almost as good as Bruce Dickinson and Tobias Sammet. Another good melodic metal newcomer from Sweden!
Visit their website: http://www.dawnofsilence.net
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dawnofsilence

81/100

DEBAUCHERY – Back in Blood (CD) Germany April 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 47:28 (Tracks: 16)
Debauchery is a one man project that started in the early year of 2001 under the name Maggotcunt. After releasing his first demo "Zombie" in 2003 he released the album "Kill main burn" and changed the band name in Debauchery (good choice if you ask me!). In 2004 he released his 2nd album and in 2005 he released his 3rd album. In 2006 there was a re-release of the "Kill main burn" album and now his latest album "Back in Blood" (after the legendary album "Back in Black" from AC/DC). Now this album surprises me very much because I love AC/DC and I really like death metal. If you combine AC/DC with death metal than you get Debauchery. All songs on this album are very very very rock`n roll and metal. You should imagine this music as a tribute to "Back in Black" but not an exact copy. Own lyrics and the drums are pounding through every song as a train that can't be stopped and then that groovy sound that sounds almost similar as AC/DC. Low vocals (that reminds me of Chris Barnes from Six Feet Under) finish this album to be in my opinion a must for every death metal freak. If you don't like AC/DC then you're in luck because this album also contains a few bonus tracks (covers of Phill Collins and Rammstein and even the Beatles and more) that are very surprising. If you like Six Feet Under or even AC/DC then you're going to enjoy this album.
Visit their website: http://www.debauchery.de
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/

85/100

DELUGE GRANDER – August in the Urals (CD) USA April 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 1:11:01 (Tracks: 5)
Deluge Grander come from Baltimore in the U.S.A. They where formed by Cerberus Effect mastermind, Dan Britton, who recruited a full line-up and recorded this album mostly at homes and individual studios. "August in the Urals" is a very strange listen. It can be categorized as progressive rock influenced by the likes of Yes, Eloy, Emerson Lake and Palmer and King Crimson. It is piano and keyboard dominated, mostly instrumental with a few parts where narrations and vocals appear. The booklet doesn't contain any lyrics, only pictures and paintings that represent each one of the five really long tracks. To be honest, I lost track of the music long before the end, too chaotic for my ears. This is strictly for all the fans of prog rock; I don't think that any metalhead would find any parts to relate to.
Visit their website: http://www.delugegrander.com

55/100

DODHEIMSGARD – Supervillain Outcast (CD) Norway April 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death / Black Metal Running time: 56:23 (Tracks: 15)
Dodheimsgard is a well known name in the metal scene and in 1995 they released the legendary "Kronet Till Konge" album (back in those days the Darkthrone drummer Fenriz played on bass) which was a an old school Norwegian black metal album and in 1996 they released the "Monumental Possession" album which had a totally different sound and a more retro trash influence. In 1998 after the departure of Fenriz they released the mini-CD "Satanic Art" and 1999 they released the "666International" album. In 2005 they released an EP and now in 2007 this masterpiece.
This album sounds very experimental and retro. All songs are very groovy and musical. There isn't one song that sounds the same and boring. The vocals are black/death and even thrash combined with clean vocals, and then there are the guitar riffs that are as well thrash metal or black as well as groovy and even refreshing. The drums are fast with blast beats but not on all songs. Some songs have a very atmospheric and industrial sound. For instant: number 11 sounds black metal, number 12 sounds industrial. The first few songs sound very hardcore like mixed with thrash metal. This an album that is very surprisingly and experimental. If you like bands from Norway that bring you everything….then buy it!
Visit their website: http://www.dhg.no
Recordlabel: http://www.moonfog.no
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dodheimsgard

75/100

DORN – Spiegel der Unendlichkeit (CD) Germany April 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 43:50 (Tracks: 10)
Dorn was formed in 1998 and makes a mix of Viking metal with melodic death metal. They released their debut "Falschheit" in 2000 by CCP Records and in 2001 they released their 2nd and 2003 their 3rd album . In 2004 they released the album "Suriel "(a very good album by the way). Now in 2007 they've released their fifth album "Spiegel der Unendlichkeit". This album contains 10 tracks of melodic death or Viking death metal. All songs have a lot of variety in it. The dark keyboards bring you to another dimension and the vocals are very growling and deep (it sometimes reminds me of Crematory). The guitar riffs are technical and melodic. The drums are very constant and sometimes even a fast blast in it. This album is a very musical journey. The production of this album is very good. This entire album is what I call easy listening, what I mean is, put it on and you won't put it of….very well done! If you like bands like Crematory, Thyrfing and even a bit of Finntroll than you should give it a try!
Visit their website: http://www.d.o.r.n.de
Recordlabel: http://www.ccprecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/

75/100

DRONE – Head-On Collision (CD) Germany April 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 47:29 (Tracks: 11)
The last few years I have been more than amazed by some of the very good thrash bands that have been released. Unfortunately a lot of them never get the exposure they deserve. What surprised me even more, is the quantity of good German thrash bands. They don't sound like their country's peers, but have a lot more of an international approach. They take all the ingredients that they need, wherever they come from. Drone is classed as thrash, but they do more than just that. They are more of a cross between that, Machine Head and a hint of metalcore. This is a debut and hats off to these guys for coming up with an album that sounds so very mature. The title "Head-On Collision" is well chosen, because they are not taking any prisoners. Let's just hope that these youngsters will be noticed in between all of their older counterparts. They deserve to be.
Visit their website: http://www.dronemetal.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.armageddonmusic.de/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dronemetal

77/100

EURE ERBEN – Eure Erben (CD) Germany April 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 28:24 (Tracks: 6)
The German 80’s thrash metal legends “Darkness” are back in the name of Eure Erben. Darkness started in the year 1986. This Ruhrpot thrash metal band from Essen became a cult band in the underground. They released three albums between 1986 and 1989 and later became a cult legend in the underground. Later they reunited at the Keep It True Festival of 2006 to bang my fucking head off. Darkness was the best band at this festival! In 2004 the members of Darkness decided to start a new thrash metal project with German lyrics. They even recorded some old “Darkness” songs and some new songs in the vein of the old “Darkness”. The songs were all sung in German. An absolute must for fans of Onkel Tom and every fan of the good old thrash metal sound of the mid/late 80’s. Strong, fast headbanging hellbangers mosh metal for the real thrash metal maniac! Ready to wear your kutte and to drink lots of Warsteiner beer. Ruhrpot thrash metal is back, but now in the real über German style ! Hell Yeah, this album rocks your socks off ! Thrash Till Deathhhhh
Visit their website: http://www.eureerben.de
Recordlabel: http://www.eureerben.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eureerben

86/100

FEED FORWARD – Barefoot & Naked (CD) The Netherlands April 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Prog / Sympho Rock Running time: 58:54 (Tracks: 10)
Melodic metal with progressive and symphonic twists. That is how Feed Forward see themselves. That is spot on! Not only that, they forget to mention that they have the ability to write good tunes. Some of them short and heavy, others long and epic. But never too smooth, too bombastic, too much over the top. No, always very organic and down to earth. Although not everything is completely new (you regularly hear the very obvious Queensrÿche influences that are there) these people have got their act together. Female singer Biejanka has a very pleasant voice that is strong and powerful enough to go full throttle, but also fragile enough to handle the soft stuff. This is an own release album and unfortunately it sometimes shows. The timing of some of the drums are just off, or the sounds haven't been mixed together enough to make it all flow completely. And I must admit that I find an hour of this, however much I like what I hear, is just a tad too long for me. My attention starts fading away. But that could just be my old ears getting tired. My conclusion is that I have heard a very good band on a well recorded album. Please keep going and give yourself the time and opportunity to keep growing. And ehh, you record companies A&R managers out there: WAKE UP!!
Visit their website: http://www.feedforwardband.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/feedforward

73/100

GODDESS SHIVA - Sabol Sinner Schmidt (CD) Germany April 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Bluesy Hard Rock Running time: 45:08 (Tracks: 13)
The band Shiva brings back some memories from the good old days, quitting the scene in 1980. All bandmembers found their way to other bands : Mat Sinner formed Sinner and played in Primal Fear, drummer Maryin Schmidt went to play with Atrocity and Leaves Eyes while guitarist Armin Sobel founded his own professional studio. These gentlemen bumped into each other decades later and found inspiration to make an album under the name of Goddess Shiva.
Apparently, the boys found inspiration in the music of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Marino; the result is a bluesy rock album, not that bad, but a bit out of date. The album might as well be released back in the eighties. The material is not very original, I noticed a few "borrowed" elements which in my case makes this release a bit unnecessary and not serious enough to go out and buy it. This is only for the good old bluesrocker who wants some music in the background.
Visit their website: http://www.goddess-shiva.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net

60/100

GOMORRHA - Body (P)art (CD) Czech Republic April 2007 S. de Volder - Ruiter
Style: Death Metal Running time: 38:03 (Tracks: 11)
The band was founded in 1995 in the Czech Republic and the name of the band was Pain. They started with playing covers from various bands. A year later the guys started composing their own songs and the band name changed into Gomorrha. Gomorrah was quite successful in their hometown and the region. And after some time of playing gigs the fans asked them for a demo! So the first demo " Die nacht des Todes" was recorded in the beginning of 1997 and it sold well! So at the end of 1997 a second demo tape "Ready to Kill" was recorded; they produced and recorded the tapes by themselves. In 1998 vocalist TJ Meathook joined the band as the bass player but left the band a year later. Also in 1998 the first full length CD " Time of Apocalypse" was recorded and released. Gomorrha was still looking for a good replacement for TJ and in 2002 he decided to join the band again but now as the vocalist and he still is with the band now a days. The recording was done in Germany in the Rape of Harmonies studio, which is also used for this new album "Body (p) art" .The CD was produced by Patrick W. Engel and Gomorrha together.
If you like brutal death metal like Morbid Angel, this is a CD you should listen to! Musically it sounds like Morbid Angel on some parts, the low growling grunts of vocalist TJ Meat hook sound very aggressive and sinister. The drummer is good too! There are eleven songs on this CD with an extra bonus video! A video on your CD is an excellent manner to present yourself as band. So check it out! It also includes a cover song from Napalm Death (Unchallenged Hate). All the songs are well preformed and brutal and without compromise. No pauses in between the songs it just rages on until the last minute. TJ Meat hook is assisted on vocals by guitarist Jan, combined with the grunts of TJ it sometimes sounds like a pig has been slaughtered! This guy can really scream! Production is good enough but the guitar sound could be more into the foreground. The sleeve looks good with a picture full of body parts and a mad butcher!
Visit their website: http://www.gomorrha666.de.vu/
Recordlabel: http://www.ntey.wz.cz/

75/100

GUTBUCKET – Gutbucket (CD) Germany April 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 38:36 (Tracks: 12)
This Hamburg based four piece has been around for 9 years, delivering their straight, heavy in your face rock. Gutbucket is their third album, after 'Skyrider' (2000) and 'Bullfight Blues'(2003), and they are well known for their live reputation, they will play any stage they can get onto. Gutbucket toured with bands like Danko Jones, Saxon and recently on tour with Rose Tattoo, which gives you an idea of what their music sounds like. On this album you won't find any ballads, or songs that last far over 3 minutes, just raw and dirty fast and short songs, with influences of AC/DC and Hellacopters, and with the voice of new vocalist Peter Kaluza no german accent to be heared, which is nice for a change with a german band. Just simple short songs with easy to sing along lyrics, like for instance 'Burn The Radio' or 'Gimme Some Action', they are not doing a whole new thing, but good, fun rock 'n' roll to enjoy!
Visit their website: http://www.gutbucket.net
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.armageddonmusic.de

75/100

HAREM SCAREM – Human Nature (CD) Canada April 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 45:02 (Tracks: 11)
Harem Scarem started in the early nineties and became a force to be reckoned with when they released "Harem Scarem" in 1991 and "Mood Swings" in 1993. Everybody thought and expected these guys to become the next big thing in Melodic Rock. Well, they didn't, and that is just because after that they thought they had to change and try to find the big bucks by becoming softer and more radio friendly. Big mistake. Well, they have finally realised that and have taken their fate in their own hands. They have released "Human Nature" themselves and I say: well done. This is classic and powerful Harem Scarem, the way they always have been intended to sound. Good tempos, strong songs and nice but not too clean vocals to make sure that there is always just that bit of a rough edge in the music. Wow! This is a lot more than I bargained for, but I will be the last one to complain. I can't get enough of this! Summary: if you want to know who Harem Scarem is, order "Human Nature". This is as good as it gets. If you already know Harem Scarem: do the same!
Visit their website: http://www.haremscarem.net/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/haremscarem

88/100

HUBI MEISEL - Kailash (CD) Germany April 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Symphonic Progrock Running time: 62:39 (Tracks: 12)
Hubi Meisel is a German singer who started out with a few bands he formed himself (like Dreamscape) to eventually gather people around him to do a project that bears his own name. After 2 albums (his latest was from 2004) the third album emerges, entiteled "Kailash". Hubi has a good set of people around him; a French keyboardplayer (Vivien Lalu), Dutch guitar icon Marcel Coenen, Daniel Flores (Mind's Eye) on drums and Johan Niemann (Therion) on bassguitar. Kailash is a story about the Himalaya and the Buddhist way of life. Very atmospheric music, a mysterious fog hangs around the album. Fans of Rush will certainly find lots of nice elements in Hubi's album that will appeal to them; I admit, here and there Hubi's voice reminds me a little of Geddy Lee. Probably this album needs ranking amongst symphonic progrock bands like the mentioned Rush, and bands like Saga. Definitely a strong album!
Visit their website: http://www.hubimeisel.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com

82/100

ICY STEEL – Icy Steel (CD) Italy April 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: True Heavy Metal Running time: 56:28 (Tracks: 10)
The Year 2006, four true metal maniacs from a small Italian town named Sassari, started an own true metal band in the vein of a band like another Italian band named Doomsword. Icy Steel sounds like a perfect mix of epic, doom & true warriors viking metal. Four guys who serve you ten strong songs about swords, vikings and battles. Metal with a very good & strong atmosphere in the vein of Bathory - Hammerheart & Manowar’s – Into Glory Ride. The music is not that fast, but it’s very tasty with all the instrumental aspects that bands like these need. Stefano Galeano has got very fine clean, and sometimes little high vocals. Icy Steel is just a very cool new band and probably a typical band for our own “Tilburg Headbangers Fest”, every year in late September. High class true metal which tastes like much more. Metal On guys !!!
Visit their website: http://www.theicysteel.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/icysteelband

80/100

INTENSE –As Our Army Grows (CD) England April 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Heavy Power Metal Running time: 57:03 (Tracks: 10)
British true power metallers “Intense” started their career in the late 90’s. Some years later they released their first full length album “Second Sight” mid 2004 on Italy’s Underground Symphony label “SS”, which was also licensed to NTS Records, for France only. In the US, distribution was handled through Century Media. Produced by Karl Groom (Threshold) at Thin Ice Studios the band enlisted J P Fournier to turn the band's ideas into images. 2004 was also the year they did some shows outside Italy.Two club shows in Germany before playing the Metal Bash near Hamburg. Highlight of the 2004 tour was the bands opening of the main stage at Bloodstock Festival in the UK on the Saturday, warming the crowd up for bands such as Primal Fear, Evergrey, Sonata Arctica and Children of Bodom among others.They toured Europe a lot and the band surprised a lot when they became the UK’s entrant in the Heavy Metal Eurovision song contest and from 41 entries the band came 7th. 2006 was the year of this great new album ”As Our Army Grows”, a brilliant & strong melodic heavy power metal record from first class. Great Epic metal mixed by some US & European Power Metal parts. Intense got a fuckin' great vocalist who is using his voice with many variation inside, everything is more than just okay ! Next to traditional musical way of heavy power metal, they use some acoustic & female vocal parts on this record, great ! A must have for every fan of bands like: Iced Earth, Judas Priest, Helloween & Jag Panzer. Last year I saw this band as support act of US metallers Ruffians and I can say it’s absolutely a band to find out! True Power Metal from the heart!!!
Visit their website: http://www.intense-uk.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/Intense

85/100

JAMES BYRD'S ATLANTIS RISING – Crimes Of Virtuosity (CD) USA April 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Classic Metal Running time: 61:14 (Tracks: 12)
James Byrd is someone who has been making music for a very long time. For most of us, he will be best known for his band Fifth Angel, with whom he recorded and released the brilliant "Fifth Angel" album in 1986. A very powerful and perfectly thought out album of metal with superbly strong songs. And an outstanding Ted Pilot, the singer. The first time he recorded an Atlantis Rising album was in 1989, and the second time in 1997. This release of "Crimes Of Virtuosity" is a reissue of the one in 1997. Is it worth being brought again? Well, that's up to what you love. If you are into the Fifth Angel style of metal, you won't think too much of this album. If, in the other hand, you are a big fan of shredding guitars, Malmsteen-esque escapades and guitaristic masturbation, you will absolutely go nuts over this. The good thing James Byrd does is that he doesn't just try to impress everyone. He does do his best to write songs around his playing. He is not as narrow minded as the mentioned Yngwie Malmsteen, so he does get around musically. Nevertheless, he does lack some real class to pull it off. Let's just say that I doubt he will be reaching any new fans with "Crimes Of Virtuosity". But then again, he won't lose them either.
Visit their website: http://www.jamesbyrd.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/guitaristjamesbyrd

60/100

LISTERIA – Full of Fire (CD) Italy April 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 30:54 (Tracks: 10)
Listeria is an Italian metal band. Based in Parma, it debuted in 1995 with a same titled demo. The second demo came two years later and the band started playing live gigs supporting Iron Maiden, Edguy, M.S.G, Ten Years After and Dokken. Some line-up changed delayed the band's debut CD that finally got released in 2005.
"Full of Fire" is a straight forward power metal album clearly influenced by bands like Judas Priest and Accept. All tracks might be somehow short (the album doesn't exceed 31 minutes of playing time) but quite heavy and well executed. Especially "Emily", "Like Ali" and "Little Star". There are no ballads or slow tracks in this record, all 10 songs are power metal dynamites. Witto's vocals are great, not the typical Italian with the strange accent. Ciano and Gigio have done a great job on the guitar department. News from the Listeria camp say that the band has recruited a new vocalist and is currently working on new material. I am really looking forward to it.
Visit their website: http://www.listeriaband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/listeriametalband

88/100

LOCH VOSTOK - Destruction Time Again (CD) Sweden April 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 53:04 (Tracks: 11)
LOCH VOSTOK rose out of the collapse of Progressive Metal band Mayadome in 2001. Drummer Teddy Möller was tired of the cheeze and decided to start something more meaty, called LOCH VOSTOK. Three core members, Mayadome founder Teddy Möller, Keyboardist Sebastian Okupski and Bass Player Erik Grandin set about formulating a new act. Möller would switch from his erstwhile role as a Drummer to that of Lead Vocalist/Guitarist and with the incorporation of (former Ramrod, 5 Steps Ahead and El Presidente) guitarist Niklas Kupper alongside (ex-Azotic Reign, 5 Steps Ahead, El Presidente and Imperial Domain) drummer Alvaro Torres the band was complete. However, Grandin was to relocate to the USA and so former Mellow Poetry guitarist Tomas "Tym" Jonsson stepped in to fill the bass vacancy. LOCH VOSTOK cut a self financed debut album 'Dark Logic' entirely based upon infamous serial killers such as Henry Lee Lucas, Andreij Tzjikatilo and Ed Gein. Portugese label Magnetism Records contracted LOCH VOSTOK, and released 'Dark Logic' worldwide August 1st 2004. Sebastian Okupski left LOCH VOSTOK and the band then decided to find another keyboardist for the band. Andreas Lindahl from fellow-Swedish metal act Platitude offered his services. He recorded the new album with LOCH VOSTOK but then decided to leave because of the distance between Gothenburg, where he lives, and Uppsala where the other guys live and rehearse. Fredrik Klingwall replaced him recently.
Loch Vostok plays a rather original kind of progressive metal and combines different vocal styles as grunts, clean vocals & female vocals in their music. To compare the music of the band with other bands is difficult to me because I normally prefer traditional US-metal above progressive metal the way Loch Vostok makes. Nevertheless this is very original music with a high musical level but I think it will not really be accepted by the average progmetal fan because of the grunts in some songs. Because I have a very wide interest of all kinds of metal; I like what I hear! Good album and its difficult to sound original these days but Loch Vostok do!! Check them out!!
The band plays on next weeks Headway festival in Amstelveen, The Netherlands (7 april, 2007). Be there!!
Visit their website: http://www.lochvostok.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.escapimusic.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lochvostok

78/100

MAGNUM – Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow (CD) England April 2007 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 62:36 (Tracks: 12)
"Priness Alice and the Broken Arrow" is the thirteenth studio album of British hardrockers Magnum, mostly written by guitarist Tony Clarkin. There seems to be a tendancy where old and successful rockbands try to regain their market and their fans by releasing new music. Often this is just a weak successor of previous work, which is only natural, given the fact that the magic of before is hard to copy. This album seems to head in that direction but this CD maintains a certain level of quality which cannot be denied. Singer Bob Catley has lost a bit of his glance, and that is a pity. He sounds a bit worn out, and that is painfully clear when listening to the ballad "Inside Your Head". Apart from that, this CD is OK compositionwise; the band does not measure up to old standards in my opinion, when only 1 song seems to stick in my memory ("Dragons are real"). Nevertheless, they earn respect for trying, and fans of orchestral melodic hardrock will even like the album, but to me it sounds oldfashioned, and I wonder if the band should have taken the trouble to release this.
Visit their website: http://www.hard-rain.demon.co.uk
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de

70/100

MAGO DE OZ - Rare Zas (2CD) Spain April 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Folk Metal Running time: 45:33 (Tracks: 10) & 1:06:00 (Tracks: 10)
Mago de Oz is a Spanish folkmetal band that was already formed in 1989. The band released several albums during all these years and ofcourse also had several line-up changes (which I dont want to bother you with). A few years (2002) ago I saw the band during the Bang Your Head festival in Balingen, Germany, as opener for the festival. When the festival was done after 2 days; I had made up my mind clearly: Mago de Oz was the winning band for me of the whole festival!! Very good folkmetal with a lot of variation & superb musicianship. From that moment on i'm one of their fans!! Receiving this double album was a big surprise for me! Pity it wasnt a new album from these spanish entertainers. It is a compilation album with singles; B-sides of singles, tribute songs, live songs, etc, etc. This is all rare stuff and thats why they decided to release it as a double compilation CD. Again, a welcome addition for my CD collection! Because its a compilation album; I wont rate this double CD but I can tell you it's worth checking out! Not only for the old Mage de Oz fans!!
Visit their website: http://www.magodeoz.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotiverecords.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/magodeoz1

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MALNATT - Happy Days (CD) Italy April 2007 S. de Volder - Ruiter
Style: Melodic Black Metal Running time: 61:40 (Tracks: 9)
The band was founded back in 1999 in the city of Bologna, Italy . As a thrash metal band with an accordion by the name of "Kolon". A year later the name changed into "Asgard" and the interest in Black Metal started to grow. The first demo "Tetralogica Vinchinga" was recorded in 2001 and the name " Malnatt" was chosen for the band. The demo was completely written in Bolognese dialect. In 2002 the self produced first full length CD "Perle per Porci" was released, and is a cross over between folk- and blackmetal. Again a year later the same album was re-released by independent label "Ll Male Productions" hoping that it may lead to a contract with a large record label. Malnatt signed up with CCP Records in 2005 and in April the full length CD " Carmina Pagana" was recorded. Until this day the lyrics are still written in their own dialect from Bolongna. Last year- 2006 the line up changed to what is now and in the autumn the CD " Happy days" has been recorded and was released in 2007.
Nine songs on this CD," Happy days", the music is well preformed and sounds quite good, production is good enough, the guitars are a bit soft and could sound more raw. The band themselves describe their music as " Pagan Black 'n Roll". All the songs have a mid tempo beat combined with tempo changes and double bass drums. The CD as a whole is quite bombastic with the keyboards in the background. And the additional trumpets on track 1,3 and 7 make this feeling even stronger. The second track has a guest female vocalist, (combined with the grunts of Herr Porz), which makes it sound more gothic than black metal (hello Epica). The trumpet on track 7 is hysterical, over the top and hideous! I suppose it was meant to emphasise total chaos in the song! But I think that it doesn't belong on a black metal CD . I nearly fell of my chair when I heard it!! This CD "Happy days" is a good CD, it somewhat sounds like Paradise Lost/ Cradle of Filth/ Immortal in some passages. With quick rhythm guitars over slow drums. The grunts go well with the music and the band has taken a lot of effort to experiment with various instruments as an addition to their music. The booklet is looks good! There is time spend on the artwork and the lyrics are translated into English as well as Italian so we know what these guys are talking about.
Visit their website: http://www.malnatt.org
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.ccprecords.com

71/100

MASTERPLAN – MK II (CD) Germany / USA April 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Classic Heavy Metal Running time: 52:32 (Tracks: 12)
Jorn Lande has left Masterplan. The consensus was: RIP Masterplan. Well, whoever thought that has spoken far too soon, because his replacement is called Mike DiMeo. You don't know him? Well, you should, because he has sung on some of the best Riot albums that you can get ("Inishmore", what a classic!). Jorn left because he wanted less metal and more rock, and because he didn't want to keep on singing at the top of his voice. Mike doesn't mind metal and has the kind of voice that fits Masterplan to a t. The music has changed a little bit. Just that bit more Helloween than before. Just listen to "Warriors Cry". Nothing wrong with that, but the Masterplan you got to hear on "Aeronautics" was nigh on perfect, a complete band with a sound of their own. I don't know why they have sacrificed that, but I think that they shouldn't have done. Nevertheless you get a strong album that will only make Masterplan's name even bigger.
Visit their website: http://www.master-plan.net/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/masterplanmetal

78/100

PLASTILINOVY JINN - Mirage (CDemo) Russia April 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Pop / Alternative Rock Running time: 27:27 (Tracks: 10)
Never expected to ever review a CD from a Russian band, but Mario did send me one. The band is Plastilinovy JiNN from Kazakhstan and exist already for 10 years, and this is their fifth effort after 'Gorod Masterov' (City of Masters) in 1997, 'Dihanie oseni' (Autumn Breath) was released in 1998 after some line up changes and their third album 'Russkaya ruletka' (Russian Roulette) appeared in 2000, again after some line up changes. Their popularity grew and they did some radio and tv appearances, and in December 2004 album no. 4 'We Are' came out, and now their new album 'Mirage' is here. About the album, the sound of this band is very electronic, which makes the sound more poppy, any association with Rammstein there is in the electronic sound, but Rammstein is more heavy than this. Some songs sound a bit like modern power metal songs in a Russian way I guess. About the lyrics, they are all in Russian, done by Alexander in most songs, and some are done by the beautiful Anzura. I got no clue what they are about but especially the songs sung by Anzura sound very good, like 'I Pusty Padaet Sneg' and 'Muzika Vetra', last song is on there in two versions, the second is an acoustic version and actually sounds very good. Things I don't like very much are the singing of Alexander, and the electronic guitar sound, which gives it a bit of eighties disco feel, but like I said also some good songs on here, but with metal it has very little to do.
Visit their website: http://jinn.delusion.ru/

55/100

PSYOPUS – Our Puzzling Encounters Considered (CD) USA April 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Math Metal Running time: 66:04 (Tracks: 11)
If you are living a far too quiet life or you don't know what it means to go crazily chaotic at times you are in dire need of something that will make your brains go into overdrive and eventually explode. You are looking for a band that will mix Dillinger Escape Plan with Mr. Bungle, without having any regard about your physical state of mind. A band that will mix up your mental health. That will make you run head on into brick walls and loving it. You need Psyopus. This is mind over matter, because it takes a deranged mind to make sense of the sounds that these guys make. Fortunately I just have such a mind, so I can hear the method in the madness. This is not for the faint hearted, but for the ones with very strong nerves. You will get bombarded by a band with two guitar players who are both playing their solo parts simultaneously. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but always in their own way, and completely different from each other. Your ears might get very warm, especially when you wear a headphone. I advise you not to, because it could melt onto your skin. Ouch! Luckily enough Psyopus has thought of putting two quieter songs on the album, and I must admit, they are very laid back and jazzy ("Imogenís Puzzle pt. 2" and "Siobhanís Song"). They make that you don't short circuit whilst listening tot "Our Puzzling Encounters Considered".
Visit their website: http://www.psyopus.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.metalblade.de/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/psyopus

74/100

REDEMPTION - The Origins of Ruin (CD) USA April 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 57:15 (Tracks: 9)
Progressive power-metal band Redemption was formed in Los Angeles, California in late 2000 by guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter Nicolas van Dyk who became close friends with legendary vocalist Ray Alder (Fates Warning) and eventually collaborated on a song on Alder's first solo record with his band Engine. Van Dyk asked Alder to produce a CD of van Dyk's more progressive metal music, and the two of them assembled a group of players to record the project, including Bernie Versailles (Agent Steel, Engine) on guitar and Jason Rullo (Symphony X) on drums. Rick Mythiasin (Taraxacum / ex-Steel Prophet) signed on to be the vocalist for the project, and Alder along with Fates Warning drummer Mark Zonder contributed guest performances. The band was signed to Sensory Records and released its self-titled debut in the summer of 2002.
The band quickly gathered a following in the progressive metal underground, and received rave reviews from the press, which recognized the band for its combination of intensity, fresh take on progressive metal, and keen sense of melody. Due to tour line-up problems Van Dyk recruited drummer Chris Quirarte and bassist James Sherwood of southern California prog-metal act Prymary, along with vocalist Corey Brown (Magnitude 9). Alder also joined the band on stage as a guest performer. The rhythm section of Quirarte and Sherwood provided a strong creative boost to the band and van Dyk invited them to join as full-time members shortly thereafter. Van Dyk began to work writing and recording the follow-up, and upon hearing the completed music, Alder asked to join the band as its full-time vocalist in the summer of 2004 (in addition to remaining the vocalist for Fates Warning and Engine). The band recorded its sophomore release, The Fullness of Time, and van Dyk selected Tommy Newton, known for his production work with such bands as Conception, Ark, Helloween and UFO, to mix and master the record. It also received high marks around the world from the press and fans. In 2006, the band parted ways with bassplayer Sherwood and introduced new bassist, Sean Andrews (formerly of Henning Pauly's Chain project). With a solidified line-up, van Dyk proceeded with the songwriting for the band's 3rd album, which was recorded during the spring/early summer back home in California. Producer Tommy Newton flew over to engineer the drums, and in Summer 2006 van Dyk once again travelled across the Atlantic to join Newton in Celle, Germany for the mixing of the album. In December 2006, Redemption signed a multi-album deal with Inside Out for the worldwide release of its new material.
Fianlly, the new CD. "The Origins of Ruin" is a fact! Productional this CD sounds superb, a very powerfull but still clean production which fits perfect to the music. Pity enough this is my first acquaintance with Redemption but looking at the bands line-up (and earlier line-ups) this had to be a good album. Dont expect any progressive metal in the vein of Zero Hour! This album is sounding much more open to the public. Personally I hear a mix of bands like Fates Warning & Dream Theater but I also hear sometimes parts that do remind me to bands like Kansas & Rush. Because the band uses a lot of dynamic, double bass drums (which gives the band also a bit of a powermetal feeling); I can conclude that this album raises above the mediocrity. No food for powermetal fans but fans of Ray Alder's Fates Warning will love this album! Very good stuff!!
Next week Redemption will co-headline the Headway Festival in Amstelveen, The Netherlands besides the other headliner Zero Hour (see Reviews March) who are headlining on Friday. Check these bands out. Sure we will meet overthere!!
Visit their website: http://www.redemptionweb.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thebandredemption

86/100

RICHIE KOTZEN – Into the Black (CD) USA April 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 44:36 (Tracks: 10)
Guitarist Richie Kotzen is well known for his collaboration with Poison and Mr. Big and his solo works. Especially his first album is considered as one of the best guitar works ever released and is the record that established him as a top notch guitar player. Having that legacy in mind and listening to "Into the Black", I know that Kotzen can do better. In fact, much better.
"Into the Black" is a hard rock album with some blues elements but a modern edge. All songs are very slow, there is not a single moment of speeding up and this is very strange to my ears. I personally think that 45 minutes of slow blues rock is more than the average listener can take. Kotzen's playing is somehow simple or at least simpler than the average of his previous works but his vocals aren't bad at all. Maybe his voice it the best element of a boring record since the compositions don't seem capable of getting one's attention. I am sad to say that this is the kind of work that you don't bother listening twice.
Visit their website: http://www.richiekotzen.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/richiekotzen

60/100

RIUL DOAMNEI – Apocryphal (CD) Italy April 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Black Metal Running time: 51:59 (Tracks: 11)
Riul Doamnei was formed in 1999 and is a relatively unknown name in the scene. This is their first album and it sounds very good. The album contains 11 tracks of melodic atmospherically black metal. All the songs have a dark intro and the music sounds very dark and fast. Some songs sound a little bit too much like Cradle of Filth if you ask me but not disturbing. The vocalist has the same screams as Dani (vocalist of Cradle) and the guitar riffs are very fast and sometimes mixed with thrash riffs. The drums are very constant and straight in your face. The keyboards through out the songs give this album a very atmospheric sound. Even the production is very professional done. If I would have heard this in a pub then I probably would say: hey did Cradle of Filth see the light and released a good old fashioned album? The only thing more I can say is that if you like bands that sound like Cradle of Filth (in their better years) or even Dimmu Borgir then you're gonna enjoy this album!!!!!!!
Visit their website: http://www.riuldamnei.it
Recordlabel: http://www.deadsunrecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/riuldoamnei

75/100

ROSE TATTOO – Blood Brothers (CD) Australia April 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Rock 'n' Roll Running time: 40:58 (Tracks: 11)
What an album! That's the best classification of "Blood Brothers". Five years ago they made the perfect come back album with "Pain", which blew everyone away with an almighty bang. This one is just as good, only not so much a punch in the face as the former one. I would say that this one is just that bit more emotional, which can be explained by the tragic death of co-founder and creative man Pete Wells. As Angry stated in his interview with MMM he was always in the back of their minds. It must be said that "Blood Brothers" is old fashioned Rose Tattoo in top form, with some of the songs even referring back to the first albums. It doesn't matter how much I write, this is a must have for all Rose Tattoo fans, boogie lovers, sleaze rock adepts and music lovers. This is raw and pure. No fuss, nothing fancy. This is in your face rock 'n' roll. Undergo it. You will never have felt so good.
Visit their website: http://www.rosetattoo.com.au/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.armageddonmusic.de/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/rosetattoo

90/100

SATANIC ANGEL – Raping Christ (CD) England April 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 28:07 (Tracks: 6)
Satanic Angel was formed in 2002 and released their first album in 2003 by Dead Sun Records. Their latest album "Raping Christ" contains six tracks of melodic and progressive death metal. All songs are very brutal but also technical. The drums are very fast and the blast beats are very constant. The guitar riffs are very fast and technical but it contains a lot of melody and variety. The vocalist uses different kinds of grunts that give this album a very brutal sound. The only thing I don't like about this album is the production sound (very thin). Even though this is a very new band I personally think that their going to become a big name in the death scene. If you like progressive and brutal melodic death metal then you have to check out this album.
Visit their website: http://www.satanicangel.com
Recordlabel: http://www.deadsunrecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/satanicangel

70/100

SERENITY – Words Untold & Dreams Unlived (CD) Austria April 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 47:29 (Tracks: 10)
Austrian band Serenity debuted as a progressive rock group with a 6 song demo back in 2003. The "Engraved Within" demo followed in 2005 and showed a change of direction to heavier paths. Two years later, the band returns with its first official studio work, "Words Untold & Dreams Unlived" with a different line-up and a totally different musical direction from its debut.
This album contains European melodic heavy metal with a slight progressive approach. I have to admit I was impressed by the professionalism of this band. Everything sounds great, the production is very good, all compositions show quality and great writing ability and the musicians perform flawlessly. The lead guitar department is probably the best point of Serenity; it bears some resemblance to the Swedish sound (In Flames for example). Vocals are also good, clear and with flawless accent. There are also some symphonic parts in this album and a great deal of keyboards and piano parts too. Serenity brings many bands to mind many bands. Kamelot, Masterplan, Firewind are some of them but the guys have also developed an identity of their own. You should check them out.
Visit their website: http://www.serenity-band.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.hardlifepromotion.nl/

80/100

SEVENTH WONDER - Waiting in the Wings (CD) Sweden April 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 51:26 (Tracks: 8)
Seventh Wonder was formed in 2000 by bass player Andreas Blomqvist, guitarist Johan Liefvendahl and drummer Johnny Sandin after their previous band fell apart. The music sounds progressive. The band was joined by keyboard player Andreas Söderin late 2000. Two demos were recorded, the first in 2001 (Seventh Wonder) and the second in 2003 (Temple In The Storm), both of which received good press. Many singers have come and gone in Seventh Wonder over the years. The longest living member in the past was Andi Kravljaca (ex: Heave, Elsesphere), and it was with Andi at the microphone that the band recorded their debut album "Become" (released in 2005), after landing a record deal with Finlands Lion Music. "Become" was well received by the press worldwide. However, the band and Andi decided to part ways shortly after the recording process had ended and once more the search for a singer started? Tommy Karevik (ex: Vindictiv) was spotted and he joined the band in 2005. The latest album entitled "Waiting In The Wings" was recorded in 2006 and was mixed and mastered by legendary Tommy Hansen (ARK, HELLOWEEN, PRETTY MAIDS, REDEMPTION).
So productional I dont have to tell you that this album sounds awesome!! Musically it also sounds good; the band plays progressive metal/rock which is a bit to much keyboard orientated to my opinion (taste). But i'm not complaining to much about that because it was a nice task to review this album. The guitarparts and solos sound great and singer Tommy Karevik has a clean but also powerfull voice. Expect a mix of Dream Theater, Sphere of Souls but also some Europe & Dokken-a-like parts back in their songs. Check this band out if you are more into the commercial progrock music! Next week this band also plays at the Headway festival in Amstelveen, The Netherlands (with Zero Hour, Redemption, Loch Vostok et al).
Visit their website: http://www.seventhwonder.nu/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officialSW

78/100

SLAVIOR – Slavior (CD) USA April 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Rock Running time: 52:03 (Tracks: 10)
Slavior is a project formed by vocalist Gregg Analla (Tribe of Gypsies), guitarist and keyboard player Wayne Findlay (M.S.G.) and drummer Mark Zonder (Warlord, Fates Warning). Line-up looks quite appealing but I can't say that I had the same thoughts after listening to the music. Slavior delivers a blend of modern groovy music, contemporary metal, rock, progressive and some rap. Very close to the kind of stuff that is very popular in the States with constant airplay from radios and TV networks. Maybe I am too narrow-minded, maybe this kind of stuff is not for me. No matter what the case is, "Slavior" is an album that targets towards fans of Korn, Nickelback, Audioslave etc. If this kind of stuff is your thing then you might want to give this record a spin.
Visit their website: http://home.earthlink.net/~waynefindlay/
Recordlabel: http://www.insideoutmusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/slaviorband

59/100

SUNROAD – Arena Of Aliens (CD) Brasil April 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 42:46 (Tracks: 10)
From Brasil comes Sunroad, originated back in '96, this is their third effort, which was released in 2003. Sunroad means an inner trip searching for more deepest spiritual knowledge and the man-god relation. The music of Sunroad is a very dynamic hard rock due to the blues and progressive rock influences. It's messages is existential/ Christian, but it has no correlation with some religion ministry, according to their bio. The first release was an independent 9 track album called 'Heat From The Road' and came out in 1999, followed by an also independent EP 'Light Up The Sky' in 2001, but these first releases were only available in their own region. This album sounds like a mix of old seventies influences like Led Zeppelin and Arena or as a softer version of Dream Theater, although not as superior as this last one. The production of this album could have been a little better I guess, but you can hear the musical skills of this band, for instance 'The Rising Star' an acoustic song on the album, but not really my cup of tea. No music for the blackened souls out there either, but anyway give it a listen and judge for yourself…
Visit their website: http://www.sunroad.com.br
Recordlabel: http://www.avantagerecords.com

60/100

SUNROAD – Flying N' Floating (CD) Brasil April 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 53:26 (Tracks: 11)
Another review of a Sunroad album, yes their latest effort this is. After some line up changes, this is their fourth release from 2006. For any more background info read their other album review or visit their website, so I'll go directly to the album. First thing to notice is they have another singer on this album, a little more convincing than their previous one I must say. Also the production is a bit better than with the 'Arena Of Aliens' album, and the sound is more eighties, better songstructures if you ask me, more metal like. With their previous album I almost fell asleep listening to it, but not with this one, that problem is solved, it's just a little more aggressive sort of speak. The title song and 'Polar Winds' and also 'Till The End Of Time' sound real good, also a few instrumentals on here and a cover of Uli Jon Roth's 'Sun In My Hand' quite a divers album if you ask me, and you can hear the progression of the band. Although the length of some songs is a bit too long for me like the instrumental 'Invisible Connections' or the ballad 'First Day Without You' , but overall it certainly isn't a bad album, but you have to like this kind of music, so I'm gonna put on another thrash album, cheers!
Visit their website: http://www.sunroad.com.br
Recordlabel: http://www.avantagerecords.com

65/100

TRIBUZY - Execution (CD) Brasil April 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 57:53 (Tracks: 10)
Sometimes it takes a long time before a CD is reviewed on MMM; this has to do with the fact that I, Mario, want to do a lot of real metalbands by myself and that takes time (because im running out of that!). Here's such an example; this album is already more than 1 year old but as promised; MMM reviews everything they receive :)
Renato Tribuzy began his career in the early age of 12 in an Iron Maiden cover band. Four years later he and a few friends started a band called Horizon which was quite successful and well known. They were the first metal band in Rio de Janeiro to receive the support of a small record company. Later on, after the band broke up, Tribuzy started a new band, in 1997, named Thoten. In the same year the band released a demo. In 2001 Thoten release their first album, called "Beyond Tomorrow". After several tours all over the world Tribuzy decided to leave Thoten and work harder on his career take-off, investing his time and talent on the make-up of "Execution". Renato Tribuzy gathered the best musicians of the heavy metal scene together (Bruce Dickinson,Michael Kiske, Roland Grapow, Kiko Loureiro,Ralf Scheepers,Matt Sinner,Roy Z,Chris Dale) on an album: "Execution".
This is heavy metal the way it was meant to be! Not only the guest on this album are taking their jobs seriously; also the band themselves are showing their musical qualitys! If you are into real metal (and you are otherwise you werent visiting MMM) than check this "band" out! Great metal album without any highlights but musically still a great product! Take a look at the guestmusicians and you have an idea what to expect musically!
Visit their website: http://www.tribuzy.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotivemusic.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tribuzyband

83/100

TWISTED INTO FORM - Then comes Affliction to Awaken the Dreamer (CD) Norway April 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 44:25 (Tracks: 10)
Twisted Into Form was formed in Oslo, Norway by long time friends Kaj Gornitzka (guitar, ex-Spiral Architect) and Erik Aadland (bass) in 2000. From the onset, it was agreed upon that the band's mission was to create music that fused the intensity of jazz/fusion and technical metal while conjuring extraordinary emotions through each musician's contribution. David Husvik (drums, Extol) soon joined the ranks to complete the nucleus of the band. Years of rehearsals, composition and arranging ensued, and once the material started to take form, they decided that no demo was to be released. And, rather than shopping around for a deal at this point, they opted for a full length, self-produced album, hoping to get an appropriate label to release it upon completion. All in all, the album was recorded over the period of January 2004 to March 2006, adding original Spiral Architect session vocalist Leif Knashaug to the line-up. Once the recordings were done, several labels were considered and approached with a raw mix. It soon became apparent that Sensory (Spiral Architect, Gordian Knot, Zero Hour, et al) was the best choice for the band, as the label had a genuine appreciation for - and experience with - this kind of music. For the final mix, Sensory and the band agreed that noted producer Neil Kernon (Yes, Spiral Architect, Nevermore, Queensryche, Flotsam and Jetsam,Cannibal Corpse, Nile etc) would be the ideal person for the task, as he had shown a keen interest in the project and was completely in tune with the band's desire to grant the material the unique representation it craved.
Well here it is; the first album of Twisted Into Form and what an album this is! This is real technical candy for the die/hard progmetal fan! Extreme technical, great production & great musicianship. Expect a mix of (ofcourse) Spiral Architect, Zero Hour, and also some Psyhotic Waltz & Sieges Even passages. Only thing I had to get used to was the voice of singer Leif Knashaug; on this album he regularly did remind me to a mix of Ozzy Osbourne & Serj Tankian (System of a Down). A very weird voice which fits perfect to the music! This album has to be in every progmetal-fan's CD collection!! Buy or otherwise steal this album; you wont regret this crime!!!
Visit their website: http://www.twistedintoform.no/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.laserCD.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officialtwistedintoform

88/100

TWISTED TOWER DIRE - Netherworlds (CD) USA April 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Metal Running time: 45:45 (Tracks: 9)
TWISTED TOWER DIRE was in 1995. Influences the band names are Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Candlemass, and others. After releasing two demo cassettes, several split EPs and contributing to various sampler CD's to critical acclaim, the band began working with Solstice guitarist Rich Walker. He had recently formed a new label called The Miskatonic Foundation and offered to support the recording and distribution of the first TWISTED TOWER DIRE album. The band unleashed this self produced, full-length debut in 1999. An European tour followed with fellow metal heathens Slough Feg and Solstice including several club dates and a slot in the Wacken Open Air Festival (Germany). In 2001 TWISTED TOWER DIRE released the critically acclaimed "Isle of Hydra" on The Miskatonic Foundation and Hellion Records. In July 2002 TWISTED TOWER DIRE returned to Germany to continue their assault on small clubs and festivals abroad with a headlining appearance at The Headbanger's Open Air Festival. In September of that year TWISTED TOWER DIRE signed to Germany's Remedy Records. Their third release "Crest of the Martyrs" was unleashed upon the masses on May 26th, 2003. This release was accompanied by a European tour including festival gigs at the Metal Bash Open Air Festival and their second appearance at the Wacken Open Air Festival. In September 2006, singer of nine years Tony Taylor left the band after a long battle with depression. Tony's substitute was Viper vocalist Johnny Aune.
"Netherworlds" is the bands 4th album but its my first acquaintance with this US-metal outfit. The band plays a kind of metal like I heard it a lot in the 80's; think of bands like Culprit & Powersurge. Solid US-metal with most of the necessary elements; guitardriven, double bass orientated metal. The only little complains I have about this album are the weak production & the mediocre singer. This guy has a clean & powerfull voice but I prefer high pitching vocals when its up to US-metal. The other musicians are all doing their jobs very good but with a better singer and (especially) a better production my rate would have been much higher because the songs kick ass! In a few weeks the band will play the mighty Keep it True Festival in Germany so I will finally seen them live! I'm really looking out for that!! Check this band out if you're into classic US-metal!
Visit their website: http://www.twistedtowerdire.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.remedyrecords.de/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/twistedtowerdire

82/100

WALTARI – Release Date (CD) Finland April 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 1:10:55 (Tracks: 13)
Waltari is a totally new band for me, but these metal rockers from Helsinki, Finland have been around for some time now. Their new album, with the confusing title 'Release Date' is a musical piece of art, with all different styles of music on there. Not that I like it that very much, cause some songs have more beats than a techno house band, but their music will apply to people who are into Rammstein and that kind of bands I think. The album opens with the heavy 'Get Stamped'. One thing notices immediately is the superb production, this first song could have well been on any Rammstein album, 'Big Sleep' is also heavy song, more like powermetal. Most fun and thrashy song on the album is 'Let's Puke Together', my favourite, after this we get 'Cityshamaani' a musical piece in 5 different parts, like the rap part 'Colgate County Showdown' and the way too long techno dance part 'The Incarnation Party' and ballad 'Sympathy' with some classical piano parts in there. Most drum parts sound too much like a machine or a computer, like in dance beats, which is not a plus if you ask me, but Waltari don't let themselves catagorize, they do their own thing, away from all trends and directions. Another fun track is 'Sex In The Beergarden', also with some cool thrash riffs in there. As a bonus track we get a song with Finnish ethno group Varttina, called 'Spokebone' , not much to do with metal but it's fun I guess. A good album from these Finnish rockers, but it's that you either like em or hate em kind of music if you ask me, try it and you will know!
Visit their website: http://www.waltarimusic.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.dockyard1.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/waltarimusic

70/100

WIZARD – Goochan (CD) Germany April 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Speed / True / Power Metal Running time: 54:29 (Tracks: 10)
What started promosing with their first demo "Legion Of Doom" (1991) and their first self-produced albums "Son Of Darkness" (1995) and "Battle Of Metal" (1997) let to a deal with B.O. Records. "Bound By Metal" (1999) was the album that led the band out of the underground to the top of German metal bands. The band signed a new contract with LMP in 2000 and released in 2001 their so far best and most successful album with "Head Of The Deceiver" which got excellent press. That album was followed by many shows and tours a.o. with Edguy, Paragon and Sacred Steel followed by the much acclaimed appearances on the Bang Your Head- and Wacken Open Airs. In 2002 Wizard entered the Powerhouse studios in Hamburg with producer Piet Sielck (Iron Savior, Heavenly) to record a concept album about the Nordic Gotfather, Odin – simply called "Odin" being Wizard's top album to date. In January 2004 Wizard entered the stages again supporting Grave Digger on their European Tour. After this successful tour, the band began writing new songs. With the new album "Magic Circle" being out, the band went on tour again with the new album playing a.o. with Virgin Steele. In 2006, finally Wizard left their former label LMP to sign a new deal with Massacre Records. The band entered the well-known House of Music studio to record their new album "Goochan" with producer Dennis Ward. "Goochan" is a glorious concept album, that deals with a science fiction/fantasy story about the battle between good and evil. On their 7th album, Wizard is still playing a mix of Teutonic true and speed/power metal. There is a nice balance between mid-tempo and faster songs. No time for boring moments while listening to their songs. Every true heavy metal fan who's also into Manowar, Judas Priest, Accept, Grave Digger and Virgin Steele, will be a fan of Wizard's music too!
Visit their website: http://www.legion-of-doom.de
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.com

79/100

MARCH

ALEX MASI - Late Night At Desert Rimrock (CD) USA March 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Jazz / Rock / Fusion Running time: 54:04 (Tracks: 12)
Alex started in the 80's with the band Masi and winning a Grammy Nomination for 89's "Attack Of The Neon Shark". In the late 90's, Alex released the first in a current trilogy of "In The Name Of…" recordings of classical works by Bach, Mozart and more recently Beethoven.
In 2004 he teamed together with John Macaluso (ARK, Yngwie, TNT) and Randy Coven (Holy Mother, Yngwie, ARK), entitled MCM. Together with his MCM bandmate John, Alex released his latest album "Late Night At Desert Rimrock". It's a kind of musical journey with no specific goal other than music itself. It are raw jams/improvisations by Alex and John, and the style that they play is instrumental rock/jazz/fusion music. The album in total took a couple of years to complete with other albums and sessions recorded in the meantime.
Visit their website: http://www.alexmasi.net/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus .nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com/

70/100

ALMAH - Almah (CD) Brasil March 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Power / Thrash / Melodic Metal Running time: 42:09 (Tracks: 11)
In the past Angra vocalist Edu Falaschi wrote some songs which he couldn't use for Angra because they were musically different. So he decided to record them for his solo album/project Almah, together with friends such as Casey Grillo – drums (Kamelot), Lauri Porra – bass (Stratovarius) and Emppu Vuorinen – guitar (Nightwish). Almah also has participations of several guest musicians, such as Mike Stone (Queensrÿche guitarist) and Edu Ardanuy (Dr. Sin guitarist), among many others, and was mixed in Brazil by producer Adriano Daga (known as producer for Lenny Kravitz and Silverchair). Edu wrote all the songs and lyrics of the album and recorded all keyboards and acoustic guitar parts by himself. Furthermore he came up with the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, vocal and orchestral arrangements. His main motivation when figuring his new project out was not focus that much on the individual musicians, but rather in the music itself. Musically some songs on his solo album are not that far away from Angra songs, such as "Scary Zone", "Take Back Your Spell" and "Box Of Illusion". But a song like the opening track "King" sounds quite more aggressive/thrashy, both vocally and musically. Edu has managed to deliver a very diverce solo album, with of course some Angra influences, but also power, thrash and progressive rock/metal influences. There are also several ballads (such as "Forgotten Land" and "Primitive Chaos"), especially the last songs of the album. Almah is not yet that good as Angra, but it's a nice start from Edu as a solo artist.
Visit their website: http://www.almah.com.br/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de/

74/100

ANTIQUUS - Eleutheria (CD) Canada March 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 54:23 (Tracks: 8)
Antiquus is a band from Vancouver, Canada and they exist for a few years now. In 2005 the band released their debut album "Ramayana" which got great reviews worldwide. Pity enough, i'm not familiar with that album because what I hear on this follow up release sounds pretty good to me! Antiquus plays a kind of US-metal (I know they are from Canada!) but with a few progressive elements in their songs. Singer Jesse White has a very powerfull voice that suits me very well! Musically it all sounds great, especially the guitarparts because they are sounding superb and do remind me to some older Iron Maiden parts. The band compares themselves with bands like Manilla Road & Slough Feg but to my opinion Antiquus is much, much better and is not sounding as jocular as Manilla Road & Slough Feg! Conclusion: Great heavy metal album, superb singer, good musicianship, moderate production. Hope to see this band soon on one of the German truemetal festivals because i'm very curious about their live performance!! Check them out if you're into real heavy metal!!
Visit their website: http://www.antiquus.net/
Recordlabel: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/antiquus

85/100

BETOKEN – Dead Soul Insomnia (CD) Italy March 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Progressive Power Metal Running time: 53:16 (Tracks: 16)
This band is started by Ivo Ricci in 2000, and a year after 'Chrysalis' comes to the light, but has never been distributed. The line up changes after this, and also the music, and in December 2004 the new album is released entitled 'Gate Of Nothing' that sees also the participation of the Praise The Lord choir. They got some good responses in the media, but due to circumstances it's promotion live turns out inadequate, and again some line up changes follow. And then 'Dead Soul Insomnia' is recorded between july 2006 and October 2006 at Old Ones Studio. About the album I can tell you, it's a real piece of art, really powerful progressive metal. If you insist on comparing it with anyone, which is hard cause it sounds very original, I would mention bands like Arena, or Dream Theater, but again only if you insist! It's a very listenable album, just sit back and enjoy, the more you play it, the more new things you hear. Also the vocal interaction between singers Francesco Ferreri and Eva Rondinelli sounds perfect and is a joy to listen to. Betoken exists of very skilled musicians, and they have a great songwriter in Ivo Ricci who also plays guitar and keys. Favorite songs on the album for me 'This Is My Game' or 'Alone' or 'The Morbid Lover', actually I like them all, it just is a fantastic album. One thing is for sure, you won't get bored listening to this album, well except if this isn't your kind of music. This is a band with a great future if you ask me, although I'm curious how they will turn out live on stage, but who knows, maybe I will get the change to see them live someday. Well I must be very wrong if this band isn't picked up by a big label in the next few years…
Visit their website: http://www.betoken.it
Recordlabel: http://www.oldonesrecords.com

87/100

DANNY VAUGHN –Traveller (CD) USA March 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Melodic Hardrock Running time: 55:00 (Tracks: 12)
Danny Vaughn is a pretty big name in the melodic hardrock scene. Many years ago( 1986) he was active in the hardrock band Waysted of Pete Way (UFO) and later he formed his own band Tyketto in 1989. Tyketto recorded two full lenght records with Danny on vocals "Don't Come Easy ( 1991) and Strenght In Numbers" (1994). After these two great records Danny left Tyketto to take care of his wife, who suffered with some health problems. Later he formed his own band "Vaughn" to record many solo records and a Tribute CD to Cheap Trick. The year 2003 was the moment for a very great reunion with Tyketto. I was there and I can tell everyone, it was one of the best reunion shows of my life ! Danny is really a friendly guy who takes lots of time for his older and newer fans ! But now back to his newest solo record "Traveller", it just sounds like a brandnew Tyketto album. The first song "Miracle Days" starts very celtic, but then later an acoustic song like "The Measure Of A Man". But mostly we hear songs which are totally in the style of the very first two Tyketto records. Great melodic sweet sleaze hardrock of the late 80's/early 90's included the very nice clean sweet vocals of Danny. The good sweet tasting drums, the very tasty guitar licks and drums of his band are making this party complete. Danny Vaughn proved himself, he doesn't need Tyketto anymore to make awesome music by himself. You can say "Traveller" is just a new Tyketto album and a must for every fan and people who like the good old sound of sweet hardrock of the late 80's and early 90's. "Traveller" is without any excuse a record for all his fans and every fan of the good old Headbangers Ball sound of the late 80's/early 90's. I hope he will tour Europe very soon? I will be there, absolutely sure, great record !
Visit his website: http://www.dannyvaughn.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vaughnband

95/100

DESTRUCTION – Thrash Anthems (CD) Germany March 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 72:14 (Tracks: 15)
If this band needs further introduction, you've been six feet under, or living in another world for the last 20 years or more! Destruction are masters in thrash metal for over 20 years, and still going strong, you only have to listen to this record to know why! On this album they have re-recorded some classic thrash anthems from their early days, and also two new songs they put on there. So for the younger generation, who didn't know them already, a nice way to get acquaintance with them. They did a good selection from their best songs, like 'Bestial Invasion', 'Mad Butcher' and 'Total Desaster' to name a few, all newly recorded with a perfect production and a great sound. You can hear how much progression they made through the years as musicians, but due to that, and this perfect production, it loses some of the rawness and pureness of the old records, which I like so much! Also the new songs 'Profanity' and 'Deposition (your heads will roll)', are classics on their own, real heavy songs in the true Destruction tradition. That's great about this band, they make no compromise and keep doing their own thing, which is making true ultimate thrash metal! Also on this album, for the first time with Schmier on vocals, the song 'Cracked Brain'. This is an album that can't be missed in any thrash bangers collection, I already got mine on red vinyl, yes it's also out on vinyl, like it should be, real (thrash) metal also belongs on vinyl (my opinion). So get the album and hear some of the best ever done by Destruction! Now just wait until they gonna promote this one live on stage, that will be a hell of a party…
Visit their website: http://www.destruction.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/officialdestruction

90/100

DRAGONSFIRE – Burning For Metal (CD) Germany March 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: True Heavy Metal Running time: 26:42 (Tracks: 5)
German heavy metal band Dragonsfire started very well in the year 2005. They played a 100 minute live programme after a quite short time. July to September 2005 the band booked a studio and recorded this 5 track ep which sounds very well. The band has got a great vocalist with a great good oldfasioned German heavy metal accent. At the moment of reviewing they've got a lady on vocals in the name of “Kati Hessler “. I’m curious to find out how they sound nowadays with a lady on vocals? This album sometimes sounds a bit like a mix between Running Wild, Grave Digger, Conquest Of Steel, Manowar and Iced Earth. The musicians also sound okay, of course you can hear the band is not yet very experienced, but i'm sure the band will grow a lot in the upcoming years. I'm curious about a new full lenght album with Kati on sang. For me it's absolutely a band to keep in mind and maybe even an option to get them over to play in The Netherlands someday. Dragonsfire plays real true heavy metal from Germany, check them out !!
Visit their website: http://www.dragonsfire.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dragonsfiremetal

85/100

DREAMLAND - Eye for an Eye (CD) Sweden March 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Power Metal Running time: 43:17 (Tracks: 11)
I already reviewed Dreamland's debut album "Future's Calling" last year. "Future's Calling" was a very nice album with a high Happy-Helloween percentage. "Eye for an Eye" is the successor of this album. Musically it still does not sound that original because you can still hear influences from bands like Helloween, Stratovarius & Sonata Arctica. Dreamland has the luck to have a very good singer in their ranks who sounds like a mix of Michael Kiske (Helloween) and Joey Tempest (Europe). This guy has an enormous power in his throat and is singing very melodic & clean. New to the band is drummer Jesse Lindskog who is also a member of Dragonland. The album is produced by Andy LaRocque (King Diamond) & Joacim Cans (Hammerfall) and sounds awesome! This is, again, a very nice album that will probably have a lot of success in Germany & the Scandinavian erea. In my homeland, The Netherlands, this kind of powermetal isnt that popular anymore. Pity because the band deserves to get the chance to prove themselves overhere. If you have the possibility to see them live; dont hesitate & check them out!!
Visit their website: http://www.dream-land.nu/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.dockyard1.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dreamlandmetal

79/100

EL GUAPO STUNTTEAM – Accusation Blues (CD) Belgium March 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Southern Rock Running time: 42:45 (Tracks: 10)
Belgium's rock and roll monster El Guapo Stuntteam is back with a new album, two years after their break thru album 'Battles Across The Stereo Spectrum' they bring us 'Accusation Blues'. This album has a real southern feel with a lot of bluesy influences, some Led Zeppelin mixed with old ZZ Top, and the faster songs also some Hellacopters groove. You can't put these guys in a box, cause their music covers a whole range of different styles. Fast and furious tracks like opener 'Back From The Grave' , and bluesy ballads kinda stuff like 'Tired Of Waiting' make this a really divers album. Also this band has a great live reputation, they have played a lot with, among others, Peter Pan Speedrock and Danko Jones. With three guitarists in the band they have a real guitar orientated sound, in a well played seventies style. On the album you will find 10 tracks, and also one hidden track, in the 10th song, just for fun I guess, and they also made a video for the song 'Back From The Grave', more info on their website about that. Well I guess you got the idea about this album, so what are you waiting for, get it and support these guys, if this is your thing!
Visit their website: http://www.elguapostuntteam.be
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.suburban.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.suburban.nl

70/100

HEAVENLY – Virus (CD) France March 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 50:22 (Tracks: 9)
French power metallers Heavenly debuted in 2000 with the "Coming from the Sky" album. The band gained fame almost immediately among the European power metal fans. Two albums followed; "Sign of the Winner" in 2001 and "Dust to Dust" in 2004. The band toured extensively supporting groups like Edguy and finally released its fourth album entitled "Virus". To those unfamiliar with the band's music, I would describe Heavenly as a group heavily influenced by Gamma Ray, Helloween and Stratovarius. Almost every song is a tribute to those Europower metal heroes. The music is quite heavy with significant use of keyboards. Ben Sotto's vocals are great and so is the guitar work. The production is absolutely fitting, crystal clear. All choruses are in the classic Europower vein, memorable and with multiple voices and definitely consist one of the band's strongest points. If you are a fan of the genre and love albums like "Land of the Free", "Fourth Dimension" or Keeper of the Seven Keys I & II" then you shouldn't miss "Virus".
Visit their website: http://www.heavenly.fr
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/heavenlyoficcial

80/100

INBORN SUFFERING – Wordless Hope (CD) France March 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Melodic Doom / Death Metal Running time: 63:53 (Tracks: 8)
Inborn Suffering was formed in 2002 by the remains of different bands. In 2005 they released their first demo and in 2006 they signed a record deal with Sound Riot Records. Their Debut contains 8 tracks of pure old school doom metal that takes you right back to the better years of Anathema ("The Silent Enigma") and My Dying Bride ("Turn loose the Swans"). Their music is very atmospheric and dark. Every song has a lot of variety in it and their vocalist has a very strong grunt combined with a clean voice. The entire band together gives you a feeling that you cant put the CD off. Strong guitar riffs with a melodic touch in it and pounding drums finish this album and give me the feeling that this band is going to make it very far in the metal scene.
Visit their website: http://www.inborn-suffering.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.soundriotrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/inbornsuffering

90/100

ISTHAR – Among the Ruins (CD) The Netherlands March 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Black Death Metal Running time: 50:46 (Tracks: 10)
Isthar was formed in 1997 and in 1998 they released their first demo "Isthar". After that they also released a second demo and now they released their debut "Among the Ruins" (Self-released). This album contains 10 tracks of raging black death metal. All songs have a lot of variety and it sound pretty filthy. Old school riffs and a strong violent drum under in it. The music reminds me all a lot of Necromantia, which is logical because they work with two bass players. If you like bands that sound like Necromantia then you're going to like this album.
Visit their website: http://www.isthar.info/

70/100

JORN - The Gathering (CD)
JORN - Unlocking the Past (CD)
Norway March 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Hard Rock / Heavy Metal Running time: 1:17:16 (Tracks: 16) & 49:15 (Tracks: 10)
Workaholic Jorn Lande left Masterplan last year to concentrate on his solo career. He signed to Frontiers records and i'm very glad with that! (Why?: Frontiers delivers normal full promo-stuff which was not usual with his former label AFM Records). But where did he get the time to deliver 2 albums at once was my question??? Well, the answer is very easy; both albums are collection albums;
"The Gathering" is a kind of "Best of Jorn" and the other album "Unlocking the Past" is an album full of rock covers!

On "The Gathering" Jorn collected 16 songs of all his earlier solo releases (mostly remixed) but also some songs from his ARK & Millenium period. Good stuff anyway; especially for people that are still not wellknown with this superb singer! Real Jorn fans (like myself: I even named my son after him) already own all this stuff.
On "Unlocking the Past" Jorn is covering a lot of old rock songs from bands like; Whitesnake, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath (Dio-era), Kiss, Deep Purple and a few others. To me, as a Jorn fan, this is more interesting than the "The Gathering" album. Why?? Well its good to hear that he can sing all these covers 2 fingers in his nose! I know most of these songs already but with the original singers. "Master" Jorn is teaching them all a lesson in singing!
Because both albums are not really "new", I will not rate them but if you're not familiar with Jorn Lande; check them both out!! You wont regret it!!
Visit his website: http://www.jornlande.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/realjorn

--/---

KORITNI – Lady Luck (CD) France March 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Sleaze Hardrock Running time: 44:13 (Tracks: 12)
This brandnew French band plays great sleazy raw rock 'n roll hardrock in the vein of bands like AC/DC (riffs),Thunder, Aerosmith and Tyketto (vocals). Great rock sounds of the second half of the 80's and the beginning of the 90's. The vocals of "Lex Koritni" are a great mix between Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) Daniel Don Bowes (Thunder) and Danny Vaughn (Tyketto). 'Red Light Joint' en 'Never Say Goodbye' are the crackers on this longplayer and the band even put a "Beatles" cover on this record in the titel of "Got To Get You Into My Life". For me it all sounds more than okay. Good musicians and an even better singer, this guy sounds really great! Hopefully they will tour Holland or Belgium soon? I'm curious about their live performances, on CD it sounds like one part of good music. I think, if this album would have been made in 1989, it would have been totally made in the right time! Now they are almost twenty years too late.. But for me it's still a great record and I'm looking forward to much more of these, cause Rock 'N' Roll Never Dies !
Visit their website: http://www.koritni.com
Recordlabel: http://www.badreputation.fr/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.suburban.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/koritni

80/100

MAD MAX - White Sands (CD) Germany March 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Hardrock Running time: 37:39 (Tracks: 10)
German melodic hardrockers Mad Max start their carreer in the mid 80's. Unfortunately you can't find any information about their old days on the internet anymore? Very strange because Mad Max was one of my favorite German melodic hardrock bands of my youth ! I still remember they played at the Dynamo Open Air Festival 1987 in Eindhoven The Netherlands. There, they promoted their latest longplayer "Night Of Passion" what was released in the year 1987. Mad Max was one of the biggest hair metal bands from Germany those days and I still listen their old material a lot. This new longplayer sounds a bit better than their "In White" release from 2006. "White Sands" sounds like the perfect mix between Christian hair metallers Stryper and hardrock god Jon Bon Jovi himself. Ronald Bergmann is a wonderfull vocalist who sounds like the perfect mix between Michael Sweet & Jon Bon Jovi !!! You can hear Mad Max is a very old German melodic hardrock band. The band members are still the same as twenty years ago, you can hear the band is one piece of music. "White Sands" is a great record and a must for fans of real steamy melodic American hardrock. At the moment it's the best release of 2007. I'm curious what Mad Max planned for the future? For now they are one of the best hardrock bands from Germany. Oldschool christian sleaze hardrock at his best ! It's sad their tour with “Axel Rudi Pell” was cancelled, we need these kind of real hardrock bands here live onstage ! Perfect album, alsmost as good as their “Night Of Passion” record of 1987! Fans of Stryper, Dokken and Bon Jovi run to your local record store and buy this great record !! "White Sands" sounds just like 1987 !!!
Visit their website: http://www.madmaxmusic.de/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com/

95/100

MARCEL COENEN - A Live Time Journey (DVD) The Netherlands March 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: More than 1 hour (Tracks: 14) + bonus stuff
Marcel Coenen is a very talented Dutch guitarplayer who likes to play guitar in a way Satriani, Via & Malmsteen do. Marcel is most wellknown for his progressive metalband Sun Caged and his former bands Speedica, Aura & Lemur Voice. He also plays in the best metal-coverband from The Netherlands 'Stormrider'. Together with Anand (Sphere of Souls) he is one of the best guitarplayers in Europe. His neo-classical shredding suits me well and i'm a fan of his type of music for years now. A few years ago I already received his first solo album and that one was great too. Well, finally here is his first DVD. The DVD was shot in venue De Bosuil in Weert; one of the best venues in The Netherlands. The DVD is originally named: Marcel Coenen & Friends and thats a good description because there are a lot of guest musicians delivering their contribution: Hans Reinders, Paul Villareal (Sun Caged), Colleen Gray, Dennis Schreurs (Severe Torture), Menno Corbeek (Chemical Breath), Joyce Dijkgraaf (Elleanore), Roel van Helden (Sun Caged) & Mike Andersson (Cloudscape).
The DVD is shot with several cameras and looks really professional. There's a lot of variety in the set Marcel plays and the DVD enthralls me all the time! This is food for progressive metalfans. Only little complains I have are the long pauses between the songs and the fact that Marcel announces everything in Dutch; he could have done it better in english for the DVD. Still this is a very nice live registration that will visit my DVD player regularly!! There is also a lot of bonus stuff on the DVD that are worth checking out!
Visit their website: http://www.marcelcoenen.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/marcelcoenen

85/100

METALIUM – Nothing To Undo – Chapter Six (CD) Germany March 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Speed / Power Metal Running time: 44:02 (Tracks: 10)
Metalium is already at their sixth chapter, with this 'Nothing To Undo' album, playing their speedy power metal (or is it powerful speed metal). Metalium is a band that keeps true to what they do, ever since their first chapter in 1999, so no surprises there, but that's what their fans expect them to do and they are good at it too! Well you could compare them with Motorhead from that point of view, although their music is totally different, they do the same. But let's get to the album, after a little 'Spineless Scum' intro, 'Spirits' blows your speakers, a song in the true Metalium tradition very powerful! As always with Metalium, this album is very divers, some slower heavy songs like 'Mental Blindness', even a kind of ballad 'Way Home', and the usual fast, powerful melodic songs they write so well, like 'Mindless' or 'Heroes', with furious guitar work, and the powerful voice of Henning Basse. They also put a cover on the album from Queen, 'The Show Must Go On' , which they do perfectly, but personally I would rather have seen one of their own songs on there, but who am I. Favorite songs for me are 'Dare' and the earlier mentioned 'Spirits', all in all another great album from a great band!
Visit their website: http://www.metalium.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.com

82/100

NIKKI PUPPET – Militant Mother (CD) Germany March 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Hardrock Running time: 44:44 (Tracks: 11)
Formed in November 2003 in Hannover under the name Hungry by Nicky Gronewold (vocals) and Christos Mamalitsidis (guitar) they changed their name to Nikki Puppet and since autumn 2004 with bassplayer Anke Sobek and Florentin Adolf on drums is the present line up complete. Now they released the follow up to their debut album 'Puppet on a string' which is entitled 'Militant Mother' and just like the first produced in the ARENA 20 Recording studio, Hannover by again Herman Frank (ex-Accept). The new album really rocks, even better than the first, great compositions like up tempo opener 'Lost In Time' heavy rocker 'Militant Mother' and a great cover of Billy Joel's 'We Didn't Start The Fire'. There is a lot of variety on this album, with balladic 'Turning In Circles', the beautiful 'Words' or just any song actually, with great guitar work from Christos who is an awesome guitar player, especially live they kick ass. They toured Europe last year opening for MSG, and made an impression, so if you have the chance go see em, and give the album a listen!
Visit their website: http://www.nikkipuppet.de
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.armageddonmusic.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/nikkipuppet

80/100

PRIDE OF LIONS – The Roaring of Dreams (CD) USA March 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 59:52 (Tracks: 12)
I believe that there is not a single fan of Rock music that doesn't know who Jim Peterik is. The man responsible for some of the greatest hits of all time like "Eye of the Tiger" and "Burning Heart" with his band Survivor has been writing and performing music with Pride of Lions during the last 4 years. Alongside young and extremely talented vocalist Toby Hitchcock, Peterik issued two albums under the Pride of Lions moniker; "The Destiny Stone" and "Pride of Lions". "Live in Belgium" DVD followed and now "The Roaring of Dreams" has come to establish the band as one of the most promising of the genre.
From the beginning of this CD you can tell that this band is special. Massive choruses, supreme musicianship, outstanding compositions; it just can't get any better than that. Peterik masters the art of Rock songwriting better that anybody else. He shares the vocal lines with Hitchcock, plays guitar and keyboards and handles the production. This a recipe followed in every Pride of Lions album and "The Roaring of Dreams" could be no exception. All melodic rock fans out there should not miss the opportunity to listen to tracks like "Heaven on Earth" or "Defying Gravity" that impress with the magical choruses and energetic performances of all members. I really couldn't find a weak moment on this album and the reason I didn't give the band a straight 100/100 is because I sense that with its next work things will be even better!
Visit their website: http://www.aprideoflions.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/prideoflions

90/100

RIOT - Army of One (CD) USA March 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Metal Running time: 1:06:06 (Tracks: 12)
Riot already exist for more than 30 (!!) years. The band was formed by the still one & only original member Mark Reale. In the late 70's the band already released two classic albums "Rock City" & "Narita". In 1981 they released their most definitive album "Fire Dwon Under" which is still their best album ever to my opinion. In 1984 the band broke up but reunited four years later with a totally renewed line up (except for Mark Reale). Again there where several line-up changes during the years that followed and the last line up was remarkable for this new album. Singer Mike DiMeo lately left the band to replace Jorn Lande in Masterplan. This is the bands 13th album but their first for the German Metal Heaven label. The band still plays their typical US-metal which sounds a bit out of date these days if you ask me. Still I like it very much (probably because i'm also out of date ). I'm curious who will be the substitute for Mike DiMeo. The last few times I saw the band in Europe they already lend singer Mike Tirelli from Messiah's Kiss so maybe thats an option because this guy even sings better than Mike DiMeo! This is food for the die-hard Riot fans but I doubt if the album will help the band to get some new fans? Fav. songs: 'The Mystic'& 'Shine'.
Visit their website: http://www.riotsweb.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net/

73/100

SACHTA – Anosognosie (CD) France March 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Metal Core Running time: 43:58 (Tracks: 14)
Sachta is a relatively new name in the metal scene. Their latest CD "Anosognoise" is probably going to change that. These boys make raw mix between metal and hardcore, all the songs have a great variety and a lot influences of all different styles in it (thrash, hardcore and even deathmetal). The first song starts very raw and brutal while the second song is a more subtile song. The guitar riffs sometimes remind me of Machine Head and the voice sometimes sounds like Napalm Death combined with a low scream in it. And then there is the brutal blast of the drummer (very nice). The production of this album is very good. This is a CD that keeps you listening to it. So the only thing I can say about CD is…buy IT
Visit their website: http://www.sachta.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://deadsun.free.fr/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sachta

75/100

SAMMATH – Dodengang (CD) The Netherlands March 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Black Metal Running time: 45:35 (Tracks: 8)
Sammath was formed in 1994. After releasing 4 demos they signed with Folter Records and released their debut "Strijd" in 1999. In 2002 they released their 2nd album and in 2006 they released this album "Dodengang". This album contains 8 songs of pure evil black metal. Strange and dark guitar riffs and a very filthy screaming vocalist, with fast and furious drums combined with melody and sweeping song structure that gives this a lot more to offer than the standard black metal band. If you like bands like Darkthrone or old Immortal then you should check this CD.
Visit their website: http://www.sammath.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.folter666.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sammath666

75/100

SAXON - The Inner Sanctum (CD) England March 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 44:37 (Tracks: 10)
Saxon is one of the founders of the NWOBHM style and they exist for more than 25 years now! Adding some biography of this band takes to much time and is to my opinion useless because every real metalhead should know this great band with bandleader Biff Byford! I've seen the band several times during all these years and I have to say that Biff is singing better and better every tour!! So I predict that the band will continue for at least another 25 years at least!! Rely on this new album; I will not stop them!!! The band kept true to their own typical sound during all these years. Charlie Bauerfeind (Blind Guardian, Hammerfall) produced this album and he did a great job. Drumbeast Nigel Glockler rejoined the band after several years of absence. Musically the album sounds as a mix of their earlier albums "Lionheart", "Metalhead" & "Solid Ball of Rock". Personally I prefer their older stuff ("Wheels of Steel" & "Strong arm of the Law") offcourse but I have to admit that these albums also show the high quality of Saxon! This is, again, a good album and my fav. songs are; 'Need for Speed', 'Let me feel your Power'& 'Atila the Hun'. Check this band out on their upcoming European tour!
Visit their website: http://www.saxon747.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de/
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/saxon747band

82/100

SEASONS OF THE WOLF – Nocturnal Revelation (CD) USA March 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 55:20 (Tracks: 13)
Last month I wrote a review on a sample CD by Florida based band Seasons of the Wolf. Now it's time to review their third album "Nocturnal Revelation". For biography notes please check that previous review.;br: "Nocturnal Revelation" appears more mature and complex than it predecessor "Lost in Hell". The band still plays progressive metal with a spacey feeling, lots of keyboards and distinctive vocals. Seasons of the Wolf have created a unique sound indeed, a strange blend that the band itself calls psycho hippie doom metal. It could also be a soundtrack to a vintage 70's horror movie though. Strange, huh? You'll have to listen for yourselves. The band has also incorporated some ethnic elements that add their own special character to the mix. Although the band offers a very interesting and diverse musical approach, "Nocturnal Revelation" needs many listening sessions in order to grow inside each listener.
Visit their website: http://www.sotwmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.snakenet.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/seasonsofthewolf

79/100

SILENT FORCE - Walk the Earth (CD) Germany March 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 60:21 (Tracks: 12)
After their successful Japanese tour in 2006, Silent Force is back with a new album, for which they signed a deal with AFM Records. Their first three albums were very good melodic metal albums, and with "Walk The Earth" they continue to release a powerful metal album. Their songs are still a mix of melodic, classic, power and progressive hardrock/metal. Think of Conception, Royal Hunt (vocalist DC Cooper former band), Rainbow, Labÿrinth and VandenPlas for example and you have the sound of Silent Force. Still a lot of tempobreaks and variety in songs (uptempo, ballads, …), and also very interesting, challenging duels between Alex (guitars) and Torsten (keyboards). Once again Dennis Ward was the producer so the sound of the album couldn't be better I think! Later this year the band will perform at Atlanta's ProgPower Festival so I hope that they'll be soon successful in the U.S. too.
Visit their website: http://www.silent-force.rocks.de/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de/
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/silentforceband

82/100

SUBTERA – Apocalypsed (CD) Brasil March 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 40:53 (Tracks: 10)
Subtera was formed in 2000 by the remaining members of Core. In April 2000 they released their first full-length "Discord" by Tumba Records. In 2002 their second album and in 2005 they released this album by Dezerto Music. This album contains 10 tracks of straight in your face deathmetal. All songs have a lot of variety and powerful guitar riffs and pounding drums in it. The vocalist has a great grunt and likes to scream (very nice). All though every song sounds very brutal you can hear that the music has a very catchy groove in it If you like death metal that is very fast but not boring then you're going to like this album.
Visit their website: http://www.subtera.com.br
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/subtera

75/100

TANKRED BEST – Destination Apocalypse (CD) Germany March 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal (Instrumental) Running time: 1:02:24 (Tracks: 15)
Tankred Best is a young German guitar virtuoso. He started playing the guitar at the age of thirteen, recorded two CDs with the band Witchburner in the late nineties and since 2000 he has embarked on his solo career, recording three instrumental albums. This is his most recent work and I have to admit that it came as a big surprise.
Tankred surely know how to play. I mean he has a crystal clear sound, his fingers know where they're going, nailing all the notes with speed and precision. His field of expertise is fast paced power and classic heavy metal with touches of neoclassical guitar although Tankred doesn't mention any neoclassical guitarists as his influences (which include the likes of Vai, Schenker, Satriani and Friedman). Imagine a simpler version of Apocrypha's axeman Tony Fredianelli, being also close to the early style of guitar prodigy Joe Stump. I was impressed by the furious leads and solos and despite this being an instrumental CD, I didn't get any bored at all. Tankred shreds and shreds endlessly and it's really a pleasure listening to his guitar melodies. If you are into guitar driven power metal and Judas Priest stuff, don't miss this guy. If only he assembled a regular band and added vocals to some of these killer compositions. Maybe his new band Dangerous Force combines his skills with the abilities of a regular band. I hope I get some news soon from this band.
Visit their website: http://www.tankredbest.de.vu
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tankredbest

90/100

THE STONE – Magla (CD) Serbia March 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Black Metal Running time: 43:55 (Tracks: 6)
The Stone started in 1996 and released their first demo in 1997. In 2000 they released their debut "Some wounds bleed forever" by CCP Records. In 2006 they released their 4th full length "Magla" by Folter Records. This album contains 6 songs of ravaging metal. Their guitar riffs are brutal and sometimes even melodic. Pounding drums and screaming vocals that remind me a lot of the singer of Finntroll. The originality is very good on this album. Most of the times black metal sounds really mainstream, but this band definitely knows how to make an end to that. The songs sound great and have everything in it that a good metal album should have. I hope to see this band live and I am sure that if you like black metal then you're going to enjoy this album.
Visit their website: http://www.thestonehorde.com
Recordlabel: http://www.folter666.de

75/100

WALPURGISNACHT – Die Derwaert Gaen en Keeren niet (CD) The Netherlands March 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Black Metal Running time: 46:33 (Tracks: 10)
Walpurgisnacht is a Dutch black metal band that plays old school blackmetal. This CD contains 10 tracks of classical black metal. All the songs sound the same, fast, dark even filthy and brutal but with no originality in it. Their originality leaves a lot of imagination and brings this CD to a lower end of discussion (in my opinion). All though the production of this album isn't bad, but that doesn't give this album what it needs. If you like bands try to sound like Burzum, Absu then you should give it a try.
Visit their website: http://www.walpurgisnacht.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.folter666.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/walpurgisnacht666

65/100

WHITE WILLOW – Signal to Noise (CD) Norway March 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 51:28 (Tracks: 9)
White Willow started as a folk rock band in the mid nineties but has since then become one of the most prominent Progressive Rock bands to come out of Norway. Since its beginning, the band has released 4 albums with 2000's "Sacrament" being its most successful one to date. "Signal to Noise is the band's fifth effort.
I have to be honest; the band's music is clearly out of my league. I will try to give a good description though for those who might be interested. "Signal to Noise" is a progressive rock album and has nothing to do with metal whatsoever. The band is fronted by a female singer that owns a great mesmerising voice that is some parts bears a resemblance to Bjork. All the members surely know how to play, delivering music influenced by Yes, King Crimson and Emerson/Lake/Palmer among others. I guess some songs could be radio hits like the optimistic "Joyride" or the mellower "Night Surf". If you thing prog rock does it for you, I think that White Willow could be one of the best contemporary representatives of the genre.
Visit their website: http://www. whitewillow.org
Recordlabel: http://www.laserCD.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/whitewillowband

65/100

ZERO HOUR - Specs of Pictures burnt Beyond (CD) USA March 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 43:12 (Tracks: 7)
Zero Hour was formed in 1993 by the brothers Jasun & Troy Tipton; twinbrothers from the Bay Area district in San Fransisco, USA. I discovered the band during their second release "Towers of Avarice" and from that time on I am one of their biggest fans! The band plays extreme technical/progressive metal which can be compared with bands like Watchtower & Spiral Architect (do they still exist?). On their latest album "A Fragile Mind" I thought that the band was going to be more mainstream because I heard a lot of Nevermore-a-like passages back in their songs. On this new album the band is going back to their earlier sound and the comparison with their second album "Towers of Avarice" is great. Well, personally i'm very glad with this development because "Towers of Avarice" still is my fav. Zero Hour album. Plus to this new album is the fact that the band is suited with newcomer vocalist Chris Salinas (ex-Power of Omen) who has a great voice and a very wide range! A welcome addition!! Musically everything sounds perfect and also productional I cant complain at all. Producer Dino Alden did a hell of a job! Fav. songs on this album: 'The Falcon's Cry', 'Evidence of the Unseen'& the instrumental 'Zero Hour'. People who think that Dream Theater is progressive should listen to this stuff!! They will be blasted! Superb album!!!
Visit their website: http://zerohourweb.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.lasersedgegroup.com/
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/zerohourband

95/100

FEBRUARY

A.C.T – Silence (CD) Sweden February 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 1:04:29 (Tracks: 19)
These Swedes are anything but new to the music scene. They released their first effort "Today's Report" back in 1999 and are now on their fourth album. "Silence" is a reasonably strong one at that. The melodic touches are imminent, as are the classic progressive influences. Add a good sounding voice and the realisation that this band still do live in the 20th century to those elements and you have A.C.T. It sometimes even sounds a bit dated and poppy, but it never goes over the edge, never gets cheesy. Think of traces of Valensia and Queen in a large lake of (Peter Gabriel era) Genesis, Yes and ELP. We state that there are 19 songs on the album, but number 11 to 19 are all elements of "Consequences (the long one)". That is the real gem of this album. That's where the band shows it's real capacity. All the stops have been pulled, all the talent is let loose and all the music is genuine. Great. If you do love progressive rock pur sang, you are in for a treat. If you don't, please have a good listen. it might just be a bit too freaky, old fashioned or soft for you.
Visit their website: http://www.actworld.nu/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.suburban.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de/

75/100

ANGER AS ART – Callous and Furor (CD) USA February 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 50:07 (Tracks: 13 & 1 video)
ANGER AS ART is a creation of Thrash Metal pioneer Steve Gaines ( Abattoir, Bloodlust, Tactics, Pagan War Machine, Dreams of Damnation ). After the release of the "Anger As Art" CD in September 2004 (under his own name and playing all the instruments on his own), Steve finally has a real band formed around him. Because Steve didnt want to release the new album under his own name again; he had to find a new name for his band. He used the album title of his first album as bandname "Anger as Art". Well this bandname covers it all; its an art to play thrashmetal with such anger!! Musically its a good follow up to the debut album; again pure thrashmetal with sometimes a bit hardcore influences (listen to songs like: 'Bane of my Existence' & 'Invaders from Within'). To me it sounds like a mix of (old) Nuclear Assault & one of his own bands Bloodlust. Productional it sounds a bit thin but musically it convinced me. My only advice: leave the hardcore songs away next time please!
Personally I prefer this kind of thrashmetal above todays standard of thrashmetal. Still its good to hear that one of my old 80's heroes is "back in the ring"!! Anger as Art is gonna kick your lazy ass!!
Visit their website: http://www.angerasart.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/angerasart
Recordlabel: http://www.osmrecords.net/

84/100

ASTROSONIQ – Speeder People (CD) The Netherlands February 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Stoner Rock Running time: 70:35 (Tracks: 13)
When a band is ready to start an album with a song of almost 9 minutes, they're ready for the world. These Dutch guys have been firing their stoner rock into the world since 2000. And they have never disappointed. Of course they keep that up on "Speeder People", the fourth album in line. This isn't standard stuff. No, this has more depth to it than many similar artists. The songs are all well written and keep up your attention without flaw. They never are too long, or not interesting. That is a rare feat nowadays, because you always expect one or two lesser songs. Astrosoniq don't believe in that, so they have avoided writing them. I must admit that after a number of listens the songs are already stuck in my head, but worryingly enough the hearing of new noises, sounds or influences has stopped. That's usually a sign for me that although this is better than usual, it's just not deep enough for me. Well, whatever, this is a very good album for the real heavy rock 'n' roll freaks among us.
Visit their website: http://www.astrosoniq.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/astrosoniq
Recordlabel: http://www.suburban.nl/

75/100

BALFLARE – Tempest (CD) Japan February 2007 Ronny Elst
Style: Symphonic Power Metal Running time: 47:00 (Tracks: 11)
This Japanese band exist since early 2004.That same year they already recorded two typical heavy metal songs, which were also on their first album "Thousands Of Winters Of Flames". At the end of 2004, Balflare signed a distribution deal with Soundholic. In 2005 there were some line-up changes, but with these new members they recorded their second album "Tempest". And with this album, these Japanese guys surprised me a lot! The songs on their new album are highclass symphonic power metal beauties! Very much comparable with bands such as Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, Dreamtale, Dragonland, Helloween, early Labÿrinth, Elegy, … .
Not only musically everything sounds very good, new vocalist Eijin is as good as most Scandinavian metal vocalists! Currently the band is entering the studio to record their third album. Hope that they'll find an European deal/distribution with that one because they certainly deserve that!
Visit their website: http://www.balflare.net/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/balflare
Recordlabel: http://homepage3.nifty.com/soundholic/

85/100

CAST AWAY - Cast Away (CD)/ Germany February 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 37:11 (Tracks: 8)
Cast Away was founded in 2003 out of the rather fun-project-like band "Deadnight Warrior" who originated from the band "Extinction". Later they changed their name in Cast Away and toured with bands like Goddess Of Desire, Stormwarrior and more ! Cast Away play real German heavy/power/thrash metal, what means great true metal with a very big German accent haha. Still remember Aardschok (Dutch leading magazine) hates these kind of real German metal bands, that's why we love it, yeah ! Cast Away is not from the highest level but who cares? It will bring you lots of pleasure and a lot of headbanging fun ! Good record and a must for people who shit on the commerce ! Cast Away is real metal band and without any doubt this is a great new record !
Visit their website: http://www.castaway-band.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/castawaymetal

70/100

CONQUEST OF STEEL - May Your Blade Never Dull (Mini-CD) UK Febryary 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 22:00 (Tracks: 5)
These British heavy metal warriors started in the year 1998 to play true worshipping metal ! Conquest Of Steel started off with a self released ep “Priest Of Metal”. This EP got a great oldschool vein!!! Then they released “Stadium of Steel”, a great split 12” and a fucking great full lenght record, which were a few of my favorites of the year 2004! I saw them two times live onstage and I can say they are a must for every traditional heavy metal fan!!! Frontman Darren is a great singer and a good frontman as well! Dressed in a denim jacket full with patches, long hair, short pants and naked feet when he is singing, great own style mate !!!! The rest of the band has also got a great metal attitude, true headbangers who now released their second EP.
This EP got a great sound, just like their old material, that we allready knew from this British lads ! It all sounds a bit simple but that’s always the best in real true metal! Just singing about headbanging, worshipping and beerdrinking that’s the spirit of real metal! It’s funny these guys are from England, mostly these kind of bands are from Germany. Conquest Of Steel shows the world that England has got his own New Manowar, by the name: Conquest Of Steel! I felt proud to be in their thanklist, it’s a real honor my mates !
Hopefully Mario and me can get these guys over here very soon, maybe an idea for Tilburg Headbangers Fest 2008? Heavy Metallers; buy these records, you will love it, for absolutely sure !!!
Visit their website: http://www.conquestofsteel.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.nofacerecords.co.uk

83/100

DEMON - Time Has Come - The Best Of Demon (2 CD) / UK February 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: NWOBHM Running time: 1:44:34 (Tracks: 27)
Just as the long hot summer of 1976 had given birth to Punk, the long, cold winter of 1979 spawned the now legendary, New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). A movement of such magnitude that it’s still being talked about more than twenty years later. Hard rocking, fast, loud, aggressive, NWOBHM captured the imagination of those disillusioned with disco, put-off by punk and nonplussed by the emerging New-Romantics. It also brought forth: Demon. Formed during the first wave of NWOBHM by lyricist/vocalist Dave Hill and guitarist Mal Spooner, with Paul Riley on bass, Clive Cook on guitar and John Wright on drums. The Midlands quintet hooked up with Clay Records supremo, Mike Stone, in 1980, to release their first single, 'Liar'. Issued on blood-red vinyl, in a limited edition run of just 5000 copies, Liar marked the beginning of an incredible story spanning two decades - and counting. Now they’ve released this 'best of" CD in 2006, awesome stuff !!! Demon played different styles in the nwobhm/hardrock genre. From the very first nwobhm stuff what sounds a bit more melodic than most other bands from England those days, but still very great, until their later melodic/aor material from the mid/late 80's. Demon is one of the bands who survived, songs like "Night Of The Demon" and "Don't Break The Circle" still make every heavy metal party complete! People who don't know this very old British band, buy or die!! Demon released here without any doubt the best "best off" CD of 2006! NWOBHM & MELODIC HARDROCK/AOR STILL LIVES IF YOU LISTEN TO THIS RECORD !
Visit their website: http://www.the-demon.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.plastichead.com

99/100

DEVILISH IMPRESSIONS – Plurima Mortis Imago (CD) Poland February 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Black Death Metal Running time: 44:46 (Tracks: 9)
Devilish Impressions is new band in the metal scene. Their first album "Eritis Sicut Deus" is an MCD and is released in 2002. After some line up changes they finally released their debut "Plurima Mortis Imago" by Conquer Records and what an album! I have heard a lot of black metal but this sounds fucking brutal and sick. All songs are very fast and brutal; a lot of technical death metal riffs and fast blasts, raging vocals and screams that make you're hair stand up straight. And then there is a keyboard that gives all songs an atmospheric and dark dimension. They even have 2 instrumental songs and they sounded great (track 1 & 6). The production of this CD is very good. The entire album keeps you focused on listening to every detail in every song. Well done!!!!! This band is very original and gives death black metal a totally different feeling
Visit their website: http://www.devilish-impressions.com
Recordlabel: http://www.conquerrec.com

85/100

EDGE OF ANGER - Hate Charge (CD) The Netherlands February 2007 Bart Verkeyn
Style: Experimental Melodic Death Metal Running time: 40:34 (Tracks: 11)
Edge of anger, Melodic deathmetal with hardcore influences from Holland, started as a solo project for Wietze Halma back in November 2005, the band was formed around May 2006. And now there here with their debut promo CD "Hate Charge". When I first heard that they were playing experimental melodic death metal I didn't know what to expect from this band but when I heard their CD I came to realise that they were more hardcore then melodic death metal and the one genre i'm not yet into is definitely hardcore I just don't understand it. With this kind of music I just expect deep grunt and not this hardcorish singing. This CD just doesn't appeal to me, maybe for someone else who is into this whole genre but not for me.
Visit their website: http://www.edgeofanger.com

50/100

EMETH - Reticulated (CD) Belgium February 2007 Bart Verkeyn
Style: Brutal Death Metal Running time: 31:29 (Tracks: 9)
Emeth was formed back in October 1997, by some people who weren't completely happy with the bands they played in. The motivation and dedication to do better quickly led to several releases and the opportunity to play multiple live-shows. "Reticulated" is Emeth's second release after "Insidious". Having heard their first album I must say that this release isn't entirely new to me but there were made some changes here and there f.e. the thick death growls have traded place for more screamy vocals. So what you can expect from "Reticulated" is fucking brutal death metal with uncomprehensible speed and gutwrenching vocals; which at sometimes feels like having your bowls shoved trough your throat while being run over by a bulldozer, and all of this combined with great technicallity. If you have the courage to go and buy this album I must say that you won't regret buying it.
Visit their website: http://www.emeth.be
Recordlabel: http://www.brutalbands.net

88/100

EVANESCE - Secure the Shadow (CD) UK February 2007 Tsatsral Otgonbayar
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 49:06 (Tracks: 11)
"Secure the Shadows" is the last album by British Stalwarts "Evanesce". Following on from the success of the S.O.S split 12" (2002) it was always their intention to release this album but what none of the involved parties knew was quite how long it would take or the difficulty that would be involved. The album was recorded following the seemingly obligatory line-up changes which so often plague bands.
When I first received this CD, I definitely had to look twice because at first I thought this was a new Evanescence album which made me leap into the sky of joy but then I took a second look at it and realised it was Evanesce instead of Evanescence. Nonetheless I was anxious to put on this CD because melodic death is definitely one of my favourite genres. This CD had everything I hoped for: good riffs, the occasional solo, nice grunting and good drums to back the whole thing up but I felt like I had heard this all before. In the end this is a pretty good release but too bad that this is their last album I guess I will have to inspect their previous albums to hear more from them.

Recordlabel: http://www.nofacerecords.co.uk

75/100

EXTROVERT – Making The Ocean Awake (CD) Russia February 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 72:19 (Tracks: 9)
The only thing I am able to read on this album is the name of the band. The rest is like Russian to me. Actually, it is all in the Russian language and characters. No singing along then, I'm afraid. Not that this is anything to sing along to, unless you picture Dream Theater as one of those bands. You have guessed it, this is progressive metal of the 21st century. Is it any good? It is any good! It is very good. Musically these men do know how to write, play and record their songs. They have the understanding of what makes a tune work, how to mix the different rhythms. And they do use many rhythms, from very fast to extremely slow. And of course anything in between. They're not afraid to try things out, but they also seen to grasp how to keep it all nice to the ears. The fact that you haven't got a clue what the vocalist is singing about doesn't make any difference. He really blends in with the music. Yes, the tone of his voice and his pronunciations are very apt. Extrovert has had many other names in the past, but I must admit that this one is appropriate. They don't pull their punches, they go full hog. If you like bands like DT, Fates Warning and Pain of Salvation you should check this out. You'll find out what Russian quality metal is made of.
Visit their website: http://www.extrovert.ru/
Recordlabel: http://www.blacksmithprods.com/

79/100

FAITH AND FIRE – Accelerator (CD) USA January 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 61:40 (Tracks: 12)
There are some albums that define your heavy metal identity, some records that can be referred to as milestones of our beloved music. One of these records was Riot's "Thundersteel", a power metal ravager that hit our world like a sledgehammer. The main characteristic of this recording was the extraordinary performances of vocalist Tony Moore. With his sky high screams he gave us the goose bumps and set the standards for many future power metal vocalists. Moore did another great album with Riot before vanishing into obscurity, pretty much the way he appeared at the scene. For years I wondered what had become of him, how a great voice like this could simply disappear from the face of the earth. It was until a couple of years ago that I learned about Moore getting back to business. Moore alongside Riot guitarist Mike Flyntz formed the band Faith and Fire in 2002. They recruited drummer John Miceli and bassist Danny Miranda and begun recording their debut album.
To be honest "Accelerator" proved somehow less of what I expected given the band members' previous works. Tony Moore still owns a great and distinctive voice but doesn't give that 101% kind of performances he did back in the Riot days. This could be partially attributed to the fact that the compositions don't have that ultrasonic power metal character but follow a more laid back mid tempo hard rock - heavy metal style. There are a couple of great, energetic fast songs but the majority of the 12 CD tracks is in a groovy mid tempo fashion with bits and pieces of contemporary sound. Flyntz is a guitar mastermind, no doubt about it, and the rest of the players are real professionals but these facts alone can't create a masterpiece. "Accelerator" is a good start but I want to see more coming from this very promising band.
Visit their website: http://www.faith-and-fire.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net

71/100

FUELBLOODED – Inflict the Inevitable (CD) The Netherlands February 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Melodic Thrash Death Metal Running time: 42:33 (Tracks: 10)
Fuelblooded is a relatively new name in the metal scene, the band themselves have been around for more than a decade. In the early years of '89 they started as Sacramental Sachem (heavy metal) but after several line-up changes they decided in 2002 to change their name in Fuelblooded. Small tours with Darkane (S) and Arch Enemy (S) followed as well as the 2002 promo release to attract labels. In 2004 they started recording a new album and in 2006 they released their debut "Inflict the Inevitable" by Copro Records. This album contains 10 tracks of pure melodic death thrash metal. The guitar riffs are pounding, fast, melodic and technical. The vocalist uses almost every kind of voice: grunt, clean and a trashy scream that gives this album a very melodic sound. The production of this album is very professional. Every thing on this album sounds like a steaming machine that will run you over. There is just one sad thing that I must say, after 4 years the vocalist decided to leave the band. But they've already found a new singer and are back in the studio (I hope that their new album kicks ass). If you like bands that sound like, The Defaced or Soilwork or better said if you like thrash death metal, then you are definitely going to enjoy this album.
Visit their website: http://www.fuelblooded.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
Recordlabel: www.coprorecords.co.uk

80/100

HANDFUL OF HATE – Greusome Splendour (CD) Italy February 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Black Metal Running time: 35:52 (Tracks: 9)
Handful of Hate was formed in 1993 and released their first demo in '94. That demo delivered them a recorddeal with Northern Darkness Records and they released their debut"Qliphotic Supremacy" in '96. In 1999 they released their second and last album with Northern Darkness Records. In 2000 they signed by Downfall Records and released a 7"-EP. In 2003 they released their 3rd album "ViceCrown" by Code666 Records. In 2004 Downfall Records releases the "Blood Calls Blood" MCD. Later on in 2005 they signed an one album deal with Cruz Del Sur Music and releases their 4th full length "Gruesome Splendour" and what an album. This album contains 9 tracks of ravenous black metal. Fast guitar riffs and brutal blasts and a screaming voice that reminds you of blasphemy and torture. All the songs have a good production and sound fucking great. The only thing that surprises me is that they had so many labels, because if I had a label I wouldn't let them go! If you like bands like Dark Funeral you're definitely going to enjoy this album.
Visit their website: http://www.handfulofhate.com
Recordlabel: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com

80/100

HELLOWEEN – Live in Sao Paulo (2 CD) Germany February 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy Power Metal Running time: 1:58:16 (16 tracks)
Normally I always start with a short biography of the bands I review but with a wellknown band as Germany's "Happy Metal Discovereres" this is senseless. People who still dont know Helloween at all are probably reading a wrong review on/or a wrong webzine......
I have always been a huge Helloween fan during their Kai Hansen / Michael Kiske period and I have all the releases of that period. After Kiske left the band years ago, I also knocked off as a Helloween fan. Their "new" singer Andi Deris (ex- Pink Cream 69) is also a good singer and a great performer on stage but to me he never reached the high level of his predecessors. Still Helloween is one of the most succesfull German metalbands ever and at this time there are dozen of bands that try to imitate their kind of heavy 'happy' metal.
Last year the band recorded several live gigs during their "Keeper of the Seven Keys - Worldtour" and one of these shows, in Sao Paulo (Brasil), is used to release a double CD and DVD. Because the tour was called the "Keeper of the Seven Keys", I know most of the songs on this live album. It all sounds very good and I enjoyed it a lot to listening to this album. This is an absolute must for every die-hard Helloween fan! Because its difficult to rate a live album; I decided not to rate it. Nevertheless its a damn good album so check it out!!
Visit their website: http://www.helloween.org
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de

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HYADES – Abuse Your Illusions (CD) Italy February 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 47:13 (Tracks: 10)
Hyades are around since 1996 and hail from the North of Italy, they have released four demo CD's and in 2001 they released their "No Bullshit, Just Metal" EP which is the best release of their first nine years, as they stated themselves. They also appeared on a couple of compilations and started working on the first full length with a stable line up in 2004 of which this release is the result. Hyades plays thrash metal in the Bay Area style, and they sound a bit like Anthrax meets Testament with the vocals of John Connolly from Nuclear Assault. Not the most original sounding album, but it sounds okay, with a great thrash metal production. Some songs give a feeling of 'where have I heard that before' but nonetheless they do it well. The album starts off with 'No Man's Land' which has a strong Anthrax feel in it, almost every song on the album has a familiar sound. As some titles are 'Smart Bombs, Dumb War', 'Liars', 'Blameless In The Deathrow' and 'September, 11' they don't hold back to deliver some politics and society criticism in a funny way, this album is just like it came out in 1987, so you get the idea of what to expect. On the album you will also find a cover of Beastie Boys 'Fight For Your Right' , hilarious, this is a band who has a lot of fun doing what they do, so you decide if you like it too…
Visit their website: http://www.hyadesmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.mausoleum-records.com

80/100

IMAGES OF EDEN – Sunlight of the Spirit (CD) USA February 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 54:57 (Tracks: 12)
Images of Eden was formed at the State of Pennsylvania during late 90ies. In the beginning the band was more of a one man project handled by Gordon Tittsworth. In 2001 Gordon released its first and self financed album entitled "Chapter I". Soon afterwards he began looking for permanent band members in order to continue recording and start touring the Mid Atlantic coast. "Sunlight of the Spirit" is the result of a team work by Tittsworth (Vocals, Bass and keyboards), Dennis Mullin (guitars, keys) and Matt Kaiser (drums) and a very ambitious project set to gain worldwide recognition by fans and press.
"Sunlight of the Spirit" is a progressive metal album. It is obvious that the band is influenced by other prog metal heroes like Dream Theater, Fates Warning and Queensryche. It contains some beautiful guitar melodies, distinctive vocals and interesting drumming. All compositions are melodic but with a certain amount of groove which in my opinion is the band's strongest point. Another good thing about this release is that's not "too progressive" meaning that it won't tire you with a million changes and a zillion riffs like many bands of the genre do. Make sure you give the lyrics their chance; they have some interesting stories to tell.
Visit their website: http://www.imagesofeden.com
Recordlabel: http://www.nightmare-records.com

78/100

KYLESA - Time will Fuse it's Worth (CD) USA February 2007 Bart Verkeyn
Style: Sludge Metal Running time: 39:29 (Tracks: 10)
Kylesa is an american sludge band from Savannah, Georgia which was formed in early 2001. "Time will fuse it's worth" is already the third album of american rockers Kylesa and having read about this band but never heard one of there records I was curious to how they would sound and now that I have received this CD I must say that i'm a bit let down. Having read several reviews that contained nothing but superlatives I had expected that I would like this band. Due to the lack of time I have only had the time to really listen to this album once and I must say, maybe it's because I only listened to it once, that my great expectations weren't forfilled. I love some songs on this album but then on the other hand I hate some of the songs too so it's kind of a hate love relationship that I have with this release. If I had to compare them with some other band it would be with Mastodon except Mastodon for me is a thousand times better than this band. Maybe if I listen to it more I will come to appreciate the greatness of this band but for the moment now I don't.
Visit their website: http://www.kylesa.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.prostheticrecords.com

60/100

MATHIAS – Mathias (CD) UK February 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 34:14 (Tracks: 9)
I really think it's a pity when bands have done their best to record as good a record as possible and the production lets it down big time. That is what has happened with Mathias. It sounds as if they are standing in the sewers and the microphone is hanging right in between them. Everything sounds muffled, not very crisp and clear. Heavy metal to a t, that's their sound. Very modern, but always with a vibe of the past. Well thought out, and sometimes well executed. They start off well with "Betrayed". "Dreams" and "Vendetta" are not bad either, but the rest of the songs just can't get to that level. It never flows well enough, the guys never go ahead full throttle. That's what gets to you eventually and of course the lame production doesn't help either. I do believe that Mathias can produce a good album, but they need to take more time in writing, as to get the flow right. And please, please, next time pay the money for a proper production.
Visit their website: http://www.mathiasnet.co.uk/
Recordlabel: http://www.nofacerecords.co.uk

60/100

MERENDINE ATOMICHE - Raw (CD) Italy February 2007 Tsatsral Otgonbayar
Style: Trash Metal Running time: 46:00 (Tracks: 11)
Veteran Italian thrash metal stalwart Merendine Atomiche is prepared to present their most visceral and accomplished work to date: RAW. RAW is Merendine Atomiche's second full length album. Their 2003 release "Walk across Fire", along with their demo, mini CD, and tribute to Metallica, established the band's powerful sound.
Having worked hard on this album, putting their best efforts into it, for over two years Merendine Atomiche has accomplished their task of making an excellent album. What i so like about this CD is the verstality of the singer's voice, his voice ranges from clean powerlike vocals to screaming vocals and that all with kickass riffs which you have to headbang to and offcourse we cannot forget the ballad that's also a part of this CD and is also amazing. So combining the powerfull and agressive vocals of their leadsinger with powerfull melodic riffing this CD definitely pleases me. I hope to hear a lot of this band in the future .
Visit their website: http://www.merendineatomiche.3000.It
Recordlabel: http://www.mausoleum-records.com

90/100

MESSIAH'S KISS - Dragonheart (CD) Germany / USA / UK February 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy Power Metal Running time: 45:15 (Tracks: 11)
Messiah's Kiss is a metalband with an international line-up, formed around 2001. "Prayer for the Dying", the debut album by the band whose members come from Germany, USA and the UK saw the light of day in August 2002 and was greeted with enthusiastic reviews worldwide. In 2004 the band released the follow up to their debut which was named "Metal". I was only familair with the bands debut album but according to the reviews I did read about "Metal", the bands metalroad continued on that album..
Well finally here's the bands third release "Dragonheart". One of the first releases MMM got from the dutch SPV promoter "Petting Zoo" and what an entry!!! This is straight up, uncompromising, powerfull heavy metal in a way I didnt hear it for a long time!! Heavy Metal in its purest form; solid riffs, double bass rhytms, catchy hooks and an awesome singer!! I never saw Messiah's Kiss live on stage yet but I did hear/see the singer Mike Tirelli during his stand-in gigs for Riot and I can tell you that he is a superb singer!! The album is well produced by Herman Frank (ex-Accept) who also appears as a guest musician on this album. Musically it all sounds as tight as a duck's ass!! Hopefully the band will visit Europe this summer; I cant wait to see/hear them live!! Great album!!!
Visit their website: http://www.messiahskiss.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.pettingzoo.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.spvusa.com

93/100

MIDNIGHTSTORM – Midnightstorm (CD) Italy February 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Progressive Speed Metal Running time: 37:18 (Tracks: 7)
This to me is an absolute surprise and a real joy to listen to. Midnightstorm are typically Italian, but at the same time are so distinctively different from many others. This is melodic rock mixed with some progressive influences. I usually have a few listening sessions before I come to a conclusion about a record, but somehow this one immediately drew my attention. The first thing that strikes you is the perfect pronunciation that Igor Vetrih (you could never invent that name, even if you wanted to) has on this whole record. And what a pleasant voice to listen to! The music is bombastic, but still remains it's lightness. It is melodic and heavy, but also always transparent. All songs have a proper beginning, a full body and a purposeful ending. It's not perfect, though, because some things could have been done better, but that's me picking bones. I don't get it. When you hear the amount of crap records being released through the proper music labels you start wondering why Midnightstorm has to do it on their own accord. If you love good melodic music that has everything you can wish for, please do me a favour. Check out Midnightstorm.
Visit their website: http://www.midnightstorm.it

82/100

MYSTICA – Carol Anne (MCD) Belgium February 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Black Death Metal Running time: 28:06 (Tracks: 7)
Mystica was formed in 1999 and isn't a new comer in the metal scene (they're guitar player also plays in Enthroned) they released they're first demo in 2000 and a live promo. In 2001 they signed with Painkiller Records and released their debut "Blinded by my Blood" and in 2005 "Human Mutants". Their latest album "Carol Anne" is a MCD that contains 7 tracks of Black Death metal with a lot thrash influences in it. All songs are very straight to the point and have a lot of variety. The MCD has a good production. The first five songs are more death metal mixed with thrash riffs and the rest sounds more like Black metal. The variety in this album is very high, in every song are 2 kinds of vocals (screams and grunts) and the guitar riffs are very fast and technical. If you like bands that sound like Soilwork or Bal-Sagoth than you have to check this album.
Visit their website: http://www.mystica-online.com
Recordlabel: http://www.painkiller.be

75/100

NIGHTWIND - The Midnight's Dances (Mini CD) Russia February 2007 Tsatsral Otgonbayar
Style: Doom Metal Running time: 15:59 (Tracks: 3)
Seeing the cover of this CD I had no idea that I would come to like this band so much. If I had to resemble Nightwind to a band it would be Antimatter because the songs are equally calming and soothing in a way that's hard to describe. They have combined a good powerfull yet depressing voice with very relaxing music and aren't afraid to use different instruments like flute, piano and even ambient noises which are cleverly used to make the total a very relaxing experience. The only remark I have for this band is that the English of the leadsinger is not that good but that can be improved. It's just the beginning of the year and the first CD I review is definetely going to be in my top 10 albums for 2007. This is an amazing release for me and I hope I can have the privilege to receive their full album soon.
Visit their website: http://www.rg-nightwind.boom.ru

90/100

NOSTRADAMEUS – Pathway (CD) Sweden February 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Speed Metal Running time: 44:05 (Tracks: 11)
Nostradameus is getting better by every record they produce. On this one I dare to say that if you take away the nice and clean vocals you end up with Megadeth style music. The guitar sound is rough, hard and heavy. The riffs go right through your spine and are, to say the least, impressive. Because the rest of the players are able to keep up "Pathway" is full of very good songs and a perfect production. The kind of music is speed metal with a progressive twist. That requires a good voice, and they even have that. I must admit I would have loved to hear Dave Mustaine sing some of these songs, but Freddy Persson does a good job as well. All together this is a very solid record that will show you that good heavy fast riffs don't always need someone shouting over them. Well done!
Visit their website: http://www.nostradameus.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de/

81/100

OUTWORLD – Outworld (CD) USA February 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US / Progressive Metal Running time: 57:31 (Tracks: 9)
Outworld's founding members, Rusty Cooley and keyboardist Bobby Williamson, first came together to record Rusty's acclaimed instrumental CD (see Archive CD/DVD Reviews), released in early 2003 on Lion Records. With his stunning instrumental CD, the guitar hero torch was passed to a new generation of virtuoso. Not wanting to be known for shred skills alone, Rusty and Bobby decided to form Outworld as a vocal band in the vein of their own influences such as Dream Theater, Iron Maiden, Pantera, and Symphony X. With the addition of Kelly Carpenter (ex-Beyond Twilight) on vocals, and the help of other musicians on bass and drums, Outworld recorded a four-song demo in 2004 (see Archive CD/DVD Reviews). The demo led to the signing of a worldwide deal with France-based Replica Records, a label affiliated with metal acts such as Angra, Beyond Twilight, and Pyramaze. With the subsequent addition of bassist extraordinaire Shawn Kascak the core of Outworld was born. The band's lineup, however, continued to be unstable at vocals and at drums. The band went through three drummers in the span of a year, and vocalist Kelly Carpenter became increasingly involved with other projects, most notably recording with Beyond Twilight for their 2005 release "Section X."
The band finally completed the recording of its debut CD in late 2005. Originally intended for a spring 2006 release. Shortly thereafter, the band began a search for a drummer with undeniable skills in the vein of bands such as Lamb of God, Unearth, and Nevermore. Outworld identified current drummer Matt McKenna out of Seattle, who quickly relocated to Texas to join the band. On the eve of its debut CD release in fall 2006, having been further delayed due to various issues, Outworld unexpectedly parted ways with vocalist Kelly Carpenter. However, the metal gods smiled upon Outworld when they quickly found Brazil-based vocalist Carlos Zema (Vougan, Heaven's Guardian). The band's debut CD, "Outworld," which includes Kelly's Carpenter's vocals, was released in November 2006.
I was already a huge Outworld fan when I reviewed the bands four-song demo a few years ago. So if anyone was looking out for this album than it had to be me! Gladly the band doesnt disappoint me; this is superb US-metal with a lot of progessive elements which I like very, very much! Great musicianship, good production and a superb singer!! I think it will be very difficult for the new singer, Carlos Zema, to reach this high level!!!
This album is fuckin awesome and it should belong in every metalheads CD collection!! This is an absolute must!!! Check them out & buy this album; you wont regret it!!
Visit their website: http://www.outworldband.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.replicarec.com/

98/100

PYRAMAZE – Legend of the Bone Carver (CD) USA / Denmark February 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic Progressive Power Metal Running time: 47:56 (Tracks: 10)
In it's early stages PYRAMAZE began in the winter of 2001/2002, when guitarist Michael Kammeyer left his former band, Damion. After a few months, the idea of writing a complete self financed album of his own material formed in his mind. The following months were spent in intensive song writing mode, and by the summer of 2002 Michael found himself with enough material for a complete album. The time had now come, to find a name and the ideal musicians for this new band, it was then that Pyramaze began to take form.
He didn't have to look far to find the first 2 musicians, as local drummer Morten Gade Sørensen and bassist Niels Kvist immediately jumped on the opportunity to join Michael in his quest. The next person to sign on was American keyboardist Jonah Weingarten, whom Michael had met over the internet. With a band around him, Michael then booked the studio to record the debut album. He hired on the well-known producer Jacob Hansen, a man with a long list of fantastic productions behind him, ranging from Hatesphere and Mercenary to Manticora and Falconer to name a few.
In January 2003, Jonah flew to Denmark and the band began recording the debut CD "Melancholy Beast". After a couple of phone conversations Pyramaze and Intromental Management decided to join forces, and the band suddenly found themselves being promoted professionally. One of the things that came with the signing to Intromental, was the decision of finding a really fantastic pro-singer. Someone who not only would fit the material, but also be able to lift it to even higher levels. After listening carefully to everything, Michael found that only one singer truly stood out, and that man was Lance King, known from such great power and progressive metal acts as Balance Of Power, Mattson, King's Machine and Gemini. Lance was approached with the material, and he agreed to become the new vocalist for Pyramaze. A few months later the vocals were finished, and the material was sent to Denmark again, where it was finally mixed and mastered back in Jacob's studio in Ribe.
Michael began composing what was to be the second Pyramaze release in the winter months of 2004/2005, a concept album entitled "Legend Of The Bone Carver" that has a unique story flowing from beginning to end. Once again recorded with Jacob Hansen at the helm, this new opus was completed in the summer of 2005.
This album was finally released in february 2006. Due to circumstances I wasnt able to review the album earlier but when a review turns out to be positive; better later than never!!!! And positive it is!! I also had the luck to see this superb band on stage during their Headbangers Open Air show last year in Germany and I can tell you that the band live is also sublime. Pyramaze plays Epic, Melodic Power metal with symphonic & progressive elements and with great musicianship. Metalfood for fans of Symphony X, Dream Theater & Balance of Power. Buy this album a.s.a.p.!! You wont regret it!!
Note: lately singer Lance King left the band but i'm sure they will find a capable replacement!
Visit their website: http://www.pyramaze.com/
MySpace: http://myspace.com/pyramaze
Recordlabel: http://www.nightmarerecords.com/

95/100

REBEL MEETS REBEL – Rebel Meets Rebel (CD) USA February 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Heavy Country Metal Running time: 40:27 (Tracks: 12)
Ever wondered how Pantera would sound if they would have let in some country and western influences? Well, just listen to Rebel Meets Rebel, because that's just what they have done here. But with a difference, because Phil Anselmo is not the singer, but Stanley Winfield. It just feels and sounds like Johnny Cash has joined the band. Whether you like it or not, it is different. Most of all, it lets you hear just how distinctive the guitar sound of Dimebag Darrell really was. It comes through all the time. Is it a good record? Not really, because to me this gets kind of cheesy after a while. It doesn't have the drive, the fierceness or the pizzazz that Pantera used to have. It is all just that little bit too tame. Doesn't change the fact that the class of the two brothers is very high indeed, and that they could make every record into an acceptable one. And that is what this is. Nothing more, nothing less. Hats off to Darrell.
Visit their website: http://www.rebelmeetsrebel.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotivemusic.com/

81/100

ROOM NO.13 - Inside (CD) The Netherlands February 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Death/Thrash Metal Running time: 19:38 (Tracks: 7)
The first thing that I noticed when I got this CD was that it was recorded and mixed in 3 days in april 2001, so it's a bit of an old one I guess. The band started in 2000 and very soon after that they recorced this CD 'Inside' and started to play a lot. They already played the Waldrock festival and they shared the stage with bands like Vader, Akercocke, Arch Enemy and a lot of others. The CD starts off with 'Incoming' which is a great, bit of a technical thrash song, but instantly you hear the problem of this CD, a very poor production. But hey what can you expect, they did it in just 3 days. The musical idea's however are great, listen to '48 Stitches', or 'Mindless Killing Machine' nothing to complain there. It seems that nowadays they have evolved to a more powerful, faster and harder musical style, so I'm curious about that. But they are definitely worth checking out, for those who watch the ratings, it would have been much higher with a better production, so I hope next time…
Visit their website: http://www.roomno13.com

70/100

RUFFIANS - Desert of Tears (CD) USA February 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Metal Running time: 45:58 (Tracks: 11)
Ruffians was born out of friendship and the mutual musical interests of its founding members Craig Behrhorst (Guitar), Luke Bowman (Drums) and Chris Atchison (Guitar). At the end of 1983 the band changed their line-up and recruited long time friend Dan Moura on bass and vocal legend Carl Albert. With the dual guitar sound of Craig and Chris along with Lukes powerhouse drumming, Carls powerful and melodic vocals had given the band the sound they had been looking for. In January 1985 Ruffians entered the studio to lay down tracks for their debut album. The album received great reviews from the international and domestic press, and the bands fan base grew much larger. Despite all this, Carl felt the need to leave the band at the close of 1985 to join Vicious Rumors. With Carls departure, Ruffians were faced again with finding a front man to take the helm. After auditioning over 50 vocalists they found the perfect match in Rich Wilde who joined the band in early 1986. In 1987 the band went back into the studio this time with Rich on vocals and the result was a new 4-track release which appeared on various compilations and were well received by the Heavy Metal Press.
In early 1989 the band split up, but the fans and supporters remained to this day, making a Ruffians reunion a reality when the band was invited to play Germanys legendary Bang Your Head Festival in June of 2004. Hellion Records re-released the bands original 1985 album on CD with live bonus tracks as well as a Limited Edition Collectors Vinyl with previously unreleased tracks to coincide with the bands 2004 reunion shows. This would be the bands first ever time playing overseas. Ruffians double disc "There & Back" was released in 2005 on OSM Records and the band hit Europe once again last fall playing 8 shows in 5 countries. All shows received great reviews with the last show of the tour being Germanys Keep It True Festival (see Archive Live Reviews).
Well, after the positive reactions to their reunion shows the band decided to continue and to record a new album "Desert of Tears" which is now released on the German Metal Heaven label. I had the luck to see the band at last years Keep it True festival (Germany) and also a few months ago at our local club 013 in Tilburg, The Netherlands. After these gigs I was very curious about their new album.
My conclusion is very simple: ON stage Ruffians are much better than on CD. Not that this is a bad album, not at all, but the band sounds much more agressive live. Other little complain is the fact that the band has to much mid-tempo songs which is not typical for 80's US-metal bands. Talking about the songs: I like "Live by the Sword" very much but a song like "It aint over" really sucks!! Nevertheless a nice album form these guys.
Visit their website: http://www.ruffians.org/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net

72/100

SCORNAGE – Pure Motorized Instinct (CD) Germany February 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 48:04 (Tracks: 12)
Scornage were founded back in 1998 in Germany and have a lot of experience of playing live with bands like Sodom, Holy Moses, Deicide to name a few. They have also released some CD's; in 2000 MCD "Ascend", in 2002 mp3 EP "Agression" which was only available through their own website. In 2004 Scornage released their first full length album "Sick Of Being Human" and now here is their second full length "Pure Motorized Instinct". This is really aggressive played thrash metal with a bit of an eighties feeling in it, but it's all very well done with a very good production. The album starts off with 'Scared To Be' and the title track, it really blows out your speakers full speed ahead, great! If you are into Sodom and Kreator you will also love this band, also a song in german 'Abgrund' on the album, but it fits in great. Real fast and aggressive tracks like 'Keep It To Yourself', 'Higher' and my favourite song on the album 'When There Is No More Room In Hell' just great, now I hope to see them play live soon, get this one you thrashers!
Visit their website: http://www.scornage.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.remedyrecords.de

85/100

SEASONS OF THE WOLF – Sampler (CD) USA February 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 20:03 (Tracks: 4)
Seasons of the Wolf was formed in Florida back in 1988 by the Waddell brothers (vocals and guitar). It took the quintet 8 years and several demos before releasing its self titled debut. Three more albums followed: "Lost in Hell" in 1999, "Nocturnal Revelation" in 2002 and "Once in a Blue Moon" in 2006.
The CD reviewed here is not a new studio release. It is actually a compilation featuring one track from each Seasons of the Wolf album. Up to now I was only familiar with "Lost in Hell" but it seems that all their works are somehow in the same style with the debut being somehow darker and the latest one being a bit more progressive. The band delivers dark power metal with some gothic and progressive touches in a unique fashion. There are no bands that sound like Seasons of the Wolf. The distinctive vocals combined with the strange keyboard sound and interesting guitar and bass lines form a quite interesting result. If you look for original bands in this genre, you should definitely go for Seasons of the Wolf.
Visit their website: http://www.sotwmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.CDbaby.com/

79/100

SECTION A – Parallel Lives (CD) Sweden/Denmark February 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Progressive Metal Running time: 57:32 (Tracks: 8)
Section A is a coalition formed by Swedish, Danish and American musicians. The band debuted in 2003 with the "Seventh Sign" album. The line-up was comprised of guitarist Torben Enevoldsen, Vanden Plas members Andreas Lil and Gunther Werno on drums and keyboards, Derek Sherinian (of Alice Cooper and Dream Theater fame) and the fabulous Mr. Andy Engberg (ex Sorcerer, Lion's Share) on vocals. Later on two more Lion's Share members filled in the ranks, bassist Pontus Egberg and drummer Johan Koleberg and the band proceeded to its second album, "Parallel Lives". As you can easily imagine, Section A has developed a sound quite similar to Lion's Share and Vanden Plas, suggesting high quality power metal with progressive elements. The sound is fine and clear, the compositions are melodic but also heavy and groovy, guitars are excellent and vocals by Andy supreme as always. Keyboards also play a significant role too although not the protagonist in this story. This without a doubt a great album, it certainly won't reinvent heavy metal music but will give you a fun hour of quality metal. That's more than enough for me.
Visit their website: http://www.subliritum.tk
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com

83/100

STAIRWAY – The Other Side Of Midnight (CD) UK February 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 55:31 (Tracks: 11)
This is honest, simple heavy metal. No difficult turnings, no trying to impress by playing power. No, Saxon and Tony Martin style Black Sabbath ("Burn") straight forward music. The big difference are the vocals. They are very much in AOR style, melodic and multiple where possible. That makes me think of old Axe and Balance, only heavier. There are not a lot of bands that I know who do it this way. That might be in favour of Stairway. Why? Because that line up of Black Sabbath doesn't exist anymore. And because these guys do know how to write a good tune, how to make it sound good. Like with Midnightstorm I wonder why the record companies are ignoring this band in favour of those crappy ones. Time to make amends!
Visit their website: http://www.stairwayonline.co.uk

80/100

SYSTEM SHOCK – Escape (CD) Sweden February 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 39:38 (Tracks: 9)
System Shock was formed in 2004. In that year they released their debut "Artic Inside" (Karmageddon Media). After the contract with Karmageddon they signed a contract with Mausoleum Records and released their latest album "Escape". This album contains 9 songs of pure melodic death metal. All songs have a lot of variety and sound very professional performed, what I mean is that every song doesn't sound the same and keeps you listening. The guitar riffs sound very thrashy and the vocalist has an old school grunt and even sings clean. The only thing I don't like is that the keyboards are too loud in the mix (in my opinion). But luckily that's not in every song. The only thing more I can say about this album is that if you like melodic metal you're definitely gonna have to check this album. If you like bands that sound like old Amorphis, Crematory than you will like this album
Visit their website: http://www.systemshock.se
Recordlabel: http://www.mausoleum-records.com

75/100

TALISMAN – 7 (CD) Sweden February 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 45:37 (Tracks: 11)
Jeff Scott Soto has been well known since the debut album of Rising Force in 1984. He has sang with many people over the years. He has even done the "Biker Mice From Mars" album in 1993. The two constants in his career were Eyes and Talisman. The former one quit a number of years ago. The latter band has just released their seventh album and probably their last, because we can safely assume that the big money has found JSS. He is now the new and permanent singer of Journey. Does he leave Talisman with a record of distinction? Well, yes and no. Of course his voice is one in a million and he is like a chameleon, he can take on any kind of sound. That is also his downfall, because he has the ability to sound like anyone. The music on "7" is okay, but not all songs are as impressive as one might like. I don't know why, but it feels like these guys have produced a record just for the making of it, to satisfy a record company. Not because they had a lot to say, or any superb songs to their exposure. That is thoroughly disappointing, because JSS, Marcel Jacob , Jamie Borger and Fredrik Akesson have much more to offer. Unfortunately they don't deliver. Don't get me wrong, "7" is not a bad album. By no means, but these guys can do a lot better. Pity they haven't.
Visit their website: http://www.jeffscottsoto.com/
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.roughtrade.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it/

68/100

THE DIRRTY ANGELZ – Heaven's Most Wanted (CD) Germany February 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Sleaze Rock Running time: 36:59 (Tracks: 10)
I have always had a soft spot for well made sleaze rock. Think of the debut album of Guns 'n' Roses, which to me is still one of the best records ever made. Or the first three records of Rose Tattoo, a very much underrated class act. Unfortunately The Dirrty Angelz have not grasped that concept. This is very casual, but also very poor. I really wish I could say something else, but this never convinces me of the possibilities of the band. The songs are too simple, I even find them immature, even childish at times. And why oh why do they have to blatantly steal from bands like ACDC, one of the icons of heavy metal and sleaze rock. The production matches that inadequacy, which prevents the songs to be lifted to a proper standard. That makes "Heaven's Most Wanted" into a dismissible record. I don't know if the band had the same idea, because they have recently changed their name into Black Pearl. Let's hope that these guys have seen the error of their ways and will do their best to improve. Shouldn't be too difficult.
Visit their website: http://www.blackpearl-rocks.de/

40/100

THE POODLES - Metal Will Stand Tall (CD) Sweden February 2007 Marco van Empel
Style: Hardrock / Heavy Metal Running time: 42:45 (Tracks: 14)
It's very hard for me to find any biography of this new Swedish melodic hardrock/metal band. Four of Sweden's best session guys (members of Talisman, Lions Share, Zan Clan, Dalton), who first started playing together as a cover band to huge audiences. The Poodles play melodic hardrock/heavy metal with even some sleaze & power metal influences. All songs sound good in the ear and are accessible for a big audience. A very commercial sound. Maybe songs like "Metal Stand Tall" will even hit the european top 40 ? Sleaze meets modern Power Metal ! Great album if you ask me !
Visit their website: http://www.poodles.se
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de

70/100

VIRON - NWOGHM (CD) Germany February 2007 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy / Power Metal Running time: 55:07 (Tracks: 11)
Viron was founded in 2001 under the name Seduction and was formed around singer Alexx Stahl, under this name they made two albums. But just after the release of the second CD they split up. When in late 2003 Singer Alexx and drummer Neudi joined the Deep Purple tribute band Child In Time, they met each other again. This lead to a new start of Seduction, but they decided to change their name to Viron. In November 2004 they recorded their demo EP and this is their debut album called 'NWOGHM'. After a funny telephone intro the first song 'Blow the Fuse' storms out of the speakers, really fast and powerful, the first thing I noticed was the voice of singer Alexx, which sounds very similar to the one of Martin Steene of Iron Fire. It's not only all fast and powerful, but also some slower, more ballad like songs, for example 'Winds of Valhalla'. It's a very diverse album, also an instrumental on here, simply called 'Instrumental' and this one really shows the capacity of the musicians, great stuff. My favourite tracks are the first one, 'For Her Majesty', 'Lucifer Arise' and 'Born Out Of Light' great songs with a lot variety and some superb musicianship, some ultra fast guitar solos and very powerful drums with a great voice! This will not get boring, although the average song time is almost 5 minutes, this should tell you something, I like it…
Visit their website: http://www.viron1.com
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.rockinc.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.sonicagerecords.com

82/100

WRETCH - Reborn (CD) USA February 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash Speed Metal Running time: 49:14 (Tracks: 11)
Rising from the ashes of the glorious 1980's underground Cleveland metal scene, Wretch reunite to record and release their debut album "Reborn". The band delivers an album with aggressive, 80s-style power metal. Wretch name as their early musical influences Accept, Iron Maiden, Metal Church & Judas Priest.This debut album, produced by Breaker guitarist Don Depew, features 10 Wretch originals plus a cover of Breaker's classic "Touch Like Thunder". With the help of Auburn Records President Bill Peters (one of the band's biggest fans!), Wretch reformed to record a one song demo for a new compilation project several years ago. So impressive was the work that a full-length album was planned. The current line-up is: Colin Watson (vocals), Nick Giannakos (guitar), Mike Cykon (guitar), Tim Frederick (bass) and Chris Koshock (drums). The band's core writing team of Watson and Giannakos has remained intact for over 20 years. Giannakos is also a member of Breaker.
Musically the band sounds really 80's and they do remind me to the earlier Metal Church, Accept & Overkill. Originality is not the bands best feat but it is all performed well with good musicianship. The band is playing this years edition of the Headbangers Open Air festival in Germany and (offcourse) I will be there to behold them. I'm very curious!!! Fav. song: 'I am storm'.
Recordlabel: http://www.auburnrecords.com/

75/100

ZEELION – Steel Attack (CD) Sweden February 2007 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 48:10 (Tracks: 10)
Swedish act Zeelion debuted in 1998 with the self titled album that was initially released in the Japanese market. A year later, the album reached Europe and got nice reviews from fans and press. The band was fronted by ex Macbeth and Glory vocalist Lenny De Rose and featured some experienced musicians of the Swedish hard rock and metal scene. Unfortunately it took Zeelion more than 6 years before recording a successor to their debut but now the band has returned and looks determined to succeed. The band's playing style could be categorized as European Power metal blended with some hard rock and neoclassical elements. Their music is very melodic and well executed but unfortunately not very original to my ears since there are many bands that play in a similar style. On the other hand the Zeelion music should of course interest all European power metal fans that seek new releases with quality and good guitar melodies. "Steel Attack" is an enjoyable album for all the fans of the genre.
Visit their website: http://welcome.to/zeelion
Promotion The Netherlands: http://www.bertus.nl/
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com

78/100

Top


JANUARY

ACCOMPLICE – She's On Fire (CD) USA January 2007 Wim van Grunsven
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 46:00 (Tracks: 10)
As soon as this record starts you know you're in for a great ride. The more melodic version of the debut of Blue Murder is called Accomplice and can boast some real big names in heavy and melodic rock in their midst. I mean, singer Johnny Gioeli has never been to be known as a bad vocalist. On the contrary, he has all it takes to bring this music to life. Founder and guitarist Sean Michael Clegg started Accomplice at the end of the last century and is now also joined by bass player Scott J. Snyder, drummer Richard Arbuckle and keyboardist Michael T. Ross. The latter, who also is known for his work with Hardline and Axel Rudi Pell, is also the man who's record company has released this album worldwide! Like I mentioned before, the comparisons with the first Blue Murder record are imminent and that makes me as happy as a pig in shit. Nobody has come near or touched the brilliance of that record so far. Accomplice is a little more subtle, a tad more melodic and a little less dramatic. Mister Clegg has listened to Brian May as well, because some of his solo techniques seem to come from the "Queen II" album. On top of that the two superb musicians Derek Sherinian and Simon Phillips have done the absolute spot on production of this album. It is heavy and open. You can hear everything that is being played. What a joy. It only adds to the excitement of my review! All together I would say that "She's On Fire" is a must for anyone who loves melodic rock and metal. I honestly don't know if their debut album of 2000 ("Accomplice") is as good as this, but is definitely is worth checking out. I for one will be doing that!
Visit their website: http://www.michaeltross.com

83/100

AMON AMARTH – With Oden on our Side (CD) Sweden January 2007 William Nijhof
Style: Viking Death Metal Running time: 42:23 (Tracks: 9)
Amon Amarth released there first MCD in 1995 "Sorrow Through out the Nine Worlds" by Pulverized Records that brought them straight to Metal Blade Records and delivered there debut "Once Send From the Golden Hall" released in 1998. After there debut they released 4 strong death metal albums. In 1999 they released "The Avenger" and in 2001 "The Crusher" In 2003 they released one of my own favourites "Versus the World" and "Fate of Norns". Now in 2006 they released there latest album "With Oden on our Side". This album contains 9 tracks of pure death metal. Every song sounds very strong and solid, this album is just like every album well produced and thought of. Strong guitar riffs not to fast not to slow or better said easy listening, the same goes for the drums and vocals. In my opinion this not there best album but definitely not there worst.
Visit their website: http://www.amonamarth.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalblade.de

75/100

BEYOND FALLEN - Lost in the Shadows (CD) USA January 2007 Mario van Dooren
Style: US / Heavy Metal Running time: 52:14 (Tracks: 10)
The history of Beyond Fallen begins in 2003, though guitarist Steve Jasuilewicz started a nameless metal project in the fall of 2001 that would eventually evolve into the band as it is today. After searching for the right members the band finally came together in the summer of 2003 and finishing out the year with the first recording in December. The band's members in addition to guitarist Steve Jasuilewicz include Mike Johnson (guitar), Chuck Donahue (bass), Tom Carden (drums) and Joe Karavis (vocals).The first half of 2005 focused primarily on writing new material, and in July 2005 the band entered S.I. Studios in Scranton, Pennsylvania to record its first full-legnth album, titled "Lost In The Shadows".
I received the album more than 6 months ago but because of circumstances, I wasnt able to review it earlier. But for this kind of albums its never to late to review them. Beyond Fallen plays a quit original kind of US-metal which contains some progressive elements. To compare the band with other bands isnt easy and thats already a plus! Not many bands nowadays sound original anymore. Musically they do remind me a bit to bands like: Overkill, Hades & Forte. The band has some very good guitarplayers and a great rhytmsection. Nevertheless I have, offcourse, some complains and I hope that the band will do something with these complains. Productional it all sounds a bit shabby; singer Joe Karavis isnt alaays singing very clean and not all the compositions can impress me. Probably because there is to less variation in the songs; a lot of the songs are all played with the same speed. Still this is a very nice album and the band has everything to break through. Latest news is that the band signed lately to Melissa Records from The Netherlands. Hopefully this label will re-release this album also for a larger audience. They deserve it!
Visit their website: http://www.beyondfallen.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.melissarecords.com/

76/100

BISS - X Tension (CD) Germany