CD & DVD REVIEWS 2009

CD & DVD REVIEWS 2009

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NOVEMBER

21st CENTURY - Kukaracha (CD Single) The Netherlands November 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 07:13 (Tracks: 2)
I did not know about this band until the cd single appeared in my mail. Apparently, this band was formed around singer Martin Van Der Meyde, who was a Soundmix finalist in 1994 imitating David Coverdale. Besides doing his vocal thing in many bands, he also worked as a singer for tv commercials. Knowing that, I was curious what my ears would experience. Well it wasn't the Kukaracha song I knew from a (long ago) past, like in the Mexican-style song. No, the song itself sounds a bit strange, poppy, childish, you name it. I could recognize the vocal capabilities of Martin, although the song made it very hard. A message to Martin: work on some decent hardrock material and get serious. You have the voice…use it well.
Visit their website: http://www.21stcentury.nu
Recordlabel: http://www.multidisk.nl

50/100

ACE FREHLEY - Anomaly (CD) USA November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 54:44 (Tracks: 12)
Finally, after 20 years my all time favorite guitarist ACE FREHLEY (real name: Paul Daniel Frehley) is back with a brand new album. The last studio album of the one and only Space Ace, "Trouble Walkin'", dates from 1989. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a KISS fan (since 1978) and especially a huge Ace Frehley fan. I have seen seventeen KISS concerts in my life so far, and six of those shows were with the Spaceman. And on June 12th, 2008 I saw Ace for the first time solo, when he did an unforgettable concert in venue 013 in my own hometown Tilburg, Holland (see also live reviews). I knew he was working on a new album, so I've been looking forward to this album for a long time. I was very curious about how the new album would be like. And on September 15th, Ace's fourth solo album, which is titled "Anomaly", saw the light of day. The album was recorded at Frehley's Home Studio and Schoolhouse Studios in New York and features 12 tracks. One of those twelve songs is a cover of SWEET's classic "Fox On The Run" and really, Ace did a very good version of it. Also the production was done by Ace himself and sounds fantastic. I must admit that there are just a few less songs on “Anomaly”, which are in my opinion “Change The World”, “A Little Below The Angels” and “It's A Great Life”. But the rest of the songs are great, with fantastic riffs and most of all killer ACE solos. The two instrumentals on “Anomaly” are the fantastic “Space Bear” and of course “Fractured Quantum”. Musicians who've worked with Ace on “Anomaly” are Derrek Hawkins (rhythm guitar), Anthony Esposito (bass) and Scot Coogan (drums) who are all in Ace's live band as well. But also Anton Fig, Ace's long time friend, who played on Ace's 1978 solo album of KISS and on “Frehley's Comet” (1987), “Live + 1” (1988) and “Trouble Walkin'”, is playing drums on several songs. To me, the best songs of “Anomaly” are “Foxy & Free”, “Outer Space”, “Pain In The Neck”, “Fox On The Run”, “To Many Faces”, “Space Bear” and “Sister”. Go see ACE FREHLEY on his upcoming European tour. On December 16th, 2009, Ace will be playing at the venue “Lucky” in Rijssen, Holland. And of course I already have my ticket, because I won't miss it.
Visit their website: http://www.acefrehley.com
Recordlabel: http://www.season-of-mist.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/acefrehley

89/100

ANNIHILATOR – Live at Masters of Rock (DVD & CD) Canada November 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Speed / Thrash Metal Running time: CD: 1:12:52 (Tracks: 14)
DVD approx. 90 minutes
In July 2007 I reviewed the “Metal” album from Jeff Waters & Co. I really liked that album after a period in which the band released some weaker stuff. As far as I know this is the bands 2nd DVD release and the show is filmed at the Masters of Metal festival 2008 in the Czech Republic. This show was filmed during the promotion tour of the “Metal” album. Annihilator has a reputation of not having a stable line up and on this live performance only Jeff Waters & Dave Padden are left from the “Metal” album line up. The recordings are very nice; just faithfully recorded; not to underground and also not over-produced! Jeff produced and mixed the whole show at his own Watersound Studios and he did a good job! The setlist is a perfect mix of the bands repertoire. The DVD starts with a nice festival intro in which you can nearly feel the great atmosphere over there. All the recordings are filmed with 5 non directed live camera's and mixed into a great overview. Most of today's live recordings are so much overproduced that you get the feeling that bands are nearly “play back”ing during the show. Well, this is a very nice live recording that will visit my DVD player regularly! Well done Jeff! Hope to see Annihilator back soon in Europe (as headliner of Mario's Metal Meeting 4 ??). Check this DVD out! There is also a live CD (with the same set) added to this DVD box but you can also choose to buy the CD version of the performance.
Visit their website: http://www.annihilatormetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/annihilatorofficial

88/100

ARCH RIVAL – In the Face of Danger (DVD & CD) USA November 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 54:32 (Tracks: 13)
Do you believe in justice? I want to believe but the music world is full of injustices. Crappy bands get all the fame and money while those who really deserve them get lost into obscurity. That is pretty much the story of Arch Rival. A band that should have made it big but never crossed the border to stardom. Arch Rival is the brainchild of guitarist extraordinaire Michael Harris. This is the first album (out of three) that the band released back in 1991. Newcomer Rockaholics Records tries to correct this injustice by reissuing this long out of print title. This is actually more than a simple reissue. Besides the standard bonus tracks you will find, there is also a DVD with rare live footage and promo videos, new artwork and master plus fantastic packaging.
On the musical department, “In the Face of Danger” is a melodic heavy metal dynamite. It flirts with power metal and hard rock from song to song while Michael Harris and amazing vocalist Steve Snyder rock the house to the ground. The songs are catchy and extremely well written and the choruses are carefully engineered for arena singing. Each one could easily find airplay on any station that cares about this kind of music. The cd is literally filled with hits! From start to finish, from the fast paced songs to the anthemic ballads, “In the Face of Danger” captivates the listener. Pressing the repeat button is inevitable. Let's hope that this album will get the recognition it deserves even 18 years since its initial release.
Recordlabel: http://www.rockaholicsrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/archrivalofficial

90/100

ARKONA – Goi, Rode, Goi ! (CD) Russia November 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Pagan Folk Metal Running time: 79.57 (Tracks: 14)
Russia 2002; some members of a local pagan community called “Vyatichi” find themselves ready to combine their musical tastes and philosophy in a band called Hyperborea which soon they changed in Arkona. From this first line up the only one left is Maria Arichipowa, better known as Masha “Scream”. This female vocalist is a true survivor and the main woman of the band. I've been not familiar with this band, but with Goi, Rode, Goi ! they deliver us their already 5th album. And what an album it is ! Masha is blessed with an incredible sounding voice that has been forged by the Pagan Gods themselves for creating a perfect Slavic soundtrack. She sings as easily the clean as the “down from the gutter” parts which are very impressive, creating the right sphere the songs need. Also the quality of musicianship of the other band members Serje “Lazar” (guitars), Ruslan “Kniaz” (bass), Vlad “Artist” (drums, synths) and Vladimir “Volk” (wind ethnic instruments) is unquestionable of a very high level. (Listen to the drum parts in the title track) This is a superb sounding album which is full, and I mean really full, with authentic and medieval instruments, blastbeats, double bass interludes, fierce axe work, choirs, clean and black metal vocals and enough melody to keep it catchy. What do you want with an album that clocks 80 minutes ! And even after that you simply put your cd player on repeat, ready to enjoy it once again. To be honest it will take you a few times listening because the band has managed to write a very complex album. But don't worry, it will catch you, I'm sure about that. Arkona used several guest musicians on this album like the members of Manegarm, Menhir, Skyforger and our own pride of Holland Heidevolk. They all appear in the 15 minute epos “Moey Zemle” which tells the story of a Slav who tries to find his luck in other European countries. While visiting those different countries you hear the choruses be sung by the band in their own language of that particular country which sounds brilliant ! So you can hear the person visiting Joris Boghtdrinker; just marvellous. Other songs that are worth to mention are the title track, which I can imagine it makes a good chance to become a pagan classic, “Tropoiu Nevedannoi” that starts like pure Black but turns into a fine, very divers headbanger, the fierce “Arkona” and the ballad “Nebo Hmurde, Tuchi Mrachniye”. Damn fine album which needs only one word to be described. Impressive !
Visit their website: http://www.arkona-russia.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/arkonarussia

87/100

AT WAR – Infidel (CD) USA November 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Oldschool Thrash Metal Running time: 33:58 (Tracks: 9)
These thrashers from Washington BC already exist since 1983 and im one of their biggest fans since the release of their first 2 albums; “Ordered to Kill” (1986) & “Retaliatory Strike” (1988). The band plays thrash in a kind of Motorhead/Carnivore mix but has always been really underestimated in my home country The Netherlands. Officially the band never disbanded but when I heard that the band was releasing their 3rd official album in 2009 I was wondering what to expect! Even though I loved their first 2 albums; it's not a guarantee for a good follow up after more than 20 years!!! Well strange enough I have to admit that the album sounds as oldschool as his 2 predecessors from 1986/1988. Not only musical the band is still great; they also still have that typical sound that they already had in the glorious 80's! It even sounds like the album was recorded right after the first 2 albums but was released lately……
Damn, im so glad this band returns with their oldschool thrash! To me this kind of thrash is more important than for example the latest effort of Slayer which, according the press, goes back to their 80's…..forget it; check these guys out if you still didn't already! Hope to get this band over to Holland someday because last year they already proved that they are a superb live band also during their Headbangers Open Air festival performance. Excellent album guys!! Thanks for sending me a hard copy instead of the label-offered I-Pool download crap. Check this band out!!
Recordlabel: http://www.heavyartillery.us
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/atwartheband

95/100

BEATALLICA – Masterful Mystery Tour (CD) U.S.A. November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Tribute / Parody Running time: 43:09 (Tracks: 12)
"Masterful Mystery Tour", the second full length album of BEATALLICA was released on August 4th and features twelve songs, which of course are again mixed songs of METALLICA and THE BEATLES. Even the album cover is a mix of METALLICA's “Master Of Puppets” (1986) and “Magical Mystery Tour” (1967) of THE BEATLES. Anyway, the line-up of the band still exists of Jaymz Lennfield (vocals, rhythm & lead guitar), Grg “III” Hammetson (lead guitar, electric sitar), Kliff McBurtney (bass, backing vocals) and Ringo Larz (drums). So, on “Masterful Mystery Tour” it's still the same recipe as on their debut album “Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band” of 2007 (see reviews April 2008), namely classic METALLICA and BEATLES songs fantastically mixed, and all with completely new written lyrics. Of course Jaymz sounds like James Hetfield, but even in “And I'm Evil?” (“And I Love Her” & “Am I Evil?” originally of DIAMOND HEAD) we also hear Glenn Danzig type of vocals (done by Kliff???). “Running For Your Life” is a mixture of THE BEATLES' “Run For Your Life” (of “Rubber Soul”, 1965) and “Breadfan” of English Hard Rock band BUDGIE, which was covered by METALLICA for the B-side of their “Harvester Of Sorrow” single (1988). Songs like “The Battery Of Jaymz And Yoko”, “Masterful Mystery Tour”, “Fuel On The Hill”, “Everybody's Got A Ticket To Ride Except For Me And My Lightning”, “Hero Of The Day Tripper”, “Got To Get You Trapped Under Ice” and “I Want To Choke Your Band” are all fantastic and very well done. If you already liked the first album, you sure can buy this second one too. I'm very curious which METALLICA and BEATLES songs BEATALLICA are gonna use on the next album.
Visit their website: http://www.beatallica.com
Recordlabel: http://www.oglio.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/beatallica

83/100

BONAFIDE – Something's Dripping (CD) Sweden November 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Hardrock Running time: 42:38 (Tracks: 11)
BONAFIDE was formed by singer/guitarist Pontus Snibb and bassplayer Michael Nilsson in Malmo, southern Sweden, in 2006. Pontus already made name playing with countless well known artists on the Scandinavian blues and rock scene, and wanted to broaden his musical horizon by turning the volume to 11 and play hard rock the way it's supposed to be played, true to it's roots in the electric blues and early R'n'B. With Mikael Fassberg, guitar, and Sticky Bomb on drums the quartet was completed. BONAFIDE released their debut album in 2007, and now the follow up is here 'Something's Dripping'. The album is recorded at Musicamatic studios in Gothenburg, Sweden with producer Chips Kiesbye (The Hellacopters, The Nomads, Millencollin), and released through Black Lodge Records. BONAFIDE delivers a blues and R'n'B based full throttle rock'n'roll album, with a simplistic, yet innovative and fresh take on classic hard rock. When putting on this album, you can't be mistaken, there is definitely a big AC/DC influence to be heard right here. Heavy, pounding rock, simple and pure, but o so effective, well done with a very good production. Also a guest appearance by Mia Coldheart on Straight Shooters, this could well be the new AC/DC from Sweden. Raw, hard and dirty rock, with blues influences, for instance Dirt Bound, Hard Livin Man or Elvis Chapel Blues. Crank up the volume and Fill Your Head With Rock is what I'm saying.
Visit their website: http://www.bonafiderocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.myspace.com/blacklodgesweden
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bonafiderocks

80/100

CAIN – The Master Clockwork (CD) Sweden November 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Heavy / Alternative Running time: 39:44 (Tracks: 9)
Bands with little to none information on the internet. They still exist. In this case that is quite a shame. Why? Because that when you don't have a label yet, you have to do the promotion yourself. Anyway, in my promo package I found a small biography so that I got the chance to know the band a little bit before listening to this record. Cain was founded in 2003 and since then they are active on various podia in Sweden. Now it is 2009 and their third studio effort 'The master clockwork' is released. Cains music is what you could call 'Heavy alternative,' like the band Mustasch for example. Nice songs, although the album as a whole does not seem to convince me. Tracks like 'Intelligence 101,' 'The master clockwork' and the closing song 'Sink' have catchy melodies en refrains, but not of a level that wants to make me play this over and over again. Off course you have to see everything in perspective. I know I can enjoy can Cain performance on a small festival or something like that. The music fits perfectly for such an occasion. However, putting out an album and receiving international attention is a whole different story. But when you look at this record on a more underground level, Cain did a good job. 'The master clockwork' turned out to be a mediocre but listenable Heavy record. But a must have for your collection? I don't think so.

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cainswe

65/100

CHERRY LIPS – Cherry Lips (CD) Italy November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock Running time: 43:47 (Tracks: 12)
The title of this album speaks for itself, it's the debut album of CHERRY LIPS from Italy. The band exists around 4 years now, and the four lovely ladies, which are Stefania Parks (vocals, guitar), Elisa (lead guitar), Karima (bass) and Serena (drums) recorded twelve nice heavy poppy rock songs for this album. One of those twelve songs is a cover version of CYNDI LAUPER's classic "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". And it's a nice version anyway. In the meantime, the band had a line-up change, because last Summer drummer Serena left the band and was replaced by Michael Reale. So, with the current line-up, CHERRY LIPS isn't an all girl band anymore. The album was produced by the ladies themselves and with Fabio Serra and sounds good. Also live the band is doing some covers. When you look on YouTube, you can see them doing live performances of "I Love Rock And Roll" (JOAN JETT) and "Lick It Up" (KISS). It's really not bad what these ladies present on this album, but don't expect real heavy stuff. It's, like I said, more heavy pop rock with sometimes a sleazy punk edge. They remind me a bit of Swedish all girl band SAHARA HOTNIGHTS and GIRLSCHOOL. Anyway, these ladies can write very good and catchy compositions and that makes that this album listens easily away. Stefania is a nice singer, and she does have a very good English accent. Some favorite songs of this album are “Dead Or Alive? (Are You)”, “Stop Messin' Around”, “Right Now”, “Mean Hot And Nasty” and "The Race Is On". Well done ladies, because it's a nice album.
Visit their website: http://www.cherrylipsrock.com
Recordlabel: http://www.swedmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cherrylipsrock

76/100

CIRRHA NIVA – For Moments Never Done (CD) The Netherlands November 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 46:37 (Tracks: 7)
Cirrha Niva is a band from the South of The Netherlands and they play progressive metal. In the beginning of this century they released the “Liaison De La Morte” concept album and they toured with that eponymous name. After several line up changes the band finally continues their musical path with this new album “For Moments Never Done'. A big plus is the acquisition from singer Legrand (Michel de Groot ). He has a very professional sounding voice and brings the band to an even higher level! According to the band they play technical thrash riffs, pounding drums & melodic and shredding guitar solos. Well that's the best way to describe this band. Musically they can be compared with bands like; Dream Theater, Rush & Evergrey.
This album sounds very good and musically this is way better than what the band has ever done before! With this high standard of progmetal they will enter the top of the progressive rock scene soon; believe me! Finally The Netherlands has a 'new' progressive metal band that will blow a fresh wind through the Dutch scene; especially now that bands like Sphere of Souls & Sun Caged are continuous fighting against line up problems.
Hopefully Cirrha Niva will not have this problems because I don't want to wait again for so many years to a follow up to this marvellous album! Compliments guys!! See you soon somewhere!
Visit their website: http://www.cirrhaniva.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cirrhaniva

90/100

DECADENCE – Chargepoint (CD) Sweden November 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic Thrash Metal Running time: 37:59 (Tracks: 9)
For a small bio of this band I advice you to read the review of the “3rd Stage of Decay” album (see Archive CD/DVD Reviews). “Chargepoint” is already the 4th release from this Swedish thrashband with extreme female singer “Metallic” Kitty Saric as midpoint. She is not only good looking; she also has a great voice with her typical screams now and then. I already loved their 3rd album '3RD STAGE OF DECAY” a lot and this album is the logical successor. It's the first release on the bands new label; Spiritual Beast.
The total running time of not even 40 minutes is the only little complain I have about this great album. The album is filled with great compositions and the band already proved me also live on stage (when they headlined the Warm Up show of Mario's Metal Meeting 3 last month) that they all are great musicians and have a very professional attitude! All the songs are fast, straight in your face thrash songs with a lot of oldschool elements which suit me very well! Some people call them a weak Arch Enemy imitator but I don't know where they base this on?? Decadence is sounding at least much more oldschool and musically they are a lot better than Angela Gossow & Co. No, Decadence has nothing to do with Arch Enemy except for the fact that they are both Swedish and have a female grunter in the band…..
Very good album! Hope to see/meet the band soon again because I had a hell of a time with them over here in Killburg Rockcity!
Visit their website: http://www.decadence.se
Recordlabel: http://www.spiritual-beast.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/decadenceswe

83/100

DESTROY DESTROY DESTROY - Battle Sluts (CD) USA November 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Power Metal (with harsh vocals) Running time: 41:48 (Tracks: 12)
Besides the fact that they have the most ridiculous band name I've heard this year (sucky deathcore bands not included) I didn't really know anything about this band when I gave their 2nd album a try. The type of music this band plays is a genre that isn't something you hear that often although it does remind me a lot of Children of Bodom. The music has everything a good power metal album has, with melodies, great solo's and nice hooks but the vocals sound like they've been taken from a metalcore album which will scare away a lot of potential fans but given the band's name I do think they're more in it for the fun which is something we can all approve of. For fans of Children of Bodom, 3 Inches of Blood and more of those.
Visit their Website: http://www.destroydestroydestroy.com
Recordlabel: http://www.blackmarketactivities.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/destroydestroydestroy

60/100

DEVIOUS – Vison (CD) The Netherlands November 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Death Metal Running time: 35:44 (Tracks: 8)
No other band have I seen this much over the past year than the Dutch death metal formation Devious. I remember being pleasantly surprised with their energetic performances with Legion of the Damned and the show at the Elsrock festival. This last event also gave me the opportunity to buy a copy of their recently released album 'Vison,' which I did. Devious exists since the beginning of this millennium, which has up till now resulted in three full length album. 'Acts of rage' in 2003, 'Domain' in 2007 and the album 'Vision' that is being reviewed right here. Next to these releases, you could also find the Devious on various (inter)national stages with bands like Vader, Krisiun and God Dethroned to name a few. 'Vision' is, just like it's predecessor, released via the Dutch label Deity Down Records. When you know a band foremost of their live performances, you get curious of their studio accomplishments. Not without reason, because the ability to capture the live intensity on a record is not that easy. Luckily, with Devious this is the case. As soon as the spherical intro was over, albumopener 'Heritage of the reckless' hits you like a ton of bricks with the typical Devious breaks and tempo changes. You can hear these aspects back on every song. This goes for the melodic aspect as well. 'Vision' sounds like a logical follow up album to 'Domain,' although the trash influences are a little less present. Also the presence of synthesizers are a big plus. It really brings out a nice atmosphere. The musical growth in combination with the previously mentioned aspects are making 'Vision' a qualitatively strong death metal record. In think that with the release of 'Vision,' Devious has earned a rightful place in the Dutch death metal top.
Visit their website: http://www.devious.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.deitydownrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/deviousdomain

85/100

DYNAZTY - Bring The Storm (CD) Sweden November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 40:14 (Tracks: 11)
DYNAZTY is a Swedish melodic rock band from Stockholm and was formed in late 2007. In September of 2008 they entered the legendary Polar Studios (which was founded by Benny & Bjorn from ABBA) with producer Chris Laney to record their debut album “Bring The Thunder”. And early 2009 these Swedish rockers signed a deal with American label Perris Records. The line-up of DYNAZTY on this album exists of Nils Molin (vocals), Rob Love (guitar), John Berg (guitar), Joey Fox (bass) and George Egg (drums). Recently in September guitarist and one of the co-founders John Berg had left the band. Anyway, “Bring The Thunder”, which has a very simple album cover, features eleven melodic and catchy songs. The production of Laney is fantastic. DYNAZTY reminds me of bands like EUROPE, TNT, DOKKEN, STRYPER, SKID ROW etcetera. Molin is a good singer who can sing very high and the musicians are very talented as well. Specially the guitarists are fantastic. “Bring The Thunder” is not a spectacular album, but it's just an enjoyable good one with nice songs like “Bring The Thunder”, “Catch The Night”, “Lights Out In Candyland”, “Top Of The Line”, “Take Me Down” and “The Devil's Shake”. Next time pay more attention to the album cover please! By the way, DYNAZTY will support THE POODLES in October/November during their “Clash Of The Elements” tour. For our Dutch readers who are interested, they play at the Rock Temple, Kerkrade on November 20th, 2009.
Visit their website: http://www.dynasty.com
Recordlabel: http://www.swedmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dynaztyband

75/100

ETERNAL DESCENT – The Phantom Of The Opera (MCD) United Kingdom November 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Epic / Industrial Metal Running time: 11:07 (Tracks: 3)
From the category “never heard of this before”, I received this limited edition promosingle containing a metal version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's “The Phantom Of The Opera” and two instrumental tracks. The project called “Eternal Descent” is inspired by comics, where the characters Loki and Lyra (guitarist Llexi Leon and singer Elisha West) are taking the listeners on a musical journey into musical land, where a metal version of the forementioned song actually overwhelms. The two instrumental tracks both sound a bit like film music, offering a wall of suspense with some dark guitar squeaks by Leon and angelic interludes by West. Llexi Leon sees this as his multimediaproject, based upon comic characters that are positioned in strange fantasy storyboards. This single is a teaser for an upcoming full-length album with guest roles for members of bands we all know: Firewind, Kamelot, Chiemra, Atreyu and many others. Eddie Kramer (the man needs no further introduction) will be the producing overseer. This project promises a lot of fireworks; in the meantime we have this single as messenger for that full album, and based upon what I've heard now, I am curious what it will sound like. The display of several styles sounded like prog to me, and I think that this could become quite interesting. Musicwise, I hear no virtuosity on this single but three songs is not much to get a good impression.
Visit their website: http://www.eternaldescent.com
Recordlabel: http://www.myspace.com/incendiumrecords
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eternaldescent

79/100

EVIL INVADERS – D-emokill 2009 (Demo-tape) Belgium November 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 27:45 (Tracks: 6)
Evil Invaders is another young, talented thrash metal band from Belgium (Mol). It all started for them in 2007 when Jöe (vocals/guitars) and Stavrös (guitars) decided to start a band. Soon drummer Frey joined them too. After a year of jamming, drinking and covering, they found a bassist, Boner, and from that moment they decided to call their band Evil Invaders. On their first demo tape are 6 thrash metal songs, the old fashioned way. Evil Invaders is clearly influenced by great 80's thrash metal bands like Exodus, Exciter, Over Kill, Slayer, Kreator, Megadeth and Cyclone. Vocally this band reminds me of Agent Steel and Exciter, and guitar riffs/solo's wise of mighty Slayer. Surely a young Belgian band with a lot of potential!!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/evilinvadersmetal

88/100

FAIR WARNING – Aura (CD) Germany November 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Melodic Hardrock Running time: 48.57 (Tracks: 12)
It's been only two and a half years since German rockers around the charismatic singer Tommy Heart returned powerfully after a five year break with their reunion album “Brother's Keeper“. A sold out tour in Japan and some impressive festival shows in Europe followed. This Summer, on the 24th of July, their long awaited sixth album called “Aura” will finally be released, almost completely written by bass player Ule W. Ritgen (9 of the 12 songs) and guitar hero Helge Engelke. Their sound is characterized by Tommy Heart's voice, which seems to have matured but also aged. I miss the power that I had found on “Brother's Keeper” which had made me enthousiastic about the band again, after all these years. But it seems that this album is a kneefall to commercial poprock. Where are the catchy hooks? The fine melodies? I keep thinking that the reunion had as much ripe fruits as there are on their previous album. This album does not stand out, both musically as productionwise. Hopefullt the band will succeed in waking up from the commercial corner of poprock, leave out the pop and start to really rock again soon!
Visit their website: http://www.fair-warning.de
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/therealfairwarning

70/100

FIRST REASON - Never Give Up (MCD) Italy November 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 16:30 (Tracks: 5)
Italy's First Reason, formed in 2007, released their first promo EP to give the world a chance to get to know them. This band plays old school thrash metal with some hardcore influences and they're doing just fine. Nothing new, nothing fancy, nothing really that good either but overall not bad at all. The riffs are pretty basic but they sound good and that's what really matters after all. The vocals are quite aggressive but pretty good understandable given the sound quality of this demo. The drums support the entire songs nicely and as a whole this all sounds pretty good. I think that this band will definitely kick ass live when they got a good crowd and I actually find myself looking forward to hearing more about these guys, maybe with a good production and sound quality.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/firstreason

78/100

GEFF – Land Of The Free (CD) Sweden November 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 46:07 (Tracks: 10)
GEFF is a new all star group featuring some of Sweden's finest and most talented heavy metal and hard rock musicians; Göran Edman (vocals), Anders Johansson (drums), Mats Olausson (keyboards) and Per Stadin (bass). Well….so says the bio. The names may be recognized from such artists as Yngwie Malmsteen, Hammerfall, John Norum, Silver Mountain, Snake Charmer, Glory, Brazen Abbot, Jean Beauvoir and A.R.K, just to name a few. But that does not always do the trick and quite often it is a smokescreen to name all those bands. Theses guys have joined forces with guitarist and songwriter talent Ralf Jedestedt who makes his record debut with this album. Ralf is the actual brain behind GEFF.
And yes, the band is talented, but so strange that the REAL talent is hidden is the last tracks. Why not put them in the beginning of the cd? Edman rarely lives up to the promise of being a dominant and clear singer; his best performance on the album is the title track which I actually like. But unfortunately, the song material could have been better, and also the production..well…it kinda sucks. Guys, take your time with the next album ! Be prepared well, and I hope next album will have a more constant quality of the songs. You are, so I read, already busy with it. The talent is there…the trick is to let it out. Another trick is taking care of a real website……
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net

75/100

GRIMLORD – Dolce Vita Sath-an as (CD) Poland November 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 49.54 (Tracks: 9)
Grimlord is a polish band that offers us, after bringing out several demos, their second full length cd. I am not familiar with their other stuff so I can't say if they have made any progress. Not that it matters anyway because what Barth la Picard (vocals, guitar), Orson (bass) and Lukass (drums) are serving us is of a very respectable musical level. What can you find on this album. Well, the guys have a good sense of humour (logical with such an album name) which they use in weird interludes especially in the first three tracks. Opener “Dolce Vita Sath-anas” is a fine example of that and it continually varies between up tempo metal and rapid trash attacks. Bandleader and main man Bart la Picard 's voice is a bit of weak point in here, although in the chorus he does some very acceptable screaming. The second track shows some improvement, because the band slows down and he sounds more like good old Paul D'ianno. Now that is not a strange thing while the band is highly influenced by Iron Maiden as you can hear in the riffs and solos. While the first three tracks offers us melodic metal, alternated with trashy riffs and full of variety accompanied by vocals, the band shows a drastic change further on. From the start of “Shade of Wrath Angels” the trashy elements and vocals are disappeared and the band demonstrates their skills playing some damn fine melodic, sometimes even progressive, instrumentals. To be honest I'm not really into instrumental stuff, but this time I had no problem listening to rest of the album. Grimlord has succeeded in making them exciting enough to keep on listening and that is worth a big compliment. Based on excellent, powerful melodies the tracks guarantee you an enjoyable time. Nevertheless, for a final break-thru I think this three piece should find themselves a good powerful singer. Meanwhile, this well produced album is more than worth checking it out.
Visit their website: http://www.grimlord.eu
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/grimlordband

78/100

HARDREAMS - Calling Everywhere (CD) Spain November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 61:09 (Tracks: 14)
HARDREAMS is a melodic rock band from Ripollet, Barcelona, Spain and was formed in 2000. In December 2001 they released their 4 track demo "Wings On Fire". Just like many other bands, also HARDREAMS did have some line-up changes. The current line-up of the band is Manu Esteve (vocals), David Agüera (guitar), Victor Muiòo (bass), Sergi Hormigó (drums) and Sergi Segarra (keyboards). "Calling Everywhere" was recorded during the summer of 2002 and it was released in 2004. Yes, this is just a re-release on Perris Records, only this version features some bonus tracks, which are a demo version of "Pain" and two live tracks ("Si Tu Te Vas" & "Two Shots"). In 2008 their second album "The Road Goes On…" was released (also on Perris Records). I have to say that "Calling Everywhere" is a nice album to listen to. The songs are of a high qualitative level and don't bore at all. It's all not that heavy, because there are also some mellower songs on the album. The band has in Esteve a very good singer. And the musicians are okay as well. "A Place For Our Love" is a beautiful ballad. And songs like "Wings Of Fire", "The Crime Of Loving You", "Calling", “I Don't Know Why”, “Pain” and "After Hell" are all fantastic songs. Also the production of the album is good. This is just a nice album for anyone who's into good melodic Rock and likes bands as JOURNEY, SIGNAL, TYKETTO etcetera. I don't know many Spanish rock bands, but HARDREAMS is worth checking out anyway.
Recordlabel: http://www.swedmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hardreams

79/100

INNOCENT ROSIE – Bad Habit Romance (CD) Sweden November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Sleaze Rock Running time: 47:37 (Tracks: 12)
INNOCENT ROSIE is a Sleaze Rock band from Sweden which was formed in late 2005. The band exists of Oscar Kaleva (vocals), Dixxi (lead guitar), Joel Eliasson (rhythm guitar), Olof Oljelund (bass) and Benjamin Borong (drums). “Bad Habit Romance” is the debut album of these Swedish rockers. And it's more than just a fine debut album with twelve kick ass rock and roll songs. Already with the first track of the album, which is “Bitter Cocktail”, I had to think of SKID ROW, especially because of the riff. But also bands/artists like GUNS N' ROSES, BILLY IDOL, POISON, STEADLÜR comes in mind, while listening to this fantastic album. I really like this kind of honest kick ass rock 'n roll music. Okay, it's not sounding very original, but damn it sounds awesome and addictive. In my opinion there's just one weak song on “Bad Habit Romance”, which is “Shine, Shine, Shine”. This is a very simple song and it's less heavy as well. Okay, the guitar solo in the song is good, but that's all. I really prefer all the other songs on the album, which have great riffs, catchy melodies and fantastic guitar solos. Some favorite songs are “Bitter Cocktail”, “Knock Me Out”, “Let A Memory Die”, “Bad Habit Romance”, “Wasteland”, “Don't Drag Me Down” and “I'll Get Rich”. If you're into some good Sleaze Rock, then “Bad Habit Romance” is absolutely a must. Very good debut album. I'm sure we'll be hearing more of this fantastic band in the near future. Well, come on and let's rock and roll all nite and party every day.
Recordlabel: http://www.swedmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/rosieisbleeding

83/100

KISS - Sonic Boom (CD) USA November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: CD1: 43:17 (Tracks: 11)
CD2: 53:36 (Tracks: 15)
DVD: 34:14
First of all, I'm a big KISS fan since 1978, I have all their regular studio & live albums and all the compilation albums until the "KISS Box Set". Well, the last official studio album of KISS, “Psycho Circus”, dates from 1998. After “Psycho Circus”, which was a nice album, only compilation albums were released. So, finally after eleven years, KISS is back with “Sonic Boom”, their nineteenth studio album. Since their reunion tour in the original line-up in 1996, KISS is back on the road again with their legendary make-up and costumes. Only original members Ace Frehley (1996-2002) and Peter Criss (1996-2001 & 2003-2004) aren't in the band anymore. No, since 2002 it's, besides Paul Stanley (vocals, guitar) and Gene Simmons (vocals, bass), solo guitarist Tommy Thayer (formerly of BLACK N' BLUE) as "Ace" and superb drummer Eric Singer (who played in KISS' unmasked period from 1991 to 1996) put Peter's make-up on in 2001-2002 and since 2004 until present. Anyway, with “Sonic Boom” KISS delivered a brilliant album. I must say “Sonic Boom” is a mixture of KISS' sound of their highlight days in the seventies (“Destroyer”, “Rock And Roll Over” and “Love Gun”), but also a bit of their eighties and nineties sound. Two songs are in my opinion a bit less, which are “Stand” and “Say Yeah”. But really, all other songs are AWESOME. The album starts with the first single “Modern Day Delilah”, which is a fantastic opener. Since "Lick It Up" (1983), the first album of KISS without make-up, not all the songs Gene Simmons had written were always great. Don't get me wrong, since "Lick It Up" he wrote some awesome songs like "Fits Like A Glove", "Burn Bitch Burn", "Trial By Fire", "Love's A Deadly Weapon" and especially killer songs like "Betrayed", "Unholy" and "Hate". But now on "Sonic Boom" all his songs are fantastic again. Just like in the old days, when Paul, Gene, Ace and Peter did lead vocals, also now on "Sonic Boom" every KISS member is singing. Eric Singer does the lead vocals on "All For The Glory" (great song) and Tommy Thayer is singing "When Lightning Strikes". Only on "Stand", Stanley and Simmons are sharing the lead vocals. Tommy Thayer's ACE solos are really AWESOME, but they sound so familiar. That's because they are just a mixture of all Ace's original solos. Hey, there's only one ACE and that's mister Frehley himself. Anyway, there a two versions of "Sonic Boom" available, the regular version (jewel case) and the limited edition digi pack version with the bonus disc "KISS Klassics" and a six track DVD "Live In Buenos Aires" (Argentina). In 2008 KISS exclusively released "Jigoku-Retsuden / Kiss Best - Kissology" in Japan. On that album, which I also have of course, KISS re-recorded fifteen KISS classics. Now that same album is the bonus disc, only titled "Kiss Klassics". The six songs on the DVD are "Deuce", "Hotter Than Hell" (with Gene fire breathing), "C'mon And Love Me", "Watchin' You", "100,000 Years" and "Rock & Roll All Nite". Once again, "Stand" and "Say Yeah" are a bit less, but absolutely not bad, but just listen to songs like "Never Enough" (superb), "Hot And Cold", "Danger Us", "Yes I Know (Nobody's Perfect)", the single "Modern Day Delilah", "All For The Glory" and "I'm An Animal" and you know why "Stand" and "Say Yeah" are the less songs of "Sonic Boom". The production of the album was done by Paul Stanley, and sounds just marvelous. Anyway, with "Sonic Boom" KISS will surprise a lot of people. This is the album KISS had to make in the 70's. Absolutely a KILLER album, that should not be missing in any KISS fans' collection and a real recommendation for none KISS fans as well of course.
Visit their website: http://www.kissonline.com
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com

95/100

MADMEN AND DREAMERS – Remembrance (2 CD) USA November 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: CD1: 61:09 (Tracks: 20 )
CD2: 38:30 (Tracks: 12 )
The first album which was released by Madmen and Dreamers (MaD) is The Children of Children. This rock opera was released in 2000 and received some nice critics. The band was formed by keyboard player Mark A. Durstewitz and soon he recruited 5 other experienced musicians because he wanted to be able to perform The Children of Children live. The line-up has been stable over all these years and now MaD has released their second album, Remembrance. The story on this album has been developed by Mario Renes (Bass) and Mark A. Durstewitz. Renes is also responsible for the music on the album. The lyrics were written by Mark A. Durstewitz & Christine Hull (Vocals).
MaD is a progressive rock band who writes rock operas. They choose subjects that in their opinion need greater public discussion and awareness. Their first project, The Children of Children, was about a family going through a divorce with a special emphasis on what happens to the kids. Remembrance is an environmental story dealing with the corporate theft of water.
The music on both cd`s is very diverse. This counts also for the number of vocalists. In total 14 different vocalists are present on the album, but I`m not convinced about the quality of all the vocalists. Sometimes, the music is very intense and chaotic, but in my opinion, that is understandable if you keep in mind the central theme, that need special attention. Other moments the music is very well composed and of a high level, especially the symphonic rock parts. Remembrance is a nice album, but it takes some time to hear all the special elements and details.
Visit their website: http://www.madmen-and-dreamers.com
Recordlabel: http://www.madelf.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/madmenanddreamers

82/100

MARDUK – Wormwood (CD) Sweden November 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 45:59 (Tracks: 10)
With recruiting Mortuus a few years ago and getting back Devo Morgan made the best decision in his quest to create the most brutal and blasphemous band ever. Marduk is now again a force to be reckoned with. While Plague Angel was an interesting start it was with Rom: 512 that this new line up reached its full potential. Now 2 years later their 11th studio album lies in front of me. “Wormwood”. Wormwood was a star that fell down upon the earth and made the water three times bigger than it was. When you translate the word into Russian it says Chernobyl. An interesting theory to know before listening to the album. What I always missed on the later albums of Marduk were songs where they not blasted all the time. I like it when a song reaches somewhat of a climax. Think of for example: “Wolves” Within the albums post “Opus Nocturne” it was always fast or boring slow. Finally with Wormwood they give answer to my request. If I must describe the album in one word I would choose: “dynamic”. There is so much going on while listening to the album. The insane blastbeats in “Into Utter Madness” to the slow sick riffing in “Funeral Dawn”. There are lots to discover here. In my introduction I already spoke about Mortuus. It is with him that Marduk became again a “true” black metal band. I know that this word is often used and misused but Marduk was a band that lost the interest of the elite fans in the mid nineties. Now with Mortuus in the band automatically has a darker sound and image. The sick samples that can be found in the songs are without a doubt his idea and his voice is an incredible instrument. New drummer Lars Broddesson is someone who easily gets forgotten throughout all the giants. He needs to be mentioned because he fills the place Emil Dragutinovic left open with splendour, and that isn't easy! To me with “Wormwood” Marduk shows its best line up ever and definitely returns to the premier league of extreme metal. I must see who will top this album in 2009.
Visit their website: http://www.marduk.nu
Recordlabel: http://www.regainrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/truemarduk

92/100

MASA FIRE – Demo 2009 (CDemo) Japan November 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 41:49 (Tracks: 9)
Ah…another guitarrero from the land of the rising sun and the city of Kanagawa. Masa Fire released another demo in 2006, and apparently, it hasn't brought his breakthrough. For a solo artist playing guitar, with all these talented guys out there on the planet, it almost seems like a lost mission. Masa hired an American vocalist (Leo Loebenberg) who was singer in an American tribute band, and did all the other instruments and programming himself. This demo contains 9 tracks, of which only the first three are new; the other six songs are a remix of his 2006 demo. The new tracks feature mr Loebenberg on vocals, but he hasn't been able to move me with his voice; at times he even produces a number of false notes. Compositionwise and guitarwise, I came to understand why Masa still records demo's. The 2006 tracks are more powermetal, and the guitar sounds a lot better here; the same goes for the songs, with lots of keyboards that enrich the music. The song material from 2009 is too much of a melting pot of several songs by several bands, without one track really standing out. Despite his attempt to play like a Japanese Malmsteen, he lacks both sophistication and quality to stand out as a guitarist. I'm afraid this sympathetic attempt will remain just that…
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/masafire

60/100

MONKEY3 - Undercover (CD) Switzerland November 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Stoner Rock Running time: 37:34 (Tracks: 6)
The new release of Monkey3 has become a cover album. In my opinion, a cover album is very often released because of a lack of creativity, but this album is an exception. What I really appreciate is the really nice production, also the musical performance of the 4 band members (dB – Keys, Boris – Guitar, Walter – Drums, Picasso – Bass) is of a very high level. Monkey3 was founded in 2001 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Their first release was the album Monkey3 in 2003. When they were signed by the Belgian record label Buzzville Records, this album was re-released in 2004. The second album, "39 laps", was also released by Buzzville Records, in December 2006. Undercover is Monkey3`s third album. Their music can be characterized by instrumental grooving stoner rock. Undercover contains 6 covers from bands who have influenced Monkey3. The album starts with a grooving version of Numb from the band Archive. The second song is Watchin` you from Kiss with a fantastic guest appearance of John Garcia (Kyuss, Hermano). This is for the very first time that Monkey3 makes use of vocals. The performance of Garcia is great and adds an extra dimension to this song. One of these Days (Pink Floyd) and Burn (Deep Purple) are very well interpreted while Kashmir (Led Zeppelin) is the second song ever of Monkey3 with nice vocals of Tony Jelencovich. The album ends with a live version of Once upon a time in the West from Ennio Morricone. With Undercover, Monkey3 has released an impressive cover album. The album is worth listening especially for people who like well performed (stoner) rock.
Visit their website: http://www.monkeythree.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/monkeythreecom

80/100

MUD - Slow Degradation (MCD) Italy November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metalcore Running time: 20:07 (Tracks: 4)
First of all, this MUD is not the legendary MUD of all time classics "Dyna-mite" and "Tiger Feet". No, this MUD is an Italian Metalcore/Crossover band. The line-up of the band on this EP exists of Aldohc (vocals), Dedo (guitar), Garçon (guitar), Iobbi (bass) and Frank (drums). On their MySpace page I saw that they have a new drummer called Valerio. I guess that this MUD are formed in 2004, because their bio's on their official website and MySpace are all written in Italian and I can't read it. A tip for the band, write everything in English please, so that everyone can read it and not only Italian people. Anyway, "Slow Degradation" is a four track EP. The EP starts with the a short intro simply called "Intro" (1:23), which is just a bit of talking. The next two songs "Electric Chair" and "Corrupt Soul" are moderate Metalcore songs. The last song of this EP is titled "Shit Of The World" and has a running time of 11:33 minutes. After 4:08 minutes until 6:01 minutes you just get some annoying noise. After that noise it's instrumental ambient music you get. To tell the truth, these Italians can't impress me at all with these songs. I have heard much and much better Metalcore in my life.
Visit their website: http://www.mudband.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mud04

59/100

MURDER THERAPY – Symmetry Of Delirium (CD) Italy November 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Death Metal. Running time: 33:20 (Tracks: 9)
This relatively new band from band Italy is a good example of taking some old school death metal mix it with some mathcore, some metalcore and a few hints of Meshuggah put in into a blender and: Voila! an original record. In theory it is maybe this easy but to put this in practice is a whole different story. The old school death metal influences are too much thirteen in one dozen sounding to connect with the “modern sounding math- and metalcore parts. With these parts the band tries to give you some insides in the head of a psychotic person or a sociopath. All this is written after analyzing and observing the aspects of mental deviance. The band likes to call it serial-psychic-death metal. But I don't find it that hysteric. The band will do good by trying to drop the old school Cannibal Corpse influences and replace them with some more modern technical death metal. Benighted has released a good example of this with their latest record “Icon” On the other hand the production sounds surprisingly good for a first full length. Every instrument is audible, there is no fuzzy sound and the vocals are projected and rest on top. Also the instrumentation on Symmetry Of Delirium is quite good. You can hear that these guys have prepared their selves well before recording this album. So potential enough for the next record to score in the lower eighties.
Recordlabel: http://www.deitydownrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/murdertherapy

72/100

OPPOSITE SIDES – Soul Mechanics (CD) Italy November 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Death Metal / Experimental Running time: 51:50 (Tracks: 13)
Nearly ten years ago, Opposite Sides was formed in Italy by guitarist/vocalist Arke. At that time their intention was to write and record technical death metal. Over the years and due to some line-up changes the musical direction became more and more divers. That, you can hear on 'Soul Mechanics.' Obviously the death metal influences are there. For example the vocals, drum parts and the typical riffing. You can also hear some electronic sounds and the melodic aspect is very much present on this record. Quite original, in my opinion. But enough about styles and stuff like that. The most important question is off course: does the album contain good material? The answer to that is: Yes it does! At first I've had to get used to the diversity, but when I listen to the album more and more, everything fell into place. 'Soul Mechanics' offers a great variety of heavy riffing, aggressive grunts, melodic elements and ditto vocals. If you are into death metal, experimental music or just kick ass noise, you might want to give this a try.
Visit their website: http://www.oppositesides.com
Recordlabel: http://www.mondongocanibale.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/oppositesides

75/100

OVERDRIVER – Overdriver (CD) Argentina November 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 44:13 (Tracks: 12)
Overdriver is an Argentinean Heavy Metal band which debuts with this cd. I have no information about them so I will jump right on the music department. The band delivers 12 songs of classic heavy metal with a rock n roll attitude sung in Spanish. I really appreciate the band's effort but the lack of originality is obvious. I have heard this kind of songs many many times in the past. Nothing special in my opinion. The band delivers the 12 songs with passion but some times this is not enough. For fans of exotic metal only.
Visit their website: http://www.overdriver.com.ar
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/overdriverhr

65/100

PARAMORE - Brand New Eyes (CD) USA November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Alternative Rock / Pop / Punk / Emo Running time: 44:38 (Tracks: 12)
PARAMORE is a very popular young band from Franklin, Tennessee, U.S.A., who was formed in 2004. Since I discovered their fantastic debut album "All We Know Is Falling" (2005), with awesome songs like "All We Know", "Pressure", “Emergency”, "Here We Go Again" and “Whoa”, I'm a fan of this band. Also the second album "Riot!" (2007), with great songs like “For A Pessimist I'm Pretty Optimistic”, “That's What You Get”, “Misery Business”, “Miracle”, “Crushcrushcrush” and “Fences”, is a superb album.
I was really surprised that the band already released a live album after two studio albums. Anyway, that live album "The Final Riot!" (2008, including DVD of the full concert, plus behind the scenes footage and interviews) is a recommendation as well. So, it's understandable why PARAMORE are so popular, because they have such great and catchy songs. It all sounds very accessible and that's why they reach a wide audience. PARAMORE also has a very recognizable own sound. Anyway, "Brand New Eyes" is PARAMORE's third studio album, and is just like the two previous albums a fantastic album with brilliant songs. The line-up on “Brand New Eyes” exists of Hayley Williams (vocals), Josh Farro (lead guitar), Taylor York (rhythm/lead guitar), Jeremy Davis (bass) and Zac Farro (drums). The production, which was done by Rob Cavallo, is perfect. I'm sure this album will be a million seller as well. My favorite songs of “Brand New Eyes” are “Careful”, “Ignorance”, “Brick By Boring Brick” (superb), “Turn It Off”, “Feeling Sorry”, “Looking Up” and “All I Wanted”. The bonus track on the album is “Decode”, which is also one of the two PARAMORE songs on the soundtrack album of the movie “Twilight” (2008). From November 29th until December 18th, the band is doing a European tour. On December 8th, PARAMORE plays at the 013, Tilburg, Holland. To bad it was sold out very quickly, because I really would love to see them live too.
Visit their website: http://www.paramore.net
Recordlabel: http://www.fueledbyramen.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/paramore

89/100

PRETTY WILD - All The Way (CD) Sweden November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Glam Rock / Sleaze Rock Running time: 27:39 (Tracks: 8)
PRETTY WILD is a Swedish Glam/Sleaze Rock band existing of Ivan (Ivve) Höglund (vocals), Krizzy Field (guitar), Kim Chevélle (bass) and Johnny Benson (drums). There's no any information about the band on their MySpace page, so I can't tell you when PRETTY WILD was formed. I assume that "All The Way" is their first album, which contains 8 songs. Actually it's six songs and a remixed song and a live track. They remind very much of bands like POISON, MÖTLEY CRÜE and EUROPE. The album starts very good with the title track "All The Way". The second track, which is "Time", is an up tempo rocker and reminds me of EUROPE's "Wings Of Tomorrow" era. "Let The Good Times Roll" is a great and catchy song and could have been from POISON. In my opinion there's no weak song on "All The Way", because all other songs like "Shockin' Teen", "Dangerous" and "Take It Off" are fantastic as well. The band has in Höglund a very good singer, the musicians are very talented, and for the ladies….they have the right looks. "Let The Good Times Roll (86 Mix)" is, instead of the regular version, an acoustic ballad version and takes a little longer. The last track of this album is a live version of "Dangerous" which was recorded in Los Angeles. My compliments for this fantastic album, only 27:39 minutes is just too short. And that's my only negative point of "All The Way". Anyway, a fantastic band and a real recommendation. I'm already looking forward to their next album.
Recordlabel: http://www.swedmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/prettywildrocks

80/100

REDEMPTION – Snowfall on Judgment Day (CD) USA November 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 70:29 (Tracks: 10)
This is the 4th release of this progressive metal supergroup. Nick Van Dyk's Redemption (not to be confused with the Christian metal band) maintains the same line-up (minus the keyboard player) as the previous album “The Origins of Ruin”. This means that Ray Alder is still behind the microphone and Bernie Versailles on guitar. For those who are not familiar with the group I would have to say that its progressive metal is a mix between Fates Warning, Dream Theater and Symphony X. “Snowfall on Judgment Day” is yet another ingenious album with great melodies and ideas. Nevertheless I have an objection. Ray Alder sings far lower than his real potential. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect from him to sing the way he did on “No Exit” or even “Inside Out” but I am not a fan of Engine either. I think that he can really shine through the Redemption material. Anyway he still delivers some fantastic performances, the man is still one of the leading singers of his generation. “Leviathan Rising” is probably the best tune but the rest of the songs don't fall short on inspiration and quality. If you are looking for the real deal in progressive metal, Redemption is the way to go.
Visit their website: http://www.redemptionweb.com
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thebandredemption

80/100

SEVENTH RIZE - Full Moon (CD) USA November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 45:14 (Tracks: 11)
From Texas, U.S.A. comes SEVENTH RIZE. The band exists since the Fall of 1991 and the members of the band are Stacy “Big Daddy” Humphries (vocals), Darin Andersen (guitar), Jerry Stone (guitar), David Hamilton (bass) and Sulli (drums). Their debut album “Visceral Rock” was released in August of 2000. Now nine years later their second album “Full Moon” has been released on Perris Records. Personally I had never heard of them before. They play classic Hard Rock, and I must say that it's absolutely not bad what they present on "Full Moon". There are really some nice songs on this second album, like “Dirty Livin'”, “Torn” (with nice slide guitar solo), "Roller Coaster" and “Wreckage” (great riff). After several times, the album gets even better. Also "One Last Time" and "I'll Be There" are two nice ballads. Humphries is a very good singer, and the rest of the band are skilled musicians who are doing their job well. The production of the album could in my opinion a bit better. “Full Moon” is a very nice album to listen to once in a while. But if they will have a breakthrough with it, that's the question. Anyway, if you like traditional rock, check them out yourself and take a listen on their MySpace page.
Visit their website: http://www.seventhrize.net
Recordlabel: http://www.swedmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/seventhrize

74/100

S.E.X. DEPARTMENT - Rock 'n' Roll Suicide (CD) Italy November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Glam Rock / Sleaze Rock Running time: 36:39 (Tracks: 9)
S.E.X. DEPARTMENT is an Italian Glam/Sleaze trio existing of Kelly "Trash" Mendess (vocals, guitar), Nasty Lane (bass, vocals) and Justin Sandler (drums, vocals). I'm not sure when the band was formed, but they have released the following albums so far: "Night Club 666" (2005) and "S.E.X. DEPARTMENT" (2007). This album, "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide", features 9 tracks, which in my opinion are all very cliché and moderate. The only song which is nice is "Wasted In Texas". And the remix version of "S.E.X. Department", which is the last song on the album, is terrible and superfluous. Actually, S.E.X. DEPARTMENT can't convince me with this album. There are way much better Glam/Sleaze bands in the world than these Italians. Even PRETTY WILD (see also reviews of this month) is much and much better. And Mendess is a awful singer who has a very annoying voice. So, this album is not really a recommendation, it's a real rock 'n' roll suicide, hahahaha.
Visit their website: http://www.sexdepartment.net
Recordlabel: http://www.swedmetal.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sexdepartment

61/100

SHADOWS FALL - Retribution (CD) USA November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Thrash / Speed / Metalcore / Melodic Death Metal Running time: 46:00 (Tracks: 10)
I have to admit, I only knew SHADOWS FALL by name. So, this sixth album "Retribution" is my first acquaintance of SHADOWS FALL. The band was formed in 1995 and the current line-up exists of Brian Fair (vocals), Jon Donais (lead guitar, vocals), Matt Banchand (guitar), Paul Romanko (bass) and Jason Bittner (drums). So far they have released the following albums: “Somber Eyes To The Sky” (1998), “Of One Blood” (2000), “The Art Of Balance” (2002), “The War Within” (2004) and “”Threads Of Life” (2007). Their style is a mixture of Thrash, Speed, Metalcore and Melodic Death Metal. Brian Fair is a fantastic singer with a varied voice (brutal, clean) and the other members of the band are all very technical skilled musicians. Listen to the solos of Donais. "Retribution" was produced by Zeuss (Hatebreed, Municipal Waste) and sounds fantastic. Musically SHADOWS FALL reminds me sometimes of HATEBREED too (“War”, “King Of Nothing”). The song “Picture Perfect” is a semi-ballad kind of song, which is just a nice one. Anyway, this is a very good and technical band with fantastic compositions. My favorite songs on "Retribution" are "My Demise", "Still I Rise", “War”, “King Of Nothing” and "Embrace Annihilation". Well, if you like bands as LAMB OF GOD, HATEBREED etcetera, then you will like SHADOWS FALL too. "Retribution" is a fantastic album, which I really can recommend.
Visit their website: http://www.shadowsfall.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spinefarm.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/shadowsfall

86/100

SKINDRED - Shark Bites And Dog Fights (CD) United Kingdom November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Reggae / Crossover Running time: 31:00 (Tracks: 8)
When I saw the in 1998 formed English band SKINDRED as support act of Gypsy Punkers GOGOL BORDELLO on April 21st, 2008, I really liked the band. That's why I bought their second album "Roots Rock Riot" that night and reviewed it for MMM (see reviews of May 2008). Now their third album "Shark Bites And Dog Fights" has been released on Bieler Bros. (distribution by Suburban). The album has eight songs of which one is a cover version of EDDY GRANT's classic "Electric Avenue". It's a nice version, but not really one of my favourite tracks. Actually, in my opinion it's the least song of the album. The production of the album is very good, which was done by Matt LaPlant and the band themselves. If you already know material of SKINDRED, you know they play a mixture of Metal, Rock and Reggae. On the attached press info sheet their style is called "Ragga Metal". Anyway, the songs are all catchy and very accessible. The first single of the album is the opening track "Stand For Something". Benji Webb is a great singer, and if you have seen SKINDRED live, you know he's an energetic performer as well. I have to admit that this album grows every time I listen to it. So, "Shark Bites And Dog Fights" is absolutely not a bad album (or is it an EP?), but I think that "Roots Rock Riot" is a better album. My favourite songs of "Shark Bites And Dog Fights" are "Stand For Something", "You Can't Stop It", "Calling All Stations", "Corrupted" and "Days Like This". But SKINDRED is a fantastic band anyway.
Visit their website: http://www.skindred.com
Recordlabel: http://www.bielerbros.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/skindred

82/100

SLAYER – World Painted Blood (CD) USA November 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 40:11 (Tracks: 11)
A new album from Slayer finally! I already heard a lot of good things about this release from the once “thrash-gods” Slayer. A biography of the band looks unnecessary because when you dont know this band; please shut down your pc and go back playing with your barbie dolls! The title song 'World Painted Blood' ruins your speakers if you don't watch out! Classic Slayer song! 'Unit 731' is also a speed song in the style of the 3th & 4th album. I quit being a fanatic Slayer fan after their disappointing “South of Heaven” album and it suits me that this new album is sounding like the oldschool Slayer; even if the level of the first 3 albums will never be equalled. The third song 'Snuff' is again a good song but I have to admit that I heard most of the riffs on this album earlier before on the previous releases. So the album sounds good (production is a bit raw and could have been better) but far from original. 'Beauty Through Order” is a more midtempo song with some recognisable riffs but also with some interesting breaks and a great end! 'Hate Worldwide' is again full of speedy guitar riffs & solo's in the typical Hanneman/King tradition. Nice song with some unusual riffs from these guys. 'Public Display op Dismemberment' is again a thrashy song in the 'South of Heaven' style. 'Human Strain' starts slowly and is one of the weakest songs on this album. 'Americon' is a nice songwith again great solos and Dave Lombardo in shape! Here he shows that he is not only drumming good on the faster songs! “Psyhopathy Red” is again a fast song in the “Reign in Blood” style! Superb song! 'Playing with Dolls' is a strange song which cant convince me the whole running time. Last song 'Not of this God' is again a good & fast song. So this is a good album in the old Slayer tradition but I miss the originality on most of the songs. Check it out. Personally I would advice you thrashers to spend your money on the latest At War album!
Visit their website: http://www.slayer.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/slayer

86,66/100

STEEL HORSE – Wild Power (MCD) Spain November 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 12:16 (Tracks:3)
This is an advanced 3 track promo copy of Spain's STEEL HORSE, taken from their coming debut album Wild Power. STEEL HORSE was founded in 2007 in Madrid by Willy Gascon (guitars), Jorge Cortes (vocals) and Ricardo (drums) joined immediately after. The band play NWOBHM, influenced by Priest, Maiden and Sabbath, during February 2008 they recorded their first 4 track demo Raise Your Fist EP. Now their debut album is here, and I can tell you this is 100% pure metal, old school maybe but the way it should sound, what a band, makes me wanna hear the whole album instead of just 3 promo songs of it. This is real powerful true metal, all 3 songs, 'Run to survive', 'Wild Power' and 'Burning Soul' are true metal diamonds with great guitarwork in them. Jorge has also got an excellent voice matching this music, a great new band to keep an eye (or ear) on. This is really great melodic and true metal, to name bands to compare with, besides the mentioned ones, I would say Riot comes close, but they do have their own sound, and maybe their style isn't exactly original, but who is these days, anyway they deliver a great piece of metal with this album, well done!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/steelhorsemetal

82/100

SUBHUMAN - Profondo Rozzo (CD) Italy November 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash / Death Metal Running time: 35:36 (Tracks: 9)
Subhuman is an Italian thrashing death metal band formed in 2001. After a demo in 2005 they released their first full album just about a year ago. This has been picked up by Maple Metal Records and is now being released by them since august. This band brings a nice mix of thrash and death metal with the focus on thrash metal musically and the vocals are more of grunt and a metalcore scream combined. Besided the vocals there are more metalcore influences by some breakdowns, but the focus of it all remains thrash: fast paced riffs, pounding drums, some nice solo's. On the downside the band writes their songs in Italian which makes it a bit harder to acces but I don't think anyone will actually care once they're getting their ass kicked in the moshpits.
Visit their Website: http://www.subhumanmetal.it
Recordlabel: http://www.myspace.com/maplemetal
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/subhumanweb

80/100

SYCRONOMICA – Sycroscope (CD) Germany November 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Symphonic Black Metal Running time: 54:51 (Tracks: 9)
Some time ago the news reached me that Simon Hestnaes had left Dimmu Borgir. While listening to Sycronomica's new album “Sycroscope” I frequently thought that he had joined the ranks of this German black metal band. With this 3th full length the band goes further with their worshipping of Dimmu Borgir. Sure there is a lot going on' on this record but people, one Dimmu Borgir is enough for me. I don't know where the market for this kind of band lies but the honey-sweet symphonic black metal immediately gets on my nerves. Biggest problem is that the band tries to mix in some power metal influences from time to time which does the overall sound no good. I can't think of a band that wants their black metal sounding happy and kitsch? The last few years Germany is one of the leading countries concerning black metal. With bands as Lunar Aurora (RIP), Nagelfar (RIP) the path was paved for other good bands. Sycronomica is definitely not on that path. They're nowhere even near, damn copycats!
Visit their website: http://www.sycronomica.de
Recordlabel: http://www.silverwolf-productions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sycronomica

45/100

THE 11th HOUR - Burden of Grief (CD) The Netherlands/Sweden November 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Doom Metal Running time: 52:37 (Tracks: 6)
The 11TH Hour is a new Dutch/Swedish doom metal band formed by Ed Warby ( Gorefest, Hail of Bullets, Ayreon, Elegy ) and Rogga Johansson ( Edge of Sanity, Demiurg ). Making a doom metal album is a wish come true for Ed bacause he is a fan of the genre for a long time and he wrote all the material for this album and plays all the instruments. The vocals are a joint effort of both Ed and Rogga. It`s a concept album about a man dying of lung cancer haunted by nightmares forcing him to revisit the blackest days of his life and in his last days he tries to get a grip of his troubled past and attemps to redeem himself. 'Burden of Grief' turned out to be a heavy doom, melancholic album with a typical slow pace which reminds me of bands like Candlemass ( Especially the first song ) although The 11th Hour doesn`t have mid tempo songs but keeps on playing the same pace throughout the album. The keyboards are beautifully woven into the structure of the songs without having the upper hand.The vocals of Ed surprise me. He has a very clean and sad melancholic voice although it`s not very powerfull. But he sings with a lot of emotion and with the theme of this cd it`s very effective. On the other hand you can`t say the voice of Rogga is not very powerfull. The contrast with Ed`s vocals is huge. His guttural grinding death vocals are a welcome variation with Ed`s clean vocals. I like that and I wish he had a larger share on this album but I get the idea of Ed`s vocals represent the sad , melancholic site of the old dying man and Rogga the bitter, angry site. 'Burden of Grief' turned out to be a very good cd although it`s nothing groundbreaking or innovative but to all doom fans it`s a nice addition to their collection. < /td>
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/11thhourdoom

82/100

THEODORE ZIRAS – Territory 4 (CD) Greece November 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Instrumental Progressive Rock Running time: 44:10 (Tracks: 10)
Greece seems to be the country where the new rockstars emerge, like Sweden had the honour back in the eighties. After Laki Ragazas' Killer Sixgun, please welcome Theodore Ziras, a guitarist in the style of Steve Vai meets Tony Macalpine. Ziras moved to Great Britain to get his bachelor in music performance & composition at the prestigious guitar institute of London which he became in 2001. Immediately after his return to Greece he signed his first solo record deal for “Trained To Play” - released in April 2001. Almost two years later Ziras prepared his second album “Virtual Virtuosity” (March 2003) and only a few months later he decided to produce an album with vocals together with the German Jiotis Parcharidis (Human Fortress) and after two years of recording the “Euroforce” album hit the market on June 2005. Always a busy man, Ziras prepared his third instrumental album. On this “Hyperpyrexia” Theodore plays along with legendary keyboardist Derek Sherinian. And now his 4th album. And what an album it is. Combine fusion with rock and metal and there you go. Theodore collected some fine musicians to make this album which makes me think back to the first time I heard Tony Macalpine; I was like Wow…… Although more experimental sounding, this album grabs you by the throat. Go and get it if you like guitar masterminds that can handle a guitar. On this CD you can listen to a diversity of styles such as metal, shred, rock and fusion, all mixed together in a unique way.
Visit their website: http://www.theodoreziras.com
Recordlabel: http://www. sleaszyrider.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theodorezirasguitar

90/100

VL45 - Inside the Dice (CD) Hungary November 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Hardrock Running time: 53:50 (Tracks: 11)
I couldn't find a lot of information about VL45 on the internet and their wasn`t a lot of info with the digipack I got so I can`t tell a lot about the band. They are from Hungary and released their first demo in 2002. The band is Apron Antal on drums, Botka Zsolt-guitar, Meszaros-Komaromy denes on bass and Szabo David on vocals and he also is responsable for the artwork on the cd. What can I say about the music. It`s decently played hardrock with a touch of grunge and now and then a bit emo. Straight forward metal with good vocals(without an accent!!!) but it`s nothing more than that. Not a band to really listen to but a nice cd to play on the background while you do other stuff like write reviews or whatever .It`s all well played and the guitarsound is pretty edgy and the cd is well produced but it`s just not my genre.
Visit their website: http://www.vl45.hu
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vl45

60/100

W.A.S.P. - Babylon (CD) USA November 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Running time: 43:45 (Tracks: 9)
“Babylon” is the fourteenth studio album of W.A.S.P. and features 9 songs. I must admit that I can't compare this new album with previous albums, because I only have the first two albums “W.A.S.P.” (1984) and “The Last Command” (1985), which are real classics. W.A.S.P. is of course Blackie Lawless (real name Steven Edward Duren), who's the only remaining original member of the band. Besides Lawless on vocals and guitar (on the first two albums Lawless played bass), W.A.S.P. exists of Doug Blair (lead & rhythm guitar), Mike Duda (bass) and Mike Dupke (drums). This album is based around the biblical visions of "The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse". Those “Four Horseman” are shown on the beautiful album cover. Two of the nine tracks on “Babylon” are covers. The first one is a fantastic version of DEEP PURPLE's classic “Burn” (one of my all time favorite PURPLE songs). The second one, which is the last track of the album, is “Promised Land” of legendary rock and roll star CHUCK BERRY (of his 1964 album “St. Louis To Liverpool”) and is a nice rock and roll version. There are two (semi) ballads on “Babylon”, which are “Into The Fire” and “Godless Run”. These are nice songs, but I prefer heavy rockers. Of course Blackie Lawless has a very recognizable voice. If you hear him sing, you immediately know that it's W.A.S.P. The best song on “Babylon” is absolutely “Babylon's Burning”. Other favorite songs are “Crazy”, “Burn”, “Thunder Red” and “Seas Of Fire”. Fantastic album.
Visit their website: http://www.waspnation.com
Recordlabel: http://www.demolitionrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wasp

86/100

WATCH ME BLEED – Souldrinker (CD) Germany November 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Modern Metal Running time: 45:00 (Tracks: 11)
WATCH ME BLEED was founded in the spring of 2007 by Markus Pohl (Symphorce, Mystic Prophecy) and Steffen Theurer (Symphorce). Kickdown frontman Chris Rodens completed the line up, and six weeks later they hit the stage supporting Stone Sour. In 2008 Markus Wenzel from Austrian Deathcore-heroes Inzest joined the band , a second singer who adds more aggression with his death metal voice. In 2009 the band recorded their debut album Souldrinker, produced and mixed by Christian Moos (Delain, Everon, C-187…) and mastered by Eroc (Sodom, Delain…). Souldrinker contains eleven songs with guest appearances by Andy B. Frank (Brainstorm), Nemesis (Eigensinn) and Greek guitar-wizard Constantine (Mystic Prophecy, The Descending). The music of WATCH ME BLEED is a mix of thrash, death and a bit of hardcore in it, mixed to a modern metal sound. Most unique item is of course that this band has 2 leadsingers, although it is a matter of taste if you will like it this way. Musically it sounds rock solid, great riffing with enough variety in their songs, sometimes melodic, other parts most aggressive with maybe even some Pantera influences here and there. The album has a good production, which makes it sound very heavy, a big plus. Also the cover is nicely done, best songs to me are The Bleeding Chalice and The Game Is On, try it out and decide if you like them cause this is not bad at all, one of the better new heavy bands in metal land.
Visit their website: http://www.watchmebleed.com
Recordlabel: http://www.silverwolf-productions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/watchmebleed667

74/100

ZANARKAND – Mas Alla (CD) Spain November 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 36:54 (Tracks: 9)
Spanish band Zanarkand is a newcomer which debuts with “Mas Alla”. The lyrics are in Spanish of course and the music is a mix of classic heavy and power metal. The first thing I noticed was the very good and powerful voice of singer Jose Manuel Varela. The rest of the band also delivers attractive metal with lots of melody and passion. They reminded me of some other well know Spanish metal groups like Tierra Santa and Lujuria. “Mas Alla” is a well executed metal album which features some very interesting and enjoyable songs. The cd also features two video clips.
Visit their website: http://www.zanarkandmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.santogrialproducciones.es
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/zanarkandmetal

76/100

OCTOBER

ASKA – Absolute Power (CD) USA October 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Power Metal Running time: 48:38 (Tracks: 10)
ASKA is born during the nascent alternative/grunge movement of the early 90's and eschews the popular fad in favor of playing metal music…their way. Metal Gods, both past and present, find worthy brothers-in-arms in ASKA. Their ways have not been forgotten but are indeed carried on with pride by this Dallas based construct of metal passion and fury. This is just a small part of their long biography.
This is the bands 5th release and shame on me; my first acquaintance with these US power metallers! I've seen the band last April at the Keep it True festival in Germany and they blew me away! The only thing I heard before of this band was the fact that there singer is also the new singer of US-power metallers Omen these days (see my Omen review this month @ the Swordbrothers festival)….. Because I was never a big fan of Omen's music I wasn't really interested in listening to the bands music. Still I have the drift to check out every band at any festival because im always in for surprises for this kind of bands. I discovered a lot of great bands during all these years by following my biggest passion; listening to every kind of metal. Luckily after the KIT show the band gave me their latest release (2007 originally) to review for MMM
The band makes real powermetal in a way I like it most; technical US powermetal with excellent vocals! The band does not have any musical link with Omen (luckily) but can be compared with bands like; Jacob's Dream, Riot, Sacred Oath, Savatage, Liege Lord and I hear a lot of Iron Maiden elements back in their music. The songs vary from uptempo to ballads but all performed very well. Singer George Call has a remarkable voice and a very wide range; excellent! This is a great album filled with metal evergreens and the band should be checked out by everybody that likes technical powermetal in a way only US-musicians can arrange it! Awesome album!
Visit their website: http://www.askaband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.myspace.com/vanadiumrecords
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/askaband

93/100

AT DAGGERS DRAWN – Ignition (CDemo) Germany October 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Melodic Death Metal. Running time: 23:32 (Tracks: 5)
This is the demo from German melodic death metallers At Daggers Drawn (ADD) which is obviously recorded to score a record deal. And while ADD doesn't reinvent the wheel with their organized on the same lines melodic death metal such as, lets say In Flames or Soilwork, the potential is there because of good diverse song writing and o.k. instrumentation. The use of the keys give this demo a modern/futuristic sound which is a plus. Within a few songs the band tries to adapt some metalcore riffs which contributes to the aforementioned diversity. The clean vocals are something that I am not that amused with because of the German accent. But I am glad they are not as much used as the grunts and screams. ADD shows on almost every part that they are professional in what they are doing. A record deal won't be far away!
Visit their website: http://www.at-daggers-drawn.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/atdaggersdrawnmetal

80/100

BACKLASH – Backlash (CDemo) USA October 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 17:00 (Tracks: 4)
This is a demo cd of Backlash from Florida, USA, with came with no info at all, which is too bad, because this is great stuff! The band consists of John Sparks (guitar, vocals), Dan Alonzo (vocals), Jim Dailey (drums) and Nathalie Roeck (bass guitar). There are lots of bands called Backlash, I found out looking over the internet for some info on this band, but this one rocks for real! On this demo cd you will find 4 tracks in real old school true metal style, the way Mario likes it I think, and I know I like what I hear on this one! This band has the high pitch vocals and superb guitar work, and not to forget great songs with 'Apocalyptic Cataclysm', 'Mad at the World', 'Shackled and Bound' and last track 'Hell Will Rise', all good songs in true metal style as I see it, I love it. Too bad there wasn´t any info to be found on their MySpace page, but the music counts!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/unofficalbacklash1

85/100

CLAMATH - Last Exit To Damnation (CDemo) Finland October 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Thrash / Metal Running time: 16:45 (Tracks: 4)
"Last Exit To Damnation" is a four track CDemo of CLAMATH, a metal band from FINLAND, who was formed in 2002. According to their biography, the band had many line-up changes during the years. In 2006 they recorded also a four track demo called "Mushroomcloud Solutions". The current line-up of CLAMATH exists of Ville "Turo" Niskakoski (vocals), Mikko Syväterä (guitar & backing vocals), Olli Sundholm (bass) and Panu Koskinen (drums). On this CDemo the bass parts were done by Janne Findeiss and Syväterä also did the drums parts. CLAMATH is influenced by metal bands such as PANTERA, THE HAUNTED and LAMB OF GOD. The first track of this demo, which is called "State Of Total Awareness", is in my opinion the best one. Some riffs of second song "The Blackest Nightmare", which is a good song too, reminds me of MASTODON. The other two songs on this demo "Ground Breaks" and "Last Exit To Damnation" are just nice. The production is of this demo is okay. I hope the band will have a steady line-up now, because having line-up changes constantly is not good for a band. Anyway, I don't know what the price will be of this CDemo, but if you are interested in it, contact them at clamath_@hotmail.com or through their MySpace page. Not bad, just a nice moderate demo if you ask me.
Visit their website: http://www.clamath.cjb.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/clamath1

69/100

CONSTRUCDEAD - Endless Echo (CD) Sweden October 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Thrash / Melodic Death Metal Running time: 44:27 (Tracks: 12)
Also from Sweden comes CONSTRUCDEAD, which is a 5 piece melodic Thrash/Death Metal band from Stockholm, existing of Jens Broman (vocals), Christian Ericson (guitar), Rickard Dahlberg (guitar, backing & additional vocals), Thomas Wallander (bass) and Nicke Karlsson (drums). The band exists since 1999 and has had several line-up changes. CONSTRUCDEAD released several EP's and three albums so far. This fourth studio album "Endless Echo", which was already recorded in August & September of 2007, is my first acquaintance of CONSTRUCDEAD. So I can’t compare this album with their previous albums. Anyway, "Endless Echo" contains twelve songs and is very well produced by Peter Wildoer, Klas Ideberg and the band themselves. The vocals of Broman (who’s also the singer of DARKANE and THE DEFACED) are very varied. On the second track of the album, which is "My Haven", Björn "Speed" Strid of SOILWORK is doing some guest vocals. The music which the band plays is a mixture of melodic Death Metal with Thrash. Actually, it’s not sounding very original. I would say that for this genre "Endless Echo" is not a very notable album, but it’s just a moderate one. My favourite songs are "Sedated Morning", "Endless Echoes", "Disfigured Beauty", "No Exit" and "The One Beside Me". If you like bands as DARKANE, IN FLAMES, SOILWORK, then you can check this band out too.
Visit their website: http://www.construcdead.com
Recordlabel: http://www.blacklodge.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/construcdead

76/100

CRESCENT SHIELD – The Stars of Never Seen (CD) USA October 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Power Metal Running time: 48:58 (Tracks: 9)
Crescent Shield began in 2000, originally as a side project for then-Onward vocalist Michael Grant and then-Destiny's End guitarist Daniel DeLucie. They completed the line-up with drummer Craig Anderson (ex-Ignite/Engine/Destiny's End/Seven Witches) and bassist Melanie Sisneros (ex-New Eden/The Iron Maidens/Sinergy).
I already reviewed the bands debut album "The Last of my Kind" in January 2007.
Well finally here is the the follow up to that album and again its released on the good Cruz Del Sur label. Unfortunately this will most likely be the last album I review for Cruz Del Sur because this label also switched to I-Pool downloads and we as MMM team don't cooperate to much with that system.
The new album is again a very decent album but I don't hear a lot of progression since their debut and that's a pity! Musically its again more than okay but I have the feeling that the band has chosen for a save direction. The band that I compared Crescent Shield with; Destiny's End, had the same problem and split up after their second album. Hopefully Crescent Shield will go on but they really need more refreshing elements on an eventual 3rd album. Again a good album with great musicianship, nice vocals but as said; to less progression to my opinion. Still hope to see the band live because I missed their KIT 10 performance due to personal reasons. I still think that Michael Grant is a good singer but to this kind of metal you need more high-pitch orientated vocals. But than again they have to watch out that they don't get an even more Destiny's End sound……
Visit their website: http://blog.crescentshield.com
Recordlabel: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/crescentshield

78/100

DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA - Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious (CD) Sweden October 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Experimental / Avant-garde / Symphonic metal Running time: 50:13 (Tracks: 10)
Strange, that is what I thought when I heard the first sounds of "Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious", the new album of the Diablo Swing Orchestra. But the music directly attracted my attention. Diablo Swing Orchestra was founded in Stockholm in 2003 and consists of six highly skilled musicians. The name of the band has it's origin in the 16th century. The history tells the tale of an orchestra that played like no other and whose music overwhelmed audiences over the whole country. However the orchestra had big problems with the church, which wanted to restrict their influence on the population. In 2003, Diablo Swing Orchestra released the EP Borderline Hymns, but the "The Butcher's Ballroom", released in 2006/2007, is considered as their official debut album. In the mean time, the band has gained a loyal fan base. "Sing Along Songs for the Damned & Delirious" is Diablo Swing Orchestra's second full length album.
The ten songs on the album are very different. The music that Diablo Swing Orchestra plays is very diverse. You can hear lots of jazz, folk, a big classical influence (especially the vocals of Annlouice Loegdlund-Wolgers) and, of course, heavy rock and metal. The orchestration of the songs is also unique, with all kinds of keyboards, cello and percussion. One moment you think the music is just only metal, the other moment you hear folk or jazz. The compositions are quite nice, but sometimes I lose my attention because of the intensive and chaotic character of the music. In my opinion this is an album you have to listen with an open mind. It is very hard to give this album a score because of its unique character. Some people will have the opinion that it's brilliant, I'm still not convinced totally, the album needs more time.
Visit their website: http://www.diabloswing.com
Recordlabel: http://www.ascendancerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/diabloswingorchestra

72/100

ENSIFERUM – From Afar (CD) Finland October 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Viking / Folk metal Running time: 56:40 (Tracks: 9)
Our favourite pagan/folk metal friends from Finland are back with a new album. "From Afar" is their fourth full length album and could be considered as their strongest to date. Ensiferum is a band that believes in what it is doing. They take their image a bit more seriously and that's something you can hear through the music. Although the main focus of the band is still to drink some beer and having a good time listening to their music. To me it just sounds more "mature" than other bands in this genre. Of course there are some "happy tunes" throughout the album. For example take "Stone Cold Metal" with a middle part that sounds as a "Finnish western" (the first in history, I think), but most of the album embodies are serious and symphonic sound. Ensiferum actually plays power metal but because of the image, the odd instruments (Hammond, banjo) and besides the normal vocals, harsh sounding grunts and screams its sound is quite diverse. Most of the songs are up tempo folkbeat melodies with some thrash parts woven into them and revealing a sense of energetic enjoyment. Nothing new to the front but always good for a pleasant evening with your drinking brothers. I am not quite sure if the title refers to a journey the Norsemen made from the north east of Ethiopia. Afar is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia and is the homeland of the Afar people. Since the lyrics are not so thorough I hope I have the change to ask one of the band members sometimes. Maybe Afar is just a fantasy name meaning nothing. On the metal archives I read a review of this album sentencing "If you buy one folk metal album this year…" Right! It would be this one!
Visit their website: http://www.ensiferum.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spinefarm.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ensiferum

78/100

EVIL SHEPHERD - Sadistik Legions (CDemo) Belgium October 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 18:56 (Tracks: 6)
After 2 thrash metal bands from the 'dender' region in Belgium split up, some of their members decided to join forces and form the old school thrash project that is today known as Evil Shepherd. The band immediately hit off with a bunch of live shows and in June of this year their demo 'Sadistik Legions' was released. This demo consists of 6 tracks of pure old school thrashmetal. The fans of the genre know what to expect: fast songs with nice riffs, pounding drums and vocals that rip through all of it nicely. The cool part of this demo is that you actually hear that the guys are enjoying themselves immensely which results in realy cool songs that makes you want to bang your head and hit your best friend in the face. Since this is just a demo the sound isn't what it should be but I find that this actually adds up to the charm of the band, thrash shouldn't be nice and clean and overproduced. Anyway as every old school thrash project these songs are meant to be played live so you'll get to go completely ape shit and mosh the shit up. Thrash metal fans, go support your underground and check these guys out!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/evilshepherdthrash

78/100

GRIEVING AGE – In Aloof Lantern, Thy Bequeathed A Wailer Quietus… (CD) Saudi Arabia October 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Doom / Death Metal Running time: 36:54 (Tracks: 2)
One of the two bands I know from Saudi Arabia besides black metal based band Al-Namrood. Grieving age are a doom /death metal band and are quite new to the scene. After Ghassan and Ahmed met each other in a record store in Saudi Arabia they decided to form a doom band. Later on Emad from Wasted Land joined them on drums, Abdullah on piano and Ayman from Wasted Land took the change to play the 2nd guitar. There biography says that the first single they recorded "My Hopeless River" was a big success in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon. I wonder what that means in these countries? After some changes on the bass and a demo recorded they got picked up by the Spanish label Lugga Music productions and recorded their first full length album "In Aloof Lantern, Thy Bequeathed A Wailer Quietus… (I am not going to translate this for you) There are only two songs contributing the album which are rather boring if you ask me. Diversity is something this band hasn't heard of. The band would like to let us know that they were influenced by My Dying Bride and (old) Anathema but they weren't this monotone and boring as Grieving Age. Both songs really seem to go nowhere and the Fred Flinstone grunt gets annoying after a couple of minutes. Too bad because on other parts the Grieving Age really tried their best by letting Dan Swano do the mixing and mastering and Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) doing the artwork. But all these things can't save the music itself which is no more than mediocre doom at best.
Visit their website: http://www.grievingage.multiply.com
Recordlabel: http://www.luggamusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/grievingage

55/100

HARM - The Nine (CD) Canada October 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Alternative Rock Running time: 45:21 (Tracks: 10)
Wow, this album "The Nine" of HARM is (more than) a very nice acquaintance to me. I never had heard of this band before, but what they present on this album is just awesome. HARM is a band from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and was formed in 2003. The band exists of Steve Sharpen (vocals), Mike Allen (guitar), Ania Fitch (bass, vocals) and Enrique Changanaqui (drums). "The Nine" is the second album of the band (their self titled debut album was released in October of 2008) and is released through Hypnotic/E1 (distribution by Suburban). The band of which HARM reminds me the most of is TOOL. Steven Sharpen is a fantastic singer. His vocals are very varied, brutal screams but also vocals like TOOL's Maynard James Keenan. The album has a very simple cover, but the ten songs on it are just all brilliant. The level of the songs is very high. At least, I can't find any weak song on "The Nine". It doesn't matter if you listen to songs like "Little Pariah" (which is the first single of the album), "Philistine", "Stuck In Time", "Argue And Grin" or "Hand Me Down Virtue", because all songs are superb. Great riffs, fantastic grooves, awesome vocals of Sharpen and a marvellous production of Tom Treumuth. I don't have any negative points about this album. I'm just very impressed by these Canadians. To me, they are the discovery of the month. TOOL fans CHECK THIS BAND OUT, I'm really sure you will like HARM as well. Very promising band of which we will hear much more in the future I think. Anyway, superb album.
Recordlabel: http://www.suburban.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/harmband

88/100

HATEBREED - Hatebreed (CD) USA October 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Hardcore Running time: 42:20 (Tracks: 14)
When Hatebreed, the band responsible for the revival of hardcore music and it's popularity among younger people releases a new album every fan of the genre can't deny to be curious about it. Since their last album 'Supremacy' didn't really do it for me, while I'm a huge fan of their earlier work, I was afraid of this one as well. But it seems that the recordings of their cover album 'For the Lions' got them right back to their roots as the self titled new album is just a 14 track kick in the balls! This record has about everything a good hardcore record should have: great riffing, agressive vocals, enormous breakdowns and songs that keep playing in your head for days. Add some great thrash metal influences, Jayme Jasta's killer voice, recognizable lyrics and a good production and you've got yourself a hardcore record that every fan will love. The whole record also sounds more old school than the previous one which is a good thing in my opinion so I would really recommend this one to the fans of the genre.
Visit their website: http://www.hatebreed.com
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hatebreed

85/100

HYADES – The Roots of Trash (CD) Italy October 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Old School Thrash Metal Running time: 43:02 (Tracks: 11)
Hyades from Italy is a band which I already know for many years. The band was formed around 1996 and in 2004 I already reviewed their "No Bullshit....just Metal!" & "Hyades" demo's. So far a bio I want to advice you all to check out the earlier reviews of this band. Their previous album "And The Worst Is Yet To Come" album of 2007 was also reviewed on MMM. Because im friends with their guitarplayer Lorenzo Testa, I managed to book the band 2 years ago to play at the Tilburg Headbangers Fest which I co-organised for 2 editions. Well, I can tell; they blew the whole place down with their energy! That was also the main reason that I booked the band again for this year's instalment of Mario's Metal Meeting 3 on the 4th of October at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands. This is a real live band and all the guys are very addicted with their love for oldschool thrashmetal! I can tell a lot about these guys and this album but the best advice is to check them out (if you read this review on time….). I was planning to review this album already in September but unfortunately I received it 1 day before that September deadline/update but here it is finally. Hyades plays metal in the vein of old Bay Area bands like; Exodus, Testament & Heathen. If you're still stocked into the 80's thrashmetal than you should check this band (and all their releases) out! They are going to raise the roof of the 013 venue; that's for sure! Only little complain is the picture at the innersleeve with my own ugly face on it, hahhahaaha. Nevertheless I have to be honest and rate this album without any personal influences but I can guarantee that this review is honest a hell!! Very good album by one the leading European retro-thrashers! Without the non-thrash cover "Come out and Play" from The Offspring my rate would have even be higher…..
Visit their website: http://www.hyadesmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.mausoleum-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hyadesband

88/100

HYSTERICA – Metal War (CD) Sweden October 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Female Heavy / True Metal Running time: 40:04 (Tracks: 11)
From the start female guitarist Bitchie decided to start a new metal band with females only. She had played in a lot of bands over the years, but this was going to be something totally different. As the name Hysterica was formed, the search for band members began. She wanted girls with great skills for their instruments and vocals but still was crazy and fun. Hysterica has been playing live at all kind of stages and it has taken about three years with different members to form what today is the final HYSTERICA, ready to conquer the world. In 2006, Hysterica made a demo that included 6 tracks. The demo was a great success.
A lot of people blame me to be a real true metal fan but that's not true at all! I prefer well played US-metal which has to my opinion more potential than any European band. Still there are a lot of great bands from Europe which I also adore. Hysterica is one of them but that has more to do with their looks; ive seen the band a while ago in Weert, The Netherlands and I can assure you that they all look good and I have a weak for their singer Anni De Vil who is looking awesome. Musically its all nice to hear but I know lots of better bands that play better but have awefull looks (maybe because most of them are male bands???).
During the gig at De Bosuil in Weert it counted me that the band was rather unexperienced on stage but you cant hear that on this album. The production & mix is awesome done by Tommy & Peter Tagtren (Hypocrisy, Pain). The booklet is also looking very professional and I heard that the band is planning a new tour in October/November this year in Europe.
This is food for horny Manowar fans and unfortunately im not one of them. According the band im also not a "Heavy Metal Man" because you need long hair & tattoos for that?? I think that being a Heavy Metal Man has more to do with your attitude instead of your looks…..
Still I have to rate this album positive because of the professional looks & awesome sound! Check them out in your neighbourhood if you are also sick of all these ugly male bands!
Visit their website: http://www.hysterica.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hysterica

75/100

IRON AGE - The Sleeping Eye (CD) USA October 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Thrash / Metal / Doom Running time: 44:02 (Tracks: 8)
IRON AGE is a five piece band from Austin, Texas, U.S.A. and exists of Jason, Jared, Ribz, Wade and Alex. It's not clear who's the singer and who's playing which instrument. It's not mentioned on the attached info sheet of the CD and it's also not mentioned on their MySpace page. The band was formed in 2005 and their debut album "Constant Struggle" was released in 2006. This second album "The Sleeping Eye" was released on August 4th on Tee Pee Records (distribution by Suburban) and features 8 moderate thrash songs with sometimes heavy doom parts. It's just riffs we've heard hundred times before. So, it's all sounds not very original. Personally I'm not really impressed by IRON AGE. But if you are curious about this band, check them out yourself. And if you do want to see them live, they are doing a European tour from November 6th until November 28th (according their MySpace pace). For our Dutch readers, the band is playing at the Dynamo, Eindhoven on November 26th.
Visit their website: http://www.thesleepingeyeofold.blogspot.com
Recordlabel: http://www.teepeerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ironagetexas

65/100

IZEGRIM – Point of no Return (MCD) The Netherlands October 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 16:40 (Tracks: 4)
'On the record I bought afterwards you can hear the potential of this band.' That was the last comment of my Izegrim review on their performance at the Mezz, Breda. The record I was talking about was 'Point of no Return,' the same record that is being reviewed here. Izegrim has been around since 1996. Since then, they quickly built up a reputation in the (inter)national metal scene with their thrash metal. A lot of this has to do with their live presentation, but also with their releases. Here's a short overview of their discography: 'Bird of Prey [MCD]' in 1999, 'Guidelines for Genocide [CD]' in 2002, 'New World Order [MCD]' in 2005 and the second full length 'Tribute to Totalitarianism' in 2008. When 'Tribute to Totalitarianism' was released, a successful tour with Flotsam & Jetsam followed. After that, a couple of line-up changes took place and Marloes became the main vocalist. Now it is 2009 and the band has came up with their new MCD 'Point of no return.' It consists of three new tracks and a re-recording of 'Angel of Demise.' This last track was originally available on the sold out album 'Guidelines for Genocide.' All right, let's focus on the new record shall we? The new material brings a lot of variety and subtle breaks in he best Izegrim tradition. The band has managed to find a good balance between their melodic aspect and well-known aggression. The vocals are really suiting the emotion of the songs as well. With this record Izegrim has given us a nice introduction to the new line-up. Hopefully this MCD is a foretaste of the next full length, but meanwhile we have 'Point of no return' to enjoy. O yeah, one other thing…Go check them out!
Visit their website: http://www.izegrim.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.rustycagerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/izegrim

75/100

KRASS-T – Le Jour Du Saigneur (CD) France October 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Grind / MetalCore Running time: 39:05 (Tracks: 11)
This KRASS T was born in December 2003 as a guitar/drum duo, but started playing regularly with a bassplayer and singer during 2004. Their main influences being Pantera, Slayer, Autopsy, 80's Metallica, Sepultura, Kreator, AC/DC and some bands from the hardcore scene like, Suicidal Tendencies, Deviate and also some punk and rock bands like, The Exploited, Berurier noir, Nirvana, etc…you get the idea. The band's name comes from hypocrisy and ugliness of social links within a capitalist, money making society in general searching for non stop and quick profit instead of respecting people. All this shit making KRASS T playing some nervous and explosive hardcore metal to thrash frustrations and negativity in a positive way. Krass-T have been playing live all over France in 2008 including some festivals, and now they have recorded their self-produced debut album "Le Jour Du Saigneur". This is a 100% DIY album from recording to distribution, considering this the band did a great job. Maybe the production could have been done a bit better, but I guess it sounds how it should sound for this kind of music. Hard, mean, fast and dirty sometimes even reminding me a bit of old Napalm Death, food for those who dig raw grinding hardcore stuff. After a funny intro, the bands start raging, songs like 'In Your Nose', 'Du Nerf', 'Hysteria' all grind to the bone, maybe not the most original band, but they do it convincingly well. It will only be a matter of time and experience before they get big in the grindcore scene, cause the quality is definitely there, great riffs and overall some good ideas , they really have proven to be a band to keep in mind for the future!
Visit their website: http://krasst.free.fr
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/krasst

79 /100

LEAVES' EYES – Njord (CD) Norway/Germany/USA October 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Gothic Rock / Metal Running time: 55.57 (Tracks: 12)
The Vikingship of Leaves' Eyes has definitely a stormy wind in his huge sail. With a hardworking band at the oars and the sympathetic Krull family wielding the rudder, the band sets sail to claim the crown of Gothic Rock. Again they exceed their former releases in professionalism. Just take a look at the wonderful artwork/package, the amazing clip they made for "My Destiny" and set you ears wide open for the magnificent, epic sound of the album. This time they hired in the Lingua Mortis Orchestra who helped them to create a more symphonic sound and that turns out to be an excellent choice. Now the band always were a guarantee for good solid work on their albums and artwork, but this massive sound fits them better than a glove. On the albums "Vinland Saga/Legend Land" the songs told the story of Leifr Eiríksson and his mates discovering America, this time the band extracted inspiration out of old Norse and mediaeval myths and legends. Now I can certainly deal with that, because it's the most interesting period in history. With the sound waves crushing the Norwegian shores, "Njord" opens bombastically and sets the tone for the rest of the album. Follower "My Destiny" is so damn catchy that it is almost impossible to get it out of your head, a logical single choice. The album further on offers good solid tracks like "Take the Devil in Me" and "Northbound" which are alternated by the beautiful "Irish Rain" and a superb cover version of "Scarborough Fair", in which the addition of uilleann pipes and whistles really works and Liv leaves us no doubt about her vocal talents. Speaking about the vocals, Liv sings more varied and impressive than ever and it's a real enjoyment listening to her. In all the parts she sounds confident, proving that no matter what, she is capable singing it. Also the other band members are delivering a fine demonstration of their skills. All this comes together in the most darkest song Leaves' Eyes ever put together listening to the name of "Ragnarok". Let in by an epic intro followed by brilliant massive drumming of Seven Antonopolous (man, I love those pounding drums, you can wake me up for this), Liv's shows her voice in all varieties while Thorsten Bauer and Mathias Röderer's are delivering fierce guitar attacks alternated by harsh solo work. Alexander Krull's brutal screams contrast beautifully, making it all sound more dramatically. Certainly my highlight of this album. Last but certainly not least the band has another strong iron in the fire calling "Froya's Theme"; a real epic of 8 minutes which has everything to become a certain classic. Spoken-word interludes, varied guitar work, tremendous vocals and double bass drums; you name it, this song has it. Good choice to put it on the end of the album because it invites you to give the album another swing around in your cd player. With all the nuances they put in the numbers and an excellent production by the big guy Alexander himself, this album sounds like the proverbial Swiss clock. A big plus is also that they have managed to catch the sphere of the old North and Medieval ages. Isn't there anything to nag about then ? Of course there is, if you want to. "Through our Veins" and "The Holy Bound" can be described as a bit on-going tracks, good, but not special, while Alexander's raging (almost Black Metal) screams in "Emerald Island" doesn't really fit in. Personally I miss some of his vocal contributions like in for example "The Crossing" and "A Vikings Word" from "Legend Land". What also made my eyebrows drag was the fact that Thorsten took care of the bass parts (terrific job by the way) instead of bass player Alla Fedynitch. A bit peculiar while she is in the band now for more than a year. Maybe an explanation is there if the parts had already been done some time a go, because the band took their time finishing the album. But as I said, that's just nagging, after all it was certainly worth the wait. With this splendid record on board, these Vikings are more than ready to conquer the world, spreading the Vikings Word. And Odin nodded satisfied …………….
Visit their website: http://www.leaveseyes.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/leaveseyespage

90/100

MEAN STREAK - Metal Slave (CD) Sweden October 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 43:37 (Tracks: 10)
MEAN STREAK is a Swedish Power Metal band who was formed in the spring of 2006 by bassist Peter Anderson. He wanted to write Metal which comes straight from the heart and make music he truly loves. The first song Anderson wrote was "Rock City". But of course, for forming a band, you need more band members. So, the first one he contacted was singer, guitarist Andy La Guerin. The next thing they did was writing songs for somewhat six months. Then a drummer was needed which became Jonas Kallsback. And the last person who completed the line-up of MEAN STREAK is second lead guitarist Yngve Frank. This debut album "Metal Slave" features ten melodic Power Metal songs, and has a very good production, which was done by Anderson and La Guerin themselves. All ten songs are fantastic compositions with great melodies, and that makes this a very accessible album. La Guerin is a very good melodic Metal singer, with a very high vocal range. And both Yngve as well as Andy are very skilled guitarists. Just listen to their killer solos in many songs. The band reminds me of bands/artists like HELLOWEEN, PRIMAL FEAR and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN. But sometimes I hear some influences of IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST as well.
Anyway, some favourite songs of me are "Whom The Gods Love Die Young" (great opener of the album), "Battle Within", "The Seventh Sign", "Raise Your Hands" and "Carved In Stone". If you like old school 80's/90's melodic Power Metal with very good vocals, then I'm sure you will like "Metal Slave" of MEAN STREAK too. Fantastic debut album.
Recordlabel: http://www.blacklodge.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/meanstreaksweden

86/100

METALUCIFER – Heavy Metal Bulldozer (CD) Japan October 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 44:00 (Tracks: 9)
The Japanese heavy metal troopers are back! It has been a while since their last studio album although they released a great number of live recordings and split records during the last 8 years. "Heavy Metal Bulldozer" is a classic Metalucifer album. Great cult retro metal straight from the 80s with all the great values of that time. This album has more N.W.O.B.H.M. in it than the previous ones and a slightly better sound. I have a slight objection though. The cult vocals with the Japanese accent are no more since Elizablumi (Blumi from Metal Inquisitor) handles that particular duty. I am aware of a Japanese version of the album with Gezolucifer on lead vocals but didn't have the chance to listen to it. This album will not change the heavy metal map as we know it but will fuel the passion of all the Metalucifer maniacs that follow every step of the band. Fortunately I am one of them!
Visit their website: http://www.holycaust.com/metalucifer.htm
Recordlabel: http://www.iron-pegasus.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/metaluciferfansite

80/100

OMAINEN - Routes to Nowhere (CDemo) France October 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Power Metal Running time: 19:50 (Tracks: 4)
Omainen is a French heavy metal band that was formed in 2002. They have just released a new demo which contains 4 tracks and is downloadable on their website. Since it's a free download you might want to check them out for yourself but personally I don't think they're worth the trouble. All four songs are mediocre at best. You can obviously hear that this band has some good musicians but the songs itself aren't anything special at all. What also bothers me is the singing, I don't find the vocalist that talented and that is actually necessary when you're playing a genre that is heavily influenced by the singer's performance. Overall this isn't a bad band but I would go as far as calling it good either. But since the download is free, why not check them out for yourself?
Visit their website: http://www.omainen.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/omainen

52/100

OZ KNOZZ – 10,000 Days and Nights (CD) USA October 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: AOR Rock Running time: 38:19 (Tracks: 8)
OZ KNOZZ (pronounced as Oz Ka-nozz) has been active in the music scene for many years. They originated in 1969 and during the seventies they toured with bands like Supertramp, Kansas and Judas Priest, but this is my first acquaintance with the band.
The line-up has changed over the years but the brothers Duane (Keyboards and Lead Vocals) and Bill Massey (Bass) are still present. At this moment the band consists of 5 members, Robert Guinea (Guitars) Marty Naul (Drums) Milton de Coronado (Keyboards and Lead Vocals) make the band complete. OZ KNOZZ released their first album, Ruff Mix, in 1975 but 10,000 Days and Nights is in fact their second album. This latest project started out as a way to archive some of the music they had written and performed over the years, but as the band spent more time and effort with the project, it seemed to take on a life of its own, and this new CD is the end result. The title 10,000 Days and Nights comes from the amount of time that has passed between the first OZ KNOZZ album and the current release.
"10,000 Days and Nights" is the culmination of three years of work. The album is produced by the band itself and mixed by former Diamond Recording Studios Engineer Gregg Gill. The album contains 8 songs with original keyboard sounds and powerful guitar parts. I'm also impressed by the vocal performance of Milton de Coronado and Duane Massey. Sometimes I think I hear Ronny James Dio, the other moment I seem to hear Bobby Kimball (Toto). The songs are quite different if you compare them. Graven Image sounds more progressive while Telephone and You Can`t Win sound more commercial. But it's clear that the performance of all band members is really good. The only disappointment of the CD is the short running time. I can recommend the album to every fan who likes good AOR.
Visit their website: http://www.ozknozz.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ozknozz

85/100

PORCUPINE TREE – The Incident (2CD) United Kingdom October 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: CD1: 55:49 (Tracks: 14)
CD2: 20:36 (Tracks: 4)
My first acquaintance with Porcupine Tree was the album 'Stupid Dream' which was released in 1999. A few months later, Porcupine Tree played in The Maaspoort in Den Bosch as the supporting program of Dream Theater. They surprised me with a fantastic gig, since then it`s one of my favorite bands.
Porcupine Tree was founded as a solo project by Steven Wilson (Lead Vocals and Guitar) and his first release was 'On the Sunday of Life...' in 1992, an album full with all kinds of studio experiments. In 1993, Wilsons solo project became a band when Colin Edwin (Bass), Chris Maitland (Drums) and Richard Barbieri (Keyboards) were recruited to enable Porcupine Tree to perform live. Barbieri had previously been a member of the 80's band Japan. The first real band album recorded was 'Signify' in 1996, which was followed by 'Stupid Dream' (1999), a breakthrough album which saw the band move into a more song-orientated direction. Chris Maitland departed in 2002 and was replaced by Gavin Harrison. Since then, three major label albums were released: 'In Absentia', 'Deadwing' and the Grammy-nominated 'Fear of a Blank Planet'. In 2006, Porcupine Tree moved to the independent rock label Roadrunner.
'The Incident' is Porcupine Tree's tenth studio album and it has become a double CD. The album is produced by all four group members. The idea that led to 'The Incident' (especially CD 1) came to Steven Wilson as he became caught up in a motorway traffic jam whilst driving past a road accident. Later on, when he thought back about the incident, all kinds of personal incidents filled his mind and they became also a theme on the album. The music on both CD`s is of a very high level. They contain beautiful compositions where atmospheric parts are alternated by heavy parts with very nice riffs. The album's epic song has become my favourite. It is an 11-minute masterpiece called 'Time Flies', incluenced by (in my opinion) the best band ever, Pink Floyd.
The second CD contains 4, more experimental songs. According to the band, they are all on a separate CD to stress their independence from CD 1. Finally, it can be concluded that 'The Incident' has become a masterpiece, it`s a must for every of progressive rock fan!
Visit their website: http://www.porcupinetree.com
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/porcupinetree

95/100

PRAYING MANTIS – Sanctuary (CD) United Kingdom October 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 61:40 (Tracks: 12)
Hard Rock veterans Praying Mantis are back with a brand new studio album. The Troy brothers have recruited a new line up and present us the long anticipated "Sanctuary". Initially I was planning on writing a huge text but to be honest there are not many things one can write. The Mantis is back with yet another winner. "Sanctuary" is an instant classic, a shinning jewel upon the band's crown. Everything yells Mantis. The classic melodies, the addictive choruses, every single piece of music bears the Troy Bros seal. The new singer is absolutely fabulous (yet another brilliant choice) and does the songs justice with his heartfelt performances. Grab this one immediately. Finding albums like this in our days is almost impossible.
Visit their website: http://www.praying-mantis.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/prayingmantisrock

88/100

RONNY MUNROE – The Fire Within (CD) USA October 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 54:43 (Tracks: 12)
Ronny Munroe was the last Metal Church vocalist. He participated in the last 3 albums of the band and also recorded an album with power metal act Rottweiler. Unfortunately Metal Church is no more and Ronny presents us his first solo album (he also recorded an EP in 2007).
In this recording Ronny sounds a bit different on many songs. He reminded me of Graham Bonnet in Blackthorne. He sings like a rabid dog but also manages to incorporate melody and passion in his performances. The songs are good but nothing that will make you fall of your chair. Classic heavy metal with power metal touches and a Judas Priest sound; reminiscent of the last Metal Church works where Ronny participated but certainly better than the last one. It's an enjoyable album that will satisfy the Metal Church junkies (like myself) and won't disappoint the traditional heavy power metal fans. Ronny also covers "Man on the Silver Mountain" with success. Go Ronny!
Visit their website: http://www.ronnymunroe.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ronnymunroe

81/100

SACRED OATH – Sacred Oath (CD) USA October 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Power Metal Running time: 72:49 (Tracks: 14)
Sacred Oath is a band that I discovered just a few years ago but since that time im a huge fan of these US metallers! Strange when you know that this band already exist since 1985!! I already reviewed their albums; "A Crystal Revision", "Darkness Visible" & "Till Death do us Part (Live in Germany)" and all of them are classics in the us-metal (underground) scene. So im not gonna bore you again with the bands biography and just start with the review of the new album simply named "Sacred Oath". The first song 'Paradise Lost" is already an evergreen and has totally nothing to do with the eponymous band. 'Blood Storm' is also a typical midtempo song in the bands style. Over all this album has more midtempo songs than his predecessors and to my opninion that's a pity. Songs like "Voodoo Dolls' & 'Counting Zeros' are not really my cup of tea and sound to standard to me. Pity because on the older albums they didn't have that much of this kind of songs. It also looks more and more that the band is changing style; in the beginning there where a band influenced by Mercyful Fate/King Diamond while these days they remind me more of a mix of Iron Maiden meets Queensryche/Lethal. Not a bad direction of course at all. 'Caught in the Arc' is a faster song with some nice breaks. The same goes for Mistress of the Setting Sun'.
Title song 'Sacred Oath' is a classic one with the typical Rob Thorne high pitchers which I miss to much on this album. 'What the Dark Lord will undo' starts as a ballad but has a superb oldschool break which reminds me to some Dio songs. 'Scourge of Sin' is also an uptempo song which reminds me to the older Metal Church stuff.
Over all I have a little complain about this album and that's, as said before, there are to much midtempo songs on this album and with a running time of nearly 73 minutes it would have been better to add only 10 or 11 songs instead of 14 because now I get the feeling that some of the songs are only used as space fillers……
Not a bad album at all, see my rate, but I was expecting more after the last few albums……
Visit their website: http://www.sacredoath.net
Recordlabel: http://www.angelthorne.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sacredoath

82/100

SAVAGE CIRCUS - Of Doom and Death (CD) Germany October 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Power Metal Running time: 57:38 (Tracks: 9)
Formed in 2004 as a side project of Blind Guardian's drummer Thomen Stauch, Savage Circus has finally released their second album. Because of personal problems they no longer have Thomen on drums but he is replaced by legend Mike Terrana. If you liked the previous records of this band you will also love this one as it's a logical follow up to 'Dreamland Manor'. A great variety of melodies and harmonies delivered by heavy guitars and awesome drums, all supported by amazing vocals. I'm not a big fan of the power metal genre because a lot of the bands are all the same. It's therefore always great to hear a band that stands out of the rest. This album sounds more aggressive then most power metal bands yet it sticks to the basic elements of the genre. I don't know if they like the comparison but this band is still a must for all fans of Blind Guardian. A great release for all fans of the more melodic styles of metal
Visit their website: http://www.savage-circus.com
Recordlabel: http://dockyard2.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/savagecircus

82/100

SCYTHE OF ORION – X-Lives (MCD) Finland October 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Symphonic Metal Running time: 22.21 (Tracks: 5)
Scythe of Orion, formed in 2006/2007, has his residence in Finland and their music can be categorised as the more complex side of Symphonic Metal. The awkward thing about the band is that the songs are composed between 1995-2008. Who is mainly responsible for the song writing, the short bio and some internet ploughing doesn't tell, but the main man/woman certainly is gifted with talent. The band members are Jani Lahnavik (drums), Antti Horttana (bass), Petri Lamminsaari (guitar), Kristian Wrang (keyboards). Maarit Koivisto (violin) and Anu Kaunisto (vocals). They are worth mentioning because the have delivered a very fine, original piece of metal. I can be very short about my opinion of this self produced 5-track; just brilliant ! Why's that then ? The fact is, the band succeeds in interweaving violin and piano parts with heavy guitars and drums into complex but catchy songs that hold your attention. Capable of doing this they make an original contribution to this genre. "The Open Space of Imagination" kicks off in a smooth, pretty fast way and listens away very easily, preformed by damn good musicianship. A good example of Symphonic metal. Anu's voice is the thing that grabs the attention because it is quite distinctive. Some people may not like it, but that is always a matter of opinion. For me she does a brilliant job, it's different en it really fits in their music. Follower "Shadowland'" slows down and gives Anu more space to show her talent. She has a bit of "musical" way of singing and man, I love it. Hear here biting of phrases like "Shadows commmme .." and I am sold. "Journey" shows the band from it's most experimental side. Opening fast with furious guitar work supported with massive drums, the violin provides this one the variation that makes it very enjoyable. Even a heavy slice of jazz is added and it works amazingly. Best track is yet to come and is called "Behind the Cloud". Gently opening you think this is the bands ballad, but then the guitars fall in heavy, turning it into a solid headbanger, yet alternated with again those brilliant violin parts that take care for some smooth balladesque interludes. Anu sings this one so dramatically that it really moves me. ("Someday I will see you again ………", she sings, and I certainly hope so, would be awesome to check them live) "My X-Lives" is unfortunately the last track and also in this one they succeed in making it dark and mysterious by just adding some simple piano riddling which creates a creepy feeling. If you are looking for something refreshing in metal, you certainly must give this one a chance. Maybe it takes a few times listening, but it won't be a waste of time.
This is by far the best and most promising mini album I have laid my hands on this year and I certainly hope they get a deal very soon. (Hello Napalm !) The mixture of melody, drama and suspense in combination with pure metal craftsmanship, colourful added with interesting interludes like violin, piano and even jazz, sung by a distinctive, characteristic voice makes this 5-track longing for more, yet also hard to describe. "Scythe-metal" maybe ……
Visit their website: http://www.scytheoforion.com

90/100

SKYFIRE – Esoteric (CD) Sweden October 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 55:58 (Tracks: 12)
The Swedish band Skyfire has won the hearts of many metalheads with their albums 'Timeless Departure' in 2001, 'Mind Revolution' in 2003 and 'Spectral' in 2004. In that period of time, Skyfire had managed to profile themselves with their subtle combination of melody, epic arrangements and aggression. Especially the use of keyboards made Skyfire quite unique in the Swedish death metal scene at that moment. Logical, because at that time, keyboards weren't used that often with this kind of music. After the release of 'Spectral,' another successful tour followed and the band still gained popularity. Despite all the success, it became quiet around the band. Very quiet. In fact, it would take about five years for the band to come up with new material. Before this would happen, a couple of line-up changes took place as well as the signing with Privotal Rockordings. Earlier this year we got a little foretaste in the form of the 'Fractal E.P.' Now, finally the new album 'Esoteric' is released.
Skyfire has never disappointed me up till now. With 'Esoteric,' this is not going to change. The band sounds fresh and you can really tell that they've worked hard on the new material. The spherical keyboard parts and orchestral influences are once again well represented and go hand in hand with the aggression of Skyfire. A good example is the epic 'Rise and Decay,' in which all hell breaks loose after the calm composition. That is Skyfire right there. From a musical point of view, I have little to none complains about this record. But if I have to name something it would be the lack of diversity. To me, the songs in the end sound very much alike. A little more diversity wouldn't hurt the band. After the regular new songs, we can find an interesting bonus track which is called 'Within reach.' This song dates from the period before the actual band name was chosen, which makes it's presence very special. Yes, those five years were definitely worth the wait and did the band a lot of good. 'Esoteric' is a logical follow up to their previous records. The fans should be very pleased with this record. I also can recommend this album to everyone who is into melodic death, thrash or even power metal.
Visit their website: http://www.listen.to/skyfire
Recordlabel: http://label.pivotalalliance.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/skyfiremusic

82/100

SPANK - Get Bent (CD) USA October 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Rock / Hard Rock Running time: 33:45 (Tracks: 10)
SPANK is a four piece rock band from Kernersville, North Carolina, U.S.A., which really surprised me with this album "Get Bent". I don't know exactly when the band was formed, but they already released a self titled six track EP in 2005 and a full length album "The Monkey" (which also includes the six tracks of the EP) in 2006. This second album "Get Bent" was released in January of 2008. And a 5 track EP, titled "Within' Without", was released in August of 2008. Anyway, the line-up of SPANK exists of Brian Boles (guitar, vocals), David Barker (guitar, vocals), Jody Blevins (bass, vocals) and Ben Barker (drums, vocals). Well, SPANK doesn't have a specific lead singer, because Brian, Ben and David are all doing lead vocals on this album.
Songs of which the lead vocals are done by Brian are "Turkey Leg", "Breathing", "Space" and "Step Out Of Line". Ben is singing on "Gravity", "Terrified" and "Grounded". And David does the lead vocals on "Back To Me", "In Time" and "Hard To Understand". And believe it or not, they are all fantastic singers. Also the members of the band are fantastic songwriters, because all songs are great compositions, but most of all very talented musicians. "Get Bent" has a very good production (done by Mitch Easter) and features ten rock songs with a very high quality level. It's an album that listens easily away. That's because all songs on this album have such great melodies and choruses. The band which comes in mind first by listening to songs like "Gravity", "Terrified" and "Space" is KING'S X. "Breathing" and "Hard To Understand" are two beautiful ballads of the album. If you like high quality melodic rock music, then you have to check out SPANK. You won't regret it. SPANK really deserves some reputation in Europe. Superb album of a fantastic band. Some favourites are "Turkey Leg", "Gravity", "Terrified", "In Time" and "Space".
Visit their website: http://www.spankonline.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/spankonline

86/100

ST. MADNESS – Vampires in the Church (CD) USA October 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Shock Horror Metal Running time: 63:57 (Tracks: 15)
I already reviewed a few albums from these Arizona Shock Rockers; lately they sended me their 7th release "Saintanic" (see Review here below) but I couldn't find the review of its predecessor "Vampires in the Church"? After searching my reviews Archive and my CD storage room I discovered this album between my collection….sealed in its original foil……
Forgotten to review by an unknown reason but better late than never is my opinion….
Their "We make Evil Fun" was already reviewed in 2004 by myself (at that time I was running MMM mostly al alone). I compared the bands music with bands like the US Halloween and also PileDriver and Exorcist. Well after listening this album I have to change that a bit; I hear a more modern sound and bands like Wargasm, Pantera ('Walk' is covered on this album), (old) Sepultura (listen to the song 'Missing Girl's Body Found') & Prong are coming in mind. I also hear a few stoner/country elements in a fewsongs.
Still this a good album with a lot of variety, a superb production and im still looking out to see this band over here in Europe but im afraid I have to dream on because they have their own recordlabel and I suppose they are financially not able to come over…and IF they could; will there be more people like me that ever heard of this band before in Europe? My advice to the band is to contact a smaller German festival like HOA (Headbangers Open air) and try to reach a bigger audience that way. Favorite songs on this album: 'Carl The Clown', 'Head', 'Ever After' & 'I Cut Myself'. Good album! Check them out; they deserve your attention!
Visit their website: http://www.stmadness.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stmadness

75/100

ST. MADNESS – Saintanic (CD) USA October 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Shock Horror Metal Running time: 69:31 (Tracks: 16)
Well here is the newest release (their 7th) of US rockers St. Madness. For a bio read their earlier reviews on MMM. I forgot to review the predecessor "Vampires in the Church" bit its added also this month finally (see above)….
The music of St. Madness is a logical continuation to their "Vampires in the Church" album; straight in your face modern metal with balls! The band has added 2 covers this time; J.J. Cale's 'Cocaine' & Ozzy Osbourne's 'Crazy Train". Smart to do because cover versions of Ozzy Osbourne songs do always have better vocal parts, hahahaha. The band delivers again a well produced album with a lot of variety, excellent artwork & some great songs! Favorite songs on this album are: 'The Art of Terror', 'The Anti-Superhero', 'Death drives a Buick', 'Show me how it's Done', 'They walk the Earth' & 'Saintanic'. Again this album is filled with a lot of Pantera & Prong influenced modern metal and it's unbelievable that this band don't get any more attention in the metal press! They have MY full attention! Check these guys out!!!!!
Visit their website: http://www.stmadness.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stmadness

78/100

STRYDEGOR – Back On Ancient Traces (CD) Germany October 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Viking Metal Running time: 41:00 (Tracks: 9)
This Strydegor is a young band from the southwest of Mecklenburg/Western Pommerania in North Germany. In 2005 Florian Kunde (guitar, vocals), Sven Martinek (drums), Slava Giebel (guitar) and David Schenk (bass) founded the metal band The Alphes. This band played a mix of different styles of metal, but in autumn 2006 David decided to leave the band due to personal reasons and Clemens Thieke took over his place on the bass. At this point they changed their name into Strydegor in autumn 2007 and found their right musical direction, Viking Metal. March 2008 their first demo was released, titled "Legends of Midgard", followed by demo ep "Midwinter´s Eve" autumn 2008 which got positive reactions. The ep got them noticed by Austrian record label CCP Records who got to sign Strydegor. Now their debut album "Back On Ancient Traces" is released on this label. Like the title says Strydegor wants to send the listener on a trip on the traces of their ancestors. The lyrics primarily are about legends of the northern mythology, describing the lives of the Vikings and their affinity with nature. Fast double bass attacks and guitar runs alternate with nearly balladic guitar melodies. The atmosphere of the music is very epic and mystic, mixed with vocals full of pressure from deep growlings up to high screams, according to their biography. I must say that this description comes close, cause it really fits their music well. Listening to this album one band came to mind, Amon Amarth. Not that they are a clone of this band, but they have similarities, they both make great melodic death/Viking metal. The production of the album sounds real good, and there really is an atmosphere created here. The album starts off with a few slower songs, but when Wild Hunt Through Twelve Nights begins, hell breaks loose, this is Strydegor at their best. The album is very diverse with lots of tempo changes and melodies, with great growls for vocals. Real heavy songs like Ragnarok, faster songs like Baldur's Dreams, they all make this album a very enjoyable listening experience, another great band to keep in consideration if you are into great Viking metal.
Visit their website: http://www.strydegor.com
Recordlabel: http://www.ccprecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/strydegor

85/100

TOE TAG / WORLD OF LIES – (Split CD) USA October 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Hardcore / Thrash Metal Running time: (Tracks: 14)
This is a split album of Seattle's Toe Tag and Portland's World of Lies, two great thrashcore bands combined on one album. Toe Tag is the continuation of The Accused after they split up. Although The Accused went on in a different line up, their original vocalist Blaine 'Lord Zippy' Cook decided to start a new band under the name Toe Tag, which also contains two other former Accused members. If you might wonder what they sound like…well more Accused then The Accused themselves because Blaine's unique voice was always a trademark for The Accused. The songs are still hard, fast and thrashy in the vein of the old Accused stuff, you either love it or hate it, I know I love it! Songs like Rotting in Sickness, Sackache, Looks Like Shit, Bat Pussy, Sawtopsy need I go on, it's all great thrashcore, fast and furious as ever before! Production wise it could have been better, but it suits the music, this is the real deal.
World of Lies was formed in 2001 by Tony Avila (guitar, vocals) and released their first album Material God in 2002. A second album simply called World of Lies followed, and some line up changes took place. The band also contributed a song for the Nunslaughter tribute cd, and released some new recordings in the form of the Thorns EP in 2007. This release is their latest effort, recorded by Tony's mobile studio in Zippy's dungeon. The Accused had a major impact on World of Lies growing up influence wise, so you know what you are getting listening to this album! This is all great stuff in the vein of The Accused, but with a twist of their own, just great hardcore stuff. Song titles like Splattered, Your Shit Stinks Too, Crucifixion For An Addiction or Privacy Control say it all! Also the cover artwork needs to be mentioned, well done in the style of The Accused album covers, by KC Angel.
Visit their website: http://www.thetoetag.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/toetagofficial
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/worldoflies

87 /100

TRICK OR TREAT – Tin Soldiers (CD) Italy October 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 47:49 (Tracks: 11)
The Heavy Metal band Trick or Treat originates from Italy. They started out as a tribute band to Helloween before they've decided to write their own music. The first full length came out in 2006 and sounded a lot like…you've guessed it…Helloween. The follow up and current album 'Tin Soldiers' also, but when it's played this well, that doesn't matter at all! The album contains an intro and eleven songs in the best Helloween / Heavy Metal tradition. Michael Kiske is even included in the tracks 'Hello Moon' and 'Tears against your smile,' so the band has got the approval of the master himself. The good diversity and positive vibe makes you want to play this record over and over again. Man, what an energetic and enthusiastic Heavy Metal record. Take for example the songs 'Tin soldiers pt. 2,' 'Take your chance' or even the semi-ballad 'Tears against your smile.' All qualitatively good compositions. Of course it is far from original, but once again: Who cares? Definitely not me! If you dig Helloween or any other related band, you most certainly will like Trick or Treat.
Recordlabel: http://www.valeryrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/trickortreatband

85/100

VALKYRIE'S CRY – Valkyrie's Cry (CD) Canada October 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 42:12 (Tracks: 11)
Valkyrie's Cry was formed in Canada during the mid 00s. This is the band's debut album. These Canadians deliver raw, rough around the edges heavy metal with some epic elements and high pitched vocals. The sound is pretty rough, almost demo-like, and this might turn some heads away (the drums sound terrible). The band's assault has a lot of retro metal in it, tons of 80s feeling and lots of enthusiasm. I bet that this cd will have its share among the 80s metal maniacs who like it rough and mean. The songs are good but nothing really special though. This album is a good start but I expect more from this band in the near future.
Visit their website: http://www.valkyriescry.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officialvalkyriescry

70/100

VARG – Proud To Be A Wanker (CD) Norway October 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Rock Running time: 56.00 (Tracks: 15)
Varg is a Norwegian rock group, founded in 2008, containing members who where previously known from another Norwegian band called Luxus Leverpostei. This band plays a kind of punk rock with a twist of humour in their lyrics. Although they do have a website, and even a MySpace site, there is little info to be found, cause it´s all in Norwegian language, and my Norwegian isn´t that good at all. Although the band is called Varg, which means wolf in Norwegian, it´s not to be confused with Varg Vikerness (Burzum). The music on this album is mostly nice uptempo rock, with sometimes hilarious lyrics which concerns mostly about sex, fat ugly ladies, you get the picture. It all sounds nice, but not more than that, nothing new or original to be found here, but always good for a party I guess. With song titles as Vaginella, Kiss My Ass, Stupid Motherfucker, Cartoon Ladies and title track Proud To Be A Wanker they will surely get the party started, and get the laughers on their side.
Visit their website: http://www.vargnorwegian.com
Recordlabel: http://www.normannrecords.no
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kvinesdal

68/100

WILDESTARR – Arrival (CD) USA October 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Female Fronted US Power Metal Running time: 54:32 (Tracks: 10)
WildeStarr was formed in 2003 by original Vicious Rumors bass player Dave Starr, and studio vocalist London Wilde. With Starr handling Guitars and Bass, and Wilde on vocals, As a Duo, the band released their first Demo single in 2007 called "Generation Next". Joined by drummer Jim Hawthorne in 2008, the band began recording their Debut full length album, "Arrival" on Furnace Maximus Records, released August 1, 2009.
Well here it is! The band contacted me by MySpace and when I checked out the song on their MySpace I was blown away!! Is this a woman that is singing?? Never heard a women singing high-pichting vocals this way!! Unbelievable!
After a short German-spoken intro the album starts with 'Rose in the Dark' which is an uptempo song and already shows that this is my kind of metal!! It suits me that this band is only a trio; Dave Starr is doing all guitars, bass & backing vocals; London Wilde is doing vocals & keyboards and as drummer they recruited Jim Hawthorne. The next song is the single of this album and the only song on their MySpace "Arrival"; it starts with an incredible heavy riff and reminds me to a band like Nevermore. 'Touching God" is a midtempo with again incredible vocals & musicianship! "Rise" is one of my favorite songs because of the extreme good high pitchers!! Wooww, this woman can scream; a lot of male colleagues can pack their bags and start with singing lessons! Incredible!! "Down of the Sun" is again a classic one with excellent vocals an London Wilde proves here that she can not only do the high pitching vocals superb; she has a very wide vocal range. "In this World" is also a good song in the vein of the other midtempo songs on this album. "Generation Next" opens again with an incredible scream and steals my metalheart again! One of my favorite songs! "Nevermore" starts as a ballad but soon changes into a semi-ballad. Good song and also good for the variation! "Voice in the Silence" & "The Chain" are the 2 last songs on this album and are both in the style of the other songs.
This is the best album I heard in months and it will end up high in my 2009 poll; that's for sure! Check this marvellous album/band out!!!! I've warned you!!!
Visit their website: http://www.wildestarr.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wildestarr

96/100

XENOBIA - Burn It Away (MCD) The Netherlands October 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Progressive / Symphonic Metal Running time: 25:25 (Tracks: 5)
XENOBIA is a Dutch metal band existing of Rodney Blaze (vocals), Collin Hoeve (guitar), Ewout Rotteveel (bass) and Koen Herfst (drums). The band started in 2000 as an instrumental trio, and after five years they got in touch with Rodney Blaze. You may know Blaze of his contribution to the re-issue album "The Final Experiment - Special Edition" by AYREON. And drummer Herfst might be known of his session work for great Dutch names as EPICA and AFTER FOREVER. Anyway, this 5 track EP "Burn It Away" is the first release of the new XENOBIA. The first song "Eternity" is a mixture of METALLICA and ALICE IN CHAINS. On the songs "See Your Life" and "Pieces Of Us" guest appearances are done by AFTER FOREVER (R.I.P.) keyboardist Joost van den Broek, which gives both songs a symphonic sound. "Pieces Of Us" is the only instrumental song on the EP and is fantastic. XENOBIA exists of excellent musicians, especially guitarist Hoeve is great (listen to his solo's). Rodney Blaze is a good singer, though I think he still can grow more as a singer. Anyway, "Burn It Away" is a very interesting EP, which is for sale for 5 euro's through their website. I think it won't take long before a full length album will follow. I'm sure there must be a record label somewhere who would sign this band.
Visit their website: http://www.xenobia.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/xenobiatheband

80/100

SEPTEMBER

ANCIENT DOME – Human Key (CD) Italy September 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic Thrash Metal Running time: 43:49 (Tracks: 11)
Ancient Dome was formed in 2000 by Paolo Porro (Guitars), Gabriele Borghi (Guitars) and Matteo Cuzzolin (Bass Guitar). Salvatore Siragusano (Drums) joined the band the same year. At the beginning, the proposal was much more concentrated on classic metal, until it finally came to the construction of a new sound based on the Bay Area Thrash, but also debtor to the other influences of the members. They try to recreate the atmospheres of bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Heathen, Testament, Coroner, Forbidden, Slayer, Exodus, Overkill and so on, mixing the thrash sound with a little bit of melody. After a few line up changes the band started the recording sessions for the debut album, entitled "Human Key", out on the Italian independent label PUNISHMENT 18 RECORDS.
Well, I received this album because the band wanted to play on the warm-up show of this years Mario's Metal Meeting. After listening to the album several times I decided to book the band because their Bay Area influenced thrashmetal would fit in perfectly in this year's edition of my own festival. Also the album is sounding very good and the musicians all sound very experienced! I indeed hear a lot of (old) Exodus, Heathen, Atrophy, Testament & Overkill elements back in their songs without getting a copy-cat. They have found their own direction and that's a big plus! Singer Paul has a good voice with a slightly Italian accent but proves in "Cold September" that he can also sing very melodic. Very good album guys, well done! See you on the 3rd of October in the Little Devil bar, Tilburg, The Netherlands.
LATEST NEWS 1/9/2009: THE BAND CANCELLED AND WILL BE REPLACED SOON!!
Visit their website: http://www.ancientdome.com
Recordlabel: http://www.punishment18records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ancientdome

80/100

ARTRACH – And in Fate we Rest (CD) Belgium September 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Progressive Heavy Metal Running time: 27:55 (Tracks: 5)
This heavy metal band from Belgium is around for quite some time now. Artrach was founded in 2001 and nowadays the band consists of musicians that already earned their credits with their previous bands. Up till now they've released three demo's, entitled: 'Through Archways of Dark,' 'Faceless God' and their latest effort '…And in Fate we Rest.' This last title was released some time ago, but was sent to MMM recently. Artrach plays progressive heavy metal with hearable influences of Nevermore, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater and even Pantera. Their own style in combination with the above mentioned bands result in a somewhat more heavy approach than you would expect with the term 'Traditional Heavy Metal.' And I've got to say…I like this. Especially when you consider the fact that this is not even a full length album. The production could be a little clearer, but once again: this is not yet a full length album. Artrach offers a release with good diversity and qualitative metal. The diversity is best noticed in the title track and in the epic 'The path towards revenge.' The album closer 'The one' is a ballad but easily blends in with the rest of the material. This has a lot to do with the vocals, which is a strong aspect of the music. Especially the double vocal lines during the 'easy to remember' choruses. With '…And in fate we rest,' Artrach has delivered a very promising release which I could recommend to everyone that is into this style of music. I would also like to make my compliments for the great artwork. It looks really good. Check out their music on their MySpace page.
Website: http://www.artrach.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/artrach

78/100

B.S.T. – Hamburg City Doom (CDemo) Germany September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Doom Metal Running time: 18:46 (Tracks: 3)
"Hamburg City Doom" is the first CDemo from German band B.S.T. (don't know where B.S.T. stands for) and features three tracks, which are "Das Ziel" (8:09), "Bastard" (4:28) and "Der Traum" (6:08). B.S.T. is hailing from Hamburg and exists of Heiko Wenck (vocals, guitar), Lutz Reimer (bass) and Jan Galinski (drums). As you can see on the titles of the songs, the band is singing in their own language. I must say those three songs are sounding pretty much depressive. Although the band says on their MySpace page, they sound like CROWBAR, UNDERTOW and GRIEF OF GOD, to me, musically they remind me of MY DYING BRIDE. By the way, on their MySpace page, you can listen to two other songs as well ("Faust" and "Wolf"). The production of this CDemo is okay. All with all it's not a bad demo.
Visit their website: http://www.b-s-t.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bstde

67/100

CLUTCH – 50,000 Unstoppable Watts (MCD) USA September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock / Metal / Blues Running time: 18:29 (Tracks: 4)
"50,000 Unstoppable Watts" is the third track on the new CLUTCH album "Strange Cousins From The West" and it's the first single. The 4 songs on this promo EP are two versions of "50,000 Unstoppable Watts" (a radio edit version and CD version), "Abraham Lincoln", which is also a track of the new album and "Hale Bopp Blues". This last song is taken from the recently CLUTCH album "Slow Hole To China, Rare & Re-Released". Personally I don't like "Hale Bopp Blues", 'cause it's a bit weird. Anyway, "50,000 Unstoppable Watts" is a great song with a fantastic groove. See also my review of the new album.
Visit their website: http://www.pro-rock.com
Recordlabel: http://weathermakermusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/clutchband

73/100

CLUTCH – Strange Cousins From The West (CD) USA September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock / Stoner / Metal / Blues Running time: 48:50 (Tracks: 11)
"Strange Cousins From The West" is the 9th studio album of American band CLUTCH. The band, who exists of Neil Fallon (vocals, guitar), Tim Sult (guitar), Dan Maines (bass) and Jean-Paul Gaster (drums), started in 1990. During their career, the music style of CLUTCH really has changed from Hardcore/Punk into more Rock, Stoner, Metal and Blues. Actually you can call it GROOVE ROCK, because all songs on this new album groove as hell. The first single of "SCFTW" is "50,000 Unstoppable Watts" (see also review above) and is a very good choice. Another good single candidate should be "Struck Down", which has an awesome groove. There are just no weak songs on "SCFTW", all songs are strong compositions, with fantastic riffs and most of all great grooves. To me, CLUTCH reminds me also very much of a band like RAGING SLAB. The title "Strange Cousins From The West" is a line of the song "Minotaur", which has a kind of HELMET riff. The band recorded one cover for this album, which is "Algo Ha Cambiado" of PAPPO'S BLUES BAND and is sung in Spanish. I can't find anything negative about "Strange Cousins From The West", it's simply a fantastic album. Just listen to some great songs like "Motherless Child", "Struck Down", "Whitchdoctor", "50,000 Unstoppable Watts", "Minotaur" or "Let A Poor Man Be" and let convince yourself of this superb band. By the way, the album has a very special and notable package. So if you like songs with fantastic grooves, then you'll have to check out this brand new album of CLUTCH.
Visit their website: http://www.pro-rock.com
Recordlabel: http://weathermakermusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/clutchband

89/100

CONCEPT OF TIME – A New State of Thought (MCD) Scotland September 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Progressive / Melodic Metal Running time: 22.05 (Tracks: 5)
Concept of Time was formed in 2006 and has his residence in Glasgow, Scotland. While living in a beautiful country that breathes the air and atmosphere for making superb metal, I am still wondering why there aren't a lot of great bands rising up from the misty swamps over there. But nevertheless, here is finally a band that is ready to emerge from the highlands and has the skills and potential to make it in the progressive metal scene. After releasing the demo "Suffer in Silence" in 2007 the band managed to open for names like Kamelot, Korpiklaani, Serenity and even preformed at Bloodstock in 2008. While still searching for a fine label, this is their second release on their own. According to their bio, Concept of Time gets their influences from bands like Pagan's Mind, Evergrey and Pink Floyd. They even remind me of the early Fates Warning with John Arch handling the microphone. This has to do with the voice of Tom Perret who is responsible for the vocals and takes care of the guitar parts as well. In both he succeeds very well, although the vocals need some attention in variation, but that's only a matter of time. Musically all the songs have lots of variation in them; they go from slow to fast and faster, from melodic to heavy and vice versa all supported by spheric keyboards (Scott McLean) that really ad something to the songs and Perret singing them full with emotion.
Opener "Open You Eyes" is an instrumental that leads you into the first real track "A New State of Thought" which opens powerful and marks all the qualities of the band. A great opener which is followed by the easy listening "Nothing More of a Memory". Follow up "Eternal Sleep" is formerly based around the emotional and desperate sounding voice of Perret. The man really throws all his feelings into this one. But hey, we've got another one coming in form of "Embrace the Lie" (Apocalypse). Well, they certainly saved the best for last because this is a killer song that leads you to higher spheres. A perfect sounding intro (old Fates Warning) which comes back so now and then followed by fast guitar work supported by fine keyboards and a heavy rhythm section makes this one longing, no begging for more. Any more open minded rocker should check this one out. With an album cover that fits perfectly with the music this 5 track album makes me curious if they are able to succeed in delivering a full length album of this high standard. If they develop a little bit more "swing" into the numbers, I am sure they will deliver a fine classic next time. The potential is there, only one thing is left to say. Which record company is the first that gets out of his deep winter sleep and has the balls to contracts these guys !
Well done lads !
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/conceptoftime

82/100

CONQUEST OF STEEL – Storm Sword/Rise of the Dread Queen (CD) United Kingdom September 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 51:13 (Tracks: 14)
Conquest of Steel made its appearance in 2000 and has been releasing numerous EPs and full length albums ever since. The band comes from England, a place where traditional heavy metal is as good as dead and the band's tenacity is remarkable. These guys fight against all trends and organize concerts throughout the U.K. alongside the few other bands of the same likes. They have managed to establish a fan base across Europe that supports them constantly.
"Storm Queen" is a concept album but I doubt if this element alone can persuade a metalhead to buy this album. The fans need good music and fortunately C.o.S. deliver charming epic heavy metal true to the N.W.O.B.H.M. values and the traditional British heavy metal sound in general. Bands like Solstice would be proud cause C.o.S. sounds like the offspring of this legendary band. Unfortunately the audience that supports bands like C.o.S. is shrinking but I don't think that the band really cares if it sells less cds. The passion will always be there driving these guys to yet another album.
Visit their website: http://www.conquestofsteel.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.nofacerecords.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/conquestofsteel

77/100

CROWN THE LOST – Blind Faith Loyalty (CD) USA September 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 54:38 (Tracks: 10)
Nearly four years ago the relatively young band 'Crown the Lost' released their debut album 'Reverence dies within.' I remember to be quite fond of this band from Pittsburgh at that time. Crown the Lost brought a mixture of technical and complex trash metal with clean vocals. Therefore I was really looking forward to their second album that now (finally) has seen the light of day and is entitled: 'Blind Faith Loyalty.' The new record is full of original song structures and is also much more complex than 'Reverence dies within.' You could say that Crown the Lost has grown in every aspect of their music. Especially the vocals of Chris Renaldi are great and really suiting the music. Let's hope that Crown the Lost will finally get the chance to play in Europe. With this album, I think that they will. Especially considering the fact that their label Cruz del Sur is located in Italy. I will save you the time to continue reading this review and I want to point you directly to their MySpace page for the actual songs.
MySpace: http://www.crownthelost.com
Recordlabel: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/crownthelostmetal

80/100

DARK REMAINS - A Construct to Obliterate (CD) The Netherlands September 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death Metal Running time: 43:11 (Tracks: 8)
While I'm a big fan of the genre and try to follow the local underground a bit I hadn't heard of Dark Remains yet but when I read that this band consists of some members of Warmaster I was really excited to listen to this cd. "A Construct to Obliterate" is the band's 3rd album after about 10 years of line-up changes. If you're into old school death metal, this is a band for you. If you don't like that, don't even try this one cause this album is pure, raw mid-tempo death metal, nothing less but also nothing more. This cd contains 8 slow, pounding tracks and while the production could have been better it's all pretty nice to listen to allthough I've heard better in the genre. I must say that I would love to see what this band does to a live audience and I probably will go check them out somewhere. For fans of old school death metal only.
Visit Their website: http://www.darkremains.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.dutchmetalrecords.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/darkremains

70/100

DEVILDRIVER – Pray for Villains (CD) USA September 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 56:15 (Tracks: 13)
'Pray for Villains' is already the 4th studio album of DevilDriver. I think it's about time we can address creative motor and singer Dez Fafara as 'Dez from DevilDriver' instead of 'Dez from Coal Chamber.' With their albums and impressive touring schedules it is fair to say that the band has created their own identity and gained a lot of popularity over the years. The band creates a mix of melodic death metal/metalcore with pure aggression. They are also capable of bringing this energy to the stage. Truth of the matter is that I was never to fond of DevilDriver. Even when I saw them live on several occasions. Their up tempo death/metalcore somehow didn't get to me and it still doesn't. Personally I like diversity in a band and to me, DevilDriver is all about speed. But that's just me, because I know that the fans will like this album for sure. If you are one of them, you can buy this album with your eyes closed. 'Pray for Villains' is a nice album from a band who knows how to produce one.
Visit Their website: http://www.devildriver.com
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/devildriver

70/100

DIRTFEDD – The American Nightmare (CD) USA September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Running time: 47:19 (Tracks: 11)
DIRTFEDD is a Metal band from Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.A. who are formed in 2002 and are discovered by SLIPKNOT's M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan. The line-up of the band exists of Dustin Travels (vocals), Eric Marshall (guitar), Brian Luginbill (guitar), Scott Root (bass), Brock Wettstead (drums) and Travis Wagner (Keyboard and samples). Their debut album "The American Nightmare" features eleven songs and is also produced by the above mentioned M. Shawn Crahan. The vocals of Dustin Travels are very varied, brutal screams & grunts…but also clean vocals. And that makes that these songs have enough melodies as well. The album opens with "Salute", which is a nice song but not one of the best ones if you ask me. And a song which in my opinion really doesn't fit on this album is the bluesy "Cold Ficks & Hot Lix". Luckily it's just a short one (1:43 minutes). And "War Criminal" is also one of the less songs to me. But songs like "Trained To Kill", "…Said The Spider To The Fly", "The American Nightmare" (with spooky keyboards), "Here I Am" or "A Shotgun Romance" are all great. The last track of the album is called "Wasted!!!", which has a running time of 7:41. But the song actually takes 4:15 minutes and the rest of the time you get a lot of talking shit….well and that is really wasted time. I still don't understand why bands put such crap or long silences on their albums. Anyway, besides some negative points, "The American Nightmare" is a very nice debut album, which I can recommend to anyone who likes bands as SLIPKNOT, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, KORN, STONESOUR etc..
Recordlabel: http://www.kochrecord.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dirtfedd

80/100

DISSIMULATION - Atiduokit Mirusius (CD) Lithuania September 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Black / Thrash Metal Running time: 39:03 (Tracks: 8)
Dissimulation is a lithuanian band that plays an atractive mix between black and thrash metal. On their latest album 'Atiduokit Mirusius' we can find another 8 tracks of blasting black metal all recorded in their native language. I prefer to call this cd more black metal then thrash metal cause the entire atmosphere and sound of the record just breathes the negativity of black metal but I must say that the songs contain great thrash riffs that would do well on any thrash metal band album when they have the proper tuning. As I'm not that into black metal, and definatly not into the vocals of your average black metal record the album required some adjusting for me but once I started to really listen to the music I must admit that this realy is a very strong album. I would advise black metal fans to check out this band.
Recordlabel: http://www.ledotakas.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dissimulationlt

67/100

GAE BOLGA – Drink till Death (CDemo) Belgium September 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Old School Thrash Metal Running time: 24:41 (Tracks: 6)
Somewhere in 1998/1999 Gae Bolga was founded. Through the years, Gae Bolga earned a reputation that was as mean as a pissed off Thrash Metal-alligator with a hangover; they are influenced by: Slayer meets (old) Grave Digger meets Atrophy meets Motorhead meets (old) Running Wild meets Sodom, only better and faster (according the band)! The band lately released this "Drink till Death" CDemo. I was alerted to this band by metal-colleague Stefan from Belgium's leading Underground metal webzine Metal To Infinity. After some contacts with the band they did send me their new CDemo and I also booked the band as opener for the Warm-up show of my own festival; Mario's Metal Meeting 3!
The band indeed plays pure oldschool thrashmetal in the vein of bands like; Destruction, Sodom, Exumer but I also hear some influences from non-german bands like: Nuclear Assault, Exodus, Atrophy & Whiplash. Their love for Whiplash is confirmed with a cover of these US thrashers (Spit on your Grave). The CDemo contains 6 songs in total but without the intro and the Whiplash cover you have 4 songs left written by the band. Productionwise it also sounds old school and that's the main problem I have with most of the retro thrashbands these days: don't use cheap productions to stay underground but let your music talk (but than with a good production).
Good band, good music, moderate production. If you like oldschool thrash than come over to the Little Devil bar, Tilburg on the 3th of October to be witness of these guys together with Methedras (Italy) & Decadence (Sweden); entrance free!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gaebolga

75/100

HATCHERY – Birth of a Bomb (CD) Germany September 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 34:32 (Tracks: 9)
HATCHERY was originated in autumn 2003 by four guys; Nils Nortmeyer (g.), Erik Fillinger (g.), Ruben Andre (dr.) and Ronald Senft (b.). Ingo Schäfer (v.) completed the line-up as shouter and together they recorded the demos "Night Time Greys" (2004) and "Distorted Society" (2005). At the end of 2005 Ingo had to leave the band due to health reasons and Christian „Zottel" Müller (Ex-Unscared) joined them at the microphone in December 2005. In spring 2007 Paul Grosser (g.) joined the band as a replacement for Erik Fillinger (who left the band a year before) on guitar and with him the album "Birth Of A Bomb" has been recorded in the "Kohlekeller" Darmstadt in August 2007. Paul left the band after the recordings but in December 2008 Matthias Ruoff (Orgasmodemon) closed the gap at the second guitar.
Hatchery is one of these German oldschool thrashbands that have their influences from several 80's thrashbands. Hatchery plays old school Thrash Metal and render homage to the heroes of the 80s. The combination of 80s metal riffs and a modern sound (NO Nu Metal sounds) is a challenge for the band and the five metalheads manage it with passion and enthusiasm because for them Metal is much more than a hobby. Singer Christian "Zottel" Muller has a remarkable voice that you either love or hate. I like his vocals but I must admit he needs more variation is his vocal range; hope he can work on it for the next album. Musically its all okay(good guitarsolos) and the album is sounding good. Also the lay out looks very professional. The band will open this years edition of my own festival; Mario's Metal Meeting 3 so check them out if you're into German Oldschool thrash!! Very nice album!
Visit their website: http://www.hatchery-band.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hatcherymetal

77/100

IMPELLITTERI – Wicked Maiden (CD) USA September 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic Rock / Metal Running time: 43:19 (Tracks: 10)
"Wicked Maiden" re-unites Chris Impellitteri with long time lead vocalist and writing collaborator Rob Rock. The lead guitarist and vocalist have already created 5 metal records to date. Impellitteri have built a strong fan base throughout the world selling over 1 million records. The group has released numerous records, performed amazing live shows, and worked with some of the greatest producers and industry people in metal. Chris Impellitteri is heralded as one of the world's greatest guitar shredders. Rob Rock is one of the most exciting and energetic singers in heavy metal. Rock can sing virtually any style of music. His vocal range has often been compared to legendary metal singers Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), and Rob Halford (Judas Priest). Rob Rock possesses a unique ability to scream in the stratosphere, all the while singing in a very melodic overtone. His Vibrato and use of Harmonies has created a signature vocal style. Lastly, Rock has an innate ability to write lyrics that have depth and meaning. He is definitely an original lyricist. Bassist James Pulli is known for his Driving Bass lines reminiscent of Black Sabbaths Geezer Butler. He creates a strong foundation for the band with his signature style. This all according the MySpace site of Impellitteri.
This new album is very intense guitar driven (as always) but will also satisfy a lot of true metalheads around the globe. The album contains incredible guitar riffs, fast shredding guitar solos, amazing screaming vocals and a mean heavy rhythm section. The record was mastered by legendary engineer George Marino in New York City. This is food for every true metalhead that can appreciate melodic rock music with awesome vocals. Eventhough I have to admit that Rob Rock is one of my favourite rock singers; I also have to admit that every album he sings on sounds quit equal in a lot of ways. If its Rob Rock solo, Driver, Fires of Babylon, Joshua, Warrior; its his typical voice that overrules everything. No problem because he is one of the best rock singers on earth and the more he releases; the better! Chris Impellitteri is also an awesome shredder and even if im not really familiar with his earlier releases; im sure they all kick ass with such great musicians! Compliments! Only little complain is that not all the songs are the same high standard and just sound good because of the great musicianship of the members. Still hope to see this band in Europe one day!! Bookers watch out for it!!!
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/impellitteriofficialsite

83/100

IN COLD BLOOD – Suicide King (CD) USA September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hardcore Running time: 23:52 (Tracks: 16)
IN COLD BLOOD is a Hardcore band from Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. and exists (or existed, because I'm not sure if the band is still active), according to the attached biography, of Bourbon Zeigler (vocals), Aaron Melnick (guitar, vocals), Blaze Tishko (guitar, vocals), Leon Melnick (bass) and Rich Ferjanic (drums). Aaron and Leon Melnick are two hardcore veterans from INTEGRITY. The bands debut album "Hell On Earth" was released on the famous Victory label. This album, released by Demons Run Amok, is just a compilation of the long time sold out 7" (which was released in 1995) and songs from various sessions in 1998. The last five songs are live tracks from a show they did in Leipzig, Germany (also in 1998). Personally, I just like a few songs on this album, which are "Fuck Your Opinion", "Bleak Existence", "Dead To This World". "Pain" and "Time To Die". I don't like the vocals of Zeigler all the time. And to tell the truth, IN COLD BLOOD is not really my type of Hardcore band. I wouldn't buy it myself anyway. But if you like bands like INTEGRITY, RINGWORM or RISE AND FALL, and you don't have the sold out 7" and you want some extra live tracks then check this out. I liked other albums, like "The Scars Remain" (BLEED INTO ONE) and the self titled album of LAST MILE on Demons Run Amok much more.
Visit their website: http://www.victoryrecords.com/incoldblood
Recordlabel: http://www.demonsrunamok.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/incoldblood216

60/100

INTERROGATE – Scarred For Life (CD) Northern Ireland September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metalcore Running time: 32:53 (Tracks: 8)
Aaarghh, what a great debut album of this band INTERROGATE. I was completely blown away when I've listened to "Scarred For Life" for the first time. Anyway, this band from Northern Ireland was formed in the late 90's. In 2005 their debut EP "Unbroken" was released and with that EP the band got a huge fan base. And now I understand why they got a huge fan base, because this band is just fantastic. The line-up of INTERROGATE exists of Andy Campbell (vocals), Mark Johnston (guitar), Darren Brown (bass, backing vocals) and Stephen Brown (drums, backing vocals). There's no weak song, because all eight songs on "Scarred For Life" are fantastic compositions. The album has a very good production (done by Neal Calderwood & INTERROGATE) and the album cover is great as well. The band exists of skilled musicians and Andy Campbell is a very good singer with a varied voice (brutal & clean). Songs like "Victim", "Vermin", "Fall From Grace", Losing It All" or "This Bruise" are all great. It's just unbelievable that INTERROGATE isn't signed by any label yet. Hope they will come over to Holland someday to do some shows (in Little Devil or 013 in my hometown Tilburg??), because I really would love to see this promising band once. Anyway, "Scarred For Life" is a real recommendation for anyone who's into metalcore. Check them out.
Visit their website: http://www.interrogate13.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/interrogate

90/100

IOANNIS ANASTASSAKIS – Orbital Attempt (CD) Greece September 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Guitar Virtuoso Running time: 73:52 (Tracks: 11)
Greek guitar virtuoso Ioannis Anastassakis is back with another album. 2 years ago he released the sensational "Suspension of Disbelief" album and this is his second attempt on the rock side of music (he has also recorded albums of flamenco music). Mr. Anastassakis in not anonther ordinary guitarist. He has concluded musical studies in English, American and Greek foundations and currently works as a guitar teacher.
The first thing the listener notices is the crystal clear sound of the guitar. This is an essential element cause I have encountered guitarists with amazing technique and songwriting skills who lacked the professional sound who would elevate the level of their songs. The second thing is the undisputed skills of the shredder. Ioannis is a sensational player and throughout the 11 songs of the album he unfolds his various techniques. The album flows easily, the melodies are exceptional and the cross between heavy music and flamenco spices things up! All the guitar loving freaks must check out Ioannis Anastassakis. He will instantly become a favourite.
Visit their website: http://www.ioannis.org
Recordlabel: http://www.wildroseangelproductions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ioannisanastassakis

85/100

IZAH - Finite Horizon / Crevice(CD) The Netherlands September 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Post Metal Running time: 22:36 (Tracks: 2)
Izah hails from Tilburg and are Entius –vocals, van Oosterhout- guitar, Bastiaansen- guitar, van der Weerd-bass, van Wegberg-drums. After they recorded this cd van der Weerd left the band and was replaced by Terhorst and the band was completed with the addition of de Jong (synth/guitar).Two songs that lasts for 22 minutes. They take elements of metal, hardcore, noise and post rock and blend it to a mix with a sound somewhere between Cult of Luna, Converge, Mono and Shora. The first song starts as a typical death metal song complete with average riffing and grunts. They variate a lot with melodic parts with normal clean vocals and hardcore parts with more screaming vocals and then back again to the more death metal parts. The second song is more of the same. I think the 2 songs are a bit too long to keep it interesting because the music they play is not very high standard. They put a lot of styles in one song but that doesn`t mean that it`s automatically something special. They play pretty decent but that`s it. Something is missing. I like some of the vocals especially the screaming parts but his clean vocals start too bore me after a while.You have too like it. I don`t.
Visit their website: http://www.izahmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/izahband

70/100

KNOCKTURN ALLEY – Medusa (CD) Malta September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Metalcore / Melodic Death Metal Running time: 45:29 (Tracks: 10)
KNOCKTURN ALLEY is a five-piece band from MALTA and exists of Clint Tabone (vocals), Thomas Wahlin (guitar), James Bartolo (guitar), Daniel Cardona (bass) and Dimitris Aggelidis (drums). The band was formed in 2004 and is named after an alley in the Harry Potter books/movies. In 2006 the band released a 3 track EP entitled "The Dream Is Dead". Now they have recently released their self-financed full length album "Medusa" in a well packaged digi-pack. These Maltese guys play a mixture of Metal, Thrash, Metalcore and some melodic Death Metal. There are only two quieter moments on "Medusa", namely "Contrasts…" and "…Contradictions", which are short instrumental ones. But the rest of the songs are tight, fast and brutal. My favourite songs are "Under A God-like Sun", "The Sinner, The Martyr", "Reverie", "This Silence Is A Threat" and the title track "Medusa". Okay, it's all not sounding very original but it's a good and brutal debut album. Strange that, just like INTERROGATE (see also reviews of this month), KNOCKTURN ALLEY hasn't been signed by a record label yet. Anyway if you are into bands like LAMB OF GOD, MORBID ANGEL, DARKEST HOUR, PESTILENCE, AS I LAY DYING etc. you'll have to check out KNOCKTURN ALLEY as well.
Visit their website: http://www.knockturnalleyband.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/knockturnalley

79/100

LABORATORIA CRISTALITOS - Narcoturismo (CD) Italy September 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death Metal / Grindcore Running time: (Tracks: 17)
Laboratorio Cristalitos is a new Italian band playing death metal in the vain of latin legends Brujeria and Asesino. They started out as a cover band of previously mentiond bands and with Narcoturismo they have now written a full album of their own songs that have the same sound as their idols. I've always liked Brujeria and so I was looking forward to this one but I'm feeling rather dissapointed about this album. While Brujeria sounded as if they actually had something to say (although I'm not realy sure since I don't understand spanish) this is more of random shouting of types of drugs and so forth. Musically this isn't half bad, as to be expected the songs are slow, very blunt and raw. As an extra the guys put all the songs in spanish on their cd as well, while the originals are in italian. If you're a big fan of Brujeria and the likes you will enjoy this but if you're not realy into their music don't bother this one either.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/laboratoriocristalitos2

60/100

LITMUS - Aurora (CD) United Kingdom September 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Space Rock Running time: 65:29 (Tracks: 8)
Litmus is a London based band which plays excellent adventurous space rock. Their debut album "You are Here" was released in 2004 by themselves and received some good reviews. This resulted in the fact that Litmus was asked to support Julian Cope during his tour in the UK. The band's second CD "Planetfall" was released on Rise Above Records in April 2007. This record company is owned and operated by the voice of Cathedral, Lee Dorrian. Aurora is their Litmus` third release.
When you listen to this album, it becomes clear that Litmus is influenced by the 70`s psychedelic music. Characteristic is the use of keyboards played as how they sounded in this period. But the sound of the 70`s is very well combined with the sound of today. One of Litmus` inspirators is Hawkwind. The musical skills of the band members are excellent!
The album Aurora contains 8 tracks and starts with the energetic Beyond the Sun. The songs sound energetic and dynamic, but if you listen for example to the second song, Litmus plays some very nice symphonic rock. But the album contains also more up tempo songs, like Miles Away. The production is good and every listening session gives new perceptions. 'Aurora' is an album that kept my attention till the end and it is really worth for fans of heavy, progressive and contemporary Psychedelic Space Rock Music.
Visit their website: http://www.litmusmusic.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.riseaboverecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/litmusspacerock

83/100

LOCH VOSTOK – Reveal no Secrets (CD) Sweden September 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 52:01 (Tracks: 9)
In April 2007 I already reviewed the debut album from these Swedish progmetallers. So for a bio I advice to read that review. Loch Vostok plays an original kind of progressive metal and combines different vocal styles as grunts, clean vocals & female vocals in their music. I've seen the band live a few years ago at the Headway Festival (R.I.P.) in Amstelveen, The Netherlands and live the band impressed me a lot! Their energy and musicianship is awesome. This new album is also full of great songs with a lot of variation; one time singer Teddy Moller is singing clean and melodic and a few seconds later he is grunting like a hoarse dog. This is no music for the mediocrity headbanger; you have to be open minded to respect this kind of metal; and YES I do!! Hope to see these guys again someday because I still regret their cancelled shows as support of Helstar earlier this year. Great album with a high quality level!! Check them out; even if you're not that open minded. They deserve it!
Visit their website: http://www.lochvostok.com
Recordlabel: http://nightmarerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lochvostok

83/100

LUCTUS – Jauciant Pabaiga Arti (CD) Lithuania / Italy September 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black / Thrash Metal Running time: 44:00 (Tracks: 11)
Eastern Europe has made a strong step forward over the last years. With interesting and original sounding bands popping out from every corner. Luctus is a one piece project from Kommander L. which we now may add to the list. The mix between black and thrash metal presented here is from a good quality and sounds damn fine. Nice riffs, riffs and again riffs, recognizable choruses, good instrumentation and a for this style more than o.k. production. Highlight for me is the song: "Paskutini Karta" which contributes all these elements and has some war samples in it that really complete the song. The title of this first full- length album from this Lithuanian band translates itself in: "Feeling The End Is Near". The songs all share the same subject. They all cover how this world will look like just few minutes before its very end. A few minutes before the apocalypse. The singing in their native language is something that fits this kind of music and makes them differ from their other foreign colleagues. Not much more to say here. Fans of Aura Noir, Destroyer 666 must give this quality album a chance.
Recordlabel: http://www.ledotakas.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/luctus

79/100

MARTYR – Fear the Universe (2CD) The Netherlands September 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 28:11 (Tracks: 7) & 22:45 (Tracks: 5)
Martyr is one of the oldest Dutch bands and exist since 1982. After several releases but also after several line-up changes the band split up around 1987. Well, about 15 years later the band did a reunion show and the feeling they had in the past revived! Four years later the band also reunited for a gig at the Keep it True festival in Germany where they blew the audience away (I was a part of that audience)
After many gigs the band is still running and more fanatic than ever (also read my live review this month about their gig with Flotsam & Jetsam in Kerkrade, The Netherlands).
In 2009 MARTYR released a new album "Fear The Universe". A Re-issue of the old time classic "For The Universe" and a complete new mini album titled "Fear" in a double digipack. December 2008 the band toured Europe with US shock rockers Lizzy Borden. At the moment they are doing a small tour with Flotsam & Jetsam and later this year they will support my friends from Vicious Rumors for a small clubtour! Good work guys!
Im not gonna review the re-issue of the "For the Universe" album because this album is already a classic one in his genre. Funny about this release is the fact that this is the first release with original singer Rop van Haren. They never released anything with him in the past. Rop is a good singer and a great entertainer! It's a pleasure to see this band on stage! The other guys are also all good musicians and it's a good thing to see/hear that this band is back n business! Rop also has a totally different voice than Gerard Vergouw who sung on the "For the Universe" album. Musically the band stayed true to their roots but don't sound jocular! They made a kind of mix of their older stuff/style with a more modern edge. This mini album is good but I have to admit that I prefer the older (more uptempo) stuff from the band; also ON stage!
Visit their website: http://www.martyronline.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.rustycagerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/martyronline

75/100

MEGADETH – Endgame (CD) USA September 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 45:05 (Tracks: 11)
Does anyone NOT know the history of Megadeth? No? Good, that saves you and me about three pages to read/write. Let's talk about the new album shall we? Line up changes or not, Dave Mustaine is and always will be the undisputed leader of this legendary metal combo. He is still going strong and this month Megadeth's 12th studio effort will be available for everyone to enjoy. Dave Mustaine is known for not being able to choose between full blown metalsongs or more pop orientated music. For quite some time he didn't have to. Since the release of 'Countdown do extinction,' the band offered a good balance of the above mentioned styles. However, 'The system has failed' was a turning point in the band's career. It marked the return of the somewhat more heavy approach in their music that continued with 'United abominations.' Personally, I thought that 'United Abominations' just might be the last step back to their thrash roots. These thoughts where confirmed when I saw the band live for numerous times. During these shows, they played a lot of material from their classic 'Rust in peace' album. A landmark in heavy metal history. On his website, Mustaine stated that this album was a big influence on the new record. So yeah, I was excited to hear their new material. Especially with new guitarist Chris Broderick on board. He made quite an impression on stage so I was curious what he was capable of on a record. Finally I got the chance to take a listen to 'Endgame.' Was it worth the wait? The album starts of with the instrumental 'Dialectic chaos.' A song which can be compared to the So far…so good…so what? Album opener 'Into the lungs of hell.' What comes next are ten songs in the best Megadeth tradition. No other band can bring this mix of killer riffs, explosive solo's and intelligent lyrics. Slow passages can be found sporadic and the 'Rust in peace' influences are obviously there. Especially the songs 'This day we fight,' '1,320' and 'Bite the hand that feeds' really take me back. And as expected, Chris Broderick did a great job and I hope he manages to stay in the band for a while. But it's Megadeth, so time will tell...Once again, the lyrics are a journal of the time we live in. Critical and well put. Yes, this is an album that is worthy of the name Megadeth and can be added to the already impressive list of great albums. Everybody knows that times are different now, and that most likely no other album will have the same impact as 'Peace Sells' or the mentioned 'Rust in Piece.' When you keep that in mind, you cannot be disappointed with 'Endgame.' As a longtime fan, I am very pleased with this album and as a thrash metal enthusiast in general, I am glad that one of the true pioneers has stepped up to the plate and did it again. Rattle your goddamn head!
Visit their website: http://www.megadeth.com
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/megadeth

90/100

METHEDRAS – Katarsis (CD) Italy September 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Modern Thrash / Death Metal Running time: 41:26 (Tracks: 10)
Methedras is a modern thrash death metal band formed in 1996 with the purpose to mix the style of thrash metal of the early 80's with the blind rage of a more actual technical death metal. During the first years, several demo & promo CD's were released. 2004 saw the release of the first full-length album, Recursive. The album summed up the experience the band reached during the first ten years of activity, directing into the songs featured a huge amount of energy and rage, fed by a substantial dose of bay-area thrash metal, rendered in a more cynical and grimmer way. In 2006, Methedras released the second chapter, named The Worst Within, an album much more technical, aggressive and death-oriented rather than the predecessor, full of multimedia content (live videos from 2004 Wacken performance plus a making-of video). In the middle of 2008, Methedras signed with Punishment 18 Records, an Italian well-growing indie label with a good distribution abroad, under which the forthcoming third release, named with the Greek word "Katarsis", was released. Methedras plays a nice blend of thrash & death metal which can be best described as a mix of bands like; MachineHead, Slayer, Morbid Angel, Fear Factory & Testament. On 2 songs the band uses guests: "On my Knees" with bassguitar of Simone Bertozzi (Empyrios) and on "Nightmare" with Lady Godyva of Godyva.
The vocals sound more death metal than thrash but fit in perfect to this modern style of metal. Good album with a superb production, good musicians & a very nice designed booklet. This is an album for typical Dutch thrashers that don't want to look back to much in time…….I guess this band will be picked up by a bigger label someday! On the 3rd of October Methedras will co-headline the warm up show of Mario's Metal Meeting 3 with Decadence & Gae Bolga. Be there at the Little Devil, Tilburg, The Netherlands. Be there!! You won't regret it!
Visit their website: http://www.methedras.com
Recordlabel: http://www.punishment18records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/methedrasthrash

82/100

MOSS – Tombs Of The Blind Drugged (MCD) United Kingdom September 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Sludge Drone / Doom Running time: 40:31 (Tracks: 4)
Last years full length "Sub Templum" was a difficult confinement. Clocking over an hour with obscure drone/doom sounds it was a pretty tall order. That's why this EP suits me better. Although EP, this release is still longer than a lot of full lengths coming out this time. But hey, its doom so therefore I mustn't talk like this is such a big surprise.
The EP begins with the song "Skeletal Keys" A monotone drone monster clocking over 12 minutes. The riff only changes a bit at the end of the song but still it manages to keep my attention during the song. The title song walks the same path although there are more vocal parts that can be heard during the song. Half way through we hear a very odd sounding organ. Now this where the album peaks and where Moss' really outshine the rest of their collegues. It fits really well with the album cover which is reason enough to buy the vinyl version. After the "Eternal Return" which is called "Serpent" on my promo the last song "Maimed and Slaughtered" is a cover by Discharge. This song was meant to be on the split "7" with Thee Plague of Gentleman a few years ago but was cancelled for unknown reasons. The original song is like 1 minute long while Moss manages it to make a 6 minute drone/doom version of the song with good results.
Recordlabel: http://www.riseaboverecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cthonicrites

82/100

MUNICIPAL WASTE – Massive Aggressive (CD) USA September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Thrash Metal / Crossover Running time: 28:33 (Tracks: 13)
MUNICIPAL WASTE doesn't need any introduction anymore. Since their albums "Waste 'em All" (2003), "Hazardous Mutation" (2005) and "The Art Of Partying" (2007) and with their energetic live shows, they gain much popularity…..and that makes them the leaders of the Thrash revival. "Massive Aggressive" is the fourth album (and the third on Earache) of these immense popular Thrashers. Musically there hasn't been changed much, only "Massive Aggressive" is a bit more hardcore orientated like on their debut "Waste 'em All". The band of Tony Foresta (vocals), Ryan Waste (guitar), Philip Hall (bass) and Dave Witte (drums) simply have a very recognizable sound. Okay, you can't deny hearing influences of bands like D.R.I., NUCLEAR ASSAULT, M.O.D. and other great crossover bands of the eighties, however, when you hear songs like "Divine Blasphemer", "Wolves Of Chernobyl" or "Wrong Answer" for example, you immediately know that it's MUNICIPAL WASTE. It just doesn't matter, "Mech Cannibal", "Divine Blasphemer", "Relentless Threat", "Shredded Offering", "Media Skeptic" or "Wrong Answer" are all awesome songs. With their fourth effort, MUNICPAL WASTE again delivers a killer album, which in my opinion absolutely belongs to the better releases of 2009. By the way, I've got the Special Edition Fan Box. In this box there's also a woven logo wristband, a woven logo patch and a 3 pin badge set. Anyway, BUY OR DIE and go see them on their "Waste The World" tour!!!
Visit their website: http://www.facethewaste.com
Recordlabel: http://www.earache.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/municipalwaste

93/100

NEBULA - Heavy Psych (CD) USA September 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Stoner / Psychedelic rock Running time: 35:16 (Tracks: 10)
I never heard of Nebula from Los Angeles although they excist since 1997. The singer Eddy Glass I heard of before from the band Fu Manchu.This cd was origanally recorded with six songs but they added four more but it still only lasts 35 minutes. It`s a very diverse cd and after I listened to it for a few times it started to grow on me. Every song is very different. From a rock song like in the depths to a bit more of a country feel like "Little yellow pill". "Aphrodite" is a slow heavy song like old Black Sabbath ( Womaaan) while the other side is a spacey song with a lot of bleeps and strange sounds. My favorite is "Crown of Thorns" which is very uptempo rock song which reminds me of bands like Iron Maiden in the old days with weird bleeps in it.The cd has a very 70`s athmosphere which is very pleasant to listen to. Production is good too and the sounds varies in some songs from a straight forward rock sound to a very modest clean drumsound in other songs. Nice cd. Worth checking out.
Visit their website: http://www.nebulamusic.com
Recordlabel: http://www.teepeerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/nebulamusic

75/100

NEUROTHING – Murder Book (CD) Poland September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Running time: 35:20 (Tracks: 11)
NEUROTHING is a five-piece metal band from Poland existing of Mikolaj Fajfer (vocals), Jaroslaw Slomka (guitars), Ryszard Hazubski (guitars), Maciej Przybylski (bass) and Robert Roszczynski (drums). The band was formed in 2004 and in 2005 they had released their four track EP "Vanishing Celestial Bodies". During the writing process of this full length album, NEUROTHING had to deal with a line-up change. They had to change their singer. So former vocalist Bartek Chupasangre has been replaced by Mikolaj Fajfer. About this self financed album "Murder Book", well the music is very complex, weird and most of all very annoying. Most of the songs are sounding pretty much the same like "Kill It", "High Pain Threshold", "My Cell" and "More Than Time". Also Fajfer is mostly screaming the same kind vocal lines in every song. Only "Hands Of Death" is a kind of slow song. Anyway, you can get pretty neurotic by listening several times to this album. So be warned! "Murder Book" is only interesting for metalheads with ADHD. To me, this album is working on my nerves and really not fascinating.
Visit their website: http://www.neurothing.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/neurothing

63/100

OBTEST – Gyvybes Medis (CD) Lithuania September 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Pagan Metal Running time: 43:12 (Tracks: 9)
Another new signing on the prestigious Osmose label. However, this is not exactly a new band. The group was established in 1992 and at that point in time they were playing raw black metal. Throughout the years their sound naturally evolved in a more folk/pagan approach. Recently Obtest released their fourth album 'Gyvybes Medis.' Compared to their previous releases, this one is yet a bit more accessible. The album is full of catchy pagan music with special attention for the melodies and refrains. The music is really diverse and the quality remains the entire album. Especially the songs 'Tree of life,' 'Children of the hawk' and 'The light' are very addictive. I can strongly recommend this album to any enthusiast of the pagan genre. Great album!
Visit their website: http://www.obtest.lt
Recordlabel: http://www.osmoseproductions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/obtestofficial

75/100

REECE – Universal Language (CD) Germany September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 49:34 (Tracks: 12)
Funny, but when I saw the picture of David Reece at the back of the promo CD I had to think of Ozzy Osbourne. On that picture he's really a look-a-like to Ozzy. Anyway, although he's been a former vocalist of bands like ACCEPT ("Eat The Heat" from 1989), BANGALORE CHOIR ("On Target" from 1992), SIRCLE OF SILENCE (self titled album from 1993 and "Suicide Candyman" from 1994), STREAM ("Take It Or Leave It" from 1995) and since 2007 being the current singer of GYPSY ROSE, I must admit that I never had heard of this American singer David Reece before. Now, David Reece is fulfilling his dream by releasing his first solo album titled "Universal Language" on Metal Heaven. For this solo album Reece started writing together with guitarist/producer Andy Susemihl (formerly of U.D.O.) in late 2008. The rhythm section of REECE exists of Jochen Fünders (bass; formerly of HOLY MOSES) and Stefan Schwarzmann (drums; formerly of ACCEPT, U.D.O., HELLOWEEN, KROKUS). "Universal Language" is a very well produced album and features twelve melodic rock songs, of which "Once In A Lifetime" and "Queen Of My Dreams" are ballads. So, this album is my first acquaintance with David Reece's voice and I must say that he's a good singer. David has gathered a fantastic band around him. Susemihl is a great guitarist and with Fünders and Schwarzmann he has a solid rhythm section. The album cover is very simple, but my conclusion is that "Universal Language" is not a spectacular but a reasonable melodic rock album. My favourite tracks are "Before I Die", "All The Way", "The River", "Flesh And Blood" and the acoustic ballad "Queen Of My Dreams".
Visit their website: http://www.reece-rocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/david.reece

78/100

REVOLUTION MOTHER – Rollin' With Tha Mutha (CD) USA September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Speedrock / Metal /Hardcore Running time: 46:09 (Tracks: 11)
In December of 2007 I reviewed the debut album "Glory Bound" of REVOLUTION MOTHER, which I gave 86 points out of 100. And I still regularly listen to that album. So, I was really looking forward to this second album, which is titled "Rollin' With Tha Mutha". The sticker on the CD says "Revolution Mother is pissed off. Skateboarding legend Mike Vallely and cohorts destroy with 11 tracks that bring to mind the intensity of BLACK FLAG, the groove of CLUTCH and the danger of a bar fight". And indeed this album again KICKS ASS. The line-up still exists of skate-icon Mike Valleyly (vocals), Jason Hampton (guitar), Colin Buis (bass) and Brendan Murphy (drums). Also for this second album the band recorded eleven kick ass rock 'n roll songs. On "Glory Bound" the band recorded BLACK SABBATH's "Hole In The Sky", this time it's the MOUNTAIN cover "Crossroader" (from the "Flowers Of Evil" (1971) album) they recorded, which is just nice. Anyway, when you put this album in your CD-player it will say it has a running time of 46:09 minutes. That's the running time including the hidden track "The Rider" (14:37). But the actual running time of the eleven songs is 31:32 minutes. The first 6 minutes of "The Rider" is a silence, and to tell the truth, that hidden track is just a boring psychedelic/stoner song which just takes to long. I've said it many times before, I still don't understand why bands are putting hidden tracks (and silences) on their album. Most of the time it's crap or a weaker song. Anyway, the eleven songs on "Rollin' With Tha Mutha" are of the same kind of level as on "Glory Bound", fast, mid tempo and solid with fantastic grooves and simple but effective heavy riffs. Only the last two songs "Crossroader" and "The Rider" are slower. The production of "Rollin' With Tha Mutha" is fantastic, which was done by Fred Archambault. The best songs are in my opinion "Rollin' With Tha Mutha", "Mofo" (superb), "Killin' Machine", "Born To Rock N' Roll", "The Snake", "Night Ride", Ride The Sky" and "Time Machine". If you already liked "Glory Bound" then you will enjoy "Rollin' With Tha Mutha" as well. Fantastic album, only too bad of that boring hidden track.
Recordlabel: http://www.ferretstyle.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/revolutionmother

88/100

SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL – Songs About Angels (CD) USA September 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Prog-Goth Metal Running time: 72.48 (Tracks: 12)
Something Beautiful comes from Chicago and delivers us a very ambitious, epic concept album which handles about "a nameless wanderer coming into an agreement with an angel, that he commits murder in exchange for admittance into paradise. As he goes about fulfilling his part of the bargain, he is met by a priest, who, fascinated and disgusted by the killing, transforms into everything he has ever preached against, while the wanderer discovers the implications of what he has done." Well, that's enough interesting material for telling a story. The band consisting of two members, Dale Tippit Jr.( guitar & vocals) and Justin Smith (bass & vocals) play a doomy and modern kind of goth music. The vocals and guitar work sound okay, as well as the production, but the "computerized" stuff like the drums are beginning to irritate during the album. That is a pity, because album opener "A Voice in the Shadows" for instance is very good and breaths the atmosphere of a fine Candlemass song. Further on they succeed in putting variation and melody but always a bit in the same style. When a band produces a storytelling concept album, mostly all the tracks have that same sphere hanging around. Well, that's what strikes me the most. The first nine tracks I am feeling comfortable with this stuff but during "Dreams about your Skin", which unfortunately clocks 15 minutes, a highly irritation (especially caused by the constantly repeating computer drums) comes over me and the rest of the album doesn't seem to end. But hey, this album clocks almost 73 minutes and that wasn't even enough considering to their website where you can download one song that was left off due to the run-time restraints of cd's. To make an album that gets your attention for this long …., well there are only a little few who are able to manage that. So, to my opinion it would have been probably better if they recorded two separate cd's. Coming to a judgement of this product, I must say the band has succeeded in telling the story very adequate. If you like a doomy, bit dark variation of goth full with melancholy brought with clean, drama vocals this could be something for you. Despite of the good songs in the beginning, I am here to judge the whole album and because of the fact the album can't keep it's high starting level it doesn't reach much higher than this.
Visit their website: http://www.denythepain.com
Recordlabel: http://www.last.fm/music/something+beautiful
MySpace: http:// www.myspace.com/sobmusic

67/100

SPIRITUS MORTIS – The God Behind the God (CD) Finland September 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Doom Metal Running time: 49:02 (Tracks: 8)
After a series of split releases, Finnish doomsters Spiritus Mortis are back with their third full length album. I reviewed their 2006 release called "Fallen" and now its time to see what has changed and what remained the same.
The opener "The Man of Steel" storms its way through the speakers! This is a heavy and fast track, more in the Grand Magus vein and less in the traditional Spiritus Mortis doom sound. A killer tune indeed. The second track is a classic S.M. song. Slow and heavy as hell. The album continues in a slow and dark manner and closes with another fast and heavy tune called "Perpatual Motion"! What a way to start and finish a doom metal album! The new singer is probably the best the band ever had. Melodic and heavy at the same time. Spiritus Mortis has done it again. This is another great traditional doom metal album. Candlemass would be proud.
Visit their website: http://www.spiritusmortis.com
Recordlabel: http://www.firebox.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/spiritusmortis

81/100

SPOIL ENGINE – Antimatter (CD) Belgium September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Thrash Running time: 40:50 (Tracks: 10)
SPOIL ENGINE is a Belgian metal band with a Dutch vocalist. The band exists of Niek Tournois (vocals), Steven Sanders (guitar), Nick Vandenberghe (guitar), Kristof Taveirne (bass) and Steven Demey (drums) and was formed in late 2004. In 2007 their debut album "Skinnerbox v.07" was released on Apache Records, which I don't know so far. So, this second album "Antimatter", which is released on Roadrunner Records, is my first acquaintance with SPOIL ENGINE. And it's a great album with ten excellent catchy metal songs with lots of melodies. The third track, "Breathe", should even be a good first single of the album. Absolutely one of my favourite tracks. Musically SPOIL ENGINE reminds me the most of bands like SLIPKNOT, STONE SOUR, but sometimes I hear also some influences of MACHINE HEAD and SLAYER ("The New Disease"). The band exists of very skilled musicians. All is played very tightly, and Niek Tournois is a perfect singer for the band. Anyway, "Antimatter" was recorded by Tournois in his own "Sweet & Sour" studio, produced by Ace Zec and mastered by Eu Nastasi and sounds awesome. The band already played on "Graspop Metal Meeting" in 2007 and opened for bands like ARCH ENEMY, PRONG, VOLBEAT, SEPULTURA etcetera. Well, with an impressive album like "Antimatter", the future of SPOIL ENGINE looks very bright. I'm sure the band will be on many festivals next year. Although all songs are really fantastic, my favourites are "Pressing On The Overload", "Breathe" (killer song), "Antimatter", "The New Disease", "Seamless" and "Fallout". A very good and enjoyable second album, which will visit my CD-player many times I think. Now I'll have to check out their first album "Skinnerbox v.07" too.
Visit their website: http://www.spoilengine.com
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.be
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/spoilengine

88/100

STEEVI JAIMZ – My Private Hell (CD) United Kingdom September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Glam / Melodic Rock Running time: 36:56 (Tracks: 10)
STEEVI JAIMZ was the first singer of Glam Metal band TIGERTAILZ and recorded only one album with the TAILZ, namely the debut album "Young And Crazy" (1987). After that album Jaimz was fired from the TAILZ. And to tell the truth, I really don't know what he has done after the TAILZ. Anyway, this album "My Private Hell", which has been recorded during various sessions between November 2005 and June 2008, is written and performed by Steevi Jaimz, Chris Laney (RANDY PIPER'S ANIMAL, ZAN CLAN) and Anders Ringman. The album features ten melodic songs, but don't expect something innovative, because we've heard such kind of songs many times before. Don't misunderstand me, it's not that bad, just nice to listen to once in a while. If you listen to the songs on "My Private Hell" you will hear some influences of bands like DEF LEPPARD, OZZY OSBOURNE, DOKKEN, KISS etcetera. Anyway, some songs that I like are "Don't Say It's Over", "Something Good Something Bad", "Little Sistah", "My Private Hell" and "Dancin' With Danger". Well, if you like melodic rock and some of the above mentioned bands, then you sure can try this album out yourself.
Visit their website: http://www.steevijaimz.com
Recordlabel: http://www.cargorecords.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/steevijaimz

76/100

TED NUGENT – Motor City Mayhem - The 6,000th Concert (DVD) USA September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 2:04:42
Last year I reviewed the live DVD "Sweden Rocks" of one of my favourite guitar heroes TED NUGENT. Now there's again a new live DVD of the Nuge titled "Motor City Mayhem - The 6,000th Concert". And as the sub-title says, this was Uncle Ted's 6,000th concert in his long career. The show was filmed in Detroit on the fourth of July (independence day) of 2008. And what a brilliant DVD this is, fantastically filmed, great song selection with lots of classics and some covers. Although Ted's age (the Nuge was born on December 13th, 1948) he still ROCKS as hell. This time Ted's band exists of Greg Smith (bass, vocals) and Mick Brown (drums; DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB etc.). When the DVD starts, you see seven American soldiers standing on stage, and before Uncle Ted starts with his intro, a large "Happy 4th Of July" cake is driven on stage. When the band starts playing "Star Spangled Banner", a pretty blond girl in a bikini is coming out of the cake. After American's national anthem Nugent opens his show with the classic "Motor City Madhouse" of his self titled solo album of 1975. The set-list of this DVD is totally different than on the above mentioned "Sweden Rocks". Of course we'll get all time classics like "Wango Tango", "Free For All", "Stormtroopin'", "Dog Eat Dog", "Need You Bad" (sung by Greg Smith), "Weekend Warrior", "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang", "Cat Scratch Fever", the mighty "Stranglehold" and "Great White Buffalo". But also songs like "Love Grenade" and "Geronimo And Me" of his last studio album "Love Grenade" (2007) and "Fred Bear" of 1995's "Spirit Of The Wild". Because it's Ted's special party, there are some guest appearances as well. So is Ted's guitar teacher Joe Podorsek playing the bluesy instrumental "Honky Tonk" with the Motorcity Madmen, and with legendary Detroit drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek (ALICE COOPER, EDGAR WINTER, BOB SEGER etc.) Ted is playing "Jenny Take A Ride" (which is one of the hits of Badanjek's first band MITCH RYDER & THE DETROIT WHEELS). Also Derek St. Holmes, mainly the singer of Ted's band from 1975 until 1978, is doing some real classics with Uncle Ted, namely "Hey Baby", "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Stranglehold". St. Holmes is singing "Hey Baby" and together with The Nuge "Stranglehold", and he still is a great singer as well. So, this is again a fantastic live DVD by the Nuge, and is a real must-have for all die-hard NUGENT fans. By the way, on this DVD there are no extra's available.
Visit their website: http://www.tednugent.com
Recordlabel: http://www.eagle-rock.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tednugent

92/100

THE DEAD MUSICIAN – Set Your World On Fire (Demo) France September 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 25:00 (Tracks: 5)
When it comes to underground black metal it is always difficult to explain why harsh records can still get a good score. I mean: the instrumentation is mostly poor and the production is unbearable for most people. My opinion is that within black metal the most important subject is: "atmosphere". How obstinate this may think but with bad instrumentation and a pis poor production you can really create a dark atmosphere.
It is no different with The Dead Musician, although I must say that the instrumentation isn't that bad. This French one piece project which has a strong connection with the French speaking part of Canada sometimes can create that dark atmosphere. The production is very Spartan. It squeaks, crunches and beeps. The vocals are recorded with lots of echo and are in front of the mix, which is a plus. The riffs are tremolo picked and the music is mostly played at quite high speed. Within the last song "Diabolous Life" there are more mid paced parts which makes this for me the best song of the demo. Conclusion is that a lot of ideas within this demo are good others are maybe just too common. I still see this as a more than reasonable demo which I can only recommend to the real underground freaks!
Visit their website: http://www.altsphere.com

75/100

THE POODLES – Clash Of The Elements (CD) Sweden September 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 56:52 (Tracks: 14)
Swedish melodic rock band THE POODLES was formed in the fall of 2005. In that same year they participated in the Swedish leg of the Eurovision Song Contest, which led to their breakthrough in Sweden. Their debut album "Metal Will Stand Tall" was released in Sweden in 2006 and in 2007 outside of Sweden. Early 2007 the band toured all over Europe with KROKUS and HAMMERFALL. They also played in 013, Tilburg, Holland on January 24th, 2007, but I had missed them that night. I only saw KROKUS and HAMMERFALL. Their second album "Sweet Trade" was released in late 2007, and now the third album "Clash Of The Elements" will be released on August 28th. So, you could say the star of THE POODLES is still rising. The band, who's existing of Jakob Samuel (vocals), Henrik Bergqvist (guitar), Pontus Egberg (bass) and Christian Lundqvist (drums), stands guarantee for some good melodic rock music. Sometimes I hear some influences of QUEEN, but they also remind me of bands like TNT, BON JOVI and EUROPE. On several songs orchestral/string arrangements are used, like on "Too Much Of Everything", semi-ballad "Sweet Enemy" and "Pilot Of The Storm". Anyway, with this album they can reach a wide audience. They have the looks, Samuel is a very good singer, Bergqvist is a skilled guitarist and most of all the songs are very catchy. The album is produced by legendary producer Mike Fraser (AC/DC, AEROSMITH, LED ZEPPELIN, WHITESNAKE etc.) and sounds fantastic. On this album you will find heavy melodic rockers as well as some ballads. Although my favourite songs are "Caroline", "Like No Tomorrow", "I Rule The Night", "Give Me A Sign", "7 Days & 7 Nights" and "Pilot Of The Storm", I like the ballads "One Out Of Ten", "Sweet Enemy" and "Can't Let You Go" as well. "Clash Of The Elements" is a fantastic melodic rock album, which will sell very well, and is a recommendation to anyone who's into good melodic rock in general.
Visit their website: http://www.poodles.se
Recordlabel: http://www.blisteringrecords.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thepoodles

85/100

V.A. (Various Artist) - Peace & Smile Carnival (DVD) Japan September 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Japanese Rock Running time: 115 minutes (Tracks: 18)
This album is a DVD which was released because of the 10th anniversary of the Japanese record company PS Company. This record company represents mainly Japanese bands and that is also what you get when you have a look at this DVD. The bands which can be seen are Miyavi-, Kagrra,, Kra, the GazettE, alice nine., SuG and SCREW. The DVD is recorded on 3-1-2009 in the at Nippon Budokan (Tokyo) and is of a good quality. The production is good and what really surprises me, is the enthusiasm of the Japanese audience.
The music on this DVD is quite good; it is rock with a Japanese touch. I was not familiar with most of the bands, but I liked most of the performances. Especially the performance of Kaggra, was good, but that was also one of the bands that I was familiar with. The band members of the different bands on this DVD look quite "extravagantly", with a lot of make up. That is something that you have to like. If you want to get this DVD, check first if your DVD player can play it, I could only play the DVD on my laptop.
Recordlabel: http://www.pscompany.co.jp

73/100

WARPATH – Damnation (CD) United Kingdom September 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 39:23 (Tracks: 8)
I remember that I bought a Warpath album already in 1994 titled "Against Everyone". Well, we are not talking here about that German thrashband but about a new UK band with the same name. The German edition was more a kind of crossover metal while this new UK band is straight in your face oldschool thrashmetal!!! This band exist since 2003 but all the members are young dogs with a great taste of thrash. Throughout the past two years, this band's great presence has build up a strong fanbase and a significant, ever-growing reputation in the UK metal scene. The later half of 2007 saw the band working on the follow-up to 'Cataclysm'. With drummer James Davenport, lead guitarist Pete Hawthorne and bassist Joel Jordan having joined the band, Warpath are here with their heaviest and fastest material yet; the debut album "Damnation" -- mixed at Kevin Talley's studio USA (Chimaira, DAATH, Hate Eternal) and mastered by legendary metal guitarist James Murphy (Testament, Death, Obituary).
This band plays real oldschool thrashmetal which reminds me most to, the once mighty, Nasty Savage! Musically it's trashier than Nasty Savage but especially the vocals do remind me to Nasty Ronnie's voice. Also a band as Vio-Lence comes in mind when im listening to this fabulous album! This is really great stuff; great songs, double bass drums, great riffs & a good singer. It's unbelievable that this band still didn't sign a contract; so labels wake- & hurry up!! Awesome thrashalbum; hope to see the band is The Netherlands soon because I cant hardly wait!! Otherwise I have to get them over by myself!! Check them out!!!!
Visit their website: http://warpath-online.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/warpathuk

90/100

JULY

BLOODY SIX – In The Name Of Blood (CD) Switzerland July 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 37:34 (Tracks: 9)
Blower Records is a label who's releasing old albums mostly from the eighties. So also this album "In The Name Of Blood" of BLOODY SIX, which was released in 1984 by Mausoleum Records, has been re-released in a limited edition of 300 copies (just like "Young Blood" of KILLER, see reviews). Anyway, BLOODY SIX was a Heavy Metal band from Switzerland and existed of Peter McTanner (vocals), Def Meier (guitar), Martin McTanner (guitar), Claudio Matteo (guitar), Fritz Hulliger (bass) and Freddie Meier (drums). There's not much information to find on the internet about BLOODY SIX. There's no MySpace page or official site of the band. Blower Records says in the booklet that, due to lack of interest of the band members on this re-release, they were not able of adding any extra audio stuff or notes about the band. Personally I guess that "In The Name Of Blood" is the only album that was ever released by BLOODY SIX. Anyway, the album features nine tracks of which a few songs are nice. Some vocal lines of second song "High-Class 'n Wild" sounds exactly like "It's the same old song. You've gotta be somewhere at sometime. They never let you fly" of DIO's "Stand Up And Shout". Well, I've listened several times to this album and every time I only really liked the first three songs, which are "Starchaser", "High-Class 'n Wild" and "Let It Burn" and "Black Eagle". "Cold Winds Blow" is a cliché semi-ballad, and songs like "Fuck The Nation", "Rough Stuff" and "The End Of The World" (another semi-ballad) are very cliché as well. Sometimes I had to think of TROUBLE, but that's because Peter McTanner's voice reminds me a bit of TROUBLE's Eric Wagner. Just a nice album to listen to once in awhile, but not an essential one. So I would advise, buy a REAL classic album or just a brand new release of another band instead of this re-release. By the way, I ask myself how many people are interested in an album of a totally unknown metal band, which is re-released after 25 years??
Recordlabel: http://www.blower-records.com

65/100

DAWN OF TEARS – Dark Chamber Litanies (MCD) Spain July 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 31:00 (Tracks: 5)
Dawn of Tears was formed almost a decade ago and just released their new E.P. which is their fourth release in total. Now this I like…bands that take their time to produce a qualitative good record. We can tell that this state of mind paid off because their 2007 first full length album 'Descene' did very well. It even earned the band a nomination in the Metal Storm awards as best melodic death record of the year. They were in the same category as Dark Tranquility and Arch Enemy so they were in good company! Supporting the release of 'Descene,' Dawn of Tears toured extensively with bands like Dimmu Borgir and Dew Scented. This autumn the band will most likely start working on their second full length. Meanwhile we can enjoy this E.P. which is called 'Dark Chamber Litanies.' Like I've said before: Now this I like…you can hear that the band put a lot of effort into these songs. The aspect I like the most are the spherical melody lines. This forms an excellent balance with the dark vocals and contents of the music. A catchy mix of melodic death and black/pagan metal. If the forthcoming release is as taken care of as this E.P. I most likely will reach for my wallet again. This release could be interesting for the enthusiast of the above mentioned styles of music.
Visit their website: http://www.dawnoftears.com
Recordlabel: http://www.luggamusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dawnoftears

80/100

DESCENDING DARKNESS – Blutrausch (MCD) Austria July 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 21:00 (Tracks: 6)
Finally after seven years of silence these filthy maniacs from Austria return with a mini-cd consisting of 6 songs that will wipe the shit out of you. Warning: this is for freaks only. I consider myself as one and I must say that Descending Darkness has made a giant leap forward comparing this to their demo's which were more of a Beherit worship. On "Blutraush" the bands sounds more mature although this music is of course as primitive as possible. This is their first offering where Arngrim doesn't play all the instruments. Since 2007 the band has called in some reinforcements in the name of Gevatter (vocals) and B. Terror (drums). These people are obviously guilty for this progression.
Productionwise "Blutraush" sounds very spartan. I believe there will be people who hate this production. Not here! This is how this music must sound. Screeching and primeval. I surely hope this band will return with a full length soon in place of crawling under a rock for again seven years. You can order the cd through Ashen productions and it is limited to 500 copies. So act quickly!
Visit their website: http://www.descending-darkness.net
Recordlabel: http://www.ashenproductions.net

80/100

DEVILS WHOREHOUSE– Blood & Ashes (CD) Sweden July 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Horror Metal ? Running time: 39:51 (Tracks: 12)
This band was formed in 2000 by Morgan of Marduk and two local musicians and at first they played Samhain and Misfits covers. After a short time they wrote some songs of their own. They released "Revelation Unorthodox" in 2003 but after that it was quiet for almost 5 years. They regrouped in the summer of 2008 and released the EP "Werewolf in October" with a new line up. And in 2009 they released this cd "Blood & Ashes". The band now is: Morgan-bass, Makko -guitar, Maelstrom-vocals and Hrafn-drums. They call it horror metal or punk but that's their opinion; I would call it Danzig metal. No, that's nonsense ofcourse but you can't deny the background of this band as a Samhain /Misfits cover band because you can hear it very clearly. And the last song is a Samhain cover ( Let the Day Begin ) and is not mentioned on my (promo) cd at all. But I don't mind that. Maelstrom is clearly imitating Glenn Danzig but I like the original better. But Maelstrom has a pleasant voice. And he varies enough with his voice to keep me interested. Sometimes punk ( Face the Master) and sometimes very singalong (Werewolf)and very Danzig (on Shadows never change). The music isn't very special. If you know the bands that influenced them you exactly know what music they make. But I kinda liked Danzig in the old days so I kinda like the Devils Whorehouse to. But I don't give them a high score because they completely lack originality. A good cd to put in my cd- player if I have guests who don't like my death metal collection. Hehehe!!
Visit their website: http://www.devilswhorehouse.com
Recordlabel: http:// www.regainrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/truedevils

75/100

DREAM THEATER – Black Clouds & Silver Linings (CD) USA July 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 70:14 (Tracks: 6)
I remember just being fourteen years old when I bought my first Dream Theater album. The album was called " Images and Words" and I've been following the band ever since. So when Mario asked me if I was interested to review their latest effort 'Black Clouds & Silver Linings' I couldn't say no. In the late eighties and early nineties, Dream Theater built up a reputation as the 'kings' of progressive metal. They became bigger and bigger and the albums were filled with theatrical parts and conceptual songs. The album 'Train of Thought' was a turning point in the bands career. On one hand the band was blamed for the lack of progressive parts, but on the other hand the band was also hailed for the more heavy approach of the songs on this record. Later on, with the releases of 'Octavarium' and 'Systematic Chaos' they found an excellent balance between their highly acclaimed progressive style and the groovy metal influences in their music. Now the tenth (!) Dream Theater album has saw the light of day. And how does it sound? Amazing! The musicians are all trained professionals and as a band they know exactly how to create an album. I don't know how they keep pulling it off, but I can't discover a weak spot on this new record. Dream Theater is all about creating the right emotion in their music. Take for example the song 'The best of times,' a tribute to the recently deceased father of drummer Mike Portnoy. Pure emotion! And with nearly twenty minutes on the clock, the song 'The count of Tuscany' keeps fascinating. The breaks, the grooves and the typical Dream Theater melodies… The album still grows every time I listen to it. And although James LaBrie is often criticized as a singer, to me he is the right vocalist for this band. Like Bruce Dickinson is for Iron Maiden. If a band is still this relevant after ten albums, the title 'Kings' is more than justified. I can go on and on about this amazing album, but I won't. I'd rather listen to it again. And for the die hard Dream Theater fans: the album comes out in different packages. Also a CD version with bonus DVD and some new cover songs. And if you are slightly familiar with Dream Theater, you know that is going to be a beautiful product.
Visit their website: http://www.dreamtheater.net
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunner.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dreamtheater

98/100

ENDSTILLE – Verfuhrer (CD) Germany July 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 46:47 (Tracks: 9)
Endstille is slowly entering the premier league of black metal. With their previous album "Endstille's Reich" –the first in a multiple album deal with Regain records- the band played more shows outside of Germany and Endstille shirts at concerts were to numerous to count. Something the black metal police didn't like. On the internet I read some opinions from people that don't like it when a band chooses to release more merchandise. But hey, fuck that, it's the music that counts. With "Verfuhrer" the band releases their 6th album in 7 years (the split lp with Graupel not included). Endstille has always stood for mainly fast and aggressive black metal with not much fuss. On "Verfuhrer" it is no different. On some of the songs like for example "Depressive/Abstract/Banished/Despised the band increases on their speed level. It makes the songs more recognizable mutually. Something which was a problem on their previous album which in my opinion has to much blasting parts and not enough variation. Of course there's enough to enjoy for the blast freaks under us. Trademark of their drummer Mayhemic Destructor is that he absolutely despises trigger drums. So the blast beats sound always very natural on an Endstille album. Something I encourage. The cover art shows Wilhelm 2 (1859-1941) grandson of the former, King of Prussia and German Emperor in his working clothes and is somewhat refreshing after all their battlefront pictures on other releases . Needles to say that lyrical wise the subject "war" is standing central during the album. As always with Endstille. Many would say that we have heard this so many times and that Endstille is nothing new. They are right saying that this is nothing new but please don't forget that Endstille writes really good songs in their genre. This is what makes them for me better then most of their colleagues. Some bands don't need it to sound different on every album, Endtille is such a band. Conservative as fuck and loyal to their fan base. The people who liked their previous albums can easily add "Verfuhrer" to their collection.
Visit their website: http://www.endstille.com
Recordlabel: http://www.regainrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/endstille

81/100

ETERNAL TEARS OF SORROW – Children of the Dark Waters (CD) Finland July 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Gothic Metal Running time: 44.31 (Tracks: 10)
Well, the Finns, they just keep on doing it ! It's going to be a bit customary but again a band emerges from the drowsy Finnish woods to bring us a classic album filled with majestic, multilayered heavy stuff. Eternal Tears of Sorrow celebrated their comeback in 2006 with their fifth album "Before the Bleeding Sun" after breaking up the band in 2002. With this sixth album "Children of the Dark Waters" the making of the ultimate male fronted Gothic Metal album is near. Newcomer Jarmo adds new dimensions to the sound with his varied clean vocals and the grunts of Altti have even become more impressive. Opener "Angelheart, Ravenheart" immediately blows out of your speakers and is strewn with influences from black/death metal, supported with fine keyboards. These guys know how Gothic Metal existed.
"Baptized by the Blood of Angels" is even heavier, darker and sometimes remembers at Dimmu Borgir. With "Tears of Autumn Rain" they have a single hit in Finland, and hey, what can I say, they do have a great taste over there, a real masterpiece this one is indeed. All songs are on a very high level and performed by class musicians who know what they are doing. Expect a fierce intro followed by a slight increasing, dark tension that grows further while forging songs that compare both beauty and darkness but maintain enough power and heaviness to keep your head banging. Despite the complexity of the songs, the band is capable of making them sound even catchy. It will just take you a few times listening and they are hammered in your head while even still discovering new things. A fine example is the beautiful ballad "Sea of Whispers" (on this version also as an acoustic bonus track). Additional female vocals make their appearance in some songs and are done very properly by Miriam Renvag (Ram-Zet) and Heidi Parviainen (Amberian Down). Provided with a superb production and sound you can mark this album as a blueprint of Gothic Metal.
Mahtavat!
Visit their website: http://www.eternaltears.info
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/etos1

90/100

GUMOMANIACS – Pries of Lucifer (CD) Germany July 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 52:14 (Tracks: 13)
GumoManiacs has experienced quite the struggle before this first record would see the light of day. Starting out as a one man project in 2007, Singer/guitarist Daniel 'Gumo' Reiss released the first demo before recruiting other band members. After that, a few more demo's and line-up changes followed and nowadays GumoManiacs is full blown metalband with a stable line-up. With this line-up they recently released their debut album 'Priest of Lucifer.' The vinyl version of this album already was released in the end of 2008 through the German G.U.C. label. Now Blower Records has decided to put a CD version on the market. I am glad they did, because qualitative good thrash metal is always welcome on a silver disc.
This is exactly the way old school thrash metal should sound. GumoManiacs uses every ingredient that made this genre so big in the eighties. Influences of Exodus, Megadeth and even the hooks of Mercyful Fate are represented on this album. Mean riffs, fast melodic solo's, the typical drum sound. You name it…and it's on there. GumoManiacs are, in my opinion, really capturing the spirit of these previous mentioned bands. Songs like 'Kill again Tonight' and 'Graveyard Fantasies' appear to come straight out of the eighties. There is so much more I can say about this album, but it all comes down to one message: If you dig real old school thrash metal, you are obligated to give this album a try. Off course the music is far from original, but when it's played well that doesn't matter at all. More of this please…
Visit their website: http://www.gumomaniacs.de
Recordlabel: http://www.blower-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gumomaniacs

82/100

HOT BUTTERED ANAL – Lies (CD) USA July 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Twisted, Angry Metal Running time: 48:00 (Tracks: 21)
Hot Buttered Anal consists of 3 metal veterans who started listening to metal when Metallica was just putting out their 'No Life till Leather' demo, and more importantly they have all been friends for more then 15 years, according to their bio. Having played in a number of metal bands throughout the years, Bob (Cocks, guitar/vocals), Chris (Cornhole, drums/backing vocals) and Ziggy (Drynuts, bass/backing vocals) all decided to put together a band for fun and vent some anger. They were not concerned with fitting in a specific genre; doing the same thing other bands are doing these days, or rehashing the past. Hot Buttered Anal plays a mixture of thrash, death, punk and rock, or as they say it; Hot Buttered Anal plays what they want, plain and simple! Formed in 2005 and based out of Providence, RI this is their second album after 'Please Kill Me' released in April of 2007 (See Archive CD/DVD Reviews). As I've never heard of this band, and am not familiar with their first release, I'll stick to this one. I was really surprised when I listened to this album, to say the least it IS original and funny, with some serious subjects. When I put the album on it starts off with 'We're not retarded' , this reminded me of one of my favourite bands The Accused, especially the singer, strange and crazy, yet aggressive. In the following song 'Lies', also some Dead Kennedy's influences, and surely also some S.O.D./M.O.D. and D.R.I. crossover influences to be discovered. Next up, totally different, 'Just Try It' could well be done by a band called Rage Against The Machine, While following 'Choke The Bitch' is really funny, especially the phone call at the end, hilarious. Some aggressive songs, changed with some acoustic pieces, hilarious lyrics (which all are there in the nicely done cover) and songs like 'I want a Girl…' or 'Duct Tape And Sausages', a wonderful goofy acoustic rock song. What about 'The good ol'days', who comes up with this stuff, crazy! Bands to compare that come up listening to this album are besides fore mentioned bands, One Live Crew, Macabre (World Greatest Dad) or even Dropkick Murphy's (Once Upon a Time), they all put it together in an original crazy mix of styles, also production sounds real good, which makes this a great second release for Hot Buttered Anal, and me wanting to hear the first one too. Subject's like incest, rape, and just plain stupidity are all there in the right amount, 'Daddy's Little Girl', or 'Dear God', the evil chickens are the cause…This is a great album, and it's gonna be high up on my list of 2009, discover Hot Buttered Anal for yourself If you already haven't!
Visit their website: http://www.hotbutteredanal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.sparechangerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hotbutteredanal

93/100

JACKAL – IV (CD) Denmark July 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 46:28 (Tracks: 10)
Band reunions are quite common in the last years, and Danish lot Jackal are no exception to the rule. Frontman Brian Rich recorded three albums with this band in the nineties so the title is totally fitting. Nowadays, Rich had one other bandmember, Carsten Falkenlind, who does all instruments (!!). But reunion albums are either wonderful or a sell out. During the third track, "Innocence" I thought "well they finally come close to their old quality", be it that the vocals are quite lame. A heavy accent prohibits me to really enjoy the song. "Angel" is loved by many, but it doesn't seem to win me over. It ends with a quite nice solo but why fade that out? It deserved at least the bigger part of one minute….
The rest of the songs make me believe that Jackal will not be able to follow in their successful footpaths of the nineties. Brian's voice is way over his strong years, so to speak, and the songmaterial is hardly convincing. A shame….another reunion gone to the dogs….maybe Carsten can find a band to show us all his talents.
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/brich

65/100

KAGGRA, - Shu (CD) Japan July 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Rock Running time: 41:21 (Tracks: 10)
It was not easy to write a review about this album from the band Kagrra,. The reason is that I only received a cd in a white paper cover with only the band name on it. When I tried to visit their website and select the English part of it, I was forwarded to their myspace site. Also the website of the record company didn`t offer me much information, I'm not so familiar with Japanese characters.... Kagrra, was founded in 2000 and has a stable line-up since that date. They have released 7 singles, 3 albums and 4 DVDs until now and they are one of the most popular bands in Japan. But they have also a considerable amount of fans in Europe. In August 2008, they visited Holland for the last time; they had a successful gig in Tivoli, Utrecht. Their new album 'Shu' contains 10 different songs. The style on this album is very diverse and is sometimes mysterious with typical Japanese sounds. One moment you listen to very sweet (pop)music, then it switches to rock music, and one moment later you listen to a typical Japanese song. It is quite complex and I'm not able to characterize their music in one single word, but that makes it interesting. Kagrra uses sometimes the Koto, an old Japanese traditional stringed instrument. The lyrics are Japanese so I was not able to find out what the themes are on this album. But I found in an article that the lyrics deal with old Japanese traditions. Most of the lyrics are written by Isshi (Vocals). Finally, I concluded that Shu is quite a nice album, but not for people who like metal.
Visit their website: http://www.pscompany.co.jp/kagrra,
Recordlabel: http://www.kingrecords.co.jp
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kagrraofficial

79/100

KILLER – Young Blood (CD) Switzerland July 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Running time: 37:04 (Tracks: 10)
First of all, this isn't an album of the Belgian KILLER, no it's the fourth album of Swiss rockers KILLER, re-released by Blower Records in a limited edition of 300 copies. Anyway, the band was formed way back in 1979, had several line-up changes and they released the following albums: "Lady Killer" (1981), "Thriller" (1982), "Stronger Than Ever" (1984) and this album "Young Blood" (1986). The line-up of KILLER on this album was Mark B. Lay (vocals), Jan van Crow (guitar), Martin Morelli (bass) and Ronny Woolf (drums). The band had the image of bands like RATT, MÖTLEY CRÜE, POISON etc. Musically KILLER existed of good musicians, and Lay is an acceptable singer. But to tell the truth, nowadays it all sounds very cliché and dated. So, the question is "who is waiting for such re-releases?". Some riffs in "She Wants More" and "Heavy Metal" are rip offs of MÖTLEY CRÜE. There are two, sorry guys, cliché ballads on the album, which are "Run For You" and the very short "The Show Is Over". In my opinion the best songs are "I Want It" and the double bass rockers "Young Blood" and "Wild Boys". Songs like "Heaven And Hell", "Top Secret" and "Heavy Metal" are all very cliché songs, not to mention cliché titles. Only interesting for those who had the album on vinyl. I've listened also to some tracks on their MySpace page as well, and I must say the three songs of their "Lady Killer" album, which are "Crazy Daisy" (sounds like AC/DC with Udo Dirkschneider on vocals), "Get Up Get Down" and "Come Along" are way much better. These tracks are more kick ass rock 'n roll songs. I think if I had to review the re-release of "Lady Killer", that album got a much higher rating than this one.
Visit their website: http://www.killermetal.ch
Recordlabel: http://www.blower-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/killerswitzerland

64/100

KRAKOW – Coronated King (MCD) Norway July 2008 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Stoner Rock Running time: 20:50 (Tracks: 3)
Krakow was founded in 2005 and their inspiration were bands like Mastodon, Iron Maiden and Queens of the Stone Age. Krakow is Rene Misje-guitar/vocals, Kjartan Gronhaug-guitar, Frode Kilvik-bass/vocals and Christopher Swahn Zibell-drums. In 2007 they released an Ep called "Dusty Roads". And this promo is recorded in 2008.They recorded a new album in February 2009 but until that one is released we will listen to this 3 song promo. First song is Drifter. The vocals are occasionally interesting but the song itself is very boring .It's to slow for my liking. Not a lot of variation and the guitar riff is very mediocre.The second song is Coronated King. This song is far more melodic and varied. It's more midtempo but with heavy riffing and more varied vocals. The best song is the last one Ghost Rider. It's the most varied of the three and it's very well structured with heavy riffs and very varied vocals. It's the song played with the most emotions and has a lot of character. But I think this is a band you better see live because this is music to experience in a small venue to have the biggest impact and not on a small cd player like I have at home.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/krakowband

71/100

MAGNUM – Into the Valley of the Moonking (CD) United Kingdom July 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive / AOR Rock Running time: 58:07 (Tracks: 12)
More than thirty years since their debut 'Kingdom of Madness', Magnum releases 'Into the Valley of the Moonking'. The band surrounding vocalist Bob Catley and guitarist/songwriter/Producer Tony Clarkin have recorded a dozen new songs who were also written by Catley and Clarkin. The album 'Wings of Heaven, which was released in 1988, is Magnum's most successful album, a real masterpiece. Bob Catley has also a quite successful solo career, his album '' When Empires Burn' is quite a good album for example.
The songs on the album sound in general melodic and rocking, but there are also some ballads on the album, like 'A face in the Crowd'. Characteristic elements of the music are the hoarse voice of Catley and the melodic guitar play of Clarkin. 'The Moon King', with bluesy influences, is one of the highlights of the album, together with the last song 'Blood On Your Barbed Wire Thorns'. I`ve listened to more Magnum albums and in my opinion, this albums contains no surprises. However, the songs are very well composed, with a prominent role for the guitar.
"Into the Valley of Moonking" will be available in three different versions: as a regular jewel case cd, as a top-quality Digi pack consisting of a CD and a bonus DVD, and for collectors in a vinyl format featuring two LPs and a fold-out cover. Big tour through Germany is planned for September 2009, at this moment no Dutch tour dates are available. Finally, I want to compliment fantasy artist Rodney Matthews for creating the very nice artwork.
Visit their website: http://www.magnumonline.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/magnumuk

79/100

NECROPHOBIC - Death To All (CD) Sweden July 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Black / Death Metal Running time: 44:45 (Tracks: 8)
Necrophobic is a Swedish death metal band with black metal influences and last month they released their 6th full length release since they started in 1989. The new record is decent death metal album or at least it would have been if the vocals and guitar tuning would fit the music. What you get to listen to now is a more black metal record but with riffs that come straight out of a death metal record. Oddly enough this actually sounds great. The high tuned guitars suit the music and the voice is probably great for a black metal fan. Too bad I can't really get over the voice since I really can't stand black metal screams. Overall this cd isn't bad at all and the fans will probably enjoy it.
Visit their website: http://www.necrophobic.net
Recordlabel: http://www.regainrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/necrophobic

64/100

PIRANA – Piranaattack (MCD) Mexico July 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 15:00 (Tracks: 4)
Pirana is real old school thrash metal band from Mexico formed in 2003, unfortunately I got not much info with this 4 track MCD, and my Spanish isn't that good so…Not even the songtitles were mentioned, but I can tell you they sound great, really aggressive old school thrash metal. Although the production sounds a bit thin, it sounds really good, this really is a band you should check out, cause it won't get more old school than this. I can tell you that they have a full length out in 2008 called 'Destructive Animal Revolution', which is their latest effort as far as I know…
Visit their website: http://www.piranaattack.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/piranaattack

78/100

RE ARMED - Stop This Evolution (MCD) Finland July 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 10:00 (Tracks: 3)
Re-Armed is a fairly new melodic death metal band who are searching for gigs and a record deal by making new demo's every year. This one is dated from 2008 and should open the doors for these guys. First of all, for a demo this has a very good sound and solid production. Second there's the music, which really isn't that bad at all if you're into melodic death metal. It's heavy and has some bay area thrash influences which is always good. The riffs are nice enough and overall the guys deliver 3 good songs. Problem of course is that it's only 3 songs so after about 10 minutes you're done while you actually want more. I find myself looking forward to a full length record of this band to see if they can keep me interested in their music for more than half an hour because I'm a bit afraid of that actually. Fans of the melodic stuff should check it out though.
visit their website: http://www.re-armed.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/rearmed

68/100

REBELS WITHOUT APPLAUSE – Low End Head Stomp (CD) USA July 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Crossover / Metal Running time: 38:43 (Tracks: 10)
REBELS WITHOUT APPLAUSE is a band from Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. and consists of formerly ZNÖWHITE, CYCLONE TEMPLE member Greg Fulton (vocals, guitar), Mark Alano (guitar), Kevin Lindsey (bass) and Tonny Heath (drums; also formerly of ZNÖWHITE). "Low End Head Stomp" is a re-release (I don't know when the album officially was released for the first time) and has been released on April 21st on EMA/Polydisc. Way back in 1998 the band already had released an EP titled "Rip-Hop, Soulcore, Crush". The band reminds me musically very much of bands like SACRED REICH, STEREOMUD and STUCK MOJO, also because of the rap parts in several songs. And Fulton's voice sounds very much like SACRED REICH's Phil Rind. In my opinion the album counts just a few less songs, which are "Shallow Genius", "I Don't Wanna Know" and "Shout Outs", but the rest of the tracks are awesome and do have fantastic grooves. Also the production is very good. The best tracks of "Low End Head Stomp" are in my opinion "Rain Or Shine", "Weak", "Someday", "Paperthin" and "Chalkline". Hopefully R.W.A. will visit Europe someday for a tour, so that we can go see them live. Ooh yeah, REBELS WITHOUT APPLAUSE are currently writing songs for their third release which will be titled "Grand Funk Hell Hole". Release date of that third album is unknown so far, but check them out anyway. Very interesting band and good album.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/rwachicago

84/100

SANCTION X – The Last Day (CD) Germany July 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 50:08 (Tracks: 11)
A bunch of old German musicians, who have all played in the German metal scene, have joined forces and started this band . It was singer Ebby Paduch (Stonefield, Infinity's Call) and guitarist Robby Böbel (Talon, Frontline) who took the initiative to start creating music again in January 2008. I must say that I was surprised by the overall feel of the album, although there are still elements to be desired. For instance, the vocals could sound a bit more powerful, which would be more in line with the song structures, and a bit more originality wouldn't hurt either. The band succeeds in adding lots of melody in the heavy tracks they have laid down on this cd. Some hard-to-hear keyboards form the basis with a pounding rhythm section; both are held back in the mix, where vocals and guitar get most of the musical space. Still, it sounds good. Straight forward, powerful…these guys have made a fine album. Hopefully they will get stages to let them play live, I think they are very able to make an audience enthusiastic. I only hope that they didn't name the band after Symphony X…
Visit their website: http://www.sanction-x.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sanctionxebbypaduch

78/100

SHORTINO – Chasing My Dream (CD) USA July 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 46:26 (Tracks: 11)
I know Paul Shortino only from his contribution to Dio's "Hear 'n Aid" project, after which he replaced the late Kevin Dubrow in Quiet Riot. Formerly Paul was vocalist in Rough Cutt, a band that never really break through. I found him to have a strong, raspy voice but replacing Dubrow in QR was a move I have never understood. He has more a voice for the harder, classic rock. He crossed over to Bad Boyzz and after that he persued a solo career, followed by several "artist combinations" like with guitarist JK Northrup.
Now Paul is back ! He teamed up with German producer Michael Voss, whom we know from his numerous projects as musician (it seems he is specialised in come backs) and producer. Havin met Voss, Paul regained the inspiration to write new music and he is ready to go on tour again with his new band. Listening to this album makes me wonder if he will not disappoint his older fans. Don't get me wrong, this cd is quite OK, but I miss the old edge a bit that I heard back in opening track "Remember You". He is also still able to write beautiful ballads like "Missing" (with excellent guitarwork from Voss) and real rockers like "Nocturnal". But it is hardly ever exciting. Take "Alone The Ride"; exciting intro, but what follows is just OK..nothing more. No, Shortino is back but the question is for how long…this dream will be over soon, I'm afraid.
Visit their website: http://www.paulshortino.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/paulshortino

70/100

SHREDDING CONSEQUENCES – Against the Corporate World (CD) Mexico/Denmark July 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 39:43 (Tracks: 9)
Picture this: three band members live in Mexico while the singer lives in Denmark. To me, that doesn't sound like an ideal combination. Apparently this is not a problem for Shredding Consequences since they've just released the album 'Against the Corporate World'. The album was recorded and mixed at the Hombre Lobo studios in Italy, so this band sure knows their way around the world. Shredding Consequences was born out of the urge to play heavy music. Since the band consists of experienced musicians, everything developed quite quickly and shortly after the formation they begun to write material for this record. Despite the logistic problems they've probably had while making this record, the album turned out to be a straight forward metal album. The style can best be described as old school thrash metal with melodic death elements and sick vocals. Shredding Consequences uses a lot of tempo breaks and aggressive elements in their music. In my opinion the travel to Italy was certainly worth the trip. The instruments are nicely balanced and the full and heavy guitar sound really suites the songs. Nowadays it is hard to get noticed when you play this kind of music, but with an album like this the release is more than justified.
Visit their website: http://www.shreddingconsequences.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/shreddingconsequences

75/100

SIEGHETNAR - Erhabenheit (MCD) Germany July 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Black Metal / Ambient Running time: 33:23 (Tracks: 1)
Sieghetnar is a German Ambient project who recently signed to Ashen Productions. The record company decided to re-release their "Erhabenheit" demo into a digi-pack. This cd contains only one track and that track has an over 30 minutes length. I must say I didn't really consider myself as a progressive music fan. I'm quite conservative about my music which doesn't mean I don't want to check out new stuff, I'll probably just don't like it. And yet again my first guess was correct, I really didn't like this one. Over 30 minutes of slow keyboard play which would have been quite nice as a one minute intro and every once and a while some slow guitar strikes to join the keyboard. Fans of ambient might like this but this is just nothing for me.
Recordlabel: http://www.ashenproductions.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ashenproductions

50/100

SIX POINT SIX – Fallen Angel (CD) Germany July 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 39:12 (Tracks: 10)
Six Point Six was one of the countless German heavy metal bands that emerged during the early 80s, released an album (usually through Gama Records) and then vanished without a trace. Blower Records reissues this album 25 years after its original release in a very limited 300 copies run and hopes to introduce the band to those who never had the chance of knowing them.
Six Point Six delivers the typical German Heavy Metal of that particular period. Heavily influenced by early Accept, the band has some good ideas but cannot rise above the average performance of the time. Nothing special here, just good old fashioned classic metal that will bring some smiles to the faces of the old school metal fans.

Recordlabel: http://www.blower-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blowerrecordsanddistro

67/100

SOUL STEALER – Soul Stealer (CD) Lithuania July 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Heavy Power Metal Running time: 56.54 (Tracks: 10)
Soul Stealer (formerly known as Soul Brothers) brings us power metal from Vilnius, Lithuania. The band was formed in 2003 and this is their self titled debut album that saw the light in may 2008. Soul Stealer plays power metal with sometimes a prominent role for the keyboards. This works, but sometimes its pretty irritating because it all begins to sound to sweet. And be honest; power metal isn't supposed to be for sweethearts, isn't it ! Also the tracks are to similar to each other, they keep going on in the "galloping hard on the plains" maiden style who are definitely one of their heroes. There is, of course, nothing wrong with it, but it isn't done very properly. The drums for instance don't impress me and the guitars seem to be mixed to the background ensuring that it takes out the necessary variation. Most of the songs are sung in their own language except for three tracks which are in English. That takes a few times listening before you are used to it, but after that it is quite acceptable listening. Are there any highlights left ? I'm glad to tell you that they are in the possession of a very fine singer (Jeronimas Milius who won the national Eurovision and represented his country in 2008 at the European Song contest) who has enough qualities to become highly accepted in the metal scene. He has a powerful, clean voice and although he sounds young and likes to scream a bit to much he certainly lifts up the tracks to a higher level. "The Reaper" for example is a pretty good track in which he has the opportunity to show his talents. Also "Vampire Woman" and "Brolis uz Brolj" are very acceptable. Nevertheless that is not enough to make this a great album. The band has potential so I hope the next time I can be more generous with giving points.
Visit their website: http://www.soulstealer.lt
Recordlabel: http://www.ledotakas.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/soulstealerband

64/100

STRAIGHT HATRED – Straight Hatred (MCD) Brazil July 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Hardcore / Thrash Metal Running time: 15:00 (Tracks: 5)
This is the debut EP from Straight Hatred from Sao Paolo, Brazil, originally founded somewhere in 2006. After some line up changes, and playing lots of live shows, they went into the studio in October 2008, with this EP as a result, released in February 2009. They did the EP as a four piece, but in March Arthur Carreira joined the band as a second guitarist. The music of Straight Hatred is very heavy hardcore metal, with crushing guitars and a heavy bass, while the vocals are in their native language, which is not disturbing at all, it sounds actually very angry. The production is also very well done, and suits their music well, so a very good debut from this band I can say, maybe the next Sepultura or R.D.P. who knows! Check this band out for yourself if you are into this kind of music, to give you a clue, in their influences they name bands like Hatebreed, Biohazard, Madball, Machine Head, Obituary, Agnostic Front, Fear Factory, just so you know what you are dealing with, they easily fit in between these bands!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/straighthatred

82/100

THE BLUES JUNKIES – The Blues Junkies (CD) The Netherlands July 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Speedrock / Blues / Rock Running time: 30:58 (Tracks: 10)
Although THE BLUES JUNKIES are from The Hague, Holland, I had never heard of them before. But what an awesome acquaintance this album was to me. I liked it immediately. And to tell the truth, I can't get enough of it, because all songs are fantastic. Anyway, THE BLUES JUNKIES are, if I'm right, formed in 2006 and exists of Sander (guitar, vocals), Franco (bass, vocals) and Karel (drums, vocals). Their debut album "Losin' The Blues", of which I'm very curious about now, was released in April of 2008 on cult label Motorwolf and this second self-titled album has been released recently in May. This album is produced by H. Pieters at the Excess Studio in Rotterdam, and sounds fantastic. The band won a HERMAN BROOD AWARD and they even played with THE WILD ROMANCE. On this very strong album you will find some fast and energetic kick ass rock 'n roll songs. Only the last track "Don't Wanna Do That At All" (6:04) is a slow instrumental one with fantastic guitar solos. Well, if you are into bands like ZEKE, PETER PAN SPEEDROCK, ADAM WEST and 69 CHARGER then I'm sure you like THE BLUES JUNKIES too. Although I like all songs, my favourite songs are "Don't Wanna Be Here At All", the SUPERB bluesy "B.B. Boogie", the fast "Sleeping Death", "Show Me Your Eyes" (ala ZEKE), the fast boogie rocker "100 Miles", "Ticket To Hell" and "Jesus Loves You". I hope they will play in Tilburg (Little Devil or the Batcave in 013) or Eindhoven (The Rambler) real soon, so that I can go see this fantastic band myself. THIS IS 100% KICK ASS ROCK 'N ROLL. Thanks guys for this awesome album.
Recordlabel: http://www.langweiligkeitrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thebluesjunkies

90/100

THE PROWLERS – Re-Evolution (CD) Italy July 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Power / Progressive Metal Running time: 57:10 (Tracks: 13)
The last couple of months I have reviewed several Italian metal bands, and most of those bands, except CHAOSWAVE and EPOCHATE, were very moderate to me and did have an awful singer. Well, THE PROWLERS, a band which was formed in 1996, is at least another very interesting Italian metal band. The line-up of THE PROWLERS exists of Fabio Minchillo (vocals), Stefano D'Orazi (guitar), Fabio Schirato (guitar), Alessandro Vincis (bass), Massimiliano De Stefano (keyboards) and Claudio Cappabianca (drums). In 2003 the band released their debut album "Soul Thieves" (which is a summary of their first three demos) followed by "Devil's Bride" in 2005. This third album is titled "Re-Evolution" and features 13 tracks. The production (done by Tommy Hansen) is very good, the band exists of very skilled musicians and most of all Minchillo is a very good singer. Anyway, the album starts with the atmospheric intro "Parting Words", which features female guest vocals of Martina Pelosi, who's also singing on "Do You Feel The Same" and the last track "La Belle Ferronniere". So the first real track is "Red Smoke" and is a real power metal song. "Insomnia" is an instrumental intermezzo for "Your Conscience". The sweet ballad "Do You Feel The Same" is a duet between Minchillo and Pelosi and is a nice one. I hear absolutely influences of bands like DREAM THEATER, VANDEN PLAS and HELLOWEEN in their music. The last three or four tracks are some weaker songs of the album. So I would say that my favourite tracks of this album are "The Real Me", "Firefly", "Wonderful Creatures", "Your Conscience" and "The Profession Part 1 Home". I can recommend "Re-Evolution" to anyone who's into good quality progressive metal with fantastic vocals.
Visit their website: http://www.theprowlers.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theprowlersitaly

86/100

TIM RIPPER OWENS – Play My Game (CD) USA July 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 52:59 (Tracks: 12)
Tim Owens needs no introductions. He is the man who has sung with some of the most important bands of our times and has recorded albums that will remain immortal. This is actually his first solo work and for that cause he summoned an impressive cast of musicians such as Doug Aldrich, Chris Caffery, Rudy Sarzo, Steve Stevens, Jeff Loomis, Billy Sheehan, Michael Wilton, Dave Ellefson, Bobby Jarzombek, Vinnie Appice. When I saw this all star assembly I said to my self "this album better kick some ass!". The thing is that Owens wrote the vast majority of the songs so the burden is on him. The shining guests can only add some glamour and nothing more. The composition is what really matters.
Play My Game is a traditional heavy metal album filtered through a contemporary perspective. Ripper has written songs according to his influences as a musician. Queensryche, Sabbath, Dio, Judas Priest etc. However the compositions seem to lack the directness required for albums like this one. Don't get me wrong, this is an enjoyable album with lots of groove. Ripper's voice shines bright, so do the guests. It just doesn't seem to have what it takes in order to rise above and become a memorable release or a reference for the music of our times.
Visit their website: http://www.timripperowens.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/timtheripperowens

77/100

TREATMENT – Slavery (MCD) The Netherlands July 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Metalcore Running time: 19:19 (Tracks: 6)
TREATMENT is a four-piece band from Enschede, Holland, who was formed in the summer of 2006. The band exists of Stefan Herbers (vocals, guitar), Leon Sweys (guitar), Luuk ter Denge (bass) and Tiemen Claus (drums). In 2007 the band released their first demo "Sinner" and recently their 6-track EP "Slavery" has been released by the band themselves. In their biography the band calls their music style '80's Crossover-Metal-Core with a slight piece of Emo'. These young metalheads are influenced by bands like KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, LAMB OF GOD, PANTERA, IN FLAMES, TRIVIUM and METALLICA. Herbers is a very varied singer, he can sing clear as well as roar. This EP contains 6 tracks, which are actually 4 songs and 2 short interludes. The four tracks are titled "Down Again", "Slavery", "What I've Become" and "Kill" and are all really good compositions. The production of the EP is very good, the band exists of good musicians and like I said Stefan is a good and varied singer. My only complaint is, that the running time of this EP is to short. If the band had recorded 6 songs with those 2 interludes it would be more worth listening to. TREATMENT is an interesting band with potential. So, let's wait for a full length album. Anyway, good work guys.
Visit their website: http://www.treatment-band.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/needsometreatment

80/100

UNANIMATED – In The Light Of Darkness (CD) Sweden July 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black / Death Metal Running time: 45:46 (Tracks: 10)
It's been 14 years since "Ancient God Of Evil" was released ladies and gentleman. A milestone back than in the death and black metal scene. I remember that a good friend of mine bought the album and that we really dug it. Years later I decided to track the album down. On a public sale site I finally won the album paying more then 30! Dollars for it. In 1998 the band quietly left the scene, mainly because of alcohol and drug abuse. As said in an interview with Ricard Cabeza: "We found it more interesting in getting stoned than writing new music" But the blood is always thicker than water! In 2007 the band chooses to reunite again. First feat of arms are the re-releases of their two albums "In The Forest Of The Dreaming Death" and the above mentioned second album (there goes my 30 dollars!) by Regain Records in June 2008. My expectations for the new album of course were very high. With the same line up as on "Ancient God Of Evil" (except for guitarist Jonas Mellberg) "In The Light Of Darkness was recorded at the Necromorbus studio with Tore Stjerna. The place to be for every Black/Death metal band this time. So on productional terms there's absolutely nothing wrong with the album. The band luckily chose to not change there style much from their last album. So still there's the perfect blend of Black and death metal: Blistering guitar riffs, acoustic parts the great recognizable voice of Micke Jansson which is still as strong as back in the day, and the beautiful melodic leads. It is all here.
What was most obvious to me is that the album sounds more as a whole. The songs belong to each other and make this an album that maybe present no absolutely highlights but is possibly one big highlight! Other than on "AGOE" where the changes in between the songs were much bigger. Also because the band is a little less melodic but more darker here. So we can say that balance points more to black metal then death metal at the moment. Something you must decide for yourself if you like it or not. (I surely do!) Conclusion is that this is an more then mandatory comeback album by the uncrowned kings of black/ death metal!
Recordlabel: http://www.regainrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/unanimated08

89/100

VINTERTHRON – Reign Ov Opposites (CD) Brazil July 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 38:19 (Tracks: 9)
True Norwegian black metal I thought when had my first listen to the album "Reign Ov Opposites" from Vinterthron. Later on I read in the info sheet that the band comes from Brazil! What a surprise! Everything on this album sounds typical "Norse" Imagine Gorgoroth "Pentagram" era with more melody alongside the cold black metal. The guitartone in the faster parts are also similar to the older albums of Kampfar. Not the worst bands you can be compared with. And although my collection is full of this sort of sounding bands in this time I find it rather o.k. because there's isn't such an overkill on this style of black metal as in the nineties.
The thin guitarsound sound is something you either love or hate. With the tremolo picked riffs I find this production more then o.k. I you're a lover of modern heavy sounding productions then you can easily skip "Reign Ov Opposites" and buy the new Old mans Child for example. If you are into old school black metal mid- nineties and you don't have all the countless Gorgoroth/Darkthrone copy bands then this maybe is something for you. The instrumentation is o.k. There's enough variation in the songs and the overall sphere is dark. To me it's just enough to say that it's quality over quantity. Besides samba and some very chaotic sounding death metal Brazil now has it's own European sounding band.
Recordlabel: http://www.ashenproductions.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vinterthron

76/100

ZANDELLE – Flames of Rage (CD) USA July 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 70:20 (Tracks: 9)
Zandelle is back! The U.S. metal powerhouse led by the Greek-American George Tsalikis strikes hard 4 years after the release of the magnificent 'Vengeance Rising' album (reviewed by me in MMM, see Archive CD/DVD Reviews)). There have been some line-up changes (don't worry, the amazing guitarist Anthony Maglio is present!) plus the band is now under a new label (the young but rapidly growing Pure Steel label). The good thing is that nothing has affected the band's performance.
Zandelle still pounds hard and delivers rabid U.S. power metal. 'Flames of Rage' has many common elements with its predecessor but the main difference is that the new songs have a more contemporary approach both in terms of playing and production. The band sounds more modern but still metal as hell. If you like Zandelle, this album will satisfy you 100%. If you are a power metal fan who is looking for traditional metal delivered with a fresh and inspired touch then check out Flames of Rage. You will be fascinated.
Visit their website: http://www.zandelle.net
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/zandelle

85/100

ZERO ZONIC – Dead On Arrival (CD) Norway July 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Running time: 54:36 (Tracks: 11)
This album "Dead On Arrival" of Norwegian band ZERO ZONIC is an album which has been released already in 2007. The album has been recorded between November 2006 and November 2007. The band was formed in 2004, had several line-up changes so far and the current line-up exists of Leo Moracchioli (vocals), Daniel Olaisen (guitar), Ole Vistnes (bass) and Tommy Jackson (drums). Musically the band reminds me the most of PANTERA with a little bit of METALLICA and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY ("We're All On Fire"). Even Moracchioli sounds a bit like Phil Anselmo (PANTERA). Not strange, because he's also singing in a PANTERA cover band called TRENDKILL. Anyway, "Dead On Arrival" isn't a very notable album, it's just a nice one. And that's because you hear a lot of PANTERA and METALLICA riffs, that you think by yourself "I've heard this already before". So it's not very original, but most of the songs are good enough to listen to this album now and then. The weaker songs on "Dead On Arrival" are in my opinion "Mr. Funny Man", the semi-ballad "Zero" and "Stripped". The last track of "Dead On Arrival" is a radio edit version of "Zero". The best songs are in my opinion "Disembodied", "Back To Me", "Temptations", "17 Mistakes" and "Explain The Terror".
Visit their website: http://www.zerozonic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/zerozonic

77/100

JUNE

AFTER ALL – Cult of Sin (CD) Belgium June 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Speed / Thrash Metal Running time: 48:43 (Tracks: 12) + bonus video
Again a new album from Belgium's most fanatic thrashband After All. I reviewed their latest album "This Violent Decline" in November 2006 (see Archive CD/DVD reviews) and I was very enthusiastic about that album. It was, compared with their earlier releases, a big step forward musically and especially vocally. Singer Piet Focroul has always been the weakest member of the line up but on "This Violent Decline" he was singing much better! Well this new album is a logical follow up to their latest releases and production wise the album sounds awesome! Superb production again by the band & Dee J who also produced the last album. Because of my good review from their latest album the band sended me this new one. Luckily because Dockyard1 Records is one of the labels that only send promo's as I-Pool downloads these days and we as MMM team don't like to cooperate with that kind of promotion (I can speak for most of my reviewers).
After All has grown the last few years as a band; their music is very Bay Area orientated and the band doesn't use the lower gears….. It's all full speed ahead just like all the 80's thrash bands did in the past. This is again a very good album with some great songs like; 'Devastation Done', 'My own Sacrifice' & 'Embracing Eternity'. If you like their last 2 albums than you can buy this one blindly! Because this album is not much more spectacular than his predecessor my rate will be a little lower this time but I think the band will not complain about that J
Special to this album is the fact that the band has some cult guest musicians on some of the songs; 'Land of Sin' (Andy LaRocque), 'Embracing Eternity' (James Rivera), 'Betrayed by the Gods' (Juan Garcia, Bernie Versailles, Joey Vera). As a kind of hidden track Dio's |'Holy Diver' is added as last song. Check it out!!!
Visit their website: http://www.afterall.be
Recordlabel: http://www.dockyard1.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/afterallmetal

85/100

ALVERG – Elde (CD) Norway June 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 58:44 (Tracks: 9)
Beautiful Norway! A country one must at least see once in his lifetime. A country that gave us so much beautiful music. Music where you sometimes can feel the nature woven into it. It's no difference with Alverg a band that gives birth to their debut release "Elde". Signed by Karmageddon Media at the beginning of this decade but never released anything on that label because of the bankruptcy shortly after. As said the beautiful nature of Norway is one of the biggest influences in the sound of Alverg. A sound that is somewhat of laid back. As if peddling through the fjords alone on a beautiful autumn day the music ripples forth. Even the faster parts seem well balanced. Comparisons with the debut album of Kampfar can be made and even in times "For all Tid" from Dimmu Borgir comes in mind. This is said just to give you an impression of the somewhat calm sound Alverg produces although an overall melancholic feel took a hand of me listening to this album. Favourite song must be "Svarthammern" which has a great repetitive riff in it and some beautiful acoustic parts. Throughout the end a beautiful lead part sends me once again to a place I like to live in the near future. After this the grand piano melodies of "Towards the kingdom of Alverg" kick in. Final song of the album with clean sung parts in it. "Melancholy still my desire, sweep me away into the vale of thine" I thought. Still thinking if I must write that this is easy-listening black metal or heavy, dramatic stuff where you can dangerously get pulled in when listening to…
Visit their website: http://www.alverg.com
Recordlabel: http://www.soulsellerrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/alverg

79/100

CAGE – Science of Annihilation (CD) USA June 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Power Metal Running time: 55:33 (Tracks: 13)
Cage is a band from San Diego, California, USA and exist since 1992. It was in 1998 when CAGE released their first full-length cd appropriately called "UNVEILED". This album was more a kind of progressive metal album. They began writing for their follow up cd right before they played the 1999 DYNAMO Open Air festival. CAGE added powerhouse drummer Mikey Niel to the band to increase the power and speed of the group. This proved to be an excellent move, as his impact was a key factor to the success of their second release "ASTROLOGY". The band released their 3rd cd "DARKER THAN BLACK" in early 2003. This was my real first acquaintance with Cage and man I was blown away by their power!! US metal as it should sound!! High pitching vocals, double bass drums, screaming guitars combined with some rawer, deathmetal-a-like parts in Sean Peck's vocal range! Excellent album that could nearly reach the ultimate high score! "Darker Than Black" saw CAGE playing faster and more aggressive songs. For the 1st time ever, vocalist Sean Peck combined clean, power, black and death metal vocal parts on the songs WHITE MAGIC, CHUPACABRA and SECRETS OF FATIMA. The cd also included the road-tested classic metal anthem KILL THE DEVIL. Upon its release, Darker Than Black was hailed as an instant classic by many of the metal industry leading magazines and webzines worldwide by getting dozens of perfect reviews and scores and especially the metal hungry army of loyal CAGE fans.
The more curious I was after there last album "Hell Destroyer" (2007) which I unfortunately never received from the band or their label L
Luckily I had the opportunity to see the band live twice last month (see Live Reviews) and they blew me away with their power and musicianship! Drummer Mikey Niel was already replaced by ex-Psychotic Waltz drummer Norm Leggio. Singer Sean Peck gave me the new cd during one of the shows last month and after hearing a few of the songs already live my expectations where even higher for the complete album. Well finally here it is! From the first till the last note its US METAL how it should be! I already saw a lot of reviews of the album and most of them compare "Science of Annihilation" with the Judas Priest classic "PainKiller". Well forget that; "SoA" is much much better!! This album is full of great compositions (which I can't say from all the PainKiller songs)!! Sean Peck is doing a hell of a job and musically this is superb!! One of the best albums of 2009 till now and it will be difficult to find a better one I'm afraid!! Compliments guys!! US-metal rulessssss!!! Buy or DIE!!!!!
Visit their website: http://www.cageheavymetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.musicbuymail.eu
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cageheavymetal

98/100

CARBON 9 – The Bull (CD) USA June 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Modern Metal / Industrial Running time: 54:29 (Tracks: 16)
Personally I never had heard of CARBON 9 before, but they really surprised me with this album "The Bull". The band exists of Stacey Quinealty (vocals, programming), Danny Cistone (backing vocals, performance art), Darwin Devitis (guitar, backing vocals), Omar D Brancato (bass, backing vocals) and Matty Milani (drums, backing vocals). CARBON 9 plays a mixture of Modern Metal with an Industrial twist. If I'm right the band released their debut album "COTM" in 2004, so "The Bull" must be their second album. These guys recorded 15 tracks for this album. One of those 15 songs is a cover, which is DANZIG's "Mother" of the self-titled debut album of DANZIG. And it's a very nice done industrial version of it. There are a few songs on this album which I totally don't like and those songs are "What Is It We're Made Of", "Crawling Over Me" and "Tongues". After "Tongues" you'll get a kind of hidden track, which isn't very interesting either. The album was produced by Quinealty himself and mixed by Frank Gryner (ROB ZOMBIE, A PERFECT CIRCLE, COAL CHAMBER, TOMMY LEE) and sounds marvellous. The best songs on "The Bull" are in my opinion "My Friend", "Somebody Like Me", "Mother" (of course), "Butterflies In My Head" (superb), "This Life", "I'm Not Broken", "Loving You" and the semi-ballad "Lonely In Love". Go check these songs, they are awesome. This is a very nice acquaintance for me. Very interesting band.
Visit their website: http://www.carbon9.com
Recordlabel: http://www.worldsound.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/carbon9

84/100

DEMOLISHED - Defleshing the Innocent (CD) Belgium June 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death Metal Running time: 25:23 (Tracks: 6)
Demolished is a fairly new death metal band from Belgium. They formed in 2005 and are now releasing their first album "Defleshing The Innocent". This cd contains 6 songs that one can label as old school death metal with just that bit of extra brutality and I must admit that the concept realy works out great. The old school sound of guitar and vocals always sounds great to me and the musicians are technical enough to make it interesting but aren't playing to technical to make it boring for an old school fan like me. We get pounding drums without the constant blastbeats to support the great riffing and the old schoolish grunt accompanied with the occasional scream. If I have to say anything bad about this album is that it really just is a bit to short. Even though I rather have a short good album than a longer one with the same amount of good songs and some additional fillers 25 minutes just isn't long enough to me, but hey that's why they invented the repeat button right? To all the old school death metallers out there: support your underground and go buy this, you won't regret it !
visit their website: http://www.demolished.be
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/demolishedbe

87/100

EAR DANGER – Raw & Real (DVD) The Netherlands June 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 13:44 (Tracks: 4)
I got this 4 track disc of EAR DANGER from Mario with no biography, cover etc. And the next thing is, that I couldn't play it in my regular CD-player. So it had to be a DVD. Anyway, for some more info about the band I had to search on the internet. EAR DANGER is a Dutch band who was formed in the early eighties and has had many line-up changes in the three years of their existence. They've released two demo's at that time (in 1981 and 1982), which I don't know. The band has been re-formed since, I guess 2006 or 2007, and released the "Shock & Awe" demo. The current line-up of EAR DANGER exists of Leon Lohmann (vocals), Karina Wolf (lead guitar), Ivo Metz (rhythm guitar), Matt Verschoor (bass) and Dick Vijgen (drums). Original members are Matt and Dick. The four live songs on this DVD, which is titled "Raw & Real", are "Give 'em Hell", "Beelzebub's Friend", "Burn At The Stake" and "Shock & Awe". All those songs are filmed from just one point. With EAR DANGER you get back into the eighties again, because they play traditional Heavy Metal. It all sounds nice, but actually it's nothing really special. Lohmann is a reasonable singer and the musicians are okay too. I guess this DVD is just for promoting themselves for clubs, magazines etc. and I think it's not for sale. Just a nice band to see when they are playing at your local club. That's all.
Visit their website: http://www.eardanger.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eardangermetal

68/100

EDGE OF SERENITY – The Chaos Theory (CD) The Netherlands June 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 47:18 (Tracks: 10)
Under the supervision of vocalist/guitarist Wietze Halma, a new Dutch band was formed in 2007. The band was called Edge of Anger at that time. Since then they've produced two demo's which were nicely reviewed by the press. In March 2009 the band decided to rename themselves into Edge of Serenity. Their demo's still stand fierce in my personal collection so I was really looking forward to their full length 'The Chaos Theory'. They recorded the album in the middle of 2008 at the German Spacelab studio's. Did the music evolve with the name change? Definitely YES! Edge of Serenity creates a subtle mixture of melodic death metal with a progressive twist. The songs are finished and well thought through. To be honest, I can't name a bad song on this record. The way Edge of Serenity works is really suiting the songs. The refrains with grunts and clean vocals are catchy and the biggest plus goes out to the harmonic instrumental parts. Very well written and extremely addictive. They have a good ear for the theatrical aspect. Special mentioning goes out to the guest vocalists on the record. Judith Stuber (Everon, Satyrian) took op the lead vocals on 'Born to fall apart.' And Tony J.J.'s (Icon in Me, ex-Mnemic) voice really suites the song 'Endless brutality.' Edge of Serenity already shared the stage with giants like Slayer, Aborted and Death Angel and I think that with this album they can tour a lot more. With 'The Chaos Theory', Edge of Serenity have proven to be a force to be reckoned with. All the hard labor of the past is finally paying off and resulted in an excellent album. Definitely the biggest surprise for me this month. If you are into melodic death, heavy or power metal, please give this album a try. You most certainly will like it.
Visit their website: http://www.edgeofserenity.com
Recordlabel: http://www.romulusxrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/edgeofserenity

88/100

EUREKA – Shackleton`s Voyage (CD) Germany June 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 51:14 (Tracks: 15)
The album Shackleton`s Voyage from Eureka tells us the story about Sir Ernest Shackleton`s expedition to Antarctica in the period between 1914 and 1916. A total of 28 adventurers wanted to be the first to cross Antarctica in 1914, but their ship Endurance sank just one day's sail from its extension. The crew had to face all kind of deprivations, but finally all 28 seamen survived. Sir Shackleton became a hero and is considered, along with Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott, the most important Antarctica pioneer.
The story of Shackleton is told by 15 songs on the album. Musically, Shackleton`s Voyage operates at the interface of progressive / symphonic rock, but it has also some Celtic influences. The guitar work can be compared with Mike Oldfield. The most of the songs on this concept album are instrumental and mostly played by multi-instrumentalist Frank Bossert, who is also the founder of Eureka. He had been singer, guitarist and bassist in a couple of rock bands before he decided to built his own studio in Husum, Germany. Bossert has recorded this album together with 5 guest musicians of which Billy Sherwood (former Yes) is the most well-known. The songs are connected by a narrator, the voice of British actor Ian Dickinson. The photographs on the album`s cover are original from the expedition.
Shakleton`s Voyage is the fourth album release of the Eureka project. The previously released albums were Eureka (1997), The Full Circle (2002) and The Compass Rose in 2005. It`s a well produced album, but for the fans who like heavy and more adventurous symphonic rock, it is maybe too calm. I expected also a more adventurous album, the story is spectacular enough for this, but finally, the album can fascinate me.
Visit their website: http://www.eureka-music.de
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eurekashackletonsvoyage

77/100

GRAVE CROSS – Let it be Darkness (CD) Mexico June 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 23:50 (Tracks: 5)
Grave Cross originates from Mexico and this is actually a self financed work distributed by Blower Records (only 500 copies available). The band tries to recreate the original N.W.O.B.H.M. feeling in its early and obscure form. The thing is that the guys do a good job. "Let it be Darkness" does not have an original sound but the band succeeds in what it wants to present. This demo could actually fool one if told that this was an old recording from 1982. "Staking the Vampire" is probably the best song among the 4 ones (the fifth is an outro). It's a fast paced tune with a great riff. If you are into the revival of the N.W.O.B.H.M. sound you should check Grave Cross out (and North Americans White Wizzard too).
Recordlabel: http://www.blower-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gravecross

73/100

HADES – Bootlegged in Boston 1988 (DVD) USA June 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Power / Speed Metal Running time: Documentary + (Tracks: 7)
Finally after several months I was able to review this DVD from one of my all time favourite US metal bands; HADES!! My DVD player was broken and on my laptop the sound wasn't working so I had to wait till I had a new DVD player…..
Was it all worth the wait?? When you compare it with today's DVD recordings; NO! When you see it as youth sentiment; YES!! The DVD is called "Bootlegged in Boston 1988" and a bootleg it is! The recordings are very amateurish and the sound quality is also mediocre but who cares? I don't because to see & hear one of my all time favourite singers, Alan Tecchio, is always a party to me! Luckily I have seen the band also several times in the late 80's and the band will also do a reunion show at the next Keep it True festival in April 2010 (Germany). Hopefully they will play "Process of Assimilation" at KIT XIII. Im asking Alan Tecchio for more than 20 years now and hopefully this time he will listen to me, hahahaha.
The DVD is nevertheless fun to see and to dig some old memories. And the setlist is of course great; "Opinionate!!'', "The Leaders", "Diplomatic Immunity", "In the Meantime", "Aftermath of Betrayal", "I too Eye" & "Nightstalker". Just for Hades fans!! The DVD also includes a nice documentary filmed during the recordings of their "The Downside" album. Now im still hoping that Alan Tecchio will also reunites with Watchtower and Power someday which where his best bands in my opinion (hint)
Visit their website: http://www.danlorenzo.net/hades
Recordlabel: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hadesusa

Production 45/100
Emotional 95/100

ICON IN ME – Human Museum (CD) Germany June 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Modern Thrash Metal Running time: 46:45 (Tracks: 11)
This is the debut album of this Swedish/Russian thrash metal band ICON IN ME which started out in August 2007. In November of that same year work started on their debut fullsize album recording under charge of well known producer Jacob Hansen (Destruction, Mercenary, Raunchy, etc.). Also a lot of guest musicians were invited to participate on the album, among them Steve Smith (ex-Nevermore, Testament), Flemming C. Lund (The Arcane Order, Invocator), Andy Solvestrom (Within Y, Evildoer, Cipher System). Eventually the album got mixed by Jacob Hansen. Early July 2008 ICON IN ME played their first show, opening the Moscow show for Machine Head. At the same time the video of the first single 'That day, That sorrow' was shot. The music of ICON IN ME is really hard and aggressive mostly, with a superb production, great songs that are mostly not to difficult and straight forward thrash metal in your face. From the intro of 'Dislocated' to the end of 'Avoiding The Pain' this album keeps thrashing, with some great riffing, and real heavy drums and the sometimes screaming and sometimes clean vocals by Tony JJ (Mnemic, C-187, MAN). Their musical style could be compared to that of bands like Hatesphere, Mnemic or The Arcane Order, not a bad debut at all, really a band to keep an ear on in the future!
Visit their website: http://www.iconinme.com
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/iconinme

78/100

INSANITA – Crimson Messiah (CD) United Kingdom June 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 58:00 (Tracks: 11)
This is the second cd with their Scottish thrash metal of Insanita, featuring Allan Scott and Ciaran Wright, formerly of Agankast. The band started out in the summer of 2007, and released 2 albums so far, their debut 'Thrill of the Kill' and now the follow up 'Crimson Messiah'. Insanita plays pure old school thrash metal, and they are very good at it too, fast, aggressive and heavy! The band plays as tight as a ducks ass, great riffs with thunderous drums and flying guitar solo's (listen to 'Breaking Down The Walls), this is how thrash metal should be made. These guys really know how to handle their equipment, and write great thrash anthems, I really couldn't find any bad or even less songs on the album, it rules from beginning to end! This album rages from beginning with 'Abaddon', to end 'The Killing Time' and even extra track 'The Day We Died'. Only remark could be that a better production would be welcome for the next epos, although it sounds really oldschool this way.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/insanitamusic

76 /100

IQ - Frequency (CD) United Kingdom June 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 62:02 (Tracks: 7)
IQ is a progressive rock band that was founded in the early `80`s by guitarist Mike Holmes and keyboard player Martin Orford. They recruited bassist Tim Esau in 1981, followed by vocalist Peter Nicholls and drummer Paul Cook in 1982, when they released their first cassette album 'Seven Stories Into Eight'. Constant gigging throughout the UK led to them becoming a regular fixture at London's legendary Marquee Club. IQ belongs to a melodic progressive rock scene, together with bands like Marillion, Pallas and Pendragon. In 2000, I saw IQ live in 013 in Tilburg when they promoted their album 'The Seventh House' and this was one of the best concerts I ever visited. Their new album 'Frequency' is their tenth studio release. Since the release of their previous album 'Dark Matter' in 2004, some changes in the line-up have been taken place. Drummer Paul Cook has been replaced by Andy Edwards (ex-Robert Plant Band) and also keyboard player Martin Orford has left the band. He preferred a solo career and was finally replaced by Mark Westworth (Darwin`s Radio).
The new album 'Frequency' sounds quite the same qua style as what IQ has released before. You can see this as a point of criticism, but it's not meant like that. The production of the album is great again and when the cd starts, you immediately know that you're listening to IQ. The arrangements of the songs are great again and the musicians reach a high level. The characteristic elements like Peter Nicholls's voice and Michael Holmes's guitar work are great again. Even the replacement of Orford by Westworth seems to be passed smoothly. All in all, this is a good album, in my opinion almost every fan of IQ will appreciate this album, I'm convinced of that.
Visit their website: http://www.gep.co.uk/iq
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/iquk

85/100

IRON FIST – Kick Your Ass (MCD) Norway June 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Glam Running time: 15:07 (Tracks: 4)
With the band name IRON FIST I immediately had to think of course of MOTÖRHEAD, because of their album "Iron Fist" (1982) and the song itself, which is a real classic. But musically this band from Norway doesn't really sound exactly like MOTÖRHEAD. Only on the first song of this 4 track EP, "Kick Your Ass", which is a real kick ass rock 'n roll song, they sound a bit like MOTÖRHEAD, but it reminds me more of Dutch speedrockers PETER PAN SPEEDROCK. On the other three tracks, which are "Naked", "Holy Moses" and "Show Me", it's more a mixture of AC/DC and Glam Rock. I don't know when the band was formed, because there's not much information about the band on their website and MySpace page. And the short biography tells that the members of IRON FIST, which are Bobby (vocals), Bender Midiman (guitar), Kaw (guitar), Jonkis (bass) and Kniksen (drums), are well-known members of the bands LUXUS LEVERPOSTEI and NOBODIES (of which I reviewed their album in May of 2008). Productionwise this EP sounds good enough. Anyway, my conclusion is that IRON FIST is not a very spectacular band, but it all just sounds nice enough to be curious for the full length album which will be released in the summer of 2009. The best songs of this nice EP are "Kick Your Ass" and "Show Me". Truthfully I prefer NOBODIES more.
Visit their website: http://www.ironfistband.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ironfistrock

74/100

ISTHAR – Chaos Death Reincarnation (MCD) The Netherlands / Germany June 2008 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Black Metal Running time: 22:12 (Tracks: 3)
After releasing 'Isthar' in 1998, 'The weak will Perish' in 2000 and 'Among the Ruins' in 2006 the Dutch/German band Isthar went back to the Excess Studios in Rotterdam in 2008 to record this 3 song EP 'Chaos Death Reincarnation'.The title of this EP refers to the titles to the three songs on this blackmetal piece. The strange thing about this band is that they have 2 bass player (a five string and a ten string bass) and only one guitarist. But it doesn't add anything. The sound is good and they have a kick ass drummer but I soon got bored by the singer and the guitar riffs. The singer doesn't scream like a lot of black metal singers but grunts like a death metal singer but in a boring way. The songs are only interesting because the drummer plays very well and he's the only one who varies a lot. But the EP is a recorded as a sort of trilogy and that worked very well. The three songs are connected with spherical dark interludes, which work very well. The idea is good but the musicians just aren't good enough to make it interesting for me.
Visit their website: http://www.isthar.info
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/istharmetal

71/100

JADALLYS - Labyrinthes (CD) France June 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Alternative Metal Running time: 53:52 (Tracks: 12)
Sometimes, just sometimes you'll catch up with something special that comes out of nowhere..... It reminds me of going to London for a Girlschool concert and been blown away by a support act called Die So Fluid. This time a beautiful digi pack of Jadallys reached me wanting to be reviewed. Jadallys.... never heard off ......bio in French .....o no, not really my second language ..... alright, put it on in my car ......hey great sound .... Well to make it short, I lik this stuff ! First let me introduce the band. Jadallys was formed in 2000 and is founded by singer Selene, guitarist Tino and bassist Ded. After some changes the fourth member nowadays is Tibo on drums. "Le Silence" in 2004 was their debut album. This one "Labyrinthes" is their second. Their music is very hard to categorise because it's a variety of many influences. (something they have in common with, for example, Die So Fluid) It is also the main reason for me to categorise them as "alternative". (hope the band don't mind) In their own words they say that they follow their own and original music path and I certainly can find myself in their opinion. The music combines spacy elements, sound effects and groovy guitar riffs all based on a heavy foundation with poetical lyrics and psychedelic spheres creating a strange kind of dark, mystic universe. Selene has a great voice with which she fully varies and she uses it in a theatrical intense way which fits perfectly in the songs. Some songs need some listening because they are experimental and complex but after that you know one thing .... this is original and good stuff ! Using the French language is something that works with what band brings, but could be a barrier for global success. Maybe that's the reason that they only perform in France and this album now finally reaches Holland (hey, it isn't that far ...) because it came out in 2007 ! Overall the album is filled with good, balanced heavy stuff alternated by "Enfant de Personne" which is a beautiful ballad. Personal favs are hard to mention but opener "Mer Aimante", follow up "La Complainte de Judas" "Nuit" and "K" are definitely worth to mention. Don't let the French language frighten you for listening to this album (I myself can't make any chocolate of it either, should have paid more attention at school ...) because it is a damn good one for people who like some experimental, theatrical heavy stuff. Essentiel !
Visit their website: http://www.jadallys.com
Recordlabel: http:// www.underclass-music.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jadallys

90/100

JOSE DE CASTRO – Live (2CD) Spain June 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Guitar Rock Running time: 88:02 (Tracks: 16)
José De Castro, a Spanish guitarist from Madrid, has been playing the guitar since he has been 10. In 2002 José released his first instrumental album "Un Poco De Lo Mio", written, arranged and produced all by José himself. That cd contained 9 songs with a rock sound, but also with funk, pop and fusion elements. In 2004 José released his second solo album "Music Guitar Box". On this album he got the help from talented musicians like Simon Phillips and Melvin Davis. His second album had again influences from funk, fusion, blues, country and rock. His third album "Conversation" was released in 2006, with once again different styles. Recently his first live cd was released, which was recorded on the 21st and 22nd of November 2007 in Leganes, Madrid. This double live set recalls some of the best of De Castro's music from his three studio albums. Different music styles can be heard like rock, fusion, funk, country and blues, and all songs are always topped off by beautiful guitar solo's from José. His guitarstyle can be seen as a mixture of guitarists like Scott Henderson, Michael Landau, Jimi Hendrix, Tommy Denander and Richie Kotzen. Great songs, great guitarplaying!!
Visit their website: http://www.josedecastro.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/josedecastromusic

82/100

KAZUTO – Greet With Delight / Double Edge (CD-Single) Japan June 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Metal Running time: 9:37 (Tracks: 2)
Kazuto Ishida is a very talented guitarist from Japan. He personally likes hardrock, metal, instrumental rock and especially neo-classical metal. He mainly composes instrumental guitar music for his solo project, although he recently formed a melodic metal band with a female vocalist. On his 2-track cd single are 2 fast and furious instrumental melodic shred metal songs. It are two happy sounding songs with a lot of melody, but played in a fast tempo also. A mix of neo-classical and melodic shred, reminding me of Jorge Salan (for the melodies) and Joe Stump/George Bellas (for the fast tempo). Kazuto is a very good, technical guitarist, who plays with a lot of melody and emotion.
Visit their website: http://www.kazutoishida.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kazutoishida

88/100

KINGDOM COME – Magnified (CD) Germany June 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock / Hard Rock Running time: 46:20 (Tracks: 11)
KINGDOM COME was formed in 1987, and at that time the band existed of Lenny Wolf (vocals), Danny Stag (lead guitar), Rick Steier (guitar), Johnny B. Frank (bass) and James Kottak (drums). This line-up only lasted two albums, namely the debut "Kingdom Come" (1988) and "In Your Face" (1989). And these are the only two albums I had of KINGDOM COME before this new album was released, because I didn't follow them after these two albums. And especially their self-titled debut album is a real classic one, although "In Your Face" is a fantastic album too. On those two albums, with great songs like "Living Out Of Touch", "Pushin' Hard", the beautiful ballad "What Love Can Be", "Get It On", "Do You Like It", "The Wind", "Highway 6" and "Perfect 'O'", KINGDOM COME sounded just like LED ZEPPELIN. And at that time of the release of "Kingdom Come" the band were called "Kingdom Clone" by the press. Anyway, if I'm right, "Magnified" is the eleventh studio album of KINGDOM COME. All the songs are written and played by Lenny Wolf. Only the guitar solo's are done by Eric Foerster, except on the songs "Over You" and "Unwritten Language", on which Lenny is doing the solo's himself. I have to admit that I really had to get used to this album, because the songs on "Magnified" don't come near the level of the songs on the first two albums. But after several times listening to it, the album grows in a positive way. My favourite tracks are the solid rock songs "So Unreal" and "Hey Mama", which are great songs ala LED ZEPPELIN again. Other songs which are good too are "Living Dynamite", "No Murderer I Kiss", "Sweet Killing" and the last track "Feeding The Flame" which is a bluesy ballad. There are four ballads on this album of which I like "24 Hours", "Unwritten Language" and the just mentioned bluesy ballad "Feeding The Flame" the most. The other ballad "Over You" sounds dull in my opinion. But all those ballads can't compete with the superb ""What Love Can Be". The current line-up of KINGDOM COME exists of Lenny Wolf (vocals, guitar), Eric Foerster (lead guitar), Frank Binke (bass) and Hendrik Thiesbrummel (drums). Lenny Wolf still is a fantastic singer who still sounds like ZEPPELIN's Robert Plant. My end conclusion is that "Magnified" is a good KINGDOM COME album, but, although I don't know all the previous albums so far, I'm convinced that the first two albums are still their best ones. If the whole album "Magnified" had songs like "So Unreal" and "Hey Mama" it had a higher rating. Beautiful album cover by the way.
Visit their website: http://www.kingdomcome.de
Recordlabel: http://www.planet.tt
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lennywolf

82/100

LOAD – Flames In Seconds (CD) The Netherlands June 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock Running time: 47:04 (Tracks: 11)
LOAD is a four piece band from Steenwijk/Meppel, Holland consisting of Annalies Groen (vocals), Freek Gielen (guitar), Pieter Dingerdis (bass) and Wouter Bakker (drums). "Flames In Seconds" is the second full length album of LOAD released by the band themselves. Their debut album "Desirous" was released in 2004. Although the band is influenced by bands like METALLICA, PEARL JAM, ALTER BRIDGE, THE GATHERING and FOO FIGHTERS, to me LOAD reminds me the most of Holland's best female rock singer ANOUK. Not strange, because Annalies Groen also sounds very much like Anouk Teeuwe. The production of "Flames In Seconds" isn't that bad, but it could have been a little bit better. And that's my only complain about this album, because the songs are really good anyway. The album features most of all solid rock songs like "Goodbye", "Sin", "Runnin' Away", "Destruction" and "Control". But there are also some quieter songs on it as well like the semi-ballad "One Day", "What Comes Around", "Sometimes" and "Fallen" (with 7:49 minutes the longest track on the album). Although it's just like I'm listening to ANOUK it's a fantastic album. Very good rock band with lots of potential. ANOUK has a real competitor in LOAD.
Visit their website: http://www.load-music.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/loadspace

80/100

LOSSFEA – Lightning In The Dark (CD) Germany June 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 47:00 (Tracks: 8)
LOSSFEA is a band from the region of east frisia in northern Germany. These 4 guys are influenced by hardrock and heavy metal from the '70s and '80s. LOSSFEA was founded in 2004 under the name "Drifter" by Guitarist Marco Harms and Drummer Benjamin Lemberger, who had already made music together before. Singer and Guitarist Henning Sievers came along soon. The line-up was then completed by Bassist Tilman Eilers, who was replaced by Arne Sievers in 2006. As "Drifter" they played many shows all over Germany with bands like Kaizers Orchestra, Goose, Turbostaat, Mob Rules, Lord Bishop Rocks, Ten Tonne Dozers and many more…As they recorded their first record, they decided to give the band a new name. The boys found out that there are a lot of bands with the name "Drifter", which also caused mistakes in the past. After lot of talking they followed the suggestion of Drummer Benjamin. At the Omas Teich Festival 2008 they announced then their new name LOSSFEA. Now this is their debut album 'Lightning in The Dark', with 8 rock/metal tunes in the vein of Y&T, Saxon and Maiden, only…not as good. Musically it sounds ok, but their singer is really not the best vocalist around, also their songs aren't all too strong, or original, some are even boring (nighttrain). Production could also be a lot better, although for a self produced it's ok I guess. Sometimes it all sounds a bit too familiar, as if…no I won't say it. Wait and see what their next effort will bring us, and give them the advantage of the doubt, cause there is potential in this band, it just didn't came out this time.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lossfea

68/100

MAIM - From the Womb to the Tomb (CD) Sweden June 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death Metal Running time: 35:27 (Tracks: 10)
In the death metal world things become more and more technical and only a few bands continue making old school death metal. Every once in a while one can stumble across a rare gem and this cd is one of those. Maim are a new band from Sweden who seem to agree with me that the old school Swedish death metal is about the best you can get. Starting with an intro from a cult horror movie we get pounding death metal that sounds like it's made 20 years ago: great riffs, pounding drum without blast beats all accompanied by the filthiest vocals I've heard in long while. Even the production sounds old school, whether this was meant to be or just done because of budget problems I'll probably never know but I don't care. All of this just makes for an ideal mix between Autopsy and Sepultura in their death metal era. I just hope these guys aren't just a one hit wonder or a gimmick because I definitely wan't to hear more of this. To all you old school death metal fans: go buy this!
Recordlabel: http://www.soulsellerrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/maimdeathmetal

93/100

MILES BEYOND – Discovery (Promo CD) USA June 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Power / Heavy Metal Running time: 20:17 (Tracks: 3)
In October 2005 I already reviewed the debut album of this band. I was very positive about them and compared their music with Iron Maiden, Dokken, Y&T and also Liege Lord. Well after this promo cd my opinion didn't change a bit; the band still plays highly influenced Maiden Metal which is of course a compliment because there are just a few bands that have the musicianship to 'imitate' Iron Maiden (Bruce Dickinson era). I even think that this promo is much more Maiden than their debut album because most of the other influences are gone. The band is still looking for a label so don't hesitate to contact them if you see possibilities for this awesome band! "Oh Well, wherever, Wherever you are, Miles Beyond is gonna get you, No matter how far"……..
Visit their website: http://www.milesbeyond.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/milesbeyond

80/100

MOONSTONE PROJECT – Rebel On The Run (CD) Italy June 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Rock Running time: 52:14 (Tracks: 10)
The second album that is released under this project name. In 2006, the album "Time To Make A Stand" was released and it achieved great comments in music press. Must say I haven't heard that cd. Listening to this one, all beautiful words on the bio lose their meaning and I am listening to a groovy rock album filled with all kinds of musical influences, not necessarily having anything to do with rock, let alone Classic Rock. But seeing the list of guest musicians, one would be inclined to believe that this is a mindblowing rock disc : James Christian (House Of Lords) and his wife , the lovely Robin Beck, Glenn Hughes and Ian Paice (Deep Purple) Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep)…need I go on?
There's a big "BUT". This music resembles the variety in styles that I heard in the seventies, listing to the likes of Santana, Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull. Add a bit of Lenny Kravitz, and there you are: this is Moonstone Project. I must say that James Christian is casted perfectly for his role on this cd; he sounds just great! "Rebel On The Run" is in my opinion the best track on this cd, together with "Shooting Star". Very bluesy tracks with a good feel of rock, with added ingredients. Overall, the album disappoints me a bit, carrying such big rock names in the line up but releasing a seventies-like album that does not use the talents of the musicians participating…
Visit their website: http://www.moonstone.it
Recordlabel: http://www.blisteringrecords.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/moonstoneproject

68/100

MYSTIC PROPHECY – Fireangel (CD) Germany June 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Metal Running time: 46:10 (Tracks: 11)
This is the 6th album of the German powermetal lot Mystic Prophecy. They had a couple of line up changes in between albums, and band leader/vocalist R.D. Liapakis had to find new musicians for this album after the same problem in 2006 when Firewind's Gus G. and drummer Dennis Ekdahl left the band. So, that leaves me with their latest album filled with power metal-to-the-bone. Power metal is OK to me when I can hear a distinct melody and when the vocals are real textlines that are sung. Mystic Prophecy have a good name in powermetal-land, and I must say they surprised me with "Demons Crown", although the shouting vocals may be left behind. Musically this is quite OK, counting that double bassdrums are almost the standard. As for the guitarwork, it's as heavy as it can get, certainly not a virtuoso but in this genre I haven't found any virtuosos yet. As the cd progresses, speed is getting faster and faster ("We Kill You Die") and I seem to lose track of what is happening. I hear no original things I haven't heard with other bands. Textwise, I am falling asleep with so much lack of interesting subjects. This cd will probably be popular with fans of the genre, but musicwise it cannot keep my attention.
Visit their website: http://www.mysticprophecy.com
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mysticprophecy

60/100

OHMPHREY – Ohmphrey (CD) USA June 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Jazz / Rock / Fusion Running time: 64:06 (Tracks: 8)
What happens when five great musicians locked themselves in a studio for two days, fueled by nothing but pizza and their shared musical vision? If you're the super jam band OHMphrey, the result is an electrifying fusion debut flush with so much creative currency that its vibrant music buzzes with musical surprises, intense improvisation and even instrumental virtuosity. OHMphrey, the brainchild of three members of the Chicago-based jam-band Umphrey's McGee (keyboardist Joel Cummins, guitarist Jake Cinninger and drummer Kris Myers) and OHM guitarist Chris Poland, a legendary player who's perhaps best known for work with headbanging pioneers Megadeth, and bassist Robertino Pagliari (a.k.a. "Pag"), unleashes their improv-heavy self-titled debut – a record that assimilates not only disparate musical genres but the individual playing styles of everyone involved.
The result is a jam session that breaths music. Although…..you must be a bit into the experimental fusion and jazzrock a bit to appreciate what is going on here. I think that musician readers will find this an appealing project to listen to. Jamsessions often bring surprising tunes, and recording these to release them on a cd must be a heavenly outcome, in this case for fans of both bands because they really are complimentary to each other. Not my cup of soup, but for the right crowd, this is a jewel.
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ohmphrey

75/100

PAIN OF SALVATION – Ending Themes on the two deaths of…. (2DVD) Sweden June 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: more than 260 minutes!!
As far as I know this is the second DVD from these Swedish progmetallers! I only have their "The Perfect Element part 1" CD and never bought any of their latest album simply because this is to me a real LIVE band! I've seen the band a few times on stage and they are magnificent! When I heard about a new live DVD I asked the promoter in Holland (thanks Frank) to send me a copy of it and he did! It's a double DVD; on DVD 1 you find a documentary of the band on the road and also backstage. The band is followed during their 2005 European tour and you will find a lot of recordings/shots from my homeland The Netherlands. There are also a lot of other interesting parts on this DVD with a "making of", "sneak preview", " commentaries" and a lot of other interesting stuff!
DVD 2 is much more interesting and contains a show that was filmed on 2 March 2007 at the Paradiso venue in Amsterdam. The band plays a mix of all their albums and also the regular covers of Frank Zappa (Dancing Fool) and Leonard Cohen (Disco Queen). It's all filmed very clean and not overproduced as you see a lot these days. The sound quality is great and that's also very important of course! This is a very nice compilation of PoS stuff and if you're not familiar with the bands music; check this out! If you only like the standard metal stuff than please don't check it out; Pain of Salvation is a very technical band with some real interesting & refreshing progmetal! Not for short-sighted metal fans. On DVD 2 you will also find a lot of extras like a quiz, deleted scenes, sneak previews, casting try outs, et al……
A great DVD which will be in my DVD player regularly!!
Visit their website: http://www.painofsalvation.com
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/painofsalvation

85/100

POINT BLANK - Execution (CDemo) Finland June 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash / Death Metal Running time: 18:31 (Tracks: 4)
Point Blank is a fairly new death-thrash band from Finland. They were formed in 2005 and after some line-up changes they released their first demo in 2007 (see Archive CD/DVD Reviews). This demo contains 4 tracks and that is enough to give you a decent view of the band. I can't say this is bad but I don't find it that good either. To me the most important part of a metal song is the riffs, a good riff can make me go crazy and when supported by some good drumming and decent vocals you got yourself a good song. The band has the drumming and the vocals down. Unfortunately these songs are lacking the good riffs to make it good. In the 4 songs I heard 2 riffs that got my attention, one in the first and one in the last song. You can hear that these guys are good musicians but as many boring technical bands have shown us before: technique isn't everything. I wish the band the best of luck in their future song writing and I hope they prove me wrong when they release their first album.
Visit their website: http://www.pointblank-band.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pointblankmusic

60/100

PRODIGAL EARTH – Zenith II Zero (CD) Cyprus June 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 53:45 (Tracks: 11)
Prodigal Earth is a relatively new Cypriot band formed by members of the well known Arryan Path (some of them can also be found in the Diphtheria line-up). For those familiar with the Arryan Path sound, Prodigal Earth is quite similar but with a less epic metal approach. For those who don't have a clue about these bands I would describe the music as melodic power metal loyal to the European sound. The impressive thing is that Prodigal Earth doesn't sound like any other band of the genre, presenting a unique blend. The songs vary from mid tempo like "Crossroads" to galloping ones like the anthemic "Broken World" with a couple of heartbreaking ballads in between. Vocalist Nicholas Leptos is fabulous as always, singing passionately and reaching the higher notes with his unique colour. To me "Zenith II Zero" sounds fresh and melodic, a musical proposal you shouldn't miss.
Visit their website: http://www.prodigalearth.com
Recordlabel: http://www.pitchblackrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/prodigalearth

88/100

PROJECT A – Kiss and Confiscate (CD) The Netherlands June 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock Running time: 37:11 (Tracks: 10)
PROJECT A is a Dutch Rock band who was formed in 2005. At the end of 2006 the band released their first demo album "Tender Light" followed by the single "Divine" in 2007. Last year (2008) PROJECT A decided that it was time to release a full length album, so "Kiss And Confiscate" is the debut album of the band. The line-up of PROJECT A exists of Ferry van der Woude (vocals), Mathijs Koudijs (guitar), Michiel Brankaert (guitar), Lars Geuskens (bass) and Michiel Korsten (drums). PROJECT A plays radio friendly Rock with sometimes funky influences ("Break My Fall"). All ten tracks on this debut album are listening very easily away and are really good songs. The band exists of fantastic musicians, especially the guitarists, and Van der Woude is a good singer. "Kiss And Confiscate" opens with the solid rock song "John Doe" followed by catchy songs "Tender Light" and "Case 69" (great guitar solo). Also "Summer Again" sounds very familiar in my ears. This is really a rock band who can reach a wide audience. In my opinion songs like "Tender Light", "Case 69" and "Summer Again" are songs which easily can get radio airplay. PROJECT A is a band for anyone who likes bands as RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, KANE, INCUBUS, RACOON, BON JOVI. Strange that a band with such good album has to release their album themselves. Isn't there any record label interested in this band??
Visit their website: http://www.project-a.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/projectatheband

79/100

RAIN – Bang Bus – Limited Edition (DVD) Italy June 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 4:35 (Tracks: 1)
Last April I reviewed Rain's "Dad is Dead" album which the band gave me during their small tour with misfit Blaze Bailey. The band also gave me an exclusive, limited edition (10 copies) DVD with the video clip of one of the "Dad is Dead" songs named 'Bang Bus". Well after seeing the video I long for more…..not only musically but also naturally, hahahaha. Nice sluts are used in this video and I advice the band to print some DVD's and send them around to the TV stations that are willing to play metal these days. Next time I want to be part of that Bang Bus guys! You can c(o)unt me in!!!
Visit their website: http://www.raincrew.com
Recordlabel: http://www.auralmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/raincrew1980

--/---

REPOMEN – Roadkill (CD) The Netherlands June 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Stoner Rock Running time: 27:54 (Tracks: 8)
REPOMEN, from Eindhoven Rockcity, Holland, was formed after the demise of Stoner Rock band BOREHOLE in 2007. So, REPOMEN exists of former BOREHOLE members Roel Aben (guitar), Mo Truijens (guitar) and Miriam Bekkers (drums) with Peter van Elderen (vocals, bass) of PETER PAN SPEEDROCK. "Roadkill" is the debut album of REPOMAN and was released in 2008. After it was first released only on vinyl, now the CD-version is available as well. The band recorded eight great Stoner Rock songs for "Roadkill". "Black Hole" reminds very much of a band like KYUSS, it's a great song with a fantastic groove and catchy vocals. Of course Peter's voice is very recognizable. The music is very heavy, raw, dirty and loud. Especially the first three songs, "Orange County Raceway", "Black Hole" and "Jesus Chrysler Superbuick" are really strong. "Dia De Los Muertos" isn't bad, but it's my less favourite track of the album. "Roadkill" has a great sound and especially the bass sound is very HEAVY. "All Systems Go" and "Adrenaline" are some nice songs as well. But "Miranda Warning" (with some spacey guitars halfway the song) and the last track "Wrecking Ball" are two other strong songs. Anyway, REPOMEN delivers a fantastic debut album with "Roadkill", which tastes for more.
Visit their website: http://www.the-repomen.com
Recordlabel: http://www.suburban.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/repomenrocks

88/100

RESURRECTURIS – Non Voglio Morire (CD & DVD) Italy June 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Death Metal Running time: 41:26 (Tracks: 13)
Such a strange country when it comes to metal: "Italy". I have never heard a "normal" sounding band coming from this country (except Necrodeath) Besides them and maybe a few other there also hasn't really came much quality from the "cerulean blues". I am afraid Resurrecturis won't change much about this. I really like it when a band tries to be different soundwise. Resurrecturis although sound completely odd throughout the most of their songs. For example: The first song starts with a blastbeat and some good grunts but later on we hear a woman singing, a bad Metallica imitation: "Calling our names" and some clean vocals with an Italian accent written all over it, some metalcore parts, etc. Why is it so difficult for Italian bands to stick to one sound and produce something normal sounding? It makes the record sound inconsistent. Sometimes great:"The Origin", sometimes bad: The Artist" Resurrecturis can celebrate their 20 year existence next month but to me it's like having a band for almost 20 years and still don't know which style you want to play. And that's a pity because the bandmembers know how to play their instruments and "Non Volglio Morire" is blessed with a good production. The label sent us the complete version of the cd with DVD. And this DVD has a professional video clip where most bands will be jealous of, a making of, gallery and some live stuff. Work done by professional people and a label that seems to fully believe in the band. I think this band has almost everything to become much bigger if they could just stick to one style.
Visit their website: http://www.resurrecturis.com
Recordlabel: http://www.coprorecords.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/resurrecturis

65/100

SACRED DAWN – Gears Of The Machine: A New Beginning (CD) USA June 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: US Metal / Power Metal / Prog Metal Running time: 57:07 (Tracks: 13)
SACRED DAWN is a four piece band from Chicago, Illinois, USA who was formed in 2005. On this debut album "Gears Of The Machine: A New Beginning", which originally has been released in 2006 (and in 2008 released on Nightmare Records), the line-up of SACRED DAWN exist of Lothar Keller (lead vocals, guitar), John Vitale (guitar, backing vocals), Joey Vega (bass) and Brad "Sabbath" Sabathine (drums). But according to their official site and MySpace page the line-up has been changed in the meantime, because Michael Carpenter is the new guitarist and Eddie Foltz is the new drummer of the band. With the first track of the album "(Worlds Apart) The Desire" I had to think of the early FATES WARNING and IRON MAIDEN, great song. The music of SACRED DAWN exists of different styles of metal. There's some Power Metal, US Metal and Prog Metal influences. The band has in Keller a very good and varied singer. Sometimes he sings low, but can also sing high. I don't know the reason why Vitale and Sabathine have been replaced, but Vitale is a great guitarist and Sabathine is a very technical drummer. So, the band recorded twelve self penned songs and one cover, which is the last track of the album and is a nice version of "Devil Went Down To Georgia" of the CHARLIE DANIELS BAND. In my opinion the best songs of this album are "(Worlds Apart) The Desire", "Master Of Thought", "I'm The One", "Walls Of Jericho", "Asmodeus" (great drums) and "Soldier's Plea". If you like bands as FATES WARNING, DREAM THEATER, IRON MAIDEN, NEVERMORE etcetera, then SACRED DAWN is absolutely a band worth checking out for you. The band started working on their second album in March of this year.
Visit their website: http://www.sacreddawn.com
Recordlabel: http://www.nightmare-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sacreddawnmusic

83/100

SAIDIAN – Evercircle (CD) Germany June 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 56:02 (Tracks: 10)
SAIDIAN is a German five piece band existing of Markus (Engel) Engelfried (vocals), Rodrigo Blattert (guitars), Stephan Lüddemann (bass), Bernd Heining (drums) and Markus Bohr (keyboards). The band was formed in 2004 by keyboardplayer Bohr. So far SAIDIAN has released two previous albums, which are "…For Those Who Walk The Path Forlorn" (2005) and "Phoenix" (2006). Now three years after "Phoenix" these Germans released their third album "Evercircle". For me, "Evercirlce" is my first acquaintance with the band, and I must say that when I heard the first song "Out Of The Shadows", I immediately had to think of HELLOWEEN. Also Engelfried sounds very much like Michael Kiske, although it sounds like he's not always singing in tune. But "Out Of The Shadows" is a fantastic melodic power metal song. Second track of the album is "Tokyo", and is in my opinion one of the less songs, because it sounds pretty much the same all the time. "Solomon's Dance" is a song which also reminds me a bit of DREAM THEATER. Musically the band exists of good musicians anyway. Best songs are "Out Of The Shadows", "Solomon's Dance", "Pale Moon Rider", "Stroke Of Genius" and "Sign In The Sky". If you're a fan of the period of HELLOWEEN with Michael Kiske and you like DREAM THEATER, then you will like this band too.
Visit their website: http://www.saidian.de
Recordlabel: http://www.blisteringrecords.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/saidianband

76/100

SCROTUM – Osculum Scrotum (MCD) The Netherlands June 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Death Metal Running time: 21:18 (Tracks: 5)
I got this cd from Mario and thought; what the fuck is this! I listened to it and got the humour of songs like 'hard menstruating cuntcore', 'granny's pusscunt', 'fontanel fucking', 'beerhunter' and 'osculum scrotum'. Oldschool deathmetal with raw vocals and kick ass drums. But there was something missing. So I tried to figure out what. Then some friends called and then I knew. BEEER!!!! So I went to the Bockenrijder and had some trappist met (note Mario: Belgium beer with sirop). After a few beers I walked home which took me a while and listened to Scrotum again. Yes!!! This is the right time to write the review. This is the way to enjoy and appreciate Scrotum.These former members of Sinister and Judgement Day know how to play but they don't take themselves to seriously like so many bands do. And wait for the hidden track. Hilarious. Can't help it but I can't stop smiling now. Finally a band who gets it. And guys, that bbq looks good. (I'm not waiting for an invitation. Or am I !!!)
Visit their website: http://www.scrotum.tk

73/100 or
85/100 with a trappist

SLOUGH FEG – Ape Uprising (CD) USA June 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 37:33 (Tracks: 8)
Slough Feg has been around for many years. During its career the band has ventured across many different sounds and styles, always heavy but with a 70ies attitude. In my opinion the band reached its creative peak with the unsurpassable "Traveller" album. Right after this masterpiece the band diminished the power metal elements and went for a more psychedelic 70ies approach. The albums that followed, "Atavism" and "Hardworlder" (you can find a review written by me on this site) are great albums but clearly inferior to the perfect 10 which is "Traveller".
"Ape Uprising" is a mix between "Atavism" and "Hardworlder" only a bit doomier the Sabbath way. Folk elements are once again present. The album has brought once again great controversy among the fans but I find it strangely attractive. I have been a Slough Feg fan for so many years and I believe that I will always find the band's works familiar sounding and endearing. This IS a classic Slough Feg album so I urge the fans to check it out.
Visit their website: http://www.sloughfeg.com
Recordlabel: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sloughfeg

80/100

STEADLÜR – Steadlür (CD) USA June 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Glam / Sleaze Rock / Punk Running time: 36:29 (Tracks: 12)
The latest rock sensation from Atlanta, Georgia, USA is called STEADLÜR and released their self-titled debut album on Roadrunner Records. STEADLÜR was formed by the brothers Philip and Dallas Anthony. The line-up of STEADLÜR exists of Philip Anthony (lead vocals, guitar), Thomas Gonzalez (guitar, vocals), Daniel Bruce (bass, vocals) and Dallas Anthony (drums, vocals). STEADLÜR plays a mixture of Glam/Sleaze Rock and Punk. Think of bands like MÖTLEY CRÜE, SUM 41, KISS, BLINK 182, SLEEZE BEEZ, GUNS 'N ROSES, POISON, THE OFFSPRING etcetera. Believe me, there's really no weak song to find on this debut album. All songs are so fuckin' catchy. If you have heard this album for the first time, you wanna hear it over and over again. It's very addictive. The average running time of the songs is about 3 minutes. And because the songs are so catchy, I'm sure STEADLÜR will also win lots of young female punk- and glamsters as their fans with this album. "Bumpin'" (great video, see their MySpace page) is the first single of this fantastic debut album, but there are much more single candidates to find on this album. And that's why I think this is gonna be a very successful album. Can we talk about "the next hype"….I don't know, but what the fuck…..it just sounds GREAT. Philip Anthony is a good singer, Gonzalez is a very skilled guitarist and the band has a very fine rhythm section. Although it's very hard to pick some favourites, because all songs are brilliant, I would say my favourites are "Poison" (kicks ass), "Bumpin'", "Turn It Up", "Whiskey And Women", "Time", "Barely Breathing" (great riff) and "Livin' A Lie". SUPERB debut album guys. We're gonna hear more of this band in the future that's for sure. I don't know if they will get that BIG, but time will tell.
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/steadlur

85/100

STORMNATT – The Crimson Sacrament (CD) Austria June 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Black Metal Running time: 45:14 (Tracks: 8)
At first I thought this would be a Norwegian black metal band because of the name but they come from Austria. I didn't have a bio of them and the cd cover is completely unreadable. Very annoying. The album is recorded in the Necromorbus Studio and the sound and mix are good. The vocals by Mord are typical black metal screams and nothing special. In the eight song, 'Upon the shores of solitude' he screams in a very stupid and ridiculous way. If it's done just for fun it's okay but if he is serious about it, don't do it again. The eight songs on this album all sound pretty similar and although they all have catchy melodies you can easily hum along with, like 'Soul 'Murder Ceremony' and 'The Omega Illumination', it starts to bore me after a while; But that has to do with the typical black metal way the guitar player Antimessiah plays. He doesn't vary enough and because they only have one guitar player it all sounds alike after a few songs. Too bad. And the tempo is constantly the same. Eight songs with the same mid tempo pass is enough to completely loose my concentration and I had a hard time listening to this album to the end. The true blackmetal fan will love this but I don't.
Recordlabel: http:// www.ashenproductions.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stormnatt

73/100

STREAM OF PASSION – The Flame Within (CD) The Netherlands June 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Gothic Metal Running time: 54:39 (Tracks: 13)
It's lonely at the top so they say. Well in Female fronted Gothic metal it's just gonna be even more crowded every month. With the release of "The Flame Within", Stream of Passion also climbs the stairs to the top of this genre with seven miles boots on. With a new line up they deliver a very fine album with a fantastic production. The band sounds very thight, full of energy and passion based on a solid and sometimes pretty heavy foundation. Opener "The Art Of Loss" is a fine diamond to begin with. The song combines everything the band wants to bring you. Heavy, orchestral and symphonic melodies are forged into catchy metalsongs filled with cool guitar riffs which are sometimes supported by piano and violin. It took the band four years to come up with a successor for "Embrace The Storm", but they spend their time well. All songs are based around the beautiful voice of Marcela Bovio and she accelerates in every track of the album. She gathered around her a very fine bunch of musicians where she can be very proud on. Personal fav is "A Part Of You" which is led in by a very heavy riff which reminds me of early Savatage. The band has even succeeded to stream Radiohead's "Street Spirit" in a passionate heavy way. Overall the songs offer enough alternating to keep your attention. Sometimes a bit dreamy but then followed by some shredding guitarwork. So to become to the final question; is there a future for them without masterbrain Lucassen himself ? Yes, there is no doubt about it. I guess Mr. Lucassen is going to be very proud about what his former partners in passion are letting loose on the Gothic Metal scene with this strong album.
Visit their website: http://www.streamofpassion.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/streamofpassionband

85/100

SUTUANA – Perdutamente (CD) Italy June 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Heavy Metal / Rock Running time: 51:42 (Tracks: 14)
'Endless love for music and fun.' This is what the promotional information paper stated. Love for music is definitely important as well as the fun factor, but when it comes to making music it also has to be appealing. To me, music is a beautiful form of art which can get to you, or not. For me, this Sutuana album doesn't. I've listened to this album for numerous times now and it is hard to lay my finger on it. The eighties rock is certainly not bad, but doesn't stand out from the countless other bands that also play this kind of music. You have to give them one thing though, and that is that they are surprisingly original. They don't stick with the traditional hard rock sound and use all kinds of influences in their music. Also the lyrics are sung in Italian which gives it a certain vibe. Conclusion: Sutuana is an original band an I am sure they will convince on stage, but with this album they haven't exactly caught my attention. Compliments on the artwork. If you are into this type of music it is really worth the purchase.
Visit their website: http://www.sutuana.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sutuana

60/100

THE LUCIFER PRINCIPLE – Welcome To Bloodshed (CD) The Netherlands June 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Death Metal. Running time: 41:14 (Tracks: 9)
The Lucifer Principle is a band that is fond to be of the limelight. The 2007 release "Pitch Black Dawn" was a debut not without merit which received overall good critics. With the new album the band will enter the premier league of death metal. "Welcome to Bloodshed" tells the story of a city that at first sight is friendly and welcoming but in reality is nothing more then a town full of murderers and violators. Made me think of one of Stephen King's books called: "Storm of the Century" Within the music there is surely just as much going on as in the town itself. You can blame The Lucifer Principle for being: melodic, catchy, groovy, brutal and their bio says you can even dance to their music. A lot of influences but still remarkable easy to listen to. This is because the song itself is standing central. The band never silts up in ordinary chaos or shoreless guitarplaying. All tings like for example guitarsolo's, the clean sung parts in the opening song serve the song. Besides this the band still uses a contra- bass which contributes to the overall heaviness of the record. Nice to hear the bass solo in the last song "Basement" with double bass drums underneath it and the guest vocals from Henri Sattler from God Dethroned in "Bond of Supremacy" As said there is so much to enjoy on this album that the concept really fits the music. Mix and mastering were in the hands of Jochem Jacobs from Textures while the band themselves produced the record. And I must say it sounds great. The band likes to call their music "Stompin' death metal" something that really comes forth with such a production. The band is also signed to Jagermeister for the Dutch demolition tour alongside The Monolith Deathcult and Deadcell. The future is looking bright for The Lucifer Principle!
Visit their website: http://www.theluciferprinciple.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tlpmetal

85/100

THORNIUM – Mushroom Clouds and Dusk (CD) Sweden June 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 36:49 (Tracks: 8)
Aahhhh….Thornium. Wasn't that the band that released a little cult album back in the day? The 1995 album "Dominions of the eclipse" never got the attention it deserved. Mainly because of the overkill of releases in the black metal scene from the mid nineties. It finally got the well deserved re-release last year (also on vinyl!) by the Kneel before the masters throne label. It wasn't until 2007 that the band chose to wake up from their hibernation and sign a 3-record deal with the mighty Soulseller records in 2008. At the time being Thornium only consists of one member: Thyph and besides that some live-members including Ulverheim who also played on the debut album. So what can we say about the new album? While the debut album was at times comparable to the first two Satyricon albums, "Mushroom clouds and dusk" is standing with both feet in 2009 but hasn't forgot it's nineties roots. This means much better use instruments, great production, stronger songmaterial fortunately never too clinical sounding. The material is mainly played at full speed with hints from Dark Funeral and the later Mayhem (guitars). Besides this the songs are full of really good guitar solo's. For example listen to the solo in the first song "Doden" (hear, hear!) or the mighty leads in "Horns and hoofs" The minor use of keys contribute to the evil atmosphere that is present during the whole album. Some people are talking about the 3 wave of black metal knocking at our doors. It is with this kind of releases I believe that black metal is resurrecting again. Go see them live in autumn with another cult band from Scandinavia: Black Crucifixion and the Dutchmen from Heretic. Welcome back Thornium!
Visit their website: http://www.thornium.com
Recordlabel: http://www.soulsellerrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thetruethornium

82/100

TYR - By the Light of the Northern Star (CD) Faroe Islands June 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Folk / Viking Metal Running time: 43:17 (Tracks: 9)
Viking metal band Tyr has released yet another album with the pagan heritage of their home country, The Faroer Islands, as the main theme. I never really was a fan of these guys but their live performance last month did make me look forward to this new album. Tyr always seemed to distinguish themselves from the other pagan bands by playing slower songs with an actual meaning in the lyrics and not just party music made for drunk moshpits. They also use a more folklore in their choice of instruments and sound. The new album has the same sound as the previous ones but has a bit more drive and faster songs. Also most of the songs are sung in English this time instead of in the band's native language. Overall this is not a bad record but I expected more from this band. Main problem for me is the guitars that sound as if they are replaced by a keyboard with a folk sound. If they would change the guitar sound and the lyrics we would have a very decent epic heavy metal band but now it's a record for the fans only. I'll never become a fan of this type of music and certainly not on cd because these guys just belong on stage with music that is meant to be played live.
Visit their website: http://www.tyr.net
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tyr1

61/100

UFO – The Visitor (CD) United Kingdom June 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 42:24 (Tracks: 10)
UFO have released their latest studio effort, the third album featuring guitarwiz Vinnie Moore. After "The Monkey Puzzle" I doubted if the band were able to pursue their career but after listening to "The Visitor" I know for a fact that this is not an issue anymore. Vinnie wrote over 30 tracks that Phil added lyrics to, and 10 tracks out of eventually 13 were selected to be put on the album, be it that the recordings were done in various places in Germany, England and the USA. Bassplayer Pete Way suffers from a liver disease and was not available in the recording process.
The UFO that we all knew from the legendary years has changed. The new album contains some great classic rock tunes with a big bluesy influence which is proven in opening track "Saving Me", but don't let this track fool you; there is some real rock 'n roll here, as well as Mexican and honky tonk influenced rocksongs. One should be impressed with the diversity of the songs and the professionalism this band still has to offer. What can I say? Vinnie Moore is a different player and composer than mr Schenker but that doesn't mean UFO can't put out good albums anymore! Guitarwise, Vinnie is just as good a master in what he does as mr S. and I commend him for being able to write such great songs for such a great and legendary band!
Visit their website: http://www.ufo-music.info
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de

88/100

ZERSTORER – Declaration of War (CD) Germany June 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Death / Grind Metal Running time: 37:08 (Tracks: 10)
Zerstorer, which means destroyer in English, is a three piece metal band hailing from Germany. For over a decade they are producing filthy, extreme and foremost brutal death metal with thrash and black influences. Since their formation in 1998, singer/guitarist Kremator is the only original band member left. He is also the main songwriter and finally found the time to come up with the second Zerstorer album 'Declaration of war.' I am not acquainted with their debut album 'Panzer Metal' so I will review their latest effort purely based on this particular CD. After hearing the first four songs I can only come to one conclusion: Now this is brutal! Songs like 'Metal Terror' and Hatred Rising' are straight forward compact tracks that makes you want to wreck things. You can really feel the aggression and hatred within the music. To me, the most interesting songs are in the middle section of the record. 'Pick Axe Blasphemy' and 'Total Frost' both have killers mid-tempo thrash riffs which will do excellent at a live show. Zerstorer tries to capture the brutality that once was created by bands like Abominator, Gospel of the horns and Destroyer 666. Although their tracks are brutal, they can't quite measure up to the previous mentioned bands. Not YET, that is to say. 'Declaration of war' is an interesting album with a good vibe, but for me it is hard to listen to it again and again. Why? Almost all of the songs are built upon one or two riffs. This way it is hard to stay focused and it tends to get a little dull at times. Nevertheless Zerstorer delivered a nice Death/Grind record and if they focus a little bit more on the diversity on the next album, I think they will get noticed a lot more.
Recordlabel: http://www.ashenproductions.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/zerstoererpanzermetal

70/100

MAY

69 CHAMBERS – War On The Inside (CD) Switzerland May 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Rock Running time: 55:44 (Tracks: 13)
69 CHAMBERS is a Swiss Rock/Metal trio which was formed in 2001 by Nina Treml. In the past the band had several line-up changes and they recorded a demo and an EP so far. The line-up on this full length debut album "War On The Inside" is Nina Treml (vocals, guitar), Maddy Madarasz (bass, backing vocals) and Michi Brugger (drums). The album features 13 songs and has a very good production, which was done by Tommy Vetterli (Coroner, Kreator). "War On The Inside" is a very varied album. It features metal, rock, doom and pop. Most of the songs are very accessible and catchy, and that's why I think this band can reach a wide audience. Nina Treml is a good looking woman (she's on the album cover as well), a fantastic songwriter and a great singer with a very catchy voice. Sometimes 69 CHAMBERS reminds me of bands like SLUNT, GUANO APES and CRUCIFIED BARBARA like on "The Day Of The Locust". "Judas Goat" is a heavy doom song with some faster metal parts. The last song of the album, "A Ruse", is an acoustic one. Anyway, very interesting and promising band with a fantastic debut album. I would say check them out yourself if you're curious about 69 CHAMBERS. I'm sure we're gonna hear more of this Swiss trio in the future. My favourite songs are "The Day Of The Locust", "Bloodaxe", "Thinking About You", "Return Of The Repressed", the semi acoustic "Wind Feeds Fire" and "Dead Letter Office". Let's hope they will come over and do some shows in Holland, so we can go see them live.
Visit their website: http://www.69chambers.com
Recordlabel: http://www.silverwolf-productions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/69chambers

80/100

AGATHODAIMON - Phoenix (CD) Germany May 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Dark Metal Running time: 63:00 (Tracks: 12)
Germany's leading dark metal band Agathodaimon have finally released their fifth album '"Phoenix", 5 years after their latest record. The fact that it took the band over 4 years to complete this album makes people expect an album that sounds complete and well thought off. After the first spin of this cd I wasn't convinced that the band actually needed 5 years for this but after I gave it a few more turns the album did grow on me. What you can hear is a great mix of all different styles raging from gothic to black metal. Musically the album always has a dark lingering feeling about itself and the combination of 3 types of vocals makes the layering complete. Even though I'll never be a black metal fan and therefore never like the screams that form the main part of the vocals I must admit that they fit perfectly with the music and work together with the deep booming clean vocals and the occasional grunts as a harmony. This album is quite long and needs attention to be appreciated completely but someone who is willing will enjoy this record a lot.
Visit their website: http://www.agathodaimon.de
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/agathodaimon

72/100

ALESTORM - Black Sails at Midnight (CD) Scotland May 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Scottish Pirate Metal Running time: 46:19 (Tracks: 10)
After the success of their first release a lot of people where looking forward to the second album of Scottish pirate metallers Alestorm. The band, only started in 2006, are growing to become a very successful project with their first headlining tour coursing through Europe right now. The new album delivers us more of the same songs about pirates but definitely has a different sound than the previous. The album has a more bombastic sound and puts more attention on the keyboards. This change is really for the better as the band created 10 great songs on this cd. Those songs can actually be divided into two types. First of we have the happy folkisch songs that will do great live and create great atmosphere no doubt. On the other hand we have the more bombastic songs that could have easily figured in a pirate movie soundtrack. The vocals are as usual very fitting with the music but not that good in technical quality, although nobody will probably care as the total package is really good an this music will be loved by fans and probably will create a great live show. Recommended for the fans of power and folk metal.
Visit their website: http://www.alestorm.net
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/alestorm

87/100

BAI BANG – Are You Ready (CD) Sweden May 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Glam Rock Running time: 33:54 (Tracks: 10)
BAI BANG is a Swedish melodic Rock band who exists, looking at their discography, at least since the mid/late eighties. So far they have released the following albums "Enemy Lines" (1989), "Cop To Con" (1992), "Riding High" (1996) and "Attitude" (2001). In 2006 there was also a compilation album released titled "Best Of Bai Bang". So, after eight years BAI BANG releases their fifth studio album titled "Are You Ready". Anyway, the line-up of the band is: Diddi Kastenholt (vocals), Pelle Eliaz (guitar), Joacim Sandin (bass) and Jonas Langebro (drums). Well, it's just a shame they came up after eight years with only 10 songs with a total running time of just 34 minutes.
I would say these guys are influenced by bands like DEF LEPPARD, GUNS 'N ROSES, RATT, BON JOVI etcetera. It all sounds nice, but nothing special. Kastenholt is a good singer but not a very notable one. Besides nice rockers like "I Love The Things You Hate", "Born To Rock" and "Party Queen", there's one ballad on this album, which is "Only The Best Die Young". And that's a real cliché ballad if you ask me. On this ballad, Ryan Roxie (ALICE COOPER, ELECTRIC BOYS) is doing a guest solo. Anyway, like I said before, it all sounds nice, but it's not very original. It's like I've heard it all before. If you like the above mentioned bands, then check this band out.
Visit their website: http://www.baibang.se
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/baibang

74/100

BLOODBOUND – Tabula Rasa (CD) Sweden May 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 40:56 (Tracks: 10)
Bloodbound was formed in 2004 by guitarist Tomas Olsson and keyboardist Fredrik Bergh. After the recordings of a demo, which was sent to several labels, they signed a deal with Metal Heaven. Their first album "Nosferatu" from 2006 was a straight up power metal release. Their second album with new vocalist Michael Bormann (Jaded Heart, Bonfire) was a more catchy melodic metal album. For the release of their third album "Tabula Rasa", vocalist Urban Breed (Tad Morose, Pyramaze), who also sung on their first album, returned to Bloodbound. For me, Urban fits much better for the music of Bloodbound than Michael Bormann. He gives them a more powerful touch. The songs on "Tabula Rasa" are a mix of melodic and power metal with a progressive touch also. "Book Of The Dead" was a bit a disappointment for me, but their new album is much better again, as good as their debut "Nosferatu". Most of all, their "new" sound reminds me of the latest Nocturnal Rites albums. Released by the excellent new record label Blistering Records from Sweden, which also released the new Lion's Share album.
Visit their website: http://www.bloodbound.se
Recordlabel: http://www.blisteringrecords.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bloodboundonline

83/100

BLOOD RED THRONE - Souls of Damnation (CD) Norway May 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death Metal Running time: 38:44 (Tracks: 9)
2 years after their latest record Norway's leading death metal act Blood Red Throne has released a new album, 'Souls of Damnation'. It's funny how a death metal band coming from a country that has produced so many legendary black metal bands can become such a hit in the scene. The fact that the band sounds as every decent death metal band should sound probably is the main reason, although the reputation of some of the band members might have something to do with it also. This new album is a logic successor to the previous albums and contains everything a good death metal album needs: great riffing, pounding drums and awesome vocals. Add some nice solo's and a bass player that actually adds something to the music and you got yourself a kick ass death metal album. The black metal roots tend to come out from time to time on the album with some more harsh vocals and a more raw sound in the guitars but that really doesn't annoy me in the slightest even though I can't stand black metal. If you're a death metal fan you should have been looking forward to this one for months, so go buy it!
Recordlabel: http://www.earache.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bloodredthrone666

93/100

CARNEIA - White Coma Light (CD) Belgium May 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Alternative Metal Running time: 57:27 (Tracks: 7)
Carneia is an alternative metal band that started out in 2007 and is inspired by bands like Tool. And you can hear that. The band is Jan Couldron – vocals, Thomas Combes – guitar, Jille Vandromme – guitar, Terence Gevaert – drums, Kristof van Iseghem- bass. I can`t find a lot of info about the guys themselves so I don`t know what they did before Carneia except that Carneia rose of the ashes of the heavy rock band Kyunin. This is their first full length album and was recorded at the end of 2007. The songs are well written and it sounds like the band put a lot of thought in it. It sounds like the band members are playing together for years. But the production could have been a lot fatter. But the comparison with Tool you can't deny but it isn't irritating or less than Tool because the guys really can play and write songs and the singer Jan can sing. He is really very good and sings with a lot of feeling. But the rest can play the music with a lot of sphere and tension and I think this is a band that will do very well on festivals. I can't find a bad thing on this cd. Well done guys!! The only reason I give this cd a 75 is because I'm not a fan of the genre and I think that people who are will give it a much higher score.
Recordlabel: http://www.offerandumrecords.be
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/carneia

75/100

CIRKUS – Let The Madness Begin (CD) Sweden May 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Glam / Hard Rock / Southern Running time: 34:08 (Tracks: 9)
CIRKUS is a Swedish four piece band existing of Roux'd (vocals), Snetan (guitar), Maston (bass) and Ric (drums). According to their biography, their former three EP's "Let The Madness Begin Part 1" (2005), "Shut Up N' Suck" (2006) and "Metal Head" (2007) were very successful. Personally I doubt if these EP's were successful, because what CIRKUS is presenting on this full length album "Let The Madness Begin" isn't very special. It's more moderate 80's style Glam or '70's Hard Rock. Most of the songs are more of the same and very dated. By the way, all bass parts on this album were played by someone called Dee. The album starts with the annoying intro "Let The Madness Begin" followed by "Thashy". "Everlong Lasting" sounds nice, but takes to long (6:01) if you ask me. "Walking Diesese" and "Crazy" are two nice Southern Rock songs and on these songs they remind me a little bit of RAGING SLAB and LYNYRD SKYNYRD. CIRKUS also recorded one cover on their album, which is T-REX's "Get It On". This version doesn't add anything to the original version and sounds just nice. In my opinion the best songs are "Walking Diesese" and "Crazy". All with all I only can say that CIRKUS is just one of those many moderate bands.
Visit their website: http://www.cirkusmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cirkusmusic

65/100

COVERED CALL – Money Never Sleeps (CD) SwedenE May 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 42:18 (Tracks: 10)
"Covered Call" is an investment term, which is appropriate since several of the band members have day jobs as stock traders. The first thing I noticed about Covered Call was their powerful vocalist. He sounded familiar and then I read the band's biography and it turns out that their singer is Thomas Vikstrom, who sang on Candlemass's underrated "Chapter VI". He sings with so much power and conviction that his voice alone is enough to make this album worth your time. "All Because of Me", "Shine" and the title track are sounding great because of Vikstrom's amazing voice.
But on the other hand, the album as a whole sounds very 80s, the production is OK but I miss something. I miss a spark, caused by excellent songs, with guitar solos that we also know the 80s rock had…. The band obviously is inspired by bands like Thin Lizzy and Bon Jovi but unfortunately Covered Call fails to produce an album with constant quality songs. The above mentioned, plus the ballad "Anything You Want" stand out between the rest but 4 songs out of 11 is not enough for a rating in the highest ranks..
Oh…almost forgot…what a horrible cover art !
Visit their website: http://www.coveredcall.se
Recordlabel: http://www.blisteringrecords.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coveredcall

70/100

CRIMSON FALLS - Fragments of Awareness (CD) Belgium May 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Brutal Death Metal / Metalcore Running time: 44:29 (Tracks: 11)
Fragments of Awareness is the new album by one of Belgium's finest brutal bands Crimson Falls. The band plays a mix of death metal and brutal metalcore and delivers a solid album as a follow up to their hailed debut " The True Face of Human Nature". On this album the band sounds more mature which relates to the complexity of the songs. Allthough the concept of the bands remains the same: brutal metalcore riffs that flow neatly into breakdowns all supported by a sickinly fast and technical drum and a brutal mix of vocals that range from deep grunting over squeals and very high screams. The songs on the album vary between old school hardcore and brutal death metal but mostly linger somewhere in between. I'm not the biggest fan of metalcore and again I'm thankful for the 'With All Due Respect' intermezzo and the short length of the album because after a while it all becomes a bit of the same old and even though I'm still overwhelmed by the fast technical drumming and the great vocals I start to get a bit bored. The fans of this genre probably won't have this problem and I do advise everyone who's into brutal death metal and metalcore to check these guys out.
Visit their website: http://www.crimsonfalls.com
Recordlabel: http://www.genetrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/crimsonfalls

74/100

DARK THE SUNS – All Ends in Silence (CD) Finland May 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Melodic Dark Metal Running time: 45.00 (Tracks: 10
Dark the Suns play Melodic Gothic/Death Metal which gets his Darkness from the voice of Mikko Ojala. This guy is also the main man in the band because Dark the Suns was originally founded as Mikko's solo project in 2005. He made a demo called "Sleeping Beauty", took care of all the instruments and got himself a deal with Firebox for two albums. After putting a band together the first result was there in 2007 with their debut album " In Darkness Comes Beauty". This is their second one and i must say it isn't bad at all. The album is full of energetic melodies creating a dark, melancholic atmosphere which sounds even catchy. It sometimes reminded me of the old Theatre of Tragedy. The voice of Mikko creates a malaise feeling over the songs, but it has lack of variation. Sometimes it works brilliant like in "All Ends in Silence" (when you hear the man whisper/speaking "I grieve in darkness ......" you really get the feeling your are completely desperate and left alone in some finish forrest), but during the album it makes the songs exchangeable. That is a pity because the sound is great and the band is very well capable of playing this stuff. If you are into some melodic mid tempo mournful stuff with a light touch which is well produced than this is something for you.
Visit their website: http://www.darkthesuns.com
Recordlabel: http://www.firebox.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/darkthesuns

71/100

DEREK SHERINIAN – Molecular Heinosity (CD) USA May 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 39:48 (Tracks: 9)
Derek Sherinian may be synonymous with keyboards, his name commands respect amongst the guitar and bass set. In the past, Sherinian has recruited Yngwie Malmsteen, Slash, John Petrucci, Tony Franklin, Billy Sheehan, Steve Lukather, Rusty Cooley and of course, Zakk Wylde to his ventures. These guys are not the least in todays music business so one could easily think this is a musical masterpiece. That would be the case, seeing Zakk Wylde, Tony Franklin and Virgil Donati in the list of musicians. Sherinian also played in Dream Theater (oh…did I say something new? J)
And for the fans of progrock, his sixth soloalbum is a killer! Musical structures are very intelligent ("hard to follow", some might say) and the musicianship that is displayed here is simply phenomenal. Some might say they miss vocals but I fail to see where vocals could add anything useful to Dereks music. I also hear an astonishing Zakk Wylde ("Primal Eleven"…WOW!! But he should stay away from doing any vocal parts) and I could go on forever. Fact is that this keyboard orientated album has (I would say) equally important guitar parts which gives this album a lot of aggressiveness…and I love it !
Visit their website: http://www.dereksherinian.com
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dereksherinian2008

90/100

DESERT SIN – The Edge of Horizon (CD) Austria May 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 52:55 (Tracks: 11)
A melodic metal band from Austria? You probably mean Germany right? No. This band is definitely from Austria and goes by the name of Desert Sin. This heavy melodic metal group started out nearly a decade ago under the name of SICK-U-R and released two demo's under that name. Especially the last one 'Zero Hour' was very well received by both critics and fans. With this demo, the band decided to recruit an extra guitar player. The line-up then was, and still is: Sandro Holzer on vocals and guitar, Stefan Entner on guitar, Rainer Fischer on bass, Roman Fischer on keys and Herald Vogl on the drums. Finally they have released their debut album on the Pure Steel Records label which is called 'The Edge of Horizon.' It is always nice to see a band who took their time before releasing an album. Nowadays a lot of bands seem to skip the demo period and come up straight with a full length. Often with a lack of qualitative material. No, not Desert Sin. They are now picking the fruits of their labor and can be very proud of their first full length. The music can best be described as melodic heavy metal with a symphonic twist. The album contains everything you can expect within this kind of music as well as the lyrics. The biggest plus of this band is probably the use of extremely catchy melody lines in combination with the ear-catching refrains. Personal favorites already are 'The Summoner' and the title track 'Edge of Horizon.' Also worth mentioning is the powerful voice of singer Sandro Holzer. Let's hope he knows all the cliché poses on stage so the picture is complete. Desert Sin certainly put Austria on the metal map! Nice record.
Visit their website: http://www.desertsin.net
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/desertsinband

82/100

DISBELIEF – Protected Hell (CD) Germany May 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Death / Groove Metal. Running time: 48:09 (Tracks: 12)
"Protected Hell" is Disbelief's 8th studio album in 12 years. A very productive band one could say. In the 19 years that the band exists they spent most of their time under the big names in the metalscene. Sure they released some quality albums in nineties but somehow they never seemed to be picked up by a larger public. I don't think "Protected Hell" will change that although I do think that the fans of the band will have a perfect addition to their collection. The new album is produced by Michael Mainx, mastered by Tue Madsen and sounds great! Precisely the powerful production this kind of music needs. How does Disbelief sound like? Well this is Death Metal with lots of groove parts. Catchy song material and one of the most important things these days: recognizable songs. Its obvious that nowadays lots of albums sound the same. And its not possible to keep songs apart. Disbelief manages that problem perfect. A song like "Nemesis Rising" will not leave your head for days. Such a powerful chorus, and ditto screams because that's another strong thing about this record the vocals are drenched with hate. Karsten "Jagger" Jager must be really frustrated when the vocals were recorded. Other thing that must be mentioned are the bass parts. They really rumble its way through the record contributing to the massive sound of the record. Strong song material, fantastic production, good musicianship, Why isn't the score a little bit higher? Simply for the same reason why I don't know that Disbelief doesn't play the major league. Maybe it's the same reason why Job questions God: Job asks: "I have always been an good servant but you gave me a thousand horrible diseases and all because you had a bet going with the Devil"? "All I want to know God is: Why me?" Job waits and just when he's about to convince himself that God is not going to answer a thunderhead forms into the sky, lightning flashes and God answers: "Well Job there's just something about you that pisses me off"! Job deserved more just like Disbelief does! (note: I'm no preacher)
Visit their website: http://www.disbelief.de
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/disbeliefmetal

78/100

DRONE - Juggernaut (CD) Germany May 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Thrash / Speed Metal Running time: 43:17 (Tracks: 10)
If you are into the music of Machine Head you might want to give this album a try. As a matter of fact, Drone can be seen as this band's little brother. Drone first was noticed when they won the international Wacken Metal Battle in 2006. As winners they were offered to record their excellent debut album "Head-On Collision". I remember that when I bought this album, I was very impressed with their sound. The subtle mixture of Bay Area bands like Testament and the slightly modern twist of Machine Head has proven to be a successful combination. Mind-blowing riffs with unexpected breaks and killer vocals have made this album, at least in my opinion, one of the best debut albums of 2006. After the release Drone started touring and played all across Europe amongst Overkill and many others. Their reputation was growing quickly and the reviews were positive. I was really looking forward to this follow up album 'Juggernaut.' Luckily Mario has send me this promo so I can even give my opinion about this highly anticipated record. I can honestly say that Drone has done a nice job with this record, but I also have some mixed feelings. The song structures are a bit more complex and so are the breaks which brings a lot of variation. Although I sometimes get the feeling that they focus to much on the inventive parts rather than on the actual song itself. This makes it sound a bit to forced and that is a shame. I can conclude that 'Juggernaut' is not their best effort so far, but nevertheless it is a great album which has a lot to offer. I am sure that they will gain a lot of (young) fans when they go on tour with Ektomorf supporting this album.
Visit their website: http://www.droneband.de
Recordlabel: http://www.wackenrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dronemetal

82/100

EPOCHATE – Chronicles Of A Dying Era (CD) Italy May 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Industrial Rock / Metal Running time: 43:10 (Tracks: 9)
EPOCHATE was formed in 2008 by Victor Love (DOPE STARS INC.) and Noras Blake (SPINEFLESH, EDENYZED). And I must admit, I was really surprised by this fantastic album. From the first song "Chronicles Of A Dying Era" until the last one "Of Shade And Light" this is a very fascinating album. EPOCHATE's music is very varied and difficult to classify. Their music is a mixture of Industrial, Rock, Electronica and soundtrack music. These two Italians recorded 9 tracks for this debut album and are both multi instrumentalists. Victor Love is the singer and plays guitar, synthesizer, drum machine and orchestral programming. And Noras Blake plays synthesizer, drum machine, orchestral programming, samples and backing vocals. Anyway, there's a lot of atmosphere on this album and really there's no song that bores me. When I listened to "Chronicles Of A Dying Era" I sometimes had to think of bands like DIE KRUPPS, OOMPH and WHITE ZOMBIE (of their "Supersexy Swingin' Sounds"). Okay, EPOCHATE is less heavy, but it all sounds fantastic. Some favourites are: "1600 A.D.", "Substania", "Creators", "Needle Hive" and "Introspection". Even the two songs "Substania" and "Needle Hive" are both songs which could be successful in the alternative dance circuit, because of the beats. The album has a very good production, which was done by Love himself. Very interesting album of these Italians. If you are curious yourself, check them out.
Visit their website: http://www.epochate.com
Recordlabel: http://www.subsoundrecords.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/epochate

84/100

ETHAN BROSH – Out Of Oblivion (CD) USA May 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Rock / Metal Running time: 44:15 (Tracks: 11)
Ethan was born in New York, but grew up in Israel where he learned to play both electric and classical guitar. On his first solo album "Out Of Oblivion" he demonstrates that he's a very skilled acoustic and electric guitarist. His guitar style is very melodic, with nice themes and without shredding too much. Guest musicians on his album are Mike Mangini (drums) and the guitarists George Lynch, Greg Howe and Joe Stump. Ethan's songs are most comparable with stuff from guitarists such as Vinnie Moore, George Lynch, Joe Satriani and Tamas Szekeres. Art work was done by Derek Riggs and the album was mixed by Chris Tsangarides, so not only the songs are great but also the presentation of the album is excellent!
Visit their website: http://www.ethanbrosh.com
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ethanbrosh

87/100

FAIRYLAND – Score To A New Beginning (CD) France May 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Symphonic Metal Running time: 49:47 (Tracks: 10)
Fairyland was formed in 1998 by keyboardist Phillippe Giordana together with bassist/drummer Willdric Lievin. After a few demos their music evolved more and more into epic fantasy material. Willdric left the band in 2003 and at this moment Phillippe is the only one left in the band. For this album he hired a whole bunch of musicians to complete this third album which is also the end of the Osyrhia trilogy. On this one the masterbrain worked with several vocalists and that surely ads an extra dimension to this kind of music. Packed in a beautiful album cover which makes you longing back to the good old days of vinyl, the mastermind brings us an imposing, bombastic masterpiece which is filled with virtuous guitar leads and symphonic keyboard melodies. He gathered himself with some skilful musicians and the sound of the album is produced very well. Overall I have nothing to complain about this album. It listens away pretty easily and the songs are yet even ingenious as catchy. The two instrumentals "Opening Credits" and "Rise of the Giants" are nothing less than mini soundtracks. Best songs, when I have to name some, are "Master of the Waves" (with a bombastic orchestral opening), "A Soldiers Letter" (catchy as hell, sing a long !), "Godsent" (with spoken words) and the fast "The Gates Of Morken:" The only disadvantage is that I hear some Nightwishcopy back in a few songs, but hey, you can't have everything. It's a great accomplishment when you are able to fulfil your ideas combining so much instruments and vocals to one solid sounding album. Fans of Blind Guardian, Rhapsody of Fire, Symphony X etc. certainly will like this stuff. Chapeau !
Visit their website: http://www.fairyland-metal.com
Recordlabel: http:// www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fairylandfantasia

85/100

GRENDEL- A Change through Destruction (CD) Finland May 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 47:45 (Tracks: 10)
According to their bio these guys are the new Amorphis. I don't see that at all. They call their music melodic death metal but they should call it poppy death metal or pop metal. They were in the Finnish charts in the first week of the release and I can totally understand that. It is radio music. Nothing wrong with that if you like that genre. They started in 1999 and released several demo's so they are experienced enough. This is their second cd and it's not really my thing. It's to poppy for me. The first song 'One Desire' is also the best song. I like the grunts and even the catchy refrain but after that it all sounds the same to me. The clean vocals by singer Mikko Virtanen and even the grunts aren't bad but the rest of the cd sounds like one song. The songs are very catchy but a bit of a bore. But I know there are a lot of people who like this genre and even I can see myself singing along with the radio but nothing more than that.
Visit their website: http://www.grendelband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.firebox.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/grendel

65/100

GRENOUER – Presence With War (CD) Russia May 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Death Metal Running time: 43:00 (Tracks: 10)
Formed in 1992, in the heart of the Western Ural Mountain Range of Russia, life for Grenouer began as a Brutal Death Metal outfit. And following the usual array of demos, the band were hauled into Moscow to record their debut 'Border of Misty Times'. Three full lengths followed and proved equally succesfull, and having evolved from the death metal formula to a redefined and hard to categorise original take on the genre. The band released last year their fifth album ' TRY' which was a re-release of album number four to a world wide market and is available for the first time outside their native Russia. The band are currently signed to the Spanish label Locomotive. This is their 6th album, or actually their fifth, but anyway their latest effort, and should appeal to fans of Meshuggah, Pantera, Faith No More, Clawfinger according to the info. After a short military intro 'Mercenary Fields' sets in, a good and heavy song, with grunting vocals and a very good and heavy production. Grenouer delivers a good album overall, but the only bad thing they better had left out, is the Recoiler Remix of 'Clonetwigs'. Instead they better had put a song like 'Sex Optica' on it, nice up tempo and heavy. The lyrics handle mostly about army life and war as far as I understand it, and the album sounds really groovy, not the most original sound, but then again who is these days. Some real heavy songs like 'Clonetwigs' (the original, NOT the remix) or 'The Choice Of Flesh' make the album a good average metal album, also through the heavy production. No real surprises, except for a negative one in the form of the mentioned remix, also 'A Farewell To Arms' isn't a real song but more of an outro, after which you better stop listening, for the only thing left is the remix, and it brings the album down.
Visit their website: http://www.grenouer.com
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotivemusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/grenouer

72/100

IN SOLITUDE – In Solitude (CD) Sweden May 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 36:30 (Tracks: 8)
Swedish powerhouse In Solitude was formed in the dawn of the new millennium by 5 young but talented musicians. This is the band's debut album. "In Solitude" is a recording of pure heavy metal with a great deal of authentic 80s feeling. The first band that comes to mind as an influence is Mercyful Fate. Actually the band's sound is a mix of King Diamond, Heavy Load and Mercyful Fate pretty much in the same vein as their fellow countrymen Portrait. Music made with love and respect towards their icons. Traditional heavy metal albums made with the 80s recipe are hard to come by and this is one worth checking out.
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/insolitudeheavymetal

80/100

KATEDRA – Ugnikalnis (CD) Lithuania May 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 40:13 (Tracks: 10)
This is the fourth album by long existing metallers Katedra from Lithuania, as they started out already in 1986! The band played a lot of live performances on festivals, local as well as abroad, and build up a good reputation. At the end of 1990 their debut album 'Mors Ultima Ratio' appeared and was sold out in only 2 weeks time. In '92 their second album 'Natus in Articulo Mortis' came out and was praised by reviewers worldwide. In 1994 the band broke up for about 5 years, to be reborn in 1999. After some line-up changes and performing some festivals over the years, and even appearing in German scary movie "Rats 2", they released their third album 'III' in 2006 when they also celebrated their 20th anniversary. In 2008 the band signed a contract with Atra Musica Records company for the release of their new fourth album 'Ugnikalnis' (Volcano). Katedra makes very strong metal, and they are really skilled musicians, their new album sounds very mature and heavy. Also the album has a good production, only thing is that the vocals are all in Lithuanian language, can't make anything of it, but then again, it isn't really disturbing cause the music speaks for itself! Great album from a great band, just give it a try, they know their metal! Their music has a bit of everything, thrash metal, classic heavy metal, there's even an instrumental track on the album, it makes it all more diverse, and it doesn't get boring at all, very enjoyable album!
Visit their website: http://www.katedrainrock.com
Recordlabel: http://www.atra-musica.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/katedrainrock

79/100

LION'S SHARE – Dark Hours (CD) Sweden May 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 44:07 (Tracks: 11)
Lion's Share returned to the musical front in 2007 after six years of silence with the powerful album "Emotional Coma". Away with sweet melodies, welcome to the power. The power is also the main dish on the new Lion's Share menu; guitarist and bandleader Lars Chriss got Patrik Johansson on vocals and he is one of the main characteristics on the album. A powerful voice, guided by powerful guitar riffs and a pounding rhythm section are the ingredients of "Dark Hours".
"Judas must De" kicks off, and it is not surprising that the band also shot a video for this song. I must admit that certain parts of songs reminded me of other bands, like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and a couple of others. In "Heavy Cross To Bear", Johansson sounds a bit like Dio, where on other songs I feel he's more resembling Tony Martin. Michael Romeo was also invited to do a guest solo and it quite fits into this album. I haven't found any flaws on this album, so all powerfreaks, go to your shops and buy this one. It's a killer album!
Visit their website: http://www.lionsshare.org
Recordlabel: http://www.blisteringrecords.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lionsshare

87/100

LONG DISTANCE CALLING – Avoid The Light (CD) Germany May 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Post Rock / Prog Rock / Psychedelic Running time: 54:54 (Tracks: 6)
LONG DISTANCE CALLING is a German band which, although I have never heard of them before, really surprised me with their second album "Avoid The Light". In 2007 these Germans released their debut album, called "Satellite Bay". The band exists of David Jordan (guitar), Florian Füntmann (guitar), Jan Hoffmann (bass), Janosch Rathmer (drums) and Reimut van Bonn (ambience). As you can see there's no singer in the band. That's because L.D.C. is a complete instrumental band. Only on the fifth track "The Nearing Grave" there's some guest vocals from Jonas Renkse (KATATONIA). On "Satellite Bay" it was Peter Dolving (MARY BEATS JANE, THE HAUNTED) who did some guest vocals for L.D.C.. All songs on "Avoid The Light" are fantastic compositions and have all a very long running time. The shortest song takes 7:13 minutes ("Black Paper Planes") and the longest track takes 12:16 minutes ("Apparation"). And believe me, although these are all instrumental songs (except "The Nearing Grave" (7:42) of course), they really don't bore one moment. While listening to LONG DISTANCE CALLING's music, I personally had to think of PINK FLOYD many times. It's absolutely a very relaxing album with some heavier moments with great riffs as well, like "Black Paper Planes" and "I Know You, Stanley Milgram!" (10:20). Great album guys. It's almost like I'm listening to a soundtrack album. If you want to hear a brilliant album, don't avoid this one.
Visit their website: http://www.longdistancecalling.de
Recordlabel: http://www.superballmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/longdistancecalling

89/100

MASAAKI WATANUKI – The Beginning of The New Period (MCD) Japan May 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Guitar Rock / Metal Running time: 19:05 (Tracks: 5)
Masaaki Watanuki is another talented guitarist from Japan. In the past he played with Zard, a very famous Japanese artist. Masaaki also wrote some songs for Zard and some of them were hits in Japan.He also played with Kohshi Inaba, the vocalist of the B'z (a very famous Japanese rock band) on his solo concert tour in 2004. "The Beginning of The New Period" is Masaaki's first instrumental solo release, filled with 5 tracks. The first two tracks "Journey To The Promised Land" and "My Scare" are two nice melodic-neoclassical instrumental metal tracks in the style of Vinnie Moore, Michael Schenker, Kiki Loureiro and Uli J. and Zeno Roth. The third song "Ratrace Waltz" is a nice classical piece played by electric guitar. The last two songs "Memory of Silence" and "Tender Rain" are (as the titles already tell) two calmer songs, with a nice balance between acoustic and electric guitar. It are also the most emotional songs of this EP. Without any doubt a very good instrumental release by Masaaki, who also plays in the hardrock/metal band Absolute.
Visit their website: http://blog.livedoor.jp/masaaki_watanuki/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/masaakiwatanuki

88/100

MEMORIAL - In The Absence Of All Sacred (CD) Denmark May 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: (neo) Thrash Metal Running time: 42:34 (Tracks: 9)
After 10 years of hard work and tons of line-up changes Danish thrash metal band Memorial released a demo in 2007 which led them to some more live work and a European tour. The name they made on stage got these guys a record deal so they are now releasing their first full-length album " In The Absence Of All Things Sacred". The album starts of with a heavy doom riff which sounds nice and makes me expect more of this, but the intro is completely misplaced compared with the rest of the album. What follows is fast and aggressive neo-thrash metal with some progressive elements and a hint of death metal influences. The music is hard and brutal, the vocals are raw and there are a few solo's to link everything nicely together. Everything is there for me to like this music but I still find that something is missing and I guess that missing link is just originality because this just sounds like all the other new 'thrash' metal bands. If you like bands as Lamb of God you'll love this but if you're into old school thrash, don't bother you'll be disappointed.
Visit their website: http://www.memorial.dk
Recordlabel: http://www.coprorecords.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/memorialonline

59/100

NACHTGESCHREI – Am Rande der Welt (CD) Germany May 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Folk Metal Running time: 46:39 (Tracks: 11)
Nachtgeschrei is one of the few folk metal bands that actually play more metal than folk. The music can be compared to similar bands like Schandmaul and In Extremo. The main difference is that Nachtgeschrei has the ability to find the right balance between the instruments which makes it an guitar orientated album with simple, but effective straight forward songs. The band can write compact, catchy songs that contain an optimistic vibe. What else is there to say about folk metal? Not so much that isn't already said before. Except for the fact that the best way to experience this music, is to hear it at a festival or concert. And based on the few live clips I saw of Nachtgeschrei, it is more than worth it. With 'Am Rande der Welt' the band has delivered a really great album. And make sure to check out their MySpace page for more information.
Visit their website: http://www.nachtgeschrei.de
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/nachtgeschrei

80/100

OSI - Blood (CD) USA May 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock / Pop Running time: 47:41 (Tracks: 9)
OSI (Office of Strategic Influence) is the band which has been formed in 2003 by Jim Matheos (Fates Warning) and Kevin Moore (ex Dream Theater and ex Chroma Key). The music of OSI can be best described by: You love it or you hate it. I'm still not convinced what to choose. It took Matheos and Moore more than a year to create "Blood". Because of the distance between these two musicians, a lot work has been done by e-mail. Moore and Matheos took care of the album`s production themselves, while the mix was done with Grammy winner Phil Magnotti.
Before the release of Blood, OSI recorded 2 other albums, "Office Of Strategic Influence" in 2003 and "Free" in 2006. The drums on these two albums were perfomed by Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater); on the new album Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) is responsible for the drums. There is also a guest appearance by Mikael Kerfeldt from Opeth, and I wonder why he isn`t singing all the songs on "Blood". Moore`s voice is quite tedious, but the vocal perfomance of Kerfeldt on Stockholm is great!
The musicians on this album are very talented, but the music on "Blood" is quite "difficult". The music alternates between atmosphericly dense and agressively demanding elements. One moment you listen to a heavy guitar, while some moments later, you can hear some kind of dark ambient "house" music. But it has to be said that the musicians are very talented and I think that maybe there will be a lot of people who will like this album.
Visit their website: http://www.osiband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/osiband

68/100

PARAMITE – Demo 2008 (CDemo) The Netherlands May 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 12:48 (Tracks: 4)
Paramite is a thrash metal band formed in September 2008 by four young thrashers from Holland. These guys are all into old school 80's thrash metal and had enough of all those new (or NU) metal bands who seem to dominate the scene in their eyes. Paramite was created to make the music they love, and to show everybody that old school thrash is still alive! As their influences they name the old school metal bands from the German thrash scene, the American thrash scene and all other thrash bands around the world. This demo starts with an intro after which 'Worldwide Death' sets in, a great thrash song, no doubt, and real old school too. Only thing is the production, it sounds like a rehearsel tape or something, but it is a demo so, hopefully next time a serious studio would be nice. Nevertheless it show's what these guys can do, just like in the next songs 'Human Parasite' and 'Hopeless Prospects', it really breathes that 80's underground atmosphere, a band to keep your eye (or ear) on in the future!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/paramitethrash

77/100

SAGA – The Human Condition (CD) Canada May 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 47:16 (Tracks: 9)
"The Human Condition" is Saga`s 31th release but it`s the first album with the new vocalist, Rob Moratti. In autumn 2007, Saga`s original vocalist Michael Sadler decided to leave the band. It was no farewell in anger or about musical differences, but he had a strong desire for new challenges. Saga immediately started a global search for a new frontman and in January 2008 they found Rob Moratti. Moratti was the lead singer of Final Frontier, also from Canada. His voice is different than Sadler voice, but the other band members were enthusiastic, so after some auditions they chose him as their new frontman.
With Moratti as their new band member, Saga got together in december 2008 to finalize the songs for the new album. The Human Condition was produced by Saga and mixed by Pat Regan in California in February 2009. This album has a central theme, but this time Saga does not want to dissect the story behind the album.
The Human Condition has become a versatile album with heavy rock parts, but also very fascinating progressive elements. Of course, I focused myself on the performance of Rob Moratti and in my opinion his voice matches good with the music! The arrangements are once again of a high level, as we can expect of Saga. I personally prefer the more uptempo songs, like the first (The Human Condition) and the second song (Step Inside). It took several sessions before I could appreciate the ballads but that`s normal when you listen for the first time to a progressive/symphonic rockalbum. This is a must for every progrock fan!
Visit their website: http://www.sagaontour.ca
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sagaca

90/100

SANDSTONE – Purging the Past (CD) Ireland May 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Hardrock Running time: 70:53 (Tracks: 15)
When I read the promotional package which stated that this band is interesting for fans of Iron Maiden, Guns 'n Roses, Queensryche and Megadeth, I couldn't wait to give this album a try. As a big admirer of these giants it is always nice to hear a somewhat related band to these styles of music. Unfortunately this time the promoter was a bit to enthusiastic with mentioning these names. The new Sandstone album 'Purging the past' sounds nothing like the previous mentioned bands. In fact, the only thing Sandstone and Megadeth have in common is the typical thin guitar sound. Okay, forget the comparisons and let's focus on the actual Sandstone album and the band itself. Sandstone is a four piece rock/metal band from Northern Ireland. They got together in 2003 and immediately started writing and recording their first material. A few years later their debut album 'Tides of Opinion' came out and got very well reviewed. Now it is 2009 and their second effort 'Purging the past' has just been released on Casket records. I've listened to this album for numerous times now and it simply doesn't get to me. Sure, the songs are not bad and especially the opening track is a beauty, but the songs in general are not that special to me. Ballads are very well represented on the album which makes it an inconsistent hardrock album with a lack of velocity. Don't get me wrong, I am not the kind of hardrock fan that wants everything to be heavy and fast, but with this album it is hard to stay focused on the songs. Another factor is the voice of singer Sean. Either you like it or you don't. On the other hand I have to say that Sandstone is very catchy at times. Especially the solo's an harmonic parts are very well written. Unfortunately these moments don't last the entire song. A band with great potential, but not on this album. Not yet…
Visit their website: http://www.sandstonerocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.coprorecords.co.uk

65/100

SARKE – Vorunah (CD) Norway May 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black / Thrash Metal Running time: 37:29 (Tracks: 8)
This is no less than an all- star project with two well known persons contributing the Norwegian black metal scene. Formed in 2008 by its namesake Sarke (Khold, Tulus, Old Man's Child) and quickly thereafter joined by Nocturno Culto (Darkthrone). The band now gives birth to their debut album: "Vorunah". Musically it doesn't differ that much according the latest Darkthrone albums. Sarke is also dirty as fuck and dwelling in the same depths as Hellhammer. A region this guys seem to like concerning the last couple of years. Mostly mid tempo but fast in the last track "Dead Universe" . The recordlabel likes to speak of soundscapes the band produces. Mainly because of the haunting keyboard parts that sometimes seem to come right from seventies prog records from Goblin or Black Widow. It immediately gives the band their "own" sound. On one hand oh so simple but on the other hand catchy and damn effective. Some tunes are nesting in my head for days now. They won't leave, I'm sure about that. It also marks the statement that the music one makes easily relates to the environment you live in. Concerning Sarke and Norway. Norway is a beautiful land but can also be very dark and scary. Sarke confirms that by playing filthy music with vast and enchanting keyboard parts. With Nocturno Culto on board there is much to enjoy lyricalwise. What do you think of oneliners like: "You're on me like an old mans dog" or "I'm old I'm dying, Hell can wait, I'm always late" and so on. Sarke has already played the Inferno festival in Norway and will play at Wacken in August. A chance to finally see one half of Darkthrone live on stage after the Satyricon gig at Wacken a few years back. The live line up includes more people that are well known in the Norwegian metalscene. Hope they will do a club tour after these festival appearances because this music will sound best in a sweaty and filthy small club.
Recordlabel: http://www.indierec.no
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sarkeofficial

84/100

SERPENT STEEL– Cries of the Dead (CDemo) The Netherlands May 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 6:01 (Tracks: 1)
Serpent Steel is still a very young but also a very sensational new heavy metal band from The Netherlands!! They exist since 2007 and their goal was to play heavy metal the way it was meant to be. "Cries of the Dead" is a totally 80's sounding heavy metal song. With harmonic guitar duels together with pounding bass licks and balls to the walls drums, combined with sceaming melodic vocals. In the middle of the song is a slower part, like Manowar's "Battle Hymns". Serpent Steel is a very good 80's influenced heavy metal band, dynamic but melodic too. For a first recording, it sounds good, although with a better production it would be even better. On their myspace page are also 2 other (live) songs and 2 live clips too. Check them out a.s.a.p!!!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/serpentsteel

91/100

SIRENIA – The 13th Floor (CD) Norway May 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Gothic / Metal Running time: 56:21 (Tracks: 12)
SIRENIA is a Norwegian Gothic/Metal band and was formed in January of 2001 by Morten Veland (formerly of TRISTANIA). Recently the band released their fourth album "The 13th Floor", which is actually my first acquaintance with SIRENIA. So I searched a little bit on the internet to find some more info about the band. So far the band had released the following albums "At Sixes And Sevens" (2001), "An Elixir For Existence" (2003) and "Nine Destinies And A Downfall" (2007). And in 2004 they also released the EP "Sirenian Shores". The band had several line-up changes in the past, especially with their guitarists and female singers. After the album "Nine Destinies And A Downfall" female singer Monika Pedersen left, so Veland had to search again for a new female singer. Finally he found in Spanish beauty Ailyn (real name Pilar Giménez Garcia) a perfect singer. I don't know how former female singers Henriette Bordvik (2002-2005) and Monika Pedersen (2006-2007) are sounding, but Ailyn has a very beautiful voice. Veland played all the guitars, bass, keyboards and programming on this album. So the current line-up exists of Ailyn (vocals), Morten Veland (guitar, vocals), Michael S. Krumins (guitar) and Jonathan A. Perez (drums). Session bass player Kristian Olav Torp will play with SIRENIA at their live shows. I like all songs on "The 13th Floor". It's just traditional Gothic with classical influences, lots of choirs, beautiful vocals, grunts, screams etcetera. It all sounds very catchy and it's a pleasure to listen to songs like "The Path Of Decay", "The Mind Maelstrom", "The Seventh Summer" and "Led Astray". The second track, "Lost In Life", which is a great song too, is in my opinion the most commercial sounding song on the album. Anyway, "The 13th Floor" is a beautiful album. The digi-pack version, which I have, contains three bonus tracks, which are a radio mix of "The Path To Decay", and instrumental versions of "The Mind Maelstrom" and "Winterborn 77". If you like bands like WITHIN TEMPTATION, NIGHTWISH, DELAIN, EPICA etcetera, you will like SIRENIA too.
Visit their website: http://www.sirenia.no
Recordlabel: http://www.nuclearblast.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sirenia

87/100

SONS OF SEASONS – Gods of Vermin (CD) Germany May 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 64:53 (Tracks: 12)
Sons of Seasons is a new band formed by Kamelot and Doro member Oliver Palotai (keyboards, guitars). The band also features Metalium vocalist Henning Basse. The label presents S.O.S. as a dark symphonic group and I slightly disagree. In my opinion the music could be best described as dark melodic power metal with progressive overtones. The symphonic elements are not abundant in a way that can determine the band's sound. The album is quite heavy with interesting parts. It reminded me of late Kamelot but with a rougher edge. More like a cross between Kamelot and Brainstorm. The beautiful Simone Simons of Epica participates in one song. This is an effort worth checking out.
Visit their website: http://www.sonsofseasons.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sonsofseasons

75/100

SUBMISSION - Code of Conspiracy (CD) Denmark May 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Thrash / Death Metal Running time: 52:12 (Tracks: 11)
At first I didn't know what to think of this cd. It blasts out of my speakers and its an incredible dynamic album. Its a mixture of Soilwork, In Flames and Arch Enemy and is played very well. The drummer Morten Lowe Petersen is incredible. One of the best drummers I've heard lately. And the guitar solo's of Christopher Kjeller Petersen are also a delight for my ears but I don't know what to think of the singer Lasse Sivertsen. The thrash metal screams start to bore me after a while and the clean sing-along parts aren't really an ear pleaser to me. Listen to 'Imaginary Freedom' and you know what I mean. It's a bit over the top. Don't get me wrong, the clean vocals are good and if they would have used that in a few songs it would be great but not in every song and not the way they do it. It's a bit to sing-along happy times for me. Too bad because these guys have a lot of potential The title song 'Code of Conspiracy' is musically a very good song and the guys did write and play an excellent album. Different vocals next time!!!!
Visit their website: http://www.submission-ragecage.dk
Recordlabel: http://www.blisteringrecords.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/submissionragecage

79/100

THE GATHERING – The West Pole (CD) The Netherlands May 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Crossover / Atmospheric Rock Running time: 54:17 (Tracks: 10)
A new singer, a new beginning for The Gathering. After the departure of Anneke (van Giersbergen) the band seriously doubted if they should continue. Fortunately they didn't stop but chose to move on. The search for a new singer was quickly settled. Silje (Wergeland, Octavia Sperati) entered the band and so the recording of 9th studio album: "The West Pole" could begin. First of all one would ask, if there are much differences between Serje and Anneke? From my point of view I would say: "No" Their fan base should not be afraid that Silje has a complete different voice. In many songs the two are not very different from each other. Overall Silje sounds more charming if you ask me. So to me the change of a new singer turned out very well and it would rather be weird if the fans won't except Silje. Over to the sound of the new album than! "The West Pole" is a more open and direct album than "Home" which was more introvert. It seems that The Gathering took influences from several albums in their discography put it into a blender and created this new various sound. Because of the diversity Hans (Rutten, drummer) would -as stated in the interview in this month's edition- rather call their sound: crossover. Something I could easily agree with. From the trip-hop song: "No Bird Call" to the beautiful piano driven song "You promised me a Symphony". From the more atmospheric rock oriented song "Treasure" to the post influences in "No one Spoke". This album has so much ingredients that it pushes the limits of diversity and you don't get bored easily. Lyrical wise "The West Pole" tells us something about a fictive state through different moments in time. And while this is not a concept album there seems to be somewhat of cohesion in between the songs. "The West Pole" will be released on the first of May and people who buy the album right from the bands own label Psychonaut records may get something extra while some packages will include "The City From Above" EP a shirt or a compass. Maybe you can find the West Pole with it!
Visit their website: http://www.gathering.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.psychonautrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gatheringofficial

85/100

THE ORANGE MAN THEORY – Satan Told Me I'm Right (CD) Italy May 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Extreme Metal / Hardcore Running time: 42:08 (Tracks: 11)
THE ORANGE MAN THEORY is an Italian band from Rome and were formed in 2003. The band exists of Gianni Serusi (vocals), Gabbo (guitar & backing vocals), Cinghio (bass & backing growls) and Tommaso Moretti (drums). In 2007 they released their debut album "Riding A Cannibal Horse From Here To…", which was recorded by Steve Austin. Now their second album "Satan Told Me I'm Right", which was produced by Steve Austin again, has been recently released in March. The album features eleven songs and is a mixture of extreme metal songs with a hardcore/noisecore style vocals. But there are also some clean vocal moments on this album as well (like in "Meet Uncle Terror"). A song which totally doesn't belong between all this noisy hyperactive music is the acoustic "A Rational Mind". Although I can listen to this type of metal once in a while, I don't like all the songs on this album. But the few songs I like are "Straight To Extinction", "Gavino Is Back In Town", "Savage But Focused" and "Meet Uncle Terror". In May the band is doing a short European tour with DISBELIEF and BLEEDING EYES. They are doing three gigs in Holland. One of them is in my hometown on May 10th. Then they play at the Little Devil, Tilburg. If you're interested go see them.
Visit their website: http://www.theorangemantheory.com
Recordlabel: http://www.subsoundrecords.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theorangemantheory.com

74/100

THORONDIR – Dusterwald (CD) Germany May 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Pagan / Viking metal Running time: 27:59 (Tracks: 9)
Thorondir is typical example of jumping on the bandwagon while a trend is already set . Nowadays people get buried under pagan/viking metal bands. Why begin another one and record an album while your not ready for it. Could anybody please tell me the purpose of this? This band was formed in 2007 and had problems finding a rehearsal room. I can definitely hear that. But why bring out an album this soon then? "Dusterwald" sounds uninspiring, it lacks power. Viking metal needs power, passion and pride. Thorondir has none of them. The biography says that Thorondir wants to distinguish themselves by using melodic guitar parts, death grunts and gentle keyboard melodies. All beautiful words. But please pratice what you preach. In some of the songs the guitar parts are played false. I could go on and on telling you what a disappointment this album is to me but I'm not going to ruin my mood today. One advice for the band: "Please use that new rehearsal room as much as you can and come back with a proper studio album over lets say 3 years. Fourthy points are given the intro, the hilarious band photo's and the length of the album (28:00)
Visit their website: http://www.thorondir.de
Recordlabel: http://ccpcom.window.hl-users.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thorondirmusic

40/100

THUNDER – The EP Sessions 2007-2008 (CD) United Kingdom May 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 73:48 (Tracks: 16)
In 1990 I bought THUNDER's fantastic debut album "Back Street Symphony". But somehow after that brilliant album, I never really followed their career. So, I don't know any other albums of the band. I also saw THUNDER just once at the BOSPOP FESTIVAL in Weert (July 9th, 2004). What I liked about THUNDER on their debut album are the fantastic melodic rock songs and especially the superb vocals of Danny Bowes. He's a great rock singer. In 2000 the band broke-up for the first time, reunited again in 2002, but on January 28th, 2009 the band announced their definite split up. As the title says, all songs on "The EP Sessions 2007-2008" were recorded during both years and is just a compilation of the three 6-track EP's the band offered to their fans at that time while they were writing the album "Bang!" (2008). It's ten new written songs on this album, two re-worked songs, which are "Yesterday's News (Naked Version)" and "I Believe (Missionary Position Version)" and four live tracks. Three of those live tracks, "Dirty Dream", "What A Beautiful Day" and ""Last Man Standing", are songs from the album "Robert Johnson's Tombstone" (2006). Really, songs like "Survivor", "Yesterday's News", "Chain Reaction", "Midlife Crisis", "Make My Day" and "Bette Davis Meltdown" are all fantastic rock songs in the well known THUNDER tradition. "I Believe", "So Sad Today" and "Only You Can Make Me Cry" are beautiful ballads. During the existence of THUNDER, the band always had a fairly consistent line-up of Danny Bowes (vocals), Luke Morley (guitars, vocals), Ben Matthews (guitar, keyboard) and Gary "Harry" James (drums). Chris Childs (formerly of THEN JERICHO), who joined THUNDER in 1996, is the band's third bass player. To bad one of England's best rock bands definitely quits. Anyway, this is a very interesting compilation for anyone who likes good quality rock music and for all THUNDER fans who don't have those earlier released EP's.
Visit their website: http://www.thunderonline.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thunderonline

86/100

UL MIK LONGOBARDEATH – Bonarda Bastarda!!! (CD) Italy May 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock 'n Roll Running time: 49:58 (Tracks: 15)
UL MIK LONGOBARDEATH is an Italian five-piece band from Milano. The band exists of Ul Mik (vocals), Ul Robert (guitar), Ul Marco (guitar), Ul Teo (bass) and Ul Giurgin (drums). I hope I'm right with this, because all information in the booklet of this CD, on their official website and MySpace page is written in Italian. And I can't read fucking Italian, guys. Haven't you ever thought about it to write everything in English?!!!! Not everyone can read Italian. What bothers me the most is, they are singing in Italian as well. What the fuck are they singing about? Anyway, "Bonarda Bastarda!!!" is the third full length album of these Italians and was released in 2008. Musically there are just a few songs which sounds nice, but most of the songs are really crap. Songs which are nice are "Barbapedana 3000", "Mariuccia" and "Ul Giuvan Rockenroll", which is a medley of "Johnny B. Good" (CHUCK BERRY), "Born To Be Wild" (STEPPENWOLF), "Whole Lotta Rosie" (AC/DC) and "Born To Raise Hell" (MOTÖRHEAD). But really, the rest of the songs are worthless. I couldn't listen to this album more than 3 times. Then I already knew, this isn't a band for me. Only interesting for Italians I guess.
Visit their website: http://www.longobardeath.it
Recordlabel: http://www.angermusic.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/longobardeath

40/100

VALINOR – Hidden Beauty (CD) Poland May 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Symphonic Black Metal Running time: 33:56 (Tracks: 9)
This album has already been released in 2006. And according the myspace page of the band they already released a follow up to this album in 2008. You ask us what's the point reviewing an album that is already been out for 3 years. The answer is simply: Every release deserves to be reviewed, new or old we don't care. Something I do care for is the ridiculously bad written biography of the band. It is well known that most Polish people don't speak or write English very well (ask Mario) but this tops everything. A few examples: "The group cames from Debica and it has been less known face on a native musical stage" or "But they it were not unfortunately commensurate to situation in team" and so the biography goes further. Grammatically a mess. Lyrics are lacking so I can't tell you if they are as bad as the biography but titles as "A Hand Of A Dead" don't predict much hope. Over to the music now since that is more important than words in my opinion. Valinor plays symphonic black metal with lots of melodic parts in it. The band operates with two guitarists but unfortunately they are too low mixed in the sound which is dominated by drums, vocals and keyboard parts. Something positive is that Valinor knows how to write a compact song although their sound is done by others far more better. It is with the instrumental songs: "Hidden beauty" and the epilogue where the skills of Valinor come flooting. Both pieces are very dramatic sounding and I hope the band will continue writing songs in this style in the future. For know this record is o.k. but will easily drown in the shitload of releases concerning our beloved scene because of the absence of originality.
Visit their website: http://www.valinor.com.pl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/valinorband

65/100

WINTERBORN – Farewell to Saints (CD) Finland May 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 55:36 (Tracks: 10)
I had the opportunity to review the debut album by Winterborn a couple of years ago (please take the time to find and read that review). The debut was a fine album of progressive power metal and I am happy to see that the band continues its heavy metal saga by releasing a successor. Things are not different. "Farewell to Saints" is at least equal to "Cold Reality". No major changes. All the factors that made the debut a very interesting listen are present. Thus I will give this one the same grade.
Visit their website: http://www.winterborn.info
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/winterbornband

83/100

WOLFCHANT – Determined Damnation (CD) Germany May 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Dark Metal Running time: 61.09 (Tracks: 14)
Since 2003, Wolfchant are trying to prove that the proverbial "Metal Hammer" is not just hanging in Scandinavia. In their own words they also say they do that successfully. Are they ? According to Massacre records they play Dark Metal, but you can also categorise them under Pagan/Viking/Black etc. because they have influences of them all. After releasing "Bloody Tales of Disgraced Lands"(2005) and "A Pagan Storm"(2007) this one is their third album. With an album cover that makes you think that the new King Diamond album has arrived, they release 12 (14 when you get the special edition like me) new extreme metal tracks in a, nowadays, overcrowded genre. The band blends some classic Black Metal vocals with fast and Epic guitar riffs. Well, for the Black Metal vocals of Lokhi you have to like them, for me it is to much hearing them one hour after each other, they began to long me to some better understanding and varied vocals. The clean back vocals play also a significant role, especially during the sing-along choruses where the Epic feeling is underlined. The band uses some non-metal instruments like flute, mouth harp, tambourine and accordion and this creates a Celtic/Pagan atmosphere. The tracks have enough variation in them themselves, but they are to similar to each other. I often hear to many times the same structure in the songs. Also the production sounds a bit dull and monotonous to me, which doesn't help either. Best tracks for me are the more epic "Fate of the Fighting Man", the pretty good "A Raven's Flight" and "Never to Drunk" which i think this is going to be a live killer for their kind of crowd. When you get your hands on the special edition, then you can call yourself one lucky metalhead because the last bonustrack is "Warcry" and that (more metal) song is the one that I like most. Coming to the question if they are successfully or not, well they might, but I have my doubts about it. To me it is just to average.
Visit their website: http://www.wolfchant-metal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wolfchant

68/100

APRIL

ANDROMEDA – The Immunity Zone (CD) Sweden April 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 66:34 (Tracks: 9)
The career of this Swedish prog metal quintet started when guitarist Johan Reinholz submitted the demo "Welcome To Forever" to the record label War-Music. Soon after that the recordings of their debut album "Extension Of The Wish" started, and that album was released in 2001. Later that year the vocals were re-recorded with new vocalist David Fremberg. "Extension Of The Wish" was re-released by French label NTS with two bonus tracks. Some time later Andromeda started the recordings of the second album "II=I" which was released in 2003. "Chimera", their third album was released in 2006, one year later followed by their live dvd "Playing Off The Board". Now they finally are back with their fourth studio album "The Immunity Zone". Their new effort is a bit darker and heavier than their previous albums, but still maintaining the intricacies, finesse and melodies so characteristic of the band. The songs are mainly played in mid-tempo, but show lots of changes in rhythms and moods. David Fremberg is singing more versatile like ever, Johan (guitars) and Martin (keyboards) divide the guitar and keyboard parts into a great prog metal sound. Sometimes crazy ideas, complex playing, melodic touches, emotional vocals ; that's the way prog metal should be played!!
Visit their website: http://www.andromedaonline.com
Recordlabel: http://www.silverwolf-productions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/andromedaonline

86/100

AVIAN – Ashes and Madness (CD) USA April 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 54:32 (Tracks: 10)
Avian is the brainchild of guitarist and composer Yan Leviathan. The band released the debut album "From the Depths of Time" in 2005. The album featured Lance King (Balance of Power, Pyramaze, Gemini etc.) on vocals and Dave Ellefson of Megadeth fame on bass. Jonah Weingarten on keyboards completed the puzzle. The debut was a well received work of melodic power metal. In 2009 Leviathan and his personnel present a second album following the same recipe.
"Ashes and Madness" is a fine album of American melodic metal. To be honest I was beginning to grow very tired of all these Europower releases. The power metal genre needed a solid American approach. This album has a genuine 90s power metal feeling but doesn't sound dated. Most songs scream Savatage and I very much enjoyed it. Not many bands can reproduce the Sava-sound. Leviathan's work is excellent (loads of fast and melodic solos!) and King is precise as always, hitting his trademark high notes with ease. I say go for it without any hesitation.
Visit their website: http://www.avianband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.silverwolf-productions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/avianband

83/100

CHAOSWAVE – Dead Eye Dreaming (CD) Italy April 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Thrash Metal / Prog Metal Running time: 62:42 (Tracks: 12)
This album "Dead Eye Dreaming" of Italian five-piece band CHAOSWAVE is a very nice acquaintance to me. Already with the first time listening to "Dead Eye Dreaming" I liked this band. Anyway, CHAOSWAVE was founded by Danish guitarist Henrik "Guf" Rangstrup (who's living in Italy since 2002) in the summer of 2003. In 2004 the band released a self titled 4-track demo and their debut album "The White Noise Within" was released in 2005. And with that debut album CHAOSWAVE got very good critics. And I can understand it completely why. In my opinion CHAOSWAVE is absolutely one of the better Italian metal bands that I know. The line-up of the band is Giorgia Fadda (vocals), Fabio Carta (vocals), Henrik Rangstrup (guitar), Michele Mura (bass) and Raphael Saini (drums). As you can see CHAOSWAVE has two singers, a female (Fadda) and male (Carta), and that alternation between them sounds fantastic. The band also exists of very good and technical musicians. The band produced this second album themselves and was mixed by Andy LaRocque (KING DIAMOND). Also guitarist Steve Smyth (NEVERMORE, TESTAMENT, VICIOUS RUMORS) is doing some guest leads on a few tracks. Musically CHAOSWAVE reminds me very much of a band like NEVERMORE. But sometimes I also hear a little bit MORBID ANGEL (because of the blast speed drum parts) and DREAM THEATER influences as well. Well, mostly it's Thrash, but you can say that it's sometimes Prog Metal too. "Anothter Lie To Live In Vain" is a short instrumental one, which is more a kind of intro for "Blind Eye Focus". Most of the songs are really fantastic. My favourite songs are "10 Years Of Denial", "Fork Tongues And Foul Times", "How To Define A Race", "Dead Eye Dream", "Rise", "Picture Perfect", "The Evident" and the bonus track "From The State To The Storm". Fantastic Italian band. "Dead Eye Dreaming" is a very good melodic Thrash album. Check them out.
Visit their website: http://www.chaoswave.it
Recordlabel: http://www.silverwolf-productions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/chaoswave

85/100

CHRIS LANEY – Pure (CD) Sweden April 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Hard Rock / Melodic Metal Running time: 44:38 (Tracks: 12)
Chris Laney is a Swedish producer, songwriter and musician and "Pure" is his first solo effort. He has worked with bands like Candlemass and Europe. In this case he has gathered several friends and managed to present an interesting album. "Pure" is a hard rock album bordering on melodic metal with Laney handling all guitars and lead vocals. There are some contemporary sounding tunes like the first song "Situation" but "I Dunno" is a hard rocker in the Def Leppard vein while "Make you Cry" brings Guns 'n Roses to mind. You will also find some Dokken and Bonfire in the album and other familiar rocking sounds that make it a work worth listening to. Laney's voice is not the best around but is exactly what this type of songs need.
Visit their website: http://www.chrislaney.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/chrislaney

78/100

CLAIRVOYANTS – Word To The Wise (CD) Italy April 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 50:37 (Tracks: 10)
The Clairvoyants are an Iron Maiden tribute band since 2001. Through the years they became the most popular tribute band in Italy. They always play a lot of gigs and already supported many wellknown bands. With 'Word To The Wise" they released their first own album, with 9 original compositions and one Iron Maiden cover. Guest on this album are Andre Matos (majestic vocals on "Hallowed Be Thy Name") and Oliver Palotai (keyboards) from Kamelot, Doro. On their album, Clairvoyants pay tribute to Iron Maiden with their own written songs, without copying them too much. Of course there are some clear Iron Maiden influences like the twin guitar leads (for example the opening track "Journey Through The Stars"), but all in all they are a very good melodic heavy metal band! Most of all, Clairvoyants reminds me most of all of Dawn of Silence from Sweden. That's also a band with several Iron Maiden influences, and they also got a powerful vocalist like Clairvoyant's Gabriele Bernasconi.
Visit their website: http://www.clairvoyants.it
Recordlabel: http://www.valeryrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/clairvoyants

81/100

CRIMFALL – As The Path Unfolds …. (CD) Finland April 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Epic Folk Metal Running time: 46:50 (Tracks: 11)
Finland ……. Ah, what a country that must be nowadays …… What I am trying to say is, that that country has a whole bunch of brilliant bands coming out of the woods that are ready to conquer the world with heavy shit. Crimfall is the name this time and what a debut album they are letting loose on our tender metal souls. Crimfall is a brand new shining star at the horizon, founded in 2007 by masterbrain Jakke Vitala. His vision it was to realize powerful; yet melancholic compositions with both beauty and power. He found both contrast and variance in his chosen companions on vocals in Mikko Häkkinen and Helena Haaparanta. For this album he gathered Henri Sorvali (Finntroll) and Janne Jukarainen (ex-Naildown) to fill in the bass and drum parts. Musically they define their music as Epic Folk Metal. I think it is even much more than that. It's bombastic, theatrical, symphonic, monumental and whatever more; it is just overwhelming and they are getting away with it ! Just put on the cd, lay yourself back in your lazy couch, put on your headphone, close your eyes and opener "Neothera Awakening" leads you into battle. You can almost see yourself back in the Middle Ages, marching in the frontline onwards to a glorious overcome . This certainly can compete with the better movie soundtracks. "The Crown of Treason" follows and makes you aware of the great capacities of Helena who can compete with the best ones in the female fronted genre like Tarja (ex-Nightwish) and Floor (ex-After Forever) immediately followed by the horrifying screams and growls of Mikko who sounds like he is coming right out of Hades where he has been chased by Hela herself. The track is lead out by a crackling fire where a blacksmith is forging the crown. To be honest, it took a few times to get used to the black metal screams of Mikko. Mostly it works like in "Ascension Pyre" and "Non Serviam" (which opens with snorting horses and the clutching of swords) but sometimes it is just to much and it could work against them by fans of this genre. Follower "Wildfire Season" starts folky and turns into such a catchy song that makes you want to pogo and tear down the house ! Brilliant ! It is hard to choose other favorites because the disc is filled with highlights. But track that deserve it to be mentioned are "Where Waning Winds Lead", "Shadow Heart" (Say hello "Phantom of the Opera") and the folky "A Hundred Shores Distant", I just can't get enough of it. In "Aubade" they integrated a beautiful arranged resting point, sung by the angelic voice of Helena. With a huge, resonant production, the album is also masterfully mixed as all of the disparate instruments are clearly audible at all times during every passage of music – drums, bass, guitars, violin, cello, accordion and all the other orchestrations combine at various points to great effect, and never to excess. Well not all is that original (influences of Nigthwish, After Forever, Therion and Epica you hear all the way), but the album listens away very easily because the songs are just very strong and so perfectly performed with female singer Helena who makes here entrance into the premier league of female singers. I think this album has the potential to be accepted by fans of for example Turasis/Finntroll adepts as well as the Nightwish/Epica gothics. Man, I certainly love this mixture of soundtrack/bombastic, epic folk stuff. As The Path Unfolds ….. is definitely a debut classic.
Visit their website: http://www.crimfall.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/crimfall

88/100

CRIMINAL – White Hell (CD) Chili April 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death / Thrash Metal Running time: 50:10 (Tracks: 12)
Criminal is a thrash metal band from Chili which was formed by ex-Pentagram mastermind Anton Reisenegger and guitar player Rodrigo Contreras. Since their debut 'Victimized' in 1994 the band has always been very popular in thrash loving South America where they shared the stage with legends as Sepultura and Kreator. 4 years after their last album they are now back with 'White Hell'. The last few years I bought a lot of cd's from relatively unknown South American bands who play old school thrash metal the way it should be played even though their bands never existed in the 80's. Needless to say I was expecting a lot from this release the first time I gave it a spin. I was very surprised when after the first few songs I heard a completetly different sound than I was expecting. Criminal does not play old school thrash metal but has created a refreshing own mix of thrash and death metal combined with some hardcore influences that would make even me a metalcore fan if those bands played it like that. The songs are hard and fast with great technical riffs and an occasional breakdown. The drums are pounding and the vocals are great and fit right into the whole. This is the best mix of styles I heard in a long time, some of the songs are plain thrash metal, others has pieces in them that could have come right from At The Gates 'Slaughter of the Soul' and others are more metalcore sounding but way better than what is played these days. This is an album for thrash and death metal fans who like a modern sound and who aren't afraid of some expiriments. If you want pure 80's thrash go buy something else, there are plenty of South American bands who offer quality but if you like something with a bit more variety you should check this out.
Visit their website: http://www.criminal1.com
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/criminal

79/100

DENIED – New Army for the Old Revolution (CD) Sweden April 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 44:03 (Tracks: 10)
Before the actual review I would like to give the reader a tip: Listen to the album repeatedly. It can…no, it WILL grow on you. After two years of writing and recording this second Denied album saw the light in 2008. Unlike the band name this CD cannot be denied by the audience. It al begun when guitarist Andreas Carlsson formed the band in 2003. Nearly two years later their debut album '7 Times your Sin' came out on their own label and a handful of shows followed with this release. With a steady line up the band quickly started writing for their follow up album that is being reviewed here: New Army For The Old Revolution. This album is a huge difference compared to the previous one. And in a good way…You can hear that these guys have worked a lot on the material before putting in out there. The booklet shows a pentagram, as well as on the disc itself. If you add the fact that this band is from Sweden you would expect black/death metal. But no, as soon as the opener: 'The Black Room' was blowing through my speakers only one name came to mind: Pantera. The band is obviously inspired by these pioneers and even the singer reminds me of Phil Anselmo. Sometimes he tries a bit to hard which is absolutely not necessary since he has a unique voice of his own. Denied has managed to create an interesting heavy album with good diversity and catchy songs. The length is suitable except for the fifth track 'Lazarus' which is way to long. Special mentioning goes out to the track: '3 Degrees of Evil'. It has been stuck in my head for days. What a riff! This will do great at a live show as well as several other songs. If you are into Pantera or Anthrax during the John Bush era you should give this album a try.
Visit their website: http://www.deniedworld.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/deniedworld

82/100

DRIVE BY WIRE – Between Oceans (CD) The Netherlands April 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Stoner / Psychedelic Rock Running time: 56:09 (Tracks: 10)
DRIVE BY WIRE is a Dutch Stoner band formed in 2005 by Simone Holsbeek and Alwin Wubben. In 2006 the band released their self titled debut album, which got very good critics. This second album titled "Between Oceans" was released in October of 2008. The current line-up of DRIVE BY WIRE exists of Simone Holsbeek (vocals, guitar), Alwin Wubben (dirty low guitar), René Rutten (bass; THE GATHERING) and Remco Cornelissen (drums). For their live shows Maz is playing the bass guitar. Some influences of the band are KYUSS, BLACK SABBATH, SONIC YOUTH, PJ HARVEY etc. The music is heavy, low, slow and psychedelic. I like Simone's voice, but I must admit that she's not always singing in tune on the first couple of songs. I'm not always in the mood for this type of music, but for me, it's a nice album to listen to once in a while. The songs I like the most are "Slow Colour" (5:42), "Between Oceans" (10:48), "Fire Inside" (6:19) and "Soil (Seven)" (11:15). "Low Rider" and "El Medano" are very short instrumental songs, and actually I don't understand the added value of these songs. They don't add anything. Anyway, if you like the above mentioned bands and also HAWKWIND, ASTROSONIQ etc., I'm sure you are very happy with DRIVE BY WIRE's second album.
Visit their website: http://www.drivebywire.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.konkurrent.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/drivebywire

75/100

ELDRITCH – Livequake (2CD) Italy April 2009 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive Power Metal Running time: 117:05 (Tracks: 24)
This band that was formed way back in 1991 is a constant factor in the world of progressive metal. Now after seventeen years they thought the time was right to put out a live-album. This album was recorded in the Music Street Live club in Pisa on the 22nd of March 2008. This is a small club that holds 400 people but works out great for the sound and atmosphere. Songs of all seven studio-albums are represented on this release. What to say about a band that has been around for such a long time? If you listen to the songs it's obvious that this band is very experienced. The album is divided in two sections with cd number 1 containing songs of the last four albums and cd number 2 consisting of songs of the first three albums. Apparently the digi-pack goes with a dvd that holds the complete show. Because I didn't receive the dvd I'll stick to the cd's.
The present line-up holds two of the original members, namely Terence Holler (vocals) and Eugene Simone (guitars). The rest of the band consists of Rob "Pek" Proietti (guitars) , Raffahell Dridge (drums) and John Crystal (bass). Because nowadays the band doesn't have a keyboard-player, veteran band-member Oleg Smirnoff appears on the second cd to play the keys. The older stuff is a bit more powerful but still most of the songs are filled with great guitar-playing and drums that fill all empty spots in the songs. To sound of the recordings is good so if you're a fan of Eldritch you'll love this album and for the people that don't know Eldritch it's a nice way to get to know the material of this band.
Visit their website: http://www.eldritchweb.com
Recordlabel: http://www.limb-music.de
MySpace: http//www.myspace.com/neighbourhell

83/100

END - The Never Ending Whirl of Confusion (CD) France April 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Progressive Metalcore Running time: 37:55 (Tracks: 6)
Hailing from France this relatively new band End. Has just signed with Metal Blade records and is working on their first album. To give us a little taste ahead the band is re-releasing their EP 'The Never Ending Whirl of Confusion' together with 2 new tracks to be released on their album. It's quite hard to describe the sound of this experimental group of musicians. It's actually to dark and to heavy to be considered metalcore but it doesn't really fit any other genre either. The music is dark, chaotic, progressive and very expirimental at times but a other times also very soft and gentle. Even though it's easy to tell that we are dealing with some very talented musicians I don't like the whole. As a fan of the more direct genres I have grown a dislike for technical and experimental stuff, I rather have an easy riffs that blows my head off than this kind of music. I do believe that with lots of succesfull bands in this type of music the band will find plenty of fans who will enjoy their music.
Visit their website: http://end.1.free.fr
Recordlabel: http://www.metalblade.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/end1freefr

51 /100

ENSOPH – Rex Mundi X-ILE (CD) Italy April 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Gothic / Industrial / Ambient / Prog Metal Running time: 54:42 (Tracks: 12)
Personally I never had heard of ENSOPH before. The band from Venice, Italy exists of N-Ikonoclast (vocals), Xraphael (guitar, samples & programming), KKTZ (bass), Next-X@nctum (Keyboards) and Xenos (drums). ENSOPH was formed in 1997 and has released several albums so far. Anyway, "Rex Mundi X-Ile" starts with the industrial instrumental "Evil Has Found A Servant" followed by "Dance High & Shine, Shiva!". Musically it sounds very interesting, just as some other songs like "The Whore & The Ashetist", "Thir(s)ty Pieces Of Silver" and "Disciplina Arcani (Un Canto Per L'Esilio)". But where I really break down on are the vocals. Okay, the vocals on this album are very varied, just like the music, but I really don't like the main vocals. It's just like Gollum (LOTR) is singing, hahahahahaha. Production wise is all sounds fantastic, and as I said, musically it all sounds nice and there are really some interesting songs on this album. These Italians also recorded a well done cover version of ALICE IN CHAINS' "Would", which is a bonus track on the album and one of the best songs of the album. If the whole album was sung with this type of vocals I liked it much more.
Visit their website: http://www.ensoph.it
Recordlabel: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ensoph

70/100

FREDDIE – Freddie (CD) Russia April 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Symphonic Rock Running time: 54:41 (Tracks: 25)
Freddie: Strange name for a band? That was my first thought when I got this album from a friend. He asked me to review this album which he got from his Russian neighbour. When I opened the package I was totally surprised!! I didn't see many cd's that are so perfectly designed as this one! Is this the future of the Russian rock scene? I really hope so!
This limited digipack cd consists of:
1. rock suite "Freddie" - one CD, playing time 54 min.
2. digipack designed by artist, 4 pages, folded
3. storytelling comics-style booklet, colorful, glossy, 32 pages, excellent drawed!!

Freddie is a kind of project of Pushking's main man Konstantin "Koha" Shustarev. Rock suite "Freddie" was born in 1997. It happened on a rainy day when Koha was walking towards his home on the Basil Island through the Summer Garden. Suddenly the sky was yawn and cosmic information blasts stroke him. A melody appeared in his mind, which later became the base for this rock suite. His spirit was open and Koha new that a new project was born and it was dedicated to Queen frontman Freddie Mercury (R.I.P.). For ten years after this day the thought of recording "FREDDIE" has never left Koha. Several musical and text demo versions of the suit were made. In the year 2000 a demo version of the suite was presented to several Moscow music companies with the aim of further recording, getting financial support and bringing the product to the Russian music market. But the suit did not get the interest and understanding that it deserved and was put on a shelf. Only in 2005 Koha again turns to the idea of final recording of "Freddie" and its' release.
Kelly Keeling, famous American rock musician, who at the time came to Russia on a private visit and also recorded a song "Soldier Song" together with "Pushking", which was later included in their English album "No Comment", convinces him to do it. Finally in 2006 after finishing recording another English album "Village Songs" Koha and his musicians begin to work on their 10-year old dream - recording rock suite "Freddie". What is this many years' work about? About Freddie Mercury and his life, of course viewed through the understanding of a Russian musician and Russian poet.
For the whole suite Freddie Mercury is shown as simply a Pale Man, a man with a pale face, and his real name is being told in the very end. God and Devil, Angels and Death, Demons and Souls of musicians, his friends who have left this world, and Freddie himself - these are the characters presented in this play. It is not just a story; it is a musical play, a thriller as they say now. There is a battle between God and Demon, between Angels and dark forces, and of course you cannot say that there is a happy end. The bright side wins, but it is not a story and we all know what the ending is. The rock suite consists of three separate tracks that slowly go from one to another and create a unified music field. First massive, aggressive chords agitate the listener and prepare for the energetic, major understanding. But they are followed by a soft and tender melody similar to the spirit of the early Freddy Mercury's works. The whole album is a combination of things that cannot be put together: rock, blues, classic orchestra, brass sections, and opera with mezzo-soprano of a merited singer of Russian Federation Galina Sidorenko. And male parts that are all performed by Koha impress you with the variety of timbres.
Personally I never was such a great Queen adorer but what Koha shows on this album is musically very interesting for every Queen fan! Musically its all played perfect and this album could be a start for a new musical if you ask me! Not only the music but the whole idea about this "tribute to Freddie Mercury" is complete for a rock musical! And if they rent the designer of the album for the stage design than they are already complete!
All Queen fans should give this album a try; you will not regret it! Perfect album with an excellent designed digipack. Especially the drawnings is the lyrics booklet are awesome! Compliments!!!
Visit their website: http://www.pushking.eu
Recordlabel: http://www.pushking.eu
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pushkingofficial

90/100

HATESPHERE – To The Nines (CD) Denmark April 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Death / Thrash Metal Running time: 34:34 (Tracks: 10)
Most persons would have called it quits after the departure of their whole band. Not founding member Peter "Pepe" Lyse Hansen from Hatesphere. He recruited new musicians and made a sort of second beginning. Sure it isn't easy to replace old vocalist Jacob Bredahl. He was one out of a thousand in the metal scene but new squaller Jonathan "Joller" Albrechtsen does not disappoint. He leaves a mature impression alternating between screaming vocals and deep death grunts. The band has decreased nothing on brutality comparing the vocals. Then the music: Hatesphere has always been a band that mixed death metal with thrash, some core parts and having melody in their sight. The "new" Hatesphere musical wise is nothing different. Apart from the vocalist one can discuss the importance of the roll of the new musicians. I mean they are as good or as bad as the other ones. And although the quality is a bit better (and more aggressive) than on their later releases this is done so many times before that you can ask your self if this is enough for you to buy this album. On the other hand most of the songs have ferocious guitar solo's and aggressive drumparts. Hatespheres knows this style to perfection. I know that Hatesphere was one of the first bands with a more hardcore look and performance on stage playing this kind of metal but I doubt if this will be enough for the kids to buy this record. To me "To The Nines" is just a good tight played death/thrash record with some outstanding songs and some average ones.
Visit their website: http://www.hatesphere.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hatesphere

77/100

HEAVY WATER EXPERIMENTS – Heavy Water Experiments (CD) USA April 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Rock Running time: 61:30 (Tracks: 12)
Formerly known as Imogene, Los Angeles based Heavy Water Experiments (HWE) have just released their debut CD 'Heavy Water Experiments'. The band consists of David Malbye (Vocals, Guitars, Basses and Keyboards) and Roberto Salguero (Drums and Percussion). Recent additions to the live ensemble are: Rebecca Black on keyboards/vocals and Rick Staggs on bass. David Melbye is also responsible for the production of the album. Malbye and Salguere have been active in other bands (Ludivine, Fuzz Beloved, Zanzibar and El Salvidor) before they decided to start HWE.
I have mixed feelings when I listen to this album. I listened it many times but I'm still not able to express an unambiguous opinion. Sometimes I think that I'm listening to a brilliant album but on the other hand there are also moments that I can't keep my attention on it. But I `m convinced that there will be a lot of people who will like this album. What I appreciate is that HWE uses special instruments (like the 8-string bass guitar) to perform their music. The music on HWE sounds innovative and original and what I also want to mention is the vocal performance on this album. This is of a high level. If you like "dark" music with a psychedelic character, than it's worth to listen to this album but I`m still not sure about my opinion of this album.......
Visit their website: http://www.heavywaterexperiments.com
Recordlabel: http://www.intrepidsounds.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/heavywaterexperiments

65/100

INFERNO – Pompa Magna (CD) Italy April 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Sci-Fi Grind 'n' Roll. Running time: 43:35 (Tracks: 15)
Do androids have sex in electric cars? Well, I don't know. Maybe Fox Mulder (X-files) can answer this question? He wanted to believe. What I do know is that Inferno's music is as weird as their song titles. Their self proclaimed term: Sci-fi grind 'n' roll is a perfect translation for this kind of music. Influences come from everywhere. Jazz, Techno, Grind, Rock and Roll. You name it and its there. With such numerous styles on one album one could easily think that Inferno is only a crucible of different styles with no real songs. Wrong thought! The band managed to write real songs on their debut album "Pompa Magna" Most of the songs have an obvious beginning and end. Cool choruses can be found and the band knows that it's not clever to place their feet on the gas pedal all the time. How does this all sound? As said on their myspace page this is the soundtrack for; Suicidal superfast car races, Incredible invasions, Yourself caught in a nightmare coming true. The soundtrack for a new David Lynch film is one I would like to include. As for the Sci-Fi parts; they sound almost the same as in The Locust, (another weird band playing in the same vein) You know a cheap, but funny synthesizer sound as in eighties cartoons like Transformers. Favourite track of the album is the title track which has a strong chorus and all the other above mentioned ingredients in it. Give this a try if you dig bands like; Genghis Tron, Dillinger Escape Plan and Fantomas. When I listen to this kind of music I sometimes think that metal is comparable to technology. "It's going too fast for mankind" But I think that's just what Inferno wants! "The truth is out there"
Visit their website: http://www.infernogrindnroll.com
Recordlabel: http://www.subsoundrecords.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/infernogrindnroll

79/100

ISOLE – Silent Ruins (CD) Sweden April 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Epic Doom metal Running time: 53:50 (Tracks: 7)
Outside the first signs of spring can be seen. Inside its still queen winter who refuses to leave because "Silent Ruins" from Isole plays through my speakers. For quite a few years Isole is a classic doom band on which lovers of the genre can rely on. Four full-length albums in five years. A high level of production. Fortunately it has no consequences for the new album: "Silent Ruins". The album opens with the epic "From the Dark" which sets the tone for the coming 50 minutes. Minutes of doom comparable to their great ancestors Candlemass and Solstice. Especially the vocals are like these two bands. There's nothing wrong with this. Although for me it's the only small flaw on a further very strong record. If Isole could get rid of this little complaint nothing lies in their way trading in the footprints of these giants. Maybe I am complaining too much about this but in some of the songs I automatically think that Messiah Marcolin is singing. On the other hand maybe this is the style of singing that belongs to this kind of doom, like grunts belong to death metal. Outstanding songs on the album are "Forlorn" where some fast double bass can be heard such as a beautiful guitarsolo at the end of the song, the peaceful short acoustic track "Peccatum" which leads to the album closer "Dark clouds" that because of the death grunts takes you back to the older albums of the band. In April the band will play in Europe in the smaller venues. Be there if you want the winter to stay a little longer.
Visit their website: http://www.forevermore.se
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/isole

80/100

JORN – Live in America (DVD) Norway April 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Power Metal / Rock Running time: 1:25:30 (Tracks: 15)
What to tell about Jorn Lande which I didn't tell before? Everybody who knows me knows that I'm probably one of the biggest Jorn fans on this earth (I even named my son after him :) This man shocked the hard rock audience years ago with Ark, Beyond Twilight & Millennium, all great bands he sang in (beside the dozen projects he was part of). Most well-known is Jorn for his part in Masterplan. He recorded two great albums with Masterplan but finally decided to go his own way with his solo project simply named: JORN. He already recorded several albums with his solo project and now finally here is his first DVD. This DVD is recorded on the 16th of September 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA during his performance at the ProgPower USA festival. I had the luck to see Jorn 3 days before these recordings at the Biebob, Vosselaar in Belgium with an equal set list.
The set list consist of a lot of songs from his solo albums but also some cover songs from Dio (Straight through the Heart), Thin Lizzy (Are you Ready & Cold Sweat), Deep Purple (Perfect Strangers) and as bonus a Whitesnake medley. Of course a bit pity because he already had enough songs from his own bands/projects to play. On this DVD he only plays 1 Masterplan song (Soulburn), 1 Beyond Twilight song (Godless and Wicked) and not even 1 song from the legendary Ark albums???
Nevertheless this is a great DVD with Jorn singing better than ever!! Hope to book Jorn in the near future to headline one of my next editions of the Mario's Metal Meeting festivals!!! Check this well (not over-) produced DVD out!! Jorn rules!!
Visit their website: http://www.jornlande.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/realjorn

88/100

MANIC MOVEMENT – Dark Glitter (CD) Belgium April 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Gothic Metal Running time: 49:23 (Tracks: 11)
Suddenly, they are back: Manic Movement from Belgium And back they are indeed ! Formed by Oliver Wittenberg back in 1993 they came up with two melodic death metal albums as "Thousand Sufferings"(1999) and "Future Dreaming Self" (2001). After that it became quiet around this band. Until now ………… According to themselves they "switched to female vocals, creating more accessible songs and expanding their musical spectrum". A mouth full of telling they sound completely different nowadays.
'Dark Glitter' is the name of their new album, and that is just what you can expect of the music they'll bring to you. It has become a very atmospheric, melodic and sometimes a bit dark album. The first band that came up in my mind by instrumental opener "Face Your Mirror" was Nemesea, but further on the songs sometimes get much poppiër, a bit like Xandria ( "Voices") does . The songs are very well performed and the band has succeeded in songs with a character. It never gets dull, so they ask for your attention. Mostly the album listens away pretty easily. Overall the album has catchy gothic rockers like "Army of Agony" and "Sleeping Beauty" with good, emotive guitar solo work by Frédéric Ost. Virginia's voice sounds a bit fragile because she operates in the higher regions. It certainly works on this album and fits perfectly in songs like "Vanity" but a bit more variation hurts nobody. I think that she, after some touring, will be able to get that thing right, she certainly has it in here. The keyboard melodies are dominant in songs like "Hollow Hearts" but they give more colour to the songs so they can develop themselves to classics. "This Sweet Indifference" I like to mention because this one is heavier, darker and combines melody and brilliant axe work with pounding drums to a spherefull song, just the way I like it. The album also features a cover of Sting's "Russians". Well, covers mostly doesn't add something to the original. This time it is the other way around. Forget Sting's version, because this one is so much better! Manic Movement has succeeded in given this song a more dramatic feeling combined with just the right, a bit heavier, sound and it really gets you, makes you even shiver. When you have those great capacities as a band in you, the future can be yours, even in a genre with so much competition. Gladly they will perform on MFVF7 but I hope to see them much earlier. Well done !
P.S. thanks to Shiver Records for sending me a real copy of this cd without lousy voice-overs.
Visit their website: http://www.manicmovement.be
Recordlabel: http://www.shiver-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/manicmovement

82/100

MANUFACTURER'S PRIDE – Sound of God's Absence (CD + DVD) Finland April 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Atmospheric Death / Thrash Metal Running time: 59:23 (Tracks: 12)
Manufacturer's Pride originates from the ashes of an underground band called Product Of Rage. This group was disbanded after the recording of their first album due to a lack of motivation. The first Manufacturer's Pride release saw the light in 2007 and received good reviews in Finland's underground metal scene. I haven't heard the debut album myself but based on their second effort 'Sound of God's Absence' that is about to change. The subtle combination of death metal grunts and modern thrash music is catchy. Also the atmospheric doom elements are quite unique in this genre. Most of the songs reminded me of the older Machine Head and Killswitch Engage albums but yet a bit more theatrical. The image of the band (according to their live performances and website) is dark and dangerous. The music on the other hand is quite accessible. 'Sound of God's Absence' is not a revolutionary album, but just a solid metal record with great variety and a decent production. The first pressing of this album is a digipack limited to 1000 CD's and contains a bonus DVD. On the DVD you will find 2 promo video's, a full length gig (60 min) and a 'Making of Dahlia' clip which makes it an interesting package. Check out their MySpace page to listen to the new tracks.
Visit their website: http://www.manufacturerspride.com
Recordlabel: http://www.offrecords.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/manufacturerspride

75/100

MELY – Portrait Of A Porcelain Doll (CD) Austria April 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Gothic / Doom / Prog Metal Running time: 41:32 (Tracks: 9)
"Portrait Of A Porcelain Doll" is the fourth album of Austrian band MELY. The band is formed in 1999 and exists of Andreas Mataln (vocals, guitar), Peter Lengfeldner (vocals, guitar), Martin Mataln (vocals, keyboards, synthesizer), Daniel Huber (bass) and Harnes Ganeider (drums). Their debut album "There Are Days…" was also released in 1999, followed by albums like "…Reel Through My Wave" (2003) and "…Leave And Enter Empty Rooms" (2007). Well, "Portrait Of A Porcelain Doll", which is my first acquaintance with MELY, is a real beauty, because every time I listen to it, the album GROWS. Anyway, MELY is playing very atmospheric and melodic Dark Metal/Gothic with also Doom and Prog Metal parts. Musically they remind me very much of bands like MY DYING BRIDE, TIAMAT etc.. Just listen to songs like "Grown For Doom" or "Hell Low" and you know what I mean. Really, all nine tracks on this album are all brilliant compositions. Also the production, which is done by Mario Lochert and Andreas Mataln, is very good. "Portrait Of A Porcelain Doll" is with songs like "Of Doubts And Fears", "Grown For Doom" (beautiful), "Bricks Against Porcelain Dolls", "Hell Low" (beautiful and very catchy) and "Sweet Six Feet" really a recommendation if you like the above mentioned bands. A very good album and most of all a very interesting band. My compliments guys, for releasing such a wonderful album. By the way, on March 29th 2009, they played at the W2, Den Bosch with DORNENREICH and AGALLOCH. To bad I couldn't go, because I would love to see this band.
Visit their website: http://www.mely.at
Recordlabel: http://www.silverwolf-productions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/melymyspace

88/100

NASTY IDOLS – Boys Town (CD) Sweden April 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Sleaze / Glam Rock Running time: 47:06 (Tracks: 12)
Armed with scarves, make-up, hairspray, bleached and black hair with influences of bands like KISS, SWEET, NEW YORK DOLLS and ALICE COOPER, Swedish Glam / Sleaze Rock band NASTY IDOLS was formed as a five-piece band in the summer of 1987 by singer Andy Pierce and bassist Dick Qwarfort. So far these Glam boys have released the following albums: "Gigolos On Parole" (1989), "Cruel Intention" (1991), "Vicious" (1993) and "Heroes For Sale" (recorded in 1995, but finally released in 2002). The albums "Cruel Intention" and "Vicious" are both re-released in 2002 and 2006. And the 2002 album "Heroes For Sale" was re-released in 2006 as well. The band also has released two compilation albums, which are "Best Of Nasty Idols" (2002) and "The Swedish Sleaze Collection" (2006). During the existence of the band there have been many line-up changes. And in 1995, after the recording of their fourth album "Heroes For Sale", they decided to split up. At that time Pierce started his new band MACHINEGUN KELLY. In 1998 they did a reunion gig and in that same year Pierce also released his solo album "No Place For Late Regrets". And in 2004 Andy started another new band called UNITED ENEMIES. But in 2006 NASTY IDOLS finally re-united again in the "Vicious" album era line-up, only not with Stanley on drums. So, the line-up of NASTY IDOLS on this new album "Boys Town" is Andy Pierce (vocals), Peter Espinoza (guitar), Dick Qwarfort (bass) and Rikki Dahl (drums; UNITED ENEMIES). "Boys Town" opens very strongly with songs like "Rock Out", the title track and "Method To My Madness". Real traditional Glam ballads on this album are "Nite Like This" and "It Ain't Easy". These two ballads really sound like how a Glam ballad supposes to sound. What else can I say, the band has the looks, the album is very good produced and features twelve fantastic songs. "Boys Town" is just a marvellous glam/sleaze album. My favourite songs are "Rock Out", "Boys Town", "Method To My Madness", "Crashlanding", the catchy "7 Year Itch" (this is gonna be a real Glam classic), "Evil One" and "It's Not Love".
Visit their website: http://www.nastyidols.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thenastyidols

85/100

RAIN – Dad is Dead (CD) Italy April 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy / True Metal Running time: 57:01 (Tracks: 13)
Rain was already formed in 1980 and finds his definitive line up in 1998 with Alessandro Tronconi (vocals), Luciano Tattini (rhythm guitar), Alessio AMOS Amorati (lead guitar), Gianni GINO Zenari (bass), Andrea MARIO Baldi (drums). At the end of 1999 / beginning 2000 Rain produces the album Bigditch 4707. This album of 10 tracks is pure heavy metal from the eighties, it contains also a multimedia track with the bands biography and picks. Today all copies are sold out! In 2002 the band finds its first deal for two albums with the French label Deadsun Records, and in May 2003 a multimedia EP with two songs was released: Headshaker and Only for the Rain Crew, title track and leading track of the full length released in September 2003. HEADSHAKER contains 11 tracks and a brand new multimedia part. I already reviewed the "Headshaker" album in March 2005 after the band gave me a copy during their performance at the Warm-up show of the Keep it True festival in 2004. I was during that time especially impressed by their singer Alessandro Tronconi!! He took the band to a higher level. Last month I saw the band finally again during their trek with ex-Iron Maiden miscarriage Blaze Bailey at our local 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands. I was surprised because the band brought a new singer with them; Il Biondi. Luckily this new singer was live nearly equal to Alessandro Tronconi. Great show the guys played over there and after the show I had a lot of fun with a few of the guys (Thanks for the explanation of the song titles Amos :). The band did recognise me from the 2005 review of their "Headshaker" album and gave me a copy of their latest album "Dad is Dead".
Funny to notice that this is their first album after so many years and the follow up to "Headshaker"!! This well produced album sounds great and is totally what I expected to hear; great true metal played with good musicianship and, as said, a good new frontman! All powerful songs and as last song a cover version of THE CULT cover "Rain". Not really a true metal song but in the Rain version it DOES sound True!!. If you're into true metal in the vein of bands like Saxon, Iron Maiden and also Jaguar; check them out!
Visit their website: http://www.raincrew.com
Recordlabel: http://www.auralmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/raincrew1980

80/100

RED BURNS BLACK – Set this Night Alight (CD) United Kingdom April 2009 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Rock Running time: 43:26 (Tracks: 10)
Red Burns Black was formed to bring back the music and feeling that once was created by Guns 'n Roses and later Velvet Revolver. The music is as you would expect: sleazy hard rock with that typical raw edge which makes you want to drink, jump and party. When you read the biography, listen to the album or watch their performance videos, you immediately know that the best ability of this band is to play live in front of an audience. These songs are begging to be played live! Formed only in 2006, the band quickly became popular in the local scene because of their energetic performances. For two years straight the band toured up and down the country spreading their music. Meanwhile they were played on several radio stations, reviews were placed in magazines and word to mouth still continued to spread around. Now, after nearly three years of writing and playing experience the debut album is a fact. Did they manage to capture their live sound on this album? Unfortunately the answer is no. Don't get me wrong, the songs definitely rock. It's just that it doesn't come to life on the record which is a shame because of the qualitative good material. The opener "Fear love hate fight" is a straight forward rocker in the likes of the previous mentioned bands, as well as the tracks "Rip you up" "Lady" and "O so fine." The inevitable (semi)ballad "Sweet love of mine" shows the excellent song writing skills of the band and the great potential. Nevertheless, this album is a nice introduction to the world and if they spend more time on the production for the next album, Red Burns Black is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Visit their website: http://www.redburnsblack.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.coprorecords.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/redburnsblackrock

80/100

SHENANIGANZ – Open Your Eyes Or Cover Your Head (CD) Germany April 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Rock Running time: 53:54 (Tracks: 14)
Exactly one year ago I reviewed the debut album of SHENANIGANZ, titled "Four Finger Fist Fight". I was really surprised by that album, that's why it got 92 points from me. And now SHENANIGANZ have released their second album "Open Your Eyes Or Cover Your Head". My expectations were high too this time, but I was a little bit disappointed, because not all the songs, instead of the songs on their debut album, are very strong. Okay, the album grows a little bit after a few times listening, but it's a much less album. Anyway, the band still exists of Georg Raig (vocals, guitar), Daniel Rehbein (guitar, vocals), Tobay Reich (bass) and Dom Rehbein (drums). Musically there's nothing changed, because it's still kick ass rock 'n roll what these guys are playing. And they still remind me of bands like BOOZED, JET and AC/DC. The album, which is fantastic produced, opens strong with tracks like "Roses Are Red", "The Cost Of Rock", "Merry-Go-Round" and "We Are The Underground". But this time there are some less songs on the album like "Because I Am", "Change" and "Bavaria". And the hidden track, which you get after "Nowadays", is totally crap. "Open Your Eyes Or Cover Your Head" is just a nice album, but in my opinion their debut "Four Finger Fist Fight" is still their best so far. The best songs are: "Roses Are Red", "The Cost Of Rock", "Merry-Go-Round", "We Are The Underground", "Girl In The First Row" and "Way To Go". Please on the third album more songs like these ones, guys!!
Visit their website: http://www.shenaniganz.de
Recordlabel: http://www.silverwolf-productions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/badassrocknroll

74/100

THANATOS – Justified Genocide (CD) The Netherlands April 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash / Death Metal Running time: 47:17 (Tracks: 13)
Thanatos...an illustrious name that has been haunting the Underground Metal scene since 1984.. Im the proud owner of an original copy of their first demo "Speed Kills"! After several demo tapes and line-up changes, Thanatos released two classic Thrash/Death Metal albums in the early 1990's: 'Emerging From The Netherworlds' (Shark Records/Cargo 1990) and 'Realm Of Ecstasy'( Shark Records/Cargo 1992). In 1992 Thanatos split up due to a variety of reasons but was revived in 1999 by founding member Stephan Gebédi, featuring a new line-up that included members from Sinister, Houwitser and Cremation. The third Thanatos album, 'Angelic Encounters', was released in 2000 by Hammerheart Records, followed by even more live shows.
In 2002 the band recorded four new songs and two covers in a small 8-track studio to attract some interest from record companies. Baphomet Records/Red Stream released these recordings as the 'Beyond Terror' Mini CD. Thanatos signed a recording deal with Greek label Black Lotus Records in 2003, resulting in the release of 'Undead.Unholy.Divine.' the next year (see Archive CD/DVD reviews). While recording their fifth full-length 'Justified Genocide' the band was informed of Black Lotus Records' bankruptcy and the album was put on hold.
In 2009, a quarter of a century after the band's first incarnation, 'Justified Genocide' finally is released by a partner closer to home. The quartet signed a deal with Holland based Deity Down Records. 'Justified Genocide' was recorded at Excess Studio in Rotterdam, Netherlands and mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath, Moontower) at Unisound Studio in Sweden.
This is the bands 5th album in their 25th year celebration and this is again a damn good one! Musically I always named bandleader Stephan Gebedy the "Dutch Chuck Schuldiner" especially because they nearly started at the same period and their music was very comparable in the first years of both bands. When Death changed their music into a more technical direction; Thanatos stayed true to their roots. The band still plays a mix of (old) Death & (old) Kreator. This album sounds extremely aggressive and it was a good choice from Deity Down Records to release this album! This is a must have for all old-school thrashers/deathmetallers! The CD contains 2 bonus tracks: 'An Jesus Wept' (released on vinyl in 2006) and 'The Burning of Sodom' (originally from Dark Angel)
Visit their website: http://www.thanatos.info
Recordlabel: http://www.deitydownrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thanatos666

85/100

THE BURNING – Rewakening (CD) Denmark April 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Thrash / Death Metal Running time: 47:06 (Tracks: 12)
The Burning from Denmark ended 2008 by winning 'Best live band 2008' where they beat bands like Hatesphere and Volbeat. Not bad. So I really was curious how this second release recorded in the Kohlekeller studio's would sound. The first song 'it came from the north' blows out my speakers and I liked what I heard. Singer Johnny Haven has a great grunt and also screams his guts out. So it was varied enough. The production is good but after a few songs I started to get bored. It all sounds great but not spectacular. I also started to miss a second guitarist. Rasmus Vinding sure knows how to play the damn thing but it all sounds to thin. The bass sounds great the way it's distorted and let's me forget the lack of a second guitarist a bit but not completely. Drummer Toby Hoest plays efficient but nothing special. And even Johnny's screams started to bore me. His grunts are much better. So my end conclusion is: well played but nothing spectacular. Maybe they must get a second guitarist and Johnny must improve his screams.
Visit their website: http://www.theburning.dk
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theburningdk

73/100

THE TEMPLE OF NOW - Two Worlds (CD) USA April 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 65:05 (Tracks: 14)
Last month I reviewed the album Obvious from multi-instrumentalist Calie Cox. This was one of the two albums which he released in 2008, and in my opinion, it was a good album. Cox is active in the music industy since the 80`s. He played in different bands (Crystal Sphere, Piranha) before a calm period started in his musical career. Cox restarted his career in 2008 by releasing his solo album Obvious and the start of The Temple of Now. Cox founded The Temple of Now with his friend Dave Baxley (Keyboards, Moog Taurus Pedals and Drums) and they are both responsible for the composition of the songs. Baxley has been mainly active as audio engineer, but he played also in some other bands (Azure). The album 'Two Worlds', which is produced by Cox and Baxley, starts excellent with 'Another Day'. This song is directly my personal favourite, especially the guitar solo is great! 'Another Day' is one of the best songs that I heard in months! The guitar work stays on a high level during the whole album and it contains ballads as well as more up tempo songs. You can compare the music on this album with Cox`s solo album Obvious, but the influence of Baxley is noticeable if you compare both albums. Especially the keyboards plays a more prominent role on Two worlds. The lyrics on the album handle with the fact that the most of the people face "two worlds". An example is that a lot of people are not aware that there is more happening in the world than that they witness in their daily lives. Quite heavy stuff!
Visit their website: http://cdbaby.com/cd/templeofnow
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thetempleofnow

81/100

ULYSSES – The Gift of Tears (CD) The Netherlands April 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 61:52 (Tracks: 7)
Ulysses comes from the Netherlands. "The Gift of Tears" is the band's third release. The first one was "Eclectic" in 2001 and the second one "Symbioses" in 2003. The band plays progressive metal with many progressive rock elements. The cd is consisted of 7 quite lengthy compositions. The thing with songs that exceed the 8 minute barrier is that although they contain many themes, they tend to tire the listener after a while. This is probably the only serious drawback in this album. The five musicians are excellent and quite experienced. Guitar and keyboards keep the leading roles. If you like progressive metal influenced by Genesis, Rush, Kansas and ELP then perhaps you should check Ulysses.
Visit their website: http://www.ulysses-online.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.symbiosesmusic.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ulyssesnl

77/100

VALOUR – Valour (CD) United Kingdom April 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Running time: 48:48 (Tracks: 10)
VALOUR is a five-piece band from Berkshire, England and exists of Sean Easton (vocals), Chris Merton (guitar), Mike Grey (guitar), Jake Rhodes (bass) and Mark Frost (drums). I can't find any information about when VALOUR was formed. There's no biography of the band on their MySpace page at all. This self titled debut album features ten songs and starts with the middle age style instrumental "Midnight Heartache Pt 1". "Midnight Heartache Pt 2", which is the last track of the album, starts just like part 1 with acoustic classical guitar. But after 2 minutes you'll get some white noise until 7:10 minutes before it ends with a instrumental Thrashy one. I don't like such songs with long silences or irritating noises. But that's my only complain about this fantastic album, because songs like "Orchestra", "Bracknell Aristocracy", "Worth Fighting For", "Die @ My Hands", "Roses", "Glory Euphoria", "Holy F" and "Love The Ride" are all brilliant compositions. The album has a very good production, which was done by Chris Coulter. The band exists of very good musicians and Easton is a fantastic singer. Very interesting band. If you are curious about VALOUR, check them out yourself on their MySpace page.
Recordlabel: http://www.bertus.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/valour05

82/100

WATERLAND – Waterland (CDemo) Portugal April 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Symphonic Power Metal Running time: 76:34 (Tracks: 15)
Waterland is a project which was created by Miguel Gomes in 2007. Miguel Gomes is the guitarist of Oratory, a power metal band from Portugal. For his Waterland project, Miguel got the help of the singers Marco Alves (ex-Oratory) and Bruno Gomes. Waterland plays symphonic/melodic power metal. Most of the time they try to sound like Freedom Call from Germany, but I also can hear some Stratovarius influences. Musically it's not that bad, although I've heard many better bands lately. The weak points of Waterland are both vocalists, which can't convince me that much. Surely a point to work at. The guitar parts and keyboards of Miguel are good, the production of this demo also could be much better. Maybe they can arrange that in a good studio.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/waterlandband

64/100

WICKED WALTZ – Chapter 1 (MCD) USA April 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic US Power Metal Running time: 24:31 (Tracks: 4)
In the year 2004, guitarist Micah Nicholson started a long and very challenging journey in finding the right heavy metal band for him. Micah moved to Mobile, Alabama from Baltimore, Maryland and immediately started scouting the music stores in the area. After finding ads and cycling through numerous musicians through the years, it wasn't until he ran into Jeff Q. on boards, Wyatt on the bass, and Jason Blaze on drums. Together the four formed the foundations and the glue of Wicked Waltz. After several singers and lead guitarists, it was Jamie on lead and Jason R. on vocals who came to Wicked Waltz to finish the lineup. So far the biography according their MySpace site.
Wicked Waltz has delivered a very fine piece of US metal in a way I like it most! Straight in your face powermetal in a way bands like Pyramaze, Metal Church & Icarus Witch made fame with. This 4 song EP is blessed with a very nice production and it makes me long for more!! Only little complain is the europower feeling that I got during the second song 'A Heart that cannot Bleed'. This is the weakest song of this album but still 1000 times better than the original europower metalbands! Hope this band finds a decent label soon! Check them out if you're an US Metal Maniac just like me!! Great stuff!
Visit their website: http://www.wickedwaltz.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wickedwaltz

92/100

ZIPPO – The Road to Knowledge (CD) Italy April 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Stoner Rock Running time: 59:19 (Tracks: 13)
This is completely different music then the usual death metal that Mario sends me but my scepticism was quickly replaced by a brand new feeling. I liked it. Hahaha !!! This is the second cd by this band from Pescara Italy. The band is: Dave- vocals, Sergente -Guitar, Devis-guitar, Stonino-bass and Ferico- drums ;They have a self produced debut album recorded 2006 named 'Ode to Maximum' and since then the sound got heavier, darker and more psychedelic .This second piece is recorded and mixed in Italy and mastered in California by John Golden at Golden mastering Studio (Neurosis, Melvins,Primus). After this Silvio leaves the band due to personal reasons and is replaced by Devis. In summer 2008 Zippo signs a deal with Subsound records. Now something about the cd. It's a conceptual work inspired by the highly discussed book by Carlos Castaneda' The teachings of Don Juan' (1968) a true report of his experiences with a Yaqui Indian . I think they really captured the feeling of the journey in their songs. You can almost taste the peyote yourself !!! But you don't have to be stoned to enjoy this. I'm not. Some songs are really psychedelic but not over the top while other songs are melancholic and dark. And a song like Lizards can't be wrong is like a mantra. Perfect for yoga lovers. But most importantly, the cd really rocks. Very good vocals and although the cd lasts an hour it is varied enough to keep me interested. Well done.
Visit their website: http://www.zippoband.it
Recordlabel: http://www.subsoundrecords.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/zippomusic

86/100

MARCH

ANTHIMOS MANTI – Alligator Lick (CD) Greece March 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Rock/Metal Running time: 45:40 (Tracks: 14)
I didn't receive a biography of this Greek guitarist, and I also couldn't find much info at his mypsace page. There were some reviews, but these ones were written in Greek language. So, this is the debut instrumental album of Anthimos Manti, a virtuoso guitarist from Greece. On his debut album "Alligator Lick" are 14 hot instrumental songs which showcase his guitar playing. For a guitar freak like me, it's always fun to listen to interesting instrumental guitar albums. And yes, I also liked Anthimos album very much! The songs have influences from different guitarists like Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Kosta Vreto and Kiki Loureiro. Sometimes complex, sometimes shredding, sometimes emotional, but Anthimos always plays very melodic too. That's the way I like it!!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/anthimosmantis

84/100

ARCTIC FLAME – Declaration (CD) USA March 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: US Metal Running time: 48:40 (Tracks: 8)
My first acquaintance with US Metal band ARCTIC FLAME was on Mario's second festival MMM2 on November 9th 2008. Before MMM2 I never had heard of ARCTIC FLAME before. My impression of ARCTIC FLAME at MMM2 was not that big. Just a nice band to see once. I didn't like all the songs they played, but I remember I liked the singer anyway. The line-up of ARCTIC FLAME is Dave Lowe (vocals), Rod Mariani (guitar), Steve Demalion (guitar), Jon Norberg (bass) and Mike Paradine (drums). So far they have released a 5-track EP and their full length debut album "Primal Aggressor" (2006). And now here's ARCTIC FLAME's second album titled "Declaration". After several times listening to "Declaration" I must say it's a reasonable album. The second track "Blind Leads The Blind" for example just takes to long and is pretty boring. And "Shadow Of A Broken Man" only gets more tempo at the end of the song. The band has in Lowe a good singer with a wide range. The production is okay and the cover of the album is fantastic. The best songs on "Declaration" are in my opinion the opening track "The Unknown God", "Lords Of The Wasteland", "Disciples Of The Flame", "Desert Moon" and "Declaration". If you're into US Metal then check this band out.
Visit their website: http://www.arcticflamemetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/arcticfire

75/100

BULLDOZER BREED – Bulls In A Mosh (CD) The Netherlands March 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Thrash Metal / Metal Running time: 38:14 (Tracks: 10)
Well, although this product of Dutch trio BULLDOZER BREED is packed in a DVD box, it's just a normal CD with ten tracks. The band, originating from the Eindhoven area, started in 2004 and exists of Jorik (vocals, bass), Willem (guitar) and Bart (drums). The three members have previously been, or are still part of bands such as ELEGY, IMITALLICA and RATcom. Anyway, I've seen the band just once a couple of years ago as the support act of PETER PAN SPEEDROCK at Nirwana, Lierop (January 26th, 2006). What I remember is that they didn't impress me that much. And now three years later I have to review BULLDOZER BREED's debut album "Bulls In A Mosh". To be honest, I'm still not impressed that much by this band. Okay, there are really some nice moments on the album, with some great riffs, but some songs are just to simple to me ("Visions Of Violence" (with guest vocals of Eline Otten), "An Evening With Satan" and "Übercrusher"). For example, I only like the last part of "Übercrusher", the first part is so simple. Musically it's Thrash or very simple Metal they are playing. The most notable song on the album for me is "Tonight We Will Ride", which is really a great song (the best). The production is nice, but could have been better, especially the drum sound. The best songs are in my opinion the Thrash songs "The Beast Is Back", "Bottom Of Life" and "Bolker" and of course "Tonight We Will Ride". Not that bad, just nice enough to listen to once in a while. If you're interested in BULLDOZER BREED, just check them out yourself.
Visit their website: http://www.bulldozerbreed.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bulldozerbreed

70/100

BURNING POINT – Empyre (CD) Finland March 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 46:01 (Tracks: 11)
Finnish powerhouse Burning Point has released a series of fine power metal albums during the last 10 years. I was curious to see if "Empyre" would follow the path carved by the three previous releases. It seems like the band has done it again. The new recording is in the same vein as the oldest material and fortunately is not like most Finnish bands that follow gothic and Nightwish-like trends. The Burning Point style is influenced by bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Accept with a result similar to Primal Fear and Hammerfall. Catchy choruses, fine solos, great rhythm guitar and a very fitting production. This album is not for those who seek for innovations and contemporary music. It is made for those who appreciate good old fashioned (but with a modern edge) European power metal. The press release states that the special cd edition features some cover versions with high profiled guests! Very interesting indeed!
Visit their website: http://www.burningpoint.net
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/burningpointband

80/100

CALIE COX - Obvious (CD) USA March 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 65:16 (Tracks: 13)
Calie Cox is a multi-instrumentalist coming from Sacramento, USA. He has been active in the music industry since the 80`s. Cox founded 3 bands during his career: Crystal Sphere (when he was 16 years old) together with Marc Curry and Aaron Abeyta ( who was later active in NOFX), Piranha (1985-1989) with members who joined Tesla and Kaleidoscope, and finally his first independent project, The Big Bang (1989-1995). This last band produced two songs which made airplay in Sacramento, but I`m not familiar with one of these three bands.
Reading his biography, it seems that Cox restarted his musical career in 2008. Together with keyboardist Dave Baxley, he founded The Temple of Now which released the album "Two Worlds". Calie Cox also released his solo album "Obvious" in 2008. This album is not bad at all! "Obvious" contains some ballads ("Midnight's Dreaming" en "The morning After"), but it has also some heavier songs like "Spellbound". I have only one point of critisism and this relates to the poor production. The music on this album is heavy, melodic rock with a powerful but a little bit special voice. When I heard Cox`s voice for the first time, I thought that I heard Geddy Lee (Rush). You love it or hate it, I prefer the first option. Remarkable is that Cox plays all the instruments which you hear on this album.
Visit their website: http://cdbaby.com/cd/caliecox
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/caliecox42

78/100

CHICKS WITH GUNS – On Your Mind (MCD) Sweden March 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Sleaze / Glam Rock Running time: 14:45 (Tracks: 4)
Swedish Sleaze/Glam Rock band CHICKS WITH GUNS was formed in 2006 and in that same year the band released a two track demo called "It's Not Enough". Red Pulse Records was interested in CHICKS WITH GUNS and wanted to make an EP with those boys. The band started with the recording process of the EP in March of 2008 with a new fabulous line-up which exists of Karl-Wilhelm Arvidsson (vocals, guitar), Teddy Skoglund (guitar), Kristoffer Johnsson (bass) and Linus Fritzson (drums).
This "On Your Mind" EP, which is released in December 2008, features 4 new self penned songs, which are titled "Love At First Sight", "Bullshit Boulevard", "On Your Mind" and "Love Is A Game". It's not very original but it sounds nice. The best songs are "Love At First Sight", "Bullshit Boulevard" and "Love Is A Game". The guitar solo in "Love Is A Game" sounds a bit like an Ace Frehley (KISS) solo. The title track of this EP is a bit less. If you like bands as MÖTLEY CRÜE, DANGER, GIRL, KISS etc. you will like these glamboys too.
Recordlabel: http://www.redpulserecords.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/chickswithgunsonline

76/100

CORNERSTONE – Head Over Heels (CD) Austria March 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 34:55 (Tracks: 9)
Before commenting on this album: this Austrian band has nothing to do with the Cornerstone that some of you will know featuring Doogie White! Judging by the package that their promotion company sent around, this is the next hit band for the next decade. Signed by Ohio based Atom Records, somehow this Austrian lot managed to convince some people that they are bound to take the world by storm. Musically, I cannot think what made them decide to shout out this loud about this band. Of course I gave the cd multiple spins. I am hearing some talented musicians, a female singer with a nice, poppy voice, but I am missing out on one important factor: ROCK! And this factor cannot be caused by a distorted guitar, but the feel of the songs must breathe rock. And that is not what I experience when listening to this band. Reading other comments really makes one laugh; comparing this singer to Heart's Ann Wilson is ridiculous when hearing a ballad ("Crises"). Anja Schirmer doesn't have an inch of Ann Wilsons power and colourful voice. No, this band is being hyped, but for all the wrong reasons. Talent and potential in the rock scene will be recognized by music fans but never dictated by a marketing machine. Our eyes are being fooled, our ears speak the truth. This is hitparade stuff.
Visit their website: http://www.cornerstone.at.tf
Recordlabel: http://www.atomrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cornerstoneaustria

60/100

CRUCIFIED BARBARA – 'Til Death Do Us Party (CD) Sweden March 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Running time: 40:24 (Tracks: 11)
CRUCIFIED BARBARA is an Swedish all girl Metal band who was formed in 1998. The line-up of CRUCIFIED BARBARA is Mia Coldheart (vocals, guitar), Klara Force (guitar), Ida Evileye (bass) and Nicki Wicked (drums). In 2005 they've released their debut album "In Distortion We Trust" (re-released in 2007 with bonus DVD). These good looking ladies have played with bands as BACKYARD BABIES, MOTÖRHEAD (they even have covered "Killed By Death"), JON OLIVA'S PAIN. Recently CRUCIFIED BARBARA released their second studio album, which is titled "'Til Death Do Us Party". This second album is recorded by Jocke Skog (CLAWFINGER) and produced by Mats Leven (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, AMASEFFER etc.) and sounds fantastic. The band reminds me sometimes of a much heavier version of the early SAHARA HOTNIGHTS (also from Sweden) like on "Can't Handle Love" and "Rats". Coldheart is a very good singer and sometimes her voice reminds me of SLUNT's Abby Gennet. Anyway, "'Til Death Do Us Party" features eleven fantastic Metal songs with still a lot of melodies. The first single of the album is "Sex Action" and is a very catchy song. "Jennifer" is a semi-ballad and is a duet with Mats Leven. It's a nice song but not one of my favourites. On "Dark Side", which is one of the heaviest tracks on the album, MOTÖRHEAD's Phil Campbell is doing a guest solo. All with all "'Til Death Do Us Party" is a very good album with fantastic songs like "Killer On His Knees", "Pain And Pleasure", "Sex Action", "Dark Side", "Blackened Bones" and "Feels Like Death". Well done ladies.
Visit their website: http://www.crucifiedbarbara.com
Recordlabel: http://www.gmrmusic.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/crucifiedbarbara

85/100

CRUSHING JACKHAMMER - Time To Thrash (CDemo) The Netherlands March 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 23:28 (Tracks: 7)
Hailing from The Netherlands Crushing Jackhammer is a new band playing old school thrash metal, not to be original but just for the fun of it. When you listen to their cd you can hear that they enjoy playing this music but if they like it so much I wonder why they recorded this record? The sound quality is absolutely awful, I heard better productions while listening to demo's. Maybe they try to make it sound 80's and all but to me it just sounds like the entire recording is made out of a fish tank. The instruments sound mute and the vocals are nothing more than a moan in the background. Anyway the songs itself are a proof that the band doesn't play this music to be original cause I probably didn't hear any riff that I didn't hear before on some thrash record. Overall the band isn't that bad but I guess they should have just concentrated on playing live. On a stage 80's thrash always sounds great if the crowd is good so I think they might turn out to become a great hit with a nice live reputation but I wouldn't recommend them to bring out more records until they've improved their recording and song writing quality.
Visit their website: http://crusjack.hyves.nl/
MySpace: www.myspace.com/crushingjackhammer

50/100

DYSFUNCTIONAL BY CHOICE – Travelling In Travel (CD) France March 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Alternative Metal / Hardcore / Industrial Running time: 37:17 (Tracks: 12)
I never had heard of DYSFUNCTIONAL BY CHOICE before. But this is a very interesting band from Paris, France. The band was formed in 1996 and exists of Julien Chaillou (vocals), Vincent Bertellin (guitar), Julien Hekking (guitar), Fabien Carouge (bass) and Francis Caste (drums). The band has released four self-produced EP's in the past and "Travelling In Travel" is their first full length album. Musically DYSFUNCTIONAL BY CHOICE reminds me the most of a band like HELMET. On this album are some instrumental parts (some with voices on the background) like "Fog", "Optimum", "Iced Bed" and "C Ut". But the real songs like "Alert", "Travelling In Travel (Out Of Trap)", "Non Reached Lights" and "Gotham" are really fantastic, with some great guitar riffs. Those mentioned songs are the best tracks of the album. In my opinion "Sleep & Learn" is very monotone and boring and "Pimple" is pretty much a noise/industrial song. The longest track is the last song "Underworld" (7:47), which is a nice song but not one of the best. But all with all, "Travelling In Travel" is a very good album which I would recommend if you like bands as HELMET and TOOL.
Visit their website: http://www.dysby.com
Recordlabel: http://www.drakkar.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dysby

80/100

ETERNAL – Start Of A New Era (MCD) Sweden March 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Hard Rock / Metal Running time: 17:54 (Tracks: 4)
These guys from Sweden began to play melodic hard rock in the early 80's, some of them together and some of them in other bands. In the 90's most of the members did some recording projects together and also played together in some coverbands. After a lot of years playing in coverbands, they got tired of that and decided to play and make their own style of hard rock again. In 2007 they finally started the band Eternal. A first result of their recordings it the mini-cd "Start Of A New Era", on which are 4 songs. They still play 80's inspired Swedish melodic hard rock/metal like Europe, Glory, Treat and The Poodles. All 4 songs have interesting guitar/keyboard parts, and also the vocalist, Christer Gärds, sings very good with a kinda melodic-raw voice like Peter De Wint (ex-Mystery, Affair, CrossFire) and Jakob Samuel (The Poodles, ex-Treasure Land, …). Eternal is a very good "newcomer" for the Swedish melodic hard rock/metal community!!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eternalsweden

85/100

GROUND OF RUIN – Cloacked in darkness (MCD) Ireland March 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Death / Thrash Metal Running time: 22:50 (Tracks: 4)
Labelled as black thrash metal by themselves. Ground Ruin sound more like a melodic death/thrash metal band to me. This four track mini CD shows a band that has some potential concerning their sound but has to do a little more to really outshine within this scene. Instrumentation and production are o.k. Artwork and lyrics are also more than o.k. Maybe the band should do better to sound a little bit more dirty. This will fit their image and lyrical theme better. But hey, maybe that's too personal and this is something you like. Fans of the Gothenburg sound from the mid nineties who also love some thrash should be aware of this. Record labels: check this out. I have heard bands that are less good gettin' a record deal!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/groundofruin

75/100

HEINRICHREICH/TARANIS – Ancient Will (Split CD) Ireland / Belgium March 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal & Black/Thrash Metal Running time: 43:19 (Tracks: 11)
What do you get when you cross a Belgium band with an Irish band who's founding member originally comes from Slovakia? This interesting split release off course! Aren't split releases something from the past I hear you ask? Surely, there were more of them released in the eighties and nineties but I think it is a great way for a band to display their sound to the public and on the other hand what is more fantastic than an album with two bands playing completely different styles but both sound great? In the underground split albums are still released on a wider schedule and so these two bands thought to combine there forces together…
Let's start with Heinrichreich that kicks of on this release. This is a real two headed monster for me. On one hand I hear a lot of good ideas but on the other hand some ideas are totally shit! Imagine a guitar tone that is alright, a drumcomputer which sounds awful, some keyboard and folk passages that are well thought while other are way too happy sounding and last vocals that sound more than o.k. One can say that this album sounds deformed at some parts but beautiful during others. I really like the guitar riffs on the first two songs and some of the keyboard parts so this is something that Mr. Heinrich must continue with. Things to get rid of are that ridiculous sounding drum computer and some of cheap sounding folk passages coming right out of his Casio keyboard. For now you get the benefit of the doubt Mr. Heinrich but next time I want to see some development on the above mentioned things!
Side B to speak in old school terms introduced me to old school black/thrash band: Taranis from Belgium that sounds much more outgrown than Heinrichreich. Obviously there's nothing original sounding here but the dirty old school sound that Taranis present here is something I really admire. Especially the in vitriol drenched vocals which reminded me a bit of the older Absu. Be damned this is good! Together with the vocals throw some old school metal riffs in the blender unfortunately with some cheap sounding drums and voila here we have the sound of Taranis. Totally early Bathory worship! Look out for their new full length on Iron Pegasus which should be released around this time. Wimps or posers: Beware!
Visit their website: http://www.heinrichreich.com
Recordlabel: http://www.ironagerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/heinrichreich
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/taranisvl

77/100

HELLBIKE – Hellbike (CDemo) The Netherlands March 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Hard Rock / Heavy Metal Running time: 11:00 (Tracks: 3)
Hellbike is a relatively new band, and really got fired up in 2007, this is their demo 3 track cd which tells us something about this band. Looking at the artwork and considering the band name, you get the idea this is Biker Party band, and they really would do great on such I think. Their music is a mix of Motorhead and AC/DC with some southern influences, while their singer sounds a bit like Brian Johnson. The production could be a lot better, but then again it is a demo, it does show the capacity of this band. The demo starts with the song 'Play Me', which is a heavy rocker, with some real nice guitar work in there, and my personal favourite track. 'Ready To Rumble' is up next, also a nice up tempo rocker, which even reminds just a little bit of Thin Lizzy, really cool solos here again. This is the stuff that got big in the eighties, or maybe even seventies, so this is nothing new or totally different, just nice and recognisable and fun! The last song 'Little Big Man', is a slower one, kind of a ballad almost, but nicely done, although I like them better doing the faster tracks. This demo makes me wanna know what they could do in a real studio, so hopefully they will get signed soon, so I don't have to wait too long for a full cd of this HELLBIKE! I bet they will be a blast live too, so I know I'm gonna ride my bike to where they play, are you?
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hellbike

77 /100

HERMAN FRANK – Loyal To None (CD) Germany March 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock / Metal Running time: 47:07 (Tracks: 10)
People who have never heard of Herman Frank will probably be below 25 years old. This man has served his guitar duties in Accept and Victory for ages, and is now a renowned producer (Saxon, Nikki Puppet) with his own recording facilities. Apparently, Herman felt the urge to release something of his own again, and after listening to this cd, I cannot blame him. He gathered some friend musicians to do the trick, amongst who are drummer Stefan Schwarzmann (Helloween) and vocalist Jiotis Parachidis (Victory). Forty seven minutes is however not very long; if it had been up to me, I would have put another song onto the album. Rest assured…this is my only criticism.
The result is one big pile of power!! Heavy double bassdrums, heavy and mean guitar riffs and a voice that really fits 100% into the songmaterial. Jiotis is to Herman Frank what Rob Rock is to Impellitteri. He never lets down, has a huge amount of aggression in his voice and he obviously has a lot of fun with his Victory and Running Wild buddies. Herman (his grey heir gives away a bit of his age) must be a happy and smiling man, after having recorded and produced such a classic album. I can only salute him for staying true to his feel of music and bringing so many people the power of this album. A job well done, Herman!
Visit their website: http://www.hermanfrank.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hermanfrank

91/100

ICON X – Memento Mori (CD) Sweden March 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Folk Running time: 51:15 (Tracks: 12)
Ok, I give up! "Memento Mori" from Icon X is indeed the strangest album I have ever reviewed in my 15 year old career as a reviewer. This is a one man project lead by the strange folklore figure of the man who calls himself Icon X. On the Icon X myspace page I read that Icon X used to play for a Swedish band called Wizz which released and album back in 1984 (nice album by the way…). Icon X sings in latin (!!!) and the album contains folk music with bagpipes and other traditional instruments. I really can't see why a heavy metal of hard rock fan should be interested in this album. Check it only if you are totally into folk music. I am sorry but I cannot give it any score at all. It is completely out of my league.
Visit their website: http://www.iconx.se
Recordlabel: http://www.talkingmusic.info
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/iconxmusic

?/100

IRON FIRE – To The Grave (CD) Denmark March 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Power Metal Running time: 55:00 (Tracks: 12)
This is already the third IRON FIRE album I get to review, after 'Revenge' and 'Blade of Triumph', and again they didn't disappoint me. After the release of 'Blade of Triumph' , the band embarked on a European Tour supporting U.D.O. and Primal Fear. One of the tour's highlights was the Christmas Festival in Germany when they performed along Saxon, WASP and Doro. However, the band did not rest on it's laurels and the members focused on writing new material for the upcoming album 'To The Grave'. Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Pretty Maids, Illdisposed) was responsible for the production once again, and did an outstanding job if you ask me, the album has a real heavy production. This is power metal as it should be, heavy riffs and pounding rhythms with Martin Steene's voice topping it off. Strong songs like 'Kill For Metal'(a classic for sure) or 'To The Grave' or 'The Kingdom', not a bad song to find on the album, most tracks are uptempo and very powerful, just the way it's supposed to be. It's clear to say that IRON FIRE is one of the greater power metal bands around between Manowar, Dragonforce and Hammerfall, maybe even the better one…And indeed nothing new or original to be found here, that is true, but they do what they do best, make powerful power metal with all clichés on board, while others tend to forget how power metal should sound after their second album, IRON FIRE still has the fire burning with their fifth album!
Visit their website: http://www.ironfire.dk
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officialironfire

85/100

KINGDOM – Kingdom (CDemo) Belgium March 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Sludge / Doom Metal Running time: 41:26 (Tracks: 3)
What shall we do with the drunken sailor? Early in the morning? Take him and shake him and try and wake him? Well it sure takes a while for Kingdom tries to wake me. The first minutes are only feedback. Like it or not. After this the band gets his greatest influences from Cult of Luna. Not that weird. Some of the members from Kingdom are also in AmenRa, a Belgian band which toured several times with this famous British band. Since I am a big fan of both bands you don't see me complaining. I like my sludge/ post-core the way Kingdom serves it: stretched out, heavy and beyond, way beyond your feelings as a human. Early in the morning? It can't be early enough even when I am drunk as hell! 40 minutes of quality atmospheric sludge, and that for an EP only. Take your advantage of it!
Visit their website: http://www.kingdomcomes.be
Recordlabel: http://www.genetrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kingdomcomes

79/100

LAMB OF GOD – Wrath (CD) USA March 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 44:52 (Tracks: 11)
Aaaargh…..this fifth album of LAMB OF GOD, titled "Wrath", is just AWESOME. To me, LAMB OF GOD is a mixture of bands like PANTERA, TESTAMENT, SLAYER and MESHUGGAH. Anyway, the band started in 1990 under the name of BURN THE PRIEST, and released only one self titled album in 1999. After that album they changed their name into LAMB OF GOD and since then they've released the following albums: "New American Gospel" (2000), "As The Palaces Burn" (2003), "Ashes Of The Wake" (2004) and "Sacrament" (2006). Before I got "Wrath" to review, I only had their previous album "Sacrament", which is a KILLER album too. Especially since the albums "Ashes Of The Wake" (which I know a little) and "Sacrament" LAMB OF GOD definitely belongs to the top of the "new" generation metal bands. Well, "Wrath" is LAMB OF GOD's first release on Roadrunner Records outside of North America. This album KICKS ASS with it's killer riffs, fantastic grooves and superb drum work. What a beast drummer Chris Adler is. Not to mention both guitarists Willie Adler and Mark Morton. And Randy Blythe is just the perfect singer for LAMB OF GOD. Really, there's no weak song on "Wrath". Songs like "In Your Words", "Set To Fail", "Contractor", "Fake Messiah", "Broken Hands" or "Reclamation" are all brilliant modern Thrash songs. Also the production, which is done by Josh Wilbur, is fabulous. Well, as you will understand, "Wrath" is a real recommendation and, in my opinion, already one of the best metal albums of 2009. By the way, the limited edition digipack version features two bonus tracks ("We Die Alone" and "Shoulder Of Your God").
BUY OR DIE.
Visit their website: http://www.lamb-of-god.com
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lambofgod

95/100

LOST LEGION – Glory or Death (CD) United Kingdom March 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Power Metal Running time: 54:00 (Tracks: 9)
Initiated under the name 'The Clan Of Steel' in 1998 by brothers Adam (guitar) and Frank Allain (guitar) to create heroic heavy metal songs inspired from great literary works of the fantasy genre, particularly the works of David Gemmell, fusing elements of classic metal bands like Manowar and Judas Priest with contemporary acts such as Blind Guardian. The band released a demo tape, with songs such as 'Blademaster' and the band anthem 'The Clan of Steel' which still form a core part of The Lost Legion's repertoire today. Shortly after followed by the concept EP 'The Wanderers Tale', after which the project is left aside for years. Then in 2003 Mark Harrington (Bass) and Tom Williams (vocals) joined the brothers to revitalise the project, soon after followed by Sterghios Moschos (Drums) to complete the line up. It is during this period that it is decided to change the name of the band into 'The Lost Legion' as it fits the load better. All songs handle about Heroism and tragedy, exultance and sorrow, the clamour of battle and the deathly calm that follows. Lost Legion sees themselves as the vanguard of powerful, epic and stirring warrior metal. 'Glory or Death' is their debut album, produced by Martin Bell at Audiogogue Studios. To start with the production, it sounds a bit flat unfortunately, which doesn't do the album any good. Although filed under Power Metal, the power lacks a big part of the album. There are really good ideas on the album, but overall it sounds a bit dull, to dramatic maybe. Songs like 'Carnage On The Walls Of Delnoch' or 'The Last Scion' are great, and most songs do have good guitar work in them, which with a good production would have given this album a higher score, but unfortunately it isn't so. Some of the songs tend to be very long, and drag on and on, a bit more variation would be welcome, or stick to shorter ones. But one thing is for sure, with a stronger and more powerful sound it would be so more energetic and better sounding. Hopefully with their next release it will happen, because they do have potential.
Recordlabel: http://www.ironagerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thelostlegion

68/100

LUNATICA – New Shores (CD) Switserland March 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Symphonic Metal Running time: 50:02 (Tracks: 11)
It's funny when you realise that nowadays, a lot of bandnames end with –ica. Metallica (plus all the spin-offs in coverbands), Magica and Lunatica are three names I spontaneously came up with. However, these bands have musically nothing in common. Swiss lot Lunatica have just released their 4th album, without guitarist André Leuenberger, who was replaced by live-stand-in Marc Toretti. Under productional charge of Sascha Paeth (who needs no further introduction), the band recorded this album in Wolfsburg. I was unfamiliar with the three previous albums so I was totally unbiased and curious about this female-fronted band.
I must admit, I expected their music to be gothic-like. Listening to the album made me realise I was totally wrong. Lunatica makes melodic metal with a heavy edge, right beside the smoother female vocals of Andrea Dätwyler. The album itself has no songs that really stand out, but it never bores. I quite liked the opening song "New Shores" but also John Payne's contributions (where does he find the time, being quite busy with his Asia band?). The album reminds me a little of the debut album of Echoes Of Eternity, be it less dark. Quite nice to listen to, though. Judge for yourself if this is your genre. I read a few reviews done by colleagues, but calling this album dull sells the band short. The Japanese market gets (again) a bonustrack, "Timekeeper".
Visit their website: http://www.lunatica.ch
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lunaticametalk

78/100

MIND ODYSSEY – Time to Change It (CD) Germany March 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 44:06 (Tracks: 10)
German power metal band Mind Odyssey kicked of its career during the early 90s. In a two year period the band released two albums of high octane melodic European power metal. "Keep it all Turning" and "Psychoschizophenia" can be listed among the best albums of the genre. After a 4 year break the band returned with a new line up (including Victor Smolski on guitar) and released two albums in two years. In my opinion, "Signs" and "Nailed to the Shade" are inferior compared to the first two albums. Then came the split. 10 years later the band returns and seems willing to make it work once again.
"Time to Change It" is a fine melodic metal album. The trademark high pitched vocals of band leader Mario Lemole are present (Glen Hughes meets Rob Halford) and so are the brilliant guitar themes by Smolski. This comeback album is obviously better that the last two efforts and puts the band back on track. For those who are not familiar with the band's sound, I would describe its style as a mix between Rage, Helloween and Judas Priest. In this album you will find memorable choruses, interesting compositions with the right length (an average of 4 minutes) and fine musicianship. Modern European power metal needs albums like this.
Visit their website: http://www.mindodyssey.de
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mindodyssey07

80/100

MINDWARP CHAMBER – Delusional Reality (CD) USA March 2008 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Power / Progressive Metal Running time: 61:15 (Tracks: 8)
I already reviewed the bands debut MCD "Skeptics Eye" in January 2008 so for a bio I advice you to take a look at that review. I was already impressed by their debut MCD and rated it with 80 out of 100 points. The band didn't have any line-up changes since their debut which is to my opinion the strong power of bands like Mindwarp Chamber. Musically they made a lot of progression and in my earlier review I named bands like Forte, Damien Thorne & Rival as bands to compare MC with. Well this album is much much more progressive and do remind me to bands like (early) Queensryche, Symphony X & Dream Theater but than in a heavier edition. Musically its superb and singer Scott Huffman is one of the best vocalist I discovered the last few years! Compliments!! Unbelievable that this band is still on such a small label. There is also not 1 weak song on this album! The shortest song of the album is already 6:10 minutes but none of the songs gets boring at all! With a good label and the right distribution this band will be FAMOUS!! Mark my words! Symphony X & Dream Theater watch out!!
Visit their website: http://www.mindwarpchamber.net
Recordlabel: http://www.netherworldrecords.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mindwarpchambermusic

95/100

MINISTRY - Adios… Puta Madres (CD) USA March 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Industrial Metal Running time: 62:24 (Tracks: 13)
I was a bit surprised to see a new cd of industrial metallers Ministry come out since they split up last year but when I looked a bit closer it just turned out to be a live album of their farewell tour. Last year I had the luck to see one of these concerts at the graspop festival and it blew me away. Being this the farewell tour the entire cd is made up of classics and gives a nice overview of the industrial part of their discography which is always good for people who don't know the band yet. The biggest problem is that this cd doesn't bring the band's awesome live reputation any justice. Yes the songs are great, the sound is brilliant and you can feel the atmosphere but Ministry is one of the most hard, brutal and especially intense live acts I have ever seen and it's practically impossible to capture all of that on cd. I hope they will release this on DVD as well so we can once more enjoy the great visual show which will bring everything just a bit closer. For the people who have seen the band, try this cd out and just close your eyes and imagine you're at a show. For the people wanting to get to know them I suggest you buy the normal albums or wait for the DVD if it ever comes out cause to hear Ministry live you actually have to see them as well.
Visit their website: http://www.ministrymusic.org/
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ministrymusic

79/100

NASHVILLE PUSSY – From Hell To Texas (CD) USA March 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Southern Rock / Speedrock Running time: 38:54 (Tracks: 12)
Well, I must admit that NASHVILLE PUSSY belongs to one of my favourite bands for years. I have all their albums and I just love their 100% kick ass rock and roll music. On February 1st, 2009 I saw NASHVILLE PUSSY for the fifth time live (at the Effenaar, Eindhoven). They were supporting THE SUPERSUCKERS on their European tour, and in my opinion NASHVILLE PUSSY blew THE SUPERSUCKERS completely away. On that evening I wanted to buy their brand new album "From Hell To Texas" but they didn't sell it yet. I was really looking forward to the new album, so I'm glad Mario send me this fifth studio album to review. Anyway, for everyone who doesn't know NASHVILLE PUSSY, the band started in 1996 and they have released the following albums "Let Them Eat Pussy" (1998), "High As Hell" (2000), "Say Something Nasty" (2002) and "Get Some!" (2005). All those albums are fantastic. Since the album "Get Some!" the line-up of NASHVILLE PUSSY exists of Blaine Cartwright (vocals, guitar), Ruyter Suys (guitar), Karen Cuda (bass) and Jeremy Thompson (drums). Cartwright has a very recognizable voice. Suys is a great guitar player and Cuda and Thompson are a fantastic rhythm section. Also this new album, which features twelve tracks, has some very catchy songs. "From Hell To Texas" was recorded at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio in Texas, produced by Daniel Rey and sounds great. Danko Jones is doing guest vocals on "I'm So High". "Lazy Jesus" is a song with harmonica (done by Gordie Johnson) which is a nice song, but not one of the best. Although I like all twelve tracks, my favourites are "Speed Machine", "From Hell To Texas", "Drunk Driving Man", "Ain't Your Business", "The Late Great USA", "Pray For The Devil", "Stone Cold Down" and "Gimme A Hit Before I Go". This album just grows every time you listen to it. Well, with "From Hell To Texas" NASHVILLE PUSSY again delivered a fantastic rock and roll album. Go see them live if they come back this Fall because they are a real energetic live band. NASHVILLE PUSSY kicks ass. Great album cover by the way.
Visit their website: http://www.nashvillepussy.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/nashvillepussy

88/100

NATAN – Het Zicht Van De Dood (CD) Belgium March 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Melodic Black / Folk metal Running time: 49:50 (Tracks: 9)
With "Het Zicht van de Dood" Natan released their debut full- length album after an EP, a split and some demos. This 6 piece Belgian horde plays black metal with folk influences and surprises me with this mature album. Blastbeats go hand in hand with beautiful calm acoustic folk driven intermezzos. Influenced by the mid nineties black metal bands from Norway like Satyricon and Enslaved (listen to the song "Doodsfeest" which honours the "Frost" album from this mighty Viking horde). Besides this we can't forget to mention the father of black metal bands from Belgium: Ancient Rites. These are only influences because the band truly has an own identity which is a big plus in these days where copy cats rule the land. The lyrics which are sung in the Dutch language fit the band well and show that there's nothing wrong with using this language in black metal. In interviews the band stated that by using their mother tongue it's easier to express things. A thing more bands seem to eager with. Lyrical themes are very diverse on this album. Genk (the bands hometown) and its environment seemed a perfect lyrical inspiration concerning that it probably was originated as a Celtic village and converted to Christianity in the 10th Century just like most of the surrounding villages. Other subjects concerning the lyrics are the average ones of: pride honour and war. The production sounds raw but organic which is a good thing dealing the kind of black metal the band plays. Only small complaint I have is the drums that sound too sterile if you ask me. Sometimes I can't hear if they are played by a human or a machine, especially in the faster parts. Look out for two hidden tracks. One before the first song and one after the last. There's something in the water in Belgium concerning the number of quality releases unleashed upon mankind the last couple of years. It makes the wait for the new Ancient Rites a little bit more bearable.
Recordlabel: http://www.ironagerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/natanhorde

81/100

NO REMORSE NO RETREAT - To Glory We Ride (CD) United Kingdom March 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 46:54 (Tracks: 11)
No Retreat No Remorse is a new band from The United Kingdom. With "To Glory We Ride" they made their first full length cd. I guess the band members are big fan of Manowar since they obviously are trying to make the same type of epic heavy metal as the kings of metal do. Unfortunately they don't quite succeed in this. After the first time I heard the cd I couldn't find anything really good about so I decided it just needed to grow on me but I guess it never did as the most positive thing about the entire record is the great artwork. I just don't like this cd at all, the music is repetitive, uninspired and just plain boring. Almost every song has the same type of riff and probably the exact same basic drum part. The vocals aren't that good either and the lyrics prove once and for all that only Manowar can get away with 10 songs consisting of battle stories and hails. In the middle of the cd a folkisch tune is heard probably because that genre seems to be quite popular and hey it remembers the listeners about the brave Vikings right? This band might be fun to watch live once they get the crowd going but on cd I wouldn't waste my money on it, there are way better bands to discover.
Visit their website: http://www.noremorsenoretreat.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.ironagerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/noremorsenoremorse

62/100

RAIMUND BURKE – Into My Arena (CD) Germany March 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Hardrock Running time: 59:20 (Tracks: 11)
Raimund started playing the guitar back in 1984. Since then he played in several (especially hardrock) bands. In 2005 he released his first instrumental solo album "Get It", which received several good reviews. That same year he also released "Christmas In Rock". "Into My Arena" is his new solo album. For this album he did the following things : composing, arranging, playing all instruments, programming, recording, mixing, producing, artwork, website and distribution. On "Into My Arena" are 9 instrumental songs and 2 with vocals, perfomed by Michael Keuter. The instrumental songs range from rock till progressive rock/metal. Also other influences like blues can be heard. Raimund is surely is a very talented guitarist, and also the 2 songs with vocals are very good bluesy, hardrock songs. He's a guitarist who plays a lot with emotion and uses many melodic themes, all the way. Well done Raimund!!
Visit his website: http://www.raimundburke.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/raimundburke

79/100

SABINAS REX – A Rock Opera (CD) USA March 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Symphonic Rock Running time: 34:27 (Tracks: 8)
This album is some kind of a summary of a Rock Opera where Sabinas Rex is currently working on. The album contains 8 marvellous songs and I cannot wait until Sabinas Rex releases their complete album. The final album will contain 20 songs, but when you listen to this album, it sounds if the album is already complete. The arrangements of the songs are diverse, heavy parts are alternated by atmospheric keyboard parts. In the past, a lot of rock opera`s have been released, but in my opinion the quality of these albums was not always good. But I`m very enthousiastic about this album! The lyrics of the songs are related to Kings, Barbarians etcetera, all kind of medieval topics.
Sabinas Rex is a project founded by Vlado Kormos (Keyboards, Programming, Production) and Jana Steiger (Vocals). They have gathered a band that is able to create a very nice atmosphere. The band, consisting of 3 members, is reinforced with four additional musicians. Together with five vocalists, they have created this cd. The nationality of the musicians is diverse, they come from the USA and some countries in Europe. I have only one point of critisism about this album and this is about the production of the album. The production is not always clear and hopefully the producer will improve the mixing of the instruments when he is finalizing the final album. But I`m very curious to the moment when the rock opera is ready.
Visit their website: http://www.sabinasrex.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sabinasrexopera

87/100

SAVIOR FROM ANGER – Lost in the Darkness (CD) Italy March 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 49:33 (Tracks: 10)
Italian power metal band Savior From Anger makes its first full length appearance with this album. All the members have previous experience with numerous bands from Italy and particularly Naples which is the band's hometown. When I first saw the band's name, Vicious Rumors came immediately to mind (cause of the same titled song from the "Welcome to the Ball" album). The band also mentions Vicious Rumors as an influence so I had high hopes for "Lost in the Darkness". The band indeed delivers power speed metal influenced by the American school. Razor sharp guitars, high pitched vocals, double bass, frantic solos. Heathen, Laaz Rockit, Vicious Rumors style. This is rare for an Italian band since most of them prefer the Europower symphonic sound. The compositions are heavy and aggressive but in my opinion the production lacks that extra volume that would help this kind of songs sound more powerful (especially on the drums department). Nevertheless this an album that deserves the attention of those seeking high octane power metal delivered the American way.
Visit their website: http://www.marcoruggiero.com
Recordlabel: http://www.rockitup.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/marcoruggiero

78/100

SCHIZOPHRENIC VOICES – Tesno (CD) Germany March 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Progressive Metal / Rock Running time: 40:24 (Tracks: 11)
Well, I never had heard of this German band SCHIZOPHRENIC VOICES before. They were formed in 2004 and released a 5-track demo "P.M.P. (Progressive Metal Punk)" in that same year. Now four years later SCHIZOPHRENIC VOICES released their full length debut album titled "Tesno". And to tell you the truth, this band is really working on my nerves. This debut album features eleven tracks, and there is no complete song which I really like. I couldn't listen to this album more than twice. What a crap, those songs are so irritating. Okay, the members can play their instruments well and the production is okay too. But those songs…………..sorry I have to go to the toilet now to vomit. If you have some money left, please don't buy this shit, buy another album or go to the movie or whatever. Nobody can convince me that he or she really likes this album. If so, then you're schizophrenic too, hahaha.
Visit their website: http://www.schizophrenic-voices.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/schizophrenicvoices

25/100

S-CORE - Gust of Rage (CD) France March 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Metalcore Running time: 46:54 (Tracks: 13)
The more brutal form of metalcore is very popular these days and so new bands are arriving in the scene very quickly and in large number. Although I never liked metalcore but as a death metal fan I must admit that sometimes there are bands that tend to surprise me with albums leaning very closely to actual brutal death metal and a very nice overall sound. One of these is S-Core, a band from France who recently released their second full length after an EP in 2001 and their debut in 2003. The album contains a mix of brutal death metal with the technical aggression and melody of metalcore which sounds pretty good. I still don't like the brutality for brutality's sake (and perhaps because it's popular?) but these guys can get away with it nicely in my opinion since they obviously thought about the concept and made some very good songs with nice overall structure. Just when the album becomes a bit boring due to lacking variety there's a nice acoustic interlude to charge up the batteries and get going again. This album makes me want to check these guys out live cause the energy they must be showing on stage could be very overwhelming. For fans of the more brutal work.
Visit their website: http://www.processengaged.com
Recordlabel: http://www.drakkar.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/scorepower

62/100

SCREAMER – What Excites You (CD) USA March 2008 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Power Metal / Rock Running time: 43:46 (Tracks: 9)
Screamer form Wisconsin, USA, already exist since early 1987; guitarists Ron Valeo and Mike Schantek formed the band. Short after that Paul Bigalke joined on bass and Kevin Litz on drums as well. Singer Bill Carter joined the band shortly after. They wrote the music for their first release during 1987 and self released a two part cassette tape demo of eight songs. That demo was packaged as 'Target Earth' on New Renaissance records in 1988. The band split up after a few years of supporting that record and every member went his own way.
About two years ago they started talking again and thought it would be interesting to see what another Screamer record would sound like…. That question is answered with this new album "What Excites You". So nearly 20 years after their debut the band releases his follow up. This is again a self financed release but it sounds very good productionwise! I'm not familiar with their debut album but what I hear on this record sounds very nice! Expect a mix of US metal combined with more rock orientated tunes. In most press releases the band is compared as a mix of (old) Judas Priest & (old) Dokken and I can live with that comparison. Personally I also hear great guitarplaying in the vein of Georg Lynch which is of course a compliment. Only complain I have is the fact that all the songs are played in the same tempo which is a pity and can sound boring to some listeners! Next time a bit more variation please! Check them out if you're into the above mentioned bands!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/screamertargetearth

75/100

SIKH – One More Piece (CD) France March 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Nu Metal Running time: 42:17 (Tracks: 11)
I will say it right away. Nu metal is not really my thing. Bands like Slipknot, Deftones, Korn, Fear Factory were never in my top 100 list. But if you are into that music you must really listen to this French band Sikh. "One More Piece" is there second album and it's a very good representative of the genre. I must say it's a very varied cd. The singer Kal shouts, grunts, whispers, sings, raps like he did it all of his life. The bass is very dominant but has a good groove and the guitars play that typical staccato rythm that we know so well with other nu metal bands. The songs are varied too .Like the song, 'Ballad of the Harmless' and yes, it's a ballad. I don't like it very much. But the next song, 'Psychotro' kicks ass. It's all pretty varied but never dull except for the ballad. They did a good job with this cd but like I said, nu metal is not my thing.
Visit their website: http://www.sikhmusic.net
Recordlabel: http://www.drakkar.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sikhmusic

80/100

SON OF ERIC – Epiphany (CD) USA March 2009 Mr. Globbetrotter
Style: Alternative Rock / Metal Running time: 34:55 (Tracks: 9)
Son of Eric is the name of Torok lead vocalist Bryan Erickson's new band. Now that Torok is on a indefinite hiatus Son of Eric has become the main focus for Bryan musically. Son of Eric's debut full length CD is titled 'Epiphany' and is due to be released via Nightmare Records and Sugar Shack Records. For the recording of 'Epiphany' along with handling the vocal parts Bryan is playing all of the rhythm guitars, bass guitar and all of the piano/synth parts. All of the drum tracks are played by veteran session drummer Greg Morrow. For this project guest lead guitar players are participating on each track. Mike Torok of Impaler and Torok fame plays the guitar solos on the tracks "Blind Man", "Good Bad Ugly" and "High Plains Drifter". Shrapnel shredder Todd Duane is featured on the tracks "The Truth", "Black Rain Falls" and "Born". John Lyell guitarist, composer and producer is featured on the track "Fierce". Matt Graunke from the band Menace is featured on the track "Lost & Never Found"
The result of putting together so many people into one project is that it causes a lack of stability. Not all songs are even strong, and here and there I get the impression that these guys came together in a garage to do some jamming. Productionwise, I must say that I'm not fond of the way the drums sound, nor am I a fan of Erik's voice. So I can only recommend Torok fans to check out this album. People who aren't familiar with Torok and who appreciate transparent songwriting and melody better leave this one alone. Check out their MySpace page if you are in doubt. I for one don't believe in big masses of fans for this music.
Visit their website: http://www.torokmusic.com/son_of_eric.htm
Recordlabel: http://www.nightmare-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sonofericband

51/100

THE ETERNAL - Kartika (CD) Australia March 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Dark / Gothic Metal Running time: 50:41 (Tracks: 12)
Australia….Down Under …..Men at Work ? Ah well, forget about them, now they have The Eternal ! The Eternal was formed in 2003 from the ashes of Cryptal Darkness. After completing a demo they scored a deal with Firebox records from Finland (!) Well Firebox had a good nose for this one, because they had to look far across their borders to sign this band. Their debut album "The sombre light of Isolation" was released in 2004, followed by "Sleep of Reason" in 2005. Well, a busy band indeed. Directly after touring the planet, supporting bands like HIM and Opeth, they entered the studio to create Kartika out of their touring demos. And the result is there. Influences of bands like Anathema, Paradise Lost and Katatonia are mentionable to their kind of music. The album starts with an atmospheric intro to lead you into "Silence". After hearing this song (first it reminded me a bit of Theatre of Tragedy's "Music") you know what you are going to get. An excellent mixture of gothic, progressive rock with a touch of doom that needs your attention. Overall it is relaxed but intense listening music that even sometimes is very catchy. The band has succeeded very well in adding elements to the music to make it sound very expressive. Although the keyboards play a prominent role in their music, this time they also put in other instruments played by guests like a mandolin (Duncan Patterson) and a hammered dulcimer (Nicholas Albanis). The Russian guest vocalist Emily Saaen puts in even more drama to the songs. Singer/guitarist Mark Kelson has a very warm and expressive voice which fits perfectly in the dramatic sound of the band. The album brings enough variation with emotive songs like "Brighter Day" and "Walk beside You" alternated by catchy gothics like "Illuminate" and "Means for an Ending". The oriental influenced epic "Blood" is my fav by far. This is just that kind of song that, although is clocks 9.37, you want to hear again yet every time discovering some new wonderful arrangements in it. To be honest the album could be a bit soft to some metalheads but if you are looking for a diverse rock/metal band with a taint of darkness then this is something to check out. The first pressing edition comes with a 6-track bonus disc so if when you're interested, don't wait to long. Firebox took care of a professional cd-package with an album cover that gives you the right feeling of the music that is inside. Still not convinced ? Check out the bands site because they are going to hit the stage live very soon (April in Holland/Belgium/Germany), just right in your neighbourhood.
Visit their website: http://www.the-eternal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.firebox.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theeternalband

83/100

(THE EXALTED) PILEDRIVER – Metal Manifesto (CD) Canada March 2008 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash / Humor Metal Running time: 43:35 (Tracks: 12)
Piledriver (Why the band is now named The Exalted Piledriver is a mystery to me)? Yes the mighty Piledriver that delivered 2 classic albums in the 80's ("Metal Inquisition" in 1984 & "Stay Ugly" in 1986). Musically maybe not the greatest releases but original as hell and full of great metal humor!! I really loved both albums very much and was surprised that the band reunited a few years ago and even did a (small) European tour with as highlight a spot on the Keep it True festival bill!!
The band blew me away live and I thought this was a once-only reunion tour?? Well forget it; the band continues where they stopped in the late 80's. The music is still recognizable even if it all sounds a bit more modern these days. Maybe that has to do with the fact that Neil Kernon (Nevermore/Queensryche/Cannibal Corpse) mixed this album? Nevertheless an album that overruled my expectations! Fav. Songs: 'Unsuck my C*ck' & 'I'm the One'. Buy or Die by the hands of the mighty Piledriver!!!
Visit their website: http://www.sofa-q.com
Recordlabel: http://www.northernstormrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theexaltedpiledriver

88/100

TOBY KNAPP – Misantropy Divine (CD) USA March 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: U.S. Complex / Power Metal Running time: 55:09 (Tracks: 10)
"Guitar Distortion" was Toby's debut full length album in 1993. It was an instrumental guitar album in the vein of Marty Friedman, Joe Stump and Tony MacAlpine. Many of these guitarists were discovered by Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records. Toby's first album was released by Shrapnel Records, another U.S. label (Wild Rags) released a following EP "Infinite Opposition" in 1996. In the late 90's, Toby joined the U.S. power metal band Onward, with who he released several albums. His second solo album "Polarizing Lines" was released in 2005, three years later followed by "Misantropy Divine". His new solo album ranges musically from pure power, speed/thrash metal to fusion and jazzy stuff. All music was written and performed by Toby and the lyrics and vocal melodies were written and performed by Deen Sternberg (Into Eternity, Within Another). Deen has a typical U.S. metal voice, which he demonstrates on the U.S power metal songs "Flies", "Entity Unseen" and Rhinecliff Bridge". The other songs are mainly instrumental, complex compositions. All the instruments are played by Toby, and he also sings on the last/bonus track of the album, "Misantropy's Reprise", which sounds bombastic/furious/almost black metallish by moments. For fans of bands such as Apocrypha, Cacophony, New Eden, Destiny's End and Onward.
Visit their website: http://www.tobyknapp.ryasrealm.com
Recordlabel: http://www.rockitup.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/knapptoby

77/100

UNLIGHT – Death Consecrates with Blood (CD) Germany March 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Black Metal Running time: 45:57 (Tracks: 10)
Unlight started out in 1997 and this is their fourth cd although the info sheet from Massacre says it's their third. Strange. The info sheet also says that Unlight has a highly original sound adding old school thrash metal and death metal parts. Yeah right!! It's pretty straight forward black metal with a thrashy riff now and then but it's not original at all. Every song is written the same way. A standard guitarriff with melodic, calm pieces. The song 'Becoming the Ungodly Sin' is interrupted by a girl moaning and gregorian singing in the background. Very childish. And none of the songs stick. I'm not impressed by Blaspherion, Lord Grond, Tartaros and Necron. Better luck next time although I think this is all they can do.
Visit their website: http://www.unlight.org
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/unlightblackmetal

70/100

V.A. (Various Artist) - GUITARS THAT ATE MY BRAIN (CD) USA March 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Rock / Metal Running time: 62:10 (Tracks: 12)
"Guitars That Ate My Brain" is a Magna Carta compilation cd on which are 12 instrumental songs from today's most accomplished metal axe grinders. This project was coordinated by Ron Thal aka Bumblefoot (Guns N' Roses). There are a few guitarists on this compilation who specialize in recordings like these, most of these guitarists play in metal bands, and rarely we hear them on instrumental songs. There are a few well known guitarists (James Murphy, Chris Poland) on "Guitars That Ate My Brain", but also less known guitarists (Kris Norris, Paul Waggoner). The styles vary from jazzy stuff till progressive metal. All guitarists are well skilled and very talented, technical players. Some songs are very complex, but the guitar playing is all the way very good!!
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/magnacartarecords

79/100

VANDERBUYST – Vanderbuyst (MCD) The Netherlands March 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 11:42 (Tracks: 3)
VANDERBUYST is a brand new Dutch Hard Rock powertrio existing of J.A. Jonkman (vocals, bass), Willem Verbuyst (guitar) and Barry van Esbroek (drums). All three members share their passion for classic Hard Rock with straight in your face guitar riffs, powerful vocals and lots of guitar solos. In the Spring of 2008 it led to a jam and since then VANDERBUYST was born. In September of 2008 VANDERBUYST entered the Void studio in Eindhoven for recording this 3-track EP. Jonkman and Van Esbroek both also are playing in THE FLYING TYGERS and Willem Verbuyst was one of the guitarists of the legendary POWERVICE (R.I.P.). This EP is produced by Selim Lemouchi, the other guitarist of POWERVICE, and sounds very good. The songs on this EP are titled "Devil's Pie", "Filthy Love" and "December" and are all fantastic songs. Lemouchi can be heard on this EP too, because he's playing the third guitar solo on the up tempo rocker "Filthy Love". What else can I say, I'm very impressed by this fantastic new band. If you are interested in this EP of VANDERBUYST, it can be ordered through the internet. So check their MySpace page or contact them at vanderbuyst@gmail.com. Fantastic EP guys.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vanderbuyst

80/100

WIZARD - Thor (CD) Germany March 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Speed / Power Metal Running time: 49:29 (Tracks: 11)
AAARRRGGHHH, Just been hit right in the face by a destructive hammer that listens to the name of Mjölnir. Indeed the hammer of the mighty norse god Thor ! This is the right stuff dudes ! Man what a great album Wizard made this time. Fore those who haven't heard from them until now here follows a short bio. The band celebrates this year their 20th anniversary with their eight studio album. It all began in Germany with Michael Maass (guitar) and Sören van Heek (drums) later on joined by Volker Leson (bas) and Sven D'Anna (vocals). Michael left the band in 2004 and Dano Boland replaced him. In 2007 Michael returned and the band continued with both guitar players. From the start on the band plays speed/power metal at it's finest. No doubt that if someone speaks of true metal, don't look any further, this is it ! After honouring the Gods Father Odin in 2003, now it was time for his son; the God of Thunder; The Mighty Thor. Well, to be honest, when the lyrics are about the Norwegian Mythology, and especially about Thor, I'm interested. (Hey, who doesn't know "The Mighty Thor" from Marvel Comics) The band did well to go on with both guitar players. The twin axework is definitely an improvement. The album is "in your face" and blows you away right from the beginning. Andy Horn (recordings) and Achim Köhler (mix and mastering) did a tremendous job in the studio and gave this album exactly the sound and feeling that belongs to this kind of epic stuff. The album is full with brilliant axework, mystic lyrics, epic choruses and thunderously vocals like Thor is spreading the word himself. Aggressive speed metal songs like "Utgard (False Games)", "Resurrection" and "Lightning" are alternated with epic, powerful ballads like "Serpents Venom" (suberb !) and "The Visitor". Wizard has succeeded in writing choruses that you just can't get out of your (headbanging)head. I just can't wait when this band is coming to Holland for an evening of serious headbanging metal. Marvel Studios has pinned 2010 a movie about The Mighty Thor. They are still searching for someone to play the leading role, but the sound track is already right here. So guys, send this record in and there is a good change you can say goodbye to the financial crisis that hits the world nowadays. Up to Hollywood ! Fans of Helloween, Gamma Ray and Manowar sure are going to like this, but even if you aren't into these bands you should give this one a change. Wizard is more catchy and I think this album can be welcomed by any other kind of metalhead. In the meantime I plunge myself back into Northern Mythology, getting my arse back into Valhalla ! "I am Thor, the mighty god, the lord of rain and storm, now feel the fire, for feast it shall be warm"……………….. Yeah !!!!!!!!
Visit their website: http://www.legion-of-doom.de
Recordlabel: http:// www. massacre-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wizardband

93/100

WOLVES OF HATE – Battle Hymns and War Songs (CD) USA March 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Black / Viking Metal Running time: 37:18 (Tracks: 9)
Wolves of Hate is formed in 2006 in Colorado by Scott Schultz/ Bass, Peter Slivkanch/ Guitars, vocals, synth and Rodd Hamann/ guitars.They play very simple pagan/viking metal. Simple in there music and lyrics. It's dull and not convincing at all. Now and then they use synths for a better sphere but it's all very average. Not for me.
Recordlabel: http://www.ironagerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wolvesofhate

62/100

FEBRUARY

ALLTHENIKO – Devasterpiece (CD) Italy February 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 49:00 (Tracks: 11)
This is the second album of this great Italian three piece band, after I reviewed their debut album I was very anxious to hear what they would do on their follow up. I can tell you they didn't disappoint me at all, their sound is a bit matured, and the production is superb on this album. They added a bit more power metal into their great thrash, which makes it even better. Great songs, with lots of heavy riffing and furious solos, but with a lot of melody still in there. They really have that '80's feel in their music, which is a good thing, some songs remind me of early german speed metal, like the song 'Thunder And Steel'. Other highlights are, the heavy 'Rise And Fall', 'Metal Unchained' and 'Erased', I especially like 'I'm a fuckin' Zombie', hilarious! One thing you will feel listening to this album is absolutely 'Feel The Power', like the song says. Also a little semi acoustic intermezzo on the album called 'Devasterpiece', this is a very true metal album, these guys know how metal should sound like. Also Dave's vocals are something special, a bit screamy and high in the vein of Peavey (Rage), but it absolutely suits the music well. This album will appeal to the thrash metal maniacs as well as more classic orientated metallers. Now it's time to see these guys play live over here, maybe sometime on Mario's Metal Meeting? (hint)!
Visit their website: http://www.allthenikometal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.mygraveyardproductions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/allthenikometal

85/100

ANAL NOSOROG – Condom of Hate (CD) Russia February 2008 William Nijhof
Style: Grind Core Running time: 46:07 (Tracks: 25)
Anal Nosorog is well known name in the grind scene. This band from Russia plays dirty rotting grind mixed with groovy trash and punk riffs. As every grind album, this CD contains 25 songs to blow you away. The singer uses a pitch and the music is very heavy. The production of this record is good…..enough for grind. The music of this record is good and definitely real grind…brutal filthy and humorous. Bloody screams and filthy noises make this record in my opinion worth wile to check!
Visit their website: http://www.analnosorog.com
Recordlabel: http://www.xtreemmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/analnosorog

70/100

BAD HABIT – Above and Beyond (CD) Sweden February 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Hard Rock AOR Running time: 46:29 (Tracks: 13)
Swedish powerhouse Bad Habit returns after 4 years of silence with the successor to the 2005 album "Hear-Say". The band has been around since the 80s and is considered as one of the most respected AOR artists from Sweden. "Above and Beyond" will satisfy the AOR fans cause it contains flawlessly executed music, beautiful compositions, catchy choruses and fine melodies. The band doesn't stick to AOR though. It rocks harder in many tunes such as "I Believe" thus spicing things up. I think it is on the same level as "Hear-Say" and guarantees a pleasant listen.
Visit their website: http://www.badhabitvip.com
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/badhabitvip

78/100

BLEED INTO ONE – The Scars Remain (CD) Germany February 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hardcore Running time: 38:34 (Tracks: 13)
BLEED INTO ONE is a five piece Hardcore band from Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany. The band was formed in 2002 and exists of Alex (vocals), Michael (guitar), Stephan (guitar), Mike (bass) and Markus (drums). If I'm right B.I.O. already released an album and a split EP (with TEAMKILLER) before. So "The Scars Remain" is the second album of the band and it features 13 fantastic old school hardcore songs. According to their bio BLEED INTO ONE demonstrate how refreshing hardcore can be in 2008. Well, it's far from refreshing, because we have heard it all before, but it just sounds great. To me, B.I.O. remind me very much of bands like MADBALL, CRO-MAGS, BIOHAZARD et cetera. The album has a good production and I really can't find any bad songs on it. Most of the songs on the album have a fantastic groove. The band exists of good musicians and Alex is a very good singer for a hardcore band. Well if you're into old school hardcore, check this album out and listen to great songs like "Too Late", "Quest For Perfection", "Matter Of Time", "Can't Leave It Behind", "Leave A Mark" and "Figure It Out". Fantastic hardcore album.
Recordlabel: http://www.demonsrunamok.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bleedintoone

86/100

BREAKDOWN – Time to Kill (CD) Brasil February 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 34:00 (Tracks: 8)
Since this album has been recorded in 2007, I guess it finally made it to Europe by a rowing boat ploughing it's way across the Brazilian Amazon .,,, But nevertheless it was worth it ! For those who are into some good old eighties thrash metal in the style of Kreator/Dismember with some snuffs of (old) Sepultura this is something for you. "Time to Kill is Breakdowns debut cd after done some demos like "Disgrace". Breakdown has been formed in 1998 by Leo "Breakdown". After some line up changes the band further has Danilo on bass and Leonardo on drums. This album is 100% pure thrash in the eighties style. Even the production is like you are thrown back in the oldies, but hey, why bother, those where the days ! Of course it is not all that original, but those young dudes have the "thrash" heart in the right place. Filthy vocals, crushing guitars and ripping solos with enough variation is what you can expect. The album is released by Unsilent Records who are doing nice things in the Brazilian underground. Personal fav: "And the Attack doesn't stop", indeed, no need to say more …..
Visit their website: http://www.breakdown.com.br
Recordlabel: http://www.unsilent.com.br
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/breakdownsp

74/100

CARRION – Evil Is There! (CD) Switzerland February 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 70:37 (Tracks: 17)
This is not some new band playing thrash the oldschool way, this IS the original thing from the eighties. The original 1986 album re-released on cd by Blower records with some extras as well in the form of the '85 demo, and some live tracks from '86. Carrion started out in 1985 in Switzerland, after they recorded their demo, they got an offer from Gama Records and signed. The band recorded 'Evil Is There!' at the Gama in-house-recording studio 'Spygel-studio' in just five days. After that, they became friends with fellow-Swiss thrashers Messiah, who came to one of their shows in Basel, which they recorded with an old portable cassette-deck, off which the live bonus tracks are. The record itself was not a big success as they earned a devastating review in the then biggest mag 'Metal Hammer' with one point out of seven. They didn't play a lot of shows, as it was really difficult to get concerts with this extreme kind of music, back in the days. After some time they searched for a new singer, so original singer/axeman V.O. Pulver could concentrate more on his guitar playing. A new singer was found in Andre Grieder, who joined Carrion and soon afterwards V.C. Andreatta (guitar) left the band. This all led to the decision to rename the band into 'Poltergeist', but that is a completely different story. Well about this album, it's simply fabulous, expect real old school thrash/black metal, with satanic lyrics in the vein of old Sodom, Destruction and Venom. It just can't miss with song titles like 'Shark Attack', 'Antichrist', 'Demon's Child' and 'Evil Is There', all great original stuff. The production isn't really up to date, but that's just how it was back then, and I can only say I love it! I missed them in the eighties, but lucky me, Mario sent me this cd, now I can go look out for the original vinyl version!
Visit their website: http://www.vopulver.com
Recordlabel: http://www.blower-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/carrionevil

87/100

CHINA BLUE – Twilight of Destiny (CD) USA February 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 55:38 (Tracks: 12)
"Twilight of Destiny" is China Blue`s debut album. This sounds strange when you know that they are active since the 80`s. The band was founded by Eric Ragno (keyboards) and his best friend Tom Gasbarro who was responsible for the lyrics. They wrote some songs together but the reason that it took so long before this album was released is a little bit unclear. In the mean while, Ragno continued is musical career in bands like American Angel and Takara. But everything changed in 2008 when Ragno played some old demo`s for his friend Michael Riesenbeck, who advised him to restart China Blue. This happened and together with 5 experienced musicians (like Tony Mills (TNT; vocals) and Josh Ramos (The Storm; Guitar)), Twilight of Destiny was recorded and released at Frontiers Records.
When you listen to the album, you can hear influences from Journey and Toto. The album is compiled of songs which were written in the 80`s, but it contains also new material. You might expect that it sounds outdated, but that`s totally not true, the album gives a fresh impression. Twilight of Destiny contains ballads and more up-tempo songs. Personally, I prefer the uptempo songs, especially with good guitar work. All in all, it`s quite a good album.
Visit their website: http://www.chinabluemusic.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/chinabluebluemusic

72/100

DAWNFADES - Anger Management(CD) Germany February 2009 Kay Vloeberghs
Style: Metal / Hardcore Running time: 48:55 (Tracks: 11)
“Anger Management” reminds you of bands like Sepultura if the clean vocals didn’t mess things up… They’re basically shit and composed badly. On the other hand you have the well performed grunting of singer Hardey. The voice of Hardey isn’t perfect, at all. But it has his charm, only too bad that you can hear his strong German accent… But anyway, the album lacks a lot to be called a great album. I expected more when I got this good looking digi-pack of the cd, it is by the way only available in this digi-pack. Too bad, because music wise it’s not bad at all. You can figure out the tip I can give them, if they’ll listen that is, is to get rid of the clean vocals and have something recognizable in their sound. Because even when you take out the clean vocals it’s still nothing “special”.
Visit their website: http://www.dawnfades.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dawnfades

60/100

DECEMBER'S COLD WINTER – Ablaze all Shrines (CD) Costa Rica February 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Melodic Death metal Running time: 48:11 (Tracks: 7)
Costa Rica the land where one can see wild animals on the street and which has the greatest population of birds in whole North- America. I know that the land has a strong dedication to metal. The latest Iron Maiden concerts were completely sold out but I have never heard any bands from "The rich coast" So December's Cold Winter is my first acquaintance with metal coming from this country. It strikes me that the winters in Costa Rica are not cold at all. It's 28,00 C in winter so the choice for the band name is rather strange. Maybe they long for a real cold winter?
The music presented on their second album "Ablaze all shrines" is typical "melodic death metal" with lots of twin guitarparts. Think of a mixture of the Gothenburg scene from the mid nineties and the American death metal scene this because of the use of a more brutal, deeper grunt and heavier sound during the songs. The band members know how to play their instrument and the production is acceptable although I would love to hear the bass guitar more prominent in the mix, but that's more of a personal matter. The songs are all long (most of them clock above the 6 minutes ) but that's not a real problem to me. The band tries to keep them interesting by putting variation in them. We can't say that this is something groundbreaking though. Therefore this sort of music is done too many times (and better) by other bands. But if you like this kind of metal maybe this is something you can at least check out.
Visit their website: http://www.decemberscoldwinter.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/decemberscoldwinter

70/100

DEEPLY CONFUSED – Isolated (CD) Canada February 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 28:08 (Tracks: 7)
This is a very good French Canadian band from Canada. They play thrash / technical death/traditional metal with some keyboards for an ambient/eerie feeling. The two founders are Stephan Filion (guitar) and Gabrielle Morin (excellent drums). They where joined by Philip Chown (bass), Pat Deno (guitar ) and Yan 'Klimbo' T. Pat Deno is now replaced by Fred Bergeron. They know how to write very well structured and varied songs and obviously know how to play their instruments. Even the solo's fit perfectly and add something extra to the song. I would love to see them live sometime. This is really a band with a lot of potential. The only thing I don't like that much are the vocals. They would be much better off with someone who can sing/grunt a lot more varied then Klimbo. He doesn't add anything to the songs. I even prefer listen to the songs without vocals. Yan 'Klimbo' T is a good grunter but for an average death metal band and not for Deeply Confused. They deserve better. But I like them a lot and can't wait to hear some new material from them.
Visit their website: http://www.deeplyconfused.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/deeplyconfusedofficial

86/100

DEVAST – Art of Extermination (CD) Sweden February 2009 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 23:40 (Tracks: 8)
Devast started in 2006 but are no strangers in the scene. All the members have played in many bands. This album contains 8 tracks of furious death metal. That keeps nothing to your imagination. All though it's not clear to me if Deepsend records released this album, but they did produce it. The guitar riffs are very technical and progressive and the drums are pounding through every song like a train that cannot be stopped. The singer has a filthy rotten grunt that is well listenable. The composing of the songs reminds me a lot of band like Hate Eternal etc. which brings me to the production and it kicks ass. All the songs have a great variety and don't bore me. This record is a must for fans of technical and brutal death metal! Check out their myspace and order it.
Recordlabel: http://www.deepsend.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/devast

78/100

DRAGONSFIRE – Visions Of Fire (CD) Germany February 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Power Metal Running time: 45:00 (Tracks: 9)
Founded in 2005 Dragonsfire came up immediately with a live set of more than 100 minutes, and played many gigs in that year. Dragonsfire went to the "Kohlekeller studios" to record their first 5 track ep, 'Burning For Metal', in a professional surrounding. This gave a first impression of the sound of Dragonsfire, and resulted in some good reviews in the media, like Metal Hammer (and of course Mario's Metal Mania; see Archive CD reviews 2007). The next three years, the band used to play shows, to get well known in a larger area. And now it was time for a next album, 'Visions Of Fire', by this band from Hesse, Germany. The music of Dragonsfire is very powerful and melodic, with a lot of energy. Only thing you have to like, or get used to, is Herbert's vocals, cause he is not the kind voice you would expect with this music. At first I didn't like his voice at all, but after listening a few times, I think I got used to it. actually it fits their music although I had expected a much more cleaner voice to this kind of metal. Strong songs, not really all that original, but well performed make this a reasonable good album. Especially in their up tempo songs I like em a lot, like opener 'Devil's Road', 'Wings of Death' and 'Dragonsfire Rockxxx'. Also the traditional metal anthem isn't missing in the form of 'Rebellion-The Kingdom Of Heaven', and even a kind of semi ballad isn't forgotten with 'The Other One'. A very diverse album, with a lot of variation in the music, you will not get bored by this one. Also the production sounds very good and powerful, that helps a lot, and the artwork is also nicely done, they definitely spend some time and work on this effort and it shows! Let's hope and see if they stand out among the great amount of new bands in this genre of metal.
Visit their website: http://www.dragonsfire.de
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dragonsfiremetal

78/100

ECLIPTICA - Impetus (CD) Austria February 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 46:27 (Tracks: 10)
Ecliptica was formed in 2005 by guitarist Markus Winkler. In 2007 they released their debut EP called "The Awakening" which opened some doors for them. While promoting it resulted in winning the "Metal Battle Austria 2007" which made it possible to play Wacken. The music is basically influenced by bands as Maiden and mostly 80s Power Metal bands. With Ecliptica they launched their debut album at the end of 2008. In the appearance of Thomas Tieber and Elisabeth Fangmeyer they have a male and female voice in the band and that is a good idea. Nevertheless a good idea does not always mean it works out well. After the "Impetus" intro the cd starts with "My Paradise" and in this song the voice of Tomas does not impress me. In the following songs he definitely sounds better (especially in the faster ones) but he certainly has to work on it in the more melodic parts. Elisabeth sounds to flat al the way and she doesn't lift the band to a higher level. According to the band's site, she has left the band and they are looking for a new female singer. Well, I certainly hope they find the right person with more vocal talent for the job because their music is ok. It took a few times listening, but the songs have enough variation to grab your attention. Songs like "Old Man Memories"(intro by Maiden ?), "Jester in the Ballroom (heavier) and "Black Swan (epic) are good enough wanting you to hear them again. For a debut album the sound is okay, only the guitars should sound a bit more powerful. The rest of the band are fine musicians and they do their job well. The band has the potency to grow and if they find a good female vocalist, a fine future can become theirs. References are bands like Blind Guardian and Kamelot.
Visit their website: http://www.ecliptica.at
Recordlabel: http:// www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eclipticaaustria

77/100

EKPYROSIS – All You Can Eat (2CD) Austria February 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Power Metal / Thrash / Prog Metal Running time: CD1: 41:31 (Tracks: 8) & CD2: 40:42 (Tracks: 8)
EKPYROSIS is a five piece band from Austria and was formed way back in 1988. So far the band has released the following albums: "Last And Only" (1995), "Grey" (1999), "After War" (2003) and "Irrational" (2005). And EKPYROSIS' fifth album, which is a double album, is titled "All You Can Eat". Although the band exists for a very long time, I must say I never had heard of them before. Anyway, the line-up of the band is Christian Gruber (vocals, guitar), Mario Scheiber (guitar, backing vocals), Thomas Prethaler (bass), Helmut Winter (drums) and Richard Edlinger (keyboards). Their former albums were released on labels like Mausoleum Records and a sub-label of Nuclear Blast. But now the band has released "All You Can Eat" all by themselves. After listening several times to this double album, I must say that it's musically very okay. The band exists of very good musicians and they have some very good and interesting songs on "All You Can Eat" like "Earth – Bound", "The Art Of Living", "Yellow Eyes", "See You Again" and "Destination". All those songs are on CD1, and that's the most interesting CD to me. The songs on the second album are in my opinion much less. Okay, the ballad "Dear Sophie" is nice done. The weakest link of the band are the vocals of Christian Gruber. He doesn't really convince me with his vocals. To me he sounds very monotone and boring. The band has a wide variety, because they have Thrash, Power Metal and even Prog Metal songs. Personally I think that just one album instead of a double album would have been a much better choice. Anyway, if you are interested in EKPYROSIS, then check them out.
Visit their website: http://www.ekpyrosis.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ekpyrosismusic

73/100

ETRUSGRAVE – Masters of Fate (CD) Italy February 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 52:54 (Tracks: 7)
Etrusgrave is the band that Italian guitarist and former Dark Quarterer Fulberto Serena formed some years after his departure from this epic progressive metal legend. The band had issued two demos in 2004 and 2007 and I was fortunate enough to listen to the first one. I was amazed because I realized that the old Dark Quarterer spirit was still present. Since then I waited for a full length release. I feel the greatest respect for Gianni Nepi (Dark Quarterer leader) and Fulberto Serena as musicians and I believe that the first two Dark Quarterer albums remain unsurpassed since Mr. Nepi has chosen a more progressive rock approach for his later releases. Mr. Serena revives the old material through Etrusgrave and delivers lyrical progressive epic metal that gives you the goosebumps. I travelled through time, back to the days I first listened to Dark Quarterer. The Etrusgrave music gave me the same feeling. Hammerhead's vocals are very close to Mr. Nepi's own, the whole atmosphere, the sound, the playing is Dark Quarterer to the bone. This music flows in Mr. Serena's blood and I am glad he finally delivered it to the world once more. This is definitely one of the best albums for the year 2008.
Recordlabel: http://www.mygraveyardproductions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/etrusgraveband

90/100

FISCHEL'S BEAST – Commencement (MCD) USA February 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 34:33 (Tracks: 5)
Fischel's Beast? Never heard of them? Neither did I. Till bandleader Barry Fischel contacted me and told me that he was one of the founding members of the legendary, and much to underestimated, Sentinel Beast!! Yes, the band with the legendary "Depths of Death" album! This band split up years ago and did a reunion tour last year in a nearly complete new line-up; only singer Debby Gun seemed to be from the original line up left. Pity enough I wasn't able to see them at the KIT 10 festival because I became a father just 3 days before the festival so I had to let it go…….
Barry decided after that (he was not in the reunion band also) to use the stuff the band recorded years ago for the follow up album after their great debut. "The groups first mission was to FINALLY record the material that would have been Sentinel Beast's second album, had the group stayed together. This Mission done, the group is now creating their OWN sound and are already working on new material".
Musically this mini album sounds good and is indeed good follow up stuff after Sentinel Beast's first release. Hopefully Barry will find a decent recordlabel where he can release this stuff. This is straight in your face oldschool thrash!! Fuck off with all todays retro-thrashbands if we still have the original acts doing their jobs this great! Check them out if you're into US thrash! You wont regret it!! Thrash played in an oldschool way with a lot of Iron Maiden, Exodus & Hirax influences. On two songs ex-Savatage guitarplayer Chris Caffery is doing some solos! Good album Barry; congratulations!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fischelsbeast

85/100

GRAVE DIGGER – Ballads Of A Hangman (CD) Germany February 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Power Metal Running time: 41:36 (Tracks: 11)
GRAVE DIGGER is a German Power Metal band which exists since 1980. During their long career the band has had several line-up changes, but the current line-up on this thirteenth studio album is: Chris Bolthendahl (vocals), Manni Schmidt (guitar), Thilo Hermann (guitar), Jens Becker (bass), Hans Peter Katzenburg (keyboards) and Stefan Arnold (drums). I must admit that the EP "Pray" and this album are my first acquaintance with GRAVE DIGGER. I knew the band's name of course since the eighties. Perhaps I have listened to one of their first albums in the eighties. I can't remember that anymore, because that's a long time ago. But if I did, I never had the need to buy any of their albums. In my opinion there were always much better bands and albums. Anyway, now I have listened several times to "Ballads Of A Hangman" and I must admit it's not a bad album. The band exists of good musicians, the production of the album is okay and there are some real good power metal songs on it as well. But I don't like Bolthendahl's voice very much. Don't get me wrong, he's not a bad singer, I just don't like it that much. Notable is power ballad "Lonely The Innocence Dies", which is a duet with Veronica Freeman of BENEDICTUM. Nice song, but not one of the best songs if you ask me. In my opinion the best songs are: "Ballad Of A Hangman", "Sorrow Of The Dead", "Grave Of The Addicted", "Into The War" and "Stormrider". All with all a nice Power Metal album, though I wouldn't buy it myself. If you're a fan of GRAVE DIGGER, I'm sure you want to have this new album in your collection too. So, check it out yourself.
Visit their website: http://www.grave-digger-clan.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gravediggerclan

74/100

GRAVE DIGGER – Pray (CD) Germany February 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Power Metal Running time: 16:27 (Tracks: 4)
Before the new album of German Power Metal band GRAVE DIGGER would be released, they've released this 4-track EP "Pray". Only the song "Pray" will be on the new album "Ballads Of A Hangman" (see also reviews). The version of "Pray" on this EP is an extended version. The other three songs are non-album tracks, which are "Overkill" (yes….a cover of the all time MOTÖRHEAD classic), "My Blood Will Live Forever" and "When The Sun Goes Down". To me, the best song on this EP is by far the killer version of "Overkill". Very well done. I'm not a big fan of Chris Boltendahl as a singer, but I like his vocals on "Overkill". All other songs are in my opinion just nice metal songs. So, I would only recommend this EP to real GRAVE DIGGER fans.
Visit their website: http://www.grave-digger-clan.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gravediggerclan

70/100

GRIMLORD – Blood Runneth Over (CD) Poland February 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy / Power Metal Running time: 44:00 (Tracks: 11)
From Wroclaw, Poland comes this fairly new band, which already released five demo's, and now got their debut album out. The band was formed by Barth La Picard, who is their rhythm and solo guitarist, vocalist and plays even some keyboards and only survivor of the original line-up. Barth is responsible for the lyrics and main composer of Grimlord, with Lukass on drums and Orson on bass guitar. Besides being the main man in Grimlord, Barth is also the weakest link in the form of his vocal capabilities in this band. His accent sounds terrible when singing in English language, and he certainly isn't the best singer at all. Aside from that the band deliver's some great, interesting, nice music on their self produced debut album. The album starts off with an instrumental piece called 'March of Martyrs', which sounds really eighties and is done really well, some Maiden influences can't be mistaken. The title track is up next, great compositions, with superb playing from this band, nice guitar work especially. Songs like 'Crawler'(with some funny film dialogues in there), 'Grey Eminence' or 'Resting Place' all stand out, the quality of the music is great, although with a better singer they would score much higher. Also the production could be better, but for a self produced album it sounds fine, it really shows the skills and capacity of this band. They got it in them to get far, but not with Barth singing, he doesn't do their music justice, cause there is really not a bad song on the album. So with a new singer on their next album, and a proper production, they will definitely score much higher!
Visit their website: http://www.grimlord.eu
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/grimlordbreslau

71/100

GUNSLINGER – Earthquake in E Minor (CD) United Kingdom February 2009 William Nijhof
Style: Power Metal Running time: 25:27 (Tracks: 11)
All right; it was Thursday (22-01-09) evening and I was going to the pub and there was playing a band called Gunslinger. The first thing I thought was o well another unknown shit band. But then I heard that the bass player/singer (Alan Davey) played in Hawkwind. After seeing the show I bought their record and I must say it rocks. This record contains 11 tracks of pure metal in the style of Motorhead. The guitar sounds the same as Motorhead. And the drums are also pounding through every song. The singer has the same voice as Lemmy. All the songs are very groovy and keep my head shaking. The production of this album is good. If somebody would have given me this record and say that it's the latest Motorhead back in their old years…I would believe it! They don't have a label but you can check out their myspace to listen or order.
Visit their website: http://www.gunslinger.org.uk
MySpace: www.myspace.com/alandaveygunslinger

80/100

HELLISH WAR – Heroes of Tomorrow (CD) Brazil February 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 64:28 (Tracks: 10)
True metallers Hellish War have been around since the mid 90s. They come from Brazil, a country that greatly supports traditional and true metal and released a debut album called "Defender of Metal" in 2001. 7 years later the band presents its second step.
"Heroes of Tomorrow" is a highly enjoyable album of European oriented classic heavy and power metal. I could easily characterise them as the Brazilian Marauder since they have common sound with these Greek metal heroes. Accept, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Manowar is the blend that forged the Hellish War sound but the guys are no copies. Their music is authentic, delivered with passion and energy. This is a great effort and in my opinion we owe Hellish War our support. They have earned it with the honest and heartfelt music they deliver.
Recordlabel: http://www.mck.com.br
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/warhellishwar

80/100

HEMORAGY – Jesus King of Wine (CD) France February 2009 William Nijhof
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 35:21 (Tracks: 9)
JESUS CHRIST……this band sucks. This trio from France are trying to make heavy metal but I must say that this really sucks. A terrible vocal and a very bad production of the record, all right, there is one good thing about this album and that is that the musicians are trying there best…but even then it sounds horrible! I can understand why they don't have a record label. If you're looking for the worst album of the year you should check this out!
Visit their website: http://www.hemoragy.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hemoragy

30/100

HIGH TENSION – The High Tension Legacy (2CD) Germany February 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Power Metal / Glam Rock Running time: CD1: 78:29 (Tracks: 19) & CD2: 62:30 (Tracks: 16)
Well the title of this double CD speaks for itself. On "The High Tension Legacy" you will find the first three studio albums the band HIGH TENSION had released in the mid 80's. Those albums are titled "Warrior" (1985), "Under Tension" (1986) and "Masters Of Madness" (1987). "Under Tension" and "Masters Of Madness" are together on the first CD and their debut album "Warrior" is, together with six unreleased bonus tracks, on the second CD. Well, there's no official website or MySpace page of HIGH TENSION on the internet. Luckily there's some info about the band in the booklet. HIGH TENSION is a German metal band who was formed in 1981 by the brothers Weisshaar. The line-up of the band on the debut album was Armin Weisshaar (vocals, guitar), Tommy Dierstein (guitar, backing vocals), Joe Weisshaar (bass, backing vocals) and Dirk Beermann (drums). But after the debut album Beermann left and Marco Roth became the new drummer of HIGH TENSION. The band recorded their fourth album, simply titled "4" in 1992 and after that album the band stopped. But the Weisshaar brothers united forces with drummer Harald Rapp and guitarist Jens Harn with whom they recorded a new album which was meant to be released in 2004. But so far it hasn't been released yet. Anyway, the material on this "The High Tension Legacy" albums sounds nice, but VERY DATED of course. Especially when you don't know the band from the 80's period like myself. I don't like all the songs, but there are some nice songs on it. Musically HIGH TENSION plays a mix of Heavy Power Metal and Glam Rock. The riff of the song "Hot Legs" sounds like MÖTLEY CRÜE's "Too Young To Fall In Love". However it's all not sounding very original, the songs I like are "Wind Me Up", "Rock 'N' Roll Rebel", "Work Hard, Die Young", "Lady", "Kings And Queens", "Crazy World", "Stiletto Heels", "Sweet Fourteen", "In Time" and "Touch Of Steel". All with all a nice double album to listen to once in a while. If you're into 80's Metal/Glam then check this band out.
Recordlabel: http://www.blower-records.com

73/100

INQUESTED – The Red Chambers (CD) Norway February 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Progressive Thrash Metal Running time: 45:00 (Tracks: 9)
The debut album of Norwegian outfit Inquested is a very good album for fans of a more light version of thrash metal. It's not an all out thrash assault but a more complex mix of all sorts of influences. There are of course passages on this album that are thrash metal, to me they sound in the vein of old Testament with just great riffs who make me bang my head wether I wan't to or not. On the other hand we can here some more melodic progressive sounds and the solo's on this album sound as if they are taken from a powermetal album. The trained listener will also discover the groove of Pantera in there. Overall it is quite easy to see that we are dealing with talented musicians who all seem to have other influences and who managed to mix all of this into a very nice album. If you're more in to all out thrash metal don't go after this, if you like some more complex things this will very well be your thing, I know I liked it a lot.
Visit their website: http://www.inquested.com
Recordlabel: http://www.mondongocanibale.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/inquested

78/100

KAJAJA FORCE-TEK – Energy Metal (CDemo) USA February 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Thrash / Black Metal Running time: 15:13 (Tracks: 4)
This sounds like some sort of parody on the black metal scene made by thrash metal fanatics who smoked too much pot (or are there more people that know what or who a Kajaja is without surfing on the internet?). Imagine Municipal Waste playing poor black metal. I mean the guitars don't level with the drums during the blastbeats, the vocals are weak and the songtitles like: "Good guys wear black" and "Dead to Me" also aren't promising or funny. What's the point releasing this kind of music. I mean, Black metal fans will not buy this stuff because it has absolutely no spirit or atmosphere in it and trash metal fans won't like it either because of the bad mixture of the two styles. Please guys stick to one style and let the combination of black and thrash over to masters like Absu and Toxic Holocaust.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kajaja

48/100

KREATOR – Hordes of Chaos (CD) Germany February 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 38:30 (Tracks: 10)
Kreator was, and still is, one of my alltime favourite thrashbands! The bands second album " Pleasure to Kill" is still one of the best thrash albums ever made!! The band delivered several great albums in the past but after a while they made a wrong move in their music probably due to the throat problems singer Mille was having for several years. Gladly the band (and especially Mille) found their way back to the top and delivered some fine albums the last few years. Before I listened to this album I already heard a lot of positive things about it. Well, they are true! This album is again a classic one full of speedy thrashsongs with the typical voice of Mille Petrozza. Also founding member Ventor (Jurgen Reil; drums) is doing a great job! This album has a pure sound which was created by not using to much high tech stuff in the studio. Personally I like this sound and it gives the album a special vibe! Only little complain I have about this release is the short running time of 38 minutes which is to short if you ask me. Furthermore this album has everything a good thrash album needs and im glad Kreator is really back this time!! Super geiles album!!!
Visit their website: http://www.kreator-terrorzone.de
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officialkreator

88/100

MASHA – Demo 2008 (CDemo) Japan February 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Neo-Classical Metal Running time: 11:16 (Tracks: 3)
Masha is a 23 years old songwriter/guitarist from Japan. He's influenced by melodic metal, classical music, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Zeno Roth, Uli Jon Roth, J-pop and other kind of music. On this solo demo of him are 3 instrumental songs. Masha played all the instruments himself. The 2 first songs, "Forever More" and "What A Game!" are 2 fast instrumental neo-classical metal compositions, influenced by guitar heroes like Malmsteen, Impellitteri, Kelly Simonz (also a guitarist from Japan), and the Roth brothers. The third song "Aria" (Fairy's Song) is a variation of a theme by J.S. Bach, played in the Uli Jon Roth style. All 3 songs let hear that Masha is a very talented songwriter/musician! His guitar playing is phenomenal, and I can't see why he will not be famous in the near future!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/masha1987x

92/100

MASQUERAGE – Moonlight Time (CD) Finland February 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Hardrock / Metal Running time: 35:47 (Tracks: 9)
This Finnish heavy/hardrock band exist since 2000. Since then, they have released one promo cd ("After The End" in 2005), their debut album "Work-Holic-Fool" in 2006, a dvd ("Live-Holic-Fool") in 2007, and now their second album "Moonlight Time". Their singer Kimmo used to sing in Celesty, a powermetal band from Finland, and also the other members of Masquerage have years of experiment with all kinds of music projects. What we get here on their second self-financed album, is a mix of 80's hardrock and Finnish melodic (power) metal. There's a lot of variety in tempo, of which I personally prefer the faster Edguy-ish songs like "Doctors Order" and "Better Liar". I also like the sing-along choruses, the high pitched Kiske-ish vocals and the guitar and keyboard parts/solo's. Certainly not bad for an independent release, this kind of mix of bands like Edguy and Axxis.
Visit their website: http://www.masquerage.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/masquerage

80/100

MORTIFILIA – Embrace (CD) Czech Republic February 2009 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 34:51 (Tracks: 11)
This is a band from the Czech Republic and they play melodic death metal with swedish influences. That actually says it all I'm afraid. But first some info about the band because they are not well-known. Although their info sheet says that they are at the top of the european death metal scene. Okay??? Whatever. They started out in 1999 and released their first demo (In your Head) a few weeks later. The second demo (Care of Gomorrah) was released a year later and in 2002 they released their third demo (Christhunt). They played up to 150 times in the Czech republic and other countries and where signed with the spanish Mondongo Canibale Records. Their first album "Redemption" was released in 2005.This 'new' album 'Embrace' is recorded in 2007 so it's almost 2 years old. They compare themselves with bands like Dismember, Unleashed and At The Gates and it's true. But I prefer to listen to those bands then to Mortifilia. Not because they suck but because the original bands are better. It isn't a bad cd but it doesn't add anything to the death metal scene. I like the musicianship from these guys and the vocals are very good and I like the melodic parts and the more thrashy parts in their songs but like I said, it's not special enough to even want to listen to it again. And their cd cover is hidious. My god, I seldom saw anything this ugly.
Visit their website: http://www.mortifilia.cz
Recordlabel: http://www.mondongocanibale.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mortifiliacz

68/100

NATHANIA – The Weight Of Obligation (CD) Thailand February 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Progressive Power Metal Running time: 45:33 (Tracks: 10)
Nathania from Thailand was formed by guitarist and mastermind Tony Yaspan. In 2003 they released their first EP, one year later followed by their self financed album "Liberty Bell Rang". With a new line-up and some new influences they recorded their 2007 promo cd, on which were 4 fast melodic progressive metal songs. Recently they released their second album, "The Weight Of Obligation". On this album are especially fast power/thrash metal songs, but now and then there are also a few calmer parts, like the ballad "Light My Way". Besides that, several songs also got some progressive metal elements. Musically they remind me of Adagio, Symphony X, Angra and Nocturnal Rites. All the songs have great guitar solo's from Tony Yaspan and Sc. Sang, and their new Swedish vocalist Daniel Sandberg sings like a mix of Michael Vescara, James Hetfield and Johnny Lindqvist (Nocturnal Rites). Well done Tony and co!
Visit their website: http://www.nathania-music.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalfarmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vrnathania

80/100

PITIFUL REIGN – Visual Violence (CD) United Kingdom February 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 37:54 (Tracks: 8)
With the thrash revival going on at the moment Ed Repka is again a busy man. The man made some of his best drawings in the eighties that decorate all the classic, mostly thrash albums in that period. Now that thrash is somewhat of "back" most of the bands contacted Ed again to draw their album cover. And again the covers look great and represent the longing for the eighties. Because that's what I think this revival is all about: "A longing for the good old times" So much bands but absolutely no one that really does something new besides the "old" bands like Testament, Death Angel and Exodus who all showed progress on their latest albums. But for most of the newer bands: It has all been done numerous times in the past, only thing different is that the production is better most of the times. The same counts for Pitiful Reign a young band from the United Kingdom that play thrash in the style of Testament (Practice what you Preach era). The album is produced by my favourite bass player: Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, ex Testament etc.). With this album the man shows his skills as a producer and will be ask for more production jobs in the near future. He delivers some great work here. So, good produced thrash metal with a typical urgency to the eighties. The beginning of "Malevolent Butcher" sounds just as the beginning of "The thing that should not be" from that other band from the Bay Area. And so on there are numerous ruminated riffs and vocal parts that can be heard throughout the album. They all know how to play their instruments, the riffs and solo's are o.k., so there is enough to enjoy on this album. Conservative as hell and I hope the next album will show some progression to a sound that doesn't copy old bands but has an own face. For now Pitiful Reign is here to bring their beer–fueled thrash mayhem to the rest of the world. Didn't I hear that somewhere before?
Visit their website: http://www.pitifulreign.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.punishment18records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pitifulreign

75/100

PLANET STORM – Alone (MCD) Sweden February 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Progressive Metal Running time: 18:20 (Tracks: 4)
Planet Storm is the project of Swedish guitarists Ronny Blylod (ex-DestyNation) and Johannes Forsberg (ex-Amethyst). Together they started to write some material which resulted in this ep. They recruted other musicians to play on this ep, most famous of these is Anders Zackrisson (ex-Nocturnal Rites vocalist). Their ep "Alone" starts with a very interesting melodic progressive metal song "Beyond The Horizon", with great guitar/keyboard solo's and excellent vocals of Anders. The second song and title track "Alone" is a well played ballad, and the third song "Universe" is a solid instrumental progressive rock song, with nice guitar/keyboard interactivity. There's also an acoustic version of "Alone". Planet Storm is certainly a very talented band, with excellent musicians and a magnificent vocalist!
Visit their website: http://www.planetstorm.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/planetstorm

88/100

POINT BLANK – Gatling Gun Manifest (MCD) Finland February 2009 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 12:50 (Tracks: 3)
Point Blank was founded in 2005. This is their first demo and I must say it kicks ass. It's a self financed record of three songs. Normally I wouldn't be to enthusiastic about three songs but this band reminds me a lot of nineties death metal. Straight in your face death metal with deep grunts and heavy guitar riffs combined with a solo to give it the extra feeling. The drums are groovy and straight in your face. The sound reminds me a bit of Benediction (old). The production is also very nineties….good but not like we hear it these days anymore. If you like old school death metal then you should check their website and order it.
Visit their website: http://www.pointblank-band.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pointblankmusic

70/100

RENEGADE – Straight To The Top (CD) Italy February 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Running time: 40:58 (Tracks: 9)
RENEGADE is, just like ANGUISH FORCE and DOGS 'N BONES, an Italian metal band. The band was formed in the summer of 2005 and exists of Stefano Senesi (vocals), Roberto Mannini (guitar), Damiano Ammannati (bass) and Andrea Ammannati (drums). If I'm right, "Straight To The Top" is the second album of the band. In 2006 these guys released their album "Too Hard To Die". Anyway, on this second album "Straight To The Top" you will find nine songs. And to tell the truth, most of the songs are very simple and not notable. To me, Senesi is one of those thousand moderate metal singers in the world. Okay, the band exists of good musicians and the production of the album is also okay. But I think there's nobody waiting for a band like RENEGADE outside Italy. Well, after several times listening to "Straight To The Top", my conclusion is that I only like the fast title track "Straight To The Top" (the best song), "Nasty Boy Blues" and "Kid The Hurricane". Although the title of the album is called "Straight To The Top", they won't reach the top with this album….even not in Italy. Sorry guys, but to me RENEGADE is not a very spectacular band.
Recordlabel: http://www.mygraveyardproductions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/renegadefansclub

63/100

ROBERT BERRY – The Dividing Line (CD) USA February 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 50:02 (Tracks: 11)
The first line on the biography of ROBERT BERRY says "Robert Berry is one of the most well known musical talents of the San Francisco area". Well, personally I never had heard of ROBERT BERRY before. But according to his biography Berry has a very long music career. He started in the mid 70's with a super group called HUSH (three albums released), sung and played bass & guitar in the progressive rock band 3 (with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer) with whom they released just one album "To The Power Of Three" (1988). So far BERRY has released the following solo albums "Pilgrimage To A Point" (1993), "In These Eyes" (1994) and "Takin' It Back" (1995). So, after thirteen years BERRY is back with his fourth solo album titled "The Deviding Line". ROBERT BERRY also sings in the band ALLIANCE (with members of BOSTON, NIGHT RANGER and SAMMY HAGAR). Anyway, after several times listening to this album, I must admit that ROBERT BERRY really is a great songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. On this album, which is produced by Berry himself, he's playing all the instruments, except on the song "A Life Worth Livin'" where he got help from David Lauser (drums) and Gary Pihl (guitar). Besides being a multi-instrumentalist Berry is also a fantastic singer. All eleven tracks are very strong and catchy compositions and a pleasure to listen to. Some of my favourite tracks are "The Dividing Line", "Listen To The People", the beautiful "Faith", "This Life", "Young Hearts" and "Life Is On fire". "The Dividing Line" is a very good melodic rock album, which I really can recommend if you're into high quality AOR music. Oh yeah, as a bonus there's also a multimedia video of the song "Wait" on this album.
Visit their website: http://www.robertberry.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/therobertberry

84/100

ROBIN BECK – Trouble Or Nothing (20 year anniversary album) (CD) USA February 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Poprock Running time: 67:34 (Tracks: 15)
"First Time" is a song we all now, that was sung by the lovely Robin Beck for a Coca Cola advertising campaign. It made Robin famous overnight, and what followed was a music career that kind of stopped in the mid nineties, due to the birth of daughter Olivia. Robin became a fulltime mom, while husband James Christian had put House Of Lords to sleep and had set up a music company in California. Apparently, Universal Music, who hold the rights to the original album, didn't feel like re-releasing it and Robin decided it took too long and/or costed too much money so she'd better re-record the whole album, adding a few extra tracks to it and release it on her own brand new label, Her Majesty's Music Room.
For starters: a job very well done ! The album has a magnificent sound, and Robin's voice sounds like she almost hasn't aged over the years. Comparing voices would lead you to the likes of Ann Wilson and Lana Lane. Other than that, she does have a real sound of her own, and also lots of power that is gently laid into all tracks that were on the original release, this time recorded using hubby's House Of Lords musicians. The four new tracks kind of fit in automatically as there are no drastic changes. Tommy Denander co-wrote the new songs and handled the guitarparts which again has been done brilliantly. For all lovers of AOR, poprock and bands like Heart should have a listen!
Visit their website: http://www.robinbeckrocks.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/robinbeck

90/100

SARA LEE – Damnation To Salvation (CD) Finland February 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Gothic Metal Running time: 46:18 (Tracks: 10)
This is the second album of Finnish outfit Sara Lee (no link with the coffee guys) since they began in 2000. The cd is said to be gothic metal, but after hearing this cd, I would leave out the gothic part. It is dark, ambient metal, made by guys that wear make up and thus try to look gothic. The tracks have quite a dark atmosphere, and it is certainly not an album that will get you in a happy mood. I even hear some proggy influences like Symphony X in their music! Vocalist Joonas does not really have the kind of voice that keeps your ears near the speakers; in fact, halfway the cd he starts to sound boring. The production of the album is the biggest thumbs up of this album. The mix is very balanced, and so is the production. If only a producer could get more out of these guys…I have the impression that they are holding back and leads to the assumption that in a live setting, I would even enjoy their performance (if I leave out the darkest pieces and the useless grunts on the album).
Visit their website: http://www.saraleeweb.com
Recordlabel: http://www.firebox.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/saralee

60/100

SAXON – Into the Labyrinth (CD) United Kingdom February 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 50:15 (Tracks: 13)
Another release from one of the most legendary NWOBHM bands ever! Nearly 2 years after their previous release " The Inner Sanctum" Saxon strikes back with another 'more than nice' album! Opener "Battalions of Steel" is a pure oldschool classic Saxon song and reminds me a lot to the earlier years of the band. "Live to Rock" is the first single of the new album and a real sing-a-long song (which I don't like mostly) but this time its a reasonable one. Singer Biff Byford's voice is getting better and better every year so I'm curious what his voice will bring in the future! "Demon Sweeney Todd" is a very fast full speed ahead song with great guitar parts and is one of my personal favourites of this new album. "Valley of the Kings" is also a fast song with some slower parts but with some great shredding parts! "Slow Lane Blues" is as the title says a slow song with a lot of blues elements. "Crime Passion", "Voice", "Come Rock of Ages" & "Protect Yourselves" are all typical mid tempo Saxon songs as we are used from the band for years. "Hellcat" is 200% pure Rock 'n Roll! Great song! Last song "Coming Home" do remind me to Motorhead's "Whorehouse Blues"; not a good BUT a funny song; nothing more nothing less. Overall this albums sounds great but I must admit that the first (read faster) songs made me long for more. Pity there are not more faster tracks in the second part of the album. Nevertheless again a nice album which every Saxon fan should have in his collection!
Visit their website: http://www.saxon747.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/saxon747band

80/100

SPLIT HEAVEN – Psycho Samurai (CD) Mexico February 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Power / Speed Metal Running time: 39:41 (Tracks: 10)
Split Heaven was formed in 2003 by Pedro Zelbohr (Guitar) & Tomas Roitman (Drums). After recording 2 demos ("Lightstorm" & "R.I.P.") and a few line-up changes they signed to Asenath Records where they released their debut album "Split Heaven". After that they signed to Blower Records and this is their first release on this great underground label. The band makes melodic powermetal with a very reasonable singer. When you compare them with their labelmates from Voltax & Strikemaster than it suits me that Split Heaven is not one of the many typical retro thrashbands of which dozens appear these days. No, the band is much more melodic and has some very good musicians on board! The band do of course remind me to the mighty 80's when this kind of bands where playing everywhere. Gladly still a lot of newer (younger) bands dare to bring out this kind of metal. Bands to compare Split Heaven with are; Icarus Witch, Riot, Metal Church. Gladly the band found their own style and uses besides the regular powermetal also some progressive elements in their songs!
This is a damn good album which surprised me positive!! Hope to see the band someday live! Check them out if you're into 80's speed & powermetal
Visit their website: http://www.splitheaven.net
Recordlabel: http://www.blower-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/splitheaven

92/100

STEAL YOUR CROWN - Steal your Crown (CD) Germany February 2009 Kay Vloeberghs
Style: Hardcore Running time: 20:54 (Tracks: 9)
Steal Your Crown sounds like any other hardcore band; trying to make it to the top; talking about the old school and having lots of movie quotes in their songs. Surprise surprise, yes it’s one of those bands! Don’t get me wrong, I love hardcore music. But there are a lot of shit bands out there saying they’re the best things out there. Now I’m not talking about Steal Your Crown, the band has its charm. Especially the vocals who remind me very much of Roger Miret from Agnostic Front. But as I said, it’s just another band full of cliché aspects in their songs without having anything special to show.
Recordlabel: http://www.demonsrunamok.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/steelyourcrown

65/100

STRIKE MASTER – Inflexible Steel (MCD) Mexico February 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 34:45 (Tracks: 7)
Nice little EP from this Mexican band which production wise remembers me of 'Kill 'em All' from Metallica. This band wants nothing more then to play old school thrash/speed metal and besides that kill some posers (always a cool thing to do). Strike master released a full length in 2006 and this year another full length will see the light of day. Until then this EP (with the most ugly artwork I have ever seen) fills the gap nicely. Besides the four new songs -which on the first one Kenny Powell from Omen does a guest solo- you get 3 live tracks that sound o.k. but the band would do good to get an extra guitarplayer. So almost 35 minutes of old school thrash/speed metal mania that doesn't sound original anywhere but is so fucking delicious and corny (in a good way!) that for one time this is not a problem for me. Now bang that head that doesn't bang!
Visit their website: http://www.strikemaster-attack.com
Recordlabel: http://www.blower-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/strikemaster666

78/100

THE KRIS NORRIS PROJECT – Icons Of The Illogical (CD) USA February 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Metal Running time: 55:09 (Tracks: 14)
Kris Norris was the man from Darkest Hour, in which he was a decent guitarplayer. The album that he has just released as a project that bears his name is a strongly guitar orientated release that starts off with four instrumentals. As a guitarist fan, normally something to look out for. But along the way of listening to this cd, I got more and more disappointed. Category? More noise than music. It takes until track number 5 ("Ghostly Shell Removal") to finally get some vocals, because the first 4 tracks left me with the idea "some nice licks but where is this all leading to". Then vocalist Randy Blyth (Lamb Of God) opens his mouth. And that is all he does, actually. Man…this is what you call singing?? It immediately erases the memory of the few nice licks and almost ruins the pleasure of listening. But to my surprise, "Wound Of Amfortas" comes along. To me, by far the best song on the album, even if it lasts less than a minute. This song has so much structure, melody and originality that no other song even comes close to this one, qualitywise. If I would have to compare it with a similar style, I'd say Tony MacAlpine. Great song. Unfortunately, this quality does not repeat itself on this album, so my message is: listen before you buy. If you are a Darkest Hour fan, you'd probably disagree with me in the first place so these fans will probably enjoy the album.
Visit their website: http://www.krisnorris.com
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/krisdh

50/100

THEOCRAZY – Mirror Of Souls (CD) USA February 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic / Progressive / Power Metal Running time: 68:02 (Tracks: 8)
Theocrazy began life as a one-man band, as the project of vocalist/guitarist Matt Smith, who played and sang everything on the self-titled debut album. "Theocrazy" was released at the end of 2003 on the small MetalAges Records label. It got fantastic reviews (see Archive CD reviews 2004) and worldwide acclaim within the metal community. Since then, drummer Shawn Benson and guitarist Jon Hinds joined the ranks, and the band started playing shows locally and working on new material. And now, after years of hard work, Theocrazy is proud to release their second album "Mirror Of Souls" on Ulterium Records. The new material features the same high quality songwriting that made the debut album so memorable. Theocrazy still plays a mix of melodic, "happy" power metal and progressive metal elements. Massive choirs, bombastic orchestral passages, huge choruses, epic arrangements, great vocals and fantastic keyboard/guitar leads are all characteristic for Theocrazy's music. For fans of Kamelot, DragonForce, Edguy and Elegy.
Visit their website: http://www.theocracymusic.com
Recordlabel: http://www.ulterium-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theocracyband

86/100

UNITOPIA – The Garden (2CD) Australia February 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Symphonic / Progressive Rock Running time: CD1: 49:36 (Tracks: 6) & CD2: 51:27 (Tracks: 8)
Unitopia was formed in 1996 when Mark Trueack (Vocals, Percussion) met Sean Timms (Keyboards, Mandolin, Vocals). They had a similar musical taste and shared also an interest in and concern for the environment. After a period of discovering a music style which they both liked, they released "More than a Dream" in 2005. The first thing that surpises me, is the nice artwork. It was designed by Ed Unitsky who designed also album covers for The Tangent and The Flower Kings. It took Unitopia three years to write, record and master this concept album "The Garden". In the mean time, the line up has increased from 2 to 7 musicians, they use not only the "normal" instruments, but they use also instruments like the mandolin, saxophone and flute. This has lead to a more consistent album than its predecessor. "The Garden" can be described as a complex masterpiece, the music style can be compared with Yes and Spock`s Beard (When Neill Morse was in the band). Both cd`s contain a long epic and from my point of view, they both contain all what Unitopia stands for: inventive progressive rock. It takes some time before this music catches you, but if so, their is no way back! On their website, Unitopia announces that they are working on new material and that they are rehearsing for some live shows. Hopefully, we can see them here in Holland in the future.
Visit their website: http://www.unitopiamusic.com
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/unitopiaband

85/100

VENGEANCE – Soul Collector (CD) The Netherlands February 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 45:44 (Tracks: 11)
Vengeance needs no further introduction. The Dutch champions of happy hardrock have just released the successor of their comeback album "Back In The Ring", with a half new line up, since drummer Erik Stout and guitarplayer Timo Somers (yes, Jan's son, 16 years old) joined their ranks. Most compositions are written by producer Michael Voss, who again managed to make the sound as it should be. Only one track is written by Leon Goewie and Jan Somers, "Dance". Also, former band member Arjen Lucassen contributed a song to this album called "Samurai", a funny referral to "Arabia". Given the fact that the original line up wrote their own songs and thus determined the character of Vengeance, it is a job quite reasonably done to select songs that sometimes makes one remember that typical Vengeance sound. But some songs are less fitting to the band in my opinion, leaning a bit too much against other bands like Krokus and AC/DC. "Myspace Freak" sounds a little simplistic, but "I Never Felt That Way Before" is a wonderful song. It has a more American hardrock touch and I quite like that. Hopefully Vengeance manages to keep up an acceptable level in playing live, because the last three shows that I witnessed were not that good. Nevertheless, with new material coming along, they can manage to outgrow their legendary status. The days of 20 years ago won't come back, and they should aim for the future with new material.
Visit their website: http://www.vengeanceonline.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vengeancebackinthering

80/100

VOLTAX – Voltax (CD) Mexico February 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 38:41 (Tracks: 11)
VOLTAX is a Mexican heavy metal band and was formed in the beginning of 2006 under the name VOLTAGE. When the line-up of VOLTAX was completed, the band recorded their first demo "Discharge". The line-up of VOLTAX on this eleven track self titled debut album is: Jerry Aguirre (vocals), Agent Matt Flores (guitar), Isaac Wild (guitar), Gova (bass) and Ganso (drums). According to their MySpace page, guitarist Wild has been replaced by Diego M (former STRIKEMASTER bassist). The band's influences are from N.W.O.B.H.M. to mid 80's American speed metal. This debut album was produced by the band themselves and was released in November of 2007. The band has in Jerry Aguirre a good singer, who can sing real high. Also musically, the band exists of good musicians. I must say that I like the songs very much, so my favourites of this interesting debut album are "Voltax", "Lord Of The Sluts", "Steelmaker", "Slow Death", "Invaders Of Steel" and "All The Metalheads". An additional track is "Amo De Las Callejeras" which is actually "Lord Of The Sluts" but sung in Mexican. Anyway, VOLTAX is an interesting band with a very nice debut album. Well done guys. If you like 80's American speed metal or N.W.O.B.H.M. then you'll have to check this band out.
Visit their website: http://www.voltax-metal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.blower-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/voltax

77/100

VREID – Milorg (CD) Norway February 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 41:05 (Tracks: 8)
During WW2 "Milorg" (MILitary ORGanization) was the main Norwegian resistance organisation. Resistance work included intelligence gathering, sabotage, supply-missions, raids, espionage, transport of goods imported to the country, release of Norwegian prisoners and escort for citizens fleeing the border to natural Sweden. So far for the history lesson…
This fourth release of Vreid (second for Indie recordings) is their best release so far! While the two first album carried some the spirit of Windir and their previous one "I Krig" had some black & roll elements in it, this new one is more open and atmospheric. A thing that attracts attention on "Milorg" are the beautiful melodic guitar parts in some of the songs. For example take the song "Disciplined" and listen to the lead at 2:00 minutes. Something every metalhead will like I can assure you! In some of the songs folk elements are still present in a way Kampfar does that too but completely different sounding. What I mean is within these two bands it sounds so natural and real. These people are truly rooted deep in there countries heritage and care for more then only drinking beer and walk around in Viking clothes and bear coats. The album was recorded in Hvalls home studio 1184 and makes clear that these men know best how there own band must sound. I really like the clear, warm and powerful sound of "Milorg". This album is something that not only their fans will like but is also a must have for metal fans in general because it has elements of different metal styles in it. This, the more then interesting theme and the beautiful artwork makes this one of the contenders for my favourite album of the month. The band will do a small European tour in February/march with Kampfar and Iskald. Make sure you are there at one of these shows!
Visit their website: http://www.vreid.no
Recordlabel: http://www.indierec.no
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thepitchblackbrigade

84/100

WARMASTER - First War (CD) The Netherlands February 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Old School Death Metal Running time: 35:01 (Tracks: 8)
Even though I listen to a lot of the genre I don't find a lot of new bands playing old school death metal. It seems younger bands are more into the brutal stuff since the only new releases I heard the last months were mostly from bands who are in the scene for years or from reunions of old legends. I was very curious when I got this release of Warmaster, this dutch band who's name leaves no doubt where their influences lie. I would describe this cd as pure Bolt Thrower worship and therefore fucking awesome. I immediately fell in love with the great sound of the guitar riffs who sound as if they are written by the mastersc themselves. The drums follow nicely even though their sound isn't that good but I think that has more to do with the production then with the actual drumming. The vocals fit in perfectly with the music although they might take some time to get used to. It's not an actual grunt nor a scream but if gets along nicely with the music as a whole. Fans of old school death metal the way it's meant to be played shouldn't hesitate a second and go buy this one.
Visit their website: http://www.warmaster.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/warmasterdeathmetal

93/100

WINTERS DAWN – Winter is Dawning (CD) Greece February 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 53:10 (Tracks: 13)
Winters Dawn is a Greek trio formed in 1998. After years of line-up changes the band found the right chemistry and decided to record a full length album. The difference is that the band is not selling this work but is using it for promotional services. I admit that it takes a lot of courage and guts to record 13 tracks and use them as promo material. "Winter is Dawning" is an ambitious power metal album that features both American and European influenced metal. The band has invested a lot if work in this project and it shows. Jeff Waters, Theodore Ziras and Chris Caffery are three prestigious guest that lent some great solos. Stelios "Theo" is a fine vocalist with a wide range and the rest of the guys are great musicians indeed. The band's style reminded me of Iced Earth, Firewind, Mystic Prophecy and other bands that deliver power metal in a more contemporary fashion. Since this is a promotional effort, I wish these guys the best and a record contract soon.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wintersdawnmetal

80/100

WOLF – Ravenous (CD) Sweden February 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 47:53 (Tracks: 11)
Wolf is a band from Sweden and was formed in 1995 with only 1 goal: make kick-ass heavy metal! After 3 albums ("Wolf", "Black Wings" & "Evil Star") the band gained the interest of Century Media Records. The band released their 4th album "The Black Flame" on this label. Finally this is the bands 5th release and this one is produced by Roy Z who already worked with many great bands (Judas Priest, Helloween, Malmsteen, Bruce Dickinson et al). So you can expect a great produced/mastered album! I have to be honest to say that this is my first Wolf album because I do prefer to see the band ON stage! The band is a real live band and that was the main reason that I booked them last year as co-headliner for the second edition of my festival (Mario's Metal Meeting 2). Not that their albums are bad but this is a band that can convince me mostly by their live shows. After listening to the album several times I have to admit that this album also kicks ass! Not to forget the guest appearances of Hank Sherman (Mercyful Fate, Force of Evil), Roy Z & Mark Boals (ex-Malmsteen).
This album is full of real heavy metal which isn't played that much anymore by today's new bands. The fact that they dare to bring out this kind of albums is a big plus in my opinion. Great job guys and continue to spread the typical Wolf Metal!! Good album with not even 1 weak song! Buy or die (by the Wolf)!!!
Visit their website: http://www.wolf.nu
Recordlabel: http://www.centurymedia.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wolfheavymetal

85/100

JANUARY

3rd MACHINE - Urban Madness (CDemo) The Netherlands January 2009 Kay Vloeberghs
Style: Symphonic Death Metal Running time: 16:02 (Tracks: 5)
3rd Machine started out in the summer of 2006 when they recorded their first demo “Saraphin”. “Urban Madness” is their second demo to date. But don’t think they’re a bunch of beginners trying to get noticed. No way! They started out in 1990 with another symphonic deathmetal band Evisceration that lasted 6 years. They call themselves a re-invented band, and they have my full support. Finally a fresh sound that also sounds familiar. They remind me sometimes of Prong, which is a very good thing! They create a great atmosphere in their music and that’s also a very good thing. I’m looking forward to listening to a full album of these guys! As we say in Belgium, GOED BEZIG!
Visit their website: http://www.3rdmachine.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/3rdmachine

85/100

AMEMBOW – Live At Sanctuary 7.26.2008 (DVD) Japan January 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Rainbow Tribute Running time: 51:40 (Tracks: 6)
Amembow is a Japanese Rainbow tribute band. They already exist since several years and played several live shows too. They were so friendly to send me a dvd copy of one of these shows. On this dvd "Live At Sanctuary 7.26.2008" are 6 tribute/cover songs from Rainbow ; "A Light In The Black", "Man On The Silver Mountain", "Catch The Rainbow", "Gates Of Babylon", "Mistreated" and "Kill The King". These songs are performed all very well by the Amembow members. They got a female vocalist, Riko, which is singing very good. Guitarist Shige is of course the star of the band, playing Blackmore licks and solo's like Blackmore himself. The band is completed with an unknown bassplayer, keyboardist Yumikichi (I think) and drummer Colin. The show is filmed with 2 camera's, without special effects, just a decent filming. At the end there's also some short "behind the scene" bonus. A very good early-Rainbow tribute from this sympathic Japanese band!
Visit their website: http://members3.com.home.ne.jp/2feet16bea

82/100

ANGEL OF EDEN – The End of Never (CD) Switzerland January 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 51:07 (Tracks: 11)
Angel of Eden is a musical coalition formed by Artention guitarist Roger Staffelbach along with famous Italian keyboard player Mistheria, drummer Rami Ali (Evidence One) and vocalist Carsten Schulz (Evidence One, Domain etc.). "End of Never" is the band's debut album.
I believe most of you are familiar with Mr. Staffelbach's guitar talents from his Artention works. This album is full of his ingenious guitar playing or shredding if you prefer. His solo "battles" with Mistheria will blow your mind. Carsten Schulz is also a well known vocalist in the hard rock world but I have to tell you that he handles power metal with great ease delivering over the top performances. To cut a long story short, this is an album of quality guitar driven power metal. I guarantee that fans of Artention and Malmsteen will go nuts with this one cause it contains all the elements an European power metal fan craves.
Visit their website: http://www.angelofedenband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/angelofeden

82/100

ANGEL HOUSE – World On Fire (CD) United Kingdom January 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Rock / Metal Running time: 41:19 (Tracks: 10)
This Birmingham-pack already released this album a year and a half ago. The band had risen out of the ashes of the band "Franklin" in 2004, playing loud hardrock music, combining their own material with coversongs as they play in the club circuit, being headliner as well as support act (to "Mountain"). The kind of hardrock these guys made is very much in touch with the more intelligent hardrock that we all know of the NWOBHM.
Songwise, I don't have a lot of complaints. The only complaint is that in opening song "Mask" the band uses a well known line from UFO ("Shoot shoot, shoot it for me"); come on guys, that is not done…..The band sounds tight, the album is not overproduced (producer was Mark Stuart, who also worked with "Mountain"), but still, I am missing something. As with many bands, the weak point are the vocals. I miss the power that these songs need to hold the attention of the listeners. I do like the vocals in "Weapons For Self Expression" which is more AOR radio oriented. The band has potential, they wrote some great songs, but they need to get their act together and work on lyrics and the way that they are sung. And work on a better website.
Visit their website: http://www.angel-house.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.coprorecords.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/angelhouserock

70/100

ASMEGIN – Arv (CD) Norway January 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Viking / Folk metal Running time: 42:18 (Tracks: 8)
One can easily say that mixing traditional folk music with metal is hot nowadays in our beloved scene. The last couple of months I received several promo's from countries all over Europe producing this formula. Some good like Heidevolk and Kampfar others rather disappointing and much too happy sounding if you ask me although that is something very personally. Asmegin comes from the beautiful country of Norway and folk music coming from over there is something that hits the right spot at me. During the mid-nineties Fenriz from Darkthrone was one of the first ones to mix traditional folk music with black metal within his project Storm. He later said that it was a big mistake experimenting with these two styles. I thought it was a beautiful marriage and sometimes I still listen to "Nordavind" and think how awfully wrong Fenriz is. But let us return to Asmegin now. The band started in 1998 and suffered lots of line up changes from there. There bio is actually so full of different members that half the population of Jevnaker must played in the band since. In 2003 Asmegin signed a four record with Napalm records and in that same year they released their –in the underground- highly anticipated debut album "Hin Vordende Sod & So" Now almost five years later the band returns to the front with "Arv" which means something as: Heritage in Norwegian. The new album contains older material as well as some newer material. I haven't heard their debut album so I can't compare the two. On "Arv" you can hear lots of different things. The folk influences are absolutely not happy sounding but more seriously woven into the metal parts. In between there are lots of violin passages, Hammond organ parts and beautiful female vocals. Next to the clean sung parts the band also uses lots of death-grunts and screams. This all contributes to an interesting album that can easily count in this folky times. Only complaint I have is that the songs don't really get stuck into my mind. Maybe this will change when I have listened to the album some more. For now fans of Falkenbach and maybe people who liked the above mentioned Storm album should give this a try.
Visit their website: http://www.asmegin.com
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com

76/100

BADMOUTH – Badmouth (CD) Sweden January 2009 Kees Schijven
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 41:49 (Tracks: 10)
This is the debut album of Swedish rockers Badmouth, these guys wanted to write rock tunes that stood out from the rest, drawing on the classic rock roots of bands like Dokken, AC/DC, Gun's and Roses and Aerosmith. Well the result of this all is an album full of thirteen in a dozen rocksongs, produced by well known producer Paul Sabu at Fortrocks Studio in California. The music of Badmouth is average hardrock 'n' roll, which doesn't really stand out. The overall sound is a bit too clean, for this kind of rock music actually. Nice songs on the album would be 'Cocaine Girl' and 'Hell Tonight', absolute lowpoint 'Dance Little Sister'. They do sound a little better on their up tempo tracks, but due to lack of striking song material, they don't stand out above the thousands of bands who play this kinda music. Also some furious rocking guitar work is missing a bit, which gives the music a bit of lack of power and energy. Maybe they took a step too high, to get Paul Sabu as a producer for their album, to get a shortcut on the ladder of fame. It might have worked out better maybe if they should do their second or third album with him. That way they would have more time to grow and develop their own style and identity, but who knows what the future will bring, and maybe their next album will hit it right.
Visit their website: http://www.badmouththeband.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/badmouthswe

60/100

BATTLELORE – The Last Alliance (CD) Finland January 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Epic Fantasy Metal Running time: 53:46 (Tracks: 11)
Battlelore was founded by Jyri Vahvanen and Miika Kokkola in 1999 and has already delivered several albums completely inspired and devoted to the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien. To me it is the first time I hear something from this band, so I am not familiar with the older stuff. When you describe your music as Epic Fantasy Metal than you expect something bombastic with a female and a brutal male voice to get things going. Well, this is exactly what you'll get on this cd. "Third Immortal" kicks off and I like it al lot. Good balance between the female voice of Kaisa Jouhki and the male voice of Tomi Mykkänen. It keeps hanging on in your mind and that promises a lot for the rest of the cd. Further on I'm getting a bit disappointed. The following songs the voice of Kaisa sounds a bit flat and mainly the same to me. I miss a certain of variation in it and that is very pity. Overall the album is mid tempo and the faster songs like "The Great Gathering" and "Green Dragon" are a welcome variation, although it also contains some slower ones like "Daughter of the Sun". It is not all very original, but it is preformed well by some good musicians. I have to say that this band has impressed me with songs like "Third Immortal", "The Great Gathering", "Green Dragon" and "Moontower" but overall it is a little bit to much of the same to keep on listening time after time. By all it has something of a soundtrack and that should be the meaning of this kind of music. A big plus is the production by Dan Swanõ. It gives this album the right feeling for this kind of stuff. Still I add this band to my list to check them live. I guess the orcs will be very scared when Battlelore hits the stage! By the way, when you buy this album, you make sure you'll get the limited edition that includes a live bonus DVD form the band's performance at the Metal Female Voices Festival 2007.
Visit their website: http://www.battlelore.net
Recordlabel: http:// www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/battleloremusic

76/100

BIBLE OF THE DEVIL – Freedom Metal (CD) USA January 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock, Metal Running time: 43:51 (Tracks: 8)
First of all, I never had heard of BIBLE OF THE DEVIL before. So I was very curious about this band and album. Anyway, according to their bio, "Freedom Metal" is already the fifth album of this quartet. The band exists of Mark Hoffman (vocals, guitar), Nate Perry (guitar, vocals), Darren Amaya (bass) and Greg Spelding (drums). "Freedom Metal" features 8 tracks of which just one song is, in my opinion, the weakest. And that's "Heat Feeler". All other songs like "Night Oath", "Womanize" and "Ol'Girl" are nice ones. Even the first track "Hijack The Night" and "Greek Fire" reminds me very much of BLACK SABBATH with a little bit of IRON MAIDEN. And on the songs "Ol' Girl" and "500 More" they sound very much like THIN LIZZY. Hoffman isn't a great singer, he is one of those many moderate singers. I think with a much better vocalist it all sounds better. Anyway, "Freedom Metal" is a nice album but not really a notable one. If you like bands like BLACK SABBATH, OZZY OSBOURNE, IRON MAIDEN, THIN LIZZY, then check this band out.
Visit their website: http://www.bibleofthedevil.com
Recordlabel: http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bibleofthedevil

73/100

BLANK INVERSE – Face Of Clay (CD) Greece January 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Melodic Hardrock Running time: 41:02 (Tracks: 11)
Blank Inverse (Greece) was formed in 2003 by Paris Maharatsek and Fotis Diplaris. The common musical influences and ideas of the two members led to an interesting result: many different songs, each one with its own special touch. But it wasn't until 2006 when guitarist Laki Ragazas (Killer Sixgun) joined the band, giving the chance for a firm line-up and a new sound approach to the band. Ragazas played as support act with Killer Sixgun for UFO last year and was asked to play guitar on the Paul di'Anno shows in Greece earlier this year. The band's line-up strengthened again with the addition of Dimitris Asteriadis on guitar and Bill Kokonis on drums.
I knew Laki Ragazas from Killer Sixgun; to me, he is the new Vinnie Moore/Malmsteen/Schenker etc etc. so obviously I was curious to find out about Blank Inverse. Beautiful melodic harmonies, exquisite guitarwork, and although some songs are a bit poppy (like "Face Of Clay") and sometimes a bit experimental, I like the overall rock feeling on this album. There is even rap in "Obsession", as well as a female vocalist (Chrysa Dourtmes), where "Under The Weather" is a typical song in the style of, let's say, Nickelback versus Red Hot Chili Peppers. I was looking for songs with that typical Ragazas solo….untill "Turn Your Love" reached 2:22 minutes….WOW !! And be warned…there are more where that came from ! The cd concludes with a nice ballad, needed to put out the fire that the other songs caused. All in all a refreshing album from a great Greek band !
Visit their website: http://www.blankinverse.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blankinverse

87/100

CAIN'S DINASTY – Legacy of Blood (CD) Spain January 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy / Power Metal Running time: 42:10 (Tracks: 9)
For Cain's Dynasty it all began by August 2006, when Rubén Picazo, who was also playing both in Delirion and Gothmog came up with the idea of forming a new band in which develop his previous solo compositions focused in terms of a more traditional metal. For this purpose, he counted with Rob G. (lead guitar player in Gothmog at that time), Paco Castillo (former bass player from Phantom Mask and Cloon D.C.), and Alba Castillo (keyboards); so Cain's Dinasty began taking his first steps... After this, the band began to search for a drummer and a second guitarist to complete the line-up. After some rehearsals the band settled on drums with Marcos E. de Juana and J.J. Ruiz as second guitarist.
On July 11 2007, Cain's Dinasty go to the Immortal studios in Valencia, to record "Legacy of Blood", their debut album, with Fernando Asensi as producer. One month later, with the album just finished, the band got the oportunity to take part in Rockstars Festival 2007, sharing stage with Gamma Ray and Metalium, a great opportunity for such a so young band. From summer 2007 until the end of the year, the band continues touring while works out the release of "Legacy of Blood", at this stage the original line-up has some changes, Alba Castillo, JJ Ruiz & Marcos E. de Juan departured to face their personal projects. The band adds Jose A. Quiles (keyboards) and Helios (Drums) to replace them.
Of course I had never ever heard from this Spanish band but the band contacted me if I could review their debut album; well here it is! The band plays a more melodic kind of Power metal in a way we are used from bands like Helloween, Gamma Ray, Metalium & Primal Fear. The band is suited with some good musicians and owns a very reasonable singer. Musically it is not all very original except for some parts that are sung with a female background singer (Lupe Moreno) and the use of some rawer sung parts in some of the songs. Nice album; nothing more, nothing less. Good food for European power metallers! Check them out!! Fav. Song: 'The Journey' with some very nice high pitching vocals.
Visit their website: http://www.cainsdinasty.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cainsdinasty

79/100

CRYONIC TEMPLE – Immortal (CD) Sweden January 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 51:40 (Tracks: 11)
Cryonic Temple was founded in 1996. During the years they released several demo's and in 2002 their first album "Chapter I". Later followed by "Blood, Guts & Glory" (2003) and "In Thy Power" (2005). After the release of their third album, the band went through some necessary line-up changes. With a new line-up they recorded their fourth studio album "Immortal". Cryonic Temple is still a decent Swedish, melodic (power) metal band. I like the most their melodic power metal songs like "Standing Tall", "Where Sadness Never Rests" and "Train of Destruction". The most other songs on their new album are more complex/modern with several thrash and prog influences. At the end there's also a ballad ("As I Sleep") and a short-ending, calm instrumental song ("Departure"). For me personally the vocals sound a bit too aggressive/raw, which was in my opinion always a weak point of them. Comparable with a band like Nostradameus ; not always melodic, but also with more thrash influences too.
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cryonictemple

76/100

CRYSTAL EYES – Chained (CD) Sweden January 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 42:36 (Tracks: 9)
Crystal Eyes was formed in 1992 to keep the legacy of heavy metal set in the eighties by Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept, etc. A strong underground reputation was built during the mid 90's with four official demo tapes. Later they started to release several albums through different record labels. "Chained" is already their sixth album and the second with vocalist Nico Adamsen. "Chained" is a good melodic metal album, with strong melodies, great riffs, great twin guitar leads and hooklines. Vocalist Nico is singing very powerful, but has also got a very melodic voice. Their songs are diverse in tempo and are clearly influenced by "older" bands like Iron Maiden and Helloween, but also by "newer" bands like Gamma Ray, HammerFall and Nocturnal Rites. A good melodic metal release!
Visit their website: http://www.crystaleyes.net
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/crystaleyesfromsweden

85/100

DARK INTENTIONS – Destined To Burn (CD) The Netherlands January 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Metalcore Running time: 28:09 (Tracks: 11)
Hailing from The Netherlands is yet another metalcore band: Dark Intentions. But it's been a while since I heard some good metalcore and these guys seem to agree with me. No commercial emo-bullshit with slow clean voiced choruses that you can only like if you are a 14 year old tasteless follower of MTV. No these guys bring back metalcore the way it's meant to be played: a nice mixture between hardcore and metal. From the first time I listened to this record it allready grabbed me and it didn't let me go untill the last note of the final track. Dark Intentions bring nice thrash metal riffing and cool breakdowns nicely supported by great drumming and good vocals. I recommand this record to all hardcore fans and the people who love old school metalcore in the genre of Merauder and Ringworm. If you like thrash metal and have no problem with the breakdowns or the hardcore voice: do check this out as well, you won't be disapointed.
Visit their website: http://www.darkintentions.com
Recordlabel: http://www.deitydownrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/darkintentions

88/100

DAYS OF BETRAYAL - Decapitated For Research (CD) Belgium January 2009 Sammy De Maere
Style: Deathcore Running time: 40:12 (Tracks: 10)
Yet another new band in the popular deathcore genre: Belgium's Days of Betrayal released their debut and while I'm not that fond of the genre I was looking forward to this one since the quality of the Shiver releases is very high most of the time so this should be something special. And this band did not let me down at all! This is what a good deathcore album should sound like: a great mixture of melody and brutality created by very nice and agressive riffs who are supported by awesome drums and very melodic guitarsolo's. All of this accompanied by a wide variety of brutal vocals make this cd into a nice mix between melodic death metal, brutal metalcore and american deathcore. I recommand this to al the fans of the more brutal work !
Visit their website: http://www.daysofbetrayal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.shiver-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/daysofbetrayal

80/100

DIMENSION – Ego (CD) Mexico January 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 69:19 (Tracks: 9)
During all the years I have been involved with heavy metal music I had never come across a progressive metal band from Mexico. Well I guess for every thing there is a first time. Dimension has been around since the late 90s, releasing a self produced debut album in 2002. I guess they where stuck in anonymity until Nightmare Records offered them a record deal which led to "Ego".
"Ego" is not an easy album. It's prog to the bone with lots of theme changes. Dimension can back this style up since they seem to have the musical potency except from the vocals which in my opinion could be better. This whispering style really tired me after the first songs. The band enriches its music with the use of violins, viola and cello while keyboard and piano parts are ever present. For reasons undetermined, the album failed to grown inside me. The band can surely play (loved the drums), the compositions are interesting but I just couldn't find strong bonds to the whole result.
Visit their website: http://www.dimensionshome.com
Recordlabel: http://www.nightmare-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dimensionband

70/100

DORO – Fear No Evil (CD) Germany January 2009 Frans Neelen
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 47:45 (Tracks: 11)
Metal Queen Doro Pesch of course needs no introduction. The former frontwoman of the legendary Warlock has just given one hell of a show at the ISS Dome in Dusseldorf to celebrate here 25th anniversary in the music business. So what can you tell about someone who is going to release her 15th album ? Well, there is a lot to say. For instance this is definitely one of her best albums. The album breaths the same atmosphere as Warlocks "Triumph and Agony" and it rocks like hell ! Even the album cover is beautiful and is in line with the "Triumph" album. The album starts with some thunder and lighting, a spoken intro by "the Warlock" and "Night of the Warlock" is finally ready to break loose. This song has everything in it to become a live classic. It's very catchy and it is one of those songs that invites you to scream your lungs out. "Running From The Devil" follows and is much heavier with a crunchy sound. The good production and mighty sound of the album can be heard very well in this number. La Pesch does know how a metal album should sound like. A very good song again and one of my favourites. "Celebrate" is the third song and proves the quality of Doro in writing classic anthems with an ode to her beloved Rock and Metal. Further on it goes with "Caught in a Battle" and this is a brilliant fast headbanger in the tradition of some old stuff like "Metal Racer". Herzblut continues and is Doro 's ballad on the album. It will be to much to mention every song separately but you can't ignore the very strong semi-ballad "Walking with the Angels", witch is a duet with former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen. "25 Years" ends the cd and is Doro's retrospective of her career. Doro has delivered her finest album in years, with a great sound and more than enough tracks that scream to be heard live. I'm convinced that the band, with good musicians like Johnny Dee, Nick Douglas and the guitar players Oliver Palotai, Joe Taylor and Luca Princiotta will be very capable to bring this live to a success. Doro live is always a 110% guarantee for a fine evening of classic metal so I can't wait for the next tour. I heard they probably do Russia and China first starting in april (maybe there will be a few try-outs in Europe) followed by some festivals, before rockin' Europe in september. She made a promise to play in Holland, so don't miss this very sympathetic Queen of Metal when she hits the stage in your neighbourhood ! The album comes out on 30 januari 2009 by AFM Records. Just get it, and see Doro live !
Visit their website: http://www.doro.de
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/doroband

87/100

DOWNDOG - In Dog We Trust (CD) United Kingdom January 2009 Kay Vloeberghs
Style: Rock / Alternative / Metal Running time: 45:15 (Tracks: 15)
Downdog are an alternative / hard rock quartet from the North West of the UK (Rossendale and Manchester). It's members comprise of Afton Rhodes on vocals, Kev Curtis on 5 string bass, Adam Healey on guitar and Matt Green on drums. The band got together two years ago, and started recording their debut album "In Dog We Trust" in Summer 2007. The album has now been released and is available for download via Itunes, Napster, Emusic, 7 digital & Many more. I enjoyed listening to this album very much. The problem is that the formula for each song stays the same and that’s why they don’t stick out over the other hundreds of bands in the same genre out there. If they get picked up by a label, then they could grow and do stick out. So have a listen on their myspace and see if you like it.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/downdoguk

70/100

DR. SLAGGLEBERRY – Tuc into the tar! (MCD) United Kingdom January 2009 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 13:48 (Tracks: 3)
Starting of with three drummers in 2005, Dr. Slaggleberry today consists of a drummer (Bateman) and two guitarists (Turnbull and Pethers) who changed instruments. Their first release was their self-titled 4 track EP which was released in March 2008. This second release consists of recordings taken from live radio sessions at the XFM studios. What to say about the music. It's frantic, complex, technical and experimental but still under control. The bands I think about after listening to this EP are Primus, Mr. Bungle, Meshuggah and Watchtower. Another resemblance to these bands are the peculiar song-titles like "Extra Strength Grandma" , "Lead Rabbit" and "Tails of a Blind Donkey". The three songs are instrumental and keep your attention from the beginning to the end. Hopefully there will be a full-length album in the near future. I'm curious if they'll succeed in making a complete album at this high level and if the songs will stay instrumental. The talent is there so we'll just have to wait and see.
Visit their website: http://www.drslaggleberry.com
Recordlabel: http://www.crash-records.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/drslaggleberry

85/100

ECLIPSE – Are You Ready To Rock (CD) Sweden January 2009 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 41:46 (Tracks: 11)
ECLIPSE is actually a duo, which was formed in 1999 by Erik Martensson (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards) and Magnus Henriksson (lead & acoustic guitar). "Are You Ready To Rock" is the third album of this duo. The first two albums of ECLIPSE are "The Truth & A Little More" (2001) and "Second To None" (2004). On "Are You Ready To Rock" Martensson and Henriksson, who both also produced the album, got help from Johan Berlin (keyboards) and Henric W. Erikson (drums). For me, this album is my first acquaintance with ECLIPSE, and man…they blew me totally away with this fantastic album. "Are You Ready To Rock" is full of superb melodic rock songs, with great vocals, killer riffs and excellent solos. On this album ECLIPSE reminds me very much of the early and heavier EUROPE like on their classic "Wings Of Tomorrow" (1984). Also because Martensson, who's a fantastic singer, sounds very much like Joey Tempest. All eleven tracks are fantastic. This album rocks from the first track "Breaking My Heart Again" to the last one "Call Of The Wild". The fifth track "Under The Gun" starts with piano, and I thought that it would be a ballad, but after 45 seconds it also turns into a great rock song. It doesn't matter but songs like "Hometown Calling", "Hard Time Loving You", " To Mend A Broken Heart", "Wylde One", "Unbreakable" and "Under The Gun" are all great compositions. Well, "Are You Ready To Rock" is another great melodic Rock album released by Frontiers Records. 'Are you ready to rock?', well I know I am. I'm going to buy the album myself too, 'cause this promo is (again) protected with a voice-over. So, with having my own original copy I won't get disturbed anymore by that voice, while listening to this SUPERB album, which is a real recommendation for lovers of high quality melodic rock. Absolutely one of the best released melodic rock albums of 2008.
Visit their website: http://www.eclipsemania.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eclipsemania

92/100

ENFORCER – Into The Night (CD) Sweden January 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: 80's Heavy Metal Running time: 35:12 (Tracks: 9)
Enforcer was formed some years ago by brainchild-vocalist Olof Wikstrand. Late 2005 they released a mighty four track demo. With this demo Enforcer took the underground metal world by storm. Thanks to this demo they were signed by New York's Heavy Artillery Records who featured two tracks by Enforcer on the 2007 "Speed Kills…Again" sampler. Now this label also released the debut album of Enforcer, "Into the Night". Well, when I first listened to this album, I thought I was dreaming and living back in the early 80's! All songs are played full speed ahead ("City Lights" is a long, instrumental track and reminds me of early Maiden) and are as great as the best songs of early Maiden, Raven, Tank, Exciter, Savage Grace, Agent Steel, Razor, Jaguar, Tokyo Blade (especially the vocals), early Metallica and Mercyful Fate! So imagine a perfect mix of NWOBHM, Teutonic metal and US speed/thrash metal. These Swedish guys surely know how to play heavy metal the old fashioned way!!! Hail to them and buy their album asap!!!
Recordlabel: http://www.heavyartillery.us
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/enforcerswe

94/100

GAMMA RAY – Hell Yeah!!! The Awesome Foursome (Live) (2DVD & 2CD) Germany January 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: German Power / Happy Metal Running time: DVD (120 & 156 minutes)
Running time: CD (62 & 65 minutes)
What to tell about Gamma Ray? Gamma Ray is the "new" band of ex-Helloween frontman/guitarplayer/founder Kay Hansen. The band is one of today's leaders in the typical German Power/Happy metal. They already released several good/great albums in the past and this DVD/Live CD is recorded during their "Majestic" tour in 2006; their first US tour ever!! The DVD is recorded very professional and contains beside the Montreal show with 17 songs also a bonus DVD with a road movie, several video clips, some Wacken Open Air (2003 & 2006) shots and a lot of band history stuff!! On the Live CD you will find 4 extra songs on the bonus CD instead of this. This is all really great stuff which every Gamma-banger should own in his private collection! I can talk on and on about these releases but I will keep it short; this is a must for everybody who is into the German powermetal scene! Kaufen verdamt noch mal!! For a setlist I advice you all to check out their website. Both releases will get the same high rate from me!
Visit their website: http://www.gammaray.org
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gammaraymyspace

90/100

HARMONY – Chapter II: Aftermath (CD) Sweden January 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 54:27 (Tracks: 11)
I have always supported myspace as a place were you can find some interesting music and discover bands that you didn't even know that existed. That is how I first met Harmony. I came across their page and listened to their songs. I was fascinated and ordered the album without any hesitation. "Chapter II: Aftermath" is the band's second full length album. The debut "Dreaming Awake" was released in 2003 and a mini cd called "End of My Road" followed.
"Chapter II: Aftermath" is an album of impressive and flawlessly executed melodic power metal in the vein of Nocturnal Rites, Stratovarius, Lost Horizon and Kamelot. Henrik Bath's vocals reminded me those of TNT, Siam and Shy frontman Tony Mills and Threshold's Damian Wilson. Vocalist extraordinaire Daniel Heiman of Lost Horizon and Heed fame also contributes in one song and Kristoffer Gindelow (Pain of Salvation) handles all bass tracks as guest. I strongly believe that Harmony represent the new age of European power metal along bands such as Firewind. They have managed to produce a modern sound based on the power metal forms that where introduced in the early 00's. No power metal enthusiast should miss the chance to discover Harmony.
Visit their website: http://www.harmonymetal.net
Recordlabel: http://www.ulterium-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/harmonyofficial

87/100

HAUK – To Hear The Trumpets Call (MCD) USA January 2009 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Folk Metal Running time: 21:41 (Tracks: 4)
Hauk is a band from California, USA. The namegiver of this band, who already released 2 cd's and 1 EP, is singer/guitarist Hauk. The name (probably not his real name) is as mysterious as is their music. They call it heathen metal, I heard a lot of folk influences, I also heard Metallica infuences and some Judas Priest. BUT…that's about all the positive news I can give you.
I had a hard time believing that this is their fourth release ! The production is the worst I have ever heard, with the vocals way to prominent in the mix. That is not such a big deal, had Hauk actually been able to sing. But this is pre-demo stage, gentlemen. Hauk can NOT sing; the guitars are OK, sometimes a little predictable, and the keyboards are just plain disturbing. The drums are good, I'll give them that. But in my opinion, everyone who takes this band seriously is bound to be committed to a mental hospital. Guys….don't give up your day jobs and stop making music. Best advice I can give you.
Visit their website: http://www.haukmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hauk

20/100

IT BITES – The Tall Ships (CD) United Kingdom Janaury 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock / Pop Running time: 69:39 (Tracks: 12)
It Bites was originally formed in 1982, when John Beck (keyboards) and Bob Dalton (drums) met Francis Dunnery (guitars) and Dick Nolan (bass). Their debut album (The Big Lad in The Windmill) was released in 1986 and reached number 35 in the album charts. This resulted in a tour with Marillion (1987) and Robert Plant (1988). After the release of the live album "Thank you and Goodnight", it became quiet around It Bites. In August 2003, at a fan club convention, It Bites played again on stage, in their original line up. It took one year before Beck and Dalton approached John Mitchell (Arena, Kino, Frost) to reform the band and to take over the role of Francis Dunnery, a job which he gladly accepted. The band toured successfully in 2006 and they released the live album "When the lights go Down". In 2008, Nolan was replaced by Lee Pormeroy (Rick Wakeman).
I`ve always been a fan of the work of John Mitchell, especially his work for Arena. He is one of the best guitar players in the symphonic/progressive rock scene, and also on this album, his performance is great! The Tall Ships contains twelve well produced tracks. The basis of the numbers is definitely rock, but the overall sound is quite "sweet". The album opens with "Oh my God" and this song outlines well where It Bites stands for: multi-layered numbers with a poppy touch but with enough space for the band members to show their musical skills. Other songs which deserve special attention are "Ghosts" and "This is England", a thirteen minutes taking track. "The Tall Ships" is a fine album, but if you like more heavy (progressive) rock, than you can better pass it. On their website, It Bites announces that they will support Saga during their tour in April and May 2009. On 18-4, they will play in "De Pul" in Uden and on 19-4 they will play in "P3" in Purmerend.
Visit their website: http://www.itbites.com
Recordlabel: http://www.insideout.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/itbites

75/100

JIMI JAMISON – Crossroads Moment (CD) USA Janaury 2009 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Melodic Rock / AOR Running time: 70:09 (Tracks: 14)
Jimi Jamison is active in the music industry since the early 1970`s. In 1983, he joined Survivor, but he stayed also active as a solo artist and guest musician. He has performed back up vocals for ZZ Top, The Jeff Healy band and numerous other artists. He is also known as the vocalist of the theme song of "Baywatch". "Crossroads Moment" is his third solo album. In 1991, his first solo album "Rock Hard"was released, followed in 1999 by "Empires". On his latest album, Jamison has renewed his working relationship with his ex-Survivor bandmate Jim Peterik (also Pride of Lions). Peterik wrote all the songs and co-produced the album, but he also sings and plays (guitar and keyboards) on it. Crossroads contains a couple of excellent AOR songs. It is a mixture of midtempo rockers and (power) ballads, which can compete with the best Survivor tracks. On the last song of the album ("When Rock was King"), Jamison is accompanied on vocals by a lot of well-known singers: Don Barnes (.38 Special), Mike Reno (Loverboy), Mickey Thomas (Starship), Dave Bickler (Survivor) and Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow / Deep Purple). This last track is also the best song of the album in my opinion.
People who like the music of Survivor and Pride of Lions will defenitely like this album.
Visit their website: http://jimijamison.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jimijamison

78/100

KATAGORY V – Hymns of Dissension (CD) USA January 2009 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Progressive Power Metal Running time: 57:56 (Tracks: 11)
One of the first albums I ever reviewed (December 2004) was Katagory V's 2nd album "A New Breed of Rebellion" which was released on Metal Ages Records. A very decent album which I compared as a mix of Nevermore, Watchtower & (old) Confessor. I was impressed also by singer Lynn Allers typical voice and the great musicianship of the band.
Later in May 2007 I also reviewed his successor "The Rising Anger" which I rated with 88 out of 100 points. This album was released by Nightmare Records and sounded more as a harder mix of Pyramaze, Symphony X & Destiny's End.
Again it took a while for me to review the new album "Hymns of Dissension" but better late than never is my opinionJ. This album was already released in the fall of 2007 but I wanted to review it by myself because I like this band very much! Because of the spare time that is left as a family-man it took me a (too) long time to review it but finally here it is! The new album is again a very good album with a lot of progressive elements in all their songs. The album is also blessed with a good production and this time the band decided to release the album also by the Greek label Burning Star Records in the hope to get some more response & airplay in Europe. This because the first 3 releases where hard to get in Europe or only as import CD. After listening the album several times I have to admit that I prefer its predecessor "The Rising Anger" more because it's a bit more brutal & heavier. The European version of this album contains 2 extra songs ('Anthem of the Underground' & a re-recorded version of 'Evil Princess' from the bands debut album "Present Day"). Lately I heard that original drummer Matt Suiter & singer Lynn Allers left the band a few months ago so I hope the band will continue because I need to see this band at least once!!! ProgPower Europe festival wake up!!!!
For all progressive rockers who still don't know this band; shame on you & check them out immediately! And to Katagory V; please continue to write this kind of high quality music & please come over to Europe a.s.a.p!!!
Visit their website: http://www.katagory5.com
Recordlabel: http://www.burning-star.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/katagoryv

82/100

KONTA BAND – Mouse Bites Cats (MCD) Japan January 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Rock Running time: 21:11 (Tracks: 5)
Noboru Konta started playing the guitar when he was 15 years old. He has been playing the guitar in various bands since the 80's. Noboru is inspired by 80's and 90's heavy metal and many other kind of music. In 2004 he started to play instrumental rock music. That same year he also recruted band members to be able to play live shows. In 2005 Noboru released his debut solo album "The Pieces of Destructed Time". It has both elements from his past experiences of rock music and instrumental music from the present. In 2007, with new band members, the band got a more rock touch. Now the band was called Konta Band. With that band the mcd "Mouse Bites Cats" was released. On this mcd are mainly technical, complex instrumental rock songs, with influences from prog rock and fusion. There are also a few calmer, melodic parts. Noboru is as guitarist best comparable with Steve Vai ; sometimes complex, sometimes shredding, sometimes calm, but always melodic too.
Visit their website: http://www.konta-n.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/knt777

79/100

LANFEAR – Another Golden Rage (CD) Germany January 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 50:18 (Tracks: 11)
Lanfear is a well known band of the European underground power progressive metal scene. "Another Golden Rage" is the band's 4th album and was originally released in 2005 through Massacre Records. This is a re-release from Nightmare records hence the review.
The band doesn't fall far from the typical German power prog standards as presented in the mid 90s and early 00s. Lanfear walks beside bands such as Ivanhoe, Ancient Curse, Glenmore and other representatives of the genre. Interesting music but not captivating though. Singer Tobias Althammer is probably the best thing this band has to offer. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the musicians are more than adequate (bassist Kai Schindelar plays for Sacred Steel at the moment) but Tobias shines a bit brighter. "Another Golden Rage" contains some quality music (mostly power and less prog) and the fans of the genre should check it out.
Visit their website: http://www.lanfear.eu
Recordlabel: http://www.nightmare-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thelanfear

73/100

LANFEAR – X to the Power of Ten (CD) Germany January 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 51:21 (Tracks: 11)
This is the brand new studio album from Lanfear and arrived simultaneously with the re-release of "Another Golden Rage". "X to the Power of Ten" finds Lanfear under a new home (Locomotive Records) and with a new vocalist, Nuno Miguel de Barros Fernandes (ex Anguish). Let's see what this album holds for us in the musical department.
In this new effort, Lanfear shift gear and go for a more mid tempo approach. There is also an increase of the progressive element. The compositions are more complex and elaborate and the keyboards have earned a more significant role. The new singer is also a bit more melodic and less powerful than his predecessor. I believe his voice is closer to Roy Khan. It seems like the band made a successful transition because "X to the Power of Ten" is a good album and I don't think that any of the fans will be disappointed.
Visit their website: http://www.lanfear.eu
Recordlabel: http://www.locomotiverecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thelanfear

78/100

LEGION OF THE DAMNED – Cult of the Dead (CD) The Netherlands January 2009 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 41:38 (Tracks: 11)
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was: "turning Occult into Legion of the Damned! After their change of name suddenly the band became big. While this surely hasn't only got to do with this "trick", the great predicted thrash revival also came knocking on our doors. This two things combined made "the new Occult" big business nowadays. Releasing 2 albums in the last 3 years and one album re-released (the Occult album "Elegy for the Weak" sold as "Feel the Bthe lade") the band was productive. Something which is very important in these times when new bands come and go and your name is easily forgotten when you wait too long releasing new material. With 4th album "Cult of the Dead" Legion of the Damned does what it is good in: makin' great fast thrash metal. And although this formula doesn't leave room for surprises I still think the fans will not get tired fast. If there are some new things that can be found it must be the intro's that are used in between the songs. This surely gives the album some more atmosphere among the foremost fast thrash songs. The title song is a mid tempo crusher and is one of my favourites. The album is again produced by Andy Classen and it is needles to say that it sounds fantastic. If you are going to buy the album watch out for all the different formats that are available. Some containing a dvd, comic books and even a cheeseboard. "Ik hou van Holland"!
Visit their website: http://www.legionofthedamned.net
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/legionofthedamned

83/100

MATTHEW MILLS – Neoclassical Spirit (CD) USA January 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Neo-classical Metal Running time: 41:45 (Tracks: 11)
Matthew Mills started playing the guitar around the age of 15. He was completely blown away after hearing Yngwie J. Malmsteen's "Trilogy" album. This album 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 he released his second album "Neoclassical Rock Guitar" and in 2007 his third "Neoclassical Rock Guitar Part 2". Now he already released his new album, "Neoclassical Spirit". On his new album are mainly songs of breaknecking speed, but always with strong melodies and themes. Of course there're also a few slower parts/songs. In general "Neoclassical Spirit" is a superb guitar shredfest of arpeggios and speed picking madness! As guests there are besides David Shankle two of Matthew'sfavorite guitarists; Joe Stump and George Bellas. Till now his best album I think, because he wrote some of the best melodies ever for this album!
Visit their website: http://www.mattmillsmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/matthewmillsinstrumentalguitar

88/100

METALIAN – Demo 2007 (CDemo) Canada January 2009 Ronny Elst
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 38:38 (Tracks: 8)
Metalian was founded to bring back the old spirit of metal. And with the release of their demo they certainly succeeded! On this demo are 4 studio songs and 4 live songs, recorded in club Saphir. Metalian plays/pays tribute to 80's heavy metal bands like Anvil, Diamond Head, Iron Maiden and Raven. Duelling guitars, thundering drums, pounding bass and true falsetto vocals. These short haired Canadians certainly know how to play traditional heavy metal the 80's way!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/metaliantheband

87/100

RAMOS - HUGO – The Dream (CD)