CD & DVD REVIEWS 2010

CD & DVD REVIEWS 2010

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DECEMBER

ANGBAND – Visions of the Seeker (CD) Iran December 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 42:02 (Tracks: 9)
Metal from Iran? I know this sounds a bit (if not totally) strange but Angband actually comes from this conservative Islamic country where playing Heavy Metal music is literally an unlawful act. The band debuted in 2008 with “Rising from Apadana” which was a nice effort but nothing really special. I was very curious to see if the band moved forward and reduced the drawbacks of the debut on this second effort. In terms of influences, the things are the same. Iced Earth and King Diamond are the dominant elements in the Angband sound. The production and the sound are much better and the playing has improved. The songs though remain simple and not the kind that will keep me interested and focused throughout these 42 minutes. I respect Angband for the effort they put and for the difficulties they have to face. I just ain't the biggest fan of their music.
Visit their website: http://www.angbandmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/angbandrocks

63/100

arK – Wild Untamed Imaginings (CD) United Kingdom December 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 54:29 (Tracks: 11)
I have to disappoint the fans of master vocalist Jorn Lande, this is not a release of his former band Ark. It's a release of the progressive rock band arK (watch the position of the capital) of the 80`s and 90`s.
Evolving from bands like Damascus and Kite, arK's first line-up formed around Tony Short, Pete Wheatley and Steve Harris (not the Steve Harris of Iron Maiden ?) in 1986. With Steve's brother Andy on bass, and Dave Robbins on drums, the band released a single, 'Communications' before Andy left and was replaced by John Jowitt (known from his success with IQ and Arena). The mini album "The Dreams of Mr Jones" followed soon after in 1988, and the "New Scientist" EP later that year, recorded with new drummer Richard Deane, who had played with Jowitt in The First (featuring Mark Thwaite, later of The Mission). Two cassette albums followed, "Archives”, and "Stand Alone”. In October 1990 John Jowitt decided to leave the band following the change in direction, his successor being Gel Newey. They entered the studio again in March 1991 to record the tracks for the "Cover me with Rain" EP. The band's popularity as a live act continued with regular gigs around the UK and mainland Europe, and the band recorded their final album, "Spiritual Physics”. The band split on 13th March 1995 at the Flapper & Firkin in Birmingham, Jowitt joining them for one song. In 2009, everything changed: "I always felt that the band and its music never got the exposure and reward it deserved." says Jowitt. "I'd long wanted to try to get the songs out to a wider audience. When Steve Harris got in touch last year, it seemed the ideal opportunity. I hadn't expected Pete and Tony to be up for it, but a chance meeting with Pete in the pub showed exactly the opposite to be true. And hopefully, we can show everyone what they missed!"
As well as Jowitt, nowadays the band consists of the original members Tony Short on vocals and flute, Pete Wheatley - lead guitar , Steve Harris - guitar synth, and new member Tim Churchman (formerly of Darwin's Radio) on drums. This has led to the release of Wild Untamed Imaginings. The album may be new, however it is actually made up of tracks from the bands past that were unreleased (only available on cassette). The album starts powerful with Boudicca`s Chariot, the highlight of the album. It is powerful and well composed. In my opinion, the next 9 songs on the album do not meet the high level of this song and that's a pity. I had huge expectations after Boudicca`s Chariot, but I got a little bit disappointed. However, the last song (Nowhere`s Ark) is a highlight again. Another point of critisism is the voice of Ant Short. In my opinion, he misses the power in the heavier songs. Summarized, Wild Untamed Imaginings is a sound album but it's not special. At this moment, arK is in the process of putting together material for their first all new album in nearly two decades. I hope this new material will rise above mediocrity.
Visit their website: http://www.arkmusic.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.progrockrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/arktheband

74/100

BODINROCKER – Mysterious Man (CD) Sweden December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Boogie / Blues Running time: 44:46 (Tracks: 10)
BODINROCKER is a Swedish Hard Rock band existing of Anders Bodin (lead vocals, guitar), Marcus Sigvardsson (bass), Klas Anderhell (drums) and Lars Ekberg (piano, Hammond, backing vocals). Actually, Bodinrocker is an old nickname of Anders Bodin, who started writing songs at the age of ten. In 2006 Anders Bodin released his debut solo album "Hall Of Flames" and in 2008 he started working on his next album, which is "Mysterious Man". With this album "Mysterious Man", which was released this April and features ten songs, we're going back into the mid 70's, because most of the songs on this album reminds very much of STATUS QUO during their hey days in the 70's and early 80's. I don't like all the songs of the album. "This Is Life" is a bit boring and is in my opinion the least song of the album. Also the title track is a bit less, and "526" is just nice. The first single of the album is "Scooter", which is really a great song and would make QUO's Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt jealous. If "Scooter" was a song of the QUO in the 70's it would be a big hit. The second track of the album, "Get Me On The Road", reminds also slightly of AC/DC. The production of the album, which was done by Lars Ekberg and Anders Bodin, is very good. Bodin is a nice singer, but most of all an excellent guitar player. "Mysterious Man" is, as you will understand, not a very original album, but it sounds damn good. The songs I like the most on this album are "Life Is A Mystery", "Get Me On The Road", "Back On Track", "No Destination", "Scooter", "Endless Pain" and "Legend Of The Saviour". Anyway, I'm sure that every QUO fan will like this album of BODINROCKER very much. Nice album.
Visit their website: http://www.andersbodin
Recordlabel: http://www.isma.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/andersbodin

74/100

BURN THE IRIS – Sovereign (MCD) The Netherlands December 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Post Metal Running time: 21:20 (Tracks: 3)
The post metal band Burn the Iris was formed in 2007. The same year in which their first demo was recorded. In the years that followed they did quite a few shows. They performed for example at the 2010 edition of Dynamo Outdoor in their hometown Eindhoven. I remember being positively surprised when I heard the first Burn the Iris demo a couple of years ago. Although I live in the same area as the band, I still haven't seen them live. Based on the clips on youtube and the new material, this most certainly will change! The new E.P. 'Sovereign' is beautiful, and I'm not just talking about the music. The E.P. as a 'product' is very well taken care of. The artwork, designed by singer Richard Spierings, looks dark and mysterious and definitely ads to the musical experience. So if you find the music at all interesting, make sure to get the original product. 'Sovereign' contains three songs with a total length of over twenty minutes. 'Holding time' is a suitable opener in the best post metal tradition. 'Old son' on the other hand is a melancholic piece with the use of female vocals. This really ads to the dark atmosphere that surrounds this song. And than there is the epic '(Sovereign) Ghost' which takes things even further. A groovy but still aggressive song from respectable length. Burn the Iris is able to compose original songs, but if a reference has to be made it would be with the Ocean and Burst. So if you like those bands, you most certainly will enjoy 'Sovereign'. I expect to hear more from them in the future.
Visit their website: http://www.burntheiris.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/burntheiris

82/100

CRYSTAL VIPER – Legends (CD) Poland December 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: True / Power Metal Running time: 46:53 (Tracks: 11)
CRYSTAL VIPER was formed in 2003 in Poland by Marta Gabriel (vocalist, guitarist, and pianist) and her husband - Bart Gabriel (producer, manager and music journalist). After several demo recordings and compilation appearances the band signed papers with the German label Karthago Records. Debut concept album came out in 2007 and received great feedback from both fans and press. In 2008 the next - this time strictly limited - release was out: "The Last Axeman" CD and LP, which was a compilation of new songs, live recordings, and covers. In early 2009 the third release was ready: an album titled "Metal Nation", produced by Bart Gabriel, mixed and mastered by the Grammy nominated KING DIAMOND guitarist, Andy La Rocque. "Metal Nation" again received bunch of positive reviews, and was released on CD and limited edition vinyl LP. During the "Metal Nation Tour 2009", CRYSTAL VIPER played their first shows in Greece and Spain, and recorded their first live album titled "Defenders Of The Magic Circle - Live In Germany", on MANOWAR's own Magic Circle Festival (see Archive CD/DVD Reviews). In 2010 CRYSTAL VIPER found a new record label, AFM Records, and under this new banner released mentioned live album. The brand new studio album titled "Legends" - with lyrics based on the old Polish legends, and recorded with special guests such as: Rhino (ex-MANOWAR, ANGELS OF BABYLON), Stefan Kaufmann (ex-ACCEPT, U.D.O.), Mat Sinner (PRIMAL FEAR, SINNER) and Sven D'Anna & Dano Boland (WIZARD), was released on October 22, 2010.
Well, here it is. An album full of (mostly) Helloween influenced powermetal with a lot of Virgin Steele and Manowar elements. But this time with a female singer which gives the record a special touch. A lot of other magazines and webzines compare Crystal Viper with Warlock/Doro but that is not fair. Musically Crystal Viper is better and Marta's voice has a wider range than Doro's voice ever had. It also suits me that Marta's pronunciation is much better than Doro's ever was AND is these days. If I should compare Crystal Viper with another female fronted metal band that it should definitely be Mystery Blue from France.
This is a very nice album but I must admit that it sometimes sound to standard for me. As bonus the band added an Accept song; 'T.V. War'. Live the band is very good so if you're into oldschool power/true metal; go check them out! .
Visit their website: http://www.crystalviper.com
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/crystalviperofficial

75/100

DECEMBERANCE – Inside (CD) Greece December 2010 William Nijhof
Style: Death / Doom Metal Running time: 68:00 (Tracks: 6)
Decemberance is a death doom metal band from Greece that clearly now what good doom is. These guys started spreading their rage in 1997 and released several demos (5 pieces). This is their debut album “Inside” and it totally rules. They do not make the standard doom but bring you a lot more then just a few long songs. This album is like a musical journey. All the songs have so much variety in it that will make you listen to the entire album. The guitar riffs are heavy and strong, fast and slow combined with clean melody in it. The drums are very steady and sound fucking tight. And then of course there is the vokills, brutal grunts in the good way, a very strong grunt that reminds me of the legendary “Winter” combined with a filthy screaming backing vocal. The use of keyboards and samples in the songs is also great. It gives it the right dark and atmospheric feeling that you want to hear…well done. But when you think that that is it…nop they also have viola player that gives the music a very depressive side. When I would have to tell what can I compare it with ,then I can only tell you that for me it sounds a bit like Esoteric meets Evoken and a bit Ataraxie….haha got it! The album also has a killer production. So shortly said buy your copy from these guys or order it.
Recordlabel: http://www.iforanirecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/decemberance

78/100

DICTATED – Summary of Retribution (CDemo) The Netherlands December 2010 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 26:54 (Tracks: 9)
Dictated is a death metal band from the Netherlands that was founded in 2006. This is their second released and I must say that it sounds great. 8 tracks of ravaging death metal in vain of Cannibal Corpse and Deicide (the ninth track is an outro). This album starts without bull shit no intro or soft shit but fucking brutal. The guitar riffs are technical and groovy. The drums are technical with blast beats and groove. And then there are the vocals, low understandable grunts with screams that remind me of Chris Barnes. The varieties of the songs are also great and the production of this album is also fucking brutal. If you like bands like Cannibal Corpse or Deicide then you should definitely check their myspace to order your copy because it is worth your money.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dictatedmusic

75/100

DIO – At Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987 (2CD) USA December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Metal Running time: CD1: 46:40 (Tracks: 12)
CD2: 50:10 (Tracks: 13)
Every Hard Rocker, Metalhead knows (or should know) that RONNIE JAMES DIO died on May 16, 2010, because of stomach cancer at the age of 67. With the death of Ronnie James Dio, the world lost one of the best Hard Rock singers ever. Now there's been released a double CD by the BBC, with two shows DIO did on the legendary MONSTERS OF ROCK festival at Donington, England. The first disc contains a live show from 1983 and the second disc features a show from 1987. And especially, the show from 1987 is very special to me, because I was there myself together with my Japanese pen pal. On August 22, 1987, the line-up of that year's MONSTERS OF ROCK festival existed of CINDERELLA, W.A.S.P., ANTHRAX, METALLICA, DIO (who was the special guest) and headliner BON JOVI. And I still have my festival shirt which I bought that day. The 1983 line-up of DIO existed of Ronnie James Dio (vocals), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Jimmy Bain (bass), Vinny Appice (drums) and Claude Schell (keyboards). The only change within the 1987 line-up is that guitarist Vivian Campbell was replaced by Craig Goldy. 1983 was the year that DIO released the legendary debut album "Holy Diver", and of this classic album the songs "Stand Up And Shout", "Straight Through The Heart", "Rainbow In The Dark" and of course "Holy Diver" were on the set list of the show DIO did on August 20, 1983. Besides those mentioned songs, of course we get some songs from Ronnie James Dio's period with RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH. The first BLACK SABBATH song on CD1 is "Children Of The Sea" and the second one "Heaven And Hell". And from his RAINBOW period, we get a short part of "Stargazer" (1:43) and an extreme short part of "Starstruck" (0:47). Before "Starstruck", DIO plays "Man On The Silver Mountain", and after the short part of "Starstruck" we get "Man On The Silver Mountain (reprise)". Of course after 23 years I can't remember what DIO exactly played at the MONSTERS OF ROCK festival in 1987. And that's why I like it, that those shows are put on a CD now for the very first time. Anyway, the show DIO did on the 1987 edition of the MONSTERS OF ROCK festival was the second time in my life that I saw DIO live (the first time I saw DIO was on October 20, 1984 in Amsterdam). The set list on the second CD exists of songs from the first 4 DIO albums, together with again some stuff of RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH. DIO opened his 1987 show with the title track of the "Dream Evil" (1987) album, followed by the BLACK SABBATH classic "Neon Knights". Other songs from the "Dream Evil" album which DIO played are "Naked In The Rain" and "All The Fools Sailed Away". Of the album "Sacred Heart" (1985) DIO only played "Rock And Roll Children". From Ronnie's RAINBOW period we get a short part of "Long Live Rock 'N' Roll" and "Man On The Silver Mountain", and also a short part of BLACK SABBATH's "Children Of The Sea" and "Heaven And Hell". From "Holy Diver" DIO played only a part of "Holy Diver" and "Rainbow In The Dark" and from the "The Last In Line" album (1984) only the title track (in two parts; on the CD track 6 and 12). Altogether, this double CD is a great memory to me of the little man with the GREAT voice, Ronnie James Dio. Well, Ronnie R.I.P., and long live Rock 'n Roll.
Visit their website: http://www.ronniejamesdio.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dioofficial

84/100

DOPEFIGHT - Buds (CD) United Kingdom December 2010 William Nijhof
Style: Sludge / Stoner / Doom Metal Running time: 50:47 (Tracks: 13)
Dopefight is a stoner / sludge / doom metal band from the UK that started in 2009. This is their debut “Buds” and it sounds fucking great. Personally I like Black Sabbath very much. So what these guys make makes me very happy. The guitar riffs are very heavy with a lot of distortion on. Slow and groovy riffs with a bit of melody. The drums on this album are also simple but effective. Together with the vocals that are a bit screamy and a very raw production make this an album that fucking rules. The same goes for the variety in the songs. The best was the delivery of this CD with a biography whit a big signed joint on it ,and of course with a name like “Dopefight” I thought lets smoke one and listen to it….the music totally takes your mind away in a big groove….haha that was nice. What surprises me the most is that this band is active for one year and is already capable in delivering an album like this…very nice! If you like stoner / sludge / doom metal then I would say check their myspace and order your copy!!!!!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dopefight

75/100

DUAL-COMA – Wake Me Up (CD) Poland December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metalcore Running time: 30:25 (Tracks: 8)
DUAL-COMA is a four piece Metalcore band from Poland, which was formed in March of 2004, but actually started as a Thrash Metal band. Since their existence the band did have several line-up changes. As they say on their biography '2007 was a year of changes in the band's style, image and music'. Anyway, the current line-up of DUAL-COMA exists of Maciek "Czubaka" Szmatloch (vocals, lead- & rhythm guitar), Bartek "Szwagier" Szmatloch (lead- & rhythm guitar), Leszek "Lechoo"Trzaska (bass, vocal) and Pawel "Senator" Nowak (drums). Well, after recording two demo's, "Decode The Human" (2007) and "Program H.A.T.E." (2008) and the EP "Bulletproof Heat" (2008), the band now has released their debut album "Wake Me Up", which features eight songs. DUAL-COMA doesn't sound very original to me on their album "Wake Me Up". I must say that I like the varied vocals between Maciek (brutal) and Leszek (melodic), but the guitar riffs, vocal lines etc. sounds very recognizable. It's absolutely not bad, what these Polish guys do. I mean, I really can listen to songs like "Way Out", "Stay", "This Feeling", "On The Edge" or "Between Love & Hate". But of course, it's hard to be a very original band. Well, altogether "Wake Me Up" is just a nice debut album. So, if you are into (melodic) Metalcore, then give this Polish band a try.
Visit their website: http://www.dualcoma.pl
Recordlabel: http://www.let-them-come.eu
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dualcoma

74/100

EMERALD – Reforged (CD) Switzerland December 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 66:00 (Tracks: 12)
Emerald is a Swiss band with numerous releases and live appearances through the years of its existence. Although the band's music has always been interesting epic power metal, the vocals always sounded weak to me and seemed like holding the group behind. Fortunately the band leader Michael Vaucher and the previous singer decided it was time for a change so Emerald and Jvo Julmy parted ways. A new vocalist had to come in and this is always a tough decision for a band. Thomas Winkler is his name and his performance added to the band all the elements it lacked. Re-forged is a nice album with a clear sound, fine riffs and guitars and good ideas which are well executed. In many songs they reminded me of Hammerfall (or at least the interesting side of this Swedish band). Vocal God Sean Peck from Cage also participates in one song and adds volumes to the result. As I always say in cases like this one, Emerald will not revolutionize Heavy Metal music but with Re-forge they surely can offer 66 minutes of headbanging and enjoyable music.
Visit their website: http://www.emerald.ch
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/emeraldch

77/100

FAANEFJELL - Trollmarsj (CD) Norway December 2010 William Nijhof
Style: Folk / Black Metal Running time: 49:29 (Tracks: 10)
Faanefjell is black/folk metal band from Norway that started spreading their tales in 2009. All though this is a new name in the scene the members are well known in the scene because of their previous bands (Cutthroat ,Grivf , ex- Rules of Engament ,ex- Eon). This album tells tales about the trolls that were driven away from the mountain “Faanefjell” by humans. This is their debut album and I must say that it sounds great.10 tracks of symphonic black folk metal. The album starts with an intro and then takes on a path of fairytales hahaha. The guitar riffs are black and very melodic. The drums are also full of variety with up tempo beats and blasts. The vokills are black screams combined with growls. Of course this album is filled with keyboards and synths to give it the folk feeling. The composing and production of this album is also good. The only thing that could have been a bit better in my opinion is the sound of the drums (a bit to mechanic for my taste). When I listen to this album I get the feeling that those trolls were probably not happy when they were driven from their mountain. The songs are in Norwegian so I do not now what they are singing but the music and variety make sure that I listen till the last song…well done! If you like folk black metal then you are going to enjoy this album.
Recordlabel: http://www.mayhem-music.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/faanefjell

75/100

FABRI KIARELI'S F.E.A.S.T. – Rise (CD) Italy December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 72:41 (Tracks: 13)
F.E.A.S.T. is the band of Italian born singer and guitarist Fabri Kiareli. He spent some of his teen years in Mexico and his first musical influences came mostly from the nearby USA. Guitarists by whom Kiareli is inspired are Eddie van Halen (VAN HALEN), Ace Frehley (KISS, FREHLEY'S COMET) and Randy Rhoads (OZZY OSBOURNE). And with the riffs of his teenage idols he taught himself to play guitar. In the mid 80's Fabri returned to Italy and started to play in heavy rock bands. Well, "Rise" is the debut album of FABRI KIARELI'S F.E.A.S.T. and features thirteen songs. The only musicians on this album are of course Fabri Kiareli (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards) and Mao Granata (drums), with whom Fabri has played with in the band MR. NO. But after completing this debut album, Kiareli has also completed the line-up of F.E.A.S.T., which exists, besides Kiareli and Granato, of Lukino Ballabio (guitar) and Angelo Perini (bass). Also the production of this album was done by Kiareli, and he did a very good job. All songs on "Rise" are very good compositions. Two of those songs are power ballads, which are "Cold Hearted" and "Broken Dreams", one song is a duet with Alessandro Del Vecchio ("Follow The Way") and the rest of the songs are all fantastic solid Rock songs. Kiareli is a good singer, but most of all he is a very talented guitar player. It's just a pleasure to listen to his awesome guitar solo's. Musically the band reminds me of WHITESNAKE, DOKKEN, VAN HALEN, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, EXTREME etcetera. "Shock Me" (not a KISS cover) has a funky touch, and a fantastic groove. Well, this is a very good melodic Rock album, which I can really recommend to anyone who likes good melodic Rock/Metal, with great guitar work. Just listen to fantastic songs like "Fire And Dynamite", "Feed The Hunger", "Love Renegade" (great riff), "Dangerous Love" or "Stormwind". My end conclusion is that "Rise" is a very good debut album and F.E.A.S.T. is absolutely an acquisition to the Italian rock scene.
Visit their website: http://www.feastrock.com
Recordlabel: http://www.avenue-of-allies.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/feastrock

80/100

FIRE – Ignite (CD) Malta December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 52:24 (Tracks: 12)
FIRE is a five piece Melodic Hard Rock band from Malta, who started around 1998 by playing mainly classic Rock covers. But as time went by, FIRE began to write their own songs. The first two songs they recorded were “Make Believe” and “Manhunter”, and those two songs were released as a singles in November of 2004. FIRE, which exists of Kenneth Calleja (vocals), Joe Vella (guitar), Robert Longo (guitar), Charles Cassar (bass) and Laurence Baldacchino (drums), recorded more songs between their live activities and they released their debut album “Ignite” in 2006. The second album of FIRE, which is titled “Thrill Me” was released in 2009. Well, their debut album “Ignite” has now been re-released (the first edition was only available on Malta) by Avenue Of Allies, and features two bonus tracks. The first bonus track is a nice cover version of BRYAN ADAMS' classic “Run To You”, but of course it can't compete with the original. The second bonus track is called “Miss You This Christmas”, which was released as a radio single in December of 2007, and is in my opinion a less song. “Ignite” is not a very notable album, because we've heard songs like “Get Out Of My Way”, “Make Believe”, “Taste This (Rock 'n' Roll)”, “Conspiracy Theory” or the ballad “Goin' Down” many times before. Well, you can actually say that it all sounds very cliché. So, in my opinion “Ignite” is just an average melodic Hard Rock album, to which I can listen to now and then. It's all not bad, but I guess you all know what I mean. And there's nothing wrong with the excellent musicians, and Calleja is a nice singer as well. Also the production of the album, which was done by guitarist Longo, is very good. So, if you are still curious about this re-issue of FIRE's debut album, and you're into melodic Hard Rock/AOR, then it's worth it to check it out and listen to it once.
Visit their website: http://www.firemalta.com
Recordlabel: http://www.avenue-of-allies.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/firemalta

68/100

FOUL STENCH – Eternal Rot (CD) USA December 2010 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 41:42 (Tracks: 13)
Foul Stench is a death metal band from the USA that really knows how to make your head bang. This band is formed in 1990 and released their First demo in 1993. In 2007 they released their debut “The Bone” (EP). In 2008 they released a best of compilation which contains material of the period 1993 till 1996. After that they released a split album with Skitzo in 2009. This album is their first full length and this album kicks ass. 13 tracks of none bullshit death metal. Groovy guitar riffs combined with a big of easy listening feeling. The drums are also very groovy with a lot old school up tempos in it. And then there are the vocals…long growls that sound like they pulled it from the gutter. But also grunts that are very listenable (and good to understand). The variety and composing of the songs are also straight in your face. When I have to give a resemblance to what it sounds like I would say music wise it reminds me a bit of the first album of Six Feet Under but more technical but with the same groove. This band exists 20 years and they bring you true underground old death metal. If you are into old school death metal then check their myspace and order your copy!
Recordlabel: http://www.sevared.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/foulstench

80/100

GHOST MACHINERY – Out for Blood (CD) Finland December 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 46.18 (Tracks: 11)
Absolute one of the most pleasant surprises for me this year is this fine piece of silver that spins it's rounds for the 25th time this week, and I'm afraid this copy will need to be replaced in before the end of the year…. Ghost Machinery is the name and this name deserves to be remembered! They come from Finland and “Out for Blood” is their second album. I've never heard from them before, but what a quality product this is, my dear metalheads! Original ? Far from that … but man, who gives a damn when it's played so well!
Melodic Power Metal in it's most true form is what you can expect here. Sometimes the more “happy” variant, like “Blood from Stone” with a keyboard intro that even reminds me of the early Survivor, but their strongest point lays in the more “mean” tracks like opener “Face of Evil” and “Out for Blood”. Also the epic “Fortune Teller”” is certainly worth mentioning. This album is full with clean and crunchy guitarhooks, double bass drums, majestic keyboards and, last but certainly not least, the awesome voice of Pete Ahonen in which the band has their mastercard. The man has an incredible range and can be shared among the finest vocalists in metal. Most of the songs you can sing/scream along and invite you to pick up your air guitar. The production is exactly what this music needs, clean and fierce. Ghost Machinery succeeds in bringing you Power Metal in all it's varieties yet composed into damn catchy hit songs that are hard to get out of your head. Highlight of the album for me is the mighty “Guilty” which is definitely one of the best tracks I have heard this year. Man, I love this, next time more of this stuff gentleman ! As you might guess, I'm a big fan after this ghostly attempt ….. I'm sure most of you will be also after giving this one a well deserved chance … and plead “Guilty” as well !
Visit their website: http://www.ghostmachinery.com
Recordlabel: http://www.limb-music.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ghostmachinery

88/100

LIGHTNING – Five Rings CD) Japan December 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time:47:59 (Tracks: 11)
Lightning was founded by guitarist Iron-Chino in 2002. After that he has found other members, Lightning released their EP “Soldier Force” in 2006. One year later they already released their first album, “Brave Heart”. That was a decent melodic power metal release. “Five Rings” is Lightning's second cd. It's once again filled with melodic power metal songs, in the style of Iron Savior, Gamma Ray and Helloween. It's still clear that Iron-Chino is much influenced by these bands and especially Kai Hansen's guitar playing/solo's. Like most Japanese bands, musically everything is very good. Only vocalist Robert Waterman sounds a bit too raw in his typical (with English and Japanese lyrics) Japanese singing style. But “Five Rings” is certainly a good melodic power metal album.
Visit their website: http://ironchino.jp
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kingslineage

80/100

MANUEL SEOANE - Burning Kingdom– Livin' Now (CD) Spain December 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Hardrock Running time: 41:21 (Tracks: 9)
Manuel Seoane is considered as one of the best guitar players from Spain and that already at the young age of 21 years! In his young past, Manuel already recorded some solo demo's and he also recorded three albums with Ars Amandi, a wellknown Spanish folk metal band. Burning Kingdom is the name of his band and “Livin' Now” the title of his first cd. What we have here is quite sensational! Most of the songs on his debut are catchy, 80's melodic hardrock in the best Danger Danger, Firehouse and Def Leppard tradition. Catchy as hell with many sing-a-long choruses, very good vocals from Dagarod, and great guitar riffs/solo's from Manuel!! There are also two great instrumental tracks, played in a melodic Malmsteen version. Y.J. Malmsteen is certainly one of Manuel's heroes, but Manuel (who even looks like Malmsteen) plays much more melodic instead of (only) neo-classical. Manuel already toured in Spain and South-America, let's hope that he'll come to the rest of Europe too. Certainly a very good band-guitarist-album!!
Visit their website: http://www.manuelseoane.net
Recordlabel: http://www.dfxrecords.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/manuelseoane

91/100

MELODROME – Flood (CD) USA December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock / Pop / Alternative Running time: 41:21 (Tracks: 11)
MELODROME is an American trio which was formed in 2000. The band exists of Robby Baier (vocals, guitar), Jesko Stahl (bass) and drummers Justin Guip (studio) and Kali Baba (live). So far the band has released the following albums: "The Sidewalk Ends" (2002), "Play America" (2003) and "Happens While You Blink" (2005). So "Flood" is the band's fourth studio album and features eleven songs. Well readers of MMM, don't expect very heavy stuff from this band, because this band reminds me very much of bands like JET, THE KINKS and THE ROLLING STONES. But I must say that "Flood" is not a very notable album, but just a nice one to which I easily can listen to. In fact, "Flood" is a very accessible album with which the band can reach a broad audience. The production of the album, which was done by bass player Stahl, sounds very good. The best songs for me on this album are "I Wanna Run", "Complacent", "Time On My Hands" and "Sticky". The other songs a just nice to me. Robby is a good singer and guitarist and Stahl and Guip are doing a good job as well. Like I said "Flood" is a nice album. If you are more into Rock than Metal, then check this band out yourself.
Visit their website: http://www.melodrome.com
Recordlabel: http://www.soultube.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/melodrome

70/100

MINDSPLIT – Charmed Human Art Of Significance (CD) Sweden December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 75:33 (Tracks: 14)
MINDSPLIT is a Swedish Progressive Metal band and exists of H.B. Anderson (vocals), Mathias Holm (guitar), Conny Payne (bass), Jon Skäre (drums) and Jonas Lindström (keyboards). This album, titled “Charmed Human Art Of Significance” (C.H.A.O.S.), is the debut album of the band. When I was listening to this album for the first time, the band reminds me immediately of DREAM THEATER, especially with epic songs like “Silhouettes” (12:33), “Inside The Heart Of Silence” (9:05) and “A Purpose Of Circumstance” (10:02) or the instrumental “Visual Minds – The Eternal Flame” and “NMe – Myself & I”. So, in that case the band is not that original. But I must admit that the musicians are very technical and skilled. H.B. Anderson is not a great singer to me, but just a reasonable one. I don't like the whole album, because there are also some dull moments on it as well, like “The Traveller”, the boring acoustic ballad “…Elsewhere?” which is more a long intro for “Inside The Heart Of Silence”, the piano ballad “Through The Eyes Of A Child” and “A Room With Thousand Doors”. I would advise to all Progressive Metal freaks, to check this debut album out first, before buying. It's absolutely not bad, but to be honest, I really prefer DREAM THEATER.
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mindsplitse

70/100

MINUETUM – Haunted Spirit (CD) Greece December 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Symphonic Power Metal Running time: 46:19 (Tracks: 10)
This Greece band was formed in 2007 Dimitris Melidis (keyboards) and Dimitris Zacharopoulos (vocals). These two guys wrote some songs together, and in 2007/2008 two demo's were recorded. After that they recruted new musicians to complete their line-up. In the Summer of 2009 they recorded the final version of their first album “Haunted Spirit”. Bob Katsionis helped the band with the production and also plays as guest guitarist. Mixing and mastering was done by Timo Tolkki. Timo's ex-band Stratovarius is one of Minuetum's main influence. They also play symphonic power metal, but the songs of Minuetum are more keyboard dominated. Musically their debut isn't that bad, only the vocals of Dimitris Z. can't convince me. He's just that typical vocalist from Greece, I've heard several other vocalists from Greece and they sound more or less the same, just not good enough. Maybe next time better guys… .
Recordlabel: http://www.7hart.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/minuetum

68/100

MISTHERIA – Dragon Fire (CD) Italy December 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Neo-classical Progressive Metal Running time: 63.21 (Tracks: 13)
Keyboard virtuoso Mistheria delivers his second attempt with this tour de force called “Dragons Fire”. Six years after his first solo album “Messanger of the Gods”, this one is even more daring. To bring out the best in each track he certainly did his job in hiring the following all star cast: Rob Rock, John West, Mark Boals, Titta Tani, Lance King (vocals), George Bellas, Neil Zaza, Roger Staffelbach, Emir Hot (guitars) Mistheria (piano, keytar, keyboards) Alberto Rigoni (bass) John Macaluso (drums). The vocalists are really matched perfectly in the songs and they are, besides “Dragon Fire” and “Eye of the Storm” (both lyrics by Mistheria) responsible for the lyrics on the tracks they perform. Although Mistheria brings pretty complex, progressive stuff, he has succeeded in bringing in enough metal ingredients to give the songs more body then you might expected.
Really nothing wrong with this album in musical skills, production or whatsoever, it's all from a very high level. The thing is that it will take you certainly 5 times listening to see through the complexity and discover the beauty and abstraction of this album. These are not songs that will keep on hanging in your head immediately. With an album time running over more than 1 hour it's a long run indeed paying your attention and that can be too much asked for many listeners. Nevertheless, musically it's from a very high standard, this daring project, but sometimes it's a bit dreary and too classical for me. If you are into this more “grandeur” stuff like for example Artension/Symphony X and the orchestral side of Epica this is certainly something for you, Who those who dare!
Visit their website: http://www.mistheria.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mistheria

78/100

MOLESKIN – Voluntary Inventory (CD) France December 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Pop / Rock Running time: 42:43 (Tracks: 11)
Moleskin is a four piece pop/rock band from France and the album 'Voluntary Inventory' was released in 2009. Just recently a copy was send to Mario's Metal Mania. In all fairness: I'm not sure if this is the right e-zine for the music of Moleskin. But, as a well known fact, metalheads are extremely open minded, so here is the review anyway!
Moleskin delivers rock music which has a poppy feel to it, but always raw on the edges. It never gets heavy though. The band is capable of writing compact, melodic songs with interesting lyrics. Worth mentioning is the opening track 'Back to ashes', 'My resurrection' and 'Battered nation' which contains vocal presence of no other than Barack Obama! A mean guitar riff is roaring while the president is holding one of his famous speeches. Very original and well put. I enjoyed listening to this record, but I'm afraid I won't be playing the album again any time soon. Enjoyable for a rainy Sunday afternoon or on stage in a small club/bar, but not for worldwide release. But if you ever get tired of your Cannibal Corpse, Watain or Nile records, maybe this will lift your spirit! (a cheap shot, I admit. But so what?!)
Visit their website: http://www.moleskin.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/moleskinfrance

60/100

MOTHER OF SIN – Absolution (CD) The Netherlands December 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 56:31 (Tracks: 12)
Mother of Sin is a heavy metal band from the north of Holland, formed around former Elegy and PrimeTime singer/guitarist Eduard Hovinga and former Vengeance drummer Gerry de Graaf. Shortly after the formation in 2003, the band recorded a demo cd. Because of the good reviews received in several magazines and e-zines MoS signed a record deal with the Italian recordlabel Adrenaline/Steelheart in 2004. The debut album, Apathy, was the next logical step. The band found a great producer in VandenBerg's bassplayer Dick Kemper. In october 2005 the debut cd “Apathy” was released. It got very good reviews by international media. Shortly before the recording of the follow-up record in 2006, the band fell apart. Key members Eduard and Gerry pushed on and recorded the second album “Absolution” together. In 2008 the line-up was completed by bassplayer Peter Groen. They also chose to look for a new recordlabel for the release of the album. At this point Mother of Sin has no record deal. And that is a damn pity!!
This new album is a mix of melodic & progressive music in the vein of bands like Symphony X and Masterplan. And I dare to say that musically they can compete easily with these bands! Eduard Hovinga is not only an excellent guitarplayer (who reminds me a lot to Yngwie Malmsteen's style of playing guitar) but he is also an incredible good singer! Drummer Gerry de Graaf and bassplayer Peter Groen are both well experienced musicians but Eduard is to my opinion the protagonist of the band! Live the band also already showed there musicianship at the 4th edition of my own Mario's Metal Meeting last October. Its unbelievable for me that a band with these qualities still isn't signed to a good label yet! Wake up label bosses!!
This album is full of great songs and has a lot of variation in the songs; some progressive elements, some shredding parts but also sometimes very catchy refrains (for example in: 'Failing in this Skin'). In the opener of the album, 'Redemption', I also sometimes hear Michael Kiske-a-like choruslines (ex-Helloween). A ballad is also presented in 'Higher Ground'. It doesnt matter which song you listen to; they are all awesome! My favorite track is the speedy 'Soulsearching'; with excellent vocals and drummer Gerry doing a great job! If this is the future for the metalscene in The Netherlands than I will not complain anymore!! Great album guys! One of the best albums ever made in my homecountry! That's for sure!.
Visit their website: http://www.motherofsin.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/motherofsin

95/100

MY SILENT WAKE – IV Et Lux Perpetua (CD) United Kingdom December 2010 William Nijhof
Style: Death / Doom / Stoner Metal Running time: 46:09 (Tracks: 8)
My Silent Wake was formed in 2005 and released their first EP that year. Their debut “Shadow of Sorrow” was released in 2006. Their second album “The Anatomy of Melancholy” released in 2007 (good album). 2008 gave birth to their 3rd release “A Garland of Tears”. This is their fourth album and it gives you a lot of styles to think about hehehe. They are called a Gothic /death /doom band and I think they forget a few styles. This album contains 8 tracks of chill out metal hehehe. The guitar riffs are heavy and very easy listening (think of riffs like Celestial Season and Black Sabbath). Then you got the drums that sound very groovy and not to complex. The vocals are grunts and screams combined female and clean vocals to give it an epic and dark feeling. The variety in this album is great, groovy songs with progressive spheres in it. The production of this album is also very good. They call it doom but personal I think this album is stoner combined with progressive rock. This album begins hard and heavy and ends with a lot groove and atmosphere…nice! If you like stoner, gothic combined death and a bit of doom then you should definitely check this album.
Visit their website: http://www.mysilentwake.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.darkbalance.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mysilentwake

80/100

PANIC CELL – Fire it Up (CD) United Kingdom December 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Alternative Metal / Hardrock Running time: 45:56 (Tracks: 11)
After previous albums 'Bitter part of me' and 'What doesn't kill us', the alternative rockers of Panic Cell are back with their third studio effort: 'Fire it up'. Panic Cell is one of those bands you can't lay your finger on in terms of styles and genres. On their first two albums, the band presented a mix of modern (nu)metal, heavy rock and even the occasional fling with pop music. Not that they were at all soft, but it was just so damn catchy! All and all it was a nice combination of styles that resulted in exciting, diverse records which are very suitable to play live. This, the band did a lot too, among the likes of Mudvayne, Testament and Devil driver. Luckily they found the time to create album number three, because the new songs are, again, more than worth listening to. The songs, which last around four minutes each, all contain the combination of tight, recognizable riffs, catchy vocal lines and melodic guitar work. As a reference, bands like Stone Sour and Machine Head come to mind. Especially in the melodic parts and with the use of clean and brutal vocals. Because the material is so diverse and catchy, you can easily listen to the entire record without getting bored. The only thing is that although the album is quite catchy, it's not very challenging. All the songs are from good quality, but there are only a few that really stand out. I'm sure that this material will do very well during a concert or on festivals. But will I remember and replay 'Fire it up' a couple of years from now? Time will tell...Meanwhile, be sure to check them out if you dig catchy melodic rock/(nu)metal.
Recordlabel: http://www.undergroove.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/paniccell

75/100

PATEK XIII – Videothrash (CD) Czech Republic December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Thrash / Death / Black Metal Running time: 47:44 (Tracks: 10)
So far, I didn't know any metal band from Czech Republic, so PATEK XIII is the first Czech metal band I ever have heard in my life yet. The band was formed in 2006 and is especially inspired by classic (and cult) horror and mysterious movies. In 2007 the band, which exists of Lukas Bulava (vocals), Tom "Digaz" Pletnicky (guitar), Lada "Wagon" Neugebauer (bass) and Tom Dzida (drums), released their debut album "Séance Na Drughe Strane Sveta", and now their second album "Videothrash" has been released by Let Them Come Productions. Well on this second album you will find songs titled as "Return Of The Living Dead", "Medusa", "Simon De Belleme", "Children Of The Corn", "Pandora's Box" and "Poltergeist". But I can't say that I am getting really impressed by all the songs on this album. Believe me readers of MMM, this is totally crap. The level of those songs is so low, and the production could also be better. In fact it all sounds very dated. No, there are much better releases to spend your money on. Well, you better can watch a classic horror movie instead of listening to this terrible album. I'm sure you will have much more fun. This is a perfect example of an album to which I will never listen to again.
Recordlabel: http://www.let-them-come.eu
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/patek13teho

46/100

PERFECT VIEW – Hold Your Dreams (CD) Italy December 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: A.O.R. Running time: 59:28 (Tracks: 12)
Perfect View is a newcomer in the field of melodic hard rock and A.O.R. Formed in 2008, the band presents its debut through the Avenue of Allies label which has become a safehouse for many European bands of the genre. The band shows its intentions right from the beginning of this album. Great melodies and hooks, fantastic vocals, excellent sound and musicianship. The band's influences are quite obvious. Toto, Asia, Journey, Survivor and other melodic rock monsters. Of course the band is not a copy of these titans but presents an independent melodic rock sound that will appeal to every fan of the genre. I was quite impressed with this album and I am really looking forward to the next one! Till then I will relax and enjoy the beautiful melodies of this Italian surprise again and again.
Visit their website: http://www.perfectviewtheband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.avenue-of-allies.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/maxorder

82/100

POISON SUN – Virtual Sun (CD) Germany December 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Hard Rock / Metal Running time: 44.00 (Tracks: 10)
Well, Hermann Frank has been very busy lately. Besides the, quite unexpected, strong return of the legendary Accept he is also the brain of this new German powerpack called Poison Sun. Together with his sister Martina on vocals, Stefan Hammer (bass) and Florian Schönweitz (drums) this band debuts with an album full of varied steamy rock. Damn, what a pleasant surprise this one is. Brilliant old school heavy rock, sometimes metalized up to date and it rocks like hell. Opener “Voodoo” is strong with a chorus that reminds me of “Nightride out of Phoenix” from Gillan and is a bit in that style, but then much heavier. Martine delivers her finest performance on this one. Think of a mixture between Sas Jordan and Lee Aaron on their more aggressive songs and you will agree she has a perfect voice for this kind of stuff. Follower “Rednex” speeds it up and is a real headbanger.
Hermann spreads around his melodic, heavy riffs and solo's and the rhythm section Stefan/Florian (both also in Silent Decay) is as tight as a duck's ass. The third hit will knock you hard when “Hitman” comes in! Man, what a brilliant AC/DC like footstomper this is ! Man, I love this; also well done is the male, rob zombie like, choir, shouting out Hitman. Yes, this is my highlight. There is no time to lay back because “Rider in the Storm” speeds away and does his name honour in being the fastest track on the album. Things slow down on the mighty slowbanger “Killer”, a marvelous track again, intense played as you can feel the blood drip while listening. Further on variation enough (they have even succeeded in turning The Pointer Sisters “Excited” into a rock version !) in slow, speed and heavy, catchy songs. Be there when they are rocking your neighborhood, because playing this stuff live, a good old fashioned rockparty is guaranteed. Opening for Accept on their coming tour certainly would fit them. A very promising debut full of classic, stomping, old school hardrock with a decent shot of metal. It rocks, it swings, it pounds and …. well just get this one and play it loud!
Visit their website: http://www.poisonsun.de
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/poisonsun

85/100

PURE INC. – IV (CD) Switzerland December 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Hardrock / Modern metal Running time: 50:03 (Tracks: 11)
As I was listening to the opening track 'Once upon a time', I had to take a good look at the line-up to convince myself that it really wasn't Chris Cornell behind the microphone. It turned out to be Gianni Pontilo, who's voice is remarkably similar to the aforementioned singer of Soundgarden. A coincidence? I don't think so. The influences of Pure Inc. are in fact leading back to the Seattle sound which was created by bands like Alice in Chains and, you've guessed it, Soundgarden. But Pure Inc. cannot be considered a copycat. This they prove on their fourth album that is conveniently titled: 'IV'. The mix of modern rock, grunge and traditional hardrock elements are well played and moulded into eleven songs that could be interesting for the modern hardrock enthusiast. Energetic riffs, nicely arranged melodies and powerful choruses are making the songs worth listening to. And then there are the vocals, which in my opinion makes sure that the band will not slide into the mediocre. The perfect voice for this kind of music. 'IV' is an album that will not stand out in hardrock history, but is by far the best Pure Inc. album up till now. And that is certainly a compliment! The band proves to be a solid rock formation that we should keep an eye on.
Visit their website: http://www.pureinc.net
Recordlabel: http://www.brownsvillerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pureinc

72/100

SECRETPATH – The Choice (MCD) Italy December 2010 William Nijhof
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 27:15 (Tracks: 5)
Secretpath is a new band from Italy that was born in 2008. In 2009 they finally had a steady line-up. This is their debut demo “The Choice”. 5 tracks of what they call melodic death metal in my opinion it is more experimental death metal. The songs on this album are well performed with a lot of chaos in the guitar riffs. The drums are also very straight in your face. The vocals are grunts combined with screams (that are not so well done) and a very annoying clean vocal that probably has to give it an epic feeling. For me it is very difficult to give an opinion about this album, because the music is great but the clean vocals are really bad and fuck up the music in my opinion. But for a demo the production and the composing of the songs are very well done. Even the booklet and cover are well done and looks good. Not a CD-R but a pressed CD. If you like a challenge then you should check their myspace and order your copy.
Visit their website: http://www.secretpath.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/secretpath

60/100

SHADES OF GREY - Untill The World is Sick of Me (CD) Belgium December 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Progressive Thrash Metal Running time: 58:00 (Tracks: 12)
Hailing from Belgium is Shades of Grey, a band formed by 5 musicians all coming from different styles. After some searching the band found his own style, yet it still is pretty hard to label it. The music is quite progressive and without a doubt played by talented musicians. The guitar lines lean into the newer thrash metal with more groovy intermezzo's. The drums are aggressive with double bases although they never sound to hard. The voice is simply clean but decent although to me it tends to get annoying after a while. All in all this band wrote 12 good songs but hearing all twelve of them in a row tends to get boring. People who are more into the progressive areas of music should give this one a try though, you'll probably like it better than I do.
Visit their website: http://www.shadesofgrey.be
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/shadesofgreybelgium

68/100

SKULL FIST – Heavier than Metal (MCD) Canada December 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Power Metal Running time: 21:37 (Tracks: 5)
SKULL FIST is a Toronto (Canada) based "new wave of classic heavy metal band," that fuses together the best musical traits and finesse of such legendary acts as IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, SCORPIONS, SAXON and underground sensations RIOT, TOKYO BLADE and JAG PANZER. Well thats how the band described themselves. Musical it all sounds pretty oldschool and with a high pitched screamer (singer) im always curious!
This is a very nice release, not spectacular, but better than most of the average shit I receive so many times! With only five songs its difficult to get a good impression off the band. But what I hear on this MCD is very nice and im looking out for their show on the Metal Assault festival in January, in Wurzburg, Germany.
Nice band; nothing more, nothing less…check them out!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/skullfisted

77/100

SODOM - In War and Pieces (CD) Germany December 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 47:25 (Tracks: 11)
Thrash metal fans from around the world should have been waiting for this one. Sodom releases a new album, 4 years after the well received self titled one and 3 after the re-release of the classic "In The Sign of Evil" EP. Now especially the EP and the unreleased tracks on them, who all date from the same period as this legendary piece of thrash metal, makes the barrier the reach very high. Sadly the band didn't make it, but it sure isn't from a lack of trying. "In War and Pieces" is a very good thrash metal record with more variety and melody than we are used of the trio but in my opinion it just doesn't cut it compared to the older records. Even though we mustn't be all that critical because in a year where almost every other thrash metal band failed to produce something decent, Sodom still delivers. About half of the album consist of fast, aggressive thrash songs like we are all used of the band. The rest has more melody and that makes this cd more interesting to listen to but also less fun because the pace is taken out at times. A must have for every fan of thrash metal, but don't expect a second "Persecution Mania".
Visit their website: http://sodomized.info
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sodom

76/100

SOLACE OF REQUIEM – The Great Awakening (CD) USA December 2010 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 29:49 (Tracks: 9)
Solace of Requiem is a death metal band from America that brings you total and brutal technical death metal. I have already seen them play with the almighty “Resurrection (US)” on tour and I was really enthusiastic about them. This band was formed in 1993 and released their debut “Solace of Requiem” in 2004 and their second album “Utopia Reborn” in 2006. This is their latest release “The Great Awakening” and it kicks ass. 9 tracks of ravaging US death metal in vain of bands like Vile, Hate Eternal. Strong, fast guitar riffs that is technical and filled with solos. The drums are pounding through every song with blast beats and up tempos. Then you have the vocals…strong grunts but very listenable and understandable. The varieties in the songs are also well done, fast songs with enough chill out parts. The production of this album is also very good. When you listen to US death metal then mostly you get a quality of death metal. The same goes for this band. What surprises me is that they are unsigned? Weird. If you like US death metal then you should definitely check their myspace and order your copy.
Visit their website: http://www.solreq.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/solreq

80/100

SOTAJUMALA - Kuolemanpalvelus (CD) Finland December 2010 William Nijhof
Style: Death Metal Running time: 54:05 (Tracks: 8)
Sotajumala is a death metal band from Finland that started back in 1998. After a demo and an EP they released their debut album “Death Metal Finland” in 2004. Their second album “Teloitus” was released in 2007. This is their 3rd album and it sounds fucking brutal. 8 tracks of pure and straight in your face death metal. The guitar riffs are heavy and technical (reminds me a lot of Morbid Angel). The guitar players are also not afraid in doing a lot of solos (in my opinion that doesn't happen enough anymore). The drums are also technical with a great groove and blast beats in it. Then you have the vocals…brutal grunts with a filthy tone (that remind me of Glen Benton from Deicide). When you listen to this album you hear a lot of old school death metal influences in it. But the composing of the songs are filled with variety, every song sounds great and doesn't begin to get boring. This album has everything a death metal fan would want to hear, up tempo songs, fast and brutal. Combine that with the production of this album and I must say…hell yeah. If you like bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide etc. then you are going to enjoy this album.
Visit their website: http://www.sotajamula.com
Recordlabel: http://www.cobrarecords.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sotajamula

80/100

SPIRITUAL HOLOCAUST - Salute The Death (Cdemo) Finland December 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death Metal Running time: 18:34 (Tracks: 4)
The last year there has been a revival of old school death metal bands. Of course I can only salute that since it's been to long that some new bands played anything different than thrash metal, which usually turns out to be nothing more than an attempt to copy the old masters, or that they make something that always ends with 'core'. Strangely enough most of these bands don't turn out to be that popular although most of them surely know how to write decent songs. Spiritual Holocaust is yet another new death metal band and they sure have been listening to the old bands! This self released demo is just killer. It's got al the ingredients that makes an old school death metal release good. Nice guitars, pounding drums, aggressive and filthy vocals and production that makes it sound like it's been recorded in a basement in Stockholm around 1992. Add in some more doom influences in the guitar lines and you have yourself a very decent demo that every old school death fan should hear, like and buy. Support the underground!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/spiritualholocaustfin

82/100

T – Anti-matter Poetry (CD) Germany December 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 65:09 (Tracks: 6)
German multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer "T" (original name: Thomas Thielen) is back with his 3rd album. After fronting German progrock band "Scythe" and the release of 2 highly acclaimed solo albums, he took four years to write, perform, mix, produce and co-master "Anti-matter poetry", a 68 minute concept album. t, again, played all the instruments and sang all parts on the album.
t has always been a musician. His parents had him classically educated as a piano player as well as a singer from early childhood on. Today he admits to the fact of being a strictly average musician with many instruments. From early band efforts on, t has also been interested in sound issues and thus kept on learning how to arrange, record, mix, and produce. Although all of his solo albums feature him as the sole instrumentalist and singer, "Anti-Matter Poetry" is his first effort to also do all the sound work by himself. Only the final mastering was transferred to Jürgen Lusky - with t assisting, of course.
I was a little bit sceptic when I read that t did all the work on his own. However, I'm quite surprised about the result. t knows how to play all the instruments. His voice (and sometimes also the music) sounds a little bit depressive, but it is never dreary. The music sounds also sometimes very experimental because of the use of electronic influences. In my opinion, these are the less interesting parts of the album, you have to like it.
It's hardly possible to divide the album in parts, you have to listen it in one time. This makes the album a little bit “difficult” with sometimes heavy, chaotic and unlogical transitions. Maybe t can learn something from the old masters like Genesis and Yes. However, this are just small points of critisism, there is also a lot to enjoy on the album. It contains some nice pieces of progressive rock, that's for sure.
Recordlabel: http://www.progrockrecords.com

80/100

THE CREEPSHOW – They All Fall Down (CD) Canada December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Psychobilly / Punk Running time: 37:35 (Tracks: 11)
Psychobilly band THE CREEPSHOW was formed in 2005 in Ontario, Canada. My first acquaintance with these Canadians was, when I saw them live on May 1st, 2007 at The Rambler in Eindhoven, Holland. That evening I bought a shirt of the band and their debut album "Sell Your Soul" (2006) on coloured vinyl. Two and a half weeks later, on May 17th, 2007, to be precise, I saw them again, but now at W2, Den Bosch, Holland. And in the W2 I bought "Sell Your Soul" also on CD. Those two shows I saw of THE CREEPSHOW were with original singer/guitarist Jen "Hellcat" Blackwood. Anyway, since that moment I'm a fan of THE CREEPSHOW. When Jen got pregnant, the vocal and guitar duties were taken over by her younger sister Sarah "Sin" Blackwood, who also has released two solo albums (Hillbilly/Country style), which are "Way Back Home" (2008) and "Wasting Time" (2010). So, since the second album "Run For Your Life" (2008), which is also a fantastic album, it's Sarah who's singing and playing guitar. Nice to know, this year "Sell Your Soul" as well as "Run For Your Life" are both re-released on I Used To Fuck People Like You In Prison Records. And the nicest thing about the re-release of "Sell Your Soul" is, that it has a bonus DVD disc, with a complete live show (ten songs; running time 37:17) filmed at "Live @ Talschock" in Chemnitz, Germany on March 22, 2008. Well, you understand that I've bought that re-release of "Sell Your Soul" too, especially because of the bonus disc with the concert. Anyway, recently the band's third studio album, "They All Fall Down", has been released on I Used To Fuck People Like You In Prison Records. Besides Sarah "Sin" Blackwood on vocals and guitar, the band still exists of Sean "Sickboy" McNab (upright bass, backup vocals), The Reverend McGinty (keyboards, backup vocals) and Matt "Pomade" Gee (drums). "They All Fall Down" features eleven fantastic and very catchy Psychobilly songs. Okay, “Sleep Tight” (track 6) isn't catchy, it's more a sweet rockabilly song, but it's a nice song. Sarah is, just like her older sister Jen, a fantastic singer. And what I also like about THE CREEPSHOW are the combined vocals between Sarah and Sean. Just like on the two previous albums, also this album starts with the intro "The Sermon", only now of course titled "The Sermon III". But really, songs like “Get What's Coming”, “Someday”, “They All Fall Down” (look at the great video of this song on their MySpace page), “Last Chance”, “Dusk 'Til Dawn”, “Keep Dreaming”, Hellbound”, “Going Down” and “Road To Nowhere” are all awesome. In fact I can listen to this album every day. About “Road To Nowhere”, the CD player gives a running time of 11:50 minutes, but actually that great song takes 3:20 minutes. After that song is finished, we get a silence of about 4:55 minutes and then we get 3:35 minutes of talking between (I guess) someone of the band and someone on the phone. They are talking about a video of “Demon Lover” from the “Run For Your Life” album. Instead of those minutes of silence and the talking crap, I rather had two other great songs on the album. I still can't understand why bands are putting silences and hidden tracks on their albums. Anyway, “They All Fall Down” is, just like the two previous albums, an awesome album. Well, if you like Psychobilly bands with great female vocals, like HORRORPOPS, MAD MARGE AND THE STONECUTTERS, you will absolutely like THE CREEPSHOW and love this album "They All Fall Down" very much. It's in fact a real recommendation.
Visit their website: http://www.thecreepshow.org
Recordlabel: http://www.peoplelikeyourecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thecreepshow

92/100

THE QUIREBOYS – Live In London (CD/DVD) United Kingdom December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Glam Rock Running time: CD: 50:18 (Tracks: 12)
DVD: 57:30 (Tracks: 12)
THE QUIREBOYS are an English Hard Rock / Glam Rock band, who were formed in 1984 in London. During the band's career, they broke up several times and did have many line-up changes. And of course they have released some fantastic albums. But luckily THE QUIREBOYS are active again since 2001. Anyway, "Live In London" is a live album of THE QUIREBOYS, which was recorded and filmed in 2004, during the "Monsters Of Rock" tour, at the legendary Marquee club in London. At that time the line-up of THE QUIREBOYS existed of Spike (vocals; real name Jonathan Gray), Guy Griffin (lead guitar), Luke Bossendorfer (guitar), Nigel Mogg (bass), Jason Bonham (drums) and Keith Weir (keyboards). Well, just like Spike's famous announcement at every show 'We're the Quireboys…..and this is Rock 'n Roll', indeed this is fuckin' kick ass Rock 'n Roll in it's purest form. And what to say about the set list of this show, it's just finger licking good. Believe me, from the opener "C'mon" until the last song "Sex Party" it's just one big party. In fact it's just like you are in a sociable pub, drinking some beers and are looking at a fantastic live band. So, in that case we can call their music also "Pub Rock". There's absolutely no weak song on this live album, because songs like "C'mon", "Misled", "Hey You", "This Is Rock 'n' Roll", "Tramps And Thieves", the beautiful ballad "I Don't Love You Anymore", "Turn Away" and "Whippin' Boy" are all great. On the DVD the band is announced by Steve "Krusher" Joule (known from KERRANG magazine). The whole show, which is just a very simple show, is fantastically filmed in colour and black & white. Spike is a very charismatic person and a very good front man. And of course he's also a fantastic singer, with his hoarse voice. And I don't have to tell you that the other band members are fantastic musicians as well. "Live In London" is just a perfect live album/DVD, which I can really recommend to any QUIREBOYS fan and to anyone who likes bands as THE ROLLING STONES, THE BLACK CROWES, THE FACES etc. as well. On February 19th 2011, THE QUIREBOYS are playing at The Rock Temple, Kerkrade, Holland together with the TRAILER TRASH TREMBLERS. Go see them, because I'm sure it's going to be a big party just like on this album/DVD. Yes folks, this is Rock 'n Roll.
Visit their website: http://www.quireboys.com
Recordlabel: http://www.globalmusicgroup.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thequireboys

90/100

TOMMY VITALY – Just Me (CD) Italy December 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Neoclassical Power Metal Running time: 36:58 (Tracks: 11)
Tommy Vitaly was born in Florence (Italy) in 1974. He started playing the guitar at the age of 15. Early influences from him were Iron Maiden and Metallica. A few years later Tommy started studying the styles of guitarists such as Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and his favourite mysician, Yngwie J. Malmsteen. Besides rock music Tommy studied also classical music. He plays piano since he was 7 years old and he also plays clarinet. These days Tommy works as a private guitar teacher and besides playing his original music, Tommy also plays in a Helloween tribute band called Mr. Eagle. So far Tommy has released 2 albums with his power metal band Seven Gates and now IceWarrior Records proudly presents his first solo album “Just Me”. This album starts with the calm, piano title song “Just Me”. The second song “The Raven Attack” really kicks off the album in furious MacAlpine/Malmsteen style of instrumental playing. “Fly High, Touch The Sky” is clearly influenced by Helloween and features the mighty vocals of Thomas Vikström. Next is “Air”, a theme by J.S. Bach. “Storm of Fire” is another instrumental neoclassical song in the style of Grapow/Malmsteen. “Passion” and “Finally Free” are two emotional instrumental songs, while “Ready To Die” is a melodic metal song, the second with vocals from Thomas. “The Fury” is Impellitteri influenced, another influence from Tommy. “Eternal” is the second piano piece, and the album ends with an orchestral version of “Just Me”. Besides the vocals of Thomas Vikström, there are also guest appearances from keyboardists Vitalij Kuprij and Mistheria, and guitarist David Shankle. “Just Me” is produced by Tommy himself and mixed and mastered by Frank Andiver (Labyrinth, Vision Divine, …) . “Just Me” is a very good neoclassical (power) metal album, with several interesting instrumental compositions and two very good songs with vocals.
Visit their website: http://www.tommyvitaly.com
Recordlabel: http://www.rockitup.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tommyvitaly

87/100

TURN AWAY – To The Open Sea (MCD) Germany December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hardcore Running time: 16:59 (Tracks: 6)
TURN AWAY is a five piece Hardcore band from Ludwigsburg, Germany, which was formed in 2000. The band had some line-up changes in the past. So far TURN AWAY has released a split 7inch with MORE THAN EVER, OPPOSITION OF ONE and CLOSELINE in 2002, the MCD "Today Is The Day" (2004), another split 7 inch with MORE THAN EVER in 2006, and their first full length album "Ways To Say It, Ways To Get It" (2008). The line-up on this mini-CD "To The Open Sea", which features 6 songs, exists of Daniel (vocals), Chris (guitar), Anna (guitar), Karin (bass) and Peter (drums). But according to the band's MySpace page, bass player Karin has left the band this August, and she has been replaced by new bass player Gunnar. Anyway, TURN AWAY plays typical old school Hardcore, which I like very much. But it's absolutely not very special, because there are plenty of this kind of Hardcore bands worldwide. But the songs on this MCD, which are "Savior Without Hope", "Burn The Temples", "To The Open Sea", "Leaving Town", "Second Chances" and "Protest" are all good songs. Hopefully next time TURN AWAY will be release their second full length album, because although they sound not very original, they sound pretty good?
Recordlabel: http://www.luciferslegions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/turnawayhq

74/100

UFO – The Best of a Decade (CD) United Kingdom / USA December 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 1:19:33 (Tracks: 16)
What to tell about this legendary band that isn't told before? And what to tell about this album full of already earlier released songs? Okay, there are some live songs added but most of the die-hard UFO fans will already have all this stuff. Personally im a very big Vinnie Moore fan (who replaced Michael Schenker several years ago) but I prefer his solo stuff more and to my opinion he is a much better guitarist than Schenker ever was…..…so to me he was a real accession to the band!.
Very nice compilation album but only interesting for people who want to discover UFO….....and I hope there still are this kind of people…..
Visit their website: http://www.ufo-music.info
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de

--/---

WHITE WIDDOW – White Widdow (CD) Australia December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock / AOR Running time: 44:37 (Tracks: 10)
WHITE WIDDOW is a pretty young Australian melodic Hard Rock band. The band was formed in 2008 and exists of Jules Millis (vocals), Enzo Almanzi (guitar), Trent Wilson (bass), Xavier Millis (keyboards) and Jim Naish (drums). WHITE WIDDOW is inspired by melodic Rock bands such as DOKKEN, WHITE SISTER, BON JOVI, SURVIVOR, TREAT and AVIATOR. On October 29th, 2010 the self titled debut album of the band was released on AOR Heaven. The album, which was produced by Martin Kronlund (OVERLAND, JOE LYNN TURNER, HAMMERFALL, BANGALORE CHOIR), features 10 songs and opens with the fantastic "Shoukai / Tokyo Rain". And with this song I immediately had to think of the first two albums of BON JOVI. So, you will understand that with this debut album of WHITE WIDDOW, we're going back into the 80's, when melodic Rock was very popular. But there are more songs on this debut album, that reminds very much of the early BON JOVI ("Broken Hearts Won't Last Forever", "Change Of Passion"). Anyway, all songs are of the same level and are very catchy. So that makes this album very accessible. Okay, the band doesn't have their own sound, so in that case it all doesn't sound that original, and can we actually say that it sounds very cliché. But like I said, the songs are all sounding very catchy. The band exists of excellent musicians (especially guitarist Almanzi) and Jules Milles is a good singer too. Of course we also get some ballads on this album, like the semi-ballad "Don't Fail Me Now" and "Shadows Of Love". My favorite songs of this album are ""Shoukai / Tokyo Rain", "Broken Hearts Won't Last Forever", "Cross To Bare", "One More Day" and "Change Of Passion". This is a very nice debut album, which I can recommend to anyone who's into melodic Rock/Metal and likes the aforementioned bands.
Visit their website: http://www.whitewiddow.com
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/whitewiddowrocks

75/100

YVERDOOM – Pestalozzi Platz Massacre (CD) Switzerland December 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Hardcore / Thrash / Metalcore / Noise Running time: 26:07 (Tracks: 8)
I never had heard of Swiss band YVERDOOM before. According to the biography the band was formed in 2006, and on October 29, 2010 the band's debut album “Pestalozzi Platz Massacre” was released on Headstrong Music. The line-up of the band on this debut album exists of Danek (vocals), Laurent (guitar and bass) and Ivan (drums). But the current line-up is added with second guitar player Marc and with bass player Ian. Anyway, the band plays a mixture of varied Metal styles, like extreme metal, metalcore, hardcore, thrash, noise etcetera. To be honest, well most of the songs are really crap to me. The production of this album could have been much better if you ask me. But hey, everything has been recorded in three days. “Pestalozzi Platz Massacre” features eight songs of which the last track is a reasonable cover version of INTEGRITY's “Systems Overload”. Well, I think I don't have to tell you that “Minus Vox” is an instrumental song, because the title says enough. The album starts with the very annoying “Jam Blast”, what a noise and what a chaos. Luckily it's a very short track (1:01). The first part of “Putaquepariu”, which is with percussion (samba beats), reminds of course of SEPULTURA's “Roots”, but actually it isn't a great song either. The best song on this album is in my opinion “The Luminious Path”, and another song which I like a bit is “You're My Ragweed”. But in fact, I can't say that I'm very impressed by YVERDOOM. Also the vocals of Danek are very varied, sometimes hysterical screams, death grunts, hardcore style. Anyway, I'm sure you get the point, YVERDOOM is not really a band for me. There are way much better bands than YVERDOOM out there. So, check this album out first, before deciding to buy this album. Well, I think that I'm gonna listen now to another GREAT band from Switzerland....namely TRIPTYKON (or to CELTIC FROST).
Recordlabel: http://www.myspace.com/headstrongbooking
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/yverdoom666

50/100

NOVEMBER

ALEX MASI - Theory of Everything (CD) Italy November 2010 Michel van Hassel
Style: Instrumental Rock / Metal Running time: 46:40 (Tracks: 10)
After almost four years Alex Masi returns with his most adventurous and personal album. This album is a complete Masi performance. He wrote, recorded, mixed and produced “Theory of Everything”. Masi divides his time between his solo-work and being a session musician. This work ranges from heavy metal to hip-hop to pop to funk. These influences can be heard clearly on this album as none of the ten tracks are alike. The first song, “Theory of Nothing”, starts the album on a heavy note. It's Masi's guitar that does the talking. The second song contains some middle eastern influences and some female groaning but above all Masi and his loud screaming and sometimes subtle guitar-playing. A collection of all different sounds is the starting point for the next song, the funky “Queen of Headfuck”. “The Past” is a very gentle song with Masi playing very subtle and relaxing. If you are sitting in a chair it makes you dream away. Two sentences of spoken word is what kicks off “Breakfast at Owsley's”. This is a mainstream rock-song larded with guitar solos. All kind of computer-sounds and a pounding bass are competing with Masi's guitar on “Big Bad Science”. The winner is Masi but that is no surprise because he does it all himself.
The computer-like keyboard-sounds duelling with the guitar continue on “Scratch the Meat”. Track number eight, ”Jam on Haunted Hill” has a bluesy vibe but the funny part is that it contains a part of Emerson, Lake & Palmers song “Peter Gunn Theme”. “Have a Talk with God” starts like the theme of a television-series than turns into a very funky song that flows into a fusion part and ends with a loud screaming guitar. To end this display of musical craftsmanship we've got “Soul Virus Hack” that also has a diversity of sounds but with the guitar clearly taking the leading part. What Masi achieves on this album is extraordinary. He is a very talented musician that isn't afraid to experiment with other sounds. The only problem is probably that there is not a big market for instrumental records.
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
MySpace: http//www.myspace.com/thealexmasiallaudiopage

84/100

A. LOSTFIELD – Internal Affairs (CD) Colombia November 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Alternative Metal Running time: 24.48 (Tracks: 7)
Ash Lostfield had a dream. As he is the composer of the music and obviously doesn't play any kind of instrument he found in Daniel Congora and Ivan Amaya two persons to fulfil that dream. Well, here it is; his own cd under his own name. If you want something so bad then sometimes things go wrong. Mr. Lostfield should have taken some more time in finding the right vocals. Both of the hired forces are responsible for the most hideous, false sounding voices I have heard for a long time. All the tracks are ruined by an awful sounding attempt to get some lyrics out of their throat. Musically Lostfield presents us a mixture of prog, rock and latin American but it just sounds uninspired. I really do have a lot of respect for people who are trying to fulfil their dreams bringing out an album by themselves packed in a very nice digipack, but there are limits. Sorry to say, but this is a very bad start for Lostfield's future dreams. The album title by the way couldn't be chosen better “Internal Affairs”. Indeed, some things better stay “internal” ……
Recordlabel: http:// www.luggamusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/alostfield/

45/100

BANGALORE CHOIR – Cadence (CD) USA November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 49:24 (Tracks: 14)
It was 1990 that former ACCEPT singer David Reece (who sings on the "Eat The Heat" (1989) album) and drummer Rusty Miller wanted to form a heavy but melodic Hard Rock band, which became BANGALORE CHOIR. The band released their debut album "On Target" in 1992, but after that album, which seems to be a very good one, it kept quiet for a very long time. But in the meantime Reece went further, so he became the singer of SIRCLE OF SILENCE, who've released the albums "Sircle Of Silence" (1993) and "Suicide Candyman" (1994). Then he released one album ("Take It Or Leave It") in 1995 with American band STREAM. In 2007 David joined Swedish band GYPSY ROSE and released an album with them in 2008 ("Another One"). In September of 2009 I reviewed Reece's solo album "Universal Language", which was my first acquaintance with Reece as a singer. And he's a good traditional Hard Rock singer. Anyway, now, after all those years, BANGALORE CHOIR are releasing their second album, titled "Cadence" on AOR Heaven. Besides David Reece on vocals, BANGALORE CHOIR's line-up on "Cadence" exists of Curt Mitchell (guitar), Andy Susemihl (guitar, formerly of U.D.O., and played also on Reece's above mentioned solo album), Danny Greenberg (bass) and Dutch drummer Hans In 't Zand (ex-VENGEANCE, COOPER INC.). And with this line-up, Reece has gathered excellent musicians around him. "Cadence" features fourteen melodic Hard Rock songs, of which some are ballads ("Still Have A Song To Sing" and "Dig Deep"). In my opinion "Cadence" isn't a very notable album, it's more an average album. But don't get me wrong, it's absolutely not a bad album. In fact, this album is of the same kind of level as David's solo album "Universal Language". So, if you are into melodic Hard Rock songs, I would say, check this album out yourself. Some nice songs are "Power Trippin'", "Martyr", "Survival Of The Fittest", "Tomorrow", "Heart Attack & Vine", "High On The Clouds" and "Spirits Too They Bleed". '
Visit their website: http://www.bangalore-choir.com
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officialbangalorechoirpage

78/100

B.D. GOTTFRIED – The Warden's Picnic (CD) Canada November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Prog Rock Running time: 36:36 (Tracks: 10)
B.D. GOTTFRIED is a Canadian Prog Rock band formed around Bill Gottfried. “The Warden's Picnic” is the band's fifth album and features 10 songs, of which one track is an instrumental (“Plasma”). The previous albums of B.D. GOTTFRIED are “Disrythmia” (2004), “Terra Not'So Firma” (2005), “The Third Disturbance” (2006) and “The Element Of Left” (2008). The band exists of Bill Gottfried (vocals, keyboards, drums), Aaron Gottfriend (vocals), George Chaggares (guitar) and Jack Smith (bass). Bill is singing the songs “The Warden's Picnic”, “Madeleine”, “Taken It Back” and “Waiting For Crazy”. His brother Aaron, who's actually a writer, sings the songs “Future For Sale”, “New Fifty Two”, “Contrafiction”, “Sideways” and “A Beautiful Life”. And I must say that Bill as well as Aaron are not that great singers, but I can listen to them anyway. Andrea Wingelaar, who is a musical star (STREETSCENE, OKLAHOMA, 42nd STREET, THE RAT PACK etc.), is doing back up vocals on “Madeleine” and “Taken It Back”, and she has a beautiful voice. So, I wonder myself why she didn't sung all the songs on this album?? Well, with a running time of 36:36 minutes, this is in my opinion too short for a Prog Rock album. Anyway, don't expect very heavy stuff on “The Warden's Picnic”, because it is a nice atmospheric Prog Rock album. Musically it reminds me very much of PINK FLOYD and some of MARILLION. I don't have any complaints about the songs, because these are all very good compositions. Also the production of the album is very good. So, I would say, if you are into Prog Rock and like PINK FLOYD very much, then give this album a try.
Visit their website: http://www.bdgottfried.com

74/100

BLACK CARGO – My Price (CD) Germany November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Running time: 43:38 (Tracks: 12)
Oh my god, I got another album of BLACK CARGO to review. In March of 2008 I reviewed the self titled album of this German trio, which I gave 65 points. But now I think I was too generous at that time. And I must admit that since then I NEVER have listened to that album again. And the reason is just simple, like I also wrote in my review, it was just a real hard job to listen ten songs long to the terrible voice of Rude Lean. In the meantime the line-up of BLACK CARGO has changed. The line-up on this CD exists of Rude Lean (vocals, guitar), new bass player Luis Wild and Kai Hammernit (drums). But according to their MySpace page they already have a new drummer in the person of Snick Snyper. Anyway, this second album, titled “My Price”, was recorded in November of 2008 and mastered in February 2009. This time they have recorded fourteen songs. Well, you already get it I guess, but also this time it's a real hard job to listen to the complete album. And the main reason are still the awful vocals of Lean. This guy really can't sing. In my review of their self titled album I ended with 'They definitely need to find a person who really can sing'. And secondly, most of the songs are too simple, weak and really can't impress me at all. The only song which I musically like is “Just A Mistake”, and that's because it reminds me, together with the title track, of the early MOTÖRHEAD. Only the title track is a lesser song. Believe me, there are way much better bands in this world. So, check this crap out first, before you possibly want to buy it.
Visit their website: http://www.blackcargo.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blackcargo

45/100

CARLOS LICHMAN – Genocide (CD) Brazil November 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Shred Metal Running time: 41:33 (Tracks: 12)
Carlos Lichman's complex shredding has been a central part of the progressive, powerful and thrash edge often attributed to his work's trademark since his first band in 1996. Taking the classic techniques, he learned from listening to legends like Jason Becker, Marty Friedman and Yngwie Malmsteen as a teen. Working as solo artist since 2003, Carlos has developed his own style towards shred metal music, using elements from other styles as thrash metal, heavy metal and even rock music. Carlos released his debut solo album “Firestorm” in 2007 (2 times top seller on Guitar 9 Records!!). A few months later, Carlos started a Brazilian tour as support for Pablo Soler from Argentina. Now he has released his second solo album “Genocide”. This new album is an interesting instrumental shred metal release. It's not all the time over the top shredding, there's also plenty space for cool, melodic melodies. “Genocide” is certainly one of the best instrumental guitar albums I heard lately. For fans of guitarists such as Friedman, Becker, Ziras and Matt Mills.
Visit their website: http://www.carloslichman.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/carloslichman

81/100

CRYSTAL VIPER – Defenders of the Magic Circle (CD) Poland November 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 48:16 (Tracks: 10)
Polish power metallers Crystal Viper are running hot. The band is fronted by Marta Gabriel and delivers power metal with epic elements while this is the fifth Crystal Viper release in a 3 years period (counting the Wolf and the Witch 7”)! The band did three cds with the indie label Karthago Records and now it spreads wings towards a major label like AFM. But in my opinion this is the wrong way to introduce a band to a wider audience. This is a live album with a few bonus tracks (one of them being the Virgin Steele cover “Obsession”). Although the sound is good and the performance is adequate, a live album never gets the desired attention. This is a release only for the hardcore fans. Those who wish to know the band should definitely go for its two studio albums. I am looking forward to the band's first studio album with AFM.
Visit their website: http://www.crystalviper.com
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/crystalviperofficial

70/100

DAY SIX – The Grand Design (CD) The Netherlands Noevmber 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 72:17 (Tracks: 9)
“The Grand Design” is the fourth release of Day Six. However, it is their first album which is released by record company Lion Music. Day Six is a progressive metal band coming from Someren, a small village in the south of the Netherlands. Day Six is not their original name, their first name was Peanuts. Peanuts released some albums, you might know Be careful what you wish for..., a nice release in my opinion. But as the style changed from Punk Rock (early days of Peanuts) to Progressive Metal, by adding synthesizers, Peanuts changed their name into Day Six. However, the line-up of the band hasn't changed since then.
The music style of Day Six can be characterised as progressive metal with influences of symphonic rock, jazz, and funk. Comparisons could be made between a fusion of Rush, Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater (listen to the bass loop on Lost identity!), and Opeth. Since 2002, Day Six has performed a lot in the Dutch music scene. They won also two major competitions; The Metal Battle and the Aardschok Metal Bash. With the worldwide release of “The Grand Design”, Lion Music will introduce the band to a wider audience. The band is assisted on the album by three female singers while Eric Berkers plays a nice saxophone solo during Lost Identity. Lyrically, “The Grand Design” is a concept album which focuses on an extraterrestrial spaceship that has been found in Lake Vostok (Antarctica). The story is following five weather scientists who did this discovery and found out about the secrecy on extraterrestrial contact on earth.
I'm pretty impressed by the album, though it lasted a few listening sessions before I got enthusiastic. The men manage their instrument quite well and it is clear that they have grown considerably since the days of Peanuts. The structures of the songs are sometimes quite complex, but they are generally very accessible. Only, the band has to take care of the fact that they do not make their songs to long. The length of a song has to be functional and should not lead to incomprehensible song structures. But this does not apply for this album! “The Grand Design” is an entertaining album with enough musical excesses which are characterising for progressive metal. If you like music of bands which influenced Day Six, than it's worth to listen to this album!
Visit their website: http://www.day-six.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/daysixweb

84/100

DISTANT PAST – Alpha Draconis (CD) Switzerland November 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 53:00 (Tracks: 11)
DISTANT PAST is the brainchild of Adriano Troiano, after leaving Emerald in 2001, he formed his own group Evil Eye that same year. This group featured Alain Curty on guitar and Kaspar Zwirner on drums, two of his school friends. After being disappointed by the direction the band was taking, Troiano opted to drop out of his own band, to concentrate on a studio project, which eventually became Distant Past. Setting up a studio at his home he contacted a few friends to make his first recording experiences. The first album 'Science Reality' was finished in 2003. Right after the first album was completed, Troiano started working on the follow up 'Extraordinary Indication of unnatural Perception' which came out in 2005. Featured guests on the album Christoph Schafer on guitars and new singer Reto Guggisberg, next to Zwirner and Curty. The brothers Michael and Thomas Vaucher of Emerald also made guest appearances on the album, which would pave the way for Toiano to return to their band in 2006. The recording process of this album 'Alpha Draconis' took shape in 2008. Joining him on this mission new drummer Al Spicher (Emerald) and new singer Angelo Schafer (Remote Lane), next to Curty (Deadflow) and a special appearance by David Luterbacher (Deadflow). Furthermore this album features guest appearances by Andy Bachler (ex-Emerald, Tar Queen), who drums the 13 min Epic 'The Serpent' and Michael Vaucher, who returns for yet another melodic solo. Distant Past delivers a fine progressive metal album, with some strong 70's progressive rock influences. Some great songs are on this album, like 'Trail & error' or 'The new Lordship' for instance. This really isn't an album to bang your head off, but it's a real nice 'easy' listening album. Their music would be comparable to that of for instance Dream Theater, although not as good (yet). Although their singer isn't their strongest point, he fits to the music well, and some lyrics would be too much repetitive but technically it's solid. Nice guitar work, for example in 'The Serpent', their 13 min Epic. Distant Past is a project band and is unsigned as far as I know, I don't even believe they ever played live, so it's doubtable if they will become big. They do have the skills however…
Visit their website: http://www.distant-past.ch
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/atdistantpast

70/100

DISTRICT 97 - Hybrid Child (CD) USA November 2010 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 55:14 (Tracks: 14)
This female-fronted band was formed back in 2006 by drummer Jonathan Schang, keyboardist Rob Clearfield, bassist Patrick Mulcahy and guitarist Sam Krahn. At that time they were influenced by Liquid Tension Experiment. To fulfil the vocal duties no other than, 2007 American Idol Top 10 Female Finalist, Leslie Hunt joined District 97. Later on, Katinka Kleijn, a very talented cellist from the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra became the sixth member of the band. To make the present line-up complete Jim Tashjian replaced Sam Krahn.
At first they played at legendary Chicago venues such as “House of Blues”,”Schubas” and “Martyrs”. In May of this year the band signed with Laser's Edge Records and only four months later “Hybrid Child” is released. On the first track “I don't wanna wait another day” Leslie Hunt repeats “I don't want to wait and I don't want to make” over and over until it almost feels like someone puts a spell on you. The song is filled with a lot a cello and keyboards and after the harder part a beautiful very soft and sensitive part follows until to song comes to an end with the cello. “I can't take you with me” features a very special keyboards-tune accompanied with a pounding bass. On this song Hunt also keeps on repeating the lyrics in a very catchy way. A leading part is played by the keyboards, which are all over the song.
The third track starts of slow and a bit threatening but it quickly becomes a very interesting duel between the different musicians and it takes quite a while before Hunt joins in singing in a spacey way. The heaviest song “Termites” shows Hunt singing very aggressive and gives Tashjian the opportunity to show his qualities as a guitar-player. The last part of this album is “Mindscan” that takes over 27 minutes, consists of 10 parts and takes up half of the album. This song is real epic one that contains everything District 97 has to offer musically, from soft to heavy, from catchy poppy to rock. This isn't a surprise when you got a bunch of great musicians topped by a fantastic singer. I needed to listen to this album several times to appreciate it. It is a great debut-album, but I think this band has the potential to grow and deliver an even better album in the future.
Visit their website: http://www.district97.net
Recordlabel: http://www.lasersedgegroup.com
MySpace: http//www.myspace.com/district97

84/100

DRAGONSFIRE – Metal Service (CD) Germany November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal / Power Metal Running time: 55:28 (Tracks: 12)
DRAGONSFIRE is a German Heavy Metal / Power Metal band existing of Thassilo Herbert (vocals, bass), Matthias Bludau (guitar), Timo Rauscher (guitar) and Jan Müller (drums). The band was formed in 2005, and so far they have released the EP "Burning For Metal" (2005) and their first full length album "Visions Of Fire" (2008). So "Metal Service" is the band's third release and features twelve tracks. In my opinion the level of all these songs is varied from just nice to very average, and that makes that the songs are not that notable. And of course we've heard it all before and much better. DRAGONSFIRE is just a typical average German metal band to me. And another weak point are the vocals of Herbert. He's is absolutely not a fantastic singer. Musically everything is okay, the band exists of good musicians. And also the production of the album is good, but it's the level of the compositions together with the moderate vocals, which makes this album not so interesting. So, I can't say that I'm very excited about this band. But probably this album would be popular among German metal heads. I don't know.
Visit their website: http://www.dragonsfire.de
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dragonsfiremetal

55/100

DROIDS ATTACK – Must Destroy (CD) USA November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Stoner Rock Running time: 38:37 (Tracks: 9)
DROIDS ATTACK is an American Stoner trio, and was formed in 2003. The band, who's based in Madison, exists of Brad Van (vocals, guitar), Nate Bush (bass) and Tony Brungraber (drums). So far DROIDS ATTACK has released the following albums "All Your Chicks Are Belong To Us" (2004), "Fatal/Error" (2006) and a split-EP "Thee 1987" (2008) with IMPERIAL BATTLESNAKE. This third full length album "Must Destroy", which has been released in February 2010, is my first acquaintance with DROIDS ATTACK, and I must say that it was a very nice acquaintance. This album contains 9 fantastic songs, which I all like very much. The band exists of very skilled musicians and Brad is also a good singer. The songs have great riffs and fantastic grooves as well. Additional musicians on this album are Tim Thompson (keyboards; on all tracks) and James Koback (whammy guitar on "Must Destroy"). The CD starts with the instrumental “The Unforgiven 4”, which is nice, but then all hell breaks loose with great songs like ”The Great Wall Of 'Gina”, “Blueshammer” (superb), “The Arcade Bully”, “Must Destroy”, “The Crisis In The City (It's Increasing)”, “Canadian Death Bus”, “Koko Beware” and “Astro Glider”. It's difficult to name some favorites, 'cause like I said above, all songs are great. In fact, this album is very addictive. Well, you understand “Must Destroy” is an excellent album, and a must for anyone who likes good Stoner Rock, because this is of some high quality. '
Visit their website: http://www.droidsattack.com
Recordlabel: http://www.crustaceanrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/droidsattack

88/100

EVIL'S DESIRE - Initium (CD) The Netherlands November 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Symphonic / Gothic Metal Running time: 58.43 (Tracks: 11)
Brave. Evil's Desire is a brave band. This attempt to get the attention of music adepts in the Gothic corner and maybe even a record company is a very brave one bringing out an album that clocks nearly one hour. I think it's very unlikely that this is going to happen in a positive way. The thing is that the compositions are to long winded and miss the right “touch” to keep on hanging in your head. Also the vocals of Daphne Gobius du Sart are so high that you need the lyrics to find out what she is singing. Don't get me wrong, I wish her voice was as beautiful as her name, but it just isn't. In the slower parts she shows her capacities, but overall she is in the highest regions and that is too much for her and the listener. I think the band wants to put too many ideas (originally or not) into one song and for the time being they don't succeed in this. Although the band has there good moments like in “ Ignorance” and Destructive Union” it is not enough to stay tuned all the way. All the different instrumental passages in the tracks make it hard to listen to them as a song.
Bringing out an album nowadays it has to be more than good to be noticed between the tons of releases nowadays and this one surely isn't good enough. Although this review isn't positive about the band ( and hey, I wish it was the opposite either !), they have made me curious to see them live someday. There is this kind of feeling creeping under my skin that tells me that they are able to surprise me positively. I don't know why, but something tells me they are worth it. It's that braveness I guess. Certainly hope next one is better, they have the ideas, now the right songs.
Visit their website: http://www.evilsdesire.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/evilsdesireband

58/100

EZURATE – Eve of Desecration (CD) USA November 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 65:21 (Tracks: 15)
Fast, faster, fastest! Latest album from our American friends. Ezurate is one the first black metal bands coming from the United States. Already releasing their first material in 1995. Listening to 'Eve of Desecration” is as if time has stand still. If you've heard the band before you will know that they are mostly all about speed and here its no different. What you get throughout the album is lightning fast riffs and extremely fast drumming. Sometimes the band will even throw the listener a curve ball and slow it up a little bit with some acoustic parts like on “Black Thorns and Crimson Blood” When the slow parts do happen, its pretty nice to hear because it gives you a second to catch your breath before they blast into pure black metal chaos again. One thing that you can't forget is that even though the slow parts are nice to hear every once in a while, this band is based on one thing and that is being as fast as they possibly can. And with such little space to breath most songs are interchangeable and with an epic album length of over an hour it becomes even more difficult to recognise the songs from each other. The vocals on this records does impress me very much. The typical high shrieks succeed with a more somewhat of talking voice like Attila Shizar (Mayhem) The production is nothing out of the ordinary. All instruments are clear in the mix. There is no underground/ basement feel nor is there an overproduced sound. Just o.k.
People who can't get enough of the typical norsecore of the mid nineties will definitely dig this. Others who expect some new and innovative can easily ignore this.
Visit their website: http://www.angelfire.com/band/ezurate
Recordlabel: http://rottingcorpserecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ezurate

70/100

FORLORN - The Rotting (CD) United Kingdom November 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 42:17 (Tracks: 10)
Forlorn is a British thrash metal band. After 2 EP's the guys are now releasing their first full length album. They already built up a nice live reputation and the EP's also were nicely received in the local scene. The band plays a modern version of thrash metal that is heard quite often this time and that I actually don't want to classify under thrash metal. If you're into the 80's thrash only you won't like this. The sound is modern, the production is loud and aggressive but smooth and the voice leans into hardcore. The entire song writing is more metalcore than actual thrash metal in my opinion since the riffing is mostly quite short and there are next to no solo's on the entire record. All musicians prove they are quite capable of handling their instruments none the less and show skill in song writing. It's just not thrash metal the way I like it. But if you're into this new wave of thrash metal you better check out another good release for you.
Recordlabel: http://www.risingrecords.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/forlornmusic

61/100

FRAMEPICTURES - Remember It (CD) Portugal November 2010 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 78:07(Tracks: 7)
“Remember It” is the debut-album of Framepictures, a Portuguese based band. They first came together in 2004 as a group of session musicians as they backed up a pop vocalist. After a while they changed into a instrumental group similar to Planet X. Later on they decided to add a vocalist. This vocalist was Tiago Delgado. The first track, “Memories Faded Away”, on “Remember It”, is a long song that contains a lot of great keyboards by Mafalda Brogueira, but above all has some excellent guitar-playing by Helder da Silva. “Remember It' is more melodic rock than progressive metal and is also the shortest song on the album. The next song 'Call For Me” starts of heavy and turns into a softer relaxing part until keyboards and guitars change the mood and pace. This continues along this song so it's is a real progressive metal-track.
Artur Jorge(drums) and Ricardo Drumond(bass) lay down a sturdy base in “Don't Trust My Eyes” on which da Silva can excel. Drumond and da Silva continue their great performance on “Why Nobody Cares” which contains some pounding bass-playing, loud screaming guitars and the additional keyboards. I've got some problems with Delgado's voice. Not that he has a bad voice but one way of the other his voice doesn't suit the songs. I think his voice is more suitable when he uses it singing bluesy or melodic stuff. The sixth song “Shadows Black and Grey” contains some heavy guitar-riffs but also some very subtle keyboards and laidback drumming. Delgado's voice sounds a bit spacey on this song. Towards the end of the song guitars, bass, drums and keyboards all compete for attention in a musical battle. Like a lot of progressive bands, Framepictures also has it's extremely long song. The title is “My Will To Live” , consists of seven parts and lasts for almost twenty-six minutes.
It's a collection of most of the progressive metal ingredients and shows that the members of Framepictures really know how to play their instruments but that it's difficult to make an epic song to a real epic one! This band will surely grow on the next album and take the next step to progressive maturity.
Visit their website: http://www.framepictures.com
Recordlabel: http://www.galileo-records.com
MySpace: http//www.myspace.com/framepicturesband

79/100

GALLOWS END – Nemesis Divine (CD) Sweden November 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 59:07 (Tracks: 12)
Gallows End was originally conceived as a one-man project of multi-talented frontman Thord Klarström. Later it turned into a full fourpiece lineup. After releasing a well received 3 track demo (by press and fans) in 2007, they began to work on a full-length cd. “Nemesis divine” is called their debut cd and it is a very good heavy metal album. The 12 songs are played in different tempo, but in general Gallows End plays straightforward heavy metal. Of course, Iron Maiden is one of their main influences, but also Accept, Blind Guardian, Running Wild, Wolf, Dawn of Silence and Hammerfall come to mind while listening to “Nemesis Divine”. All the songs are well composed and produced by Thord, and also his guitar parts/solo's and vocals are very good. A very good new melodic heavy metal band from Sweden is what we have here with Gallows End!! Not only melodic but powerful too.
Visit their website: http://www.gallowsend.com
Recordlabel: http://www.farvaharrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gallowsend

83/100

GEORGE BELLAS – The Dawn Of Time (CD) USA November 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Neo-Classical / Progressive Rock Running time: 79:56 (Tracks: 19)
George Bellas is especially known as solo artist, releasing several solo albums since the 90's. He also recorded guitar parts/solo's for other artists such as Magellan and John West. His sixth solo album is an epic collection of instrumental songs inspired by the universe, how it was created, and from where and what it came from. “The Dawn Of Time” is an instrumental album rich in romanticism and futurism with over the top performances by George Bellas (guitars, bass and keyboards) and Marco Minnemann (drums). His two last albums were ultra modern, but with this new album, George returns to his neo-classical playing style, mixed with some more complex inspired progressive rock. The songs on “The Dawn Of Time” remind me the most of the Atlantis Rising demo (pre-Artension project of Roger Staffelbach and Vitalij Kuprij) and the first Artension albums. Pure stuff in the Shrapnel style ; a good album for guitar and progressive rock freaks.
Visit their website: http://www.georgebellas.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/georgebellas

78/100

GUN BARREL– Live At The Kubana (CD) Germany November 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Power Metal Running time: 68:27 (Tracks: 17)
GUN BARREL wanted to give their fans something special for their 10th Anniversary this year, so they decided to release a digipack, strictly limited to 1000 copies, numbered by hand and signed by the band. Distributed only by GUN BARREL and mailorders selected by the band. The result is a live album 'Live at the Kubana' to experience the feeling of a GUN BARREL show. For those who don't already know, GUN BARREL is a power rock'n'metal band from Germany's Rhineland area, musically orientated on bands such as Motorhead, Rose Tattoo or Thin Lizzy. The band has already released 4 studio albums and a DVD. With this release they also present their new voice Silver. This is a band you can invite to have a party with, as one of the most live playing bands of Germany, satisfaction guaranteed! This band is a boost of energy on stage you have to experience at least once in your live! On the album you will find a compilation of songs from all ten years of the band's existence, like from 'Power-Dive', through 'Battle-Tested' and 'Bombard Your Soul' to 'Outlaw Invasion'. This brought back memories from the time our own Vengeance ruled the Netherlands, back in the eighties, they were also always making a hell of a party wherever they played, and they played a lot. So if you are into this stuff, be quick as this release is very limited, and get yours from these sympathetic and down to earth guys of Gun Barrel!
Visit their website: http://www.gunbarrel.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/yourgunbarrel

84/100

HELSTAR – Glory of Chaos (CD) USA November 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Power / Trash Metal Running time: 44.57 (Tracks: 10)
Helstar turns their sails to explore the Oceans of Thrash on their eleventh album “Glory of Chaos”. Their historic debut “Burning Star” for me still is an absolute classic in melodic power metal but that style seems to drift away with any further album they make. Of course there are still some melodic interventions but this is definitely Helstar's fastest and hardest attempt ever. Opener “Angels Fall to Hell” sets the tone right away and is an instant thrash classic with all the necessary ingredients. Follower “Pandemonium” is even harder and faster with double bass drums, screeching guitars, “slayeriaans” riff work and of course the fantastic vocals of James Rivera. The man has some indestructible vocal cords after almost thirty years in the business and proves here that his mighty voice is even capable of lifting up thrash metal to a new level. “Bonecrusher” and the devastating “Alma Negra” certainly are going to steal the hearts of every thrash metal fan and makes this album an absolute must in this genre. Helstar's new course maybe isn't the most original one, but it's a damn fine one. Personal favorite is the awesome “Summer of Hate” (Charles Manson murders). Check this one out ! So get this record, bang that head and make sure you catch them live. See you in the moshpit ! Hell Yeah …..
Visit their website: http://www.helstar.com
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/helstar

88/100

HUNGRYHEART – One Ticket to Paradise (CD) Italy November2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 56:30 (Tracks: 12)
Hungryheart is an Italian hard rock band which is active since the late 90s. In the first period of their career, they toured mainly trough their home country Italy. It took them to 2008 to release their self-titled debut album. Italian Slamrocks magazine voted Hungryheart immediately as “Best Italian Band of 2008” and the album got some nice reviews. Now 2 years later, Hungryheart has released their second album”One ticket to Paradise”. The line-up has changed a little bit; rhythm section Lele Meola and Emilio Sobacchi left the band and were replaced by Steve Lozzi (bass guitar) and Paolo Botteschi (drums).
“One ticket to Paradise” features 12 songs that have a lot of ingredients that melodic hard rock fans will like: catchy melodies, nice grooves and a prominent role for the guitar. The album contains nice ballads like “Let somebody love you” (with a nice guitar solo) and rock songs, like the opener of the album (“Stand up”). Among others, Nicolò Fragile (Gotthard) and Alessandro Del Vecchio) Glen Hughes, Eden's Curse' appear as musical guests on “One Ticket to Paradise”. Michael Voss is responsible for the production and mastering.
In tradition of their role models, consisting of some great melodic hard rock bands of the '90s such as Bon Jovi and Journey, Hungryheart tries to prolong this music style. And it has to be said, they succeed quite well. In my opinion, the music on the album is not always really innovative but the band certainly has musical qualities!
Visit their website: http://www.hungryheart.it
Recordlabel: http://www.tarzanmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hungryheartofficial

77/100

ICY STEEL – As The Gods Command (CD) Italy November 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 72:26 (Tracks: 12)
ICY STEEL originally formed in 2005 on the Mediterranean island Sardinia, and delivers their second effort so far after releasing their self titled debut album in 2007. The band plays some traditional 80's epic heavy metal with an approach to Scandinavian history for the lyrics. Icy Steel combines the heroism of Manowar with some Hammerfall and Rhapsody, producing lengthy songs with admirable guitar sounds and mostly strong vocals. Great songs like the 13 min title track or 'Mjollnir' or 'The Holy Sun' lots of power, honour and glory. Although this album clocks almost 73min there's never a dull moment as there is lots to discover in their music, it take some times to listen to the album to hear it all. The perfect guitar sound makes it even more enjoyable, and although they have their own sound, influences of Maiden and even Metallica can be found in their music. This is an album in the true spirit of the eighties, without copying or imitating anyone, a great piece of artwork which puts them in the top of the Italian Epic Metal scene. How this album is compared to their debut, I can't tell as I am not familiar with that album, but I can a sure you that I will get to that cause they got my attention.
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/icysteel

84/100

IN VAIN – Of Gods And Men (CD) Spain November 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 37:00 (Tracks: 8)
IN VAIN came up from the musical concerns of a group of friends in Madrid, Spain. In the beginning, they played songs of their favourite bands like Iron Maiden, Running Wild and Helloween. After they started to compose their own songs, two demos were recorded, 'Spirit of Earth' in 2005 and 'Dawn of Misery' in 2007. Now they are at their next step and release their debut album upon the world. IN VAIN makes a kind of classic power metal, with a lot of influences in it. The album starts off with some tracks that could have well been on the new Iron Fire album, 'Hero' and 'My Little Butterfly', while a track like 'Rotten Cross' reminds me more Rainbow and Deep Purple because of the explicit use of keyboard sound. Overall this is powerfull up tempo metal album with a good production, lots of melodies and great guitar riffs. Their singer Daniel Cordon even sounds a bit like Martin Steene in some songs, but that's certainly not a bad thing. In 'Dancing in the Light' they slow it down just a bit, but that show the weak point of the singer, he sounds much better doing it full throttle like in the next track 'Hellhounds', this is almost like a better thrash metal song. The album ends with the powerfull 'Devil is my Witness' and the beautiful 'Black Sands'. A great album from a great band, they won me over for sure! Not to be confused with the Norwegian band with the same name!
Visit their website: http://www.invainmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/invainmetal

88/100

IRON MAIDEN – The Final Frontier (CD) United Kingdom November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 76:37 (Tracks: 10)
Well, IRON MAIDEN is the first band I ever saw live in my life. That's because IRON MAIDEN was the support-act of my all time favorite band KISS during KISS' “Unmasked” tour in 1980. I saw MAIDEN as a fifteen year old kid on October 5th, 1980 at the Groenoordhal, Leiden, Holland. I had their legendary debut album “Iron Maiden” on vinyl (and still have) since it was released, so I was very glad they were supporting KISS on their tour. Anyway, there are three reasons why I will never forget that night. First of all, it was my first concert EVER. Secondly, because I have seen IRON MAIDEN with Paul Di'Anno, and the third reason is of course because I've seen KISS during their second European tour with full make-up on. So, actually, I've been a MAIDEN fan for a long time. Anyway, I'm still of opinion that “Iron Maiden”(1980), “Killers” (1981), “The Number Of The Beast” (1982) and “Piece Of Mind” (1983) are the best MAIDEN albums EVER. Okay, of course albums like “Powerslave” (1984), “Somewhere In Time” (1986) and “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son” (1988) are awesome as well, and “No Prayer For The Dying” (1990) and “Fear Of The Dark” (1992) are just good albums too. But the first four albums are really the best to me. And of course “Live After Death” (1985) is a real classic live album. But I must say that “Flight 666 – The Original Soundtrack”, which was released in 2009, is a fantastic live album, full with MAIDEN classics, as well. And of course the DVD “Flight 666” is a very interesting documentary about the band. And in my opinion one of the worst songs MAIDEN ever recorded with Bruce Dickinson in their career is absolutely “Bring Your Daughter…To The Slaughter”. That song really sucks. Anyway, after Bruce Dickinson left MAIDEN to start his solo career, and Blaze Bayley became the new singer, I really didn't follow MAIDEN anymore. So, I must admit that “The Final Frontier” is my first new studio album of MAIDEN since Bruce's return in 2000. Personally I'm not familiar with MAIDEN's previous albums “Brave New World” (2000), “Dance Of Death” (2003) and “A Matter Of Life And Death” (2006). The last time I saw MAIDEN live, after Bruce's return, was on November 27th, 2006 at the Brabanthallen, Den Bosch, Holland during their “A Matter Of Life And Death” tour. Anyway, thirty years after their legendary debut album, MAIDEN has released it's 15th studio album “The Final Frontier”, which features ten songs. All songs are written by Steve Harris, of which three are written together with Adrian Smith ("Satellite 15…The Final Frontier", "Mother Of Mercy" and "Isle Of Avalon"), three with Smith and Bruce Dickinson ("El Dorado", "Coming Home" and "Starblind"), one together with Janick Gers ("The Talisman"), one with Janick and Bruce ("The Alchemist") and one together with Dave Murray ("The Man Who Would Be King"). The album, which is produced by Kevin Shirley, starts with “Satellite 15…The Final Frontier” (8:40), and I must say I really don't like the first part of the song, which to me takes a little bit too long and doesn't sound like MAIDEN at all. But the second part of the song is okay. The second track, which is titled “El Dorado” (6:49), is the first single of the album and is a fantastic catchy song. “Mother Of Mercy” (5:20) is also a great song and in my opinion one of the best on “The Final Frontier”. “Coming Home” (5:52) is a very nice semi-ballad, with beautiful guitar solo's. A song which really sounds like MAIDEN in their hey days of the eighties is “The Alchemist” (4:29), absolutely one of my favorite songs of this CD and I'm sure every older MAIDEN fan will love this song. Another surprise and very strong composition is “Isle Of Avalon” (9:06). Fantastic, MAIDEN at it's best. “The Talisman” (9:03) starts with a kind of middle ages intro, but turns into a great metal song. As you can see, most of the songs on this album have a very long running time, and that makes "The Final Frontier" as the longest MAIDEN studio album to date. "Starblind" (7:48), "The Man Who Would Be King" (8:28) and "When The Wild Wind Blows"(10:59) are good songs too. I must say that "The Final Frontier" grows the more you listen to it. And in my opinion “The Final Frontier” has since years an awesome album cover. My end conclusion is that “The Final Frontier” is just a good MAIDEN album, but in my opinion it will not get the status of a classic MAIDEN album. But of course, this 15th studio album is a must for the real die-hard MAIDEN fans. My favorite songs are “El Dorado”, “Mother Of Mercy”, of course “The Alchemist”, “The Isle Of Avalon” and “The Talisman”. 'Scream for me………'! '
Visit their website: http://www.ironmaiden.com
Recordlabel: http://www.emimusic.nl

85/100

KENS DOJO - Reincarnation (CD) Norway November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 48:54 (Tracks: 11)
KENS DOJO is a solo project from Norwegian guitar player, songwriter and producer Ken Ingwersen, who has played in bands like LIMELIGHT, RAGS, SPEED and STREET LEGAL. He also is a much asked session musician. Throughout the years he has played with names as GLENN HUGHES, KEN HENSLEY, TNT, RICK SPRINGFIELD and lots more. “Reincarnation” is his first solo album and features eleven tracks of which some are instrumental songs (“Momentos A Solas”, the short “El Recreo” and the last track “Soundcheck Bonanza”). It speaks for itself, that Ingwersen produced his album by himself, and he did a good job. He also got help from a lot of friends who contributed on this album. To name a few names, Glenn Hughes (TRAPEZE, ex-DEEP PURPLE, HUGHES/THRALL, HUGHES-TURNER PROJECT, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION), Ken Hensley (ex-URIAH HEEP, ex-BLACKFOOT), Nils K. Rue (PAGAN'S MIND), Tommy La Verdi (21 GUNS), pop singer Chesney Hawkes, Michael Eriksen and Truls Haugen (CIRCUS MAXIMUS), Morty Black (TNT) etcetera. The albums starts with “Forever”, which is a nice rock song. The second track of the album, “Keeping The Flame Alive” with Nils K. Rue of PAGAN'S MIND on vocals, reminds very much of QUEENSRYCHE. The voice of rock, Glenn Hughes, sings the nice ballad “I Surrender” (the other ballad on this album, “Rain”, is boring), “Demon In Diamonds” is sung by Tommy La Verdi (21 GUNS) and the title track is sung by Chesney Hawkes, who had a hit with “The One And Only” in 1991. And the first instrumental song “Momentos A Solas”, which is a great song, sounds very much like master guitar player JOE SATRIANI. But to be honest, “Reincarnation” doesn't ROCK that much. The album is in that case too soft. Okay, there are nice songs on it, but it makes “Reincarnation” not a very spectacular album. So if you are into melodic rock, which is not too heavy, check this album out.
Visit their website: http://www.kensdojo.com
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/keningwersen

72/100

KILL TECH - Inappropriate (CD) Norway November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Thrash Metal / Hardcore / Punk Running time: 21:19 (Tracks: 7)
KILL TECH actually started in 2006 as a Punk band called BLUE MONDAY and the band members had always been influenced by bands like PANTERA, TESTAMENT, LAMB OF GOD and MACHINE HEAD, which aren't Punk bands. Anyway, someday they thought the band name BLUE MONDAY didn't fit anymore, so they changed it into KILL TECH. The band exists of Dreggur (vocals), Butch (guitar), M. Murder (guitar), Mason (bass) and Hanki (drums). This is the first album (or EP) of the band, and features 7 songs. Well, actually there are 6 real songs, because “Ground Zero Intro” is the intro for the last track of the album, “Ground Zero”. Anyway, their style is a mixture of melodic Thrash Metal with Hardcore/Punk, with some brutal vocals (sometimes sounding like death grunts). Well, the songs, which have an average time of 3 minutes, as compositions are very good. They groove and have nice guitar riffs. The production could have been much better, because there's one thing that annoys me the whole time. When you listen to this CD, you hear a very annoying sound (a very high tone, which I think it's from the cymbals) in every song, except in “Ground Zero Intro”. And that annoying sound really hurts on your ears. So, hopefully this problem is gone on their next album, if it has a much better production than this album. Anyway, this is a nice debut, with nice songs like “Precautions”, “Path Of Destruction” and “Simple Life Is Complicated”.
Visit their website: http://www.kill-tech.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/killtech1

69/100

KINGFISHER SKY – Skin of the Earth (CD) The Netherlands November 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Symphonic / Folk Rock Running time: 46:47 (Tracks: 11)
Kingfisher Sky's debut “A Hallway of Dreams” back in 2007 was already a fine mixture of Gothic and Prog. Adding Maaike Peterse on cello to the band makes them even sound more versatile and adventurous on this second attempt called “Skin of the Earth”. George van Olffen en Daan Janzig gave way to new members David Gutiérrez Rojas and Chris Henny so now it's a gang of 7. This Duth 7 piece produces music that interfaces a “light” form of gothic/rock/metal/prog/folk which makes us Dutchmen proud. The album contains several beautiful pearls that listen away easy and keep on hanging in your head. Just listen to “Multitude”, “Rise From the Flames” , “The Attic” and there are more to discover. Sometimes dreamy, sometimes heavy but always tasteful with that sparkling voice of Judith Rijnveld centered in the songs. After three times listening these pearls of songs come out of their oyster and they become brighter every time listening. Is it a classic already then ? Unfortunately not yet for me, because there are a few tracks that are a bit too sweet for me and that's just the only minor I have to say about this fine piece of prog. Don't get me wrong, those are fine, balanced songs but they are a bit similar to what I've heard before. Nevertheless, Kingfisher Sky has developed themselves to an act that counts in this genre and that's worth a big compliment. These compliments also counts for mother Rijnveld who took care for the beautiful artwork that really fits with the music and the good, clean production that makes it a joy to listen to. Very promising and “hit” potential enough for the great breakthrough.
Visit their website: http://www.kingfishersky.com
Recordlabel: http://www.suburban.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kingfishersky

83/100

KOTTAK – Rock & Roll Forever (CD) USA November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Sleaze Rock / Punk / Rock 'n Roll Running time: 37:43 (Tracks: 11)
KOTTAK is an American rock band around James Kottak (a.k.a. Jimmy Ratchitt), and was formerly known as KRUNK (in 2006 the name was changed into KOTTAK). James Kottak is since 1996 the drummer of German hard rock band SCORPIONS, but in the past he has been playing drums in bands as MONTROSE ("Mean"), KINGDOM COME ("Kingdom Come" and "In Your Face"), MICHAEL LEE FIRKINS ("Michael Lee Firkins"), the American WILD HORSES ("Bareback"), McAULEY SCHENKER GROUP ("M.S.G.") and in WARRANT ("Ultraphobic"). The line-up of KOTTAK exists of James Kottak (vocals, guitar), Johnny Lucas (lead guitar), Price Vernon (bass) and Athena (drums). As you can see, in his own band James is singing and playing guitar instead of playing drums, because the drums is done by his wife Athena, who is the younger sister of MÖTLEY CRUË's Tommy Lee. The band has released the following albums so far, "Greatist Hits" and "Therupy". They describe their music as CHEAP TRICK meets GREEN DAY on a bad day. So, this third album "Rock & Roll Forever" features 11 songs, and most of these songs are very catchy. In fact it's a very accessible album. The album was produced by Tommy Henriksen and sounds very good. It's not so strange, that the band has recorded a nice cover version of the SCORPIONS classic "Holiday" (from the "Lovedrive" (1979) album), which is the last track on "Rock & Roll Forever". The least track of the album is in my opinion "Class Of 3000". Some nice songs are "Rock & Roll Forever", "Where You Wanna Go", "Don't Wanna Go Home", "Sunset Blvd" and "Drunk Uncle Pete". Well, this is not a superb album, but it's a pleasant album to listen to. Oh yeah, there's also a video of "Sunset Blvd" on this disc as well. If you like bands as GREEN DAY, LIT, SUM 41, STEADLÜR, BLINK 182 etcetera, then you'll have to check this band out.
Visit their website: http://www.kottak.net
Recordlabel: http://www.ds.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kottak

77/100

MECHANICAL GOD CREATION – Cell XIII (CD) Italy November 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Deathcore Running time: 38:46 (Tracks: 9)
Of course it's easy to begin bullying the band about its location. Italy isn't well known for its great metal history. I can only name a few that I like coming from this Mediterranean country. The fantastic Necrodeath, Bulldozer and the well known Rhapsody of Fire. So why complain about Italy again? Because Mechanical God Creation does again prove that the combination of the two is not very lucrative. On top of this Mechanical God Creation plays deathcore. A genre I am not that fond of. But lets concentrate us on the facts. The band was formed in 2006 by Lucy (Art of Mutilation) and Simo through a forum. Shortly after that two other members were found and the demo: “…And the Battle Becomes War” was released in May 2007 receiving good critics from zines all around the world. In July 2008 the band began making plans recording the next full length. And here we have it lying just right before me: Cell XIII. Reorded at the West Link studio in Pisa and mastered at the Finnvox studio in Finland. Productionwise its o.k. but doesn't blow me out of my socks. As said the band has a female singer. Nice and unusual of course but nothing new concerning the other female fronted like Arch Enemy and Holy Moses. Lucy does a good job on the record with a voice that is just in between the two aforementioned girls. So enough about the albums pros. There is one major con that causes great anxiety. To be more plain, the “music” contained on this little disc is devoid of anything that would hardly make anyone want to listen to it. There are no good parts. Not one section where you'll be thinking, “hey, that's a cool riff!” or “this drum pattern is awesome” or “the synthesis of the various parts of this music produces a feeling in me which makes me want to perform a series of motions know fondly as headbanging.” - it's just a bunch of annoying noise that goes nowhere. Enough said!
Visit their website: http://www.mechanicalgodcreation.it
Recordlabel: http://www.wormholedeath.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mechanicalgodcreation

45/100

MERIS – Abandon All (CD) USA November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Rock 1Running time: 46:24 (Tracks: 10)
MERIS is a Metal/Rock trio from San Francisco, California, U.S.A. and exists of Sean Hugunin (vocals, guitar), Eli Atkinson (bass) and Brad Roberts (drums). Well, I can't find any information about when the band was formed. Not on their biography, website or MySpace page. The only thing that's mentioned on their short bio is, that Hugunin and Roberts are lifelong friends and that they each start studying music and art in their early life. When they wanted to start a band, they found the perfect bass player in Atkinson and so MERIS was born. There's also no information about any former albums, so I assume that “Abandon All” is the debut album of MERIS. Anyway, this album features 10 songs of which one is an instrumental (“Agony And Ecstasy”). The album has a good production (great bass sound), which was done by Tim Narducci. I must admit that the first two or three times I listened to “Abandon All”, I didn't like the album that much, but then I began to like it more and more. The first track, “Blood Of The Bison” starts with a very strange intro, but when that intro is finished it seemed to be a fantastic song. Also the second track “Distortionist” sounds very nice. Hugunin, Atkinson and Roberts are good musicians, but the weakest link of the band are the vocals of Hugunin. He is not that fantastic as a singer. Sometimes he tries to sound like METALLICA's James Hetfield. I think with a much better singer it would all sound a lot better. Anyway, you can also hear some METALLICA influences in their music, like in “Mutually Assured Destruction” and the instrumental “Agony And Ecstasy”, but also some TOOL. There are some weaker songs on this album, which in my opinion are “Doris”, “Beloved Oblivion” and “Dungeons”. The best songs are “Blood Of The Bison”, “Distortionist”, “Another Stupid Song”, “Mutually Assured Destruction”, “Agony And Ecstasy” and the last track of the album “Rid Me Of Misery”. Well, in fact “Abandon All” isn't a killer album, but just a nice one to listen to once in awhile. If you are getting curious about MERIS, well just check them out yourself on their MySpace, where you can listen to the songs “Blood Of The Bison” and “Another Stupid Song”.
Visit their website: http://www.merisband.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/meris

70/100

MIKE CAMPESE – Electric City (CD) USA November 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Guitar Virtuoso Running time: 76:23 (Tracks: 14)
Mike Campese is a critically acclaimed guitarist who has issued many solo albums and even became a member of the famous Trans Siberian Orchestra. He has performed alongside famous names like Vinnie Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Triumph, Dokken and many others. Mike is a shredder with a preference to the Stratocaster sound and a playing style that one could find as a combination between Vai and Vinnie Moore. He is close to that “Shrapnel” sound but also shares a common ground with the Strat frat. Electric City is an enjoyable album that a guitar fan should definitely check out. The only negative thing is the production. The drums are obviously programmed and the overall sound is average; only the guitar is adequately produced. I can't blame him but a better sound would actually help the songs. There are also a few songs where Campese sings but I would say that these where my least favorites.
Visit their website: http://www.mikecampese.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mikecampese

78/100

MISANTHROPIA – Slang des Doods (CD) The Netherlands November 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Melodic Black Metal Running time: 40:19 (Tracks: 9)
Established in 2005. Misanthropia has risen from the ashes of multiple bands around Nijmegen. Their debut album was “Rise of Necropolis” was recorded in their first year. In 2009 the band contacted Mike Wead (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Bilbleblack) for the mixing and mastering of their second album “Slang des Doods”. So far the formal part.
Misanthropia plays a kind of melodic black metal that is deeply influenced by the early albums of Dimmu Borgir especially Stormblast. The production here's quite good, not deathly raw/grim like some other black metal bands nor extremely polished in a professional studio for months. It's just there sounding professional and actually suiting the music very well. The instruments are very well heard individually and work together to create an excellent result from beginning to end. Drumming is somewhat simplistic but nowhere near what many other black metal releases feature. Usage of double-bass is pretty powerful throughout the album, and the work of the keyboards really suits the atmosphere, it gives Misanthropia a very “epic” sound. The song “Beyond” also has some progressive touches woven into the song. Listen to the sound of the keyboards, Jordan Rudess, anyone? Despite the Dutch album title which translates itself in “Snake of Death” all the lyrics are in English and handle the well known battle of good against evil. I don't know if there's somewhat of a concept story concerning the lyrics. “Slang des Doods” is nothing groundbreaking but I have had an overall pleasant listening experience throughout the whole album.
Visit their website: http://www.misanthropia.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/666misanthropia

78/100

MUSICA DIABLO - Musica Diablo (CD) Brazil November 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 33:24 (Tracks: 11)
Musica Diablo is a brazilian thrash metal band formed around Sepultura vocalist Derrick Green. When I got this cd I was quite sceptical about the entire situation. To me it seemed another mediocre band took advantage of the fame of one of their members to land themselves a contract and a tour with the man's bigger band. But when I gave it an honest chance I must admit that the probably would have made without the help of Green's fame. This isn't bad at all, although not entirely my genre. Overall this cd has some good sounding thrash metal songs. They try to play old school but the sound and production is way to modern for that. Still overall we got 11 aggressive tracks played by musicians who are very competent in handling their instruments. I never liked Green's voice with the old Sepultara songs and I must admit I'm definitely not a fan of their newer work but on this cd the voice isn't a problem at all. Unfortunately the album suffers the same problem as every neo-thrash record I've ever heard. It just gets boring halfway through because I don't hear enough variety. But fans of the newer thrash bands should give really this one a chance.
Visit their website: http://www.musicadiablo.com
Recordlabel: http://saol-music.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/musicadiablo

68/100

NAIL – Power And Greed (CD) Canada November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Progressive Metal / Rock 1Running time: 45:45 (Tracks: 10)
NAIL is a Canadian band which was formed in 2007 by former HELIX members Rainer and Cindy Wiechmann. Both were members of HELIX in the period 2004-2007, and they played on the “Rockin' In My Outer Space” (2004) album. Anyway, according to their biography, the band describes their music as progressive heavy rock/metal. After their departure with HELIX, they formed NAIL, and in that same year of their formation, they released their self titled debut album. All eleven tracks of that debut album can be heard on their official website. So, “Power And Greed” is the band's second album and features 10 tracks. And I can tell you that this second album is of the same kind of level as their debut album. The line-up of NAIL exists of Cindy Wiechmann (vocals), Rainer “Rhino” Wiechmann (guitar, vocals), Darcy Maudsley (bass, vocals) and Dale Penney (drums, vocals). I was really surprised by this second album of NAIL, because I liked this album very much, although it sounds not very original. Sometimes I hear some influences of RUSH and BLACK SABBATH (“The Devil U Know”). Anyway, Cindy Wiechmann is a fantastic singer and the other members of the band are talented musicians as well. The best songs on this album are in my opinion “King Of Fools”, “Superhuman”, “History”, “The Devil U Know” and “Power And Greed”. My end conclusion is that “Power And Greed” is a fine album. It is simply a nice album to listen to. So, I'm sure this album will now and then spin more rounds in my CD player.
Visit their website: http://www.nailband.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/nailtheband

75/100

NICHT – Part 1 Catalepsy Sinks (MCD) France November 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Doom / Gothic Metal Running time: 26:16 (Tracks: 7)
Nicht was formed in October 2009. A year later this is their first output. Part 1 Catalepsy is considered as a forerunner for their full length that will follow in 2011. Listening to the intro “Parilyses” one would think of a post rock sound though when “Out of Reach” opens there isn't much left of that prognosis. The sound on this long EP is a mixture of doom and rock with some gothic influences. You can hear that Paradise Lost during their Draconian Times era is big inspiration to Nicht. Listen to the guitar tone at the beginning of “Last Breath”. The song “Hope” begins with some beautiful female vocals followed by the vocals from singer Iggy Sharpe Blake who makes a stronger impression while singing than when screaming. This song has also got some heavy double bass parts in it which gives it a little bit of a death metal feeling. I hope Nicht lets loose of some of the presented styles here. They than will create a sound of their own. At this moment it is if I am listening to a split EP from two bands. Although this complaint I think this band really has potential.
Recordlabel: http://www.luggamusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/nichtmusic

75/100

ORDER OF VOICES – Order of Voices (CD) United Kingdom November 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Alternative Heavy Rock Running time: 40:44 (Tracks: 8)
The self titled debut album of Order of Voices is my first acquaintance with this band, but I'm very pleasantly surprised. I do not understand that this band is not signed by a record company yet. This will happen soon, I suppose. In my opinion, this is an album that will surprise a lot of people (not only metal minded people) who like alternative heavy rock music with an epic touch. The album is full of drama and emotion, and keeps you involved for its whole 40-minute journey.
Order of Voices formed in 2009 with the aim to create some of the most ambitious music produced by a British alternative rock band in the last ten years. And in my opinion, they succeeded with this album. The band consists of 5 talented musicians who were also active in other bands. For example, vocalist Leigh Oates and drummer Aynsley Dickinson played in Rise to Addiction. Although similarities can be made within the genre, they have managed to set themselves apart from other radio-friendly alternative bands.
The opener “For Me” is directly fascinating me, it reminds me of the best days of bands like Tool and Anathema for example. The band is able to keep this high level during the whole album. The vocal performance of Oates is very good, it is powerful but still filled with emotion. The guitar work is solid but sometimes quite mysterious and the foundation is laid by an excellent rhythm section. Also the seven other tracks on the album are very well composed and played. They are not all so intense as the opener, there is also space for a nice sensitive played parts (What I breathe). Just listen and enjoy!
Early November, Order of Voices will perform some shows in the Netherlands and Belgium. Go out and see them!
Visit their website: http://www.orderofvoices.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/orderofvoices

95/100

PETER PAN SPEEDROCK – We Want Blood! (CD) The Netherlands November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Speedrock Running time: 33:54 (Tracks: 13)
Yes, after three years PETER PAN SPEEDROCK is back with a new studio album. Of course in the meantime they have released the split-album “Cross Contamination” (2008) together with Psychobilly band BATMOBILE, and Peter released an album (“Roadkill”, see June update 2009) with his Stoner band REPOMEN, but now the band has released it's eighth studio album. As usual also this new album features 13 tracks. One of those songs is a cover version of Belgian band THE SEATSNIFFERS, which is “It's About You” and is a very good version. And there's one instrumental track on “We Want Blood!”, which is “Bakkerburg” and is just a nice instrumental. Anyway, the first song I already knew from this album was “Crank Up The Everything”, of which the band had put the video clip of it on their MySpace page (and YouTube) months ago. “Crank Up The Everything” is a great and fast song, only some parts of the vocal lines are “stolen” from DEEP PURPLE's classic “Highway Star”. Instead of the former two albums “Spread Eagle” (2005) and “Pursuit Until Capture” (2007), which were recorded in Sweden and produced by Tomas Skogsberg, “We Want Blood!” was recorded in PPSR's own studio and produced by the band themselves. Anyway, Peter van Elderen (vocals, guitar), Bart “Bartmann” Geevers (bass) and Bart Nederhand (drums) delivered again an excellent album. Although PPSR are not very innovative, it all sounds actually very familiar, like we got used of them. This is just how PPSR sounds. In my opinion the least track of the album is “Just Another You”. Songs like “Bakkerburg”, “Bad Energy”, “Too Far Gone” and “Hell Is Where It's At” are good songs, but the best songs on “We Want Blood!” are in my opinion “We Want Blood!”, “Goin' Downtown”, “Sofullashit”, “One-Woman Man”, “Crank Up The Everything!”, “It's About You”, “Breaking Down” and “Gotta Do The Catchin' (While The Catchin' Is Good)”. Anyway, if you are a fan of PETER PAN SPEEDROCK, then "We Want Blood!" can't be missing in your collection.
Visit their website: http://www.peterpanspeedrock.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.suburban.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/peterpanspeedrock

86/100

PICTORIAL WAND – Face Of Our Fathers (CD) Norway November 2010 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 67:44 (Tracks: 7)
This album is the second one that Mattis Sorum, the mastermind and multi-instrumentalist from Norway, has put out under the name “Pictorial Wand”. The debut album dating from 2006 was a double concept-album that received great critics throughout Europe and the U.S.A. This new album, “Face of Our Fathers”, was released in 2009 and is a concept-album too. On this album Mattis uses four different singers. They represent the different characters. Tore Christer Storlid is “Hope”, Gry Tronslien is “Love”, Julie Christensen is “Reason” and Petter Selliseth is “Pride”. The biggest part of the instruments are played by Mattis. These include guitars, bass, keyboards, organ, piano and percussion, so that he is an multi-instrumentalist is rather obvious. The list of musicians playing on this album also include Arild Sveum (organ, piano), Tomas Di Sansimone (drums), Gunhild Olaussen (violins), Live Kostöl (cellos) and Hogne Moe (flutes).
The first song, “The Wasteland”, starts of with the sounds of a burial-ceremony. You can hear the church-bells, some praying and the legendary words “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” followed by some relaxed organ/keyboards and guitars. The song has a slow pace with some almost computer-like voices. Along the song more and more voices join the rest, both male and female. The guitar playing is lingering and throughout the song it builds up and becomes a real epic song. On “Struggle of Autumn Leaves” the piano starts the song which is a very relaxing, quiet progressive rock-song including flutes. The different voices and instruments all come together in “Prince Of War” , but it's above all the way Mattis plays his guitar that adds that little bit extra to the song to make it special.
Acoustic and electric guitars combined with the sound of thunder and lightning, violins and a beautiful female voice define the first part of “The Ghosts Start Dancing” that sounds very modest. Along the song there are some harder and softer parts but it's especially the alternation of the vocals, both male and female, that make this song superb. The leading parts on “Verse of Despair” are the very emotional female voice and the excellent guitar playing, which is screaming though controlled packed with a lot of emotion. The title track contains a very weird sounding organ. On the rest of the song you'll hear a mix of different instruments and voices that are put together in a great way. It makes this song a beautifully built-up song with a heavy end. The last song on the album “Circle's End” (12.05 minutes) ends this album in a perfect way. All vocalists and instrumentalists show what they have got on this track. The conclusion is that this is a fantastic album with high quality artists but above all with a true mastermind, named Mattis.
Visit their website: http://www.pictorialwand.com
Recordlabel: http://www.unicornrecords.com
MySpace: http//www.myspace.com/picwand

92/100

PICTURE – Old Dogs New Tricks (CD) The Netherlands November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 52:17 (Tracks: 12)
The first song I ever heard of PICTURE, which was the first Dutch Heavy Metal band, was “Bombers” from the band's debut album, somewhere in 1980 at the Dutch radio program “Betonuur” with DJ Alfred Lagarde (R.I.P.). That song is still a great song and a real classic. The only albums which I have so far of PICTURE, before I got this album to review, are “Picture 1” (1980), “Heavy Metal Ears” (1981), “Diamond Dreamer” (1982) and “Eternal Dark” (1983). And the best PICTURE album EVER is in my opinion “Diamond Dreamer” with Shmoulik Avigal on vocals. During the career of PICTURE there have been many line-up changes. The band also tried several reunions in the past, and now, since 2007 when the classic line-up reunited for rehearsals, PICTURE is active again. The line-up on “Old Dogs New Tricks”, which was released in October 2009, exists of Pete Lovell (vocals), Jan Bechtum (guitar), Rob van Enkhuizen (guitar), Rinus Vreugdenhil (bass) and Laurens “Bakkie” Bakker (drums). In the meantime Jan Bechtum has been replaced by Peter Bourbon (ex-VENGEANCE) and Rob van Enkhuizen is replaced by Gert Nijboer (HIGHWAY CHILE, HEADS DOWN). This album starts with the title track, and to me it's one of the weakest songs of the CD. Yes folks, not all the songs on this album are just as strong. But the second track, “Blood Out Of Stone”, is in my opinion the best song. “Now It's Too Late” is the ballad of the album and sounds very cliché to me. The production of the album is okay. All I can say is that “Old Dogs New Tricks” is a typical, but moderate PICTURE album. Sorry guys, but “Diamond Dreamer” is still my favorite PICTURE album. The best songs on “Old Dogs New Tricks” are “Blood Out Of Stone”, “High On Fire”, “Live By The Sword”, “Just Incredible” and “Celtic Cross”. PICTURE was the headliner on Mario's fourth edition of MARIO'S METAL MEETING on October 3rd, and they proved they are still a very good live band. I only missed “Message From Hell” in their set list.
Visit their website: http://www.pictureofficial.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pictureholland

74/100

PSYCHO CHOKE – Unraveling Chaos (CD) Greece November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Thrash Running time: 46:24 (Tracks: 10)
PSYCHO CHOKE is a five piece Metal band from Greece and exists of Al Roy (vocals), Argy (guitar), Bax (guitar), Phantomas (bass) and George Montes (drums). The band was formed in 1999, and so far they have released two self-financed albums, "Choke On This" (2002) and "One Mind Less" (2005) and the also self-financed 4 track EP "The Last Moments Of Absence" (2007). This third full length album of the band, titled "Unraveling Chaos", has been released on German label 7 Hard Records. I never had heard of PSYCHO CHOKE before, but when I was listening to the songs on "Unraveling Chaos" I must say that I liked most of the songs. The album features ten songs and starts with an intro and ends with an outro. So, in fact we actually deal here with eight songs. “Unraveling Chaos” was produced by Jacob Hansen (known from bands like INVOCATOR, ANUBIS GATE, BEYOND TWILIGHT) and sounds very good. By the way, Hansen is doing guest vocals on the song “Swamp”. Other Greek musicians who are contributing on this album are OZZY OSBOURNE and FIREWIND guitarist Gus G., who's doing the guitar solo on the best song of the album, which is “Get Down”, and NIGHTRAGE guitarists Marios Iliopoulos and Olof Morck are doing the guitar solos on “Streetwise”. This is pretty heavy stuff we get deserved on this album, only it's not very original. The band reminds me of bands like ILL NIÒO, FEAR FACTORY, LAMB OF GOD, SPOIL ENGINE etcetera. The best songs on this album are absolutely “Freedom In A Bottle Of Scotch”, “Get Down”, “Death By Words” and “Swamp”. That doesn't mean that songs like “Streetwise” or “Obey” are bad. Only the last two songs, “Fire In The Hole” and “Dummy”, are the least songs of the album. And perhaps it would be nicer if there were two more songs on the album, instead of an in- and outro. Anyway, nice band and an album worth checking out if you like the above mentioned bands.
Visit their website: http://www.psychochoke.com
Recordlabel: http://www.7hard.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/psychochoke

74/100

ROSWELL SIX - Terra Incognita: A line in the Sand (CD) USA November 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 65:25 (Tracks: 10)
Last year, bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson and ProgRock records introduced the first part of a trilogy: “Terra Incognita: an innovative crossover project of fantasy on a grand-scale”, an epic novel and companion progressive rock cd. Following up the success of this first effort, Anderson and Progrock records brings the listener the second Terra Incognita cd, “A line in the Sand” to coincide with the release of the second novel, The Map of all Things. The album features a different, grittier part of the story which focusses on the devastating generations-long war between continents.
Compared with the first release (with contributions of among others Eric Norlander), the sound differs quite a lot. The theme required a harder sound and a different mood. This time, the music is played by Henning Pauly (Frameshift, Chain, Shadows Mignon). I have a lot of respect for this man, he plays all the instruments (Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Drums, and Orchestration) himself! He is also responsible for all the musical compositions. Pauly`s music conveys excellently the distinctive cultures and personalities of two continents at war. As with the first CD, Anderson co-wrote all of the lyrics with his wife, Rebecca Moesta, and two of the songs, The Crown and Need, are co-written by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Janis Ian.
Vocals are done by rock legends like Steve Walsh (Kansas), Michael Sadler (Saga), Sass Jordan (Album`s rock`s Female Vocalist of the Year) and Nick Stoor (the Third Ending), with guest appearances by Charlie Dominici (Dream Theater) and Arjen A. Lucassen (Ayreon).
The album starts quite furious with the song Barricade with a terrific vocal performance of Steve Walsh. In my opinion, he has a really nice rock voice. It sounds quite hoarsely, but also very powerful. But it has to be said that also the other vocal contributions perfectly fit by the theme and music. But the best performance comes from Henning Pauly. Roswell Six's A Line in the Sand is quite impressive and highly entertaining progressive rock, and a worthy follow-up to the first part of the Terra Incognita story.
Visit their website: http://www.roswellsix.com
Recordlabel: http://www.progrockrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/roswellsix

85/100

SALEM – In the Beginning (2 CD) United Kingdom November 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: N.W.O.B.H.M. Running time: 85:23 (Tracks: 17)
Salem is one of these unsung British heroes that emerged through the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, released a single, recorded a bunch of demos and fell into obscurity without managing to get a record deal and release a full length album just like the majority of the bands at that time. An useful piece of information is that they started in the same city Def Leppard did and around the same time but success apparently eluded them. Salem's music is not all that original or groundbreaking but it's the style of music that all fans of N.W.O.B.H.M. crave for. It's melodic, it's catchy and it's got that “rock meets early metal” vibe like most noticeable bands of the 1979-1982 era had. This is a good archival work that covers the entire bands demo-graphy from 1981 to 1983. Salem are back, considering the potential of a new album and some live shows.
Visit their website: http://www.salemband.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com

75/100

SAINT TO SINNER – The Unveiling (MCD) USA November 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Twisting Melodic Metal Running time: 21:33 (Tracks: 5)
'Who will be the next Saint to Sinner”. Okay, this band has made his point about his musical ambitions. They claim not to sound like anyone else, but hey who doesn't lay that claim nowadays. Saint to Sinner from Rhode Island was formed in 2008 and this debut is indeed a refreshing kind of metal meltdown. Crunchy guitars, pounding drums, nice hooks, harmonies and a very good melodic voice are melted into a delicious aggressive sounding debut album. All the songs are slow to mid tempo yet aggressive and have a heavy and clear sound. They even send me two copies because the latest one has been remastered and is going to be released by Copro records. Well, the versions are quite identique, but the new one is just a tiny bit clearer. The mixing of styles are played very well, but the real “ear”catcher is Desiree Villegas with her melodic vocals which fits perfectly in their music. She sings droning but seductive and she definitely lifts the numbers to a higher level. I'm not going to describe the tracks because they're all from a high level and you will be overwhelmed by all the different styles they use. Don't be afraid, they all listen away pretty easily keeping your attention. “The Unveiling” is a very promising debut and to my opinion this band is able to set a new standard in the future. Promising!
Visit their website: http://www.sainttosinnermusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sainttosinneronline

85/100

SKULLVIEW – Metalkill the World (CD) USA November 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 50:41 (Tracks: 8)
The waiting is finally over! After 9 long years, the keepers of true American Power metal are back with a brand new album, their fourth deadly strike destined to bring fear to the hearts of the weak! And the feeling is like not a single day has passed since the release of 'Consequences of Failure'. Everything we loved about Skullview are present. The trademark squeals and screams of Earthquake Lewis, the fiery riffs of Dean Tavernier and Dave Hillegonds, the rhythmic bashing of Peter Clemens and Joe Garavalia. The songs are typical Skullview; epic, powerful and heavy as hell. Three of them (Legion if the Star Scroll, The Bruise, Privilege of Suffering) were featured in the 2004 demo sung by Eric Flowers but nothing compares to the unparalleled singing of the Earthquake! This album is a real head basher, your neck will hurt and your fingers will bleed from the intense air guitar. I really can't wait till next March and their Athenian live show. Hell will break loose.
Visit their website: http://www.skullview.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officialskullview

90/100

STATE COWS – State Cows (CD) Sweden November 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Melodic Pop Running time: 51:34 (Tracks: 11)
State Cows is a project which consists of Daniel Andersson and Stefan Olofsson, who met each other during their studies at the Piteå School of Music in Sweden. The first band they played in was called “The Posers”, a Beatles ttribute band. They were active with this band for quite a while but Daniel also started in that period working on a solo album which received a lot of positive reactions. Meanwhile they had also founded a Steely Dan tribute band called “2nd Arrangement”. This formation was short lived but it was the origin of what became the State Cows. The album with the same name as the band is State Cows` debut album. The song writing and the recordings of the songs lasted for about 2 years. Andersson and Olofsson worked meticulously on the lyrics and musical arrangements. The musicians that were chosen to record the tracks are hand picked artists from the Swedish and Finnish music scene who played on an international level before.
Andersson and Olofsson are both inspired by the so called “West Coast” (America related) music scene. This music scene emphasizes melody, harmonies and arrangements, and the vocal and instrumental performances are always with great skill and of high quality. This applies also for this album. Even a horn section is present. One point of criticism is the lack of musical excesses on the album. Only the song Looney Gunman contains some adventurous parts. In my opinion, the music on State Cows is ideal back ground music. It will also suits people who like the “West Coast” music style. There is nothing wrong with this album, but it is nothing for real metal heads.
Visit their website: http://www.statecows.com
Recordlabel: http://www.avenue-of-allies.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/statecows

72/100

STEVE CICHON – Cranial Feedback (CD) USA November 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Progressive Fusion Running time: 49:43 (Tracks: 10)
“Crania Feedback” is Steve Cichon's third album. Steve isn't singing on his new album, rather sticking to his God given talent of guitar. Steve has a gift for blending wonderful melody and composition together into a beautiful soundscape as well as showing off his technical skills without overshadowing the music. Steve is mixing different music styles (like rock, metal, classical, acoustic,…) into one same song. Most of all Steve plays a mixture of instrumental progressive rock and melodic fusion. Especially for fans of the music from the 70's and 80's, and for guitar freaks which like Satriani, Schenker, Vinnie Moore and Dave Gilmour.
Recordlabel: http://www.nightmarerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stevecichonmusic

77/100

SYMPHONY CULT – Rewind To Fast Forward (CD) United Kingdom November 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Hardrock Running time: 51:49 (Tracks: 12)
Symphony Cult comes from London, England and is formed in 2008. Influenced by bands like Alice in Chains, Incubus and Skunk Anansie they have produced a first class rock album. According to their bio, they already build up a fine live reputation touring with bands like Sevendust, Kittie and even a place on Download 2009 so that should mean something. I'm not familiar with their debut single “Speak When Spoken To” that was released in 2008 and received 3k's in Kerrang. Well, I believe all above has to be earned fairly according to this damn fine full length debut. An album filled with alternative rock that leans to metal served with some good female vocals and heavy guitar work can clear up my day and this one does the job. “You” opens heavy with ruffling drums and shows the bands diversity already. Follower “Unspoken” is even better and just like “You” you can't get this songs out of your head. The album counts several highlights in tracks that can be classified as up tempo steamy heavy rock which is very surprising for this young, just started band. Just listen to “Confess”, “Until Tomorrow” and the ultimate “Speak” in which vocalist Charlotte Lubbock is supported by guitarist John Lovell, which he does very well. Vocally, Charlotte maybe isn't the best of the world, but she is perfect for this music. Sometimes it sounds a bit nagging but when they accelerate she certainly feels more comfortable. But hey, it's a debut, she only can and shall grow into that, there is no doubt about it. A very skilled (on drums son Jack of former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade) and more than promising band that delivers an enthusiastic, versatile and catchy rock album that is able to steal many hearts. This band has certainly the ability to become big.
Visit their website: http://www.symphonycult.com
Recordlabel: http://www.coproprecords.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/symphonycult

85/100

TEROR - Ordered To Destroy (Cdemo) Cyprus November 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 13:00 (Tracks: 4)
Teror, formed in 2009, is band formed by three 17 year old thrash metal fans trying to be like their idols. They have released a 4 track demo to warm people up to come to the live shows and they are currently working on new material and live shows. It seem these guys are trying to be like their idols but unfortunately the keyword seems to be trying. I do hear a lot of good will and enthusiasm and the guys seem competent in handling their instruments as well. The bigger problem right now lies in the song writing. All riffs seem like I've heard them once and the songs just don't feel all that right. Although that might also be because of the bad production which is totally understandable but irritating none the less. Due to their enthusiasm and willingness to get better I would like to see a live show of this band. With the right crowd and atmosphere that just may work out pretty good. Anyway as I support the underground, these guys get points for effort and potential.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/terorband

55/100

THE WAY OF PURITY – Crosscore (CD) Sweden November 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Melodic Death Metal / Metalcore Running time: 29:07 (Tracks: 10)
”The way of purity doesn't show off with smart or cool band members. No names, no fancy photos, no effigy, no trendy musical influences, and no nationality. No compromise, no way to talk or get to know us – we are the fuckin' NOTHING” Signed by: The way of purity. This militant band goes further where Earth Crisis stopped in the '90's. The metalcore with melodic death metal and industrial touches presented here is ultra effective. This kind of music is well known for its breakdowns and although I think that most breakdowns are terribly generic it works for the militant image of The Way of Purity. The drumsound on “Crosscore” is very mechanical and I can't conceive that half of the drums are produced by a computer. Again this is not unpleasant. The vocals hold the middle between a death grunt and the typical metalcore vocals. The extra touch in the music is brought by a female singer who takes care of the ideals the band is striving for. It's the voice that says that not all hope is lost but that we as individuals can do something. With only 29 minutes the album is somewhat on the short side, but long enough too get the message clear. “Crosscore” will be released through the big Roadrunner Records in Belgium. The future is looking bright for these unknown individuals.
Recordlabel: http://www.wormholedeath.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thewayofpurity

76/100

TRIPTYKON - Shatter (MCD) Switzerland November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Black Metal / Doom / Gothic Running time: 27:44 (Tracks: 5)
A few months after the release of TRIPTYKON's awesome debut album “Eparistera Daimones” (see update June 2010), a 5 track EP has been released called “Shatter”. This EP, which is also produced by Tom Gabriel Warrior and V. Santura, features 3 previously unreleased tracks from the “Eparistera Daimones” sessions, which are “Shatter” (4:57), “I Am TheTwilight” (7:59) and “Crucifixus” 4:18). The last two songs on this EP are live versions of the CELTIC FROST classics “Circle Of The Tyrants” and “Dethroned Emperor”, recorded at the ROADBURN festival in 013, Tilburg, Holland on April 16, 2010. And “Dethroned Emperor” is sung by Nocturno Culto of DARKTHRONE. “Shattered” is a heavy doom song, which also features female vocals of Simone Vollenweider, and is a good song. But the best song of these three tracks is absolutely the ultra heavy “I Am The Twilight”. Just brilliant. “Crucifixus” is an instrumental Avant-garde song (okay with some voices of A. Acanthus Gristle) which could be used as a score for some dark horror movie, and which also reminds a bit of FOETUS. So if you already have TRIPTYKON's superb album “Eparistera Daimones”, then you'll have to buy this fantastic EP "Shatter" as well. '
Visit their website: http://www.triptykon.net
Recordlabel: http://www.centurymedia.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/triptykonofficial

90/100

VALIENT THORR – Stranger (CD) USA November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Punk / Hardcore / Thrash 1Running time: 41:14 (Tracks: 12)
“Stranger” is the fifth album of VALIENT THORR, an American five-piece band which exists since 2000/2001. The previous albums of the band are “Stranded On Earth” (2003), “Total Universe Man” (2005), “Legend Of The World” (2006) and “Immortalizer” (2008). Except “Stranded On Earth”, which was self released by the band (and is out of print), all other albums are, just like this new album, released on Volcom Entertainment. The line-up of VALIENT THORR on “Stranger” exists of Valient Himself (vocals), Eidan Thorr (guitar), Sadat Thorr (guitar), Dr. Professor Nitewolf Strangees (bass) and Lucian Thorr (drums). The album, which was produced by Jack Endino (NIRVANA, MUDHONEY, THE DWARVES, HIGH ON FIRE), features twelve songs. And I must say that I like all of them except the short instrumental “The Recognition” (1:16), which is a song with only percussion. In my opinion that track is simply a superfluous song. I'd rather had another cool song on this album, instead of “The Recognition”. The band plays a mixture of Hard Rock, Punk, Hardcore and Thrash. On the fourth track “Double Crossed”, they even remind me of AC/DC. Valient Himself is a fantastic singer, and the rest of the band members are great musicians. Anyway, my favorite songs on “Stranger” are “Sleeper Awakes”, “Disappearer”, “Double Crossed”, “Sudden Death Is Nothing”, “Vision Quest”, “Habituary” and “Future Humans”. Very good album, which I recommend to anyone who likes bands as THE DWARVES, ZEKE, AC/DC etcetera. Only too bad of that instrumental “The Recognition”.
Visit their website: http://www.valientthorr.com
Recordlabel: http://www.volcoment.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/valientthorr

82/100

VANDERBUYST – Vanderbuyst (CD) The Netherlands November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 40:02 (Tracks: 7)
In March of 2009 I reviewed the self titled 3 track EP of Dutch Hard Rock trio VANDERBUYST, which was formed in 2008. And in my review of that EP I wrote that I was very impressed by VANDERBUYST. So, I was really looking forward to a full length debut album of the band. Well, now that self titled debut album has been recently released on German label Ván Records. "Vanderbuyst" features 7 tracks of which one is a brilliant cover version of the UFO classic "Rock Bottom" (11:28). The album was produced by Pieter Kloos at the Void studio in Eindhoven, Holland. VANDERBUYST still exists of Jochem Jonkman (vocals, bass), Willem Verbuyst (guitar, backing vocals) and Barry van Esbroek (drums). The band plays a mixture of classic 70's Hard Rock with some 80's N.W.O.B.H.M. (think of bands like TYGERS OF PAN TANG, IRON MAIDEN (Paul Di'Anno era), WHITE SPIRIT), with all great guitar work of ex-POWERVICE guitarist Willem Verbuyst (who's born in Gent, Belgium). Man, what a SUPERB guitarist Verbuyst is. It's just a pleasure to listen to his awesome guitar solo's, especially on “Rock Bottom” (it's just like the legendary Michael Schenker, who's one of my all time classic Hard Rock guitarists, is playing on it himself). This album starts with the fantastic “To Last Forever”, followed by “Tiger”, which is in my opinion the best track of their self written songs on this album. Just like on their 3 track EP, Selim Lemouchi (ex-POWERVICE, THE DEVIL'S BLOOD) is also playing on this album. Lemouchi is doing the second guitar solo on the just mentioned “Tiger”. Selim is also doing some "voodoo" spells on the background in the middle and at the end of “New Orleans”. And to me, “New Orleans” is the only song which is less. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad song, but in comparison with the other songs, it's the least track. The title of “Traci Lords” says enough, that song goes about former X-rated porn star Traci Lords, who moved from porn movies into mainstream movies. The last two songs on the album, which are the UFO cover “Rock Bottom” and “From Pillar To Post” were recorded live at the Void studio. Jonkers is a good singer, and I think he's still growing as a singer. So, my favorite songs of “Vanderbuyst” are absolutely “To Last Forever”, the superb “Tiger”, “Traci Lords”, Stealing Your Thunder”, of course the magnificent cover version of UFO's “Rock Bottom” and “From Pillar To Post”. Excellent debut album guys.
Visit their website: http://www.vanderbuyst.com
Recordlabel: http://www.van-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vanderbuyst

83/100

WHEELS OF FIRE – Hollywood Rocks (CD) Italy November 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock / AOR 1Running time: 49:42 (Tracks: 11)
From Italy comes melodic rock band WHEELS OF FIRE, who were formed in 2006. The line-up of the band on this album exists of Davide “Dave Rox” Barbieri (vocals, keyboards), Stefano Zeni (guitar), Roberto Galli (bass) and Andrea Zingrillo (drums). But according to their MySpace page there have been changes within the band. New bass player is Marcello Suzzani, new drummer is Fabrizio Uccellini and the fifth member of the band is keyboard player Andrea Vergori. All songs on “Hollywood Rocks” were written by Barbieri and Michele Luppi, who both also produced this album. Barbieri's dream was to make an old school melodic rock album. And with this debut album of WHEELS OF FIRE, his dream came true. This album features good melodic rock songs like “Hollywood Rocks”, “You're So Cool”, “Everywhere I Go”, “Live Again”, “Relax” and “Rock The World”. Okay, it sounds not very original, but it's at least not bad. The band reminds me the most of the early and heavier BON JOVI. And I must say that, instead of many other Italian singers, Davide Barbieri is in that case a good singer, who also sometimes sounds like Jon Bon Jovi. Of course there are also some ballads on this CD, like the semi-ballad “What I Want”, “I Can't Live My Life”, “Little Prayer” and the last (and longest) track of the album “Love Nest”. “Hollywood Rocks” isn't a superb album, but it's just a good melodic Rock album to listen to once in awhile. Together with sleaze rockers of SKILL IN VEINS (see August update 2010) Italy has with WHEELS OF FIRE a nice Rock band. Check them out if you're into good melodic Rock/AOR.
Visit their website: http://www.wheels-of-fire.com
Recordlabel: http://www.avenue-of-allies.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wheelsoffiretheband

78/100

WOLFSPRING – Wolfspring (CD) France November 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 56:35 (Tracks: 8)
Wolfspring is a new progressive metal band from France. Founded by the guitarist and singer of another French progressive metal band called Nemo, Wolfspring presents its debut album through Progrock records, an American label home to many underground European prog bands. The 8 songs featured have an average duration of 7 minutes and are mostly keyboard dominated. 2 of them are instrumental, with Carpathian Wolves being the best song of an album which is more progressive and less metal and failed to impress me. There are some gifted and extremely talented musicians here, no doubt about it, but the compositions just didn't click. The music is nice with a laid back feeling but nothing special. This contemporary prog sound doesn't work for me.
Recordlabel: http://www.progrockrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wolfspringband

67/100

SEPTEMBER

A NEW DAWN - Finally (MCD) The Netherlands September 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Eclectic Metal Running time: 18:13 (Tracks: 3)
A New Dawn defines their music as Eclectic Metal. Well, it seems we have a new sprout at the metal tree again. Categorising can be hard and unjust full, so why not design something new. Eclectic means, correct me if I'm wrong, something like “Selecting or employing individual elements from a variety of sources, systems, or styles”. Okay, that is a description that is in place here. A New Dawn mixes styles and rhythms indeed based on riffs that remember highly at Maiden's golden age on albums like “Piece of Mind”. A New Dawn isn't a new band and has already one full length in the stores called “Falling from Grace” which isn't familiar by me. Since then some replacements have taken place and I guess the band sees this 3-track “Finally” as a new start. To be honest, I'm a bit ashamed that I have never seen the band live (their residence is nearly in my backyard …,) but after hearing this one there is no doubt that I will pick them up one of these days. The band consists of 7 people, containing 2 female singers and a male grunter, so on stage this can't go wrong I guess. “Desire” kicks off and certainly is Maiden based in the heavy way. Alysia and Jamila are duelling from the start with their fine, clear voices, which gives a fine dimension to the music. “Masque of the Red Death” opens more mid tempo and heavier and the ladies are supported by the grunts of Mike which works fine. This song speeds up in the middle and ends with beautiful “choir singing” by Alysia and Jamila. Very strong track. “Final Verdict” clocks 8 minutes and is very versatile with spoken interludes, soprano, grunts and a lot of tempo changes. This song has it all. Musically this is a very fine band that is capable of writing good songs and the guitar riffs and drum parts are from a high level. Quite original with 3 singers in the band that really gives their music something extra. The production however is the big minor in this one. It sounds to flat and the mix isn't in balance. The drum parts (very good by the way, no doubt about that) are too loud in the mix and the voices can be done more properly. Adding some effects to the voices should give a bit more depth and experience. Nevertheless a fine 3-track that makes you look out for more. Hopefully they find themselves a good producer, because then nothing stands in the way for these standard-bearers of eclectic metal.
Visit their website: http://www.anewdawnband.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/anewdawnband

80/100

ANGELINE – Confessions (CD) Sweden September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock / AOR 1Running time: 49:45 (Tracks: 12)
ANGELINE is a Swedish melodic Hard Rock band which was formed in 1987. The band has released a mini-album "Don't Settle For Second Best" (1990) and the single "Rain" (1994). Their original singer Jörgen Sigvardsson, who had a bad heart condition, died in 1995. The approach to try out a different singer didn't lead to success, so guitar player Jocke Nilsson took over the lead vocals. And since that moment the band decided to become a cover band, which seemed to be the best choice. The band even recorded an album full of covers in 1997. When the band disbanded, the contact between the band members still remained. And after they did a one concert show to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ANGELINE, the band realized there had grown a new generation of ANGELINE fans, so they decided to start writing new songs. This all has led to the release of the band's first full length album "Confessions" in more than 20 years. So, ANGELINE's debut album "Confessions" has recently been released on German label Avenue Of Allies. The line-up of the band on "Confessions" exists of Jocke Nilsson (vocals, guitar), Janne Arkegren (guitar), Uffe Nillson (bass) and Tobbe Jonsson (drums). The album, which is also fantastically produced by Nilsson, counts twelve great melodic rock songs. And to tell the truth, "Confessions" doesn't have any weak songs, because the level of all those songs is very high. The songs have great melodies and are most of all very catchy. The band reminds me sometimes of a band like BON JOVI, like on the ballad "Miracles" or the poppy title track "Confessions". But also of bands like ELECTRIC BOYS, FM and GUN. Besides a producer, guitarist and composer, Nilsson is also a fantastic singer. His voice even reminds me of Jon Bon Jovi sometimes. Anyway, my favorite songs on "Confessions" are "Pray!", "Fuel To Your Fire", "Blackout", "Good Is Getting Better", "Rock Of Ages", "Part Of Evolution" and "Someday, Somehow". Fantastic band and an excellent melodic Rock album, which is a real recommendation for anyone who's into great melodic Hard Rock/Metal.
Visit their website: http://www.angelinetheband.se
Recordlabel: http://www.avenue-of-allies.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/angelinetheband

82/100

A TORTURED SOUL – Lucifer's Fate (CD) USA September 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 51:51 (Tracks: 9)
A Tortured Soul hails from Milwaukee and this is the band's third album. The band's second album “Kiss of the Thorn” made quite an impact within the underground power metal scene and got the band signed to German powerhouse Pure Steel Records. I was curious to see if the band made any progress and to be honest “Lucifer's Fate” is a step ahead of its predecessor. The band maintains its identity but the sound is better and the songs more accessible. A Tortured Soul addresses mostly to fans of the late 90s to early 00s U.S. power metal sound, delivering mid tempo powerful songs within a dark and ominous atmosphere. There band is also clearly influenced by Mercyful Fate. If you are into bands like early Cage or Brutal Hand then you will love A Tortured Soul.
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/atorturedsoulmusic

78/100

BAIL - A Bolt from the Blue (CD) The Netherlands September 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Southern / Stoner Rock Running time: 41:05 (Tracks: 10)
I don`t quite know what to think of this CD. I saw Bail a few times and I really liked them so I was excited when I got this self produced CD. But I am a bit disappointed. Maybe it has to do with the very basic production or the (little bit) bland vocals but I know they can do a lot better than this. Don`t get me wrong, the songs are allright and varied and they know how to play and if you like southern rock in the style of men like Zakk Wylde you really have to listen to this. I appreciate it more after I listened to it a few times but I prefer to see them live on stage. Hope they will do better next time because they deserve to get more attention.
Visit their website: http://www.bail.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bailrock

70/100

BIG BALL – Hotter Than Hell (CD) Germany September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 10:10 (Tracks: 4)
First of all, how can you give a fair opinion about an album with 13 songs, if you get a promo disc with just 4 songs on it of which one song is a full track and the other three songs are all shortened and faded away?? The full track on this disc is "Double Demon (Is Playing)". The other shortened songs are "Porna Lisa" (1:30), "Big Ball Crew"(2:15) and "Hotter Than Hell" (2:06). Luckily all these three shortened songs, together with four other songs, can be listened to in a full version at the band's MySpace page. The original running time of "Porna Lisa" is 3:44, of "Big Ball Crew" 3:51, and of the title track "Hotter Than Hell" 3:50. Other songs on the band's MySpace page which can be listened to are "Hell Whores & High Heels", "Plugged In", "Killdozer" and "Free Fire Zone". Anyway, BIG BALL is a German Hard Rock band who sounds 100% like AC/DC with Brian Johnson. So, we can't speak of any originality. It seems that the list of AC/DC inspired bands is growing day by day. "Hotter Than Hell" is the band's debut album, an has, according to their MySpace page, a total running time of 47:46. The production of the album was done by Dennis Ward (PINK CREAM 69, KROKUS) and sounds very good. Well, there isn't any information about the band on the delivered info sheet and on their website or MySpace page, so I can't tell you when the band was formed or from which the band's line-up exists of. Anyway, "Hotter Than Hell" isn't a real bad album, it's only NOT very original. And I like AC/DC very much, so, to me it sounds good enough. But you understand of course, that my preference still goes to AC/DC. So, if you like AC/DC, but also other AC/DC inspired bands like AIRBOURNE, RHINO BUCKET, '77, SNEW etcetera, you will like BIG BALL as well. Unless you are getting tired of all these AC/DC clones!!! But that's up to you. Anyway, with the help of the songs on BIG BALL's MySpace page I can give, at least, a fairer score of "Hotter Than Hell", then only with the four songs on this promo disc.
Visit their website: http://www.bigballrocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bigballrocks

77/100

CLEAVER – Leur Sauvage Poussee (MCD) Italy September 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Death Metal Running time: 20:09 (Tracks: 8)
Cleaver is an Italian Death metal band that was formed in 2000. Concerning their bio it took years to create the sound they now present on this EP. The band started a grunge band! In 2003 the band won a competition between 15 local bands. The prize was the possibility to record a mini-cd in a local studio. The first Demo was called “Deep conceits deep in the tarn” and saw the light in august 2003 but unfortunately, the quality of this work was awful and the four tracks recorded were never released… Cleaver sonorities was evolving towards a black/death. So says their bio. The first songs on on this little EP made me think of Macabre in some ways. The band tries to sound funny. The songtitle “Ipna” says enough if you ask me. There isn't much black metal presented here. Only some high pitched screams here and there and they rather sound weak if you ask me. The grunting is much better.
Later on the music gets more serious and more melodic. There is nothing to complain about in terms of production. The mixing is o.k, never letting the bass go unnoticeable but sometimes the double bass attracts too much attention. The production is thick and heavy, but also unbelievably clean, to the point where you don't miss any details delivered by the guitars. Yes, they are many, and yes, most of them are completely unnecessary, but what matters for the production is that they can be heard. So finally we can say that this is an average demo by an average band that unfortunally adds nothing to the scene.
Visit their website: http://members.xoom.alice.it/cleaver
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cleaverband

69/100

CONCRETE FORCE - Metal Enforcers (CD) Greece September 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 44:45 (Tracks: 12)
Concrete Force is a thrash metal band that started as a solo project but recently got another guitar player to get a more full sound. Because of the enormous thrash revival the labels make sure that every other week a new thrash album is released, by old legends or by new bands trying to sound as old legends. The good thing about this is that I really got to know a bunch of new bands that really rock, the bad news is there is a lot of mediocre stuff around there as well. Sadly Concrete Force is a band that falls in the last category. This is the band's first album and while this should sound like a punch in the face and make me want to headbang and mosh around it doesn't really bother me. The album has a nice thrash sound and this will probably be nice when played live but on cd it's just a bit to mediocre. I didn't hear anything I didn't already hear before. If you're into old school thrash you may want to check this out since my opinion may vary from yours but honestly I think there is a lot better thrash metal out there.
Recordlabel: http://www.blower-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/concreteforce

57/100

CONORACH - 42 Days / Patriot`s Song (CDemo) The Netherlands September 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Folk / Power Metal Running time: 12:13 (Tracks: 2)
Conorach started out in 2000 and released a demo in 2006 and their first album in 2008 called "Tales from the Tavern" In 2010 they released this demo with only 2 songs on it. The two songs are much more in the direction of powermetal than folkmetal . The song '42 days' has a long instrumental part before singer Jacco de Wijs starts singing. He uses clean vocals that don`t really impress me. Not powerful at all. The song isn`t bad but nothing special or original. It all sounds a bit bland but maybe that has to do with the moderate production. 'The Patriot`s song' has the same flaws. Bland vocals and production. The song has a decent structure but it isn`t really interesting. Maybe I have to see them live sometimes because I can imagine that it`s much better then. No, I hope the next album is way better than this demo and a bit more varied.
Visit their website: http://www.conorach.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/conorach

60/100

DANTE - Saturnine (CD) Germany September 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 62:41 (Tracks: 7)
Dante was founded in 2006 by keyboardist Markus Maichel and guitarist Markus Berger after a chance encounter at a Dream Theater concert. Soon after this concert, they decided to found a band which they called Dante. Dante released their debut in 2008 and this album was called The Inner Circle. It was influenced by progressive and symphonic rock from bands like Yes, Pink Floyd up to present artists like Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree and it was quite successful. Since then, the music of Dante can be described as progressive, quite catchy but also melodic and powerful.
Towards the end of 2008, Dante started to write material for a new album. The band moved out of their trusted „Hidden Studios“ into their new „The Red Tube Studios“, where they did their work for Dante as well as remittance work. This is the place where Saturnine was created. In the booklet belonging to the album, three definitions of Saturnine are given. It means something like sombre or gloomy, but this is not what I experienced when I listened to the music.
I can imagine that Saturnine does not satisfy all the needs of die-hard progressive rock fans, especially those who like the prog of Yes and Genesis of the 70`s. But if you like music from bands like Dream Theater with tempo changes and quite complex song structures (at times when it is functional), than this album is worth listening to. One small disadvantage is that the lead vocalist Alexander Gohs has some problems when he has to sing the higher tones. But the other band members know how to play their instrument!
There is also nothing negative to say about the production of the album. The sound is great and it cost me no energy to listen the whole album in one session. This is sometimes a problem with other progressive rock bands. They make their music to difficult to handle. In my opinion, Saturnine is one of the better albums that have been released this year!
Visit their website: http://www.danteband.de
Recordlabel: http://www.progrockrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/danteprog

89/100

DEBAUCHERY - Kill Maim Burn (re-release) (CD) Germany September 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death Metal Running time: 37:02 (Tracks: 8 + 3 bonus)
Debauchery is a band that is becoming more and more popular in the death metal genre in Europe. Because of their popularity AFM records decided to re-release their first album Kill Maim Burn with some extra's and a new cover which makes it look a bit more evil so the 16 year olds will love it. Basically I don't really understand the hype about this band but I usually don't get that about the popular bands so I won't whine about it. Without finding them special I do enjoy the newer albums of this band but why the label took their time to remaster this album I just don't get. You can hear that this album was recorded by a band still looking for their sound and if I can be totally honest, they were even still looking for the right techniques to play their instruments. All the guitar work sounds like it's being played by a 14 year old who is still learning the more advanced techniques and the drumming really isn't better. The vocals aren't that great either with very standard grunts and extremely annoying high screams. The band has a lot of fans so this will sell but I'll take a less popular underground band any day of the week.
Visit their website: http://www.debauchery.de
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
MySpace: www.myspace.com/debaucheryband

45/100

FEET 1ST – Heaven, Home, Hell (CD) Germany September 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Hardcore Running time: 31:00 (Tracks: 11)
FEET FIRST originally formed in early 2007, the single members were already involved in several other musical projects, that however failed, due to missing commitment of their fellow musicians. These five pissed-off middle-class guys found themselves piece by piece and Feet First was born. In august 2007 they hit Annihilation Musics Studio in Niesky to record a MCD. The result of these recordings was very convincing and Demons Run Amok showed interest in releasing these recordings. September 2007 their selftitled MCD saw the light of day, and now here is their debut full length as a follow up. The album is recorded at the Hidden Planet Studio in Berlin ,and contains 11 tracks with contributions from Kevin (End of Days), Matthi (Nasty) and Christian (United and Strong), and is mastered by Patrick W. Engel. FEET 1ST stands for anti-fascist-hardcore, energy and passion and aggressive live shows. First thing to notice is the band has two vocalists, and the lyrics are in English as well as in German. This band is an explosion of aggression in their music, and can be compared to a band like Born From Pain for instance. These are a bunch of real dedicated guys who put a lot of hard work and emotion in their music. The result is here, an honest straight forward hardcore album, with a good production. Some good metal riffing, double bass attacks and heavy moshparts makes you wanna jump in the pit immediately , also a band to check out live when they play in your area in my opinion!
Recordlabel: http://www.demonsrunamok.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/feetfirsthc

72/100

GWYDION - Horn Triskelion (CD) Portugal September 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Viking / Folk Metal Running time: 50:36 (Tracks: 11)
Viking metal from Portugal. Stranger things have happened lately but it is a strange combination. But they exist for 15 years now. They started out as a project founded by a group of friends sharing the same passion: metal and celtic culture. They released their first full-length album in 2007 named "Ynys Mon". And now they released their second CD named "Horn Triskelion". Well, it turned out to be a pretty average Viking folk metal CD. I heard much better bands like Alestorm, Finntroll and lots more and I can`t really enjoy this. The singer Ruben Almeida sounds pretty ridiculous with his type of singing although he tries to vary a lot with grunts and clean vocals but it`s all not quite a pleasure to listen to. It`s all very bland and a copy of other bands but not in the good way. No this is all a bit to silly for me. Can`t take this seriously, it`s just to average to keep my attention.
Recordlabel: http://www.trollzorn.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gwydionmetal

55/100

IN THIS MOMENT – A Star-Crossed Wasteland (CD) USA September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metalcore / Metal Running time: 42:11 (Tracks: 10)
I discovered American Metalcore band IN THIS MOMENT, which was formed in 2005 by singer Maria Brink and guitarist Chris Howorth, somewhere in 2008 with their debut album "Beautiful Tragedy" (2007). I was completely blown away by that great debut album. Fantastic Metalcore songs with great varied vocals by Brink. And what a great singer is Maria. What a throat she has. She screams and roars, but can also sing clean and sensitive. When I bought their second album "The Dream" (2008) in the summer of 2009 it notices me, that "The Dream" was more melodic Metal and less Metalcore. But nevertheless, "The Dream" is also a great album. Besides these two albums, I also have their single of the BLONDIE cover "Call Me", which is a very nice version of it. Now, IN THIS MOMENT's third album "A Star-Crossed Wasteland" has been released, and just like the two previous albums again on Century Media. And this new album is a mixture of "Beautiful Tragedy" and "The Dream". It has the raw power and aggression of "Beautiful Tragedy" and the melodic parts of "The Dream". The line-up of the band has slightly been changed on this album, because bass player Jesse Landry has been replaced by Kyle Konkiel. Besides Brink, Howorth and Konkiel, the band exists of rhythm guitarist Blake Bunzel and fantastic drummer Jeff Fabb. "A Star-Crossed Wasteland" opens with the first single "The Gun Show", which is a good song, but it's not one of the strongest songs on the album. The third track "The Promise" is a duet between Maria Brink and Adrian Patrick (singer of OTHERWISE) and will be the second single, which is in my opinion a good choice. On the song "The Road", the guest guitar solo is done by guitarist Gus G. (FIREWIND, OZZY OSBOURNE). The excellent production was again done by Kevin Churko (OZZY OSBOURNE, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH), who also produced "The Dream". Anyway, my favorite songs of "A Star-Crossed Wasteland" are "Just Drive", "The Promise", "Standing Alone", "Blazin", "The Road" and the beautiful "World In Flames". Yes folks, also this third IN THIS MOMENT album is fantastic, but I'm still of the opinion that "Beautiful Tragedy" and even "The Dream" are slightly better. But if you already have their previous two albums, than "A Star-Crossed Wasteland" definitely can't be missing in your collection. Now it is waiting for a European tour of the band. ;o)
Recordlabel: http://www.centurymedia.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/inthismoment

88/100

ION DISSONANCE – Cursed (CD) Canada September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Mathcore / Deathcore 1Running time: 48:40 (Tracks: 13)
To be honest, this is my first acquaintance with Canadian Mathcore/Deathcore band ION DISSONANCE. And to tell you the truth, this is absolutely NOT my type of music within the heavy sector. Personally I would call it "Extreme ADHD Metal". What a piece of noise. This kind of music (can you still call this music???) makes me really nervous. It's just a real hard job to listen entirely to this fourth full length album "Cursed". The songs are just to complex and totally inaccessible. And I absolutely don't like the vocal style. But, for anyone who's into Mathcore or Deathcore, ION DISSONANCE is a five piece band which was formed in early 2002. After several line-up changes, the band now exists of Kevin McCaughey (vocals), Antoine Lussier (guitar), Sebastian Cahput (guitar), Yannick Desgroseillers (bass) and Jean-François Richard (drums). Previous albums of the band are "Breathing Is Irrelevant" (2003), "Solace" (2005) and "Minus The Herd" (2007). According to the delivered info sheet, it seems that this new album "Cursed", which features 13 songs, is the band's heaviest and most extreme album to date. So, Mathcore and Deathcore freaks, this sounds like a real must have for you all. And I'm sure anyone who's into this type of music will give a much higher rating then the 35 points I'm giving to this album. Sorry guys, but this is not meant for me. Perhaps nice to mention, on "This Is The Last Time I Repeat Myself", Alexandre Erian of Canadian Deathcore band DESPISED ICON is doing guest vocals. And for all Dutch readers of MMM who are into Math- and Deathcore, on October 1st, the band is playing at the Dynamo club in Eindhoven, Holland.
Recordlabel: http://www.basickrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/iondissonance

35/100

IRON FIST – Going To Hell (CD) Norway September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Glam Running time: 42:45 (Tracks: 12)
In June 2009 I reviewed IRON FIST's EP “Kick Your Ass”. In that review I wrote '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'. Well, now it's the summer of 2010 and I have the debut album “Going To Hell” in front of me, which was released in May on MTG Music. What notices me is that 3 of the 4 tracks of the EP “Kick Your Ass” are on this album as well. Anyway, the band still exists of Bobby Moen (vocals), Bender Midiman (guitar), Carzten (guitar), Jonkis (bass) and Kniksen (drums). These guys are also well-known members of the bands LUXUS LEVERPOSTEI and NOBODIES. In my review of “Kick Your Ass” I already wrote that the band is a mixture of MOTÖRHEAD, AC/DC and Glam Rock. Well, on “Going To Hell” the band's sound goes more the direction towards AC/DC and AIRBOURNE. Because, when you're listening, for example, to songs like “We're Going To Hell” and “Partykiller”, I'm sure you'll have to think of AIRBOURNE or AC/DC. “Rock Me, Shock Me” and “Show Me” are more sleazy Glam rock songs. The album was produced by the band themselves and sounds good. Some weaker songs on “Going To Hell” are in my opinion “Beaver”, “Holy Moses” and “Naked”. I'm still of opinion that IRON FIST are not a spectacular band. It all sounds nice and enjoyable, but also so familiar, like we've heard it many times before. But I'm sure these guys are on stage some real partykillers. The best songs of this CD are “We're Going To Hell”, “Partykiller”, "Kick Your Ass", “Do You Like It”, Rock N Roll Machine” and "Show Me". It's simply a nice CD to listen to once in a while.
Visit their website: http://www.ironfistband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.mtgmusic.no
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ironfistrock

74/100

JOEY SUMMER – Written On The Horizon (CD) Brazil September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock / AOR 1Running time: 49:42 (Tracks: 11)
JOEY SUMMER is a Brazilian singer, guitarist & songwriter, who recently has released his second solo album "Written On The Horizon" on Avenue Of Allies. His first solo album "Nascar" (2009) was sung by Summer in his mother language Portuguese. But don't be afraid, this second solo album is completely sung in English. Anyway, according to his biography, before JOEY SUMMER started his solo career, he has been in the bands KARMA and ARENA. The musicians on this album are Joey Summer (vocals, guitar) of course, Daniel Lamas (keyboards, backing vocals), Markcell (bass) and Renan Martins (drums). And there are also some additional guest musicians on this album. Michael Müller (JADED HEART) is playing bass on the fantastic song "Anymore", which was written by fantastic German singer, songwriter Michael Bormann. And on "Don't Believe", Göran Edman (STREET TALK) is doing backing vocals, Fredrik Bergh (STREET TALK) plays keyboards and Julio Cezar is playing bass. And the last song of the album, "Rough Ride To Paradise", was written by ex-EUROPE guitarist Kee Marcello. Well, "Written On The Horizon" is not a bad album, but it's also not very innovative. Musically it reminds me a bit of JOURNEY. And in my opinion there are to many ballads/semi-ballads on it, like "It's Only Your Love", "Lorea" (semi-ballad), "I'll Never Be Alone Again" and "Rough Ride To Paradise" (semi-ballad). Joey is not really great as a singer, he's just a good singer. But he's a good songwriter and a skilled guitarist. The production was done by Summer as well, and sounds very good. The best songs on "Written On The Horizon" for me are the bombastic "Anymore", the title track "Written On The Horizon" and "Don't Believe". So, if you like a band as JOURNEY or other melodic AOR bands, I think you also will like this second solo album of JOEY SUMMER. Anyway, at least you can give it a try!
Visit their website: http://www.joeysummer.com
Recordlabel: http://www.avenue-of-allies.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/joeysummer

74/100

LAROXX – Laroxx (CD) Italy September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Glam Rock Running time: 48:32 (Tracks: 12)
LAROXX is an Italian Glam Rock band, who recorded this album way back in 1991. At that time the album was recorded for a US and Japanese release through a major label, but unfortunately that label dropped the offer. This self titled album "Laroxx" was originally released in 1992 (only on cassette) and is now finally released in a remastered version on CD by Steelheart Memories Records. The band exists of Kelly Gray (vocals), Matt Tristano (guitar, backing vocals), Simon Dredo (bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals) and Steve Argentini (drums). What we get deserved on this album is standard Glam Rock. I must say Gray is a reasonable singer, but I don't always like his vocals. The album starts with a short intro, which is a sound from a small music box. But actually the songs on this album are pretty predictable. Speaking about predictable, well, of course there have to be a few ballads on this album, which in this case are "Suicide" and the acoustic "Long Dark Night". Okay, okay, I can listen to this debut album, because it's not that bad. I've heard worse Italian Glam Rock bands so far (S.E.X. DEPARTMENT (update November 2009) and H.O.T., see August update 2010). But if you can choose between LAROXX or bands like STEEL PANTHER, NASTY IDOLS, RATT, MÖTLEY CRÜE, PRETTY WILD, STEADLÜR and POISON, then the answer is clear. The best songs are in my opinion "Where's My Way?" and "Before It's Too Late". So, "Laroxx" is just an average Glam Rock album, nothing more nothing less.
Recordlabel: http://www.heartofsteel.nlz.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/laroxxmusic

70/100

LORD VOLTURE – Beast of Thunder (CD) The Netherlands September 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Power Metal Running time: 57:09 (Tracks: 11)
“Beast of Thunder” is the debut album of this new band from the South of The Netherlands with singer David Marcelis (ex-Conquestador, ex-Methusalem), his brother Paul Marcelis on guitar, Leon Hermans (guitar, also in Burn), drummer Frank Wintermans & bassplayer Simon Geurts. I was already familiar with David's ex-bands Methusalem & Conquestador and he is for me one of the best metal singers in The Netherlands. Also guitarist Leon Hermans is doing a good job in his other band Burn!
What to tell about this new Dutch product; well simply; its amazing!! Okay it did not blew me away the way Powervice did several years ago but I'm sure this band will show more attitude and are more professional than Powervice ever was!! Powervice also had the luck that they choose for a more Iron Maiden direction which nearly every metalheads knows. Lord Volture is more sounding as a Jag Panzer imitation but in a very good way! I also hear a lot of (old) Judas Priest elements back in their songs and vocal lines (listen to 'Blood Bound” & “Retaliation”). But the most they remind me to the best metal band in the world; Jag Panzer!! And that's BIG compliment!!! In Holland Jag Panzer was never popular but in countries like Germany & Greece they are treated as gods (and they deserve that!!!).
Musically Lord Volture has a lot of fresh ideas and can convince me totally! The only little complain I have is the fact that singer David is sometimes singing to forced and at these moments it looks like he is singing out of tune. Pity because I know he can sing this kind of metal easily! Hope to see the band soon because im curious to their live performance!!! Great debut album!! Also something to mention; on the last song “Pure Evil” they arranged/convinced Annihilator's Jeff Waters to do a guest solo!!
Visit his website: http://www.lordvolture.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lordvolture

85/100

MASTERCASTLE – Last Desire (CD) Italy September 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 54:47 (Tracks: 12)
Mastercastle is a new band created by guitarist Pier Gonella who has participated in numerous Italian bands such as Athlantis, Wild Steel, Necrodeath and Labyrinth. This is actually the band's second album following the one they released in 2009 named “The Phoenix”. The style is melodic power metal with a contemporary touch and female vocals but the album failed to impress me. Although the musicians are competent players and the sound is good, the songs don't seem to have the ability to captivate the listener. I couldn't spot any memorable moments or impressive parts. I wasn't charmed by the female voice either. It is the average voice you can find in power metal releases like this one. What I keep from this release is the guitar work which was quite good although a bit modern in places.
Visit their website: http://www.piergonella.com
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mastercastle

65/100

MISTWEAVER – Tales From The Grave (CD) Spain September 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Death Metal Running time: 62:00 (Tracks: 13)
MISTWEAVER was founded in Spain in October 1997 and played a mixture of doom and death in those days, they've recorded their first mini album 'Sol Obscurabitur' at Oso's Studio and released it in June 2000. The band played more gigs and in May 2001 “Dream's Domain” was recorded at Tala Studios in Bermeo. Second full length “The Aftermath” was recorded at Spacelab Studios in Germany and released through Deepsend Rec from the USA in June 2003. The band then toured the USA and played at the Milwaukee Metalfest. In 2004 MISTWEAVER signs to the Golden Lake label from Scotland and during the first three months of 2005 they recorded “Age of Darkness” at VRS studio in Madrid, while mastering was done at Finnvox in Finland. Then some line-up changes took place, and their label closed it's doors. The band decides to hire a session drummer for the recording of the new album, and so the drum tracks were recorded in March 2007 at Tribal Art Studios in Gerona. And now here is their fourth full length, recorded at Sonic Train Studios in Sweden this time, entitled “Tales from the Grave” and released through Casket Music. They really have released a fine album with this latest one, as I am not familiar with their previous albums I can't say anything about those, but this one definitely rules. It's a very diverse album, with some instrumental bits and pieces, but also some great songs that will appael to fans of Amon Amarth for instance. True technical melodic death metal, just listen to 'Sons of Darkness', 'The Pestilence' or 'Smell of Death', they really know how to play these guys! Productionwise it all sounds cool too and also the coverart is really nicely done. They really put some effort in this work of art, and it shows, give them a listen and you won't be disappointed!
Visit their website: http://www.mistweaver.net
Recordlabel: http://www.coprorecords.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mistweaver666

88/100

MOJO POJO - Mojo Pojo (CD) Venezuela September 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 53:56 (Tracks: 11)
Mojo Pojo is my first acquaintance with music from Venezuela. When I searched the internet for information about the band and the album, I could mainly find sites written in Spanish. The problem is that I am not familiar with this language.... But I will do my best to give an introduction.
The band was founded in Caracas, Venezuela, when bassist and lead vocalist Enrique Perez Vivas started jamming with Luis Daniel Gonzalez (Keyboards) and Jorge Gonzalez (Drums). Having a similar musical taste (from Miles Davis to Morbid Angel!), they inevitably got together quite often to play the music they liked. After an extensive search, guitarist Antonio Narciso joined the band. After some live shows throughout Venezuela, the band released their debut album Mojo Pojo on their own, independent record label Angry Pojo Records at the end of 2009. The band got some help from several national and international personalities such as German Landaeta who was responsible for the mix and the mastering of the album, Hugh Syme for the nice art work and James Murphy (Testament, Death, Obituary) for some guitar solo's.
The album Mojo Pojo sounds quite “relaxed”, sometimes I have the idea that I'm listening to a jam session with some jazzy influences. I think that this has something to do with the South American background of the band members. The songs on the album are not only progressive rock, it contains also some rock songs and ballads, like the last song on the album, Regreso. This song contains a nice guest contribution from Julio Andrade on the saxophone. Nevertheless the tempo is still regularly increased, for example in the song Hole Tone (my personal favorite) where among others the drummer shows his double bass capacities, which many metal drummers would envy. The lyrics are sung in both Spanish and English, I was not able to unravel a central theme. The band prepared a tour for 2010 but I have no information about the status of this tour, so I do not know if they visit Europe. They will also start the recordings for their new album this year.
Visit their website: http://www.mojopojo.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mojopojoproject

75/100

MOOI WARK – X (CD) The Netherlands September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock Running time: 46:16 (Tracks: 13)
This title of MOOI WARK's new album "X" speaks for itself, it is the bands 10th studio album. Musically there has nothing changed, because we get, as usual, some nice rock and roll songs, some party rockers and some quieter songs. Only since their previous album "Rock & Rodzooi" (2009), the band has a new drummer, which is John Roffel (ex-JOVINK). The rest of the band still exists of Bert Koops (vocals, guitar), Arnold Kuik (guitar) and William Bossong (bass). This album is produced by well known Dutch producer Erwin Musper (EMERGENCY, ZINATRA, NORMAAL, RACOON, VAN DIK HOUT, MENNEN etc.), who lives since a long time in the U.S.A.. Musper especially came over from the States to produce this 10th album of MOOI WARK, and he did of course a great job. Like I said, musically there has nothing changed, the band continues like on their previous three successful albums. And of course there are still resemblances with mainly NORMAAL. But since their breakthrough album "Gewoon Idioot" (2006), which is in my opinion still their best album so far, the popularity of MOOI WARK is still growing and the band still gain a lot of fans. Especially amongst Dutch farmers. So far, I've seen the band once live (April 6th, 2008 at the Partycentrum De Hut in Haarsteeg, Holland), and I can say, they really can make a great party. Also on this new album, MOOI WARK has covered a song, which is the BEATLES classic "Please Please Me" (1963), and is called "Kom Op", which is a nice version. But, the best songs on "X" are in my opinion "Freddie", the first single of the album "Goeie Been, Verkeerde Bed", "Rock 'N Roll Band", "Alles Giet Uut Behalve Het Licht", "Daor Heb Ik Schijt An", "Rock 'N' Roll Wichter" and "Trap Dat Ding Iens An". And the last song of the album "We Zingen En We Springen In 'T Oranje Rond (In De Blote Kont)", which is a bonus track, is a very nice version with new lyrics of "In De Blote Kont", of which the original version is on the "Bok "M D'r Op" album (see my review of it on the April update of 2008). Anyway, "X" is again a fantastic album by MOOI WARK. So far I had six albums of the band, and now "X" will also be added to my list of favorite albums of MOOI WARK, which are "Gang Op De Ket" (2001), "Smeer" (2004), "Gewoon Idioot" (2006) and "Bok 'M D'r Op" (2008). Because of the fact that MOOI WARK sings in Dutch dialect (Drents) this review is only interesting for our Dutch readers of MMM, at least if you like bands as NORMAAL, WC EXPERIENCE, JOVINK, JA DAT ZAL etcetera. My motto is still "Bier, Patat & ROCK 'N' ROLL". Hell yeah!!!!
Visit their website: http://www.mooiwark.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.nrgymusic.nl

85/100

NINE POUND HAMMER – Country Classics (Limited Press Edition) (CD) USA September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: CowPunk Running time: 44:04 (Tracks: 14)
After two years NINE POUND HAMMER is back with a brand new album, which is titled “Country Classics”. And according to a blog on their MySpace page this is the final album of the band. So, it seems that after 25 years the band calls it quits. And that's a shame. Anyway, "Country Classics" is an album with some NINE POUND HAMMER classics, like "Stranded Outside Tater Knob", “Dead Dog Highway”, “Drunk, Tired, And Mean”, "I'm Your Huckleberry" and "Hell In My Hand", re-recorded in a straight forward country style, and with great cover versions of Country stars/bands like THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND, GORDON LIGHTFOOT, JOE STAMPLEY, the legendary JOHNNY CASH, FLATT AND SCRUGGS, ERNEST TUBB, BR5-49 and WAYLON JENNINGS. During the 25 year career of NINE POUND HAMMER, the band did have several line-up changes, but the line-up on "Country Classics" exists of Scott Luallen (vocals), Blaine Cartwright (guitars, vocals; also NASHVILLE PUSSY), Earl Crim (guitar), Mark Hendricks (bass) and Brian Pulito (drums, vocals). Just like the previous album "Sex, Drugs & Bill Monroe" (2008), this album was produced by drummer Pulito. "Country Classics" is a very good and nice album, but not as good as the albums "Kentucky Breakdown" (2004) and "Sex, Drugs & Bill Monroe" (see my review of the July 2008 update on MMM) which I have already. The versions of “Sundown” (GORDON LIGHTFOOT), “I'm Your Huckleberry” (sung by Blaine), “Drunk, Tired, And Mean” and “Hot Summer In Barefoot County” are sounding nice, but the best songs on “Country Classics” are in my opinion “Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye” (THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND), “Stranded Outside Tater Knob”, “One Long Saturday Night” (BR5-49), “Dead Dog Highway”, which is in a hillbilly version and sounds like HAYSEED DIXIE and THE HACKENSAW BOYS, “Roll On Big Mama” (JOE STAMPLEY), “Wanted Man” (JOHNNY CASH), “Down The Road” (FLATT AND SCRUGGS), “Drivin' Nails In My Coffin” (ERNEST TUBB, but also done by RHONDA VINCENT) and “Ain't Living Long Like This” (WAYLON JENNINGS). This Promotional Advance Limited Edition is ONLY available at http://www.nashvillepussy.com/discography?id=1736 and was available during the recent NINE POUND HAMMER shows in Europe. The official release of this record isn't scheduled to be available for months so get yours now! So, if you are a fan of NINE POUND HAMMER, then you absolutely have to purchase this final album of the band.
Visit their website: http://www.ninepoundhammer.homestead.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ninepoundhammered

84/100

OUTOPSYA - Sum (CD) Italy September 2010 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive / Fusion Metal Running time: 54:16 (Tracks: 8)
Outopsya (short for OUT Of PSYchical Activity) originate from Rovereto (Trento) in Italy and started of in May 2003. In the first years founding members Luca Vianini (guitars, vocals, synthesizer and drums score) and Evan Mazzucchi (bass) , in different line-up's, took part in several competitions and showcases and thus winning awards. This project has put out several demo-CD's and a DVD in 2007 (Der Golem live) which is a registration of the performance on the 17th of July 2007 when a five-piece under the name Outopsya Ensemble accompanied the silent movie ”Der Golem”. The music was composed and arranged by Luca Vianini, who is a really talented mastermind.
In late 2009 they released the album “Sum” through the Videoradio label after being distributed before through e-stores around the world. What to say about this album. It's a collection of all kind of sounds, noises and different instruments. Sometimes it's very hard to discover a song amongst the sounds. The first song “Lords of Hate “ starts of with some weird noises produced by synthesizers and turns into some repeating computer-like voices. Even the sound of a choir pops up between all kind of different guitars- , synthesizers- , drums- and bass-playing. The second song “Möthal” is built around the voice of Ylenia Zenatti and is accompanied by a heavy bass-riff and later on guitars, drums and synthesizers join in. “Mus” is a short song (3.07) and consists of a male- and a computer-voice and is mainly a very slow song with a few eruptions of prog-metal. The first minutes of “Don't Mind” are filled with hardly any sounds until Ylenia joins in and the song slowly builds up and becomes a bit heavier. The next two songs “Tarred Life” and “Mechanical 7” are more lively with a lot of faster parts and the bass-guitar prominently present. The weird voice and other weird sounds are also everywhere to be heard. “Sandness” is filled with synthesizer sounds and all kind of different voices. The most strange song is the last song “Sum” which sounds like it is played backwards and most of the time sounds like it's been played at the wrong speed (either must to fast or much to slow).
It makes you want to check your CD-player because it sounds like something is going wrong. This album is not for the faint-hearted. You need to have a very open mind to be able to enjoy Outopsya.
Recordlabel: http://www.videoradio.org
MySpace: http//www.myspace.com/outopsya

60/100

PANGEA – Retrospectacular (CD) Denmark September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 43:42 (Tracks: 11)
PANGEA is a Danish melodic Hard Rock band that exists of Torben Lysolm (vocals, guitars), Jan Engstrøm (bass) and Tony Olson (drums). The band was formed in 1991 and has released the following albums so far: “The First” (1995) and “Manchild” (1997). Personally I am not familiar with these two albums. Now, thirteen years later PANGEA's third album “Retrospectacular” sees the light of day. There's a whole story behind it, why it took thirteen years, but I'm not going deeper into that. I can tell you that after Lysolm left the band in 2004, Engstrøm and Olson auditioned several musicians, but when they couldn't find a good replacement for Lysolm, they finally called it quits in 2008. And a little while later the trio regrouped again to finish this third album. “Retrospectacular” is an album with eleven melodic Hard Rock songs, with sometimes a funky sound. In fact “Retrospectacular” is a very accessible album. While listening to this album, PANGEA reminds me very much of bands like WHITESNAKE, EXTREME, MR. BIG, VAN HALEN and BON JOVI. That's because Lysolm as a singer sounds on several songs pretty much like WHITESNAKE's David Coverdale. But besides a real good singer, he's also an excellent guitar player and a real good composer. Because, all songs are real good compositions, with fantastic melodies and awesome guitar solo's. In my opinion there's no weak song on this album. And the funky songs “Little By Little”, which has also some oriental influences, and “Don't Let Go” sounds a lot as EXTREME. No one can deny that the beautiful ballad “Shot” sounds like WHITESNAKE. This song could be a huge hit in the eighties. Anyway, although all these songs were written a long time ago, they absolutely don't sound dated. All I can say is that “Retrospectacular” is an excellent melodic Rock album, which is a real must for anyone who's into very good melodic rock. Best songs are in my opinion “Hold Your Fire” (great guitar solo), “Right Between The Eyes”, “Little By Little”, “Shot”, “Don't Let Go” and “House Of Love”. Only, I find it strange that PANGEA in these times doesn't have their own official website or MySpace page. Anyway, hopefully the fourth album won't take so long.
Visit their website: http://www.lionmusic.com/cd/retrospectacular
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com

85/100

PBII – Plastic Soup (CD) The Netherlands September 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 69:16 (Tracks: 10)
Plastic Soup is the first album of the new Dutch progressive rock band PBII. PBII is the successor of the well known Plackband, which has released several albums in among others the 70`s and 80`s. One of Plackband`s nicknames at that time was “the Dutch Genesis”. There has been one replacement in the line-up of the band: Harry den Hartog is the new bassist.
Plastic Soup however, has a sound which does not really reminds me of the 70`s and 80`s. It sounds quite modern and fresh (with some heavy parts) but it has also some nice symphonic influences of the past. In my opinion, these symphonic influences are a little bit to rare. Stylistically, you could place the music of PBII somewhere between Spock`s Beard (early period), Porcupine Tree and the old Genesis. But in my opinion, they have not reached the level of these bands yet. The album starts with my personal favourite, Book of Changes. This song contains all the elements of well composed progressive rock. The lead vocals sound a little bit strange, it took me some listening sessions before I got a little bit used to it. A small point of criticism is that the music, in relation to the huge problem of the "Plastic Soup", may have sounded a little bit more adventurous. However, it's a nice album. Specials guests on this album are John Mitchell (Arena, It Bites and Frost), John Jowitt (Arena, IQ) and Heidi Jo Hines (daughter of Dennie Laine of Wings).
The album is not a concept album but it does have a central theme. This theme is the concern about the environment, particularly the pollution of the seas with plastic rubbish. Plastic Soup is another name for the so called Great Pacific Garbage Patch, floating in the ocean with a size of twice(!) the USA. This causes a lot of problems for the marine life and scientists are convinced that it will finally lead to problems for humanity. The discoverer of this “Plastic Soup” is captain Charles Moore, who did also some voice overs on the album. With this album, PBII hopes to get more attention for this problem and I hope that they will succeed!
Visit their website: http://www.pb2.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.progrockrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pb2nl

77/100

PERTNESS – From the Beginning to the End (CD) Switzerland September 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 48:03 (Tracks: 11)
I came across the debut from Swiss band Pertness titled “Seven Times Eternity” 2 years ago. I have to admit that I wasn't impressed since europower metal with folk elements is not my game. The second one though is quite better and more interesting. Pertness is a band that will appeal to fans of Blind Guardian, Tyr and fellow countrymen Excelsis with which they share most common ground. Europower to the bone, the folk element is ever-present but not so obvious and most songs are fast paced. Although the band remains outside the limits of my favourite musical genres, I have to admit that the fans of Europower and the bands mentioned above will value this release.
Visit their website: http://www.pertness.ch
Recordlabel: http://www.karthagorecords.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pertness

69/100

PSI-KOTICA– Lords of Lies (CDemo) Portugal September 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Different Metal Running time: 69:41 (Tracks: 11)
Demo CD of this Portuguese band that is clocking over an hour! Obviously it's necessary in this time presenting this much material to get a record deal. Or Psi-Kotica has a lot to say to us in these 69 minutes… I will try to give an answer to these questions. At first I thought this band came out of Italy. Bands from that country always dare to sound different than the existing bands. Which is not always a plus but o.k.
Psi-kotica is a musical project formed by some members of a 90s garage band which name is not mentioned anywhere. In 2008 they recorded their first demo called “The Comet” and now they present their second demo “Lord of Lies” which is a tribute to those lords and their institution. The production is crap, but what would you expect from an ex garage band? This is some primitive sounding stuff. It made me think of the early albums of Death SS with Mr. Doctor from Devil Doll on vocals. There's some gothic some psychedelic, and some metal in there. The funny thing is, I'm not even a fan of psychedelic rock/metal. It's often so lost in its own spacey world that if you're not high, it's hard to enjoy. The guitar riffs are a bit weak, but if you're expecting something cookie cutter metal, you will be disappointed. I do think they fit the sound that Psi-Kotica was aiming for here.
All in all, I'd recommend this demo if you're looking for something different, and are a metal fan who also enjoys some psychedelic stuff but don't expect a fantastic quality. And oh yeah, they needed that 69 minutes to convince me and give this demo a positive score.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/psikoticaband

67/100

RAFFLESIA – In The Face Of Suffering (CD) Belgium September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metalcore / Deathcore 1Running time: 37:09 (Tracks: 10)
RAFFLESIA is a Belgian Metalcore band which started five years ago. At that time these guys were mainly influenced by bands like CALIBAN, HEAVEN SHALL BURN and MAROON. These influences can be heard on the band's self-titled EP, which was released in 2006. After that EP, the band had some line-up changes, and they began to incorporate more melodic influences of American bands like AS I LAY DYING and UNEARTH into their music. That resulted into the band's first full length album "Embrace The Final Day" (2007). Now three years later, RAFFLESIA is back with their second album "In The Face Of Suffering", on which the band has incorporated influences from more extreme metal acts like ABORTED, ALL SHALL PERISH and THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, but still with melodic elements. The line-up of the band exists of Bart Teetaert (vocals), Lazar Zec (guitar), Ccb (guitar), Nick Vyvey (bass) and Nick Dapper (drums). "In The Face Of Suffering" counts ten tracks, of which two are instrumental ones ("Axiom" and "Devine Retribution") and was produced by Ace Zec.
Guest vocals on "The Tide Of Death" are done by Sven De Caluwe (ABORTED, SYSTEM DIVIDE). To tell you the truth, what RAFFLESIA does is not very innovative, but what they do, is for this genre pretty good. And personally I am not that much into this type of extreme vocals. But for anyone who's into the above mentioned bands, I would say check them out. I'm sure you will like songs as "The Dead Tell No Tale", "Bow Down", "Earth Stands Still", "New Dawn Rising" or "Unvanquished".
Recordlabel: http://www.genetrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/rafflesiametalcore

79/100

RAW IN SECT – Red Flows - Promo 2010 (MCD) Greece September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Death / Thrash Metal Running time: 10:10 (Tracks: 3)
I received a 3 track promo disc from Death/Thrash metal band RAW IN SECT's first full length album "Red Flows", which will feature eleven songs (release date 2010, exact date so far unknown). RAW IN SECT comes from Athens, Greece and was formed in 2005. The band exists of Kostas Diamandis (vocals, guitar), Bill Kranos (guitar), George Vasilopoulos (bass, backing vocals) and Jim Alexiou (drums). They released a self titled demo in 2007. And according to the short biography of the band, that demo got excellent reviews in magazines and websites. The three songs on this promo disc (or is it still a demo-CD???) are titled "Wall Of Greed", "Man Less" and "Protect", which are also listenable on their MySpace page. Personally I'm not so much into Death Metal anymore, and I've never deepened myself into Black Metal bands. I only got lingered by bands as DEATH, CELTIC FROST, MORBID ANGEL, CARCASS, MALEVOLENT CREATION, AUTOPSY, ENTOMBED and OBITUARY. And of course Tom G. Warrior's new band TRIPTYKON is awesome (see my review on June's update 2010). Anyway, what these 4 guys present on this promo disc is pretty good. Their mix of technical Death- and Thrash Metal sounds very good and also the vocals of Diamandis are excellent for this genre. The production of these songs is perfect as well. So, when their full length debut album "Red Flows" finally will be released, I'm sure the other eight songs on it will be as good as these three songs. So, anyone who's still into technical Death Metal with Thrash influences, check them out yourself on RAW IN SECT's MySpace page.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/rawinsect

79/100

SACRIFICE – The Ones I Condemn (CD) Canada September 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 45:56 (Tracks: 11)
This Canadian act started back in late 1983 when two kids made the clear choice to play Speed Metal, those guys were guitarists Rob Urbinati and Joe Rico. The band released some classic albums in the 80's like: "Torment in Fire", "Forward to Termination" & later on a 2 CD named "Soldiers of Misfortune". They disbanded in 1994 but the original lineup came back together around 2006 and where currently working on a new album; well finally here it is!!!!
A new album from Sacrifice??? Well okay it's already released months ago but I got it lately for a review on MMM. Still it's surprising to see a new album of these legendary Canadian thrashers!! I already own of their legendary albums "Torment in Fire" & "Forward to Termination". But the least I was expecting was a new album from this band! I already was reading a lot of great reviews for this album but that's off course no guarantee for a good review on MMM also. Luckily I liked the old stuff of the band very much so I can be described as an oldschool Sacrifice fan! I always had (and still have) a special relation with Canadian bands; they have a typical way of playing metal and mostly their drummers are incredible (is it because they are all ex-lumberjackersJ?
Sacrifice delivers a great album in their typical style but also with some modern elements. Very good decision if you ask me especially if you don't want to be the next "a dime a dozen" band! Musically they still have their typical sound but I also hear some influences from bands like Death Angel, Slayer & Testament.
Great album if you ask me! This European release has 1 bonus song “Soldiers of Misfortune (Live)”. Now I'm still waiting for new albums from other legendary Canadian bands like; Razor, Slaughter, Infernal Majesty & The Dayglo Abortions…….
Visit his website: http://www.sacrifice.com.br
Recordlabel: http://www.cyclone-empire.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sacrificecanada

88/100

SECTION A - Sacrifice (CD) Denmark / Sweden September 2010 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive Melodic Metal Running time: 48:33 (Tracks: 10)
Presenting their third album after four years Section A are back stronger than before. As the first song (the title-song) kicks off it hits you in the face. Screaming guitars combined with pounding metal is what you get. The guitar work by Torben Enevoldsen (Acacia Avenue, Decoy, Fatal Force) is extraordinary ranging from really heavy to more sophisticated guitar-playing. The second song “Room with a View” also opens quite heavy but turns into a more relaxed vibe. Enevoldsen and singer Andy Engberg (ex Lion's Share) are the core members of Section A. Andy Engberg is blessed with a perfect metal/rock-voice and is capable of adding real passion to the songs.
On this third album they've recruited Thomas Heintzelmann (Decoy) on drums and Lasse Finbråten (Circus Maximus) on keyboard. These two fit perfectly into this high-quality combo. “Land of the Desert Sun” is a perfect example of how four great musicians deliver a first-class bombastic song. The next track “Concealed in Lies” starts of very slow and quiet but this is just the build-up to a beautiful semi-ballad with a powerful end. One of the most catchy pounding tracks is “Days of Sorrow” where guitars, keyboards and double-bass drums combined with a strong refrain result in a great song.
To end the album Section A took one the best songs on the album “The City is Falling”. Just over six minutes combining the best skills that the members of Section A have to offer. If you didn't know Section A before and you like “Sacrifice” just check out their first two albums “The Seventh Sign” (2003) or “Parallel Lives” (2006) which are a bit less heavy and contain more progressive elements but are high quality albums too.
Visit their website: http://www.torbenenevoldsen.com/sectiona
Recordlabel: http://www.lionmusic.com
MySpace: http//www.myspace.com/sectionatheband

90/100

SISTER SIN – True Sound Of The Underground (CD) Sweden September 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 39:25 (Tracks: 11)
This is the long awaited follow up to their debut album 'Switchblade Serenades', which I also reviewed for MMM (see December 2008). As I liked their debut very much, I was very anxious to hear their second effort, luckily they didn't change that much and this album even sounds better productionwise then their previous one. After the release of their debut album, they've been touring for a year and a half all over Europe and North America with bands like Arch Enemy and Motorhead (perfect combination) and also in this period bass player Chris is been replaced by new bass player Benton. SISTER SIN plays a perfect mix of early eighties heavy metal and hard rock with a modern heavy production sound. Vocalist Liz makes her mark on their music and is raising hell! On this album again also a coverversion, this time 24/7 from UDO in a superb version. SISTER SIN also earned a spot on the videogame Rock Band followed by their first single “On Parole” getting serious airplay on American radio. Furthermore on this album a tribute song “Beat em Down” , dedicated to the late, great Gothenburg boxing champ Ingemar “Ingo” Johansson. The album is produced and mixed by Henrik Edenhed and recorded at the legendary EMI studio in Stockholm. Great songs like 'Sound of the Underground', 'Outrage', 'Built to last' or 'The Devil I Know' makes it a very enjoyable album, very powerful, great guitar riffs and pounding drums. SISTER SIN isn't doing anything groundbreaking or new, just catchy, fast paced old school metalrock in the true vein of the eighties, but the way they do it is so very much convincing, hopefully they will be back again soon to let us enjoy their music live!
Visit their website: http://www.sistersin.com
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sisterssin

95/100

SKY ARCHITECT – Excavation of the Mind (CD) The Netherlands September 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 51:09 (Tracks: 8)
"Excavation of the Mind" is a quite difficult album. It dives into the dark and disturbing psyche of a mentally troubled man, not an easy theme. This can also be said over the music. This is not “easy-listening”, it is material for a progressive mind. This concept album can be best described as symphonic, complex, and dynamic. You can often hear hints of bands like King Crimson, the Flower Kings, Porcupine Tree and Pain of Salvation in their music. Sometimes, it is really vague. Examples are parts of the song Deep Chasm part 4: Chasm and Russian Wisdom, with some really strange parts! But finally I think this fits well with the theme which has been chosen by the band. I think that fans of the groups as described above will surely like what Sky Architect offers with this album.
"Excavation of the Mind" is the debut album of Sky Architect. It is a new progressive rock-band consisting of five young Dutch gentlemen. They all studied at the pop-academy in Rotterdam were they laid the basis of the band. As can be read on the website, they started first as an instrumental rock-trio but soon the current line-up was completed. Recently Sky Architect were signed to Galileo-records, who will release “Excavations of the mind” worldwide. Renowned rock-illustrator Mark Wilkinson, famous for his work with Marillion, Fish and Judas Priest, created the artwork for the CD. This is a promising debut album, I hope that Sky Architect can maintain this level in the future!
Visit their website: http://www.skyarchitect.com
Recordlabel: http://www.progrockrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/skyarchitect

85/100

SLECHTVALK – A Forlorn Throne (CD) The Netherlands September 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 61:51 (Tracks: 9)
And again “the dogged does it”! What was presumed as a joke by many has become a force to be reckoned with. After some mediocre albums Slechtvalk has made an album that will place them in the sub division. For the people who not know this, Slechtvalk is classified as a Christian band and within the black metal scene this has always caused a lot of controversy. Can we call a band that musically plays black metal but has Christian lyrics call black metal? Well I don't give a fuck. The music presented here is from an excellent quality and I take the lyrics for granted.
The synthesizer is excellent, nothing over the top as the previous review suggested. In fact, from what I have noticed, the synthesizer is rarely used. It comes in only during a Chorus, pre-Chorus, or , again, to create an atmosphere already attained. It's great to listen to something just as heavy, if not heavier, as Dimmu Borgir, without an Orchestra drowning everything out.
Production wise, everything is slick and sounds great. The people at Fascination street studios really nailed this album making everything sound fantastic and not too overproduced which can trap many melodic extreme bands these days. The drums are very tight and do not do the blastbeats all the time. Due to the production they have a natural sound to them, which I immediately liked. Overall, the drumming here is varied, interesting and technically impeccable. Notice that the beautiful artwork is done by Ramon Swanland and that the Erik Grawsio does guest vocals on 3 of the 9 songs and you've got yourself a great dark Viking metal album!
Visit their website: http://www.slechtvalk.com
Recordlabel: http://www.whirlwind-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/slechtvalkofficialmyspace

80/100

STAIRWAY – Interregnum (CD) United Kingdom September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 47:55 (Tracks: 11)
Although the career of English Heavy Metal band STAIRWAY started in 1993, I never had heard of them before. Their debut album "No Rest : No Mercy", which was according to the info sheet, internationally very successful, was released in 1993. Other albums which are released by STAIRWAY are "Bleeding Heart" (1999), "On Hallowed Ground" (2002) and the also highly successful "The Other Side Of Midnight" (2006). The band exists of Graeme Leslie (vocals, bass), Pete Jennens (lead guitar) and Andy Edwards (drums). And I must say, this fifth album of STAIRWAY is a very nice acquaintance. Okay, first I had to get used a little bit to the vocals of Leslie, but after several times listening to this album, I began to like his vocals more and more. And even, he began to remind me sometimes of Tony Martin (BLACK SABBATH). Anyway, on this album you will find old school Heavy Metal which reminds of the legendary NWOBHM era. And sometimes there are also some light symphonic influences audible as well. You can hear that STAIRWAY is influenced by bands/artists like IRON MAIDEN, BLACK SABBATH and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN. And it's especially a pleasure to listen to the great guitar solo's of Jennens. He's a brilliant guitarist, who's solo's sound like YNGWIE MALMSTEEN himself. In fact, there's not really a bad song on "Interregnum", because all songs are fantastic compositions. "Interregnum" also provides a very beautiful album cover, which is the artwork of renowned artist Rodney Matthews. If you like good old Heavy Metal with awesome guitar solo's, then my advise is to check this band out. My favorite songs of this album are "The Suffering Servant", "I'm Calling", "Ride The Wind", "New Life", "Enter The Light" (superb) and "What Lies Within".
Visit their website: http://www.stairwayonline.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stairway

80/100

STEEL MAID – Raptor (CD) Germany September 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 50:43 (Tracks: 10)
STEEL MAID is a new project from ex-Ritual Steel guitarist Dirk Johannsen with Al Firicano from US metal heroes RAVAGE on vocals. The band is completed by Bjorn Bombach on bass and Martin Zellmer on drums. The band plays true eighties metal and got the sound perfectly right, good songs from these skilled musicians. They are not doing anything totally new or different, just good old 80's heavy metal, it doesn't stick out above the masses. It's a record that's absolutely not bad at all, but will probably not find the way to my cd player very often. Another point is the production, this kind of metal deserves a heavy sound production, but although the guitar parts sound real good, production is a little thin, especially where the drums are concerned. Not at all a bad debut album, but my hope is the next one will hit it right, cause they know how to make good songs and can play their instruments for sure! Raptor, the title track of this album is an instrumental in which they show their skills, also 'The Falling Angel' is a song that's twice on this album, the second one being an unplugged version. Not a bad debut, but expected a little more, with a heavier production it would have sounded a lot better I think, but I'll keep my ears out for the next one.
Visit their website: http://www.steel-maid.de
Recordlabel: http://www.karthagorecords.de

69/100

SVÖLK – Svölk (CD) Norway September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Rock / Metal / Stoner 1Running time: 42:14 (Tracks: 12)
From Norway comes SVÖLK, a five piece band that exists of Knut Erik Solhaug (vocals), Jengt Castral (guitar), Martin Østerhaug (guitar), Halstein Røyseland (bass) and Jørgen Seger Haave (drums). In 2005 the band released their first EP called "Beast Unleashed" and this self titled debut album "Svölk" was released late 2009. The band themselves call their music "Bear Metal". I don't know why, perhaps because on the cover of this album you see the head of a grizzly bear!! I would say it's a mixture of heavy Hard Rock, Metal and some Stoner. Anyway, SVÖLK really surprises me with their debut album, which features nine fantastic songs. All songs have a great groove, excellent heavy guitar riffs, but remain still very melodious. The band reminds me of a mixture of bands like DANZIG, BLACK SABBATH and ADAM WEST. The vocals of Solhaug sounds like a mixture of Glenn Danzig (MISFITS, SAMHAIN, DANZIG) and Jake Starr (ADAM WEST) to me. The production of this album was done by the band themselves and sounds very good. In my opinion there aren't weak songs on "Svölk", because I like all songs on it, which are "52", "This Is It", "Anchor", "Sweet Agony", "Miss Alcohol", "12 Times The Pain", "End Of Days", "Inferno" and "Dead: 30". This is an excellent debut album from a fantastic Norwegian metal band. Discovery of the month. Check them out.
Visit their website: http://www.svolk.net
Recordlabel: http://www.tubarec.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/svolk

84/100

THE LIDOCAINE – Voices And Noises Of KILING KOLING (CD) Finland September 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Progressive Rock / Metal Running time: 49:39 (Tracks: 11)
I wonder myself who ever has heard of Progressive Rock/Metal band THE LIDOCAINE before? Well, I have not. Anyway, the band comes from Helsinki, Finland, was formed in 2007 and exists of Anthony Rausku (vocals, guitar), Eroz (vocals, bass) and Janne Hakuli (drums). “Voices And Noises Of KILING KOLING” is the debut album by this trio and was already released by the band themselves in the summer of 2009. According to the delivered info sheet, this album, which features 11 songs, got some very good reviews in Finnish magazines. And that is something what I cannot understand. This is absolutely NOT a fantastic album. Okay, these guys can play their instruments well, but man, the vocals are AWEFUL. I don't know who's the lead singer, but let's say Rausku and Eroz both can't sing. And about the compositions, well, there's no song which really can impress me. Well, here's one of the three quotes of reviews about this album, which are on the info sheet mentioned: 'All the songs here a very solid and well performed and given the right exposure I believe The Lidocaine could do quite well internationally, if not quite setting the world on fire'. Don't let me laugh, 'setting the world on fire' hahahahahahahahaha. What a joke!!!!! And the bad news is, their second album will be released in 2010. If MMM gets that second album to review, I hope someone else can review it. Well, believe me, there are way much better progressive Rock/Metal bands on this planet. Next album please.
Visit their website: http://www.thelidocaine.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thelidocaine

48/100

TIMESWORD - Chains of Sin (CD) Italy September 2010 Michel van Hassel
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 51:32 (Tracks: 6)
Timesword is a musical project that arose from the mind of Dan Logoluso, guitarist and founder of the group. It took the period between December 2005 and the end of 2008 to form the complete band. First one was Bryan Beller (bass), who has been working with the likes of James Labrie, Steve Vai and Dweezil Zappa. He learned and recorded two songs, but didn't become a permanent member of the band. After a while Alex Galanti (drums) and Luca Prederi (bass) joined the band followed by Alberto Sonzogni (keyboards). The last member to join Timesword was Mark Pastorino (vocals) who joined the others at the end of 2008. Because it took a long time between starting the project and recording the songs Logoluso was able to pay a lot of attention to the songs, which you can clearly hear.
Starting the album of is “Thousand Year Kingdom” which contains some heavy riffs, but above all shows what the band is capable of. All five members excel on this track, which results in the first duel between guitar and keyboard. “Highway to Paradise” starts of pounding but turns into a real progressive metal song. Throughout the album a lot of Dream Theater influences can be heard, but never in an annoying way . Mark Pastorino sounds pretty mature despite his young age and varies his voice from very clear to more rough parts. The next song , “A new Way” , is mainly a very slow song but has an aggressive vibe with a heavy ending.
Songs like “World Confusion” leave you confused as a fan. There is so much action in one song with Logoluso playing his screaming guitar. After ”Skyclad”, that also is a high-quality progressive metal song the album comes to an end with the epic “Real Mistery”. This song, the best one on the album, takes about twenty minutes and is a rollercoaster-ride through the progressive metal world. Just name it and you'll find it on this song ranging from piano to modest guitar-playing to screaming guitar-playing, excellent keyboards and above all the beautiful voice of Lili Rose. A great way to end this album. Hopefully next album won't take a such a long time.
Recordlabel: http://www.7hard.com
MySpace: http//www.myspace.com/timeswordband

89/100

VEKTOR – Black Future (CD) USA September 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Sci-Fi /Technical Thrash Metal Running time: 68:06 (Tracks: 9)
Vektor is a sci-fi thrash metal band. They portray the future as a bleak, barren wasteland that has been destroyed by greed, power, corruption, hate, violence, ignorance, and control. It is a journey into controversial places. It is the questioning of reality, existence, minds, souls, and the fleeting feeling of fullness in them. “Black Future” is the debut album of these US thrashers and what an album it is!! This is thrashmetal the way I like it most; fast & furious, full of incredible breaks and great musicianship, icy screams & many tempo changes! I love this album from the first till the last second! Expect a mix of bands like; (old) Kreator, Destruction, Coroner, Hellwitch, & Sadist but most important to me; also a lot of VoiVod influences (strange if you take a look at their logo....).
Great to hear that there are still bands that are able & willing to arrange such incredible music!!!! Only little complain in the weaker production. The band has 3 songs on the album that are longer than 10 minutes but these songs are not boring for one second!
If this is the future of thrashmetal than I don't care if it's a “Black Future”!!! Great job guys!! Hope to get you over to The Netherlands some day!! See you all for sure in April 2011 !!
Recordlabel: http://www.heavyartillery.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vektor

98/100

VOLTAX – Fugitive State of Mind (CD) Mexico September 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 33:03 (Tracks: 8)
Voltax hails from Mexico. The band debuted in 2007 and immediately caught the eye of the supporters of the underground heavy metal scene. Unlike most Mexican bands Voltax uses English as its language and not Spanish and obviously more people can relate to the songs. “Fugitive State of Mind” is an exact match to the 2007 debut. The sound is the same, so is the band's passion for traditional heavy metal. Voltax delivers a mixture of Accept and Judas Priest with a bit of N.W.O.B.H.M. The vocals reminded me of Thrust though. The result is quite close to Hibria without the super fast parts. If you are looking for classic heavy metal played the 80s way then give Voltax a chance.
Visit their website: http://www.myspace.com/voltaxband
Recordlabel: http://www.blower-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/voltaxband

75/100

AUGUST

ADRENALINE 101 – Twelve Step Program (CD) Switzerland August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock Running time: 43:16 (Tracks: 12)
ADRENALINE 101 is a pretty young Swiss rock band, who was formed in 2005. The line-up of the band exists of Delon Cyclon (vocals), Hens (guitar), Pascal (bass) and Reto (drums). These guys released a 5 track EP titled "I Should Be The One" in early 2007. Now they are presenting their debut album "Twelve Step Program", which has been released on STF Records. First of all, what an ugly album cover. You only see the band logo on top, an injection needle in the middle and on the bottom the album title. Yes I know, most important thing is the music of course. Well, I can tell you that this CD contains freely accessible rock music. I can listen to it, but I must admit that it's an album which I wouldn't buy myself immediately. "Twelve Step Program" was produced by the band themselves and mixed by Fredrik Kjellin (MOTHER'S FINEST, GLENN HUGHES) and sounds good. On some songs the band reminds me bit of bands like NICKELBACK and INCUBUS. If you are curious about how songs like "Flush Nights", "Brand New Day", "When I'm Gone", "When Push Comes To Shove" and "Homicidal" are sounding, check them out on their MySpace page.
Visit their website: http://www.adrenaline101.com
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/adrenalineone0one

72/100

BAD HABIT – Timeless (CD) Sweden August 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: AOR Running time: 62:26 (Tracks: 16)
Bad Habit was formed in Lund (Sweden) in 1986 by American–born Hal Marabel and former keyboard player Doc Shannon. The idea was to create a musical concept that mixed hard rock with melodic tendencies. Influences for this new concept were bands like Journey, Toto, Van Halen and Boston but also other music genres such as Blues and Classical music. They released their first (mini-)album in 1987, Young & Innocent and they called their concept Bad Habit. Bad Habit was the first band in Sweden which got an independently produced music video on Swedish National TV. Since then, the band has released 8 albums; the latest was released in 2008 and was entitled Above and Beyond. At this moment, the band contains of the following members: Bax Fehling (Lead vocals), Hal Marabel (Guitars / keyboards), Sven Cirnski (Lead guitar) Patrik Södergren (Bass), and Jaime Salazar (Drums).
With their new album Endless, Bad Habit returns with some kind of “Best Of” album. This album contains songs from 4 different albums, After Hours, Above and Beyond, Revolution, and Young and Innocent. The album starts with two new, previously unreleased songs. In my opinion, these songs are not the best that the album offers. They are a little bit too catchy.
This leads to a general point of criticism about the album: some songs sound a little bit uninspired and recognizable while some other songs are great! An example with regard to the recognizable aspect is the song A lot to Learn. The bass riff during the start of this song contains in my opinion quite a lot similarities of U2`s With or Without You. However, the song Hunger (influenced by Toto, especially on the end) from the album Revolution sounds great! Fortunately, the quality of the songs gets better and better as the CD progresses.
In summary it can be concluded that the level of the songs on the album varies fairly. Sometimes, parts of some songs sounds like they are used from other songs while some other songs are well composed and are also an evidence of good workmanship. The album is a nice introduction for people who are not familiar with Bad Habit, but I recommend you to listen to the album first before you buy it.
Visit their website: http://www.badhabitvip.com
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/badhabitvip

70/100

BANDITO – Bandito (CDemo) The Netherlands August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Stoner Rock Running time: 17:40 (Tracks: 4)
From Nijmegen, Holland comes Stoner Rock band BANDITO, and exists since February 2009. According to the delivered info sheet, the line-up of BANDITO on this self financed CDemo (or EP) exists of Jord (vocals), Joep (guitar), Tommy (guitar), Bart (bass) and Rolf (drums). This is the self titled debut EP of the band, which was released at the end of 2009, and features four fantastic Stoner Rock songs titled “For No One”, “Trent Boyett”, “Killing Black” and “Cubic Cycle”. When I looked at their official website I noticed that they also have recorded a second EP, which is the three track EP “Speedway”. On that 3-track disc is just one new song, which is the title track, the other two songs are “Killing Black” and “For No One”. On their MySpace page you can also listen to a song called “Veneno (Mexico City)”, but that song isn't that strong. Anyway, big influences of the band are bands like KYUSS, DOZER, CLUTCH, DOWN, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, HELLACOPTERS, ATOMIC BITCHWAX etcetera. Like the band says on their info sheet 'Rock as tight as the sweater of Bettie Page and as energetic as a Mexican fighting dog on amphetamine'. Very interesting band with potential. If you like Stoner Rock and the above mentioned bands, you'll have to check out BANDITO.
Visit their website: http://www.banditoband.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bandito

80/100

BARONS BALL - Push (CD) Germany August 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 47.16 (Tracks: 12)
Thursday morning after waking up I get my lazy ass downstairs to have myself a well deserved breakfast. Coming in the kitchen I see that Barons Ball debut cd has landed on the countertop of the kitchen instead that it is still in my car. Curious I think, particular when it's attached by a written post-it by my wife that says “Very Good!”. Well okay, don't argue with the wife of course, but hey, she has a point in this one. Rock Barons they call themselves and why not! Founded in 2004 by Snake, Matt, Dave and Rico these rockers carry on in the same stable line up and that's already something these days. In my cd player their debut album “Push” spins it's rounds for two weeks now and I must say that it's quite entertaining stuff what the Barons play on their first Ball.
So welcome to a mixture of heavy rock in the fine tradition of (the heavier side of) Bon Jovi, Nickelback and AC/DC. Barons Ball plays catchy rock with lyrics that keep hanging on in your head. Certainly a fine band for a great party. The band has his highlights for me in the heavier tracks like “Do You Wanna Run” (certainly a live killer !), “You Make a Fool Out of Me” (both AC/DC based) and “Gasoline” where Maiden's “Wasted Years” riff comes by and perfectly fits in. They also have a fine resting point in the ballad “Fall to Pieces”. To be honest the band comes at steam from track 5 still holding to the end, just like a concert that needs a bit encouraging getting started, but when the Barons are on steam, nothing stops them from finishing a damn fine, steamy rock album that listens away very easily. When the Barons are playing their Ball in your neighbourhood it's certainly worth a visit. Rock on!
Visit their website: http://www.baronsball.de
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/rockbarone

82/100

BASTARD – Aftermath (CD) Germany August 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Death Metal Running time: 37:00 (Tracks: 10)
The band BASTARD was formed in the spring of 2000 in Pforzheim, Germany. The band describes their music as Melodic Death Metal, and they released their first 4 track demo “Bastard – Fetus of God” in 2002. Between the years 2002 and 2007 the band played a lot of gigs and festivals (Romersee Open Air, From Dusk Till Dawn,…) mostly in Germany and Austria. Summer 2007 BASTARD started to record their debut album 'Aftermath' at “Bastard Studio”, and the album was mixed and mastered at “Kohlekeller Studios” in Germany. In September 2009 the band signed with STF-Records who released the album earlier this year. After listening to this album I can say Melodic Death Metal covers it's load fully, with some thrash and heavy metal influences makes it a very pleasant album to listen to. Also this album has a great heavy sound and production, certainly for a debut album. With songs like 'Lord of Lies', 'Live After Death', 'Brain Corrosion' and 'Visions of Blood and Lust' we know what we have here, true Death Metal from the upper shelve, with a lot of variation in their music and songs. The heavy production and the great guitarwork makes this a debut album most bands can only dream of. Well isn't their anything bad to say about this album, actually the only thing I can say is what counts for most bands, that it is not all that original, but the way they do it stands out in my opinion! Favourite tracks are title song 'Aftermath', 'Lord of Lies' and 'Northern Lights'.
Visit their website: http://www.bastard-music.de
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bastardgermany

88/100

CALIBRE ZERO – Inmune (CD) Spain August 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 41:00 (Tracks: 13)
CALIBRE ZERO was created by Ricardo Lazaro (vocals) in March 2005 with his brother Miguel (Guitar). The band was completed with the joining of Pedro Pelaez (bass) in summer of 2007 and Antonio Cuenca (drums) in January 2008. With this line-up the band build their definite sound; An explosive mix between the rawness and velocity of Motorhead or Metallica, the dark and heavy sounds of Black Sabbath and the influence of Spanish rock bands like Barricada, Baron Rojo, Muro… In May 2007 the band recorded a demo cd named 'Derrotando Miedos'. June 2008 the band began recording their debut album 'Jugando con fuego' in the M20 studios, which was released October 1st. In 2009 they got signed by German STF-Records label, who released the album for the whole of Europe. Now CALIBRE ZERO strikes back with their new album 'Inmune', again recorded at the M20 studios in their hometown Madrid. First thing to notice is that all lyrics are in Spanish, which is no problem at all, if you understand Spanish, nevertheless the music of these guys is real oldschool rock/metal in the veins of Motorhead and Black Sabbath done in a Spanish way. It all sounds good, songs, production, they got some power in their music. After listening to the album it does sound a bit all the same to me, they don't offer anything new, they just do what they do, and they do it well. Nothing to say there, all musicians know how to handle their instruments, and even the vocals sound good. But it doesn't stick out in the stream of rock/metal albums released on us, so a good average metal album it is, nothing more, nothing less!
Visit their website: http://www.calibrezerorock.com
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/calibrezerorock

73/100

CHARLOTTE – Medusa Groove (CD) USA August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Metal / Hard Rock Running time: 45:52 (Tracks: 12)
CHARLOTTE was a five piece Melodic Hard Rock/Metal band who was formed in 1987 and existed until the early nineties. The twelve songs on this album “Medusa Groove” were recorded between 1998 and 1992, and are now finally released on Eönian Records, which is, according to the info sheet, the world's premier Hard Rock & Metal archive label. Anyway, the line-up of CHARLOTTE existed of Eric Ganz (vocals), Nick DiBacco (guitar, backing vocals), Vinnie Cacciotti (guitar), Chris Colovas (bass, backing vocals) and Eric D. Brewton (drums & backing vocals). The first few times I listened to “Medusa Groove”, it gave me the feeling of an average melodic Rock album. But I must admit, the album grows after several times listening to it. Okay it's still not a superb one. And however it all sounds nice, I still wonder who's interested in a band who didn't make it at the time of their existence. Anyway, Ganz is a pretty good singer and the rest of the musicians are talented as well. “Changes” is the ballad on the album and is in my opinion very cliché. The best songs on “Medusa Groove” are “Woman Behind The Eyes”, “Little Devils”, “Miss Necrophilia” (reminds me of SKID ROW) and the last track “All Tied Up” (to bad of the fade away during the great solo).
A part of the text in the booklet says 'The members of CHARLOTTE do no rule out the possibility of a reunion. Only time will tell if CHARLOTTE will one day rise again'. If you are into melodic Hard Rock/Metal and interested in this album, then you can take a listen to some songs on their MySpace page.
Visit their website: http://www.charlotterockband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.eonianrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/charlottelamusic

75/100

CHRIS LANEY – Only Come Out At Night (CD) Sweden August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 30:47 (Tracks: 8)
CHRIS LANEY is a Swedish guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer, who's playing in RANDY PIPER'S ANIMAL and ZAN CLAN. His first solo album "Pure", which I personally don't know, was released in March 2009. Now I got the promo CD of his second solo album "Only Come Out At Night". Well, the problem is, that officially the album features eleven tracks, but there are only 8 songs on this promo CD, and each song has several parts of a fade away in it as well, what makes listening to this album not really pleasant. The eight songs which are on this promo disc are "Love So Bad", "B4 It's 2Late", "One Kiss Tonight", "Gotta Run", "Playing With Fire", "Crush", "I Had Enuff" and "Daydream". The songs which aren't on this promo CD are the title track "Only Come Out At Night", "Rockstar" and "Eyes Out Poppin'". I can understand why Laney has put a song called "Rockstar" on this album, because he's endorsed and heavily promoted by Rockstar energy drink. Anyway, it all sounds nice, but not very spectacular, even not while he has invited some friends like Ian Haugland (EUROPE), Bruce Kulick (ex-KISS, UNION, ERIC SINGER PROJECT), Brian Robertson (MOTÖRHEAD, THIN LIZZY), Conny Bloom (HANOI ROCKS, ELECTRIC BOYS), to name a few, to play on his second solo album. The quality of the musicians is okay of course, but the compositions aren't, even though they are catchy enough, that strong. It all sounds so familiar, like we've heard it all before and even much better. A song like "One Kiss Tonight" sounds, also because of the backing vocals, pretty much like DEF LEPPARD. And some other songs sound like a heavier version of BON JOVI. And the end of "Daydream" sounds pretty annoying. All I can say is that "Only Come Out At Night" is just a moderate melodic Hard Rock album. Still curious, well check it out yourself. '
Visit their website: http://www.chrislaney.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/chrislaney

73/100

CRYSTAL TEARS – Generation X (CD) Greece August 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Power Metal Running time: 43.17 (Tracks: 10)
Greece Power Metallers Crystal Tears are letting loose their second attempt by this Generation X. Main man Chrisafis Tantanozis replaced former singer Natasa Pandreia, who did the job on their full length debut “Choirs of Immortal”, by, last but not least, the mighty voice of Ian Parry, also known from Elegy/Vengeance/Ayreon/Hammerhead. Originally the album was recorded as an instrumental but with the contribution of Ian the decision to add vocals was easily made.
Crystal Tears offers us an album full of real Power Metal in the finest tradition. Nothing more, but certainly nothing less. Original? No, just prime quality. From the beginning till the end you'll find up tempo, foot stomping, fist pumping stuff that's made for your air guitar. It's the pure classic stuff you get here, played with full confidence, leaving no doubt you deal with a very skilled, energetic band. Guitarist Dimitris Goutziamanis proves that there are more talented guitarists in Greece, so if Ozzy should change his mind he doesn't have to look further. The album overall offers pretty good tracks but the Priest like “Heroes”, “Nightmare Serenade” and “Rock Until We Fall” stand out as I should pick some. Although it's a fine album the only thing to nag about are the vocals of Ian that dominate a bit too much. The man certainly has a great set of metal pipes but sometimes it's a bit overblown. It takes away the attention for the instruments that are played well. Certainly something to avoid next time, it's a pity. Nevertheless a fine accession for those who are into classic Power Metal.
Recordlabel: http:// www.7hard.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/crystaltearsgr

78/100

FOE - Madness (CD) Poland August 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash / Death Metal Running time: 39:40 (Tracks: 10)
In 1984 Polish thrash metal band Alkoholika was formed and even though they started soon they only released one demo in 2007. After that the band reformed and are now called FOE and they are playing a more harsh version of thrash metal. It didn't take them that long to release an album as well cause in the beginning of this year Madness saw the light. I consider myself a fan of thrash and death metal so I'm always curious about what new stuff is being made by bands I've never heard off. Well I must admit that I'm not that thrilled at all about this record. First of all the sound isn't to my liking. Whether it's because of lack of budget or intentionally the album sounds like it's recorded in a room that's just to big. Now a good band could still pull of a decent record with this sound but FOE sadly lacks the quality to stand out from the crowd. The riffs are really not that original, or that good for that matter and the vocals aren't that special either. The rhythm section isn't bad but it doesn't really get above average either. Overall I wouldn't recommend this band to anyone but you might want to decide for yourself.
Recordlabel: http://www.let-them-come.eu
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/foeband

50/100

HANDS OF TIME – H.O.T. (CD) Italy August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Sleaze Rock / Hard Rock Running time: 42:21 (Tracks: 10)
I'm always afraid if I got an Italian band to review. Would it be something good, or, as most of the time, worthless? In this case, it's the last one. H.O.T., which stands for HANDS OF TIME, comes from Orvieto, Italy and exists of Leo Ariel (vocals, guitar), Nicholas Arianni (guitar), Simon B. (bass) and Nicko Rondinelli (drums). Simon B. replaced original bass player Paul Mchario in March of this year. Anyway, this is the debut album of these Italians, and is released on German label STF Records. There are twelve songs on "H.O.T.", but there isn't any song on it, which really impresses me. Musically it's some mixture of 70's Hard Rock, Sleaze Rock and kick ass Rock 'n Roll, but it all sounds very moderate to me. Sometimes I hear some influences of GUNS 'N ROSES, MÖTLEY CRÜE, QUEEN. But really, the worst of this album is the vocals of Ariel, which are just awful. On their Myspace page you can also hear a terrible cover version of the QUEEN classic "Bohemian Rhapsody". No, to me H.O.T. are NOT hot, hahaha. Then I prefer another Italian band, SKILL IN VEINS (see also this months update), who at least have a great singer and fantastic songs.
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/handsoftimerock

48/100

HELFAHRT – Drifa (CD) Germany August 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Pagan Metal Running time: 52:21 (Tracks: 9)
The brothers Ludwig are busy bees the last months. Last month the album “Fallen Angel's Dominion” by their other band Thulcandra saw the light of day and a few months earlier the third album of Helfahrt called “Drifa” was released. While Thulcandra has more of a black/death metal style Helfahrt plays melodic pagan metal with death and black metal influences and German lyrics. One of the highlights of the album is the drumming. Andreas Mecker changes the tempos, he goes on blast beats, and even input some groove on some interludes. This is just fantastic, because on the longer songs the music never gets boring or displacing. The vocal department is another very strong part of this play. Rarely some guttural parts are used, but, in a melodic and atmospheric album like this guttural voices are not the aim to go. The vocals keep up the very good atmospheric sound developed by the other instruments. The bass is an instrument that often can not be heard in this style of music. With Helfahrt this is different. The bass can be heard clearly through the songs and is a big plus if you ask me. On several songs Helfahrt uses traditional instruments such as a juice-harp and a flute. I am glad that these instruments are only used when the songs asks for it. And when it is used it is not in a happy way. This is serious pagan metal. End conclusion: A really good German Pagan Metal album that fans of (German) black metal will absolutely dig.
Visit their website: http://www.helfahrt.com
Recordlabel: http://www.trollzorn.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/helfahrt

82/100

INNER TERROR – Behold the Inner Terror (CD) USA August 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 48:37 (Tracks: 12)
The name Inner Terror might sound unfamiliar to most of you but there is some history behind this Ohio band. Inner Terror is the reincarnation of Axemaster, a legendary underground power metal band that presented numerous releases during the 80s and 90s. The band delivers a contemporary version of the Axemaster music, balancing between power and thrash metal close to the sound of bands like Manifest Destiny with a twist of Iced Earth and moderate speed Slayer. Inner Terror focuses on the groove rather than speed and melody. Some songs are interesting, others pass unnoticed. This is a record that has it moments but in my opinion fails to captivate the interest of the common listener during its entirety.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theinnerterror

65/100

IVAN MIHALJEVIC – Sandcastle (CD) Croatia August 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Rock Running time: 52:34 (Tracks: 14)
Ivan started taking guitar lessons in Rock Academy when he was 14 years old. During the next years he played in several bands until he formed the band Forsaken. With them he played a lot of gigs and recorded also 2 demo's. In 2005 Ivan performed at Wacken Open Air with the famous Croatian hard rock band Hard Time. At the end of 2006 he became a full member of Hard Time, played a lot of gigs with the band and recorded 2 music video's. In 2008 Ivan released his first solo album “Sandcastle”. That same year he also played, for the second time, a show with Paul Gilbert, one of his guitar heroes. On “Sandcastle” we can hear a wide range of exciting guitar techniques. 8 of his songs are instrumentals, the 6 other have vocals. The songs have all different styles, from poprock till prog metal. I personally prefer his instrumental compositions, in which he let us hear that he's a very talented guitarist! The songs with vocals don't catch that much my attention, but every guitar solo that he plays is very good. Currently Ivan is an instructor at Guitar Master Class and working on his second solo album “Destination Unknown”. The best Ivan can do is to decide if he will release a solo album will only instrumentals/vocals and maby also to focus on one music style.
Visit their website: http://www.ivanmihaljevic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ivanmihaljevic

75/100

LEGACY – Legacy (CD) USA August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Metal / Hard Rock Running time: 56:24 (Tracks: 14)
LEGACY is a Christian melodic Hard Rock/Metal band, from Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A. who was formed in 1987. Just like CHARLOTTE (see also this months update), also LEGACY's self titled album "Legacy" has been released by Eönian Records in April, 2010. The band existed (or exists????) of Doug Meacham (vocals), Matt Rice (guitar, backing vocals), Fred Blanchard (guitar, backing vocals), John D. Rice (bass, backing vocals) and John Jenkins (drums). All fourteen songs on this album are recorded between 1988 and 1990, and are now released on CD for the first time. While listening to this album, LEGACY reminds me the most of STRYPER, and secondly of DOKKEN. On the info sheet of Eönian Records is mentioned they would also sound like SCORPIONS! Well, personally I don't hear a resemblance with this legendary German Hard Rock band. But really, with songs like "Forever In Your Arms", "Red, White And Blue" or "Change Of A Broken Heart" it's just like your are listening to STRYPER. Meacham is a pretty good singer, and on those mention songs he sounds like Michael Sweet (STRYPER) as well. And LEGACY has in Rice and Blanchard two good guitarists. It's all not bad, but also not that great, and I still have my questions about who's gonna buy an album with old material. When you are very religious, well I'm NOT, and are into Christian metal, perhaps you already know this band? If not, well check them out on their MySpace page. I'm not sure if LEGACY is still active these days. But I guess they are not. '
Recordlabel: http://www.eonianrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/legacycolumbus

75/100

LEVI / WERSTLER – Avalanche of Worms (CD) USA August 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 41:19 (Tracks: 12)
Levi / Werstler is an instrumental side project from Dååth guitarists Eyal Levi and Emil Werstler. Avalanche of Worms is their debut album and it is released by Magna Carta. Levi and Werstler work together with musicians Sean Reiert (Drums), Kevin Scott (Bass) and Eric Guenther (Synthesizer and Keyboards).
I am pleasantly surprised by this album. The instrumental tracks are quite well composed; it takes a few listening sessions to discover all the structures and details of the songs. But this is something what I like. It is also not an album where you just choose a couple of songs to listen separately. The album seems to be a concept album, but I do not know if this was intended by the band. Nothing is known about a topic, etc.
Musically, Avalanche of Worms is a mixture of classical elements and heavy progressive metal parts. One advantage is that the listener does not have to listen constantly to guitar solo `s where guitarists want to show how well they master their instrument. This is in contrast to many other musical outings from other musicians. Of course there are sometimes some heavy, freaky guitar solo's, but these are not annoying. Something else that amazes me too, is the contribution of the other three musicians. Of course the guitar playing of Levi and Werstler plays a central role, but the other musicians have ample space for their own contribution. For people who like complex, instrumental progressive metal, this is an album to pick up!
Visit their website: http://www.leviwerstler.com
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/leviwerstler

88/100

MANIFESTATION – Burden Of Mankind (CD) Germany August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hardcore Running time: 33:06 (Tracks: 13)
MANIFESTATION is a five piece Hardcore band from South-western Germany and was formed during the mid nineties. The first few years were quite a struggle for the band due to some band related problems and major personal issues of its members. In 2001 the band released their untitled demo CD and in 2003 their debut album "Religious Madness" was released. In the meantime there had been some line-up changes in the band, and in 2005 MANIFESTATION released "F.T.W." as a colored 10", which included nine new songs. And in 2006 "F.T.W." was re-issued on CD. Then again there were some changes in the line-up, and in 2007 they released a new 3-track demo CD called "Destination Unknown". In August of 2009 the band entered the studio again to record their recent album "Burden Of Mankind", which is now released on Demons Run Amok. The current line-up of MANIFESTATION exists of Marcel Sauerborn (vocals), Oliver Lauer (guitar), Alexander Klein (guitar), Patrick Lauer (bass) and Steffen Levermann (drums). About "Burden Of Mankind", well it's not really innovative what the band does on this album. We've heard this kind of hardcore many times before. And I know, it's really hard to be original. But there a many bands with the same problem. Anyway, MANIFESTATION sounds like bands as MADBALL, HATEBREED, BACKFIRE!, BIOHAZARD, to name a few. The production of "Burden Of Mankind" was done by Kristian Bonifer and sounds really good. Some favorite songs are "The Spark", "My Vendetta", "Leave Me Alone", "Misanthropic", "Due To Friendship" and "Catch 22". It's absolutely not a bad album, only not very original.
Visit their website: http://www.manifestation-music.de
Recordlabel: http://www.demonsrunamok.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/manifestationhardcore

74/100

PERPETUUM – Gradual Decay Of Conscience (CD) Chile August 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Alternative Death / Black metal. Running time: 40:34 (Tracks: 9)
Well, what could you expect when a band calls its style alternative death/ black metal? I would say a lot of weird music. But maybe it's interesting to know how that it come this way? “Perpetuum started in 2003 as Nocturnal Blasphemy. As the time went on, the most various influences that were taken on by their members, were reflected in the search of a sound and style of its own. This brought a new image for the band, restructuring of the old songs, re-conceptualizing the lyrics, taking some sounds from other styles that complemented this new vision” so says promo paper. When listening to Gradual Decay of Conscience (GDOC) I can say that this is a mishmash of different style. The main course is (fast) death metal but all the other ingredients used in this melting pot such as industrial sounds, melodic parts and a shitload of drum ritmes makes this an interesting record for the more adventurous death metal listener.
Right from the beginning, the album does not let up. Every following song is somewhat of unique and different, spewing forth one brutal riff right after the other, very reminiscent of Death, Morbid Angel, Atheist, Gojira you name it. Vocals, again, are very David Vincent-esque. The final product is production crisp enough (think of Morbid Angel – Blessed are the Sick era), yet not lacking the raw energy necessary in any good death metal release. Not that heavy but because of the technical riffs this is rather a good thing. As said percussion is a hugely important factor within this release. There are enough tempo changes in each song to create an easily recognizable sound within each song. As I find common with a lot of newer death metal, every song is filled with blast beat after blast beat, and the whole album could very well be one single song. With GDOC, that is definitely not the case. Perfectly timed blast beats one minute are replaced by drum-rolls, then to a short silence in percussion... and back to blast beats - a refreshing variety on a more than good record!
Recordlabel: http://www.australisrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/perpetuumchl

81/100

POWERSTROKE – Once We Were Kings (CD) Belgium August 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 45:00 (Tracks: 11)
From Belgium hails POWERSTROKE, a 3-piece metal band that was started January 2008. Their intention was to make groovy metal that would stick between your ears. They build up a solid live reputation, and the more gigs they played, the more heavier their sound became. The music of POWERSTROKE contains influences from Rock, Metal, Stoner, Punk and Hardcore, all blended in one Hell of a cocktail as they say it. This is their full length debut album 'Once…We Were Kings' , recorded and mixed by Do de Vos at 'Catfight Entertainment Studio', Oudenaarde, Belgium. The album is mastered by Tom Klimchuck (Pro-Pain) at 'The Pickle Jar', North-Port Sarasota, Florida, USA. After the intro, the album starts off with a kick ass drive, which they keep up all to the end. Their influences in music are definitely Pro-Pain, Motorhead, and sortalikes if you ask me, kick ass Rock n Roll with songs like 'Up Yours', 'Out of The Blue' or the title track can't be mistaken, they are gonna rock your socks off! This clearly is a great debut album, although the vocals sound a bit monotone after listening to all songs, but isn't that the case with Lemmy either, and look what they achieved, so that doesn't mean anything. Another point is the production, in my opinion the drums could have sounded more heavier, now they sound a bit thin in most songs, but maybe it was ment to sound this way, but it would have made their sound more tight and heavier on the album I think. This is a band you really have to see live I guess, that's what this music is all about, straight in your face! POWERSTROKE is a band we re gonna hear more off in the future! Check them out on Saturday 2 October @ the Little Devil club in Tilburg, The Netherlands when they are playing Mario's Metal Meeting 4 festival!!!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/powerstrokespace

78/100

SASQUATCH – III (CD) USA August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Stoner / Rock Running time: 56:02 (Tracks: 12)
Quite by accident I recently discovered this album of American Stoner Rock band SASQUATCH. When I listened to "III" at my local record store, I was really surprised and blown away by it, so I decided to buy this CD. The band reminded me of bands like KYUSS, DOZER, CLUTCH and SOUNDGARDEN. Anyway, when I got home, I put this album in my CD player and in the meantime I searched for some more info about SASQUATCH on the internet on my computer. Well, SASQUATCH was formed in 2001 and is based in L.A.. So far, the band released two albums, which are "Sasquatch" (2004) and "II" (2006). There have been some line-up changes in the band, so the line-up of SASQUATCH on "III" exists of Keith Gibbs (vocals, guitar), Jason Casanova (bass) and Rick Ferrante (drums). The title of this album speaks for itself of course, so I don't have to tell you that "III" is the third album of the band. There's also a special guest appearance on this album by MONSTER MAGNET's guitarist Ed Mundell, who's doing the lead guitar on “Took Me Away”. In my opinion there's no weak song on "III", because songs like “Get Out Of Here”, “Took Me Away”, “Complicated”, “Pull Me Under”, “Queen”, “Leave It Up To You” and “No More Time” are all awesome. The songs are heavy, have great riffs and fantastic guitar solo's, groove as hell and even some songs are very catchy. Besides a fantastic guitar player, Gibbs is also a great singer, who's voice reminds me very much of Chris Cornell (SOUNDGARDEN, TEMPLE OF THE DOG, AUDIOSLAVE). If you like bands as KYUSS, FU MANCHU, DOZER, HULK, SOUNDGARDEN, CLUTCH, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE etcetera, I'm sure you will like SASQUATCH as well. Great band and most of all a superb album. Now I know I'll have to buy the first two albums of SASQUATCH as well. Great work guys.
Recordlabel: http://www.smallstone.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sasquatchrocks

90/100

SHATTERED HOPE – Absence (CD) Greece August 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Atmospheric Doom / Death Metal. Running time: 1:03.00 (Tracks: 7)
Shattered Hope was formed in the summer of 2002. At their first gigs they mainly played cover versions of My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and Saturnus. They waited until 2005 to record their first demo and it isn't until now that they finally released their debut album. Although unsigned this is not a cheap end product! This is a surprisingly decent enough band. They are categorized at my promo paper as a funeral doom band. But I don't see it that way. The music they play is just slow, atmospheric and melodic but not that slow and harsh to call it funeral doom. The first thing they do, and are very good in is setting up the atmosphere. The soothing piano play and the slow guitar riffs help out in this factor. When the piano or keyboards play they are on the foreground and you really feel the atmosphere that is such important within this music. The piano has a very soft and fragile sound to it which is good for this kind of music. It makes it sound depressive and melancholic… Most of the vocals that are delivered are grunts and sometimes there are some spoken word parts as well as the pain filled screams. So enough variation on the vocals can be found here.
I know it's good for the variation to also play some faster parts when most of the music is very slow but in those faster parts the band sounds too much like Cradle of Filth which I don't find necessary. The songs on Absence are all very long and two of them are even above the ten minute mark but thankfully, that mellow side is always flowing through their music, it's never overshadowed by the only rasping vocals or the sometimes furious percussion sections which don't have a place on this full-length. The lyrics can seem a tad 'cheesy' at times, but I suppose they suit the almost romantic feel the acoustic and piano sections make. I was glad to see a vast array of instruments being used. Piano sections, acoustics and synths are ideal for Shatterded hope.
Visit their website: http://www.shatteredhope.gr
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/shatteredhopegr

78/100

SHINING LINE – Shining Line (CD) Italy August 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: A.O.R. / Hard Rock Running time: 76:08 (Tracks: 15)
Shining Line is a brand new Italian superproject featuring a stellar roster of worldwide famous musicians. Just a bit of name dropping will help you get the picture. Robin Beck, Michael Bormann (Zeno, Jaded Heart, Rain etc.), Harry Hess (Harem Scarem), Michael Voss (Mad Max, Casanova, Voices of Rock etc.), Vinny Burns (Dare, Ten etc.) and many more comprise an impressive collaboration brought together with the help of fresh A.O.R. and hardrock label Avenue of Allies. The usual question in cases like this is if this team delivers. Fortunately the answer is yes. The songs are of high quality full of hooks and nice melodies and all the guests meet the expectations with their performances. My personal favorites among equals are the opener “Highway of Love” with Erik Martensson on vocals and “Heat of the Light” with Robin Beck. Definitely a release worth checking out.
Visit their website: http://www.myspace.com/shiningline
Recordlabel: http://www.avenue-of-allies.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/shiningline

87/100

SKILL IN VEINS – Skill In Veins (CD) Italy August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Sleaze Rock 1Running time: 50:20 (Tracks: 10)
SKILL IN VEINS is a brand new Italian Sleaze Rock band which was formed in 2009. The band exists of Gabriele Gozzi (vocals), Andrea Lanza (guitars), Nik Mazzucconi (bass) and Francesco Jovino (drums). And with this self titled debut album, these Italians really surprised me. When I put this album in my CD player, I already liked it from the first song “Can't Ride My Soul” until the last track “We Don't Believe In Fables”. This is at least one of those few good Italian bands in the Metal scene. The band has in Gozzi, who's also singer of Italian bands MARKONEE and KILLER KLOWN, a great singer, and reminds me of a mixture of Axl Rose (GUNS N' ROSES) and Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW). Lanza is an excellent guitar player and songwriter, and his guitar solo's remind very much of Slash (GUNS N' ROSES). And the rhythm section is very good as well. So, it's not so strange that musically you can expect some fantastic Sleaze Rock in the veins of GUNS N' ROSES and SKID ROW. “Skill In Veins” features eleven songs, of which two are nice ballads (“I'm Living My Life” and “Don't Need You To Cry”). My favorite songs are “Can't Ride My Soul”, “Skulls On The Way”, “Sick Mind”, “You're Doing It Again” and “The Way Out”. A very interesting Italian band and a very good album which I really can recommend.
Visit their website: http://www.skillinveins.com
Recordlabel: http://www.avenue-of-allies.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/skillinveins

83/100

SNEW – We Do What We Want (CD) USA August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Sleaze Rock Running time: 38:31 (Tracks: 10)
SNEW is a four piece Hard Rock band from Hollywood, California, U.S.A. and exists of Curtis Don Vito (vocals), Andy Lux (guitar), Cat Tate (bass) and Mark Ohrenberger (drums). The band's debut album 'Snew You” was released in 2008 and has received, according to the info sheet, critical praise. “We Do What We Want” is the second album of SNEW and was released in March of this year. When I put this album in my CD player and the first song, which is the title track “We Do What We Want”, blew out of my speakers, I immediately had to think of two bands, namely KROKUS and AC/DC. Yes folks, SNEW is also one of those many bands in the rock scene who are influenced by legendary Australian rockers AC/DC. And I must say, “We Do What We Want” is a pleasant rock album to listen to. Okay, SNEW won't win the prize for originality, but songs like the title track, “Feedback And Distortion” (with a small part of James Bond's movie theme), “Get Loud”, “Knocking It Out Of The Park”, “Who The Hell Are You” and “Shinebox” are kick ass rock and roll songs. What's notable to me is, that singer Don Vito sounds pretty much like KROKUS' Marc Storace. The production was done by Bobby Owsinki and sounds very good. So, if you like AC/DC, KROKUS or AIRBOURNE, then you have to check this band out. '
Visit their website: http://www.snewyou.com
Recordlabel: http://www.snewstore.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/snewmusic

77/100

SORA – Desire And Truth (CD) United Kingdom August 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Hard Rock / Classic Rock Running time: 43:55 (Tracks: 10)
Erol Sora spent his formative years in Canada and like so many others, was inspired to pick up the guitar after seeing Kiss on TV in the mid '70's. He also cities guitarists such as Blackmore, Schenker and Sykes as early influences. In the mid 80's Erol moved to L.A. and played in several outfits. But Erol wanted to follow his British musical influences so he moved to England. There he met ex-Uriah Heep/Lucifers Friend singer John Lawton who offered Erol a job as guitarist/songwriter in the John Lawton Band. When that band stopped in 2004 Erol took the chance to start his own solo band, simply called Sora. The debut album “Demented Honour” was released in 2006 on MTM Music and received rave reviews. With his second solo album “Desire And Truth” Erol's goal was to recapture the spirit and sound of great British bands from the late 70's/early 80's such as MSG, Whitesnake, Rainbow, UFO and Gary Moore. The songs on his second album are certainly influenced by these bands. However, the album is not of the quality of albums that these bands released in the past. Erol's guitar playing is very good, but the songwriting and his vocals could be much better. The best Erol can do is to find a decent vocalist for his next album. For the moment just a bit above average for me.
Visit their website: http://www.erolsora.com
Recordlabel: http://www.avenue-of-allies.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/erolsora

71/100

SPARTAN WARRIOR – Behind Closed Eyes (CD) United Kingdom August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 46:55 (Tracks: 10)
SPARTAN WARRIOR is an English metal band who's from the NWOBHM era. In the eighties the band released two albums, namely "Steel N' Chains" (1983) and the self titled album "Spartan Warrior" (1984). Now more than 25 years later the band is back with their third album "Behind Closed Eyes", which is released on Iron Age Records. The line-up of the band on this CD exists of Dave Wilkinson (vocals), Neil Wilkinson (guitar), Tom Spencer (bass) and Gordon Webster (drums), but according to the info sheet, they also have a second guitar player which is Mark Chapple. Anyway, I must admit that I'm not familiar with the first two albums of the band, but what I hear on this album reminds very much of the NWOBHM era, so they stayed true to their roots. And by the way, it's a nice album to listen to. Somehow the vocals of Dave Wilkinson reminds me of another singer, but I can't remember his name. "Behind Closed Eyes" is not a very spectacular album, but just a nice one. The best songs are in my opinion "Never Take Me Alive", "Tear Out Your Heart", "Behind Closed Eyes" and "As Good As It Gets".
Recordlabel: http://www.ironagerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/spartanwarrioruk

73/100

SVEN LARSSON – Sunlight and Shadow (CD) Sweden August 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: AOR Running time: 45:30 (Tracks: 11)
Ever since he started playing the guitar, Sven Larsson was listening to a wide variety of rock music, ranging from Queen and Genesis to Toto as well as Van Halen and Iron Maiden. His recording career as a guitar player started more than a decade ago, since he recorded three studio albums with Galleon (progressive rock) and two albums with Xinema (AOR). His best known work so far can be found on the albums of the band Street Talk. Larsson joined this band in 2000 and in the meantime he recorded four albums with this band.
Sunlight and Shadow is Larsson's first solo album. On this album, he does not only play the guitar, he is also responsible for the main lead and backing vocals. However, the last two tracks on the album are sung by Thomas Eriksson who had also a vocal guest contribution on I`ll turn my Back. Larsson has written most of the songs, except I'll turn my Back again which contains also a contribution of Thomas Eriksson. The other musicians on the album are mainly musicians where Larsson often worked with in the past. Larsson produced the album together with Per Ryberg.
If you analyze Larsson's guitar play, one will notice influences from famous guitar players like Steve Lukather (Toto) and Steve Morse. A characteristic is that Larsson is always playing in the sense of the song. Sunlight and Shadow is an alternating album that offers something for everyone. It contains a good AOR songs, some ballads and instrumental songs. The strongest songs can be found, in my opinion, at the end of the album. These last three tracks distinguish themselves by the somewhat rough vocals of Eriksson and the solid musical work. In my opinion, these numbers are more progressive rock than AOR. Sunlight and Shadow is definitely an album that transcends the gray mediocrity. It is definitely worth listening it!
Recordlabel: http://www.avenue-of-allies.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/svenhenrylarsson

83/100

THY FINAL PAIN - …Of Life and Death (CD) Germany August 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death Metal Running time: 46:21 (Tracks: 11)
I hate to admit it, but I judge bands I don't know by their name. Sadly I'm even right most of the time. Finally a band has come to prove me wrong. I suspected boring popular death core with a band called Thy Final Pain but these Germans are nothing like that at all. These guys play mid-tempo death metal the way it's meant to be played! Slow riffs that feel like being hit by a sledge hammer, a good rythmn section to support al of it and a deep grunting voice that's surprisingly easy to understand. Every once in a while the tempo gets pumped up a bit and a nice head banging piece fits right in between the slower riffs. They even put in some screams during the faster bits to make the changes stand out more. If you're into the older albums of Six Feet Under you will love this. Basically it's the same thing, even the vocals are a bit like Chris Barnes in his good days. I could go on and whine that there isn't anything new but to me originality is overrated anyway, never change a winning team!
Visit their website: http://www.thy-final-pain.com
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thyfinalpain

78/100

VOID MOON – Void Moon (MCD) Sweden August 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Doom Metal Running time: 16:10 (Tracks: 5)
Void Moon is a new Swedish band. This is actually a demo containing 5 tracks, 2 of which are small intros. Since Void Moon is a doom metal band one would expect that these 3 songs to be quite lengthy but instead all 3 combined don't exceed the 15 minute barrier. In my opinion this is an advantage because the band doesn't tire the listener with endless compositions. The band's style is close to Candlemass, old Veni Domine and traditional European doom in general. In my opinion Void Moon must work a bit more on the vocal department and obviously the sound needs improvement but this is a demo after all.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/voidmoonmetal

70/100

WICKED SENSATION – Crystallized (CD) Germany/The Netherlands August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock / Metal Running time: 63:54 (Tracks: 13)
German Hard Rock band WICKED SENSATION was founded in 1999 by guitarist Michael Klein. The band released the following albums so far: "Reflected" (2001) and "Exceptional" (2004). Personally I'm not familiar with those two albums. WICKED SENSATION had several line-up changes and in 2006 the band called it quits due to musical differences. But in 2009 Klein and original singer Robert Soeterboek (who sang on the debut album) got back together again and started working on a new album. So, this third album "Crystallized" is my first acquaintance with WICKED SENSATION, and I must admit it was a very nice acquaintance, because the band reminded me mostly of WHITESNAKE. Anyway, the line-up of the band on "Crystallized" exists of Robert Soeterboek (vocals), Michael Klein (guitar), Dennis Ward (bass), Dirk Bruinenberg (drums) and Bernd Spitzner (keyboards). Dutch singer Soeterboek, who's a great singer and who reminds me very much of David Coverdale on this album, sang or is singing in Dutch bands/projects like VULTURE, HIGHWAY CHILE, BODINE, MY BROTHER JAKE, AYREON, COTTONSOETERBOEKBAND, but also with LANA LANE and ERIK NORLANDER. Actually, I don't have any complains on this fine album. Most of the songs are very good compositions, great vocals and excellent musicianship. Klein is a fantastic guitarplayer and a good songwriter. A few less songs are in my opinion "My Turn To Fly", "Love To Play" and "Gimme The Night". Best songs on "Crystallized" are "Better World" (superb), which easily could be on WHITESNAKE's "Good To Be Bad" (2008) album, "Fistful Of Dreams", "Give It Up", "Lost In A World", "Am I Right", "Lonely Is The Night", the great ballad "The Love I Used To Know" and "Running Through Your Veins". So, if you like good melodic Hard Rock of a high level, this album is absolutely worth checking out.
Visit their website: http://www.wickedsensation.de
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wickedsensationmusic

80/100

WILD CHAMPAGNE – Fire and Water (CD) Germany August 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 46:48 (Tracks: 11)
Wild Champagne is a newcomer comprised of members with quite an experience in the music business. The band's music is simple, groovy and entertaining heavy metal. Nothing fancy or groundbreaking; just music that guarantees a good time for the listener. It is essential to have bands like Wild Champagne around because they remind us that metal is also about partying and having a good time. Influence-wise the band delivers a mix of Iron Maiden meets Judas Priest with a bit of Accept and some 70s hard rock elements. They also reminded me of the French heavy metal legend Nightmare. Check this album if you are into classic 80s metal.
Visit their website: http://www.wildchampagne.de
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wildchampagne

70/100

WISER TIME – Beggars And Thieves (CD) USA August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Roots Rock / Blues / Folk / Americana Running time: 39:19 (Tracks: 9)
WISER TIME was formed in a small town of Millington in the spring of 2002 by singer/songwriter/guitarist Carmen Sclafani, who had a love for the classic Rock and Roll sounds of 60's and 70's bands like LED ZEPPELIN, AEROSMITH and THE ROLLING STONES. In 2005 WISER TIME released it's first product, which is the 5 track EP “Introducing Wiser Time”, followed by the full length debut album “There And Back Again” in 2006. In the meantime Sclafani met drummer Steve Decker, who became a permanent member of the band. In the winter of 2007 they entered the studio again, which resulted into the second album “All For One”, which was released in May 2008. During the work on their third album, they completed the line-up of the band by adding lead guitarist Jimmy Somma and bass player Damon Trotta. And here it is, the third album of WISER TIME, titled “Beggars And Thieves”. The album features nine songs, of which the last track of the album is a cover version of BAD COMPANY's “Seagull” (from the self titled album “Bad Company” of 1974). “Beggars And Thieves” opens with a fantastic bluesy song called “Love And Devotion”. And when I heard that song I immediately had to think of a band like THE BLACK CROWES. Other bands of which I also had to think of, because of some acoustic/bluesy songs on this album like “Take Me Back Home”, “Revolution 09” and “Working Man's Blues, are LED ZEPPELIN, THE FREE and RORY GALLAGHER. But like I said, WISER TIME reminds me the most of THE BLACK CROWES. also because the voice of Sclafani sounds exactly like Chris Robinson of THE BLACK CROWES. I must say that all songs are fantastic and most of all very beautiful compositions. The album was produced by the band themselves and sounds very good. My favorite songs are “Love And Devotion”, “On Our Way”, “Take Me Back Home”, the piano ballad “It's Hard Letting You Go” and “Keep It On”. My conclusion is that “Beggars And Thieves” is a very good and beautiful album.
Visit their website: http://www.wiser-time.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wisertime

81/100

WITHHOLD - Shelf of Society (MCD) Belgium August 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 32:19 (Tracks: 5)
Withhold is fairly new metal band from Belgium. They formed in 2004 as a group of friends covering their heroes. After lots of live shows in the local metalscene of the Benelux and a demo in 2007 they have released their first EP in March of this year. Shelf of Society contains 5 songs that are a mix between thrash metal and modern heavy metal. It's not simply thrash but there are some added elements and the good quality of the vocals makes these guys stand out of the crowd. The songs are all nicely built up and consist of some nice riffs supported by decent heavy drums and nice solo's. As already said the vocals are really good for a thrash metal band and are a nice refresher between all these new bands that are looking for a front man but are forgetting that the man has to be able to sing as well. All in all this EP never gets boring and it makes me want to check these guys out live.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/withholdmetal

74/100

ZZ TOP – Live In Germany 1980 (DVD) USA August 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Blues Rock / Boogie Rock Running time: 1:32:19 (Tracks: 22)
My first acquaintance with ZZ TOP was when I saw a concert of them late at night on German's television station WDR at the legendary program ROCKPALAST in 1980. At that time I was fifteen years old, and watched many times to Rockpalast. I still remember that I liked that concert very much when I watched it on televion and that I was very impressed by ZZ TOP. So, I actually discovered ZZ TOP way before their world wide breakthrough with their classic album "Eliminator" in 1983. And I'm glad also this show, which was filmed on April 19th/20th 1980 at the Grugahalle in Essen, Germany, is released on DVD. This DVD "Live In Germany 1980" was released on June 7th, 2010, but there's also a 2-set DVD titled "Double Down Live 1980-2008". And that 2-set version, which was already released in October 2009, also features this same concert on disc 1, and on disc 2 are songs filmed during shows in San Francisco, California, U.S.A. (2007), Paris, France (2008) and Bixby, Oaklahoma, U.S.A. (2008). Anyway, the set list of this show contains all songs but one of the, at that time, current album "Degüello" (1979). During this concert we'll get some real ZZ TOP classics like "Waiting For The Bus", "Jesus Just Left Chicago", "Heard It On The X", "Nasty Dogs & Funky Kings", "Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers", "La Grange", "Tush" and "Just Got Paid". But also the songs of the "Degüello" album, like "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide", "Fool For Your Stockings" and "Cheap Sunglasses" are awesome. As always, every show which was broadcast on Rockpalast, has been fantastically filmed. Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons are both great singers, but somehow I always liked the vocals of Hill a bit more. After "La Grange" the band left the stage and after a few minutes they come back for, yes, seven encores. First there are five encores, of which the first two ("She Loves My Automobile" and "Hi Fi Mama") are with THE LONE WOLF HORNS, which are Gibbons, Hill and Beard themselves as a horn section on a video-screen behind the drums. Then we'll get "Dust My Broom", the ELVIS PRESLEY cover "Jailhouse Rock" (which is on the "Fandango" album of 1975) and the classic "Tush". After "Tush" the band left the stage for the second time and came back for the last two encores "Tube Snake Boogie" and "Just Got Paid". "Live In Germany" is a fantastic DVD of an outstanding concert. A real recommendation.
Visit their website: http://www.zztop.com
Recordlabel: http://www.eaglerock.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/zztop

94/100

JULY

'77 - 21st Century Rock (CD) Spain July 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 45:16 (Tracks: 10)
'77 is a four piece Hard Rock band from Spain and exists of the brothers Armand Valeta (vocals, rhythm guitar) and LG Valeta (lead guitar), Raw (bass) and Johnnie Dolphin (drums). '77 is one of those many bands who are sounding exactly like AC/DC. With this debut album "21st Century Rock", which was produced by the band themselves, they sound the most like AC/DC during their albums "High Voltage" (1976) and "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (1976). So, it's not very original, but it sounds good enough to me. For example, a song like "Your Game's Over" sounds very much like a mixture of AC/DC's "Jailbreak", "Problem Child" and "Go Down". Anyway, Armand Valeta's voice sounds perfectly like Bon Scott (R.I.P.) and LG Valeta sounds just like Angus Young. In my opinion the best songs of this album are "Gimme Rock N' Roll", "Hardworking Liar", "Big Smoker Pig", "Wicked Girl", "Your Game's Over", "Double Tongue Woman" and the title track "21st Century Rock". Well, it's not a very original album. I must admit that I've heard many worse albums in my life. But to me, "21st Century Rock" is a nice album anyway. '
Recordlabel: http://www.listenable.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/seventysevenrocks

78/100

BABYLON MYSTERY ORCHESTRA – The Godless, The Godforsaken And The God Damned (CD) USA July 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Doom / Gothic Running time: 59:57 (Tracks: 12)
First of all I have to say that I never had heard of BABYLON MYSTERY ORCHESTRA before. B.M.O. is just a one man project of Sidney Allen Johnson. So far, this guy from Greenville, Alabama, U.S.A. has released the following albums “Divine Right Of Kings” (2003), “On Earth As It Is In Heaven” (2004), “The Great Apostasy: A Conspiracy Of Satanic Christianity” (2006) and “Axis Of Evil” (2008). So, “The Godless, The Godforsaken And The God Damned” is his fifth product, and to be honest, it's boring as hell. It's just a real hard job to work your way through this album. From the first song “Catspaw” until the last track “The Twelfth Imam” it's completely boring. I really can't find any interesting song on this terrible album. Sidney Allen Johnson has a very dark voice, which is very boring as well. After four times listening to this album, I really had enough of it. If I had to make, let's say, a Top 25 of worst albums ever, well, then this one definitely would be in it. I really can't believe that there are people who like this kind of stuff. There are much and much more better albums for sale. Anyway, my advise is 'don't spend your money on it'. Next album please!
Visit their website: http://www.babylonmysteryorchestra.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/babylonmysteryorchestra

10/100

BAT RACERS - Big Cash (MCD) USA July 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Symphonic Rock Running time: 27:19 (Tracks: 6)
When I got this 6 track EP of BAT RACERS, and looked at the album cover, I immediately had to think of bands like REO SPEEDWAGON (because of the band pictures) and BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE (because of the logo of the band). So, I knew I could expect some classic '70's Hard Rock. And indeed, I was right, because when I listened to this EP, the first song "Big Cash" reminded me of a mixture of early RUSH and STYX. Anyway, the line-up of BAT RACERS exists of Bill Rennie (lead vocals, bass), Mike Enright (guitar, vocals), Robbie Payne (drums, vocals) and Jimmy Enright (keyboards, vocals). Don't ask me how long the band exists, because I can't find any information about that. Anyway, the second track of this EP, which is released on BPO Records, "She Might Be" reminds slightly of KISS. "All The Same" is another song which reminds very much of STYX and "Shayron" is again a mixture of STYX and RUSH. The last song on this EP is a cover version of "I Thank You", which is originally recorded by SAM AND DAVE in 1968, and also covered by ZZ TOP on their 1979 album "Deguëllo". Anyway, "Big Cash" is not a very spectacular EP. It's just a nice one, which is only interesting for all "old" rockers among us and for anyone who's interested into seventies Rock. '
Visit their website: http://www.batracers.com
Recordlabel: http://www.slwpromotions.com

72/100

BLEED FROM WITHIN - Empire (CD) United Kingdom July 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Metalcore Running time: 45:49 (Tracks: 11)
Being stuck in traffic sucks! But it is a lot more doable when you have an awesome record to listen to like 'Empire', the second album from the Glasgow based Metalcore band Bleed From Within. I took notice of this band about a year ago when they released their debut album 'Humanity'. This contained fast, aggressive and above all 'In your face' Death/Metalcore and I still listen to this album from time to time. Now, album number two is released and I can easily say: they did it again!
'Empire' offers eleven brutal Metalcore songs that show that Bleed From Within has grown as a band. The songs are more balanced, more diverse and they're not blasting full speed the entire time unlike a lot of other bands in the genre. In fact, the most noticeable aspect of the music are the heavy, mid-tempo parts which gives the album a really aggressive vibe. But then I believe that's the idea. For the people who are not familiar with Bleed From Within: you can compare them with the Black Dahlia Murder. Although I don't think that they need this comparison anymore. 'Empire' is the second album of a five album deal with Rising Records, so I guess I will be reviewing their third one in about a year from now. If the band keeps making records like this, I wouldn't mind that at all. Let's just hope that the band is not going to repeat themselves and the songs stay memorable. On 'Empire' this is certainly the case.
Recordlabel: http://www.myspace.com/risingrecordsuk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bleedfromwithin

82/100

CROSSROAD TO DAMNATION – Frozen In Time (CDemo) The Netherlands July 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Progressive Death Metal Running time: 19:16 (Tracks: 3)
Crossroad To Damnation is a melodic progressive death metal band that came into existence at the beginning of 2008. The band name is based on the main road that led into ancient Rome were criminals were crucified and hanged to rot in the sun as a warning to people who wanted to enter the city with ill intentions! The band started out as a mainstream thrash metal band, but due to some changes in the line up their music became more progressive and death metal orientated. The main influences for Crossroad To Damnation are bands like Death, Megadeth, Opeth, Graveworm, King Crimson and Dream Theater. This release is their first demo, and currently they are working to complete their first album. This release contains of 3 songs, and show that these musicians are well skilled in handling their instruments. The songs are all quite long, and are not all very strong, the weakest part is again in the vocal part, the singer doesn't really make an impression. During the songs the vocals loses power and strenght, and in combination with the lenght of the songs it gets boring, although the grunting makes up for the 'clean' vocals in some parts. There is a lot of experimenting going on in the songs, but this makes it not all good, because the tempo gets out of the songs. More power and tension in their music would make it much more interesting, my favorite track would be 'Crossroad of Damnation' which is also the shortest one! If you are into some experimental progressive music, with a hint of death in there, try this out.
Visit their website: http://crossroadtodamnation.com
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/ctdamnation

65/100

DAVE EVANS – Judgement Day (CD) Australia / USA July 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 38:12 (Tracks: 10)
"Judgement Day" is the second solo album by DAVE EVANS, who was the first singer of Australian Hard Rock band AC/DC. For more info, see also my review below of his first solo album "Sinner" of this months update on MMM. Anyway, this album features 10 songs, of which one (the last track of the album) is a cover version of the classic hit "House Of The Rising Sun". The most well known and successful version of this song is of course the version by THE ANIMALS. Well, it's nicely done by Evans, but if it would not be on this CD, I would not miss it too. In my opinion, Dave Evans made a slight progression with his second album, which officially was already released in 2008. This is, just like "Sinner", a re-release by STF Records. Anyway, "Judgement Day" is still not a great album, but in my opinion it's a way much better album than "Sinner". Okay, it all still sounds not very original. This album sounds in it's total more like AC/DC than "Sinner" does. However, "Shoot On Sight" sounds more like LED ZEPPELIN to me. A few songs which I like are "Little Headbanger", "You Talkin' To Me?", "Band Molls" and "Helluva Night". So, if you are curious about both albums of DAVE EVANS to make your own judgement, well, then check out his official website or MySpace page. On both you can listen to some songs of him.
Visit their website: http://www.daveevansrocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/daveevansrocks

63/100

DAVE EVANS – Sinner (CD) Australia / USA July 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 45:17 (Tracks: 12)
DAVE EVANS is mostly well known as the first singer of Australian Hard Rock band AC/DC. Evans was a member of AC/DC for one year before he got replaced by the legendary Bon Scott (R.I.P.) in October 1974. With AC/DC Evans only recorded just one single, which is "Can I Sit Next To You Girl" (with "Rocking In The Parlour" on the B-side). After his AC/DC period, he joined the band RABBIT, with whom he released two albums "Rabbit" (1975), "Too Much Rock 'n Roll" (1976) and several singles. In 1984 he formed DAVE EVANS & THUNDER DOWN UNDER, and in that same year he released the self titled album "Dave Evans & Thunder Down Under". "Sinner" is Evans' first solo album, and was actually released in 2006. But now it's re-released by German label STF Records with also a new cover. Anyway, after listening several times to this album, I only can conclude that "Sinner" is just a very moderate Hard Rock album. Okay, Evans is a nice singer, and the musicians are fine too. And although some parts of the songs remind a bit of AC/DC, I still can't say that songs like "Rock 'N' Roll Or Bust", "Only The Good Die Young", "Sinner", "Out In The Cold" or "D.O.A." are very strong. Actually they are sounding very cliché. Well, you better keep it with AC/DC or AC/DC inspired bands like AIRBOURNE, '77, KROKUS or RHINO BUCKET. See also my review of Evans' second solo album "Judgement Day" on the July update of MMM.
Visit their website: http://www.daveevansrocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/daveevansrocks

52/100

DIVIDED MULTITUDE – Guardian Angel (CD) Norway July 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 61:01 (Tracks: 11)
Divided Multitude was formed in 1995 and Guardian Angel is the band's fourth studio album. To be honest I never had the chance to check out any of the older releases so I didn't really know what to expect. The band originates from Norway which is a safe haven for progressive metal in general and many talented bands hold the flag of the genre up high. Guardian Angel is a good album of guitar and keyboard driven progressive metal with interesting songwriting and skilful playing. The vocals are not in the typical technical and high pitched style and might seem strange to some but I got used of them rather quickly. In fact they reminded me of the majority of German prog bands during the mid 90s. There are some very nice songs like Sense, Something for Someone and the ultra heavy My Dying Hour that will leave you satisfied if you decide to check the band out. 60 minutes of decent progressive metal without any non metal experimentations.
Visit their website: http://fhovd.tripod.com
Recordlabel: http://www.silverwolf-productions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dividedmultitude

75/100

DR. SLAGGLEBERRY - The Slagg Factory (MCD) United Kingdom July 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Instrumental Progressive Metal Running time: 22:24 (Tracks: 5)
The Slagg Factory is a new release from Dr Slaggleberry, a band coming from Oxford, UK. Dr Slaggleberry is a trio consisting of Bateman (Drums), Pethers (rhythm guitar) and Turnbull (lead guitar). They have no bassist. The band is the coming together of three drummers who have a passion for rhythm, beats and hard riffs. Two of the drummers turned to guitarist and as their technique evolved, the music developed and the riffs became heavier and more experimental. Dr Slaggleberry was founded early 2008 and the song Scat of their first release (the self-titled EP Dr Slaggleberry) was immediately awarded for “Single of the Week” by the Organ Magazine. It's not easy to describe the style of Dr Slaggleberry. In my opinion it is a mixture of progressive rock, jazz, funk and metal.
The album “The Slagg Factory” contains five instrumental tracks with a high experimental character. As described above, it is a mixture of different kind of styles. If you do not like experimental music and the music styles mentioned above, I do not know whether this album is something for you. It is sometimes intense, sometimes chaotic, and it is not always easy to discover a structure. You will need an experimental mind to like it. I still not know if I like it or not, however, it is unique! If you are interested in The Slagg Factory, it is among others available from iTunes and different major download sites.
Recordlabel: http://www.crash-records.co.uk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/drslaggleberry

70/100

ELIMINATION - Destroyed By Creation (CD) United Kingdom July 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 1:02:17 (Tracks: 12)
Thrash metal is very popular these days and you can see that with the tons of new bands and releases. Since most recent releases of the older bands suck nowadays I'm pretty with that since old school thrash metal is one of my favourite genres. Elimination is a british band that was formed in 2005 and had their first EP released in 2008. They did some live shows with other “new old schoolers” suchs as Evile and Gama Bomb which gave them enough attention to create their first full length Destroyed By Creation. These guys deliver a very decent debut but unfortunately for me the album should have 8 tracks max. The album has 12 songs who are all good on their own but the lack the variety to stay interested the entire album. There aren't that many thrash albums with a playing time over 40 minutes and these guys make one that lasts more than an hour. So basically the album is pretty good, all songs are nice thrash anthems who deserve to be played live in front of an amazing crowd but they just should have skipped a few to keep for a next release.
Recordlabel: http://www.risingrecords.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eliminationband

64/100

EXHALE - Blind (CD) Sweden July 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Grindcore Running time: 29:15 (Tracks: 15)
At first I thought: oh grindcore , that can`t be very original. But I was pleasantly surprised with this album. Yes they use hypersonic blastbeats, screaming vocals,a blurred guitar sound and the typical short songs but I kinda like it. Their drummer Gustav kicks ass. He`s really fast. But there`s enough variety on this album. A song like Fools has a more death metal feel to its but halfway it changes in a hardcore song. The vocals aren`t too bad either. Peter screams his lungs out while guitar player Johan takes care of the lower vocals/grunts. They start out in 2004 and this is their second full length album after releasing Prototype in 2006. Not a very productive band so far. But like all grindcore albums half an hour is more than enough. But to all your grindcore fans: check this out!!< tr>
Visit their website: http://www.exhaleswe.com
Recordlabel: http://www./darkbalance.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/exhaleswe

80/100

EYE FOR AN EYE – Downfall (CD) United Kingdom July 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Rock / Stoner Running time: 40:06 (Tracks: 10)
From Swindon, England comes four piece metal band EYE FOR AN EYE. The band exists of Tom Norris (vocals, guitar), Tom Bull (vocals, guitar), Chris '4D' Ford (bass) and Rich Cowdry (drums) and was formed in late 2007. The first line of the enclosed biography says 'Please welcome England's latest hopefuls EYE FOR AN EYE'. Well, when I'm listening to this debut album of the band, titled "Downfall", I doubt if EYE FOR AN EYE will be England's latest hopeful band. At least, I am not that impressed about this album. Okay, I can listen to it, but that's all. To me, all ten songs are sounding pretty moderate and all of the same. The vocals are okay, however Norris and Bull aren't that great singers. Anyway, their sound is a mixture of Metal, Rock and some Stoner, and sometimes you can hear some influences of bands like ALICE IN CHAINS, METALLICA. Oh yeah, before this debut album, the band already released a untitled EP, when they were a three piece band. According to their bio, they already have played with bands like NAPALM DEATH, VIKING SKULL and 3 INCHES OF BLOOD. If you are curious about EYE FOR AN EYE yourself, well, take a listen to some of their songs on their MySpace page to make your own impression.
Recordlabel: http://www.risingrecords.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/eyeforaneyeband

69/100

FOLK STONE - Damnati ad Metalla (CD) Italy July 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Folk Metal Running time: 50:24 (Tracks: 13)
Folk metal is pretty popular lately and there are a lot of good bands in this genre like Eluveitie or Arkona to name two so I was very curious about this CD. But I`m a bit disappointed. It`s too much folk and too little metal. I like the use of traditional folk instruments like bagpipes, flutes etc. But when the guitars only play a few chords in the background it gets a bit boring after a while. They also recorded the song 'Vanita di Vanita' the song from Angelo Branduardi that a lot of folk bands like Rapalje play. So I hope that on their next album they add a little more heavy guitar parts so it becomes more metal. Maybe this is a band who you have to see live but on CD it`s a bit disappointing.< tr>
Visit their website: http://www.folkstone.it
Recordlabel: http://www./fuelrecords.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/folkstone

69/100

GRAND MAGUS – Hammer of the North (CD) Sweden July 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 61:40 (Tracks: 12)
Grand Magus from Sweden is a band with a growing popularity among all kinds of metalheads. Since its creation, the group has been offering works of high quality and the past two (Wolf's Return and Iron Will) are considered their best to date. Roadrunner Records discovered the band's potential and signed Grand Magus giving them the opportunity to make that extra step towards worldwide success. Will the Magus deliver? Well, after the first two listening sessions I am pretty confident that Grand Magus is in the right direction. Hammer of the North meets all the expectations created after the release of Iron Will two years ago. The band isn't trying to sound modern but the result isn't dated either. Grand Magus delivers classic heavy metal with doomy overtones as taught by Dio's Black Sabbath, Manowar, Judas Priest and other masters of the early 80s metal sound with a fresh touch, a fine production and excellent musicianship. The band leader, singer and guitar player JB owns a great epic voice that gives that extra push to heavy tunes such as “I, the Jury”, “Hammer of the North” and “Bond of Blood”. The album doesn't follow a certain pattern. The speed varies from a tune to another. For example the opener “I, the Jury” is one of the fastest the band has ever written followed by the heavy epic “Hammer of the North” and the similar “Black Sails” and “Mountains be My Throne”. On “At Midnight They'll Get Wise” Deep Purple meets Judas Priest, “Bond of Blood” brings Candlemass to mind, “Savage Tales” is dangerously close to Dio and on “Ravens Guide Our Way” Dio meets old Manowar. Don't get me wrong though. Grand Magus is not about copying others. This is original music inspired by the legendary heavy metal past. Trust the Magus and let the Wolf guide you to an epic metal journey.
Visit their website: http://www.grandmagus.com
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/grandmagusrocks

85/100

GRAVE - Burial Ground (CD) Sweden July 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death Metal Running time: 42:06 (Tracks: 9)
As a big fan of old school Swedish death metal I'll always be curious whenever a new record of one the old bands comes out. Since Grave is responsible for one of the best albums in the genre a small part of me never can stop hoping that this will turn out as good as “Into The Grave”. Unfortunately this isn't 1991 so the possibility of awesomeness this big still coming out is non existing. But since Grave also never turned out a bad album I just knew this one was going to be good as well. Turns out I was right again! "Burial Ground" is a more then decent album for the old school fans as it has everything we love about music: brutality, decent guitar work, filthy vocals, good aggressive drumming and an overall filthy production to make it sound like it's still being recorded in some Stockholm basement. This record goes on like that for 8 of the 9 tracks and ends very nicely with the title track which just sounds like a personal doomy tribute to Asphyx. If you're into the older death metal, the name of the band should have convinced you already to go buy this record but let's just hope this little piece of text will help you along the way.
Visit their website: http://www.grave.se
Recordlabel: http://www.regainrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/gravespace

84/100

GUNSLINGER – Earthquake In E Minor (CD) United Kingdom July 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Space Rock / Psychedelic Rock / Metal Running time: 44:18 (Tracks: 11)
GUNSLINGER is an English band formed by ex-HAWKWIND bass player Alan Davey, who was a member of HAWKWIND from 1984 to 1996 and from 2000 to 2007. Another famous bass player of HAWKWIND was of course Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister. It was 1971 when Lemmy joined space rockers HAWKWIND and was fired by the band in 1975. Most well known song of HAWKWIND with Lemmy during this period is of course “Silver Machine”. What happened with Lemmy is of course history. And believe it or not, this debut album of GUNSLINGER, titled “Earthquake In E Minor”, is a perfect mixture of MOTÖRHEAD and HAWKWIND. This album sounds very much like MOTÖRHEAD at times of their classic albums “Overkill” (1979), “Bomber” (1979) and “Ace Of Spades” (1980) added of course with some HAWKWIND influences. But really, it's just like you are listening to a MOTÖRHEAD album. Because not only Davey's voice sounds very much like Lemmy, also the bass sound sounds exactly like Lemmy's, the guitar solo's reminds very much of “Fast” Eddie Clarke, the vocals lines, the endings of the songs and of course the double bass drums, it all reminds of the legendary MOTÖRHEAD. This album was already released in March of 2008 on Davey's own record label Earthquake Records, and is now released on Belgium's label Buzzville Records. At that time the album was recorded by Alan Davey (vocals, bass, synthesizer), Nigel Potter (guitar, vocals, keyboards) and George Agent (drums, percussion). But the line-up of GUNSLINGER live exists of Alan Davey on vocals and bass, Louis Davey on guitar and Cat on drums. Okay, it's all not sounding very original of course, but I like it a lot anyway. It doesn't matter to me, songs like “Night Song” (3:39), “If The Bombs Don't Get Ya, The Bullets Will” (2:07), “Shellshocked” (3:34), “Cyanide” (4:50), “Going In For The Kill” (2:54), “Don't Need You” (3:43), “Warhorse” (7:38) or “Gunslinger” (6:08), I like them all. Although it's not a very original album, it's a good one. Okay, this can't compete with MOTÖRHEAD itself, and “Earthquake In E Minor” will not get the status of a classic album like the above mentioned classic albums of Lemmy & Co, but if you are a die hard MOTÖRHEAD fan, and especially one of the classic line-up Lemmy, Eddie and Phil, I would advise to check this band out. For all Dutch metalheads, go see GUNSLINGER on Mario's own metal party MMM4 on October 3rd, 2010 @ Little Devil, Tilburg.
Visit their website: http://www.gunslinger.org.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.buzzville.be
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/alandaveygunslinger

80/100

I LOVE RICH – I Love Rich 3: Season Of The Rich (MCD) USA July 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock Running time: 21:46 (Tracks: 5)
I LOVE RICH comes from Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. and exists of Rich (vocals, bass), Chuck E. Sleeze (guitar, backing vocals), Full Throttle (guitar, backing vocals) and Drewblood (drums, backing vocals). In the past there have been several line-up changes, but the current line-up on this CD is the longest lasting. So far the band released two cassette tapes, which are the self titled "I Love Rich" (1993) and "Hot, Wet, Drippin' With Sweat" (1994) and two CD's "The Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Record Of All Time" (2001) and "Year Of The Rich" (2005). Like the title says, "I Love Rich3: Season Of The Rich", this is the third CD of the band. To me, it's my first acquaintance with I LOVE RICH, and I must say that it's not very spectacular what this band presents on this silver disc. The five songs on this EP, which are "Let's Fuck All Night", "I'm Only Here Cause Your Sister Said No", "Everybody's Getting Laid Tonight", "I'll Be Around" and "Rise Up For Rock And Roll", are just nice, and that's all. Okay the songs are well-played by the members and Rich isn't a bad singer, but they don't blow me away. As you can see the songs are all about partying and getting laid. All lyrics are written by Rich, and like they say on the back of the CD, 'because honestly, only he could come with lyrics this bad ass'. And really, after a few times listening, the fun is gone. Still interested in I LOVE RICH, well, then check them out yourself. Personally I love KISS, hahahaha.
Visit their website: http://www.iloverich.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/iloverichrocks

63/100

KIUAS - Lustdriven (CD) Finland July 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 48:44 (Tracks: 10)
Kiuas. I've never heard of them before, but it turns out that 'Lustdriven' already is their forth full length and also the forth through Spinefarm Records. Wake up, Robin! The band was founded about ten years ago and their musical style was rooted in Heavy Metal. In fact, it still is to this day. Kiuas has the interesting ability to combine this style with extreme metal parts like Thrash and Death metal which is making the music quite original and diverse.The opening track 'Kiuassault' is a good example of this and grabs you by the throat. This track also gives a good impression of what the album is all about. 'Lustdriven' contains complex songs with a diversity of styles that are aggressive and melodic at the same time. The music doesn't give itself away very easy. It can sound very chaotic at the beginning because of the unexpected (and many) breaks. It has the grow on you. It took me about three of four times before it revealed it's quality and I got caught up in the awesome riffing and experimental songstructures. 'Lustdrive' is certainly an interesting album, but I would recommend a good listen before purchasing it. At this point, I cannot think of a band to compare Kiuas with. But if you like heavy, agressive riffing, freaky breaks and melodic clean vocal parts, than make sure you go to their MySpace and check the new songs out.
Visit their website: http://www.kiuas.net
Recordlabel: http://www.spinefarm.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kiuasweb

75/100

LYNCH – Window Of Your Soul (CD) USA July 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 26:54 (Tracks: 7)
LYNCH is not a new band from George Lynch (DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB), no….it's a Melodic Rock band based in the Chicago area and exists of Danny Lynch (vocals), Mike Burke (guitar), Deb Altman (bass) and Frank Pace (drums). The band recently released their album "Window Of Your Soul", which is available on iTunes, CD Baby and several other digital distributors, and features seven songs. I assume "Window Of Your Soul" is LYNCH's debut album. But to be honest, I can't really get excited by songs like "1724", "Wash Me", "Ceisha", "Heartless Beat", "Be There", "Slow Down"and "Sister Mary". To me they all sounds very moderate, to soft and sometimes even boring. And I'm also not that impressed by Danny Lynch's vocals. I can listen to it, but that's all. Check them out yourself, if you are curious about LYNCH. Well, I think I'm gonna listen to a classic DOKKEN album.
Visit their website: http://www.lynch-rocks.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lynchrocks1724

60/100

MEHIDA – The Eminent Storm (CD) Finland/Sweden July 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Progressive Heavy Metal Running time: 48.59 (Tracks: 11)
Opening with a piano riddle followed by such a high scream that only can be made by turning someone 's balls into to many different directions, the first thing that entered my mind was … oh no, come on, not this kind of stuff. Further on the singer tries to sound a bit evil but doesn't succeed. Okay, this is going to be a long listening party. .. Well, that was my opinion after the first time I struggled through Mehida's second attempt (their debut was called “Blood and Water”) for conquering the world with a portion of progressive heavy metal. After the third time listening, I have to admit that my first opinion doesn't do justice to Mehida' s performance. Maybe I was just in bad mood, but this is certainly an album that takes a few rounds in your cd player for a fair judgement. Mehida plays progressive, melodic stuff with very much variation in exchange rates supported by ambient synths with a dark edge. Mikko Harkin, keyboards (ex Sonata Arctica) and Thomas Vikstrom , vocals (ex Candlemass, Therion) shouldn't be the least for putting an album together, but sometimes they exaggerate. Opener “Wrath of Flesh Fellowship” isn't bad, but Vikstrom tries just a bit to hard to sound a little bit “evil”, and about that scream, well eh, not for me. I must say that the good man further on gives us a very fine demonstration of his vocal versatilities. That is not the problem at all. The thing is that a few songs have some weird things like the rapidly spoken end of the pretty good “Oblivion”, the sudden end of “Dream Giver” and in “Draw Near to My Soul” there is all of a sudden some female vocal interaction and again that sudden end. That's a pity because just when you think that everything fits there is suddenly that sixth finger of the glove. The album certainly has it's moments in songs like ”Masquerade”, “Urban Scream” and smasher “A Block of Wood”. Wow, that's what I call brilliant stuff. Catchy as Hell, or should I say Heaven because we deal with mostly Christian lyrics here, so pardon me. Okay guys, with this one you prove you can do so much better. Let's hear that on your third attempt.
Recordlabel: http://www.bullroser.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mehida

68/100

METHUSALEM – Unite and Conquer (CD) Netherlands July 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 40:11 (Tracks: 9)
Methusalem was founded about ten years ago in the north of holland, all members had been previously involved in death and gothic metal bands, and they believed it was time to pay homage to the past. The band plays old school heavy metal in a modern way, influenced by the great bands of the eighties as their bio states, with Maiden as the biggest one. The band did some touring through Holland, Germany and Belgium and a short tour in Spain, also they released a mini album 'Sentenced To Rock' in 2005. They earned some good reviews on their mini album which resulted in a tour throughout Europe with Blaze Bailey (ex-Iron Maiden).
Now the band delivers their first full lenght album 'Unite and Conquer', produced by Arno Krabman at Graveland Studios and mastered by Darius van Helfteren while finnish graphic designer Jan Yrlund was asked to create the artwork for the album. The album contains 9 tracks with a lot of variation between them, although recognizeable old school hardrock and heavy metal with an up to date sound and production. It's absolutely not that original nor do they try to be, just straight from the heart rock and metal, brought with great musicianship and enthousiasm. Well you might think by now that there is nothing bad to say about this release, cause it has everything you want in a good metal album, great guitar work and solos, great songs mostly, only point of criticism I can think of is their vocalist, not that he is bad singer, but in the ballads he sounds not that good, he makes more than up for it in the faster tracks though. This said I can state that the lowpoint of the album is 'Brothers in Arms' because of the weaker vocals in this one, strong point of the album are absolutely 'Thunder' and 'Lock & Load', which shows the power of this band, also songs like 'Hardrock Showdown' or 'Get Ready To Rock' speak for themselves and really rock, the finishing of the album is the title track 'Unite and Conquer', a well build up songstructure which is a perfect ending.
Visit their website: http://www.methusalem.nu
Recordlabel: http://www.rockinc.nl
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/methusalemband

75/100

MUTINY WITHIN – Mutiny Within (CD) USA July 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Metalcore Running time: 40:30 (Tracks: 11)
As I was listening to this record for the very first time, I could not believe my eyes when I read the biography of Mutiny Within. This because it stated that they started out as a Children of Bodom cover band. Ironically, the album does not lead any traces to this period. Due to a lot of live performances, they quickly developed their own style that sounds very little like their former role models. As soon as they were writing their own material, things developed rather fast for this New Jersey based band. A lot of shows followed, including some with bands like Soulfly and Prong. Their energy and hard work didn't stay unnoticed and so it happened that they've signed a deal with Roadrunner Records in no time. Though a lot of subgenres have been introduced to the metal scene over the past few years, Mutiny Within actually brings something new to the table. It's hard to describe their style, but the band combines Metalcore with aggressive breaks and make good use of spherical keyboard parts. But most of all they sound very catchy. Almost poppy if you will, but always in a heavy way. The complexity of today's riffing gives the album a modern twist, but also shows the love for old school death and thrash metal. But just to make it clear: this certainly is something totally different. So, all good things you would say. Yes, but there is one problem that a lot of band have, and that is the danger of repeating themselves. This is also the case with Mutiny Within. Songs like 'Awake' and 'Yar of Affliciton' are brilliant, but there are also a bunch of songs on the record that bring up the 'I think I've heard this one before' feeling. That is a shame, but nevertheless is 'Mutiny Within' an album that is interesting for the enthusiast of modern metal and Metalcore. This album shows an enormous amount of potential and musicianship. So if you like catchy and complex metal songs, be sure to check them out. It is definitely worth it!
Visit their website: http://www.munitywithin.com
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mutinywithin.com

75/100

ORDEN OGAN – Easton Hope (CD) Germany July 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Epic Melodic / Power Metal Running time: 65:10 (Tracks: 11)
Orden Ogan was formed way back in 1996. The following three years they released every year a demo. In 2004 Orden Ogan released their first (self-produced) album “Testimonium A.D.”. With that album they became the biggest insider tip of Germany's metal scene and got overwhelmed with praises from critics. Their official label debut “Vale” was released by Yonah Records in 2008. This album featured the whole passion of this ambitious band fronted by singer/guitarist/producer Seeb. The album was well received again in Germany. Now, early this year, they released their second official album “Easton Hope” through AFM Records. Their songs are a quite unique mixture of German (melodic) power metal (Running Wild, Blind Guardian, …), folk, progressive and thrash metal. Orden Ogan have an original, but also complex style (Savatage), with a modern sounding production. There are several guests such as drummer Thomen Stauch from Blind guardian, ex-Running wild guitarist Majk Moti, and the Choir of Ogan. The choir parts were recorded in the cathedral of Wildeshausen and are integrated into the band context. Not a bad release at all, but personally not my cup of tea.
Visit their website: http://www.ordenogan.de
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ordenogan

73/100

PARAMITE – Axis of Evil (CDemo) The Netherlands July 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 23:52 (Tracks: 5)
Paramite is an old school trash metal band from the south of the Netherlands (Heerlen) which was formed in 2008. They started as a quartet (Etienne (lead / rhythm guitars), Rick (lead and rhythm guitars), Reinier (bass) and Jasper (drums), but recently, vocalist Bram joined the band. Just after their foundation, they released their first titleless demo which was also reviewed by www.mariosmetalmania.com (May 2009). In May 2010, Paramite released their second demo called Axis of Evil. Bram is not active yet on the new album. Paramite is working hard to get a good name in the underground trash metal scene. For example, on 2 April this year, Paramite opened for Flotsam & Jetsam at the Dynamo (Eindhoven) and got some nice critics about this gig in the press.
The demo Axis of Evil starts with the song “Have dinner on our Vomit”, an instrumental old school thrash metal song with a quite original intro. The second song (Tortured by the Beast) contains some real nice guitar solo`s (influenced by Slayer), something which also counts for the third song, Human Parasite. The guitar solo's run smoothly into each other. Characteristic for their sound is also the quite filthy sound of vocalist Etienne, but I have been told that the new singer has a great throat too. The last song which has the same title as the demo, suits me also. Generally speaking, the songs on the album are well composed. One small point of criticism is the production; I hope that they get the chance to produce a new album in a professional studio.
Axis of Evil has become a nice demo cd, which will please people who like thrash metal how it was made in the 80`s. The album can be ordered on Paramite`s myspace website.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/paramitetrash

82/100

RATT - Infestation (CD) USA July 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Glam Rock / Metal Running time: 42:14 (Tracks: 11)
"Infestation" is RATT's seventh studio album. I must say that I liked the self titled EP "Ratt" (1983) and the albums "Out Of The Cellar" (1984) and "Invasion Of Your Privacy" (1985) very much, but I never considered myself as a real RATT fan. I'm really not familiar with all other albums by RATT. Anyway, RATT exists since 1976 (first named as MICKEY RATT) and broke up or went on a hiatus in 1992. The most well known and classic line-up of the band, existed of Stephen Pearcy (lead vocals), Warren DeMartini (lead & rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Robbin Crosby (lead & rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Juan Croucier (bass, backing vocals) and Bobby Blotzer (drums). In 1996 the band reunited again, only not in the complete classic line-up anymore, but with new bass player Robbie Crane. One member of the classic line-up, guitarist Robbin Crosby, who left the band in 1991, died on June 6th 2002. The current line-up of RATT exists of Stephen Pearcy, Warren DeMartini, Carlos Cavanzo (guitar, formerly known from QUIET RIOT), Robbie Crane and Bobby Blotzer. "Infestation", which was produced by Michael "Elvis" Baskette, features eleven tracks and sounds fantastic. And I must admit that, with listening to "Infestation", you really get back in time to their heydays of the eighties. It sounds all very familiar like we are accustomed of RATT. It's a great album with fantastic songs, great riffs and excellent guitar solo's. The album opens very strong with the heavy "Eat Me Up Alive", which has a great guitar solo. Second track of the album is the catchy "Best Of Me" and has a great melody line. "Look Out Below" sounds also a bit like SKID ROW. Actually, there's no weak song on "Infestation". Time will tell if "Infestation" will also get the status of classic album like "Out Of The Cellar" or "Invasion Of Your Privacy". Some favorite songs are "Eat Me Up Alive", "Best Of Me", "A Little Too Much", "Last Call", "As Good As It Gets", "Garden Of Eden" and "Don't Let Go". My end conclusion is that, after eleven years, RATT is back with a great comeback album. "Infestation" is of course a must for all RATT fans and a recommendation to anyone who's into good melodic Metal and Glam Rock. '
Visit their website: http://www.therattpack.com
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/therattpack

86/100

REAPER – Gardens of Seth (CD) Germany July 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Power Metal Running time: 44:39 (Tracks: 10)
Reaper is an old German band that has been around for 25 years recording numerous albums. After a long break the band returns with a new studio album. “Gardens of Seth” will appeal to fans of the traditional teutonic heavy-power metal sound since the music is a mixture of Lonewolf, old Blind Guardian and Grave Digger. Not exactly the sound that excites me though. The vocals are harsh, the overall playing is good but the songs are not that exciting in my opinion. Typical heavy metal from Germany, the kind of music thousands of bands play. This cd is only for those who look for the vintage teutonic sound and have a thing for classic European metal that will remind them of the 80s.
Visit their website: http://www.reaper.de
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fairiesreturn

67/100

SABBAT – Charisma / 25 Years of Black Fire (2CD) Japan July 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black / Thrash Metal. Running time: 2:12:17 (Tracks: 22)
This 2 disc special release celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Japanese Sabbat. Formerly called Evil but already in '84 they changed their name to Sabbat. Started mainly as a Venom coverband they quickly created their own songs shortly after. Just like that other band from Japan called Sigh Sabbat's sound can be described as Black/Thrash with that typical somewhat hysterical vocals, think of early King Diamond (without the high notes) Melodic and at times false guitar tones and a very audible bass sound. Old school as fuck. So if you're into modern deathcore shit etc. Read no further!
Disc one of this anniversary album contains the “Karisma” album from '99 which was released in two versions, one with English and one with Japanese vocals. The English version was only available on vinyl until now. Having only a few items from their huge discography I must admit that I'm glad that this album finally made its way to the compact disc and so can be purchased for a normal price in stead of the usury prices on the public sale sites. The studio albums from Sabbat are all from a more than decent quality and “Karisma” one of their latest full length albums this is no different. All the songs contain fantastic melodic guitarwork with that typical thin, but great Japanese sound. People who like the very first Maiden albums and can listen through an underground production will absolutely love this! Some of the songs like “Den of Blades” or “Nekromatik” cross the 10 minute barrier but succeed to sound interesting until the very last tone.
Fitting to the 25th anniversary of the band the tribute sampler “25 Years of Black Fire” with twelve songs is included on disc two. Sabbat itself begins with “Black Fire” in the original version of 1985 which was released on the single “Sabbat” 11 other (underground) bands pay tribute to Sabbat. The result is very satisfying with some bands like Holy Death and Battalion sounding almost “older” than Sabbat's versions. Some of the winners for best cover song are Deathhammer with “Black Metal Vulcano, Serpent Saints with “Darkness and Evil” and Stigma with “Bird of Ill Omen” Because this is a sort of best of album I'm not going to rate this. Unnecessary to say that this gem needs to be in any real underground collection. All hail Sabbat!
Visit their website: http://www.welcome.to/sabbat
Recordlabel: http://www.iron-pegasus.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sabbatofficial

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SEROTONIN – Siempre Y Para Siempre (MCD) United Kingdom July 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 13:37 (Tracks: 3)
Serotonin is a three piece progressive rock band from the UK, the band presents their latest effort with this EP. The band started in 2007 and already released an EP in the spring of 2008 titled 'You don't know what you've got until it's gone'. Serotonin plays a kind of grunge rock, and they do have a Seattle sound, although they are from the UK. The three songs on this EP sound really mature, and are very well done by these skilled musicians, no doubt about that, but it's not really metal or anything like that. The first song 'Apologies to you' could well be done by Pearl Jam or something, they really fit in between the Seattle grunge sound bands.
Not really my kind of music, but if you are into this kind of rock, you surely should check them out. The other two songs on this EP, 'Death from above' and 'Before tomorrow' proof that they know what the're doing, although the second song is a bit more up tempo and my favourite of this EP, it's unmistakeably quality grunge rock with a capital G. Maybe the production could be a little better, but it's sounds absolutely not bad at all, but for me, 3 songs is more than enough of this kind of music.
Recordlabel: http://www.crash-records.co.uk
My Space: http://www.myspace.com/serotonineffect

70/100

SETHERIAL – Ekpyrosis (CD) Sweden July 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 44:39 (Tracks: 8)
So finally a new Setherial album! Where “Endtime Divine” and Death “Triumphant” failed to deliver “Ekpyrosis” seems to be a return to form. Setherial is one of those bands that honestly will never top their debut album. “Nord” is one of the most epic albums to ever come out of Sweden. On their later albums Setherial became a one trick pony by using blastbeats through all off their songs. The songs on most of their albums are convertible plus that people got tired of all this blasting. The term “norsecore” was invented and I thought Setherial was over and out. Until now! Setherial has a reason to exist again. How come? Are the blastbeats gone? No, definitely not. Setherial is still playing very fast on most parts of the album. But there's much more diversity presented here. The song structures are more balanced by using mid paced parts and slowly moving towards a climax.
There are also some industrial samples and strange effects on the background of some songs , but they fit perfectly into the music and enrich the atmosphere of the songs. And also the bass plays a more important role – it's always audible (as all the other instruments) and makes the music more interesting. The vocals are outstanding: Kraath has a very angry scream. And the drums? They are incredible precise as always. And I rarely heard drums with so much diversity on a Setherial album. The only negative point of criticism is the guitarsound which sound too much like Dark Funeral at one hand and Abigor (later era) on the other. People who like the last two Abigor albums will maybe also like Ekpyrosis though it is not nearly as extreme progressive.
So by using these tiny little new elements in their sound Setherial has made an interesting black metal album that as said is a return to form. Welcome back! Standout tracks: “A world in hell”, “Enemy of creation”
Visit their website: http://www.setherial.com
Recordlabel: http://www.regainrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/setherialsweden

81/100

STIGMA - Concerto for the Undead (CD) Italy July 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Deathcore Metal Running time: 41:57 (Tracks: 10)
I really liked the CD "When midnight strikes!" Stigma released two years ago so I was very curious for this CD. Well, Stigma didn`t disappoint me. "Concerto for the Undead" turns out to be a worthy successor for "When midnight Strikes!. Really energetic deathcore which holds my attention from the first notes. The aggressive screaming vocals by Stefano Ghersi are very brutal but I think the grunts they add in some songs are a good variation to the screams. Well written songs with enough variety and energy to really get me excited. It`s not pure deathcore but they add a lot of melodic guitar parts played by Andrea Bailo. Add an excellent bass player named Flavio Magnaldi and an animal on drums named Stefano Ghigliano and you have a brilliant album. Highlight for me is the song 'A Monstrous feeling. I like the technical riffing and the well thought out song structure. It`s not that it`s all very original but they really know how to play and write good songs so that`s why I`m so enthusiastic about this CD. "Concerto for the Undead" is recorded at the Fear studio and produced by Bring me the Horizon guitarist Jona Weinhofen. It has a very clean but good sound. I also want to compliment them for the CD cover with the comic illustrations which really illustrates the horror based song themes. < tr>
Visit their website: http://www.stigmahc.com
Recordlabel: http://www.pivotalalliance.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stigmahc

93/100

THOM MATHEWS – Promo 2010 (PromoCD) USA July 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Metal Running time: 16:32 (Tracks: 3)
Thom began his musical career playing lead guitar for the technical extreme metal band Quinta Essentia. He played lead guitar on their debut album “Neutrality For Defined Chaos”. Soon after that, Thom's playing attracted the attention of Black Flame Records, who suggested Thom to record a shred album for them. So Thom recorded his debut instrumental album “Mindcraft” in only eight days! “Mindcraft” was released in 2007 and it got rave reviews from critics and fans. Thom again entered the studio in 2008 and recorded his second instrumental album. Unfortunately, it's release has been prevented by the demise of Black Flame Records and by Thom's own financial situation. On this “Promo 2010” are rough mixes of three songs of that album. Thom is a very technical guitarist, which playing reminds me most of 80's Shrapnel stuff like Cacophony, Apocrypha and Crimeny. Complex shredding, but with always a melodic twist too. Fans of especially Jason Becker/Marty Friedman will like Thom's playing very much!! He already wrote material for his third album, so I hope for Thom that soon a label will be interested, or that his financial situation will allow him to release his albums.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com//thommathews

83/100

THUNDERSTONE – Dirt Metal (CD) Finland July 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Power Metal / Progressive Metal Running time: 48:05 (Tracks: 11)
THUNDERSTONE is a five piece Metal band from Finland, who was formed in early 2000 by guitarist Nino Laurenne. So far the band has released the following albums: “Thunderstone” (2002), “The Burning” (2004), “Tool Of Destruction” (2005) and “Evolution 4.0” (2007). “Dirt Metal” is the fifth album by the band and the first one with new singer Rick Altzi (also AT VANCE) and keyboard player Jukka Karinen. So, the current line-up of THUNDERSTONE exists of Rick Altzi (vocals), Nino Laurenne (guitars), Titus Hjelm (bass), Mirka Rantanen (drums) and Jukka Karinen (keyboards). “Dirt Metal”, which was released on Steamhammer/SPV on May 21st 2010, features 11 tracks and starts with the short intro “Rebirth” followed by the fantastic “I Almighty” (which beginning reminds me a little bit of DISTURBED and DREAM THEATER). Because “Dirt Metal” is also my first acquaintance with THUNDERSTONE, I was very surprised by this band when I listened to this album. It's a fantastic band with great musicians and most of all they have in Altzi an awesome singer with a great and powerful voice, who reminds me very much of Jorn Lande (JORN, MASTERPLAN). I like this kind of bands very much. In some magazines and on webzines they were very positive about the song “Star”, but to me it's the least song of the album. In my opinion it doesn't really fit between all other songs, which are all fantastic. The Thrash riff is to simple, only the chorus is good. Then I prefer the other fast one of the album, which is “Dodge The Bullet”. There are more songs on “Dirt Metal” of which some parts reminds me to the above mentioned DISTURBED and DREAM THEATER, but also, because of the vocals, of JORN. My favorite songs are absolutely “I Almighty”, the title track “Dirt Metal”, “Blood That I Bleed”, “Ghosts Of Youth”, “Counting Hours” and “At The Feet Of Fools” (superb). Anyway, “Dirt Metal” is a fantastic album. If you like great powerful Metal with fantastic vocals, then this album is a real recommendation. Mario this is absolutely something for yourself. Check it out mate!!
Visit their website: http://www.thunderstone.org
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thunderstoneband

84/100

V.A. (Various Artist) - New World man – A tribute to Rush (CD) USA July 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 55:09 (Tracks: 10)
New World Man – A Tribute to Rush is the third release of Magna Carta in a series to honour Rush for their contribution to the progressive rock. Earlier released albums in this series are Working Man (1996) and Subdivisions (2005).
For the people who are not familiar with Rush (which I cannot believe!), a short introduction: Rush is a Canadian rock band formed in August 1968 in Toronto (Canada) and consists of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. The band and its membership went through a number of re-configurations between 1968 and 1974, achieving their current form when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first U.S. tour. Since the release of the band's self-titled debut album in March 1974, Rush has become known for the instrumental skills of its members and its complex compositions. The lyrics of the songs deal with items like science fiction, fantasy as well as humanitarian, social, and environmental concerns.
The musicians who are active on Magna Carta`s tribute cd`s are musicians who admit the influence of Rush on the progressive music scene as well as the influence on their own career. I didn't know what to expect when I saw the cover of the cd: members of bands like Dillinger Escape Plan, Korn, Testament and Sepultura (Andreas Kisser) contributed to the cd. I really like the music of Rush and I hoped that they did not violate Rush` songs. Fortunately, this is true. Only the cover of Tom Sawyer, performed by the Alex Skolnick Trio is a little bit strange. They have produced a strange, jazzy version of this song. The other songs on the album are nice covers of some good songs composed by Rush. The highlights are The Trees, Tom Sawyer (performed by i, omega) and Jacob 's ladder. In my opinion, it has become a nice tribute album!
Visit their website: http://www.rush.com
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/lysiakpr

78/100

WELICORUSS - Apeiron (MCD) Russia July 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Symphonic Black / Pagan Metal Running time: 32.43 (Tracks: 7)
Carried by the dark cold winds of Siberia this new piece of symphonic black/pagan has found it's way into my mailbox. I am not familiar with this band, but to me it's a welcome surprise. Founded in 2002 by Alexey Welicoruss Boganov, the band WELICORUSS brings us a damn fine ep that is full with original breaks and sounds quite original and vibrant. They also released “WinterMoon Symphony” in three (?) versions; a 2002 demo, a 2006 demo and a 208 cd. Well that's very weird, but maybe it's a Siberian standard … Nevertheless, this ep gets off with 'Apeiron” and that's a good one to start with. A very energetic track with driven grunts and in the middle a black metal acceleration, so you can hear where they had their roots. The band has two man on vocals but the strange thing is, they are very often used. Almost all the other tracks are instrumentals. But that doesn't bother me at all. “To Far Worlds” sounds like it's a totally different band, this is a fine instrumental heavy metal track. The same is there for follower “Blud Flower”, which is a bit slower and more orchestral. Man, this band can play ! If you are capable of making such thrilling instrumentals that hold your attention then you have a big future ahead. “Slava Rusi” follows and here we have some vocals back on track. Strong piece of pagan with tremendous pounding drums and excellent guitar skills in it. Live, this certainly will cause a fine party.
Follower is a remix (feat. Silenzium) of this same track, but it's totally different. Very atmospheric with only some esoteric female chants. But, hey it's beautiful done and also very enjoyable listening to. Just if you think that more diversity can't be done by one band in five songs “Salvanskaia Sila” (Elias remix) follows and takes you into the world of electronic. Well, I don't think they make much metal friends with this one, but it isn't that bad either. Last track “Flower of the Universe” is more cinematic and very symphonic and, you get it, instrumental. You can say that there is a bit too much diversity so this band doesn't really know wich direction they should take. Pagan, symphonic instrumental ? The fact is, I don't mind. For me it was a welcome surprise and I had a very enjoyable time listening to it from the beginning. The production is well done and the musicians are very skilled. The only question is: Who has the guts to sign this very promising, adventures band which definitely has a lot of potential!
Visit their website: http://www.welicoruss.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/welicoruss

82/100

JUNE

AXEL RUDI PELL – One Night Live (DVD) Germany June 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy Metal / Hard Rock Running time: over 75:00 (Tracks: 8)
Axel Rudi Pell's career began in 1980 with the band, Steeler, who sold over 30,000 copies of their commercially most successful release, Strike Back, and brought out their fourth and final album, Undercover Animal, in 1988. In November of that year, Pell formed his own group together with Jörg Deisinger (ex-Bonfire), drummer Jörg Michael, bassist Thomas Smuszynski (ex-U.D.O.) and the American vocalist, Charlie Huhn (Ted Nugent, Gary Moore, Victory). Their debut album, Wild Obsessions, arrived at the stores one year later, followed by Nasty Reputation, for whom Pell enlisted the American frontman, Rob Rock (M.A.R.S, Impellitteri), who was replaced during the subsequent German tour by former Malmsteen vocalist, Jeff Scott Soto. With Soto as a new member, the third album, Eternal Prisoner (1992), was undeniable proof that the band had found their own, unmistakable style. One year later, Pell brought out The Ballads, an album featuring his most accomplished rock ballads. With Between The Walls (1994) and the live recording, Made In Germany, the guitarist from Bochum held on to his typical style even in the post-grunge era. The subsequent Black Moon Pyramid (1996) was the second Pell album in succession to make the German album charts. 1997 saw the arrival of Pell's eighth offering, Magic, featuring a thematically consistent concept based on supernatural stories. Magic also entered the charts, followed by Oceans Of Time, the commercially most successful album at that time by the Axel Rudi Pell band, and the continuation of Pell's ballad concept (The Ballads II, 1999). Following the departure of Jeff Scott Soto, Pell enlisted American vocalist Johnny Gioeli (ex-Hardline) for the production of Oceans Of Time, The Ballads III and his 2000 release, Masquerade Ball. His characteristic voice also enhanced the subsequent releases, Shadow Zone (2002) and Kings & Queens (2004), as well as the highly accomplished Mystica (2006) and the covers album, Diamonds Unlocked. Tales Of The Crown (2008), the most recent studio recording by the ARP Band, surprised with a number of innovations and made no. 41 of the German album charts.
Just before the release of his new album “The Crest” (see review below) the band releases their new live DVD “One Night Live” which was recorded during the Rock of Ages festival last year in Germany. This is the complete show filmed with 10 cameras in front of 5000 fans and an absolute must have for every ARP fan! I was not very familiar with his material because normally I forwarded this kind of rock to one of my reviewers who lately quit. Well the more I was surprised by this band and the power they produce! Especially singer Johnny Gioeli is singing excellent and has a very wide vocal range! Compliments! With ARP and drum-aholic Mike Teranna I was musically familiar so they both didn't surprise me that much. This is a great DVD with a nice mix of his material and also the Rainbow cover “Temple of the King”. This is a must have for all ARP fans!! Buy or…….
Visit his website: http://www.axel-rudi-pell.de
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/axelrudipellofficial

88/100

AXEL RUDI PELL – The Crest (CD) Germany June 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic Metal / Hard Rock Running time: over 57:09 (Tracks: 10)
For a biography of Axel Rudi Pell I advise you to read the DVD review above. ARP is a very busy man; this is his 13th studio album and already his 20th release in 21 years which says enough about his drift for making music! I was not really familiar with the music of Axel Rudi Pell (even if ive seen him a couple of times live) but after the release of the great live DVD “One Night Live” last month; he has a new adorer! Im especially gripped by the fantastic singer Johhny Gioeli (ex-Hardline); what an incredible good rocksinger!! This new album is full of, mostly midtempo, rocksongs. There are also a great ballad “Glory Knight” and an instrumental “Noblesse Oblige” on this album. Together with the other songs they will make this album an awesome rock album in its genre! Axel you have a new fan from now on!! Great album!!!
Visit his website: http://www.axel-rudi-pell.de
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/axelrudipellofficial

90/100

BATTALION – Underdogs (CD) Switzerland June 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 47:530 (Tracks: 11)
Battalion was formed in 2006 by some friends and after several line up changes the band finally found a decent line up in which they released their first album “Underdogs” (produced by Tommy Vetterli (ex-Coroner and ex-Kreator) under the German record-label Silverwolf Productions. It looks like every label these days needs a retro thrashband? Nothing wrong with that as long as it sounds good. Well luckily Silverwolf Productions managed to sign a very good, but musically far from original, oldschool thrashband. Production wise this album is also very well produced. This kind of retro thrash is very popular these days but im curious if the band will be noted by the bigger audience because of the overdose of retro thrashbands these days. Personally I must admit that Battalion is one of the best in their genre but to break through im afraid they signed to a wrong label. Silverwolf is a very good label but if it has the opportunities to raise these kind of band up??? I really hope it for the band because they really deserve it. Very nice album with some nice variation between the songs, they are not, like we are used to with these kind of bands, all full speed ahead! Hope to see this band someday in The Netherlands! For fans of (old) Metallica, Bonded by Blood, Fueled by Fire & (old) Exodus.
Visit his website: http://www.battalionmilitia.com
Recordlabel: http://www.silverwolf-productions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/battalionofficial

75/100

DESTINE – Lightspeed (CD) The Netherlands June 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Emo / Pop / Punk Running time: 41:50 (Tracks: 12)
DESTINE is a five piece band from my hometown Tilburg, Holland, which was formed in 2006. The band exists of Robin van Loenen (lead vocals, guitar), Hubrecht Eversdijk (guitar, vocals), Tom Vorstius Kruijff (bass, vocals), Laurens Troost (keyboards, vocals) and Robin Faas (drums). These guys already released the EP “A Dozen Dreams” (2006). In their first year of existence, the band played 70 shows in Holland, Belgium, France, England, Germany and shared stages with bands like NEW FOUND GLORY and FALL OUT BOY. In December of 2008 the band signed with Sony Music. They first recorded the 5 track single “In Your Arms” in Orlanda, Florida, U.S.A. with James Paul Wisner (known of his work with bands like PARAMORE, NEW FOUND GLORY) and in September of 2009 these guys went back again to the States to record their debut album “Lightspeed” with Wisner, who did by the way an excellent job. And I must admit, “Lightspeed” is a very accessible album. To me, the album doesn't have any weak songs, because they are all very catchy. And most of the songs (“Everything In Me”, “Stars”, “Forget About Me”, “Wake Me”) can really get a lot of airplay on radio stations. And when you've heard this album several times, almost every song get stuck in your head. But I also can understand that for some people it's sounding a little to soft or to poppy. Anyway, the band has the looks and especially the potential of achieving international success. I'm sure DESTINE will gain especially young female fans. If bands like PARAMORE, FALL OUT BOY, SIMPLE PLAN belong to your favorites, then I'm sure you will like DESTINE too. Anyway, “Lightspeed” is a fantastic album, which will sell very well I guess. My favorite songs are “In Your Arms” (superb), “Burn”, “Stars”, “Spiders”, “Forget About Me” and “California Summer”. What else can I say about “Lightspeed”, it's just a fantastic debut album.
Visit their website: http://www.destinemusic.com
Recordlabel: http://www.sonymusic.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/destinedestine

80/100

DETÈNTE – Decline (CD) USA June 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash / Crossover Metal Running time: 35:09 (Tracks: 8)
DÉTENTE was formed in 1985 by vocalist Dawn Crosby, drummer Dennis Butler, guitarists Ross Robinson, and bassist Steve Hochheiser, with the addition of guitarist Caleb Quinn the line-up was set. The group was becoming a favorite with fanzines around the world and such notable publications as Kerrang and Rock Hard and also began garnering much attention on various college radio programs quickly catching the attention of the various labels including Combat, Music for Nations, Metal Blade Records, and Roadrunner. After signing their record deal with Roadrunner, DÉTENTE recorded “Recognize No Authority” a classic masterpiece in its genre! Instead of the typical lust and hate lyrics that were offered by many of the 80's thrash metal bands DÉTENTE focused on the political and social edge of metal and searched for meaning by asking unpopular questions. Sales where good in Europe but the band was licensed to Metal Blade in the USA where virtually no marketing was put into the album; resulting in weak sales. DÉTENTE plays a few more gigs, ending with a show at the Country Club in Reseda. Then the band decides to take a break. In 2007 after the successful reissue of “Recognize No Authority” the band reformed and continues to play live and write new material. I had the luck to see Dawn Crosby live once with her band Fear of God but as far as I know she never played with Détente in Europe. Dawn Crosby died of liver failure from substance abuse in 1996.
A few years ago I, again, had the luck to see the band finally at the mighty Headbangers Open Air in Germany with Hellion vocalist Ann Boleyn. They gave an incredible show that day! Now, after again 2 years, Détente is back with a new singer named Tinna Teal. At the end op April 2010 I saw the band at our local metal pub Little Devil in Tilburg, The Netherlands. My expectations where very high and I have to be honest when I say that I was a bit disappointed that evening. Tinna was not singing that bad but her stage performance didn't look very professional. Nevertheless bassplayer Steve Hochheiser gave me their latest release for reviewing on MMM. Well, here it's finally is! Luckily I was shocked positive by the first notes of the band; musically the band stays true to it roots and on CD Tinna sounds very aggressive even if her sound is more modern than Dawn's voice ever was. The album is full of crossover metal with a few modern thrash influences. Personal fav. songs are; “In God we Trust”, “Predator”, “Decline” and the remake of “Blood I Bleed” as a hidden track. The only weak song on this album is to my opinion “Degradation Machine” which sounds to boring. Nevertheless a well produced (by legendary Bill Metoyer) album with a lot of energy!! Check them out; even if you didn't like the older stuff of the band…..good album!
Visit their website: http://www.detenterna.com
Recordlabel: http://www.myspace.com/cognitiverecords
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/detenterna

85/100

EDGE OF FOREVER – Another Paradise (CD) Italy June 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: AOR / Melodic Rock Running time: 50:21 (Tracks: 10)
After their first two successful releases "Feeding The Fire" and "Let The Demon Rock'n'Roll" this is the bands 3rd release "Another Paradise". This CD shows their usual hard hitting rock style renovated by a new powerful line-up: Alessandro Del Vecchio on vocals and keyboards; Walter Caliaro on guitars; Nik Mazzucconi on bass; Francesco Jovino on drums. The new album also features amazing performances by Bob Harris (Axe, Frank Zappa, Steve Vai and former Edge Of Forever singer) who contributed the backing vocals on "What I've Never Seen"; Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth, one of my all-time fav. singers) who sang on the title track in an emotional duet with Alessandro Del Vecchio; Jgor Gianola (U.D.O., Gotthard, Jorn) who played a hi-test guitar solo and Carsten "Lizard" Schulz (Evidence One, Domain) who did background vocal work on the song "Edge Of Life". The album has all that an AOR record needs: strong melodies and impressive backing vocals; sophisticated arrangements; power-house drums; stunning guitars and keyboards; bombastic production and big sing-along choruses. All members have impressing curricula vitae with reference names such as: Ian Paice, Glenn Hughes, Andre Matos, Eden's Curse, Carmine Appice, James Christian, Robin Beck, Axe, Ken Hensley, U.D.O., Michael Bormann, Harry Hess, Steve Walsh, Paul Shortino and many others. Production of the new record was also handled by Alessandro Del Vecchio, another crucial step for the band, leaving him with some big shoes to fill since in the past the band was produced by none other than the late Marcel Jacob and Bobby Barth. The mastering was done by well-known award-winning German producer and engineer Michael Voss from Casanova, Bonfire, Mad Max and Voices Of Rock. “Another Paradise” is a great rock album and makes me personally thinking of bands like John Norum (Europe-solo band), Bon Jovi, Glenn Hughes & Joe Lynn Turner.
Normally I don't review much melodic rock anymore but this album was sounding so great that I had to review it on my own! Especially the addition of one of my favorite singers Roberto Tiranti of Labyrinth was worth doing the review by me! This is great melodic rock which I can appreciate very much; especially because all the musicians are awesome!!! This is an outrageous album which every AOR /Rock fan should have in his collection!!!!!!!!! Even the Flashdance cover 'What a Feeling' sounds awesome!! Check them out if you don't believe me!!
Visit his website: http://www.edgeofforever.it
Recordlabel: http://www.7hard.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ edgeofforeverofficial

95/100

GLASS HAMMER – Three Cheers For The Broken Hearted (CD) USA June 2010 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 51:44 (Tracks: 11)
Glass Hammer is currently known as the leading band in the American prog-rock scene, and one of the top symphonic-progressive rock groups in the world, with nine studio albums, one live album (Live At NEARfest), and one DVD (Lex Live). They have dabbled in music inspired by Tolkiens beloved Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Middle-earth Album), much to the delight of Tolkien fans and scholars around the world. But they are first and foremost a progressive-rock band in the tradition of 70s giants YES, ELP, Genesis, and Kansas. The GH sound is built around the keyboards, guitar playing, a solid rhythm section, and a unique vocal style (Susie Bogdanowicz) that their fanatical fan base has named the 'multi-vox'. Often employing choirs and pipe organs, Glass Hammers sound is unique within the world of prog.
But uniqueness is not always the factor that makes listeners to be appreciative. I am a fan of prog, but there is little in these songs that can hold my attention. As unique as Susie's voice may be, as virtuoso the musicians might be, the music, to me, is obviously mislabelled. It all sounds very experimental, although of high musical quality, I can't complain in that department. But please listen before buying; if you like mysterious sounding, female fronted prog, this is your thing.
Visit their website: http://www.glasshammer.com
Recordlabel: http://www.arion-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/glasshammer11

70/100

HATCHERY – Forced to Fight (CD) Germany June 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 36:36 (Tracks: 10)
In September 2009 I already reviewed the predecessor “Birth of a Bomb” CD. So no biography this time. The main problem I also had with “Birth of a Bomb” is still the singers voice; some people like it; others don't. Zottel is not the best thrashsinger but he HAS a remarkable voice which is quite unique these days! Musically its again great oldschool thrash in the vein of their German models Kreator & Destruction. Last year I booked the band as opener for my own festival; Mario's Metal Meeting 3 (Thrash edition) and the reactions of the audience & press where mostly very positive. This is again a very nice album of these German thrashers and I have to note that even the running time is oldschool, hahaha (36:36 minutes). Nevertheless this is again an album that every oldschool thrasher should check out!! Thrash till Death!!!
Visit his website: http://www.hatchery-band.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hatcherymetal

79/100

KILLING ADDICTION - Fall of the Archetypes (CD) USA June 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death Metal Running time: 39:28 (Tracks: 11)
Killing Addiction is an American death metal band formed in 1988. Even though this band was formed in the times that all classics were formed I've never heard of them so I was pretty curious why they never became as well known as so many others from their generation. Their new record is only their second full album ever and their last release before this one goes back to 1998. Suffice to say it took them long enough to record this one. The album it self is a nice old school sounding brutal death metal album. There is nothing special about this band but they really aren't that bad at all. The drumming isn't that super though in my opinion and the vocals could use some work. There are practically 2 sounds in the vocals, a grunt which is great but lacks variety and a scream that kind of worked on my nerves later on. Overall this record isn't bad for a brutal band but just like so many others lacks the variety that would make this truly awesome.
Recordlabel: http://www.xtreemmusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/killingaddiction

68/100

KINGS OF MODESTY – Hell Or Highwater (CD) Finland June 2010 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Heavy Melodic Metal Running time: 50:11 (Tracks: 11)
This Finnish band was formed in 1994 by guitarist Samuel Hjelt and drummer Raino Simoinen and was then called “ Face Of Modesty”, up until 2006 when singer Jason Flinck joined the ranks and the name was transformed to “Kings Of Modesty”. Although this is their actual debut album, back in 2007 the band released an EP, produced by long-time friend Emppu Vuorinen, with 4 songs that got the band airplay in the USA.
As their influences, the band droppes names like Dream Theater, Queensryche and Kamelot; to me, it is more a crossover between Queensryche and Symphony X. The music is fast, mean, melodic and at the same time quite catchy. Opener “ Never Touched The Rainbow” is a good example of what this band is about and this particular song already did quite good in the UK. The keyboards sound a little strange within the bands music; I had preferred a distinct keyboard-wall-of-sound but it's a bit too much piano-sound. The songs are very good, and when the band developes more, I think these guys are in for a big surprise to you, listeners.
Visit their website: http://www.kingsofmodesty.com
Recordlabel: http://www.escape-music.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kingsofmodesty

80/100

M.S.G. - Rockpalast: Hardrock Legends Vol. 2 (DVD) Germany June 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hardrock Running time: 64:00 (Tracks: 12)
I still remember that, from the time that I was 15 years old, I watched a lot of times to Rockpalast on German television station WDR. The broadcasting of the shows was always very late at night. Some of those shows, which I still can remember, are of RORY GALLAGHER, THE POLICE, RAINBOW, STRAY CATS, RICK JAMES, THE KINKS and ZZ TOP. Now there has been released a show of M.S.G. (MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP) on DVD, which is Volume 2 in the "Rockpalast: Hardrock Legends" series. Volume 1 is a DVD of UFO, the band with whom Michael Schenker got famous. Anyway, Michael Schenker belongs to one of my all time favorite guitar players, since, I think it was late 1979 / begin 1980, I discovered him on the SCORPIONS album "Lovedrive" (1979) and the classic live album of UFO "Strangers In The Night" (1979). And M.S.G.'s debut album "The Michael Schenker Group" (1980) is a real classic and in my opinion still his best album ever. And the nice thing about the show on this DVD is, that M.S.G.'s debut album is almost entirely and in the exact same order on this excellent DVD, added with four UFO classics in the set. The two songs of "The Michael Schenker Group" album which are not played on this show are "Bijou Pleasurette" and "Tales Of Mystery". This fantastic show was filmed on January 24th, 1981 at the Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany. Well, on this DVD we can see a 26 year old Michael Schenker (born January 10th, 1955) in action on his Flying V, together with Gary Barden on vocals, Paul Raymond on rhythm guitar and keyboards, Chris Glen on bass and the legendary Cozy Powell (R.I.P) on drums. Anyone who knows M.S.G.'s debut album, knows that, after the intro, the band opens with the classic "Armed And Ready". It speaks for itself of course, that it's followed by "Cry For The Nations". After "Victim Of Illusion" we get the first UFO classic "Natural Thing". Then back to M.S.G.'s debut album with the next two songs "Feels Like A Good Thing" and the superb instrumental "Into The Arena" (with Gary Barden also on rhythm guitar). After "Into The Arena" we get another UFO classic, namely a killer version of "Rock Bottom" with of course a great guitar solo by Michael. Again back to the debut album with "Lookin' Out From Nowhere" followed by the mighty "Lost Horizon". This fantastic DVD ends with two other UFO classics, which are "Doctor Doctor" and the encore "Lights Out". All is fantastically filmed, with great shots, the sound is good. Well, you understand that I'm glad this excellent concert is now available on DVD. For all Michael Schenker fans, this DVD is a real must. '
Visit their website: http://www.michaelschenkerhimself.com
Recordlabel: http://www.bertus.com

92/100

PHANTOM-X – This is War (CD) USA June 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: US Power / Speed Metal Running time: 51:33 (Tracks: 13)
PHANTOM-X originally started out as a group of musicians from the Dallas, Texas music scene to become a RONNIE JAMES DIO tribute band. So, the band was initially formed just for fun. Little did they know just how things would take shape and how quickly PHANTOM-X would grow into recording artists and a sought after live act. Although, having fun still remains a very important requirement for PHANTOM-X.
PHANTOM-X features KEVIN GOOCHER, the charismatic vocalist, who also used to sing with OMEN. Kevin needed to explore his own musical horizons with PHANTOM-X and wanted a more active band with which he could tour and record outside of the OMEN format.
” Rise of the Phantom” , the debut album of PHANTOM-X album was released in November of 2005. In the spring of 2006 they camped out at the NOMAD RECORDING STUDIOS, in Dallas, Texas, and assisted by J.T. LONGORIA, recorded their follow-up album, “Storm Riders”. Both albums where released by Belgium's cult label Mausoleum Records. Finally after a too long break here's the follow up to “Storm Riders” named “This is War” and this album is released on Perris Records. Again this album is full of the typical Phantom-X music; melodic oldschool metal in the vein of bands like Savatage, (old) Iced Earth, New Eden, Vicious Rumors, Iron Maiden & Dio. If you're into this kind of metal than please check this great album out or better; come over to the 2nd warm-up show of Mario's Metal Meeting 4 this year where they will headline with Anger as Art (with Abattoir members). Place of happening: Little Devil club, Tilburg (2 October).
Very good album again guys!!! Looking out for October!!
Visit his website: http://www.phantom-x.net
Recordlabel: http://www.perrisrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/phantomxmetal

82/100

RAVEN – Walk Through Fire (CD) United Kingdom/USA June 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 57:20 (Tracks: 15)
Raven is one of the oldest and best NWOBHM bands for many years now and due to private circumstance (see booklet info for more info about this) the band wasn't able to release a new album for nearly 10 years!! Their latest studio album “One For All” was released way back in 2000. Im not gonna bore you all with a biography of this legendary band because every true metal warrior should know this band already! The band where co-headliners of the 1983 Aardschokdag and already blew everybody away with their power and enthusiasm! The same problem the band had during the last 10 years with releasing some new stuff; the same problem they had with touring. I personally had the honour to book the band as the headliner of my first Mario's Metal Meeting festival in 2007. It was that year also around 10 years ago the band did play in The Netherlands. Im still thankful that we could work it out because honestly; they where the best headliner I booked so far! Funny enough the band thanks me on their “thanks to list” on the new album. So the honour was from both sides, hahahaha.
What to expect after such a long period? Honestly I lost my interest in the band after their mediocre “Stay Hard” in 1985. Well luckily the band did a great job on this album and listening to it gave me again an 80's feeling! Most of the songs are full speed ahead and production wise it also sounds very good! Not all the songs are from the same high calibre but meanly this is a great album! John Gallagher still has his typical “love it or hate it” screams which is a big part of the bands sound for many years. There is a Montrose cover added “Space Station No. 5” and as bonus this version consist an extra bonus in “The King (Live)”. Very good album guys which will be liked very much by the oldschool Raven fans (just like me)!
Visit his website: http://www.ravenlunatics.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ravenlunatics

85/100

SLASH - Slash (CD) USA June 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Rock / Metal Running time: 60:34 (Tracks: 14)
Who doesn't know SLASH, the lead guitarist known with almost always his high hat on? Of course everyone knows Slash, who's real name is Saul Hudson, mainly as the lead guitarist of the legendary GUNS N' ROSES, with whom he released fantastic albums like the classic "Appetite For Destruction" (1987), "G N' R Lies" (1988) and "Use Your Illusion I" & "Use Your Illusion II" (both released in 1991). The only GUNS N' ROSES album with Slash on, which I don't know, is "The Spaghetti Incident?" (1993). After Slash's departure with GUNS N' ROSES in 1996 he released two albums with his SLASH'S SNAKEPIT, namely "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" (1995) and "Ain't Life Grand" (2000). Also with these two albums I'm not familiar, and also not with the two albums, "Contraband" (2004) and "Libertad" (2007) of Slash's current band VELVET REVOLVER (with his former GNR members Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum). Anyway, this is SLASH's first solo album, simply titled "Slash", and features 14 tracks. There's just one instrumental song on this album, which is "Watch This" (with Dave Grohl and Duff McKagan). On each other song SLASH collaborates with some of the world's most vital contemporary artists of the music scene for doing the vocal parts, like Ian Astbury (THE CULT), OZZY OSBOURNE, Fergie (BLACK EYED PEAS), Myles Kennedy (ALTER BRIDGE), Chris Cornell (SOUNDGARDEN, TEMPLE OF THE DOG, AUDIOSLAVE), Andrew Stockdale (WOLFMOTHER), Adam Levine (MAROON 5), Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister (MOTÖRHEAD), KID ROCK, M. Shadows (AVENGED SEVENFOLD), the for me unknown Rocco DeLuca (ROCCO DeLUCA AND THE BURDEN) and IGGY POP. Actually, "Slash" is a very accessible album for a broad public. Musically, the album really doesn't sound like a GUNS N' ROSES album. It's a varied album with Rock and Metal songs. The song "By The Sword", which Andrew Stockdale of WOLFMOTHER is singing, sounds very much like LED ZEPPELIN. I only know some songs of the BLACK EYED PEAS (which is really not my type of music) from the radio, but FERGIE sounds really great on "Beautiful Dangerous". On that song she's a real rock chick with a great voice. Myles Kennedy is the only one who's singing two songs ("Back From Cali" and "Starlight") on "Slash". The above mentioned instrumental "Watch This" and "Saint Is A Sinner" (with ROCCO DeLUCA) are nice. In fact, there are no weak songs on SLASH's debut solo album. Anyway, my favorite songs are "Ghost" (superb) with Ian Astbury (this song could easily be on any CULT album), "Crucify The Dead" (with Ozzy Osbourne), " Beautiful Dangerous", "By The Sword", "Gotten" (with Adam Levine), "Doctor Alibi" (with Lemmy Kilmeister) and the last track of the album " We're All Gonna Die" (with Iggy Pop). Okay, "Slash" will not get the status of a classic album, but nevertheless it's an excellent solo album. '
Visit their website: http://www.slashonline.com
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/slash

87/100

SODOM – Agent Orange (re-release) (2CD-digipack) Germany June 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 44:25 + 25:47(Tracks: 9 + 6)
What to tell about this legendary German thrashers? Together with Kreator & Destruction they where the leading thrashbands from Germany and nowadays they still are. Personally I preferred the other 2 bands much more because of the better musicianship and the better releases these bands offered us. Nevertheless its good to see that SPV re-releases their best album so far! Together with 'Persecution Mania' this album are their best releases ever and ive seen the band several times in the past. Sodom is still one of the leading German thrashacts and im sure they will go on for many years! Tom Angelripper has a rank in the German metalscene; not only for the band Sodom but also for his other projects. This album was originally released in 1989 and is now re-released with some bonus songs. On the 1th cd you will find a extra song named 'Don't Walk Away' (originally from MWOBHM veterans Tank) and on the 2nd cd you will find 6 (most of them are live recordings) extra songs.
This is a must have for the die-hard Sodom fans but for the less fanatic the extra stuff does not lift the album up to a more special level. The original album was already a classic one in its genre but with the extra songs on this re-release the album even sounds better…… Because it's a re-release I will not rate the album.
Visit their website: http://www.sodomized.info/
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.de/sodom

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STEEL PANTHER - Feel The Steel (CD) USA June 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Glam Rock / Metal Running time: 41:23 (Tracks: 11)
STEEL PANTHER is a four piece parody Heavy Metal/Glam Metal band from Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., who were formed in 2000. The band has formerly been known as DANGER KITTY, METAL SHOP and METAL SKOOL. In April of 2008, these four glam boys decided to change their name finally into STEEL PANTHER. Anyway, the line-up of STEEL PANTHER exists of Michael Starr (vocals; real name Ralph Saenz), Satchel (guitar, vocals; real name Russ Parrish), Lexxi Foxxx (bass; real name Travis Haley) and Stix Zadinia (drums, vocals; real name Darren Leader). Saenz has been the vocalist of Glam Rock band L.A. GUNS between 1997 and 1998 (he sings on the 1998 EP "Wasted") and of VAN HALEN tribute band ATOMIC PUNKS. Guitarist Parrish has been played in FIGHT (on "War Of Words" of 1993) and also in ATOMIC PUNKS. When looking at the picture of the band on the cover of this album, you'll have to think immediately of a band like POISON. They have the same looks, with hair-sprayed hair, spandex pants, scarves, bandanas, make-up etcetera. In fact, "Feel The Steel" is musically full of clichés, but man…..it sounds so brilliant that it's a real masterpiece. With this album you just go back in time to the eighties, which was the most popular period of the Glam Metal (also know as Hair Metal). All songs are awesome, catchy and very addictive. You can hear influences of bands like VAN HALEN, WHITESNAKE ("Fat Girl"), BON JOVI ("Party All Day (Fuck All Night)"), EXTREME (last track "Girl From Oklahoma", which is a rip-off of "More Than Words"), DOKKEN, DEF LEPPARD, MÖTLEY CRÜE, SKID ROW, METALLICA. There's no weak song on "Feel The Steel". About the lyrics, well they are very funny and are about hookers, sucking balls, fat women, skinny girls, metrosexuals etcetera. So, it's not strange that there's a warning "Parental Advisory - Explicit Content" on the album cover. Some guest singers/musicians on this excellent album are Scott Ian (ANTHRAX), Allison Robertson and Brett Anderson (THE DONNAS), M. Shadows (AVENGED SEVENFOLD) and Corey Taylor (SLIPKNOT, STONE SOUR). Although I like all songs very much, I would say my favourites are "Death To All But Metal", "Asian Hooker", "Eyes Of A Panther", "Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)", "Eatin' Ain't Cheatin'", "Party All Day (Fuck All Night)", "Turn Out The Lights" and "The Shocker". Superb album. '
Visit their website: http://www.steelpantherrocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.universalrepublic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/steelpantherkicksass

90/100

THE RUNAWAYS - The Mercury Albums Anthology (2CD) USA June 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Punk Running time: CD1: 73:33 (Tracks: 22) / CD2: 76:40 (Tracks: 20)
Well, on April 9th, 2010 was the worldwide release of the movie about America's first all girl Hard Rock band THE RUNAWAYS. In this movie, simply titled "The Runaways", are playing actresses KRISTEN STEWART (of the TWILIGHT saga movies) as Joan Jett and DAKOTA FANNING (also known of the TWILIGHT movies, parts "New Moon" and "Eclipse") as Cherie Currie. The film is based on Cherie Currie's memoir, "Neon Angel: A Memoir Of A Runaway". I think that's the reason behind the release of the album "The Mercury Albums Anthology" by Hip-oselect/Mercury Records. Anyway, for all the young rockers among us, THE RUNAWAYS existed from 1975 to 1979 and released the following albums: "The Runaways" (1976), "Queens Of Noise" (1977), "Live In Japan" (1977), "Waitin' For The Night" (1977) and "And Now…The Runaways" (1978). The line-up of the band on the albums "The Runaways" and "Queens Of Noise" existed of Cherie Currie (vocals), Joan Jett (rhythm guitar), Lita Ford (lead guitar), Jackie Fox (bass) and Sandy West (drums, who died (R.I.P.) in October 2006). After those two albums Cherie Currie left the band and Joan Jett took over the vocals. And bass player Jackie Fox was replaced by Vicky Blue. Somewhere in 1978 Blue was replaced by Laurie McAllister and THE RUNAWAYS finally broke up in April 1979. But mainly JOAN JETT and LITA FORD did have a very successful solo career after THE RUNAWAYS. Especially JOAN JETT, because who doesn't know her mega hit "I Love Rock 'N Roll"? Even Michael Steele (bass player of THE BANGLES) was a member of the band in the early days (1975). Anyway, this double CD, which is available in a limited edition (quantity of 7000 copies) and in a very nice packing, features the four albums "The Runaways", "Queens Of Noise", "Live In Japan" and "Waitin' For The Night". You can hear the band has really developed themselves from the first album to the "Waitin' For The Night" album. In my opinion, "Waitin' For The Night" is the best RUNAWAYS album ever. On the "Live In Japan" album you will find, besides songs of "The Runaways" and "Queens Of Noise" albums, also five previously unreleased songs, which are "All Right You Guys", "Gettin' Hot", "I Wanna Be Where The Boys Are", "C'mon" and the cover "Wild Thing" (originally from THE WILD ONES, but most well known from THE TROGGS). If you ask me what the best songs of THE RUNAWAYS are, I would say "Cherry Bomb", "You Drive Me Wild", "Thunder", "Rock & Roll", "Lovers", "American Nights", "Blackmail", "Queens Of Noise", "Take It Or Leave It", "Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin", "I Love Playin' With Fire", "California Paradise", "Little Sister", "Wasted", "Gotta Get Out Tonight", "Wait For Me", "Fantasies", "School Days", "Don't Go Away" and "You're Too Possessive". My score for each album would be: "The Runaways" (78), "Queens Of Noise" (79), "Live In Japan" (77) and "Waitin' For The Night" (82), which gives an average score of 79. Anyway, it's a fact that THE RUNAWAYS were a great inspiration for other all-girl bands like THE GO-GO'S, SAHARA HOTNIGHTS and especially for THE DONNAS. One thing is for sure, this double album "The Mercury Albums Anthology" is going to be a collectors item. Also my compliments for the great packing of it. '
Visit their website: http://www.therunaways.com
Recordlabel: http://www.hip-oselect.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/therunawaysmusic

79/100

TRIPTYKON - Eparistera Daimones (CD) Switzerland June 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Black Metal / Doom / Gothic Running time: 72:45 (Tracks: 9)
TRIPTYKON is the new band of Thomas Gabriel Fischer, also known as Tom Gabriel Warrior, founding member of legendary metal acts HELLHAMMER and CELTIC FROST. Both bands still have a cult status. And HELLHAMMER's EP "Apocalyptic Raids" (1984) and CELTIC FROST's EP's “Morbid Tales” (1984) & "Emperor's Return" (1985) and the legendary debut album "To Mega Therion" (1985) are real classics. After the first breakup of CELTIC FROST in 1993, they reunited again in 2001. The band released their highly acclaimed fifth album "Monotheist" in 2006, but on April 2nd, 2008, Warrior announced on CF's official website that he would leave CELTIC FROST. Anyway, the line-up of Warrior's new band TRIPTYKON exists of Tom Warrior (vocals, guitar, programming), V. Santura (guitar, vocals; also DARK FORTRESS), Vanja Slajh (bass) and Norman Lonhard (drums, percussion; formerly of FEAR MY THOUGHTS). Well, TRIPTYKON's debut album “Eparistera Daimones” is a real MONSTER album, which has a very dark atmosphere. The album was produced by Warrior and Santura and sounds awesome. Also the album cover is a real beauty, and is, just like CF's “To Mega Therion”, again from H.R. Giger. This times it's the “Vlad Tepes”, which Giger painted in 1978. And all illustrations in the booklet are also from Giger, and are a real pleasure to look at. But also the group portraits in the booklet, which are done by Vincent Castiglia, are nicely done. “Shrine” is a short (01:43) instrumental part, and sounds like it could be in any “Alien” movie. “My Pain” is a beautiful song with beautiful female vocals. And I could go on and on, but actually all 9 tracks on this album are real masterpieces. My favorites are the eleven minutes lasting “Goetia”, the ultra heavy doom “Abyss Within My Soul”, the faster “A Thousand Lies”, “Myopic Empire” and of course the monstrous “The Prolonging”, an ultra heavy song of almost twenty minutes. CELTIC FROST's last and final album “Monotheist” was already a great album, but in my opinion “Eparistera Daimones” is even much better. This debut album is a real masterpiece and a recommendation to anyone who liked CELTIC FROST, but also if you like bands as MY DYING BRIDE or PARADISE LOST for example. Absolutely one of the best albums of 2010. '
Visit their website: http://www.triptykon.net
Recordlabel: http://www.centurymedia.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/triptykonofficial

96/100

X-TINXION – Act the Injured Innocent (CDemo) The Netherlands June 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: over 24:43 (Tracks: 5)
X-TinXion from The Netherlands plays old-school thrash metal with a modern spicy sauce. X-Tinxion's first steps originate somewhere in the year 2003, only to evolve into the smooth adult sounding thrash metal formation it is today. After the release of the demo "Twisting the Knife" X-Tinxion receives several promising reviews in magazines such as "Aardschok" and various E-zines, resulting in a variety of performances at many different venues, festivals such as Borstrock and Occult Fest and a place in some metal competitions like the Dutch "Metal Bash" and the international "Wacken Metal Battle".
This female fronted thrashband reminds me a lot to a band as Decadence but rawer and less melodic than Decadence. The 5 songs on this Cdemo are all full speed and sound very good and even quite original. That's a big plus nowadays! Singer Monica Janssen has a brutal voice which sometimes leans a bit to deathmetal. Musically it also sounds very good and production wise this demo is very good. If you are into female-fronted thrash; check them out (online or live)!! Good job guys & girl!!
Visit his website: http http://www.x-tinxion.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/xtinxion

80/100

ZENOBIA – Alma de Fuego (CD) Spain June 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic (Power) Metal Running time: 50:52 (Tracks: 12)
This Spanish band from Rioja already exist since 2002, but “Alma de Fuego” is only their second album. “Luchando Hasta El Final”, their first album, was released in 2005. For this album they invited several guests. It took some years and some line-up changes before they released their second album. And that new album is sure one of the best Spanish melodic metal albums with Spanish lyrics from the last years!! For me, Tierra Santa and Avalanch released several very good albums, but their latest albums weren't that good anymore. So luckily now there is Zenobia to follow them up!! Most of the songs are fast uptempo played, but there are also a few melodic hardrock orientated tracks, and even a ballad. Both of their albums were produced by Dan Diez (Red Wine guitarist), who delivered a superb job. “Alma de Fuego” is the best Spanish melodic metal album which I heard lately. They replaced Tierra Santa successfully, but fans of (early) Avalanch, Saratoga, Valhalla and Rata Blanca will like the album too.
Visit their website: http://www.zenobia-metal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ grupozenobia

89/100

APRIL

ABADDEN – Sentenced To Death (CD) United Kingdom April 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 44:25 (Tracks: 8)
ABADDEN is a new British thrash band consisting of Bill Robinson (guitar), Dan Pool (vocals/guitar), John Blunt (bass) and James Bell (drums). ABADDEN were the winners of a competition organized by Metal Hammer, in which bands had to send in demos, and the winner was awarded time in the studio with Trigger the Bloodshed/Orange Goblin producer Mark Daghorn, who was so impressed that he signed the band to his label. The band aims to inspire the British thrash scene to give the world and its headbangers a run for their money! Well they started off alright with this debut album, old school thrash metal that sounds really up to date. Vicious fury of twin axe attacks is what is fired upon you from the start of opener “Sentenced to Death”, followed by “My Misery” which is as fast as if they had to catch the very last train. Nice melodies and riffs, and lots and lots of speed, and not the typical high pitch vocals but a more dark screaming sound. Great soloing like in “Violent Assault”, its not totally renewing or something like that but very well performed old school thrash with a modern edge, brought with fury and enthusiasm by these fanatics. Really good song structures, enough variation and plenty of energy with a good production makes this a album a must for the true thrash fan. Ofcourse you can hear their influences like Slayer, Metallica, Kreator or Death Angel, but still they give it their own (good) twist. Songs like “Resurrection” or “Atomic Devastation” are impressive, and could well be compared to the authentic eighties thrash of, for instance Kreator, Deathrow or…you name it! The band plays as tight as can be, and won me over for sure, definitely one of the better releases this year!
Recordlabel: http://www.risingrecords.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/abadden

92/100

AIRBOURNE - No Guts. No Glory. (CD) Australia April 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 60:41 (Tracks: 18)
In July of 2008 I reviewed the fantastic debut album "Runnin' Wild" of Australian rockers AIRBOURNE for MMM. Since that album, which got very good reviews worldwide, I've been a fan of this band. "Runnin' Wild" still visits my CD player regularly. Now, Joel O'Keeffe (lead vocals, lead guitar), David Roads (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Justin Street (bass, backing vocals) and Ryan O'Keeffe (drums) are back with their second album, which is titled "No Guts. No Glory.". And man, what a brilliant album it is. Okay, it's still not sounding very original, because they sound 100% like AC/DC (with Brian Johnson), but the songs are so damn good and addictive. And the fact that AIRBOURNE sounds like AC/DC is not a problem for me. In fact, they can be seen as the "new" AC/DC. Actually, I don't have anything negative to mention about the album. I have the special edition version with 5 bonus tracks, which are "Loaded Gun", "My Dynamite Will Blow You Sky High (And Get Ya Moanin' After Midnight)", "Rattle Your Bones", "Kickin' It Old School" and "Devil's Child". The album was produced by Johnny K (DISTURBED, 3 DOORS DOWN, STAIND, MACHINE HEAD etc.), and the bonus tracks by the band themselves and Craig Harnath. What else can I say, "No Guts. No Glory." is again an awesome album of these Australians and it's absolutely a recommendation to anyone who likes AC/DC of course, but also other AC/DC related bands like KROKUS, RHINO BUCKET, ROSE TATTOO and early DEF LEPPARD. My favorite songs are "Born To Kill", the first single of the album "No Way But The Hard Way", "Blonde, Bad And Beautiful", "Raise The Flag", "White Line Fever", "Steel Town", "Chewin' The Fat", "Get Busy Livin'", "Loaded Gun" and "Rattle Your Bones". I've seen the band live on March 23rd in De Pul, Uden, Holland (see also live reviews) doing an awesome show. They also will be playing on the 15th anniversary edition of Graspop Metal Meeting (Belgium) this year and on the Zwarte Cross festival (Holland). So, go see them, you won't regret it. '
Visit their website: http://www.airbournerock.com
Recordlabel: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/airbourne

90/100

AMBASSADOR GUN – When In Hell (CD) USA April 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Grindcore Running time: 28:57 (Tracks: 16)
'When in Hell' is the first Ambassador Gun album with Relapse Records and the third one in general. Relapse Records is known for their love for extreme noise and with the signing of Ambassador Gun, they've proven this once again. Don't let the peaceful artwork fool you, because 'When in Hell' contains 16 songs that can be described as Grind, Hardcore, Metalcore, Death Metal and Punk all in one extremely aggressive mix. I'm not much of a Grindcore fanactic, but the variety of styles are making the album a nice listening experience. Damn, what an aggression do these guys have created. The song quality is yet a bit unstable, but with songs like 'Ignorance is this,' 'Animal fight' and 'Death nail,' you have an interesting album on your hands. Go check out their MySpace and turn up the volume!
Recordlabel: http://www.relapse.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ambassadorgun

70/100

ANIMO AEGER – Impuls (CD) Germany April 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 56:12 (Tracks: 7)
Animo Aeger is another quality black metal band coming out of Germany this days. It is unbelievable how many sub-genres black metal represents this day and I don't know how to name this style. At all events it's low-fi and it's eerie sounding. “Impuls” has seven lengthy tracks varying from 4:38 to 11:47 minutes and consisting of German BM played in the atmospheric and raw way, meaning a bit rough, somewhat demo-like but with a clear enough production done by Dutch label owner Arjan Peeks (Heidens Hart). The songs are mostly slower mid-tempo with a lot of tremolo guitaring producing buzzing walls of sound backed by a drummer of flesh and blood. Most bands that play this kind of black metal use a drum computer which most times I am not quite fond of. “Impuls” has quite reasonable use of synths and echoing, distorted screams. As said this is some eerie sounding black metal, ladies and gentleman. Listen to that riff in the song: “Veheissungsvolle Felder, Geschutzt Von Ebenjenem Eis” and you know what I mean. Maybe not truly original, I know, but I still feel kind of liking it, even though it also feels a little sloppy, demo sounding. I can't right exactly bring to my mind who this reminds so much of, besides some other German acts like for example: Nocte Obducta. Anyway, it has more feeling to it than the average Ashen productions release, sounding desolate and cold. Most people will have problems with the thin production but on the other hand the people who love this kind of black metal would like it no different.
Recordlabel: http://www.ashenproductions.net

80/100

APHELION – Franticode (CD) Italy April 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 45:56 (Tracks: 7)
Aphelion is an instrumental band formed in Italy by 4 extremely talented musicians who handle the guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. You can tell how good musicians they are by the first few seconds of the first song. The band delivers a complex and demanding kind of progressive metal, mixed with jazz, fusion and experimental elements in general. Unfortunately I am not the guy who can appreciate their music 100%. Although I like progressive, this sounds often too abstract for my ears and mind to follow. The band has put a lot of effort though and it shows. The fretless bass parts are simply amazing. Franticode is an album that needs to be heard by the fans of that kind of music. I have the feeling they will discover something great here.
Visit their website: http://www.aphelion.tv
Recordlabel: http://www.lizardrecords.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/aphelionspace

70/100

BLACK CANDY STORE – Back to the Wall (CD) France April 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Alternative / Rock Running time: 42:23 (Tracks: 10)
The ongoing success of Pearl Jam and the reunions of Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots show that the so called 'Seattle Sound' is still a big hit to this very day. Not only are the bands active with their own music, but they are also an inspiration to a lot of other bands. Black Candy Store is one of those bands and with 'Back to the Wall' they will be releasing their debut album very soon. Hailing from France, Black Candy Store was founded in 2008 and almost immediately started writing their first material. With those songs in their back pocket, they've signed a deal with the German 7Hard label. As expected, the musical style of Black Candy Store refers to the above mentioned bands, but not as I expected it to be. If an comparison has to be made, it would be with the Stone Temple Pilots. Also the modern sound of Velvet Revolver is noticeable, which off course has a direct link with the STP. But enough with the comparisons, because 'Back to the Wall' has a lot of authentic material to offer. On the album the band has found a good balance between straight forward rockers and a somewhat more melodic approach with great vocals. Especially the beautiful 'Swine seed,' 'Recall' or 'Wounded' have really made an impression. As stated in their biography, the band hopes to break new ground as their music evolves to new artistic levels. I think that with 'Back to the Wall' they've made an excellent beginning. They are definitely not there yet, but nevertheless is Black Candy Store a band with a lot of potential.
Recordlabel: http://www.7hard.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blackcandystore

75/100

BLACK THOUGHTS BLEEDING – Stomachion (CD) Germany April 2010 Eddy_litE
Style: Metalcore with a splash of Thrash Running time: 40:02 (Tracks: 12)
What to say about this debut album by this German 5 piece? Lets start by saying that I have a big range of interests in music. And I must admit that the emo/metalcore area isn't my favorite corner. But then again, I do have favorites in the genre just as I have in almost every other genre. I guess that when your interests have this big a range it comes down to originality to impress me. And that's my biggest problem with this album. Though it does sound pretty good and the technical skills are there as well, it doesn't really have a face all of it's own. It's never that far away from the formula of established acts like Bullet for My Valentine. Though there's nothing really wrong with that, the album isn't exactly what I had hoped for after reading the accompanying bio/promo leaflet. It tells me that this band has seen a lot of success in it's relatively short exsistance. The leaflet is filled with facts and statements that got me the idea that this could be the next big thing in metalcore land. And the album simply doesn't live up to those expectations.

Well, that being said, I also need to say the following. Fans of the emo/modern metal genre will definitely get a kick out of this album. Although the production is exactly what you'd expect it to be it is fitting and it does sound great. The songwriting is quite good and often pretty catchy with enough surprising passages available that got me back into the experience whenever I started to drift off. It's mostly the thrash elements of the album that I enjoyed the best. The growl of singer Dominik Szelinski doesn't impress enough but the more melodic parts are much stronger although sadly not consistantly throughout the whole album.

The problem is that it isn't a solid album that could compete with those already out there. And it all seems a bit too safe, too flat, like they have been drawn in too quickly and the recordcompany rushed out this album just to have it out there. On the other hand I have a feeling that this band could get quite successful because there is definitely a market for it. The band knows how to present itself and the video for 'Beloved Vampire' does impress. As do their websites and the artwork for the album. The bandmembers also seem to enjoy themselves and I think that is the most important aspect of being a musician. Because you never know where this all will go in the future. This is a young band and there is quite some potential, I'm sure about that. Should I have been a fan of the genre it would get a fair 80 points but taking all of the above in account I have to extract 10 points from this number.
Visit their website: http://www.blackthoughtsbleeding.com
Recordlabel: http://www.silverwolf-productions.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/blackthoughtsbleeding

70/100

BLACK WREATH – A Pyre of Lost Dreams (CD) Denmark April 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Doom Metal Running time: 50.30 (Tracks: 4)
I'm glad it's Sunday today …. Why, I hear you thinking … is that because it's a fine day to listen to Funeral Doom? No, not particularly, it's because there is no shop, and especially a so called “do it your own” one as we called them in the Netherlands, that is open today in my neighbourhood. What the hell has that to do with a cd review ? Well, as simple as it is, Black Wreath, formed in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2002 by Kim Larssen (Saturnus), Peter Mesnickow and Dave Muller, presents me over 50 minutes of the most depressive kind of music I have ever heard. So, I can't go out and find myself a decent rope if you got my drift …… Okay, that is an exaggeration, but Black Wreath exactly delivers you what they pretend; pure, bleak, desolate darkness forged in heavy, depressive, monotonous doom metal. So for the “rope” thing they have to take that as a compliment !
To be honest it's not really my thing. 4 tracks (!) that last over 50 minutes that turns your happiness into a depressive mood is too much for me, so I had to listen to them one by one alternated with some “happier” stuff. Nevertheless, what they do, they certainly do very, very well. The songs are real hypnotic epics in an icy, oppressive atmosphere and they sound if they were recorded in an old church. If you are into Funeral Doom, this is really something for you and I can imagine that this album is worth much more for you than the score I have given it. Black Wreath has delivered an excellent (debut) album in it's genre, that's for sure, for me I take the “middle” of the road by the figure below, as a fan you can easily count 10 points extra.

Recordlabel: http://www.vme@vme-group.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blackwreath

80/100

COMMANDMENT – No Mercy (CD) USA April 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 53:57 (Tracks: 14)
Commandment is a legendary band, part of the glorious American power metal scene of the 80s. The band recorded its debut album called “Engraved in Stone” in 1988 and released it on tape. 11 years later the album resurfaced as a vinyl release while in 2009 it finally came out on cd. “No Mercy” is actually the second album of the band. It was recorded right after the debut but remained unreleased until 2009. The listener can't expect something less than molten U.S. power metal with wailing high pitched vocals, steaming guitars and rock solid rhythm section. “No Mercy” is actually a bit better than the legendary stuff featured on the debut. This is a wet U.S. metal dream coming true for all of us who love American steel. I feel ecstatic when forgotten jewels like this one find their way to a proper release for the world to enjoy.
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/commandmenttheband

88/100

DERDIAN – New Era Part 3 Apocalypse (CD) Italy April 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Symphonic Power Metal Running time: 64:48 (Tracks: 13)
Derdian from Italy started in 1998 as a thrash metal band, playing covers from bands such as Metallica and Megadeth. When they started to write their own songs they changed their style into power metal. They released a demo called “Revenge” and some time later, in 2003, they released their mcd “Incitement”, which caught the attention of Steelheart/Adrenaline Records. For this label they debuted with their album “New Era Part 1” in 2005. Thanks to their myspace and the success ot their debut album, they got in contact with the famous Magna Carta label, which released their second album “New Era Part 2” in 2007. Now that same label released “Apocalypse”, the third part of the New Era story, that chronicles the plight of the people of a mystical land, Derdian. The clash of good and evil, the rise and fall of kings, and the like are themes explored by Derdian. Musically Derdian plays typical Italian bombastic symphonic power metal, with (neo) classical influences. Very catchy and melodic compositions, with epic, baroque, medieval and symphonic influences. Also the vocals from Joe Caggianelli are theatrical, and there also some parts/songs with operatic, female vocals-duets from guest Lisy Stefanoni. Derdian is especially comparable with Rhapsody Of Fire, but also with DragonForce, Fairyland, Time Requiem, Majestic, Zonata and Dark Moor. So typical, but also very good European symphonic power metal.
Visit their website: http://www.derdian.com
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/derdianmetal

81/100

DIVINE EVE - Vengeful and Obstinate (MCD) USA April 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Oldschool Death Metal Running time: 17:06 (Tracks: 4)
This Texas based band started out in the early nineties and had one release in 1993 named "As the Angels Weep". They split up in 1995. They reformed in 2008 with Michael E sleavin on guitars/vocals, Xan Hammack on guitar/vocals and Matt Killen on drums and released a new EP with 4 true oldschool death metal songs .Because that`s what it is. Nothing less, nothing more. They stay true to their roots. It`s very influenced by Hellhammer/Celtic Frost but it sounds very good. If you are into oldschool metal like Hellhammer or Winter you must check this out but don`t expect something spectacular. I saw them a few months ago on their tour with Incantation, Hate and the crowd loved it. I was kinda bored after a while but they didnt have a great stage appearance. Rather boring to look at. But the sound is good and this is oldschool death metal how it`s supposed to be played.< tr>
Recordlabel: http://www.ibexmoonrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/divineeve2008

75/100

ENGRAINED – Anger, Roots and Rock 'n Roll (MCD) Germany April 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hardcore / Punk / Speedrock / Rock 'n Roll Running time: 15:39 (Tracks: 5)
ENGRAINED is a four piece band from Sarstedt, Germany and exists of Fenne (vocals, bass), Schorse (guitar), Carlos (guitar) and Gonkel (drums). According to their MySpace page the band already exists for a long time. In the past they've recorded several self released EP's, which are all sold out. Well, this EP “Anger, Roots And Rock n Roll”, which is released on SPV/Steamhammer, is my first acquaintance with ENGRAINED. The band plays a mixture of Punk, Hardcore and kick ass Rock 'n Roll.
Well, this is just a fantastic EP. I like all songs on it. “Traitor” is a fantastic opener, followed by the fast “Pretty City”. The vocals of Fenne, who are raw and sometimes hardcore style, fits perfect for this music. Also “Leave You Behind”, which reminds me a bit of FRANKIE AND THE WONDERBOYS (FWB), and the sing along one “Rock n Roll Scum” are fantastic songs. The last track of this EP is a cover version of POISON IDEA's “Plastic Bomb” (from the "Feel The Darkness" (1990) album) and is a very nice version as well. My favorite songs are "Traitor", "Leave You Behind" and "Rock n Roll Scum". Anyway, this EP is absolutely a must for fans of PETER PAN SPEEDROCK, AGNOSTIC FRONT, MOTÖRHEAD, FWB, SHEER TERROR, RANCID etcetera.
On their MySpage page you can listen to some older songs like "Sweet Vampire Girl" (superb), "Devils Don't Dream", "The Rules Of Time", "Presentation In Life" and "Music Of The Night", which are all sounding awesome too. Fantastic band and superb EP, which really tastes for more. So, next time a full length album on SPV/Steamhammer guys!!
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/engrained

85/100

EWIG FROST – Rust (MCD) Austria April 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 27:19 (Tracks: 6)
Black/thrash metal band from Austria that sounds as old as the hills. With titles like: “The Anti Nazi track” and “Pirates of Black Metal” it is hard to take this band serious. Just like the later albums of Darkthrone this is as true or as untrue as you want it to be. The use of a saxophone in the strange song “Sunken in the Sun” makes this release somewhat of a mishmash. Carpathian Forest is a band that was really good at this on their first releases but with Ewig Frost it rather sounds inconsistent.
Okay, the band plays pretty straightforward, rocking black/thrash that I think is derived largely from bands like Carpathian Forest. There's certainly a lot of '80s influence mixed with early '90s Norwegian black metal. The tracks are brutal and to the point: lots of punk beats mixed with blasting, thrashy riffs and your typical screeching vocals. I kind of take issue with the production; I get the whole old cemetery principle of 'loud, raw, and forward', but hey: it just comes off sounding kind of amateurish. The primary issue with ”Rust” , though, beyond sound quibbles, is that it isn't very memorable. I understand that the album is essentially a tribute to the old styles of black and thrash metal, and Ewig Frost try to cultivate that sound by using strange song titles, the above mentioned saxophone and some weird intro's but I wonder if that's enough to outstand the crowd.
Recordlabel: http://www.ashenproductions.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ewigfrost

64/100

FM - Metropolis (CD) United Kingdom April 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 63:56 (Tracks: 13)
In the summer of 1984, FM was founded. At that time, the band consisted of the Overland brothers Chris (lead guitar) and Steve (vocalist/guitarist)), keyboardist Philip Manchester, bassist Merv Goldsworthy and drummer Pete Jupp. In December of that year, FM signed a contract with the major record label CBS and their debut album, Indiscreet, was released. They toured as support for artists like Tina Turner, Foreigner and Meat Loaf. After a couple of hectic years of touring, writing new songs and releasing albums, Chris Overland decided to leave the band. In his place, FM recruited Andy Barnett. This leads to a harder guitar sound and together with him, FM releases “Takin` it to the Streets”. In the meantime, FM switched also from CBS to Music for Nations. Because of the influence of the grunge, people's interest in the music of FM diminished and in 1995, the band temporarily separated. In October 2007, FM finally played together for the first time in 12 years. Andy Barnett decided short after this reunion to leave the band and he is replaced by Jim Kirkpatrick.
With Metropolis, FM has written an incredible comeback album. The album starts immediately with one of my favourites, Wildside. This song sounds refreshing but it has to be said that this counts for the whole album. The album never bores me and it is quite easy to keep my attention on the music. I think this says enough. Metropolis contains in my opinion music for everyone. What I like to mention is the guitar work of Kirkpatrick and the vocal performance of Steve Overland! They are great, but it has to be said that also the other band members are quite talented. The album ends with the sensitive ballad “Still the fight goes on”; in my opinion, Metropolis is one of the better releases in the AOR genre of recent times!
Visit their website: http://www. fmofficial.com
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fmukrock

92/100

FORETOLD – In Rotting Memory (MCD) The Netherlands April 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Death Metal Running time: 19:25 (Tracks: 5)
FORETOLD was founded in 1999 by Kim Sloothaak (drums), Harrie van Erp (guitars) and Mathijs Ansems (bass) and went through several name changes before settling as In Gods Hell at first. After years of line up changes and ending up without a bass player they decided to change the band name to Altered States, named after a classic cult movie. They recorded a four song demo in 2002 called 'Return to Zero' in Harrie's studio Freezing Factory, while the bass was filled in by a computer generated bass called Fritz. Then in 2002 Fritz was replaced by Marco Vermeegen on bass, but it would last until early 2004 till the line up was completed by William Nijhof on vocals, and the band name was changed into FORETOLD. In 2008 their drummer left the band and Fritz was reborn as a drummer, making the definite line up Harrie and Stijn on guitar, Marco on bass and William on vocals. FORETOLD released a 3 song demo in 2004, and their debut album 'Factor' in 2006 also reviewed by me (see MMM archive May 2006) and which I was very enthusiastic about and now after a way too long period their new 5 song mini album is released. The album starts off with 'Path of Misery' which has a kind of Chuck (Death) riff in the beginning, while William is grunting darker then ever before, and Fritz sounds a bit too mechanic, they play very tight and heavy. After a short horror intro 'In Rotting Memory' sets in, were they slow it down a bit, giving the song a bit more variation with some nice riffs. Then my favourite song is up, 'Tales From The Nordic Lands', it reminded me a bit of Six Feet Under, especially with William sounding like the Chris Barnes of The Netherlands, also Death comes (again) to mind in the guitar parts. The song has a kind of acoustic, dark intermezzo, and is full of variation, definitely the best song on this album! I do hope they find a drummer soon though, that can replace Fritz, cause I think that would give it a more dynamic sound, and less mechanic plus it would give them the opportunity to perform live again as a complete band. 'Cursed' is again a bit slower, but o so heavy and brutal song, while 'The Plague' ends this way too short album in the true death metal vane.
Visit their website: http://www.foretold.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/foretoldnl

75/100

GREAT MASTER – Underworld (CD) Italy April 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 48:40 (Tracks: 10)
Great Master came to life in 1993. The band released some demos but split without producing a debut album. A few years later, some of the original members resurrected the band and recorded this album in 2000 without releasing it though. 9 years later, Underground Symphony signed a contract with Great Master and finally released the band's debut album. “Underground” is an Italian power metal album heavily influenced by Helloween. The good thing about it is that the band doesn't try to play ultra fast like most of the Italian power metal groups (only 3 out of the 10 songs are fast paced) but the album has that typical plastic sound mostly because of the drum programming. Vocals are good and so are the guitars. The songs will not change the course of heavy metal history but the tunes are enjoyable. Overall this is a nice release for those who are into Italian power metal and miss its glory days. Nothing more, nothing less.
Visit their website: http://www.great-master.com
Recordlabel: http://www.undergroundsymphony.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/greatmasterit

70/100

GUILTY AS SIN - Led To The Slaughter (CD) USA April 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Thrash / Speed Running time: 32:48 (Tracks: 8)
GUILTY AS SIN is a three piece band from Watertown/Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.. The line-up of the band, who was formed in early 2008, exists of Dan McAdam (guitar), Ryan Dilberian (bass) and Zak Ovoian (drums). As far as I know, "Led To The Slaughter" is the first album of the band, which was self financed. And to tell the truth, it's a BORING album. Not because it's a complete instrumental album, no, because the songs are boring as hell. The band plays Thrash and Speed metal, which sounds very dated. Also the production sucks and the drums of Ovoian really annoys me much. Nobody is waiting for such a release. So, my advise is, don't spend your money on this terrible album.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/guiltymusic2008

45/100

KALMAH – 12 Gauge (CD) Finland April 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 42:57 (Tracks: 9)
Lost Children of Bodom out of sight after the “Hatecrew Deathroll” album? Than Kalmah must be a band you have already discovered. Maybe a bolt statement because Kalmah was formed in 1999 only two years later than COB but nevertheless the similarities are there, especially the sound of the synths, that sound the same as on those early Bodom releases. But enough comparing now because Kalmah's sound is mature and original enough to convince. Their bio and fans speak of “swamp” metal, a term that returns more than once in there albums and song titles. I think this has something to do with their finish origin? I am not familiar with the back catalogue of the band so it's difficult for me to compare this 6th album with the other ones in their discography. So let's not do that and fully stick to this new one “12 gauge”.
The album was recorded in the famous Tico-tico studio in Finland (Impaled Nazarene, Amorphis, Belial) so soundwise so there's nothing to complain, a massive sound that fits the music perfectly. Absolute highlight of the album are the fantastic (twin) guitar parts and the constant variation between calmer parts and brutal parts. Even blast beats can be heard now and than. The vocals are the typical combination of screeching and grunting ones and do sound a tat monotonous at times if you ask me. So there's room to evolve here. Overall this is a good album in every way although this style has all been done in by other bands in the past. Whether you love Gothenburg, death, power, thrash or heavy metal, you'll like this CD as it combines them all in a good way, and more.
Visit their website: http://www.kalmah.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spinefarm.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/kalmah

78/100

KROKUS - Hoodoo (CD) Switzerland April 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 42:52 (Tracks: 11)
After 4 years Swiss rockers of KROKUS are back with a brand new album. And this time in a classic line-up, existing of Marc Storace (lead vocals), Fernando Von Arb (guitar, vocals), Mark Kohler (guitar), Chris Von Rohr (bass, vocals) and Freddy Steady (drums), which is actually the line-up of the "One Vice At The Time" album. The band, who exists since 1974 and had many line-up changes, celebrated their incredible comeback with a reunion concert in the above mentioned classic line-up on August 2nd, 2008 at the Stade De Suisse in Bern, Switzerland for no less than 10,000 fans. Well, I discovered KROKUS way back in 1980, when I was fifteen years old, with their classic album "Metal Rendez-Vous", with fantastic songs like "Heatstrokes", "Bedside Radio", "Streamer", "Tokyo Nights ", "Back-Seat Rock & Roll" and the awesome "Fire". Since then I have the following KROKUS albums in my collection: of course the above mentioned "Metal Rendez-Vous" (1980), "Hardware" (1981), "One Vice At A Time" (1982), "Headhunter" (1983), "The Blitz" (1984) and "Hellraiser" (2006). And, except "Hardware", these are all fantastic Hard Rock albums. "Hardware" is just a bit a less album, because it does have too many weak songs. But if I have to choose my absolute favorite KROKUS albums, then I would say "Metal Rendez-Vous", "One Vice At A Time" and "Headhunter". KROKUS, who has been Switzerland's most successful rock export for 30 years now, always have been compared with Australian rockers AC/DC in the press. "Metal Rendez-Vous" was KROKUS' first album with Marc Storace, who since then made a big impression on me as a singer. Of course I have several favorite singers in the Hard Rock and Metal scene, and Marc Storace is one of them. He's just a great singer, who's voice always reminded me of AC/DC's Bon Scott (R.I.P.). In fact, in my opinion Storace could have been the perfect replacement for Bon Scott when he died in 1980 (February 14th). Anyway, "Hoodoo" is the sixteenth studio album and features eleven songs, of which one is a cover version of STEPPENWOLF's classic "Born To Be Wild". And, although that song is covered so many times by other bands (like RIOT, SLADE, THE CULT, RAVEN, STATUS QUO, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT etc.), I must admit that KROKUS' version is a very good one. The album was produced by Chris Von Rohr and sounds fantastic. The only song on "Hoodoo" that doesn't remind of AC/DC is the semi-ballad "Ride Into The Sun", which is a song that sounds more like LED ZEPPELIN. The first single of the album is the catchy "Hoodoo Woman", which is a great song. I must say that the songs are of a high and constant level, and that makes "Hoodoo" of the same level as albums like "Metal Rendez-Vous" or "one Vice At TheTime", in other words also a classic album. Songs like the opener "Drive It In", "Hoodoo Woman", "Rock 'N' Roll Handshake", "Too Hot" (the beginning of the song reminds me of KISS' "Lick It Up"), "Dirty Street", the up-tempo "Keep Me Rolling" (superb), "Shot Of Love" or the cover "Born To Be Wild" are all awesome.
The digi-pack version of "Hoodoo" also includes a DVD with highlights of the above mentioned reunion concert in Bern. Although KROKUS never broke-up, "Hoodoo" is a brilliant comeback album in this classic line-up. Let's hope the band will stay in this line-up for years now and that they will promote "Hoodoo" by a large European club tour. If so, please don't forget The Netherlands. A show in 013 (Tilburg) or De Effenaar in Eindhoven would be fantastic (or just a few dates). Anyway, WELCOME BACK.
Visit their website: http://www.krokusonline.com
Recordlabel: http://www.sonymusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/krokusonline

92/100

METSATÖLL – Äio (CD) Estonia April 2010 Eddy_litE
Style: Folk Metal Running time: 60:26 (Tracks: 14)
This is definitely the surprise of the month for me! Being a long time fan of their neigbors Finntroll, it was a great experience listening to this album the first time. Since the last few albums by the Finnish trolls failed to impress me I could use some fresh folklore metal. I am always interested in new territory, especially if it is music that is much more than just entertainment. Estonian native Metsatöll (which translates as 'wolf') provided me not only with a very impressive album but also with a very satisfying evening of absorbing their culture. Everything about this release made me wanna get further into the storytelling and wanting to know where it all came from. So I found myself cruising the internet and reading about a country, oddly enough not that far from where I live, with a rich history and a very different culture than mine. And it amazed me that I didn't know that much about this intriguing country and especially this amazing band which exsists since 1999 and released an impressive list of material throughout the years.

"Äio" (which symbolizes the essence of sleep) is their fourth full length release, and the first for Spinefarm Records, but the band has released 14 titles in total. A handful of those are singles/videos but they also released some DVDs of which "Kõva Kont" (a double DVD package containing over 5 hours of material) seems to be a must-have for me. Much of Metsatöll's material used in the painting of the scenery, featuring flutes and various other native traditional instruments, is based on the wars for independence in the 13th and 14th centuries which makes you expect something grim and aggressive. While listening to the music the opposite mood is triggered. The songwriting is often very catchy and quite easy to get into but it also stays very close to the folklore of the region. For starters all lyrics are sung in the Estonian language. But before you start to think that Metsatöll uses metal as a gimmickery and should be classified as folkmetal with the emphasis on folklore I can tell you that is not the case. The balance between the two is spot on and are forged together in a way that makes the album compact and easy to swallow. Having the album mixed and mastered at the famous Finnvox Studios helped in that area too. Many of the songs have that typical "beerdrinking & hellraising" basis with the massive masculin runo-singing that is typical for the region. And the more traditional parts are never too long, dull or difficult to scare the average metalhead away. In fact, I think this album can reach a very wide range of metalheads. Although translations in English are provided some of the archaic history is difficult to translate. It doesn't really matter, it still speaks to me and I get a great feeling of joy and might out of it all. I guess this album is going to serve as a party starter many a time from now on and I am sure most of my friends want to buy the album after hearing it. If you are already used to the odd-sounding language and like Finntroll or Korpiklaani you're going to like this album I'm sure. If you are not sure, just listen to the songs either on their myspace or in a recordstore and you'll be surprised. Chances are you'll find a new world to discover just as I did.
Visit their website: http://www.metsatoll.ee
Recordlabel: http://www.spinefarm.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/metsatoll

90/100

M.I.C. - Out 2 Rock (CD) China April 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock Running time: 54:50 (Tracks: 15)
In February of this year I reviewed M.I.C.'s (MADE IN CHINA) debut album simply titled "Made In China" (2008) for MMM. I really wasn't impressed by that album, which I gave 55 points. And like I wrote in that review, the second album "Out 2 Rock" would be officially released in February 2010. Well, here it is. Mario received "Out 2 Rock" and, because I reviewed the first album, he also send this second album to me to review. And to be honest, M.I.C. really have made a slight improvement. The band exists of Yvon Serré (vocals, lead guitar), Angela Renzetti (guitar, backing vocals), Huang Hong Liang (bass) and Zhao Qian (drums). Although the songs are still very simple sometimes, they do rock more then on the debut album, and some tracks are really nice compositions. The total time of the actual album is 47:30 minutes, but the CD contains also single versions of "Who Do You Love" (3:32) and "Something To Say" (3:32) for radio stations. So the complete running time of "Out 2 Rock" is 54:50 minutes. Serré is not a fantastic singer, just a moderate one. The production of the album is okay. Musically, the second track of the album "Who Do You Love" (4:10), sounds nice, but the chorus gets repeated to much, and gets annoying. "Something To Say" (5:26) is a reasonable ballad. The best songs on "Out 2 Rock" are in my opinion the up-tempo rocker "Hot Summer Day" (with a nice guitar solo), "Can't Live This Way", the rock 'n roller "Rockin' Lucille", "What Your Doing" and "Between The Eyes". Conclusion: "Out 2 Rock" is a better album then "Made In China", but it's still an album which I wouldn't buy myself. So, if you are interested in M.I.C., then check them out yourself. '
Visit their website: http://www.yvonserre.com/mic
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/madeinchine

62/100

MORTICIAN – No War & More (CD) Austria April 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 60:25 (Tracks: 12)
As a huge fan of the NWOBHM music and sound, the recent discovery of Mortician (not the USA based Death Metal band) was a pleasant surprise to me. If you are an old school Metal head, there is a possibility that you've heard of them before. This Austrian based band was founded in 1983 and has released the following documents: The 'Street Warrior Demo ' in 1987, 'No War EP' in 1987 and the 'Break the Rules Demo' in 1989. Despite the quality of the music, Mortician never found it's way to a big audience and vanished in the late eighties. But true love for music never dies and in 2009 the band announced their comeback. Mortician is currently working on new material, but meanwhile they have put out the 'No War & More' album which contains all the band's previous releases on one disc. The album was released by Pure Steel Records.
Wow, this really takes me back…not to the eighties itself, because at that time I was far to young to even be aware of this type of music, but it takes me back to my favorite NWOBHM records such as 'Angel Witch.' Even after more than twenty years, songs like 'No war,' 'Hot fight' and 'Break the Rules' are breathing that energy and excitement that was going on at the time. Fast riffing, crushing solo's and emotional vocals, it is all there. To bad that Mortician never made it big. Whatever the reason for that may be, I know for sure that it wasn't the lack of musical quality. In fact, I can recommend every Metal enthusiast to check out this great album. I think you will be just as surprised as I was. Long story short: the old school heavy metal of Mortician is worth listening to. As mentioned, the band is currently working on new material. According to the band itself, they will maintain their much appreciated classic style. I would say: Bring it on…
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/morticianaustria

82/100

MYRAH – Six Feet Down (CD) Sweden April 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Melodic Dark Metal Running time: 47.05 (Tracks: 9)
Myrah saw the light in Northern Sweden in 2005. After some mcd's like “Death and Despair” they now have released this debut album “Six Feet Down”. Myrah plays dark gothic metal which is yet heavy but also melodic to keep it catchy. The desperate sounding voice of Patrick Essman gives the music a personal and more “darky” feeling. A bit more variation in his voice in the more up tempo songs shouldn't hurt the band, but in the slower, darker songs like “Six Feet Down” he definitely is the perfect man for this stuff. Delightful desperate you can name that. Overall they deliver a fine album with no real weak moments on it. Very stable, enough variation and provided with a good production, played by skilled musicians this is a fine debut album. Sometimes I miss a bit of power in the songs but I think that playing more live should solve this problem for the next album. Fans of Paradise Lost, Insomnium, etc. should check this one out.
Visit their website: http://www.myrahband.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/myrahband

75/100

NEVERLAND - Ophedia (CD) Turkey / Greece April 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Symphonic Melodic Metal Running time: 60:00 (Tracks: 13)
Neverland is a new band formed by Turkish powermetal band Dreamtone and the Greek vocalist Iris Mavraki and are now releasing their second album Ophedia. The band saw first light in 2006 when one of Turkey's most famous heavy metal band decided to join forces with Iris Mavraki, a woman who was in the music business for a very long time allready. The result is a band that plays progressive metal at a pretty high level. The songs on this album are higly layered and it takes a few spins to get them completely. There is a nice variation between catchy melodies and epic melodic musical pieces. Another nice addition are the guest appearances by Jon Oliva, Edu Falshi and Urban Breed. Overall it's very clear that we are dealing with extremely talented musicians here but I'm sorry to say that I'm not that enthousiastic about this album. First of all I don't like female vocals but since that is purely my personal taste I'm not going to whine about this any more than this. But the main reason for my dislike is the tempo of the songs. I was expecting some faster songs that pack a punch and have a general heavy sound but I couldn't really find one on the album and I think that's a shame since it all gets a bit boring near the end now. Even though if you like progressive bands like Dream Theater and the likes you should check this out, you'll probably enjoy it more then I did.
Visit their website: http://www.in-neverland.com
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/neverlandofficial

61/100

PANDEA – Soylent Green (CD) Germany April 2010 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Melodic Progressive Metal Running time: 59:15 (Tracks: 12)
This is an interesting project. Based upon the movie “ Soylent Green” from 1973, the story concept is used to look to the year 2022 and build an album around that. The intro is 100% Ayreonesque, the music isn't. More power, melodic, with a lot of diversity, changes in tempo and some nice musicianship. The guys responsible for this project are Mario LeMole and Dan Uhden (whom we know from “ Mind Odyssey”). They invited a number of people to do some parts on this album, of whom guitarist Victor Smolski is the most wellknown one. Obviously, the influence of Ayreon and Avantasia is there, but I also hear some typical German influences (a touch of Gamma Ray) and some oldschool hardrock like Deep Purple.
The negative factor is unfortunately the vocal parts. I feel that that the concept of the album is nicely translated into music, the music itself is very good, no doubts about that, but when you invite a number of people to join in (as should be when you make a rock opera like mr. Lucassen and mr. Sammett), find yourself someone with a charismatic voice that carries the music. That would have elevated the appreciation of this album.
Visit their website: http://www.pandea-music.de
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pandearockband

80/100

SAMMATH – Triumph In Hatred (CD) The Netherlands April 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 40:45 (Tracks: 7)
Formed in 1994 Sammath was intended to be one of the most violent and aggressive bands ever in our beloved metal scene. Jan Kruitwagen the founding member of Sammath grew up in Australia, the land where I think the most sick and twisted bands come from. Jan moved to Holland in 1989 and when he started Sammath for about 5 years later he combined the Aussie violence with the sound of the well known European black metal style that was at its peak that time. Dwelling deep in the underground for some years with the disorganized sounding first releases it was with the 2002 “”Dodengang” album that Sammath took a big step upwards. And it is with this new album “Triumph in hatred” that I can gladly say that this hasn't stagnated! For example listen to the great song: ”The dead lay thorn” whereon you can hear a fully mature sound.
Just as on the other Sammath albums the songs are riff slideshows with only very occasional diversions to distinguish any one song from another but on “Triumph in Hatred” the songs are more well thought through. The music is preoccupied with tremolo riffs and blastbeats, very occasionally dropping to a slower tempo for some chunkier riffs. Mostly the music is of a binary and static nature. So with creativity in song structure mostly an abandoned element, what's left are riffs and the performance itself. The riffs generally hover somewhere around above average; there's nothing really stellar but there's an inherent grasp of how to make good bread and butter death/black/thrash riffs which maintain listener interest. Occasionally a more melodic one will sneak in amongst all the grinding, demonic ones, and it provides a good diversion from the somewhat less tonal nature of the rest of the music. The instrumental performances seem fairly vicious, but this is probably an element of the production, with very forward blastbeats and sharp guitar tones. The fairly typical black metal vocals are executed well and add the human element to hook the listener; the clear, well-rounded production puts them near the front, suitably aggressive and forward in nature. Music for maniacs!
Visit their website: http://www.sammath.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.folter666.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sammath

78/100

SERPENTINE - A Touch Of Heaven (CD) United Kingdom April 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 48:46 (Tracks: 10)
"A Touch Of Heaven" is the debut album of melodic rock band SERPENTINE. The band, who's from Cardiff, Wales, England, was founded by Gareth David Noon (keyboards), Christopher Gould (guitar) and Gareth Vanstone (bass) somewhere in 2007. After working together on several demos, the band was completed with American singer Greg Flores, but after awhile it proved that working with a singer based in the United States was difficult. Anyway, finally they found a new singer in Tony Mills, who's also known as the singer of bands like SHY and TNT. In the summer of 2009 SERPENTINE's line-up was finally completed by John Clews (guitar) and Charlie Skeggs (drums). "A Touch Of Heaven" features 10 songs and was produced by Mark V. Stuart, who's well known of his work with MAGNUM. Of course Mills is a fantastic singer and the other members of the band are very skilled musicians too. And about the songs, they are good, but not very spectacular. You can expect some rock songs like "A Touch Of Heaven", "Let Love Rain Down", the catchy "We Belong" and "Love Suicide", but also some ballads like "For The Love Of It All" and the TONI BRAXTON cover "Unbreak My Heart". "A Touch Of Heaven" is not a very notable album, but it's just an average melodic rock album to listen to once in a while. If you are into melodic rock and love bands like TNT, STYX, JOURNEY, SHY etc., then you can check this album out yourself. '
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/planetserpentine

75/100

SLAVES TO FASHION - Slaves To Fashion (MCD) Norway April 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock / Progressive Rock / Symphonic Rock Running time: 14:08 (Tracks: 4)
SLAVES TO FASHION is a four piece band from Finland who used to be called P:O:B. (PEDESTRIANS OF BLUE) and released one album titled "Crossing Over" (2007), which according to their biography was critically praised in the underground press. SLAVES TO FASHION exists of Johannes Støle (vocals, keyboards), Torfinn Sirnes (guitar), John Henry Lind (bass) and Vidar Ingvaldsen (drums). This EP contains four songs, which are "Mrs. Hero", "Left Out In The Cold", "The Garden (Remix)" and "Out Of Here". And the first three songs are really good, especially "Left Out In The Cold". Only the last track "Out Of Here" is a very dull song. The production of this EP, which is released on Fish Farm Records, is excellent. The band is working on a full length album and looking for a record deal. When I heard the first song, "Mrs. Hero" it sounded like a mixture of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and LIVE to me. I understand that "The Garden" is actually a song of P:O:B., only this is a new and remixed version. And "The Garden" also sounds like LIVE to me, with a slight symphonic touch. Anyway, the band exists of good musicians and Støle is a good singer. SLAVES TO FASHION is a nice band. I'm curious about how their debut album will be. '
Visit their website: http://www.slavestofashion.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/slavestofashion

70/100

SLEEPING VILLAGE - Fragments (MCD) Italy April 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Ambient / Black Metal Running time: 28:06 (Tracks: 4)
Sleeping village started out in 2002 and so far they released 2 demo`s, an EP and a split cd with Isolation. This Ep Fragments is their second one.This project is M.(Mortifer) who is responsible for all music and lyrics and Tryfar who does the vocals. I don`t really like this music. It just isn`t my cup of tea. But they can`t help that ofcourse. But I can imagine there are a lot of people who will dig this EP. It`s a spheric EP with lot`s of ambience, distorted noise and you have to listen to it a few times and then you hear something new every time. The songs are filled with details. The vocals are a bit black metal but it`s more noise in the background. The vocals are not used in a traditional way but more as an addition with moaning and screaming. But the pace stays the same for half an hour and that starts to bore me after a while. Sure, the drums ( Computer?)pick up the speed now and then but the rest of the instruments play the same cords over and over again and I don`t really like the sound of it. But if you are into dark, ambient music you might like this.
Visit their website: http://www.untergrund.altervista.org
Recordlabel: http://www./ashenproductions.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/autumnallfires

40/100

STAGE DOLLS - Always (CD) Norway April 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 37:32 (Tracks: 10)
The band Stage Dolls (Norway) has released a new album, Always is their seventh official release. The name of the band suggests that you are dealing with a glam rock band, but the opposite is true. Stage Dolls makes nice, melodic AOR rock.
The band was founded almost 30 years ago when guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Torstein Flakne recruited bass player Terje Storli and drummer Erlend Antonsen to start a band. Soon they supported TNT as their warm-up band, this all happened before an official album had been released. In 1985, the Stage Dolls released their first album called “Soldier's Gun”. They got a hit single with the title track and soon they were one of the country's hardest touring bands. They became very popular in Norway. In 1993, the current drummer, Morten Skogstad, joined the band. Stage Dolls didn't release much music in the Nineties, but they never disbanded.
Now, 25 years after their first release, the new album Always is released. The title of the album has been chosen by the band because they want to underline that Stage Dolls is a band that you can always trust. It is an album with 10 well composed songs where melodic rock is alternated with nice ballads. You can compare Stage Dolls` music with Richard Marx (ballads), Bryan Adams, Def Leppard etc. The solid rhythm section provides Flakne the chance to stand out with beautiful guitar riffs. On a number of songs, a guest contribution can be heard from a background singer, something that really adds something to the music. The only drawback of the CD is the short playing time. I don't know if it's easy to buy the album. The website shows only record companies which are active in Scandinavia and Japan, but the album can be ordered by the AOR Heaven web store.
I can recommend this album if well crafted melodic rock is your thing.
Visit their website: http://www.stagedolls.com
Recordlabel: http://www.aorheaven.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stagedolls

80/100

SUNROAD – Long Gone (CD) Brasil April 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Progressive Hard Rock Running time: 51:25 (Tracks: 11)
It's been a while since I heard from these guys, I reviewed two of their albums in 2007, while their last studio album was released in 2006. What happened since then, well after the release of 'Flying N' Floating' in 2006 they became one of the most important Brazilian bands and the main Hardrock band from the Midwest of Brasil. They reached the top 5 in American college radios and were invited to many shows. They did a south American tour promoted by the Delzotano management of Peru. In December of 2008 the band released '1996-2006/Ten Years Treating Deafness' a collection of the first ten years of SUNROAD. In July 2009 they were invited to be opening act for the South American tour of Joe Lynn Turner. After that recording sessions started for the new album 'Long Gone', the sixth album from SUNROAD's discography. The sound became more hardrock than it's predecessors due to the twin guitar format now. SUNROAD plays some fine hardrock tunes, performed by skilled musicians with a lot of variation in their music. Also the production is done a lot better than the older albums. The singer isn't the best you can have but does ok, the guitar parts are sometimes fabulous, with lots of soloing on board. But for me it's a bit to commercial, rock radio orientated hardrock. The album also contains the 'necessary' ballads like 'looking for a Trace', and the sing along song 'Feedback' to prove which direction they want to go, and it really is airplay material which will do good on most American radio stations I guess, I doubt however if this will appeal to the European market. Not at all a bad album, but not for the die hard metal fan, but if you are into some good guitar work give them a try, cause they really can play those six strings.
Visit their website: http://www.sunroad.com.br
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sunroadgroup

70/100

SUPERSONIC SPEEDFREAKS - This Is Year X (CDemo) Sweden April 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Glam Rock Running time: 11:27 (Tracks: 3)
SUPERSONIC SPEEDFREAKS is a Swedish Glam Rock band who exists of Sonny (vocals, guitar), Thundah (guitar, vocals), Rob (bass) and Baiser (drums). This 3 track CDemo called "This Is Year X" is just a teaser from their upcoming full length album which the band is recording. SUPERSONIC SPEEDFREAKS is existing three years now and the band is featured on a compilation album "Punk Kills" (2009) and on the split EP "House Of Horror" (2009) with other bands like WEREWOLF SYNDROME, B.T.S. and THE WHIRL. The songs on this demo/EP are "Wildheart", "Bloodrain" and "Drop The Zero", and are all sounding very good. So, we'll just have to wait for the, yet, untitled full length album of these four guys. Anyway, an interesting demo of a nice upcoming band. '
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/supersonicspeedfreaksofficial

77/100

THE 101's – Get What You Deserve (MCD) The Netherlands April 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Punk / Rawk 'n Roll Running time: 12:58 (Tracks: 4)
In June 2008 I reviewed the fantastic album “Rehearsal Incidents” of THE 101's, which got 84 points from me. From the very first time I saw THE 101's live (May 17th, 2008 as one of the support acts of PETER PAN SPEEDROCK in De Pul, Uden) I knew the band really had something to make it. The band has a very good presentation on stage and most of all they've got great and catchy punk 'n roll songs. Anyway, THE 101's are existing four years now and the line-up of the band still exists of Andy van de Vossenberg (lead vocals, guitar), Dirk Delisse (guitar), Mark Welten (bass, vocals) and Rens van den Tillaer (drums). Now these young and talented guys are back with a four track EP called “Get What You Deserve”. The first track “Worth For Nothing” is a great opener and reminds me a bit of DE HEIDEROOSJES. On “Rehearsal Incidents” also bass player Mark sung a song (“Aways Drinking, Always Drunk”), but on this EP all songs are sung by Andy, who's a good singer and a fantastic guitarist as well. My only complaint about this self released EP is, why the band recorded an EP instead of another album, because you want more after those four songs. Just like “Rehearsal Incidents”, also this EP doesn't have weak songs, because “Worth For Nothing”, “Get What You Deserve”, “Take Your Time Nobody's Gonna Fool You” and “Dead Man Walking” are all fantastic and catchy songs. Well, THE 101's are still a young talented band with a promising future to me. Next time a full length album again guys.
Visit their website: http://www.101s.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/the101space

82/100

THE JADE - Seconds Away From Salvation (CD) Finland April 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock / Alternative Running time: 47:06 (Tracks: 14)
"Seconds Away From Salvation" is the debut album of THE JADE, which is a four piece band from Helsinki, Finland. The band was founded in 2004 and exists of Wille Rosen (vocals, percussion), Pekko Mantzin (guitars, backing vocals), Jann P.H. (bass) and Sirpa (drums). Before this album was released, THE JADE had released the EP "Heatwave" (2004) and a mini-CD "Slow Motions On The Fast Lanes" (2006). While listening to "Seconds Away From Salvation", bands who come in mind are THE KILLERS and ONE IN A MILLION. The album counts fourteen tracks and one of those (the last track of the album) is a cover version of pop classic "It's A Sin" of the PET SHOP BOYS. The album is very accessible in my opinion, but not all the songs are equally strong. I would say songs like "Roses Are Burning", "Drowning", "Yesterday's Rain", "Before The Dawn", "In The Air" and "Wake Up" are the best songs. So, it's not really a bad album, but in my view THE JADE will not breakthrough worldwide with this album. '
Visit their website: http://www.thejade.fi
Recordlabel: http://www.northandsouth.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thejadenet

77/100

THROES OF DAWN – The Great Fleet Of Echoes (CD) Finland April 2010 Eddy_litE
Style: Melancholic Metal Running time: 54:25 (Tracks: 10)
Throes of Dark is one of the many bands that Finland has to offer these days. Many of the bands coming from the moody Scandinavian area are related to (death) metal and many seem to reflect the atmosphere of the long nights and cold days of the region. It's not surprising that many of these bands tend to be more emotionally dark rather than aggressively. Many albums in this corner of the metal spectrum are lost on me, simply because it takes more basic creative skills if you work with less. In other words, strong melodies and interesting songwriting are very important. I have nothing to complain about in that area with this album.

The first thing that comes to mind when listening to this album is Pink Floyd. In particular 'The Division Bell' album. And logically also the mood & colors you find in albums by Porcupine Tree, Opeth and Seigmen. Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not! That I have to think about these bands while listening to this album is a great achievement in itself. Though there are many references to be found and nothing you'll find in this album is really new, the way it is presented here is quite unique. I can't name any album released in recent years that is this impressive and/or moving all the way through. The songwriting is very good without any exception and the songs are arranged with great depth which makes it that none of the longer tracks seem as long as they really are. As you could've expected already great melodies throughout and a singer that can carry both the grunting as well as warm comforting sounding clean vocals. The lyrical themes are well thought through and focus on the darker aspects of the human psyche.

The best aspects of this album are found in the contrasts. There is a great balance between screaming and clean vocals, the mid-paced groovy parts and atmospheric landscapes. And there is also a catchiness to the songs. And that is a bit odd. On one hand this album seems not to be build on compromises made to sell it. And on the other hand it is rather easy to get into. For followers of the genre it is definitely a must have album. But it is also a great step-in album. All in all a very impressive and solid album that functions great as a whole. The only downside is that it will probably be difficult to sell in this MP3 single culture we live in these days.
Visit their website: http://www.throesofdawn.com
Recordlabel: http://www.firebox.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/throesofdawn

85/100

WORMROT - Abuse (CD) Singapore April 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Grindcore Running time: 21:00 (Tracks: 23)
It's always nice to get to know new bands, especially when they're coming from a distant country. It's fun to realise yet again that extreme music is appreciated across the globe. This time I got to know Wormrot, a grindcore band from Singapore. I never was a realy big fan of grindcore allthough I do tend to enjoy the atmosphere of their live performances but overall there's just to much chaos and not enough music in their works. At least that's what I always thought but these newer grindbands tend to create organised chaos in a way that makes it really ejoyable. On this record the thrashy riffs melt fluently with the complete ugly mindblowing sounds of old school grind to become a very cool whole. The drums are superb as expected from an extreme band and the vocals are ugly as fuck, which is actually a compliment in this genre. If you're into this shit and you got 20 minutes to spare, give this one a spin. I sure liked it and would love to see this live.
Recordlabel: http://www.earache.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/wormrotgrind

80/100

MARCH

ABSCESS – Dawn of Inhumanity (CD) USA March 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Death Metal Running time:52:31 (Tracks: 10)
Last year saw the temporary? The return of Autopsy with a “7” inch “Horrific Obsession” celebrating the 20th anniversary of the classic album “Severed Survival” The band will play at the Maryland Deathfest in May and until then it will remains unclear –read the several interviews with Chris Reifert of the last few months- if the band will go on and maybe record another album under the banner of Autopsy or not. Until we get the answer to that question they will fob someone off with Abscess. With Abscess it will always be just like with Jon Oliva's Pain and Savatage. The fans will always ask for another reunion/ album of the fact that they think that under the other name the band will release another classic. In both cases think again! The only thing that is different is the “name” I think that the sound of Abscess doesn't differ that much from the sound of Autopsy. There maybe are a little more punk influences in the sound of Abscess but that is just it. Apart from that I too have always seen Abscess more as a “project” than as a real band. With “Dawn of Inhumanity” it becomes time to change that thought because this album such a dirty piece of art that the band is on par with Autopsy. Finally! The songs on “Dawn of Inhumanity” are utterly soaked in a dark, miserable atmosphere, wallowing in all the blood and filth they can scrape off of handfuls of power chords and hoarsely growled vocals, violently spewing lyrics about cannibalism, mass murder, and deviant sexuality. Abscess makes the sludgy, heaving style of death metal work for them, unlike many others, making every monolithic sway of their instruments something compelling and great to listen to. It's enormously heavy and brutal without downtuning tremendously or gurgling. It's pretty easy to argue that this album is mercilessly conventional, because it is. But it's conventional in a way that's been pretty unpopular for a number of years now. For people who love the oldschool, doomy style of death metal, there is essentially nothing better out there now. I don't really get how you can dislike this; it does what it sets out to do nearly perfectly. I am telling you the truth, though: if you like the conventions of the style, you'll love this. If you don't, you'll find it listless and boring. It's as simple as that. Stand out dirt: “What have we done ourselves” with the great lyric: “We made this hell and we are here to stay!”, the title track and the heavily Sabbath influenced “Black Winds of Oblivion”
Visit their website: http://www.abscessfreaks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.peaceville.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/abscessband

80/100

ANDRE MATOS - Mentalize (CD) Brazil March 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Progressive / Power Metal Running time: 55:13 (Tracks: 12)
After his work with Angra and Samhan this is already the second solo album of power metal vocalist Andre Matos. I've always been a fan of Angra but I lost track of the man after his work with that band. I was quite curious when I heard he made some solo work. This second album is quite good for the lovers of the genre. I can hear very decent tracks with lots of variation and of course the great voice of Matos himself. Biggest problem with this album for me is the lack of real power in the songs. Most of them are mid tempo or ballads so the band never goes full throttle. This makes the album a tiring near the end if you're not entirely into this type of music. Overall this is still a very decent album and should be checked out by all fans of the genre.
Visit their website: http://www.andrematos.net
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/andrematossolo

70/100

ANGELS OF BABYLON – Kingdom of Evil (CD) USA March 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 45:43 (Tracks: 10)
Angels of Babylon is a brand new supergroup! Just check out the players. Dave Fefolt (Valhalla, Masi, Forgotten Realm, Hawk) on vocals, Ethan Brosh (virtuoso) on guitars, Rhino (Manowar, Forgotten Realm, Holyhell) on drums and Dave Ellefson (Megadeth and countless other bands) on bass! A rather impressive roster. The question is if the music is corresponding in worth with the value of the personnel.
In my opinion the whole effort is very successful. The four personalities have managed to coexist in a very creative way. There are some very strong compositions reinforced by a great production. My personal favourite Dave Fefolt delivers some great performances with his unique voice. Rhino's drumming is meaningful and solid, so is the performance by Ellefson. Ethan Brosch is a great guitarist and I am confident that we will see much greater things from him in the future. There are some songs that I can't stop spinning in my player such as “Conspiracy Theory”, “Night Magic”, “Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen”. The listener will find many things to love about this record. There are classic metal values in this album and the result is melodic power metal at its finest. Let's hope that Angels of Babylon will continue as a group cause “Kingdom of Evil” deserves a successor.
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officialangelsofbabylon

82/100

AVATAR – Avatar (CD) Sweden March 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Speed Metal Running time: 43:04 (Tracks: 10)
Avatar is a Swedish metal band which is often compared to In Flames. Although there are a lot similarities, Avatar has proven to have a quite original sound of their own. Despite the fact that the band members are approximately 23 years old, they can look back on an impressive career so far. In 2006, their debut album 'Thoughts of no tomorrow' was released and made it to the top five on the Swedish charts. In 2007, 'Schlacht' came out and some successful tours with In Flames and Evergrey followed. Over the years, the band has matured a lot. This comes to show on the band's third and self titled album 'Avatar.' When you are familiar with their previous material, you notice two things straight away: the more melodic approach and the catchy song structures. The biggest talent of Avatar is to create brutal music in the form of songs that stick with you. It is hard for me to point our some specific songs because they are all very strong. As a metal fan, I can strongly recommend you to give this album a try. In a few months they will come to Holland for a few shows. If you check their videos on youtube, I'll bet you also want to go. Great band!
Visit their website: http://www.avatar.net/
Recordlabel: http://www.gain.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/avatar

85/100

BARREN EARTH – Curse of The Red River (CD) Finland March 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 54.25(Tracks: 9)
This is Barren Earth's first full length. The band consists of members and ex- members from well known bands as Swallow the Sun, Kreator, Amorphis and Moonsorrow. So we can speak of a little all star band here. The band plays a melodic style of death metal with lots of Opeth influences that mostly come from a seventies sounding synthesizer (Melltron). This fundamental division of the soft and heavy parts between the songs as both the biggest flaw and strength this album has. Baren Earth shows a brilliant contrast between these soft and harsh parts of the music which had come to define their sound. As well as being 'heavier' than their EP the album also has quite a doomy feel about it. Whether this comes from the subtle use of the already mentioned mellotrons or is just part of the atmosphere the music creates at large I'm not sure. What is for certain though is it certainly adds to the release and helps it stand out from Barren earth's EP as well as create a heavier vibe to the album. The music is also a fair bit more technical than the norm, and this is most reflected in the drumming and guitarplaying . some of their winding melodies in favour of some sharper more aggressive riffs. All of this acts as a nice change but will surely disappoint the people that are searching for more aggression. So if you're searching for a good melodic death metal album and you like what Opeth did on their latest releases. Look no further!
Visit their website: http://www.barrenearth.com
Recordlabel: http://www.peaceville.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/barrenearth

83/100

BORKNAGAR - Universal (CD) Norway March 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Black Metal Running time: 46:54 (Tracks: 8)
The Norwegian progressive black metal band Borknagar has released their 8th studio album. The album is released in 4 different formats: a regular jewel case, limited digipack, a cd box with extra's and a LP. It's an expensive time for the real fans. The album was recorded and mixed at the Toproom Studio with the band members themselves doing the production.
The band was founded in 1994 by band leader Øystein G. Brun who wanted to develop his own musical vision. He was always fond of melodious atmospheric music so he recruited equal minded musicians from famous bands like Immortal, Gorgoroth, Arcturus, Ulver and Enslaved to create a new sound in the traditional black metal scene. So Borknagar was found. It all started with the self-titled album and soon after this release, Century Media signed the band and released the Olden Domain, in my opinion a classic in the scene and also my first acquaintance with the band. After this release, a lot of changes in the line-up took place and at this moment only Brun is present of the original line-up. The band still consists of talented musicians with a lot of experience in the music scene.
The album starts quite intense (after a short intro) with the song Havoc, one of my personal favourites. Heavy screams are alternated by the characteristic “clean voice” of Vintersorg, something which can be heard the whole album. In the fourth song, even a jazzy bass loop can be heard. The composition of all the songs is of a really high level again, as I expected. Musical experiments are not shunned, something I can appreciate. However, it has to be said that the second part of the album is less intense compared to the first one, but it still remains at a high level.
Borknagar still calls their music Progressive Black Metal, but in my opinion, it's not black metal anymore, maybe only the vocals. Its more progressive metal with Folk and Viking metal influences. I want to suggest that the die-hard black metal fans first listen to the album before buying it. However, Borknagar has released a really good album.
Visit their website: http://www.myspace.com/borknagar
Recordlabel: http://www.indierec.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/borknagar

91/100

BRUCE KULICK - BK3 (CD) USA March 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 51:31 (Tracks: 12)
Of course BRUCE KULICK is best known as one of the lead guitarists of the legendary band KISS. Before Bruce Kulick joined KISS in 1984 (first as a replacement for Mark St. John), he had his own band BLACKJACK (with Michael Bolotin a.k.a. Michael Bolton), with whom he released two albums "Blackjack" (1979) and "Worlds Apart" (1980). Bruce also played in THE GOOD RATS (on "Great American Music" (1981), which I still have on vinyl), and played on albums of BILLY SQUIER ("Tale Of The Tape"), MICHAEL BOLTON (1983's self titled album and 1985's "Everbody's Crazy"). When Bruce left KISS, because of the reunion of the original KISS line-up in 1996, he started the band UNION with John Corabi (ex-MÖTLEY CRÜE) in 1997. Together with Corabi and former band mate Eric Singer (KISS, but also BADLANDS, BLACK SABBATH etc.) Bruce is also playing in E.S.P. (ERIC SINGER PROJECT). Since 2000 (or 2001?) Bruce is playing in another legendary rock band, namely in GRAND FUNK RAILROAD (of the classic hit "Some Kind Of Wonderful"). After his KISS period Bruce also played on Gene Simmons' second solo album "Asshole" (2004), LORDI's album "The Arockalypse" (2006), Paul Stanley's second solo album "Live To Win" (2006) and did some contributions on several tribute albums. Anyway, the title of this album "BK3" speaks for itself, it's Kulick's third solo album. His debut solo album "Audio Dog" was released in 2001 and his second one "Transformer" in 2003. "BK3", which was produced by Kulick and Jeremy Rubolino, features twelve fantastic rock songs. On several songs Bruce had special guest contributions, like Gene Simmons (KISS) who sings on "Ain't Gonna Die", Nick Simmons (Gene's son) who does the vocals on the heavy "Hand Of The King", John Corabi (ex-MÖTLEY CRÜE, E.S.P., UNION) who sings on "No Friend Of Mine", Dough Fieger (singer of THE KNACK ("My Sharona"), who recently died of cancer on February 14th, 2010) sings the poppy "Dirty Girl", Tobias Sammet (EDGUY, AVANTASIA) sings and Eric Singer (see above) drums on "I'm The Aminal" and Steve Lukather (TOTO) plays lead guitar on "Between The Lines". Some songs on "BK3" reminds me even of KISS' last studio album with Kulick "Carnival Of Souls: The Final Sessions" of 1997, and some guitar parts on "Final Mile" reminds me of the KISS song "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You II". In fact, the two ballads "I'll Survive" and "Life" are good songs, but are in my opinion the two least tracks on "BK3". "Fate" is a fantastic opener with great guitar solo's. Bruce has a recognizable guitar sound, and it's just a pleasure listening to his awesome guitar solo's on all songs. There are two instrumental songs on "BK3", which are "Between The Lines" and the bonus track "Skydome". "Between The Lines" reminds me even of JOE SATRIANI. The best song on "BK3" is absolutely "I'm The Animal", other favorites are without a doubt "Fate", "Ain't Gonna Die", "No Friend Of Mine", "Hand Of The King", "Dirty Girl", "Between The Lines" and "Skydome". All songs on the album are written by Kulick and Rubolino and some with a third person (in this case the guest performer). What else can I say, "BK3" is an excellent rock album and absolutely a real recommendation.
Visit their website: http://www.kulick.net
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/brucekulick

84/100

BURN - Universal Justice (CD) The Netherlands March 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 27:16 (Tracks: 7)
"Universal Justice" is the debut album of Dutch metal band BURN. The band exists of Bjorn Ciggaar (vocals), Leon Hermans (guitar, backing vocals), Ruben van Wiggen (guitar), Waldo Kloor (bass, backing vocals) and Sjoerd Jansz (drums). The band plays a mixture of old school Hard Rock and melodic Heavy Metal like in the '80's. Before this album, the band released a promo single (2006) a promo album (2007), the EP "Lost In Space" (2007) and the single "Danger Zone / Lords Of Metal" (2008). "Universal Justice" brings back that feeling of the '80's, but to be honest, BURN sounds like so many Dutch metal bands did in that period. So, actually it's not really spectacular. In my opinion the weakest link of the band is Ciggaar as a singer. He's too moderate and sounds pretty monotone to me and sometimes even not in tune ("The Palisade"). Okay, sometimes he's yelling high in some songs. About the other members I have no comments. The band does have in Hermans and Van Wiggen two fine guitar players. This album starts with the short instrumental "1038430" on which Menno Gootjes (ex FOCUS, NINEVOLT) plays guitar and Joost van den Broek (ex-AFTER FOREVER) keyboards. Van den Broek also plays on the last track of the album, titled "The Worst Of Time". The songs are just nice compositions. Another guest musician on "Universal Justice" is guitarist Jan Somers (VENGEANCE) who's playing on "Digital Bitch". The band produces this album themselves, and in my opinion the drum sound could be better. My conclusion is that "Universal Justice" is just nice and nothing more. If you're interested in this album, it's for sale for 10 euro. Contact the band at leon@burnmusic.nl.
Visit their website: http://www.burnmusic.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/burnmusic

69/100

DAWN OF SILENCE – Wicked Saint or Righteous Sinner (CD) Sweden March 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 44:03 (Tracks: 10)
Dawn Of Silence already exist since 2000 when the members met eachother in school. The common interest for heavy metal and in particular Iron Maiden made them start a band. They hired a rehearsal room and started to play some Iron Maiden covers. Soon they got bored only playing covers, so they started to write their own songs. Their first demo “Eternity” was recorded in a local studio in 2002, later followed by “World Of Lies” and “Follow Your Heart” (both in 2003), “Fear Of Life” in 2004 and “Lost All Hope” in 2005. These demo's were reviewed very well by the international metal press, songs have been played over the radio in various countries and they begun to create a name with their notorious live performances. In 2006 the band got tired waiting for a label to pick them up, so they decided to go into the Black Lounge Studio with Jonas Kjellgren (Scar Symmetry, Centinex) as producer/engineer. With him they recorded their first professional album “Moment Of Weakness” in May 2006. The recording paid off, with the same line-up since their start, because Metal Heaven released their debut album at the end of 2006. Since their well received debut album, the band separated with Metal Heaven. In February 2008 they already recorded their second album “Wicked Saint Or Righteous Sinner” (once again with producer Jonas Kjellgren), but almost a year passed until they found a suitable record label in GMR Music Group from Sweden. Dawn Of Silence still plays high quality melodic heavy metal. There are still some Iron Maiden influences, mixed with the sound from bands such as Edguy, Primal Fear, Judas Priest and Dreamland. Most of the songs are played in up-tempo, but there are also some mid-tempo songs as well, always topped off with great, melodic, twinguitar solo's!! Also vocalist/guitarist impresses a lot with his vocals, in the best Dickinson/Sammet style. Hope that they can play a lot of gigs and festivals so that they'll be famous really soon!
Visit their website: http://www.dawnofsilence.net
Recordlabel: http://www.gmrmusic.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dawnofsilence

86/100

DEVASTATOR – Underground 'n' Roll (CD) Italy March 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 30:00 (Tracks: 15)
DEVASTATOR was originally formed in 2001 under the name Violent Overture by Luca(drums) and Rob(bass), the line-up was completed by Luchino(vocals) and Fano(guitar). A demo was recorded under this name, but in 2002 the name was changed into DEVASTATOR, and a live demo was recorded in 2003 “Live to make war”. After some line-up changes the band records another live demo in 2005 “Alive from Devastation” , and during the summer they entered the studio to record their debut album “Thrash 'n' War” totally self produced. They toured the whole of Italy following the release of their debut album. In December 2006 the band enters the studio again to record the follow up of “Thrash 'n' War”. March 2007 “Alcoholic Invasion” is released, followed by the “Alcoholic Invasion Tour”. October 2007 a 4 song “Promo 2007” is recorded to send to labels and press exclusively. In 2008 the new record “Underground 'N' Roll” is being recorded, followed by it's release in 2009, after again some line-up changes, the band continues now as a three piece band, and some videos were shot for “Cemetery Beach” and “No Scout? Yes, Party”. The music of DEVASTATOR is a combination of thrash metal, hardcore, punk, rock 'n roll, and stoner rock, and includes a lot humour and fun as important ingredients. It's actually quit original, and if compare to something, bands like Mucky Pup, Nuclear Assault come to mind, maybe even some Tankard. Titles like 'Satan Porno Dog', 'Metal J. Fox' or 'I Hate Cover Bands' say it all, these guys make fun, sometimes fast and aggressive, other times more bluesy and rocking' after the last song there is a hidden track in Italian, which sounds actually better than when they (try to) sing in English language. It's an entertaining third album from these guys, and not bad at all, but I doubt if this will be their big breakthrough, but anyway very enjoyable for sure.
Visit their website: http://www.devastator.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/devastatorcrew

74/100

DOGHOUSE GALLOWS – Dodgy Deals (CD) The Netherlands March 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Doom Running time: 43:30 (Tracks: 11)
DOGHOUSE GALLOWS is a four piece metal band from Utrecht, Holland, which was actually known as Death Metal/Grindcore band KUTSCHURFT. But KUTSCHURFT stopped in 2008, so they made a brand new start as DOGHOUSE GALLOWS. The line-up contains of Jorre Jansen (vocals), Mike Ferguson (guitar; also DETONATION), Patrick Velis (bass) and George Oosthoek (drums). Oosthoek was formerly known as the singer of ORPHANAGE. On February 6th, 2010 I recently saw DOGHOUSE GALLOWS live with FRANKIE AND THE WONDERBOYS (FWB) at Café Extase, Tilburg, Holland. That was really a surprise to me, because they fill in for STATIC NOISE. And I've missed DOGHOUSE GALLOWS at FWB's release party of their album “All Fired Up” (see update January 2010) on November 28th, 2009 in Little Devil, Tilburg. Too bad it wasn't that crowded at the time when they played in Extase, but I liked it very much. What struck me, was that they remind me of PRO-PAIN (“No Backbone”), early BLACK SABBATH and a bit of DOWN. The songs on “Dodgy Deals” have great riffs and fantastic grooves. Some songs are even heavy Doom Metal. Ferguson is a very skilled guitarist and Jansen is a singer who sounds like Gary Meskil (PRO-PAIN) to me. The best songs on “Dodgy Deals” are “No Backbone” (superb), “The Last Round Never Comes” (to bad it fades away at the end of the song), “When The Chips Are Down”, the title track “Dodgy Deals”, “The One At The End Of The Line (Ain't Hungry Enough)” and “Cruising For Bruises”. Fantastic debut album guys. Thanks to Jorre for giving me this album to review. Cheers.
Visit their website: http://www.doghousegallows.com
Recordlabel: http://www.laughingarnoldrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/doghousegallows

80/100

DORO – Fight (re-release) (CD)
DORO – Calling the Wild (re-release) (2CD)
Germany March 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: True / Power Metal Running time: Fight: 1:07:24 (Tracks: 17)
Running time: Calling the Wild: 56:10 + 34:18 (Tracks: 15 + 11)
What to tell about Doro?? I can tell a whole story about her and how she started as singer of the legendary Warlock but I think that most “real” metal fans already know Germany's leading metal lady for years now. If you don't; well than you're not an oldschool metal head and it has no profit to read this review at all……
Well no long review of these 2 re-releases because most Doro fans already own this albums; only extra are the bonus tracks on both albums. “Fight” has 5 bonus songs and “Calling the Wild “ even has a bonus CD with 11 tracks on it! So for the real die-hard fans its worth checking these albums out! Especially the liner notes are fun to read.
Highlights of “Calling the Wild” are the duets Doro is doing with “God” Lemmy Kilmister on 'Love me Forever' & 'Alone Again'. Fun to hear how Lemmy is showing his 'clean emotional' voice……
Check it out!!
Visit their website: http://www.doro.de
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/doroband

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DREAMLAND – Exit 49 (CD) Sweden March 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 43:58 (Tracks: 12)
I already reviewed the bands 1st and 2nd album some years ago and both albums where awesome powermetal classics to my opinion. I also managed to get the band over to The Netherlands to play at the first edition of my own festival; Mario's Metal Meeting 1.
Because of all the I-Pool download crap from todays metallabels I missed the third album of Dreamland but luckily the band had the decency to send me an original cd a few months ago. Musically the band didn't change change a lot; the only thing that counts me is the fact that the band is sounding more professional than ever before! Their melodic powermetal still pleases me a lot and im still indignant that this band isn't bigger in todays scene?? Musically they are 100 times better than wellknown Swedish bands like Hammerfall, Noctural Rites or Dream Evil. Also singer Jake E is very talented en even sometimes reminds me of Joey Tempest (Europe).
The album has a lot of variety in it; a lot of speedy songs but also some awesome ballads. I think that the main problem is their label which is wllknown for not putting any money in bands, especially for touring. So my advice guys; search for another label which will spend money in arranging a tour for the band. Otherwise the band will fizzl imp afraid.
Nevertheless musically this album is again great and hopefully I will see the band live again some day….Compliments again!!
Visit their website: http://www.dream-land.nu
Recordlabel: http://www.dockyard2.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dreamlandmetal

86/100

ELYSION – Silent Scream (CD) Greece March 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Gothic Metal Running time: 43.52 (Tracks: 11)
Elysion was founded in 2006 by guitarist and composer Johnny Zero and they come from Greece. Elysion plays catchy Gothic Rock which refers to bands like Evanescence and Italian neighbours' Lacuna Coil. “Silent Scream” is their debut album. The bands line up consists besides Johnny Zero (guitars, synths, programming), FXF (bass), Petros Fatis (drums) and new singer Christianna, who replaced Maxi Nil in early 2008. Replacing a frontman for a frontwoman means that you're immediately categorised in the, nowadays very popular and overcrowded, female fronted scene, especially when you're music can be filed under Gothic Metal. That can be difficult because you have to bring something special to keep your head above water. Elysion doesn't really bring something new but what they deliver us is from a very acceptable, high level. The band combines much styles and elements like pop, gothic, metal, synths, guitars, darky interludes etc. into a wonderful, catchy album. Christianna is blessed with good looks and a beautiful, powerful, well trained voice which she uses fully in the songs. Every track has been worked out very detailed, are well performed and they all listen away very easy. Just listen to “Killing my Dreams” , “Never Forever”, “Walk Away” and “Erase Me” and you know what I mean. Damn fine catchy, Gothic stuff from the highest level. For a debut this is a masterpiece and it brings up memories to another band in the same category listening to the name of, indeed, Evanescence. I hope Elysion has the capacity of making more fine albums instead of following the path of this band. Natalie Shau has done a terrific job creating the really awesome, detailed album cover for a great musical gothic experience that catapults Elysion to the top of its genre. To get there is one thing, to stay there much more difficult, but hey that's for the future and now is now. Promising they are definitely and I hope to catch them live very soon.
Recordlabel: http://www.massacre-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/elysionmyspace

85/100

ERYN NOD DAE – Hydra Lernaia (CD) France March 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Dark Metal Running time: 55:09 (Tracks: 9)
Extreme metal from France this time! The band goes by the name of Eryn Non Dae and is around for quite some years now. In 2007 they started writing and recording for their first full length. After a signing with the prestigious Metal Blade label, 'Hydra Lernaia' was released in the summer of 2009. The world of Eryn Nod Dae is dark and mysterious. The complex riffing and unexpected breaks are bringing a doomy atmosphere to the whole experience. That is suiting the of the music very well and reminds me sometimes of Messugah, who is obviously a big influence to Eryn Nod Dae. You can tell the band members are skilled musicians. This is most notable in the dark, instrumental parts. also some of the tracks have an industrial feel to them. Not bad, but I've expected more from a band that is signed by Metal Blade. 'Hydra Lernaia' is a nice record, but doesn't contain memorable songs. Also the vocals are 'Love it or hate it.' Unfortunately, I belong to the second category. Overall, the band did a nice job for a first record, but I am not convinced yet. Maybe next time?
Recordlabel: http://www.metalblade.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/end1freefr

60/100

FATALIST – The Depths of Inhumanity (CD) USA March 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Death Metal Running time: 44:16 (Tracks: 11)
Originally known as Stockholm Syndrome, a band playing covers of the Swede-Death classics, Ventura, CA based FATALIST was formed in the spring of 2006 by Wes Caley. Wes (ex-Uphill Battle, ex-Exhumed) decided that he would like to form a version of the band that did original songs instead of cover songs, but in the same style as Entombed, Nihilist, Grave, Dismember and Unleashed. He got in touch with Neil Burkdoll(Dirty Dead, Stump) and realised Neil's Poor project was similar to what Wes had in mind for his Swedish style band. They decided it was time to get together and create FATALIST. Eventually FATALIST enlisted Tyler Castro and Art Hayes to complete the line-up on drums and bass. In late summer of 2007 the band recorded a 7 song demo called 'Loss' and started looking for shows to play in California. February 2008 FATALIST got signed to Ibex Moon Records. In the winter/spring of 2009, they entered the studio to record four more songs to add to the seven songs that were already recorded for the 'Loss' demo. These 11 songs were compiled to make their full length debut album 'The Depths of Inhumanity'. This album proves again that not only all good Swedish Death Metal has to come from Sweden, cause these Americans really know how to do this, Swedish Style. Originality is not the most important ingredient here, but who cares if they sound as good as this album sounds. Their music perfectly in style with earlier mentioned bands, while Wes sounds a bit like John Tardy, and in my opinion should also appeal to fans of Obituary and Six Feet Under. The album has a really fat sound, and some impressive guitarshreds on there, just listen to 'Homicidal Epitaph' for instance. If you are searching for originality, keep searching, but if you are into a great new band playing Death Metal the old school way Swedish Style, you found it, cause FATALIST is that one!
Visit their website: http://www.fatalistband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.ibexmoonrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fatalist666

85/100

FIRST CHILD – Queen of Hearts (CD & DVD) Germany March 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 65:26 (Tracks: 16)
First Child is a rock trio from Germany formed by singer/bass player Cat the Cat. In 2006 they released their debut album called “Souvenirs” which is followed by this 16 (!) tracker “Queen of Hearts”. On both albums the songs were written and composed by Cat, Clark Philips and Mary Susan Applegate. Only Cat is to be heard on the albums and for this one the line up is completed by Bernd Schlemmer on guitars and Stephan Preussner on drums and percussion. I can't say I'm familiar with the band but that doesn't matter. First of all the band certainly knows how to coddle a reviewer because they have send me a very fine package loaded with info, stickers, promo material and a full length cd (without voice-overs) and a bonus dvd ! Now that's what I call a good start. First Child gives us a fine portion of good old fashioned rock'n roll. Let yourself repatriate back to the 60's and 70's and enjoy the sound of some honest, decent rock without compromises. 16 tracks seems a lot, but First Child has succeeded in bringing you enough variation to keep your attention. Their mixture of blues, rock, glam and pop is entertaining and performed very well. The songs are quite simple in their structure but their catchy as hell and it all fits in perfectly. Ballads like the brilliant “Every Bullet” are alternated with classic rocker's like “Queen of Hearts”, “Shout out Devil” and the steamy, heavy “Bones”. The trio delivers a fine job playing their instruments but the real highlight is the voice of Cat. She is capable of using her voice as if it's a multi instrument. It varies from rocking, tender, clear, man she knows them all. The first name that came up to me was the erotic, smokey voice of Lee Aaron, and being a great fan of her, Cat can take that as a compliment. The later, more poppy work of the former Canadian Metal Queen can also be a reference but First Child gets it's influences also by older, more late 60's, party rock. The DVD shows us some video trailers of a few songs and gives us a nice look at their performance. Even though this stuff is not really my cup of tea, I really enjoyed this package. Good stuff for in the car and I think it's excellent music for having a great party when they play live. Cat has the voice and the looks, so who can stop them !
Visit their website: http://www.first-child.de
Recordlabel: http://www.onslow-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/firstchildbassrock

83/100

FORMULA FICTION - Parody Reality (MCD) The Netherlands March 2010 Eddy_litE
Style: Thrashy Death Metal with a twist Running time: 16:03 (Tracks: 7)
Well, here goes my first review for MMM! Could've had a more difficult start, I must say. This first band impressed me really quickly. Formula Fiction hails from Brabant, The Netherlands and since 2007 these guys do everything all by themselves. And I really do mean everything! Artwork, recording, production, mixing etc. - all DIY practices. And for a debut this has all turned out bloody awesome. And the best of it all is that it can reach a wide range of metalheads. Death Heads, Thrashers, Tech-prog-crusaders, even Straightedgers, all can count on a hook in mouth. If these guys manage to keep this level up on stage it will be one hell of a show. And I guess it's then when I will know why they have two singers (or squeallers to be more correct), because I didn't get that yet while listening to the CD. (which is BTW a silver pressed one which generates a few extra points also). It has great artwork and a pretty decent production. Lyrical content is well thought through and sometimes quite offending to humans. Bitter black angry oneliners galore here. There is one thing I could say that isn't positive, but it's a very small dose of criteria, please guys, master the next album a bit less loud. It's not as serious as with oh, let's say "Death Magnetic", but it is way too loud for me personally. Because of the nature of Metal Music it's typically these bands that would benefit from more dynamics and air in the music. Because as awesome as it is, I am completely moshed to a pulp after these 16 mins! Though, most metalheads will read this as a compliment.
Visit their website: http://www.formulafiction.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/formulafiction

90/100

FREEDOM CALL - Legend of the Shadow King (CD) Germany March 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Power Metal Running time: 56:44 (Tracks: 14)
German power metallers Freedom Call have yet released a new album. It took them 3 years to release some new material but it seems the time did them well. I'll never be a big fan of this epic (happy) music but I can always appreciate a band like these Germans. This album has everything a decent power metal record needs to have. Nice guitar work, great melodies, nice battles between the guitar and keyboards and all this in support of good vocals. Of course the record also has a few mid tempo songs and the necessary ballads and all of this is wrapped up nicely in this cd. I actually look forward to seeing these songs performed live as I appreciate this type of music more in front of a stage then in my room. Fans of the genre won't be disappointed.
Visit their website: http://www.freedom-call.net
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/callforfreedom

73/100

FUELBLOODED - Off the Face of the Earth (CD) The Netherlands March 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Melodic Death / Thrash metal Running time: 48:23 (Tracks: 9)
This is the second cd of Dutch melodic thrash/death band Fuelblooded. It was recorded in 2008 but released in februari 2010. Their first cd "Inflict the Inevitable" recorded in 2004 and released in 2006 was well received by press and fans and they had a lot of gigs after that.In 2006 Peter Brinkman replaced Vital Welten and they added guitarist Danny Tunker. Man, I like this cd. It`s very varied, combining very good technical thrash metal with some death metal elements.But it`s more thrash than death.Vocalist Peter really controls both grunting as well as `normal`singing. He has a very pleasant voice and it seems very natural. The songs are high standard technical played with good solowork and praise too Michiel and Danny for that. Very good guitarists and although the cd lasts for 48 minutes it doesn`t bore me at all. Drummer Norbert completes the whole. All songs are very well written although one is more interesting than the other.You can really hear that these guys have a lot of experience and that most off them play together for a long time although Fuelblooded started out in 2002. They where formerly known as Sacramental Sachem and they go way back in time. I can`t say nothing bad about this cd. Maybe the production could have been a bit more grungy, philthy. It`s a bit too clean for me. But if you`re into melodic death/thrash in the style of Trivium and Darkane you must check Fuelblooded out. And buy this cd!!!!
Visit their website: http://www.fuelblooded.com
Recordlabel: http://www.mykingdommusic.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fuelblooded

92/100

HALFORD – Winter Songs (MCD) United Kingdom March 2009 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 22:56 (Tracks: 5)
The Metal God is back! The mighty Rob Halford returns with another solo album. This is his third studio effort, 7 years after the great Crucible album. Winter Songs is actually a collection of traditional Christmas time songs along with some original tunes with a holiday spirit. I am a fan of Christmas albums and on every holiday I always spin some Christmas related albums such as the Twisted Sister one. Although I don't have the full record in my hands (this is just a 5 track promo cd) the feeling I got is that this effort can be characterized as a successful one. Tracks like “Get into the Spirit” or “We Three Kings” are in the Halford power metal spirit and will make you bang your head. “Winter Song” is a fine ballad and “Oh Come, Oh Come Emanuel” has been successfully transformed. The only boring tune was “Christmas for Everyone”. Its joyful style just didn't work for me. Those who anticipated a Halford album like Resurrection and Crucible might get a bit disappointed but those who like heavy metal with a holidays twist will surely enjoy it.
Visit their website: http://www.robhalford.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalgodrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/robhalford

77/100

HELLFUELED - Emission Of Sins (CD) Sweden March 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 39:42 (Tracks: 11)
First of all, I have to admit that I only knew HELLFUELED by name so far. I didn't know any songs of their albums "Volume One" (2004), "Born II Rock" (2005) and "Memories In Black" (2007), so this fourth album "Emission Of Sins" is my first acquaintance with these Swedish rockers HELLFUELED, who were formed in 1998. When I put this album in my CD-player, and the first song "Where Angels Die" blew through my speakers, I immediately had to think of OZZY OSBOURNE. Really, the vocal lines, but especially the vocals of Andy Alkman sounds scary much like the madman himself. And musically HELLFUELED also sounds very much like OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and BLACK SABBATH. Okay, it sounds not very original, but man…those songs on "Emision Of Sins" are sounding damn good and are very catchy. In fact, there are no weak songs on "Emission Of Sins". Also the production of the album, which was done by Rikard Löfgren (DEATHSTARS, SPARZANZA etc.), is brilliant. Löfgren was also a co-writer of the songs. Jocke Lundgren is just an awesome guitarist with killer riffs and fantastic solos. There's just one instrumental song on "Emission Of Sins", which is the last track of the album titled "Moving On" and reminds me even a bit of JOE SATRIANI. Favorite songs of me are "Where Angels Die", "Am I Blind", "I'm The Crucifix", "A Remission Of My Sins", Lost Forever" and "End Of The Road". Personally I can't compare this album with their previous albums, but "Emission Of Sins" is a superb album anyway, which is absolutely a must if you like the above mentioned bands. Now I'll have to check out their other albums myself as well. Great band.
Visit their website: http://www.hellfueled.com
Recordlabel: http://www.blacklodge.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hellfueled

86/100

IGNEOUS HUMAN – Pyroclastic Storms (CD) Sweden March 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 43:02 (Tracks: 10)
IGNEOUS HUMAN is a five piece metal band from Sweden and exists of Andreas Joelsson (vocals), Ewo Solvelius (lead guitar, classical guitar), Daniel Persson (guitar), Mikael Gustavsson (bass) and John Thorner (drums). IGNEOUS HUMAN was formed in 2008 and arise from the band GAPHIA, a band which originally was formed in 1998. But musical difficulties led to the birth of IGNEOUS HUMAN. Anyway, “Pyroclastic Storms” is the debut album of the band, and features 10 tracks. According to their MySpace page, the album got some very good reviews in the press. Well, actually the band really cannot charm me with this album. To be honest, a song like “You Better Be Dead” is really working on my nerves. Okay, for this genre Joelsson is a good singer and the members play their instruments well, but most of the songs on this album don't impress me. The only few songs which I like a bit are “Birth”, “Quake” and “Redemption”. Oh yeah and the last track of the album called “Tears”, is an instrumental one with classical guitar and some orchestration. Not really a band for me. So if you are curious about IGNEOUS HUMAN, well my advise is to check them out yourself.
Visit their website: http://www.igneoushuman.com
Recordlabel: http://www.tractorprod.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/igneoushuman

62/100

LEGEND – The Lost World (CD) South Korea March 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Speed / Power Metal Running time: 70:26 (Tracks: 13)
Legend, a melodic speed metal band from South Korea, was formed in 2006 by guitarist M.K. and bassist Min. Since that time they already played many concerts in the Korean rock scene. Legend also participated in the compilation album “Force Of Glory” together with the Japanese band Black Masquerade, Italian band Crimson Dawn, Russian band Andem and Mytholic from the Netherlands. In 2008 Legend also supported Brazilian band Hibria at their Korean tour concert. At last, after 2 years, they managed to release their debut album “The Lost World” through Evolution Music. It was worth waiting so long because these guys released a very good melodic speed/power metal album!! Most of the 12 songs (there's are a 13th instrumental bonus track!) are played in up-tempo, only two songs are calmer. These two – and the other songs too - songs remind me especially of the calmer songs of Angra. Not only Angra comes to mind when I listen to Legend's debut album, also other famous bands like DragonForce, Stratovarius, Edguy, Helloween, Labÿrinth and Elegy are surely influences of this talented band! Musically Legend sounds very impressive, but also the vocals of Jay Lee are very good, in the best Kiske/Matos way! Hope that a European label will release their album in Europe too, they certainly deserve that.
Visit their website: http://www.legend.pe.kr
Recordlabel: http://www.evolutionmusic.co.kr
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mskingdom

89/100

MASQUE OF DEATH – Ivory Cities (MCD) Spain March 2010 Eddy_litE
Style: Catchy & Melodic (Death) Metal Running time: 34:59 (Tracks: 6)
If Century Media had been sending me this gorgeous debut by Madrid's Masque of Death it would've been their most impressive release since Lacuna Coil's "In a Reverie" from 1999. But they didn't. In fact this band is unsigned. And although I think that Century Media would be the best match for this promising combo, I am afraid for the event to happen. But then again, this EP has Century Media written all over it already. The quality of the songwriting, the arrangements, the artwork and the sheer art of persuasion, it is top-notch all the way.

The Masque of Death origins date back to mid 2004, when singer/composer/guitarist Sofía Ruiz and Abel Ramos met at a local University and decide to mount a music group. After several years of trying different styles with various musicians, the two decide to start a melodic metal project. After considering different options the name Masque of Death is chosen for the project, a derivation of the original idea of Sofia Masquerade of Death, which was discarded as being too long. The last year has been nervewrecking for the band because they were still studying but great leaps have been travelled to this very day. Not literally, but in the landscape of creativity and defining the coup. As I said before, this MCD must be the most impressive DIY product I have had the pleasure of absorbing in years, maybe even of all time. Yep, it's that good!

Part of the charm comes from Sofía. Not only is she very pretty to look at but her voice will make anyone surrender within the first minute. Cristina Scabbia could be a good reference to give you an idea in which section to look. But as much as I love Miss Scabbia and her Italian posse, she has been poked off the throne by Sofía's mesmerizing voice last week when this masterpiece arrived here. Why I call it a masterpiece, you ask me. Well, what if Within Temptation had the voraciousness of Arch Enemy, and Megadeth the cuteness of The Gathering? Well, then you'd have Masque of Death! Yep, it's that good!
Lyrically, Masque of Death reads like the best Jostein Gaarder novel "Sofies verden". Visually this is pretty much drop dead gorgeous. And musically this album has it all. Melody, attack, adventure, mystique, graciousness, vulnerability, catchiness, heavyness and balance. And a sometimes unpredictable blackhaired atomic kitten. I would've provided info on which track is the best then. But I simply can't. Opener "Abeyance" is a good candidate for being the favorite with it's marvelous solo's and massive impact, but so is "Black Red Roses" with it's catchy persuasive swing and "Numedak" is sounding like the Dead can indeed Dance. "Darkest Eyes" is Iron Maiden like Maiden never managed to be and "The Shape of Things to Come" is simply the track I was hoping Queensrÿche would release in the last decade. Again, it's that good!

The strongest point of Masque of Death is it's capability to move the listener and make him or her feel really thankful to be "Alive". And to kick it in the m**her**cking a**! The songs are quite long, with an average of 5 minutes each, but there is never any dull moment going through this magical piece of Efteling Metal. As it suits a Spanish band typically, you will hear many acoustic flamingo style passages performed in a way only the Spanish can. And though the songwriting is very catchy and the main vocals butterscotch sweet, this album should be most able to impress the die-hard metal-heads among us too. Lots of tempo-changes and surprisingly clever fills, and lots and lots of passion, it all adds up to a legendary debut.
And, boy oh boy, that voice! That voice!
Visit their website: http://www.masqueofdeath.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/masqueofdeath

99/100

MONDRIAN OAK – Through Early Seed (MCD) Italy March 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Post Metal Running time: 35:34 (Tracks: 6)
With the post metal scene it will go in the same direction as with al the other “scenes” At first there are some bands that define the sound after that bands will copy the sound of the originators and after that the scene will burst and the strong ones will survive. Mondrian Oak has obviously listened to those originators such as Neurosis, Pelican and Cult of Luna. Especially that last band constantly comes in mind. It seemed that “Somewhere Along The Highway” has been a big inspiration for these Italian guys. Unlike Cult of Luna Mondrian Oak is an instrumental band which you see more in this genre. With instrumental albums it is always more difficult to captivate the whole album through. The most important thing with post metal though are mostly the contrasts between the slower ambient like parts and the outbursting heavy metallic parts. There's nothing wrong with the ambient parts presented here. They're interesting and let you flow away into another dimension. It is with the heavy parts that Mondrian Oak is lacking something. This definitely has something to do with the production which is not as great as on the albums from the “masters” mentioned earlier in this review. Otherwise Mondrian Oak has to do something to sound more original. So what's left is a band that must try to do something innovative. Otherwise they won't be reckoned as a “strong one” and automatically won't survive.
Recordlabel: http://www.consoulingsounds.be
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mondrianoak

60/100

MORTEMIA – Misere Mortem (Radio PromoCD) Norway March 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Dark Gothic Metal Running time: 12.48 (Tracks: 3)
Morten Veland thought it was time for a new project. Solo this time and if you write, produce and fill in all the instruments yourself what's a better name for it than give it your own adding “mia” to it. Well, the mastermind of Sirenia and the first two Tristania albums simply does it again. This is Dark Gothic as it should be. Is it surprising then? No, the album gives us more of what we have heard on Tristania's “Beyond the Veil” (even the same French choir has added their vocal talents for this one) and the first two Sirenia albums “At Sixes And Sevens” and “An Elixer For Existence”. But it's done so good ! The album provides us solid, heavy songs, led in by classical arrangements supported by the deep grunts of the master himself. Let's be honest, no one in this genre has a more perfect, aggressive voice for this kind of work. No clean vocals by some lovely lady on this one but in every song a choir. It makes a comparison with the older Therion work. The tracks “The New Desire”, “The One I Once Was” and “The Vile Bringer Of Self Destructive Thoughts” (wow, what a name for a song !) are all of a very high level and they should be representative for the rest of the upcoming album. Personally I hope Morten doesn't end Sirenia because I saw them live twice on the “Beauty and the Beast” tour last November and they impressed me a lot. To my opinion there is enough place for both of them. Maybe a tour together ? If you are into some damn fine, well produced heavy Dark Gothic like Tristania, Sirenia, Therion and Eternal Tears of Sorrow to name a few, than this is definitely something for you.
Visit their website: http://www.mortemia.no
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/moremiano

84/100

MYSTERY BLUE – Hell & Fury (CD) France March 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic Speed / Power Metal Running time: 48:25 (Tracks: 11)
Mystery Blue is one of France oldest metal bands and I reviewed their latest album “Claws of Steel” already in January 2007 (see Archive CD/DVD reviews). That album was a highlight for me and I rated it with 92 points out of 100. A very high rate for me. The more curious I was after this new release which is released by the bands new label Bernett Records. Why they left Mausoleum Records is a 'blue mystery' to me because that label had a kind of cult status which I can't say from Bernett Records. Bernett Records has of course a few other French bands in their roster like ADX and Mr. Jack (with ex-Vulcain and ex-H-Bomb members) but still it's a lot smaller than Mausoleum Records.
Well back to the music; Mystery Blue continues with the music they make for years now; powerful speed/powermetal with female vocals. Personally I still am convinced that Nathalie is one of the best female metal vocalists in the metal scene even if her pronunciation isn't always that good. When you compare this album with its predecessor than I have to say that im a bit disappointed; simply because there are a few weak songs on this album (Metal Attack & Piece of Eternity) and production wise it's a sounding weaker than “Claws of Steel”. Nevertheless it's a good album and its time to get the band over to The Netherlands again (I already did a few years ago when I co-organised the THF festivals in Tilburg). Hope the band still likes my rate even when it's a lot lower than its predecessor's rate…….
Visit their website: http://www.mysteryblue.com
Recordlabel: http://www.bernett-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/mysterybluefr

80/100

NATION DESPAIR – Ruins (MCD) Finland March 2010 Eddy_litE
Style: To the point Modern Death Metal Running time: 16:03 (Tracks: 6)
This six track debut by Nation Despair from Finland kicks in full blast right away. And boy it kicks in good! To give you an idea on why that is, I can tell you that I am now officially back into Death Metal. For years all I really listened to were the classics from before 1999 or something. You know, Tristania's "Widow's Weeds", Opeth's "My Arms, your hearse", Sentenced's "North from here" those kinda albums. Well, to be honest, Nation Despair isn't there yet but they come pretty close goddamnit!
Again, this is an unsigned band that has created itself a glorious opportunity to go where they wanna go without a recordcompany. They needed to because there is no recordcompany. But they don't need a recordcompany the way I see it. They managed to create a very impressive debut all by themselves. And with the new possibilities of using social networks and promotional tools that are popping out from all directions in the cyberworld it shouldn't be that hard to reach the targeted audiences. These are the times my friends. If you are clever and moreover willing to give it all, go ahead and take the world by storm. Recordcompanies as they have exsisted for decades are history. A new world order has started to take shape and Nation Despair is making me believe this even stronger than I did yesterday. No kidding! Matter of fact, these are the kind of bands that I am personally willing to promote on my own profile. Nation Despair is making absolutely no compromises, they aim, shoot and own. In 24 minutes they built up a willpower inside of me that is pretty intense. And straight to the point, because as they say themselves: "We arranged the songs to be tighter and stripped them from all excess." Man, most new albums I need or want to experience are way too long for me and I start skipping through them very easily. Not with this baby! I want to spin it again, and that's exactly what I am going to do now. On 11! Bloody Hell!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/nationdespair

95/100

OV HELL – The Underworld Regime (CD) Norway March 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 37:35 (Tracks: 8)
Wow! This is a release I was really waiting for the last couple of weeks. I know, when you're desperately waiting for a release most of the times it disappoints. Well, ladies and gentleman, this is not the case with Ov Hell, a new all-star band formed by King ov Hell (Ex- Gorgoroth, Godseed). When he met Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir) a few years ago they promised each other to release something musically in the future. After the retiring of Gaahl from the metalscene Godseed was automatically put on ice for an unknown period and King ov Hell contacted Shagrath. Shortly after he rope guitarists Teloch (1349) Ice Dale (I, Aydrey Horne, Enslaved) and last but not least Frost on drums (Satyricon, 1349). So yes, we can speak of a real all star group. The material presented on “The Underworld Regime” is in fact material that would be used for God Seed. I that a problem? No, for me it isn't. It's good to hear some good black metal from Norway again. Of course the material sounds like the last two Gorgoroth releases. What would you think the man wrote almost all the music on these releases! So take in mind these two releases with some great intro's and some good chosen samples and creepy noises and voila you have the sound of Ov Hell in a nutshell. Besides all this it is great to hear Shagrath sing naturally without effects. The man has a great voice despite what you think of him as a person or because of the fact that he's the lead singer of Dimmu Borgir. While perhaps this not a completely original work of art when compared to so many of the genre's classic releases of the early and mid 90s, Ov Hell's “the Underworld Regime” stands out in a modern Black Metal scene all too comfortable to sound as accessible and current as possible. For those who miss the aura that seemed to surround the early Scandinavian Black Metal explosion, The Underworld Regime is a fitting homage and an excellent reminder that the ability to create such a mysterious and bleak atmosphere is not yet dead!
Recordlabel: http://www.indiedist.no
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ovhell

89/100

PRIESTESS - Prior To The Fire (CD) Canada March 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Metal Running time: 46:39 (Tracks: 11)
PRIESTESS is a Canadian rock band existing of Mikey Heppner (lead vocals, lead guitar), Dan Watchorn (guitar, vocals), Mike Dyball (bass) and Vince Nudo (drums, vocals). The band debuted in 2004 with their album "Hello Master" which got positive reviews. Now they are back with their second album "Prior To The Fire". The album features eleven tracks and opens strongly with "Lady Killer", which reminds me, because of the riffs, of WARGASM. In Heppner the band has a fine singer and guitarist, but the one who notices me the most on this album is absolutely Nudo, what a fantastic drummer he is. Sometimes there are some beautiful twin guitar parts of Heppner and Watchorn in some songs like in "Raccoon Eyes", "The Gem" and "Lunar", which reminds me very much of THIN LIZZY. Other influences I hear are from BLACK SABBATH and MONSTER MAGNET. The production of "Prior To The Fire" was done by David Schiffman (SYSTEM OF A DOWN, MARS VOLTA, NINE INCH NAILS) and sounds very good. The songs on "Prior To The Fire" are very good compositions. My favorite songs are "Lady Killer", "Raccoon Eyes", "Murphy's Law", "The Gem", "Lunar", "It Baffles The Mind" and "We Ride Tonight". Absolutely a nice album for checking out.
Visit their website: http://www.priestessband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.teepeerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/priestess

80/100

ROBIN BROCK – Monsters (CD) Canada March 2010 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Rock Running time: 39:37 (Tracks: 10)
This is the third album of this Canadian rock diva, who teamed up with, as she calls it, 'hitmaker' John Capek. Robin's voice is in the style of Pat Benatar meets Shania Twain, according to the bio. I would add Deborah Harry (Blondie), be it a bit darker. The songs are a crossover between hard rock, pop and alternative rock. Each songs has its own structure and style, and all are quite different when compared to each other. Not all of them are equally strong; most of them sound like US radio mainstream rock songs. That would indicate there is also a ballad on this album; I think ' Solitary Girl' qualifies as ballad, beautifully sung, but in my personal opinion the song could have used a blistering guitar solo after hearing all these sweet melodies… In the end, I think the cd can be qualified as ' rock' , without the 'hard' part. For the future, I hope that Robin will write songs with someone else (like Stan Bush); I believe these two are able to create fireworks together….
Visit their website: http://www.robinbrock.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/robinbrockrocks

70/100

SECRET SMILE – This is Our Tome Now (CD) USA March 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Melodic Rock / AOR Running time: 52:05 (Tracks: 12)
With the album “This Is Our Time Now”, Secret Smile has released their fifth studio album. This album is dedicated to Fran Lebinski who played a very important role within the band for 20 years.
This new album is released after a period of five years of relative silence. The title “This Is Our Time Now” has been chosen because the entire first half of their careers, Secret Smile had to fight against the music industry's attitude towards melodic rock music. An additional problem was that grunge music was too popular to get airplay.
The band was formed in the late 1980`s in Connecticut (USA) and since the beginning, the band has build up a loyal fan base. Their debut album was released in 1994 and was called Anatomy. It`s successor was released in 1997 (Brick It!). During tours, they supported acts like Meatloaf, Foreigner, Patty Smith and Dokken. After a break of 5 years, the band reunited in 2003 releasing “The Road Less Traveled”.
Secret Smile plays AOR hard rock in the style which was very popular in the '80`s. The music does not sound really innovative, but it is very easy on the ears. Other people will maybe call it “safe”. The sound of the songs is great; typical characteristics are layered guitars supported by keyboards, strong melodies and nice vocal arrangements. I have no favorite song; the level of all numbers is almost identical. Maybe you can call the songs on the album “feel good songs”, something which fits best my opinion.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/officialsecretsmile

77/100

SHYLOCK – Rockbuster (CD) Germany March 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 47:57 (Tracks: 12)
A couple of years ago I wrote a review for the previous Shylock album called Devotion. Let me quote myself: “No need to mention that Shylock is considered as one of the premium German hard rock bands. With classic albums such as Welcome to Illusion and Pyronized, the band has established a strong household name and judging by the new album Devotion, it shows no signs of slowing down. Devotion includes no experimentations or innovations. It's just melodic hard rock the way Scorpions and Bonfire taught it; with catchy choruses, massive hooks and leads and loads of rhythm. The songs have that hit quality that assures airplay. Matthias Schenk remains that classic value with a fine voice reminiscent of Lessman (Bonfire) and Lenny Wolf (Kingdom Come, Stone Fury, etc.). The only drawback is the weak production. The drums sound a bit weird and there is a certain lack of volume. Apart from that, Devotion will appeal to every hard rock enthusiast out there.” Having said that, my contribution to the review of Rockbuster is that this brand new effort is even better than its predecessor with a much better and updated production! There are some hard rock dynamites included like Just for U and Rose of Cairo that will get you hooked for good. These guys did it again! If you want your hard rock spiced with Bonfire and Pink Cream 69 touches, Shylock is the way to go.
Visit their website: http://www.shylockmusic.de
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/shylockmusicde

80/100

SOL SKUGGA - Fairytales And Lullabies (CD) Sweden March 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Pop / Alternative / Classic / Celtic / Folklore Running time: 50:24 (Tracks: 13)
SOL SKUGGA, which means Sun Shadow, is a Swedish female singer songwriter with a very wide range of music styles. The albums which Skugga has released so far are "Swimming Without Webbed Toes" (2007) and "Gardenia" (2008). "Fairytales And Lullabies" is her third album and was released in October 2009. You can hear she's classically schooled, because Sol has a very beautiful voice. But don't expect any metal songs on this album. There are a few up-tempo pop songs, but most of the songs are very calm with piano or Celtic influences. "Fairytales And Lullabies" is a very beautiful album, with beautiful songs like "Burn Her", "This Is My Time", "Fairytales And Lullabies", "Quietly Crucified", "Sweet Lullaby", "Letter To Myself", "Simply Me" and "Slowly Fading", which give me goosebumps sometimes. But it is NOT an album meant for metalheads, punkers or hardcore freaks, unless you have a broad music taste. "Fairytales And Lullabies" is more something for anyone who's into KATE BUSH or TORI AMOS etcetera. Anyway it's a wonderful album. '
Visit their website: http://www.solskugga.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/solskugga

82/100

STATE OF ROCK – A Point Of Destiny (CD) Germany March 2010 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 46:07 (Tracks: 10)
Another old geezer project. TNT's Tony Mills hooked up with German guitarist Robby Böbel and his old Frontline mates Rami Ali and Hutch Bauer, and together they made this State Of Rock album. Referring to a ' state of the art' album in the good old sense of the word, the album starts out quite good but after a few songs, boredom comes in and never leaves again. The songs are OK in average but I hear nothing that is really new or exiting. Maybe ' state of the art' really means the way that old fashioned hardrock should sound; they are telling the truth about that part. Melody, choirs, excellent guitarwork, but sadly never a sparkling moment for the listener to stand up and get all excited. Personally, I would have preferred a vocalist with a slightly darker voice. Tony's vocals have never been my favourite, and this album didn't change my mind about that.
Visit their website: http://www.stateofrock.net
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stateofrockmusic

71/100

T.C.F. – Speed or Bleed (MCD) The Netherlands March 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 9:48 (Tracks: 5)
Thrash Core Fanatics or T.C.F. is a furious fast thrash/crossover outfit, featuring long time friends Rob Slaughter (Incremental) and Hans Hostile (ex-Enforcer). They met nearly 10 years ago at the University of Professional Education in The Hague. At that time Rob played in a thrash metal band (Paveway), while Hans played in a punk band. When Paveway was looking for a second guitarist, Hans stepped in for some time, but Hans and Rob stayed in contact. In 2006 Hans recorded Incremental's second demo in his home studio, during those sessions the idea was born to start up an uncomplicated, fun, fast and furious thrashcore project, T.C.F. was born. In 2007 they recorded their 'Core '88' demo, and Noise Gate Nick was asked to join the band as guitar player, and Hans switched to bass/vocals. From early summer 2008 the band has been rehearsing and writing new songs, and first gigs were played spring 2009. The first result of this collaboration is now spinning rounds in my player, the E.P. 'Speed or Bleed'. The mixing is done by the band themselves, since nobody knows better how they want to sound than the band themselves, mastering was done by Robert Soeterbroek (ex-Blatant Yobs) and his Temple of Boom Studio. 'Speed or Bleed' sounds really old school in a good way, aggressive fast and furious thrash crossover with a good production, their music is comparable to that of D.R.I. or S.O.D., unfortunately it's over before you know it, this is way too short, just 5 songs in almost 10 minutes. Great thrash songs, no doubt about that, like 'Çore '88' , 'Dead on Arrival', 'Scumbags', 'Same Shit' and 'See Nothing, Hear Nothing', but I want more! I love this stuff, if you like it the old school way, without sounding old and dusty, listen to this and you won't be disappointed. Next time a full length album please!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thrashcorefanatics

89/100

THE BONESMEN - Deuce (CD) USA March 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock Running time: 36:00 (Tracks: 10)
THE BONESMEN is a four piece rock band from New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.. The line-up of the band exists of Frank Thomas (lead vocals, guitar), Mark Turko (lead guitar, vocals), Ken Dempsey (bass, vocals) and Drew Carrano (drums, vocals). Their debut album "Skin And Bones" was released in 2007 and this second album, which is titled "Deuce", was released in October of 2009. On their biography they say "The Bonesmen is your drunken uncle's rock 'n roll, combining two essential stylistic elements: Country and Blues". Well to me it doesn't sound like a mixture of Country and Blues. Only on the last track "Slow Down", you hear some Country guitars (at the beginning and at the end of the song). I would say it's just Rock. The band reminds me more of bands like THE BLACK CROWES ("Morning Noon Or Night"), ROLLING STONES ("Cloud") and a little bit of the early KISS. Thomas is a good singer and Turko is an excellent lead guitarist. "Deuce" was produced by Carl Osgood and the band themselves and sounds very good. Also the songs are very good compositions, with fantastic hooks. Okay, THE BONESMEN are not trying to reinvent the wheel, but what they do, they do it good. It's just pure and honest rock and roll they make. "I Believe" is a kind of a ballad, and is in my opinion the least song of the album. The band also recorded one cover on "Deuce" which is THE MONKEES classic hit of 1966 "Last Train To Clarksville" (a song which is covered by many others), and is a very nice version. Absolutely not a bad album. '
Visit their website: http://www.thebonesmen.com
Recordlabel: http://www.angelcreekrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thebonesmenband

74/100

THE MARY MAJOR - 04:13 (CD) Sweden March 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Running time: 41:07 (Tracks: 10)
THE MARY MAJOR is a Swedish Metal band which arose from the ashes of Gothic/Doom band BESEECH in 2006. The band exists of Lotta Höglin (vocals), Erik Molarin (vocals), Daniel Elofsson (guitar), Jörgen Ström (bass) and Jonas Strömberg (drums). Actually, Ström is the only "new" member, because all other members were in BESEECH, which was a very nice Gothic/Doom band. Anyway, "04:13" is the debut album of THE MARY MAJOR and was released on their own label TMM Productions. The production was done by the famous Beau Hill (ALICE COOPER, FIONA, EUROPE, RATT, WINGER) and sounds very good. A band which comes in mind on several songs, while listening to "04:13" are Goth legends THE SISTERS OF MERCY ("Morning Sickness", "Settled Temptation", "Time Of Death"). But also TYPE O NEGATIVE. I think that's because of the dark vocals of Molarin. Just like in BESEECH, all songs on this album are sung together by Höglin and Molarin. And this combination of male and female vocals works perfect. The material of BESEECH was more dark and depressive instead of these songs, but there's still a resemblance. Songs which are in my opinion less are "Ambush" and "Smuck". Even "Smuck" annoys me a bit. The best songs are "Stage 7", "Split", "Morning Sickness", "66 A.M.", "Theme For Darlene", "Time Of Death" and the longest track of the album "The Moon Motel". Very nice debut album. If you like the above mentioned bands, then it's worth checking out this album. '
Visit their website: http://www.themarymajor.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/themarymajor

80/100

THE RETALIATION PROCESS – Downfall (CD) Germany March 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Metalcore Running time: 45:50 (Tracks: 10)
Enthusiasts of the so called 'New Wave of American Heavy Metal' have no reason to complain at the moment. Over the past few months, a lot of prominent bands came out with their new material, but also a lot of new bands are stepping up to the plate. The Retaliation Process is a good example in this matter. Although they only been active for a year or two, their first album 'Downfall' was recently released. Fans of Lamb of God, Shadows Fall and The Haunted beware: The Retaliation Process is a force to be reckoned with. With 'Downfall' they did not make an instant classic, but it is indeed a record that will keep you on the lookout of more. The music is aggressive, but at the same time very melodic with powerful vocals. Next to the usual ingredients you can also find some death and thrash influences which makes it very brutal. All good stuff, you would say. True, but The Retaliation Process is struggling with the same problem like a lot of other bands in the genre. And that is that they're not able to keep me focused the entire album. On the second half of the album, the term 'Where have I heard this before?' comes to mind. That is a shame, because in songs like 'Blindfolded' and 'Carnal Addiction,' you really can here the potential of this band. Nevertheless is 'Downfall' and album that might be interesting for enthusiasts of the above mentioned bands and Metalcore fans in general. Don't focuss to much on the negative part in this review, because The Retaliation Process has a lot to offer. Really nice album and very promising for the future…
Recordlabel: http://www.silverwolf-productions.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theretaliationprocess

78/100

VAN CANTO - Tribe Of Force (Radio PromoCD) Germany March 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: A Cappella Metal Running time: 18:03 (Tracks: 3)
VAN CANTO is an A Cappella Metal band from Germany, and was formed in 2006. Well, this is totally new to me, because I never had heard something like this before. VAN CANTO is a band with no guitars or bass, just only a drummer and five singers. The band exists of Dennis Schunke (lead vocals), Inga Scharf (higher lead vocals), Stefan Schmidt (lower rakkatakka vocals, wahwah solo guitar vocals), Ross Thompson (higher rakkatakka vocals), Ingo Sterzinger (lowest dandan vocals) and Bastian Emig (drums). So far these Germans have released the following albums: "A Storm To Come" (2006) and "Hero" (2008). On February 26th, 2010 the third album, titled "Tribe Of Force" has been released on Napalm Records. The songs on this radio promo are "Rebellion" (cover of GRAVE DIGGER), "My Voice" and a cover version of the METALLICA classic "Master Of Puppets". Schunke and Scharf are the two lead singers of the band and Schmidt, Thompson and Sterzinger are imitating the guitars and bass with the help of amplifiers to get a closer sound to the original instruments. And actually it sounds very funny. Anyway, "Tribe Of Force" is an album with thirteen songs, of which two are the above mentioned ones. Three songs of the album also features guest musicians. Victor Smolski (RAGE) appears on "One To Ten", Chris Boltendahl (GRAVE DIGGER) sings along on "Rebellion" and Tony Kristian Kakko (SONATA ARCTICA) sings along on "Hearted". On their MySpace page I have also listened to "Lost Forever", which is the first track of this new album. To be honest, of this promo disc, I don't like "Rebellion" that much, but "My Voice" and the "Master Of Puppets" version are fantastic. Even Schunke sounds like mister Hetfield on it. And Scharf has a beautiful voice as well. Anyway, a nice promo single. '
Visit their website: http://www.vancanto.de
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vancanto

72/100

VEKTOR - Black Future (CD) USA March 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Progressive Thrash / Death Metal Running time: 1:08:03 (Tracks: 9)
Vektor is a fairly new US thrash band that combines lot's of style into one mix. With 'Black Future' they now release their second album. Funny story is that I got a request on Myspace by these guys because they saw I was a big fan of Death. I checked them out and was blown away and I have enjoyed their cd lots of times by now. From the opening song to the finisher this is an ode to the progressive cd's of one of the greatest bands on earth: Death. Great drum work, technical guitar work which still produces great thrash riffs and vocals that even sound a bit like Chuck. Throw in some more thrashy influences and you got yourself a great band. Normally I'm a fan of old school stuff but this is how progressive music should sound. Fans of the latest Death records must buy this record. You'll have a hard time getting it out of your cd player again.
Recordlabel: http://www.heavyartillery.us
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/vektor

90/100

YEAR LONG DISASTER – Black Magic: All Mysteries Revealed (CD) USA March 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Rock Running time: 42:30 (Tracks: 11)
Year Long Disaster was founded in 2004 and consists of three talented musicians: Daniel Davies (Guitars and Vocals; son of Kink`s Ray Davies), bassist Rich Mullins who plays in Karma to Burn, and drummer Brad Hargreaves (from Third Eye Blind). In 2007, Year Long Disaster launched their self-titled debut album and it received really good critics. Since then they toured with The Cult, Velvet Revolver and the Foo Fighters, no small bands at all!
At the end of 2008, with 2 years of intensive touring behind them, the band secured Grammy Award winning producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, Rush) to produce their new album. This new album, called “Black Magic; All Mysteries Revealed”, was recorded at the famous Sound City Studios in Los Angeles. It contains 11 quite nice songs which are well composed and it has to be said that the musical level stays high as the album progresses. That happens not always. The style of the album is heavy rock with influences of Rock and Roll and sometimes also a little bit of stoner rock. The guitar plays a prominent role, but the rhythm section provides a solid base to let Davies excel.
Their first album received good critics, but with Black Magic: All Mysteries Revealed, Year Long Disaster has released a worthy successor, something which is very important for the continuation of a band. The first single, “Show Me Your Teeth” is available now as a free download trough www.yearlongdisaster.com.
You can see the band live on 3 April at Paaspop (Schijndel) and on 10 April in Het Depot in Leuven (Belgium). I can recommend you to visit one of these concerts.
Visit their website: http://www.yearlongdisaster.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/yearlongdisaster

78/100

FEBRUARY

AFTER DEATH – RETRONOMICON (CD) USA February 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic/Weird/Occult Death Metal Running time: 1:14:38 (Tracks: 14)
I already reviewed a CDemo of this band way back in 2004; “Reviving the Gods” (see Archive CD/DVD reviews). After Death is the brainchild of ex-Nocturnus drummer/singer Mike Browning. Mike toured Europe last year with this band under the Nocturnus name because he still had the rights to tour Europe under that name; outside of Europe the name Nocturnus is claimed by other ex-members. After Death is not that spectacular as Nocturnus was for me years ago but still this band makes an original type of metal and also like in the older Nocturnus days; they use a lot of keyboards in their music which is quite unique for a deathmetal band! The songs of the “Reviving the Gods” Cdemo are also on this full length album and it suits me that it all sounds much heavier than during their 2004 period. The album is filled with 3 demos because after “Reviving the Gods” the cd also contains the “Secret Lords of the Chamber Below” & “Vibrations” demo recording but all mixed much better than the original stuff. This is a very nice 'compilation' but no fast-food for die-hard deathmetal fans; this is stuff for fans with a wider musical horizon….Check them out!!
Visit their website: http://www.afterdeath666.com
Recordlabel: http://www.iron-pegasus.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/afterdeath

81/100

AGE OF EVIL - Get Dead (MCD) USA February 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 25:29 (Tracks: 6)
AGE OF EVIL is a very young and talented metal band from Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.A.. The band exists of the brothers Jeremy Goldberg (vocals, rhythm guitar; 19 years old) & Jacob Goldberg (bass; 18 years old) and the brothers Jordan Ziff (lead guitar; 18 years old) & Garrett Ziff (drums; 20 years old). According to their biography, in 2007 AGE OF EVIL already released "Living A Sick Dream". This EP "Get Dead", which is my first acquaintance with AOE, features six tracks, which are "Cruel Intentions", "Get Dead", the covers "Slave To The Grind" (SKID ROW) and "The Hellion/Electric Eye" (JUDAS PRIEST) and live versions of "Eye For An Eye" and "Glimpse Of Light". Weakest link, in my opinion, are the vocals of Jeremy Goldberg, although he sings "Slave To The Grind" pretty good. But especially on their own material, he sounds a bit moderate to me. And man, what a great guitarist Jordan Ziff is. Just listen to his fantastic solo's, awesome. It's just like Yngwie Malmsteen is playing on "Cruel Intensions". In my opinion the only songs of their own material which are less are the two live ones. "Cruel Intentions" and "Get Dead" are fantastic, and both covers versions on this EP are very good. My only complain is, why put two covers and two live songs on an EP instead of 4 other songs of themselves? Very interesting band, and I think with a very good singer AGE OF EVIL will make a big improvement. But a very nice self released EP.
Visit their website: http://www.ageofevil.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ageofevil

77/100

ANGER AS ART – Disfigure (CD) USA February 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Oldschool Thrash Metal Running time: 42:57 (Tracks: 10)
Anger as Art's founding member is Steve Gaines - a thrash metal veteran associated with Abattoir, Bloodlust, Tactics, Bitch, Dreams of Damnation, and others. In 2004, a demo CD under his own name was released and in 2006 followed by the first CD under the AAA name; “Callous and Furor” which I reviewed in February 2007 already.
During that release I had as only complain that AAA used to much hardcore/crossover elements in their music. Luckily the new album is more thrash than his predecessors. Also productionwise this album is a big step forward and I hope the band will get the support they deserve! The line up has changed a lot but with William Rustrum and the legendary rhythm section Dave Chedrick and Angelo Espino (both ex-Hirax), Anger As Art will be bringing their brand of anger inspired thrash metal to the world this year. Lately I heard that both William Rustrum & Dave Chedrick are both replaced by Danile Oliverio & Rob Alaniz (both also Abattoir members).
I really love this album and I will try everything to get this band over to Europe ASAP!! Hopefully I can manage to add them to one of my upcoming events in The Netherlands. If you re into oldschool thrash, think of bands like Overkill & Nuclear Assault, you should check these guys out ASAP!! Great album on which I couldn't find one moderate song; all songs are full speed straight in your face classics!!!
Visit their website: http://www.angerasart.com
Recordlabel: http://www.osmrecords.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/angerasart

90/100

ARNAUD KRAKOWKA – Parallel Dimensions (CD) The Netherlands/France February 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Instrumental Rock / Metal Running time: 36:02 (Tracks: 8)
Arnaud Krakowka is a French guitar player and composer. Arnaud is originally from the South of France but currently lives in the North of Holland. He was originally inspired by classic rock bands such as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix. Classical music and especially the Baroque genre, changed his way of considering music and composing. The instrumental rock scene also had a big impact on him. All these influences made him the original and versatile guitarist/composer he is today. Arnaud played in several bands and recorded also some demo's. In March 2009 Arnaud created his own recording studio in his house and started working on his first solo album. He recorded, produced, mixed and mastered eight of his own compositions. “Parallel Dimensions” is a journey through time and universe. Main influenced which can be heard on his 8 instrumental compositions are especially James Byrd, Uli Jon Roth, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman and Jimi Hendrix. So most of the time neo-classical guitar playing, without being too shredding, but sometimes also some psychedelic Hendrix stuff. Arnaud certainly is a very gifted guitarist, and “Parallel Dimensions” is an excellent debut solo album of him!!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/arnaudkrakowka

86/100

AS MEMORY DIES - Transmutate (CD) Italy February 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 49:28 (Tracks: 7)
Transmutate is a melodic death metal band with progressive influences. They started in 2005 in Italy and have recently released their debut Transmutate. It appears the band took it's time to make an album that went through an entire creative process cause this just sounds kind of weird to me. The album had a mix of all different styles and switches between agressive parts slower more subdued pieces. Overall this is an album that will definatly need more than a few spins to completely get. Of course to have the patience for these few spins isn't given to all and I as well had trouble listening to it completely in one go. Main reason for this are the vocals that I just can't get used to. The fact that overall I'm not that big of a progressive fan is of course something not to be overlooked. All in all these are fine musicians who made an album that is worth checking allthough it's not my cup of tea.
Visit Their Website: http://www.asmemorydies.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/asmemorydies

61/100

BLAZING CLASH – Blazing Clash; Princess of Rock (MCD) Italy February 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 18:15 (Tracks: 5)
Blazing Clash in a heavy metal band from the Milan area in Italy and it was formed in late 2007 by some guys who knew each other from school. This is the bands first CDemo which was recorded in 2008/2009. There is not much special the write about this band's biography but musically they are worth checking out if you are also into real true metal with speedy songs and good musicians! This is food for fans of the mighty 80's metal scene! The songs all contain catchy melodies and driving rythms and will stick in your mind for sure! Its not all sounding original but its well performed! The band is looking for a label and im sure they will find one soon (Pure Steel Records wake up!!!). Expect a mix of bands like; Saxon, Manowar & (early) Hammerfall. Nice debut demo! Fav. Songs: 'Made up to be a Monster' & 'Princess of Rock'.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blazingclashmusic

75/100

CHILDREN OF BODOM – Skeletons in the Closet (CD) Finland February 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Melodic Death / Power metal. Running time: 1:06:01:26 (Tracks: 17)
I am not going to beat the bush. I normally hate cover CD's, don't think that they give anything extra to the already existing songs. Only thing that is interesting are the influences of the artist(s). What music made a big impression in their youth? Children of Bodom (COB) are no exception to this. With a large variety between the chosen covers the biggest contrast in the songs are Alexi Laiho's vocal interpretations. “Rebel Yell” (Billy Idol) is almost sung with the same voice as Billy while in other songs like for example “Aces High” he uses his screams throughout the whole song. Musical wise I think the covers COB did taken from pure heavy metal bands (W.A.S.P.-Hellion and Iron Maiden – Aces High) fit the band best. This said because on studio albums the band used a lot of influences from these bands. They are simply more familiar with this kind of music. But that doesn't say that there aren't more interesting covers on this CD that aren't heavy metal soaked. “Somebody put something in my drink” from the Ramones has some good results and a great guitarsolo in it. “Don't stop” from the Scorpions can also be seen as a winner mainly because of the good COB synthesizer style parts in it that made this one of the best covers where the real spirit of cOB wanders through. “Silent Scream” from Slayer and “Mass Hypnosis” are ruined by the vocal interpretation by Alexi who tries to sound like Tom and Max but hopelessly fails. Last song on this album is Ooops…I did it again by our cocaine snorting girlfriend Britney Spears. A daring choice that put a smile on my face but not much more than that. Conclusion is that COB convinces on some songs but go wrong with others. Personally I will never buy a cover CD but I can imagine that if you're a big COB fan you will at least be curious to hear what this sounds like.
Visit their website: http://www.cobhc.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spinefarm.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/childrenofbodom

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COLD TRUTH – Do Whatcha Do (CD) USA February 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Bluesy Classic Rock Running time: 54:38 (Tracks: 13)
'Do Whatcha Do' is a new album from Cold Truth, a quartet from the Nashville area (Tennessee, USA). Although they call themselves veterans, Do Whatcha Do is just their second album. Cold Truth released their first (untitled) album in 2003, since then there have been no changes in the line-up of the band. Nowadays, the band consists of: Thane Shearon (vocals/guitar), Kurt Menck (guitar), Abe White (bass) and Matt Green (drums). The band is still unsigned, so they have no financial support to record an album. Nevertheless, the production of the album is very good and and the sound is professional.
The music style on the album can be described as classic rock with a bluesy rock `n` roll touch. When you listen to the songs, you can hear the influence of the `70`s, but with modern accents. Guitar Player Kurt Menck is the main composer on this album. He is involved in all the compositions of the songs but also the other band members have delivered their contribution.
The album contains mostly up tempo songs, but it contains also slower songs (ballads) like Peace with Me and Whisper to Me. On the third song of the album, If that Ain`t Enough, Ed King (Slide guitar) and Nancy Roark (Backing Vocals) have a nice guest contribution. In my opinion, there is no “filler” on this album; it remains on quite a high level. Guitarist Thane Shearon is responisble for the lead vocals and it has to be said that he is really a great singer. His voice suits Cold Truth's songs perfectly. It can be compared with Paul Rogers (Bad Company and Queen).
"Do Whatcha Do" was my first acquaintance with this band but I can recommend this album to everyone who like classic rock with a bluesy touch.
Visit their website: http://www.coldtruth.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldtruthmusic

81/100

DARK ILLUSION - Where The Eagles Fly (CD) Sweden February 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Power Metal / Melodic Metal Running time: 44:48 (Tracks: 10)
"Where The Eagles Fly" is the second album of Swedish Power Metal band DARK ILLUSION. The band was formed way back in 1982, but they called it a day in 1985. In 2003 the band reformed again and they released a 4 track EP called "For Just Another Night". The debut album of DARK ILLUSION, called "Beyond The Shadows", was released in 2005. To me, this album is my first acquaintance of these Swedish rockers. DARK ILLUSION, who exists of Thomas Vikström (vocals), Thomas Hultqvist (guitar), Pontus Egberg (bass) and Johan Kullberg (drums), guarantees some high quality melodic Power Metal. When listening to "Where The Eagles Fly", the band reminds me very much of the early EUROPE, but also bands like ECLIPSE, AT VANCE comes in mind. Anyway, Vikström (formerly of CANDLEMASS (1992-1993), FIRESTORM (1998-2004) etc. and since 2009 also the vocalist of THERION) is a fantastic singer and the other members of the band are good musicians as well. The level of the songs is pretty much the same. Most of the songs are up-tempo and very catchy. "My Heart Cries Out For You", "Dark Journey", "Pay The Price", "Destiny's Call", "Running Out Of Time" and "Only The Strong Will Survive" are all fantastic songs and also my favorites. It's not really innovative and original, but who cares. "Where The Eagles Fly" is a perfect album for anyone who's into melodic Power Metal.
Visit their website: http://www.darkillusion.se
Recordlabel: http://www.battlefieldrecords.se
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/darkillusionswe

83/100

DARK SENSATION - Trendkill (CD) Belgium February 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hardcore / Metalcore / Thrash / Death Metal Running time: 42:04 (Tracks: 12)
DARK SENSATION is a four piece band from Brussels, Belgium who are playing a mixture of Hardcore, Metalcore, Thrash and some Death Metal. The band exists of Bruno Giannoccaro (vocals), Christophe Sturbois (guitar), Nicolas Brynin (bass) and Jonas Sanders (drums). DARK SENSATION was formed in 2002, and in 2008 these guys released their EP "Fall Of Duty", which got good reviews in the press. "Trendkill" is the debut album of the band and was released on September 28, 2009 on the brand new Belgian label Ultimhate Records. Well, if you like bands like PANTERA, DEVIATE, HATESPHERE or LAMB OF GOD, then you'll have to check this band out. "Trendkill" features twelve brutal songs and was produced by the band themselves and Matt Demit, who's also doing some guest & backing vocals on the album. There's just one instrumental on "Trendkill", which is called "Interlude". The vocals of Bruno are very varied, screaming, brutal, grunts. DARK SENSATION is really a band that will be very popular with the young generation. The best songs on "Trendkill" are "Glass Full Of Hate", "Undying", "Trendkill", "My War" and "The Soul Within". Together with SPOIL ENGINE, DARK SENSATION is one of Belgium's promising bands. Fantastic debut album.
Recordlabel: http://www.myspace.com/ultimhaterecords
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/darksensationband

80/100

EMPYRIA – The Long Road Home (CD) Canada February 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 43:08 (Tracks: 12)
Canadian band Empyria has been around for ages. Formed in the early 90s, the group has released numerous demos and full length releases of high quality music without breaking the underground boundaries. After 7 years of silence, “The Long Road Home” is finally ready for the world to listen.
Empyria delivers artistic progressive power metal primarily influenced by fellow countrymen Rush with a strong dosage of Queensryche. What pleases me the most is that Empyria is not another Dream Theater copy as most of the contemporary prog groups are but shows a great personality sticking to the progressive metal values as these where forged during the mid 90s. Musicianship is supreme; all four members are extremely talented in their fields but the vocal performances of Phil Leite and the guitar work (especially the solos) of Michael Kischnick stand out. During all these years I neglected Empyria for reasons other than their musical proposition. This cd made me a fan. Don't make the same mistake as I did. Give Empyria the chance they deserve. Give it now and you will be rewarded.
Visit their website: http://www.empyriaproductions.com
Recordlabel: http://www.nightmare-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/empyria

80/100

EVERYTHING BURNS - Home (CD) United Kingdom February 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Alternative / Rock / Hardcore Running time: 46:36 (Tracks: 11)
"Home" is the debut album of EVERYTHING BURNS, a fantastic newcomer band from the UK. The band was formed in the mid of 2007 and exists of Tim Kellow (vocals), Chinn Lawlor (guitar), Vince Finch (guitar, vocals), Phil W. Charles (bass) and Jez Marshall (drums). The band describes their music style on their MySpace page as Alternative and Rock, but I would add Hardcore to it as well, because this fantastic band reminds me very much of one of my all time favorite hardcore bands IGNITE. Really, the music, the vocal lines etc., it all sounds a lot like IGNITE. Kellow is a fantastic singer, who's voice sounds very much like IGNITE's Zoli Teglas, although he's sings brutal as well. The band exists of fantastic musicians, the album has a very good production, and I like all the songs. There are in my opinion no weak songs on "Home". Songs like "Scars", "Home", "I'd Die For You", "Beautiful Disaster", "Left For Dead", "Don't Run" and "This Is War" are all just a pleasure to listen to. EVERYTHING BURNS is the discovery of the month to me. Superb album, which is a real recommendation for anyone who likes IGNITE too. Great work guys. Hope the band will make a tour through Europe, and will do some shows in Holland too. Shows in venues like 013, Tilburg or Effenaar in Eindhoven, Holland would be awesome.
Recordlabel: http://www.risingrecords.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/everythingburnsband

90/100

FORCENTURY – Vanguard (CD) Denmark Febraury 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 49:45 (Tracks: 9)
Denmark is famous for producing quality metal bands. Newcomers Forcentury are no exception. In its debut the band delivers melodic power metal flawlessly executed and well produced. The good thing about Forcentury is that its music is not that typical ultra fast and happy power metal but it's mostly mid tempo and dark, perhaps like a lighter version of the more aggressive Manticora or a more elaborate version of Dream Evil. As most bands that serve the power metal genre, Forcentury will not change the face of metal music. But this is not the matter anyway. What we need is good music and this band surely offers some exciting musical moments.
Visit their website: http://www.forcentury.com
Recordlabel: http://www.forcentury.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/forcentury

78/100

GOREAPHOBIA – Mortal Repulsion (CD) USA February 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Death Metal. Running time: 48:23 (Tracks: 12)
Hey, look they finally released an album! Goreaphobia was a band that operated in the shadows of the great names in the late '80 early '90's. After constant line up changes with Chris Gamble being the only consisted member the band broke up in 1993 but reformed in 2004. To me the band sounded like the little brother of Incantation and with the line up changes there are some more similarities. Maybe John McEntee (Incantation) thought the same and contracted them on his label Ibex Moon and got them so far to record a full length. Finally, after all these years. “Mortal Repulsion” brings us back to a time long gone. The general style of the album is closely related to the New York style of death metal. The clear emphasis is on brutality and dark emphasis like Incantation and Immolation. The production is far from polished, but actually fits the record very well. It's best described as 'necro', sounding a lot like the reverb-soaked horror of “Onward to Golgotha”, albeit with little better definition on most frequencies. It's rough and grainy, but everything is perfectly audible, though there is some apparent inconsistency in the volume of the percussion - an obvious product of not triggering anything except maybe the bass drums. The guitars don't ever stray too far away from tremelo picking based riffs, but they are usually very catchy and memorable. The bass is pretty audible, which is nice, but for the most part, it just follows the guitars around anyways. The drums are definitely one of the major highlights of the album - always complimenting the riffs, knowing when and when not to play blasts, and most importantly, playing some really interesting rhythms during the slower sections. The vocals are good - low grunts and snarls that are nearly impossible to understand. Occasionally the vocalist does some higher pitched screams, which are nice for variety's sake. With its almost 50 minutes “Mortal repulsion” has a lot to offer. Goreaphobia obviously does not break new ground with this release. I don't think that this ever was/is there intention. Pure old school death metal is what you get, and I love it!
Visit their website: http://www.goreaphobia.com
Recordlabel: http://www.ibexmoonrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/goreaphobia

80/100

GRAND DESIGN – Time Elevation (CD) Germany February 2010 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 49:13 (Tracks: 10)
The new Def Leppard from Sweden has risen. Or that is what the band and the record company would like you to believe. Swedish vocalist Pelle Saether managed to form a band that would be doing music in the style of Def Leppard, Scorpions and Europe. The musicians all come from bands I have never heard of; now that does not mean anything, but I must say, the album really grabs hat 80s sound. Especially the pompous drums remind me a lot of that era. Compositions are OK but do not reach the magnitude of Def Leppard's song material although they really try hard to sound like them, with the choirs, melody structures and all that. I must admit, that when you are into the mentioned bands, you will most probably like Grand Design. But I doubt if there are a lot of music lovers that will actually cause a big breakthrough for these guys. Maybe a shame, because they did a great job…all these guys need is a true new hype around classic rock, and I for one would like that, too.
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/granddesigner

77/100

HOD – Serpent (CD) USA February 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 36:47 (Tracks: 7)
Second release from the Ibex Moon label this month. HOD consist of ex members from semi-legendary Thornspawn and even a member from the cult act Necrovore. The music HOD plays on their debut album “Serpent” could easily been recorded in the '90's when American black metal didn't mean shit (Absu not included) The absurd thin produced black metal has some nice riffs here and there and the vocals don't suck but is never memorable nor majestic. The sound of the drums is weak when a blast beat is played. Only hitting the snare drum and constantly at the same pace. Vocals sound like Deathspell omega and are about the only above average I can think of listening to this album. It is o.k. to be old school but this just sounds like there wasn't more time or budget in the studio. With a better production and more practising I would like to give HOD a second change. For know they're just the band with the Necrovore member in it.
Recordlabel: http://www.ibexmoon.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hodtheband

58/100

JACOB'S DREAM – Dominion of Darkness (CD) USA February 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic US Metal Running time: 1:17:40 (Tracks: 13)
I already reviewed the bands 3rd album ”Drama of the Ages” in August 2005 and that album was the first album with their new singer Chaz Bond who replaced David Taylor in 2003. David Taylor had a typical voice which gave the band a special sound but I loved “Drama of the Ages” album also a lot! Chaz Bond was a good replacement so I was not complaining! Last year I also saw the band live twice during their Headbangers Open Air show and the afterparty @ the Ballroom in Hamburg, Germany. Live I was very disappointed in Chaz's voice which didn't sound that good live as I was hoping for.
After I spoke to the band backstage and told them my opinion they handed me their new album (self released) over and that's why im reviewing it now finally! For a self produced/financed album it sounds awesome again and Chaz is singing great again, just like he did on the “Drama” album!! This is again typical US powermetal in a way I love it most! Powerful songs; great compositions, great musicians and a very good singer! Hopefully he can convince me next time they are playing in Europe live because im looking out for it already! Great album guys! Compliments!
Lately I heard that the band signed to the RetroActive Records which is a religious label and I think Jacobs Dream did a good deal with that! Go get this album ASAP and if you don't know the band yet; order all of their 4 albums!!! You will love it!!
Visit their website: http://www.jacobsdream.info
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jacobsdream

88/100

JON OLIVA'S PAIN - Festival (CD) USA February 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 55:05 (Tracks: 10)
As a Savatage fan I was always of the opinion that everything Jon Oliva touched turned to gold. That was until I heard his previous Global Warning record. I really didn't like that one but even Jon can make a record I don't like so I was looking forward to the new one. To me he made up pretty well with Festival. The album starts of with Lies, a fast track that has a nice rough tone to it. Afterwards the cd turns more to slower songs with a sound that comes close to Savatage itself. Overall Jon knows how to write good songs and he surrounds himself with great musicians who can create quite an epic sound. A must have for all fans of the Mountain King.
Visit their website: http://www.jonoliva.net
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jonoliva

80/100

KATATONIA – Night Is The New Day (CD) Sweden February 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Depressive Rock Running time: 48:38 (Tracks: 11)
Katatonia is one of those bands that made such a perfect evolution. Started as a doom/death metal band, slowly progressing to a more depressive rock/metal act in the late 90's and naturally evolving to the sound they created on the last two albums. A sound that I think appeals all kinds of music lovers. From alternative to doom metal. So how does this new record sound? “Night is the new day” is a well chosen title for the new record and embroiders further on the sound from their previous album “The Great Cold Distance” but with more nuances in the songs. At times there are some careful progressive elements that snuck into the songs. At these moments the band sounds a bit like Opeth. And though I know that the leadsinger of Opeth (Mikael Akerfeldt) was in Katatonia in the early days I think that Jonas' his voice has a little too much in common in these parts. Maybe a bold statement because Mikael helped to create the Katatonia sound but it is something that hinders me in some parts. This is the only complaint I have of a further great album. Katatonia are masters in creating atmosphere and “Night is the new day” is full of it. But its not all atmospheric and calm . Heavier parts can be heard in the opening song “Forsaker” and in the song “Nephilm”. Combined with the atmosphere this is in my opinion the strength of Katatonia. Listening to “Night is the new day” is a very cathartic experience. There are moments that echo longing and guilt, dreams, imagination, as well as a faint glimmer of hope and contentment. There are few albums I know that could make me feel that way. Whenever I listen to music some songs reel me in while others just touch me and others do completely nothing. But with this album everything just seems to fit and flow so well. To be consistently moved with almost every song is a great fact that Katatonia has accomplished so well. Without the vocal complaints I have, this is a near perfect album that is a fine listening experience these days, while the winter falls over the land.
Visit their website: http://www.katatonia.com
Recordlabel: http://www.peaceville.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/katatonia

90/100

MARGATE - On The Other Side (CD) USA February 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Alternative / Rock / Punk Running time: 39:04 (Tracks: 10)
MARGATE is a three piece band from Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. and was formed in 2003. The band exists of Alex Helbig (lead vocals, drums), Doug Mitchell (guitar, backing vocals) and Steve Weil (bass, backing vocals) and their debut album "Songs In The Key Of Awesome" was released in 2006. So, "On The Other Side" is the second album of this talented trio and was released in August of 2009 on their own label Room57 Records. All three members of the band have played in rock bands before for over a decade. This album features 10 songs, which are mostly all excellent compositions with fantastic melodies. Sometimes I had to think of bands like ALL, HÜSKER DÜ, BAD RELIGION, SOUL ASYLUM etc. "On The Other Side" is an easy listenable album and very accessible. Drummer Helmig has a great voice. This is just a pleasant album with fantastic songs like "In My Life" (superb), "Time & Time Again", "Saved It", the very catchy "Believe In Steve", "Circles", "Unchecked Aggression" and the titletrack "On The Other Side". I'm sure MARGATE can get a lot of airplay on alternative radio stations with this material. If you like good alternative rock music with a punky edge, then you'll have to check out this interesting band. Well done guys, because "On The Other Side" will still visit my CD player regularly.
Visit their website: http://www.margatemusic.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/margate

82/100

MIA HOPE – We are just Satellites (CD) United Kingdom Februari 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Mathcore Running time: 54:57 (Tracks: 12)
Haling from Berkshire, Mia Hopes just delivered their first album which they describe as: 'Melodic, epic, progressive metal/math-hardcore. The band was founded a couple of years ago and in 2007 they released the E.P. 'The Collapse of Etymology,' which was nicely reviewed at the time. After a few line-up changes, the band begun recording their debut album. 'We are just satellites' contains songs with great variety, spherical instrumental parts and a lot of aggression. No, let me rephrase that: a LOT of aggression! This band sure knows their classic influences, but is also looking at today's music and trends. Fans of the previous mentioned styles may find this interesting. I like it, except for one thing and that is the vocals. The same screams go on and on without any diversity. Pretty annoying, but hopefully they will work on this with the making of their next studio effort. I surely hope so, because the band has a lot of potential. No doubt about that!

Recordlabel: http://www.myspace.com/risingrecords
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/miahope

75/100

M.I.C. - Made In China (CD) China February 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock / Pop Running time: 31:56 (Tracks: 9)
M.I.C. (MADE IN CHINA) is a four piece band from China and the line-up of the band on this album "Made In China", exists of Yvon Serré (vocals, guitar), Billy Ren (bass), Chris Yang (drums) and Mark McCleod (keyboards). According to the band's MySpace page the current line-up exists of Yvon Serré (vocals, guitar), Angela Renzetti (guitar, backing vocals), Huang Hong Liang (bass) and Zhao Qian (drums). Anyway, this album "Made In China", which was already released in 2008, features 9 songs and to be honest, most of the songs really don't impress me. Songs like "Take A Look", "Rock & Roll", "Give Me Cash" and "Let's Do It" are so simple and to soft. The only two songs which are really good compositions are "I Don't Need You" and "Can't Let Go". To me, these two songs are the best of the whole album. Their second album "Out 2 Rock" will be officially released in February 2010. I've listened to some samples of this second album on their MySpace page, and there's a slight improvement. But this album is not really meant for me.
Visit their website: http://www.yvonserre.com/mic
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/madeinchine

55/100

NINTH CIRCLE – The Power of One (CD) USA February 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 51:36 (Tracks: 12)
Ninth Circle hails from California, U.S.A. and this is the second cd the band produces in a ten year period. It is of course a self financed effort. It is more than clear that traditional power metal outfits in the States struggle to stay alive against all trends and amidst commercial indifference. Bands like Ninth Circle are the driving force of the underground; their high quality works keep the genre alive. It is very encouraging to see that there are still some bands out there who want to reproduce the early Queenryche feeling, the traditional U.S. power style that produced so many great albums and overlooked demos in the 80s and 90s. Iron Maiden is also a major influence here (hence the “Trooper” cover version that could have been avoided in my humble opinion) but not an overwhelming one. Well all you classic power metal enthusiasts out there you know what to do…
Visit their website: http://www.ninthcircleworld.us
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ninthcircleworld

79/100

NOSTRADAMEUS - Illusion's Parade (CD) Sweden February 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Power / Heavy Metal Running time: 52:43 (Tracks: 10)
You can say a lot of things about Nostradameus, but not that they're lazy. With the release of six albums in nearly ten years it is fair to say that they're rather productive. Over the years, the Swedish band has gained a lot of attention with their music in the best heavy/power metal tradition. With every release they seem to reveal their own identity more and more. The first albums like 'Words of nostradameus' and 'Prophet of evil' were a lot more traditional than the latest record 'Pathway.' This contained a somewhat more heavy approach and thrash metal influences. Especially the riffing. On 'Illusion's Parade,' the album that is being reviewed right here, the band once again went a little bit further. You can notice this right away with the openings track 'Walk of pain' that, by the way, has a very strong and catchy chorus. The rest of the album offers heavy/power metal songs with a more prominent place for thrash metal riffing this time. Off course the Nostradameus way, so never really brutal, but yet very melodic. I think that with this development the band brings more depth and variety into their music. Special mentioning goes out to the vocals because they are, once again, very beautiful and really suiting the music. Also the more experimental vocals in the heavier parts are a big plus. The music is never bad, but I experience the same problems that I've also had with the previous Nostradameus records. And that is the lack of memorable songs. sure, 'Walk of pain' and 'The mariner' are great and well written, but generally the music doesn't stick with me. But that's just me. Notstradameus is a well known band and I am sure that this album will find it's way to the fans and enthusiasts of the genre.
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/nostradameus

75/100

ORPHEUS – Orpheus (CD) Norway February 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Hardrock / Heavy Metal Running time: 40:19 (Tracks: 8)
Orpheus once was a high school band, and was revived late fall 2002 when founding members Kristian Drivenes, Audun Haberg and Thor Richard Isaksen met again on one of Norway's leading music schools. They shared an interest in bands like Iron Maiden, In Flames and Guns 'n Roses, and started jamming with those bands as references. With new members they made it a guitar-heavy band, counting three guitarists. A drummer, bassist and vocalist were found quickly. The line up changed a lot during the years, a female singer was selected for vocal duties, a new bass player and drummer, Torgeir Nilsen, joined the band. This line up recorded an EP in 2005, which received some good reviews in the media. Three years later, only Drivenes and Nilsen are left from former line ups. Band members have come and gone, but this core persisted, and now they found a stable line up and released their debut album through their own record label Sidehorn Records. I didn't know what to expect seeing that this is a female fronted band, but this certainly isn't a gothic 'metal' act of which there are too many already, actually this is really refreshing sounding Hardrock Heavy Metal, which I haven't heard too much lately. ORPHEUS has some serious Maiden influences in their music, great twin guitar harmonies and some galloping rhythms here and there, all with modern sound and influences, definitely not sounding old and dusty! Great song structures and compositions, sounding fairly original actually, songs like 'Fuck Me Over', 'Constructing' and 'Mr. Manipulative' proof their skills, and are really convincing. I love the guitar work on this album, also the production is good, certainly for an own release. The sound of ORPHEUS is fresh with a great energy flow to it, they certainly got my attention, great debut from a promising great band!
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/orphmo

83/100

PARIS KEELING – End Of Ride Revisited (CD) USA February 2010 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: AOR Running time: 59:03 (Tracks: 16)
Paris Keeling is, in contradiction what people may think, not Kelly Keeling's brother. No, Marty Paris is a good friend of Kelly's and the both of them work together a lot. Actually, they work with the five of them on this “ project” , and all five of them are renowned musicians. For this album, Paris and Keeling sought and got cooperation of Carmine Appice, George Lynch, Don Dokken, Al Pitrelli and Erik Norlander. The result is a really nice listening experience, with very diverse musical styles.
Opening track “ Tears Of Heaven” starts out quite heavy, and it seems Kelly Keeling really outdid himself writing tracks for this album. “ Free” and “ Morning Song” are wonderful and sensitive ballads which showcases his softer vocal capabilities. He also wrote “ Color Blind” with Don Dokken; knowing that Kelly and Don toured together last year with an acoustic set, this song sounds like a logical result of it. George Lynch co-wrote “ These days”, and this song is a nice combination of melody, George's typical strangeness in writing which makes this a strange one to listen to but after a few times it really feels great. “ Don't Disturb The Occupants” was actually taken from the Japanese release of Carmine Appice's Guitar Zeus project, and I wonder why it is on this album. Finally, Paris and Keeling perform Jeff Lynne's “ Telephone Line”. For fans of melodic rock and appreciation for old-fashioned musicianship, this is a great album! I have always loved Kelly's voice, besides the fact that he is a great guy, and I really enjoyed this album which will probably spin in my cd player quite often.
Visit their website: http://www.pariskeeling.com
Recordlabel: http://www.sergeentertainmentgroup.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pariskeeling

85/100

PLUTONIUM ORANGE - Volume (CD) Finland February 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Alternative Rock / Metal Running time: 38:43 (Tracks: 9)
PLUTONIUM ORANGE is a Finnish band existing of Samuli Liekkinen (vocals, guitar), Juha Raivio (guitar, backing vocals), Antti Sjöblom (bass) and Pasi Pasanen (drums). They describe their sound as melodic Stoner Metal. Well the Stoner sound is hard to find if you ask me, to me it's more melodic alternative Rock/Metal. Anyway, "Volume" is the debut album of the band and features 9 songs. Before this album, the band had released the following demos "Fruit Of The Doom" (2000), "Volume" (2001) and "Waiting For The Gun" (2002). The songs on "Volume" are catchy and have some fantastic grooves, but the problem is that most of the songs pretty much sound the same. About the vocals of Liekkinen, well, he's not a bad singer, but I can imagine that his voice irritates you. It's just you love it or hate it. Anyway, I can listen to it. To me, the best songs on "Volume" are "One Of Us", "Killer By The Road", "Waiting For The Gun", "Wet Trails", "Bring Out Your Dead" and "Unstable/Unreal". "Volume" is not a very notable album, just a nice one. But I've heard worse albums.
Recordlabel: http://www.firebox.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/plutoniumorange

75/100

PROZAC DAISIES – Krazzy (MCD) United Kingdom February 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 20.51 (Tracks: 5)
Prozac Daisies (nice name by the way) sends us a mini with no other information than that they promote themselves by pushing their interpretation of a song called “8675309/Jenny”. Well, I must have been living under a well hidden rock, somewhere in a desert because this song doesn't ring any bell to me. No information about the band however, so let the music do the talkin'. Prozac Daisies brings us a fine portion of heavy rock supported by a cello. And that can be seen as a big plus. The cello gives their music a damn fine heavy layer and it lifts the songs to a higher level. Cover “8675309/Jenny” and “Khalifornia” are damn fine songs and scream to be played on the radio. Catchy as hell guided by that nice, heavy cello, nothing wrong with it. The ballad “Even Don't Give Up On Me” can't convince me by the way, but “Superstitious” and “Krazzy” keep u the good work. A perfect heavy soundtrack for on the road.
Visit their website: http://www.prozacdaisies.com
Recordlabel: http://www.fullentertainmenmusic.com

78/100

RAZOR FIST – Metal Minds (CD) USA February 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 39:25 (Tracks: 10)
RAZOR FIST originally formed in 2005 and already released one album before 'Metal Minds', their debut album 'Razor Fist Force' came out in 2006. Razor Fist is a young speed/thrash band that plays the oldschool way, with a typical high pitch vocalist, one either loves or hates. Their music is fast and furious from beginning to the end, full of energy and power. When I put this one on, I couldn't stop listening this is really great stuff, if you are into this kind of metal, and I am! This album breathes the eighties speed thrash atmosphere like no other, with a good production for this music and time. It's a real enjoyable album, if you can dig the shrieking voice of T.K. Xanax, some very nice guitar riffing and compositions, which comes best to live on a stage. Although they are not the most original heavy metal band out there, but then again who is these days, they do what they do best delivering their heavy as fuck thrash/speed metal, with thunderous drumming and fast and furious riffing, and the high pitch vocals, which I like, but I can imagine there are people who are not gonna get into this kind of singing. Overall I can only say it's a great album, I love it, songs like 'Metal Minds' , 'First Strike' or 'Runner' , they all get stuck in your head. This young new band, doing it the oldschool way, is one for the books in my opinion, as said not the most original, but what they do, they do so good!
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/razorfistmetal

87/100

ROTENGEIST - Fear is the Key (CD) Poland February 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Thrash / Death Metal Running time: 34:14 (Tracks: 3)
Rotengeist from Poland started in 2005 and are Piotr Winiarski on guitar/vocals, Aleksander Partynski on bass/ vocals and Ziemowit Gawlik on drums. At first they had difficulty finding a vocalist but after 2 years they decided to give the guitar player a try and I must say, he`s doing a fine job although he doesn`t vary a lot. In 2006 they recorded their first demo but I never heard it. As far as I know they only played gigs in Poland. Too bad, I would like to see them. This cd is a pleasure to listen too. Varied enough to keep me entertained for half an hour. Pretty good sound. It`s not spectacular or something groundbreaking but I like it. It`s well written and decent played thrash metal. I don`t really hear the death part in here but that`s no problem. These guys can play and I like the interaction with the two singers. These voices really complement each other. But I wonder if they sound the same live because I think they really need a second guitarist too get the same sound as the cd But overall it`s a good cd, worth checking out.
Visit their website: http://www.rotengeist.pl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/rotengeistband

83/100

SARAH JEZEBEL DEVA – A Sign of Sublime (CD) United Kingdom February 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Metal / Rock Running time: 38.02 (Tracks: 9)
Sarah Jezebel Deva, better known as Cradle of Filth's female vocalist and other projects like Therion, Angtoria etc. has found herself ready to surprise us with a solo album. She made contact with Ken Newman for a co-writer ship and enlisted Dave Pybus (Cradle of Filth, ex Anathema), Martin Powel (Anathema, My Dying Bride, ex Cradle of Filth) and Max Blumos (ex Trigger the Bloodshed) for the instrumental presentation of her music. As she says by herself, the music has no genre, it's a bit of everything and not for the narrow minded. Well, it has become a varied album which contains overall heavy rock with some trips to opera, gothic etc. The album opens with instrumental “Genesis” and is a spheric, gothic opener. Follower “A Sign of Sublime” is a pretty good track, with a very nice video, which does justice to Sarah's voice and the chopping drums of Max. After this warm welcome, follower “She stands like Stone” doesn't grab me at all. Unfortunately this turns out to be representative for most of the rest. On-going songs with vocals that sound quite tedious and drums which sound to dominate. It's all produced well and there's really nothing wrong with the skills of the musicians but it just doesn't make my balls tickle. Surprisingly enough Sarah has put two brilliant songs on this album that make's it worth listening to. “The Devils Opera” is really a epic film score, opera like track and can compare with the best Epica songs. Last song “Daddy's Not Coming Home” is a very good ballad with damn fine vocalwork of the mistress herself. Here she proves what she is capable of. Making up the balance; the disappointment dominates. It's just another average album that's worth listening to a few times. I think Sarah can do much better than this one.
Recordlabel: http://www.risingrecords.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jezebeldeva

65/100

SEASONS LOST - After The Storm (CD) USA February 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Progressive Rock Running time: 55:47 (Tracks: 10)
SEASONS LOST is a metal band from Florida, U.S.A., and was formed in 2005. The band exists of Shaie Mason (vocals), Parker Tindell (lead guitar), Anton Foresta (rhythm guitar), Andy Uhilien (bass) and Mark Ellis (drums). "After The Storm" is the band's debut album, and was released on 5/9/09 by the band themselves. Mason is a good singer who's vocals are very varied. Most of the songs also have fantastic harmony vocals. What notices me, is that the album has four semi ballads on it, which are "The Big Empty", "Dry Ground", "Forever" and "Taken Away". These are good songs, but personally I prefer the heavier songs like "To Hell And Back", "Borrowed Time", "Skeletal Remedy" and "Graveshifter", which are my favorite songs of "After The Storm". But the songs are good compositions anyway, the musicianship is fantastic (especially guitarist Tindell and Ellis, who's a fantastic drummer) and the production of the album is good. Some songs have a slight Progressive Rock touch as well, like "Skeletal Remedy", which reminds me a little bit of DREAM THEATER. "After The Storm" is just a good album.
Visit their website: http://www.seasonslost.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/seasonslost

80/100

SOUL DOCTOR – Way Back To The Bone (CD) Germany February 2010 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Hardrock Running time: 48:59 (Tracks: 10)
We all know Tommy Heart as vocalist of Fair Warning, also from Germany. Unfortunately, the last album Tommy did with that band was a disappointment to me, so when I got this Soul Doctor record, I hoped Tommy would do better. Soul Doctor has never been the innovative band coming up with new things or song structures; although I think that they are often mislabelled as influenced by AC-DC, these guys still maintain a high quality of non-original, uncomplicated hard rock. Highlights to me are the quite original sounding “ Can't Stand Losing”, “ Times Of Yesterday” and “ Heartache Heartbreak” which would have been a great radio single in the times that singles still were a way to sell extra albums and to draw attention to a band. Anyway…Tommy is in great shape, and unless you are a sucker for originality, this album is very pleasant.
Visit their website: http://www.souldoctorrocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/souldoctorrock

75/100

STEVE MORSE - Prime Cuts Volume 2 (CD) USA February 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: AOR Rock Running time: 44:32 (Tracks: 10)
Record label Magna Carta has the tradition to release Prime Cuts Series from different artists who have been signed by them. Prime Cuts volume 2 is, as can be seen in the title, the second Prime Cuts featuring master guitarist Steve Morse. The album contains 10 songs taken from Steve's Magna Carta recordings.
Steve Morse is active in the music industry for decades. He has released albums as a solo artist, he has his own The Steve Morse Band but he was / is also active as a member in famous rock bands like Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs and Kansas. And don't forget his guest contributions on albums from Liza Minelli, Steve Walsh and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater).
The album Prime Cuts volume 2 contains songs which are composed by Morse himself, but it contains also covers from other bands like Yes, Jordan Rudess and Rush. For people who are not familiar with his work (something I can't imagine...), this album is a really nice introduction to his work. As can be heard on the album, Morse has so much skills and he is so talented, that he can play all kinds of styles, from country to jazz and rock to prog. All these styles can be heard on this album. It contains heavy rock songs, but also a touchy song like Mood for a Day where Morse plays only the acoustic guitar without other musicians. The album ends with a really nice cover of Rush (Red Barchetta), with an excellent guest contribution of James LaBrie (Dream Theater). It has to be said that all the other musicians on this album are also very talented. This album does not offer new music for the die-hard fans, but it is a nice compilation for people who want to check out Morse's music.
Visit their website: http://www.stevemorse.com
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stevemorse

90/100

SWORN AMONGST - Severance (CD) United Kingdom Februari 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Thrash metal Running time: 43:39(Tracks: 10)
This straight forward thrash metal band with some hardcore influences from the UK gets their inspiration from the 90`s american groovy thrash bands and the guys are, Liam Liddell on guitar/vocals, Rob Ellwood on bass, Johny Harper on drums and Jonny Barker on guitar and they are formed in 2002. They played their first gig in 2004 and they won second price in a Kerrang competition. In 2007 they signed with Rising records and they released their first album in 2008 called 'And so it Begins'. I don`t really enjoy this album. It`s to average. Nothing groundbreaking. It`s all well played and Liam has a strong voice but I heard it all before. Some refrains are pretty lame (We fuck the system). I think they have to grow a lot but they have potential. Maybe create an own sound although I know that`s not easy .Maybe the album was better if the production was a lot better, it`s to frail. I`m sure a lot of people will enjoy this band but I`m not one of them.
Visit their website: http://www.swornamongst.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.myspace.com/risingrecordsuk
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/swornamongst

70/100

TEMPESTA – Rivolglio il mio Futuro (MCD) Italy February 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Thrash / Heavy Metal Running time: 24:19 (Tracks: 5)
A couple of weeks ago I went on a short trip to the capitol of Italy, Rome. By the time I got back I was pretty proud of myself for picking up some of the Italian language. That quickly changed when I received the monthly package from Mario with the new Tempesta in it. I coulden't understand the lyrics at all! This goes for the band's website as well. Luckily I understood Metal so the review could be done anyway, but with a little handicap that is the language. Tempesta is a three piece thrash metal band from… you've guessed it… Italy. Being around for almost twenty years now, the band released several demo's and played with bands like Vision Divine and Eldritch. Their latest effort 'Rivoglio il mio futuro' is my first acquaintance with the band. This demo offers five tracks filled with old-school thrash metal riffing and melodic power metal parts. This has proven to be an excellent combination since there are no weak songs on the record. Not very original, but with catchy songs like this you can't really complain about that. Tracks like 'Rabbia tra I denti' and 'Parole come fucili' sounds like they were written over twenty five years ago during the second thrash metal movement. On the other hand, 'Ne schiavi ne padroni' could easily be a nineties metal song from Stratovarius. The bottom line is that Tempesta has managed to create a very interesting demo that is worthy to be heard outside of Italy. A big issue is the language though. I'd rather listen to English, but musically there is nothing wrong with this release. For the enthusiast of old school Thrash and Heavy/Power Metal.

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

80/100

THE DUST CONNECTION – TRAILS (CD) The Netherlands February 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 1:13:19 (Tracks: 14)
The Dust Connection was formed after the split of symphonic metal formation Forever Times. The band already released a self produced Cdemo in 2003 which received very good responses in the metal press. This album was recorded in 2008/2009 in the recording studio of drummer Robert Spaninks and it counts me that the album sounds awesome! The Dust Connection plays symphonic/progressive metal but dares to experiment with elements from other musical genres. The band plays music which is a bit comparable with bands like Evergrey, Fates Warning & Threshold but I also hear influences from bands like Faith No More ('Path')
I had the luck to be scheduled as DJ during their CD release party last week at the 013 venue and I can already tell you that the band is also live a must see/hear; incredible!!! I was already praising the last album of Dutch progmetal band Cirrha Niva a few months ago but this album is equal to that album; The Netherlands can be proud of such great talented progressive metal acts!!! Keep an eye on these bands; they will both become great!
Visit their website: http://www.thedustconnection.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.rockinc.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thedustconnection

90/100

THE ARGENT DAWN - A Blank Eternity (CD) United Kingdom February 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death Metal / Deathcore Running time: 33:35 (Tracks: 10)
When the first deathcore bands started to get known outside their own hometown I was really enthusiastic about this new sound in the death metal world. Finally we had a nice mix between death metal and hardcore without the sappy clean vocals that most metalcore bands tend to throw in. Unfortunately once the genre became really popular and more and more bands started releasing albums it became clear that the enthusiasm of most bands served to cover up the complete lack of originality in their music. Because of this trend I was pretty sceptical when trying out this cd of The Agent Dawn. The band is fairly new and is releasing their debut in February. The bring a mix of modern sounding brutal death metal and deathcore which unfortunately lacks the before mentioned originality. The same structures and breakdowns keep returning and you just get a feeling that you heard all of this before. Sure the guys bring a tight sound and it all fits together great but I just don't hear anything new and that is sad. If you're still liking the new cd's of the major deathcore bands you don't seem to mind the missing of something new and you should check these guys out because they seem to perform great but if you're not, or no longer, into the whole modern death metal business, just stay away. There's again nothing new to be found on this record.
Recordlabel: http://www.risingrecords.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theargentdawnuk

60/100

THE MURDER OF MY SWEET - Bleed Me Dry (CD promo-single) Sweden February 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Gothic / Metal Running time: 10:33 (Tracks: 3)
Another single I got from Mario of the Frontiers Records label is "Bleed Me Dry" of Swedish female fronted band THE MURDER OF MY SWEET. The line-up of the band exists of Angelica Rylin (vocals), Daniel Palmqvist (guitar), Johan Niemann (bass), Andreas Lindahl (keyboards) and Daniel Flores (drums). "Bleed Me Dry" is the first single of their debut album "Divanity" and it's a fantastic Gothic song with orchestration and choirs. The song is featured twice on the single, the regular version and an instrumental version which is also fantastic. The third track of this single is titled "Sands Of Time", which makes this single extra interesting, because it's a non album track. Angelica is a very good singer, she has a fantastic voice. It all reminds me very much of our own Dutch Gothic rockers WITHIN TEMPTATION. Anyway, "Bleed Me Dry" is a very interesting single, which makes me curious about the complete album "Divanity".
Visit their website: http://www.themurderofmysweet.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/themurderofmysweet

85/100

TORCH – Dark Sinner (CD) Sweden February 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: True / Heavy Metal Running time: 51:24 (Tracks: 15)
A small band history: Torch was formed 1980 by Chris J. First, Steve Streaker and Claus Wildt. Stefan Wedlund did the vocals but soon Dan Dark joined the band to do the voice. The band released their debut EP "Fireraiser" in 1982, and shortly after that they toured around Europe and did some festivals with as well as Motörhead as the German heavy metal band Warlock. After nearly twenty years of silence Dan Dark started to plan a couple of reunion shows. Dan contacted the other guys in the band to see if they were up for it but unfortunately it seemed that due to various things Dan was the only guy who had the time and effort, to put the band together. He had the idea of putting the band together again for a long time and he wouldn't give up the dream of playing the old songs again to the fans. Dan contacted the bass player Alx Jonsson (Fatale Smile), the guitarist Tomi Peltonen (Griffen) and the drummer Kristian Huotari (Scaar) to see if there were any interest in playing some good old heavy metal, and hell yeah, they were fucking ready to do it. The crusade has only just begun so prepare yourself for the metal ride of your life.
So far the history of the band. The band exists already for a couple of years in this line up now and is doing some shows once in a while. I saw the band a couple of years ago at the KIT festival in Germany and they really kicked some serious ass! That was also the reason that I booked the band for the first edition of my own Mario's Metal Meeting festival but after some struggles with singer Dan Dark I decided to kick them off the bill. This will be of no influence at all to the review of this “new” album because musically I still like the band very much!! Torch has now re-recorded 13 classic Torch songs and 2 new songs, 'The Dark Sinner' and 'We Will Fight', both in the typical Torch tradition! And it all sounds awesome productionwise! Except for one song; Rage Age, the complete first album has been re-recorded on this Dark Sinner album. We also have “Fire Raiser” (Fireraiser) and Thunderstruck (Electrikiss ). This is a very nice compilation album and hopefully it will bring the band new fans around the globe! Hope that the band will release some new stuff soon because these re-recordings long for more………
If you don't know the band than you can compare their music as a mix of Accept, Judas Priest, AC/DC & Tygers of Pan Tang.
Visit their website: http://www.torch.se
Recordlabel: http://www.mausoleum-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/torchmetal

75/100

V.A. (Various Artists) - Jam on Guitars (CD) USA February 2010 Mr. Globetrotter
Style: Guitar Running time: 71:56 (Tracks: 12)
This album is for fans of guitar playing but keep in mind that there are several styles involved in this album. You will hear Michael Lee Firkins doing 60's rock, Steve Morse doing blues, and the list is long; I will mention Alex Skolnick, Oz Noy, Chris Poland, Cameron Williams and Ed Wynne from the Ozric Tentacles who does, in my opinion, the best track on this album together with Steve Morse. BUT that is all a matter of taste, as we all know and learn to appreciate the style of these guitarplayers. If you are into guitar playing in different styles, this cd will most probably please you. Is it rock or metal? Definitely not.
Recordlabel: http://www.magnatuderecords.net

75/100

V.A. (Various Artists) - Prog Around The World (CD) Various February 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 61:05 (Tracks: 12)
The album “Prog Around The World” is an album which contains twelve songs from bands which are (or were) signed by the record label Magna Carta. This record label is specialized in Progressive Rock.
The album contains songs of bands from all around the world, from Israel to Hungary, America to Sweden. The Netherlands is represented by Lemur Voice with Intuition from their debut album Insights. Unfortunately, the band broke up in 2000 due to musical differences. A lot of famous musicians co-operated on the album, like Jordan Rudess and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) and master bass player Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel). Also members from Nickelback are present. My personal favourite songs on the album are Elevation (The Hideous Sum Demons) and the opening track Moron Face from Martone (Canada). I expected also a lot from Holes (Liquid Trio Experiment) but this song is a little bit disappointing. It's a little bit too “strange” for me.
One of the advantages of collection albums is that you're able to get acquainted with much new music of different bands, only listening to one single album. The songs on the album are not all new released songs and the prog styles differ a lot. It contains very jamming, “difficult” progressive rock songs (like Holes – Liquid Trio Experiment) but also very heavy prog (Spiritual Jewel – Khallice).
It's very difficult to award points to a collection album, but I did my best. The album gives a nice overview of the different progressive rock styles.
Recordlabel: http://www.magnacarta.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/magnacartarecords

78/100

W.E.T. - One Love (CD promo-single) USA/Sweden February 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: A.O.R. / Melodic Rock Running time: 8:36 (Tracks: 2)
Finally, Mario got something again of the fantastic Frontiers Records label. Okay, this is just a single instead of the complete album of W.E.T., which is a project between three musicians, namely Robert Sall from WORK OF ART (lead guitar), Erik Mårtensson of ECLIPSE (guitar, bass & keyboards) and the well known Jeff Scott Soto of TALISMAN on vocals. Soto, is a fantastic singer and is of course best known as the singer on YNGWIE MALMSTEEN's albums "Rising Force" (1984) and "Marching Out" (1985). But Jeff also worked with a lot of bands/artists on albums and tribute albums. Anyway, the drums was played by Robban Back and Magnus Henriksson also did some lead guitars on several songs of the album as well. The two songs on this single are "One Love" and the beautiful ballad "Comes Down Like Rain". And actually, it's an enhanced single, so both videos of these songs are on this silver disc as well. This is a nice single, but to get a better impression of the album, I've listened to some other songs on their MySpace page, like the fantastic "Invincible", "I'll Be There" and "Just Go", which are all three a bit heavier songs. Anyway, I can recommend W.E.T. to anyone who is into high quality melodic rock with fantastic vocals.
Visit their website: http://www.jeffscottsoto.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wetrocks

80/100

WISZDOM STONE – Rise (CD) USA February 2010 Mario van Dooren
Style: Melodic / Progressive Metal Running time: 56:358 (Tracks: 10)
This album is already waiting for a long time for a review on MMM, simply because I wanted to do the review on my own and than things make take a little more time (Busy as always)….but finally here it is! Ray and Brian know each other from school and formed the band several years ago. They decided to record a CD on their own and bring in various artists to perform on it. About a month after they started tracking the material in their home studio, Ray bumped into Mike Stone of Queensryche at the Guitar Center. Mike and Ray have known each other for years and after a little catching up, Mike offered to sing on a few songs for them. The guys originally entered Mike's recording studio with the intention of recording 4 songs, but due to his busy, busy schedule they were only able to finish two "Eyes Open" and "Without Faith" before Queensryche went back on the road. They were hoping to finish tracking the other two songs when Mike returned, but Queensryche decided to start working on Operation Mindcrime II and it was at that time that they realized that Mike just did not have the time to be bothered by them. It was time for a vocalist search and so they finally found Andre. After catching one of Andre's shows with a local cover band, Ray asked Andre if he would be interested in singing on a few songs for them and he said he would give it a try. The first song sent to Andre was "Unforgiven" and the guys found out very quickly that Andre had "IT". Originally Brian and Ray wanted to put out a CD much like Avantasia that would feature many different vocalist, but after working with Dre' they knew they wanted him to be the voice of WiszdomStone. After a few EP's they decided it was time for a full length album. Though they received interest from several record labels the band chose to finish the FULL length CD on their own, so they would not have to compromise one note. The bands first FULL length CD "RISE" was FINALLY finished and was officially released in June of 2009.
Well here it is and damn it was worth the wait! This album has it; a great production; excellent musicianship, good lay out and (for me personally very important) a very powerful singer who fits prefect to their melodic metal with prog elements! If you are a fan of bands like Jag Panzer, Metal Church, Seven Witches, Mystic Prophecy & Kamelot than you should check these guys out immediately! This is really great power/progmetal and i'm curious when the band will be picked up by a good label (Nightmare Records wake up….).
Visit their website: http://www.wiszdomstone.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wiszdomstone

90/100

WITH CHAOS IN HER WAKE - Treason (CD) United Kingdom February 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Death Metal / Deathcore Running time: 33:35 (Tracks: 10)
As I've said before I used to be a fan of deathcore when the first bands arrived in the death metal scene. After some time I decided that once the new hype was passed all was left were the same songs, the same structures and the same long band names. In this whole scene it's very hard to find a true gem between the hundreds of bands who all share the same lack of originality. Unfortunately the new English band With Chaos In Her Wake are, to me, considered to be categorized with the same bunch of bands without the originality, or perhaps the talent, to try anything new. It's sad that these days you know when the scream will start, when the grunt will take over and when the breakdown will begin and end just because you already heard a few deathcore albums. If you're still into the hype, do check them out. The guys seem good enough musicians but if deathcore was never something for you, or if you're just as tired of it as I am don't waste your time on it.
Recordlabel: http://www.risingrecords.org
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/withchaosinherwake

55/100

JANUARY

101 SOUTH – No U-Turn (CD) USA January 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: AOR Rock Running time: 42:37 (Tracks: 10)
During 1999, Harlan Cage keyboardist Roger Scott Craig assembled a couple of musical friends (mostly of the L.A. session scene) and formed 101 South. One of these session musicians was Gregory Lynn Hall who is responsible for most of the vocal performances on the different albums which are released by 101 South. Some of the quest musicians are very well experienced and played with artists like Nina Hagen (Billy Liesegang (guitar)) and The Alan Parsons Project (Ian Bairnson (guitar)). In 2000, 101 South released their first album entitled 101 South. This album was followed two years later by Roll of the Dice. Both albums were welcomed quite well by the press. It`s not easy to find (a lot of) information about the band, the website is very basic with almost only some links to facebook and myspace and these links contain also not much information to read more about the band.
"No U-turn" is my first acquaintance with the band and my first impression is that the band is influenced by bands like Journey and Foreigner. Listen especially to the first song, 'When you`re in love'. My personal highlight on the album is the fifth song (End of the Game) with nice guitar work and a good vocal performance. Also the last song of the album (Blue Skies) is quite nice and becomes more special because of the guest appearance of Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann's Earth Band) and Alan Kroll who plays the saxophone. It has to be said that the second part of the album is better than the first part. The composition of the songs on the second part is better and they are also a little less predictable. On the first part, I always have the feeling that I`m waiting for some fire-works and my attention sometimes strays off...
The music on "No U-turn" is not spectacular or innovative, but it`s is qualitative quite good because of the co-operation of some quite good musicians.
Visit their website: http://www.101south.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/101southband

71/100

5m3 - 5m3 (CD) The Netherlands Janaury 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Grind / Metalcore Running time: 34:13 (Tracks: 10)
This Dutch band from Eindhoven, Holland started out in 2000 after Infected Entrails broke up. At first they had a drum computer and where know as the grindcoreband Gutfuck.When they found a real drummer the music changed into extreme death/grind. In 2001 they recorded a primitive, self-produced 9 track demo. Since guitarist Tom left the band in 2002 and was replaced by Bart the line up hasn`t changed anymore. 2 Demo`s follow in 2003 and 2005. After writing new songs they decided the name Gutfuck wasn`t suitable anymore and they changed their name into 5M3. They call their music grind/metalcore but it`s more a mix of several styles like death metal,thrashmetal, grindcore, metalcore with a lot of tempo changes and to my opinion a superb drummer. Without drummer Fjodor the music would be very boring. He really kicks ass!! That guy really makes this cd worth listening. Very technical parts followed by blastbeats and all very tight. The guitarists Marco and Bart really play very decent guitar but the production of this cd could have been a lot better guitar wise. The sound is not brutal enough. It sounds too ordinary while grindcore has too sound very philthy.Too bad. Singer Yuri has a typical voice that is really suitable for grindcore and he has a good grunt but it`s starting to bore after a while. He varies enough with screams but they are not as good as his grunt. Now and then they sound really stupid. But I don`t know how serious this band is. If I look at the titles: 'Receding Hairline Blues' or 'Don`t feed the Animals' they seem to have a lot of humour and I can appreciate that and then the vocals are appropriate but else.......oops!! Nice cd but maybe a bit too much styles in every song. Not for the average grindcore lover but if you like more technical, varied extreme metal worth checking out thanks to the drummer.
Visit their website: http://www.5m3.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/5kuub

72/100

ATRITAS - Celestial Decay (CD) Switzerland January 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Symphonic Black Metal Running time: 52:01 (Tracks: 10)
Two years ago I reviewed Atritas album: “Medium Antigod” which I thought was a very mediocre release. With “Celestial Decay' the band has made a huge development. Gone are the weak drums, the bad song structures and the amateur production. What Atritas present here is mature black metal like Dark Funeral with symphonic elements. The songs are thrilling and full of variation like it must be with this kind of music. The keyboards are used mostly as a secondary instrument. They do often play quite elaborate parts but, for the most part, they are not high enough in the mix to really grasp much attention (unless you are a keyboards-in-metal-hater in which case they will hurt your ears even if they are barely audible). They are also less presented than on “Medium Antigod”. Sometimes the keyboards form a very atmospheric background (In Death”) sometimes they are more prominent ("Satanic Divinity").
This is not the most groundbreaking (read: it doesn't break any new ground) album, but it has some cool ideas and concepts. The style they play has an air of familiarity. The songs are not ripped off and not rehashed; it's just difficult to be a standout in such a crowded field. This album is a good representative of what symphonic black metal is all about. This is recommended to black metal fans, symphonic metal fans, and fans of extreme metal. Atritas has developed from a mediocre band to one playing in the premier league of symphonic black metal!
Visit their website: http://www.atritas.ch
Recordlabel: http://ccpcom.window.hl-users.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/atritasbs

81/100

BLOOD REDEMPTION – Picking up the Pieces of a broken Past (CD) Belgium January 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Metalcore Running time: 45:43 (Tracks: 12)
Good times for the enthusiast of modern metalcore. Earlier this year Killswitch Engage and Shadow's fall gave us their new albums to enjoy. Now, a little bit closer to home, we find Blood Redemption releasing their new album 'Picking up the pieces of a broken past.' This second full length from the Belgium based band was released on Leperfest 2009. The first thing I notice are the heavy influences of Killswitsch Engage and for example As I lay dying. That isn't such a shock, because the above mentioned bands are acts that define the genre. As a band, you have to be aware of the fact that you can easily sound like a cheap copy. Luckily, Blood Redemption is well aware of this fact and with 'Picking up the pieces of a broken heart' they gave their own spin to it. So no copycats here! The band presents an album full of brutal and especially melodic metalcore. The best examples of these two aspects are probably 'Relapse' and the incredible '' More than this' which it's chorus will remain stuck in your head. The songs are well balanced as well as the vocals. Not just screaming the whole time, (which sometimes is the case in this genre) but a nice combination of screams and clean vocals at the right moments. A nice touch which makes it an diverse album. Also the artwork is worth wile to check out. Very different than you would expect with this kind of music. If you like metalcore or even melodic death, I can strongly recommend 'Picking up the pieces of a broken past.' Give this album a try and go to their Myspace for more information.
Recordlabel: http://www.genetrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/bloodredemptionh8000

82/100

BOOZED - One Mile (CD) Germany January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Speedrock / Rock Running time: CD: 33:37 (Tracks: 12) & DVD: 1:40:36
First of all, I always thought that "Tight Pants" (2005) was the debut album of German rockers BOOZED. But I was wrong, in 2004 the band already released "Seizin The Day" on Kamikaze Records. Anyway, I like BOOZED since that excellent "Tight Pants" album. So far I've seen them twice live (on June 29th, 2007 at The Rambler, Eindhoven and on June 8th, 2008 at De Effenaar, Eindhoven) and they really are an energetic live band. Also "Acid Blues" (2007) is a fantastic album. A couple of months ago I wondered when there would be a new album of BOOZED. So, I checked their website and saw that their fourth album, which is titled "One Mile", was already released on May 8th, 2009 on their own label Chequers74. In the meantime there has been another line-up change, so the current line-up of BOOZED exists of Markus Strothmann (vocals), Michael "Poni" Ponert (guitar), Nicolai Choczko (guitar), Tim Mischke (bass) and Klaas "Ugge" Ukena (drums). With this album, there's also a bonus DVD called "The Longest Mile - It's One Hell Of A Job", which is a documentary of the band in the studio (1:28:34). There are also three videos (8:09) on the DVD, which are "This Ain't My City", "Don't Hold Back" and "Start A War" (is also on the Russian edition of the album). And there's also a slide show of pictures on the DVD. It's a nice documentary to have seen once. About the album, well, I have to admit that the album really grows after several times listening to it. The only song I like less is "Speak By The Haze". Songs like "Circus", the quiet "Easy" and "Asphalt's Burning" are nice, but my favorite ones of "One Mile" are the opener "Save Me", "This Ain't My City", "You Gotta Go Again", "One Mile To The Moon", "Hypnotic Magnetic", "Don't Hold Back" and "Trouble". The band exists of fantastic musicians and Strothmann has a very recognizable voice. Anyway, BOOZED delivered with "One Mile" another fantastic album, but in my opinion "Tight Pants" is still their best. If you don't know them yet, but are curious…just check them out.
Visit their website: http://www.boozed-rocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.chequers74.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/boozed

84/100

CHINAWHITE - Challenges (CD) The Netherlands January 2010 Jordy Brouwers
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 66:04 (Tracks: 11)
Challenges is Chinawhite`s tenth official release. In their early days, Chinawhite released some cassettes which are not available anymore. Some of these old recordings are summarized on the album DEMO'S 1990-2005, which can be downloaded on the site. Challenges is Chinewhite`s third official cd.
Chinawhite was founded in 1987. Some musicians of those early days are still present in the current line-up. In those early days, Chinawhite concentrated on playing “melodic rock with symphonic frill and groovy rythms”. They performed songs of among others Rush, Saga and Marillion. But they wanted to do more live performances so the band members decided to play also more well-known Top 100 covers. During the years, Chinawhite builded up a solid reputation and this leads to a lot of gigs together with bands like Uriah Heep and The Golden Earring. In the meanwhile, some changes in the line-up took place, Don Feltges (Lead Vocals) enters the band in 1993 and Sander Stappers becomes the new Bass player in 2003. The other members are Peter Cox (Guitar and Vocals), Rolf Vossen (keyboards) and Hans in `t Zand (Drums).
The recording of the new album Challenges started in 2007 and it is released in November 2009. The songs on the album are again a step forward if you compare these to the older songs which can be downloaded from the website. Peter Cox (guitar) is responsible for most of the songs. Challenges is an album which needs more time to discover and to unravel all these compositions. One of my favorites is My Venus Rising, with nice keyboard and guitar parts. In my opinion, it is more progressive rock than symphonic rock because of the complexity that some songs show. I think it is an album to check out for fans of music from Saga, Rush etc. Something what I also want to mention is the very nice artwork!
Challenges has become an album that I will listen more in the future.
Visit their website: http://www.chinawhite.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.rockcompany.nl
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/chinawhitenl

83/100

DARKOLOGY – Altered Reflections (CD) USA January 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Power Metal Running time: 54:41 (Tracks: 10)
The new progressive power metal supergroup is here! Criminally underrated guitar maestro Michael Harris (Thought Chamber, Surgeon, Solo, Chastain etc.) created Darkology by recruiting his brother Brian on drums, Mike Neal on bass an the extraordinary vocal talents of Kelly Sundown Carpenter (Outworld). His goal was clear. Harris wanted to create intense progressive metal with equal doses of power and melody. And he succeeded in a remarkable way. “Altered Reflections” is the album that will make all progressive metal fans scream for more. The 10 songs featured on this release (plus a videoclip for “I Bleed”) put the letter Q on quality. This is contemporary music played with respect towards its classic metal roots. Carpenter screams his lungs out on top of the brilliant riffs and solos crafted by Harris. Songs like “I Bleed”, “Aura of Xhad” and “Trance of the Gorgons” will turn many prog metal heads. Ignoring albums like this one could cause the intervention of Musical Police. So RESPECT the Metal Law and grab this one FAST!
Visit their website: http://www.darkology.com
Recordlabel: http://www.rockaholicsrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/darkologymetal

88/100

DECAYOR - Recurring Times of Grief (MCD) Ireland January 2010 Corinne van den Brand
Style: Death / Doommetal Running time: 32:58 (Tracks: 3)
Decayor started in 2005 in Donegal, Ireland and released a demo in 2008 called "Welcome the Stench of Betrayal". In 2009 they released this EP which was mixed and mastered by themselves. "Recurring Times of Grief" is the title of this 3 song EP and I must say the title is very apt. It starts with an intro 'Stir of Echoes' with sets the mood. First song is 'Veil of Despair'and to my contentment singer/guitarist Pauric Gallagher starts to grunt with a very deep filthy voice. But later on he switches to a more black metal voice. The song is 12 minutes of real doommetal but varies enough to entertain the real doom lover but I`m not one of them. The song is well structured though but somewhat too boring for me. Next song 'The sacred Heart is bleeding' is more to my liking. It starts out with a steady midtempo pace with good drumming from Gary Byrne. But after a few minutes when I`m about to get bored again the song changes and the drummer has an more important part and starts too drum very diverse and pretty technical. The guitar parts are not very interesting for me but that`s because I`m not a big doommetal fan. But as a whole this band knows what they are doing. This song is well structured too. In the middle part Pauric starts to sing with clean vocals and again it works out perfectly. After that you get a part with acoustic guitars and then the very good grunt of Pauric sets in. Nice! Third song "Weeping Willows" starts with more spherical guitar work and a drum and bass (Kevin Mc Closkey) part and clean vocals. This song also varies a lot with vocals and especially the drums. That`s really the plus point of this band. The very good singer and the drummer. The guitar parts are a bit too boring for me although this song has a decent solo. Real doommetal fans will certainly enjoy this band. Oh, and one advise: change the logo. It`s very ugly.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/decayordie

73/100

ELIS - Catharsis (CD) Liechtenstein January 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Gothic Metal Running time: 48.56 (Tracks: 11)
“Move on …..” are the first words of the last track “The Dark Bridge” on this fourth full length album of Elis. Well; they certainly know how to use the right words to let the world know they're back. Since the tragic death of their sympathetic front lady Sabine Dûnser during the recordings of Griefshire, the band decided to “move on”. With new singer Sandra Schleret on board; Pete Streit (guitars), Tom Saxer (bass & additional vocals), Chris Gruber (guitars) and Max Näscher (drums), the band took their time to forge a new masterpiece which leaves no doubt that Elis definitely moves on. Calling it a masterpiece is merely my humble opinion about an album that hasn't left my cd player one single second since I got this promo about four weeks ago and I still can't get enough of it, it keeps growing further and becoming better and better. There is no doubt that those albums are the best ones. Alright, back to business.
Elis is categorised as Gothic Metal but they always were on the heavier side of this genre. On this album they accelerate to a higher level, sounding more aggressive, darker, heavier and sometimes even progressive. With a perfect clear and powerful sound (by Alexander Krull/Mastersound Studio's) the result is an album full of varied, powerful, yet even catchy songs, played by very skilled musicians. Fans of the first three albums (hey, I'm one of them) don't have to fear because the band kept true to their trademark. The thing is, this one is way better ! “Catharsis” marks a period of going through suffering and pain yet coming out stronger than before. The heavier and darker approach is a positive development and Sandra brings a new air to the Elis sound with her powerful, aggressive and warm vocals. Tom Saxer's deep grunts have made great progress and are used more often. This turns out to be the most brilliant move the band has made. The bewitching contrast between Tom and Sandra along with the hard hitting guitars and fine double bass drums, all based on perfect melody lines, are forged in rousing, sometimes even epic songs in which every member of the band has enough room to accelerate. This makes it a very inspired album filled with passion and melancholy. Sandra carries the feelings of each song in her voice and she definitely makes you move. Recurring to a real trademark, the album has in “Das Kleine Ungehuer” and “Des Lebens Traum – Des Traumes Lebens” two tracks with German vocals and they prove that Sandra is as comfortable singing in German as in English. “I Come Undone” (“Elised” cover version of Jennifer Rush; would be a perfect single) and “Firefly” (brilliant riff work from Pete) represent the more melodic, catchy side of Elis. In “Rainbow” we have a strong ballad that is filled with emotions and shows the variety of Sandra's voice. My highlights however are the songs which represent the darker, harder side of the band. “Twinkling Shadow” and “The Dark Bridge” are true classics to me and belong to the finest in Female fronted Gothic Rock. These songs rock dude ! Both have the same structure and in the middle there's that brilliant deep grunting voice of Tom that floats on terrific heavy guitars. Man, that's the way I want it ! “Warrior's Tale” is also exceptional in the way the song can be categorised as a real epic. The surprise in there is the adding of the low dark gothic voice of Michelle Darkness (End of Green), who sounds like good old Peter Steel (Type O Negative) in his better days, performing a duet with the lovely vocals of Sandra. A real mighty track this turns out to be. “Catharsis” is one of the best releases this year and certainly one that makes Sabine very proud up there. On the 27th it comes out and I am getting my arse to the local music store as soon as possible to score the digi pack which contains two extra songs and a bonus live dvd of their live performance at the MFVF2007.
So should you if you are interested in decent portion of fine metal! Awesome record! “Move on …..”
Visit their website: http://www.elis.li
Recordlabel: http://www.napalmrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/elisofficial

92/100

FIREFORCE – Moonlight Lady (MCD) Belgium January 2010 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 15:46 (Tracks: 4)
Fireforce is a new heavy metal band from Belgium, formed in the beginning of 2009. The strong live reputation established thanks to the band members previous projects (Double Diamond, …) immediately led to a lot of respect and interest for their new band. During their short period of existence, they already wrote 20 new songs! Four of these songs were recorded at the Midas studios in Belgium. After these recordings, the band headed for the Prophecy studios in Kempten, Germany, where R.D. Liapakis (known for his work with Mystic Prophecy, Firewind, Sacred Steel, …) acted as the band's producer. On their EP “Moonlight Lady” are 4 great heavy metal songs! The EP starts with “Born To Play Metal” a fantastic up-tempo song. Second song “Firestorm” is played in mid-tempo, continued by “Metal Rages On”, a superb instrumental metal anthem. Last song “Moonlight Lady” is another excellent up-tempo song, which kind of song I like the most. As an extra, there is the creation of the Fireforce logo and the artwork for a digipack by Eric Philippe, the famous Belgian graphic designer. The guys of Fireforce have managed to release a great heavy metal EP, the 80's way, but with a modern sound thanks to R.D. Liapakis. Great songs, superb playing and excellent vocals!! The band is currently looking for a label to support the release of their maiden EP or to seal a record deal, which can't be a problem to find one!!
Visit their website: http://www.fireforce.be
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/fireforcemetal

88/100

FRANKIE AND THE WONDERBOYS - All Fired Up!!! (CD) The Netherlands January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hardcore Rock 'n Roll Running time: 30:59 (Tracks: 10)
“All Fired Up!!!” is the first full length album of FRANKIE AND THE WONDERBOYS (a.k.a. FWB), which is a Hardcore Rock ‘n Roll band from Tilburg/Eindhoven, Holland who was formed in 1998 by Frank Kimenai (bass, DEAD RIVERS, THE SPADES), Marcel de Rijk (guitar, H.A.T.E., FIRST FIGHT DOWN) and Zoltan Magyar (vocals, H.A.T.E.). During the existence of FWB there have been several line-up changes in the band. Before “All Fired Up!!!”, FRANKIE AND THE WONDERBOYS released two EP’s, namely “Frankie's First" (2001), which I reviewed for AARDSCHOK magazine at that time, and the fantastic “Fully Lubricated” (2005). On both EP’s FWB was a four piece band. But now they’ve added a second guitar player to the band, so the current line-up of FWB exists of Zoltan Magyar (vocals, formerly of H.A.T.E.), Jeroen Hoefmans (guitar), Jos Zijlmans (guitar), Mike de Kruiff (bass, formerly of HIDDEN REMAINS and current guitarist of PRESENT DANGER) and Jarno van Osch (drums, formerly of ONE INCH MEN and no related family of me). In fact “All Fired Up!!!” is a logical continuation of “Fully Lubricated”. The band recorded ten songs for this album of which one is cover version of CHUCK BERRY’s classic “Johnny B. Goode”. This classic rock and roll song was already in their live set for a long time, and I’m glad they put their fantastic own version on this album as well. The production of the album is very good (it’s recorded in the same studio as “Fully Lubricated”), and in my opinion “All Fired Up!!!” doesn’t count weak songs. Most of the songs are very catchy and really kick some ass. Songs like “No One Died…”, “Speedqueen”, “Rusty Old Ride” and “Home” are good songs, but my absolute favorite ones of "All Fired Up!!!" are "The Sunsetboulevard Moonersclub", "Get It On", “Daisy On Fire”, "Twisted", "Keep On Rocking" and of course the CHUCK BERRY cover "Johnny B. Goode". "All Fired Up!!!" is a very good album with great kick ass rock and roll songs. Good work guys, all I wanna say is…just keep on rocking.
Visit their website: http://www.frankieandthewonderboys.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.crossfirecult.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/frankieandthewonderboys

85/100

GOV'T MULE - By A Thread (CD) USA January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock / Southern Rock / Blues Running time: 67:40 (Tracks: 11)
GOV'T MULE (pronounced GOVERNMENT MULE) was formed in 1994 and was actually an ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND side project of A.B.B. members Warren Haynes (lead guitar) and Allen Woody (bass) who've had joined the band in 1989. Haynes and Woody (R.I.P.) are playing on the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND albums "Seven Turns" (1990), "Shades Of Two Worlds" (1991) and "Where It All Begins" (1994). I only have the albums "The Allman Brothers Band" (1969), "Idlewild South" (1970) and "Eat A Peach" (1972). The first album I bought of GOV'T MULE was "Life Before Insanity" (2000). That album was released in February and unfortunately, Allen Woody was found dead in New York City in August of that year. I also have the fantastic albums "The Deep End, Volume 1" (2001) and "The Deep End, Volume 2" (2002). Anyway, the current line-up of GOV'T MULE exists of Warren Haynes (vocals, guitar), Danny Louis (keyboards, rhythm guitar), Jorgen Carlsson (bass) and Matt Abts (drums). The album opens strongly with the superb "Broke Down On The Brazos". On this song also Billy Gibbons of ZZ TOP is playing guitar. With Gibbons as a guest musician, the song really gets a ZZ TOP sound. The next two songs, which are "Steppin' Lightly" and "Railroad Boy", are great rock songs as well. Some quieter songs on "By A Thread" are "Gordon James", "Frozen Fear", the beautiful ballad "Forevermore", "Scenes From A Troubled Mind" and "World Wake Up". Of those quieter songs only the last two mentioned are in my opinion a bit less. "Inside Outside Woman Blues #3" is a fantastic slow blues song with awesome guitar solos of Haynes. Actually, it's just a pleasure to listen to Haynes' fantastic guitar work on this excellent album. My favorite songs on "By A Thread" are "Broke Down On The Brazos", "Steppin' Lightly", "Railroad Boy", "Any Open Window", "Forevermore" and of course "Inside Outside Woman Blues #3". This is a real recommendation for anyone who's into high quality rock music with awesome guitar work.
Visit their website: http://www.mule.net
Recordlabel: http://www.provoguerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/govtmule

87/100

GRIMMSTINE – Grimmstine (CD) USA / United Kingdom January 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 72:54 (Tracks: 15)
The name Grimmstine probably doesn't ring any bells but everything becomes clearer once you find out that it's a combination of the names of the two main participants; vocal legend Steve Grimmett and talented guitarist Steve Stine. These two along with the rhythm section from Sons of Poseidon form an Anglo-American coalition that came to rock hard. This project self-released this album a year ago and now Metal Heaven Records gives their music the chance to reach wider audiences.
Grimmstine is a heavy metal band which respects the classic heavy metal sound but also spices it up a bit with a few contemporary elements in order to make it sound fresh and appealing to a younger audience. The bands music is somewhere between the recent Saxon material and the latest solo album by Grimmett but with crunchier guitars. Grimmett delivers his trademark performances guaranteed to satisfy all his loyal fans to the max. Give this project a chance, you won't be disappointed.
Recordlabel: http://www.metalheaven.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/grimmstine

78/100

HELVETETS PORT – Exodus from Hell (CD) Sweden January 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 61:40 (Tracks: 12)
Helvetets Port means “Gate of Hell” in Swedish. These four young guys started the band a few years ago. They released a demo and a 7” called “Metal Strike” (included on the cd). Their devotion to the arcane European metal of the early 80s, both in terms of music and image, made them quite popular. This is the band's debut album and I have to say that they have made quite a progress. Their early works were very amateurish. In this album they have made some steps towards writing best songs and playing decent music but they still have miles to cover if they want to produce something that combines both the true 80s feeling and the supreme musicianship of bands like Gotham City and Heavy Load which are clearly the band's main influences.
Visit their website: http://www.helvetetsport.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/helvetetsport

66/100

HJALLARHORN – Iron Clad Soldiers (CD) Norway January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: NWOBHM / Thrash Metal Running time: 49:59 (Tracks: 9)
First of all, I never had heard of HJALLARHORN before. This Norwegian band was already formed in 1993, but got on a very long hiatus of eleven years and finally reformed in 2004. The band exists of Dani Nilsen (vocals, guitar), Martin Krogh (guitar), Jonas Eid (bass) and Kjetil Krogvold (drums). Secondly, when I listen to “Iron Clad Soldiers”, which is the debut album of the band, they remind me very much of METALLICA and even sometimes of DIAMOND HEAD (“Blood And Black Lace”). But really, they sound so much like the early days of METALLICA. The riffs, solo's, drums, just everything. Even Nilsen, who isn't the best singer out there but just a reasonable one, tries to sing like James Hetfield. It's the same problem like EVILE's second album “Infected Nations”, which also sounds to much like the METALLICA boys. For example, the beginning of “Brigade” is a rip-off of “The Call Of Ktulu”. The production of the album is good enough. Okay, these guys can really play and are talented, but they don't have their own identity. There are only two tracks on the album which are in my opinion the best songs on “Iron Clad Soldiers”. These best songs are absolutely the fantastic opener “Battle Of Repulsion” and “Blood And Black Lace”. All other songs, like “Brigade”, “The Changeling” and “The Eye Of The Storm” are just nice. Before this debut album, HJALLARHORN had released two demo's, which are “Six Track Metal Attack” (2004) and “Trilogy Of Lightning” (2006), and I expect on these two demo's they sound as much as METALLICA as on this album. It's not very original, just nice. But if I had to choose between “Iron Clad Soldiers” or “Kill 'Em All”, “Ride The Lightning” or “Master Of Puppets”, I guess you already know my answer.
Visit their website: http://www.hjallarhorn.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteelrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hjallarhorn

70/100

HOLY CROSS – Under the Flag (CD) France January 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 50:44 (Tracks: 10)
Holy Cross is a French band formed in 2006 and this is the band's debut album. “Under the Flag” is an album of both American and European oriented power metal. The label states Iced Earth as an influence and I agree. The band may lack the volume of Jon Schaffer's group but has many similarities in the musical department. The 10 songs may not win an originality award but the devotion to classic heavy and power metal is obvious. The singer M.Champon is quite good. He is a screamer and his accent is pretty decent. Chity Somapala (Court Jester, Firewind, Moonlight Agony etc.) also appears as guest. Overall this is a decent effort that puts the band on the power metal map. Lets hope these guys return stronger with a second album in the near future.
Visit their website: http://www.holycrossmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/holycrossmetal

75/100

HULDREFOLK – Morbid Elite (CD) Belgium January 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Black Metal Running time: 51:23 (Tracks: 10)
Belgium has a strong position on the black metal map nowadays. Huldrefolk has become one of the leaders rapidly. “Eeuwenhout was a step in the right direction but it is with this new release “Morbid Elite” where they seem to really got their shit together. The music while being fairly basic -and reminding me of early Marduk- does make limited amount of instrumentation in these days, including very sparse samples in a non-overpowering way, a militaristic drum beat that fits directly into the song, some killer and evil leads in certain spots, acoustic guitar parts as well as an outro that is muffled, eerie sounding and taken from the movie “The Seventh Seal”. One of the things that I love about this album is the natural production. It's not raw in the sense of early Darkthrone (although it certainly isn't clean), but more like an early (here we have them again) Marduk production, as if you are walking through a gloomy forest on a dark evening, watching the band perform these songs. Despite sounding this way, it doesn't come off as half assed and each instrument is sufficiently audible. The lyrics handle the themes Pest, trolls and swamps. The artwork is done by one of the members Waldschrat and contributes to the overall eerie sounding music. There is not much wrong with Huldrefolk's second release and I will think that their medieval infecting grief will conquer the world by storm!
Recordlabel: http://www.ironagerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/huldrefolk

84/100

JUGGERNAUT - …Where Mountains Walk (CD) Italy January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hardcore / Metal / Doom Running time: 58:59 (Tracks: 10)
JUGGERNAUT is an Italian band from Roma who was formed in 2006 and exists of Salvatore Blasi (vocals), Luigi Farina (guitar), Matteo Palandri (guitar), Roberto Cipitelli (bass) and Guido Penta (drums). In 2006 the band recorded the promo "Facial Sacrilege: Ballads By The Fireplace" and now their debut album entitled "…Where Mountains Walk" has been released on Subsound Records. Musically this album, which is produced by the band themselves, has some nice moments. But I don't like the vocals of Blasi, which is a mixture of hysterical screams and death grunts. What's notable is that seven of the ten songs have a running time over 5 minutes. I can't deny that the band exists of very good musicians, but it's just the vocals which is not my style. I don't have any favorite songs, that's because I just only like some parts of the songs (musically of course). I'm sure there will be people who will like this album of JUGGERNAUT anyway, but they are not really a band for me.
Recordlabel: http://www.subsoundrecords.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thejuggernautband

64/100

KILLFLEX - Time Vs. Live (CD) Switzerland January 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Metalcore Running time: 44:26 (Tracks: 10)
Killflex is relatively new band from Switzerland who, like many new bands, want to play thrash metal but end up playing metalcore instead. They have previously released one demo and 2 other albums and now they released their 3rd full length "Time vs. Life". You easily hear on this record that these guys are fan of the new Slayer and other bands who play that kind of music. They combine some thrash metal riffs with songs that are basically metal core. To make it all just a bit more core they even threw in the clean voices during some of the breaks. I know that even though I simply despise this kind of music there must be a large fan base for bands like this so these guys will get their success I guess but this just isn't my cup of tea. For fans of metalcore in general.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/killflex

51/100

LEVERAGE - Circus Colossus (CD) Finland January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 48:06 (Tracks: 10)
LEVERAGE is a melodic metal band from Finland and has released the following albums so far: "Tides" (2006) and "Blind Fire" (2008). I guess the band has been formed around 2004 or 2005, because there's no biography of the band on their official website and on their MySpace page. Anyway, "Circus Colossus" is the band's third album, and the line-up on this album exists of Pekka Heino (vocals), Tuomas Heikkinen (guitar), Torsti Spoof (guitar), Pekka Lampinen (bass), Marko Niskala (keyboards) and Valtteri Revonkorpi (drums). Although Lampinen played bass on "Circus Colossus", he quit because of private reasons. The new official bass player of LEVERAGE is Sami Norrbacka, who was already the band's live bass player during 2009. Anyway, I didn't know the previous two albums, so "Circus Colossus" is my first acquaintance with LEVERAGE. And what an acquaintance it was, because this is an awesome band. Great melodic metal with awesome vocals. Really, there's no weak song on "Circus Colossus". The album starts with the instrumental "Rise". With this fantastic instrumental it's just like I'm listening to a movie score, and I love movies scores. I'm really convinced that LEVERAGE also could make a complete movie score for a movie. Anyway, it's a pleasure to listen to fantastic songs like "Wolf And The Moon", "Movie Gods", "Rider Of Storm", "Legions Of Invisible", "Revelation" and "Broken Wings". All those songs have great choruses, fantastic solo's. I just like this kind of melodic metal. The band reminds me of bands like early EUROPE ("Wings Of Tomorrow" era), JORN, ECLIPSE, DREAM THEATER etcetera. On this album there's just one ballad, which is the beautiful short piano ballad "Don't Keep Me Waiting". Pekka Heino, who's also the vocalist of BROTHER FIRETRIBE, is an excellent singer and the rest of the band members are very skilled musicians as well. "Circus Colossus" is a real recommendation to anyone who's into high quality melodic metal. Great work guys. "Circus Colossus" made me very curious about the first two albums, so I'll have to check them out myself.
Visit their website: http://www.leverageband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spinefarm.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/leverageband

90/100

LIQUID GRAVEYARD - On Evil Days (CD) Spain January 2010 Sammy De Maere
Style: Avant Garde / Progressive Metal Running time: 51:00 (Tracks: 10)
When I first heard that John Walker of death metal legend Cancer formed a new band I was really enthousiastic. I checked out the other band members and found member of Mourning Beloveth and a female vocalist. So I soon realised that this probably wouldn't be a nice old school death metal album, but I was still curious what they made of it. Liquid Graveyard delivers a nice variating record with a technical mix of all kinds of styles that will intrigue a lot of people. Unfortunatly while I have to review this I'm not one of these people. Of course they are amazing musicians and in the songs everything fits perfectly together but this is a type of record for fans of the 'crazy' mixes of styles. If you horizon is broader than mine, give this a few spins and check it out completely, you may like it very much.
Recordlabel: http://www.mykingdommusic.net
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/liquidgraveyard

60/100

LUCKY BASTARDZ - Hated For Who We Are (CD) Italy January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock And Roll / Metal Running time: 48:22 (Tracks: 13)
LUCKY BASTARDZ is an Italian band existing of Geppo (vocals), Paco (guitar), Evan L.A. (bass) and Mark (drums). The band started almost as a joke between smoking another cigarette and drinking some beers somewhere in 2007. Just like so many other bands, also LUCKY BASTARDZ had some line-up changes in the band (particularly with their drummers). "Hated For Who We Are" is the debut album of these Italians and was released on Swedmetal Records. While listening to this reasonable album, you hear immediately they are very much influenced by MOTÖRHEAD. So, in fact we deal with a MOTÖRHEAD clone hear. Naturally, they can't compete with Lemmy & Co., but the album counts some nice kick ass rock 'n roll songs anyway. I would say that not every song is that good, some weaker songs are in my opinion songs like "Captain Highway", the semi acoustic "At What Time - Does My Breath Stop?", "Same Shit, Different Day" (which has a short Surf part in it), "Evil's Bride" and "Another LBZ Night". Best songs are: "Devil Cum", "Bite Your Heart", "I'm A Rocker - Don't Blame Me", "Flame Rock 'N Roll", "Rotten Pussy", "Café Racer" and "Reborn Again". If you like bands as MOTÖRHEAD, PETER PAN SPEEDROCK, THE GECKO BROTHERS and FRANKIE AND THE WONDERBOYS, then possibly you will like these LUCKY BASTARDZ as well. Anyway, they are one of the few Italian bands which I like. Not an awesome album, but a reasonable one.
Recordlabel: http://www.swedmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theluckybastardz

72/100

MY FIRST FAILURE – My First Failure (CD) Germany January 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Hardcore Running time: 30:53 (Tracks: 7)
MY FIRST FAILURE is an aspiring young german hardcore band, which recorded their first demo “Gone for Years” in early 2006 and sold out very fast. After putting these few songs out the band started playing as many shows as they could and made a name for them selves around Germany. In late 2006 the band joined Sandcastle Records and recorded their first full length “The Color”, which was released in January of 2007. This released was followed by many shows, and now their second self titled full length to be released on Demons Run Amok. MY FIRST FAILURE is a female fronted hardcore punk band, of which there aren't so many, like Walls of Jericho, although Alexa is not as convincing as Candace of WoJ for example, it is not bad at all. She puts some emotion in the songs, which aren't your typical short and fast hardcore songs, but real nicely build up song structures and well performed too. Although the album counts only seven songs, most songs easily last about 4 or 5 minutes, which is not exactly like most (fast and short) hardcore bands make em. This is real powerful second full length album for MY FIRST FAILURE, and with some extensive touring ahead, I think they will get there eventually, I would check them out if they played in my neighbourhood so decide for yourself if you will do the same!
Recordlabel: http://www.demonsrunamok.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/myfirstfailure

73/100

NO REMORSE NO RETREAT - Warbringer (CD) United Kingdom January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Running time: 41:50 (Tracks: 10)
According to the delivered info sheet, NO REMORSE NO RETREAT is a 5 piece band who are based in England/Wales. It's a complete mystery who the members of the band are, because there are no names mentioned in the booklet of the CD. Even on their official website and on their MySpace page there's nothing about the line-up of the band. So, I can't tell you what the line-up of NO REMORSE NO RETREAT is. In 2008 the band signed to Iron Age Records and released their debut album "To Glory We Ride" (see Archive CD/DVD Reviews). To me, this second album of the band, titled "Warbringer", is my first acquaintance with N.R.N.R.. And to tell the truth, they can't really impress me with this album. I've listened several times to "Warbringer", but every time I loss my interest very quickly. That's because the songs are so simple and moderate, and I'm also not impressed by the vocals. With titles like "Fight Or Die", "This Means War", "We March", "Let The Battle Begin" and "War Age", you understand it's all about war, battles etc. In that case, the cover (of the album fits perfect with the songs. But really, this is an album which I wouldn't buy myself. If there are still people who are interested in NO REMORESE NO RETREAT, well check them out yourself.
Visit their website: http://www.noremorsenoretreat.com
Recordlabel: http://www.ironagerecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/noremorsenoremorse

58/100

NOVA ORBIS - Imago (CD) Colombia January 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Gothic Metal Running time: 53.36 (Tracks: 10)
Hey, Gothic Metal from Colombia! Well, why not! Any kind of metal should be universal, so why not Gothic. This kind of music is very popular in South America so let's see what a local band comes up with. Novo Orbis ( which means “New World” in Latin) was formed in 2005 and the line up hasn't changed since then. “Imago” is their debut album and they certainly made it a varied piece of work. The band has no exclusive composer, so everyone has his participation in the songs. As a result of this, no song sounds the same and they present us a fine variety in sounds and lyrics which is quite impressive for a debut album. Their music, which is particularly based on the keyboards, is powerful and melodic, appropriately progressive and has his surprises in the use of many instruments. So they make us familiar with traditional instruments like “the tiple” and the “bandola”. Their quite creative, those Colombians, every song has his surprising twist and they all listen away very easily. So what's there to nag you should say. Well, the musicians are skilled enough, that's not the problem. The problem is the articulation of the English lyrics which is becoming a disturbing factor during the 53 minute long album. Ana Maria is fine singer with a good voice but the articulation is just not good enough and it makes you wonder what she is singing about. The same problem there is for the additional male vocals, done by José and Jorge. It's a damn pity for a very nice and daring debut album. So my advise is to do something about it! Maybe a switch to their own language should work out eventually. Nevertheless a promising band.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/novaorbis

72/100

P.A.I.N. MANAGEMENT - Lobotomy (CD) Germany January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal Running time: 49:25 (Tracks: 11)
P.A.I.N. MANAGEMENT is a five piece German metal band who exists of Markus (vocals), Patrick (guitar), Andre (bass), Christian (drums) and Andreas (keyboards). I guess that the band was formed somewhere in 2006. These Germans already released a Demo CD "Save The Day" and the EP "Save The EP 2008". "Lobotomy" is the debut album and features eleven songs. Musically, because of the keyboards and some riffs, they sometimes remind me of THE GATHERING's "Always…" era, only not with death metal grunts. And talking about the vocals, Markus is a reasonable singer, but he's not always singing in tune (just listen to "Open Knife" for example). But the other members of the band are good musicians. There's just one instrumental song on "Lobotomy" which is simply called "Instrumental". The production of the album is good. The best songs of this album are in my opinion "I Disagree", "Weak", "Serious", "Bleed Forgiveness" and "Holy Vengeance". Nice album, but it could have a higher score if the band had a much better singer.
Visit their website: http://www.pain-management.de
Recordlabel: http://www.stf-records.de

71/100

PERSISTENCE – In Blood and Heart (CD) The Netherlands January 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Death / Thrash Metal Running time: 44:50 (Tracks: 9)
When you are allowed to open for the legendary American thrash band Testament, you must be doing something right. This was also the case with the Dutch metallers of Persistence and that was no coincidence. Hailing from Den Bosch, they've started the band nearly a decade ago. That the road has been far from easy was shown in 2005 when the band disbanded because of the classic line-up problems. Luckily vocalist Stefan van Vugt was able to surround himself with motivated musicians, so that Persistence could be reborn. After this, things began to work for the band. The hard labor resulted in the 2008 promo which got some nice reviews. In 2009, there was the pre mentioned Testament show and now also the release of their debut album 'In Blood and Heart.'
This first Persistense full length has to grow on you. I've listed to the album for about twenty times now, so I'm not jumping into conclusion. The style is quite original so it took me some time to form an opinion about the album in general. 'In Blood and Heart' offers a variated mix of thrash/death compositions with special attention for the heavy riffs and vocals. At first, the vocals were a bit annoying, but later on I've had to take that back since they suit the music very well. Basically I can be very short about this: the song material is very well written and I believe there are a lot of original plots and turns that makes this album worth your while. Especially the second half of the album with tracks like 'Overcome,' 'Progress' and the epic title track 'In blood and heart.' In this last song, you can really hear the potential of this band. A nice first album with great potential. If they continue to grow like this, the next album just might be a big surprise. If you are into Thrash and of Death metal, be sure to check them out! Live, as well as their record.
Visit their website: http://www.persistense.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.deitydownrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/persistensemetal

75/100

RAM-ZET - Neutralized (CD) Norway January 2010 Frans Neelen
Style: Avant-Garde Metal Running time: 59.57 (Tracks: 8)
Post delivery; okay, there's that monthly surprise package from Mario, let's see what it brings me this time….. hey Ram-Zet; uhm read some positive things about them… never heard their music actually….. let's put it in my car and find out ……. Round one: pff, well ehm … it certainly has style with lots of interludes, freaky intermezzo's etc., but it doesn't really get me yet; it's a bit to overwhelming….. two days later ……. just finished round 5 en I am feeling very ashamed, why in earth's name haven't I heard of this band and their music before ! Neutralized is the fourth album of this avant-garde metal band. Avant-garde you say…, well it means that they combine almost everything you have heard in music, yet based on a fine heavy foundation. Mastermind Zet's screaming vocals contrast beautifully with his female colleague Sfinx who has a powerful voice which she uses in all it's varieties. Man, this woman can sing ! Their music takes some time to get used to and finding out the geniality of it. The songs are complex and overwhelming, you have to experience it, let it come to you. From Ram-Zet you can expect really everything; psychedelic, black, industrial, theatrical, paranoid, catchy, you name it, it's on it, yet forged into strong compositions. And in all the songs there is room for those sinister violin parts, brilliant. Lyrically they also stand for pure geniality. What to think of “You… you are dead, long before, you will walk through the gates of eternity…prey for them all but the Gods won't forgive you for all that you've done” from “God Don't Forgive” and “I lay down, down in earth… I am nothing, I am dirt…” from “I am Dirt”. This song is so brilliant, so damn catchy and the way the first phrase is sung by Sfinx.. ..just like she is a purring little kitty…. damn creepy. If you want me to name another just for some comparison, well I can't. Maybe in the theatrical thing I can name Jadallys, but no, Ram-Zet is Ram-Zet; highly original ! The album only provides us 8 tracks, yet it almost clocks 1 hour full of dark, breathtaking, sinister enjoyment, energetically played by skilled musicians. From the brilliant opener “Infamia”, the magnificent “I am Dirt”, the raging “222”, the addictive “Addict”, the genius “God Don't Forgive” and the ingenious “Beautiful Pain” we come by the last two tracks “To Ashes” and “Requiem”. Those last two are stretched out a bit to long for me. In “Requiem” they use the trick of a 2 minute break closing of with a, I must say, tasteful didgeridoo instrumental. Well I hate those kind of tricks, more bands do that unfortunately but I don't see any application in it. Nevertheless, Ram-Zet is a more than welcome surprise for me, delivering this awesome, addictive record, so I have to forgive them for this because the rest is so damn good. Essential for the more open minded metallers among us.
Visit their website: http://www.ram-zet.com
Recordlabel: http://ascendancerecords.com/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/ramzetofficial

90/100

RAPTOR SCHOOL – Redefine (CD) USA January 2010 Robin van Tilburg
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal / Cross-over Running time: 62:23 (Tracks: 11)
From Michigan, U.S.A. we find heavy metal crossover band Raptor School under the musical supervision of brothers Jeff and Jon Kollnot. Raptor school, formally known as Vacation Farm, is a band with a good sense of humor. On top of that, they have also managed to record some very interesting songs. The melodic guitar parts are nicely written as well as the catchy riffs. The band consists of talented musicians, but it's a shame the production is a little vague, otherwise the songs would have came out much stronger. As well as the vocals. Take for example the semi ballad 'Coverage Denied', which is not benefitting from the vocals at all. Nevertheless, 'Redifine is a nice album to listen to, but not a 'Must have' for your collection. Not bad for a first record though. Nice work guys, and surprise us with your next one! p.s. Raptor School has created one of the most the most hilarious songs title since Violence's 'Dicks of death.' Behold: 'The nipple will kill you'! Check their MySpace for more fun stuff and of course the music.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/raptorschool

70/100

RHINO BUCKET - The Hardest Town (CD) USA January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 44:53 (Tracks: 11)
RHINO BUCKET is an American Hard Rock band from Los Angeles, who was formed way back in 1988 and are heavily inspired by Australian rockers AC/DC, especially the Bon Scott era. The band had released the following albums in the 90's: "Rhino Bucket" (1990), "Get Used To It" (1992) and "Pain" (1994). In 1996 they went on an extended hiatus, but reformed again in 2001. The fourth album "And Then It Got Ugly" was released in 2006. The current line-up of the band exists of Georg Dolivo (vocals, guitar), Brian Forsythe (lead guitar, formerly from KIX), Reeve Downes (bass) and Simon Wright (drums) who've played on AC/DC's albums "Fly On The Wall" (1985), "Who Made Who" (1986) and "Blow Up Your Video" (1988) but also in DIO (on the "Lock Up The Wolves" (1990), "Magica" (2000), "Killing The Dragon" (2002) and "Master Of The Moon" (2004) albums). Wright had been a member of RHINO BUCKET before (he played on the "Pain" album), but reunited with the band in 2007. So, "The Hardest Town", which was already released on May 5th 2008, is the fifth studio album and features eleven songs in the well-known AC/DC tradition. Really, the riffs, the solo's, they could have been from AC/DC themselves. Anyway, before I bought this album half November of 2008, I only had two songs of the band on soundtrack albums. "Ride With Yourself" on the "Wayne's World" (1992) soundtrack and "Soundtrack To A War: Welcome To Hell" on "The Wrestler" (2009) soundtrack. "The Hardest Town" was produced by Rick Ballard and the band themselves and sounds fantastic. A few songs are in my opinion a bit less, which are "No One Here", "Take Me Down" and "Slip Away" (the bonus track of the album). But really, songs like "The Hardest Town" (superb), "Justified", "Know My Name" (superb), "Dog Don't Bite", "Street To Street", "She's With Me" and "To Be Mine" are all awesome. Also the guitar solo's of Forsythe are great and really sound like if Angus Young is playing them. Also Dolivo sounds pretty much like Bon Scott (R.I.P.). This is an excellent album and a real must for anyone who's into AC/DC and AIRBOURNE. The band is doing an European tour from January 7th until February 20th, so go see them if you want.
Visit their website: http://www.rhinobucket.com
Recordlabel: http://www.acetate.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/rhinobucketmusic

87/100

SAVAGE BLADE – We Are The Hammer (CD) Canada January 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 52:08 (Tracks: 11)
Savage Blade are a new band from British Columbia / Canada who just came together a year ago in 2008. This band plays classic 80s heavy metal and they not only consider heavy metal as a musical genre, but as a way of life. Their debut album ´We Are The Hammer' has been issued privately as a piece of vinyl first, before Pure Steel Records signed SAVAGE BLADE for the CD release. This album proves once more that the current heavy metal underground can still produce miraculous albums and enormous talent. Heavy Metal is still very much alive, with a lot of young bands playing the classic stuff in their own new way, but could have well have been straight from the 80s, and giving quite a few old legends a run for their money. This album is very diversified with some fast and furious, raw and heavy riffing, melodic vocals with wicked and razorsharp metal screams, and also some slower, ballad like songs and intros. The band shows through their songs whom their influences are, like Tokyo Blade “Night of the Blade”, Sweet Savage “(In) the Eye of the Storm”, Judas Priest “Stallions of the Highway” and Saxon “The Eagle is Stranded” which refer to their examples of the great NWOBHM period, in which they would fit in perfectly. Especially the high pitch vocals of Nikko, which sometimes even remind me of Jon Oliva, brings back the NWOBHM sound. SAVAGE BLADE shows a lot of professionalism and skills playing the old school in a new school way, this is really true metal, to me personally they might have done a bit more up tempo power songs and a bit less rock ballad songs. All in all it's an outstanding debut for a band that only exist for about one year, truly well done, absolutely no gimmick and a band to be taken seriously!
Visit their website: http://www.wearethehammer.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/wearethehammer

82/100

SPECTRAL – Evil Iron Kingdom (CD) Germany January 2010 Kees Schijven
Style: Viking Metal Running time: 47:27 (Tracks: 10)
Spectral was founded in 1995 by both German “Teutonlord” Wollwert on vocals/guitar and Meik “Destructor” Meiers on drums, and eventually released three CD's between 1999 and 2004 with constantly changing members. Again in 2007 they financed and recorded another album, “Stormriders”, and shortly after that they got signed with CCP records, which released “Stormriders” in the autumn of 2007. They got a lot of positive media attention, which resulted in playing live almost everywhere. After this they went back in the studio to record “Evil Iron Kingdom”. The style of SPECTRAL's music is raw heavy riffs, many breaks and tempo changes coupled with a cold musical feeling, according to their bio. Actually it's a mix of black and Viking metal, with some melody in it and a very powerful sound, comparable with a band like for instance Amon Amarth. Latest news is that Aggressor switched from bass to guitar, where he feels more comfortable. SPECTRAL delivers a really powerful album with this “Evil Iron Kingdom”, with a lot of speed and aggression in it, but also some folk and pagan influences here and there, like in 'Embrace The Darkness', and even some thrash elements in 'Axecutioner'. I am not familiar with their earlier releases, but I know I like this one, so that makes me wanna hear their earlier work too. This is a band to keep an eye on for the future, check it out if you are into Black/Viking Metal, you won't be disappointed for sure!
Recordlabel: http://www.ccprecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/blackvikingpower

78/100

STAR*RATS - Screw The Consequences (CD) Denmark / Sweden January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Sleaze Rock Running time: 56:28 (Tracks: 14)
STAR*RATS is a four piece Sleaze Rock band from Denmark/Sweden who was formed in 2003. The band exists of Magnus (vocals), Post (guitar), Kass (bass) and Braun (drums). "Screw The Consequences", which is self-produced by the band and mixed by Chris Laney, is the third album of the band. Their previous albums are "Broken Halo" (2004) and "Rebelütion" (2006) and were recorded with another singer. This album is my first acquaintance with STAR*RATS, and I must say, it's an excellent filthy sleaze rock album. Musically they remind me of bands like GUNS 'N ROSES, SKID ROW, BON JOVI and even some ALICE IN CHAINS ("Fakin' An Inside" and "Brand New Soul"). The band exists of fantastic musicians, especially Post is a very skilled guitarist. And about the vocals of Magnus, well…he reminds me sometimes of a rawer version of Jon Bon Jovi. And it's not so strange that STAR*RATS have covered BON JOVI's "I'll Be There For You", which is a fantastic version in a more Punk style. "Lands End" is a duet together with Danish female singer CELINA REE (she's the Danish version of AVRIL LAVIGNE) and is a great song as well. Actually, I don't have any negative points about this album. This is an outstanding album which will find it's way to my CD-player regularly, because this is 100% kick ass rock 'n roll. My favorite songs of this album are "Who Cares", "I Could Die Here", "Get Nasty", "Raise Your Hands To Rock" (hey ho, let's go), "Another Tragedy", "Lands End" and "I'll Be There For You". Well done guys.
Visit their website: http://www.starrats.net
Recordlabel: http://www.swedmetal.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/starratsdk

84/100

SWALLOW THE SUN – New Moon (CD) Finland January 2010 Dennis van Dommelen
Style: Melodic Doom / Death Metal. Running time: 53:45 (Tracks: 8)
In astronomical terminology, the phrase new moon is the lunar phase that occurs when the Moon, in its monthly orbital motion around Earth, lies between Earth and the Sun, and is therefore in conjunction with the Sun as seen from Earth. At this time, the dark (unilluminated) portion of the Moon faces almost directly toward Earth, so that the Moon is not visible to the naked eye. Some people also believe that the period that will follow after new moon will be a dark period. An excellent time to listen to the new album of Swallow the Sun.
With last years “Plague of Butterflies” the band created a soundtrack for ballet that never saw the light of day. Nevertheless it was a great piece of work. “New Moon” starts of with the track: “These Woods Breath Evil” a dark opener with most like screaming vocals and some subtle, fragile guitar parts. After this we get “Falling World” with a great clean sung chorus that will haunt you for days after listening. Mikko Kotamaki delivers a great performance on this record. From high pitched screams to deep grunts to clean sung parts. The man is such a versatile vocalist and could easily compete with lets say: Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth) and Niklas Kvarforth (Shining)
Not only the vocals are versatile. The music itself exposes in a big fan of influences. In “Lights on the Lake” you can hear some blast beats that beautifully contradict with the female vocals that appear at the beginning and end of the song. Great contradictions as these can be found in almost all of the songs. The title track must also be mentioned because of it great chorus. It must be rather rare if this won't be the breakthrough album for Swallow the Sun Listening to “New Moon” Is a very intense experience. It isn't an album that is very hard to entirely listen to. The music is classified as doom/death metal and although this classification is perfectly justified, the music reaches far beyond any genre limitations. It's pure emotion, art as I see it. The notes played the production, artwork, lyrics, performance, arrangements. All melt into a piece of art that is “New Moon”
Visit their website: http://www.swallowthesun.net
Recordlabel: http://www.spinefarm.fi
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/swallowthesundoom

95/100

SYRANT – Coming Back (MCD) USA January 2010 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 16:40 (Tracks: 4)
Syrant is an arcane metal band hailing from the great Motor City, Detroit! These guys were part of the boiling hot underground scene of Michigan but unfortunately fell into obscurity. Now they are back with a vengeance! With vocalist Brian Thomas of Halloween fame, the band claims its fair share of metal glory.
This EP is the testimony that the old dog will always perform his old tricks. And there's nothing wrong about that as long as these tricks include fiery heavy metal that bears the Motor City brand! Straight in the face American heavy metal! The quality and importance of the EP is fairly elevated by the cult performances of Mr. Thomas, a man who I had the honour of shaking hands with at the Keep It True festival in Germany. These four songs are just a part of the band's full length cd. Syrant definitely CAME BACK!
Visit their website: http://www.motorcityrock.com/bands/syrant/syrant.html
Recordlabel: http://www.betarecords.com
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/syrant

80/100

TOMYDEEPESTEGO - Chronophage (CD) Italy January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock, Metal, Fusion Running time: 47:54 (Tracks: 8)
TOMYDEEPESTEGO is an instrumental four piece band from Rome, Italy who was formed in the beginning of 2006. The band exists of Edoardo Luca (guitar), Valerio De Lucia (guitar), Daniele Lunardi (bass) and Simone Giannangeli (drums). All members have been on the Italian and European underground scene for quite a long time with bands like INFERNO, MALKAVIAN and THE PHOENIX. In 2007 they signed a contract with Subsound Records and in November of 2007 their debut album "Odyssae" was released. During the first few months of 2009 the band entered the studio again to record another full length album. This second album, entitled "Chronophage", has recently been released, again on Subsound Records. The album features, just like their debut album, again eight songs. The average running time of the songs is 5 minutes. The songs are a mix of Rock, Metal and some Fusion and have heavy parts as well as some mellow parts. The production of the album is good and especially the bass sound is great. With the heavy parts of the songs, TOMYDEEPESTEGO reminds me the most of Dutch instrumental rockers of GORE, and with the mellower/atmospheric parts of LONG DISTANCE CALLING. I think the best song of the album is "Crepuscolo (Act II, Purgatorio)", which is the longest track of the album (8:47). The shortest track "El Hombre Loco (Desde Generaciones)" (3:26) is the mellowest song on the album and is in my opinion the least of all the songs. But songs like "Dr. Disagius", "Cicades", "Controversy (Act I, Inferno)", "Milla" and "Libero Arbitrio (Act III, Paradiso)" are all great and interesting songs. My conclusion is that "Chronophage" is an outstanding album.
Visit their website: http://www.tomydeepestego.com
Recordlabel: http://www.subsoundrecords.it
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tomydeepestego

80/100

TRAPPED UNDER ICE - Secrets Of The World (CD) USA January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Hardcore Running time: 22:55 (Tracks: 12)
TRAPPED UNDER ICE is a Hardcore band from Baltimore, U.S.A. and exists of Justice (vocals), Sam (guitar), Brad (guitar), Jared (bass) and Brendan (drums). The band released a 5-track demo in 2007, a 6-track EP "Stay Cold" and a split 7" with DIRTY MONEY. But man, what these guys deliver on their full length debut album "Secrets Of The World" is of a high level. Believe me, the album really has a consistent overall quality. All songs are great and groove as hell. The band reminds me the most of MADBALL, but also of BIOHAZARD and BATTERY. It's really hard to pick some favorite songs, because they are all fantastic. Okay, it's not very much original sounding, but there are more hardcore bands in the world who deal with that problem. Anyway, what notices me, was that the band used a short music fragment ('Good morning Baltimore. Every day's like an open door') from the re-make version of the "HAIRSPRAY" (2007) movie at the end of "Believe", because of the fact they are from Baltimore. But I'm sure this excellent album is absolutely an open door to success. We will hear much more of this promising hardcore band. If you like the above mentioned hardcore bands, then you'll have to check out this band and enjoy of great songs like "Believe", "American Dreams", "Gemini", "From Birth", "Against The Wall" and "World I Hate". In January/February 2010 the band is doing a European tour.
Recordlabel: http://www.demonsrunamok.de
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/underdaice

80/100

V.A. (VARIOUS ARTIST) - Saw VI (Soundtrack CD) USA January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Metalcore / Hardcore / Emo / Rock Running time: 64:01 (Tracks: 18)
This is the new soundtrack album of Horror movie "Saw VI" with actor Tobin Bell as "Jigsaw / John". The film was released on October 23rd, 2009 in North America and in Holland on December 31st, 2009. So far, I've seen all the movies and "Saw" (2004) is still the best. In my opinion "Saw II" (2005) is the least one of all the "Saw" movies. In that case "Saw III" (2006), "Saw IV" (2007) and "Saw V" (2008) are much better than "Saw II". So, I'm really curious about how "Saw VI" the movie will be. Anyway, this soundtrack album is a fantastic compilation with bands like HATEBREED, CHIMAIRA, LACUNA COIL, SHADOWS FALL, DANKO JONES, TYPE O NEGATIVE, IT DIES TODAY, KITTIE, THE FLOOD and EVERYTIME I DIE. There are just two songs on this album, which I really don't like. Those songs are "Genocide / Saw VI Remix" by SUICIDE SILENCE and the last track of the album "More Than A Sin" (JAMES BROTHERS). Well, then "Never Known" of NITZER EBB, which reminds me of NINE INCH NAILS, isn't that bad at all. Songs which are nice ones are "Your Soul Is Mine" (MUSHROOMHEAD), "The Countdown Begins" (OUTBREAK), "Dead Again" (TYPE O NEGATIVE), "Dark Horse" (CONVERGE) and "The Sinatra" (MY MY MISFIRE). But my favorite tracks of this soundtrack album are absolutely "In Ashes They Shall Reap" (HATEBREED), "The Last Goodbye" (LACUNA COIL), "Reckless Abandon" (IT DIES TODAY), "Warpath" (CHIMAIRA), "Code Of The Road" (DANKO JONES), "Ghost In The Mirror" (MEMPHIS MAY FIRE), "Still I Rise / Saw VI Remix" (SHADOWS FALL), "Cut Throat" (KITTIE), "Roman Holiday" (EVERY TIME I DIE) and "Lethal Injection" of THE FLOOD.
Recordlabel: http://www.trustkill.com

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VANITY INK - More Senseless Random Behaviour (CD) Finland January 2010 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 39:08 (Tracks: 11)
Although VANITY INK has a sleazy image, they are a female fronted Melodic Rock band from Finland who was formed in 2002. Since then, the band has released the following EP's "…Roadkills!" (2004) and "Vanity Is A Full Time Job" (2006) and the full length album "On Your Skin" (2007). The line-up of VANITY INK exists of Annabella (vocals), Juha Bandit (guitar), Jussi