Four years following its last release, Italy’s NOCTIFER has issued 454 - Anno Bastardi Domini independently through its label Legionaria Production. More information can be found at www.noctifer.it.
MACABRE has been writing a new album, due out in 2010, entitled Grim Scary Tales.
MESHUGGAH’s first live DVD Alive will be a two-disc set with a DVD and an audio CD and is scheduled for release in Canada and the U.S.A. on February 9th, 2010. The DVD is comprised of live concert footage of the band performing tracks off their Billboard Top 200-charting 2008 release, obZen, and its time-tested career staples shot during MESHUGGAH’s 2009 North American tour and 2008’s performance at the Loudpark Festival in Tokyo.
More pride! Pulverised Records is “proud” to announce the signing of Israeli band SALEM. Titled Playing God And Other Short Stories, SALEM's upcoming Pulverised offering will mark their seventh full-length overall. Playing God... is scheduled for released mid 2010 and will feature 12 new tracks including a cover of Bob Marley's Exodus.
On January 13th, 2010, Ibex Moon Record's INCANTATION and DIVINE EVE will hit the road in Europe as part of the Vengeful Scapegoat tour with HATE, NOCTUM and NERVE. The tour will provide INCANTATION an opportunity to promote its new 7" picture EP, Scapegoat. The EP features previously unreleased tracks from the Primordial Domination recording sessions and will be limited to 1,000 hand-numbered copies. INCANTATION now has two guitarists and a line-up of singer/guitarist John McEntee, Alex Bouks (GOREAPHOBIA) on guitars, Chuck Sherwood (BLOODSTORM) on bass and Kyle Severn on drums.
On January 19th, Ibex Moon will release two albums. HEAD HUNTER D.C.’s God’s Spreading Cancer and DIVINE EVE’s MCD Vengeful And Obstinate are both records by older bands now resurrected.
Xtreem Music has released THE SICKENING’s Death Devastation Decay album. The band features ex-BLOOD RED THRONE drummer Beist and is compared to SUFFOCATION.
TRIPTYKON, the group formed by former HELLHAMMER and CELTIC FROST singer and guitarist Tom Gabriel Warrior, has announced that the groups' own label, Prowling Death Records Limited, has entered into a licensing agreement with Century Media Records. Under the agreement, Century Media Records will release TRIPTYKON's debut album, Eparistera Daimones, in Europe and North America on March 22, 2010. CELTIC FROST was last signed to Century Media.
My Kingdom Music has scheduled EVERSIN's Divina Distopia album for February. The label is also issuing KENOS’ X-Torsion album. This is a death metal release and NIHIL NOVI SUB SOLE’s ambient album, Jupiter Temple, featuring Marco Kehren's DEINONYCHS.
Thrash for charity! WHIPLASH played a benefit concert for Morgan Harrington, the 20-year-old student from Virginia Tech who was last seen on October 17th near the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia following a METALLICA concert. The event was being held at The Canal Club in Richmond, Virginia and aimed to raise awareness for Morgan's disappearance and support the Harrington family's ongoing search to find her. All proceeds went to http://findmorgan.com.
EXODUS has named its ninth studio album Exhibit B: The Human Condition. The band is currently recording in Northern California with Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, ARCH ENEMY, KREATOR, etc.). The album is expected to be released in spring of 2010. Shovel Headed Tour Machine: Live At Wacken & Other Assorted Atrocities, EXODUS’ new DVD will be released in North America on January 12th, 2010.
Denmark’s HATESPHERE will tour North American shores this February and March in support of its newest album, To The Nines with THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, OBSCURA and AUGURY. Unfortunately, drummer Dennis Buhl is quitting the band due to severe back problems and the band is therefore forced to cancel its upcoming European tour with HYPOCRISY. Buhl is being replaced by ex-MERCENARY drummer Mike Park. Furthermore, HATESPHERE has entered collaboration with Rune Walther from Dream Fire Agency, which from now on will act as the band's management.
Still alive! Earache Records has signed Canadian thrash metal band ANNIHILATOR to a European deal. A new record is expected in 2010.
British thrash metal band EVILE has a new bassist. He is one Joel Graham. The new man joins EVILE following the death of the late bassist, Mike Alexander.
REVEREND has recruited singer Robb Steele (TRANSLUCENT EXISTENCE and BYFIST), which is an obvious choice given historic connections between BYFIST and REVEREND.
Dutch thrash metal band THANATOS has parted ways with drummer Yuri Rinkel, who will be concentrating on MELECHESH from now on. He has been replaced by Marco de Groot of HOUWITSER and who used to play in various bands including ALTAR, BLIND JUSTICE and ORDO DRACONIS.
KAER MORHEN’s first full-length demo called Aen Ithlinnespeath, described as “one hour of epic and melodic blackmetal (sic)” is finished and is available now. The band has a corporate website at http://myspace.com/songsofkaermorhen.
Germany’s ENDSTILLE has a new singer. Zingultus (formerly of NAGELFAR) is the new vocalist in ENDSTILLE. The band wishes to thank Lugubrem for touring with the band in Europe.
Italian deathcore band CORROOSION has placed the first song from its debut CD Punish The Mind online at www.myspace.com/corroosion. Rising Records has announced that, due to a new distribution deal, the album is delayed from a November release to the 1st of February 2010. PHD distributes the album.
Swedish death metallers MY OWN GRAVE will embark on a 16-date European tour with country-mates DEMONICAL and Finland’s DEATHBOUND. Dubbed The Accession To The Throne 2010 Tour, the journey will commence on February 12th, 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden and come to a close February 28, 2010 in Greifswald, Germany.
The fourth full-length album of MANTAK Diabolical Psycholust is now out. Old Cemetery Records has issued the CD version, while Chalice Of Blood Angel Records is pressing the vinyl and Evildead Production is handling the cassette tape. More information can be found at http://www.mantakhz.com.
Denmark’s Mighty Music has regrouped and returned with three new releases. ANOXIA’s (Denmark) A Lapdance For The Devil is due in May. INVISIUS’ The Spawn Of Condemnation album is also due in May. The final release is Danish band PSY:CODE Delusion.
IMMOLATION has picked Majesty And Decay as the title for its eighth full-length album. Majesty And Decay will be released on March 9th in North America through Nuclear Blast Records. The band is touring with NILE in January and February.
Quebec City, Canada’s AETERNAM is gearing up to release its debut album on February 16th, 2010. Disciples Of The Unseen is a 10-track “foray into an atmospheric, aggressive, melodic and Egyptian-tinged death metal,” according to Metal Blade’s publicity. The album was produced by Jef Fortin (NEURAXIS and THE LAST FELONY) and is for fans of NILE, MELECHESH, BEHEMOTH according to the label.
Basick Records has announced that due to health issues vocalist Phil W. has decided to leave UK Tech-Metallers NO CONSEQUENCE. Candidates for the role of a second vocalist can contact email@example.com.
Noiseheadrecords (NHR) has signed Italy’s IRREVERENCE. An album by the thrash metal band is expected in the spring.
Colorado's ALLEGAEON has signed with Metal Blade Records. Formed in the early summer of 2008, the band has a self-titled demo.
Finland's DOMINATION BLACK has parted ways with vocalist Kari A Kilgast. Interested singers may contact dominationblack[at]gmail.com.
California technical death/grind four-piece EMBRYONIC DEVOURMENT will release its second full-length, Vivid Enterpretations Of The Void, in the early part of 2010. A label is being sough; however, the group has announced a series of shows for April in the USA.
Toronto, Canada's DIEMONDS is gearing up for Maharani Madness, a tour of India. The promotional tour is timed for the Indian release of the debut EP In The Rough on Percept Networks.
KATATONIA has lost the brothers Fredrik Norrman and Mattias Norrman. To fulfil touring obligations filling in for Fredrik on guitar will be long time guitar technician and also guitarist of BLOODBATH Per 'Sodomizer' Eriksson while Niklas 'Nille' Sandin is filling Mattias’ shoes. Full-time replacements are being sought.
LUNA MORTIS has been dropped by Century Media. Despite the lack of tour support the band is still booked to open for PRIMAL FEAR in the USA in May.
HIGH ON FIRE has completed work on its fifth studio album and the follow-up to 2007's Death Is This Communion. Entitled Snakes For The Divine, the record will be released on February 23rd, 2010 through E1 Music.
Noiseheadrecords (NHR) has The Almighty Love the new album of Austria’s heavy rocker BOON out in January, 2010.
Inspired by KEEL? The reformed Dutch band PICTURE has issued a demo CD called Old Dogs New Tricks. The new disc arrives 30 years following the group’s debut.
Shrapnel Records has announced January 26th, 2010 as the release date for Instrumental Intensity, a new compilation from MICHAEL SCHENKER.
Koblenz, Germany’s AT DAGGERS DAWN is searching for a drummer following the departure of drummer Markus. The departed member wished to concentrate on his job. Candidates may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Zebub (Grimoire Of Exalted Deeds Magazine, Metal Retardation, Breaking Her Will et cetra) is issuing Pagan Metal: A Documentary featuring interviews and live shows by some of the genre's bands including KORPIKLAANI, PRIMORDIAL, FINNTROLL, ENSIFERUM, LEAVES' EYES, TURISAS and TYR. For more information, visit http://www.billzebub.com.
Chilean band SIX MAGICS has signed a deal with Coroner Records for the release of its album, Behind The Sorrow, which is scheduled for February 15th 2010. The band is female-fronted.
EIZO JAPAN, is a new project featuring ANTHEM singer Eizo Sakamoto and AREA51 guitarist Yoichiro Ishino which is dedicated to playing metal covers of popular anime themes. The band has released part 2 of its debut in Japan.
Nightmare Records has signed a deal with Tunisian progressive metal band MYRATH (‘Legacy’) and will release the album on January 26th, 2010. The band’s third album, entitled Desert Call is being issued in Europe through XIII Bis Records. More information can be found through http://www.myspace.com/myrathband.
Jon Schaffer of ICED EARTH has completed work on an album for his new political act, SONS OF LIBERTY. The new act’s album, Brush-fires Of The Mind, is available for free and is affiliated with conspiracy theory website http://www.infowars.com.
Sirre and Roger from Swedish ‘80s heavy metal band BEHEMOTH are back as DEATHWINGS. The new name was inspired by the band’s 1982 EP name.
Neil Farrington, the drummer for WARLORD UK, BENEDICTION, CEREBRAL FIX and DAMN DIRTY APES, committed suicide on the 20th of December 2009 at the age of 38. He had struggled with depression for years. A memorial concert is expected to arrange to create a trust for his son Ollie, aged 8.
Loyalty & Fidelity! Chris 'The Destroyer' Mills, drummer for CONQUEST OF STEEL, was in the hospital last month recovering from surgery to remove an infected appendix. The surgery was successful, but he had to return to hospital with a severe infection in the wound. The Destroyer was expected out of hospital in time and would then begin a period of recuperation before he was able to return to take his position back behind his drum kit. In the event of The Destroyer not being fit for the January shows stand-in drummer John Savage (HYPNOSIS) was on standby.
GAMMA RAY will be releasing a new album, To The Metal, on January 29th, 2010 through earMUSIC/Edel. A limited edition version features a 60-minute DVD.
ROYAL HUNT’s next album will simply be called X as it is the band’s tenth record. The album is due in May.
FREEDOM CALL will release a new album, Legend Of The Shadowking, on January 29th, 2010 through SPV/Steamhammer.
Finland’s CELESTY has announced that vocalist Antti Railio has decided to pursue a different style than the band. The group is searching for a replacement and can be contacted at rekry[at]celesty.net.
RAVEN’s next album is called Walk Through Fire and out on March 29th. It will be out through SPV.
KROKUS’ next album is called Hoodoo and out in February. The band is Marc Storace, Chris Von Rohr, Fernando Von Arb, Mark Kohler and drummer Freddy Steady.
After much drama, erratic behaviour and rumours of departure from the band, AEROSMITH singer Steven Tyler has entered rehabilitation for “addiction to prescription painkillers.”
Is there anything more insipid than bands’ promotions ‘e-cards?’
TOXIC HEART – RIDE YOUR LIFE
Toxic Heart is a new – to me anyway – name in the world of hard rock and glam metal. The CD sent to me has no less than eleven full tracks and 36 minutes of state of the art hard revenge. The group looks delicious with long hair and cool costumes. What’s more, they can play for real. What is even more astonishing is how they can write tunes too. Toxic Heart is fantastic. Not sure what Ride Your Life means but anyhow…
From where in the US or Canada does the band come? Take a guess. Toxic Heart is from Slovenia! That’s right, smack in the centre of Europe. Perhaps that is why the band doesn’t do a Bon Jovi and try to be modern rock or some such idiocy. Guys, you rock. Don’t cut your hairs. Please!
Song-wise the album’s opener is called Ticket and is more like Poison than anything else on the demo. New Generation next quickly adjusts course from Ticket’s glam and is a hard rock song extraordinaire. The One is the one disappointing song where the group tries its hand at being U2. Bad choice guys. Ride Your Life, the title track, is track number five and like Van Halen’s poppier days with Klaus Meine on vocals. By the way, Axl the singer is most like good old Klaus in his singing… and no, he is not on loan from Guns. Big Time is big time heavier and even a little abrasive. Toxic Heart’s toxic part comes out. This is a gooood song. Makin’ Me Bad has a ‘70s groove, insane soloing and a hint or two of early Skid Row. It is sleazy, cool and incredible. The album leaves the best for last though. Like The Way I Feel just plain rawks. What a tune. This tune kills in 1989, 1999 or 2009. What a professional band, which is reflected in the sound. The cover should have been way more kicking though!
Sure, Toxic Heart embraces the clichés of the genre (“one night stand is what you mean to me” or “living on the edge” or “baby baby”), but that’s why we love this genre, right ladies? This CD is hard, heavy, sleazy, glammy, definitely not Lemmy and extremely cool. I will be listening to this CD as you are reading this review.– Sheila Wes Det
SIXGUNS OVER TOMBSTONE – PUTTING REVENGE ON THE MAP
What a strange band. The band is from Alberta so it makes sense that they have a name like Sixguns Over Tombstone and a title like Putting Revenge On The Map. The same goes for the cartoon cover artwork. Well, maybe a dirty oil slick should have been there too. The music is not what one would expect. It is more like European hard rock than some sort of modern rubbish. The vocals are high and sometimes hysterical. The music is upbeat and even has extensive guitar solos. All good stuff until the band figures out how to mess things up with its many many infusions. Of course, there are several more quirks than just the above. Most of it is wiped out because these guys look good with their hair all around them.
Rumours Of My Death should fill the void for all Euro power metallers missing Blind Guardian. The backing harmonies are ‘interesting.’ The redneck strums ain’t. Songs like Dragonbuster (ha?) are very melodic and almost classically composed. Anti-Photon is almost thrash so there is that here too, but goes soft on us soon. And weird. When The Walls Fell needs to keep the wailing in check. This is what I was talking about earlier. Boot Hill is thrashy again. Back when Much showed metal, this is the type of thrash metal they profiled. The song Black Plague is ten minutes long and ironically doesn’t kick off with a blast. Instead, it is similar to very old Scorpions. Really! Carry The Flag is an iron Maiden-ish instrumental and, back to strangeness, the Alberta band has a song called Solar. The lyrics don’t help that much. By the way, this disc comes with a full package. Fire From The Sky might have been taped at a different studio. It sounds different. Crazy guitars are running amok on the song.
Overall, there is a lot of metal of most sorts on Putting Revenge On The Map. Some of it like All Hallows End is really professional and world-class. The band should still pull it all together and, of course, keep growing out the manly hair. The band’s website is at www.myspace.com/sixgunthrash and the e-mail is email@example.com. - Sheila Wes Det
AUTERE – BEING DEAD IS A PLACE
Last we heard of Finland’s Autere it was through the band’s 2005 demo, Lines & Fragments. Four years later and the band is still at it thrashing hard. And let me tell you that the reason the band is still unsigned is that they wisely refuse inferior offers waiting for something good and tangible. This music is simply that pro and impressive.
The disc begins with a backward intro and Circle Of Kinetic Damage. The band could make a trademark out of its rhythmic thrashing. It is incredibly powerful and tight when 1:30 into the track the roof caves in and all of a sudden the band is grooving to a Soilwork-like ambient clean passage. What a cold shower. If one were to ignore this transgression the dagger is metallic and implanted into the skull. Suppressed To The Slumber is a lie. The track does no such thing. It start with a hint of Arch Enemy and has some very nifty harmonic guitar work. Sadly, the silly chanting vocals show up again. Black Center (sic) – great title – is more harsh and mechanical in construct. It is approaching a Meshuggah posture on the song and again shows off a brilliant production job. Contorted Leftover is probably a good title for a last song and feature a gazillion vocal dubs and layers. The music is hard, but the band clearly wants to emphasize the vocals.
Autere is a little heavier, a little harder and a little different than most bands. The stupid clean vocals should go the way of N Flames and homophobia, but Being Dead Is A Place is still a good place to be. The disc comes with a video and can be ordered by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali “The Metallian”