DREAM OR NIGHTMARE
- 4 track EP US 2002
Dream Or Nightmare is a project that combines several styles of Metal to create an original
and unique sound. Influences include not only modern, traditional, and progressive Metal, but several other musical genres
as well; thus allowing for much creativity in writing and performance (reaching far beyond what is displayed on their current
recordings). Along with founder and lead guitarist Joe Sims ( who has received international acclaim for his work with other
groups Axemaster, The Awakening and Reign), D.O.N. has grown into a strong unit through the vocal tandem of Dave Rhynard and
Jim Arnold, the heavy yet complex guitar work and tonal keyboards of Jim Arnold, the solid progressive bass of Dave Rhynard,
and the enery of drummer Russ Kirk. As a unit, this band has proven to be one that has the ability, talent and creativity
to produce a style that will appeal to fans of all varieties of Metal. The EP contains 4 tracks entitled: R.I.P. / Is It Lost
/ Fearing / Begone. Mention that the lead vocalist on this EP named Javier Colon left the band, so the new material the guys
working at is with Jim Arnold behind the microphone.This are only the beginnings of bigger and better things to come from
DREAM OR NIGHTMARE; a project that is definitely breaking through on the international Metal scene!Check out his website at:
STEEL - ORDER OF THE ILLUMINATI
Four years after the highly unsuccessful Omega Conspiracy the band
is back with their fourth album. An album much closer to their roots and much better than their previous one. The music can
be described as a mix between Thrash Metal and speed metal and it is very aggressive and very intense. I dont know if they
have changed vocalist since their previous album but the vocals sound much better on the new one. Maybe its because thats
a real Agent Steel record, with the band presenting the qualities that made them known in the first place. Although there
are many elements from their first albums in the music the production of the album is edgy and modern and it certainly helps
their sound be heavier, while it is also crystal clear. Excellent work. Its a worthy come back and a release that will help
put the band back on the map. If you are into Speed Thrash then youll find a lot to like in the album. Must for every Thrash
Metal maniac out there!!
ZANDELLE - TWILIGHT ON HUMANITY
Yeah i know, i'm late to review this
brilliant CD but as they say..it's better late than never!
Shame on me because this is one of the better US Metal releases
from last year definitely.
If you're into bands like HELSTAR or WARLORD, than you're on the right track and don't
hesitate to buy this excellent album. Now with George Tsalikis (ex-Gothic Knights) as new singer and he did really a wonderfull
job, yes he does! Zandelle has laid immediate claim to the true Metal throne in Europe with this Twilight On Humanity CD release.
to mention is also the perfect combination of both guitarists T.W. Durfy and Anthony Maglio .These guys create a tremendous
wall of sonic violence and so do the rest of the band. Really like this kinda Metal!!!
DIAMOND - IN DANGER / CONQUER WITH STEEL
Debut album from Belgian die-hard Heavy Metal
band DOUBLE DIAMOND is a real killer one and overloades with tremendous Metal tunes.The band plays solid Heavy Metal, very
loud and and real hard.So prepare yourself for a real Metal assault!
They're able to combine sparkling technicallty with
chord progressions that support their vocalist's wide range voice. IN DANGER is produced by (Ex - Scorpions drummer) Rudy
Lenners and in fact, you should have to know what that means. Yeah right, he delivers the goods with this result. So, the
album included 12 tracks
of full force Heavy Metal pure. Twin guitars, vocalist reminds me of old Priest eras, pounding
drums and riddlin' bass lines. The guys makes this all possible by them selves, but keep hoping on a deal with a record company.
So to all record companies, get in touch with Double Dimaond and lets CONQUER WITH STEEL. That's the title of a 2 track promo
EP the guys made. The tracks "Conquer With Steel" and "Metal Rules" are my favorite Double Diamond tracks so far. Solid Heavy
Metal is what you can get when you grab this album.So let's turn on the volume and play it loud as well. BELGIAN METAL STILL
LIVES ON!!! Check their website at : www.doublediamondmetal.cjb.net
WITCHES - PASSAGE TO THE OTHER SIDE
Jack Frost and his friends are constantly releasing
albums better than their previous one and this is not something many bands can do. Their new album can simply be described
as every metalheads wet dream. It combines elements from 80s Metal (with influences from Iron Maiden and Judas Priest), but
it is also heavier, while their singer has a few things in common with Rob Halford. For example he can deliver both heavy
and high pitched vocals with an amazing ease that make it sound like a piece of cake, when it takes a lot of talent and hard
work. On the other hand Jack delivers some killer riffs and the rhythm section delivers a solid and heavy background for the
songs, with Joey Vera on bass guitar leading the way. The line up changes doesnt seem to affect the band and I am willing
to bet a lot of money that this will not be the last we heard from them. A Classic Metal album thats highly recommended and
many will remember in the years to come.
BREATH - SYMPHONY OF AGONY EP Belgium '02
Five piece Belgian Melodic Death Thrash Metal band with former members of Death Anos, Gardens Of
Grief and Chalice. The guys from Eternal Breath were able to put some cash together for making this EP release possible. 4
tracks included with titles as : Witchcraft, Curse Of The Damned, Artic Queen, Symphony Of Agony . Fact is that the
band delivers straight - in - your - face aggressive Metal with melodic parts. They
made a perfect combination of aggression and melody and the results are greatful. A unique band with a very special vocalist. A
mixture of Schmier (Destruction) and Blitz (Overkill) are not far away when you hear this guy scream. If you
want to know some more from Eternal Breath, go visit their own website at : http://listen.to/eternalbreath
VYNDYKATOR - HEAVEN SENT FROM HELL
New band by ex-Attacker/Sleepy
Hollow singer Bob Mitchell! He's back in business, also with another US Prog Metal band named Alchemy X. This Heaven Sent
From Hell is a Classic Metal sounded album that equal parts Thrash and Power definitely.
Old school Judas Priest, Maiden
and Accept and even some progression are all aboard of this masterpiece. After a little instrumental intro, everything explodes
with the track Blood Stained Gallows which is a real blast and a warming up for the next 5 tracks. Rot In The Chamber, Tapping
The Vein, Flight Of The Wombat(instrumental) and a Priest cover entitled Deceiver.There is one last track more on the
CD and that's Mr.Murder. My personal favorite track definitely. A perfect combination of Power,Speed and Thrash Metal anyway.
golden advice to all Classic Metal maniacs..make sure to catch this piece of Metal as soon as you can and crank it up real
X - 11:59:59
of all a special word of appreciating to Steve Ratchen who send me both Vyndykator, Alchemy X promo CD's!
This is the second
album for this US based Progressive Metal band.
Their first CD entitled "A Delicate Balance" was released in 2001
and there is something changed in the line-up. Legendary vocalist Bob Mitchell enjoy the AX ranks and took place behind the
microphone as well. His voice is difference from his usual form, but be sure, he is doing it very very well indeed and that
shows once again what kinda great singer he really is. Worth to mention is that the rest of the band are great musicians too.
Six string bass and guitar lines....so watch out for their technical parts!
Deep Purple, Fates Warning and even Savatage
are the most relevants to compare ALCHEMY X.
If you're into great Progressive Metal, please don't hesitate and move your
ass to the local CD store to grab this 11:59:59 (they're maybe closed at twelve, if U know what i mean!)
UNIT 53 - POWER AND PRESENCE
This US based Metal
band was formed in october 2001 and is a quadrupilation of many of Metal styles that are strongly European flavored. Steve
Lewis, Rodney Pitts, Rob Stephenson and Carlton Kelly uses each individual experience and talent to create an explosive fusion
of neckbreaking Power Metal. Hard pounding drums
and hydrolic bass intertwined with symphonic guitars and high soaring
vocals makes UNIT 53 the thunder and lightning of the Richmond, Virginia music scene. 16 tracks on the CD ans a must for every
Metal maniac who likes the US underground scene very well. For me it was a great opportunity to get in touch with the band
and doing an interview with Rob Stephenson( drums, percusion and vocals). You can check that at the INTERVIEWS section. For
further information about the band, go visit their website : www.geocities.com/unit53band
OVERDRIVE 20 YEARS - Tribute To Patrick
Belgian Metal Compilation
First of all , this is not about the Swedish
eighties band Overdrive but about a Belgian Radio show presented by Patrick De Sloover.
He's a real knight in Metal services
and he is doing the show since 1981.Well, this is a tribute to him and his fantastic radio show, a sort of an award he
really deserves at all! This compilation features 18 tracks and a playing time of 70 minutes. Different styles of Metal. We've
got Death, Thrash, Atmospheric and of course Heavy Metal aboard of this CD!
Mention the CD features only Belgian Metal
bands such as: Artrach, Archai, Essatic, Bellator, Mouse Analyse, Mindstab, Mortifer, Ackros, Double Diamond, Urzamoth, Everglow,
Welkin, Black Snow, Fleshmould, Contr-X, Dedicted, Crusader, Existence Denied. Pruduction works was in hands of Tony
De Block who delivered an outstanding duty. If you're a Metal maniac, into different styles...you better hurrt up and
buy this great compilation CD for low budget price of 7.50 euro. Interesting persons, just write to Patrick De Sloover, Engelenhof
12, B-9940 ERTVELDE - BELGIUM. Otherwise, you can the OVERDRIVE website at following URL: www.overdrive666.tk
The program goes on every wednesday from 08 to 10 PM, so check it out
if you got an ear for real Metal music!!
ABBOT - GUILTY AS SIN
After six years of silence and the release of a
rock opera in between Nicolo is back to his roots and his own band with the release of their fourth album. Brazen Abbot used
to be a Hard Rock and Heavy Metal band and thats exactly what they still are. More simple than Nostradamus, more groovy and
straight forward and always as good. Once again he has managed to gather an amazing band including Joe Lynn Turner, Goran
Edman and Jorn Lande on vocals. The songs are highly melodic and are dominated by the excellent guitars of Nicolo and of course
the vocals of the three singers. The album is good make no mistake about it. It features a few amazing songs and the whole
album is never below average and it never becomes boring or something. It is perfectly produced and the sound is truly excellent
while the songs will appeal to all Brazen Abbot fans. It looks like the man cant stop releasing good albums and of course
we are not the ones to complain about it.
RAVAGE - CURSE OF HEAVEN
band RAVAGE formed as far back as 1995 when 2 young brothers,inspired and driven by the glory and achievement of their Heavy
Metal idols such as Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Danzig and Judas.Priest. Dedicated to embark an a quest form a Metal band that
would bring back the compelling of American Metal, which has been
watered down by the grunge influences of the 90's.
By late 2000,the band had begun to forge a name in the local scene,and with the addition of some other musicians, the band's
creative core was completed. With the awesome energy of their brand of Classic Heavy Metal, they played several opening shows
for international acts as: Lizzy Borden, The Alex Skolnick Trio and the local Ozzy tribute band Believer. A first demo release
came at the beginning of 2003 and is produced by Jack Fenstermaker and Ravage. Title of that demo is ''CURSE OF HEAVEN'' which
contains 6 tracks of solid Classic Heavy Metal with genius melodic parts, breaks and a vocalist that fits very well in this
concept. The tracks are:Curse of heaven,Terror's head, The wasteland, Reign fall, The wicked way, The king forgotten.
I'm sure to hear more from this young Metal band in the near future. You can visit their website at the following URL: www.665.org/ravage ...... HAIL TO HEAVY METAL!!______________________________________________________________________
IMP - ASHES IN THE HOURGLASS
Five piece Power/Thrash Metal band from Holland who
started back in 1996. After a rehearsal tape in' 97, a demo release in 1988, a CD called ''Stillborn'' and a Live
recording in Februari 2003, the band IMP is back for a next Metal assault. A brandnew MCD called '' shes In
The Hourglass '' recorded at STUDIO HARROW in Losser, olland is on the way and will be released somewhere in June 2003
and is produced by Harrow's Marc Ter Braak. The artwork is made by Monica! I heard the advanced tracks and was really positive surprised
with the results, honestly! Very well produced Power/Thrash Metal influenced of Heavy Metal and other music. Throbbing
guitar riffs, six string bass lines, variable way of drummin and clean Metal vocals and sometimes deep grunts by their
female singer Monica. After an intro , 5 more tracks on the MCD and you can expect some influences from bands like: Slayer,
Death, Mystic (early 90's US band) Nevermore and Iced Earth. Titles of the tunes re...Successors, Demise Of Man, The Great
Arrival, The Last Descendant, Onslaught. All great build up songs with a lot of variations and a tremendous production. Don't
hesitate to grab this one if you got the opportunity, because THIS IS METAL!!!
For more details about the band, go visit their website at : www.imp-web.tk
ASKA - AVENGER
This is a 2000 release but still worth to make a review
of this fantastic album. AVENGER is the band's fourth CD and it's an 80's styled Metal combining the best of Britisch Metal
with so a lot of magnificent US Power Metal touches. This album strips away any Hard Rock influences the band had in previous
releases and simply sticks to Metal this time around. Bands to remind while listening are Jag Panzer, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Queensryche,...Great
sounded twin guitars and distinctive vocals makes the band so graceful to me. From the galloping riffs of "Imperial Rome"
to the aggressive pinning of "Leather" you can't but help to like ASKA's approach to Heavy Metal. Let me tell you one golden
advice: If you're in the mood for a great portion old-styled Metal with class, you can't go wrong with this album. They follow
the traditional US Power Metal of the sacred 100 procent and that's what i like, you better believe it. So to everyone who
haven't this great album, run as fast as you can to your local record store and buy it very, i mean very quickly and crank
CIRCLE II CIRCLE - WATCHING IN SILENCE
What could happens when
you get Zak Stevens(ex Savatage) behind a microphone, put Jon Oliva on the production and songwriting and current Savatage
guitar player Chris Caffery helping on the ongwriting process, well in fact you have a brandnew band by the name of Circle
II Circle. Zak's new band creates a sound with influences that compares with his old band Savatage. Highly melodic and rather
symphonic in nature and features some of the catchiŽst songs you'll even hear. Zak's voice definitely dominates the songs,
but on the other hand it also leaves enough room to the instruments to expand on the basic melodies of the songs and build
upon them to create an excellent result. Made by and for Savatage and other symphonic Rock 'n' Metal maniacs worldwide!
SOCIETY - THE BLESSED HELLRIDE
This is the fourth studio ainstallment in the
continuing evolution of Black Label Society. The fans already know what they can expect here. More bottom heavy riffs and
pinch harmonics, more beer-soaked vocals and some sup^ort from Zakk's good friend Ozzy Osbourne himself. This is pure American
Metal that doesn't require a lot of thought. For me this album is better than his previous one called''1919'' and for two
reasons especially. First reason is that the production is much rougher and the guitar parts are more wilder. A second reason
for me is that the overall performances are better. The track''Stillborn'' is a potential radio hit, especially since the
legend Ozzy, guest stars on vocals. Some other gracefull tune is ''The Blessed Hellride''which is more Southern-Rockish than
anything Zakk has done recently. Now that's the way BLS are, a band that can play several styles of music on one single album.
Maybe one golden advice...if you just want to fill that Black Sabbath void in your life, go to your local CD store and
pick this one up. BLS really rocks your brains out with their memorable powerfull music the way it was meant to be played!.
GUDGEN - EXMORTA
Three headed Portland based Metal
band that has been kickin' ass for many years.The band members are Andy on drums, Shawn as vocalist and Tim on bass. Gudgen's is influenced by bands as Mudvayne, Sepultura and Machine Head. It all tarted with a first release
entitled ''Gudgen Live 2001" included nine tunes and a follow up to that CD was a three track EP called ''I Cannot
Breath". The new one ''Exmorta is a 5 track EP included 3 studio and 2 live tracks .Tracklisting: Intro,
Breathe, Dirtnap, Black Hat(Live), Art Of Failing(Live). Production is very heavy, but very good! To be honest , this is not
my favorite kinda Metal but have many respect for what they do. This is what Gudgen want to do and what they do is good.
CAGE - DARKER THAN BLACK
Third album of the US based Metal band CAGE and
a real masterpiece, no doubt! All i can say is that this band belongs in my favorite traditional Heavy Metal
list of all time. Their music has influences from Judas priest and it's more heaviŽr than classic
eighties Metal while they have a charismatic singer who can add his own signature to the songs. Not only him but also the rest
of the band members are doing fantastic jobs.This is METAL, believe it or not! Catchy choruses, heavy
riffs, tremendous solos and a pounding backbone are the ingrediŽnts of their music. They just create their
best work so far. Looking for some good traditional US Metal? Well, this is definitely the answer to that question.
After the Seven Witches release entitled ''Passage To The Other Side'' my absolute fave at the moment !!
BEYOND THERAPY - DEMO US 2001/2002
A band straight from
- THE LEAGUE OF ROCKERS - department! Stemming from Januari of 2000, Beyond Therapy has abandoned two drummers and a guitarist
along the way to finally settle on its perma - nent power laced quarted in April 2001. Steadily clawing their way to the top
in popularity amongst ma - niacal fans. They has appeared on numerous television and radio spots and is cuurently undertaking
a blistereing regime of shows and events that will keep them busy until later in the year when they plan to release their
second full CD which contains of ten original songs. On this demo with three tracks aboard, Beyond Therapy prooves they still
got the power and the energy to break through. It's not a true Metal band but a mixtures of Tool, The Happily Rejected, Primus,
Soundgarden, Melvins and others. Not my favorite style, but i show my respect to this band. Be sure that they have the balls
and energy within the band to kick some ass!
- KILLBOX 13
the health problems OVERKILL frontman Bobby ''BLITZ'' Ellsworth's dealing with the last couple years, the band are back with
the follow-up of their live 2 DVD set from last year. Killer album anyway and listen to tracks as 'Devil By The Tail' or 'The
One' reminds me on older Testament tunes. Guitars are still tuned up and the ability to solo is not a lost art throughout
Killbox 13. Prepare yourself for 'The Sounding Of Dying' i call it a speed
assault mixed with some slower part weaved into it.Well, believe it or not but the track entitled Until
I Die takes me back to the very beginning of German Accept.Check out Bobby's voice on this song.It shows that he's still a
great singer after 20 years.This CD remains true to the OVERKILL legend as the purveyors of old school Thrash Metal and have
all the class aboard to make the songs memorable in the first place.
SILENT FORCE - INFATUATOR
Kinda unusual to make a review of an album which is released in 2001. Well, i don't care anyway
because ''Infatuator''from Silent Force is double worth to review, even almost two years later! This second album is
a real masterpiece. Greatful Power Metal at it's best and more aggressive and faster than their first
album entiltled ''The Empire Of Future'' Lots of Judas Priest influences ,all because of the fabulous voice
from DC Cooper ,who is definitely close with Rob Halford. His natural voice
is really rather pleasant. Six string master Alex Beyrodt's way of
playing is amazing. That fast, but still clean solo's. He's one of my favourite
guitarists anyway. Well, the CD opens with the title track and is a pretty
fast and Priest alike song. The second''The fall into oblivion''is in the same direction. Next''Hear me calling'' is a more
epic song with symphonic keys and a powerful chorus. The next two songs on the album aren't that great to me, but never
mind, because after that you can expect a Priest cover named All guns blazing... no further information needed! Now
it's time for a three part trilogy , started with a carnival intro called''Cena libera'' but prepare yourself for next
part of the trilogy with the song called ''Gladiator''a rather standard Priest looking tune with fast riffs and tremendous
bass drums. We shut the trilogy with ''The Blade'' and to be honest, not my fave at all. ''Last time'' is a song about DC's
dead brother, a mid tempo track with less intrusive guitars and a very strong chorus. After ''World aflame'' it's time for
a ballad with guest vocals by the Finish Inka Auhagen. Great melodies makes this an emotional ballad with style. Last song
is a short instrumental called''Northern lights'' that features fabulous classical guitar lines by Alex Beyrodt. Hope
the next SILENT FORCE release is not far away!
THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG - TRAVELLER
album of the San Francisco based True Metal band and probably one of their best so far. They've changed their
Metal sound to be much more original. The music has influences from true metal and there are
also some elements of Classic and Doom Metal listenable on this album. Let me say that the band creates a sound
of their own. There's an epic feeling throughout the album that makes it sound much more majestic than what they used
to be. The science fiction concept is very fitting with the music and i was impressed by both the voice of the singer and
the riffing parts. Lots of changes in the tracks to keep you interested through this album and i have to comment
that there are no fillers. Every second song ''Traveller'' is worth to lay an ear on. That's means
44 minutes of graceful Heavy Metal will bash your ears if you catch the album which is very good produced.
METHARIA - PROMO CD
Metharia was born
in 1999 with the purpose to express deep feelings and beliefs and to show a different face of the Italian Metal
scene. The artistic production is really various and spaces from melodic harmonies to raw energy and powerfull songs. Their
strong human and musical feeling easy emerges from the way they perform live and the energy they put in their songs.
Metharia releases two demos in 2000 and 2001 and got many good reviews on many mags and webzines world-wide. They also
got lots of airplay in Belgium, USA, France, Peru, Italy and UK. well, this new promo, released in January 2003, shows a more
mature band, a deeper personality and a new particular mix of infectious grooves, powerful songs and soften
atmospheres. A better production, due to Enzo "Soulfingers" Rizzo and Bob Fix' mastering, makes this promo a clear mirror
of the band's potentialities. Worth to mention is that the band have a fantastic singer by the name of Luca Volani.
AMERICAN DOG - RED, WHITE, BLACK AND BLUE
American Dog are the epitome of hard living back breaking, working class rock and roll!
This is the way this threesome band is discribed in the ''Outlaw Recordings'' artist roster and believe me, it's full 100%
the truth. This is the foloow-up of ''Last Of A Dying Breed''which was release in 2000 and their live EP entitled''6 Pack:
Songs About Drinkin' & Fuckin', released almost one year later. Michael Hannon(ex- Salty Dog and Dangerous Toys), guitarist Steve Theado
and drummer Keith Pickens delivers us 12 songs that really kick ass!! Check out some titles: Shitkicker, Blame It On The Booze,
I Keep on Drinkin' (You're Stay Ugly), Hear Me Howlin', Dog Will Hunt,...do i have to say more, i don't think so. If you're
ready for some rough Southern & Hard Rock that sounds really greazy and dirty, well this band will surely deliver the
goods as well.
MAGUS BEAST - SAY YOUR PRAYERS
MAGUS BEAST is the former AGRESSOR, a classic Metal band from America, who just recently
changed their name so there won't be any confusion with other bands having the same name. This album in fact was
recorded back in 1997 . Be ready for some full force Classic Heavy Metal that reminds me on bands like the early
OVERKILL and METAL CHURCH , great vocals and lots of power into their music makes this album really great to me! It's
a self financed CD and don't worry about the production at all, just because everything's sounds
very good. The track called ''Death before Dishonor'' is one helluvah fantastic US Metal song and
definitely my personal fave of the entire album. And that's just only one, also check out the other tunes which are absolutely
worth to listen at. Must for US Metal maniacs!!
TYRANT EYES - THE DARKEST HOUR
German Power Metallers Tyrant
Eyes return with their new CD entiltled "The Darkes Hour" three years later after their stunning debut album "Book Of Souls"
which was a fantastic album anyway. For me it's Power Metal at it's best and even some Thrash influences are markable in their
music. The Darkest hour is an album which became without doubt harder and straighter than their debut, though it doesn't lach
neither progressive parts nor catchy melodies. From the merciless, almost Thrashy opening track called "Night Of The Defender"
to the mystic, partly experimental mid tempo tracks like,"The Darkest Hour" or "Command To Destroy" and the epic "The Last
Light", this album offers everything that suits the demanding Metalhead everywhere in the world. Absolutely one of the best
Power Metal albums of 2003!
TOWER DIRE - CREST OF THE MARTYRS
Third album by the outstanding
US Power Metal gods, produced by Piet Sieck ( Iron savior, Blind Guardian) and the fantastic artwork
was in hands of Derek Riggs ( Iron Maiden, Gamma Ray). This is absolutely their very best so far. Ten tracks on the CD
plus one bonus track for all those who buy the limited digipack. That bonus track called "The Witch' Eyes 2003", in a re-recorded
version because this is an older TTD song. Anyway, i likes this new CD all because it's a real Metal blast !! Every
maniac who loves the classic US Metal and also bands like Hammerfall can't go wrong with Crest Of The Martyrs. All
the tracks are double worth to listen at and be sure that TWISTED TOWER DIRE delivers the best there is in the world
of US Power Metal. Just go and get it, you won't regret it !!
GAIA EPICUS - SATRAP
This Norwegian band started back in 1992 as a Punk Rock band
but through the years, there is a lot changed. From Punk to Thrash and later on they went to the Hard Rock direction
and finally and nowadays the band plays truely Melodic Power Metal at highest form. Gaia Epicus has every the characteristics
of a true Metal band. Soaring clear melodic vocals, thundering double
drum kicks, melodic fast lead guitar and heavy bass lines . All the tracks are pretty fast and old Helloween, Stratovarius
and Gamma Ray inspired. Great album which features 11 songs and a running time of almost 70 minutes ."Satrap" is
food for all Melodic Power Metal fanatics!
MYSTERY BLUE - DEMO 2002
After an evenful start in the eighties with tours in France, Germany and Belgium and playing
as support acts for MotŲrhead, Def leppard and Saxon, MYSTERY BLUE succumbs to internal problems. They released 3 albums named
"Mystery Blue", "Circle Of Shame", "Spirit Of Your Song". Probably due to the fast rise of the band and the young age of its
members. After several years of silence , this French band is back for a next metal attack. The new line-up features the female
singer Nathalie, the mighty drummer Vince (ex- Altar), the crazy bassist Dany (ex Time Riders) and of course Frenzy,
the guitarist who founded the band back in 1982. With a perfect musical technique and an intact joy of playing, Mystery
Blue recorded this three track demo which features the tracks: Dark Visions, Roller Coaster Ride, Angel. Great Classic Heavy Metal at its best. Great voice anyway by Nathalie and the way she shouts reminds me on
Lee Aaron, Doro and Ann Boleyn( Hellion). Hope these band get the opportunity to ink a deal with some record label real
soon. They really deserve it! You can contact the band at: Hmysteryblue@aol.com or www.mysteryblue.com
MONUMENT - THE MILLENNIAL
DEATH OF GOD
Oklahoma City's MONUMENT was formed in 1993 by Chad Callaway on bass, Sean Kelly
on guitars and Kevin Courtney on drums. The band recorded their first demo in 1995 entitled "Dust" with vocalist Jim Davis
and guitarist Parker Brown. Six tracks on that demo and continues to receive good reviews and coamments. Some guys were leaving
the band and some other musicians step into the Monument camp. In 1998 they recorded a first full length album named "Resting
Place" which contains 10 tracks + 1 hidden. Once again they receives great response from all over the world. Almost two years
later, the guys went back in the studio for a new album called "The Millennial Death Of God". Great album anyway fullfilled
with 10 tracks of original Power/Thrash Metal with eighties influences. Last track on the CD is a cover from Overkill
entitled "Spiritual Voice" and it sounds definitely very well. Great band, great album, so stay
tuned for this band because they're working on new material for a next release. Check them out at : www.monumetal.com
FALCON - DEMO 2003
Ex-DESTINY'S END and current ARTISAN guitar player Perry Grayson has been planning
a '70s style Heavy Rock project for several years, and he finally found the time to start working on it recently. The project
called FALCON and the sound is a throwback to what was heavy in 1971. So, as for the falcon influences, you can go back to
bands like: Mountain, Thin Lizzy, Budgie, BOC, Pentagram and stuff like that. Joining Perry in this band is former Cirith
Ungol multi-instrumentalist GREG LINDSTROM. He handles the bass thunder and also play some
keyboard and guitar lines as well. behind the drumkit, you will find DARIN McCLOSKEY from Pennsylvania. He's also the
skin basher for Doom Metal merchants Pale Divine. The four tracks on the demo are: Shelob's Lair, Downer, The Crying Of Lot
246, On The Slab(To the Memory Of Philip Paris Lynott). It's old school influenced Heavy Rock and these guys
doing it with a lot of passion and overloaded energy. Great work anyway !! The FALCON website: www.thevine.net/~fortress/falcon.htm
POWER OF OMENS -
ROOMS OF ANGUISH
New album released on Metalages Records from the US band Power Of Omens, so be prepared for
75 minutes of highly complex Progressive Metal delivers with a very unique style . No need to compare "Rooms Of Anguish"
with their previous album named "Eyes Of The Oracle" because this new one is so brilliant that you will forget all the rest.
From the opening tunes of "With These Words" you will be taken back at how they play off the lead guitars. Really technical,
the way these guitar players handles their six strings. Listen carefully to the fantastic combination of classic and
flamenco guitars within their music. If you wanna know some more about the vocalist,
i can tell you that's it's one of the greatest singers i've heard within the new generation of Metal bands. He sounds
like Geoff Tate, same style. Even the spoken words and tonal inflections durings the chorus are Tate-alike! Check out the
track "In The End" which is a 20 minute cut of Prog Metal heaven. Really breathtaking stuff and so are the rest of tunes.
Great album made by great musicians and to all the Progressive Metal fans i definitely wanna say to put this album in you
private CD collection, you won't regret it ! www.metalages.com
PHANTOMS OPERA - ACT IV
Another New Jersey product are Melodic Metallers Phantoms Opera.
They've been around for a while, browsing at the same trough as bands such as Symphony
X and Savatage .
Their operatic or 'theatrical' style of Metal as they've described it, takes a wee bit of getting used to, as does the vocal
work of melodic rock hero Terry Brock - who is heard for the first time in a different light. Not that the album is a write-off
- far from it. Superb tracks like 'Shadows On The Wall' and the gothic sounding 'Lost' ensure the band rocks out with the
best of them. Even the 9.15 'In The Morning' is an extended epic, which brings back memories of SAXON's 'Cruasder' - what with all those solider's voice
overs etc. It's just that a handful of tracks cannot sustain the overall album, which to these ears, sounds ordinary by comparison.
Not their fault, but the playing field has definitely shifted in the melodic metal genre - while Phantoms Opera it seems,
have been operating in isolation. Dynamicism is the key to the melodic metal genre these days. Until Phantoms
Opera discover that secret little trapdoor, they will remain behind the curtain, while others take the spotlight.
ALTAR - PAGAN ALTAR
This album was originally recorded back
in 1985 and has just been re-mastered and re-released in CD. Judging it by the standards of that time it would be a good doom
metal album in the veins of Candlemass with some more Classic Metal influences. It still is an interesting album but it's
age is clear. Of course this is not always bad. It depends on how you like your music. The songs are mostly slow and quite
simple. The arrangements are not complex or too technical and they have some interesting riffs and passages. It can be considered
as a cult album for friends of doom and probably be considered as one of the best underground albums. The sound is not polished
at all and though the album has been re-mastered the production is not very good. The sound of the drums is almost awful,
but through all these drawbacks the band manages to present us some good songs. It's a good but for historical reasons and
for people interested in how Metal sound 15 years ago. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- NO ONE GETS OUT
US Horror Metal masters Halloween released a
limited number of these CDs in 1991, but the independent CD quickly became virtually impossible to find. Now, thanks to small
U.S. label Molten Metal Records (the same label that released the band's "lost" 1986 album "Victims of the Night"), No
One Gets Out is available again, with brand-new packaging and five bonus tracks from the band's excellent VICIOUS
demo. The overall style of this album is somewhat different from the band's previous albums, probably because the
band had recruited a new guitarist and drummer at the time the album was recorded. Songs like "Crawl To The Altar" and the
title track have a kind of thrashy edge, while the crunchy gallop of "Kings" offers a slower pace that is just as effective.
The production is very clean, letting the power of the songs shine through crisply. Plus, the band pays tribute to one of
their major influences by offering their metallic version of KISS' "Detroit Rock City." The bonus tracks from the Vicious
demo are truly a bonus, and it is almost worth buying the CD just for those five songs. Demo tracks like "I Confess" and "Evil
Nation" are Classic UD 80's Metal, and the inclusion of these previously unreleased tunes makes this excellent CD a sure bet
for metal fans. Halloween is preparing to release their new CD, but hungry fans can pick up this reissue to keep them happy
while they're waiting for the band's latest offering.
RECKLESS TIDE - INSANITY OR REALITY + MINUTES OF
Old school Thrash Metal maniacs beware! Reckless Tide is a German
Thrash Metal band with traditional and modern elements, combining neck-breaking riff and melodic hooklines weaved
within their music. If you wanna know the history briefing about the band, check out the interviews section.
In fact, Insanity Or Reality is a 5 track EP professionally recorded in the Absurd Studio in Hamburg at the end of October
2002. It sounds really good to me. All is worked out in a state of perfection. As for the muscic, it's hundred procent Thrash
Metal with lots of eighties influences from bands like Testament and early Metallica. Raw vocals in combination with
some cleaner voice parts is what you can expect from this Bay Area styled thrashers.
MINUTES OF THRASH is a two track promotion work i suppose, realeased in 2003. Well,
the title explane a lot. Pure solid Thrash Metal that sounds even better than their previous one, but that's my personal view
of it, you know. Go to the band's website, purchase an order and make your own conclusion about Reckless Tide. Death Train,
Repent Or Seal Your Fate will definitely make your heads gonna bang like hell. THRASH ON! www.recklesstide.de
MAGISTRAL - I AM
Santiago, Chile Metal band Magistral got their first break when they were discovered
in Santiago and given an advance for a demo. Their first single called "Awake", was well recieved and obtained significant
local airplay. At this point, Lucho(vocals), who already lived in Houston convinced the other members to pursue their dream
in the U.S.. One by one they migrated to Texas and began the next chapter in the development of the band. I AM is a 5 track
demo CD and proudly delivers for all those who are into Progressive Power Metal, with a speedy touch! Vocals like Fabio Lione,
Andre Matos...guitar virtuosity by Danillio who has a technical ability and inspired by Vinnie Moore or Jason Becker... Moises
hit the drums and find inspiration by Ian Paice...bass guitarist Francisco's face readily reveals the passion that feels
for his music. The tracks are I Am, How, Strike Of The Angels, Infinite Void, Magistral. Last mentioned track is my personal
fave because everything sounds so perfect in this song. I'm sure to hear more from these guys in the future and hope they
will receive all the attention they deserve from many world-wide Metal maniacs. Well done brothers! www.magistralweb.com
GRAVE DIGGER - RHEINGOLD
The new album of the German band is
inspired by the Wagner's The Ring Of The Nibelungs, and continues the saga of the band with the release of concept albums.
The first thing that I have noticed in the new album, is that the band is using a much more epic atmosphere into the songs,
something that gives a very interesting perspective into their music. There are various elements used to achieve the medieval atmosphere that the band wanted to create,
something that makes their album one of the most diverse albums they have ever created. Of course the "traditional" Grave
Digger sound, and the unique vocals of Chris are also the dominating elements here, so the fans of their previous works will
also be pleased with the new one. The majority of the arrangements are very good, with many interesting
parts and ideas that are well developed through the song structures. The music is catchy enough and easy to get into, but
on the other hand there are things hidden, things that are not revealed to the listener from the first listening. The guest
vocals of Das Letzte Einhorn from In Extremo, are making the songs even more interesting, and enrich the medieval feeling
in the album. An album that can proudly bear the name of the band, and an album that will surprisingly please the fans of
KICKHUNTER - HEARTS & BONES
I am not familiar with the history of the band, or their previous works and experience. What I
know is that they are coming from Germany, and Markus Grosskopf of Helloween is also participating on this album. While trying
to predict the sound, I was pretty amazed because the band didn't play any kind of Power Metal, but their sound was closer
to Hard Rock, with plenty of 80's feeling into it, and some blues elements to make things even
more juicy. Hard Rock, the way that was played in USA in the mid 80's, with
plenty of melodies, enough keyboards, pianos, male and female choirs, and a street feeling that I found very interesting.
The music is catchy, and the band is talented, so the result might sound a bit retro but never out of place, or even close
to boring. Maybe not for the ears of the most extreme of our readers, since the album sometimes is not even close to Metal
at all. On the other hand, the band has wrote some killer music, ideal for listening while driving long distances, or in parties.
The production is also another great thing here, and helps the music very much. Simple and straight to the point, with very
talented musicians, this album is an album that will please all fans of the 80's.
HELLOWEEN - RABBIT DON'T COME EASY
The new album of the band is something that
many expected, and finds the band in top shape although there are two new members in the line up. Continuing the saga, the
band has created an album that is perfect in almost every aspect of it, and it's an album that will certainly gain them some
more fans. The style of the band is more varied than their previous one, and is more like a continuation in the vein of Better
Than Raw. The songs are well written, and there is not the same dark atmosphere that existed in their previous album,
although a couple of songs are close. The songs are moving in
the well known Helloween style, with an up tempo feeling, with nice and interesting ideas, and well arranged song structures.
The new members fit perfectly with the sound of the band, and Sascha Gerstner is also contributing in a couple of songs as
well. The good thing here is the fact that the album also holds a few surprises for the fans, and is proving that the band
is in a very creative period. The production of the album is also another very good thing, and helps the music of the band
very much. The Pumpkins have returned with a diverse album that can proudly bear the name of the band and become another classic.
If you are into Power Metal, then this album is a necessity.
- THE GENERAL'S AWAKENING PROMO 2002
Anthenora was born back in 1990 and their main goal was to play Classic
Heavy Metal influenced by bands such as : Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Saxon. The guys get what they deserve and released
2 demo's entitled: "Bring Me To Hell" in 1992 and "Heretical Symphonies" in 1993. Both recorded at the Dracma Studios of Turin.
From 1995 the band played many live gigs in the form as a original Heavy Metal band but also as one of the best Italian
Iron Maiden tribute bands. In the last years Anthenora has played all around Italy from north to south and received great
reaction from the Metal maniacs out there! They keep pointing the sign up high and entered the studio again to record a brand
new EP called "The General's Daughter" in 2002. Don't expect a typical sounded Iron Maiden minded tribute band, but nothing
else than a true Classic Heavy Metal band with an emphasis on the word "HEAVY", hell yeah! Ofcourse, there are some Maiden
or Priest influences aboard, but the originality insie the band stands tall anyway. This promo CD contains 4 tracks and these great
own created compositions makes from Anthenora a formation that can claim its place as a worthy Heavy Metal representative
and i'm sure they will be back for more in the near future. Hope the general will rise again very soon!_____________________________________________________________________________________________
ATOMICHE - WALK ACROSS FIRE
Italian Thrash Metal band which released their very first demo
back in 1998 entitled "Demo 1997". Soon after there were some internal line-up probs and they want to go further
als a Metallica tribute band at the end of 1999 . This experience brought the band on national attention and selling CDS all
over Europe, USA and even Japan seems to be interested. But after all, the band wants to create their own style of Metal and
that goal were reached in September 2000 when they came out with a brand new MCD called "The Holy Metal" with five, 80's
Bay Area styled Thrash Metal tunes, in the vein of Testament, Sacred Reich, Overkill aboard! Once again great responses from
all over the world and the band's success lingers on and on. After participating on many Metal compilation albums , the band
went back into the studio in August 2002 at Famous One SUNLIGHT STUDIOS in Stockholm Sweden where born the first
full length album entitles "Walk Across Fire" and i can guarantee you, it's one helluvah fantastic album anyway with special
guests as guitar god Jeff Waters who played solo's on the track "Game Over" and Anders Lundemark from Konkhra who sing in
the song "Revenge". The music on this CD brings me back to bands as Testament, Annihilator, RDP, Imagika and even some Megadeth
influences will torture your neck while listening.Very well produced by Tomas Skogsberg who worked in the past with:
Dismember, Entombed, Katatonia, Amorphis and many others. A new Melodic Power Thrashin' Metal band is born!! www.merendineatomiche.com
THE FITH SYNDROME
This is a four headed alternative nu-metal act from Australia
and my friend James II from the League Of Rockers department in America wants me to review it, which is absolutely no
problem to me. The band worked hard for their first six months together and released a self funded E.P. called "Stare Inside
My Mind". There was a limited press of only 500 copies made and within 3 single months, all copies sold out. They did many
live shows, in early 2001 they were part of the Queensland Rock Awards where
they stranded in the top 10 over 100 other acts. Faceless were also included on the UK compilation CD entitled "Visibility
- A Visible Noise Sampler" alongside 15 other bands from UK and Europe, take part on the Surf And Travel Australia Video
and also recorded a new track for the Krankit 2001 compilation vol.2 CD with the song called "Teeth". Finally it was time
for another 6 track EP in 2002 with the title "The Fith Syndrome" included 6 tracks . The album is currently unreleased as
the band are seeking support to gain distribution and promotion for its release.The songs on this EP are very well played
and produced with a lot of energy and power, but as many people well knows, this is not my favourite style of Metal.
Nu-metal freaks will loves this band a lot, so watch out for Faceless. www.faceless.com.au
DRIVEN - CRUSH
DRIVEN is well known
for the hard hitting, aggressive in your face character sketches that strike at the heart of the human soul! They come from
Utah and my first impression was very positive. I call Driven some kinda modern Hard Rock / Metal band, including
some stoner influences with a heavy and powerfull sound.The man behind the microphone, named Jack Eastmen delivers all the
best with his strongfull voice and Chuck Billy( Testament) remains from time to time. Also, lay an ear on their six string
raper Jim Felt. He's got the feeling in his fingertips and i dare to compare him with guitar god Zakk Wylde. The sound of
Tom Browning's bass guitar is heavy as hell, better believe it and last but not least we've got skinbasher Ken Sims and he
will surely shake your ground while listening. 4 tracks on this EP entitled "Kill The Killer", "Crush", Goodbye", Fool" and
i'm sure that it's just a sample of what they have in store for us in the future. Watch them closely if you dig some old school
stuff played by very talented musicians. www.allthingsdriven.com or www.theleagueofrockers.com
ELVENPATH - 2002
German long haired Metal band who still believe in the power of true Metal at all! The
band is really hooked up with with Metal and listening to Iron Maiden and Blind Guardian, so the style Elvenpath delivers
is similar with mentioned groups. They finally set up this formation to express their musical passion. As their name they
choose ELVENPATH which is a name filled with fantasy, hope and magic . These elements discribes the positive power of their
music as well. They've got the intention not to follow a narrow line neither musically nor lyrically. Influnces inside the
band range from old Helloween to Judas Priest with everything aboard to be a great sounded Metal band. This demo contains
three tracks called: "Kingdom Of The Weird", "Eternal Quest" and "Thunderode". This is the band's first release and arouses
the interest of quite some magazines and fans so far. My opinion is that the guys are ready for a full length album to release
in the near future. Meanwhile, they keep on playing their lungs out on several stages . Till now, they've shared the stage
with bands like : Accuser, Majesty, Sacred Sin and Wizard. Keep up the great works guys, METAL IS ALL WE NEED! www.elvenpath.com or www.theleagueofrockers.com
FORCES @ WORK - COLDHEARTED
Progressive Power Metal band from Germany formed by guitarists Adrian Weiss and
Mischa Blum as well as bassist Armin Alic and drummer Salkic back in 2000. All the members played in previous bands such as
Thought Sphere, Done By dawn, Point Of No Return, Niobes Ivory Dream. in June 2002 they recorded 8 instrumental songs and did
many live performances as an instrumental band late in 2002. Mention that the band name at that period was Fushed Confashion. At
the beginning of 2003 they completed their line-up and former Lost Century-Thoughsphere vocalist Andreas Lohse enjoy the ranks.
The existing tracks so far was overdubbed with vocals, mixed and mastered. Any time later, they've changed their name into
Forces @ Work. After two and a half years of work, a 6 track demo CD see the light entitled " Coldhearted Canyon". More than
26 minutes of Progressive Power Metal played by some great talented musicians! I put all my intention on the
music and besides the progressive touch, i heard some flameable riffs from 80's Thrash bands as Violence and Megadeth. Every
single musician are really fantastic except the vocalist, sorry, but i can't get used to his way of singing. He's midraned
talented and has some work to do in the future. Besides that little critical point of view, the band surely
gonna make it in the future! My personal faves on this demo CD are the tracks "Fushed Confashion" which is a fabulous
instrumental and " Pre-Mortem Autopsy", so fantastic and amazing structures inside this song that makes my final conclusion
as follows: Some work to do for the singer and all the rest sounded almost perfect to me guys! The recordings
of a first full lenght and debut album is planned at the end of 20003. You can order the demo via thier website at:
SUNDAZEFIX - 11 SONG
American heavy loaded Metal group Sundazefix started their
first band in 1987 and played together for about two years begore going seperate ways...having known each other since 1982.
It just semmed right to reunite in 1994 and create music together again. They plays music with dark grooves, it's all about
the riff or hook that draws you in and won't let you go. A mix of very heavy rythm
with melodies all over the top. Currently playing around the Puget Sound Area, they are from Kitsap County and play gigs in
Kitsap, Pierce and King counties.They enjoy playing at many as possible venues, and do so as often as they can.Also won Best
Heavy Metal Band in Kitsap at the 2000 Kitsap Community Music Awards! They recorded their first album at Clear Water Productions
Studio back in 1997 with Terry B. Shelton as producer. So now Sundazed are currently working on a self produced, brandnew
album recorded at The Swamp! I don't know exactly what's the title, but the eleven songs on the advance CD are really heavy
loaded stuff anyway! Doom Metal maniacs, beware and try to pick this CD up for sure. If you ask me to mention some
similar artists, well in that way i can say..." Re-Opening The Gates" from Omen reminds me a lot while listening this
11 track promo CD. In the band's own words they are influenced by Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Metallica and Tool!
You can check it all out at : www.theleagueofrockers.com or www.angelfire.com/sd/sundazefix/
PARAGON - THE DARK
New album released on Remedy Records from German Power
Metal gods Paragon hits me right in the face! I really do like their previous album entitled "Law Of The
Blade", but the new record sounds even better to me. It seems like everything on the album is even more basic than on
the last few records. More power and aggression is at hand! It reminds me of another album
from Paragon called "World Of Sin". So the die-hard fans knows what that means. Fullforce and no looking back Power Metal
at its best! Besides a remake of an early Paragon track entitled "Into The Black", this album contains
eight other pounding songs and the digi pack catchers have a bonus track more to enjoy. Maybe
if you have enough cash in your pocket, check out the Japan version just because of another bonus track is included. Producing
is in hands of Mr. Piet Sielck (Iron Savior, Blind Guardian) and the magnificent artwork made by Dirk Illing(Wizard,
Twisted Tower Dire). With tracks such as "Eye Of The Storm", Blood Of My Enemies" and the opener "The Legacy", it definitely
can't go wrong. Just pick it up and you won't regret at all!!
METAL TO INFINITY CD REVIEWS - 2