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Issue #561

Issue #561
Week of August 23, 2010

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Patrick Brower, Editor

Sean P. Gahgan, Editor

Tim Wadzinski, Owner

Steve Shumake, Co-owner

-Wow does the huge parade of reviews ever continue! Scroll down for another chapter in the story of Keith & Stephanie’s tale of Good vs. Evil, what with all the Christian and death metal stuff lately. – Tim

*** PRESS RELEASE #1 ***
-Accept Announces First Leg Of North American Tour!

After debuting their new lineup to a sold-out audience in New York this past May and then traveling to Europe to devastate the masses with shows in 16 different countries in 80 days (including two shows opening for AC/DC), Germany’s legendary metal band Accept will return to tour the U.S. for the first time in 14 years on a co-headlining tour with King’s X. Their first show will kick-off the eleventh annual ProgPower USA festival in Atlanta.

Guitarist & songwriter Wolf Hoffmann checks in about the band’s time in Germany & their upcoming North American trek:

“Believe me, this was boot camp, but we loved every minute of it! Twelve months ago, there was nothing on the horizon that would have made us believe we would be on the stages of the world again as Accept… and here we are! [New lead vocalist] Mark Tornillo inspires us to get it all out in a way we have not been challenged before. We can’t wait to be on stage with him!!!! He is the new kid on the block and he is the reason we are back again. It is such a relief, such vitamin shot!!! And if we could, we would never stop!!!”

When asked what has surprised the band the most about their fans, Hoffmann responds enthusiastically:

“NO DOUBT ABOUT IT — the biggest surprise is the way they make us feel welcomed. Of course we hoped the fans would be happy to have us back — who would not believe that about their fans? — but, what is happening here, EVERYWHERE we go, is a TOTAL KNOCK-OUT for us. WE HAVE NOT SEEN FANS SO HAPPY IN A LONG, LONG TIME.”

Confirmed tour dates can be found on the band’s MySpace page. More October dates will be announced soon.

Accept’s 2010 lineup includes Wolf Hoffmann on guitar, Peter Baltes on bass, Stefan Schwarzmann on drums, Herman Frank on guitar and Mark Tornillo on vocals.

BLOOD OF THE NATIONS, Accept’s twelfth full-length studio album recorded at Backstage Studio in England with famed producer Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Exodus, Opeth, Arch Enemy), will be released in North America on September 14th. Exclusive pre-sale bundles can be purchased at the Nuclear Blast Web Store.


*** PRESS RELEASE #2 ***
-Whitesnake Announces New Bassist: Michael Devin

HOLLYWOOD, CA — After months of speculation, Whitesnake is thrilled to announce their new bass player/singer… Michael Devin.

Recently Devin has been playing with Lynch Mob along with new Whitesnake drummer, Brian Tichy. This union completes the new Whitesnake lineup alongside guitarists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach and keyboardist Timothy Drury for the new album in the works.

“It’s an honour to be welcomed into the Whitesnake family. I’m a big fan,” explains Devin. Whitesnake is notorious for exciting musicianship, David’s history is rich, and I’m very proud to be here.”

The album is currently being recorded for release on Frontiers Records in early 2011. The band will be also returning to touring in support of the new album’s release.

*** PRESS RELEASE #3 ***
-Magic Circle Music Update

Warriors Of Colombia Unite!

Manowar In Colombia – Friday, November 26, 2010

Manowar fans in Colombia have been victorious!

True Metal People get ready for Friday, November 26, 2010

IT IS OFFICIAL, Manowar will shake the ground at Parque Simón Bolivar in Bogotá!

This will be a concert of epic proportions, in the style of the biggest shows only seen in South America on Manowar DVDs.

This concert not only marks Manowar’s return to South America, but the beginning of the the Battle Hymns Tour!

Tickets are on sale now! Click HERE to buy!


Magic Circle Music


*** PRESS RELEASE #4 ***
-Blind Guardian: AT THE EDGE OF TIME Out Now In North America!

The brand new album from German power metallers Blind Guardian has finally been released in North America (Aug. 24th)!

Making its mark as their 10th studio album, AT THE EDGE OF TIME is available in regular jewel case and a deluxe edition digi-pak with a bonus CD (6 songs, 1 video, and a documentary) with a special code for exclusive content at a special fan-only site.

Artwork for the new album was created by Colombian artist Felipe Machado Franco (Iced Earth, At Vance, Axel Rudi Pell).

Track List:
01. Sacred Worlds (9:17)
02. Tanelorn (5:58)
03. Road Of No Release (6:30)
04. Ride Into Obsession (4:46)
05. Curse My Name (5:52)
06. Valkyries (6:38)
07. Control The Divine (5:26)
08. War Of The Thrones (4:55)
09. A Voice In The Dark (5:41)
10. Wheel Of Time (8:55)

View all Blind Guardian in-studio videos and more on the band’s YouTube channel.


*** PRESS RELEASE #5 ***
-Rage & Lingua Mortis Orchestra — Make Two Out Of One!

In 1996 Rage were pioneers by releasing their LINGUA MORTIS album, along with a real orchestra. This was continued with their follow-ups, also on stage.

In 2010 Rage and the Lingua Mortis Orchestra returned on stage again, headlining the “Rock Hard Festival” in Gelsenkirchen. Everyone who has watched the incredible show, will still be overwhelmed by this great performance. If you missed the show, you can get some impressions now under the following link:


In future, Rage and the Lingua Mortis Orchestra will play two different shows. Producer Victor Smolski will envolve different guest musicians at the Lingua Mortis Orchestra, who will also release orchestral records, while Rage will focus on the heavy tracks. Both bands will be on Nuclear Blast Records.


*** PRESS RELEASE #6 ***
-Six-String Stars Eric Johnson, Andy McKee & Peppino D’Agostino Unite For October & January Acoustic Guitar Masters Tour

Three of the most popular, talented, innovative and musically rich guitar players and composers in contemporary music will bring their acoustic guitars together to perform and interact on stages across America this October and January 2011 when Eric Johnson, Andy McKee and Peppino D’Agostino meet on the Guitar Masters tour. The 21-date two-leg run of theaters, colleges and clubs will feature individual sets by each capped with a finale where all three interplay and collaborate for the first time together to offer an engaging and enlightening aural feast of acoustic six-string mastery and melodic brilliance.

The trek is sure to be an unforgettable musical experience for concertgoers that unites guitar virtuosos not just known for their awesome skills and technique but a mutual gift for song composition and melody and drawing out the full musicality of the solo acoustic guitar to near-orchestral dimensions. Creative sparks, one-time only stunning improvisations and mutual inspiration are sure to abound as they come together at the end of every show to offer a value-added concert bill that appeals to fans of many musical styles as well as guitar aficionados.

Grammy-winner Johnson is one of the most respected and renowned guitarists playing today, celebrated for his electric six-string playing and songwriting gifts, but also his acoustic talents that have graced his albums and which he has showcased on a number of previous solo tours. He is enshrined in Guitar Player’s Gallery of Greats and was named one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician magazine, took three instrumental songs from his 1990 platinum album AH VIA MUSICOM into the pop Top 10, and boasts a total of five Grammy nominations. “He’s an extraordinary guitar player accessible to ordinary music fans,” raves the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Andy McKee is an Internet phenomenon whose solo acoustic six-string performance videos and compositional flair have racked up an astounding 78 million-plus plays on YouTube, where he has also held the three Top-Rated Videos of All Time. His creative and innovative use of altered tunings, syncopated rhythm guitar taps, partial capos, and his textural use of polyphonic tones and drones won him Acoustic Guitar magazine’s worldwide Silver Medal award for fingerstyle playing in 2008. With six strong-selling and critically-lauded independent albums to his credit, McKee is a popular and engaging live music attraction who plays some 200 shows a year internationally. As the Lawrence Journal observes, McKee has “forged a distinctive style that proves eye-opening and ear-opening to many.”

Native Italian Peppino D’Agostino “plays steel-string guitar with virtuosity and complexity… Influences as far-flung as the flamenco work of Paco de Lucia and the pop sensibilities of the Beatles, evident in the songs he’s written, which brim with memorable melodies,” raves the Chicago Tribune. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay area, he was voted Best Acoustic Guitarist in Guitar Player’s 2007 Readers Poll and won Acoustic Guitar’s Players Choice Award the following year for Best Acoustic Album Of All Time. He has nine previous U.S. CD releases, including collaborations with electric rock guitar star Stef Burns and classical guitar expert David Tanenbaum, and also adds his steel string playing to eight nylon-string savants in the United Guitar Ensemble. The San Diego Reader hails D’Agostino as “a giant of the acoustic guitar.”

The tour will be the first time that McKee has met Johnson, whose hit “Cliffs Of Dover” inspired him to play guitar. “He’s really musical.” McKee observes. “It’s like hearing a song but rather than having a vocalist he covers the melody and all the bases at once with his guitar. I still listen to his music all the time and even make references to it in my playing.”

D’Agostino has opened shows for Johnson and notes, “When he plays he really puts his special knowledge in it.” He is also an admirer of McKee’s talent. “What he does with techniques like tapping and his compositions is fabulous. He’s an amazing player.”

“Andy is a great player who puts it all these guitar technique into songs he writes and plays that make them quite interesting. But it’s still all about the song,” Johnson observes of McKee. “Peppino is a really emotional and very soulful player. And he comes from a little bit different background than Andy and I do, so it’s really nice combination for all of us to come from our different sources and mix it all together.”

The tour will coincide with the release of Johnson’s new album, UP CLOSE, on his own Vortexan label via EMI. McKee issued his latest recording, the CD/DVD package JOYLAND, on Razor & Tie Records in March. And D’Agostino’s latest album, NINE WHITE KITES, comes out on his own label August 24.

Guitar Masters tour itinerary:

Oct 1 – Milwaukee, WI – Northern Lights Theater
Oct 2 – Indianapolis, IN – Clowes Memorial Hall
Oct 3 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
Oct 6 – Salina, KS – Stiefel Theatre
Oct 7 – Iowa City, IA – Englert Theatre
Oct 8 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theatre
Oct 9 – Rochester, MN – Mayo Civic Center
Oct 10 – Evanston, IL – Space
Oct 13 – Phoenixville, PA – Colonial Theatre
Oct 14 – Lebanon, NH – Lebanon Opera House
Oct 15 – Bethesda, MD – Music Center at Strathmore
Oct 16 – Westhampton Beach, NY – Performing Arts Center
Oct 17 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse
Jan 14 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Spano Theatre
Jan 15 – Mission Viejo, CA – Norman P. Murray Center
Jan 16 – San Rafael, CA – Marin Center
Jan 17 – Visalia, CA – Fox Theatre
Jan 19 – Arcata, CA – Van Duzer Theater
Jan 20 – Chico, CA – Laxson Auditorium
Jan 21 – Napa, CA – Opera House



*** PRESS RELEASE #7 ***
-New Revolution Renaissance And Jaldaboath Albums On Napalm Records

Revolution Renaissance’s TRINITY (featuring ex-Stratovarius mastermind Timo Tolkki) and Jaldaboath’s THE RISE OF THE HERALDIC BEASTS (featuring ex-members of the Meads Of Asphodel) are set for North American release through Napalm Records on October 6th.

Revolution Renaissance – TRINITY

TRINITY is Revolution Renaissance’s third full-length ending their album trilogy. Once again, the band revolving around main songwriter and guitar wizard Timo Tolkki (former Stratovarius mastermind) shows how first-class melodic power metal should sound. With catchy choruses, sweeping hooklines, and virtuous soli, tracks such as “Dreamchild” or “Falling To Rise” are brilliantly carried out by perfectly balancing ambition and appeal. TRINITY’s title track is the album’s core, and while it last well over 10 minutes, each second is able to enthrall the listener beyond all expectations. Revolution Renaissance delivers an album able to exhilarate melodic power metal fans everywhere.


After years of secretive quests in faraway exotic lands, Sir Jaldaboath found his way back to his British homeland. Shortly following his arrival, he joined forces with The Mad Monk and Sir Bodrick to establish the Order of Jaldaboath. After several meetings underneath the shadow-casting arches of Castle Rhydian, the dark order presented its unique brand of heraldic Templar metal. The style combines an intoxicating mix of metal, Middle Ages, and Monty Python, while remaining innovatively fresh and distinguishing itself from the Medieval rock sounds of already established bands. Catchy melodies, galloping drums, exquisitely sarcastic and humorous lyrics, and Sir Jaldaboath’s unmistakable clean vocal style makes songs such as “Hark The Herald” or “Seek The Grail” impossible to resist. The band’s debut THE RISE OF THE HERALDIC BEASTS easily transports the listener to a world of knights, fair and noble damsels, fire-spewing dragons, and cheeky jesters. So sound off the trumpets and wave your colorful banners from the highest towers, for Jaldaboath rides out to embark on a new musical crusade! Fans of Alestorm’s extraordinary Scottish Pirate Metal will love Jaldaboath’s heraldic Templar metal!

Napalm Records

*** PRESS RELEASE #8 ***
-Divebomb Records: Casanova – ONE NIGHT STAND Reissue

Following up on our hugely successful reissue of Casanova’s debut album we are now happy to present the deluxe edition of their second album, ONE NIGHT STAND, available 9/14/10.

This deluxe edition has once again been re-mastered by Jamie King and we have added not only five bonus tracks, but archival pictures provided by bassist, Jochen Mayer. This is a must-have for all Casanova fans worldwide!


For fans of:
Warlock, Mad Max, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, FireHouse, Dokken and Icon

Points Of Interest:
– Features former members of Warlock and Mad Max
– Contains five bonus tracks
– Out of print for years/original version highly collectible
– Never released in the U.S. before now
– Limited Edition of 1,000 (CD ONLY)
– Band celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2010
– All tracks re-mastered in 2010 by Jamie King

ONE NIGHT STAND (Deluxe Edition)
Street Date: 9/14/2010

Track List:
1. Guns Say Fire
2. Ticket To The Moon
3. I’ll Come Runnin’
4. Love’s Crashin’ Down
5. The X-tra Mile
6. One Of These Days
7. Wake Up!
8. Home Is Where The Heart Is
9. The Doctor Is In
10. Dead Man’s Hand
11. Seal It With A Kiss

Bonus Tracks:
13. Here Comes That Feeling
14. Judy
15. I Believe In You
16. Out Of The Blue
17. Seal It With A Kiss (Acoustic)

We are offering FREE SHIPPING within the United States for all PRE-ORDERS placed before album street date of 9/14/2010.

Buy Now

Divebomb Records

*** PRESS RELEASE #9 ***
-Escape Music News

Escape Music is proud to announce the release of much anticipated new album from Tom Galley — the creator of Phenomena — titled BLIND FAITH on September 24th, 2010!

The album features countless renowned musicians like Mike DeMeo (Riot & Masterplan), Rob Moratti & Ian Crichton (Saga), Tony Martin (Black Sabbath), Ralf Scheepers & Mat Sinner (Primal Fear), Mikael Erlandsson (Salute & Last Autumn’s Dreams), Chris Ousey (Heartland), Steve Overland (Overland, FM), Terry Brock (Giant & Strangeways), and many more!

People should learn to expect a little awe and mystery. Phenomena takes us upon a journey where there is nothing pretty about the protagonists of the story that we shall meet along the way. The subject is good against evil. The story began in the year 1983, when Tom Galley wrote a couple of short stories with a transcendental background. Backed by record label Bronze, the recordings for the album PHENOMENA started soon which finally hit the stores in 1985. Besides the extraordinary concept story both musicianship and the names involved with the project are highlights to mention. Names such as Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, HTP), drum legend Cozy Powell (Rainbow, Whitesnake, a.o.), Don Airey (Deep Purple), Neil Murray (Whitesnake) — the elite of the British Hard Rock scene had joined the project. PHENOMENA received high critical acclaim in the press and is now continuing their story with BLIND FAITH.

Salute come flying back with a new recording hot on the heels of last year’s TOY SOLDIER!

Mikael Erlandsson is one of the best singer/songwriters in Sweden today with a successful career as a solo artist, especially in Europe and Japan. He has such a distinctive husky voice and many will recognise as the lead vocalist and keyboards player for Last Autumn’s Dream. Any fan of LAD will love Salute, simple because Mikael is the singer, but this band should be respected on its own merits as they are a breed apart when it comes to fantastic melodic rock. Many will already know that Martin Kronlund is a world class producer and guitar player and his work shows on this outstanding CD. Powerful harmonies, crunching guitars and beautiful keyboards are the order of the day. Imre Daun (Don Patrol, Gypsy Rose) is still on the drum stool and he plays his heart out. The addition of special guest Henrik Thomsen on bass from the band Hope is a great touch and his contribution is excellent. David Reece (Bangalore Choir, Sircle Of Silence) also helps out with backing vocals.

The album HEART OF THE MACHINE is released in September 24th, 2010.

Escape Music

*** PRESS RELEASE #10 ***
-EMA-Polydisc Releases Mike Portnoy / S.A. Adams 1986 Recording UNEARTHED

EMA-Polydisc has acquired the rights to release all past and future recordings of S.A. Adams; debuting with UNEARTHED — the never-before-released 1986 recordings by Adams and Dream Theater / Avenged Sevenfold’s Mike Portnoy — recorded between December 28, 1985 and January 11, 1986 at Mike Portnoy’s Long Beach apartment. Citing the influence of bands such as Motorhead, Exciter, Raven, early Megadeth, Venom and Tank, Adams, in an early 2006 press release warns “The material on UNEARTHED is definitely NOT progressive rock/prog-stuff — it’s serious sledgehammer-in-the-balls metal. No odd & changing time signatures for anyone here.” Originally scheduled for release that spring of 2006, UNEARTHED had to find another “home” due to the original release label’s bankruptcy.

The UNEARTHED sessions were intended to supplement Adams & Portnoy’s June 30th, 1985 recording a nine song demo/cassette album financed by Kick Ass Monthly journalist Bob Muldowney, who tapped Adams to produce a catalog of music Muldowney was to sing his own penned lyrics over. Aside from including lyrical content that even managed to offend other underground metal fanzines, the recording generated a contract offer from Combat Record’s “Boot Camp” Series. “Wanting to make sure we could fulfill the content obligations, a plan was implemented to stockpile as much music as possible; which Mike & I accomplished that winter. However, once I saw the enslavement papers, I mean, contract, the project got put aside.” A few weeks later, Portnoy informed Adams that he’d be putting all his energy into his new band Majesty, leaving Adams to dabble with these multi-track masters throughout the late ’80s and begin the solo career he still enjoys today.

EMA-Polydisc has issued UNEARTHED digitally with availability on iTunes, AmazonMP3, Napster, Loud Trax and other DRM-free outlets.

FnA Records has issued the standard CD, and a limited edition version which comes with a 4×6 autographed by both Mike Portnoy & S.A. Adams.

UNEARTHED Track Listing

1. Paste The Glass
2. Kiss Of Death
3. Love Dies
4. Too Far Gone
5. Sex
6. War
7. 2 Steps
8. Moths
9. High Plains Drifter
10. 1986
11. Chapter Closed
12. You Smell Like…
13. Degeneration
14. The Stage Door


EMA/Polydisc and FnA Records
806 Stockell St.
Nashville, TN 37207

*** PRESS RELEASE #11 ***
-Revolver Gears Up For Autumn


Hi everyone things have been brewing here in our camp and wanted to give you an update, first of all we hope that everyone had a great summer. We’ve been working on completing our next studio release and have just released our new single “Wasteland” that is available to listen and/or purchase on our Web site http://www.revolvertv.com/ and iTunes.

We had an amazing summer playing some shows and we’re gearing up for autumn in Canada and looking forward to Europe in 2011. Everything is lining up and we’re ready to unleash some more of our new songs to radio and online very shortly.

Check out these links:

Interview with Cambridge Times – Nick Walsh is still having a “Helluvatime:”

Digital Music Store now fixed and working for downloads:

Kisses For Haley

HALEY NEEDS OUR HELP, all you have to do is download the “Blue Sky” song for $0.99. Our goal is to reach 10,000 paid downloads of our song “Blue Sky” by October 31st, 2010 in an effort to raise money for Haley’s initial visit to the MAYO CLINIC in the United States.

PURCHASE THE DOWNLOAD with the link below and help her out now!

Haley is 10 years old and was diagnosed with a rare brain injury called Arteriovenous Malformation on Jan 26th… Doctors in Canada do not have the skill set to help her but the Mayo Clinic in the United States has a team of 50 neurosurgeons, vascular surgeons and pediatric surgeons who all specialize in Brain AVMS. Our goal is to raise enough money with the download of “Blue Sky” to send her on her way to get some help. We need your help, thank you!!

DONATIONS can also be made at http://haleystewart.chipin.com/fundraiser

All proceeds going to the ‘Kisses for Haley c/o The Daisy Foundation – Charity #893611228′

METALZONE fanclub Account Activation:

Some of you have already activated your account and are using the METALZONE metal community with some of these cool features:

– sharing of photos and videos;
– posting on the wall;
– creating new groups;
– and best of all meeting and communicating with like minded friends from around the world.

If you too would like to activate your account then it’s easy, click on this link:


Once there, select the “Resend Activation Code” and you’ll then be sent an email to activate and then login to start updating your profile. To login, your temporary password is: passtemp which can be changed once you are inside.



*** PRESS RELEASE #12 ***
-Radiant Records News

We have a exciting new disc for you to check out! We have just received the wonderful ANGLEFIRE CD from Steve Morse and Sarah Spencer. Here’s some info about it:

Steve Morse And Sarah Spencer – ANGELFIRE

It was only a matter of time. Steve Morse’s career has encompassed everything from bluegrass, to jazz fusion, to hard rock. Whether writing and performing with the Dixie Dregs, Kansas, or (currently) Deep Purple, Steve’s unique approach to guitar has earned him a place among the instrument’s most respect artists. Meanwhile, a young prodigy has been honing her skills as a singer and songwriter, waiting for her moment. A chance meeting between the two begins a musical partnership between master and apprentice, yet artists of different domains. Steve’s dynamic, virtuoso style melds with Sarah’s passionate singing and pop sensibility. At first recalling Sarah McLachlan meets John McLaughlin, or Allison Krauss & Robert Plant; ANGELFIRE soars beyond compare and into the hearts of audiences hungry for unique new music.

Track Listing:

1. Far Gone Now (3:50)
2. Everything To Live For (4:30)
3. Feelings Are Overrated (3:39)
4. What Made You Think? (2:57)
5. Here Today (3:55)
6. Get Away (4:25)
7. Pleasant Surprise (3:48)
8. Terrible Thing To Lose (4:18)
9. Omnis Morse Aequat (3:36)
10. Take It Or Leave It (3:57)
11. Urban Decay (4:18)

Available now at http://www.radiantrecords.com/ .

Cherie Morse
Radiant Records

*** PRESS RELEASE #13 ***
-Death Angel: Public Listening Party + Limited Package Deals Available!

San Francisco Bay Area thrash legends Death Angel will hold a public listening party for their new album RELENTLESS RETRIBUTION on Thursday, September 2nd at Bender’s Bar and Grill in San Francisco, CA.

This 21+ event has no cover charge and will start at 9 p.m. The members of the band will be present to mingle and sign stuff for the fans, and drummer Will Carroll will be DJing later in the evening as well. Death Angel promises that there will be door prizes, free stuff, drink specials and good times had by all.

“We are extremely proud and excited to invite our family, friends AND fans to our listening party for the new album,” commented guitarist Rob Cavestany. “Usually invitations to these events are reserved for industry only but in this case we wanted to do something different and out of the box. We want it to be a true celebration with the people that REALLY matter! So come one, come all! Have a drink with us at the exact moment that RELENTLESS RETRIBUTION is released to the rest of the world! See ya there!”

Bender’s Bar and Grill
806 South Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94110-1911
Phone: 415-824-1800

Death Angel’s new album RELENTLESS RETRIBUTION is set for release on September 3rd in Europe and the 14th in North America via Nuclear Blast Records.

“Claws In So Deep” features performances by the popular acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. The track “Truce” also features a guest guitar solo by Producer Jason Suecof.

Preorder a copy of the album with or without an exclusive shirt design at the Nuclear Blast USA Web Shop:



*** PRESS RELEASE #14 ***
-Swashbuckle: CRIME ALWAYS PAYS!

New Jerseys pirate themed thrash metal maniacs Swashbuckle have revealed the cover artwork and track listing of their forthcoming album CRIME ALWAYS PAYS…

The album will be released via Nuclear Blast on September 10th in Europe and TBA in North America.

Commented vocalist/bassit Admiral Nobeard:

“CRIME ALWAYS PAYS… is our heaviest and fastest record to date. It’ll tear your head off of your neck and shove a pegleg in your eye-sockets. We’re proud to have Nuclear Blast release this malicious metal madness, and we’re sure you’ll all be pleased with the shennanigans that are about to ensue. Thrash Hard, Mosh Fast, and Leave a Decaying Corpse swingin’ from the noose! AVAST!”

The track listing is as follows:

01. Slowly Wept The Sea
02. We Are The Storm
03. This Round’s On YOU!
04. Powder Keg
05. Where Victory Is Penned
06. Of Hooks And Hornswogglers
07. A Time Of Wooden Ships & Iron Men
08. Crime Always Pays
09. Raw Doggin’ At The Raw Bar
10. The Gallow’s Pole Dancer
11. Legacy’s Allure
12. At The Bottom Of A Glass
13. To Steal A Life
14. You Bring The Cannon, We’ll Bring The Balls
15. Surf-N-Turf (For Piratical Girth)
16. Rope’s End

CRIME ALWAYS PAYS… was recorded at The Sound of Revolution Studios in Ewing, NJ, with engineer Len Carmichael, whom the band worked with on BACK TO THE NOOSE.


*** PRESS RELEASE #15 ***
-Healing Sixes Complete Work On New Album BLUEJAY, Prepping Fall 2010 Tour

Healing Sixes are out to prove that blues rock is as healthy and vibrant as ever. And they’ve done an exceptional job thus far — releasing a handful of outstanding albums, and playing alongside some of the most renowned names in rock royalty. Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, and consisting of band members Doug Henthorn (vocals, guitar), Eric Saylors (guitar), Wade Parish (drums), and Jeff Stone (bass), Healing Sixes has released a total of three studio albums thus far, 1998’s MAPLE; 2002’s ENORMOSOUND; and 2007’s ONE LESS FRIEND TO IGNORE, as well as an exceptional live DVD, 2008’s LIVE AT HARBY’S, which captures the band in an intimate, acoustic setting.

Previously, Healing Sixes has played shows alongside the likes of Ted Nugent, Bret Michaels, The Why Store, Todd Rundgren, Night Ranger, Blue Oyster Cult, and Hoobastank (among countless others), and welcomed none other than drummer Jason Bonham into their band for several years. The album on which Bonham appears, ENORMOSOUND, was also overseen by much in-demand producer, Kevin Shirley. Additionally, Healing Sixes’ new album, BLUEJAY (which comes out Tuesday, September 7th, 2010), marks the first time that the previously released single, “Fine Time,” which features blues virtuoso Joe Bonamassa on guitar, has appeared on a full-length release. The tune was originally issued as a maxi-single in 2009, and has been played regularly on such respected rock stations as WFBQ, WTTS, WRZX, WKHY, and WLBC.

Currently, Healing Sixes are hard at work in the studio, putting the finishing touches on BLUEJAY (which will be available for purchase via iTunes, Amazon, Napster, Rhapsody, ItsAboutMusic.com, and the band’s Web site on September 7th, 2010) — the follow-up to ONE LESS FRIEND TO IGNORE. The quartet has been able to keep their live chops up by playing several shows this summer, and will be hitting the tour trail more thoroughly come the Fall, when the announce a string of U.S. dates to support their forthcoming album.

Healing Sixes are always about emphasizing that their songs create a strong, vibrant — yet never formulated — rock sound, which will undoubtedly be on display once more on their forthcoming studio album. Get ready to rock once more with Healing Sixes!


SEPT 4 – RIBFEST @ MILITARY PARK – INDIANAPOLIS, IN – w/ Ted Nugent; on stage @ 1:15 p.m.
SEPT 4 – SAND BAR – CRAWFORDSVILLE, IN – nighttime show
SEPT 12 – RATHSKELLAR – INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Doug & Eric special acoustic opener for Cowboy Mouth
SEPT 17 – LAFAYETTE BREWING CO. – LAFAYETTE, IN – special guests Stereo Deluxe
SEPT 23 – THE VERVE – TERRE HAUTE, IN – special guests Stereo Deluxe
OCT 1 – BILLYS LOUNGE – GRAND RAPIDS, MI – w/ The Steepwater Band
OCT 15 – RADIO RADIO – INDIANAPOLIS, IN – w/ The Steepwater Band & Fred Shafer / Official BLUEJAY Release show
OCT 16 – HOUSE OF BLUES – CHICAGO, IL – w/ The Steepwater Band
OCT 21 – SOUTHGATE HOUSE – CINCINNATI, OH – w/ The Steepwater Band
OCT 22 – HARD ROCK CAFÉ – PITTSBURGH, PA – w/ The Steepwater Band
OCT 23 – CICEROS – ST. LOUIS, MO – w/ Shooting With Annie
OCT 29 – NINOS – FINDLAY, OH – w/ Fred Shafer


For more information, visit:


*** PRESS RELEASE #16 ***
-Nightfall Launch Video Clip For “Ambassador Of Mass” Exclusively On Landing Page

Greek Metal Gods Nightfall have launched the first video clip for their upcoming new album ASTRON BLACK AND THE THIRTY TYRANTS on their landing page. Click http://www.metalblade.com/nightfall/ to check out the clip for the song “Ambassador Of Mass!”

Nightfall singer Efthimis Karadimas comments the clip: “The story depicted is inspired by the Greco-Persian wars in the 5th century BC. The video is purely based on the ancient technique of Shadow Puppet Theatre evolved and widely used in different areas of the world eons ago. Every character, ship, map, etc you see in it has been built from scratch especially for that motion clip. The video has been directed by Achilleas Gatsopoulos, a prominent master of visual arts, based in the city of Berlin. I am sure you haven’t seen anything similar around!”

Comments director Achilleas Gatsopoulos: “After our initial talks and meetings with Efthimis, we decided to approach the video in a challenging and unconventional way. We chose to use shadow puppetry and push its boundaries through modern technology in order to create something really unique; something that could best convey the epic scale of our story. Considerable research ensued, and the storyline was constructed according to the structure and lyrics of the song, sprinkled with a touch of mythology, while staying true to the actual historical facts. The design and construction of the puppets were done in collaboration with fine artist Hara Kolaiti, referencing on the one hand the Ancient Greek vases’ depictions of Greek warriors of the time, and on the other, the numerous detailed reliefs of Xerxes and his warriors in Persepolis. In total, more than thirty meticulously detailed puppets and backgrounds were created for the video. These were shot one by one and then composited into scenes digitally. The aim was to take Shadow Puppetry as a traditional medium, and explore its cinematic potential. Thus, scenes were created both in two dimensional space, as well as in three dimensional epic camera shots. The result is a truly original and unconventional music video that best complements Efthimis’ musical vision.”

The band claims ASTRON BLACK AND THE THIRTY TYRANTS is the best Nightfall album so far, raising expectations to the maximum. “We have worked hard and we’ve put lots energy and effort in the details of the production. The outcome is massive and believe can attract any metal fan’s attention.”

The powerful Athenian act is now running on an ingenious combustible engine made of Greek, American and German blend and is aiming high. Dare to join!

The album’s artwork has been created by Travis Smith (Opeth, Death, Nevermore, Katatonia, a.o.). It is unique and beyond Mr. Smith’s typical patterns.

ASTRON BLACK AND THE THIRTY TYRANTS was recorded in various places with Soundlodge (Germany) being the main studio. It has been produced by Efthimis Karadimas (‘Athenian Echoes’) and co produced by Jorg Uken (known from his work with God Dethroned, Dew Scented, and Sinister).

1. Intro
2. Astron Black
3. Astronomica / Saturnian Moon
4. Astra Planeta / We Chose The Sun
5. Ambassador Of Mass
6. The Criterion
7. Asebeia
8. I-I
9. Archon Basileus
10. Proxima Centauri / Dead Bodies
11. The Thirty Tyrants
12. Epsilon Lyrae

ASTRON BLACK AND THE THIRTY TYRANTS will be released on August 27/30 in Europe and on August 31 in North America. Pre-order the CD for just 12,99 Euro at http://www.emp.de/ !


*** PRESS RELEASE #17 ***
-Two Side Moon/SLW Promotions Update

Two Side Moon Promotions are very excited to welcome back to the party Canada’s Equal Loudness Curve.

Please find below the text info for the AWESOME new album 440.

Band: Equal Loudness Curve
Album Title: 440
Street Date: Fall 2010
Genre: Hard Rock


Equal Loudness Curve is a blues-based hard rock band cranking out the perfect soundtrack to an ice-cold beer, super cool ride or hot, sweaty summer night. At once familiar and new, rediscover why you fell in love with rock and roll.

440 is ELC’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed LET IT ROLL, which featured the top ten single “Too Damn Lazy,” peaking at number 5 and charting for 16 weeks in 2008 on 92.9 KICK FM in Winnipeg along with interviews in European magazines such as Powerplay. The new album is another blistering concoction of straight-ahead balls out rock and roll in the vein of vintage Thin Lizzy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, GOAT’s HEAD SOUP-era Stones, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and Bachman Turner Overdrive, cool filtered through prairie skies and endless highways. This is hard rock and roll road music in its purest form. Put the pedal to the metal, turn it up LOUD and enjoy the ride.

“In the city of Winnipeg we have a wonderful, iconic music scene that goes back about five decades. We have given the world some phenomenal music and I really believe inside that Equal Loudness Curve will continue that legacy.” – Howard Mandshein, 92.1 CITI FM

“440 lets you forget about your worries and lose yourself on the open road; it’s a high octane fueled ride reminiscent of the glory days of rock n’ roll.” – Shannah-Lee Vidal, Mix 100 FM CJCD

“From the first track on 440 you know Equal Loudness Curve is high octane rock and roll! Great band.” – Casey Norman, POWER 97.5 CJKR FM

“Twice as big, twice as loud, Equal Loudness Curve lays down a mean groove with the lead track and never looks back. Anthems galore; the lazy chug of Summer Moon drenched in hot summer night humidity, a tribute to the godfather of gonzo (‘Hunter’), and the sexual heat of ‘I Like It.'” – Broose Tulloch, 92.9 KICK FM

“A determined effort to break beyond their local scene, Equal Loudness Curve have taken pointers from the bands that have inspired them and developed a sound all their own.” – Vanguard UK

“Honest, loud, rowdy & fun are keywords when you want to describe a band like Equal Loudness Curve. Rock with a capital R, monstrous riffing, sneering & spitting voices.” – Rockreport.be

100% CanCon

Band Lineup:
Trevor Knox Millar – Guitar/Vocals
Lloyd Peterson – Organ/Piano/Vocals
Jake Jacobs – Bass
Steve Pennicook – Drums
Wendy Cameron – Vocals
Ken Smutylo – Congas/Djembe

Track Listing:
1. So Glad To See You
2. Dusty Road
3. Wicked Woman
4. Summer Moon
5. I Like It
6. You Won’t Catch Me
7. Try To Forget You
8. I Know What I Said
9. Hunter
10. Down Here In The Sludge
11. Common Sense
12. Wasted

Two Side Moon Promotions are very excited to welcome to the party Norwegian rising star’s The Action Five.

Please find below the text info for the new E.P. IDAHO.

Band: The Action Five
Title: IDAHO
Label: The Action Five
Street date: 01.10.10


With one foot set in scandi rock whilst the other stamps around wherever it may, we are now talking Actionrock! Occasionally, with a base of heavy melancholic minor chords, The Action Five tops their tunes with three chords rock ‘n roll straight from the assembly lines of Detroit! These boys are combining juvenile delinquency with refined mature vocal harmonies in such ways both heart and soul are lit!

The band was formed in Trondheim, Norway late 2008 by the two guitarists Ola Pepps Harstad and Terry Legal and they were soon joined by Magnus Mortensen on bass and Trommas Øvervik on drums. The Action Five did one gig as a four piece and then decided they would need a lead vocalist to complete the lineup. Singer Endre Forbord had recently returned to Trondheim from London and soon joined the band as the fifth and final member.

From the beginning of 2008 the band has been working hard to fuel the audience with a high energy live show not seen often on the Norwegian live scene, and the tight hard-working rhythm and guitar section gives the authoritarian though passionate vocals a solid foundation to stand on.

Band Lineup:
Lead Vocals: Endre Forbord
Bass: Magnus Mortensen
Drums: Thomas Øvervik
Guiitar: Ola Harstad
Guitar: Terje Bjørndahl

Track Listing:
1. Idaho
2. Stuck In My Seat
3. Get Your Kicks

Two Side Moon Promotions are very excited to welcome to the party California’s Ransom Briggs.

Please find below the text info for the new CD THE SKY’S THE LIMIT.

Band: Ransom Briggs
Genre: Classic Rock
Street date: Out Now


Becoming a musician at the early age of… well, before birth, Ransom was exposed to rhythm while his nine month pregnant mother played drums in his father’s rock band — The Bonnie Gringo Band. Tim Briggs, Ransom’s Father, went on to play with the legendary country group Alabama for 10 years.

Ransom Briggs is a second generation musician and began his career in music by opening for big name bands such as Lori Morgan, the Dixie Chicks, Collin Ray, and Alabama. This was a huge learning experience for Ransom. Highlights include Nashville, TN’s largest annual music event, FanFair, as well as recording in the studio with bass player Teddy Gentry of Alabama.

Ransom and his brother James Briggs went on to form a band in Jacksonville/Daytona called Hit-N-Run, which later opened for big bands such as Bad Company, Cheap Trick, Eddie Money, Starship, Blackfoot, and Atlanta Rhythm Section… to name a few!

Joining her brothers on the stage, the youngest Briggs sibling to finally follow in their footsteps, Samantha Briggs brought pizzazz with her dancing, singing, and guitar playing. Adding the third part harmony to the vocals and playing her guitar made the music complete.

Now living in California, Ransom has recorded, written, performed, produced, and engineered all of these new songs for the CD and he’s ready to step out on his own!

Track Listing:
1. Beautifully Used
2. Just Say Go
3. Medicine Man
4. Threshold
5. The Sky’s The Limit
6. Rock & Roll Man
7. Come Down
8. To Be Broken
9. Change
10. Farewell Song

Two Side Moon Promotions are very excited to welcome back to the party Applespacebar, from the U.S.A.

Please find below the text info for the new album SONGS YOU MIGHT LIKE.

Band: Applespacebar
Record Label: Tangent Music Group
Street Date: Out Now
Influences: Foo Fighters, 30 Seconds To Mars, 3 Doors Down, Death Cab For Cutie, The Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Collective Soul


Applespacebar’s mission when writing a song is to act as if it’s the only song they will ever write and that it will be the only song of theirs the listener will ever hear. So it has to be right.

The first reaction most people have when they hear the band name Applespacebar is huh? Ben Trexel (guitars, production) and Johnny Nine (lead vocal and keys), the two founders of the band, spend so much time in the recording studio that they found themselves constantly saying the phrase “Apple Spacebar.” Since this is the keyboard shortcut on their DAW of choice which initiates the recording process (Digidesign Pro-Tools), they found the name fitting for their endeavors. The two studio rats’ specific goal when they approach writing music is to impress one another while creating ear candy that gets their collective heads nodding.

Applespacebar’s sound is the culmination of many years of exposure to the grand soundscape of music that has crossed their paths. They do not feel the need to reinvent the wheel but rather to put some new tread on the tires. With the addition of Lake Trechsel on drums and Patick Prantl on guitar, the ensemble was complete. Their debut album, WELCOME TO THE DREAM, released in January, 2009, on their own Tangent Music label, boasts eleven tracks of solidly crafted songs reflecting a variety of influences. The standout songs, “Blinded,” “Imagine,” and “Sunday Mourning,” have quickly circulated the internet radio world and established Applespacebar as a contender in the new music economy.

Trexel states, “I think every artist strives to evoke a mood, a feeling among listeners similar to ones they had when they were younger listening to their heroes. For me it was Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, CSN, and early Aerosmith. But I also love many modern groups who have built on that legacy of the past but still manage to form a new and unique sound, most notably Stone Temple Pilots, Tool, Foo Fighters, and Coldplay. If we can add some enjoyment and emotional impact for our listeners while adding new elements to the vocabulary of popular rock, then we have done our job.”

Building on the success of their debut release, Applespacebar released their second full-length CD, SONGS YOU MIGHT LIKE, in May, 2010. STAY TUNED.

Band Lineup:
Johnny Nine – Vocals/Lyrics/Keys
Ben Trexel – Guitars/Bass/Production
Patrick Prantl – Guitars
Lake Trechsel – Drums

Track Listing:
1. Bright Like Shine
2. Little Box Of Secrets
3. Let Me Down Easy
4. To Whom It May Concern
5. Simplify
6. Hope
7. Can’t Make You Believe
8. Picture This
9. The Extra Mile
10. Winners and Losers
11. Let Us Live

Two Side Moon Promotions are very excited to welcome back to the party Argentina’s Fughu.

Please find below the text info for the AWESOME new album ABSENCE.

Band: Fughu
Album Title: ABSENCE
Street Date: Out Now
Genre: Progressive Metal



The band was conceived on 31 January at 23:35 p.m. in the bizarre minds of Ariel Bellizio (guitar) and Alejandro Lopez (drums) in the neighbourhood of Saavedra, Buenos Aires Argentina in 1998 or earlier; horrifying the children of a school that no longer exists playing songs like “Holy Wars” by Megadeth. Of course, after the show they were banned for life. Some of the students from that school can been seen today headbanging in Fughu’s shows. Time passed by and with the addition of Marcelo Malmierca on keyboards, Juan Manuel L6pez on bass and Santiago BOrgi on vocals, the quintet released their album ABSENCE which led them to be elected by Dream Theater to open their show in Argentina.

Fugu, Japanese name for the blowfish, is considered a plate as esquisite as dangerous, which particularity resides in the poisonous character that lies in certain sectors of the the fish itself.

Lords Of Metal
“What a band we have herel this is their full-length debut. Fughu hereby brings us a musical realm of its own. Yes, the influence of seventies prog is never far away, but the band hasn’t been sleeping and has noticed the different time we’re living In, thus making their sound very fresh and different. Their music can be described as very vivid and mostly very brooding …”

Progression Magazine
“Into opening track ‘Ashes,’ this band already has laid most of its cards on the table (all aces): incredibly nimble technical chops, gymnastic meter changes, slamming rhythms and a wall-of-sound symphonic orchestrations. By third track ‘Storm;’ the band is mixing in quieter passages, Jazzy keyboard breaks, etc. The shifts in dynamics are stimulating, often fascinating” rating 15/16

“The album can be described as progressive metal in the vein of Dream Theater in Symphony X, though Fughu does have their own sound. It contains 12 songs, and is definitely worth a listen for someone looking for some good new progressive metal…”

El Retorno del Gigante
“El disco contiene doce temas, sinceramente, no me gustarfa comentar ninguno en particular ya que todo el album me pareclo excelente, sin puntos flojos, esos discos que uno escucha, de corrido, y de punta a punta sin dudar”

“Die mlt zahlreichen Finessen gespickten Kompositionen slnd gut durchdacht und wirken bei Weitem nicht so vorhersehbar, wie inzwischen vieles, das sich heutzutage Prog Rock nennen darf.”

Revista Jedbangers
“Con todo esto dicho, hay un factor fundamental que realza el resultado final: la banda en ningun momento se olvida de que el virtuosismo debe ser funcional a la canclon, y en 105 12 tracks del CD queda dara esta virtud …”

Sea of Tranquility
“Vocalist Santiago Burgi is a member of the most famous theatrical troupe in Argentina, and his expressive singing emerges as a key element of Fughu’s music. ‘Storm’ roars with aggressive guitars and Burgi’s cries of desperation, while Marcelo Malmierca’s majestic keys dominate ‘Tilt,’ …”

Pro~ressive Waves
“Porte par la voix assez incroyable de Santiago Burgi, capable de vocalises et de rnontees dans les aigus impressionnantes, Fughu nous propose un metal a la fois technique et rnelodlque, le premier aspect ne venant que rarement denaturer le second. Ashes pose ainsi des fondations solides, variant les themes et proposant des breaks certes peu surprenants mais plut6t rafraichissants …”

Caerllysi Music
“12 tracks that make up a diverse album, and also powerful and without compromises …”

Metal Review
“ABSENCE sounds fantastic. It’s rather amazing that the balance of all this progginess, with its obligatory intricate layering and billowing sonics, has been so effectively captured on the bard’s apparently DIY budget …”

“Hmm …, no tak, progresywny rock z Argentyny, album ABSENCE grupy Fughu. Powiem krotko: CZad (przez duze’CZ’!). Nie bez przyczyny ten zespol supportowal grup~ Dream Theater na jej poprzedniej trasle.koncertowe] …”

“Los temas instrumentales ‘Tilt’y ‘Red V’; nos muestran (una vez rnas) que cada musico da catedra con su instrumento. Y de la voz que decir, es en cierta forma la que impone el sello de la band a, destacandola por sobre otras, y no por ser una voz excelente ni de un registro envidiable, si no por hacerlo de una forma muy propia y expresiva.,”

“Vokalistens lyse, stilsikre og innlevende vokal bcerer latene og den gode melodien pa en trygg og overbevisende mate. Det samme ma sies om musikerne for 0vrig …”

Metal Underground
“This Argentinean brew has substantial musical counterpoints to the metal aspect of it, while maintaining a triumphant feel and complex musical heights. Fun and full of life, ABSENCE is a fulfilling album you will keep coming back to time and again …”

Revista Requiem
“Fughu suena como un todo, una unidad compleja, maciza y cristalina como un diamante”

Latin Metal
“ABSENCE es, entonces, la ausencia de todo limite, algo que deja el campo abierto a 105 antojos musicales de 105 miembros de Fughu … As! como tarnblen despierta el apetito del publico sobre un manjar delicioso pero de efecto irreversible en quien ose consumirlo. Y ese efecto, es el de querer escuchar siempre un poco mas …”

Diario Clarfn – Suplemento 51
“El disco debut de la banda de metal progresivo se destaca por 105 cuidados arreglos y el virtuosismo de 105 muskos, La seguidilla salvaje de temas se interrumpe solo con las pausas baladezcas y 105 puentes breves.”

Revista Rock Estatal- (Espana)
“Que la mftica banda americana de rock progresivo Dream Theater te escoja como telonero para su gira por America del Sur con tan solo un disco en tu haber, es una serial de 10 bien que estan empezando las cosas para Fughu. ABSENCE es una obra maestra que la joven forrnaclon de Buenos Aires ha editado por su propia cuenta, con un resultado digno de la experiencia de un grupo con unos cuantos discos a sus espaldas, y que suena muy al estilo de 105 norteamericanos. Doce temas cargados de fuerza, de melodias, con el virtuosismo como santo y seria del grupo, una potente voz, incontables riffs de guitarra e inverosimiles y constantes cambios de ritmo, donde los tedadoscrean atmosferas sobre las que surgen largos pasajes instrumentales e, induso, introduciendo ciertos toques folkl6ricos al mas puro estilo del rango Argentino, como en ‘Tilt;’ ‘Snow;’ ‘Solitude; 0 ‘Red V;’ sonando asi de forma muy particular. Y todo ello con canciones de corta duradon, sin excederse, consiguiendo asi una escucha agil y f1uida.”

Band Lineup:
Santiago Burgi
Ariel Bellizio
Marcelo Malmierca
Juanmanuel Lopez
Alejandro Lopez

Track Listing:
1. Ashes
2. Dead End Start
3. Storm
4. Tilt
5. Slow
6. Absence
7. Snow
8. Solitude
9. Sun
10. Red V
11. Get Me (Inside)
12. Pain Craving Broken Stop

TSM/SLW Promotions

*** PRESS RELEASE #18 ***
-Therion: SITRA AHRA Video Contest!

Swedish symphonic legends Therion will release their new masterpiece SITRA AHRA on September 17th (Europe) and October 26 (North America)!

Now we need you and your creative skills: mastermind and guitar wizard Christofer Johnsson wants to see your ideas!

Shoot the video clip for the title track of “Sitra Ahra” and get some inspiration from the lyrics!

The lucky winner will be picked by Christofer Johnsson himself and will also get lots of cool prizes!


Mixed by Lennart Östlund (Led Zeppelin, ABBA) at the legendary Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, SITRA AHRA will be released later this year.

In regards to the new album, Therion mastermind Christofer Johnsson stated back in February, “Expect something spectacular, even by Therion’s standards!”

Track List:
01. Sitra Ahra
02. Kings Of Edom
03. Unguentum Sabbati
04. Land Of Canaan
05. Hellequin
06. 2012
07. Cu Chulain
08. Kali Yoga III
09. The Shells Are Open
10. Din
11. After The Inquisition: Children


*** PRESS RELEASE #19 ***
-Sinch Reveals Plans For First “Fan Funded” Album

More Than $11,000 Already Donated by Fans

After a major record deal, countless U.S. tours and a highly-successful debut album, Sinch has cemented itself as one of the most innovative artists of the 1990s. Today, nearly seven years since their departure from Roadrunner Records and a brief stint with indie label Rock Ridge Music, Sinch continues to reinvent itself… only this time they’re doing it all on their own. Currently working on their first album in nearly five years, Sinch is literally taking matters into their own hands and they’re inviting their fans to help.

The band, who has always found ways to personally connect with their audience, is not only soliciting feedback on their new material, they’re actually asking their fans to help finance it as well. Kicking off their “fan funded album” project with a simple message on its Web site asking fans for donations, the group has since launched an entire page dedicated to the program and in the process raised close $12,000.

“We’ve been down the label road a couple different times and a couple different ways (major vs. indie) and we finally decided to get back to what’s important: making music that we’re excited about and getting it out to our fans,” said lead vocalist Jamie Stem.

Sinch’s mission is to raise $20,000 for the recording, producing and manufacturing of the album, a goal that they are confident that they can reach within the next few months. Structuring the program so that fans can donate as little as $10.00 or as much as $5,000.00, the band believes that the “fan funded album” not only allows its audiences to be more engaged with the music but also offers the opportunity for them to be a part of a huge milestone for the band. Sponsors also receive bonuses that other fans aren’t eligible for, including free MP3s, signed finished CDs, limited edition posters and T-shirts and for those paying top dollar ($5,000.00+), autographed gear, including cymbals, guitars and more, and a credit on the CD as “Executive Producer.”

“At one time it would have been really hard to record an album without signing with a label but that’s not the case anymore,” said drummer Dan McFarland.”We’ve been playing music and putting out albums for over 15 years now. We’ve put stuff out on major labels, on indie labels and even on our own but when we stop and ask ourselves what we really want to do the answer is pretty simple: We want to keep making music, have fun doing it and get it out to everyone who wants to hear it.”

Sinch’s new album is scheduled for an early Spring 2011 release. For more information about the band visit http://www.Sinch.net/ .

For information about the “fan funded album,” visit http://contribute.sinch.net/ .

*** PRESS RELEASE #20 ***
-Earthride: Kings Of Maryland Biker Doom Unleash New Record

Long running Maryland biker doom masters Earthride recently unleashed their third full-length entitled SOMETHING WICKED. The nine-track offering was recorded, mixed and mastered by Chris Kozlowski (Blue Cheer, Pentagram, Melvins, Trouble, et al) at the Polar Bear Lair and features a guest appearances by Scott “Wino” Weinrich (Saint Vitus, Shrinebuilder, The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan) on the track “Supernatural Illusion.” In addition, the inside booklet includes actual X-rays and MRIs from various injuries sustained by all four Earthride members over the years. SOMETHING WICKED is available via the band’s own Earth Brain Records. Check out the Stephen Clay cover art here: http://tinyurl.com/29v3hrd


1. Something Wicked
2. Hacksaw Eyeball
3. Make Up Your Mind
4. Destruction Song
5. Zodiac
6. Watch The Children Play
7. Grip The Wheel
8. Supernatural Illusion
9. Force Fed Fear

“SOMETHING WICKED is definitely an Earthride album; all the elements are there. You’ve got the Clutch inspired waves of orange amplified riffage, the deep, grooving counterpoints of the rhythm section, and of course Sherman’s over-the-top vocal deliveries, which mix equal parts Lee Dorrian and Lemmy. And naturally, it’s heavy as f*ck.” — Riffrock.com


Dave Sherman – Vocals
Kyle Van Steinburg – Guitar
Eric Little – Drums
Rob Hampshire – Bass


*** PRESS RELEASE #21 ***
-The Empire Shall Fall: Oil Spill Relief T-Shirt

Rhode Island-based The Empire Shall Fall, featuring former Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse David Leach, are currently donating all proceeds from the sale of their latest T-shirt by Matt Yezuita to the Gulf Oil Disaster. Said bassist Nick Sollecito: “We wanted to help make a difference, even if it’s a very small difference. We decided to donate 100% of the proceeds of this shirt to Gulf Coast Wildlife Rescue ( http://www.gcwr.org/ ), a small organization in Texas, along the Gulf Coast. The devastation will take years to clean up. Hopefully, the money we raise can help out a few animals. This is something we consider to be very important, so if there was ever a time to buy a TESF shirt, now would be that time.”

To place your order, visit http://anglesideside.bigcartel.com/product/oil-spill-relief-t-shirt-tesf . Orders can be placed until Sunday, August 29 at midnight.

The Empire Shall Fall recently announced October 12 as the North American release date for AWAKEN, the band’s full-length debut. Recorded in 2009, AWAKEN was originally available for physical purchase via direct band merchandise outlets. Through the new cooperation with Restricted Records, in cooperation with Angle Side Side, the album will now be accessible via proper retail outlets throughout North America.

Formed in 2008, The Empire Shall Fall’s eclectic sound is rooted in metal/hardcore with the band citing luminaries At The Gates, Meshuggah and Edge Of Sanity as major inspiration. The band, featuring Leach and Sollecito alongside guitarists Jake Davenport and De Lisle and drummer Jeff Pitts, also draw heavily from their combined interests in jazz, punk, and experimental music. The band’s lyrics are fueled by political outrage; a passion that forms the backbone of the band and sets them apart from their peers.

“…a powerhouse of a record, crackling with intensity.” — Hails & Horns

“…a vast arsenal of aural weaponry.” — The PRP


*** PRESS RELEASE #22 ***
-Struck By Lightning 2xLP Available; New Live Video Posted

Struck By Lightning’s debut album SERPENTS is now available on vinyl, as the first release from newly founded vinyl-only label Soulless Creature Recordings. The double 12″ version features two 180-gram slabs of quality wax, the first pressing consisting of 500 copies in three color breakdowns, and are bound in hand-numbered gatefold jackets, featuring the album’s artwork by Ryan Patterson of Coliseum / Auxiliary Design. Photos and ordering info available at: http://www.soullesscreature.bigcartel.com and http://www.shirtkiller.com/ .

Soulless Creature Recordings was recently founded by Struck By Lightning front man Gregory Lahm (ex-Mouth Of The Architect), with the sole intent of unleashing high quality vinyl releases. SBL’s debut album SERPENTS was initially released in September of 2009 by Translation Loss Records, and the band has toured on the material throughout the U.S. over the past year. Following a killer tour alongside Black Cobra and Howl earlier this month, the band plan on taking a break from touring to write and a record their follow-up to SERPENTS, currently slated for a Spring 2011 release.

Watch for more info on Struck By Lightning, Soulless Creature Recordings and more in the coming months. In the meantime, some new live footage of SBL jamming “Nothing Sacred” down some Atlanta fans’ throats on the recent Black Cobra/Howl tour is posted at http://www.youtube.com/EarsplitPR#p/f/1/q5nT3kkCwAE .

“…D-beat anthems that are sad yet huge…” 8/10 – Decibel

“…less proggy than Mastodon and less brooding than Baroness, but still as intense as both.” – Alternative Press

“…annihilation you can almost hum.” 4/5 – Revolver

“…a terrific middle ground between High On Fire, Mastodon, and Disfear. Punk song structures with driving tempos, great metallic guitar work, and stellar vocal parts…” – Lambgoat

“…one of the year’s best albums, and probably the best album that Translation Loss has ever released.” – Cerebralmetalhead.com


-For more info/background on S.A. Adams and that UNEARTHED release featuring Mike Portnoy, check out http://fnarecords.net/artists/13-a/151-s-a-adams-unearthed .

-Denial Machine’s track “Silver Tongued Devil” is now streaming at http://denialmachine.net/ . It comes from the E.P. THE GAINSAYING OF KORAH that can be pre-ordered now, along with a free T-shirt (while supplies last). Pre-orders will be shipped on September 14; see http://denialmachine.net/buystuff.cfm for more. In other news, check out an interview with guitarist Mark Anderson at http://slowlyweblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/interview-mark-anderson/ .

-Congrats to Edguy bassist Tobias “Eggi” Exxel, whose son Julian was born on Friday, August 13. The band played the Wacken Open Air festival a few days prior, with Helloween bassist Markus Grosskopf waiting in the wings in case Exxel had to leave. Grosskopf did play two songs with the band, and also filled in for Exxel at the Bloodstock Festival in the U.K. on August 14. In related news, main man Tobias Sammet’s all-star Avantasia project has these live dates scheduled:

11/30 – Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland
12/1 – Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland
12/3 – Stadthalle, Lichtenfels, Germany
12/4 – All Karthalle, Kaufbeuren, Germany
12/18 – Esperantohalle, Fulda, Germany
12/19 – Grugahalle, Essen, Germany

See http://www.edguy.net/ and http://www.myspace.com/edguy for more on Edguy, and http://www.tobiassammet.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/tobiassammet for more on Sammet and Avantasia.

-Ion Dissonance’s CURSED is out now on Basick Records. Track list: “Cursed,” “You People Are Messed Up,” “The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same,” “This Is The Last Time I Repeat Myself,” “No Care Ever,” “After Everything That’s Happened, What Did You Expect?,” “We Like to Call This One…F*ck Off,” “Can Someone Please Explain This To Me?,” “Disaster In Sight,” “This is Considered Mere Formality,” “This Feels Like The End…,” “They’ll Never Know,” “Pallor” (iTunes only), “You People Are Messed Up” (Big Chocolate remix – European bonus CD track). The band will tour Europe in September. Check out an interview with MetalSucks at http://fburls.com/81-pfcAhZtC/t/cid/653354/sid/87604095 . See http://www.basickrecords.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/basickrecords for more.

-Upcoming show dates for The Iron Maidens:

8/27 – House Of Blues, Houston, TX – all ages
8/28 – House Of Blues, Dallas, TX – all ages
8/29 – Backstage Live, San Antonio, TX – all ages
9/11 – Angel’s Roadhouse 2, Apple Valley, CA – all ages
9/17 – Angel’s Roadhouse, Yucaipa, CA
9/18 – Second Wind, Santee, CA
9/25 – Santa Fe Springs Swapmeet, Santa Fe Springs, CA – all ages
9/30 – Dante’s, Portland, OR
10/1 – Bull Market Bar & Grill, Tacoma, WA – all ages
10/2 – The King Cat Theater, Seattle, WA – all ages
10/9 – The Rockyard @ Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, CA – all ages free show
10/14 – Brixton, Redondo Beach, CA
10/23 – The Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana, CA – all ages

The band will make a 1:30 p.m. in-store appearance August 29 at the Sam Ash store in San Antonio. See http://www.theironmaidens.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/theironmaidens for more.

-Check out the new James LaBrie song “One More Time” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yBxTQWYCuA .

-Check out one of the new spoof films Ozzy Osbourne’s using at concerts at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-ZPp8oopTY .

-Rush and VH1 Classic are teaming up to present “Rush Hashanah.” VH1 Classic will celebrate the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah with 24 hours of Rush content starting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 8. Expect to see the VH1 documentary “Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage,” the “Rush In Rio” concert, classic album programs on 2112 and MOVING PICTURES, and a repeat of the “That Metal Show” episode featuring Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. In related news, this past Monday the band made up a rescheduled show at Chicago’s Charter One Pavilion At Northerly Island, and handed out free Rush baseball caps to every fan in attendance. The caps say “Rush 1974 – 2112” on the front and “The Rain Date Chicago – 2010” on the back. See http://www.rush.com/ for more.

-Rusty Cage Records has folded.

-Joe Satriani will release BLACK SWANS AND WORMHOLE WIZARDS in the U.S. on October 5 through Epic Records.

-Drummer Snowy Shaw joined Dimmu Borgir’s touring lineup for one day before announcing his return to Therion.

Thanks to HeadbangerNYC.com and Bill “Superconductor” Kotowski for help gathering some of this information.

*** REVIEWS ***
8 tracks, RT: 36:16
[ http://www.myspace.com/bloodofkinguband ]
[ http://www.last.fm/music/Blood+of+Kingu ]
[ http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/candlelightrecords ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/candlelightrecordsusa ]
Sit back kids and let me tell you a story. Long ago in ancient Babylonia, reigned the god Kingu. Misfortune reared its ugly head and Kingu’s parents were slain by the murderous god Marduk. To hamper Marduk’s conquest to be ruler of the world, Kingu fought to the death! But all was not lost, for the humankind is what sprang from Kingu’s blood. So by now you can detect a certain passion for obscure mythologies, and that is exactly what black metallers Blood of Kingu embody. It’s not just Babylonia, but ancient Egyptian, Tibetan, and Indo-Aryan mythology. This is all very compelling, but musically, how do they live up to the staggering standards of black metal? I have mixed feelings about that. SUN IN THE HOUSE OF THE SCORPION is this Ukranian band’s sophomore album, which, given its more esoteric theme, I expected more from. This is characteristic black metal — the epitome of what one conjures up just at the genre’s mention. All of the track titles are ridiculously long (see: “Morbid Black Dreams Bringing Madness”) and are laden with black metal vernacular. There are copious amounts of blast beats, terrifying riffs, and those nefariously satanic vocals which one imagines is summoned deep within the underworld. Play the first track and you hear eerie, unidentifiable rummaging sounds. About a minute later you’re on the next track, “Those That Wander Admist The Stars,” which plunges into the black metal abyss at death-defying speeds. Listening to those vocals, man, you think, this can’t be human. It’s that brutal. Subsequent songs follow suit, and nothing stood out to me as particularly memorable. Although if you’re into Beherit, the last track covers one of their songs, “Gate Of Nanna.” If the idea of tackling Middle Eastern mythology piques your curiosity, you may want to give this a listen — but you’re going to have to be a lover of black metal.
– Stephanie Davison (Zatanna7@comcast.net)

THE REX CARROLL BAND – THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW (B+) Retroactive Records, 2010
10 tracks, RT: 38:49
[ http://www.myspace.com/rexcarroll ]
[ http://www.retroactiverecords.net/ ]
Guitar wizard Rex Carroll, best known in Christian rock circles for his years of shredding with Whitecross and King James, has chosen a very appropriate title for his latest solo project. In addition to the Eddie Van Halen/Yngwie Malmsteen influenced playing that Carroll was famous for in the ’80s, he is apparently also lifelong fan of Southern/blues rockers like Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and he brings those influences to the forefront on THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW. The album definitely draws a line in the sand between the material of his old bands (“THEN”) and his new direction (“NOW”). It may not be metal, but have no fear, THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW is still a seriously cool slab of good ole fashioned down home blues/boogie rock with a healthy amount of guitar pyrotechnics. I will confess that I’m not terribly well versed in Southern rock (other than the usual Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet hits that get played year after year on classic rock radio) so at first I was unsure whether or not this CD would be up my alley. I needn’t have worried, as the disc sucked me in from the uber-catchy first track “Find A Way” and kept me rockin’ all the way through to the final track. The combo of Rex’s soulful vocals and his fleet fingered guitar skills brought the Jeff Healey Band to mind (remember their killer soundtrack work in the classic movie “Road House?”). Fans of Rex’s old school shred style should especially appreciate the instrumental “Fools Gold,” which is an absolutely rippin’ piece that sounds like Yngwie Malmsteen jamming at a Southern BBQ/biker rally. This leads into my favorite track, “Workin’ Man’s Blues,” a blow-the-roof-off ZZ Top-style jam, and “Witch Dr. Blues” and “Delta Memories” are no slouches either. The band switches gears for the gospel-tinged “My Train” and the ballad “Rock My World” before returning to harder rockin’ pastures with the sizzling closer “Throw Them Bonz.” It remains to be seen how Rex’s old fans from his Whitecross days will react to this new direction, but you can definitely consider me a convert.
– Keith Abt (KeithAbt@yahoo.com)

CATEGORY 5 – OFF THE IVORY COAST (D) Reeltime Records/Axiom Creative Group, 2009
5 tracks, RT: 25:10
[ http://www.cat5rocks.com/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/cat5rocks ]
[ http://www.axiomcreative.com/ ]
OFF THE IVORY COAST is the debut CD of original music from this lower Michigan band. Apparently, they are popular with someone; the band’s Web site shows they are relatively active, playing several dates a month from now until the end of the year. All members contribute to writing and singing duties. Members include: Perry Zaremba (lead vocals), George Koch (bass), Joe Czentnar (lead guitar), Kevin Davis (guitar and keys), and Kenny Morss (drums). Along with the debut of new music from Category 5, they have created what may be a new category of music — anyone ever heard of “Easy-Listening-Rock”? I think that’s what we have here. Their MySpace account boasts, “Formed in September 2006, Category 5 brings the sound and style of Arena Rock back to the club. By playing a combination of cover material that ranges from everyday and current dance favorites to epic artists such as Boston, Van Halen, Journey, SRV and Rush, Category 5 entertains any audience from the dance crowd to the hard-core music lover.” Lead singer Zaremba lists Yes, the Eagles, and Zeppelin as influences, but admits you don’t hear a lot of that in their original tunes. You won’t hear much of their other stated influences (Rush, The Who, Nugent) either. Morss says he is a fan of Pantera, but this CD seems to be the anti-Pantera disk. The band’s personal site lists nearly 100 covers the band plays and all are VERY different from their release of originals. “Lost In Legacy” is probably the strongest song, but the bridge sounds like they added sound effects from a champagne fountain recorded a random wedding they played; the effect is not utilized to any advantage and is distracting. “Home Again” is very reminiscent of a duo that many Detritus readers may not have even heard of: England Dan and John Ford Coley. Nothing against those singers, but I doubt anyone could ever argue their place in the rock world; they are Adult Contemporary without a doubt. “I Wonder” is definitely the weakest of all the tracks, enough to put you to sleep, but the tone of Zaremba’s voice on this won’t let you have that release. “Party If You Want To” feels and sounds like a bad ’70s pop retrospective with a hint of disco, complete with an irritating “zipper” percussion background. This CD closes with “7 Daze Warning” which features overly-prominent percussion (namely the high hat) that does not help the song at all. However, here the bridge has some interesting guitar work, but it is utterly out of place within the song; I think they were trying to give the feel of a hurricane with their instruments, but it doesn’t work. With all their bookings, they must do well on the cover-band circuit but you would never guess that with this debut of original work. If you are willing to put a very odd piece of work to the listening test, Category 5 may be for you.
– Jan W. (jw4jzon@hotmail.com)

10 tracks, RT: 36:38
[ http://www.myspace.com/disaffectionthrashers ]
[ http://www.bombworksrecords.com/ ]
Old School Thrash Metal is alive and well on this impressive debut full-length by a quintet of youthful Brazilians. BEGIN THE REVOLUTION is aptly titled, as these guys are all about bringing back the Glory Days, when Exodus, Slayer, Kreator, and Destruction ruled the scene. Kicking off with the sound of automatic gunfire, BEGIN THE REVOLUTION then gives way to the machine-gun riffing of “Metal Kombat,” and from then on it’s either leap into the pit or get outta the way as Disaffection proceeds to rattle yer goshdarn head! Leading the charge is vocalist Cleiton Magno (credited as “the Kaotic Vo-Kaos”), whose voice may be a bit of an acquired taste for some, as he’s a hyperactive blend of Paul (Exodus) Baloff’s yelp and Mille (Kreator) Petrozza’s snarl, while the guitar team of Paul Moraes and Daniel Neves are the band’s secret weapons, peeling off endless walls of riffs straight from the Hanneman/King playbook and laying down cover fire for bassist Helo (yes, just “Helo”) and drummer Francuar Silva. Judging by fast paced ditties like “Stupid Ideas,” “Which One’s The Truth?,” and “Blind Mind” I’d say that these boys have been listening to a whole lotta BONDED BY BLOOD (the Exodus album, not the band), KILLING IS MY BUSINESS…AND BUSINESS IS GOOD, REIGN IN BLOOD, and EXTREME AGGRESSIONS, so if any of the aforementioned bands/albums are in your collection, BEGIN THE REVOLUTION will fit nicely right alongside them on your CD shelf. The album does eventually lag a bit towards the end, as the last two tracks (the uber-short “I Wanna See The Kaos” and the weird spoken word/drone “The End Of Beginning”) seem like fillers tacked on at the last minute to pad the CD out to album-length, but other than that I have no major complaints. These boys are all about the denim vests, leather jackets, high top sneakers, and bullet belts, and even though I personally feel that the current retro-thrash scene is becoming a bit stale, BEGIN THE REVOLUTION stoked the fires of metal nostalgia most admirably and has been enjoying mucho spintime in my CD player over the past few weeks. As the band says in “Metal Kombat,” “Welcome To…The Metal Arena!” Amen!!!
– Keith Abt (keithabt@yahoo.com)

DIVINITY – THE SINGULARITY (B+) Candlelight Records, 2010
9 tracks, RT: 45:15
[ http://www.divinity.ca/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/divinitymetal ]
[ http://www.youtube.com/user/divinitymetal ]
[ http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/candlelightrecords ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/candlelightrecordsusa ]
At first glance, Divinity’s THE SINGULARITY seemed like just another technical death metal band. As I started to delve into tedious research of this band, I discovered their niche. They’ve soared into the mystifying galaxy of futuristic metal, or cyber metal, as I’ve seen it called. The band “lyrically tackles the themes of mindless consumerism, survival in the midst of adversity, the chaos of existence, and humanity’s battle against technology.” Ah, there’s the ticket! And comparatively speaking, they are akin to Meshuggah and Strapping Young Lad. The album commences to the sound of triumphant drumming, marching the way, fearlessly into a foreboding chasm of je ne sais quo — something mysterious and tantalizing. Death metal screams pervade as the song (“Abiogenesis”) progresses, but this is a largely instrumental song. The guitar work alone on this first track alone is enough to tell you that there’s going to be a lot more to come. “Beg To Consume” bludgeons your ears as soon as it starts, and it shows no mercy! The song is unforgiving in its metallic assault. Unlike other death metal bands, the vocals vacillate between a high pitched Devin Townsend-esque (this is where the SYL comparison proven correct) level, to a visceral and livid sounding death metal voice. Talent abounds — left, right, up and down — they are austere in their technicality, and bravo, it really works for them. “Lay In The Bed You’ve Made” was my top pick, which I would say is an archetypal song for this album. It’s an onslaught, but it’s engaging, immersing you in the terror, but making you enjoy it all the more. “Monsters Are Real” fools you in the beginning by making you think this one will be a bit slower, but oh no, heavens no! Once the vocals cut in, they violently switch between the aforementioned ranges at such rocketing speeds, that it hijacks the whole track, making for one hell of a fast song. The lyrical themes behind the album are what caught my ears the most — so if you have a love for lyrical ingenuity, I think you’ll like this. Otherwise, technical, hell, even you mainstream metal folks are gonna like this. One source called this a band to keep an eye on. I agree, this is some murderously mad metal!
– Stephanie Davison (Zatanna7@comcast.net)

OCTOBER TIDE – A THIN SHELL (B+) Candlelight Records, 2010
7 tracks, RT: 42:20
[ http://www.myspace.com/octobertideband ]
[ http://www.lastfm.com/music/october+tide ]
[ http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/candlelightrecords ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/candlelightrecordsusa ]
If the name October Tide sounds eerily familiar to all of you doom metal and death doom metal fans, it should. Let us take a journey back in time to 1997, when Katatonia guitarist Fredrik Norrman and vocalist Jonas Renkse crafted and spawned October Tide into existence. They managed to produce a debut album, RAIN WITHOUT END, which metal fans ate up like chocolate chip cookies. But the fates had it out for this band and its life was cut tragically short. After being out of the loop for over a decade, October Tide have snaked back into crowd and are offering this seven-song gem, A THIN SHELL. “A Custodian Of Science” is what cracks A THIN SHELL open. It leads with about a minute long instrumental piece. It’s cloaked in darkness, dimly radiating a somber ambiance, yet it is very melodic, as if it is taking you on a quest. A THIN SHELL also features the virtuoso vocalist, Tobias Netzell, who expertly commandeers each and every song with emotive yet grotesquely growling vocals. “Deplorable Request” is the second song, and proves to be solid and strong, guiding you further into the odyssey that A THIN SHELL creates with its music. There’s an instrumental interlude about halfway through the track, which recalls feelings of yearning, of reflective sadness. And then Netzell seamlessly weaves his growling back in, and then we’re out of this mindset without even realizing it, and back into a more metal groove. “The Nighttime Project” is another song with a strictly instrumental section. “Blackness Devours” is where we get to bask in what I’d call a trademark doom metal song. Netzell uses more than one range, but does so subtly, and also uses it to reflect the mood the song and instrumentation. Guitars are downtuned and the drums are played in a slow, damning way, which perpetuates an atmosphere of imminent destruction. “The Dividing Line” takes us further into A THIN SHELL’s haunting trek. The drumming blasts in its creepy way, above the melodic guitars and the vocals scream in a way that you might imagine a vengeance-seeking, tortured ghost might sound on Halloween night. It makes you shudder, but you keep onward. “Fragile” seems to be a misnomer, because there is nothing “fragile” sounding about this. At all. We end the album with “Scorned” which by the time I got there, I was disappointed there was no more to come after it. I suppose my only real complaint would be that this was too short an album. October Tide is showing with this new album that they’ve still got it after a long hiatus. If A THIN SHELL is what we got from that, then it was well worth the wait.
– Stephanie Davison (Zatanna7@comcast.net)

PROGHMA-C – BAR-DO TRAVEL (B) Armoury Records, 2010
10 tracks, RT: 1:13:56
[ http://www.myspace.com/proghmac ]
[ http://www.eaglerockent.com/ ]
[ http://www.mystic-production.com/ ]
Polish alt-metal rockers Proghma-C’s debut full-length album BAR-DO TRAVEL finally gets a U.S. release after being out almost a year in Europe on Mystic Productions — was the wait worth it? Well, kinda depends on your predilection for this type of thing I guess, I’m on the fence. The group’s bio states that “the band combines trance, ambient, rock, pop, new age, death, fusion and progressive influences to form their own unique sound,” and that’s a pretty fair assessment of what these guys bring to the table, although they will need to work a bit harder on the “unique” part. Clearly influenced by the likes of Tool and Meshuggah, Proghma-C really stuns on weighty tracks such as “Kana,” “Spitted Out (Out)” and “Naan,” but also have a tendency to meander (at least to my ears) on material like “So Be-Live”and an unrecognizable 17 minute version of “Kana.” Vocalist Piotr “Bob” Gibner is adept at changing vocal styles and dynamics, combining the plaintive drone of Maynard James Keenan with a more contemporary, sceemo approach (of which I am not a fan). A cover of Bjork’s “Army Of Me” is included, and is a well rendered, modern metal take on the song, showcasing what I feel is the band’s finest asset, the excellent guitar/drum interplay of Pawel “Smaga” Smakulski and Lukasz “Kuman” Kumanski, respectively. The combination of hypnotic grooves and brutally heavy riffs works very well, as does the killer production, but in the future this promising outfit might benefit from some creative editing, although as the trance-like flavor of their music is a major aspect of what they do, this might be difficult. Hard one to call for me as BAR-DO TRAVEL is not what I would usually listen to but definitely has its moments, and is oddly captivating…
– Neal Woodall (MysticX9@gmail.com)

SARAH JEZEBEL DEVA – A SIGN OF SUBLIME (B) Candlelight Records, 2010
10 tracks, RT: 42:04
[ http://www.myspace.com/jezebeldeva ]
[ http://www.facebook.com/pages/Official-Sarah-Jezebel-Deva/183865358207 ]
[ http://www.cradleoffilth.com/profile/SarahJezebelDeva ]
[ http://www.last.fm/music/Sarah+Jezebel+Deva ]
[ http://www.freewebs.com/sarah_jezebel_deva/ ]
[ http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/candlelightrecords ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/candlelightrecordsusa ]
Fan of Cradle Of Filth? If you are truly a dedicated fan, then you already should know who Sarah Jezebel Deva is. Appearing on nearly every Cradle Of Filth album as a backup vocalist, this girl has some serious black/gothic metal experience under her belt. Not enough Cradle Of Filth for you? Never fear! SIGN OF SUBLIME showcases bassist Dave Pybus (Cradle Of Filth), multi-instrumentalist Martin Powell (Cradle Of Filth, My Dying Bride), and drummer Max Blumos (ex-Trigger The Bloodshed). While this has been advertised as Sarah’s debut solo album, she concedes that she is but a fraction of her magnum opus. If you’re well acquainted with Ms. Deva, then you know that she also had her own band, Antagoria. Fans of that band seem to agree that A SIGN OF SUBLIME is something different, whereas Cradle Of Filth disciples are claiming it sounds like something straight from their camp. One source quipped that Sarah’s album is “Cradle Of Filth without [lead singer] Dani.” Being somewhat of a Cradle follower, I can attest to that assertion. Instrumentally, yes, the “Cradle” feel is omnipresent. The narration and the riffing is what tips you off. But let us remember this is Sarah’s band, and while there are detectable vestiges of Cradle still in the air, this is something different. Play the album, and a track christened “Genesis” sets the mood for something pensive, dark, and elegant. The piano pieces flutter and carry the song along with Sarah’s operatic voice. “A Sign Of Sublime” drastically changes pace, introducing the guitars and drumming. Sarah shows off her vocal range, by toning down the opera style heard on the previous track, and heralds an angelic voice, sounding sweet, but it’s still full of vigor and emotion. “She Stands Like Stone” pays homage to black metal in its musicality, but its Sarah’s voice is what places the song into a category of its own. Or perhaps you can’t quite put it into any category. In the brutal depths of the metal world, we’re accustomed to growling, snarling, terrorizing vocals. It’s screaming and yelling and hard to decipher. With Sarah Jezebel Deva, you actually get singing. And that is the tone she uses invariably throughout the album, but of course mixing in bouts of opera-style singing. “The Devil’s Opera” was one of my favorites on the album. It makes you feel like you’re at an opera, and the place is dimly lit. You can’t see, but you can hear, and what you hear is majestic, deeply touching, and epic! “They Called Her Lady Tyranny” is one for Cradle fans. This song crawls into a deliciously creepy crevasse — again making this another song that takes on a personality of its own. “Daddy’s Not Coming Home,” is a track that you can tell just from the title is going to pull on your heartstrings. It’s acrimonious, yes, but that is overshadowed by the heartfelt sadness, the raw emotion pulsating through the veins of this song. We end the album with a cover of “Bitch” which, while listening to it, you can’t help but smile, and think, hell yes, good choice in cover! I was impressed with this album and look forward to see what else Sarah Jezebel Deva has in store for us in the future.
– Stephanie Davison (Zatanna7@comcast.net)

VISION – MOUNTAIN IN THE SKY (REISSUE) (C-) Born Twice/Retroactive Records, 2010
11 tracks, RT: 45:55
VISION – VISION (25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION) (C-) Born Twice/Retroactive Records, 2010
10 tracks, RT: 37:33
[ http://www.myspace.com/borntwicerecords ]
[ http://www.retroactiverecords.net/ ]
Born Twice Records is a new sub-label of Christian rock specialists Retroactive Records, dedicated to reissuing long lost classics from the “Jesus Music” movement of the ’70s and ’80s. This was an unusual era in Christian music when rock musicians began making their first tentative steps into the Christian scene, inspiring controversy from some audiences and religious leaders who were suspicious of the so-called “Devil’s Music” being used in the name of the Lord. On paper, it sounds like an interesting period in rock history, but unfortunately the first two releases on the label to cross my desk turned out to be extremely bland, slick, sappy stuff — i.e. the sort of thing that gave “Christian Rock” such a bad rep in the first place. For those unfamiliar with the early ’80s combo “Vision” (myself included, till these two discs showed up in the mailbox), they started out as a praise/worship band sponsored by a Florida church youth group, and began attracting attention when they drafted two former Lynyrd Skynyrd members — keyboardist Billy Powell and bassist Leon Wilkinson — into the lineup. Powell and Wilkinson were newly minted Christians at the time and had been out of the music scene since the tragic 1977 plane crash that had killed three Skynyrd members and put that band on ice for a number of years. Vision released their MOUNTAIN IN THE SKY disc independently in 1984 and followed it up with their self-titled release on the CCM label Heartland Records in 1985. With two Southern Rock legends in Vision’s lineup, I quite frankly expected to hear something a little gutsier than the wimptastic sounds that poured from my stereo speakers. Instead of the gritty rock ‘n’ roll that Skynyrd made famous, this is…well, what you’d expect a Worship/Praise band that had access to Marshall stacks and keytars to sound like. Both albums deal in totally lite-n-fluffy AOR that recalls Night Ranger at their wimpiest, Styx at their sappiest, or Journey at their most sugary sweet. Put it this way: Ned Flanders would be proud to rock this stuff on his iPod. Okay, I’ll grant that the Vision boys could play. “Dynamos” on MOUNTAIN IN THE SKY and “Standing On The Rock” from VISIONS both have somewhat decent grooves, but other than that… yuck. It’s as if these guys plugged in and said “Okay fellas, let’s rock… but not TOO hard, we don’t want to scare anybody!” I suppose Vision may be of interest to hardcore collectors of CCM rarities or to insanely completist Lynyrd Skynyrd fans, but the only reaction I had to these discs was to write this review as quickly as I could so I get them out of my stereo. I’ll continue to reach for my Deliverance, Sacred Warrior, Stryper, or Ultimatum discs (to name just a few) when I want a Christian rock fix. Sorry fellas.
– Keith Abt (KeithAbt@yahoo.com)

WAKING THE CADAVER – BEYOND COPS, BEYOND GOD (C-) Siege Of Amida/Candlelight Records, 2010
9 tracks, RT 28:30
[ http://www.wakingthecadaver.net/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/wakingthecadaver ]
[ http://www.purevolume.com/wakingthecadaver ]
[ http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/candlelightrecords ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/candlelightrecordsusa ]
Every once in a while an album (or certain band) comes into a reviewer’s hands with a long established bias. It seems to be the metal community’s general consensus that WAKING THE CADAVER is the laughingstock, the lunatic pariah, the ones we love to hate. And it’s undeniably hard to not smirk and enjoy the acerbic remarks hurtled at this band. Hey, you gotta expect some tough love in this business, but sometimes I think people like to berate a band that already has a bad reputation. So I played this album with an open mind, although expecting it to make me want to cry and commit suicide, but my preconceived notions were assuaged, and I was pleased to hear that this was not utter garbage. So, after calming down, I began to sink my teeth into the album. I can commiserate with Waking The Cadaver’s detractors with some of the same gripes though. The premise of being “beyond cops, beyond God,” is not only arrogant, but comes off as childish, too. We’re familiar with this kind of “beyond authority” attitude, and Waking The Cadaver is determined to make their voice heard — in ever-characteristic Cookie Monster vocals, that they bow down to no one. The instrumentation is very much what you would expect: drums pummeling at rapid speeds, guitars are downtuned, wielding fierce shredding, and yah dee yah dee yah. Haven’t you heard bands like this before? Another review summarily said this band deserves a “flavor of the week,” status, which I think is a great description for this band. No, BEYOND COPS, BEYOND GOD is not excruciating to listen to, but it’s highly unoriginal, both instrumentally and lyrically. Waking The Cadaver coined the term “slamming gore groove” to describe their sound. The band does pay homage to gore, their previous album gushing about sexual violence, but they have toned that down in BEYOND COPS, BEYOND GOD. But don’t worry folks, this album is still teeming with brutality. So, when it comes down to it, the album is not that good — there’s not a lot of creativity and they’re not the most talented either. Mediocre. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, because there’s way better stuff out there. I have a feeling people will check these guys out, just to see if they’re as atrocious as the reviews say. In that case, go ahead, but don’t waste too much time on it.
– Stephanie Davison (Zatanna7@comcast.net)

11 tracks, RT: 41:19
[ http://www.myspace.com/whitechapel ]
[ http://www.metalblade.com/ ]
Usually when I think of deathcore, I think garbage. But in the case of Whitechapel and their new CD, A NEW ERA OF CORRUPTION, I will make an exception. Though let it be said that this isn’t some ground-breaking album, nor is the album great. It is good at best. I found myself having trouble distinguishing between songs, because they all sounded very similar. But beside that point, the album isn’t damned to be a failure. Personally I enjoy listening to some heavy, fast and chaotic music to blow off steam, but if I am looking for some great musicality, emotional or powerful lyrics, and true creativity, I would look elsewhere. The album artwork is pretty cool, and will have you want to pick it up off of the shelf. Track #2, “Breeding Violence,” is a song that stood out among the others as being slightly different. It begins with a cool drum beat, and then enter the down-tuned guitar riffage that will make you bang your head. The single they released, “The Darkest Day Of Man,” isn’t too different than the collection of similar-sounding songs on the album. If you want other songs that stand out I would recommend “Reprogrammed To Hate,” “Murder Sermon,” and “Necromechanical.” I would honestly say that this CD is good, but not great. If heavy guitar riffing — and even heavier vocals — are not your thing, avoid this album. But if you enjoy brutal, unrelenting metal music, give it a try; you may just be pleasantly surprised with this one.
– Nick Davison (toad377@comcast.net)

8 tracks, RT 49:24
[ http://www.myspace.com/yaotlmictlan ]
[ http://www.last.fm/music/Yaotl+Mictlan ]
[ http://www.candlelightrecords.co.uk/ ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/candlelightrecords ]
[ http://www.myspace.com/candlelightrecordsusa ]
“The age of the glorious Quetzalcoatl whose main principles are of tolerance and compassion has to take a step back at the new age of Huitzilopochtli, who led us to victory 700 years ago and who is calling for his warriors once again!” This is the message emblazoned on Yaotl Mictlan’s MySpace page. Some of you may be scratching your heads at such names like Quetzalcoatl and Huitzilopochtli, but that can be forgiven. They are the names of the once heavily revered gods of the Mesoamerican faiths (namely among the Mayans and the Aztecs). If by now you’re rolling your eyes and thinking, mythological themes equals black metal, well, you’re right, BUT there is something different about this band that sets them apart from other bands following this theme. The lyrics are actually in Spanish, which shows true dedication to the Mayan persona that they are trying to encompass. The band has actually been on the scene since 1998, but DENTRO DEL MANTO GRIS DE CHAAC is only Yaotl Miclan’s second release. We begin the saga with “Dentro Del Manto Gris De Chaac,” to the sound of the pitter patter of rain falling at a steady pace. It seems to transport you deep into the heart of a rain forest. The sound of a native type flute flutters sharply out of nowhere, and your heart rate spikes, but just for a second, and it then gracefully continues to serenade the rainy environment. Guitars start playing slowly, then the drumming creeps in and boom! Thunder. Now the guitars and drums are really picking up. It won’t be long now before the vocals set it. It’s not the most brutal or satanic sounding vocals; I’d describe it as tribal. And remember, it’s all in Spanish. Don’t let that turn you off though. (Honestly, even when it’s in English, you have to admit, black metal is not easy to follow unless you have the lyrics in front of you.) It’s a solid song, spanning over seven minutes. “Garra De Jaguar” is the second offering. This one has some cool layered vocals. It’s got the main, tribal, black metal-esque range singing side by side with clean, chanting vocals. Another notable thing about this band is the use of native instruments. I can’t claim to know exactly what they are using, but my imagination conjures up hand-carved flutes and crude looking hand percussion instruments. And this works well along side traditional metal drumming and guitar work. “Cihuacoatl (La Llorona)” has its moments of feeling like epic, ancient battle song — those moments where it gets catchy and your head is involuntarily bobbing. The album as a whole is not as captivating as I would have hoped though. By the time I got to the fourth track, “Hun Hunapu,” I was ready for a break. The black metal side of it isn’t too impressive. The use of tribal Mayan instruments is, but it’s not enough to hold your attention for the album’s duration. Unless that kind of instrumentation excites you like a child opening presents on Christmas morning — or unless you’re a Mesoamerican scholar to some degree, you’re better off with something else.
– Stephanie Davison (Zatanna7@comcast.net)

*** OUT ***

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