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New Reviews - 12/25/2005

THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND/Synchestra (Inside Out Music) 14 tracks of some weird, warped out progressive metal music. The songs are long and not boring though. The singer reminds me of Dream Theatre, but the music is more complex and a bit heaver and the band thrash out in some parts. The actually go into some weird hillybilly parts and then whip into progressive metal parts. It is cool as you never know what is coming next. Well, worth it and you will be listening to this release over and over. Info:

DRAGONFORCE/Inhuman Rampage (Sanctuary Records) Godly power metal with the most awesome hooks and melodies and vocals too boot. The band writes such catchy music, you can't help but be impressed. The vocals are clean, but are powerful in their own way. The production is right on the money as well. If your into power metal with a progressive side to it, then by all means, pick this up.

BLACK MASS/Conquering Legions Of Astaroth (Grim Nocturnal Records) This band has put out a couple really good death/black metal releases and they return with their best one yet. A raw slab of underground death/black metal that is not to be missed. The evil riffs pour out as do the vocals. 10 tracks that would make the devil proud. The band just slay down the masses with this killer release. One of the best bands playing this style nowadays and I'm not kidding. Info:

VENERAL MESSIAH/Same-10 tracks of some sick death/grind with some low vocals and a drum machine. This is only a 2 man band and for what this is, it isn't bad. The riffs are bottom heavy and the drums sound real and the vocals are like old Incantation. The guitar sound is mint and the raw, underground production only adds to this band. Not bad. Info:

DRAIN YOUR DREAMS/Adv Tracks-This is a one man black metal band and it is not a very good one to be honest. The vocals are weak and the music is just chaotic out of control black metal and it just drags on and the vocals are like spoken word and then go into the black metal screams. Maybe the full release will be better, but I couldn't get into this at all. Info:

MELISEND/Same-Decent doom metal. The band mix it up a bit and throw some mid tempo stuff in and I like the violins and thank god no female opera vocals. The production is raw, but not super raw and the guitar sound doesn't sound like a million other bands. The band sort of have that 70's vibe with them and mix it in with doom metal. Not bad and looking forward to more. Info:

DARK BLACK/The Barbarian's Hammer (Hot Dog City Records) 5 tracks of old school power metal the way it should be. This band says fuck trends and they deliver the goods as this is chock full of classic power metal that wouldn't sound out of place on a 80's release from Metal Blade. Think Helstar, Omen, etc. The songs are all classic metal tunes with plenty of power behind them. Looking forward to hearing more. Info:

MOTORPSYCHOS/Piston Whipped-Very good down and dirty nasty rock n roll. Sort of like Nashville Pussy or Circus of Power. This is the way rock should be played: nasty, rough and with meaty hooks. The vocals are good and I'd love to se this band live, I bet they kill. Info:

DIA DE MUERTOS/Day Of The Dead (Cinismo Records) This was modern style death metal and wasn't too bad for what it was. The music is fairly fast and heavy and the vocals are decent. The band mix in a modern sound with a mix of old Swedish death metal sort of like old Entombed. There is no of the tough guy vocals and the more I listened to this, the more it grew on me. This is a band to keep an eye on. info:

LINCOLN LOVE LOG/Are you BBQ? (Half Life Records) This was bad. 15 warped tracks of not so good grind and I'll tell you why. The music wasn't all that bad, but it was the barking dog vocals that were the deal. The guy just grunts and screams into the mic. Hell anybody can do that. The music is just typical grind and the vocals just ruin any chance of this being any good. Info:

PAIN LINK/The Burden Of Sin (Peace Or Die Records) 11 songs of decent death metal. The tunes are sort of in the Testament mode if they played death metal. The vocals are gruff, but not bad. The guitar player whips up some nice soles and the music didn't bore me. Not a bad job. Info:

BLOODOLINE/Storm & Brilliance (Panik Terror Musik) This kinda got repetitive after a few tunes as the music churned out was basic black metal with the pic riffing and vocals. The production was decent, but this to me was just like any one of the black metal band making the rounds nowadays and it wasn't bad, but it's nothing new. Info:

DIG JELLY/For Your Inner Angry Child (Centerline) This is groove punkish type of metal. The singer is female and sounds like Gwen from No Doubt. I am not a big fan of this stuff, but this band is pretty good for the style they are playing. The music is simple, catchy and the tunes reach out and grab you. I bet they are a fun band live, but not my cup of tea. Info: 

COULDRON/Same-6 tunes of some doomy grunge style metal. This wasn't bad and the band don't sound like a million other bands. The music is dark, grungy and very emotional. It is far from just a doom band they kinda mix in a few styles and they make it work. The vocals are screamed and powerful. The dark production only adds to this. A cool band. Info: 

TORTURE/Storm Alert (Escapi Music) I bow to this re-release of an old metal classic. Torture are a band from the mid 80's from Texas and this is one slab of speed/thrash that is a must own. Mix Slayer and Celtic Frost and just plenty of great songs and power and incredible vocals and you'll have this. 11 tracks that just numb the brain. You can feel the emotion, hate and passion that just fires from this band. Riffs that will make your neck snap in 2. A must have for any old school metal fan. Info: 

STRUCK BY TRUTH/Seeds-Modern groove/punk metal with screamed vocals. I am not a big fan of this style, but this wasn't too bad. The band rip out a raw, nasty, vicious sound and the vocals I can deal with. The music is mostly fast with some break parts here and there. I bet they crush live. Info:

BLOODTHORN/Genocide (Red Stream) An insane slab of death/black metal that must not be missed. This band pours out its emotional and you can just feel the hate and brutality fly as they played on. The band rip, tear and shred through each and every tune and this is how death metal should sound. Not that groove jump metal crap. Pure, real death metal vocals, none of that gargle and low guttural shit. This is 100% real death metal and is 100% genuine. Buy or fry. Info:

CONTROL Z/System Failure (Sonic Sword Records) This was a metal band and not a bad one. The band play a mix of older style metal mixed in with some of the newer sounds. They don't play groove metal, but more of a newer Megedeth style at times. The singer has a pretty powerful voice and the production is good too. I look forward to hearing more from this band. Info:

DEGREE ABSOLUTE/Same (Sensory Records) 9 tracks of some progressive power metal with a mix of some old school thrash thrown in from time to time. The music is balls heavy with lots of backbone and the tunes don't fly over your head. The vocals are clean, but powerful. Of the 9 tracks not a boring one was to be found. If your into heavy or progressive stuff, here is your band. 

CANVAS SOLARIS/Same (Sensory Records) This was an all progressive, all instrumental CD. While the songs weren't bad, this kinda dragged on after a few tunes. The band lacked vocals and that I think did it for me. If your into long instrumental stuff, you might like this, but to me it just lacked vocals and for me this went downhill after a few tunes. Not bad, but just not for me. 

VORE/Maleficus (Frozen Solid Music) 8 tracks of solid, well played death metal. This band has been around for a bit and this is by far their best release. The band play in a newer metal style, but they can write some great songs and the vocals aren't that low guttural style. They get like just a bit, but most of the time it is just solid growled death metal. The music is mostly fast, but not over bearing fast and the slower parts, just crush. Of most of the newer metal bands, this is by far one of the best. Why this band isn't signed is beyond me. Very recommended. Info:

BLASTMASTERS/Twisted Metal-A sickening display of some awesome death metal. This hits hard and it hurts. The wicked riffing and insane drumming will have your head spinning. The vocals are pure death metal and the riffs will just snap your neck in half. How in the fucking world is this band not signed? One of the best death metal cds I have heard in quite awhile. A 10 of 10 in my book. Info:

BATHTUB SHITTER/Dance Hall Grind (Shit Jam Records) This was some pretty bad grind. The music is mostly fast with low guttural vocals and then some really annoying high pitched (like a female) vocals. The music is a combo of slow and fast stuff and didn't interest me at all. The music was just chaotic and didn't do a thing for me. Info: 

WITCH/Self (Tee Pee Records) This is doom metal in the vein of old Black Sabbath even down to the vocals. The production is even mixed in a 70's style production, which was cool with me. I don't have a lot more to say except if your into Black Sabbath with Ozzy, you'll love this. Info:

WITH IMMORTALITY/A Prelude To Wretched Lust-This is like a 3 track preview of a full length that will be out later this year. The band, which I have thought was OK in the past, have gotten better in my eyes. The band have gotten away from some of the black metal style and are now more straight forward death metal. The band mix in some of the newer groove/blast beat death metal, but throw in some old school stuff and really impressed me. The vocals and production were both solid too. Look forward to the full length. Info:

GEIBEL/Human Obscuritat-This is pure raw black metal. This wasn't bad as the more I played it and the more I listened the more I got into it. The band create a raw vibe and the music sucked me in. The vocals are pure black metal and the riffs are as well. The band don't just play the fast pick riffing style and mix it up and the mid tempo and semi fast stuff was really cool. If your sick of all of all these black metal bands sounding the same, give these guys a listen. info:

NECROSHINE/From The Deepest Hate-More black metal, but this band uses more mid paced and bits and pieces of death metal in their tunes. I love the raw chainsaw sounding guitar and the riffs and melodies are quite good. The vocals are pure black metal and are some of the best black metal vocals I have heard in quite some time. Why this band is not on a label is beyond me. Info:

INSATANITY/The Black Stone-4 tracks of death metal. The band do mix in just a bit of black metal in spots. The band are more into the groove/blast beat thing, but the vocals aren't the low growl stuff and the band doesn't do those annoying blast beats. The 4 tunes here weren't bad and this is way different from their album release some moons ago. Not bad. info:

ONE DEAD THREE WOUNDED/Paint The Town (X Music) This is a reissue of some sorts with 2 bonus tracks. The music is death metal with groove and the vocals are like Mike from Suicidal Tendencies. The music isn't bad even though I am not a big fan of this style of death metal. The riffs do crush in spots and I like the vocals as they are not just the just the average growl crap. If your into modern metal and are sick of the same ole same ole, try this out. Info:

CHAOS THEORY/Aurora Twighlight-This is not the band from New Jersey, but a band based out of Australia. I got 6 tunes of metal here with a little bit of an alternative and spacey edge. The band remind me a bit of Warrior Soul in spots. The vocals are very cool and the guy has a wicked cool voice and the more I listened to this, the better it got. Space age metal. 6 tunes is not enough. The hooks and vocals sucked me and now I'm a fan. Info:

RHAPSODY/Live In Canada 2005 (Magic Circle Music) This is 2 CD set with one disc being an 11 song 1 hour CD and the other disc is a DVD of the show. Rhapsody sound amazing live. The vocals and the band playing in like a female in skintight spandex and the production is top notch. The band sound live just like on record, but even better as they exhibit more power and passion in the playing of the 11 tunes. The DVD is just that much better as you get to see the band play these 2 tunes for a great crowd in Canada. An awesome release and a must for any power metal fan period. Info:

KARATE HIGH SCHOOL/Good News & Bad News (Evo Recordings) Here is 2 tunes that sound like Good Charlotte and Sum 41 (I think that is what they are called). This is happy commercial punk rock that isn't punk rock and is so radio friendly driven. Thank god it was only 2 tunes ha ha. Info:

FLYING HIGH AGAIN/Tribute To Ozzy Osbourne (Deadline Records) What a killer line up of bands and they pick the right songs. Ripper Owens and Yngwie Malmsteen open things up with a killer version of "Mr Crowley". Ripper belts out the vocals and Yngwie slays into a excellent solo. Children of Bodom tackle "Shot in the Dark". Some other interesting team ups include: Jack Blades/Reb Beach doing "I Don't Know" and Mark Slaughter/Brad Gillis doing "Over The Mountain". An excellent tribute release. Info:

SQUARE BOWELS/Love Songs (Life Stage Productions) 15 tracks of some killer death/grind with some wicked blast beats and vocals. The guitar sound reminds me of Autopsy and the blast beats are really blast beats and not some cheezy c rap. The production is solid and if your into quality death metal with plenty of speed, look no further. Info: 286/Profiled (Guerrilla Underground) 5 tracks of straight forward rock/metal that didn't sound bad to these ears. The band can crank out some nice melody and riffs. The vocals were clear, but sung in a powerful, pissed off way. The production is good and the bottom line is this band write good solid tunes sort of like AC/DC and I liked them. Info:

BOHEMIAN GROVE/Progeny Of Decrepitude-5 tracks of some modern death metal with some low vocals. Some of the vocal parts aren't bad, but then the guy goes into the real low guttural growl and they lose me. The music is mostly fast death metal that isn't bad, but really didn't knock me off my chair. The band needs to lose the bark in the mic vocals and keep just the regular death metal vocals. Info:

NEXT STOP EARTH/Are You Getting Off-This is a local band not far from me and they are a kick ass band for sure. The band play metal in a grunge sort of way sort of like a heavier Alice In Chains, but they are not a grunge band by any means. They are heavy like them in that vein. The band write some meaty riffs and the vocals, while clear, are very powerful. This band deserve a deal and I can't wait to see them live. Info:

OPPOSITION PARTY/Zombified (Pulverised Records) This was some down n dirty metal core shit. The music is relentless, hard hitting and mixes the best of metal and hardcore into 1. Reminds me a bit of Biohazard in spots. The tunes are extreme and I enjoyed this cd very much. Info:

AZURE/King Of Stars-Bearer Of Death (Pulverised Records) This was a 2 man death metal band. It isn't bad, but the band just sound like too many other bands. Taking the blast beats of bands like Vader, Decide and mixing it with At The Gates style of death metal along with those style vocals made this sound like too many other bands in the underground. Info:

RUSH/R 30 (Rounder Records) Now this is one incredible release. A 2 DVD and 2 CD set that is a must for any fan of this band or a fan of great music. I have been a Rush fan for a long time and this collection of videos and live stuff blew me away. How can you go wrong with, Finding My Way, Anthem, Bastille Day, 2112, Xanadu, Limelight, and also the vault tracks: Fly By Night, In The Mood, A Farewell To Kings, and so much more. The 2 live CD set includes: Red Barchetta, Spirit of Radio, and about 20 more songs. This is an incredible collection of songs from one of the best rock bands ever. Also some 'Easter Eggs' goodies are included. Simply a breath taking release. Info: or

ARMANDO PETRINI/Good Mood-This is a one man guitar project and a pretty good one at that. The guy can lay down some wicked riffs and the melody and just setting he creates just oozes as this pays on. A good production and excellent playing made me a fan. Info:

SEVERED HAND/Keep Your Wife's Inside-Some neat heavy metal with a guy who can really hit those high notes. This sort of reminded me of Iron Maiden in spots with the riffing and bass sound. The production is thick and solid and the metal sound had my fist in the air. This is pure old school 100% true metal and not that crap on Headbanger's Ball! I could see a good metal label snatching these guys up. Info:

STORM THE CASTLE/Same-This is a free demo and while I didn't do backflips over it, it isn't band. The band play metal sort of like a NWOBM style, but with a bit of a punk style too. It is hard to describe really. The band have their own sound and heck this is free, so check out the bands site and get the demo. Info:

UNCROSSED/Deletio-This was a really cool band. The band mix in metal with some jazz and come out with a really cool sound. I would say the band is pretty original and the music didn't fly over my head. The vocals are sort of in the hardcore vein like the Crumbsuckers, which made for a really weird musical sound. The production is solid and if your looking for something different this might be your band. Info:

ENSOPH/Project X-Katon (Cruz Del Music) This was a weird mix of music. The band combine groove metal, goth, and a bit of electro type of music. This didn't work for me. I found the music to be boring and the female vocals and keyboards parts didn't do a thing for me. The music is weak in my opinion and didn't have any melody and the screamed vocals were a bore. Info:

PHARAOH/The Longest Night (Cruz Del Music) Very good classic power metal sort of in the vein of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Soaring vocals and thank god this band isn't playing power metal like a million of the other bands are doing it nowadays. This is pure metal through and through that will remind you of those metal bands on Metal Blade in the 80's. A great production and the guitar and vocals shine. A winner here. Info;

STORMY NIGHT/Ball Of Thunder (Painkiller Records) Awesome heavy metal in the vein of bands like Accept, etc. The music is pure metal with no groove and chanted vocals. This is the way metal should be played. Chunky, heavy riffs with vocals that are what a metal band should be. The production is not too polished and is just perfect. Raise your fists and prepare for Stormy Night. Info:

RAUNCHY/Same (Lifeforce Records) This is a modern death/groove metal band with all those breakdown riffs and tough guy vocals. I didn't find this very good as while the band are brutal and all, they also are playing a style of music that has been done to death by so many other bands. The band do have a bit more melody to them and are better than most of the other bands doing this sort of thing. Info:

HEROD/Rich Man's War...Poor Man's Fight (Lifeforce Records) This was a cool metal band with lots of hooks and melody and the songs were crafted in such a way I fell in love with them from note # 1. This band mix in some straight ahead metal, commercial metal, rock n roll and a touch of thrash and it works rather well. The singer has a powerful set of lungs and he fits the music well. A solid release that fears no boundaries. Info:

DRYLINE/Reach For The Surface (Zero Sun Recordings) Great just what we need another groove death metal band with the growl vocals and groove happy riffs. I am so sick of all these Pantera death metal wanna a be bands popping up. You know the drill with these bands, the band play jump metal riffs and also throw in some speed now and then and have the death metal and the screamed vocals as well as clean style vocals. Wow that is so original. A generic band that sounds like all the rest. Info:

TIME KILLS EVERYTHING/Same (Capitol Kill Records) This wasn't bad. This is fast modern style death metal with some really fast shit too. The vocals are screamed death metal vocals and isn't bad. The band don't use much groove, instead just release a blast of fast death metal that may knock you out of your seat. The production is monstrous and I could see these guys getting snapped up by a label. Info:

FUCK THE FACTS/Legacy Of Hopelessness (Capitol Kill Records) This is more fast blasting almost grind stuff. The vocals are warped and the music is chaotic and super fast. The band also add a bit of industrial to the mix. Shame it is only 6 tunes. I also detect a little Immolation in there. Info:

CRAPSHOOT DVD Featuring Jim Breuer and Zakk Wylde. This was a pretty funny DVD sort of like Bill from Grimoire does on occassion. Jim takes you around and makes fun of people and Zakk tells some crazy old stories and Jim goes and visits Jimi Hendrix and lots of other crazy things happen that will have you laughing your ass off at times. Lots of extras too. Worth checking out. Info:

GUT/Shrubbery (Fat Togue Records) This is death/grind metal and is pretty good for what it is. The band mix up the slow and fast parts and the vocals are strong death metal style. The production is good and you can hear everything clearly. If your into quality death/grind look no further. Info:

SHINING STAR/Enter Eternity (Nightmare Records) Really solid heavy metal with a few parts of power metal thrown in. The music doesn't sound like any one band and the band play metal with an 80's feel with a touch of progressive. I love the vocals, he has a clean, but powerful voice and he really fits what the band is doing. The production allows the band to shine and this is just one kick ass metal release. Put on the spikes and raise your fists to metal. Info:

WARMACHINE/The Beginning Of The End (Nightmare Records) More heavy metal is the ticket here. This band has a bit more melody and a bit more of a commercial sound to them, but still are very good at what they do. The vocals are again clear, but very powerful and he fits the music quite well. A solid production allows all to be heard. This label has been putting out some splendid stuff and this release along with the above one are just 2 examples. Info:

VENOM/Metal Black (Sanctuary Records) I was a big Venom fan back in the day as the band churned out Welcome to Hell, Black Metal, At War With Satan, and other gems. Not sure of all who is in the band now (lack of a bio), but Cronus is singing and playing the bass like a madman. This release is a step back in time as Venom sound just great. The band still have that rocky, gutter sound and Cronus sounds great. The music is Venom style all the way along with the lyrics you have come and loved by Venom. 14 tracks as only this band can do. Venom is back and lets all celebrate by buying this lovely piece of work. Info: 

GLENN TIPTON/Baptism Of Fire (Rhino Records) This is a solo release from one of the guitar players in Judas Priest. Don't expect Judas Priest gang. Glenn has a bunch of different musicians play on this like Billy Sheehan, Cozy Powell, etc. There is a pretty cool up tempo version of Paint in Black by the Rolling Stones on here. Glenn does all the singing on here and he doesn't have a bad voice at all. The music is metal with a bit more melody than Priest and I thought this was a cool release and I am glad Glenn didn't just do another Judas Priest solo type release. Info:

TIPTON/ENTWISTLE & POWELL/Edge Of The World (Rhino) This is another sole release of Glenn Tipton and it features the late Cozy Powell and John Entwistle (The Who). This was recorded in 1996 and is just seeing the light of day 10 years later. The music is a little like Judas Priest "Turbo" era. The music is metal and is more like Judas Priest than the above release. I thought this overall was OK, it didn't grab me and the music was too weak Judas Priest for me and I thought the Turbo release was a low point for the band. Info:

TORNADO/Rude Demo-5 tracks of old school thrash that would not be out of place on a Wargasm release. The riffs are razor sharp. The lyrics are sung in another language, but that did not stop me from liking this. For old school thrash fans. Info:

SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN/Third Time Is The Charm (Leviathan Records) This was an amazing release to say the least. Pure classic metal with plenty of hooks, melodies and oh so great vocals. Eric Johns has a voice and that reminded me of Dio a bit and the guy can sing with much passion and emotion. David Chastain plays guitar on here and never sounded so good. The music is pure metal with no groove, nothing but just pure metal through and through. The production is perfect and any fan of metal will want and need this in their collection. Info:

GREY SKIES FALLEN/Two Way Mirror (Xanthros) This band put a release out a few years back and now they are back with this disc. This is an amazing display of metal. The tunes are dark and doomy, but filled with much emotion and are never boring. You can tell listening to this that a lot of care was put in it. This is not some doom metal band, but the band have some doom to it and they just play emotional filled metal. This will be something your either into or not and me I'm into it. Info: 

EVERGREY/Monday Morning Apocalypse (Inside Our Music) This was a decent metal band that mixes in some of the old style and makes it with a new style. The band is heavy, but mix in some melody and the guitar crunch is off the charts. The singer has a powerful set of lungs and his voice fits the music. For those who like heavy music with a crunch, but with a melodic edge can do no wrong here. Info:

VANDEN PLAS/Christo (Inside Out Music) This is a progressive metal band in the vein of Dream Theater. The vocals sound just like them and does the music at times, but I still enjoyed this. The band also throw in some thrash parts and I think they are doing a better job than some of the recent D.T. releases to tell you the truth. The production is right on the money as well. Info:

BEYOND FEAR/DTO (SPV USA) This is Tim Owen's new band. Tim Owens was in Judas Priest for a few releases. This is a killer heavy metal release to say the least. Tim's vocals sound great as he possesses one hell of a set of lungs. The music is not like Judas priest, but is just as heavy. The band just rip tune after tune and just dust destroy all. Riff after molten riff will pound you into oblivion. Highly recommended. Info: