ANY BANDS/LABELS that want their releases reviewed can send me a promo kit at the following address. Anything sent will be reviewed and posted within 30 days.


BLACK METAL/Beyond the Darkness (Black Dog Publishing) I looked forward to reading this as while I am not a huge black metal fan, I do like some of the music and also that there isn’t many books like this to read. This book was a really cool read as it was just about some of the bigger black metal bands like Bathory, Marduk, Immortal, etc. Several different writers have different chapters with their take on the black metal scene and stores and it sort like a 2nd wave of the black metal scene after all that crap in Norway calmed down. Very easy to read and easy on the eyes and lots of cool pics both in color and black and white and to be honest a lot of these bands I had never heard of myself. Record store interviews and the end of the book has a huge list of bands and like I said before that I have not heard of. Readers of Metal Core can get special discount on this book. How do you get that? Well email the publisher of the book at [email protected] and supply an address and for the subject matter type in Metal Core Zine Offer and you will get offered a discount.

DISMANTLE/Enter The Forbidden (X-Musick) Decent thrash metal. I wasn’t blown away by this, but it also didn’t suck at all. The singer has a decent voice and the songs were pretty good old style thrash, but the band was missing that killer hook in their songs that would have brought this over the top. The guitar sounds to have more of that killer crunch to really stand out. Thank god this wasn’t any of that “modern thrash” or “happy thrash” as I like to call it with those tough guy vocals. If this band can get that killer riff or crunch they would be just that much better. Info: or

SQUAD/Gallinazeous Death (X-Musick) This originally came out in 1987 and this was a hardcore band from Chile. I had never heard of the band before, but I am glad this puppy came out on disc. This is rip raging hardcore with tons of speed, aggression and violence. Think Agnostic Front and old DRI. The lyrics aren’t sung in English, but when is this raging and out of control music. This was all done in one take and there is bonus live tracks on this as well. Well worth getting if you are into the early days of the underground. Production is raw and only adds to the music, not subtracts. Info: or

DECEASED/Surreal Overdose (X-Musick) If you don’t have this in your collection what in the heck are you waiting for? Deceased have come a long way since their 1st demo released many, many moons ago and this is one of my favorite releases by the band. 8 tracks of big time original death/thrash that will leave you breathless. King just sings his damn heart out on this as the heart pounding music plays on behind him. This will just rip through your soul with great songs,. Riffs and solos not to mention singing. The production is right on the money as you can hear everything clearly, but it is not over produced and is just right. Easily a classic release of underground metal that SHOULD NOT BE MISSED. Info: or

SPECKMAN PROJECT/Same (X-Musick) This came out in 1991 on Nuclear Blast and now it has been re-issued with bonus tracks, the band’s 1985 demo! This just totally blew me away and blew me away bad. Music that blew my doors off. I can’t call this thrash or death metal, let’s call it Master Metal. Paul Speckman absolutely crushes on this vocally. The production is perfect and I love it and the tunes were all catchy and tons of killer riffs and vocals will make for quite a cd. The bonus tracks are great as well and there is also 12 alternative mixes, bringing 17 tracks to this puppy. Words can’t even begin to tell you how crushing this is. Buy it or be a poser. Info: or

VOIDD/Desperate Truth (X Musick) This is a great double disc set of this band’s music. One disc # 1 you have the band’s debut release, “Desperate Truth” and then on disc # 2 you have 3 tunes from them from 3 compilations they appeared on and then all 3 of their demos, making 20 tracks, plus a Sodom cover of ‘Outbreak of Evil”. The band’s 2nd release is not on here, due to the guys at X Musick not feeling it was a very good release. Onto the music, which is a mix of thrash, speed and death metal played with feeling, aggression and just the old school raw way. Vocals are a mix of Chris from Autopsy meets Patrick from Pestilence. Just blast after blast of crushing music that had me smiling. The raw sounds of this will remind you of early Sodom, Kreator, Protector and bands like that, but they also have their own style. 34 cuts of raw, uncompromised, raw as balls thrash, death and speed metal. Get this and great packaging and the demos cuts are a nice bonus and you get em all too. Info: or

CRUSH OF EMPIRES/Same (Self Released) There are 5 tunes on this and all are solid rock n roll numbers with lots of catchy hooks and memorable songs. The singer reminds me of bit of Eddie from Pearl Jam and his voice really fits the music. The 5 tunes on this had my nodding me head as the riffs and song melodies are really strong unlike a lot of these new rock bands coming out. Shit this blows away crap like Nickleback. This band easily deserves a record deal. Info:

BLACK HATE/Los Tres Mundos (Dusktone Records) This was pretty bad. The vocals were terrible as all the guy did was scream and grunt into mic and heck anybody can do that. The music was quickly forgettable with no decent riffs or song structures whatsoever. The tunes lacked any punch at all. They were totally flat and this went nowhere quickly. Info:

LOTOS CIRCLE/Caves (Dusktone Records) Low tunes, sadness, downing in sorrow, a haunting bass sound is what you will find on this. Doom metal and trust me this is slow, super slow doom with that bass in the forefront. Weird vocals that are sort of screeching, not that annoying black metal screeching. Doom is not something I am big time, but this was a good doom metal band and not some lame band attempting to be doom and has shitty vocals. Info:

GRISATRE/Esthaetique (Dusktone Records) This was some god awful black metal with again another singer who just screeches and yells into the mic with no feeling at all. It seems like it forced and the music was pretty bad as well. Just a bunch of notes and parts of songs that just had no flow to them and after each song the music is quickly forgettable. Just another of a long line of bad black metal bands. These bands need to try to be a bit different and not just sound like all the other ones before them. Info:

A DARKENED SEA/Bloody Day At Sea (Self Released) This was a very weird band to say the least. However, weird does not make a band good. The vocals were totally awful. Why do bands think that singing low and deep makes them brutal? It doesn’t and sounds stupid. Low as in a band such as Autopsy works, but not in a case of this as all it sounds like is that he is growling into the mike and then there are clean, almost chanting vocals behind some god awful doom music. The songs on this are quickly forgettable and I found nothing on this I liked. Info:

HAMMERDRONE/Same (Self Released) This was a hit and miss for me as I liked some things and not some things. 1st the good. The tunes on this were decent to very good songs with hooks, speed, wicked solos and a nice guitar sound. The vocals were decent as the singer has a good growl voice and doesn’t sound generic or out of place and thank god no cookie monster or squealing pig vocals. I didn’t like the trigger drum sound at all. The band is young and hopefully in due time they will really hit the nail on the head and they are headed in the right direction. Info:

PRIME EVIL/Evilution (Inferno Records) Here is a name I never thought I’d seen again after their demos got releases on cd a few years back. What we have here is a 3 song affair from the band this was a damn good release and 3 tunes made me want more. Andy still sounds great on vocals and my only complaint is the pig squeal vocals he uses on occasion. The 3 tunes are balls to the wall death metal with speed, emotion and feeling that just can’t be faked. Just a solid mix of mid paced and faster parts. Can’t wait for more from this band. Info:

HERETIC/A Time Of Crisis (Metal On Metal Records) Some of you old farts might remember this band when they were on Metal Blade Records and now after many, many years they are back with a new release and what a damn fine release it is. The band totally crush on this with a mix of metal and power that blew my doors off. The songs have that killer crunch and riffs that I crave and singer (and original member, who was later replaced my Mike Howe) Julian Mendez totally shreds on vocals with a great mix of aggression and power. The production is perfect and none of this new metal crap, this is balls to the wall 100% true heavy metal. Info:

BRUDYWR/December Moon (Nitroatmosfeicum Record) When black metal is done right it can rip, tear and shred you. Well this is done right as this isn’t some fast riff picking black metal with screeching vocals that you can’t understand a word and that sucks big balls. This just runs you over like a speeding freight train. Sure there is speed and there are also slower parts that let you catch your breath. The real secret to this is the vocals. While the music is good, the vocals are totally over the top and he is one of the best black metal singers I have heard. He delivers the words with power, velocity, and total feeling and hateful emotion. 12 tunes of black metal that satan would be proud of. Info:

EMPATIC/Gods Of Thousand Souls (Terrasound Records) Average death metal that sounds like 1000’s of other bands before them. There is nothing new on this at all and actually it grew kind of boring after a couple tracks. The music is a mix of thrash and death metal with low guttural vocals that are not brutal at all and he sounds like any other singer and does not stand out in the crowd. Bands like this, with so many bands in the scene today, need to do something to blow peoples doors off and not just be another case of same ole same ole. This doesn’t suck, but just kind of hangs around almost like an 8 and 8 football team. Info: or

HELLSPAWN/The Great Red Dragon (Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Psycho) When I popped this in within 2 songs I was thinking Morbid Angel and Angel Corpse. While this didn’t blow my doors off it easily kicked the door open. Fast, blazing riffs, wicked speed of metal and good vocals won me over. No lower than low or pig squealing on this. The guitar sound is good and none of the songs sucked and this is 100% well played fast fuckin death metal done the right way. Info: or

STILLBORN/Los Asesinos Del Sur (Ataman Productions) Fast, pulverizing death/black metal that pounded my skull inside and out. The fast blasting parts had me playing air drums and the slower, pure heavy riffs had me to catch my breath. Oh these guys aren’t playing around. The vocals are friggin awesome as the singer sings his balls out and I could just feel and hear the hatred spewing out of his voice. Just an insane blast of some of the best death/black metal this side of the Atlantic. This band blew me away with the speed and power. Fuck yeah. Info: or

PANDEMONIUM/Misanthropy (Pagan Records) This was a very cool band as they mix death and black metal and also throw in some avant garde stuff and it just rules. Very original sound too and I liked it the more it played on. The songs flow well together and just the triple combo of music was mind blowing at times. Singer has a good solid voice and this was like a breath of fresh air in the middle of the summer. Was totally cool to see a band branch out and do something different. Not that something like that works all time, but for this band it did and it did big time. Info: or

MORGER/Same (Nitroatmosfericum Records) This is a death metal band and some of it is good and some not so good. Music wise it is pretty solid death metal with a real heavy crunch to the guitar and it is big time thick and the riffs are catchy as hell as are the songs for the most part. The vocals to me are the weak part of the band as to me listening to this the guy is cupping the mic and sorry that is not brutal and the guy sounds like he has a good death metal voice to boot. He doesn’t need to cup the damn mic and lose the pig squeals as well. This would totally crush if the singing was better, it isn’t that bad, but could be so much better. Info:

MENTAL FUNERAL/Same (HDPGP) This was a bad version of Autopsy. The songs were weak as was the guitar sound and production. There was just no sense at all to the songs. It was like blah and blah. Nothing of substance at all. Vocals were the only decent thing on this as the rest was just below average gore death metal. Info:

SHADOWS IN THE CRYPT/Cryptic Communications (HDPGP) This a black metal band and they are pretty good. The music is fast, but not a wall of noise and there is some good song structures going on and I like the singer as his voice doesn’t sound all that generic and sings with feeling and hate, which is what you need with this style. Production is solid as well. This is one of the better black metal bands making the rounds these days. Info:

FIENDS OF FEAST/Shadows Of Extinction (HDPGP) Garbage black metal that sounds like a million other bands doing the same thing. Same riffs, vocals, song structures, you name it. Another faceless band in the underground and this time it’s a black metal band. Info:

ARKHAMIN KIRJASTO - Torches Ablaze (Ektro Records) Music wise this wasn’t bad, but the vocals I think totally suck. There is no power or feeling behind them and they just were weak. The music is a mix of heavy metal meets a little bit of death metal. The music is just Ok nothing special and to write home about and with vocals as bad as these are this was pretty bad. Info:

STENCH OF DECAY /Self Released) Again the music is decent, but a bunch of below average growl vocals ruin it. The music is some bone crushing raw sort of Swedish death metal like early Entombed, but they have a singer that lacks power and feeling and that disappointed me as this musically this was pretty brutal. Info:

VANLADE/Iron Age (Stormspell Records) This was some straight forward 80’s heavy metal with bits of power metal thrown in the mix. Think bands like Helstar and Deadly Blessing. This kind of grew on me as it played on as at first I wasn’t a fan of the vocals, but by 3rd song he won me over. He sings in with a clear style and he easily fits what the band is doing. The songs are catchy metal numbers and this label usually delivers the goods with their releases and they do again with this. Info:

SACRED GUARDIAN/Sacred Guardian (Stormspell Records) This wasn’t bad, but I felt the songs and riffs weren’t very strong at all. The tunes just lacked that killer punch and riffs that didn’t have my head or feet moving. The songs were just kind of there and didn’t do much for me. After each song it was like nothing and nothing again. Not much of anything to me. Info:

Zonaria/Arrival of the Red Sun (Listenable Records) Another happy thrash metal crap band that fuckin blows. They play those thrash happy groove riffs with awful death metal vocals and even some keyboard parts thrown in as well. This is pure garbage that pollutes the underground big time. Info:

HOODED MENACE/Effigies of Evil (Relapse Records) I am not a huge doom metal fan, but can get into it when it is done well and this to me wasn’t done well. The music dragged, but not in a good way. The vocals were also piss poor and there was nothing that took me by the horns and dragged me in say like Dream Death would. The Sabbath riffs have been done to death and this pretty much bored me. Info:

WINTERFYLLETH/The Threnody Of Triumph (Candlelight Records) Same heard it a million times before black metal with the same vocals I have heard over and over and riffs and song structures that have been done to death and then some. In other words this sucked. Info:

Inferion/Aborted by the Sun (Self Released) God awful death metal with beyond bad vocals and songs. Trigger happy drums and bad, bad death metal. This belongs in the garbage with all the other shit death metal out there.

North/The Great Silence (Not Sure) Easily the worst release I have heard this year. Absolutely awful doom/sludge that would and will put anybody to sleep. The songs suck and there is nothing on this that is anything but a complete waste of your time.Pure crap this is.

LYKEN21/Chaos Before The Crime (Self Released) This was some solid hard rock/metal with some good riffs and singing. The tunes were catchy and I found myself nodding my head to the tunes on this. Simple, but effective tunes with a really good singer who sounds great on this and fits the band well. There are not a lot of bands doing this style and it was nice to hear a rock/metal band lay down some serious chops. Info: or

RESTLESS BREED/No Walls Can Hold (Stormspell Records) I never heard of this band before, but this was some solid heavy metal throwing in some power metal at times. This is the bands demos from the 80’s and the band played straight forward heavy metal with some tasteful riffs and solid singing. This is denim and leather all the way baby. I am surprised this band didn’t get bigger as their songs are really strong and I love the singer, he sings in an aggressive, but clean style and his voice fits the music as well. If you’re into no frills heavy metal, these guys are right up your block and horns up for Stormspell for releasing this too. Info:

MOUNTAIN GRAVE/Overture Of The Dead (HDPGP) Some kick ass thrash/death metal. The songs are strong and have melody to them and are catchy and fast too. The vocals remind me of David from Morbid Angel at times. Some of this is mega fast as in track 2 which had me wailing away with my attempt at air drums. The guitar sound I love as I do the drums and vocals. The band also throws in some black metal into the trifecta mix and it fuckin works. Wish this was a full length as this is one band that mixes the styles right. Info:

HERETIC/A Time Of Crisis (Metal on Metal Records) Some of you might remember this band from back in the day as they released 2 albums on Metal Blade in the 80’s and now they are back with their original singer Julian Mendez and original member Brian Korban on guitars with 3 new members on board for the ride. This is more power metal and heavy metal than speed metal as some of their early stuff was. Oh there are some speed parts and they totally crush and the band sound tight as fuck and the Julian is an awesome singer and his voice is backed up by some crunchy and catchy riffs big time. Production is great too and it is nice to see band come back and do their old name and material justice. This totally crushes and is one hell of a comeback. Info:

COLD STEEL/The Demo Anthology: 20 Years Of NY Thrash (Stormspell Records) I remember reviewing these guys when my zine was a print zine and it is pretty cool after all these years of hearing this stuff on cd. You can easily hear an Anthrax influence as these songs played on. Sort of like from the Among the Living type of stuff. Oh and I don’t mean that in a negative way. I am surprised this band didn’t get signed and move on to big things cause the style they were playing was really in at the time. The music on this is straight forward no thrills thrash with some clean singing and he has a great voice too. The tunes are catchy and fast and to me is what thrash metal is all about. This has all the band’s demos on it and if you’re into old school thrash this is a must. Info:

HORROR PIKNIK / Speed Metal (Stormspell Records) I wasn’t too keen on these guys. They play old school thrash metal, but I was not a fan of the vocals and the music just didn’t catch my ear. Every song kinda sounded the same and to me this was just weak thrash with no power behind it. The guitar sound isn’t bad, but the vocals and the music itself just didn’t tickle my fancy. Info:

THE OTHER/The Devils You Know (Steamhammer / SPV) Some really cool punk and metal mix on this. Just catchy as fuck tunes played in a punk style with some thrown in the mix especially in the vocals. The tunes just caught my ear right away and within minutes I was loving this. I am a sucker for a good riff and this had more than enough to choice from. Also the band is doing something new and fresh and is not another case as the same old shit. Check these guys out for sure. Info:

SWALLOW THE SUN/Emerald Forest And the Blackbird (Spinefarm Records) I really tried to get into this and like it, but to me it is just a bunch of mindless doom that put me to sleep. The vocals are more in a death metal style and they are actually good, but it is the music. It just drags on and on with no feeling and nothing excited me about it at all. Just boring music pretty much that fell flat to these ears. Info:

ALUNAH/WHITE HOARHOUND (Psyche Doomelic Records) This was some killer doom metal with some godly female vocals. Now this wasn’t boring doom as the riffs and songs has some melody and were catchy and had that Sabbath feel to them too. The female singer has an incredible voice and she sings the tunes with a ton of passion and feeling. The music is just heavy as fuck and this is about as good as doom metal gets. A killer release for sure.

Perzonal War/Captive Breeding (Metalville Records) This grew on me. At first I wasn’t too keen with it and as it played on and I listened a couple more times I think this band is pretty damn good. They are a big different as they play a sort of thrash style with a mix of groove and they have a ton of melody to their tunes. That is what got me. The hooks and riffs and the singer is also very good as well. They mix many styles and they make it work. No tough guy vocals or generic nu metal crap on this neither. To me it is all about songs and this had a bunch of them on this.

Dragony/Legends (Limb Music) This is like that happy style of power metal with catchy riffs and a singer with a clean, but powerful voice. This style has been done to death and this pretty much bored me as it just sounds like all the bands doing this style in the past and nothing was memorable to me at all.

Cultfinder/Black Thrashing Terror (Eldritch Lunar Miasma) Holy shit is this some rip roaring black/thrash metal that totally blew me away. This is a 7" with 3 tunes and damned if I didn't want more and more. Vocals from the pits of hell itself. The raw chainsaw sounding guitar sound mixed in with the vocals and overall atmosphere and feeling is just unholy. An amazing piece of work. Info:

Engorgement/Excrutiating Intestinal Lacerations (Comatose Music) Awful death/grind with some awful vocals and the music isn't far behind. Just a bunch of mindless riffs and growls that is NOT brutal and goes nowhere. Total garbage and the tin can drum blasts are a joke. Info:

XIBALBA/Hasta La Muerte (Southern Lord) Damn this is some wicked music on this. Just raw chainsaw pounding death metal with some vocals that are sung, well growled in a great way and he growls with tons of feeling and evilness to boot. The raw sound the band gets is so great and the tunes just have that feeling and style that can't be duplicated by fake bands. The speed and intensity on here is second to none too. Info:

Drone/For Torch and Crown (Metalville Records) Absolutely awful happy thrash/groove metal with the tough guy vocals. Shit bands like this are a dime a dozen and this is another band you can add to the trash can. Info:

DOA/We Come in Peace (Sudden Death) Damn I saw this band plenty of times at City Gardens in Trenton, NJ and was surprised to find the band still around. Well they were a damn fine punk back in the day and they still are now. This is real hardcore not that crap that is wimpy and sounds like a modern rock band. Just vicious riffs and feeling that can't be faked. They just had that old school, nasty punk sound that is so wicked cool. Info:

DAM/Inside Out (Divebomb Records) Here is the 1st of 2 re-releases that Matt put out. I remember the band’s name, but really never much music. This is mid paced thrash metal and it isn't bad, but I wish there was some more speed to it at times. The singer has a clean voice, but he is not annoying at all. The music is has that heavy crunch and this band easily has their own style and were not just some 3rd rate thrash metal band. The production on here is solid and the guitar really shines through as well. Very cool that this is now available. Info:

DAM/Human Wreckage (Divebomb Records) Oh I liked this better than the above one, though both are still good. I like the singing better on this and there is some speed on this too. The killer guitar crunch is still there and the songs I just liked better as this was more of an all-out thrash metal assault. If you a fan of real thrash not that happy shit out there now, well do yourself a favor and buy both of there, trust me you'll be glad you did. Info:

WATCHTOWER/Control And Resistance (Divebomb Records) I hated these guys went they were around many moons ago and I still don't get why anybody would like this. The music is all over the place and maybe it is because it is too technical, but it comes down to songs and this didn't click with me then or now. Oh and Jason's singing was hit or miss back in the day and for me it is miss all the way, I hate his vocals. This might be cool for some people, but I was not a fan before and not one now. Info:

EPIDEMIC/Pandemic: The Demo Anthology (Divebomb Records) I am sure some of you old timers, like me, will remember this band on Metal Blade. While some of their music was good on that label, to me it was the demos that brought them to the dance. This stuff totally rips shreds and kills. Blistering fast as fuck thrash/speed with some intense vocals. This band totally had their own sound and was way different than all the bay area thrash bands as well. The feeling and intensity on this is second to none and double horns up to Matt for putting this out. Buy or be a fuckin poser. Info:

RAMPART/War Behest (Inferno Records) This was a pure heavy metal delight to review. Heck I thought I was back in 185 listening to this and that to me is not a bad thing. This is 100% pure straight forward heavy metal to the bone. Catchy, but still heavy riffs and a female singer with a clean, but aggressive voice that fits the music like tight jeans. Heck she is about as good as any female singer I have heard in metal in a long time. 10 tunes and not a bad one in the bunch. Solid production to boot. This is heavy metal lover’s dream band. This is also a breath of fresh air from all the garbage out there. Info:

IREZ MUERTOZ/Sikario (Self Released) 5 tracks on this. The band just didn’t do much for me. They didn’t suck, but this was nothing that knocked me out of my seat. The vocals are just growled and to me didn’t have much power or feeling behind them. The music is a mix between grind, punk and some death metal. The production also isn’t very good and the guitar sound is flat. This band needs to work on writing some more catchy and memorable riffs and maybe look for a singer. Info:

THE NADDIKS/Amber Sun (Self Released) The bands bio says the band is making a move into real music. Ha I find that funny. All this is is a bunch of senseless noise with no memorable riffs and just a bunch of noise. All the singer does is scream and yell like he is on drugs and the music drives so be like Nirvana or the Sex Pistols to a point and these guys aren’t even close. Nirvana wrote MEMORABLE riffs and songs that were both catchy and heavy. Shit even the Sex Pistols had memorable riffs. This is just a complete mumbo jumbo release that goes nowhere really fast. Info:

THE ORDER -1986 (Massacre Records) Some really good kick ass heavy metal that verges on power metal here and there. Riffs that are catchy and heavy and a singer with a great set of pipes and balls as well. The 5 tunes on this are just fist pumping metal tunes that will have your foot tapping and neck moving at times as well. I love the guitar sound and overall vibe that this had and wish there were more than 5 tunes. Info:

DISINTEGRATE -Parasites Of A Shifting Future (Massacre Records) This really didn't do much for me. The band didn't suck, but it was nothing special neither. The singer just growls out the lyrics, with not a bit of passion and just sounds like any other death metal singer and the music is just mindless death and thrash metal that pretty much went nowhere fast. Info:

NUCLEAR DEATH TERROR/Chaos Reigns (Southern Lord Records) This to me sounded like a 5th rate Pestilence and pretty much sucked. The singer wasn't bad, but the music was easily forgettable with nothing to offer. The riffs and song structures had me yawning and this was pretty awful death metal. Info;

ENEMY REIGN/Between Hell And Oblivion (Self Released) This was some decent death metal, not mind blowing, but it didn't suck neither. The one thing that was a negative was that all the songs kinda sounded the same and had no identity. They need to mix it up a bit and make each song stand on its own. The guitar sound is absolutely killer and the singer just totally rules. Total feeling and brutality and not that lower than low shit. Just a great death metal voice period. If this band changes a bit, they easily could be deadly and a force to reckon with. Info:

Silencer/The Great Bear (Vanity Music Group) Some pretty kick ass heavy/thrash metal is the ticket here. The music is catchy and speedy, but I wouldn’t call it speed metal. Just kick ass tunes with tons of hooks in the song structures and some good singing to boot. I like the guitar sound and this isn’t just some generic happy thrash neither. Just pound you into the group thrash that kicks hard. Info:

LETHAL AGGRESSION/Ad Nauseam (HDPGP) Damn I reviewed this guys was back in 1986 when I put out issue # 1 and here there are many, many moons later with a new release. This the 2nd full length as there was one in 89 and the only original member left is the singer John and he smokes on this puppy. The band plays a vicious blend of metal and hardcore and is a great crossover band. Shit this sounds like it could have come back out in 1986. The songs are blasts of speed and aggression with John screaming his fuckin lungs out. This is just complete annulation of old school crossover all the way. As a bonus you also get a show from 1989 from CBGB’s as well. This is easily one band that has withstood the test of time and is kicking ass better than ever.

CREPITUS/The Vile Vortex (HDPGP) Same heard a million times before and I’ll hear it a million times more death metal that sounds like every weenie Cannibal Corpse copy band. Trigger drums with the low vocals with bad songs to boot. Nothing of value as it was just very bland and this did not do anything for me and another faceless death metal band. Info:

STERBHAUS/Self Titled (Metal Promotions) Some wicked black and thrash metal which sounded good to these ears. Oh and the singer sings with a ton of feeling and emotion and didn’t sound like some singer going through the motions. The band mixes a good deal of thrash and black metal and this just hits hard and hits often. Production is solid and the guitar crunch and sound works for me. Info:

ETECC/The Slaughterhouse Demos (Metal Promotions) Some pretty bad happy thrash that went nowhere mighty fast. Songs were boring the singer was awful and this was just awful all around. Info:

POWER THEORY/Out Of The Ashes, Into The Fire (Pure Steel Records) I saw these guys live recently and they kicked my ass with their mix of heavy metal. This is straight forward metal that has plenty of hooks and some fantastic singing to boot. The songs are the kind of metal that will raise four fists in the air for sure. The guitar crunch is nice and thick and the tunes are just damn catchy, in other words, riffs, riffs, riffs. And the riffs are fuckin great. The singer, Dave, as one hell of a voice and he sings the songs with feeling and passion and that is missing from a lot of bands these days. A great metal band here. Info:

LINEAR SPERE/Manvantara (Self Released) I reviewed this bands 1st release many moons ago, 2005 to be exact and now they are back with release # 2. The band plays a brand of progressive metal that I found to be pretty damn good. To me bands that play this style is hit or miss with me. If the music is so over the top and just full of guitar solos and not strong tunes they lose me. Now if a band does this style, does it in an original way and don’t just go off on guitar solos and make the music not so complex and still do that style, but have strong riffs and strong vocals they got me. Well this band got me. I love Dream Theatre’s “Images and Words” release and this reminded me of that in some ways. There are 6 tunes on this and they go up and down in so many ways they take you on a rollercoaster ride that you will not want to get off. The singer just belts out the lyrics with power and fury and his voice are over powering to say the least. The band plays their progressive style well and don’t go over the top. Info:

HAIDUK/Spellbook (Self Released) This is a one man band and I’ll assume the bass and drums were done by sessions players. This is a kind of weird band as the music is more in the thrash metal vein with touches of black metal and the vocals are more in the black/death metal style. The music is fast and catchy and to me sounds pretty damn original. Some really strong song structures and this will have you nodding your head to the music. Thank god the vocals aren’t cookie monster style or so low that is becomes a joke. Easily one of the best one man bands I have heard in quite some time. Info: or or

ANGMAR/Self Titled (Self Released) What we got here is a 4 song EP from this NJ based bad. They label their music as black/death metal and I would say that isn’t far off the mark, but they are way more death metal than black metal. The 4 tunes on here weren’t bad at all and I am glad they didn’t try to sound like a million other generic bands out there. The singer has a nice voice and doesn’t do the pig squeals or the cookie monster style, which a ton of bands do nowadays. The songs here are fast, catchy and of course heavy. These guys are pretty damn good and I look forward to a full length next time. Info:

BABYLON MYSTERY ORCHESTRA/Poinium Cherem (Self Released) As this played on I have no idea what this I assume is a one man band/project. What I got on this was some beyond bad music along with some chanted almost spoken vocals behind it. Why this guy thinks anybody would like his music must be smoking something. I thought the NORTH CD I reviewed elsewhere was the worst release of the year, well they have company. The music, I wouldn’t even call it music, just plods on and on and gets worse the longer it goes. Beyond bad. Info;

KRAKOW/Diin (Dark Essence Records) Absolutely boring doom/sludge metal that I am sure would put anybody to sleep listening to this. There is no substance at all to the songs; they just drag with some putrid singing to boot. The only thing decent about this was the production. Info:

UNCHAINED/Oncoming Chaos (M & O Music) Ah I loved the music on this as when it started playing I was totally into the catchy, heavy, almost thrash riffing style and the came in the awful vocals which pretty much made this unlistenable. To me they are that bad and I can’t stand em. Music wise this is crushing heavy metal bordering on thrash and totally kicked my ass. Some may like the death metal growls and singing, I just felt it was out of place with this band. Info:

I SPIT ASHES/Inhaling Blackness...Reflecting Light (Massacre Records) I am not a fan of when labels call a band “modern thrash metal” as I know it is going to be groove style and I’ll be damned if this wasn’t that style. The happy riffs and keyboards that are so out of place on this. Tough guy vocals top this off and again it is another faceless groove metal band only this is worse with the keyboards. Sorry to me “modern thrash metal” is a band like Havok. Info:

SCORNAGE/ReaFEARance (Massacre Records) More “modern thrash metal” and this wasn’t as bad as the singer isn’t doing that tough guy style and the songs were somewhat catchy on this, but also didn’t have that generic feel to them. I didn’t like some of the screechy vocals on this, but the heavy, crunchy non happy thrash riffs helped this out big time. A halfway horns up. Info:

POWER THEORY/An Axe To Grind (Pure Steel Records) A 2nd and new release from this band. Like the band’s debut releases this is choke full of killer metal tunes. I would say this is a tad bit faster in parts and that is fine with me, but don’t think speed metal though. This band has really found its niche as the songs on this just totally crush and no groove, no tough guy vocals neither. This is straight on down the line heavy metal with traces and bits of power metal and this band easily raises the metal flag nice and high. Singer again does a fantastic job as does the band and both releases are a must have. Info: