Reviews: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Update Archives: December 17, 2006

FEATURED REVIEWS

AMOS - A Matter Of Time
Brazil’s Amos can trace its roots back to 1994 where it got its start as a heavy doom influenced project.  The bands first release, a demo entitled Comfort In Trouble, hit the shelves in 1998 while a year later it put out the goth-like progressive melodic metal of its aptly titled sophomore effort Gothic SoulRead Full Review >>

BRIDE - Kinetic Faith
Kinetic Faith, the fourth full length album from West Point, Kentucky based Bride, can trace its origin back to the time between the release of the bands second and third albums - Live To Die and Silence Is Madness – when vocalist Dale Thompson, growing increasingly disenchanted with the Christian music industry, decided to pursue a “secular” career.  Briefly venturing to California, Dale became involved in a band called Thunder Ball with bassist Rik Fox – a Los Angeles music scene veteran whom he met through a mutual friend – and performed two weeks worth of shows in addition to spending some time in the studio as well.  Read Full Review >>                 

DIVINEFIRE - Into A New Dimension
As the old saying goes, “three times is a charm”, and such is the case with Divinefire and its excellent third full length outing Into A New Dimension.  Recorded in follow up to the bands 2005 releases Glory Thy Name and Hero, the album continues to find founding members vocalist Christian Rivel (Narnia) and composer and multi-instrumental virtuoso Jani Stefanovic (Essence Of Sorrow) charting the waters of symphonic power metal territory.  Read Full Review >>

JUPITER VI - Back From Mars
Jupiter VI, the new theater rock project of Deliverance founder and front man Jimmy P. Brown II, came into being when the late Carl Crandell asked Brown if he wanted to record a straightforward rock album.  Initially balking at the idea, Brown reconsidered when he woke up one morning with the concept of Jupiter VI in his head.  Read Full Review >>

SIR LORD BALTIMORE - Raw
Any discussion in regards to the origin of heavy metal as an art form almost inevitably revolves around several pioneering bands - with Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple being the most noteworthy – that by and large define the genre.  One lesser-known act that deserves equal consideration, however, is Sir Lord Baltimore.  Read Full Review >>             

STRIDE - Imagine
It is without question that today’s music scene is imbued with several high quality progressive metal bands, with Dream Theater, Symphony X, Threshold, Shadow Gallery and Magnitude 9 standing out as many of the more noteworthy.  One act that deserves mention with the genres very best, nevertheless, is Houston, Texas based Stride.  Read Full Review >

VARIOUS ARTISTS - California Metal
California Metal, the first of five compilation albums released by Regency Records in the late eighties, was designed primarily to showcase the talents of the numerous unsigned Christian metal bands that had arrived on the scene following the success of Stryper. As its title implies, all of the artists participating on the project come from the state in question and bring a variety of styles ranging from classic metal, melodic metal, speed metal and commercial hard rock.  Read Full Review >>      

TRIPART - Beneath The Surface
TriPart is a new Christian rock band hailing from Rochester, Michigan.  Playing a combination of hard rock, melodic rock, blues and AOR on its 2006 full length debut Beneath The Surface, TriPart delivers a diverse sound certain to appeal to fans of not only Petra, Idle Cure, White Heart and Daniel Band but those into Stryper, Angelica, Guardian, Shout and Slav Simanic as well.  Read Full Review >>
            

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Bloodgood promo pic with Oz Fox

STRYPER guitarist joins BLOODGOOD:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

STRYPER's Oz Fox has joined fellow Christian hard rock act BLOODGOOD as the group's new guitarist.

Commented BLOODGOOD bassist Michael Bloodgood: "Really it was something I thought about years ago, that if I ever put the band back together, I would talk to Oz about joining. Paul Jackson (guitars)and I had even talked about it way back when, and he thought it would be a great idea; and Les (Carlsen - vocals) always was always been into it. So, when we did start to put BLOODGOOD back together, I really started to pray about calling Oz, even though STRYPER had reformed as well.

"Oz and I got to hang out together in England back in the fall of 2000 at the Meltdown Festival. That was where we bonded our friendship. My wife and I fell in love with the guy! The three of us would talk into the wee hours of the morning. Plus, he has the same twisted sense of humor that you need to be in this band. He’s going to fit in nicely! Seriously, Oz has a great heart and is truly a humble man.

"As I was driving down to meet Paul Jackson and few weeks ago for a rehearsal, I felt the Lord tell me, 'Go ahead and call Oz.' So I did. No doubt, I caught him off guard! But he seemed truly flattered and excited about joining up with the band. I made it clear that I understood STRYPER was his priority, but that I really felt the Lord telling me to extend the offer to have him join us, too."

BLOODGOOD online: www.bloodgoodband.com & www.facebook.com/bloodgoodband

Stryper - Extended Versions

Extended Versions live album from STRYPER:
Press Release / Sony/BMG has added STRYPER to its "Extended Versions" series. A new STRYPER live album, entitled simply Extended Versions, features live performances from the 2003 reunion tour, including the first live version of "You Won't Be Lonely" to ever be released.

STRYPER's latest album, Reborn, is available on Big3 Records. Reborn marks STRYPER's first complete studio release of original material in over a decade, since 1990's Against The Law, and features 10 original tracks as well a new version of the previously released track In God We Trust. The album was recorded in Massachussetts at Blue Jay Studio, Mixed Emotions, and singer Michael Sweet's home studio.

Original STRYPER members Michael Sweet (lead vocals, guitar), Oz Fox (lead guitar), and Robert Sweet (drums) are joined in the group's current incarnation by bassist Tracy Ferrie.

Extended Versions track listing:

1. “Makes Me Wanna Sing”
2. “Calling On You”
3. “Free”
4. “More Than A Man”
5. “You Won’t Be Lonely”
6. “Reach Out”
7. “The Way”
8. “Soldiers Under Command”
9. “To Hell With The Devil”
10. “Honestly”

STRYPER online: www.stryper.com & www.facebook.com/Stryper

NEWS BRIEFS

* HB, a female fronted Finnish group with a sound inviting comparison to NIGHTWISH, will be putting out the English version of its 2006 release Enne next spring. 

* Former WINGDOM keyboardist Mikko Harkin has joined forces with vocalist Thomas Vikstrom (7 DAYS, CANDLEMASS), drummer Markus Niemispelto (RANDOM EYES, WINGDOM), guitarist Jani Stefanovic (DIVINEFIRE, ESSENCE OF SORROW) and bassist Jarno Raito (WINGDOM) and put together a new band called MEHIDA. The debut of MEHIDA, which does not yet have a release date, is tentatively entitled Blood & Water.

* NEAL MORSE finished the recording process of his latest solo release - a concept album based around Martin Luther - and sent it off for mixing and mastering. The project is set for a March 1, 2007 release date. The rhythm section of drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER) and bassist Randy George (AJALON) returns along with a special guest appearance by guitar hero Paul Gilbert (MR BIG). 

 

Update Archives: December 6, 2006

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Fountain Of Tears - Fate

FOUNTAIN OF TEARS project update:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

Press Release / Drummer Joey Daub of the much-missed late '80s/early '90s technical-thrash metal band BELIEVER has completed work on the new album from his FOUNTAIN OF TEARS project, entitled Fate. The album, which is scheduled for release on February 13, 2007, is available for pre-order now at the FOUNTAIN OF TEARS website.  "Also, the cover art and track listing have been posted on the site and in the next couple of days our first single, 'What Lies Ahead', will be uploaded in its entirety and available for download," Daub writes on his web site.

Joey continues: "On the BELIEVER front, due to some changes within the 'Bachman' camp (guitarist/vocalist Kurt Bachman), we have not made much progress recently but will resume writing when things clear up. Kurt and I are looking forward to getting on a more steady schedule to crank out some tunes.

"Having said that, Jeff King (bassist/keyboardist) and I have been using the time available to write more songs for our YEAR OF PLENTY project. It has been a very creative process and we are really enjoying ourselves. Jeff, being a fan of odd meters and crazy riffs, has written some very interesting stuff that I feel the BELIEVER fan could enjoy."

Fate track listing:

1. “Weeping Sky”
2. “Corruption”
3. “Falling”
4. “What Lies Ahead”
5. “Forever Lost”
6. “Desire”
7. “A Descent Into the Maelstrom”
8. “With My Fears”
9. “Ten”
10. “Entropy”
11. “Jasmine”
12. “Fate”

FOUNTAIN OF TEARS online: www.fountainoftears.com

GRAND LUX - Escaping The Clouds video uploaded:
Press Release / Norwegian heavy metal band GRAND LUX has uploaded the video for its song "Escaping the Clouds" at YouTube.com. The track comes off the group's sophomore album, Carved in Stone, due on January 26, 2007 through Ulterium Records.

The follow-up to 2005's Iron Will, Carved In Stone was recorded, engineered and mastered during November 2006 by Endre Kirkesola at Dub Studios.

Carved In Stone track listing:

1. “1000 Paper Cranes”
2. “Fallen Angel”
3. “Escaping The Clouds”
4. “Eye Of The Storm”
5. “Through Dirt”
6. “Like Hail From Blue Sky”
7. “Love Reflection”
8. “Never Fall”
9. “Eternity In Fire”
10. “Rainbow's End”

Ordering information: http://ulteriumstore.bigcartel.com/product/grand-lux-carved-in-stone

Scelerata - Darkness & Light

MTM Music signs SCELERATA:
Press Release / MTM announces the signing of Brazilian Melodic Metal band SCELERATA. SCELERATA is a young and talented band from Brasil, now stepping into the scene with a very technical and powerful melodic metal debut album. Formed in 2003, they had no great interest in doing cover songs but immediately began writing their own songs. Heavy and also a bit progressive in style they wrote powerful metal tracks and began to elaborate them to sophisticated songs with high energy and beats that keep pushing forward.

Influenced by metal heroes like HELLOWEEN, IRON MAIDEN and DREAM THEATER, SCELERATA's songs represent the new era of modern and melodic but at the same time classic heavy metal music. Ambitious guitar work, fast and aggressive double bass parts and pretentious melodies supported by Carl Casagrandes brilliant voice.

Also live Scelerata already gained some respect while standing on same stages with giants like DEEP PURPLE and ANGRA. One of their biggest supporters Edu Falaschi, singer of ANGRA, is featured on SCELERATA´s debut Darkness And Light, singing the song “Spell Of Time”.

Recorded in Brazil and mastered by Dennis Ward at House of Audio Studios, Germany, MTM MUSIC now releases this brilliant debut worldwide. Get ready for some real heavy and at the same time melodic metal music!

Darkness And Light track listing:

1. “Land Of The Sins”
2. “Holy Fire”
3. “Eminence”
4. “The Spell Of Time”
5. “Ethereal Places”
6. “Endless”
7. “Darkness & Light”
8. “Spirits Looking For...”
9. “Wings To Fly”
10. “Adonai (Sacred Melodies)”
11. "Eminence" + Making Of (video bonus track)

SCELERATA online: www.facebook.com/ScelerataOfficial

NEWS BRIEFS

* Vocalist Ski has officially left South Jersey power metal band DEADLY BLESSING. In a statement announcing his decision, the singer said, "Well, all good things must come to and end, I must move on. I just wanted to thank all [the fans] for your love and support through all the years with blessing; it's been a fun ride. I will now carry the torch in my new American Christian power metal band called FAITH FACTOR."

* The two CD signature edition of SAVIOUR MACHINE’s Legend Part II is available now as a limited 300 count pressing. The first disc is a first edition master pressing (April 1998) of the album from Eric Clayton’s collection of promotional CD’s, while the second is made up of more than 70 minutes of additional Legend Part II material. 

* VENI DOMINE new album update from Guitarist Torbjorn Weinesjo: “We will track drums the coming weekend, regarding the approach on the new CD, so difficult to tell. I aimed for a bit more intensity when writing the songs, but it will sound like VENI DOMINE anyhow. As we have a few guests on this CD it will spice it up but it will keep some of the VD legacy and some new elements will be added. I know some prefer us doing Material Sanctuary or FBF again, but that won’t happen as I believe in progression, some like some don't. We have two songs that will clock in just under or over 10 minutes and some with more "normal" length. One of the songs is the slowest we ever made, other than that it will keep the format I guess from the previous CD’s. We're working on 9 songs for the CD.”

 

Update Archives: November 5, 2006

FEATURED REVIEWS

ADIASTASIA - Life War
A literal flood of Christian metal bands have come out of Brazil in recent years.  And Adiastasia, with its double bass driven brand of power metal, is the next in line in what has been at times an erratic and at others a very rewarding succession of talent to arrive from the country in question: Belica, Destra, Dracma, Dynasty, Eterna, Seven Angels, Shining Star, Stauros, Sunroad and many others.  Read Full Review >>

BRIDE - Silence Is Madness
West Point, Kentucky based Bride did not start to come into its own from a musical standpoint until its very fine 1989 outing Silence Is Madness.  Abandoning many of the overriding thrash elements found on its 1988 sophomore release Live To Die, the album finds Bride moving in a mostly classic metal direction while reflecting an occasional groove flavored or blues based influence as well.  Read Full Review >>   

BRIDE - Skin For Skin
Skin For Skin, the latest endeavor from Bride, finds the band moving in the same hard rocking direction of This Is It but heavier and with more attitude and all out raw energy.  What we end up with is Bride’s most guitar driven effort in literally years, a work in which the band successfully captures much of the power and pure dynamism it exhibited on Snakes In The PlaygroundRead Full Review >>           

EVERGRACE - Evergrace
Evergrace came together in early 2001 and proceeded to tour its native Sweden over the next several years until vocalist Johan Falk, feeling that the bands music needed improvement and a greater sense of depth, decided to enroll in a local music program at ITM.  Continuing to play the sporadic show in order to keep its momentum going, Evergrace did not hit its stride, however, until Johan completed his music training in early 2006.  Read Full Review >>          

LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE - Soundtrack Of A Soul
Liberty N’ Justice formed in 1991 as a result of a collaboration between founding members Justin Murr and Patrick Marchand.  Releasing the bands full length debut Armed With The Cross one year later on Glory Rock Records, the two followed up in 1994 with a sophomore effort entitled Big GunsRead Full Review >>       

MISSION OF ONE - Show Me The Way
Mission Of One is the project of a talented vocalist and guitarist by the name of Chris Dickens.  Originally using the moniker of Missionary One on his 2004 full length debut Take Another Swig, Chris changed the name of the project to Mission Of One prior to releasing its very fine 2005 sophomore release Show Me The WayRead Full Review >>        

TROGLODYTE DAWN - Troglodyte Dawn
The ambient doom project Troglodyte Dawn is the brainchild of Randy Michaud, a talented vocalist and multi-instrumental virtuoso who previously fronted the eighties heavy metal band D.T. Seizure and recently the Phoenix, Arizona based Christian metal outfit Tykküs.  Randy developed the vision for Troglodyte Dawn as a “one God/one man” project in the summer of 1995 while living in Spokane, Washington, spending the next seven years in the songwriting and recording process before completing the project in 2002 following a move to the Phoenix area.  Read Full Review >>

VENI DOMINE - Fall Babylon Fall
Sweden’s Veni Domine got its start in 1987 while initially under the name Glorify. Put together by founding member’s guitarist Torbjorn Weinesjo, drummer Thomas Weinesjo and bassist Anders Olofsson, the band finalized its first official line up when it recruited a talented vocalist by the name of Fredrik Ohlsson.  Read Full Review >>   

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Grand Lux - Carved In Stone

GRAND LUX SIGNS with Ulterium Records:
Press Release / Ulterium Records has announced the signing of the Norwegian '80s heavy metal band GRAND LUX.  The group's sophomore album, Carved In Stone, is scheduled for a January 26, 2007 release.  GRAND LUX put out its full-length debut Iron Will in 2005.

Carved In Stone was engineered by Endre Kirkesola (TRAIL OF TEARS, GUARDIANS OF TIME, BLOOD RED THRONE) at Dub Studios in Kristiansand (Norway) and all artwork was created by Samuel Durling.

Carved In Stone track listing:

1. “1000 Paper Cranes”
2. “Fallen Angel”
3. “Escaping The Clouds”
4. “Eye Of The Storm”
5. “Through Dirt”
6. “Like Hail From Blue Sky”
7. “Love Reflection”
8. “Never Fall”
9. “Eternity In Fire”
10. “Rainbow's End”

Ordering information: http://ulteriumstore.bigcartel.com/product/grand-lux-carved-in-stone

Threshold - Dead Reckoning

THRESHOLD completes work on new album, Dead Reckoning:
Press Release / U.K. progressive metallers THRESHOLD have finished recording their new album, Dead Reckoning, for a March 23, 2007 release via Nuclear Blast Records. The album, was produced by guitarist Karl Groom and keyboardist Richard West at Thin Ice Studios.

Commented Richard West: "It's great to finally be finished. It felt like we could keep working forever, but Nuclear Blast gave us a Christmas deadline and that helped us focus on finishing. We started writing over the summer with the intention of modernizing our approach with a darker heavier sound. But once the writing starts the songs sometimes take over, so alongside the heavier tracks like “Slipstream” and “Hollow” there's a 10-minute progressive epic called “Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams”, a huge PINK FLOYD-esque ending to “One Degree Down”, and the last song we wrote is a power ballad called “Safe To Fly”, which proved to be the missing piece of the puzzle.

"While Karl was busy tracking drums and guitars at Thin Ice Studios, I was recording vocals and keyboards at Bray Studios. It was a nice place to work; everyone from IRON MAIDEN to CLIFF RICHARD were there rehearsing for tours, and I had a steady stream of musicians and crew popping in for coffee.

"At one stage we were going to call the album 'Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams', but in the end it was more suitable as a song title; it didn't sound solid or powerful enough to represent the overall sound of the album.

"Our fans were great. They started posting their own artwork for the 'Pilot' title on our forum, based on everything from the HAMMERFALL artwork (their new album is called Threshold) to Dastardly and Mutley (cartoon characters). Our cover artist for the last few years has been Thomas Ewerhard and he did a great design for 'Pilot', but with the new album title Dead Reckoning came a new artist called Davide Nadalin who has done a wonderful cover for us, which we'll reveal in the New Year. Thomas's artwork won't be wasted though; we hope to use that for something next year.

"We've started announcing our live shows for 2007. Originally we were going to tour before the summer, but now it looks like we'll start the summer with some festivals and tour after that."

THRESHOLD drummer Johanne James has been named drummer of the year by the Classic Rock Society. The award was presented to him by the legendary Carl Palmer and CRS president Martin Hudson at their annual awards ceremony. As well as drumming for THRESHOLD, Johanne fronts and drums for KYRBGRINDER, whose debut album, "Defiance", is due for release in January.

THRESHOLD been confirmed for the ProgPower USA VIII festival, set to take place October 5-6, 2007 at Center Stage Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia. Other bands scheduled to appear include SONATA ARCTICA, PAGAN'S MIND, PRIMAL FEAR, REDEMPTION, VIRGIN STEELE, RAINTIME, FIREWIND, COMMUNIC, VANDEN PLAS and FREAK KITCHEN. THRESHOLD last played at the festival in 2002. THRESHOLD is also booked to perform at Metalcamp 2007 in Slovenia next July. Metalcamp claims to be the hottest and longest metal event of 2007, with seven days of camping and beach party, five days of live music across two stages, and more than 80 bands.

Dead Reckoning track listing: “Slipstream”, “This Is Your Life”, “Elusive”, “Hollow”, “Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams”, “Fighting For Breath”, “Disappear”, “Safe To Fly”, “One Degree Down”

Nuclear Blast online: www.nuclearblast.com/en

THRESHOLD online: www.thresh.net & www.facebook.com/threshold

NEWS BRIEFS

* Former MALACHIA members update from vocalist Ken Pike and keyboardist Steve Ayola:

Keyboardist Steve “Chima” Ayola is currently the Technical Director of a performing arts theater in Oregon.  He still plays in the worship band at a local Vineyard Christian Fellowship in addition to occasionally jamming at Blues Society meetings.  Lead vocalist Ken Pike – the guy with the three and a half octave ranged voice! - works as a federal law enforcement officer in Florida and is currently involved in a country rock band (although he remains a metal head at heart!).  Bass guitarist Wade Little took over as CEO of his father’s detective and anti-terrorist consulting firm.  Drummer Dave DaVaughn resides in Southern California and owns his own business.  He still plays in a local Christian band on the side.  Lead guitarist Jeffrey James works in the chiropractic industry.

* SAINT vocalist Josh Kramer recently spent some time in Kansas City with former SAINT guitarist John Mahan with the goal of staring a new recording project under the name “Mahan and Kramer of Saint”.  Mahan offered the following update at: www.saint777.net

"Dear SAINT fans, it’s been a long time! For the last 20 years I’ve been working on extremely heavy material.  Josh stands corrected and realizes that there is no comparison to the music I am coming up with these days.

"I don’t sound like anything that you can compare my stuff to.  It has a lot of elements of every type of metal in existence.  I love all metal and I’ve drawn from all of the metal influences over the past 20 years to this day and this new stuff I know you will love. Josh says it will melt your face. He is right.  I’ve been looking forward to sharing this new music with you all with Josh singing his guts out to this stuff." 

 

Update Archives: October 15, 2006

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Bride - Skin For Skin

BRIDE - Skin For Skin details revealed:
BRIDE founders Dale (vocals) and Troy (guitars) Thompson have once again composed and recorded 12 songs that are sure to re-awaken the group’s fans.  Not since the legendary Snakes In The Playground (from 1992) has a BRIDE album come so highly anticipated.  Skin For Skin is a very powerful work.  Dales vocals continue to induce and incite chills up the spine.  Troy invents some of the most memorable and groove orientated metal licks in his career.  Bassist Lawrence Bishop drives the bottom end like an M1 tanks.  Unlike past releases, Skin For Skin is riddled with double bass thunder.  Together all these elements produce possibly the best work BRIDE has recorded!

Lyrically, Dale deals with tough subjects such as racism, war, evil in the world, sacrifice and the love for all others.  He delves headlong and addresses addiction, redemption, restoration, deliverance, and love. Dale's son Alex, who currently is serving in the United States Air Force, even has a songwriting credit.

BRIDE also invited a special guest to appear on the album:  Not since their second release, Live To Die (1988), has guitar virtuoso Steve Osborne appeared on a BRIDE album.  However, on Skin For Skin you will hear his phenomenal soloing throughout.

BRIDE is widely regarded as one of the greatest live bands to sate and they have now captured the live energy in the studio.

Skin For Skin is the essential BRIDE album to obtain.  Twenty years has past, a Dove Award, more than a dozen albums, thousands of miles touring throughout the world playing to hundreds of thousands of fans on the globe and BRIDE is back full throttle- all metal!  Yes, Skin For Skin is a word to be celebrated, but most of all fans should not lose sight of the true theme of all BRIDE album, which is “Christ and Him crucified”.

Skin For Skin track listing:

1. “The Calm”
2. “Skin For Skin”
3. “End Of Days”
4. “Take The Medication”
5. “Inside Ourselves”
6. “Hard To Kick”
7. “Fuel And Fire”
8. “Breathless”
9. “Prodigious Savant”
10. “Bang Goodbye”
11. “Rise Above”
12. “The Government”
13. “Super Ego Star”
14. “Hang On”

BRIDE online: http://bridepub.com & www.facebook.com/BridebandOn

Divinefire - Into A New Dimension

DIVINEFIRE to release Into A New Dimension in November:
Press Release / Symphonic metal veterans DIVINEFIRE will release their third full-length album on November 21, 2006 via Rival Records.  Titled Into A New Dimension, the follow up to the 2005 critically acclaimed releases Glory Thy Name and Hero was produced by Finnish guitarist Jani Stefanovic and Swedish vocalist Christian Rivel, and mixed, mastered and engineered by Plec at The Panic Room and Skara & Criteria Mastering in Skövde, Sweden.

The final product yields eleven tracks of epic and orchestral symphonic power metal that stays true to the DIVINEFIRE penchant for infusing elements of the melodic and the extreme.

Lyrically, DIVINEFIRE remains focused on sharing a positive and hope based message in this chaotic world.  Accordingly, the group’s goal is to be a torchbearer in this world to shed some light into the darkness.

“It has been a hectic time within DIVINEFIRE and with our various (other band) projects.  As you may know Christian and his band NARNIA released their latest album Enter The Gate this spring and have been doing occasional gigs (in addition) to supporting SONATA ARCTICA on their way through Sweden”, commented Stefanovic at the DIVINEFIRE website.

“On the other hand, I have been in the studio the whole summer making recording albums with my other bands.  MISERATION and also new fourth band that has no name yet.  So four albums this year with DIVINEFIRE, ESSENCE OF SORROW, MISERATION and a too be announced band.  Quite a lot of work and more to come.” 

DIVINEFIRE also recorded a video to the track “Facing The Liar”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LsOBahTSYQ

Into A New Dimension track listing:

1. “Vision Of The New Dawn”
2. “Passion & Fire”
3. “Time’s Running Out”
4. “Into A New Dimension”
5. “Facing The Liar”
6. “Live Or Die”
7. “Alive”
8. “All For One”
9. “The Final Victory”
10. “The Last Encore”
11. “Free Like An Eagle”

DIVINEFIRE online: http://divinefire.net & www.facebook.com/pages/Divinefire

Essence Of Sorrow - Reflections Of The Obscure

ESSENCE OF SORROW completes work on debut album, Reflections Of The Obscure:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

Press Release / ESSENCE OF SORROW, the Finnish band led by DIVINEFIRE guitarist Jani Stefanovic, will release its debut album, Reflections Of The Obscure, on December 21, 2006 in Japan through King Records and on January 10, 2007 in Europe via Rivel Records.  The band, initially a solo project, began to take shape during the spring of 2005 in Gothenburg, Sweden when Stefanovic started composing intricate music that expressed various feelings through strong melancholic melodies.  As time passed, Jani began to expand his vision by transforming his solo project into a full-fledged band.

Reflections Of The Obscure features a special guest appearance by Mats Levén (THERION, AT VANCE, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN) and ex-SONATA ARCTICA keyboardist Mikko Härkin, who has since joined the group as a permanent member.

Reflections Of The Obscure track listing:

1. “Face Of Death”
2. “Mind Control”
3. “The Essence Of Sorrow”
4. “Hollow”
5. “Supreme Oppression”
6. “Ashes”
7. “The Mirror”
8. “Trail Of Tears”
9. “Come Serenity”
10. “Embraced” (bonus track)

ESSENCE OF SORROW line-up:

Christian Palin - Lead Vocals
Jani Stefanovic - Guitars
Timo Kuusjärvi - Guitars
Mikko Härkin - Keyboards
Rolf Pilve - Drums

Guest Musicians:

Mats Levin – Lead Vocals
Patrik Gardberg - Guitars
Plec - Guitars
Andreas Olsson - Bass

NEWS BRIEFS

* A video to the classic LEVITICUS track “Let Me Fight” (off I Shall Conquer) has been uploaded to YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y6KgREfgfE

* Dominion Of Darkness update from JACOBS DREAM: “We really have been busy working on our new album entitled Dominion Of Darkness.  It covers a wide variety of themes but the overall feel is very dark.  It includes the heaviest track we have written to date called “Demon World”.  We are hoping to be finished with the recording by the first of the year. This CD will be available through the band and selected retailers.  We are no longer with Metal Blade Records.  We have been approached by several labels who would like to work with us but we would like to go independent for awhile and see how things go.  Some of the tracks on the CD include ”J.L.K.”, “End of Days”, “Embraced by Sorrow”, “Don’t Talk To Me About Love”, “Antikythera”, “Hands of Doom” “Death Before Dishonor” and “Can’t Break”.”

* JET CIRCUS will later this fall be re-mastering and re-issuing its 1991 debut Step On It with some previously unreleased bonus material.  No Mercy For The Living Dead, the follow up to Step On It which the band started work on in the mid-nineties but never completed, will be released as well.  Look for reviews of both once they become available.

 

Update Archives: October 1, 2006

FEATURED REVIEWS

EMOTION - Emotion
Emotion got its start in the late eighties when it was founded by guitarist/vocalist Mikael Lagermo and bassist Ingemar Martensson.  After the two recruited the musicians making up the bands first official line up, the new hard rocking unit proceeded to tour Poland, the Ukraine and its native Sweden before entering the studio and recording a 2-song vinyl single entitled Right On TimeREAD REST OF REVIEW >> 

FALL OF ECHOES - Red Tree
Fall Of Echoes represents a collaboration between Orphan Project lead vocalist Shane Lankford and Visual Cliff guitarist Rob Perez.  Working together for the first time in 2005 when Lankford contributed the vocal tracks to three songs on the most recent Visual Cliff release Freedom Within, the two formed a bond and soon began talking about the possibility of joining their talents and creating a full length album.  Read Full Review >>        
 
MARTIRIA - The Age Of The Return
The Italian power metal band Martiria can trace its roots back to 1987 when it was first put together by its founding member guitarist and keyboardist Andy Menario.  Originally pursuing a doom-oriented musical direction, Martiria recorded two demo tapes and played several live exhibitions over the next ten years before disbanding.  Read Full Review >>        

7 DAYS - The Weight Of The World
7 Days started as a project back in 2004 when guitarist Markus Sigfridsson discovered that he had a wealth of quality material that did not fit the mold of his other bands Harmony and Darkwater.  Initially recruiting current Narnia and former Harmony bassist Andreas Olsson, Markus later brought in a drummer by the name of Daniel Flores (Mind’s Eye) at Olsson’s recommendation.  Read Full Review >>      

THE SEVENTH POWER - The Seventh Power
While guitarist Bill Menchen is best known for his work with Final Axe, Titanic and Rev Seven, a legitimate case can be made that the 2006 self-titled debut of his new band The Seventh Power represents his finest offering to date.  Moving in a straightforward heavy metal direction but reflecting the influence of power metal and even doom, The Seventh Power finds Menchen really stretching in the songwriting department and pushing the creativity levels to the limit.  Read Full Review >>

SILOAM - Sweet Destiny
Ottawa, Canada based Siloam is the brainchild of a talented drummer by the name of Brian Lutes.  Coming out of a real street wise background, Lutes became a Christian after nearly dying of a drug overdose but went back to the streets in order to work with kids and relate the Gospel to them in a creditable way.  Read Full Review >>   

SPITTIN JONAH - Sphere Of Resistance
Lewisville, Texas based Spittin Jonah was first put together by founding members guitarist Matt Eaton, vocalist Billy Hagan Blax and drummer Mike Rich in the spring of 1997.  Soon rounding out its line up with the addition of bassist James Young, the hard rocking four piece unit proceeded to record its aptly titled full length debut Louder Than Hell in 2000 before following up five years later with a very fine sophomore effort entitled Sphere Of ResistanceRead Full Review >>   

TYKKUS - Umlaut
The origin of Phoenix, Arizona based Tykküs dates back to early 2003 when guitarist Justin Frear and drummer Steve Slack departed the band Next Realm.  Still desiring to make music, the two formed a partnership and soon crossed paths with guitarist Dale Burton (Rizer, Vessel, Crucible) – who had previously been involved in the same band with Justin in the mid-nineties – and agreed to meet and compare ideas.  Read Full Review >>   

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Fall releases on Retroactive Records:

Emotion - Emotion

EMOTION - Emotion

Press Release / The full-length EMOTION debut was first released in Europe and Japan in 1997 under the title Taste Of Grapes.  The limited edition (1000 copies) Retroactive re-issue of the album from November of 2006 has been digitally re-mastered and comes with the groups 1994 5-song EP Tip To Toe as bonus tracks.

EMOTION reflects the influence of DEEP PURPLE, KINGDOM COME and DOKKEN, while fans of NARNIA, Rob Rock, IMPELLITTERI, SEVENTH AVENUE and MODEST ATTRACTION should find the group appealing as well.

EMOTION got its start in 1988 when it was formed by vocalist/guitarist Mikael Lagermo and bassist Ingemar Martensson and within a short time was touring Poland, the Ukraine and its native Sweden.  A 2-song vinyl single entitled Right On Time preceded the release of Tip To Toe and Taste Of Grapes.

The Retroactive re-issue comes with a band biography in addition to lyrics and much improved album artwork.

Taste Of Grapes track listing: “Celeste”, “Welcome To My House”, “Taste Of Grapes”, “The Burning Spear”, “Rendez-vous”, “Right To Be Wrong”, “Fakin’ My Face”, “Can’t Hold Back My Tears”, “When I Fall”, “How Far Can We Go?”, “Cloak Of Love”, “Love Is Over Me”

Tip To Toe track listing: “Tip To Toe”, “Wholeness And Holiness”, “Rendez-vous”, “Fakin’ My Face”, “Way Over Jordan”

Jupiter VI - Back From Mars

JUPITER VI - Back From Mars

Press Release / DELIVERANCE front man Jimmy Brown delivers nothing less than his most challenging record to date in Back From Mars, confirming his place at rocks cutting edge with the jagged guitars and pop sensibilities mixed with cinematic flair of the JUPITER VI debut.  This David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust inspired album flourishes in a glitzy array of riffs, hooks and melodrama from start to finish.  Far from the artists work with DELIVERANCE, the JUPITER VI brilliance can be found in its ability to wear its influences on its sleeves (Bowie, DANIEL AMOS, Iggy Pop & CHEAP TRICK) while creating a modern rock album ready to dominate the world!  Jimmy Brown’s vision was to create a work that is out of this world and he succeeded in grand and sweeping fashion.  Prepare for take-off!

Space/gram rock fans of THE STROKES, THE KILLERS and SHE WANTS REVENGE will be certain to embrace JUPITER VI.  Former DELIVERANCE members play on Back From Mars, including guitarist George Ochoa, who has not recorded with Jimmy Brown since Weapons Of Our Warfare from 1990.

Back From Mars track listing: “Back From Mars”, “The Human Endeavor”, “Mimes XIII.II”, “Corporate Still”, “From Here Till Ever”, “Passions”, “In A World Of…”, “All Day And All Of The Night”, “Through The Speakers (Alien Synth Mix)”, “Lucidia”, “Brand New Day”, “Zurich Von Mars”

The Seventh Power - The Seventh Power

SEVENTH POWER - The Seventh Power

Press Release / THE SEVENTH POWER is the exciting new band fronted by Bill Menchen, guitarist of TITANIC and FINAL AXE.  Robert Sweet of STRYPER contributes drums on all ten tracks and admits this is some of his most accomplished work to date!  A seemingly endless flow of crushingly loud and heavy riffs will bludgeon you into oblivion based on the doom and sinister elegance of Menchen’s minor-key innovations.  Fans of classic Ozzy Osboure and BLACK SABBATH will welcome this as part of their collection.

The Seventh Power track listing: “Christ Died”, “Enthroned”, “Eyes In The Skies”, “Far From Fear”, “Heaven’s Gate, “Human Sacrifice”, “Ocean Of Emotion”, “Possessor Of You”, “Seven Golden Lampstands”, “The Power”

Bill Menchen online: www.billmenchen.com & www.facebook.com/bill.menchen

Retroactive Records online: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records.html

Images Of Eden - Sunlight Of The Spirit

IMAGES OF EDEN to release sophomore album, Sunlight Of The Spirit:
Press Release / York, Pennsylvania-based progressive rock/metal band IMAGES OF EDEN will release its sophomore album, Sunlight Of The Spirit, on November 21, 2006 via Nightmare Records.

Described in the band's official bio as "the most phenomenal display of musicianship in the mid-Atlantic region," IMAGES OF EDEN "combines explosive music and powerful vocals with lyrics that are extremely passionate and true to life."

Their 2001 debut album, Chapter I, was recorded by vocalist Gordon Tittsworth as a one-man project (with a session drummer) with a goal to form the ultimate mid-Atlantic hard rock act around. Once Chapter I was complete, the search for musicians began.  IMAGES OF EDEN had gone through several members and had auditioned even many more before deciding on the final lineup.

Sunlight Of The Spirit track listing:

1. “Ascension”
2. “Kaleidoscope”
3. “Beyond The Horizon”
4. “To Live Another Day”
5. “Dream-Catcher”
6. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
7. “Aladdin”
8. “Emerald Rain”
9. “Remember When”
10. “Through October Skies”
11. “Ethereal”
12. “Midnight’s Tide”

Nightmare Records online: www.nightmarerecords.com

IMAGES OF EDEN online: www.imagesofeden.com/index2.htm & www.facebook.com/pages/Images-of-Eden

NEWS BRIEFS

* DELIVERANCE should have the songwriting process complete for its upcoming album in early 2007. A release date is planned for the spring. In other DELIVERANCE news, former drummer Kevin Lee, who was with the group from 1991-93 and performed on What A Joke and Stay Of Execution, has returned to the fold. The bands Puerto Rico show has been postponed until March of 2007.

* LIBERTY N’ JUSTICE is back in the studio recording the follow-up to its 2006 release Soundtrack Of A Soul.  The album is going to be a full-production acoustic rock record entitled Independence Day.  It will feature 12 "all-star singers" on 11 songs.  The album will be once again produced by Mike Layne.  Watch for more details and a revamped website soon!

* STEVE & THE SAINTS recently recorded a new 14 track album which will be entitled Mo-‘fessional.  Look for a release date sometime early next year.  The bands first two albums, Metal Blue (1986) and Eye On The Prize (1991), are currently available on CD.  A review of Metal Blue, which appeared in White Throne issue #3 in 1987, described the bands sound as "ZZ TOP but much heavier with Christian lyrics, sung in an earthy style, and great bluesy guitar solos".

* TEMPLE OF BLOOD has been hard at work on its upcoming album Overlord. Half the album has been written with song titles including "Pawn Of The Liar", "Descent Into Treachery", "Black Day OF Execution", "Illusion Of Control", "Behind The Inverted Star", and "Harbinger".

 

Update Archives: September 3, 2006

FEATURED REVIEWS

DELIVERANCE - Weapons Of Our Warfare
Deliverance’s 1990 sophomore effort Weapons Of Our Warfare is widely considered one of the top releases in the annals of Christian metal.  And rightly so!  Recorded in follow up to the bands well received 1989 Self-Titled debut, Weapons… placed among the top three in the Christian Metal Realm’s annual poll of the top 100 Christian metal albums of all time for consecutive years running.  Read Full Review >>   

ETERNAL RYTE - World Requiem
The best way to describe Eternal Ryte would be glam metal combining a more than above average amount of guitar driven muscle with a bold and upfront message.  Emerging from the growing Southern California Christian metal scene in the mid-eighties, Eternal Ryte was initially put together by founding members guitarist Bobby “Transformer” Smith, bassist Jon Ciccareli and drummer Mike Berry.  Read Full Review >>

INCARNATE - Believe In Me
Incarnate is a collaboration between Unforsaken vocalist/drummer Thomas Wilson and guitarist/bassist Sheldon D’Costa.  D’Costa, who started out as Unforsaken’s bassist and performed on the bands 2000 self-titled demo CD, initially composed several songs intended for inclusion on Unforsaken’s full length debut Not Alone that ended up too being heavy to fit the bands sound.  Read Full Review >>   

SERVANT – Shallow Water
Servant, similar to Chicago’s Resurrection Band, can trace its beginnings back to the Jesus Movement of the late sixties and seventies.  Future Servant members Owen & Sandie Brock and Matt Spransy were brought together for the first time by the European evangelistic rock musical of the early seventies entitled Lonesome Stone.  Read Full Review >> 

SERVANT – Rockin’ Revival
Some of my earliest memories of Servant date back to the fall of 1981 when I caught them on their Rockin’ Revival tour at a high school auditorium in the Eastern Washington area.  I recall arriving at the venue with a friend several hours before the start of the show and, being the young people we were back then, sneaking in to the auditorium (no vagrancy on our part- it was a simple matter of the doors being unlocked!) and watching the band set up its equipment and do a sound check.  READ Read Full Review >> 

SHINING STAR - Fatal Mistake
Shining Star deserves to rank among the many talented Christian metal bands to come out of Brazil in recent years.  The brainchild of guitarist virtuoso Fabio Rocha, the band plays a commercial influenced style of hard rock and metal on its full length debut Fatal Mistake, generating a sound certain to appeal to fans of Angelica, Narnia, Impellitteri, Rob Rock, Rivera Bomma, Eterna and Destra.  Read Full Review >>

UNFORSAKEN - Not Alone
Unforsaken is a hard rocking Ontario, Canada based outfit showcasing the talents of vocalist and drummer Thomas Wilson and guitarist Jon Hooper. Wilson decided to start a band in the early nineties and soon joined forces with Hooper in the spring of 1993, initially crossing paths with him at a White Heart concert (Tales Of Wonder tour).  Read Full Review >>   

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

SERVANT re-issues on Retroactive Records:

Servant - Shallow Water

SERVANT - Shallow Water:

Press Release / The Oregon-based SERVANT began with a classic rock sound featuring the twin lead vocal of Sandie Brock and Bob Hardy on blues-based songs that sometime recalled JEFFERSON AIRPLAINE.  Shallow Water is a hard-edged product forged in the same tradition as BARNABAS and RESURRECTION BAND, though not as heavy.  The song “Jesus Star” allows guitarist Bruce Wright to churn out some admirable guitar riffs, and “Fly Away” brings the album to a hand clappin’ foot stompin’ conclusion.  Along the way they also offer heavy covers of the DOGWOOD song, “Water Grave”, and the Sammy Hagar tune, “Rich Man” (taken from the Encyclopedia of Christian Music by Mark Alan Powell)

Truly pioneers of Christian rock, this award winning debut album by SERVANT exploded onto the unsuspecting Christian scene in 1979, mocking the staleness and superficiality of Christianity without a social conscience.  The debut release for Tunesmith Records out of Canada, Shallow Water featured social commentary and progressive music (seared onto red vinyl, no less!) that was a tidal wave for the fledgling Christian music scene.

Known for their theatrics, light shows and smoke bomb performances, many critic considered SERVANT too raucous to be authentically Christian. Yet, years and years of touring garnered the band legions of fans, winning them over with rhythmic, passionate rock music that would stir audiences. For the most part, it was like nothing they had ever heard before! In 1982 Servant was so well known they headlined a national tour where the ever popular PETRA opened for them! This is a limited edition piece of Christian rock history!

Shallow Water track listing: “Shallow Water”, “Rich Man”, “Here Comes David”, “Rejoice”, “Jesus Star”, “Water Grave”, “Cup Of Water”, “Holy Roller Blues”, “Fly Away”

Servant - Rockin' Revival

SERVANT - Rockin’ Revival:

Press Release / According the Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music, SERVANT’s 1981 release Rockin’ Revival was a huge step forward, adding the keyboards of Matt Spransy for a richer, fuller sound.  The bands desire was to reach the ears and hearts of those who might not feel so comfortable in church buildings.  As a result, their music shied away from self-centered, Jesus-and-me praise lyrics.  They avoided easy rock styles that typified most CCM of the day.  Instead, SERVANT championed edgy, passionate, driving rock music, with aggressive stage performances filled with a kingdom message spiced with strong social commentary.

A young man named Doug Pinnick would co-write "I'm Gonna Live", which would garner significant radio play, and become a favorite of Christian music fans for years to come.  Pinnick would eventually be best known as part of the mainstream hard rock trio, KING's X.

Rockin’ Revival track listing:  “Babylon”, “Rockin’ Revival”, “Isolated”, “Heidelberg Blues”, “Listen”, “Jealousies”, “Suburban Josephine”, “Ad Man”, “I’m Gonna Live”

Servant - World Of Sand

SERVANT - World Of Sand:

Press Release / SERVANT’s third recording originally hit the streets in 1982 on the band's own Rooftop Records, and is being re-issued by Retroactive Records on a limited edition basis in October of 2006.  Finally, their muscular rock and roll was harnessed to a respectable recording budget and major league production, offering up ten polished rock tunes that sometimes hinted of the new wave direction the band would fully embrace on future albums.  The Christian rock apologetic “Jungle Music” appeared on this album, complete with references to many of the other Christian rock bands currently on the scene, poking fun at the ill-informed critiques of rabid anti-rock crusaders.  When the band went on tour after its release, PETRA was THEIR opening act!  The original LP also contained a 7-inch 45 RPM vinyl single with two bonus tracks that along with the ten album tracks also appear here on CD for the very first time!  Out of print for more than 20 years, World Of Sand has been digitally re-mastered. The liner notes feature reflections from founding member Owen Brock and a history of the band.  For fans of classic arena rock who also like CHEAP TRICK, DEGARMO & KEY, JOE ENGLISH BAND, PETRA & REZ.

World Of Sand track listing: “Two Masters”, “New Revolution”, “Long Hard Fight”, “Jungle Music”, “Wall Of Love”, “Cheap Talk”, “Sudden Death”, “Come Jesus Come”, “Cog In the Wheel” (bonus track), “Treeplanter Stomp” (bonus track)

Servant - Caught In The Act Of Loving Him

SERVANT - Caught In The Act Of Loving Him:

Press Release / The fourth SERVANT album originally burst onto the scene in 1983 with ten new studio cuts released on the band's own Rooftop Records. With their first three albums delighting hard rock fans worldwide, Caught In The Act Of Loving Him showcased a Matt Spransy-influenced new-wave whle also embracing the arena rock sound SERVANT was known for.  This new-wave feel would eventually take over the band's 5th and 6th albums (Light Maneuvers & Swimming In A Human Ocean from 1984 and 1985, respectively).

Undoubtedly, Caught In The Act Of Loving Him set new standards for quality Christian rock that could stand up next to the best the mainstream rock world had to offer.  Ultimately, blissful power pop made SERVANT’s Caught In The Act Of Loving Him one of the defining albums of its era, as well as one of the most influential.  SERVANT proved to be masters at devoting themselves to the power of the hook, as well as sheer volume and gut-wrenching rock roll.  Bruce Wright's hook-laden guitar playing was capable of miracles, and you'll find examples of that on virtually every cut.  With pop thrills a-plenty, Caught… offers an invigorating blast of feedback, muscular riffs, anthemic hooks, and powerful vocals with keyboards and beat that don't let up.  From start to finish, Caught… is a relentless rocker, a great album that has outlasted its era. Fans can proudly file this release next to THE CARS, CHEAP TRICK, PETRA and early 77’s.

Re-issued on Retroactive Records in October of 2006.

Caught in The Act Of Loving Him track listing: “Burning Bridges”, “Thank God”, “Fall Out”, “Now Is The Time”, “Holding On To You”, “Heart To Heart”, “Gauges”, “Something Right For You”, “Tied Down”, “Can’t Go Back”

Retroactive Records online: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records.html

SERVANT online: www.servantband.com

NEWS BRIEFS

* KERRY LIVGREN is at work on a new instrumental solo album.  A sequel to One Of Several Possible Musiks, the current title of the project, appropriately, is Several More Musiks.  A release date is yet to be announced.

* RIVERA BOMMA plans to release a “Special Edition 5th Anniversary” version of its 2001 debut Invisible Force sometime in the near future.

* STRYPER from 1984 performing an unreleased song entitled “Rock Man”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdqqk4xT-0U

* TORMAN MAXT’s upcoming CD The Problem Of Pain, a concept album based upon the life of Job, should see the light of day early next year.

* Update from guitarist Torbjorn Weinesjo regarding the next VENI DOMINE album: “We started the recording just after we played the Doom Shall Rise Festival spring (of this year).  We're working on 9 songs.  The recordings are taking place at my studio, "Room Of Doom", and I will produce and mix (the album).  We have all structures ready and we will put down drums Sept/Oct if all goes as planned.  Most guitars/keys/vocals are there already. Some additional vocals will be put later on. I think 3 songs lack lead vox at this time.

“The plan is to get it out Q1 2007, I hope we will keep the schedule of course, we have a good company in MCM-Music and the only reason for delay at this point is on our selves. I rather take the time than stress it to the shelves.”

 

Update Archives: August 18, 2006

FEATURED REVIEWS

Dream Quest – Centralia
Manitoba, Canada’s Dream Quest returns in 2006 with a 5 song concept CD entitled Centralia which it recorded in follow up to its promising 2004 full length debut The Release.  Still consisting of founding members Steve and Mark Doerksen and Phil Janzen, Dream Quest is a talented power trio that plays what it refers to as “adventure metal”.  Read Full Review >> 

Green Sleeves - Green Medicine
The Swedish classic metal group Green Sleeves got its start in the late seventies when it was put together by founding members guitarist/vocalist Anders Johansson (Heartcry), drummer Pelle Petersson and bassist Ulf Magnusson.  With Judas Priest, Saxon, Accept and AC/DC as musical influences, the hard rocking power trio proceeded to record several demo tapes and a live album entitled Rock 82 before its members went their separate ways in 1983.  Read Full Review >>

HEARTCRY – Firehouse
Firehouse, the fifth full length album from Sweden’s Heartcry, finds the band moving in the same bluesy hard rock direction of its early 2005 release Lightmaker while mixing in an occasional element of commercial hard rock sensibility.  The end result is the stronger and more consistent effort musically that holds up under songs featuring catchier choruses and melodies of a more noteworthy nature.  Read Full Review >> 

LAUDAMUS – Laudamus
It has been the trend in recent years for veteran Christian metal acts to return to the studio and re-record their classic material of the past.  Saint was the first to accomplish this in 2004, re-recording the six songs from its mid-eighties EP Warriors Of The Son in addition to two new tracks originally written for the project that could not be completed due to budget constraints.  Read Full Review >>   

MALACHIA - Red Sunrise
Covina, California based Malachia initially came together in the mid-eighties, releasing its six song debut EP Under The Blade in 1986 before following up a year later with the full length effort Red Sunrise.  A much more polished work when compared to Under The Blade, Red Sunrise finds the band re-recording the six songs off its debut in addition to two new tracks in “Red Sunrise” and “Sightless Eyes”.  Read Full Review >>

SUNROAD - Flying N’ Floating
The original line up of Brazil’s Sunroad initially came together in the mid-nineties but did not record its full length debut Heat From The Road until 1999.  After a promotional CD, SR 2001, was recorded two years later, the label Golden Music took interest in the band and in late 2001 released an EP entitled Light Up The Sky made up of material from both SR 2001 and Heat From The RoadRead Full Review >>

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Righteous Metal
The history of the Righteous Metal compilation dates back to 1987 when K-Tel Records – those of you into 70s and 80s nostalgia are certain to remember the TV commercials from K-Tel that promised “20 original hits by the original artists” – contacted the Austin, Texas based band Stryken to request permission to use their song “Rock On” on a Christian metal compilation they were putting together.  Stryken, of course, consented and when K-Tel asked for the names of other well known Christian metal acts of the time, the band pointed them in the direction of Barren Cross, Bloodgood and several others.  Read Full Review >> 

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Evergrace - Evergrace

EVERGRACE signs with Ulterium Records:
Press Release / Ulterium Records has announced the signing of the Swedish heavy metal band EVERGRACE.  The self-titled debut album is scheduled for a September 30, 2006 release.

Per Ryberg (MORGANA LEFAY, TAD MOROSE & BLOODBOUND) mixed the album while Mattias Norén (EVERGREY, KAMELOT & SABATON) created the album artwork.

Evergrace track listing:

1. “The Escape”
2. “Life Has Just Begun...”
3. “Enough Is Enough”
4. “Alive”
5. “Plastic Ideals”
6. “I Am You”
7. “Ulterior World”
8. “World Of Nothingness”
9. “I Am Sorry For You - Part I”
10. “I Am Sorry For You - Part II (Hold On)”

Ulterium Records online: www.ulterium-records.com/news.html

 Pylon - The Eternal Wedding Band

PŸLON to release sophomore album, The Eternal Wedding Band:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

Press Release / Swiss doomsters PŸLON are scheduled to release their second album, The Eternal Wedding Band, on September 26, 2006 via Quam Libet Records.  The CD contains twelve original cuts, written by all three members/vocalists, plus the video for the instrumental "2046".

"We enjoy trying out things and not having to stick to stereotypical doom, but we are honoured that some people are reminded of early (BLACK) SABBATH and SAINT VITUS. Of course, those bands are hard to come by anyhow," guitarist/vocalist Matt Brand said in a statement.

Added bass player and main lyricist Jan Thomas: "The Eternal Wedding Band is no concept album, although we wanted to try and and treat the recurring issue 'death' in several different ways, lyrically. This spectrum is wide enough to allow for the sad and depressing stuff just as much as for religious, dramatic, encouraging, transcendental and even tongue-in-cheek approaches. It's not meant to be 'something for everyone,' but diversified enough for the odd type of person."

The Eternal Wedding Band will be distributed by Non Stop Music in Switzerland and by various distributors world-wide. A distributor for the U.S. has not yet been announced.

The Eternal Wedding Band track listing:

1. “And Thus It Ends ...”
2. “Anaconda”
3. “Falling Into The Sun”
4. “Cannibal Coronal Mass Ejection (Black Sunrise / Chaos Theory)”
5. “A Walk Through Wonderland”
6. “2046”
7. “The Cold Mirror / Fields Of Sorrow”
8. “In From The Futile Fields”
9. “L'épée dans mon Coeur”
10. “Checkmate 64”
11. “To My Brethren”
12. “Dementia”
13. “2046” (video)

PŸLON online: www.pylon-doom.net/en/news/index.asp & www.facebook.com/pylondoom

NEWS BRIEFS

* Reshredded, the next instrumental hard rock album from PASTOR BRAD, will be made up of 14 tracks and include guest appearances by Dee Harrington and Richard Lynch (both SAINT), Andy England, Jim Griffin, Jon Hooper (UNFORSAKEN) and Joe Nardulli.

* THRESHOLD is currently in the studio recording guitar, drum and bass parts for the follow up to its 2004 release Subsurface.  They will be returning in September to complete the recording and mix of the album. Look for an early 2007 release.  Keyboardist Richard West furnished the following at the THRESHOLD forum:

“I think the writing's been going really well. We start recording the first drum parts tomorrow, so it's too early to say how the final album will sound. We've been modernizing the way we approach certain aspects of our writing, but we've still got the same core Threshold values. We're really looking forward to getting everything produced and finished, hopefully it'll be our best album yet, with one or two surprises for you!”

* WALK THE SKY placed the track “Castles In The Sand” from its self-titled debut on Metal Crusade XII- a compilation that will come with the July/August issue of Heavy Magazine.  Guitarist Rick Hunter-Martinez is currently working on new material and hopes to start recording roughs by the end of the year.

 

Update Archives: August 4, 2006

FEATURED REVIEWS

AWAKE - Spiritual Warfare
Awake got its start in the late eighties when vocalist Mike Botello (Matrix, Assalant) decided to record a solo album and subsequently initiated a search for a lead guitarist.  Soon crossing paths with a long term acquaintance in guitarist Jess Villegas (Militia), the two began working together and completed Botello’s first demo shortly thereafter.  Read Full Review >>

BRIDE - Live To Die
Bride returned in 1988 with its Pure Metal sophomore release Live To Die, a very fine effort that stands head and shoulders above the rough sounding sonics of its debut Show No Mercy.  The album actually finds Bride adding elements of thrash and speed metal to its guitar driven sound, the bands compositions reflecting a higher degree of maturity reflected in several standout tracks in “Hell No”, “Whiskey Seed” and “Heroes” that rank among the finest of its career.  Read Full Review >>   

DANIEL BAND – Straight Ahead
Straight Ahead, the 1983 sophomore release from Canada’s Daniel Band, proves aptly named in that, for a lack of better words, it moves in a “straight ahead” and no frills hard rock direction.  A much heavier effort when compared to the bands 1982 debut On Rock, Straight Ahead might lack some of the polish of its predecessor but stands out as the stronger and more well rounded project from a musical standpoint.  Read Full Review >>

DANIEL BAND – Run From The Darkness
Canada’s Daniel Band hit its stride in 1984 with its excellent third full length outing Run From The Darkness.  Combining the polished production values of its 1982 debut On Rock with the guitar driven heaviness of its 1983 follow up effort Straight Ahead, the album proves nothing less than a superior work which deserves to rank with the finest Christian metal/hard rock releases of its era.  Read Full Review >> 

STAIRWAY – The Other Side Of Midnight
Since releasing its very fine third full length album On Hallowed Ground in 2002, UK based Stairway placed the track “Under The Ground” (from On Hallowed Ground) on the Defenders Of Metal: Volume 1 compilation in 2003 before Retroactive Records re-issued its 1993 sophomore effort No Rest, No Mercy two years later.  Originally released in only Japan and Europe, No Rest, No Mercy was now made available for the first time in the USA and included new album artwork in addition to a bonus track in “Anybody There?” (which was previously only found on the Japanese version).  Read Full Review >> 

STRYKEN – First Strike
Often referred to as the “fundamentalists in armor” and playing what it describes as “thunder rock”, Stryken was put together in Arizona in the late seventies by founding members Dale and Steve Streiker initially under the moniker of Stryker.  After releasing a single and a four song demo, the two proceeded to place a want ad for a drummer which in time led them to a talented timekeeper by the name of Joey Knight.  Read Full Review >> 

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Holy Soldier - Live, Rare And Raw

HOLY SOLDIER - Live, Rare And Raw DVD details revealed:
Press Release / More details have been released about the upcoming limited edition DVD featuring HOLY SOLDIER's never-before-released video clips from their first two CDs as well as some rare clips from the bands personal archives, plus footage from a recent performance at a Christian metal festival called Up From The Ashes.

A Roxx Productions release, Live, Rare And Raw includes the following:

* Whisky A Go-Go performance featuring original HOLY SOLDIER vocalist Robbie Brauns and an early guitar player that you may be surprised to see playing for the band!

* Live in Fresno California with Steven Patrick in only his second performance with the band prior to an album release.

* Pre-production video footage filmed at Michael Cuttings' family ranch.  Tons of behind-the-scenes footage of the band cutting it up and recording with their producer, the one and only David Zaffiro.

* An interview from Japan's version of Headbanger's Ball called Space Shower with a very early interview of the band.

* "Entertainment Tonight" promotional clip

* Video clips for "See No Evil" and "Last Train"

* Live in Irvine, CA during the Last Train tour

* Promo clip with Eric Wayne

* Live at Paladino's featuring Don Russell, the newest vocalist to join the guys

HOLY SOLDIER and RIVERA BOMMA are doing some exclusive shows this summer as a package tour. They are booked at Sonshine Festival, Puerto Rico and are negotiating a few more special appearances.

Roxx Productions online: www.roxxproductions.com

HOLY SOLDIER online: www.holysoldier.com

Stryper biography - Loud N' Clear

Updated & revised STRYPER biography now available:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

Press Release / After being out of print for years, the authorized STRYPER biography, Loud N' Clear, has been updated and revised and is now available. The authors, Dale Erickson and Jesse Sturdevant, spent "countless" hours with Michael Sweet, Robert Sweet, Oz Fox and Tim Gaines (not to mention dozens of others related to STRYPER's history) discussing their career and the band that has changed the lives of so many. It was originally released in 2001 and now it's revamped for 2006. Also available is "The Road to Yellow and Black", a 30-minute DVD featuring footage from the authors' personal collection. See Tim Gaines give a tour of landmarks such as the Sweets' old garage (where STRYPER was born), hanging out with Robert and Oz, and footage from the Stryper Expo 2001. Both items are available separately or together as one.

As previously reported, STRYPER's Greatest Hits Live In Puerto Rico DVD is finally available for pre-order at this location. DVDs will begin shipping on August 21. The first 500 orders receive a free "Live in Puerto Rico" T-shirt.  Filmed in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2004, Greatest Hits Live In Puerto Rico captures the band rockin' 14 of their biggest hits.

STRYPER's latest CD, Reborn, is available on Big3 Records. Reborn marks STRYPER's first complete studio release of original material in over a decade, since 1990's Against The Law, and features 10 original tracks as well a new version of the previously released track "In God We Trust". The album was recorded in Massachusetts at Blue Jay Studio, Mixed Emotions, and singer Michael Sweet's home studio.

Original STRYPER members Michael Sweet (lead vocals, guitar), Oz Fox (lead guitar), and Robert Sweet (drums) are joined in the group's current incarnation by bassist Tracy Ferrie. NOTE: Greatest Hits Live In Puerto Rico was filmed while original bassist Tim Gaines was still a member of the band.

STRYPER online: www.stryper.com & www.facebook.com/Stryper

NEWS BRIEFS

* BRIDE changed the title of its upcoming album from Against All That Matters to Skin For Skin.  Described by the band as “heavy metal with a little hard rock thrown in”, the album has been delayed because a couple of songs ended up being dropped while several new ones were written to take their place.

In other BRIDE news, guitarist Steve Osborne, who performed on the bands first two albums Show No Mercy and Live To Die, added many guitar parts to the new songs on Skin For Skin, while former drummer Jerry McBroom will be joining the band for its Latin and South America tour during October and November.

* GREEN SLEEVES, a new classic metal band from Sweden with a sound comparable to JUDAS PRIEST, SAXON and AC/DC, is the latest endeavor of HEARTCRY vocalist/guitarist Anders Johansson. The bands debut, appropriately entitled Green Medicine, was released last month on Rivel Records.

 

Update Archives: July 21, 2006

FEATURED REVIEWS

BRIDE - This Is It (Expanded version)
Bride has managed to survive the test of time and reach its third decade of existenceAfter getting started in the eighties with the classic metal influences of Show No Mercy, Live To Die and Silence Is Madness, a makeover in the bands sound led to the blues based hard rock of its early nineties releases Kinetic Faith, Snakes In The Playground and Scarecrow MessiahRead Full Review >>

MIKE FLORIO - Arisen
Westchester county New York is the home to a very talented vocalist and keyboardist by the name of Mike Florio.  Recognizing that music was his calling when he joined his first band at age 15, Florio went on to study music formally but always considered himself a rock musician at heart.  Read Full Review >>

TEMPLE OF BLOOD - Prepare For The Judgement Of Mankind
I always appreciate it when a band means business.  And in the case of Madison, Alabama based Temple Of Blood, with its aptly titled 2005 full length debut Prepare For The Judgement Of Mankind, they mean serious business.  Read Full Review >>

X-SINNER - Fire It Up
Fire It Up, the new 2006 full length Retroactive Records release from X-Sinner, can trace its beginnings back to the bands sophomore effort Peace Treaty.  Recorded in early 1991 in follow up to X-Sinner’s 1989 debut Get It, Peace Treaty was produced by brothers John and Dino Elefante of Pakaderm studio fame but a watered down mix that lacked a biting rhythm guitar sound left the band dissatisfied.  Read Full Review >>

XT - Taxfree
XT came about as a result of a partnership that formed between Leviticus guitarist Bjorn Stigsson and Motherlode vocalist Sonny Larsson.  With its name standing as an acronym for Christ, the beginning of XT can be traced back to 1987 when Larsson contributed the lead vocals to five tracks on Stigsson’s very fine 1989 solo effort Together With FriendsRead Full Review >>

XT - Extended Empire
Guitarist Bjorn Stigsson has without a doubt been around the block.  Getting his start in the early eighties when he joined forces with brothers Kjell (drums) and Hakan Andersson (lead vocals/bass) to form the Swedish metal outfit Leviticus, he contributed the songwriting to the bands 1984 hard rocking debut I Shall Conquer in addition to its 1985 sophomore effort The Strongest PowerRead Full Review >>

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

7 Days - The Weight Of The World

7 DAYS full length debut, The Weight Of The World:
Press Release / 7 DAYS, a melodic power/progressive metal project of guitarist Markus Sigfridsson (HARMONY) and vocalist Thomas Thomas Vikström (CANDLEMASS), will release its debut album The Weight Of The World via Rivel Records on August 10, 2006.

Sigfridsson wrote and produced the album while mixing it in conjunction with Göran Werner.  PLEC handled mastering at Criteria Mastering.  Cover artwork was created by Sigfridsson, who also did the artwork for the first two DIVINEFIRE albums from 2005, Glory Thy Name and Hero.

Also consisting of bassist Andreas Olsson (NARNIA, DIVINEFIRE) and drummer Daniel Flores (MIND'S EYE), 7 DAYS came together with the goal of recording the backlog of material in Sigfridsson’s possession that did not fit the mold of his full time band HARMONY.  HARMONY is currently at work on the follow up to its 2003 Massacre Records debut Dreaming Awake.

Weight Of The World also includes a cover of the VENI DOMINE classic “Wisdom Calls”, originally recorded by the Swedish progressive doom metal band for its 1992 debut Fall Babylon Fall.

Weight Of The World track listing:

1. “Redeemer”
2. “Confession”
3. “The Darkest Winter”
4. “Fall Again”
5. “Where Are You”
6. “The Weight Of The World”
7. “Save Me”
8. “With You Forever”
9. “Wisdom Calls”

7 DAYS online: www.sigfridsson.net/7days/default.html

Stryper - Greatest Hits Live In Puerto Rico

STRYPER - Greatest Hits Live In Puerto Rico' DVD set for release:
Courtesy of www.blabbermouth.net:

STRYPER's Greatest Hits Live In Puerto Rico DVD is finally available for pre-order.  DVDs will begin shipping on August 21, 2006.  The first 500 orders receive a free "Live in Puerto Rico" T-shirt.

Filmed in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2004, Greatest Hits Live in Puerto Rico captures the band rockin' 14 of their biggest hits:

1. “Sing Along Song”
2. “Makes Me Wanna Sing”
3. “Calling On You”
4. “Free”
5. “More Than A Man”
6. “Caught In The Middle”
7. “You Won't Be Lonely”
8. “Reach Out”
9. “Loud And Clear”
10. “The Way”
11. “Soldiers Under Command”
12. “To Hell With The Devil”
13. “Honestly”
14. “Winter Wonderland”

STRYPER's latest CD, Reborn, is available on Big3 Records.  Reborn marks STRYPER's first complete studio release of original material in over a decade, since 1990's Against the Law, and features 10 original tracks as well a new version of the previously released track "In God We Trust". The album was recorded in Massachusetts at Blue Jay Studio, Mixed Emotions, and singer Michael Sweet's home studio.

Original STRYPER members Michael Sweet (lead vocals, guitar), Oz Fox (lead guitar), and Robert Sweet (drums) are joined in the group's current incarnation by bassist Tracy Ferrie. NOTE: Greatest Hits Live In Puerto Rico was filmed while original bassist Tim Gaines was still a member of the band.

STRYPER online: www.stryper.com & www.facebook.com/Stryper

NEWS BRIEFS

* BOARDERS is a talented new power metal/thrash band to come out of Italy. Showcasing a sound that is heavy but melodic but at the same time, the band has completed its debut The World Hates Me and is currently looking for a label

* DARKWATER, a Swedish progressive metal band made up of four of the five members of HARMONY, will be mixing its new album Calling Earth To Witness in early August.

* Canada’s DREAM QUEST will be following up its 2004 debut The Release with a five-track one-of-a-kind concept album entitled Centralia. The band recently updated its website to provide the following: “The five tracks each tell one part of an overarching story, but the order in which the songs are played changes the plot! Putting the CD player on random/shuffle determines whether the main character is good or bad, killer or dreamer, hypocrite or saint, without missing a beat! Centralia is 120 different possible stories on one album, yet the music flows equally well from song to song in any order!”

A release date has yet to be set.

* SAVIOUR MACHINE update in regards to the long anticipated release date for Legend III:II:  “We know everyone has been waiting a very long time for some news on a release date for our final album, Legend III:II. The wait for a release date is now over, but the wait for the album continues a while longer... As of now, the tentative release date has been set for July 7th, 2007... (7/7/7)... This date seems too appropriate to pass up and we will be doing everything we can to have the CD for you by then... So please be patient a while longer, we assure you it will be worth the wait...”

 

Update Archives: July 7, 2006

FEATURED REVIEWS

FINAL AXE - The Axe Of The Apostles
The history of vocalist Keith Miles and guitarist Bill Menchen dates back to the late eighties when the two put together the Christian metal band Final Axe.  Releasing the bands full length debut Beyond Hell’s Gate on East West Records in 1989, the two soon began recording a follow up effort to be titled Burn In Hell, but the album was never finished and placed on the back burner indefinitely.  Read Full Review >>

HERO - Bless This Nation
Sweden’s Hero came together in 2003 as a result of a partnership that formed between Sons Of Thunder lead vocalist/guitarist and bass guitarist Bjorn Sundstrom.  The two began work on new material and headed into the studio shortly thereafter, but when the time came to perform live, Veni Domine brothers Torbjorn (guitars) and Thomas (drums) Weinesjo were brought in to round out the bands line up.  Read Full Review >>

LINE OF FIRE - Line Of Fire
Anyone reading this who happens to be a child of the eighties is most certainly going to be aware of the decades musical environment, an era dominated by huge, layered choruses, guitar solos galore and hooks, hooks and more hooks.  Just turn on the radio and you were more than likely to find the airwaves under the control of Journey, Boston, Def Leppard, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Europe and a host of others.  Read Full Review >> 

NARNIA - Enter The Gate
Enter The Gate, the fifth full length album from Sweden’s Narnia, can best be described as a “best of both worlds” scenario in that it takes the guitar driven heaviness of the bands two prior efforts, Desert Land and The Great Fall, and combines it with the lush keyboards found on its sophomore release Long Live The King.  The end result is potentially the album of the year, a compelling combination of catchy melodic metal and guitar driven power metal with an occasional progressive leaning thrown in (such as on “The Man From Nazareth”).  Read Full Review >>  

PLACE OF SKULLS - The Black Is Never Far
With the rumors of its demise greatly exaggerated, Tennessee’s Place Of Skulls returns with an excellent third full length album entitled The Black is Never Far on Exile On Mainstream Records.  The band is actually following up its 2003 Southern Lord effort With Vision, a very fine work which saw founding member Victor Griffin (Death Row, Cathedral & Pentagram) join forces with doom legend Scott “Wino” Weinrich (The Obsessed & Saint Vitus) to create one of the strongest releases of the year.  Read Full Review >>  

SAINT - The Mark
The book of Revelation and end times themes are two topics that have been commonly addressed throughout the history of Christian metal.  Western New York’s aptly named Revelation Project, for example, devoted the progressive metal of its 2005 Self-Titled debut to both subjects in question.  Read Full Review >>  

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Spring & summer releases on Retroactive Records:

Bride - This Is It (Retroactive re-issue)

BRIDE - This Is It:

Press Release / BRIDE independently released This Is It, its most recent recording of new material, in October of 2003.  Retroactive Records has digitally re-mastered and re-released This Is It with four bonus tracks in the form of the pre-This Is It demo entitled Raw (previously sold at the band website as a CD-R).  Three of the four demo tracks were omitted from the original version of Raw and appear here for the very first time.

After flirting with ‘rap-core” on the 2001 release Fist Full Of Bees, BRIDE is back to hard rock and metal!  Fans of the groups earlier releases Snakes In The Playground and Scarecrow Messiah will be pleases as well as fans of DISCIPLE, PILLAR, TESLA, GUNS N’ ROSES and EXTREME.

This Is It track listing: "Blow It All Away", "To The Sky", "More Than Human", "Drop D", "Head Lookin’ For A Bullet", "Best I Expect To Do", "Evil Geniuses", "Revolution", "Barren River Blues", "Microphone", "Short Time In The Grave", "Universe", "White Elephant"

Raw track listing: “Blow It All Away”, “Is This The Now”, “Bring Me Down”, “Burning Love”

BRIDE online: http://bridepub.com & www.facebook.com/BridebandOn

Daniel Band - Straight Ahead

DANIEL BAND - Straight Ahead:

Press Release / The second DANIEL BAND album, the Refuge Records release Straight Ahead, hit the shelves in 1983.  In April of 2003 Retroactive Records re-issued on a single disc both Straight Ahead and the groups third album Run From The Darkenss but quickly sold out of all 1000 copies of the limited edition ‘2-for-1’ re-issue.  Sustained strong demand for these classics resulted in a second re-issue from 2006, which each album digitally re-mastered and re-released (also limited to 1000 copies) on a separate disc.

While adhering to well entrenched melodic metal formulas, guitarist Tony Rossi forged his own style, as can be found in the haunting melody to “In My Mind”, visceral attacks of “Lustful Illusions” and high energy in your face “Reality”.  These songs will blow you away with the melodic mentality of KISS but the ability to rock you out like AC/DC.  Fans of REZ, BARNABAS, JERUSALEM, TED NUGENT, RUSH and TRIUMPTH and all fans of quality arena hard rock will welcome its availability once again for a short time.

This single disc re-issue also features two previously unavailable bonus tracks from their original 1980 demo.

Straight Ahead track listing: “Power Of Love”, “You’re All I Need”, “Straight Ahead”, “Here I Am”, “T’ank You”, “Lustful Illusions”, “Reality”, “Come Into My Life”, “Comin’ Home”, “In My Mind”, “Free From Sin” (bonus track), “I’m Sorry” (bonus track)

Daniel Band - Run From The Darkness

DANIEL BAND - Run From The Darkness:

Press Release / Run From The Darkness, the third album from Canada’s DANIEL BAND, was originally released in 1984 on Refuge Records.  The album was re-issued by Retroactive Records in April of 2003 with the group’s second album Straight Ahead (also on Refuge and from 1983) both on the same disc.  The 1000 copies limited edition ‘2-for-1’ release sold out quickly.  Fast forward to 2006 and Run From The Darkness has been digitally re-mastered and re-issued a second time by Retroactive Records as a limited edition (again, 1000 copies) on its own disc.

Guitar Toni Rossi peeled off one meaty riff after another on swaggering commercial heavyweights such as “Sixteen” and the albums title track.  Perhaps no Christian metal song induced more fist pumping and air guitar in the eighties than hard rock anthem “Walk On The Water”.  These songs and others will blow you away with the melodic mentality of KISS but the ability to rock you out like AC/DC.  Fans of REZ, BARNABAS, JERUSALEM, TED NUGENT, RUSH and TRIUMPTH and all fans of quality arena hard rock will welcome its availability once again for a short time.

The single disc re-issue also features two previously unavailable bonus tracks from the group’s original 1980 demo in addition to the video of “Walk On The Water”, which is available to the public for the first time ever!

Run From The Darkness track listing: “Don’t Give Up”, “Run From The Darkness”, “Walk On The Water”, “Never Gonna Die”, “Sixteen”, “Live Connection”, “Let’s Get Ready”, “Walls”, “It’s Over”, “My Children” (bonus track), “In The Sky” (bonus track)

Final Axe - Axe Of The Apostles

FINAL AXE - The Axe Of The Apostles

Press Releases / With the release of its second album, The Axe Of The Apostles, on Retroactive Records, FINAL AXE has finally gained recognition as metal heavyweights by showcasing their catchiest and most accessible set of songs to date.  Even while retaining the precision guitar assault and quasi-Halford type vocals, the band proves they are masters of melodic metal without losing their intensity and edge.  Robert Sweet of STRYPER fame handles drums alongside guitarist Bill Menchen and vocalist Simon Tyler, with the latter two releasing a pair of albums under the TITANIC moniker, Maiden Voyage (1996) and Screaming In Silence (2002).

FINAL AXE debuted in 1989 with the custom cassette release Beyond Hells Gate, which was re-mastered and re-issued on Retroactive in 2005.

In his review of The Axe Of The Apostles, HM editor Doug Van Pelt writes, "...those of you who remember Final Axe (who go all the way back to the late 80's) will be glad to know that this is easily their best album. If Saint were to win 'Comeback of the Year' for 2004's In the Battle, then this album would win it this year."

For fans of SAINT, BARREN CROSS, early BRIDE, NEON CROSS and JUDAS PRIEST.

The Axe Of The Apostles track listing: “Heads Will Roll”, “Burn In Hell”, “Ball And Chain”, “Hangin’ By A Thread”, “Dealing With Death”, , “Vengeance Is Mine”, “Slaves”, “Metal Missionaries”, “We’re Not Heroes”, “Worlds Away”

X-SINNER - Fire It Up

Press Release / In 1991 X-SINNER, with newcomer Rex Scott fronting the group, released its sophomore album Peace Treaty on Pakaderm Records.  Due to the cost and red tape involving in getting Peace Treaty re-issued, X-SINNER decided to re-record and re-release it on Retroactive Records under the new title Fire It Up.

The band was never fully pleased with the album as it was originally released and, as a result, took advantage of the opportunity to add heavier guitars, more solos and make other changes they had wanted for years.  The ballad “Hold On” from the original release was replaced with a newly written song entitled “Fire It Up”.  The AC/DC vibe of the song so typified the X-SINNER style of commercial heavy metal that the group decided to name the album after it.  “Fire It Up” should give old fans a taste of what is to come as plans are in the works to release an album of new songs in the fall of 2006 tentatively entitled Back In Red.

Fans of AC/DC and DEF LEPPARD (Pyromania era), IDLE CURE and ZION will love it.

Fire It Up track listing: “Fire It Up”, “I Take Power”, “Gotta Let Go”, “Rollin’ Thunder”, “Getch Ya”, “Don’t Go”, “Peer Pressure”, “We Need Love”, “All I Need”, “You Got Me”

Retroactive Records online: http://retroactiverecords.net/store/retroactive-records.html

NEWS BRIEFS

* Lords Of Metal interview with Christian Rivel (NARNIA): www.lordsofmetal.nl/nl/interviews/view/id/1377

* Victor Griffin (PLACE OF SKULLS) interview with Hellride Music: www.hellridemusic.com/forum/showthread.php?p=179033

* BLOODGOOD plans to re-record many of its classic songs of the past in addition to recording all new material!  The following update was found at the bands website: “Les Carlsen, Michael Bloodgood, and Paul Jackson met recently to discuss the future of BLOODGOOD. After a disappointing false start in 2002, it seems there is hope for an active BLOODGOOD once again. Michael reported that they intend to re-record classic BLOODGOOD songs to give them an updated sound, and then work on recording new material. Michael implied that his recovery from his near death experience has been a strong motivating factor in his renewed interest in the band. When asked who would play drums, Michael suggested that the most likely candidate is former BLOODGOOD drummer Mark Welling.”

* WHITECROSS provided the following update at its forum: “A new CD is in the beginning writing stages. It will be heavier than previous WHITECROSS CDs, yet still have Rex's style and scream WHITECROSS.  The band would love to have a tour NOW... so, that is their hope after the upcoming CD.  Word still needs to be spread about WHITECROSS to really get things moving for the band and open more doors. How far WHITECROSS goes depends upon us, the fans. And the support of the fans here means a lot.

 

Update Archives: June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006 is the official launch date of Angelic Warlord.  Opening its doors with 154 reviews, 3 articles and links to over 100 band pages, resources and retailers, Angelic Warlord also showcases the following in-depth featured reviews:

NARNIA - At Short Notice
At Short Notice: Live In Germany, the first official live album from the Swedish power/progressive metal outfit Narnia, can trace its origins back to a live performance of the band that was recorded in Owens, Germany on March 29, 2003.  Initially released on DVD by MCM Music and Massacre Records a year later, At Short Notice, unfortunately, came out only in PAL format (which is compatible with DVD players in Europe).  Read Full Review >>  

PROTO-KAW - The Wait Of Glory
Proto-Kaw.  The name makes perfect sense.  Particularly when you consider that four of its current member where part of the progressive rock group Kansas in its “second incarnation”- before it changed its lineup and went on to great commercial success with the hits “Carry On Wayward Sun” and “Dust In The Wind”.  Read Full Review >>  

PYRAMAZE - Legend Of The Bone Carver
The musical journey of vocalist Lance King got its start in the mid-eighties when he fronted Gemini, a melodic metal outfit that played up to 300 shows annually and released two albums- the bands self-titled debut came out in 1990, while a sophomore effort entitled Out For Blood hit the shelves two years later.  After parting ways with Gemini, King proceeded to put together his own band, appropriately named The King’s Machine, that in 1995 recorded its debut A State Of MindRead Full Review >>

RIVERA BOMMA - I Am God
The biography of New Jersey’s Rivera Bomma states, word for word, that “Rivera Bomma aren’t concerned with being part of the current trend.  In fact, they’ve never been overly concerned with what the mainstream audience deemed popular.”  No kidding?  Actually, I could not think of a better way to sum things up, particularly in light of the duos most recent outing, I Am GodRead Full Review >>  

SEVEN ANGELS - Faceless Man
Seven Angels came out of Brazil in 2002 with the blend of power and progressive metal found on its full length debut The Second Floor.  Moving in the same musical direction on its 2006 sophomore release Faceless Man, Seven Angels mixes in an occasional thrash and speed element to put together a much more well rounded effort that does a better job of holding up under repeated play.  Read Full Review >>   

VENI DOMINE - 23:59
The best way to describe 23:59, the latest effort from Sweden’s Veni Domine, would be a musical continuation of its excellent 2004 release The Album Of Labour.  The album, for example, finds the band distancing itself even further from the progressive metal leanings of its earlier recordings such as Fall Babylon Fall and Material Sanctuary and moving in a direction reflective of a more epic doom-like vibe not unlike that of fellow Swede’s Mirador.  Read Full Review >>  

METAL & HARD ROCK NEWS

Place Of Skuls - The Black Is Never Far

PLACE OF SKULLS returns with The Black Is Never Far:
Press Release / If you talk doom metal nowadays, even if you talk metal legacy in general, if you talk honest beliefs in the power of musical underground - then you talk Victor Griffin and certainly your mantra shall be PLACE OF SKULLS.  Honest, deep and warm conclusions of true beliefs in music, Tennessee’s PLACE OF SKULLS deliver the finest blend you can get out of different ingredients: Deep rooted in doom tradition, the legendary PENTAGRAM and DEATH ROW guitarist takes his skills onto the next level and enlightens the cold winter with positive feelings, nailed in stone, created with vision.

PLACE OF SKULLS is now back after a short hiatus! Their new album (3rd overall and first for Exile) is full of doom metal and hard rock.  The Black Is Never Far is the pinnacle recording of PLACE OF SKULLS, a true testament to the amazing songwriting ability of this seminal band, encompassing, doom metal, 70´s heavy rock, blues and classic rock. No doubt this will be a classic recording!

The Black Is Never Far track listing:

1. “Prisoner’s Creed”
2. “Sense Of Divinity”
3. “Darkest Hour”
4. “Interlude”
5. “Apart From Me”
6. “The Black Is Never Far”
7. “We The Unrighteous”
8. “Interlude”
9. “Masters Of Jest”
10. “Interlude”
11. “Lookin’ For A Reason”
12. “Relentless”
13. “Changed Heart”

Exile On Mainstream Records: www.mainstreamrecords.de

PLACE OF SKULLS online: www.placeofskulls.com & www.facebook.com/pages/Place-of-Skulls

Stairway - The Other Side Of Midnight

STAIRWAY - The Other Side Of Midnight artwork & track listing revealed:
Press Release / STAIRWAY, one of the pivotal Christian bands to have emerged from the UK metal scene, will independently release its fourth album, The Other Side Of Midnight, on July 10, 2006.  The follow up to 2002’s On Hallowed Ground was recorded at Grange Studios with production duties handled by guitarist Graeme Leslie and mastering Bob Tomlinson at Alphapro Audio.

Paul Hodson (HARD RAIN, BOB CATLEY) produced the debut STAIRWAY album No Rest - No Mercy, which was released on Edge Records in 1993.  The album later debuted at #48 on the Japan import charts following its Japan release. The group independently put out its second album, Bleeding Heart, in 1999.
     
The Other Side Of Midnight track listing:

1. “No Mercy”
2. “Sea Of Fools”
3. “Burn”
4. “Pray For The Children”
5. “Taste The Blood”
6. “Lead Us”
7. “She Calls”
8. “Cantabile”
9. “Death & Destruction”
10. “Soldiers Of Heaven”
11. “My Life Goes On…”

STAIRWAY online: www.stairwayonline.co.uk & www.facebook.com/stairwaytheband

NEWS BRIEFS

* Bombworks Records has announced the signing of a new band from Brazil named ADIASTASIA.  Playing a technical form of power metal not unlike HELLOWEEN and GAMMA RAY, ADIASTASIA will later this summer be releasing its 11 track full length debut entitled Life War.

* Rivel Records has also been busy as of late. Recent releases include a new self-titled album from LAUDAMUS in which the band re-recorded all the material from its full-length debut Unlimited Love in addition to the songs on its first vinyl single. Bonus tracks include the songs from its hard to find 1992 EP Ready Or Not. Also of interest are the re-issues of the second and third albums, Taxfree and Extended Empire, by Swedish hard rockers XT. As many of you know, XT is a collaboration between vocalist Sonny Larsson (MOTHERLODE) and guitarist Bjorn Stigsson (LEVITICUS) that lasted just three albums (the bands self-titled debut came out in 1992). It is also worth noting that Taxfree and Extended Empire, which were not originally licensed for distribution outside of Europe, are available as a limited pressing of only 300 copies each. Bluesy hard rockers HEARTCRY have also put out a new album entitled Firehouse.

Angelic Warlord Update Archives: HERE

 

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