Cool way to kick off summer with this much high quality metal on board, reaching all the way back to 1976 for Deadly Ted Nugent, then all the way forward to new cats like Purgatory and the welcome return of the talented and bruising Vision Of Disorder. In any event, lots of variety to satiate your metal munchies, and for once, lots of indie headbangers rising from the underground?
1) CADAVER INC ? ?Snapper Organs? 5:19; from Discipline (Earache)
Quite appropriate that Cadaver Inc have toured with Morbid Angel and Zyklon, this pain-inspiring album being a vibrating chafing collection of death beyond the next few evolutions, Zyklon-ic and Limbonic with intense creative agitation, blazing riffs and even a bit of mathcore in terms of percussion surprises. Shoot ?em up post-black metal with brains.
2) ANDROMEDA ? ?The Words Unspoken? 5:28; from Extension Of The Wish (Century Media)
Sweden?s Andromeda have come across something very exciting indeed, a cross between progressive rock and the creamier, dreamier passages from Iron Maiden in the late ?80s and beyond. It all begins with guitar mastermind Johan Reinholdz but everybody gets to shine. In particular, check out the old time synth work.
3) STEEL PROPHET - ?When Six Was Nine? 3:46; from Book Of The Dead (Nuclear Blast)
Quite possibly America?s power metal band with the most personality and potential, Steel Prophet win the day through open architecture production values and sterling silver vocal melodies. The Maidenisms are still there, but these tracks are little styles on their own, adding texture and relief on an expertly sequenced album that sticks in the memory banks.
4) BREACH OF TRUST ? ?Who Am I? 3:30; from Songs For Dying Nation (EMI)
Get ready for the most accomplished modern metal band you?re likely to hear all year, northern Saskatchewan?s Breach Of Trust landing on EMI after intense buzz with their expertly drum-driven hard rock alchemy fraught with emotional melodies and complex riffs that somehow hook deep into the brain.
5) VISION OF DISORDER ? ?On The Table? 3:52; from From Bliss To Devastation (TVT)
Vision Of Disorder have always been one of the most promising of the hardcore metal crossover acts, and through their recent low profile, the anticipation has simply grown for their new album. Come watch the old pros vanquish the memories of all the nu-metal pretenders with the heaviest riffs of the modern new year. A stellar return.
6) TED NUGENT ? ?Free For All? 4:10; from Full Bluntal Nugity (Spitfire)
Yes, he is the Tedinator, Deadly Tedly and he is back with a ripping live album, propelled at the bottom end by none other than drum extraordinaire Tommy Aldridge. At the heavier end of the hits, Full Bluntal Nugity is a shot of legendary rock that tore up the back end of the ?70s from the Detroit rocker who killed all comers.
7) BAL-SAGOTH ? ?The Dreamer In The Catacombs Of Ur? 5:16; from Atlantis Ascendant (Nuclear Blast)
The UK claims fame to one of the most highly interesting sci-fi black metal phenoms on or above this planet in the speedy madness of the legendary Bal-Sagoth. Back again with more devilish universals, Bal-Sagoth are a symphony of future sonics, forward thinking, expertly detailed and bent on solar systematic destruction.
8) IVORY KNIGHT ? ?True Signs Of Life? 5:17; from Up From The Ashes (Ivory Knight)
Ivory Knight is back, rising from its late ?80s Annihilator connections into this new version, mastermind John Perinbam putting together a uniquely dreamy prog metal that is dark, open architecture, often elegantly acoustic, usually weirdly slow, doomy and a bit old school prog. Had to describe, but definitely a highly individualistic alloy. Contact POB 38144, 1430 Prince Of Wales Dr., Ottawa ON K2C 1N0 or www.ivoryknight.com or email@example.com
9) HAMADRYAD ? ?Amora Demonis? 6:58; from Conservation Of Mass (Unicorn)
Prepare to hear a form of progressive metal unlike any other, Hamadryad throwing in all sorts of world music melodies and tones as well as arrangements from light jazz fusion in creation of the freshest, most creative hard rock hybrid we?ve heard in the last five years. There is nothing like this. Contact POB 95016, Lorraine, QC Canada J6Z 4P1 or 514-928-9002 or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.hamadryadmusic.com
10) MY RUIN ? ?Beauty Fiend? 3:41; from A Prayer Under Pressure Of Violent Anguish (Spitfire)
The always controversial Tairrie B is back with her most intense, heaviest and angry record yet, blasting a big nasty metal noise, excellent production, only a hint of industrial and a whole steaming mess of power chords. As well, look for her usual literary and thought-provoking lyrics which she spits out this time with hair-raising barks and screams. The realization of the My Ruin concept is at hand.
11) EYEHATEGOD ? ?Blood Money? 3:45; from 10 Years Of Abuse (and Still Broke) (Century Media)
The down South sludge kings of the ugly underbelly are back with more dirt from the vaults, 10 Years Of Abuse offering up a smack of Live In Europe 2000 as well as four demo tracks from 1990 and a live radio debacle from ?94. Last call for rubbing alcohol?
12) PURGATION ? ?Realm Of The Dead? 4:31; from Realm Of The Dead (Purgation)
Purgation are a creepy, doomy, mesmerizingly retro traditional metal unit out of the American south, and on this four track demo, they sound like a cross between Trouble, Metallica and evil, underground New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Ronnie Griffin has a chilling voice, which adds to the dark mystique. Contact POB 640672, Kenner LA 70064 or www.purgation.com or www.mp3.com/purgation or email@example.com for more info.
13) PCP ? ?Requiem Mass? 4:10; from Evil Hate Motherfucker (PCP)
A shocking blast of death awaits those who dive inside this bludgeoning, well-recorded ten-track pile of vile. Not without humour, and not without punk or groovy traditional metal moments, PCP are a versatile band with fierce extreme metal chops. Won?t stay unsigned for long! Contact POB 332, Vineburg CA 95487 or firstname.lastname@example.org or hometown.aol.com/evilh8mf/pcp.html or www.pcptheband.com or mp3.com/pcptheband
14) DIVINE RAPTURE ? ?My Demon, Your Dove? 3:18; from Divine Rapture (Divine Rapture)
Swirling, sublime grindcore death awaits those who check in with this long-awaited sampler from the band?s even longer-awaited second album. The band has definite ambitions, work that has resulted in lots of worldwide press and support gigs with Deicide, In Flames, Dying Fetus and Kataklysm. Well beyond the realms of death into a bit of insanely chops-mad mathcore, yet always with an eye toward morbid, mortified tradition. Contact: POB 159, Chester Heights PA 19017 or www.divinerapture.net or email@example.com
15) ADAGIO ? ?Second Sight? 6:07; from Sanctus Ignis (Limb Music Products/SPV)
Probably the most well-written and fantastically dramatic European power metal you?ll hear all year, Adagio are blessed with great vocals, high register production values, speed, precision but also a tantalizing touch of prog and even gothic metal when it comes to the melodies. Like dark, dark Yngwie or even darker Dio.
16) MENTAL INFECTION ? ?Disarray? 5:40; from Fear Of A Metal Planet (Crook?d Records)
As subtle as a battering ram, New Hampshire?s Mental Infection chug along with intense ferocity as they manage to mesh brutality with twin guitar tactics and haunting mellow passages mimicking the dead crying for retribution. Varied in style, this blistering debut will turn a few heads. Contact: POB 25, Jamestwon NC 27282 or crook-drecords.com