MAGAZINE - KNUCKLETRACKS

KnuckleTracks #38

Rocking forth into 2002, it looks like we've got a big year planned. Death, progressive death, power, progressive power, and then there's Therion, who have responded with more operatic provocation to kick off your year. But without further backwash, throw this sucker on and witness the skull-frying power of a long-standing favourite around here, Entombed, who strike hard once more with Morning Star.

1) ENTOMBED - 'I For An Eye' 3:10; from Morning Star (Koch)
Nice and thick, fast and loose, Entombed rule the heavy metal roost. So we've had 'em back for another Knuckletrack, once again these seminal Swedes invited to pen the disc up wide. Grooves, grit and gargoyles.

2) CARNAL FORGE - 'Hand Of Doom' 3:50; from Please... Die! (Century Media)
Carnal Forge, Soilwork and The Crown are without a doubt the new trinity toppling the giants of Swedish thrash, and amongst them, Carnal Forge just might be the harshest, least compromising and most dangerous. Come here their scorched earth policy in action.

3) DROWNED - 'The Most Destructive Art' 3:37; points from Bonegrinder (Cogumelo)
Appearing first on the Tribute To Sarcofago CD, Brazil's Drowned have crafted a debut that combines chunky grey death metal with the speed and change-ups of Swedish thrash. The combination makes for a forceful firestorm of metal alloys that will appeal to fans of traditional right through hardcore.

4) KING DIAMOND - 'Mansion In Sorrow 3:36; from Abigail II: The Revenge (Metal Blade/Universal)
Reprising his most visceral and well-regarded masterwerk, King Diamond returns with a stormblast of an album that finds Abigail angrier than ever. Plus King has gathered a line-up of musicians that collectively possess histories as imposing as the shock legend himself.

5) GRAVE DIGGER - 'The Grave Digger' 5:05; from The Grave Digger (Nuclear Blast)
No one can churn out the true power of traditional power metal like Chris Boltendahl and his gathering of mausoleum-raiding metalists. The Grave Digger is named like the definitive album it is, the band rocking carnal like the early glory days.

6) SILENT FORCE - 'Fall Into Oblivion' 5:15; from Infatuator (InsideOut Music America)
If you want the best in power metal, go to the pros. Silent Force get it right, because at the helm are none other than D.C. Cooper and German legend Alex Beyrodt, who push this album into the hallowed Priest zone and beyond. Classic, timeless precision metal.

7) THERION - 'Asgard' 4:07; from Secret Of The Runes (Nuclear Blast)
Therion records just get grander and more ambitious, the musical genius of Cristofer Johnsson rising to the occasion of this complex Norse-historical concept album. The band's patented classical instrumentation is more varied and well-integrated as well, as Johnsson takes you on a spiritual journey you won't forget.

8) CHARNEL HOUSE - 'The Final Scream' 4:02; from From Birth To Burial (Charnel House)
Macabre, old school death from deep within the New York underground, Charnel House possess a touch of punkcore drama that evokes a Misfits or Rob Zombie vibe, despite the band's crushing death stance. As well, an intriguing hint of Bay Area thrash permeates the proceedings, making this the perfect chaser for your traditional headbanging beerfest. Contact Charnel10-83@juno.com or www.mp3.com/ACharnelHouse or POB 570677, Whitestone NY 11357.

9) NAGLFAR - 'The Brimstone Gate' 5:08; from Ex Inferis (Century Media)
Here's a rarities, covers and new originals (with new guitarist Marcus Norman) EP from one of black metal's bands actually better than most of the supergroups. Highly creative as well as uncompromising, Naglfar are getting set to scorch a path with a new ful-length, blackening your soul soon.

10) BURNT BY THE SUN - 'Dracula With Glasses' 1:46; from Soundtrack To The Personal Revolution (Relapse)
One of the most hotly anticipated releases in the intense, creative mathcore field, the new one from Burnt By The Sun is an artful display of virtuoso flash distilled into metal songs riddled with guerilla warfare. A clarity of purpose, executed with profound ease.

11) INTO ETERNITY - 'Elysium Dream' 4:36; from Dead Or Dreaming (DVS/Century Media)
Canada's awesome Into Eternity have capped their rapid rise with a Century Media deal. Now the world will get to hear the creative intensity of the band's patented and progressive three-vocal approach. A cauldron of complex death, trad, doom and gloom. Contact: www.intoeternity.com or kralls@sasktel.net

12) BORKNAGAR - 'Gods Of My World' 4:25; from Empiricism (Century Media)
There is probably no band with a greater, more elite reputation on the black metal scene than Borknagar. And now that Oystein has Vintersorg in the band, Borknagar have become the creative vanguard of the movement. Art carved out of pain, blistering metal intensity carved from skill, determination and intelligence.

13) EVERGREY - 'Rulers Of The Mind' 5:57; from In Search Of Truth (InsideOut Music America)
Tom Englund operates in a rarified rock zone, creating doomy progressive rock that is infused with traditional gothic metal and a plethora of keyboard tones. Through this synthesis, he has created a sound that is distinctly applied to his plush melodies and his thoughtful conceptual lyric themes.

14) TWISTED SISTER - 'Never Say Never' 2:18; from Club Daze Volume II Live In The Bars (Spitfire)
Here's an inspiring new anthem from the make-up legends from New York, added, with one other new song, to a revealing batch of live tracks from the band's complex and deep bar band past in the '70s. A fascinating historical document demonstrating why Twisted ripped everybody a new one come the Under The Blade debut.

15) THE SCREAM CLAN - 'American Hair' 4:50; from American Hair demo (www.screamclan.com)
Laughing in the face of trend, Philadelphia's The Scream Clan have perfected the lost art of party metal, landing between the primary-coloured sheen of Poison, the soul of Great White and the tongue-in-cheek glam of Hanoi Rocks. And they're killing 'em live, backing up all the greats as they pass through the area. Contact www.screamclan.com or 2150-742-9860 or 215-922-1867 for more info.

16) ANDREW W.K. - 'Party Till You Puke' 2:36; from I Get Wet (Universal)
Here to save the world for gleaming, steaming rock 'n' roll is mystery man Andrew W.K. 'Party Till You Puke' is absolutely rife with a fresh electricity that will have ears pricked and primed the world over. It's a new sensual update on glam, punk, rock with a big heart, metal with stomping, steel-toed boots.

17) DAMAGED - 'Don't Spit' 3:26; from Do Not Spit/Passive Backseat Demon Engines (Rotten)
This is a re-release of a criminally underrated collection of Aussie death anthems, comprising a '93 album and a '95 EP. It's amazing how ahead of the game Damaged were, playing like mathcore wizards but keeping it true punkdrunk and deathly. Witness the carnage again.

18) PISSING RAZORS - 'Burning Bridges' 3:20; from Where We Come From (Spitfire)
Pissing Razors have methodically gone about their business becoming one of the actualizations of the pure metal legacy Machine Head abandoned after the first album. Quite simply, they are alone with Pantera creating crushing no compromise metal that is forward thinking and hard as steel at once.

19) LOCKUP - 'Detestation' 1:34; from Hate Breeds Suffering (Nuclear Blast)
Let's punctuate a second hole in this disc with a short shocker from your favourite death metal supergroup, Lock Up! Prepare to be pummeled, courtesy of Pintado, Lindberg, Embury, and last but not least, drum volcano Nick Barker. Heavier than the first one, if that's inhumanly possible.


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