KnuckleTracks #42

1) BRAND NEW SIN - 'SPP' 3:13; from Brand New Sin (Now Or Never)
Saving the world for kick ass rock 'n' roll is what this band accomplishes, plain and simple, Brand New Sin combining the heavy heft of Pantera, Black Label Society, mid-years COC and early Machine Head for a thrilling air guitar ride to the metal heavens. This rules. Contact 150 Bay St., Ste. 806, Jersey City NJ 07302 or 201-222-6733, or

2) SKINLAB - 'Slave The Way' 3:15; from reVoltingRoom (Century Media)
The long wait for new product from this highly creative band of pioneering metal searchers is over and the results are skull-frying. ReVoltingRoom lives up to all the hype, being modern, complicated yet immediate, harsh yet accessible. Come hear the masters of the new metal hardcore revolution. or

3) APHASIA - 'Devastating Wind' 6:10; from Arcane In Thalassa (Grind It!/Spectrum)
Quebec's near legendary Aphasia are the forerunners of the black metal scene as it exists in Quebec, and as is the usual case with Quebec bands, the quality of both the songwriting and the production is frighteningly impressive. An absolute firestorm of razor-sharp riffs, blasting technical drums and searing vocals. Contact or or or or C.P. St-Andre, BP 32111, Montreal QC H2L 4Y5.

4) SPEEDEALER - 'Leave Me Alone' 3:36; from Second Sight (Palm)
Traditional yet somehow punk rocked and booze-addled, the much buzzed-about Speedealer is the perfect antidote to those alternative or nu-metal blues. Recently kicking ass on the Motorhead tour, the band's second major label release is a riff-mad feast of hollarin' heaviness.

5) DIO - 'Push' 4:05; from Killing The Dragon (Spitfire)
Metal's ambassador of classic and classy is back with an inspiring album that recalls the early days of Dio, Ronnie turning in a collection of mid-tempo to quick songs rifled by riffs that metalize the sacred heart. The sound is hot, the grooves striking at the headbanger with power metal pride.

6) ENGINE - 'I Know'; 3:48 from Superholic (Metal Blade)
Ray Alder, Bernie Versailles, Joey Vera and Pete Parada are back with a grinding follow-up to the all-star grouping's self-titled debut, and the molten grooves are low and heavy, the band attacking modern metal with a progressive acumen that transforms these songs into deafening yet through-provoking sound sculptures.

7) COSMOSQUAD - 'Creepy Spider Pt. II' 4:34; from Squadrophenia (Marmaduke)
As out-of-this-world as their galactic moniker suggests, Cosmosquad are that rare convergence of stellar musicianship, unique songwriting and forward thinking attitude that allows for great musical things to happen. Featuring guitar whiz Jeff Kollman (Mogg/Way, John West) and one of the world's premier rhythm sections, Shane Gaalaas & Barry Sparks (Yngwie, MSG, Uli Roth), Cosmosquad combine the power of metal with the spirit of jazz/fusion in a fresh, new way. Contact: ayresrockmgmt @ or or Pugworks Music, P.O.Box 33992, Granada Hills, CA 91394.

8) PRIMAL FEAR - 'Armageddon' 4:05; from Black Sun (Nuclear Blast)
The reigning kings of power metal's first renaissance are back with another collection of laser-guided riff monsters, Ralf Scheepers delivering one of his most impassioned vocal performances yet over a heart-bursting musical display from veterans wholly in tune with the meaning of fine, traditional metal. or

9) SENTENCED - 'Blood & Tears' 4:14; from The Cold White Light (Century Media)
Finland's favourite suicide rockers are back with an album that looks at death philosophically, ironically and humourously. The sound is vast, anthemic and magically riff-rich. Production, pathos and a pounding rhythm section conspire through frost and fire.

10) DANZIG - 'Wicked Pussycat' 4:03; from 777: I Luciferi (Spitfire)
America's reigning dark lord is back with a thought-provoking record that some are hailing as a successor to the Danzig 4p masterpiece, Glenn gathering a bundle of raw, powerful production tones and then strangling his songs with them until they howl in fright. Tough, lurching and battle-torn.

11) DREAM EVIL - 'Save Us' 3:39; from Dragonslayer (Century Media)
Make way for a surprise power metal supergroup led by none other than dream producer Fredrik Nordstrom. In incubation for years, Nordstrom has finally assembled an allstar line-up to create a stirring melodic metal album that retains the grit Nordstrom is known for on his myriad of marquee metal production jobs. An alloy that... slays. or

12) DEAD SOUL TRIBE - 'The Haunted' 4:52; from Dead Soul Tribe (InsideOut America)
Presented in splendid digi-book format, Dead Soul Tribe is the latest masterpiece from ex-Psychotic waltz guru Buddy Lackey, now going under the moniker of Devon Graves. The sound is a crunching yet verdant form of rhythmic prog metal, but beware... it is dark. or

13) KAOS RISING - 'Excessive Hate' 3:47; from Welcome To The Violence (JetSpeed)
Crusty, rhythm-pounded, head-smashing death is the order of the day from Chicago's Kaos Rising, who somehow manage a new level of danger within what can be very stratified music. Chops are to the fore, riffs are fresh and convoluted, but the song never suffers. Contact POB 375, Monee IL 60449 or 815-236-7123 or, or

14) ROTTEN SOUND - 'Obey' 3:15; from Murderworks (Deathvomit/Necropolis)
Arguably Finland's heaviest band, Rotten Sound have crafted a scathing, searing smudge of grind with expert playing and production sure to strip flesh off a Lapland reindeer. Murderworks marks nine years in the business of killing, and business is good. or

15) UPHILL BATTLE - 'Ripped Off Face' 3:29; from Uphill Battle (Relapse)
Born of Crawlspace, California's Uphill Battle are swinging the pendulum for acrobatic extreme to the left coast, pulverizing into dust a collection of impossible riffs with stunning production and ferocious, carnivorous playing. Grindcore with complex chemistries and frightening results. or

16) NONEXIST - 'The Devil Incarnate' 4:01; from Deus Deceptor (Century Media)
A magic meeting of metal minds, Nonexist teams guitar wunderkid Johan Reinholdz (Andromeda) with ex-Arch Enemy belter Johan Liiva and Defleshed drummer Matte Modin, for a complex thrash collection that is as wide-reaching as its legendary collaborators. or or

17) SUSPERIA - 'Petrified' 4:48; from Vindication (Nuclear Blast)
Modern thrash's favourite brash upstarts are back with a cathedral of brutal sounds, Susperia taking the genre further, similar in style to Soilwork, but with a closer adherence to tradition. That is except for the vocals, Vindication featuring a Crowbar/Pantera vibe in that department that astonishes. or

18) PAIN - 'Save Me' 3:35; from Nothing Remains The Same (Stockholm/Universal)
Peter Tagtgren's Euro-successful Pain project stomps back with its third sardonic and modern entry into electronica-laced hard rock. The tones are daring, the vocals surprisingly clear, the melodies sparse but impactful when they break.