KnuckleTracks #46

1) SYMPHONY X - 'Wicked' 5:30; from Odyssey (InsideOut Music America)
There is no progressive metal release more hotly anticipated than the new one from these American legends, Michael Romeo and crew unleashing the gold standard of all standards. And the buzz has become frenzied, given tour plans with German maestros Blind Guardian. Come out and be amazed by the king of shred. or

2) STEEL PROPHET - 'One Way Out' 4:14; from Unseen (Nuclear Blast)
The prolific and experienced Steel Prophet is perhaps the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of the premiere American power metal acts. Their sound is timeless, their songwriting fearless and the fidelity of the productions nears perfection. www,

3) LUCA TURILLI - 'Prince Of The Starlight 5:12; from Prophet Of The Last Eclipse (Limb Music Products)
Rhapsody maestro Luca Turilli is back with another work of blinding power metal precision, and his classical ambitions have never been more fiercely attacked. Prophet Of The Last Eclipse is going to be huge event in the prog and power community. Come hear why...

4) DIES IRAE - 'Incarnation Of Evil' 3:19; from The Sin War (Metal Blade)
Neck and snapping neck with Vader in their Polish homeland, Dies Irae are now onto their second album of crushing death metal might, Mauser actually starting the band in '92, only to leave for Vader and then revive this blazing death machine. Reviews for the Immolated debut were impressive, so watch for more unanimous praise for The Sin War.

5) ABSCESS - 'Mourners Will Burn' 3:24; from Through The Cracks Of Death (Peaceville)
If anybody can balance the extremity of grind with thick, accessible production and nasty, almost punk rock grooves, it's Autopsy legend Chris Reifert. Through The Cracks Of Death is bloody power personified, rendered through one of the genre's best production jobs ever. Death is back with a vengeance.

6) SOLVI - 'Burn Me In Effigy' 4:30; from the forthcoming EP (Solvi)
During the black months of last winter, Solvi was formed out of a mixture of greed, hate and boredom. With members from various points around the world who have recently relocated to the bustling metropolis of Nashville, Solvi offers hard-hitting beats, trigger-happy guitars, intricate bass lines and crushing vocals with true melody. Contact POB 90565 Nashville TN 37209 or 615-731-6363 or or

7) THRESHOLD - 'Phenomenon' 5:30; from Critical Mass (InsideOut Music America)
Following up Hypothetical put a lot of pressure on the band, but the UK's premiere prog metal outfit has responded gracefully with a masterwork of an album, Critical Mass delivering the goods, available in both one CD and limited edition two CD format. Look to Threshold and perhaps Vanden Plas, to lead the new wave of hard-edged art rock into the next decade. or

8) AVANTASIA - 'Chalice Of Agony' 6:00; from The Metal Opera Pt. II (Century Media)
Edguy's Tobias Sammet is back with the exhilarating, scintillating, exacting follow-up to the highly acclaimed debut, creating a feast for the power metal ears that includes some of the best vocal work ever from the likes of Michael Kiske, Kai Hansen, David Defeis, Andre Matos, Bob Rock and new to this edition, Magnum's Bob Catley.

9) BLOODBATH - 'Like Fire' 4:33; from Resurrection Through Carnage (Century Media)
Bloodbath is what happens when you take four of Sweden's most esteemed metal legends and put them together to indulge in American death metal with a hint of Entombed. In fact, no less than Dan Swano, Opeth's Mikael Akerfelt and Anders Nystrom and Jonas Renske, both from Katatonia, comprise this lethal cutting crew. or

10) KHASM - 'Mother' 5:23; from Dancing 'Round The Circle's End (Dark Embrace Music)
11) KHASM - 'Season's Turn' 3:37; from Dancing 'Round The Circle's End (Dark Embrace Music)
The musical world has yet to bear witness to a force as enigmatic as Khasm! Spawned from the womb of the Earth mother, the group's music does contain elements familiar to fans of the new waves of European Gothic and black metal, traditional heavy metal and Andrew Lloyd Webber - but there simply is no single word, phrase, or emotion in existence to define Khasm! Unconventional, yet accessible arrangements and melodies serve to mesmerized the senses, while two very different and distinctive voices don't allow for any confusion. If you have witnessed Khasm's performance at Milwaukee Metalfest XV, Metal Meltdown III, or somewhere else in the USA, then you're well aware of what you're no longer missing. "Trendy American blood is Khasm wine!" - text provided by band. Contact: 43 Dominican Rd., Branford CT 06405 or or

12) RED TIDE - 'All Paths Lead To Darkness' 4:29; from Red Tide (Red Tide)
Crushing, highly professional groovy death metal is the order of the day from Red Tide's imposing nine track debut album. These Edmonton music veterans have crafted an expertly sequenced masterwerk that defies descriptives, perhaps progressive death metal doom coming closest. Killer recording, killer chops, kill or be killed! Contact or or POB 62040, Edmonton AB T5M 4B5.

13) SMOKE FOLLOWS BEAUTY - 'Here It Comes' 4:38; from Smoke Follows Beauty (Kozmik)
With a rumble and a stoner rock roar, this incendiary bunch of hazers deliver engaging, enveloping guitar tones and slouching vocals over huge grooves that will have you bongin' and headbanging in no time. Surprises everywhere. Light 'em up! Contact: POB 27663 Los Angeles, CA 90027 or or

14) DARKANE - 'Fatal Impact' 3:41; from Expanding Senses (Nuclear Blast)
Darkane have proven themselves kings of the next wave of Swedish death metal with this uncompromising album of heroic riffs and amazing productions, the band's lightning technicality and epic ambition also serving them well, garnering effusive reviews. For those who need something stronger than In Flames.

15) PRIMORDIAL - 'What Sleeps Within' 4:56; from Storm Before Calm (Hammerheart)
Ireland's Primordial are at the forefront of the folk-inspired black metal field, creating cinematic, cutting edge productions to go with their seductively Celtic melodies and superb musicianship. Lush landscapes are created, and powerful metal memories are forged.

16) TRAIL OF TEARS - 'Denial And Pride' 4:08; from A New Dimension Of Might (Napalm)
Positively classicist and cathedral-vaulted in its approach, A New Dimension Of Might sets the bar for keyboard-glossed, accessible black metal, Trail Of Tears using their engaging gothic artfulness to turn this album into a mesmerizing feat with an industrial edge. Contact: POB 1983, Port Townsend WA 98368 or or or 360.385.5312