KnuckleTracks #48

1 ) STRAPPING YOUNG LAD - 'Devour' 2:53; from SYL (Century Media)
The long-awaited return of Vancouver's blurry thrash scourge is upon us and the band is both heavier and more organic and tribe-like than ever, Strapping blazing through their intellectual brand of electrified thrash while Devin roar-bores a hole through all poseurs in the process.

2 ) AMON AMARTH - 'Death In Fire' 4:54; from Versus The World (Metal Blade)
Beloved for years in the underground for their crafty, high quality Viking metal, Amon Amarth have created a masterpiece of melodic Scandinavian death that is instantly as memorable as it is refreshingly arranged. Passionate, metallic, heroic, stoic.

3) GRAVE - 'Rise' 5:24; from Back From The Grave (Century Media)
The return of one of Sweden's original death innovators is paved with bones and blood as Grave serve up a lethal dose of Gothenburg madness. Quite simply, everybody is surprised at the heft and hacking hellishness of Grave '02. Come see how the big boys do it. or

4) MASTERY - 'Nail To The Cross'; 3:39; from Triad (
This new Toronto act unleashes a professional barrage of classy, memorable old school thrash punctuated by good performances and solid production. The guitar tone alone will rip your face-off as this three-track demo works its way from strength to strength. Contact: 609 Sheppard Ave. W., Unit 2, Toronto ON M3H 2S5, 905-607-9807,,

5) RAUNCHY - 'Drive' 3:41; from Velvet Noise (Nuclear Blast)
The debut album from the (misnomered?) Raunchy is a futuristic spread of churning, burning industrial-tinged anthems worthy of a more organic Fear Factory crossed with the goth of Moonspell. Engagingly old school while at the same time kind of er, Strapping, listeners will be rewarded by checking out this band's cross-stitching of loud genres. or

6) THE END - 'Her (Inamorata)' 2:43; from Transfer Trachea Reverberations From Point: False Omniscient (Relapse)
The End are the latest to push the boundaries of progressive mathcore past what we all thought possible, and they are quite simply the most insane and talented Canadian act in the genre. Using a vast musical knowledge to craft jazzy extreme madness, this band gets all they need said in seven tracks and 22 minutes of blistering metal science. Contact or or

7) CIRCLE OF NERO - 'Stigmata' 4:02; from Brutal Harvest (
This Virginia act is an explosive mix of the new Pantera-inflected sound, thrash and complex death with an enigmatic prog rock work ethic, all laced with memorable melodic ideas. The drumming is amazing, the vocals multi-dimensional and the power of the guitars... legion. The full-length debut, set for later this Spring, is sure to crush. Contact: Jake Vorrath, 6 Pine Tree Lane, Stafford VA 22556 or 540-729-2469, or

8) THERION - 'The Secret Of The Runes' 4:23; from Live In Midgard (Nuclear Blast)
Triumphant and resplendent in their groundbreaking marriage of classical and metal, Therion hit various stages throughout Europe and South America shocking crowds with their precision. This mammoth double CD set captures the results with imposing intellectual weight. Acquire these 24 tracks and hear history in the making. or

9) HEAVEN'S CRY - 'Masterdom's Profit' 4:00; from Primal Power Addiction (DVS/Metalhertz)
Entering the realm of legend, Heaven's Cry disappeared despite being Canada's best progressive metal band, from the scene after '96's classic Food For Thought Substitute. Back now as elegant and thought-provoking as ever, look for Heaven's Cry to re-engage their considerable public with loud art extraordinaire. Contact:,,, or or

10) LANA LANE - 'Kashmir' 8:27; from Covers Collection (Think Tank Media, USA)
Power metal's reigning princess has already seen this breathtaking covers album released in Japan, and now it has arrived stateside. As usual top-notch players are involved, Kashmir featuring Erik Norlander as well as Tony Franklin on fretless bass and Gregg Bissonette on drums. Kashmir written by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Bonham. (c) 1974 Flames of Albion Music, Inc.; (c) 1993 WEA International, Inc.; (p) 2002 Think Tank Media. Contact: 22425 Ventura Blvd., PMB 2200, Woodland Hills CA 91364, ph/f: 818-716-8715, email:,

11) CORE DEVICE - 'Shadows Mind' 5:17; from the forthcoming Our Fellowship Eternal (
Experienced both in terms of press and playing live with metal heavies, Core Device are set to release their eagerly awaited debut. The band's sound is aggressive, rhythmic and progressive with soaring, even delicate vocals that aren't afraid to hit the trenches as well. Versatility is key with these guys and journeys are taken that fill the metal soul with inspiration. Contact: POB 305, Middletown NJ 07748, 732-895-9403, or

12) ASHES TO ASHES - 'New World Obscure' 3:54: from Cardinal VII (DVS/Metalhertz)
Now on their second album in their ten year existence, Norway's Ashes To Ashes play an enigmatic mix of pure metal with classical elements, while not sounding anything like power metal. This is more of a dark, gothic but aggressive sound that captures the grit and power of the underground. Note: the band's debut is almost sold out of its fourth pressing. Contact:,,, or

13) SONIC DEBRIS - 'Kiss And Kill' 5:07; from Velvet Thorns (DVS/Metalhertz)
Wide-angled progressive metal with an engaging funk vibe, Norway's Sonic Debris confound expectations with slashing chords, killer harmonies and sounds rarely used, let alone ever heard. The band's debut is turning heads all over Europe, no surprise, given the fresh ideas and grooving, though complex rhythms. Contact:,,, or

14) EMOTIONAL FLATLINE - 'Break' 5:29; from A Drug Called Hate (
Brutal heaviness and unmatched aggression are what Emotional Flatline bring to the Wisconsin metal scene. The band strive to be uncompromising and heavy with a bit of groove. Looking to bring the noise worldwide, Emotional Flatline leave nothing to doubt... domination begins with bloodshed! Contact: Shaun Schwanke, N9217 Becker Rd., Westfield, WI 53964-8616 or 608-296-3317 or or

15) 27 PILLS - 'Freak' 3:58; from X Rated (Metalhertz)
Incendiary, guitary rap metal with a party hard difference, Montreal's 27 Pills bring the sound and spirit of punk to modern metal. Lead single 'Freak' combines a memorable riff with interesting background textures over a slippery beat that shakes the booty while rattling ribcages. Contact: Metalhertz Records, 345 Ivan Pavlov Blvd., Laval PQ Canada H7M 4H6, or


OSI - 'Horseshoes And B-52's' 4:17; from Office Of Strategic Influence (InsideOut Music America)
Kudos to InsideOut for being the FIRST label to supply a video track to the KnuckleTracks sampler! And it makes sense that the band represented is the strident, genre-smashing, masterpiece that is OSI, a supergroup featuring Mike Portnoy, Kevin Moore and Jim Matheos. Too highly interesting to be described, quite simply, this record will likely stand as the prog metal event of the decade. Contact: or

This album includes a multimedia track designed for use on the PC. This additional CD-Rom track is provided to the purchaser without guarantees or warranties of any kind. The record company, artist or producer shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential damages arising out of use or inability to use this CD-Rom.