KnuckleTracks #50

1) LAMB OF GOD - '11th Hour' 3:44; from As The Palaces Burn (Prosthetic)
Incredibly, Lamb Of God have improved upon one of '00's biggest buzz records, New American Gospel. This one's no less the masterpiece, Lamb Of God creating the finest death-shrouded thrash on the planet, infusing hue, emotion and intelligence into the brew as well. or

2) THE DEFACED - 'A Moment Of Clarity' 3:26; from Karma In Black (Nuclear Blast)
Back quickly after '02's Domination Commence, this brash yet professional grouping of Soilwork and Darkane firecrackers have created another visceral chunk of forward-thinking Swedish thrash imbued with American grooves and top flight production. or

3) CALLENISH CIRCLE - 'Dwelling In Disdain' 4:09; from My Passion Your Pain (Metal Blade)
The band's fourth record is garnering the best reviews of the band's career, Callenish Circle lashing out with a cogent, hi-fidelity death that borrows from the best of the old Swedish masters while benefiting from ace production, grinding, powerful grooves and well-placed adrenaline surges of melody. or

4) THE DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND - 'Suicide' 6:45; from Accelerated Evolution (HevyDevy/InsideOut Music)
With utmost clarity, Devin assembles a cadre of likeminded local explorers and creates an irresistible chunk of crackly ear candy that is the life-affirming antithesis to Strapping Young Lad. Accelerated Evolution is Devin at his most embraceable. or or or

5) SPIN - 'Cell 46' 3:23; from Cell 46 (Spin)
Malta's Spin have concocted a terror-filled but massively recorded type of death metal that - near indescribably - draws influence from grunge, industrial, a trace of nu, a bit of Slipknot, and the old school grind of Godflesh. The end result is a searing yet hugely rhythmic collage of brutality that grooves oddly and effortlessly. Impressive. Contact: Josef Bajada, 169, St. Mary A, Ganu St., Birkirkara, BKR 06, Malta - Europe or or

6) OPETH - 'Hope Leaves' 4:29; from Damnation (Koch)
Without a doubt, Opeth is metal's most important band in the new wave of metal's bright future possibilities. Now Mikael and crew take you on an acoustic journey into light, medium and dark greys, colours sure to poison your mind. But in a good way. or

7) THE GATHERING - 'Broken Glass' 4:54; from Souvenirs (The End)
Dutch sound-shapers The Gathering have been fearlessly breaking new ground for years, and now Souvenirs provokes thought and controversy like no other Gathering classic. Come hear the album that takes the band far into the world of trance, prog, dizzying exploration. or

8) VITAL REMAINS - 'Unleash The Hell' 5:58; from Dechristianize (Century Media)
One of extreme metal's most brutal and legendary underground acts has new firepower, Deicide's Glen Benton on vocals and vehemence. The resulting, much talked about Morrisound-recorded hatespawn is now upon us. Death now has new meaning. or

9) CORE DEVICE - 'Our Fellowship Eternal' 5:29; 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

10) CARNAL FORGE - 'Baptized In Fire' 3:20; from The More You Suffer (Century Media)
Making major play for ascendancy, the long dependable Carnal Forge are probably the top band on the planet merging the worlds of Scandinavian death and American death. And given the band's canny sense of arrangement and seductive metal hook, there'll be no stopping this brainy juggernaut. or

11) NAGLFAR - 'I Am Vengeance' 5:16; from Sheol (Century Media)
Somewhat below the radar, Sweden's Naglfar have burned through ten years in creation of an imposing catalog of black metal that is frightening in its merger of old school black, death metal and the progressive discipline of the top-flight bands scarring the genre. or

12) ENDORPHINS - 'Pussy Killer' 3:47; from Volume One (Endorphins Music)
Cranking a starkly potent mix of thrash and stoner rock, Endorphins have a bruising new sound that bites into previously held conceptions of where metal stops and starts. Picture Melvins sped up and with real riffs and you kinda get into this band's wickedly original headspace. Contact: 3181 Wolfedale Rd., Unit 1A, Mississauga ON L5C 1V8 or or

13) THE KOVENANT - 'Star By Star' 4:23; from S.E.T.I. (Nuclear Blast)
The Kovenant have generated more heated discussion about possible (impossible?) black metal transformations with their philosophical, futuristic keyboard-popped industrial grooves taking over from more traditional roots. And given the distinguished pedigree in the band, people are watching and listening intensely. or

14) MASTERY - 'Wall Of Shame' 4:28; 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,,

15) SLOW GRIND - 'Morbid Visions Of Reality' 4:02; from Resurrecting With Malice (Resurrection Records)
Skulking out of Texas is a technical death metal band that manages to create a sound that is complicated and crushing at once. Harrowingly old school vocals and thick, steaming production temper the band's sound in steel, taking their arcane arrangements and boiling them in oil. Contact: Leo Vela, 2106 Lilly Cove Dr., Mission TX 78572 or or

16) THE FURNACE - 'Look Down Upon Me' 3:31; from Beyond What's Become (GoodTimes Music)
Making soundwaves with their inspiring live shows, The Furnace create a grinding, pummeling modern metal sound that has nothing to do with nu, the band's songwriting and sonourous vocals combining for memorable metal moments that recall Alice in Chains, Nickleback and the best from stoner rock. Contact: 18413 N. 56th Ln., Glendale AZ 85308, 623-412-1398 or or or