KnuckleTracks #51

1) SOILWORK - ?Rejection Role? 3:34; from Figure Number Five (Nuclear Blast)
Along with Opeth, Soilwork are the shining hope for metal, straight and simple. Their inviting, accessible brand of razor-wire thrash has the critics reeling, and their shows are a love-in for those strong enough to withstand the extreme. or

2) SILENCER - ?The Bruising Feast? 2:54; from Structures (Silencer)
Definitely one of the most amazing power/thrash units currently among the unsigned, Silencer deserve a contract now! The band?s songs are all fresh, astute, melodic but pounding, and the musicianship is inspired and confident. Labels, listen up! Contact: 355 Goldco Circle, Golden CO 80403 or or

3) MARTY FRIEDMAN - ?Fuel Injection Stingray? 3:27; from Music For Speeding (Favored Nations)
Proving himself a creative man afire, ex-Megadeth legend Marty Friedman lashes out with a ripping but eminently musical and sophisticated showcase of finessed shred. The man with the metal is back. or

4) ALCHEMIST - ?Alpha Cappella Nova Vega? 4:32; from Austral Alien (Relapse)
Those who have followed this Australian band from their origins as a premiere technical death act will know that Alchemist follow their muse. The new one provokes yet again, with well-crafted songs of an almost indescribable, sort of traditional, sort of eerie and gothic nature. or

5) HELLOWEEN - ?Listen To The Flies? 4:54; from Rabbit Don?t Come Easy (Nuclear Blast)
German metal masters Helloween return from The Dark Ride invigorated with a life-affirming album of particular power metal so above the standard fray, it?s embarrassing to all those many followers. Personality shines through the tracks of this versatile album and a classic, energetic headbang is completely assured. or

6) ERIK NORLANDER - ?The Fall Of The Idol? 5:41; from Music Machine (Think Tank Media)
Legendary classic power metal connoisseur Erik Norlander has assembled a distinguished army of guests to bring to fruition his exacting new classically-tinged project. ?The Fall Of The Idol? features Erik?s highly regarded keyboard work plus the vocals of Mark Boals, guitars by Peer Verschuren and a daunting rhythm section comprising Tony Franklin and Virgil Donati. Contact 22425 Ventura Blvd. PMB 2200, Woodland Hills, CA 91364 or or

7) CHINCHILLA - ?Heavy Metal? 4:29; from Madtropolis (Metal Blade)
Garnering consistently good reviews for their personable, street-ready form of power metal, Germany?s Chinchilla thrive on top-flight performances and most importantly killer metal vocals. Their latest is a celebration of these values that is being heralded as the best of the band?s career. or

8) CHRIS CATENA - ?The Highway King? 4:31; from the forthcoming solo album (IMR Records)
Chris Catena is an Italian vocal virtuoso that has gathered a bevy of stars for his highly anticipated solo project. Among the guests on this traditional Purple/Trapeze-like metal monster, look for Tony Franklin and Kelly Simonz to burn it up. or fax: 0039 06 4115137 or

9) EVENT - ?Make Your Way? 3:08; from Scratching At The Surface (InsideOut Music America)
Event have been at the forefront twisting the definition of progressive rock to suit their collective restless muses. Rhythmic, melodic, fiercely innovative and within all this, evocative of bands like Soundgarden and King?s X, Event are defining the future of thinking man?s rock. or or

10) PASSENGER - ?In Reverse? 2:56; from Passenger (Century Media)
Members of Gardenian and Transport League join Anders Friden from In Flames for a record that celebrates pounding, rhythmic alt.rock along the lines of Helmet and the under-rated Handsome. Infectious, personal, groovy beyond belief. or

11) HASTE - ?With All The Pride And Dignity Of A Drowning Swimmer? 3:04; from The Mercury Lift (Century Media)
Haste is back with their crafted brand of slashing melodic madness. Containing 11 tracks of modern hard rock, The Mercury Lift is sure to crossover into various hardcore, punk and traditional metal stables. Some of the strongest song-based anthems in years. or

12) HAVOCHATE - ?This Violent Earth? 4:10; from This Violent Earth (Root Of All Evil)
Sure to rise quickly in hard, technical yet traditional thrash circles, New York?s Havochate have crafted a steely, confident, lethal sound sure to lop off a few heads on the upcoming Motorhead/Anthrax tour. Worthy of leading a new Big Four Of Thrash wave, if we could only find three other bands... or
13) CRYPTOPSY - ?White Worms? 3:45; from None So Live (Century Media)
Montreal death mavens Cryptopsy have proven themselves the kings of the extreme, and they did it with fierce professionalism and jaw-dropping technical chops. This is perhaps the most intense live document ever released for public consumption. or

14) AGONY CREEPS - ?Emotionless? 4:17; from Agony Creeps (Agony Creeps)
In addition to this five track EP being one of the best sounding indie CDs I?ve ever heard sonically, Agony Creeps write a cogent variety of songs that leap from the disc like a cross between Load-era Metallica, Gathering-era Testament and no less than Trouble. An amazing, crushing, potent mix. Recommended without reservation. Contact: 1521 White Dogtail Trail, Suffolk VA 23433, 757-238-9307, 757-676-6169, or

15) GODDO - ?When You Roam? 3:07; from Kings Of The Stoned Age (Bullseye)
One of Canada?s top five hard rock legends from the ?70s is back with a fully heavy album, perhaps their heaviest since the scorching ?77 debut. Originally titled No Ballads (!), Kings Of The Stoned Age demonstrates the solid experience of a power trio built for the long haul. Contact: 180 Station Street, Suite 53, Ajax, ON L1S 1R9, 416-284-7067,, or

16) CHEAPER THAN THERAPY - ?Terminal Adolescence? 3: 34; from Terminal Adolescence (Bullseye)
Former Moving Targetz vocalist Ivan Judd goes on a solo binge with a decidedly edgy approach portraying a man on the angry side of a mid-life crisis and in serious need of some therapy. But, music will have to do. Co-produced by former Hunt frontman Brian Gagnon. Contact: 180 Station Street, Suite 53, Ajax, ON L1S 1R9, 416-284-7067, or

17) DEREK SHERINIAN - ?Black Utopia? 8:50; from Black Utopia (InsideOut Music America)
The Mr. Scary of the ebonies and ivories is back with a record that shreds even the most skilful of highbrow practitioners. Add to that a bevy of similarly blazing players - including Zakk Wylde on this track and elsewhere - and you?ve got a clinic to disprove the cynics. or or