KnuckleTracks #52

1) NEVERMORE - 'Enemies Of Reality' 5:11; from Enemies Of Reality (Century Media)
Pure crushing USDA-approved metal's shining hope is back with a shocker of a pound-packer, Enemies Of Reality finding the band in vicious, uncompromising form, the band's rapid-fire musicianship bleeding through the band's distinct composite personality. or

2) PROJECT FAILING FLESH - 'A Beautiful Sickness 4:04; from A Beautiful Sickness (Advance)
Garnering an 8 in Aaron's tough Brave Underground, Project Failing Flesh sounds like anything but an indie, the band raging with perfection thrash, no surprise, given the inclusion of ex-Voivod-an Eric Forrest as this international band's vocalist. Contact: 9222 Brian Drive, Vienna VA 22180 or or

3) THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER - 'Contagion' 3:22; from Unhallowed (Metal Blade)
Proposing a new marriage between new American death and Swedish thrash, Detroit's The Black Dahlia Murder have hit hot buttons on critic's lists the world over. Come hear the kick-ass debut from this rapidly rising collection of extreme and musicianly audio terrorists. or

4) LYZANXIA - 'Time Dealer' 4:14; from Mindcrimes (Wagram/Trepan)
France's Lyzanxia are the possessors of what are quite possibly the best thrash riffs in the business. And the musicianship and the production on this follow-up to the Eden debut, back up the fantastic fireworks. Massive, moving, and of the utmost quality, slot this one between Overkill, Megadeth, The Haunted and Meshuggah. or email management at for more info.

5) OMNIUM GATHERUM - 'Amor Tonight' 4:20; fro, Spirits And August Light (Rage Of Achilles/The End)
And so the next white light hope for the third wave of Scandinavian thrash arrives, Finland's Omnium Gatherum slaying critics and fans alike with their shockingly original take on thrash above the treeline. Fast, melodic, scintillatingly recorded, and harsh vocally. A 2003 Top Tenner for sure.

6) KREATOR - 'Phobia' 3:25; from Live Kreation (Steamhammer/SPV)
Germany's premiere thrash merchants are set to unleash their long-awaited, meticulously assembled live extravaganza - on both CD and DVD. Witness the blazing riffs, the grinding grooves, and above all, the metal versatility of these crucial thrash metal pioneers.

7) SINISTER - 'Savage Or Grace' 2:36; from Savage Or Grace (Nuclear Blast)
Back with crushing riffs, highly extreme (female!) vocals and production that smothers with six flavours of bass, death legends Sinister demonstrate the power and positive thinking that takes place when your bench strength is infinite. Massive, coagulated, brooding. or

8) DEFILED - 'Divination' 2:41; from Divination (Season Of Mist)
Defiled are a highly technical and crushing death metal band from Japan that have set a new high bar for heft balanced against jazzoid inflection for more than a decade now. Recorded to pounding, hi-fidelity at the famed Morrisound studio, this is the band's third full-length. or or

9) M.O.D. - 'Wigga' 3:50; from The Rebel You Love To Hate (Nuclear Blast)
Billy Milano is truly fanning the flames of self-barbecue with his latest bit of eye-winking metal irony. There are some funny moments on this thing, Milano the raconteur pointing his bulged finger at all sorts of hypocrisy to the tune of slamming underground he-man's metal.

10) HASTE - 'The Death Of Stars Like The Sun' 4:48; from The Mercury Lift (Century Media)
The future of sublime, melodic mathcore is here, the magic within the songs of Birmingham, Alabama's Haste bringing yet more hope to a burgeoning, healthy scene - perhaps the next big hard music to go mainstream. If it happens, Haste will be making best of lists the world over. or or

11) BLIND DOG - 'Iron Cage' 3:12; from Captain Dog Rides Again (MeteorCity)
Containing songs that are a cogent cross between stoner rock, atmospheric alt.metal and the death 'n' roll of accessible Entombed, Blind Dog's second album has Johnny Z (the guy who signed Metallica, Anthrax and Testament) saying "this is the best band I've heard in years." or

12) EMPIRE - 'Pay Back Time' 4:43; from Trading Souls (Lion Music)
With the steely and steadfast determination of classic rock veterans, Empire's Trading Souls offers up classy, tasteful playing in a number of melodic rock departments. Add to that the talents of Neil Murray, Tony Martin, Rolf Munkes and Don Airey, and you've got rock royalty buzzing your hardware. or

13) MARTONE - 'Do Da' 3:11; from A Demon's Dream (Lion Music)
Vancouver axemaster David Martone creates some of the most refreshing, tone-rich and sparkled instrumental guitar rock this side of Marty Friedman or Satriani or the newly reinvigorated Jeff Beck. A Demon's Dream is a world of wonder that is clearly designed to excite non-musicians as well. See or

14) LABYRINTH - 'Just Soldier (Stay Down)' 5:26; from Labyrinth (Century Media)
Italy's second on command power metal merchants have matured by leaps and bounds, this appropriately named self-titled new benchmark being both serious and soulful and far beyond the realm of the ballerinas. Congratulations on the band digging deep for emotion and coming out renewed beyond expectation.

15) VIRGIN BLACK - 'And The Kiss Of God's Mouth: Part 2' 6:19; from Elegant... And Dying (The End)
Australia's Virgin Black have created a burnt and buried cathedral of sounds not unlike My Dying Bride, crossed with Therion, new Anathema and dismal, desolate prog. Add to that the mesmerizing, sonorous vocals of Rowan London, and you have a masterpiece of mourning unlike any other. or

16) GREEN CARNATION - 'Crushed To Dust' 4:26; from Blessing In Disguise (Season Of Mist)
Green Carnation are considered by many to be the next dark progressive world leader, taking the baton from Anathema and Opeth and creating a pageant of superlative sounds. Come witness the majesty, and the panoramic vision of this great future-forward band. or or or

17) NIGHTRAGE - 'The Tremor' 3:17; from Sweet Vengeance (Century Media)
Tomas Lindberg is back in the saddle fronting what many are calling the best Swedish thrash act since Soilwork. Nightrage is the real deal, a supergroup that has raised the bar for balancing might and melody.

18) NUCLEAR ASSAULT - 'Brainwashed' 2:32; from Alive Again (Steamhammer/SPV)
New York's defiant dark thrash legends are back with a live album that shows the new breed how to mosh hard and loud with integrity. Through myriad albums, EPs and sometimes quite funny covers, Nuclear Assault, along with Anthrax and Overkill, tilted the world of extreme music to the east for awhile, and for that, they rule.