MAGAZINE - KNUCKLETRACKS

KnuckleTracks #85

1) 3 INCHES OF BLOOD - 'Deadly Sinners' 4:31; from Advance And Vanquish (Roadrunner)
Canada's 3 Inches Of Blood are destined to become metal's new sensation, given their upbeat, totally new and unique thrash twist on classic '80s speed metal and NWOBHM madness. High octane, loaded with personality, and armed with riffs up the ying yang, # Inches Of Blood are the band everybody is talking about. www.3inchesofblood.com or www.roadrunnerrecords.com

2) THE AMENTA - 'Mictlan' 4:51; from Occasus (Listenable)
If Strapping Young Lad's City was too mellow for you, Australia's The Amenta are here with a debut that adds blistered, boiled blackness to that formula, plus shockingly blurred industrial visions. A gravity-defying shock of futuristic extremity, Occasus is indeed "an abrasive soundtrack for an era of decay." www.theamenta.com or www.listenable.net

3) MNEMIC - 'Door 2.12' 4:22; from The Audio Injected Soul (Nuclear Blast)
Mnemic are one of the buzz bands on the modern metal scene, and The Audio Injected Soul will bring the buzz to fruition, Mnemic creating an aural masterpiece of complex, visionary, futuro-thrashing metal of the utmost quality and fidelity - hence the intriguing headphone cover art. www.mnemic.com or www.nuclearblastusa.com

4) DAYSEND - 'The Blood Of Angels' 3:52; from Severance (Metal Blade)
Australia's Daysend have found the perfect blend between Swedish melodic death and melody, using a little bit of NWOUSHM along the way, wrapping the package in stupendous production and arrangements that fire the imagination. Catchy as all hell, Severance is quite simply stuffed with smash anthems. www.daysend.com.au, nik@chatterboxrecords.com or www.metalblade.com

5) THE HAUNTED - 'All Against All' 4:34; from rEVOLVEr (Century Media)
Sure to be the pure thrash success story of '04, The Haunted are currently out head-slapping the masses, frazzled philosopher Peter Dolving back at the vocal pulpit. Head-exploding and unsafe at any speed, The Haunted prove the power of pedigree. www.the-haunted.com or www.centurymedia.com

6) QUO VADIS - 'Silence Calls The Storm' 5:02; from To The Bitter End (Skyscraper)
Quo Vadis are perhaps the biggest hope for the next wave of Quebec's highly esteemed metal scene. It's a lot of responsibility, but this talented band of breathlessly progressive deathsters has the record to prove their mettle. Look for guest bass chores from fat string legend Steve DiGiorgio. Contact: 53512 - 1135 Decarie Blvd., Montreal QC, Canada H4L 5J9, 514-338-8740 or www.skyscraper-music.com

7) DEREK SHERINIAN - 'The River Song' 3:35; from Mythology (InsideOut America)
Ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian, through a tight collection of solo blizzards, has proven himself the flashiest, most dangerous keyboardist on the planet. On Mythology, once again, Derek teams up with a cast of shred-headed stars who turn his record into a giddy celebration of makin' and bakin' music. www.dereksherinian.com or www.insideoutmusic.com or info@insideoutmusic.com

8) PAINMUSEUM - 'Bloody Wings' 4:36; from Metal For Life (C.M.M. Entertainment)
Metal Mike Chlasciak is, of course, the force behind the music on two now-classic Halford albums, and his long-awaited band force has arrived. Equal parts thrash, bludgeon and classic '80s metal, Painmuseum is a headbanging tour de force that bearhugs metals best traditions and tosses them back into the pit. If you liked Resurrection, get a load of this... Contact: C.M.M. Entertainment, LLC, P.O. Box 7331, No. Arlington, NJ 07031-7331 USA or www.planetshred.com or CmmEnt@Planetshred.com

9) HORFIXION - 'Self Inflicted Hell' 3:36; from Self Inflicted Hell (Galy)
Featuring Patrice Hamelin of Martyr on drums, Horfixion are an intriguingly hardcore-tinged entry to Quebec's competitive scene. With throaty, near Slayer-esque vocals, precision riffs, and lightning-quick breaks, Horfixion have carved a sound that is unique as it is punishing. Contact: 5100 De Verdun, POB 28544, Verdun QC, Canada H4G 3L7, 514-769-6137, www.horfixion.com, www.galyrecords.com or galy@galyrecords.com

10) DIECAST - 'Medieval' 3:45; from Tearing Down Your Blue Skies (Century Media)
Diecast have risen from their hardcore roots and have christened their new album by introducing a new singer. The band's sound has evolved into a scientific but still violent metalcore sound distinguished by pounding, precise production and still, a proud hardcore river of discontent. www.bhcdiecast.com or www.centurymedia.com

11) FATES WARNING - 'Stranger (With A Familiar Face)' 4:20; from FWX (Metal Blade)
Bright, panoramic, self-assured, classic, legendary... all these superlatives apply to Fates Warning, and in time, all will apply to the band's stirring, technical new album FWX. Expect the unexpected, as Matheos and crew experiment with different rhythms and production techniques amidst their celebrated crunching chords. www.fateswarning.com or www.metalblade.com

12) AMORPHIS - 'Evil Inside' 3:57; from Far From The Sun (Nuclear Blast)
Amorphis are now considered one of the great classic European rock bands of the last 15, 20 years, and the band's latest masterpiece has finally now seen proper North American distribution, in an elegant edition containing top-flight bonus tracks. www.amorphis.net or www.nuclearblastusa.com

13) SHATTERPOINT - 'Pleasure The Pain' 5:34; from Consequences (www.shatterpoint.net)
Consequences is a ripping six track EP featuring molten guitar tones and Crowbar-like vocals over a selection of traditional metal grinders reminiscent of classic Metallica crossed with perhaps Nevermore or Overkill. What is amazing is that every song is a top-flight scorcher, and each visits different speeds and vibes, yet the totality hangs together incredibly well. Contact: Greg Wright, 12 Grand Rapids Sq., Brampton ON Canada L6S 2H9, 905-791-0935, grogwright@hotmail.com, betty@metalqueenmgmt.com, www.shatterpoint.net or to purchase, www.cdbaby.com/shatterpoint

14) SKULGRINDER - 'Ego Critical' 5:02; from Island Of Lost Souls (KM Records)
Intriguing and engaging, Island Of Lost Souls is a loose concept album with each track examining a character and his difficulties in a decaying city. The music is appropriately doomy, classic, complex, but still crushing, grinding, hugely rhythmic and effortlessly moshable. Real singing, real solos, welting, belting riffs... Skulgrinder is the real thing. Contact: POB 651, Floral Park NY 11002, www.kmrecords.com or darknite@optonline.net

15) BEAT THE BONE - 'Naked' 3:38; from Naked (BTB Music Corporation)
Comparing themselves to Godsmack, Drowning Pool and Disturbed, Beat The Bone are actually a bit grittier and more tribal. Known as local heroes in the San Bernardino area, their live shows are legendary and incendiary, the band creating a wall of sound much larger than their power trio status. No surprise that back-up slots with Maiden, Queensryche and Halford went down a storm. POB 707, Running Springs CA 92382, 801-465-6146, www.beatthebone.com or lewisnottke@msn.com

16) CRADLE OF FILTH - 'Gilded C***' 4:24; from Nymphetamine (Roadrunner)
Well the verdict is out - people are loving the new Cradle album, metal fans of all stripes reveling in its speedy metal, its plush sound, its less ornate rock 'n' rollsiness and classic metal grooves. Currently out slaying them live, Dani and the boys continue to battle neck and slit throat with arch rivals Dimmu Borgir. Who will blink first? www.cradleoffilth.com or www.roadrunnerrecords.com

17) INCANTATION - 'Dying Divinity' 2:56; from Decimate Christendom (Olympic)
Have a taste of ugly, legendary, old school death at the hands of one of the genre's masters. Doomy, delectable, sludgy, apocalyptic and wholly unconcerned with commercialism, Incantation continue to blaspheme their way to the top of the classic death heap. www.incantation.com or charles@olympicrecordings.com or www.olympicrecordings.com


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