KnuckleTracks #86

KnuckleTracks #86

1) DARK TRANQUILLITY - 'Lost To Apathy' 4:38; from Character (Century Media)
Kings of hard-edged Swedish progressive death Dark Tranquillity are back with a faster, gruffer, rougher record for '05. Still, those incredible mood shifts are there, as are Mikael Stanne's classy lyrics and elusive vocal personas. A powerful head-slam from front to painful back! or

2) GOD DETHRONED - 'Loyal To The Crown Of God Dethroned' 3:25; from The Lair Of The White Worm (Metal Blade)
Egregiously serious and seriously heavy, God Dethroned return with an exercise in death technicality and clarity that growls and howls at the black metal moon. Continued underground legendary status is maintained - unsafe at all speeds. or

3) STRAPPING YOUNG LAD - 'Shitstorm' 4:21; from Alien (Century Media)
Hevy Devy is back with an album more convoluted and sick than the thrashtastic SYL release, Alien being a cogent, potent cross between early craziness and traditional extreme metal madness. Of note, Fear Factory's Byron Stroud is also on board, closing ranks on a band that is rightly revered as metal visionaries. or

4) BURIED INSIDE - 'Time As Ideology' 3:14; from Chronoclast (Relapse)
Too far to the burned, crisp outside to comprehend, Buried Inside create a cacophonous whirlwind of wondrous sound, whether they be metalizing or murky Neurosis chillin'. Whatever the case, this album - lyrics and art and all - is a fiercely defiant, metronome-demonic pure art experience worthy of your rapt attention. or

5) EISBRECHER - 'Taub-Stumm-Blind' 5:19; from Eisbrecher (Dancing Ferret)
This visceral industrial duo create an electro-charged experience much more atmospheric and disturbing than comparatives such as Rammstein. The highly conceptual lyrics centre on individualism and the punchy fidelity makes sure the listener stays intrigued to the end. Eisbrecher is the follow-up band to the well-regarded Megaherz. Contact: 526 S. 5th St., Philadelphia PA 19147,, or

6) SAMAEL - 'Moongate' 3:31; from Reign Of Light (Century Media)
Samael continue to confound with their highly anticipated new record, an album that finds this mysterious band further exploring doomy, apocalyptic, black-tinged electronica-meshed metal. No question, Samael are one of the most intelligent, biting, and skilled production-wise at the genre, one which they bravely helped pioneer beginning with their much discussed morphing almost ten years ago now. or

7) ASLAN - 'Translucent' 6:35; from Infinite Friction (Precision)
Aslan are an acrobatic, atmospheric three-piece prog metal band out of Oklahoma, distinguished by incredible ideas of both riff and rhythm not to mention innovative arrangements, including well-placed use of violin. What's more, Aslan are a rarity in prog metal - they play live and play live a lot, professing and demonstrating an ambitious that is unquenchable. Contact 910 N. 5th, Marlow OK 73055, 580-658-3670, or

8) MAHAVATAR - 'Cult' 3:58; from Go With The No! (Cruz Del Sur)
Mahavtar is an exciting, hard-to-categorize female-fronted New York-based band with members ranging from all over the globe. The sound approximates dense, rumbling, doomy, atmospheric hardcore with seductive avant garde elements. Groovy, sludgy and high concept, Go With The No! is packed with vision, progression and uneasy aggression.
Contact: CP 5109, 00153 Roma Ostiense, Italy. Contact:,, or

9) VISIONS OF ATLANTIS - Lost' 3:55; from Cast Away (Napalm Records/Fusion III)
Visions Of Atlantis deliver a strong showing on their symphonic metal masterpiece, Cast Away; varied tracks, fully orchestrated bombastic arrangements, and hit potential with songs such as 'Lost' and 'Send Me A Light'. Fans of Nightwish, Evanescence, and Within Temptation will be thrilled by this release, mastered at the infamous Sterling Sound Studios in New York., or

10) SPOCK'S BEARD - 'Surfing Down The Avalanche' 3:43; from Octane (InsideOut Music America)
Spock's Beard continue to inspire as icons of the neo-progressive rock movement. Containing equal amounts surging atmospheric and acoustic movements, set against recurring examples of the band's celebrated rhythmic and riffic bite, Octane is a buoyant follow-up to Feel Euphoria - the first without Neal Morse., or

11) CRADLE TO GRAVE - 'Projectile' 3:37; from CTG (Year Of The Sun)
Exploding out of the west coast in '02, Cradle To Grave rose from the ashes of Aggression and Bottom Feeder, coming up with a volatile, chancy, fresh like grunge in '88, sludgy, stonercore sound that is as technical, multihued and death metalized as it is willfully unpredictable and strangely Nola-tinted. Contact: 1338 Stevens St., White Rock, BC V4B 4Y1,,, or

12) HIGH ON FIRE - 'Devilution' 4:46; from Blessed Black Wings (Relapse)
High On Fire have been reverently called by critics the world over as a top-flight doom infused with the attitude of Motorhead. Perhaps it is the band's uncommon noisemaking skill and kill factor that has caused the band to crossover into non-metal regions - and all this, despite the flame-throwing danger and dirt of their incendiary sound. or

13) TRIVIUM - 'Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr' 4:54; from Ascendancy (Roadrunner)
Record number two for Florida's Trivium takes metalcore to new heights, the band combining crushing yet plush production vales with a sense of song and locked-down virtuoso playing that breeds confidence and hateful headbanging passion. If you dig Shadows Fall, this'll kick yer ass hard. or

14) SONATA ARCTICA - 'Misplaced' 4:42; from Reckoning Night (Nuclear Blast)
The frosty Finns return with a gorgeous pageant of superlative power metal (plus) tunes sure to precipitate the band's ascendancy past Stratovarius as the band to beat! With production, fiercely technical and fast playing, angelic vocal harmonies and an unparallel eye for classic metal, Sonata Arctica deserve their esteemed spot in the scene. or

15) ECLIPSE ETERNAL - 'Desolation Forms My Minds Eye' 5:29; from Reign Of The Unholy Blackened Empire (Galy)
A blackened blight of frozen progressive blackness, Eclipse Eternal are poised to ascend the throne of atmospheric yet bludgeoning evil. Produced for maximum quaking effect, this band is as authentic as they come. Contact: Contact: 5100 De Verdun, POB 28544, Verdun QC, Canada H4G 3L7, 514-769-6137,, or

16) AGNOSTIC FRONT - 'Peace' 3:57; from Another Voice (Nuclear Blast)
Without question the reigning titans of original hardcore, Agnostic Front have influenced countless bands to take up guitars in arms and battle the forces that keep us down. Produced by Zeuss, and studded with guest stars paying homage, Another Voice is an action-catalytic punch to the gut.,, or

17) EVERYTHING AT ONCE - 'Carnivore' 3:00
Management want the music to speak for itself - and it indeed does. Loudly., or for gigs: