KnuckleTracks #93

1) ROADRUNNER UNITED – ‘The End’ 3:35; from Roadrunner United: The All-Star Sessions (Roadrunner)
Check out our monster feature on how this monumental milestone was mounted and completed by Monte Conner. Suffice to say that it’s a rousing success, lyrically, musically, creatively all ‘round… a commune of metal mavens coming together in a spirit of togetherness to wreck heads in dedication to this legendary label and its 25 year anniversary.

2) DEW-SCENTED – ‘Ruins Of Hope’ 4:12; from Issue IV (Nuclear Blast)
Germany’s thrash titans Dew-Scented have returned with another Haunted-slaying, Arch-Enemy-freezing slab of fast, manic heavy metal brilliance. Edge is at the utmost, riff’s razor-sharp, vocals terrifying. You’ve been warned. or

3) BEHEMOTH – ‘Slaves Shall Serve’ 3:04; from Demigod (Century Media)
Poland’s Behemoth have shockingly completed their rise to the top of the death metal heap with Demigod. There is no other extreme band on the planet, save perhaps Morbid Angel or Slayer, that has so many other bands praising them. God-like, and not by half. or

4) SANITY IN DEATH – ‘Will’ 4:25; from Sanity In Death (Hammermill)
Tucson, Arizona is home to these extreme death metallers, Sanity In Death grabbing the listener with a sound that is as atmospheric and proggy as it is relentlessly crushing. Vocally, this six-man wrecking crew oscillate from Anselmo-like introspection to far-flung black and death – the effect is exhilarating and as jarring as the unexpected musical pathways roiling beneath. Contact: POB 8267, Utica NY 13505-8267,,, or

5) TORTURE – ‘Slay Ride (CD Version)’ 7:02; from Storm Alert (Escapi Music)
San Francisco (formerly Texas) based Torture are putting the evil back into Christmas with this holiday epic, a tribute to Silent Night, Deadly Night. Their new Storm Alert CD (recently remixed by Neil Kernon) will be released nationwide Feb. ‘06, marking its North American debut. Citing Slayer, Artillery, Infernal Majesty and Sacrifice as heavy influences, Torture is exciting a whole new thrash scene recently flooded with stale unoriginality. The Terror Kingdom is back! or

6) 3 – ‘Alien Angel’ 3:43; from Wake Pig (Metal Blade)
3 is a Woodstock, NY band that has been getting high accolades over their three albums from Coheed & Cambria, which is no surprise given this band’s fresh, ethereal, proggy disposition. You’ve never quite heard anything like this – 3 is a modern rock revolution all on their own. or or

7) ZERO DOWN – ‘Pound For Pound’ 3:02; from Old Time Revival (Devil DogFace)
Very exciting band out of Seattle here… a little Queens Of The Stone Age, a little hardcore, but with the metal riffs of Clutch. Extremely catchy, highly pro, ten tracks, 33 minutes, digi… Zero Down should be signed now. Not just because they’re good, but because they could sell a lot of records. Contact 105 N. 100th, Seattle WA 98133, or

8) RUMPELSTILTSKIN GRINDER – ‘Stealing E.T.’ 4:11; from Buried In The Front Yard (Relapse)
Self-deemed “criminal thrash,” this Pennsylvania act have come up with a speedy death metal feast with lots of old school nods back and forth from San Fran to Sweden. Lyrically a blast as well, come see why people are digging this with smirks, headbangs and hearty hails and ales all ‘round. or

9) HURTLOCKER – ‘Absolution’ 2:51; from Fear In A Handful Of Dust (Napalm)
Hurtlocker are a hard-hitting metalcore band from Chicago that rise from the pack with a death metal punch and more groove than most. Heaviness is first and foremost, Hurtlocker carving deep into extremity with white hot riffs and screaming vocals to match. or

10) SOULFLY – ‘Carved Inside’ 3:35; from Dark Ages (Roadrunner)
Max Cavalera storms back with what has been described as the heaviest Soulfly album of the catalogue. Dark Ages indeed packs a punch, the riffs lethal, the vocals roaring, even if Max’s world music touches rear up tantalizingly as the album progresses with sophistication. No longer an offshoot, this band is challenging the Seps themselves for metal mad legacy. www. or

11) CHAOS MACHINE – ‘The True Self’ 5:16; from Chaos Machine (Chaos Machine)
Ontario’s Chaos Machine have shared stages with a ton of bands all over central and eastern Canada, their thick, insistent, grinding four track EP winning a lot of friends with its er, chaotic but controlled grunting madness. It’s accessible though and very well written, with execution of the songs sturdy as well. Contact: 9 Tyndale Rd., Barrie ON Canada L4N 7S9 or or

12) CRYPTOPSY – ‘The Pestilence That Walketh In Darkness (Psalm 91 : 5-8)’ 3:26; from Once Was Not (Century Media)
Quebec’s Cryptopsy return with the visionary death metal album of the year, Once Was Not lashing out with the surreal nightmarescapes of the legendary Lord Worm, o’ertop a complex and cutting edge attack that is steadfast and logical of song as well. or

13) 12:06 – ‘Absence Of Light’ 4:48; from Compulsion/Control (Roscoe Productions)
Boston’s 12:06 is back with their anticipated second album, Compulsion/Control. 12:06 combines emotional and powerful female vocals with slabs of guitar and a rhythm section that knows when to groove and when to bludgeon. This album was two years in the making and you can hear every ounce of effort. Mastered by Adam Ayan (Nirvana, Rolling Stones, Megadeth), Compulsion/Control is big, loud, and clear. or

14) RIVERSIDE – ‘Artificial Smile’ 5:27; from Second Life Syndrome (InsideOut Music)
Onto their second full-length, this Polish band are fast becoming prog rock titans to be treated with a seriousness on par with Anathema, Opeth and Porcupine Tree. Swirling, roiling, recorded with novel textures, beautifully vocalized… this is an art rock masterpiece. or or

15) DEAD SOUL TRIBE – ‘A Flight On An Angels Wing’ 4:31; from The Dead World (InsideOut Music)
California to Austria transplant Devon Graves has returned with another dark symphony of prog majesty, The Dead World celebrating the man’s elegant penchant for tribal doom and dreamy production amidst songs of progressive might. or or

16) EDGUY – ‘Superheroes’ 3:17; from Superheroes The EP (Nuclear Blast)
Edguy are fast becoming the favourites of many knowledgeable and passionate about traditional rock ‘n’ roll, power metal, heaviness of class. Their personable-ness is legion, and it shows in their magnetizing live shows. Come check out what all the buzz is about. or

17) SEPTER – ‘Die By The Axe’ 4:25; from Transgressor (Pulse)
Septer play a bracing, inspiring old school power metal with primary self-claimed influences being Priest and maiden. But there’s also a killer NWOBHM-ness to the band’s galloping rhythms and ornate gothic melodies, vocalist Kevin Truell howling and growling with the best of them. Contact: 1416 Haines Court, Batavia IL 60510 or

18) SOURCE OF IGNITION – ‘Losing Ground’ 3:58; from Source Of Ignition (Source Of Ignition)
This Stockholm, Sweden band plays a very contemporary, American-ized form of something I wouldn’t call metalcore, although one would have to say both hardcore and melodic death are part of the brew. Whatever it is, it’s professional, well-recorded, and very well-constructed for accessibility – these guys could be big. Contact: Michael Siegrist, Karusellvagen 8, 126 31 Hagersten, Sweden, or