KnuckleTracks #95

1) KATAKLYSM – ‘Crippled & Broken’ 4:33; from In The Arms Of Devastation (Nuclear Blast)
Operating at the near impossible front edge of death’s potential, Kataklysm are known as some of the bravest, most capable and professional purveyors of the art form. The production is plush, the speeds blistering, and the riffs oddly mesmerizing inspiringly often. Maurizio’s madmen triumph again. or

2) IF HOPE DIES – ‘Anthem For The Unemployable’ 3:42; from Life In Ruin (Metal Blade)
Auburn, New York is homebase for this crushing yet highly musical and memorable veteran metalcore tactical unit. These rhythms are some of the best in the biz, and the production values, courtesy of the red-hot Jason Suecof, bring out the band’s progressive death talents fully aflame. or

3) LACUNA COIL – ‘Our Truth (Hot Version)’ 3:33; from Karmacode (Century Media)
Lacuna Coil return with their eagerly anticipated new album, and the band’s sophistication of arrangement and superlative song construction prove once again why this hugely successful post-goth band is at the top o the heap the world o’er. or

4) IVORY KNIGHT – ‘Waiting For Tomorrow’ 5:14; from Unconscience (Ivory Knight)
Ivory Knight are an Ottawa, Canada act deep of pure metal knowledge and viscerally attached to both the underground power metal movement of the mid-‘80s (palpably US and Swedish) and the NWOBHM from a hallowed time a few years earlier. Their inspiring Unconscience album was mixed and mastered by Jeff Waters. Contact: POB 38144, 1430 Prince of Wales Dr., Ottawa, ON, Canada K2C 1N6, or

5) EVERGREY – ‘Monday Morning Apocalypse’ 3:10; from Monday Morning Apocalypse (InsideOut Music America)
Tom Englund and his progressive doom madmen have become one of the most beloved metal bands on the scene, due to songwriting that seems to become more focused and memorable with each record. Charm, uniqueness, expert playing and smart messaging… this band has the skills to become massive in the mainstream. or

6) ADMONISH – ‘Den Yttersta Tiden’ 5:59; from Den Yttersta Tiden (Admonish)
Legendary but shockingly without recorded output until now, Admonish are a Swedish black metal act with roots back to 1994. This long-awaited EP is the result of a reunion in 2002 after three years broken up and the capable, dramatic, professional blackness enclosed is testimony to Admonish’s long, dark history. Contact: Fornhojdsvagen 64, SE-152 58 Sodert Alje, Sweden or or

7) TORTURE KILLER – ‘Sadistic’ 3:23; from Swarm! (Metal Blade)
These bloodthirsty Finns have pulled the ultimate death metal coup, adding dreaded and dread-inspiring Chris Barnes to their pummeling rank as vocalist. Barnes also produces the album, Swarm! being an old school bit of mosh madness swamped in gore.

8) AMORPHIS – ‘House Of Sleep’ 4:17; from Eclipse (Nuclear Blast)
Finnish legends Amorphis have new life through vocalist Tomi Joutsen, who brings a versatility to the band, Eclipse visiting with venom and variety all of the groundbreaking band’s many phases. Heavy and urgent and literary, Eclipse is Amorphis on a tear. or

9) VERBAL DECEPTION – ‘Jewels Of The Dead’ 3:29; from the forthcoming and tentatively titled Aurea Autas Piraticus (Scarab Productions)
“Pirate metal” from landlocked Calgary?! ‘Tis true, Verbal Deception being one interesting band, salting their speedy, thrash-vocal’ed power metal tales with Celtic/gothic melodies, but mostly a pile of precision pure metal. You’ll get the spirit from their amusing site, and you’ll be wise to scoop up their booty. Contact: Suite 22, 2526 Battleford Ave. SW, Calgary AB Canada T3E 7J4,, 403-240-7850, or

10) KRISIUN – ‘Vicious Wrath’ 3:53; from AssassiNation (Century Media)
Krisiun’s crushing Brazillian death has been celebrated the world over to the point where Krisiun are being regarded as the best set of elders still in operation, legends of death, Krisiun doing for South America what Vader has done for Poland. AssassiNation is a death aficionado’s dream, and the reviews are pouring in positive. or

11) WITCHERY – ‘Plague Rider’ 3:56; from Don’t Fear The Reaper (Century Media)
No question, Witchery are considered the damned and damnably coolest of the extreme metal supergroups, and it’s the effortless and laid-back firepower of the boys that make it so, especially during the band’s explosive and boozy live gigs. In the can for over a year, Don’t Fear The Reaper is finally in your hands.

12) VANDEN PLAS – ‘Christ 0’ 5:34; from Christ 0 (InsideOut Music America)
There’s a reason Vanden Plas is the most controversial and furtively discussed prog metal band on the planet, and that is their intense striving for creative pinnacles. No one since Dream Theater in their prime has pushed for excellence like this elegant institution. Come see the masters in flight. or

13) BABYLON MYSTERY ORCHESTRA – ‘Eye Of The Needle’ 3:29; from The Great Apostasy: A Conspiracy Of Satanic Christianity (Babylon Mystery Orchestra)
Multi-talent Sidney Allen Johnson is becoming an enigmatic legend with his high metaphysical and literary concepts set to a strange and uneasy gothic beat. His sonorous, almost pious vocals and militaristic yet soberly metal rhythms are incongruent with his southern rocker looks and locale… and here we have his wildest theory yet. Woah. Contact: 610 Flowers St., Greenville, AL 36037, (334) 382-5908, or

14) MACHINEMADE GOD – ‘Bleeding From Within’ 3:05; from The Infinity Complex (Metal Blade)
Germany’s Machinemade God traveled to Denmark to record this highly anticipated debut metalcore opus with none other than Jakob Bredahl of Hatesphere fame, and the result is a precise, note-dense wall of modern-edged death cannily arranged for maximum slam, evocative of a certain European flair. or

15) EDGUY – ‘Rocket Ride’ 4:48; from Rocket Ride (Nuclear Blast)
Tobias and his sun-bright power metalists Edguy have garnered huge accolades worldwide for their ecstatic live shows, and now the guys have thrown down a controversial gauntlet of an album already making the internet buzz with chatter. Come see what the fuss is about – you’re guaranteed to get happily headbanged in the process. or

16) SAVAGE CIRCUS – ‘Between The Devil And The Seas’ 5:24; from Dreamland Manor (Century Media)
Blind Guardian drummer Thomen Stauch was burning with the desire to write exhilarating, speedy arch-power metal in the style of that band’s older, classic albums and Savage Circus triumphs with pomp, pageantry and power. Dreamland Manor positively explodes from this premise, and single-handedly rescues power metal from today’s pretenders. or

17) DARK HAVEN – ‘Nightmare’ 5:19; from Your Darkest Hour (Dark Haven)
This southern California band captures the spirit of Dark Tranquillity like no other American act, but their textures and dimensions go beyond. A patina of sophistication makes all of the band’s songs shine, aided by rich production, varied vocals, kick-ass drumming and keyboard textures. Dark Haven will no doubt be signed very soon. Contact: 402 Princeland Ct., #4, Corona CA 92879,, or