KnuckleTracks #97

1) DEREK SHERINIAN – ‘Man With No Name’ 6:55; from Blood Of The Snake (InsideOut Music)
Keyboard’s go-to guy to the stars returns with another mostly instrumental album of musicianly madness, although this track features Zakk Wylde in arcane Ozzy mode singin’ and guitarin’ over a crunching epic of grand proportions. or

2) SATYRICON – K.I.N.G. 3:36; from Now, Diabolical (Century Media)
Satyricon have long put to rest any dissension that they are the most artful and pure of black metal bands since Mayhem. Now with the arrival of Now, Diabolical, Satyr and Frost have pared their writing to the essentials, production alluring and communicative to boot, the songs, uneasy but easily consumed. or

3) SHADOWS FALL – ‘In Effigy’ 3:24; from Fallout From The War (Century Media)
US metalcore titans Shadows Fall strike again with an album full of new songs, re-recorded classics and covers that together, affirm the band’s hard-won standing as leaders in the field, and no less than saviors of classic metal guitar riffage in an age gone poser. or

4) VANQUISHED – ‘Black Northern Storm’ 4:57; from Black Northern Storm (Krankenhaus)
An earth-exploding shower of sparks is at hand when Dertah, Grimnyr and Warhammer assemble and execute their “Northern Ontario Black Metal.” Proving themselves masters of deafening coldness, Vanquished are the real corpse-painted deal. Come hear their symphonies of Satanic sickness.

5) WROUGHT – ‘Rhetoric’ 3:52; from Hand Crafted Metal (Wrought)
Arkansas metal experts Wrought are one of those bands who know their metal inside out and thus easily come up with the coolest of riffs and constructs, play the hell out of them, and still throw in a bit of humour. The end result is caustic, catchy, extreme metal with a bit of a southern vibe – one of the top indies we’ve heard around here in years. They’ll be signed very soon – catch ‘em while they’re freshly cooked. Contact:, 479-422-0135, or

6) ASH LEE BLADE – ‘Kill For Heavy Metal’ 3:14; from Ash Lee Blade (Ash Lee Blade/E.R.D. Entertainment)
A.L. Blade is none other than Eric from Tchort, also of the legendary Cloven Blade fame (a full-length was recorded, but never issued). His new act is a headbanging joy to behold – nothing less would be expected from this Toronto metal icon. This EP is yer first juiced rocket shot, with more classic party metal to come. Contact: Ryan Kerr, 416-716-1565 or 416-633-6283 or or

7) DEAD GREY – ‘Of Necessity’ 5:20; from (Audio Blasphemy Productions)
Calgary’s Deadgrey are set to follow up their well-received Towards Nothing… album and have chosen ‘Of Necessity’ to announce the epic yet Swedish death-tinged spread about to drop. A haunting female guest vocal adds to the soul-filled frost-bitten riffs conjured, and the stage is set for one of the hotly anticipated releases of the Canuck metal scene for ’06. Contact: 60 Patterson Crescent S.W., Calgary AB T3H 2C3, 403-701-3323, or

8) DRAGONFORCE – ‘Through The Fire And Flames’ (edit) 5:00; original from Inhuman Rampage (Roadrunner/Sanctuary)
Blowing up big, Dragonforce are a scintillating, exacting power metal act that are selling out pretty damn venues all over… North America! Surprisingly, given that this continent has yet to warm fully to power metal precision and pomp. it’s damn near a revolution in the making. or

9) PHOENIX MOURNING – ‘Across Twenty-Six Winters’ 3:46; from When Excuses Become Antiques (Metal Blade)
Really cool, two years young metalcore band here, Phoenix Mourning strafing the memory centres with killer, punchy production as well as a profundity of stellar riffs at turn after sparkling turn. The dual vocals are some of the best in the biz, helping push these tracks anthemic with alarming regularity. or

10) THINE EYES BLEED – ‘Cold Victim’ 3:58; from In The Wake Of Separation (The End)
Canada’s Thine Eyes Bleed have found a venomous, near singular bridge between the world of metalcore and that of black, death and virulent thrash. The result is a breathtaking technicality and breakneck speeds, and a perfectly measured dose of melody emanating from the guitars. or

11) KAMPFAR – ‘Ravenheart’ (edit) 4:26; from Kvass (Napalm)
Self-described as Norse Pagan Folklore Metal, Kampfar play a menacing, dark, and at times alluringly primitive form of the genre that is closer to “forest metal’s” black roots than the pixie and faerie dust contingent bothering the scene. Come commune with the carnal. or

12) AS I LAY DYING – ‘The Beginning’ 3:28; from A Long March: The First Recordings (Metal Blade)
As I Lay Dying have proven themselves to be of a distinguished front-tier modern metal quality, and CD sales and ticket sales have graciously followed suit. Now Metal Blade celebrates their rare early recordings, along with some re-recordings of their most cherished oldies. or

13) CELTIC FROST – ‘Ground’ 3:55; Monotheist (Century Media)
Celtic Frost have had an immense impact on those after them who dared take the dark metal arts and inject brave creativity into the folds and creases. Now Martin and Tom are back to provoke thought and action with the epic Monotheist. Many are calling this record of the year. or

14) TERROR 2000 – ‘Mummy Metal For The Masses’ 3:10; from Terror For Sale (Nuclear Blast)
Soilwork’s Bjorn “Speed” Strid’s kick-ass pickup band Terror 2000 smashes the funny bone on their latest, flinging like Chinese throwing darts thrash-tastic anthems like ‘Kong Kong Song’, ‘Wrath Of The Cookie Monster’ and the classic ‘Liquor Saved me From Sports’. The point is though, if you didn’t read along, you’d be totally neck-snapped by a dauntingly competent Swedish deathfest. Two mints in one. or

15) THREAT SIGNAL – ‘Rational Eyes’ 3:38; from Under reprisal (Nuclear Blast)
Hamilton, Ontario’s Threat Signal have rocketed to underground fame, spreading like wildfire through internet sources and onto the stage, where their intense energy and effortless metalized acumen incinerates crowds instantly. This could be the next huge hit out of Canada. Contact:,,,

16) STRAPPING YOUNG LAD – ‘You Suck’ 2:40; from The New Black (Century Media)
Hevy Devy is back with another thorny collection of he-man metal from his thrash-tastic heaviest franchise of many. As usual, Dev and his rockist fist metal veterans put on a clinic in bad taste and good vibes. Trio this one up with ‘03’s SYL and ‘05’s Alien and that’s a lot of mashed heads. or or

17) BLUE EYED BOY DEATH MACHINE – ‘Melee In The Peanut Gallery’ 2:57; from Blue Eyed Boy Death Machine (Blue Eyed Boy Death Machine)
Broken Arrow OK is home for this searing but very musical Swedish-styled death/metalcore act, one that has found killer plush production values despite their indie status, and a tightly wound presentation. Add to that innovative twin lead arrangements and one hell of a grooving drummer, and you’ve got a professional mod metal band – right out of the box. Contact: 4117 W. Jackson St., Broken Arrow, OK USA 74012,,, or 918-645-0058.

18) JED – ‘Two Eyed Cyclops’ 4:44; from Synesthesia (Jed)
Jed have been hammering crowds for ten years in Seattle with their intelligent, rhythmic, Tool-styled but grunge-inflected post-metal sound. Crafting irresistible song sculptures with spaces, huge riffs and soaring-to-contemplative vocals, Jed raise the bar for creative color and measured arrangements in a alternative world that needs their skills. Contact: 1155 N. State St., Ste 527, Bellingham WA 98225, 360-752-9829, ext. 102,,, or