KnuckleTracks #99

1) UNEARTH – ‘Giles’ 3:57; from In The Eyes Of Fire (Metal Blade)
One of the most eagerly anticipated metal releases of the year, III: In The Eyes Of Fire is a shocking blast of hard, uncompromising thrash metal forged to combat rock perfection. The esteemed Terry Date produces the album with an immediacy that makes these complex, pure, technical post-Gothenburg thrashers come dangerously alive. or

2) BUILT UPON FRUSTRATION – ‘Everything About Me’ 4:01; from The Book Of Mourning (Da’ Core)
The Book Of Mourning takes Pittsburg hardcore masters in more of a metal direction, and the band’s roots in the hardcore scene make for an authentic, brutal look at life, except through the lens of more complex riffing and rhythms. Nearly a decade in, Built Upon Frustration is set to blow up. Contact: 4407 Bowes Ave., West Mifflin, PA 15122, 412-561-1100 or 412-462-0203, or

3) NAPALM DEATH – ‘When All Is Said And Done’ 3:03; from Smear Campaign (Century Media)
UK grind grandfathers Napalm Death have turned in an uncompromising masterpiece of strong-willed fastback thrashing madness that is sure to give their pretender offspring pause for thought. Comprising 16 sharp tack tracks of incendiary riffing and hoary lessons in ethic, Smear campaign is a punch in the face the world needs right now. or

4) CHROME DIVISION – ‘Serial Killer’ 3:45; from Doomsday Rock ‘N Roll (Nuclear Blast)
Dimmu Borgir’s Shagrath goes all biker rock and sleaze-treated on this boozy rock ‘n’ roll dogfight of an album. But it is lead vocalist Eddie Guz that is the band’s secret weapon, the guy turning up the Turbo Negro jets on this thing, until a party has been had. or

5) DREAD – ‘Beat The Odds’ 4:05; from The Odds (Dread)
Dread is a visceral, urgent, talented metalcore act from Montreal with vicious vocals, riffs and rhythms that place them at the intelligent end of the genre. A cool, comic book-styled booklet is included with this sharp, shocking album – as usual, Quebec shows everybody else how it’s done. Dread is ready to give right of reproduction and distribution – call Benoit for details. As well, the band’s nine track CD can be ordered for 10$ at the address below. Contact: Benoit at 416-824-5546, band address: 6610 19th Ave., Apt. 1, Montreal, PQ H7R 3E6, Booking: Greg, at 514-378-2887, is coming soon.

6) HATEBREED – ‘Defeatist’ 3;19; from Supremacy (Roadrunner)
Hatebreed are the reigning kings of original metalcore – all others have fallen by the wayside, but Supremacy demonstrates that the vitriol just gets more potent with the passing years the band has spent defending its ground. Produced mercilessly by Zeuss, Supremacy lives, breathes and kills on the strength of hardened, bitter riffs, as well as messages of triumph. or

7) EIDOLON – ‘Arcturus #9’ 5:10; from The Parallel Otherworld (Escapi)
With the addition of Euro pro Nils K Rue to this legendary band, Eidolon have created a masterwork of dark, progressive power doom. Brothers Shawn and Glen Drover have of course, of late, distinguished themselves as principals in Megadeth, but it is within Eidolon that their superlative writing and musicicianship takes flight. or

8) INSOMNIUM – ‘Mortal Share’ 4:00; from Above The Weeping World (Candlelight)
Finland’s Insomnium are already considered one of the great successors to Sentenced’s throne. Their weighty Metallica-esque approach to doomy death is turning a lot of heads, and with the video to this track already getting good traffic on, their star can only rise further. Destined for many Top Ten lists of the year. or or

9) BRAND NEW SIN – ‘Motormeth’ 3:00; from Tequila (Century Media)
Brand New Sin are a big, brawlin’ straight-up US metal institution, their tireless touring turning them into the l’il brothers of Black Label Society – booze rock with a redneck rumble. Tequila continues in the fine, barrel-chested tradition of their Recipe For Disaster album of last year, which got the band a ton of press, much of it mainstream. or

10) BLIND GUARDIAN – ‘Another Stranger Me’ 4:37; from A Twist In The Myth (Nuclear Blast)
Hansi and his merry metal troubadours return with a thumping album full of regular, patented Blind Guardian trademarks, along with a few new tricks. The vocals are still vaulted, but the band has stripped down somewhat, to offer a heart headbang to their millions of minions. Salut! or

11) CATHOLICON – ‘Embodiment Of All That Is Not’ 3:00; from The Death Throes Of Christianity (Negativity)
Based on the brutal history of the Christian church, this is a blistering, highly evolved concept album distinguished by the band’s top-flight merger of death metal and black metal. Killer, blood-curdling vocals, production and playing make this an unassailable underground classic in the making. Contact: POB 183, Greenwell Springs, LA 70739-9998,,,, or

12) ENEMY OF THOUGHT – ‘Who The Hell Are You!’ 4:32; from Enemy Of Thought (Enemy Of Thought)
Enemy Of Thought is a Liverpool band risen from the ashes of Z Records artists Contagious. The new sound is heavier, darker, sludgier and more psychedelic, with melody but a nod to Sabbath, especially given the Oz charms of singer Chris Adams. Contact: Big Willie Management, 96 Sulivan Crt., London, SW6 3DB,,, or

13) HEAVEN SHALL BURN – ‘Counterweight’ 4:19; from Deaf To Our Prayers (Century Media)
Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn has returned two years hence with a new record, and it’s a sharper, more direct and slamming version of their unique sound, one that fuses death and hardcore in a sort of grounded, roots-heavy thrash attack. Lyrically, the band gets political in the Napalm tradition, making for a package that is several cuts above the standard for this sort of extreme pounding. or

14) CATTLE DECAPITATION – ‘Success Is… (Hanging By The Neck)’ 3:34; from Karma.Bloody.Karma (Metal Blade)
Californa grind masters Cattle Decapitation serve up a lethal technical stew, establishing the band as one of the most vibrant and forward thinking on the scene. With their most misanthropic album yet, these guys aim to upset the entire human race, all the while churning some of the most exacting yet deceptively chaotic grind on the burnt planet. or

15) WARFACE – ‘Climatic Annihilation’ 3:41; from Insanity Of The Obsessed (Deathquake)
This insane California band is at the fraught, frayed edge of pure, mechanistic, 100$ US grade death metal. Dave Smith’s death growl has got to be heard to be believed – it is the lowest of cycle, most extreme in years, and what his band does around him is cinder block heavy, but seductively progressive, down a grind road but never too far from top-flight traditional. Contact: 10755-F Scripps Poway Pkwy. #586, San Diego CA 92131, 858-536-8822,,, or

16) TO-MERA – ‘Blood’ 5:36; from Transcendental (Candlelight)
Prepare yourself for an otherworldly metal experience along the lines of Peccatum, Vintersorg, Masterlast or Mahavatar. To-Mera is a highly progressive yet egregiously metallic act featuring the vocals and erudite lyrics of Julie Kiss, who along with Lee Barrett (ex-Extreme Noise Terror) create a collage of futuristic metal constructs where no rules apply. or or

17) ALL SHALL PERISH – ‘Eradication’ 3:54; from The Price Of Existence (Nuclear Blast)
It doesn’t get any heavier than this firebomb of an Okaland consortium, All Shall Perish sending up the technicality of grind and the hollowed-out amorality of death metal until jaws drop and heads explode. Musicianship, production, and lyrical potency, it’s all here in one coal-hearted package. or

18) MAGNUM CARNAGE – ‘Arson Dance’ 4:18; from Evil Never Dies (Magnum Carnage)
From Hawaii, Magnum Carnage are a disturbing amalgamation between jazzoid death, industrial, blackness and avant garde new wave from the ‘80s. Seriously, this is almost Patton-proud or Sigh-worthy in its novel use of… everything sick. What comes out the other end is harsh, inspiring, terror-inducing and relentlessly loopy. Contact: 1008 Kawaiahao St., Unit A, Honolulu HI 96814, or