KnuckleTracks #102

1) DAATH – ‘Ovum’ 3:27; from The Hinderers (Roadrunner)
Daath are set to conquer with a death metal sound that is eminently hooky while remaining brutal and heavy on intellectual subject matter and locked-down execution. Production courtesy of James Murphy completes the circuit. This band is already lauded as the next leader upon a new wave of extreme purity, so listen up. HYPERLINK "" or

2) THIS ENDING – ‘Plague Angel’ 3:51; from Inside The Machine (Metal Blade)
Rising from the ashes of A Canorous Quintet (there’s an Amon Amarth connection as well!), this sharp, professional Swedish death act know all too well how to balance deep and blackened death heritage with modern songwriting contours. The result - true brutal death, but with elegant, prog-minded architectures. HYPERLINK "" or HYPERLINK ""

3) BENEATH THE MASSACRE – ‘Society’s Disposable Son’ 3:28; from Mechanics Of Dysfunction (Prosthetic)
Arguably the heaviest and most technical band within today’s intense extreme death-thrash scene, these Canadian scientists trump no less than Origin in rhythmic tension and pounded possibility. Lose your mind and be pummeled in the process – this is some sick acrobatic noise-making. HYPERLINK "", HYPERLINK "" or

4) MNEMIC – ‘Meaningless’ 3:43; from Passenger (Nuclear Blast)
Mnemic are formidable state of the art industrial metalists with way too much talent for one band. This Danish contingent have been critic’s darlings for years. Come see why this band’s potent, heady, Meshuggah meets Soilwork meets Fear Factory madness is winning over fans of the discerning in droves., HYPERLINK "" or HYPERLINK ""

5) ELIS – ‘Show Me The Way’ 4:05; from Griefshire (Napalm)
A tragic posthumous effort for angelic vocal presence Sabine Dunser, Griefshire is a tour de force of strong, memorable, pop-inflected gothic metal. Both Austrian and English are on display, adding to the dimension of the album, a record that draws the listener poignantly into the meaning of mortality, given the circumstances. HYPERLINK "" or HYPERLINK ""

6) EDENBRIDGE – ‘Evermore’ 3:47; from The Grand Design (Napalm)
Edenbridge have certainly achieved much over their nine year history, creating some of the most elegant and masterful gothic metal on the planet. The Grand Design is their most ambitious album yet, with front-lady Sabine Edelsbacher distinguishing herself as the scene’s most enigmatic personality, easily of a stature to compete with this record’s 64-man choir! HYPERLINK "" or HYPERLINK ""

7) SINCE THE FLOOD – ‘I Am Revenge’ 2:51; from No Compromise (Metal Blade)
Second album now for this much talked about Northeastern sledgehammer of a band. Tired of metalcore? Well, Since The Flood bring back the doomy, churning metal riffs to the world of focused, pure hardcore, huge production aiding the band’s anger-filled cause. Integrity, Earth Crisis, Hatebreed, with s shot of Slayer… this is a poser-killer in the extreme. HYPERLINK "" or

8) XYNFONICA – ‘A Feast For Famished Ravens (edit)’ 2:42; from A Feast For Famished Ravens (Cyclops)
Only black metal purists know that the truly frightening stuff is made without instruments of conventional warfare. Xynfonica understand all too well, using an array of guitar synths (no keyboards!) and lo-fi black metal growls to come up with this symphonic soundtrack to your worst impulses. Contact: Cyclops Records, POB 34045 Station D, Vancouver BC, V6J 4M1 Canada or email or HYPERLINK ""

9) FALLEN MAN – ‘Liar’ 2:54’ from Reborn (Fallen Man)
Sacramento, CA’s Fallen Man consider themselves an industrial metal band, but there’s a grooving, guitar-heavy organic quality to their totality. Further adding intrigue is the band’s intelligent socio-political bent, their disdain for much of American society. It’s a potent mix, expertly executed, provoking thought while it’s banging heads. Contact: 9695 Marquis Court, Elk Grove CA 95758, 916-812-3970, HYPERLINK "", HYPERLINK "" or HYPERLINK ""

10) BOBNOXIOUS – ‘Too Loud’ 3:04; from Rockaholics (Wannabe/Fontana North)
Bobnoxious is the raging drinking man’s metal band fronted by Razor’s indomitable Bob Reid, who has one smokin’, rock ‘n’ roll freight train on his hands with this band of brothers. Motorhead, AC/DC, Nashville Pussy… you get the drift, only Bob will have you slammin’ shots faster than Lemmy can say “Got any speed?” Contact: HYPERLINK "", bookings: HYPERLINK "", management: HYPERLINK "", HYPERLINK "",

11) ROBOT LORDS OF TOKYO – ‘Belly Full Of Greed’ 4:19; from Robot Lords Of Tokyo (RLOT Music Ltd.)
These Lords are three true rock gods, solid of groove and eminent of heft, and well in love with the old school (check out this album’s Motorhead, Crue and UFO covers). It’s a pleasure to hear classic hard rock played with such molten tones and killer drum and bass production, not to mention vocals that are versatile yet always about cold Black Label beer fer miles. Contact: 7396 Sand Spurrey Ct., Westerville OH 43082, HYPERLINK "", HYPERLINK "", 614-891-3576 or

12) KOMMANDANT – ‘Bypaths To Chaos’ 3:08; from Iron Hands On Scandinavia (Kommandant)
Virulent, merciless and dauntingly professional, Kommandant is a kvlt black metal band from Chicago who rip it up on their much talked about three track demo. What breaks through the vicious wall of sound this band create is an eerie accessibility, making for a powerful one-two punch to the kidneys. Contact: 850 Des Plaines Ave., Forest Park IL 60130-2082, HYPERLINK "", HYPERLINK "" or

13) FIREWIND – ‘Falling To Pieces’ 4:03; from Allegiance (Century Media)
The power metal of persuasion… Firewind have proven themselves rich of heritage and ruthlessly professional in their carnal sense of both shred and finesse above all comers. Greek god Gus G. and his crack team have once again triumphed with a collection of 11 anthems that drip with pure metal magic. HYPERLINK "" or HYPERLINK ""

14) MARAZENE – ‘MachiNation’ 4:38; from MachiNation (Marazene)
Former Bile and Subsonic members form the nucleus of this searing industrial panorama from Chicago. The sterling production skills and visceral intensity of Ministry immediately comes to mind, but a purity from the industrial world as well as a fresh progressiveness imbue these complex constructs with star power well beyond the underground, a zone Marazene won’t inhabit for long. Contact: 42 Richmond Lane, Aurora IL 60504,

15) HORROBLE – ‘Bitten’ 3:05; from Death Of Ghost (Carnygoat)
Cross Murderdolls and Wednesday 13 with Kiss and big molten power chord production, and you get close to the walking zombie eater that is Horroble, brainchild of Ancient guitarist Dave, known here as Luci. Add a little T. Rex and Poison in there, and you’ve got a glam at the cemetery ghoulish good time. Contact: 11753 Mossy Creek Ln., Reston VA 20191, 908-962-6902, HYPERLINK "", HYPERLINK "" or HYPERLINK ""

16) FU MANCHU – ‘Hung Out To Dry’ 3:25; from We Must Obey (Century Media)
A blast of bog-explosive stoner rock of the highest order, Fu are essentially the last band standing, and standing proud. While everyone else courts the pop, these legends bulldoze your brain with massive voltage and guitars cranked for miasmic miles. HYPERLINK "" or HYPERLINK ""

17) THERION – ‘Sons Of The Staves Of Time’ 4:47; from Gothic Kabbalah (Nuclear Blast)
Whoa, hold on to your ancient texts, because Therion have broken out and created what might be hailed as their masterpiece of all time. The metal is bigger, more expansive than ever, and the classical elements are so integrated, the band has indeed entered a new enlightened phase of synthesis. You gotta own this just for the SOUNDS. HYPERLINK "" or HYPERLINK ""

18) ABORTED – ‘The Chondrin Enigma’ 4:19; from Slaughtered & Apparatus: A Methodical Overture (Century Media)
These Belgian legends have ascended death’s throne through a potent trinity-sized mix of hooks, complexity and production acumen. No bigger guitar sound exists in the extreme, and when Aborted hit a catchy bit, the pit seethes and then erupts. One part Entombed, another part Carcass, and then modern extreme math-based death filling the cranial cracks of the rest. HYPERLINK "" or

19) FAIRYLAND – ‘The Fall Of An Empire (edit)’ 3:59; from The Fall Of An Empire (Napalm)
Previously Fantasia and also Fantasy, French power metal mavens Fairyland now have two cathedral-high albums under that name. The sound is a gorgeous blend of the old school with vaulted vocals and arrangements that recall the hard to emulate Blind Guardian. Renaissance-steeped keyboards fill out the aristocratic and imposingly impressive sound. HYPERLINK "" or HYPERLINK ""