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FAUSTUS :

Self production - Style : thrash metal - Album : ...& still we suffer

E mail : FaustusUSA@aol.com

« Loud, Heavy & uncompromising », hereís the sentence that defines at its best what is Faustus ! Created around 92, Faustus style is defined among abnds like Forbidden or Sepultura. But their influences range are really larger than that ! From Judas priest or Iron Maidne to Machine Head, At the Gates, Faustus is a real metal band ! Strongly influenced by the Bay Area thrash, itís sure tha Faustus is one of the most skilled band playing in this style with Imagika !. Faustus had already giges with Dio, Overdose, Kreator, Sacred Reich, Flotsam & Jetsam, Nevermore, ... The first particularity of the group is the extensive vocal range of the singer He passes from a voice close to Chuck Billy (Testament) to sharp intonations as Rob Halford like to do ('Poisoned minds ») or to a more death metal voice. In any case, his chant always suits to pieces and the variety whose he makes proof serves to enrich notably songs. More, it is necessary to talk about the rhythmical section ( bass- drums) that possesses a very good cohesion and that sustains this 8 pieces albums by an implacable rigor ! Then, the work of guitars is fantastic ! Faustus uses to wonder all ingredients of Bay Area thrash. This power and melody mix is entirely atonishing. With a certain talent for composition of incredible songs, Faustus, whose album is distributed in the mailorder of Relapse records, impresses by the precision of its musical approach & its musical integrity. While such this kind of music could have appeared obsolete, Faustus proves that a group that keep its inspiration alive is always able to provide a brilliant music, really powerful !While Faustus works henceforth on its 2d album, it is sure that one will hear soon more about this so promising band. In quest of a efficient managemetn & record company, Faustus possesses all necessary arguments for convince amateurs of metal , in a broad sense of the term !


FEAR FACTORY :

Label : Roadrunner - Style : power thrash - Album : obsolete

Web : http ://www.roadrunnerecords.com - http ://www.fearfactory.com

Fear Factory has released something very , very strong ! It will be very hard to surpass this album and even to equal it ! It seems that the group has composed with "obsolete" their ultimate work of art, the album that would have to definitly push them ( if this is not already made) in the pantheon of bands that have marked the history of metal music. "Obsolete" is a completely indispensable album. It is going to become a reference just as album like « kill'em all», « Arise » or « Reign in blood » had become. First of all, Fear Factory has given means of its ambitions ! The sound is huge, powerful , terribly heavy ( & still made with Rhys Fulber) ! Then, each musician seems to have given his best and strictly the best ! Guitars are really powerful and a with an amazing precision , the drummer is a real human rhythm machine ( « Securitron ». i'm still asking myself how he done to play as fast & regular! Burton C Bell confirms equally that he is one of the best singers in power thrash scene. His performance on the album leads him as the equal of Phil Anselmo. He is capable to pass from an aggressive voice to very sweet resonances. Elsewhere, during melodic parts, he makes me think a lot of Ozzy !. Pieces as « Edgecrusher », « Obsolete » are unstoppable , totally awesone ! After having surprised a lot with the techno remix of their preceding album, everyone awaited this new album with quite a little fears. But be sure that you won't be disappointed, it concerns there a future reference in metal. « Obsolete » is the type of album that is indefinitely played without ever feeling some lassitude. The flawless album !


FIERCE CONVICTION :

Label : ABS records / Crazy Life Music - Style : Melodic thrash metal - Album :The requiem of a mourner

Label web site : http://www.clm.de - E mail : clm@clm.de

Released by ABS records / Crazy Life Music, Fierce Conviction will surely make some surprises. First of all, the quality of the production put the group at its advantage. Thereís absolutly no weaknesses to find. The power of songs has not been sacrificed to the profit of melodies, it is again a good point to put to the advantage of the band. Then, the quality of musicians that compose this band has not to be put in doubt. Guitarists are able to surprise us in solo as well as in rhythmic parts. Elsewhere, some parts of guitars remind the best bands of melodic thrash that appeared in the metal wave of the 80's ( as Annihilator like for «Confusion»). In more, the singer succeeds there where a lot of bands have already failed ! He arrives ,each time to find the just melody, the unstoppable chorus, the one that stay for a long time in your mind. Thereby, songs follow and do not look like to the previous ones ! The band alternates calm songs, more powerful ones , ballads with a such easiness that the 10 songs that constitute this album seem too shorts ! What is especially substantial with Fierce Conviction is the fact that they have been able to enrich their music with more current trends. Some will be able to speak of musical opportunism when theyíll speak about this band, it would be necessary better to speak of musical intelligence. Because only a few bands are able to offer us albums as effective as this one. If you are kind of powerful and melodies, Fierce Conviction is undoubtly the one that you need ! If it was necessary to give some comparisons with other bands, we can compare them to bands like Lions's Share, Stratovarius, Superior. Fierce Conviction evolves to frontiers of the progressive metal scene but it also stays in the power metal scene as well & keeps its powerful side. So, all songs are between 4 and 6 minutes. « The requiem of has mourner» is the kind of album that can reconcile metal and melodies. As soon as you play it, this album will turn in loops for a long time ! A reference !


FIFTH REASON

Biography : Fifth Reason can be considered as a special or super band in the underground sceene. Imagine : the band is created in 1992 & released in 1993 a first demo called "Stranded" that will seduce lots of labels & mags. But, guitarist Simon Johansson, who is the main composer of Fith Reason, became a member of Abstrakt Algebra, a project createed by Leif Edling. Simon will release one self tittled Cd with Leif in 1995 & play in various festival. After, a passage in Memory Garden ( which will also be signed by Heathendoom music) , Simon contacts the ex Memento Mori & Tad Morose's singer : Kristian Andren, in 1996.

After they complete the line up, Heathendoom music signs them & the band plans the release of its first album called "Psychotic". Then, the band choose a friend called Mike Wead, the current guitarist of Mercyful Fate & ex guitarist of Hexenhaus ( on their first album, "the awakening"), for producer . Then, Fifth Reason also asks Marco A. Nicosia, the other Hexenhaus guitarist, to help them for the recording. He joins the band as second guitarist. Fifth Reason described itself as a progressive & technical melodic metal band. It's sure that it's a CD made & produced by professionals& confirmed musicians.

Review : For me, Fifth Reason plays Heavy metal, but be careful, it's not a kind of old Heavy metal band, or a music that comes from the 80's. Fifth reason plays a modern heavy metal for the 90's & the 21 'th century!At first, but have i to tell it again if you know Heathendoom music yet, the sound is very good, very modern & current with a huge production that reaches a rare width. The grade of technicity & quality is adequate for each songs to be "memorized" & attractive & not too much simple ortoo much linear. Such a powerful sound remains me the one of the Black album of Metallica. But, sound is clearer & less weighty, so it gives more dynamics, like in "This journey of mine" for example. There's also a few keyboards' parts that enrich songs that are also linked together . 

Fifth Reason works for the revival of Heavy metal with its originals songs that are one after one better than the previous one & they own some certain trumps. The band also re-discovers Heavy metal & gives us sensations that we could have forgotten. At first, the singer makes lots of various sing. He can use an aggressive voice (for a few parts) & use generally a lyrical voice (remember that he also sings in Tad Morose & Memento Mori, 2 famous lyrical bands). If you haven't heard about him before, his voice can remains singer of Psycho Motel, for example. Moreover, each song has got its own particularity that makes it absolutely necessary & engaging. This can come from guitar parts , for some subtile drums or bass parts or form some voices parts. Guitars are loud & powerful but have also a rare precision when guitarist shows all their subtlety in solos or in audacious breaks ( hear "Above, below & beyond" or "in Between") that proves that influences of the band are various : from jazz rock to metal, even if European bands seems to have more influenced them ! More over, the band exploits all the riches of heavy metal like in "a shadow remain", a ballad that can seduce Queensryche's addicts. 

In any case, this CD (like all the one that are produced by Heathendoom music!), has got nothing to envy facing the star performer in metal. There'zs absolutely no weakness in the making of this CD (booklet, production, sound, ..) or in the ability of musicians. "Psychotic" is definitly a must-have, & very recommendable debut album for those who search for bands that can unite originality, powerful & melody.


FIFTH SEASON :

Email : 5th_season@netmatters.co.uk

Email : Fifth.Season@btinternet.com

Album : Here's probably the most exciting UK band that appeared these past few years. Certainly the most talentuous one. 'Journey through an open mind' is not really a album & better a collection of demos. However, it's really the best ones heard for a while from UK. As a proof of their growing success, the band will soon be signed for a first & real album. Musically speaking, Fifth Season ( not to counfound with swedish power meal band Fifth Reason) is a progressive metal band. This album is the one you can have between Eternity X & Dream Theater. If the band is composed of skilled & impressive musician ( especially the bass player that plays some incredible bass lines during the main songs), Fifth Season better works on the subtleties of its songs & on the melodic research. But, the powerful side has never been forgotten as it could be the case sometimes. So, it's a solid blend of calm parts with furious ones. Drums parts are simply fantastic & lead songs in various directions. It's really a captivating music. As soon as you play it, you cannot do something else than listen to it : just fascinated. Fifth Season is an unique band & it symbolizes the renewal of a UK scene! May be the start for a new wave of british heavy metal. 

Promo Cd : Fifth Season is back with 4 new tracks for about 28 minutes long. The band recorded & mixed them in days. The result is simply fantastic. I never heard such quality for a 2 days recording for ages. It overcomes a lot of so called ' big production'. Musically speaking, Fifth Season confirms its talentuous musical ship. The time has now come for a record company to sign this band. Between powerful riffing parts ( close to Dream Theater or The Quiet room ) & melodic , sensible parts like only Pendragon was able to create, Fifth Season builds its personality. The drummer is incredible of subtleties. their singer owns a real charisma, the keys are guitars completly complement each other. The richness of harmonies, the originality of their arrangements , the high quality of composition establish this band as the ultimate prog/metal UK band of the end of this century & certainly the most talentuous one. After a first CD that was like a collection of demo, Fifth Season follows its road & now it has reached a so incredible level that the band will have to work harder & harder to surprise us next times! But i'm sure they'll do it!


FLOW : bio - review

"Influences are farreaching" said their guitarist : from jazz to film music...John, the guitarist is in the metal sceene since the 80's. He studied music to be able to express what he wants musically. But one of the goal of the band is better to to be a united band than to be 5 excellent individuals. That's their feeling

On the promo sampler, released by Dzynamite, Flow propose one track in a demo version. But it's really an incredible one. Flow will suit to all fans of prog & technical metal like Dream Theater & Shadow Gallery. It's a perfect blend between these 2 bands : powerful, melodies, subleties, surroundings, ...These musicians have impressive technical level, that can certainly allows them to play in jazz bands .  in this 8 minutes tracks, the band shows all their potential. All the qualities that belong to good prog metal bands. The full album is awaited!

FORGOTTEN REALM :

Here's a very interesting north american bands. At first, the band has got undeniable technical qualities. The structure of sogs are quite complex. But, Forgetten Realm is not a prog metal band. The abnd evolves more in a thrash metal way. In a way, it remains me Megadeth, (Killing is my business & Rust in Peace), like in "Revolution" & "crime decline". The band has released a mCD called "Forgotten but not gone". But as the band splitted up, i don't know if it's easy or not to find it yet. Drummer , Ray Smith, has gone away & starts a new band. The point of originality of the band is without contest the incredible rythmic parts, very complex & fluid & the energetic way of play of the drummer. It feels as if he sometimes add some jazz influences in his game. He often plays syncopated rythm at a high speed & level. It's very original & definitly astonishing. At any time of the songs, there's amways surprising breaks parts that gave to songs a very personal feeling. The band's music is very powerful & refreshing. The singer sometimes reamins the one of Virgin Steele, but in a more aggressive way. Guitars are very complementary. The feat of strenght is to find at each time a melodic break based on a 2 different guitar play. It's a pity that there's only 4 tracks on the mcd & to know that there'll be no other release 'cos it was really possible for Forgotten realm to take the place of the master of this style : Megadeth & Metallica as these 2 bands stop now playing energetic metal music. But you can still talk with Ray at gypsy@xnet.com.


FRAGMENT

Label : Headstrong records - Style :Loud thrash - Album : (Flux)

Web : http ://www.fragment.com - label E mail : headstrong@infonie.ch

Fragment is a 3 piece band that were created in 1995.One year later they released their first 7 Ďí called « fragment » ²& then they recorded with David Weber (Trponem Pal, Lofofora, Young Gods, ..) their 5 tracks EP called « Tronc ». This EP allowed them to be remarked . So, Headstrong records signed them & the band released in 1997 their first album in Sweden by Daniel Bergstrand ( Mesghuggah, Strapping Young Lad, Stuck Mojo, .. ;). Th eparticularity to this swiss band is to keep their lyrics in french. Framentís music is really particular. Fragment isounds really louder than a lot of heavy bands. This powerful sounds is really strenghtened by the really good french lyrics that essentially deals with all bad sentiments. Using french words give another dimension to this band & makes a lot to their originality. Sometimes it remains Oblivion with their album « Cybervoid » where one song were sung in french. The music of the band sounds really disturbing & unhealthy. Itís like a painting of horror climates where distress is described like poetry. The bitterness delivered here is sometimes bursted out by a kind of mechanical & loud music like for «vogue ». Fragment shows a tortured face & soul that never seem to be eradicate.


FUTURA :

Futura is the work of a man called Rouslan Tsar. He came from Russia where he studied guitar & music for a long time. then , he came in France. "I am wanted by a dream" is his first album for Thunder productions. Rouslan has now been joined by a drummer & bassist. Musically talking, Futura will suit to those who appreciate last work of Annihilator or Pantera. Music evolves in a power thrash metal that i find really close to what Jeff Waters used to play : a blend of musicality & powerful, with innovative parts. Rouslan Tsar plays all guitars, uses programming machine & sings. 

"About our Trust" is a good resume of Futura 's music : loud, powerful, innovative. It 's sure that this album need several listening to feel all the various elements put in music. It's certainly because music has been enriched by the background of Rouslan. So, you'll find musical parts directly influenced by typical russian music or by classical chords (" look here") . 

Each songs ows its particularity that makes it indispensable & attractive. So, it is always easy to remain them & make a difference between each other & that's really a trump for this kind of music. It's also a proof that Futura is a promising band, with skilled musicians. More, the band sometimes comes back from its musical roots. It's evidence that Futura is not only influenced by thrash metal bands & better from some bands of the 70's & 80's. that explains the richness of songs like in " just nature" for example.

About vocals, Rouslan works a lot to give them in the same time aggressivity & melody like in the tittle track of the album for example where he blends a loud voice with a clearer one.  What is always surprising in Futura is the ability to counterbalance a heavy parts with some arpeggios at a time where you never waits for it. So, you alwyas ask yourself when & where it will be in the next song of the album. So, it's definitly an interesting album where there's still something to discover. Typically the kind of album that you will still listen to in ten years. The russian response to Annihilator!


FIVE YEAR SENTENCE :

Self produced EP- style : Heavy thrash metal- album : 5 years sentence

E mail : Fiveys@aol.com

Five Years sentence is a band that try to combine various elements in its metal. Some hardcore influences are blended to more classicl influences coming from the 80's metal ( thrash or simply heavy like the main riffs in the 3d tracks). Hardcore touches can be found in their 2d tracks of their mcd that can remain Rage Against the Machine bit with a more melodic & really less repetitive vocals line. the isnger is truly inspired by 80's melodic thrash metal bands such as John Bush for example. With just a few means, 5 years sentence succeeds in having a correct production. It seems that hardcore parts are added to songs that are in basis more heavythrash metal songs. This mix gives an original sound & music : sometimes melodic sometimes aggressive. The best tracks on this EP is surely the 4th one that starts slowly with a kinda strange feeling & then there's a rise in powerful before falling again in sweet parts ( & the final riffs is really amazing!). So, despite 5 years sentence is just a young band, still unsigned, the band is really trying to find & develop its own style. Let them continue to work like this & you'll surely have one of the best young bands appearing in the scene. 


FULL METAL JACKET :

Sampler with croatian bands-

Contact / Dobroniceva 20,10 000 Zagreb, Croatia, Europe, tel/fax ++ 385 1 3883-754

Full Metal Jacket crew - http://members.tripod.com/~Maras_2/index.htm -

HM Pirate 'zine- http://members.tripod.com/~Maras_2/hmpirate.htm

( bands )Drinking Skull - http://members.tripod.com/~Maras_2/skull.htm

& Undercode - http://members.tripod.com/~Maras_2/under.htm

E mail damir.marijan@zg.tel.hr

Full metal jacket is not only a fanzine ( Heavy metal pirate) but also a record company that has just released a compilation Cd . first issue is only with croatian bands. Itís maybe one of the best way to know more about this so unknown scene. But next compilations will be opened to all bands coming from everywhere. Conditions are quite simple : a contract must be signed. 4,5 minutes will cost 350 DEM (200USD) & in return the band get 25 CDís for their own promotion .

This sampler starts with maybe the most interessant bands on this compilation : Drinking Skull. This band has got a very good sound. Its song is really good too. They evolve in the same vein of Paradise Lost. Loud vocals, melodies in guitars, ... Like quite all the bands on this compilation, Drums is made with a rythmn machine. Then, Ashed You leave, teh 2d band propose a domm track with violin like My dying Bride but more melodic on vocals. Swantears ( with a rel drummer this time) is another good surprise ! Their music is really well made & done. The music is a solid heavy metal, with good melodies& a quite good singer. Arrangements are excellent. Itís rue that with more means & a good promotion, Swantears can get a good following. Nezbit is more influenced by old sound & old metal. With a vocalist that sings like the one in french bands Oddmongers, the music shows a good groove. Castrum is the first black metal band on this compilation. Melodic enough to be pleasant, influences are really evidence. But itíss well made ! Amen, with a few means, propose a undefine metal music ( between heavy & thrash). The sound is like a rehearsal one. Gate has no luck because their sound really not put them on their advantage, even if this band seems to get a lot of possibilities like Nezbit. Swordsedge with its track « Egypt Myth » sounds as one of the most melodic one. The intro remains Maiden. Itís sure that if this band continue to work a lot , theyíll be able to persuade a lot of people with their classical Heavy metal. A special effort has to be made on vocals especially. Blockade µRunner is quite different from the other bands. Itís a more atmospheric song, that could have been created by early Black Sabbath ; & when itís heavier, the blend sounds really good. GDNHY is not really a metal band. Itís fast & aggressive rock, with a lot of melodies due to their female singer. Fast, simple but efficient, this is really a band to follow ( except for backing vocals that are not the best ones). Mental Effort is the most brutal band on this compilation with its brutal death metal really primary. Venter Caret Auribus, at this time of the listening is a good surprise. Itís like Paradise Lost - Moonspell in a more simple way. Desinence Mortification is also quite brutal but with a really weak sound. So, itís really hard to get a positive opinion about them. But give them a god sound & they will propbably arrive to make us surprised. Itís quite the same for Firmament. So, like the main samplers released, this one allows to discover atonishing croatian bands & make us discover that some have to work & work again. Anyway, this one is simply a really good way to discover a scene that mass medias donít want to put in front of their mags !




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