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Label web site :http://www.metalblade.com/ - http://www.iuma.com/Metal_Blade

Adress : Europe : MBR gmbh, PO Box 1332, D-73054 Eislingen - Germany


Metal Blade Latest releases :


KING'S X

 Album :  Please come home...Mr Bulbous     -  Style :  Heavy pop
Rate of satisfaction : 

Années après années, King's X balance des albums  qui passe sensiblement inaperçu. Pour autant, la qualité est toujours au rendez vous, mais le public ne suit pas en masse. Cet album ne dérogera pas à la règle. Mais on y trouve tout les éléments qui font de King's X un grouep unique. superbes mélodies, travail de composition soigné, production excellente. Bref, rien à redire. La basse pilonne pendant que les guitares s'essaient à diverses expérimentations. Des chansons comme "Julia" accrochent vraiment , surtout lorsque la guitare sonne plus blues. encore une fois, King's X nous gratifie d'un superbe album qui malheuresement ne dépassera pas le succès d'estime. Dommage.


Album : Reaching the gates - Style :Heavy metal -

Their first album « torn between two worlds », issued on Brennus records, was like a real surprise into the metal scene. Dream Child were renewing with a high class heavy metal. It was showing a high level demonstration from these French musicians. But maybe because they were in advance in time ( the heavy metal renewal was at its beginning) , Dream Child didnít know the success that such a good album should have merited. 2 years later, Dream Child is now signed on Metal Blade & heavy metal has made a fantastic come back. So, itís time for us to listen to their second album. At first, I must notice that the production is overall impressive. It sounds very heavy. If the first album was quite classical structured, now songs & sound is really amazing. Dream Child works a lot to diversify & enrich its songs. Thatís why this album is excellent. Gérard Fois, the singer, has even progressed. He delivers incredible vocals parts, from the lowest register to the highest one. Facing their first album, Dream Child also puts some more technical parts. Then, their album sounds more progressive, but be sure, itís more a heavy metal album than a progressive one. To resume, Dream Child is able to seduce as well both prog metal fans & die hard metal fans. They now reach a level that make them belong to the master of this style. Now, Iím impatient to discover them live.


MERCYFUL FATE :

style : Heavy metal - CD : dead again

Mercyful fate web site ( non official but highly recommended ) : http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Alley/6066/index.html or http://mercyful-fate.coven.ml.org/ or http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/6562 or http://www.argenet.com.ar/~diamond/kd_index.html or http://www.mygale.org/09/sebsten/

Mercyful Fate is no more an underground band of course. But it's certainly one of those that is the more often described as the bioggest influence for several young band evolving in really different styles : from power metal to black metal. 'Dead Again' is the new album of Mercyful Fate. One more album? Not really ! Look at the cover. It'll certainly remember the most important album released by Mercyful Fate during its first period : 'Don't break the oath'. This wink is not innoncent. This is the best way the band prove that the true & inspired Mercyful Fate, the one we knows in the 80's , is back! Since 'in the shadows' the band has never been so convincing. It's like a rebirth! They all reach with this album a level of inspiration that make them feature among th etop metla bands still in activity. More, King diamond totally masters his voice now & we even discover some new tones. The coming of Mike Wead ( ex Hexenhaus, producer of Fifth Reason, ...) has certainly brought a lot in the music of the band. Hank Shermann finds incredible riffs. His side project Gutrix showed another face of the guitarist. It was like a 'back to the roots' of metal . it has perhaps helped Hank to find new ideas & to go on a higher step of creation. The The tittle track, with its 13'40 minutes long is simply the best resume to what Mercyful Fate is able now. So, it's definitly the best album of Mercyful Fate released through Metal Blade. See them now on tour! Mercyful Fate is now really back!


BESEECH :

style : Gothic doom- CD : From a bleeding heart

Beseech web site : http://hem.passagen.se/beseech/

Band E mail : beseech@wwdg.com

Beseech is a swedish band. But in comparison with the main bands evolving in this country, Beseech plays a blend of gothic & doom music. 'From a bleeding heart' is their first album after several appearance in various compilation that built the reputation of Beseech. The only swedish bands with whom Beseech can be compared to is probably Darklands ( signed on Heathendoom). Like them, it's slow rythms based on crushing & weighty riffs, with some differents instruments (violin, cello, flute, piano) used to enrich & develop the several surroundings created by musicians. Based upon traditional metal rythms, Beseech also used vrious vocals line & vocalists: baritone voice, deth metal voice, soprano voice ( by a female singer). Beseech released 3 demos before getting attention of record companies. Previoulsly supposed to be released on WeBite/Corrosion company, 'from a bleeding heart' has finally been released by Metal Blade records. In comparison with several doom gothic bands , Beseech succeeds in never making boring songs, because it's not played at a too much slower rythm ( like in 'Silverstar'). There's some Type O Negative influences thatcan be find, of course, but Beseech is really not a clone of what has been already proposed in gothic doom music. Beseech explodes new horizons & make us discover new dimensions for this kind of style.   With the help of such important company as Metal Blade, Beseech will probably arrive to assert itself rapidly into the metal scene. 


OBLIVEON :

style : Thrash metal - CD : Cybervoid

Obliveon web site : http://www.total.net/~obliveon

Band E mail : obliveon@total.net

Oblivion comes from Quebec ( like Days of Yore) & was created in 1987. After 2 demos tapes released in 1987 that help the band to spread their name worldwide,, Oblivion has to wait 1989& the 'Fiction of Veracity' demo to strenghthen its basis. Starting as a death metal band & probably as thg efirst one in Quebec, Oblivion has evolved a lot since this date, including a more progressive or lyrical approach to its music. Cybervoid is th e3d album of the band. first one was released in 1990(from this day forward) & second one was called Nemesis' & was released in 1993. One album per 3 year. Cybervoid was so recorded in 1996 but in Europe we had to wait for 1997 to see its release with the help of Metal Blade records.

Fortunatly this album is now worldwide available! Cybervoid is one of the most interesting power thrash metal album of the 1997 year. It's may be the best response to Annihlator's album. Jeff Waters is no more alone ! Guitars are ultra precise & some riffing parts are just hallucinating : syncoped rythms, powerful, originality, ...All that can be done with a guitar are put in the songs. This precision is possible because the technical level of the band is really up to the average. The production is totally awesome. I think the only link with death metal is the voice of Bruno Bernier, the vocalist. Oblivion blends just enough melodies &aggressivity to its songs to make them absolutly interesting & never boring. This album remains us how good is thrash metal when it's composed at such a high level of creation & solidity of play.


PURGED :

style : Thrash metal - CD : Form of release

With the decline of the thrash metal scene & its bands such as Testament( despeite its good last album) , Heathen, & Metallica ( to name a few), there's no more 'Bay Area thrash metal bands' still in activity; Purged is maybe one of those which has possibilities to create an increase of interest in this style. By some ways, Purged takes the best side of Metallica like the complexity of '& justice for all' & some heavy parts of 'the black album'. An intelligent drummer, very clever ( hear the original double bass drums & play on toms). This guy owns the powerful & inventiveness of Lars Ulrich with the subtlety of Clive Burr. Even the vocals parts remain a young James Hettfield ( with some Testament's inflexion). Then guitars sound really heavy, with excellent solis. Then, the band blends this with a more modern approach & sound & gives it more powerful elements. 'Withered' is maybe one of the song that shows the most the influence of Metallica in Purged.. this result is simply demential. I wonder why Metallica has not follow this way ! Anyway, with Purged & its album, there's a lot of satisfaction . It's good to see such amazing band offering this kind of album. It proves that thrash metal is not obscolete or old fashioned style if the band is able to keep its inspiration alive. 


( click on below to see the interview!)

style : Heavy metal - CD : Reborn in steel

Sacred Steel is a german band which have released in 1997 one of the best old school heavy speed metal album !'Reborn in steel' is pure heavy metal played by fanatics of this style. They do not follow trends. It's sure that Manowar addicts must love this album. In 10 hymns devoted to metal, Sacred Steel created something essential. It's quite simple but strongly efficient. It's a back to the roots for this style. This album is one of the most refreshing released in this style. No demonstrative riffing parts or pretentious solis; just good melodies, metal riffs & a metal attitude ( see all photos in booklet & lyrics). With tracks like 'Battle Angel' ( with a warrior chorus !) , 'reborn in steel' or 'Sacred steel', the band leads us to the universe of mid 80's with bands like Iron Angel, Grave Digger ( but more melodic) & so on. their singer has got a strange tone but his high vocals line should suit to all heavy metal maniacs. It's a real pleasure to hear this 10 headbanging songs , perfectly played & classically composed. 'Reborn in steel' is a powerful & really efficient album that works for the continuity & health of the 'true metal' scene.


ANCIENT :

style : Black metal - CD : The cainan chronicles

Ancient is surely one of the best black metal band that appeared these past few years & it will be one of those that will survive to the black metal trend. After a first album for a french label called Listenable records, the band is approached by the famous label Metal Blade. Ancient will be its first black metal sign! "The Caïnan chronicles" will so be released in 1996. This album is still available through Titan records. Even, if a new album is now released for the beginning of 1998, it's sure that it 's an error to forget this album. Cradle of Fifth was presumed as the best black metal band worldwide & i really think that if they're really good, Ancient was here first. The 2 bands evolves in a style that feels the same; it's epic, original & efficient. More, Ancient has got an incredible production that allows to feel all parts at its good value. It's never disorganised or inaudible like often where there is ultra speed parts. The album has been recorded at the famous unisound studio with Dan Swanö & this is suremly a reason of this quality. On some songs like in "The cainan chronicles part 2 - lillith's embrace", music will surely remain another fantastic black metal bands signed on Adipocere records : Diabolical Masquerade, because of the heavy metal riffs used in this song. But the main tempos are ofthe speed & it's always guitars that bring melodies.

This album is also built like a concept album with different personage, appearing during songs. It's very easy to follow & the blend of various voices : black metal ones, female ones, singing one, opera like, ... makes this album indispensable & attractive.

More, Ancient is also the kind of bands composed with musicians that really plays with their inbstrument. They really controls instruments. So, there's some solis with guitars like on "at the infernal portal" for example. It emphasizes again the richness of this songs.

So, if you haven't discover this band or if you want to discover what & how sounds a good black metal band, get this one. It's a solid reference & a must have!

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