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Album of the months : Balistick Kick - Watcha

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in November-december:Bands , labels & interviews, .....


In november - december part 2: Watcha, Balistik Kick, Gooseflesh, Overlife, Enslaved, Ritual Carnage, Absu, Bifrost, Nocturnal Breed, Altar, Consolidation, Desolate angels, Demimonde, Merde, Henceforth, Plague, Odium, End Zone, Naglfar, Somnus, Rudra, Diphteria, Surrender of Divinity, Delusion, Yyrkoon, Mental Home , Witchery , Intramoenia, Scarve, Xang, God, Abigail, Grimegod, Bestial Sampler, Dies Irae, Withered Earth , Nembrionic , Ruination ,

Part 1 : Wayd, Warning, Revolution Hard rock, Mystic Death, Grimoire of the exalted deeds, in decay we trust, Lunatic Gods, Artsonic, Hare, Fragment, Sludge, Hellion, Excelsis, Satariel , Kat Marco, Collapsing Structure, WillowWisp, Messe Noir, Sepultura, Darken, Carnival of Souls, Holy Mother, Mothercare, Imagika ,

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Albums of the months : WATCHA & BALISTICK KICK


Self production - Album : Warhead - Style : Heavy metal

Band email :

Baistick Kick is probably on the most surprising band from U.S.A.. They played with Savatage, Manowar, Enuff ZíNuff, Gilby Clarke, ...They released their first Cd in 1994. « Warhead « is their new one, released in 1997. Totally indipendant, itís nevertheless one of the best bands in their style ! Balistic Kick litterally kicks ass ! They made this kind of album that you like as soon as you play it for the first time ! At first, the sound is overall impressive, i know some signed bands that didnít succeed in having such a professional one. This sounds remains me the one Judas get on the famous « Painkiller ». Guitars sounds quite the same ! Secondly, musicians are remarkable !The drummer , Mike Parradine, features as one of the best drummer in his style. & Joe Adrignola, the singer owns this kind of voice that only belong to the most great singers on earth ! Itís impossible to describe his voice, he doesnít try to copy one singer or another one. But one thing is sure, he masters totally his voice & uses it at his best ! Influenced by 80ís metal bands, Balistic Kick is this kind of band that proposes an alternative to the most famous hevy metal bands still in life & even they get the means to take the place of bands like Judas or Maiden. Even if the band plays in the 80ís style, it never sounds obsolete & because Balistic Kick creates its own songs & done. « Warhead » is really as intense as possible & itís an indispensable album for all those who appreciate metal music. Balistic Kick plays Heavy metal at a high level of originality & efficience !


Label : Lolita Music - Style : Hardcore/metal -Fusion - Album : Watcha

Web : http :// -

A bomb ! Hereís the french album of 1998 that anyone must get in its collection ! Wtcha has released an incredible & indispensable album of Fusion metal . First Cd appearance for Watcha has been in a sampler released by Metal XII. At this time, Watch created a big surprise but iím not sure that anyone could have predict this kind of album in 1998. At first, this album has been recorded in Impuls studio in Belgium ( Loudblast, Sup, Artsonic, ...) & the sound litterally kills !

Such an impressive production is just amazing . listen to it & you hear some arrangements on the left side, on the right one, on both hear. Thereís mutliple effects & arrangements that enrich this album. I honestly think that itís the best production i Ďve ever heard from a band of this style worldwide. Itís a huge, loud & heavy production where all subtleties are put into their advantage by clever & gifted musicians. Because to create such a perfect album, Watcha is at first composed of very good musicians that totally master their instrument & sound. And the band found in their singer the way to express themselves at the perfection. This time again, I donít think that thereís tons of singer like him. Heís amongst the best ones in this style & probably the best one ; He can bring aggresivity & scream while staying melodic. One minute later, heís amazing with a soft voice. To describe Watcha musically speaking, you can imagine thta you blend Sepultura , Machine Head , Pantera for some guitar parts & some sing parts with some rap influences like vocals , with some « sweet » surroundings » & with bands like RATM & Lofofora. It proves the richness of this music.

Itís a real pleasure ot hear it with headphones as you find each time more & more details & arrangements . Lyrics are as well in french than in english. The best song, I should say their future hymn & one of my favorite song is « La Machine à Sang ». This song resumes alone what Watcha is & how the band sounds. Sincerely , this album is pure dynamite & even if you listen to more classical metal, take your time to hear this album, because Watcha released aCd that will mark its epoch. This is the kind of album which is a delayed action bomb. After youíve heard it, all seems to be tasteless. Watcha overcome with a great easiness all what yo have already head in hardcore metal & fusion. On my own, Watcha is the Faith no More of this end of century.


Label : Goldtrack records - style : power thrash death - mCD : welcome to the suffer age

Web site : - Band E mail : or management : or Label : http :// -

« Gooseflesh features as one of the heaviest swedish bands unsigned yet! » thatís how i begun the presentation of the last demo released by Gooseflesh a few months ago ! Itís now past history ! Gooseflesh has been signed by Goldtrack records, one of the most promising record company from Spain. The bandís history is quite simple : Created in 1995/96, Gooseflesh had to wait its 4th demo to be signed. After « Gooseflesh », « The wraith », « glow » ( that was recorded by roberto Laghi, the producer that recorded B-Thong, Trnasport league, ...) & finally «welcome to the suffer age ». This last demo is now available in Cd format. The 5 songs are here & dnít worry about sound quality ! The demo had a killer sound & the mCD is quite better & clear ! Often compared to bands like Black Sabbath, Machine Head, Sepultura, Gooseflesh also appears in the sampler ĎSepultural feast - A tribute to Sepultura Ď. If youíre kind of strong & heavy guitars, weighty drums parts & powerful singer. Gooseflesh will surely kick your ass ! My favorite tracks remaisn « Seeds of terror », maybe one of the heaviest song they made. For me, Gooseflesh can easily be classified between Sepultura & Metallica. First one for powerful side, 2d one for having kept enough melodies in music. & itís certinaly because of this last point that Gooseflesh sounds so unique. Even if you get their last demo tape, you can order your own copy of this Cd to Goldtrack records, Ďcos Gooseflesh will surely become a major act in a few coming years.


Album : between passion & madness - Style : heavy prog metal - label : Goldtrack records

E mail : - Label : http :// -

Created in 1993, Overlife is a band composed of 6 members & it was at first a heavy metal project that evolve with the departure & arrival of new members. Formerly known under the name of Deathless, the band recorded « ideales muertos », a demo in which they put a lot of illusions. But, the band had to wait 1997 to get a solid line up. So, they decided to enter a studio again but not to record a demo. The aimwas to make the mos professional recording possible. It ends with « Between Pssion & madness », their first album . Goldtrack records was really intersted by this recording & so, they signed the band but meanwhile, Dethless changed its ame into Overlife. Overlifeís album can probably remain the same interest than Angra created with its first album « Angels Cry ». Iíd even say that Overlife can easily be compared to first Angraís appearance. At first, Overlifeís sound is pretty good & clear. Then, musically speaking, thereís a fantastic work made by guitars like on one of their best track « the last martyr ». Blending involving chorus, speed guitars parts as well as emotionnal acoustic ones, the work of the 2 guitarist is fully complete. Facing most progressive bands, Overlifeís song never sounds like a collection of riffs or parts even if all musicians in the band are really up to the average. Itís certainly because they were at first a heavy metal band. The singer use a large range of his voice , trying to diversify his vocals appearance. Backing vocals are really good too & they bring a lot to this richness music Overlife has to be classified between Rhapsody & Angra & itís sure that the band have all means to convince all fans of melodic & progressive metal. In 7 songs (including one intro & an outro), Overlife appears like a very promising band & maybe among the rare one in the underground able to compete with the most famous acts worldwide. Itíd be really a pity to ignore them so far !


Label : Goldtrack records- Style power doom metal - Album : Visionnary Breed

Label : http :// -

Created in 1992 in Lithuania, Ruination evolved at first in a doom death metal before finding its unique style of music. In 1995, « Rest of Beauty » their first dmo received a great underground success , the band was invited to several important shows in their countries. But in 1997, Ruination wanted to reach a new level. Thatís why they went to the famous Abyss Studio with the famous producer Peterr Tätgren to record their first album. Itís after this recording that the band completed their line up with a permanent keyboards. Ruination is now composed of 6 members. Goldtrack records is really making a huge & fantastic work around its band. Itís sure that with so much qualities bands they signed, Goldtrack records will soon become a référence & a model for starting-young company. Ruination, their new sign is a real achievement. Itís impossible to say Ruination is a heavy metal band, a doom band, a power metal band or whatever else. The band takes elements coming from the whle metal scene & then they created their sound & style which is really unique. The most evident in Ruination Ďs music seems to be their membership to the heavy metal scene. The main riffs are strongly coming from this scene & itís really eniched by excellent solis & guitar melodies. Vocals are sometimes loud like in gothic music (« back of dreams ») but the singer uses differently his voice, depending to the effects he wants to create. Thatís why to this loud voice is often blended a more aggressive voice that could come from Paradise Lost . So, with such various elements described, maybe itís easier to have an ipression about Ruination. & with their excellent & totally professional recording, Ruination appears like one of the most awesome bands from Lithuania. With such an excellent debut album, Ruination with the help of Goldtrack records will certainly assert itself rapidly into the metal scene & convince a lot of people ( audience & some « biggest » record companies).


Self production - Album : the warrioríspoet - style : Atmospheric Doom black metal

E mail : -

Coming from the middle of Europe, Demimonde started in 1996 & decided to evolve in a doom atmospheric style including Keyboards player. In 1997, after some changes in line up, the band decided to enter a studio to record their first material. They used a 16 tracks studio in Prague. Previously supposed to be released on Cd format, this recording ends as a tape & Demimonde remains an unsigned band. As their singer left the band, Demimonde pursue its carrer without searching for a new one as one of their guitar player that was making some opera vocals has becom ethe new singer. The band is now preparing new tracks, diversifying their style again & using more programming & samples. For those who like to discover new extreme bands, maybe Demimonde can be the one for them. Itís really impossible to define them precisely as various elements can be found in their music : female vocals, opera voice, loud vocals, acoustic guitars, keys, ...Playing a lot on surroundings due to keys parts , Demimonde creates in each songs some strange & emotionnal climate & it lets a very dark feeling. For a 16 tracks studio & only a few days in studio, Demimonde succeeds in finding a good sound & itís piece of evidence to say that with more money & time, « the warriorís poets » could have easily compete with the masters of this style. Demimonde knows how to catch its audience by fascinating themes used in songs. It wonít be a surprised for me if soon a company like Holy records sign them. Demimonde proves a high level of originality while staying in an extreme dark music style.


Label : Osmose productions - Album : Bloodhem - Style Black metal

Label E mail : or

Created in 1991, the first album « Frost » was released in 1995, after a cult demo « Yggdrasill » in 92. Then, has followed in 1997 «the experimental album « Eld ». Then, they toured a lot to promote their name ( World domination tour with Immortal, Demoniac, ...) Enslaved has known recently some changes in line up & « Bloodhem » is the new album. In comparison with « Eld », thereís some changes in Enslaved. Itís like a come back to what they did before « Eld » but with enough experimentations to make it interesting & to not release a carbon copy of past albums. Enslaved is probably one of the best Viking metal band . Their music stays aggressive but the new guitar player brings his own touch by using more « heavy metal » riffs in music & some good leads parts like in « Nidingalaskt ». So, the sound is quite different from what Enslaved used to get before. « Urtical Gods » is a perfect example & itís one of the best songs of this album. It sounds like a black metal Kreator/Destructionís song. With such furious titles, Enslaved can assert « Bloodhem » as one of the best Black metal or better Viking metal release of the year. The use of various sing ( highly aggressive vocals, « opera » or gothic vocals, high tone ones, ...) allows Enslaved to reach a large range of climate. Itís now less difficult to enter & comprehend Enslaved Ďs world & finally « Bloodhem » gets all elements to become their most famous release to date !


Label : Osmose productions - style : Black death metal - mini album : In the eyes of Ioldanach

Band : - Label E mail : or

Absuís history take form in 1991 with its first demo « Return of the ancients » which was followed by several releases, 7 », , CD, LPís , sampler & tribute ( the last one is a Maiden tribute on Dwell records). The 3 piece band has just released a new CD before the 3rd re release of their first album « Barathrum : Vitriol » in digipack. This new mini Cd has been produced by Kol Marshal ( who have already worked with King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, ...) The styleof the band is still so characteristic : Absu created its own style based upon a technical & avant garde death/black metal. Itís really difficult to folow & comprehend their music. Th ebest track of this album is undoubtless « Never blow out on the eastern candle ». It starts like a blend of old Kreator & then, Absu strongly remains Destruction with some références to bands like Morbid Angel. Absu plays really something new & different & itís really destined to an experienced audience


Label : Osmose productions - Album : The highest Law - Style Death metal

Label E mail : or

Ritual Carnage is a young band, created in 1994 by one man : Damian. After the changes in line up, that let Damian wrote alone some songs for the band, he joined the famous Tyrant ( signed on pulverized records & that delivered recently an excellent black metal album) in 1996. But Damian continue to search for th egood guys to follow him in rutal Carnage. In 1995, the first demo is recorded & then itís followed in 1998 by the recording of their album in the famous Morrissound studio. After hearing 4 songs, Osmose productions signed the band & then released in 1998 « The highest Law » What a pleasure to see the Death metal scene back & stronger than ever! Ritual Carnage was quite unknown in Europe but with this album, itís sure that their name wonít stay unknown anymore. No problem with the production of this record made in the famous Morrissound studio. More, Ritual Carnage & Damian had created ultimate Death metal songs. Itís like if we still were in the golden years of Death metal in the beginning of the 90ís. & itís also sure that Ritual Carnage would have rapidly grown up in this scene. Now, itíll be quite different as the Death metal scene Ďs only begun its rebirth. Anyway, Ritual Carnage can be the easiest way to re-discover this movement & probably the best one to learn what is strong & excellent Death metal. Remaining sometimes Morbid Angel or Death but also oldest bands like Kreator, Ritual Carnage composed excellent & technical guitar parts with very good solis. Thereís one bonus track & i think it resumes the state of mind of Ritual Carnage. They release a cover of « Death metal » from the cult UK band Onslaught. « The highest Law » can bring the same feeling that Exodus made when they released thier first album . When you hear it for th efirst time, itís a real sensation !


Label : Starship records - Album : No apology - Style : Heavy Thrash

Alchemy management : - Band : http :// -

Born in 1989, the band released a first demo that strongly launched the band into their local scene. More than 1000 copies were sold in the first 6 months. Getting positive feedback from Radios & mags, the band knew som echanges in line up before releasing another demo tape in 1991 with a new singer. Then, they recorded 2 tracks in the hope to find a record company. This tape allowed them to play with bands like Prong, Nuclear Assault, Life Of Agony Biohazard,...But even if some companies contacted them, it never ended as a deal with them. But finally in 93 , Starship records make them signed a 3 years deal & « No apology » is the first album released for them in 1994. Then will follow 3 live albums & one video in 1996 (« Behind the scene »)Now, Desolate angel prepares the recording of a new album scheduled in 1999. Desolate Angel is really not an ordinary band in the US scene. They do not want to follow trend & play what people want to hear. Desolate Angel plays what they want. Thatís certainly why, « no apology » is so interesting to hear. The first song of their album remains me Sacred Reich ( but with more melody) . Rythms are often weighty but main riffs seems to come right from Bay Area thrash metal. With a very good melodic singer, Desolate Angel delivers us a solid album, very well made & produced. Songs are built with a lot of simplicity. But this doesnít mean that this album doesnít worth. On some songs like « Bull on a leash », Desolate Angel remains me bands like Suicidal Tendencies or even Faith No More on « Wake », but its essentially due to a certain feeling given by the singer & the rythm of these songs. So, despsite its simplicity, Desolate Angel is really not a band esay to describe. Strongly apparented to the Heavy metal scene, the aim of Desolate Angel is certainly not to create something new in the metal movement but better to follow its way despite trends & years. « No apology » will so better pleased fans of classical heavy metal & Bay area melodic Thrash metal. Itís really good to hear bands like them having kept their faith in their music.


Label : Siegen records - Style progressive metal - Tape : The tragedy of regrets

Alchemy management : - band : -

Formed in late 1996 by one guitarist of Desolate Angels ( Phil Carnes) & destined to be at first a side project, Delusion evolved strongly in 1997 when Keith Menser (ex Iced Earth) joined the band. So, a contract were signed with Siegen records (Digital Ruin, ...) & in mid 97, the vocalist of Mercury Rising ( 2 indispensable albums on Dominion records) joined them too ! Then, they began the recording of the first album. But the singer had to left them & the band had to wait 8 to find the new singer. The Cd Ďs not out yet but it wonít be a simple Cd as an interactive multimedia part is in way to be added.

I get only 2 tracks from the coming album of Delusion but it really worths ! Delusion plays progressive metal at its best ! To resume their music, itís better to compare them with a band like Queensryche than a copy of Dream Theater. Music is very melodic & itís not a demonstration of how talented the musicans are. With an excellent singer where influences seems to be very large ( from Dio to Dickinson & Geoff Tate !), the album will surely kills & surprise a lot ! Delusion is now strongly awaited in 1999 !


Label : Hammerheart records- style :Black death thrash metal - album : Mythistory

E mail : Web :

This is probably one of the most ancient dutch bands still in life. Bifrost has been created in 1993. The aim of this band is to combine & blend all elements tha belong to the « metal family ». With a clyrical concept & an image based upon Witchcraft, occultism, mysticism, this new album is their third one & the 2 previous one are totally sold out even if they were released on a small company ! Bifrost is probably the most original bands coming from netherlands. Having found a concept in its music, Bifrost is really hard to define as their music can be sometimes influenced by classic heavy metal & one minute later it sounds like black metal. Including now a keyboards player, itís easier for them to build all surroundings. Songs like « You fear my kind » contains some guitar chorus that can be found in Iron Maiden. More, iíd say that Bifrostís Mythistory is probaly a black metal version of the classical Maidenís 7th son of a 7th son. Itís really quite surprising to hear this kind of music & melody but itís very original & it increases strongly the interest in the band. Bifrost shows unexploited ways in black/pagan music. It really worths hearing this album entirely before having a definitive opinion on it. Bifrost is really different from the masses & itís good to hear new sounds & new ideas like their.


Label : Hammerheart records- style : speed thrash metal - album : No surrender

E mail : Web :

After a miniCD, triumph of the blasphemer, that was showing the band on stage, including some surprising cover like Wasp, Nocturnal Breed is finally back with a new album & a very convincing one ! Songs like « Thrash the Redeemer » are really refreshing with a mid 80ís feeling. It lets think about the Bay Area thrash but blended with more European influences like Kreator. Nocturnal Breed has so released the long awaited album. Those who bought « Pleasure to Kill » of Kreator, « Bonded by blood » of Exodus & all this kind of stuffs will surely be satisfied with this album. The band created some hymns that will probaly follow them during their carrer like this genuis « Warhorse » with its killer backing vocals. Itís speed thrash metal played at a high level of aggressivity & with the kind of production that totally suits to this music. « No surrender » is a model of speed thrash metal. completly convincing from the beginning to the end.


Label : Displeased records - Style : brutal death metal - Album : Stahlplaat

Label : -

Created more than 10years ago, « Stahlplaat » is the 3rd album of Consolidation. Having found the right production that belong to this style of music, Consolidation destroys all during43 minutes of this album. Itís intense , itís raw, itís rarely melodic (except for « Camel song » for example . This songs sounds really different from the other ones but its surrounding is really sultry), but itís really well made. With outstanding vocals, Consolidation makes us discover again this typical loud guitar sound often used in the 90ís by bands like Entombed & Obituary. Evolving in a brutal vein, Consolidation is decided to make it as brutal as possible but wthout forgotten to include arrangements & break parts. Thatís the reason why thsi album is so good. Itís not aggression for aggression , itís totally built & controlled, & then, itís more efficient. Sometimes close to the grindcore style, Consolidation is able to create more technical parts like in « cold blooded cold » & even . By this time, the band lets us more think of bands like Massacre or Morgoth. Those who like brutal music will be convinced & for the other one , the diversification of songs, their quality of play can maybe decide them to give more than one hear to this incredible aggressive album, one of the best made in brutal death.


Label : Displeased records - Style : thrash-death metal - Album : Provoke

Label : -

After a legendary demo (& god created satan to blame for his mistakes ) that has been sold to more than 1500 copies, several companies were interested to sign Altar. Itís finally Displeased records that get ehm. So, 2 years later in 1994 is released « Youth against Christ », followed by « Ego Art » that make them play to th efamous Eindhoven 20000 fans. « Provoke » is their 3rd album. This one will prabably make Altar become one of the most importnat thrash metal bands in Europe. If on ecomparison had to be made, iíd say that Altar is like a cross between Fight ( the project made by Rob Halford after his departure of Judas) & Sepultura ( for the vocals & some parts). But musically speaking, itís really raw & intense & with just enough melody. The band shows a high level of originality & with songs like « toute 666 », « silent force » , « wasted world » ( & its amazing riffs) & so on, the road to success is really opened for them. Guitars parts are excellent even in the solis that have been really well worked even in their sound diversity & itís a real demonstration of efficience & energy. « Provoke » is this kind of album that make you headbanging . More, thereís a cover on this album of Acceptís hymns « Fast as a shark ». Altar is slowly but surely building its way & album after album, this name become a symbol of quality & originality.


Label :Displeased records - Style : brutal death metal - Album : incomplete

Email : - http ://

Label : -

Displeased records find in Nembrionic an ultimate brutal band ! Strongly influenced by 80& 90ís extreme metal stuffs, Nembrionic took the ebst of these 2 period to create its infernal music. Nembrionic can remain bands like Immolation, Napalm Death, .or Slayer but with sometimes an atonishing melodic approach. These musicians have got a real sense of composition, Ďcos songs rea never boring because of a too much long aggressivity. The band alternates its riffs & rythms & then, it ends with something very listenable. More, the excellent production of this album blended with their good arrangements turns to make this album as something indispensable for all fans of brutal music & the little reference to Tom Arraya & Slayer in « Murtrered Streaking » proves that Nembrionic is a really recommendable band. & it become more & more obvious with the excellent « Hurricane », a Motorhead-Venom inspired song which features as one of their best track ! & donít forget to hear this album Ďtil its end Ďcos thereís a surprising song as ghostrack !


Label : Velvet music intl - Style : atmospheric black death - Album : Yyrkoon

Coming from the north of France, Yyrkoon is really a new & young band. Theyíve been created in 1996 & began with a traditional Death /black metal. but little by little, the band works a lot to create its own style & sound. They now include permanent keyboards to their music. After a first demo, distributed at 300 copies, the band is contacted for appearance in several compilations. One of the most famous one is « Encyclopedia Pestilentia) released by VMI. So, itís natural to see them signed in 1997 by VMI following the recording of their first album. Yyrkoon is composed of skilled musicians that could easily gain a good reputation in the extreme metal scene. At first, the band is not « noise maker », even if some progress can be made in production . But the result is surely up to the average . Yyrkoon can be described like a progressive black metal band, progressive by the melodies created by solis, by keyboards or by some guitar parts , hear the excellent & complex « throne of complains » which includes several solis from guitar, bass, keys . This song is really one of the best on this album. It resumes entirely what Yyrkoon is able to play. Itís really well made & composed. Some furious black metal parts are blended with more melodic ones but Yyrkkon takes care to not falling into a collection of various parts that are not really linked together. & riffs used in songs are really riffs & not one note or one chord played as fast as possible. Thereís some progression in songs & then itís easy to make a difference between each one & each parts. Yyrkoon features probably among the good french surprise in the extreme metal scene. This time again, VMI finds a band that can be distinguish easily form th emasses of signed bands. Excellent & highly recommendable progressive black metal !


label : The end records - Style Atmospheric dark doom metal- Album :Black Art

Band : http :// - - Label web site at : - E mail :

Created in 1993, the band released its first demo in 94 « funeral service », followed the same year by « Mirrorland ». This last recording was released by a record company called Metal gen records at 5000 copies . Then, the band recorded « Vale » , released in 96 by The end records. This album was sold out in Moskow in less than 3 months & hit the russian metal chart as #1 ! In 1997, the band entered the studio again to record a new album called « Black Art » , released in 1998. Be careful, this album is also available in digipack with a clip of one track « Pagan Fredom ».

In 53 minutes, Mental Home achieves to convince us that theyíre simply one of the best russian bands in activity. The end records is an US company that proved in th epast that they were signing original bands & Mental Home is maybe the symbol of this company. « Black Art » shows exceptionnal melodies that bring various emotions where guitars are expression of sensitiveness. « The plague Omen » is certainly of the most captivating song of this albumm. It contains some riffs & melodies that stay in mind for a long time. Including a keyboard player, this 4 piece band proves during this album how much talented they are & ho wmuch inspired they were during the process of creation of these songs. With a very good production & sound, Mental Home overcome a lot of atmospheric dark death band that have forgotten they were also a metal band. Mental Home has not make this mistake. Guitars take a high place & it brings a huge emphasis on songs, emphasis that is helped by very good keyboards parts & a complementary rythmn section. « vale » showed us an interesting band to follow, « Black Art » is a proof of their incredible talent & the sure way to assert themselves in this so particular atmospheric metal scene.


Self production - Style : dark metal - Demo tape

E mail : - http ://

Naglfar began as a 1 man project in 1993 & little by little some members appeared in the band. Thier music is often described as True norvegian metal which is in fact a blend of norvegian folk muisc with metal music. . they released their first demo in 1994. Lyrics came from ancient Norse poets, so Naglfar has nothing to do with Satanism. Since this first demo, the band has to wait because of military service made by all members. Naglfat doesní want to be affiliated with Black metal movement & they claim it as often as possible.

Whatís a very interesting stuff but unfortunatly deserved by a weak production! Naglfar seems to come back right from the cult black metal scene , even if the band deny it. This tape contains 6 tracks issued in 1994 but only available since 1996 & it sounds really pure & intense, even if some melodies can be heard. But this first impression is rapidly changing as long as you hear this demo tape. Melodic parts often come from the use of keyboards & some bass parts that are really interesting. With some acoustic guitar parts here & there, Naglfar keeps attention & sometimes, it can remains old Emperor stuff or Bathory. Some epic parts counterbalance the aggressivity of songs & it really brings something interesting in Naglfarís music. Surely a band to hear with new tracks & to follow, because if they continue to work like that & with a good production, Naglfar can surely become a real sensation in extreme metal music .


Self production - Style : Black metal - Demo : Evil shall prevail

E mail : - http ://

Witchery has been created after the split of Irreverent ( that was created in the 90ís)Witcheryís goal is to perform the most morbid style of metal. they started with a first demo recorded in 96. & then they released thier new demo in 98. This demo tape seems coming right from a reheasal session. I donít think itís been made in studio. But anyway, sound is clear enough to listen to it & itís only a demo tape, remember ! Witchery evolves in a very extreme black metal style where melodies have completly been forgotten. It runs as fast as possible without any subtleties. Witchery will surely pleased those that follow black metal since its beginning. No demonstration of pretentious riffs or keyboards parts. The main world is total aggression. Itís really intense , terribly raw & without compromises.


Self production Style : Black metal - Demo tape : Rehearsal 98

E mail :

Created in 1995 at Bangkok in Thaïland, the band played live before releasing a first promo tape with 3 tracks. In 1997, they recorded their rehearsal demo with their new material. 4 songs feature on it. With S.O.D., things are cleared as soon sas it began. This tape is a rehearsal one & despite a poor sound, the sound is quite better from what could be expected. Songs are really interesting & even if S.O.D. privilegizes a brutal black metal, thereís some break parts louder played that re launch songs. Riffs are simple & vocals are really typical ; So, without any « big » budget , S.O.D. proposes a good face & we will probably soon hear more from them, because they can with a good production compete with the most interesting brutal black metal band. I wonít be surprised to see them signed soon.


Self production - Style : heavy metal - demo : promo 95

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Formed in March 1993, Diphteria made its 1st recording in 1994 with the demo "Living To Die" which includes 2 songs & gets excellent reviews from all over the world despite the fact of a not very good sound. Over 200 copies of the demo were distributed & sold ! Then, they made a video-clip of. L »iving To Die » and the clip was shown on the National TV station (CyBC). Their2nd recording was made in 1995. Four songs were recorded in the form of a promo tape. This tape get great reviews & itís often described as « the best sound a Cypriot band has ever come up with and the songs are really great » .Due to the military service, the band wasted 2 years . Meanwhile, a CD compilation was released with 9 bands from Cyprus . Diphteria plays 2 osngs in it. The CD is titled "Blood Brothers" & is still available A new recording is now expected for late1998 ( probably 1999)

With such a name & presentation of their tape, i was quite afraid when i play this tape for the first time. Diphteria appears like one of the best surprised , Iíve heard. Thsi band from Cyprus plays old classical Heavy metal & it surely one of the best of the kind ! With excellent guitar parts based on really simple riffing parts, songs allow to find good vocals line & with their brilliant singer, Dpiphteria has got « solid trumps » in the metal scene. Maybe this tape has been released at the wrong period, because with the revival of classic heavy metal, Diphteria can really have its own place. Musically speaking, Diphteria is not to be compared to Hammerfall. Itís more melodic & really not influenced by the german metal scene. I donít know why but Diphteria remains me som efrench bands of the 80ís, maybe like Sortilege or Blaspheme. I really hope to hear some new tracks now, Ďcos Ií m sure that with such a quality recording & good compositions , some record companies will can sign them easily. Unfortunately, the band has got no more promo 95 Ďs tape available. But if enough people ask for it, maybe thereíll be a new release.


self production - Style : atmospheric dark metal - Demo : beyond experience

The Plague comes from the north of France where the scene is one of the richness there. Recorded with a 8 tracks studio, the sound is quite impressive & good, with a huge walls of guitars & a good drums sound ( itís so rare , so i really want to insist on this point). Itís really not easy to describe this band, as they seemed to have a large range of influences. This tape starts with a slow & atmospheric song, with an insistent tempo. The band proves a high will of originality as guitars doesnít play exactly the same parts & as distorted guitars are often counterbalanced by clean parts. The singer trys to develop melodic vocals line but with staying in a aggressive tune. This kind of voice remains me the one in Gang. All of this blend ends with a dark & emotional metal , where sadness & dark feeling predominate. Evolving in an avant-garde ground, The Plague proves that itís a band with a lot of ideas to develop in its music.


self production - Style Heavy metal- album : Spitting in the mirror

Intra Moenia :

Hereís a band that wonít meet problem to get a large success. With such a good music & talented musicians, Intramoenia has got all means to assert itself in thsi so difficult heavy metal scene. Donít expect a german or UK clone , Intramoenia gets its influence more from USA than from Europe. Based on solid chorus, good backing vocals & search for originality, this band created very good entertaining songs. But while listening to them, thereís quite a strange feeling. If songs are really entertaining, thereís like a sad side in their music. Their singer is really brilliant, & the tone of his voice remains sometimes Ian Gillan & then Bruce Dickinson but be careful Ďcos vocals line are really not copy of those these 2 singers used to do. With an efficient production, Intramoenia Ďs really able to satisfy fans of melodic metal. I just hope they find a good distribution to help them.


Label : Candlelight productions - Style : Ethnic death metal - Album : Rudra

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Rudra come from Singapore & plays death metal as it used to be in the 90ís. At first, sound is quite good & musicians shows an interesting potential. Music is enriched by some instruments like flute & other typical stuffs. It gives special color to this music. Rudra doesnít seem to be influenced by the first Us Death metal scene. Itís not always played on the fastest tempo. Som esongs are really louder & even if guitars are often play in chord, thereís some parts that sounds more technical & where the band search for a certain originality like som esanskrit vocals line blended with a death metal voice. Sepultura opened the way of using typical sounds & instruments of a country, Rudra pursues this way but without falling in playing a carbon copy of « Roots ». Itís still Death metal & the « ethnic » parts never predominate facing classic metal parts. Theres also 2 demo version of old tracks taht allows to see the evolution of the band before this good recording. So, Rudra with this album shows some good intentions & if for you Death metal is not only brutality, maybe Rudra can be a good choice


Self production - Style : Death metal - Demo : Complaint

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Created in 1993, Odium watiteed one year before being able to play live due to many members changes. In 1996, they recorded a rehearsal tape which were played in several radios stations & allowed tghem to play with bands mlike Cryptic Tales ( one of the most important polish band with Psychotron). Then, they recorded a real first demo in studio in 1997. 3 tracks were recorded in 20 hours. Influences came from bands like Sepultura, Rotting Christ, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, ... Now, Odium searches for a record company to invest with them in the recording of their first album.

Odium is a polish band not to confound with another polish band (oder) that was also named Odium. Odium plays some death metal with some melodic influences. With an honest production, Odium alternates pure death metal parts with more atmospheric parts. Some keyboards parts & acoustic guitars are also used to enrich their sound. The more the tape is played, the more evident is that Odium has been influenced by heavy metal. Thereís some riffs parts that could have been used in this style. & with the high tone aggressive vocals, it can sounds like the most melodic black metal bands. With a lot of good ideas ( hear arrangements on « Elegia »), Odium built basis that could lead them to a higher way than the one they are now.


Self production - Style : Black metal - Tape : to the return skies + new promo tracks

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The demo starts with a good intro played on keyboards. It installs a disturbing climate. The, it starts slowly with still keyboards which are largerly used in Somnus music. Then, music raises & raises in powerful. Somnus plays a kind of melodic dark metal where female vocals & male ones are blend in quite equal proportion. With a very good presentation & a sound which is correct for a demo, Somnus appears like a very interesting band that prefers to play a more subtle music than the main dark/black metal bands. Even if it Ďs still extreme & underground, it turns to be more original. More, Somnus Ď music is enriched by real lead guitars parts with sometimes harmonies guitar parts. Itís something which brings a lot to a music when you wnat to express more emotions ( even if itís sad ones). Played at a mid tempos ( except for some parts like in « Beyond the shores »), Somnus succeeds in finding basis to a real personality. So, the 5 tracks of this demo delivers a good potential & maybe a real discovery for those that like good dark metal. The new tracks seems to prove that Somnus is really onthe good way to asser itself on the metal scene. The sound is quite better & with the use of more melodic vocals line for the 2 singer, with excellent riffs & arrangements. Hereís another band that can probably find rapidly a good deal to present worldwide its music.


Self production - Style : death metal - Demo : Merde

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What a strange name for a band. I donít know if this word has a meaning in english but in frnace , heís got one that i let you search for ! Merde come from USA & plays a kind of death metal with amodern approach & a high level of technicity. At first, itís the sound that impresses a lot. It remains the good death metal band of the 90ís with this so particular drums sound , especially for the double bass parts. Then, Merde shows that theyíre not poor musicians. Itís maybe one of the most complexive Death metal ever created. I think it equals largerly some bands like Morbid Angel . Merde blends as well brutaliyt, aggressivity with a technical search for its msuic. So, itís really not easy to hear this music & it demandsa good concentration. Some guitar parts are realy amazing, itís a fantastic work made by guitars. & itís really completed with the excellent rythm section which shows a good cohesion. Some parts can remain the band Death by the melodies found. Merde is definitly an impressiv eband & I now strongly await their debut album, Ďcos they wonít be unsigned for a while. This is an indispensable demo for Death metal freaks.


Selfproduction - Style : progressive/melodic heavy metal - Demo : In the garden

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Hereís the return of Henceforth, the best ( ?) unsigned bresilian band ! After a firtt demo (the last day), that met a large success, the band has been quite changed. The singer is no more Daniel Matos & the new one is called B.J. But for the rest of the band itís unchanged with Hugo Mariutti on guitars, Andre Nikakis on bass, Cristiano Altieri on keys & Fabio Elsas on drums. If on th efirst demo, Henceforth sounds very progressive in a vein closed to bands like Rush or better Shadow Gallery, the new tracks are heavier & Henceforth is now better a metal band than a pure progressive band. But it doesnít mean that melodies have been forgeotten. All those that listen to progressive metal music will find in Henceforth the equal of the best acts worldwide. With their new singer, comparison that have been made with Angra seems to be far away. Henceforth has now developped its own personality . Leaded by brilliant & inspired musicians, Henceforth has givel itself a huge production & sound for this demo. It sounds as good as some albums i know. But one thing remains stranger : why is this band still unsigned. I cannot comprehend. Such a technical mastery, combined with a perfect sound & excellent songs still unsigned ? Anyway, this is a demo to get by all means before their inexorable raise into the worldwide scene. Henceforth is undoubtless the coming sensation in progressive music !


Self production - Style : Metal - Demo : Opacity

Scarve is back too with a new tape which is a foretaste of their upcoming album to be named ĎTranslucenceí. The style of the band has been quite changed. Scarve has amazed us with its last Cd « 6 tears of sorrow » ( which is still available in my distribution list) that shows a high potential band that played some death metal with melodic influences. Scarve like a butterfly has made its metamorphosis. The result shows a very original band but which has become less accessible. It sounds sometimes very strange. But itís definitly attractive. Itís impossible to stay insensible facing this music. It sounds less aggressive but climate developed in songs are more unhealthy & disturbing. Dirk Verbeuren( who is also drummer in Artsonic) Scarve still blends 2 kind of vocals : a melodic voice & a « death metal » affiliated. For me, Scarve adds to its music all the originality or experimentation already delivered by a band like Carnival of souls ( but with erasing the funny side of this band). Scarve works more on arrangemetns on songs with some details like doubled voice, french spoken voice,...This mix sounds so unique that Scarve will cause some problems to be described .But Scarveís aim is certainly not to be a carbon copy of what already exists. « Translucence » will certainly be one of the most surprising release of 1998 or1999 ! Donít miss it !


Selfproduction - Style : prog rock - hard : demo : Destin díun rêve

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Xang is probably unknown for you but this will soon change. This tape is in fact a rehearsal tape but it really sounds good. Of course, everyone could prefer a more produced sound, but what is heard in this tape is really more than convincing that itís enough to make you forget itís only a reheasal tape. Xang is from the north of France. Following this tape, Xang has been proposed to get a deal with Galileo records( maybe we Ďll know more with the coming interview). As a matter of thier incredible talent, Xang will play soon as support act of Arena ( in november 98 at Lille). If you like progressive music as itís heard in band like Arena or Pendragon, Xang is the one that get the means to impress you. Only one regret, theyíve not find yet their singer. So, for now, music is only instrumental. But for me , they achieve there a fantastic word, Ďcos itís very hard to create good songs without the help of vocals line. But they did it. With an omnipresent keyboards a genius rythm section & an inspired guitarist, Xang owns all what a band needs to become a major act in music. Never falling down in confusion, the subtleties of guitar parts kept the audience to an emotional ground. With the incredible support of progressive rock fans to their band, Iím sure that Xang can have its place there.


Label : Bestial records - Style : Atmospheric Doom/black metal - Album : from the moldavian ecclesiastic throne

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God is a 6 piece band which includes keyboards & a viola player. Coming from Roumania & signed on a Romanian company, God trys to develop the local scene there & to prove that the romanian scene can be as interesting as other ones. After a long & oriental -styled intro, God starts by a mid tempo song were violin takes a large place as well as melodies. God doesnít seem to fall into simple brutality. The band trys to develop some surroundings with the help of keys & violin but definitly not in a « My dying Bride » style. The music & especially vocals (which are blend into black metal ones & gothic ones) seems to come from the black metal scene, even if God is not really one of this typical black metal band. With sometimes a gothic approach or a doom one, God diversifies its song & themes . Thus, God can appear like a Romanian version of bands like Septic Flesh or Nightfall with some touches of old Moonspell. Itís quite interesting& thecorrect production of this album makes it better. More gothic than really black metal , God can be an alternative to this scene provided you like to discover new & real underground bands.


Label : Bestial records - Style : Atmospheric Doom-death metal - Album : Sonnets

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Bestial records is a company that really trys to make it better. All productions have a very good cover & layout Abigailís one is reall well done & the contents of this album is really good too. With a good production, Abigail remains strongly Paradise Lost & « Draconian times ». Abigail takes care about finding the good melodies & works a lot its guitar parts ; Guitars are often played in harmonies. With some shooting melodies & tempos, Abigail gives a really good impression. A good work has been made too for vocals parts which alternates aggressive voices & clearer ones. Thereís also some very good lead guitar parts. Underground bands often « forget » to play solis. In Abigailo, thereís some songs where guitars is alwyas played as a long solis ; Abigail is probably the best release of Bestial records & on eof the best Romanian band.


Label : Bestial records - Style : Atmospheric thrash metal - Album : The Darkside

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Grimegod is a 3 piece band, still coming from Romania as the majority of Bestial records production. Facing the other releases of this company, Grimegod has got a weaker sound escpecilaly for guitars & itís a pity becuase thereís good ideas developped there. I say that because this tape sounds better like an home-made release than like a studio album, so donít await for a huge production. Thereís also some home-made programmings & arrangements like for drums which are made with the help of a rythm machine. But despite this, itís really interesting to hear this band. This time again, itís hard to describe Grimegod. Music is often slow with a lot of guitar melodies, & vocals alternates between some death growls & some shooting-spoken-whispered voices. Itís sometimes really heavy & itís sure that with a better production, Grimegod could convince a lot more about its talent. More over, Grimegod is not this kind of band that trys more to show its technical level than its musical sense. Thatís why, songs are built in a simple way to be more efficient but a certain effort has even been made for arrangements. The predominating climate are very dark & for some reason, it sometimes makes me thing about Forlorn Emotion, even if Grimegod is more aggressive. Some songs really worths & Ií m sure that Grimegod has a good potential to express in the future.


Label : Bestial records - Style : Black metal - Album : Gargoyles

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Dies Irae is another Romanian band, but this time evolving n a pure Black metal style ; Itís quite like typical for this kind of music. The production is in the vein of what is usually heard fo rthis music. Maybe the sound of guitars is quite different & close to a band like Grimegod. Vocals are really hateful & aggressive. The melodies are created by some guitar parts & a keyboards. Sometimes very violent musically speaking, Dies Irae can also slow down the tempo & give more emphasis on its songs. The drummer is very good in this style & with the bass player, they have a good cohesion. Dies Irae sometimes sounds like symphonic Black metal bands, but they really take care to keep enough aggressivity to their music. This time again, the cover & layout of this album is excellent. & Dies Irae can probably equals the best romanian Black metal bands


Label : Bestial records - Style : VARIOUS - Album : Bestial Sampler 97-98

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Bestial records is a romanian record company & itís also the first professioanl music company of this country. Their favorite style is doom death & black metal. Their beginning in 1997 was with Negura Bunget, one of the best romanian Black metal band. By this time, Bestial records released 12 albums, exclusively available on tape. This sampler contains 11 of their 12 releases. Some of their bands have already been presented but thereís also som eother ones like Negura Bunget (black metal) which is really excellent & able to compete with some of the best bands worldwide in this style, Makrothunia, Interitus, Deimos, Archasos, Gothic ( not the same than the excellent french death grind band), Agathodaim. This sampler is maybe th ebest way to discover the romanian underground scene & to see that Bestial records is really a company to follow in the Romanian underground


Selfproduction/Cryptic souls productions- Style : Death metal - Album : Forgotten sunrise

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1998 is certainly the year of the come back in strength of the Deth metal scene ; & 1999 will certainly strengthen this return. Withered Earth is a real pleasure for those who lived the golden years of Death metal. Withered Earth can feature as one of the best death metal band in the united states. This album has got a really professional production, which remains strongly the 90ís. More, songs sounds very raw & intense. Withered Earth plays Death metal in the pure meaning of this term since 1995.  The band alternates slow parts with furious ones, guitar melodies (but not insipidly melodies) with aggressive riffs. To describe Withered Earth, you can imagine a sort of blend with Morbid Angel for arrangements, musicalship & technical level with Obituary for the heavy feeling felt while listening to this album. Itís fast, itís raw, itís loud, itís intense, itís excellent. More, Withered Earth enriches its music with some original arrangemetns. But donít worry the powerful & heavier side of the band remains here strongly. The band had released 2 demos & played with acts like Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, immolation, Deicide, ..."Forgotten sunrise" is their debut album for Cryptic Soul productions & a new mini album is already scheduled. Withered Earth renews with the primary death metal wave & itís a real pleasure to re-discover this kind of band. This band plays US death metal at its heavy best !


Self production - Style : Heavy metal- Album : Eclectica

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This band from Russia is really surprising. Iíd sya itís a heavy metal band but wiht some progressive touches because of the richness of their music & the quality of their arrangements. Itís really astonishing to see them not signed yet. The guitar parts are really one of the best heard from this country. With some musical parts borrowed to classical music inside songs or with some intros like « Khovanshina » of classical composer Mussorgski, End Zone shows a high technical level & itís sure that these musicians are really better from the average russian & worldwide musicians. More over, their musicanship is impressive ; End Zone should be signed to assert itself on the metal scene because itís really a full quality band with probably one of the best album released in Russia in 1998 with Mental Home. Even, if End Zone plays heavy metal, they played on this album a surprising cover of Sepultura « Refuse/resist » where the band proves that they master completly their music & that theyíre able to play as brutal as melodic. More, they make some changes in this songs by adding arrangements. For example, they made the middle break parts with cellos or violin sounds. The singer makes an effort to be more aggressive too. So, it ends with a very good & original cover. With good work on guitars & keyboards, the band is strenghten with the help of an solid rythm section. « Eclectica » is the best word to define End Zone. They donít limited themselves to one sytle of music & they prefer to enrich their influences spheres to create the most original music they can. End Zone is really a very good surprise from Moscow & I really hope them to get deal as fast as possible to offer worldwide their incredible ideas & music !

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