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CONTENTS OF THE SITE !!

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 Albums of the months : WATCHA & BALISTIK KICK


In this page, you'll find all the bands, record companies, interview , ....that has been part of the last update. All albums or demos reviewed here are still in this section for 2 months. All bands can also be found in the bands section (classified by alphabetical order & divided into 2 parts : the french bands & the foreign ones) , all record companies can be foud in the labels section, & so on. 

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

Bands

New : Watcha, Balistik Kick, 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 ,

New part 2 : 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 ,


Labels :

NEW RECORDS COMPANIES & NEW PRODUCTIONS FROM LONGTIME PARTNERS !!

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NEW INTERVIEWS !!!


lbocquet@nordnet.fr


Albums of the months : WATCHA & BALISTICK KICK

BALISTIK KICK

Self production - Album : Warhead - Style : Heavy metal

Band email : esbu33@aol.com

Baistick Kick is probably on the most surprising band from U.S.A.. They played with Savatage, Manowar, Enuff Z'Nuff, Gilby Clarke, ...They released their first Cd in 1994. « Warhead « is their new one, released in 1997. Totally indipendant, it's 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 didn't 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 ! It's impossible to describe his voice, he doesn't 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 80's 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 80's style, it never sounds obsolete & because Balistic Kick creates its own songs & done. « Warhead » is really as intense as possible & it's an indispensable album for all those who appreciate metal music. Balistic Kick plays Heavy metal at a high level of originality & efficience !


WATCHA

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

Web : http ://www.lolita.fr/music -- web-productions@france.mail.com

A bomb ! Here's 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 i'm 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. There's mutliple effects & arrangements that enrich this album. I honestly think that it's the best production i 've ever heard from a band of this style worldwide. It's 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 don't think that there's tons of singer like him. He's amongst the best ones in this style & probably the best one ; He can bring aggresivity & scream while staying melodic. One minute later, he's 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.

It's 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 you've 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.


ARTSONIC

Label : Lolita Music - Style : Power thrash - Album : Original soundtrack for the motion picture FAKE

Web : http ://www.lolita.fr/music - web-productions@france.mail.com

Artsonic is back with a new album after a debut album released too by Lolita Music in 1997. The band created avery big surprise wiht its power thrash metal which were very closed to Machine Heead, Sepultura or Pantera. ( you can check the interview made after this release). Artsonic can be described as an international bands as all members are coming from different countries (Netherlands for Dirk, the drummer that also play with Scarve, Germany for steph, France for Boris & USA/France for Syl. If their first album was showing an excellent power thrash metal band with an amazing production, "Fake" is so far 100% better than their debut. At first , the sound is really phenomenal with numerous arrangements. More, Artsonic worked a lot to build its own personality, ther onw music, sound & style. & the result gives one of the most original thrash metal band. Created as a motion picture of a flim that doesn't exist, « Fake » is made of 12 different songs where the band explores various universe & creates various surroundings depending the right emotion they want to deliver. So, some songs remains aggressive when som eother ones are more atmospheric. But aggressive songs are no more Machine Head »s copy. The main progress facing the first album is undoubtless with the singer of the band. Instead of always screaming like on th debut album, he now adjusts his voice to each song : screaming vocals, spoken voice, sung voice, backing vocals. More diversified, this album can perhaps be described at the meeting of a the powerful side of power thrash like Machine Head with all emotions, subleties& originality than a band like Forlorn Emotion is able to create . The result sounds unique. Musically speaking, all musicians are faultless & a special motion can be given to Dirk whih is on eof the best thrash metal drummer. With songs like « Colors too bright » that delivers a magnificent emphasis, Artsonic attracts its audience to lead them to undiscovered countries where emotions take advantage with violence. It's desesperatly beautiful & definitly attractive. And with the use of french lyrics on this song ( like another one on the album), Artsonic sublimes its origin & achieves the perfect album. Artsonic creates a prodigious second album that won't be equalize before ages. A last word to add that this CD is like the first one a CD rom which includes some surprises, lyrics & cool other stuffs.


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 '' 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. Frament's 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. It's 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.


SLUDGE

Label : Headstrong records - Style : Doom - Album : The well

label E mail : headstrong@infonie.ch

Sludge came to earth in 1994 in Switzerland ; In 1995, the «'ve gone to the famous Sunlight Studio to recor a 4 tracks Ep «Sweat Daisy ». This album were produced by the famous producer Tomas Skosberg ( which co produced too « The well »). Released worldwide (except for USA), the band were disappointed with the financial problems of thier record company. But in 1997, Sludge came back to Sweden to record their first album « The well » released by Headstrong. Then, the band get the opportunity to play with famous bands like Treponem Pal, Die Krupps ; Stuck Mojo, Entombed, Testament, Transport League, Machine Head, ...One of thier concert was played on a natioanl swiss TV channel. After a 20 dates tour in Switzerland, Sludge is ready to invade foregign countries like France. Sludge is extremely appreciated by XY (Samael) & Lee Dorian of Cathedral.

Sludge 's music is pure doom metal where melodies take a good place. Instead of playing only slow loud chords, Sludge enrichs its music with a lot melodies brought by guitars parts or by the singer. Thier singer uses « various voices », from melancholic but melodic one enriched with very good backing vocals toa kind of death metal voice. More melodic than brutal, Sludge creates melodies that remain deeply into your mind. Sludge develops 7 dark, depressive & hypnotic surroundings with weighty riffs. Theres also 2 cover versions. The first one is from Killing Joke & is called « We have joy ». It really sounds apocalyptic & inhuman. Second cover is the tittle Black Sabbath. One of the best cover of this song was made by Type o Negative, but Sludge achieves to give too a special color to this song. Instead of playing a carbon copy cover, Sluge makes different arrangments especially for vocals that are more « gothic ». The guitar sound is the most heavier ever heard for this song. Maybe heavier than Entombed has done before ! So, « The well » is definitly a convincing doom metal album. Maybe the kind of album which is able to satisfy as well those that appreciate melodic doom & those that prefer more aggressive doom.


HARE

Label : Headstrong records - Style : Heavy metal - Album : Nucleakarma

label E mail : headstrong@infonie.ch - Web : http://home.worldcom.ch/~lsmerigl/

Created in 1993, Hare 's goal was to play the most hypnotic, extreme music. The kind of metal which doesn't sound classical . Between 1994-95, the band played as often as possible & as far as possible. They toured in France, in Germany, ....In 1996, they released their selftittled debut album « Proud to be loud » & to promote it they toured in Switzerland ( about 30 dates) & played with bands like Sepultura, Rammstein, dog Eat Dog, Samael, ...this intensive promotion forced Music For nations to release worldwide this first album. Crowbar even took them to tour in Europe. « nuclearkarma » is the name of thier second album & Proud to be loud has been changed for Hare. In France, it's Lolita Music that releases this album ( like all Headstrong's catalog) & for Switzerland, it's EMI. . It's difficult to give a label to Hare. Is it heavy metal ? It sounds like this but it's really different from what is used to be heard in this style. Is it thrash ? Not really even if guitars are really loud & if sometimes vocals are really powerful. The particularity of Hare is probably their singer. He gets a real charisma & he gets a very unique voice, between melodies & aggressivity. Music is really heavy & never speed. Hare can remain a more melodic version of bands like Crowbar or a thrash metal version of Alice in Chains. Their music is often described as « hypno-metal ». Theres absolutly this hypnotic side in Hare 's music. Between heaviness & emphasis ; the band distils a musical richness which leads it to a majestic beauty. I's impossible to stay the same or to stay insensible while listening to this album .


HELLION :

Label : New renaissance records - Style : Heavy metal - Album : Up from the depths

E mail : imaksickar@aol.com - Band Web : http ://www.freeyellow.com/members2/officialhellionsite

Label Web : http ://www.freeyellow.com/members2/newrenaissance

Here's the first release of New Renaissance label in seven years. This album is a sampler or better a grettest hits from Hellion, the band leaded by the enigmatic & charismatic Ann Boleyn. Hellion was created around 1982 under the name of DB, short for Ded Babies. But it rapidly turned into Hellion. Withtou any record, Hellion was offered a tour , but it failed as the booking agent thought that Ann & her band were playing Rush or Fleetwood mac songs instead of Ozzy, Rush or Black Sabbath 's ones ! Then, they finally recorded their own songs for Mystic records, a punk label. One of this track features on the sampler & it gives its name to this new album : « Up from the depths » . After selling a lot of demotapes at their shows, Music For Nations signed them & released a « The mini LP » that features also on the new album. In 1984, Hellion toured & played at « the Marquee », the famous english club. Then, Ronnie James Dio decided to produce the band. So, Hellion played with acts like Dio but also Whitesnake & many other oens. But no deal was contracted by this time. That's why Ann found herself alone as all guys quitted the band to create another band with a male singer . Their band was called Burn. So, Ann found new parners ( one ex-Dokken & one ex-Lyon). She also created her own record company : New renaissance records & released an album called « Screams in the noght » which get MTV airplay. But finally in 1987, Burn 's members came back with Ann to record « Postcards from the asylum », a 4 spngs EP ( also on the sampler). This album was #3 in England behind Metallica & Magnum ! Then , Enigma records decided to sign Hellion. But due to label problems, « The Black Book » haven't been released by Enigma & the band had to make a legal batlte with Enigma. This caused the end of the band ; But do the increasingly demand for 80's metal band, Hellion & Ann are back with this new sampler, individually numbered for the first 3000 copies ! Ann is now working on new material for a coming LP to be out in 1999

For those that haven't ever heard about Hellion, this band featured as one of the most promising act of the 80's guided by the most clever woman of th emetal family. Ann is one of the rare to have impress RJ Dio. Idon't await this poor female vocals as it used ot be done in the 90's. Ann has got a raw voice, hot but melodic with an indisputable personality. Songs are pure heavy metal influenced by bands like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Dio , ...Except for their first song « Up from the depths » that can sound a little less heavier, all of this tracks are really intense but melodic & still really well made & play. Ann & Hellion proved that withou keyboards or strange instruments, a band is able to create various surroundings with only a guitar , a bass, a drum & a voice like for «The Evil one ». Backing vocals are typical of this period. As a gft in this album features an excellent cover of Judas Pries's exciter. It's sure that with a so much talented woman behind a band that get a solid musician ship, Hellion gets all means to convince a lot of metal fans. The new album is now strongly awaited after this excellent appetizer .


EXCELSIS

Selfproduction - Style Epic/power metal - Album : Kurt of Koppigen

E mail : Excelsis@bluewin.ch

Excelsis comes from Switzerland & is a 5 piece band created in 1996. One year later, they released their first album called « Anduin the river ». This album gets amazing reviews worldwide (except France may be !)& lotof them are still asking why Excelsis is still unsigned yet !. So, in 1998, Excelsis releases its new CD called « Kurt of Koppigen » & before having a deal with a good record company, the band makes its promotion alone but with a rare efficience & wih a quality package ! Excelsis is the band you can put into Blind Guardian, Running Wild & other german power metal bands like Gamma Ray. Have a look at the cover of this album & you can imagine its contents. Be sure you won't be disappointed by this quality music played by good musicians. The universe explored by the band comes right from the medieval period with its knights, witches, Dragon,...This album is a real good surprise because their music remains quite simple but the real effort has been made on arrangements & on lyrics. There's some amazing guitar parts enriched by flawless melodies like for « The Dragonslayer »with its excellent backing vocals in the middle of the song. The singer alternates between aggressive vocals line ( closed to Blind Guardian) & higher ones (like Kai Hansen). Sometimes the 2 voices are mixed together & it really gives a good feeling to the song. With numerous acoustic & atmospheric parts, Excelsis stays a pure power metal band. This band plays metal filled with a lot of diversity& it gives a unique combination. With their subtle concept album, Excelsis gives a real lesson of good power metal.


SATARIEL :

Label : Pulverized records - Style : Melodic Death-black - Album : Lady Lust Lilith Label

E mail : ashes@pacific.net.sg - Band web : http ://www.orion.boden.se/~azarel/satariel.html

Created in 1994, Satariel used to play a kind of « aggressive ptimitive ultra fast black metal ». But in the first demo « Thy Heavens fall », it has already changed . Their second demo « Hellfuck » brings them a lot of attention in the underground scene but the band were not satidfied with the del proposed by companies. After they last demo « promo 96 », the band recorded « Lady Lust Lilith » with the help of the famous Tomas Skosberg in the legendary Sunlight Studio & for Pulverized records.

Satariel is the new sensation of Sweden ! If their album starts with an ultra fast song, that let think that Satariel is another black metal band, maybe better than the average, but like mre & more new black metal bands coming nowadays, the following of the song & of this album proves that Satariel is more than one another band from Sweden. To describe Satariel, imagine Dark Tranquillity with some black metal touches. Using a lot of melodies in guitars with this so characterictic sound & style from north european band, Satariel achieves to create a real surprise by the musicianship they have, their technical quality, their ability to create amazing riffs & the diversity of their singer ( sometimes like in Dark tranquillity but with a melodic approach too). I really think that some people can be discouraged by the ultra fast parts but if you continue to play this album, I'm sure you can find more & more interest due to their excellent arrangements created in each songs. Satariel is of course influenced by melodic death metal school fom Sweden with its so particular sound & melodies but they 've really found their own place in this scene. « Lady Lust lilith » is really a richness album to be listened several times !


COLLAPSING STRUCTURE :

Label : Blacklight records - Style : industrial -Album : Part 2 of the cataclysm singles (sampler)

Web : http ://www.blacklight.com - label@blacklight.com

Here's the 2d Cd of a 3 Cd's box of industrial, ambiant, darkwave & experimental music. Blacklight records is a really different record company from USA , distributed in several foreign market with a real success. This sampler features indie indus, dark electro & ambient bands. What Blacklight recaords develop can be called the subculture with bands that have someitmes nothing to see or to share with metal bands. But main surroundings are sometiems really close to what metla bands offer. & some bands reach the same level of emotion that cna deliver a metal band. I particularly appreciate Torn Skin (http://www.blacklight/skin - skin@blacklight.com ) where a discreet but present guitar appears blended with strange sound. It gives a special color to the song & the band seems to evolve in its own universe. If some bands are someitmes really different from other ones (can we still call it music ?) like «Blackhouse », some other oens really proposes interesting songs with a real structure & a seeing work on the musical & sound search. Hear for example : Temple of the times, M-Edge, New society & some other oens. Sometimes, it sounds like Techno-hardcore music but it can also turned into a more ambient music. Maybe, this sampler won't interest calssical metal fans but those who have appreciated bands like Melek-tha, Hell on Earth or all remix made by metal bands can find their interst in this sampler . But it's really not a common or easy album !


CARNIVAL OF SOULS

Label : Brennus international - Style : heavy rock - Album : Same

Web : http ://www.id-net.fr/musea - Brennus.hardrock@wanadoo.fr

This swiss band started its carrer in 1994 after having played in various bands , from progressive rock to jazz or fusion to name a few. This richness of influences pushed them to create their own personality & own sound & style. That's why they call their style : power rock. Their Cd's has been recorded in 1997 & Brennus international releases it now . At first, this swiss band impresses by the quality of their recording. Their album have a good & rich sound. It's piece of evidence to say that their large range of influences & experience must have been a solid trump during this recording. Musicians show a high potential as well to play their instruments than to find the best way to create their song. Carnival of souls take care about each details. Thus songs are really unique. Guided by a solid rythm section ( hear « kicxk in my face » for example ) that has got an impressive technical ability, guitarist & singer can thus give their best. Close to the US wave of Heavy rock with band like XYZ, Ratt, ;..Carnival of Souls can easily be distinguished facing these bands because they really sounds more powerful . More, melodies & surroundings developped in Carnival of Souls 'music are not sweet ones. Some parts sounds sometimes very dark & deep (« Swin »). Using unusual themes, Carnival of Souls should convince a lot of people . Like the cover of their album, it's really a strange but fascinating band !


WILLOW WISP

Self production - Style : Gothic black metal - Album : The building up & breaking down of matter

E mail : Wwisp@aol.com - http ://members.aol.com/wwisp

Having its bitrh in the year 91, Willow Wisp is a name that begins to be known due to the tons of appearance in several mags & zines from France to Norway, including some talk shows. This album is now re-released by Pandaimonium records. Willow Wisp described itself as Music for the doomed generation. Each tracks of this 12 pieces albums sounds very differently & if you hear only some trcks maybe the opinion about the band can be faked. This album starts with a pure gothic track with dark keyboards parts & loud vocals as it used to be done in this music. Facing several gothic bands which music only develops one & only oppressive climate. Willow Wisp creates more complexive songs, with tons of arrangements. When playing gothic songs, Willow Wisp can sometimes remains the gothic master Moonspell on its last album like for « Lame » but with a surprising break parts that can let think about Pink Floyd or David Bowie !. Willow Wisp seems to have the will of disconcerting its audience 'cos it's impossible to link tracks between them. « The building up & breaking down of matter » goes in various direction & it's a real pleasure to dkiscover what's hidden in each tracks of this album. Another face of this band is a black metal face. Even if the band shows that they're really able to play some symlphonic black metal with lots of keyboards, i must admit that I prefer their gothic parts which are really more built & more accessible. Some tracks can be really aggressive like their hymn « Sodomized by God » ! With sometimes keys interlude, listen carefully 'til the end of this album 'cos after the 12pieces, there's still 54 songs of 3 seconds length all of silence except for the 66 tracks !


MESSE NOIR

Self production - Style : black metal - Album : Mandal - Gate of the calling

E mail : messenoir@snet.net

Messe Noir is certainly well known due to their participation in the legendary « World Domination » issued by Osmose productions, especially the issue 3 for Messe Noir. The band also appears in other compilations Cd like Mike Hunt's one & The Grimoire of Exalted Deeds/ « Mandal - The gate of the calling » is theri first album « professionally done » as the band like to say. Often described as War metal, it's sure that Messe Noir never takes care about subtleties & melodies. It's pure & violent black metal in a old school vein. Like a return to the roots of Black metal with bands like Darkthrone & some other ones. But behind this intense brutality , Messe Noir is individually composed of correct musicians & it can be heard in this album. Playing very brutal music & playing well is something that are not often together in extreme black emtal bands . But it's something that Messe Noir do. With a very dark layout where a Pentagra inside remains us Venom, the Gods of Balck metal , Messe Noir is going with this album to seduce a lot of pure violent & evil black metal fans


SEPULTURA

Label : roadrunner records - Style : Death thrash metal - Album : Against

Label : http ://www.roadrunnerrecords.com - Band : http ://www.sepultura.com.br or http://wwwsepultribe.com

It's been now 12 years that Sepultura raised regularly with each tiume more convincing albums where its now unique style were built, step by step. But the split in 1996 with Max could have destroyed all of this. Despite this split, Sepultura works more & find in Derrick Green the goo done to lead Sepultura in another step. « Against » is the result of this new collaboration. It's been recorded by Howard Benson . If Soulfly with Max released last year « Roots » part 2 , Sepultura has found a new inspiration in another country , Japan. & the result is so surprising & convincing that this album is really condemned to be a new success for the band.

Musically speaking, « Against » shows less experiementations on the rythmic section, even if Igor is stil impressive & if som enew ideas are developped in his play. « Against » can be ranged into « Chaos AD » & « Roots ». The album starts with an aggressive song, kind of thrash - hardcore where Derrick Green proves that he 's not a clone of Max & that his past into several hardcore bands (Outface, Overfiend) is a solid background for Sepultura. The main surprise in thsi album is the ne surroundings developped by Sepultura. With the help of Derrick they really reach a new & higher step. Derrick has a more powerful voice & he can use of it very differently , from the most aggressive way to a softer one . Then, songs are more various & thus Sepultura explores multiple horizon. Some songs are really more atmospheric& Sepultura seems to have been influenced by th esurroundings developed by bands like Korn, Deftones, ...But the band haven't resist to play a song with guests musicians : KODO & it gives a very special & typical Sepultura's song : Kamaitchi. That can be taken for a new Kaiowas.Of course, Sepultura hasn't changed all its personality, that's why there's still excellent percussions. Their sound hasn't changed at all even, if it's really deeper than for Roots. One of the great surprise of this album is the appearance of Jason Newsted from Metallica. He co-writes & plays for the song « Hatred Aside ». & this song is maybe one of the best of Sepultura. It's influenced by old Motorhead but with a typical thrash metal feeling.

To resume, a lot of people could have been afraid about the future of Sepultura, but i really think that with the talent showed by Derrick & with the same level of musical inspiration, Sepultura has left nothing more than a good singer & the band proves that Sepultura is still one of the most exciting & innovative thrash metal bands worldwide.


DARKEN :

Label : Kaly productions - Style : Atmospheric Death metal - Album : Arcane XIII - Interview

'Arcane XIII' will surely make Darken reach another step in their evolution Helped with a very good production, that stays for a while quite underground too, Darken prefers originality instead of classicism . Facing their last demotape, the band still makes huge progress. What makes the difference is undoubtless the tons of arrangements Darken created in each songs. In their demo tape, the 2 guitarists never plays the same. The first one was playing the rythm while the 2d one was playing some melodies or arpeggios. Now, both of them plays sometimes the same parts thus, it sounds more united than before. Facing their demo tape, the band sounds more powerful, maybe it's only due to the production, but it's sure that guitars sounds better & are heavier. The singer has still got his extreme approach by growling like a damned & including in some more atmospheric parts a voice in a gothic style. Thier best song is undoubtly »falling » with its mysterious backing vocals & harmonies. For those who appreciate some avant garde death metal with some excellent dark climate, Darken is surely one of the best bands of this style. Darken can be compared to a death metal version of Paradise Lost & Moonspell. First one for its originality & powerful side, 2d one for the qualities of arrangements & surroundings developped inside music.


HOLY MOTHER :

Label :ABS records - Style : Heavy metal - Album : Toxic Rains - Interview -

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

Here's the re-release of the first album of Holy Mother, the geniuine « Toxic Rain ». ABS records has just released it again with a new & incredible cover. Why ? Because the band were not satisfied with the first one. You can know more by reading the interview made with the band & by looking at the review made last time on the presentation of ABS records. ! But the interest f this re-release is not only the new cover. ABS records doesn't want people to think that they want to make more & more money on fans ; That's why, it's a 2 Cd box set. The 2d Cd is in fact. In it, you cna hear tracks coming from Fierce Conviction 's lastest album (Requiem of the mourner »), from Syris (« Unseen forces »), from Burning Starr ; There's also one unreleased tracks from Holy mother from the recording session of Toxic Rain . For this band, you can discover in exluvisity one demo version(« what if tomorrow never comes ») & one track (« rage ») of the forthcoming album . There's also a rough demo of a track coming from Fierce Conviction & destined to their new . The 9 other tracks of this Cd come from other artists to be released on ABS records. Enola Gay with one excellent track of power metal from their forthcoming album (april 1999). Tales of Mystery will also have an album out in the beginning of 1999. This band is maybe the coming revelation of the progressive scene. Then, Bullhorn proposes a refreshing track of good heavy rock influenced by AC/DC ( hear their riffs & sound) but with a feeling close to 80's us bands. Their singer remains strongly Vince Neil (Motley Crue) & Kevin Du Brow (Quiet Riot) .titan Force has 2 tracks. First one from its first C ( selftitled) & 2d one from its new album (« winner/loser »). The band plays heavy speed metal with a lot of melodies & a high pitched singer. The singer mreains me the first singer of Fates Warning with some Peavey Wagner (Rage) touches. Classical but efficient. Cerebus sounds really strange in ABS productions. It seems coming right from 80's session & it sounds like in the beginning of the thrash metal wve but with a melodic singer. X-Mas Project seems to be an unreleased tracks from Rage but with a joyful feeling. I'm really asking myself if Peavey Wagner is not the singer of this band !To describe this track, maybe i can say, it's a Rage track with the fun of Helloween . Wehrmacht is with Cerebus very different from what release ABS. It's a thrash metal track, which plays very speed. A kind of old Kreator, Sodom or better Tankard. Very hardcore ! The last surprise of this album is a track cominf from Timo Tolkki, the guitar player of Stratovarius. This tittle comes from his solo album. Timo has nothing to prove as musicians, but this tittle remains us that he is one of the most clever guitar player of norht of Europe but Timo is morea great composer. So, as yo can see, this new version of « Toxic Rain » really worths.


MOTHERCARE :

Selfproduction - Style : thrash core - Mini Album : In a hole

E mail : nicko@chiostro.univr.it -ghi@univ.it - http ://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/1883

Created in 1994, Mothercare issued very quickly its first demo « FTW ». 2 years later they released « Mass Hypnosis », their 2d demo & appeared in several compilations. In 1997, the band released a selfproduced miniCd « In a hole » in the way to get more recognition & to find a del with a record company. The band is influenced by Pantera, Sepultura, Machine Head, Fear Factory , Korn or RATM. Their music is quite easy to describe as Mothercare really trys to looklike their influences. But on some parts, the band really makes something new by the add of influences coming from RATM, Korn & Pantera. That's why some parts are really classical thrash parts but suddenly, it sounds more modern & a break part can then relaunch the song. If a record comany gives them its confiance & means to get a good production, Mothercare can maybe create a surprise in the thrash core scene.


IMAGIKA

Label :Headless corpse records - Radiation records ( sub division of Nuclear Blast) - style : melodic thrash metal - Album : Worship

E mail : headlesscorpse@hotmail.com - imagika@hotmail.com - flying-dolphin@netcologne.de ( promotion agency of Imagika) - http ://www.imagikametal.com

Imagika is back after a surprising debut album that were an incredible masterpiece of Bay Area melodic thrash metal. As a matter of success, ABS records released in 1997 their first Cd in Europe & the band signed an international management & publishing deal with the Flying Dolphin agency in 1998. The deal with Headless Corpse records continues with this new album & for Europe it's Radiation records, the subdivision of Nucelar Blast that distributes it. Since their beginning, Imagika played with bands like Vicious Rumors, Forbidden Machine Head, ...With a good internet, radio & press exposure & advertisement in the biggest mags worldwide, the future of Imagika is surely one of the best to come. « Worship » gets amazing reviews everywhere . It's now time to see them live in Europe as the band will play as support act of the 1999 Grave Digger tour. Facing their first album, Imagika makes some changes in its music. The album starts with a relly melodic song wiht guitar garmonies that really remains more Helloween than Metallica. But the more this song is played the more heavier it sounds . There's more melodies & harmonies but it's still terribly powerful & efficient. Imagika incarnates pure & majestic power metal . Iifluenced as well by Judas Priest ( hear some vocals screams , solis & riffs like in « The sky is falling ») , Iron Maiden ( some guitar harmonies) than by Metallica & Forbidden or Overkill. Imagika creates 47 minutes of incredible & talented metal music. Out of trend, timeless , this band is really one of the best. You're never felt bored by listening to the 2 masterpieces created by Imagika. « Worship » is indispensable for all metal fans & with their first album, the proof of the excellent health of thrash metal is made, provided it's played by convinced & clever musicians.


MYSTIC DEATH

Label : Metal age productions- Style : melodic black metal - Album : Voices of the obscure world

E mail : metal.age@mt.sknet.sk

The beginning of Mystic Death is on 1996 when Masacroot a death thrash band decided to change its music ; Influenced by Abigor or Dimmu borgir, Mystic Death trys to approach this style. They released their first album « voices of the obscure world » & then, Metal Age productions signed them & released the album. Mystic Death evolves in a quite classical black metal style but the difference is the use of melodies essentially brought by guitars parts. Some keyborads parts also brings some dark surroundings. With a death/thrash past, Mystic Death has built solid basis that allowed them to not falling into « noise » music. That's certainly why some riffs are so well made. More, the beginning of « Kingdom of the Immortal » remains more a brutal death metal band than a black one for example. & then, the songs burst in an ultra fast parts where guitar melodies dominates the whole. By now, it's obvious that Mystic Death is the most promising black metal band from Slovakia & with the help of Metal Age, it's sure that we'll soon hear more & more from them


WAYD :

Label : Metal age productions- Style : melodic death metal - Album : The ultimate passion

E mail : metal.age@mt.sknet.sk

Wayd has been created in 1994 by the fusion of 2 bands, Dysentery & Marion. As their previous bands were conventional ones, Wayd's goal was to burst out boundaries from the metal they play. In 1995, they released a demo tape « Shape of your mind » & in 1997 it's time for them to record their debut album. They added to their music som ekeyboards pars & female vocals. Since the released of this album, Wayd has made som elitle line up changes with the add of a singer ( it was bass guitarist & guitarplayer that were singing before) & of a saxophone player ! What a very interesting band that this Wayd. If you've listened a lot to bands like Cynic, Atheist & all this particular technical death metal scene, Wayd can interest you. Facing the previous bands, Wayd is not a demonstrating band. It's better a kind of fusion death metal.There's unusual break parts like the excellent blues /jazz break parts or the slap bass solo into « New light ». With Wayd, you can never predict what will happen in one song. If the basis are real melodic death metal, all songs are enriched with various elements coming from all musical scene you can imagine ( except techno) With a real efficience & a technical level that is better from the average, Wayd gives to metal a new dimension . The slovakian scene continues to raise !


LUNATIC GODS

Label : Metal age productions - Style : atmospheric metal - Album : sitting by the fire

E mail : metal.age@mt.sknet.sk - band : pavel@rebeca.sk

Here's a young slovakian bands created in 1996. The band were at first named Bestialit & played brutal grind death metal before getting the name of Lunatic Gods. They relesed as Bestialit a split C with Dehydrated for Metal age productions in 1994. More than 1200 copies were sold ! The line up changes leads the band to change their name 'cos the sytle of music changes too ! Then , Polyphemus records signed them in 1996 & Lunatic Gods released « Inhuman & insensible ». It was the first time a slovakian band were releasing an album on foreigh countries. More than 3000 copies were sold. Their label proposed them a 2 album sdeals but th eband refused & singed with Metal Age produtions for their 2d album. With more than 5000 copies of theier music sold in the past, Lunatic Gods proved that in the underground , it was a band to follow. Now, the band is so far away form the Death grind metal they used to play in Bestialit. However, it's not easy to describe thier new style. It's a kind of melodic atmospheric but aggressive metal. It's maybe the strangest band in slovakia & one of the most innovative one with Wayd. Lunatic Gods cannot be compared to any bands as they created their own style & music. Using some choir, some keyboards as well as loud guitars, their music goes in various direction close to numerous metal style. Sometimes really melodic (« Smile »), sometiems really aggressive (« sitting in the fire »), the different musical approach of Lunatic bands sets it as an unclassifiable band filled with atonishing qualities.


THE GRIMOIRE OF EXALTED DEEDS - VOL 2

Label : Metal age productions - Style : VARIOUS - Album : Sampler VOL2

E mail : metal.age@mt.sknet.sk

This sampler is issued by Metal Age productions. There's now 2 issues of this sampler & the 3 & 4th ones are already scheduled. Each 5 minutes costs 100 $ & payment is possible by Cd's. The 2d volume started with the excellent Without Grief , but there's also bands like Fifth Reason ( Heathendoom music, one of the most impressive power metal bands from north of Europe !), Sarepta & their excellent power thrash, Lunatic Gods & some bands coming from various company such as Leviathan records, DSFA, Serious entertainement, ....


IN DECAY WE TRUST

Label : Avantgarde music & Wounded love reocrds - Style : Various - Sampler

E mail : avgarde@tin.it - wlover@tin.it

This compilation is really more destined to black metal fans than for other ones. The main bands are coming from the 2 companies Avant Garde music & Wounded Love records except for a few bands. Some are unreleased yet, some are coming from their past albums. It starts with a good Katatonia tracks, a kind of melodic doom very captivating. Then, follow bands like Keep of Kalessin, Raventhrone, Godkiller, Taake, October tide (featuring Katatonia 's members) with an excellent doom death song. , Ancient Wisdom with an incredible & well done cover of Iron Maiden's Powerslave issued in the tribute to maiden released by Dwell records. This cover is « singed with a black metal voice but it's really interesting to hear. Then, follow Dolorian, Unholy, as Divine Grace, Algaion, Solefald & Carpathian Forest. With a good booklet which ocntains tons of infos, this sampler is a good way to discover the black metal scene & 2 working companies. This sampler is also available through Metal Age productions


REVOLUTION HARD ROCK

Label : Axe Killer - Style : various - Album : Sampler Vol1 - Vol 1&2

Here's a new sampler but this one is released by the french company Axe Killer & it has some particularities. The goal of this sampler is to offer a good view ( the best ones ? ) of the french metal wave of the 80's. So, this sample ris available in 2 versions. First one contains one CD (Vol1) & 2d one is a 2 CD box set ( Vol 1 + Vol 2).

Vol 1 can be described as the essential to be known regarding to the french metal wave. It's quite presented as a chronology. It starts with Trust, the famous hard rock band that played several times with their friends AC/DC. It's a track that were still unreleased there's 4-5 years even if it was written at their beginning ( end of the 70's). It's quite the same for Ocean, a band that appeared in the end of the 70's & which met a very good success. Ocean is like a cult band in the french scene. Their drummer is very famous , he played later in Trust, Face to Face or Michel Berger ( creator of the famous Starmania !). But these 2 bands are more hard rock bands than heavy metal one. Most of the tracks here are alredy reisued under CD format by various company like Axe Killer for Sortilege, Warning, H Bomb, Ocean, by Brennus records for Killers, Blaspheme, Squealer, High Power, Attentat Rock, by Metal XIII for Vulcain, ADX.

To resume, Sortilege plays high level heavy metal inspired by bands like Judas or Maiden. Their singer, Christian Augustin was often compared to Rob Halford or Geoff Tate. It's really one of the best bands of the 80's french metal wave. Their 3 albums are now reissued under CD format. This band gets a huge success in the 80's & they now prepare their come back !

Warning was the first metal bands of the new wave to be signed on a major. With a high potential of originality, a high pitched singer & top guitar player, Chirstophe Aubert (RIP). H Bomb can be described as the first speed metal band. They appeared in 1983 with a devastating mini LP. They played with the best ( read the interview !) 80's bands.

Killers is the french veteran of the metal scene. Described as the french Accept because of the voice of their singer, Killers was playing melodic speed metal. The band has just released a fantastic new album « Fort intérieur » (read their interview !). Blaspheme was really different from the other bands. Playing heavy metal inspired by Iron Maiden, their singer was really different from what it used to be in heavy metal. he's got a pop voice often compared to french singer Daniel Balavoine (RIP). But it's really heavy music played by good musicians.

Squealer has been the good surprise of the 2d half of the 80's. they appeared with a selfproduced album that litterally impressed all the metal fans in France. Playing some heavy metal inspired as well by Accept & AC/DC, their frontman, Pascal Bailly , has a very specific voice, between Bon Scott & Udo Dirkschneider. In the end of the 80's , Squealer was the best french bands & the top seller of our scene( read the interview).

High Power was more underground but the success of thier first album allowed them to record the 2d one with the famous producer of Scorpions , Dieter Dierks in the legendary Dierks studio . but due to lack of money, the end of the recording was made in France ; & the band were so diappointed that they splitted up. This 2d album won't be reissued as the band doesn't want to reissue it. But one track is available in this sampler. A live album recorded in 1986 is also scheduled for 1999 . Musically speaking, High Power was playing pure heavy metal with a lot of dark surroundings & enriched with a charismatic singer (RIP)

Vulcain is with Killers one of the oldest band. But after their new album, the excellent 'Stoppe la Machine', Vulcain decided to stop its carrer. Described as the french Motorhead due to the voice of their singer, vulcain really blended Motorhead influences with speed metal like Metallica. Lemmy & co really loves this band & theyoffered them in the 80's to tour with Motorhead. But the band due to a lack of money only made a few dates. They now often played wiht Motorhead in France. Vulcain played too with bands like Chariot, Wasp, Iron Maiden & all major acts of the 80's.

Another band on this sampler is ADX. ADX is like a cult band too in the french scene & the french audience really supported them a lot. Playing mùelodic speed metal , ADX was a mix of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Helloween & so on. With quality recordings 3 albums & a live album, Noise records proposed them a deal which ends with « Weird Visions » their first album sung in english. ADX played with Gamma Ray, ...The band arises again & a new album is soon expected. A « greatest hits » has been soon released by Metal XII before the new album « Resurrection ».

But the interest of this sampler is also some tracks that are still not reissued like Satan Jokers. Created by clever musicians, Satan Jokers was signed on a major label. 2 albums ½ later, the band splitted but they 're still in memory. With 2 singers, an aggressive, vicious but melodic voice & one another singer with a soften voice, Satan Jokers was playing heavy pop metal. With an incredible image, Satan Jokers's album are really awaited in CD format.

Presence was more underground but they released a heavy rock album inspired byb th eUS metal scene of 85 with bands like Ratt, Motley Crue. The band created a real sensation & thier mini LP contains also a cover of Led Zeppelin « Rock'n'roll », which is proposed in the 2 CD box set.

Maybe you've haven't heard about Shakin Street , a band from the end of the 70's. With a female singer, Fabienne Shine ( that created later the band Shine), Shakin Street released 3 albums for CBS. Thier guitar player was anyone else than Ross Funicello, also known as Ross the Boss, the famous guitar player of Manowar. The band was playing raw hard rock .

There's then a track from Attentat Rock. The band started its carrer in the south of France by releasing a rock-hard album. But their evolution was really amazing. The band bursted out in the scene with « Le Gang des Saigneurs » that showed impressive heavy metal. Then, they released a new album « Strike » sung in english with a new singer (Marc quee, see the interview) & Attentat Rock was really as good as a lot of foreign bands. But due to some problems, the band splitted up & after the departure of their guitar player, Hervé Raynal (ex Face to Face & who will soon release a new album with his new band Smokehouse , read the interview), the band recruited Stephane Bonneau (ex Satan Jokers) & created Pink Rose a glam rock band that issued one album.

The last tittle is coming from Titan which albums are not reissued yet. Titan has been created when Killers plitted up. Bruno Dolheguy was left alone by the band. Bruno continued Killers with new musicians but the 4 other ones created Titan & they made their carrer in parallel with ADX, releasing their first album in 1987 & releasing a live album in the same time of ADX's ones. Titan was really closed to Killers, playing melodic speed metal with this still fascinating voice of their singer. May be more melodic than Killers but really heavy & speed. Titan hasn't been reissued yet but I'm sure that the day will come soon. I hope so !

The 2 CD box set contains another CD with other tracks coming from other albums of Sortilege, Satan JokersWarning, Ocean, H Bomb, Vulcain, High Power. There's also a new version of « Marquis du mal » from ADX. This 98' version will feature on their new album & it's also now available in their « greatest hits » album.

But another interest that can be found in this box set is that some bands, that appeared when the decrease of the french metal scene began, have also one track presented there. It's a real pleasure to hear songs from Fisc. Their first album was true heavy metal but in the following of their carrer, the band became more melodic & was often compared to a french Def Leppard. They left France to make their carrer in the USA . 4 albums were recorded & i strongly await their reissue.

Mystery Blue is probably one of teh french bands that really get no luck. They appearred with a fantastic first heavy metal album, but with a real bad front cover. With a good singer, great guiatr duets, Mystery Blue recorded 2 albums. The 2d one was more heavy rock. Maybe we'll have the chance to see it reissued soon. But Mysteyr Blue really did its best to relaunch the french scene, trying to tour with Fisc & Fine in the whole France. The band released last year a new selfproduced LP with now a female singer.

Highland Queen & Square were heavy rock bands. The first one released a very good EP & it allowed to discover a great singer. Really inspired by US bands, Highland Queen didn't find a real support to continue its carrer in good conditions. It's quite the same for Square that appeared in 1985. But their record company didn't make a lot to promote this band.

Then, there's Voodoo Chile, a good heavy metal band which get not enough promotion & distribution like several french bands.

Lawlesness is older & their album issued in 83 showed an intersting hard rock band. But the band splitted just after the release of their album.

Dygitals , the last band of this sampler , had no luck. They recorded their album in 1988 after 4 demos & after having played with bands like Joshua, Helloween, Chariot, ..But this album hasn't been released. Fortunatly, Brennus records will soon propose it . So, if you don't know the french metal scene, this sampler is undoubtell the best way to discover the main bands that created these scene.

Of course, there's still some bands that are lacking like Demon Eyes, Epsylon, Voie de Fait, Speed Queen, Stators, Synthese, ..... But there's enough bands to know that France had & have great & fantastic bands that released amazing albums. There were also a more underground scene with a lot of bands that get an enough potential to « make something » into th emetal scene but due to distribution probelsm, labels probelsm & a lack of interest from the french people, thei french scene has been like killed . But the thrash metal wave of the 90's with bands like Loudblast, Massacra to name a few & the rebirth of the heavy metal scene with Manigance, Fifty Ones, Regency, Headline, Folorn Emotion, Artsonic, Watcha & several other bands proves now that french scene is one of the most interesting nowadays. So support & discover the best of the 80's but don't forget to discover the new promising bands we have.


WARNING

Label : Axe Killer - Style : Heavy metal- Album : Warning II

The 2d album of Warning , originally issued in 1983 is finally out, re-released by Axe Killer.This album is numbered limited (5000 ex) & it's available in « Warnivision » with 3d cover & special glasses. After the impressive success of their first album, Warning stayed in all memories . So, teh band wanted to make a special 2d album. & they get all means to create & release their best product . That's why, Warning entered the famous Dieter Dierks studio with Dieter himself (Scorpions, ...) & the now famous Mickael Wagener to release the 2d album, simply called Warning II. Of course, knowing that, it's easier to say that some songs & the sound can remain Scorpions but Warning was really not a copy of Scorpions. The band had its own & unique personality, built in the underground before its bursting out in the french metal scene. There's some changes in the band & in its music. First Warning was showing a heavy metal band with various infleucnes such as reggae, rock, ...The 2d album of Warning is pure heavy metal. It's really more aggressive than the first album. Rapha's voice is a bit less melodic & sometimes he really screams & it sounds close to Rob Halford & sometimes Kalus Meine. Rythmic guitars were really heavier too like for the quite speed « Fire Fire » but in some songs, Warning renewed with the spirit of their first album like for « Serie Noire » . Chiristophe Aubert (RIP) , the guitar player showed in this album his incredible feeling that overcome largerly his technical level . As more & more guitar player pass beyond their technical level to the detriment of feeling, Christophe Auberts could have learned them a lot. This album met a very large success as it was certified Gold records with more than 80 000 sells in France. Warning in 2 fantastic albums put its name into the pantheon of the best heavy metal bands & not only in France.


KAT MARCO

Label : Rockat records - Style : Heavy rock - Album : Maiden voyage

Web : http://www.angelfire.com/biz2/katmarcorocks/ - E mail : Marcopia@webtv.net or NewEternalDay@webtv.net

Web : http://www.atlantic.net/~katrock - e-mail katrock@atlantic.net

Kat Marco is a new guitar goddess ! But she's not only a good guitarist. Kat is also aa very good singer. Her album has been recorded at the famous Morrisound studio with Jim Morris and Steve "DR. Killdrums" Wacholz (Savatage). There's only 3 tracks in this Cd originally issued in 1996. All 3 tracks haven entered the top ten & Kat Gets amazing reviews & medias exposure. Now Kat Marco founds her own record company Rockat Records. Kat worked in the musical industry with som eof the most important bands & guys. Her music is Heavy rock, very melodic with good riffs. Sh'e got a really good voice & she knows how to create emotions & to share them with her audience. With a so good production on this album, I highly recommend this mCD to all of those who like Melodic metal music. I think they'll found in Kat Marco a good way to have pleasure with music.



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