SOME OTHER BANDS NOT COMING FROM FRANCE :

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- Sacred Child / Sacred Steel / Sarepta / Sarnath / Satariel / Savior Servant / Scepter / Season / Season of the wolf / Senses / Sepultura / Serpent / Skepticism / $kyhigh / Sludge / Soilent Green / Soilwork / Solitude Aeternus / Somnus / Soriben / Soul of the Departed / Spoon / Stream / Strongarm / Surrender of Divinity / Swedish Erotica / Syrenade / Syris /


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Mailto lbocquet@nordnet.fr


SACRED CHILD :

Label : Harm Street Music - Style : Heavy rock- Album : Sacred Child

E mail : harmst@snowcrest.net - musthavemusic@uswest.net

Band E mail : cobbs@snowcrest.net

Here is the reissue in Cd of the album of Sacred Child , originally released by Black Dragon, the French label, in 1987. This reissue is made by Harm Street records. One can tell that this company has done it very well. Because,teh company has not only released the same version of the vynil in CD, they added bonus tracks : 7 titles with the original singer of the group : David Reece (ex Accept, Stream, ...). These songs had been recorded by the originel line-up and had to be released by a company. But ahead the delay taken with the label that was concerned in the period, David Reece has preferred to qui t the band & to start a solo carrer! Then, the group had found a new singer whose particularity is notably to be the sister of Neil Young ! Musically speaking, Sacred Child evolves in a style close to Heavy rock, & it sounds very melodic. Astrid Young, the singer, has got a beautiful vocal organ ( on the contrary of her brother !) and she uses it as wonder as possible. Chuck Rosa proves to be a very gifted guitarist ( he is also a famous & fine producer! He had worked with bands like LA Guns, Vinnie Vincent, Lazz Rockit, ...). It is sure that the success of a group as Guns & Roses must have been a problem for young bands like Sacred Child. It is sure that the group was mainly compared with it. Songs sung by David Reece have not apparently been remastered and it sounds older ( especially for the snare drums). If one compares the 2 chants, it is necessary to admit that the 2 versions are excellent ! David is indeed an exceptional singer, with an undeniable charisma, but Astrid Young isnít the one that will imitate David! On the contrary, she gives to songs another dimension, she sometimes brings them a different color. And by moments, the difference between 2 voices is practically null ! To conclude, pieces as « Wagons of fire», «Electric Thunder» or again «Alive in steel» can always be listened to with a lot of pleasure ! it is easy to criticize this style of music, but, it is necessary to be honest ! The good songs never become old & out of time ! The majority of the songs of this album are a flagrant proof of it!


SAREPTA :

self production - Style : Thrash core- Album: Sunk

E mail : Sarepta@t-online.de

This group comes from Germany. The band started in 1992 & after one demo in 93 & they released a debut miniCD called 'Mind Wipe' in 1994. After a change in line -up, the band worked a lot for the new miniCD 'Sunk'; They've already played with bands like Waltari, Laberinto, Testimony, Despair, Krabathor, to name a few. in their merchandising, you can also find some gig posters, baseball caps, sweatshirts & T shirts too! So, if you become a fan of Sarepta, you can help them by spreading their names as often as possible!

'Sunk' is a miniCD composed of 5 tracks. Immediately, one notices the power and the precision of Sarepta. The production of this album is really impressive ! Sarepta will surely make som eenvy to a lot of bands ! The style of the group is rather power thrash. Sarepta evolves therefore in the current vein of this music. Rhythmics guitars sounds like Hell! The guitars sound crushes you ears. Parts of guitars mix with the perfection primary brutality and technical subtlety. The drummer is excellent and inventive ('Shake the dice up'). Moreoever, the sound of his snare drums is excellent, very dry and powerful. The voice oscillates between that one ofSepultura ( or ratherSoulfly now) and Machine Head ! Anyway, Sarepta is a group to classify between these 2 current monsters of the power thrash ! More again, Sarepta succeeds to to be required between these 2 bands. It offers us therefore a very interesting album in a forceful style ! Such a demonstration of force would not have to leave a lot insensitive peoples !


Sarnath :

Sarnath doesn't want to spread too much information about them. They want to keep the secret & the legend. the band has been created in 90 & released a 7"ep for an italian label. Then, they released a split Cd with nomicon for Shiver records. The 2 bands have now signed with Shiver & released one album yet. Sarnath is inspired by old hard rock , heavy metal bands like Sentenced, Amorphis, God Forsaken, ...

It's totally an impressive work that "Overshine". This Cd is absolutly a must have for power thrash fans. A real success in the realisation , composition. It's very atonishing for such a young band. As they said in thier bio, Amorphis, Sentenced are some of their influences but you also find Dark Tranquillity's touches but in a slower way. The band seems to have worked a lot for this result. It's always inventive & original ( "Fallen pretender" for i.e.). The production is one of the best i heard for an independant band. It's really incredible to see the maturity that Sarnath has. Musicaly speaking, it's more often mid tempos than speed one. Guitars parts are very fluid & melodic with good riffs. Vocals are various , sometimes powerful, sometimes melodic like in "Annunciation". I really think that those who have been disappointed by the last albums of bands like Metallica, Paradise Lost, .; will be satisfied by this one. Sarnath proves that thrash metal is still an interesting music if you can create solid songs & bring them a touch of originality. there's absolutly no default in this Cd. 


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, Iím 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 Ďve really found their own place in this scene. « Lady Lust lilith » is really a richness album to be listened several times !


SAVIOR SERVANT : Savior Servant is a heavy metal band coming from New York, USA. The band wants its music to reflect the gamut of emotions that define humanity. So, this 4 piece band compose different songs that can sound darkly depressive or hopeful. They've just released their first selftittled album for Dominion records. Through a good production, the band starts with a powerful metal songs, "trippin" that is near from power thrash. At this time, the band remains me Anthrax ( with Sound of a white noise) or Fight. It's probably due to the way to play rythmic parts & because of their good singer. He's got a great & loud voice that can sometimes take tones like John Bush or James Hettfield or Dave Mustaine on songs like "trippin" or "alleytown". He really knows how to use his voice to bring the best vocals line to a song. But his voice is really better 'cos he uses different tones giving a various surroundings to each songs. He can simulteanously bring powerful  like on "In my head" or he can whisper on "Wimstis", he can take a loud voice (close to Alice in Chains) on" Monastery " & he can sing with a voice full of emotion & feeling on the magnificient song like "Stillborn" with fantastic acoustic guitar parts. Musically speaking the whole album is really solid & homogenous. Each musicians make a good work & give his best on each songs. So, they succeed in creating various ambient & climate on songs. Their Heavy metal is really captivating from the beginning to the end, including power metal songs, slow & gloomy songs or ballad.

Savior Servant proposes a definitly various heavy metal album, inspired by the american metal bands. These competent musicians give us a refreshing album . Surely a good departure & a band to follow!


SCEPTER :

Style Rock Hard - CD 'Eat to the feet' - E mail : scepter@dtc.net

Band web site at http://www2.dtc.net/~scepter

Coming from Kansas ( Wichita - USA), Scepter has been working for more than ten years & have been composed more than an hundred songs. 'Eat to the feet' is the name of their CD. It has been recorded on a 8 tracks home studio. & the less to say, it 's that it sounds better than several demo recorded sometimes with a 16 tracks studio. this album ( also availble in CD) is like areturn to th eroots of hard rock. There's a lot of groove in songs & this is really the kind of music that gives a special feeling. It's a rel pleaure to be leaded by this 10 beautiful songs. Some blues chords associated with the classical rock guitars sound ( especially or solis) give to this album a real soul. Scepter proves that musicians doen't always need to be teh best one or to show that they're the best ones on earth to create sensible & captivating songs. the ban just lets its guitars play & th eresult is really attractive. more, there's good vocals line, very melodic that brings some contrast with this music. Between the hard rock song ' Rel face' & teh bluesy rock 'Aay', Scepter evolves with delicacy & powerful.


SEASON : Season is a hard gothic band from Poland. As i'm waitin g for news, visit their home page (where you can also find Ysigm another band from Poland)


SEASON OF THE WOLF:

Seasons Of The Wolf was formed in the Fall of 1988 . Their first recordings date back to 1989. It tooks only six weeks to record the self titled 6 song CD. They build a strong cult following in the Tampa Bay area of Florida and it continues to grow. The intensity of the music and captivating theatrical stage-presence in their live shows have brought positive reviews. SOTW has already made more than 300 concerts. Currently S.O.T.W. has over 150 songs written and recorded in some format, but only 6 so far are available to the general public on CD. S.O.T.W. is now in the process of recording a new album / CD . The band influences are various : from Beethoven to Black Sabbath, Rush, ...

The SOTW 's album is truly one of the most interesting melodic heavy metal albums for years. (This one was released in 96) The artwork & logo on the Cd remains one of brutal death metal or black metal bands but when you put it on it's really another atmosphere. SOTW plays melodic heavy metal with good keyboards parts. The guitar player seems to be influenced by bands coming from the eighties. His sound is really original. The way he makes his solis is excellent. Phaedra Rubio, the bass woman player has also got a fine style. SOTW is really not an old fashioned metal band. Its music is attractive & innovative by certain parts (Electric dimension for example). They made a great work on vocals & backing vocals. So, it's easy to remain songs. Sometimes (in "Long cold winter" for example) , the singer is close to Midnight ( the singer from Crimson Glory) in their "Strange & beautiful" album . You can also have your own opinion about SOTW in hearing the complete first song of the first albumat this adress : http://members.aol.com/bloodtree/VICTIM.htm (real audio / 5 min to download). This is really another promising band. read the interview...


SENSES :

Web : http://www.senses.net/ or http://www.iuma.com/IUMA/Bands/Senses

E mail : senses@garden.net

Senses is a progressive rock or may be a simlple rock band based in New Jersey (USA).  they're influenced by the 60's & 70's bands like Yes, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, The Who & Led Zep. Vivaldi, Bernstein or Copla,d feature also in their sphere of influences. Created in 94, the band has released a first album : 'fields unsown'. May be it could be quite strange to see them in a metal devoted site, but their influences & their music could easily satisfy some hard rock-metal fans.

Fields unsown : Leaded by a woman, Joan Morbée, Senses impresses a lot by their qualities : good musician ship, good melodies & a good rock groove. Guitars are effictively influenced by the 70's, & the sound remains more this period than the modern one. It's quite the same for the production, very clear & simple. that's certainly what gives to the album this attractive effect. On it, the duet ( Joan & the bass player) is followed by sessions musicians that gives a professionnal side to their music. It's a very pleasant music to listen to. It's quite more rock than progressive music. No demonstrative parts, the band prefers to work on the efficience of songs & on the quality of the structure. If you're attracted by this kind of music, don't hesitate to get it through musea in Europe or cranium records in new zealands, you can also order it through the band web site.


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

Itís 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. Itís 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 Ďs 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 havenít resist to play a song with guests musicians : KODO & it gives a very special & typical Sepulturaís song : Kamaitchi. That can be taken for a new Kaiowas.Of course, Sepultura hasnít changed all its personality, thatís why thereís still excellent percussions. Their sound hasnít changed at all even, if itís 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. Itís 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.


SERPENT

label : Heathendoom music Sweden - Style Doom metal- Album : Autumn Ride

Created in 1993 by Lars Rosenerg ( which also plays in Entombed !) & Andreas Wahl ( Concrete sleep & Therion), the band released at first a demo tape & later came a debut album called ĎIn the garden of ...Serpent). As Radiation records, a subdivision of Nuclear Blast was interested in this album, they released them for us in 1996. Serpent shows quality doom metal influenced by bands like The obsessed, Motorhead & Black Sabbath of course. Un happy about this debut album, the band stopped with Radiation & Lars quitted the band, replaced by the founding members : Andreas Wahl ! After a few appearance in som esamplers of magazines, Serpent signed with Heathendoom music. So, in mid 97 the recorded this new album ĎAutumn rideí, album which was mixed by the famous Tomas Skosberg in teh legenday Sunlight Studio.

100% Pure doom metal ! Such is the ultimate sentence of Serpent and one can say that Perís & his guys reaches their gial! Never an album of doom had appeared so captivating than this one! Never a group had as well succeeded in making us forget for one moment all what Black Sabbath could achieve in the past. Then, Serpent features as the worthy successor of Ozzy & Co. As the first song begins, the reference is obvious and even Piotr Wawrzeniuk with the song is able to subjugate us by his intonations worthy of Ozzy wehn this one is at his best form. The second piece of the album is prodigious! Certainly the heaviest song than a band could write. And yet, Serpent never falls into this heaviness, this monolithism where several bands are confronted. The melodies are quite present, throbbing, captivating! With a faultless production, the group sounds as if it came out straight of the mid 70ís! And more, this album does not sound definitively as not dated or obsolete! ' Autumn Ride' is without question an album which will have the appearance of a reference as regards in the doom metal scene. The ultimate album in the end, may be that one that Black Sabbath has not been able to release out for a few years. It is excellent and essential: a monument!


SKEPTICISM :

Style : Oppressive climate music - Album : Ethere - Lead & Aethere

Label : www.rstream.com

Email : RedStream@aol.com

Red Stream records released with Skepticism a very strange band. 'Ethere', their mini CD contains only 3 tracks but for an approximative 30 minutes play! Described as a band playing primitive funeral doom, it's really impossible to stay insensible facing this strange sounds & songs. You're not the same after hearing 'Ehtere'. Skepticism is the kind of bands that you hate or that you love . One thing is sure : this band does not sound like anyone. It's even slower than the slowest doom metal bands you've ever heard. 'Ethere' delivers disturbing climax & it describes various states of depression. Anyway, there's no search in melodies or technicity, all music is built in comparison with surroundings created. Even the production doesn't sound like anyone lse. Drums 'kit doesn't really sound like it used to be in metal. 'Ethere' is like a collection of strange & opressing sounds. In fact, it's certainly too much strange to be described . 

Here thus the first album of Skepticism after a first test marketed in the shape of mini CD the evolution between these 2 albums is not very marked. Skepticism found its style and it begins again there or ' Ethere' had stopped. Nevertheless, it should be specified that the group succeeded in enriching its music by new sonorities which thus make it linear. The atmospheres create by the group always testify to as much blackness and sadness. With this so characteristic style, Skepticism is essential like one of the most lugubrious groups, blackest which never existed. This album is oppressing from beginning to end. ' Lead & Aether' are almost a disc of environments, morbid and cold environments. Moreover, one time accustomed to this so strange sound, one is subjugated so much by the climate released by this music which it is impossible to be demolished some. Admittedly, the amateurs of metal in the traditional sense of the term is likely not to appreciate. 2 titles of the mCd are taken again on the album. it is of ' the march & the stream' in a version a little shorter and about ' Aether'. The 4 other titles of this album are them all original.


$KYHIGH : Few informations about $kyhigh but this band seems to be very active & well known in its own country. their site has recently been updated with no frames version.  Wait for the news...


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 «íve 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 Ďs 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.


SOILENT GREEN :

Web site : http://www.Relapse.com

E mail : promo@relapse.com

Soilent green 's beginning started in 88. in 3 years, teh band released about 6 demos. 1994 will see the release of their first full length album called 'pussysoul'. After touring with Extreme noise terror in the summer 95, or Pantera & Clutch in 97, the band enters studio again with Ben Falgout (Crisis, Crowbar) to record songs taht will feature on their new mCd 'A string of lies'. Relpase ,signs teh band & resents worldwide this 3 tracks mCd of brutal megagrind !

This is a new band signed on the famous label Relapse records. Soilent Green is of course an extreme band in its style. Strongly influenced by death metal, the band also uses some grind parts, alternating loud voices with more aggressive one . tempos are for sometimes really speed. But the main parts is really well structured & well played. Arrangements are quite good & this makes music pleasant to be listened to. More, the production for a mCD is more efficient that on some famous bands. Soilent Green masters its style very well & proposes a good alternative to the main bands. There's only 3 tracks but it shows the best side of the band. There's also a short hidden track. 11 minutes of solid death grind with a good production. It's quite rare to bring your interest on it. 


SOLITUDE AETERNUS :

Label : Massacre records - Style : Heavy - doom metal - Album : Adagio

Label web : http ://www.massacre-records.com

Created in 1987 , Solitude Aeternus released 2 demos before its first deal with King Classic records, that were impressed by the quality of their doom melodic metal. It ends with « Into the depths of sorrow » recorded in 1990 but released in 1991. In the mean time, the band was signed on Roadrunner which released « Beyond the crimson horizon » the 2d album in 1992. Then, they toured with Killers & get a new deal with Pavement records & then released « Through the darkest hour » in 1994, followed by a tour with Mercyful Fate & Revelation. « Downfall », the following album , released in 1996 wasnít as good promoted for teh band, os, it didnít bring something more to the band, even if they toured with Morgana Lefay. Thatís why, Solitude Aeternus signed on Massacre records. The result is « Adagio », the new album released in 1998. This 5th album has been produced by the band himself. To promote it, Solitude Aeternus will tour in 98 with Saviour Machine, Heavenwood & Bliss.

Solitude Aeternus has just released one of its best albums ! First of all, the group benefits from an incredible production, terribly powerful with very few effects. The group has wanted to make simple and to remain deeply anchored in its roots. The style of the group has not really evolved a lot since their beginning. It always concerns Doom or rather slow heavy metal. Some songs as « Lament » or « Never »sounds really Doom but others are more rapid. The chant is excellent and eventually, Solitude Aeternus, that evolves in a very close style to Count Raven , Kyuss or again Saint Vitus, can equally be classified among bands as Memory Garden, Candlemass, Memento Mori without nevertheless being as heavy musically. Available in digipack version , « Adagio » is a surprising & varied album. The chant is really at its best and Robert Lowe asserts himself as one of the most gifted & skilled singers in this style He can in anyway be melodic (« Never»), worrisome ( as on « Empty Faith ») or more powerful ( « days of prayer »). More, some vocal harmonies here and there are very convincing. And attention to the bonus track, a cover of Black Sabbath : Heaven & Hell, perfectly played and sung ( beautiful performance !)and where Solitude Aeternus has kept the spirit that animated Black Sabbath to this period. As compared to a lot groups in the same style & that often try to make relive only the past, Solitude Aeternus explores an other way. Its music is rather a mix between the past and the present ( often symbolized by Doom swedish bands). The result is really excellent. Eventually, Solitude Aeternus proposes with this « Adagio » its best album to date. The expected tour beginning in September would easily allow them tomeet a large success. Certainly the album of the consecration


SOMNUS :

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

E mail : aypslou@aol.com or empsomnus@aol.com

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.


SORIBEN : soriben@geocities.com

Soriben is a doom metal band coming from Spain. They 've just created a web site at http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/1048. "Senor de Luz " is the tittle of their 7 tracks demo tape. The band wants to insist about the "poor quality of their sound" but i think that it's only a demo tape & its aim is to present the band & seduce some underground fans & labels. Of course, sound cannot be as good as for an album. In fact, if production is not on the top , it's surely on the average for a demo & it allows to have good feelings about the band. The first particularity of the band is that they sing in spanish. It sounds strange at first, but it reveals some pleasant charms at the end . But i have also to say that Soriben is not a bad copy of bands like Cathedral or Candlemass. Soriben develops a personal style & it's really something rare for a young band. Then, it's not possible to describe their main influence. Tempos of songs are better mid one than slow one. A great effort has been made on musical sense & structure of the songs, that are very well arranged & so bring various surroundings. If the singer has a voice near from thrash metal, he sings in fact in a more declamatory style. What impress me a lot is the cohesiveness & originality of the drummer & bass player. They really bring the complexive & built aspect of Soriben 's music. So songs are enriched with numerous breaks & there's also good arpeggios like in "Espejo Llina" that show that powerful is also available with clean guitars. Ther's also a few synths part that are not too much invading. But there's 2 instrumental songs made with keyboards : a short cover of J.S. Bach's Toccata & the song "Mio requiem". Lead guitars don't hesitate to put numerous solis in songs & that's another interesting point that the band has to developped.

In fact, I really think that if Soriben continue to work hard, they'll (with a good recording) assert itself on the doom sceene, creating a new style : some kind of progressive doom metal!!


SOULS OF THE DEPARTED : Read the interview!

Web site : http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/soulafied

E mail : soulafied@compuserve.com

Coming form the Netherlands, Souls of the Departed was created in 1992, with the idea to combine heavy-high powered music with a melodic insight. As the band is very good on stage, they were proposed to play at the pinkpop festival without haviong any album released. As it failed, the band recorded in 1997 its debut CD called "Random acts of human behaviour", recorded in the Beaufort studio ( Gathering, Pestilence). 

Musically speaking, it's evidence that Souls of the Departed takes advantage of 2 different ways of playing metal music. The first one is quite thrash, always with melodies, the second one is really more "commercial". Their first album reflects this strange position. Some songs are very savage & remains me Metallica in its young year by the voice or feeling that musicians have. Other ones, remains me more bands like Guns & Roses with very melodic vocals line. Nevertheless, it's more the powerful side that is in place in this first album. Singer can use differently his voice & on some songs he really found his own style, blending a soft melodic voice with a harsch one. He's got something special in his voice that give originality to the band. But musicians have also a serious musical ability. Guitar leads are quite impressive & the rythm section feels very strong & precise, with an excellent bass player.  

The band has also got the kindness to send me 2 new tracks recorded on a 4 tracks studio. These one shows precisely the style of the band. Souls of the Departed is really on the good way. They turns into a more melodic way that suits very well to their style & their influences are more hidden. It's now 100% original with an excelent melodyship. Newt album will be excellent if they continue to work like that. 


SPOON : Here's a finnish band. But don't think that they're playing ultra loud death metal or something else. Spoon plays a great power thrash metal. For a demo , the sound is excellent, very powerful. There's only 3 tracks in "Dessert" but it seems like if they was inspired by Anthrax, "Stomp 442" period. The first track of the demo looklikes closely to one of Anthrax song. It proves that Spoon is a band with a very good technical level. 3 tracks is short to have a good & definitive opinion of a band, but it's clear that Spoon has got a good potential & we will surely hear about them in the future. A great debut demo....There's no web site but a E mail : svainikk@teak.fi


STREAM :

Label : Brennus international- style : heavy metal- Album Stream

Brennus international is a new brench of Brennus records, only devoted to international productions (Brennus only releases french melodic metal bands). Stream is their first sign. & as you'll see it's really not unknown guys behind this band. Created in the mid 80's by Peter Scheitauer, the band has already released a first album & toured with Satriani, Fisc, Victory, ...In the end of 89, they enter Dierks studio (Scorpions, ..) to prepare a new album. But the band splitted. Then, Strem renews with dave 'the beast' Spitz ( ex : Black Sabbath, White Lion, Great White to name a few). The line up is completed with Stet Howland (Wasp, blackfoot, impelliteri, ...) & david Reece (Accept, Bangalore Choir). Then, peter invited some firends to complete the line up : chuck Wright (Quiet Riot), Pat Torpey( Mr Big, Robert Plant) . the result is Stream their first album. A new one is already scheduled with eric Singer (Kiss, alice Cooper), bob Daisley (Ozzy, rainbow, ...).

This album is certainly one that will work for the renewal of US heavy metal. As you 've seen, this band is composed of skilled & talentuous musicians. Sure, the 80's period was the best one for them. & with this album they all try to make this period rebirth. So, there's full of crushing riffs & guitar licks, melodic& vicious vocals, ...Nothing to say : it's a really good work. David Reece will surely remain Dio in some vocals line. in 12 trakcs, Stream condensed all things that make the success of Heavy metal. Now, we've just to expect to see them on tour. 


STRONGARM :

Label : Solid State records/Tooth & Nail - Style : Thrash -Hardcore - Album : The advent of a miracle.

Web site http://www.solidstaterecords.com - http://www.toothandnail.com - E mail webmaster@toothandnail.com

Band E mail : Boni78@aol.com or strongarm@icanet.net - BandWeb : http://www.icanet.net/strongarm

Tooth & nail - Solid State records is one of the labels which seems to place at the disposal of its groups all what it is necessary so that those obtain the best possible result: production without faults, small pocket and booklet of quality! And as the groups of the label is not development, it is thus each time of the very first choice! Strongarm does not escape the rule. With an E production which is a model of the kind, this group of metal/hardcore should soon make speak about him on an international scale. Equipped with the rhythm section impressive, probably best in this style: what a its of low and what a play of battery ('measure of consequence'), the group is thus propelled without encumber towards excellence! The singer sings like one damné! He seems as had and he assene with the listeners his rage in a very aggressive way, even if if from time to time he spares some ranges of rest However, one detects here and there in the music of many melodies brought by the guitars as on the very melody ' Council of perfection' to the air and light guitars, almost Heavy metal all things considered. But when it is about power, reassure you, the group is capable of all the prowesses. With the difference in considerable Harcore/metal formations, Strongarm is different by a more melody approach on the level from the guitars and by a smoothness from play which will astonish by them more one. Thus, Strongarm creates its own style and brings a little originality to a kind which appeared a little stereotyped.


SURRENDER OF DIVINITY

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

E mail : surrender666@hotmail.com

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.


SWEDISH EROTICA : bio -review

Swedish Erotica is a institutional band that brings you the best of Swedish metal, and as you can tell of their name they are very exotic for our Japanese fellows. They have released a few albums and broke recently up with their former record company. Dzynamite will now continue the honourable job spread their albums throughout the world.

I wonder why so much people talks about the death of heavy metal. Swedish Erotica is not really a newcomers on the sceene & their experience helps them to propose this time again a masterpiece in heavy metal. In comparison with Original Sin, Swedish Erotica evolves in a more melodic tone that let burst out some "rock" influences like in BMR for example. Like always, the production is phenomenal & nothing allows to make a difference between this band & a major acts that had tons of media exposure. 


SYRENADE :

here is a dutch heavy metal band . The band don't hesitate to include rap or funk elementys in their music. the first album is called "the eternal lie" . Its concept is about violence & war. Syrenade has already made a tour in Benelux & prepare now its second effort for mid 97. Meanwhile, a new demo-cassette has been recorded to keep up the growing interest from the music industry . Patrick Bouwman , the guitarist also plays in My brother Jake band.


SACRED STEEL :

Label : Metal Blade - style : Heavy metal - CD : Reborn in steel

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

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


SOILWORK :

Label : Listenable records- style : melodic death metal- Cd : Steel bath suicide

Web site : http://www.listenable.com E mail : listenable@yahoo.com

The swedish scene is probably the most important one in the extreme metal style. Each time you hear something from a new band, you find it terribly good ( like Mental Crypt, Blackmail, Dark Tranquillity, ....). Soilwork is a new swedish bands that has just released a first album for the french company Listenable records ( Ancient, Mercyful Fate tribute, Devileech, ...). Is this band as surprising & as good as the other ones had been? yes! & probably more! Soilwork is influenced by 90's metal bands such as Carcass ( a lot! listen to the voice & some riffs) , At the gates ( for the sound & melodic aspect), Strapping young lad . But the band has also listened to a lot of 80's bands like Judas Priest; Accept or MSG. Soilwork 's musis is the blend of all of this. So, it sounds really powerful & brutal but without losing a certain way of musicality & melody. More, this albul has been recorded at the famous Fredman studio, then, ther's absolutly no matter with the production of this album : it's excellent! Soilwork can be classified between Carcass & Dark TRanquillity. Carcass for their ability to create amazing & original riffs & melodies, Dark Tranquillity because of the tempos of songs. 'Steel Bath suicide' can also be compared to an extreme version of Judas Priest without a melodic singer of course. Solis are really influenced by Heavy metal. It's really hard to find such skilled musicians in extreme bands ( hear for example the track 'in a close encounter' where the band reveals all its potential). So, despite some visible influences, Soilwork sounds unique & their album features as one of the most exciting debut album released in 1998. 


SYRIS :

Label : ABS records / Crazy Life Music - Style : Heavy metal - Album : Unseen Forces

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

Coming from a town near Chicago in the USA, Syris is often described as a progressive metal phenomena. Combining raw power & soulful melodies, the band created its own music. After a first album released in 1995 which proves their good songwrting& musicianship, the band changed its lineup. But in 1998, theíre back with a second album called Unseen Force & released by Crazy Life Music - ABS records.

The heavy metal makes really a return in strength! After an ' Accident of Birth' of Bruce Dickinson which enabled us to join again with a somptuous heavy metal, Syris and its ' Unseen force' has released too an essential heavy metal album and which only requires to become a reference . If you liked the album of Bruce Dickinson, this one should make you a lot of pleasure! One can almost say that it is the logical continuation of Accident of birth'! In any case, the same elements can be found: powerful riffs, high level melodies, inspired solis. Syris has an undeniable « know-how » as regards inHeavy metal. And with a singer of the hardening of Scott Huffmann, the group does not have anything to envy with the best! With its intonations that would not disavow Bruce Dickinson (moreover, you can be mistaken per moments, as on the splendid ballad called ' Broken soul'!), he carries the group on his shoulders & makes it reach a higher level! This singer forms part of the elite of the metal, be sure! And more, as the songs are inspired, we hold there an album of reference for all those which were rocked by the heavy metal. But, donít mislead, this album does not sound! It better symbolizes the revival of the heavy metal scene in all its splendour! The next album is highly awaited ! When you known that Noise records takes a spartner ABS records & will distribute & promote ABS productions , we got there the insurance to hold one of the future pillars of the power metal scene!



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