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FAITH OF FEAR/Instruments Of Death (Lost and Found) This band is back and back in a big way. I have seen them live now several times and now I have some new stuff in my hands to sink my teeth into. Only 4 of the tracks are new as the other stuff is some demo stuff from the 90's that sound godly to these ears. The band finally got my favorite tune on disc, "Got No Choice" and it sounds killer. The new stuff sounds awesome and the old stuff still sounds fresh as pie. The band combine the best of metal and punk with a more metal edge, but just have a bit of that old school punk sound within their music. Tim still sound great on vocals and Chris's riffs and playing just make my neck sore over and over. I am so glad these guys are back they are like a long lost friend that you never forgot about and bumped into one day. I hope this band continues to put out more music cause the underground needs more bands like this. Easily the best CD of 2009 so far. Info: or

GRUNGE IS DEAD/The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music (Book) I was around for the whole grunge thing and I thought some of the bands like Nirvana and Alice in Chains were some awesome bands and just reading this book brought back some great memories of the time. This book clocks in at almost 500 pages and details in history of the whole Seattle scene before grunge, during grunge, and the aftermath and the cool thing is it is told by the people that were there. The whole book is quote after quote from the people that were there and I finished the book in less than a week and it is a great read. Whether you were there or not this book will fascinate you as it did me. Info:

BILL LEVERTY/Deep South (Self Released) This is a solo release from one of the guy's in Firehouse and this is nothing like Firehouse. This is a bunch of old songs, some over 100 yrs old, that he re does and he plays almost on this too. Now I am a big Firehouse fan and I was glad this wasn't just a bunch of rejected Firehouse tunes that he just put out. This is not something that I would listen to everyday, but it is a bit different and is very mellow in spots and this is something I would pop on when I want to relax. I had not heard any of these tunes before except for "Hit The Road Jack" which has a female singer on it. This you have to listen to with an open mind and it isn't bad for what it is, which is Bill playing some old tunes that he pays homage to. Info:

NECROPHAGIA/A Legacy Of Horror, Gore, and Sickness (Baphomet) 18 tunes as only this band can do. Killjoy's sick vocals are a treat to listen to as his band busts out some of the best death metal in the land. This band has never put out a bad release and if you aren't familiar with this band you should absolutely get this along with "Season of the Dead" and you will listen to some prime US death metal played with lots of feeling, passion and just emotion and Killjoy just kills on this and that is no pun intended 18 tracks that any fan of death metal will enjoy. Info:

ARCANA COELESTIA/Le Mirage De I'deal (ATMF) Absolute bone crushing doom and this is easily one of the best doom metal releases I have heard in ages. This just sucks you in and sets the mood and then you are caught in its web until the last note. The singing is godly as it is sung with such feeling and power and it fits the music perfectly. This is as heavy as a ton of bricks. Perfect production as well. This is simply a masterpiece of doom metal that should not be missed. Info:

ICP/Frequency (Inside Out Music) Oh my god did this completely blow me away. This is the album that Dream Theater should have made after 'Images and Words." This is simply godly power metal that was played with such power, passion, and feeling I was totally blown away. As this played on I was shaking my head at how good it is. The singer has one of the best voices I have ever heard and he sings each song with such feeling I was in awe of his vocals. The production is perfect and this is easily one of the greatest releases I have ever reviewed since starting Metal Core and that my friends goes back till 1986!!! Absolutely brilliant. Info:

VERTIGO/The Coming And The Going (Self Released) This is some decent power pop music with a pretty good female singer. She sings the songs with some passion and her vocals didn't get on my nerves. The band write and play some catchy tunes and her vocals fit the music well. The production is good as everything flows rather freely and I enjoyed this band so check em out if power pop music is your thing. Info;

9MM SOLUTION/The Dream Is Dead (Rock Ridge Music) This is another nu metal groove band and they are OK, the songs at least are better sounding that some of these other nu metal bands I have heard. I do the hate the growl/clean vocal style which to me sounds stupid and doesn't fit the music at all. Production is fine and I am not a fan of this style at all and to me this was just OK. The band does rip out some catchy heavy riffs and if nu metal is your thing, this is one of the better bands making the rounds these days. Info:

ASHES OF MORTALITY/Adv Tracks (Self Released) This is a local band and they send me a 2 song CD and the 2 songs I have hear aren't bad at all. The band play fast death metal with some nice riffs and thank god the vocals weren't that gruff style or the cup the mic shit. The singer has a nice solid death metal sound and the 2 songs on this I thought sounded decent and I was moving my neck to the tunes and even playing a little air drums at times ha ha. 2 songs is tough to judge, but these guys are young and I am sure they will get better and they are off to a pretty good start. Info:

URNA/Iter Ad Lucem (ATMF) More killer bone crushing doom played with tons of feeling and passion and doom metal needs feeling and passion in it or it doesn't work in my eyes. The vocals sound like a man on his last breaths and it works for this band. This is some sad, depressing music and just sucks you and won't let you out. Production is right on the mark and this has some of the slowest and heaviest riffs you will ever hear. This is the soundtrack to your death. Info:

DAWN OF TEARS/Dark Chamber Litanies (Lugga Music Productions) 5 tracks of some melodic speedy death metal that I really enjoyed. The speedy riffs and drums had my feet and neck moving and the riffs were quite catchy as well. The singer sings in a more death metal style and he has a strong voice and he belts out the lyrics with a fury. The production is on the money and I just love the guitar sound this band use it is awesome. The band also throw in some keyboard parts here and they also slow it down at times to let your breath. 5 tunes just was not enough I need more dammit ha ha. Info:

ABSENTIA LUNAE/Historia Nobis Assentievr (ATMF Music) This was some crazy out of control black metal. This is not your typical pick riffing black metal band. Vocals that are out of this world and music that while fast and in the black metal style are a bit different from your average black metal band. The band slow it down at times and let you catch your breath and then whip it into overdrive again. The songs are long, but never boring. This just pounded me into the ground and for me there was no escape. Info:

REBELS WITHOUT APPLAUSE/Low End Head Stomp (EMA/Polydisc) This has a couple members from Znowhite in it. I thought this was going to be nu metal and lo and behold it was, but this was just not your typical jump metal band. The band whip out a few non typical jump metal riffs and the singer doesn't sing in that annoying gruff style and I thought his vocals were the best part on this. I am not a fan of many nu metal bands and think they all sound the same and are a dime a dozen, but this band offer a bit more to the table than a typical 99 cent value meal that most nu metal bands do. Info:

OBTEST/Gyvbes Medis (Osmose Productions) I have mixed feelings on this. I don't like the vocals on this much as his voice does nothing for me, however, the music is crushing fast death/black metal that had me playing air drums more than a couple times. Actually his vocals aren't that bad, it is some parts that he sings that I am not too fond of, but at other times he is tolerable. The production is good as everything can be heard and I love the fast speedy parts and they took my head off. The drummer crushes on this puppy. Info:

LUCTUS/Jauciant Pabaiga Arti (Ledo Takas Records) This is one bone crushing release of black/thrash metal that totally blew me away. God the guitar sound and riffs had my neck working overtime in a matter of seconds. The drummer smashes and smashes his drums into oblivion as he pounds out the sounds. The vocals are godly as they are sung in a non generic black metal way and it sounds awesome and sings with lots of emotion and feeling sort of cross between Cronus from Venom meeting Tom Warrior (old) Celtic Frost. Production is perfect and this is easily a must have and a fantastic release and mix of black and thrash metal and just oozes that old school sound that I crave. Buy or fry. Info:

SWEET CYANIDE/Self Titled (Independent Records) This was some neat rock n roll with lots of catchy hooks and some nice singing too. I am a sucker for a good hook and this more than delivered the goods. I like the guitar and bass sound this band use and the vocals really fit the music and don't sound like anybody I can think of. This is just well crafted rock n roll with hooks and it is also heavy at the same time. Info:

DISSIMULATION/Aiduokit Mirusius (Ledo Takas Records) This to me would be what Wargasm sounded like if they played black metal. This band mix up the thrash metal and black metal rather nicely. The vocals are pure black metal style and aren't bad neither. The production is not over produced and the guitar sound brings back memories of some old 80's thrash bands. The band just ooze that old school sound and I love it. The band also mix up the speed and mid paced part to allow you to catch your breath ha ha. Good one here. Info:

SOUL STEALER/Self Titled (Ledo Takas Records) This was a pure heavy metal band and I didn't like it at all. I felt the songs were boring and the riffs fell flat and didn't have that catchiness that I crave. The singer has a clean voice that I absolutely hated. I thought his voice did not fit the music and really got on my nerves. The tunes on this were flat as a pancake and just did nothing to excite me at all and I didn't remember any riffs or melodies after each song was over. Info:

RETRO NOVA/Self Titled (Self Released) This was one CD that blew me away. This is some incredible rock n roll with tons of hooks and some amazing singing. Reminds me of the recently reformed Balance band at times, and that my friends, is not a bad thing. This is just pure catchy rock n roll that had my foot tapping and my head moving within seconds of hearing this. The production is right on the money allowing everything to flow freely. Listening to this was a pure delight for my ears and is easily one of my favorites of 2009 so far. Info:

TINY MASTERS OF TODAY/Skeletons (Mute Records) This is some down and dirty punk rock that I was kinda surprised I liked so much. I love the song 'Pop Chart" as it has one killer hook and the lyrics and the way that they are sung are out of this world. This is not polished at all and it like down in your cellar punk rock and I am sure that is just the way the band wanted it. The female vocals on this are not annoying on this and actually are sort of refreshing in some ways. A very pleasant surprise and this band is doing something new and fresh at least in my eyes and ears. Info: or

BONE GNAWER/Feast Of Flesh (Pulverised) This is just solid balls to the wall death metal. This is no frills death metal band. The band totally crush and they blast, smash, and crush through 10 tunes of some bone crushing death metal that I quite enjoyed. Legendary singer Kam Lee just absolutely destroys on this release and he sings/growls ha ha the songs with feeling and passion of a serial killer enjoying his handiwork. The production is perfect and the guitar sound I totally love. This is one awesome death metal release and is easily one of the best death metal releases of this year so far hands down. Info: or

TOMMY BONES/Self Titled (Self Released) This is 4 tunes of some really good metal that at times has some old school thrash metal in it. The 4 tunes are heavy, crunchy numbers that would not be out of place on an old 80's thrash release. The singer has a good solid set of pipes as he sings the songs with some power and none of that tough guy or lower than low crap. He is the real deal. The production is nice and heavy and the guitar has that solid crunchy sound I love. The 4 songs on this just left me wanting more and this gets a horns up from me. Info:


STILLBIRTH/Plakative Aggression (Rotten Roll Rex) This is yet another nu metal groove band that sounds like any Suffocation clone band. This has some of the worst vocals I can recall in recent memory and they way overuse the lower than low crap and also do that high pitched wailing that is just so annoying. This is not brutal in any way whatsoever and this just sounds like any other band from Long Island during the 90's and this is actually more generic and worse than any of those bands. Info:

VICIOUS CIRCLE/Life Long Suicide (Self Released) This South Jersey thrash band has been around a long time and they are back with a killer new 4 song release of Vicious Circle thrash metal. This band has a very original thrash metal sound and the 4 songs on this baby totally crush. The riffs are out of this world and the sound they get is pretty powerful. The singer screams and pounds out the lyrics as the vicious (no pun intended) music thrashes around him. This left me wanting more Vinnie ha ha. Info:

CORPUS/The Rise (Self Released) This was something new, fresh and different. This is a band that took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and feelings. This is metal with lots of emotional parts so to speak. You would have to hear it for yourself to know exactly what I am talking about. The tunes are heavy for sure and the band just use keyboards, riffs, and even the vocals to come up with some emotional metal music. It isn't doom, but at times it comes across as like sadness music. This really sucked me in and the singing on here is top notch as his vocals really fit the music well as he sings with such passion and emotion and the music is full of passion and emotion. Just a great CD period. Info: or

WHORRID/Time Heals Nothing (Rotting Corpse Records) This was some very good death metal that doesn't blow you away with blistering speed, but dishes up the mayhem with some wicked mid paced stuff and some blasts of speed. The vocals totally crush as the singer spews out the death metal vocals. The production is nice and solid and the music is no frills death metal with no groove or nu metal shit in sight. If your into straight forward death metal here is your band. Info:

IMPIETY/Apocalyptic Armageddon Command (Agonia Records) This band has been around for a bit now and they return with an incredible release of black metal that Satan would be proud of himself. The tunes on here are fast, intense, and fast ha ha. The vocals are a pure black metal delight and the production lets everything shine and when you pop in this prepare to be blown away with speed, power and hate from Impiety. This crushes my friends. Info:

SOLITUDE AETURNUS/Hour Of Despair (Metal Mind Productions) This is a live CD that already came out on DVD. There is 12 tunes on this and as far as live quality goes, this was excellent. The band sound tight on this as they bang out their doom metal. Singer sounds great on the pipes and if you already have this on DVD, well then get the CD to crank up in your car. This is some bone crushing doom and is one the heaviest bands around. Info:

ACHERON/Rites Of The Black Mass (Metal Fighter Records) I have never heard this label, but they have reissued this as it out of print here as it originally came out on JL America, which has long since gone under. There is no bonus tracks on this, but if you have been hunting for this, well now you can get this black metal gem. 10 tunes from this band on this and to some this is a black metal classic. This came back out in like 1990 or 1991 and even though the production does leave something to be desired, after a few listens you will dismiss that. You can get this from MVD at:

STARTZ/Greatest Hits Live (GB Music) I recently discovered this band on You Tube and Clint over at MVD sent me this live disc to review and oh my god do I love this band. This is some awesome 70's style rock n roll. The band mix up songs from their releases and it is crazy to think that this band didn't get bigger than they did as I remember seeing some of their albums in my local Woolworth store years ago. This is pure rock n roll heaven to me and I will be buying this band's studio stuff for sure. This is an overlooked band for sure. Info:

ARKAEA/Years In The Darkness (E1 Entertainment) This is a case of heard it all before. This is yet another groove metal band that has the tough guy and clean vocal thing going on that a million other bands do and they sound like every other groove/nu metal band that I have heard in the past year. Info:

TEARS BEFORE/Reversal (Weirdo Records) This was some bad death metal with bad vocals as the guy just yells and screams and the music just sounds like any other nu metal band that is out there. There is nothing new at all with this band and to me it just sounds like another faceless nu metal band. Info:

BRILLIANT COLDNESS/Poisoned Reality (Self Released) This was some decent death metal. The band are pretty brutal and can whip out some fast and furious riffs. The vocals are a bit low for my tastes, but I can live with them. The production on here is good and I like the guitar sound and the band mix up the slower and faster parts rather well. I would like to hear the singer a bit more up in the mix and to just not have him grunt as much. 9 tunes on here and hopefully the next release will be better, but like I said this isn't bad. Info:

ADIMIRON/When Reality Wakes Up (Self Released) I got an adv. copy of this which I guess will be released by a label sometime in the future. I thought this was OK, nothing bad, but nothing that knocked me out of my seat. I wasn't too keen on the vocals as he sings in that tough guy style meets Graham Bonnet. The music is modern thrash metal with lots of groove and nu metal parts that are better than most, but nothing special and there is just nothing that had me wanting to go headbang or play air guitar/drums. This is a mix of stuff like Machine Head, Meshuggah and stuff in that vein and it is decent, just nothing mind blowing to my ears. Info:

CARE BEARS ON FIRE/Get Over It (S-Curve Records) 14 tunes of some nice power pop by these 3 young ladies. The tunes are simply, catchy, effective tunes that had my head moving and my toes tapping. The production is good as well and if your into well crafted power pop punk this would be something you would love. Info:

TRIGONOMETRY/A Clear Blurr (Self Released) This is this bands 2nd release and having never heard the first, this is some decent power pop punk with lots of hooks and melodic singing. The tunes are catchy numbers that had my foot tapping at times. The production lets everything shine and the singer has a good voice and he belts out the tunes with lots of power and doesn't sound generic. 12 tunes here and if your into catchy tunes with a poppy edge here ya go. Info:

WARRIOR SOUL/Destroy The War Machine (Acetate Records) I have enjoyed this band's past releases and this one is no exception. I love Kory Clarke's vocal style and he just tears it up on this and the awesome guitar sound I love is also present on this as well. The band just have this wicked sound that I love and the songs on this are heavy, catchy and just plain kicked my ass. The production brings everything out and this picks up right where the band last left off and is one hell of a release. Welcome back guys. Info: or

OCEANS OF NIGHT/The Shadowheart Mirror (Ambient) This was some very good progressive metal with some awesome vocals courtesy of Scott Oliva. He sings the songs with a lot of passion and emotion and I could just feel it so to speak as he sung. The music was def on the progressive side and nothing that went over my head and had just enough melody within it to keep it from getting boring or stale. Scott Mosher is the other half of this 2 man band/project and he should give himself a bow cause there is some incredible music on this puppy as the tunes are also full of emotion and just that "it" feeling. 8 tunes and not a bad one in the bunch and this is a progressive music lovers dream. Info:

THE ABYSS/The Other Side/Summon the Beast (Metal Mind Productions) This is a 2 on 1 re-release that originally came out in 1995 and 1996. Both releases deliver some crushing black metal. The Other Side has a bit more of a black/death style and the Summon the Beast is more all out fast pounding black metal and the vocals are more black metal on the 2nd release as well. Some of you might not know that this band was the side project/band from the members of the band Hypocrisy. The production is good on both and I actually prefer the 2nd release as it has a bit more raw sound, the vocals are more black metal and it is an all out blaze attack that I crave. Cheers to Metal Mind for putting it out as a 2 on 1 and not as 2 separate Cds as well. If you missed this back then, pick this up cause it is worth hearing. Info:

KNOCKTURN ALLEY/Medusa (Self Released) This was some decent death metal that had a bit of the nu metal feel to it, but the riffs and overall song structures and vocals won me over. It took me a couple listens, but the more I listened the more this appealed to me as it is not just fly by night jump metal band as the band actually work a bit of melody into the tunes and they are quite catchy and not generic at all. The vocals are decent, but not great in my opinion as the guy is kinda just like an average growler. The production is right on the money as the guitar sound is mega heavy and everything shines and flows rather freely. This is a good solid release. Info: or

CIRCLE OF FATE/Back To Life (Self Released) This is some melodic rock with a touch of metal with a female singer. She has a good voice and does not annoy me like a lot of other female singers do when they try to sing in metal bands. Her voice sort of sucked me in on some of the track and the tunes are good to solid rock n roll/metal numbers that will get your foot tapping or head moving in some spots. The production is good as everything is heard and nothing is buried. I could see a label snatching this band up. Info: or