Added August 5, 2003

Evoking The Abomination
Evil Vangence, 2000

This CD is quite old to be reviewed here. I just got this promo and I believe that good metal is timeless so here is the review. 8 tracks of brutal death that only South Americans know how to play like Rebaelliun, Krisiun… That should be clear enough of how ABHORRENCE sounds like. They already got new album out but that is not a concrete reason to miss out "Evoking The Abomination"!

AMMIT (Chile)
Steel Inferno
Arte Pagano Records, 1998
Mass Suicide
Arte Pagano Records, 2000

I got both albums copied in one CD-R and I have never reviewed any CD-R I got from trading except for this one. First, they are from the 'exotic land' like Malaysia (if you call M'sia exotic) and deliver a quite interesting metal music. I'll give you a clue of what AMMIT sounds like… NUN SLAUGHTER. I don't have to elaborate more on the music you can figure it out yourself. "Steel Inferno" contains nine songs. Well executed, the sound is a bit raw. "Mass Suicide" is much better. Also nine songs (with atmospheric keyboard intro in the songs) presented but in a faster and heavier style. Listening to the new album makes me think "Mass Suicide" is the real 'steel inferno' compared to "Steel Inferno". I really hope the original copies of these two albums are still available. If not, I have missed out a good band from the south!
3/5 | 4/5-Syukri

The General's Awakening
Self-Released, 2002
It is great to hear more new underground bands in the scene especially when you don't expect to get hold of their releases. But after reading the bio I realized that I made my conclusion too soon. Formed in 1990 and already released 2 demos. "The General's Awakening" is the band's first pro-release. This MCD brings you heavy metal, which I don't have much to complain about. They have good riffs and the solo is quite slow which suites the song but I guess if they play the guitar faster, the result will be much better. We will not hear the last of them yet.
c/o Fabio Smareglia, Via Torino, 45, 12034 Paesana (CN), Italy.


Filth Catalyst
Osmose, 2003
A disbolicallly exquisite unity of abysmal Black and Death Metal unlike anything ever heard since SARCOFAGO ,BLASPHEMY, early MORBID ANGEL and ANGELCORPSE. Full of chaos, the madness, the utter evilness is truly a rare an intense beautiful thing. A Elite material.

Helgards Fall
Norway`s Arvinger plays something that I can describe as "Atmospheric Viking Metal". The band was formed in 2000 and surprisingly they are not bad at all! Arvinger consists of 2 talented musicians and have created 9 great viking metal songs. Do not expect any english songs in "Helgards Fall" (although the title is in English) because all the lyrics are written in Norwegian Language. They have got a little originality by combining nordic folk music with black metal. Hauk is a very talented musician I must say. He played all the instruments (guitars, drums, bass and also keyboard) and he wrote all the songs. I hail him for that. The production isn't really good (the album was recorded at their own studio) but you can still hear everything clearly. They have got also some guest musicians with 2 girls providing the female vocal part. "Kalt Ved Navn", "Ut Fra Havn" and "Fanget Av Vinden" (fucking great song) are some of the tracks that I enjoy listening. "Helgards Fall" is definitely worth listening, a great viking metal album that I have ever listened coming from Norway besides Einherjer's "Norwegian Native Art" and of course Enslaved's "Frost".

Les Heurs Du Mal
Magnum Music, 2001
A great looking digi-pack complete with a booklet and a transparent plastic case. I hope the music is as great as the packaging. For the first few tracks it's great but after that, they show what they really are. Actually I don't know what they call their music but hard rock is what I'd label it. They mix lots of styles here. The second track is a true King Diamond rip off, the music, the falsetto voice. Then comes a thrashy song, "Midnight Breakout". The rest is hard rock which only pleases the fans of this style. They put keyboards and violins in their songs too. There are 15 tracks all together including 2 bonuses and 5 demo tracks. The second CD is a video CD (yes, it is a double disk digi-pack!) featuring the band in the studio, interview, etc but it's all in Chinese. Thumbs up for the packaging, the rest needs more consideration for extreme metal maniacs.


Laos Heavy Metal

Do you ever expect metal coming from Laos? Well, now you have to open your mind a bit, metal is everywhere! But BOHALN is not really my type of metal. This is commercial heavy metal/hard rock music. Commercial sound and most of the songs here are too 'radio-friendly', too soft which I can't say it as metal. The songs are sung in their mother-tongue. There are few songs which are quite okay, heavy/thrash like Metallica but that is not enough. I am looking for heavier, underground band from Laos. If you are reading this, please contact us! By the way, they already have their second album out "Manood". They said the second one will not get you disappointed and I have read some reviews that prove their claim. I really hope that is true!

BUNUH (Singapore)
The Torso Killers

After Abhorer, I can't remember when the last time I heard superb death metal from Singapore was. BUNUH is still far from that cult band but this is great enough and should not be missed. They release this on the own but a damn pro one, not even most labels can do. "The Torso Killers" is released on a digipak format! Although it have 7 songs but the length is just 20+ minutes. Makhluq is no longer on the vocals and now they are a five piece band (they were a trio on their demo). Comparing the demo with this new release, there are huge improvements. The music is much more fast and brutal. They are quite good back then but this is much better. The last two tracks are bonus tracks but why are these tracks as 'bonus'? There are no notes about that in the CD except for the last tracks which originally belong to Brutal Fear (a track from their demo 1997) but that is not really a surprise since BUNUH consist of members of that now-defunct band. 'Bunuh' means 'kill' in English and the word suit them fine this time.
BUNUH, Blk 220, #05-339, Yishun ST 21, S 760220.

Cold Blood Industries, 2003

12 tracker CD of death thrash music. Instead of printing their pictures, they put cartoon characters inside the booklet which looks like some comic superheroes and their villains and used 3D computer graphics on the covers. We rarely see these in the extreme metal scene especially in death/thrash genre. You can say it is unique and I hope we can say the same on the music. This is my first time listening to them and musically they are good except for the vocals which I think are too soft for this style. You can still hear the aggression on the vocals (there are few growling parts) but it is not hard and harsh enough. I thought they are a new band but they are not. The foundation of this band is dated from 1989 and this is their 3rd album. With the history of more than 10 years usually bands are either at their peak or mellowing (in other words, 'wimping out') and Crustacean is in the middle.

DEATHGUY (Thailand)
The Secondary Quest
Trinity Records Hong Kong, 2002
I assumed the CD-R Thanit gave me is a copy of their debut CD. Now I got the actual CD and it has more tracks. Their melodic death/black metal songs started to grow in me. They know how to use the keyboard to enrich the songs. The CD comes with an 8page color booklet that includes the lyrics. I still can't get the drum machine into my system. The CD includes a bonus track, 1 new demo track and 2 songs from their EP 1998. The band now got their complete 'human' line-up and said to be playing brutal death metal for their next album.
c/o Thanit Thepsitrakorn, 21/2 Soi Suan oi 1, Samsen Rd. Dusit, Bangkok 10300.


DESTROYER666 (Germany)
Terror Abraxas
Iron Pegasus Records, 2003

After last year "Cold Steel...." full-length album. Aussie warrior return back with a new and impresive bestial attack again full of powerfull epic riffing, immense full drum work and aggressive hateful blowing vocals. Also available in Limited Picture Mini LP.

DEMENTOR (Slovakia)
The Art of Blasphemy
Qabalah, 1999
Hmm.. I think the album name should have been The Art of Ear Shattering Brutal Death Metal. This is one Awesome masterpiece must for anyone into the Death Grind genre. Bleeding your ears to this album clocking 32 mins with 10 tracks will surely make you agree with the album title I gave them. It starts off with a 2 min intro done on guitars and drums and then BANG !!! Surprise element is that the 6th track gives you a definite feel of those black metal symphonies, wonder what made these guys waste 5 mins on a song like this one. Just over half an Hour of pulversing brutal speed and riffs with lyrics dealing on themes like anti-christ and death. I would say that Dementor doesn't have their own style of music, yet, but they do know what they are doing and do it very well.
c/o Rene Blahusiak, Vajanskeho 154, 020 01 Puchov, Slovakia.


Xtreem Music, 2003

Necrofuckingholocaust!!! Yeah I guess that`s the right word to describe the third album from the sickest band on plane earth, none other than the true Disgorge. There has been a lot of false rumours about the band splitting up, but the Mexican goregrinders are back with a new deadly album which in my opinion the best they have ever recorded.8 songs are presented in this album.Do not expect any long song titles like in the previous albums."Necrholocaust" is an in-your-face album with simple song titles like "Sodomic Baptism", "Goremassacre Perversity", "Boiling Vomit Through My Veins" and so on. Antimo vocal work is still supreme, low brutal-as-fuck growl with high pitch shriek. Willy displays his brutal drumming with more fast snare grinding than before.One of the best thing that can be found in this album is the great production made by Edgar (guitarist of the band) and Carlos Padilla (the sound engineer). Unlike the previous albums, you can hear all the riffs clearly in "Necrholocaust". Great album like this always deserve a full rating, so I wouldn't hesitate to give it to "Necrholocaust". I strongly recommend this mind blowing album to all brutal metal freaks, buy or die!!!

At The Conclave
Grind It!, 2002

6 tracks with almost 50 minutes of music. When the CD starts I already imagine that this will be a great release. That is due to the King Diamond-like falsetto voice. The press sheet labeled them as progressive black metal. It is indeed progressive. Many vocals styles and instruments (saxophone, cello, violin, synth). And not to mention that they also combine several metal styles as well in one song. I only like them on the few minutes of the first song, mainly on the mid-pace part (with those clear vocals) which sounds like a depressive doom songs at times. When they start 'speeding' and when the grow vocals comes in, things seem to be falling apart. Trinity Records Hong Kong is their official distributor in Asia and fans of everything that is 'progressive' should hunt this from THRK.

FANGORN (Germany)
G.U.C. 2001

I have seen a lot of their flyers. Only now I got the chance to her them. FANGORN is a melodic death/black metal band (or 'Fangorn Death Metal' as they say it) and this CD is their third. The music excites me a bit at the first but towards the end of this CD the excitement becomes thinner and thinner. The songs are in German and they have female vocal which have the same important role as the male (black metal) growl. The songs will be a bit better if in English, especially on the female vocals part. She has a good voice. Overall the music will not drive you crazy. They are mid-pace most of the time and the songs are too long. Unless you like 'calm death metal' and like more metal added into Theater of Tragedy then you can skip this CD.
c/o Sylke Beyer, Am Gorbitzbach 5, 01159 Dresden, Germany.

HATRED (Holland)
Chaos In The Flesh

4 tracks (20 minutes) self-released MCD. This is their second release after having a demo out in the year 2000. This MCD was made with their own effort and I should they did it quite well. The packaging itself are professional, not to mention the sound and of course the most important, the music is above average. A job well done! Death metal (that is what they said in the bio) is what this Dutch trio will bring to you but not the usual death/grind type (except for the vocals). They blend in thrash and certain fast part they are like the new Impiety. They are formed in 1999 and with a demo out, they did a Euro tour covering five countries. And with this new mini out, they might do another tour and I can imagine how intense the show will be. The proof is in "Chaos In The Flesh".
c/o Peter de Jonge, Klaproos 21, 4421 MA Kapelle, Holland.

HERESY (China)
Foggy Town
So Rock! 2003

HERESY was formed in the cold winter of 1997 from Nanchang/China. New materials have been prepared before the release of "Hymnody". This time they wanted to make it more symphonic and atmosphere as they got lots of inspiration from this kind of bands, and they even tried to write lyrics in English. In August 2002, After some rehearsals, their second full length album was recorded and produced by the band themselves in So Rock! Studio in Shijiazhuang/China. The rhythm parts of the album were done by software instead of real drumer due to lack of proper recording equipments. The band currently does not have a clear music style. The band members have great interesting in dramatic scenes and like the solo parts of neoclassic metal bands very much. They will try to combine these 2 elements in their new songs. Though still lots of defects, the new album sounds much better than "Hymnody". some great black metal chaos with this make them more symphonic and atmosphere.
4/5-Wang Xiao

Xtreem Music, 2002

Spanish band at its best! This band knows how to deliver Brutal Death Metal to the highest level! Spain`s Human Mincer plays Brutal Death Metal in the vein of Disgorge (US), Pyrexia, Suffocation etc but a little faster than their mentors. I haven't heard their previous releases before this but they were known to play Death/Thrash before converting themselves to Brutal Death Metal. But hey, that doesn't mean that they couldn't survive in the scene (Death Metal scene I mean).They have done their best with the release of "Embryonized".9 well-executed songs are offered in this album. The vocalist Carlos has a gore-like vocal style. I have no idea where did they find the drummer (from hell I think haha!) but I'm impressed with his drumming...fucking brutal! He nicely arranges the parts and his double bass work is quite fast and impressive. Good production, they have got heavy sound but I can still listen to every single riffs the guitarist is playing. To say the least, this is a great Brutal Death Metal album...another great band from Spain after Avulsed!

HYPONIC (Hong Kong)
Black Sun
Self-Released, 2001
This is a Death/Doom Metal band from Hong Kong and I got this demo from a friend of mine who was lucky enough to get hold of this masterpiece. 6 devastating tracks of pure doom/death metal coming straight from a band that I guess has been around for a while. The Chinese side of the globe is much into Black Metal than Death metal and after listening to these guys (Hyponic) its good that people leave death metal alone cause I think it would be difficult for anyone to play like Hyponic. The song structure, speed, vocals and the music itself reminds me of typical mid 90's death metal with nice slow parts and deep deep vocals. The recording too is good for a demo CD, clocking just over 30 mins these guys are worth your CD player and I must say that they definetly will/should go a long way.
c/o CHAN Chung Man, Room 2, 6/F, Block B, Yee Fat Building, Wo Yee Hop Road, Kwai Chung, Hong Kong.


IMPIETY (Singapore)
Kaos Kommand 696
Osmose, 2002

If you think "Skullfucking Armageddon" is their most brutal release, then think again. The statement in the press release "Most extreme black/death metal band from Asia! Unchallenged to date!" is not just a marketing strategy but that's the truth. I don't know what to say if the next album goes beyond "Kaos Kommand 696" which I know IMPIETY will not sacrifice their style and slowing down the music. Never! 8 tracks of…what should I call it?… black atomic warmetal? The digipak and LP version will have 2 extra tracks. I am now hoping for all the three versions to be able to pass through Kastam Malaysia.

KALIYUGA (Singapore)
Trishul Records, 2002

8 tracks CD, 40+ minutes. I still have the flyers of the Metal Fest they played in 1997 and "14/07" is the date of the fest. Must be the most memorable day for them. Not much info heard about them until recently, I was being informed about this album. Some members of RUDRA are in this band so that is the strong point of checking this band out. Playing melodic death metal. They put some excerpts from movies in some songs like those done in brutal death/grind metal and they do not have one specific theme for this album. Whenever term 'melodic' is used, my attention will be drawn to the Swedish metal scene. I guess the speed and the guitars are not like those Swedish, giving them a bit of their own style. Keyboards are also used to enrich the songs. The best song for me is "Bhima (The Fearless)", the music and also the lyrics. There are actually lots of interesting parts in the songs that will suit the fans of melodic metal with growling vocals.

KATAFALK (The Netherlands)
Storm Of The Horde
Cold Blood Industries, 2003
A nice CD to start the year 2003. Just few weeks ago I received IMPIETY's latest release, and the madness continues with "Storm Of The Horde". This album is the band's debut album released on January 2003 comprised of 13 tracks. "The musical style is dominated by brutal blast beats and aggressive riffing". Yes and no one will argue with that because that is exactly what you will hear from the first track "Succubus" till the last, "Baptized In Fire". 30+ minutes of straight, raging death/thrash musick. A stunning mixture of death and thrash which is a great treat for your metallic ears.
KATAFALK, Bedumerstraat 141-A, 9716 BH GRONINGEN, The Netherlands.

MARDUK (Sweden)
World Funeral
Regain Records, 2003

With departure of rabid drummer Fredrik Anderson it was questioned if Marduk would still be as brutal, fast and destructive as with their past release but Emil Dragutinovic is a perfect replacement even adding some speed plus diversity to the new tracks.

And The Blood Runs Black
Moribund Records, 2003

After several obscure underground US black metal warriors SUMMON decided to release a new full length through well known and respected US Black Metal label Moribund. The album is an exciting high-octane-driven mix of Black and Death Metal emphasizing on satanic speed and raw spiked metal supreme.

Forever Advancing……Legions
Golden Lake, 2003

The band starts as Imperator in 1998 before changing to MITHRAS. With this new name, they released a MCD before having this full-length out. I hope I typed enough … up there. 12 tracks (46+ min) of dark, heavy and intense death metal. Pretty similar to the gods Morbid Angel! The CD starts with a dark haunting intro, suitable for any horror flick. You can hear more of these in some tracks and I like them a lot. Sometimes the press sheet is full of nice words to describe the product but this I have to agree with the press sheet. They are one the most promising death metal bands in the UK and they will go far.
c/o Leon Macey, 116 Murray Road, Rugby, Warwickshire, England, UK.

Majestas Leprous
Ordealis, 2003

I don't follow or know the history of this band but I think they achieved 'kult' status among the followers of French underground black metal. I only have a slipcase promo so I can't tell how the actual release looks like. 9 tracks (45 minutes) and the songs are equally divided into three parts; "From The Evil Vortex", "Predominance Of Belzebuth" and "…To The Suicidal Void". I reviewed their "Hail Satanas…" EP in the previous issue but I still don't find strong reason to like their music (Perhaps my heart is not black enough?). Plain black metal and the drums sound like it is being programmed.

Never Mind The MSBR, Here's The Napalmed

In the previous issue we got their promo songs, now here the actual release. The CD feature two tracks; "MBR Not MSBR" and "Never Mind The MSBR, Here's The MFBR" and this CD circulate for 72 minutes. I thought NAPALMED is a one-man project. Well, they are not one,but four person behind this band! Okay, now I have to admit that I hail the bands this style because of the ability creating the music (if you can call it music) and the fans listening to it (and also hail myself for manage to listen to the whole CD although not more than twice). What I hear is only loops of sounds (not from musical instruments I think). I am not into this stuff but I praised them of releasing this CD on their own. The gatefold booklet is interesting and it is the most colorful booklet I ever seen in my life.
c/o Radek Kopel, Lipova 1123, 434 01 Most, Czech Republic.

The Divine Art Of Torture
Season Of Myth, 2003
What can you expect from a band which have some professional musicians behind it? Surely a good release isn't it? Well that's what you'll get if you buy Necrophagia's "The Divine Art Of Torture".Ohio gore freaks are back with a new album after the highly acclaimed 1998`s "Holocausto De La Morte". Gore master Killjoy have gathered some professional musicians to play with him and I just can say that he had finally found the best line up for Necrophagia. The addition of Mirai Kawashima (Sigh, Cutthroat) surely brings Necrophagia to the highest position in the gore/horror metal genre. Mirai potrays his haunted skills in this album which in my opinion the best he have ever done! He have filled the horror sound in this album with his synth/keyboards brilliantly! Frediablo (Gorelord, Wurdulak) and Fug (Wurdulak) did their job well handling the guitars. Titta Tani have also added some brutality with his killer double bass attack. As for Killjoy, his vocal work in "The Divine Art Of Torture" really caught my attention! This is one of the best vocal work I have ever heard! First class shriek mixed with some brutal growl...fucking brilliant! My favourite tracks are Blaspheme The Body, Maim Attraction (lyrics written by Silonez), The Sick Room and Rue Morgue Disciple. I can simply listen to this album over and over again. I have to agree with Killjoy`s words.This album is really heavy, violent and horror filled. The artwork is painted by Basil Gogos (known for his great work on Rob Zombie, Misfits etc). Highly recommended to all serial killers out there! Buy this album and kill more losers!!!


Regime Grotesque
Ultra Hingax Production, 2003

This is it! Their very first album after more than a decade of existence. Yes, "Regime Grotesque" is the title of Malaysia`s NECROTIC CHAOS album. 8 tracks are featured in this album (including one instrumental) which in my opinion are quite chaotic. Brutal Death Metal is what they are playing and I must say that I`m impressed with this release. The band are heavily influenced by Morbid Angel, Death, a little Cannibal Corpse etc. They managed to create some brutal parts in most of the songs. I can hear almost all the riffs (thanks to the great production courtesy of Nebiula Sound Recording). Great vocal work by Adik and brilliant blistering solos by Jadam. Some songs that worth listening are the title track (Regime Grotesque), Necrochemical Suicide, Necrotic Chaos (a lust macabre). The album comes with a great artwork by Desmond Sia (Impiety, Angelcorpse, Abhorrence etc). This album is undoubtedly the best Death Metal album ever released by a Malaysian band since the legendary "Conception Of Madness" by Sil Khannaz!
Label: (album, merchandise etc)

In The Garment Of Lust
Perennial Quest Records, 2002
Slovakia is breeding many brutal death bands. Now they have PERVERSITY added in the huge list. The band was formed in 1995 and "In The Garment…" is their debut after 2 releasing demos. This CD is not really interesting actually or outstanding. It has 9 tracks, more than 30 minutes of music. In some songs they added keyboards and melodic riffings but that didn't help. For me this is just average. I guess fans of brutal death metal might love this CD.


RAPTOR (Germany)
Human Fates
Self-Released, 2003

This is the debut full-length of this hard rock band. I was confused at first looking at the CD's back cover, 'Rockwerk Records 1991' was printed there but actually this album was recorded and released in 2003, using their own fund. 12 tracks (including the last track which is a bonus track), almost 50 minutes of music. This is melodic hard rock/heavy metal indeed, it has those part where members of the band singing together some lines in the song (which I don't really like). The CD was recorded at their own studio and due to that the guitar sound is not really good and suitable for black metal songs. The 4 page booklet only displays the songs titles and some recording info.
c/o Thorsten Beermann,

Sky Lake
Mort Productions, 2002

Chinese band delivering 40+ minutes of black metal. I got no info about the band and everything is in Chinese except for the line-up name and track titles. They consist of 4 young guys (they are not using corpse paint so I can guess from the pictures); Nong Yong (vocals/guitar), Pei Lei (bass), Xhang Xin (lead guitar) and Li Yang (drums). Influenced by Norwegian black acts and it is fast, chaotic and intense. The vocals are powerful but I must curse some calm parts in some songs. If I am not mistaken, the third track is the same track featured in Resurrection Of The Gods Volume 1. Nicely design booklet. Generally the band is good but still lack some strong point that will make they stand higher in the huge 'lake' of black metal release. "Sky Lake" is easily like-able and easily forgotten.
Mort Productions;

Quaerite Lux In Tenebris...
Xtreem Music, 2002

I haven't heard a lot of bands from Russia except for Nokturnal Mortum, Satarial and the one that I'm reviewing now, none other and Rossomhaar. "Quaerite Lux In Tenebris..." is the second album from the band after "Imperium Tenebrarum". The new album is definitely the best the have ever done so far. Rossomahaar plays Atmospheric Black Metal and this album reminds me a lot of Dimmu Borgir and a little Rotting Christ. Despite having some skillful musicians, the result of "Quaerite Luc In Tenebris.." is quite outstanding. The drummer is quite good and skillful. Some of the songs are catchy well composed and I like "Beneath The Fading Eclipse" song a lot. I must say that they have a bright future if they keep on producing a great album like this. This release plays an important role in placing the band as one of the best Russian Black Metal band around.

The Soul That Never Die
Magnum Music, 2001
Heard so many good things about this band. "The Soul..." is their debut and is also released in Europe by Arise Records (Spain). I thought they played symphonic power metal. They open for Angra's show in Taipei so I took the easy way making my conclusion. Musically they are not far away from Angra and both the bands are quite alike (and even Iron Maiden, In Flames). Great guitar works throughout the CD (for 60 minutes!) which will make you bang your head like mad till they fall off. I am amazed with them musically. Even traces of Iron Maiden can be heard! The only thing I am not quite fond of is the vocals. Using both male blackish growling and a lead female (normal) vocal, both I think does not suit the music. The female vocal really gets on my nerves sometimes. If the only thing you care about is the music and like the female vocals, this one for you.

Equal Spirit
Magnum Music, 2002
The label didn't seem to sacrifice the packaging of its products. "Equal Spirit" comes with neatly design and thick booklet. Sadly, it is in Chinese but the music (in CD-R) is the English version of this album (the songs in Metal Treasure compilation taken from this album). As the press sheet stated, "Once again, Seraphim will blow their fans away". The debut left not-so-good impact on me but the mixing by the guys at Studio Fredman does make me a bit "blown away". Pay didn't change much of her vocals but in "Equal Spirit" everything is well placed. They head into an even more melodic metal style. Still, they have a touch of their power metal trademark but the solos sometimes remind me of the Gothenburg death metal. I rarely find a 70+ minutes album that doesn't bore me and I found it in "Equal Spirit".


The Serpent Dance
Golden Lake, 2002

Here comes the third full-length from UK doomster. 9 tracks, 36 minutes. This is their second release with Golden Lake after a MCD in year 2000. They can't be labeled as doom anymore. We just go with the press sheet, 'exciting progressive death metal' because they are not the band which I know in "The 28th Parallel". 'Exciting'? Okay, I can agree with that. You can still hear the doom riff but in a bit fast pace but still got the deep growl like most bands. They now got Mithras's vocalist in the band and already threw out almost all clean vocals. Raynor Coss have an excellent throat. I only heard their debut and the MCD. The debut is good in a way and I don't want to compare it with this latest opus. But between "Plague of Time" MCD and this one, "The Serpent Dance" is a bit more interesting.
19 Castlehill Drive, Newton Mearns, Glasgow G77 5JZ, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Suspended In Misery

This is a self-released CD containing 9 tracks (39+ minutes). This Canadian performs brutal death metal with groovy and grinding parts throughout the songs. The songs are intense and heavy. I think they used some effect on the voice (the growl) but the result is really good. They also put some samples taken from movies and they credit the movie in the CD and we can't see this quite often. Simple (and primitive) booklet design which also includes lyrics of the songs. Not bad at all but "Suspended In Misery" is not the best for me and can easily replaced with other CDs in my collection.
SERRATED SCAPEL, P.O.Box 68038, RPO Osborne Village, Winnepeg, Manitoba, R3L 2V9, Canada.

Trinity Records Hong Kong, 2003
The band consist two blood brothers with origin from Vietnam but now reside in the USA. I am not sure which country I should put them in so I choose the one where they are now living. Previously they release "Masters Of The Nebulah Forest" demo/MCD 2000 and a self-titled promo MCD in 2002. Both are released in very limited quantity and I only manage to get a bad tape copy of their demo by trading. The first demo supposes to be released in cassette by some label and I waited but nothing had been released so far. So I can't compare this debut with the previous output but I am sure this CD is their best release to date. With Dimmu Borgir as their influence and yes you will hear the 'cheesy' elements of Dimmu Borgir music. Symphonic black metal, melodic and with keyboards. The CD starts with a video track which you can view using your computer. It is a video for the song "Midwinter Atrocities" (track #3), recorded in a forest. Good video but the viewing quality is quite bad. The problem is the video is in a compressed format (real media format) and you can imagine the poor video quality. Most modern hi-fi will skip the first track. The music clocked for almost 58 minutes (minus 15 second for the video). Various styles of growl used and the keyboards are well placed. Beside metal music, there are some calm atmospheric keyboard passages throughout the music as well. Perhaps many of you are pissing on DB but give SOD a chance. Complex and melodious effort such as "Heathendom" from two souls (with real drum), well, they should get credit for that.
c/o Gary Vu, 1605 Marshall St. NE, Menneapolis, Minnesota 55413, USA.

The Apotheosis
Cold Blood Industries, 2003

I wonder what written on the back of the booklet means. We will find that out in the interview. They are referring themselves as the slayers of jihad and the lyrics are about the battle of against the Turks. The bio sheet is too simple. Probably this is their first album but that does not mean they are inexperience. They got some ex-Deadhead and Altar members in the band. So have no doubt about them. They are really brutal and with the unique blasphemous theme, "The Apotheosis" is supposed to be in your collection. I think it will be great to read the news headline about Al-Qaeda attacking a heavy metal band. If they survive then we will hear even more brutal stuff than this.
THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT, Wortmanstraat 148, 8265 AG Kampen-Holland.

USERNE (Spain)
Xtreem Music, 2003

This is a very unique band I must say. Can you imagine 9 people playing in one band and they are using unique instruments such as clarinet and bagpipe? I couldn't imagine how their live performance would be like...Well anyway Spain`s UserNe plays folk music mixed with Black Metal which have resulted a brilliant music style. I`m not really a fan of this kind of metal music but they have blown me with "Tarantos". UserNe simply reminds me of Norway's Storm but they are much better because of the great musicians behind the band. The vocalist vocal work reminds me of Fernando Rebeiro from Moonspell. With the addition of Spanish folk music, they have got a lot of originality in their hands and I`m happy to say that this band is hard to defeat if there's another folk band that wish to challenge them in terms of originality.13 tracks are presented in this album and I love all of them! There are actually 14 people involved in the recording of "Tarantos" (5 guest musicians). The only thing that disappoints me a lot is that they are singing in Spanish language... I couldn't understand a word they are saying. But hey, that's what traditional folk music is all about isn't it? If you are looking for a band with a lot of originality, UserNe is the best band that I could recommend so far. "Tarantos" is definitely a masterpiece the band has ever created. This album will be remembered for a long time I guess.

Closed Eyes To Nothing
Retribute Records, 2000
This is one Band that has a style that you don't often get to hear. Intense growls in short breaks with fast guitar shredding to go with. Slow parts in almost every track with screeching screams ala black metal, lots of short drum rolls and a nice complete compositions which leave you asking for more. I think they should try to experiment a little more with the vocals all in all a good release and a great band, this is one band that looks promising so watch out for them and try to get a copy of this album somehow, it's worth it. 10 brutal tracks totalling 31 bloody minutes.
c/o Rusty Adams, 80 Foster Trace Dr., Lawrenceville, GA 30043 USA.


In the Distance
Paragon International, 2001
6 tracks, 47 minutes. The booklet is neat and uniquely designed but no info available except for the tracks title and the band address. Originally this album is released in cassette (it's a demo) in 1998. Chaotic raw black metal, the vocals scream hysterically and bad sounding drums. I think you can imagine how suck a one-man black metal project? The unique thing here is the band some element which they said as 'psychedelic' which is influenced by Pink Floyd and Cathedral. This is very true because and on those 'psychedelic' parts they sound really awful. The sound is not right for having such thing. Normal vocals (sung in French) with slow music and sometimes with acoustic guitar should have a clear sound and a 'nicer' sounding guitar (the raw sound on the guitar really annoying). VEDIOG SVAOR is interesting if they made the things right.
2, Rue De Belledonne, 38400 St. Martin D'Heres, France.