Ratings: 2=crap; 4=poor; 6=average; 8=great; 10=superb!!!

MM#30/Dec. 2002:

ANABANTHA-Letanias-Capitulo I (Discos Micha)
We’ll start our world tour in Mexico this time. ANABANTHA was formed in 1997, and split up this year. They released one album in 2001, containing a mix of gothic and doom metal. Because of the Spanish language, they sound very differently than the average gothic and doom metal band. Their music holds much more passion, melancholy and tenderness. Both vocalists ‘act’ like they’re performing in a play, instead of singing a song. “Letanias” is the title of the short intro, while opener “Sentido Pesame” is definitely one of the highlights on this CD already. It has a beautiful fast guitar break in the middle of the song. Other highlight is “Dejame Ir” because of its flashing guitarwork! Female singer of the band is the twenty-four year old Duan Marie, who already sang in choirs and bands like ANGELUZ, DOXA and SENSE YOU WEIGH ME. After this, she joined ANABANTHA. The rest of this band consists of Isai Marcabru on guitar, Javier Ruido on bass, Eddy Cortez on keyboards and Vlad Landeros on drums. A song like “Santa Agonia” might be a bit over the top. I think, it’s a religious song, because the choirs sing “Aleluya” all the time. But it’s one of the song in which Duan proves us that she has a beautiful sorprano voice, which she uses really well. It’s a shame to know that the band is no longer among us. Nonetheless, this release is interesting enough to be reviewed in this issue of MM. I don’t know, if their website is still online. Just take a look at: The CD contains twelve songs and has a playing time of about forty minutes. [7 points] (Toine van Poorten)

ANDARTA-When The Divine Winds Blow (Ephemeris Records)
ANDARTA is from Mexico, too and they play some kind of progressive doom metal. It’s a coincidence that this band is also from Mexico, but their music sounds totally different than the music of ANABANTHA. ANDARTA sounds much more powerful, and they play long songs with long instrumental parts (that’s the progressive reference in this description!). They consist of Manuel Rodriguez on drums, Antonio Rodriguez on bass, Eduardo Gómez on guitar and keyboards, Israel Real on guitar and Azalea Meza on vocals. Azalea is twenty-six years old, and her voice is very warm. As a matter of fact, she sounds like a soft version of LANA LANE. The CD is a compilation of two remixed demo tapes, namely “When The Divine Wind Blows” and “El Ser Y La Nada”, completed with two bonus songs, previously released on two compilation albums. Both songs are recorded live. So there you have it. Long instrumental parts with heavy guitar work, and songs that have a doomy atmosphere, sung by a female singer with a warm, yet heavy voice. I think ANDARTA sounds better than their fellow country mates ANA-BANTHA. Their official website can be found at: The CD contains ten songs worthy of seventy minutes of music, which means real value for your money, people! “The Murder Of A King” is one of the highlights on this CD for me. [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

ANGRY AMPUTEES- Thought I Wouldn't (I'm Stumped Records)
First let's introduce the band to you. The ANGRY AMPUTEES consist of Stacey Dee on vocals and rhythm guitar. She sings along with a few angry shouts. Stacey writes these songs. They’re not intended to change the world. Rather to describe it and meet that world head on. She's known as ‘Pin Up Amputee’. The picture on the CD insert does suggest a girl, who looks the part. JoAnn ‘Rawkmom’ Gillespie drums, drums and drums. She uses the whole kit. JoAnn is also known as ‘Angriest Amputee’. John Dalton plays bass guitar. He makes all of these songs accessible to the hard rock and heavy metal listeners. You can hear him on the introduction to “Miss Mary”. John is the only actual amputee. He is called ‘Salty Amputee’. The lead guitar player is Eric ‘E Rock’ Brim. He stands out on all nine songs. He's also known as ‘Dry Amputee’. Words take up half of each song. The other half, the band jams. That's just as well. Each song has a central riff or rhythm. The sound will be accessible to a lot of people. I hear some punk rock, hard rock and others. ANGRY AMPUTEES play fast enough to keep you listening. This CD was better than I thought it would be. Website: http://www.angry Email: joann@angry [8 points] (Jack Little)

ANGUISH-Symetry (Massacre Records)
“Symetry” is the second album from this progmetal band from Germany. Their first album “Lost Days Of Infancy” received good reviews. It was released in 1996 already, and in the meantime the band has definitely grown a lot. Besides that, they’ve toured with great names like PRIMAL FEAR, AXXIS, UDO, NAZARETH and URIAH HEEP. However, the music of ANGUISH is best to be compared with bands like DREAM THEATER, FATES WARNING and VANDENPLAS. They consist of Nuno Miguel De Barros Fernandes on vocals, Gerd Krieger on guitar, Stephan Flicker on bass, Jochen Frei on drums, Tom Krickel on guitars and Marion Niessner on keyboards. A band with a lady, who’s not in front of the stage, but one that is still very essential for the sound of the band. If you like long progressive metal songs, you must really check this band out. I think, you’ll be positively surprised! [7 points] (Toine van Poorten)

APHASIA-Wings Of Fire (Castle Records)
I think a lot of our readers will still remember APHASIA from their first album “Mirage On The Ice”. Their new album is out for quite some time already, but somehow slipped through every time we published a new issue. Nonetheless, this new album can be highly recommended again to all the people, who like their rock hard and loud. SHOW YA fans must definitely check this one out for example, because the sound of APHASIA shows a lot of resemblance to this other great all-female metal outfit from Japan, without becoming an exact copy. Their sound is very powerful and contains lots of heavy guitars. The CD opens with a short intro and after that with one of the highlights of the CD, the title track “Wings Of Fire”. APHASIA is Luka on vocals, Goe on guitars, Jun on drums and Sho on bass. Takahashi plays the keyboards as a guest musician. They don’t play at high speed all the time. In “Heart To Heart”, they even reduce the speed a little bit. “Mirage On The Ice” is the title of a short instrumental piece, followed by a flashing song called “Devil’s Luck”. For the people, who are not totally convinced yet, they continue their album with another fast song, called “For You”. “Promised Land” starts off slowly, but soon they’ll take off in the fourth gear again. This means the finishing stroke for many people. The CD closes with a long song, called “Cold Blue Moon”. APHASIA definitely proved that they’re one of the best all- female heavy metal bands in their country at the moment. And they nicely filled up the gap that was left behind, when SHOW YA split up. “Wings Of Fire” is highly recommended by yours truly and our sincere thanks go out to Goe, for making this review possible! The official website of the band can be found at: ~aphasia/ [9 points] (Toine van Poorten)

ARWEN-Memories Of A Dream (Arise Records)
ARWEN from Spain are Nacho Ruiz on vocals, Jose A Garrido on guitar, Alberto Avilés on guitar, Luis M. Hernández on bass, Jonathan Zapatero on keyboards, Nacho Arriaga on drums, and the two metal maidens’ Rosalvo Alonso on key-boards and M. Carmen Castano on backing vocals. “A line-up, consisting of eight people, why is that?”, I hear people ask. The answer is quite simple. ARWEN wishes to play live without the use of samples. What they record in the studio, must be reproducable on stage, too. That’s a great commitment for a band, that presents us their debut album here. An album, that is filled with eleven good metal tracks. The band was already founded in 1996, but it lasted until 1997 before the first lady appeared in the line-up of the band. The female keyboard player of the band joined in 1999. What can we tell you of the sound of ARWEN? They play fast guitar riffs mixed with more melodic parts (the keyboards). Vocal wise, they use a lot of choirs, which makes them sound a bit bombastic. And the guitar solos remind me of YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN here and there. Eleven songs are to be found on this album, that lasts for over fifty minutes. The band has also recorded a HELLOWEEN cover, that will be released on a HELLOWEEN tribute CD in the near future. [7 points] (Toine van Poorten)

AVANTASIA-The Metal Opera Part 2 (A.F.M. Records)
Part 1 was already a huge success, so here’s the sequel to this ‘metal opera’, that is the project of EDGUY member Tobias Sammet. Again, we find many special guests on this CD, which makes it a great joy to listen to this second release of AVANTASIA. We’re very proud to announce that the female vocals on this new CD were again done by our own Dutch superstar Sharon Den Adel of WITHIN TEMPTATION. She can be heard on the CD closer “Into The Unknown”. Besides Sharon, we hear people like Henjo Richter, Markus Grosskopf, André Matos, Kai Hansen, Michael Kiske, Oliver Hartmann, Ralf Zdiarstek, Alex Holzwarth, David De Feis, Timo Tolkki, Eric Singer and Bob Catley. Part 2 starts, where part 1 left off. When I listen to the first part, my thoughts go out to the good old sound of ZENO. Very bombastic with lots of choirs and orchestras. That’s probably why I think about MEAT LOAF here and there, crossed with the fast metal sound of bands like GAMMA RAY and HELLOWEEN. When I put the two albums together, we can speak of a real masterpiece here. I must admit that I liked part 2 more than part 1. It sounded much more complete and the artwork was done far better than on the first part of this ‘metal opera’. Ten songs containing one hour of ‘fantasy metal’ are on this album. [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

BANGS-Call And Response (Kill Rock Stars)
BANGS was one of the great surprises for me on the Ladyfest in Scotland, two years ago. They have a six track mini CD out right now, that is callled “Call And Response”. The music of BANGS is very intense, which you can already hear in the title track “Call And Response”. BANGS consists of Peter David Connely on drums, Sarah Utter on guitar and vocals and Maggie Vail on bass and vocals. All the other sounds on this sixteen minutes punkrock explosion come from Maggies brother Tobi Vail (BIKINI KILL, THE FRUMPIES). The six songs are right in your face, catchy and invite you to dance too. “I Want More” could be on one of the early GIRLSCHOOL albums. Yes, they’re that heavy. I really loved the six songs on this CD. If you dig this kind of pure punkrock music, then I suggest to buy this great CD. Or maybe even better, buy the vinyl version of “Call And Response”, because then you’ll get the UNDERTONES song “Get Over You” as a bonus track. You can write BANGS at: c/o Kill Rock Stars, 120 State Ave #418, Olympia WA 98501, USA. [9 points] (Toine van Poorten)

BANTAM-Bantam (Heavy Nose Music)
I guess that a lot of our readers have never heard of this band called BANTAM. Well, this is the solo project of Gina of THE LUNACHICKS. And no, THE LUNACHICKS did not split up. Although Theo has also released a cool picture disc already, the band is still together. What can we expect from Gina’s power rock trio? Well, the eleven songs on the self titled debut album sound different from what you might expect. The sound of BANTAM is a bit darker than THE LUNACHICKS. But Gina still steps on the gas. The rest of the band consists of Pete of THE FIREGODS and George of THE HEROINE SHEIKS. George however didn’t even get the chance to play on this CD, because he’s already been replaced by Doug-O. The punchy rock songs sound very well in this new millenium. This is the groovy, punchy sound that the kids like nowadays. It builds a bridge between heavy rock, punk and pop music. I must admit that I like THE LUNACHICKS more than BANTAM and they’re still one of my favorite all-female punk rock bands. I think that a lot of our readers should have a listen to this debut album of BANTAM. I am sure that a lot of people will actually like it very much. In the meantime, the band has recorded a video clip for “Waiting For Rescue”, one of the favorite songs of the New York City audience. Eleven songs with a playing time of almost thirty-five minutes can be ordered through the bands website at: You can also send US$12,50 (incl. P&P) to Heavy Nose Records, P.O. Box 2582, NY, NY 10009, USA. [7 points] (Toine van Poorten)

BIASTFEAR-All Angels Scream (Level Two Records)
I was surprised BIASTFEAR was recommended to me as a band with a female member. I thought of them as a heavy metal band where someone sang, because they thought someone was supposed to sing. What changed was, that they added Crystal Moore on vocals. She has a good clear voice. It turns out that this metal maiden had never been to a rock concert, before she performed at one. Crystal's first impression was "I walked into the club and saw some of the freakest white kids I’d ever seen. I was sure, they were going to hate me. After we finished our first song the crowd went crazy." After hearing “All Angels Scream”, I can see why they went crazy. The band play intense metal. It chugs and throbs along to conclusion. Crystal is easy to hear over all of this. There's no screaming. There is someone, who can sing. "A lot of the songs are about not allowing yourself to be threatened or hurt." When Crystal sings it, it makes sense. The band gives it strength. “Coming Down” is the defiant speech of a woman to a deceptive man. “Don’t You” says "I refuse to let you violate me." It fits well with the metal. Like METALLICA with female vocals. Contact address: BIASTFEAR, P.O. Box 795, Berea, OH 44017-0795, USA. Internet: Email: band@ [8 points] (Jack Little)

BLACKMORE'S NIGHT-Past Times With Good Company (SPV/Steamhammer)
I won't lie to you: I am a very big fan of BLACKMORE’S NIGHT, so maybe my opinion is a bit biased, but this is really a fantastic album! After releasing three great albums, this is BLACKMORE’S NIGHT first official live album. “Past Times With Good Company’ was recorded at The Oosterpoort in Groningen and has a wonderful sound quality. The recording is very honest. It sounds really good, but some mistakes can be heard too and personally I think that this is the way to release a live album. Leadsinger Candice Night is one of my all-time favourite female singers and she has a certain kind of singing, that I adore. I must admit that on songs like “Home Again” and “Morning Star”, she sounds a bit off key, but it's all live and nobody's perfect after all. In others like DEEP PURPLE's “Soldier Of Fortune”, “I Still Remember” and in RAINBOW’s “16th Century Green Sleeves”, she sounds wonderful and sings with all of her heart. Musical wise everything sounds so fantastic. Ritchie's godlike guitar playing, the great violin and recorder sounds from Chris Devine; everything sounds the way it should. The great harmony vocals from Lady Rraine are very sphereful, maybe a lady to persue a solo career. I must say, that I miss some songs on this album. For instance: where is “Now And Then”? A superb song and for me one of the best songs. Also BOB DYLAN's “The Times They Are A Changing”, “Wish You Were Here” and “Waiting Just For You” deserve a place on this album, but you just cannot please everybody. I really dig this album very much, but I must admit that the concert I saw in 013, Tilburg last year was better. But the one hundred and ten minutes of pure medieval music on these two silver discs are so great, that as a fan you certainly can't afford to miss it. As a bonus on the limited edition (beautiful packed) you can find an unplugged version of “Fires At Midnight” and a foreign version of “Home Again”. Next year, a DVD will be released as well as the first solo album from CANDICE NIGHT. Something I can't wait to hear. Till then we'll have to wait and just enjoy past times with good company. I'm sure that won't be a problem. [9 points] (Richard van Oudheusden)

BUNNY FIVE COAT- Negative Attention (independent)
There's no question this is punk rock. These days we call this old school. It's loud, it's strong and there's plenty of rhythm. Much of this is due to Toni (ed.: In the meantime, the band is looking for a new drummer!!) batting the drum kit around. You won't find dexterous note playing on guitar. For this type of music, they use chords. Lots of them. Very fast. Tammy pulls this off with her guitar. The melodies don't vary much from song to song. The energy level remains high from one end of the CD to the other. Erica handles the vocals well. While these songs are fast I could understand her most of the time. It's good that you can hear the words. All of these songs have something to say. BUNNY FIVE COAT start off with “Powerful”. That's what rock is. The rush of excitement that goes through you during a show. Whether you’re on stage or in the audience, it's powerful. “Loser” carries an interesting idea. She wants to live a certain way. Society calls her a loser. She decides she wants to be a loser. “Take Care Of Me” is what the speaker doesn't want people to think they have to do. If BUNNY COAT FIVE keep playing with this much enthusiasm, they will start getting positive attention. For more information write to: Tammy L. Wallace, 204 Richmond Street, Arnold, PA 15068, USA. Email: Internet: [8 points] (Jack Little)

CATATONIC LYDIA- Despite The Ruins (indie)
This is a grrrl band more than a girl band. Since all the members of CATATONIC LYDIA are female, it could be either one. The ideas behind the songs are grrrl. The sound is often punk rock. There are some goth touches thrown in once in a while. Three of the four band members do lead vocals. Sophia sticks to drumming. She sets the rhythm, but doesn't try to dominate the action. First song on the CD is “The Jerk”. I'ts a simple punk song about an irritating guy. The lyrics are repeated a lot and Becky sings or sneers the vocals. “Mother To Be” is a song only a female band could write. The song is a serious consideration of a woman's feelings in the months before she becomes a mother. It’s about what's going on in her mind. CATATONIC LYDIA reach for metal to show seriousness and tension. Kirsten expresses all of this. Suzi comes foreward on “Alive”. She handles the emotional vocals and is featured on bass guitar. Both the sound and the failure of the relationship described could be called gothic. “Schulding” is sung in German. I know you’re used to Americans speaking only English. The first verse could be a ballad. The last two rock. If you like punk, personal politics and the provocative get this. Contact: Suzi Catatonic, 737 W. Quincy Ave., Englewood, CO 80110, USA. Email: CataLydia@ Internet: www.catatonic [7 points] (Jack Little)

THE COLOR GUARD- Speech For Heated Hearts (Suziblade Music)
This band was also on the "Ladyfest East 2001" compilation CD. I was quite positive about them, because they added some cool fuzzy guitars to their song "Not My Valentine", which is also on this new album. The album is called "Speech For Heated Hearts". It contains eight new tracks and over thirty minutes of alternative rock music. The band consists of Nina 57 on guitar, Jake Alrich on drums and vocals, Jeanne Gilliland (ex-ANN ARBOR) on bass and vocals and Lalena Fisher (ex-HISSYFITS, ex- CATBOX) on guitar and vocals. You'll get a warm feeling with songs like "Not My Valentine", "Speech For Heated Hearts" and "You Haul". "Wreck My Tea" starts off a bit too soft for my ears, but when it rolls along, I get the feeling that this is one of the finest songs on the CD. I want to be clear, that this is definitely not the heavy metal sound that you'd expect to read in our magazine. But these ladies know how to rock and put the pedal to the metal really well. Just listen to "Superglue" with its surprisingly heavy opening riff, that suddenly changes into a lullaby like song and then explodes again, when you don't expect it. Variation all over, so to speak. I must admit that "Speech For Heated Hearts" contains the finest rock imaginable. The drumsolo at the end of the last song "Magnetized" sounds even more surprisingly. They get bonus points for the fact, that they are so brave to do this. In a time, that it isn't really appropiate to do something like that anymore (what a shame!). The beat is danceable, the riffs are catchy and the song structures are well thought of, so what else do you need? For more information you can go to: By the way, we are very proud to present this CD in our magazine, because we've heard that it won't be promoted over here in Europe. Plenty of reason to check THE COLOR GUARD out and listen to the CD. [7 points] (Toine van Poorten)

DIE CHEERLEADER DIE-Self-titled SRCD (Mutant Pop Records)
Sometimes music says things you wish you could say. Sometimes musicians portray things you wish you had thought of. DIE CHEERLEADER DIE do this from the point of view of a young punk woman. The CD starts off with “I Wanna Be A Slut”. It’s from a girl, who's tired of being pure. She wants to go out tonight and find sex. Like all the songs, there are appropriate punk chords. This one has a nice guitar solo, too. Tiffany and Marni alternate shouting the vocals. Bill makes good use of the cymbals. It's very energetic music. This will have everybody slammin’, boys, girls and grrrrls. Years ago, the SEX PISTOLS told us about “Queer Bird”. Now DIE CHEERLEADER DIE give us “Lesbian Action”. It’s a little slower punk rock. There's a second vocal part on this one and some of the other songs. The girl tried boys, but discovered girls. She hopes her parents don't find out. This seven song CD ends with “Sugar N' Spice”. It encourages girls to take the lead in the punk scene instead of leaving it all to the boys. DIE CHEERLEADER DIE say "Some people say chicks can't play. Don't give a fuck what they say". The song consists of short bursts of music followed by shouted statements. The CD does what it sets out to do. The band think you should do whatever you want to do. Contact address: Marni, DCD, Lochst Ridge, Arnold, MD 21012, USA. Email: Internet: [9 points] (Jack Little)

FIREBALL MINISTRY-Fireball Ministry (EP) (Small Stone Records)
This is FIREBALL MINISTRY’s most recent offering. There are three original songs plus five covers. These songs have been on tribute CDs and played at live shows. The core of the band is still the same. James Rota does vocals and guitar. Emily Burton adds even more high quality guitar. Janis Tanaka, bassist for the band, will be familiar to our Seattle readers, as being from L7. “King” (as you might guess from its name) is powerful. It has a lot of power chords. James vocals remind me of OZZY OSBOURNE. “Choker” is slower. It features some deliberate guitar playing. They manage to rhyme “chosen one” with “smokin’ gun”. “Maidens Of Venus” is slower and fuzzier. It reminds me of MOLLY HATCHET in the solos. Some people will say that five covers are too many. They are well done. One is “Movin’ Out”. You know it was done by AEROSMITH. FIREBALL MINI-STRY do a ‘stoner rock take’ on it. It comes off as a sad song. Perhaps it’s even better than the original. THE MISFITS are who I think of, when hearing “Cough / Cool” (DANZIG cover). Here we get a heavy metal version of the song. It retains some of the tension. “Fortunes” was fairly heavy, when BLUE CHEER first performed it. With today’s electrical gear, it gets even heavier. This is a ministry, metal fans will want to hear more about. Contact: Small Stone Records, P.O. Box 02007, Detroit, MI 48202, USA. Email: thereverend@ or visit the band’s website at: www.fireball [10 points] (Jack Little)

THE GORE GORE GIRLS-Up All Night (Get Hip Records)
In our last issue we found out, that THE GORE GORE GIRLS had an album out called “Strange Girls” and that these girls weren’t really ‘strange girls’ at all, but they just wanted to ROCK. Well, here’s their new album already. Two band members left the band after the first album, Deb Agolli and Deanne Iovan. On this new album, we can still hear founder band member Amy Surdu. Former BROADZILLA member Melody Liscious plays the bass in THE GORE GORE GIRLS now. Monica Breen does some backing vocals on the album. The new drummer of the band is Cathy Carrell, but she doesn’t play on this album yet. The new album is filled with twelve rock songs mixed with influences from the Motown sound to garage punk. In almost fourty minutes they crank out these twelve songs with an enthusiasm, that is almost unbelievable! Besides their own penned songs, they play some covers like “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby” by LITTLE EVA and “Standing On The Corner”. These songs were already written in the early sixties, so you can imagine that there’s a certain sixties feel on this album, too. But the girls handle their instruments a bit rougher, than they did in the sixties. Think about bands like THE CRAMPS in this context, and you’ll get the idea of what this band is all about. This is the soundtrack for a good night out. So put on your dancing shoes and dance to the rhythm of the beat. If you don’t like to dance, just snap your fingers. But don’t stand still, because you’re gonna be ‘up all night’!! It’s party time, because THE GORE GORE GIRLS are in the house. If you didn’t get the message yet, find all the information that you still need at: Watch out for a hidden bonus track! [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

HALFCOCKED-The Last Star (Megatronic Records)
This is the third album of HALFCOCKED already. We sadly missed the first two releases of this glitter and glam punkrock outfit from Boston, which are called “Sell Out” and “Occupation Rock Star”. HALFCOCKED consists of Johnny Rock on guitars, Charlee Johnson on drums, Mad Dog Jaime Richter on rhythm guitar, Regina Zernay on bass guitar and Sarah ‘Starr’ Reitkopp on vocals. Regina plays the bass, when the band performs live on stage. The bass parts on this CD were played by Jhen Kobran. Three ladies, two boys, lots of glam and glitters and a ‘punch in your face’ sound. That’s what you get, when you listen to “The Last Star”. Thirteen kick ass rock songs with a total running time of about forty minutes. CD opener “I Lied” will be the first single from this album. Sarah may sound a bit like Gwen Stefani of NO DOUBT here and there, but the comparision with this band ends with the sound of her voice, because HALFCOCKED definitely sounds much punkier! The CD is produced by Ulrich Wild, who also did the album of BUCK-CHERRY, that came out on the same label. If you dig the sound of this band, you might like HALF-COCKED, although they’re no cheap copy of BUCKCHERRY of course. Highlights for me are “Devil Shoes” and the groovy “Touch Down”. More information can be obtained from the bands website, that can be found at: [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

HELLION-Cold Night In Hell (New Renaissance Records)
Ann Boleyn keeps surprising and spoiling us. This live CD was recorded in 1984, when the band opened for KEEL at the Country Club in Reseda on the 22nd of December. A few days later they would play in San Diego, opening for ROUGH CUTT. This would be the last time ever that the HELLION mark-I line-up would play together. In that perspective, this is an interesting release. Hear the pounding metal sound of HELLION, as they open their set with “Run For Your Life”. The music is excellent, which is something I can’t say from the sound quality. It’s dubbed from a private video tape, that exists from this gig. And you can qualify this as ‘bootleg quality’. Nonetheless, it’s great to hear these old songs being played live by the first line up of HELLION, that consisted of Ann Boleyn on vocals, Ray Schenck on guitar, Bill Sweet on bass, Alan Barlam on guitar and Sean Kelly on drums. Readers that are interested in these eight songs, that have a total playing time of about thirty-five minutes, can get more information on the website of Anns recordlabel at: www.newrenaissance It’s the exclusivity that counts here. [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

JEREMY-Flying Of Eagle (PCCY)
We’ve reviewed CDs from Mexico, Spain, Poland and other countries in this issue. Now it’s time for some heavy metal from Korea, with this album from JEREMY. It’s a pity, when you want to give your readers so much information about a certain interesting band, but you’re unable to, because you can’t read nor write the Korean signs on the info sheets and CD inlays. What I can tell you though is in this review. The band JEREMY was formed in 1995, and underwent many line-up changes. The line-up on “Flying Of Eagle” consists of Mo Jung-Gil on vocals, Byeon Sung-Woo on bass, Cho Pil-Sung on guitar, Woo-Seung-Bo on drums and the female member of the band is called Cho Mi-Ran and she plays the keyboards. The sound of the band shows a lot of variation. But they won’t shoot me for saying that the overall sound can be compared to bands like DREAM THEATER, CONCERTO MOON, SYMPHONY X, that is to say progressive rock with long instrumental parts. Four of the eleven songs are totally instrumental, including the intro and outro of “Flying Of Eagle”. JEREMY already has some kind of superstar status in their homecountry Korea and in Japan, where they play at almost every big festival. Now it’s time that they become well known in the rest of the world as well. And this must be possible, when they keep on making such great music. If you ever find this CD, then don’t hesitate to buy it, because the CD is really worth listening to. You can try to send an email to: for more information. But you can also get in touch with their record label. The address is: Ponycanyon c/o Juyeon Kim, 8F, ChingBo-Building, 833-4, Yok Sam-Dong, KangNam-Ku, Seoul, 135-080, Korea. [9 points] (Toine van Poorten)

KRLES-To (SIA Production)
On our world trip through women in metal land, we’ve landed in Czechia, where we found the most recent CD of KRLES. It’s called “To”. On the CD cover we see the image of ‘The Clown’, that we know of the STEPHEN KING book “It”. He looks real cute, but in fact he’s a rather cruel monster. The music of KRLES is real cool heavy metal. And although it’s really impossible to understand what the lyrics are about, the music of the band is already interesting enough to pay attention to this well-talented band. KRLES consists of Jiri Smelik on drums, Jiri Zima on bass, Jiri Karpjuk on guitar, Radek Sadovsky on guitar and Simona Krtenova on vocals. The CD was already released in 2001, but if you listen to the sound of this Czechian metal band, then you know why we simply had to review it. Simonas vocals are raw and it looks like she’s a real wild frontwoman. Highlights on “To” are the title track and a song called “Jeste Jednou!?”, where they really press the pedal to the metal. The beginning of “Ostrov Dokladu” is really funny, but this will stay a surprise for the people, who will buy the CD. “To” contains nine songs and almost fifty minutes of good metal. More information about this band can be obtained from their website, which can be found at: krles. You can also send the band an email at: [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

LACUNA COIL-Comalies (Century Media)
"Comalies" is the title of the third full-length release from Italy's LACUNA COIL and it continues the progression, that began in 1998 with the release of their debut EP. With their previous effort “Unleashed Memories” aiming rave reviews, the band continues to surge on with another solid masterpiece of a record. "Comalies" features some of the bands best work to date. Containing thirteen songs and fifty-one minutes of some of the most adventurous, diverse and passionate music to date, the Coilers have released an album, that is sure to garner them more, much deserved success. The album opens in classic LACUNA fashion with the track "Swamped". A fantastic opener, which sees vocalists Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro, effortlessly trading off vocals - in what has been the bands trade-mark since their beginning. Next, is "Heaven's A Lie", which begins with a beautiful keyboard intro and quickly launches into a bombastic, haunting rocker. Cristina handles most of the vocals here with Andrea joining in on the chorus. This track is quite catchy and will stay in your head long after you've heard it for the first time. Other highlights include: "Daylight Dancer", "Humane", "Self Deception", "Unspoken", "Entwined" and "Angel's Punishment". Perhaps the shining moment comes on the track "The Ghost Woman And The Hunter". It has a dreamy, ethereal vibe, that is a definite standout on an album full of solid material. The band sounds great! Cristina handles more of the vocals this time around and turns in another brilliant vocal performance. She comes across with a lot of emotion and passion. Male singer Andrea Ferro performs in more of a supporting role, but when he is called upon, he manages to deliver his finest vocal performance to date. The limited edition digi-pack features the bonus song "Lost Lullaby" and a CD-ROM video of the making of "Comalies". This is an exciting effort from LACUNA COIL and in my opinion their best. The greatness, that was hinted at on "Unleashed Memories" has now been realized with "Comalies". This band can not be stopped, they are that damn good! [10 points] (Tony Cannella)

MERLIN-They Must Die (Great White North Records)
Sometimes we are really astonished, when we hear how brutal the metal ladies in this scene can sound. In MM#29, we already did an interview with this Russian black, death metal, grindcore band. Now it’s time to review their two CDs. This band is really extreme and brutal. And singer, bass player, metal maiden Mary Abaza didn’t say one word too many about her brutal growls, and extreme fast metal sound. The rest of MERLIN consists of Alex Ioffe on guitars, Nick ‘Energizer’ Byckoff on drums and Arteom ‘Bolt’ Nazarov on rhythm guitar on this 2000 release. The sound of MERLIN is a brutal mix of NAPALM DEATH (ultrafast blasting beats), DEATH and MORBID ANGEL. The album was released in 2001, it contains nine songs, over thirty-five minutes of grinding gore death metal music, and can be seen as a very unique release. Women in the Russian music scene mostly play keyboards, or have angel like whispering vocals. But don’t expect this with Mary Abaza, because she is a shredder and she growls like a serial killer who has made another victim in the dark, cold night. And she will only rest, when she has murdered them all, because “They Must Die”. Not convinced...yet?? Write for more information to: MERLIN, c/o Maria Abaza, Volgina, 25-2-189, Moscow, 117437, Russia. Emails must be send to: The website of MERLIN can be found at: Don’t forget to read the next CD review about this Russian metal attack. [7 points] (Toine van Poorten)

MERLIN-Deathkoteque (Grind It! Records)
This is the debut CD of Russian grindcore, thrash, death metal band MERLIN. They were a three piece outfit then, and consisted of Mary Abaza on bass and growling vocals, Alex Ioffe on guitar and Nick Byckoff on drums. The ten songs, which take care of a whirlwind that’ll last for about thirty-seven minutes, are a bit less extreme than the songs that appeared on “They Must Die”. The original version of “Deathkoteque” was already released in 1997, but now it’s re-released by Grind It! Records from Canada. I wrote that the songs were a bit less extreme, but you can still hear the influence of the masters of death metal MORBID ANGEL in the music of MERLIN. “Deathkoteque” is still one helluva brutal CD, which is really interesting for all these sick death metal fans, that like to dig up corpses at night from their graves! The brutal power in combination with the fast guitarwork of Alex blast out of your speakers, turning your room into one big bloody mess, and nothing can stop this. Just listen to the brutal blasting sound explosions in a song like “Black Revenge”. It’s one of the most extreme attacks that I’ve heard, since I review CDs for this magazine. “Leave Me Alone” is dedicated to one of the bands that formed the roots of extreme metal like this, namely BLACK SABBATH. A great way to pay tribute to these giants, and a doomy highlight of this album, in my opinion. Wanna hear a lady growl like she’s slaughtering a whole population of discotheque visitors?? Then you’re at the wrong place buddy, I think you’ll have to go to the “Deathko-teque” then and listen to the f*cking music, that they play there. Write to Maria Abaza (at your own risk) at:, or have a look at the bands website for more information at: [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

MOSTLY AUTUMN-Music Inspired By The Lord Of The Rings (Classic Rock Legends)
The first time I got in contact with MOSTLY AUTUMN was, when I saw them performing last year (as a three-piece band) with BLACK-MORE’S NIGHT in Tilburg. All of their records are hard to find, but if you take the effort to look for them you won’t be disappointed, when hearing it. This album was written, recorded, mixed and mastered in just fourteen days. It seems impossible, especially when you hear the songs and production. You will be amazed about their talent. I surely am. MOSTLY AUTUMN’s music is very diverse, so it’s hard to catagorise it. But you hear a lot of celtic influences (I really love that!) as well as rock, pop and sometimes sympho. Most of the songs are written by multi-talented lead guitarist and singer Bryan Josh. This guy can do it all. He’s a great singer and an even better guitarplayer, but my favourite member of the band is Heather Findlay. She has a fantastic voice and besides singing, you can also hear her play some guitar, bodhran, tambourine and recorder. The first single from the wonderful album is “Goodbye Alone” – a duet between Heather and Josh, which you can hear more on this album. There are also lots of instrumental songs on this album, like “Out Of The Inn”, “On The Wings Of Gwaihir”, “At Last To Rivendell” and “To The Grey Havens”. All of them are fantastic songs that combine celtic sounds, often created by bandmember Angela (she is also very talented) recorders and sometimes heavy symphonic rock, which seems to be a wonderful combination. When you hear so many genres and instruments blended together, you will surely admire such a group of talented musicians. Sometimes, I hear influences of PINK FLOYD, and in other songs, like in the beautiful balled “Lothlorien” sung by Heather, I can hear ALL ABOUT EVE (a great band), but mainly MOSTLY AUTUMN has an own unique style. It’s hard to name favourites on this album, because every song is great. You don’t find it that often that a whole album is so good from start to finish, and all this in only fourteen days of recording. A lot of respect for this. Everyone, run to the better recordstore and buy this album, which MOSTLY AUTUMN never expected to make. I’m so glad, they did! [9 points] (Richard van Oudheusden)

MOSTLY AUTUMN-Heroes Never Die - The Anthology (Classic Rock Legends)
MOSTLY AUTUMN is one of those bands, who deserve to make it all the way. I'm pretty blown away by this band and with “Heroes Never Die”, they deliver another masterpiece. This is not really a new album, for every song is previously available on MOSTLY AUTUMN’s other releases, but every single song on this album has been re-worked, re-crafted and re-recorded to produce the definitive introduction to this band. The beautifull celtic influenced music has been captured perfectly on this album and the songs sometimes sound real different than the original. For instance “We Come And We Go” was originally sung by lead guitarist/vocalist Bryan Josh, but has now been taken over by Heather Findlay, a real talented singer, who has a warm and tender singing voice. Musically, MOSTLY AUTUMN brings a mix of celtic, rock and pop music and they do that like no other. The wonderful celtic sounds are created by Angela Goldthorpe, who is a fantastic musician. She plays a variety of flutes and recorders and really leaves a mark on most of the songs. Personally I think, MOSTLY AUTUMN should use her talents even more. Brian's guitar playing is wonderful and sometimes very original. Just listen to “Heroes Never Die”, which is dedicated to Brian's father, who died some time ago. Just every single musician in this band is fantastic. They exactly know what the song needs and they never do too much or too little. That's what makes MOSTLY AUTUMN so special. All twelve songs are highlights for me, but “Evergreen” and “Shrinking Violet” are two favourites of mine. Two pretty personal songs for Heather and you can hear that, when she sings them. Other great songs are “The Spirit Of Autumn Past” (with a very catchy chorus and the beautiful flute of Angela), “The Riders Of Rohan” (a great ballad sung by Heather), the heavy track “Never The Rainbow” and “Heroes Never Die” (PINK FLOYD influences). Things are going well for MOSTLY AUTUMN at this moment: A wonderful album, a forthcoming tour (with CARAVAN) and (hopefully) the world at their feet. I hope they'll get everything they deserve! A fantastic album from a fantastic band. [9 points] (Richard van Oudheusden)

MY RUIN-Blasphemous Girl (Snapper Music)
“Blasphemous Girls” is a compilation of the best recordings of MY RUIN’s “Speak & Destroy”, “To Brittain With Love....And Bruises” and “A Prayer Under Pressure Of Violent Anguish”. It contains twenty-six songs with a total time of about ninety minutes. And although the band does not support this release, it still gives you a good example of what MY RUIN is all about. Tairrie B is the ranting frontlady of the band. She screams like she’s on fire all the time, but sometimes she can also sing soft and pretty like in “Scars” and “Terror”. It’s a shame, that this two CD set doesn’t contain any bonus tracks or extras. Die hard fans of the band have got all this stuff in their collection already, and for them it’ll be worthless and a waste of sour earned money. People who want to have a good overview of MY RUIN however, can’t go wrong, when they buy this CD. Screaming Tairrie surprises us with two covers on this compilation. “Tainted Love” of SOFT CELL, originally recorded by GLORIA JONES and “Do You Love Me” of NICK CAVE. These two songs also show us that Tairrie has got her soft and sensible side. But most of the time she screams her lungs out, until she has to breath for another aggressive ear attack. MY RUIN went on tour with KITTIE in the USA, and I think that KITTIES music definitily fits to the music of MY RUIN and Tairrie B. Tairrie is blasphemous, wild, sexy, extreme and outrageous on this CD. Ain’t this the way we like her best??? You can email Tairrie at: But please don’t ask her where to buy this album, or she will spit fire at you through the PC. You have been warned! [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

NASHVILLE PUSSY-Say Something Nasty (Axe Killer Music)
NASHVILLE PUSSY stands for pure rock and roll. They play it loud, they play it fast, they play it nasty and they play it like it’s used to be played. On “Say Something Nasty”, they say a lot of ‘nasty things’, but that’s also what rock and roll is all about. The sound of the band still contains influences of AC/DC or Southern rock bands like LYNYRD SKYNYRD or MOLLY HATCHET. They also show us some new influences on this album by playing a handful of covers. Three covers are bonus tracks, and one is on the original CD. You can enjoy a great ‘in your face’ version of “Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo” (RICK DERRINGER) on the album. The three extra bonus covers are “The Kids Are Back” (TWISTED SISTER), “Flirtin’ With Disaster” (MOLLY HATCHET) and “Age Of Pamparius” (TURBONEGRO). But if you listen to their own penned songs, you must admit that these people can also write a classical riff or two. Just listen to the great Southern rock feel that they play in one of the highlights of this new CD “Here’s To Your Destruction”. It’s a shame that Tracy Almazan (ex-THE WIVES) has left the band already. She’s been replaced by Katie Lynn Campbell. The rest of the band stays the same. Actually, you just can’t go wrong with this band if you’re into dirty, sleazy kick ass rock and roll. Eighteen pure rock songs are on this one hour CD, which rocks like HELL! Beware that the three extra bonus tracks are only available on a collector item version of this CD! For more information about these rockers, just go to their website at: www.nashville [10 points] (Tooine van Poorten)

PENANCE-Alpha & Omega (Martyr Music Group)
PENANCE stands for doom metal in the most original form imaginable. The guitars are tuned really low and they play slow riffs. The bass beat is also slow and makes the sound even darker than it is already. The masters of doom metal are of course bands like COUNT RAVEN, SAINT VITUS, CATHEDRAL, PENTAGRAM, SLEEP, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, CANDLEMASS and BLACK SABBATH. But I think that we can add PENANCE to this list now, after hearing “Alpha & Omega”, because everything is correct on this album. I bet, that you don’t dare to listen to this disc with the lights turned low. “Alpha & Omega” consists of new songs, and is compiled with the “Turn For The Worse” EP which was released in 2000 (“Love Dies”, “Cold”, “Drown Me...” and “Misery Song”). PENANCE consists of Terry Weston on guitar, Matt Tuite on guitars, Brian Balich on vocals, Mike Smail on drums and Mary Bielich (ex-WORMHOLE, MYTHIC, NO-VEMBER’S DOOM) on bass guitar. Duane Dandy plays the didgeridoo(m) on this ten song CD, which drags itself along for almost an hour. On the songs of the EP we can still hear the bands old bass player Ron Leard, by the way. If you look at www.penance, you can read all the latest news about this well talented doom metal band. Watch out for the hidden (tenth) track! [9 points] (Toine van Poorten)

POTION 13-Porte-Bonheur (independent)
POTION 13 hails from the French part of Canada. The band consists of Brian Harpes on guitar, Annie Leclerc (ex-NOVEMBER GRIEF) on drums, Stéphanie Masson (also ex-NOVEMBER GRIEF) on bass and Danielle Langlois on vocals. Two former members of NOVEMBER GRIEF, which makes this band more than interesting to us. The music on “Porte-Bonheur” shows a variation of styles, that can all be categorised under the bannner of hard rock and/or heavy metal. Sometimes uptempo, like in title track “Porte-Bonheur” (French translation for ‘lucky charm’, by the way!), but sometimes they also take back speed like in the beginning of “Lady Marianne”. However, it explodes into a great headbanger, right in the middle of the song. “Le Cachot” starts off with the sounding of a bell, and a dark BLACK SABBATH like riff, creating a doomy, dark horror atmosphere, which fits very well to the song. It’s definately the highlight on this CD for me. A CD that contains ten songs with a total length of about forty minutes. Here and there we also hear some IRON MAIDEN like riffs, so we can safely say that we’re dealing here with a band that has their roots in those beautiful early eighties, and shows this with much respect. I think that we’ll introduce POTION 13 a bit closer to you in the (near) future. In the meantime I give “Porte-Bonheur” another turn.....or two. You can get in contact with the band by writing to: You can also check out the bands website at Their home address is: POTION 13, 151 Atwater, P.O. Box 72101, Montreal, QC, H3J 2Z6, Canada. [9 points] (Toine van Poorten)

CAT ROOD-How Rude! (independent)
If you’re a fan of guitar wizards, then this might be something for you! Cat played all the instruments by herself, except the drums. They come from a machine, called Alesis SR-16. Nine songs with a total length of about thirty minutes are on this “How Rude!”. It’s a nice collection of different styles, in which Cat shows us that she’s a real talent on the guitar. She’s really fast in “The Check Is In The Mail”, but on the other hand she can be very sensitive too, like in “Tragic”. Her guitar speaks many languages. I think the style of a guitar hero like GARY HOEY comes really close to what CAT ROOD’s music is all about. If you don’t know GARY HOEY however, you can also read JOE SATRIANI or JENNIFER BATTEN instead of that. The variation of styles, the virtuosity of this lady and the way she presents this CD (everything was done all by herself) makes this CD a very interesting release. It’s good to see, that there are still some well-talented female guitar players in the scene who are not afraid to show what they are capable of. Recently, Cat has written songs and movie scores for short movies like “Rules, Regs & Arrears” and “The Interrogation”. If you go to, you can read all the other information you need to know about this blonde guitar goddess. In “The Long Wait” you can hear that this lady is not only a great talent on the guitar, but also on the bass guitar. Besides that, she also plays synthesizers on “How Rude!”. [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

SHADOW KEEP-A Chaos Theory (Limb Music)
SHADOW KEEP is one of the very few real metal bands nowdays, coming from the UK. Whereas this country had such an enormous metal scene (remember the whole NWOBHM movement in the early eighties??!!), the metal scene has almost disappeared now in Britain. SHADOW KEEP keeps on waving the flag however. And on "A Chaos Theory", they proved it again. The band, that started out sounding like the original QUEENSRYCHE in their early days, has now developped a style of their own. A touch of early and later QUEENSRYCHE is still there, and you can also hear back influences of bands like HELLSTAR and the latter CRIMSON GLORY. But it's only brought back in little snippets now. SHADOW KEEP consists of Rogue M. Vox on vocals, Chris Allen on guitar, Steve 'SK' Kightley on bass (although old bass player Steve Scott still plays on this CD!), Scott Higham (ex-ANGELWITCH) on drums and Nicki Robson on guitar. Nicki is definitely one of Englands finest female lead guitarplayers. Add to this the production of THRESHOLD guitar player Karl Groom, and you will know that "ACT” (= ”A Chaos Theory") stands for the highest quality possible. Just listen to a fast headbanger like "Believe", or "Beware The Signs", which opens like the JUDAS PRIEST classic "The Electric Eye"! Need I really say more? Twelve solid metal songs are to be found on this album, giving the listener almost fifty minutes of music to bang their heads to. And that's all the real metal fan wants! What the future will bring SHADOW KEEP is not too sure however, because drummer Scott Higham also seems to sit on the drumstool of the good old ANGELWITCH again. And we heard, that Rogue M. Vox has left the band and has been replaced by Richie Wicks recently. I hope, that this doesn't mean the end of this fine British metal band! [9 points] (Toine van Poorten)

SIEGFRIED-Remains (independent)
This is the Japanese SIEGFRIED, and not the German band of Bruder Clé listening to the same name. This band consists of Takao Seki on drums, Shuzo Takagi on bass, Masaki Taguchi on guitars, Eiki Yasuda on keyboards and female vocalist Mai Araki. As always, this Japanese band surprises us with a crystal clear sound. The songs can best be described as melodic heavy metal with a touch of progressive rock. The guitar work sounds absolutely fabulous! Just listen to the great solo in “Hill Of Grief”, one of my favorite songs on this nine tracks, fifty minutes album. “The Serpent” is a short instrumental tune, which changes into “Unpleasant Friday”. The structure of the long anthem “Against The Sun”, shows some resemblance with “Mistreated” of DEEP PURPLE / RAINBOW / WHITESNAKE. It slowly ‘dies’ in the middle, and then explodes firmly after that. I think RAINBOW comes quite close to the sound of SIEGFRIED, but SIEGFRIED is definitely much heavier and a bit more modern. The artwork for the CD was done by Manabu Goto, and he deserves a big compliment for that. “Remains” is a great album. Check it out, if you like some good melodic heavy metal. It will be worth the search. Their official website can be found at: Star-Live/9091/. We were able to review this CD, thanks to our friend Mats from Japan. Thank you very much for introducing us to this great Japanese band, brother! [9 points] (Toine van Poorten)

SKYCLAD-No Daylights Nor Heeltraps (Demolition Records)
We couldn’t review this album in our previous issue, because it wasn’t complete at the time. You could order a bonus CD to make this CD a double CD, which we did. But the second CD came in after the deadline of #29, so we decided to move the review of “No Daylight Nor Heeltraps” to this issue. In the meantime, it must be clear to everybody, that Martin Walkyier has left the band for good to form RETURN TO THE SABBAT. SKYCLAD however wasn’t convinced that with the departure of Martin, they had to disband and say goodbye to the music scene. They decided that Kevin Ridley would become their new singer and the story of SKYCLAD could continue after that. The ‘new’ CD however captures old ‘hits’ in a new jacket. The two CDs are full of reworked classics, but they still have that well known SKYCLAD feel. I miss the electric guitar attacks of ex-SATAN guitar player Steve Ramsey a lot. All songs contain that campfire sing along, acoustic treatment, which suits them quite well. But when you think of SKYCLAD, a lot of our readers will think of the combination between folk songs and metal riffs. Well, I think they’ll have to wait for the next album maybe, because Martin pulled out the electric plug, when he left the band, I think. Sometimes you’ll hear the old glory, but I hope this will be enough to keep the old fans satisfied. I must make an exception for “Loco-Commotion” on the bonus CD, because this contains some real hot, hard and heavy guitarwork of Mr. Ramsey!! If you take a look on, you can see all the latest information about this British folk (metal)band. Next time a little bit more metal please, people! [7 points] (Toine van Poorten)

SLEATER KINNEY-One Beat (Kill Rock Stars)
If you would ask about the main influences of most of the female fronted punk rock bands or riot grrrl bands of today, most of the bands will give you names like BABES IN TOYLAND, THE LUNACHICKS or BIKINI KILL. But I know for sure that many bands will also name SLEATER KINNEY in their list of influences. This band is slowly becoming the all-female punk rock band in the scene. Their new album is called “One Beat”. It contains twelve songs, almost forty-five minutes of varied punk rock songs and the musical skills of Carrie Brownstein on guitar and vocals, Corin Tucker on guitar and vocals and Janet Weiss on drums and vocals. For some people, it must be blasphemous to read, that I wasn’t impressed by the opening track/title song of this new album. But after that, I hear the SLEATER KINNEY that we like so well. Especially “Far Away” is a very strong composition with special attention to the strong drum parts of Janet. Although I must confess, that I liked their earlier stuff a bit better. It rocked one step more, whereas “One Beat” sounds more alternative sometimes. Songs like “Light Rail Coyote” and “Step Aside” however, still sound like they never meant to leave the garage and are dedicated to the underground scene forever. Which is a compliment, because this means that they’re not taking a bow for commercialism in their sound. In “Sympathy” they interweave the choirs of the ROLLING STONES song “Sympathy For The Devil”, but they did it with much style and so well, that it almost became unrecognisable. Listen carefully and you’ll discover it, too. People, who like THE GOGO’S, BABES IN TOYLAND and BIKINI KILL must give this a turn or two. No, even better, just buy the damn thing! [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

SUGAR COMA-Becoming Something Else (Music For Nations)
I was surprised by the brutal opening song on the new SUGAR COMA CD “Becoming Something Else”. The star of this band is rising very fast, especially in their home country. And mostly this means that a band will sound a bit more commercial, so more people will dig their sound. This is definitely not the case with SUGAR COMA. It looks like they’re sounding even more brutal with every album they make. And still they’re gaining popularity. The new album contains thirteen songs, including two songs that were already on their first single (“(You’re Driving Me) Crazy” and opening track “Windings”.) By the way, three songs from their EP “What Goes Around”, which was released last year already, also made it on this new album. It’s unfair to say that SUGAR COMA is the English answer to KITTIE. Their music sounds very similar to these Canadian kittens indeed, but I think that the song structure of SUGAR COMA is much better. Their songs show a bit more variation, which makes it easier to listen to. SUGAR COMA consists of Jessica on vocals, Claire on guitar, Heidi on bass and James behind the drums. And if you like the influences of KITTIE and NIRVANA, then you definitlely will dig the sound of SUGAR COMA. You can get in touch with the band by sending an email to: [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

TOXIC PRINCESS-Toxic Princess (independent)
TOXIC PRINCESS consists of Carol Morgan on vocals, Eddy Labarr on keyboards and bass, Chris Case on guitar and Duanne Burris on drums. On some of the songs of this ten track debut release, you’ll hear Richy (Bad Boy) Brooks on drums. This is real underground stuff, and I should almost add that it’s good because of that. Or do I sound a bit too much cliché here? TOXIC PRINCESS doesn’t relate themselves to any other band in the scene, and yet they sound very interesting. The compositions are strong and the songs are well performed. The only remarks I have are two minor ones. First thing that I would like to say is, that I didn’t like the computerised or distorted vocals of the female singer. I think that her ‘normal’ vocals would be powerful enough to fit within the music. On the other hand, it might become the trademark of this band, who knows? The second remark is, that the songs sometimes end so suddenly. This doesn’t make the band less promising though. Mysterious songs with thrilling guitar work, and nice sound effects like the neighing of a horse in “Bonepony” and the lightning striking in “L.A./89-Kitty Kitty”. Ten old style metal tracks with a touch of WARLORD can be yours, if you are interested. All the information that is available from TOXIC PRINCESS can be obtained by visiting their website at: www. [ 8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

TWYSTER-Lunatic Siren (Massacre Records)
TWYSTER exists for seven years already, and this is their debut album. If I look at the beautiful CD cover, I would say the bands name comes from the movie with (almost) the same name (“Twister”). This German band consists of Andres Vergara-Ruiz on drums, Oliver Emde on bass, Ralf Jahrel on guitar, Christian Gahrmann on guitar and female vocalist Kordula ‘Coco’ Voss. Their music can be described as plain hard rock, so prepare yourselves to bang those heads! Coco’s voice is outstanding. She screams her lungs out during heavy powerful songs like “May- Day” and “50 Bloody Bucks”, but she also knows how to sound sweet during a ballad like “Two Wild Hearts”. The band already toured with THE TRACEELORDS and I think that with “Lunatic Siren” they’re paving their road to success. Twelve good songs fill the forty-five minutes of music on this release. The only negative remark I have about this release, is the cover they did of the AHA song “The Sun Always Shines On TV”. Lots of metal bands cover songs of shitty bands from the eighties like AHA, DEPECHE MODE or THE TALKING HEADS. They were shitty in the eighties and they are still shitty, when you put a metal guitar in them, as far as I’m concerned. Better listen to a straight headbanger like “High Noon” than wasting your time with this rubbish. For me, that song was one of the highlights on this good metal CD. [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

WILL O’ WISP-Unseen (independent)
This is the second CD of this band from Italy. It contains nine songs and has a total length of about forty minutes. The music can be described as technical heavy metal. Think about CORONER and VOI VOD, but then a bit softer and more keyboard oriented. WILL O’ WISP consists of Paulo Puppo on guitar, Loredana Canepa on keyboards and piano, Giancarlo Pancrazi on drums, Fabrizio Colussi on bass and Ermanno Argenti on male vocals. Guest musicians are Tommy Talamanca (SADIST) on guitar and Micaela Gotelli on female vocals. The input of Micaela however is so big, that we decided to do a long review on this band. Also because the band fits very well in our concept, through their heavy sound. Two out of the nine tracks are instrumentals. And I guess that you must be a bit open minded to enjoy the technical character of the other songs. “Celestial Bride” is one of the highlights on the CD, because of the sudden breaks in the song, which gives it a progressive touch. Micaela’s voice is soft and sweet, which makes the songs a bit opener for a broader audience, in my opinion. I’ve never heard the debut CD of WILL O’ WISP, which is called “Enchiridion”, but I think that if you like some good technical heavy metal, you can’t go wrong with this band. If you want to get in contact with the band, you can write to Paulo Puppo, Via Paulucci 6/9, 16035 Rapallo (GE), Italy, or to Fabrizio Colussi, Via Aschieri 21/4, 16035 Rapallo (GE), Italy. Emails can be send to: [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

WITHOUT FACE-Astronomicon (Earache)
WITHOUT FACE hails from Hungary, and they consist of Andras on vocals, Julie on vocals, Peter on drums, Sasza on synths, Roomy on guitars and Akos on bass. Six long songs fill the forty-five minutes of heavy music on this second CD of the band. I hear bombastic choir vocals, heavy riffs and the sweet voice of Julie, that dominate the sound of WITHOUT FACE. “Pit And Pendulum” is a good exmple of how the band sounds, bombastic and with the vocals very much upfront in the mix. In “....In The Garden”, I recognised some DREAM THEATER structures, but the busy vocal parts push these influences a bit away. When the vocals stop however, the influences are there again. The musiciansship of the band is good, the vocals are okay, but somehow this album didn’t really excite me at all. The band shared the stage already with bands like ZEROMANCER, THE KOVENANT, ANATHEMA and THE GATHERING and I really do believe, that they have a bright future ahead of them. Despite this all, I didn’t hear something special or exciting on “Astronomicon”. Therefore I suggest you first should have a listen, maybe you will dig the sound of WITHOUT FACE. For more information you can send your emails to: withoutface@ withoutface.34sp. com. [6 points] (Toine van Poorten)

ZED YAGO-...From The Twilight Zone-Best Of ZED YAGO (Steamhammer)
Many people were excited about our comprehensive interview with Jutta Weinhold of ZED YAGO/VELVET VIPER. This ‘best of’ album is only just the beginning of the come back of Jutta to the metal scene. I’ve heard that she’s about to return with a band called WEINHOLD, and they will play heavy metal the way Jutta likes it to be played. Dramatic and with a lot of power. Chris Reuter (ex-VIVA) will already be part of her band, so the info sheet tells us. “From The Twilight Zone” is more than just a best of album in my opinion. Besides the regular best of songs, we can also enjoy four live songs, that were never released before, two demo recordings (one cover of “Waiting For The Wind of SPOOKY TOOTH!) and a video track on this double CD. Step back into the late eighties again, the time when ZED YAGO ruled the German stages. Hear how refreshing the music still sounds, although it was recorded almost fifteen years ago. The songs range from a flashing live version of “Zed Yago” to the bands’ well-known anthem “Black Bone Song”, for which they also shot the video part on this double CD. Hear Jutta’s love for the music of Richard Wagner, which is translated by her into music that is suitable for the ears of every heavy metal fan. Twenty-two great songs fill over hundred minutes of ZED YAGO music. And I warned you already, that this is only just the beginning of the comeback of this Heavy Metal Queen from Hamburg. Welcome back Jutta, and we hope to see you on stage again very soon. [9 points] (Toine van Poorten)

AFTER FOREVER (CD single)-Monolith Of Doubt (Transmission)
AFTER FOREVER always gives their fans value for money. This new CD single contains four songs, including two previously unreleased tracks, which play for almost twenty minutes. The single opens with the single version of “Monolith Of Doubt”, followed by the first unreleased track, callled “For The Time Being”. The second unreleased version is called “Imperfect Tenses”, which you can hear in its orchestral version here. The bombastic sound of AFTER FOREVER is the central point of all these songs. The great sorprano voice of Floor Jansen being the biggest eye-catcher, followed by the great orchestra, the mighty heavy guitar riffs and the thundering drum parts. Very impressive indeed! We are sure that AFTER FOREVER is capable of taking over the leading role of NIGHTWISH in the fairy tale metal scene, now Tarja Turunen has left this band for a while. I think, we can be very proud of them! On you can read all the other news about this great Dutch metal band. [9 points] (Toine van Poorten)

ANOUK (CD single)-Everything (Dino Music)
Most of the time we look at the bonus tracks of a single, if it’s interesting enough to buy or review in our magazine. That’s not the case with this new single of ANOUK! It has been such a long time, since we heard from this Dutch talented lady (who’s now mama ANOUK), that we could hardly wait to hear her new stuff. The band of ANOUK consists of René van Barneveld on guitar, Leendert Haaksma on guitar, Lex Bolderdijk on guitar, Michel van Schie on bass and Hans Eijkenaar on drums. Three guitar players?!? Does this mean, that ANOUK has taken another musical direction? Yes, she has definitely returned to her roots: pure rock & roll music. As a matter of fact, if I’m informed right, the next album will sound really heavy again with no influences of hip hop or whatever other style, you might think of. “Everything” is to be found on this three track single in three different versions. The album version (which will be in the stores after the deadline of this issue), the acoustic version and the instrumental version. I think it’s safe enough to say, when this is a pre-taster of the rest of the “Graduated Fool” album, then we’re in for something really special. I really love this song. It’s heavy, it’s catchy and it’s climbing high in the charts already. Who could ask for more? It’s ANOUK at her best, and an essential buy for all the fans of this lady, who got rid of her golden teeth (thank God!) and got back her long blonde hair! But these are just minor details. Please let the music do the talking, and it’s really amazing again! Check for all the latest news about this Dutch rock diva. [9 points] (Toine van Poorten)

FLAMINGO 50 (7 inch)-Go Betsy Go! (No Concessions Records)
Five tracks are on this vinyl seven inch of FLAMINGO 50. The band still consists of Louise on vocals and guitar, Karen on bass and vocals and Morgan on drums. They already caught our attention during the Ladyfest in Glasgow with their rebellous punk rock sound. I remember, they played two songs at this festival, that are on this seven inch, namely “Dump Yr Dumper” and “Hi Skool, My Skool”. The other three tracks (that should be played on 33 rpm by the way) are called “Happy Days Are Here Again”, “Back Where I Started” and “Told Ya So”. Fast punk rock songs, which will turn your house into a real mess. You just can’t stand still, when you hear the great garage sound of FLAMINGO 50. It all started out with THE BEATLES from Liverpool, but I think it must have been something they put in the water, that causes so many talents coming from this place. “Go Betsy Go!” is a real must for all the devoted all-female punk rock fans out there! LADY DIE! fans might like this a lot, by the way. Go to: www.flamingo 50.freeweb to visit the website of the band, and you can email them at: hanman@ More info about this single could be obtained from No Concessions Records, c/o Natalie Masse, 496 Abbey Road, London SE2 9EZ, England. Or send an email to: nat@ncrds.freeserve. Their website is at: http:// [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

THE GATHERING (MCD)-Black Light District (Psychonaut Records)
Many people have been waiting for this release to come and finally it’s there: the new MCD of THE GATHERING. I must admit, that I liked it a lot. Especially, the great title track “Black Light District”, which is a sixteen minute song with many faces. It opens with a piano intro, followed by a spoken word part done by Sarah Jezebel Deva, and after a short ambient part sung by Anneke, we hear an instrumental explosion. And that’s only the first part of this mysterious song, which is full of other surprises. The second part slowly works itself to a final chord, until sixteen of the twenty-five minutes of music on this disc are over. They manage to build up a certain tension in a way that only a band like PINK FLOYD could do it, f.e. in a song like “Echoes”. But not so weird of course. “Debris” is on next. It sounds dark, but it’s definitely catchier and more open than the title track. It could be on either of their previous albums after “Nighttime Birds”. The CD closes with the piano version of “Broken Glass”. It’s a three minute song in pure nudity. Just consisting of a piano and Anneke’s voice. Very sphereful and well done. You probably won’t expect this song from a rock or metal band, but I think that that’s the power of THE GATHERING. They do things that you won’t expect, and they don’t walk the paths that were paved by many bands already. They pave their own. What a great way to celebrate your twelve and a half years anniversary! After hearing this, I am really looking forward to hearing their full length album next year. I think, they did a good job to leave Century Media. Many bands try to get signed by this company, because they’re the greatest, so they say. But THE GATHERING proves us, that you don’t need to be with a big label to release such a nice piece of art like this. The CD ROM part contains a video clip and exclusive GATHERING material. Happy birthday, people and many happy returns. ( [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

KREZIP (CD single)-You Can Say (WEA)
Do we need to say much about this single? I don’t think so. But because there are a lot of foreign people, who read our magazine, we’d like to do this review like any other. KREZIP is to be found in the charts at the highest position with almost every single, they release. And every time they know to impress me with their catchy sound and their well-thought out songs. “You Can Say” is another example of a catchy song with a nice groove. Are you ready to jump around in the house? Just put this CD on and the rest will go all by itself. The song was taken from the new album “Days Like This”, which will be reviewed in the next issue of MM. “Rearrange”, the next track, will not be on the album. It’s a very slow, acoustic song and the perfect chance to slowly rearrange the mess you made after hearing “You Can Say”. KREZIP almost sound like a completely different band here. Call it variation for a change, but to be quite honest with you, I wasn’t too thrilled about this ballad. For all the other information, just surf to [8 points] (Toine van Poorten)

NIGHTWISH (CD single)-Bless The Child (Spinefarm)
"Bless The Child" is the latest single from the monumental "Century Child" album from Finland's greatest musical export NIGHTWISH. It sure is to please the die-hard fans of this very talented band. The three songs on this disc are: the title song "Bless The Child", the previously unreleased “Lagoon” and “The Wayfarer” (taken from the Japanese edition of “Century Child”). The thing that makes this CD essential for any NIGHTWISH fan is the inclusion of three DVD videos: "Bless The Child", "Over The Hills And Far Away" and an interview with Tarja and Tuomas. This footage is a treat for those of us, who have not had the chance to view these stunning clips. The DVD portion of this disc is what makes this single worth owning. The band will indeed take a break in the 2003 to allow Tarja to continue her opera studies and the band members will participate in side projects. Let's hope that we have not heard the last of this great band. I'm sure we haven't. [7 points] (Tony Cannella)

[Updated: Jan. 21, 2003]


Back to Main Page