ZUUL FX       Live Free Or Die
Equilibre Music (release: March 1st, 2007)

After last year's huge success with By The Cross, with good record sales and great stage performances as well, but also acclaimed by European medias (Bruce Dickinson himself have made their promotion on BBC1), you have to note some changes with ZUUL FX. First of all, Karim, a brand new axeman, graduate from a music school like his rhythm section mates, is here to boost the songs. Next, a better production making their Thrash-Industrial Metal mix more homogeneous. Last but not least, the improvement, you can even say the metamorphosis of Steeve Petit (ex-NO RETURN) on the many clear voice pieces you can still find on this second album, so much that you wonder first if he doesn't share the mike with another singer !
ZUUL FX had already driven the nail at first attempt, they've just smashed the plank !...Laurent

BLOOD TSUNAMI       Thrash Metal
Candlelight Records (release: March 5th, 2007)

When you take a look at the logo, the sleeve and the title of the album… all is said ! At least, the process of this young Norwegian band (and not Japanese as the name could indicate) is pretty clear, even if this unhidden tribute to the Bay Area Thrash and 80's German scene is a little bit more up-to-date even so.Laurent

ONSLAUGHT       Killing Peace
Candlelight Records (release: March 5th, 2007)

For Thrash Metal fans, this is only ONSLAUGHT's fourth album in their 22 years career because even so, there's been a 18 years break after their third record, In Search Of Sanity, released in 1989. Sy Keeler is back on the vocals, with a terrific powerful voice which will blow your ears out !...Jean-Luc

ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY       Open Fire
Relapse Records (release: March 6th, 2007)

Forget about the hostile warrior with the winged helmet on the cover: this stuff is neither Power nor Viking Metal. But if you've ever dreamt of LYNYRD SKYNYRD sounding like MOTÖRHEAD, this one's for you, no doubt ! The songs are pure Southern Rock, but the voice is incredibly harsher than what you would expect from this kind of music. And of course, the sound is louder and heavier than good old SKYNYRD albums. Open Fire is bourbon brewed in Dioxin barrels. Quite a modern way of killing, indeed !David

DYING FETUS       War Of Attrition
Relapse Records (release: March 12th, 2007)

As at the great time of vinyl, 8 tracks, 4 a side. Anyway, considering its status, DYING FETUS has nothing to prove anymore and even so, it's more than enough to destroy everything !Laurent

LOST EDEN       Cycle Repeats
Candlelight Records (release: March 13th, 2007)

Now we've seen everything and we've particularly heard everything ! We just have to commit hara-kiri ! Doesn't it come my dear that even the Japanese start to play melodic Death Metal in a Scandinavian way ! LOST EDEN's vocalist doesn't go as far as copying Swedish accent but for the rest... Banzai !Laurent

MAYLENE AND THE SONS OF DISASTER       II
Ferret Music (release: March 20th, 2007)

This American band from Birmingham, Alabama was created in 2004 and Two is only their second album (how did you guess ?). Apparently, this one is based on a true gangster story which ended up tragically in Florida in 1935. Two is an original blend of various rough stuff, which often sounds like MAYLENE and the sons of "ROSE TATTO meets modern HxC" (Plenty Strong And Plenty Wrong). This band undoubtedly brings something new to the good old Hard Rock 'n Roll school: the six guys (with three guitars again, it looks like epidemic in the southern states) stand as "wayward children" at musical crossroads, ready to take you aside from the usual Hard Rock path (e.g. Dry The River, Wylie, Death Is An Alcoholic). The album ends surprisingly gently with a nice ballad, Tale Of The Runaways and a peaceful instrumental, The Day Hell Broke Loose At Sicard Hollow, as the night falls down on the bayou after a ruthless gunfight (see the cover of the album).David

SIDEBURN       The Newborn Sun
Buzzville Records (release: March 26th, 2007)

The cover speaks for itself: these four guys from Sweden play Stoner Metal. Well… OK, I sometimes wonder how anyone can listen to a complete Stoner album if they haven't smoked a 10.000 m² carpet before (in french, "smoking the carpet" means… now come on, you know what that means !). But SIDEBURN's Newborn Sun (their second full-length) might be the album that will make you change your mind about Stoner if you think it's a real pain in the ass. The voice often reminds of Glenn Danzig, Ian Astbury, not to mention Jim Morrison. Most songs have their own personality that grasps your attention somehow, with hints to musical references as STEPPENWOLF (if you don't know what's STEPPENWOLF, you're too young and certainly not "born to be wild"), THE DOORS (Top Of The World), LED ZEPPELIN (A Piece Of Shade). A little glimpse to KYYRIA (great Finnish band…) with When The Day Dies, and another milestone is Another Day In The Blue, a nice ballad blessed by the ghost of Jimi Hendrix. Now if you're only into Grind or Punk Rock, you may as well forget about it right now…David

ANGELCORPSE       Of Lucifer And Lightning
Osmose Productions (release: March 29th, 2007)

There are more and more bands which form back nowadays. Eight years even so after their former studio effort, ANGELCORPSE shows the muzzle of the Beast again. This long break hasn't calmed them down, on the contrary, since Pete Helmkamp and Gene Palubicki resume their destructive work at the point they left it, with the help of new drummer John Longstreth. So we know what to expect, especially as a still blunt production and vindictive lyrics emphasize this hatred literally vomited to those who would stand in their way. Clear the path: Antichrist's advance guard is in motion !...Laurent

INHUME       Chaos Dissection Order
Osmose Productions (release: March 29th, 2007)

Some people will say that INHUME play high-class old school Brutal Death Metal. Some other will say they are clumsy oafs indeed ! And both will be right. At least, that changes from crowds of melodic Death Metal bands flooding the market and it incidentally reminds us where this style comes from. On the other hand, intensity often rhymes with briefness, the 16 tracks of Chaos Dissection Order last in all 30 minutes and 58 seconds only, which make a song an average 1 minute and 56 seconds. Sold !Laurent

JESUS ON EXTASY       Holy Beauty
Drakkar Records (release: March 30th, 2007)

Ah… a UFO in the Metal scene ! Nevertheless, here's a release from an irreproachable record company. But forget your bias about electronic music and let's have a look (and an ear) at JESUS ON EXTASY, German act formed in Bochum by Deveraux brothers, Dorian and Chai, which is now a mixed quartet since the arrival of both lovely Alicia (guitar, ex-PAIN) and Ophelia (synthesizer, ex-RYA). And to get a complete picture of the situation, Holy Beauty is their first outlet.
Well, that starts with heavy guitars on Assassinate Me, even if we already feel these so particular rhythms and keyboards, then it carries on a rather New Wave way (but not "Of British Heavy Metal" one) with Nuclear Bitch and we end up straight on the dance floor with Drowning. Next comes Neochrome, really Indus' this one. Phew ! We work up a sweat again under the disco ball on 2nd Skin.
Are you still there ? Not sure. The guided tour becomes quieter with Alone and Puppet (I feel alone too, now) then it starts again as an Electro-New Wave mixture, with this typical low and nonchalant voice… and so on, former styles alternated, ending with a remix of the opening track, made by pioneers KMFDM.
But watch out, don't be mistaken: there are guitars. Keyboards too, but guitars as well. So, you'll have to make your own opinion. If you want for instance to make a festive break or gently introduce the brand new girlfriend you've met in a disco (!) to the dark side of music, here is the kind of good record that will do indeed.Laurent

THUNDERSTORM       As We Die Alone
Dragonheart Records (release: March 30th, 2007)

Sailing between the banks of desolate Doom and heavy Stoner, Italian trio THUNDERSTORM are back with their fourth album As We Die Alone. I wasn't really enthusiastic about their Faithless Soul in 2004 and, speaking straightforward, the only thing I can remember is the cover of IRON BUTTERFLY's In A Gadda Da Vida. This time, it's much, much better and the title of the album is certainly over pessimistic: come on, guys, this time it shouldn't die alone. OK, it's still heavy and rather slow from A to Z but most songs have some kind of a melodic touch that will grab you back when your attention begins to faint. Classical, but effective, Death Rides On The Highway and The Mad Monk will give you a shove just when it's time to shove, while the hypnotic, mournful I Wait is really chilling. And there's a very personal cover of Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Child in the end.
Of course, it's not the kind of tunes you will sing along under the shower in the morning, but… good sound, good musicians, good voice… well, it's a good album for those about to doom (we salute you !) and for the others as well.David