HELLFUELED       Memories In Black
Black Lodge (release: May 4th, 2007)

Memories In Black is the third album from this quartet raised by the sound of the chainsaws (and lawnmowers ?) in Huskvarna, Sweden. Now, we should mention the fact right now: if you don't like Ozzy Osbourne's particular singing, you'd better pass HELLFUELED by at once. The music is rather different, but the voice…
OK, now we're between tasteful people (come on, it's a joke). And you will probably enjoy this pure Heavy Metal record which finally makes its way through the dozens of good bands alike because of Andy's singing in the first place. Once you have assimilated the voice enough to put the similarity aside, you can stick to the music. At first, you think: "OK, this is another good and powerful Metal band, so what ?". But in the long run, these guys are able to sprinkle their rather classical Heavy Metal with catchy riffs and solos, and other musical hits that make the difference, like on Warzone, Right Now, Down and Slow Down.
Had it been a little shorter, Memories In Black would have been more convincing… a message to you all, guys (and girls) in the Metal world: we want the best of you and only the best. Profusion is not the recipe to a masterpiece. For a Metal album too, "it's better to burn than fade away".David

HOLY MARTYR       Still At War
Dragonheart Records (release: May 4th, 2007)

In this rainy weather, here comes HOLY MARTYR from Italy, a heart-warming country (when it's not on football grounds). They formed in the late 20th century and after several demos, they release their first album at last, Still At War, which music is something like 80's Epic Metal.Jean-Luc

HOLLYWOOD ROSES       Dopesnake
Abstract Sounds (release: May 7th, 2007)

A GUNS 'N ROSES tribute-band releasing here an album comprised of their own material but with three covers of THIN LIZZY, VAN HALEN and UFO even so. Moreover, they had the opportunity to invite different musicians on each song, including ex-GUNS and CINDERELLA ones, among others. Their music is simply a high-class mix of Glam and US Hard Rock.Jean-Luc

NOCTURNAL FEARS       Ghosts From The Past
Inner Quest (release: May 7th, 2007)

Ah… the 90's ! What a good time, especially in Lille (northern France) where there were dozens of specialized record shops, rehearsal rooms in any basement, gigs galore every nights and above all, loads of go-ahead bands. Some of them managed to rise to the top of the French scene (what do you mean, "it wasn't really difficult" ?!) such as LOUDBLAST or SUPURATION, to name but a few (what do you mean, "they are the only ones" ?!). And what about the other ones ? Yes, every unlucky group, including NOCTURNAL FEARS, which didn't make a name for themselves, eaten up with line-up troubles. Well, forgotten !...
It's a great surprise but a real pleasure to see them back without warning to celebrate their 16 years career. Why neither 15 nor 20 ? No idea. However, Anton Jovanovic and Jean-Noël Bonnaillie, left founding duet, take the opportunity to re-release their discography in a CD format, comprised of demos, Various Artists records or mini-CD, adding a few live tracks. It's an interesting initiative which allows to see the band's development, having started from bloody heavy Death Metal to Industrial Metal, with smooth guitars parts on narrative vocals as a trademark.
Memories ! Well, now we dried our tears, you should go back to song-writing, folks !...Laurent

CAGE       Hell Destroyer
MTM Music (release: May 18th, 2007)

It's already their fourth release, still they remain unrecognized, but not for too long. Hell Destroyer is 75mn of pure Metal, a mix of JUDAS PRIEST and MANOWAR, especially about the chorus. Listen to Sean Peck's voice, it will remind you a Rob Halford of "you know who" (see the answer above ). And one should notice that it's a 21 tracks concept album.Jean-Luc

SONIC SYNDICATE       Only Inhuman
Nuclear Blast (release: May 18th, 2007)

This is the kind of band being in a dilemma: not brutal enough for narrow-minded Metal freaks (yeah, it does exist…) and too aggressive to be played on radio (understand the so-called "general-interest" radios). SONIC SYNDICATE has indeed listen to SOILWORK for instance but it's only their second album so you can forgive those young Swedish (well, well), especially there's a pretty chick as a nice bit of stuff on bass. To come back to the music, the verses are powerful while the clear singing choruses are always brought in a little too systematic way. It doesn't sound like you're always listening to the same song but still…
Falling between two chairs then, they just have to find a faithful fan base, why not by making young people frenziedly wiggle on summer festivals. After all, isn't it the main point ?...
Erratum. You should have read: "especially there's a lovely young girl on bass".Laurent

UDO       Mastercutor
AFM Records (release: May 18th, 2007)

Take care, little UDO has been released and has given birth to a pure Teutonic Heavy Metal album as he knows how to do it, with excellent fierce attacks such as Master Of Disaster. And it will tear your ears apart, so stick 'em up with glue before listening.Jean-Luc

THE SENSELESS       In The Realm Of The Senseless
Anticulture Records (release: May 21st, 2007)

Well… no, it's not a new "Best of BEACH BOYS" or maybe doped with… OK, in short. No, THE SENSELES is actually the solo project of Sam Bean, bass player in Australian THE BERZERKER who, after ten years of thinking and song-writing, give birth to a UFO (ouch !) which will move the extreme Metal world.
This guy is helped by his companion Matt Wilcock on guitars and by a drummer recruited on one of the many planets from Xuenylom galaxy (no terrestrial life form being able to play that fast) 'cause it runs at 207 mph. You can easily understand why the surfer on the sleeve is about to come a cropper: it's because of the breaker caused by this sound shock wave, which will carry you away too, even settled well in an armchair. And final opposite showing you should take it at 47th degree humour, the album end with… well, let's say a House Music track because it's not our specialty and it's out of our talk bounds. Perhaps it's also information about the content of the next album. Who knows ?...
Anyway, even if you fasten your surfboard-belt, you won't escape uninjured from this breathtaking experience. Isn't it crazy ?!Laurent

MAN MUST DIE       The Human Condition
Relapse Records (release: May 25th, 2007)

Despite a few Grind styled screaming, it is definitely ultra fast Death Metal that Scottish MAN MUST DIE execute here (and us, consequently) with rather technical breaks, just to make the whole thing lighter and allow you to hold out 'til the end. After all, if they do succeed, what about you ?...Laurent

ARKHON INFAUSTUS       Orthodoxyn
Osmose Productions (release: May 31st, 2007)

To release a fourth album isn't bad at all. ARKHON INFAUSTUS's musos did it, those who started their career fiercely in 2001 with Hell Injection's outrageous concept. A little bit more time spent on the song-writing of this new offering to Satan, also delayed by production problems, but they didn't lose inspiration nor hatred, even studying thoroughly their own view of religions. We know what's goin' on about it. And with La Particule de Dieu, they allow us to take part in the "French songs broadcasting quota" (a particular law in France). Thanks, guys !...Laurent