SKEW SISKIN       Peace Breaker
Underclass Music (release: July 7th, 2007)

Coming back after hard times, due to serious personal troubles of vocalist Nina C. Alice, SKEW SISKIN took the bull by the horns and had to release this Peace Breaker as a self production, despite a tidy career behind them. Distributor Underclass Music had the good idea to release it in France since then.
Once again, the spirit of MOTÖRHEAD hangs over most of the songs (all ?) especially as Lemmy cosigns the lyrics of four tracks, and they have roamed together so many times ! Moreover, Nina sings the same way (although she has quite a different tone !) while being much cuter than old Kilmister ! So, we lose nothing on the deal…
Obviously, nothing's new in their wild Hard Rock 'n Roll but it would be a miracle to play something original in this genre anyway. No, the main point is to have fun, although they seem to bear the whole world a grudge ! The troop is also stimulated again by the arrival of experienced Randy Black (ex-ANNIHILATOR) on drums, even if the rhythm slows down on the almost Blues songs I Don't Care or Can't Hear You. Anyway, for those who complain for nothing, the band teaches us courage here. There's only one good painkiller to get rid of your problems: Rock 'n Roooooooll !...Laurent

CRIONICS       Neuthrone
Candlelight Records (release: July 16th, 2007)

It's terrible. CRIONICS being a Polish band, we can't help reminding VADER or BEHEMOTH as reference points. But even if they move in an ultra fast Death Metal vein too, they stand fortunately apart from their famous fellow countrymen, particularly thanks to the addition of futuristic styled keyboards. But it's not the only outstanding point because everything is built upon these clinical and apocalyptical atmospheres from the middle of the 21st century, as on Arrival 2033, precisely. When all is said and done, the musicians of CRIONICS really have their own personality and we will probably hear them for many years (and not only in news in brief). Undoubtedly.Laurent

Dockyard 1 (release: July 20th, 2007)

A virus seems to have reached Japan or maybe our friends over there are planning a massive invasion of Sweden (don't forget parkas, guys !), since after LOST EDEN (please take a look at our March 2007 review), here's another Japanese act playing "melodic Death Metal the IN FLAMES way" and they don’t make a secret of it (but there's no alternative).
So we could pass over the subject quickly but as we are conscientious enough to listen to every CD to the very end (yes, we do), you can find a first alert on the fifth track, Pitch Black Room: the tone changes and thus the most narrow-minded Neo Metal maniacs won't enjoy. No, they won't enjoy at all ! Yeah, some amazing keyboards turn the music into some video game soundtrack, still keeping an aggressive touch in the meantime. For sure, it's gonna be a big success in their home country !
Thanks to the arrival of a second vocalist, the various clear singing parts become rather original compared to those you can hear anywhere else, with women's interventions too, so we can't blame them for varying pleasures here. We even think we're gonna have a cover of Kate Bush's Be Running Up That Hill but it's just the intro which suspiciously reminds this song on Innocence. We sure got close to the diplomatic incident (especially plagiarism) ! On the other hand, with Peacemaker, you'll blow yours out… we mean your pacemaker, still for the same reasons as above.
Cunningly trapped in this atmosphere, as the rest of the album remains in the same vein, shall we say that we'll have fun in hip nightclubs after our radio show from now ?...Laurent

NILE       Ithyphallic
Nuclear Blast (release: July 20th, 2007)

Once again inspired by Egyptian history (it will be hard to do something else now with such a name !), Karl Sanders and his gang are back with a fifth marble disc in their satchel, on which you can find every ingredients which already made their success: some parts in a stifling torpor and some orchestral interludes worth figuring on the soundtrack of any pharaoh's movie, with brutal, ultra-fast and technical Death Metal in the background.
They also carry on taking part, as on their former outlets, in the "longest title of the music history's contest". This time, it's on track #4, with Papyrus Containing The Spell To Preserve Its Possessor Against Attacks From He Who Is In The Water. And that's how we incidentally inflate a review !
Without attracting attention, NILE are conquering the throne of American Death Metal and if they continue that way, they'll end up waking Ramsey II's mummy !...Laurent

AT ALL COST       Circle Of Demons
Century Media (release: July 23rd, 2007)

Century Media Records' managers are shrewd. Just recovered with THE AGONIST, out the same day, here's a brand new sensation. Well, at first sight, an album titled Circle Of Demons, blood-stained musicians… Well, don't know, it will still sound like US Thrash-Hardcore (moreover they're from Austin, Texas). And that's how you are completely wrong !
After a first track which shoots off but in a typical way, you're amazed by the next one and it will last like that until the end. It's difficult to define AT ALL COST's music as it's so various: rather aggressive in the whole but with catchy melodies, APOCALYPTICA styled cellos parts on We Won't Give In, robots' voices (Leaving Forever), choruses in a Neo-Punk way, an Electro break, singer's flights of lyricism, some vitality, a definitely worldwide hit to come (Ride Through The Storm)… enough !
A really exciting release which will make you feel on top of the world at any time and… at all cost !...Laurent

THE AGONIST       Once Only Imagined
Century Media (release: July 23rd, 2007)

It's always difficult and simplistic to compare a band to another or a musician to another. But with THE AGONIST (ex-THE TEMPEST), it's important to stress about the original feature of these Canadians. And the outstanding fact here lies in the dazzling performance of their female vocalist, Alissa White-Gluz, as we can say her vocal spectrum spreads from Angela Gossow (ARCH ENEMY) to Amy Lee (EVANESCENCE). Extremes or what ?! She will certainly forgive us this comparative shortcut because these are quality references.
It's musically the same since her three mates intelligently mix different styles which perfectly suit to the singing: in turn fast and heavy, furious or melancholy, with some lyrics based on ecological concerns (it must be the latest fashion). Add a beautiful sleeve painted by Nathalie Shau and you get the big success of this summer (and even more) in view !Laurent

HYDROGYN       Strip 'em Blind Live !
DA Records (release: July 27th, 2007)

A live album after two releases, why ?... To satisfy the many fans who were asking for it. Only one cover song, Back In Black, from you know who, and three previously unreleased studio tracks on the US version (Big Star, Get Out and Take Control).Jean-Luc