AHAB       The Call Of The Wretched Sea
Napalm Records (release: October 2nd, 2006)

Beware: heavy. Really really heavy in fact, in the image of the whale which is on the cover artwork ! Unfortunately, it's impossible to bang your head furiously with the Doom-Death Metal of AHAB.
A little question: do they make gigs too ?Laurent

BLUT AUS NORD       Mort
Candlelight Records (release: October 2nd, 2006)

As many Black Metal bands, the musicians of BLUT AUS NORD declare they don't want to copy what others have made ten years before and ten times better.
On that side at least, well done, with an album full of dark atmospheres... well... rather morbid. Depressive people, keep off !Laurent

DRACONIAN       The Burning Halo
Napalm Records (release: October 2nd, 2006)

A mix of Death Metal growls and floating singing which reminds the debut of THEATRE OF TRAGEDY. Well performed but nothing new here, especially you can find three re-recorded old songs and two covers, but three unreleased tracks only.Laurent

NEBELHEXE       Essensual
Candlelight Records (release: October 2nd, 2006)

Let's forget savage riffs for a while to look at Andrea Haugen, an atypical artist who's present in various fields.
The musical side is more interesting right now and it's an album full of melancholy ambiances which will allow you to relax in the evening, after a hard day spent at work. To sum up: as if Kate Bush became absorbed in the gothic culture...Laurent

LOWDOWN       Antidote
Black Balloon Records (release: October 16th, 2006)

Certainly bored with Black Metal, an entire scene has arisen in Norway, playing Thrash with a Hardcore touch, rather mid-paced and without forgetting to revise the classics. LOWDOWN too.Laurent

THE LAST EMBRACE       Inside
Longfellow Deeds Records (release: October 16th, 2006)

Hard task to stand apart from the crowds of Atmospheric Metal bands which come out at the present time but THE LAST EMBRACE easily succeed, thanks to extremely varied songs and to Sandy's singing, full of nuances.Laurent

HAMMERFALL       Threshold
Nuclear Blast (release: October 20th, 2006)

Since the beginning in 1993, the Swedish guys, still led by Joachim Cans (vocals) and Oscar Drocjak (guitar), have been playing pure Heavy Metal with loud and sharp guitars. But they know how to do it so well !...Jean-Luc

DISILLUSION       Gloria
Metal Blade Records (release: October 23rd, 2006)

After you played this Gloria and because of the pretty different artwork on the sleeve, you wonder if it's really the same band which released an excellent first album two years ago, unanimously acclaimed for its originality. Check done, it's really the same. And if you were already expecting on Back To Times Of Splendor that the German trio would go further, it just took a musical U-turn.
Out the nearly Death Metal vocals pieces so, out the 15 minutes songs which were Prog' or Folk influenced too. Not even a transition in opening, you are immediately into it: you deal with a new merging of genres, with a New Wave orientated singing, mixed with Industrial way often, on a Pop-Rock background, with a few brass and Dance Music too ! You shall sort some out yourself to find the too rare crunchy guitars.
The first supporters will have to put their sectarianism aside…Laurent

GOD DETHRONED       The Toxic Touch
Metal Blade Records (release: October 23rd, 2006)

No, ma'am ! It's not the right spot to make a vaccine after all ! Or maybe she wants to inoculate herself the brand new poison of GOD DETHRONED faster. Not necessary, it's effective through ears as well !
With a settled line-up once again since the two last albums, the Dutch guys have forsaken this little Black Metal side which was their trademark at the start. Nor really Death Metal, rather good Thrash you have now, even if the rhythm slows down in the last part, after Away From Emptiness, an instrumental ballad as a link.
So, you can go to the nearest chemist's to get a good dose of this nectar, and no prescription needed…Laurent

PAGANIZE       Evolution Hour
Candlelight Records (release: October 23rd, 2006)

It's a new fashion with the Death or Black Metal musicians who take back into the 80's Heavy Metal. Here comes Trym (ZYKLON, EMPEROR) on the way, for those who weren't born at the time…Laurent

RIOT       Army Of One
Metal Heaven (release: October 27th, 2006)

This is the last album with Mike Dimeo, who's left the band to sing with MASTERPLAN. Nevertheless, thanks to this release, they've got back on their feet with a musical back to the roots. Despite many line-up changes, they stood the shock but now, they'll have to look for a new singer for the umpteenth time.
Army Of One is quite similar to the former albums, especially by the usual guitars duels. Listen to the opening track, Army Of One exactly, to get immediately into the swing of things.Jean-Luc

MELECHESH       Emissaries
Osmose Productions (release: October 28th, 2006)

As usually, change of scene guaranteed with MELECHESH and their Mesopotamian or Sumerian Black Metal, as you want, and it's already the Israelis' fourth production, who have relocated to Europe in '98 due to problems with Jerusalem's religious authorities. Even if an Ukrainian and a Dutch members are in the band for now, their roots are not denied, on the contrary, since a 5000 years old Sumerian text has been transcribed and used for some song writings, which musically keep this so typical oriental side obviously, thanks to the use of local instruments notably.
So, if you want to clear your mind from the usual clichés of Black Metal and make a mystical journey to a distant country, the ticket amount is about $15, drinks not included !...Laurent