REVIEWS from Snakepit #10 (2001)

20 Years Ago, A Night Of Rehearsal

Metal Blade

This is a CD that unfolds the very first moments in the musical history of KING DIAMOND. The very first sick thoughts of this Danish master of metal form the foundation of this band. They reflect themselves in the lyrics of the band. We can also read that the show of the band was theatrical and insane, especially for those days. You must imagine that these rehearsal recordings come from September 1980. The ‘King’ was already wearing make up on stage. And he already used bombs, axes, knifes and pigs blood on stage, to create a spooky atmosphere. The music however is something completely different then you might expect after reading all this. For the music of BLACK ROSE, you must think about the legendary names of the seventies like DEEP PURPLE and URIAH HEEP. Complete with the Hammond organ, they let us enjoy twelve great hard rock songs. Played with a very big passion and devotion for the music. The only weird thing you might discover here and there are the creepy laughs and high screams of KING DIAMOND himself. But there’s not a sign of heavy metal in these songs. It’s great hard rock as many of the older readers, like me, will remember from the very early days. The very last song on this one hour rehearsal is a superb version of GOLDEN EARRING’s “Radar Love”. This is certainly a must for every KING DIAMOND devotee and people who like the music of the early legends as PURPLE and HEEP. They will be astonished after hearing this. Besides KING DIAMOND on vocals, we hear Jon Bitcher on guitars, Ib Enemark on organs, Jesper Weber on bass and Kurt Jurgens on drums. (Toine van Poorten)


MGM Distribution

BLACK STEEL is a great new true metal band from Australia. They already have released a mini album that made me long for more. Now they introduce us to their first full length CD called “Destructor”. There are a lot of good Australian metal bands in the scene today, and I think that you can add BLACK STEEL to this list too now. They already toured with RAVENS’ HEAD (remember this name!!) and what we hear on “Destructor” sounds very promising indeed. Sometimes the vocals reminded me of Ian Gillans later work with DEEP PURPLE. But the average music of this band leans more towards old IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST stuff. BLACK STEEL are masters in playing catchy melody lines and wrap them up in nice biting guitarwork. Check it out for yourself. for all the information about this band from Down under. (Toine van Poorten)

Epicus, Doomicus, Metallicus + Live In Birmingham March 1988 Bonus CD

Powerline Records

I can still remember the day that “Epicus, Doomicus, Metallicus” came out on LP on Black Dragon Records. I’d read a lot of good reviews already in mags like Metal Forces, where it got a ninety-nine out of hundred points reward. And when I bought this brilliant album, it was on my turntable for weeks. This slow, heavenly music from these three Danish monsters was categorised as doom metal, and for me they will always stay the true masters of doom. The album is now re released again on CD, with an enhanced bonus CD. This bonus CD contains a live show recorded in 1988 (in this year they also played a great show at the Dynamo Open Air festival, by the way), with their second singer Messiah Marcolin, who replaced Johan Lanquist. And this Messiah Marcolin has got a helluva voice. He may be seen as the personification of doom metal on stage, dressed up in a monk’s frock, dancing around like a madman. He gave body and soul to the songs of this very first album, as if they were written by himself. Maybe the sound quality of the live recordings are not that perfect, but the songs they play here are all precious little diamonds to me. Four out of seven songs come from the “Epicus, Doomicus, Metallicus” album. And the last track on this live bonus is a BLACK SABBATH medley, as a tribute to their biggest influence.The liner notes for this release were written by Leif Edling, the founder member of one of the heaviëst bands on earth. (Toine van Poorten)

....And Rome Shall Fall

Underground Symphony

I already like the previous two albums of Howie Bentley and his band. And I can say that this album fits perfectly with these other two albums. CAULDRON BORN’s sound takes you back to the first EP of QUEENSRYCHE. Just listen to the vocals on this great new CD. The long songs have a melodic touch here and there, and all Howie has to do is to let his guitar rip. And he does it with a great taste. There’s even a short drumsolo on this new album, something you won’t find back on many other crap ‘metal’ Cds nowadays. CAULDRON BORN just does what their fans expect from them. They come with an album with eight great metal hymns on it, nothing more, nothing less. Great stuff, a real must for every devoted metalhead out there. (Toine van Poorten)

Cry Of The Swords

HMG Records

DAMASCUS STEEL consists of Terry Brown on vocals, Ron Stear on guitars, David Adkins on drums and Joe Komenda on bass. This album is called “Cry Of The Swords” and is released in a limited edition of five hundred, hand numbered copies. There’s not much more information that I can give you about this band, that writes its name with the letters that IRON MAIDEN uses also. Ten tracks are on this LP, that I haven’t seen in CD form already. The guitar player thanks George Lynch (DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB), Joe Satriani and John Petrucci (DREAM THEATER) for the inspiration they gave him. You can hear this inspiration or influences back in his solo parts, but the music that this band plays is definitely heavy metal. But it’s difficult to compare them to any other bands, cause the vocals sound different than the average vocalists. Guy Speranza (ex RIOT), Geddy Lee (RUSH) and maybe even Brian Thomas (HALLOWEEN), might come close to how this man sounds. The music comes close to IRON MAIDEN mixed with MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP. Listen to a song like “Soul Excavation”, and your mind will go out to a classic like “Lost Horizons” (MSG), for a while. “Thrill Of The Chase” might sound a bit like the early RUSH. On the B-side of this album, that breathes the sound of the early eighties, they open with “Tunnel Vision” that sounded a bit like “He’s A Woman, She’s A Man” (SCORPIONS). DAMASCUS STEEL knows their classics and they created their own sound around this style. Don’t hesitate when you find a copy of this album somewhere, and grab your chance to get a hold of this great heavy metal release. I bought my copy at Hellion Reords in Itzehoe. But you can also send an email to: for more information about this release. (Toine van Poorten)


O.P.M. Records

Here’s another fine release of O.P.M. Records. You can always buy the releases of this very fine label, with your eyes closed. I’ve never been disappointed by the releases of Mr. John Haupt and his crew. Same goes for this LP from a band called DEMONAX. The band hailed from Connecticut, and again we can speak of an unpolished diamond discovered by the people of O.P.M. Records. The band consisted of Frank Aresti on guitars, Keith Bycholski on vocals, John Gardiner on drums and Brian Reagan on bass. Eleven fine tracks that let us discover what a mighty fine band this DEMONAX was in the eighties. Touches of early METALLICA (vocals, riffs), when Cliff Burton was still in the band, and bands like SLAYER (guitar solos, early stuff) and bands from the nwobhm scene (vocals, riffs) are mixed to their own great sound. Eleven neckbreakers with titles like “Underground” (need I say more here????), “Play That Metal Mean” and “Power Of Dark” speak for themselves I guess. I like to ask some special attention for the drummer. He’s very innovating and he’s not only playing the rhythm beast here. The LP comes with all the lyrics and an original flyer of one of the concerts that the band gave in 1985 with WHITE PIGS. For more information you can email to Or have a look at the O.P.M. website at Support the underground and I’m sure that this record will become a very fine investment for your money. (Toine van Poorten)

One Night In The Jungle

Hollywood Island Music

It’s been a while since we heard something about the former RODS frontman David “Rock” Feinstein. A few years ago, rumours went that he was reforming ELF again with his cousin Ronnie James Dio. Later on he was even supposed to be the new guitar player of DIO for a short while. But this didn’t happen at all. Now he makes a great comeback with his solo album “One Night In The Jungle”. Let me first tell you who’s in his band right now. We have Jeff Howell on bass, Nate Horton on drums and Lonnie Park on keyboards. Guest appearances are by Mike Butler and Garry Bordonaro (ex RODS), while David took care of all the vocals and guitar playing on this wonderful come back CD. The title track and opener of the CD is very catchy, while “Freedom Reigns” is a sort of “Living After Midnight”, played in the old boogie style of WHITESNAKE (Moody/Marsden era). Most of the music won’t remind you of THE RODS, but more of bands like WHITESNAKE (old style), DEEP PURPLE and RAINBOW. “Stop Playing With Fire” for example opens with the mighty riff of RAINBOW’s “All Night Long”. If old heavy rock is what you’re searching for, then I can highly recommend “One Night In The Jungle” to you. If you’re looking for the sound of THE RODS, then I suggest to give it a very good listen before you buy this surprising come back CD of David “Rock” Feinstein. (Toine van Poorten)

Gamma 4


What a big surprise. I’ve hoped for this release for a very long time. I always want for the good times to return, and I’m glad with every band that reformed. So it was great to hear that GAMMA had decided to reform in the original line up, and record a new CD with this line up. And guess what? It all happened. The CD is simply called “Gamma 4”, who needs difficult names when you can do it the easy way too? GAMMA consists of Ronnie Montrose on guitars, Denny Carmassi on drums, Davey Pattison on vocals, Glenn Letsch on bass and Edward Roth on keyboards. Additional musicians on this CD were Jim Gammon on trumpet and Edgar Winter on saxophone. A lot of people will look up when they read the words trumpet and saxophone, but when they listen to this CD, they will have to admit that these instrument do not the honest sound that is created by this great A.O.R., melodic rock band from the late seventies/ early eighties. Is this release essential enough for this magazine? Maybe it isn’t, maybe it is. In my opinion it is. In the years that this band was well known, the real heavy metal scene was still very much alive in the underground scene. GAMMA was one of the big names that paved the way for many melodic rock bands that followed their example. And if you read the GILGAMESJ story very carefully, you could read that bands like GILGAMESJ even played GAMMA covers in their set. This CD is good if you liked the bands earlier work too. If you don’t like this style, then you better leave this release for what it is. Older fans will certainly enjoy opener “Darkness To Light”, which bears the perfect GAMMA atmosphere. Some tracks might be a bit over the top for the average metal fan, but the more broad minded fan should definitely check this one out I think. “Resurrection Shuffle” is a cover of the old ASHTON, GARDNER & DYKE classic from 1971. So far our history lessons for this time. (Toine van Poorten)

No One Gets Out + VICIOUS Demos

Molten Metal USA

HALLOWEEN has always been one of my all time favorite bands in the heavy metal scene. They mix great metal music with a creepy horror show. Their “Heavy Metal Horror Show” can be seen as a legendary event. We already saw the release of the “Don’t Metal With Evil” album on CD. And of course a lot of you readers out there will know the “Victims Of The Night” and “No One Gets Out” CDs. Well, the “No One Gets Out” CD is now re-released with five bonus tracks. And this is really a must for all the fans of these pumpkin animals from Detroit, ‘cause these five songs are the well known VICIOUS demos. When these were recorded, the band consisted of Tommy Scott Stewart on drums (now in GODSMACK), Billy Gray on guitars, George Neal on bass and Brian Thomas (who else?) on vocals. The CD booklet got totally new artwork from Craig Simpson, and it looks even more scary and evil than the first release already did. Then the five bonus tracks on this CD, “I Confess”, “Vicious Lies”, “Evil Nation”, “Agony” and “Black Skies”. They were recorded for promotion only during their shows. What a shame, they had to be in the dark vaults for so long, because they can easily compete with the songs that did come out on the regular releases of the band. Ultra rare recordings that will simply make you beg for more. These twenty minutes of the finest US METAL should already make you decide to run to your local record store right now. Together with the “No One Gets Out” recordings we’re talking about over seventy-five minutes (!!!!!) of the most evil heavy metal on this CD. Hopefully, the future will bring more of these goodies. Maybe a live CD?!?? When you have difficulties finding this release, you can go to, or send an email to for more information. “NO ONE GETS OUT” a must for every metal fan! (Toine van Poorten)

The James Rivera Legacy

HMG Records

This is again a release of HMG Records, which stands for Hidden Metal Gems. These recordings are from 1990 and 1991. The first four songs are from HELLSTAR, from the time that James Rivera sang for this great US METAL band. They then consisted of James on vocals, Jerry Abarca on bass, Russell DeLeon on drums and the twin guitars were played by Larry Barragan and Aaron Garza. “Sirens Of The Sun” is a perfect opener with ditto twin guitar solos. But the ballad “Changeless Season” was a bit too soft in my opinion. The other two songs were again in the best HELLSTAR tradition. The other six come from VIGILANTE, but this is in fact the same band as HELLSTAR. The only changing in the line up was that Larry Barragan left the band, and was replaced by Rob Trevino. I think that these six songs come from their 1991 released demo. And they are in the same style as the HELLSTAR songs on this LP. This release is also printed on CD, but as a vinyl freak I decided to buy the LP which comes with a lyrics sheet. There’s no need to tell you that this is a very interesting release for all the HELLSTAR fans out there. Especially now the band has proven to be back on earth again, with a stunning performance on this years Bang Your Head festival. I hope that they will continue to play as HELLSTAR for a long time. Cause if you’re honest and you’re comparing these songs, with the stuff that James Rivera has recorded with his band EVERGREY, then your preference must be obvious I think. The EVERGREY stuff is very good, but these recordings have got the magic that the EVERGREY recordings simply don’t have. (Toine van Poorten)

On The Road Again-Live 2002


HIGHWAY CHILE is a very famous metal band from the eighties, from Holland. not that long ago they decided to reform again and make a live CD. You could buy a tcket for the recordings, and you’ll get the CD send home afterwards. I’m glad I went to these recordings, because HIGHWAY CHILE sounded even better now, then they did in the eighties. All their classics like “Highway Chile’s Coming To Get You”, “Jesse James”, “We Are Headbangers”, “Rock And roll Blitzkrieg” and “Bite In Anger” are on this great sounding live CD. And as a bonus we also get to hear the HELLOÏSE song “Hard Life”. A great reflection of what went on during the recordings in this small studio. It’s good to have you back guys, congratulations with this great comeback CD. Interested??? Write to or go to (Toine van Poorten)


Century Media

If you take a good look at the evolution of ICED EARTH, then you will discover the same patern as with a band like IRON MAIDEN, that had it’s glory days in the roaring eighties. They started with some studio albums, which brought them a big following in the underground scene. With the live album, they were accepted as being the new major act in the heavy metal scene. All that they have to do now is take care that their line up stays stable along the way. Their new CD “Horrorshow” contains ten great metal tracks that have the same topic, which is horror. The CD has got great artwork and the format that I have here comes in a cardboard with a booklet, containing all the lyrics and beautiful paintings of the topics. And so we can enjoy songs about scary monsters and people like ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Dracula’, ‘Damien’, ‘Im-Ho-Tep’ and ‘Jekyll & Hyde’. The music is heavy, sometimes dark and creepy, but above all very intense. The second CD that is in this limited edition version contains the IRON MAIDEN cover “Transylvania” and an interview with John Schaffer. It’s a shame that the band decided to stay in America, where they are on tour with JUDAS PRIEST on the moment that I write this review. Originally they would have toured through Europe right now, but they postponed this whole tour. The future looks very bright for ICED EARTH as you can see. “Horrorshow” is one of the main reasons for this bright future I think. A video of the “Live In Athens” triple CD would be the crown on their work, if I had to decide about their next step on the ladder of success. (Toine van Poorten)

Iron Cross

Iron Glory

I already wrote about this band in one of the previous issues of SNAKEPIT. Iron Glory decided to put thirteen of the best tracks on a CD for all the fans of this fantastic clan of metal heads. Mike Skelton on guitar and vocals, Rex Alan on guitars and vocals, Tony Blair on drums and vocals and Dan Bippes on bass and vocals, together they form IRON CROSS. Listen to this brutal attack of over sixty minutes. Nobody can escape from the iron claws of these guys. Their sound is like a mix of an evil HALLOWEEN (one of their song is actually called “Halloween”) and the authentic US metal sound, that we love so much. Great twin guitar solos, thunderring drums, a heavy pounding bass and a vocalist that can sing and scream. Put this all together and you will get the unique US metal sound of this great band. I am very curious how their new songs will sound, because this band is pure heavy metal to me. Hopefully, we’ll see you guys at Wacken Open Air or Bang Your Head next year, because nobody can stop the force of this IRON CROSS. The last news on the band is that they’re doing some shows with Flotsam and Jetsam, Rob Rock and Anvil in the upcoming months in the USA. (Toine van Poorten)



This is the new release of LOUDNESS. A warning is on his place here, dear readers. This CD does NOT contain the sound of the first four LOUDNESS CDs!! It’s not a bad CD after all, but it sounds ....different. The guitar solos are still fast. the riffs are strong. The drums are still pounding, but the sound is different. No old RUSH like sounds and song structures again, but a groovy early PANTERA like metal. Not bad at all, and I must admit that there are still some very good songs on this expensive Japanese import CD. So if you’re looking for the original LOUDNESS sound, then I suggest to spend your money on the live CD “The Soldiers Just Came Back”. If you also like the groovy newer stuff of this band from the land of the rising sun, then you can buy both. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you!! (Toine van Poorten)

Rising Sons-Live In Japan 1993

Zoom Club records

This is a live recording of one of the shows that LIONSHEART, featuring ex GRIM REAPER singer Steve Grimmett, played in Japan. i remember seeing the band in Belgium too, supporting MAGNUM. The magic of this live gig is captured very well on this honest live CD. The recordings may not be of a perfect quality maybe, but it’s the exclusivity that counts here in my opinion. Besides the usual LIONSHEART songs, it’s also nice that the band throws in some covers at the end of the gig. And so we can enjoy the WILLIE DIXON cover “Going Down”, and the GRIM REAPER songs “Rock You To Hell” and “See You In Hell” on this CD. Steve Grimmett is working on a new project right now, that is called STEVE GRIMMETT’S SEVEN DEADLY SINS. Until he releases music of this project, you can relive the good old days from this great vocalist with “Rising Sons”. (Toine van Poorten)

Victory March

Stormbringer Productions

I don’t know if they will release this new album on CD too, but hey I liked vinyl even better anyway. MERCY is for me the band in which Messiah Marcolin started out, before he went to CANDLEMASS and MEMENTO MORI. He’s not on this album though, but the sound of MERCY is not bad without him either. Nine songs are on this great album, that comes in a gatefold sleeve complete with lots of nice pictures and all the lyrics of the songs. Songs like “Battle Hymn”, “Bangers Of Destruction” and “Black Death” easily stood the test of time, and they were finally put on vinyl right now. the last two songs I mentioned here, were written by Messiah Marcolin, by the way. A great victory march of a band that was almost forgotten by most of the metalfans. Be quick, if you want a copy of this great album, cause it’s only printed in a limited edition of five hundred hand numbered copies. (Toine van Poorten)

Warriors Ride On The Chariots

Metal Proof

We already know the A side of this 12”, from the album “Heavy Metal Chainsaw”. The B-side is very interesting however for all the METALUCIFER fans out there. As you may know already, this band breathes (NWOB)HM. Their sound comes directly from the early eighties. This continues on the two new songs that are on this three track 12”. The first unreleased song we get to hear is called “Heavy Metal Revolution”. Well if one band stands in the first line when this revolution is started it must be the Japanese kamikaze killers of METALUCIFER I guess. So this is again a song in the best METALUCIFER tradition. It could also have been called “Wratchild” (IRON MAIDEN), but you just try not to sing the lyrics of this song when you hear this metal anthem. Listen to the great twin solos and the double bass drums and you know that you’re listening to another METALUCIFER classic. The last song is called “Dracula”, and this is also a great heavy metal song. METALUCIFER knows the art of writing catchy metal anthems very well, and these three songs are the living proof of it. Great stuff, I hardly can’t wait to hear the bands new full length CD! (Toine van Poorten)

The Darkener


If you can’t believe your eyes, read it again. This is the new CD of the NWOBHM legend MYTHRA. And they did a great job. In some songs you will easily recognise the old sound of MYTHRA back. This is simply because we can hear back the whole original line up of this band on this CD. That it’s not an exact copy of their legendary EP “Death And Destiny” will also not come as a surprise for the long term fans of this band. Their sound also went through a sort of musical evolution. But they really convinced me that the intention was there to stay as close to their original sound as possible. Something they proved in the beginning of this new album. later on they slowly drift away a bit more, and their sound becomes a bit darker. They even pulll out a real ballad on this new album. Don’t be afraid though. The album still rips and is highly recommended to all the NWOBHM adepts out there., but of course all the other readers of this magazine are invited to order this great comeback CD. For more information about the album, go to their website at: (Toine van Poorten)

Full Bluntal Nugity

Spitfire Records

This CD was recorded live at the Whiplash Bash #13 on December 31st, 2000 at the Palace Of Auburn Hills in Detroit, Michigan. It contains some memorabel classics like “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang”, “Cat Scratch Fever”, “Stranglehold”, “Great White Buffalo” and “Motorcity Madhouse”. A total of twelve songs, meaning almost seventy minutes of full blasting power of Mr. GONZO himself. Anybody who’ve ever seen a live show or listened to one of his live records knows what this means. This means a wild guitar attack of this ‘motor city madman’ sitting on his (great white) buffalo, armed with his guitar and his bow and arrow. Try to stop this unteamable force, you simply won’t succeed. Partners in crime on this great live CD are Mark Mendoza (BLUE MURDER, THIN LIZZY) on bass guitar and Tommy Aldridge (ex every rock band on the whole f*cking world) on drums. 53 Years old and still going strong, who can beat that?? Latest news is that Ted is also recording a new studio album (finally), but unfortunately Tommy Aldridge will not be able to play the drums on this one. He was injured during one of the many gigs thast he played with Ted on a shoulder muscle. A 21 young drummer under the name of will take his place. TED NUGENT can yank me. TED NUGENT can crank. But he won’t have to wake up, and he won’t have to thank me for this review. The pleasure was completely on my side Mr. NUGENT. Hope to see you over here in Europe again real soon. Until that happens I will play this CD over and over again. (Toine van Poorten)

Picture 1/Heavy Metal Ears


Finally they’ve released the first four PICTURE albums on CD, two by two. For me, the first two albums can be seen as essential stuff if you’re into Dutch heavy metal. Raw, unpolished, heavy, and still with a lot of melody. The CD’s come with a nice booklet which contain a lot of nice information and PICTURES that were never shown before. The line up on these first two albums was the same. Jan Bechtum, the Dutch Ritchie Blackmore, on guitar, Laurens ‘Bakkie’ Bakker on drums, Rinus Vreugdehil on bass and Ronald van Prooijen on vocals. Already on their first album they had great songs like “You Can Go”, “Rocking In Your Brains”, “He’s A Player”, “One Way Street” and the PICTURE classic pur sang “Bombers”. The second album was received in Holland even better than the debut album. I too have some great memories of the songs that were on that album, especially highlights like “No, No, No”, “Nighttiger”, title track “Heavy Metal Ears”, “Unemployed” and “Rock & Roll/Under Your Spell”. This last song is still an absolute killer, whit its perfect speed change right in the middle of these two songs. I’ve destroyed many neck muscles headbanging on the fast second part of that one, I can tell you. I think that this is a great opportuniy for the youngsters to find out what heavy metal was all about in the very early eighties. It’s captured here on “Picture 1” and “Heavy Metal Ears”. This first CD has got a running time of about seventy minutes. (Toine van Poorten)

Diamond Dreamer/Eternal Dark


This is part two of the PICTURE history lesson of today. We continue with the third and the fourth album of this magnificent metal band from Holland. Shmoulik Avigal replaced Ronald van Prooijen on vocals. But the sound of the band stayed the same. i think we can say that “Diamond Dreamer” was the bands most successful album with classics like “Hot Loving”, “Lousy Lady”, “get Me Rock And Roll” and the HAMMERHEAD song “Message From Hell”. What a great stuff. “Eternal Dark” (with a picture of Michael Jackson, after his very last operation, on the front cover!) was a great album also but in a different way. The well known PICTURE sound disappeared a bit, and the band became a bit heaviër. I think that the main reason for that was that the band had to undergo a lot of line up changes. Shmoulik Avigal disappeared again and he was replaced by Pete Lovell. And Henry van Manen and Chris van Jaarsveld replaced Jan Bechtum on guitar.They suited their sound to the musical evolution that was going on in these days. But songs like “Eternal Dark” (yes, the same one that HAMMERFALL plays on one of their albums of which I can’t even remember the name because it seems so unimportant to me), “Griffons Guard Of The Gold” and the mighty “Battle For The Universe” still stand proud and easily stood the test of time. This second CD has a total running time of about seventy-seven! The CD booklet is again full with nice PICTURES and a great story. The only very big disadvantage of these releases may be that they didn’t release them as double CD’s with live tracks, demos or other stuff as bonus material. Nonetheless I will classify these two releases as ultra essential for the heavy metal fans of today. (Toine van Poorten)

Te Sem Vagy Más


This band exists for about fifteen years or more already. From the time they played in Holland with ATTILA (1987, if I remember well) I followed them a bit. And they survived as one of the few bands from the Eastern European scene. POKOLGÉP (Hungarian for Hell Machine) hails from Hungary and this is their new CD, which is released this year. Yes, they still exist. And their music is a must for every heavy metal fan that is interested in more than IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and MOTÖRHEAD. You might run into these influences though, but the Hungarian metalband has made these influences a part of their own sound. You may like this album even better if you’re familiar with all the other great stuff they’ve made in their past. if you’re not familiar with this, I may be able to introduce this great metal band a bit nearer to you in the future with an extensive interview. Right now you’ll have to believe me on my word of honour that this is a killer album, making me long for more. POKOLGÉP rules, in case you didn’t know this yet. (Toine van Poorten)

Nine Kinds Of Hell

Dragonheart records

It’s been far too long since we heard from this very talented Metal band from America. But Danie Powers is back, with a very strong album. Every time I hear this band, I have to think about MANILLA ROAD with RANDY RHOADS on guitar. Danie growls low, and screams very high. This lady has a vocal range of almost five octaves. Who can beat that? It’s easy, when you want to create different atmospheres, but you only have one singer in your ranks. No problem for this lady, who handles it all by herself. She’s also a great guitar player, which she proves at the beginning of “Agnostica”, with a RANDY RHOADS like guitar solo. Who said, that women can’t play guitar???? Danie’s band is completed by Steve Murray on bass and Mark Evans on the drums. Nine long songs, which are good for over fifty minutes of heavenly Power Metal, are on this new release called “Nine Kinds Of Hell”. “Conquistador” is the ballad, but it sounds very sphereful and fits mighty fine with the rest of the songs. I hope, that it won’t take another five years until the next release. Highly recommended to every Power Metal freak out there!(Toine van Poorten)


Mascot records

You should hardly say that this is the cover of the new RACER X CD. If you look at the booklet you can only admit that these are some weird looking guys. But if you have a closer look at the album title, then the puzzle starts to complete itself. If you listen to the title track, which is also the opener of this new CD, then your thoughts will imediately go out to JUDAS PRIEST. High vocals and great guitar work. What a great way to open your new album. “Let The Spirit Fly” is definitely not as strong as the opener. After that they come with their version of the BLUE OYSTER CULT classic “Godzilla”, another real fine heavy metal anthem of a band that is very much alive again in this new millenium. But when you listen to the other eight tracks on this album, you must also admit that they never have the power again of this great opener. This doesn’t mean that “Superheroes” is a bad album. But it means that the quality of the first track isn’t continued on the rest of the album. At the moment RACER X is doing some very successful shows in America that are being recorded for an upcoming double live CD. The band still consists of John ‘The X-tinguisher’ Alderete on bass, Jeff ‘Motorman’ Martin on vocals, Scott ‘Cowboy Axe’ Travis on drums and Paul ‘The Electric Bat’ Gilbert on guitars. Yes these guys are superheroes, especially when they recorded the title track of this good new RACER X album. Other highlights for me were “King Of The Monsters” and “Viking Kong” with excellent guitar work of Paul Gilbert. (Toine van Poorten)

Raging Storm


Now this is something special. True metal warriors like me, will know what I mean. It’s time to raise your swords and sing out the battle hymns again. RAGING STORM is a band from Greece, and they play some very exciting Greek epic power metal. The sound of the battlefields is captured on this CD, that contains the purest form of heavy metal. Songs about warriors, battlefields, swords, vikings and heavy metal are chanted, leaving the listeners astonished after the first time they play this CD. There’s no escaping possible to these metal warriors, that sound like they were sons of great bands like CIRITH UNGOL, WARLORD, OMEN or MANOWAR. And if you’ve survived listening to this awesome album, you know that you’ll have to raise your leather and spikes studded fist and yell to these songs anytime you’ll hear them again. If you don’t believe me, then you better find out for yourself. RAGING STORM already shared the stage with OMEN and BROCAS HELM, which is a good step forwards on the ladder of success. I think and hope that they will continue this success with the release of this great debut CD. Absolutely amazing stuff. I would like to thank Greg “Heavy Load” Versamis for making this review possible. (Toine van Poorten)

Gates Of Time


REVIVER is a Dutch band that consists of Pieter Bas Borger on vocals, Tom Heemskerk on guitars, Fred Mantel on guitars, Ron van Kuringen (ex SACREMENTAL SACHEM, ex BATTLEHEART) on bass and Brian Kersbergen (ex SCREAMING ORGASM, ex DUST) on drums. On this promo CD they present us three strong metal songs with a total length of fifteen minutes. The music of REVIVER is a melodic sort of heavy metal with touches of CRIMSON GLORY (high vocals), IRON MAIDEN and FATES WARNING (song structures). The songs “Gates Of Time”, “Cycles” and “Strong” prove us that we’re dealing with a well talented band. They have the strength to write good compositions. A song like “Strong” for instance, is in my opinion the best example of such a good composition. For me it was the highlight of this three track promo CD. The song is slowly building up a tension, which is relieved when the guitar solos start. Robbie Woning (Dutch AARDSCHOK contributor and former DEAD HEAD guitar player) made a guest appearance on two of the three songs that are on this nice promo CD. For more information of this very promising Dutch metal band you can drop a line to REVIVER, Postbus 352, 1440 AJ Purmerend, The Netherlands. You can also send an email to or to People that have access to the Internet can also have a look at the bands website at: (Toine van Poorten)


Magna Carta

At first, this album was only available through the Internet, so I bought it directly. Not knowing that it would get an official release later on. SHADOW GALLERY is a must for every prog rock fan on earth. Their music is very innovative and they really deserve it to be called a progressive rock band. Long instrumental passages, many speed and mood changes, long songs and complex song structures, it’s all there. A very good example is to be heard already in the first song “Cliffhanger 2”, which is divided into two pieces that are called “Hang On” and “The Crusher”. It contains all the elements that I’ve mentioned above here with its running time of over thirteen minutes. Possitive thing is that their songs never get dull, ‘cause there’s always happening a lot inthe songs. Some people may think this music is over the top. And sometimes you might be true, because some passages are soft, acoustic or balladish. But there are also a lot of very nice moments to enjoy on this fourth album of these prog metal heroes. Of course I’m thinking then about the first song that I’ve mentioned already, and the last song on the album. The thirty-four minute epos called “First Light”. (I know bands that have a whole album that lasts shorter than this song!) “Legacy” contains six long tracks with a total time of about sixty-five (!!!) minutes, which is a lot of value for your money. SHADOW GALLERY consists of Brendt Allman on guitar, vocals and keyboards, Mike Baker on vocals, Carl Cadden James on bass, vocals and flute, Chris Ingles on keyboards, Joe Nevolo on drums and Gary Wehrkamp on guitar, keyboards, vocals and bass. Essential for fans of new FATES WARNING, old RUSH, PINK FLOYD, TRANSATLANTIC, SPOCKS BEARD and DREAM THEATER. (Toine van Poorten)

Another Fine Mess

Demolition Records

Finally it’s there, this is some sort of a live CD of SKYCLAD, that was anounced many years before already. The live part of this album was recorded at the Dynamo Open Air festival in Eindhoven in 1995. Eight songs with a total running time of about forty minutes we can enjoy the mix of Celtic folk music and heavy metal. At that point, the heavy metal part was very important. Later, the folk influences overruled the metal segments. But with the last album, the metal sound is defiantely coming back again. 1995 was also the year that Georgina Biddle, the female violin player of the band, joined SKYCLAD. The set you will hear on this CD contains nice old stuff like “Art Nazi”, “The Wickedest Man In The World”, and “One Piece Puzzle”. The second part of this CD contains four old tracks that are played here in an acoustic version. These recordings were previously released already on the “Outrageous Fortunes” EP. This EP was a promotional give away with the album “The Answer Machine”, and it was limited to a thousand copies only. A nice collectors item so to say, finally made available for all the SKYCLAD fans out there. Although I must also admit that these four tracks are rather dull and boring! This CD is also a nice, posthume tribute to singer Martin Walkyier in a way, ‘cause he decided to leave SKYCLAD very recently. He formed a new band called RETURN TO THE SABBAT, which can be seen as a continuation of his previous band SABBAT, that he played in before he joined SKYCLAD. Maybe it would have been better when they would have a released a sort of ‘best of’ live CD with a bit more recent material added to it, but this is certainly not a bad CD either. A good, honest live part and a nice collectors item part compiled on one CD. A good release of a band that had the guts to mix folk music with heavy metal. More information about this band, who created an unique sound can be found on the Internet at (Toine van Poorten)

The Angel


This is the second full length album, if I’m right, by this threesome from San Francisco called STONE VENGEANCE. If you don’t know this band yet, then this is a good opportunity to check them out. Their music is great, powerful and above all heavy. STONE VENGEANCE consists of Michael Coffey on vocals, guitars, congas and second bass, Anthony Starks on bass and vocals and Darren Tompkins on drums, vocals, congas and percussion. Booker Johnson adds the keyboard sounds whenever that is necessary. It’s quite difficult to describe the music of this band, but to simply call it heavy metal would be too easy. I hear influences of MOTHERS FINEST, mixed with US Metal, do you get the point? “Law” is slow and dark. “...And Just A Touch Of Rag” is an acoustic ‘rag’ tune, where “Stone Vengeance Blues” is a slow bluesy song. As you can see, these guys play every sort of music available. But I must admit that I like their heavy tracks the best of all. And there are a lot of them on this second full length CD. “To Kill Evil” was their first release by the way. The guitar solos are sharp, and the bass is very groovy on these songs, and the message that these guys bring you is very possitive indeed. To call STONE VENGEANCE a white metal band may go too far maybe, but hey what’s in a name when the music is alright. Are you getting interested already in these three black servants of heavy metal music. I bet you are. You can get in contact with STONE VENGEANCE by writing to STONE VENGEANCE, c/o Michael Coffey, P.O. Box 880153, San Fancisco, CA 94188-0153, USA. Their website can be found at: You can order both their CD’s there and an official bootleg video which contains two of their live shows and some bonus footage. Don’t let this chance go by, my friends! (Toine van Poorten)

Still A Live

XIII Bis Records

This is a two CD set containing twenty-one songs, with a total running time of over ninety minutes. It was recorded at the end of the year 2000. TRUST is one of the most important French hard rock bands led by Bernhard Bonvoisin. Their lyrics regularly contained political statements, but their music was always very powerful and heavy. It’s also the only band, next to IRON MAIDEN themselves, that had the two IRON MAIDEN drummers in their line up. Both Nicko McBrain and Clive Burr were once a member of this French band. They supported IRON MAIDEN on their world famous “Number Of The Beast” tour, and they also toured with their Australian friends AC/DC. Next to did they made some great albums, of which I personally like “Savage”, “Repression”, and of course “Marche Ou Creve” (I missed the great title track of this great album, by the way!, as well as a great song like “Certitude...Solitude”. ) the best. A lot of TRUST classics are to be found on this nice double live CD, like “Prefabriqué”,”L’Elite” and their most well known song “Anti Social”. They also play two nice rock and roll classics too namely “Roll Over Beethoven (CHUCK BERRY) and “That’s Allright Mama” (BOB DYLAN). This album got the title “Still A Live”, I hope we must read this literally ‘cause it would be a shame if we had to loose this great French band again. (Toine van Poorten)

Sadistic Symphony

Perris Records

VICIOUS RUMORS has always been one of my favorite bands in the early eighties. Their last album “Cyberchrist” from 1998 showed us that The RUMORS were following the musical scene quite well. There were some alternative sounds found back in their music and also their riffs showed us that this band had grown with the musical evolution of that time. Their roots however were still in the early eighties, which reflects itself in the guitar solos and the high screaming vocals of their singer. On “Sadistic Symphony” they continue on this path. Great US metal is mixed with some alternative riffs and/or structures. It’s not all that frightful, I think it’s just part of their growing process. Other bands make the same sound, year in year out. This band grows and still keeps their fans satisfied. You can still back the influences of IRON MAIDEN, ICED EARTH and old QUEENSRYCHE for the melodic parts, where the heavy riffs may bear some influences of the great OVERKILL. “Sadistic Symphony” has become a solid heavy metal album that will certainly please all their old and their new fans. (Toine van Poorten)

Heavy Metal Maniacs 2


Yes, my friends it’s there, the second release of the Heavy Metal Maniacs CD. There’s simply no better way to promote the Dutch Heavy Metal than on this way. Old and new talent from Holland are united on this silver disc that contains fourteen great metal anthems. Two songs come from the MANIACS BAND again, a band that is put together exclusively for this CD. Most of the other stuff that’s on this CD is previously unreleased material. This makes this CD so unique and interesting to me and all the other metal freaks out there. The perfect lay out of the CD booklet, complete with the line up, discography and contact address of the several bands, make this CD to a document that may not be missed by every reader of this magazine. What about the bands on the CD? Be not afraid. There’s material from new talents like SUPERBUG, BATTLEHEART, GODDESS OF DESIRE (relatively new then:-) and REVIVER (Promo CD reviewed in this issue of SNAKEPIT!!). While we also can enjoy well known, older bands like QUEST, ALLIED FORCES, VAULT, HAMMERHAWK, VORTEX, ANGUS and FUTURE TENSE (2 fantastic songs!!). Some songs came from unreleased albums or demo tapes or were even written exclusively for this CD. Where else would you find such devotion and dedication than on this CD? You must be a real maniac to put this all together in such an excellent form. Wanna know more about this essential release? Email to or drop a line to Heavy Metal Maniacs Fanclub, c/o Stefan va Zijl, Raamsingel 2 appartment 1.6, 2012 DS Haarlem, The Netherlands. Or find out more about this superb initiation on the website of the Maniacs, that can be found at The CD will cost 30 Dutch Guilders or 12 Euro after January 1st, 2002 (incl. P&P). Wonder what will come on the third part of this compilation? (Toine van Poorten)

Motörmorphösis, part 1

Remedy Records

Take sixteen bands, let them play nineteen MOTÖRHEAD tracks, record it, put it on CD and bring it out in a nice full colour fold out CD cover. The concept is very simple and down to earth. Just like the band that these sixteen metal bands all pay tribute to. A simple, down to earth band with no pretensions at all. Some bands will stay close to the original versions of the songs, other bands will make their own interpretation of the motörheadbeangers that they play. I reckoned that a lot of bands played the songs a bit more brutal than the original versions. The information about all the bands that play on this great CD is downsized to a minimum, which is a shame. There could have been a bit more information about the bands and why they want to cover a MOTÖRHEAD song, and why they choose to play this song on this tribute CD. But maybe that’s only from a writers point of view here. As a music lover and MOTÖRHEAD fan I had a great time listening to great versions of “Dead Men Tell No Tales”, “Overkill”, “Ramones”, “We Are The Roadcrew”, “No Voices In The Sky” and “Stone Dead Forever” to name a few, by bands like GODDESS OF DESIRE, ANGRY ANGELS (Hail Bruder Clé), HAMMERHAWK, PARAGON, MEGACE, TEMPLE OF THE ABSURD, CRYSTAL SHARK and TORMENT. I will not go into details too much, this is just a nice CD that you’ll have to undergo. And this is only part 1, and I think that that’s the best news there is to it. This album is also released as a beautiful picture disc, but there a few songs left out on that one. So you better buy the CD for the music and the picture disc as a wall decoration. (Toine van Poorten)

Powermad 2000, The Fourth Legacy

Global Connections

Thirty songs, almost the same amount of heavy metal bands, and a total length of hundred and fifty minutes of powerful heavy metal. That’s what you get when you buy this “Powermad 2000” sound sampler part four. Well known, lesser unknown and never heard of bands pass the revue on these two CD’s. It’s a good reference of what’s going on in the roaring metal scene of today. When you look at the impressive list of bands that contributed to this album, you can only conclude that heavy metal ain’t dead yet.The contact addresses of all the contributing bands are on the very poor inlay of the CD booklet. The initiation of this release is very good however. (Toine van Poorten)

Head Of The Deceiver

Limb Music Productions

I’ve seen WIZARD play with VORTEX last year (2000) in Groningen. Before that I saw them on Wacken, and I thought they’d made a massive step forward. Their sound and their show were at least to be called impressive. This true metal band from Germany presents us their fourth album now, which is called “Head Of The Deceiver”. Together with MANOWAR they can stand on the barricades and say that they are one of the few survivors of the true metal scene. Song titles like “”Defenders Of Metal”, “Demon Witches”, “Iron War” and “True Metal” will say enough I guess. Double bass drums are thundering, guitar solos are fired up in the air and Sven D’Anna (vocalist) sings and screams as if he was chased by a six headed monster. Remarkable is that WIZARD only has one guitar player in their ranks and that’s Michael Maass. But the man simply makes noise for two guitar players, just like that. I hope this band will stay away from the well known GAMMA RAY, STRATOVARIUS, RHAPSODY influences, ‘cause this will keep them unique for what they do right now. Next year they will hopefully make it to Wacken, ‘cause unfortunately they had to cancel their gig their this year. And you can imagine that this would have been a great opportunity to promote this fourth album live on stage. Now they’re gonna let the music do the talking, but only the music is convincing enough for me already to tell you that this is a superb new release of WIZARD. (Toine van Poorten)

No Defiance Of Fate

No Fashion Records

Nine new tracks are on the new CD of Swedish metal heads WYVERN. Already with their previous album they caught my interest. This is mainly because they refused to sound like a GAMMA RAY, HELLOWEEN, RHAPSODY, STRATOVARIUS clone, but they let their influences come from bands like IRON MAIDEN. And I think that I can say that the band has grown a lot since this release. This results in a powerful CD, again with no influences of the aforementioned bands, at least not at a disturbing level. The vocals on “The Liquid And The Metal” may sound a bit static, but I liked the use of the organ in this song a lot. It’s a touch of DEEP PURPLE, which fits their music real well. A nice album for people who like music similar to IRON MAIDEN, JAG PANZER or PEGAZUS. Catchy, but not overdone. Powerful, yet melodic. A must for old the fans that are fond of the old fashioned metal sound. (Toine van Poorten)

Alcohol Fueled Brewtality Live +5


Finally you can enjoy ZAKK WYLDE’s live spirit on CD now. Thirteen live tracks with the firespitting guitarplaying of this alcohol brewing, beard growing, beer drinking, hell raising guitar excorsist. There’s not too much information available on where the live section of the album was recorded, but who gives a shit anyway? If you like the music of this neanderthaler of guitar rock, you’ll not be disappointed. The sound is very good and the songs contain a lot of monsterous guitar playing. Not only the solos of Zakk are fantastic, but also the heavy riffing is very spectacular too sometimes. Of course, Zakk also added his version of the OZZY OSBOURNE classic “No More Tears” on this album. His singing may not be too good, but it fits with the dark, heavy , demonic music of this man. If you take a closer look at the album title, then you’ll see that it says “+ 5”. These are five studio recordings which are added on the second disc of this two CD set. They form a nice extra to the live part of this CD. Among these five songs is a ZAKK WYLDE version of the BLACK SABBATH song “Snowblind”. No time to loose, cause now it’s time for some booze! Pass me the whiskey, will you? (Toine van Poorten)

Tooth Of Time


Punish me, for I have sinned, although it wasn’t on purpose. If you read the GILGAMESJ interview very carefully in #9 of SNAKEPIT, then the bells will gonna ring I guess. At the end of this story we talked about a band called SIXTH SENSE. Well this is the same band, with their official name ZIXTH ZENSE and their new six track mini CD called “Tooth Of Time”. GILGAMESJ fans, Dutch heavy rock fans, melodic rock fans, farmers, citizens, country men and all other readers of this magazine, I need your attention for this one. For what? Don’t rush me, I’ll tell you why! The quality of these six melodic rock songs is so high that this silver disc has become an essential buy for everyone mentioned above. Every time I listen to the opener “Lost In Paradise”, which is originally from the GILGAMESJ period, my flesh starts to creep. The structure of the song, in combination with the very fine, intense vocals of ex GILGAMESJ vocalist set the very high standard of “Tooth Of Time” there already. The great guitar solos of guitar prince Gerrie Den Hartog (ex GILGAMESJ also) and maestro Sylvester van Leeuwen are the cream on top of this masterful composition. My thoughts go out to bands like GAMMA, BOSTON, BAD ENGLISH and VANDENBERG, which they must see as a big compliment! The rhythm section in this band is formed by Willem Prins on drums, and long time GILGAMESJ member Jan Vos on bass. Rogier de Vaal brings some colour in the songs with his keyboard sound. The legend continues with songs like “Gone”, “Shiver”, the emotional ballad “Dear Dad”, up tempo rocker “Tonight” and “Sarah”. I want to highlight “Tonight” here for a moment if I may. This song starts as an up tempo rock song. But right after the guitar solo they change the rythm and the whole sound structure, and we are treated on a sort of improvisation part at the end of the song. A part in which they bring up a short segment of LYNCH MOB’s “Wicked Sensation”. Weird? I would say professional! You can order this thirty minute, twenty-four carat, precious little diamond by writing to ZIXTH ZENSE c/o Frank van Stijn, Noorderveld 26, 4143 VK Leerdam, or send an email to: for all the details. This mini CD is not for sale in the record stores, by the way, but this may not be a reason for not buying it for heavens sake! (Toine van Poorten)

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