By Bob Nalbandian

Howling Bull America

Terminal Dream Flow
Rock Records (Korea)

United is one of Japan's heaviest exports. This band has released a few albums in their native Japan, and Distorted Vision (I believe) is their first American release. Not your traditional sounding Jap-metal band, these guys mix a brilliant blend of hard-core, thrash, punk, and power-metal making them one of Japan's most promising young metal bands. Musically, this band has matured greatly, from a Metallica clone-band (a damn good one at that) a few years ago to an original metal powerhouse. The band show traces of Sepultura, Machine Head, and Slayer (especially the guitar leads) but, like most Jap-metal bands, United are top-rate musicians. Even the vocalist hides his accent well. But unfortunately, like many bands of this genre, after the first few songs, their music begins to get a bit repetitious. Nonetheless, Distorted Vision is a CD worth checking out (the brutallic riff to the opening track, "Flash Back," alone is worth the price of admission!) Props also go out to Vincent Wojno for a fine production.

CRASH is a truly amazing band from Korea who plays a supreme brand of metal with a techno flare. Like United, this band has also matured from a Metallica-ish thrash band into a brilliant, unique metal-electronic assemblage. Picture Powerman 5000 or Static X with twice the creative talent! Guitarist Jae young Ha dishes out multi-brutal riffs and vocalist/bassist H. Chan Ahhn has such an amazing voice; sounding heavy as hell, yet he also sings with exceptional melody. Highlights include "Failure," "2019 A.D.," "Apocalypse"...all the tracks are awesome! This CD may only be available as a Korean import, but if you're looking for the best, freshest, foreign metal around, this CD is a must-buy. Crash is definitely a band to watch out for in 2001!

Year of the Zero's
3rd World Inc.

Killingfield is LA's newest metal stalwart. Their recently released debut, Year of the Zero's, is already building a strong buzz in the metal underground. Comprised of guitarist Bebe Wolf, drummer Brendan Stewart, bassist Channing Estrada, and former Evil Dead vocalist Phil Flores, Killingfield combine thunderous riffs and unique melodies which has earned them rave reviews, claiming them as one of LA's hottest live acts. This disc features eleven brutal modern-metal anthems, including such highlights as "Full Throttle," "Panic," "Transparent," "Zero's Revenge," and "Killingfield."

Bebe's guitar tone sounds mean as hell, with ultra-heavy riffs that are reminiscent of Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power. The rhythm section is as solid as steel. Chan's bass work is exceptional and, along with Brendan's amazing chops, provides the strong, solid backbone lacking in many of today's modern metal bands. Phil Flores is one talented vocalist, who actually sings rather than growling, barking, or puking, which seems to be the prerequisite with today's new metal breed. Phil's vocals are powerful and authoritative, yet he knows the meaning of melody. The production from Dave Casey is also first-rate, sounding heavier and tighter than most major label efforts.

Year of the Zero's should soon be distributed in record stores nationwide; in the meantime, you can sample and download the CD at or visit the band's website at

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