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REVIEWS 2018 (Page 1)
Mabe MÄBE: När Rösten I Radion Sa Hans Namn - EP
MÄBE is back with a new EP, which will be available as a 12" vinyl (with CD) and digital. But I must say that they have developed their sound a little bit. It doesn't sound exactly like Swedish rock legend Thåström anymore, which it did earlier. They have actually found their own twist somehow. And that's nothing bad at all, because it's still really good. I really like these songs!
But how should I describe their music then? Well, why not some kind of heavy and laidback singer/songwriter dark rock maybe? I think more people should listen to this anyway. But as he sing in Swedish, this is probably mainly something for Swedish people I suppose.
Release date: Jan 26, 2018 (TwoFaced Productions)
mabe.nu
JANUARY 18, 2018
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Watain WATAIN: Trident Wolf Eclipse - Album
WATAIN goes bezerk again. I wouldn't recomend this for people with a weak heart. It's extremely hard and brutal black metal. Really intense. But that's hardly something new when it comes to WATAIN. They can slow down once in a while though as well, so that you can catch the breath before the next attack.
The good thing with this band is that even though the music is so extreme, it's still something that I can call music, and not just total chaos. But one thing I can't really understand is the big hype. Because it's not just metal heads who like this band. I'm actually not really sure if they even have heard WATAIN, or if they just go to their shows like it was some kind of a theatre. Weird people. And it's their problem of course.
This band's albums use to be very long. But this time no song is longer than 5 minutes. Which gives us a total plying time of about 35 minutes. And that's just about enough for me, as I have always thought that their albums are way too long.
(Century Media)
templeofwatain.com
JANUARY 18, 2018
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RAPTURE: Paroxysm Of Hatred - Album
Death/thrash metal beast from Greece. This is hard, fast and brutal stuff played by people who seems to be very good at what they are doing. So don't expect any violent chaos here. But well, maybe some violence then, but never ever chaos.
They take the best elements of good old thrash metal and blend in influences of death metal. And what we get is a really interesting album with potential to scare the whole neighborhood away. I really like what I hear!
RAPTURE are from Athens and started in 2013. Their first full length, "Crimes Against Humanity", was released in 2015. It was followed by a EP, "Total Madness Reigns", in 2016. "Paroxysm Of Hatred" is their second full length.
Release date: Jan. 22, 2018 (Memento Mori)
facebook.com/ThrashRapture
JANUARY 17, 2018
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APOPHYS: Devoratis - Album
Dutch death metal band who has existed since 2012. The group features members from GOD DETHRONED and TOXOCARA. This is their second album, which is based on a science fiction story written by vocalist Kevin Quilligan. Their music is a more modern and technical kind of death metal. So if you think you would like that, then this might be a band for you.
Release date: Jan. 22, 2018 (Ultimate Massacre Productions)
facebook.com/apophysdeath
JANUARY 16, 2018
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THUNDERMOTHER: Whatever - Single
Yeah! THUNDERMOTHER kicks ass as usual. This is nothing but a damned good high-energy hard rock n roll song that will make you thirsty for more. I don't think I have to say much more than that. You check this out immediately!
This is the second single from their upcoming, self titled, album. Their last album, "Road Fever", was great, so I really look forward to hear that new album, which will be their 3rd album, and the first full length with the new lineup. Release date is February 23.
(Despotz Records)
thundermother.com
JANUARY 15, 2018
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STARCRAWLER: Starcrawler - Album
The easiest way to describe this would be just to call it rock. But that doesn't really say that much about their sound, because it's not some good old rock n roll that we get here. No, I think it's more like a album that deliver many different kinds of rock - everything from simple rock to stuff like garage rock. But I also think that fans of psychobilly, surf rock etc. can find something that they like here (not that they play exactly that). But it's said that this band combines elements of as different artists as The CRAMPS, YEAH YEAH YEAH'S, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne and The RUNAWAYS. Confused? I bet you are. But it's actually not that advanced. After all it's just simple rock and not rocket science. But the best way to find out what a band sounds like, and if you like them, is always to listen to them. So do that! They have some really good songs here.
STARCRAWLER are from Los Angeles. They formed in 2015, but it's not until now that their debut album is here.
Release date: Jan. 19, 2018 (Rough Trade)
rtrecs.co/ilovela
JANUARY 14, 2018
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Jack White: Connected By Love - Single
Once upon a time Jack White was rocking with The WHITE STRIPES. Those days are unfortunately gone since many years, but he have been pretty good as a solo artist too. Now I don't really know though.. I guess we still can call it rock, in lack of any better description, but it sure ain't that good anymore. I lose all hope when I hear these 2 songs. This man is probably done when it comes to making good rock songs.
On the other hand though, you never really know what he will do next. So who knows? This wasn't good anyway. The second track was the most useless I have heard so far this year.
This song is taken from Jack's 3rd solo album, "Boarding House Reach", which I don't have any release date for yet. It will probably be released during the coming months though.
(Third Man Records/XL Recordings)
jackwhiteiii.com
JANUARY 13, 2018
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VARVARA: Identical - Single
..and when they say that it's rock, then I get this melodic soft rockers. Where's the raw action? Where's the energy? It's too much love and too little hard-on, if you get what I mean. La, la, la all the way to I don't know where. But media seems to love them. I guess that says it all (not a band for me then).
This Finnish band will release their 4th album, "GO", on February 23. And this happens to be the first taste of that. I'm not impressed.
(Haminian Sounds)
facebook.com/varvaraband
JANUARY 12, 2018
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RISE OF AVERNUS: Eigengrau - Album
Australian band who call their music orchestral death/doom metal. They formed in 2011 and have released a couple of albums and EPs since then. "Eigengrau" is said to be their darkest and heaviest release so far. It's like the sound of a dark and scary nightmare. So if that sounds like something that you would like, then I recomend you to check tham out, because they're not bad at all.
Release date: Jan. 19, 2018 (code666)
JANUARY 11, 2018
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REXORIA: Queen Of Light - Album
This is what they call female-fronted melodic metal. When am I going to read male-fronted melodic metal? That would be more of a surprise, wouldn't it? Anyway.. It's also said that there would be folk influences in this band's music, but I can honestly not hear much of that, so it must be just a small pinch then.
They formed in 2016, but have already been touring with some more famous bands. They have also released 2 EPs - "Moments Of Insanity" (2016) and "The World Unknown" (2017) - that can be found on Spotify. And now their first full length is ready for the world.
Jan. 19, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
facebook.com/rexoriamusic
JANUARY 10, 2018
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NEKROKRAFT: Witches Funeral - Album
The first song sounds like it was recorded in their rehearsal room. And I don't really like that sound. But after that the sound is much better. And what we get here is good old raw and brutal thrashy black metal. I like what I hear.
It seems like this is a collection of early demo recordings. 2 of the songs - "They Swim, They Must Hang" and "Wrath of the Heavens" - are previously unreleased tracks that was written in the same era as the demos. There's also 2 covers - "Angel Of Death" by SLAYER and "Satan My Master" by BATHORY.
NEKROKRAFT are currently working on their new album, "Servants", which they plan to release in late spring 2018.
Release date: Jan. 19, 2018 (The Sign Records)
JANUARY 9, 2018
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SPIRAL KEY: An Error Of Judgement - Album
Symphonic/progressive metal band from UK, who formed in 2012. Their debut album, "Perfect Machine", was released in 2013. It has taken a few years, but now their second album is here.
This band is making melodic, thoughtful and heavy music, with diverse themes and a dark sense of humour. It could be something for fans of progressive rock, but defitinely not for those who wants it fast and brutal.
Release date: Jan. 19, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
spiralkey.co.uk
JANUARY 8, 2018
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SONIC PROPHECY: Savage Gods - Album
Sure it's good, but they seems to have a tendency to play the same thing for a little too long once in a while, and that's not so funny. If they work a little on that, then they might actually be excellent in the future.
SONIC PROPHECY is an American power/heavy metal band, and this is their 3rd album. They are said to fit fans of bands like IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, HELLOWEEN, HAMMERFALL and KAMELOT. And I don't think it would be so hard to come up with 5 more bands.
Their lyrics cover many different topics, from quests and medieval wars, to mechanized genocide, to the dangers associated with extremist ideologies.
This is something for every true fan of good old heavy metal.
Release date: Jan. 19, 2018 (Rockshots Records)
sonicprophecy.com
JANUARY 7, 2018
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VIVALDI METAL PROJECT: The Extended Sessions - Album
This project was so successful that they now have decided to release a EP (they released a album about a half year ago). And I think it's extremely funny that they call this a EP. Because just the first track is as long as 26.48 minutes, which is longer than a EP use to be. And then there's 3 more songs.. And 1 of them happens to be as long as 16.37 minutes. So no, I wouldn't call this a EP even though there's just 4 tracks.
The first track is not so metal by the way. It's pure classical music. Just a piano and a feamle singer, and sometimes a violin, doing the whole "The Four Seasons". Hardly something for a rocker like me. But I know that there's rockers who actually like classical music too, so this could be something for them then.
After that comes "Vita", which is followed by an instrumental version of the same song. Whatever that would be good for? It's finally metal at least, and it doesn't last for an eternity. And that's positive of course.
For some reason they end the whole thing with another version of "The Four Seasons" (a medly). It's a live recording with just a piano and a female singer. And as I said earlier, it last for as long as 16.37 minutes.
No, this is a totally useless release unless you are a really hardcore fan of this project. 1 listen was more than enough for me.
Release date: Jan. 19, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
vivaldimetalproject.com
JANUARY 6, 2018
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HELL BENT: Hell Bent - Cassette EP?
This band comes from Rhode Island and includes current and past members of bands like DROPDEAD, ULCER, PAINDRIVER, STRAIGHT TO HELL and NEON BITCHES. And this EP has previously been available digitally and in an extremely limited cassette edition. It looks like it will now be reissued on cassette (if I got it right) and include a bonus sticker. There will also be a deluxe edition with a limited edition pin and patch. Well, wouldn't it have been more fun to release it on vinyl as a 7" instead?
The music that we get from this band is like a fist of thrashy punk straight in your face. They say that they blend old school thrash and crossover with d-beat hardcore, but I think this is hardcore/punk and not much thrash. But they should find a label who can release this on vinyl. These songs deserves that!
Release date: Jan. 12, 2018 (Self released?)
JANUARY 4, 2018
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(D)JURET: Sök Din Sekt - Digital EP
These songs was recorded at the legandary Sunlight Studios, but it's not death metal that we get here. This is a Swedish punk rock band who formed a few years ago, and this is their first EP, which consist of 3 tracks.
I would say that this is some kind of darker and metallic mid-tempo punk rock, and I don't really have any band that I can compare them with. But I'm pretty sure that if you like Swedish punk from the 90s, then you probably will like this too.
It might not be excellent, but it's not bad at all. I find it hard to believe that they will do any bigger succees though.
Release date: Jan. 12, 2018 (Cramada)
facebook.com/djuretpunk
JANUARY 3, 2018
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CRUENTATOR: Ain't War Hell? - Album
This is like listening to a new album with a band like KREATOR or SLAYER. You simply know what you're going to get. Because it sounds more or less the same all the way. But once in a while they can surprise us with something that sounds a little different, even though that doesn't happen too often in this case.
But in the end I have to say that this band is just as good as the Swedish thrash bands that I like. Not that they sound like them, but more like the bands I mentioned in the beginning. So if you like thrash, then you probably like CRUENTATOR too.
Release date: January 2018 (Xtreem Music)
JANUARY 3, 2018
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BLOODSHOT DAWN: Reanimation - Album
Melodic death metal. Brutal/harsh vocals are mixed with melodic and technical guitar melodies. I suspect that fans of ARCH ENEMY like this. Just listen to "Gravitation Nightmare" for example. But they can also be pretty old school as well. So I guess you could say that it's a combination of melodic and old school death metal that we get here. Very good stuff anyway. No doubt about that.
This is their 3rd full length. And this album also includes guest apperances from people like Jeff Loomis (ARCH ENEMY, NEVERMORE), Paul Wardingham (?), Ken Sorceron (ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, The FACELESS) and Mendel Bij De Leij (ABORTED). It seems to be an international bands as the members comes from different countries.
Release date: Jan. 12, 2018 (Hostile Media)
facebook.com/bloodshotdawn
JANUARY 3, 2018
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AVATAR: Avatar Country - Album
The first track sounds like a Christmas song. But I guess it wasn't supposed to do that. This is actually a very mysterious record. So if you want a metal album that is different from the others, then this might be something for you.
The word king appears in every title. And that's because it seems to be a concept album about some king in Avatar Country. But I'm not going to tell the story here (I honestly don't really get it myself as it was way too much to read). So let us talk about the music instead then..
After listening to this album a few times, I can finally hear that there actually are some good songs here, even though far away from everything is great. A track like "The King Speaks" is totally useless. Just a lot of talking. How funny is that? You're not MANOWAR.
What they sound like is a little harder to tell though. But what I can hear is some kind of modern (progressive) metal. Which probably doesn't say that much. So let's just say that they have found their own sound, even though it might not be totally unique. You still have to listen if you want to know what they sound like though.
European release date: Jan. 12, 2018 (Century Media)
avatarmetal.com
JANUARY 2, 2018
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AMMOURI: Dare To Be Happy - Album
This is hardly the best album that I have heard lately. But it's far away from the worst at least. And that's always something I suppose. And everything is not hopeless here, but I can count the good songs on 1 hand, and I don't even have to use all fingers. I find it hard to believe that I will listen to this album again though.
AMMOURI is the Swedish female singer Marina Ammouri, who is also a model. She is a classical schooled pianist and graduated sound engineer from SAE collage. She has previously composed and produced songs in different genres for other artists (both in Sweden and abroad). But now it's time for her first own album.
The music on this album is best described as harder rock with a powerful voice. And among the musicians are Pontus Engberg (The POODLES, KING DIAMOND) on bass (who also has co-produced 6 tracks), guitarists Staffan Österling (Paul Di'Anno), Tony Borg (ALIEN) and John Berg, and on drums Johan Kullberg (THERION, HAMMERFALL).
Release date: Jan. 12, 2018 (Pride & Joy Music)
JANUARY 2, 2018
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DJINN AND MISKATONIC: Even Gods Must Die - Album
Yeah, what do you need a singer for? Let's just play the same riffs over and over again to bore the shit out of people instead. But suddenly, after almost 5 minutes, there's finally some vocals. It's really heavy and more meditative doom metal that we get in the first track (which last for as long as 15 and a half minutes). But I wouldn't say that the other 5 songs are that much faster.
If you have nothing against long and monotonous pieces, then this Indian band might be something for you. I have definitely heard worse than this in my life.
Release date: Jan. 10, 2018 (Transcending Obscurity India)
djinnandmiskatonic.bandcamp.com
JANUARY 1, 2018
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All reviews and photos/images by Jimmy Blom.