REVIEWS 2019 - Page 6

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GosT: Valediction - Album
(Century Media - Release date: Oct. 4)
I'm old enough to remember a time when those who liked metal hated those who liked zynth pop. That changed a few years later when the industrial bands came, who did the sin of mixing those 2 very different genres and turned it into what I call industrial noise. Now you might wonder what the hell I'm talking about, and how a zynth album would end up here? Well, this album happens to be released by a well-known metal label, but the music that GosT play is not exactly metal, but more like a mixture of zynth pop and industrial metal. But the man behind this also adds his fascination with the occult, John Carpenter and 80s slasher flicks to that.
Fact is that the person behind the name GosT played in metal bands as a teenager, but eventually drifted towards electronic music, which would later become the foundation of his powerful synthwave/retrowave sound that we can hear on this album.
But even though I describe this as a very electronic album, it has a haunting atmosphere that pick its energy from the blackest corners of metal. So I guess that it still can please some metal heads.
Published: Oct. 2, 2019

EHLDER: Nordabetraktelse - Album
(Nordavis Produktion - Release date: Oct. 4)
EHLDER is the latest project of the Swedish musician Graavehlder (formerly known as Graav), whose co-guided such cult acts as ARMAGEDDA, LÖNNDOM, and the recently resurrected LIK. He get help with the drums from someone called Villehard, but otherwise he is doing it all by himself on this debut album.
The music is black metal similar to ARMAGEDDA, and some of the songs are very long - between 7 to 9 minutes is nothing unusual here. Maybe not the most funny music (black metal is hardly here to be funny), but it's not useless at least. Maybe there should have been less distances and more action though? And some songs are way too long.
Published: Oct. 2, 2019

WRECK-DEFY: Remnants Of Pain - Album
(Inverse Records)
Canadian thrash metal band WRECK-DEFY was formed in 2016 by Matt Hanchuck, who had compiled plenty of songs from years of playing in various garage and bar bands. He reached out to his friend and former band member Justin Steer to do all the vocals on the debut album, "Fragments Of Anger", which was first released independently, and later through Alone Records in Greece. Matt succeeded to get Glen Drover from MEGADETH to mix and master the album, which led to Glen's brother Shawn (also from MEGADETH) playing all the drums on the album.
When it was time for the next album (this album I suppose?), Justin Steer said goodbye. Former ANNIHILATOR frontman Aaron Randall took his place and became the new singer for the band. Matt also succeeded to get Greg Christian from TESTAMENT to play bass on the album. Drums were played by Dave O'Neal from ANGERHEAD, but since then they have recruited Alex Marquez (DEMOLITION HAMMER, SOLSTICE, MALEVOLENT CREATION) as their new drummer.
There's no doubt that WRECK-DEFY is hugely influenced by the Bay Area thrash metal movement from the 1980s. But I would not call them yet another old school band because of that, because this is a modern product. Still damned good though. They are definitely a thrash beast to count on. So you would not want to miss this, because that would be a big mistake.
Published: Oct. 1, 2019

KNIFVEN: Trött Dött Kött - 7" EP
(Gaphals Records)
KNIFVEN was formed in Stockholm, Sweden in 2010. Since then they has released 4 7" singles and 2 full length albums. They have done a lot of shows here in Sweden, but has also played in Denmark and toured in Germany 4 times.
The latest release is this 7-track EP, which they say presents a slightly different and updated version of the band's music. They have for example added chorus-soaked guitars and mid-70s Roland synths to the instrumental setup. They talk about a darker, almost post punk attitude and sound - which a song like "Längtan" is a good example of. But I hear a energetic punk rock band in most of the other songs.
The lyrics are all in Swedish, and I think that this is very good stuff.
Published: Oct. 1, 2019

VITRIOL: The Bathe From The Throat Of Cowardice - Album
(Century Media)
A chaotic and extreme noise attack is probably the best way to describe this. But underneath there's actually so much more than just chaos and noise. Somehow it becomes music out of this. Even though it's very violent and brutal music that we get from VITRIOL, it's actually pretty advanced stuff too.
VITRIOL comes from Portland, Oregon. The guitarist and the bassist share the vocals/screaming (whatever you prefer to call it). And after listening to these 10 tracks, I can just say that this band is not for everyone. But if you want it as fast and extreme as possible, then this can be something for you. If you want melodic and nice melodies, then try Robert Tepper instead.
Published: Sept. 30, 2019

IMPLORE: Alienated Despair - Album
(Century Media)
This international grindcore/death/punk act has existed since 2013, and have released 2 albums before "Alienated Despair". There has also been several singles and split releases through the years. They have always been true to the DIY (do it yourself) spirit, and have often booked their tours by themselves. In other words a real underground band.
Their lyrics seems to deal with typical punk subjects, like the society of today, living like a slave and being poor etc. IMPLORE are angry, and release their anger with a raw energy and in-your-face attitude. There's not a silent moment here to catch the breath. Just a constant violent attack. But if you like it extreme, then this is the thing for you.
11 tracks are completed in 31 minutes, and "Never Again" features guest vocals from Tomas "Tompa" Lindberg (AT THE GATES, DISFEAR, SKITSYSTEM etc).
Published: Sept. 30, 2019

Robert Tepper: Better Than The Rest - Album
(AOR Heaven)
Better than the rest? Hardly! But if you like your rock so soft and melodic that you can sing nanana and lalala to it, then go ahead. This is the man that will make your day.
Robert Tepper hailing from Bayonne, New Jersey, where he was playing in garage bands on the Jersey Shore in the late 60s. His biggest success was to write the Top 40 hit "This Is Love" for Paul Anka. Later in life he moved to New York City, and then to Los Angeles in 1985. The same year he also landed his first record deal. He also succeeded to have actor Sylvester Stallone among his fans, who wanted to have "No Easy Way Out" in his movie Rocky 4. And then Stallone wanted another song, "Angel Of The City", in Cobra. Robert's songs has also appeared in films and TV shows like South Park, Breaking Bad and Get Hard.
Well, Tepper has released a few records now and then through the years, and here is another one. It's said to be something for fans of artists like Stan Bush, John Parr, Jimi Jamison, John Waite and Russ Ballard.
Published: Sept. 30, 2019

Robert Pehrsson's HUMBUCKER: Out Of The Dark - Album
(High Roller Records)
Guitarist Robert Pehrsson have been playing in many various genres through the years. He has been playing death metal with DEATH BREATH, garage rock with THUNDER EXPRESS and rock in Swedish with DUNDERTÅGET. He has also been a member of IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC. Robert can easily change genre without a problem.
Here it's mainly 70s scented (hard) rock that we get, where the songs are at the center. And among the guests are members from Swedish bands like The HELLACOPTERS, VOJD, TRIBULATION and IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC. And I think that this album sounds a little like a mixture of those bands.
This is a fantastic album that you definitely should check out.
Published: Sept. 30, 2019

LANKUM: The Wild Rover - Single
(Rough Trade Records)
LANKUM consist of people from Dublin, Ireland. Their new album, "The Livelong Day", will be released on October 25.
There are countless renditions of the song "The Wild Rover", and this version is said to be very different to those who are more well-known (like Dónal Maguire or Pat Usher). It's a song very much rooted within the dirt and peat of Ireland, but the revelation of a little known final verse takes it from a jovial pub tale to one of sadness and destitution. The actual crux of the song becomes desperate, a matter of life or death.
This is a soft and silent Celtic ballad, you could say. Even though the end of the song is more noisey. Hardly a rock song, but I like Celtic music, and this is absolutely not bad at all. I prefer what they call Celtic punk rock though.
Published: Sept. 30, 2019

FIREBREATHER: Under A Blood Moon - Album
(RidingEasy Records)
Heavy and riff-based metal is what this trio from Göteborg, Sweden gives us. Something for those of you who like HIGH ON FIRE, MONOLORD and why not BOMBUS. In other words heavy but not slow because of that. They have a good drive and groove in their songs, which I think makes them a little better than many other heavy bands. It's powerful and hypnotic at the same time.
6 songs is what we get, and they are between 6,48 to 9,29 minutes long. Usually that is a bit too long for me, but FIREBREATHER makes it work somehow.
Published: Sept. 30, 2019

Bror Gunnar Jansson: They Found My Body In A Bag - Album
(Playground Music)
Bror Gunnar Jansson comes from Göteborg, Sweden, and releases an unholy mix of blues, country and American folk music, mainly with the help of his voice, an electric guitar and various percussions. When he have played live recently he have had a bassist and a drummer. I'm not sure if he have let them play on this album as well, but it sounds really cool anyway, and it's a very good album. So if you like blues and similar genres, then you should absolutely check this out.
Published: Sept. 30, 2019

(AOR Heaven)
In early 2013 Carl Berglund and his old bandmate Jan Skärming decided to fulfil their musical dream, writing songs reduced to its very core by 80s rock giants. These were songs with emotional harmonies from pure British AOR, with the power of American hard rock, sprinkled with hooks from the new era of Swedish melodic rock. More members joined them, and 4 songs was released on digital platforms like Spotify, iTunes etc. in May 2016. In August the same year the band signed to AOR Heaven, who released their debut album, "In The Heat Of The Night", in February 2017.
Now their second album, "A New Dawn", is ready to be released. And what we get is very fine melodic hard rock straight from the heart. This is something that every fan of this genre should check out. You should absolutely not be dissapointed.
Published: Sept. 30, 2019

ACID REIGN: The Age Of Entitlement - Album
(Dissonance Productions)
ACID REIGN left the UK thrash scene with a final show at the London Marquee in 1991. By that time they had released 1 mini album and 2 full length albums. Their last release was a compilation, titled "The Worst Of Acid Reign".
But after a 24-year hiatus they were back again, and have been busy ever since. 2 songs have seen the light of day since the comeback - "Plan Of The Damned" (2015) and "The Man Who Became Himself" (2017) - but it's as far as I can understand not until now that a new album is ready to be released.
This reminds of when ANTHRAX was as best, in the 1980s. Fast but yet very catchy thrash metal and great songs. And just like the ANTHRAX singer, Joey Belladonna, the singer in ACID REIGN (Howard H Smith) is actually singing and not screaming, like many other thrash singers do. That gives them a few extra points from me. This is a great album!
Published: Sept. 30, 2019

GRAVEVIEW: Demos '18 '19 - EP
(Raw Skull Recordz/Redefining Darkness Records - Release date: Sept. 26)
They might not be the best death metal band that I have heard, but hardly the worst either. This is not the kind of album that you listen to when you want to relax, because this is too extreme to relax to. And I guess that some people will take that as something positive, and then this might be something for you.
GRAVEVIEW is a pretty fresh band in the Florida death scene. Among their influences are MORBID ANGEL, SUFFOCATION, GRAVE and GUTTED. And as the title says, this is a collection of demo recordings from 2018 and 2019. The band are currently in the process of writing their full-length for a tentative 2020 release.
Published: Sept. 26, 2019

TYGERS OF PAN TANG: White Lines - Single
(Mighty Music - Release date: Sept. 27)
TYGERS OF PAN TANG are known as NWoBHM legends, but this song is more like catchy hard rock to me, but still with heavy guitars. And it's a damned good song that you just have to check out as soon as possible. It has a great chorus and a melody that you just must love. If there's more songs like this on the new album, where "White Lines" comes from, then they are about to release a masterpiece. But I guess I should wait and hear some more before I get too exited.
The new album have the title "Ritual", and it will be released in November.
Published: Sept. 26, 2019

DRAGONFORCE: Extreme Power Metal - Album
(earMUSIC - Release date: Sept. 27)
The beginning of this album makes me think of a Christmas song and hardly "extreme power metal". But soon they are on the right track.
This British band has been around for 20 years now, and this is their 8th album. And just as usual they deliver their power metal fast, melodic and technical. But there's also some symphonic ingredients here and there.
Now I'm not a super fan who have total control on their career, but I think that this album sounds just great.
Published: Sept. 26, 2019

PYRAMIDO: Fem - Album
(The Sign Records - Release date: Sept. 27)
I don't really know, but I get this feeling that their last album was much more fun to listen to. There's no energy in their new material. It's like they have recorded an album just because they felt that they have to. This is a heavy and pretty boring album actually. Same damned riffs over and over again for way too long. I don't like that.
But just because I'm not falling in love with this record doesn't have to mean that you want fall for it. So if you like it heavy and monotone, then give this a try at least. Or check out one of their previous albums instead. That's also a good idea.
"Fem" is the Swedish word for five. Which means that this is the fifth album from these Swedes. And this material is described as a mixture of "delicate melodic figures of dreamy 90s indie rock, the folky fuzz of vintage Swedish psychedelia, and the bittersweet harmonies of Henrik Berggren and BRODER DANIEL". Put that in a blender with the heaviness and aggression that is PYRAMIDO, and you have "Fem" in a nutshell.
Published: Sept. 25, 2019

John Hoyles: Night Flight - Album
(Bad Omen Records - Release date: Sept. 27)
John Hoyles with Spiders
Guitarist John Hoyles was born in London, UK, but moved to Sweden in his early teens. He is a former member of WITCHCRAFT, which he played with from their first single in 2000 until 2009. After that he formed SPIDERS in 2010, which he is still a member of. He also formed BIG KIZZ in 2016 together with Axel Sjöberg from GRAVEYARD, but I don't think John is playing with them anymore.
Somehow he also got the time to record a solo album. And even though this album is released as a new album, it's actually a re-release (not sure when it was originally released though, but probably not so long ago). But the thing is that it was just released in a limited vinyl-only pressing of 500 units, which sold out in 1 week. But as the label, Crusher Records, was closed down soon after the release, no new copies were made. ..until now then. This version contains a brand new song, "Highwire", and it will also be released on CD for the very first time.
John Hoyles create music from the heart. We get a wild mixture of punk rock, pub rock, 70s glam, heavy psych and vintage metal. But most of all it's a rock album. Even though it's a little short, as he rip off 8 tracks in just under 22 minutes. It's a damned good record that he have made though. No doubt at all about that!
Published: Sept. 25, 2019

John Hoyles: Can't Fight Change - 7"/Digital Single
(Bad Omen Records - Release date: Sept. 27)
John Hoyles with Spiders
SPIDERS guitarist John Hoyles has also played with WITCHCRAFT and BIG KIZZ. He has also recorded a solo album, "Night Flight", which will be released (again) on September 27. These 2 songs are not on the album (I think they are brand new), but they are damned good. And the album is very good too, but these 2 songs might actually be even better than that.
"Can't Fight Change" is a hooky, summertime single driven by a memorable wah-wah melody that will glue itself to your brain. "Leavin' Tonight" is a swift, surging song propelled by a UFO-inspired main riff and take-charge urgency that will instantly have heads nodding and feet moving.
You can read more about Hoyles and his music in the review of the album, which is released on the same day as this single.
Published: Sept. 25, 2019

WEAPON UK: Ghost Of War - Album
(Pure Steel Records - Release date: Sept. 27)
I might have told you the story about this British band before. But I think it was a while ago now, so here we go (again).. WEAPON was originally formed in 1980 as FAST RELIEF, but never had any bigger success, except for a major UK tour as support act for MOTÖRHEAD. There were many problems, so the band broke up after just a couple of years.
It wasn't until 2005 that the original lineup finally reunited for a couple of shows in London and at Headbangers-Open-Air Ball in Germany. And in 2010, Danny (vocals) and Jeff (guitar) decided to reform the band full time. Their first real album, "Rising From The Ashes", was released in 2014 under the name WEAPON UK (for legal reasons). But it's not until now that their second album is ready to be released.
What we get here is what they use to call NWoBHM. Hard rock and heavy metal with a touch of the 80s. And they have many different songs on this album. No doubt about that. And in the title track we get some guest vocals from the Irish beauty Clare Cunningham (ex-THUNDERMOTHER).
Well, it's absolutely not bad, so maybe you should give this a try.
Published: Sept. 24, 2019

STARBORN: Savage Peace - Album
(Iron Shield Records - Release date: Sept. 27)
STARBORN hails from Newcastle, England, and began their heavy metal journey in the summer of 2012, but wasn't ready for action until 2014 (if I got their story right?). They are influenced by both 80s US metal and European metal, and add a progressive twist and a modern production to that. And what we get is best described as heavy/power metal.
This is absolutely not bad at all. This is actually really good. Every true fan of heavy metal should like this. And especially if you like legends like IRON MAIDEN and QUEENSRŸCHE for example. Then this should be a hit for you.
Published: Sept. 24, 2019

FATAL EMBRACE: Operation Genocide - Album
(Iron Shield Records - Release date: Sept. 27)
This German band was formed as NOSFERATU back in 1993, but a short time later they changed the name to FATAL EMBRACE. They released a 6-track demo, "Death's Embrace", in 1994, and split up due to musical and personal differances in 1995. But in 1997 the band was reformed with some new members, and since 1998 they have released several singles, split releases, albums and tribute songs.
FATAL EMBRACE deliver first class thrash metal in the good old way, but with a modern production. And this is not bad at all my friend. So if you like German thrash metal, then this is something that you should give a try. At once!
Published: Sept. 24, 2019

DRIVING FORCE: All Aboard - Album
(Self released on Sept. 27)
DRIVIN FORCE comes from Switzerland, and they play a catchy and melodic kind of hard rock that has ingredients from both the 80s and modern times. Sometimes there's even a touch of metal as well. There's many great songs among these 11 tracks, so they can definitely be worth a try if you like melodic hard rock and metal.
DRIVING FORCE has previously released 1 EP and 2 albums. ..and I don't have much else to say.
Published: Sept. 24, 2019

ALTERED STATE: Altered State - LP
(Pure Steel Records - Release date: Sept. 27)
The demos of the American prog/power metal band ALTERED STATE are being re-released on vinyl LP. So what we get here is 6 demo tracks and 4 rehearsals from the early 1990s. And this has been released before, on a CD titled "Winter Warlock". But that was years ago as I understand it.
If you're a fan of high-pitched vocals and high-energy, technical power metal/US metal, then this could be something for you. Their songs are absolutely not bad, and it sounds like they knew what they were doing here. I don't have anything to complain about anyway.
Published: Sept. 24, 2019

BORKNAGAR: True North - Album
(Century Media - Release date: Sept. 27)
It's not completely right, but you could actually say that with BORKNAGAR Century Media have found their own little GHOST. Because they have the same catchy and melodic melodies as the more famous band from Sweden, and are just as epic as they can be. But it's still not exactly the same. Their old black metal roots shine through once in a while for example, just to make sure that it's not too comfortable and nice for you. Not too often though.
I think they call this avantgarde black metal, but I actually don't really know what I should call this, because there's not that much black metal anyway. Maybe just avantgarde metal?
Anyhow, they have an album full of really good songs here, and then you can call it whatever you want. 1 of my favorites is the second track, "Up North". "Lights" is also a little extra good.
"True North" is this Norwegian band's 11th studio album. And since the last album, "Winter Thrice", the lineup has changed. Longstanding vocalist Andreas "Vintersorg" Hedlund, veteran guitarist Jens F. Ryland, and drummer Baard Kolstad has left the band. Today's lineup is Øystein G. Brun (guitars), Simen "I.C.S. Vortex" Hestnæs (bass/vocals), Lars A. Nedland (keyboards/vocals), Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow (drums), and Jostein Thomassen (guitars).
Published: Sept. 23, 2019

RAUBTIER: Överlevare - Album
(Faravid Recordings)
Hulkoff, Raubtier
The beast from the north roars again.
RAUBTIER, from northern Sweden, made themselves famous by a combination of industry, metal and lyrics in Swedish, as well as always drinking alcohol. They have since many years sober up, and this is their 6th album. I think there's less industrial influences this time, and more melancholy metal (or however I should describe it?). The music is still powerful and intense, but just a little different. You can still hear that it's RAUBTIER and nothing else, so don't worry too much about that.
The theme on this album seems to be the consequences of our chased contemporaries and the society and man of today. 10 tracks are cut in 38 minutes.
Published: Sept. 22, 2019

GENTIHAA: Reverse Entropy - Album
(Symmetric Records - Release date: Sept. 23)
GENTIHAA is a metal band from Athens, Greece. It seems like they were formerly known as ENOCHIAN, and then reformed to COLLISION ZERO. How they became GENTIHAA after that is unknown to me though.
This is the brainchild of guitarist and composer George "Valgran" Giannopoulos, and this version of the band has been active since 2017 (if I got it right). Now their debut album is here, which gives us a darker but yet melodic kind of heavy metal, who have both symphonic and progressive elements baked in, as well as some extreme metal parts here and there. And this is absolutely not bad at all. I think this could be an album for all kinds of metal fans.
Tom Englund from EVERGREY is doing guest vocals on 2 of the songs, and album producer Bob Katsionis play keyboards.
Published: Sept. 22, 2019

DALAPLAN: Geni Och Idiot - EP
(Beluga Records)
Now I have not heard more than 1 song with DALAPLAN before, but that song was very catchy and faster than the 4 songs that we get here. This is more relaxed, more in the Bob Dylan and Neil Young tradition. Everything is not slow though. The second song, "För Sent", is a rocker.
I like what I hear here, so I'm happy (about that anyway, life and society is another thing though, but now we're not going to talk about that).
DALAPLAN comes from Skåne, a county in southern Sweden, and sing in the dialect that they speak down there. They did their first rehearsal on September 22, 2009, which means that they celebrate their 10-year anniversary. They have released lots of singles and albums through these 10 years, and a best of album would have been a normal idea. But instead they decided to release this 4-track EP, which is cool too of course.
Published: Sept. 22, 2019

BEYOND THE GREY: Unthinkable Tragedy - Album
(Pure Steel Publishing)
BEYOND THE GREY erase the thin border between stoner rock and grunge. But in the end it's hard rock with a lot of melody and emotions. And this is extremely good stuff! So if you don't check this out, then you will really miss something.
BEYOND THE GREY comes from Kansas. For some reason this seems to be a digital release only. So stupid! But on the other hand a good way to get an audience, and maybe get a physical release in the future.
The whole album seems to be about mass shootings and unthinkable tragedies around the world of today. Obviously not as a tribute, but to make you think about all the victims and the pain it cause to those who survive. BEYOND THE GREY want to bring awareness to all of it.
Published: Sept. 22, 2019

TOXIK: Wasteland - Album
(Vic Records)
TOXIK was formed back in 1985 as TOKYO, but later they changed the name to TOXIK, and "Wasteland" is a demo from 1986 which has been re-released a few months ago. Here we also get 3 rare bonus tracks and a lot of other stuff.
TOXIK's trademark were the fast and technical guitar parts and the high pitched vocals. And sure, we can definitely hear some of that here. I would describe them as speed/thrash metal. And this is absolutely not bad at all. So I think you should give them a try.
In 1987 they signed to Roadrunner Records and released their debut album, "World Circus". In 1992 they decided to quit, but has reformed twice since then, and they are still playing at festivals once in a while.
Published: Sept. 21, 2019

OVERTHROW: Within Suffering - Album reissue
(Vic Records)
This band was formed in January 1987, but it wasn't until April 1989 that a first demo, "Bodily Domination", was released. "Within Suffering" is their debut album, which was recorded in June 1990 at the legendary Morrisound Studios. The album was recorded by Tom Morris (MORBID ANGEL) and Scott Burns (OBITUARY, DEATH, SEPULTURA). In March 1991 the band split up.
This re-release also features their demo, as well as 6 live tracks. The music is pretty good American death metal. This can absolutely be worth checking out.
Published: Sept. 21, 2019

NECROSANCT: Legacy - Album
(Vic Records)
NECROSANCT were a death metal band from Brighton, UK, who formed in early 1989. They released 3 full length albums and 2 demos, but they also did as much as 5 European tours during their short existance.
This album features the demo recordings, plus the 2 last recordings they ever did. With a better production, this could probably have been so much better, because it sounds like they had some pretty o.k. songs here. The 2 last, instrumental songs, are useless though.
Now I have not heard any of their albums, so I can't compare this with them. But I would guess that the albums are more interesting.
Published: Sept. 21, 2019

MORBID DECAPITATION: Death Anthems - Album reissue
(Vic Records)
MORBID DECAPITATION was formed by the brothers Bruno (vocals and guitars) and Guy (drums) Martin in Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada back in 1986. They were inspired by extreme metal bands like SLAYER and VENOM, but also heavy metal acts like RAVEN and MERCYFUL FATE. So they started to write some songs and released 2 demos. Their music soon eveolved into extremely raw death metal, with speed metal, punk and grindcore influences. The first album, "Death Anthems", was released in 1990, and in 1992 the band split up.
The members continued to play in other bands until early 2000, when the brothers decided that it was time to reform MORBID DECAPITATION. They wrote 10 new songs, which became the album "Destruction Of Peace And Freedom" (2001).
What we get here is both "Death Anthems" and "Destruction Of Peace And Freedom", and that's a total of 24 tracks! But if you like to torture your ears with some really extreme and raw metal, then I won't stop you. Because that's your problem. I'm not so impressed though.
Published: Sept. 21, 2019

BLACK SHEPHERD: United Evil Forces - Album
(Vic Records)
In 1983 there was a band with the name BEELZEBUB. In 1984 they changed the name to BLACK SHEPHERD. And in 1985 they finally had a complete lineup and could start to work for real. So in February 1986 they released a demo, "United Evil Forces". In 1988 they got signed and released their debut LP, "Immortal Aggression". And then in 1989 they recorded their final demo, and did their last show in October the same year.
And what we get here is obviously that first demo, but also a whole concert recorded in Gemmenich (not sure what country). BLACK SHEPHERD's music is probably best described as early extreme metal. The main inspiration seems to be raw speed and black metal. Maybe not the best I have ever heard, but far away from the worst anyway. They have some really good songs among these 17 tracks. But I prefer the demo tracks, who have better sound quality than the live tracks.
If you think that the music of today is too kind, then this is the band for you.
Published: Sept. 21, 2019

SYZTEM 7: No Regrets - Single
(Mighty Music)
SYZTEM 7 is said to be a genre blending rock band from Seattle, Washington. This little melody is taken from their new album, which is coming soon, and is said to fit fans of NINE INCH NAILS, MEGAHERTZ and RAMMSTEIN. It's a pinch of industrial metal as well as some experimental stuff. Not the easiest band to get a grip of, but I guess we can call it something like industrial/goth/metal/rock or something? A pretty o.k. song anyway. So a good idea is to listen for yourself.
Published: Sept. 20, 2019

MORTUARY: The Sapiens Order - Single
(XENOKORP Records)
Good old thrash/death metal that won't dissapoint you. Like a stone hard fist straight in your face. Very good!
This is a French band, who is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year with the release of their 6th album, "The Autophagous Reign", which will see the light on November 8. And this song is a taste of that album. If there's more songs like this on that album, well, then it's a smash hit.
Published: Sept. 20, 2019

JD MILLER: Icarus - Single
(Mighty Music)
JD Miller
Local (Borås, Sweden) masters of melodic hard rock/AOR, JD MILLER, will release a new album on October 18. And you have probably already figured out that this song comes from that album. And yes it does.
The whole album is great, and even though this track might not be among my favorites, it's absolutely not a bad song. So you simply check this out, o.k.?
JD MILLER has been rocking since 2011, and they are something that fans of ECLIPSE, H.E.A.T and PRETTY MAIDS should check out.
Published: Sept. 20, 2019

The DEAD AND LIVING: City Of The Light - Single
(Self released)
This Swedish band have a bizzare story, which I don't know if it's true (but probably not): October 25, 2014 the whole band died when their tour bus exploded at 5 o'clock in the morning, half-way through a tunnel outside Graz, Austria. Less than 24 hours after the accident, an Austrian fan posted a video clip showing the remains of the members. The clip got 132 million views before it was deleted by YouTube.
Their new album, "The Author's Curse", is made in the parallel reality where everyone got out in time. A reality where the writer let his characters live a little longer, and go home and talk about the trauma instead, and then make an album worth dying for.
Well.. What about the music then? Some kind of dark goth rock is what I call this. But then I should also add that goth isn't something that I listen to that much, so what do I really know? Something that I know though is that this song is not so bad. It's good enough to check out for those of you who like darker rock music. So do that!
"The Author's Curse" will be released on the anniversary of the "accident": October 25.
Published: Sept. 20, 2019

Alice Cooper: Breadcrumbs - EP
Alice with his doll
It might seems to be a little weird to do a covers EP when Alice is a member of HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES, who is doing mainly covers (even though most of the material on their latest album is original material). But HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES are just doing covers of artists who are dead. And what Alice is doing here is a tribute to his hometown Detroit and its garage rock sound. So in other words we get the chance to hear songs that I think not too many others have done a cover of. And I can tell you that Detroit has more than just The STOOGES and MC5 when it comes to the history of rock.
What we get here is not just covers though. He start with a new version of his own song "Detroit City", now called "Detroit City 2020", and a completely new song, "Go Man Go". After that comes songs by Bob Seger, Suzi Quatro and MC5. But which artists that did "Devil With A Blue Dress" and "Chains Of Love", which he does a medly/mix up of, is not known to me.
There's also guest apperances by musicians from Detroit, but the only 1 I have heard of before is Wayne Kramer (MC5).
"Breadcrumbs" is released as a 10" vinyl in a limited edition of 20,000 copies worldwide, as well as digitally.
Published: Sept. 19, 2019

PIGMAN: Attention - Single
(Self released)
Swedish band PIGMAN released the single "White Line Fever" earlier this summer, which was a great song. But WOW! "Attention" is a fantastic song! Even better than "White Line Fever". This song should be a hit!
The music is some kind of catchy punk rock/action rock. If they have more songs like this, then they have a new fan here.
The second song, "Bored Of You", is a harder song, but I would still call it punk rock/action rock. Definitely not bad either.
As I said last time, a new album will be released in the fall. I really look forward to hear that.
Published: Sept. 19, 2019

RAISED FIST: Anthem - Single
(Epitaph Records)
New single from Swedish hardcore veterans RAISED FIST. And it is, more or less, what the title says: an anthem. Hard and heavy metal guitars and punky hardcore vocals, but yet very catchy. This is just great! I look forward to hear the new album, "Anthems", where this song comes from, and which will be released on November 15.
Published: Sept. 19, 2019

STATEMENT: California Dreaming - Single
(Mighty Music)
This Danish band turn the old 60s classic "California Dreaming" (originally by The MAMAS & The PAPAS) into a modern metal song. And it actually works pretty good. I really like it! But then I already liked the 60s version of this song.
"California Dreaming" is taken from their album "Force Of Life", which was released in March this year. And they are hardly the first band who have done a cover of this song, but they are definitely among the better that I have heard.
Published: Sept. 19, 2019

WARISH: Down In Flames - Album
(RidingEasy Records)
Southern California trio WARISH has just released their first full length album, "Down In Flames". And you know, the first time I heard this record I was thinking of early The DWARVES, like 1983-1988 (before they became a catchy punk rock band), mixed with psychobilly legends The CRAMPS. You could say that they put some punk rock energy, a bit of grunge and a twist of evil in a blender and mix it hard. And the result is absolutely not bad at all.
I think the best way to find out what this band really sound like is to listen. Because it's actually not so easy to give a good description to this. But if you like what I have mentioned so far, then it's not impossible that you will like WARISH too.
Best motherfucker? I think I like "Shivers" best actually.
Published: Sept. 19, 2019

WAYWARD DAWN: Prophet - Single
(Mighty Music)
Fast and intense death metal from Denmark, with members who are just 19-21 years old. And that means that there's still hope for the future of death metal, because this is absolutely not bad at all. If I could take a whole album of this is another question though.
WAYWARD DAWN take the best parts from the old school and mix it with modern death metal. This will crush everything that stands in its way!
Published: Sept. 19, 2019

(Rusty Knuckles Music - Release date: Sept. 20)
Outlaw punk rock from Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The band was born in December 2017, and this is their debut album. The music is sometimes a bit violent, but it's always catchy as hell. Among my favorite tracks are "Nothing To Prove" and "Dancin' At Your Suicide". I guess that fans of a maniac like GG Allin and The DWARVES could like this, even though it's not the exact same thing. I like it anyway, so give it a chance. You either love it or hate it.
Published: Sept. 18, 2019

CULT OF SORROW: Invocation Of The Lucifer - Album
(Black Doomba Records - Release date: Sept. 20)
Catchy doom metal from Cincinnati.
The band got together in 2013, and released a self titled EP in the fall the same year. Then it took a few years before their first full length, "Ascension", finally was released in January 2017. Now their second album, "Invocation Of The Lucifer", is ready to be released.
This album is full of all the right ingredients that a good heavy metal album should have: Heavy riffs, good vocals and most of all good songs. What else can you ask for? But yes, they might not be the best band on the planet, but they are definitely better than a lot of other bands.
Fans of Ozzy-era BLACK SABBATH and CANDLEMASS should fall for this.
Published: Sept. 18, 2019

BHLEG: Äril - Album
(Nordvis Produktion - Release date: Sept. 27)
Even though there's just 3 tracks here, this is a full length. Because the first track is as long as 14 minutes. The other 2 are shorter though, around 6-8 minutes. But all of them seems to be intertwined with each other.
This is hardly the most fun I have been listening to. Some kind of melancholy and atmospheric folk black metal by a duo from Sweden (who call themselves L and S). Their creation is built upon the roots of ancient Scandinavia. Suitable music for fall and winter.
..and honestly I don't really know what else there is to say about this.
Published: Sept. 17, 2019

DEAD EXPRESS: Brain Damage - Album
(Self released on Sept. 27)
Swedish band DEAD EXPRESS deliver their rock with a raw energy and punk attitude. This is what we use to call action rock. And sure, the party vibe is high here. This can easily make you think of bands like The HELLACOPTERS and GLUECIFER, but a song like "Snowblind" sounds like Swedish rock legends SATOR on a punk trip. Still damned good though. This is the kind of album that every true rocker just must check out.
Published: Sept. 17, 2019

DIAMOND DOGS: Recall Rock n Roll And The Magic Soul - Album
(Wild Kingdom Records - Release date: Sept. 27)
Swedish rock n roll band DIAMOND DOGS was formed in 1992 by lead singer Sulo Karlsson and Anders "Boba" Lindström (The HELLACOPTERS). Their first album, "Honked", came out in 1994. In 1997 they took a break, which only last for a few years. In 2000 they were back again with a 5-track EP, "Among The Non-believers". During the following 10 years they released as much as 11 albums and a handful of EPs. But in 2015 their longtime member and saxophone player, "Magic" Gunnarsson, tragically died in a drowning accident. DIAMOND DOGS decided to honor him with a last album, "Quitters & Complainers", and a farewell tour.
And that could have been the end, but the fans wanted more, so the band decided to give it a try with some new members. Which means that DIAMOND DOGS are back again. And what a fantastic album they have made! This is good old rock n roll with a lot of body and soul. And every fan of that must check this out! Imagine this album on high volume and some alcohol. I bet you can't sit still.
They have actually made an album with variation. Catchy and energetic rockers are mixed with more emotional blues numbers, and sometimes even soul. Fantastic!
Published: Sept. 17, 2019

ERIK LAZAROFF & HÖKARNA: Under Hökens Vingar - Album
(Lightning Records - Release date: Sept. 27)
Rock in Swedish seems to be popular in this country nowadays. And here's another band that we can put in that genre. But this band also succeed to blend in some punk rock in some of the songs, which gives it some extra speed and energy. I would not say that the songs are fast though, because they also have a more melancholy side. It's still mainly rock n roll though, and they have many good songs among these 10 tracks, so this is worth checking out of course.
This is the band's debut album, where the influences comes from all the old classic artists in rock, but also an old Swedish rock artist like Pugh Rogefeldt.
Published: Sept. 17, 2019

RAG-AND-BONE: How Long Is The Dark? - Album
(Rag-And_Bone Music - Release date: Sept. 19)
RAG-AND-BONE comes from southern Sweden, and this is their 4th album. Their music have elements of folk rock, Americana, progressive rock and psychedelic rock. But it's mainly the 2 first that I can hear here. And it's often pretty relaxed, but I like what I hear.
It was in 2005 that frontman Mats Nilsson decided to start the acoustic solo project RAG-AND-BONE. He had previously been the frontman for different rock bands for several years. I'm not sure when it became a band instead of just a solo project, but there's 3 more members nowadays anyway.
Published: Sept. 16, 2019

NoCebo: För Att Vara Fri - EP
(Self released?)
This is definitely not bad at all. Some kind of melodic hard rock in Swedish with heavy guitars. And they have some fantastic songs here! So you just have to check this out of course.
NoCebo is a Swedish band who formed as a studio project in 2014. The material to their lyrics comes from personal life experiences. Their first release, "Den Jag Är", was released digitally in 2017. In the summer of 2018 they released 6 new songs, under the title "Kommer Du Ihåg?". After that they finally became a real band, and started to play live. Now 5 more songs are here.
Published: Sept. 16, 2019

(Icons Creating Evil Art/Ditto Music)
A new single from the all-female Swedish rock band BROWSING COLLECTION. And this time they take up the important subject of being a slave to sugar. The music is just as power pop catchy as it use to be when it comes to this band, so it's another great song in their collection of hits.
This is the second single from an upcoming new album, which will be released next year.
BROWSING COLLECTION mix their rock with both metal and punk, which gives it both heaviness and energy.
Published: Sept. 16, 2019

Brant Bjork: Jalamanta - Album reissue
(Heavy Psych Sounds Records)
Well, who need drugs when you can listen to Brant Bjork instead? It might not be as much fun as doing drugs though. Most songs on this album is very repetative, sometimes almost like a mantra. And then suddenly there's a desert rocker as well. I think it's not so hard to figure out what I like best out of that?
"Jalamanta" is desert rocker Brant Bjork's (ex-KYUSS, FU MANCHU) first solo album, which was originally released in 1999. This re-release has been re-mixed and re-mastered.
Published: Sept. 16, 2019

ALCHEMICAL WAKE: Cassiopea - Album
(Argonauta Records)
Extremely long songs that is heavy and repetative, and it's so damned boring. Doom metal is often very good stuff, but this Italian duo has totally lost it. Not much of a melody here. Just repeat the same riffs over and over again for way too long, before they start doing the same thing again with some other riffs. Totally useless!
ALCHEMICAL WAKE's music is described as blackened sludge/doom. They formed in 2014, and released a EP 2 years later. "Cassiopea" is their first full length.
Published: Sept. 16, 2019

IN THOUSAND LAKES: Evolution - Album
(Xtreem Music - Release date: Sept. 25)
Melodic death metal band IN THOUSAND LAKES, from Bilbao in Spain, formed back in 1995. They released a demo and an album before they split up in 1998. In October 2013 they was back again, and since then they have released a EP and a second album. Now a new EP is here, with 6 original songs and a cover of (hold on to something) the DOKKEN classic "Breaking The Chains".
The music is exactly as it should be, with a lot of nice guitar melodies. I like this. Even the DOKKEN cover is cool (melodic hard rock with growl wasn't such a bad idea after all, and I like the original version too). You should definitely check this out!
Published: Sept. 15, 2019

RISE TWAIN: Rise Twain - Album
(InsideOut Music)
Well, here's another weird album that wasn't what I expected. Some kind of very soft and melodic alternative/progressive rock is how I would describe this Philadelphia duo. There's both soulful and bombastic tracks here. And I'm not more stupid than that I can hear that these guys have talent. But they have experience from many other bands and projects through the years, so even though this doesn't sound like a debut album, it actually is.
Well, I didn't understand this at all the first times I heard this album. But now that I have heard it a few more times, it's actually not so bad after all.
Published: Sept. 14, 2019

BONES: Diseased - Album
(Transcending Obscurity Records - Release date: Sept. 20)
This is not the Swedish rock band The BONES, but an American death metal/crust band from Chicago. This trio features members from USURPER and DOOMSDAY. And the music they play is pretty violent stuff, but at the same time filthy and raw, as well as full of energy. Luckily it's also pretty good stuff that they give us on these 11 tracks.
I think that this is the kind of album that will fit for both death metallers and crust punks. And if you happens to like both, well then there's nothing to hesitate about.
Published: Sept. 14, 2019

ANKHARA: Sinergia - Album
(Fighter Records - Release date: Sept. 18)
Spanish heavy metal band ANKHARA return with their 4th studio album, after 14 years of silence (when it comes to new music anyway). The songs are often on the border to power metal, and the lyrics are all in Spanish. It's a raw and straight record, but very honest. This band is a force to be reckoned with. So you would not want to miss this. Believe me!
The band began to play around Madrid in 1995, and in 1999 their first album was released. In 2004, after 3 albums, they suddenly split up. But in 2013 they were back again to play live just for fun, and recorded a live DVD that was released in 2015. That was obviously so much fun that they decided to record a new album as well, which was a very good idea.
Published: Sept. 14, 2019

STATUS QUO: Backbone - Album
Who would think when they started back in 196something that they would release their thirtythird studio album in 2019? Who would even think that the band would still be around after so many years? But here they are, even though there's just 1 original member (Francis Rossi) left since Rick Parfitt died on December 24 in 2016. And now the big question you all ask is: "Is it any good then?". Well, don't you worry too much about that. I think that many of these songs reminds me of the good old days. They still have some energy left. And that's positive of course. On the other hand the songs are not as strong as their old classics, but I didn't really expected them to be that either. Still a very good album though.
Published: Sept. 13, 2019

REDD KROSS: Beyond The Door - Album
(Merge Records)
For some reason I have always thought that REDD KROSS was a punk band, or at least something similar to that. But after listening to this album, all I can say is that it's not. This is a rock album, and nothing else. Often a very friendly but catchy kind of rock.
Among the better stuff is "Fighting", which is the most noisey song on this album. And "Beyond The Door" is not so bad either, very catchy. "Jone Hoople" is a nice rocker too. And well, there are a few more songs that I like. But unfortunately there's also some less good songs (I'm not going to mention any titles here).
REDD KROSS are from California, and this is their 7th studio album.
Published: Sept. 13, 2019

Steve Grimmett's GRIM REAPER: At The Gates - Album
(Dissonance Productions - Release date: Sept. 13)
New album from NWoBHM legends GRIM REAPER, or Steve Grimmett's GRIM REAPER as they call it nowadays. Anyway, this is the fifth album from the band, and it has some really strong material. This is an album that you absolutely not should miss. Not 1 single bad song among these 11 tracks!
GRIM REAPER were originally formed in 1979, and released 3 albums before they called it a day in 1988. Frontman Steve Grimmett joined UK thrashers ONSLAUGHT, and in the early 90s he formed the melodic rock band LIONSHEART, who released 4 albums. In 2006 Steve formed a new version of GRIM REAPER.
Fans of a band like SAXON should enjoy this.
Published: Sept. 12, 2019

IMAGIKA: Only Dark Hearts Survive - Album
(Dissonance Productions - Release date: Sept. 13)
IMAGIKA is back to show us how it's done. The lineup is guitarist Steven D. Rice (KILL RITUAL), vocalist Norman Skinner (SKINNER, NIVIANE, HELLSCREAM), bassist Jim Pegram (MUDFACE, ANGERHEAD) and guest drummer Matt Thompson (KING DIAMOND). And they deliver a modern kind of power/thrash metal. But there's still room for melodies and solos.
The album was mixed and mastered by Andy La Rocque at Sonic Train Studios.
IMAGIKA comes from the San Francisco Bay Area in California, but are nowadays based in San Jose, CA. The band was formed in 1993, and released their debut album by themselves in 1995. But in 2010, after 7 albums and countless tours and festival apperances, founding member Steven decided to put IMAGIKA to rest. The members formed other bands instead.
Almost 10 years later it was finally time for a comeback, and a new album with IMAGIKA. "Only Dark Hearts Survive" is the result of that.
Published: Sept. 12, 2019

MITHRIDATIC: Tetanos Mystique - Album
(XenoKorp - Release date: Sept. 13)
Dark and technical blackened death metal. Full of hate and anger, like it should be. The lyrics is not the usual Satanic crap, but seems to be about deeper subjects like disease, mental illness, discomfort and psychological torment. The music is raw and intense, but yet with a razor-sharp performance.
What else do you need to know?
Published: Sept. 12, 2019

TOXIKULL: Cursed And Punished - Album
(Metal on Metal Records - Release date: Sept. 13)
This Portugese band attack us with a wild mixture of heavy, speed and thrash metal. Everything done in the good old way. Hardly something unique at all, but these 10 tracks show us that they really mean what they are doing, and they do this damned good.
The only problem I have is that I don't really know what else I should say about this.
Published: Sept. 12, 2019

Lee Aaron: Power, Soul, Rock 'n' Roll - CD/DVD
(Metalville - Release date: Sept. 20)
Canadian singer Lee Aaron has been rocking since the 80s, but this is actually her first official live release. It was recorded and filmed during her German tour in 2017, at the concerts in Balingen and Nuremberg, where she and her band mates performed both old and new material, as well as some covers.
I think it's a little strange to begin the show with a heavy blues rock cover like "Mistreated". It's not a bad song, and Lee is doing it very good. But I think it should have been later in the set list. And another blues number, "I'm A Woman", is actually very witty. A song title like "Sex With Love" makes me think of KISS in the second half of the 80s. But otherwise I have nothing to complain about when it comes to the songs. There's lots of great songs here. But the DVD..
Yes, for once I actually got the DVD as well. And I don't know if that was a good idea, haha. It feels a little like bootleg quality, as most of the songs were filmed at a dark club. And there's honestly not that much action on stage either. But a couple of times we get to see a song recorded at some festival, and then the quality is much better, and there's much more energy on stage as well. Those are the best parts on this DVD, so I think they should have used only the footage from that festival show instead. That would have been so much better.
Another thing that I don't really get is that black and white footage that pop up at the bottom sometimes. It's just irritating.
This is the kind of DVD that you just watch once and forget. But the CD is mainly really good, so I might actually listen to it again some day. It can at least get 7 bananas out of 10.
Published: Sept. 11, 2019

WHITE MANTIS: Sacrifice Your Future - Album
(Iron Shield Records - Release date: Sept. 13)
This sounds like an old thrash classic from the 80s, but it's not. It makes me think of a legendary band like KREATOR for example. So fans of that band should definitely give this a try, because this is very good stuff. As a matter of fact, it's fucking excellent!
The band formed in Munich, Germany in 2012. And as you might have figured out already, they are mainly inspired by traditional German thrash, but there's also traces of black/thrash metal. "Sacrifice Your Future" is their debut album, and if you have not got it yet, this is a must for every true thrash metal fan.
Published: Sept. 10, 2019

NO BROS: Export Of Hell - Album
(Pure Steel Records - Release date: Sept. 13)
It seems like this Austrian band celebrate its 45th anniversary, but this is not a best of or something like that, even though there's new recordings of their old songs "Holiday With HH" and "Black Maiden", which was originally released in the 80s. We get 10 brand new songs, but also a new singer: Walt Stuefer.
This reminds me of DEEP PURPLE, but sometimes also early RAINBOW. I would not say that they are a complete copy of that though. But it's in the same style: Good old hard rock with keyboards. They have many good songs here, so this could absolutely be worth a try.
For the song "Thousand Years Of Austro-Rock" they invited lots of friends, who participate with all kinds of instruments.
Published: Sept. 10, 2019

VICE: 3 Fingers Up - Album
(Pride & Joy Music - Release date: Sept. 13)
Bavarian party hard rockers VICE released their debut album, "Made For Pleasure", through the major label BMG Ariola (today Sony Music) 30 years ago. It was followed by the second album, "Second Excess", in 1990. Both was sold in more than 100.000 copies, and the band toured all over Europe.
27 years later they returned with a new lineup and a new album, "Veni Vidi Vice", which was released in November 2017. And now another album is here, "3 Fingers Up". What we get is more or less the same as last time: Some kind of hard rock with a party vibe, and a mixture of melodic and heavier songs. They are also doing a cover of the Joan Jett/Desmond Child classic "I Hate Myself For Loving You", as well as a new version of their classic "Made 4 Pleasure". Some stuff is good, while some is not so interesting. But there's at least more good than bad tracks.
Published: Sept. 9, 2019

GRANDE ROYALE: Take It Easy - Album
(The Sign Records - Release date: Sept. 13)
Something has happened here, because this band has really changed since last time I heard them. If the big influence came from a band like The HELLACOPTERS last time, then I would say that it's more American bands from the 60s and 70s that has inspired them this time. What I use to call old man rock. But it's absolutely not bad. Just not really what I expected. The influence from late The HELLACOPTERS is also there, but they also add brass and female soul choirs to some of the songs. We even get some female lead vocals in "Hands Up", and some Sothern influences in some of the songs.
Well, if you're a fan of really good rock, then there's no doubt that you should check this out.
Published: Sept. 9, 2019

COME BACK FROM THE DEAD: The Rise Of The Blind Ones - Album
(Transcending Obscurity Records - Release date: Sept. 13)
Spanish death metallers COME BACK FROM THE DEAD released a EP 2 years ago, but now they're back with a new full length. And their style is best described as old school Swedish death metal meets dark American death metal. Or like ENTOMBED covering AUTOPSY as they say. This is really good stuff anyway. No doubt about that. So if that sounds like something that you would like, then you just can't miss this.
The members comes from bands like BOKLUK, NASHGUL and MACHETAZO, if those bands are familiar with you?
Published: Sept. 9, 2019

ASTA KASK, SLAVERIET and MÖGEL at Pumphuset in Borås, Sweden on September 7, 2019
To my big surprise the first band, which was local punk veterans MÖGEL, started on time. I don't think that has ever happened before when I have been to a show at Pumphuset. On the other hand the place was already full (sold out, but they can only take 200 people). MÖGEL did a really good show, where they played their whole debut album, "Ditt Ljug". This was much better than the last time I saw them. That album is full of classics that I and many others really like.
Mogel   Mogel   Mogel   Mogel   Mogel
SLAVERIET was the next band. Not as popular as the first band, but I think they are good anyway. Some of my friends who was there didn't like them though. They did a good job anyway. And I don't have so much else to say..
Slaveriet   Slaveriet   Slaveriet   Slaveriet
I saw Swedish punk legends ASTA KASK live just a few months ago. And the day after I got the news that they will play here in Borås, which was nice news of course. Because these old men can really deliver a good show. And so they did this time too. And they also have lots of classics that I really like. But I like their later material too, and they played both. A fantastic band!
Asta Kask   Asta Kask   Asta Kask   Asta Kask   Asta Kask   Asta Kask
Published: Sept. 8, 2019

BLOOD RED THRONE: Fit To Kill - Album
(Mighty Music - Release date: Sept. 13)
These Norwegian death metallers has been around for 21 years, and this is their 9th album. They are said to be known for their energetic and connecting live shows, and has been touring in many parts of the world during the years (I have never seen them live though).
Well, this is something for those of you who prefer the Scandinavian style when it comes to death metal. These 9 tracks are delivered with a lot of raw energy and brutality. They are doing it with style though, so it's absolutely not bad at all.
Published: Sept. 7, 2019

BAEST: Venenum - Album
(Century Media - Release date: Sept. 13)
BAEST comes from Aarhus, Denmark, and have made themselves well-known in their home country by being on TV and radio a few times. Pretty unusual for a death metal band (I don't think I've seen death metal on Swedish TV since the early 90s). But they have also been playing at festivals around Europe, and been support act for bigger names in the metal scene.
Their journey as BAEST started in 2015. Their music is strongly inspired by the Swedish sound from the early 90s, but there's also elements of MORBID ANGEL, DEATH and BOLT THROWER. Simply what we use to call old school death metal. And they do a really good job here. So if that's the kind of sugar that you like, then you just must check this out.
Published: Sept. 7, 2019

VOKONIS at The Bishops Arms in Borås, Sweden on September 6, 2019
This was the first time they had what they call "The Bishrock" at The Bishops Arms here in Borås. A whole night with hard rock and heavy metal in the speakers and a live band: VOKONIS. Probably the first time that I have heard SLAYER at this bar. It will be very interesting to see if it was the last time as well. Because it's more or less a classic in this city that the neighbours complain about too much noise. It was fun though, so I hope they will do this again once in a while.
VOKONIS is a local band that I have been writing about here earlier. This was their release party for their new album, "Grasping Time" (review here), which was released the same day. Their music can be described as progressive sludge, and it can be a little hard to like the vocals in the beginning. But don't give up at once, you might get used to it, and the music is really good. It's often hard and heavy, but there's also other elements here and there. I wasn't so impressed the first times I heard them, but then I got used to them, so now I like them.
VOKONIS did a really good show anyway, and I recomend you to check them out.
Vokonis   Vokonis   Vokonis   Vokonis   Vokonis   Vokonis
Published: Sept. 7, 2019

ONE HOUR HELL: Voidwalker - Album
(ViciSolum Productions - Release date: Sept. 13)
"Suitable name of the band" is probably what people who are not into this kind of extreme metal would say. And sometimes this is actually on the border to being too extreme for me too. I find it hard to concentrate when I listen to some of the faster songs on this album. But they have some heavier songs too, so that you can catch the breath before the next attack.
People who like their death metal hard as black metal, and have nothing against variation between super fast and doom heavy songs, should give this band a try.
ONE HOUR HELL is a Swedish band, who was founded in Södertälje in 2007. Their debut album, "Product Of Massmurder", was released in 2008. Then it took 6 years before their second album, "Interfectus", was released in 2014. And now it's 5 years since that album was released. Even though they play fast, they doesn't seem to work fast.
Published: Sept. 6, 2019

NEW MODEL ARMY: From Here - Album
I have to admit that I have never heard NEW MODEL ARMY before (as far as I know anyway), so excuse my amateur opinion here. To me this album is very slow and melancholy. I can't really get why some punks like them (but that's just 1 of many mysteries in this world). It fits perfect for a dark and rainy hangover Sunday (which it just happened to be the first time I was listening to this record). But o.k., it doesn't have to be a Sunday, and you don't need a hangover to enjoy this. Any dark day will work just fine (and there will be many here during the coming months).
NEW MODEL ARMY are veterans, and formed back in 1980 already. Their music is based on a firm foundation of punk rock, Northern soul and pop. But they are not afraid to add some other ingredients as well. To me this is actually a little like zynth pop, but with guitars instead of zynthesizers (or however you spell that?). I would guess that fans of post punk could like this.
It's not bad, but the album last for a little bit over an hour, and that is a little too long actually. But otherwise this is good music when you want to take it easy.
Published: Sept. 5, 2019

SCARECROW: Nachzehrer - EP
(82 Records/Inverse Records/Sick Taste Records)
Finnish horror punk veterans SCARECROW (formed in 2000) gives us 5 new songs. And it simply sounds like it should. They mix their horror punk with influences from metal and hardcore, which makes them more raw than other bands in this genre. But the songs are always catchy, and many of them have very sing-along friendly choruses. Take a song like "I Miss Her Screaming" for example, which is more or less a hit song. If you don't like that, then you're probably not even a fan of this genre.
SCARECROW has released 4 full length albums and a lot of EPs through the years. I have reviewed some of them.
The CD version is out now. A 7" vinyl version will be released through Sick Taste Records on October 31.
Published: Sept. 4, 2019

Jordan Jones: Jordan Jones - Album
(Beluga Records)
Jordan Jones gives us power pop with punk rock energy. Catchy and melodic stuff that you just have to like if you have any good taste at all in music.
It's a bit of a mystery who the man Jordan Jones is though. Not even a search on internet will make you any wiser. The music is there, but not much information. All I could find out (thanks to an interview in Swedish that I found) is that he's from U.S.A, and this is his first album. Not much else actually. So I'm still not sure if this is a solo product or if he has been working with other musicians.
On the other hand, when it's this good such things doesn't really matter. Just let the music do the talking.
Published: Sept. 4, 2019

The MENZINGERS: America (You're Freaking Me Out) - Single
(Epitaph Records)
This sounds so American. It's a very catchy pop/rock song, and a very good song too. I really like this!
The MENZINGERS will release their new album, "Hello Exile", on October 4. And this song is a first taste of that. I guess it's not so hard to figure out from the title that this song is about the current political climate.
Well, if the new album have more songs like this, then they have a new fan in me.
Published: Sept. 3, 2019

Tarja Turunen: In The Raw - Album
As most of you probably know already, Tarja Turunen made herself a name in the world of hard rock as the singer for the Finnish band NIGHTWISH. She is a classically trained soprano, and was exactly what the band needed for their symphonic and epic hard rock (even though I might not be a fan of that opera vocals). Since many years back Tarja has been a solo artist instead, and has released many different albums under her own name through the years.
"In The Raw" is her 7th solo album. This time she go all in for a rock album. And this is an album full of width and variation. Most of these songs goes as symphonic hard rock to me though, which might be happy news for old fans of her time with NIGHTWISH, even though this is not exactly the same thing as they did.
No matter how we describe her music, this is mainly a good album.
Published: Sept. 3, 2019

23 TILL: Shake It Baby! - Album
(Beat Butchers - Release date: Sept. 6)
These Swedish veterans play a catchy and melodic kind of rock, but I would guess that about 80-90% of their fans listen to punk rock. So I guess it's not totally wrong to call their music pop punk. But I can also hear some reggae/dub influences in a couple of songs. And sure, a few of these tracks could go as punk rock. Most of it is Swedish rock n roll though.
But no matter what we decide to call their music it's really good stuff. And to me that's always more important than what genre it is. Not bad for a band who have not made an album since the 1990s.
23 TILL released 4 albums and several singles before they had enough in 1996. In 2013 they suddenly woke up again, and have been playing live once in a while since then, but no new music until now (as far as I know).
Published: Sept. 3, 2019

INTO THE UNKNOWN: Breaking The Silence - Album
(Vigilante Records - Release date: Sept. 6)
INTO THE UNKNOWN released their debut album, "Out Of The Shadows", in 2017, which was followed by a digital mini album of covers, titled "The Other Side Of The Wall". But with just 3 members it wasn't easy to play live, just a few acoustic shows were done. But they wanted to be a full band, and now they have found 2 more members so that they can play live as they want to.
The second album, "Breaking The Silence", is said to be an evolution from their previous album, and moves further into symphonic rock. Not that I would call what they are doing symphonic rock, because there's much more than that here. Fact is that these songs variate from heavier modern rock to a cover of Howard Jones' "What Is Love?", through Celtic influences to a piano ballad.
It's often heavy guitar riffs (that sounds like they were recorded in a wardrobe) and emotional female vocals, and it's actually not so bad at all. 13 tracks might be 3 too many though.
Published: Sept. 3, 2019

TRANSPORT LEAGUE: A Million Volt Scream - Album
(Mighty Music - Release date: Sept. 6)
Powerful groove metal with a touch of boogie is my description of these Swedish veterans. It's hard and heavy, but yet catchy as hell. There are more influences than that though, like doom and hardcore for example. And they definitely prove that they are still a hungry band after all these years, and not a band that you should forget about just yet.
On this album they have a new bassist, Dennis Österdal, who replace Lars Häglund (who had to leave the band due to health problems). "A Million Volt Scream" was recorded with Roberto Laghi (IN FLAMES, ENTOMBED A.D., RAISED FIST, SONIC SYNDICATE, MUSTASCH, HARDCORE SUPERSTAR etc), who also mixed the album.
Published: Sept. 2, 2019

Stevie D featuring Corey Glover: Torn From The Pages - Album
(Mighty Music - Release date: Sept. 6)
This is a very good and soulful rock album that Stevie D and Corey Glover have made. You should definitely check it out.
Stephen DeAcutis, aka Stevie D, has been working professionally as a guitarist, mixer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, writer and performer since the early 1980s. I'm not going to give you his whole story here, as it will be too long and probably too boring as well. On this album he take care of most instruments and arrangements, and probably even the lyrics too. Corey Glover, who usually sing with LIVING COLOUR, was asked to sing on 1 song. But he did such a good job that he was asked to sing on all of the songs. And that was obviously a good decision.
The music is some kind of heavier rock, but yet very catchy and melodic. Some are more energetic, while some are softer, and some are something in between that. Many good songs, so the only thing that I can complain about is too many songs. 8 tracks instead of 13 would have been enough for me, and the 2 last are not so interesting (on the other hand nobody force me to listen to all songs).
Published: Sept. 2, 2019

VOKONIS: Grasping Time - Album
(The Sign Records - Release date: Sept. 6)
I have seen this local (Borås, Sweden) power trio live twice. The first time I wasn't so impressed. It was most of all the vocals that disturbed me I think. But the second time I saw them, it was a little bit better somehow. And now that I got the chance to hear their latest album, "Grasping Time", I actually think that it's very good. Especially the opening track, "AntlerQueen", which is great.
The funny thing with VOKONIS is that their music is like a cocktail of different genres, and not just 1 specific genre. I would say that the main ingredients are sludge and progressive metal, but then they can spice it with whatever they feel like. It can be both furious and melodic, and sometimes almost a little adventurous. But it's always heavy.
Published: Sept. 1, 2019

LiV SiN: Burning Sermons - Album
(Despotz Records - Release date: Sept. 6)
Well, there's no doubt that LiV SiN have made another great album. It's mainly good old heavy metal, but I can also hear some ingredients from other genres of metal (both old and new). It's a powerful album, and a bit more aggressive than the first album. Singer Liv Jagrell (ex-SISTER SIN) perform better than ever. I really like what I hear here!
"Burning Sermons" was produced by Emil Nödtveidt (DEATHSTARS), which has given the album a more modern sound. There's also a guest apperance from Swedish singer Björn "Speed" Strid (SOILWORK, The NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA) on the song "Hope Begins To Fade".
Published: Sept. 1, 2019

Alex Carole: Carole Cinema - Album
(Changes Music - Release date: Sept. 6)
This album is brilliant and full of great songs. Some of the guitar playing reminds me of Eddie Van Halen actually, while the vocals sometimes reminds me of David Lee Roth (VAN HALEN), and sometimes of Howlin' Pelle Almqvist (The HIVES). The music is in a division of its own though. But I guess we can describe this as catchy and melodic classic rock.
Alex Carole is a trio from Fagersta, Sweden. They call their music progressive power pop, and this album is supposed to be a rock opera. You just have to check it out!
Best track? "Shoplifting Career".
Published: Sept. 1, 2019

STREBERS and JÖNZZONLIGAN at Liseberg in Göteborg, Sweden on August 31, 2019
Who would have thought that the young kids in JÖNZZONLIGAN would end up as support act for the legendary STREBERS? And at the amusement park Liseberg of all places? But now it has happened. And they did a really good show. No doubt about that. The audience was a little lazy though. When I was young you used to kick in the air and shake loose like a maniac. That only happened once this evening.
This band have lots of great punk songs. It reminds me of the Swedish bands from the late 70s/early 80s actually (which is long before these kids were even born). They played very short though. Just 20 minutes. On the other hand they have just released a 6-track EP, and had to fill out with some covers as well.
Jonzzonligan   Jonzzonligan   Jonzzonligan   Jonzzonligan   Jonzzonligan
STREBERS are Swedish punk legends. They formed back in 1985 already, and did some records before they split up in the 90s when their drummer Johnny Rydh died in a car accident. Then they formed DIA PSALMA instead, who did big succeess here in Sweden. But after a few years they wanted to play some STREBERS songs again, and has reunited a few times since then. Nowaday the lineup is the same as DIA PSALMA.
STREBERS did a hell of a show this evening. I have seen them a few times before (2015 was the last time), but for some reason this show was extra good. Many old classics that both me and my little brother (who was there with me) really like. Those who was not there really missed something!
Strebers   Strebers   Strebers
Published: Sept. 1, 2019

Apófis - Compilation album
(Against PR)
1 thing is for sure: There's both good and bad stuff on this compilation. The variation is really big too. We get the chance to hear several genres of underground metal on this sampler. And among the better stuff out of these 14 tracks are: KOMATSU, NEGATIVE WALL, CARRION, 2 WOLVES, NECROTOMBS and HATE BY HATE. The rest is not so interesting to me or just pure crap.
Well, if you're intrested in discovering some new bands, then this is the album for you. Simple as that!
Published: Aug. 31, 2019

MORANO: Incognito - Album
(independent, distributed by Perris Records)
Here's yet another melodic rock band. And no problem with that. But for some reason they thought it was totally o.k. to include as much as 13 tracks. And as you should know by now, that's at least 3 too many according to me. But luckily most of all these songs are really good, so I guess that I should just shut up and listen, and don't whine so damned much. Most fans of this genre should like this album.
On this album, American guitarist Duane Morano have teamed up with members from TYKETTO, EXTREME, FIREHOUSE, XYZ, Alice Cooper and many more. The list of musicians is long, so I'm not going to reveal any names here (I save that as a little suprise for you).
Published: Aug. 31, 2019

KILL CITY KILLS: Straight From The Heart Of Nowhere - EP
(Sliptrick Records)
This band is hardly doing anything new and unique at all, but it's good. This reminds me of all the sleaze rock bands from the mid-2000s, who wanted to look and sound like they were from 80s L.A. We had a few of them here in Sweden, and the most well-known are CRASHDÏET, who are still around today. And KILL CITY KILLS sounds a lot like them actually.
"Straight From The Heart Of Nowhere" was recorded and produced by the band themselves, while the American Stacey O'Dell mixed and mastered the album for them.
KILL CITY KILLS are from Russia, and this is the first 4 songs created by the band. The lyrics mostly focus on survival in a world of confusion, the rebel spirit, self-destruction and believing in yourself. Typical "street metal" subjects.
Published: Aug. 31, 2019

Helga: Mörker - Single
(Icons Creating Evil Art)
"Mörker" is the opening track of Swedish artist Helga's new EP, "The Autumn Lament", which will be released on September 20. It's also the first single from that EP.
This track is a little harder, but this is dark folk/pop. Like a melancholic autumn walk. Emma Ruth Rundle, ESBEN AND THE WITCH and Chelsea Wolfe are said to be similar artists. But people who like metal and heavier rock will probably like this anyway.
Published: Aug. 31, 2019

Mike Tramp: Best Days Of My Life - Single
(Target Records)
"Best Days Of My Life" is a song about the former WHITE LION singer Mike Tramp's time with FREAK OF NATURE, and the song is taken from his latest album, "Stray From The Flock", which was released in March. Then I wrote that this is not so rock n roll, but more like melodic pop/rock for boring days (whatever I meant by that?). And the day when I wrote this little review happened to be that kind of day (darkness and rain). But if you like R.E.M. and Bruce Springsteen for example, then I think that this could be interesting for you (no matter how the weather is).
This single also marks the release of the limited vinyl tour edition (2LP on purple vinyl) of his latest album, which is released on September 6.
Published: Aug. 30, 2019

Jason Ringenberg: Stand Tall - Album
(Label unknown.. - Release date: Sept. 6)
The first track sounds like the soundtrack to an old Western movie. The rest is mainly some kind of country and/or blues rock. But he have 1 song called "God Bless The Ramones", and that gives him a lot of extra credit from me. That song is almost punk rock. But we also have a song like "I'm Walking Home", which is more like Celtic punk rock.
Since the 80s Jason Ringenberg has combined his love for traditional American roots music with rock and punk attitude. He have released several albums with JASON & THE SORCHERS through the years. In 1999 he went solo, and has released 5 albums since then.
This is definitely not bad. I can hear a lot of songs that I like when I listen to this record, no matter if it's country, blues, punk rock or Celtic, I like most of these songs actually.
Ringenberg will embark on a European tour in September, with a bunch of gigs in the Nordic territory (Norway, Sweden and Finland).
Published: Aug. 28, 2019

IRON KINGDOM: White Wolf - Single
(Self released)
Canadian heavy metal band IRON KINGDOM will release their new album, "On The Hunt", on October 4. And here's a single from that album to give you a taste of what to expect. And it's actually very simple, because this band is inspired by all those legendary heavy metal bands, and try to do just as good songs as they did back in the 70s and 80s. But do they succeed you ask now? Well, I would say that they are doing a fucking great work. This song is something that every true fan of metal should like. So stop reading this shit and check it out instead.
Published: Aug. 27, 2019

FIRE WALK WITH ME: The Eternal Black Rainbow - Album
(label unknown)
FIRE WALK WITH ME is a rock band from Austin. The members comes from bands like ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD, HIGH WATT CRUCIFIXERS and SCHATZI. They weave together alt-rock and art-rock with a touch of noise rock and punk rock. This is a diverse album, where each song takes on a life of its own.
It might sound pretty good while it last, but these 9 catchy and melodic songs are unfortunately soon forgotten. It's like they don't have that song that is extra good. But let's give them a try anyway.
Published: Aug. 27, 2019

EVIL EYE: The Beginning Of The End - Album
(Self released)
This album was recorded between 2015-2017, and gives us classic old school heavy metal. So if you like legendary acts like ACCEPT, SAXON and similar, then this could be something for you. It's absolutely not bad anyway.
The last song, "Bad Sinner", was mixed and mastered by the legendary producer Beau Hill (RATT, WARRENT, WINGER, Alice Cooper, EUROPE), while the rest of the songs was produced by themselves.
This might not be a new album, but their latest so far. They are about to hit the studio to start recording a new album soon, and that could be interesting.
Published: Aug. 27, 2019

SAINT ROCH: Hell Yeah - Album
(Self released on Aug. 30)
SAINT ROCH is a New Orleans-based orchestra, who formed in late 2015. This is their 6th official release (albums and EPs included), and their music is called punk roch n roll. But the truth is that this album features elements from the late 70s up until today: blues, punk, sleaze, metal, grunge and most of all good old rock in a wild combination. And they have their bright moments here and there, but fact is that 14 tracks is way too much at once. How many times do I have to say it? 8-10 tracks is enough!
It seems like this band has been very productive during the last couple of years. Since their debut album, "Revelator", came out in 2017, they have released a EP of covers, titled "MOJO", and an acoustic full length album (Feb. 2019).
Published: Aug. 26, 2019

ORM: Ir - Album
(Indisciplinarian - Release date: Aug. 30)
I regret that I decided to give this a chance as soon as I saw how long the songs are. But then it was already too late. There's just 2 tracks, but they are 23 and 24 minutes long.
ORM are from Denmark, and formed in 2015. Their debut album came out in 2017, and now their second album is here. They play a melodic but raw and direct kind of black metal, with a lot of variation in each song. There's both fast and hard parts, as well as slow and melancholy parts, and just about anything between those 2.
These 2 songs are a little like a long journey. If you want more ambitious black metal, then this is the band for you.
Published: Aug. 26, 2019

ICE VINLAND: Asgard Steel - Double LP
(Pure Steel Records - Release date: Aug. 30)
This is a Canadian heavy metal band, who released their first album, "Masters Of The Sea", back in 1998 (on LP in 2011). After that it took 9 years before their next album, "Vinland Saga", was released in 2007. And then it took another eternity before their third album, "Asgard Steel", finally was released last year. But only on CD, so now the album will also be released on vinyl.
Their metal is pretty traditional, strong and epic, often with the spirit of old Conan films and Nordic mythology. And I think that many fans of classic heavy metal will like this band, because they have many good songs on this album.
Published: Aug. 24, 2019


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