REVIEWS 2021 - Page 4

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MUDHONEY: Ounce Of Deception
Sub Pop - Digital single
A 30th anniversary deluxe edition of MUDHONEY's album "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" will be released on July 23. It was the Seattle veterans second album. This new version will also include an extra disc with 15 tracks, where 7 are previously unreleased.
The single "Ounce Of Deception" is a b-side from the 7" "Let It Slide" from 1991, but it was also included on the 52-track compilation of smash hits and rarities, "March to Fuzz" from 2000.
It doesn't seems like they had any ambition to be clean and polished, because the sound on this song is like a raw and dirty demo recording, which has its own charm of course. And it's not that long either, just 1:50 minutes. It doesn't have to be more complicated than that to make a good song.
Published: June 5

The LINDA LINDAS: Racist Sexist Boy
Epitaph Records - Digital single
The LINDA LINDAS features 4 teenage girls from L.A., who blend garage punk, power pop and new wave to an explosive mixture. The band was founded in 2018, and in December last year they self released their debut EP. Now they have signed to Epitaph Records.
Well, I guess it's enough to look at the title to get the subject of the song. And I guess it's not totally wrong to describe this as riot grrrl punk with some extra attitude. You should absolutely check this out.
Published: June 5

KANSAS: Point Of Know Return Live & Beyond
InsideOut Music - 2CD, 3LP+2CD Box Set, Digital
American rock band KANSAS released their debut album in 1974, and this is hardly their first live release through the years. They have except for 16 studio albums released as much as 5 live albums. Among their biggest hits are "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind" (both included here of course).
Throughout 2016-2017, the band celebrated the anniversary of their breakout album "Leftoverture" with the highly successful "KANSAS: Leftoverture 40th Anniversary Tour". The result of that was the 2017 live album "Leftoverture Live & Beyond". That tour was followed by the even more successful "KANSAS: Point of Know Return Anniversary Tour", which we now can hear on the latest live release "Point Of Know Return Live & Beyond".
Well, this is a really good rock album, often in the progressive league. But they have all kinds of ingredients in their music. Luckily they also have plenty of good songs, so this album is absolutely worth checking out.
Published: June 5

The BRONX: Watering The Well
Cooking Vinyl - 7", Digital single
Punk rock band The BRONX will release their new album, "Bronx VI", on August 27. The single "Watering The Well" is a taste of that album. And it's a pretty catchy little thing, with a touch of rock n roll. Not bad at all.
The BRONX formed in 2002, and released their self titled debut album the following year. They are based in Los Angeles, and have released 5 albums, plus 3 under their alter ego MIRIACHI EL BRONX.
Published: June 5

STORMWIND: Legacy Live! (reissue)
Black Lodge Records on June 11 - CD, LP
This is absolutely something for fans of Swedish power metal and neo-classical metal. It's epic and melodic, and the songs are just amazing. I really like this band!
"Legacy Live!" was recorded at Sweden Rock Festival in 2003, and the band's lineup at this show was band leader Thomas Wolf on guitar together with Thomas Vikström (THERION, CANDLEMASS) on vocals, Joakim Brodén (SABATON) on keyboard, David Wallin (HAMMERFALL) on drums and Andreas Passmark (ROYAL HUNT) on bass. In other words more or less an all-star band.
Like it wasn't enough with 8 great live tracks, they have also added 3 studio tracks. For some reason all those last tracks are instrumental, and far away from as good as the live tracks. They are just bonus tracks for the CD though.
If I got it right, this album was originally released as "Legacy" in 2004. After that it has been silent from this band, except for re-releases of all their albums during the last years. But according to Metal Archives they are "on hold", so who knows? Hopefully they will release something new in the future, becuase they are a really good band.
Published: June 5

SATOR: Basement Noise (reissue)
Wild Kingdom Records on June 11 - CD, LP, Digital
Kent Norberg with Sator at Holmens Rock
This album really rocks! Everything might not be so good, but I can count those songs on 1 hand, so that's hardly a problem here. It's a good mixture of energetic rock, garage rock and good old rock n roll. But most of all it's good old SATOR taken to a higher level.
SATOR is a Swedish rock band who started as SATOR CODEX back in the 80s sometime. Then it was more punk rock if I'm not totally wrong, but the sound developed to a harder rock sound. They are simply legends here in Sweden.
"Basement Noise" is their 7th album, which was originally released in 2006 on their own label Planet Of Noise. The song "Goodbye Joey" was written when Joey Ramone passed away. But it took so long to record the album (they were rebuilding the studio) that both Johnny Ramone and Dee Dee Ramone also passed away (and since then the last original member, Tommy, has also died). So Kent Norberg (lead vocals/guitar) had to rewrite the lyrics twice as a tribute to them too.
Well, if you want a really good rock album, then this is it!
Published: June 5

Mighty Music on June 4 - Digital single
WITHERING SURFACE is said to be Denmark's biggest melodic death metal band. And their new single, "Stick To Your Guns", is about keeping true to your values and trust in yourself.
Their come back album, "Meet Your Maker", was released in June 2020, and it was a really good album. On this single they continue the new chapter in good old style, which means melodic death metal inspired by the Swedish bands. So in other words still damn good, and a must to check out. Do it!
Published: June 3

Stefan Berggren: These Are The Times
Grandjam Production on June 4 - LP, CD, Digital
Swedish singer Stefan Berggren gives us a warm 70s sound, and deliver his hard rock in the good old tradition. And this is a very good album. No doubt about that.
Stefan has been frontman for acts like URIAH HEEP, SNAKES IN PARADISE, M3, The COMPANY OF SNAKES, Bernie Marsden, BERGREN KERSLAKE BAND and DON AIREY BAND. "These Are The Times" is his second solo album.
On this album Mr. Berggren handle vocals, guitars and keyboards. The band is completed with Tomas Pomma Thorberg (SNAKES IN PARADISE) on bass and Johannes Nordell (FLYKTEN) on drums. Keyboard legend Don Airey (DEEP PURPLE etc) play organ and moog on "Wild Flowers", and Stephen Bentley-Klien take care of string arrangements on 2 of the tracks, while Joakim Svalberg (OPETH) play organ and piano on 4 of the songs.
Published: June 3

SOUL GRINDER: Lifeless Obsession
MDD Records on June 4 - MCD
This band presents a good mixture of stone hard and really fast death metal with blast beats and some more groovy songs. That gives this 5-track EP variation, and I really like what I hear here. This is a damn good band! You have to try them!
The EP features a guest apperance by Nachtgarm (NEGATOR) on one of the tracks.
SOUL GRINDER has previously released a EP, "Sadistic Parasite", in 2018, and their debut album, "Chronicles Of Decay", last year.
Published: June 2

SICKRECY: First World Anxiety
Spikerot Records on June 4 - Digital?
SICKRECY is a new project featuring members of BIRDFLESH, GENERAL SURGERY, WORLD IN RUINS and DAMNED TO DOWNFALL. This is their extreme, fast and chaotic debut EP. We talk grindcore here, but the old school way with crust punk, d-beat and death metal in the stew. Which accoding to me makes it so much better, and actually listenable. It also makes it work for more than just grindcore freaks, as people who are into crust punk and death metal should be interested in this as well.
So if you like it brutal and extreme, but still music, then give this guys a try.
Published: June 2

NOT MOVING: Live in the Eighties (reissue)
Go Down Records on June 4 - LP
This live album was first released in 2005 as a CD/DVD box set, which quickly sold out. Now it will be released on vinyl, but with a shorter set list.
The album is said to represent the energy of this wild Italian garage rockers. And energetic it is, but also noisey and very raw. They have a few good songs, even though everything is not so fantastic. Garage rock with punk attitude is probably a pretty good description to this.
These songs were recorded in Italy and Germany between 1985-88. Out of 13 tracks 4 are covers. This special reissue will also include a digital download of the band's 2005 DVD, featuring high quality live material, interviews and much more behind the scenes footage.
Published: June 2

NEPHILA: Nephila
The Sign Records on June 4 - CD, LP, Digital
Yet another one of these cool vintage bluesy psych rock bands from Sweden. And this group is not fronted by just 1 woman but 2. And these 2 can really sing.
Their sound is a mixture of progressive rock, psychedelic rock and heavy blues rock, with inspiration from the 60s and 70s. They top this with vocal harmonies, as well as both heavy and melodic guitars. This is very good!
All members but the 2 women are masked. But it's said that the band consist of members from CHILDREN OF THE SÜN (another really good band). This is their debut album, which is a must for fans of retro rock.
Published: June 2

Upstate Records/Demons Run Amok Entertainment/Blood Blast Distribution on June 4 - LP, CD, Digital
A typical hardcore album with metal guitars. It's hard and fast, heavy and angry - It has all the right ingredients for a hardcore record. And this is absolutely not bad at all. Except for the last track then, which sounds more like electronic industrial combined with hardcore vocals - Total crap!
ETERNAL STRUGGLE comes from the 09 District of Israel, and I guess that their feelings and thoughts about that place and life in general is an important ingredient of their lyrics.
Published: June 2

Metalapolis Records - Digital single
ETERNAL FLIGHT is a French heavy metal band. "Hear The Call" is the first single from their upcoming album, "SurVive", which will be released in September. Absolutely not bad at all. It has the riffs, the power and the right voice.
The band was formed from the ashes of DREAM CHILD 20 years ago. They have released a few albums through the years. Not much else to say..
Published: June 2

ECLIPSE: Saturday Night (Hallelujah)
Frontiers Music Srl - Digital single
New single from Swedish melodic hard rockers ECLIPSE. And it sounds just as usual, which is just as it should. In other words damn good. This is a must to check out!
This is the first new song since their last album, "Paradigm", was released in 2019. It's a party anthem about the boredom and tiredness we all feel about being trapped, and not being able to hang out with our friends and party like we're used to. Musically it's a mixture of melody, attitude and heaviness - All that a good hard rock anthem need.
Published: June 2

ALTZI: Into The Fire
RA Music - Digital single
Sure, it's a good song. But not so special that it makes it to a single track. This is just a song in the crowd, that you have heard several times before if you're into melodic rock/hard rock.
"Into The Fire" is the second single from ALTZI's upcoming debut album, "All Eyes On Me", which won't be released until February 2022.
Rick Altzi (AT VANCE) is an artists from Helsingborg, Sweden. He started to play bass at the age of 14, and did that until 2004. In 2005 he became a singer instead. And in 2020 he started to work on his first solo album under the moniker ALTZI.
Published: May 2

Argonauta Records - CD, Digital
From Sicily comes this occult doom metal band. "Rites" is their debut album, which was self released already in March 2020. But they quickly gained attention from labels and fans, and inked a deal with Italian label Argonauta Records.
Their music is dark and heavy, but also old school. Think of bands like COVEN, BLACK WIDOW and BLACK SABBATH for example, but with their own twist.
This is absolutely worth checking out if you like it heavy.
Published: June 1

IO: Fire
Argonauta Records - CD, Digital
Damn what a tough band! It's another one of those who play heavy and repeat the same thing over and over again for way too long. It's so damn boring to listen to. But o.k., the first track, "Third Eye", was not so bad anyway. After that it's not so exiting though. These 4 songs are also way too long for me. 6 and a half minutes is alright, but when it last for as long as 10 to 16 and a half minutes, then it's just too much for me.
IO is an Italian sludge trio, and this is their debut album. Their sound is described as heavy and brutal, yet warm and cosmic.
Published: June 1

FLOTSAM & JETSAM: Blood In The Water
AFM Records on June 4 - LP, CD, Box Set, Digital
It's now many years since our paths crossed. I think I didn't like what I heard that time, but this time it's much better.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM was formed in Phoenix, Arizona, and it's now 35 years since their debut album, "Doomsday For The Deceiver", was released. These veterans are probably most well-known for having Jason Newstedt on bass in the 80s, before he joined METALLICA. "Blood In The Water" is their 14th studio album.
What we get here is thrash metal, but I think there's also lots of melody in their craft, especially in the choruses. Much because the singer, Eric "A.K." Knutson, is singing and not screaming. It's both fast and heavy, but most of all powerful. This is absolutely not something weak from some old men. The passion is still there after all these years, and this is a very strong album.
Published: June 1

SUNBOMB: Evil and Divine
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, LP
SUNBOMB is a collaboration between the American hard rock/heavy metal men Tracii Guns (L.A. GUNS) and Michael Sweet (STRYPER). Their mission is to give us a pure heavy metal album, with influences from legends like BLACK SABBATH and JUDAS PRIEST, as well as some doom metal. This is a bit heavier than what they use to do, which is the whole idea.
And let us not forget the other guys. Drums on the album were handled by Tracii's old L.A. GUNS bandmate Adam Hamilton, and bass was handled by Mitch Davis, with the exception of the track "They Fought", which features current L.A. GUNS bassist Johnny Martin.
If you like heavy metal in the heavier league, then this could be something that is worth checking out for you. Because this is a really good album.
Published: May 31

Frontiers Music Srl - CD, Double LP
SONIC HAVEN is a new power metal band from Germany. The members have experience from acts like AVANTASIA, FIREWIND, BONFIRE, RAGE etc., so they are hardly any amateurs from nowhere. And that can of course be heard on this album, which is both powerful and melodic at the same time.
Well, these guys really know how to do it right. All is good here, so I have nothing to complain about when it comes to this record. Simply fantastic!
Published: May 31

Frontiers Music Srl - CD, LP
SEVENTH CRYSTAL was initially put together as a solo project for Swedish singer Kristian Fyhr (PERPETUAL ETUDE). But he soon realized that the songs was so good that he had to form a band instead. So he brought in Johan Älvsång (PINSTRIPE CONSPIRACY, LAMASHTU) on keyboards/piano, Olof Gadd (OSUKARU) on bass, Anton Roos on drums, and Emil Dornerus on guitar. And now their debut album is here.
Their songs are described as arena rock with melodic rock influences. I simply call it melodic hard rock though, because that's what it sounds like to me. And this is not bad at all. They have plenty of good songs on this album.
Published: May 31

Frontiers Music Srl - CD
"Two" is the second album from this power trio. And this is very professional. It's modern and dynamic. And the music that they play is best described as melodic hard rock, even though a song like "Miss Muse" is pure melodic rock, while something like "Man On An Island" sounds like 70s glam rock. But they always have taste for how to make a good song, and this album tastes very good to me.
Fans of melodic rock and hard rock should absolutely give this band a chance.
Published: May 31

Robin McAuley: Standing On The Edge
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, LP
To me Irish singer Robin McAuley is most well-known for being one of many singers in MSG (or McAuley Schenker Group as they called it then). But he has also fronted the supergroup BLACK SWAN, as well as GRAND PRIX, FAR CORPORATION, SURVIVOR, and been a part of MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST.
But now a new solo album with him is here, where he get the chance to be more creative. But in the end it's mainly hard rock and melodic rock, just as you can expect. But Robin still got a powerful voice, and he is really using it here.
"Standing On The Edge" is a fairly evenly album. Maybe a little too evenly actually, as nothing stands out. Most of the songs are good, but not much else.
Published: May 31

FALSE MEMORIES: The Last Night Of Fall
Frontiers Music Srl - CD
FALSE MEMORIES is an Italian band, who was originally formed in 2015 by guitarist Francesco Savino. They released their first self titled EP in 2016, and then their first full length, "Chimerical", in January 2018.
The first half of the album reminds me a little of symphonic metal. But for each song it gets more and more clear that it's a gothic vibe over their music, even though it's not the old 80s goth rock we talk about here, but gothic metal like PARADISE LOST for example.
What ever you want to call this, they are doing a really good job here, and the songs are really good too. So not much to complain about.
Published: May 31, 2021

VESICARUM: My Inner Ghost
One Eyed Toad Records - Digital single
"My Inner Ghost" is the second single from Kent, UK's VESICARUM's first album, "Piece Of Anarchy", which is set for release on June 18. And the trio gives us a crushing death metal song without any excuses. It might not be a masterpiece, but it's absolutely not bad. Why not give it a try?
Published: May 28

HIT 'N' MIZZ: Action
Self released - Digital EP
Well, something like half of these 6 songs are good at least. The rest is actually pretty mediocre. But those songs that are good is enough to show me that they have potential to make good songs at least. Let's just hope that people start with one of the good songs when they listen to this then. Because nowadays people have a tendency to just listen for 20-30 seconds, and if it's not good then it's goodbye and next artist instead.
The music is modern hard rock with a touch of 80s rock and punk attitude. Sometimes it's dark, sometimes more energetic.
HIT 'N' MIZZ is a female fronted trio from Brisbane, Australia, formed in 2018. "Action" is their debut EP. They plan to tour both in Australia and overseas when it's possible, and they also have plans to record their debut album.
My favorite track is without a doubt "Patronise". More songs like that and the succees will come.
Published: May 28

NIGHTRAGE: Falsifying Life
Despotz Records on May 28 - Digital single
This is the second single from NIGHTRAGE's upcoming album, "Abyss Rising", which will be released in the fall/autumn. And what we get from this Greek/Swedish band is melodic death metal as usual. And this song is just as strong as the first single was. I think that NIGHTRAGE have another strong album to deliver, but we will probably get a few more singles before they release it. Check out this song and the first single while you wait..
Published: May 27

THYRFING: Jordafärd
Despotz Records - Digital single
Swedish viking/pagan metal veterans THYRFING are getting ready to release their 8th full length album, "Vanagandr", which will be released on August 27. "Jordafärd" is the second single from that album. And it's said to be the slowest and saddest song on the whole album. The distinct cello parts for the track were recorded by Fox Skinner (GRAND MAGUS) along with Dutch artist Lon Snow, and we also hear Swedish soprano Natalie Hernborg in the finale.
As you probably have figured out already, this track is heavy and symphonic. Pretty o.k., but not much else.
Published: May 27

SADISTIK FOREST: Obscure Old Remains
Transcending Obscurity Records on May 28 - CD, Digital
Finnish death metallers SADISTIK FOREST deliver 4 songs here, and they somehow have their own sound, even though there's familiar elements too of course. This is a little hard to describe, but if I should give it a try, then I think you should take some good old death metal and add some progressive freedom. It's just as hard and brutal as it should be, so you will probably like this just as much as the old bands. So check them out.
Published: May 27

INCARDINE: Seeds Of Doom - Album
Vic Records on May 28 - CD
INCARDINE was a Swedish death metal band, who was formed in 1991 by drummer David Ahlberg and guitar player Fredrik Folkare (UNLEASHED, FIRESPAWN, ex-NECROPHOBIC). They were joined by Daniel Wallner and Jonas Tyskhagen (UNLEASHED live). 2 demos were recorded in 1992 before they recorded the debut album, "Seeds Of Doom". But unfortunately their label went bankrupt, so the band split up and Folkare joined UNLEASHED.
After an eternity the original master tapes have been found, and the album will finally be released together with the 2 demos as a bonus - A total of 25 tracks.
This is absolutely not bad at all. They might not be doing anything unique here, but if you like your death metal the good old way, then this is definitely something for you.
Published: May 26

HEIR APPARENT: Foundations I
Vic Records on May 28 - CD
In early 1984 the Seattle band NEMESIS parted ways with their singer Corey Rivers. In came Paul Davidson, and they changed the name of the band to HEIR APPARENT. This band released a pair of albums in 1986 and 1989, and their music spans a range from progressive speed metal to acoustic-driven power ballads, fused with melodic and intelligent lyrical themes. To me it sounds like good old heavy metal though.
"Foundations I" contains a demo with NEMESIS from 1983 and the "Inception Day" demo from 1984. And these tracks sounds very good. Every fan of metal should check this out. Yes, that's how good I think this is.
In 2000 Terry Gorle reformed HEIR APPARENT, and a third album was released in 2018.
Published: May 26

BRUTALITY: The Complete Demo Recordings 1987-1991
Vic Records on May 28 - Double CD
BRUTALITY formed in 1986 as ABOMINATION, and released 1 demo under that name before they changed it to BRUTALITY and released another demo. 2 more demos were made, and the last one was recorded at the legendary Morrisound Studios in Tampa, Florida. Soon after that they signed with Nuclear Blast, and recorded their debut album in 1993.
This collection contains all their demo recordings and some live recordings, which is 42 tracks totally. I got the chance to hear 14 of these tracks. And to me this is more or less the usual old school death metal, like it used to sound back then. And then I'm not talking about the Scandinavian style here, but the American. But they are o.k. This can definitely give you a neck brace
Published: May 26

TUPLE: Welcome To Hell
AOR Heaven on May 28 - CD
Weird title for a band who play melodic rock. But who said you must be positive just because of that?
Finnish singer Tommie "Tuple" Salmela released his first solo album, "Wooden Box", just about a year ago. Now he's already back with the follow up. And this is not much different to the debut. So in other words melodic rock/AOR songs with strong melodies and much keyboards. It's very catchy and very good.
While the last album was lyrically based on Tommie's life, this album is more of a look at the dark corners in the corridors of power, struggles with relationships, and takes us on a trip to the late 19th century Aspen in Colorado.
Published: May 25

PROUD: Second Act
AOR Heaven on May 28 - CD
This band was founded in Landskrona, Sweden as BURN in 1982. They changed the name to PROUD and made an album for EMI, "Fire Breaks The Dawn", which is nowadays rare, but achieved some succees in Japan and South America. I can't remember that I have heard of this band before though. On the other hand there was hundreds of hard rock and heavy metal bands here in Sweden in the 80s, so it's impossible to know of every band.
Well, after 36 years they are back again with a new album. 2 of the original members are left. The music is melodic hard rock and nothing new. But they do it very good, so there's nothing to complain about. This is a great album.
Published: May 25

MICHAEL FURY: Affairs In Babylon (reissue)
AOR Heaven on May 28 - CD
Rock in the more melodic league. It sounds very North American, and very 80s. I'm not really sure where to put this, but maybe somehwere between Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen? It might not have their hit potential, but it sure ain't bad anyway. So maybe you should give this a try?
It looks like the Canadian band MICHAEL FURY existed between 1979-1983. The name was based on a character from James Joyce's short story "The Dead". In 1984 they were back again with a new lineup, and they released the album "Affairs In Babylon" on a small local label.
That album is now going to be re-released on CD for the first time, in a limited edition of 1000 copies. But the album has actually been re-released before, under the name REFUGEE (remixed and re-recorded with 5 extra songs, and Brian Doerner from HELIX on drums).
Published: May 25

FarCry: Balance
AOR Heaven - CD
FarCry is a melodic rock band from north eastern USA, formed in 2006. They released 2 albums, in 2009 and 2011, and then they were working on new material with a new singer between 2012-13. In 2013, with a number of other business endeavors to deal with, guitarist Pete Fry dissolved the band indefinitely, with no plans to reform under that name.
After a couple of years however, Pete teamed up with new vocalist Bob Malone, and started writing material with a vengeance for a new melodic rock project. But soon he figured out that the story of FarCry might not be over just yet. Bringing back the original members wasn't so easy though. So a new rhythm section was brought in with Leo Sabatino on bass and Rich Yaniro on drums.
The roots for this band is firmly planted in the late 80s and early 90s. It's simply really good melodic rock on the border to hard rock. Another great album from AOR Heaven. So if you have any interest in this kind of music, then you have to give this a chance.
Published: May 25

TYGERS OF PAN TANG: Majors & Minors
Mighty Music on May 28 - CD, LP
This is a collection of songs that were written and recorded during the last 13 years (4 albums). And I think that this sounds a lot like the latest albums that I got for review with TYGERS OF PAN TANG - "Ritual" (2019) and the reissue of "Ambush" (2012, re-released in 2020). But that's obviously because they have included some of the songs from those 2 albums, as well as some other stuff too (of course).
The British tigers deliver a big dose of melodic hard rock/heavy metal, and these songs are simply fantastic. We can find both catchy and heavy songs here. It's powerful and dynamic, and not a weak moment as far as the ear can hear.
And if you think that you already have all these songs, then the CD version might be of interest to you, which includes "Plug Me In" (never released on CD before), and a new orchestral version of "Spoils of War", as well as "What You Say" (never released on an album before). We also have a live version of "Keeping Me Alive", recorded in 2018 on the vinyl version.
The band has a tour planned for early 2022, and is hoping to widen and include more dates worldwide as circumstances permit.
Published: May 24

TARDUS MORTEM: Engulfed in Pestilent Darkness
Emanzipation Productions on May 28 - LP, Digital
TARDUS MORTEM is a blackened death metal trio from Denmark. And even though the guys are just around 20-22 years old, the band has existed for a few years already. This is their debut album though, which gives us a dark and cold view at the world and its creatures. There's no hapiness here at all. Everything is black as the night.
This album was by the way released already in 2019, but just on cassette in a limited edition. Now it will also be available on LP in a limited edition of 100 copies, as well as digital format.
After a useless intro that last for 2 and a half minutes, it becomes really brutal. But I guess that you didn't expect anything else. And this is honestly not the best band in this genre, that I have heard anyway. But if you like it extreme, then go ahead. This is hardly made to sound nice.
A thing that I don't really get with this album is the long silence between each song. Maybe I play too low?
Published: May 24

EXMORTEM: Berzerker Legions (reissue)
Emanzipation Productions on May 28 - LP, CD
This band was formed as MORDOR in Aarhus, Denmark in 1992, and changed their name to EXMORTEM in 1994. "Berzerker Legions" was their third album, and it was released in 2001 through Hammerheart Records. It will now be re-released on both vinyl and CD.
Sure, this is damned good music to let off steam. But fact is that everything sounds more or less the same to me - Brutal and technical death metal all the way straigth into the wall. And Emanzipation use to deliver good stuff, so this was a dissapointment actually.
But if you like bands like HATE ETERNAL and MORBID ANGEL, then I won't stop you from listening to this noise.
Published: May 24

OUIJA: Selenophile Impia
Negra Nit on May 28 - MCD, Digital
OUIJA was born in 1995 from the ashes of LEVIAL, who played death metal. Now they abandoned that and sold their souls to black metal instead, and became one of the first to release a black metal album, "Riding Into The Funeral Paths" (1997), in Spain. For some reason they split up shortly after that. But 10 years later they were back again, and released their second album, "Ave Voluptatis Carnis", in 2013. It seems like they fell asleep again after that. But now they are back once again with a 3-track EP, "Selenophile Impia".
Even though they are from sunny Spain, their sound is cold and Scandinavian, and will remind you of the 90s. This is absolutley not bad at all, so I think you should check it out.
Published: May 23

IRON JAWS: Declaration Of War
Pure Steel Records on May 28 - CD
It's 7 years since the Italian speed metal band IRON JAWS released their last album, "Guilt Of Ignorance". But that is finally about to change, as they will release their third album, "Declaration Of War".
But even though there have been a long break between the albums, the music has not changed that much. It's still high speed and traditional. And this sounds really good to me, so you should not be dissapointed when you hear this.
It seems like they have a cover song on each album, and this time it's "Ton Of Bricks" by METAL CHURCH.
Published: May 23

Metalville Records on May 28 - CD
I guess that this band's music is supposed to be what is called Celtic punk rock, as they include instruments like accordion for example (which makes them sound French to me). But the odd thing is that they choose to sing in German, when all other Celtic rockers sing in English. They are also more melodic than the other bands in this genre. They are not bad though, but not really on my top list either.
DOPPELBOCK was born in 2014, but it's not until now that their first full length album will be released. Among their influences are DROPKICK MURPHYS, and just like them they pick parts from rock, punk and folk music. Their own description is "pub rock n roll".
Published: May 23

The CREW: One Voice
Epitaph Records/Stay Free Recordings - Digital single, 7"
The CREW is an American all-star punk rock band featuring Fletcher Dragge and Byron McMackin of PENNYWISE, Mike Muir of SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, and Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman of RANCID. "One Voice" is available on all streaming platforms, but there's also a 7" vinyl to benefit Musack, whose mission is to give kids and teens a voice through music by providing musical instruments and support for teachers. The vinyl will feature The CREW's "One Voice" on Side A, while Side B will feature an original song by some of Musack's youth rockers; RIPPY AND THE SILLYETTES, which is 2 young girls from the Navajo reservation, who wrote "One in A Million" about their friend who was murdered.
If you like American punk rock like RANCID, PENNYWISE and similar, then I think that you will like this little anthem too. So check it out, because it's damn good.
Published: May 23

CHELSEA: Meanwhile Gardens
Westworld Recordings on May 28 - LP, CD
Old British punk veterans CHELSEA celebrate their 45th anniversery with a new album. But I don't know, this sounds really familiar somehow, like it would be re-recordings or something. But as far as I know this is brand new songs. So I guess that if you like their latest albums, ",Saturday Night Sunday Morning" (2015) and "Mission Impossible" (2017), then you will probably like "Meanwhile Gardens" too. It's the same kind of punk rock, with catchy and melodic songs, background choirs and the whole shebang.
The fact that it sounds so familiar to me could be, and now I'm just guessing here, that they seems to use the same old ideas that they have already used a few times before. It works, but we get as much as 13 tracks this time, and then I don't think it's too much to ask for a little bit more variation. Old man punk rock for nostalgics is probably a pretty good description to this. Not bad though.
This is their 12th studio album, which also features guest apperances from former members throughout the years: Martin Stacey and Bob Jesse from the 1977 line up, James Stevenson from the debut album, Rob Miller from the "Traitors Gate" album, and Mike Spenser from The CANNIBALS guests on harmonica.
Published: May 23

ANGSTSKRÍG: Skyggespil
Despotz Records on May 28 - CD, LP, Digital
"Skyggespil" is the debut album from this Danish black metal duo. The album features guest performances from people like Attila Vörös (SATYRICON, SANCTUARY, NEVERMORE, TYR), Frédéric Leclercq (KREATOR, DRAGONFORCE, SINSAENUM), Mathias Lillmåns (FINNTROLL), Tomas Elofsson (HYPOCRISY) and Sylvain Coudret (SOILWORK). Not a bad guest list for a new band, but who these 2 guys are seems to be a secret. But that doesn't really matter.
The music is powerful and energetic, as well as dark and intense. But there's also some more epic parts. This is absolutely not the most brutal black metal album, but it sure ain't weak either.
Published: May 23

ALASTOR: Onwards and Downwards
RidingEasy Records on May 28 - LP, CD, Digital
This is the right way to go. Because even though they're heavy, they're also catchy without being too melodic. And the singer is actually singing instead of screaming with a harsh voice, which is very usual among heavy bands of today. Another good thing is that they don't just repeat the same riffs over and over again for way too long, but actually play something. Not one single moment on this album is wasted.
ALASTOR is a occult heavy/doom rock band from Sweden. While their last album was about death, this new album is more about madness. Or an ongoing nightmare without a end.
Published: May 23

Stefan Berggren: Burning Burning (The Last Band On Earth)
Grandjam Production - Digital single
Swedish singer Stefan Berggren has worked with artists like URIAH HEEP, SNAKES IN PARADISE, M3, The COMPANY OF SNAKES, Bernie Marsden, BERGREN KERSLAKE BAND and DON AIREY BAND. His first solo album, "Stranger in a Strangeland", was released in 2016. And on June 4 he will release a new solo album, "These Are The Times".
And that's where this song comes into the picture, which is the second single from the new album. It's a hot hard rocker in the good old 70s style, and it's very good. If he have more songs like this on the new album, then it will be a great album, that's for sure.
"Burning Burning" is about when he had Corona, and got bilateral pneumonia and 40 degrees fever for 14 days. He thought his career was over, therefor the addition "(The Last Band On Earth)".
Published: May 22

TOMMY'S ROCKTRIP: Beat Up By Rock N' Roll
Frontiers Music Srl - CD
Drummer Tommy Clufetos (Ozzy Osbourne, BLACK SABBATH, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Rob Zombie, John 5) goes solo together with Eric Dover (JELLYFISH, SLASH'S SNAKEPIT, Alice Cooper, IMEPRIAL DRAG) on vocals (Tommy sing on 3 tracks though), Eliot Lorengo (bass), Hank Schneekluth (guitar), Nao Nakashima (guitar), Tommy C (saxophone), John Schreffler (guitar), and Doug Organ (Hammond B3).
It seems like Tommy has aimed at doing an old school hard rock n roll album, becuase it sounds like it would have been made back in the 70s or 80s sometime. I think of bands like AEROSMITH and early AC/DC for example. And the singer actually reminds me a little of a young Steven Tyler from that band. In other words cool stuff that everybody should like.
Published: May 21

Mark Spiro: Traveling Cowboys
Frontiers Music Srl - CD
Seriously, is it supposed to be this soft and melodic? And didn't I just review an album with him recently? It's supposed to be melodic rock, but this sounds more like pop music to me. Not the worst pop crap, but still not my thing. I gave up after just 4 songs. Next time I tried 3 or 4 others, but was still not impressed.
Mark has written songs for American artists like HEART, CHEAP TRICK, GIANT, BAD ENGLISH, John Waite, KANSAS, REO SPEEDWAGON, WINGER, Mike Reno (LOVERBOY) and Julian Lennon (which he is doing a duet with on this album). His first solo album came out in 1986.
Published: May 21

NO POSSESSION: Third Times A Charm
Melodic Passion on May 28 - CD
This is simply pure classic rock n roll that will remind you of vinyl albums from the 60s and 70s. It's really good stuff, and done with energy and passion. So if it's classic rock that you want, then this is the kind of album that you want. Trust me!
This band started as a blues/rock band called NO POSSESSION BLUES, who recorded 2 albums. But after a couple of lineup changes they decided to just play rock n roll instead, and in 2018 they became NO POSSESSION.
Published: May 21

Electric Valley Records on May 28 - LP, Digital
Well, the band name says it pretty good. Not that I know if they were high, but it's very heavy anyway. And as the title says, this is their fifth album.
HIGH N' HEAVY hailing from Massachusetts, and formed in 2014. They were influenced by The STOOGES and BLACK SABBATH. Their sound is a blend of dirty 70s rock, doom and blues. This is played on highest volume and with much distortion. Heavy but catchy I would say.
8 tracks is what we get here, and it's absolutely not bad at all. This is definitely worth a try for those of you who like it heavy.
Published: May 21

Idle North Records - Digital on May 28, LP and CD on June 25
ELECTRIC HAZE is a hard rock band from Umeå in northern Sweden, who formed in 2014. A self titled debut EP was released in 2016, and now it's time for their full length debut.
This album consist of 9 tracks, with lyrics about depression, anxiety, and feeling left out and misunderstood. The music is said to fit fans of legends like KISS, AC/DC, WHITESNAKE and DIO. It has a old school touch, and it's often heavy but catchy. They also have lots of good songs on this album, so you should really give them a try.
Published: May 21

Metal! Live in Bahrain Vol. 2
Self released - Digital compilation
This is the second instalment of a series featuring "the best original music from the Arabian Gulf's heaviest bands". Volume 1 was released in December 2019, and was the first live metal compilation album to come out of the region. The album contains 73 minutes of live music from 4 bands: HELLIONIGHT, RYTH, LUNACYST and NECROSIN.
These bands all play some kind of extreme metal - speed metal, thrash metal and death metal. Most of the material is good, but there's just not that much else to say about it.
The majority of the live performances on the album were also filmed, and the videos will be released on YouTube during the summer of 2021.
Published: May 20

AVALANCHE: Second Hand Band
Sliptrick Records - CD, Digital
Another band with good old AC/DC and a big party vibe in their sound. It's full of adrenaline, but also catchy as hell of course. This band will rock the shit out of you! Because how could you not be interested in a band like this?
AVALANCHE consist of 4 misfits from Sydney, who carry the Australian rock legacy to the new generation. The band formed in 2018, and this is their second EP, which features 6 tracks of explosive hard rock n roll. No silly ballads or something like that. Just pure rock and nothing else.
Published: May 20

BLACK FLARE: Black Flare
Firecum Records on May 25 - CD
Portugese band BLACK FLARE are ready to release their debut album. Their music is described as "melodic and dirty heavy metal with memorable guitar riffs". While their record label call it stoner/doom metal instead. After listening to this a few times I think that both works just fine.
It's loud and much distortion, and at the same time dirty and heavy. But it's also catchy. Their songs are absolutely not bad at all.
Published: May 19

MORBID BREATH: In The Hand Of The Reaper
Redefining Darkness Records on May 21 - CD, Digital
"In The Hand Of The Reaper" is the debut EP from these 4 Swedish men. They have a love for 80s thrash and speed metal, even though the vocals almost sounds like death metal. Their influences comes from many of the usually suspects, but mainly early stuff from METALLICA, SLAYER and VENOM, as well as some Teutonic thrash like KREATOR and SODOM.
These 5 tracks are hard and heavy, but not slow. And I like what I hear here. So if this sounds interesting to you, then you should absolutely give this a try. Because I'm pretty sure that you will like this too.
Published: May 19

LEACH: Lovely Light Of Life
Brutal Records on May 21 - Digital
As I said when I reviewed the single, "D.O.D", in April: This band has their own little blend of thrash, hardcore, metal, punk and even a bit of traditional rock and roll. But if we want to make it easy for ourselves, we can just call it thrash n roll. It's heavy, energetic, catchy, groovy and powerful at the same time. And pretty often they succeed to make a good song out of this brew.
Yes, this is absolutely not bad at all, so give it a try. Especially if you're into thrash n roll and groove metal. Some songs might even work for the hardcore kids.
Published: May 19

UPPER LIP: Deep Within
Pride & Joy Music on May 21 - CD
UPPER LIP hailing from Gozo in the Maltese archipelago islands. The band formed in 2013, and this seems to be their debut album. Their influences is a wild mixture of RUSH, AC/DC, Rory Gallagher, The SMITHS, CAPTAIN BEYOND and Waylon Jennings.
These guys rock hard, and are full of energy and passion. And they deliver their songs with style. This is very good!
Except for their influences, this also makes me think of a young AEROSMITH. Even though this is not exactly the same thing.
Published: May 18

Self released on May 21 - CD, Digital
PARADOX COMMUNITY is a German band that want to combine a wide variety of styles - take some metal from the early 90s and the melodies from IRON MAIDEN, add some groove from PANTERA and the riffs from MEGADETH. Metal, progressive, rock, it doesn't really matter to this trio. They don't use all these ingredients in one song, but try to variate themselves instead. One song can be a hard metal song, while the next can be more melodic or even calm.
The current lineup has been playing since 2007. But 2 of the guys have been playing together in different bands for about 25 years. This is PARADOX COMMUNITY's first official album though.
Any good songs then? No, not really. It doesn't suck, but I have heard much better.
Published: May 18

NERGARD: Eternal White
Pride & Joy Music on May 21 - CD, Digital
This is dramatic and epic from the first second.
NERGARD was originally founded back in 2010 by Norwegian musician Andreas Nergård, with the ambitious idea of being a studio project fronted by renowned guest artists from around the world. 2 albums was released, and they have actually played live too. After a few quiet years, whilst busy with other projects, NERGARD is back again with a new album.
While Andreas was working on the new album, he decided that it was time for a permanent lineup of singers. So the group is now fronted by the multinational trio Stefani Keogh (UK), Andi Kravljaca (Sweden) and Mathias Molund Indergård (Norway). This is also a concept album, based on the tragic story of the Carolean Death March in 1719, when 3000 Swedish and Finnish soldiers froze to death during the retreat from the failed invasion of Norway. And we also get a guest apperance from Tim "Ripper" Owens (ex-JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, Yngwie Malmsteen) on 1 of the songs.
The music is still symphonic metal, similar to acts like NIGHTWISH, KAMELOT and AVANTASIA. So the quality is very high here.
Published: May 18

Self released on May 21 - Digital
SVARTA SANNINGAR formed in 2017, and comes from Borås, Sweden (where I happens to live). They have members from BESEECH and DEPRESSIVE ART. The music is some kind of occult post rock with elements of goth and metal. They have been described as a heavier and darker KENT (Swedish pop band), but there's also pieces of GHOST, OPETH and DEPECHE MODE in their music. The vocals is deep and calm. They have their own little sound, but also their own concept, which is built on a fictitious story about an occult order society (that according to rumors existed on the island Fjärrö in Sweden during the 70s, but nobody seems to know for sure).
Their first EP, "Kapitel 1", was released in November 2018. And even though all lyrics are in Swedish, it seems like people outside Sweden liked the EP more.
On this second EP they have taken it 1 step further, and everything is very well-done. The music is laidback and melancholy, but the songs are good, even though some of them are very long (approximately 7 to almost 9 minutes). According to me they end up somewhere between dark pop and rock.
Published: May 18

BLOODBOUND: Creatures of the Dark Realm
AFM Records on May 28 - CD, CD/DVD, LP, Box Set, Digital
Swedish power metal band BLOODBOUND released their first album in 2005. After 8 albums, a live record and an EP they now return with their 9th studio album. We get 12 tracks, and most of these songs are really good stuff. So fans of legends like IRON MAIDEN, HELLOWEEN and JUDAS PRIEST, as well as something like POWERWOLF or HAMMERFALL, should absolutely check out this band.
Most songs are up-tempo, and the only soft piece is the acoustic intro. It's often epic, with hooks and strong melodies. It's both catchy and melodic.
Published: May 17

Heavy Psych Sounds Records on May 21 - LP, CD, Digital
HIPPIE DEATH CULT is a Portland, Oregon-based quartet, and this is their second album. When it comes to their sound, it's said that they try to find their own identity, even though it might sound familiar.
Their roots are obviously in old hard rock and metal, because that's what I hear on this album. Sometimes it's heavy, sometimes more alternative and modern, other times almost progressive. But no matter what way they choose to go, you can still hear that it's HIPPIE DEATH CULT.
The band's debut album, "111", will be re-released on the same day as this album is released.
Published: May 17

Herman Frank: Two For A Lie
AFM Records on May 21 - CD, LP
Herman with Accept years ago
Guitarist and producer Herman Frank has been a part of the German metal scene since the early 80s. First with ACCEPT, and then VICTORY. In 2009 he became a solo artist, and "Two For A Lie" is his fifth album since then.
Among the other guys in his band are MASTERPLAN vocalist Rick Altzi and JADED HEART bassist Michael "Mülli" Müller. New members are guitarist Mike Pesin and drummer Kevin Kott.
They deliver a very powerful heavy metal, with heavy riffs and excellent vocals. This is really good stuff that you absolutely should check out. Herman obviously manages well without ACCEPT.
Published: May 17

Deep Six Records on May 21 - LP
L.A. hardcore/punks DESTROYED IN SECONDS released this album digitally and on cassette last spring. But now the time has come for a vinyl release.
This band might not be anything unique, but they are just as good as any other hardcore/punk band. They succeed to be hard, heavy, fast and aggressive at the same time. The d-beat is there, the crust punk too. I like these 11 tracks, and so should you.
The band was formed in 2008 by original members of PHOBIA, MANGE and EAT THE LIVING. This record includes the addition of bassist Kyle Hertz (TEMPLE OF DAGON, STATE OF DEFIANCE) and lead guitarist Christian La Rocca (RUIN, GRAVEHILL, COBRA VENOM).
Published: May 16

VELVET INSANE feat. Dregen and Nicke Andersson: Backstreet Liberace
Wild Kingdom Records - Digital single
This Swedish band takes you back to England in 1973. A time when it was totally o.k. to walk around in platform shoes and extravagant clothes, while you were listening to stuff like SLADE, T. REX and David Bowie. This is an extremely catchy rock n roll song, that you just have to like.
This song features a guest apperance from Swedish rockers Dregen (BACKYARD BABIES, The HELLACOPTERS) and Nicke Andersson (The HELLACOPTERS, LUCIFER, IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC, ENTOMBED).
A new album, "Rock 'N' Roll Glitter Suit", will be out on July 16. And that's where this little song comes from.
Published: May 16

The MiGHTY MiGHTY BossToneS: When God Was Great
Hellcat Records/Epitaph Records - LP, CD
I always thought that this was a cool ska punk band. But after listening to this album I'm not so sure about that. They are not doing a bad job here, but where's those magic songs that I want? They try so hard to get the party started, but it seems like they are too old or something. There's as much as 15 tracks here, and not 1 of them is a hit song according to me.
Now this was the first time I heard this band, so they might have done great stuff in the past. This album is more like ska rock than punk rock though, as most songs are not fast enough. It's not bad though, and I liked it more the second time I listened, so I will continue to listen to this album.
"When God Was Great" is the 11th studio album from these Boston veterans, who formed back in 1983. They have been credited as one of the forefathers of ska punk and the creators of its subgenre ska-core. This album "is the culmination of their extensive and all-embracing career and sees the band bringing back friends, tourmates, and bandmates from the past for a sonic celebration that stresses the power of perseverance and human connection during tumultuous times".
Published: May 15

Metalapolis Records - CD
SERGEANT STEEL is an Austrian hard rock band, formed in 2007. They have so far released 3 albums and a best of collection. Their last album, "Riders of the Worm", was released in 2015. But now a new album is here.
SERGEANT STEEL play a melodic kind of hard rock with a party vibe, like it was done back in the 80s. This is very cool, and they have lots of good songs on this record. You should absolutely check this out.
I would guess that this could be something for fans of early GUNS N' ROSES and L.A. GUNS.
Published: May 15

Mighty Music on May 14 - Digital single
Danish guitar rockers ELECTRIC GUITARS are back with a new explosive single. So grab a cold one and turn up the volume, because now it's party.
"Dopamine!" is the first single from the upcoming ELECTRIC GUITARS album "Freewheeler", due in September. And the band plan to go on tour in November/December.
Well, this song kicks arse, so it's obviously a must to hear if you wnat to be my friend.
Published: May 14

The CATCH: Sex Shark
Despotz Records on May 14 - Digital single
What we have here is the debut single from a new folk/pirate metal band. And this song is full of special guests, like Gareth (ALESTORM), Sami (KORPIKLAANI), Petri (ENSIFERUM), Keith (CRUACHAN), Baldur (SKALDMOLD), Emilio (SKILTRON), John Ryan (ex-CRUACHAN), and many more.. And there's also a phone sex version with Kim Dylla (aka Vulvatron in GWAR), that is not suitable for children.
It's a pretty catchy song with heavy riffing, but who came up with the idea to include an accordian? Stupid idea! And I would supsect that the lyrics are not so serious, but made to be funny. That is on the other hand nothing unusual in the pirate genre, so take it with a pinch of salt and smile or listen to something else.
Published: May 14

MegaSnake: Sun Don't Shine
Inverse Records - Digital single
"Stick it where the sun don't shine, just do it", hahaha! Very funny!
This is the first single from the Finnish power quartet MegaSnake. The members have experience from bands like LENINGRAD COWBOYS, PEER GÜNT, APOCALYPTICA and KINGS OF MODESTY, among others. And the band is here to have fun and make people smile by delivering high energy rock n roll. They take their music seriously though, so this is not a joke band (in case anybody would think that).
Well, this is a good hard rock n roll song. You should absolutely check it out.
Published: May 13

Lars TC Anderson: At Last Light - An Apocalyptic Rhapsody
Self released - Digital EP
The first song, "It's A Miracle", is hardly as the title says as it sounds too much pop. I could possibly call it very melodic rock. A o.k. song, but not much else.
The second song, "Calling For Grace", continue the melodic rock, but in an alternative way somehow. Good, but not much else there either.
And the last one is the title track. A little bit darker and heavier somehow. Not so bad.
They try to describe this as modern power rock with a splash of glam, progressive and industrial rock. But there ain't much power, and not much of the other things either. So I guess this is not so easy to describe. The concept on this EP is the judgement day.
Lars TC Anderson is a songwriter, guitarist, bassist and singer. His inspiration comes from all kinds of genres, from modern music and back to the 60s via classical music. He has been a member of several bands since the late 70s.
Published: May 13

INNER AXIS: Midnight Hunter
Self released - Digital single, CD, 12" EP
INNER AXIS gives us a dose of powerful and catchy heavy metal in the classic 80s way. For the artwork they have hired Jan Yrlund, who has worked for acts like MANOWAR, APOCALYPTICA, BATTLE BEAST, BON JOVI and KORPIKLAANI. Everything is done very professional.
"Midnight Hunter" is a very good song in the more melodic league, and very catchy. And yes, it's very much in the old school way. Check it out!
Published: May 13

ICE WAR: Sacred Land - Album
Fighter Records on May 18 - CD, LP, Cassette, Digital
This is the fifth album from this Canadain heavy metal band, featuring Jo "Steel" Capitalicide (also in APHRODITE) as the only member. But he has also released several cassettes and 7" singles through the years.
On his previous releases the music was closer to speed metal. But this time it's more epic and doom heavy. Think of something like BLACK SABBATH or CANDLEMASS for example. In other words damned good stuff to bang your head to.
Published: May 13

MDD Records - CD
Thrash/death metallers DARKFALL meets thrashers MORTAL STRIKE on a 8-track split album. Each band do 2 of their own songs and 2 covers. 1 cover is of the other band. DARKFALL also play a cover of MANOWAR (a medly of 2 songs actually), while MORTAL STRIKE is doing a cover of TANKARD (in German).
Both hailing from Austria. DARKFALL was founded in 1995, and has released several records through the years. MORTAL STRIKE formed in 2009, and this is their third release.
Well, these 2 are totally o.k., but not among the best thrashers in the world. Good enough to check out though.
Published: May 13

MYSTERY: Tear Down The Walls
Metalapolis Records - Digital single
MYSTERY is an Australian hard rock band, and that's actually all I know about them. But o.k., I know 1 more thing, they rock hard. This song is a hard rocker in the heavier league, with a party vibe somehow. Absolutely not bad at all. I think you should check it out, and maybe I get some more information about them later.
Oh, I just find out that they will release their new album, "Live Life Loud", on August 27. 2 more singles will be released before that though.
Published: May 12

OTARGOS: 20 Years of Human Termination
XenoKorp on May 14
This is something for those of you who like it fast, brutal and extreme. Blackened death metal is what this French band serves us.
The band is currently putting the finishing touches to their next studio album, which will be released in the second half of this year. And while we wait for that, and to celebrate their 20-year anniversary, they give us this live album, which was recorded at KaotoxinFest#II at l'Aéronef in Lille, France in December 2015.
The music is dark and aggressive, just as it should be in this genre. But even though it's very raw, it's actually not so bad at all. And I must also add that it's a very good sound for being a live recording.
Published: May 12

Per Wiberg: All Is Well In The Land Of The Living, But For The Rest Of Us... Lights Out
Despotz Records on May 14 - Digital, CD, LP
Swedish multi-instrumentalist Per Wiberg have experience from bands like OPETH, CANDLEMASS, KAMCHATKA, SWITCHBLADE, CLUTCH/BEKERTON GROUP etc. He also played some keyboards here and there on the new VOKONIS album (which you should check out).
Here's his latest 4-track solo EP, with a very long title that gives you all the song titles. And this is a pretty laidback story with a dark atmosphere over it. Not like any of his previous bands. This is something unique. Innovative/atmospheric rock might be a good description.
Per's debut album, "Head Without Eyes", was released in 2019. And this time he has taken it to the next level. We get acoustic parts, heavy riffs, melancholy pieces and even magnificent moments. Not all at the same time though, but 2 or 3 of them can appear in the same song.
Published: May 11

ENSANGUINATE: Entranced by Decay
Emanzipation Productions on May 14 - CD, Digital
ENSANGUINATE is Slovenia's answer to old school death metal. They are inspired by legends like POSSESSED, MORBID ANGEL, GROTESQUE and NIHILIST, but are not afraid to add a touch of early black metal. Their goal is to play death metal with an occult 80s atmosphere, that adheres to the original morbid vision of the genre before it became mainstream.
This is a very new band, who formed in 2020. "Entranced by Decay" was first released as a demo in August, but will now get a more professional release as their debut EP. We get 4 songs that will break your neck if you try to headbang to it. So yes, it's fast. But it's also damn good, so I don't think that you can sit still for too long.
The trio is currently working on their first full length album.
Published: May 10

AGAINST EVIL: End of the Line
Doc Gator Records in Europe/Self released everywhere else on May 14 - CD, Digital
AGAINST EVIL comes from India, and play heavy metal with both speed and power metal influences. Simply the good old stuff. And they are absolutely good at what they are doing, which they prove with this strong album. I can hear inspiration from European bands, but I guess it's not impossible that they have been listening to some American bands too. People who like heavy metal from the 80s should like this a lot.
The band formed in 2014, and released their first album, "Fatal Assault", in 2015, which was followed by "All Hail The King" in 2018.
Published: May 9

Iron Shield Records on May 14 - CD, LP
There's many bands from Canada in "the new wave of traditional heavy metal". And ANTIOCH is one of all those bands. They formed in a broken down garage in Emeryville, Ontario in the summer of 2013, and among their heroes are classic 80s bands like IRON MAIDEN, SCORPIONS, MANOWAR and JUDAS PRIEST. They are not trying to copy any of them though, but try to do their own thing.
They start fast and hard with "Hang The Eagle", which reminds me of JUDAS PRIEST and ACCEPT in their more aggressive moments. But with the next song, "On A Ledge", they have a really strong anthem in the more melodic league. "A Facade At The Third Castle" is a heavier piece, while "Demon Wick" is another one of those more melodic songs. The last song, "Cloven Hooves", is probably the most catchy song here.
You can of course ask yourself if it really is an album when there's just 5 tracks, and a total playing time of 26 minutes. But this is good stuff, and they succeed to variate the material instead of playing on the same safe card all the time. So check this out.
Published: May 9

BOOK OF WYRMS: Occult New Age
Desert Records - LP, CD, Digital
"Occult New Age" is the third album from BOOK OF WORMS, which gives us 8 tracks of psychedelic but catchy metal. The music is built on groovy riffs and memorable hooks. It makes me think of doom and heavy rock, but there's also progressive elements. It sounds old school, but not exactly like any other band. This is something that you absolutely should check out.
The band formed in 2014, and released their debut album, "Sci-Fi/Fantasy", in 2017. Their next album, "Remythologizer", was released in 2019.
Published: May 9

DESCENDENTS: Baby Doncha Know
Epitaph Records - Digital single
This song is just under a minute. And it doesn't have to be longer than that. It's very catchy, but not too melodic because of that. It makes me think of early BAD RELIGION actually. So in other words good stuff.
American punk rock legends DESCENDENTS have been around for a while now, but I actually don't think that I have heard anything with them until now. A new album, titled "9th & Walnut", will be released on July 23. And that's where this song comes from, which (if I get it right) was recorded by the original lineup - bassist Tony Lombardo, drummer Bill Stevenson, guitarist Frank Navetta (dead in 2008), and vocalist Milo Aukerman - in 2002. And the album itself seems to be a collection of their earliest material, which was written from 1977-1980.
Published: May 9

Ursäkta Röran Vol. 2 - Vi Fick Fel Adress!
Grönpeppar Records - Digital, CD
City Saints in their hometown
Another volume of the Swedish punk compilation Ursäkta Röran have been out for over a week now. And this time we get the chance to hear 13 bands: SKRÄP, KRONOFOGDEN, MADAM SKAM, URARTA, CITY SAINTS feat. Christer Blomgren, WHITE MONKEY, SKOGSTOKIG, COMMINOR, SVÅRMODET, LAST CLIMB, KJOLTYG, PLANET TRASH and RUTER DAMS ORKESTER.
As usual with compilations there's both good and bad stuff, but nothing is rubbish. This compilation has mainly good bands, as there's just a couple who are less good. And the best song must be CITY SAINTS with guest vocals from the Swedish legend Christer Blomgren of TROUBLEMAKERS and PERVERTS. The variation between all kinds of punk rock and hardcore/punk is also good.
This is simply a must for every fan of Swedish punk of today. But if you want a CD, then you better be very fast, because they are almost sold out already.
Published: May 8

Sleaszy Rider Records - CD
SOMBERWIND started in 2018 as a collaboration between Marco Cusato (The FALLACY) and Caterina Nix (CHAOS MAGIC). That worked so good that they decided to consolidate the project as a band, and now their first album is here.
Their sound combine the classic 80s gothic rock with European gothic rock and female-fronted metal. We get both male and female vocals. The music is soft and melodic, even though there's some darkness too (as it use to be when it's goth). And especially in the lyrics, who are about darkness and secret feelings.
Well, I like what I hear from this band, so if you're into goth rock or dark metal, then this could be something for you.
Published: May 8

Massproduktion - CD
Doom band LEFT HAND SOLUTION formed in 1991. They released 3 albums and toured in Europe and North America for 10 years. After almost 20 years of silence they suddenly returned with a new album in 2019. And now another album is here.
This band play their own kind of doom metal. They combine hard and heavy riffs with pitch black melodies and female vocals, which might not sound like anything unusual when it comes to doom. But this band make their own thing out of it, and are not afraid to go their own way and suddenly do a cover of the Dolly Parton classic "Jolene" for example, but in their own way of course.
This is good though. So if you like it hard and heavy, then you should give them a try.
Published: May 8

DEADWOLFF: Deadwolff
Metal Assault Records/Boonsdale Records - Cassette, Digital
This Canadian trio is really old school. So old school that it even sounds like an old demo tape with a hard rock/heavy metal band from the 80s. But this is not some old forgotten tape, this is a pretty new band, founded as late as in 2020.
This EP was released digitally in December last year by Boonsdale Records, but now it's also available on good old cassette via Metal Assault Records.
The music is a mixture of NWOBHM and hard rock with a pinch of punk rock attitude. Their own description is "New Wave of Heavy Rock and Roll", which also works. They try to create their own sound, and there's not many others, if any, that sounds like this nowadays.
The songs are really good anyway, and that's always the most important thing if you want to get out on the road.
Published: May 8

WE ARE THE CATALYST: Set The World On Fire
Flick Records - Digital single
WE ARE THE CATALYST is a band from Varberg, Sweden, who play alternative metal/rock. It seems like they have reached over 6 million streams and around a million views on YouTube. They have also toured in China and UK. And they have done this without any support from a record label.
Now they have signed with Flick Agency though, and "Set The World On Fire" is the first single from their new album, which will be released in November. Their sound is a wild mixture of melodic and hard, rock, metal and pop, as well as some electronic elements. A modern sound that the younger generation probably like.
Published: May 7

TRANCE: Metal Forces
Metalapolis Records - Digital single
TRANCE were one of the first heavy metal bands in Germany besides SCORPIONS and ACCEPT, and were founded back in 1979. "Metal Forces" is their first sign of life since the 2017 album "The Loser Strikes Back". A new album, "Play Hard", will be released on August 6.
So what do these old Germans have to offer us then? Well, it sounds like an old demo recording actually, so they should work some more on the sound quality. But otherwise it's heavy metal with melodic vocals in the good old tradition. And this song is pretty good, so I would not say no to some more.
Published: May 7

KAYAK: Out Of This World
InsideOut Music on May 7 - CD, Double LP+CD, Digital
Listening to the first track is like listening to a rock musical, while the second song takes us back to the 80s. And it continues like that. Progressive and dramatic rock that sounds like a musical from the 70s or the 80s. Sometimes it's symphonic, and sometimes almost like melodic rock or West Coast rock.
KAYAK have been around for as long as 48 years, and have established themselves as one of Holland's most successful progressive rock bands. The first era last for 10 years, 1972-1982. But after 18 years they were back again in 2000. The only original member left in the band today is keyboard player Ton Scherpenzeel.
"Out Of This World" is KAYAK's 18th studio album, which consist of 15 tracks and a playing time of 70 minutes. And they give us a diverse material on this record, but they keep it together, so it's not just a chaotic soup but music.
Published: May 7

IT BITES: Map Of The Past (reissue) / The Tall Ships (reissue)
InsideOut Music on May 7 - CD, Double LP+CD, Digital
"The Tall Ships" is the 4th album from IT BITES, originally released in 2008. It was the first album to feature singer and guitarist John Mitchell, and the band's first new music in 19 years. "Map Of The Past" is their fifth album, originally released in 2012. It was their first concept album, which explores the theme of the past, as seen through oldfamily photographs.
Both these albums have now been remastered by John Mitchell, and will be re-released in several formats. The CD's will have 2 bonus tracks.
Who are IT BITES then? They are a prog rock/pop fusion band formed in Cumbria back in 1982. They are said to be best known for their UK Top 10 single "Calling All The Heroes" from 1986. They were originally fronted by Francis Dunnery.
The music that these 4 gentlemen created on these 2 albums is adventurous, but yet pretty normal for being prog music. It's also very kind and melodic, but not bad because of that. They have a few good songs here and there.
Published: May 7

The TØLKS: Escape
Inverse Records - Digital single
"Escape" is said to be a tribute to AC/DC and DEEP PURPLE. Guitar rock for motorcycle men is my description though. But anything goes. A really good little hard rocker it is, without a doubt. So check it out at once!
I don't know much about The TØLKS, but as their whole website is written in Finnish, they are obviously from Finland. Well, that doesn't really matter though, for as long as they continue to make songs like this, then nothing else matters.
Published: May 6

REVOLTONE: For The Silent Voices
Secret Entertainment - CD, Digital
REVOLTONE play a catchy and melodic kind of punk rock. They are not too melodic though, so that it sounds silly. There's many good songs among these 10 tracks. So if you're into more melodic punk rock from the 90s, then this can be something for you.
The band consist of 4 guys from Finland, and have current and former members of bands like FUMBLE, ONE MORNING LEFT and DASHBONE.
Published: May 6

SVARTA SANNINGAR: Kemisk Reinkarnation
Self released on May 7 - Digital single
"Kemisk Reinkarnation" is the first single from the new EP, "Kapitel 2", which will be released later this month. It's also the opening track of that EP. This song is 6 minutes long, and the music is melancholy goth/post rock with an occult theme. The vocals is deep and calm. All their lyrics are in Swedish.
This is a really good song with a strong chorus, so check it out while you wait for the EP, and then I tell you more about them later.
Published: May 5

ELECTROMANCY: Robot Black Metal
Self released - Digital EP
Very irritating sound on the first song, while the other song (a DARKTHRONE cover) has a more normal sound. I would not say that any of the songs are excellent though. They are way too long too, even though they are just arond 5-5 and a half minutes.
But this is much deeper than good or bad music. In 2018 Satyra was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and quickly became too disable to play instruments anymore. Instead of giving up, he spent the next 2 years slowly building robots to play instruments for him. The result is ELECTROMANCY, the robot metal band. Guitars and drums are played by Satyra's own DIY robotic designs; his bandmates are manikins, cut up into LED fueled lightshows.
The music is primarily black metal with bits of death metal and experimentalism.
Published: May 5

DARK: Inside The Void
Self released - Digital EP
I have got a few more goth rock records than unusual lately, and here's another band from Sweden with a new EP that was released in the end of last month. And I actually think that this band is from Borås (where I live), just like SVARTA SANNINGAR, as they have former members of local acts like BESEECH and SKINEATER in the lineup.
DARK was formed out of the remnants of The MARY MAJOR, a band that I actually never have heard about before. The band name DARK is a very good description of their sound and lyrics, because there's not much light here. They are very good though. There's no doubt about that.
"Inside The Void" is their second EP. Their first self titled EP was released in October 2015.
Published: May 5

The MIGHTY ONE: Torch Of Rock And Roll
S.A.O.L Music - CD, Digital
This Canadian trio reminds me a little of Swedish heavy hard rockers MUSTASCH. It's not the exact same thing, but they have the same groove and catchiness as the Swedes.
This album is a reflecting of a life dedicated to heavy music, with all the ups and downs, the awe-inspiring moments, the power trips, and the heartbreaking losses that such a commitment entails. A little like a heavy rock opera, but not as dramatic and ambitious as such a thing like that can be.
They have many good songs among these 10 tracks, so maybe you should give it a try?
Published: May 4

VOKONIS: Odyssey
The Sign Records on May 7 - LP, CD, Digital
Vokonis at Pumphuset
Progressive stoner metal might be a good description to this. But somehow it works, even though the lead singer is not the best. A small consolation is that the bassist have a much better voice, and it sounds like he get the chance to sing much more on this album. And the combination of these 2 voices makes it work anyway.
"Odyssey" is the 4th album from this Swedish trio, who comes from my hometown Borås. And they have once again taken everything a few steps further, and according to me become a true prog band, even though they have not left the heaviness from previous albums. And we also get a guest apperance from Per Wiberg (OPETH, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, KAMCHATKA) on keyboards, which is a new element in their music.
If we are going to dive deeper into their soundscape, then we can say that there's a little bit of everything here. Sometimes it's more or less doom or sludge, sometimes more melodic, sometimes almost psychedelic. But most of all it's heavy and progressive.
Published: May 4

WORMLIGHT: Nightmother
Black Lion Records on May 7 - CD, Digital
Umeå in northern Sweden has given us black metal bands like NAGLFAR for example, and another one is this band, who formed in 2014 under the moniker UNHALLOWED. They released 2 EPs before they changed the name to WORMLIGHT in 2015. They re-released the last EP by UNHALLOWED (as WORMLIGHT) with 2 bonus tracks in 2016, and in 2018 it was time for their debut album, "Wrath of the Wilds".
Now their second album is here. And what we get is the best kind of 90s black metal. And I don't think that I have to tell you more than that, as you probably already know that familiar sound. So let's just say that this is absolutely worth checking out.
Published: May 4


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