REVIEWS 2021 - Page 5

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Self released - Digital single
Directly from the press text: "The song "Fem i Tre" is a satirical, song about the guys (and gals) who are desperately looking for someone to take home from the bar for the night. You have all heard the bad pick-up lines, and we all know the type that drinks a bit too much and flirts with everything that moves. "Fem i Tre" is their anthem! In English, the Swedish title "Fem i Tre" means the time 2:55 am."
Here in Sweden (mainly in the big cities) some bars close at 3 am, so the song is just about how desperate certain people get when the bars close. I would like to add that most bars actually close at 1 or 2 am in most cities.
How about the song then? Well, it's just as weird as their previous songs. Funny to listen to, but soon forgotten. I would prefer to call it melodic heavy rock instead of hard rock. Or possibly just rock.
Published: July 4

BLIND PETITION: 30 Years In A Hole 1991 Rarities & Outtakes
Pure Steel Publishing on July 9 - CD
This Austrian band has existed since 1974, and have 6 studio albums and as much as 6 live albums under their belt. This album is a compilation of rare recordings, which I suppose is taken from their whole career. And their music here is a wild mixture of hard rock, southern rock, blues and melodic heavy metal. You can absolutely not complain about too little variation.
I would say that it's mainly different kinds of hard rock, even though there's some of those other ingredients as well. Many of the songs on this record reminds me a little of the Scottish legends NAZARETH actually. So if you like them, then you should give BLIND PETITION a try.
Published: July 4

BLACK ANGEL: Prince Of Darkness
Solid Recordings - CD, Digital
Here we have some goth rock again. And this band is just as good as any other in this genre, so they could absolutely be worth checking out if you're into that.
This is the third album from BLACK ANGEL. And the concept for this new record seems to be to take you on a journey back to the 10th century England. We follow the Prince of Darkness when he scares people in the village and causes chaos wherever he goes.
The band also has plans to release the album on blood red vinyl in the very near future.
Published: July 4

23 TILL: Hänger På En Tråd
Beat Butchers - Digital single
Swedish veterans 23 TILL has released their third single this year. This time it's almost a pop song, but in a rock band costume. Very catchy and easy to like. You should check it out of course. And I don't really know what else to say, so just let the music do the talking instead.
Published: July 3

WANDERER: Liberation From A Brutalist Existence
Entelodon Records/Bad Mouth Recordings/Wanderer - LP, Cassette, Digital
Minneapolis, Minnesota-based band WANDERER formed in late 2013, and released their debut album (this record) last month. It's a brutal and intense experience. They deliver 10 tracks in just over 23 minutes. But then they play hardcore/grind, so what could you expect? This is simply how it's supposed to be done, even though I don't really know if I like it or not.
Their influences comes from bands like CONVERGE, CURSED, The CHARIOT, TRAP THEM, BAPTISTS and YAUTJA, among others. So if that sounds like something you're into, then maybe you should give this a try or 7.
It seems like they have previously released 4 EPs.
Published: July 3

VESICARUM: Place Of Anarchy
One Eyed Toad Records - CD
This is the debut album from these British death metallers. And the 40 minutes that the album last is said to channel the deepest, darkest, most feral emotions of guitarist Martin Shipton, drummer Donal McGee and vocalist Glynn Neve. On some of the 9 tracks we get guest apperances from people like Demonstealer (DEMONIC RESURRECTION), James Dawson (BLEED AGAIN), Joe Lydon (DORYLUS, HELGRIND) and deathcore veteran Richard Kane.
Their music is hard and heavy, but can also be fast once in a while. This is nor the typical Scandinavian old school sound or modern. It's just pure death metal, and it sounds good to me.
"Through The Darkest Days" sounds like a post punk power ballad or something. Interesting.
Published: July 3

TRAGEDY AND TRIUMPH: Where Mountains Rise And Hearts Fall
Black Sunet Records - CD, Digital
This project has been in the works since 2017, but is now finally releasing its debut album. And what they give us is melodic viking death metal, that will remind you of a band like AMON AMARTH for example, but possibly also BATHORY (not the early stuff then). It's powerful, groovy and melodic. Simply beautiful for a fan of melodic death.
Marius Berendsen (MALLEVS MALEFICARVM, ANTARES, ex-THYRGRIM) play all instruments, while Raphael Weller (AD NEMORI, HRAST) take care of vocals and lyrics. Live guitarist is a guy named Sebastian Auer.
Published: July 3

STORM: Here I Am
Self release - Digital single
Bulgarian band STORM play heavy/speed metal, and is said to fit perfect for fans of stuff like HELLOWEEN, BLIND GUARDIAN, ANGRA and IRON MAIDEN. "Here I Am" is their third single, which start slow and melodic. But after almost a minute it gets faster and more powerful, but it's still melodic. We also get some twin guitars, which is always cool. This is absolutely not bad at all. I think you should check them out.
Published: July 3

Inverse Records on July 2 - Digital
ROCKING CORPSES is a Finnish band who is mixing rock, death metal, zombies, other horror themes and some really black humour. "Death Blues" is their second album, and that title is a o.k. description to their sound, even though there's not blues in every song, but more like alternative rock. It's a wild mix of metal, rock and horror to be more precise. And I think that they do this very good. The variation between each song is also good.
The band was born back in 2007, and 2 demo songs were recorded in 2009. In 2012 their debut album, "Rock 'n' Rott", was released. But they were also busy with other projects, so the band took a little break. But now they are back again with a new strong lineup.
Published: July 2

QUICKSAND: Missile Command
Epitaph Records - Digital single
QUICKSAND is a band that I don't think that I have heard before. I have just seen their name here and there through the years.
They are from New York, and released their debut album in the early 90s. They mixed hardcore attitude and energy with melodic alternative rock, and have been compared with HELMET and FUGAZI. Their frontman/guitarist Walter Schreifels is a founding member of YOUTH OF TODAY and GORILLA BISCUITS.
QUICKSAND has split up several times through the years, so their upcoming album, "Distant Populations", is just their 4th album. It will be released digitally on August 13, and physically on September 24 (don't ask me why they do like that).
"Missile Command" is a first taste of the new album, and is labeled as post-hardcore. Add those elements of melodic alternative rock and there you have it.
Published: July 2

PLATENS: Wait For Me
Art Of Melody Music/Burning Minds Music Group - Digital single
Very melodic hard rock, but damn good. This is how it's supposed to be done!
This song is the second single from PLATENS, and it's taken from their new album, "Of Poetry And Silent Mastery", which will be released on July 23. And if that album has more songs like this, then it could really be interesting.
Published: July 2

MOURN THE LIGHT: Suffer, Then We're Gone
Argonauta Records - CD, LP, Digital
U.S. doom metal band MOURN THE LIGHT has released their debut album. And this group has lots of good songs on this album. It's powerful and catchy at the same time, while the vocals is melodic. This is definitely something that you should check out.
Even though this is doom metal, they are not afraid to add some other influences, like progressive elements or power metal for example. And it really works.
The band was formed in early 2018 by Dwayne Eldredge, co-founder of The New England Stoner and Doom Festival.
Published: July 2

MORDIAN: January Moon
Self released - Digital single
No, this shit doesn't work. I can't review this single, because I don't understand it at all. I have no clue what's going on here. It's just too weird for me.
The music is supposed to be alternative-gothic. They don't tell what alternative and gothic though - Rock or metal? Well, this is nor of that. It's just a haunting, experimental song without any clear direction.
Published: July 2

MARTY AND THE BAD PUNCH featuring Robert Tepper: Better Be Strong
Enghardt Media - Digital single
"Better Be Strong" is a re-recording of a song on guitarist Marty Punch's debut album, "Moon Over Baskerville", from 2014. This new version also features Robert Tepper on vocals, Tommy Denander on guitars/bas/keys and Carsten Enghardt on drums. It seems like this is just 1 of many versions that will be released in the future.
The song is a melodic rocker done by people who seems to be very professional. It's a very good song, so you should give it a try.
Published: July 2

Burning V Records - CD
HELLGRIMM is a stoner rock/metal band from the States who are really cool. The trio formed in 2018, and take a deep dive into the darkness of addictions, death, and demons with stories both fictional and based in truth. It might sound totally hopeless, but when you hear the music you will see that there might be a light somewhere after all. So you could say that this is dark and uplifting at the same time.
The music is both heavy and melodic, and has a distinct 70s sound that I really like. This album is full of fantastic songs, and has definitely been a favorite during the last weeks.
HELLGRIMM has previously released 3 EPs, and "The Hunger" is their first full length.
Published: July 2

EVIL IN: An Ethereal Force Beyond
Self released - Digital EP
EVIL IN is a 1-man project with Charlie Murphy (IRIDESCENT DUNE) on everything. Here he presents his first 2 tracks, where he combine the energy of thrash metal with the dark power of death metal. This will open wounds that will be difficult to heal. But it might actually be worth the pain, because it sounds pretty good actually.
Published: July 2

Timo Tolkki's AVALON: The Enigma Birth
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, 2LP
On this album we get many different voices, both male and female. And that could easily have made a fragmented impression, but it works perfect here. Some of these singers are James LaBrie (DREAM THEATER), Jake E. (ex-AMARANTHE, CYRHA), Marina La Torraca (PHANTOM ELITE, EXIT EDEN), Brittney Hayes (UNLEASH THE ARCHERS), Raphael Mendes (ICON OF SIN), Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY, ANGRA, ETERNAL IDOL), Caterina Nix (CHAOS MAGIC), and YouTube vocal star Pellek.
Former STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has once again joined forces with Aldo Lonobile (SECRET SPHERE, ARCHON ANGEL, SWEET OBLIVION). And this 4th album has all the ingredients that you can expect from an AVALON album, so you should not be dissapointed when you hear this masterpiece.
Published: July 1

Kent Hilli: The Rumble
Frontiers Music Srl - CD
Kent Hilli is the frontman of Swedish melodic hard rockers PERFECT PLAN, who released their second album, "Time For A Miracle", last year. Now it's time for his solo debut, "The Rumble", where Kent joined forces with Mike Palace (who has produced the album and play all instruments).
This is a diverse album with both rockers and ballads. The musical inspiration comes from his idols GIANT, FOREIGNER, SURVIVOR, WHITESNAKE and EUROPE, to name a few. In other words melodic rock and hard rock from the 80s, and not such a huge step from PERFECT PLAN.
Kent began as a football player. But in 2001 he started to sing with a cover band instead. In 2014 he started to sing in PERFECT PLAN, and his career got more serious.
This is absolutely worth checking out for fans of the more melodic hard rock.
Published: July 1

CROWNE: Kings In The North
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, LP
The Swedish all-star lineup of vocalist Alexander Strandell (ART NATION), guitarist/keyboardist/producer Jona Tee (H.E.A.T), bassist John Levén (EUROPE), drummer Christian "Kicken" Lundqvist (The POODLES), and guitar solos by Love Magnusson (DYNAZTY) might impress. But fact is that these songs sounds just like any other band in the melodic hard rock genre. They do it really good though I might add, but it's hardly like I expected anything else. Fans of melodic hard rock from Sweden will not be dissapointed when they hear this. So even though they're not doing anything unique at all, it's still a must to hear.
This is yet another project created, overseen and directed by Serafino Perugino, President and A&R director of Frontiers Music.
Published: July 1

CHALICE OF SIN: Chalice Of Sin
Frontiers Music Srl - CD
CHALICE OF SIN is a new heavy metal project started by vocalist Wade Black (CRIMSON GLORY, SEVEN WITCHES, LEATHERWOLF) in 2019. After sharing his music with Frontiers Music, they hooked him up with the label's in-house powerhouse producer Alessandro Del Vecchio, and the 2 started to work on an album.
The result of that is said to be something for fans of classic heavy metal from the 80s and early 90s. Think of bands like SAVATAGE, CRIMSON GLORY and METAL CHURCH for example, but with a modern production then.
This is pretty good stuff, so you should give it a try.
Published: July 1

Noble Demon on July 9 - CD, LP, Digital
NIGHT CROWNED throw you up against the wall with their fast and furious metal. But o.k., they slow down once in a while, but just to catch the breath before the next attack. They do it really good though, so there's no need to complain.
This album is thematically inspired by a story by singer K. Romlin, which deals with encounters with death. The music is blackened death metal, and all lyrics are in Swedish. I would guess that this fits better for fans of black metal than death metal. But that's just a wild guess of course.
NIGHT CROWNED released their debut album, "Impius Viam", in 2020, and consist of former and current members of DARK FUNERAL, NIGHTRAGE and CIPHER SYSTEM.
Published: June 30

MARCH IN ARMS: Pulse Of The Daring
RFL Records on July 2 - (format unknown)
MARCH IN ARMS play a modern kind of heavy metal, sometimes with a touch of power metal. Heavy guitars are mixed with melodic vocals. Their songs are really strong and really good, so there's no reason to be afraid of this. You simply check this out, o.k.?
MARCH IN ARMS was formed in 2012, pulling from a side project dating back to 2004. They are based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA. Their influences comes from American bands like METALLICA, SLAYER, PANTERA and MEGADETH, as well as European power metal. The lyrical themes centering on war and the personal stories of its combatants.
Published: June 30

The LORDS OF ALTAMONT: Tune In, Turn On, Electrify
Heavy Psych Sounds Records on July 9 - LP, CD, Digital
High energy garage rock and psych rock is what we get from this band. It reminds me a little of Swedish bands like The MAGGOTS and The MOVEMENTS (if anybody have heard them?). It's raw and energetic rock with punk attitude. But sometimes they slow down, and become almost psych rock instead. It always sound like The LORDS OF ALTAMONT though, and that sounds really good. I really like garage rock.
The California band formed back in 1999, so they are hardly a new band. This seems to be their 7th album.
Published: June 30

Seeing Red Records on July 9 - LP, Cassette, Digital
PSYCHIC HIT hailing from Oakland, and released a demo in 2018 that is said to have sound just like it would have been made in the late 70s or early 80s. We talk true old school heavy metal, hard rock and proto-metal.
Now they are set to release their debut album in July, and this is damn good. This is not just for fans of heavy metal though, because I would think that fans of retro rock and heavy rock will like this too. That's how old school I think this is.
Published: June 29

STERBHAUS: Necrostabbing at Göta Källare - Live in Stockholm
Black Lodge Records on July 9 - CD, LP, Digital
Swedish band STERBHAUS call their music "metal deluxe", which is a mixture of thrash, death, black and heavy metal that is neither retro or modern, it just is. I think that it's most of all some kind of hard metal and thrash metal that they play here. Sometimes it's fast, sometimes heavy.
Anyway, this is a recording from the release show for the "New Level of Malevolence" album, which happened in their hometown Stockholm on October 17, 2015. And it sounds like they did a hell of a good show there. But the funny thing is that the album was released already in late spring the same year. It looks like they had booked several tours and festival dates that all disappeared in the blink of an eye for various dubious reasons. So in frustration of not getting out to play the album, they did a video for the song "Bloodbarf" and booked this show. The idea was not to record and release a live album though, but just to film the band with a few cameras. But when they heard the result they decided that this had to be released.
It's said that the whole show is also available in video format, but I'm not sure if there's a DVD or if it's just available on YouTube or something like that.
This is damn good anyway, so you should abolutely check out this live recording.
Published: June 29

SUPREME COURT: It's Been A While
Campbell Recordings on July 2 - LP, CD, Digital
Dirty and loud rock n roll with punk attitude is what we get here. The first track, "First Bite", is a real action rocker that should fill the area infront of the stage pretty fast. The other tracks are a bit heavier, but still energetic. Their music is hard-hitting and sweaty, without forgetting the melodies. And there's also room for some more melodic and moodier bits.
This is SUPREME COURT's first release in more than 10 years, therfor the title "It's Been A While".
Published: June 28

THYRFING: Järnhand
Despotz Records - Digital single
Yet another single, the third and last, from Swedish viking/pagan metal act THYRFING's new album, "Vanagandr", which will be released on August 27.
"Järnhand" is a heavier piece, but with double bass drums that gives it some more speed. According to my opinion it doesn't really sound like a single song. It's more like a b-side than an a-side, if you get what I mean?
Published: June 25

ROCK N ROLL ARMY: Don't Ya Treat Me Bad
Self released - Digital single
This seems to be a new project with Captain Marco Mendess (ex-S.E.X. DEPARTMENT). And "Don't Ya Treat Me Bad" is the second single from ROCK N ROLL ARMY. He call the music "black boogie" - "It's black colored Boogie Woogie, when classic Rock n Roll meets Heavy Metal and turns into Rockabilly for vampires", as it says in the info. But to make it easier for ourselves we just call it hard rock, o.k.? Because that's what it sounds like to me anyway. And this song is very catchy and melodic, and therfor perfect for the summer.
Published: June 25

ORNIMENTAL: Red, White, ...And Wraith
Self released - Digital
So, the album start with a guitar solo. And nothing else but that guitar. But after that it's all kinds of hard rock and metal with a whole band. Much of it is thrash/groove metal. I don't get those useless short pieces (a woman who is talking and talking for 1-3 minutes) between each song though. Maybe it's a concept album? But they say nothing about that in the press info. That gives us as much as 25 tracks here, which is way too much at once.
ORNIMENTAL is a band from Miami, and it looks like this album is released on Tik Tok.
Published: June 25

BROKENRAIL: Beautiful Chaos
Cleopatra Records - CD, LP, Digital
BROKENRAIL is an American band, and this is their third release. It's said that with "Beautiful Chaos" they has gone to another level completely. Now I don't think that I have heard this band before, so I'm not the one who can tell you if that's correct or not. But things that I know after listening to this album is that it's powerful and hard hitting, as well as modern and melodic. We talk about some kind of modern metal here, that reminds me of bands that I can't remember the name of right now. It's pretty good anyway.
Published: June 25

KONKHRA: Sexual Affective Disorder (reissue)
Hammerheart Records on June 25 - Deluxe double CD, LP
"Sexual Affective Disorder" is the debut album from Danish death metallers KONKHRA, which was originally released in 1993. It will now be re-released on LP and 2-CD. The CD version will also include a bonus disc with their 2 demos and the "Stranded" EP.
The album was recorded at the legendary Sunlight Studio in Stockholm, Sweden with producer Tomas Skogsberg. It has now been remastered by Tue Madsen (MOONSPELL, MESHUGGAH, SICK OF IT ALL, BABY METAL etc etc).
The music is old school death metal, but mixed with technical thrash metal. And that technical element makes it a little too much for me actually. Especially when there's as much as 22 tracks to listen to. The EP and demo tracks are not so extreme to listen to though, so that works better for me.
Published: June 24

IAN GILLAN BAND: The Rockfield Mixes...Plus (reissue)
Singsong Music on June 25 - Digital
Ha, ha! This was absolutely not what I expected from the DEEP PURPLE frontman Ian Gillan. It's some kind of jazz rock fusion with a typical 70s sound. An interesting experience, but honsetly not so great. I like it better when he rock hard. The first track, "Clear Air Turbulence", was pretty cool though, but mainly because it sounds so crazy and funny. There's a couple of other songs that are o.k. too.
So, this was what he decided to do when he had left DEEP PURPLE in the 70s? This is the original mix of their second album, "Clear Air Turbulence", which Ian wasn't satisfied with. So it underwent a major remix before it was released in April 1977. After 20 years the original mix of the album was released as "The Rockfield Mixes", and now we get that album again for some reason, but with 3 bonus tracks and an interview with guitarist Ray Fenwick.
And after listening to some of those bonus tracks, I can tell you that they were a even more crazy experience live, as they jam more than DEEP PURPLE used to do. You actually start to wonder if they ever going to finish the song.
A few years later he formed GILLAN, and started to rock hard again. That would be more interesting to hear for me.
Published: June 24

RidingEasy Records on June 25 - LP, CD, Digital
L.A. quartet DEATHCHANT combines THIN LIZZY twin guitar harmonies with MELVINS sludge and a dose of proto-metal psych. And that might not sound like something unusual nowadays, but this band try to make their own thing out of it, so it's not really just another retro band. But fans of good old hard rock will like this anyway of course.
Through the 33 minutes and 7 songs they go through several genres and moods. It's a little bit of everything here: rumbling noise, guitar melodies, bluesy boogie, NWOBHM thrash, grunge and punk fury. A lot of the music is actually improvised, but yet tightly organized compositions.
Published: June 24

CLIFFORD: Där Spriten Flödar
Despotz Records on June 25 - Digital single
So these Swedish maniacs are back with a new single again? This time they don't want to take the vaccine, they just want to be free and drink on the pub as late as they want. And that could easily make you think that these guys doesn't seems to be too intelligent, but rather some idiots who believe in every good damn conspiracy theory there is. But as they are not satisfied with how Sweden have handled the pandemic, I would think that they are actually ironic. The tragic thing is that many people actually think exactly what they sing in this song.
Well, if somebody want to listen to this little song, the music is some kind of death/black metal. In this case a little bit heavier than usual though.
Published: June 24

Drag City Incorporated on June 25 - LP
Heavy/psych rock on highest volume. It's noisey and dirty, and sometimes a pretty intense experience. Long instrumental parts is nothing unusual here. Even a whole song can be instrumental. And sometimes it sounds more like an intense jam session, where they repeat the same thing over and over and over and over again and again and again. So if you're looking for a progressive adventure, this is not the band for you. But if you like it heavy, then you might actually like this. I want it to be more catchy though, but they have their good moments too, when they're not so repeating. Many of these 6 songs are a little too long for its own good though (but that's just my opinion of course)
It seems to be 8 years since these Philly psych rockers released their last album, and "Valdez" is their 4th.
Published: June 24

MENTAL CAVITY: Mass Rebel Infest
Creator-Destructor Records on June 25 - LP, Cassette, Digital
MENTAL CAVITY is a hardcore/metal band, with a singer who seems to dream about being a member of a death metal band. It's obviously fast and extreme stuff, just like it's supposed to be. I prefer a singer who scream instead of growling when it comes to hardcore. It's absolutely not bad though.
MENTAL CAVITY is based in Canberra, Australia. Their influences includes a wild blend of MORBID ANGEL, TRAGEDY, CROWBAR and AUTOPSY. They simply mix death metal riffing and vocals with punk and d-beat crust.
Except for 10 original songs, we also get 2 covers of CRO-MAGS and DISRUPT.
Published: June 23

AOR Heaven on June 25 - CD
Finnish melodic hard rockers KING COMPANY formed in 2014, and has now come to their third album, where they presents yet a new singer: Ilkka Keskitalo. They have so far had a new singer on each album. Not because they want to, but because they had to for various reasons.
But that has not stopped them from rocking. Which this latest album is a good proof of. Everything from the sound and production to the quality of the songs are perfect. This is simply a great album that everybody who like this genre must check out.
Published: June 22

AOR Heaven on June 25 - CD
DEVILS IN HEAVEN started out as a school covers band in Launceston, Tasmania during the mid-1980s. In 1989 they were introduced to the Sydney music scene, and by that time they had started to play their own original songs. They recorded some demos, as well as a single and a EP. But no biggger succees, so in October 1993 they gave up.
I'm not really sure if these songs are re-recordings or old recordings, but I guess it's their old songs from the 80s and 90s anyway. And the music is melodic rock like the European and American bands used to sound back then. So if that sounds like something that you would like, then you should give this band a try, because this album is really good.
Published: June 22

CROSSON: Live At The Orpheum
Galaxy Records on June 25 - Blu-ray/CD Box Set, Digital
After 3 studio albums, Australian theatrical rock band CROSSON decided that it was time for a live release. So they hit the stage at The Orpheum Theatre in Sydney, Australia. And they did not just record the sound, but they also filmed the whole thing (I have just heard it though).
A more clever description to this band's music is hard driving, catchy and uplifting stadium rock. Their sound will remind you of the 70s and 80s. And except for their own material, they also play covers of QUEEN and ABBA.
Most of the songs here are good, so why not?
Published: June 22, 2021

Devin Townsend: Devolution Series #2 - Galactic Quarantine
Inside Out Music on June 25 - CD/Blu-ray, 2LP/CD, Digital
The last live album I reviewed with Canadian musician Devin Townsend was a pretty laidback acoustic story. This time it's electric, and in more than one way. As usual he go all in for the craziness that his bombastic and progressive metal is. And as usual we get all kinds of influences and emotions. If you're a fan of this man, then you should not be dissapointed.
For a current lack of touring possibilities and encounters with fans on the road Mr Townsend decided to do a series of live albums, quarantine albums, and generally interesting projects that keep people entertained while he's busy on his next larger releases. The series is called the "Devolution Series", and the second release is "Galactic Quarantine". It was recorded in 2020 in various places around the world as a replacement show for the COVID affected "Empath Vol 2 European Tour" and cancelled Summer festivals. It was originally broadcast on September 5, 2020 on
Published: June 21

LACUNA COIL: Live From The Apocalypse
Century Media on June 25 - CD/DVD, 2LP/DVD, Digital
Live streams have been popular during the pandemic. And some artists decide to release it. But listening to a live show without hearing any audience is a bit weird. Watch it sounds like much more fun though (I just got the audio).
What they did at this show was to play their latest studio album, "Black Anima" (2019), straight up without any breaks. So this is like getting that album once again, more or less. To me that sounds like a stupid idea. It's like selling the same thing twice, but in a different package. But o.k., to make this a little bit unique at least, they included the bonus tracks for "Black Anima". And we also get a piano version of "Save Me".
Even though I complain about this product, it seems like it's the fans who have asked for this release. So who am I to judge? The music is really good anyway. No doubt about that! And with "Save Me" they have one of their best songs ever.
"Live From The Apocalypse" was filmed and recorded at Alcatraz Club in their hometown Milan, Italy in September 2020.
Published: June 21

LOCH VOSTOK: Opus Ferox, The Great Escape
ViciSolum Productions on June 25 - LP, CD
Swedish progressive metal band LOCH VOSTOK have been around since 2000, and vocalist and leader have always been Teddy Möller. But after 20 years he has decided to leave the lead vocals to somebody else, and concentrate on guitars and growl instead. So, new lead singer on this album is Jonas Radehorn. There's also a new bass player: Patrik Janson.
This has given the band some new energy, but you can still expect the same kind of heavy riffs mixed with strong melodic parts, and all kinds of other ingredients that they use to deliver. Simply well-done melodic metal.
This is the 8th album from LOCH VOSTOK. The members comes from bands like CARNAL FORGE, ONE HOUR HELL, F.K.Ü., The MURDER OF MY SWEET, MANTICORA and ANIMA MORTE, to name just a few.
Published: June 21

DE ARMA: Strayed in Shadows
TrollMusic/SPKR on June 25 - CD, Digital
DE ARMA is a Swedish goth rock duo, and "Strayed in Shadows" is the first sign of life from them in 8 years. The music is dark and melancholy, but yet warm somehow. The songs are pretty long - 6:23 to 10:15 minutes. And except for goth rock, they also throw in some metal, shoegaze and post-punk. On 2 of the songs we get a guest apperance from Maria Oja.
Well, this is not so bad. Fans of KATATONIA, ANATHEMA and PARADISE LOST should give this a try.
Published: June 21

Earache Records/Round Hill Records/Sony Japan on June 25 - LP, CD, Digital
American hard rockers BUCKCHERRY released their debut album 22 years ago, and formed back in 1995 already. "Hellbound" is their 9th record. They have never really cared about what's trendy for the moment, but just continued to play their old school hard rock n roll year after year. And they still seems to have fun, as this album consist of lots of good rock songs.
I think that many of these songs sounds a bit "funky". Many of them also reminds me of AEROSMITH, but with their own touch then.
Published: June 21

Vera Norea: Carnival Dreams
Second Class Kids Records - LP/CD, Digital
How do I describe this then? To me it sounds like a cross between circus music, modern indie rock and punk rock. It's often energetic, catchy and melodic. But there's also a darker side here and there. She have defintely found her own unique sound, but I'm pretty sure that she have a few fans. And after listening a few times, I have come to the conclusion that this is a pretty good album.
Vera Norea is a young Swedish woman who is also a member of the punk band HÅRDGNISSEL. This is her album debut as a solo artist, and a big influence seems to be MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, as they have worked a lot with concept albums. But her influences comes from many different places, like QUEEN, Disney villains and dark cabaret for example.
Best track: "Young And Rotten".
Published: June 20

Inverse Records - Digital single
This is the third single from Finnish hard rockers HOOTENANNY FREAKS new album, "Eyes Of The Warrior", which will be released later. They have been reviewed here before, and I have liked what I heard. And this song, which is inspired by Sons Of Anarchy, is also really good.
This song has some more keyboards than they use to have in their songs, but it works fine for this song, so that's not a problem at all. Check it out!
Published: June 20

TERRA ODIUM: Ne Plus Ultra
Frontiers Music Srl - CD
Progressive metal with all that that means is what we get from this band.
The music that these people create is powerful, heavy and melodic, as well as technical. Fans of progressive metal will probably love this. To me they are just good though, and mainly because there's lots of heavy metal in these compositions.
The band was formed by 2 former members of SPIRAL ARCHITECT - singer/guitarist Øyvind Hægeland and drummer Asgeir Mickelson. SPIRAL ARCHITECT was a progressive metal band from Norway, who released 1 album in 2000. These 2 gentlemen have now teamed up with guitarist Bollie Fredriksen (MANITOU), Steve DiGiorgio (TESTAMENT) on bass, and Jon Phipps (DRAGONFORCE, MOONSPELL, ANGRA, etc) on orchestrations and synths. Kjetil Nordhus (TRISTANIA) contributes deep operatic voices as a guest.
Published: June 19

ONE DESIRE: One Night Only, Live In Helsinki
Frontiers Music Srl - CD/DVD, Blu-ray, 2LP
ONE DESIRE is like Finland's answer to Sweden's ECLIPSE. They are both doing something similar at least, as they both play melodic hard rock. It's very catchy and strong choruses. Everything that you can expect from a band like this. But if I should continue to compare them with ECLIPSE, then I would say that ONE DESIRE might not have as strong material as the Swedes. They are absolutely not bad though, as they are just as good as any other European band in this genre.
ONE DESIRE have just released 2 studio albums, and they already release a live album. Not many bands do that. This show took place on October 3, 2020 at the Helsinki club On The Rocks, with a strictly limited amount of people in the audience.
Published: June 19

Dennis DeYoung: 26 East, Vol 2
Frontiers Music Srl - CD, LP
Dennis DeYoung, from the American band STYX, is ending his career with not just 1 but 2 albums. Vol 1 was released a year ago, and now Vol 2 is here.
What we get is more of the same thing that we got on the last album. In other words very melodic rock/AOR. So if you liked the first volume, then you will like this too.
And there's not much else to add..
Published: June 19

BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER: Brother Against Brother
Frontiers Music Srl - CD
In the same spirit as the Allen/Lande project, Frontiers presents another duet project. This time it's with the Brazilian vocalists Renan Zonta (ELECTRIC MOB) and Nando Fernandes (SINISTRA). And these 2 can really deliver. We get 2 powerful voices, that fits perfect for this kind of melodic heavy metal.
The album was written by Frontiers inventory Alessandro Del Vecchio (JORN, REVOLUTION SAINTS, EDGE OF FOREVER), who have had his fingers in many other projects from the Italian label. Quality all the way through the album, and absolutely worth listening to.
Published: June 19

Black Waves Of Adrenochrome - The Sisters Of Mercy Tribute
Metalville Records on June 25 - CD
I have to admit that I don't have anything at all with goth legends SISTERS OF MERCY, so I can't compare the bands on this collection with the original versions. This tribute compilation contains rare and sought-after versions of what is said to be some of their best-known classics, recorded by all kinds of different artists. We find names like PARADISE LOST, CRADLE OF FILTH, MARYSLIM feat. Jyrki69, KREATOR, Dan Swanö etc. A total of 15 acts. Some of the songs appear twice, but with differnet artists then.
Well, this was not so bad. I might not like everything here, but most of the songs are really good anyway. I have even noticed that I have at least 1 chorus in my head once in a while. Maybe I check out the original band in the future?
Published: June 18

XENOS: The Dawn Of Ares
Iron Shield Records on June 25 - CD
Italian thrash metallers XENOS came to life in the end of 2018, so they are a pretty new band. They have already released an album though, "Filthgrinder", in 2020. Inspiration comes from MEGADETH, XENTRIX, ANNIHILATOR and SLAYER.
Now their second album is ready to be released. And what this trio deliver is nothing but pure thrash metal without any compromises or excuses. They add their own personal touch to every song, so this is absolutely not a copy of something else. Pretty good stuff actually, so give it a try.
Published: June 18

RAVAGER: The Third Attack
Iron Shield Records on June 18 - CD
This is a thrash metal attack in the hard school.
RAVAGER comes from Walsrode, Germany, and was founded in late 2014. A demo EP, "Alarm Clock Terror", was released in March 2016. And in the end of the year they signed with Iron Shield Records, who released their debut album, "Eradicate... Annihilate... Exterminate...", in February 2017. The second album, "Thrashletics", came out in February 2019.
Looking back at my reviews of those 2 albums, it seems like I liked what I heard. And I like this new album too. It's still thrash in the good old way for all the money, and nothing to be dissapointed with. It might be a little bit harder than before, but it's also very catchy. You will like it.
Published: June 18

MACABRE DECAY: Into Oblivion
Grind to Death Records on June 18 - CD, Digital
This band doesn't really have anything unique to come up with, but somehow they're o.k. anyway. And sometimes you don't have to ask for more than that.
MACABRE DECAY is a Swedish death metal band, with the CENTINEX vocalist Henka Andersson among the members. And their sound is the classic Swedish sound - INTERMENT, ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER, CENTINEX etc. So if you like that kind of stuff, then you should absolutely give these guys a chance. You will probably like it a lot.
A vinyl version will be released later via Corrupted Flesh Records.
Published: June 18

CHAINREACTION: Alternative High
Off Records - CD, Digital
"Alternative High" is a energy pill and a tribute to 70s garage rock and 90s action rock. But at the same time they add their own touch to it as well. And out comes an explosive rock album that should be liked by fans of the early albums with The HELLACOPTERS and BACKYARD BABIES, as well as the Hank Von Helvete-era with TURBONEGRO.
I really like what I hear! And so should you.
Published: June 17

BLOODBEAT: Process of Extinction
Inverse Records on June 18 - CD, Digital
This is the second album from Berlin based death/thrash metal band BLOODBEAT. And their sound is very old school, with heavy riffs and thrash beats. People who like the sound of the 90s will probably like this band, even though they have their own identity too.
This is a really good album anyway, so you should absolutely give this band a chance. And I don't have much else to say..
Published: June 17

STÖNER: Stoners Rule
Heavy Psych Sounds Records on June 25 - LP, CD, Digital
As you might know, this is the new band with Brant Bjork (guitar/vocals) and Nick Oliveri (bass/vocals) from KYUSS, plus Ryan Güt (drums). To me it sounds like another album from Brant, even though Nick add some punk attitude once in a while. This is mainly stoner rock though, and often a bit hypnotic. And it's not so bad, they have a good song here and there, and nothing sucks anyway.
This is absolutely something for fans of both Bjork and Oliveri, as well as their old band KYUSS. But it could also be of interest for fans of something like QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE (when they still played stoner rock).
Published: June 16

AFM Records on June 18 - CD, Digital
Swedish musician Anders "LA" Rönnblom (WOLFPAKK, X-ROMANCE, KILLER BEE) has launched a new project called SOCIAL DISORDER. And this debut is like a journey through his life, with lyrics about his battle with alcoholism, personal demons, and his way back. This is backed up by music inspired by his earliest influences, which means classic melodic hard rock.
Anders is also getting help from people like Tracii Guns (L.A. GUNS), Rudy Sarzo (QUIET RIOT, Ozzy Osbourne, WHITESNAKE), Jeff Duncan (ARMORED SAINT), Dave Stone (RAINBOW), Snowy Shaw (KING DIAMOND, DREAM EVIL, MERCYFUL FATE), Shawn Duncan (DC4) and Leif Ehlin (PERFECT PLAN), among others. Vocalist is a previously undiscovered Swedish singer, Thomas Nordin.
This is simply a great album, and everybody is doing a great job. And the singer's name is worth to remember, because I hope we will hear more from him in the future. So you should absolutely check this out.
Published: June 16

From The Vaults on June 18 - Digital single
"Free Me" is the first single from the upcoming SCREAMING SHADOWS album, "Legacy Of Stone", which will be released on November 12. Melodic heavy/power metal is what these Italians play, which they have done since 1997, even though it wasn't until 1999 that they decided that SCREAMING SHADOWS should be the name of the band. They have released a few albums through the years, but it seems like it was many years since the last one now (2011 as far as I can understand). But now it's finally time to do something about that.
Published: June 16

KOLDBORN: First Enslavement (reissue)
Emanzipation Productions - CD, LP, Digital
In 2002 Danish band KOLDBORN took the metal scene by storm with their debut album, "First Enslavement". This album has now been re-released for the first time. And the music that we get here is brutal and groovy, as well as technical. They even deliver some melodies too. But most of all it's hard and heavy.
We simply talk thrash/death metal here. And this sounds really good to me, so don't be afaraid to check this out. You probably won't regret it.
The lineup of the band at the time included members of HATESPHERE, HORNED ALMIGHTY, EXMORTEM, FROZEN SUN, UNDERGANG etc.
Published: June 16

VIDEO NASTY: Video Nasty
Petrichor on June 18 - Digital
The first track is just total crap. But when they finally start to play for real, then it's really good. We get a complete doze of 80s thrash metal in the vein of early SLAYER, SEPULTURA and SODOM, topped with a total dedication to old school horror movies. There's also elements of death and speed metal in their homebrew.
VIDEO NASTY is a Canadian project, started by Jordan Schritt. He is joined by a few friends. Each song is based on 1 specific horror movie.
This might not be in the same league as the old legends, but it sure ain't bad.
Published: June 15

HYPNOSIA: Extreme Hatred (reissue)
Petrichor on June 18 - CD, LP, Digital
Swedish thrash metal band HYPNOSIA released this album in 2000, and it's described as a furious mix of MORBID SAINT and KREATOR. It has all the important ingredients for succees: anger, hate, violence, malevolence and speed. It might not be the most original album, and there's very little variation. But it's simply such a good attack that you just can't say no to this.
According to The Metal Archives, HYPNOSIA existed between 1995-2002, and has released 2 demos, 1 EP, 1 full length album and 1 compilation.
Published: June 15

EYE OF PURGATORY: The Lighthouse
Transcending Obscurity Records on June 18 - LP, CD, Digital
Damned good old school death metal with melody in the best Rogga Johansson (PAGANIZER, REVOLTING, NECROGOD etc etc etc) tradition. In this band he has teamed up with Taylor Nordberg (RIBSPREADER) and Jeramie Kling (VENOM INC.). And these guys deliver something that will remind you of bands like EDGE OF SANITY, DESULTORY, early CEMETARY, early TIAMAT and PAN.THY.MONIUM. I bet that sounds very exiting to some of you, so get this album as soon as possible.
Published: June 15

EREMIT: Bearer of Many Names
Transcending Obscurity Records - LP, CD, Digital
Just 3 songs, but they are so damned long - 18:27-29:22 minutes - that this is without a doubt an album and not a EP. Long, dark atmospheric pieces of doom and sludge are mixed with a few outbursts here and there. This is mainly really heavy and extremely boring to listen to. Especially when the songs last for an eternity. Long instrumental parts is nothing unusual here.
In other words yet another band that the world doesn't need. On the other hand, that's just my opinion about this. So if you like to torture yourself, who am I to judge?
EREMIT is a German trio who is said to fit fans of CONAN, JUPITERIAN, SUBTERRAEN, 71TonMan, PRIMITIVE MAN, EYEHATEGOD and GRIEF.
Published: June 15

THIS ENDING: Needles of Rust
Black Lion Records - CD, Cassette, Digital (LP later)
From Stockholm, Sweden comes this melodic death metal band, who formed in 2005. The band emerged from the ashes of A CANOROUS QUINTET, and the first demo, "Let The World Burn", was released in 2006. That demo gave them a record deal with Metal Blade Records, and 2 albums was released through them. And some more records has been released since then.
This new album deals with different kinds of nightmare scenarios: some songs are loosely based on actual events that have happened all over the world, whereas the other numbers are just about nightmares as an overall phenomenon. They blend relentless aggression and absolute darkness with guitar melodies, and out comes something that sounds really good to me.
Published: June 15

Pride & Joy Music on June 18 - CD
French/Swedish metal act SEASON OF DREAMS released their debut album last year, and now their sophomore album is already here. I guess that they had nothing better to do than make some more music.
It's now a duo, with Jean-Michael Volz on most instruments and Johannes Nyberg on vocals and keyboard, as guitarist John Nyberg decided to leave for personal reasons.
"Heroes" offers a mix of power metal hymns and heavy metal riffs, with main inspiration from bands like HELLOWEEN, EDGUY, ACCEPT, STRATOVARIUS, MANOWAR, HEAVENLY, DREAMTALE, VHALDEMAR and many more. And this is very good stuff.
On the guest list for this album we will find Jimmy Hedlund (FALCONER), Nils Courbaron (SIRENIA, T.A.N.K.), Olivier Lapauze (HEAVENLY), Mikael Dahl (CRYSTAL EYES) and Emil Norberg (PERSUADER, SAVAGE CIRCUS), as well as Martin Floberg from ENBOUND on lead guitars and Kristoffer Göbel from SIX FOOT SIX and FALCONER on vocals.
Published: June 14

CONSTANCIA: Brave New World
Pride & Joy Music on June 18 - CD
CONSTANCIA started in 2007 as the brainchild of former SCUDIERO and TOKEN keyboard player Mikael Rosengren. He had written a bunch of songs that he wanted to record. So he got in touch with guitarist Janne Stark (OVERDRIVE, GRAND DESIGN, LOCOMOTIVE BREATH etc), and asked him to lay down some guitars. Janne then contacted drummer Peter "TrumPeter" Svensson (ex-MERCY, FAITH), with whom he had worked in OVERHEAT, LOCOMOTIVE BREATH and MOUNTAIN OF POWER. And Mikael recruited JADED HEART bassist Michael Müller. They tried out various vocalists before finding David Fremberg (ANDROMEDA).
CONSTANCIA's debut album, "Lost And Gone", was released in 2009. In 2013, bassist Linus Abrahamson (ANDROMEDA) replaced Michael Müller on bass, and "Final Curtain" saw the light of day in 2015. In 2019 CONSTANCIA started working on new material. But since all the members were quite busy with other bands and projects, the writing process took its time. But in early 2020 the band had enough material to start recording. Unfortunately, original singer David Fremberg was too heavily involved in his new reggae KISS project, working in his studio and other projects, so he politely made his departure. Janne had been writing and working with British singer Pete Godfrey (IN FAITH, BLOOD RED SAINTS) on other stuff and felt his voice would be perfect for the band. And luckily it was.
The music that this band create is melodic hard rock, with 1 foot in the old school and 1 in the new. It's a blend of melodies, heavy riffs and great vocals. They also succeed to make fantastic songs. What else can you ask for?
Published: June 14

ANGELWINGS: Primordium
Pride & Joy Music on June 18 - CD
This band go out hard with an ambitious 10 and a half-minute adventure. It's epic, progressive and symphonic. The other songs are in the same style, but not as long as the first track.
These angels got their wings in April 2013. They were a group of experienced musicians that had been in the local scene for some time, and played in different bands. As ANGELWINGS they became the first symphonic metal band from Gibraltar, and their first EP was released in the summer of 2017.
"Primordium" is an ambitious concept album. Heavy guitars are mixed with orchestral and synth sounds, as well as female vocals and a harsh male voice here and there. In other words as it use to be in this genre.
They seems to be very good at what they are doing, so fans of symphonic, but also progressive metal, should give this a try. I'm pretty sure that you will like what you hear.
Published: June 14

HANZ KRYPT: Tales From The Krypt (reissue)
Cult Metal Classics - CD
Los Angeles band HANZ KRYPT have been active since 1983. They released a couple of demos in the 80s, but this compilation seems to be the only album that they have released. It was originally released in 2016, but have now been re-released.
What we get from these California dudes is 12 tracks of dark and gloomy heavy/doom metal, in the same style as BLACK SABBATH, old PENTAGRAM and SAINT VITUS. Most of the songs are good, so I don't have anything to complain about. But if you don't like the sound of old demo recordings, then you should try something else instead.
Fact is that these 12 songs is all that they have ever recorded, so I'm not so sure about how active they are.
Published: June 13

CRYPT CRAWLER: Future Usurper
Self released - LP, CD, Digital
West Australian death metal act CRYPT CRAWLER wants to give us old school vibes in modern times, and this is their second album. It's dark and heavy, yet raw and brutal. There's also room for some progressive elements here and there, but not much.
This sounds very good to me, so I think that you should give them a try. And I don't have much else to add.
Published: June 13

HARPYIE: Minnewar - Album
Metalville Records on June 25 - CD, Limited fan box
Some kind of folk metal in German, and all songs are covers of songs that I have never heard before. Sometimes they spice it up with electronic beats or metal guitars. So I guess that they add their own touch to these songs. It's absolutely not like any other covers album anyway. But I think they are doing a good work here at least, even though I might not like everything.
Some of the artists that they cover are IN EXTREMO, SUBWAY TO SALLY etc. (that was the only 2 that I have heard of before).
Published: June 13

Lee Aaron: Radio On!
Metalville Records on June 18 - CD, LP
On this album Canadian vocalist Lee Aaron gives us 12 originals. The music is classic and melodic rock, and the material is really strong this time. Lee still have a very powerful voice that can sing just about anything (as you might know, she started as a hard rock/heavy metal singer in the 80s, and sang jazz and blues for many years before she started to rock again). This is simply a very good rock album with a really good production.
Many of these songs makes you feel happy, and you're familiar with them after just a few listenings.
Published: June 13

Metalville Records on June 18 - CD
DEMON INCARNATE was founded in Saarland, southern Germany in early 2010. Their music is riff-oriented classic 70s rock and doom, inspired by bands like BLACK SABBATH, CANDLEMASS and The OBSESSED, but with female vocals and a few oriental influences here and there (not that often though). They have released 3 albums between 2015-2018.
The title of their new album refers to the tree Zaqqum, which is mentioned in the Koran, and serves thematically as a metaphor as well as a common thread to the tracks of the new album.
I really like the songs on this album. It's very catchy and very 70s, even though it has a modern production. Every fan of heavy hard rock and metal should check out this band.
Published: June 13

WINGS OF DESTINY: Reborn Immortal
WormHoleDeath - Digital single
"Reborn Immortal" is the third single from power metallers WINGS OF DESTINY's 6th album, "Memento Mori", which will be released soon (I guess).
It starts keyboard-based, and then it almost sounds like more kind melodic death metal, but with clean vocals instead of growl then. It's a pretty good song and they seems to know what they're doing, but I actually don't have much else to say about it.
The band was founded as DESTINY at the end of 2013 in Costa Rica. Among their influences were HELLOWEEN, RHAPSODY OF FIRE, ANGRA and SYMPHONY X, but have during time developed their own sound. But as there was a Swedish band called DESTINY, they decided to change the name to WINGS OF DESTINY in 2014.
Published: June 12

MYSTERY: To My Knees
Metalapolis Records - Digital single
Another single from the upcoming album, "Live Life Loud", which will be released on August 27. And these Australian hard rockers deliver once again. This song is more melodic, with a catchy chorus. Simply damn good. I look forward to hear the whole album.
Not much else to add..
Published: June 12

Self released - Digital singles
IMMORTALIZER seems to be a one-man band with Canadian multi-instrumentalist Dave D.R. He released his debut EP on CD and 7" vinyl in 2016, and on social media in 2020. He is currently working on his first full length, where both these songs comes from.
"I'm Gone" is a hard package, while the tribute to the MOTÖRHEAD frontman, "Lemmy", is a little bit catchier. His music is heavy metal, and sounds both old and new at the same time. It might not be any masterpieces, but it sure ain't bad.
Published: June 12

David LaDuke: Psychedelic Sandwich
Self released - Digital single
This song start with an explosive guitar solo, which last for almost a minute. After that it's some kind of glam/punk rock mixture with a rock n roll vibe. Not so bad. I think of The STOOGES and The DAMNED for example when I listen to this.
David is getting ready to release a new album, "Put Up LA Dukes", this fall. He has been playing roots/metal/rock n roll since 1973, and have released several records with his band SINBAD, as well as some solo stuff.
Published: June 12

Off Records - Digital single
Here's an adrenaline injection from Finland that will make you sweat. We talk action rock with influences from both the 70s and the 90s (MC5, The HELLACOPTERS, HURRIGANES, GLUECIFER, The FLAMING SIDEBURNS etc).
CHAINREACTION has been rocking since 2009, and will release a new album, "Alternative High", this month. And that's where this single comes from.
This song really kicks arse, and makes me thirsty for more.
Published: June 12

BÓLIDO: Against The World
Fighter Records on June 15 - CD, Digital
BÓLIDO is a true heavy metal band, formed in Santaigo, Chile in 2012. Their debut album, "We Are Rock", was released in 2014, and "Against The World" is their third album. It's a powerful and classic sound that reminds me of a band like JUDAS PRIEST for example, even though there's more influences than that, and they add their own touch. Very good stuff.
In the last song, "White Hell", they take us on a epic adventure that last for as long as 21 minutes. The other songs are of more normal length though.
Published: June 11

RAWTISM: Raw And Off Its Head
Self released on June 12 - MCD, Digital
RAWTISM is a thrash metal trio from Australia. And they play in the good old traditional way. So no suprises here, but damn good anyway. It's a pretty intense experience, but not too wild. And I guess that you would not expect them to suddenly play a cover by DIRE STRAITS, "Sultans Of Swing". But they do. And I guess that works too somehow.
This is simply a really good thrash EP, and you should hear it at once.
Published: June 11

NIHILANTH: Graceless Planet
Great Dane Records - CD, Digital
NIHILANTH pay tribute to the 90s death metal, with 1 foot in the American scene and 1 foot in the Swedish scene. But they are not afraid to stick their toes into British waters, and then dry them in the Brazilian jungle. The result is classic death metal, sometimes with elements of thrash, but with a better production than your old demo tapes.
8 tracks is what we get here, and they are doing a good job according to me. They have a good mixture of heavier and faster parts in their songs.
Published: June 11

METAL WINGS: A Whole New Land
Self released on June 11 - CD, Digital
This is the second album from this Bulgarian symphonic metal band, who was formed in 2010 by vocalist/viola player Stela Atanasova. Yes, they use viola in their music, and of course that opera vocals that I don't really like. But somehow they are not among the worst bands in this genre anyway.
11 tracks is what they give us, and I guess it could be worth a try if you're a fan of symphonic metal with all its ingredients, even though they are not doing anything new.
Published: June 11

MADAM SKAM: 6 Låtar Om 6
Grönpeppar Records - MCD, Digital
MADAM SKAM is a female trio from Göteborg, Sweden who play feminist queer punk. It's not the fastest punk rock, and it reminds me of an unpolished, young Swedish band from the 80s when it comes to the music. The lyrics is a other chapter though, and much more modern as they are all written from a feminist and queer perspective.
Their sound is pretty naked as they have no bass guitar. It's just guitar, drums and vocals. A very simple production, but very punk somehow.
This is honestly not the best punk band that we have here in Sweden, even though they have their own little charm.
Published: June 10

TERROR 83: Demo
Grönpeppar Records/Rundgång/Sista Versen - Cassette, Digital
This is the debut demo from this Swedish band, who are based in Malmö. But even though they are from Sweden, they play Brazilian hardcore/punk like it was done back in the 80s. It's raw and simple, and they even sing in Portugese. I like what I hear. This is very good! Absolutely something that you should check out.
Published: June 10

SEPIROTH: Condemned To Suffer
Petrichor on June 11 - CD, LP, Cassette, Digital
This band crush everything in its way with their death metal brutality. They simply show us how it's supposed to be done.
SEPIROTH is a brutal old school death metal band from Sliedrecht, the Netherlands. The band has been around since 2003, and released their first 3-track EP, "Dying For Hatred", in 2007. Which was followed by their first full length, "Breaking The Codes Of Silence", in 2011. "Condemned To Suffer" is their third album.
If you want a good death metal album in the brutal league that doesn't suck, then you check out this album and nothing else.
Published: June 9

Petrichor on June 11 - CD, LP, Cassette, Digital
GRIEF COLLECTOR was formed by members from SIGNS OF RAIN, AMONG THE SERPENTS and CANDLEMASS/SOLITUDE AETURNUS. Their goal was to combine doom with some sludge and feelings of sorrow and tragedy. A mini CD, "From Dissension To Avowal", was released. Now it's time for their first longplayer, "En Delirium". And if you get the CD version, you will also get the mini CD as a bonus, as well as 2 bonus tracks.
I guess that most people remember Robert Lowe from his time with Swedish doom legends CANDLEMASS. And it has been pretty quiet from him since he left that band. But now he is back again, and prove that he still is a really good singer. Fans of his previous bands should not be dissapointed when they hear this.
But now I must also add that the other guys are also doing a really good job here. There's no doubt about that.
The music is heavy but yet catchy, with epic vocals. A very interesting doom release.
Published: June 9

Vic Records on June 11 - CD
This band hailing from Rhode Island, and formed back in 1988. They released 5 demos between 1989 to 1994, before their debut album, "When Hope Is Pain", was recorded in 1995. But unfortunately the record label went out of business, so the album have been unreleased until now.
The album consist of 13 tracks of rather technical thrash metal. They have been compared with bands like CYNIC and FALSE PROPHET, as well as SLAYER and DARK ANGEL. So if you like those bands, then you will probably like RITUAL SACRIFICE too. They are hardly doing anything wrong according to me anyway.
RITUAL SACRIFICE split up in 1996.
Published: June 8

EVIL: Evil's Message / Ride To Hell (reissues)
Mighty Music on June 11 - LP, CD
EVIL was a Danish heavy metal band in the 80s, who is nowadays seen as a cult band. In 1984 they released the 5-track EP "Evil's Message", which is filled with fast heavy metal songs on the border to speed metal. A typical 80s product inspired by NWOBHM. This record will now be re-released on both vinyl and CD. And title of the month must be "Take Good Care (Of Your Balls)", haha, brilliant! Yes, the lyrics is obviously a chapter of its own. A bit juvenile actually. But they were probably young and thought it was very cool.
"Ride To Hell" is a demo tape from 1983, but here we also get a live recording from 1985, recorded at Grondal Bio in Copenhagen, Denmark. Why he speak English and not Danish on those live tracks is a mystery to me. But once again I guess that they were young and thought that it was very cool. This record will also be available on LP and CD.
Well, these 2 albums are absolutely worth checking out for every fan of true old school heavy metal, because this is really good stuff.
Published: June 8

BLOT MINE: Porphyrogenesis (reissue)
Vic Records on June 11 - CD
Have you been angry lately? Then here's the cure! It's really fast and intense, with a singer who is screaming for all that he got. Black/death metal like it's supposed to be according to me. But there's also some melodic elements, which just makes it even better.
BLOT MINE was formed in the fall/autumn of 1995 by 3 members of SETHERIAL. The Swedes recorded a 5-track demo in 1997, and their debut album, "Porphyrogenesis", in June 1998 at Los Angered Recordings with Andy La Rocque (KING DIAMOND) as producer. On this re-release of the album we also get the demo as a bonus.
Published: June 8

BLITZKRIEG: Theatre of the Damned (reissue)
Mighty Music on June 11 - LP, CD
NWOBHM legends BLITZKRIEG have been around for over 40 years now. In 2007 they released the album "Theatre of the Damned", which will now be re-released on LP for the very first time, as well as CD with 2 bonus tracks and i-Pod versions of the tracks "Escape From The Village" and "I'm Not Insane". This product will also include exclusive, never seen before photos and completely new artwork.
So what about the sound then? I would say that it's the classic BLITZKRIEG sound. So old fans as well as new should not be dissapointed to hear this album, because most of the songs here are really good stuff.
Published: June 8

MIDNITE CITY: Itch You Can't Scratch
Roulette Media on June 11 - CD, LP, Digital
MIDNITE CITY started to rock in 2017, and "Itch You Can't Scratch" is their third album. Their music is a catchy and melodic kind of hard rock, also known as hair metal. Ingredients like energy, feel good and party are not unusual in their songs. They simply wants to give you a good time.
And good it is. We get 10 really strong songs, that all sounds like they could have been made in the happy 80s. So if that sounds like something that you would like, then you just have to give this band a chance.
Published: June 7

Pride & Joy Music - Digital single
The 80s seems to be hot again among the kids. And one of the bands that want to take you back in time is the female-fronted hard rockers SUPERNOVA PLASMAJETS.
The German band formed in 2013, and has so far released 2 records. A new album, "Now Or Never", will be released on October 22. And the title track is the first single from that album.
This song sounds really good to me. It has all the right ingredients: heavy guitars, melodic vocals and a hit friendly chorus. People who are into melodic hard rock from the 80s should definitely check this out.
Published: June 7

VULTURE LORD: Desecration Rite
Odium Records on June 10 - CD, LP, Digital
Norwegian black metallers VULTURE LORD return with their second album, which is the first album since 2003's debut album, "Profane Prayer". And this is said to be something for fans of DARKTHRONE, URGEHAL, CARPATHIAN FOREST and TAAKE. It's very raw, but really good stuff. Absolutely among the more interesting black metal bands out there.
The band also have a new lineup, which consists of musicians from URGEHAL, CARPATHIAN FOREST, BEASTCRAFT and ENDEZZMA.
Published: June 7

Vincent Crowley: Beyond Acheron
Odium Records on June 10 - CD, LP, Digital
Another totally useless intro. And just if that wasn't enough, theres also a totally useless outro. So out of 8 tracks there's actually just 6 songs.
After 30 years of fronting the black/death metal underground band ACHERON, Vincent Crowley goes solo. His new musical direction is a bit different though, as he has chosen a dark and macabre path, with influences from all kinds of metal genres. In general it's still some kind of black/death metal, but it's dark and heavy, almost doom actually.
These songs are o.k., so maybe you should give it a try?
Published: June 7

SONIC BLAST: Humanity Divided
Boersma Records - CD, Digital
I hear lots of IRON MAIDEN in this band's songs. The twin guitars and the typical Steve Harris bass sound is there. But otherwise they actually have their own touch, so they are absolutely not another copy of the Brits. No, SONIC BLAST go their own way. But they are doing a very good job here, so they are definitely worth checking out. Especially if you like more epic heavy metal, because then "Humanity Divided" is the perfect album for you.
SONIC BLAST was formed in Kozani, Greece in 2015. This is their debut album.
Published: June 6

Small Stone/Kozmik Artifactz - CD, LP, Digital
It seems like this Portland, Oregon based psychedelic stoner doom band was born in 2015. Their debut, "Cosmic Riders", came out in 2019. And now a new album is here..
With a singer who reminds of Glenn Danzig (DANZIG, MISFITS, SAMHAIN) they blend different genres like psych, stoner, doom and grunge for example. But even though it's heavy and psychedelic, their sound is raw and powerful, yes even playfully.
Published: June 6

Inverse Records - CD, Digital
Finnish hard rockers LOST DIVISION has just released their debut album, "Cuts And Scars". The band was founded in Oulu in 2015, and a first single, "Wish You Were Dead", was released in 2018.
It's a pretty modern and catchy hard rock that we get from this female-fronted band. But it's absolutely not any weak material. These 10 tracks are good, even though I can't name any favorite.
Published: June 6

KING BUFFALO: The Burden Of Restlessness
Stickman Records in Europe/Self released in North America - LP, CD, Digital
This band have the crazy idea that they are going to release as much as 3 full length albums this year. "The Burden Of Restlessness" is the first of these 3.
Heavy psych rock with a progressive twist might be a good decsription to this slow and melancholy record. There are some short aggressive outbursts here and there though, but it's mainly a pretty calm adventure. Adventurous is another word that pop up when I listen to this.
KING BUFFALO is a trio that was formed in 2013. They have previously released 4 EPs and 2 albums.
Published: June 6

Self released - Digital single
"Rise Up" is the fifth single from these Melbourne hard rockers. It's a really good song with a calm verse and a more powerful chorus (or however I should describe this?). There's also a hot solo towards the end. I hear influences from both the 70s and the 80s. So fans of good old hard rock should be interested in this.
Not much else to add..
Published: June 6

GREAT MASTER: Thy Harbour Inn
Underground Symphony - Digital
GREAT MASTER play a more majestic kind of pirate metal, that should fit perfect for fans of power metal (which it officially is). The songs are all great, so this is more or less a must if you like catchy and melodic, yet powerful and epic, metal anthems.
"Thy Harbour Inn" is the band's fifth album, which is a roundup of traditional seafaring songs from the 18th-19th centuries rearranged in the GREAT MASTER style. That this album is just available digitally is a big mystery to me. But that's always better than nothing. It should be available as both CD and LP though. Maybe in the future?
This band has been around since 1993, but didn't release their debut album until 2009. They are from Venice, Italy.
Published: June 6


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