REVIEWS AUGUST 2022

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THUNDERMOTHER: Black And Gold
AFM Records on Aug. 19 - LP, CD
Filippa, queen of Thundermother, at Sticky Fingers
THUNDERMOTHER has really developed their sound from raw and powerful AC/DC rock to something that sounds more like arena rock. It has always been loud, but now it's also a bigger sound and more varied. I would not say that they have become soft though, they still rock hard, but are maybe more melodic once in a while.
Even though the sound have changed a little, it still sounds really good. THUNDERMOTHER is still a band to be reckoned with. Without a doubt.
THUNDERMOTHER is a Swedish all-female band. They have previously released 4 albums. The line-up has changed a few times through the years, but is today founder/guitarist Filippa Nässil, vocalist Guernica Mancini, Emlee Johansson on drums and Mona Lindgren on bass.
This band seems to be on tour all the time, so how they could find the time to record a new album is a mystery. Check their web site for tour dates.
thundermother.com | afm-records.de

MOTORPSYCHO: Ancient Astronauts
Stickman Records on Aug. 19 - LP, CD
MOTORPSYCHO have kept themselves busy during the "Covid years", and released 2 albums (1 in 2020, and 1 in 2021). They also teamed up with a theatre group called DE UTVALGTE. And just if that wasn't enough, they also played live to a dance performance. Now they have also recorded yet another album, "Ancient Astronauts".
I think I still have a live recording from the 90s with this Norwegian band. I recorded it from the radio, and I have not been listening to it since then, so I didn't really know what to expect from this album, more than that it probably would be a wild ride.
And yes, a wild ride is it indeed. It's both psychedelic and cinematic, as well as hypnotic and soft. Long instrumental parts is nothing unusual. And even though there's just 4 tracks, it's an album. The first track is 6:41 minutes, and the next is just a short piece at 2:14. But after that the adventure begins for real with a song that is 12:16, which is followed by a even longer track that is as long as 22:22.
Are you ready for an adventure?
motorpsycho.no | stickman-records.com

Liv Kristine: Enter My Religion (reissue)
Allegro Talent Media on Aug. 19 - LP, 2CD, Cassette
This album was originally released in 2006, but will now be re-released in several formats. The LP will include an extra single, while the cassette features 2 bonus tracks, and the CD will have an extra disc with unreleased tracks and demo recordings.
Liv Kristine is a Norwegian vocalist. She is also a member of LEAVES'S EYES, and was before that member of THEATRE OF TRAGEDY.
Well, this is a wild mixture of different genres: folk rock, goth rock, pop or rock etc. Her voice is very sugar sweet and polished, but she can sing, no doubt about that. I guess that some of these songs are o.k., while others are absolutely not my cup of tea. And the bonus material is probably just of interest for the true fans.
livkristine.net | allegrotalent.net

ALIENS DON'T RING DOORBELLS: Hello 2 You
No Rules Music Group - Digital EP
This was something different. Some kind of funky blues rock with a touch of soul or something like that? At least the second track. The title track is more melodic.
ALIENS DON'T RING DOORBELLS is an international pop/rock band, with members from USA, UK and The Bahamas. They have released 1 album so far, and a second album is scheduled for release in March 2023. While you wait for that they have released the single "Hello 2 You", and this 2-track EP, which also includes "Don't Touch".
Well, this might not really be a band for Hard Rock Info's readers, but it's catchy and actually not so bad after all. I like "Don't Touch" better than "Hello 2 You" though.
youtu.be/9zj8VlZzaw8

The OCCULT: The Occult
The Occult on Aug. 19 - Digital
These Canadians blend 80s American punk with 90s rock n roll and alternative metal. To me it sounds like The OCCULT are somewhere between VOLBEAT and later MISFITS. So I guess it goes as some kind of horror punk rock.
The dark lyrics are about things like murder, politics and disdain of religion, and this is their debut album, which consist of 13 tracks. The songs are mainly around 2-3 minutes.
Sometimes they succeed to be pretty good. But it's not always of interest to me.
linktr.ee/officialTheOccultband | facebook.com/TheOccultBand

MORBID EVILS: Supernaturals
Transcending Obscurity Records on Aug. 19 - LP, CD, Digital
ROTTEN SOUND vocalist Keijo Niinimaa and his band MORBID EVILS gives us their own dark, twisted and heavy interpretation of death/doom/sludge metal. There's only 4 songs, but they are between 8:38 to 11:45 minutes. In other words pretty long songs.
MORBID EVILS is the sound of desperate agony, or like visiting a really depressive place that makes you just want to leave. It's definitely not beautiful at all.
Those who like it heavy and brutal will probably love this shit though.
tometal.com | morbidevilsband.bandcamp.com

FAITH/STORMBRINGER: Black Demo 1985 (re-issue)
Transubstans Records on Aug. 19 - Digital
This is not a split release. STORMBRINGER was founded in Karlshamn, southern Sweden in 1984. They recorded their first songs in January 1985, and soon after that they changed the name to FAITH (which is said to be a completely different story). Not sure why they use both names for this digital release, as this was recorded as STORMBRINGER.
We get 6 songs, and it's more charming than good. The music is not bad, but the singer sounds very young and inexperienced, and uses the same key more or less all the time. The production is a typical raw and primitive demo sound. I guess you should take it for what it is, a fun time capsule. And I'm pretty sure that this could have been something really good with a better production and some more experience.
They say that this is much heavier and darker than most other stuff that came out in the mid-80s, and that might be possible. This is doom metal like it was done from the beginning. Heavier, melodic metal and no harsh vocals or growl.
transubstansrecords.bandcamp.com/track/stormbringer | facebook.com/Faith2ya

ARCH ENEMY: Deceivers
Century Media on Aug. 12 - 2LP/CD Artbook, Deluxe CD Box Set, LP, CD, Digital
Mike Amott with Arch Enemy in Gothenburg over 10 years ago
ARCH ENEMY have been active for many years now, but they never seems to stop being curious and try new things. And that without going too far away from their roots in melodic extreme metal. Interestingly, they are only increasing in popularity with each passing year. So no, the band did not become weaker because former vocalist Angela Gossow left the band and got replaced by former The AGONIST vocalist Alissa White-Gluz. They succeeded to get stronger than ever instead.
"Deceivers" is the 11th studio album. It's hard and aggressive, as well as melodic. So nothing unusual there. I get a feeling though that the extreme is more extreme, and the melodic more melodic. But maybe it's just imagination?
It's a o.k. album, but for some reason I can't hear any future classics here. I guess that time will tell when it comes to that. And no matter what I think, I'm very sure that the audience will continue to grow even bigger.
centurymedia.com | archenemy.net

H.E.A.T: Force Majure
earMUSIC - LP, CD, Digital
Well, they really live up to the name, because this makes you hot. The songs are full of energy and passion. The only slow song is the power ballad "One Of Us". Otherwise it's Scandinavian melodic hard rock at its best. I think of fantastic bands like 80s EUROPE and ECLIPSE for example. So something like the 80s meets the 2020s.
This is this Swedish band's 7th album, where their former singer Kenny Leckremo is back behind the microphone. And "Force Majure" is full of excellent songs. There's no doubt about that.
ear-music.net | heatsweden.com

The INTERRUPTERS: In The Wild
Hellcat/Epitaph Records - CD, LP, Digital
L.A. band The INTERRUPTERS have been building up their fanbase for a few years now. "In The Wild" is their 4th studio album.
The opening track, "Anything Was Better", is melodic punk rock in the same style as something like RANCID. The next song, "As We Live", is ska. And it continues like that. Some punk rock here, some ska there, and once in a while something that goes as rock. "My Heart" almost sounds like something from the 60s though. It's simply a variated album that we get here, but it's really good.
Among the guests on the new album are Tim Armstrong (RANCID), Rhoda Dakar (The BODYSNATCHERS, The SPECIALS) and somebody called Hepcat.
epitaph.com | wearetheinterrupters.com

TROUBLE: Simple Mind Condition (re-issue)
Hammerheart Records on Aug. 12 - LP
Hammerheart Records continue to re-release old suff with doom metal legends TROUBLE. "Simple Mind Condition" was released on CD and digital in May, but will now also be available on vinyl. While the CD was a double story with a concert from Stockholm on disc 2, the LP just gives us the studio album and nothing else. But the happy news for vinyl fanatics is that the Stockholm concert will be released on double LP in September.
This album was originally released in 2007, and was their return after a 12-year hiatus. It might not be just pure doom metal here, but also some sludge and stoner, or just classic hard rock. It seems like many saw it as a dissapointment when it was released, but I think you should give it another try then, becuase I don't think it's so bad.
hammerheart.com | troublemetal.com

EREB ALTOR: Nattramn (re-issue)
Hammerheart Records on Aug. 12 - CD
EREB ALTOR is a Swedish band, formed in 2003 by members of FORLORN (nowadays called ISOLE). "Nattramn" is the band's fifth full-length, which was originally released in 2015. It will now be available on CD again.
The music that they play is epic viking metal with elements of a cold black metal atmosphere. BATHORY is a big influence for them, and this album is said to be darker than their previous records.
As you probably can figure out for yourself, there's both melodic and hard parts here. Sometimes it's epic metal, and sometimes more or less pure black metal. And they succeed to combine these 2 elements very well.
hammerheart.com

DELTA BATS: Here Come The Bats
Drakkar Entertainment - CD, LP
DELTA BATS is an explosive punk rock/metal duo that makes you want to drink beer. Influences comes from legends like MOTÖRHEAD, ZZ TOP, RAMONES and JUDAS PRIEST, just to mention a few, because I can hear lots more than that on this album. You could say that it's good old rock n roll, but spiced with good old punk and heavy metal.
Most of these 12 tracks are good, so it would be stupid of you to not check this out. But maybe you don't like to party?
facebook.com/deltabats | drakkar.de

STRANGER VISION feat. Tom S. Englund: The Deep
Pride & Joy Music - Digital Single
Italian band STRANGER VISION play a very melodic but powerful kind of metal. Their second album will be released in November, and this is the second taste of what to come.
On this song they are joined by Tom S. Englund (EVERGREY), and it sounds good to me. So if you like melodic power metal, then you should really give this a try.
I don't have much else to say..
prideandjoy.de | strangervisionband.com

INTELLIGENT MUSIC PROJECT: Unconditioned
Intelligent Music Ltd. - CD
I don't really know what's so intelligent about this Bulgarian band. I can't hear anything special anyway.
This is the 7th studio album from these melodic hard rockers, who participated in the Eurovision Song Contest a couple of months ago. And that might give you an idea about their sound, which is pretty kind and melodic. It's not totally useless because of that though. This is totally o.k.
Now there's not just Bulgarian people involved in this band. Simon Phillips (TOTO, PROTOCOL) returns as percussionist and musical co-producer of the new album, and lead singer is once again Ronnie Romero (RAINBOW, MSG, SUNSTORM etc etc). The album also includes Carl Sentance (NAZARETH) and several unknown humans.
Order: bit.ly/3P09VTw

OXIDIZE: Stand Up For The Masses
WormHoleDeath Records - Digital EP
Swedish metal band OXIDIZE is back with a new EP, which features both some new songs and a couple of covers. This is however not how I remember their album, "Dark Confessions" that was released last year. Then it was more heavy metal, and now it's more like melodic metal instead. It's still good though.
The idea with this EP is to show the many sides of OXIDIZE. So we get 6 different songs here. 1 song is more aggressive, 1 is technical, 1 is more straight, 1 is more heavy etc. So in other words a very good way to discover what this band has to offer.
oxidize.se | wormholedeath.com

Tim Bowness: Butterfly Mind
InsideOut Music on Aug. 5 - 2CD, LP/CD, Digital
Another very soft album full of lullabies for adults was my first impression, as there's lots of soft and cinematic songs here. But there's also some songs with more energy once in a while. This is actually a varied album, with a fusion of art rock, post-punk, ballads etc.
This is Tim's 7th solo album. The rhythm section features people like Richard Jupp (ELBOW) and Nick Beggs, alongside a guest list including Ian Anderson (JETHRO TULL), Dave Formula (MAGAZINE), Peter Hammill (VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR), Martha Goddard (The HUSHTONES), Gregory Spawton (BIG BIG TRAIN), Mark Tranmer (The MONTGOLFIER BROTHERS, GNAC), Saro Cosentino (Franco Battiato), Italian Jazz musician Nicola Alesini, US singer Devon Dunaway (GANGA), Stephen W Tayler (Kate Bush) and, marking his first studio work with Tim for nearly 3 decades, former NO-MAN violinist Ben Coleman.
Tim Bowness is primarily known as vocalist/co-writer with the band NO-MAN, a long-running collaboration with Steven Wilson. "Butterfly Mind" is Tim's 40th anniversary release.
insideoutmusic.com | timbowness.co.uk

Speaking to stoneS: (In)human Error
Animated Insanity Records/No Dust Records on Aug. 5 - CD
Solo guitarist and song writer Tony M. Vinci formed SPEAKING TO STONES in 2006, and it's an international progressive rock project. It seems like it's 10 years since their last album was released, and Tony have once again found a new group of musicians to play with.
This man blend in many different influences in his songs, from both rock and metal. And this time he wanted to incorporate elements of modern progressive bands, such as PERIPHERY and ANIMALS AS LEADERS. The songs are diverse, epic and adventurous - Absolutely progressive. Luckily also very good, so I have nothing to complain about.
animatedinsanityrecords.com | nodustrecords.com | facebook.com/SpeakingToStones

KELDIAN: The Bloodwater Rebellion
Perris Records on Aug. 7 - CD
"The Bloodwater Rebellion" is the fifth album by Norwegian duo KELDIAN. And this is their first full concept album, with a story about a not-so-distant future. On the guest list are Norwegian drummer Sindre Skele, Israeli singer and songwriter Liel Bar-Z and New York-based trumpet player Jon Garcia.
Symphonic metal with a touch of classic rock is probably how they would like to describe this, even though there's not that much metal here according to me. It sounds more like symphonic rock, and sometimes it actually reminds me of post-punk. I guess that they have succeeded to catch the same dark atmosphere as post-punk use to have. Otherwise it's very melodic with much keyboards.
Fans of symphonic and progressive rock will probably like this, but fans of metal will probably be dissapointed if they listen to this. I'm so crazy though that I think that fans of post-punk should try this too. There's absolutely some good songs here.
keldian.com | perrisrecords.com

WINTER: Looking Back
Bob Media on Aug. 5 - CD
This is the digipak CD edition of this album, which is limited to 300 copies and hand numbered. This edition includes 4 bonus tracks, which means that you get as much as 16 tracks.
The music is a mix of AOR, hard rock and dark rock, so there's hardly the same old song all the way. And with such different styles, it could easily become a fragmented impression. But yet Markus succeeds really well in not confusing the listener. All the songs just flow together pretty well. Everything might not be so good, but I would say that most of the material is o.k. anyway.
Markus Winter released his first album with a band called CRY in the end of 1993. CRY released another album in 1995, but in 1996 they split up, and Markus released a solo EP.
bob-media.com

The TASHMINTS: The Tashmints
Beluga Records - LP
What we have here is an unreleased album from 2009.
The band hailing from Australia, and features members from several other Melbourne bands. The journey began in 2008, and this LP was recorded in 2009. But then they abrubtly disbanded in 2010, and the album was never released. But now they seems to be back again, and then it was time to finally release the record.
And that was a good idea. Because this is really good stuff. Some kind of catchy garage rock with a touch of 60s pop is how I describe their sound. Any fan of cool rock should check this out, and that's it!
belugarecords.com

FUZZSTAINZ: Get Stained
Beluga Records - Digital on Aug. 5, 7" vinyl on Sept. 9
This is the second EP from FUZZSTAINZ. This trio play a raw and intense kind of garage punk rock that I really like. The songs are short (approximately 1 and a half to 2 minutes), and without any unnecessary padding. Simple and straight. It doesn't have to be more complicated than that.
FUZZSTAINZ hailing from Malmö in southern Sweden.
belugarecords.com | fuzzstainz.bandcamp.com

STEEL INFERNO: Siren Of The Air
From The Vaults - Digital Single
STEEL INFERNO is a speed metal band from Copenhagen, Denmark, who formed in 2012. They have released 2 full-length albums so far, and are now getting ready to release their third album, "Evil Reign", in the fall.
While their previous material was more European, with influences of early ACCEPT and JUDAS PRIEST, the new album is said to be closer to some of the earliest US power metal bands, such as HELSTAR and JAG PANZER.
Anyway, this first taste of the new album will surely make you thirsty for some more, because this sounds good indeed.
steelinferno.dk | fromthevaults.dk

PPL: Greatest Hits
GrönPeppar Records - CD, Digital
PPL are more melodic than a band like DÅLIG ISOLERING, and their sound is not as raw and old school as them. As they sing in Swedish, it sounds really Swedish. And these boys and girls also spice their songs with organ, and seems to have longer and deeper lyrics. It's really good though.
10 songs is what we get here, and the songs were recorded by Mart Hällgren (DLK, TOTAL EGON etc etc), who also play a bass solo on 1 of the songs and sing some background vocals.
Now this is not a "Greatest Hits" collection by some old band that's been around for a few years, but actually a debut album. Cocky!
gronpepparrecords.bandcamp.com

DÅLIG ISOLERING: Dålig Jävla Isolering
GrönPeppar Records - MCD, Digital
5 tracks by 3 angry teenagers from Stockholm, Sweden. Both sound and music is raw and really old school. I like this kind of punk. The lyrics deal with subjects like the rich, USA and racism. 4 of them are in Swedish, while 1 is in English.
The songs are short (1:32-2:42 minutes) and really straight. You can almost feel the frustration through the speakers. And then this is hardly the most angry that I have heard.
There's still some hope when it comes to the youth of today.
gronpepparrecords.bandcamp.com

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